GRAPHIC: Choosing the right plan

The University of Missouri System is offering three health care plans to its employees for 2015. The Custom Network Plan debuts next year and will offer discounted plans for employees in nine counties within range of MU Health Care facilities.

GRAPHIC: CDC recommends nasal spray influenza vaccine for some children

The CDC recommends children between 2 and 8 years old be vaccinated with the nasal spray influenza vaccine, rather than the traditional injection, for the 2014-15 flu season. The recommendation is based on studies suggesting the nasal spray is more effective in children than the injectable vaccine. Although some versions of the injection protect against only three strains of the flu, the nasal spray protects against four.

GRAPHIC: Stephens College joins the pack

Stephens College just became an official campus for, a social media site that showcases dogs. The school already allows students to keep animals in its dorm Searcy Hall, commonly referred to as “Pet Central,” and even has a day care system for pets. This commitment to animals made Stephens number six on U.S. News and World Report’s list of top 10 pet-friendly colleges in the country in 2011.

MAP: Counties eligible for Custom Network Plan

University of Missouri System employees in Audrain, Boone, Callaway, Cole, Cooper, Howard, Moniteau, Osage, or Randolph County will have access to a third health care plan in 2015. Employees covered by the plan will not pay a deductible for in-network services at MU Health Care facilities, unlike in the other two plans. All employees not in those nine counties will only have access to the Healthy Savings Plan and Preferred Provider Plan.

MAP: Location of Monday's incidents

Police arrested four teenagers early Monday morning on suspicion of robbery, assault and resisting or interfering with arrest. Police report two men were assaulted near SoCo Club and one man’s wallet was stolen. Police arrested the suspects on Broadway near the Walgreens.

GRAPHIC: Equipment the Columbia Police Department procured from federal government

Since 2001, the Columbia Police Department has received $40,279.08 worth of free, surplus military equipment from the Department of Defense through the Defense Logistics Agency’s 1033 program. A visual breakdown of the items the Columbia Police Department procured is below. CORRECTION: An earlier version of this graphic incorrectly stated who paid for the equipment.

GRAPHIC: How to safely hang a hammock from trees

Using trees as the anchors for a hammock can damage bark and even kill trees. In order to safely hang hammocks in parks and other wooded areas, use the following tips to preserve the health of anchoring trees.

GRAPHIC: Utility bills to rise

The city will boost monthly bills for electricity and sewer in fiscal 2015.

MAP: City hopes to improve Cosmo-Bethel Park

The Columbia Parks and Recreation Department is in the process of proposing a $150,000 project that would improve Cosmo-Bethel Park. The project would add lighting at four of the park’s 12 tennis courts and pave the gravel trail around the lake.

CHART: MU journalism faculty make slightly less than overall average

The average salaries for professors, associate professors and assistant professors at MU are slightly higher than the salaries for Missouri School of Journalism faculty. On average the overall MU faculty salaries were $5,842 more than their journalism counterparts.

MAP: Gerbes fuel station site

On Thursday evening, the Columbia Planning and Zoning Commission held a public hearing on a request from the owners of Gerbes market on Broadway to set up a fuel station.

MAP: Biological conditions of Hinkson Creek

Four of 11 test sites (in red) at Hinkson Creek are considered unable to fully support aquatic life​, according to the Missouri Department of Natural Resources.

GRAPHIC: Tobacco purchase age is 21

First Ward Councilwoman Ginny Chadwick proposed an ordinance increasing the age of tobacco purchase in
Columbia to 21. Four states have counties and towns where 21 is the minimum age to purchase tobacco products. A bill in the New Jersey Senate would increase the age of purchase to 21 statewide.

MAP: Shots fired near Gentry Middle School

Shortly before the students at Gentry Middle School were released Thursday, shots were fired at nearby Cosmo-Bethel Park.


The map shows the recommendations for changes in traffic operations, which might occur due to prohibition of left-turns.

MAP: Local historians try to preserve Boone's Lick Trail

Boone’s Lick Trail played a pivotal role in the westward expansion of America. The 0.6 mile piece shown in the map is the only remaining stretch of the original Boone’s Lick Trail. David Sapp and other local historians are trying to preserve it.

MAP: Mizzou Quick Care Clinics

MU Health Care and Hy-Vee, one of the nation’s largest supermarket chains, are opening three Mizzou Quick Care clinics to provide convenient care for common illnesses seven days a week. The clinic at the Conley Road Hy-Vee opened Sept. 8, the Rock Bridge Hy-Vee location opened Sept. 9 and the location at the West Broadway Hy-Vee opens Sept. 15.

MAP: Confirmed cases of enterovirus 68

In August 2014, hospital officials in Kansas City and Chicago notified the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention of an increase in severe respiratory illnesses in their emergency rooms. Enterovirus 68, a rare type of enterovirus, was identified in 19 people in Kansas City and 11 in Chicago. As of Sept. 11, the CDC has confirmed 82 cases of respiratory illness caused by the virus in six states, and six others have reported clusters of undefined enteroviruses. There have been no confirmed cases of enterovirus 68 or clusters of enteroviruses reported in Boone County.

MAP: The fair markets

If the Marketplace Fairness Act is passed, sales tax collection would be required for all products shipped to the 23 states with full membership in the Streamlined Sales and Use Tax Agreement, which would establish sales taxes for most out-of-state online vendors. The U.S. Senate passed the bill in 2013, but the U.S. House of Representatives has not yet voted on it.

Location of Katy Bridge in Boonville

The Katy Bridge Coalition is raising money to restore the Katy Bridge in Boonville. Although the coalition has secured money to pave the bridge, more funding could integrate the bridge into the Katy Trail.