Raising the flag [Photo]

From left, Air Force ROTC Cadet D. Neal Ethington, Army ROTC Cadet Jonathan Dudley and Naval ROTC Midshipman Kevin Mills raise the flags at Columbia College's Military Recognition Day on Thursday. Columbia College has campuses on 18 military bases.

Gas line ruptures in Howard County [Photo]

Several families near the explosion site were evacuated, but nobody was injured in the blast.

Explosion in Howard County [Photo]

The Howard County pipeline that exploded around 9 p.m. Wednesday night shot fire more than 100 feet into the air.

Meeting of the minds [Photo]

Paul Wilson, right, reviews information for a news release with Budget Director Linda Luebbering and Jack Cardetti, Gov. Jay Nixon's communications director, in Luebbering's office on April 27.

Paul Wilson [Photo]

Paul Wilson, who is Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon’s chief financial adviser, has worked with Nixon
leading lawyer in many high-profile cases during that time. He is responsible for oversight
stimulus money appropriated to Missouri. He received his law degree at MU in 1992.

Just there to listen [Photo]

Many people who listened from outside the concert area said the lack of seating was a big reason they didn't buy a ticket. "There's no point in buying a ticket when you can't sit," Julie Kujath said.

Waiting to see Willie [Photo]

About 15 minutes before the gates opened, the line to see Willie Nelson stretched from Ninth Street to Tenth Street.

Willie Nelson on stage [Photo]

Willie Nelson performs at Ninth Street and Broadway as part of the Blue Note's Summerfest Series. Nelson opened with "Whiskey River."

Nelson fans listen outside the gate [Photo]

Lots of people opted to listen to the concert from right outside the gate. "You can't stop the sound," said Bob Woolf.

Listening from behind the stage [Photo]

Crowds gathered just behind the stage at Ninth and Broadway to listen to Willie Nelson perform on Wednesday. "I've seen Willie before. He's right here. You can't stop the sound," Bob Woolf said.

Teammates greet Missouri's Steve Gray after home run [Photo]

Missouri's Steve Gray, center, gets high-fives from his teammates after hitting a two-run home run in the fourth inning of Wednesday's Big 12 tournament opener against Texas A&M.

Missouri pitcher Kyle Gibson thows at 2009 Big 12 tournament [Photo]

Missouri's Kyle Gibson pitches against Texas A&M on Wednesday in the opening round of the Big 12 tournament.

Putting it together [Photo]

A lot of parts go together to make up a stage.

The stage comes together [Photo]

Crews for Willie Nelson and The Blue Note worked throughout the day to put the stage together. The concert area is on North Ninth Street from Broadway to Walnut. Gates will open at 6 p.m. As of noon, tickets were still on sale.

All part of the show [Photo]

Sound equipment is a crucial part of the setup.

Getting the stage ready for Willie [Photo]

Cables, cables and more cables are necessary for the show to go on.

Memorial bell [Photo]

During an April 16 memorial run, members of the Columbia running community hung a bell with a poem at the Forum Blvd. entrance to the MKT Trail to honor fellow runner Mark "Kona" Volek, who died April 4.

Phil Schaefer, the head pastor at Christian Fellowship Church in Columbia, is an avid runner [Photo]

Phil Schaefer, the head pastor at Christian Fellowship Church in Columbia, stretches after a run with a group that gathers every Tuesday and Thursday morning for outings on the MKT Trail. Members of the group say they have come to know Schaefer and his beliefs better through the activity.

'He doesn't deserve to die' [Photo]

Albert Tolbert and Paul Searles were part of the protest Tuesday outside the Boone County Courthouse against the execution of Dennis Skillicorn. “Dennis has done everything in the world to better himself,” Tolbert said. “He doesn’t deserve to die.” Tolbert met Skillicorn in prison in 2005.

Protesting the execution [Photo]

The Rev. Amy Cortright and her 1-year-old son, Day Chambers, protest the execution of Dennis Skillicorn outside the Boone County Courthouse on Tuesday. “I came out to stand in solidarity with others that believe that killing each other is wrong,” Cortright said. “It demeans human life.”