TB testing not routine at shelters

As winter approaches, the homeless must worry about more than finding a vacant bunk in which to pass a cold night. Homeless shelters are breeding grounds for certain diseases, say state health officials, including tuberculosis, a respiratory disease that is contracted through close contact with an infected person.

The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services has called on homeless shelters in the St. Louis area, which have reported 15 new cases of TB among its homeless, to begin screening residents for the disease.

Police close inquiry on Reality House overdose

The Boone County Sheriff’s Department closed its investigation Wednesday into the October death of 26-year-old Reality House resident Erin Bennett, whose autopsy confirmed she died of a heroin overdose.

Investigators determined her overdose was accidental, said Boone County Sgt. Tom Reddin.

Education during vacation

For the first time in more than 10 years, general education classes will be offered at MU between traditional fall and winter semesters. The pilot intersession program stems from student interest, MU officials said.

“Because the time between terms doesn’t seem like enough time to work, it’s hard (for students) to find jobs that fill that niche, but they have the time to do something,” said Brenda Selman, MU registrar. “We checked into their requests and responded with the pilot program.”

Harris to represent U.S. in China

Missouri 25th District Rep. Jeff Harris is headed to China.

Harris, D-Columbia, was chosen by the American Council of Young Political Leaders as one of eight U.S. delegates charged with promoting foreign policy discussions between emerging political leaders around the world.

‘Dear Iowa voter: please vote Dean’

With the faint sounds of late-70s rock and disco music playing in the background, local Howard Dean supporters gathered at W.G. Grinders in downtown Columbia on Wednesday to work on their grass-roots campaign for the Vermont governor.

The evening, called a “meet-up,” focused on handwriting letters to undecided voters to swing their votes towards Dean in the upcoming Iowa caucus and New Hampshire primary.

Sharing time

Voluntary Action Center will need volunteers for two-hour shifts Monday through Friday, Dec. 8 through Dec. 17 from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Volunteers will be assisting in the collection and distribution of the holiday gifts and food for VAC’s 20th annual Christmas Program at Trinity Presbyterian Church. Call Cindy Mustard or Nancy Finke at 449-6959.

Boone County Council on Aging needs volunteers to assist low-income seniors with snow shoveling this winter. There is also a need for a volunteer to assist a disabled gentleman with grocery shopping during the morning or early afternoon hours. Another senior adult needs a couple of volunteers to waterproof her deck — this would just take a couple hours. If you can help with any of these projects call Andrea Kolb at 443-1111 or e-mail her at

Conference honors 12 Tigers

The good news keeps coming for the Missouri football team.More of the fruits of success were bestowed upon the Tigers on Wednesday when 12 players were named to the coaches’ All-Big 12 Conference team, up from seven selections last season.

Pulley cleared to play for Missouri

A day after committing 19 turnovers, Missouri received some encouraging news that might be a remedy for its ballhandling woes.

Junior college transfer Randy Pulley was cleared for action coach Quin Snyder said Wednesday. Pulley gives the Tigers three active point guards.

Turnover troubles

Before the first game, even before the first practice, Missouri guard Rickey Paulding was swamped with praise.

His promise earned him preseason All-American honors. His explosive dunks sparked discussion of greatness, even if he would be the last to say it.

Tigers eyeing Olympic Trials

Four Missouri swimmers might have Olympic futures, but first they will have to prove themselves against the world’s best.

Andrea Nigh, Rebecca Wolfe, Liz Schoborg, and Matt North will represent the Tigers in the U.S. Open today in Federal Way, Wash. The meet, which concludes Saturday, has more than 900 swimmers.

Another Tigers’ scare

Against Oakland, it was because of the Golden Grizzles’ pressure. Against Coppin State on Tuesday night, coach Quin Snyder said there were no excuses.

For the second time in as many games, the No. 4 Tigers struggled with turnovers but escaped, defeating the Eagles 70-61 in come-from-behind fashion at Hearnes Center. The win is the Tigers’ 29th straight home-opening win.

Columbia teachers earn more than average

These days, it pays to be a teacher at Grant Elementary School. According to a new report on the Columbia Public School District, teachers at Grant earn $42,465 on average for their full-time services, almost $4,000 more than the state’s median salary.

The information released Monday in the 2002-03 report required by the state shows that teachers in the Columbia district earn about $2,000 more than the state average. It also shows that the district exceeds the state average in other categories, including the percentage of students entering four-year colleges or universities and the percentage of job placements for vocational students.

Protecting the past

For more than a century, Columbians have headed downtown to bank, dine, ship and shop. And while the central business district has gone through many transformations over the years, many of the buildings from the late 19th century and early 20th century remain.

Because of its central role in Columbia’s history, the Special Business District was recently nominated by the state for listing on the National Register of Historic Places. Dozens of downtown structures are several decades old, and their rich architecture and history were detailed by Debbie Sheals, a local preservationist, in a report to the Missouri Advisory Council on Historic Preservation.

MoDOT director to resign

JEFFERSON CITY — The director of the Missouri Department of Transportation announced his intention to step down from the agency next year.

Henry Hungerbeeler’s resignation comes just weeks after an independent citizens panel appointed by the state’s Highways and Transportation Commission recommended management change at the highest levels of the Missouri Department of Transportation.

Bryant makes big plays to complete comeback

It’s not easy to miss Missouri power forward Travon Bryant. With a 6-foot-9, 240-pound physique, Bryant has few places he can hide.

With acclaimed teammates such as Rickey Paulding, a preseason All-American, and Arthur Johnson, coaches’ preseason pick for Big 12 Conference Player of the Year, Bryant is sometimes overlooked.

Rock Bridge struggles through season-opening victory

A few forfeits from Boonville’s wrestling team lifted Rock Bridge to a win in its first match.

The Bruins defeated the Pirates 38-25 at Rock Bridge on Tuesday. The Pirates forfeited four matches, giving the Bruins 24 points.

Cougars’ road to title full of bumps

The past 2½ weeks have been like a roller coaster for Columbia College’s Jaime Diestelkamp.

When Diestelkamp, a senior middle hitter, tore the anterior cruciate ligament in her right knee at practice Nov. 14, there was concern that her season was over. The next day, though, Diestelkamp, wearing a plastic leg brace, played in the back row as the Cougars won the American Midwest Conference Tournament against Missouri Baptist.

Cougars’ defense keys win

Mike Davis, Columbia College women’s basketball coach, says he believes pressure defense starts with the point guard.

Junior Tiffany Foote applied that pressure Tuesday in the Cougars’ 79-62 win against Park University at the Arena of Southwell Complex.

Inquiry into crash response continues

The message sent out to Columbia Police units by dispatchers after an accident Friday on U.S. 63 near Broadway said only that the accident occurred somewhere near a bridge on the highway between Broadway and Stadium.

Police did not find the victims until driver Jerad Miller, 21, crawled up an embankment to flag down help after regaining consciousness the next morning.

Pioneers surge past Stephens

Depth is often the determining factor in most sports. Andy Hamilton, coach of the Grinnell College Pioneers, uses his bench differently from most coaches, though.

The Pioneers, at times substituting five players at a time, defeated the Stephens Stars 78-44 on Tuesday night at Stephens College.