PHOTO GALLERY: ELL students work with teacher Becca Stock

Becca Stock’s classroom is in a trailer at Smithton Middle School. The room is covered with posters, some of which tell about the students and where they come from: Mexico, South Korea, Brazil, Iraq, Kazakhstan, China, Thailand, Rwanda and more.

PHOTO GALLERY: Babies join community on New Year's Day

Columbia's first 2014 baby, Emma Grace, was born at Women's and Children's Hospital. Noah Martin Reveley was the first New Year's baby at Boone Hospital Center.

PHOTO GALLERY: New Year's Day hikers explore Grasslands Trail

About 80 people decided to bundle up Wednesday and explore the trails at Rock Bridge Memorial State Park as part of the nationwide First Day Hikes program.

PHOTO GALLERY: Columbia Eve Fest celebrates arrival of 2014

Entertainment is offered for all ages at Columbia Eve Fest on Tuesday night.

PHOTO GALLERY: Price of cat adoptions lowered

Lots of cats are available for adoption at the Central Missouri Humane Society, so it's having an adoption sale. Pet adoption fees were reduced to $20.14 during the event. The usual adoption rate is $75 for older cats and $100 for kittens.

PHOTO GALLERY: Inventory work needs lots of helpers

Every thread, every yard of fabric, every pattern and everything else needs to be counted and matched against the computer inventory at Appletree Quilting and Viking Center. Millie Kaiser, the owner, had lots of help Monday from employees, family members and friends.

PHOTO GALLERY: 'Wall of Hope' filling up

The "Wall of Hope" outside The Broadway Hotel on Short Street in downtown Columbia will remain open until the end of January. It unveiled Friday, and my Monday afternoon was nearly full of messages. Hotel staff said messages will be erased from time to time to make room for new ones.

PHOTO GALLERY: Battle High students participate in AVID

Students participate in AVID, which is a national college readiness system that targets students in the academic middle who show a strong desire to attend college and are determined to work hard. The class, which consists of 21 sophomores chosen from more than 80 applicants, is graded and credited just like any other course. It teaches academic strategies but also focuses on providing social and emotional help for the students enrolled.

PHOTO GALLERY: Baha'i community gathers in Columbia

Members of Columbia's Baha'i community gather regularly in members homes to discuss scriptures and other world religions.

PHOTO GALLERY: Hotel unveils art exhibit 'Wall of Hope'

Employees at The Broadway-Columbia, a new hotel downtown, unveiled a new art exhibit Friday called the "Wall of Hope." People can stop by to write messages of hope for 2014.

PHOTO GALLERY: Family hopes for autistic son

Daniel Romero-Compain attends Alpha Hart Lewis Elementary and receives one-on-one attention from learning specialists who help him with interaction skills in structured situations. Daniel, who was diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder, often is challenged by new objects, situations and foods.

PHOTO GALLERY: Students design clothing line for people with limited mobility

MU students in a textile and apparel management course designed a line of clothing for young working women with limited mobility as a market.

PHOTO GALLERY: Wren re-opens shoe repair shop

Lucas Wren, left, and George Wren work together at Wren's Shoe Repair Tuesday. The business, once run by George for 28 years, was re-opened by his son Lucas in April.

PHOTO GALLERY: Family adopts son from Russia

A law, signed in 2012 by Russian President Vladimir Putin, prohibits U.S citizens from adopting Russian children. Mark and Danette Robb of Columbia, who adopted Luke Konstantin Robb from Chelyabinsk, Russia, when he was 3 years old, dislike the ruling. Dannette Robb says when she heard the news she thought of "the children in orphanages who might never know the love of a family and the parents who long for children. Luke is now 8.

PHOTO GALLERY: Columbia pawn brokers assist customers

Columbia pawn brokers assist customers find items in their shops. Pawn shops have been boosted by reality TV shows "Hardcore Pawn" and "Pawn Stars."

PHOTO GALLERY: Missouri women's basketball defeats Western Illinois

The Tigers' defeated Western Illinois 75-60 on Sunday at Mizzou Arena.

GALLERY: Data on minorities and AP enrollment

In the 2012-13 school year, 667 of the 879 students enrolled in AP and honors courses were white, 51 were black, 34 were Hispanic, 80 were Asian and 44 were multiracial. Of the 879 students, 133 received free or reduced-price lunch.

PHOTO GALLERY: Illinois beats Missouri in Braggin' Rights Game

Missouri men's basketball lost its first game this season to Illinois, 65-64.

PHOTO GALLERY: Ice covers Columbia

Freezing rain Saturday leaves much of Columbia covered in ice.

PHOTO GALLERY: Tractors adorned for Centralia parade

Tractors are decorated for the holidays Friday during the annual Centralia Lighted Tractor Parade.