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Briefly in the News: December 2023

Bobbi Wilson with Peace Love Paws

Peace Love Paws Pet Sitters is Selected as a Top 5 Finalist for The Pet Sitter of the Year 2024 

Peace Love Paws Pet Sitters, LLC has been selected as a top five finalist for Pet Sitter of the Year with Pet Sitters International (PSI) for the second year in a row. PSI is an organization of nearly 7,000 independent professional pet-sitting services throughout the United States, Canada, and abroad.

The five finalists were chosen based on recommendations from two of their clients and a local veterinarian’s questionnaire answers about the finalist’s ability to provide excellent care for pets, along with their credentials within their communities. An essay and video process will be included in the final decision for The Pet Sitter of the Year 2024 and will be announced on January 1, 2024.

Midway Heights Elementary Awarded State and National Recognition for School Counseling Program

Midway Heights Elementary School has been honored with the Nationally Recognized Missouri Program award by the Missouri School Counselor Association. The achievement celebrates the school’s commitment to providing outstanding school counseling services, fostering a supportive learning environment, and empowering students to excel academically, socially, and emotionally.

Midway Heights Elementary School’s implementation of a comprehensive school counseling program has been led by school counselor Kristen Kennedy. 

State Historical Society of Missouri Receives Excellence in Genealogy and Local History Award

The State Historical Society of Missouri received the Excellence in Genealogy and Local History Award at the Missouri Library Association Annual Conference. The award recognizes the State Historical Society’s efforts to provide free public access to more than 9.5 million pages of digitized online Missouri newspapers. 

“The Missouri Digital Newspaper Project allows patrons to search online rather than doing more tedious research on microfilm. It saves a great deal of time,” stated Patsy Luebbert, who manages the project for the State Historical Society. Luebbert said the collection helps researchers learn more about the day-to-day lives of Missourians and the political, cultural, and economic events that have influenced Missouri small towns and its largest cities.

Missouri was one of the first states to begin digitizing historic newspapers through Chronicling America, a joint project funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Library of Congress. Since 2008, SHSMO has been digitizing newspapers from every Missouri county.

CPSF Announces First Scholarship for Future Educator

The Columbia Public Schools Foundation (CPSF) announced its first scholarship for future educators. The Kathryn “Kay” McLeod Scholarship, presented by the Columbia Public Schools Foundation, honors former Columbia Public Schools teacher Kathryn “Kay” McLeod. 

Both Kay and her husband, James “Mac” McLeod, were lifelong public educators, beginning their careers at Columbia Public Schools. In 2021, the Foundation announced the largest gift in its history, a donation of one million dollars from Kay McLeod’s estate. In recognition of her substantial contributions to the Foundation and public education, the Foundation will provide a $2,500 one-time scholarship in her name to a high school senior at each CPS high school who plans to pursue a career in education.

Big Whiskey’s American Restaurant & Bar Expands to Columbia

In partnership with Alpha Real Estate and DeLine Holdings, who have opened multiple restaurants and developments, Big Whiskey’s American Restaurant & Bar has acquired land near I-70 and the 131 exit in Columbia, and will be part of a development with other national retailers.

The new Big Whiskey’s location in Columbia will not only mark the expansion of the brand but also serve as a prototype store, reflecting the brand’s style of improvement and innovation. The ground-up build will showcase the latest in design and technology, ensuring that guests have a best-in-class experience when dining and celebrating in Columbia.

Missouri Women’s Business Center Names 2023 Women Who Own It Awardees

The Missouri Women’s Business Center, a program of Central Missouri Community Action, announced the winners of this year’s Women Who Own It Awards. Each year, the Women Who Own It Awards highlights the importance of female entrepreneurship and the positive impact women-owned businesses have on our community. Each of the eight counties The Missouri Women’s Business Center serves has one recipient. 

This year’s awardees are: 

Audrain County: 
April Thomas
The Sparkly Pig

Boone County:
Krystal Martin
K&K Co. 

Callaway County:
Beth Snyder
Call Me Liz, Hemlock Goods, Court Street Custom Fulfillment 

Cole County:
Laci Jo Rains
She’s Native Missouri 

Cooper County:
Holly Bozarth Simpson
Hotel Frederick 

Howard County:
Nichole Atkins,
Fireside Bakes and Brews 

Moniteau County:
Tiffany Burns,
Vantage Supported Living 

Osage County:
Christina Laughlin
Sweet Bee’s Shaved Ice, LLC.

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