Special Sections

Local housing industry shows signs of bouncing back

Home sales in 2012 were the highest since 2007, and those in the housing industry say Columbia has reached a place of steady, healthy growth.

Columbia hospitals expand in recent years

MU Health Care, Boone Hospital Center and Truman Veterans Hospital have spent about $347.5 million on new parking garages, technology, lobbies, exteriors and towers.

MU faces big decisions with budget crunch ahead

An expected decline in enrollment growth, plus the limitations of space on campus, could limit the stream of tuition that has counterbalanced shrinking state funds.

Columbia Public Schools still playing catch-up with growth spurt

From 2003 to 2013, the district grew from 16,447 students to 17,722 students. The largest growth period occurred from 2004 to 2007.

City efforts on solar energy put Columbia on the map

A partnership between the city and a private firm to install solar arrays at the city-owned COLT Railroad facility has led to the largest solar site in Missouri. The rooftop installation is also the largest in the eight contiguous states.

Along with new wells, city plans to step up water conservation

Water and Light and H2O'C engineers hope to convince residents that water is not an infinite resource and teach easy ways to conserve water and save money.

EBOOK: Douglass classmates' lives are intertwined with Columbia's history

Their experiences tell a story of how race and community in Columbia have — and haven't — changed over time.


Missouri joined the Southeastern Conference and moved to a new neighborhood. Join us for a road trip.

In Aggieland, traditions run deep

Traditions both on and off campus run deep in College Station and neighboring town of Bryan.

In Knoxville, a mix of new and old

Downtown has been the focus of an aggressive redevelopment campaign since 2000, and there has been a significant increase in the number of people visiting downtown in the last 10 years.

Identity of Columbia, S.C., complicated but changing

There are still traces of the old South here, but attitudes are shifting and memories are fading.

Tradition of Alabama football helps Tuscaloosa overcome tornado tragedy

In April 2011, the most destructive tornado ever to hit Alabama swept through Tuscaloosa, killing 53 people. But the university's football program has given hope to residents that a normal life, even in the aftermath of a tragedy, is possible.

Lexington is horse, basketball country

University of Kentucky's Big Blue Nation keeps Rupp Arena filled. The average attendance of men's basketball games is the highest in Division I.

Gator football common ground in diverse Gainesville

Gainesville is a diverse city, both racially and culturally. It's a mix of Bible Belt, alternative rock, visual artists and fraternity row. Weaving its way through each of those circles — whether they like it or not — is Florida Gator football.

In Auburn, the university and city form tight community

Residents of "The Loveliest Village on the Plains" are as supportive of the university as the students.

Music, football at the heart of Athens

Athens residents describe it as a cultural oasis – a high concentration of artists, bands and diverse bars in the middle of rural Georgia. Sometimes its vibrant music scene and the SEC football culture live in harmony, sometimes not.

Vanderbilt teeters between Southern charm and bright lights of Music City

At Vanderbilt, it's hard for students to leave the "Vander Bubble" because everything they need is within walking distance.

In Starkville, boring is in the eye of the beholder

Is Starkville, Miss., the hometown of Mississippi State, really the most boring SEC city? Only if you don't like shooting rifles out of car windows.

At LSU, everything is purple

Baton Rouge is a city in a balancing act — caught between the business-driven state capital and the student culture of four universities, one of which happens to be the current SEC football champion.

In Oxford, weekends mean football, Faulkner

A weekend in Oxford, Mississippi means a combination of football and William Faulkner.