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Cyclists travel 150 miles for MS

This year, participants raised $1.75 million.

The long steep hill that leads to the finish line of the MS 150 Bike Tour is nothing to smile at, but that’s exactly what cyclists did as they broke the hill’s crest Saturday. Participants trekked 75 miles of Missouri countryside to raise money for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. Another 75-mile journey awaits the cyclists today.

Memorial events bring community together

The third anniversary of Sept. 11 went unrecognized by the city, but that didn’t stop the community from memorializing the event.

About 50 people gathered Saturday morning at the post office, flags in hand. Young children wove through the crowd displaying signs reading “Never forget” and “God bless America”; signs they weren’t old enough to read but already beginning to understand. Cars honked their horns in support.

Lessons about Islam continue

The attacks of Sept. 11 caused some people who knew little about Islam and America’s Muslims to turn their attention to this community. While there was suspicion and hostility from some, there was also solidarity and a desire for knowledge about Islam.

“I’m very pleased that people showed their support,” said Rashed Nizam, president of the Islamic Center. On the day of the attacks, several Columbia church leaders expressed their support for Columbia’s Muslims.

Supporting seniors

It’s not every morning that Patsy Perkins gathers in a group to envision little bird eggs under her armpits.

But then again, this is her first time practicing Tai Chi.

Science lecture series kicks off

It takes 48 hours for a fertilized tree frog egg to turn into a tadpole. What in the egg allows it to accomplish such a complicated task?

This was the question associate biochemistry professor Bruce McClure posed to his audience as he inaugurated the Saturday Morning Science series with his lecture titled, “Why Are The Molecules Of Life So Big?”

Parents rally to prevent speeding

"Slow down!” Catherine Parke yelled at a speeding car as she stood and waved a sign in the air on Broadway across the street from Grant Elementary School. The sign read “Slow Down. 3Rs: Reduce Speed, Respect Laws, Remember Children.”

“They’re driving awfully fast this morning,” Grant PTA President Julie Davis said to Debbie Hamilton as they both held signs encouraging drivers to slow down near the intersection of Broadway and Garth Avenue.

Seeing the unseen

Pieces of art that adorned ancient temples in India centuries ago now line the walls of MU’s Museum of Art and Archaeology. Small sculptures that were once devotional icons at home are on display, worn from years of being cleansed and anointed.

“The Infinite and the Absolute: Belief and Being in the Art of South Asia” opened Aug. 28 at the museum in Pickard Hall. The exhibit features sculptures from 1000 B.C. through the 19th century from three influential India-based religions: Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism.

Cell phone problems plentiful

I don’t consider myself an old fuddy duddy. I try to keep up on the latest technology. My coffeepot is on a timer that promises fresh-brewed java upon my arrival in the kitchen each morning. The only problem is, I haven’t learned how to set the timer and I forget to load the coffee beans at night.

I have a lovely lightweight camcorder that my husband gave me for Christmas. It was on Oprah’s “must have” holiday gift list. If you’re thinking that I haven’t taken it out of the box, you are wrong. It’s out; I just haven’t used it.

Death penalty ruled out in Rios case

Special prosecutor Morley Swingle will not pursue the death penalty for murder suspect Steven Rios.

In a court notice filed last week, Swingle said the state had no evidence to support any of the statutory aggravating circumstances required to pursue capital punishment in Missouri.

Autopsy number rises in county

Valerie Rao was shocked when she became the medical examiner for Boone and Callaway Counties. The medical examiner’s office wasn’t conducting autopsies after every death that was not of natural causes.

“I came here and my eyeballs nearly came out of my head,” Rao said. “They’re medical examiner’s cases. That’s my understanding of the law.”

Getting off the ground

When Diane Patrick decided to expand her home-based day-care business, she had no idea how big her dream would grow.

But with the help of a new microloan program from Columbia’s nonprofit Enterprise Development Corp., Patrick’s dreams have materialized in the form of the 4,400-square-foot child-care center nearing completion at 404 McBaine Ave.

President, Ditmore talk tort reform

Mike Ditmore’s stance on tort reform got him some extra attention from President Bush on Tuesday.

The thousands of people waiting for Bush to speak at the Boone County Fairgrounds probably didn’t notice when Ditmore, the Republican candidate for the 19th District state Senate seat, slipped away from the bleachers. Secret Service agents escorted him to the grounds’ main entrance, where he boarded Bush’s bus and talked with the president about one of the main issues in both their campaigns.

Campaign for children tours state

Leaders from two advocate groups for Missouri’s children rode a school bus across Missouri Thursday — including a stop in Columbia at West Junior High School — to begin the “Missouri’s No. 1 Question Campaign.”

The two groups, Partnership for Children and Citizens for Missouri’s Children, say the No. 1 question for voters and politicians should be, “Is it good for the children?”

Show to offer old-time fun

Those wishing to step back in time to an era when steam still powered the farm don’t have to travel far this weekend. Just a short drive down Interstate 70, Brady Showgrounds near Boonville will showcase early American farming equipment from a time when self-propelled steam engines pulled the plows and powered threshing machines.

The festivities began Thursday at the 41st annual “Back to the Farm Reunion” show put on by the Missouri River Valley Steam Engine Association.

Series aims to polish science’s image

Science can be cool.

That’s the message behind Saturday Morning Science, an MU lecture series designed to broaden an understanding and appreciation of the natural world.

Music to Missouri troops’ ears

Eli Gallagher doesn’t want much from his musical career, just world domination. “I think I’d be a good Emperor of All,” Gallagher said. “But that probably won’t happen.”Although Gallagher, vocalist for the band Fall Children, conceded an omnipotent empire is a bit far-fetched, world domination is a step-by-step process. Fall Children will take the first step toward building a global musical empire when it ships some of its music to Iraq.Guitarist Dan Isaac said the band completed its demo July 28.

Technology keeps cars in control

In 1900, Columbia residents inched through town by prodding large, hairy animals. By 1950, they could cruise down Broadway in large, roaring machines of steel. Now they can do so without even touching a pedal.

A new technology called Adaptive Cruise Control is slowly trickling into Columbia’s mid-range car market. By automatically adjusting speeds to sync with traffic, ACC will move the car industry nearer to the renowned “K.I.T.T.” robocar that rid society of evil-doers in the 1980s hit television show “Knight Rider.”

A protest in memoriam

As American military casualties in Iraq surpassed 1,000 deaths, protesters held several demonstrations Wednesday expressing grief and anger at the continuing U.S. military occupation of the country. While reaction to the protests was mixed, political observers cautioned that the significance of the casualty count would depend on media coverage.

“The media doesn’t tell you what to think, but it tells you what to think about,” said John Petrocik, MU professor of political science. “A lot of stories on 1,000 casualties will have people thinking about the Iraq war and that might be consequential.”

Web site helps truckers to vote

Truckers Ron and Jeremy Ellis are finished making excuses for not exercising their right to vote.

And with the help of a Grain Valley-based company, the father-son trucking team that often works 28-day stretches without a break can now get absentee ballots and even cast votes in this November’s election — from the road.

Academy teaches public about law enforcement

Sometime in the next couple months, Columbia police detective Jeff Nichols will smear diluted horse blood on tile and carpet samples. A group of 15 citizens will watch the blood, diluted until it is invisible, glow when he applies a special chemical used to uncover evidence in crime scenes.

“I’ve heard people say, ‘Wow that’s just like CSI,’” Nichols said, referring to the popular TV program about forensic scientists.

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