Cost of MU basketball inquiry mounts

MU’s investigation into the Missouri men’s basketball program has cost Missouri’s athletic department more than $31,000.

MU’s six-member investigation team, led by MU engineering professor Michael Devaney, spent about $21,000 on a transcriptionist and a court reporter for several confidential interviews with National Collegiate Athletic Association officials between October 2003 and the end of March this year, according to expense records acquired by the Columbia Missourian.

Images of Christ

Jesus Christ has captured the minds and hearts of believers since he walked amongst them on the dusty streets of Jerusalem almost 2,000 years ago. To Christians, this divine man is simultaneously the conqueror of death, the harbinger of everlasting life and an intimate and enduring friend.

As stories about this acclaimed savior and confidante were read by parents over the dinner table or by Sunday-school teachers at church, young Christians unleashed their imaginations on what Jesus might have looked like. Their minds sought to create a realistic image of Christ that could be reconciled with their personal beliefs about Christianity, according to art historian David Morgan in his book, “Visual Piety: A History and Theory of Popular Religious Images.”

E-mail calls for lying at blood drive

It’s supposed to be about saving lives, but MU’s Greek Week blood drive has become so competitive that one sorority member encouraged comrades to lie about potential health risks on pre-donation paperwork — just to bag some extra blood.

“I don’t care if you got a tattoo last week — LIE,” Gamma Phi Beta blood donation coordinator Christie Key said in a Tuesday

Feeling the beat

John Markovitz sits on the edge of his seat with a large African drum balanced between his legs. As the rest of the class filters through the door and begins to take their places in a circle, Markovitz pulls out a spool of medical tape and carefully begins to wrap his fingers. He knows they’ll be sore by the end of the day.

Markovitz and four other students are at the end of a two-day drumming workshop held last month at the Black Culture Center in Columbia. Sunday is devoted to advanced drummers.

Easter joy no longer on hiatus

Easter is one of my favorite holidays. After five weeks without cookies, cake or candy, I’m ready to celebrate. I want to eat my weight in chocolate. I want gooey butter cake, stale Girl Scout cookies, Kentucky High Day pie and a GREAT BIG chocolate Easter bunny (solid, not hollow).

Easter has always been a wonderful celebration in the Harl household. After Mass, I prepare a brunch for 28 (that’s the whole clan sans one daughter who lives too far away to come home). I serve Mimosas and coffee, orange juice for the kids, eggs, bacon, sausage, biscuits and gravy, French toast, little ham sandwiches, a fruit medley and chocolate-covered strawberries.

Egging them on

When the Columbia Health Department sent Mike Knoll a letter saying he had to start paying $150 for city business license and health inspection fees to sell his eggs at the Columbia Farmers Market, he stopped selling his eggs there.

“I wasn’t going to pay that fee, and I don’t think anybody really did,” said Knoll, who runs Bonne Femme Farm LLC.

Meet the sheriff 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. Voters will also choose county nominees for the positions of county commissioner for the Southern and Northern districts, sheriff, county treasurer, county assessor and public administrator.

Governor releases education funds

JEFFERSON CITY — Gov. Bob Holden said Friday he was releasing $127 million for school districts and higher education, money he had earlier withheld citing an unbalanced state budget.

The Columbia Public School District will receive $2.87 million of the funds, according to projections from the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. Columbia school district representatives have previously said they would use any released funds to replenish their monetary reserve, which they dipped into earlier to pay for the $735,000 in withheld funds from the 2003-2004 budget.

Police continue hunt for lost man

Earl Cason, 84, has still not been found 10 days after he went missing following a routine weekly visit to the Truman Veterans Hospital.

Cason, a veteran of World War II, suffers from Parkinson’s disease, high blood pressure and Alzheimer’s disease . He had visited the hospital once a week to have his nine daily medications sorted into a pill container.

Changing a neighborhood

A van transporting three women could be seen cruising the streets of the Douglass Park area on Saturday’s cold, wet morning. The reason for the trip – to judge a yard contest held as part of the area’s spring cleanup.

These three women have lived most of their lives in the neighborhoods near Douglass Park, and after 15 years of judging the best yards, they know almost every homeowner by name, as well as all the neighborhood gossip. But most importantly, they know their neighborhood has changed.

Volunteers decorate hill with native plants

Eleven-year-old Liam Hancock didn’t need the rain on Saturday — he was busy making a rainbow without it. He planted the yellow section, while others contributed purple and green.

The rainbow isn’t visible yet, but by June, Liam’s yellow coreopsis will bloom, along with the green, purple, and orange flowers others planted. When that happens, Liam’s rainbow will finally be complete.

Sheriff’s job description

Ted Boehm has been in law enforcement for 35 years. He’s been the Boone County sheriff for 20 of those years, longer than any other sheriff in the county’s history.

But this year, Boehm has decided not to run for re-election.

Rise in Boone County population continues

According to the latest Missouri population data, Boone County continues to be a popular place to live — but not nearly as popular as the counties surrounding Missouri’s larger cities.

The data released by the Missouri Office of Administration on Thursday reflect that the county recently has been growing at a slightly lower rate than it did from 1990 to 2000.

History drives passion

Hartsburg Mayor Nancy Grant and her husband, Mike Rodemeyer, spent three weeks retracing the route of Meriwether Lewis and William Clark, but their adventure wasn’t just for pleasure.

The couple’s attention to re-enactments and historical details at interpretive centers is being put to use as they plan a festival in Hartsburg to celebrate the area’s first of a series of bicentennial celebrations to commemorate the explorers’ trip up the Missouri River.

ESPN winner back at school

Mike Hall sits on the futon in his room, munching on day-old popcorn and sipping a Dr. Pepper. Despite the whirlwind his life has become, Hall is calm and collected, but that’s no surprise. It’s Hall’s coolness under pressure that has gotten him where he is.

During his triumph on ESPN’s “Dream Job,” Hall held up when the teleprompter went out and he had to ad lib his lead-in to a Yankees-Red Sox highlight. He didn’t flinch when breaking news came in the middle of his interview with Indianapolis Colts quarterback Peyton Manning. When viewers voted to make him the show’s first cut, he didn’t break down. He made sure he didn’t get another vote. Ever.

Columbians to help with city cleaning

For Amy Gundy, volunteerism runs in the family. And that’s part of the reason a record number of groups have signed up for Cleanup Columbia 2004.

The annual event is set for Saturday as part of a city-sponsored effort to encourage volunteerism and keep the city litter-free.

A lesson in dedication

Michele Sterrett used the words “inquisitive, passionate and vibrant” to describe herself when interviewed as a finalist for an award from the Missouri State Teachers Association

People around Sterrett, a language arts teacher at Lange Middle School in Columbia, would add “devoted” to the list. That quality is a main reason she was chosen as an Outstanding Teacher of the Year from the association’s northeast region, one of the judges said.

Senate passes malpractice reform bill

JEFFERSON CITY — After breaking a contentious, 16-hour debate Thursday, senators passed legislation that supporters say will help lower doctors’ malpractice insurance premiums.

The legislation, which passed 24-8, would create new restrictions for many types of lawsuits, including putting new caps on jury awards in medical malpractice cases. Insurance companies claim high awards are the cause of doctors’ fast-rising premiums, although opponents of caps say they have not been proven to lower insurance costs.

MU junior wins Truman Scholar service award

Dylan Sullivan, a junior at MU, received some unexpected good news after opening an e-mail from MU Chancellor Richard Wallace on March 19.

“I re-read it a few times to make sure my eyes weren’t deceiving me,” Sullivan said. “I was incredibly surprised to get the award.”

Living with Autism

Four-year-old Thomas Cleek has a toothy grin and bright blue eyes that peer from underneath his tousled blond bowl cut — a sunniness that wasn’t there nine months ago when Thomas was plagued by aggressive, potentially dangerous tantrums and could hardly talk.

Thomas’ outbursts led him to be diagnosed with PDD-NOS, Pervasive Developmental Disorder — Not Otherwise Specified, a mild degree of autism, in February 2002.