Stephens plans to cut faculty and degrees

In an attempt to make the school financially stable, Stephens College will not renew contracts for 15 faculty members and will phase out six degree programs, two of which do not now have any students enrolled, over the next two years.

Although degree programs will be cut, many of the courses in those programs will remain, and provided that enrollment is high enough in these classes, some faculty contracts may be extended beyond the 2004-05 school year.

Memories soothe sorrows of today

When I was growing up, the doors of the little church my family attended were always open. We could pop inside and kneel at the altar and pray at any hour of the day. I treasure that memory as if it were a 10-carat diamond ring. It’s one of a host of memories that I can draw on to remind myself of the special experiences that have enriched my life.

I remember the beautiful park where my siblings and I spent so many leisurely summer afternoons at play. Parents never had to worry that we would be abducted. As children in those days, we were a protected class. That knowledge carried with it a certain carefree attitude. We had the understanding that as long as we obeyed the rules, no one would bother us.

Mo. budget deficit on the decline

JEFFERSON CITY — Increased revenues have shrunk Missouri’s budget deficit for the coming fiscal year, but the state still lags behind others in overall economic recovery.

A February report from the national Center on Budget and Policy Priorities showed 32 states predicted that their deficits would be smaller percentages of their overall budgets than Missouri’s. Overall budget deficits for fiscal year 2005 are down to $35 billion from $78 billion last fiscal year, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Plan would use archers to control urban deer

The Missouri Department of Conservation is making a proposal to allow archery hunting during deer season on some city property in an effort to curb the urban deer population in Columbia.

“The bottom line is that we have problems with urban deer, and it’s going to get worse if we don’t take action,” said Lonnie Hansen, a resource scientist with the MDC. “Statewide, their population is probably fairly stable,” he said. “Where it is increasing is in our urban areas, and Columbia is no exception.”

Street smarts

After more than a year of discussion and tweaking, a thick revision of Columbia’s street standards — designed to make streets narrower and friendlier for bicyclists and pedestrians — is finally before the City Council.

The council will hold a public hearing on the new standards at its meeting tonight but plans to continue to get public input until May 3, when it is scheduled to take a final vote on the matter.

Spring turkey season kicks off today

Spring turkey season begins today, which means hunters will soon find out whether mid-Missouri’s recent run of warm weather benefits the hunter or the hunted.

“I think this recent warm-up will help the hunters,” said Jeff Beringer, a resource scientist with the Missouri Department of Conservation. “It has caused everything to get green, which should get the turkeys broken up and into their breeding ranges. They had been kind of wadding up into their winter flocks.”

Yearlong learning

With the school year winding down, the Fun City Youth Academy is preparing to shift its focus from its Saturday tutoring academy to its summer academy.

Since September, children ages 5 to 18 have been meeting every Saturday at the J.W. “Blind” Boone Community Center. From noon to 4 p.m., they receive mentoring, homework help, entrepreneurial skills and leadership.

Local students move on to national history competition

Five local students who competed at the state level in National History Day on Saturday will be moving on to the national competition June 13-17 at the University of Maryland.

Schnucks reissues a recall on salmon

Schnucks Markets Inc. reissued a recall on Friday for sliced smoked Atlantic salmon from Sea Specialties Inc. because of possible contamination.

Hamas leader assassinated

JERUSALEM — An Israeli helicopter missile strike Saturday killed Abdel Aziz Rantisi, a well-known and popular leader of Hamas, hospital officials and witnesses said, about a month after a similar attack killed the spiritual leader of the radical Palestinian group.

Rantisi, 54, who had recently become the Gaza Strip leader of Hamas, for years launched vitriolic assaults on Israel and its occupation of the West Bank and Gaza Strip. He could order a demonstration and within hours mobilize tens of thousands of Palestinians into the streets.

MU professor says recent shift in Israeli tactics will affect course of events

When the news reached him that Abdel Aziz Rantisi had been killed Saturday night in Gaza City by an Israeli attack, MU Professor Michael Grinfeld wasn’t surprised.

“The tactical shift that’s now occurred in Israel is very significant, and it will change whatever outcomes occur in the region,” he said. “What’s clear is that the Israelis have run out of patience.”

Provost tapped for interim post

Elson Floyd, UM system president, asked Provost Brady Deaton to be the interim MU chancellor Saturday, said a release from UM spokesman Joe Moore.

“I asked Provost Deaton to serve in the role of interim chancellor at the University of Missouri-Columbia because I believe he is the most qualified person for the job,” Floyd said in the press release. “Brady has extensive knowledge of the campus, its mission and academic programs, and its many important stakeholders. I am hopeful that he will agree to take on this new leadership challenge.”

Democrats convene

Amid the stuffed toy donkeys, primary colors and ample campaign paraphernalia covering Columbia’s Expo Center on Friday and Saturday were Missouri Democrats on a mission to make it a blue Super Tuesday come November.

“We have a president who is not leading this country in the right direction,” said former presidential candidate and U.S. Rep. Richard Gephardt, who addressed members at the state party’s convention Saturday.

New Sunday Missourian

Dear Reader:

Some really smart graduate students sat down with editors on Friday to present their preliminary research findings for the NewSunday Missourian’s first draft. The top headline: People who spent more time reading the April 4 edition found more stories and features to like. They liked the positive community focus. They liked the in-depth reporting. They found NewSunday to be useful and relevant.

Fulton soldier’s pet dog arrives from Iraq

There’s one more mouth to feed at the Fulton home of Don and Phyllis Smith, but the house still feels empty.

They miss their military son, Army Pfc. Jeremiah Smith, whose stay in Iraq was extended until August. Yet they keep some comfort in their new arrival, Niki, a stray dog the soldier found on duty overseas and nursed back to health.

Libertarian Party candidates outline campaign platforms

Libertarians took a break from raising party awareness Saturday to host “Jefferson Days” in Cosmopolitan Park.

The Libertarian convention featured speaker Lloyd Sloan, an expert on Thomas Jefferson, who lectured on the former president’s political philosophies.

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.