House GOP erases Senate compromises on workers' comp

JEFFERSON CITY — Missouri House of Representatives Republicans want it their way on workers’ compensation.

By introducing a substitute bill that erases compromises made in the Senate and inserting several changes desired by business interests, Republicans reasserted their control over workers’ compensation legislation at a hearing Wednesday.

Bill doesn’t worry chancellor

MU’s position as the flagship of the state’s public institutions will not be altered by the Southwest Missouri State University name change, Chancellor Brady Deaton said. However, this flagship position could be threatened if people interpret the change as competition for MU’s status.

Deaton said he is confident that legislators tailored the bill in a manner to ensure MU’s status as the flagship institution in Missouri. He views the issue as one of public policy for the state.

Columbia College to host police charity show

What started as a fund-raiser and community awareness event in Columbia has transformed into a multiple-city effort and an outpouring of support for the Officer Down Fund and the Columbia Police Department.

Columbia College will host the Hilary Scott Band benefit concert on Saturday to raise money and awareness for the fund. It’s also meant to strengthen solidarity between the community and the Police Department.

Clerk opposes absentee voting changes

Since mid-January, both Gov. Matt Blunt and Secretary of State Robin Carnahan have announced no-excuse absentee voting proposals. The pending legislation is intended to give all voters — not just those who are unable to get to the polls on Election Day — six weeks to cast their ballots.

Boone County Clerk Wendy Noren, who administers elections locally, doesn’t support either plan. Her reasons are simple: She thinks local governments will bear increased costs, which will be high, mailed ballots are less efficient and accurate than voting in-person and components of the federal Help America Vote Act that must be implemented by Jan. 1 are not on track.

MU journalism alum donates to school

A graduate of the MU School of Journalism has donated $864,800 to the advertising department.

First Steps funds pass initial vote

JEFFERSON CITY — House lawmakers overwhelmingly supported a measure Wednesday to set aside $1 million for funding the First Steps program from interest earned on state investments.

The 157-1 vote for the proposal highlighted a commitment from House Republicans and Democrats to save the program, which serves developmentally disabled children up to age 3.

Students share culture at party

The MU International Student Council, which promotes a global outlook on campus, held its first “International Student Welcome Reception” last weekend.

Sex shop tax bill in Senate

JEFFERSON CITY — Describing Missouri as a “hotbed” for pornography, a Republican senator from Jackson County is pushing for new taxes on the industry.

But another Republican senator from the same county says the bill is less of an attempt to generate new revenue than it is a move to shut down these adult businesses.

Shields works to fix school funding

While aides for Sen. Charlie Shields, R-St. Joseph, scramble to complete work on a plan to fix the state’s funding formula for public schools, freshman Rep. Ed Robb, R-Columbia, has been relegated from the role of leading man to supporting actor.

Robb has at times been the lone advocate for an overhaul of the school funding system and has pushed for a formula that replaces property taxes with a statewide income tax. Shields, meanwhile, has recommended only tweaking the formula and wants to use much of the work he completed last session as leader of a committee that wrestled with the same issue.

Novelist to read in Memorial Union

Novelist Naeem Murr will read from his work at 7:30 p.m. in the A.P. Green Chapel at MU’s Memorial Union.

Murr has published prize-winning short stories and two novels, “The Boy” and “The Genius of the Sea.” “The Boy” has been translated into six languages.

‘Global Journalist’ celebrates five years

Former producers will help celebrate on the air.

Costa Rican family fights to stay in U.S.

JEFFERSON CITY — Any hour, any day, immigration officials could determine the fate of the Gonzalez family, who after 14 years of living in the United States is in the thick of deportation proceedings.

The family, along with more than 150 supporters, marched to Gov. Matt Blunt’s office Wednesday afternoon to seek his support regarding their immigration status.

Grant submissions are due March 4

Junior tenure-track faculty should start brushing up their resumes because MU Alumni Association grant submissions are due March 4.

The grant, recently renamed the Richard Wallace Research Incentive Grant, gives priority to junior tenure-track faculty.

School practices MAP test

Teachers and administrators at John B. Lange Middle School want students to know what it feels like to take the MAP test — so they recreated the testing environment for a mock exam on Wednesday.

Snyder wants greater focus start to finish

Missouri is on a four-game winning streak but that doesn’t mean everything is all right.

Against Nebraska on Saturday and Colorado on Tuesday, the Tigers played terrible first halves relying on strong second-half play to pull out a win. Missouri coach Quin Snyder said that is not the way he wants his team playing.

Athletics official to update Faculty Council

Gail Ludwig, chairwoman of the Intercollegiate Athletics Committee, will update the Faculty Council today on the committee’s progress over the past six months.

Ludwig’s appointment six months ago, which was the first time the council had an official part in choosing the committee’s leadership, came during an NCAA investigation into the MU men’s basketball program.

Victory thrilling for Bruins

Rock Bridge finally kicked the monkey out of its house.

The Bruins beat Hickman 51-44 in girls’ basketball Wednesday night. That has not happened in more than four years and sends Rock Bridge to the Class 5 District 10 Championship game against Jefferson City on Friday at 7 p.m.

Newcomer appointed to labor commission

Alice Bartlett of Chillicothe will replace Bill Foster as the employers’ representative to the Labor and Industrial Relations Commission.

Gov. Matt Blunt said Bartlett will bring a new perspective as he and the legislature strive for changes in the workers’ compensation system.

Road game a key test for Cougars

In many ways the Columbia College men’s basketball team will define its season in the next 24 hours.

The Cougars (19-12, 8-2) play at No. 18 Missouri Baptist at 7 p.m. today in a game that will likely determine the American Midwest Conference regular season championship and postseason tournament seedings.

I-70 improvements await funds

Transportation officials collected public comment at a hearing Wednesday on the environmental impact of proposed Interstate 70 improvements, moving one step closer to getting federal and state approval for the project.

Designs and construction, however, cannot begin until the project receives funding, and officials say they do not know how long this will take.