Columbia Public Schools free or reduced-price lunch enrollment

The percentage of students eligible for the National School Lunch Program in Columbia Public Schools in 2013 increased by nearly 9 percent in 10 years. From 2004 to 2013, the enrollment percentage for Columbia Public Schools has been about 10 percentage points lower than the state average.

Columbia Public Schools MAP scores reflect achievement gap for minority students

Each year, students in grades three to eight in Missouri take a test called the Missouri Assessment Program. In 2013, the percentage of Columbia Public Schools students passing the English language arts and mathematics tests varied for different racial and ethnic groups.

Graduation rates lag for low-income and limited English proficiency students

Fewer than three in 10 students with limited English proficiency graduated from Columbia’s public high schools in 2013. For students who qualified for free or reduced-price lunch, the rate was more than seven in 10.

Enrollment exceeds capacity at four Columbia elementary schools

More students are enrolled at Mill Creek, Mary Paxton Keeley, Blue Ridge and Alpha Hart Lewis elementary schools than the schools are designed to hold. Enrollment has not yet surpassed capacity at any of Columbia’s
public middle and high schools.

MAP: Woodridge Park improvements

Plans for improvements at Woodridge Park include an ADA accessible playground, a small picnic shelter, a walking trail, and a circular stone bench called a council ring.

SEC shot putters

Missouri track and field’s Jill Rushin and Kearsten Peoples are the top two qualifying shot putters in Division I. There were 10 shot putters from the Southeastern Conference that qualified for nationals. Katie Evans of Missouri also qualified. The graph shows the farthest distance for each competitor in 2014 qualifying meets.

Lester fields a ball

Missouri shortstop Josh Lester fields a ball against Vanderbilt on Friday at Taylor Stadium. Missouri lost the game 8-3.

MAP: U.S. public high schools increase graduation rate

U.S. public high schools have a graduation rate of 4 out of 5 students, according to the U.S. Education Department’s most recent statistics from 2012. Graduation rates are calculated by dividing the number of graduates in a given year by the number of students who enrolled four years earlier. Adjustments are made for transfer students. Missouri is among the top 10 states with the highest graduation rates.

DIAGRAM: Finding the infected cells

As the cells pass by the laser, the sensor records the laser’s signal strength. If the sensor records a weak signal, the cell is healthy. If the sensor records a stronger signal, it means there are melanoma cells present.

MAP: States with right-to-work laws

Right-to-work laws prohibit unions from requiring that workers join the organizations as a condition of employment. The Missouri House has approved language for a bill that would make Missouri the 25th right-to-work state, though the bill has yet to be brought to a final vote. Twenty-four states have adopted right-to-work laws, mostly between 1947 and 1960.

DIAGRAM: How anthrax infects humans

Anthrax is an infectious disease caused by a bacteria. Anthrax is not contagious, but it can quickly infect humans by varied means. Delaying treatment by only a few days can increase the chance of death. Bond Life Sciences Center has helped test a new and different way to detect anthrax. This new method only needs about five hours to get results. The traditional way usually takes one to two days.

DIAGRAM: Detecting cancer with lasers

Researchers at the Viator Lab at MU’s School of Biological Engineering are working to detect cancer cells using lasers. John Viator now works at Duquesne University, where the lab will move in May. This is the step-by-step process involved in the procedure.

MAP: Missourians voted down right-to-work amendment in 1978

Right-to-work laws prohibit paying union dues or agency fees as a condition of employment. If the Missouri legislature passes proposed legislation, it could go to voters as early as August. In 1978, 61 percent of Missourians voted against a similar amendment.

TIMELINE: Missouri meat recalls since 2010

Kraft Foods’ recent recall of nearly 96,000 pounds of hot dogs is the largest in Missouri since 2010. The U.S. Department of Agriculture issued the recall after they found the packages labeled “Oscar Mayer Classic Wieners” might actually contain “Classic Cheese Dogs.” Missouri has five active recalls of meat and poultry products, four of which were issued in 2014. Missouri had no food recalls from this category in 2011 and 2012.

MAP: Agencies to create veterans campus in Columbia

The Columbia Housing Authority, Truman Veterans Hospital and Welcome Home Inc. partnered to build a campus for veterans in Columbia. The campus, located at 2112 Business Loop 70 E., will provide 29 temporary shelter beds and other supportive services to veterans in need.

MAP: Columbia looks to revamp C-2 zoning rules

More changes might be in store for downtown Columbia. Members of the Columbia City Council are debating an interim amendment that would prohibit any homes or apartments on the first floors of buildings on parts of Ninth Street and Broadway.

MAP: Locations of Pastor Will’s churches

Sturgeon is 25 miles north of Columbia in Boone County. The town’s churches have seen a decline in attendance because of the area’s shrinking and aging population. Mike Will, 53, commutes between Riggs and Sturgeon to serve two small churches where the majority of attendees are more than 70 years old.

MAP: Bonnie View Nature Sanctuary and Scott’s Branch Trail location

The Bonnie View Nature Sanctuary and the Scott’s Branch Trail will be dedicated from 5 to 7 p.m. on Tuesday, April 22. Food and beverages will be offered, as well as children's activities and a trail walk with the Audubon Society. The University of Missouri Raptor Rehabilitation Project will also be featured at the event.

MAP: Ameren Missouri builds new pipeline to Ashland

The construction of a new 11-mile natural gas pipeline, running from Columbia to the Ashland area, began April 1. Ameren Missouri estimates the project will cost $11 million.

DIAGRAM: How does a lunar eclipse happen?

A lunar eclipse occurs only during a full moon when Earth is directly between the sun and moon. During a total lunar eclipse, the moon often has a vibrant red-orange hue. The light from the sun refracts around Earth's atmosphere into the planet's shadow, casting a reddish hue over the moon. The phenomenon is known as a "blood moon."