‘She misses the man she married’

Near the end, when the disease tightened its grip and transformed the man into a shell of his former self, Jim Leslie had become a stranger in his own life.

He had begun exhibiting signs of dementia in the late 1990s, and his condition worsened during the next few years. He was often irrational and belligerent, and in a later stage he crossed the line into violence. He forgot the identity of those closest to him, including his two granddaughters.

Auctioning the Alley

Steve Spaur remembers multiple instances when he caught drunken college students attempting to steal the bowling ball and pin signs off the side of Oakland Plaza Lanes.

Those pranksters will finally have the opportunity to get those signs by legal means today. The signs will be part of an auction at the bowling alley at 2116 Vandiver Drive.

Changes to roads up for debate

Proposals for extending Scott Boulevard, Fairview Road and other major roads in central Columbia will be considered at a public hearing Thursday.

The hearing will take place during the quarterly meeting of the coordinating committee of the Columbia Area Transportation Study Organization, a federally mandated group that coordinates long-term transportation planning for the city and Boone County.

SBC donating $1 million to MU

MU students interested in computer science will soon have a third option for a degree program. SBC Communications announced Tuesday it will give $1 million to MU’s College of Engineering for a new information technology studies program.

The gift will cover the cost of computers and faculty and will be paid over the next five years.

Grant would bolster youth group

Columbia Builds Youth expects to receive a $40,000 grant through the Columbia City Council that would help it continue its efforts to re-engage teenagers and young adults in the community.

Columbia Builds Youth teaches construction skills to economically disadvantaged individuals while helping them earn general equivalency diplomas as well as find jobs.

A tasty way to benefit others

When it comes to pub grub, nothing satisfies quite like a chicken wing. Whether baked or fried, most folks like them crispy on the outside and juicy on the inside. Columbia has its fair share of wing joints, and tonight one lucky restaurant will be crowned king of the wing.

The 16th annual Easter Seals Wing Ding will take place tonight at American Legion Post 202. Wing lovers can chow down for charity as area restaurants vie for the coveted title of tastiest wing in Columbia. Local luminaries will assist the public in judging wings in four separate categories: best BBQ wing, meatiest wing, best overall taste and a people’s choice decided by all in attendance. Adam Cox, a 5-year-old student enrolled at Easter Seals Child Development Center, will also take part in the judging.

Pets find new home on campus

Stephens College sophomore Alexandra Geisler scheduled her classes this semester not around a job but around Abbey Road, a Jack Russell terrier who needs walking at least twice a day.

For the first time, students at Stephens — where classes start today — may have pets other than fish in their residence hall rooms.

Fall events aim to boost interest in downtown

The leaves won’t be the only things dancing in Flat Branch Park this fall.

The Columbia Parks and Recreation Department and the Columbia Convention and Visitors Bureau announced Tuesday a fall entertainment lineup that will include live music, outdoor cinema and a midnight bike ride.

Iraqi canine gets new home

Like any dog, Bunker has chewed her way through many pairs of shoes, but she’s anything but your typical household pet.

“When we were at a work site and Bunker started barking, we knew that Iraqis were in the area,” said Lucas Green, 23, a Columbia resident and a member of the Missouri National Guard’s 203rd Engineer Battalion. “She was our early detection system.”

Peterson primed for Olympic debut in 800

Four years ago, Derrick Peterson, a former Missouri runner, almost walked away from track.

Disappointed in his performance in the 800 meters at the 2000 Olympic Trials in Sacramento, Calif., Peterson said he didn’t want to continue training, the 2004 Olympics seemed too far away. Peterson finished fifth in his semifinal run at the trials in 2000, missing a chance to advance to the finals and a possible Olympic berth by one-hundredth of a second. He came back to finish third at July’s Olympic Trials, earning an Olympic berth. Peterson competes in the opening round of the 800 today.

Jackson needs no nickname

Jimmy Jackson’s name may be simple and unexciting, but his game is something special.

While he may not have the flashy nicknames of fellow freshmen “Touchdown” Tony Temple or William “Helicopter” Franklin, Jackson, a 5-foot-9, 190 pound running back from Caruthersville, is turning heads with his impressive play in recent practices.

Bauder’s shot helps Grizzlies top Mavs

The Gateway Grizzlies completed a three-game sweep of the Mid-Missouri Mavericks on Tuesday in Sauget, Ill.

Brad Bauder hit a two-out, two-run home run in the sixth inning that gave Gateway the lead in a 5-3 win. The Mavericks managed a run in the ninth inning but couldn’t come back.

MU’s Uldal finishes at 27th

Missouri sophomore Hans Uldal moved up in the standings on the final day of the decathlon in the 2004 Athens Olympics, finishing 27th out of 39 competitors.

Uldal, who was representing Norway, had been 30th after the first day of the decathlon, which combines an athlete’s scores from 10 different events to determine a winner. Uldal finished with 7,495 points. Roman Sebrle of the Czech Republic won the event with an Olympic-record score of 8,893. American Bryan Clay took the silver with 8,820 points. Dmitriy Karpov of Kazakhstan won the bronze with 8,725 points.