City health coverage gets checkup

Rising health-care costs have forced the city to make several changes to its 2006 health insurance plan. The changes include a 20 percent increase in premiums and $810,000 in cost-saving measures. An additional $500,000 from the general fund will be transferred to cover the remaining costs.

Margrace Buckler, the city’s human resource director, called the changes “make-up money.”

Puppy stolen from parked car

A woman who recently moved to Columbia discovered her puppy was missing Thursday evening when she returned to her car after a quick trip to the Gerbes supermarket on Paris Road.

Ciera Martin said she left her two dogs in her car with the windows rolled down while she went into the store for 10 minutes. It was a relatively cool 84 degrees, but still far too hot to have the windows up and two dogs inside. When she returned, the younger of the two dogs was gone.

MU center tries to fend off crop-killing fungus

PORTAGEVILLE — The threat of an easily transmittable fungus has forced soybean researchers in Missouri’s Bootheel region to go into high gear.

Allen Wrather and Grover Shannon, at MU’s far-flung Delta Research Center, are among those trying to find a way to divert the potentially devastating Asian soybean rust from Missouri’s leading crop.

Fitness films focus on wellness

What pops in your mind when you think of an exercise video? The still-popular “Jane Fonda Workout Video for Exercise” with Fonda working out in her aerobics room and counting “one, two, three and four” out loud?

If so, the “Fitness and Wellness for a Lifetime” video series created by Stephen Ball would give you a different take on exercise videos.

Community Faces: Anthony Lupo

Anthony Lupo has wanted to understand weather since he was 7 years old.

“Thunderstorms fascinated me,” Lupo said. “I became very interested in how the weather works.”

O’Neal timeline connects reports

The MU Athletic Department released a timeline Friday morning detailing the events leading up to the death of MU football player Aaron O’Neal after a voluntary practice on July 12.

The release confirms some earlier reports and helps fill in the 25-minute gap that existed between the time O’Neal was taken to a locker room at Faurot Field and when the MU athletic training staff called paramedics at University Hospital after O’Neal arrived at the Tom Taylor Athletic Facility.

Wild Things push Mavericks into last place

Nick Renault had been in the company of his Mid-Missouri teammates for about two minutes Saturday when he realized he’d forgotten something.

The recently well-used right-hander, about to pitch for the third time in six days, sprung up from his seat in the dugout and retreated back to the clubhouse.

Basketball brings family together on, off court

Stephen Cook paced up and down the sideline, dry-erase board in hand and shouting advice to his players.

“Get up and guard him!” he yelled as his team dropped back on defense. “ ‘D’ up!”

Table tennis serves dedicated following

Jie Jie Liu, 13, bit her fingernails nervously as she stood at the edge of one of the eight table tennis courts set up in the Armory Sports Center.

“I’m nervous,” she said. “I think he’s going to beat me!”

Gateway Archery

Two whistles pierce the silence of Saturday morning at Stephen’s Park. Grant Bradshaw, wearing a white bucket hat, steps up to the a white spray-painted line, loads his arrow, draws his bow and lets go.

“It’s not like a gun, there’s no bang, bang,” he said, drawing an imaginary gun and pretending to shoot. “It’s quiet.”

Throwing for another gold

Randy Slaughter smiled as he made his prediction about the final round of the Show-Me State Games disc golf tournament.

“I’m gonna tear this round up,” Slaughter said. “I got to see my son during lunch. He definitely pumped me up today.”

St. Charles girls are Force to be reckoned

"Volleyball is the funnest sport,” Jessica Wilmes said.

“It’s MOST FUN, stupid. You’re going to make us look dumb!” her teammate Allison Pieper corrected.

Together, brothers ace all comers

The Latifi brothers are getting more than wins from playing doubles tennis together.

Inside Green Tennis Center on the MU campus, Omeed and Eemaun Latifi combined their individual skills to work together as a team at the Show-Me State games.

Melton breaks 5 blocks to earn gold

Chad Melton saw the seemingly daunting task in front of him.

He took a deep breath and focused intently on his target.

Digital Rocker

Tom Atwood, a 49-year-old documentary filmmaker, has been making music most of his life. He began writing songs on a guitar when he was just 17, then recording them on an old multitrack tape recorder in his closet.

“No one would ever hear them,” he says.

A Colorful array

The Artist

Jennie Williams, who is a painter, collagist and assemblage artist, attended MU for a year before transferring to the Kansas City Art Institute, where she earned an undergraduate degree in fine arts.  At 39, the Fulton-born artist has made Columbia her home with her son, Dane, 4.

Shell Shocker

Most animal species have an inherent defense mechanism for survival.

At the first sign of danger, a turtle will hide its legs, tail and head in its shell for protection. However, 90 percent of these slow and “harmless” reptiles are hiding an offensive mechanism to which people do not have a natural defense.

Building the faith

The new Ashland Christian Church is a modest gray and white building on Route DD, just past the Ashland city limits. The church sits on an otherwise empty corner lot. All around, the corn is head high.

“It’s kind of like The Field of Dreams thing; if you build it, they will come,” said Mark Kummer, Ashland Christian’s pastor.

Much ado about evolution

Rep. Cynthia Davis hurries along the basement corridors, looking for the hearing room where she will defend her bill calling for evolution criticism in Missouri textbooks. She peeks around the door and focuses on the back two rows, where her witnesses fidget while waiting to present their case.

Davis smiles and heads to greet them. All but one in her crowd are members of two home-schooled families who drove as long as nine hours to change public education.

How the evolution debate evolved

1925 In the Scopes “Monkey” Trial, high school teacher John Scopes is convicted of violating Tennessee law by teaching evolution to high school