Eyes to the skies

Call him crazy, call him a space geek—Doug Kniffen probably won’t mind. He says he’s felt the sky pulling at him like a magnet since he was four years old.

Kniffen, 43, built his own backyard observatory and has enough money invested in the star-gazing hobby to buy a mid-sized car.

Cougars’ Hall of Fame set to open

Wendy Mertz Slifka couldn’t believe it.

It was 1990, and Slifka, a Columbia College pitcher, had become the first Cougars’ athlete to have her jersey retired.

Grant will pay to train poll workers

Change is in the air for Missouri voters — and poll workers.

In the next few years, touch-screen technology will be required at polling places in all Missouri counties as an option for handicapped voters and anyone else who wants to use it.

Mo. top judge issues call for more diversity

The first black chief judge of the Missouri Supreme Court said Thursday that, while the state has become a judicial trendsetter for the nation, more needs to be done to diversify the practice of law in Missouri.

In a keynote address at the Missouri Bar Association’s annual meeting in Columbia, Chief Judge Ronnie White said equality in the legal profession cannot be measured by numbers alone, but rather “when equality of opportunity for both entry and advancement exists in every corner of this state.”

Puglis clinches Bruins' win

The last spot in the lineup is often reserved for the offensively-challenged. Fortunately for Rock Bridge, its last hitter, Christie Puglis, played as if she were batting cleanup.

Rock Bridge beat Mexico 2-1 in nine innings Thursday night at Rock Bridge.

Viehmann nursing along coaching goal

A glimpse into Beau Viehmann’s future: In the morning, he will tell kids to lie down and take it easy. In the afternoon, he will tell them to stop being lazy and to run more quickly.

Viehmann, a walk-on tailback for the Missouri football team, is enrolled in MU’s Sinclair School of Nursing. His mom, Kathy, and sister, Claire, want him to be a school nurse. That way, he can coach, like his father, Les Viehmann, a defensive coach at Hermann High.

Pleimann, Jacoby tie for medalist

It was the last time Rachel Jacoby and Ashley Mansfield would play L.A. Nickell Golf Course for Hickman.

The Kewpies beat Marshall 174-204 on Thursday in their final home match.

Living in the past

For 40 years, Richard Gaffney has lived in the past. “I don’t live in this century, you see. I just visit from time to time,” Gaffney said.

His fascination with the history of American Indians extends beyond passive research into the realm of active participation.

Late surges carry Kewpies to victory

Sometimes a slow start can be a motivating factor for victory.

Hickman defeated Marshall 6-3 on Thursday night at Hickman with half of the victories coming after the Kewpies dropped the first set.

Kewps need to hang on to ball to succeed

Turnovers continue to end Hickman Kewpie drives, momentum and chances for victories.

The Kewpies, hoping to limit turnovers and end a two-game losing streak, will travel to Peve Stadium to face the Blue Springs South Jaguars at 7 tonight. The Kewpies (2-2) have turned the ball over eight times in their losses. When Hickman keeps its turnovers below two per game, it is 2-0.

Rock Bridge's Kruse keeps opponents guessing

Every team wants versatility. Rock Bridge has Johnny Kruse to make the Bruins multifaceted.

The Bruins, 4-0 and ranked fifth in Class 6, play at 7 tonight at Fulton, and Kruse will play his standard positions: free safety, wide receiver, punt returner and tailback.

Cougars rout Eagles to earn fourth conference shutout

Conference opponents haven’t been able to hold back the Columbia College soccer team.

With their 12-0 win against Williams Baptist College on Thursday at Owens Stadium, the Cougars earned their fourth shutout in American Midwest Conference play in as many games. Steve Williams earned the shutout.

Belly up and register to vote

Voting registration was a reason to party Thursday night at Spanky’s bar in the Holiday Inn Executive Center.

Rep. Chuck Graham, D-Columbia, First Ward Councilwoman Almeta Crayton and County Clerk Wendy Noren were there to help promote voter registration to patrons and employees.

A tale of two counties

If groups such as the Citizens for Rural Conservation had their way, Boone County, Mo., would have more in common with Boone County, Ill. than just a name.

At a Thursdsay meeting addressing concerns about urban sprawl, David Sliktas, a former planner with Boone County, Ill. outlined a process his county used that helped preserve 60 percent of farmland in his community. Area citizens hope Boone County, Mo., will follow in its footsteps.

Twist found in new gun law

Columbia Police Chief Randy Boehm has made it clear that he’s not a fan of the new conceal-and-carry gun law. After reading through it, he found a section that makes him like the law even less.

Mental health efforts expand

JEFFERSON CITY — Every week, people in Missouri struggle with the decision between keeping custody of their child or seeking the best mental health care for him or her. Two of Missouri’s government agencies are working to avoid that decision.

Higher Learning

Heather Hogan watched patiently as Rodolfo, a sixth-grader in Los Angeles, filled out her classroom evaluation. Even though the summertime class had ended, Rodolfo was diligently writing answers to the 20 questions. When he finished, he walked up to Hogan and shyly handed in his survey.

“Ms. Hogan, I didn’t know what to write for number 12 about how to improve our school,” he said. “I just wrote about picking up trash.

MU not big supplier to top graduate schools

Among the multitude of brochures available at the MU Career Center is one that asks students to “Imagine Stanford Graduate School of Business.”

But MU students with such ambitions are often left imagining, according to the results of a survey published last Friday in the Wall Street Journal.

Guns not allowed on buses

JEFFERSON CITY — Two leading legislative supporters of concealed weapons say they would not try to block efforts by cities to ban hidden pistols on buses and other transportation systems.

Columbia Transit and Para-Transit does not allow weapons on buses. Procedures will not change after Oct. 11 when the concealed weapons permits are issued, Columbia Transit supervisor Mark Grindstaff said.

Reach of ban under debate

A proposal to prohibit concealed weapons on county-owned property produced disagreement among Boone County commissioners Tuesday night.

The order would have gone into effect with Missouri’s new concealed gun law on Oct. 11. Existing policy bans weapons on county property but does not specifically mention concealed guns.