Q&A with First Ward City Council candidates

Pam Forbes, Mitch Richards, Fred Schmidt and Darrell Foster answer questions from the Missourian's readers and reporters.

First Ward hopeful Pam Forbes has weathered tough times

She is one of four candidates on the April 5 ballot for the First Ward City Council seat being vacated by Paul Sturtz.

Youngest First Ward candidate, Mitch Richards, offers new approaches

Richards, who believes in the rights of citizens, opposes the militarization of police operations and drug enforcement. He thinks the government should help drug addicts, not imprison them. 

Foster wants to serve, lead Columbia's diverse First Ward community

Darrell Foster hopes to bring his history of community activism and commitment to inclusion to Columbia's City Council. Foster is running for the council's First Ward seat.

Fred Schmidt wants to bring communication, financial expertise to council

Schmidt is a native of Columbia and resettled here because he grew tired of giant corporations in California and New York. He's running to represent the First Ward.

Candidate forum addresses issues in Columbia's First Ward

The candidates discussed Columbia's Neighborhood Response Team — and potential problems with its work — which focuses heavily on their ward.

Ads target Missouri bill for cold medicine prescription

The Consumer Healthcare Products Association is running radio ads against a law requiring a doctor's prescription for medications containing pseudoephedrine.

Missouri expands campaign finance records database

The state's searchable campaign finance records now include those of committees formed to support or oppose ballot measures.

Diversity among talking points at NAACP's City Council candidate forum

First Ward candidates focused on issues related to affirmative action, while Fifth Ward candidates discussed erosion, energy-efficient homes and the Office of Neighborhood Services.

Columbia NAACP to hold candidate forum Tuesday

Nine city council and school board candidates are expected to attend for a question and answer session.

Missouri Senate leader looking for $500 million in savings

Senate President Pro Tem Rob Mayer gave little indication of what he wants cut, but noted that there are possible savings in restructuring and paring back the state's tax credits.

National Planned Parenthood debate comes to Columbia

Opposing groups held rallies in front of the Columbia Planned Parenthood office Saturday.

Judge blocks contentious Wisconsin union law

The judge's order will prevent the law signed into effect last week from being published March 25.

Protesters briefly interrupt Nixon appearance

About 20 protesters from the group Missourians Organizing for Reform and Empowerment interrupted Gov. Jay Nixon's appearance in St. Louis on Friday.

Missouri House passes organ donor tax checkoff option

The Missouri House passed legislation that would give taxpayers the option of contributing to the organ donor fund through a list of checkoff options on their tax forms. The measure now goes to the Senate. 

UPDATE: Missouri Senate backs early presidential primary

If held before March, Missouri's primary presidential election could violate new guidelines set by the national Republican and Democratic parties.

UPDATE: Missouri House members mull ban on international laws

A House committee heard testimony Wednesday on a measure that would prevent courts from considering international and Sharia law.

States consider legislator layoffs to trim budgets

With state budgets getting tighter, some legislators would like to downsize themselves.

Missouri Senate backs early presidential primary

The Senate approved an amendment setting Missouri's 2012 presidential primary one week after New Hampshire's.

Missouri House members mull ban on international laws

Don Wells, R-Cabool, sponsored the bill because he thinks courts should only consider laws developed in the U.S.