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Rock Bridge football player Mark Pickerel vs. Riverview Gardens [Photo]

Rock Bridge quarterback Mark Pickerel sprints past Riverview Gardens defender Larry Fletcher in a decisive Bruins victory last weekend. It gets tougher for Rock Bridge on Saturday when the Bruins face No.2 Hazelwood Central. "We have high expectations for ourselves.” Pickerel said. “It’s a chance to get Rock Bridge football back on the map.”

Rock Bridge football practice [Photo]

Jamie Scholten, the special teams and wide receivers coach for the Rock Bridge football team shows the Bruins offense how to line up for their next play during practice on Wednesday. The Bruins will square off against Hazelwood Central on Saturday. The No. 2-ranked Hawks have won the past two Class 6 state championships.

GRAPHIC: Understanding Public Safety Pensions [Graphic]

When deciding how much money to save to fully finance the pension fund, the city uses a number of assumptions about its employees and the financial markets. When these assumptions are off, benefits might become unfunded. When these unfunded benefits start to rise dramatically, it is a sign of trouble for the entire pension fund.

Getting a close look at tomato plants [Photo]

Jim Ross, a former MU professor of animal sciences, walks around the tomato field at the MU Bradford Research Extension Center before the sixth annual Tomato Festival on Thursday. Ross, who specialized in beef cattle production during his 37 years at MU, has been retired for 25 years and still lives in Columbia.

Matching peppers with salsa [Photo]

Chocolate habanero peppers lay beside a salsa made from the chili pepper at the sixth annual Tomato Festival at the MU Bradford Research Extension Center.

Salsa maker dresses to match event [Photo]

Salsa creator Steven Kirk of Lincoln University Extension Center speaks to visitors at the sixth annual Tomato Festival at the MU Bradford Research Extension Center. Kirk made 10 salsas for the festival, ranging from the sweet to the very hot. The hottest pepper, the Bhut Jolokia, was recently named the hottest in the world. The salsa Kirk made from the the Bhut Jolokia had three times fewer peppers than the other salsas and was still ranked the hottest. Kirk's shirt reflected the day's event.

Scorecard records favorites [Photo]

A hot pepper incorrectly placed on the "mild" table draws complaints from unsuspecting visitors at the sixth annual Tomato Festival at the MU Bradford Research Extension Center. Organizers had dozens of various peppers and tomatoes set out for visitors to sample.

Sampling tomatoes and peppers at festival [Photo]

Visitors to the sixth annual Tomato Festival sample various chilies grown at MU Bradford Research Extension Center on Thursday. Samples of locally grown tomatoes as well as peppers ranging from sweet to hot were available.

SLIDESHOW: Sixth annual Tomato Festival [Slideshow]

This summer’s unusual heat and humidity made growing tomatoes a mess for Tim Reinbott, the director of MU’s Bradford Research Farm. Despite this season’s difficulties, Reinbott was still excited about the 74 types of tomatoes he harvested for the sixth annual Tomato Festival.

Getting ready to patrol the rivers [Photo]

In this photo taken Aug. 6, Ron Markland, left, and Mike Bush walk to their boat, docked during a stop in Grafton, Ill. Markland and Bush helped form a group to fight dumping and abuse where the Mississippi, Missouri and Illinois rivers converge.

Children's section of hospital includes room to play [Photo]

The new MU Women’s and Children’s Hospital features an interactive area in the lobby of the children’s section where children can play during their visit. “This will take their mind off the care they’re receiving,” Matthew Splett, media relations coordinator, said.

Hospital features colorful rooms [Photo]

The private inpatient rooms in the Women and Children’s Hospital average 244 square feet and include a bathroom and sleeper sofa. The rooms, decorated in bright, inviting colors, also feature free wireless Internet access and a Wii gaming system.

Women and Children's Hospital opens [Photo]

People gather to celebrate the official opening of MU Women’s and Children’s Hospital on Thursday. The hospital is the first in Missouri that is dedicated to caring for women and children.

Conservation Federation anniversary [Photo]

Bill Crawford, 92, shows off a drawing made by J.N. Ding Darling, an editorial cartoonist, on a tablecloth during the first meeting of the Conservation Federation of Missouri in 1935 at his home in Columbia on Thursday. Crawford is the only living attendee from the first meeting and will be a speaker at the 75th anniversary dinner on Friday.

Artists find home at Artlandish [Slideshow]

The underground studios at Artlandish, which are used by photographers, painters, directors, sculptors and musicians, are the brain child of Artlandish owner and local artist Lisa Bartlett and property owner John Ott.

Scene of the accident [Photo]

Economy Tow Truck drivers Adam Algiere, left, and Randy Crosby strap down the Isuzu Rodeo involved in an injury accident at I-70 and Stadium Boulevard on Thursday. The Ford Tempo in the background was traveling south on Stadium while the Rodeo was turning left onto westbound I-70. The Rodeo rolled, and one person was taken to the hospital with what paramedics said looked like a broken collar bone.

MAP: Burial Sites of Scott and Barkwell [Graphic]

James Scott is buried at Columbia Cemetery. George Barkwell, the man accused and acquitted of lynching him, is also buried there. Both graves are in close proximity to what used to be Stewart Bridge, the site of Scott's lynching.

Yoga plays role in recovery from anorexia [Photo]

In this Sept. 2 photo, Alexis Katchuk performs the yoga sequence Vinyasa at Shelter Gardens in Columbia. For 12 years, Katchuk battled anorexia before recovering. Yoga has been a powerful part of her recovery, she says.

Billy's stallmate [Photo]

Lori Pratt, one of the "Free Billy" supporters, pets one of the two donkeys that were also sold to the group during the auction Thursday. The donkeys will live with Billy the goat on Bobette and Warren Wilson's farm. Pratt suggested that the two donkeys be named "Eddie" and "Murphy" since they resemble Eddie Murphy's character "Donkey" in the movie Shrek.

Billy waits to go home [Photo]

Billy the goat waits at the Midwest Exchange Regional Stockyards to be taken to his new home at Bobette and Warren Wilson's farm on Thursday. The "Free Billy" support group won Billy for $2,500 and are planning to have him be an unofficial goodwill ambassador for the town of Mexico.
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