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Features

Why Columbians blog

COLUMBIA — Jeff Porter, special projects director for the Association of Health Care Journalists, is adamant that his blog, "Stroke of Faith," isn't about him. In the "About Me" section of the site, Porter writes: "The term ‘About Me' is a default setting by the free blogging Web site and difficult to change. However, as the first post states, it's really not about me."

In fact, it took Porter seven years from when he suffered his own stroke, in May 1998, to start "Stroke of Faith." For those seven years, he tried to "push the experience away to a corner of my mind." Although he said he doesn't remember it, doctors told him he nearly died that day.

 

Trees help cleanse landfill

 

1,800 cottonwood and sycamore trees were planted at the Columbia Solid Waste Division landfill last year to help soak up and cleanse toxic groundwater.

Columbians remember Christmases during the Depression

Growing up during the 1930s and 1940s, Katherine Finley, Mary Watkins and Claude Havens learned to live without some luxuries, but relished Christmastime.

Newlyweds choosing courthouse instead of chapel

The Boone County Courthouse is booked up for weddings through February 2009, with some couples booking three months in advance.

The Latin Revival

The "mother tongue" is back. With 70-strong Latin enrollment at Rock Bridge High School, consistent numbers at Hickman High School and its status as a required class at Columbia Independent School, Columbia is part of a nationwide revival of the "dead language."

Disc jockey chooses music to help with the hard times

Each week, Steve Donofrio tries to keep his radio show relevant, even when it's reflecting the current economic situation.

12 Days of Christmas

Forget the turtledoves and French hens, Missourian reporters set out to find more practical holiday events and gift possibilities for the days leading up to Christmas.

Patron of the arts promotes composition in MU music community

The originator of the Creating Original Music Project, a composition competition for MU and K-12 students, is working with the MU School of Music and others to make Columbia a center for composing and performing new music.

Columbia woman mixes love of children, nature to make toys

Chris Willow-Schomaker is the creator of mamaroots, a local business selling toys made from all-natural materials.

Exhibit celebrates Memorial Union's history

 The Transcendent Tower exhibit in the lobby of Memorial Union North aims to celebrate the history as well as the architectural significance of the Union through pictures and text.

Former Habitat for Humanity supervisor continues to help novice volunteers

Bob Shannon was in charge of Habitat for Humanity’s construction projects for six years full time. In total, he worked on about 40 to 50 houses at various locations around town. After retiring two and a half years ago, Shannon has been supervising less experienced volunteers two days a week. 

When Thanksgiving dinner takes a wrong turn

If ever an ill-timed kitchen disaster is going to strike, it's around Thanksgiving. But while cooking mishaps can be horrifying when they happen, they can turn into great memories. Here are some Thanksgiving cooking disaster tales, edited from first-person accounts.

Lifelong learning helps combat memory loss

Stimulating classes can help older adults improve their mental health, perhaps reduce the chance of getting Alzheimer's and other debilitating diseases.

Daylight Donuts to have grand opening Wednesday

The doughnut shop will be introducing new menu items at its grand opening ceremony, one month after the store officially opened.

Former KFRU director Claxton shares his stories

As Dan Claxton reflects on his years at the local news-talk station, he recalls work that has meant a lot to him as well as the bug that got him into the business in the first place.

Dinner time strengthens new marriage

A recent study conducted by David Schramm, MU Extension specialist and assistant professor of human development and family studies, revealed balancing jobs with spending time together is the number one challenge among newlywed couples.

Missouri guardsman wrestles with post-traumatic stress disorder

Donnie Hoffmann completes work as part of a VA program called Compensation Work Therapy, which offers veterans a place to sleep, the opportunity to work and the help they need to cope with post-traumatic stress disorder.

A Marine's tale of three tours

When Michael Fiscella, 27, talks about the war, he talks about the boot camp process — the building up, the tearing down. Thirteen weeks in, Fiscella said his parents noticed a change. “When they visited, they told me I talked different," he said. The entire person changes. “You don’t have to say you're better. You know it. It’s ingrained.” Fiscella's three tours of duty covered the years 2003-2006.

Columbia resident's service with Marines cut short by accident

Matt Aragon served in Iraq with the Marines. After returning to the U.S. and completing 130 days of training to become a squad leader, an accident occurred, after which he was discharged.

MU law student finds comic relief

When he’s not spending hours poring over legal precedents, third-year MU law student Brad Desnoyer is dreaming up the next big comic. His "Scared and Scarred" hit comic book stores late last month as part of the DC Universe Halloween '08 issue.

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