Trout anglers face new limit

The conservation agents’ camouflage Tuesday was flawless.

Unknown to most of the anglers at Maramec Spring Park, six undercover agents were keeping an eye on the proceedings on the opening day of trout season in Missouri.

Priority shift for Mirts

Tonya Mirts has decided to trade in her coach’s whistle for the full-time title of mom.

Mirts resigned as the Hickman girls’ basketball coach Thursday after 11 seasons of coaching, deciding to focus her extra time on her children.

Finding their rhythm

Kira Montuori loves gymnastics. She has passion, intensity and hope for its future.

As an assistant coach in her fifth season at Missouri, she uses her many strengths to help the athletes she is close to and the sport she wants to see succeed.

MU veterinary lab bonuses down slightly

Bonuses for eight faculty members with MU’s entrepreneurial veterinary laboratory slid slightly from last year; however, all but one amounted to more than $100,000.

MU announced Tuesday that the researchers involved with the Research Animal Diagnostic Laboratory, known as RADIL, received bonuses totaling $1.088 million as incentives. That is about $9,500 less than was paid in fiscal year 2003, about $1.09 million, to the six researchers then with the laboratory.

Missouri will open in K.C.

Almost a year later than they had hoped, the Tigers will play in Kansas City.

Missouri will begin its 2005 season at Arrowhead Stadium, the site of last season’s Big 12 Championship. Missouri had hoped to reach that game but failed to do so following a 5-6 season.

Funding plan misses deadline

JEFFERSON CITY — The effort to fix the formula used to distribute state funding for local schools has missed its first deadline.

Sen. Charlie Shields, R-St. Joseph, had set a controversial four-week deadline for the joint Senate-House committee assigned to the task, but a vote is not expected until the formula can be compiled into bill form, which will not happen until next week.

Heavenly mix

John and Marianne Beverstein say hard work really does pay off. The Beversteins, co-owners of Heavenly Ham at 212 E. Green Meadows Road, have found their niche in this college town, and people are taking note of their business’ success.

John, Marianne and their staff were chosen as the 2004 Restaurateur of the Year for the Columbia/mid-Missouri chapter of the Missouri Restaurant Association. They were honored Jan. 16 at the 2004 Restaurateur of the Year awards and inauguration dinner.

Senate to hear new privacy bills

JEFFERSON CITY — Missouri lawmakers are reacting to what they see as a lack of protection for Missourians in the wake of the ChoicePoint Inc. scandal, which affected more than 1,500 people in Missouri and 500,000 across the country.

“The environment for consumers in Missouri has moved from ‘buyer beware’ to ‘buyer be scared,’ ” said Sen. Pat Dougherty, D-St. Louis.

Setting the scene

Three months of hard work are coming to an end for Smithton Drama Players. “Miss Nelson is Missing,” the spring musical, premieres Thursday and continues on Friday, and Saturday at Smithton Middle School.

Pressure has mounted a little higher than normal for this year’s musical, though, as Joan Cushing, who adapted the script, lyrics and music, will make a special appearance at the performance.

Monsanto to buy seed company

ST. LOUIS — Monsanto Co. said Tuesday its fledgling holding company will buy seed-marketer NC+ Hybrids Inc. for $40 million in cash, continuing the agribusiness’ shopping spree for regional seed companies as its dominance in herbicides erodes.

St. Louis-based Monsanto said NC+ Hybrids, based in Lincoln, Neb., is the latest acquisition by its American Seeds Inc. unit, formed last year to support regional seed businesses with capital, genetics and technology investments.

Co-defendant in Heitholt killing won’t hear sentence until June

The sentencing of a 20-year-old man who pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and first-degree robbery in connection with the 2001 killing of Kent Heitholt was pushed back Monday to June 13.

Dressed in a black-and-white jumpsuit from the Boone County Jail, Charles Timothy Erickson sighed heavily as he waited for a brief hearing with Circuit Judge Gene Hamilton.

Boone Hospital Center makes list of nation’s top 100 hospitals

For the first time, Boone Hospital Center has been named as one of the nation’s top 100 hospitals by Modern Healthcare magazine.

Mike Shirk, president of Boone Hospital Center, shared the news Monday night at the hospital’s Board of Trustees meeting.

Missouri killer’s case goes to high court

WASHINGTON — Shackled with leg irons and a belly chain, Carman L. Deck was sentenced to death by a Hillsboro jury in 2003. Two years later, the U.S. Supreme Court is considering whether Deck’s shackling violated his right to a fair trial.

Missouri transportation commission to expand

JEFFERSON CITY — Gov. Matt Blunt’s plan to expand the Highways and Transportation Commission won easy initial approval in the Senate on Tuesday.

The bill would expand the commission from six to eight members. The two new members would represent air and mass transit, and river and freight transportation.

SMSU greets name-change progress

Two hours after passage of the Southwest Missouri State University name change in the state House Tuesday, SMSU President John Keiser said he did not want to duplicate the professional programs of the University of Missouri System.

“We don’t want any of those things, which is why we agreed to have them written in the bill,” he said. “It would cost too much, given our priorities and the state’s priorities.”

NCAA satisfied with MU academics

The NCAA unveiled its new system to measure academic progress Monday, with MU making the grade in a trial run.

The Academic Performance Rate is designed to grade athletic departments based on athletes’ continued eligibility. As early as next year, teams that don’t meet academic-performance standards could receive punishments ranging from the loss of scholarships to ineligibility.

Software watches trends in 911 calls

New software that analyzes 911 calls could help the Columbia/Boone County Health Department detect outbreaks of the flu or warn the department about a bioterrorist attack.

Company helps athletes plan for future

Julie Dorn-McBride knew it the day it happened. She knew she would have to move on.

Why couldn’t she be seven years old again, just starting out in gymnastics? Julie loved the sport and would later depend on it for emotional sustenance. The thought of giving it up made her tremble.

Texas A&M on brink of NCAA invite

Texas A&M coach Billy Gillispie likes simple math and in college basketball that’s not always easy to practice.

With the start of the NCAA tournament two weeks away and 11 of the Big 12 Conference’s teams at .500 or better, speculation about which teams are vying for postseason berths is increasing, as is the discussion of Ratings Percentage Index and win-loss records.

Forum looks at federal school policies

Candidates for the Columbia Board of Education discussed several issues relating to the No Child Left Behind Act at a forum Monday at Hickman High School.

The Columbia Council Parent Teacher Association and the Columbia Community Teachers Association sponsored the event, asking each candidate to respond to seven questions. Three of the questions centered on No Child Left Behind, the federal education policy that sets yearly performance standards for students nationwide.