Missouri on the defensive

Against Arkansas, Missouri seemed to finally buy into coach Quin Snyder’s desire to make defense the backbone of this young Tiger team.

Great defense, though, didn’t get the job done as the Razorbacks claimed a 62-52 victory Tuesday night at Mizzou Arena. The loss was another example of a game that could have gone the Tigers’ way. Snyder said there are many changes the Tigers need to make if they want to start winning.

Taking care of business

The Missouri wrestling team traveled to Las Vegas last weekend, but the bright lights of The Strip couldn’t have been further from Ben Askren’s mind.

Askren relied on hard work and solid technique rather than flash to capture the 174-pound championship at the Cliff Keen Invitational.

MU fails SMSU’s offensive test

Final exams might be a nice change of pace for Missouri women’s basketball team.

Few exam situations could be tougher than the ruthless offense Southwest Missouri State used Wednesday night.

Extra Points: Morris returning to Cardinals next season

Matt Morris will return to the St. Louis Cardinals, agreeing Tuesday night to a $2.5 million, one-year contract that allows him to earn an additional $4.5 million in performance bonuses.

The NL champions also re-signed two other players, reaching one-year deals with right-handed reliever Cal Eldred ($600,000) and outfielder John Mabry ($725,000).

Holiday spirit in full bloom

Judy Burton looks at poinsettias Wednesday in the lobby of MU’s Anheuser-Busch Natural Resources Building at the annual sale organized by the MU Horticulture Club.

Sending toys into war

Jennifer Roberts of Columbia is trying to send 1,000 toys to children in Iraq. She says it is her way of feeling proud to be an American.

“I’m a mom, and I, for whatever reason, just feel it is our responsibility to take care of the kids over there that have suffered as a result of the occupation,” she said. “I want to be proud to be an American and people need to do something as Americans to contribute to the ideals that our country represents.”

EARS device alerts drivers to rescuers

A new device that alerts drivers to approaching emergency vehicles recently made its debut in the small town where it was invented.

Hallsville residents Rick McBroom, a former law enforcement officer, and his wife, Connie, a former firefighter captain and emergency medical technician, recently invented the Emergency Alert Response System, or EARS, which is being installed in Hallsville school district buses and Boone County emergency vehicles.

MU will not pursue hotel plans

After three years of seeking approval to lease 25 acres of property for the construction of a hotel and conference center, MU decided not to pursue the issue with state legislators in the upcoming session, MU spokeswoman Mary Jo Banken said.

Although MU will not abandon the idea of a hotel and conference center, it will try to get state funding for a health sciences research center.

Clip for charity

Angela Speck, an MU astronomy professor, will not need a brush or a comb or even shampoo for quite a while. This week, in front of students and friends, she shaved her head, all in the name of charity.

On Monday night, Speck sat on a stool at the front of a lecture hall and removed her sweater, revealing a T-shirt that matched the jet black of her chin-length hair. She cracked jokes with the small group of students and colleagues eagerly awaiting the Big Shave.

Pierpont looks for ways to expand

Pierpont residents might have the self-governance they were seeking, but the newly incorporated village still relies on Columbia for some assistance — like a conference room.

The Pierpont Board of Trustees held its first public meeting at Rock Bridge Elementary School on Wednesday night to discuss how to handle its new independent status.

City studies revamped public housing

The East Park Avenue Public Housing Development may face demolition if the Columbia Housing Authority gets its way. An ordinance under consideration by the City Council would authorize spending $50,000 to hire a consultant to assist with a project that proposes demolition of the development. The housing, which has 70 units, would be replaced with construction of “various types of dwelling units targeting mixed incomes; it could also possibly include a mixed use component with compatible commercial uses,” said Bill Watkins, assistant city manager, in his report to the council.

Holocaust survivor ‘confronts evil’

The Holocaust, “survivor’s guilt” and the nature of human cruelty were addressed by former MU professor Fred Emil Katz when he spoke Monday night at Memorial Union.

Katz spoke to about 50 people about his experiences as a Holocaust survivor and his new book, “Confronting Evil: Two Journeys,” which examines how ordinary people can participate in inhumane acts, such as terrorism, in modern times.

Faces: Sean Hickem

For the past five years, “Brown Recluse” has roamed Stephens College disguised as warehouse operator Sean Hickem.

When he is not making sure classrooms are fully stocked with supplies, the Columbia native writes poetry or is onstage, rapping under the alias Brown Recluse.

Campus in brief

MU’s new Life Sciences Center has slowly filled with faculty and students this fall. Senior Associate Director Mike Chippendale has spent most of the fall accommodating new inhabitants of the center and doing things such as silencing banging pipes and getting the wireless network running.

How do I: Audition for a play, dance, or music piece at Stephens College?

Stephens’ students in the performing arts programs of dance, music and theater should begin with the call boards of the department they wish to audition for. The boards carry announcements, bulletins and fliers on the latest audition opportunities.

Students should then gather all relevant information, such as the time, place and schedule of the audition. It is best to know any particulars before going in, so as not to make a commitment that cannot be fulfilled.

Court to evaluate probation rights

A Boone County case argued before the Missouri Supreme Court on Wednesday could set new precedent on the rights of defendants in probation hearings.

The case, State ex rel. Paul E. Hoover vs. Ted Boehm, examines whether someone accused of violating probation has the same right to directly cross-examine witnesses as a defendant in a criminal trial.