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Sgt. Griffin is not forgotten

For more than 30 years, a Centralia family and a Pennsylvania woman have shared the same prayer — that Army Sgt. Rodney Griffin, whose helicopter was shot down in Cambodia in May 1970, would return home.

While that prayer has yet to be answered, Griffin’s family recently learned that Beth Mitchell of Kittanning, Pa., has an MIA/POW bracelet engraved with Griffin’s name. Mitchell’s older sister bought the bracelet from a newsstand in her hometown of Ford City, Pa.

Tigers settle jitters

Playing an exhibition game against a foreign team presents some interesting situations.

You might not know what style your opponent plays. You’re not sure how you will match up against that style.

A park for all seasons

The barren banks and dried heaps of brownish-red lake grass resemble the scene of a drought.

But by spring, city officials guarantee Stephens Lake and the surrounding park will look more like an idyllic oasis than a soggy lake bottom.

Mom says she sought help for 6-year-old

He likes to watch cartoons like “Thomas the Tank Engine,” “Scooby-Doo” and “Superman.” Anything with a superhero.

With animated characters, he can distinguish between fact and fantasy. But the mother of a 6-year-old boy suspected of shooting and killing his grandfather said that when it comes to shows with actors, she isn’t so sure.

Missouri rewarded for tough schedule

The regular season did not live up to expectations, but the Missouri women’s soccer team is making sure the postseason does.

The Tigers advanced to the NCAA Tournament for the second time in program history, joining seven other Big 12 Conference teams. Before this season, the most the conference has sent has been four.

Smith’s reach exceeds grasp in loss to Colorado

Brad Smith isn’t accustomed to taking the blame for Missouri losses.

Coach Gary Pinkel almost always asks for the blame, even if the situation was out of his control.

Court upholds school withholdings

JEFFERSON CITY — School districts suing to get more state funds lost their first court fight Monday.

A Cole County circuit judge upheld Gov. Bob Holden’s power to withhold $190 million from state funding to local schools because of estimated revenue shortages.

Order could shift course of Mo. River’s management

A change of course in the debate over the management of the Missouri River has sparked uncertainty within the local office of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and concern within the Missouri Department of Conservation.

For three years, the Fish and Wildlife Service has maintained that management of the Missouri River by the Army Corps of Engineers must include a spring rise and summer drawdown to boost populations of the piping plover, a threatened species, and the pallid sturgeon and least tern, which are endangered. But now that official opinion, which plays a pivotal role in the Army Corps of Engineers’ plans for river management, might change.

Baby on board

At 7 a.m. Monday, Columbia Regional Hospital’s brand new Newborn Intensive Care Unit was empty. Electrical outlets were bare, two dozen treatment stations were unoccupied, and a lone empty crib stood in the middle of the room.

“In three hours, it’ll look a lot different in here,” said Dr. Elizabeth James, neonatologist and director of the NICU.

Democrats choose Harris as House minority whip

State Rep. Jeff Harris, D-Columbia, has been elected House minority whip.

Harris said his selection makes him the first state representative from Boone County in nearly 40 years to win a House leadership position. Harris’ fellow Democrats elected him to the job during a caucus in Jefferson City on Saturday.

Gun injunction’s scope questioned

ST. LOUIS — Legal experts say a St. Louis judge’s injunction blocking Missouri’s new concealed guns law applies statewide, though some lawmakers who support the measure think the ruling is valid only in St. Louis.

St. Louis Circuit Judge Steven Ohmer on Friday issued the injunction, a ruling that Attorney General Jay Nixon immediately appealed to the Missouri Supreme Court. Lawmakers adopted the concealed weapons law in September by overriding Gov. Bob Holden’s veto.

Senior sparks Cougars

She is 6 feet, plays at the front of the hardest hitting lineup in the American Midwest Conference and never forgets her teddy bear on road trips.

Columbia College’s Jaime Diestelkamp, a senior middle hitter and self-described teddy bear fanatic, has not one but two teddy bears. She has one for short trips and another that stands 2 feet tall and wears a “Cougars Volleyball” jacket that she brings on overnight trips.

Cadets honor veterans with 24-hour vigil

Col. Leon M. Hoffsette returned to Columbia 27 years after he left to pursue a military career. When he returned, he found a tradition he never experienced as an MU student — the Veterans Day Vigil at the Boone County Courthouse. Today, Hoffsette will officiate the closing program, which began in 1985, a decade after he left Columbia.

“The vigil is organized and executed by the cadets — they get a lot of experience dong this,” Hoffsette said.

Brescia downs Cougars

Columbia College focused on coming out of halftime with intensity. Brescia didn’t let it, though.

The Bearcats changed the momentum and defeated Columbia College 80-74 on Monday at the Arena of Southwell Complex in women’s basketball.

Patriotic holiday highlights policy disagreements

It’s hard to ignore the blue signs in front of the homes on West Broadway. In a few words, the signs declare what seems to be a growing sentiment in the United States: “End the Occupation, Bring Our Troops Home.”

The signs are found on almost every corner of Columbia and serve as reminders that while President George W. Bush declared major combat over on May 2, Operation Iraqi Freedom continues to put demands on the country’s troops.

McKinney endures

It was a long night for Missouri guard Jimmy McKinney.

Junior Randy Pulley did not suit up for Missouri in its 85-76 win against Inter Hoop on Monday at Hearnes Center, because he has not been certified for competition, the Tigers said in a release.

Space inspirations

They have invaded family space all over the United Kingdom and now the United States. They will rip your carpet up, cut the legs off your tables and paint your beautiful mahogany armoire blue to match a $5 lamp. They are the cast of “Trading Spaces,” the quirky interior design show on The Learning Channel.

Stephen Rust, owner of Rust & Martin Design Studio, describes the show as “marvelously entertaining” but said it is very different from his business. He said that “Trading Spaces” shows the mechanics of making a room look good but does not show the behind-the-scenes planning of design on television.

Healing hands

These days, many Columbians are kept extremely busy with their careers. Between work, family duties, and other commitments around the home, many people are left with little time to relax at the end of the day.

Columbian Tracie Rumford, however, has taken on the task of owning and operating her own business, and still has plenty of time to focus on relaxation techniques. Why? Because Rumford, a professional massage therapist, is the owner of Massage Works Therapeutic Massage, and helping people relax is one of the main goals of her business.

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