Short rain will bring relief from heat

Wanted: A little relief.

Wednesday was the hottest day of the summer so far, with a high of 96.7 degrees recorded at MU’s Sanborn Field at 3:10 p.m. By 5:30 p.m. the temperature had dropped slightly, but higher humidity pushed the heat index to 100.1 degrees.

State revises school funding

With the final approval of Missouri’s new school funding formula, Columbia School District officials are taking the first steps in a plan to maximize their share of state dollars under the new system.

On Wednesday, Gov. Matt Blunt signed the state’s new foundation formula into law. The formula, which will be phased in over a seven-year period, uses students’ needs rather than local property taxes to determine the amount of state funding a school district receives each year.

Tool aids in autism diagnosis

Two MU researchers are changing the face of autism diagnosis.

Judith Miles, a professor of child health genetics, and Nicole Takahashi, a senior research specialist, have developed a diagnostic tool that will classify autistic children into two subgroups, essential autism and complex autism.

Researchers control stem-cell growth

In the scientific pursuit to discover the workings of human cells in an effort to cure disease, MU researchers have made a small, but possibly significant, advance in understanding one of the smallest components of the human body.

MU researchers Michael Roberts, Toshihiko Ezashi and Padmalaya Das have discovered that by lowering the amount of oxygen in the environment in which a stem cell is growing, researchers can control how cells in a human embryonic stem-cell culture divide, allowing scientists to possibly replicate human tissues more efficiently.

Smoking ban to be discussed at meeting

Local business owners have an opportunity this evening to voice their opinions about a proposed ban on indoor smoking in public places, including bars and restaurants.

The Board of Health, an advisory board to the City Council, is looking into tightening smoking regulations in Columbia.

Adults and students gather for ‘Teen Speak’

About thirty people gathered at the Columbia Public Library on Wednesday evening to give teens a chance to speak and adults a chance to listen.

The Columbia Human Rights Commission issued an open invitation to “Teen Speak,” an event billed as encouraging discussion and promoting understanding about diversity and racial issues.

Police say report of shooting was false

Columbia police have arrested Walter Allen III for second-degree assault and filing a false police report in connection with Tuesday’s shooting at the 800 block of Mikel Street.

Initially, the incident was reported as a drive-by shooting with the suspect fleeing in a white car. Through an investigation, police learned that the story was false.

City Council to vote on Harg annexation

Residents of Harg met with developer Billy Sapp Wednesday to sign a statement signaling they would not oppose his latest request to have the city annex more than 800 acres that he plans to develop east of Columbia.

Harg residents petitioned to block the Columbia City Council from voting on Sapp’s two previous requests to have land along Route WW annexed. The residents primarily worried about how the development would affect traffic on the state highway.

Boone Hospital Center chief retires

Mike Shirk, president of Boone Hospital Center, announced his retirement Monday in a memo to hospital employees, volunteers and physicians.

Shirk, who worked at the hospital for more than 23 years, became president in 1993. During that time, he managed more than 2,000 employees and elected board members.

Public TV, radio still see budget danger

Local public broadcasters KMOS and KBIA would lose federal money and programs that support public broadcasting if an appropriations bill passed by the U.S. House of Representatives goes through the U.S. Senate unchanged.

The Corporation for Public Broadcasting is required by law to give local affiliates about 95 percent of the money it receives from the federal government. The stations generally get 7 percent to 50 percent of their money from the corporation.

Rep. leads second try at ending executions

Though Missouri reinstated the death penalty in 1989, Rep. Judy Baker, D-Columbia, wants to lead a second effort to end executions in the state. “A moratorium will allow for an impartial review (of the death penalty), which is what we need,” she said.

Baker is a co-sponsor of bill HB 557, which would place a moratorium on the death penalty in Missouri. The bill would allow for a review of how the death penalty is applied.

Sounds of learning

The “I wonder…?” board in the back of the room is filled with questions about sound. Can it travel through water? Does it have a smell?

The answers were found by 28 Columbia students in third through fifth grade who are learning about the science of sound at a summer camp this week at MU.

Trespassers generating safety problems at pools

Early Friday morning, Omar Burress climbed the fence of the Douglass Park pool to sneak in for a swim. At about 1:30 a.m., police were dispatched to the pool where they discovered Burress’ body in the water.

The night Burress drowned, three men also snuck into a gated pool and were arrested and charged with trespassing in the first degree at the Campus View Apartments pool.

Woman faces charge of assault

The woman charged with striking 72-year-old Earlene Bradshaw in the face with a board is being held on $200,000 bond on a charge of first-degree assault.

Shawan Daniels, 31, was arrested on suspicion of first-degree assault after a board flew out of her hands and struck Bradshaw on Monday evening, Columbia police said.

MU trains firefighters in auto rescue

Pleasant Valley assistant fire chief Scott Clark knows that responding to an accident isn’t simply rushing to it. Now, many of his firefighters know, too.

“The fire department and EMS in general are pretty good at rushing in because that’s what we have always done,” said Clark, the training officer for the Pleasant Valley Fire Department. “Now, they’ll slow up a little more and find the hidden dangers.”

Miss Mo. prepares for Atlantic City

Missouri’s contestant in the Miss America pageant started this year’s pageant bid as Miss Columbia.

But she’s never lived in Columbia.

Tighter rules sought in child murders

Bothered by the difficulty of charging the parents of 3-year-old Erica Green with first-degree murder, House Minority Leader Jeff Harris, D-Columbia, wants to toughen child-abuse homicide laws.

Erica was known as “Precious Doe” for years while Kansas City police struggled to identify her decapitated body, which was found in April 2001 in a wooded area near a church. Her head was found nearby in a trash bag a few days later.

Study: Italian stereotypes might fit Americans

From Don Corleone to Rocky Balboa, the popular portrayal of Italian and Italian-American men can be less than flattering. Think sleeveless T-shirts, gold chains and hot tempers.

Fuhgedaboutit? Forget about it.


About 500 children attended the 15th annual Rottmann Memorial Kids’ Fishing Clinic on June 11. A photo caption in the June 12 edition contained incorrect information. Marcia Flesner’s name was misspelled in a quotation with a story Tuesday about her collection of nursing books.

Academy attracts Mo.’s top teens

Kara Oberkrom is finishing her final week at the Missouri Scholars Academy and isn’t quite ready to go home.

“There’s a sense of community that makes (the program) great,” said Kara, one of 330 high school juniors participating in the three-week academic program. The scholars academy, run by the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, is held each year on the MU campus and attracts teens and faculty from around the state.