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Decision Day

It all comes down to this.

One team is playing for it all. The other is playing for survival.

Mental health agency faces more cuts

Providers of mental health services face a loss of state funding under Gov. Matt Blunt’s budget plan that would cut about $50 million in state funds from the Department of Mental Health.

Roland Meinert, chairman of the Boone County Mental Health Board of Trustees, said state mental health funding has decreased from 10 percent of the total state budget to 5 percent of the total state budget during the past 10 years, creating waiting lists for services and overextending the staffs of providers.

Eyes on the Prize

At the Stuart House retirement home in Centralia, the question keeps popping up this time of year.

“Isn’t it about time for the babies?”

Paying for Columbia's growth

The crowds are creeping in. They stack up in longer lines at Schnuck’s and every other supermarket in town. They pack the trailers that orbit the city’s public schools. They jam Stadium Boulevard near Interstate 70 late on weekday evenings, adding five or 10 minutes to Columbians’ commutes from work.

Their presence transforms the landscape, fueling demand for the hundreds of condominiums and single-family homes that have cropped up east and west of Range Line Street and on both sides of Scott Boulevard over the past five years, erasing pastures and woodlands at a near-record pace.

Antlers nearing their 30-year anniversary at Missouri

For many founding members, being an Antler is a lifelong sport.

About faces

“What an artist the world loses in me!” Emperor Nero pronounced before stabbing himself in the neck in A.D. 68.

Nero ended his life in the same dramatic fashion in which he ruled. The man who is said to have “fiddled” while Rome burned had ambitions to be a poet and artist although his fate, it seemed, was to be a despot. Nero’s identity took another turn, albeit in a much less dramatic fashion, 200 years after his death, when a sculpture of him was recovered from storage and reworked to celebrate a new Roman emperor. At the time, neither artists nor the public were overly concerned with accurate representations of prominent citizens. So, it was perfectly acceptable to simply add a stubbly beard to the cast of Nero’s fleshy face to capture a serviceable likeness of Emperor Gallienus.

MU 6th at Big 12 indoor meet

Missouri’s track and softball teams made themselves at home on the road this week with strong showings.

The men’s and women’s track and field teams finished sixth at the Big 12 Indoor Championships in Lincoln, Neb.

Tigers’ woes continue

There was good news and bad news for both Missouri basketball teams Wednesday.

The men and women both dropped games to conference foes. The men lost 67-49 at Iowa State, dropping their record to

Hitting vanishes after hot start

Something strange happened between games of the doubleheader Saturday at Taylor Stadium. It almost seemed as if Missouri and Eastern Michigan had switched uniforms.

After pounding five Eastern Michigan pitchers for 18 hits in an 18-2 blowout in the first game, the Tigers went hitless through the first five innings of the nightcap while the Eagles were scoring runs. The Tigers (8-4) came back but couldn’t entirely make up the lost ground and fell 7-6.

Cougars’ scoring stalls in crucial final possession

The Columbia College men’s basketball team suffered one of the most improbable scoring droughts in recent memory en route to an exciting finish in the semifinals of the American Midwest Conference Tournament at the Arena at Southwell Complex.

After dominating nearly every facet of play for most of Saturday’s 63-62 loss to McKendree (Ill.), the Cougars (21-13) scored just one point in the game’s final six minutes, including a last-second scoring opportunity that never took flight.

French immersion preschool aims to give educational edge

Parents and young children in Columbia will soon have the opportunity to expose themselves to a foreign language by means of a French immersion preschool scheduled to start in August.

The private preschool, called La Petite Ecole, is Columbia’s first foreign language preschool and is offered to 3- to 5-year-old children.

Inter-faith panel discusses sexuality

The Faith-Based Outreach Committee, a branch of the Mid-Missouri Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Coalition, wants to dispel many of the myths and misunderstandings about homosexuals being circulated in local churches and promote positive discussion on the issue of homosexuality in the religious community.

The committee held its first meeting Saturday afternoon at the Columbia Public Library in an attempt to bring together people of all faiths. Members of several community organizations and churches attended.

Raffle rakes in more than $40,000 for officer fund

More than 200 people gathered in the bike-packed parking lot of Mid-America Harley-Davidson on Saturday afternoon to feast on hot dogs, attend a raffle and support the Officer Down Fund.

The company sold 560 raffle tickets for $100 each. Steve Tuchschmidt, co-owner of Mid-America Harley-Davidson, was overwhelmed by how many tickets were distributed and said the event raised more than $40,000 for the fund. The bike up for grabs was a 2005 Harley-Davidson Road King.

Superfan helps pull Cougars out of tight spot

During basketball season, Karen Harris has 21 extra sons and daughters.

Harris, a faithful and loud presence at all Columbia College basketball games, said she feels like all the players are her children.

Colorful matchup kicks off season

Although the teams receive separate scores, Rock Bridge and Hickman girls’ swimming and diving teams operate as one.

The teams compete and practice together, and John Hamilton coaches both.

Annexation request faces opposition from residents

Some Boone County residents are upset over another possible annexation.

On Monday night, the City Council will consider a petition for voluntary annexation of a property on the southeast corner of State Route KK and River Hills Road.

Medicaid recipients protest cut proposal

JEFFERSON CITY — On Monday, Senate leaders will get their first look at a proposal to drastically cut Medicaid, the federally backed health insurance program for the poor and disabled.

On Friday, though, it was the people’s turn.

Passion for Piano

Tom Hutchinson is a zoologist, anthropologist, business man, carpenter and mechanic. His real passion, however, is in the music produced by his seven player pianos.

The 69-year-old Columbia resident started his unusual collection decades ago. Of the pianos he owns, three are in his workshop, one is in Mexico for refurbishment, and the rest — including a Nickelodeon made in 1913 and a combined player piano and player organ made in 1925 — occupy a 200-square-foot room in his house.

Cowboys round up Tigers in finals

The Oklahoma State Cowboys left little doubt that they are the best team in the country heading into the NCAA Championships on March 17-19 in St. Louis.

The No. 1 Cowboys won a record seven individual championships, including three against Missouri wrestlers, to win the 2005 Big 12 Conference Championship. It is their 39th conference title.

Tigers’ doubles play sets tone for match

The weekend couldn’t have gone better for the Missouri tennis team.

After beating Louisville 5-2 on Friday, the Tigers remained unbeaten at home by defeating Ohio State 5-2 on Saturday. The Tigers are 9-2 and 7-0 at Green Tennis Center.

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