In search of the pink planarian

Roxie Campbell is listening intently to her crew. “Iso 1,” a voice calls out from a few feet away. “Iso 4,” another answers without skipping a beat. “Iso 2” … “Iso 10” … “Iso 1.”

Campbell is seated on a clay bank in the black depths of Devil’s Icebox Cave, a hundred feet or so under Rock Bridge Memorial State Park. Campbell, a park naturalist for the Missouri Department of Natural Resources, knows the ins and outs of Devil’s Icebox. She’s the leader of this research expedition.

Shoppers save on school supplies

Zach Ziegelbrin loaded his new computer into the bed of a white pickup Saturday afternoon in the parking lot of Best Buy.

“He said it’s for college,” said Ziegelbrin’s stepfather, Chip Bixby. “I know it’ll be for games.”

Rotarians give input on fixed tuition

In a preview of what Elson Floyd will experience on his “tuition tour,” the president of the University of Missouri System fielded an array of questions and concerns Friday about a fixed tuition plan he has been considering.

“We just simply want to hear from Missourians,” Floyd told members of the Columbia-South Rotary Club at their weekly meeting. He was there to begin developing a sense of whether fixed tuition is feasible for the four-campus system.

Suspected driver charged with smuggling

A man police say was a driver of the van involved in a June crash that left five dead on Interstate 70 was indicted Friday on a charge of conspiring to transport illegal aliens within the United States.

A federal grand jury indicted Gelson Omar Mancilla-Santiago, 22, of Guatemala, on the conspiracy charge and on a charge of illegally entering the United States after deportation, according to a statement issued by the U.S. District Attorney for the Western District of Missouri.

Moms, multiples make splash

Trey is the elusive troublemaker. Drake likes to dress up. Carly is athletic. Peyton is the emotional one. Mary and Rob Kiesling know that even though their quadruplets started life together, the 4-year-olds have adopted unique personalities.

Brother Gage, 10, has each of his siblings pegged and is at the age when he uses that knowledge to “push their buttons,” Mary says.

Heat is concern as prep football practice begins

Every year Gregg Nesbitt talks to his players about the dangers of practicing in hot, humid weather.“The basic message is that the heat isn’t anything to play with,” said Nesbitt, the football coach at Hickman High School.Football fatalities happen every year, and some of them are at the high school level. But the recent death of MU football player Aaron O’Neal may add a face to the figures for local players.

Another uplifting event

Saturday evening, a line formed inside Shakespeare’s Pizza in the District. Gone from the back shelf were the familiar clear and green Shakespeare’s cups, replaced by tall, white Budweiser cups.

“We didn’t order enough,” owner Kurt Mirtsching said. “The Show-Me State Games is like a football Saturday for us. We love the games.”

Mavericks lose at Washington

The Mid-Missouri Mavericks lost 6-2 to the Washington Wild Things on Saturday at Falconi Field in Washington, Pa. Brian Baker scored on a passed ball and Thomari Story-Harden hit a home run in the ninth inning for the Mavericks (22-43), who committed four errors in the game.

Cantwell fifth, teammate Nelson wins shot put gold

HELSINKI, Finland - No more silver for Adam Nelson. At last, he has gold.

After second-place finishes in two Olympics, two outdoor world championships and one indoor world meet, Nelson won the shot put competition on Saturday night with his best throw in three years - 71 feet, 3 1/2 inches.>“I don’t know if the best person won, but I think the right person won,” said U.S. teammate Christian Cantwell, a former MU athlete who finished fifth.

Athletes drawn to refereeing

Carrying his shoes and socks, Pete Boyer walked barefoot across a crowded parking lot. He was only looking for two things: a bandage and a clean pair of socks.

“Looks like I’m going to have to wear tennis shoes for the next game,” he said. “I run every play as the players do and it takes a toll on your feet.”

Finding her balance

Classical music is playing in the background on the floor of the Hearnes Center Saturday morning as a very petite girl in a red, white and blue leotard swings from the higher of the uneven bars. Her golden blonde hair doesn’t move from the two red scrunchies holding it into two buns on the back sides of her head.

As she thinks about her next move her tongue hangs slightly out of her mouth, in concentration. She looks at a woman standing on the mat and mouths “Help me.”

Moore stays on board for gold

It should have been an intimidating situation, but it wasn’t for 7-year-old Paul Moore.

Paul has no fear.

Age just a small hurdle for cross country racer

In an event filled with young athletes, Barney Sword knows he’s an exception. At 74, Sword, of Columbia, was the oldest competitor in the Show-Me State Games Cross Country race. However, it’s a fact that doesn’t bother him.

“With running you have to realize you’re competing against yourself, not the people around you,” he said. “I can’t control how fast or slow someone else is, I just have to satisfy myself.”

Big Dogs race with the pack during cycling competition

A couple of canines were among the 96 competitors in the Show-Me State Games cycling race Saturday morning.

Romel “Lucky Dog” Quinones, 50, placed second in his age division and Bill “Daddy Dog” Earp, 62, won his age division.