Windfall funds tapped for teachers’ pay

Good news for the state budget may translate into good news for Columbia Public School District teachers.

Teacher base pay raises between $1,000 and $1,200 annually are being recommended by city school district administrators after the state’s latest proposed budget was changed to include $55 million more than expected for elementary and secondary education. The last teacher raise in Columbia was $150 in the 2002-03 school year.

Relationships tense at private school

What started with the December announcement of the resignation of headmaster Dee Corn at Columbia Independent School has evolved into a crisis that some parents believe threatens the future of the fledgling private school.

Parents of students at the school are in an uproar over actions taken by the CIS Board of Directors, which they say is hurting enrollment by making major decisions about the search for a new headmaster, the curriculum and the school’s scholarship program without their input.

Carbon monoxide kills local teacher

The death of Hickman High School math teacher Dennis Dallman has been ruled accidental following a preliminary investigation by the Boone County Sheriff’s Department.

An autopsy conducted Thursday found “classic examples of carbon monoxide poisoning during the examination,” said Sgt. Tom Reddin of the sheriff’s department. The investigation won’t be completed until toxicology and other laboratory analysis are completed in a few weeks, Reddin said.

Charges filed in cannon incident

Misdemeanor charges were filed Tuesday against two members of the Kappa Alpha fraternity concerning the explosion of its cannon last week. Charges against a third suspect are still being investigated.

Fraternity President Seth Fagan and Daniel Dunn, another member of Kappa Alpha, have both been charged with reckless exploding and third-degree assault.

Players get kicks in new league

Some come for exercise, some for fun and others for the love of the game. Amy Stuck comes for all these reasons and because she’s bad at softball.

“I couldn’t hit the ball,” Stuck said. “That’s a problem.”

MU vies to host reality TV show

“Big Man on Campus,” a new reality TV show from the producers of “The Bachelor,” is trying to bring back “a sense of storybook romance to college life.” And it could end up using the MU campus as the site for the made-for-TV fairy tale.

MU is one of three finalist universities vying for the opportunity to be featured in the show. For the past week, a team of student production assistants has been helping Hollywood get a feel for the Midwest in preparation for the reality program’s casting.

’Roots’ star to visit MU, discuss strokes

Ben Vereen has been nominated for an Emmy and won a Tony, but tonight he will discuss perhaps one of his greatest triumphs: overcoming a stroke and returning to the stage.

MU’s School of Health Professions is bringing Vereen to Jesse Auditorium as a part of its 25th anniversary celebration.

Tutor program pays tribute to first volunteers

The honorees sat at the center table surrounded by noisy, energetic and appreciative children who ran circles around the tables and spilled Kool-Aid until the ceremony official blew his whistle.

“We want to recognize our tutors for taking time out to help us,” said Tyrone Raybon, a coordinator at the J.W. “Blind” Boone Community Center. “Y’all are very special to us. I know you put up with a lot, but this year was a very big success.”

Gallery hosts final showing

The small, rectangular white board reads: “Everything you imagine is real — Picasso.”

People stopped to look at the Broadway signboard — its message changes daily — before mingling, eating and roaming around Legacy Art & BookWorks during its downtown Gallery Crawl on Thursday.

The Missouri Department of Natural Resources is taking steps to expand alternative energy use

Americans love to talk about the weather. Discussing how hot, cold, rainy or windy it is outside has become an integral part of conversing with everyone from complete strangers to in-laws. But what if all our idle gabbing about the weather could eventually lead to lower energy costs and a cleaner environment?

In an effort to improve the state’s ability to harness energy from one particular type of weather — wind — the Missouri Department of Natural Resources is providing detailed wind maps of the state to property owners and has launched an anemometer loan program.

Cholesterol linked to U.S. deaths

Behind America’s biggest fears — cancer, multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer’s — the real killer often gets overlooked.

Statistics from the American Heart Association are startling. More men and women die of heart disease – 38.5 percent of all U.S. deaths in 2001 – each year than any other type of health problem.

Floyd calls for MU to stabilize tuition

A plan to stabilize MU's tuition was one of the items discussed by UM system President Elson Floyd at Thursday's Faculty Council meeting.

Public-access programming coming soon

With any luck, Columbia could have public-access programming by July 1.

At Thursday's Columbia Cable Television Task Force meeting, cable companies Mediacom and Charter Communications agreed to award $92,000 to Cable Media Resource Alliance for all equipment, salaries and first-year operation costs. The cable companies will also allocate $15,000 to KMIZ for a switcher for public access.

Patriotism redux

Taking pictures of fallen soldiers arriving home is either patriotic or an inappropriate invasion of military families’ privacy. Just what exactly is patriotism? Sockdolager combed the archives of history to learn how others have defined love for country.

20/20 hindsight: When witnesses fail

In 1986, Lonnie Erby, a 32-year-old auto worker, was convicted in St. Louis of raping three teenage girls and attempting to assault two others. Despite testimony that he was elsewhere at the time, Erby was identified as the attacker by four of the five victims, who had viewed both photographs and live lineups of possible suspects.

Erby was sentenced to 115 years in prison. He served 17 years, until August 2003, when an analysis of DNA evidence collected at the crime scenes proved what some experts have long suspected: eyewitnesses often are wrong.

Costly clearances


In the post-Sept. 11 world, defense security clearances are a precious commodity — raising the salaries of those who hold them by 15 percent and costing taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars each year.

Holden still wants to see tax increase

JEFFERSON CITY — The state economy is improving and legislators have passed an increased education budget, but Gov. Bob Holden’s spokeswoman said he still backs his plan for a half billion dollar tax increase.

The governor’s office voiced his firm stance on taxes the same day the Department of Economic Development reported that state economic trends have been positive since July 2003. State revenue growth began in September and continued into the first months of 2004.

Little bookworms

A common reading teaching technique that is fun, and funny, is to give young children a book and ask them to read it.

They usually jump right in and start “reading” the story, even if they have no idea what words are written on the page.

Campus officials endorse review

While university officials said in a statement released on Tuesday that they feel a campus diversity report captured the climate of diversity at MU, the report, itself, acknowledges there are shortcomings in its findings.

Conducted by three administrators from other institutions, the report addressed “the recruitment and retention of black faculty and staff and an assessment of MU’s organization structure for diversity issues,” according to a letter sent to the reviewers by Deputy Chancellor Michael Middleton, but it also conceded that the information-gathering tactics used by reviewers fell short.

Planning director resigns

Roy Dudark resigned as city planning director Tuesday with as much dignity as he displayed during his tenure at the department.

“I just need a change,” said Dudark, 57. “It’s gotten to the point where I just kind of feel like I need to relax a little.”