Mid-Missouri looks to lure new job base

Faced with the loss of hundreds of manufacturing jobs, state and local economic development experts want to take mid-Missouri’s economy in a new direction.

The plan is to replace traditional industries that manufacture products such as bricks and electronic circuitry with firms that specialize in biological research and computer components. Officials say that a shift toward biotechnology and high-tech manufacturing would better serve the area because they create higher-paying jobs and attract better-educated workers.

City looks at adding 3-1-1 line

A new three-digit telephone number could help prevent Columbia’s emergency dispatchers from having to field unnecessary calls and give residents an easier way to report everyday problems or get information about city services.

On Monday, the Columbia City Council will hear a preliminary report from Assistant City Manager Paula Hertwig Hopkins on a potential 3-1-1 nonemergency calling system. The number, already used by 15 cities around the country, would provide 24-hour access to information and, it is hoped, reduce unnecessary 9-1-1 emergency calls.

Bowling over Cyclones

Missouri coach Gary Pinkel knew his team’s motivation to play the worst team in the conference might not be at an optimum level.

So Pinkel thought of 13 reasons a win against Iowa State mattered. He announced the list to his players at a meeting Thanksgiving morning.

Record-setting day for Abron

Zack Abron’s wait is finally over.

After four years of dealing with coaching changes, injuries and competition, Abron became Missouri’s all-time rushing leader against Iowa State on Saturday. Abron finished with 46 yards on 11 carries, passing Brock Olivo’s record of 3,027 yards. Abron has 3,061 yards and can extend the record in Missouri’s bowl game.

Missouri tested in opener

ROCHESTER, Mich. — Most nonconference games against Mid-Continent Conference opponents are guaranteed victories.

Oakland University is not the average mid-major opponent, and Rawle Marshall and Mike Helms are not typical opponents.

Music is his life

Nestled in the middle of a 60-piece orchestra sits a burly, white-haired man with a clarinet. His unassuming face is hidden under a thick white beard and heavy glasses that seem to bury his rugged features. Nothing about him seems to command attention — until he picks up his horn. Jim Adair’s interpretation of the first clarinet solo from the Unfinished Symphony flows with such seamless expertise that it could make Franz Schubert cry. The solo sounds more like a lyrical underwater dance than air forced through heavy wood and metal. When he finishes, he quietly lowers his instrument as if nothing spectacular happened.

“Ooh, I seemed to be rushing that,” Adair later said of his performance.

Malpractice in crisis

Last summer, Curt Vogel wasn’t quite ready to retire as a physician, but he wanted to reduce his practice to three days a week.

But whether he saw patients five days a week or three, Vogel’s malpractice insurance premiums would have increased from $19,000 a year to about $58,000. After 28 years as a vascular surgeon, he decided that it made more financial sense to retire.

Examining an extreme

Tragic events such as the bombing of the Oklahoma City federal building, the standoff at Ruby Ridge and the Olympic Park bombing evoke horror and sadness, but the people responsible for these events saw themselves as heroes and are linked to a complex group, the Christian Identity Movement.

This movement views the white race as superior, stemming from the belief that Adam was the first white man. They take the Bible literally and believe the United States is the New Israel. And they justify violent or hateful acts committed against other races as punishment for the world’s “race mixing.”

Tips for fire-free holiday

The Columbia Fire Department on Monday will begin its annual Operation Red Wreath campaign in an effort to keep Columbia residents aware of the danger of fires caused by holiday lights and decorations.

A wreath with red holiday lights will be displayed in front of the downtown fire station on Tenth Street. Each time a fire involving holiday lights occurs, the department will change one of the wreath’s bulbs from red to white.

MU professor makes career of researching piping plovers

It was 20 years ago when The Nature Conservancy first approached Mark Ryan to gather information on piping plovers. At the time, there was little information on the birds, which were under consideration as an addition to the federal endangered species list.

Ryan, who had just finished his doctorate in animal ecology, embraced the opportunity.

Study prompts skepticism

An MU researcher is skeptical of a recent study that says two birds at the center of the debate about how to manage flows on the Missouri River are doing better than they were 200 years ago.

The study by Missouri River Keepers, an Iowa-based nonprofit group that includes shippers and farmers, said the endangered piping plover and threatened least tern are doing quite well.

There are benefits of boxed trees

When my husband and I were first married I remember jumping out of bed the day after Thanksgiving, getting dressed in warm clothes and heading to the woods with all the children in tow to select the perfect tree. That’s the problem with memories, we sugarcoat them. Actually, we only took the kids with us once and it was a disaster. The older ones were bored and the younger ones just wanted to run around. The youngest started crying when we told him we get only get one tree (back then, our house was barely big enough for a table tree.)

Since that year’s fiasco, my husband and I would sneak out alone to do the tree shopping. We would go to a tree farm just outside of town and wander around for a suitable pine. I always wanted the tallest tree in the forest. We’d tromp around until I had inspected every tree taller than seven feet. After I made my selection, we’d throw it in the back of the truck and haul it home.

Searching for his place

Standing in a pool of bloody water, John McBride pulls his knife blade, back and forth, over a 10-inch steel sharpener. He wears protective knit gloves and an apron spotted with red. It’s only noon, and he knows he still has seven more hours to go.

As one truck after another pulls up with a bed full of deer, McBride stays busy. He unloads the cargo, snaps off the lower half of the legs, strips off the skin using a winch and hangs the carcasses for refrigeration. It’s a repetitive process, but he prefers that to standing around.

Defense key in Tigers’ win

While the Missouri offense was fast asleep for most of the first half, the Tigers’ defense was wide awake.

The defense made the difference in MU’s 45-7 win against Iowa State on Saturday. The Tigers allowed 340 yards, but held the Cyclones to 162 passing yards and forced four turnovers.

Happy returns: James lands in record book

He wasn’t heavily recruited. He wasn’t supposed to make it at this level. He isn’t a big star.

Marcus James is used to taking his place in the background, so Saturday was nothing new.

Edwards, Amos lead Cougars

The underhanded shot has gone the way of the dinosaur, but Aaron Edwards’ unconventional tip-in as time expired gave Columbia College a victory against MidAmerican Nazarene on Saturday.

The Cougars defeated the Pioneers 71-69 in their second game of the Thanksgiving Classic at the Arena at Southwell Complex.

Paulding, Johnson at home vs.Grizzlies

ROCHESTER, Mich. –- For its season-opening game, Missouri’s schedule didn’t allow much time to work out any first-game jitters.

The Tigers not only played in Rochester, Mich., but they also faced a fierce opponent in Oakland University.

Missouri forwards produce top effort

ROCHESTER, Mich. –- Missouri’s power forwards turned in a powerful performance.

Solid play at the position from freshman Linas Kleiza and senior Travon Bryant helped the Tigers to a 90-85 win against Oakland University on Saturday.

Tigers beat Bears

Missouri has overcome adversity most of the season.

On Saturday, the Tigers overcame tightness to defeat Baylor 25-30, 30-28, 30-28, 30-25 in a Big 12 Conference volleyball match at Hearnes Center.

MU rally fails

Missouri suffered its first loss of the season Saturday.

The Tigers lost to Wisconsin-Green Bay 74-66 in the championship of the Oneida Bingo and Casino Holiday Tournament at Resch Center in Green Bay, Wis.