Missouri’s job outlook improving

Missouri gained more than 7,000 jobs in the first quarter of the year, partially because of growth in its manufacturing sector, according to a survey conducted at Creighton University in Nebraska.

The Mid-America Business Conditions Survey found that Midwestern manufacturers are receiving more orders for their products. Missouri’s overall economic index was the highest since 1994, and most factors in the survey showed economic strength.

Debate on ordination of gays heated but respectful

As the 2004 United Methodist General Conference enters its final week, it has become almost clear that the controversial church law that prohibits the ordination of practicing gays will be intact for at least four more years.

This legislative assembly — embroiled in controversy since it began on April 27 — has drawn the Rev. Jim Bryan of Missouri United Methodist Church, lay member Carol Smith of Fairview United Methodist Church and about 1,000 other delegates from around the world to Pittsburgh for impassioned discussion about a law that some consider to be cruel and prejudicial and that others believe upholds biblical principals.

City Council tables street standards

The Columbia City Council put proposed street design standards on hold yet again Monday night.

After a two-hour-long public hearing, the council decided it had too many unanswered questions to move forward. The council tabled the issue for further discussion at its June 7 meeting.

Aging, not ranging

By some estimates, the population of people over the age of 65 will more than double, to 77 million, by 2030, increasing the need for long-term care for seniors. But the typical nursing home isn’t where the next generation of seniors want to find themselves.

TigerPlace, scheduled to open in June, is an alternative living place for the elderly population. MU and Americare Systems Inc., a Sikeston company, that specializes in senior residential care, have created the project based on the concept of “aging in place.” The approach allows residents to stay in their apartments and, as their needs increase, have services brought to them.

Mercy! Kewpies roll

Midfielder Molly O’Connell said Hickman’s game against Hannibal on Monday showed how much the Kewpies have to improve.

“We weren’t really playing up to our full potential,” O’Connell said.

Robyn leaves MU golf team

Tim Robyn has never seen his 8-year-old son Davis play baseball. He hasn’t watched his 11-year-old-daughter Kayla play soccer this year.

His desire to spend more time with his family prompted Robyn to resign as coach of the Missouri men’s golf team Monday. He coached the Tigers for seven seasons.

A flair for the dramatic

Giggling high-schoolers snap to attention at rehearsal as a hearty man at the piano growls, “Please don’t talk when I’m talking.” All eyes are on him — this is the time when Bob Bohon starts pulling together this year’s spring musical, “Anything Goes.”

And it’s the beginning of the end of an era. After 27 years with Rock Bridge High School, Bohon is directing his last show at the school.

Error ends Bruins’ rally

Chase Patton provided the drama, but an extra-inning error left Rock Bridge with a broken heart.

Helias scored two runs in the 10th inning to beat the Bruins 11-9 on Monday at Rock Bridge Stadium in a game that lasted more than three hours.

Nedoma takes scorer’s role for Rock Bridge

Persistence paid off in the second half for Rock Bridge and Karissa Nedoma.

Nedoma scored two goals in the second half to lead Rock Bridge to a 4-0 victory against the Smith-Cotton Tigers at Cosmopolitan Park on Monday. The win snapped a three-game losing streak.

Hickman cruises to first shutout

Hickman got its first shutout win of the season on Monday, but it hopes it will not be the high point of the week.

The Kewpies beat Mexico 9-0 at home.

Districts a matter of course

When Hickman and Rock Bridge tee off today, they will contend with more than the area’s best golfers.

Sedalia Country Club, the tournament’s host, is under construction for repairs and improvements. It is the host of the Class 4, District 5 tournament that starts today at 9 a.m. The top two teams will advance to the state tournament May 17-18 at Deer Lake Golf Course in Springfield.

Suspects plead not guilty to murder

The two suspects charged with the murder of former Columbia Daily Tribune sports editor Kent Heitholt pleaded not guilty in court on Monday. Both suspects declined formal arraignment where bond may have been reviewed.

Ryan Ferguson, 19, was indicted by a grand jury on charges of first-degree murder and first-degree robbery Friday. He was originally scheduled to appear at a preliminary hearing, but Boone County Prosecutor Kevin Crane chose to present the case to a grand jury instead.

Alumnus gives $5 million to MU College of Agriculture

When MU graduate Al McQuinn and his wife, May Agnes McQuinn, gave $5 million to the MU College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resouces on Friday, it was the largest unrestricted gift ever given to MU by a living donor, said MU spokesman Jeremy Dierner.

McQuinn said that through the couple’s gift, which Diener said may be the largest such gift ever given by a living donor to a public university, he is hoping to give back to MU for an education that he says has given him a tremendous advantage in his lifetime work.

No astronaut gig for local educator

Paul Mahoney had to tell his students Monday morning that he will not have the chance to ride in a space shuttle after all.

In an e-mail sent Monday, Mahoney announced that he was not chosen to be a part of NASA’s Educator Astronaut program.

Power Seller lights up eBay

EBay has taken the world by storm, and Mary Ruppert is going along for the ride.

She and her husband, Bogdan Stroescu, have started an innovative business that makes it easier for the public to experience eBay.

Motor Family

There are many businesses in Columbia run by women, but there’s only one used-car dealership that was started and is owned by a woman. Ariel Beltey opened BeLiva Motor Group, 600 Vandiver Drive, in September of 2001. The business is small, locally owned and family-oriented — so family-oriented, in fact, that the company’s name came from Beltey’s 4-year-old daughter Olivia.

The family nicknamed her “Liva,” and Olivia would say “abi” when she wanted to be picked up. The phrase soon merged with her name to become “Abi-Liva.”

Living a dream

Ever since MU senior Mike Hall won his a contract with Sportscenter on ESPN’s reality TV series “Dream Job,” people all over Columbia have been talking about it. But you don’t have to go all the way to New York City to find a great job. We have found five dream jobs right here in Columbia. Dream on.