Risky Road

Lawrence Hintz remembers nothing from the spring evening in May 1998 when his Chevrolet Cavalier collided with a Mercury Cougar on rain-slickened Route WW, leaving him on life support for several days and with a permanent five-day memory gap.

Now fully recovered, Hintz says he knows at least one thing for sure: Route WW is dangerous.

Warmer winter temperatures predicted

A forecast released last week by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Climate Prediction Center is calling for warmer-than-normal temperatures for the Central United States through February.

In October, the NOAA predicted that this part of the country had an equal chance of having above-normal or below-normal winter temperatures.

Missouri awaits, debates bowl fate

There is some dissension among the Missouri football players.

It isn’t bickering over playing time or touches, and it isn’t anything personal, but many Tigers have differing opinions on where they want to spend their holidays. That kind of disagreement is probably fine with coach Gary Pinkel because it means his team is going to a bowl for the first time since 1998.

St. Louis silences Minnesota

ST. LOUIS — It had all the makings of a shootout, but when the second half began, St. Louis was the only team that kept firing.

The Rams dominated Minnesota in every facet in a 48-17 win Sunday at the Edward Jones Dome. St. Louis moved to 9-3 and strengthened its hold on first place in the NFC West Division. The Rams have won four straight and eight of their past nine. The Vikings dropped to 7-5 and hold a one-game lead on Green Bay in the NFC North.

Revitalizing the Loop

Thirty years ago, in the era of sock hops and burly Cadillacs, Business Loop 70 was a high-schooler’s slice of heaven: a 4-mile stretch with empty parking lots and few stoplights just perfect for an idyllic Friday night cruise.

“It was just the place kids went back then,” said Dave Griggs, who grew up in Columbia and owns a flooring company on the business loop.

Poet finds inspiration in job, free time

Chris Spivey is still unsure about what he wants to do with his life, but that indecision is not for lack of trying. Spivey, 28, can speak five languages, is a published poet, knows how to fence and has spent the last couple of months working as a site manager for the Columbia Housing Authority.

“I liked what they had to say,” he said of the people at CHA. “I like that they’re more interested in helping people than the almighty dollar.”

Overwhelmed by holiday shopping

Although I wouldn’t dream of suggesting that the Little Drummer Boy take the season off for some R&R, I’m sure that by December 24 I will have wished I had. It’s just something about that constant drumming…. Oh well, I suppose it could be worse, like the sound of Rush Limbaugh’s voice droning on and on…. The problem is that one of my best friends can’t get enough of that song. She’s the kind who carols from Thanksgiving until New Year’s Day.

This annoying situation reminds me of how often opposites attract each other. How often do night people marry morning people? Why is that so many teetotalers wind up with drunks? Is it that some of us just like to make each other miserable?

Governor focuses on education funding

JEFFERSON CITY — With selected education and business leaders gathered around him, Gov. Bob Holden has been campaigning across the state to raise money for education.

The governor has been holding discussions on education and the economy, inviting certain officials to share their views about the link between the classroom and corporate boardroom.

Jitters affect Tigers

ROCHESTER, Mich. – Every team is allowed a few jitters in its first game, even No. 5 Missouri.

Jitters for the Tigers men’s basketball team came in a form that also was seen in the Tigers’ two exhibition games: turnovers.

Chiefs close on division title

SAN DIEGO — Clinching a playoff berth is a mere formality for the Kansas City Chiefs.

No one could be happier than Tony Gonzalez, the star tight end who has suffered through a long dry spell since the last time the Chiefs reached the postseason.

Hallsville man killed in weekend car accident

Hallsville resident Bob J. Collins was killed in a single-car accident on Gans Road south of Columbia early Sunday morning. The accident was called in at 2:40 a.m. by an individual living in the area. The Boone County Sheriff's Department and the Columbia Fire Department responded at 2:50 and Collins was pronounced dead at the scene.

Collins worked as a systems administrator and information systems manager for the Columbia Missourian and owned Carpenter's Computers in Hallsville.