Performing bears are part of family's business [Photo]

Fred the bear gives Johnny Welde Jr. a kiss after the performance at the Boone County Fair on Thursday. The Welde's own Bearadise Ranch in Florida and travel across the country performing. The ranch has been in the Welde family for 84 years, and Johnny Welde Jr. plans on taking over the family business someday.

Bear enjoys molasses at Boone County Fair [Photo]

John Welde feeds Fred the bear molasses as a reward at the Boone County Fair on Thursday. Fred is one of eleven bears that live at the Welde's ranch in Florida.

Rain sticks are a good thing [Photo]

Children at the Columbia Public Library built rain sticks and played along with Tammy Hickman from the MU Thompson Center for Autism and Neurodevelopmental Disorders.

Happy to listen to a good book [Photo]

Naomi Davis, 10, right, and her cousin Alexis Torres,10, left, listen to Tammy Hickman playing the drums. Hickman explained that people are like music. Hickman said, "If you went to a concert and they just played one note, well, that wouldn't work."

Reading her own Braille book [Photo]

DeAnna Quietwater Noriega reads a Braille book that she wrote to children at the Columbia Public Library. Noriega said, "It's not about what you don't have, it's about what you do with what you have."

One emotional reading [Photo]

Reno, a guide dog, looks up at DeAnna Quietwater Noriega after she finishes reading one of her books about overcoming adversity during the celebration of the 20th Anniversary for the passing of the Americans with Disabilities Act at the Columbia Public Library on Thursday. Noriega, who is half Chippewa and half Apache, has two other dogs, four horses and a llama. Noriega said, "He is very boastful because he gets to come out and work while the other dogs have to stay home."

Migratory birds hunt food [Photo]

Migratory birds hunt for food on a partially flooded crawfish farm owned by Grantt Guillory near Opelousas, La., on July 1.

Checking pump equipment [Photo]

Grantt Guillory adjusts pumping machinery on his crawfish farm near Opelousas, La., on June 30, as he prepares to flood the property to attract migratory birds. (AP Photo/John Flesher)

Second Chance for furry friends [Video]

Columbia Second Chance's Furever Foster program helps place older animals and those with special needs into new homes. For animals with known medical conditions, the volunteer-run organization continues to pay for their treatment costs for families who are willing to provide them with a permanent foster home.

Nixon talks about economic development [Photo]

Gov. Jay Nixon listens to Richard Fleming, president and CEO of St. Louis Regional Chamber and Growth Association at the Reynolds Alumni Center on Thursday. Nixon was in Columbia to address the first meeting of the steering committee of the state's 2010 Strategic Initiative for Economic Growth.

Vote on Prop C [Photo]

A pickup truck carries a large sign that reads "Vote Aug. 3 Yes Prop C" outside a rally and fundraiser for supporters of a ballot measure to block the new federal health insurance law in St. Charles. Missouri will become the first state to the test the popularity of President Barack Obama's top policy accomplishment with a statewide ballot proposal attempting to reject its core mandate that most Americans have health insurance.

Steps of Jesse Hall [Photo]

Ellie Schamel, left, and her mom Gail Schamel enjoy ice cream at an ice cream social held during the 2008 Summer Welcome. Parents can keep in touch with their children while they are away at school by using e-mail, text messages and Skype.

Ushering in the new class [Photo]

Nina Moini, 19, greets incoming freshmen at the 2008 Summer Welcome.

Culture Shock [Photo]

Nguyen Thi Minh Ha, left, and Thuong Nguyen, right, graduate students studying public administration, look over donated bed sheets with help from volunteer Diane Driver at the International Friends Center. About 12 to 13 percent of MU students are culturally diverse.

Students take back the night [Photo]

From left, Kim Scates, Brittany Russell, Amy Williams and Sharon Giles lead the annual Take Back the Night march on Sept. 17, 2009. The march, which wound through MU, aimed to raise awareness about sexual violence.

MU Idol [Photo]

Student judges Emily Patterson, Katie Bickley, John Rufus Shealy and Andrew Lang discuss the performers they have seen while more wait for Mizzou Idol February 22 at Memorial Union.

Senior send-off [Photo]

Seniors race through the columns on May 5. The ceremony marks their graduation from the university and their entrance into the community.

Paint the town [Photo]

During homecoming week, businesses downtown decorate their storefronts to show support for the hometown team. Other popular events for college students include the homecoming parade and blood drive competition sponsored by Greek Life.

Studying for final exams [Photo]

Krista Schwendinger, left, and Kyle Holt study on opposite sides of a desk on the first floor of Ellis Library at MU in 2004. Unaware of each other’s situations, they are both studying for upcoming economics tests.

New Brady Commons for a new class [Photo]

Renovations to Brady Commons, which began in 2005, are scheduled for a Homecoming Week completion. An official opening ceremony will be held Oct. 21. When finished, the student center will hold five restaurants, a bank and ATMs, meeting rooms, event spaces, lounges, student media centers and offices.