Adding it up

Numbers are everywhere, and the Columbia Public School District is working to make sure its students learn to understand them.

Even Dana Dillon’s fifth-grade pupils at Benton Elementary School can cite examples of math in their daily lives. Educators say that a sound understanding of basic math skills is necessary for adult success.

Irregular solar storm hits

One of the strongest geomagnetic storms in almost 30 years hit the Earth on Wednesday, and MU assistant professor of astronomy Angela Speck doesn’t know why. The solar activity that brings this type of storm usually climaxes every 11 years, she explained, meaning the cyclical peak for solar flares should have been three years ago.

“This is not supposed to be happening,” Speck said.

MU, JFA argue about protest

The provocative photo exhibit of aborted fetuses and human embryos ended on the MU campus Wednesday without the emotional confrontations that people on both sides of the abortion debate feared.

However, almost as soon as the two-story, billboard-sized photo exhibit went up in front of Kuhlman Court on Monday morning, tensions between the university and the group hosting the display, Mizzou Justice for All: Students for Bio-Ethical Equality, simmered behind the scenes.

Money flows in gun law debate

For some Missourians, the price of optimism is $125. For others, it runs as high as $100,000.

The cost depends on where one stands on the issue of concealed guns.

Experimenting with education

The eyes of 15 boys are glued to film canisters filled with water and Alka-Seltzer tablets. Suddenly, the canisters shoot to the ceiling, spraying water as they fall. Science specialist Gregory Kirchhofer shouts over the screams of joy, “maybe we should take this experiment outside.”

This was the scene at the second meeting of the Mill Creek Science Club for fifth-graders, which, because of the large roster, meets at 7:30 a.m. every Monday for boys and on Tuesdays for girls. Kirchhofer gives the students hands-on learning opportunities each week to get them interested in science.

Taking offense to 'dumb' label

Put it on the line.

That phrase has many meanings to the Missouri offensive line. Aside from the obvious play on words, it has become the rallying cry and T-shirt slogan for a group of guys that has, aside from quarterback Brad Smith, one of the toughest jobs in football.

Sticking around

Like many former Missouri players before him, Antwaun Bynum has found a home at Rock Bridge.

Bynum, who was an honorable mention All-Big 12 Conference defensive end for Missouri, used up his eligibility last season and looked for the next place to play.

Nickell’s to bring fairways up to par

The grass is always greener on the other side — especially when it’s got a brand new irrigation system.

L.A. Nickell Golf Course, a public course run by the Parks and Recreation Department, will get such a system soon. The Columbia City Council on Oct. 20 approved a plan to spend $700,000 to irrigate the course and convert its fairway turf to zoysia.

Trading places

On Friday night, Jeff Moore will stare across the field, dissecting a team that was once his from a sideline he was once paid to beat.

Moore, an assistant coach for the Hickman Kewpies, was the coach of the Rock Bridge Bruins in 1998-99. Moore resigned after going 3-17, including a 0-10 season in 1999, the worst season in Rock Bridge history.

Dress success

Courtney Nelson has a passion for clothing, and she is willing to steam dresses for eight hours just to get hands-on experience.

Nelson, a senior at Stephens College from Keystone, Colo., has spent the past six months helping organize Stephens’ fashion department exhibit, “For Better, For Worse: The Dress, The Woman, The Life.”

Mills' stability anchors Rock Bridge soccer

For Tanner Mills, having balance is essential, not only on the soccer field but also in life.

A junior goalie for Rock Bridge, Mills has almost as many shutouts this year, 11, as goals allowed, 17.

Ghouls and goodies

Carol Spratt still trick-or-treats — even at age 40. Her secret: take a child along.

Spratt was an aunt at the age of 10, and there was always a child who needed her to take them out on Halloween.

Cougars picked to win AMC crowns

Despite a lack of experience, expectations are high for the Columbia College basketball program.

In preseason polls of league coaches, the men’s and women’s teams are selected as favorites to win American Midwest Conference titles.

Rock wall law could be revised

Rep. Chuck Graham is challenging what he calls a loophole in a state amusement park statute that doesn’t require all climbing walls to be subject to inspections or to have safety cables.

Graham announced Wednesday that he intends to file legislation on Dec. 1 that would add climbing walls to the list of rides requiring inspection under Missouri’s amusement park statute. The current law only requires rides with mechanical devices to be inspected.

MU issues values letter

A letter concerning the free exchange of ideas and appropriate student response to controversy was sent this week to about 5,700 students who live in MU’s residence halls.

The letter was sent in part to address the harassment experienced by a female student who lives in Johnston Hall. The student, who was not identified, told the Residential Life Department that posters on her dorm room door supporting abortion rights had been vandalized and that related, inappropriate messages were left on the door’s message board.