Role reversal

In the Adams family, everyone is learning tae kwon do at Hockman’s ATA Black Belt Academy on Buttonwood Drive.

The children — Jordan, 13, Jackson, 12, Taylor, 11, and Becca, 8 — started classes about three years ago. Their father, John, has taken lessons for a little more than a year; their mother, Krista, for 2 1/2 years.

Scientist gets in close to her animal work

Temple Grandin has been known to get down on hands and knees to see why pigs and cattle balk at going up a ramp before they’re slaughtered. To understand what the animals are thinking, she puts herself in their place. “For a pig’s-eye view, you’ve got to get down really low,” she said.

One-third of all cattle slaughter plants in the United States use equipment designed by Grandin, an animal science professor at Colorado State University who has made a career out of making slaughter plants more humane. The United States processes 100,000 cattle every day.

Garth Avenue sparks safe crossing debate

Every school day for the past seven years, Charlie Knipp has stood on the northwest corner of Parkade Boulevard and Garth Avenue in front of Parkade Elementary School.

With a friendly greeting and a warm smile, he shuttles kids back and forth across both streets on their way to and from school. Cars honk as they pass; he waves.

State provides warmth for low-income families

JEFFERSON CITY — Loretta Roarke prefers not to rely on others. When her grandson offered, “Grandma, I’m going to get you a wheelchair,” she shot back, “Oh no you ain’t!”

However, when it comes to paying her utilities, Roarke has little choice but to accept help. She relies on Central Missouri Counties’ Human Development Corporation to pay her light and gas bill.

Mayor hopes new timers will help holiday shoppers

Downtown will soon see an increase of new crosswalk timers just in time for the influx of pedestrians that comes with the holiday shopping season.

The timers count down the time pedestrians have left to cross the street when the light is red. Mayor Darwin Hindman, who spearheaded the effort, said theywould help improve downtown’s image as friendly for walking.

Mayor weighs election

Fourth Ward Councilman Jim Loveless has decided he will run for re-election in April, but Mayor Darwin Hindman and Third Ward Councilman Bob Hutton, whose terms also expire next year, have yet to decide whether to run again.

Loveless, who filed the paperwork for his candidacy Nov. 3, said the city’s continuing traffic problems prompted him to run again.

Mathletes in action

Find the sum of the solutions to 2x + 6x + 50.

This is not the usual question running through a high school student’s head at 8:30 a.m. on a Saturday. But 44 students from four different high schools sat with legs shaking and pencils tapping, scratching their heads as they answered questions like this during a day of competition at the regional level of the Great Plains Math League High School Contest held on the MU campus on Nov. 1.

Called to Duty

After today, Grant Elementary School will be one staff member short.

Calvin Miles, home/school communicator at the school, has been called to duty and will head to Fort Leonard Wood for military police training Sunday. After that, he’ll be deployed to Germany, but Miles doesn’t know where he’ll end up or how long he’ll be gone.

Guardsmen from Hallsville being deployed

For one family in Hallsville, the war in Iraq could soon become a father-daughter affair.

Hallsville’s 23-year-old Roberta Howell, a member of the 1139th National Guard unit based in Moberly, is serving as a military police officer in Baghdad. Her 56-year-old father, Tom Howell, is preparing to report for duty Sunday as part of the 128th National Guard reserves in Columbia.

Fate of gun law rests on wording

It’s a matter of interpretation.

The fate of concealed guns in Missouri might come down to the meaning of one word.

Missouri gains funds to fight meth

In a sign that Missouri’s growing methamphetamine problem is an issue of national concern, the federal government has awarded more than $3 million in grants to state law enforcement agencies to fight production of the drug.

The money will be divided among 60 sheriff’s departments and drug task forces across the state and used primarily to purchase equipment and to pay existing personnel for additional hours spent fighting meth production.

Shots fired in Cosmo Park; none injured

No one was injured amid gunfire Monday afternoon at Cosmopolitan Park, but police have arrested two and issued summons for several more.

On Tuesday, Columbia Police arrested Charles Julian Ayers, 17, of Columbia while he was in class at 10:35 a.m. at Rock Bridge High School. He was arrested on suspicion of armed criminal action and first-degree assault.

Monument honors former MU chancellor

In the early 1980s, Barbara Uehling pushed for MU’s first master plan for campus beautification.

The former chancellor reigned during $135 million in projects that gave the university its good looks.

University Hospital considers new ambulance

Because of long response times and a growing population in southern Boone County, ambulance officials at University Hospital want to add an emergency ambulance to cover the region.

University Hospital ambulance coordinator Jim Gwinner has submitted a plan to hospital administrators to put the Medic 22 ambulance into emergency service, probably near Ashland.

A man of principle

Kids don’t come to Principal Bruce Brotzman’s office out of fear. They usually show up at the Rock Bridge administrator’s door because they want advice or direction.

Brotzman, 44, is known for his energy. Good thing, because he plays two roles at school: principal and dad.

Man, 35, arrested in house fires

Melvin L. Davis, 35, whom police suspect set fire to two Columbia residences on July 10, was arrested Tuesday in Palmdale, Calif., Columbia police said. His location was provided by a CrimeStoppers caller.

Police in Columbia coordinated with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department for the arrest. Davis is charged with first-degree arson, first-degree burglary, and second-degree arson.

Sgt. Griffin is not forgotten

For more than 30 years, a Centralia family and a Pennsylvania woman have shared the same prayer — that Army Sgt. Rodney Griffin, whose helicopter was shot down in Cambodia in May 1970, would return home.

While that prayer has yet to be answered, Griffin’s family recently learned that Beth Mitchell of Kittanning, Pa., has an MIA/POW bracelet engraved with Griffin’s name. Mitchell’s older sister bought the bracelet from a newsstand in her hometown of Ford City, Pa.

A park for all seasons

The barren banks and dried heaps of brownish-red lake grass resemble the scene of a drought.

But by spring, city officials guarantee Stephens Lake and the surrounding park will look more like an idyllic oasis than a soggy lake bottom.

Mom says she sought help for 6-year-old

He likes to watch cartoons like “Thomas the Tank Engine,” “Scooby-Doo” and “Superman.” Anything with a superhero.

With animated characters, he can distinguish between fact and fantasy. But the mother of a 6-year-old boy suspected of shooting and killing his grandfather said that when it comes to shows with actors, she isn’t so sure.

Court upholds school withholdings

JEFFERSON CITY — School districts suing to get more state funds lost their first court fight Monday.

A Cole County circuit judge upheld Gov. Bob Holden’s power to withhold $190 million from state funding to local schools because of estimated revenue shortages.