Toenail clippings doused with radiation at the MU Research Reactor could hold the key to preventing prostate cancer. Researchers are testing toenail samples from men across the country to find out whether optimizing selenium intake reduces the risk of prostate cancer. Selenium is a naturally occurring chemical element found in soil and food. Combined with other molecules, it is one of the elements essential to animal and human health.
Scientists at the nuclear reactor — the largest one on a U.S. college campuses — are using radiation to bombard the samples with neutrons, which makes the amount of selenium measurable. It is one of the few trials conducted to study methods for preventing cancer rather than possible cures, said David Waters, director of the Gerald P. Murphy Cancer Foundation and a professor of comparative oncology at Purdue University.
In the words of Stephens College President Wendy Libby, Saturday was just the beginning for more than 100 graduates at Silverthorne Arena on the Stephens campus. The space was filled with family, friends, faculty, staff and well-wishers as jubilant music played over the speakers in anticipation of the graduation ceremony. The crowd was joyful and often raucous as loved ones walked across the stage to receive a diploma and a white rose.
Before entering the arena, the graduates gathered near Firestone Baars Chapel to proceed from the residential quadrangle. The graduates wore fanciful footwear and festive outfits as they chatted with each other in scattered clusters. With a few minutes to go, the diverse group donned black robes and mortar boards.
Wal-Mart’s surveillance videos have helped Columbia fire investigators determine theft as the motive in two related cases of arson at two Columbia stores Thursday night, Columbia Fire Department Battalion Chief Steven Sapp said.
In a news release, Sapp said the motive appeared to be an attempt to steal electronic merchandise from the stores by using the fires as a diversion.
Evidence sent to two Missouri law enforcement agencies may help investigators make an arrest in the strangulation death of 77-year-old Zelpha Turner in the next few days, an official with the Boone County Sheriff’s Department said.
Sgt. Tom O’Sullivan said evidence collected from the crime scene at 6060 N. Highway VV and surrounding areas has been sent to the Missouri State Highway Patrol and Kansas City Police Department for review.
On a sunny, breezy morning, 125 graduating seniors of all ages walked through Rogers Gate at Columbia College, linked by an ivy chain.
Before commencement Saturday, seniors at the college took part in a tradition called the Ivy Chain Ceremony. The 104-year-old ceremony symbolizes how the students have grown close over the years. The chain of ivy is cut upon graduation to allow them to be themselves, while reminding them that they came from the same place, said senior Julie Kendrick, who sang at the event.
Thomas Bair said he felt honored when he was awarded the Columbia Chamber of Commerce’s 2005 Small Business of the Year award, but added it’s not all about winning.
“Our business is not better than anyone else’s,” said Bair, owner of the Cherry Street Artisan cafe. “The fun thing about this is recognizing all the hard work that these business owners put into their job.”
The air was full of blue and white flags and inspiration as a few hundred parents, teachers and students gathered for the 21st annual Partners in Education Flag Celebration on Thursday.
Partners in Education is an organization of businesses and public schools in Columbia that helps to promote educa-tion among students by sharing human resources. The celebration is held each May.
Zelpha Turner told her sister only days before she was strangled that she was afraid of a neighbor she had hired to repair the roof of her garage.
Margery Wade of Centerville, Iowa, said Turner, who was 77, told her during an April 29 telephone conversation that she was thinking of investing in a home security system.
JEFFERSON CITY — The state has received about $135 million in federal homeland security money since the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks and about $49 million of it has been spent, a report from Gov. Matt Blunt’s office said Thursday.
Blunt asked state agencies for an accounting of how that money is being spent in February, saying it was tough to track where the funds had gone. The figures cover funds received after Sept. 11, 2001, through 2004.
JEFFERSON CITY — The Senate gave final approval on Thursday to legislation that makes it a felony for inmates to throw spit, urine or other bodily fluids on prison guards.
Another provision of the bill allows the state to collect up to $60 a month from those on parole or probation. The state parole board could consider an inmate’s ability to pay and allow for lower or no payments.
Two state information technology providers will combine locations to save money after receiving cuts in the state budget.
Employees of the Missouri Bibliographic Information User System, also known as MOBIUS, information technology providers will move across the street to join the Missouri Research and Education Network, also known as MOREnet.
Music Cafe, located at 120 S. Ninth St., has lost its liquor license, said Terri Durdaller, spokeswoman for the Department of Public Safety.
The bar will lose its license to serve alcohol on May 30, Durdaller said, adding that the bar can appeal the department’s decision to the Administrative Hearing Commission.
JEFFERSON CITY — One state prison, one inmate work camp, more than 90,000 Medicaid recipients and more than 1,000 of the state’s full-time positions will be cut in the budget passed Thursday by the Missouri General Assembly. But $113 million has been added to the school foundation formula in the state’s $19.2 billion budget.
“We are still doing many great things for this state,” said House Budget Chairman Brad Lager, R-Maryville. “Many want to do more. We all recognize and acknowledge this, but at the end of the day, we can only help those with the greatest need.”
Arson is suspected in fires started at two Columbia Wal-Marts on Thursday night. The first blaze started at 9:24 p.m. in the women’s clothing department of the Wal-Mart Supercenter, 415 Conley Road. The second fire, also in the women’s clothing department, was called in 20 minutes later from the Wal-Mart at 405 E. Nifong Blvd.
The fires are presumed to have been intentionally set, Columbia Fire Department Battalion Chief Steve Sapp said at a news conference held at 10:20 p.m. outside the Conley Road store. Sapp said that after the second fire, all the other Wal-Mart store locations in Columbia were alerted, as were the stores in Boonville, Fulton and Mexico, Mo.
A North Carolina newspaper has mentioned Elson Floyd, president of the University of Missouri System, as a possible candidate to lead the University of North Carolina System.
The Herald-Sun in Durham said in its April 23 edition that Floyd had “been mentioned privately among university faculty and administrators.”
Columbia might soon have a plan to ensure consistent development along North Providence Road.
At Thursday night’s work session, the Columbia Planning and Zoning Commission reviewed a plan for the commercial development on the North Providence Road corridor between Business Loop 70 and East Broadway. The plan, after revision, could be adopted by the City Council as not only a guideline for the Providence Road corridor development, but also as a model for similar plans in other areas of Columbia.
MU academic divisions might receive more money for having an improved diversity plan, MU Chancellor Brady Deaton said Thursday.
At MU’s Faculty Council meeting, Deaton said he would allot an estimated $1.5 million to $2 million to be divided among the university’s divisions, but he would not grant the funds until he sees an improved diversity plan.
Columbia Police have released the name of the officer whose department-issue Remington .12 gauge shotgun discharged into the floor of a north Columbia duplex on April 16.
Officer Paul E. Dickinson, who has been with the Columbia Police Department for less than a year, faces disciplinary action for improper conduct, Capt. Sam Hargadine said. Although Hargadine would not say what disciplinary measures are being taken, he said Dickinson will not be dismissed.
Jason Ksepka said he recently spent an entire Saturday in bed with a crippling headache, the result of consecutive nights out on the town at Music Cafe and Soco Club. He attributes the pain to the smoke-filled air at both venues.
“I was immobilized with a crippling headache. I could not do anything,” he said. “I couldn’t work; I couldn’t even sit in my bed and do my homework that I need to do because it was painful to look at the paper.”
The declining number of passengers at Columbia Regional Airport and possible ways to reverse the trend were the subject of a presentation to the Airport Advisory Board on Wednesday afternoon.
The airport has seen passenger numbers drop from 41,000 in 1994 to 18,000 in 2004. The situation has caused some fear about potentially losing commercial air service. Airport Superintendent Bill Boston responded to those fears Wednesday.