Community Betterment judges listen as Elaine Campbell describes Houston's progress during the last year.

Perennial winner Houston is a finalist in the state’s Missouri Community Betterment Contest. Judges visited the town Monday afternoon.

The onsite visit is a preliminary to the announcement of winners at the state’s annual community betterment contest Oct. 18-19 in Jefferson City.

The Houston reception began at an industrial site that was transformed by the Houston Development Co. for office space that has attracted two tenants, the Exceptional Child Cooperative and Air Evac. The quarters are on Spruce Street across from the Texas County Justice Center.

Other highlighted projects included the community garden at Loretto House, the Imagination Library, an effort to put a book monthly in the hands of newborns until age 5; Fit in Houston, a project to increase physical fitness in Houston; new downtown murals; and community Y.O.U.T.H. activities.

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