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STAFF PICKS: A heartwarming homecoming and a gender gap debate

Friday, March 9, 2012 | 3:33 p.m. CST; updated 5:45 p.m. CST, Friday, March 9, 2012

There's a lot of content on ColumbiaMissourian.com, and we can't expect the average reader to consume every last morsel of it. Still, we fear some of the stories from this week that you need to know about may have been overlooked. So we've compiled a list of recent stories we think you could benefit from reading, ranging from a pleasant piece about a serviceman returning home to surprise his children to an engrossing article about female stereotypes and the role they may play in math performance.

Public safety

Parts of Columbia's Municipal Power Plant will come under their most intense inspection to date since the plant opened in 1914. If the aging coal and wood burning boilers and turbines and all the peripheral parts cannot be updated or replaced to reduce emissions of harmful pollutants, the plant may be forced to stop operating in the future.

Education

Elections for the Columbia School Board will be held April 3. The Missourian staff has assembled some resources for you to make an informed decision when voting, including information about the candidates, ballot proposals, news coverage of the candidates so far this year and a quiz to help determine whether or not you're ready to vote in the election. We would also like to hear from readers about what will help you make an informed decision, so don't miss our survey.

The typical stereotype for women is that they are less competent in math when compared to men. Some believe this view negatively affects female performance in mathematics. In an article from the front page of Thursday's Missourian, though, one MU professor criticizes the reasoning behind this belief, saying there is little evidence to support the claim.

Missouri basketball

The attention might be on the Big 12 tournament, but in his column this week, J. Karl Miller praises Missouri basketball coach Frank Haith for braving Missouri fans' lack of enthusiasm for Mike Anderson's replacement when coming to Missouri last year.

Mid-Missouri residents

Columbia Farmers' Market vender Rhonda Borgmeyer has been using her hoop house, an alternative to greenhouses which allows farmers to grow crops year-round, since last fall. Her path to begin using this innovative farming equipment, though, was not one without a few weeds in her way.

Rodney Blackwell, a sergeant in the Missouri National Guard, has been deployed in Qatar since September. Monday he returned home to Columbia for a two-week break, a surprise each of his five children excitedly received.

Transportation

The aging Interstate 70 needs to be rebuilt, which is estimated to cost between $2 billion to $4 billion. The Senate Transportation Committee met Wednesday to discuss the possibility of a toll road on I-70 to pay for the overhaul but ultimately decided this would not be the best solution to fund the project.

City Council

In a Columbia City Council meeting Monday, the council approved a Short Street land sale to develop a mixed-use building, the rezoning of lots on Locust Street for more downtown student apartments and a contract that will provide public transportation to the Columbia Farmers' Market from Columbia's food deserts and underserved areas.


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