We asked readers capture their communities of Bollinger, Cape Girardeau, Perry, Scott counties for The Bridge magazine. Take a look at how they responded. >>
Cape Girardeau County: A great place to find adventure
Dr. Frank Nickell says to make the most of life, you have to have something you like to do, and you have to live in an interesting place. Southeast Missouri has given him both. The retired Southeast Missouri State University history professor and assistant director of the State Historical Society of Missouri, Frank has been involved in Southeast Missouri history for more than 40 years, but he never expected his initial one-year contract at the university to turn into a career and life in Cape Girardeau.. ...
Bollinger County: A great place to buy a herd
Wayne Sharrock is a third-generation owner of the Patton Junction Livestock Auction in Patton, Missouri. The auction has been in business for more than 55 years and draws buyers from as far as 200 miles. Wayne says the auction barn was built by his grandfather, and was the original location of the auction until the family bought a barn in Sedgewickville, Missouri, and spent the next 25 years there hosting the auction. ...
Ste. Genevieve County: A great place to know your neighbors
Tom and Patricia Hooper are new to the Ste. Genevieve, Missouri, tourism scene. Transplants from Louisiana, Missouri, the two settled in Ste. Genevieve and opened the doors to their small business, ASL Pewter Foundry, on Jan. 25. Tom and Patricia have worked with pewter, a malleable metal with which they can mold an array of items, for 37 and more than 20 years, respectively. They are proud of the business they have fostered, and work to highlight original creations of about 60 other artists...
Perry County: A great place to tell a story
Trish Erzfeld has worked at the Perry County Historical Society for nearly 20 years. She was appointed to a new position, consultant for tourism, in May. "My job is to bring more tourism to the county, so I'm trying to gather and rally the team, rally the troops as you might say, and get us all going in the same direction," she says...
Scott County: A great place to eat your fill
Scott Lambert grew up in his grandparents' cafe and is no stranger to the concept of "throwed rolls." He and his brother, Ben, have helped run Lambert's Cafe in Sikeston, Missouri, since they were young boys. They went on to open two more locations since the original cafe's conception: one in Ozark, Missouri, in 1994, the other in Foley, Alabama, in 1996...
Stoddard County: A great place to observe wildlife
Stoddard County has a lot to offer, especially when it comes to the Mingo National Wildlife Refuge in Puxico, Missouri. Ben Mense has been manager at the refuge for almost eight years, and he says this position is great because it has allowed him to live closer to his hometown of Pittsburg, Kansas...
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. ...
Business & Industry
Make a list, check it twice: Home inventories can help in case of natural disaster
Wild weather has become more common with climate change, the experts say, and homeowners can prepare for natural disasters by making home inventories -- detailed lists of household belongings and their approximate value. Making a home inventory can be easy; there are inexpensive or free services, apps and software...
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...
In the know: Language classes available for all ages and levels in Southeast Missouri
Parlez-vous anglais? *¿Habla usted Ingles? Sprechen sie Englisch? For 136 Cape Girardeau school students, English isn't necessarily their primary language; in fact, beyond English, district students speak 17 languages. That's a challenge for Sarah Hanf, teacher of English language learning at Jefferson and Blanchard Elementary schools. She's one of four ELL teachers in the district...
The 'Pedaling Pioneer': Jackson teacher Brad Haertling delivered a new kind of lesson on westward expansion
Aboard his trusty Trek Road Bike, Jackson Middle School teacher Brad Haertling, with the help of co-teacher Rachel Glisson, brought lessons about 19th century westward expansion to Jackson students last summer. Retracing the Oregon Trail, Haertling pedaled 1,100 miles from Casper, Wyoming, to Oregon City, Oregon, and 950 miles along that route the previous year...
We're with the band: Three rockin' bands to keep an eye on in Cape Girardeau
It seems you can't toss a stick in downtown Cape Girardeau without hitting a musician of some kind. Between the artsy orbit of the River Campus and the weekly open-mic scene, bands sprout up all over the place. Some burn hot and fizzle, but others have been able to stand the test of time and make a name for themselves about town and beyond. Regardless of what you prefer to scoot your boots to, there are a few bands that solidly represent their genres...
A game for friends: Challenger Baseball Leagues gather players with disabilities in St. louis and Southeast Missouri
Baseball with no rules? It might seem bizarre, but for the members of Challenger Baseball League teams, it works. At this league's games, there are no runs, no outs and no one keeps score. Challenger Baseball is designed for young people who have physical and mental challenges, but older players are welcome...
Giddy-up: A guide to horse-riding spots, whether you're a beginner or an old pro
When it comes to horseback riding, Southeast Missouri, Western Kentucky and Southern Illinois provide some of the best trail riding and camping for horseback riders in the Midwest. Rates and age requirements vary from place to place, so we've put together a list of locations for you or your family to get away from it all and enjoy the outdoors on horseback...
Free falling: Local group meets to sky dive, some for the first time, others into the thousands
On a Saturday with nothing but blue skies, members of the Southeast Missouri Skydiving Club gathered in a hangar at the airport in Cairo, Illinois, to celebrate Don Dorris' 80th birthday. Dorris, a longtime sky diving instructor for the club, even made a jump from about 10,000 feet to commemorate the day, which he spent with some of his close friends...
Pavement Ends: Mountains to climb in Missouri
It's a good thing the government doesn't have a specific definition for a "mountain" versus a "hill." With a strict definition of mountain, Missouri's terrain may not make the cut. We'd be stuck with the "Ozark Hills" instead of the Ozark Mountains, while "Taum Sauk Hill" wouldn't have the same impact as Taum Sauk Mountain...
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...
Medication safety: Over-the-counter drug literacy a must for tweens and teens
There's so much for parents to talk about with teens heading off to college for the first time. There's the safe-sex talk, the nutrition talk, the get-enough-sleep talk, the partying talk and the study-hard talk. In between all the talking and the packing and the planning, teaching kids how to safely self-medicate with over-the-counter preparations for colds, headaches and sore muscles might not be on the parental radar...
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.