PHOTO GALLERY: Columbia high school graduates win national cooking, baking competition

Heather Pitt and Hailey King won awards in the 49th annual SkillsUSA National Leadership and Skills Conference at Bartle Hall in Kansas City. King, a 2013 Rock Bridge graduate won first place in the Culinary Arts category while Pitt, a 2013 Hickman graduate, won first place in the Commercial Baking competition. King and Pitt have been training all year in the Culinary Arts Program at the Columbia Area Career Center.

PHOTO GALLERY: Celebration of Life service for Eliot Battle

Family, friends and community members attend the Celebration of Life service for Eliot Battle on Saturday at the Missouri United Methodist Church in downtown Columbia. Members of the Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity held an Omega Service, which is a ritual service for deceased fraternity brothers.

PHOTO GALLERY: Big Butt Recycling event helps MU become smoke-free

Big Butt Recycling event prepares MU to be smoke-free by the July 1 deadline. The ban applies to any tobacco products and to e-cigarettes. Advocates say they'll rely on education and peer enforcement to ensure people comply.

PHOTO GALLERY: Rain barrels for sale

Rain barrels were available for purchase Friday.

PHOTO GALLERY: MU museums' move stirs reaction

MU's Museum of Art and Archaeology and Museum of Anthropology will be relocated to the former Ellis Fischel Cancer Center.

PHOTO GALLERY: Mid America Harley-Davidson sponsored carnival offers summer fun for visitors

Many residents enjoy a carnival and its rides sponsored by Mid America Harley-Davidson on Thursday.

PHOTO GALLERY: Joy of Music Summer Camp nurtures young musicians

The Joy of Music Summer Camp, a program of the Missouri Symphony Society, started Monday. The weeklong camp helps children 8 to 18 become better players under the guidance of professional musicians.

PHOTO GALLERY: Greenbriar Trail opens with dedication ceremony

Greenbriar Trail, which was dedicated Wednesday, connects the 1,500 residences near Green Meadows Road with the MKT Nature and Fitness Trail via the MU Recreation Trail.

PHOTO GALLERY: Same-sex marriage supporters celebrate Supreme Court rulings

U.S. Supreme Court justices issued two 5-4 rulings in their final session of the term. One decision wiped away part of a federal anti-gay marriage law that has kept legally married same-sex couples from receiving tax, health and pension benefits. The other was a technical legal ruling that said nothing at all about same-sex marriage, but left in place a trial court's declaration that California's Proposition 8 is unconstitutional.

PHOTO GALLERY: Dock inspections help prevent deaths at Lake of the Ozarks

After three people were electrocuted while swimming near docks in the Lake of the Ozarks last summer, electricians were busy with calls from homeowners worried about the safety of their dock wiring.

PHOTO GALLERY: New ropes course under construction for MU's Venture Out

MU’s Venture Out program is building a new high ropes course called Odyssey.

PHOTO GALLERY: New apartments bring businesses, residents to downtown Columbia

The new student apartments have been a boon to downtown businesses, which are seeing increased foot traffic as a result of more people living so close to their establishments.

PHOTO GALLERY: Chase Daniel hosts football ProCamp

Former Missouri quarterback Chase Daniel returned to Columbia to host a football ProCamp for boys and girls ages first through eighth grades.

PHOTO GALLERY: Owners bring pets out to Pet Expo Unleashed

Owners brought their cats and dogs out to the Columbia Pet Expo Unleashed at the Canine Sports Center on Saturday. The event raised money for No Kill Columbia and featured several vendors offering natural foods and toys for animals.

PHOTO GALLERY: Kim English holds basketball camp in Columbia

Kim English returned to Columbia after his first season playing for the Detroit Pistons. He held a basketball camp for children in third through 12th grades at Hickman High School.

PHOTO GALLERY: Summer Expeditions provides students with a taste of college

The Summer Expeditions commencement ceremony occurred Friday afternoon at Columbia College. The program is designed to give students a taste of what awaits them if they choose to go to college

PHOTO GALLERY: Reptile enthusiast performs shows to scale up animal awareness

Ethan Meyers owns reptiles as pets and has put on educational shows with them for Douglass and Rock Bridge high schools, along with Jefferson Junior High School. His collection includes venomous snakes and an American alligator named Wya.

PHOTO GALLERY: A Druid Fellowship celebrates the summer solstice

The neo-pagan group A Druid Fellowship celebrated the summer solstice with a rite. A prayer was read and attendees were purified with holy water.

PHOTO GALLERY: Lunch in the Park program serves free meals at Douglass Park

Douglass Park hosts the Lunch in Park program. The program provides free lunch to children during the summer.

PHOTO GALLERY: Bikers stop in Columbia on Katy Trail Ride

Bikers on the 13th annual Katy Trail Ride stayed in Columbia on Tuesday night before continuing their trek Wednesday morning. The ride, which lasts five days and travels from Clinton to St. Charles, is hosted by the Missouri Parks Department and the State Parks Foundation