Five homes burglarized in northeast Columbia

Monday, December 13, 2010 | 12:20 p.m. CST; updated 5:27 p.m. CST, Monday, December 13, 2010

COLUMBIA — Residents reported five burglaries in the northeast part of Columbia between Friday, Dec. 3, and Sunday, Dec. 12.

Electronics, televisions and antique coins were stolen from homes on Risen Star Court, Pinecrest Drive, Fowler Drive, Millay Drive and Woodland Drive, according to a news release from the Columbia Police Department.

Read more…

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Bell ringer gives back to community


Some shoppers acknowledge her, others pass by her. Some return her greeting with a smile, while others make rude remarks.

Regardless of the reactions, Salvation Army bell ringer Nicole Vaughn of Columbia goes back to the West Broadway Hy-Vee day after day to spend two to five hours volunteering.

“I just want to give back,” Vaughn said. “I feel God’s been blessing me through a lot of problems.”

Read more…

Interviewing Nicole was a very interesting experience. It was really touching and also sad. I thought it was going to be a story about a nice lady who has way too much free time on her hands and wants to do something she feels good about. Also, I had no idea that being a bell ringer was such a hard job. When Nicole was telling me how rude people were with her and shared some of the remarks people threw at her (some are pretty racist), my heart just sank.

My story turned out very differently than I had expected. And I’m glad. I have definitely learned from it and my attidute has changed. I hope this article will remind people that we’re all the same: we all want to be loved.

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Holiday Fire Prevention Guide


While holiday ornaments might seem like a harmless part of the holiday season, the National Fire Prevention Association and the U.S. Fire Administration urges residents to be careful when decorating homes.

The following tips help ensure safety and create enjoyable holiday season:

1. Christmas Tree:

  • Christmas trees can be fire hazard if they are too dry, so make sure the tree is freshly cut

Read more…

This article came about after I went to a fire in my neighborhood. I heard fire engines going down on West Broadway, so I decided to check out what was going on. When I got the house, the owner and her children were outside, so I went and talked to her. Turns out she was burning an artificial firelog in her fireplace, and the smoke got into the heating system instead of leaving the fireplace.

Even though, this didn’t turn into a story, I thought it’d be important to write something about how to be safe during the holidays.

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Article: Rezoning for office at West Broadway intersection approved

Monday, November 1, 2010 | 11:55 p.m. CDT

COLUMBIA — Widel Realty Company LLC has three years to move forward with its plans to build an office building on the southwest corner of West Broadway and Stadium Boulevard.

This was my first real City Council story. I think the fact that I got to go to a City Council meeting was more interesting than the story itself. Honestly, I had to sit through about one and a half hours of discussion until they got to item I was covering. They passed that without any discussion or anything. I was prepared to take notes, but there was nothing to write down. They just okay’d that plans and moved on.

Anyways, as I said, now at least I know how these meetings work. One thing that I was freaking out about was how I was going to get the names of the council members and who was talking. Well, to my surprise, I realized that the names are displayed on the screens as the people are talking. That’s good to know.

Also, I never realized how much stuff is actually online about the city council agenda. I should take my time to go through these issues and see what applies to my neighborhood. And this is where continuity in the newsroom comes into play (which happens to be my research area for the class). It would be so much easier if we had a binder about ongoing city council issues… I wish the previous reported had told me about the planned construction. I felt that I was thrust into this story that I should have known about!!

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Article: Intoxicated man hit while jaywalking

The driver and the pedestrian involved in the accident talk to Officer Lindsey Mueller, while the University Hospital Ambulance leaves the scene.


The driver of a black Ford Taurus struck a man as he was running across West Broadway on Sunday.

Alcohol + Halloween + Red light = Trouble

As we were (desperately) walking around our neighborhood at Halloween, we heard police sirens. I bookmarked the 911 dispatch on my iPhone, so I checked what was going on (I always do this). I saw that there was an injury accident in our neighborhood, pretty close to where we were (I figured this out with the map function on my phone). I called in the newsroom to see if they’d heard anything. Abby said she didn’t know what was going on, but we were welcome to check it out. So we went.

It turns out, a guys was crossing West Broadway even though the light was red. It wasn’t big breaking news or anything, but I’m glad we decided to check it out because it was good practice. It taught me a little bit about finding out what’s going on instantly and then covering it on the fly. I think oftentimes I don’t realize that news don’t wait for me. If I see something interesting, I have to drop everything and check it out. This applies to my neighborhood. Sometimes, I see something interesting, but I’m too busy to stop and check it out. I should do that more often.

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Slideshow: A Smithton-Rockwell Horror Show

Watch the Halloween slideshow.

While I thought that going out and handing out those flyers with candy would be quite creepy, I have to say, it ended up being fun. I told parents it’s for the Missourian blog, so some of them didn’t let us take pictures, but for the most part, they were nice and let us photograph their kids. Rosie and I went out at 4 p.m. We saw a big crowd going to Hy-Vee, so we just followed them. Turns out, Hy-Vee had an event where the kids were photographed and they also gave out candy. We spent about half an hour there, but then decided to walk around out neighborhood.

Now, I don’t know if it’s just our timing, but we literally didn’t see people on the streets! We took the picture of one family who was trick-or-treating, but other than them, we didn’t see anyone. It was weird.

So, around 5:30 p.m., we decided to check out the Trunk or Treat at the Trinity Lutheran Church. Success. There were a bunch of people there, so the majority of our pictures came from that event. Now the only problem was that it was getting dark, so the pictures came out dark.

Anyways, I’ve learned that families (especially with young kids) tend to prefer going to events rather than going out to the streets. I wish I had known that beforehand, so could have gone to more events, instead of walking around the empty streets.

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Slideshow: Rothwell Heights dressed in fall colors

Watch the slideshow.

Well, the main idea with this post was to go out and try to capture the essence of our neighborhood through fall decorations. It was much fun for Rosie and me, but there’s one problem with our neighborhood: there are no people on the streets! We just took the pictures but didn’t get to talk to any of the owners. We were literally walking around for two hours (it’s a great workout!) and we two delivery guys. No, that’s not true, we also saw a guy who just pulled up in his driveway. He was blasting a conservative radio talk show.

While I said, taking pictures was fun, the slideshow was meant to me more of a byproduct. I thought we were going to meet people in our neighborhood, finally. Well, that didn’t happen. Any idea what we should do?

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