Hickman teacher dies in his home; inquiry ongoing

A Hickman High School math teacher’s death is under investigation, the Boone County Sheriff’s Department said in a press release. Dennis Dallman, 56, was found lying on the floor of his living room at 9:55 a.m. Wednesday in his home on Ridgewood Road. Dallman’s car had been left running in the attached garage and there were high levels of carbon monoxide in his house, the sheriff’s department release said. When Dallman didn’t show up for class or call in to the school, Cathy Dodd, the school resource officer, and security director Preston Bass, were sent to check on his home. ...

DNA is powerful tool in court

Advanced testing techniques, combined with a more sophisticated judicial system, have led to more frequent use of DNA evidence in crime cases. At the same time, courtroom challenges by defense attorneys are moving away from the validity of DNA toward handling, testing and lab work.

Scott McBride, a Columbia attorney who has handled six capital murder cases involving DNA evidence, said between being “tagged, bagged and stored” by police to crime lab testing, DNA samples often pass through many hands, leaving room for contamination or mishandling.

Diversity report faults MU leaders

Among The review’s findings:

Management: MU does not have a comprehensive approach to diversity management. African American faculty and staff think that some administrators are indifferent and sometimes hostile to their concerns. Women interviewed believe there are barriers to faculty retention and promotion.

Organizational: Two diversity leaders “do not have a collaborative relationship, and this friction impedes progress in enhancing diversity.” There is significant lack of representation of racial/ethnic minority groups in key positions.

Academics: Black faculty perceive that the administration devalues the academic specialties of black faculty who teach black studies courses. Faculty in the Women’s Studies Program do not believe the administration values their academic activities.

New cafe to open at city airport

It won’t be long before the smell of cinnamon rolls and pot roast will waft through the terminal at Columbia Regional Airport.

Anita Griggs plans to open a restaurant at the airport terminal and bring her catering business along. It will be the first restaurant to operate at the airport in about two years.

City critique of Patriot Act unlikely

The USA Patriot Act, which President Bush signed in the aftermath of Sept. 11 to combat terrorism, passed through Congress in just a few short weeks.

Don’t expect a resolution criticizing the act to move so fast through the Columbia City Council.

Public seeks jobs for youths

Columbia residents, city representatives and employment program sponsors discussed how to create more jobs for First Ward youths during a town hall meeting organized by First Ward Councilwoman Almeta Crayton on Tuesday night.

“We want to find something for our kids to do this summer,” Crayton said. “The violence picks up when you do not have something for them to do.”

Tour tests campus accessibility

It was an uphill battle behind Pickard Hall on Tuesday afternoon for University of Missouri system President Elson Floyd. Challenged by rainy pavement and a steep incline, Floyd struggled to pull himself up toward the street — in a wheelchair.

His experience on wheels was part of the Accessibility Tour, an event designed to increase awareness about disabilities at MU. As part of the tour, Floyd talked with faculty, staff and students about the status of disability services on campus.

Lapse seen in gun permit law

KANSAS CITY — The police chief of Hallsville issued concealed weapons permits to people who had not yet cleared fingerprint-based background checks, as state law requires him to do if the checks are not done within 45 days.

Legislature OKs education funds

JEFFERSON CITY — Missouri’s House and Senate sent Gov. Bob Holden an education budget Tuesday that was higher than he had requested — and without the tax increases Holden said were necessary to fund his recommendations.

The budget increase is more than what Holden requested but is structured differently. The budget gives $55 million more than requested to elementary and secondary education while giving $18 million less than requested to high education.

UM to get about $10 million more

The University of Missouri system will pick up about half the extra $20 million appropriated Tuesday for higher education.

Nikki Krawitz, UM system vice president for finance and administration, said the university is glad the state recognized the need to increase higher education funding.

Plenty are ignorant in U.S. about Cinco de Mayo

Tonight, MU senior Brett Settle plans to head down to a Mexican restaurant for the annual Cinco de Mayo celebration.

“It’s fun and everybody just has a good time with it,” said Settle, who plans to go to Chevy’s Fresh Mex or La Tolteca.

Boone house tuneup

On a recent visit to the downtown office of her friend Clyde Ruffin, Lucille Salerno gazed out the door toward the home of ragtime musician John William “Blind” Boone and admired the restoration in progress at the national historic landmark.

“Isn’t it beautiful?” she asked.

Missouri’s job outlook improving

Missouri gained more than 7,000 jobs in the first quarter of the year, partially because of growth in its manufacturing sector, according to a survey conducted at Creighton University in Nebraska.

The Mid-America Business Conditions Survey found that Midwestern manufacturers are receiving more orders for their products. Missouri’s overall economic index was the highest since 1994, and most factors in the survey showed economic strength.

Debate on ordination of gays heated but respectful

As the 2004 United Methodist General Conference enters its final week, it has become almost clear that the controversial church law that prohibits the ordination of practicing gays will be intact for at least four more years.

This legislative assembly — embroiled in controversy since it began on April 27 — has drawn the Rev. Jim Bryan of Missouri United Methodist Church, lay member Carol Smith of Fairview United Methodist Church and about 1,000 other delegates from around the world to Pittsburgh for impassioned discussion about a law that some consider to be cruel and prejudicial and that others believe upholds biblical principals.

City Council tables street standards

The Columbia City Council put proposed street design standards on hold yet again Monday night.

After a two-hour-long public hearing, the council decided it had too many unanswered questions to move forward. The council tabled the issue for further discussion at its June 7 meeting.

Aging, not ranging

By some estimates, the population of people over the age of 65 will more than double, to 77 million, by 2030, increasing the need for long-term care for seniors. But the typical nursing home isn’t where the next generation of seniors want to find themselves.

TigerPlace, scheduled to open in June, is an alternative living place for the elderly population. MU and Americare Systems Inc., a Sikeston company, that specializes in senior residential care, have created the project based on the concept of “aging in place.” The approach allows residents to stay in their apartments and, as their needs increase, have services brought to them.

A flair for the dramatic

Giggling high-schoolers snap to attention at rehearsal as a hearty man at the piano growls, “Please don’t talk when I’m talking.” All eyes are on him — this is the time when Bob Bohon starts pulling together this year’s spring musical, “Anything Goes.”

And it’s the beginning of the end of an era. After 27 years with Rock Bridge High School, Bohon is directing his last show at the school.

Suspects plead not guilty to murder

The two suspects charged with the murder of former Columbia Daily Tribune sports editor Kent Heitholt pleaded not guilty in court on Monday. Both suspects declined formal arraignment where bond may have been reviewed.

Ryan Ferguson, 19, was indicted by a grand jury on charges of first-degree murder and first-degree robbery Friday. He was originally scheduled to appear at a preliminary hearing, but Boone County Prosecutor Kevin Crane chose to present the case to a grand jury instead.

Alumnus gives $5 million to MU College of Agriculture

When MU graduate Al McQuinn and his wife, May Agnes McQuinn, gave $5 million to the MU College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resouces on Friday, it was the largest unrestricted gift ever given to MU by a living donor, said MU spokesman Jeremy Dierner.

McQuinn said that through the couple’s gift, which Diener said may be the largest such gift ever given by a living donor to a public university, he is hoping to give back to MU for an education that he says has given him a tremendous advantage in his lifetime work.

No astronaut gig for local educator

Paul Mahoney had to tell his students Monday morning that he will not have the chance to ride in a space shuttle after all.

In an e-mail sent Monday, Mahoney announced that he was not chosen to be a part of NASA’s Educator Astronaut program.