New Missouri assistant coach Matt Pell [Photo]

Matt Pell, bottom, says he knew he wanted to be a coach after he graduated from MU in 2007. "I realized that I’m good at wrestling, and I want to make an impact on people’s lives," Pell said.

Garth Avenue traffic counts [Graphic]

Traffic in the northern part of Columbia has steadily increased in the past 10 years, especially on Garth Avenue north of Craig Street. The extension of Providence Road between Vandiver Drive and Blue Ridge Road aims to ease some of this traffic congestion.

Nixon and universities freeze tuition again [Graphic]

For the second year in a row, Nixon and university leaders in Missouri have agreed to keep in-state tuition for undergraduate students at four-year public colleges and universities for 2010-2011 at the same rate it was in 2008-2009 and this year. If approved, this will be the second year in a row that they have agreed to a tuition freeze.

Iowa State football coach Paul Rhoads [Photo]

Iowa State football coach Paul Rhoads celebrates with his team after the Cyclones' victory over Colorado on Nov. 14 in Ames, Iowa.

Grady F. Dortch Jr. [Photo]

Grady F. Dortch Jr.

The Beat: Columbia School Board tackles issues [Audio]

H1N1 vaccine [Photo]

A bottle of the H1N1 vaccine sits at the Columbia/Boone County Department of Public Health and Human Services on October 28.

The Beat: Behind a super athlete's story [Audio]

Firefighter training exercise [Slideshow]

Firefighters from the Boone County Fire Protection District and the Columbia Fire Department took part in a man-down training exercise on Monday.

House Bill No. 150 (2009) [Document]

Rep. Mary Still, D-Columbia, sponsored a bill during the 2009 legislative session that, if approved, would have changed state law regarding payday loans. The bill would have required lenders that provide unsecured loans of $500 or less to obtain a license from the state's director of the division of finance; to post certain information in the lobby of the office about the loans and to charge no more than 75 percent of the initial loan amount in accumulated interest and fees. The bill was referred to the state's House Financial Institutions Committee but never reached the House floor for a final vote.

Training center opens [Photo]

Chamber of Commerce members arrive at the Columbia Police Regional Training Facility, which officially opened Monday. The facility was created to allow for situational and in-service training in the city, instead of outsourcing training as had been the status quo.

And, it's open [Photo]

Mayor Darwin Hindman cuts the ribbon held by members of the Chamber of Commerce, signifying the official opening of the Columbia Police Regional Training Facility on Monday. The facility houses a virtual firearm simulator and will soon be receiving a virtual driving simulator.

Ready to ride [Photo]

Brenda and Tim Norton sit on a motorcycle at Mid-Missouri Harley Davidson on Saturday. The Norton's have a Road King at home but wanted to check out a new bike. The Environmental Protection Agency is increasing emissions standards for motorcycle engines 280cc and above for 2010, which also affects some dirt bikes and scooters.

Time to move on [Photo]

Brenda and Tim Norton sit on a motorcycle at Mid-Missouri Harley Davidson on Saturday. The Nortons have a Road King at home but wanted to check out a new bike. "I love the freedom of the ride," Brenda Norton said. "It's just the ride, not so much the destination as much as the journey."

Mary Still explains payday laons [Photo]

State Rep. Mary Still, D-Columbia, points out that the average loan amount for Missouri payday lenders has increased 30.6 percent from January 2003 to January 2009. Still and state Rep. John Burnett, D-Kansas City, hosted a hearing to review testimony regarding payday loan reform on Monday at the Columbia Public Library.

Advance America payday loans [Photo]

The most recent report from the Missouri Division of Finance indicates that payday lenders in Missouri, such as Advance America in Columbia, charge an average interest rate of 430.68 percent.

Payday loans debated [Photo]

State Rep. Stephen Webber, D-Columbia, left, listens to fellow State Rep. Mary Still D-Columbia, as she questions United Payday Lenders of Missouri lobbyist Randy Scherr during his testimony at Monday night's hearing at Columbia Public Library. Scherr said a significant proportion of customers of the payday lending industry are "financially savvy" individuals who are frustrated with traditional banking systems.

Crowd attends payday loan discussion [Photo]

Latecomers fill standing room during the crowded legislative district hearing on payday loan reform held by state Reps. Mary Still D-Columbia, and John Burnett, D-Kansas City, at Columbia Public Library on Monday.

Vaudevillian-style pre-show [Slideshow]

On Monday, the Missouri Theatre Center for the Arts put on a Vaudevillian-style performance. The performers, known as Sutu Forte’s “Vaude Squad” began with a pre-show at 6:30 p.m. in the lobby. The pre-show warmed up the crowd for a night of entertainment with drums, vocals, guitar-playing, juggling and a Charlie Chaplin impersonator.

Missouri basketball player Keith Ramsey lifts weights [Photo]

Strength and conditioning coach David Deets keeps watch while senior Keith Ramsey lifts weights during a training session.