Thieves pillage service company

Four handguns and four vehicles were among the property reported stolen in a burglary Monday night at the American Lenders Service Company.

The guns were not locked in a weapons safe, said Detective Sgt. Mike Stubbs of the Boone County Sheriff’s Depart-ment. All were registered with the National Crime Information Center. The registration numbers are helpful in the recovery of stolen guns if they are recovered in another crime or sold to a licensed dealer, Stubbs said.

Columbia residents voice concerns over cable

More than 200 Columbia residents attended five workshops held earlier this week to provide input on the city’s ca-ble franchise renewal process.

Many voiced concerns about rate increases, the availability of high-definition service and support for local public access channels.

Stepping into Spring

As MU students put away their winter jackets and trade the library for a bench on the Francis Quadrangle, it is evident spring is elbowing its way into Columbia.

“I like the warm weather much better than the cold,” sophomore Mike Schroeder said as he watched the MU lacrosse team play Southern Missouri State University on Stankowski Field. “I am watching one of my friends play, and if it was cold out, I probably would not be here,” he said.

Bill restricting tournaments weeded out

High school athletic tournaments will go on in Columbia.

At least for now.

Sen. Chuck Gross, R-St. Charles, has decided to withdraw a proposed bill that would prevent public school tournaments from being held in Columbia because of its marijuana ordinances. In return, a warning letter will be sent to high school athletic teams by the Missouri State High School Activities Association. Sen. Chuck Graham, D-Columbia, announced the compromise at a press conference Thursday afternoon.

Reporter to become consultant on UM system’s messages

Scott Charton, the Associated Press’ first roving reporter for Missouri, will turn his skills toward gathering information from citizens about how the University of Missouri System is communicating.

“I’d like to know how well the university gets its message out about the things it’s doing,” Charton said. “I’m going to listen to Missourians and report back to Dr. Floyd.”

Local colleges get a face-lift

Historic buildings on Columbia campuses will be getting a face-lift soon, thanks to planning projects at Stephens College, Columbia College and MU.

Lela Raney Wood Hall, at Broadway and College Avenue at Stephens, has been undergoing exterior renovation and will continue its transformation on the inside. It will be the home of student services, administrative offices, a renovated ballroom and the school’s Costume Research Library.

MU grabs three spots in quarters

Three Missouri wrestlers advanced in the opening rounds of the NCAA Wrestling Championships on Thursday at the Savvis Center in St. Louis.

Ben Askren, the second seed at 174 pounds, reached the quarterfinals with a technical fall against Duquesne’s Mark Himes and a 9-0 decision against Indiana’s Brady Richardson.

Cougars roll into NAIA 2nd round

Charliss Ridley led the Columbia College women’s basketball team to the round of 16 of the NAIA National Tournament in Jackson, Tenn., on Thursday.

Ridley scored 29 points in the No. 3-seeded Cougars’ 66-55 victory against Lee (Tenn.) University, the No. 6 seed in this quarter of the draw, in the first round of the tournament.

Faces: Ben Marsh

Self-expression comes in many forms, and for MU art major Ben Marsh, nothing does the job like photography.

“I don’t think I could express myself another way,” Marsh said. “It is the best way to get things across.”

Police chief gives coins as thank you

More than words were expressed on Wednesday when $3,075 were presented to the Columbia Police Foundation board members in honor of Officer Curtis Brown and fallen Officer Molly Bowden.

Jim and Billie Silvey, co-chairs of the Columbia Police Foundation, accepted the money on behalf of the Officer Down Fund. The money was raised Feb. 26 when Columbia College hosted a benefit concert that featured the Hilary Scott Band.

Small school state title matches set

Jefferson beat Bell City 65-50 in the semifinals of the Class 1 boys’ basketball championships Thursday at Mizzou Arena. Jefferson used a 26-11 fourth quarter to break a tie at 39. Kody Schieber led Jefferson with 16 points.

Jefferson advances to today’s championship against North Shelby, which beat St. Elizabeth 69-64 in overtime in the other semifinal. Trailing most of the first half, North Shelby outscored St. Elizabeth by 14 in the second half to force overtime. It then made 10 free throws to win.

City’s growth is inevitable and beneficial, Nauser says

As the city encroaches more and more on county land through annexations, Laura Nauser said it is important to strike a balance between the desires of those who want to live in the country and the needs of an expanding city.

It is this belief that inspired her campaign slogan: “Balanced growth for Columbia.”

Blunt ends SMSU name game

SPRINGFIELD — Former Southwest Missouri State University professor Pat Pierce received an unusual present for her birthday, a copy of Senate Bill 98 signed by Gov. Matt Blunt.

The university’s president, John Keiser, surprised Pierce with the honor at the bill-signing ceremony that will change the school’s name to Missouri State University. The retired music professor celebrated her 80th birthday with Southwest Missouri State University’s centennial celebration.

Opening Madness

The upsets just keep on coming for No. 12 seeds.

Wisconsin-Milwaukee beat Alabama 83-73 on Thursday, the 16th time in the last 17 years at least one 12th-seeded team won a first-round game in the NCAA tournament.

Divided Senate backs changes in Medicaid law

JEFFERSON CITY — Senators on Thursday invoked Christian values and compared welfare programs to putting American Indians on reservations in a final debate before passing a bill to reduce the Medicaid program.

The legislation, which legislative staffers estimate would remove about 50,000 people from the program’s rolls, was approved 20-11. Two Republicans — Kevin Engler of Farmington and Robert Mayer of Dexter — voted against the bill. No Democrats supported the proposal; one Democratic senator was not present for the vote.

MU climate study reaches last stage

The last piece in an analysis of MU’s diversity climate includes recommendations for increasing nonminority involvement in steps toward diversity and improving diversity training at the university.

In the fifth phase of MU’s Campus Climate Study for Underrepresented Groups, 60 participants of various races, ethnicities, sexual orientations, religions and genders gathered in focus groups and offered recommendations for improvement, based on the information gathered in the previous four stages of the study.

Columbians meet candidates for City Council

Holding up yellow and red signs and sporting a green sweatshirt for the holiday, Liz Schmidt acted as a stoplight for a Columbia-Boone County candidates forum Thursday night.

Columbia voters met and questioned Columbia City Council candidates for the First and Fifth wards at the forum. The Columbia-Boone County League of Women Voters sponsored the event, which also featured a session with Columbia School Board candidates. The Columbia Public Library co-sponsored the forum.

County panel rejects plan for factory

With a packed audience watching, the Boone County Planning and Zoning Commission voted 4-3 Thursday night to reject a proposal by APAC to build a temporary, portable asphalt plant in Hartsburg along U.S. 63.

The asphalt plant would have been built on 100 acres in Hartsburg, which is 20 miles south of Columbia, and was designed to meet the construction needs on U.S. 63 between Columbia and Jefferson City.

High fuel costs felt at Columbia gasoline stations

As the price of gasoline reaches a record high, Columbia resident Amy McBroom says she can notice a difference at the Petro Mart on College Avenue, where she works as an assistant manager.

“Businesswise, it’s a lot slower,” she said.

School issues focus of forum

School board candidates for the April 5 elections met on Thursday night at a public forum to express their greatest concerns with education and answer questions from the community regarding staff diversity and preparing children for the workforce.

The Columbia League of Women Voters and the Columbia Public Library sponsored the forum, which was held at the library. There are six candidates this year and three will be elected.