Robert Bush shows off work [Photo]

Robert L. Bush holds up a sample of his department's work. He works as a printing press operator in MVE's graphic arts department.

Working in graphic arts [Photo]

Robert L. Bush holds up samples of his department's work: various decals and vehicle inspection stickers. Bush works as a printing press operator in MVE's graphic arts department, and is one of roughly 350 offenders who take part in MVE, an inmate labor program.

It's all about the creativity [Photo]

Gary Reynolds is a leather-and woodworker in MVE's engraving department. Reynolds was incarcerated in 1979 and won't be eligible for release until 2028. It is the creative part of his job that he relishes. He hand-carves wooden state seals and designs leather purses, billfolds and ID holders for state employees and not-for-profits. In his free time, Reynolds teaches art classes and enjoys drawing antiques.

I-70 accident scene [Photo]

Firefighters respond to the scene of a two-car accident at 4208 I-70 Drive which left one man dead and another with minor injuries.

Defective parts [Photo]

Defective parts stand as stacks of scrap outside the EPC building in Columbia. The company says the assembly line’s efficiency must be improved for the company to stay in business, particularly the “first run” — the initial batch of a new product.

An empty employee cafeteria [Photo]

From left, Jesse Dutton, Glenda Shackelford, Larry Houston and Tim Benton are the only assembly line workers still employed by Engineered Plastic Components. The room they are sitting in are would have been filled with workers only a few months before. Workers at EPC in Columbia convene in the building’s cafeteria for a break during the day. “It hurts to see everyone getting laid off,” said Glenda Shackelford, one of the last four employees still working on the assembly line. “It’s like family getting laid off.”

Working the assembly line [Photo]

Larry Houston works on the only assembly line still operating at EPC. A year ago, four people would have been stationed along the line that he sometimes operates on his own.

Medical examiners investigate house fire [Photo]

Boone County medical examiners investigate the scene of a fire that occurred in a trailer on Ray Lea Lane in Columbia. One man was killed in the blaze.

House fire leaves one man dead [Photo]

Boone County medical examiners and law enforcement officials investigate the scene of a fire that occurred in a trailer on Ray Lea Lane in Columbia early Wednesday morning.

Humidity effects dumpster operators [Photo]

Reginald Harper operates a garbage truck at the Columbia's Sanitary Landfill on Tuesday.

Heat takes toll on car [Photo]

Roger Shuck examines his overheated Chevrolet Scottsdale truck on the side of U.S. 63 near Sturgeon around 2:30 p.m. on Tuesday.

Skulls on a shelf [Photo]

Skulls decorate the office of MU professor David Geary. The skulls are a species of the Australopithecines and of the early bipedal primates.

Fans in firework stand [Photo]

Madison Blumenschein, Ryan Kalbfleisch and Matt Myler rest in front of two fans inside the Bob's Fireworks tent on Tuesday.

MU brain analyst [Photo]

David Geary is an MU professor who has done research on the evolution of brains. In a research experiment, Geary and associates discovered the human brain has quadrupled in size primarily because of social competition.

Pining for cool at Pinnacles Youth Park [Photo]

Justin Lutz holds Orion Alexander in the Silver Fork Creek Falls at Pinnacles Youth Park on Tuesday. Alison Alexander and Jade Alexander sit on the shore.

Defining Downtown [Graphic]

Employment by industry [Graphic]

Unemployment decline [Graphic]

Demarre Carroll draft possibilities [Photo]

MU men's basketball player Demarre Carroll during a home game against California on Dec. 7, 2008.

Lyons prepares for draft [Photo]

MU’s Leo Lyons dribbles in for a shot at the MU vs. Baylor University men’s basketball game in the Mizzou Arena on Saturday, Jan. 31. The Tigers won the game 89-72.