Raising the flag [Photo]

Evan Drane, 10, clips the flag to the flagpole before raising it while Cora Siewart, 5, and Catherine Siewart assist him and wait for photos at Russell Boulevard Elementary on Thursday. Many parents brought their students to school early to document their first day.

Getting off the bus [Photo]

Assistant Principal Tami Ensor ushers kids off the school bus at Russell Boulevard Elementary on Thursday. School staff were on hand early to help guide students to classrooms on their first day.

First-grade teachers at Shepard share laughs [Photo]

Holly Snyder shares a laugh with fellow first-grade teachers Janine Taylor, Jessica Bach and Ann Cardetti during a meeting in Shepard Elementary on Wednesday. The first-grade teachers were meeting to plan ahead of the first day of school.

Shepard third-grade teachers plan curriculum [Photo]

Hannah Hassemer helps plan the year with fellow third-grade teachers during a meeting at Shepard Elementary School on Wednesday. The teachers were spending the day planning for the next day, which would be the first school day of the year.

Stephens College orientation leaders generate game ideas [Photo]

Sam Schwartzman and Ricardo Rique-Sanchez exchange ideas during a planning meeting for Stephens College orientation student leaders inside of Stamper Commons on Wednesday. The student leaders were brainstorming ideas for icebreaker games to put new students at ease in their first days on campus.

Columbia College orientation leaders build rapport [Photo]

Austin Miller shares a laugh with his fellow Columbia College orientation leaders during a team building game inside of the Atkins-Holman Student Commons on Columbia College's main campus on Tuesday, Aug. 10. Miller and his peers were working to build communication between themselves before student orientation began.

Kim Coke facilitates Columbia College team building exercise [Photo]

Kim Coke, director of Student Development at Columbia College, explains what orientation will be like to the group of student orientation leaders during a team building exercise inside of the Atkins-Holman Student Commons on Columbia College's main campus on Tuesday, Aug. 10. The eight students and Coke will be on hand during orientation to answer questions and help lead new students to success at Columbia College.

Blaine Gabbert at Missouri football practice [Photo]

Missouri quarterback Blaine Gabbert breaks downfield on a run during practice Wednesday morning at Faurot Field.

Warm greetings [Photo]

Hayden Chaney, 2, gets acquainted with Ocean. Hayden and her mother stopped to play with the cats while waiting on a German Shepherd adoption.

Exploring the new facility [Photo]

Snow White stands protected behind Brandi Beuthien's legs. Beuthien allows the cats to roam the room if they've been on good behavior.

Walking the hallways [Photo]

Casie Farmer brings Marty and Goldie back from the outdoor dog run. The renovations to the shelter replaced chain link cages with glass-front pens.

Throwing the ball around with a friend [Photo]

Zahria Haikal and Adam Kickham pet Shady in the outdoor dog run. Haikal and Kickham brought Shady outside to toss a tennis ball.

Looking for the perfect pet [Photo]

A kitten clings to Adam Goldberg's shirt on opening day of the newly-renovated Central Missouri Humane Society. Goldberg had come to the shelter three days running in hopes of adopting a low-maintenance pet.

Wall of pet homes at Humane Society [Photo]

Missy naps in her new home. The shelter staff refers to these cubicles as "cat condos."

Aimee Gutshall [Photo]

Aimee Gutshall is an MU student and a summer intern for the Missouri Farm Bureau.

Teen hearing loss [Photo]

Matthew Brady, 17, of Foxborough, Mass., poses for a portrait in his home while wearing ear phones and displaying an iPod. Brady, who has some mild hearing loss, used to listen to the device while running on a treadmill with the volume turned up.

Blagojevich juror [Photo]

Erik Sarnello of Itasca, Ill, a juror in the corruption trial of former Gov. Rod Blagojevich, talks to reporters inside his home on Tuesday, Aug. 17, 2010. Sarnello, 21, said the panel was deadlocked at 11-1 in favor of convicting the former Illinois governor of trying to sell or trade President Obama's former Senate seat.

Blagojevich jury [Photo]

James Matsumoto, foreman of the jury in the Rod Blagojevich federal trial, speaks to reporters in the backyard of his home on the northwest side of Chicago, following Tuesday's verdict.

Record-breaking freshman class moves into residence halls this week [Video]

Nicole Twaddle, 18, moved into her freshman residence hall at MU Tuesday. We captured her move-in with time lapse photography.

Freshman class moves into residence halls [Video]

Tyler Graef, 18, set up his new dorm room at MU Tuesday with the help of his family. This short video tells the story of his day.