MU history professor’s book shows Henry Ford’s influence

Although most people associate Henry Ford with the assembly line and the Model T, MU history professor Steven Watts wanted his book to be about more than that. He wanted to convey that Ford’s mass production techniques encouraged the idea of consumer societies and the perception of America as the land of opportunity.

“The People’s Tycoon: Henry Ford and The American Century,” published by Knopf, is due to come out Aug. 9.

Two sexual assaults reported Saturday

Columbia police are investigating two sexual assaults that occurred in central Columbia within hours of each other early Saturday.

Police said a woman was sexually assaulted and robbed in her home in the 100 block of West Ash Street at around 4:20 a.m. Saturday after a man forced entry through the front door.

Gunshots are fired outside nightclub

Gunfire was reported near a nightclub in north central Columbia early Saturday after a fight broke out between several people.

Columbia police were responding to a report of people fighting outside the Silhouette Nightclub, 3405 Clark Lane, when shots were fired, police Sgt. John Worden said.

Man found wounded by single gunshot

An adult Columbia man received a single gunshot wound to the side of the leg Sunday night. Columbia Police officers found the victim in the 2700 block of Quail Drive after being dispatched at 5:54 p.m.

Police declined to give the victim’s name. Sgt. Brian Richenberger said evidence at the scene showed signs that the wound may have been accidentally self-inflicted.

Prosecutor looks for mistakes in old cases

ST. LOUIS — After landing a job at a prestigious law firm, Jennifer Joyce was making good money with an office overlooking the Gateway Arch — and was miserable.

So, she took a job at half the pay as an assistant prosecutor, sharing a dingy office with three other lawyers and one computer.

Crop losses mounting

Last Tuesday’s rainfall of less than half an inch in most of Boone County briefly interrupted a 43-day dry spell. But with no significant rainfall predicted in the foreseeable future and temperatures in the 90s expected all week, Boone County farmers’ crop yield losses are mounting.

Efforts to assess the potential economic fallout are in early stages. It is too soon to say what type of assistance farmers might get or whether consumers will feel the effects of the drought in their pocketbooks.

City health coverage gets checkup

Rising health-care costs have forced the city to make several changes to its 2006 health insurance plan. The changes include a 20 percent increase in premiums and $810,000 in cost-saving measures. An additional $500,000 from the general fund will be transferred to cover the remaining costs.

Margrace Buckler, the city’s human resource director, called the changes “make-up money.”

Puppy stolen from parked car

A woman who recently moved to Columbia discovered her puppy was missing Thursday evening when she returned to her car after a quick trip to the Gerbes supermarket on Paris Road.

Ciera Martin said she left her two dogs in her car with the windows rolled down while she went into the store for 10 minutes. It was a relatively cool 84 degrees, but still far too hot to have the windows up and two dogs inside. When she returned, the younger of the two dogs was gone.

MU center tries to fend off crop-killing fungus

PORTAGEVILLE — The threat of an easily transmittable fungus has forced soybean researchers in Missouri’s Bootheel region to go into high gear.

Allen Wrather and Grover Shannon, at MU’s far-flung Delta Research Center, are among those trying to find a way to divert the potentially devastating Asian soybean rust from Missouri’s leading crop.

Fitness films focus on wellness

What pops in your mind when you think of an exercise video? The still-popular “Jane Fonda Workout Video for Exercise” with Fonda working out in her aerobics room and counting “one, two, three and four” out loud?

If so, the “Fitness and Wellness for a Lifetime” video series created by Stephen Ball would give you a different take on exercise videos.

Community Faces: Anthony Lupo

Anthony Lupo has wanted to understand weather since he was 7 years old.

“Thunderstorms fascinated me,” Lupo said. “I became very interested in how the weather works.”

Digital Rocker

Tom Atwood, a 49-year-old documentary filmmaker, has been making music most of his life. He began writing songs on a guitar when he was just 17, then recording them on an old multitrack tape recorder in his closet.

“No one would ever hear them,” he says.

A Colorful array

The Artist

Jennie Williams, who is a painter, collagist and assemblage artist, attended MU for a year before transferring to the Kansas City Art Institute, where she earned an undergraduate degree in fine arts.  At 39, the Fulton-born artist has made Columbia her home with her son, Dane, 4.

Shell Shocker

Most animal species have an inherent defense mechanism for survival.

At the first sign of danger, a turtle will hide its legs, tail and head in its shell for protection. However, 90 percent of these slow and “harmless” reptiles are hiding an offensive mechanism to which people do not have a natural defense.

Building the faith

The new Ashland Christian Church is a modest gray and white building on Route DD, just past the Ashland city limits. The church sits on an otherwise empty corner lot. All around, the corn is head high.

“It’s kind of like The Field of Dreams thing; if you build it, they will come,” said Mark Kummer, Ashland Christian’s pastor.

Much ado about evolution

Rep. Cynthia Davis hurries along the basement corridors, looking for the hearing room where she will defend her bill calling for evolution criticism in Missouri textbooks. She peeks around the door and focuses on the back two rows, where her witnesses fidget while waiting to present their case.

Davis smiles and heads to greet them. All but one in her crowd are members of two home-schooled families who drove as long as nine hours to change public education.

How the evolution debate evolved

1925 In the Scopes “Monkey” Trial, high school teacher John Scopes is convicted of violating Tennessee law by teaching evolution to high school


Ken and Barbie well worth the trip to Indiana

It was five years ago when I first saw them. I wasn’t working that summer but I heard that the school had hired a new assistant sports editor and his wife, who was going to work on the design side of the paper. I was in the newsroom that day, working in my office and preparing to start the new school year. I saw the couple across the newsroom talking with another editor.

It has been said that impressions are made about another person within the first 10 or 15 seconds. Well my first impression was “Oh my gosh, it’s Ken and Barbie.”

Community Sketchbook: Danielle Eldrid

Artist: Danielle Eldred

ART: “Lost in the System”

Hidden evidence

On the floor of a pitch-black classroom, a bloody trail of bluish, glowing footprints is illuminated when a student sprays them with Luminol. They lead to the feet of Michael Himmel, who is far too calm to play the part of an actual murder suspect.

“We use real pig blood,” says Himmel, a criminal justice instructor and investigator with the Mid-Missouri Major Case Squad.