When the boys in a Hyatt Park gym start talking about chicken wings, it isn’t time to chow down but to practice their takedowns. Mats 2 Men, a wrestling program, is trying to enrich their lives and teach character while also getting their fathers more involved.
The volunteers at the NAACP-American Red Cross disaster relief center on North Main all share a passion for helping those still in need after the historic flooding of early October.
In two years, Mary Thurman has brought dozens of programs to Hyatt Park’s Leroy Moss Community Center, and she says she’s not done. As she puts it, “I’m here for the betterment of the people.”
The almost $650,000 that Columbia has spent to update the facades of over 24 businesses in the North Main area during the past three years has meant more business for owners like Mark Sills of Angelo’s Zesto and a more livable neighborhood.
Columbia’s Hyatt Park could be so much more than what it is today, residents of the surrounding neighborhood say. They want renovations at the 11.5-acre park in North Columbia, and they’re upset at what they say have been the city’s broken promises.
Taekwondo black belt Ulysses Cornelius’ chances of recovery were slim after a two-year battle with infection left him without both legs. But the faith-driven 59-year-old defied the odds by returning to his karate class, where he teaches out of his wheelchair and ministers to local youths.
Hyatt Park is still a work in progress, but Robert Geter says it’s in a much better state now than it was when he arrived as recreation leader in August 2011. After working with police to weed out negative influences, Geter happily looks back at the turnaround in the North Columbia park.
It’s time to stop more beer and wine permits from coming into the Hyatt Park-Keenan Terrace neighborhood, say residents who have spent more than a decade fighting off unwanted development. Their latest targets are a pair of small grocery stores. Former neighborhood president Ellen Triplett is leading the charge.