Columbia residents are only beginning to think about Thanksgiving turkeys, but local retailers are already getting ready for the Christmas shopping rush.
Holiday sales are expected to increase 5.7 percent this year to $217.4 billion, which would represent the largest increase since 1999, according to the National Retail Federation. Despite the high expectations, however, many local retailers say they’re doing nothing different from last year.
Mike Shipp no longer worries about sand creeping into the pockets of his white doctor’s coat, but evidence of his recent military service in the Middle East — a splash of freckles across his nose — remains.
A physician’s assistant in University Hospital’s emergency room, Shipp is also a captain in Missouri’s Army National Guard. From December 2002 to early June 2003, he served in Qatar with the 205th Area Support Medical Company of Kansas City. While he said it was difficult to leave his family for Operation Enduring Freedom, he didn’t worry about leaving his job.
Last summer, Debbie Sheals embarked on an ambitious task. Going from one address to another, she researched the architectural history of almost every building in Columbia’s Special Business District.
The result is a richly detailed report that could eventually put several dozen downtown buildings on the list of America’s most important cultural resources — the National Register of Historic Places.
Seven buildings in a single block in downtown Columbia could soon be added to the National Register of Historic Places.
The buildings, known collectively as the “North Ninth Street Historic District,” will be considered this month by the Missouri Advisory Council on Historic Preservation for nomination to the register, a listing of the nation’s historic and archaeological resources.
Wearing a white suit, fake moustache and glasses, the hunched man wobbled into the gymnasium.
“Do you know who our special guest is?” Principal Mary Sue Gibson asked the students of Robert E. Lee Expressive Arts Elementary School on Friday morning.
Wayne Penney will be the first to acknowledge that he doesn’t quite look like somebody who would manage a store like Sunshine Daydream Imports.
The former military man, with short brown hair and a brown mustache, owns what he calls a “hippie store” in downtown Columbia; Sunshine Daydream Imports at 812 E. Broadway.
The number of Missourians who had no health insurance in 2002 rose to almost 650,000, many of whom lacked coverage because they also lacked a job.
But more and more, even Missourians who are working are likely to be without health insurance.
A rose by any other name may smell as sweet, but a bong may still be illegal, regardless of its contents.
Recent sting operations by the Department of Justice, under the direction of U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft, have targeted regional retail shops in Pennsylvania and Iowa along with manufacturers and national distributors in California and elsewhere for the sale of drug paraphernalia. Although targeted largely at online retailers, the enforcement and prosecution of federal drug paraphernalia law in those cases — code-named Operation Pipe Dreams and Operation Headhunter — are cause for concern for local shops selling “smoking accessories.”
I would doubt that it came as a surprise to anyone that a study commissioned by Gerber Products Co. found that a lot of American infants were pigging out on candy, pizza and a mega-smorgasbord of sugary, salty, fat fast–foods instead of mother’s milk and baby formula. Parenting has changed so much over the last few decades that the fact that infants are being fed like adults is probably just the tip of the iceberg.
A scant 30 years ago, new mothers remained in the hospital for at least three days following the birthing experience. At least they had breathing time to recuperate from the experience before they had to assume the responsibility of caring for the baby. If they had to return to work, there was usually a family member, neighbor or friend to look after the infant.
JEFFERSON CITY — The announcement of the $16.4 billion merger between managed care providers Anthem Inc. and WellPoint Health Networks Inc. last week comes at a time when the Missouri Chamber of Commerce says businesses throughout the state are concerned about rising premiums and the availability of health insurance plan alternatives.
“It’s one of the highest priorities our employers have right now — especially the small businesses, which make up most of our membership,” said Missouri Chamber of Commerce spokeswoman Karen Buschmann.
Thirteen-month-old Colin Chaney died Thursday after being admitted to an area hospital Tuesday for treatment of injuries consistent with shaken baby syndrome, officials say.
JEFFERSON CITY — The lawyer whose efforts led to the largest tax increase in Missouri history sits behind stacks of paper, organized in a way that only he understands. He is serious, reserved, rehearsed. He is unknown to most Missourians, yet few people have had more impact on education in Missouri.
Alex Bartlett is getting his ducks in a row to once again contest the constitutionality of education funding in Missouri.
JEFFERSON CITY — Not all Missouri school districts have rallied around the idea of suing the state for not fully funding public education. School officials from the wealthiest districts in Missouri fear that a successful suit could leave their districts hurting for funds.
Some superintendents of so-called “hold-harmless” school districts have cautioned their boards of education not to join in the suit.
Members of the Stephens College community gathered Friday in Searcy Hall to grieve and remember their friend and fellow student, Melissa Howland.
Howland, 18, was killed in a car crash at 4:40 p.m. Thursday on Route WW just east of Columbia’s city limits. Howland was a freshman majoring in English at Stephens. Friends said that because she was a member of a close-knit living-learning community in Searcy Hall, her death had a major impact on people she’d known for only a few months.
As it winds down, this season has been unlike any other in the 23 years since the Columbia Farmers Market opened shop in an open-air pole barn on the old fairgrounds at Ash Street and Clinkscales Road.
In the spring, disagreement over the size, cost and management of a project to build a permanent market prompted numerous growers, some of whom have been with the market since its inception, to set up shop at a separate market in a parking lot on Business Loop 70. The number of vendors at the new Boone County Farmers Market rivaled or surpassed those at the Columbia Farmers Market. Both sites are filled with individual tents.
If you want to avoid clots of fired-up gadflies and long, coiling lines at polling places Tuesday, stop in anytime between 6 a.m. and 7 p.m.
County Clerk Wendy Noren is predicting fewer residents will turn out to vote than it takes to fill one-sixth of MU’s Memorial Stadium.
JEFFERSON CITY — Boone County is considering joining more than 200 other Missouri school districts set to challenge the state’s kindergarten through 12 funding system. While none of the county’s six school districts have come to a decision, the issue is before most school boards across the county.
Thomas Baugh, Hallsville superintendent, supports the planned suit. “The amount of per-pupil funding given to kids in the richest and poorest districts in the state are not even close, and getting worse,” Baugh said.
Steve Lehmkuhle, UM system’s vice president of academic affairs, is one of eight people the University of South Florida in Tampa is considering for its new provost.
Lehmkuhle was selected from a pool of almost 70 applicants who responded to an advertisement in the Chronicle for Higher Education, said Stuart Silverman, chairman of the Provost Search Committee at USF. The committee reviewed the applications and narrowed its search to eight candidates, he said.
I hate doing repetitive things like folding laundry or doing dishes. It’s not the part where I place the dishes or the dirty clothes into the machine that washes them that I hate. I loathe having to remove the items to either be folded or put back in the cupboard. What’s the use? Once I get everything put away, it’s time to use them again. These mundane tasks take time away from the projects I’m dying to start but never seem to get to.
I’m not a craft person. I’ve never stenciled a wall or appliquéd a sweatshirt — I leave those “fun” undertakings to my daughters-in-law. But there are a few projects that I’ve kept waiting in the wings.
FRANKENSTEIN — To an outsider, little is frightening about this mid-Missouri hamlet that shares its name with the gothic novel. These villagers are more prone to know one another’s names than to rise up against a monster.
And the residents of the area say they like their close-knit community.