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Grand-prize winning photo for Columbia Parks and Recreation contest [Photo]

Grand-prize winner Kelly Smith, 31, shot this photo of her husband Ryan and her 6-year-old son Ben at a bridge on the Hinkson Creek Trail. Smith, director of Habitat for Humanity in Jefferson City, said photography is a stress relief. "I can't draw or paint or anything like that," she said. "It's my own way to express myself."

Stephens Lake waterfall shines in photo contest [Photo]

Randy Hughes, a 47-year-old quality tech for JM Eagle, placed four times in two different categories, including a first place in the Parks and Recreation Facilities category with this photo of the new waterfall at Stephens Lake Park. "As far as nature areas, it’s just so beautiful out there,” he said. “I love landscape photography.”

Parks and Recreation contest photo of Bear Creek Trail [Photo]

Lisa Fechter, a 41-year-old office manager, took this Trails-category photo while walking with her children and dog on the Bear Creek Trail. They go for walks whenever the weather is nice. "I shoot all the time," she said. "If any of the kids stay still long enough, they're always the subjects."

Wildlife biologist shoots frog for photo contest [Photo]

Rick Hansen works two jobs for the U.S. Wildlife Reserve: one as a wildlife biologist and the other as a self-titled unofficial photographer. He said his colleagues always ask him to document what they're doing. He shot this first-place Landscape, Wildlife and Nature photo at Fairview Park in 60 degree weather that was just cold enough to slow down the cold-blooded frogs. He said the frogs would have been harder to shoot on a hotter day.

Plunge photo stands out in Parks and Recreation contest [Photo]

Colleen McDevitt, a former Missourian photographer, took this first-place photo for the Recreation Programs, Sports, Events and Classes category. It depicts former Special Olympics intern Cassie Shields winning the heart of Polar Bear Plunge judges with her then fiance, Scott Drochelman. Their teamname, "Taking the Plunge," helped the newly engaged couple win the event at Stephens Lake Park on Valentine's Day 2009.

Rock Bridge soccer's Alioto [Photo]

Rock Bridge sophomore Anna Alioto gets tripped up while chasing after the ball with Blue Valley Northwest sophomore Nicole Vermes.

Rock Bridge soccer's Monticelli [Photo]

Rock Bridge sophomore Stephanie Monticelli returns the ball to play after a shot on goal during Thursday night's game against Blue Valley Northwest at Rock Bridge High School.

MU softball dad [Photo]

Rex Hainey, father of MU sophomore pitcher Jana Hainey, shields himself from the rain during the the Tigers' game against Central Methodist on Thursday. Hainey said his outfield spot was the "best seat in the house."

MU softball's Flemming [Photo]

MU sophomore Ashley Flemming swings at a pitch during the first inning against Central Methodist.

MU softball's Young [Photo]

MU sophomore Jaydee Young slides into home plate during a game against Central Methodist on Thursday at University Field.

Musician works toward career [Video]

Mason Raithel, 16, is a musician who performed his original piece, “Voodoo,” at The Blue Note. He's hoping for a career in music.

Missouri government officials play softball for Red Cross [Video]

The Missouri legislature held its annual charity softball tournament on April 21 in Jefferson City. Teams of senators, representatives, and others connected to Missouri’s government raise money for a different charity each year. This year’s charity was the Red Cross. The State Seals, comprised of the Secretary of State’s office won this year’s tournament; here are all the teams that participated.

• Lt. Governor Peter Kinder’s team: Kinder Tweeps
• Mark Webb (House Research)’s team: Luzwick Ndrinck
• Brad Werner (House Post Office)’s team: Brad’s Bombers
• Intern team: Bennie’s All Stars
• Tim Bommel (House Photographer)’s team: SW Shockers
• Representative Jonas Hughes’ team: Tha Hit Squad
• The Governor’s Office’s team: Bulb Changers
• The Secretary of State’s Office’s team: State Seals
• Senator Ryan Mckenna’s team: O’Boys and O’Girls
• The Senate staff’s team: Whip Sox

Internal Police Department report [Graphic]

First quarter reports from January to March 2009 and 2010

Earth Day: Sea turtle released [Photo]

Staff and volunteers from the Turtle Hospital watch a 200-pound, male Loggerhead sea turtle named "Pal" make his way to deeper water off the Florida Keys on Thursday, in Marathon, Fla. The turtle was released on Earth Day after being treated for more than a month with antibiotics and laxatives for an impacted digestive system.

People celebrate Earth Day around the world [Slideshow]

Individuals around the globe celebrate the international Earth Day in a variety of ways.

Rehearsing Bach [Photo]

The Columbia Civic Orchestra and the MU Choral Union will perform Bach’s B Minor Mass on Friday at the Missouri Theatre Center for the Arts. The group rehearsed for two and a half hours on Tuesday and will do the same on Thursday in preparation for Friday's performance, which will take about two hours.

Preparing for Bach production [Photo]

Conductor Paul Crabb leads the Columbia Civic Orchestra and the MU Choral Union in a rehearsal on Tuesday at the Missouri Theatre Center for the Arts. The group will perform Bach’s B Minor Mass on Friday.

Baseball at Kauffman Stadium [Photo]

The MU baseball team huddles together on the field Wednesday at Kauffman Stadium before the annual rivalry game against Kansas.

Senne at bat [Photo]

MU first baseman Aaron Senne hits a foul ball in the first inning against Kansas.

MU baseball's Thigpen [Photo]

MU junior Andrew Thigpen, center, waits for his pitching replacement on the mound in the annual rivalry game against Kansas at Kauffman Stadium.
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