Judge delays school funding lawsuit

JEFFERSON CITY — Attorney General Jay Nixon will decide the constitutionality of Missouri’s school foundation formula, which is meant to provide equal and adequate funds for the state’s public school students.

After a hearing in Cole County Circuit Court on Thursday, Judge Richard Callahan granted the state’s request to delay a school funding lawsuit for several months — but only if the state concedes that the current system is unconstitutional. Callahan granted a 15-day period for the attorney general’s office to report a decision on whether the current school funding formula violates the Missouri Constitution.

Water-quality concerns slow Wal-Mart plan

The public will once again have a chance to speak on plans to build a Wal-Mart Supercenter off Grindstone Parkway in southern Columbia.

The Missouri Department of Natural Resources will hold a public hearing Dec. 13 on the proposed development’s impact on water quality in the Hinkson Creek drainage basin. The local chapter of the Sierra Club requested the hearing to raise awareness about the project’s proximity to the environmentally sensitive Hinkson Creek.

City supports plan for joint meetings

City leaders support developer Billy Sapp’s proposal for joint zoning meetings between the city and Boone County. The meetings would concern Sapp’s proposed 1,000-acre development in the Harg community, east of Columbia near the city limits.

At a Columbia Planning and Zoning Commission meeting Thursday night, Assistant City Manager Bill Watkins said both Mayor Darwin Hindman and City Manager Ray Beck support the collaborative effort.

As hosts, tournament special for MU

When Missouri’s volleyball players take the Hearnes Center court at 6 p.m. today to play Arkansas, expect a little extra bounce in the Tigers’ steps.

What’s the occasion? The first home NCAA Tournament game in Missouri’s history, the fifth time in a row that the Tigers (19-8) have appeared in the NCAA Tournament, a chance for the Tigers to win their second tournament game and the highest national seed Missouri has received at No. 16.

Farmers hope shoppers pick pines over plastics

Francis “Fir” Coppola and “Spruce” Springsteen are listed as the producers of an Internet video game this holiday season called “The Attack of the Mutant Artificial Trees” for a St. Louis-based trade association of Christmas tree farmers. The objective is to destroy as many artificial trees as possible with snow balls. The enemy pops out of cardboard boxes that say “Made in China” and “100% Fake,” and the player retaliates with a point and click of the mouse.

The game is sponsored by the National Christmas Tree Association and is part of a multi-front offensive to regain market share from the artificial tree industry.

MU Assistant professor "staying cool" during semester off

Wouter Montfrooij is an MU Assistant professor who is currently conducting research using the University's nuclear reactor. He is involved in research of emergent phenomena in magnetism, superfluidity and superconductivity, processes with are done by examining the behavior of particles at the molecular level. “Essentially what I do is cool things down until something happens,” he said.

Decals perfect mask for MU

A coverup has happened at Mizzou Arena.

On Norm Stewart court, that is.

While the name on the outside of the arena formerly known as Paige has changed, a reminder of the academic scandal was painted in black.

Kevin Fletcher, with the MU athletic department’s media relations, said one resolution could have been to strip, sand, paint and refinish the entire floor—a 10-plus-day process.

Improved defense key for Missouri

Missouri players and coaches haven’t taken defense lightly this season.

It is often the central topic of coach Quin Snyder’s postgame press conferences, and is often one of the first things players discuss in the locker room.

MSHSAA granted access to Mizzou Arena

Upgrading from a dorm room to an apartment usually involves paying more money for a higher-quality living environment.

The Missouri State High School Activities Association made a similar upgrade and paid only 3 percent more to do so.

MU scholars given grant for research

With a $593,792 grant from the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, MU faculty members begin their research on entrepreneurship. The Interdisciplinary Entrepreneurship Research Group, or IERG, was formed in response to being approached by the Kauffman group. The three-year grant will support the group's "Advancing Academic Research on Entrepreneurship" project.

Shootout offers fresh start

The Columbia College Shootout will give three Columbia basketball teams a chance to get back to winning when they play Saturday.

The Columbia College women’s team has lost two straight, Hickman’s girls’ team is off to a 1-4 start, and Rock Bridge’s girls’ team, which opens its season in the Shootout, is looking to improve a 6-20 record last season.

Building momentum

The Missouri women’s basketball team wants No. 3. The Tigers will try to win their third consecutive game in the opener of the State Farm Tiger Classic, which begins tonight. Missouri-Kansas City takes on Eastern Michigan at 5 p.m. before Missouri faces Mississippi Valley State at 7 p.m. at Mizzou Arena.

Missouri (3-2) won its most recent contest at home against Evansville 82-66. Coach Cindy Stein and her team hope to continue that success with the unexpected help of sophomore Carlynn Savant, a 6-foot-1 forward who scored a career-high 16 points and pulled down eight rebounds against the Purple Aces.

MU professors recognized for teaching skills

Three MU faculty members were recognized with awards this month for their excellence inside and outside of the classroom. The Faculty Recognition Awards is an annual ceremony in November. Recipients this year included Meera Chandrasekhar, a professor of physics, Peter J. Markiem a professor of philosophy, and Ira Papick, a professor of mathematics.

Cut program takes new form

The foreign language education degree was eliminated at the University in 2001, due to significant cuts and withooldings from state appropriations. Due to budget constraints, large institutions like MU find it hard to maintain small programs such as foreign language education. Administrators in the Department of Education and Arts and Science have teamed up to find a solution: instead of a degree in foreign language education, the plan included a curriculum that would meet state requirements for a teaching certificate.

Young and old enjoy Peace Park evergreen

The large evergreen on the edge of Peace Park looks like a regular tree — until you see people hanging like monkeys from its branches, 20 feet off the ground.

According to Morgan Patterson, who says she has climbed the tree hundreds of times, it’s enough to say, “Let’s go climb the tree in Peace Park.” Your friends will understand.

GRO argues for rights

Although the general election has passes, the Grass Roots Organizing and the Columbia Housing Authority battle over voter registration continues. From April until the beginning of October, the GRO groups' members went door to door registering voters in Oak and Paquin Towers. Security personnel at the buildings, which is operated by the Columbia Housing Authority, turned away the Grass Roots Organizing workers due to complaints.