Awaiting new challenges

For family and friends snapping pictures during graduation weekend at MU, nature provided an ideal backdrop of blue skies peppered with fluffy white clouds Saturday.

MU Chancellor Richard Wallace, participating in his last graduation ceremonies as chancellor this weekend, commented on the clear and cool weather as he began the 10th annual Honors Convocation, the ceremony for the 821 students graduating with honors. MU is giving out a total of 4,281 degrees.

NCAA: Snyder ’failed’

COLUMBIA, Mo. — The NCAA alleges that University of Missouri basketball coach Quin Snyder “failed at all times” to maintain an environment of rules compliance, documents obtained by The Associated Press show.

Snyder made multiple impermissible calls and personal contacts to recruiting prospects, provided impermissible meals for recruits and student-athletes and didn’t keep tabs on his staff’s compliance with rules, the NCAA asserts in its formal notice of allegations.

Education funding unsettled

JEFFERSON CITY — When it comes to Missouri education policy, what the General Assembly didn’t do this session may turn out to be more important than what it did.

State legislators failed to revise Missouri’s Foundation Formula, the key mechanism through which the state distributes $2.4 billion to its public schools. The formula is also the subject of a major lawsuit involving nearly half of the state’s school districts.

Mavs’ start a hit

Mid-Missouri Mavericks fans who saw the team’s preseason game Saturday might have left in a state of shock.

A team that finished 33-57 last season in part because of a sluggish offense, the Mavericks erupted for 17 hits to defeat the Springfield Ducks 13-8 at Taylor Stadium. The teams played 10 innings to get as many players as possible involved.

NU’s James baffles Tigers

The Missouri softball team lost 1-0 to regular-season champion Nebraska in the Big 12 Conference Championship on Saturday in Oklahoma City.

It was the first time since 1997 the Tigers played for the title.

It’s about time for Columbia swimmers

To Hickman sophomore Rachael Maerz, three hundredths of a second will seem like a year.

Maerz won the 100-yard breaststroke at the Last Chance Qualifier meet Saturday at Hickman, but her time of 1 minute and 14.22 seconds was .03 seconds slower than the state qualifying time.

Hot topics pepper session’s close

JEFFERSON CITY — The lieutenant governor, foster care and same-sex marriage highlighted the last day of the legislative session Friday.

Senate Democratic Floor Leader Ken Jacob, D-Columbia, stalled a foster care bill until the last minute of the session. The House passed the Senate’s version of a constitutional amendment prohibiting same-sex marriages, sending it to the ballot.

Politics, math don’t mix well for legislature

JEFFERSON CITY — A mathematical misunderstanding became the center of one of the biggest political disputes in the Missouri legislature’s 2004 session.

“During the month of March, we added more than 1,000 recipients daily,” wrote Rep. Larry Morris, R-Springfield, in response to a newspaper’s editorial criticizing a GOP plan to cut the Medicaid program that funds health coverage for lower income Missourians.

Paper proliferation

JEFFERSON CITY — Over the course of a legislative session, many things can flow out of a statehouse, like vitriol, rhetoric and legislation. In Missouri’s case, add paper products to that list.

Administrative officials in Missouri’s House and Senate estimated that the two branches of government combined used roughly six million sheets of paper during the session.

Car crash leaves two college students dead

Two college students died in a fatal car crash early Friday morning, bringing the total of people who have died in car accidents in the last week to five.

Brandon Perkins, 23, a business student at Columbia College, and Samantha Black, 22, a senior at MU who was set to graduate today with a bachelor’s degree in chemistry, were involved in a single-car accident at 12:50 a.m. on Providence Road at the Hinkson Creek bridge.

What passed, what failed

What passed

Moran earns heptathlon crown

Michelle Moran picked a great time to have one of the best days of her athletic career.

Moran, a former Missouri heptathlete, won the heptathlon at the Audrey Walton Combined Event Carnival on Friday at Audrey J. Walton Stadium with 5,698 points.

Bruins girls take second at district track meet

The Rock Bridge girls’ track team finished second and the boys’ team third at the District 5 Tournament on Saturday in O’Fallon.

Hickman’s boys’ team was fifth and the girls’ team finished sixth. Jefferson City won the boys’ and girls’ district titles.

Extra Points

Moving takes toll on family

I was an Army brat growing up, so I consider myself somewhat of an expert at packing and moving. Recently, my youngest son and his wife found their “dream” home. With our big family, I figured helping them move would be easy — maybe even fun. After all, my son and his wife have only been married nine years. How many possessions could they have accrued in less than a decade?

My daughter-in-law began packing at least a month before the move. I must say I was impressed with the stacks of boxes that covered the living and dining room floors. The family ate out every night the week before the big day because she had packed all of the pots, pans and dinnerware. There was method to her madness.

Rustic living

About 30 long miles west of Columbia, Martin Bellmann has built a cabin even Henry David Thoreau would respect on 17 acres that just might be prettier than Shangri-La.

It is a place where the wind plays through groves of walnut and oak like breath on a flute, where neighbors are separated by acres of grass and oaks and where farmers ride tractors through sweaty afternoons and beg the sky for a cloud to blot the sun.