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Phyllis Dale smiles at the Big Muddy Folk Festival crowd

Phyllis Dale leans back in her seat and smiles at the crowd while playing the piano at the 20th annual Big Muddy Folk Festival on Friday night in Boonville. At the end of her set, Dale recounted a sentimental memory of a previous time in Boonville when a fan asked her for her autograph.

Performing at the Big Muddy Folk Festival

The Rain Dogs, from Kansas City, perform their string band and classic blues music at the 20th annual Big Muddy Folk Festival in Booneville. The Rain Dogs closed out the first evening of music, following four other acts.

Listening to the Rain Dogs at the Big Muddy Folk Festival

More than 200 people packed Thespian Hall in Boonville to watching the Rain Dogs perform during the 20th annual 2011 Big Muddy Folk Festival on Friday night. Thespian Hall is a pre-Civil War opera house where the festival brings in acts to pay tribute to the past and celebrate the coming times.

Christine Harbin

Christine Harbin is a policy analyst for the Show-Me Institute and a guest columnist for the Missourian.

Final round of Missouri Geographic Bee

Jack Greer, a student at Frontier Middle School in O'Fallon, shows his answer for a question in the final round of the 2011 Missouri Geographic Bee on Friday at Memorial Union. Greer was one of 100 students who qualified to compete in the statewide competition.

Gearing up for the geographic bee

John Gallagher, a student at Little Flower Catholic School in Richmond Heights, looks up at his parents, Kathy and Tim Gallagher, before the start of the final round of the 2011 Missouri Geographic Bee on Friday at Memorial Union. To prepare for the competition, Gallagher said he studied maps and played online games.

Preparing Big Muddy barbecue

Pieces of scrap pulled pork sit out as cooks prepare the food for the Big Muddy Barbecue outside of Turner Hall before the events for the 20th annual Big Muddy Folk Festival begin Friday in Boonville. Besides pulled pork, the Big Muddy Barbecue featured ribs, chicken and bratwurst.

Museum employee tries to paint like Monet

Shannon Stone, an employee in marketing and communications at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, tries to paint like Claude Monet with the use of a interactive touchscreen display during a media preview of Monet's "Water Lilies" exhibit Friday in Kansas City. For the first time in 30 years, the three-panel work of the Impressionist artist will be on display at the museum and will run from April 9 through Aug. 7.

Monet "Water Lilies" exhibit to open in Kansas City

Julian Zugazagoitia, director and CEO of the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, talks about Claude Monet's "Water Lilies" exhibit during a media preview Friday in Kansas City. For the first time in 30 years, the three-panel work of the Impressionist artist will be on display at the museum and will run from April 9 through Aug. 7.

Memorial extends hope for finding killer

Timothy Tyler sings "It's So Hard to Say Goodbye" by Boyz II Men, as he stands with Stacey Webb, sister of Cara' J. Davenport, during a memorial for Davenport at the site on Greer Avenue in Hillsdale where she was fatally shot 11 years ago. Family members and St. Louis County police detectives attended the annual memorial for Davenport, whose murder remains unsolved.

Family hopes to find daughter's killer

Stacey Webb posts a flier seeking information about the killer of her sister, Cara' Davenport, as their mother looks on at the Crown Food Mart on Natural Bridge Road in Pine Lawn. Every year around the anniversary of her death, Davenport's family canvasses the Hillsdale and Pine Lawn neighborhoods that surround an apartment building on Greer Avenue where Davenport was fatally shot on March 26, 2000.

Lembke opposes long-term unemployment benefits

Sen. Jim Lembke, R-St. Louis, who has led a filibuster opposing legislation needed to reauthorize Missouri's federal long-term unemployment benefits, listens to colleagues debate an unrelated matter on Wednesday in Jefferson City. Although the bill to extend federally-funded payments overwhelmingly passed the Republican-led Missouri House and has the support of the state senate's Republican leaders, as well as Gov. Jay Nixon, a Democrat, thousands of Missourians unemployed for more than one year will soon lose jobless benefits.

Missourians might lose unemployment benefits

Peter Gordon poses for a photo in his St. Louis apartment on Thursday. Gordon, who has been out of work for a year, could lose his unemployment benefits in coming months because of efforts by several Republican Missouri state senators to block the use of an estimated $105 million of federal unemployment benefits.

Adjusting a sewing machine at SewYouKnow

Kywe Paw adjusts her sewing machine during a meeting of SewYouKnow, a group that teaches refugees sewing skills, on Saturday at Community United Methodist Church. Participants have come from a variety of places including Thailand, the Philippines, and Burma.

Learning sewing at SewYouKnow

Fran Lambeth shows Angeline Lindsey how to sew in a straight line using a paper sewing guide on Saturday, at SewYouKnow, a group at Community United Methodist Church. The group was created by Caritas Habimana to help refugees with sewing skills.

Stitching seams at SewYouKnow

Ntigonza Hocadie stitches seams during a meeting of SewYouKnow on Saturday at Community United Methodist Church. All of the materials used for the sewing projects of SewYouKnow are donated by community members.

Boone County has high number of smokers

Autumn Nixon takes a drag of her cigarette while taking a break from work Wednesday outside El Rancho in downtown Columbia. According to a 2011 County Health Rankings study, 21 percent of adults in Boone County smoke when compared to the national average of 15 percent. However, Boone County ranks 10th in healthiest counties in Missouri.

Chinese workers head back to work

Workers head back to a construction site after their lunch break Feb. 28 in Beijing. Never before have China, India and other developing economies grown so much faster than the United States, Japan and the rich countries of Europe. To an unprecedented degree, developing countries that once looked to the United States to lead the world economy are themselves driving the recovery from the worst downturn since the 1930s.

Economy professor scratches head

Columbia University professor Joseph Stiglitz scratches his head Jan. 26 during a session at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. Stiglitz and others worry that too much money flowing to developing economies will form bubbles in stocks and housing prices that could burst. Such money has already inflated worldwide commodity prices to historic levels.

High-rise buildings in Shanghai

High-rise buildings are seen at the Pudong New Development Zone on Dec. 7, 2010, in Shanghai. Never before have China, India and other developing economies grown so much faster than the United States, Japan and the rich countries of Europe. To an unprecedented degree, developing countries that once looked to the United States to lead the world economy are themselves driving the recovery from the worst downturn since the 1930s.
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