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Features

City to farm: The Dougherty family

On the phone, Debbie Dougherty reassures her father she will pick up the medicine for the animals on the way home.

Not the type of academic conversation one would expect for such a well-regarded MU professor of communications.

Debbie and her husband, Tom Clark, are academics, but they are also farmers. They live in Williamsburg, approximately 31 miles from farmhouse porch to her office door in Switzler Hall.

Farm to city: The Renwick family

The black sky met the 16 acres of land the Renwicks owned in Hillsboro, 45 miles south of St. Louis.

From her bathroom window, Annette Renwick could no longer see the two horses, five sheep and 11 chickens the family had acquired during the past 16 years.

The next day, the family was leaving for good. They were moving to Columbia.

The Renwick family sold their animals, left the in-ground swimming pool and the home they had built upon 16 acres of land to move from the farm to the city — a place where people live closer together, sit in traffic and wait in long lines at grocery stores at 6 p.m. on weeknights.

Farm to city; City to farm

Both traded what they knew for something new.

Internet transforms gardening

The invention and universal acceptance of the Internet has transformed gardening, and for the better.

Guitar Hero allows youths to shred like rock stars

The widely popular video game Guitar Hero has spurred tournaments, been featured on TV and given many the chance to feel what it’s like to be a rock star. But for guitar players, the game has a slightly different draw.

St. Patrick’s Day self-defense

Use these strategies to protect yourself from people who pinch you for not wearing green.

It’s almost show time for the Missouri Theatre

The old Missouri Theatre stirs as restorations and renovations progress.

State park's missing layers of history

The land at Rock Bridge Memorial State Park is rich with layers of cultural history. Park staff are digging into the past to find clues about the area, and they hope community members can help them in preserving the park’s heritage.

Social networking site transforms the dating scene

Facebook allows users to indicate if they are single, dating, in an open relationship, engaged, married or “complicated.” Anne Meyer, a psychologist at the MU Counseling Center, sees both benefits and drawbacks in this rapidly evolving form of friendship and intimacy.

Seen this week: Running hot and cold

MU senior Lindsey White teeters on the edge of the ice melting into Hinkson Creek at Stephens Lake Park in Columbia on Saturday.

For love of the trains

Church opens doors for Christmas celebration with international flavor

On Sunday, American and international families gathered at the International Community Church to sing carols in different languages, enjoy exotic food, watch a movie about the origin of Christmas and celebrate homeland traditions.

The Facebook way of life

The social networking site has become a big part of how college students keep in touch, waste time and have fun. But more important, perhaps, it has also developed into a powerful platform for them to broadcast — or shape — their personas.

Seeing Life

How to create your own edible ornaments

These easy crafts will bring birds to your backyard. Enjoy their company while they enjoy your generosity.

Spill it: A conversation with Santa Claus

Santa Claus says his favorite part of the holiday season is choosing the right gifts for everyone.

Famous failures

Even the most successful people have failed at some point in their lives.

Belief in Brief: Hanukkah

Hanukkah, which began Dec. 4 and runs through Dec. 12, is different from its neighbors on the December holiday calendar.

Christmas tree farm grows traditions

Breathe in the fresh pine air, grab a saw and take a tour of the Log Providence Pines Christmas tree farm. Dean Fitzgerald and his wife, Diane, serve up hot cider and family traditions along with acres of trees. For some people, it wouldn't be Christmas without a fresh-cut tree.

The struggling circus

On Circus Day, time stood still. Banks and schoolhouses shut their doors, and unpaved Main streets were clogged with folks from down the block and across the county.

Children stood alongside businessmen as everyone strained to hear the air calliope, also known as a steam organ, and squinted to see the first cart of the horse-drawn spectacle: the circus parade.

As cart after cart passed through the throngs, people who might never have ventured more than a few miles from where they were born stared tigers, monkeys and elephants straight in the eyes.

"Back then, it was an annual event," said circus clown Joey Kelly of St. Louis. "You saved up for it. When circuses came to town, a lot of businesses shut down, so you could make a day of it."

Janet Davis, associate professor of American studies at the University of Texas at Austin and author of "The Circus Age," said the circus was the biggest thing going at the turn of the century.

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