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Briefly in the News: March

Briefly in the News: March

Lucky break

A Jan. 15 bacon-cutting ceremony celebrated the arrival of Columbia’s newest natural grocery, Lucky’s Market.

The store features a variety of organic, specialty and gluten-free items, local produce and fresh meats, including deli offerings and in-house cured and smoked bacon.

The Columbia store, located at 111 S. Providence Road, is the first Missouri location and fourth store overall for the Boulder-based company. Additional locations in Billings, Mont., and Louisville, Ky., are also scheduled to open in 2014.

Lucky’s Market was started in 2003 when chefs Trish and Bo Sharon bought a convenience store in Boulder, Colo., with the vision of creating a grocery store for food-lovers.

 

White House recognition

President Barack Obama selected University of Missouri officials to attend a Jan. 16 higher education summit of more than 100 colleges, universities and nonprofit groups. MU was selected based on its commitment to helping low-income students attend and succeed at college.

The summit highlighted MU’s Missouri College Advising Corps program, which helps students during the college application process by pairing recent MU graduates with 26 Missouri high schools that have high percentages of first-generation college students, low-income students or students at risk of not attending college.

Deputy Chancellor Mike Middleton represented MU at the summit.
Art nouveau

PS Gallery is featuring work by St. Louis artists Edward Kinsella and Brian Smith and Columbia artists Scott McMahon and Joel Sager in its late winter 2014 exhibit.

The exhibit runs through March 22 and is sponsored by Woodruff Sweitzer.

Throughout March, the PS Gallery Hallery will host a juried art exhibit in tandem with the 2014 Mizzou Life Sciences Symposium. The exhibit theme is “decipher.”

 

Human rights honor

The Columbia Human Rights Commission was recognized as Missouri’s Local Human Rights Commission of the Year for 2013 by the Missouri Commission on Human Rights.

The commission, which is made up of seven volunteer members and a city attorney, worked in 2013 on a new local fair-housing website and service animal awareness. It also received partnership initiative funds from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to put on a free fair-housing symposium and worked on a number of diversity education events.

Founded in 1974, the HRC has enforced antidiscrimination ordinances, including 1992’s ordinance against sexual orientation discrimination and a 2011 ordinance against gender identity discrimination.

 

Award-winning

Visionworks Marketing Group received eight awards for its communication and graphic design work in 2013.

The awards include two international Silver Davey Awards, one for its Manor Roofing & Restoration multimedia work and another for the Missouri Symphony Society’s 2012 Hot Summer Nights Festival campaign.

The group also won a Platinum Marcom Award from the Association of Marketing and Communication Professionals for its 2013 festival campaign.

Other honors included nods from Graphic Design USA and the International Academy of Visual Arts for a book cover design, a website, a poster campaign and the 2012 Hot Summer Nights Festival campaign.

 

64 beds

Boone Hospital Center opened 64 new private patient rooms in January. The expansion came as part of a $10.7 million renovation of two floors.

The renovated floors house the hospital’s Medical Specialties Unit and Orthopaedic Specialties: Joint Replacement Unit and were reconstructed in a similar style to the hospital’s 2011 south tower expansion.

Thirty-two of the rooms come as part of the hospital’s new Stewart Cancer Center, a $5.9 million inpatient oncology unit that is a collaboration between the hospital and Virginia and Norm Stewart.

 

New rankings

Columbia College’s online bachelor’s degree programs, master’s degree in teaching and MBA programs were recognized in U.S. News & World Report’s third edition of Top Online Education Programs.

The college cracked the top 100 in three categories. It was ranked No. 69 in best online bachelor’s program, No. 90 in best online graduate education programs and No. 95 in best online graduate business programs.

In the same rankings, William Woods University ranked No. 141 in the online bachelor’s category, which put it at seventh overall in Missouri.

Recognition was based on teaching practices and student engagement, faculty credentials and training and student services and technology.

 

Rural medicine

MU’s School of Medicine is expanding a program that trains physicians to practice in rural Missouri.

The Bryant Scholars grants undergraduate students who graduated from rural high schools and attend certain Missouri colleges and universities pre-admission to the School of Medicine.

The program is expanding to allow eligible students from Missouri Western State University, Wlliam Jewell College, Missouri Southern State University, Westminster College, Northwest Missouri State University, University of Missouri-St. Louis and University of Missouri-Kansas City to apply to the program.

Students who meet certain academic standards, participate in required activities and show ongoing professional conduct can be pre-admitted to the medical school at MU.

Drury University, Missouri State University, Missouri University of Science and Technology, Southeast Missouri State University, Truman State University and MU already allow students to apply to the program.

 

Best banks

UMB Financial was ranked No. 16 on Forbes’ 2014 list of best banks.

Forbes bases the list on asset quality, capital adequacy and profitability of the largest banks. UMB banks totaled $16 billion in total assets, a 9.4 percent return on average equity, 0.5 percent on nonperforming loans/total loans, 244 reserves/nonperforming loans, 12.9 percent on tier-one ratio and 8.3 percent on leverage ratio.

This year, Forbes changed the selection methods by adding revenue growth for the past 12 months. This data was taken from Reuters’ FactSet Research System.

 

Under construction

The Boone County Commission announced Architects Design Group as the firm responsible for designing the county’s new 911 call center. Mission Critical Partners, a public safety consulting firm, was hired to manage the project.

The architects and consultants met with the public in January to discuss the project’s goals and timelines. Construction for the project is being funded by a 3/8-cent sales tax voters approved in April 2013. The tax went into effect in October.

 

Continuing education

The Columbia Area Career Center received federal grant funding to offer a free health care maintenance program in conjunction with Linn State Technical College. The program, which aims to enroll adults who are unemployed, underemployed, low-skill or in trade adjustment assistance programs, is funded by MOHealthWINS, a grant program that trains and prepares Missourians for health care industry jobs.

 

Choo choo

After changing ownership in November 2013, the Columbia Star Dinner Train unveiled a new schedule and services for 2014.

New plans include expanding and enhancing the dinner train and Sunday brunch train schedules, offering entertainment and lunch trains and adding new children’s entertainment trains.

The company, which came to Columbia in 2011 and operates a route from Columbia to Centralia and back, anticipates handling 75,000 passengers a year within two years. The trains run on Columbia’s COLT rail lines, according to City Council documents.

An early proposal for a new tax-increment financing district in downtown Columbia includes plans for a new Columbia Star Dinner Train depot downtown. The train currently boards at 6501 N. Brown Station Road.

Train Travel Inc., Columbia Star’s parent company based in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., has been in the entertainment railroad business since 1984.

 

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