Grant to promote city’s active ‘Way of Life’

Students at Grant Elementary School are already singing the praises of physical fitness, months before they’ll see the effects of a grant awarded to the city.

They helped open a school assembly and news conference Thursday morning with a new jingle, singing: “When you bike, walk or wheel, see how good you feel!”

Let people celebrate in their own ways

Until a few years ago, I suffered from anniversary blues during this time of year. This is a condition that affects some people annually around the dates when they have undergone traumatic experiences. As it happened, my anniversaries coincided with the period between Thanksgiving and Christmas, when some folks experience unadulterated joy. When I spoke to my therapist friends, they told me that there were many, many people who suffered the same thing. The situation only caused me trouble the few times I had to do business with immature people. These folks always jump to the conclusion that everybody feels the same way they do about everything.

Fortunately, I got past all that after awhile, but it left a lasting impression. And so every year around this time I try to get the message out that, “Your thrill is not everybody’s thrill, so try to keep a lid on it, whatever it is.” Most people, especially those who move in wider, more diverse circles, are always conscious of religious differences. There is probably no other time during the year when people need to be as aware of social and cultural differences among their friends and colleagues as during the holidays.

MU student killed in party brawl

By Sunday afternoon, beer cans and broken bottles were the only remnants of a late-night college party that turned tragic. A 20-year-old MU student was shot to death outside a duplex on Riva Ridge Court about 3:30 a.m. Sunday after a fight broke out among party guests, said Columbia police Capt. Mike Martin.

Charles Blondis, a sophomore classics major at MU, was shot at least once in the upper torso and was pronounced dead at the scene. Police said they found three shell casings and have not yet determined whether Blondis was hit by more than one shot.

Columbia to provide recycling option to businesses

Local businesses have a new option to preserve Columbia’s environment. The city’s Solid Waste Division is now offering a commercial recycling service for businesses that is similar to the residential blue bag and fiber pickup.

“Between Civic Recycling and our new program, we should have Columbia’s recycling needs well-covered,” said Richard Wieman, Solid Waste Utility manager. The new program is part of an evolving process designed to meet Columbia’s changing recycling needs. This week, the Solid Waste Utility will begin operating a new sorting line for fiber. The line will be located in the material recovery facility that was erected by the city in fall of 2002. Much of the equipment inside the recovery facility, including the new sorting line, was provided by grants.

Fast and fabulous

Waymon Jones’ 2000 Mazda Protege is the ultimate tricked-out car.

The deep-blue exterior features tinted windows, 18-inch aluminum wheels and purple neon undercarriage lights. A nitrous oxide injection system, considered illegal for street racing, gives his car an extra boost.

Ride plan for senior citizens debated

In the quiet, little town of Westbrook, Maine, older residents receive rides for their daily errands through a transportation network that provides door-to-door service at relatively low cost.

The Boone County Senior Board, citing a growing need for senior transportation service in the county, hopes to use Westbrook’s Independent Transportation Network as the model for a service here. Board Director Ann Gowans said she likes the Westbrook system, which relies on volunteers with private vehicles and paid drivers with donated cars, according to its Web site.

Wildcats playing big role in Tigers’ future

Sometime Saturday evening, the Missouri football team’s best friend suddenly became its worst enemy.

As soon as the Tigers (7-3, 3-3 Big 12 Conference) were done cheering the Kansas State Wildcats to victory against Nebraska, they had to get ready to play those Wildcats in the biggest game Missouri football has seen in a long time.

Tigers’ seniors prevail

The seniors came to the rescue for the Missouri women’s basketball team Sunday at Hearnes Center.

After squandering a significant halftime lead, Missouri coach Cindy Stein depended on her senior leaders in an 86-52 exhibition win against Sparta Praha, a club team based in Prague, Czech Republic.

Jayhawks bench Tigers

Depth was the key.

While Missouri struggled to overcome injuries, Kansas used its bench to defeat the Tigers 2-0 on Sunday in the second round of the NCAA Women’s Soccer Tournament at Audrey J. Walton Stadium.

The rescue of Cadillac Jack

It was a “sign from God” that prompted Cadillac Jack’s former owner to sell him to MU veterinary student Christina Truesdale, and she considers him the best mule in the world. Three years after she rescued him from a life of abuse, Cadillac Jack seems to have found his peace. And his appetite.

“I have a skinny old dog, and my mule is a porker,” Truesdale said while petting Jack’s belly during a recent visit to his stable.

How’s that for openers?

Rifle shots shattered the usual silence of the countryside Saturday as firearms deer season officially opened in Boone County. The nice weather meant plenty of deer, and hunters could be found roaming the county or checking their deer at one of four Boone County checking sites.

The Bittings family traveled more than 150 miles from Marshfield to hunt with their friend, Robert Riesenmy, whom they first met 10 years ago on a pow-wow circuit. The Bittings are Cherokee, and Riesenmy is of Osage and French descent.

First half irks Stein

Cindy Stein, Missouri women’s basketball coach, said the first half of Sunday’s game was like nothing else she had seen before. She wasn’t impressed, though.

“At halftime I told them I thought it was the ugliest game I’d ever been a part of,” Stein said. “I was not pleased with our shooting. I didn’t think we always took good shots.