Memories of railroad resonate

Wayne Lammers can still feel the shudder of the massive steel bridge, the powerful gust of wind and steam spilling from the locomotive. He can still hear the rattling of the tracks and the piercing engine whistle. He remembers how the camera was shaking, how scared he was and how he was close enough to touch the engine.

That was 18 years ago, when Lammers videotaped the last train to cross the Missouri River railroad bridge at Boonville. Now the bridge is still. Overgrown with foliage and overtaken with rust, the only sound comes not from train whistles but from the traffic on the nearby highway bridge.

Head start on road of science

When Columbia’s Daniel Tse reaches Ohio State University this week, he will probably be the only student there with an asteroid named after him.

The honor was one of the fruits of an international science competition in which Tse, 18, placed second in the biochemistry division. His research centered on prevention of Alzheimer’s disease and was among thousands of projects entered in the Intel competition.

A bridge in trouble

The cross-state Katy Trail has once again captured the attention of Columbia Mayor Darwin Hindman.

Hindman, who played an active role in the development of the recreation trail that parallels the Missouri River, wants to save the old railroad bridge at Boonville and make it part of the walking and biking path. He plans on attending a 2 p.m. Thursday meeting at Historic Turner Hall in Boonville to advance the idea.

Summer school program praised

A preliminary report issued Monday on the Columbia School District’s controversial summer school program said the program was nothing but a success for the district this summer.

Cheryl Cozette, assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction, gave a report at the Columbia Board of Education’s Monday night meeting on the district’s 2004 summer school program, part of which was run by Newton Learning, a private company.

Tiger Hotel sign ready to glow

For the first time in 42 years, the historic Tiger Hotel’s neon sign will put red light back into downtown. The three-month, $20,000 restoration of the five-letter sign was completed early Monday morning in what can only be described as the town’s most precarious spelling bee. All five of the 8-foot tall, 7-foot wide letters had to be raised 150 feet by crane and bolted down before the word “TIGER” could be framed back atop downtown Columbia’s tallest building.

John Ott, one of the hotel’s four owners, said a re-lighting ceremony will be held Thursday at 7:30 p.m. along Eighth Street to celebrate the restoration.

Lesson is taught from half a world away

On Friday, Sept. 10, the call came in at 2 p.m., not 2:20 as planned. Widget Ewing, a geography teacher at Columbia Catholic School, immediately began calling students out of their classes and hustling them into the library. The seventh-graders’ geography class would have a new voice that afternoon.

Half a world away it was already 7 a.m. on Sept. 11 for Nick Cook. On the anniversary of an event that would change the lives of many, Cook shared his own life changes through a speakerphone, providing a personal geography lesson about a distant part of the world.

Bruins sidestep Celtics

Rock Bridge remained undefeated Monday at Cosmopolitan Park in a game that featured a little bit of everything.

In the Bruins’ 4-2 win, referees yelled at players and coaches, players and coaches yelled back, and coaches yelled at each other. Officials called 14 fouls and handed out three yellow cards. And that was just against the Bruins.

Columbia resident may have West Nile

A Columbia resident has likely contracted West Nile virus, according to the Columbia/Boone County Health Department.

It is the first probable case of West Nile virus in Boone County this year. Although the identity of the patient is confidential, representatives from the health department said she is a female, older than 50, who lives in southwest Columbia, near the Country Club of Missouri. The woman was hospitalized a few days ago with many symptoms of the virus.

Wireless carriers hope to add cellular towers in town

The Columbia skyline might soon feature two new cellular towers with digital transmitters as wireless carriers work to enhance their digital network coverage here, just as they are doing across North America.

“We perform an extensive engineering analysis to find a spot where we can enhance service,” said Frank Merriman of Cingular Wireless, which is applying for permission to build one of the towers. He said more transmitters in the appropriate locations would make the firm’s digital network more pervasive and consistent.

Offensive execution key for MU

After Missouri’s 24-14 loss to Troy on Thursday night, the Tigers struggled to explain why their offense had sputtered.

At Monday’s media day, after they had reviewed the game film, the Tigers didn’t offer excuses about the offense. They merely said their execution must improve.

Mediator to help settle bus contract

Norman Beattie of the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service will be in town today to help with the contract dispute between bus drivers of Union Local 833 and First Student Inc., the area’s school bus provider.

The meeting, requested by both parties, will be held at 10 a.m. at the Days Inn Hotel and Conference Center.

Peterson and Uldal honored for Olympic achievements

Missouri track coach Rick McGuire has followed Derrick Peterson’s Olympic journey up close. Marilyn Rose Thudium said she had to stay up late to watch Peterson run in the 800 meters at the Olympics. Thudium met Peterson as a sorority mother for Alpha Phi.

“I met Derrick as a student when he was dating one of my girls,” Thudium said. “He was a very nice gentleman.”

Hold ‘em Poker drawing a crowd

Matt Damon’s opening line in the movie “Rounders” summed it up well.

“If you can’t spot the sucker in the first half hour at the table, then you are the sucker.”

Carnahan says let Missouri vote early

Democratic nominee for secretary of state Robin Carnahan said Monday she wants Missourians to be able to vote before Election Day in a speech at the Columbia Public Library.

Citing Iowa’s early-voting program, which allows citizens to vote up to 40 days before the election, Carnahan said the program is one way to ensure that more people will have a chance to vote. The program also allows voters to avoid long lines at the polls that might stop them from voting altogether.

Upsets plague Big 12 teams

After the Big 12 Conference teams opened the season 10-2, only seven teams earned wins in the second week.

Losses included Fresno State routing Kansas State and Missouri falling at Troy on Thursday.

Budds blooms at Mizzou

Louis Armstrong, Ella Fitzgerald and Count Basie are among the faces scattered on CD case covers around the office. The room smells of basement must and lingering cigarette smoke.

A portly man with glasses askew peers over a large, wooden desk on which a pile of papers threatens to swallow him whole. Absentmindedly, he pulls his fingers through his messy, grayish-white hair. His lips are nearly hidden by a bushy white mustache.

Kewps golfers shine in third

The Hickman girls golf team shot a 349 for third at the 22-team Smith-Cotton Classic at the Sedalia Country Club.

Strings squeak at open house

Learning to play an instrument may teach children how to learn, according to Leslie Perna, associate professor of viola at MU’s School of Music. This is one reason an MU program, the Missouri String Project, may be a good place for Columbia schoolchildren to get their introduction to instruments.

“You’re not going to be studying Plato in the third grade, but music is a structured process that you can learn at any age,” Perna said. “It will help you in every other field.”

Deaton says MU’s Study Abroad Program is growing

On his first day as interim chancellor, Brady Deaton said MU’s Study Abroad Program is growing.

“Students are going to be very well served,” Deaton predicted in announcing that Handy Williamson would remain in charge of MU’s International Center, which oversees the Study Abroad Program.