Tigers undefeated but still uneasy

Missouri’s 3-0 start is not much of a surprise.

These Tigers, the Associated Press Poll says, are the No. 3 team in the country. Almost every preseason prognosticator picked Missouri to make a deep run in the NCAA Tournament.

Firm could give schools summer lift

The Columbia Board of Education on Monday night decided to continue discussing hiring an outside firm to run the district’s summer school program. The firm, Newton Learning, already provides summer programs for more than 70 school districts in Missouri.

Several district officials said they will speak with administrators in the Francis Howell School District about Newton. That district, near St. Louis, already contracts with the firm. The board also plans to speak with the Columbia Community Teachers Association before making a final decision.

First big snow forecast for area

The first significant snow of the season is taking aim at Missouri, but forecasters expect the heaviest accumulations north and west of the Columbia area.

Scott Truett of the National Weather Service in St. Louis said that rain, heavy at times, is forecast today in the Columbia area with a quick change over to snow expected after midnight. The snow should end early Wednesday in Columbia, he said.

Stoops rebuts on BCS

The sports world’s water-cooler debate of the year raged on Monday, making its way to the Big 12 Conference football coaches’ teleconference.

Criticism of college football’s Bowl Championship Series, which determines which teams will play for the national championship, has run rampant since its inception in 1998, but it reached its peak Sunday when top-ranked Southern California was snubbed in favor of Louisiana State and Oklahoma.

UM president to decide on consolidation

One year into his presidency of the University of Missouri system, Elson Floyd is a step away from making Missouri higher education history.

When the UM Board of Curators meets Thursday in Kansas City, Floyd will announce his decision on the possible consolidation of UM and MU administrative positions. As part of that decision, Floyd, 47, could combine the jobs of system president and MU chancellor into one position.

Foster care reform is goal of bills

JEFFERSON CITY — State senators are planning to bring foster care issues back to the table during the next legislative session.

Sens. Norma Champion, R-Greene County, and Patrick Dougherty, D-St. Louis, pre-filed foster care reform bills just one week after an audit of the state’s foster care system exposed potential dangers in the system.

Language of love

When a lawn mower chewed up Annice Wetzel’s foot, it mangled her dream of a dance career.

Good grades in French class seemed to point to another talent, though, and now she is the longest-serving teacher in the Columbia School District, having spent 35 years teaching the language at Hickman High School.

MU’s lagging Latino recruitment

Pablo Mendoza, MU’s director of the Office of Multicultural Affairs, dropped three large boxes and a black MU banner on a handcart. Student volunteer Jesse Berrios took the initiative and began carting the boxes out onto the street. The sound of a mariachi band on the street below resonated in the parking garage as Mendoza and Berrios walked into the bustle of Kansas City’s 12th Street for the annual Fiesta Hispana.

The recruiting had begun.

MU fans finalizing bowl plans

For anyone going to the Independence Bowl, it’s time to finish making reservations.

Just about the only thing that hasn’t been entirely booked in the Shreveport-Bossier area is car rental. Nearly all of the hotel rooms are reserved and airplane seats between Columbia Regional Airport and Shreveport Regional Airport are quickly being filled.

Cougars make admirable run

Melinda Wrye-Washington says she isn’t a miracle worker. After last weekend, that’s a little harder to believe.

Wrye-Washington, Columbia College’s fourth-year volleyball coach, took a battered Cougars team and orchestrated an improbable march through the NAIA National Tournament in San Diego that nearly ended with the program earning its fourth national title since 1998. The Cougars finished 44-7 and advanced to the finals before losing to Fresno Pacific (Calif.) 3-1.

Rezoning plan to be discussed

A group of concerned citizens wants the public to know about the details of the proposed rezoning of the Philips property.

Members of the Clear Creek Neighborhood Association and the Boone County Smart Growth Coalition will hold a public news conference at 7 p.m. Wednesday to discuss issues surrounding developer Elvin Sapp’s proposal for permanent rezoning of the 489-acre Philips Farm southeast of Columbia.

State inquiry under fire

JEFFERSON CITY — The Department of Economic Development reacted immediately to a report that a tax credit program under its supervision is being abused, director Joe Driskill told the Joint Committee on Tax Policy on Monday.

Rick Russell of Steelville testified last month that the department displayed no interest when he told one of its employees that a St. Louis business might be abusing state tax breaks.

Sex offenders’ information posted online

A list of registered sex offenders living in Boone County is now available online.

The Boone County Sheriff’s Department has made the names, addresses and nature of the offender’s crime available to the public for several years. But last week, the department began posting the information on its Web site.

Unplanned school cancellations can leave working parents scrambling to solve the snow day dilemna

Children may love school cancellations, but for working parents, they can be a source of inconvenience.

When snow and ice force schools to close, some parents say day care or baby-sitting is the way to go, while others prefer to leave their children with relatives or friends. Some parents are forced to either take the day off or supervise their children from work.

Seasonal Sales

During the heat of the summer months, Wayne Harmon usually has one thing on his mind: Christmas trees. In fact, he has been thinking about Christmas trees each day for almost two decades — and for good reason.

Harmon and his wife, Ann, are the owners of the Starr Pines Christmas Tree Farm in Boonville and have been selling trees since 1990. Although the farm is only open between Thanksgiving and Christmas, it is a business that keeps the Harmons working full time all year long.