Army taps MU as recruiting test site

Uncle Spam — er, make that Uncle Sam — wants you.

That is, if you’re a senior at MU or the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign he does. Using prerecorded telephone messages and e-mail, the Army began a recruiting test project on both campuses Tuesday aimed at about 12,000 seniors and the occasional graduate student.

For some, it’s a gift to share

Shiny red and green packages clad with ribbons and bows slowly filled up the bed of Virgi Martin’s rusty pickup.

“God bless you!” she said over her shoulder as volunteers finished loading the gifts and wished her a merry Christmas.

Opossum stunt outrages PETA

Animal rights advocates want a national fraternity to ban the use of wild animals in chapter activities after two members at MU were charged with stuffing about 40 opossums — living and dead — into a barrel.

Philip Josephson, national executive director of Alpha Gamma Rho fraternity, said Thursday that the opossum stunt wasn’t sanctioned or sponsored by the fraternity. There are currently no plans for a rule barring wild animals, he said.

Crossing paths

With almost 8,000 members in its ranks, MU’s staff is involved in every aspect of university life — including serving as admission representatives, assigning students to residence halls, raising money, and planting the flowers that brighten the campus landscape.

With a diverse workforce and so many different jobs, it’s not always easy to find a common voice. But a little-known campus organization, the Staff Advisory Council, is working to unite MU’s staff and create the best possible working environment.

Kristina Cravens

Kristina Cravens has taken advantage of almost all of the academic programs offered at Columbia College. At 24, she is a day student majoring in psychology with a minor in business.

“It has been nice to have the flexibility,” Cravens said. “I want to finish my education. It is a priority for me.”

The Tunnels

An underground system of tunnels connects the MU residential halls of Lathrop, Laws and Jones and Dobbs Dining Hall. Though they’ve been there for nearly half a century, they’re not well-known or well-used.

Built in the late 1950s, when all four buildings were erected, the tunnels’ primary purpose was to house large, insulated steam pipes, provide storage and transport trash and equipment.

Roadwork priorities identified

Three Columbia highway projects have been identified unanimously by members of the Columbia Area Transportation Study Organization as priorities the state ought to pursue. The state expects to take in $400 million in revenue during the next several years as a result of voters’ approval of Amendment 3.

Of 11 projects cited in a resolution approved by the City Council, members of the CATSO Coordinating Committee decided Thursday to declare three to be priorities. Those include the reconstruction and widening of U.S. 763, also known as Range Line Street, from Big Bear Boulevard to U.S. 63 and an extension of Stadium Boulevard on the east side of the city from U.S. 63 to Interstate 70 near Lake of the Woods.

Runoff: 69 votes elect MSA leader

Anxious students gathered on the steps of Jesse Hall on Wednesday evening, awaiting the results of a runoff election for the Missouri Students Association presidency. The result: a win by a margin of less than 1 percent.

Tony Luetkemeyer and Cheryl Tomes won the positions of president and vice president, respectively, with only 50.74 percent of the vote. Sixty-nine out of the more than 4,500 votes cast determined their victory against Ben Coen and Craig Kleine.

Alumna elected to Stephens board

Alumna Cheryl Dunlop Steinkamp was elected as the newest member of the Stephens College Board of Trustees during an Oct. 23 meeting, the college announced in a news release.

Steinkamp has served in various positions, including interim vice president, at William Jewell College, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in theater and speech education.

Searching for answers

As Missouri's shooting percentage plummets, Coach Quin Snyder says he is changing how the Tigers practice. After reviewing the tape of the Tigers 65-52 loss to Arkansas on Tuesday, he saw the Tigers did not make use of 34 open shots and when they did, had a dismal record of 17-57. “Our guys got to get into the gym and shoot more on their own,” Snyder said.

Sapp development stymied amid zoning concerns

Two weeks after proposing a joint planning and zoning process between Boone County and the city of Columbia, representatives of developer Billy Sapp are expressing reservations about the plan.

At a Boone County Planning and Zoning Commission work session Thursday night, Sapp spokesman Don Stamper said he and his boss are concerned about requirements in the county’s process that do not have to be met in the city’s process.

Democrats look to future elections

After a disappointing election season, local Democrats say they are looking to the future and that their support has only grown stronger.

The Boone County Central Democratic Committee held a public meeting at the Daniel Boone Library Thursday night to get feedback from members of the community and to strategize for future campaigns.

McCaskill happy with job as auditor

JEFFERSON CITY — Claire McCaskill, the unsuccessful Democratic candidate for Missouri governor, is happy with her job as state auditor and plans to pursue re-election to the office in 2006.

“A campaign like that is a little bit like childbirth,” McCaskill said Wednesday about her bid for governor. “You have the baby, and it’s so painful, and you think, ‘I don’t know if I ever want to go near my husband again.’”

North Pole just a phone call away

For one day this year, jolly old St. Nick will answer phone calls from children in Columbia.

Columbia Parks and Recreation and Paquin Tower will co-sponsor the Santa Hotline on Saturday. Children ages 3 to 10 can call the “North Pole” from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. to speak with Santa, Mrs. Claus or one of the elves.

Mo. Rep. Bishop dies at 35 of illness

JEFFERSON CITY — State Rep. Dan Bishop of Kansas City died Thursday in Arizona after an illness, House colleagues said. He was 35.

Mr. Bishop, a Democrat, won the election in November to a second term from District 38 in Clay County, and colleagues had recently elected him vice chairman of their House caucus.

Best of the Vine

Spitting is appropriate when it comes to deciding America’s top wines.

Wine testers are in Columbia at MU’s Eckles Hall this week to distinguish the top wines for the fifth annual Jefferson Cup Invitational Wine Competition. From a pool of 500 wines, less than 1 percent of the wines will receive the award in final judging today.

Konrady’s final push anchors Bruins

Rock Bridge's Jake Konrady surprised even himself in a crucial match for the school's first dual meet victory this wrestling season. With only 6.7 seconds left in his match, Konrady took down Mexico's Kiefer Lowrance to tie the match, then flipped Lowrance onto his back for two more points. The win increased the Bruins' lead against Mexico. “Jake pretty much clinched it for us there,” coach John Kopnisky said. “At that point, we pretty much knew we had a good chance in beating them.”

Student housing OK’d by P&Z

The Columbia Planning and Zoning Commission voted unanimously Thursday night to recommend that the City Council approve Columbia College’s new master plan.

The plan calls for possible apartment-style student housing on the southeast corner of Tenth and Rogers streets, as well as on the north side of Wilkes Boulevard, between Eighth and Range Line streets.

Mannings leaves Tigers for personal reasons

Personal and professional reasons are causing the University to lose a coach and athlete. The Missouri women's basketball team will be losing freshman Brittany Mannings, a 6-4 center. The team announced the decision Wednesday, citing family concerns. In Missouri swimming and diving, coach Greg Triefenback will be leaving at the close of the semester to take a job at a private diving club in Midland, Texas.

Finishing touches

Although the NAIA No. 19 Columbia Cougars were outscored by Park in the early part of both halves, strong defense and steals for the Cougars kept the team pumped up and in the game. Forward Charliss Ridley was the offensive star Thursday night, earning 15 points in the first half with her quick moves to the basket. “Charliss is a special player,” Columbia College coach Mike Davis said. “She has the ability to take a player off the dribble like that.”