Visitors and locals of Callaway, Audrain, Boone, Cole, Montgomery and Osage counties have an opportunity to explore Mid-Missouri history through a historical scavenger hunt being held through Nov. 30. The scavenger hunt will highlight 21 historical sites throughout Central Missouri, including sites in Columbia, Fulton, Mexico and Jefferson City. Individuals or teams will travel to each location where they will take a selfie and learn more about these significant locations for each county selected.
Locations featured in the hunt include:
Arthur Simmons Stable, a national landmark in Audrain County
The Big Bur Oak Tree that's stood for nearly 400 years in Boone County
Fulton State Hospital, the first public mental institution west of the Mississippi River, in Callaway County
The Soldier's Memorial at Lincoln University in Cole County
Missouri Department of Conservation hunters will be equipped with more than just firearms and ammunition this hunting season.
The department will be using hunters it has on staff to collect nasal, blood and lymph node samples from white-tailed deer they shoot this hunting season.
The samples will go toward learning about COVID-19 in the state's deer population.
Following a United States Department of Agriculture study completed in August, the Missouri Department of Conservation is in the early stages of planning to assess COVID-19 exposure in the state's white-tail deer population.
The USDA study, which tested for SARS-CoV-2 antibodies in white-tailed deer in Illinois, Michigan, New York and Pennsylvania, showed certain deer populations had been exposed to COVID-19.
"We have looked at this issue as an agency and determined that we think it's important to take a look at Missouri's deer with some sampling in our own state," said Jasmine Batten, wildlife health program supervisor at MDC.
Samantha Bevell has spent most of her life in Callaway County with her family. After growing up in Mokane, she earned her undergradate degree in special education at Missouri State. While there, she met her husband, Max Bevell. After moving to St. Louis to be with Max, she worked for the Special School District of St. Louis County. She received a master's degree in autism and now works as a behavior analyst. Last December, the Bevells decided to move back to Callaway County to Holts Summit. Samantha works at an autism clinic in Columbia, where she is able to serve surrounding communities.
What was your first job?
When I was in high school, I was interning at the Fulton Sun. I was a reporter student when I was a junior in high school. I really liked it, it was fun.
Who inspires you the most?
Probably both of my parents, Jennifer and Chad Booher. They're really hard-working people. My dad, he does a lot of work with the City of Mokane. And then my mom works with teenagers around the country in juvenile detention centers, and she coaches the people that work with them on how to be compassionate and work with children who have trauma. Both of them are really inspirational to me.
The relentless toll of the pandemic has worsened the ongoing nursing shortage at St. Louis area hospitals.
Over the past decade, the nation's nursing shortage has been growing but now with the number of nurses leaving the profession during the pandemic, it's turning into a crisis, nurses and hospital administrators said to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
Turnover became heavy last fall and winter during the surge of COVID-19 patients. Now after so many people refused to get vaccinated against the coronavirus, the number of hospitalizations has surged again with the spread of the highly contagious delta variant of the virus.
Mercy is losing about 160 nurses a month out of the 8,500 working in the Chesterfield-based system's hospitals and clinics across Missouri, Arkansas, Kansas and Oklahoma, said Betty Jo Rocchio, Mercy's chief nursing officer. Filling the openings with new hires or travelers is becoming increasingly difficult, especially in rural areas.
Barri Bumgarner is an associate professor in the Department of Education and the education department chair at Westminster College.
She started at Westminster in 2013, where she has been teaching reading and writing education courses as well as teacher preparation courses focusing on the exceptional individual and literature for children and youth.
In 2014, Bumgarner began teaching a digital literacy course that gets current students to embrace the 1:1 movement in order to better prepare them for the schools in which they will teach. Bumgarner spearheaded the Westminster Advisory Technology Team that led to the campus to going 1:1 with iPads and Apple pencils. She is also the coordinator for Digital Blue, which continues to oversee the program and conduct professional development for faculty and staff to teach with the devices.
"Its' been a huge impact on this campus," Bumgarner said. "I love that anybody can do anything, but it's been really cool to share that journey with my students. You have to know how to balance technology, you need to know when to put up your phone and when to unplug, but you also have to know, especially when you're teaching, reading this technology gives children access to every book on the planet."
Extra federal support will help offset the cost of Missouri's Medicaid expansion.
Missouri is set to receive an estimated $968 million in additional federal funding after expanding Medicaid to an additional 275,000 people, the U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services announced Monday.
The $968 million comes from the American Rescue Plan, which was signed into law by President Joe Biden in March.
It's an added bonus of 5 percent to the Federal Medical Assistance Percentage — the match the U.S. government pays to states to cover costs associated with Medicaid expansion — for two years after implementation.
Under the Affordable Care Act, the federal government matches 90 percent of the state's Medicaid costs and the state pays the remaining 10 percent.
In his budget recommendations, Gov. Mike Parson priced the expansion at $1.9 billion — $130 million could come from Missouri's general revenue, $1.65 billion from the U.S. treasury and the rest from taxes on medical providers.
October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month.
To bring awareness about it to Westminster's campus, Every Blue Jay Grant Project Director Bettina Korte-Sweede has helped decorate the campus to encourage students to celebrate, inform them and become aware of the resources around them.
This year's theme is "Mourn. Celebrate. Connect." The idea behind the theme is to mourn those who have died because of domestic violence, celebrate those who have survived and connect with those who work to end violence.
Purple tulle ribbons have been hung on most street light poles and signs around campus and down Westminster Avenue within proximity of campus. In addition to the tulle, signs with supportive statements and a call to action are also on display as well as additional information regarding healthy relationships, the cycle of violence, power and control wheel, and resources available, which can be found in the dining hall entrance and the snack bar areas on campus.
Hundreds of students at a suburban Kansas City high school walked out of class this week over allegations of LGBTQ students facing repeated harassment and bullying.
The walkout happened Monday at Lee's Summit High School after some students said administrators there have done nothing to protect bullied students, even after receiving repeated reports of the bullying, the Kansas City Star reported.
The mother of one student told the Star her daughter was punched in the face last week by a boy after confronting him in a school hallway about harassing and bullying her gay friend. The mother, Melanie Davies, said the incident led to a fight between bullying students and the students allegedly being bullied.
"No teachers were around," Davies said. "Students broke it up."
For some, hunger is a desire for more than food. It can also be a desire for community.
Since its founding in 2008, the Holts Summit Soup Kitchen has fed both for countless people.
Without any requirements or paperwork, anyone can receive free meals at the soup kitchen on Tuesdays and Thursdays at the Civic Center, 282 Greenway Drive in Holts Summit.
The Holts Summit Soup Kitchen wasn't the first of its kind to feed people in Callaway County. Before bringing the idea to Holts Summit, Helen Manson and her husband, Donald, volunteered at the Fulton Soup Kitchen. Donald helped start the Fulton Soup Kitchen in the 1990s.
To bring the idea to Holts Summit, Helen kicked off the foundation for the soup kitchen by hosting a now-annual "Soup-er Bowl" fundraiser on Super Bowl weekend at St. Andrew Catholic Church, which is the only fundraiser for the soup kitchen.
From there, the soup kitchen started serving 11-13 people in the Lions Club. However, they quickly realized the Lions Club couldn't always accommodate them.
"Their place was always so busy with the good stuff they do," Helen said.
Helen worked with the city of Holts Summit to secure use of the Civic Center. The move allowed them to serve more people and expand operation from weekly to twice a week.
MU Health Care is hosting a drive-thru flu shot event 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Sunday at Fulton Family Health, 2613 Fairway Drive, Suite C.
"We did a drive-thru clinic last year late in October, and it was really successful," Dr. Laura Morris said. "We had about 260 vaccinations given in a two hour clinic last year, and we have a lot more experience operationally at MU Health Care now after doing drive-thru testing the last year and a half. So it's something that we know works pretty well, and we wanted to bring that out to Callaway County."
The drive-thru event is for anyone six months and older. Those interested should bring a mask and wear it when interacting with staff members. They are asking for those who wish to participate to wear loose, short-sleeve shirts, and those with young children should consider putting them in shorts since flu shots are administered in the thigh.
The field of urban, or city, planning covers all aspects of a city, including housing, economic development, infrastructure, land use, environmental policy and transportation. And a lot goes into planning a well-functioning city. For example, a simple decision to plant trees along streets can increase property value, decrease air pollution, cool streets and sidewalks and decrease rainwater run-off. Many cities now are finding innovative ways to improve the lives of their citizens.
Eugene, Oregon is a good example of a city that is environmentally focused in its planning. They have a public power grid that draws 80 percent of its energy from renewable hydroelectric sources. Here, at home in Columbia, we have a number of examples of amenities that were the result of thoughtful city planning. Our parks, playgrounds, pools, splashgrounds, parking structures, farmers' markets, bike and walking trails such as the Katy Trail (our own former railroad tracks), public art, public transit, several hospitals, the public library, schools and grocery stores were all the result of urban planning.
In New York City, rather than tear down an old set of elevated railroad tracks, the city leaders decided to turn the tracks into a walkable stretch of urban gardening, known as the High Line. You can learn more about it in "Gardens of the High Line: Elevating the Nature of Modern Landscapes," (Timber Press, 2017) by Piet Oudolf. It has become a popular oasis in the city, which also boasts Central Park, a fine example of city planning for green space. Central Park offers New Yorkers a place to relax, enjoy nature and get some exercise. To learn more about city planning in America, watch the PBS special, "10 That Changed America," (PBS Distribution, 2016), available on DVD at the library.
Missouri's fire service will hold two memorial services this weekend at the Fire Fighters Memorial of Missouri in Kingdom City to honor the state's fallen firefighters.
At 8 p.m. Saturday, a candlelight vigil will be held for all Missouri firefighters who have died while serving their communities.
At 10:30 a.m. Sunday, the names of eight Missouri firefighters who died in the line of duty will be added to the monument wall commemorating Missouri firefighters who made the ultimate sacrifice while serving their fellow Missourians.
The ceremony will recognize six firefighters who died in 2020, one who died in 2019 and one who died in 1971. Other Missouri firefighters who died will also be remembered during the ceremonies.
The memorial is located one block northwest of the Interstate 70 and U.S. 54 intersection. In case of inclement weather, events will be moved to Auxvasse Elementary School, 650 E. Harrison St., in Auxvasse.