Tomatoes, peppers get graded at Tomato Festival [Photo]

Darrel Sharpe, 76, tastes and grades each tomato and pepper at the Tomato Festival on Thursday. Sharpe, who is interested in horticulture, traveled all the way from New Bloomfield this year for the festival, which is held at Bradford Farm.

Tomato Festival offered chance for tasting [Photo]

The Tomato Festival was held at Bradford Farm, 6.5 miles east of Columbia on Thursday afternoon. Visitors were welcomed to try 50 varieties of tomatoes and 32 varieties of peppers grown at the farm, and then rate them to select the best varieties. Last year, the winning tomato was a hybrid called Sun Sugar.

Bike route [Graphic]

Rain-1 [Photo]

Rainwater gushes through Flatbranch Creek Thursday morning as precipitation continues in the Midwest as a result of Hurricane Gustav. Effects of the storm are expected to taper off by Friday morning and add an extra 3 to 5 inches of precipitation. Rain and gusts will continue throughout the day.

Rain-3 [Photo]

The effects of Hurricane Gustav have added an extra 3 to 5 inches of precipitation as heavy rains continued throughout the Midwest on Thursday. The National Weather Service issued a flash flood warning, effective until Friday morning.

Tomato fest audio slideshow [Slideshow]

Click the above picture to view an audio slideshow about the Tomato Festival in Columbia.

POOCH PLUNGE [Slideshow]

Dog lovers spilled into Oakland Family Aquatic Center on Tuesday evening to let their pets take the last swim of the pool season. Owners tossed toys, balls and Frisbee discs for the dogs to chase into the pool, but were not allowed to go in with them. More experienced dogs played with others near the shallow end of the pool while those just learning to swim took their chances slowly dipping into the deep end. Whether they were a strong swimmer or a beginner, both dogs and owners enjoyed the first pooch plunge.

Michael Keck [Photo]

Compost bike route [Graphic]

Southeast Missouri State fans [Photo]

SEMO fans cheer on the Red Hawks at a football game. The team was paid $250,000 to play MU and thinks the exposure from taking on the Tigers is worth the wide disparity in scholarship players and talent.

Obama Opinions [Video]

The nation watched as Barack Obama accepted the Democratic Party’s nomination in a historic campaign for the presidential candidacy. At Second Baptist Church on E. Broadway and in the surrounding area, African American residents of Columbia shared their opinions about Obama and his platform.

MU students make compost from dining hall waste [Photo]

Katie Hemmann composts food waste collected from the Rollins dining area at the Saint Joseph Community Garden for a new environmental studies class Tuesday, Sept. 2, 2008. Every day, a pair of students will have to bike from the garden to the Rollins dining area, collect food waste, ride back carrying the waste in a small trailer and put it in the garden to compost.

Graduate student begins composting program at MU [Photo]

MU graduate student Adam Saunders, center, shows Katie Hemmann and Luke Freeman how to properly compost food waste at the Saint Joseph Community Garden for a new environmental studies class. Saunders, who has been involved in the development and teaching of the class, wants to show the need for locally grown food.

RNC logo for columns [Graphic]

Editor’s note: The Missourian will publish blogs from delegates and members of the media who are covering the Republican National Convention this week.

Waiting for the final ceremony to begin [Photo]

Members of a U.S. Army Honor Guard await the arrival of Spc. Steven Fitzmorris' casket for the burial ceremony.

The trumpeter for taps [Photo]

William Kersh, an Army trumpeter from Fort Leonard Wood, was assigned to play for Spc. Steven Fitzmorris' services.

Casket is put into a hearse [Photo]

After funeral visitation and a military honor ceremony for Spc. Steven Fitzmorris at Memorial Funeral Home, his casket is placed into a hearse for transportation to the burial site in Memorial Park Cemetery.

Texas A&M coach Mike Sherman [Photo]

Texas A&M coach Mike Sherman

Illini quarterback Juice Williams [Photo]

Illinois quarterback Juice Williams throws a pass against MU on Saturday. Williams embarrassed the MU defense with two long second half scoring drives to cut MU’s lead.

Don Johnson in 1986 [Photo]

Don Johnson at the 1986 Heart of America Marathon. He won first in his age group.