None hurt in morning blaze

Columbia fire investigators plan to meet with police detectives from the Major Crimes Unit this morning to jointly investigate a fire that took place at a Columbia mobile home park early Tuesday morning.

Columbia Battalion Chief Steven Sapp said the fire, which fire investigators determined was arson, began near the front porch and moved quickly into the interior of the home at lot 171 of Pinegrove Village Mobile Home Park, 3900 Clark Lane. Firefighters battled heavy flames, which quickly weakened the floor of the structure.

Trendy treads

The Ugg boot has stomped on to the Columbia scene this season.

Created by the company Ugg Australia, the sheepskin boots have been used by surfers since the late-1970s as a post-surf foot warmer. Their novelty is their unique lining of sheep’s wool that absorbs sweat in the summer and traps heat during the winter.

Daniel tops MU recruiting list

There has been a lot of talk, but nothing tangible. That will change today.

The Missouri football team is expected to receive letters of intent from the 23 players who have already verbally committed to MU.

Battle for MSU mark goes postal

The president of the University of Missouri System has remained quiet concerning Southwest Missouri State University’s desire to change its name to “Missouri State University.”

But Elson Floyd is making his stance clear on SMSU’s effort to trademark “Missouri State University” before the legislature approves the name change.

State Senate strikes gift cap

JEFFERSON CITY — Missouri senators on Tuesday removed the lid on the value of gifts they can accept from lobbyists but closed the lid on laptop computers.

By a voice vote, the Senate voted to eliminate from its rules a provision barring senators from accepting gifts worth more than $50 from a single lobbyist or more than $100 in gifts from multiple lobbyists per year.

Exhibit looks at Columbia history

Throughout February, the basement of the Old Armory Sports Center will display a part of Columbia’s past not easily found by opening a history book.

Wynna Faye Elbert, a founding member of the Blind Boone Heritage Foundation, and Bill Thompson, a specialist with the Columbia Parks and Recreation Department, have assembled the exhibit during Black History Month for more than 10 years. Elbert created it while working on her master’s degree in community development at MU. Instead of writing a thesis, she received approval to engage in a creative endeavor.

KU loss turns up heat on Snyder

The Missouri hot seat just got a little hotter.

As the MU men’s basketball team limped toward the close of a 73-61 loss to Kansas on Monday, a cheer rose from the 16,300 faithful at Allen Fieldhouse.

Parents learn to map out progress

Parents have two opportunities tonight to discuss coming Missouri Assessment Program tests and the No Child Left Behind Act, a federal act initiated by President Bush that set annual goals for standardized test scores.

The Columbia chapter of the National Education Association is hosting a MAP informational session from 6:30 to 8 p.m. at the Hickman High School commons, and the MU chapter of Phi Delta Kappa, the professional association for educators, will discuss the federal act from 6:30 to 8 p.m. in the Lee Room of Dulaney Hall at Columbia College. Both are open to the public.

Inauguration reflections

Attending an inauguration isn’t about remembering what the president happened to say. Unlike the State of the Union address, which sets the president’s agenda for the year, an inauguration is less about the country’s problems and more about balls, parades, flags, machine guns atop buildings and — most important — gold-embossed souvenir invitations.

That’s the perception of two Columbia residents who sat down Monday to reminisce about their experiences at two inaugurations 32 years apart. They were more inspired by the opportunity to rub elbows with the likes of Don King and Colonel Sanders than by anything Presidents Richard Nixon or George W. Bush said.

Late lapses sink Rock Bridge twice

The Rock Bridge wrestlers did not have quite enough to win.

The Bruins competed in two close duals Tuesday night, losing to Warrenton 41-28 and then to Kirksville 38-31.

Faith sparks home-schooling for some

To the left, a large shelf spans the entire wall filled with education curriculum, history and literature books and rocks labeled with their scientific names.

In the corner of the room sits a student’s desk, there is a globe on another desk, and hanging on the wall is a chart listing all the U.S presidents.

Sizzling first half leads Cougars past Bearcats

The other six conference victories may have been blowouts. But this was a statement.

The Columbia College women’s basketball team defeated McKendree (Ill.) College 113-81 on Tuesday night to gain sole possession of first place in the American Midwest Conference.

Kewpies find new tourney venue

When the Hickman Kewpies lost eight seniors from last year’s state runner-up girls’ basketball team, they also lost their spot in the top basketball tournament in the state.

The KTXR Tournament at Drury University in Springfield invites the best teams from across the country to compete, but the Kewpies were not asked back this season.

Tigers fall to Oregon in tennis tourney final

The No. 69 Missouri women’s tennis team lost 5-2 on Tuesday to No. 27 Oregon in the finals of the Minnesota Court Classic.

The Tigers are 1-1 this season.

Curators to vote on tuition increase

The University of Missouri Board of Curators will vote Thursday on the smallest tuition increase since 2001-02.

A 3.5 percent increase for the 2005-06 school year will be formally proposed by Elson Floyd, president of the University of Missouri System, when the curators gather at MU.

Gauging the State of the Union

Tonight, President Bush will address Congress, the nation and the world in the first State of the Union address of his second term. The speech serves as the president’s keynote address for the year, an opportunity for him to outline his domestic and foreign policy agendas.

The tradition is rooted in the U.S. Constitution and George Washington’s historic first State of the Union address in 1790, which focused on how to maintain the union of the states and establish the foundation for a successful democracy. Two hundred and fifteen years later, President Bush is likely to discuss the challenges of establishing a democracy in Iraq, the prospect of an independent Palestinian state and the need for Social Security reform.