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Ag wild

High school junior Adrienne Vought took a day off from classes Thursday to check out a few chickens at the 76th anniversary state FFA Convention.

Vought, along with her three teammates, spent the day in the field house at the Hearnes Center judging poultry against 48 other teams from around the state. More than 180 contestants were vying to be selected to represent Missouri in the national competition held later this year in Louisville, Ky. Other competitions included livestock evaluation, forestry, and food and science technology.

Parents worry about changes

Parents have been appointed as crucial players in restructuring West Boulevard Elementary School, but some parents say they are floundering to define their new role, mostly because they don’t know what it entails.

Earlier this week, West Boulevard Elementary was chosen to be restructured into a model school to help student achievement efforts. On Thursday Phyllis Chase, superintendent of Columbia Public School District, addressed questions at a meeting with about 30 parents.

Students ride toward success in show

The jumps are clean, the saddles are shined and all of the horses have had a bath. After nearly four months of preparation, the Stephens College Prince of Wales Club, said to be the oldest continuously active riding club in the country, is ready for its 77th annual charity horse show starting today.

The 30 student members of the Prince of Wales Club, assisted by Michelle Smith, chairwoman of the equestrian management department at Stephens, will manage and compete in the three-day horse show held west of Columbia at the Midway Exposition Center.

Doctors to address malpractice crisis

Physicians from Boone, Cooper and Howard counties will gather at Boone County Courthouse Square 12:15 p.m. today to draw attention to the state’s medical malpractice insurance crisis.

Dr. Michael Burks, president of the Boone County Medical Society, said the rising cost of malpractice insurance premiums affects the affordability of health care for everyone. Insurers across the state have raised their rates, with InterMed, Missouri’s largest malpractice insurer, raising premiums by more than 80 percent.

It’s last call on Big 12’s name

When Chris Flood and a few associates entered the bar business, the name of their establishment had a nice ring to it: Big 12 Bar & Grille. But a year later, Flood and company will have to come up with something new. The Big 12 Conference has asked Flood and his partners to change the name of the bar at 304 S. Ninth St., claiming it violates the conference’s trademark.

“We got a letter one day, and we started correspondence with them,” Flood said. “It just said they felt we were infringing on their name.”

TEXT OF CHRISTIE KEY'S LETTER

To Whom It May Concern:

In light of the recent events concerning the University of Missouri Greek Week 2004 Blood Drive, I am writing this to offer my most sincere apology. I failed to consider the consequences of my actions in suggesting that members lie about important health issues in order to earn points for our chapter.

Blood drive e-mail writer apologizes

Gamma Phi Beta blood donation coordinator Christie Key sent a written apology to media organizations and university administrators on Thursday in response to her mass e-mail asking sorority members to lie about their health on Red Cross blood donation forms during the Greek Week blood drive last week.

Key had told students with recent tattoos and piercings, and those who were sick, to lie on pre-donation paperwork and give blood anyway. Members were also encouraged to use stickers indicating “do not use my blood” if they were concerned about the safety of their blood, she previously told the Missourian.

MU Faculty Coucil Condemns Intelligent Design Bill

The MU Faculty Council passed a resolution Thursday asking state lawmakers to reject a bill that would require theories of intelligent design and natural selection to be given "equal treatment" in classrooms.

Associate professor of nursing Eileen Porter was the only member of the council who voted against the resolution condemning House Bill 1722.

Experimental Health

A white-coated stranger pricks your finger. A cold stethoscope and the tight cuff of a sphygmomanometer monitor your blood pressure. They poke, they prod and you wait. It’s not for money or for fame. Perhaps it’s for your health, but it’s certainly for the future.

No, you’re not getting your annual checkup, but you are participating in one of the community’s most prevalent forms of research — the clinical trial.

Tax system draws protests

Two American traditions — exercising free speech and paying taxes — collided Thursday afternoon outside the downtown post office.

Procrastinating taxpayers passed by people who seized the opportunity presented by the tax deadline to pass out fliers, gather signatures and give speeches on what is traditionally the busiest mailing day of the year.

Degree of Separation

In the past six months, a number of incidents have raised questions regarding religion’s proper role in public life. Last September, Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore was forced to remove a 2.6-ton granite monument of the Ten Commandments from the state building because a federal district judge said it violated the U.S. Constitution’s principle of separation of religion and government. In March, the U.S. Supreme Court heard a case brought by a lawyer objecting to the inclusion of the phrase “under God” in the Pledge of Allegiance.

Assistance with tax filing

With every minute bringing taxpayers closer to the dreaded midnight deadline, more and more people scramble to get their taxes done.

Client faults MO-X access

When the local shuttle service MO-X purchased its only competitor in February, the merger came with the usual promises that it would have no negative impact on customers. But when Romanda Walker, who uses a wheelchair, needed a ride to Kansas City recently, she discovered that MO-X had no vans that could accommodate the physically disabled.

“They referred me to OATS,” said Walker, referring to the non-profit transportation service that helps people with disabilities get to doctor’s appointments and the grocery store. “They said I’d have to pay $200 each way, and it’s not equipped to take people to the airport.”

You're not wearing that

The state of teenage fashion today can be described as a “clothes war.” It’s a battle that takes place daily. Starting in the morning and sometimes lasting well into the evening, the battle rages between parents and children about what’s appropriate to wear.

With fashion trends changing every day, it’s hard for parents and children to reach common ground about what is appropriate.

U.S. 63 southbound gets big makeover

Orange and white striped barrels stretch as far as the eye can see on U.S. 63 south of Columbia. Road crews this week were patching the old concrete surface to level the road.

The real work is expected to begin May 1, when 10 miles of the worn, weathered southbound lanes of U.S. 63 will be resurfaced with 5¾ inches of asphalt from shoulder to shoulder.

Nurses without borders

Prepared IV kits, machines that keep track of patient medication and electric beds that move at the touch of a button are new experiences for four student nurses visiting MU from Mexico.

“In Monterrey, they use mercury thermometers. Here they use electronic,” said Claudia Flores, who, along with three other women, is broadening her education in a four-week tour of the American Midwest.

Duo creates ’White Scholarship’ as protest

An MU sophomore says he is offering a $200 “White Scholarship” available only to students of “European-American descent” to express his opposition to minority scholarships.

Colin Kerr said he is protesting “race-based scholarships,” which he would like to see replaced with scholarships based on socio-economic factors. 

Comprende comprenez?

On a Thursday evening at Rock Bridge High School, a group of adults were back in school to learn something they were either rusty at or had never really tried before — the Spanish language.

The students in Mariana Barrenechea-Carver’s beginning Spanish class are adults from different backgrounds and careers and have varying levels of Spanish-speaking experience.

Changes to school spark debate

The atmosphere at West Boulevard Elementary School has changed since an announcement that the school will be revamped into a model school to close achievement gaps between various ethnic and economic groups.

“There is a lot of excitement about the potential of all these ideas,” Pam Conway acting principal, said. “Now the school can pull out all the stops to help these students reach the achievement levels we know they can.”

Colleges to get boost

WHAT HAPPENED

The Senate Appropriations Committee voted to give an additional $20 million to higher education Wednesday. Of that, the UM system would receive slightly more than $9 million.

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