GEORGE KENNEDY: A year of victories, setbacks for Ginny Chadwick

Although Ginny Chadwick is threatened with a recall, her initiative to raise the age for purchase of tobacco products from 18 to 21 proved triumphant, and the councilwoman intends to keep pushing two more initiatives.

WHAT OTHERS SAY: Jeb Bush might be what GOP needs in 2016

Neither of Bush's two main political liabilities in the primaries — his support for immigration and Common Core education standards — is an insuperable barrier to the nomination.

WHAT OTHERS SAY: Missouri's Capitol in serious need of repairs

"We've got water infiltration that's undermining the foundation of the building, and it’s going to cave in upon itself if something’s not done in the not-too-distant future," said Senate Floor Leader Ron Richard, R-Joplin.

STEVE SPELLMAN: Brouhaha over Jesus Fish seems trivial, given world concerns

This year, we have our own local controversy, over an ichthus, or “Jesus fish,” on the Boone County courthouse square — and just in time for the holidays!

WHAT OTHERS SAY: Don't fight postal restructuring

The closures are part of a large scale restructuring for the Postal Service in an attempt to respond to a dramatic decline in stamped mail — more than 50 percent in the last 10 years.

WHAT OTHERS SAY: Enjoy windfall at the pump, and invest it wisely

In Missouri we still spend a bigger share of our income on gas than others, but we’re benefiting tremendously — $15, $20 or more a tank — from this surge of relatively cheap gas driven by weak global demand for oil.

WHAT OTHERS SAY: Earlier deadline for final ballot language makes sense

The senator’s proposal would required ballot language to be finalized eight week prior to an election.

WHAT OTHERS SAY: Middle-class retirees deserve better from Congress

That politicians are willing to eviscerate labor law safeguards that have been in place since 1974 under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act is a sign of what little value they place on the futures of the hard-working men and women of Main Street.

DAVID ROSMAN: Even under the gun amendment, convicted felons should not own firearms

There are people who should not legally own weapons, and they would include convicted felons, regardless of the nature of the crime.

GENE ROBERTSON: The race issue is symptomatic of a bigger values problem

The current racial tensions in our country are a symptom of a wider spread of divisiveness in our ideological discourse.

GUEST COMMENTARY: Ways to stop mindless spending and giving

When people find gifts that uniquely symbolize their friendship or their gratitude for one another, that’s touching. It’s what gift-giving should be.

WHAT OTHERS SAY: Ferguson Commission faces steep challenge but seems up to the task

Building trust with people on the ground so they will ultimately have respect for the Ferguson Commission’s recommendations involves letting the people vent.

WHAT OTHERS SAY: Two ways to improve roads in Missouri

Here are two ways to make smart decisions to improve highways and streets: Increase the federal gasoline tax and study the use of tolls on selected Missouri highways.

GUEST COMMENTARY: Remember Sandy Hook with sensible gun laws

As he checks items off his to-do list, President Obama should remember the 20 children shot to pieces in Newtown, Connecticut, on Dec. 14 two years ago.

WHAT OTHERS SAY: Online taxi companies need to follow the rules

Though ride-sharing services provide necessary transportation, companies must follow the rules to ensure riders are protected. 

WHAT OTHERS SAY: An open letter to Rex Sinquefield about his money

Mr. Sinquefeld, how about you start playing by the same rules as everybody else?

GEORGE KENNEDY: Ignoring basic principles puts journalists in peril

The writer of Rolling Stone magazine's University of Virginia sexual assault story failed to carry out — and her editors failed to insist on — some basic steps that ethics require.

WHAT OTHERS SAY: Hearty thanks for years of rebuilding in Joplin

Rebuild Joplin taught the community more than just how to build houses; it taught how to care for others and take action in times of crisis.

'Birdman' tops list of Golden Globe nominees

Other films with nods include 'Boyhood,' 'Imitation Game,' 'Foxcatcher,' 'Selma' and 'The Theory of Everything.'

GUEST COMMENTARY: Other states follow Missouri lead in looking to cut income taxes

Iowa is not the only border state looking to make income tax changes. In neighboring Nebraska, legislators are exploring a round of tax cuts of their own that would also chop the state’s tax on incomes.