MoDOT chief discusses road improvements

JEFFERSON CITY — Conceding that Missouri’s roads are in sad shape, the director of the Missouri Department of Transportation on Wednesday promised legislators a new day at one of the state’s most beleaguered departments.

Pete Rahn in a State of Transportation address outlined a variety of plans designed to revamp Missouri’s rocky roads. He touted the Smoother, Safer, Sooner plan, a program designed to speed road improvements using money provided by Amendment 3. The constitutional amendment approved by voters in November funnels all transportation-related taxes directly to the transportation department.

Lip-syncers raise $1,441 from ticket sales

The annual Golden Cow lip-sync competition raised $1,441 this year through ticket sales.

New MU chair adds leadership courses

A new endowed chair in MU’s College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources will focus on entrepreneurial leadership in life sciences.

The chair will be held by J. Bruce Bullock, chair of the agricultural economics department and professor of agricultural economics.

Win escapes Hickman wrestlers

The close one didn’t go Hickman’s way.

The Kewpies fell 43-34 to Smith-Cotton on Wednesday at Hickman after rallying from a 22-12 deficit.

Storytellers organize tsunami benefit

Beth Horner has a story for you. The story may make you laugh or cry, but her objective is simple: to make you feel.

Horner, five other adult storytellers and several student groups, will evoke emotions in “Story Tsunami: An Evening of Stories to Benefit Tsunami Relief,” a performance Friday at Stephens College.

Callaway Co. praised for ’rural charm’

The February 2005 issue of Progressive Farmer magazine ranks Callaway County as the fourth-best place to live in rural America.

Health care, education, climate, pollution, crime and taxes were considered in the rankings, as well as factors such as scenery, quality of life and leisure and cultural opportunities. The magazine said the county “can boast of a low crime rate, good school systems and a low cost of living. Though it’s growing fast, the county has kept its warm rural charm.”

Five Kewpies sign to play in college

Five Hickman athletes signed national letters of intent Wednesday. The commitments came on the first day available to athletes to announce their college destinations.

Four of the five were from the Kewpies’ Class 6 state championship football team. The fifth, Janelle Cordia, a soccer and cross country standout at Hickman, accepted a scholarship to play soccer for Missouri .

Bush: Saving Social Security won’t be easy

WASHINGTON — President Bush Wednesday night called for a historic restructuring of Social Security that would allow younger workers for the first time to invest some of their payroll taxes in the stock market, declaring in his annual State of the Union address that without change, the venerable program is headed toward bankruptcy.

Speaking to a joint session of Congress and a national television audience, Bush sketched out in more detail than before the top domestic goal of his second term but stopped short of providing a complete blueprint to leave himself negotiating room with skeptical lawmakers. Under his plan, workers younger than 55 could divert up to 4 percent of income subject to Social Security taxation into private investment accounts beginning in 2009.

Smart Growth meeting canvasses Sapp plan

Members of the Boone County Smart Growth Coalition met with the spokesman for developer Billy Sapp on Wednesday night to address environmental and infrastructure issues related to a proposed 1,800-home development east of Columbia.

Outmatched Stars can’t slow Eagles

Freshman Lisa Sanderson stepped up her game when her team needed it most Wednesday night.

Late in the second half, Sanderson hit two consecutive turn-around jump shots to help Robert Morris College-Springfield pull away for a 63-48 victory against the Stephens College basketball team at Silverthorne Arena.

For nomadic Douglass, any court is game

Even for home games, the Douglass boys’ basketball team must travel.

The players leave school and make their way to various courts around Columbia, wherever they can schedule time to play.

Now You Know

What’s new: Residents and doctors at University Hospital’s division of neurological surgery are using mobile picture phones to transmit images of X-rays, MRIs and computer axial tomography scans of patients to improve the speed and quality of diagnosis.

An informal study conducted by George Galvan, a third-year neurosurgery resident, and Michael Oh, an assistant professor, included more than 50 patients during six months whose examination by interns and residents was supervised by attending physicians through transmitted images.


For Nancy Price, the world walks into her classroom every day. For 23 years, Price has met hundreds of international students who are studying English as a second language.

Six months after receiving a master’s degree in 1981 from the University of Illinois, Price started teaching English as a second language at MU.

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.