Role of athletics remains in dispute

MU faculty members are concerned that the university might be involved in a game not worth playing, an “arms race” that is drawing money away from the academic mission of the university and into an increasingly commercial athletics program.

Chancellor Richard Wallace shares faculty members’ concern. He forwarded an MU Faculty Council resolution to colleagues in the Big 12 Conference and around the nation last week in an attempt to encourage discussion and cooperatively find a solution to a problem with its roots in athletics’ sometimes-conflicting roles within the university.

Kewps’ Pleimann victorious again

Payge Pleimann is going to need a longer string.Pleimann won medalist on Tuesday at L.A. Nickell Golf Course, adding another bead to her string, which is close to full.

It’s the fourth straight match Pleimann has led the field. The Kewpies shot 172 to win the triangular meet. Rock Bridge finished second with a 182, and Mexico shot a 278.

Proposal grinds to another halt

The fate of the controversial Grindstone Plaza development, which would put a Wal-Mart Supercenter on Columbia’s south side, remains uncertain.

After nearly three hours, the Columbia City Council tabled the rezoning of the controversial 53-acre Grindstone Plaza project proposal, which includes a Wal-Mart Supercenter and accompanying development along Grindstone Parkway.

Pinkel won’t be caught in the hype

Gary Pinkel doesn’t care much for rankings, even when his team is in them.

It would be an understatement to say Pinkel played down his Missouri football team’s No. 23 ranking in the Associated Press Top 25 released on Sunday.

School looks back, takes step ahead

Nestled in the residential 100 block of East Sexton Avenue, three-story John Ridgeway Elementary is an imposing structure. Here the roar of traffic on Providence Road is faint despite its close proximity. More dominant is the laughter of children playing during recess. It’s clear the brick building has been around for some time, long enough to have been designed to serve as a fallout shelter in times of war.

Built in two sections — one in 1923, the other in 1934 — the school will celebrate its 80th anniversary and dedicate its newest addition, a media center, tonight.

Pesky Bruins fall to Class 2 powerhouse

Some nights, even a team’s best effort isn’t enough.

That was the case on Monday night at Rock Bridge as defending state volleyball champion and perennial powerhouse Hermann rolled to a 25-17, 25-18 victory against the Bruins.

Group raises opposition to plans for development

A Springfield-based nonprofit group that provides support to independent businesses is lending a voice of opposition to proposed plans to build a new Wal-Mart in Columbia.

The Hometown Merchants Association met Monday with area business owners, urging them to form a Columbia chapter of the organization. Only four people attended the afternoon meeting with the group’s director, Donna Kennedy, who also spoke at Monday night’s City Council hearing on Grindstone Plaza, a 53-acre development in south Columbia that would be anchored by a Wal-Mart Supercenter.

Kewpies overcome slow start

A sick player and another slow start could not stop Hickman from continuing its winning streak.

The Kewpies fell behind early and overcame Paige Ely’s departure to defeat Cole Camp 25-17, 25-20 on Monday at Hickman.

Arena slowly taking shape

The University of Missouri’s new arena looks like something between a giant hole in the ground and an abandoned interpretation of the Coliseum.

The concourse looks down into a mud hole. Steel trusses jut in different directions. Ladders are the only connection between levels. Wood beams support and divide the club level from the main concourse level from the suite level.

Increased paperwork gives county a bonus

Homeowners refinancing to cash in on low interest rates this summer unwittingly have bailed Boone County out of a sluggish year in sales tax and investment income, all thanks to fees collected by the Recorder of Deeds’ office.

Think of it as a bonus, County Auditor June Pitchford said. The income, expected to total nearly $1 million, is almost twice what the county expected from Recorder Bettie Johnson’s office when the fiscal year began in January.

Bruins capitalize on Bearcat errors

Catching the softball is just as important as hitting it. Rock Bridge’s play Monday night bolsters that theory.

The Bruins (4-6) defeated Hermann 8-0 at Rock Bridge despite being outhit 8-6. Half of Rock Bridge’s runs were unearned thanks to three errors and several other defensive miscues by the Bearcats.

A special victory for Bruins’ Loeb

Rock Bridge's win Monday against Helias was typicial in many ways, except one.

The defending state champion Bruins sweep the match 9-0, but it was the fifth shutout for them this season. It was special for coach Ben Loeb, though, who earned his 399th victory in Columbia with the win. Loeb goes for his 400th win today at Jefferson City.

Sheriff, police wary of gun law

A new law allowing Missouri citizens to carry concealed weapons is only a few days old, but Boone County Sheriff Ted Boehm is already worried that his department might not be able to handle the additional duties.

“I think there is a lot for us to do,” Boehm said. “I know our role is going to take more work than issuing the permits.”

‘Doctor Day’ offers free health services

When diagnosed with a chronic disease such as diabetes, most people wouldn’t think twice about scheduling regular doctor’s appointments. But the federal government is reminding people today that the best way to combat these diseases is to visit the doctor — even in times of good health.

“Take a Loved One to the Doctor Day,” a program that began two years ago, is being celebrated nationally today. The event is directed toward minority populations. A report by the Missouri Hospital Association shows that minorities have a higher rate of certain chronic diseases and as a result tend to have lower life expectancies than the rest of the population.

Utility costs to rise about $1.74

The Columbia City Council approved the final annual budget for the 2004 fiscal year on Monday night.

The budget of about $236 million is a 3.3 percent increase over the city’s 2003 amended budget.

Unlearning the junk food habit

Sitting on the counter at Main Squeeze, a natural foods restaurant on Ninth Street, is a petition calling for an end to junk food in public school vending machines.

Leigh Lockhart, owner of Main Squeeze, said that since she displayed the petition started by a Columbia group many people have signed. She thinks allowing the sale of junk food in schools contributes to the growing problem of Americans’ obesity.

Project spotlights Missouri women

A pilot literacy project sponsored by the Columbia branch of the American Association of University Women will be unveiled tonight at Field Elementary School.

The new curriculum, spotlighting the lives of 10 Missouri women, is being prepared by freelance author Carlynn Trout of Columbia.