Ukulele Fight Clubs bring players together in cities across Missouri

Ukulele players from around Columbia gathered for an inaugural meeting of the Ukulele Fight Club, a group that brings people of all skills together to play and sing.

The ukulele, considered an easier instrument to learn than guitar or piano, is also called a social instrument because it brings people together. The Ukulele Fight Club is the newest social gathering for ukulele players in mid-Missouri.

Wisconsin routs Baylor 69-52 to reach West final

Wisconsin dominated Baylor in a 69-52 victory Thursday night.

UPDATE: Missouri House OKs $26.6 billion two-tiered budget

School districts would receive a $122 million increase, but that could climb to $278 million if the state's tax revenues match the governor's more optimistic projection. Colleges and universities also would get more money.

Missouri Senate endorses bond plan for buildings

About one-third of the bond revenues would help finance the replacement of aging buildings at a state mental health hospital in Fulton. Another third would go toward a backlog of maintenance at state buildings, and the final third would be aimed at repairs at public higher education institutions.

UPDATE: Columbia under tornado watch; chance of large hail, strong winds Thursday evening

A tornado watch was issued for most of central Missouri on Thursday evening. Columbia could see large hail, strong winds and the possibility of isolated tornadoes as a storm system moves across the state, said Jayson Gosselin of the National Weather Service.

Missouri divers, relay earn all-American honors

The opening day of the NCAA Men's Swimming and Diving Championships saw Tigers earn All-American honors in diving and the 400 medley relay.

Missouri baseball takes series opener at Auburn

Missouri senior catcher Dylan Kelly's strong game helped his team beat Auburn in a nationally televised game.

PHOTO GALLERY: ARC Spring Adventure Camp goes on despite weather

The Activity and Recreation Center hosted 25 kids for its Spring Adventure Camp this week — a camp for kids to swim, play sports, watch movies and enjoy other activities. The weather kept the campers mostly inside Thursday, but it still offered activities including basketball and swimming.

Dayton tops Stanford 82-72 in Sweet 16

Like a red and blue blur, the Dayton Flyers were pressing and passing, shooting and scoring. The waves never seemed to stop coming, with 10, 11 and then 12 players giving them quality minutes.

Tennessee basketball seeks ways to stop Robinson, Michigan

Cuonzo Martin feels as if he's spent much of his life getting to know Glenn Robinson III. Now, the Tennessee coach must figure out how to beat the Michigan star on Friday night.

Vernon Barr was a World War II veteran with a passion for the earth

Vernon Barr collected rocks and traveled the country with his wife looking for new ones.

FROM READERS: Christian Science speaker Mark Swinney to talk Saturday

Mark Swinney, CSB (Christian Science Bachelor), will offer thought-provoking revelation during a public talk at 7 p.m. Saturday at the Columbia Senior Activity Center at 1121 Business Loop 70 E..

DAVID ROSMAN: Missouri loses millions by supporting cheap cigarettes

In the greater scheme of things, the $69 million is less than  1 percent of the state’s 2014 budget. But considering that the state plans to use $64 million from our reserve fund and from facility maintenance for the budget, that money looks pretty good right now.

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Overhaul of federal overtime policy seems unnecessary

What we do know is that President Barack Obama wants a major change in overtime rules that would force employers to scramble yet again to comply with federal regulations and take on costly administrative burdens that would distract from efforts to create jobs during our nation's still-struggling economic recovery.

Stephens softball team snaps 13-game losing streak

Second baseman Monica Nakamatsu went 4-for-4 with five runs scored to lead Stephens College softball to its first conference win of the season.

Johnny Manziel wows elder Bush, others at pro day

Johnny Manziel's NFL pro day had a former president, lots of swag, a Drake soundtrack and even some football, too.

Kentucky, Louisville rekindle Bluegrass rivalry

Kentucky and Louisville play Friday in one of the most important meetings in their long, colorful and not-so-friendly rivalry.

College athlete union raises plenty of questions

Around the country Thursday, coaches and administrators pondered the potential ramifications of the stunning decision by the National Labor Relations Board, which ruled the Northwestern football team — up to now, referred to by the NCAA as student-athletes — are actually university employees in everything but name. Therefore, they should be able to bargain collectively for their fair share of an industry worth billions.

$1 trillion student loan debt widens U.S. wealth gap

Graduates who can immediately begin building equity in housing or stocks and bonds get more time to see their investments grow, while indebted graduates spend years paying principal and interest on loans. The standard student loan repayment schedule is 10 years, but can be much longer.

Gay couples find uneven access to health insurance

For gay couples, access to family insurance plans under the new federal health care law is not guaranteed this year, and their options run the gamut.