COLUMBIA — This week's most read story is about how longtime music venue owner Richard King will sell The Blue Note and Mojo's. The new owners share King's vision for the venues and commitment to the artists who play there. In second place, readers were drawn to a story where a local Red Lobster restaurant helped make the day of a woman celebrating her first wedding anniversary without her husband of more than 30 years.
Here are the 10 most popular stories posted last week on ColumbiaMissourian.com, according to Google Analytics.
- Richard King, who has owned The Blue Note for 34 years, is selling the music venue to former Wisconsin theater owners Matt Gerding and Scott Leslie. King decided to reassess his priorities after having heart surgery in 2012. King will remain an active partner in Thumper Entertainment, which organizes Roots 'N' Blues 'N' BBQ. (8,789 page views)
- The Columbia Red Lobster helped Jackie Gregg keep her anniversary tradition alive when it paid her bill after hearing her husband of almost 31 years had died. The Greggs had dined at Red Lobster every year for their anniversary. Chad Ward, the shift manager, said the restaurant paid the bill because "it's just the right thing to do." Gregg said the act of kindness gave her comfort. (5,290 page views)
- Hollie Dennis' service dog, Elias, has the unique ability to detect gluten in food. Dennis has a severe case of Celiac disease, and ingesting gluten can make her incredibly ill. Trained similarly to narcotics dogs, Elias is one of the only dogs who has been able to be certified for testing gluten because his level of accuracy is so high. (2,658 page views)
- Storms on July 7 hit the west side of Columbia hard, causing power outages and damage from fallen trees and power lines. Columbia residents shared views of their houses and neighborhoods on Twitter, Facebook and other social media platforms, which the Missourian compiled into a Storify. (1,180 page views)
- Damage from July 7 storms could be seen throughout Columbia last week, and many residents were still dealing with felled trees in their yards. The Missourian put together a 360-degree interactive multimedia player that almost puts readers inside the images and and allows them to see some of the damage in various neighborhoods and yards up close. (1,171 page views)
- Missouri is seeing a record number of children and youth in foster care. The number has grown from about 9,000 in 2009 to 12,578 in 2014. Julia Adami, the director of community-based services at health agency Great Circle said prospective parents are apprehensive about taking children in because they have a fear of the unknown. They are unsure of what kind of child they'll take in and how that child might affect their children. (940 page views)
- Michael Stampley, a manager at Shakespeare's Pizza's west Columbia location, lost most of his belongings and his car to July 7's severe storms. Stampley first totaled his car after hitting a tree on his way home from work, and then found another tree had fallen on his newly purchased house, letting in rain that flooded it. Fortunately, Stampley's two dogs were safe. He said he's taking things one day at a time, and he's getting help from family and coworkers. (931 page views)
- More than 14,000 Columbia Water and Light customers were left without power after destructive storms rolled through Columbia on July 7. Residents who live on the west side of town saw the heaviest damage. Some intersections were blocked by fallen trees and power lines. Many of the trees were old, and therefore, quite large. Dorsey Ragland, whose house also sustained damage, expressed regret that such old trees were lost. (782 page views)
- Hickman High School Head football coach Arnel Monroe was arrested July 6 on suspicion of driving while intoxicated. Monroe was released from Boone County Jail later the same day after posting $500 bail. Monroe was arrested previously in 2006 for a DWI. He pleaded guilty and received two years probation. (735 page views)
- The Columbia City Council 4-3 July 7 to allow Opus Development Co. to temporarily close sidewalks and parking lanes on Seventh, Eighth and Locust streets to allow for the construction of a six-story student apartment building. The building is expected to open in fall 2015. (620 page views)