Floyd says he won't resign over Clemons case

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Reeling from revelations about his family's dealings with troubled ex-basketball player Ricky Clemons, University of Missouri president Elson Floyd said Thursday he would not resign and said he did nothing wrong.

Floyd, who became president of the four-campus system last January, was in Kansas City for a previously scheduled meeting with the university's Board of Curators which was to include a private discussion of his job performance.

Text of Carmento Floyd's statement

Text of the statement issued Tuesday night by Carmento Floyd, wife of University of Missouri president Elson Floyd, about her friendship with troubled former Missouri basketball player Ricky Clemons. Some of their telephone conversations were taped when Clemons was serving a sentence during the summer in the Boone County Jail; a standard message on the phone line informs users that calls are subject to being recorded.

Gardening glee for Christmas trees

What are plant lovers to do now that the weather has turned cold and there’s not much going on in the garden?

Lots and lots of tasks come to mind.

No misconduct in failed search

Columbia police have found no wrongdoing by the officers who failed to locate two accident victims on Nov. 28 but have only limited explanations for why the victims were not found.

The accident happened a little before 8:30 p.m. that Friday night, when Jerad Miller, 21, ran his 1993 Chevy Lumina off the east side of a ramp from Broadway to southbound U.S. 63. Miller and passenger Joseph Stenger, 23, were going home to Jefferson City after shopping at Columbia Mall.

Floyd, faculty discuss MU, UM proposal

Consolidation of administrative positions between the University of Missouri system and MU could save anywhere from $500,000 to $4.3 million each year, UM system President Elson Floyd told a general meeting of MU faculty on Tuesday.

Floyd tried to engage a crowd of about 100 faculty members at Memorial Union on the MU campus in a dialogue on consolidation. The overall feeling was one of approval toward Floyd and the plan.

Critical Mass

The Hispanic organizations at MU have hung in limbo for several years, somewhere between thriving and becoming extinct. As MU recognizes the need to recruit more Hispanics, the existing Latino societies on campus struggle for members and participation.

But small memberships and persistently low meeting turnouts haven’t deterred the determined members of these groups. The Hispanic American Leadership Organization, for example, has made leaps and bounds in its number of members. Now there are about 10 active members.

Keeping warm with local wines

During the holiday season, wine may accompany a turkey dinner, be consumed fireside or even be wrapped and placed under the tree, and area wineries and retailers are planning events and specials to capitalize on this seasonal interest.

Businesses making and distributing wine attribute the sales increase they see each winter to cold weather, holidays and a change in diet.

Pearly whites

From extreme dieting and exercise to cosmetic surgery, people go to many extremes to conform to ideals of appearances. But those ideals aren’t limited to body shape or size — many people’s ideal body also includes a dazzling smile.

“In our culture, white teeth and a pretty smile are important,” said Charles Mattingly, a Columbia dentist. “It says something about a person who whitens their teeth, that they care about their appearance.”

Medicare revisions alarm foes

On Monday, President Bush signed landmark legislation that, in addition to adding a drug benefit to Medicare, places more of the responsibility for providing health care to older Americans in the hands of private insurers and health plans.

But for advocates of universal health care — including many doctors and hospitals — the bill signing represented a step backward. They say that increased privatization is dismantling the public-private safety net that first emerged in the 1930s and will add to the growing number of Americans who do not have health insurance.

Mushroom pasta claims top award

The Missouri Department of Agriculture announced winners of the AgriMissouri Chef Contest on Nov. 23, proclaiming Chef Christopher Desens’ “Morel Mushroom Pasta” the gold medal winner.

Desens, chef at Racquet Club Ladue, entered four recipes in the AgriMissouri Chef Contest in August, hoping to showcase the local products he uses in his dishes every day.

Head over heels

They’re all over the runways of Paris and Milan — on the feet of fashionistas everywhere — and can be seen walking the sidewalks of Columbia. Pointed-toe high heeled stilettos are all the rage. But just how much is the price of fashion costing women these days?

Shoe designers know women love fashion at any price, and sometimes that price includes the health of their feet.

MUHC revises catering policy

MU Health Care has for the second time in six months revised its policy on drug companies and medical supply vendors paying for promotional lunches for doctors at its hospitals and facilities.

The latest change was enacted after Columbia caterers complained about the unfairness of the initial policy change. The new policy will go into effect at the beginning of next year, said Dan Kopp, chief medical officer at University Hospital.

Google feature prompts discussion

Some parents and school officials are worried about how an Internet search feature is affecting personal safety and privacy.

Google, the popular Internet search engine that scans more than 3 billion Web pages, added a feature two years ago that allows users to type a phone number into the search bar at and pull up the accompanying address.

Firm could give schools summer lift

The Columbia Board of Education on Monday night decided to continue discussing hiring an outside firm to run the district’s summer school program. The firm, Newton Learning, already provides summer programs for more than 70 school districts in Missouri.

Several district officials said they will speak with administrators in the Francis Howell School District about Newton. That district, near St. Louis, already contracts with the firm. The board also plans to speak with the Columbia Community Teachers Association before making a final decision.

First big snow forecast for area

The first significant snow of the season is taking aim at Missouri, but forecasters expect the heaviest accumulations north and west of the Columbia area.

Scott Truett of the National Weather Service in St. Louis said that rain, heavy at times, is forecast today in the Columbia area with a quick change over to snow expected after midnight. The snow should end early Wednesday in Columbia, he said.

UM president to decide on consolidation

One year into his presidency of the University of Missouri system, Elson Floyd is a step away from making Missouri higher education history.

When the UM Board of Curators meets Thursday in Kansas City, Floyd will announce his decision on the possible consolidation of UM and MU administrative positions. As part of that decision, Floyd, 47, could combine the jobs of system president and MU chancellor into one position.

Foster care reform is goal of bills

JEFFERSON CITY — State senators are planning to bring foster care issues back to the table during the next legislative session.

Sens. Norma Champion, R-Greene County, and Patrick Dougherty, D-St. Louis, pre-filed foster care reform bills just one week after an audit of the state’s foster care system exposed potential dangers in the system.

Language of love

When a lawn mower chewed up Annice Wetzel’s foot, it mangled her dream of a dance career.

Good grades in French class seemed to point to another talent, though, and now she is the longest-serving teacher in the Columbia School District, having spent 35 years teaching the language at Hickman High School.

MU’s lagging Latino recruitment

Pablo Mendoza, MU’s director of the Office of Multicultural Affairs, dropped three large boxes and a black MU banner on a handcart. Student volunteer Jesse Berrios took the initiative and began carting the boxes out onto the street. The sound of a mariachi band on the street below resonated in the parking garage as Mendoza and Berrios walked into the bustle of Kansas City’s 12th Street for the annual Fiesta Hispana.

The recruiting had begun.

MU fans finalizing bowl plans

For anyone going to the Independence Bowl, it’s time to finish making reservations.

Just about the only thing that hasn’t been entirely booked in the Shreveport-Bossier area is car rental. Nearly all of the hotel rooms are reserved and airplane seats between Columbia Regional Airport and Shreveport Regional Airport are quickly being filled.