The first champs

Since the Missouri football team played its first intercollegiate game in 1890, there has been one team that brought a national championship to Columbia.

In 1954, the Missouri baseball team won the College World Series in Omaha, Neb., to become MU’s only team champion. John “Hi” Simmons coached the young team that had three seniors, including shortstop Dick “Scooter” Dickinson.

Veteran recalls role in D-Day bombings

Is it OK for a grown man to cry? You bet it is! Tears usually flow when things gone by are remembered. Things that make you want to say, "There, but for the grace of God, go I."

I’ve just read a magazine article of a happening of a B-17 that was piloted by a young 23-year-old who gave his life to save the inhabitants of a French village. On D-Day, a few years ago, the descendents of that pilot were influenced to return to the spot where the B-17 crashed in France, to witness the celebration by the townsfolk, thanking a member of the pilot’s family, for the forefather who gave his life to save the village residents. That pilot remained at the controls of his badly damaged plane to head it away from a village underneath him, seeking an open space to land — or crash. Crash he did, and the villagers remembered and dedicated the crash site with reverence and appreciation.

Mavs look for fresh start

Everything worked well for the Mid-Missouri Mavericks on Sunday.

The Mavericks routed the Springfield-Ozark Ducks 12-5 at Taylor Stadium, getting 16 hits and scoring in five consecutive innings.

‘54 memories linger

There was no tickertape parade awaiting the 1954 baseball team when it returned from Omaha, Neb., as the national champion.

Although there was heavy coverage in the newspapers, it was mid-June and the students were on summer break. None of the players remember a great celebration after the game and many did not make the trip back to Columbia, leaving to play semipro baseball for the summer.

Title never in doubt for Tigers

Senior Dick Dickinson gave the 1954 team a stern warning before it reached Omaha, Neb., for the College World Series.

The Tigers had played on archaic Rollins Field all season and Dickinson, who had been to Rosenblatt Stadium as a sophomore when Missouri lost 8-4 to Holy Cross in the championship game, knew what awaited them.

Home Improvement

Lana Wiseman lives at the end of a pitted cul-de-sac amid a sea of aging trailers in a large park in Boone County. Whizzing by on a county road, you might fail to notice that her neighborhood, her community, her world, is there.

But Wiseman is determined to be noticed. Showing up on television sometimes earns her some unwanted attention, but she doesn’t really mind if her neighbors go on about it.

Reagan touched lives in mid-Mo.

As Columbia residents mourned the death of President Reagan, some had more intimate memories to draw on.

Reagan died Saturday. He was 93.

Former president’s death brings tributes

SANTA MONICA, Calif. — Ronald Reagan was remembered with jelly beans, flowers and American flags Sunday at memorials in his hometown and outside the mortuary where the former president’s body lay.

“Thank you for changing the world,” said a handwritten note among the tokens of remembrance left in Santa Monica for the nation’s 40th president, who was 93 when he died Saturday of pneumonia, as a complication of Alzheimer’s disease.

Navigators remember D-Day roles

Hirst Mendenhall of Columbia remembers the invasion like it was yesterday.

As President Bush and world leaders gathered at Normandy, France, on Sunday to mark the 60th anniversary of D-Day, here in Columbia, Ralph Conte didn’t plan to do anything elaborate for the commemoration.

Ragtime festival honors composers

In a nod to ragtime’s importance to modern music, the John William “Blind” Boone Ragtime and Early Jazz Festival began as Boone started his concerts — with a syncopated version of a classic hymn. It also featured a seminar paying tribute to one of the genre’s most noted composers.

A music fair showcasing the styles and talents of the festival’s headline performers kicked off the three-day festival.

Police: MU student’s death was homicide

The death of a young man found Saturday in the East Campus neighborhood is being investigated as a homicide, Columbia police said Sunday.

They have identified the victim as 23-year-old Jesse J. Valencia, a junior majoring in history at MU.

We must face up to new struggles

If we can believe what we see on television, a lot of people have become as polarized on the issue of the war in Iraq as they are about abortion and gay marriage. If this is true, there’s not much use for a national debate on the subject. It would seem that the moment folks line up on one side or the other of the political parties, any chance of agreement on almost any subject is lost, with the possible exception of the high cost of gasoline. No matter what our political preference is, we all seem to love to drive our cars.

I don’t find it at all surprising that many young people I know have chosen not to have children. I have heard several of them say that they fear the next several generations will still be fighting the war started by this generation. Unfortunately, a lot of us feel that they are right. But we’re a country of majority rule, and the majority has chosen to fight this war, so there’s no point in trying to “lock the barn,” so to speak.

Rocheport greets Lewis and Clark

ROCHEPORT — The scent of barbecue and soapmaking filled the air, broken by thunderous cannon shots on Sunday in historical downtown Rocheport as residents and visitors alike met Louis and Clark at Rocheport River Days.

Debris at the mouth of Moniteau Creek in Rocheport nearly prevented the keelboats and two smaller pirogues from docking at the site where Lewis and Clark visited 200 years ago on June 7, 1804. But thanks to modern advancements, a water patrol boat that accompanies the crew cleared the debris.

City bus stop shifts at mall

Wanda Avery travels from her Paquin Tower apartment to the Columbia Mall on a regular basis for a haircut, to use the bank and to buy household essentials. Often times she will use the Columbia Transit System because at 75 years old and in a wheelchair, she finds it convenient. However, a new bus policy at the Columbia Mall is going to make life a little more difficult for Avery and others like her.

Instead of dropping riders at the Columbia Mall entrance, the Columbia transit buses will stop at a new bus stop, which is expected to be completed later this month. Riders will have to travel from the new bus stop on Bernadette Drive, near Dillard’s, through the parking lot to the mall entrance.

Council to discuss street design

Proposed new street design standards will once again go before the Columbia City Council at tonight’s meeting.

The council was originally set to vote on the issue May 3, but concerns over implementation costs and narrower roads led council members to table it for further discussion.