Loans help landlords fix properties

Owners of run-down rental properties in parts of Columbia now face an alternative to watching their homes slowly decline and eventually be demolished.

City officials, believing that property owners who invest in their units are making an overall investment in neighborhood quality, are making federal money available to owners through a low-interest loan rental rehabilitation program.

City investing in low-tech well

Columbia is prepared to spend less than 1 percent of a $28.3 million bond issue on the Nov. 4 ballot on bargain technology to stash 31 million gallons of treated water deep in an underground well.

The process, Aquifer Storage and Recovery, works sort of like an underground water tower. City officials say they love it. For one, they said, it’s clean, safe and environmentally sound. For another, installing an ASR system can be less expensive than painting a water tower, let alone building one.

Under the knife

Tom Thomas of MU’s exercise physiology program said it needs help — not elimination or consolidation.

Exercise physiology is one of six degree programs and two departments at MU targeted for a viability audit. The audit is looking for ways to merge, close or leave alone programs that cost more than similar programs do at other universities, generate a low number of credit hours or graduated fewer than 10 students last year.

Panelists offer sharp post-war Iraq differences

Even though most high school students can’t vote, about 200 Hickman high school students found a way to participate in the democratic process Wednesday.

They questioned four panelists, with differing viewpoints, about post-war Iraq during the “Speak Your Mind Forum” at Hickman High School.

Digging it out

Taran Eckenrode could not have been more excited. It was Sept. 2, the day the Rock Bridge Bruins were set to open their volleyball season in Jefferson City, and for Eckenrode, a senior setter, it meant a chance to see all her hard work pay off.

She had battled back from a season-ending injury in 2002, and opening day was the culmination of her road back.

Stopping air show a puzzler

Some questions might never be answered.

How many licks does it take to get to the Tootsie Roll center of a Tootsie Pop? Which came first, the chicken or the egg? How does a defense stop the Texas Tech offense?

MU men’s basketball team No. 1 in Big 12 Conference

Missouri is the team to beat in the Big 12 Conference.

At least that’s the way the men’s basketball coaches voted in a preseason poll.

The conference released its preseason coaches’ poll Wednesday with the Tigers the favorite to win.

Tigers quick to recover from injury

Already missing outside hitter Mary Lauren Smith, the No. 24 Missouri volleyball team received another scare when outside hitter Shen Danru injured herself against Colorado on Wednesday night.

Even with the injury, the Tigers beat the Buffaloes 31-29, 30-27, 30-25 in a Big 12 Conference game at Hearnes Center.

Online ease

When MU biochemistry instructor Shari Freyermuth signed up her 100-plus students for discussion groups, a few juniors and seniors with jobs just never could attend.

So Freyermuth used WebCT, one of two market-leading, Web-based learning systems used at MU, to move the discussion groups to her class Web site. Now, students can share information in a virtual space. “They don’t all have to be together,” Freyermuth said. “People can do it on their own time.”

Midwest and Japan to share biotech ideas

The University of Missouri and the University of Nebraska have put their differences aside to represent the Midwest on a mission to Japan.

Tom Sharpe, executive director of UM’s Office of Technology and Special Projects, is representing the UM system on a weeklong tour of Japan’s Kansai region. He is one of more than 70 delegates from 11 Midwest states visiting the country.

In The Shadow of Progress

Hinton is a now-you-see-it, now-you-don’t kind of town.

  Main Street is a hilly, winding, stone’s throw stretch of Route VV that on the east side boasts a Texaco gas station and a few aging homes built on narrow lots. The west side of the street is home to unassuming, mustard-yellow Hinton Radio and TV — a dilapidated, wooden building once used as a feed-and-grain store; the white, house-like Rocky Fork Primitive Baptist Church; and a crowded antebellum cemetery.

Loeb’s Bruins used to success

Rock Bridge tennis coach Ben Loeb knows how to inspire his players.

Winning has become routine for Loeb. After 15 years coaching boys and girls teams at Rock Bridge and Hickman, Loeb has the second most wins in the state at 408. North Kansas City coach Arthur Loepp, who has been coaching since 1975, has 468. Loeb has qualified 10 teams to the state tournament, and three have won state titles.

Missouri picked to finish seventh

Look for the Missouri women’s basketball team to finish in the middle of the pack in the Big 12 Conference this season.

The league’s coaches Wednesday picked the Tigers to finish seventh in the conference.

Sewer debate surrounds Prime plan

Developer Robert Smith wants to talk.

Smith on Tuesday asked that the Boone County Commission table a proposed rezoning of 200 acres off Route WW east of Columbia until Dec. 2 so he can meet with neighbors and county sewer officials.

Web site diagnoses MU’s care

If you’re hunting for the University of Missouri Health Care Web site, you won’t find it at

What comes up instead is MU Healthcare Victims, a collection of billing and health care horror stories, audit reports and links aimed at “private citizens who have one thing in common — frustration with MU Hospital and Clinics,” the home page says.

Two decades of service rewarded

Norma and Ernie Falloon have only one daughter, but the kindness and generosity they’ve spread all over Boone County makes them seem part of a larger family.

The Falloons have been married 53 years and, since retiring, have become a volunteering team.

United States settles for tie with Italy

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Moira Placchi scored in the 63rd minute to lift Italy to a 2-2 tie against the United States in a women’s soccer exhibition Wednesday night at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City.