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MU Athletics announces beer and wine sales at Memorial Stadium
 Sarah Everett  / 

Football fans will be able to buy beer and wine this football season at Memorial Stadium starting Sept. 7 at the home-opener against West Virginia.

The stadium’s concession vendor, Levy, will be allowed to sell alcohol in accordance with the SEC’s newly adopted regulations.

MU joins LSU, Texas A&M, Texas, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Texas Tech, TCU, Illinois, Purdue, Rutgers, Kansas, Colorado, Ohio State and West Virginia and others, which are all allowed to sell alcohol in public places.

According to a news release from Mizzou Athletics, all beverages must be served in a cup, and no more than two drinks can be sold per transaction. Fans still can’t bring in outside beverages. The sale of alcoholic beverages will end during the third quarter in football, as directed by SEC policy.

Not all concession stands within the stadium will sell alcohol.

At the 2019 SEC Spring Meetings, SEC presidents and chancellors voted to allow campuses the authority to make decisions about sales of beer and wine in public areas at athletic events. It marked a change in a policy that has existed since the 1970s.

MU’s decision was made in response to fan feedback, and Mizzou Athletics plans to prioritize safety and responsibility, according to the news release.

The draft policy was developed with the MU Wellness Center and MUPD and was presented to the Chancellor’s Staff and Deans’ Council, the executive committee of Faculty Council, Staff Council, campus student leaders and the Intercollegiate Athletics Committee. The draft policy was also reviewed by the UM System President’s office, the Office of General Counsel and Office of Risk Management.

According to the news release, the new policy received wide support.

Levy employees will complete a State of Missouri Alcohol Responsibility Training classes that covers spotting fake IDs and recognizing acceptable IDs, awareness of signs of intoxication and how to handle intoxicated customers.

Stadium personnel and law enforcement will monitor fan behavior and eject, arrest, or refuse sale to customers when necessary.

“As part of this move, fans can also expect an increase in game-day messaging and education with regard to responsible consumption and sober driving, as part of our partnership with the campus Wellness Center,” Director of Athletics Jim Sterk said.

MU student Junie Haux is excited. Last year, she was in Marching Mizzou, but this year, she’ll be able to partake in drinking before, after and during games if she wants.

“Now that I’m not with the band anymore, l’m sure I’ll have some drinks, and it’ll be fun,” Haux said.

Supervising editor is Katherine Reed.

Grandview Baptist Church celebrating its 150th anniversary
 Quinn Malloy  / 

No matter the era, the fact remains: When you worship at a country church, you’re likely to share space with all of God’s creatures.

Late in the summer of 1871, Grandview Baptist Church’s first pastor, Geo. D. Tolle, called his congregation to worship at an old mill shed in Callaway County. The church was founded in December of 1869 but hadn’t yet found the money and time to build a permanent sanctuary.

Elder Tolle, as he’s referred to in John Henry Berry’s 1904 detailing of the history of Grandview Baptist’s early years, set out several empty barrels and boxes on the floor of the mill shed to serve as seating.

One congregant, Brother Norris, approached the mill shed on horseback. When asked by the pastor to dismount, he replied: “No, I will not. I am from Charlottesville, Virginia, and I will not worship my God on boxes and barrels among rats and mice.”

More than 100 years later, on a winter evening in 1979, a Grandview minister was delivering a sermon when a young boy named Jeffrey Jones noticed something rustling in a light fixture in the ceiling. Larry Jones, Jeffrey’s father and a present-day deacon at the church, remembers what followed: “Sure enough, everyone looked up, and there in the light was a mouse running around. Needless to say the mouse received more attention than the minister for a few minutes.”

Grandview Baptist Church or the Lighthouse on the Prairie, as it’s been lovingly nicknamed, is celebrating its 150th anniversary with several special events throughout the year.

The church is sponsoring and hosting the Murray Community Quilt & Tractor show Sept. 21, a homecoming service Oct. 20 and a Christmas Eve mass Dec. 24 that will recognize both the Christmas holiday and also the calendar-date anniversary of the church’s founding.

It was on Christmas Day that the church was founded by a group of 27 pioneers and farmers from three states on a plot of land called the Two-Mile Prairie.

The Transcontinental Railroad had been completed just one month earlier, and Missouri was still part of the hard-scrabble frontier.

After another Callaway Country church, Mt. Moriah, was unable to sustain itself and shut its doors in 1871, Grandview became home to the entirety of its Kentucky-born congregation.

Grandview Baptist would continue over the decades to build upon a base of loyal churchgoers.

Many of today’s congregants can trace their connection with the church back several generations.

Jones, who has been sharing historical vignettes every Sunday this year as part of the sesquicentennial celebration, said his grandfather was among those who built the church’s modern-day sanctuary in 1922 (The original sanctuary, which was completed in 1879, burned down in a fire).

Don Combs, who serves as the church’s pastor, credited the church’s longevity to a robust sense of community.

“I think down through the years, our folk have found a community there. It’s a place where they belong,” Combs said.

“There’s a sense of stability to it, even if your own personal life is spinning out of control. There’s a stability you can find being among God’s people in a local church.”

Before coming to Grandview, Combs spent more than a decade working as an evangelical missionary in several post-Soviet countries, including Belarus, Kazakhstan and Russia. He and his wife learned Russian and would often walk through villages with a backpack full of Bibles hoping to share the gospel. Combs called their excursions “prayer walks.”

“I didn’t go there to rescue anybody,” he said. “We just came alongside them and encouraged them to go out and share God’s love with others.”

Combs brought lessons from that experience and his missionary sensibilities with him to Grandview, where he has advocated for a number of evangelical programs through the years.

Several members of the congregation have traveled to rodeos around Missouri and set up tents to share information about the Christian lifestyle with passersby.

The church also participates in Operation Christmas Child, a nationwide Southern Baptist program that sends shoeboxes full of gifts to children all over the world.

Last year, Grandview sent out 1,800 boxes, and 2,100 the year before that, Combs said.

“We see ourselves as a lighthouse, shining the light of our savior to those around us and as far as we can,” Combs said.

On a recent Sunday, about half of Grandview’s 75 or so congregants gathered for the 11 a.m. service.

People greeted one another warmly, and the interim-pastor, Phil Dooley, had to call out more than once to quiet the flock and begin his sermon.

From behind the lectern and among the pews he shared a story about wealth and responsibility — Matthew 25:14-30, the “Parable of the Bags of Gold.”

When the service was over, people chatted a bit more and slowly made their way to their cars.

In the midst of Grandview’s 150th year, Combs said he feels grateful to be surrounded by a community of people so dedicated to their faith.

“We’re not all like-minded, but we are all like-hearted,” Combs said. “Christ is the center of our lives; it’s what pulls us together and it’s why we are able to work together for a better future.”

Supervising editor is Katherine Reed.

hjtr43 / Hillary Tan 

Boone Dawdle volunteer Phoenix Ribiat, 12, resets the Giant Kerplunk game Saturday at Jay Dix Station. “It’s really fun to play, but takes a lot of time to reset,” Ribiat said.

dpch6 / Di Pan/Missourian  

Battle football players Trevonne Hicks, left, and Carter Henry lock arms before a game against Jackson on Sept. 21 at Battle High School.

University of Missouri researchers already growing hemp

Researchers with the University of Missouri are getting a head start on growing hemp in in order to collect information to help farmers who plan to grow the state’s newest cash crop in the spring.

It has been illegal to grow hemp across the U.S. and in Missouri because it is a type of cannabis without high levels of THC — the chemical that gives people a high. In recent years, federal and state governments have loosened those restrictions. This year, Missouri lawmakers dropped a pilot program that allowed hemp farming only on 10- to 50-acre plots. A law that pass this year contains no acreage restrictions but requires growers to be licensed by the state Agriculture Department, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported.

The law allowed universities to begin growing the plant immediately to collect useful data on the new crop for farmers, but otherwise takes effect on Aug. 28. The University of Missouri has research plots at seven centers across the state.

“When you’re starting a brand new crop — you know, we haven’t grown this for 100 years — so when you start a brand new crop, we don’t know the basics about it,” said Tim Reinbott, assistant director of the University of Missouri’s Agricultural Experiment Station. “Getting a chance, this head start, that we can grow it and feel it and touch it and learn something about it before next year when farmers get to grow it in Missouri — that’s huge.”

Reinbott said St. Louis-based Tiger Fiber LLC is sponsoring the study. The company provided seeds and is monitoring THC levels to ensure they don’t exceed the legal limit of .3% THC.

The hemp grown through the experiment will be destroyed.

Tom Raffety, who farms corn and soybeans near Charleston in southeast Missouri, is president of the Missouri Hemp Producers Association.

He said he’s heard “horror stories” from farmers in other states who paid for bad seeds.

“There’s only so much information you can find on the internet, and much of it’s wrong,” he said. “Hopefully the university research will really give some guidance to growers moving forward.”

Topics being studied include what row spacing works best, how the crop grows in different regions of the state, how tolerant the plant is to drought, how much watering is necessary, and weed control.

Perryville Republican Rep. Rick Francis sponsored this year’s hemp law and said he thought hemp, which is used in thousands of products, could be an economic development tool in rural parts of the state.

The challenge after next year’s growing season will be connecting growers to buyers, he said.

“That’s one of the keys,” he said, adding that working groups are already trying to solve marketplace problems.

Spirit of unity dominates grand opening of Center for Missouri Studies
 LeanneTM  / 

Every year, Aug. 10 marks the anniversary of Missouri’s entrance into the Union. This year, as noted by the society’s executive director Gary Kremer, the date bore even more significance, as it marked a transformational moment for the State Historical Society of Missouri and for residents hoping to learn more about the state.

“This is the first time in our history that we will occupy a building specifically designed and built for the State Historical Society in Missouri,” Kremer said. “That is a really good feeling.”

agl5f5 / Amanda Lee 

Gary Kremer, executive director of the State Historical Society of Missouri, receives a governor's proclamation Saturday in Peace Park. The proclamation stated that August 10th will be celebrated in Columbia as the Center for Missouri Studies Day. "We can promise you something we never could before," said Kremer. "Parking!"

Kremer was one of several who spoke before a crowd gathered Saturday morning for the grand opening of the Center for Missouri Studies, the new home for the historical society. Current and former elected officials, MU representatives and many from the public came together to celebrate and tour the new building, which was under construction for over two years.

Many on hand, including Lt. Gov. Mike Kehoe, mentioned the bipartisan work necessary to make the building a reality.

“It is not something that happens overnight,” he said. “It takes a long, long time and a lot of peoples’ efforts to get behind it.”

Sen. Caleb Rowden, R-Columbia, talked about the center as an example of what the future can look like if all sides work together.

“We didn’t care about partisanship, we didn’t care about where it was, we just knew that this was something that needed to happen and we worked together to do it,” Rowden said.

agl5f5 / Amanda Lee 

Senator Christopher S. Bond gives a commencement speech Saturday in Peace Park. Bond is a sixth generation Missourian and spoke of the large donation raised by school children to keep Bingham artwork in Missouri.

After the ribbon-cutting ceremony, many from the crowd moved indoors. Live music from The Third Switch, a mid-Missouri band, greeted attendees who eagerly explored the new facility.

The society’s previous location was the basement of Ellis Library. Susan Flader, an MU professor emerita of history, recalled bringing her students to the society’s former location every semester. She said she hopes the new location will draw more people to study Missouri’s history.

Rep. Kip Kendrick, D-Columbia, said he was first exposed to the State Historical Society of Missouri while doing a research project as a student at MU. He said his appreciation for the society’s holdings only grew as a legislator.

Columbia resident Jeff Harris, who served as policy director for former Gov. Jay Nixon, helped the project secure funding in the state budget. Harris noted the project enjoyed bipartisan support, echoing the sentiment expressed by many others in attendance.

agl5f5 / Amanda Lee 

Bob Priddy, president of the Missouri Historical Society's Board of Trustees, boasts ceremonial scissors before the ribbon cutting for the Historical Society of Missouri's new building Saturday downtown. The building will house historical artifacts including photographs, documents and newspapers. It has the ability to hold 30,000 linear feet of papers, said Gary Kremer, executive director.

As a sixth-generation Missourian, Harris said he is incredibly moved by what the new building means for the state.

The building design was inspired by the idea of confluence, reflecting Missouri’s importance as the meeting point of two of the country’s greatest rivers, the Missouri and Mississippi, according to a news release from the society. At 76,700 square feet, the building provides nearly 49,000 square feet more space than the Ellis Library facility.

The society’s collections include hundreds of thousands of artifacts and holdings, including oral histories, photographs, rare books, manuscript collections, Civil War manuscript pages, newspapers and maps.

The center also houses an auditorium, which will accommodate lectures, films and other large public events; a gallery to display some of the society’s art collections; classrooms and meeting rooms; an expanded research center; and facilities for preserving and studying Missouri’s history.

In addition to its Columbia location, the historical society has research centers in Cape Girardeau, Kansas City, Rolla, St. Louis and Springfield, and draws researchers from all over the world, according to its website.

Supervising editor is Tom Coulter.

Historical moment approaches

The grand opening and dedication of the Center for Missouri Studies is scheduled for Aug. 10, exactly 198 years after Missouri became a state.