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Turning the tables

There was Meggie Smith, a Rock Bridge High School student who plans to be president of the United States in 2028.

“You’ll laugh at me … (but) I’m not kidding,” she said.

The gate to Hog heaven

They’d been awake for almost 49 hours. Their eyes were glazed over, their bodies were aching, but Michael Jenkins and Mike Hart had dug in for the long haul.

At stake: a brand new Harley-Davidson motorcycle, worth $18,000.

Smith thrives after change

Last season, Brian Smith provided Missouri with a speed rusher off the edge of its defense and the team named him freshman of the year, an honor he shared with fellow defensive end Xzavie Jackson.

After leading the team with eight sacks in 2003, Smith had none in the first two games this season and was making little impact for the Missouri defense.

Democrats roll out plans to beat meth

Sen. John Kerry’s presidential campaign on Monday unveiled a nationwide plan to fight methamphetamine use and production, which has plagued Missouri since at least 2001, when the state became the national leader in labs seized.

The plan, announced by Kerry’s running mate, Sen. John Edwards, in a nationwide conference call with reporters, calls for $30 million per year in additional spending on law enforcement, education, lab clean-up and measures to prevent common methamphetamine ingredients from falling into the hands of potential “cooks.”

Faces

The day Louise Martin retired from her secretary job in the Graduate Studies Office of Curriculum and Instruction at MU, a group of faculty members, staff and students she knew and loved gave her a floor loom as a farewell present.

That was the beginning of her adventures with weaving — using wool sheared from the alpacas she and her husband raise. Now three years into weaving lessons, Martin said her family members and friends request and buy her alpaca purses, scarves, shawls, place mats, belts, tablecloths and blankets.

Game 3 letdown Cougars’ lone slip

Columbia College volleyball coach Melinda Wrye-Washington could have been critical of the Cougars’ Game 3 performance Monday against Missouri Baptist.

It was the No. 7 Cougars’ closest game in their 30-18, 30-12, 30-26 win at The Arena of Southwell Complex. The Cougars fell behind 7-1 but came back to tie at 19. The Spartans also had a mini-rally after falling behind 28-22, scoring three consecutive points before losing the game.

Speaking out

The MU Speakers Circle is an intersection for campus life and a forum — sometimes impromptu — for public discourse. People talk about anything: politics, human rights, feminism, religion, rape awareness or voter registration.

A concrete space warmed by overflowing planters, Speakers Circle is situated just outside the Arts and Science building where Ninth Street curves into Conley Avenue. Designed like a subtle amphitheater, the low steps circle gradually down to a central point – forming either an ideal stage or just another open space on campus.

MU’s blood drive gets personal

At first glance, Lindsey Meglio doesn’t appear unlike the other college volunteers at MU’s annual Homecoming blood drive.

That is, until the 46-foot tractor trailer adorned with her face and four others pulls into the Hearnes Center parking lot. Inside the trailer is an array of high-tech equipment, including a virtual tour and an inside look at Meglio’s life.

Sooners out for revenge

The rematch of last season’s Big 12 Conference championship game looks like a good opportunity for Oklahoma to get revenge against Kansas State.

The Wildcats demoralized the Sooners 35-7 last year, ending Oklahoma’s perfect season and showing that the Sooners were not invincible before the Bowl Championship Series title game. Oklahoma then lost 21-14 to LSU in the Sugar Bowl, ending its chance to share the national championship with USC.

Missouri men’s golf team second at Bluffs Challenge after first day

The Missouri men’s golf team is tied with Miami of Ohio for the lead at 1-under after the first day of the Missouri Bluffs Challenge in St. Charles.

The Tigers shot the best score of the afternoon round with a 283.

School receives mentors grant

West Boulevard Elementary School has received a $525,000 federal grant from the U.S. Department of Elementary Education, a school official announced.

The grant will fund a mentor program for students at West Boulevard titled “Stand By Me: Sharing the Journey,” said Phyllis Chase, superintendent of Columbia Schools, at a Board of Education meeting Monday night.

Now You Know

This year’s hurricane season could tie for the highest number of category four and five hurricanes on record for one season, said Anthony Lupo, associate professor of atmospheric science at MU. This may indicate the early stages of a 20- to 30-year trend during which hurricane seasons will be more active.

How it works: Lupo’s research suggests that the global climate cycles every 20 to 30 years, leading to alternating dry spells and high activity periods for hurricanes. From 1947 to 1976, hurricane seasons were active and steady in the Atlantic Ocean; but from 1977 to 1998, the Atlantic was much quieter. Since 1999, Lupo has noted an upswing in activity. The cycles are related to changes in ocean temperatures, but Lupo does not think this is indicative of global warming.

Chinese teachers study U.S. culture

In a recent class at MU, eight Chinese women struggled to deliver speeches in English that weighed the pros and cons of a problem of their choice. Their American instructor listened carefully, stopping them from time to time to correct pronunciation and grammar.

One student talked about the difference between Chinese and American cultures. Another discussed the importance of having a car in cities such as Columbia.

Art, history live on in ragtime musician

Sometimes the good guys do finish first. And that’s exactly what happened a couple of weeks ago when the young, black, ragtime composer, Reginald Robinson of Chicago won a $500,000 MacArthur “genius award.”

Columbians who attended last June’s ragtime festivities had an opportunity to see and hear Robinson perform. The 31-year-old composer and pianist first heard ragtime at school when he was 13 and began trying to play the syncopated music. He has been devoted to ragtime, to researching, writing and performing it ever since.

MU professor earns Spurgeon award

Dongsheng Duan, assistant professor of molecular microbiology and immunology at the MU School of Medicine, was selected to receive the Dorsett L. Spurgeon MD Distinguished Medical Research Award.

The annual award recognizes outstanding achievement by researchers early in their careers. Duan will be the keynote speaker at the Health Sciences Center Research Day on Nov. 11 and will receive a cash prize.

Voters evaluate river, health care, education issues

As the Nov. 2 general election nears, voters who live in Boone County’s 24th House District are evaluating the issues they want the state government to address.

While many of their concerns mirror the top issues advanced by candidates Travis Ballenger and Ed Robb, the voters also have some extra challenges for prospective legislators to consider.

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