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Three books contend for One Read program

It’s the public’s turn again to democratically elect a book for the Daniel Boone Regional Library’s third annual One Read program.

Voting began Monday on the three books selected by the One Read 2004 Reading Panel: “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time,” by Mark Haddon, “Life of Pi,” by Yann Martel and “Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting by in Boom-Time America,” by Barbara Ehrenreich.

Delicious delivery

As owners Debbie Hamilton and Ali Price work in the kitchen, they make cooking seem effortless. Given the success of their business after its first year, they make starting a business from scratch look easy, too. The women behind Sweet Things started without any advertising — or even a long-term plan — and they have come out in the black. So far, so good.

“Our biggest challenge is controlling our growth because we both have responsibilities outside of the business, and we want it to be a fun thing,” Hamilton says. “It really could be bigger if we wanted it to be. We have just been overwhelmed at the response of the community.”

Receivers set to roll

Thomson Omboga thinks he can beat any defender.

Greg Bracey ran a 4.29 second 40-yard dash during the offseason.

Board candidates square off

When education majors at MU had the opportunity Monday to discuss questions and concerns with school board candidates, students wanted to know what each candidate would do to help the recruiting process for hiring quality first-year teachers.

Local businessman Arch Brooks, who is also running for mayor, said the first thing he would do is “stop fronting.” He explained that Columbia Public Schools have talked about programs for recruiting minorities, but he has found no programs that go to campuses to recruit quality teachers.

ESPN not bad start for Hall

When I first met Mike Hall back in February, I said he had everything it would take to win ESPN’s “Dream Job.”

I don’t mean to toot my horn, but I was right. The dream has turned into reality for Hall.

Cordia powers Kewps’ victory

The Hickman girls’ soccer team, opened the season with a 5-2 win against Camdenton on Monday. Janelle Cordia had a goal and three assists for the Kewpies.

Awash in gravel and mud

Floodwater from the record-breaking weekend downpour has receded and left what could be up to $500,000 in damage to Boone County roads.

Meanwhile, the Missouri Athletic Center in the Hinkson Creek floodplain is also dealing with hundreds of thousands of dollars’ worth of damage from the storm.

Finger Lakes to add amenities

Patrons of Finger Lakes State Park looking to have a good time in the mud might soon be able to leave the park with dirt bikes cleaner than their clothes.

A plan to add 25 campsites and a power washer at the park by January will be among the topics at an informational meeting planned by the Missouri Department of Natural Resources next week.

State creates Hispanic commission

Proving that Hispanic issues have become important politically, Gov. Bob Holden has created a 22-member Governor’s Commission on Hispanic Affairs.

The commission’s purpose, according to a news release from Holden, is to “serve as a statewide advisory body to the governor and the General Assembly on issues of importance to the Hispanic citizens of Missouri.”

Radiology schools have space crunch

The nationwide shortage of health care workers is drawing more students to the field, but many are being turned away by schools that have limited space in their programs.

The field in highest demand is radiology. A radiologic technician is responsible for administering and assisting with tests that utilize heavy radiation for medical imaging. Positions in this field have a vacancy rate of 15 percent, higher than that of registered nurses, according to the American Society of Radiologic Technologists. The shortage is expected to last through 2010, ASRT reported.

Pancake house restricts smoking

Smokers looking to enjoy a cigarette with their pancakes have to pay attention when they eat.

The International House of Pancakes, 51 Conley Road, implemented new smoking hours in November. The entire restaurant is smoke-free from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturdays, Sundays and major holidays. These designated smoke-free times are exclusive to this particular IHOP.

Injuries concern for three teams

ATLANTA — Saddled with a bum ankle, B.J. Elder limped during warm-ups, limped through 12 scoreless minutes, then limped back on the court to celebrate Georgia Tech’s first trip to the Final Four in 14 years.

In Phoenix, Connecticut All-America center Emeka Okafor had two points in the regional final because of an elbow stinger.

Family roots keep people grounded

It’s relatively rare these days to encounter people who have spent 20 or more years on the same job. The same can be said of people who have resided at the same location for that long. It seems to me that in my parents’ day, most of their friends stayed put in the same place for most of their lives. When I grew up and moved away from home, for years and years, I remember that hardly anything seemed to change between my return visits.

Now that neighborhoods, communities and individual circumstances seem to change overnight, I’ve come to value continuity as a rare commodity. It took me a long time to realize how important this constancy was to my sense of security. When you come from a large, close family where joys and sorrows are equally shared, it’s easy to feel lost in a world of plastic cubicles and casual acquaintances. I still have a difficult time understanding the lifestyles of people who surround themselves with electronic gadgets and are determined to isolate themselves from friends and family. While I certainly enjoy the benefits of time spent alone, there are other times when I appreciate the camaraderie of other individuals. I’m sure that people who lived in earlier generations would have a hard time accepting that support groups composed of strangers have taken over the roles of advisers and counselors once staffed by relatives.

Discrimination to be focus of public forums

A series of town hall meetings organized by First Ward City Councilwoman Almeta Crayton will aim to both listen to and address complaints of discrimination in Columbia.

Crayton hopes to get people from outside the community who can help make changes to attend the forums. She said she would work this month to find the right people to hear the complaints and collect evidence of mistreatment and discrimination in the workplace and community to see if further action can be taken.

Ehlers, Tigers avoid sweep

The seniors on the Missouri baseball team avoided a shameful career mark with a win Sunday against Kansas State.

Missouri’s 12-0 win at Taylor Stadium helped the Tigers avoid their fourth straight sweep in a Big 12 Conference opening series.

Zookeeper

The decor of R. Michael Roberts’ office reflects his respect for nature and his passion for animal science and traveling, but it comes with a dose of humor as well.

A fake bearskin rug with the animated head and the face of a stuffed teddy bear welcome visitors to the room, while an inflatable caribou head mounted on the wall stares down from among book-lined shelves that reach all the way to the ceiling. Then there’s the poster of British sheep breeds juxtaposed against photographs of exotic landscapes. There’s nothing funny or exotic, however, about one of Roberts’ most recent challenges. The man who was appointed in January to become a director of the MU Life Sciences Center has spent the past several months investigating a spate of animal deaths at the National Zoological Park in Washington. As chairman of a 15-member investigative committee, Roberts is helping pinpoint the problems that led to the deaths and, in turn, helping improve the quality of care at the zoo.

Reaching students, one on one

This year, Beulah Ralph faces a recurring dilemma. She has to figure out a way to save Columbia’s 36-year-old Home School Communicators program.

“I have to move things around to keep all of my staff,” said Ralph, director of the program, which helps minority and low-income children with behavioral and academic problems.

Kerry chases Mo. votes at church

John Kerry, speaking Sunday to churchgoers on the city’s north side, rejected President Bush’s claim to be a compassionate conservative and said the administration was neglecting the less fortunate.

“Today we are told that, after 3 million lost jobs and so many lost hopes, America is now turning a corner,” the Democratic presidential hopeful said. “But those who say that, they’re not standing on the corner of Highland Street, where two 15-year-old teenagers were hit in a drive-by shooting last week.”

Mizzou student reels in dream on ESPN

Dream job. Check. New car. Check. College diploma. Not quite yet.

Before he walks across the stage at MU in May, Mike Hall landed just about everything he could have hoped to gain with his pending journalism degree. Hall earned a one-year contract as a “SportsCenter” anchor, a new Mazda 3 and a $95,000 salary Sunday, beating Aaron Levine, a Stanford University student, in the finals of ESPN’s reality series “Dream Job.”

MU tuition would rise 7.5% this summer

MU students should prepare for another increase in educational fees, commonly called tuition, starting with the summer semester.

University of Missouri system President Elson Floyd said Friday that he would propose a 7.5 percent increase in fees this week at the UM Board of Curators meeting, which begins Thursday in St. Louis. Floyd said he hopes the curators, who have the final say in system decisions, will endorse his proposal.

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