Author Archives: rosiedowney

Smithton and Rothwell Heights covered in holiday cheer

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By ROSELLEN DOWNEY
NEIGHBORHOODS@ColumbiaMissourian.com

A selection of photos of the Smithton and Rothwell Heights neighborhoods covered in snow and holiday cheer.

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Filed under Columbia-Boone County, Smithton—Rothwell Heights

Survival in Canada’s Yukon Territory

By ROSELLEN DOWNEY

NEIGHBORHOODS@ColumbiaMissourian.com

This month the Evangelical Free Church will host an event with guest speaker Dr. Stuart Nelson, Jr. This past summer Nelson survived 23 days alone in the Canadian wilderness without supplies before being rescued by a group of explorers. He will tell his story on Dec. 19 at 4:30 p.m. in the church’s small sanctuary. The 3M/Ambassadors are sponsoring the event and will serve cake and ice cream following the program. All interested parties are encouraged to attend.

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Filed under Columbia-Boone County, Smithton—Rothwell Heights

New session of “Threaded Hearts” quilting group

By ROSELLEN DOWNEY

NEIGHBORHOODS@ColumbiaMissourian.com

The Threaded Hearts quilting group at the Evangelical Free Church is gearing up for a new session. Their winter semester kicks off on Jan. 11 with a potluck in the church’s basement. New members will have the opportunity to learn how to make an applique project and a baby quilt. All interested ladies should contact Brenda Winkelmeyer at 443-5556.

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Filed under Smithton—Rothwell Heights

Columbia Public Schools upcoming employment fair

By ROSELLEN DOWNEY

NEIGHBORHOODS@ColumbiaMissourian.com

Columbia Public Schools is having an employment fair on Saturday, Feb. 5. This fair will be at Smithton Middle School on West Worley Street between 9 and 11 a.m.

People who would like to apply for positions as teachers, administrators, counselors, media specialists, support staff office personnel, paraprofessionals, LPN’s and nurses should call 214-3422 to make an appointment for a screening interview. Those who are interested in being substitute teachers, working in nutrition services, custodians, working in specialized maintenance, technology assistants, playground supervisors and coaches should attend the employment fair and bring a current resume.

Applications, open positions and additional information can be found on the district’s human resources website.

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Filed under Bearfield—Grindstone, Benton-Stephens, Blue Ridge—Oakland, Cherry Hill—Stonecrest—Fairview, College Park—West Boulevard, Columbia College, Columbia-Boone County, Douglass Park, Downtown Columbia, East Campus, Old Southwest, Parkade, Rock Bridge—Green Meadows—Bedford Walk—Cedar Lake, Schools, Smithton—Rothwell Heights, Stephens College, University of Missouri, Woodridge—Shepard

Columbia Public Schools’ surveys measure need for social media

BY ROSELLEN DOWNEY

NEIGHBORHOODS@ColumbiaMissourian.com

“We don’t currently do social media,” said Michelle Baumstark, communications coordinator for Columbia Public Schools.

Columbia Public Schools used a phone survey conducted by Kansas-based Patron Insight in addition to online community and staff surveys.

The Columbia School Board approved the cost of the 400-person phone survey, which was not to exceed $14,000, several months ago. Baumstark said the cost is associated with how many calls Patron Insight needs to make to complete the surveys.

The online portion of the survey features the same 26 questions included in the phone survey. These questions measure each respondent’s interest in Columbia Public Schools Television, the district’s newsletter and a possible district Facebook page and Twitter feed.

This survey is a part of Columbia Public Schools’ five-year Comprehensive School Improvement Plan. According to Baumstark, the survey looks at how the district communicates with those who live within its boundaries. She said the results of the survey may help them decide if social media are something they should embrace and utilize at the district level.

“I think it’s a very helpful process in building a stronger school district,” said Michele Clark, communications coordinator for the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.

Baumstark said the district plans to conduct a similar study each year for the next few years as part of the Comprehensive School Improvement Plan.

The survey closed at 5 p.m. Friday. The results will be tallied and presented to the Columbia School Board at a yet-to-be-determined date.

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Filed under Bearfield—Grindstone, Benton-Stephens, Blue Ridge—Oakland, Cherry Hill—Stonecrest—Fairview, College Park—West Boulevard, Columbia College, Columbia-Boone County, Douglass Park, Downtown Columbia, East Campus, Old Southwest, Parkade, Rock Bridge—Green Meadows—Bedford Walk—Cedar Lake, Schools, Smithton—Rothwell Heights, Stephens College, University of Missouri, Woodridge—Shepard

STRIPES to take winter break

By ROSELLEN DOWNEY

neigborhoods@ColumbiaMissourian.com

Saturday night will mark the final time the STRIPES safe-ride program will be in operation this semester. Starting Dec. 5, calls and messages left at the program’s facility will not be returned, according to a news release from the program.

STRIPES will resume providing rides toward the beginning of the spring semester in late January. This fall it gave 9,000 safe rides to members of the MU community, according to the news release. It is within 5,000 of its milestone goal of 100,000 safe-rides.

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Filed under Columbia College, Columbia-Boone County, Downtown Columbia, East Campus, Stephens College, University of Missouri

Local holiday tree gets new home

BY ROSELLEN DOWNEY

NEIGHBORHOODS@ColumbiaMissourian.com

COLUMBIA — As usual, Columbia’s Magic Tree made its debut in time for Thanksgiving Day viewing, covered in thousands of twinkling lights. But it has found a new home.

For the past 15 years the Magic Tree, a tree covered in holiday lights, was located at the home of its creator, Randy Fletcher. Fletcher lives at 303 Hickman Drive. People flocked to the tree each year, which caused some traffic problems in the area.

“The road was just getting completely jammed with people,” Fletcher said. The lights on the tree were also adding about $300 to his electricity bill each month they were on. Continue reading

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