Biodiesel plant brings new energy

In the town square in Mexico, Mo., plans were announced Monday to build Missouri’s first farmer-owned biodiesel production plant.

The new plant, which was announced by Mid-America Biofuels LLC, and the Missouri Soybean Association, will have the capacity to produce 30 million gallons of biodiesel each year.

Reading opens cultural doors

Raven Meyers, a second-grader at Two Mile Prairie Elementary School, was dressed for a trip to Japan.

Wearing a purple kimono and chopsticks in her hair, she made an origami jumping frog and a carp kite, played wiffle ball and sampled authentic Japanese cuisine.

Big Ben

Ben Scott had a choice to make.

Boys growing up in Lancashire, England, are encouraged to play soccer and cricket, and Scott’s cricket abilities were good enough to play past high school.

Police examine officer’s gunfire incident

A Columbia police officer is the subject of an internal investigation after he accidentally fired his service weapon in a north Columbia duplex April 16.

Police would not release the name of the officer being investigated. Capt. Sam Hargadine described him as being fairly new and said he was hired within the last year. The officer’s immediate supervisor, Sgt. Will Green, is overseeing the investigation, Columbia Police Chief Randy Boehm said.

Learn to read between lines on textbook costs

When MU freshman Joseph Bell shelled out nearly $500 for textbooks this semester, he knew it was a lot of money but figured he didn’t have a choice.

“Regardless of the price, it’s something you’re going to have to do, and there’s nothing anyone can really do about it,” Bell said.

Morel hunters delight in challenge

The only certain thing about morel mushrooms is their unpredictability. For hunters of the fickle fungus, the search can be the most satisfying and frustrating aspect of the hobby.

The inability to forecast where these mushrooms are means the only way adventurous eaters can get good ones is by scouring the woods for them.

Mo. Army National Guard to get leaner

JEFFERSON CITY — The Missouri Army National Guard outlined a restructuring plan Monday that would place more soldiers in military police positions and fewer in field artillery and engineering units as part of the Pentagon’s plan to remake the Guard for modern warfare.

Adjutant Gen. King Sidwell described the reorganization as the largest since World War II.

Tribute to MU Women

Ten students and faculty and staff members at MU were honored at the third annual Tribute to MU Women on March 31. The event was sponsored by the MU Chancellor’s Status of Women Committee.

The tribute recognized women who have worked to create an environment of equity, fairness and justice for women at MU ; have respected the diversity of women’s experiences; and have helped promote the advancement of women through education, advocacy, support and activism.

Kind words for Brotzman

For just a few minutes during Monday’s regularly scheduled noon meeting, members of Rock Bridge High School’s Parent-Teachers-Student Association spoke supportively of Principal Bruce Brotzman, who left Friday for a leave-of-absence to last until his official resignation at the end of the school year.

Assistant Principal Kathy Ritter, who will take over Brotzman’s administrative duties, told PTSA members that Rock Bridge will complete the school year in a positive manner.

Impact Mizzou fellows

Twelve fellows have been selected to participate in the Impact Mizzou program for 2005-06.

The MU International Center, which oversees the program, describes it as an opportunity for domestic and international students to develop skills to become globally competent leaders in the future. It emphasizes leadership development and learning through mentorship and volunteerism.

Now You Know: The value of fertilizer

What was learned: MU researchers are using sensors called light emitting diodes to measure the color of young corn plants to determine the correct amount of nitrogen fertilizer needed by each plant. Researchers are in the second year of testing the new technology. What is being done: Researchers applied a generous amount of nitrogen to one area of a field and, using the LEDs attached to a fertilizer applicator, measured the amount of light reflected from small plants in this area. The computer-equipped applicator then applied variable levels of nitrogen to the rest of the field, depending on the amount ...

Teaming up to fight drugs

The last time an official from the Office of National Drug Control Policy came to Columbia, the city was days from voting on a citizen-driven proposal to de-emphasize possession of small amounts of marijuana.

Voters in 2003 rejected the proposed ordinance, but a similar proposal won strong support at the polls in November and is being targeted for repeal by the Columbia Police Officers Association.

Three more Tigers ink deals

Missouri will be represented well at NFL mini-camps later this week.

The three former Missouri players selected in the NFL Draft this weekend marks the most since 1981.

Marriage changing, for better or worse

Last month, a friend’s parents celebrated their 63rd wedding anniversary. It was a lovely occasion. The couple earned a living as farmers and had lived on the same farm throughout their married life. When their children, friends and neighbors gathered for the celebration, there was a lifetime of warm memories to share. This husband and wife still had a gleam in their eyes when they looked at one another. It was a joy to behold.

I was amused at the number of people who used this occasion to reminisce and compare the marriages of yesteryear with marriages of today, some of which barely last as long as the wedding cake. During these sessions, most people are quick to assume all marriages that last for decades are happy ones. In fact, some of the most miserable people I knew in childhood were women who were unhappily married and felt trapped by circumstances beyond their control. Most of these women were poorly educated and had produced large families within the span of a few years. Some of these women were second wives, who had mothered the first wife’s children and produced more children of their own.

Cougars show muscle against tough foe

The Columbia College softball team is among the best in the NAIA at No. 12 in the nation. Upper-level competition can’t even slow them.

The Cougars prevailed Monday in their final home game, earning a 7-1 victory against Central Missouri State, a NCAA Division II school.

Hickman wins golf invitational

The Hickman boys’ golf team won the 18-team Capital City Invitational on Monday.

The event was held at par-72 Jefferson City Country Club. The Kewpies shot a 316, while Rock Bridge shot a 344 to finish 12th.

Chicago center fills void for Missouri

After three players announced their departure in the past three weeks, the Missouri men’s basketball team needed some good news.

It got some Sunday.