Schools pursue new fund ruling

JEFFERSON CITY— Having lost before a trial judge, some school districts on Thursday asked the state Supreme Court to consider their claim that Gov. Bob Holden exceeded his constitutional powers by cutting state school spending to balance the budget.

At issue is Holden’s decision to withhold nearly $200 million from elementary and secondary education this year, claiming the legislature failed to provide sufficient revenue to cover the budgeted expenses.

Her room is waiting

Rosalina smiles out from a photograph above Butch and Debbie Putnam’s desks. Her little-girl pigtails, mischievous-looking dimples and big brown eyes could break the heart of anyone, but none more so than the woman who was so close to calling Rosalina her daughter.

The Putnams have been trying to adopt the 6-year-old from Guatemala for almost two years.

Pizza-man bandit robs late-night deliverers

Five food delivery drivers have been threatened and robbed by a man wielding a wooden club in less than a month, according to Columbia police.

On Wednesday, two food delivery drivers were robbed of cash in separate incidents, the fourth and fifth such robberies since the middle of October, according to Columbia Police.

MU puts deadline on audits

Academic programs under review at MU have two months to justify their existence.

Six departments that include programs targeted for review will be required to submit a detailed report of their operations, which will be evaluated according to four criteria developed by a subcommittee of MU’s Strategic Planning and Resource Advisory Council.

Ashland gets a jump-start

The lights went off in Ashland last week, and when they came back on, they were powered by a temporary transformer on the back of a truck at AmerenUE’s facility at New Bloomfield in Callaway County.

A tap changer, a device that regulates voltage for a power transformer, exploded Nov. 4, Ameren spokesman Mike Cleary said.

Park road plans draw opposition

The Russell property won’t be cut in two if the Parks and Recreation Commission has its way.

At a public hearing Thursday night, the commission voted to recommend a development option for the property that would not extend Cunningham Road through the 90-acre park. The property was donated to the city by the late F. Garland Russell in April 1999.

It’s curtains up at school plays

Dressed in black, Hickman sophomore Brandon Davis listens for his cue over his headset, both hands clenching the vertical rope. All at once, he furiously begins pulling, alternating hands to reach above his head and pull down the rope. Slowly and steadily, the curtain opens on the first scene of Hickman High School’s “Meet Me in St. Louis.”

The musical, which has been in rehearsalfor seven weeks, will open Wednesday and run through Nov. 22.

Cougars advance to AMC final

The Cougars advanced in the American Midwest Conference Tournament. Columbia College beat the Illinois-Springfield Prairie Stars 30-17, 30-20, 30-17 in the semifinals Thursday at Southwell Arena.

Projects spur call for road analysis

Traffic problems on Route WW seem to be mounting, and some Boone County officials believe they are destined to get worse.

That’s why they want to take the lead on a study of traffic patterns along the highway, which bisects a corridor that’s increasingly ripe for development.

Quarterbacks mirror images

After a steady diet of dropback passers such as Jason White, B.J. Symons and Joel Klatt, the Missouri defense will see a quarterback reminiscent of Brad Smith on Saturday.

Reggie McNeal, Texas A&M’s athletic sophomore quarterback, presents the Tigers with a challenge they usually see only in practice: a quarterback with the ability to run and pass.

Taming the black walnut

Many mid-Missourians know the Eastern black walnut by those large, green balls with a slightly pungent aroma that litter lawns and sidewalks this time of year. Encased in their protective husks is an inner shell that makes even the heartiest squirrel think twice, giving this cousin of the more popular English walnut the reputation of being a tough nut to crack.

Researchers at MU’s Horticulture and Agroforestry Research Center in New Franklin are hoping to change this. While black walnut connoisseurs are willing to put in the extra effort to get at the fruit’s strong, flavorful nutmeat, researchers at the center hope to boost the black walnut’s commercial prospects by improving the characteristics of Missouri’s state tree nut.

Tekotte focused on team

Throughout the season, the hype and excitement surrounding Rock Bridge quarterback Chase Patton might have overshadowed the Hickman Kewpies, specifically quarterback Blake Tekotte.

By the end of the season, though, Tekotte and the Kewpies dominated their district opponents and earned their first trip to the playoffs since 2000.

Klein reaches Region V title match

The game had stood in Columbia College’s way for too long.

For the first time in John Klein’s four-year coaching tenure, the Cougars won in the NAIA Region V semifinal, defeating Baker 1-0 on Thursday at Owens Soccer Stadium.

MU lineup almost set

Replacing Kerensa Barr at point guard was the priority for the Missouri women’s basketball team in the offseason.

Barr, who has the Missouri record with 489 assists, was the Tigers undisputed floor leader the past three seasons. She is the only starter from last year’s team not returning and her graduation last spring left many wondering who could fill her shoes.

Columbia Mall to get new look

General Growth Properties, Inc., announced plans this morning to redesign Columbia Mall's food court. The food court's current design has been in place since 1985.

The construction plan, which has been in the works for a couple of years, includes expanding the window wall of the Cafe Court into a rotunda shape and giving the indoor atmosphere a "streetscape design."