Finding a blessing

Seventy-five-year-old Janet Barnes accomplishes more in a day than some people half her age. That’s pretty good for someone who was not expected to live past her 14th birthday.

Barnes was informally diagnosed with cerebral palsy when she was 11, and for most of her life she has been dependent on crutches or her wheelchair for mobility. Yet she sees her circumstance as a blessing rather than a hindrance.

Eastward expansion

As the past several years brought an explosion of growth to north, south and west Columbia, the urban fringe east of the city quietly awaited its turn.

That wait is coming to an end. Government officials, landowners, developers and residents say the east side is bound to boom next, given its proximity to central Columbia, the extension of city sewer lines and transportation planners’ renewed push for an extension of Stadium Boulevard. Other features of the area — namely the access provided by Route WW and the existence of large tracts of land that are easier than small lots to buy, plan and develop — also make it appealing.

Floyd: ‘Oh yes, I’ve learned’

Last week, Elson Floyd said that he had no contact with Ricky Clemons after the former MU basketball player was hospitalized for injuries suffered during an accident July 4 at the UM system president’s house.

Floyd also said in a statement issued after recorded telephone conversations between his wife, Carmento, and Clemons became public that he did not encourage his wife’s relationship with Clemons and had advised her against it.

Columbia school officials seek outside help for summer classes

When the Independence School District turned to a private company to operate its summer school, enrollment in summer classes for elementary and middle school students doubled in the first year.

The Raytown School District near Kansas City saw summer school enrollments go up for three consecutive years under the management of the same firm, Newton Learning.

A centering influence

Once the bell rings on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons at Blue Ridge Elementary School, the Ocampo brothers race outside and climb into a gray 15-passenger van.

The brothers, 10-year-old Freddy, 9-year-old Cristian and 5-year-old Ivan, are among 40 Latino children who participate in the after-school program at Centro Latino. The resource center has served the Columbia Latino community for three years. Children are picked up from school and receive help on homework from bilingual volunteers.

The custodian of Texas Avenue

Clutching a white plastic grocery bag in one hand, Betty Rose Northup bends down gingerly to scoop up a soggy newspaper with the other. Droplets from the steady November drizzle meander down the wisps of matted golden hair poking out from under her white hat.

“It’s a throw-away society,” Northup says as she fills the bag, her dog, Shadow, in tow. “People throw away dogs; they throw away babies.”

Support among loved ones

Clad in a dark green flight suit just like his dad’s, 4-year-old Jarod Farnham waved a miniature American flag and sang “I’m Proud to Be an American.”

According to his mother, Jarod wants to be a pilot when he grows up. But right now, he just wants to be near his father, Bruce Farnham, a pilot with the National Guard’s recently deployed C Company 1-106th Aviation Battalion.

MU fans finding no room at inns

Even with 3,600 tickets to the game still to be sold, Shreveport, La., has run out of room — literally.

Although Shreveport, a town of more than 200,000, has designated only 26 hotels for fans hoping to attend the Independence Bowl, all of the city’s 68 hotels are booked for the New Year’s Eve game.

Lapses plague Tigers

Through the first 20 minutes against Gonzaga on Saturday, Missouri coach Quin Snyder had to be satisfied with his team’s defensive effort.

The Tigers held Ronny Turiaf, the Bulldogs’ top post threat, to only two points in the first half. Only one Gonzaga player had more than five points and Missouri was dominating the glass, grabbing 25 rebounds to Gonzaga’s 16. More importantly, the Tigers led 38-35 at halftime.

Hard to tell apart

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — When Arkansas coach Houston Nutt wants to watch game film of Missouri, he makes sure to check the label before he pops in the tape. That way, no confusion occurs.

“When you look in the film, it’s almost like looking at us,” Nutt said. “We’re so similar in a lot of ways. We may not be the biggest team in the Southeastern Conference, they may not be the biggest Big 12 (Conference) team, but we’ve both got a lot of heart, we both played hard. It’s just amazing, when you look at it. It ought to be a great matchup.”

Greater risk

Tilly Payne caught the ball, jumping to a sudden stop. As she leaned on her right knee, it collapsed and she fell onto the basketball court.

Payne, a junior forward for Columbia College, had torn her anterior cruciate ligament Jan. 4.