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Floyd: Strengthen K-12 to help colleges

More than 100 members of the community braved the elements Thursday evening to hear UM system President Elson Floyd speak on education’s role in the black community.

The Black Business Students Association and the dean’s office of the College of Business sponsored the event.

Chance at ‘Dream Job’ thrills student

An MU student has landed himself the ultimate journalistic opportunity: a top-12 spot on ESPN’s reality TV show, “Dream Job.”

Mike Hall, 21, will begin competing later this month for a one-year, on-air contract with ESPN’s SportsCenter.

Holden vows to veto Senate bill on union fees

JEFFERSON CITY — Senate Republicans passed legislation Thursday to block the collection of union negotiating fees from state employees who aren’t union members. But Democratic Gov. Bob Holden promised a veto.

The political showdown marked the latest development in a battle stemming from Holden’s June 2001 executive order granting collective bargaining rights to thousands of state employees.

Columbia considers ways to boost business growth

State Farm Insurance is staying in Columbia, but that doesn’t mean the city’s future business growth is being ignored.

At Thursday night’s work session, the City Council heard a proposal for an incentive package to lure business growth to Columbia.

MU psychologist helps select NASA candidates

MU psychologist Daniel Orme was asked down to Johnson Space Center to evaluate prospective astronauts four years ago, but he had to decline due to a scheduling conflict.

When NASA called him again last July, he jumped at the opportunity and headed down to Houston in September and then again in November.

Your Voices

Ranjith and Mihiri Udawatta have lived and worked in Columbia for more than a decade but until Tuesday had never voted in a presidential election.

Like 300 good neighbors

After almost a year of speculation about its future here, State Farm Insurance Co. announced Wednesday the transfer of roughly 300 jobs to Columbia from its Monroe, La., facility.

As part of a companywide consolidation, State Farm will move roughly 300 claims and underwriting jobs to its Columbia operations center at 4700 S. Providence Road. At least 200 more jobs will move from Monroe to Tulsa, Okla.

Monroe, Tulsa prepare for consolidation

While Columbia celebrates the prospect of 300 new jobs, city officials in Monroe, La., are trying to come to grips with State Farm Insurance Co.’s decision to close its operations center in the northeastern Louisiana city.

Monroe Mayor Jamie Mayo said his community is “shocked” and “devastated” by Wednesday’s announcement, which will dissolve more than 1,100 jobs in the region and move at least 500 of them to Columbia and Tulsa, Okla.

Many icy sidewalks remain

For exercise, Ed McDaniels walks twice a day in his south-side neighborhood off of Katy Lane. Lately, though, his routine has called for more than simply trotting along with Sammie, his Doberman pinscher. With winter weather hitting Columbia, every journey outside presents a challenge.

“Look at that,” McDaniels said, pointing to an ice-covered sidewalk on Misty Glen where Sammie was losing her footing. “If you are walking at night and don’t see that, you’re gone,” he said.

UM may get $190 million in trade for SMS rename

Southwest Missouri State University will get its desired name change only if legislators in both the Missouri House and Senate approve a $190.4-million bond for the University of Missouri system.

The Springfield school wants to change its name to Missouri State University to attract better students and faculty and private funding. Opponents in the UM system fear the change would take money and prestige from its four campuses.

Supporters ponder Dean’s fate

For some, the big question in the Democratic primary race is not who will win, but what happened to Howard Dean.

As recently as Jan. 13, Howard Dean was pegged as the front-runner in the race for the Democratic nomination with the support of 26 percent of registered voters who described themselves as Democrats in a CNN/USA Today/Gallup poll. However, after two rounds of primaries, many political analysts have said it’s all over for Dean. Some wonder what happened to the support Dean gained early on.

Crime statistics issued for 2003

Assaults and burglaries were the only crimes to show an increase in Columbia during 2003, according to a crime statistics report released by the Columbia Police Department.

“We’re concerned about all crime, but our priority is Part 1 crime, or felony crime,” Police Chief Randy Boehm said. “Everything but assault and burglary has gone down or stayed the same.”

Survey shows effect of I-70 plans

The shadow of the Improve I-70 project has become narrower thanks to the results of a recent survey.

The project’s “footprint,” which is the area of businesses and residences in the Interstate 70 corridor that would be affected by the project, is gaining definition with the results of a survey conducted by transportation consultant CH2M Hill. The survey is part of an ongoing study being conducted by the firm so when federal funding is available, design and construction can begin, said Buddy Desai, project manager for CH2M Hill.

Senate discusses DNA tests for felons

JEFFERSON CITY — All convicted felons in Missouri would have DNA tests on file under a proposal discussed in the Missouri Senate on Wednesday.

The bill would also compensate individuals cleared of a crime because of DNA evidence and released from prison.

A different debut

Just like the streets of Columbia, the newly founded Pedestrian Theatre Company is open to all walks of life.

The group’s first formal production, “Hedwig and the Angry Inch,” puts a community cast in fishnets and eyeliner to retell the story of Hedwig — who is no average blonde and no average woman.

Missouri reviews same-sex marriage ruling

JEFFERSON CITY — Massachusetts’ high court ruling Wednesday reaffirming same-sex couples’ right to marry has fired up debate among Missouri’s lawmakers.

At issue is whether Missouri will have to recognize gay marriages.

Speaker to share how Islam sees other religions

How Islam views other religions will be the focus of a lecture Friday by the head of Washington University’s religious studies department.

“Apart from its intrinsic interest, it’s important to question how different religions view each other,” said Ahmet Karamustafa, whose lecture is part of MU’s annual Paine Lectureships in Religion series.

State Farm to transfer 300 jobs to Columbia

After almost a year of speculation about the future of State Farm Insurance Company in Columbia, the company announced Wednesday the transfer of roughly 300 jobs to Columbia from its Monroe, La., facility.

MO-MENTUM: Sen. John Kerry racks up wins in five states

John Kerry dominated Boone County in Tuesday’s Democratic presidential primary without investing in an extensive campaign here. His victory showed decisive strength in what has been called a county of maverick voters when compared with the rest of the state.

With nearly all results totaled late Tuesday, Kerry led all candidates in Boone County with 44.4 percent of the vote. He declared victory in Missouri less than three hours after polls closed, finishing with more than half the vote statewide.

Mayoral hopeful wants more wards

When John Clark moved to Columbia in 1968, he was one of its approximately 50,000 residents. The crowd has grown significantly, but Clark hasn’t gotten lost in it. He’s more recognizable now than ever.

Clark, 61, is a candidate in Columbia’s mayoral election. He talks a lot about how Columbia has grown and how he feels it will grow. His written platform, released Sunday, places expansion issues at the forefront of his campaign. Clark doesn’t seem totally satisfied with the way Columbia has developed since his arrival.

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