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Extra Points: MU Diving

Evan Watters finished 21st in the 3-meter springboard event at the NCAA Men's Swimming and Diving Championships in Minneapolis. He was the only Tiger to qualify for the national meet.

Extra Points: MU Track and Field

Missouri took first place in four events at the Tulsa Invitational this weekend, led by senior Lindsey Markworth, who won the women’s shot put and discus. Jennifer Bennett won the women's pole vault, clearing a height of 12 feet, while Jesse Sims won the men’s high jump with a leap of 6 feet, 10.75 inches.

Extra Points: MU Gymnastics

The Tigers placed fourth at the Big 12 Championships in Norman, Okla. with a score of 194.875. Nebraska won its seventh title in the ninth year of the competition.

Senior Alisha Robinson won the conference vault title for the second straight season, scoring a 9.925 in the event.

Hear the noise

The term “e-mail” has been part of mainstream terminology for years. An Internet search engine’s name, Google, is now a verb. And the word “blog” is a Webster’s entry.

Get ready for a new buzzword: podcasting.

Smiling trainer provides drive, muscle aches

For as long as I can remember, I have been in a battle with my weight. And although I’ve won a few skirmishes, I’ve never won the war. For the last decade it’s been a standoff. A few weeks ago I started my “now or never” makeover. First the braces (not my idea), then I stopped smoking (again) and decided that if I was really going to be a lifetime nonsmoker, I’d have to address the weight issue. It’s always been the number one reason why I start puffing nicotine again.

I heard about a 30-day makeover one of the gyms in town was offering. I met with a young (thin) woman who explained the program. She said I needed the “extended” program to get the results I wanted. I guess I’m too far gone to see a transformation in only one month.

A Special Sunday

Every year, an hour before the clock strikes Easter Sunday, members of Missouri United Methodist Church gather in the sanctuary on Ninth Street.

The ceremony begins with scriptural accounts of Jesus Christ’s arrest, trial and crucifixion. The mood is somber: the room is candle-lit, there are no flowers and black cloth covers the walls and altar brass. As each reading is concluded, a series of candles are snuffed out and a hymn is sung.

Beyond the sugar coating

For many children, Easter Sunday means candy baskets and colored-egg hunts. For church leaders and Sunday school teachers, combining all the fun of the holiday with doctrine and education is a challenge.

On Palm Sunday, children at First Christian Church were busy baking cookies, carving wood blocks and listening to storytellers as part of their five-week lesson on the Easter story. Amy Kay Pavlovich, associate minister, said each of the activities had a specific message to be found within the fun. For example, the cookie recipe, which had a hollow center, was designed to help the children understand reaction to the opening of Jesus’ tomb after the resurrection.

'Roids Rage

Ten days ago, a cavalcade of Major League Baseball’s biggest stars testified before Congress, yet another in a series of revelations about steroid use that have rocked the sports world.

Those revelations are felt acutely in places like San Francisco, Chicago, Washington, D.C., and St. Louis. But their consequences extend past those baseball hotbeds right into smaller cities and towns, including Columbia.

Accident blocks I-70

Police were still investigating an accident late Saturday evening that brought traffic on Interstate 70 to a halt in both directions.

A medical helicopter and an ambulance were at the scene. At least one passenger was taken by ambulance to the hospital.

Well-grounded family

The farmer is 79 years old. Her farms are ages 107 and 140. In the rosy dusk, Grace Butler powers her big red SUV across a creek and winds up a hill to feed and count her cattle. She talks to them as if they’re old friends, and they really are.

As she counts the herd, she spies a black cow in a clump of trees. “You naughty girl, hidden here,” she says in a brisk voice. “I see you have a baby to come, don’t you?”

Gov. Blunt spells out state’s reduction plan

JEFFERSON CITY — Gov. Matt Blunt spelled out Thursday how various agencies would cut nearly $240 million from their budgets for the coming fiscal year, with social services taking the hardest hit.

Among the cuts are eliminating the grandparent foster care program, temporarily shutting down the Central Missouri Correctional Center, which is six miles west of Jefferson City, and eliminating the state’s payment to keep Amtrak trains running between Kansas City and St. Louis.

Options near end in Schiavo conflicts

PINELLAS PARK, Fla. — With Terri Schiavo visibly drawing closer to death, her parents were rebuffed by both the U.S. and Florida supreme courts Thursday in their battle to reinsert their brain-damaged daughter’s feeding tube.

Bob and Mary Schindler held onto the slim hope that Gov. Jeb Bush would somehow find a way to intervene or a federal judge, who had turned them down before, would see things their way. But Bush warned that he was running out of options.

Grocery store seen as perk of rezoning

A grocery story is one of the first things people mentioned when the would-be developers of land at Range Line Street and Blue Ridge Road approached neighborhood associations to see what type of commercial uses they would support.

The Columbia Planning and Zoning Commission on Thursday recommended the Columbia City Council approve the developers’ request for rezoning to accommodate planned commercial and office uses that might include a grocery store. Magnus Enterprises LLC submitted the request, which seeks to rezone three tracts totaling 45 acres at the southeast corner of the north-side intersection.

Priday lifts Missouri’s run total

Each time Missouri outfielder Jacob Priday comes to bat at Taylor Stadium, the loudspeaker plays Blake Shelton’s country song “Heavy Lifting.”

“I hit the ground runnin’ with the mornin’ sun. When a job needs doin’, I get it done.”

Missouri rises in rankings for Directors’ Cup standings

Missouri’s athletic program jumped 12 spots to 36th in the United States Sports Academy Directors’ Cup standings, released Thursday.

The rankings, which include Missouri finishes for fall and winter sports, are released 11 times during the Division I school year.

Cards’ Eckstein eager for opener

JUPITER, Fla. — David Eckstein can hardly wait for his first regular-season game with the St. Louis Cardinals.

Eckstein had a hit and two walks Thursday to raise his spring average to .416. Rick Ankiel had his first hit since giving up on pitching and trying to make it as an outfielder and the Cardinals beat the Nationals 5-1.

Hundreds mourn patrolman

DEXTER — During a funeral that drew hundreds of police from at least four states, a Missouri state patrolman ambushed and slain outside his home was tearfully eulogized Thursday as a Christian man who masterfully blended passion for his job with adoration for his 4-year-old son.

“Family, you’re wrapped in blue; they’re all around,” Denny McGinley — alluding to mourners largely dressed in police uniforms — told Sgt. Carl Dewayne Graham Jr.’s survivors at a packed First Baptist Church in this Missouri Bootheel town where Graham grew up.

Coastal powers meet in Missouri

Associated Press

For years it lurked as a potential rivalry that hasn’t happened. Stanford on the West Coast, Connecticut in the East, each the dominant program in its region.

Childhood inspired candidate’s school goals

Darin Preis grew up in a family of educators and remembers dinner discussions that revolved around the successes and challenges in the classroom. His upbringing inspired him to keep education a priority, which is one of the reasons he decided to run for the Columbia School Board.

Preis said the board could use his expertise to bring a new perspective to early childhood education and to further work to close the achievement gap. Preis said being the director of the Missouri Head Start, State Collaboration Office has prepared him to deal with important school board issues.

The Sport of Wings

"The Book of St. Albans,” a 15th century text, lists a hierarchy for the sport of falconry. Kings flew large and rare gyrfalcons, knaves used smaller and more common kestrels, and every rank in between used different breeds of falcon and hawk.

Whether the rules were strictly enforced or simply represented economic realities is unsure, but since then, falconry has become the most regulated field sport in the world. Now, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service is trying to make falconry more accessible to everyone by simplifying federal regulations.

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