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.”

Instrument of healing

In a small Columbia College conference room, they came inside, expectant and hopeful. Some sat on folding chairs, and others took the floor. These 15 women were seeking healing, therapy, answers. They weren’t expecting to receive medicine or any traditional treatments for their ailments. Instead, they were looking to Margaret Waddell to use sound for healing.

Waddell is a woman of all trades. In addition to her work with sound healing, she’s also an early-childhood music educator at Children’s House Montessori and offers classes at the Whole Health Wellness Center in Columbia. She coaches parents of infants as young as 4 weeks old in the value of singing to children. As a performer, Waddell sings sacred chants of Hildegard von Bingen, a 12th-century abbess and mystic. Waddell tries to educate people on how to tap into the power to heal themselves.

Tigers’ streak ends

The wait left Missouri groggy.

The Tigers appeared sluggish after rain delayed their game against Texas Tech for four hours Saturday, losing 1-0 to the Red Raiders at University Field and ending an 11-game home win streak.

Kerry stresses international cooperation in Iraq

FULTON — Democratic presidential hopeful John Kerry on Friday told a crowd at Westminster College that the world today is as perilous as it was nearly 60 years ago, when Winston Churchill warned that the “iron curtain” of communism was descending upon Europe.

Speaking in the same gymnasium where Churchill spoke in 1946, and just four days after Vice President Dick Cheney lambasted Kerry’s foreign policy stances, the Massachusetts senator outlined his strategy for bringing peace and stability to Iraq.

The young and married

Before Jan. 3, Megan Roe, 20, always gently ousted her high school sweetheart, 23-year-old Andy Roe, out of her home when the clock struck midnight.

Although there were no parents enforcing this rule — as they had during the budding years of their romance, when her parents sometimes limited their dates to strolls around the block — the couple wanted their relationship to mirror their religious beliefs about being pure before marriage.

Tigers besting the best

An extra week of rest was enough for starter Garrett Broshuis to make Missouri the first team to shut out No. 1 Texas.

Broshuis’ strong outing helped the Tigers defeat the Longhorns 8-0 on Saturday at Taylor Stadium in a Big 12 Conference game and gives them a chance for the sweep at noon today.

Speeches enliven Mo. politics

FULTON — Westminster College became a dance floor for presidential partisan politics last week. The music was foreign policy and the disc jockey was Fletcher Lamkin, the college’s president.

Lamkin strove for balance by inviting Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry to speak Friday on campus, just four days after Vice President Dick Cheney addressed the Westminster College community on Monday.

When it comes to gardening, I’m all thumbs

I’ve never been very good at gardening. To say I don’t have a green thumb is putting it mildly. As a matter of fact, I’m all thumbs when my hands come in contact with dirt.

When I was growing up, my mother loved to plant flowers and was actually quite good at it. She planted rose bushes and was proud of her rock garden. She never asked us to help. I think she took up the hobby to get away from her six kids. And although I’m almost a clone of my mother — down to the varicose veins — I never had the urge to take up a hoe and dig in the ground.

A musical recovery

Sheryl Clapton suffered from total amnesia in 1997. She moved from California to Albuquerque, N.M., where she worked as an on-site radio producer, and has lived in Columbia since last July. As an AmeriCorp Vista volunteer, she fixes computers at the Intersection, a local activity


A Sunday Struggle

Moesel is the Hickman lacrosse team’s captain and leading scorer with 27 goals. His leadership role means he has a responsibility to his team to play his hardest every day.

Moesel also is a Mormon, which means he has a duty to his faith to honor the Sabbath.

Extra Points

11 Tigers earn Big 12 honors:

The Missouri women finished fourth, and the men finished 11th in the Big 12 Conference Outdoor Track and Field Championships on Saturday in Norman, Okla.