Bursting at the seams

Maxine Nelson has taught in the Columbia Public School District for 29 years, 19 of those at West Junior High School. Two of those years at West have been spent in a trailer just outside of the school’s main building.

Preparation for presentation

Terry Reese has toured the country with her best friend Missy, participating in contests and making new friends.

A room for one

In keeping with a national trend, Boone Hospital Center is on its way to replacing semiprivate rooms with all-private ones.

What is a Bright?

They are but a small minority, making up less than 5 percent of the U.S. population. And until recently, they have kept a low profile. For good reason: People who do not believe in God are the most distrusted group in the country and are viewed by many as a threat to the American way of life.

Shall we dance?

Wearing a choker made of black ribbon, a stud in her nose and a lipstick-red corset over a black short-sleeved shirt, Apryl Smathers strutted into the Spanish Fly Dance Club a little before 7:30 on a Thursday evening. She wore black, strappy shoes with just a bit of heel showing underneath charcoal-gray suit pants with light gray pinstripes, and she’s here to teach people to dance.

BOONE LIFE: A congregation, a family

Sally Erickson holds a large red Bible close to her heart while she closes her eyes in prayer.

Group calls to reopen Gaines case

Lloyd Gaines went missing in 1939, not long after the U.S. Supreme Court ordered MU to admit him to the university’s law school.

Women's basketball coach Cindy Stein is always full of charisma

They came to see her and to talk about basketball.

Will less smoke make Columbia more heart-healthy?

Helena, Mont., was several years ahead of Columbia when its lawmakers outlawed smoking in most public places.

Delivery options

When Susan Renoe was expecting her first child, she knew that she wanted to have an out-of-hospital birth. So she looked into the phone book and found the Whole Health Family Birth Center, the predecessor to Columbia Community Birth Center.

Denied: Wiccans and the military

The night wind pushes Don Larsen’s green robe against his lanky frame.

First Presbyterian looks to renovate church

The First Presbyterian Church in downtown Columbia is hoping to raise $4.5 million for a renovation project that will expand its fellowship space and improve accessibility.

True/False Film Festival marches into Columbia

Elanor Leskew of the Mucca Pazza marching band plays the trombone during the March March parade in Columbia yesterday.

BOONE LIFE: Mikaela's menagerie

He’s a blind, toothless, albino runt that eats Gerber baby food because of his condition. If he were human, he might be shuf-fling along, stirring the gravel with his shoes along the fence at recess. For now, his name is Alby. But if he gets sold, that may change.

Charity fashion show offers up key trends for upcoming season

The feel was New York, but the setting was Columbia -- and from the appearance of Saturday night’s Model Citizen Fashion Show in the Executive Center of the Holiday Inn Select, young women are going to have many chic options for the spring season. The event raised $150,000 for the MU Thompson Center for Autism and Neurodevelopmental Disorders and was hosted by School of Journalism alumna Jann Carl of "Entertainment Tonight."

City Council OKs interchange project

Several prominent Columbia businessmen were all smiles Monday night after the City Council moved to go ahead with the Gans Road interchange project.

BOONE LIFE: Frozen assets

The digital thermometer on the wall of Monroe’s Fast Lube and Car Wash in Centralia hovers at 25 degrees.

Early guidance

Jeff and Rebecca Reno often spend evenings on the floor with their children, Bennett, 4, and Cooper, 18 months. It’s the time after dinner and before Jeff reports to his night shift at FedEx, the time when the family can unwind a bit.

BOONE LIFE: Helena's odyssey

As Liberian refugees, the Glay family spent 13 years in Ivory Coast refugee camps waiting for an opportunity to come to America. When the time came to leave, they couldn’t track down their daughter Helena, who had left the camp two years earlier to earn money for the family.

BOONE LIFE: Hands under the hood

An anxious voice trickles through the two-way radio mounted on the wall next to an organized toolbox.