Firefighters sifts through hoarded items

A firefighter sifts through the debris, trash and hoarded items in April at a Springfield house that caught fire. Sometimes Springfield firefighters find themselves in homes with extreme squalor and hoarding conditions that make it difficult to remove people in medical crisis.

Sherry Wyatt, parents look at park dedicated to her son

Sherry Wyatt, left, and her parents, Wanda and Harold Hawk, look at a commemorative U.S. flag honoring Sterling Wyatt, who was killed in Afghanistan, at his namesake park on Friday. The Hawks purchased the flag and had it installed at the park in their grandson's honor.

Chandler Wyatt comforts his mother

Sherry Wyatt, mother of Sterling Wyatt, is comforted by her son Chandler, 17, on Friday, the second anniversary of Sterling's death.

Central Missouri Patriot Guard Riders attend informal park dedication

More than 100 friends and family members of Sterling Wyatt gathered at the park named in his honor on Friday for a ceremony on the second anniversary of his death. Members of the Central Missouri Patriot Guard Riders attended, as well as Army friends from Wyatt's time overseas.

Sherry Wyatt rests her head on Chandler Wyatt's shoulder

Sherry Wyatt, mother of Sterling Wyatt, rests her head against the shoulder of her son, Chandler, 17, on Friday. The family hosted an informal dedication ceremony at Sterling W. Wyatt Park on Friday, the anniversary of his death. Sterling Wyatt, was killed on July 11, 2012, while on patrol in Kandahar province in Afghanistan,

Nabihah Maqbool protests Mideast airstrikes

Nabihah Maqbool asks representatives at the office of Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo., on Friday to urge the senator to pressure Israel to halt military action against Gaza . Maqbool was one of dozens of protesters who participated in the march Friday.

Man, child splash through floodwaters

A man and a child splash through the floodwaters covering Main Street in Grafton, Ill., on Thursday. Grafton sits on the confluence of the Mississippi and Illinois rivers, which were expected to crest in Grafton this weekend.

Winds blow the floodwaters onto road

Strong winds blow the floodwaters from the Mississippi River under the Missouri side of the Clark Bridge into the air Thursday in West Alton. Waters were covering parts of that road and Missouri Highway 94. The River is expected to crest this weekend.

Fish caught in floodwaters

Two employees of the Illinois Department of Natural Resources use a net to drag a few feet of floodwater Thursday at an intersection in Grafton, Ill., catching nearly 30 small fish. The catch is part of an ongoing fish reproduction study.

FROM READERS: Zipper the kitten

Zipper, the kitten

FROM READERS: The Stanton brothers pose with Zipper

Brothers Ford and Harry Stanton pose with Zipper, the rescued cat their family recently adopted.

Jackie and Dane Gregg

Jackie and Dane Gregg were married for 30 years and always celebrated their July 9 anniversary at the Columbia Red Lobster on 1716 I-70 Drive. Dane died of cancer less than four months before their 31st anniversary.

Handwritten note of compassion from Red Lobster staff

After discovering that Jackie Gregg and her daughter were at Red Lobster for Jackie's 31st wedding anniversary, a tradition she and her late husband, Dane, kept for 30 years, the server and the restaurant staff decided not to charge the two women for their meal. Jackie's husband, Dane, died of cancer less than four months before the couple's 31st anniversary.

Tigers pour it on against Royals

Detroit Tigers' Nick Castellanos, left, and J.D. Martinez, middle, celebrate after Martinez scored on a sacrifice fly hit by Castellanos during the first inning Thursday against the Kansas City Royals.

Bug populations indicate water quality

Bug populations are one of the methods the Collaborative Adaptive Management Stakeholder Committee is using to gauge the water quality of Hinkson Creek.

Columbia Community Band brings music to Stephens Lake Park Amphitheater

The Columbia Community Band performs at the Stephens Lake Park Amphitheater Concert Series on Thursday.

Xylophonist Matt Fetterly performs at Stephens Lake concert

Matt Fetterly of The Columbia Community Band plays the xylophone during the Stephens Lake Park Amphitheater Concert Series on Thursday. "The most rewarding thing is being able to play with community groups. I also play around town, and I play for churches," Fetterly said.

Iskander Akhmadullin plays at Stephens Lake concert

Iskander Akhmadullin of The Columbia Community Band plays the trumpet during the Stephens Lake Park Amphitheater Concert Series on Thursday. Akhmadullin is an associate professor of trumpet at MU. "I've been playing solo with these guys for nine years," Akhmadullin said. "I'm here because of the trumpet, all the way from Russia."

Crowd gathers for Columbia Community Band performance

A crowd gathers around the Stephens Lake Park Amphitheater to watch The Columbia Community Band perform during the Stephens Lake Park Amphitheater Concert Series on Thursday.

Pirates score against Cardinals

Pittsburgh Pirates' Gregory Polanco, left, scores on a passed ball as St. Louis Cardinals relief pitcher Tyler Lyons covers home during the sixth inning Thursday in St. Louis.