Helping to build careers [Photo]

Program participants from Columbia Builds Youth paint over graffiti Wednesday morning at the Columbia Housing Authority overpass on Providence. The program helps young people who have dropped out of high school receive their GEDs while gaining vocational experience in housing construction and other projects.

Teaching outside of the classroom [Photo]

Dan Cullimore, right, a Columbia Builds Youth construction instructor, works alongside program participants Chris Hurt, 20, and Henry Dogan, 24, Wednesday morning as they paint over graffiti at the N. Providence overpass. Cullimore, who has worked both in remodeling and counseling in education, said working as a program instructor "kind of combines all my interests, skills and knowledge. I just love it."

'Baby' of the group [Photo]

Carlos Muniz, 16, who has been with the Columbia Builds Youth program for several months, helps paint over graffiti at the Columbia Housing Authority overpass on N. Providence. Stephen Stockdall, 23, background, went through training with Muniz and calls him the "last baby" of the group.

Dan Eiken, owner of Samco Business Products [Photo]

Dan Eiken is owner of the Jefferson City office furniture retailer Samco Business Products. While he recognizes the positive, rehabilitative aspects of MVE, his business is hurt by provisions that require the state to purchase goods through the prison program. Eiken stands by samples for panel systems, one product line that has been hurt the most from competition by MVE and section 217.575 0f Missouri's Revised Statues.

MVE headquarters sales floor [Photo]

The sales floor at MVE headquarters in Jefferson City holds a variety of merchandise manufactured at various locations throughout Missouri, including paintings done by inmates at Jefferson City Correctional Center, wooden office furniture, clothing for state workers, state seals and panel systems.

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.