Learning the language sign by sign

Your right hand starts touching your chin, then moves down, palm up, to rest on the other palm. You’ve just said “thank you” in American Sign Language, a form of communication for people who are deaf or hard-of-hearing. Such hand expressions have become more frequent in recent months at MU — and not just among the students who rely on them.

Driven by personal and professional fulfillment, the demand for MU’s introductory-level ASL class has become so intense that the university plans to discuss expanding it.

Few drug cases made by search warrants

The search warrant is a frequently deployed weapon in the Columbia Police Department’s war on drugs. Since January 2003, officers have searched 120 residences using a tool that, according to one police commander, is designed to target people who sell narcotics.

Yet police rarely find enough evidence during those searches to make the case for drug dealing. Court records say that in 2003, police searched 84 residences and found evidence of drug distribution in 12 of them; six of those cases were eventually reduced to possession charges. Through this April, police have exercised 36 search warrants and have netted seven distribution charges.

Sales tax boosts state revenue

JEFFERSON CITY — The money is flowing freely again from the Missouri Capitol.

The legislature’s proposed budget for next year will include big spending increases for education, pay raises for state employees and hundreds of millions of dollars for growth in the Medicaid program for the poor, elderly and disabled. All without a tax increase.

Not this time

The series between the Missouri and No. 1 Texas was a pitching battle. The Longhorns won that battle Sunday.

Big 12 Conference opponent Texas beat Missouri 16-0 in seven innings in the final game of the three-game series at Taylor Stadium. Missouri won the series 2-1, giving Texas (42-8, 14-6) its first loss in a conference series this season.

Missouri rolls to inspired win

Leave it to a man who nearly entered the seminary, to inspire Missouri to a 10-0 win against Texas Tech on Sunday.

The last game the Tigers (24-23, 11-4) played at University Field this season ended after four and a half innings.

Beefing up Columbia

Roast beef could be what’s for dinner this summer, at least for those who live near the MU campus. A new restaurant famous for the meat plans to open in downtown Columbia later this month.

Lion’s Choice, 406 Ninth St., will specialize in roast beef sandwiches freshly made in the store. It is replacing Osama’s Coffee Zone, which closed after a fire last August destroyed the neighboring Heidelberg restaurant.

O negative blood supply is low

The universal donor blood type O negative is in short supply in mid-Missouri.

O negative blood is given to all accident victims in need of blood until they arrive at a hospital and their blood type can be determined. But the O negative supply can be depleted quickly if a hospital receives several accident victims with the relatively rare blood type.

Back to drawing board for logo

BENTONVILLE, Ark. — Bentonville High School has changed its tiger logo after a licensing company told the school that it was too similar to the tiger that MU uses.

Collegiate Licensing Co. asked for the change to protect MU’s copyright. Bentonville athletics director Lauren West said the school received a letter two months ago requesting the change.

Many women key in helping growth

A woman who was a mentor to me, my son and scores of others passed away last week at the age of 105. Every child growing up, I think, should have a person like this in his or her life. For many years, she was our church pianist and director of the youth choir. She strove always for excellence, and she demanded that the rest of us do everything “by the book.” As children, most of us looked upon her as a Holy Terror. As adults, we look upon her as a shining example of a superior human being that made the world a better place just by her presence in it.

My friend’s passing reminded me of all the women who played a role in helping me to make it into adulthood. Growing up female was always a special experience for me. I never remember being envious of boys. Certainly, I suppose, my oldest brother enjoyed certain privileges, such as accompanying my grandfather on his carpentry jobs, which we girls did not share. Even as a little boy, he had his own wheelbarrow and his own special tools. But none of us was interested in carpentry. My oldest sister enjoyed cooking, and she spent time with a next-door neighbor learning to improve her skills. Another sister was a budding artist who spent much of her leisure with her sketchbook. As a future writer, I had my own little space in the attic where I kept my tools and worked on my stories.

Spreading their wings

They are young and restless, with dreams that have grown too big for this town. After growing up in Columbia, many young adults want to leave their roots behind.

MU sophomore Brett Wessler, who has lived here for 15 years, sums it up: “I want to go out and see what’s out there.”