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Columbia residents find a community in Paquin Tower

“The longer you stay here, you’ve seen a lot of things happening,” Bishop says. “You’ve seen people that shoot themselves, bring guns in here just shooting themselves in the head. ... You’ve seen it all, so it’s like nothing makes any difference to you anymore.”

Photography by Lauren Richey


Can you spell nectarivorous? This spelling bee-winning 13-year-old can


Fifty students from mid-Missouri competed in the Regional Scripps National Spelling Bee on Tuesday.


They spelled word after word, which started with "bagel" and got increasingly difficult as the competition wore on.


Photography by Meiying Wu

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Experience, data drive calls for change in traffic stop approach

In April 2016, less than one month after buying his new BMW, community activist Mar’kiez Smith was sitting in the backseat of a police car for doing nothing illegal at all.

Graphic by Elena K. Cruz and Gabriela Velasquez

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Coronavirus ramps up truck driver shortage

Driver Joe Baker sat at the helm of a 10-wheeled, 80,000-pound truck chugging along under a vast, clear sky. His cargo: recycled glass from a manufacturer outside St. Paul, Minnesota. His destination: Muscatine, Iowa.

Photography by Julia Hansen

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'Stand with us' — Columbia rallies in largest local protest since Floyd death

People chanted in voices that rose and fell and rose again. Together, they highlighted the injustices Black people face in society and in front of police officers, as well as the change needed to prevent future harm.

Photography by Elena K. Cruz

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Local band blends backgrounds to create cheerful, skillful jazz

When Columbia band Loose Loose takes the stage, the mood brightens. The musicians, the audience, the guest artists — they bob their heads and grin.

Photography by Elena K. Cruz

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Workers can be fired for denying the COVID-19 vaccine

The at-will law’s history dates back well before the coronavirus existed. It originated over 200 years ago.

“Really, it’s a holdover back from the Industrial Revolution before labor unions existed and the most powerful lobbyists were businesses,” McNairy said.

Photography by Julia Hansen

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Family to restore dad's truck after his death from COVID-19

A 200-year-old house, a farm, silver barns and barrels of hay. This is the home Tom Adams left behind. His pickup truck is still parked in the driveway.

Photography by Julia Hansen

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Demand up across the region for live Christmas trees

If a white pine tree fell in Pea Ridge Forest, chances are someone would be around to hear it.

Photography by Julia Hansen

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Immigrants learn English, build community, join 'el barrio' through ECC class

When Antonio Ceballos moved from Mexico to Washington four years ago, he joined a community that prides itself on legacy. Neighborhoods, or "barrios," are filled with people who can trace their family lineage through generations of Franklin County citizenship. The title of “local” is given with honor and is only offered with time.

Photography by Julia Hansen

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Hotels lament: Too much room at the inn

Decades of experience could not have prepared the hotel industry for what 2020 was to bring. They could not have prepared Alexander, Patel nor the two-thirds of all hotels nationwide that will close in six months without the government's assistance.

Photography by Julia Hansen

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Living on the cusp: Daily life in a pandemic

The society I’ve anticipated joining in full force now has revealed itself to be unsupportive. The governmental systems meant to uphold me are struggling. The health care configuration is wavering, a recession has begun, and I’m meant to join this new realm with a youthful determination. I am terrified.

Photography by Elena K. Cruz

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Life lessons: Music teacher pursues rhythms of mentorship

It was a normal Monday night. Warden perched in his usual spot, played with his usual band, King Daddy and the Boogie Children, and in the crowd, as usual, was blues mogul Albert King. He’d hang out with the band during its break.

Photography by Hunter Dyke

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Family business: Sibling playwrights share Columbia theater calendar

In 1980, 255 people lived in Nerstrand, Minn., according to the United States Census Bureau. Four of those members were part of the Braaten family — which was soon to welcome a new member, the now-Elizabeth Braaten Palmieri.

Photography by Anastasia Pottinger

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