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Workers’ compensation bills moves ahead

JEFFERSON CITY — The nar-rowing of injuries covered under Missouri’s workers’ compensation law won first-round approval Wednesday night.

After two sessions and more than five-and-a-half hours of debate, the bill was approved by a voice vote of the Missouri Senate.

Trial ordered in rape case

The shadow cast over the MU athletic program grew Wednesday.

In a preliminary hearing at the Boone County Courthouse, a judge for the 13th Circuit Court found probable cause to send former MU football player Alvin Newhouse to trial. Newhouse, 19, faces one felony count of rape and one felony count of sodomy.

Hundreds protest demise of First Steps

JEFFERSON CITY — More than 100 Missouri parents and their children filled the Capitol on Wednesday to protest the end of a program designed to help children with special needs.

Supporters of First Steps presented a petition with more than 28,000 signatures to Gov. Matt Blunt’s office in an effort to spare the program from budget cuts. First Steps provides physical, occupational and speech therapy to children younger than 3 who have disabilities.

Quick vote awaited on school funds

With the state legislature on the clock to fix the way money is distributed to school districts, the committee taking the first crack at the task has set a four-week deadline.

The joint Senate-House committee’s chairman, Sen. Charlie Shields, R-St. Joseph, promised a vote on a recommendation by March 1. He estimated the cost of creating an equitable system for funding education at $400 million to $600 million annually over several years.

MU council wants review rules

Consistent guidelines for annual review and promotion of non-regular faculty for each of MU’s colleges and schools will need to be composed before the 2005-06 academic school year if the Faculty Council passes a resolution today.

The draft resolution, dated Friday, requests that the provost require each school and college to present a set of guidelines on review and promotion of non-regular faculty, which includes visiting professors and part-time faculty. Those guidelines would then be posted on the Web page for the Provost’s Office.

WHEN THE LIGHTS GO DOWN

The Missouri Theatre’s chandelier, which weighs 1,800 pounds and was installed in 1928, is lowered once every three years for cleaning and maintenance. The theater at 203 S. Ninth St. is a historic landmark run by the Missouri Symphony Society.

Words of encouragement

Freezing rain didn’t stop them, nor did the steadily falling snow.

Braving Tuesday evening’s inclement weather, about 50 people attended Lyah Beth LeFlore’s lecture, book reading and signing at Stephens College.

MAP to shorten exams, test more grade levels

State officials are revising the 2006 Missouri Assessment Program testing format and including more grade levels in order to comply with the federal No Child Left Behind Act.

Next year, NCLB, which sets progress goals for states to meet each year, will require that grades three through eight be tested in both communication arts and math. Currently, third-, seventh- and 11th-graders in Missouri are tested in communication arts. Fourth-, eighth- and 10th- graders are tested in math. Missouri’s tests for grades 10 and 11 already meet standards.

Dixie flag bill now out of committee

JEFFERSON CITY — The march to return the Confederate battle flag to two Missouri memorials moved one step closer to its goal Wednesday.

The Senate Agriculture Committee approved a bill Wednesday that would enhance the responsibilities of the Missouri State Park Board and would grant that board the power to raise the flags. The 8-0 vote passed the bill onto the full Senate for debate.

Tigers find house wins in Vegas

Maybe Missouri should stay on the floor at halftime instead of going into the locker room

It seems the team that walks off the court at the break isn’t the same team that returns to finish the game.

‘People of interest’ probed in arson case

Police detectives and fire investigators are set to interview several “people of interest” in the investigation of an arson that occurred in a Columbia mobile home park last week.

Assistant Fire Marshall Clayton Farr Jr. stressed that the investigation is still ongoing. As of Wednesday afternoon, no arrests had been made nor had any arrest warrants been requested in the case.

Report: Sheriff death was suicide

JEFFERSON CITY — A police investigation has confirmed that Cole County Sheriff George Brooks intentionally shot himself in the head with his service gun.

The Missouri State Highway Patrol released the conclusion Wednesday, about a month after Brooks’ Jan. 11 death inside the garage at his home. A special election is scheduled April 5 to choose Brooks’ replacement.

Schepker named budget director

JEFFERSON CITY — Gov. Matt Blunt has already proposed a budget. Now he has a budget director.

Blunt named Larry Schepker, 57, as director of the Division of Budget and Planning in the Office of Administration on Wednesday. It will be Schepker’s job to promote and defend Blunt’s budget to the legislature.

Workers’ benefits legislation moves ahead

JEFFERSON CITY — The narrowing of injuries covered under Missouri’s workers’ compensation law won first-round approval Wednesday night.

After two sessions and more than five-and-a-half hours of debate, the bill won initial approval by a voice vote of the Missouri Senate.

EZ Park program set to expand

Thanks to the EZ Park card program, deliveryman Matt Jones can keep his quarters.

“It saves me a ton of money because there were a lot of times when I just needed to drop something off and all I had was a quarter,” Jones said.

Students value college, but many don’t go

Young adults value college, but many haven’t enrolled because of money woes, poor preparation, low expectations at home or sheer laziness, a survey found.

The result is that seven in 10 young workers without college degrees say they are in their jobs by chance, not by choice. Fewer than two in 10 view their jobs as likely careers.

Places: Simmons Field

Simmons Field in Taylor Stadium is the home of MU baseball. The stadium is on Research Park Drive off Providence Road behind the Daniel Devine Pavilion.

In 1959, the team moved from Rollins Field to a new field, named in honor of John Simmons, who coached the Tigers for 34 years. During this time, the team won 11 conference titles and went to the College World Series six times. They won once in 1954 and placed second three times.

Now You Know: GMOs not deterrent

What was learned: Labeling food that contains ingredients from genetically modified organisms will not deter European consumers from buying the products. This is contrary to the popular belief that spurred several large grocery chains to ban these modified ingredients in their store-brand products in 1998 and the European Union to mandate such labeling in 1997.

How we found out: European attitude surveys, such as the Eurobarometer, have consistently shown a widespread skepticism to GMO among Europeans.

Backup to Backstop

Cosme Caballero is not considered one of the Missouri baseball team’s returning starters this season, but by no means is he a rookie.

As a back-up to senior Brad Flanders last season, Caballero wasn’t expected to see much playing time. But when Flanders was injured a third of the way through the conference season, playing time hit Caballero squarely in the nose. He started 14 games in Flanders’ absence, including 11 Big 12 Conference games.

Now You Know: Military backed here

Columbia College has been providing educational opportunity for service members and their families for more than 30 years.

The college is a member of Servicemembers Opportunity Colleges, which serves all active and reserve armed forces members and their families.

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