Signing to God

Music bursts from two speakers set up in front of the basement meeting room. More than 70 pairs of hands move in the air and clap to the beat of the song. Although the sounds of piano and guitar reverberate deep in the chests of those signing their praises to God, the vast majority of the congregants cannot hear a note of the music.

And although their song is unspoken, they know God hears every word.

Peace of Mind

It is 4:45 p.m. on a Wednesday, and the floor of Benton-Bingham Ballroom in Memorial Union resembles naptime at a preschool. Forty stressed-out, shoeless MU students lay on their backs at varying angles, some wiggling their toes, others with their hands folded neatly on their bellies.

As Lynn Rossy sits cross-legged in a chair at the front of the room, her gentle, slow voice washes over the bodies lying on the floor. For the next 25 minutes, Rossy talks her students through “body scan” meditation, which causes them to become fully aware of every part of their bodies, from the tips of their toes to each strand of their hair.

At law school, mindfulness requirement in mediation program triggers debate

When Leonard Riskin learned that third-year law student Andy Hirth found Jon Kabat-Zinn’s lecture at the Missouri Theatre to be religious in nature, the MU law professor was shocked.

“I was totally surprised when he said what Jon Kabat-Zinn did was religious,” said Riskin, who is in charge of mindfulness programs at the MU School of Law. “That seemed almost inexplicable.”

Police struggle with loss of fellow officer

The 3 p.m. shift change at the Columbia Police Department was unnaturally quiet on Thursday, as police starting or ending their shifts learned that fellow officer Molly Bowden had died earlier that day.

“It is something we have all braced ourselves for,” Capt. Sam Hargadine said. “And while we hoped for the best, we are now faced with dealing with it.”

Police: Suspects returned to scene

Jeong Im’s killer or killers most likely returned to the scene of the crime about one hour after the slaying to set the 72-year-old MU researcher’s car on fire, MU police said Thursday.

After weeks of investigation, police have also narrowed down the time of Im’s stabbing to sometime between 10:30 and 10:45 a.m. on Jan. 7. His body was found by police in the trunk of his 1995 Honda at 12:24 p.m. on the third level of the Maryland Avenue parking garage on the MU campus.

Horror film escapes the living dead

Chip Gubera was in a serious bind.

It was the first day of filming for “Song of the Dead” — a musical about zombies — that was shot in Columbia and Rocheport, and the director had no leading lady.

Reception to honor contest participants

Columbia Public Schools will celebrate the diversity of Boone County and MU alumni on Monday at an awards ceremony and reception held for the participants of the Celebrating Diversity poster and essay contest.

The MU Association of Black Graduate and Professional Students, with the help of a number of other organizations, sponsored the contest, which was open to all students in the district.

Culinary arts teacher chosen

Inspired by his father, Brook Harlan began cooking before he was even 10 years old. His passion for food continued to develop as he grew older, and in 2002, he graduated from The Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, N.Y. Now, he is a culinary arts teacher at Rock Bridge High School, through the Columbia Career Center, as well as the assistant wrestling coach.

Next week, however, Harlan will leave his cooking classes and wrestling team to someone else. Harlan, 24, will travel to New York to begin filming for Food Network’s new reality show “The Next Food Network Star.” Selected as one of eight contestants, Harlan will compete in cooking contests and other challenges for the chance to win his own Food Network series.

Relatives, friends, city mourn Bowden’s death

After Columbia Police Officer Molly Bowden was shot in January, her family called upon the Rev. Michael Burt for counsel and to help them maintain their privacy during their daughter’s very public struggle for survival.

Her parents, David and Beverly Thomas, asked a member of their church to record updates of their daughter’s condition on the answering machine at their Rocheport home.

Steinem accepts award

Activist and writer Gloria Steinem emphasized doing what is important to you as she spoke to a crowd of more than 200 people Thursday night at the Missouri Theatre.

“Do what you really care about,” she said. “The truth will set you free, but first it will piss you off.”

Ashland library vote delayed

The Daniel Boone Library Board of Trustees decided Thursday night that it needed more information before voting to purchase property to build a permanent Ashland library facility.

Tommy Tomlin, chair of the Long Range Planning Committee, recommended the library staff continue gathering details about the cost of two potential locations before the final land-purchase decisions are made.

MU considers fee-for-service policy

As groups of MU professors begin entrepreneurial activities on campus, faculty and administration have struggled with how to distribute the revenues from such activities. A model outlining the distribution of revenues generated from fee-for-service activity was presented to the Faculty Council on Thursday. Under the proposed model, revenues from fee-for-service activities would be split between the faculty members involved in those projects and the university.

Commission approves of Dillard’s addition

Dillard’s Department Store is looking to expand upward – and the Columbia Planning and Zoning Commission approves.

The commission passed Dillard’s proposal Thursday to add a second floor to the Columbia Mall location. The measure will now go before the City Council on Feb. 21.

MU hospitals fearful of Medicaid cuts

Gov. Matt Blunt’s proposed Medicaid reforms have some medical professionals worrying about the stability of the MU Health Care system, which recently became profitable after a prolonged financial upheaval.

For fiscal 2004, the health-care system reported a record $26.4 million profit, compared to a $30 million combined loss over the past five years. A reduction of Medicaid eligibility levels of only 5 percent to 10 percent would cause estimated annual losses of $4.5 million to $9 million, system spokeswoman Mary Jenkins said.

Bowden services to be held at Mizzou Arena

Columbia police Officer Molly Bowden will be honored with a full police funeral that will be held Tuesday at Mizzou Arena. The service will include a 21-gun salute ceremonial last call.

Workers’ compensation bills moves ahead

JEFFERSON CITY — The nar-rowing of injuries covered under Missouri’s workers’ compensation law won first-round approval Wednesday night.

After two sessions and more than five-and-a-half hours of debate, the bill was approved by a voice vote of the Missouri Senate.

Trial ordered in rape case

The shadow cast over the MU athletic program grew Wednesday.

In a preliminary hearing at the Boone County Courthouse, a judge for the 13th Circuit Court found probable cause to send former MU football player Alvin Newhouse to trial. Newhouse, 19, faces one felony count of rape and one felony count of sodomy.

Hundreds protest demise of First Steps

JEFFERSON CITY — More than 100 Missouri parents and their children filled the Capitol on Wednesday to protest the end of a program designed to help children with special needs.

Supporters of First Steps presented a petition with more than 28,000 signatures to Gov. Matt Blunt’s office in an effort to spare the program from budget cuts. First Steps provides physical, occupational and speech therapy to children younger than 3 who have disabilities.

Quick vote awaited on school funds

With the state legislature on the clock to fix the way money is distributed to school districts, the committee taking the first crack at the task has set a four-week deadline.

The joint Senate-House committee’s chairman, Sen. Charlie Shields, R-St. Joseph, promised a vote on a recommendation by March 1. He estimated the cost of creating an equitable system for funding education at $400 million to $600 million annually over several years.

MU council wants review rules

Consistent guidelines for annual review and promotion of non-regular faculty for each of MU’s colleges and schools will need to be composed before the 2005-06 academic school year if the Faculty Council passes a resolution today.

The draft resolution, dated Friday, requests that the provost require each school and college to present a set of guidelines on review and promotion of non-regular faculty, which includes visiting professors and part-time faculty. Those guidelines would then be posted on the Web page for the Provost’s Office.