Montessori directors teach children [Photo]

Emma Kingsley, 4, left, and director Holly Kroon watch as Garrett Hoover, 4, traces a sandpaper letter before carving it in coffee grounds at the Columbia Montessori School on July 9. Montessori teachers prefer to be called directors, in keeping with the idea that they guide students instead of instructing them.

Multiplication board at Columbia Montessori School [Photo]

Braden McKenzie, 4, left, waits his turn while Ben Stephen, 5, works on a multiplication board at the Columbia Montessori School on July 9.

Checking her face paint [Photo]

Amanda Huckabey checks out her new face paint in a mirror at the Family Fun Fest at Flat Branch Park on Wednesday.

Bouncing around at the park [Photo]

Deacon Sweeting, 5, jumps in a bounce house at the Family Fun Fest at Flat Branch Park on Wednesday.

MU wheelchair basketball player John Gilbert [Photo]

The Tigers' John Gilbert breaks for the basket during a 2007 scrimmage at MU. Gilbert, a repeat All-American for the Missouri wheelchair basketball team, also plays for the U.S. national team, which won the International Wheelchair Basketball Association's Under-23 World Championship this week in Paris.

Gender-bending the rules [Photo]

Michele Spry helps coach Chuck "Charlene" Everitt arrange his skirt, T-shirt and wig ahead of their team's first game in the Kickballapalooza tournament at Rainbow Softball Center on Wednesday, July 19, 2009. The Gold Coats did not have enough women, according to the rules, so Everitt dressed up as one.

Kickball warm-ups [Photo]

Brandon Spry warms up with his team, the Gold Coats, ahead of the first round of Kickballapalooza at Rainbow Softball Center on Wednesday, July 15, 2009. Looking on from left to right: Chris Rosskopf, Jim Cherrington and Karen Brown.

Here's the kick [Photo]

Les Borgmeyer pitches to teammate B.J. Hunter before the start of Kickballapalooza at Rainbow Softball Center on Wednesday, July 15, 2009. Their team, the Gold Coats, were up against the Columbia College Kicks Balls in the first round of play.

Young gymnast returns from injury [Photo]

Stephanie Gregg, center, practices her beam routine. Gregg is returning from a back injury to compete in the Show-Me State Games gymnastics competition.

Hang-Gliding fun [Photo]

Fair-goers ride the Hang-Glider during last year's Boone County Fair. This year's fair kicks off Monday, and features a new animal show and hypnotist.

Hannah Pingleton's Gryffindor shirt [Photo]

Hannah Pingleton of Columbia wore a shirt in support of her favorite Hogwarts house, Gryffindor, at the midnight showing of the sixth Harry Potter film, "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince."

Mike Swart with cards awaiting Harry Potter movie [Photo]

Mike Swart holds cards while waiting for the start of the sixth Harry Potter film.

Lining up for Harry Potter movie [Photo]

More than 100 people crammed inside the lobby of Hollywood 14 for the midnight showing of "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince." After the shows sold out, people pre-purchased tickets for the 10:30 a.m. show.

A rare Ozark hellbender [Photo]

A rare Ozark hellbender crawls out from under a rock inside its tank on June 9 at the Ron Goellner Center for Hellbender Conservation at the St. Louis Zoo.

Lost funding for Columbia Public Schools [Graphic]

Christmas in July a hit with kids [Photo]

Molly Schooley, 9, and Austin Bruns*, 7, of Harrisburg, Mo., are greeted by Santa (Don Waltman) as they make their way to the Christmas in July event hosted by Columbia's Voluntary Action Center. Christmas in July took place at the Missouri United Methodist Church.

Pujols scoops president's pitch [Photo]

President Barack Obama throws the ceremonial first pitch to the St. Louis Cardinals' Albert Pujols at Tuesday night's MLB All-Star game at Busch stadium in St. Louis.

Saving the hellbender [Video]

Jeff Briggler, a state herpetologist with the Missouri Department of Conservation, discusses the plight of North America’s largest salamander, the hellbender. The footage of the hellbenders seen in this video was taken from the St. Louis Zoo’s Ron Goellner Center for Hellbender Conservation and is courtesy of Mark Wanner, zoological manager of reptiles, amphibians and aquatics.

Mark Wanner with a hellbender [Photo]

Mark Wanner, zoological manager for reptiles, amphibians and aquatics for the St. Louis Zoo, holds a maturing Ozark hellbender that is nearing the age for fertilizing eggs, a key part of the reinstatement process and conservation effort at the center.

How Missouri cell phone laws compare [Graphic]

After six attempts to pass legislation limiting drivers' use of cell phones, Missouri legislators have passed a bill banning text messaging while driving for people 21 and younger.