Gleeful relief

As Barbara Cirkl walked across the stage of the Missouri Theatre to receive her industrial engineering degree Saturday, she turned to the audience and yelled, “I did it finally!”

Cirkl was one of more than 1,900 MU students who received their walking papers from the university on Friday and Saturday.

Philips approval uncertain

Even though two-thirds of Elvin Sapp’s proposal for developing the 489-acre Philips farm won approval from the Columbia Planning and Zoning Commission, it’s only the first step.

The proposal is one of the most complicated and controversial development plans in Columbia’s recent history.

Sun, religions closely linked

The solstice marks the beginning of winter on our calendars, but it’s the end of the darkest time of the year.

For centuries people have celebrated the symbolic return of the sun. It is a holiday of renewal, life and light for many, especially for people whose religions are based on natural cycles, said Richard Callahan, a professor of religious studies at the University of Missouri.

Many folks rely on cards to do their talking

Rhiana Scibilia is digging for the right words.

“Sometimes I get frustrated, and I’m just like, ‘Never mind, I’m not gonna pick out a card’ because there’s not one that I think really describes how I’m feeling or how I want something to be said,” Scibilia said while searching the Nifong Boulevard Hallmark store for a Christmas card for her boyfriend. “But most of the time I do find one that’s pretty dead on.”

Traffic deaths hit all-time high

Four fatal crashes in the last month have brought the total number of traffic deaths in Columbia this year to 17 — 10 more than last year and an all-time high.

Another 10 people have died on Boone County’s state highways so far this year — one more than in 2002, according to the Missouri State Highway Patrol.

A day of pride

Brent Scrivner completed his transition from welder to college graduate on Saturday when he walked across the stage in Columbia College’s Southwell Complex.

The 38-year-old Jefferson City man, who started his career as a welder after high school, finished about six years of evening classes to earn his bachelor’s degree in business. While going to school, he worked as a sales engineer at ABB Power T&D Co. in Jefferson City. He graduated cum laude.

Learning experience

Competition crossed generations at the Rock Bridge Tournament of Champions on Saturday.

Rock Bridge coach John Kopnisky faced his father when the Bruins wrestled against Carmel (Ind.) and its coach, Bob Kopnisky, in the fourth round.

Newcomers to finally play

Today is the day Missouri basketball fans marked on their calendars months ago.

The debut of guard Jason Conley, NCAA record holder and scoring savant, has arrived. Add to that the unveiling of point guard Randy Pulley, who premiers after sitting out the first three weeks of the season.

Kowalewski sets mark

Saturday afternoon was bittersweet for Columbia College.

Junior guard Lisa Kowalewski broke the Cougars’ career scoring record, but Columbia College fell to Pittsburg State 83-75 at Hickman High.

Arkansas native Wyrick has his heart in Missouri

Monte Wyrick is a Tiger and a Razorback, but there’s no question where his loyalty lies.

Wyrick, a freshman offensive tackle for Missouri, has the inside information on Missouri’s Independence Bowl matchup against Arkansas at 6:30 p.m. on Dec. 31 in Shreveport, La.

Shot-blocking ability lifts Tigers

Taking a shot against the University of Missouri women’s basketball team can be tough.

The Tigers (5-2) lead the nation with 51 blocked shots.

Cougars net 10th straight victory

Columbia College coach Bob Burchard said his team needs some time off, but he was glad the Cougars didn’t start the semester break prematurely against Tabor College on Friday.

The Cougars defeated the Bluejays 82-55 at the Arena of Southwell Complex for their 10th consecutive win.

Photos of family are awful trial

Last month I had to endure two photo sessions in one week. I have written before that I hate having my picture taken and have gone to great lengths to stay away from the eye of the camera. But I sat for these two photo shoots for two very different reasons, with two different outcomes.

The first was actually my idea. I decided I wanted a portrait of my husband and me surrounded by our 14 grandchildren. Gathering the masses is quite a feat, but after several long-distance phone conversations with my son in Springfield and my daughter in Arkansas, we came up with a date that worked for everyone’s schedule. I told the parents that I wanted all of us to wear black turtlenecks. Being a control freak, I bought seven turtlenecks just in case.