And the (potential) winner is...

In anticipation of tonight’s 79th Annual Academy Awards, the Missourian found five Columbia residents to predict who will take home Oscars in nine categories. The individuals are as diverse as their predictions. The Oscars air tonight, at 7 p.m., on ABC.

BOONE LIFE: Mikaela's menagerie

He’s a blind, toothless, albino runt that eats Gerber baby food because of his condition. If he were human, he might be shuf-fling along, stirring the gravel with his shoes along the fence at recess. For now, his name is Alby. But if he gets sold, that may change.

As the smoke clears

Mike McCann exhaled a mixture of smoke and frosty breath as he casually tossed his ciga-rette butt into a puddle outside Tiger Barber Shop.

“Just toss it in the street and let the street sweeper get it,” he said.

Missing records at fire district prompt inquiry

The Boone County Fire Protection District asked the Columbia Police Department last week to investigate the possible theft of documents from the fire district’s headquarters two years ago.

Key witness in kidnap case branded a hero

Mitchell Hults shook his head and smiled as a crowd of about 80 people waited for him to speak about an experience that changed his life. Hults, who has been dubbed a hero for his part in helping to rescue two kidnapped Missouri boys in January, received a standing ovation at the meeting of the East Missouri District of the Optimists International in Columbia on Saturday morning.

Student Democrats look to expand numbers in Mo.

The MU Geology Building was buzzing Saturday morning with young, passionate, registered Democrats participating in the 2007 Missouri State Federation of College Democrats Convention.

Belief in brief: Lent

Lent is a time to renew one’s faith, repent one’s sins and prepare for Easter.

Home and garden show aims to inform and entertain

Liz Deken handed out bags of compost and instructed passersby on how to reduce the amount of waste they produce — all in a day’s work for a volunteer member of the Waste Minimization Team with the Columbia Public Works Department.

Grounded in her game

After a Hickman girls basketball practice in January, coach Mirts asked one of her players to bring a few basketballs to her father. The basketballs were autographed and eventually raffled support the team.

Pitchers key to Missouri’s strong start

Entering the 2007 season, the majority of the MU baseball team’s unknowns centered around its young, mostly inexperienced pitching staff. After nine road games spread over three weekends, much of the team’s starting rotation has been set, while the team’s bullpen remains largely a work in progress.

Hatcher’s return to lineup sparks MU to Classic win

When sophomore Alicia Hatcher opened her e-mail Thursday night, she found out she was slated to lead the Missouri gymnastics team on the beam at Friday night’s Callaway Bank Cat Classic. It’s a tall order for any gymnast, not in the least because of Missouri’s beam problems this year and because it was her first meet back from a right ankle sprain.

Payback is 'priceless' for Kewpies

The controversy was finally put to rest on Friday night.

Streaking Bruins have season abruptly halted by rival Kewps

For the third year in a row the Rock Bridge girls basketball team failed to advance past the district tournament after losing to rival Hickman 46-39 Friday night in the Class 5, District 10 championship game in Jefferson City. Rock Bridge senior Ashley Dressler has played in all three of the district title losses. However, she still remains positive about what her team accomplished.

Damien Nash dies at 24

Former Missouri football player Damien Nash died Saturday night following a charity basketball game held at Riverview Gardens High School in St. Louis.

Tigers miss their chance

Stefhon Hannah’s 3-point attempt, with Missouri down two points and 27 seconds left in overtime, wasn’t necessarily the shot coach Mike Anderson was looking for on the Tigers’ most important possession.

MU sophomore gravitates toward spotlight

Alyssa Hollins wants to be remembered as a nice girl with a nice smile.

MU could strike big by adding bowling

There aren’t many lifelong sports in the world. You won’t see Michael Jordan, who just turned 44, driving to the basket past 23-year-old LeBron James.

Tigers’ Nickoley wins 800 meters at Big 12 indoors

The Missouri men’s track and field team took fourth in the Big 12 Indoor Championships in Ames, Iowa, on Saturday.

Bruins prevail for district title

JEFFERSON CITY – Most athletes don’t get to decide when they have to stop playing the game they love.

Pack mentality

As the Douglass Bulldogs ran onto the Smithton Middle School court to warm up before their game against visiting North County Tech, something was different.