We asked readers capture their communities of Bollinger, Cape Girardeau, Perry, Scott counties for The Bridge magazine. Take a look at how they responded. >>
Communities of Southeast Missouri
Bollinger County A great place to ... make a difference Nick Hendricks has lived most of his life in Marble Hill, and in 2013, he was appointed mayor of his hometown. In 2014, he was elected to a full two-year term as mayor. "It's important for younger people to get involved in the community," says Hendricks, who is 28. ...
Bon voyage: Whether you're traveling near or far, here's how to avoid illness and stay on track with healthy habits
Jane Austen wrote, "There is nothing like staying at home for real comfort." Traveling does come with some risks; nothing can ruin a vacation faster than an illness or injury. The most common problems travelers experience are food and air travel-related, but they can be avoided with a little planning. ...
Back to school: 5 tips for conquering college later in life
Today's college students are breaking the stereotypical mold. Older students are no longer intimidated to conquer college later in life, and many colleges see students in their 20s studying alongside students in their 30s, 40s -- even 60s! If it's been a long time since you've been in a classroom, it's important to understand how modern educational changes are making getting a degree easier than ever before...
So you've decided to rent out your home? Some tips for taking on the role of landlord
Cynthia Kent and her husband, John, didn't set out to be landlords, but career choices made it necessary. "We have rented out our home in Florida for nine years because we move all over with the military," says Kent, who recently relocated her family from Nevada to Alabama for yet another posting...
Step up to the mic: Open mic nights serve as creative outlet for local musicians
A small crowd is gathered in the back room at Pitters in Cape Girardeau, with an open mic on stage. As the teenage reggae band carries equipment off after their set, a scruffy ginger guy scoots past carrying a Mac desktop computer under one arm, disappearing offstage...
Mark your calendar: Can't-miss events for fall and winter
OCTOBER Jackson Second Annual Oktoberfest: This event will be held in Uptown Jackson 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Oct. 11. It's presented by Uptown Jackson Revitalization Organization. The city is celebrating its Bicentennial as well. There will be authentic German food, live music, biergarten, a fire-truck rally and lots of family fun...
The five senses of Southeast Missouri: Fun ways to explore all our area has to offer
WHAT TO SEE ... Cape County Memorial Park Cemetery has several surprising residents: Peacocks. They've been kept there for more than 30 years, and folks are welcome to admire and feed them. Feed is 25 cents, and the birds can be viewed during daylight hours seven days a week...
Navigating for treasure: Geocaching, a free game for all ages, is catching on in Southeast Missouri
You may have heard the term mentioned by your friends, praised by environmental enthusiasts or written about on a website. But what exactly is geocaching? Geocaching is a recreational activity of hunting for and finding a hidden object by means of GPS coordinates posted on a website, according to the Geocaching 101 website. ...
Communities of Southeast Missouri
Bollinger County A great place to ... paint a pretty picture Dodi Conrad always loved art, especially painting. For the first part of her life she put her creativity to work as a cosmetologist, and when she reached middle age, she began taking professional art classes. ...
Pavement Ends: A guide to the River-to-River Trail in Illinois
Serious backpackers dream of completing the "Triple Crown" of long-distance hikes: The Appalachian Trail, Pacific Crest Trail and Continental Divide Trail, each more than 2,000 miles long. We don't have anything quite that grueling in our neck of the woods, although the Ozark Trail in Missouri and the River-to-River Trail in Illinois are nothing to sneeze at. ...
Float on: Local kayakers enjoy the great outdoors, peace and quiet, and adventure
Ken Keller first tried kayaking while living in Colorado. "I had ridden my bicycle up Boulder Creek and I was watching the kayakers come down," he says. "I just decided I'd like to try it out."...
A toast to relaxation: Following the Shawnee Hills Wine Trail
Across the Mighty Mississippi, you'll find a perfect trail of relaxation dotting the rolling hills of Southern Illinois. With 12 wineries on the trail, you can make it a "daycation" by starting with the farthest and tasting your way back to home base...
Places to take your pets for some outdoor fun
If you're an animal-lover, you know that most things in life are better enjoyed with "man's best friend" by your side. We asked local pet-owners where they like to hang out with their pets and compiled a few ideas for summer outings with your furry friend...
Revisiting Highway 61 on a spring weekend
As winter finally gives way to spring, roads clearing and icicles melting away to reveal the soft green glow of buds on branches, two words come to mind: Road trip. For my money, the most satisfying road trips bypass the fast-but-featureless interstates in favor of their ancestors, the two-lane highways that roll gently over the land, demanding a lighter touch on the gas pedal and a little more respect for the topography...
How to form a disaster plan, stock an emergency kit for your home or business
Does your family have a safe meeting place in case of a house fire? Does everyone know where to seek shelter from a tornado or earthquake? Most Americans say disaster preparedness is important to them, but only about 17 percent say they are actually prepared for such a situation, according to an Ad Council survey...
Retirees find quiet living, plenty to do in Southeast Missouri
Southeast Missouri, particularly the Cape Girardeau/Jackson area, has been lauded multiple times as a great place to settle down with a low cost of living. Most recently, in 2013, the Wall Street Cheat Sheet ranked the Cape Girardeau/Jackson area No. ...
New exhibits coming to area museums this summer
Cape River Heritage Museum: New exhibits for 2014 include "Girardeau Presidential Connections"; "Steamboat Era"; "Louis Lorimier, Founder of Cape Girardeau"; and a 5-foot by 10-foot 1944 Ary Marbain mural Metropolis donated by the Southeast Missourian newspaper and restored by local artist Craig Thomas. In Cape Girardeau...
Local libraries offer much more than books
These days, there's much more to do at the library than sit quietly and read or study. Public libraries throughout Southeast Missouri offer all sorts of educational programs, test preparation, meeting spaces, reading groups, guest speakers, access to computers and e-readers, and much more...
A musical summer in Southeast Missouri
You don't have to travel far this summer to hear a variety of great music, all performed by local community music groups. Below is a sampling of what you will find right here in Southeast Missouri to keep your toes tapping and your fingers snapping right through the dog days of summer!...
Volunteer opportunities abound in Southeast Missouri
Whatever the reason or the stage of life you're in, many communities in Southeast Missouri offer countless volunteer opportunities. Here's a look at some options in your community.
__The Southeast Missouri Chapter of the American Red Cross__ has a variety of volunteer positions in its direct services, external services and support services division...
Communities of Southeast Missouri
Bollinger County A great place to ... settle down Sue and Gary Brewer made Bollinger County their home almost 20 years ago after retiring from the military. Both originally from Northern Illinois, they had no ties to Southeast Missouri but quickly made connections in the area...
Explore Missouri's 'alphabet soup' back roads
Visitors to Missouri often wonder about the highways that are named with letters instead of numbers. Only one other state (Wisconsin) has a system like it. Missouri's lettered roads lead to plenty of jokes, especially involving the roads named Route PP found in Jackson, Kelso, Poplar Bluff and elsewhere. A game of "Road Sign Scrabble" can be played at certain intersections, such as the junction of Routes N, U and T in Cape Girardeau County...
What a difference a day (trip) makes: Ideas for outings with friends, family or by yourself
Our family has a patented day trip: the St. Louis Zoo followed by dinner at Fitz's Soda Bar and Grill. We spend the day looking at the animals and then we look at the bottlers while we wait for our burgers to arrive. By 7 p.m., we are headed south again on Interstate 55, full, tired and happy. Many Southeast Missouri families may have a similar formula. If you're looking to break out of your routine, get away with your significant other, enjoy some girl time or take a day just for yourself, here are some trips that are big on rest or recreation with little driving.
Business & Industry
Lay of the land: Buying a home? Do a landscape inspection
Prudent house hunters usually await the results of a professional inspection before buying their dream home. All too often, though, one of the biggest contributors to a home's value is neglected: the landscape. And that can prove costly...
Dining around the world: Options for international cuisine abound in Southeast Missouri
No need to change your latitude to adjust your attitude when it comes to dining in Southeast Missouri. Cape Girardeau and the surrounding area offer fare of the islands -- the Caribbean, Greece, Ireland, Japan -- and flavors of Mexico, Europe and Asia. Venturing beyond the hamburger horizon, our palates can book passage to paradise...
Zip, zip, zoom! Photographer Laura Simon spends a day zip lining in Southern Illinois
One of Illinois' best-kept secrets is tucked away in the Shawnee National Forest, a beautiful expanse at the southern tip of the state. Shawnee Bluffs Canopy Tour, open since April 2013, gives visitors a tour through 83 acres of natural wonders. But it's not your typical ground tour...
Pavement Ends: 10 excellent places to view the Mississippi River
"I started out thinking of America as highways and state lines. As I got to know it better, I began to think of it as rivers." We don't have snow-capped mountains or ocean beaches in the Midwest, but this part of the country does have something special: easy access to the greatest river in North America...
All bottled up: 'You gotta drink beer to make beer,' say the men behind Cypress Brewing Co.
Wrapped in the sweet, sultry steam clouds that billow off the mash pot, Jason Renaud gets his first tantalizing hint of what's brewing. "I love the smell of it," he says with a slow-spreading grin. "This is my favorite part." He and his business partner, Berry Hooper, together known as Cypress Brewing Co., are making their own craft beer in Charleston, Missouri, trying to resurrect a discontinued IPA (India pale ale) from an online recipe...
Teaching the game: People who love sports and kids find a calling as coaches for youth leagues
Youth sports can't exist without people who step up to coach and officiate the games. Matt Rubel, a physical therapist, has been coaching youth sports for about 10 years. "I used to play, then I started helping out my siblings, and now I coach my own kids," he says...
Get fit with your pet: Exercise ideas that pets and humans can do together
Exercise is important not only for humans to maintain a healthy lifestyle -- it's also crucial for our four-legged friends. "Several studies have shown that weight loss for people and pets is always more successful if they do it together," says Dr. Sean Byrd, owner of Skyview Animal Clinic in Cape Girardeau...
Guide to area schools
In addition to its many public schools, Southeast Missouri has a large number of acclaimed private schools, most of a religious nature. Get important information on public school performance and private school characteristics.
Places of worship in Southeast Missouri
Southeast Missouri is known as a very religion-friendly area that boasts a multitude of churches in many denominations. Find out some basic information about them.
Facts about Cape Girardeau County
Cape Girardeau County boasts the area's largest population at more than 75,000 and the largest city, Cape Girardeau, which serves as a economic and services center for much of the surrounding area.
Facts about Bollinger County
Bollinger County is great for those looking for a bit slower pace and beautiful natural surroundings. With a population of a little over 12,000, it's the most rural of the area's counties.
Facts about Scott County
Few counties in the state represent Missouri's farm economy more than Scott County. The rolling hills in the county's north and the flat plains south of Benton are usually filled with wheat, corn, soybeans and other crops year-round.
Facts about Perry County
The rolling hills of Perry County are home to a strong German Lutheran and Catholic heritage the goes back centuries. This heritage is on display in small towns like Altenburg and Brazeau.