Working with bugs

Kristin Simpson works with bugs.

For 17 years, she has been the collections manager at MU’s Enns Entomology Museum in the Agriculture Building at Hitt and Rollins streets. Simpson tends the collection daily — labeling the bugs and noting information about them.

Brotzman resigns new job in Iowa

Rock Bridge High School Principal Bruce Brotzman resigned from his new administrative job in Iowa on Thursday, the same day Columbia School Board members met behind closed doors to discuss sexual misconduct allegations stemming from an incident at MU’s Ellis Library.

Brotzman, 46, submitted a resignation letter to the Cedar Rapids Community Schools on Thursday afternoon, said Cedar Rapids Superintendent Dave Markward.

Deliberating expansion

The look of downtown is going to change significantly with the expansion of the Boone County Courthouse, but what those changes will be and when they will happen remains uncertain.

County officials have said for years the courthouse must be expanded to accommodate the demands of a growing community. The Boone County Commission appointed a Space Needs Committee last fall to determine the best way to achieve that goal. The committee has been meeting since October and offered this past week a set of options and recommendations the county commission can consider.

Committee cuts college funding by 5 percent

JEFFERSON CITY — Although shielded from cuts in the House, higher education has received some trimming in the Senate Appropriations Committee.

The committee’s budget proposal, approved Thursday, would make a 5 percent cut to public universities and colleges. This would mean a $17.5 million cut to the University of Missouri System.

Traffic safety stats improve, experts report

WASHINGTON — The highway fatality rate last year reached its lowest point since records were first kept nearly 40 years ago, the government projected on Thursday.

The rate dropped even as the total number of traffic deaths inched up because more drivers were on the road, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said.

Organizers gear up for Earth Day

Thousands of potential journalists will attend Columbia’s annual Earth Day Festival scheduled for Sunday. They won’t be armed with press passes or tape recorders, just thoughts and opinions.

Editors from, an online publication written primarily by the public, will have a booth at the festival where computers will be available for people to take on the role of “citizen journalist.”

Council eyes blank grades

After exhaustive discussions about the plus/minus grading system and blank grades, MU’s Faculty Council decided to move on to other agenda items Thursday afternoon after a tornado warning sent the council to the lowest level of Memorial Union south.

Just before going downstairs, the council was discussing what chairman Gordon Christensen called a “bad habit”: professors leaving a student’s grade blank at the end of the semester. Council member Pat Fry said there are two reasons professors do this. They are either “wimps” who don’t want to give a failing grade or there has been an administrative error, Fry said.

Duo dreams of NFL draft

Former Missouri defensive tackles Atiyyah Ellison and C.J. Mosley might have a strange feeling after this weekend’s NFL Draft.

It’s likely they won’t be lining up side-by-side on the field for the first time in more than three years.

Sooner born, but Tiger bred

Some dedication from the Missouri coaching staff and a little faith lured James Boone to the Tigers baseball team three years ago.

Boone was a standout player at Clinton High School in Clinton, Okla. As a child, he wanted to be an Oklahoma Sooner.

A closer look at a young Mantle

John Hall remembers the first time he saw Mickey Mantle play.

The first time Hall had gone to a professional game was in 1949, when Mantle was playing for the Independence (Kan.) Yankees at Missouri’s Municipal Park Stadium in Carthage.


Tyler Rorah has mastered the art of using time wisely. By day, he works full time as a nursing assistant at University Hospital on the pediatrics floor. In the evenings, he attends class at Columbia College.

It can be stressful to juggle his commitments at times, but, ultimately, Rorah has negotiated a system that allows him to get his work completed at the hospital and at school.

Carpenter on target in first shutout since 2001

ST. LOUIS — Chris Carpenter has faced the Chicago Cubs six times since the start of the 2004 season. Apparently, familiarity isn’t helping the opposition.

St. Louis blanked Chicago 4-0 on Thursday behind Carpenter, who improved to 5-1 against the Cubs.

Now You Know

Many institutions require college students to complete writing requirements, but MU’s award-winning program is a cut above the rest. The Campus Writing Program was recently awarded the Conference on College Composition and Communication’s first writing program Certificate of Excellence. Ten other institutions were also given the award.

“We have been recognized as a leader in the field for decades, but this award is an affirmation of that,” said Martha Patton, assistant director of the Campus Writing Program. “This award reflects on the faculty at MU — not just the program — faculty who are committed and involved in the teaching of writing.”

Sheriff wins approval for gun safe

Sheriff Dwayne Carey took another step this week in what he says is an effort to make the department safer.

Carey won approval Thursday afternoon from the Boone County Commission for a budget amendment to allow the purchase of a gun safe. Carey took over as sheriff on Jan. 1. While examining the department, he discovered that a member of a firearm committee was storing about 15 department-owned guns at a private residence.

Stephens Lake rezoning hits setback

A proposed zoning change to accommodate a restaurant development across Hinkson Creek from Stephens Lake Park should be rejected, the Columbia Planning and Zoning Commission recommended on Thursday.

Developer Jay Lindner has asked that the city rezone 8.15 acres on the corner of Broadway and Trimble Road for planned commercial use. The only restaurant plan on file for the land is for a Krispy Kreme doughnut shop.

Missouri House passes crime legislation

JEFFERSON CITY — The House passed legislation expanding police arrest powers and criminal sentences on Thursday, despite objections from black lawmakers who feared it would encourage racial profiling by law enforcement officers.

Of particular concern to black lawmakers was a provision in the bill making it a crime not to identify oneself when asked to do so after being lawfully stopped by police.

Area Briefly

Rotating winds spark tornado alarm

Although tornado sirens blared throughout southern Boone County on Thursday afternoon, Kevin Wolfe, operator 1 at the Columbia/Boone County Joint Communication, said no tornado touched down.