Teams try to solidify NCAA bids

No team with a 10-6 record or better in Big 12 Conference play has missed the NCAA Tournament. Colorado, which finished 10-6 this season, could usually be confident of its chances of reaching the NCAA Tournament.

That might not be the case this year. When the Big 12 Tournament starts this afternoon, the conference will hope to make up for a disappointing regular season that, when compared with the relative strength of the Southeastern and Atlantic Coast conferences, might have cost it an NCAA bid or two.

3 people found dead in northwest Columbia

Three people were found dead last night in northwest Columbia. The cause of death was unknown as of 9 a.m. Thursday, and Columbia Police have turned the investigation over to the Major Crimes Unit.

A relative called police at about 11:30 p.m. Wednesday because she was concerned about her sister and her niece who had missed work and school respectively. Police found the sister, 34, and her daughter, 10, dead at the home. The female owner of the residence, 71, was also found dead.

MU can’t compete

DALLAS — Missouri is hoping to slip into the NCAA Tournament and Kansas State is focused on winning the national championship. The difference showed Wednesday.

The Tigers were absolutely no match for the Wildcats, who earned a 79-58 win in the Big 12 Conference Tournament quarterfinals at Reunion Arena.

Teens charged in '01 killing

Since Kent Heitholt was murdered on Nov. 1, 2001, in what detectives described as a “sloppy crime,” Columbia police have followed hundreds of leads, coming up empty handed at each turn.

Until now.

Permits for guns nearing reality

Residents of Boone County will be able to apply for concealed-gun permits through the Ashland or Hallsville police departments under agreements being finalized with the Boone County Sheriff’s Department.

Boone County Sheriff Ted Boehm said he expects the agreements with Hallsville and Ashland police to be finalized soon and the issuing of permits to begin May 1.

Radio consolidation hits home

Last July, at a Senate Commerce Committee hearing on media ownership, Arizona Sen. John McCain questioned Cumulus Media Inc.’s president Lewis Dickey about the company’s decision to ban the Dixie Chicks from its 50 country radio stations.

“This is remarkable,” McCain said to Dickey on July 9. “You restrained their trade because they exercised their free speech.”

Bond bill delayed in committee

JEFFERSON CITY — Amid accusations of regional divisiveness and pork-barrel politics, the Senate Appropriations Committee on Wednesday delayed action on a bond aimed at higher education construction projects by at least two weeks.

Most of the projects in the now $350 million bond bill directly involve University of Missouri system campuses.

Poor miss out on food aid

Many low-income households do not take full advantage of food assistance available to them in their communities, according to a new study conducted by two MU researchers.

The study, conducted in the Kansas City metropolitan area from 1998 to 2001, indicates that although many low-income households qualify for both federal and private food assistance, few use both simultaneously.

Trial team heads to nationals

It was not Professor Plum in the billiard room with the candlestick this time, but rather Michael Harmon in the ice arena with a hockey stick.

Harmon, a pro hockey player, was angry in the days leading up to playoff game in which he would face rival player and rising star Tony Sturmanis, the same man he had learned was having an affair with his wife.

State leaders struggle to find funding for waste cleanup

Looking out for Missouri’s environmental health is a contact sport, especially in the case of hazardous waste cleanup.

Officials with the state Department of Natural Resources last year worried that the fees they collect to cover the state’s share of cleanup costs would go the way of the dinosaur — like the newly expired waste-tire collection fee did earlier this week. Their concern centered around debate within the legislature about how to most equitably assess the waste-disposal fees.

Help available for taxing paperwork

Tax season is here, bringing sounds of paper shuffling, pen scribbling, computer keys clicking, and frustrated taxpayers sighing. Here are some places to go to make the task a little easier.

Free Services

Suspects to be tried as adults

The two men charged in connection with the murder of Kent Heitholt, former sports editor at the Columbia Daily Tribune, will be tried as adults, Boone County prosecutor Kevin Crane said at a press conference Thursday.

Ryan William Ferguson and Charles Timothy Erickson were 17 at the time of the crime. Ferguson has been charged with first-degree murder and Erickson with second-degree murder. Both have also been charged with first-degree robbery.

Fingerprints sticky issue in gun permits

JEFFERSON CITY — At least 220 Missourians had applied as of Wednesday for concealed gun permits, but state law enforcement officials declined to reveal how many had passed background checks because of uncertainty over whether that information must be kept secret.

The Missouri State Highway Patrol, which helps process the state and federal fingerprint checks required under the concealed guns law, has received applications from numerous counties led in quantity by Audrain, Lincoln and Phelps, said spokesman Capt. Chris Ricks.

State debates budget limit

JEFFERSON CITY — Another limit on Missouri state government spending would be put in place by a measure under consideration in the House.

The measure is expected to be debated today.

Tigers in new game

Their records, rosters and reasons to play have changed more than mid-Missouri weather since January.

When Missouri (15-12) and Texas A&M (7-20) meet tonight in the first round of the Big 12 Conference Tournament, their mascots are the only things jogging memories of the meeting this season. Tip-off is at 8:20 p.m. at American Airlines Center in Dallas.

Coach looks to keep making Kewpies better

Tonya Mirts doesn’t fret about the mice in her office.

A few cockroaches are a nuisance.

Tigers can’t stop Wildcats’ hot shooting

DALLAS –- Kansas State didn’t give Missouri a chance.

The Wildcats made quick work of Missouri, scoring 48 points in the first half en route to a 79-58 victory Wednesday at Reunion Arena.

History against Tigers

With college basketball immersed in March Madness, small, unheralded teams can use their conference tournaments to garner a shocking and unexpected automatic berth to the NCAA Tournament.

That probably won’t happen in the Big 12 Conference Tournament, which begins when No. 9 seed Kansas State and No. 8 seed Iowa State play at 2 p.m. today in Dallas’ American Airlines Center. The Wildcats and the Cyclones are two of the six teams without a first-round bye.

Paulding, Johnson receive Big 12 honors

Missouri seniors Arthur Johnson and Rickey Paulding received another personal accolade; this time it came from their peers.

The coaches of the Big 12 Conference named Johnson and Paulding to the All-Big 12 second team. Senior forward Travon Bryant received honorable mention honors.

Tradition of talent

Five minutes. Ten minutes. Twenty minutes. Megan Larsen regrets wearing a black shirt today as she sweats because of the studio lights. She and her Stephens College classmates are taping a three-minute video called “Meet Your College Neighbor.”

This is the first time the Introduction to Broadcast Production class has worked together on the ungraded project. Larsen is waiting for her classmates to get it together.