Up our alleys

Broken bottles litter the ground. Vibrant graffiti covers parts of the brick. There’s even a Volkswagen Cabriolet snuggled up against a building as delivery trucks unload clean linens.

With their filthy grease vats and broken pavement, the alleys of Columbia represent a perhaps overlooked, yet integral, element of life downtown.

Deafening Defeat

Aaron Miles has developed a knack for wrecking Missouri’s hopes late in games at Hearnes Center.

For the second consecutive year, Miles, a junior from Portland, Ore., hit a late-game 3-pointer late in the shot clock to devastate the Tigers. The shot helped the Jayhawks to an 84-82 win Sunday in a Big 12 Conference game that drew a crowd of 13,611 for the final regular season game at Hearnes Center.

Program teaches disaster readiness

One in four families do not believe it is necessary to prepare for emergencies. And of those that do, 40 percent aren’t sure how to go about it, according to the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services.

March is National Preparedness Month, and state health officials couldn’t think of a better time to launch a new program, “Ready In 3.”

AJ’s career day for naught

Big man. Big time. Big plays.

At 6 feet 9 and 265 pounds, Missouri senior Arthur Johnson is often associated with the word “big”.

MU student writes for CNN Web site

Chris Blank is a freshman at MU — and he’s already working for CNN.

Since the sixth grade, Blank has steadily hiked the path toward his dream job as a newspaper war correspondent. He has gone from writer to editor and back again as he moved from school newspaper to newspaper.

Mental functions, disorders focus of psychological study

An MU professor has played a large role in research that could help those suffering from schizophrenia and obsessive-compulsive disorder.

Psychological sciences professor John Kerns is the lead author of an article published in the peer-reviewed journal Science Magazine. In the Feb. 13 article, Kerns and his colleagues explained and identified the parts of the brain that regulate cognitive control.

Hearnes’ last shots

Missouri’s game against Kansas on Sunday boasted many story lines, but its status as the last regular season game played at Hearnes Center was among the most prominent.

The Tigers could host another game at Hearnes if invited to the NIT instead of the NCAA Tournament.

Stewart surprised

Although the game ended on a down note Sunday, fans and former coach Norm Stewart received a heart-warming surprise.

At halftime of Missouri’s loss to Kansas, MU Chancellor Richard Wallace announced to a sellout crowd of 13,611 that Norm Stewart Court would be transferred to the new arena for play in 2004-05.

Free throws hurt MU

Any loss to Kansas is disappointing, but Missouri found a way to make Sunday’s loss more frustrating.

The Tigers made 19-of-32 attempts, 59 percent, from the free-throw line, significantly lower than its 72 percent season average. The Tigers missed the front end of three one-and-one opportunities in the second half, spurring a 9-0 Kansas run that gave the Jayhawks a 77-67 edge with less than five minutes left.

No fairy tale end for Hearnes

Just like the Missouri men’s basketball team, fans have something to look forward to.

Even though the Tigers lost their final regular-season home game in Hearnes Center 84-82 to the Kansas Jayhawks, excitement for the future radiates from across the street where work continues on a new arena.

Title boosts Columbia Catz

After stealing the ball with five minutes left in the third quarter, Ian Patterson immediately started on a fast break.

Once Patterson realized he did not have a clear path to the basket, he slowed down and waited for teammate Will Echelmeier to get down the court. Patterson then passed the ball to Echelmeier under the basket for a layup.

Late rally saves Tigers

In the middle of the fifth inning Sunday, Missouri coach Ty Singleton called his team into the room behind the dugout to remind them what they were there to do.

“To get them out of the noise, out of the wind, out of the cold, I wanted to bring them into the team room for just a minute,” Singleton said. “To say, OK guys, I want you to take a deep breath and say simply, this is all we’re trying to do; this is our approach. I don’t want any other distractions.”

Babies on Parade

Shake those keys and tickle those tummies, do anything to get those babies to smile. It could ultimately lead to a $25,000 savings bond.

That was the scene at the Most Beautiful Baby Contest at Columbia Mall on Feb. 25. Parents paid $40 to enter a child between the ages of newborn to 6. By 5 p.m., a few eager parents had already signed up their babies. By 6:30 p.m., the judging began, and it was standing-room only, a much better turnout than last time, some experienced parents said.

Injuries plague Tigers in loss to Iowa

The ice used to soothe injuries might as well have been salt.

Four Missouri players nursed injuries after their matches and watched as Iowa edged the Tigers 4-3 on Sunday at the Green Tennis Center.

Attorney general race broadens

It’s no secret that Columbia lawyer Dewey Crepeau is looking to topple Democrat Jay Nixon’s incumbency advantage in this year’s election for Missouri attorney general.

It’s also no secret that Nixon has raised the most money to date to support his candidacy — nearly $280,000 — for a possible fourth term as the state’s leading law enforcement official.

Time spent at library still brings joy

I’ve never walked into a library that I didn’t like. And I was especially pleased last week with my first visit to Columbia’s new library, where I talked to some of my readers. I was reminded of the day as a teenager when I first set eyes on the Kansas City Public Library and thought I was in heaven. While touring the juvenile section in the Columbia library, I remembered how anxious I was when my son got his first library card and the number of times I prevailed on him to check out children’s mystery books for me to read because I was embarrassed that I still enjoyed them long after I grew into adulthood. Since I have spent a major portion of my life in libraries, I have a lot of those kinds of memories, and I’m convinced that people I meet in libraries are some of the most interesting people in the world.

As if I needed an excuse, my next visit to my local public library was to attend a book sale. Now, the last thing I need, of course, is one more book. But I found several that I couldn’t live without. My favorite in this stash was a reprint of a book called “The American Frugal Housewife” by Mrs. Child, otherwise known as Lydia Maria Child. According to the introduction written by Alice Geffen, Child published her first novel in 1823. She wrote the “Frugal Housewife” in 1829, and it went through 35 editions. This facsimile edition was reprinted from a copy found at an old book auction. In addition to her success as an author, In 1833, Child also wrote a book against slavery entitled, “An Appeal for that Class of Americans called Africans.” Later, she edited with her husband the “Anti-Slavery Standard” in New York.