Prayers on paper tossed skyward [Photo]

During the Puja ceremony performed by the Buddist monk, small pieces of paper containing prayers are thrown skyward to ask the gods for a safe and successful journey.

Moving toward Camp 4 on Mount Everest [Photo]

Puja ceremony during first week of expedition [Photo]

Before one of Lee Meyers' trips up Mount Everest, a Buddhist monk was invited to perform a Puja ceremony, which is to ask the gods for the safety of all on the trip. Tibetan prayer flags are strung out in four directions, and as the wind causes the flags to flutter, it is believed that the prayers are taken skyward.

NCAA softball bracket [Graphic]

NCAA softball bracket

Missouri seniors find meaning in volunteer work [Slideshow]

Saying a prayer at Truman Veterans Hospital [Photo]

Willie Payne, left, prays with volunteer Jim Frisby on April 4. Frisby donates his time at Truman Veterans Hospital by working with and interacting with patients.

Recounting a war story at Truman Veterans Hospital [Photo]

Patient Tony Dolahite recounts a war story while volunteer Jim Frisby listens at Truman Veterans Hospital on April 4.

Making impressions [Photo]

Lugine Hein guides her son Austin's hands over a piece of clay during their Access Arts pottery class on April 23. Austin, who has Batten disease and is blind, has been attending class at Access Arts since 2004.

Pottery wall [Photo]

Students' projects line the walls inside of the Access Arts pottery studio.

Social interaction [Photo]

Austin Hein, 15, reacts as his mom, Lugine, congratulations him on their two completed clay picture frames during their Access Arts pottery class on April 23. "He likes the interaction, the social aspect of it — also the texture, working with this hands is good for him," Lugine Hein said.

Molding lives [Photo]

Mercede Blackston, 18, molds clay with her hands while her mom, Gayla Palmero, watches during their Access Arts pottery class on April 23. "The girls (Mercede and her sister Cheyenne, 16) used to get occupational therapy, but this is the best occupational therapy there is," said Palmero of the class.

Cutting clay [Photo]

Mercede Blackston cuts clay with a knife while her mom, Gayla Palmero, guides her during their Access Arts pottery class. Mercede has been going to class with her sister Cheyenne for about six years.

Atkins dedication [Photo]

Tom Atkins speaks at the dedication of Thomas E. "Country" Atkins Jr. Memorial Park on Monday. The park is north of the Boone County Fairgrounds and features two baseball fields. Plans could allow for five more fields.

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.