BrieflyInTheNews-WaterandLight-Ecofriendly-CBTWater and Light Shines Bright for Students

Columbia Water and Light won an award from the Midwest Energy Efficiency Alliance for educating more than 4,200 Columbia students about energy efficient practices. Every year, the MEEA gives the Inspiring Energy Efficiency Award to an organization that promotes energy efficiency in the Midwest. Columbia Water and Light was recognized for its creativity in asking students to create advertisements and art promoting energy-conscious ways of living.

Columbia Cost of Living

In 2015, the cost of living in Columbia was 4.7 percent below the national average, according to the ACCRA Cost of Living Index. Columbia’s composite index figure was 95.3, which means $100 worth of goods purchased in an average American city would only cost $95.30 in Columbia. Health care and utilities in Columbia matched up with the average, balanced by low costs of housing and transportation.

New DMV Branch

On March 2, the Department of Revenue announced that a second license office will open in Columbia. The location has not yet been announced. The new office will relieve Columbia’s current DMV branch of traffic, as the current office has the highest amount of transactions in Missouri. O’Fallon-based Elle Management LLC will manage the new facility. That company was chosen by the Department of Revenue after a competitive bidding process.

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CIS Raises Funds

Columbia Independent Schools donated four cows, two water buffalo, four goats, two llamas, two sheep, one alpaca, one pig, barn fowl and honeybees to families in need — just by reading. CIS won Heifer International’s Make a Difference Award through the Read to Feed program, in which students get sponsors to donate funds for every page the student reads. The students raised $4,610 by reading, and their gift was matched, totaling a $9,220 donation. Heifer International sends livestock and agricultural animals to families in developing areas.

UM Credit Outlook Lowered

Credit rating agency Standard & Poor’s downgraded its outlook on the UM System from stable to negative. The credit rating itself is generally lowered following a lowered outlook. If the outlook is lowered, then the UM credit rating would go from AA+ to AA. In a report, S&P analysts said changes in senior management and campus events including protests may affect enrollment, which could “pressure the rating.”

Cardio-Oncology Clinic Opens

MU Health Care opened a cardio-oncology clinic at the Ellis Fischel Cancer Center, the first of its kind in central Missouri. The new clinic will provide care to patients with heart and cancer-related health problems. Dr. Rachel Littrell, a cardiologist, is the head of the center. She says treating cardiovascular disease is becoming more important as survival rates for many cancers increase. The clinic is open from 8 a.m. to noon every Thursday.

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Black Men Rock Awards

Columbia College and nonprofit Youth Empowerment Zone hosted the third annual Black Men Rock awards ceremony to celebrate the accomplishments of seven African-American men in Columbia. The event, held Feb. 6 at Columbia College, is organized by YEZ to show young people role models from their own community. Kavita Moss, operations director at YEZ, says people with mentors are more likely to succeed because they can learn practical information about reaching their goals. YEZ collected nominations from the community in December. Clyde Ruffin, first ward city councilman, received the Man of Faith Award, and Lloyd Henry, State Farm insurance agent, won the Entrepreneur Award.

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