Silent Invaders

Each year, thousands of Americans are unknowingly infected with a potentially fatal sexually transmitted disease, the human papilloma virus. Unknowingly, because the virus may not become externally visible until it’s too late.

Strains of the human papilloma virus can live undetected in a woman’s cervix and man’s penis for years. Left untreated in women, the virus can evolve into cervical cancer. It accounts for 80 percent of American cervical cancers per year, according to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In men, the virus can cause penile and anal cancer.

Advancements in birth control

Since the FDA approved the birth control pill in the 1960s, scientists have created new hormone-based methods of contraception,including a patch, an injection and updated versions of the pill. These contraceptives regulate the body with synthetic forms of hormones that control fertility and reproductive systems.

Animation seriously

The look and feel of documentary filmmaking is changing. This type of film is not only for the classroom or for fans of independent releases such as “Fahrenheit 9/11.” Now, in addition to growing budgets and well-publicized premieres, reality is becoming animated.

Originating in Britain in the 1930s as an alternative to the glitz and glamour of Hollywood, animated documentary has recently re-emerged as an intriguing separation from the full-blown fantasy animation of films such as “Toy Story” and “Shrek.” It is nonfiction filmmaking that takes real-life, and often serious, subject matter and gives it a kick of creativity, allowing the director to experiment with symbolism, themes, emotion and characterization with thought-provoking subtlety.

On the edge of disaster

“No art exists that doesn’t have an important subject to it,” watercolor artist Keith Crown says, “just like a novel doesn’t exist that doesn’t have a story to it.”

Whether sketching or painting, Crown has always captured meaning and substance with his work. Crown, the recipient of the Watercolor USA Honor Society’s Lifetime Achievement Award in 2003, has exhibited his work in galleries from New York to California. The Columbia resident’s paintings are part of the prestigious permanent collection at the Harwood Museum in Taos, N.M.

Inside the mind's eye

Jessie Lawson, an artist and owner of The Arsenic Leopard talks about her life as a painter.

Paige Laurie accused of cheating

While MU’s men’s basketball team came apart Friday night against Davidson in the new Paige Sports Center, a story about the arena’s namesake unraveled on primetime television.

ABC’s “20/20” news program aired a report called “Big Cheats on Campus,” which featured a claim that Paige Laurie, for whom the arena is named, paid a college roommate about $20,000 over three-and-a-half years to complete Laurie’s class assignments.

Greek community mourns death of restaurant shooting victim

George Godas went to sleep Tuesday content and at peace with the world. By morning, his life had been turned upside down.

Godas, owner of George’s Pizza and Steak in Columbia, was at his restaurant Wednesday evening when police announced the arrest of two teens for the shooting death of his longtime friend, Komninos “Gus” Karellas.

Schools seek more funding from state

The Columbia Board of Education met Friday with state legislators to discuss its priorities for the upcoming legislative session: No. 1 is funding of the state’s foundation formula that pays for schools.

The session begins Jan. 5, and district officials wanted to ensure representatives from Boone County are aware of the issues district officials said they feel strongly about.

Harg locals oppose annexation for Columbia development

A developer’s request that would add much of the unincorporated Harg community to Columbia has met fierce opposition from some Harg-area residents, threatening to delay or stop the largest proposed annexation in Columbia’s history.

Developer Billy Sapp, who is planning more than 1,000 acres of homes, condominiums, shops and a golf course in the area, wants his development to receive city services such as police protection and street lights.

Excess of attorney ads sparks debate

Open the phone book, and there’s a fair chance you’ll find a lawyer staring at you.

In the 27 years since the U.S. Supreme Court declared it legal, attorney advertising has become a popular, multimillion dollar activity. It has also touched off debate within the legal profession, with some hailing advertising as a way to inform the public and others condemning it for hurting the profession’s dignity.

26 come to public access TV orientation

Hosting two television shows might seem difficult, but Carlton Flowers does it every week in addition to working for the Missouri Department of Natural Resources.

Flowers’ shows, geared toward self-improvement in a “fun, quirky but educational way,” have been running on the Jefferson City public access channel for several years. Now that Columbia Access Television is off the ground, he’s ready to spread his message to Columbia. Flowers is not alone in wanting face time on the new station.

Fourth-stringer lights up Tigers

As time dwindled away on Memorial Stadium’s clock Saturday afternoon, a small group of Kansas fans sarcastically chanted, “Smith for Heisman.”

The chant referred to the brief Heisman Trophy campaign of Missouri quarterback Brad Smith. Based on Kansas’ 31-14 win Saturday, Kansas quarterback Brian Luke, starting for the first time in his career, looked more like the Heisman candidate.

He’s no Superman, just supervisor

Mike Thomas walks to the back of a white hallway illuminated by glaring fluorescent light. Plastic and metal machines line the walls.

Then comes Thomas’ office and a shock of color. Taped carefully to the wall are abstract crayon scribblings and jaggedly drawn pictures.

Last game tough for Tigers’ seniors

It does not get much worse than losing handily to archrival Kansas for the second straight year. But suffering a fifth-consecutive loss in the last home game of the season somehow made it worse.

For the Missouri seniors it will be their last memory at Memorial Stadium.

Final step

A state championship had been the goal for Hickman since the beginning of the football season and some would say since the Kewpies’ last title 30 years ago.

But time was running out, and opportunities had been squandered.

Unrivaled Collapse

In a season when Missouri has discovered nearly every way to lose a football game, the Tigers found yet another way Saturday against Kansas.

After perfecting second-half collapses and special teams blunders, the Tigers failed to show up early against the Jayhawks at Memorial Stadium. But unlike the comebacks the Tigers allowed, Missouri’s frantic rally fell short.

Abuse & the law

Detective Jeff Westbrook of the Columbia Police Department heads to a crime scene in his unmarked Impala. Three days ago, a man bent his girlfriend’s fingers back so far she thought they were broken. Westbrook is on his way to question the victim.

“He was arrested for third-degree assault,” Westbrook says. The woman’s fingers were X-rayed. No breaks.

Parents and players exhausted after game

Exhaustion isn’t all that bad.

For Hickman’s football players, fans and parents, a mix of exhilaration and exhaustion kept them going after Friday’s win against Rockhurst.

Violence with guns

Of Missouri’s 56 murders and murder-suicides related to domestic abuse in 2003, roughly half were committed with guns.

In at least 10 percent of the cases, a restraining order was in effect.

Basketball: Tigers stinging from close defeat

After the arduous process of an NCAA investigation and sanctioning, one might think the Missouri basketball team would be used to adversity by now.

The Tigers got a taste of adversity on the court Friday, when Davidson College held on to defeat Missouri 84-81. The Tigers had rallied back from a 19-point deficit.