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Boone County Presiding Commissioner Ed Robb dies

Breaking news story on the death of the presiding county commissioner / 1280 words / The Columbia Missourian

By Alexandria Baca and Hilary Niles

COLUMBIA, MO. — Ed Robb was a tough politician whose expertise in economics and budgeting made him a formidable foe, former political opponents and colleagues said. As a Republican, he didn’t mind going after public offices traditionally held by Democrats.

Robb, who had been Boone County’s presiding commissioner since Jan. 1, died Saturday night, his wife, Rosa Robb, confirmed Sunday morning.

Robb, 69, was elected to the county’s top position in November and sworn in just days after he had a pacemaker installed to address an irregular heartbeat.

Redrawing Columbia’s wards proves puzzling for representatives, residents

Explanatory feature on reapportionment of the City of Columbia’s political districts / 1557 words / The Columbia Missourian

COLUMBIA, MO. — Louis Wilson occupies a rare place in Columbia. What makes him — and his neighbors — unusual is location, location, location.

Anecdotally, many people in Columbia don’t know which of the city’s six wards they live in. As communications director of the Historic West Broadway Association, however, Wilson knows his neighborhood is one of few in the city that straddle two wards, in his case the First and the Fourth.

Because each ward elects one representative to the Columbia City Council, Wilson and his neighbors have the benefit of being able to bend the ears of two council members.

“That may be a stupid type of political addition, but it seems to make sense,” Wilson said. He spoke as an individual citizen, not on behalf of his neighborhood association. “It’s nice to have access to two parties.”

The issues of access and representation are central to the debate over how to redraw the city’s ward boundaries. Equalizing ward populations was the primary goal of ward reapportionment, but the committee charged with the task was also directed by the council to avoid splitting neighborhoods. Aside from neighborhoods, any number of constituencies can be concentrated in one ward or spread among them.

Demand precedes Short Street garage

News update on city plans for a new parking garage / 881 words / The Columbia Missourian

COLUMBIA, MO. — The surprise question looming about the new Short Street garage is whether there will be any public parking spaces left by the time it is built next year.

“It’s a good problem to have, to have it all sold out before you build it,” Third Ward Councilman Gary Kespohl said.

In addition to deciding what Columbia’s fifth downtown parking garage will look like, City Council members now are considering whether to build commercial space into the ground floor of the structure and to add an extra level of parking to accommodate advance demand for leased spaces.

The current four-story design provides for 340 spaces, and already 150 of them could be spoken for. Adding another level would add about 70 more spaces and cost about $1 million more.

MU alumna Jennifer Wilson killed in South Carolina

News brief on the death of a local university alum / 335 words / The Columbia Missourian

ST. LOUIS — A young professor who received her doctorate from MU was killed Sunday morning in South Carolina.

Jennifer Wilson, 36, taught at the University of South Carolina, after leaving Missouri in 2005.

Hank Hawes, 37, was charged with murder. According to an incident report filed by the Columbia, S.C., police department, he was identified by a neighbor as the victim’s boyfriend.

South Carolina news reports quoted colleagues and students of Wilson’s as saying she was trying to end the relationship and was concerned about his aggression.

Farming in the U.S.A.

More than ever, women and minorities are running the country’s farms, “boutique” farming is a hot trend, and farmers’ markets continue to grow and multiply. We speak with Carol House of the National Agricultural Statistics Service about the latest numbers in farming, and we check in with Jon Satz, who runs Woods Market Garden in Brandon, Vermont.
Farming

Rabies? Rabies! Rabies.

Public radio feature / 15:55 minutes / Here and Now, produced at WBUR in Boston, Mass., and broadcast nationwide

It’s rabies season, and strange things happen. We hear a cautionary tale from Arizona runner Michelle Felicetta, who survived a fox attack last fall, and we speak with Dr. Charles Rupprecht, chief of the rabies program at the Centers for Disease Control.

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Financial Literacy for Kids

Public radio feature / 3:51 minutes / Here and Now, produced at WBUR in Boston, Mass., and broadcast nationwide

Public school students in Tennessee don’t just learn how to balance a checkbook, but how to plan for retirement and negotiate a car payment, too. Les Greer, who teaches at Riverdale High School in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, joins us to review a lesson plan.

[audio:http://nilesmedia.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/Financial-Literacy-for-Kids.mp3]

The High Cost of Corrections

Public radio feature / 9:03 minutes / Here and Now, produced at WBUR in Boston, Mass., and broadcast nationwide

The cost of corrections continues to climb while revenues shrink. Michael Thompson of the Justice Center at the Council of State Governments offers solutions to the challenges many states face.

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