Downtown canopies may be removed

Change is only a few mouse clicks away for those who consider the cement canopies in downtown Columbia an eyesore.

Chris Davis of Peckham & Wright Architects Inc. has photographed the stretch of businesses on the south side of Broadway and will digitally remove the canopies and add trees, streetlights and canvas awnings similar to the ones adorning the buildings on Ninth Street.

A labor for love

Conor Malaney leaves his job smelling like roses, but the cuts and scratches on his hands tell a different story. The 18-year-old is one of Valentine’s Day’s unknown heroes.

Malaney, a senior at Hickman High School, is among many part-time workers hired by florists around town to perform the not so glamorous, yet important, task of dethorning roses.

Report tweaks school funding

JEFFERSON CITY — A joint legislative committee has adopted a philosophy — but not a mechanism — for funding Missouri public schools.

The Joint Committee on Education Funding approved a report saying that future state aid distribution should be done on the basis of “student need.”

MLK park to receive upgrades

New Century Fund Inc. set out to raise $100,000 to restore Columbia’s Martin Luther King Jr. memorial. After surpassing that goal, it is now trying to determine what to do with the extra money.

The Parks and Recreation Department met with the project committee and the New Century Fund directors Thursday night at the Activity and Recreation Center to discuss possible plans for landscaping, lighting, and curbing in the areas of the MKT Trail surrounding the memorial.

Rock, water & microbes. . .but no people on Mars, yet

The extraordinary successes of the Mars rovers, Spirit and Opportunity, have captured the imaginations of Missourians, including one who has played a major role in previous space explorations.

Charles Gehrke is a former MU professor and scientist who was commissioned by NASA to analyze rocks gathered during the Apollo moon missions. He sees the potential for the rovers to detect the microscopic life on Mars that he never found on the moon.

Missourian makes his mark

For Charles Gehrke, a single photograph represents a high point in his scientific career. The picture shows Gehrke, 30 years younger, smiling and wearing a lab coat. In his white-gloved hands he holds a test tube, which holds a tiny piece of the moon.

In the 1960s, Gehrke was working for the MU School of Agriculture, where he was using a process called gas chromatography to analyze soil samples. Gas chromatography is used to determine if amino acids are present in a substance.

Farming, high-tech

Terry Hilgedick owns a farm in Hartsburg and has been planting genetically modified seeds like YieldGuard corn and RoundUp Ready soybeans since they were introduced about nine years ago.

“Performance is the number one consideration when growing a commodity,” Hilgedick said. “You need to produce bushels per acre as cheaply as possible, and biotech crops allow you to do that.”

Restoration in the works

At the entrance of the MKT trail near Stadium Boulevard stands the second-largest memorial to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., erected in 1993 as a reminder of his universal teachings for the hearts and minds of future generations.

Since its creation, the outdoor memorial has had to cope with the unmerciful effects of the elements.

Mo. treasurer sets sights on Washington

Missouri Treasurer Nancy Farmer stopped in Columbia on Thursday to formally announce her bid for the U.S. Senate.

“I sure never thought I’d be standing here today, asking the people of Missouri to send me to Washington,” Farmer told a crowd of about 40 supporters at the Ramada Inn. “But here I am, and that’s where I’m going.”

Kleiza’s season ended

After Linas Kleiza dislocated his right shoulder Jan. 28 at Colorado, the initial prognosis was that he would miss two weeks and could return Sunday.

Two days before his potential return, the situation has changed dramatically. Kleiza, a freshman and Missouri’s leading rebounder, will have surgery and will miss the rest of the season.

Snyder ignoring harsh critiques

He isn’t blind, and he isn’t deaf.

Although Missouri coach Quin Snyder said he doesn’t pay attention to the fans falling off the Tigers’ bandwagon or the critics assessing blame, he knows they are out there.

Cougars’ leaders showcased

Nearly all coaches stress the importance of senior leadership but only the lucky ones see its benefits firsthand. Bob Burchard, the Columbia College men’s basketball coach, certainly falls into that category.

Senior guards Andre Amos and Khamari Ballard led the Cougars on both ends of the court, helping Columbia College beat Hannibal-LaGrange 98-88 on Thursday at The Arena of Southwell Complex.

Redmond shines brightly through the shadows

KANSAS CITY — There he is, off to the side, in the shadows and away from the glare of the spotlight.

When Tony Temple is your cousin, best friend and teammate, getting lost in the glow isn’t difficult. Steve Redmond is used to it, and it doesn’t bother him much.

Tigers high on scoring

Even if Missouri loses all of its meets this season, the Tigers can be national champions.

Every gymnast on the MU squad knows that though it’s nice to defeat opponents, high scoring is what will propel the Tigers to bigger victories.

Edwards revved for new season

Carl Edwards sits patiently behind the wheel. His right foot is lightly pressed against the gas pedal. His right hand is carefully cradling the clutch.

He is waiting for the green flag to wave. He is prepared to compete. He is ready to win. Above all else, he is focused.

Bruins still hard at work

Cam Purcell, Will Martin and Erin Slate have their team behind them. Not only is it behind them, but it also is underneath them, around them and next to them.

The season goes on for only three wrestlers, but the Rock Bridge wrestling team practices every day. Purcell (152), Martin (160) and Slate (171) placed third in the Class 3 District 5 Tournament last week in St. Charles to advance to the Sectional 3 Tournament on Saturday in Jefferson City. If they place in the top four at the sectional tournament, they qualify for the state championships Feb. 19-21 at Hearnes Center.

Arnold seeks revenge, title

Jefferson City wrestler Jeremy Hudson has owned Hickman’s Zach Arnold.

Although Arnold has kept every match between the 171 pounders within three points, he is 0-4 against Hudson this season.

Willett returns to state meet

Hickman junior John Willett knows what he is up against at the state meet.

Willett, along with six other Kewpies and seven Rock Bridge swimmers, will travel to the Rec-Plex in St. Peters for the state swimming and diving meet today and Saturday.

Schools to approve joint resolution

The University of Missouri system Board of Curators and its counterparts at Northwest Missouri State University meet today to approve a joint resolution that will help make the Maryville school the fifth campus in the system.

UM’s curators and Maryville’s Board of Regents have separately approved a 15-point memorandum of understanding, identifying the main concerns of bringing Northwest into the system. The curators voted on the memorandum unanimously at the end of January. The Northwest regents voted 7-1 in favor last week.