What's causing weather extremes [Graphic]

This year’s climate extremes across the U.S. — which have included record flooding, drought, snowfalls and heat — are being blamed on La Niña weather patterns. One El Niño or La Niña event lasts a year or less and returns on average every three to five years. Here’s a look at U.S. winters during periods of El Niño and La Niña.

Checking in on the soybeans [Photo]

Soybean farmer John Sam Williamson examines the new buds on a soybean plant Tuesday.

Dry weather hard on soybeans [Photo]

Soybean farmer John Sam Williamson, shown in his fields Tuesday, farms soybeans in the McBaine river bottom. He said if the crops do not get rain soon, his yields will be greatly diminished.

Gone Postal [Graphic]

Arrow Rock, Franklin and Wooldridge could lose their post offices as the U.S. Postal Service downsizes.

MyLife, My Town [Graphic]

The "My Life, My Town" project is a collaboration by producers at KBIA and photographers and photo editors at the Columbia Missourian.

New Budweiser can unveiled [Photo]

This product image provided by Anheuser-Busch, shows the new Budweiser label design and a red tab. Anheuser-Busch unveiled the bolder, sleeker design Wednesday. It will roll out in the U.S. this summer and into other markets later this year as the company tries to take the iconic U.S. brand global. It is the 12th redesign for the Budweiser cans since 1936.

Wooldridge Post Office is open — but for how long? [Photo]

The Wooldridge post office is one of 167 Missouri post offices being evaluated for closure. Wooldridge is the closest post office to Columbia identified for evaluation.

Friends catch up at Arrow Rock Post Office [Photo]

Yvonne Rennolds stops by the Arrow Rock post office to get her mail and bring postmaster Tempe McGlaughlin leftover pasta salad. The post office serves as a community gathering space for Arrow Rock.

Kathy Borgman examines postal tools of the past [Photo]

Kathy Borgman of Friends of Arrow Rock examines postal tools displayed in the Arrow Rock post office. The U.S. Postal Service is proposing a "village post office" alternative which would move operation of postal services to local businesses.

Fairgrounds' future is uncertain [Photo]

This year's Boone County Fair drew more than 88,000 people. The fair board, however, has not been breaking even, and the fairgrounds has bills to pay year-round. Now that the 2011 fair is over, the issue of fairgrounds management is back on the agenda of the fair board and the Boone County Commission.

Blaine Gabbert works out at Jaguars training camp [Photo]

Jacksonville Jaguars rookie quarterback Blaine Gabbert warm ups at a recent Jaguars' practice. Gabbert, a two-year starter at Missouri, was Jacksonville's first pick in the April 2011 NFL Draft.

In search of relief from the heat [Photo]

Jerry Nole, 9, and his family tried to cool off at Stephens Lake Park on Tuesday. His family spends most days at the lake but said they hadn't been the past few days because even the lake water had been too hot to provide relief.

Temperature of 108 shatters records [Graphic]

New chairs installed in Jesse Auditorium [Photo]

A worker paints a column in Jesse Auditorium as part of a $1 million renovation. The auditorium's 1,732 seats were also replaced.

Columbia boy a whiz at Pokemon card game [Photo]

Having placed fourth in a national competition, Luke Sherman, 11, of Columbia will participate in the Pokémon World Championship in California.

Bingham's 'The Thread of Life' [Photo]

"The Thread of Life" is George Caleb Bingham's only known painting based on mythology. He probably painted it to honor the birth of his son, James Rollins Bingham.

Bingham's 'Mary Switzler' [Photo]

"Mary Switzler," by George Caleb Bingham, is among the portraits displayed at an exhibit at the State Historical Society of Missouri. Switzler's husband, William Switzler, was a newspaper publisher in Columbia, as well as the founder of the Columbia Missouri Statesman.

Bingham's 'Mary Eliza Barr' [Photo]

"Mary Eliza Barr" is among Missouri artist George Caleb Binghams' earliest paintings. Although he is primarily known for his works depicting American politics and Missouri life, he painted several portraits of women and children.

Carl Edwards at Brickyard 400 [Photo]

Carl Edwards, right, talks with his crew chief Bob Osborne during practice before Sunday's Sprint Cup race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Edwards finished 14th in the race and maintained his lead in the Sprint Cup point standings.

Muslim man cleanses self before prayer on first day of Ramadan [Photo]

Fu'ad Khaleel performs a ritual ablution to cleanse himself prior to prayer. During the month of Ramadan, Muslims engage in more prayer than normal and fast from sunup to sundown. At dusk, locals converge on the Mosque to pray and eat together in the center's dining hall.