Eating-habits study leads to deeper issue

I would doubt that it came as a surprise to anyone that a study commissioned by Gerber Products Co. found that a lot of American infants were pigging out on candy, pizza and a mega-smorgasbord of sugary, salty, fat fast–foods instead of mother’s milk and baby formula. Parenting has changed so much over the last few decades that the fact that infants are being fed like adults is probably just the tip of the iceberg.

A scant 30 years ago, new mothers remained in the hospital for at least three days following the birthing experience. At least they had breathing time to recuperate from the experience before they had to assume the responsibility of caring for the baby. If they had to return to work, there was usually a family member, neighbor or friend to look after the infant.

Managed care merger would affect 1.4 million Missourians

JEFFERSON CITY — The announcement of the $16.4 billion merger between managed care providers Anthem Inc. and WellPoint Health Networks Inc. last week comes at a time when the Missouri Chamber of Commerce says businesses throughout the state are concerned about rising premiums and the availability of health insurance plan alternatives.

“It’s one of the highest priorities our employers have right now — especially the small businesses, which make up most of our membership,” said Missouri Chamber of Commerce spokeswoman Karen Buschmann.

49ers dive past Rams

SAN FRANCISCO — Though Tim Rattay had a smashing debut as an NFL starter, the San Francisco 49ers’ defense was even more impressive.

Ask the St. Louis Rams, who had no luck against either of them.

Okayo sets NYC mark

NEW YORK — Margaret Okayo surged past her closest competitors and took the lead with about seven miles to go in the New York City Marathon.

There was no doubt she would win. Only one question remained: What would the new course record become?

Cautions don’t halt Earnhardt

AVONDALE, Ariz. — Dale Earnhardt Jr. kept his slim Winston Cup championship hopes alive Sunday at Phoenix International Raceway.

Earnhardt passed Jimmie Johnson for the lead with 51 laps remaining in the Checker Auto Parts 500 and stayed out front through a series of restarts in a race featuring a record-tying 10 caution flags.

Fulton baby dies; sitter found dead

Thirteen-month-old Colin Chaney died Thursday after being admitted to an area hospital Tuesday for treatment of injuries consistent with shaken baby syndrome, officials say.

Standing up for schools

JEFFERSON CITY — The lawyer whose efforts led to the largest tax increase in Missouri history sits behind stacks of paper, organized in a way that only he understands. He is serious, reserved, rehearsed. He is unknown to most Missourians, yet few people have had more impact on education in Missouri.

Alex Bartlett is getting his ducks in a row to once again contest the constitutionality of education funding in Missouri.

Districts resist budget lawsuit

JEFFERSON CITY — Not all Missouri school districts have rallied around the idea of suing the state for not fully funding public education. School officials from the wealthiest districts in Missouri fear that a successful suit could leave their districts hurting for funds.

Some superintendents of so-called “hold-harmless” school districts have cautioned their boards of education not to join in the suit.

MU’s defense moving up

Entering the season, the Missouri defense was supposed to be the weak link. The Tigers returned only four starters at a position where they played in 2002.

Some would consider that kind of attrition on defense a big loss and expect a rebuilding year with new players taking over at many positions in MU’s 4-2-5 alignment.

Mourners recall Stephens coed

Members of the Stephens College community gathered Friday in Searcy Hall to grieve and remember their friend and fellow student, Melissa Howland.

Howland, 18, was killed in a car crash at 4:40 p.m. Thursday on Route WW just east of Columbia’s city limits. Howland was a freshman majoring in English at Stephens. Friends said that because she was a member of a close-knit living-learning community in Searcy Hall, her death had a major impact on people she’d known for only a few months.

Root of the matter

As it winds down, this season has been unlike any other in the 23 years since the Columbia Farmers Market opened shop in an open-air pole barn on the old fairgrounds at Ash Street and Clinkscales Road.

In the spring, disagreement over the size, cost and management of a project to build a permanent market prompted numerous growers, some of whom have been with the market since its inception, to set up shop at a separate market in a parking lot on Business Loop 70. The number of vendors at the new Boone County Farmers Market rivaled or surpassed those at the Columbia Farmers Market. Both sites are filled with individual tents.

Low vote tally seen for Bonds

If you want to avoid clots of fired-up gadflies and long, coiling lines at polling places Tuesday, stop in anytime between 6 a.m. and 7 p.m.

County Clerk Wendy Noren is predicting fewer residents will turn out to vote than it takes to fill one-sixth of MU’s Memorial Stadium.

Hickman’s season ends at sectional

ROLLA — Hickman coach Greg Gunn sat on the stage of the Rolla High gymnasium Saturday a half hour after the Kewpies’ season-ending loss to Marquette. As he watched Marquette and Glendale warm up for a quarterfinal match, he said he knew his team could have been out there.

“We’re capable,” he said. “It’s not that I think they were a better team than we were. They played better than we did.”

Missed chances doom Tigers

Saturday was a night of missed opportunities for No. 24 Missouri.

The Tigers missed an opportunity to win a matchup between top-25 volleyball teams and continue their winning streak at Hearnes Center.

Kewpies ground out upset

Gregg Nesbitt had seen enough of Rock Bridge quarterback Chase Patton on film.

The Hickman Kewpies kept Patton on the sideline for all but 16 minutes Friday night at Hickman. With the Bruins high-powered offense off the field, the Kewpies ended the Bruins’ postseason hopes with a 30-14 victory.

Reaching the final goal

The suspense continued even after the race ended Saturday at Bethel Park.

The Hickman boys’ cross country team pestered race officials, waiting to hear the final team standings of the Section 3 meet. In the end, it got the news it wanted. The Kewpies finished fourth, qualifying to race at the state meet Saturday in Jefferson City. The Hickman girls’ team also qualified by finishing third.

Lawsuit to contest K-12 school funds

JEFFERSON CITY — Boone County is considering joining more than 200 other Missouri school districts set to challenge the state’s kindergarten through 12 funding system. While none of the county’s six school districts have come to a decision, the issue is before most school boards across the county.

Thomas Baugh, Hallsville superintendent, supports the planned suit. “The amount of per-pupil funding given to kids in the richest and poorest districts in the state are not even close, and getting worse,” Baugh said.

Florida considers Lehmkuhle for provost

Steve Lehmkuhle, UM system’s vice president of academic affairs, is one of eight people the University of South Florida in Tampa is considering for its new provost.

Lehmkuhle was selected from a pool of almost 70 applicants who responded to an advertisement in the Chronicle for Higher Education, said Stuart Silverman, chairman of the Provost Search Committee at USF. The committee reviewed the applications and narrowed its search to eight candidates, he said.

Valuable Bond key for White

Describing the Missouri women’s basketball “Tiger Night of Terror” intrasquad scrimmage as lopsided would be an understatement.

Senior Evan Unrau and sophomore LaToya Bond led the Black team to a 70-38 defeat of the White team before costume-clad fans at Hearnes Center on Friday night.

Projects: good ideas, but ...

I hate doing repetitive things like folding laundry or doing dishes. It’s not the part where I place the dishes or the dirty clothes into the machine that washes them that I hate. I loathe having to remove the items to either be folded or put back in the cupboard. What’s the use? Once I get everything put away, it’s time to use them again. These mundane tasks take time away from the projects I’m dying to start but never seem to get to.

I’m not a craft person. I’ve never stenciled a wall or appliquéd a sweatshirt — I leave those “fun” undertakings to my daughters-in-law. But there are a few projects that I’ve kept waiting in the wings.