Nearing the end zone

SHREVEPORT, La. -- Some Missouri Tigers football fans spent Tuesday night in a field outside Independence Stadium. Barb Dillon and her friends have spent three nights there — in an RV.

Dillon, her husband, Harry, and three others arrived Sunday night from Portland, Mo., and took up temporary residence in an RV park set aside for fans in town for tonight’s Independence Bowl game against Arkansas.

Benefits of bond touted at MU

The MU School of Medicine typically receives $100 million less in research grants than more prominent public medical schools, largely because it does not have the necessary laboratory space.

But a state bond issue proposed Monday could lead to a massive revamping of the medical research program, including the addition of a 411,000-square-foot Health Sciences Research Center, said Associate Dean for Research Bill Folk.

3 injured when car and train collide

Three people were injured Tuesday morning when a vehicle traveling north on U.S. 63 collided with a COLT train at a railroad crossing just north of the Route B overpass.

Emergency crews arrived at 11:43 a.m. and evacuated three people from the vehicle. Kathryn Toal, 53, and Shannon Toal, 19, both of Clarence, suffered moderate injuries, according to the Columbia Fire Department. The driver, Robert C. Toal, 73, also of Clarence, suffered minor injuries. All three were transported to the trauma center at University Hospital.

Reality House resident dies

A resident of Reality House, an alternative sentencing facility, died Monday from extensive coronary artery disease, the Boone County Sheriff’s Department said.

“The death appears natural, but toxicology is still going to be done,” said Boone County Sgt. Tom Reddin.

Columbia man is sentenced in sodomy of daughter

James Roger Davis II, the Columbia man convicted of sodomizing his 15-year-old daughter, was given the maximum penalty of two concurrent seven-year prison terms Tuesday.

Boone County Circuit Judge Gene Hamilton sentenced Davis, who had waived his right to be sentenced by the jury that found him guilty on two counts of second-degree statutory sodomy Oct. 9.

3-for-all: Bruins shock Tigers

Preventing the open 3-pointer and avoiding defensive lapses at key times have plagued Missouri all season.

Those problems caused the Tigers to lose two straight heading into Tuesday’s game, and they continued.

Zeroed in on nine

SHREVEPORT, La. — The Independence Bowl doesn’t mean anything to the Missouri football team. It means everything.

The Tigers haven’t been to a bowl since the 1998 Bowl, so it would make sense if they were just happy to be involved. They could have easily come to Shreveport, enjoyed the gifts the bowl gives them and taken in the sights.

Missouri’s defense key in win

Missouri’s first-half defense was the deciding factor against Iowa on Tuesday.

The Tigers kept the Hawkeyes’ offense off-balance throughout the first half with an energized defensive effort that guided Missouri to a 75-65 win at Hearnes Center.

County Commission approves $41.7 million budget

Boone County Commissioners approved a $41.7 million budget for fiscal year 2004 Tuesday, an increase of about $200,000 over the previous year. Costs related to coming county elections, employee health care and inmate health care account for the increase. Southern District Commissioner Karen M. Miller said the change in this year’s budget was the smallest she had seen in her 10 years in office.

— Gillian O’Brien

How to get festive fast

Maybe it’s a recent break from your significant other that changed your plans, or perhaps the temperature outside is just too low. Maybe Aunt Louise broke her leg or your best buddy ditched you to take a Hawaiian cruise. Or maybe you didn’t have any plans at all.

No matter what the reason that got you here, just because you’re home on the 31st doesn’t mean you can’t ring in the new year with style. True, you may have to pass up some of your traditional ceremony and cobble together an unusual guest list, but a party is still a party. After all, this is the season of fellowship, and what better way to celebrate the passing of time than to share it with the ones you love?

Bowl Full of Fun

SHREVEPORT, La. -- Either Hannah Bowlin is trying to impress her fiancé or she has quickly taken to the Missouri Tigers.

Bowlin, 17, was one of about 150 fans who came to Pierre Bossier Mall in Bossier City, La., on Monday afternoon to gather Tigers’ autographs. She was the only person getting her leg cast signed, though.

Bond would aid science study, jobs

Missouri’s legislative leaders and MU officials hope that a $190.4 million bond plan will create jobs in Missouri and strengthen scientific research.

The bond proposal, outlined on Monday by MU chancellor Richard Wallace, is for the construction and renovation of six health sciences and engineering facilities at all four University of Missouri System campuses. For every dollar the state invests in life sciences projects, the university expects to raise $5 in federal and private funds. Wallace said that over the span of 10 years, the initiative could generate about $1 billion.

Umpire loved family, baseball and Elvis

The Scruggs family was together for the holidays and, as always, Kenny played Santa. Like the good umpire he was, he made sure there were no phone calls or other interruptions while presents were being opened. Brenda Berstler said her brother had everyone talk about the gifts they gave and received, and it took four hours to open presents.

The day after Christmas, Kenny Scruggs, 49, suffered a cerebral hemorrhage while working at For Your Entertainment, a music store at Columbia Mall. He died on Saturday, Dec. 27, 2003, at University Hospital.

Red Cross appeals for blood donations

While the holidays are notorious for low blood supplies, the American Red Cross on Monday said supplies were also being pinched because of sickness this holiday season.

The Red Cross regional office in St. Louis is appealing for blood to serve 120 counties, including Boone.

Federal grant to benefit bird conservation

The Missouri Bird Conservation Initiative is among the benefactors of more than $1.23 million in federal funds coming to Missouri for conservation projects.

The bird initiative is in line for $100,000 of the federal conservation money. The coalition of 28 organizations — from hunting groups to those who enjoy bird watching — will survey local bird populations and create management conservation plans for Missouri birds.

Home game should soothe Tigers

Take it from AJ: It’s not the coaching staff, offensive scheme or defensive difficulties that are responsible for Missouri’s lackluster first month.

It is much simpler than that.

Keeping up with Jones

SHREVEPORT, La. -– Comparing Arkansas’ Matt Jones and Missouri’s Brad Smith is easy. Two running quarterbacks.

It’s not so simple.

MU must shake off layoff rust

Missouri’s schedule is about to get a lot busier.

After playing one game in the past 19 days, the Tigers host Iowa at Hearnes Center today in the first of three games in six days.

Your guide to First Night

First Night 2004, Columbia’s downtown celebration of New Year’s is coming up Wednesday. The festivities start at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, and admission buttons cost $7.

Bruins’ defense stymies Cougars

LIBERTY — The Rock Bridge offense had a case of the Mondays after its bus left for the campus of William Jewell at 6:30 a.m.

It had enough, though, to defeat the Hickman Mills Cougars 36-27 on Monday morning in the consolation bracket of the Cardinal Division of the Bank Midwest/William Jewell Holiday Classic.