Local business owner Thom Baker seeks to leave Columbia a gift when he retires. Tucked away in his equipment-lain home office, Thom Baker of...
Official enrollment figures for the 2016–2017 school year show an increase of 489 students from opening day numbers, including increases in undergraduates and minority students. The official total for fall enrollment at MU is 33,266 — higher than some MU officials expected, but still lower than last year’s enrollment of 35,050. The 2016–2017 retention rate increased to 85.7 percent, the third highest in MU history. The average ACT score for the class of 2020 remained at 26, tying a university record.
Global First Responder, a nonprofit volunteer relief organization in Columbia, sent a relief team to Haiti the week of October 22 through 28 to help in the recovery effort after Hurricane Matthew struck the country earlier that month. The team was directed by Adam Beckett, who led the medical effort, and Matt Ford, who led the reconstruction effort. The team, after assessing the needs of the community, sent a larger group to the region in late November. GFR also coordinated pledges of financial support from community members for construction and medical materials.
After a nearly year-long search process, the UM System Board of Curators named Dr. Mun Y. Choi as the system’s 24th president. Choi has been the provost at the University of Connecticut for four years. He will officially replace interim President Mike Middleton on March 1.
StorageMart, an international storage company headquartered in Columbia, added 15 stores in southeast England as part of their acquisition of Big Box Storage Centre. The acquisitions are the beginning of the company’s push to expand throughout Europe. StorageMart already operates 172 locations throughout the U.S. and Canada.
The Columbia Center for Urban Agriculture, on behalf of the Friends of the Farm Partnership, was awarded $29,000 as part of the USDA’s Local Food Promotion Program. Friends of the Farm is made up of the CCUA, the Columbia Farmers Market, Sustainable Farms and Communities, and Columbia Parks and Recreation. With these funds, a commercial or community kitchen will be added to Clary-Shy Park. Local public and private partners are hoping to convert the former fairgrounds into a sustainable food hub with demonstration gardens, an outdoor classroom, a community kitchen, office space, a multipurpose building, and a shelter for various community events.
Boone County has joined the White House’s Data-Driven Justice Initiative, a program that supports city, county, and state efforts to lower the number of low-level offenders with mental illnesses in jail. The DDJ’s goal is to divert minor offenders out of the criminal system and to change the pre-trial incarceration process to prevent detainees from staying in jail because they can’t afford bond. The Columbia Police Department is participating in the White House’s Police Data Initiative, which supports the efforts of local law enforcement in leveraging data to increase transparency and accountability within the community.
The 57th annual Boone County Art Show, co-sponsored by Central Bank of Boone County and the Columbia Art League, took place on October 14. The event showcased 200 works, and artists won 29 awards in 11 categories. Categories included professional and non-professional painting and drawing, ceramics, and sculpture. First, second, and third places were awarded for most categories. The show was judged by Mario Carlos, a professor of art at St. Louis Community College, and works were displayed for the public on October 15 and 16.
Commerce Bank and the Boone County Historical Society offered two $1,000 scholarships to eighth graders in Boone County for a second year as part of the second annual Boone County Stables Tour, a fundraiser for the historical society. Students wrote research-based essays and narratives about an aspect of Boone County’s history.