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In the Boone County Courthouse Plaza, there is a new war memorial that recognizes veterans who served their country in the War on Terror. One veteran to be recognized in this new memorial will be Sterling William Wyatt, who was one of the many Boone County losses in the war.
MU officials expect a decline of 2,630 students in enrollment for the fall semester. They took note of various factors leading to the decline on May 11 during a budget forum. MU plans to make additional cuts in funding programs, rebrand the university image, and create new ideas to raise revenue.
The Columbia Police Department has created a LGBT liaison position to help ensure all members of the community feel comfortable contacting the police department. Officer Clint Sinclair will occupy the new position. The LGBT liaison will not only handle various cases involving the LGBT community, but will also make the department more inclusive in helping everyone in the broader Columbia community.
Columbia City Council voted to put a lodging tax issue on the Aug. 2 ballot. Should it pass, the lodging tax would increase from 4 percent to 5 percent at Columbia hotels and motels. The funds from the increase would be used to fund the new terminal project at Columbia Regional Airport. The Columbia Chamber of Commerce and some of the largest businesses in town support the increase. The Columbia Hospitality Association wrote in a press release they hope the issue will be voted down.
Visionworks Marketing Group has been awarded a 2016 Communicator Award for helping create brochures and other marketing features for the First Baptist Church of Columbia. The Communicator Award is an international awards program that recognizes companies and agencies who create big ideas in marketing and communications. The award receives over 6,000 entries each year. This year, Visionworks helped the First Baptist Church attract new members by making foldable “cross” brochures that support the church’s “Unity without Uniformity” campaign.
The Boone Hospital Board of Trustees has issued a request for proposal in regards to their future management structure. BJC HealthCare currently manages the county-owned hospital, but their lease is set to expire in the year 2020; the hospital has an option to renew the lease in 2018.
Columbia has joined the national solar energy program SolSmart, along with nearly 30 other cities and counties in the nation. SolSmart is funded by the U.S. Department of Energy SunShot Initiative and provides no-cost technical assistance to reduce obstacles to solar energy growth in all the cities and counties working with the program. Columbia will now be able to identify future opportunities in solar energy, measure solar energy use, and diversify the city’s energy portfolio. The SolSmart program announced its solar designation program on April 27.
Columbia College is starting a new Bachelor of Science program in nursing, in addition to their current online bachelor’s degree program for their students who are already registered nurses. The new program is designed to help students interested in becoming registered nurses prepare for more advanced roles in nursing management and education. The new degree program will officially start in August 2016.
The KRCG 13 team launched a new high-tech set on May 9 during a news broadcast. The new set includes a new weather center, interview area, and a new multi-screen video wall. The news station also received a new broadcasting booth to watch and control the set as the show is on air. The new set was a partnership with KRCG’s parent company, the Sinclair Broadcast Group, and the Devlin Design Group.
MU Health Care has acquired a new image-guided technology that creates a faster and more reliable way to treat peripheral artery disease, a circulatory problem involving plaque blockage that can cause gangrene. The new technology uses a catheter-based system that allows surgeons and doctors to see inside an artery and remove the blockage at the same time. Before, doctors used X-ray imaging and “touch and feel” to locate the blockage and try to remove it.