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Fight to survive

MOBERLY — Little evidence of the sport of boxing shows in this small, quaint town that was left on the economic ropes after an exodus of jobs in the late 1980s and early 1991.

But boxing equipment manufacturer Everlast is doing its part to beat back more job losses after it consolidated its operations and made its Moberly plant the only place in the United States to produce a range of equipment for professional and amateur boxing.

First Night adds new venues, acts

Eight state champion fiddlers, free cake and four hours of old-time fiddling — all in a church on New Year’s Eve.

The Missouri United Methodist Church at 204 S. Ninth St., along with the Missouri Traditional Fiddle and Dance Network, is hosting a traditional fiddle exhibition as part of Columbia’s First Night 2004. The fiddle music, along with other entertainment and activities, begins at 6 p.m. in the church with a cake walk.

City wants borders to keep expanding

Voters’ rejection of five involuntary annexation proposals in August 2002 hasn’t prevented Columbia from expanding its borders.

In the 17 months since that vote, the city has approved 24 voluntary annexations encompassing nearly 400 acres. Much of that land is within the 8.6 square miles of territory targeted by the ballot issues. The vast majority has been zoned for single- or multi-family homes.

Columbia is ranked high for accessibility

The National Organization on Disability has named Columbia one of 11 finalists in the third annual Accessible America Contest.

“All of the finalists have gone way beyond the requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act. They have been very creative with their accessibility programs and do a good job at welcoming people with disabilities into their community,” Brewster Thackeray, vice president of the national group, said Saturday.

City plans to donate computers

The city of Columbia used to dispose of its outdated computers at monthly auctions held at MU’s surplus property warehouse. Recent auctions, however, have brought as little as $10 per computer. City Finance Director Lori Fleming said a recent auction of more than 50 monitors brought the city less than $200.

A new Homes for Computers program offers a better way to discard the city’s outdated computers — by giving them away.

No offense, no shot

MEMPHIS, Tenn. – Different day, same rotten first half and spoiled finish for the No. 11 Missouri basketball team.

Four days after losing to No. 17 Illinois by one, the Tigers fell short against Memphis, losing 61-59 on Saturday at The Pyramid.

For starters, bench failing

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — After a 106-98 win against UNC-Greensboro at Hearnes Center on Dec. 21, the Tigers appeared to have so many scorers that the only problem would be getting everyone enough playing time.

The Tigers improved to 4-1 that afternoon, and the team looked to be on the upswing for guards Randy Pulley and Jason Conley combined for 24 points in their Missouri debuts.

Shots won’t drop

MEMPHIS, Tenn. –- Surprisingly, Missouri coach Quin Snyder liked his team’s first-half performance in the loss at Memphis on Saturday.

Snyder would have liked the half even more had his team hit some shots. No. 11 Missouri handled the ball well, defended well and rebounded well but trailed 35-26 at halftime in a 61-59 loss.

Bruins fall in Classic opener

LIBERTY — Rock Bridge got upset by a school one-third its size Saturday night.

The seventh-seeded Maryville Spoofhounds, upset the second-seeded Bruins 47-35 in the first round of the William Jewell Holiday Basketball Classic.

Nikonchuk joins national program

For Missouri’s Elyse Nikonchuk, being a student-athlete also means being a national soccer player.

Nikonchuk, a freshman midfielder for the Tigers from New Lennox, Ill., was selected to the Under-19 U.S. National Team. She left Saturday to train with the team for a week at Home Depot Center, U.S. Soccer’s national training center in Carson, Calif.

Thank children’s teachers

Editor’s note: Sharon Harl shares one of her favorite columns, along with a reminder to thank those who teach.

I never realized how much a teacher could affect the life of a young person until I became a teacher myself. When my kids were young they would come home with statements like “Miss Smith says we should brush our teeth twice a day.” With an in-house dentist who was constantly nagging the kids to brush more often, I was amazed that the “teacher” got through with the message where he had failed.

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