Gardening glee for Christmas trees

What are plant lovers to do now that the weather has turned cold and there’s not much going on in the garden?

Lots and lots of tasks come to mind.

No misconduct in failed search

Columbia police have found no wrongdoing by the officers who failed to locate two accident victims on Nov. 28 but have only limited explanations for why the victims were not found.

The accident happened a little before 8:30 p.m. that Friday night, when Jerad Miller, 21, ran his 1993 Chevy Lumina off the east side of a ramp from Broadway to southbound U.S. 63. Miller and passenger Joseph Stenger, 23, were going home to Jefferson City after shopping at Columbia Mall.

Floyd, faculty discuss MU, UM proposal

Consolidation of administrative positions between the University of Missouri system and MU could save anywhere from $500,000 to $4.3 million each year, UM system President Elson Floyd told a general meeting of MU faculty on Tuesday.

Floyd tried to engage a crowd of about 100 faculty members at Memorial Union on the MU campus in a dialogue on consolidation. The overall feeling was one of approval toward Floyd and the plan.

Critical Mass

The Hispanic organizations at MU have hung in limbo for several years, somewhere between thriving and becoming extinct. As MU recognizes the need to recruit more Hispanics, the existing Latino societies on campus struggle for members and participation.

But small memberships and persistently low meeting turnouts haven’t deterred the determined members of these groups. The Hispanic American Leadership Organization, for example, has made leaps and bounds in its number of members. Now there are about 10 active members.

Keeping warm with local wines

During the holiday season, wine may accompany a turkey dinner, be consumed fireside or even be wrapped and placed under the tree, and area wineries and retailers are planning events and specials to capitalize on this seasonal interest.

Businesses making and distributing wine attribute the sales increase they see each winter to cold weather, holidays and a change in diet.

Earning high marks

Final exam notwithstanding, the Missouri football team has passed with flying colors.

The Tigers have one test left, a date with the Arkansas Razorbacks in the Independence Bowl on Dec. 31 in Shreveport, La.

Pearly whites

From extreme dieting and exercise to cosmetic surgery, people go to many extremes to conform to ideals of appearances. But those ideals aren’t limited to body shape or size — many people’s ideal body also includes a dazzling smile.

“In our culture, white teeth and a pretty smile are important,” said Charles Mattingly, a Columbia dentist. “It says something about a person who whitens their teeth, that they care about their appearance.”

Medicare revisions alarm foes

On Monday, President Bush signed landmark legislation that, in addition to adding a drug benefit to Medicare, places more of the responsibility for providing health care to older Americans in the hands of private insurers and health plans.

But for advocates of universal health care — including many doctors and hospitals — the bill signing represented a step backward. They say that increased privatization is dismantling the public-private safety net that first emerged in the 1930s and will add to the growing number of Americans who do not have health insurance.

Mushroom pasta claims top award

The Missouri Department of Agriculture announced winners of the AgriMissouri Chef Contest on Nov. 23, proclaiming Chef Christopher Desens’ “Morel Mushroom Pasta” the gold medal winner.

Desens, chef at Racquet Club Ladue, entered four recipes in the AgriMissouri Chef Contest in August, hoping to showcase the local products he uses in his dishes every day.

Head over heels

They’re all over the runways of Paris and Milan — on the feet of fashionistas everywhere — and can be seen walking the sidewalks of Columbia. Pointed-toe high heeled stilettos are all the rage. But just how much is the price of fashion costing women these days?

Shoe designers know women love fashion at any price, and sometimes that price includes the health of their feet.

Cougars discover defensive surprise

Columbia College’s search for shot blocking might be over, but it probably didn’t expect its starting point guard to fill the void.

Malcolm Mahogany’s second-half defense helped the Cougars defeat Central Methodist College 85-76 on Tuesday night at The Arena of Southwell Complex.

MUHC revises catering policy

MU Health Care has for the second time in six months revised its policy on drug companies and medical supply vendors paying for promotional lunches for doctors at its hospitals and facilities.

The latest change was enacted after Columbia caterers complained about the unfairness of the initial policy change. The new policy will go into effect at the beginning of next year, said Dan Kopp, chief medical officer at University Hospital.

Thorpe leads Bruins in overtime thriller

It wasn’t at the buzzer, but Demond Thorpe’s final field goal was close enough to the end for Rock Bridge.

The Bruins defeated Camdenton 46-44 in overtime Tuesday at Rock Bridge.

Kewps mix good with bad in loss

A couple of experienced freshmen are undefeated, though wrestling for a winless team.

Helias, the defending Class 2 champion, defeated Hickman 41-26 on Tuesday at Hickman.

Google feature prompts discussion

Some parents and school officials are worried about how an Internet search feature is affecting personal safety and privacy.

Google, the popular Internet search engine that scans more than 3 billion Web pages, added a feature two years ago that allows users to type a phone number into the search bar at and pull up the accompanying address.

Rivalry heats up for Bears, Tigers

Missouri’s success against Southwest Missouri State is somewhat deceiving.

Although the Tigers have a 17-4 advantage in the series and beat the Lady Bears each of the past two seasons, SMS has a viable claim as the top women’s basketball program in the state.