Columbia pawnshops conduct business much the way they do on TV

Columbia pawn brokers assist customers find items in their shops. Pawn shops have been boosted by reality TV shows "Hardcore Pawn" and "Pawn Stars."

"There are a few things I always buy new in life, like toothbrushes and mattresses, but never jewelry, electronics and guns."

Fairview Elementary teacher receives presidential award

Fairview Elementary School teacher Ragan Webb is one of 102 teachers to receive the Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching.

Transportation study shows J-turns decrease crashes

A Missouri Department of Transportation study found that J-turns significantly decrease injury accidents. But the J-turn intersections are a headache for those who are unfamiliar with them. 

Columbia charities are seeking last minute donations until Christmas

The Columbia Salvation Army is $100,000 short of its year-end goal. Other Columbia charities are also low on donations as Christmas approaches.

Boeing notifies sites no longer considered for new plant

Boeing has started to reject potential locations for their new plant. Scott Holste, a spokesman in Gov. Jay Nixon's office, had no information to release about Missouri's status.

Blistering cold to lift by Christmas Day

Although Columbia will see the coldest temperatures of the year at the beginning of the week, the weather on Christmas Day should be warmer.

Police respond to shots fired Monday in northeast Columbia

Columbia police responded to reports of shots fired at the 1500 block of Boyd Lane. Officers found four shell casings in the street.

Three armed men invade home in north Columbia

Two women and a man were robbed at gunpoint inside a house at the 1100 block of Elleta Boulevard on Sunday evening. No one was harmed.

Columbia business recognized by animal-rights organization

Beyond Meat, a company that MU researchers helped found, won People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals' 2013 Company of the Year award. 

Lawmakers pan delay of Missouri housing tax credits

The Missouri Housing Development Commission earlier this month held off on tax credits to build apartments for low-income residents shortly after lawmakers gave final approval to legislation authorizing up to $1.7 billion in tax incentives to Boeing Co. over two decades.

For Jews and Baptists, Christmas Eve has sweet significance

For the members of Congregation Beth Shalom, the annual gift of Christmas Eve treats is an expression of gratitude. For the members of First Baptist Church, it's something for which to be grateful.

Police to increase drunk-driving enforcement during holidays

The Columbia Police Department is cracking down on impaired drivers during the holiday season. The increased enforcement will last through Jan. 2, 2014.

Jane Marsh, March 4, 1927 — Dec. 23, 2013, of Columbia

Jane Marsh of Columbia died Monday, Dec. 23, 2013. She was 86 years old.

9 former Chiefs players join brain injury lawsuit

Five former players filed the initial lawsuit against the Chiefs this month, saying the team ignored decades of scientific research indicating repeated head trauma causes permanent brain damage.

GUEST COMMENTARY: In his own way, Pope Francis seeks forgiveness

The new Pope has stressed a less legalistic, rule-bound encounter with the faith, seeking always to forgive rather than to judge. In a remarkable interview with the Jesuit magazine America, he stressed that "we must always consider the person."

WHAT OTHERS SAY: Ease 'critical shortage' of mental health professionals

No licensed psychiatrist is available in 72 Missouri counties and no licensed behavioral analyst resides in 90 counties.

GUEST COMMENTARY: Don't get too eager for the end of 2013

The issues and conditions that have plagued this long year are not magically coming to an end on Jan. 1, 2014.

SHOW ME THE RECORDS: MU's Hunger Atlas assesses food insecurity in Missouri

This report provides information about food insecurity on a county and state level. Data can be used to see the effectiveness of government programs and the state of food security throughout Missouri.

FROM READERS: Local writer says weight loss helps her live fuller life

After reading Gracia Burnham's "In the Presence of My Enemies," Teresa Shields Parker realized living a healthy life is easy when you have access to healthy foods and exercise. Being spiritually fit is just as important as being physically fit.

Fixed rates are latest in college tuition plans

Tuition and fees at four-year public colleges rose 27 percent in the past five years, while those at four-year private schools went up 14 percent, according to the College Board. About 320 colleges and universities offered tuition guarantees during the 2012-13 school year.