Beating the odds

Cancer hasn’t stopped Josephine Kelly, it just sidelined her for a while.

“I wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy,” Kelly said while looking at a notebook that logged her surgery and chemotherapy. “It was a sad time for me.”

Fostering family values

Robert Selsor knows he looks like Santa Claus. He used to play the jolly old elf for the Salvation Army around Christmas, and he said his appearance is instantly comforting to children whether or not he’s in full costume.

“The little ones know,” he said. “They see me and know that it’s OK, that I won’t hurt them.”

A mother’s love

The car swerved, rolled on the passenger side and dragged along the guardrail. When help reached 21-year-old Warren Thompson, his 6-foot-3-inch body was crammed down into the leg area of the passenger seat.

Thompson, who had caught a ride home from work, didn’t know he was getting into a car with a person who had been drinking and smoking marijuana.

Holiday mailing rush hits high gear

Count Cindy Bolles among the busiest people in town today.

Bolles, supervisor of customer service at the Columbia Post Office, said that historically the lines of people waiting to ship holiday packages and gifts are longest the second Monday before Christmas.

Analysts take notice of lower UM credit rating

It has become a familiar scenario: Faced with mounting budget deficits, state legislators cut funding for higher education, forcing colleges and universities to raise tuition.

While educators, parents, students and policymakers have been watching it happen for several years now, agencies that determine the credit rating of institutions like the University of Missouri system are beginning to take notice, as well.

Concealed in ‘spider hole,’ dictator didn’t put up fight

ADWAR, Iraq — When darkness fell, the Americans moved into position, 600 of them, from infantrymen to elite special forces. Their target: two houses in this rural village of orange, lemon and palm groves. Someone big was inside, they were told.

But when they struck, they found nothing.

Silent surrender

TIKRIT, Iraq — U.S. soldiers tracked a scruffy and haggard Saddam Hussein to a dirt hole at a farmhouse near his hometown, capturing the elusive dictator without firing a shot and unleashing euphoria Sunday among Iraqis and the U.S.-led forces who have hunted him for more than eight months.

The arrest of the president who bent this country to his will for three decades set off cascades of celebratory gunfire throughout Baghdad, the capital, and delivered the coalition its most significant victory at a time when the fruitless hunt for weapons of mass destruction and an evermore tenacious insurgency had eroded support in the U.S. public for the mission.

Media bias feeds two-party system

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U.S. expects insurgency to continue

BAGHDAD, Iraq — The capture of Saddam Hussein, eight months on the run and found hiding in a hole beneath a two-room mud house near his hometown, was unlikely to destroy the anti-U.S. guerrilla insurgency, U.S. and Iraqi officials said Sunday.

Saddam was captured Saturday night in Adwar, a village 10 miles from Tikrit. By early Sunday, only hours before news of his capture was announced in Baghdad, a massive blast killed at least 17 Iraqis, mostly policemen, and injured 33 at a district police office in Khaldiya, a town west of Baghdad.

U.S. still deciding Saddam’s fate; public trial a possibility

BAGHDAD, Iraq — U.S. officials said they still haven’t decided what to do with Saddam Hussein now that he’s been captured, but one option is putting him before a special tribunal established just days ago. Iraq’s Governing Council said Saddam would face public trial in Iraq.

Iraq’s interim government established a special tribunal Wednesday to try top members of Saddam’s government for genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity. At the time, they said Saddam could be tried in absentia.

Capture could silence Bush’s political rivals

WASHINGTON — When national security adviser Condoleezza Rice told President Bush before dawn Sunday that Saddam Hussein had indeed been captured, she was delivering news that was good for the U.S. leader in a multitude of ways.

It will help Bush with a U.S. public increasingly skeptical of his Iraq strategy, and it will at least temporarily silence his Democratic rivals. It might also help calm the roiled Iraqi people, many of whom have been unwilling to embrace a new government as long as Saddam was at large.

Athletic center set to open in January

“It looks amazing,” William Johnson said as he watched his two children, Matthew and Scott, run around the soccer field. “These indoor soccer fields are going to allow the kids to play even in the winter.”

On Sunday, the public got its first glimpse of the two soccer fields located inside the new Missouri Athletic Center. The center is a subsidiary of Wilson’s Total Fitness, which bought the Woodrail Tennis Center and converted it into the MAC.

Patton stays home

It was what everybody wanted.

Missouri fans, players and coaches wanted Rock Bridge quarterback Chase Patton to become Brad Smith’s heir apparent. In the end, the feeling was mutual.

Recruits get role reversal

The recruit has become the recruiter. Again.

In the minutes following Rock Bridge quarterback Chase Patton’s oral commitment to Missouri, he went from the most sought-after recruit in the state to the one doing the seeking.