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Peace disturbed

Hundreds of years ago, they lived and died on the vast, open plains of the Midwest. But today the remains of more than 3,000 Native Americans are stored in boxes, packed away like forgotten objects, inside a concrete warehouse on Rock Quarry Road.

The assortment of bones and funerary objects were unearthed more than a decade ago during road-building operations conducted by the Missouri Department of Transportation. The fact that the remains have yet to be returned to their tribal descendants for a proper burial is an affront to many Native Americans, says Don Hart, a Cherokee who owns Best of the West, a downtown shop that sells Native American artifacts.

Tobacco payments diverted

Since 2001, Missouri has received more than $500 million from the settlement of litigation against tobacco companies over smoking-related health care costs. Meanwhile, the General Assembly has given state health officials only $500,000 to help deter Missourians from smoking.

Deborah Markenson of the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services said her department had planned to start several prevention programs last year. However, tobacco revenue earmarked for the programs was redirected to make up for the state’s budget shortfall.

Tigers eager to begin new season

The wait is almost over.

After 42 days of practice, two scrimmages and two exhibitions, the Missouri men’s basketball team hasn’t played a game that matters. That changes Saturday when the No. 5 Tigers face Oakland University at 5 p.m. in Rochester, Mich.

ISU not what it used to be

The Iowa State Cyclones are hoping someone will look past them.

When Iowa State (2-9, 0-7 Big 12 Conference) plays Missouri at noon Saturday at Memorial Stadium, it will try to snap a nine-game losing streak. The Cyclones won their first two games against Northern Iowa and Ohio, and it is an understatement to say they have struggled since.

Crown on Tigers’ wish list

Missouri coach Cindy Stein likes to win, especially championships.

That is what Missouri will try to do starting today at the Oneida Bingo and Casino Holiday Tournament in Green Bay, Wis.

Ballard coming into own

Khamari Ballard’s basketball career has been a series of adjustments.

He was enrolled in four colleges before signing with Columbia College as a junior.

Charity’s soldiers

Stepping into the office of Major George Windham, a visitor is immediately confronted by the fierce gaze of eagles – 297 eagles, to be exact. The office is full of them: ceramic, pewter and wood, painted, drawn and woven, eagles adorn almost every flat surface. Many of the birds are swathed in, perched on, or otherwise associated with the Stars and Stripes. The eagles and flags are not the only martial trappings in Windham’s office. The gleaming insignia on his uniform collar match an ornate crest on the wall. A closer look at the crest reveals the words “Fire and Blood” emblazoned across a red, yellow and blue shield, topped with a crown and superimposed over crossed swords.

But Windham is no Rambo. He rests his hands on an ample belly as he leans back behind his desk, and the grin that creases his ruddy face can only be described as jolly. For Windham, the word “fire” on the wall is Hell’s fire, and the word “blood” means Christ’s. Windham is most certainly a warrior — in the Salvation Army.

Heifer helps feed needy

Growing up with almost nothing sometimes teaches a person to give everything.

At least that’s how Bob and Muriel Leach see things. While lots of folks will be out hunting for bargains and gifts on Friday, Bob and Muriel won't be part of the mad dash on the opening day of the Christmas retail season.

Bound for home

For most of the Missouri basketball team and its fans, the Tigers’ road to their season-opening game against Oakland University on Saturday is a long and unfamiliar one.

The 675 miles from Hearnes Center to Auburn Hills, Mich., feels like home to seniors and Detroit natives Rickey Paulding and Arthur Johnson.

Second half sinks Southern

What a difference a half can make.

The Missouri women’s basketball team defeated Southern 79-43 on Wednesday at Hearnes Center.

Cooking not on Tigers’ menu

There are few culinary experts on the Missouri football team. Relatives who usually cook Thanksgiving dinner for the players will have an easier time this year, though.

The team will practice this morning in preparation for its game against Iowa State on Saturday. Afterwards, the team will eat together in the press box around 1 p.m. Unless their family lives near Columbia, players will not be able to go home for Thanksgiving.

Governor wants to update SenioRx plan

JEFFERSON CITY — Gov. Bob Holden on Wednesday tried to reassure senior citizens that their prescription drug needs will be provided for between state and federal programs.

Speaking during lunch hour at a senior center, Holden said that, in light of the Medicare reform bill that Congress passed Tuesday, some changes should be made to the state program, called SenioRx.

Opening historic homes

Dressed in Spandex bike-riding gear and still wearing helmets, Carol and Irl Don clomped up worn steps and peered into an attic guest room at the Katy O’Neil, one of three bed and breakfasts in Rocheport.

“Charming,” they crooned as they surveyed the claw-foot bathtub separated from the bedroom by an old-fashioned dressing screen.

Greenbacks vs. Green Space

Landowner Bob Smith said he just wanted to harvest some trees.

Last fall, Smith and fellow landowner Hugh Stephenson hired a logger to chop down and sell a substantial number of trees on 53 acres along Grindstone Parkway. That land has since been approved by the Columbia City Council as the site of a new Wal-Mart Supercenter for south Columbia.

New committee to examine cable TV issues in Columbia

A seven-member cable television task force has been appointed by Mayor Darwin Hindman to look at issues involved in the cable television franchises in Columbia.

Hindman said he is “not sure what the issues may be; that is what the committee is looking into.”

Officials work to update Sunshine Law

The Missouri Sunshine Law may soon include provisions to make the decades-old regulations applicable in today’s world of e-mail and teleconferencing.

Attorney General Jay Nixon worked with state Rep. Jeff Harris, D-Columbia, to add these provisions in an amendment called the Sunshine Upgrade Act. They announced the act Tuesday in Columbia and expect it to be debated in Missouri’s next legislative session, which begins in January.

Research to focus on plant medicine

Before American doctors ever developed Tylenol or radiation, alternative medicines, like those from plant extracts, were used by cultures across the globe to treat diseases ranging from the flu to cancer.

With 29 percent of Americans and more than 80 percent of the African population using alternative medicines, plant extracts might offer real medical benefits. Now a $275,400 grant will help MU researchers study the effects of these plants on AIDS and cancer and discover ways to combine indigenous medicines with more conventional drugs.

City discusses road widening, donation of land

In the latest of a series of proposals to alleviate traffic congestion at the intersection of Stadium Boulevard and Interstate 70, the Columbia City Council heard a proposal Tuesday night to widen Scott Boulevard. Ronald L. Schikevitz, civil/transportation manager for Burns and McDonnell in Kansas City, described the details involved in widening the road from two lanes to four and possibly adding a median. Funding would be shared by the city, the county and the Missouri Department of Transportation, but a department official said it did not expect to have money available for five years. The City Council also heard from County Commissioner Skip Elkin in regards to 80 acres of land given by a family. It discussed turning this plot, which is adjacent to the Boone County Fairgrounds, into a park to provide ball fields for youth. The group did not decide whether the Columbia or Boone County would do the project, but it did discuss a third option of a joint venture with joint ownership.

Gatorade names QB Patton state’s best

The season is over, but the accolades keep rolling in for Chase Patton.

Gatorade has named Patton, Rock Bridge’s standout quarterback, the Missouri High School Boys’ Football Player of the Year.

Surprising turn to historic run

Zack Abron sounds like a broken record. Fittingly, that suits the tailback who has made a habit of breaking Missouri football records.

Abron, who has broken the career scoring and touchdown records, enters Saturday’s game against Iowa State on the verge of another piece of MU history.

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