Teaching with adventure

It’s not often that obesity and the dangers of smoking are dealt with through fun, hands-on exhibits, but that’s what the Health Adventure Center hopes to accomplish.

As the “science center with a health focus” gets closer to completion, ideas on how to get parents and children involved in learning about the body is the primary challenge for the center.

School attendance rewarded with cash

Columbia School District officials said Tuesday that incentives totaling $354,000 were given to summer school students.

Jacque Cowherd, deputy superintendent, said incentives were awarded as follows: 2,585 students had perfect attendance, for which they received a $100 gift card; 992 students had only one absence, for which they received a $75 gift card; and 422 students had only two absences, resulting in a $50 gift card. The cards are meant to be used as cash at a variety of locations.

Progress made on Green Meadows

After months of failed negotiations, the development of three tracts of land off Green Meadows Road in south Columbia may be closer to becoming a reality.

In the first sign of progress in weeks, developer Don Stohldrier agreed with neighbors’ request to reduce the number of units on a 2.5 acre tract of land from 21 townhouses to 16 townhouses, said Mark Farnen, spokesman for Stohldrier. In return neighbors would have to agree to support Stohldrier’s proposals for two other tracts on the 17-acre piece of land.

Dems’ debate gets personal

ST. LOUIS — Getting personal at times during their second debate, Gov. Bob Holden and State Auditor Claire McCaskill on Tuesday night presented two starkly different images of Missouri’s governor: Holden held himself forth as a winner; McCaskill painted him as a loser.

Each proclaimed they were better able to bear the Democratic banner against Republicans — reason for Democrats to vote for them in the Aug. 3 gubernatorial primary.

Small businesses endorse Blunt

Although Republican gubernatorial candidate Matt Blunt is running uncontested in the August primaries, he received a major boost for his campaign Tuesday.

The National Federation of Independent Business announced its endorsement of Blunt following an overwhelming show of support by Missouri small business-owners.

School board to hold 2 meetings at schools

In an effort to attract more parents and members of the community, the Columbia School Board plans to move its meetings to schools twice in the coming academic year.

Board members hope that by holding meetings in schools, more people will attend, said board president J.C. Headley.

Flowers, education bloom

Science is not limited to the inside of MU’s new Life Sciences Center. Outside the southern face of the building is the Life Sciences Discovery Garden, which features crops that are the subject of research at MU and plants with medical uses.

Joan Smith, the landscape designer at Campus Facilities-Landscape Services who designed the roughly 6,400-square-foot garden, calls it “a passive learning experience.” Labels, Smith said, will tell each plant’s common and botanical name, as well as its beneficial uses.

Twilight fest report urges open streets

The Central Columbia Association is thrilled that the Twilight Festival is drawing record crowds. But the voluntary merchants’ association is not thrilled that the Columbia City Council is considering a resolution to close a two-block stretch of one road because of safety concerns.

At Monday’s meeting, the Columbia City Council directed city staff to draft a resolution to close Ninth Street between Broadway and Walnut Street during the first two weeks of the September Twilight Festival. The decision followed discussion of a report submitted to the council by the CCA that outlines methods used to provide the public with safe, accessible festival activities. The report also lists the reasons why the board of the CCA does not support festival street closures.

Something’s fishy

Five-year-old Price Phillips of Columbia runs up to the tank, pointing out all the fish he knows. He’s so excited he can barely get out all he wants to say. He starts at one end of the tank and follows his favorite — the gar fish — all the way to the other.

Behind the Plexiglas, small panfish gather against the rocks to escape from their bass predators. A hybrid bass swims from one end to another as if it were standing guard. Large flathead catfish move slowly around the tank, waiting for their night feeding.

Kids do the darndest things

Meet Ali Kitchen. At 13, she knows how to do more than most adults. And she got a chance to show-off at the Boone County Fair.

Fair gives kids chance to compete

Savannah Angell, her three sisters and their cousins have made it a tradition to spend three or four nights of the Boone County Fair camping in the pig barn.

“Sometimes it’s hard to actually sleep, with all the noise the pigs make,”

Sewer options discussed

At the Boone County Regional Sewer District meeting Tuesday, board members discussed the county’s options for bringing private, owner-operated sewer facilities up to sewer district standards.

Boone County is home to about 100 domestic wastewater treatment facilities that operate with a Department of Natural Resources permit. Approximately 65 of those are privately owned, meaning that they have one owner but serve multiple tenants, as in a mobile home community.

4-H activities teach life skills

Head, heart, hands and health are the 4 H's that make up the youth organization that has been helping young people prepare to be future leaders since 1902.

Cheney defends policies

Vice President Dick Cheney spoke at a Columbia business Monday, defending the economic and national security policies of the Bush administration and saying its greatest achievement was effecting a “fundamental shift” in the nation’s response to terrorism.

Cheney, with his wife, Lynne, in attendance, spoke to a group of workers and supporters (at an invitation-only event at a warehouse of Boone County Millwork, a division of Boone County Lumber. The trip was Cheney’s sixth to Missouri this year. His remarks focused heavily on issues of national security and terrorism. He also touched on renewable energy, the estate tax, medical malpractice liability and education policy.

Art of a connected culture

Lampo Leong started his art career by producing propaganda posters and murals for the Chinese government.

“I was working as a professional before I even had a chance to formally study art,” said Leong, assistant art professor at MU and exhibiting artist, “but as a result I got a real good foundation in the basic ideas of art in drawing and painting.”

Grant will help train librarians of the future

A federal grant of $446,574 will help fund the training of nine students in library science education at MU.

The allowance is part of a grant of a little more than $14.7 million, given to 26 library schools and library service organizations to counteract what the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) called “a looming national shortage” of librarians.

Barnyard, aquarium draw families to fair

Sticking her head through the fence, Millie the goat seemed poised to amuse her onlookers as she stepped in her water and tried to climb the fence. She splashed in front of her audience, causing giggles to erupt from the children who were watching her intently.

“She is definitely the most outgoing animal,” said volunteer Joanne Beavers, an office support assistant with the USDA Agricultural Research Service. “We give water to them and then five seconds later it’s gone because they’re bathing or playing in it.”

Partnership could advance nuclear research

The UM Board of Curators will decide Friday whether the Columbia and Rolla campuses can form a partnership with a management group to try to win a federal contract worth $2.6 million a year to the UM system.

If approved, the motion would allow the campuses to form a limited liability corporation with the Shaw Group, based in Louisiana. The corporation would then submit a proposal to the Department of Energy to manage and operate the to-be-established Idaho National Laboratory.

Accusations fly during debate

KANSAS CITY — Gov. Bob Holden and his top Democratic challenger, State Auditor Claire McCaskill, battled out their differences at Kansas City’s Union Station Monday night. It was the first of two debates featuring the two candidates.

With the primary only two weeks away, the debate was heated as McCaskill accused Holden of allowing outsourcing of government jobs to India and Holden said McCaskill was “nowhere to be found” as he and other Democrats were fighting Republicans for education funding.

Study will evaluate effects of chemo

Kathy Windmoeller didn’t miss more than two and a half weeks of work for her chemotherapy treatment for breast cancer five years ago. She continued to work 40-hour weeks as a cytotechnologist for University Hospital throughout the six months she received intravenous chemotherapy treatments.

But there were some things that slowed her down.