Tabletizer compacts biomass for fuel [Graphic]

The experimental machine compacts dried corn stalks into dense pellets for thermal energy generation. The tabletizer uses a piston and a mold and consumes less energy than other compacting methods that involve rollers.

MU, local business demonstrate biomass compactor [Photo]

Jesse VanEngelenhoven pours corn stalks into a biomass compactor during a demonstration of the machine Wednesday at MU's Bradford Research and Extension Center.

Biomass compactor produces fuel tablets [Photo]

A biomass compactor compresses biomass fuels such as switchgrass into tablets. This tablet was created during a demonstration of the compactor on Wednesday at MU's Bradford Research and Extension Center.

Local business demonstrates biomass compactor [Photo]

Ecologic Tech research director Jesse VanEngelenhoven demonstrates how the company's new biomass compacter works as the machine compresses corn stalks on Wednesday.

Repairing tombstones at Goshen Primitive Baptist Church cemetery [Photo]

Harold Nichols looks over a repaired tombstone at the Goshen Primitive Baptist Church cemetery on Sunday. Nichols and 11 other church members have spent about 45 hours for the past few days to make repairs on more than 80 tombstones that were toppled over and damaged last weekend.

Disgarded fireworks [Photo]

John Gerau, son of Bob Gerau owner of Bob's Fireworks, hauled a truck-load of spent fireworks from his July 4th celebration into the store on the 5th for disposal. John spent 4 hours setting up his display, which lasted 30 minutes and rung up a bill of $1,500. Each year his fireworks are sorted by size and speed, then glued to a board and lit with a single fuse. Last night's show entertained upwards of 400 eager attendees.

Fireworks in the family [Photo]

Bob Gerau, owner of Bob's Fireworks and self-proclaimed "Man Who Takes the Aspirin", passes the time with son, John Gerau inside the family firework stand on July 5. Bob Gerau opened his first firework stand on July 4th, 1965, the day after John Gerau was born. Bob Gerau mans the stand on 63 in Deer Park year round and a sign out front says, "CALL TO OPEN". When asked which fireworks are his favorite, Bob responds, "Anything that's got a fuse."

Spirit of 76 [Photo]

Wholesale fireworks dealer, Spirit of 76, discounted all retail fireworks sold at their tent starting on July 5 after a full night demonstrating fireworks for customers in the parking lot. Of the one or two dozen, July 5 customers, several are still celebrating, but one man bought bottle rockets for a unique reason: to scare off geese.

BP oil spill column gets readers talking [Photo]

A BP worker power-washes booms that have been collecting oil from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico on Sunday in Cocodrie, La. A column on the oil spill published this week got readers talking.

Fire in the Sky event includes face painting [Photo]

Rachel Whitacre, 15, receives the final touches of glitter on her face paint at Memorial Stadium's Fire in the Sky on Sunday evening.

Columbia residents celebrate Fourth of July [Slideshow]

Families and groups of friends celebrated the holiday weekend by barbecuing and buying and watching fireworks. Many attended the Fire in the Sky event Sunday evening at Memorial Stadium.

Contractors work on Central Missouri Humane Society renovations [Photo]

From left, Tim Krumm, Jason Hampton and Steve Held of Septagon Construction help James Bassett, right, of Mid-City Lumber, delivers a pallet of sheet rock and fiberglass insulation to the Centeral Missouri Humane Society on Wednesday.

Central Missouri Humane Society undergoes renovations [Photo]

James Bassett, right, of Mid-City Lumber, delivers a pallet of sheet rock and fiberglass insulation to the Centeral Missouri Humane Society on Wednesday. The Humane Society is currently undergoing renovations underwritten by a $1 million prize from a 2009 contest sponsored by

Rebecca Berg [Photo]

Rebecca Berg is a reporter, columnist and assistant city editor for the Missourian.

Fireworks stand employee fixes packaging [Photo]

Dave Rasmussen, right, and Kammy Lai fix some packaging on some recently unloaded fireworks at the stand located off of St. Charles Road. Dave Rasmussen is the son-in-law of Bob Gerau of Bob's Fireworks. Rasmussen travels to Liuyang, China, every year to pick fireworks for the business. Lai is a fireworks exporter from Liuyang.

Bob's Fireworks employee chats with customer [Photo]

Dave Rasmussen, left, talks to Nick Witthaus about what fireworks he should buy. Rasmussen helps to run the family business started by Bob Gerau of Bob's Fireworks. Gerau has sold fireworks in Columbia for 45 years and sets up three other stands during the fireworks season.

Little Bonne Femme Baptist Church cemetery houses tombstone of Revolutionary War veteran [Photo]

The grave of John Woolfolk Jr. sits in the Little Bonne Femme Baptist Church cemetery. The tombstone dates back to the Revolutionary War era and was moved from the Woolfolk family farm when the farm was sold in 1987.

Missouri men's basketball team head manager helps out at summer camp [Photo]

Mizzou basketball team head manager Michael Anderson Jr. gathers his players in a team huddle after running timed shooting drills with them. Anderson is helping at the youth basketball camp at Mizzou Arena.

Columbia Dart Association president Jason Snodgrass [Photo]

Jason Snodgrass, president of the Columbia Dart Association, takes a shot during a match Wednesday at the Eagles Aerie in Columbia.

Missouri basketball player Kim English helps out at summer camp [Photo]

Mizzou basketball player, Kim English, takes a shot at the basket during the Missouri Youth Basketball Camp on July 1, 2010. The camp is a two day camp for children ages 6-10 and takes place at Mizzou Arena.