After close loss, Rock Bridge focuses on making contact

Hitting hasn’t been Rock Bridge’s strength this season.

In the Bruins most recent outing, a 3-1 loss Wednesday to Jefferson City, they collected eight hits but couldn’t capitalize late in the game.

House panel rejects state schools plan

JEFFERSON CITY — A plan to change the state’s school foundation formula suffered a significant setback Thursday with a House committee’s vote to defeat the proposal.

“What you saw here was a rural versus urban divide,” said Rep. Brian Baker, R-Belton and chairman of the House Special Committee on Education Funding.

Firings cause confusion for department

Missouri State Fire Marshal William Farr resigned earlier this month, and the Missouri Department of Public Safety now lacks directors for two of its divisions.

Farr resigned April 15, four days before Keith Fuller, director of the Division of Alcohol and Tobacco Control, and his deputy, Lori Baskins, were fired after an internal investigation. Public Safety spokeswoman Terri Durdaller said Farr was not under investigation when he left, but she would not say more about his departure.

Tigers staying ahead with hard-hitting bats

A foul ball off the bat of Tiger shortstop Heather Kunkel had just whizzed by Missouri coach Ty Singleton’s head during Wednesday’s doubleheader.

The close call had left Singleton, who coaches third base when the team is at bat, grinning like he had gotten away with something.

Porter’s legacy goes beyond the arts

Mary Nell Porter’s friends have a daunting set of tasks.

They are trying to figure out a woman who was involved in everything but who kept each part separate. They are trying to pinpoint telling moments of a woman who was always organizing her next activity.

Missouri hopes recent success will lead to title

One year ago, Mark Leroux was disappointed.

His Austin Peay State University’s golf team had just finished third in the Ohio Valley Conference championship. Austin Peay had won three consecutive titles in the conference, and the third-place showing was unexpected.

Airport’s future up in the air

Don’t call Columbia Regional Airport to ask when it’s closing down. Airport Superintendent Bill Boston is getting a bit tired of handling those calls.

But you can’t blame people for being concerned. The number of passengers flying through the airport annually has declined from 41,000 in 1994 to 18,000 in 2004. That statistic is alarming even for airport administrators, who face increasing competition from shuttle services such as MO-X and blame potential passengers’ misperceptions about service at Columbia Regional.

Extra points

A former Barton County Community College assistant men’s basketball coach pleaded not guilty Wednesday to federal charges that he falsified academic credentials and work-study time sheets for athletes, including former Missouri player Randy Pulley.

Mark Skillman, 30, of Russellville, Ark., entered his plea at an initial appearance in U.S. District Court in Wichita, Kan.

Hands-on competition

The two men faced each other, palms outstretched and fists at the ready. One, two, three primes and then the shot.

One man threw scissors, the other paper.

Tour offers a taste of updated kitchens

Five state-of-the-art Columbia kitchens will be open Sunday on the Kitchens in Bloom Home Tour. The tour is a fund-raising event for the Boone County Council on Aging.

“The kitchens are fabulous,” said council member Stephanie Panagos said. “They’re dream kitchens that some of us just wish we could have.”

Mike Hall returns for Comedy Wars

MU’s Comedy Wars audience was treated to a special performance by comedian Tim Schwartzman on Wednesday night.

Introduced as an exchange student from Comedy Battles at another Missouri college, Schwartzman said he was at Memorial Union to check out MU’s weekly improv event.


When Don Fullington retired from MU in October, he left with the best wishes of his co-workers.

Fullington worked in the Missouri Unions — the Memorial Union and Brady Commons — for 22 years. His job as maintenance custodian included making the floors of Memorial Union shine. Now at age 50, health problems have forced him to retire.

Now You Know

What was learned: The Contracting and Organizations Research Institute at MU has revamped its database of contracts by designing a Web interface for easy use. The database, called the CORI K-Base, is available to legal and business researchers, as well as the public. It includes more than 25,000 contracts and agreements that were gathered by corporate security filings and other public and private entities, said Michael Sykuta, director of CORI and founder of the database.

How it works: The CORI K-Base can be easily navigated and allows users to search the collection by full-text or keyword searches. Users also have the option of searching by filing date, company name, industry classifications and contract type. The results are displayed in HTML format.

Vaccination bill passes committee

JEFFERSON CITY — After several changes, the House Health Care Policy Committee on Wednesday brought mercury-free vaccinations one step closer to law.

The bill now awaits debate on the House floor.

Student queried about scuffle

A representative of the MU Office of Administrative Affairs interviewed a University of Kansas student Thursday who says he was assaulted by MU Police Chief Jack Watring during a scuffle over a sign at a March 6 basketball game at Mizzou Arena.

Chris Kaufman said he spoke with Lisa Wimmenauer, associate director for Administrative Affairs, in a private meeting. She also interviewed his friends Christian Green and Rich Littrell, who were with him at the game.

How Rock, Paper, Scissors works

The game of rock, paper, scissors (which has, believe it or not, a variety of similar names) is often used to settle disputes or make decisions. According to the World Rock, Paper, Scissors Player's Responsibility Code, it's necessary to determine beforehand what is being decided. The code also states that safety comes first and all jewelry should be removed before play, and advises against using rock, paper, scissors to make life-threatening decisions.

Rural doctors trained

Jennifer Marcellus has spent the past seven years working toward becoming a doctor so that, one day, she can be one in her hometown of Branson.

Marcellus, who graduates next month from MU’s School of Medicine, is a Bryant scholar. She was identified as a student at a rural high school and encouraged to apply for early admission into the school’s rural track program, which recruits, trains and places medical students in small Missouri communities.

Center to kick off public fund raising

After nearly 14 years in the making, the Health Adventure Center will make its final push for the money it needs to open next year.

The interactive health-education center will kick off its community campaign on May 22. To date, the center has raised more than $3.7 million of its $5.2 million goal, said campaign spokeswoman Wendy Knorr. The center’s board of directors and its capital campaign committee have been raising cash for the past 18 months, she said. Most of the money has come from larger foundations and organizations.

FACES: Abraham Lueth

In 1987, Abraham Lueth says he was out playing with friends when he heard the gunfire that started an attack on his village during the Sudanese civil war.

At age 7, he was forced to flee to Ethiopia, without going home to find his parents or his four brothers first. The journey ahead of him was dangerous and gruesome.

Fee office in Columbia to transfer to local owner

The state-owned Columbia branch office of the Missouri Department of Revenue will shift to the private ownership of Columbia businessman Scott Atkins on Monday.

Atkins owns Columbia-based Tom Atkins Investments, which is named for his father. Both men are also involved in a series of enterprises ranging from investment banking to real estate development. Gov. Matt Blunt granted Scott Atkins a contract to operate the fee office as part of a larger promise he made during his State of the State Address to eliminate the revenue department’s 11 branch offices around the state.