3M announces record layoffs

Columbia’s 3M manufacturing plant announced Monday it will lay off 124 workers within the next two months, marking the largest single round of layoffs in the plant’s 33-year history.

The plant, which employs 741 local workers, will eliminate jobs of some salaried workers and lay off other employees paid on a per-hour basis, said spokesman Bill Nelson. Company officials said the move, which will affect 17 percent of the plant’s total work force, is a reaction to the recession and the struggling electronics and telecommunications markets.

Confidence game

Confidence rules on the golf course.

Payge Pleimann, Hickman’s No. 1 golfer, carries those words with her. They are written on a scorecard from L.A. Nickell Golf Course that she keeps in her golf bag.

Tight end is real McCoy for Tigers

Gary Pinkel has been on both sides of fourth-quarter comebacks many times, but J.D. McCoy’s catch on Saturday was one of the most impressive he has seen.

With 3:12 remaining in No. 23 Missouri’s 41-40 overtime win against Middle Tennessee State, McCoy, a senior tight end, had a fourth-down reception that brought ball to the Tiger’s 39.

Son’s innocence proclaimed

Light reflects off the photograph of a brown-haired, blue-eyed boy grinning underneath a North Carolina Tar Heels hat. Nearby, a dark-brown urn, decorated with fir trees and miniature deer figures, sits above a shiny plaque that reads, “Jonathan Gramling, August 22, 1983-August 31, 2001.”

The shrine at the rural Boone County home of Jim and Deanna Gramling is a small monument to their son, who had just turned 18 years old when he died. It is also a painful reminder that the circumstances surrounding his death have never made any sense to them.

Kewps avenge loss

It was a satisfying victory for Hickman.

Hermann swept Hickman last year and the Kewpies remembered that loss well and wanted to return the favor.

Please, Mr. Postman

When Jerry Niemeier got a call at 4 a.m. from a young man wanting to buy a duck stamp, Niemeier told him to come out to the house because he had an extra one in his wallet.

Niemeier doesn’t hunt — he is Harrisburg’s postmaster. But in this one-stop town, everyone knows his number.

Plenty raring to carry firearms

Thousands of Missourians are waiting.

They’re waiting for Oct. 11 — the date Missouri’s new concealed-gun law kicks in. And they’re joining waiting lists in droves to get into firearms-training classes required by the law, which passed two weeks ago when the Missouri General Assembly overturned a veto by Gov. Bob Holden.

Elderly women focus of study

The National Institute on Aging, part of the National Institutes of Health, has awarded $600,000 for an MU study of women 85 and older who live alone.

The study, “Old Homebound Women’s Intention of Reaching Help Quickly,” is led by Eileen Porter, an associate professor in MU’s Sinclair School of Nursing. It will examine the experiences of women who use a personal emergency response system — bracelets or necklaces with beepers attached to them — and the experiences of women who do not use them.

KQFX-TV rolls back news time

Starting this fall, mid-Missourians can watch their weeknight newscast at a new time and station with a new anchor. The local Fox affiliate, KQFX, plans to debut its first live newscast by late October at the 9 p.m. time slot.

The station joins more than 125 Fox affiliates across the country that broadcast their nightly news an hour ahead of the traditional networks.

Floyd affirms medical school is integral to MU

Less than a week after the University of Missouri Board of Curators approved the sale of bonds to raise money for renovation at MU’s School of Medicine, UM system President Elson Floyd reaffirmed the importance of keeping the medical school in Columbia.

“It is essential that medical education and research remain an integral part of the University of Missouri-Columbia,” Floyd said in a statement released late Monday afternoon.

Former inmate lobbies against death penalty

Joseph Amrine is making good on his pledge to fight the death penalty in Missouri.

Starting his week-long speaking tour Monday in Columbia, Amrine appeared at a rally at MU’s Lowry Mall and urged the roughly 75 people attending to take a stand against capital punishment.

Healing for the heart

As a swimmer, Dongsheng Duan understands the importance of muscle strength. As a surgeon, he has seen patients suffer from muscle deterioration. As a researcher, Duan is seeking a cure for a particularly painful type of muscular dystrophy that strikes young boys.

Duchenne muscular dystrophy usually appears around age 3 and attacks the muscles in about one of every 3,000 boys. Its progression is more predictable than other forms of muscular dystrophy, at first affecting the voluntary and skeletal muscles in the arms, legs and trunk. By adolescence, heart and respiratory muscles begin to deteriorate. If the cardiac muscle is not strong enough to supply blood to the rest of the body, the patient’s life will be threatened. Not many patients survive past their 30th birthday.

Retiree’s ‘divine’ granola inspired a small business

David Prentice Allen is not on a mission from God. His intentions, though, are divine.

He moved to Columbia three years ago and decided last year to transform his favorite breakfast food — granola — into an entrepreneurial experiment.