CDD 4/22: Columbia Police Department report shows more arrests, Taser use

Columbia’s Daily Dish, April 22
Columbia Police Department’s report shows more arrests, Taser use (CM) Of 38,564 interactions with the public from January to March, police made 1,873 arrests, about 500 more arrests than the previous year.

Columbia School Board announces a commitment to summer school programs (CM) Summer school is on for Columbia Public Schools whether state money comes to the district or not.

Boone County Sheriff’s deputy to receive department’s Life Saving Award (CM) Deputy Joey Lahman will receive the Boone County Sheriff’s Department Life Saving Award, according to a news release from the Sheriff’s Department.

Macon braces for possible Obama visit (CM) It is at once the best-kept and the worst-kept secret in Macon: It appears President Barack Obama will visit an ethanol plant in the small town in north-central Missouri next week.

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CDD 4/21: Hinkson proposal would require city, county to reduce storm runoff by half

Columbia’s Daily Dish, April 21
Hinkson proposal would require city, county to reduce storm runoff by half (CM) The Missouri Department of Natural Resources says the low levels of some aquatic life means the waterway is polluted but can’t say for sure which pollutants are responsible. It wants Columbia and Boone County to clean up the waterway. Rather than target specific toxins, the department wants them to reduce the amount of stormwater that drains into the creek by just over 50 percent.

Providence, Stadium fix up in the air (CDT) The city’s engineering staff presented five possible plans to address the growing problem at an interested parties meeting yesterday. What each plan had in common was the addition of a 1,200-foot southbound right-turn lane along Providence between Burnam Avenue and Stadium Boulevard, coupled with a concrete median separating north- and southbound traffic. All of this would be done within the existing curb lines.

Former candidate earns role on schools panel (CDT) The Columbia Board of Education’s student performance committee appointed Peters as a panel member yesterday afternoon, two weeks after Phil Peters finished second by 4,025 votes in the race for a one-year seat on the school board.

Loan program shines for homeowners (CDT) By last fall, Maria and David Thomas said they had done everything they could think of in their quest to go green.

CDD 4/20: What’s next for downtown cameras

Columbia’s Daily Dish, April 20
What’s next for downtown cameras (CM) The downtown cameras initiative passed April 6, but Columbia Police Chief Ken Burton must still decide what cameras will be used and where they will go before the Columbia City Council can approve funding.

After inspectors’ recommendations, Truman Veterans Hospital staff to undergo training (CM) Hundreds of support staff and about 30 medical workers at the Harry S. Truman Memorial Veterans Hospital will undergo training to refresh their skills on protective gear usage and proper sterilization of reusable medical equipment.

Review board’s trip request is questioned (CDT) The Columbia Citizens Police Review Board’s request for travel allowances met some resistance from the new members of the Columbia City Council last night.

Former sheriff backs J. Scott Christianson (CDT) Former Boone County Sheriff Ted Boehm has offered his endorsement to J. Scott Christianson in the Columbia Democrat’s campaign to become Boone County presiding commissioner.

Bustamante asks to finish school (CDT) Alyssa Bustamante, the teenager accused of murdering 9-year-old Elizabeth Olten in St. Martins last year, has filed a motion asking the court to allow her to finish high school.

Columbia is well ahead of 2022 goal for renewable energy (CM) In 2004, Columbia voters overwhelmingly passed an act to make Columbia a greener city by requiring 15 percent of its energy come from renewable sources by 2022. A yearly report is required to make sure all is going according to plan. City Council reviewed last year’s progress and this year’s expectations Monday.

Pedestrian bridge on Providence could be torn down (CM) There was little discussion of a $293,000 project to make crossing Providence Road safer for pedestrians at Monday night’s City Council meeting.

City works toward sewer bill fix (CDT) Officials said the city plans to shift from a system that charges each “user” a monthly base fee of $6.09 to one that applies a monthly base fee to each water meter. The term “user” is not clearly defined in the current ordinance, leading to varying interpretations that could apply it to something as small as a single hospital room or as large as the owner of multiple properties.

CDD 4/19: Two MU students charged in cotton ball incident

Columbia’s Daily Dish 4/19
Two MU students charged in cotton ball incident (CM) Two MU students arrested in connection with the Feb. 26 cotton ball incident at the Gaines/Oldham Black Culture Center have been officially charged with littering — not a hate crime.

Legislators paint bleak revenue picture (CDT) Even though Boone County’s legislative delegates agree that a cigarette tax increase could avert further deep cuts to the state budget, the idea of a tobacco tax hike does not appear headed for debate anytime soon.

Bat in Pike County confirmed to have deadly white-nose syndrome (CM) A new fungal disease that affects bats, known as white-nose syndrome, has been found in Pike County in northeast Missouri, according to a news release from the State Department of Conservation on Monday.

Columbia launches emergency alert system (KMIZ) Residents of Columbia can receive notices of emergencies via text messages or e-mail via a new system unveiled today by the city.

City Council talking about use tax (KMIZ) Tonight city leaders will be discussing a “Use Tax” and some believe it could be a boost in revenues. Currently the city’s revenue is down more than three percent this year and city council is looking for ways to make money off your purchases from out-of-state. They’re looking at a Use Tax which is applied when you’re not charged a sales tax on purchases. City officials say this could help them regain some much needed revenue.

A somber playground (CDT) The Benton Elementary School playground normally is filled with rowdy children in the morning. Today, however, they gathered behind yellow caution tape to watch curiously as the oldest member of their school was cut down — one limb at a time.

CDD 4/18: Current West Broadway plan keeps two traffic lanes

Columbia’s Daily Dish 4/18
Current West Broadway plan keeps two traffic lanes (CM) The latest plan, discussed at an April 8 West Broadway Community Advisory Committee meeting, features two lanes with raised medians separating traffic and left-turn lanes at intersections.

Deputy Police Chief Dresner takes to the skies (CM) When he’s not managing Columbia’s police force, Dresner is a paramotorist. He propels himself around the countryside with a small but powerful propeller-engine and a parachute-like airfoil.

Audio tour of MKT benches memorialize past, allude future (CM) The benches along the MKT Trail have stories to tell, and Clyde Bentley, an associate professor at the Missouri School of Journalism, has found a way to bring them to life.

Partnership named in suit over race bias (CDT) Three white former employees of the Boone County Community Partnership allege in a federal civil suit that black employees and board members systematically sought for several years to purge whites from the state-funded partnership through a pattern of harassment and intimidation.

New council gets a vision of budget effort (CDT) The Columbia City Council met in a work session yesterday to begin planning for the fiscal 2011 budget and to discuss other issues such as streamlining council meetings and the potential consolidation of some boards and commissions.

City renews use tax idea (CDT) With Columbia having felt the pinch of declining sales tax receipts in recent years, it shouldn’t be a surprise that the idea of administering a use tax is being kicked around again.

Wood takes primary fundraising lead (CDT) Bondi Wood said her early start on a campaign to be the Democratic candidate this fall for Boone County presiding commissioner has paid off by giving her a sizeable lead in fundraising.

Hinkson pollution on agenda (CDT) The latest plan to improve water quality in the Hinkson Creek is the focus of a public meeting from 2 to 4 p.m. Tuesday in the county commission chamber at the Boone County Government Center.

Parks department hosts photo contest, announces winners

Columbia residents submitted more than 250 entries to a Parks and Recreation Department photo contest and the winners were announced at last night’s commission meeting. Take a look at the winning photos.

47-year-old Randy Hughes won $175 cash and a $175 Parks and Recreation gift certificate for his photos. He placed four times in two different categories. He’s going to spend his money on a new lens for his Olympus E510 and keep shooting photos of the parks. Continue reading

Kespohl tells Parks and Rec Commission they have a friend on Council

Gary Kespohl

Third Ward councilman Gary Kespohl received a plaque at the April 16 Parks and Recreation Commission meeting for his service on the commission. He started representing the Third Ward on the commission in 2007 and his term was set to expire on May 31. Photo by Ryan Martin.

I caught up with Third Ward councilman Gary Kespohl during the Parks and Recreation Commission meeting on Thursday night. Kespohl, who represented the Third Ward on the commission for three years, received a plaque for his service. I asked him some questions about his transition from the Parks and Recreation Commission to the City Council. Continue reading