Apathy, indecision reign in mid-Missouri

Walk around town and ask folks how they plan to vote in today’s primary, and there’s one answer you’ll get more than any other.

Not at all.

Missouri strategy fizzles

LAWRENCE, Kan. – Missouri appeared to have the perfect plan and had it working.

Pound the ball to Arthur Johnson and Travon Bryant, get the big men of No. 20 Kansas in foul trouble and hold down forward Wayne Simien.

Proposal targets policy on gay bias

JEFFERSON CITY — The University of Missouri system’s new policy prohibiting sexual-orientation discrimination would be effectively outlawed under a measure before Missouri’s legislature.

The bill would require that groups receiving state money — such as cities, school districts, and universities — use current federal standards and nothing more.

Recruits stir talk of future potential

The question can’t be answered now. It won’t be answered next year or the year after.

Five years is probably the earliest anyone can answer the most asked question about Missouri football’s 2004 recruiting class: Is it MU’s best?

N.C. systems chief named MU Health Care director

A North Carolina leader of health care systems has been named executive director of University of Missouri Health Care, MU officials said Monday.

Jim Ross, president and chief operating officer of University Health Systems of Eastern Carolina, begins April 1.

Simien sparks Kansas

LAWRENCE, Kan. — Coaches love to emphasize how important it is to get the ball inside. Moving the ball to the big men often leads to high-percentage shots, open looks at 3-pointers and foul trouble for the opponent.

Each team followed that formula in one half of Missouri’s 65-56 loss at No. 20 Kansas on Monday night. Missouri’s big men dominated the first half, allowing the Jayhawks to hold a two-point lead at halftime.

Rise in taxes favored to aid schools

ST. LOUIS — A poll released Monday shows that most Missouri voters would pay higher state taxes to help public education, and most approve of the job their local schools are doing.

Voters in the poll, conducted by Maryland-based Research 2000 for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch and St. Louis’ KMOV-TV, also said they would pay higher taxes to address the cost and supply of health insurance and improve homeland security.

Pulley stays behind after suspension

LAWRENCE, Kan. — Missouri junior point guard Randy Pulley, suspended indefinitely Saturday after missing two practices last week, did not make the trip to Lawrence.

A Missouri spokesman said the team has had contact with him since Saturday’s game, which he did not attend.

James brings long shot

In the past two games, Stretch James has let opponents know she has shots they have never seen.

James, a 6-foot-2 senior forward, scores most of her points inside, but she recently began to showcase her improved outside shot. This will help Missouri (11-7, 2-5 Big 12 Conference) against No. 3 Texas. The Tigers play the Longhorns at 7 tonight in Austin, Texas.

Medical examiner picked

A certified forensic pathologist from Florida is the new chief medical examiner for Boone and Callaway counties.

Downtown added to list of historic places

Columbians have long enjoyed the historic and cultural flavor of downtown. Now that the area has been added to the National Register of Historic Places, the local activity hub will gain national and state recognition for its historical significance.

The Columbia Special Business District submitted a proposal to the Missouri Advisory Council on Historic Preservation and the State Historic Preservation Office in November. These nominations were then sent to Washington, D.C., for approval by the National Park Service.

Bill aims to aid small businesses

JEFFERSON CITY — Catfish pond owner Jim Baumgartner is being showcased by Republican lawmakers as an example of why small business owners need their own advocacy agency inside government itself.

At a House committee hearing Monday, Baumgartner testified that though the Department of Natural Resources has inspected his 35-foot-long dam in the past, he recently received notice that he would have to hire an outside consultant to comply with regulations — costing him anywhere from $500 to $1,200 for an initial examination of the site.

Latest Philips debate focuses on park

While Columbia officials want to make an offer to buy part of the 489-acre Philips tract for a new regional park, council members still have questions about the land.

Developer Elvin Sapp, who wants to put a mix of homes, offices and shops on the Philips land, has already offered to sell park land to the city. The targeted land, which city officials have been eyeing for almost a year, consists of 153 acres of the Philips farm, including the 40-acre Bristol Lake. That land would possibly be combined with 320 acres across Gans Road owned by Sue Crane to create the park.

Skill savvy

Occupations that the U.S. Department of Labor says are coming to a halt remain in full throttle in Columbia, according to local business members.

Each year, the Department of Labor receives questionnaires from 400,000 businesses, conducts between 500 and 1,000 interviews with professional trade representatives and discusses factors that will influence employment change and availability over the next few years. Then economists use that data to project what the economy will look like in certain areas for the next 10 years, said Jon Sargent, the manager of occupational outlook studies at the Bureau of Labor Statistics.