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Tree branch smolders on power line

A branch of an uprooted tree smoldered on a high voltage power line on Redbud Lane Thursday morning in Columbia's Quarry Heights neighborhood. The tree uprooted around 5:30 a.m., knocking down three understory trees and utility lines. The Columbia Fire Department, Water and Light Department and a tree removal service crew cleared debris and restored power to the block by 9 a.m.

Lining up to cheer

On their first night with the Lady Bulldogs Cheer and Dance team, Andrianna Walter, 8, and Falen Singleten, 11, learn their first cheer. The group, lead by Sonrisa Wood and Athena Hord, uses dance and cheer routines to build self esteem in young girls.

Big stretch

Kyleigh Fuller, 8, warms up for Lady Bulldogs Cheer and Cance practice on Wednesday night with a back-bending stretch called a bridge.

Lil’ Lady Bulldogs Dance and Cheer Group practices

Jayla Greer, 6, strikes a pose in the mirror while Kyleigh Fuller, 8, practices her moves for dance instructor Sonrisa Wood during the Lady Bulldogs cheer team practice Wednesday at the Armory Center. Greer has been attending the biweekly practices since they began in February.

Lil’ Lady Bulldogs Dance and Cheer Group practices

Jayla Greer, 6, strikes a pose in the mirror while Kyleigh Fuller, 8, practices her moves for dance instructor Sonrisa Wood during the Lady Bulldogs' cheer team practice Wednesday at the Armory Center. Greer has been attending the biweekly practices since they began in February.

Sam Russell's hand-cycle bike

Sam Russell's hand-cycle bike allows him to crank and steer with his hands and arms. Russell, who was paralyzed three year's ago in a trail bike accident, will ride the hand-cycle bike with friend Carl Edwards in the Ride with Carl for Sam next Wednesday on the MKT trail.

Grandfather holds granddaughter

Roy Harrison holds his 4-year-old granddaughter Alisa Maier as she arrives home Thursday in Louisiana, Mo. Alisa Maier smiled broadly at the crowd gathered Thursday in the yard where she was abducted three days earlier.

Paul Smith shot himself when approached by authorities

This Feb. 17, 2010, photo provided Thursday by the Missouri Sex Offender Registry shows Paul S. Smith. Smith, a registered sex offender who shot himself Wednesday as officers approached him for questioning about the disappearance of 4-year-old northeast Missouri girl, was almost certainly the man who took her, police said Thursday.

Last rehersal before the show

Logan Moore, playing Ren McCormack, and Olivia Jones, playing Ariel Moore in Footloose, rehearse during the last dress rehearsal on Wednesday night at Rock Bridge High School. TRYPS is a professional children's theater with a mission "to teach, to reach, and to inspire through the magic of theater." The performers are trained with the help of professional actors.

Singing for the TRYPS

Dakotah Cooper rehearses during the last dress rehearsal for Footloose on Wednesday night at Rock Bridge High School. TRYPS, Theater Reaching Young People and Schools, is a professional children's theater and is in its 11th season since it was incorporated in 1999. They will perform Footloose from Thursday to Sunday at the Rock Bridge High School's Performing Arts Center.

Practice makes perfect

Nina Parker, playing Betty Blast in the play Footloose, skates out to rehearse for her part during the last dress rehearsal while Sandy Decker, Harleigh Wacker and Maggie Washer watch from behind at Rock Bridge High School on Wednesday night.

TRYPS summer musical group

From left, Rebecca Burke-Aguero, Spenser Crum, Ellen Tucker Thieme, Olivia Jones, Nora Hennessey and Madi Mertz perform during the last dress rehearsal for Footloose on Wednesday night at Rock Bridge High School. The actual performance begins on Thursday, which will be TRYPS's 53rd show since its first show in 2000. The cast of Footloose have been rehearsing and preparing for 18 rehearsals for the past month.

Flooding on Ross Street

A car sits next to a stormwater drain on Ross Street in East Campus. Reader Betsy Raghu said the water, which is flooding driveways and yards, is at least 1 foot high in some places.

Standing water near the MKT trail

Tires start to dry out on Thursday in the parking lot of the Scott Boulevard access to the MKT trail. The lot has been closed during bridge construction.

Squirming worms

Dozens of earthworms squirmed on onto Route ZZ on Thursday.

Breaking apart a couch

Mike Denehy uses an axe to break apart Steve Windmoeller's couch on Thursday afternoon. Windmoeller's basement flooded with 4 feet of water Wednesday night, destroying his furniture.

Standing in floodwater

Bobby Schembre stands in the middle of West Boulevard near Ash Street on Wednesday afternoon. He said that about half an hour before the picture was taken, the water was about 2 feet high.

President Obama speaks at Smith Electric Vehicles

President Obama spoke at Smith Electric Vehicles Thursday in Kansas City about the growth of green energy in the United States. "But thanks to a new focus on clean energy and the work taking place in plants just like this one, we could have as much as 40 percent of the world's capacity to build these batteries in five years," Obama said. "That means jobs."

President Obama greets Smith Electric Vehicles employees

President Barack Obama greets employees and their families after his speech at Smith Electric Vehicles on Thursday in Kansas City. Obama praised the factory for their growth and contributions to the community and green energy.

Flooding at Wayne and Brandon roads

Reader Renee Hulshof shared this picture of the intersection of Wayne and Brandon Road. She said the water that looks like a river is actually the road. It was deep, and moving really fast. In that same neighborhood, she reports that one city drain backed up into a neighbor's patio, and then inside the house.
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