City of Columbia

Columbia has finally taken the number one spot in Best-Cities.org's yearly best cities list (in the "Small Cities" category). Take that, Columbus, Indiana, a city easily mistaken for Columbia in print only.

beer tap
bighamdesign / flickr

Columbia bartenders and store clerks who sell alcohol have to complete a training course and obtain certification required under a new city ordinance.

The Columbia health department is issuing new server photo IDs under the ordinance approved by the Columbia City Council last November. The measure requires every liquor store clerk, grocery store checker, bartender and waiter in Columbia to complete the online training by Jan. 1.

The city says it's issued about 400 certificates and expects many more people to take the course in the coming weeks.

Kyle Winker / KBIA

The city of Columbia has found a new way to replace damaged murals painted downtown.

In 2012, nine artists in the Columbia area painted murals on sidewalks behind storm drains.  The project was collaboration with the Roots N’ Blues Festival.  The artists chose imagery that promotes a cleaner environment and serve as reminders to viewers that what enters the storm drain systems flows directly into local creeks and streams.

But, three of those murals were damaged.  City of Columbia stormwater educator Mike Heimos says drivers and the weather were the likely causes.

Columbia adopts new neighborhood traffic plan

Nov 19, 2013
Sarah Redohl / KBIA

Columbia’s city council adopted the Neighborhood Traffic Management Program Monday.

The program allows the Public Works Department to work with residents to fix problems in their neighborhood and aims to help calm traffic on residential streets. A neighborhood can make a request to fix traffic and a study will be performed to see if the issue is of legitimate concern.

“It’s great to have some kind of uniform strategy for handling questions that come up from neighborhood residents and neighborhood leaders,” said Community Development Director Tim Teddy.

City of Columbia brainstorms low income resolutions

Nov 14, 2013
City of Columbia

In a rapidly growing city like Columbia, it can be hard for everyone to find adequate housing to meet their needs. That's why Columbia organizations are coming together -- to formulate how they can help people understand their rights and secure safe housing.

sewer materials
FaceMePLS / Flickr

Voter turnout in Columbia was low today as residents decide on a $32.3 million bond measure for the city’s sewer system.

Around noon, only about 2,400 people had voted.  Boone County Clerk Wendy Noren said she isn’t quite sure why there has been such the low turnout.

The proposal comes because the city’s need for major sewer improvements. With the bond the city would be able to complete major maintenance on the existing sewer system due to rainwater getting in the system and old pipes.

City of Columbia hosts Hinkson Clean Sweep

Oct 14, 2013
Kyle Winker / KBIA

Golf balls, beer cans, plastic bottles and caps. 

The list goes on and on.

These are just a few of the popular items volunteers removed from local streams during the City of Columbia’s annual Hinkson Clean Sweep project on Saturday.  The City of Columbia’s Stormwater Education and Outreach Program has put on the event for the past 10 years. 

Volunteers were stationed at five different local streams in Columbia, all of which flow into the Hinkson Creek. 

Ryan Famuliner / KBIA

Speaking before a crowded conference room at City Hall, Columbia Mayor Bob McDavid opened his press this morning conference bluntly.

"Columbia has too much crime," he said, as a slide behind him read the same.  "Nobody here disputes that."

Crime in Columbia has been a growing concern among residents and government officials – so much so that McDavid has come up with a six-point plan he thinks could lessen violent crime in Columbia.

Meredith Turk / KBIA

Close to 100 refugees filled Broadway Christian Church Saturday, during the Columbia World Refugee Day Festival.  The party started out slow, but picked up after someone tossed a few soccer balls onto the field in the back of Broadway Christian Church.  Within minutes, dozens of kids and young men swarm the balls, set up goals and begin to play soccer.  A few young girls guard the goal, while the rest dribble and shoot in the afternoon heat.

George Varney / KBIA

Extra patrol officers from the Columbia Police Department are scheduled to enforce fireworks ordinances from July 1 to July 5. While the police department typically has extra officers on duty around this time every year, this is the first year possession of fireworks is illegal in the city limits.

Columbia Police Department spokesperson Latisha Stroer is asking that individuals with fireworks complaints call the non-emergency number at (573) 442-6131 and not 9-1-1.

Who's behind the Columbia downtown-shooting video?

Jun 18, 2013
Robert Stinnett / Flickr

The Columbia Police Department is continuing to investigate a shooting in downtown Columbia Saturday night.  Shortly after midnight on Saturday morning, three young men were shot near the intersection of 10th Street and Broadway.  While the incident has some concerned about the safety of Columbia’s downtown area, a video of the shooting captured by a bystander has sparked a reaction from many residents.

Chris Stevens to resign in July

Apr 8, 2013
KBIA

Columbia’s Chris Stevens announced he is resigning his position as the Office of Cultural Affairs Manager at the end of July.

Stevens said he and his family are relocating to the Denver area for better opportunities. Stevens said his wife Jennifer Perlow accepted a position at Nine dot Arts, an art consulting firm in Denver. His daughter Charlie will start school at the Denver School of the Arts this fall. He said, “Because of these great opportunities, we are going to pick up from Columbia and relocate to Denver.”

Voters limit Columbia's eminent domain power

Apr 3, 2013
columbia city hall
File Photo / KBIA

Many Columbia property owners are cheering after City of Columbia Proposition One passed yesterday with nearly 70 percent of the vote. 

KBIA

If approved, Proposition One would limit the city of Columbia’s ability to designate property as blighted for the purposes of acquiring it with eminent domain. It would also prevent eminent domain from being used to transfer the ownership of property from one private owner to another. Sixth Ward Councilmember Barbara Hoppe proposed the bill. She says that it will help sooth concerns about how the blight designation and eminent domain are used. “Well I think there’s just a general public concern about the overuse and misuse of eminent domaink," she says, "particularly after the Kelo vs.

Ryan Famuliner / KBIA file photo

UPDATE: 2:00PM, March 12:

Kristofor Husted / KBIA

Columbia Snow plows have been out overnight working to clear the roads for drivers. Columbia Public Works spokesperson Steve Sapp said as of Friday morning, all first and second priority routes have one lane that is plowed and passable.

“Passable does not mean that it’s clear down to pavement," Sapp said. "Passable means that it has been plowed, and at least one lane has had the top layer of snow taken off of it.”

Columbia officials prepare for winter storm

Feb 20, 2013
Accuweather.com

Officials in Missouri are making preparations for a winter storm that’s expected to hit Columbia during the morning commute Thursday.

The National Weather Service says the storm, which already has dumped inches of snow and rain out West and across the plains states, is projected to bring at least two to four inches of snow accumulation and up to two tenths of an inch of ice in Columbia and surrounding areas.

Matt Veto / KBIA

Columbia Mayor Bob McDavid says he plans to seek re-election for a second term.

McDavid told The Columbia Daily-Tribune that he wants see through some initiatives started during his watch, including efforts to improve air service and public transit.

McDavid was elected in 2010, becoming Columbia's first new mayor since 1995, when Darwin Hindman's 15-year tenure as mayor began. McDavid was elected with 54 percent of the vote.

The deadline for candidates to file for the April elections is Jan. 8th. So far, no challengers have filed to seek the mayor's seat.

Columbia considers adding public restrooms downtown

Nov 27, 2012
Dougtone / FLICKR

Columbia’s Downtown Community Improvement District is considering adding public restrooms downtown.

There are no public restrooms downtown. Richard King is the owner of the Blue Note and Mojo’s and also a board member of the Downtown Community Improvement District. He said the addition of public restrooms might deter people from urinating on street corners or in parking garages.

“There were issues if you talk to some of the downtown folks, police officers; they made it clear that there were issues like that," King said.

Energy House
File Photo / KBIA

New housing figures for Columbia are showing that the number of homes sold so far in 2012 has already surpassed the yearly total from the year 2011. Thanks to the 117 homes sold in October, this year’s tally of sold homes has already bested that 2011 amount by more than 100. The Columbia Board of Realtors says that 1,629 homes have been sold between January and October.

trashcan
Chelsea Stuart / KBIA

The Columbia City Council voted against the heavily debated roll cart trash pilot program last night. Third Ward Council Member Gary Kespohl said the pilot program failed to show financial benefit and improved customer service.

“There has to be more justification to me to go to this system, (for example) a bigger dollar savings," Kespohl said. "I can’t see where it’s at. Either that or the public has to be overwhelmingly in favor of it. Then I’d be in favor.”

Amber Luckey / Flickr

Flip on the TV, boot up the computer or switch on the radio and you’re destined to hear about a recall of tainted food – often due to E. coli or salmonella.

Vocal opposition halts Grindstone Creek Trail project

Oct 16, 2012
Columbia Parks and Recreation

The Grindstone Creek Trail project is no more, at least temporarily. A Columbia neighborhood vocalized their opposition to the Columbia Parks and Recreation Department’s plans to build a trail alongside the Grindstone Creek. As of Oct. 1, the department planned to re-allocate the funds toward other city projects.

Jamison Judd / FLICKR

Deputy City Manager Tony St. Romaine will temporarily serve as interim director for Columbia’s Information Technology Department.

St. Romaine replaces Bob Simms, who resigned after 12 years. He’ll eventually have to find an IT Director that can handle the challenges of an expanding technology field. St. Romaine is trying to find an update to the position that had stability for more a decade.

Lee Jian Chung / KBIA

Story updated at 5:47pm Thursday, August 16, 2012

The Columbia Regional Airport will offer nonstop flights to and from Orlando, Florida, beginning November 20. Frontier Airlines will fly 138 passengers directly between the Columbia Regional Airport and the Orlando International Airport in Florida on the Airbus 319. Mayor Bob McDavid told reporters at a press conference Thursday that the new route will increase the airport’s passenger traffic by 27 percent.

Burn bans underway in central Missouri fire districts

Jun 28, 2012

Fire departments in several central Missouri cities have stopped issuing burn permits because of dry conditions and several have banned open fire burning all together. Columbia’s fire department issued a burn ban Tuesday morning. The department will not issue any burn permits and discourages any open burning such as bonfires. Officials say the low humidity and dry vegetation creates a high risk for fire.  The Stephens Lake Park and Kiwanis Park bonfire pit are closed for now.

Debate continues over Westwood Avenue trees

Apr 27, 2012
Chad Herwald / City of Columbia

A dispute about the removal of several old trees from a “leafy” Southwest Columbia neighborhood may be a step closer to a resolution.

Volunteers to help clean up Columbia

Apr 13, 2012

Columbia is receiving a cleanup this weekend as hundreds of volunteers pick up trash.

Columbia opening hazardous waste facility

Apr 6, 2012

The city of Columbia is opening a Household Hazardous Waste Facility on Saturday.

Columbia parks and rec looking to add new activities

Mar 16, 2012
Andres Rueda / Flickr

Columbia’s Parks and Recreation committee wants suggestions from residents about new outdoor and indoor activities in the city.

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