Inside Columbia Magazine December/January 2023

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Best Steak Best Chef Best Wait Staff Best Steak Best Chef Best Wait Staff Same Day Call Ahead Seating

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Chris McD’s seafood program starts with a weekly call to “Hawaii Mike,” the restaurant’s supplier in the islands. As boats arrive in the islands, “Hawaii Mike” lets owner and head chef Tyler Spurgeon know what’s available.

After making his selections, Spurgeon begins constructing a dish around each fish, keeping in mind fresh, seasonal produce to incorporate.

The selected fish are packed on ice and overnighted to Columbia to be served on the nightly menu.

All fish specials at Chris McD’s are truly fresh, being grabbed right off the boat and quickly transported to the restaurant, arriving the very next day.

The variety of fish used allows customers to try native Hawaiian species they may not be able to try otherwise without a visit to the islands themselves.

Grilled Beef Tenderloin Filet

There’s a reason Chris McD’s has become known as a destination for the ultimate dining experience, and that goes beyond the food itself. It’s the dedication of the staff, both front and back of house, to providing guests with the absolute best experience.

Front of house staff members learn every item on the menu, from taste to preparation to suggested wine and drink pairings, giving each the knowledge to guide customers through the flavors, textures and profiles of every dish.

Back in the kitchen, the staff creates each dish from scratch using only fresh produce and amazing proteins, making everything to order. Every ticket includes course breaks, which means that as a guest is finishing a salad or appetizer, the server will go back to the kitchen to have the next course started. This process ensures that food is served hot and fresh, instead of sitting in a window waiting to be served. It’s why owner and head chef Tyler Spurgeon would say his cooks are better than most. “There are no shortcuts to how we cook,” he says. “Everything we do is by the book and executed to perfection, or it doesn’t touch your table.”

The end result is exactly what you’d expect from the lifetime of culinary experience and excellence of Chris McD’s namesake and founder, Chris McDonnell, and why the restaurant is always packed. “We have developed a family here where everyone is on the same page,” Spurgeon says about the Chris McD’s staff. “Everyone works together so well here because we look out for and take care of each other, which makes it an amazing place.”

Plan your visit today and find out what the ultimate dining experience can bring.

Chris McD’s Warm Spinach Salad

Tossed in a bacon sherry vinaigrette with candied walnuts and apple wood smoked bacon.

Ahi Poke Napoleon

Made with sushi grade Ahi tuna and layered with crispy wonton chips.

Split Roasted Amish Chicken

Served with pan seared new potatoes and grilled asparagus, as well as an amazing white wine sugar garlic demi-glace. The sauce makes the dish!

Grilled Beef Tenderloin Filet

Served with sauteed rock shrimp and asparagus tips in a gorgonzola cream sauce. A local favorite!

Faroe Island Salmon

A beautiful and much nicer cut than anything found in stores and accompanied with Chris McD’s famous garlic cream potatoes and fresh vegetable of the day. It’s a dish that has brought people back to Chris McD’s for more than 30 years! Faroe Island Salmon

INSIDE COLUMBIA DEC/JAN 2023 15 In every issue OM THE EDITOR njoy a Healthy Sweet Treat xplore Columbia 100 Different Ways ting Up a New Location TH & WELLNESS ve a Holly, Healthy Holiday OBINSON’S RAMBLINGS oving Through Mid-Missouri’s Museums 47 WEDDINGS Columbia Couple Ties the Knot 48 ULTIMATE WATCHLIST Sit Back, Relax and Stream Flavor 122 DINING OUT A Fresh Start at the Old Neighborhood Cafe 124 F OUGERE’S FAVORITES Mix Up the Perfect Party Snack 128 C OOKING WITH BROOK Finding the Sushi Fit for You 133 COCKTAIL A Wistful Winter Warmer Views 139 DUELING DJS 141 ON THE TOWN 151 A NEW VIEW 152 DARKOW DRAWS 154 THE FINAL WORD Dec/Jan 122 47 CONTENTS

The Joys of Winter

The cold and snowy months are upon us and if the Farmers’ Almanac is correct, that’s exactly what we’ll be getting: some bitter cold and plenty of snow.

Not that I mind, exactly. As a born and raised Midwesterner, I’ve had my share of harsh winters. And while I hate to shovel and dread that experience of the first five minutes in the car when it’s taking forever to warm up and you’re headed to work, there are some things I really love about this time of year: Watching the pure enjoyment on my dog’s face as she runs full speed doing figure eights in the falling snow. Checking out holiday light displays, made all the more magical by that chill in the air. Snuggling up inside with a cup of hot cocoa and a really good book (or a favorite movie). It’s impossible to go wrong with so many wonderful options for enjoying the season.

To that end, we’ve rounded up some of our absolute favorite winter activities to create a Columbian winter bucket list worthy of any snow day. Check out the full list on pages 70-73 and get the most out of our winter weather!

Of course, venturing out during this time of year calls for the right kind of accessories to keep you warm. On pages 74-79, you’ll find just what you need to keep you cozy yet stylish during any winter activity.

For those who avoid the cold weather at all costs, we’ve got some indoor delights to enjoy. Whether you’re a sushi lover and expert on your favorite dishes or more of a sushi novice just entering the arena, you’ll want to check out our must haves from Columbia sushi scene on pages 64-69. We’ve not only selected a few of our favorite places to go, but the must-try dish at each. (Once you’ve completed your tour of some of Columbia’s sushi spots, make sure to read food editor Brook Harlan’s column that starts on page 128 for taking on the task at home.)

And for you home bakers, we’ve got some great tips on how to take your cookie decorations to the next level. We went to one of our favorite local bakers at Kiss Me Cookies to get all her recommendations for making the most beautiful holiday treats, so be sure to give them a read on pages 60-63.

This issue is all about the seemingly endless options our community offers in the winter months. I hope you find some joy in the pages that follow — or at least a new something to try on your next snow day adventure!


Editor | Inside Columbia magazine

Inside Columbia Staff


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PUBLISHER Melody Parry

EDITOR Madeleine Leroux



John Robinson, John Darkow, Sara Fougere, Brook Harlan, Mason Stevens, Paul Froeschle




On the cover

Chanel Porter gets into the seasonal spirit with winter accessories. Photo by L.G. Patterson

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Cultures around the world celebrate the New Year with a variety of noise-making endeavors, from the sky-filling spectacle of fireworks to the deafening din of banging pots and pans. While the methods may differ, the origins are all the same — to ward off evil spirits during a time of transition. How do you celebrate?

Inside Columbia insider CONTENTS
24 Beneficial Bonbons 28 Book Details Iconic Columbia Highlights 32 Light The Night 33 Calendar

The Power of Chocolate


Tsokolatè Confiserie is about more than just a sweet treat.

The local chocolate shop, which takes its name from the Filipino term for chocolate and is pronounced cho-ko-lat-eh, serves superfood-based bonbons. Jan Sanchez, who owns the shop with her sister, Elle, and serves as one of the chocolatiers, says their goal has always been to educate the majority of people who don’t understand where chocolate comes from and the process it involves, especially the importance

of the cacao farmers. It also focuses on serving those who have dietary restrictions. “We do specialized desserts, so a lot of our desserts are gluten free, dairy free and vegan,” she says.

The sisters carry their focus of supporting farmers right into midMissouri by striving to use local ingredients in each bonbon. “Each flavor of bonbon has its own health benefits to them as well,” Sanchez says. For example, the black sesame flavor can improve blood pressure, elderberry can boost the immune system and their most popular flavor, horny goat weed, can increase blood flow and improve sexual function.

Along with the health benefits, Tsokolatè’s bonbons are encased in 72%

Each flavor of bonbon has its own health benefits to them as well.

dark chocolate and are carefully handpainted and hand-tempered to ensure the beautiful, vibrant colors on the outside match those used on the inside.

Tsokolatè hit the ground running in 2020, showcasing its superfood treats around Columbia. But its inspiration comes from the Philippines, where Jan and Elle Sanchez grew up surrounded by chocolate. The sisters made all kinds of chocolate creations before realizing the more unsavory aspects of some cacao farms and deciding it was time to make a difference.

While it hasn’t been heavily documented in the Philippines, the use of child labor and slavery has been found on many cacao farms in Brazil and West Africa, namely the Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana. The U.S. Department of Labor estimates that 43% of the 1.56 million children being used for labor are engaged in hazardous work on cacao farms in West Africa, with more than half of those children being injured by their work.

So the Sanchez sisters started Justé Deserts, a nonprofit that helps human trafficking victims repair their lives. “We teach them different job skills, so they don't have to go back to the work that they used to do,” Sanchez says. The sisters started classes in January 2021 with nine students. “We taught them cake decorating and basic culinary skills,” she says. The bulk of students are women, but the classes are open to men as well.

Their goal through the nonprofit is to bring awareness to the fact that

human trafficking victims are here, vulnerable and need help. It’s the driving force behind the universal “C” campaign, started by Justé Deserts. The campaign tries to teach and spread awareness of a hand signal that forms the letter C that victims can use to alert passersby that they need help.

The sisters have successfully maintained both their business and nonprofit by combining some of their finances. “At Tsokolatè, 10% of what we make goes to fund Justé Deserts,” Sanchez says. They also make it a point to source the chocolate used at Tsokolatè only from farms with fair and direct trade practices.

Did you know?

Cacao is the raw, unprocessed version of cocoa. What we know as cocoa beans are cacao beans that have been roasted. The minimal to no processing of cacao means it retains its nutrients and antioxidants, making it a healthier, though often more expensive, option.

Elle and Jan Sanchez started Tsokolatè Confiserie in 2020 and use a percentage of the profits to help fund their own nonprofit, Justé Deserts. Photo provided by Jan Sanchez.

While the sisters continue to dedicate their lives to the community and making healthy chocolate, the work has strengthened their bond as a family. “It’s a lot of fun because we both created it; we bounce ideas off each other,” Sanchez says. “It’s a great experience if people have the chance to do it.”

This fall, the sisters have been working to finish touches on a new school just outside of New Orleans to continue their fight against human trafficking. They chose New Orleans because it centrally located to Florida, Alabama, Louisiana and Texas, making it more convenient for the victims they serve, Sanchez says. “There is more of a need for us (in New Orleans),” she says. As of early November, the school was on track to open by December.

For more information on Justé Deserts, visit Tsokolatè is open from 9 a.m.-9 p.m. Monday through Saturday at 500 E. Walnut St., suite 109. Learn more about the shop at

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A Truly Columbian Bucket List


If you’ve ever struggled to figure out the best things to do in Columbia on a Friday or Saturday night, there’s a new book for you. 100 Things to Do in Columbia, Missouri, Before You Die by local author Stephen Paul Sayers provides a bucket list of activities, sights and iconic traditions to explore in our community. It’s one in a national series of similar books put out by the St. Louis-based Reedy Press and something Sayers saw as a good opportunity. “It was a really good chance to just pay homage to the city I called home and raised a family for 20 years,” Sayers says.

When he first took on the project, Sayers says he thought the book would be meant for new residents, visitors and maybe even new students to the University of Missouri. But what he found was that it actually would be perfect for longtime residents who may need to get out of their routines. “I realized it was more for people like me who had gotten into a rut of doing the same thing over and over,” Sayers says. “It really got me out to see things I hadn’t been doing for a long time … to see the beauty of Columbia. It really opened my eyes again.”

The book was released in September and Sayers has been slowly trying to get the word out through a variety of local


events. Broken down by category, from food and drink to shopping and fashion, each page provides a new task, with a few even including a pro tip to keep in mind. For instance, No. 42’s “Carve out some pumpkin time in Harstburg” comes with an expert tip to get around the traffic jam that happens on U.S. 63 every October. (Using East Christian School Road will take you the back way into Hartsburg or ditch the car and take your bicycle out on the Katy Trail to avoid the traffic that comes with the annual Hartsburg Pumpkin Festival.)

“There’s lots of little tidbits of knowledge you can learn,” Sayers says of the book. “You can learn how the big tree in McBain has survived six lightning strikes.” Or how Sparky’s Homemade Ice Cream has featured a cicada flavor. “Little things like that are fun to know,” he says.

Sayers grew up in Cape Cod, Massachusetts, coming to Columbia 20 years ago after taking a research professor position at MU. His creative writing started after being inspired by his daughter, who he describes as an exceptional writer. That led him to sit down and write the first of what ultimately became a trilogy of supernatural thrillers. But each of those tales are rooted in Sayers’ East Coast background, so it’s been a particular pleasure to have something more relevant for local readers.

Sayers says he realizes that most people won’t read 100 Things to Do in Columbia, Missouri, Before You Die cover to cover, but will instead flip around to find the activities that fit them best. But if you do read each and every page, Sayers says you’ll begin to notice a few underlying themes that connect the community. “In researching, I really found some themes that tie Columbia together. Real things that we value,” he says. “This town is really into the idea of sustainability and the thought of being responsible for the

next generations.” Sayers points to some of Columbia’s more iconic events, such as the Roots N Blues Festival or the Unbound Book Festival, where in addition to the public events, organizers arrange tie-ins at local schools so young students can learn more about blues music or creative writing. He also notes the times when tragedy has struck a beloved community setting, including the fire that burned Maplewood Barn Theatre to the ground or when the lights used for the Candy Cane Crib were stolen. In both instances, the community was quick to support those who needed it and find a way to continue. “I don’t think you notice that until you research 100 different places,” Sayers says. “It’s wonderful.”

For those who want to tackle each item in Sayers’ book like a true bucket list, he’s already done the math for you. “If you do

one thing per weekend, you’ve got two years of things to do,” he says.

And he readily admits that if anyone else were to take on creating a similar list, it may look completely different. But that’s part of the fun and Sayers is eagerly awaiting feedback. He’s even created a Facebook page,, where people can discuss what they liked or didn’t like and make suggestions for what should have been included.

“Hopefully, in a few years we’ll do another one and we’ll just keep adding good things,” Sayers says.

In the meantime, 100 Things to Do in Columbia, Missouri, Before You Die can be found at local bookshops including Skylark and Barnes and Noble, as well as on Amazon. Learn more about Sayers’ other works at

The Bur Oak tree in McBaine, known as the big tree, has been struck by lightning six times. It is one of many local landmarks featured in Stephen Paul Sayers’ 100 Things to Do in Columbia, Missouri, Before You Die.

McClure Connects to Midwestern Roots

McCLURE’S roots run deep throughout the Midwest. It all began in 1956, when Jon McClure founded the firm in Jefferson, Iowa. Nearly six decades later, McClure acquired a local Columbia firm, extending civil and structural engineering as well as surveying into mid-Missouri.

It’s not just the firm itself with roots that run deep. The local McClure team works tirelessly to improve the lives of those they serve with almost 300 years of combined experience. Team members like Mike Hall, PE, have been able to give back to the places that raised them. His hometown, Bowling Green, is just one of the communities in Missouri that McClure has worked with to execute the vision of making lives better. “My mom still lives there,” Hall says as he describes his childhood work as a farmhand. “My family has deep roots in agriculture.” It’s those experiences and common-sense approach that Hall has taken into his engineering work.

Over the past several years, Hall has worked on several projects in Bowling Green, including developing a 50/50 cost share with MoDOT and designing a new roundabout on Business Highway 61, numerous sewer projects, and a new hangar at the airport. Beyond his work in Bowling Green, Hall has been an integral part of many projects in mid-Missouri, including a study for a centralized wastewater treatment facility for western Boone County and sewer studies for Sturgeon, Clark, and New Franklin. Hall has also assisted with

several projects connected to the Katy Trail, including replacing a bridge near Rocheport and another just west of Mokane. “It’s great to work both where I live today and where I grew up,” Hall says. “I am not just limited to wastewater – the variety of projects makes it fun, challenging and interesting.”

That variety is what makes civil engineering such a rewarding field, Hall says. “One of the great things I experience working in civil engineering is the variety of work we can do, whether it’s roads, bridges, buildings, water and wastewater,” he says. “We work in parks. We work with private development, industry, public utilities, municipalities, state, and federal work.”

From his engineering start as a student to his work today, Hall has grown significantly as an engineer. Now, he manages a group of engineers, designers, and technicians, while also designing and managing construction projects on behalf of McClure’s clients.

But it’s the lives Hall affects that truly makes the difference. Getting to see the positive impact of his work on the community gives him immense personal and professional satisfaction and why he loves being a civil engineer. “I chose to be a civil engineer because my passion is construction and seeing something I’ve dreamed up in my head become reality,” Hall says, “Not just something that exists, but something that people use and depend on – it makes their lives better.”

At McClure, we do whatever it takes to get your job from concept to completion. Sometimes it’s solving a challenge before it becomes an obstacle. Sometimes it’s helping you navigate opportunities, even funding and selling the job throughout the process. Always it’s adding value and imagining what’s possible. We’re engineers, yes – but also visioneers, driven to make lives better.


There are a few holiday traditions throughout Columbia that many of us look forward to each year. But this year, one community favorite will look a bit different.

The Candy Cane Crib typically lights up the holiday nights at Logboat Brewing Co. Since the business is still in the process of renovations, the bright spectacle had to look for a new home this year, says Ryan Schultz, owner of the Candy Cane Crib. “Rose Music Hall came to us and is going to host us this year,” Schultz says. The outdoor display consisting of 200,000 lights is set to shine from Dec. 2-31.

It won’t be the Candy Cane Crib’s first move. The light show originally began at Schultz’s home in 2009, where it was held until 2017. “It was a display that started at my house,” he says. “I just did it for fun and it grew throughout the years.” Schultz says he began the elaborate lights to try and create something special for local families to build traditions around, just like he did as a child. “I wanted to create something families could come to every year during the holidays,” he says.

Since moving to Logboat five years ago, Schultz says the crib has become more of a community event. “When it was at my house, it was more personal. I was out in the driveway talking to people, but now we have different kinds of events that can hold more people,” Schultz says. “We wanted to get it on a bigger scale.” That has included incorporating other activities into the Candy Cane Crib, such as nights to meet Santa Claus or even the Grinch. Since expanding to Logboat, Schultz says they’ve also been able to hold raffle nights with donated local goodies.

While the main Candy Cane Crib event will be taking place at Rose Music Hall this year, other displays of 30,000 lights each will sparkle throughout the area.

The duo most recently added Pierpont General Store to its rounds of smaller light displays, but that’s not the end of the list. Shiloh’s Bar & Grill has an exterior display and, for a change of pace, Harpo’s Bar & Grill is lit inside. Schultz and his partner Taylor Dalton, also light up about 250 residential houses a year along with other corporate buildings. “We do a lot

of other big jobs, as well as the residential lighting,” Schultz says. “That’s why we start the process in October.”

But for those who look forward to the display at Logboat, don’t worry. Schultz plans to return to the brewery next year with an even bigger display.


WHAT Candy Cane Crib WHERE Rose Music Hall WHEN Dec. 2-31 COST FREE WEBSITE Lights,

What’s Going On


Dates and events are subject to change. Please visit the event website for the most up-to-date information.


DEC. 1-3



Kick off December with a magical winter wonderland at Shelter Insurance with Santa and a few new displays. The three-day event will take place in the beautiful botanical garden adjacent to the Shelter Insurance office in Columbia. 6-8 p.m.; free;

DEC. 2



Enjoy live scenes in the windows of local businesses in downtown Columbia. Living Windows transforms The District into a holiday wonderland. There also will be open houses, shopping, lights and of course, visits with Santa. 6-8 p.m.; free; living-windows

DEC. 3



Boogie over to The Blue Note for the Winter Bluegrass Bash featuring Arkansauce, Armchair Boogie, Fireside Collective and One Way Traffic. All ages are welcome.

8 p.m.; $15-$25; winter-bluegrass-bash/

DEC. 7-18



Enjoy more than 1 million lights in a mile-long magical journey. Make sure to plan extra time, as this drive-thru light show attracts many each year. People are asked to enter from the east on Veterans United Drive to experience this annual event. 7-10:30 p.m.; free;

DEC. 8



Spend time in the swamp with Shrek and Donkey for the “ Shrek ”-themed rave at The Blue Note. Bring your best Shrek voice and dance moves for a fun night!

9 p.m.; $20-$35; shrek-rave/


The wintery rides are back in The District to take you on a tour of some of the best and newest holiday decorations. Those who arrive early will have a chance to shop in a heated bubble tent, provided by CoMo Picnics. 4-7 p.m.; free;

DEC. 11



Local favorites the Kay Brothers are returning to The Blue Note for a Christmas show featuring Molly Healey. Get into the holiday spirit with some good tunes!

7 p.m.; $12-$20;

DEC. 14




What is better than lending a helping hand for Christmas? Join the Food Bank of Central & Northeast Missouri, Zimmer Communications and the Networks of Mid-Missouri to raise money and goods for the community this holiday season. People are encouraged to bring canned items including meat, fruit, vegetables, beans, peanut butter, soup and pasta.

6 a.m.-6 p.m.;

DEC. 14-23


The Lyceum tradition continues this year with the production of “ A Christmas Carol ” throughout December. Experience the familiar story of a heartless miser who is visited by three ghosts on Christmas Eve. Enjoy the timeless story with your family and friends to get you in the holiday spirit.

7 p.m. with 2 p.m. matinee on selected days; $20-$46;





Celebrate the New Year in style at the Gimme Gimme Disco New Year’s Eve 2022 Celebration!

This disco dance party is inspired by the beautiful sounds and look of ABBA.

9 p.m.; $15-$45;



JAN. 12



Enjoy a no-cost, no-cover bingo night consisting of nine games and awesome prizes. Take part in the progressive jackpot that has given away more than $20,000 in cash and prizes since 2018.  7-9 p.m.; free;

JAN. 19



This annual event recognizes and honors those whose work in the community exemplifies the life and teachings of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. The 2023 awards will be presented in two categories including individual/family award and organization/group award. 7-9 a.m.; $25;

JAN. 21



Start the new year off right with the 10th annual ROC 7K Trail Run! Enjoy the scenic twists and turns of Columbia starting and finishing at Cosmo Park. Registration is required before the race. 9 a.m.; $35;


FEB. 10



Get tickets to enjoy an adapted production of the book The Lightning Thief at Jesse Auditorium. The story follows Percy Jackson who is about to be kicked out of boarding school and is now interacting with mythological monsters and the gods of Mount Olympus.

7 p.m.; $25-$35;

FEB. 23



Get all glammed up for the Red Shoe Gala, presented by Commerce Bank. Enjoy a fun-filled night with dinner, entertainment and a live auction, and all proceeds going to benefit the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Mid-Missouri.

6 p.m.; $175;

FEB. 23-24


Join radio stations Clear99, Y107, 93.9 The Eagle and 94.3 KAT Country as they share stories of local children who have overcome so much, thanks to MU Health Care’s Children’s Hospital with Children’s Miracle Network. Throughout the event, listeners are asked to call in, text or go online to donate to the network to help more local children in the future.

6 a.m.-6 p.m.; donations encouraged;



25 Years of Success

After 25 years in business, it’s no wonder why Las Margaritas is synonymous with quality Mexican food. What started out as a dream has grown to multiple successful locations serving deliciously authentic dishes and carefully crafted cocktails while cultivating a loyal following of customers. And it all goes back

would eventually return. But his journey would take him in a different direction.

Starting in Florida, Esquivel labored on farms for two years before heading to Georgia and beginning

eventually, manager. The experience gave him the knowledge he needed to open his own restaurant and a close friend began urging him to do just that. While Esquivel was being encouraged to consider Blytheville, Arkansas, at the time, something told him that it just wasn’t the right fit. So he looked a little farther north in Poplar Bluff, Missouri.

when he was recognized with the Citizen of the Year Award from the Poplar Bluff Chamber of Commerce.

But Esquivel’s dreams went beyond the city limits of Poplar Bluff.

In 2012, the very first Columbia location of Las Margaritas opened its doors. Esquivel was directed to the city by a close friend at First Midwest Bank who believed Esquivel would find further success at what is known as the Corporate Lake location on Southampton Drive. And he has.

By mid-2019, Esquivel had expanded to an additional two Columbia locations, ensuring all residents had access to his top-quality Mexican fare. After all, that’s what keeps people coming back to Las Margaritas time and again. It all comes back to originality, excellent customer service and, of course, high quality authentic Mexican food. That incredible combination also has helped Las Margaritas win gold for Best Mexican Restaurant in Inside Columbia’s Best of Columbia for nine straight years.

Now, Esquivel’s children are working to continue the legacy he built. His son, Francis, opened his own restaurant, Taco Taco, in Poplar

Bluff in 2015 with his wife, Rachel. The pair also help run the Las Margaritas social media accounts. And Esquivel’s daughter, Franzia, is graduating from the University of Missouri this winter. She has helped supervise all three Columbia locations, helps organize events and created a drink menu for the

Columbia locations. The Esquivel children are sure to continue the legacy of excellence and success for years to come.

When it comes right down to it, it’s actually a pretty simple recipe: great food, great people and a great atmosphere make Las Margaritas the perfect place to enjoy your next meal!

3 Columbia Locations: Corporate Lake, Downtown 8th St, St. Charles Road

The holidays can be hard, we’re here to help.

This busy time of year can be overwhelming, stressful and remind us of loved ones we’ve lost. Sometimes we don’t feel comfortable talking to our close friends and family about how we’re feeling, because we don’t want to burden them. Burrell Behavioral Health experts are available and dedicated to help you find hope and feel your best. When you’re ready to talk, we’re here to listen.

Do you want to learn more about our mental health supports? Find more information and resources at ©2022 Burrell Behavioral Health. All rights reserved. If you need help now, Burrell’s free Crisis Line is available 24/7 at 1-800-395-2132.


Preparing for a snowball fight of epic proportions? Do yourself a favor and do some advance work by making a bunch of snowballs at once. The warmth from your hands will help the snow release moisture, making it softer and easier to form. By setting them aside, that same moisture has time to freeze up again, firming up your arsenal. Now you’re ready to take on the whole neighborhood!

Inside Columbia life CONTENTS
42 Tips for a Healthier Holiday 44 Moving Through History 47 A Wonderful Wedding 48 The Best Shows for Unwinding

Overindulgence Overload


The holiday season is here.

It began with a sugar overload on Halloween. Then came the daylong feast known as Thanksgiving. Now, in December and January come holiday parties, long days of shopping, trips to visit family and any number of disruptions to our typical routines. Nutrition suffers, workouts get postponed and extra pounds can pile on.

But is this inevitable?

The thing to remember is that a holiday is really just one day. There’s no harm in celebrating but try not to overindulge all season long.

It’s just that simple, right?

I understand that it’s not, which is why I have included my top five tips for staying healthy during the holidays.

Start most days with exercise. The biggest benefit here is that you will feel better all day long. Yes, you will burn some calories to help offset the cookies and treats, but don’t make that your primary focus. Try to do something that you enjoy this time of year. Maybe that means running a holiday-themed 5K. If you have family in town, invite them along to a group exercise class. Perhaps

you need a little time to yourself. Hop on the elliptical, lift some weights or simply take a walk for some well-deserved peace and quiet. As long as you’re moving, you’re good.

Balance the rest of your meals. Before heading off to that holiday party, have something to eat. Make it a filling, high fiber, proteinpacked meal to avoid hunger cravings. Try to limit holiday favorites to a single meal instead of grazing on them all day. Shoot for a light lunch or dinner, depending on when you’re having your holiday meal. Are you having multiple holiday meals with both sides of the family? Try to limit your portion sizes at each meal. This leads right to my next tip.

All things are fine in moderation. Are any foods off limits? I don’t think so. Simply try to control your portion sizes. Take just one pass through the buffet line and try to keep your plate from overflowing. Is dessert where you get into trouble? Try to cut each portion in half. If that doesn’t satisfy your sweet tooth, then make an even smaller plate during dinner so that you can have that full piece of pumpkin pie.

Take a walk after dinner. One to two hours after a meal is the ideal time to engage in low level physical activity. Make it a tradition for the whole family to take a walk together. Exercising after a meal has been shown to help regulate blood sugar and triglycerides. Not to mention, it’s a lot harder to continue grazing or go for your third round of dessert when you’re on a walk.

Share the leftovers. As I said before, a holiday is just one day, unless you’re eating leftovers for a week. Send a bit home with your guests, especially the desserts. They’ll love you for it and you won’t have to worry about sneaking down to the fridge at midnight for an extra piece of pecan pie.

Above all, remember that holidays are joyous occasions. Try to incorporate as many of these tips as you can without feeling deprived. And if you do overindulge a bit, remember it’s just one day. You’ll be back on track tomorrow.

Mason Stevens is owner and exercise physiologist at MET-Fitness in Columbia. He has his bachelor’s in nutrition and fitness, and has more than 10 years of experience in sports conditioning, coaching and fitness.


A Trek Through History


Ibegan my museum tour at Broadway Diner, a museum in itself, a marriage of prefab form and hot griddle function. This historic Columbia eatery has moved at least once and changed names thrice, from the Minute Inn to Fran’s to Broadway Diner.

Duly fortified with the two basic food groups — bacon and eggs — I entered the next museum a few blocks away.

Three years ago, the State Historical Society of Missouri moved from Elmer Ellis Library to the spacious new three-story structure at Locust and Elm streets, overlooking Peace Park. Its museum offers a spectacular venue to view priceless works of art including Thomas Hart Benton’s Year of Peril series and George Caleb Bingham’s Order No. 11, a lightning

rod for emotions during the Civil War, depicting Union Gen. Ewing’s command to burn four western Missouri counties to the ground. The museum hosts what it calls the “nation's best collection of Missouri regional and westward expansion art,” including one of the largest collections of Bingham paintings.

If weather keeps you from visiting, go online: The State Historical Society of Missouri Digital Collections display photographs, art, maps, diaries, letters, newspapers, books, articles and oral histories of Missouri’s people and culture.

What goes around comes around. After eight years of exile from the main campus — when a wrecking ball smashed Pickard Hall to fist-sized bricks — two world class museums once again will join the student body, moving to the

renovated ground floor of Ellis Library, former digs of the State Historical Society of Missouri. The museums are scheduled to open any minute after an Ellis Library makeover worthy of Lancome or La Mer.

Some items at the Museum of Anthropology have waited thousands of years for you to see them. Take the kids to see a giant whale jawbone or the 1,100-year-old dugout canoe. See a cat skin quiver, a holder for poison blow gun darts and a piranha jaw sharpener in the Grayson collection of archery tools — the largest in the world. An Aleut parka, made from dried and sewn seal intestine and decorated with bird beaks and feathers, looks like it came off the rack at Chico’s.

The Museum of Art and Archaeology has more than 16,000 priceless relics of

The Broadway Diner is a museum in itself as an historic Columbia eatery.

form, function and fashion spanning seven millennia. The collection includes ancient pottery and sculptures, jewelry and coins, and some fun surprises, including George Romney’s portrait of Lady Hamilton, who was Admiral Nelson’s mistress and “the pinup girl of the time,” according to Bruce Cox, the museum’s interim director.

Half a century ago, the university’s study collection of art and artifacts evolved into the Museum of Art and Archeology, thanks in large part to a bequest of 14 old master paintings from the Kress Foundation. Joining these works are thousands of priceless artifacts, including a Greek and Roman coin collection that complements Samuel Kress’ transcendence from dime-store magnate.

The museum’s collections are stunning, from Andy Warhol photographs of Deborah Harry and Kathleen Turner relaxing in public to a platter designed by Pablo Ruiz Picasso. (I didn't know his full name is Pablo Ruiz Picasso. It's not. His full name is Pablo Diego José Francisco de Paula Juan Nepomuceno María de los Remedios Cipriano de la Santísima Trinidad Clito Ruiz y Picasso. Great password.) Like Picasso’s name, these museums display only a fraction of their collections. Google their online displays.

After a busy day museum hopping, my breakfast had worn off. So I headed to one last museum.

Booches knows about moving. They’ve hauled those classic slate pool tables five times to different downtown

locations. But not in a long time.

Booches is more than the sum of its parts. In the pantheon of pool halls, Booches is a museum whose owner got his Booche nickname from writer Eugene Field. I ordered a Stag Beer and two Booche burgers, and tried to recite Field’s Wynken, Blynken and Nod, a poem my mother read to me a thousand times.

Browsing the classic photos on Booches’ walls, I could hear Harry Truman’s voice: “There’s nothing new in the world except the history you don’t know.”

John Drake Robinson is a former director of the Missouri Division of Tourism and has driven every mile of highway in the state. Read more of John's rants at

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The Perfect Celebration

Three years after meeting, Madalyn Wells and Melvin Gabel exchanged vows in a non-religious ceremony at Sorenson Estates.

For Madalyn, having the celebration in her hometown of Columbia was especially important. “COMO is where I was born and raised,” she says. “It’s where I met the love of my life. Having our wedding there meant the world.”

Madalyn, a first grade teacher, and Melvin, who is studying for his doctor of nurse anesthesia practice, first met in March 2019 and began dating a few months later. After spending time together and traveling, they adopted their first puppy, Maybel. In January 2020, the couple got engaged and began planning their special day.

Thanks to the contributions of friends and family, most notably the bride’s mother, Natalie Booth; her aunt, Stacey Woods; her siblings and wedding planner Terra Nickelson, every last detail was perfect for the wedding. “It was the best day of our lives,” Madalyn says.

And that’s even considering the small practical joke played on the bride when the groom moved her chair at the reception, causing her to fall to the ground. “We laughed and danced the night away,” Madalyn says.

To submit your wedding for consideration, send information and photos to Include your and your spouse's names, occupations, wedding date, location and your photographer's name.

Photo by Molly Pasternock Madalyn Wells and Melvin Gabel were married Sept. 17 at Sorenson Estates in Columbia.

Sit Back and Stream


WELCOME TO OUR ULTIMATE LISTS! In each issue, you will find a curated selection of things to listen to or watch, put together by either an on-air talent from Zimmer Communications or a member of the ultimate watchlist for enjoyable shows that help you relax. Scan the QR code on this page to see more about each show. Enjoy!

I don’t watch a ton of shows. In fact, I’m a streaming snob. When you’re a father of three, your viewing window is very, VERY limited, so you have to make it count. I like to watch shows that do two things: make me laugh and lower my anxiety! Here are five shows that I think you’ll enjoy, too.

“Schitt’s Creek” — Hulu

This has quickly become our family’s go-to, anytime-you-need-a-laugh Canadian comedy. Created by the father and son duo of Eugene and Dan Levy, “Schitt’s Creek family as their lives are flipped upside down when they go from billionaires to broke. The storyline is flawless, the characters and cast have an outstanding chemistry, and you’ll find yourself laughing harder and harder at the snarky one-liners and ridiculous antics served up in every episode.

“Untold” — Netflix

Just when you think you’ve seen it all, here comes the sports-doc series, “ brawls to hockey teams owned and operated by Mafia families (yeah, this happened), these are the sports stories you may not have ever heard about. With most episodes barely exceeding an hour, they’re a quick watch with stories that will either leave you smiling, stunned or shocked!

“Nailed It!” — Netflix

It’s the baking show for people like me, who are TERRIBLE at baking! This show mainly focuses on home bakers who aren’t very good but are totally willing to try and compete against one another to create elaborate baked goods. The best part of the entire show is when they reveal their creations, which mainly look like a second grader’s failed art project. Next time you’re feeling down about your baking skills, stream a few episodes of “ you never find your baking mojo, you can at least laugh at the people who fail as much as you do.

“The Mighty Ducks: Game Changers” — Disney+

Based on the incredibly popular Mighty Ducks movies from the ‘90s, “The Mighty Ducks: Game Changers” gives you a real opportunity to relive your youth! A feisty mom (Lauren Graham) makes it her mission to create a new hockey team of misfits after her 12-year-old son is rejected from the junior team. Emilio Estevez, who reprises his role as Gordon Bombay, decides he’s up to the task of coaching the underdog squad to glory. With this new team’s formation, Coach Bombay finds his love for the game reignited. This is a show you can enjoy with everyone in your family!

“Heist” — Netflix

“Heist” is a six-part docuseries that tells the stories of three news-making heists (with each heist taking up two episodes), told by the person/people who pulled it off. Filled with supporting interviews, archival footage and extensive dramatic reenactments, “Heist” tells these stories in a flashy, upbeat manner, unlike most true crime shows. Be prepared for your jaw to hit the floor when you take the plunge into the world of these meticulously organized crimes.

Listen to Josh Ryan from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. weekdays on Clear 99.3.


Life Insurance

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Columbia’s business community always seems to be growing. The wide array of businesses, from long established corporations to budding startups, ensures an ever-evolving pool of knowledgeable business leaders, many of whom would be considered thought leaders in their respective fields. These industry leaders have a solid grasp on current trends and deep insight to deal with problems or challenges when they arise. On the following pages, we’ll hear from some of Columbia’s foremost thought leaders, those who think critically and inspire others to work harder and smarter. We hope you enjoy their insight and vision on everything from health care to economic development.

Despite the quickly changing nature of today’s economic landscape, the mission of Regional Economic Development Inc. (REDI) has remained unchanged since its founding 34 years ago. The local organization aims to increase economic opportunities and maintain the community’s superior quality of life by recruiting new businesses, retaining existing businesses and assisting with expansion, and supporting new business startups, says Stacey Button, REDI president. “REDI serves businesses in Columbia and throughout Boone County in ways big and small,” Button says.

While REDI’s larger projects are more well known as they attract media coverage, it’s the everyday assistance REDI staff offer to all kinds of businesses that is just as important. From helping businesses find needed space to serving as a liaison between local government and private industry, to addressing workforce development challenges, and assisting entrepreneurs with realizing their dreams, the team at REDI is always ready to help. “These services provide our community and its residents

Economic Development

with a stable economic base,” Button says. Economic development is often explained as a circular flow of money from employers to employees who make the products and provide the services, and then back to local businesses from the employees as their households purchase the goods and services they need. That process is enhanced when additional money comes into those same businesses from outside the host community. The REDI partnership harnesses the synergy of collaboration, avoids the costs of duplicate efforts among its partners and brings in private investments to cover much of the cost of these efforts, supplementing government investments and saving taxpayer dollars.

And that work only has been made more important as the community continues to recover from the lasting economic challenges of the pandemic. The programs at REDI are meant to provide both immediate and longterm support for local businesses. “REDI keeps attraction projects, existing businesses and entrepreneurs moving forward to ensure upward economic mobility for all,” Button says.

In 2017, REDI received its accreditation

through the International Economic Development Council (IEDC) and it was reaccredited in 2020. Button says the accreditation process involves a document review and site visit by the IEDC committee, which studies everything about REDI, from its mission and goals to its structure, funding and community support. Being an accredited economic development organization allows REDI access to an elite network of similar organizations and recognizes its status as a leading authority on economic-related issues. To date, REDI is one of only 71 organizations worldwide to earn this recognition.

Regional Economic Development Inc. (REDI) 500 E. Walnut St., Suite 102 573-442-8303


MICHAEL RYAN, M. D. | Missouri Vein Care Vein Care

After experiencing his own vein condition for more than 20 years, Dr. Michael Ryan, owner of Missouri Vein Care, took matters into his own hands. “Because of my own experiences, I understand what people go through. That's why the most important part of my job is helping relieve people of pain and discomfort from a vein condition,” Dr. Ryan says.

His journey with medicine began years before the patient-friendly treatment came to be. After graduating from Harvard College and Columbia University, Dr. Ryan became a cardiac and vascular surgeon from 1995 to 2007. That’s when he started his company, which began as a cardiac and vascular surgery practice in Jefferson City. He switched his focus to vein care in 2007.

“I transitioned to full-time vein care because I saw the incredible advances in patient-friendly treatments and experienced the benefit of treatment for my own vein condition,” Dr. Ryan says.

Through his experience, Dr. Ryan knows that having a vein condition does not necessarily mean you have to have visible leg veins. He also knows that the symptoms of vein conditions are treatable. Some of the most common invisible symptoms of vein conditions include fatigue, leg pain and swelling, leg cramps, poor sleep, weight gain, itching legs or numb, tingling or cold feet.

Dr. Ryan also uses his expertise to help others in the community who cannot afford care, including the Amish community in southwest Missouri, as well as working with patients at wound centers throughout the state who do not have the ability to pay. Many of these patients suffer from non-healing leg

wounds, one of the most devastating effects of untreated vein disease. Much of Dr. Ryan’s focus on education is to help prevent such wounds. “This will help people with conditions such as restless leg syndrome and leg cramps to understand the connection between those symptoms and a vein condition,” he says.

Missouri Vein Care 4004 Peach Court, Ste E 573-449-2273


Serving Our Nation’s Heroes

JAMES WARREN | Harry S. Truman Memorial Veterans’ Hospital

As a veteran himself, James Warren knows the importance of providing quality care for those who served in our country’s armed forces. After completing a four-year enlistment in the U.S. Army, Warren has spent the past 25 years in public service as a member of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

Now the associate director of Harry S. Truman Memorial Veterans’ Hospital in Columbia, the most important part of his job is to ensure the facility has the resources to meet the needs of area veterans.

“Truman VA staff are highly qualified in all care areas and are proud to serve our veterans,” Warren says.

Truman VA provides health services to approximately 40,000 veterans each year from 43 counties in Missouri, as well as Pike County, Illinois.

“We serve a unique demographic,” Warren

says, noting that veterans represent 7% of the U.S. population. “As the nation’s largest integrated health care system, the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) is well positioned to care for those who sacrificed for this great country.”

While the VHA can trace its roots back to the Civil War, Truman VA marked its 50th anniversary in 2022. Through a hospital in Columbia and eight rural communitybased clinics, Truman VA provides inpatient and outpatient services to include primary care, medical and surgical specialty care, behavioral health, physical and occupational therapy, pharmacy services and more.

Moving forward, Warren says he sees the VA continuing its commitment to modernization and providing state-ofthe-art care, as well as expanding specialty services to more rural and underserved areas. Such development will ensure that

veterans can receive comprehensive, highquality care without having to travel long distances, he says.

Outside of work, Warren also is an active member of the Disabled American Veterans and the American Legion. His goal is to make sure that veterans are aware of the benefits available to them.

“There is no more tremendous honor than to serve those who have sacrificed so much for our great nation,” Warren says.

Harry S. Truman Memorial Veterans’ Hospital (Truman VA) 800 Hospital Drive 573-814-6000


Heritage Academy has been providing quality Christian education in the context of parent partnership since 2002. As a University-Model® School that focuses on parent-based education, Heritage Academy has seen substantial growth while staying true to its founding principle of partnering with Christian parents “to prepare college-worthy character witnesses for Jesus Christ.”

Thomas Ragsdell has worked as head of school for the past five years and credits the school’s success on good board governance and teamwork. David Currey, Director of International Student and Scholar Services at the University of Missouri, serves as chair of the board of trustees. Liberty Huther, Director of Community Life, provides direction for student events and spiritual formation. Kelly Boggiano, Elementary Coordinator, works with students and parents in fourth through sixth grades. Laura Gutwein interacts with students as kindergarten teacher and Academic Adviser for high school students. At Heritage, teamwork among staff and faculty plus partnership with parents is the secret of success.

Ragsdell has spent 30 years working with students in Kiev, Ukraine, as well as Missouri, and knows that a quality education requires more than just schoolwork. “Quality education requires a home life which supports learning, curiosity, hard work and discipline,” he says. “A love of learning is something which must be nurtured in the home. Learning is more caught than taught.”

It’s what sets Heritage apart in education. “We have an advantage over other models of education because our model requires parent partnership,” Ragsdell says. “Teachers lead the way, but parents partner by working with students at home and supporting our teachers. It produces a well-educated child who increasingly takes ownership for their own learning.”

While the recent pandemic forced many

educational institutions to switch to remote learning or shut down completely, Heritage was able to continue the normal school schedule, with teachers and students interacting in faceto-face synchronous environments online or in-person.

While K-12 education has been experiencing a plethora of changes in the past few decades, not every change has been beneficial. Ragsdell says some technological advancements have not been especially helpful in elementary programs as they can hinder the development of key reading, writing and math skills, and limit parent involvement.

That’s why parents need more choices when it comes to schooling, so they can find the right fit for their child. “Not every educational model will work for every student,” he says. “More choices rather than less are a good thing for families and students in mid-Missouri.”

Working in Christian education allows

Ragsdell to combine two of the most important aspects of his life: biblical truth and education. And while teaching children is always a joy and can be exceptionally fulfilling, Ragsdell says it also can be extremely challenging. “When parents, teachers or administrators work against each other, students suffer,” he says. “We are far better off as a society when our schools focus on the academic basics of reading, writing and arithmetic and work together with parents toward success for every student.”

Heritage Academy 2900 Barberry Ave. 573-449-2252




For Gary and Josh Oxenhandler, being attorneys is all about finding ways to help people. The most satisfying part of their work is being able to give back and help. “When you practice law, whatever your specialty might be, you have the chance to share your expertise and give back to your community,” Gary says.

The ability to help people in a variety of ways is what makes the job both challenging and rewarding for Josh. “At a most basic level, lawyers are problem solvers,” Josh says.

The father and son team together joined the Columbia office of Evans & Dixon, a law firm founded in St. Louis in 1945 that has grown to serve clients across the Midwest with approximately 100 lawyers working in nearly every field of practice. While Josh has been an attorney for more than two decades, his father, Gary, has nearly 50 years of experience as a lawyer, circuit judge, mediator and arbitrator. The pair’s dedication to continue working together is emblematic of the local legal

system, where attorneys and judges are able to support each other to help manage what can be very stressful jobs. “When a lawyer gives his or her word to another lawyer, it's a guarantee,” Gary says.

As technology continues to advance, Josh says courtrooms will increase the use of video conferencing, which could help more people access the court system. “As we increase the use of video conferencing or ‘Zoom court,’ we increase the access that people have to our judicial system and level the playing field for people who might otherwise have difficulty,” Josh says, adding that 13% of the local population interacted with the courts in Boone County last year.

Josh says the legal profession has been very thoughtful about using new technology and how it can help better serve clients. “At the end of the day, we are just a specialized form of customer service,” he says.

Gary says the world will always need lawyers, as they “move the commerce of the

world. Whether negotiating a contract or advising a governmental body or providing a defense, that's where you will find our lawyers.”

Both Gary and Josh do what they can to give back and support the community they call home, from supporting the arts and local businesses to volunteering and serving on boards for local nonprofits. It’s just another example of how many in the legal profession look for additional ways to serve.

“At the very center of the decision-making of almost every community organization, you will find a lawyer who is giving her or his time to demonstrate a commitment to that organization and its goals,” Gary says.

Evans & Dixon

501 Cherry St., suite 200 573-607-1015


Residential Home Building

After having to compromise when it comes to living space, whether due to the pandemic or the tight housing market, people are eager to get the home of their dreams. “We are seeing a need for more custom homes,” says Jeff Hemme, owner of Hemme Construction, as he talks about what he sees as a growing trend in home building.

Hemme is a fifth-generation home builder who established Hemme Construction in 2000. Though Hemme grew up working in the field with his father, it wasn’t until years later that he found his way back to the industry, discovering great joy in building communities. The newest and sixth generation to take on the family craft are Hemme’s sons, Orie and Noah. “Our team here at Hemme is a family — always working together and leading with love and kindness to get the job done and make your home building experience the best it can be,” Hemme says. The family focus at Hemme Construction isn’t only limited to the staff —

clients quickly become part of family, too.

Aside from the growth in custom home needs, Hemme says he predicts that more multi-generational homes will be needed in the long term as prices rise and available land becomes scarcer. The multi-generational home allows entire families to live together while maintaining separate spaces, whether it’s in separate wings or on separate floors.

Regardless of what the future holds, Hemme Construction will be ready. “Whether or not our predictions are correct, Hemme Construction believes in education,” Hemme says, adding that employees are sent to trainings and take time to educate themselves on anything that could impact the construction industry. “We are always progressing however necessary to keep up with the demand and trends we see in our industry.”

That includes reaching out into the community to show the great career opportunities that exist in construction. The industry is struggling with shortages of

laborers and skilled workers, and Hemme Construction is doing what it can to help in the local area and beyond. The company works closely with the Columbia Area Career Center and the St. Louis-based Ranken Technical College to encourage more students to consider the field and show the opportunities available. “We are especially seeing shortages in framing, concrete, surveyors and carpenters,” Hemme says, noting that the industry offers job security and substantial income.

2301 Chapel Plaza Court, suite 1 573-999-6944

Hemme Construction

Residential Mortgages

TERRY ROBERTS | Bell Bank Mortgage

After fighting for his country for nearly 10 years serving in the U.S Marine Corps, all Terry Roberts wanted to do was continue to help his fellow citizens. “I wanted to help Americans live the dream of owning a piece of the land that so many have fought for,” he says. Roberts, now senior mortgage banker at Bell Bank Mortgage, is fulfilling that commitment and continuing to serve his community by helping people buy the home they’ve always wanted.

Lately, the Midwest has become a popular spot to settle down, perhaps due to lower cost of living, community values or the flexibility offered by remote work, and Roberts says home ownership demands will only rise if that continues. “Even with rates being where they are, mid-Missouri will continue to realize continued economic growth and an increase in homeownership,” he says. In fact, Roberts says it’s never too early to buy real estate, especially in this area. And for those weighing the option of waiting until rates drop or buying now and refinancing later, Roberts says it’s important to remember that by waiting to buy, you lose an opportunity to build equity in the home.

Whatever you decide, Roberts and Bell Bank Mortgage is there to help navigate the process. “Even though U.S. mortgage rates are at a 20-year high, Bell Bank Mortgage offers several options to help with buying power,” Roberts says.

It’s a business Bell Bank knows well. As one of the nation’s largest independently owned banks, Bell Bank Mortgage is backed by its financial strength and people-first philosophy. Building meaningful relationships with clients and real estate partners is what it’s all about at Bell and for Roberts. “With communication, integrity and on-time closings, I am thankful to have built thousands of relationships like this over the last decade,” he says.

But Bell Bank goes beyond simply helping clients. Over the past 14 years, the business has donated $22 million to individuals, families and organizations in need through its Pay It Forward program. It’s all part of that people-first philosophy

that permeates every action at Bell Bank.

“If there was one thing I wish people knew about my job, I would want them to know how thankful my team and I are at Bell Bank to have the opportunity to prove how great we are at making the home-buying experience smooth and timely,” Roberts says. “I would love to earn your trust and build a meaningful relationship with you and your family while helping with all of your home financing needs.”

Bell Bank Mortgage 3610 Buttonwood Drive, Suite 200 573-239-9631 NMLS #397987




Providing enjoyable entertainment options for mid-Missouri residents can sound like nothing but fun and games, but Nic Parks knows there’s real work involved.

It all started with an online retail business Parks started in 2006, The Pinball Company. When a local family entertainment center needed an arcade partner in 2010, Parks stepped in. The partnership proved successful and Parks Amusements officially began as a spinoff of The Pinball Company.

From those humble beginnings, Parks Amusements has grown to provide a myriad of entertainment options in the area, including Tiger Bounce, Silverball Arcade Bar, Level Up Entertainment and, the most recent development, Lakeside Ashland. “I chose the entertainment industry because I love bringing fun options to area families,” Parks says.

Lakeside Ashland, a 37-acre entertainment park near U. S. 63 in Ashland, opened this fall with a 70-foot-

wide outdoor screen and amphitheater, but that’s just the beginning. Parks says plans include a zip line, ropes course, pool complex and other amenities, including sand volleyball and pickleball. Several restaurants and a hotel also are planned, he says. “It will be the ultimate eat, play and stay location,” Parks says.

It’s all part of staying ahead of the game in the entertainment industry, which Parks says is always changing. “You have to constantly modify your offerings to keep customers excited about visiting,” he says.

Aside from staying on top of the ever-changing trends in entertainment, Parks says he also has to ensure that he’s surrounded by the right people. “The most important part of my job is putting together a great team to execute my vision,” he says. “I can’t do what I do without them.”

And Parks supports those people as they grow, noting that ownership of Tiger Bounce and Silverball Arcade Bar have been transferred to their respective

managers “in order to facilitate their entrepreneurial journeys.”

Outside of Parks Amusements, Parks stays active with Tigers on the Prowl and other local nonprofit organizations. The company itself focuses its philanthropic efforts on area youth sports, with Parks adding that they hope to play a role in developing top tier youth sport facilities that keep mid-Missouri as a desirable tournament destination for the entire state.

Parks Amusements

4 S. Ninth St. 573-818-4750


Decorate Your Holiday Cookies Like a Pro This Season.

Everyone has their own personal holiday traditions.

Maybe it’s a specific movie or a particular event, like gather ing the family for a visit to the Magic Tree. Perhaps it’s volunteer ing with a local nonprofit, such as the Voluntary Action Center or the Food Bank for Central & Northeast Missouri. (Let’s all remember the meaning of the season and try to give back when we can.)

But I think we can all agree that it’s not really the holidays without cookies.

There’s so many types, flavors, shapes and designs, the oppor tunities are endless! (And delicious.) But if you’re not a baking pro, it also can seem a bit daunting. So we went to an expert to get a few tips on how to get those cookies looking picture perfect this year.

Our expert, Laurel Harlan, started Kiss Me Cookies in 2015. While she mainly focuses on custom cookie orders, you can find some of her beautifully decorated sugar cookies at Plume on Route K.

While the true first step is finding a recipe that works (though we won’t judge if you go for pre-made dough), we will start at the planning phase, beginning with the cookie shape. When it comes to cookie cutters, Harlan says the advent of 3D printers has caused an explosion of designs, so whatever you imagine, you can probably find.

For the particular design itself, Harlan highly recommends drawing it out and getting a good visual of what you want the cookie to look like. “I will literally draw the cutter on a piece of paper and figure out what design, what color is going where,

WHEN CHOOSING THE RIGHT COOKIE RECIPE, keep in mind that you need your cookies to hold their shape and not spread too much in the oven. It’s recommended to try out a few recipes and pick the one that works best.

CONSIDER THE THICKNESS OF YOUR COOKIE and the ratio to icing. Harlan keeps hers to nearly half an inch (three-eighths of an inch, to be exact) in order to balance the sweetness of the icing.

TO ENSURE A FLAT SURFACE TO DECORATE (or to deal with small air bubbles), Harlan suggests placing a piece of parchment paper over the cookies right when they come out of the oven and placing an empty baking sheet on top, gently pressing down.

EVEN AFTER SKETCHING OUT AN EARLY DESIGN, Harlan recommends getting an edible food marker and drawing the design directly on your cookie. It’ll be all the easier to decorate!

IF YOU’RE HAVING A COOKIE DECORATING PARTY, consider preparing the cookies and icings ahead of time. You can prep all of the elements in advance, freeze them and be ready for party time!

TO GET THAT PERFECT CALLIGRAPHY LOOK ON HER SUGAR COOKIES, Harlan uses an overhead projector to get an image of what needs to be written in the right font, then simply traces.

From Laurel Harlan

what feature I am going to put where,” Harlan says.

Once you know the design you want to use, you can decide what elements you need. Royal icing is more often used in decorating sugar cookies as it’s easier to deco rate with and it hardens well. You can use wet-on-wet designs, where the colors set together creating a uniform surface, or decorate in sec tions, where you wait until the ic ing hardens before adding another layer or section. This technique can add depth and detail. “It really de pends on the look you’re going for,”

Harlan says.

If you’re in a rush and need your icing to set quickly, Harlan recommends putting your oven on the lowest temperature possible and popping your cookies in for five to 10 min utes. That should be enough to get the icing hardened so you can move on to your next step.

Whatever your design, Harlan recommends taking the time to do a little research on royal icing before diving in, as consistency is key and there are several options to consider. “A different consistency will achieve a different thing,” Har lan says.

From there, decide if you need extra embellishments. One trip to a crafts store or a Google search will show you the wide variety of sprin kles, edible glitter and other edible

decorations available to really bring that wow factor.

But when all those fancy, glittery embellishments are starting to look more and more enticing, remember that simple is usually better, espe cially if you’re making a batch of cookies or more. “You really need to limit how much time you’re spend ing on each cookie,” Harlan says.

Of course, you can opt to take a lot of the work out and simply swing by Plume to pick up one of Harlan’s cookie decorating kits while supplies last. Each kit comes with cookies, icing and sprinkles, as well as pictures of completed cook ies for inspiration.

No matter your methods or end results, we hope you remember that simply sharing the experience (or just the cookies) with loved ones is the most important part. Happy holidays from Inside Columbia!

this is how

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Our favorite Sushi Spots

It’s no secret that Columbia is the perfect town for anyone who loves food. From the wide variety of available fare to the high quality and creative takes on dishes, the local restaurant scene offers plenty to explore and taste.

For fans of sushi, there are quite a few options, each with their own unique treat or spin to keep diners coming back. So, whether you’re a serious sushi lover or more of a sushi sceptic, we’ve put together the perfect list of just a few of our favorite spots to guide you through the local scene. Enjoy!

about everyone else on the staff as much personally as they also do professionally.”

monthly. But be sure to catch them while they last. “Every roll that is our signature roll

and Saturday, and 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday.


For Jina Yoo, owner of Jina Yoo’s Asian Bistro, texture is the most important part of her cuisine. “I go the extra mile. Nothing is a filler, it is all artistic work,” she says. Yoo says texture is just as important as flavor, so every ingredient has a purpose. “Each roll is very uniquely designed with different ingredients and texture,” she says. “The texture is just as important as the taste.”

Because of her attention to detail, Yoo says she strives to convince others to give her cuisine a try. “Sushi is all about where

you try it,” Yoo says. “I am determined to change people’s minds.” One way she does so is with the HM or High Maintenance roll, which incorporates shrimp tempura, spicy lobster, avocado, white tuna, chipotle aioli, Yoo sauce and chili oil. While a typical sushi roll is cut in eight pieces with the same flavor and texture in each bite, the HM roll is different. Yoo’s goal is to make sure each piece of that particular roll has a different taste.

Luckily for Yoo, the location of her business allows her exquisite flavor and

texture combinations to be experienced by many. “We are successful because of the families surrounding (the location on Forum Boulevard),” she says.

For someone who looks at Yoo’s menu and believes there is still nothing they’ll enjoy, Yoo will strive to create something to tingle your tastebuds. “I am there to help you find something you will always love.”

Jina Yoo’s Asian Bistro is open from 5-9 p.m. Monday-Thursday and from 5-10 p.m. Friday and Saturday.

Jina Yoo’s Asian Bistro 2200 Forum Blvd., suite 108 | Must Try: HM (High Maintenance) roll

Kampai Alley

rt Wuttisak, owner and sushi chef at Kampai Alley, says the best part of operating in Columbia is the community itself. “Columbia has the vibes of a small town, friendly people and being located downtown is a great plus,” Wuttisak says. While the downtown location ensures easy access, it’s also one that can be easily missed. The contemporary sushi joint is tucked away in Alley A, where it offers a classic menu of sushi, sashimi,

While Wuttisak believes in his whole menu, one item that stands out is the lobster tempura roll. “It’s different from all other lobster dishes out there,” he says. “It’s a savory and flavorful dish we created.” The lobster tempura roll consists of tempura lobster tail, avocado, unagi sauce, housemade volcano aioli sauce and masago.

Kampai is open from 5-9 p.m. Wednesday-Sunday. Kampai also takes reservations with a 24-hour

907 Alley A Must Try:
Lobster tempura roll

10 Things to Do During Our Cold, Snowy Season


, whether you’re ready for it or not. And while spending the season hibernating inside can sound particularly tantalizing, there’s so much to do in our community during these cold, snowy months.

To make sure you don’t miss out on anything this season, we’ve put together 10 of our favorite things to do in winter. So grab a steaming mug of hot cocoa and get into the spirit of the season with Inside Columbia’s winter bucket list!

Get into the Holiday Spirit

When it comes to the early winter season, the holidays dominate the scene. While simply spending an evening driving around to find the best area holiday light displays is always a winner in our book, there are other ways to get into the holiday spirit. One of our favorites, and an iconic Columbia tradition, is that of the Magic Tree, started in 1995 by Will Treelighter. The Magic Tree now sits in the Village of Cherry Hill, at the intersection of Scott Boulevard and Chapel Hill Road, and is lit from 5-11 p.m. every evening until Jan. 6. A second Magic Tree can be found at The Crossing, 3615 Southland Drive, that is lit every evening from 5-10 p.m. through the first week of January.

Go Sledding

When the weather accommodates, there is no better way to enjoy the snowy landscape than to go sledding! While the mid-Missouri terrain offers a variety of hilly landscapes, Columbia’s official sled hill is at Stephens Lake Park and is open when there is a minimum of 4 inches of snow cover. That being said, it’s not uncommon to see sledders at places like Twin Lakes Recreation Area and Three Creeks Conservation Area. Where’s your secret spot?


If you’re looking for more of an indoor activity to enjoy, perhaps on a bitterly cold day, then why not try one of Columbia’s many DIY or craft stores? There are places like the Mud Room on Ninth Street and Pottery Island on the Business Loop where you can paint your own pottery; create your own custom fragrance at Makes Scents on Ninth Street; or check out places like the Columbia Art League, Art Underground or Access Arts for a variety of art classes. You can even simply take in some beautiful masterpieces at any local art gallery, including Sager Reeves or Artlandish. It’s the perfect time to get in touch with your creative spirit!


Whether you enjoy a touch of bitter cold with a snowy landscape or prefer to wait for those few days where the temperature gets above freezing, there’s something refreshing about taking a brisk winter walk. Stephens Lake Park and Rock Bridge State Park are just a couple of our favorite spots to do just that, though those of us with canine companions also enjoy the off-season dog park at Twin Lakes Recreation Area. Some dogs really love running in snow!


From late December through early February, Missouri celebrates Eagle Days, the spectacular season of winter eagle watching. During that time, you can watch for eagles perched in large trees along the edge of large bodies of water, like the Missouri River. (Missouri’s variety of rivers, lakes and wetlands make it one of the leading lower 48 states for bald eagle viewing.) While Missouri is home to both bald and golden eagles, it is much more common to see bald eagles, as more than 2,000 are typically reported in the state each winter. For a better chance at catching sight of the noble bird flying and fishing, get out early in the morning and remember to dress for winter weather and bring binoculars and/or a camera. One of the best spots to see eagles is just southwest of Columbia at the Eagle Bluffs Conservation Area on Route K. Find more information on Missouri’s Eagle Days at


It’s a simple pleasure to snuggle up inside on wintery day and, honestly, one of our absolute favorites. Whether it’s time to break out the board games and enjoy the day with family or friends, or just spend some quality time under a cozy blanket with a good book, TV show or movie, there’s no wrong way to do this. But make sure you prep! Remember to pick up some good winter reads at one of our local bookshops, like Skylark, Yellow Dog or Columbia Books. And for a delicious winter standard, check out a few of our favorite hot cocoa recipes at


While there is no actual skating rink in Columbia, Stephens Lake is open for ice skating when conditions allow, which means a minimum of 4 inches of solid ice before the city makes any announcement of open ice skating. If you do head out on the frozen lake, first check to make sure the sign that says ice skating is allowed that day has been placed. Keep in mind that city workers do not check the ice on weekends, holidays or evenings, and what was determined safe yesterday, may not be today. You can see the full list of criteria at Of course, you can always head down to Jefferson City to use the Washington Park Ice Arena, the only indoor (and yearround) ice skating rink in the area.


But skating isn’t the only way to get out on the ice. When the ice is thick, Cosmo-Bethel Lake is open for ice fishing. The lake is stocked with trout for the winter months, thanks to a partnership between Columbia Parks and Recreation and the Missouri Department of Conservation. Ice fishing is catch-and-release from Nov. 1 through Jan. 31, but then anglers can take fish, following statewide regulations. All anglers between 16 and 64 must have a valid fishing permit. As with ice skating at Stephens Lake, a sign will be posted at the lake if the ice has been checked and is at least 4 inches think.


You don’t necessarily have to freeze to enjoy some of our winter scenery. For those with the means to splurge, there’s a couple of ways to more comfortably enjoy the winter landscape. The Roof transforms its outdoor bar area with transparent, heated igloos that can seat up to eight people. While reservations are not required, they are recommended, and to secure an igloo, you must pay a food and beverage minimum of $200-$300, depending on the day. And CoMo Picnics offers luxurious winter picnics in decorated and heated bubble tents in a variety of available themes. This year, the local business is adding a new offering with holiday-themed picnics at the Village of Cherry Tree Square on weekends throughout December, meaning a perfect view of the Magic Tree. Picnics are available for two or more guests and reservations for the Magic Tree are available for $200 for two guests, with $10 for each additional guest.


While this annual event isn’t until March 11, we consider it a particularly special winter activity that is worth doing at least once, just to check it off your bucket list. Oh, and to help a really good cause, as the annual Polar Plunge benefits Special Olympics Missouri by having participants brave the frigid winter waters of our area. Participants must be at least 10 years old and raise a minimum of $75 by the day of the event. Learn more at We promise it’s an experience to remember!

Walking in a winter wonderland can be a truly magical thing — unless you’re freezing! To make sure you’re prepared for the season and all the outdoor fun that Columbia has to offer, we’ve gathered a few accessories that are sure to keep you wonderfully warm while looking your best. Our beautiful models — ABC 17 reporters Leila Mitchell and Chanel Porter — indulged in some winter-themed fun to properly showcase these cozy pieces from local shops.

Anyone else ready for a snowball fight?

French Knot Woodstock crochet handwarmers Poppy $74 French Knot Woodstock twist headband Poppy $65
$22 Brittany’s Buttons knit hat Poppy $35 Powder Design Cosy scarf Poppy $54
Faux fur bucket hat in khaki Alpine Shop



French Knot Winona hat Poppy $46 Buttons knit shawl Poppy $59 French Knot Alice gloves Poppy $84 Buttons knit shawl Poppy $59
C.C. faux fur Sherpa earmuffs in taupe Alpine Shop $16
C.C. Sherpa convertible mittens in DK camel Alpine Shop $24

When you’re dealing with a question, it can be daunting to find answers. In the age of technology, there are limitless possibilities when searching for help and many of them are, quite frankly, not that helpful.

But don’t worry. Columbia is home to all kinds of experts, ranging from financial services to mental health to auto repair, and they are ready and willing to take on your questions. Learn from the local pros and see why each is at the top of their game.

Ready? It’s time to “Ask the Expert!”

What is mental health and why is it important?

Mental health includes our emotional, psychological and social well-being. It affects how we think, feel and act, and helps determine how we handle stress, relate to others and make healthy choices. Maintaining a positive mental health and treating any condition is crucial to stabilizing constructive behaviors, emotions and thoughts. Focusing on mental health care can increase productivity, enhance self-image and improve relationships. Nurturing mental health doesn't just improve daily functions, but it also can help control, or combat, some of the physical health problems directly linked to mental health conditions.

Mental health can affect anyone throughout their life, so getting the proper care can be lifesaving. Dr. Sarmistha Bhalla, Chief Medical Officer at CenterPointe Hospital of Columbia, says under standing mental health is just the first step. “Mental health is important at every stage of life, from childhood through adult hood,” she says.

And it’s more impor tant now than ever before as many still struggle to deal with the effects of the pandemic.

Dr. Bhalla first became interested in the mental health field after a tragedy in high school when her best friend’s mother com

pleted suicide. “It struck me hard to think about what goes in one's mind when tak ing such a step, not thinking about how it will impact those close to you,” she says.

At CenterPointe, Dr. Bhalla says mental health is treated just like any other illness and all patients receive the same holistic sup port. “The patients in my hospital are treated with respect and we very carefully take care of their privacy,” she says. CenterPointe’s mission is to deliver behavioral health care services with compassion for patients and families caring physicians, nurses, social workers and other professionals.

CENTERPOINTE HOSPITAL 573-615-2001 1201 International Drive
Mental health is important at every stage of life, from childhood through adulthood.

What is paintless dent repair?

Paintless dent repair, or PDR, is a relatively new form of automotive dent repair. The PDR process requires no sanding, filling or repainting. Instead, certified technicians use specialized knowledge, training, tools and techniques to restore dents and dings back to factory condition. When done properly, PDR is both safe and effective without weakening steel or aluminum panels or making them susceptible to rust or corrosion.

With more than 20 years as a collision technician, Wally Inskeep knows how to expertly tackle any dent. The advancement of paintless dent repair only deepened Inskeep’s commitment to the field as he saw its impressive capabilities. “To say that I was blown away by what I saw would be an understatement,” he says.

This revolutionary repair took the original form of repairing dents with sanding, primer, masking and a reapplication of paint, and simplified the process, making it easier and more environmentally friendly. “It does not involve any paint, waste from sanding or as

many chemicals and energy,” he says.

As president of Columbia Dent Company, Inskeep says one of the most unique aspects of the business is its mobile abilities. “We serve our customers where they are, with little disruption to their day,” he says. “We routinely do repairs at homes and parking lots in just a few hours.”

When it comes to your automotive needs, Columbia Dent Company not only uses the latest in specialized dent repair, but works in a fast turnaround at lower costs, ultimately providing higher resale values for customers. “Our mission is to provide our clients with the best paintless dent repair in mid-Missouri, coupled with the


best customer
Our mission is to provide our clients with the best paintless dent repair in mid-Missouri, coupled with the best customer experience.

While many professionals no longer make house calls, there’s one who will still make the trip to your home: Dr. Money.

Also known as Greg ory Grimes, the financial adviser knows that it’s important to start plan ning early when it comes to securing a fruitful retire ment. If a family member needs long-term care, it can quickly become dif ficult to manage expenses, as Grimes knows all too well. At one point, he was spend ing more than $16,000 per month (out of pocket) to cover the costs of long-term care for two family members, and he hopes to keep others from experiencing the same strain. “Without long-term care, it would

have bankrupted our family,” Grimes says. Retirement planning can look different for each person, as Grimes says any new customer will need a totally unique plan — there is no one-size-fits-all approach. “Every situation is different. It’s like a doctor diagnos ing a patient; Our team has come up with a suitable treatment plan to help our clients and their specific needs. There’s no cookiecutter solutions,” he says.

Being an independent adviser, what sets Grimes apart is his focus on long-term plan ning, as many financial or investment advis ers either don’t do that type of planning or simply don’t have access to the types of products and services a client would need.

If a couple lives to be 65, there is a better than 70% chance one or both will need care. Not planning for that care is the single biggest threat to a successful retirement. I know from firsthand experience how important the need is for wealth preservation in retirement due to long-term care needs.

Securities offered through Securities America, Inc., Member FINRA/SIPC. Advisory services offered through Securities America Advisors, Inc., and Arbor Point Advisors, LLC. Arbor Point Advisors, KG Financial and Securities America are separate entities.

Why plan for long-term care in retirement for individuals, couples and small business owners?
KOLEY FINANCIAL 573-864-2185 4816 Kenora Drive Columbia
Every situation is different. It’s like a doctor diagnosing a patient; our team has come up with a suitable treatment plan to help our clients and their specific needs.

Ammo Alley has several classes for someone who is new to shooting sports. If you have a busy schedule, many people choose to take part in the one-to-one personalized instruction. This class adapts the training to someone's individual needs, concerns and schedule. Ammo Alley also offers concealed carry training, personal protection training, close quarter defense tactic training, firearms safety training and more.

J. Doug Alley has been interested in firearms for as long as he can remember. Now, he says meeting and working with people who have the same fascination with firearms has been a gratifying experience. “Helping others with that same interest has certainly been one of the highlights in my life,” Alley says.

For those timid about trying something new, Alley says the range continues to maintain a friendly, welcoming environment for all guests. “Our instructors keep the training informative while still keeping it enjoyable,” he says.

And while it may be about having fun, at least at times, Alley says safety is always a priority. “We have gone to painstaking effort to make our range and training facilities a safe and enjoyable experience and I do feel once you would come visit, you'll agree,” Alley says.

Alley hopes people continue to step out of their comfort zone and put their trust in Ammo Alley as they explore the world of firearms. “Our wish is to bring more people into the shooting sports and help everyone discover how much fun shooting can be as a recreational sport, as well to solidify the constitutional Second Amendment into everyone's heart.”

How does a beginner get started target shooting?
AMMO ALLEY Indoor Range & Training Academy 573-634-6196 11562 County Road 395
Our instructors keep the training informative while still keeping it enjoyable.

While cleaning is a dreaded chore for many, it’s a passion for Liza Hahn. “I love the satisfying, visible difference exterior cleaning creates, resulting in a healthy home and pleasing curb appeal,” says the manager of Agent Clean.

Hahn knows the importance of proper cleaning in protecting valuable assets, especially your home. By engaging in regular cleaning and maintenance, homeowners can help protect their investments and the quality of life at home. Hahn says dirty windows can affect how much sunlight enters your home, which

can result in higher utility bills in the winter. Having an unsealed deck can make it easy to absorb and retain moisture causing premature rot. And leaving gutters clogged prevents proper drainage, which can lead to wall, ceiling or basement damage.

But it’s important to be careful and make sure the proper methods are being used, as Hahn says damage can easily be caused by improper cleaning methods. But not at Agent Clean where, as Hahn says, “We strive to stay on the cutting edge of our industry with safe, efficient and effective quality service and products.”

A home is often one's biggest investment. The best way to properly care for your investment is not only with regular cleaning, but through proper protection and maintenance. From soft washing the exterior to staining decks or treating roofs to sealing concrete, staying on top of regular cleaning and maintenance needs will create a longer lasting, healthier environment.

What is the best way to protect my property investment?
AGENT CLEAN 573-416-0132 503 E. Nifong, suite 258
I love the satisfying, visible difference exterior cleaning creates, resulting in a healthy home and pleasing curb appeal.

Start your search early. Don't rely too heavily on online resources and nursing home comparison websites. Schedule a visit, meet with the management team and tour the facility. Also, do an unannounced tour on a weekend. Observe the cleanliness of the community and professionalism of the frontline employees. Observe other residents during the visit and talk to them and their family members. This should give you a good idea of whether you want to place your loved ones there.

Roystan Pais’ passion for long-term senior care is rooted in his native Indian culture. Pais, executive director for The Bluffs, says seniors are a symbol of wisdom and life experiences in his native India. “To me, it is essential to utilize and respect such an important source of wisdom among us,” he says. “I truly believe to care for those who once cared for us is one of the highest honors in life.”

The most rewarding part for Pais is the lasting friendships that help make each day worthwhile. “The tremendous gratitude and appreciation shown by seniors brings me great satisfaction every single day,” he says.

But the nonprofit nursing home does

more than care for its residents, it also focuses on employee happiness. Pais says The Bluffs has a strong employee-centered culture to avoid the high turnover rate often seen in the industry. “We are fortunate to have many long-term employees at the Bluffs,” Pais says. “Our staff's dedication makes all the difference for quality health care and life enrichment.”

As a nonprofit, The Bluffs puts all its revenue back into the facility for resident care, facility improvements and employees. Operations are overseen by a volunteer board made up of area business leaders and medical professionals, Pais says. For residents, The Bluffs offers a Life Enrichment Department that brings in events and activities to enhance daily lives.

How do you choose a good nursing home or rehabilitation facility for your loved ones?
THE BLUFFS 573-442-6060 3105 Bluff Creek Drive
I truly believe to care for those who once cared for us is one of the highest honors in life.

Emily Haynes wasn’t always planning to start her own cleaning company, but when the opportunity presented itself, she quickly took the reins. When the facility she was working at needed a new cleaning crew, “I decided to throw my hat in the ring as the replacement,” Haynes says.

Now the owner of The Cleanest, LLC, Haynes has increasingly grown her business, which now encompasses eight employees, 16 commercial clients and more than 40 residential clients. But even as her company has grown, Haynes has kept her focus on a highly personalized experience for each client. “We tailor every clean to the individual needs of each client,” she says, noting that this

includes a personal walk-through to better understand the client and the property. “I take detailed notes of the specificities of your home as well as any special requests you may have.”

That personalized focus has helped to keep the trust of her clients over the years. “We understand you are granting us the privilege to be entrusted with access to your family's home,” Haynes says. At The Cleanest, LLC, the confidentiality of your home is protected and preserved through honesty, respect and professionalism.

While residential work is part of the deal, The Cleanest, LLC, also offers professional commercial cleaning services to local businesses in the Columbia area, regardless of size or frequency.

What should you look for when selecting a cleaning company for your home?

When considering a cleaning company to care for your home, there are several aspects to consider. First, ensure any candidate is a professional and legitimate company that can produce impeccable results at a competitive rate. It’s also crucial that you and your loved ones, including any pets, feel safe with that company working inside your home. That’s why exceptional communication is key, and it’s what customers get from The Cleanest, LLC, along with punctuality, kindness and swift problem-solving to provide you with the peace of mind you deserve.

THE CLEANEST, LLC 573-673-6984 903 Old Highway 63 N, Suite B
We tailor every clean to the individual needs of each client.

It's actually very easy! The hardest thing you'll have to do is pick a color. After that, we'll make sure everything gets covered, protected and prepped properly. And before you know it, we'll be cleaning up and heading out. When we leave, you’ll have what feels like a brand new house and think to yourself, "That was easy.”

Fabian Carbone found his passion through watching, and working with, his father at his paint business in California. “I would go work with him over the summer and just enjoyed transforming homes with a good paint job!”

Now the owner of Angels Custom Paint ing, LLC, Carbone says the work is all about transforming a space for the customer. “We work with individuals and businesses to turn their everyday environ ments into functional, beautiful and inspir ing spaces,” he says.

Angel’s Custom Painting has been deliver ing a high-quality painting experience on a budget to mid-Missouri since 2005. Since then, the emphasis has been on building strong relationships with customers.

And Carbone’s more than 20 years of experience partnered with the affordable pricing is the perfect combi nation for a customer seeking painting services. “Customer satisfaction is one of the most important parts of our company's strategy,” Carbone says. “We know that if the job is done right and the customer is satisfied. We'll keep getting more opportunities!”

How difficult is it to have my house painted?
ANGELS CUSTOM PAINTING, LLC 573-289-9842 Customer satisfaction is one of the most important parts of our company's strategy.

Garage doors may not be something the everyday person thinks about, but for Clayton Oringderff, owner and president of Eddie’s Garage Doors, Inc., this type of work is in his blood. “I grew up watching my father work in the industry and I came to really enjoy working in this field,” Oringderff says.

Since garage doors are attached to what is usually someone’s most important asset, Oringderff says his focus is on the customer’s needs. “We pride ourselves on our customer service and really stand behind our work,” he says. With its wide array of garage door choices and accessories at several different price points, Oringderff makes it easy for customers to find exactly what they need

at exactly the right price.

When contacting Eddie’s Garage Doors, Inc., customers will connect directly with one of the owners, both of whom come from an installation background that gives real insight into how best to serve the customer’s needs.

“Our customers can rest assured knowing they are talking to a garage door professional,” he says. Plus, they maintain relationships with many local businesses, so they can make a knowledgeable recommendation if a project requires expertise outside of what Eddie’s Garage Doors can provide.

After more than 20 years serving the Columbia community, Oringderff says there is no plan to stop any time soon.

Do I need an insulated garage door?

Yes! One advantage of going with an insulated steel-back garage door over a non-insulated option is the increased structural strength of the door. An insulated steel-back garage door is going to be far stronger and will hold up better over time. It also will be more resilient to impact, making it a great choice for rental properties. While it does cost a bit more, it’s usually not a substantial difference and is far worth the added cost.

EDDIE'S GARAGE DOORS, INC. 573-886-8442 4109 Waco Road
We pride ourselves on our customer service and really stand behind our work.

Having a car break down while driving is unnerving, especially when you’re driving on a busy road or highway. First, stay calm and try to steer out of traffic and onto the shoulder or nearest interstate exit. Make sure your vehicle is visible to other drivers by turning on hazard lights and interior lights if it’s dark outside. Remain in your vehicle and call for help. At Tiger Towing, we are fast, efficient and reasonably priced, and it’s our priority to get you safely off the road as quickly as possible.


Tyler and Jenny Doyle love being able to work in a fast-paced environment while helping people in a time of crisis by providing safe, efficient and affordable towing services. “We enjoy helping customers in need,” Tyler Doyle says, noting that Tiger Towing offers assistance on everything from towing and jumpstarts to lockouts and tire changes. “Our drivers always have a smile on their faces and are always happy to help make a bad day better.”

The Doyles know that it can be a

scary experience to be stranded in your vehicle, waiting for help, which is why they place a premium on both response time and affordability. “Our crew is the best in Columbia,” Jenny Doyle says. “We make sure to get the customer off the highway as soon as humanly possible.”

What should you do when your car breaks down and you’re stranded on the road?
It’s just one of many reasons to remember that if you get involved in a car accident, you have a choice on tow service, so choose the best with Tiger Towing. Towing 414 Nebraska Ave. 573-449-3754
Our drivers always have a smile on their faces and are always happy to help make a bad day better.

Dr. Michael Ryan knows firsthand how much pain and discomfort is associated with a vein condition, having lived with his own for 20 years before he was treated. With the experience of his own vein condition and with having treated thousands of patients, Dr. Ryan says, “The most important part of my job is helping relieve people of pain and discomfort.”

Dr. Ryan’s passion for his work can be traced back to 2005, when

he first learned of a new patientfriendly technology for treating vein conditions. After seeing the new treatments in action and how much of a positive impact it had on patients, Dr. Ryan was impressed and shortly thereafter changed his practice to full-time vein care.

“I saw the incredible advances in patient-friendly treatments,” he says. “We are really focused on making the experience a positive one for patients.”

Can I suffer from the effects of a vein condition even if I don't have visible leg veins?

Most people who suffer from a vein condition don't have visible leg veins. While visible signs can include bulging veins, spider veins, swelling, skin stains or skin ulcers, there are invisible signs as well. These can include leg pain, leg cramps, fatigue, poor sleep, weight gain, itching legs, feet that are numb, tingling, cold or even burning and stinging. If you are suffering from any of these symptoms, the biggest clue as to whether you have a vein condition is if the symptoms are predominantly below your knees, worse at the end of the day and improve with overnight rest. With those symptoms and this pattern, you are highly likely to be suffering from a vein condition and treatments will help.

MISSOURI VEIN CARE 573-449-2273 4004 Peach Court, Suite E
The most important part of my job is helping relieve people of pain and discomfort.

I have coverage through my work. Isn't that amount of coverage adequate to fully protect my family in case of an untimely death?

Just having a policy through your employer does not ensure enough coverage to protect your family. There are several things you need to consider when purchasing life insurance, such as how much income am I trying to protect, how much debt will need to get covered, how long will I need this coverage and what am I trying to protect? Life insurance is thought of as a way to protect loved ones, whether it’s children at home, parents who you are responsible for, kids in college or long-term care plans for yourself.

Insurance is more than just a job for Phyllis Nichols. “I have always wanted to be helpful to people and, in this job, I am able to change people’s lives or at least keep them from drastic changes in their lifestyle,” she says.

While it’s important to make sure people get coverage, Nichols says it’s always about more than just making a sale. “We don't just sell a policy to sell; we research why the customer needs the policy and for what time frame it will be needed,” she says. And with each customer comes different needs. Nichols says she works to

provide customers with coverage that will fit whatever their needs are — it’s all part of getting to know the customer. “It’s important to make sure your customers know you truly care about them and their family, and the importance of matching the right products to specific needs,” Nichols says.

As a Columbia native, Nichols is able to more effectively help those in the area, or those who are new to mid-Missouri. And of course, pet lovers in the community get the extra perk of working in Nichols’ petfriendly office environment.

PHYLLIS NICHOLS State Farm Insurance 1006 West Blvd. N. suite 202 573-443-8727
I am able to change people’s lives or at least keep them from drastic changes in their lifestyle.

After having personal experience as a customer needing roadside assistance, Jonathan Peacock knew he wanted to help others in their times of crisis. Now the owner of JPs 24 Hour Roadside Truck Service, Peacock says his family business is focused on the customer’s needs. “We are fam ily oriented, owned and operated. We seek to help in the best way possible,” Peacock says.

Even if the problem turns out to be some thing JPs cannot take care of, Peacock says

his team will make sure you are in the right hands. “If we can't do it on site, we will let you know on the phone,” he says. “If that happens, we have a spot for you to go, so don't worry because your experience with JPs is still available.”

JPs is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. No matter your needs, Peacock says the best thing to do is simply give them a call. “If you need road side assistance and can't wait or make it to a shop, or maybe believe you need a tow, give JPs a call first.”

What if something happens to your vehicle?

Don't freak out, just keep calm and give us a call. You have a local roadside assistance company ready to provide most services that your vehicle could need, whether it's a jumpstart, belt replacement or even a tire change or purchase. You can even call if you need an oil change and can’t make it to a shop. There is no need to wait until it’s too late. Call us!

JPs 24 HOUR ROADSIDE TRUCK SERVICE LLC 1510 Jade Road 573-474-0459
If you need roadside assistance and can't wait or make it to a shop … give JPs a call first.

What is the Employee Retention Credit?

The Employee Retention Credit (ERC) is a federal program created in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and economic shutdown. It is a payroll tax credit that became available with the passing of the CARES Act. The ERC provides a refundable tax credit for nonprofits and small businesses for maintaining payroll during 2020 and 2021. The tax credit only considers full-time and part-time W-2 employees.

Throughout the pandemic, the Columbia community saw strength, compassion, grief and resilience. And it became Joel Eisleben's goal to help the small businesses struggling to get through recovery. “When I discovered that many of these businesses and organizations had not even heard about the ERC, I saw it as a tremen dous opportunity to help these local businesses and organizations,” he says.

Eisleben, co-owner of S&E Consulting, LLC, then made it his priority to help those businesses hit hard by the pandemic, work ing to ensure each client understands the

available credit and qualifications. “We have spent countless hours researching, educat ing and helping eligible businesses suc cessfully file to receive the help they need and deserve,” Eisleben says. The goal is all about awareness and making sure businesses don’t miss out on available government assistance, he says. Ensuring local owners can get relief with confidence as they know S&E is on their side makes everything worthwhile for Eisleben. “We care about small businesses and are willing to go the extra mile for them,” he says.

S&E CONSULTING, LLC 573-234-4660
We care about small businesses and are willing to go the extra mile for them.

The pandemic affected everyone and many small businesses are still working their way through recovery. Paden Squires, co-owner of S&E Consulting, LLC, says the minute he figured out how he could help small businesses that continue to struggle, he knew he was in the right line of work. “Once I learned the size of the credit and the impact it could have on small businesses, I knew I had to learn a lot more about it,” Squires says.

S&E Consulting works tirelessly to assist clients in claiming the ERC, doing everything possible to provide ease and assurance, while “taking the headache out of the

process,” Squires says. The goal is to make sure all small businesses are at least aware of the tax credit. “There have been many cases where clients were informed incorrectly and could have missed out on huge financial support,” he says.

And for those just starting to navigate the process, S&E will be there along the way to make sure everything goes to plan. “We assist our clients from beginning to end and after the engage ment,” Squires says. “We correspond with the IRS if there are issues along the way.”

What are the qualifications for the Employee Retention Credit?

The ERC is available for businesses and nonprofit organizations. There are three different ways to qualify, starting with experiencing a significant decline in gross receipts during one business quarter. Another qualification is if your business was fully or partially suspended due to government orders. The final way to qualify is if you are a recovery startup business, which is a business that started operations after Feb. 15, 2020. These businesses can automatically qualify for two quarters in 2021, if gross receipts are less than $1 million.

Our aim is to provide ease and assurance in claiming the ERC and taking the headache out of the process.

Recessions are natural parts of the economic cycle, but smart investors should take a proactive role. This includes working with a financial planner to prepare a portfolio. Holding cash, intentional investing strategies and utilizing active managed funds all can help protect what you've saved. The biggest challenge is not overreacting to short-term market volatility.

Working to protect people’s most important assets is what Greg Brockmeier loves most about his job as an investment planner at Brockmeier Financial Services, LLC. “I love the idea of assisting investors navigate an overly complex field, helping to educate and inform their decision making,” he says.

For Brockmeier, his work is about more than just financial planning; it’s about saving what means most to his clients. “It's their goals, their dreams,” he says. “They trust me to protect those dreams.”

Investment planners understand the

economic cycle is constantly changing, but investments mean more than just a monthly statement. “It can mean what retirement looks like, travel destinations, a child's education, the future,” Brockmeier says. Being able to protect a person’s future and keep them from making the types of short-term risks that can have long-term effects is something Brockmeier feels honored to do.

Brockmeier Financial Services, LLC, dedicates itself to becoming true experts in the field in order to create the perfect strategy for each client. “We are always putting our client's best interests first,” Brockmeier says.

How do you prepare your finances for a recession?
BROCKMEIER FINANCIAL SERVICES, LLC 573-442-6146 2801 Woodard Drive, suite 105
We are always putting our client's best interests first.

It can be stressful to find a plumber. In some places, there’s too many options to know which is the right choice. And in others, there’s almost no one.

In 2005, seeing the demand and lack of existing options, Brian Wear opened Brian Wear Plumbing to serve midMissouri. Now, Wear offers a plethora of options from basic plumbing and water heater repair to trenchless pipe repair, all for a good price. “We're not going to sell you something you don’t need,” Wear says. “We will always give options and educate the customer about what and why we

recommend something.”

At Brian Wear Plumbing, the staff goes the extra mile to make sure they are prepared to handle any problem at your home. “We will make sure the job is done right and back it up with the best warranties,” Wear says.

With winter in full swing, frozen pipes are the focus of many when it comes to pipe repair. Luckily, no matter what, Brian Wear Plumbing has the solution. “If you need your plumbing repaired, we are ready to do the job for you to help you get everything flowing correctly again,” he says.

Is trenchless pipe replacement right for me?

The answer is simply maybe. If you are tired of having to get your drain cleaned every six months or worried your sewer will back up every time you have company over, then trenchless pipe replacement may be the answer. It is a modern solution for restoring underground pipes. Unlike traditional methods, it doesn’t require excavation, making the process fast, cost-effective and minimally invasive.

BRIAN WEAR PLUMBING 573-864-4463 2501 Rangeline St. Ste B
We will always give options and educate the customer about what and why we recommend something.
Brian Wear Owner

The doctors at Bluetail Medical Group use the latest regenerative therapies and sports medicine treatments, including platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy, prolotherapy and regenerative cell injection therapy. These innovative and minimally invasive treatment options relieve all types of joint pain, including osteoarthritis and other degenerative conditions. Bluetail Medical Group has more than 15 years of experience in treating sports injuries, arthritic joints and back pain. We utilize your body to stimulate the healing to keep you active in your life.

Nobody ever plans on getting hurt and when it happens, it throws everything off balance. But by working with Bluetail Medical Group after an injury, you can avoid the dreaded long-term recovery from surgery.

Through the hard work of expert orthopedic physicians, Bluetail Medical Group provides patients of all ages with nonsurgical regenerative therapies and rehabilitation treatments that stimulate the body's natural ability to heal itself after injury. Physician and owner Christopher Wolf says his passion for this work grew from being on the other side of the aisle. As a patient, Wolf underwent a biologic procedure

that spared him further issues. “Shortly after that, I changed my career path,” he says.

When it comes to treatment, Wolf says he takes into account more than just the injury. “I take the time to understand not only the injury or limitation but how it interferes with what you want to be able to do.” From there, he says, it comes down to crafting individual treatment courses to fit specific needs.

On a national level, Bluetail Medical Group is involved in research to show just how effective these treatments are while continuing to grow the science behind biologic/regenerative treatment for joint pain.

Is there a way to get relief from joint or spine pain from an injury or arthritis without medication or surgery?
BLUETAIL MEDICAL GROUP 573-446-4000 2807 W. Broadway, suite 107
I take the time to understand not only the injury or limitation but how it interferes with what you want to be able to do.

David Crane, physician and owner of Bluetail Medical Group, knows firsthand the frustrations that come when an injury fails to respond to traditional therapy. It wasn’t until he had spent more than a decade with a substantial amount of pain that Crane finally found relief. “When regen erative medicine was first developing, my knee was successfully treated after a 14-year history of pain,” Crane says.

Crane knew if surgery wasn’t the answer for him, it might not be helping others in pain either. Luckily for Bluetail patients, regenerative therapy heals injuries by growing new healthy tissue with the potential to fully repair damaged tissues. “These therapies incorporate excellent non-invasive and non-surgical options for acute

and chronic orthopedic conditions and injuries,” Crane says.

While the therapy can be life changing for a patient, there are other perks to working with Bluetail. “We spend a lot of time on our patient’s education in this field and making sure they feel comfortable with their care and providers,” Crane says. Bluetail also continues to work with the FDA to ensure treatments are safe and effective.

Regenerative medicine has a high success rate when treating conditions relating to bones, muscles, joints, soft tissues, nerve injuries, spinal pain, chronic pain and degenerative conditions like osteoarthritis. With the help of Bluetail, you can feel relief without prescription medications with a faster recovery time and improved mobility and function.

What is regenerative medicine and what conditions does it optimally treat?

Regenerative medicine uses your body’s own ability to heal itself after illness or injury. It focuses on restoring function and structure to damaged or injured tissue in a natural way. At Bluetail Medical Group, we specialize in treating orthopedic and non-orthopedic conditions with regenerative therapies. These include many degenerative conditions such as arthritis and disc degeneration, as well as chronic tendon injuries.

BLUETAIL MEDICAL GROUP 573-446-4000 2807 W. Broadway, suite 107
We spend a lot of time on our patient’s education in this field and making sure they feel comfortable with their care and providers.

publisher’s note

Last month I traveled to Boonville to attend the Missouri River Valley’s Steam Engine Show, mainly to support my dad and brother who were exhibiting in the John Deere pavilion that weekend. What I thought was going to be a small gathering of tractor lovers turned out to be so much more! The crowd was enormous, and this was the last of the three-day event.

I arrived just in time to witness the tractor parade, where an announcer (with only a few short notes) gave insight into each of the tractors in the parade. I would guess there were easily 50 tractors placed head-to-tail participating in the daily parade. How does the announcer have that much background of various steam engines and tractors? Who are all these people packed into the stands? And what makes people want to tinker with tractors?

So that was the beginning of the idea for two features in this month’s issue of Boom! magazine. First, you’ll read about Kee Groshong, a former vice chancellor of administrative services with the University of Missouri, who has turned his sights to knowing numbers of a different kind — the price of owning and restoring antique tractors. Groshong pursues his retirement hobby by traveling to tractor shows and working on his collection of machinery.

Second, you’ll get a brief glimpse into a critical element of tractors — the sought-after seats. You could say Rodney Garnett has been collecting tractor seats since he was old enough to sit on them. Fred Garnett, his father (and my grandfather), boasted a tool collection that included wrenches that were sold with tractor seats. So, the rest is history. While Rodney Garnett has about 100 tractor seats, we’ve shown you a glimpse of what these seats looked like — before the comfortable cushion seats were attached to tractors.

Speaking of comfort, you’ll undoubtedly be interested in reading about a program through MU Health Care that helps seniors stay comfortable behind the wheel of a car. The goal of the Keep Your Keys program is to make getting around town easier and safer for older adults. Local professionals teach tips and methods on how to stay out of harm’s way on the road.

If you want to continue learning on a variety of subjects, you’ll be intrigued to read an article in this issue on adults who have hit the books and who have hit their educational objectives. Through in-class programs, online learning or getting certified for a new career, opportunities to gain knowledge and discover new interests have become increasingly popular for Baby Boomers.

We hope you learn something new in this issue of Boom! magazine. I’d love to hear about your new hobbies and discoveries. Enjoy!

staffChief Executive Officer

Carla Leible

Founder & Publisher Emeritus

Fred Parry

Publisher & Managing Editor

Melody Garnett Parry

Associate Editors

Madeleine Leroux

Zola Crowder Art Director Tim Flanner Graphic Designer Madelyn Jones

Photo Editor L.G. Patterson

Advertising Coordinators

Bethany Smidt Kalie Kramel

Marketing Representatives Cathy Atkins

Josh Arnold Kari Arbova Tyler Morrison Office Manager Becky James

Distribution Associate Steve Leible

Contributing Writers

Jack Wax

Kimberly Blaker


me at WINTER 2022-23

Should you consolidate retirement accounts?

OOne of the rewards for working over several decades is the ability to contribute to taxadvantaged retirement accounts, which can help provide needed income for you when you do retire. As the years went by, you may well have accumulated several retirement accounts, such as IRAs and 401(k)s or similar employer-sponsored plans. But you might find it advantageous to consolidate these accounts with a single provider.

Consolidating them can provide you with several potential benefits, including these:

Less confusion and clutter – If you have multiple accounts in different locations, it may be difficult to keep track of tax documents, statements, fees, disclosures and other important information. Consolidating accounts could help provide clear, simplified account maintenance.

Less likelihood of “lost accounts” – It may be hard to believe, but many people abandon their retirement accounts, leaving thousands of dollars behind and unclaimed. In fact, at the end of 2021, there were nearly 25 million forgotten 401(k) accounts, worth about 20% of all 401(k) assets, according to an estimate by Capitalize, a financial services company that helps individuals roll over retirement plan assets into new accounts. It’s possible that employers can even move small, old accounts out of their 401(k) plans and into an IRA on behalf of their former employees, thus increasing the chances that savers will lose track of their money. By consolidating your retirement plans with one provider, you can ensure you don’t lose track of your hard-earned money.

• Ability to follow a unified strategy – With multiple retirement accounts, and different investment portfolios, you might find it difficult to maintain a unified financial strategy that’s appropriate for your goals and

risk tolerance. But once you’ve consolidated accounts with a single provider, you’ll find it easier to manage your investment mix and to rebalance your portfolio as needed. The need to rebalance may become more important as you near retirement because you may want to shift some of your assets into investments that aren’t as susceptible to swings in the financial markets.

• Possible improvement in investment options – Often, 401(k)s may have limited investment selection, so consolidating accounts with a full-service firm may allow for a wider array of products and strategies. This broader exposure can potentially help you improve your overall retirement income strategies.

• Greater ease in calculating RMDs –Once you turn 72, you will need to start taking withdrawals — called required minimum distributions, or RMDs — from your traditional IRA and your 401(k) or similar plan. If you don’t take out at least the minimal amount, which is based on your age and account balance, you could face a penalty. If you have several accounts, with different providers, it could be cumbersome and difficult to calculate your RMDs — it will be much easier with all accounts under one roof.

So, if you do have multiple retirement accounts, give some thought to consolidating them. The consolidation process is not difficult, and the end result may save you time and hassles, while also helping you manage your retirement income more effectively.

This article was written by Edward Jones for use by your local Edward Jones Financial Advisor.

Gina N Mauller-Crane, CFP®, Financial Advisor 11 South Fairview Road, Suite 109 Columbia, MO 65203 573.445.7671 | | bd • Retirement Savings Strategies • Business & Employer Retirement Plans • Estate, Legacy & Wealth Strategies • Intergenerational Planning • Socially Conscious Investing • Education Savings Plans • Annuities • Protection Strategies (Life, Disability, and Longterm Care Insurance) Member SIPC


That’s why Commerce Trust Company is the right choice for you. Instead of worrying about managing the complexities of your finances, Commerce Trust has a team of advisors and in-house resources who help you achieve your personal and financial goals through comprehensive wealth management, investments, and planning services. Call Commerce Trust today, so you can have more time to enjoy the better things in life.

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Lyle Johnson - 573.886.5275 Commerce Trust is a division of Commerce Bank. Investment products: Not FDIC insured – May lose value – No bank guarantee. © 2022 Commerce Bancshares, Inc.

good stuff

106 Exploring Education

Lifelong learning has become increasingly popular for those over 50. Read these tips about how to reach your educational objectives.

110 Restoring Tractors In Retirement

Kee Groshong is getting his hands dirty after a long career at MU. Now you’ll find him hard at work putting tractors back into working condition.

good life

116 Staying Safely On The Road

The Keep Your Keys program helps older adults stay on the road and helps answer the tough question: when to retire from driving.

in this issue 106 110


WINTER 2022-23

Seniors Hit The Books To Continue Learning

You’re never too old to achieve your educational goals. Lifelong learning has become increasingly popular in recent years as Baby Boomers have reached the age of retirement. For some, the purpose of going back to school is to finish their studies and accomplish a degree. But for many more, it's merely for fun and an opportunity to gain knowledge, discover new interests and keep their minds and bodies fit.

With the rising costs of college, you may see it as an unlikely endeavor.

Not to mention, if you're still in the workforce, where would you find time for the commute and classes, let alone time to study? Fortunately, today, there are many ways to overcome these obstacles.

If you'd like to continue formal learning, first, consider your purpose and what you hope to accomplish. Do you want to earn your degree? Are you primarily interested in broadening your knowledge? Are you in search of new interests and socializing opportunities? Your answer might be

one or all of these. But knowing your purpose will give you direction.

For Columbia resident Melanie Karrick, the purpose was to become an Enrolled Agent (EA), a tax practitioner who can represent taxpayers before the IRS. The selfemployed fitness professional and seasonal tax preparer began her studies for the new certification at age 58. “I’ve passed the first set of the three-part series. My goal is to complete studies by fall 2023,” she says.

Roll Call
Melanie Karrick went back to school to earn her Enrolled Agent certification at 58.

Coordinating Multiple Responsibilities

Like Karrick, you may still be working while you juggle your studies. But with a little planning and finesse, you can develop workable solutions that'll freeup time for your studies.

Start by making a list of all your responsibilities, then cross off anything unnecessary. Where else can you save time? You can do house cleaning every 10 to 14 days rather than weekly. Skip cleaning anything that isn't in dire need until the next time. Straighten up only the main rooms daily. Others can wait.

Make a pact to limit volunteering your time until you’ve reached your educational goals. If “no” isn’t in your vocabulary, create reminder cards. Then put them by the phone and in your purse, so you’ll be prepared to say “no” at all times.

Discuss the importance of furthering your education with your partner. Ask which responsibilities your partner is willing to take over until you’ve accomplished your goals.

Ask your employer if you can take shorter lunch breaks and leave earlier. Another possibility is for your employer to allow you fewer but longer workdays for an extra day of study each week.

Continuing Education

Don’t forget to explore your community to find out what opportunities for continuing learning are available in your backyard. In Columbia, MU Extension’s Osher Lifelong Learning Institute offers more than 100 different courses in any given year, covering a wide range of subjects. Each provides a distinctive array of non-credit courses and activities specifically developed for adults age 50 and older who are interested in learning for the joy of

learning. Osher offers classes online, in-person and in a hybrid format. Most Osher classes meet one time per week for 90 minutes each; some classes run for four weeks and others eight weeks.

Nontraditional College Credit

If earning your degree is important to you, today, more and more accredited colleges offer a variety of options for

Education Support (DANTES).

Credit by examination also can save time and money if you have knowledge in a particular area or if you study and test well. But be sure to check with your institution before enrolling since credit may not be awarded following admission.

Another possibility for credits is if you’ve completed any noncollegiate or in-company sponsored programs

earning nontraditional course credit. Look into this first to save time and money.

At some colleges, you can earn SelfAcquired Competency (SAC) credits, which may have different names at various institutions. Such credits are available for a wide range of skills and life experiences. They require compiling a portfolio for faculty evaluation. In your portfolio, you can include on-the-job training, work and volunteer experience, workshops, seminars and more. If you served in the military, you might be eligible for Military Service Credit for education you gained through schools, experience or service.

You also can earn credits by examination. Some of these include: Credits for College-Level Examination Programs (CLEP); Advanced Placement Examinations (AP); and Defense Activity for Non-Traditional

or courses. Find out if those programs or courses are any of the thousands reviewed by the American Council on Education (ACE). If so, ask your academic institution if they award credits based on ACE recommendations.

Correspondence And Online Courses

Independent study programs offer a couple of options. You can take online courses in the convenience of your home. These usually require attendance (at your computer) at specific times. Correspondence courses are a good option also because there are no schedules. They typically allow six to 18 months for completion with extensions up to one year. Evening and weekend courses, as well as accelerated programs, also offer some flexibility.

An online program is how Ross Mutrux, owner of Mutrux Automotive

You’re never too old to follow what you want to do. You can always accomplish what you put your mind and heart into.

and pastor at Boonesboro Christian Church, earned his Certificate of Commissioned Ministry through the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) of Mid-America. The online courses were through Phillips School of Theology in Tulsa, Oklahoma. He started the degree program at age 63 and has been steadily taking classes for the past four years as his schedule allows.

“I didn’t go looking to get a degree,” Mutrux says. “I was asked to fill in as the pastor for a minister who was leaving. Six months later, the church asked me to stay on in that role. At that time, we decided to review it in a year. At that point, I was contacted by the Disciples of Christ to ask if I would take courses to further my learning.”

While Mutrux has earned his certificate, he keeps taking continuing education courses as his schedule allows. Currently, he’s short on staff and has cut back a little according to his labor needs. “Post-COVID, we are now so short on help that it’s become quite an undertaking to find the time to get your readings in or get your assignments in on time,” Mutrux says. But he’s committed to finding the time necessary to complete his objectives.

How To Pay For Tuition And Books

There are many options for financing your education. The federal Pell Grant is available regardless of age and is awarded based on financial need. The maximum award amount for the 20172018 school year was $5,920.

Several other options include: the Federal Supplemental Education Opportunity Grant (FSEOG); the Federal Work Study program; the Federal Perkins Loan; Federal

offers reimbursement for college courses. If the classes relate to your job, your employer may cover the costs.

Finally, don't forget the American Opportunity Tax Credit, which modifies the HOPE Credit, a tax credit available for eligible taxpayers, totaling up to a maximum of $2,500. There's also the Lifetime Learning tax credit. Specific requirements and restrictions apply.

Or if you aren't interested in

you’re never too old to learn! Take the opportunity to gain knowledge and discover new interests while keeping your mind sharp.

“You’re only as old as you feel,” Mutrux says, as a spry 78-yearold. “You’re never too old to follow what you want to do. You can always accomplish what you put your mind and heart into.”

Karrick is studying to finish the second of three exams, which she hopes to complete by 2023.
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Getting His Hands Dirty

Groshong Restores The History Of Agriculture One Tractor At A Time

Although he lives on 9 acres in the heart of Columbia and has three metal sheds full to the brim of tractors and engines, Kee Groshong isn’t about to get up in the morn ing and plow his small acreage. He’s more prone to start his day with a wrench in one hand and a tractor manual in the other. Groshong, who at age 82 can look back at a long and successful career as a University of Missouri administrator, looks forward to working on old tractors, travel ing to tractor shows and enjoying his collection for years to come.

Sporting a Missouri River Valley Steam Engine Association ball cap while standing in the middle of one of his metal storage sheds, Groshong says, “I’ll keep going to old tractor shows for as long as the boys will put me in the back seat of our pickup and take me with them.”

That should be for a good many years. Groshong has the sturdy build and sure gait of someone who could easily yank on a thick bolt or carefully maneuver a heavy engine part onto a drill press. Two gigantic metal contraptions take much of the space in this shed. Iron wheels — about 4 or 5 feet high — steering wheels, motors and rectangular chasses are clues that the thousands of pounds of metal must be tractor bodies. The walls of the shed are decorated with antique tractor signs, and along the perimeter hand tools, power tools and collections of nuts and bolts are arranged neatly. This is not a showroom but a working metal shop where Groshong and his son and friends put the bits and pieces of antique tractors — some more than 100 years old — back into working condition.

The process is anything but simple and


straightforward. “Getting parts for these old tractors is challenging. That’s one of the enjoyable parts of this hobby, learning where to ferret out and find these pieces. It’s like a game of hide and seek,” he says.

Groshong talks about his hobby enthusiastically and knowledgeably. He knows when every one of his couple dozen tractors has been manufactured, knows the history of the company that produced it, knows each model’s limitations and strengths. And he doesn’t restrict his collecting to tractors. Somewhere among the clutter of machinery in his three sheds are a Model T pickup, an assortment of early Caterpillars and one half-sized model of a steam-powered tractor. While walking among his tractors, Groshong is in his element, as comfortable among the machinery as he was in Jesse Hall when he spent his days as vice chancellor for the university and found time in the evenings to tinker with old tractors.

He seems to always have had a knack for mechanics, having enjoyed four years of vocational agriculture courses at high school before going on to college at MU and becoming an accountant. He later turned to administration. Groshong grew up in the country, just outside of Troy, Missouri, where his father worked the family’s small farm, relying on a 1930s John Deere tractor. Although Groshong didn’t see a future for himself as a farmer, he liked fixing machinery. “I’ve always enjoyed fooling with things and studying how agriculture evolved. Collecting tractors gives you a lesson in how that happens,” he says. Groshong then proceeds to give a thumbnail sketch of the history of American agriculture, from the horse and oxen days to today, when a new combine can cost half a million dollars or more.

By restoring old tractors, Groshong makes sure that the story of American agriculture is continually on display before new audiences. He hauls several different tractors to antique tractor shows at least three times a year, going to


Albert City, Iowa; Boonville, Missouri; and Rollag, Minnesota. The number of people who attend these shows indicates that the history of rural America is appreciated by more than antique tractor collectors: About 6,000 people will visit the Missouri River Valley Steam Engine Association show over the four days its gate is open.

Then there are the other shows, where Groshong goes to search for parts and to enjoy the company and collections of others. He hits as many as possible accompanied by his son Reese, who also shares an interest in the family’s hobby. “I’m very fortunate that I got my son involved in the hobby. I got him hooked on it. It’s something he and I have done since he was little boy and we started going to shows together,” he says.

Now that Reese is an adult, they still travel across the country to different tractor shows. “It’s a lot about the other collectors you meet at the shows,”

Reese explains. “We’ve met a lot of good people who share a common interest.” Reese takes his hobby seriously and is on the board of directors of the Rumely Products Collectors Association, which promotes the preservation of that company’s tractors and engines. Reese

mostly manufactured in the days before rubber tires became available. Although the tractors could break down in the field, they couldn’t have a flat tire.

Collecting tractors is a hobby that allows Groshong to get his hands dirty, to challenge his mechanical skills and to share his love of agricultural history. But it doesn’t interfere with his community involvement. As a past chair of the board of the Columbia Chamber of Commerce, he’s still an active member. He has served on the Missouri Credit Union Board since its beginning and he is treasurer of the Daniel Boone Regional Library Foundation Board. In addition, he volunteers for several other community groups.

and his father own a variety of Rumelys, ranging from a turn-of-the-century model that burned kerosine to more modern versions (relatively speaking) that burn gasoline. All their Rumelys, as well as the other brands they collect, have one thing in common. They were

Is Groshong finished adding tractors to his collection? “My son says we don’t have any more space,” he says. “I’m not always looking, but if I found one and it worked out, I might consider it. You never say never.”

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Driving Dilemma

Program Helps Older Drivers Stay Safely On The Road

Keep Your Keys, an MU Health Care program, can make getting around easier and safer for older adults. Designed to help seniors stay on the road as long as safely possible, the program even tackles one of the toughest decisions every driver must ask: when to retire from driving.

One thing is certain. Older drivers may buy a stylish new car, but they still have a body that is getting older and more cantankerous each year. “As we age, there’s a decrease in strength and flexibility,” says Beth Koster, outreach coordinator for MU Health Care. “It takes people a little bit longer to react

and respond to situations happening on the roadway. As well, there’s always a change in vision, which can impact driving during the day or night. And sometimes, we see cognitive abilities diminish, especially in people who are dealing with Alzheimer’s or dementia.”

Just because a person has slowed down doesn’t mean they can’t drive safely. “A 96-year-old who is a capable driver has no need to give up that license,” Koster says. Older drivers can compensate for their physical changes by driving at times of the day when traffic is light or sticking to familiar routes and avoiding inclement weather.

Koster encourages everyone to make a transportation plan, which includes options for getting around if driving becomes impossible or unadvisable. Even young people need alternatives in case they break a leg or temporarily become too ill to drive themselves.

The plan might list family members who have agreed to help with chores or include a list of local transportation services. The idea is to ensure that retiring from driving doesn’t lead to isolation or depression. “We want to keep them active, going shopping, going to church and their senior center. The plan should be written down and


assessed frequently,” Koster says.

One problem that older drivers face is that their bodies usually change gradually, so gradually that they may not be aware of their limitations. Koster tells of one woman who was driving with her grown son and while at a stoplight asked him when they had added the second set of lights. “Mom,” said the son, “there’s one set of lights. You’re seeing double.” A trip to the optometrist followed.

Older adults are more prone to relying on medications to treat various ailments, and these can cause side effects that make driving unsafe. Dizziness, drowsiness and vision distortion can turn even the most careful drivers into accident-prone ones. “Everybody that comes to our program gets a medication file of life that they can keep in their vehicles at all times. People involved in an accident might be knocked unconscious or may not

remember what medications they take,”

Koster says.

The program also stresses the importance of defensive driving. While

it’s true that senior drivers have better judgment and more experience than younger drivers, overconfidence isn’t protection against other people’s unsafe driving. “We want older people to understand that if they are in the same crash as a young person, the young adult will bounce back and heal a lot faster than someone of an advanced age.

Older adults need to realize that their bodies are more fragile, and they have to share the road with everyone. You can be a great driver and not be at fault but still be seriously injured.”

The next Keep Your Keys program will be presented Feb. 13 at the Columbia Senior Center. For more information or to arrange a presentation for your group, contact Beth Koster at kosterb@health.

A 96-year-old who is a capable driver has no need to give up that license.

Tractor Treasures

Garnett’s Collection Is Seated In History

Rodney Garnett’s collection of farm machinery has been taking a front seat for decades. In fact, his father got him started on the hunt for cast iron seats.

“My dad started collecting the seats and I’ve just been continually adding to it,” Garnett says. “We have a tool collection because when you would buy a piece of equipment, you often get a tool to go with it. For example, tractor seats and wrenches were often sold together.”

Garnett owns over 100 tractor seats from various manufacturers, the majority of which he acquired at farm machinery sales. “You can typically buy the seats for $50 to $75. Some can reach up to $200 or even higher,” Garnett says.

Most of his seats are cast iron, which were molded at factories in the 1900s to 1930s, he says. Often the names of implement companies or names of towns or states are cast into the design of the seats. Abbreviations can also be found on some of the seats.

While the seats were ornately designed, they may not have been the most comfortable.

The hard seats featured pierced openings that would let air circulate and allow rain to drain through, according to Antique Power magazine. Eventually the padded tractor seats entered the market, giving famers a little more comfort for their long, hot days working in the field.

A 3-year contract is required. Monthly package price is good for one year and thereafter increases $20 each year during the contract term. If you cancel any of the services within the 3-year term, an early termination fee may apply. Does not include standard installation fee ($99.95, more if special work is needed). Package price also does not include the following recurring monthly charges: (i) local broadcast station surcharges; or (ii) taxes, franchise fees and other amounts required by law to be collected or paid. Mediacom Business Advanced Data Security requires Mediacom Business Internet for additional monthly charge. Bundle Mediacom Business Wi-Fi service ($15/mo.) with Advanced Data Security ($15/mo.) for $20/mo. For 1 year; thereafter, the standard rate of $15/mo. shall apply for both services. For more information go to: © 2022 Mediacom Communications Corporation. All Rights Reserved. CONNECTIVITY BUILT FOR BUSINESS 60 Mbps INTERNET Business-grade speed with unlimited usage. BUSINESS PHONE High-quality calling to keep your team communicating. BUSINESS W i -Fi Ideal for data-hungry customer devices. ADVANCED DATA SECURITY Stay protected and connected with innovative features. CALL TODAY 800-479-2091 A MONTH $ 149 95 Running a business is a tough task. Mediacom Business’ robust network functions as your I.T. department and strategic partner, so you can stay focused on the business at hand.


Edamame, young soybeans, are often served as an appetizer at sushi restaurants, but do you know how to properly enjoy the savory snack? The fibrous pods are known for being tough and inedible, so don’t chow down on the whole thing! Instead, use your front teeth to scrape the beans out of the pod one at a time, trashing the pod once it’s empty. Tasty!

Inside Columbia flavor CONTENTS 122 Mother-Son Duo Take On New Venture 124 Eats to Please Them All 128 The Endless Possibilities of Sushi 133 A Sentimental Sip

Familiar Faces Return


Vanessa and Jake Leitza are no strangers to the mid-Missouri restaurant scene.

As Jake Leitza says, the mother and son duo have spent their whole lives in the food industry, working at several restaurants over the years before they teamed up to reopen a local favorite in Katfish Katy’s in April 2021. Sadly, the arrangement didn’t last and the doors to Katfish Katy’s closed in early 2022. (The building and surrounding property are being donated to The Nature Conservancy.)

But the Leitzas were quick to start planning their next move, finding the future home of their next venture in February. “We walked in, and it was perfect,” Jake Leitza says. The family, along with friends and past employees, worked tirelessly to clean up the location and, in late July, opened The Old Neighborhood Cafe near Cherry Hill. “We used YouTube videos and learned how to do the construction ourselves,” Jake Leitza says, noting that both he and Vanessa were working full-time jobs at the time.

Now, the Leitza family uses the knowledge they gained from Katfish Katy’s to successfully run the new café. “It really taught us how to budget, and how to save on food costs and labor without cutting corners and quality of product,” Jake Leitza says.

It’s safe to say the business plan is working so far. With family to-go meals, catering events and everyday lunch options, there’s definitely something for everybody in the neighborhood. “We offer a lot of very healthy options, but if you want something heavy, we have heavy options as


well,” Jake Leitza says. “Everybody loves it so much.”

Most recently, the family decided to tackle an always changing flatbread, highlighting a new flavor combination each day using local ingredients. But the focus on local ingredients isn’t limited to this particular special. The Leitzas work with local farmers and ranchers to bring fresh fruits, vegetables and meats to The Old Neighborhood Cafe to use in each menu item.

Even though the pair work together, Jake and Vanessa Leitza still spend quality time together outside of the restaurant. “We all still go to mom’s house and cook and drink together and have a good time,” he says. After all, that’s where it all began.

“Our roots run deep when it comes to food and hanging out in the kitchen,” Jake Leitza says, adding that you could never say “no” when grandma Theresa offered a third helping. The Leitzas now combine some of Theresa’s secrets with old recipes to make the most perfect mouthwatering dishes.

After a very successful opening, business at The Old Neighborhood Cafe took a bit of a hit when school began in August, with orders slowing down. That’s until a simple idea turned things around. “We started doing delivery services to try and add the convenience factor,” he says. “That picked business right back up.”

As for the future, the Chicago natives hope to remain in Columbia. “This is

where we are going to stay, I don’t want to go anywhere else,” Jake Leitza says. They hope to continue building the business, looking for new opportunities along the way, he says. “Our ultimate goal is always to create something and build it as much as we can,” he says. “Eventually, we want to build our own custom building.”

The current location of the café allows for a wide range of customers, making it a truly neighborhood spot. “There are nursing homes, there are a lot of families and single people,” he says. “We are able to cater to each and every one of them.”

People can try the new eatery from 11 a.m.8 p.m. Monday through Friday and from 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday. For more information, visit

Vanessa and Jake Leitza opened The Old Neighborhood Cafe in July.

Snacks for a Party



I have what can only be described as a bittersweet relationship with Christmas.

I LOVE the reason, decorations, traditions and, of course, food!

However, I, like so many others, tend to get overwhelmed and overbooked during this time of the year. Often, I find myself thinking, “I just want to get through this day,” rather than taking the time to fully enjoy the moments the season affords us.

Over the years, I’ve developed a few menu items that are big on enjoyment and short on time commitment. This snack mix is one of those. My mom, brothers and I made batches of this to share. It's easy to pull together, enough to feed a heavy snacking crowd of boys and has no hard ingredients.

Make a big batch for your family and make a little extra to share with the neighbors. This year, we’ve been invited to participate in one of the bigger Christmas lighting events in town, so don’t be surprised if you find us handing out bags of this treasure to the visitors. While it will be work, for sure, I’m excited to see all the happy faces and Christmas joy we will help spread and share.


INSIDE COLUMBIA DEC/JAN 2023 125 flavor FOUGERE'S FAVORITES The Suites at Concorde Call or Text John at 573 489 5201 3316 Lemone Industrial Blvd Rent office space from My Mom’s Party Mix INGREDIENTS 1 ½ sticks butter ¼ cup Worcestershire sauce 3 teaspoons seasoned salt 2 teaspoons garlic powder 1 teaspoon onion powder 1 box Corn Chex 1 box Wheat Chex 2 cups mixed nuts, plus extra cashews 3 cups pretzel sticks 3 cups goldfish crackers DIRECTIONS
butter, add all seasonings and mix well.
large bowl, mix all remaining ingredients. Pour the butter mixture over the cereal mix. Toss to coat. Spread on baking sheets and bake at 275 for one hour, stirring every 15 minutes. Remove from oven and stir occasionally until mixtures cools to room temperature.
out Sara's White Christmas mix recipe at!
In a

Sushi To Your Taste


Irecently had the pleasure of cooking with Jina Yoo.

If you have been around Columbia and are a lover of sushi, you have probably been to her namesake restaurant, Jina Yoo’s Asian Bistro, or her second Columbia restaurant, Le Bao Asian Eatery, featuring steam buns and ramen. Maybe you’ve tried her delicious sushi at the Lake, where she runs the sushi menu at Backwater Jack’s.

In our recent cooking excursion, we focused on two types of food close to Jina’s heart: sushi and bibimbap.


Many people are familiar with sushi, but have the mindset that it must always be served with fish.

While Jina has many types of sushi with fish on her menu, she points out that sushi is vinegared rice served along with other ingredients. You can use anything to make maki (rolls) or nigiri (formed rice topped with a component) or use nori (seaweed paper) to stuff with the rice and other ingredients.

You can even make the experience interactive by having a variety of julienned vegetables, fruits and pickles, as well as some meats, fish and sauces. (Jina points out that this is a great way to use leftover meats and vegetables you might have at

home.) You can have a finished bowl of rice and give a tutorial on how to make your own sushi.

Jina brought a delicious platter with sliced steak, seared tuna, chicken, egg, crab, shrimp, avocado, peppers, pickled daikon, cucumber, carrots, wasabi and ginger. All were cut to roll easily into half sheets of nori seaweed paper.

Each person could dip their hands into the water with a little white vinegar, pat about ¼ to ½ cup of cooked rice onto the nori sheet and choose their own ingredients to roll into the maki roll. Next, slice (half sheets of nori make five maki slices), drizzle with their desired sauce and enjoy.


You might not be as familiar with the Korean rice bowl dish, bibimbap or

bibimbop. The name is derived from the Korean term bipim, meaning to mix, and bap, meaning rice. The name refers to the way that, once presented with the bowl, eaters would mix the vegetables and protein into the rice before eating.

You can use the same type of platter of vegetables and meat that you have on hand for sushi and guests can assemble their own mixture, quickly cook in a wok or sauté pan, and place on top of their warm rice in a bowl. This allows guests and kids to pick the ingredients they prefer (or are comfortable with) for their meals. You can add a main protein to the top, such as a fried egg, roasted salmon or sliced steak.

Once presented with the bowl, eaters can top it with their desired sauce, mix and enjoy.



Throughout the whole time cooking with Jina, rice was the item about which I was most concerned. I am comfortable with rice pilaf and risotto, even steamed rice, but unsure of the sushi rice procedure.

Jina explained that you don’t need to overly complicate it. The best way to make rice that will work great for sushi, or bibimbap, is to purchase a bag of short grain sushi rice from an Asian market (we have several great ones in Columbia). Soak the amount of rice specified on the cooker, covered by at least 2 inches of water for a minimum of 30 minutes, drain the water and follow the directions for the rice cooker.

To make it into sushi rice, you need to make sushi rice vinegar. This mixture is called shari-zu and is made up of vinegar, sugar and salt. Jina uses white vinegar, but

some people prefer rice vinegar. The total is about ½ cup of the vinegar mixture folded into about 3 cups of cooked rice, but more or less could be added depending on the preferred taste.

To make the shari-zu, warm ½ cup vinegar in a saucepan, turn off the heat then whisk in five tablespoons granulated sugar and ½ teaspoon salt until dissolved. Pour the mixture from the saucepan into another container. Once your rice is cooked, transfer it to a bowl (preferably a wooden one) and slowly fold the mixture into the rice. Be careful not to mix or damage the grains of rice. You can taste the rice and adjust with more shari-zu as needed; any extra of the vinegar and sugar mixture will store well in the refrigerator.

This will probably be WAY more than

you need. Reserve what you are going to use. Then take the excess rice and, while the rice is warm, place it into an airtight deli or Tupperware container and put it directly into the freezer. This will help ensure that the rice does not dry out.

When you are ready to use it, remove it from the freezer and place it on the counter to thaw for three to four hours. When ready to use, place it into the microwave to warm it for a minute or two.

You will be ready to use for bibimbap or you can allow the rice to cool for a little bit, then use vinegar water (about 2 to 3 tablespoons per cup of cold water) to dip your hands in when you are shaping the rice for sushi. This helps to prevent the rice from sticking to your hands as well as impart a faint vinegar acidity to the rice.

130 INSIDE COLUMBIA DEC/JAN 2023 flavor COOKING WITH BROOK 660-837-3311 TONY DANZA Standards & Stories Gold Star Sponsor Media Partner April 1, 2023 @ 7:30pm GET TICKETS 114 High Street Arrow Rock, MO

One Last Sip of Autumn


Though fall is firmly in the rearview mirror as we head into winter, I’m not ready to let go. One of my favorite late fall traditions is getting a group of friends together and going to a different corn maze every year. (We’re getting close to running out of new mazes in Missouri!) The following cocktail is an amalgamation of various maze memories combined into a single glass.

I wanted something that was easy to drink but stiff enough to warm you up for those winter nights when you’re thinking of those fond fall memories, so I used DogMaster bourbon. It has a touch of pepperiness that can withstand flavors being stacked on it while still easily identified as bourbon. Adding apple cider seems pretty obvious as there are several mazes attached to orchards. And rosemary and cocoa

bitters are complementary earthy flavors that blend and keep the cider from becoming too sweet.

The oddest touch is the charred cinnamon stick, but I wanted to add some smokiness to harken back to campfires and mulled cider. Plus, it adds an aroma that helps build toward that very first sip.

Paul Froeschle is the distiller at DogMaster Distillery.

The Bruised Apple


2 ounces DogMaster bourbon 0.5 ounces rosemary rich simple syrup

ounces unfiltered apple cider 2-3 dashes of Angostura Cocoa Bitters


Combine in a mixing glass with ice and stir for 15-20 seconds. Strain over a glass with a large ice cube in it and garnish with a charred cinnamon stick.



How bright should streetlights be? The city of Columbia has installed new LED lights around the District with brightness levels that can be raised from normal streetlight to daylight level. The brightness levels are controlled by the Columbia Police Department and are meant to improve safety in the downtown area. What do you think of the new lights?

Inside Columbia views CONTENTS 139 Dueling DJs 141 On The Town 151 A New View ∙∙∙∙∙∙∙∙∙∙∙∙∙∙∙∙∙∙∙∙∙∙∙∙∙∙∙∙∙∙∙∙∙∙∙ 152 Darkow Draws 154 The Final Word
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Wrap Battle


Each issue, two on-air talents from two different Zimmer Communications’ stations will take on a seemingly simple challenge to see who comes out on top. This issue, Cosmo from Y107 and Trevor from 96.7 KCMQ battled to see who has the best gift-wrapping skills. Make sure you visit to see video of the full challenge!


Each contestant has five minutes to wrap a small rectangular box, with wrapping skills, ribbon use and taping ability all being taken into consideration by our judge, Kristin Monica from Y107. As an added and more complicated bonus round, both contestants were given another five minutes to try and wrap a stuffed animal. The person with the most beautifully wrapped gifts (by Kristin’s standards) will be declared the winner!


Cosmo from Y107 came with Christmas hat in hand (technically, on head), ready to take out the competition. (Literally. He repeatedly used his wrapping paper tube as a weapon on his opponent. While the staff at Inside Columbia does not condone holiday-related violence, we determined Cosmo did not do any real damage and could remain in the competition.) Meanwhile, Trevor from KCMQ tapped his fingers with anticipation and color-coordinated his wrapping paper of choice to properly represent his classic rock station.


Despite obvious nerves, Trevor wiped the floor with his opponent in the first wrapping challenge. Kristin took note of his clean edges, perfect use of tape and handcrafted bow in declaring him the round one winner. This meant the pressure was on for Cosmo in round two. Luckily, he achieved the difficult task of seamlessly wrapping the plush stuffed animal, thanks to a little help from his hat. And with that win, this installment of Dueling DJs was left in a tie. So, in the true holiday spirit, everyone was declared a winner!

Find the loved one in your family who does this well and loves to do it and let them do that. Stick to the stuff that you like to do.

" ” " ”

Wrapping paper is for the birds! It is so much easier to get a bag, put a little tissue paper on top and call it a day.

views DUELING DJS -Cosmo -Trevor
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2022 Black & Gold Fashion Show

The 2022 Black & Gold Fashion Show was held Sept. 14 at the Courtyard by Marriott. The annual event is put on by the Tiger Quarterback Club, the official booster club of the University of Missouri Tigers football team. All proceeds from the event are put right back into the football program.

Date Sept. 14 Location Courtyard by Marriott Photos by Nancy Toalson and Wally Pfeffer,

Meagan Judy, Julia Ash, Fevan Melake-Bowers, Rachel Verslues Deb Portell, Deborah Bradley, Nicole Shelby Brooke Syndestricker McCarty and Bria McCarty Gary Pinkel and Missy Pinkel Victoria Shore and Selena Taylor Kyle Prenger and Jayme Prenger
142 INSIDE COLUMBIA DEC/JAN 2023 CALL TODAY 800-479-2091 POWERING SMALL BUSINESS WITH BIG TECHNOLOGY © 2022 Mediacom Communications Corporation. All Rights Reserved. Mediacom Business delivers turnkey IT solutions, specifically designed to help small business owners. Your Gigabit Internet, Wi-Fi, and Data Security are managed and monitored for you around the clock—securely and efficiently—so you can do what you do best, run your business. THE TECHNOLOGY & TEAM BEHIND THE SCENES

Rock Bridge Lions Club Charity


The Rock Bridge Lions Club held its fifth annual Charity Picnic and Welcome Home 30-Year Anniversary Celebration on Sept. 19 at the MU Health Care Farmers Market Pavilion. The event, presented by The Giving Branch, celebrated the community tradition of supporting the nation’s heroes, as Welcome Home serves homeless and at-risk veterans. The event exceeded its fundraising goal with a total of more than $42,000 raised.

Date Sept. 19

Linda Baumgartner, Ken Welty, Jim Granneman, Steve Baumgartner Location MU Health Care Farmers Market Pavilion Photos by Nancy Toalson and Wally Pfeffer, Chris Egbert and Connie McClellan Sandy McCann and Christi Burwell John Fabsits and Izzy Leatherman Chris Scrivner, Erik Morse, Arminta Phelps Saurav Kayastha, Jason Gruender, Heather Hargrove, Jennifer Titus Aaron Bedsworth and Jordan Hudspith

Harvest Hootenanny

The Columbia Center for Urban Agriculture held its 13th annual Harvest Hootenanny on Sept. 24 at Columbia’s Agriculture Park. More than 3,000 people attended the event, which helped raise $35,000 for CCUA’s programs that help feed and educate the community.

Date Sept. 24 Location Columbia’s Agriculture Park


Tanner Beck Lara Cox and Rapha Makarewicz Maura Bassett Verna Laboy Teddy Locastro and Dustin Cook Ron and Susan Kelly by Bernadette Crehan and Ellie Abernathy

The FORE The House Golf Tournament

The FORE The House Golf Tournament was held Sept. 26 at the Country Club of Missouri. More than $110,000 was raised in support of Ronald McDonald House Charities of Mid-Missouri’s mission to provide a home away from home that serves and sustains families of children being treated at area hospitals and health-related facilities. More than 50 teams enjoyed 18 holes of golf, food and beverages, on-course games and prizes.

Date Sept. 26 Location The Country Club of Missouri Photos by

Ed Erdel, MacKenzie Thorp, John States, Nate Moenkhoff, Mac LeMone Ronald McDonald House Charities of Mid-Missouri Mark Stuckey, Scott Edwards, Tim Beerup, Terry Riley Cheryl Miller and Jade Mills Kathleen Bruegenhemke, Terri Gray, Kyle Reynolds, Jessica Caldera Scott Barnes, Andrew DuCharme, Skip DuCharme, Jon DuCharme Mary Acton, Veronica Herzing, Barbie Smith

History Makers Gala

The Boone County Historical Society’s Endowment Trust held its annual Boone County Hall of Fame History Makers Gala on Oct. 14 in the Kimball Ballroom at Stephens College. Inducted that evening into the Hall of Fame were the late Henry Kirklin, Cindy Mustard and Columbia College. About 300 people attended the event.

Date Oct. 14 Location Kimball Ballroom at Stephens College

Ed Brent, Mendy Diel, Yangmali Sahadev Rai Photos by L.G. Patterson Gwen Struchtemeyer and Brian Struchtemeyer Sarah Dubbert and Suzanne Rothwell Barbara Weaver, Erin Wilson, Melanie Staloch Michelle Baumstark and Frank Baumstark Melissa Hedit and Ben Carter Scott Thieret and Jeannette Saucier

A New View


The Location: Boone County

As a young kid, I was always fascinated with the stars and solar system. I knew the names and locations of most of the constellations in the night sky and could point them out to you. At night, I would sneak out of my house to lay in the backyard and search for shooting stars or simply watch those constellations as they moved above me.

I loved the way the moon would seem to change shape as it traveled across the sky. It always seemed so big on the horizon and yet so small when directly above me.

It was my grandfather who taught me the difference between a harvest moon, hatchet moon and blood moon. The blood moon

was the most intriguing and I couldn’t wait to see it happen in person. Several years later, when I stayed up late to see my first lunar eclipse, I was not let down.

Since those days, I have witnessed several lunar and solar eclipses, and each one was special.

In November, a lunar eclipse was visible in mid-Missouri near dawn. The deep blue of the sky and the hazy cloud cover combined to create a unique, mystical glow around this celestial event.

I can’t wait until the next one.

Assignment: Early morning photo shoot
views A NEW VIEW


Agent Clean 85

Ai Painting Plus 14

Allstate Consultants LLC 45

Ammo Alley ............................................................ 84

Angels Custom Painting, LLC 88

Arrow Rock Lyceum Theatre 132

Atterberry Auction and Realty Company ......... 134

Automated Systems 146 Bank of MO 19

Bell Bank Mortgage 58

Binghams ................................................................. 43

Bluetail Medical Group 98-99

Bluffs 86

BMW of Columbia ................................................ 12

Boone Health 21

Boonville Tourism Office 17

Brian Wear Plumbing 97

Broadway, A Doubletree by Hilton .................... 136

Brockmeier Financial Services, LLC 96

Burrell Behavioral Health 40

CC’s City Broiler ..................................................... 4

CenterPointe Hospital 81

Chris McD’s 8, 10

Cleanest, LLC .......................................................... 87

Columbia Center for Urban Agriculture ........... 22

Columbia Dent Company LLC 82

Commerce Bank 5, 104

Convergence Financial ......................................... 27

Eclipse Catering & Events 126

Eddie’s Garage Doors, Inc. 89

Edward Jones - Gina Mauller .............................. 103

Evans & Dixon Attorneys at Law ........................ 56

Fleet Feet Sports Columbia 17

Hawthorn Bank 156

Hemme Construction 57

Heritage Academy 55

Inside Columbia magazine 26, 43

Jillian Kate LLC ....................................................... 46

Joe Machens Ford Lincoln 3

JPs 24 Hour Roadside Truck Service LLC 93

Koley Financial ....................................................... 83 Las Margaritas 36, 38 Lenoir Woods 117

Living Canvas Tattoo & Body Piercing 35

McClure Engineering Company ......................... 30 Mediacom 120, 142

Mercedes-Benz of Columbia 140 Mid America Bank ................................................ 46

MO Department of Health & Senior Services 2, 155 Mo Retina Consultants 138 MO Vein Care 53, 91 Mutual of Omaha .................................................. 109

NH Scheppers Distributing 148

Parks Amusement 59

Prolific Exteriors LLC ............................................. 144


River Hills Landscaping 50

Rost Landscaping & Superior Gardens ............. 26

S&E Consulting ...................................................... 94-95

State Farm Insurance - Phyllis Nichols 49, 92

Stone Hill Winery 136 Suites at Concorde ................................................ 125

SumnerOne 150

Terrace Retirement Community 115, 131

Tiger Towing ........................................................... 90

TrueSon Exteriors & Interiors .............................. 6

Truman VA Hospital 54


A Growing Concern


In the aftermath of November’s general election, it became very clear that voters in Boone County as well as those around the entire United States were essentially worried about two things: the economy and crime. In a community that relies on a major university and state government as the bedrock of its economic strata, most economic concerns here are relatively minor and short term. Crime, on the other hand, continues to be a growing concern for people living in our community.

The dynamics of crime in Columbia are all interwoven by a number of factors that could be fixed with some hard work, determination and focus. Those who work in law enforcement will tell you that substance abuse and illegal drug activity are at the root of the vast majority of crimes committed in our community. Complicating this matter is the shortage of affordable treatment facilities that cater to low-income families and first-time offenders. The resulting increase in drug activity on our streets has created an untenable situation for our severely understaffed prosecutor’s office and law enforcement agencies alike.

Through no fault of the Columbia Police Department or the Boone County Sheriff’s Department, there is an alarmingly low number of officers patrolling Columbia streets at any given time. If you’ve recently called 911 regarding an incident that seemed critical to you at the time, you may know better than most that we desperately need more police officers on the street.

Unfortunately, it’s become considerably harder to recruit men and women into law enforcement. The endless barrage of anticop and “defund the police” rhetoric has made police work much more dangerous than it was a few years ago. According to FBI stats, 73 law enforcement officers were

killed in the line of duty in 2021. Sadly, 24 of those officers were killed in unprovoked attacks. The numbers for 2022 likely will be staggeringly higher. A new generation of parents has told their children that they don’t have to respect police officers. Repeat offenders know that there will likely be no consequences for their actions.

The shortage of prosecutors in the Boone County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office has complicated the matter further. At one point in the last few years, there were more than 30 homicide cases that had not been tried. When a prosecutor’s office is overburdened, the obligation to guarantee a speedy trial forces them to make plea deals that put hardened criminals, and even murderers, back on the streets before they’ve served a sentence that is commensurate with the crime they’ve committed.

Perhaps you remember the recent murder of Columbia College student Nadria Wright whose killer was given an Alford plea by the Boone County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office. The man who took the life of this young woman, who had such a bright future ahead of her, was only given a seven-year sentence for the murder. I can only imagine the outrage I would feel had Nadria been my daughter. When a prosecutor is forced to cut corners like this, it’s a sign that his or her office is significantly understaffed.

Most people would be surprised to know that a committee of elected officials, judges and representatives of the prosecutor’s office and Race Matters, Friends (RMF) meets each month to review the list of inmates being held in the Boone County Jail. If the jail is overcrowded, this committee has tasked itself with the responsibility of deciding which inmates should be released to make room for other “justice-involved” individuals. Just in case you’re not as woke as you should

be, “justice-involved” is the new politically correct term in Boone County for a felon, a convict, a criminal, an offender or a parolee. As you might guess, it’s not long before some of the folks who get released are back on the streets committing new crimes. Imagine the frustration a police officer must feel with the revolving door that is the Boone County criminal justice system.

One of the purposes of this committee is to avoid overcrowding the Boone County Jail and to avoid sending inmates to be housed in other counties. Right now, the jail has a total capacity of 246 inmates but an “optimal” capacity of 210, a number driven by the shifting number of female inmates and violent offenders being held at any given time. On any given day, Boone County houses between 30 and 40 inmates in other counties at a total average cost of approximately $1,600 per day. There is a concerted effort to keep this number and associated expenses as low as possible. The county may save some money, but what are the inherent risks associated with such an action?

The bottom line is that we need to expand our current jail facilities. We also need to get serious about the drug problem in our community. Giving local law enforcement the resources they need is a critical first step in reducing crime. The city of Columbia and the county of Boone have together received $60 million in once-in-a-generation American Rescue Plan Funding. I can’t imagine a better use for these funds than to tackle the root issues behind Columbia’s growing crime problem.


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