Healing health care

Hattie Nichols waited patiently between the microwave popcorn display and a table of baked goods at Moser’s Discount Foods while a nurse checked her blood pressure. She appeared content as the pressure cuff was removed from her arm.

“I keep a close watch on my blood pressure,” said Nichols, 73, of Ashland, as she handed the nurse a card on which she frequently records her blood pressure readings.

Zoning issue irks county

Boone County officials are frustrated with developments on the urban fringe, and a rezoning request before the county Planning and Zoning Commission tonight is highlighting the problem.

Prime Development Corp. plans to build 250 homes and 70 townhouses on the 200-acre property off Route WW near the El Chaparral and Concorde Estates subdivisions. Prime President Rob Smith said, 20 acres have been set aside for neighborhood commercial development, such as a dry cleaning business, a bank or a salon. An Elk’s Lodge is also planned for a 4-acre tract.

AmerenUE seeks to raise non-gas charges

Columbia residents have been hearing for months that they can expect higher natural gas bills this winter. Those bills could be even higher in December if the Missouri Public Service Commission approves a proposed 78 percent increase in the non-gas portion of AmerenUE bills.

Doug Micheel of the Office of Public Counsel, which represents consumers on utility issues, said he has fielded several calls from residents who are worried about the proposed increase, many of them from Columbia.

More women eligible for free cancer clinics

More than 50,000 Missouri women could be eligible for free cancer screenings again this year thanks to a grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Public health officials are hoping to increase the number of people taking advantage of the offer, since, last year, only 6,000 underwent the screening.

MU spotlighted on cable TV

Athletic events are usually the only time to see icons of school spirit on national television. However, on Saturday, MU will be featured on the TBS Superstation for a different reason.

Big Playstation Saturdays are a new venture for TBS, airing all-day movies before and after a college football game. The game Saturday is MU vs. the University of Oklahoma, and the movie is “Road House.”

Columbian gets Purple Heart

Spc. William Nelson was en route to a security checkpoint a few miles outside of Baghdad in August when he was momentarily blinded by a blast of white light. The next thing he knew, his arm, which was hanging casually out of the window of his vehicle, had shrapnel in it. The Humvee Nelson was riding in had detonated an improvised explosive device.

It was Aug. 30 — Nelson’s 22nd birthday. The wounds were so severe that the on-site medic thought Nelson might lose the use of his elbow. After two surgeries to correct nerve damage in his elbow, Nelson has regained almost all flexibility in his arm and some feeling in his fingers.

Sexual assault, robbery trial starts

A Huntsville man pleaded not guilty to rape and abduction charges Wednesday at the Boone County Courthouse, claiming that the sexual activities were consensual.

On Jan. 23, Robert Dale Schlup, 47, was arrested on charges of one count each of forcible rape, forcible sodomy and kidnapping, and two counts of first-degree robbery.

Losing not an option

Jon Strodtman’s joy for life is on display in everything he does.

He shows it with the smile while he describes the generosity shown him. It can be seen in the humor he uses to tell the story of his ongoing three-year battle with carcinoid tumors, a rare form of cancer.

Two sides to Tigers’ Palmer

Take one look at Tony Palmer and the words intimidating and scary might come to mind. Listen to him talk for five minutes and that perception will almost certainly change.

Palmer, Missouri’s starting weakside guard, is anything but the typical offensive lineman. Among a group of players that prides itself on being mean and having tattoos, Palmer stands out. Not because of body art or size, but because he represents everything that is right about college sports.

One for the HOME TEAM

With one race 12 years ago, Rick Alexander knew his son, Van, was going to be something special.

How fat is fat?

A few weeks ago, I was dumbfounded to learn that my left arm is the fattest part of my body.

I discovered this after having a body composition assessment that used a “dual energy x-ray absorptiometry” procedure, or DXA, to look at the percentage of fat versus muscle or lean tissue in the body.

Mentors use ‘the Zone’ to empower students

To Dale Musser, creating Web sites and digital video are like riding a bicycle: You learn by doing.

“You have to get on the bicycle and learn how to ride it,” not be told how from the front of a classroom, said Musser, assistant professor of Network Learning Systems in MU’s School of Information Science and Learning Technologies.

Mastering martial arts

The serene atmosphere of Peace Park was a fitting setting for the focused movements of Japanese swordsmanship on an early Sunday morning. Joseph Bowes, 54, led a private lesson with an accomplished student in the ancient traditions of Kenjutsu and Iaijutsu.

Kenjutsu and Iaijutsu are rooted in warrior traditions and have been around for more than 650 years with little alteration. Kenjutsu uses wooden weapons and features full speed and contact. Steel blades are the combat tool in Iaijutsu. The traditions require mastery of a variety of weapons, including long and short swords, a 6-foot staff, a 9-foot pole and the naginata, a long pole with a hooked end.