Tigers to be tested

The differences between Missouri and Stanford, its opponent in the first round of the women’s NCAA Tournament, are striking.

The Tigers are thrilled to be a No. 11 seed and in the tournament for the third time in the past 17 years; the Cardinal are an NCAA Tournament institution making their 17th straight tournament appearance.

Toll roads not in near future

JEFFERSON CITY — Missouri voters shouldn’t count on seeing toll roads on the ballot in November, according to top House and Senate transportation officials.

“I think it’s commonly known there isn’t enough support for putting toll roads on the ballot,” said House Transportation Committee Chairman Larry Crawford, R-Centertown.

Seniors focus on positives

ANN ARBOR, Mich. – Cataloging the disappointments and unmet expectations for Missouri’s four seniors could require a lengthy list after this season, but it’s one record senior power forward Travon Bryant isn’t keeping.

After the Tigers’ season ended with a 65-64 loss to Michigan in the first round of the National Invitation Tournament on Tuesday, Bryant’s last game as a Tiger brought back memories of the season’s firsts.

Kewpies test new lineup

It is not often that teams sit down for fruit and cookies after a game.

Soccer players switching teams at halftime and not wearing uniforms are also rare.

Redbirds rally to beat Tigers

Illinois State did something Wednesday it has never done against the Missouri baseball team: win.

The Redbirds beat the Tigers 5-2 in 11 innings at Taylor Stadium, notching their first win in five tries against Missouri (15-4-1).

Ragged field slows Bruins

When a team plays its first scrimmage, it’s usually the players, rusty from a year away from the sport, that mar a pristine field. On Wednesday in Rock Bridge’s Green and Gold game, though, it was the field that marred the Bruins’ play. Straw and seeding used to patch the Bruins’ soggy field created obstacles for the Bruins.

“I could see their passes were coming along and there was good movement away from the ball,” coach Marc Van Dover said, “given the conditions.”

Tough schedule assists Cougars

Recently, NCAA men’s basketball teams such as St. Joseph’s and Gonzaga have improved the strength of their nonconference schedules to compensate for their relatively weak conferences.

The Columbia College women’s basketball team used a similar strategy this season. The No. 17 Cougars (27-7) have dominated the American Midwest Conference in the program’s three-year history but lost in the first round of the NAIA Championship Tournament in 2002 and 2003.

Centralia seeks another championship

Adam Hinspeter and Centralia are after another title.

Four months after he led the Panthers to the Class 2 football title as a quarterback, Hinspeter will try to earn a state basketball title as a guard.

A broader Broadway

Early morning and evening are the worst times for getting in and out of Broadway Village apartments alongside East Broadway, MU doctoral student Tim Wilson said. The wait can be up to 10 minutes.

“If you have got to be at work at 8 o’clock and you’re not out there by 7:30 or 7:45, forget it,” Wilson said.

Tigers expect success

Before every wrestling tournament Missouri coach Brian Smith does a little shopping.

After he gets a shopping list, Smith buys numerous items for his team. The list usually includes bananas, power bars and Jeremy Spates’ cinnamon Pop-Tarts.

Rights group objects to Patriot Act

A movement to have Columbia officially denounce parts of the USA-Patriot Act took a step forward at Wednesday’s Human Rights Commission meeting, but that doesn’t mean the City Council will follow through with it.

Phil Steinhouse, the HRC’s city worker, will pass on a letter this week to the council written by David Finke, the subcommittee chairman for the Patriot Act, that addresses why the council should be concerned.

Roark to shine in Las Vegas

Soccer is not exactly the game that made Las Vegas famous.

For Rock Bridge’s Emily Roark and some of Missouri’s other top high school soccer players, though, soccer will be the main attraction to their visit there this weekend.

Bill would limit outsourcing

JEFFERSON CITY — If a Missourian from one of the state’s nearly 245,000 households in the state’s Food Stamp Program calls a toll-free number with questions, the call is answered by a call center employee 8,000 miles away in Mumbai, India — formerly known as Bombay.

Two years ago, eFunds, the company contracted for five years to manage Missouri Social Service’s Food Stamp Electronic Benefits Program, closed its call center in Wisconsin and moved it to India.

Iraq debaters square off in Circle

With a cardboard cutout of President George W. Bush sheltered under an umbrella, students and local activists trickled into Speaker’s Circle on Wednesday afternoon despite the rain to protest the president’s foreign policies and the war in Iraq. Counterprotesters showed their support for Bush and the war, and the two sides engaged in an open debate.

“March 20 is the anniversary of the invasion of Iraq,” said Silas Allard, a student who spoke at the rally. “People thought there should be some sort of demonstration marking the anniversary to show there is continued opposition to the war and the other policies of the Bush administration. However, because March 20 falls on the Saturday of spring break, we thought it would be more effective to hold it a couple of days early.”

Report: Cut in funding hinders test success

School boards across the nation are faced with closing gaps — mostly in their budgets and in their achievement. The question has evolved into how to fix both when they are so closely related.

This is the bigger picture for members of the Columbia Board of Education as they try to figure out which gap to fill first and by how much.

Interchanges in plans for I-70

Columbia’s Interstate 70 interchanges will change dramatically if and when the highway is widened to eight lanes through the city, but exactly how remains to be seen.

That’s why the Improve I-70 Advisory Group will meet at 4 p.m. today to review alternatives for reworking each interchange, both to accommodate the widening and to improve future traffic flow.

Excise excess staying with businesses

JEFFERSON CITY — Gov. Bob Holden’s plan to send excess sales tax to the state instead of businesses is dying in a committee — and leaving Missouri businesses with millions of dollars in extra taxes paid by consumers.

Currently, although consumers pay sales taxes, businesses get to keep any refunds they can get from the state for overpayment.

3-D creations

Room 140 of the Engineering Building West may not seem like the foundation for a motion picture company, but one of the students may be the face behind Disney’s next big animation hit.

The collection of students working for and learning from MU research professor Ali Hussam are reaching beyond the typical bounds of computer science majors at MU. They are working to master the intricacies of “entertainment engineering,” which incorporates 3-D animation, video game creation and other skills.

Forget St. Patrick’s Day, it’s Liberalia at Rock Bridge

St. Patrick’s Day came in second Wednesday as Rock Bridge High School’s Junior Classical League resurrected Liberalia, a holiday that was held every March 17 in ancient Rome.

“As far as I know, we’re the first school to do it,” said club sponsor Julia Goodell, who also teaches Latin and mythology at the school.

Democrats feel new energy

“Energy” was the buzzword of choice for Missouri Democrats celebrating St. Patrick’s Day in Columbia.

That energy, however, didn’t come from the spirits that usually accompany the holiday.