New Decade, New Coach

“In closing, this is an incredible place at an incredible time …” For one pregnant pause, Eliah Drinkwitz gathered himself at the podium. This wasn’t unfamiliar territory; after all, he’d given a speech a lot like this just 359 days earlier, to a room filled with dignitaries and pundits and dreamers like these. Perhaps the […]

50 People, Places, and Things that are So Columbia

People J’den Cox Hometown hero J’den Cox easily captured Columbia’s heart with his winning moves on the wrestling mat, first for Hickman High School and then at the University of Missouri, where he was a three-time NCAA Division I national champion and four-time All-American. But he would go on to capture much more: a bronze […]

Making a Difference

Although Columbia may be considered a small town by many, it has no shortage of people bettering the community. There are far more than 10 people making a difference in Columbia, but we chose to include the following ones because they are what one might call unsung heroes. They make a huge difference in people’s […]

Pattern of Success

A tiger cannot change its stripes — and that’s certainly true for Kelly Bryant, a former Clemson Tiger and now MU football’s senior quarterback. Bryant committed to University of Missouri on Dec. 5 and this fall will be his first season playing for the Tigers — the Missouri Tigers that is. Bryant is credited with […]

The Magic Tree Movement

There is something magical about the combination of crisp December air and twinkling lights that makes the holiday season special for many Columbians. That magic is felt when darkness falls over the Village of Cherry Hill shopping center. Thousands of tiny colored lights, wrapped around every branch of a tree, illuminate the grassy block in […]

Behind the Beard

Stephen Johnson has been playing Santa Claus during the holiday season for 25 years, but the 65-year-old says he has looked the part since he was 40. The only difference between then and now is the amount of theatrical dye necessary for him to get into character. “The last time I was clean-shaven was Oct. […]

Hurricanes to Homeless

When doctors released Joshua Williams Sr. from the hospital in December 2017 — after an almost fatal gunshot wound — he immediately started cooking. Despite orders to rest, the 30-year-old chef-owner of Papadoo’s Soul Food & BBQ says feeding people was the best way he could show gratitude to those who supported him as he […]

Man of Steel

Emmett Russell pulls on his worn gloves and slides clear plastic safety glasses over his eyes before picking out a sheet of metal and plugging in the welder. His gray “Russellbilt” sweatshirt keeps him warm as he works in the coolness of his garage. A process of flying sparks, measuring, and trial and error begins […]

Finding Beetle Bailey

Inside the University of Missouri Student Center, the walls of Mort’s in The Shack restaurant are covered in carvings. Generations of MU students and graduates have left their mark on the wood panels. The dining establishment, which opened in 2011, is inspired by The Shack, a popular campus hangout that operated on and off between […]

Plastic Pioneer

Anna Drake has lived in Columbia since the 1990s, long enough to consider herself an “honorary native.” She has always enjoyed creating art and took every class available to her throughout her school years. “Art has never not been a part of what I do,” she says. Growing up, Drake tended to complement her art […]

First Dates to 50 Years

It is difficult to think of a time more blissful than the beginning of a romance. You can’t get enough of your new love and everything seems perfect. During the initial days of dating, it is not unusual for people to amplify the good while ignoring any negative aspects. Tara Vossenkemper, a relationship therapist and […]

A Gathering Place

It was Nov. 1, 2013, and as the leaves were giving way to new shades of autumnal gold and crimson, Kelly Gilion was entering a new season in her life. On that day, her 40th birthday, she turned the key and opened the door to her new shop, Plume, a boutique brimming with handmade goods […]

Citizen Soldier

One of the victims, who had to be extricated from the car, was taken to a hospital by a Staff for Life helicopter. He sustained serious injuries and was taken by Staff for Life helicopter for treatment. Traffic came to a standstill on Highway 5, as a Staff for Life helicopter landed on the highway, […]

Damage Control

One October morning a little after 6 a.m., a yellow Mercedes-Benz weighed down with thousands of pounds of explosives drove through the five foot-high barrier of concertina wire surrounding the Beirut International Airport. This rather large facility was where the United States Multinational Force was headquartered, providing shelter to more than 350 military personnel. As […]

Transforming Lives

A small workshop in a quiet industrial district in Columbia turns beggars into business entrepreneurs. Take the case of Ernesto, a Guatemalan who contracted polio at the age of 7 and spent most of his life crawling through the streets. Mobility Worldwide provided Ernesto with a PET — a Personal Energy Transportation unit — that […]

From Farm to Finery and Fun

Photographs by Jennifer Roberts Crafting is trendy these days. Grandmas are not the only ones knitting sweaters. Yarn bombing is the new graffiti. Kids everywhere are learning to crochet cute little animals (amigurumi) and yarn comes in isles of colors. Local fiber artists Kate McKenzie and Kristin Frazier have a long history of crafting. Both […]