UM system to request $190 million in bonds

JEFFERSON CITY — The University of Missouri system plans to ask lawmakers next year to approve $190 million in bonds to build or renovate buildings at the system’s four campuses.

The bond issue would help fund $75 million for construction of a new health science research center at MU; $52 million for construction of a health sciences building at the University of Missouri-Kansas City; $24 million in renovations to the Benton Stadler science complex at the University of Missouri-St. Louis; $20.9 million in renovations at an engineering building at Columbia; and $18.6 million for renovations to a mechanical engineering building at Rolla.

Nativity in lights

Joe and Peggy Hendren enjoy sharing the meaning of Christmas even if the sharing is not voluntary.

For the past six years, the Hendrens have created an elaborate Christmas light display in their front yard at West Phyllis Avenue. From the growing number of glowing angels in the Hendrens’ yard, the illuminated scene beams the original meaning of Christmas: the birth of Jesus Christ.

Source of funds for UM raises questions

JEFFERSON CITY — It’s important for the public to know where the money to pay state university chancellors is coming from; if it takes legislation to ensure that happens, so be it, one lawmaker said Monday.

Sen. Sarah Steelman, R-Rolla, promised to file legislation this week that would require the sources of public university chancellors’ salaries to be made public.

Missourian included on cover of Time

KANSAS CITY — Sgt. Ronald Buxton’s family finds it fitting the soldier was picked to represent the American soldier, the Time magazine Person of the Year, on the cover of the publication.

The name of the 32-year-old from Lake Ozark is a tribute to another soldier, slain during World War II.

Police arrest couple after horse dies

A team from the Central Missouri Humane Society was looking for a fallen, severely malnourished horse in the Hallsville area Sunday morning. But nothing could prepare them for what they found.

The horse was hidden behind a barn, some shrubs and a truck. As the team moved closer, they saw 6-inch trenches the horse had dug in the dirt with his hooves. The trenches were evidence of a desperate struggle to stand that was so violent the horse had multiple lesions on the side of his face and neck.

Christmas tree pickup starts Friday

As early as Friday, Columbia residents can dispose of their Christmas trees.

From Friday through Jan. 30, trees can be set on the curb for pickup during regular garbage collection.

Police searching for assault suspect

Columbia police are seeking an Independence man on suspicion of assaulting the owner of Mari’s Convenience Store on Sunday night.

The owner of the store, in the 1200 block of East Prathersville Road, was assaulted Sunday night after the owner refused to accept an out-of-town check, Columbia police said.

Columbia schools not on list for award

For the second straight year, Columbia School District has not been among districts receiving the “Distinction in Performance” award from Gov. Bob Holden.

The award is given to districts that have made consistent progress in improving academic performance based on Missouri Assessment Program scores.

A life of praise

The deacon reads the Bible as the organ player caresses the keyboard with jazzlike riffs that give rhythm to the words. The crowd responds with hallelujahs and amens in the small white church that seems to be lost in the snow-covered hill.

The Rev. David Ballenger, an imposing man with salt-and-pepper hair and a white beard, starts to preach in a singing tone.

Missouri joins U.S. in tighter security

ST. LOUIS — Armed guards, metal detectors, concrete barriers. For visitors at the Gateway Arch on Monday, it was a setting that’s hardly intimidating, but simply a way of life in the post-Sept. 11 era.

“You’ve got to live your life,” Dan Maloney, 42, said shrugging as his three children hurried him into a gift shop in the museum below the arch.

Draft registration just a matter of preparedness

Notices from the Selective Service System show up on bulletin boards at high schools and in the home mailboxes of young men, reminding them that all males in the United States are required to register for the draft when they turn 18.

In Boone County, 5,617 young men between 19 and 25 years of age registered with the Selective Service System this year through Sept. 30. Only 209 18-year-olds, however, registered during the first nine months of 2003.

Small towns, big plans

Sturgeon has one restaurant. One main street. One gas station.

The population is 944, according to the sign posted on the road into town. It might be a little more than that, Mayor Gene Kelly said, but it usually hovers around 950.

Domestic violence response disparate

Domestic violence touches every corner of Missouri, but the way it is handled by varies from county to county, a new MU study reports.

The researchers — Mary Beck, an MU law professor, and Kent Collins, a broadcast journalism professor — examined 911 reports, law enforcement records and civil protective orders for four Missouri counties: Boone, Callaway, Cape Girardeau and Cooper. According to the results of the study, Boone and Cape Girardeau most aggressively prosecute domestic abusers, while Callaway and Cooper counties appear less responsive.

It’s déjà vu time again for budget planners

JEFFERSON CITY — Preparing a household budget can be a tough, time-consuming task. How much can you afford to spend on entertainment each month? How much do you have to spend on home and car payments, electricity and such?

Now imagine that you aren’t sure how much money you will have monthly. Suppose you expect to earn $4,000 a month but your spouse budgets for a $3,000 income.

Sharing time and wish lists with Santa

Care Bears, Barbies, American Girl dolls, and computer and video games are some of the must-haves this holiday season.

So if children need, want, gotta have these things, how do they tell their wishes to the man who brings them from the North Pole?

Learning lessons makes life better

I fooled my friends a couple of weeks ago. A young relative volunteered to rearrange my home office so that I would have more writing space. My friends, of course, were taking bets that I couldn’t leave home and let the young woman “do her thing.” They insisted that I would interfere and start giving orders about where I wanted things placed. Actually, I went into the kitchen, sat down and had a cup of coffee while she ordered her crew to start rearranging desks and bookcases. Later, I calmly disappeared into the bathroom, took a bath, got dressed and left for an appointment.

When I returned, I marveled over the transformation a lot like they do on those television room-makeover shows. She did a beautiful job, and I had not one thing to complain about. Was I hit by a bolt of lightning or run down by an 18-wheeler?

Gleeful relief

As Barbara Cirkl walked across the stage of the Missouri Theatre to receive her industrial engineering degree Saturday, she turned to the audience and yelled, “I did it finally!”

Cirkl was one of more than 1,900 MU students who received their walking papers from the university on Friday and Saturday.

Philips approval uncertain

Even though two-thirds of Elvin Sapp’s proposal for developing the 489-acre Philips farm won approval from the Columbia Planning and Zoning Commission, it’s only the first step.

The proposal is one of the most complicated and controversial development plans in Columbia’s recent history.

Sun, religions closely linked

The solstice marks the beginning of winter on our calendars, but it’s the end of the darkest time of the year.

For centuries people have celebrated the symbolic return of the sun. It is a holiday of renewal, life and light for many, especially for people whose religions are based on natural cycles, said Richard Callahan, a professor of religious studies at the University of Missouri.

Many folks rely on cards to do their talking

Rhiana Scibilia is digging for the right words.

“Sometimes I get frustrated, and I’m just like, ‘Never mind, I’m not gonna pick out a card’ because there’s not one that I think really describes how I’m feeling or how I want something to be said,” Scibilia said while searching the Nifong Boulevard Hallmark store for a Christmas card for her boyfriend. “But most of the time I do find one that’s pretty dead on.”