Good morning readers!

Graduation festivities have concluded at MU and one family shared a particularly special moment during the School of Medicine ceremony on Saturday. Natalie Kukulka was hooded by her father during the event. Typically faculty members do the honor.

Peter Kukulka, a physician in Poland, was never able to practice in the United States because of differences in licensing regulations. But, at his daughter's request, he was allowed to participate in the School of Medicine graduation. 

“It’s the least I could do from my standpoint,” Natalie Kukulka said. “It’s a way for me to honor him and honor his medical degree.”

The Monday Briefing newsletter goes on hiatus until mid-August. We hope you'll subscribe to our Daily Headlines newsletter to keep up with news around Columbia during the summer. 

In case you missed it:

Session recap: The Missouri General Assembly closed out its annual session Friday with some major legislation, such as a near-total ban on abortion, financial incentives for keeping companies like General Motors in the state and legislation that would make it harder to file a class action lawsuit. But those gains for Republicans came with some resistance from within their own party. Lawmakers had passed 92 bills by the end of day Friday, significantly fewer than a typical session. 

Columbia Farmers Market update: The market is back at Clary-Shy Park off Ash Street for Tuesday and Thursday hours starting this week. “They’re both new markets that we haven’t offered before,” Corrina Smith, the marketing director, said. “It’s also really exciting because we finally get to use the park, even if we’re not under the roof.”

A new pavilion for the market should open in early June. As part of the community agriculture park project, the permanent pavilion for the market aims to increase the community's access to fresh, locally grown food while also supporting farmers, providing education and strengthening the community's connection to agriculture. Market hours start at 10 a.m. Tuesday and run through 1 p.m. Thursday hours are from 3-6 p.m. 

Three-sport star: Tolton athlete Sophia Elfrink says she is in no rush to decide which sport she wants to pursue past high school, nor is she ready to stake a position on the soccer team. She played both goalie and forward — and scored 15 goals —  in the 2019 season, which ended Monday. But Elfrink is ready for whatever comes next. Subscribe to our daily Sports update for more. 

Lazer Lanes relocation: The current location for Lazer Lanes, at Grindstone and Highway 63,  may soon host a hotel, restaurants and retail stores. Plans for the demolition of the bowling alley could make way for new business on that 12-acres. Lazer Lanes will close Sept. 8 and reopen in November in the space previously occupied by MC Sports at the Columbia Mall.  

Around CoMo this week:

Monday: City Council Meeting, 7 p.m. Council Chamber, 701 E. Broadway.  

Tuesday: MKT Secret Access Trail Ride, 6:30 p.m. at Flat Branch Park playground. This 10-mile trip gets cyclists acquainted with the MKT Trail. Helmets are required; lights are recommended. Call Parks and Recreation at 573-874-7460 to register.

Wednesday: Friends of the Columbia Public Library Lobby Book Sale from noon to 3 p.m.; 100 W. Broadway. 

Friday: "There are No Rules," is an evening of long-form improv performance on stage at The Warehouse Theater, 104 Willis Ave. on the Stephens College campus. The event starts at 7:30 p.m. The show is free. For information, email

Laura Johnston is member of the Missourian's  Interactive Copy Editing staff and an associate professor at the Missouri School of Journalism.

  • News editor at the interactive copy desk and an associate professor at the Missouri School of Journalism.

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