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columbia’s morning newspaper riding in the rodeo again. Page 1B
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ESTABLISHED IN 1908 n www.ColumbiaMissourian.com
Monday, June 23, 2008

Red-light issue
reconsidered
The city hopes that pany has expressed a hesitancy
to move forward with the city’s
photos of the driver new desire to photograph driv-
will validate tickets. ers because its equipment isn’t
designed to do that.
By KOURTNEY GEERS The city changed course after
news@ColumbiaMissourian.com receiving a February letter
Future red-light cameras in from Hendren Andrae LLC., a
Columbia might capture more law firm in Jefferson City that
than your license plate if you represents RedFlex Traffic Sys-
dare to run the light. They could tems, indicating weaknesses in
photograph you, too. Columbia’s ordinance and pre-
Given questions about the dicting its validity is likely to
legality of the be challenged.
city’s current RedFlex is
plans for using another red-
cameras to
“I’m perfectly willing light camera
track down peo- to go back and say, vendor.
ple who run red As it stands,
lights, the city ‘Let’s propose an the city ordi-
has begun pur- amendment that says nance autho-
suing a system rizing red-
different from we’ll take a picture light cameras
what it previ- presumes the
ously consid-
of the driver.’ I’ll owner of the
M. SPENCER GREEN/The Associated Press ered. There also recommend that.” vehicle is also
Inmates were among the volunteers unloading sandbags to shore up a levee Saturday, north of Foley. In the hard-hit are concerns, the driver at
however, that MAYOR DARWIN HINDMAN the time of the
towns of Winfield, Mo., and Grafton, Ill., floodwaters aren’t expected to crest until Wednesday. violation. That,
any red-light
camera program it implements the law firm’s letter said, may
could conflict with bills that are be held unconstitutional by Mis-

FLOODING
being filed regularly by Mis- souri courts.
souri legislators. To date, none “To combat the possibility of
of those bills has have passed. a legal challenge ... a camera
Meanwhile, Mayor Darwin that photographs the driver of
Hindman is growing impatient the vehicle would provide reli-

FIELDS
with repeated delays in getting able evidence that the person
red-light cameras installed. ticketed, the driver, is the true
An immediate issue is the offender,” Rodney Gray, an
city’s desire to determine that attorney for Hendren Andrae,
the owner of a vehicle running wrote in a letter to Columbia
the light is the actual offender. Police Chief Randy Boehm.
Floodwaters that have That’s why it wants to either The city hopes cameras with
change its current contract this capability will assist them
devastated Missouri and with LaserCraft Inc. or find a not only in identifying the true
new company with a camera driver but also to validate tick-
Illinois towns are expected system able to photograph both ets.
the driver and the license plate “When an officer observes a
violation, the officer knows who
to crest early this week SUE OGROCKI/The Associated Press
Irrigation equipment sits in a flooded cornfield in Oakville,
of the car.
The contract with LaserCraft the driver was,” Assistant City
Iowa. Corn prices have shot up 11 percent in the past was signed in 2007 and was Manager Tony St. Romaine
week as floodwaters ravage this year’s crop. based on the city’s plan to pho- said. “With a red-light camera
tograph only the license plates violation, you really don’t.”
of offenders. Recently, the com- Please see CAMERAS, page 7A
By BETSY TAYLOR largely ceased. But elsewhere, the river By STEVENSON JACOBS

little green
The Associated Press was still rising. The latest forecasts for The Associated Press

L N
OUISIANA, Mo. — The faithful hard-hit Winfield, Mo., and Grafton, Ill., EW YORK — Raging Mid-
gathered for church services Sun- pushed back the crest to Wednesday. west floodwaters that swal-

thumbs
day in towns hard-hit by flood- “We’re just trying to deal with it as lowed crops and sent corn
ing along the Mississippi River, it comes to us,” said Jamie Scott, a and soybean prices soaring
and many found comfort in word that dispatcher with the Jersey County, Ill., are about to give consumers more
the swollen waterway had apparently Sheriff’s Office. “The crest (forecast) grief at the grocery store.
started to hit its high point. has dropped almost a foot, so that’s In the latest bout of food infla-
Dozens of parishioners filled the dry a good thing. ... All of our levees are tion, beef, pork, poultry and even
Centenary United Methodist Church in holding.” eggs, cheese and milk are expect- Outdoor classrooms give elementary-school students
Louisiana, a few blocks from floodwa- Officials in Lincoln County, inspect- ed to get more expensive as live- a hands-on learning experience while encouraging
ters that still cover about 15 percent of ed levees near Winfield by air Sunday stock owners go out of business them to play outside and get their hands muddy.
the town’s neighborhoods. after one was overtopped earlier in the or are forced to slaughter more
They prayed for aid and gave thanks See the full story on 8A
day, flooding about 1,000 acres and cattle, hogs, turkeys and chickens
for the volunteers, National Guard sol- fewer than half a dozen homes, said to cope with rocketing costs for
diers and prison inmates who helped Lincoln County emergency manage- corn-based animal feed.
the community of nearly 4,000 in ment spokesman Andy Binder. The floods engulfed an estimat-
recent days. “It just blew through our sandbags,” ed 2 million or more acres of corn
“And they all worked,” the Rev. Binder said, adding that authorities are and soybean fields in Iowa, Indi-
Jeanne Webdell said of the volunteers. confident the secondary levees pro- ana, Illinois and other key growing
“They worked for a cause bigger than tecting the town and nearby Elsberry states, sending world grain prices
themselves, worked to help people that will hold. skyward on fears of a substantially
most didn’t even know.” Several miles down the river in smaller corn crop. The govern-
It appeared Sunday the flooding in Grafton, the floodwaters continued to ment will give a partial idea of
the town and elsewhere in Missouri spread deeper into the 650-resident how many corn acres were lost
and Illinois could soon give way to village, heavily dependent on tourism. before the end of the month, but
recovery. The National Weather Ser- The town’s main road — the Great experts say the trickle-down effect
vice said the Mississippi was cresting River Road — was impassable in some could be more dramatic later this
Sunday at Canton, not far from the stretches, limiting access to business- year, affecting everything from
Iowa state line, through the lock and es. Thanksgiving turkeys to Christ-
dam near Saverton, about 100 miles “Sunday is a big (business) day for mas hams.
north of St. Louis. Crests were forecast Grafton, but just about every busi- Rod Brenneman, president and
for Monday in Louisiana and Clarks- ness is shut down,” said Joe DeSherlia, chief executive of Seaboard Foods,
ville. owner of the Grafton Harbor. “Most of a pork supplier in Shawnee Mis-
“It’s quieter compared to earlier this our businesses make their money in sion, Kan., that produces 4 million
week,” said Louisiana emergency man- the summer, and that tides us over in hogs a year, said high corn costs
agement director Mike Lesley, add- the winter when there are no tourists.” were already forcing producers
ing that sandbagging in the town had Please see FLOOD, page 7A Please see CROPS, page 7A

Steelman faces uphill battle as an outsider


By DAVID A. LIEB cultural sectors. ney General Jay Nixon. Hulshof who often appears as
The Associated Press State Treasurer Sarah Steel- Generally speaking, 2008 the smoother public speaker.
JEFFERSON CITY — There man, meanwhile, is campaign- appears to be a good year to be Campaigning as the outsider
is no incumbent in Missouri’s ing as if she were the challeng- a challenger. also is “a harder line to walk
gubernatorial race. But that’s er. She’s highlighting Hulshof’s Democratic Sen. Barack in a primary election than in a
hard to tell from the actions as an incumbent Obama, for example, prevailed
way the Republican pri- analysis congressman and initi- as the newcomer against the
general election,” said political
scientist Marvin Overby, of the
mary is shaping up. ating negative TV ads more established Sen. Hillary University of Missouri, primar-
U.S. Rep. Kenny Hulshof has that often are indicative of an Clinton in the Democratic pres- ily “because you’re appealing to
the incumbent like support of outsider trying to gain political idential contest. But Obama’s people who identify themselves
the party establishment, includ- traction. “change” theme was aided by
ing the state’s entire Republi- What’s unclear is which tactic as Republicans.”
record-breaking fundrais-
can congressional delegation, will work in the Aug. 5 Repub- Primary voters generally are BEN PAUL/Missourian
ing and an energetic speaking
a majority of state Republican lican primary, where the win- style. more politically involved than Michael McGimsey tends the garden in front of Ridgeway
lawmakers and key interest ner will advance to an expected Steelman lacks those latter those in the general election,, Elementary School. Michael’s father, Mark McGimsey,
groups in the business and agri- contest with Democratic Attor- two advantages. In fact, it is Please see CAMPAIGN, page 7A coordinates the garden with the school’s Adventure Club.

Outside today Getting it right Index


HEADLINES

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Columbia Missourian MONDAY, June 23, 2008 — Page 7A

Cameras: City ponders criminal charges


CONTINUED from page 1A “I’m not sure how they’ve communities so far that have thing, and we’re afraid to do
Bills proposed in the state legislature conflict with some of the
city’s intentions with red-light cameras. It should be noted that
none of these ideas have been made into law yet, but the issue is
likely to be brought up again in the future. Here are examples:
Hindman remains a strong been getting away with it, but actually implemented red-light it.”
advocate for the cameras, they are not reporting the tick- camera systems, and there is no The city first approved the STATE Bills Proposed City intentions
despite the legal limbo. ets to the Department of Rev- consistency to them at all,” St. red-light camera ordinance in • Red-light camera vendors • The city’s contract with
“I’m perfectly willing to go enue,” St. Romaine said. “We Romaine said. “We really were 2006. Since the contract with
back and say, ‘Let’s propose an don’t think this is a wise course hoping we would get some sort will not be able to seek LaserCraft stated that the
LaserCraft was signed, comput- compensation based on city would pay $28.50 per
amendment that says we’ll take of action.” of legislation that would at least
er problems have plagued the the number of violations; citation collected. This fee
a picture of the driver.’ I’ll rec- A May 23 letter from Laser- give us a little bit of direction
ommend that,” Hindman said Craft indicated the company’s and make sure that we wouldn’t project. Boeckmann also told instead, compensation would be taken from the
during a work session June 11. intentions to operate in a pure- be open to some sort of lawsuit the council that Columbia has
would be based on the value current fine for violators,
The city is considering a crim- ly “civil context,” meaning in the future.” spent significant time consid-
of equipment and services which is $97.50 plus the
inal charge for those caught that violations will simply be Amendments to a state ering potential legal problems
provided for the system. $22.50 court cost.
by the cameras, just as if the enforced with fines. transportation bill would have that other cities have ignored.
Columbia isn’t the first city to required that revenue from (HB 1376* and 1772**) • The city plans on treating
violation were being enforced “It’s been two years, and right
by a police officer. The city struggle with the legality of the fines assessed as a result of now we’re on hold,” Hindman • The driver will simply be the violation as if it were
intends to report violations to cameras. violations caught by red-light said. “One of the reasons we fined for the violation, and enforced by a police offi-
the Missouri Department of The St. Louis suburb of Arnold cameras be shared with school were on hold was that there are the violation would not be cer and would report it to
Revenue to determine whether was the first Missouri city to districts, that points not be bills in the legislature. There reported to the Department the Missouri Department
points will be tallied against the implement a red-light camera assessed against violators’ driv-
are going to be bills in the leg- of Revenue. (HB 1376 and of Revenue for an assess-
driver’s record. system in November 2005. In ing records and that drivers
“The contract (with Laser- February 2008, Arnold’s ordi- only pay civil fines. islature from now until civiliza- 1772) ment of points on the
Craft) was clear that there nance was challenged on the Legislators also sought to tion goes up. We made a deci- • No photos will be taken of driver’s license.
were going to be prosecutions grounds that it unconstitution- prohibit red-light camera ven- sion to put in these red-light
the driver’s face, only the • The city believes that
in Municipal Court,” City Coun- ally shifts the burden of proof dors from being compensated cameras, and I think that we
license plate. (HB 1772 and photos of the driver will
selor Fred Boeckmann told the to the defendant by presuming based on the number of viola- ought to go forth somehow.”
1376) provide positive proof that
council. that the owner of the vehicle tions. Columbia’s contract with Hindman is convinced the
St. Romaine said Columbia was the driver at the time of the LaserCraft calls for the city • Revenue collected will go the person ticketed was in
cameras are a good idea.
is trying to take legally sound violation. to pay $28.50 per citation col- “You go through any number to the local school dis- fact the person operating
steps in using the cameras. He Columbia’s ordinance, mod- lected. This fee would be taken of reasons why they are a good trict where the infraction the vehicle at the time of
said there are several cities that eled after Arnold’s, includes the from violators’ fines, which are thing,” Hindman said. “We saw occurred. (HB 1376) the infraction.
have installed similar systems. same presumption. $97.50 plus the $22.50 court
the numbers. People are run- * House Bill 1376 is sponsored by • The city has not addressed
Meanwhile, several Missouri cost. Rep. Charles Portwood, R-St. Louis
legislators have been filing Hindman is undeterred by ning those red lights in vast this issue to date, but
County, and co-sponsored by Rep.
More online bills that would heavily regu- the flurry of bills in the legis- numbers, they are jeopardizing Sam Komo, D-House Springs changes may be required
late red-light camera systems. lature. innocent people day after day ** House Bill 1772 is sponsored by in the city’s ordinance to
Go to ColumbiaMissourian.com for Although none has passed, it’s “We’re supposed to be a pro- in a very serious way. I think Rep. Kenneth Jones, R-California,
comply with this require-
and co-sponsored by Rep. Bill
a graphic of observed signal viola- likely they’ll be filed again. gressive city,” he said. “We after all these years that we get Deeken, R-Jefferson City. ment.
tions at intersections in the city. “There are about 21 Missouri made a decision to do some- this decided and get this done.”

Flood: 24 dead across six states Crops: 9 percent rising before the floods, driven
up 80 percent over the past year
as developing countries such

of Iowa corn ruined


as China and India scramble
CONTINUED from page 1A were overtopped. week after remaining at crest for grains to feed people and
When the river does crest in In Canton, hundreds of vol- level, Miller said. A series of livestock. U.S. production of
Grafton, it’s expected to do so at unteers and National Guard levee breaches let flood waters ethanol, an alternative fuel that
29.5 feet — roughly 9 feet below members spent the past week spread over a wide swath of CONTINUED from page 1A per pound onto a pork chop. can be made with corn, has also
the record mark set during the using sandbags in a battle to land in Missouri and Illinois, in his industry to cut back on It’s a similar story for U.S. pushed prices higher, prompt-
Great Flood of ‘93. In St. Louis, spare that town’s levee a simi- and Miller said that water will the number of animals they beef producers, who now spend ing livestock owners to lobby
where the river continued to lar fate. Volunteers were back take time to drain back into the raise. a whopping 60-70 percent of Washington to roll back ethanol
flow at crest levels Sunday, it out Sunday, searching for leaks river and flow downstream. “There’s definitely liquida- their production costs on ani- mandates.
was more than 12 feet below the along the earthen structure “You don’t have as high a tion of livestock happening,” mal feed and are seeing that Before the floods, corn farm-
‘93 record. that appeared to be holding up, crest, but yet you still have and that will cause meat prices number rise daily as corn pric- ers were enjoying record prof-
While not record-setting, said Monica Heaton, the city’s to rise later this year and into es hover near an unprecedented its selling the grain to feed
higher levels for a long period
the devastation was still wide- emergency operations spokes- 2009, said Brenneman, who is $8 a bushel, up from about $4 a animals and for use in cereals
woman. had (the levees) not broken,”
spread: The storms and flood- also the vice chairman of the year ago. and as a sweetener in soda and
ing that started in early June “Everything is in a wait and Miller said.
American Meat Institute. “This is not sustainable. The candy. But a sharply smaller
have forced thousands from see mode,” she said. The flooding remained mod- Brenneman’s cost for feed- cattle industry is going to have corn crop could wipe out those
their homes across six states, Light rains forecast Sunday erate to minor in communities ing a single hog has shot up to get smaller,” said James gains.
killing 24 and injuring roughly in eastern Missouri and south- south of St. Louis. In Chester, $30 in the past year because Herring, president and CEO In Iowa, the No. 1 U.S. corn
150. Rural areas such as Lin- ern Illinois were not expected Ill., about 80 miles south of of record-high prices for corn of Amarillo, Tex.-based Friona grower, floods inundated about
coln County suffered the worst. to worsen the flooding, said St. Louis, the river was crest- and soybeans, the main ingre- Industries, which buys 20 mil- 9 percent of corn crops, repre-
There, more than 300 homes National Weather Service mete- ing Sunday 10 feet above flood dients in animal feed. Passing lion bushels of corn each year senting about 1.2 million acres
were flooded after more than 90 orologist Ben Miller. The river stage — but more than 10 feet that increase on to consumers to feed 550,000 cattle. — almost 1.5 percent of the
percent of the county’s levees will start to recede early next lower than the record. would tack an extra 15 cents Corn’s prices were already country’s anticipated harvest.

Campaign: Key endorsements paint Hulshof as more established


CONTINUED from page 1A seek re-election this year that funding of Viagra. ce Jackson shies away from not an official endorsement, sor to Blunt, said Hulshof cam-
and more likely to be connected opened the race up to Hulshof But there is a significant dif- describing her as the “outsider” Hulshof was the sole House paign spokesman Scott Baker.
to the political establishment. and Steelman. ference between the 2004 and candidate, noting she served in member honored this spring “All of the endorsements, all
Then-Auditor Claire As the outsider to the Demo- 2008 primaries. Holden actually the state Senate six years before by the American Farm Bureau. of the support that’s come to
McCaskill showed that a chal- cratic Party establishment, was the incumbent governor, taking office as treasurer in And the wife of the Missouri date, and all that is left to come,
lenger can prevail in Missouri’s McCaskill was the first to run making it easier for McCaskill’s 2005. But Jackson nonetheless Republican Party’s officially is a result of people looking at
gubernatorial primaries when a negative TV ad against her criticisms to stick. Hulshof has repeatedly categorizes Hulshof neutral executive director was both candidates and coming to
she unseated Gov. Bob Holden opponent in the 2004 primary. had nothing to do with Jefferson as a “Washington insider.” among those on the organizing the determination that Kenny is
in the 2004 Democratic prima- Likewise, Steelman was the City politics and decisions. So Besides the endorsements of committee for a Hulshof fund- more qualified to lead our state.”
ry. McCaskill ultimately lost to first to go negative on TV this Steelman must try to transfer federal and state lawmakers, raiser last month. Given that Hulshof already has
Republican Matt Blunt, then the year, casting Hulshof as a free- any negative implications from Hulshof has been endorsed by “It’s wrong to assume that cornered the support of many
secretary of state, in the gen- spending, pork-barrel backer in Hulshof’s congressional incum- the Missouri Chamber of Com- he just walked in to all of this Republican insiders, Steelman’s
eral election. Congress who even voted for bency to his gubernatorial bid. merce, which typically remains built-up support” as the party best chance may be to take on a
It was Blunt’s decision not to federal Medicare and Medicaid Steelman spokesman Spen- neutral in primaries. Although establishment’s chosen succes- challenger-type role.