Chance to play bolsters newest Mav

A crowd of 1,248 offered warm applause when Thomas Bowker pinch ran for Mavericks’ rookie catcher Ryan Kottke in the eighth inning Monday night.

He had gone 2-4 in the Mavericks’ 12-5 loss to the Windy City Thunderbolts (12-26), including a run-scoring single in the second inning.

How we celebrate

I love a parade

With a would-be Gen. Douglass MacArthur as grand marshal, the Park Hill neighborhood held its annual Independence Day Parade.

Chiefs pioneer dies

NEW ORLEANS — Hall of Fame coach Hank Stram, who guided the Kansas City Chiefs to two Super Bowls and was known for his inventive game plans and exuberance on the sideline, died Monday, his family said. He was 82.

Stram had been in declining health for several years, and Dale Stram attributed his father’s death to complications from diabetes. He died at St. Tammany Parish Hospital, near his home in Covington, across Lake Pontchartrain from New Orleans. He built a home there during his two-year stint as coach of the Saints and retired there.

Patrols increase after latest crimes

Courtney Horn was sleeping soundly in her north Columbia home early Sunday when she awoke to a noise.

“I heard a loud commotion and the door opening, and I started yelling out, ‘Who is it? Who is it?,’” she said.

Morris shines for Cardinals

PHOENIX — Matt Morris earned his 10th win, Scott Rolen hit a two-run double, and the St. Louis Cardinals beat the Arizona Diamondbacks 10-3 on Monday.

John Mabry and pinch-hitters Abraham Nunez and So Taguchi also drove in two runs. Albert Pujols had an RBI and extended his hitting streak to 16 games for the Cardinals, who will send six players to the All-Star game, more than any team in the majors.

Women’s groups need fresh input

Last week, I spoke to a women’s group that’s been around for more than a hundred years. Because most of the members are middle aged or older, one of the things we talked about was the difficulty such groups as these face in recruiting younger women. Some think those young women are not as interested in serving their communities as previous generations. Others think these clubs are dominated by older women who refuse to change their outdated agendas

One thing is certain, women’s services to the community were never more sorely needed than they are today. The plight of neglected children is only one of many concerns women are uniquely qualified to address. Women’s clubs and organizations play such vital roles that it is difficult to imagine what society would be like without them. Day care centers, facilities devoted to eldercare, hospices, rape counseling centers are just a few of the many areas where women’s talents and skills are essential.

This horse is a course, of course, of course

On a muggy Monday evening, Kelly Deline got on a horse for the first time in 25 years. Her desire to find a new activity connected her with a summer group that helps all types of people get back in the saddle.

Tucked back on the east end of the Stephens College campus on Old 63 is the Stephens Equestrian Center. Even though many Stephens students leave the stables when the school year ends, the center remains active for others.

Church OKs gay marriage

ATLANTA — The United Church of Christ’s rule-making body voted overwhelmingly Monday to approve a resolution endorsing same-sex marriage, making it the largest Christian denomination to do so.

The vote is not binding on individual churches, but could cause some congregations to leave the fold.

30-30 quest

ST. LOUIS — Reggie Sanders’ quest for a first 30-30 season could land him in an even more exclusive club.

The St. Louis Cardinals’ left fielder is closing in on 300 home runs and 300 stolen bases, a feat accomplished by only four players. At the halfway point of the season he needed 12 home runs and four steals to join Bobby Bonds, Willie Mays, Andre Dawson and Barry Bonds in the speed/power fraternity.

MU observatory holds comet viewing

Val Germann had the champagne ready to toast the successful collision between a probe fired from the NASA Deep Impact spacecraft and comet Tempel 1 early Monday.

“This is absolutely unique,” said Germann, president of the Central Missouri Astronomical Association, getting excited about the impact. “This is what science should be.”

Feline show flaunts purr-fect contenders

Larry Swanson has judged more than 10,000 cats.

More than 1,000 paper towels were used to clean cages and display tables.

And celebrate some more

Feel like a kid again

Cassie Acton knows her way around Columbia’s fireworks stands.

Rios sentenced to life in prison

Former Columbia police officer Steven Rios was sentenced Tuesday to life in prison without the possibility of parole for the killing of 23-year-old MU student Jesse Valencia.

A Clay County jury convicted Rios, 28, of first-degree murder on May 27 after nearly nine hours of deliberation. Rios received an additional 10 years in prison for armed criminal action.