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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

students.

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.

Budget pitch reflects new utility rates

The city will spend more than $280 million during the fiscal year that begins Oct. 1, according to a proposed budget presented by City Manager Ray Beck on Thursday. That is a 1.4 percent increase from fiscal 2005.

While property taxes will remain the same under the proposed budget, city residents can expect to see increases in sewer, water and electric utility rates.

Volunteers riled over modified block grants plan

Members of the Community Development Commission expressed disappointment about changes the city staff made in its recommendation for distributing Community Development Block Grant money in the next fiscal year.

The commission, made up of nine community volunteers, last month submitted its recommendation for how to distribute block grant money in fiscal 2006.

City chosen for $25 million sidewalk project

Columbia expects to soon have $25 million to build more bike lanes, pedways, sidewalks and trails in an effort to reduce traffic congestion.

Sen. Kit Bond, R-Mo., requested the money as part of a $286.5 billion federal highway bill, which also contains money for two local road projects tacked on by Sen. Jim Talent, R-Mo. The bill is expected to pass out of the House and Senate this week.

Correction

An ingredient, 1 (14 ounce) can of artichokes, was omitted from the recipe for Vegetable Aspic Supreme in Wednesday’s Taste section.

Merger renames familiar clothiers

Early shoppers for the 2006 holiday season won’t be able to purchase gift items from Columbia’s Famous-Barr department store. Beginning in the fall of next year, customers will be able to shop at the same location, operating under the nameplate of Macy’s.

Columbia’s Famous-Barr is one of 330 stores nationwide that will take on the Macy’s name.

States expect new highway funds

WASHINGTON — Congress is on the verge of approving $286.4 billion in highway and mass transit money for the states, sending lawmakers home for their summer vacations bearing big gifts of roads, bridges and jobs.

The House was to vote on the six-year measure late Thursday, its last major act before recessing for the six-week summer break. The Senate is to follow suit today.

Cable Task Force rushing to find money for public access channel

Although the Cable Task Force is one step closer to finding funding for Columbia’s cash-strapped public access station, the issue is far from settled.

The task force met Thursday night to discuss a proposed interim budget for Columbia Access Television. The station, CAT3-TV, is currently funded through the city’s franchise agreement with cable providers Mediacom and Charter Communications.

Auditor gives county clean bill

Boone County government received a clean bill of financial health from its external auditor for the fiscal year ending Dec. 31, 2004, and approval of its internal auditing system.

According to the auditor’s report, “An audit includes consideration of internal control over financial reporting … to obtain reasonable assurance about whether the financial statements are free of material misstatement.”

Study flags signs of eating disorders

An MU psychology researcher and teacher and a nationwide team of researchers have developed a three-part model to help predict eating disorders.

The model focuses on bulimia nervosa, a psychological eating disorder characterized by bouts of binge eating followed by unhealthy methods of weight control, such as the use of laxatives or self-induced vomiting. Findings will soon be published in Behaviour Research and Therapy, a peer-reviewed cognitive behavior therapy journal.

Welcome to the jungle

For the past couple of months, two art students and their professor have been transforming the black walls of a workout room at the MU Student Recreation Center into a jungle-themed mural.

After much planning and designing, Ming Zhou, 28, and Jiang Ming Wang, 27, are creating a unique exercise environment for a cycling studio to be known as the Tiger Lair. The two artists were chosen for the project by Lampo Leong, an MU associate art professor, who was appreciative of the opportunity to contribute something creative to the campus.

MU releases O'Neal timeline

The MU Athletic Department released a timeline late Friday morning, detailing the events leading up to the death of MU football player Aaron O'Neal after a voluntary practice on July 12.

The timeline, in its entirety, is shown below.

Tigers’ official travel agency bought by chain

Canterbury Travel and Tiger Travel Associates, a decades-old Columbia agency that holds an exclusive account with the MU athletic department, will soon be bought by a Springfield-based travel agency chain.

Great Southern Travel contacted Canterbury in late spring or early summer about a possible acquisition, said Barbara Davis, who co-owns Canterbury with Gudrun Parmentier.

What's in a name?

For 24 years now, Tom Foster has been selling fishing rods, tackle, hunting gear and outdoor equipment branded with the Bass Pro label — which probably explains why he calls his business at 1108 Business Loop 70 East “Tom Foster’s Bass Pro Shop.”

But earlier this year, Foster received a letter from Springfield sporting goods behemoth Bass Pro Shops Corp. demanding that he change the name of his store-front business within 10 days or face legal action.

Annual sidewalk sale hits downtown Thursday

Beginning Thursday, downtown retailers will be clearing their storerooms and lining Columbia’s streets with sandals, dress suits, sports coats, pens, designer jeans, handbags, baby clothes and other goods, all priced to move.

The 46th annual Dog Days Sidewalk Sale will be running from today through Sunday. Storeowners are encouraged by the city’s Special Business District to hold sales on the sidewalk in front of their stores.

Sisters still hope for resolution in tragedy

KANSAS CITY — Inside a cramped eighth-floor courtroom in downtown Kansas City this week, the end of Anthony Jackson’s murder trial played out with little fanfare in a city that has recently experienced a spike in homicides.

For the sisters of former MU student Damon White, it was far more dramatic. The trial and Jackson’s conviction for a crime he committed two years ago confirmed their suspicions about the still unsolved slaying of their brother in 1999.

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