Askren counting on ESPY votes

Wrestler Ben Askren has made a lasting impression at Missouri as a world-class athlete. He has just been nominated by ESPN for 2007's Best Male College Athlete.

Kansas City sweeps Angels

Kansas City manager Buddy Bell and his Los Angeles counterpart Mike Scioscia were both eager to turn the page after the Royals swept the Angels in three games.

Gov. Blunt finalizes $21.5 billion state budget

Gov. Matt Blunt made only minor changes as he signed off on a $21.5 billion state budget Wednesday. The state’s new fiscal year begins Sunday, so Blunt had to sign the 13 major budget bills by the end of this week.

Flood watch posted for mid-Missouri

A flash flood watch was posted for Boone County through Thursday, and rainfall could total 4 inches or more.

Greater awareness of genetic trait can curtail athletic deaths, report finds

The growing number of exercise-induced deaths among athletes with sickle cell trait can be curtailed with proper treatment and greater awareness among team doctors and athletic trainers, a national medical group said in a report released Wednesday.

Heavy rains head for Columbia, flash flood watch expected

Heavy rains were making their way toward Columbia early Wednesday afternoon, and forecasters said a flash flood watch could be posted for Boone County as early as 4 p.m..

Ferguson conviction upheld

Ryan Ferguson was convicted of second-degree murder and first-degree robbery and sentenced to 40 years in prison for the slaying of Kent Heitholt. On Tuesday, the Court of Appeals for the Western District of Missouri upheld Ryan Ferguson’s conviction.

Court firm on the Rios overturn

The Missouri Western District Court of Appeals had denied a motion by the Missouri Attorney General’s office to reconsider its decision overturning the conviction of Steven Rios or to transfer the case to the Missouri Supreme Court.

Minority hiring still a struggle for Boone County

Recruiting minorities for jobs in law enforcement and corrections remains a difficult challenge for Boone County government officials.

Next stop: San Francisco

Kelly Murray sat in the right field bleachers watching her 11-year-old son, Mason, pitch at Busch Stadium.

The next thing she knew, he was holding his trophy on the stadium JumboTron and beaming. Moments later, as she walked on to the concession stand, the moment simply became too much for her.

PedNet proposes 1,000 new bike racks downtown

At noon in downtown Columbia, bikes lean against almost anything that stands up straight: trees, parking meters, benches or even walls. It’s the haphazard form of bike parking that has spawned a proposal from PedNet to install 1,000 new bike racks downtown.

With every fiber of creativity

Fiber — the kind you touch, not the kind you eat — is the star of a citywide Fiber Art Tour and Exhibition this month, and Nicole Ottwell’s work is included in a branch of the show at Cherry Street Artisan. She and two other MU graduate students, Bob Hartzell and Hannah Reeves, are showcased in “Connections.”

Women impersonate Water and Light workers, demand cash

Two women impersonating Columbia Water and Light employees knocked on the door of an elderly man’s house and demanded that he make a cash payment or they would shut off his utilities Friday night, a spokeswoman for Columbia Water and Light said.

‘Sopranos’ weren’t the ‘good guys’

Despite the entertainment media’s hyped promise of excitement and mystery in the long awaited finale, I must admit that I did not watch the final episode of “The Sopranos.”

Consider all risks before building bio lab

Those who promote building a level 4 lethal disease lab here are gambling that this lab will never have an accident or leak.

Bars may be smoke free, but now sheds are catching light

Andrew Robinson and Doug Pierce’s night at their favorite bar was a little hotter than usual Tuesday. Robinson smelled smoke while sitting on the patio of McNally’s, at 7 N. Sixth St., at about 7:30 p.m. and began to investigate. The men saw smoke coming from a shed behind the bar.

Jackson County must get many bids

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — The Missouri Supreme Court reinstated a law Tuesday requiring the Jackson County Sports Authority to get bids for many projects.

Ryan’s rope wins it

NEW YORK — Brendan Ryan hit his first career home run in the 11th inning and the St. Louis Cardinals snapped the New York Mets’ four-game winning streak with a 5-3 victory Tuesday night.

St. Louis AD opts for Maryland job

ST. LOUIS ­— Saint Louis University athletic director Cheryl Levick, who was stripped of two key decisions in its basketball program, has accepted the No. 2 post at the University of Maryland.

Can you have a great yard if you own pets?

Most of my friends and neighbors have pets. Some of them even manage to have pets and an attractive yard. Others seem to struggle, and in the battle between attractive yard and pet run, often the pet wins and the yard becomes a patchy bit of grass and weeds.