Experiments under the Giving Tree [Photo]

Kiana Grant, site facilitator for the Benton Elementary School's Adventure Club, and Jonathan Garr, a first-grader at Benton, work on an experiment under the shade of the "Giving Tree".

Retiring the Giving Tree [Photo]

The "Giving Tree" has given countless members of the community comfort, shade and stability. Ann Alofs, a third grade teacher at Benton Elementary School, said the removal of the tree is almost symbolic. "Benton has been experiencing big changes in terms of lots of teachers retiring," she said. "It’s almost as if the tree knew it was time to go. All good things come to an end and I guess this is one of them, but it is sad.”

"Giving Tree" to be removed Monday [Photo]

The "Giving Tree" is an old Hackberry tree located on the Benton Elementary School playground. The Tree has been on the school's property since 1896, when the school opened. Students and residents of the Benton-Stephens community have enjoyed its many benefits since then. The "Giving Tree" is to be removed on Monday, April 19. “It speaks to longevity and stability because it’s a piece of Benton history. With it leaving, it’s sad,” said Cathy Cox, home/school communicator.

Michael Reagan speaks to reporters [Photo]

Michael Reagan, a conservative author and talk show host, speaks to reporters on the steps of the Missouri state Capitol building on Tuesday after a tea party rally.

Yoder family at tea party rally [Photo]

Isaac Yoder looks back at his sister Patience Yoder, his mother Katie Yoder, his sister Sunshine Yoder and his brother Ezekiel Yoder during a tea party rally Tuesday at the Missouri Capitol. They attended the rally to circulate an anti-abortion petition.

Michael Reagan headlines tea party rally [Photo]

Conservative speaker Michael Reagan, son of former President Ronald Reagan, speaks to a crowd at a tea party rally held Tuesday at the Missouri Capitol.

Car is towed after collision [Photo]

A 2002 Honda Civic is towed after being involved in an accident on S. Providence Road near Nifong Boulevard on Tuesday. The vehicle was crossing Providence when it was struck by a Chevrolet truck heading south on Providence.

Rock Bridge senior injured in accident [Photo]

Two Rock Bridge High School students get backpacks out of their car after they were in an accident on Tuesday. One of the students, a 17-year-old who was sitting in the passenger seat, had to be taken to the hospital. The accident occurred as they were crossing S. Providence Road near Nifong Boulevard to turn onto a side road in front of Sophia's.

Darwin Hindman leaves office [Photo]

Former Mayor Darwin Hindman sits at his home office while taking a call from a citizen about the census.

VIDEO: A day of transition [Video]

April 12 was Darwin Hindman's last day as the mayor of Columbia, a post he has held for 15 years.

Autism in Boone County [Slideshow]

Josh Basye, 4, was diagnosed with autism when he was 3. He goes to Children's Early Education School in Mexico, Mo., a school that caters to Basye's needs. His mother, Teresa, strives to help Josh have a normal childhood life.

Interested mushroom hunters gather for more information [Slideshow]

Friends of Rock Bridge Memorial State Park held an information meeting about hunting for mushrooms on Monday. Jon Rapp and Stan Hudson gave the presentation. The meeting covered identification of edible and non-edible mushrooms and where different mushrooms can be found. Many of the attendees were interested in hunting morels, a type of mushroom in season this time of year.

Marsha Goldberg attended the meeting and she’s new to hunting mushrooms. Goldberg talks about why she attended the meeting and her interest in finding mushrooms. Hudson, who helped with the presentation, talks about how long he has been hunting mushrooms and how he got into it.

Rock Bridge vs. Hickman girls soccer [Photo]

Rock Bridge's Anna Alioto, right, kicks the ball away from Hickman's Maggie Pace in Monday's game at Rock Bridge.

One mayor, five terms [Graphic]

How Columbia has changed, in terms of size, transportation and a dozen other factors, during the 15 years Darwin Hindman has been mayor.

Hindman's Discovery Garden [Document]

This brochure illustrates plans for the Discovery Garden in Stephens Lake Park to be created in honor of Mayor Darwin Hindman for his many years of service to the city.

Saying goodbye [Photo]

Outgoing Mayor Darwin Hindman and City Coucilwoman Laura Nauser hug after a proclamation and gifts were presented to Hindman in the City Council Chambers on Monday. Hindman was presented with a proclamation about his service to the city.

Swearing in the new mayor [Photo]

Columbia Mayor Bob McDavid is sworn in during a special meeting of the City Council on Monday. McDavid is the first new mayor of Columbia in fifteen years.

Passing of the gavel [Photo]

Outgoing Mayor Darwin Hindman shakes hands with new Columbia Mayor Bob McDavid after passing on the gavel in the City Council Chambers on Monday. McDavid won the municipal election on April 7.

New board member [Photo]

Superintendent Dr. Chris Belcher talks with Columbia Board of Education newcomer Jonathan Sessions in the District Administration Building on Monday evening. Sessions was sworn in minutes earlier to fill the seat that departing board member Karla DeSpain left vacant.

Tearful goodbye [Photo]

Columbia Board of education member Karla DeSpain cries as she is recognized for her nine years of service as a board member at the District Administration Building on Monday evening. After she left, DeSpain's seat on the board was filled by Jonathan Sessions.