Olympic efforts

Michael Myers, 22, walked away with a fifth-place ribbon on Thursday in the softball throw at the 2004 Special Olympics Missouri Summer State Games, but he was just as pleased as if he had won a gold medal.

“Michael competes because he loves to compete,” his mother, Darla Myers, said, “It’s more about the fun. Michael does the best he can.”

Equestrian rides to fulfill a dream

Nelly Owen and Tom Bass have two things in common: Both love horses, and both have overcome the odds to become successful.

During today’s Tom Bass Classic, named for the famous Missouri horse trainer who had to overcome racial adversity, Owen, who is disabled, will be competing in the United Professional Horseman’s Association’s exceptionally challenged riders class at the horse show.

Douglass senior credits teachers for his success

In first grade, Anthony Johnson started playing basketball at recess and never looked back.

“It was just natural to me,” Johnson said.

In his senior year at Douglass High School, Johnson had 90 blocks and 99 assists in 24 games, attracting the attention of college recruiters.

Johnson, 18, said it wasn’t until he transferred to Douglass as a sophomore that he began to get serious about his grades and his future.

Scouts craft canoe — Lewis and Clark style

Spring and wood chips have been in the air for Boy Scout Troop 706.

Working Monday nights, the Scouts have carved a canoe from a tree. Now, after months of work, their creation has finally taken shape at St. Andrews Lutheran Church. They plan to enter the canoe in a contest Memorial Day weekend at the Cupboard Creek Encampment. That the location, just south of Jefferson City, is near where Lewis and Clark once camped is no coincidence.

$1 billion sought for MU

KANSAS CITY — MU’s next fund-raising goal is $1 billion, Chancellor Richard Wallace said Thursday at a meeting of the University of Missouri Board of Curators.

He made the announcement in response to UM system President Elson Floyd’s presentation about the system’s strategic planning goals. Those goals include raising $1 billion over the next five years.

Soggy ground limits air show parking

If you’re planning on going to the “Salute to Veterans” air show this weekend, you better take the shuttle.

Because of wet weather conditions, parking will not be allowed on grassy areas at Columbia Regional Airport for the air show on Saturday and Sunday.

POWs recall bond in memoir of war

James Hirsch, a 1984 MU graduate and former journalist for The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal, recently published “Two Souls Indivisible: The Friendship That Saved Two POWs” in Vietnam in time for the celebration of Memorial Day.

The book recognizes the bond that occurred among the men in the prisoner-of-war camps of North Vietnam.

Gunshots into home awaken woman

A woman was awakened early Wednesday by gunshots being fired into her home, the Boone County Sheriff’s Department said.

The incident occurred about 1 a.m. in an apartment in the 4500 block of Bellview Drive on the southwest end of Columbia, according to a press release from the department. At the time, four adults and two children were inside the residence; no one was injured.

Holiday closings

Weekend air show schedule

Because of wet conditions, parking will not be allowed on grassy areas at Columbia Regional Airport.

Pliska's lobster earns him Iron Chef title

With a six-course spread using the secret ingredient wasabi, Daniel Pliska, executive chef of the University Club, won Thursday night's Iron Chef Challenge 3: The Final Showdown - beating out Mark Prece, corporate chef at the American Italian Pasta Company based in Kansas City.

Paperwork load floods court

An increase in police activity may mean better law enforcement, but it is also threatening to overwhelm the Columbia Municipal Court.

Shara Meyer, clerk of the court, said she has seen an increase in citations for city ordinance and traffic violations, as well as misdemeanor drug violations. That has meant additional paperwork for her staff of five clerks and one probation officer.

Curators to allocate new funds from state

When they meet in Kansas City today, curators governing the University of Missouri system will hear how $12 million beyond what the system budgeted for in state dollars will be spent.

The University of Missouri-St. Louis can expect about $2.7 million to improve equity among the campuses.

Shooters take aim at tourney

Helen Jeavons stands with her feet slightly spread apart aiming her 9 mm at six circular steel plates that are 8 inches in diameter and 4 feet off the ground, spaced one foot apart.

She steadies herself and takes a single shot at each plate, first at 10 yards, then 15, then 20, then 25. For the first round, she’s only allowed 6 seconds to knock down all six plates.

Whooping cough case confirmed

A 10th case of whooping cough has been confirmed in Columbia’s public schools, a school official said Wednesday. The student was a first-grader at Rock Bridge Elementary School, the fifth school to be affected by the outbreak.

Darlene Huff, health services coordinator for the school district, estimated that 130 to 140 students and staff have been identified as close contacts since whooping cough was first identified in the schools.

MU doctoral student rides through history

Amahia Mallea will trace her way through history and time when she leaves today to bicycle more than 2,000 miles through nine states. Her journey marks the end of a creative class project at MU.

Mallea, a doctoral student in history and a teaching assistant for a survey history course this past semester, is particularly interested in environmental history and the Missouri River. After taking a bike tour of the river last summer, she was inspired to combine her love of biking and history to teach her students.

Rain slows, helps progress

As a cold shower pelts its surface and drenches its beach, Stephens Lake hardly seems conducive to swimming. But more rain is exactly what the Columbia Parks and Recreation Department needs before it can open the lake to visitors this summer.

After more than a year of extensive renovation of the lake and the 111 acres that surround it, the parks department has nearly finished the first phase of its development of Stephens Lake Park. The lake, however, needs five to six more feet of water before it’s ready for swimmers, anglers and boaters.

Special Olympics State Games gives athletes chance to play

Nearly 2,000 Special Olympics athletes from across Missouri will compete in the 2004 Special Olympics Missouri State Summer Games that begins today on the MU campus and continues through tomorrow.

Seventy local athletes will participate in the events, according to Shannan Baker of the Special Olympics’ Missouri office. Events today and Friday will include track and field, aquatics, powerlifting, bocce, tennis and team handball. To qualify for this week’s competition, roughly 14,000 athletes competed in their event at the local level in Special Olympics games across Missouri. The Missouri State Summer Games is the highest competing level that athletes reach in the Missouri program.

Health offices have new location

Only two desks remain in Kelly Hughes’s office, but the clinic downstairs is lined with boxes and still functioning.

“It’s pretty bare-bones around here,” said Hughes, secretary for the Columbia/Boone County Health Department.

Two locals praised for aid with film

Helping a production company film a movie in Fayette is not typically a function of the Columbia Convention and Visitors bureau. But when The Missouri Film Commission asked Lorah Steiner, executive director of the local convention and visitors bureau, to help with production, she felt her staff could handle the task.

“We felt more than up for the challenge,” Steiner said. “It was excellent business for the city and the economy.”