‘Under God’ under review

JEFFERSON CITY — Every day at elementary schools across Columbia, students stand facing the flag to recite the Pledge of Allegiance.

However, a decision by the U.S. Supreme Court to review the constitutionality of the words “under God,” could affect a Missouri law requiring the pledge in schools.

Decision would affect 9 states, 9.6 million kids

The words “under God” pack a punch when it comes to the Pledge of Allegiance.

The latest round of controversy arose in June 2002 when the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled 2-1 in a California case that the words “under God” violated the First Amendment because they constituted government endorsement of religion.

Gardner adjusting on and off the court

For Thomas Gardner, Missouri presented the ideal place for his college basketball future.

During his short time in the program, though, Gardner has learned that the move from high school basketball to Big 12 Conference basketball will be a difficult one.

Audit says tax dollars not secure

JEFFERSON CITY — Missouri taxpayer dollars are not as secure as they should be, a state audit has found.

The state’s accounting system, known as Statewide Advantage for Missouri or SAM II, is not adequately secure from access by outsiders and the department in charge does not have a proper plan to resume business in case the system goes down, the audit reports.

Tigers say Buffaloes struggles deceptive

Colorado is not exactly Colorado this season.

The Buffaloes, who have beaten Missouri in 16 of the teams’ past 18 matchups, have taken a Big 12 Conference nosedive. In losing three straight conference games for the first time since 1984, Colorado, the two-time defending Big 12 North Division champ, plays with one of the worst defenses in the nation and one of the worst rushing offenses.

Stadium extension study next

Before city and state officials can even think about buying right of way for an extension of Stadium Boulevard, they’ll have to complete an environmental impact statement that could cost up to $1 million and take up to two years.

The problem is, no one knows yet where money for the study will come from or who will do the work.

Public-access channel available

In an effort to appease local groups pushing for a public-access television channel, Mediacom, Columbia’s largest cable provider, has announced its intent to begin accepting pre-produced programming this month.

Gary Baugh, director of operations, said Mediacom has decided to “take the initiative” because of an increase in interest from residents who want to use the public-access channel and the Columbia City Council’s slow pace in addressing the issue.

Jays disappoint Kewpies in final

JEFFERSON CITY — Hickman couldn’t hold back the tears.

The Kewpies lost 1-0 to Jefferson City on Wednesday night in the Class 3 District 10 championship at the 179 Soccer Complex. No. 1 seeded Jefferson City (12-9-1) advances to the sectional tournament Tuesday in Jefferson City.

Christmas family sponsors needed

When the Voluntary Action Center began its Christmas basket program 20 years ago, it provided for about 200 families. This year, more than 1,100 families are ready to be adopted.

Now they just need sponsors.

Cougars extend win streak to seven

Just call her clairvoyant.

Even as the Columbia College volleyball team spent most of the season trying to overcome injuries and illnesses, coach Melinda Wrye-Washington stayed confident her team would put it all together when it mattered most. With the postseason to begin next week, the Cougars are making a prophet of their coach.

Helping athletes advance

Grade-point averages, tests, homework — the average college student has plenty to worry about. But when you’re a college athlete, add training, practice and the all-important NCAA eligibility requirements.

In order to balance the worlds of athletics and academia, many college athletes turn to athletic tutoring programs such as MU’s Total Person Program. The program was cast in a negative light this summer when MU point guard Ricky Clemons’ ex-girlfriend said that Clemons had received improper academic assistance from the university.

Holden’s right to cut public school funding challenged

JEFFERSON CITY — An attorney for several school districts argued Wednesday that the governor has no authority to withhold money from public schools even if revenues fall short.

The state countered the governor has an obligation to balance the budget, and the Missouri Constitution expressly grants the governor the ability to withhold funds from any area of government when finances dictate.

Program watches over academic integrity

If students want to cheat, they’ll find a way to do it, said Bryan Maggard, the director of MU’s athletic tutoring program. But the program is designed to stop cheating before it starts.

Since Maggard joined the Total Person Program in 1995, no tutor has been charged with academic dishonesty.

In good hands

While most high school seniors were in bed on summer mornings, Johnny Kruse was preparing for football season.

Kruse and his Rock Bridge football teammates worked out weekdays at 6:30 a.m. He said the practices were good for conditioning, although he would have preferred a different time.

Labs instill teamwork outside of lectures

Instructor Phil Silverman doesn’t seem fazed by the bustling chatter of General Chemistry Lab DD-1.

“It can actually sound like a successful party if you do it right,” said Silverman, lab coordinator for MU’s chemistry department.

Tigers strive to stay alive

The season continues, and Missouri hopes to keep it that way.

The No. 8 seeded Missouri women’s soccer team plays No. 1 Colorado today at 11 a.m. in the first round of the Big 12 Conference Tournament at the Blossom Soccer Stadium in San Antonio.

Missouri Tigers sports briefs

MU BASKETBALL: Rickey Paulding is one of 30 preseason nominees for the Naismith Award.

Paulding, a senior small forward who led the Tigers in scoring last season, is one of six Big 12 Conference players nominated.

Short Talk

The VFW Post 280 has the feel of a grade school cafeteria. The beige linoleum floor and rows of tables bring back memories of 25-cent milk and smashed PB&J sandwiches.


The Matrix movies are among the most incomprehensible of sci-fi action flicks. It doesn’t help that writer-directors Andy and Larry Wachowski don’t talk about the meanings behind the trilogy. They have, however, acknowledged an interest in mythology, theology and some higher-level mathematics, so let’s use those fancy “ologies” as a key to cinematic nirvana. If you were lost at the end of The Matrix Reloaded (and let’s face it, most people were), here’s a handy guide to understanding the movie in terms of religion, philosophy and mathematics. From Platonic theory to religious imagery, somewhere between the Alice in Wonderland references ...


Spiders, dead people and the dark sure can be scary, but watch out for the weirdos who suffer from these 10 freaky phobias. Now they’re creepy.