Music to soothe the soul

On a typical day, Columbia Police Detective Jeff Westbrook works to combat domestic violence and counsel victims of such abuse. At night, however, Westbrook can be found on his porch working toward a different goal — mastering the banjo.

Westbrook began playing the banjo two years ago and has since joined the local bluegrass band Gospel Salute.

Water plant upgrade

From the time it was built in 1972, Columbia’s water treatment plant at McBaine has worked like a heart pumping on overdrive, trying to outpace explosive growth and sweltering Missouri summers.

It works great most of the time, plant superintendent John Betz said. For one, Columbia has had a constant supply of water. For another, he said, that water is remarkably clean.

Weapons ordinance to get vote tonight

While the new law to carry concealed guns is still on hold, Columbia is drawing closer to banning guns from city-owned buildings.

A proposed ordinance is scheduled for a second reading and a vote at tonight’s city council meeting, which is being held at 7 p.m. in the Daniel Boone City Building.

Peabody’s breakaway goal saves Tigers

Melissa Peabody might not have saved the season, but she definitely saved the day.

Missouri beat No. 4 Texas A&M 5-4 in overtime Sunday at Audrey J. Walton Stadium. After Missouri went down 4-1 at halftime, Peabody scored three goals, including the winner on a breakaway in overtime to give the Tigers their first Big 12 Conference victory of the year.

City plans to reel in park visitors by stocking lake

Columbians, starting Nov. 1, will have the opportunity to fish for trout without leaving the city.

The Missouri Department of Conservation, the Mid-Missouri Chapter of Trout Unlimited and the city of Columbia are stocking Cosmo-Bethel Lake with 2,400 rainbow trout. They are sharing the costs, which will be between $4,000 and $5,000.

New taxi service in works for city

With endorsements from the city and county, John Huskey and Glen Willet hope they’re on the road to creating a new kind of taxi service for Columbia.

“Our purpose is to improve the format by providing assistance to individuals who aren’t served by public transportation,” Huskey said. “We could solve 80 percent of the transportation problems.”

‘One Read’ book helps Columbians discuss race

“If you just learn a single trick, Scout,” says Atticus Finch to his daughter, “you’ll get along a lot better with all kinds of folks. You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view. . . . Until you climb inside of his skin and walk around in it.”

This famous dialogue is from Harper Lee’s Pulitzer Prize-winning book, “To Kill a Mockingbird.” Lee’s novel, set in Maycomb, Ala., during the 1930s, challenged American attitudes about race and family when it was published in 1960.

Rams drop Pack

ST. LOUIS — Another game meant another milestone for Isaac Bruce.

The St. Louis receiver led the offense, the defense shut down Green Bay’s rushing game and the Rams defeated the Packers 34-24 on Sunday afternoon at the Edward Jones Dome.

Just another game?

Homecoming: when old alumni and new students get together for one game to make some noise and cheer their team. But while the fans are cheering, the football team is waiting.

“It is just like in high school, it’s the one game you look forward to,” wide receiver Darius Outlaw says.

Tradition, Tigers and T-Shirts

Homecoming T-shirts are seen on everyone, from students and faculty to campus visitors and alumni. Yet getting them on the backs of so many during Homecoming proves takes a lot of time, organization and MU spirit.

Andy McCarthy, director of the merchandise team for the 2003 Homecoming Steering Committee, said the T-shirts provided in the Homecoming Survival Kits are his team’s largest contribution to Homecoming.

Yankees strike back in Game 2

NEW YORK — The Face of October showed up and shut down the Florida Marlins, silencing all their talk about wreaking havoc in this World Series.

With his cap pulled down low and shadowing his dark eyes, Andy Pettitte pitched neatly into the ninth inning and drew the New York Yankees even with a 6-1 win in Game 2 on Sunday night.

Education task force holds first meeting

It has its charge — now, it’s time to start making the change. Working to solve achievement gap problems in the Columbia Public School District, the Achievement Gap Task Force, headed by Skip Deming and Steve Calloway, met for the first time last week.

After sharing their perspectives on the gaps and individual interests in education, the 36 members of the group got to work Thursday, looking at district and national data and concurring on the most glaring gap issues in the district.

More to Homecoming than the Greeks

The fierce competition among fraternities and sororities is one of many traditions that adds to the thrill of Homecoming.

Although the Homecoming spotlight is often on Greek students, they are not alone in their spirit.

A matter of cents

Each January, immediately after Homecoming weekend has been announced, local hotels begin to book rooms almost 10 months in advance, says Steven Noto, corporate general manager of the Stoney Creek Hospitality Corp. under which Columbia’s newly opened Stoney Creek Inn operates.

“In our pre-marketing, we’ve tried to focus on contacting the major employers in the community, and letting them know what we have to offer,” he says. “The University has been great to work with.”

Seeking success

Nervousness and experience might determine the success of three Columbia golfers at this year’s girls’ state tournament.

Although Rock Bridge and Hickman did not advance out of the Class 2 District 4 tournament on Oct. 6 at A.L. Gustin Golf Course, three individuals are representing the schools at the state championship.

Homecoming 101

Pomping: The process of folding tissue paper around a finger or pen and gluing it to a board to create “house decs.”

Ask any student in a Greek organization about pomping, and a groan will follow.

Missouri avoids blowout

NORMAN, Okla. – When the Missouri football team went into halftime trailing the No. 1 Oklahoma Sooners by 21, it appeared poised for the same blowout fate many previous Sooners opponents have faced.

The blowout never came.

Talking Tiger

By Truman T. Tiger

In 1958, Susie Cohen became MU’s first mascot and began a tradition that continues to this day. Though just a self-proclaimed, “girl from Kansas City,” her role led her to paper mache, Miami and marriage.

A crowning achievement

Homecoming allows 10 MU seniors to take a break from senior-year stress to receive the royal treatment as King and Queen candidates.

Some discovered the royalty position rekindled many of their dearest memories of old MU.

Seeds of Tradition

Customs foster a connection between people that allows them to communicate even if they’ve never met. Despite how homecoming has evolved over the years, it remains a language through which alumni of each generation can relate to one another.