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Group cleans up Stephens Lake shoreline [Photo]

Daniel Gibbins, a horticulturist from Columbia's Parks and Recreation department shows Columbia Aquatic Restoration Program volunteers which plants need to be pulled from the shore of Stephens Lake on Saturday morning. The group helped clean up the shoreline, removing invasive species such as poison ivy and cattails.

Volunteers tackle invasive plants at Stephens Lake [Photo]

Jon Rapp pulls various species of vines and weeds from the shore of Stephens Lake on Saturday morning during a project by volunteers for the Columbia Aquatic Restoration Program through Columbia's Parks and Recreation Department. "My wife likes to call it 'practice'," said Rapp.

Aquatic restoration aids Stephens Lake [Photo]

Brad Johnson pulls various invasive plants from the shore of Stephens Lake on Saturday morning during a project by volunteers for the Columbia Aquatic Restoration Program through Columbia's Parks and Recreation Department. Properly kept shorelines can help reduce the algae in a pond or lake and ultimately save the Parks and Recreation department money by preventing the need for chemical algae treatments.

Obama and Biden campaign together [Photo]

Sen. Barack Obama of Illinois and his vice presidential running mate, Sen. Joe Biden of Delaware, appear together Saturday in Springfield, Ill.

Second suspect in shooting [Photo]

Columbia police are searching for Clyde Hyler III in connection with the shooting death of Antonio Flores-Ramirez. Police say Hyler's whereabouts are unknown, but he should be considered armed and dangerous.

Balloon challenges video [Video]

Participants in this year's Columbia Balloon Invitational discuss some of the challenges they'll face during this weekend's competition.

Balloon inflation [Photo]

Layne Walters attempts to hold a balloon steady while it inflates in a field at Corporate Lake Park on Friday. Steady winds and wet landing areas kept many pilots on the ground Friday morning.

Balloon preparations [Photo]

Fred Schoening of Moberly makes final preparations to the basket of the 'Yankee Doodle' balloon at Corporate Lake Park on Friday.

Balloon setup [Photo]

'Yankee Doodle' balloon pilot Fred Schoening of Moberly explains to volunteer Sarah Viall how to set up the balloon basket at Corporate Lake Park on Friday.

Wade School building [Photo]

Angela Baldwin and her husband, Joseph, bought the 0.79-acre lot and Wade School building for $20,000 at a Columbia Public Schools auction in June. Their house adjoins the property.

Wade School inside [Photo]

Zack Baldwin, 13, lives next to the Wade School in northern Columbia.

Shooting in northeast Columbia [Graphic]

A shooting on Thursday night in northeast Columbia resulted in one man dead and another in critical condition.

Saying goodbye on the first day of school [Photo]

Andy Tribble hugs and wishes his goddaughter Silvia Aguila a good first day of classes at West Boulevard Elementary.

First day of fourth grade [Photo]

Students in Lora Lee Hensel's fourth grade class at West Boulevard Elementary begin their first day of the new school year.

Teacher welcomes students back [Photo]

Lisa Turner greets and guides students at West Boulevard Elementary on the first day of the new school year.

Ringing in the school year [Photo]

First-time teacher Annie Arnone leads her new class in stretching exercises on Thursday. "Make yourself as big as you can," she told the Lee Elementary third graders.

Raindrops ring in new school year [Photo]

As children and their parents huddle under Parkade Elementary's entranceway to stay dry, Erica Pefferman preps her son, Colton Carney, 5, for his first day of school.

Teaching babies, toddlers to communicate [Photo]

Andrew Trask, right, gives an egg rattle to his mother, Rhiannon Trask, during a "Kindermusik with Brenda" class. Several parents took their children at the Columbia Public Library to attend a 30-minute course on using sign language to communicate.

Teaching babies to communicate [Photo]

Brenda Haynes waves goodbye at the end of a "Kindermusik with Brenda" class. Several parents took their children to the Columbia Public Library to attend a 30-minute course on using the sign language to communicate.

Goodbye hug [Photo]

Andy Tribble hugs and wishes his goddaughter Silvia Aguila a good first day of classes at West Boulevard Elementary.
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