Monks on a mission

For seven months, a large silver van plastered with “Free Tibet” stickers has carried 10 Tibetan Buddhist monks on a tour around the United States. That van arrived in Columbia on Friday night from St. Louis, and after unloading, the monks gathered with Students for a Free Tibet for dinner at the Interfaith Center.

The monks come from the Drepung Gomang monastic college in Mundgod, India, where 1,700 refugee Tibetan monks live in a settlement of 16,000.

Poetry inspires musical piece

John Neihardt’s poetry about the Missouri River inspired the latest musical piece to be performed by the Missouri Symphony Society Youth Orchestra and Children’s Choir. They will premiere composer Mark Nicholas’ Missouri River Cantata for Youth Orchestra and Chorus tonight at 7 at the Missouri Theatre, 203 S. Ninth St.

Neihardt is best known for Black Elk Speaks, the 1932 biography of an American Indian holy man. He was also a poet, literary critic and English professor at MU. He died in 1973 in Columbia.

Meet county job candidates

As the election year continues, Boone County is gearing up for 2004’s primary. The election, in which voters from each party will select nominees for federal, state and county offices, will be held on Aug. 3. The general election, in which voters will make final selections for those offices, is Nov. 2.

The August primary will feature intraparty elections for a host of offices. On a state level, voters will choose nominees for governor, secretary of state, state treasure, attorney general, state senator and state representative. In Boone County, races include the 19th District senate seat and state representative in the 21st, 23rd, 24th and 25th districts. With the exception of the county central committees, which will be chosen in August, the same offices will appear on the November general election ballot.


They are the Missouri task force. There’s Mary Palmer, early 40s, a soft-spoken homemaker from rural Alabama. After her husband goes to bed, she works on Missouri cases until the wee hours, her cat lounging on the 19 notebooks stacked by her computer. There’s Liz Chipman, a woman in her early 20s. She recently moved from the Rolla area to Florida but didn’t leave her Missouri cases behind. There’s Shelley Denman, an upbeat mortgage underwriter in her late 40s who serves as media liaison on Missouri cases from Kansas.

And these are the people they work for: The Caucasian female found in 1987 in St. Louis, aged between 15 and 30 years, had brown hair and only weighed about 74 pounds. The Caucasian male located in Jefferson County in 1994 was in his late 30s, had balding brown hair and a medium build. The black child discovered in Kansas City in 2001 had black hair weaved into cornrows, brown eyes and a crescent-shaped birthmark on her shoulder.

Network unknown to local law enforcement

Not many local and state police officials have heard of the Doe Network. They have not dealt with many cases involving unidentified victims, so they have not been seeking the network’s help. But most officials said they are appreciative of help from agencies outside law enforcement.

Columbia Police Chief Randy Boehm said that the department would have to first do a background check on the Doe Network to assure its credibility.

Cheer Pressure

It’s the Thursday afternoon before the Big Day, and Angela Pulis is almost ready.

She’s prepared for this day since September, when she joined a cheerleading and tumbling class in Columbia. Every Wednesday, she practices her movements and jumps. And all of this mid-March week, Angela and 15 other sixth- and seventh-grade girls at Hallsville Middle School have spent almost two hours a day in a pre-tryout clinic, because cheerleading tryouts are on Friday.

Growing pains for Grammy

I just had my horde of grandchildren over for Easter brunch and our annual egg hunt. I’ve got quite a spectrum of sizes, shapes and personalities. But sadly, only two of the 14 are still considered babies, and both are teetering on the brink of childhood. I love being a grammy to babies. I love rocking them and making them coo. I also love the fact that they are not mobile — and they sleep a lot. But once they take those first few steps, infancy is pretty much over. Within days, they’ve gone from tentative to racing through the house. And from what I’ve seen of the 12 older kids, they don’t slow down until they hit their teens. Then they become slugs.

My youngest grandchildren were born six months apart. The two boys are 2 and 2 ½ . Both mothers are doing their darnedest to keep them in babyhood. Both are still in diapers, but I watched as the 2 ½ -year-old snuck behind a couch and grunted. His little face turned red as he strained in concentration. Then he walked up to his mother and said, “I pooped in my pants, Mommy. Change my diaper.”

850 guards from Mo. extended

WASHINGTON — More than 850 soldiers from three National Guard units from Missouri will be among the 20,000 American troops in Iraq serving extended tours of duty.

The Pentagon said Thursday it is extending by three months the tours of some 20,000 American troops in Iraq, giving commanders extra firepower to confront an insurgency that is taking a mounting toll on the U.S.-led coalition.

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.”


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.