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MAP: SEC Championship travelers may encounter dangerous travel conditions

Those traveling to the Southeastern Conference Championship game in Atlanta may run into severe winter weather. The National Weather Service predicts snow, ice and rain along routes to Atlanta from Thursday through Sunday.

MAP: Traveling to the SEC Championship game in Atlanta

The Missouri Tigers are headed to the Southeastern Conference Championship game Saturday in Atlanta. Two choices of travel for most MU fans are plane and car, with a wide range of traveling cost depending on where you’re starting and how you’re getting to Atlanta.

MAP: Rapid transit lines and hotels near Georgia Dome in Atlanta

Spectators can take the Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA) lines to the Georgia Dome for the Southeastern Conference Championship game. Hotels are available near the Georgia Dome and in nearby suburbs. On Saturday, MARTA trains will run every 20 minutes with extra service on the green and blue lines as needed in order to move customers to and from the Georgia Dome. A one-way MARTA ticket costs $2.50.

CHART: Start Smart helps early childhood education

The Missouri Department of Economic Development is making $10 million available to early childhood education programs in Missouri. The Start Smart initiative funds the programs through grants and tax credits. So far, 10 programs have received $6.1 million in funding.

CHART: Percentage of Missouri households labeled 'food insecure'

Since the mid-1990s, the percentage of Missouri residents facing food insecurity has increased. Low food security is when people may struggle but will manage to get adequate food to meet basic nutritional needs. Very low food security may happen when members of households have tried to meet basic nutritional needs but have failed.

MAP: How is Missouri's food distributed?

The MU Interdisciplinary Center for Food Security combines data about a variety of factors, including poverty, race and unemployment, to determine how many households are “food uncertain.” The Food Bank for Central and Northeast Missouri, which serves Boone and 31 other counties, distributed more than 28 million tons of food in 2012.

CHART: The billion-dollar history of SNAP

Since it was first introduced in the 1960s, the number of Americans participating in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and the federal funding for the program have risen. In particular, since the recession in 2009, the amount spent on SNAP has increased sharply, as shown in the inflation-adjusted graph below.

CHART: Single women with families most likely to be food insecure in America for 2012

The following chart shows the prevalence of food insecurity in American households for 2012. Food insecurity is defined as not having access or having limited access to enough nutrition for an active and healthy lifestyle. In 2012, households with a single female head of family had a food insecurity rate of 35.4 percent.

CHART: Understanding SNAP participation

Since 1969, the number of Americans claiming benefits from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) rose from 3 million to more than 46 million. SNAP offers nutritional assistance for low-income individuals and families. Since 2000, the number of Americans who receive SNAP benefits has more than doubled.

MAP: Food insecurity nationally 2010–2012

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Economic Research Service defines food insecurity as households that don’t always have access to adequate food for a healthy and active lifestyle or depend on additional financial support and other measures to obtain sufficient nutrition. Combining state averages of food insecure households over three years, the service calculated the national average at 14.7 percent. Missouri sits in the most dire category with a food insecurity rate above the U.S. average.

CHART: Hispanic and Black American households most likely to experience food insecurity

According to data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Economic Research Service, black and Hispanic households were most at risk from food insecurity in 2012. Households labeled as food insecure have limited access to nutrition for a healthy and active lifestyle. The national average in 2012 for food insecure households was 14.5 percent, and more than 24.6 percent of black and 23.3 percent of Hispanic households were food insecure.

CHART: Primary drug problems in Boone County

In 2012, 1,007 people were admitted to Boone County’s Division of Behavioral Health substance abuse programs. That’s down from 1,439 people admitted in 2010. In the past three years, methamphetamine and heroin are the only substances for which admissions have grown.

GRAPHIC: A tale of two logos

The Collegiate Licensing Co., charged with enforcing the copyright of MU’s logos, sent a cease and desist letter to the Green Forest School District in Arkansas. Collegiate Licensing officials argue that the district’s logo looks too similar to that of MU Athletics.

CHART: Mid-Missouri cyber crimes by year

The Boone County Sheriff’s Department Cyber Crimes Task Force investigates crimes committed using computers, cellphones or the Internet in Boone, Audrain, Callaway, Cole, Cooper, Howard and Randolph counties. The crimes investigated include child pornography, trafficking of children and cyberbullying.

LET'S TALK: Statistics and discussions around sexual assault

At the Columbia Missourian, our ongoing coverage of the problem of sexual assault aims to do more than just inform readers. With issues like this, we also want to encourage dialogue that can lead to change. We encourage you to talk about these questions with your friends and in your organizations. You're invited to share your thoughts with us at submissions@ColumbiaMissourian.com.

For more, see: http://bit.ly/whatissexualassault

CORRECTION: The 106 reports to the Relationship and Sexual Violence Prevention Center and MU Police Department include a variety of sexual offenses including sexual assault. An earlier version of the graphic incorrectly identified the reports as only sexual assaults.

MAP: Proposed Albert-Oakland Park pickleball improvements

Columbia Parks and Recreation Department is hosting a drop-in public meeting to gather input for the development of a new pickleball court at Albert-Oakland Park. People are invited to come from 6 to 7 p.m. on Tuesday at New Haven Elementary School. They will be able to give input on the proposed plans.

MAP: Severe storms hit Midwest

The National Weather Service received nearly 700 high wind, hail and tornado reports Sunday from across the Midwest. Of those, 87 were tornado reports. The National Weather service says the actual number of tornadoes will be closer to 30 or 40 because many tornadoes are reported multiple times. One of the most destructive tornadoes hit near Peoria, Ill. Six people in Illinois are confirmed dead.

CHART: Boone County conservation land lost in ethanol era

In 2007, President George W. Bush signed a law requiring oil companies to add billions of gallons of ethanol to their gasoline each year. To meet this increased demand for corn, farmers began cultivating land that had been set aside for conservation.

MAP: Conservation loses out to cultivation in some Missouri counties

A 2007 law requiring oil companies to blend billions of gallons of ethanol into gasoline sparked an ethanol boom; U.S. farmers have since planted more than 15 million additional acres of corn. Some of the ground plowed up for cornfields had been lying fallow to benefit the environment.

MAP: New entrances to Columbia Mall

Three new entrances to the Columbia Mall along Bernadette Drive are now open. New traffic lights have been activated at the Hutchens Drive and Knipp Street entrances.
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