Small towns, big plans

Sturgeon has one restaurant. One main street. One gas station.

The population is 944, according to the sign posted on the road into town. It might be a little more than that, Mayor Gene Kelly said, but it usually hovers around 950.

Domestic violence response disparate

Domestic violence touches every corner of Missouri, but the way it is handled by varies from county to county, a new MU study reports.

The researchers — Mary Beck, an MU law professor, and Kent Collins, a broadcast journalism professor — examined 911 reports, law enforcement records and civil protective orders for four Missouri counties: Boone, Callaway, Cape Girardeau and Cooper. According to the results of the study, Boone and Cape Girardeau most aggressively prosecute domestic abusers, while Callaway and Cooper counties appear less responsive.

Big men bolster Tigers

The big players came up large for Missouri this time around.

A strong inside game helped No. 10 Missouri beat UNC-Greensboro 106-98 on Sunday at Hearnes Center. Center Arthur Johnson and forwards Travon Bryant and Linas Kleiza combined for 53 points in the victory.

Conley, Pulley don’t disappoint

Jason Conley started his Missouri career in impressive fashion.

With 14:06 left in the first half of Missouri’s 106-98 win against UNC-Greensboro, fans welcomed Conley’s first appearance as a Tiger with a standing ovation. Although he received the warm greeting before he had touched the court, Conley didn’t disappoint the 11,552 in attendance Sunday afternoon at Hearnes Center.

Bowl lets redshirts prepare for future

Every Missouri football player has one thing on his mind, preparing for a bowl game.

Most are getting ready for the Independence Bowl, but the Tigers’ freshmen and redshirt players are aiming for a trip to a bowl next season, too. Because of the Tigers’ trip to Shreveport this season, the young players are getting a head start on next season.

Rams streak past Bengals at home

ST. LOUIS — There is a homey feeling surrounding the St. Louis Rams recently, and it has little to do with the approaching holiday.

The Rams beat the Cincinnati Bengals 27-10 on Sunday at the Edward Jones Dome to secure a first-round bye for St. Louis (12-3) in the playoffs.

Past MU star helps Cincinnati improve

ST. LOUIS — Justin Smith is finally getting a taste of success again. Smith, a former Missouri defensive standout and Cincinnati’s starting right defensive end, endured plenty of losing in his first two years in the NFL.

After being selected as the fourth overall pick in the 2001 NFL Draft, Smith and the Bengals struggled to a 6-10 record in 2001 and went 2-14 last year. Coupled with losing seasons in each of his last two years at Missouri, the Bengals hunt to make the AFC playoffs this season has been a bright spot for Smith.

Tigers pull through in second half

It was the first time a Big 12 Conference team had played in Evansville, Ind., and the Purple Aces wanted Missouri to remember the experience.

The Missouri women’s basketball team defeated Evansville 78-72 on Sunday at Roberts Stadium in a game that was close throughout with eight ties and 11 lead changes.

Tigers’ defense not up to speed

Since the start of the season, Missouri coach Quin Snyder has said his team’s identity is its defense. The Tigers seem to be having an identity crisis, though, and it almost caught up with them Sunday as they outdid UNC-Greensboro 106-98.

Snyder said his team can’t afford an offensive race with every team. If the Tigers want to keep winning, Snyder said his team’s method has to change.

It’s déjà vu time again for budget planners

JEFFERSON CITY — Preparing a household budget can be a tough, time-consuming task. How much can you afford to spend on entertainment each month? How much do you have to spend on home and car payments, electricity and such?

Now imagine that you aren’t sure how much money you will have monthly. Suppose you expect to earn $4,000 a month but your spouse budgets for a $3,000 income.

Sharing time and wish lists with Santa

Care Bears, Barbies, American Girl dolls, and computer and video games are some of the must-haves this holiday season.

So if children need, want, gotta have these things, how do they tell their wishes to the man who brings them from the North Pole?

Learning lessons makes life better

I fooled my friends a couple of weeks ago. A young relative volunteered to rearrange my home office so that I would have more writing space. My friends, of course, were taking bets that I couldn’t leave home and let the young woman “do her thing.” They insisted that I would interfere and start giving orders about where I wanted things placed. Actually, I went into the kitchen, sat down and had a cup of coffee while she ordered her crew to start rearranging desks and bookcases. Later, I calmly disappeared into the bathroom, took a bath, got dressed and left for an appointment.

When I returned, I marveled over the transformation a lot like they do on those television room-makeover shows. She did a beautiful job, and I had not one thing to complain about. Was I hit by a bolt of lightning or run down by an 18-wheeler?

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.