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850 guards from Mo. extended

WASHINGTON — More than 850 soldiers from three National Guard units from Missouri will be among the 20,000 American troops in Iraq serving extended tours of duty.

The Pentagon said Thursday it is extending by three months the tours of some 20,000 American troops in Iraq, giving commanders extra firepower to confront an insurgency that is taking a mounting toll on the U.S.-led coalition.

Ag wild

High school junior Adrienne Vought took a day off from classes Thursday to check out a few chickens at the 76th anniversary state FFA Convention.

Vought, along with her three teammates, spent the day in the field house at the Hearnes Center judging poultry against 48 other teams from around the state. More than 180 contestants were vying to be selected to represent Missouri in the national competition held later this year in Louisville, Ky. Other competitions included livestock evaluation, forestry, and food and science technology.

Parents worry about changes

Parents have been appointed as crucial players in restructuring West Boulevard Elementary School, but some parents say they are floundering to define their new role, mostly because they don’t know what it entails.

Earlier this week, West Boulevard Elementary was chosen to be restructured into a model school to help student achievement efforts. On Thursday Phyllis Chase, superintendent of Columbia Public School District, addressed questions at a meeting with about 30 parents.

Students ride toward success in show

The jumps are clean, the saddles are shined and all of the horses have had a bath. After nearly four months of preparation, the Stephens College Prince of Wales Club, said to be the oldest continuously active riding club in the country, is ready for its 77th annual charity horse show starting today.

The 30 student members of the Prince of Wales Club, assisted by Michelle Smith, chairwoman of the equestrian management department at Stephens, will manage and compete in the three-day horse show held west of Columbia at the Midway Exposition Center.

Doctors to address malpractice crisis

Physicians from Boone, Cooper and Howard counties will gather at Boone County Courthouse Square 12:15 p.m. today to draw attention to the state’s medical malpractice insurance crisis.

Dr. Michael Burks, president of the Boone County Medical Society, said the rising cost of malpractice insurance premiums affects the affordability of health care for everyone. Insurers across the state have raised their rates, with InterMed, Missouri’s largest malpractice insurer, raising premiums by more than 80 percent.

It’s last call on Big 12’s name

When Chris Flood and a few associates entered the bar business, the name of their establishment had a nice ring to it: Big 12 Bar & Grille. But a year later, Flood and company will have to come up with something new. The Big 12 Conference has asked Flood and his partners to change the name of the bar at 304 S. Ninth St., claiming it violates the conference’s trademark.

“We got a letter one day, and we started correspondence with them,” Flood said. “It just said they felt we were infringing on their name.”

TEXT OF CHRISTIE KEY'S LETTER

To Whom It May Concern:

In light of the recent events concerning the University of Missouri Greek Week 2004 Blood Drive, I am writing this to offer my most sincere apology. I failed to consider the consequences of my actions in suggesting that members lie about important health issues in order to earn points for our chapter.

Blood drive e-mail writer apologizes

Gamma Phi Beta blood donation coordinator Christie Key sent a written apology to media organizations and university administrators on Thursday in response to her mass e-mail asking sorority members to lie about their health on Red Cross blood donation forms during the Greek Week blood drive last week.

Key had told students with recent tattoos and piercings, and those who were sick, to lie on pre-donation paperwork and give blood anyway. Members were also encouraged to use stickers indicating “do not use my blood” if they were concerned about the safety of their blood, she previously told the Missourian.

MU Faculty Coucil Condemns Intelligent Design Bill

The MU Faculty Council passed a resolution Thursday asking state lawmakers to reject a bill that would require theories of intelligent design and natural selection to be given "equal treatment" in classrooms.

Associate professor of nursing Eileen Porter was the only member of the council who voted against the resolution condemning House Bill 1722.

Kruse powers Bruins

Rock Bridge’s Johnny Kruse wasn’t about to waste a second chance against Hickman pitcher Kyle Smith.

An inning after doubling off the left-center field wall, Kruse hit a two-run home run to give the Bruins a thrilling 7-6 win against the Kewpies on Thursday at Rock Bridge Stadium.

Experimental Health

A white-coated stranger pricks your finger. A cold stethoscope and the tight cuff of a sphygmomanometer monitor your blood pressure. They poke, they prod and you wait. It’s not for money or for fame. Perhaps it’s for your health, but it’s certainly for the future.

No, you’re not getting your annual checkup, but you are participating in one of the community’s most prevalent forms of research — the clinical trial.

Unrau must play waiting game

Evan Unrau might not know where she will be in a month, but she is certain she will be near a telephone and in front of a computer Saturday afternoon.

Unrau hopes to be one of 39 players selected in the WNBA Draft, which begins at 11 a.m. Saturday.

Tigers lighten mood before crucial series

Coach Tim Jamieson is willing to endure ridicule from his players if it will help the Missouri baseball team get back on track.

Jamieson took batting practice Tuesday at Taylor Stadium, attempting to lighten the mood of a team that needs encouragement after snapping a six-game losing streak Wednesday by beating Southwest Missouri State 5-4 in 10 innings.

Bruins’ Pope frustrated at tournament

Golfers from Rock Bridge, Jefferson City and Helias struggled Thursday at A.L. Gustin Golf Course, but Bruins senior Jeff Pope had a particularly hard time.

Jefferson City won the meet with a 302. The Bruins finished second at 308, and Helias finished at 313.

Hickman easily wins the Warrenton Tournament

The Hickman golf team won the Warrenton Tournament on Thursday with a school record 285. The Kewpies were the defending champions at the 21-team tournament.

Francis Howell finished second at 302 and St. Francis Borgia finished third at 316.

Tax system draws protests

Two American traditions — exercising free speech and paying taxes — collided Thursday afternoon outside the downtown post office.

Procrastinating taxpayers passed by people who seized the opportunity presented by the tax deadline to pass out fliers, gather signatures and give speeches on what is traditionally the busiest mailing day of the year.

The hat's a winner

At Rock Bridge tennis matches, it is hard to ignore a small patch of orange bouncing around in the sea of green and white.

The orange patch belongs to Bruins junior Justin Winner and usually resides on top of his head. It is a University of Illinois hat he received at a tennis camp there a few years ago. Since then, Winner has worn the cap for good luck and does not like to play matches without it.

Swimmers set for home meet

Traditionally, seniors lead their team in and out of the pool, but for the Hickman and Rock Bridge swimming teams, an influx of ability from underclassmen has evened the talent across all the grades.

With freshmen and sophomores dominating the rosters, the younger swimmers are working hard this season to keep their teams afloat.

Degree of Separation

In the past six months, a number of incidents have raised questions regarding religion’s proper role in public life. Last September, Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore was forced to remove a 2.6-ton granite monument of the Ten Commandments from the state building because a federal district judge said it violated the U.S. Constitution’s principle of separation of religion and government. In March, the U.S. Supreme Court heard a case brought by a lawyer objecting to the inclusion of the phrase “under God” in the Pledge of Allegiance.

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