MU rec center upsets faculty

When Stephen Stanton, a library information specialist at MU, found out his membership fee at the new Student Recreation Complex would triple, he was disgusted.

“I started looking for another place to go as soon as I received the brochure,” Stanton said.

Three suspects held in van crash

While most of the survivors of Sunday’s fatal van accident on Interstate 70 have been released from hospitals and have left Columbia, immigration officials have detained three people, including the suspected driver, who faces federal immigration charges.

Meanwhile, the bodies of three people who died in the accident have been identified, said Eddie Adelstein, Boone County’s deputy medical examiner.

Downtown gets digitized

Browsing through the posters and clothes available at Missouri Shirt Co., checking out all the ice cream flavors at Sparky’s and perusing the concert lineup at The Blue Note could involve a lot of walking and time, but a project done by a group of MU computer science students shows the potential for people to explore The District from the comfort of their own homes.

Amanda Stiles, Bryan Johnson, Michael Vincent and Vanja Jovisic developed an online virtual tour of a piece of downtown Columbia as their final project for a software engineering class.

New law leaves no room for ‘invasive species’

For Vince Smith, owner of Nemo Bait Co. in northeast Missouri, all crayfish were pretty much the same.

That is, until the fall of 2003 when he retrieved a batch of crayfish sold to more than a dozen bait stores from Kirksville to St. Louis, put them in garbage bags and killed them.

Alzheimer’s Association gets boost in tax credit

The Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Disorders Association will receive a $250,000 Neighborhood Assistance Program tax credit in fiscal 2006 to help pay for a new resource center.

“This program will facilitate funding for the project and reward generous people for helping us,” said Penny Braun, executive director for the project and the Mid-Missouri Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association. “It’s terrific. It will bring the project to a close sooner, and it will bring assistance to families sooner.”

School board to discuss funding

The Columbia School Board will meet today to discuss the new state foundation formula and its implications for Columbia Public Schools.

Deputy Superintendent Jacque Cowherd said Columbia schools receive between $1.5 million and $2.2 million each year under the current formula. With the new formula, Columbia schools would receive about $1.3 million over seven years, Cowherd said.

Law extends time to claim war medals

JEFFERSON CITY — Veterans of World War II and the Korean War have more time to seek medals of recognition from the state under legislation signed Wednesday by Gov. Matt Blunt.

The current World War II medal program expired in July 2004, and the Korean program expired in January. That left the state with medals to give out but no authority to distribute them.

Legislators divided about merits of 2005 session

Missouri lawmakers are taking a breather in the wake of a tumultuous 2005 legislative session, but Boone County representatives are already anticipating the work ahead for next year.

Although there were predictably mixed reactions to the session that ended in May, local representatives agreed the atmosphere in the House of Representatives has improved.

Nixon sues to cover costs of tire cleanup

JEFFERSON CITY — Attorney General Jay Nixon is suing a man to help cover cleanup costs for 60,000 tires dumped near Plattsburg.

Nixon said he already reached an agreement with the landowner, who agreed to pay $11,000 to help clean up the site and a $3,000 penalty.

Junk food in jeopardy at Columbia’s schools

The glow of vending machines in the halls of Columbia Public Schools could soon grow dim.

The Columbia School Board has formed a committee that will meet next week to discuss and make recommendations whether to place healthier foods in school vending machines.

New law requires license for fireworks

ST. LOUIS — A new state law could take some sparkle out of Fourth of July celebrations this year.

The law, which passed in the last legislative session, requires anyone who wants to shoot Class B fireworks — the kind that go off after home runs and cap off small-town parades — to get an additional license or to have a licensed operator on site during the display.

Hickman to start program for gifted students

After a year of discussions, Hickman High School has decided to launch a program for gifted students.

The school delayed the start of a gifted program because it already offers advanced and honors programs.

Mavericks can’t come back from early deficit

The Florence Freedom beat the visiting Mid-Missouri Mavericks 11-5 on Wednesday night.

Florence got six runs off Mavericks’ left-hander Augustin Rodriquez in the second inning to earn the early lead. The Mavericks (8-17) came back with three runs in the third, but Florence responded with four runs in the bottom of the inning to move ahead 10-3.

Tiger senior wins collegiate award

Tigers senior Alisha Robinson received the Kansas City Collegiate Athlete of the Year Award Tuesday from the Kansas City Sports Commission.

This year Robinson set a Missouri NCAA Championship record on the vault at 9.900, beating the previous mark of 9.875. She also set Missouri records in the floor and all-around categories. Robinson’s 9.850 qualified her for the NCAA Individual Championship Final where she placed fifth. It was the third time she competed at the meet.

Pressure rises for deciding game

SAN ANTONIO — One of the most vivid memories Robert Horry has from the most recent Game 7 in NBA Finals history was New York Knicks guard John Starks firing up shot after shot, and almost none of them going in.

It was a meltdown of epic proportions that to this day will bring a cringe to the face of any Knicks fan who witnessed it.

A long difficult journey for Schultz

After struggling to stay on the Nationwide Tour, former Missouri and Hickman golfer Jason Schultz is starting to climb the ranks.

Schultz is sixth on the 2005 money list, through 12 events. The Nationwide Tour is the minor-league circuit of the PGA Tour that was created in 1990 and was the starting ground for former U.S. Open champion Jim Furyk.

Shooting his age

Sherman Kelly squints as he stares down No. 10 at Lake of the Woods Golf Course. It’s close to 95 degrees outside, and the sun is making it hard to see anything. A flag rustles 150 yards away, moving gently with the wind.

Kelly takes his time before swinging his club, but when he does the ball flies high and true. The ball rolls to a stop on the fringe of the green, about 20 feet from the pin. Two putts later, the ball falls into the cup for par, and Kelly smiles.

Cards left in lurch by fading Mulder

CINCINNATI — Even when he struggled, St. Louis left-hander Mark Mulder could count on getting left-handed batters out. Now, even that is not a sure thing.

The slumping Mulder gave up two home runs to left-hander Adam Dunn and a two-run double to Ken Griffey Jr., another left-hander, as Cincinnati scored seven runs in the first three innings and held on for a 7-6 win Wednesday.

MU researcher predicts rise in child obesity

MU researcher Frank Booth predicts that every child in America will be obese by 2044.

Booth qualifies his prediction by saying that while this is mathematically possible, it might not actually happen. He uses data that shows a three- to four-fold increase in the percentage of overweight children since the mid-1980s, and extrapolates it to arrive at the grim forecast.

Blues keep Kitchen, work to keep fans

ST. LOUIS — The team’s for sale, the league has been shut down for a year and just lost a national television contract. But life goes on for the St. Louis Blues.

On Wednesday, the team with the odd distinction of 25 straight playoff appearances without a sniff of the NHL’s Stanley Cup Finals announced that head coach Mike Kitchen has been signed through the 2005-06 season. Terms were not released.