Amateur songbirds

Joe Fedl sees it all. The twangy cowgirl, the drunk college guy, the smooth Madonna wannabe.

Some dance while they sing. Some sound like pros. Some, though, are really bad.

Trial in MU student’s death starts this week

Today, jurors will be selected in Clay County, northeast of Kansas City, to hear the murder trial of a former Columbia police officer.

Steven Rios is accused of killing Jesse Valencia, a 23-year-old MU student whose body was found outside his Wilson Street apartment June 5 with his throat cut.

Rocheport dig hopes to find pieces of past

When the Heffernans bought their 500-acre Rocheport farm in 1990, they had no idea the land sat on top of a 19th- century settlement that played a significant role in early Boone County history.

“The day the sale went through, I was working at the historical society and started looking it up,” said Lisa Weil, Bill and Judy Heffernan’s daughter. “I called my father and said, ‘You’re not going to believe this.’ ”

Insurance complaints would be concealed

JEFFERSON CITY — Among the many bills sent to Gov. Matt Blunt’s desk on the final day of the session is one that would make consumer complaints about insurance companies confidential.

Supporters say the bill is about consumer privacy. But some lawmakers say it would primarily benefit insurance companies, making it harder for consumers to learn about alleged wrongdoing.

Bill limiting mercury in vaccines nearly law

A bill requiring mercury-free vaccinations for children younger than 3 and for pregnant women needs only a signature from Gov. Matt Blunt to become law.

State Sen. Norma Champion, R-Springfield, sponsored the bill, which requires removal of the mercury-containing preservative thimerosal from immunizations. She and others have cited the potential for the substance to cause autism or mercury poisoning in children.

Turn around

Defense got Missouri into a mess, so it was fitting that defense got them out of it.

The No. 20 Tigers turned four double plays, made two spectacular diving catches in the ninth inning, and got just enough offense in a come-from-behind, 4-3 victory against Kansas on Sunday at Taylor Stadium.

Hitting strategy produces runs

With a chance to take a lead, Missouri coach Tim Jamieson wasn’t taking any chances.

Sunday’s game between No. 20 Missouri and Kansas was tied at 3 in the eighth inning when Jayhawks reliever Don Czyz faced Tigers second baseman Trevor Helms with the bases loaded and two outs.

Missouri will host NCAA softball regional

MU was selected Sunday to be one of 16 host schools for the 2005 NCAA Softball Regional Tournament.

The No. 18 Tigers (42-13), who placed second in the Big 12 Tournament on Saturday, will face sixth-seed Stanford (40-14), Southern Illinois (46-12) and Robert Morris (29-20-1) in the regional Friday and Saturday at University Field.