Throwing the opening pitch [Photo]

From left, Tom Atkins, Mayor Darwin Hindman and Commissioner Skip Elkin in unison throw the first pitch at the dedication of Thomas E. "Country" Atkins Jr. Memorial Park on Monday. Atkins donated the 80-acre property to Columbia and Boone County with the intention that it be developed for youth recreation.

Hickman runner Jimmie Garth [Photo]

Hickman runner Jimmie Garth, left, who helped the Kewpies finish third in the 4 x 400 relay at last year's state track meet, takes a handoff from teammate Darius Wright during a practice.

The number is mowing in the grass [Photo]

Steve Peuster has been mowing a "99" on a patch of hill along highway H near the Columbia Regional Airport since the 2005 NASCAR season. Ninety-nine is local racing superstar Carl Edward's Sprint Cup Series number. "I figured he's running back and forth, in and out of here (the airport). "I just wanted to let him know one more poor fool is rooting for him!" Peuster said.

A mowing tribute [Photo]

Wearing a t-shirt celebrating Carl Edward's Nationwide Series Scotts team and riding a Scotts lawn mower, Steve Peuster sets about mowing the four acres of property at his home near the airport. Peuster mows about once a week and the chore takes about 5 hours.

Their tribute does not go unnoticed [Photo]

Steve Peuster and his wife Jayne Peuster share a laugh over a couple items Carl Edwards has left in their mailbox over the years. Edwards has left a signed business card and a letter of thanks on a page apparently torn out of a book he was reading at the time.

Erin K. O'Neill [Photo]

Erin K. O'Neill writes a weekly opinion column for the Missourian.

Tigers drop the ball [Photo]

KU's Casey Lytle runs past MU's Austin Holt as he slides and misses Lytle's ground ball during the MU-KU game at Taylor Stadium on Saturday. The Tigers lost the game to the Jayhawks 7-4.

Preparing to bat [Photo]

Garrison McLagan prepares for his turn at the plate during the MU baseball game at Taylor Stadium on Saturday. McLagan scored one of four runs for the Tigers during the game against KU.

Tigers congratulate each other after a win [Photo]

Teammates congratulate Missouri junior Greg Folgia after his dive into home plate during the Tigers' game against KU at Taylor Stadium on May 8.

MU swinging at KU [Photo]

Kansas' Buck Afenir watches Missouri's Garrison McLagan swing during the Kansas-Missouri game May 8 in Columbia. Missouri beat Kansas 8-5.

Leadership Lounge a new hang out [Photo]

Journalism freshman Hilary Lau hangs out in the Leadership Lounge of the new Student Center in between her classes on Thursday. "It's usually pretty quiet up here," she said.

Pierce speaks to his Scene and Construction class [Photo]

Andy Pierce, a Ph.D student in theater, goes over items that will be on his Scene and Construction class final exam on Thursday afternoon. Pierce recently won a national award for his dramaturgy on the play "Quindaro" at the John F. Kennedy Performing Arts Center in Washington D.C. Dramaturgy is a practice that takes a piece of writing and shapes it into a form that may be acted out.

Pierce wins national dramaturgy award [Photo]

Theater PhD student Andy Pierce recently won a national award for dramaturgy work on the play "Quindaro." Dramaturgy is a practice that takes a piece of writing and shapes it into a form that may be acted out.

Missouri softball celebrates [Photo]

Missouri pitcher Chelsea Thomas, center, celebrates with teammates at the end of the the Big 12 softball tournament championship game against Oklahoma in Oklahoma City on Sunday. Thomas pitched a two-hit shutout as Missouri defeated top-seeded Oklahoma 5-0 to win its first Big 12 softball title in 12 years.

Missoula brings 'Little Mermaid' to MU [Slideshow]

The Missoula Children's Theatre presented "The Little Mermaid" at MU on Saturday. More than 50 children appeared in the play, which took only a week to put together. The theater group sends pairs of actor/directors to various cities throughout the world with the materials needed to put on a full-scale theatrical production. They hold auditions for local kids at the beginning of the week, and by its end, the children are prepared to put on the show.

Gregory Kanter and Jason Studley, the actor/director pair for the Columbia production and, along with actor James Dolezal, 14, took some time at Friday's dress rehearsal to talk about their work throughout the week.

Rock Bridge second baseman Nick Little [Photo]

Rock Bridge second baseman Nick Little snags a pop fly Saturday against Boonville.

Friendship spans decades [Photo]

Betty Eyestone, left, drove up to Detroit Lakes with her daughter and granddaughter to visit Pat Duerner in the summer of 2008. The women stayed in Pat's childhood home, which she still owns. Betty and Pat lived next door to each other on the lake and spent summers playing with other neighborhood children.

Letters to friends [Photo]

The envelope from a letter sent from Pat to Betty in 1950.

Childhood memories [Photo]

Clockwise, Betty's brother Edwin, Pat's cousin Curtis, Betty and Pat in 1934 outside Betty's childhood home in Detroit Lakes, Minn.

Women's friendship began 75 years ago [Photo]

Pat Duerner, left, and Betty Eyestone re-created their 1940 photo in 1997 while on vacation with their husbands in Pella, Iowa. The two make an effort to see each other twice a year.