Funding tops Senate debate

Democratic state Senate candidates Chuck Graham and Tim Harlan agree on many issues. They both want affordable health care, plan to increase emphasis on higher education, think the funding formula for K-12 needs to be reconsidered and support worker’s compensation.

The two butt heads on one issue, however. In 2001, the Missouri General Assembly approved a bill to allocate $35 million to finance the building of a new basketball arena at MU. Bill and Nancy Laurie, private donors, had given $25 million for the building. Both Graham and Harlan were then House representatives. Graham sponsored the bill; Harlan opposed it on the floor.

Columbia man shot in chest Friday night

A 32-year-old Columbia resident was shot in the chest Friday night on McBaine Avenue, Columbia police said. No suspects have been arrested yet; police are searching for three men in a dark-colored sport utility vehicle.

The victim was transported to an area hospital for treatment of a single gunshot wound to the upper chest. The victim’s identity and condition were unavailable Saturday.

Branson’s family image threatened by casino

ROCKAWAY BEACH — The town of Branson’s main industry is wholesome, family entertainment. Think Andy Williams and The Osmonds.

But the ringing of slot machines, the rattle of dice and the snap of a well-shuffled deck of cards threatens to drown that out, and it’s setting up a fight between the gambling industry and theater owners in the Ozarks.

Research finds white bread more likely to add belly fat

WASHINGTON — Many Americans are like a loaf of bread — soft, with one side round. Their choice of bread may be part of the reason.

Some researchers say white bread and other refined grains seem to go to the gut and hang out as belly fat.

Leg, torso in Missouri River likely from same body

Authorities say a leg and beheaded torso found one day apart in the Missouri River are part of the same set of human remains.

The Missouri State Highway Patrol said it was investigating the dismemberment as a single homicide after the Boone County medical examiner confirmed Thursday that the DNA of the two body parts matches.

Expedition’s dog dies on journey

The Discovery Expedition of St. Charles has lost its best friend.

Seaman, the Newfoundland dog who brought joy to thousands of people along the path of the Lewis and Clark expedition, died Wednesday. He was 20 months old.

Cemeteries worth a visit

John Sappington, prominent doctor, plantation-owner and resident of Arrow Rock, donated land for two cemeteries just outside of downtown prior to his death in 1856.

The Sappington Cemetery contains gravestones for Arrow Rock residents, several Sappington family members and two Missouri governors — Meredith Miles Marmaduke and Claiborne Fox Jackson. Marmaduke was Missouri’s eighth governor and served in 1844 after the death of Gov. Thomas Reynolds.

A town in the middle

For a few seconds, I stood on a sun-burnt bronze circle planted into the ground to mark the country’s “center of population,” a few feet to the right of the cemetery in Edgar Springs.

For those few seconds on April 19, I stood in my black Adidas sneakers, put my feet as close together as I could, looked down and pictured myself balancing the United States on my finger — half the population to my left, half to my right.

Dad’s belt loops fond memories

Today we honor all of the Dads. My husband is the BEST Dad ever. And I have four sons and two sons-in-law who are showing signs of greatness. Every year around this time I start reminiscing about when my father was alive.

My Dad wasn’t the “Leave it to Beaver” kind of father. He was a gruff man who seldom smiled. That made it all the more magical when he did. He could curse like a sailor (although he was a career Army man) or be as gentle as a lamb when he held my infant son.

Touched by a tattoo

Seated comfortably at his station as doorman at Columbia’s Eastside Tavern, Josh Windle lifts the sleeve of his black shirt to reveal an image of an agonized Jesus tattooed upon his right upper arm. The Christian savior’s hair tangles around a gnarled crown of thorns from which blood drops to a wreath of roses around his neck.

Windle’s arm is so large, his skin is so white and Christ’s face so anguished that the effect is stark, even startling.

Judge declares mistrial in climbing-wall case

Boone County Circuit Judge Gene Hamilton declared a mistrial Thursday when jurors returned deadlocked after nearly nine hours of deliberations in the second-degree involuntary manslaughter trial of Marcus Floyd.

Assistant Prosecutor Richard Hicks said if there is a new trial, he imagined it would be a couple of months after a July 5 hearing date set by Hamilton.

Tutoring one focus of sports reforms

Academic reform could hit MU’s athletics department hard this fall.

Both the MU Faculty Council and the National Collegiate Athletic Association are working on measures to increase graduation rates among student athletes.

‘Fahrenheit 9/11’ booking dashes Ragtag’s hopes

The sun isn’t the only thing causing temperatures to rise this summer. Filmmaker Michael Moore’s latest production, “Fahrenheit 9/11,” is likely to set opinions ablaze across the nation and will soon be kindling reactions in mid-Missouri.

Based on the book “House of Bush, House of Saud” by Craig Unger, the movie critiques President Bush’s war on terrorism and alleges Bush family ties to Osama bin Laden. The title is meant as a further jab at Bush because it invokes “Fahrenheit 451,” Ray Bradbury’s novel about government censorship. Goodrich Quality Theaters confirmed the movie will come to the Columbia Forum 8 on June 25. Currently there are no plans for advance ticket sales, though sales for a Friday release typically start Tuesday or Wednesday before opening night.

New stores turn mall inside out

The Ann Taylor Loft opened Thursday in the Columbia Mall, the fifth and final store to settle into the shopping center’s new Fountain Court.

Chico’s, Coldwater Creek, Jos. A. Bank and the Ann Taylor Loft recently joined an existing Talbot’s store as part of the mall’s new “lifestyle” area, a current trend in the mall industry that features upscale stores in an open-air setting, said Leslie McKay, the Columbia Mall marketing coordinator.

Changes in speed limits to proceed

Despite concerns by some county residents, the Boone County Commission approved changes to speed limits on seven roads Thursday after hearing the proposal for the third and final time.

The roads under contention were Obermiller, Roemer and Blackfoot. Community reaction to the changes had been mixed, with some citizens calling the commission to voice their concerns, but no formal public comment was presented at any of the three meetings.

Going for green

A flower corresponds to each letter of the alphabet in a section of Barb and Dan Devine’s garden designed especially for children.

‘A’ is for aster, ‘B’ is for Barbara’s buttons, and ‘C’ is for clematis.

Galloping toward success, teen ropes in rodeo

Christy Smith’s family teases her about her rodeo skills when they tell about her mom falling off a horse when she was just a few weeks pregnant with Christy. Since then Christy has taken her fair share of tumbles, but has improved from each one.

The 18-year-old Christy Smith from Clark is one of 90 high school-age competitors taking part in this weekend’s Missouri High School Rodeo State Finals, also known as MHSR, at the Boone County Fairgrounds.

New degree to focus on benefiting Mo. farmers

This fall, MU will become the first educational institution in the Midwest to offer an undergraduate degree with an emphasis in sustainable agriculture.

The sustainable agriculture degree program “is structured more toward a holistic approach to agriculture that includes the farm, environment and community and incorporates the social, environmental and economic components of food production and consumption,” said Tom Payne, MU vice chancellor for agriculture and dean of the College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources.

Watercooler: Disturbing death

Jesse Valencia spent the night of Friday, June 4 at SoCo, a Columbia nightclub. The next day, Valencia was in a Wilson Avenue yard, sprawled between two apartment buildings and clad only in a pair of athletic shorts — dead of a neck laceration.

How safe is your favorite restaurant?

When we sit down to a restaurant meal, we aren’t usually thinking about the temperature of our meat or the presence of rodents or bacteria.

But a Missourian analysis of inspections shows that several Boone County restaurants have a history of critical violations, even after repeated warnings.