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Helping out with the hams

Matthew Hensley, 12, helps organize hams on Thursday for the youth and open ham shows to take place at the Boone Country Fairgrounds on Friday. Hensley has worked with the competition for 3 years and always enters in a ham of his own.

Kissing a ham good luck

Mikaela Adams, 13, picks up her ham to kiss it good luck ahead of the 2009 ham competition on Thursday. Her mother, Jessica, said Mikaela is a member of 4-H. She said it is a great organization because "parents get involved, and it makes the kids get involved, and they get hooked on it. Now, it's like a competition for her. She tries to outdo herself every year."

A ham awaits judgment

Hundreds of hams, such as this one from Uless Reeder, are tagged and sorted for the ham competition. The hams are to be judged in eight categories: Eye appeal, color, smoothness, fitting, trim, firmness, meatiness and aroma. The top 20 hams are expected to go up for auction next weekend.

Crawford escorted from courthouse

Taron Crawford is escorted out of a Boone County Courthouse courtroom Thursday evening after being found guilty of second-degree murder and armed criminal action by a Johnson County jury in the Nov. 16, 2003, shooting death of MU student Charley Blondis.

Victims family thanks Crawford prosecutor

From left, Charley Blondis' uncle Robert Krzeminski, and parents Tom and Alba Blondis thank Boone County Assistant Prosecutor Andrew Scholz Thursday evening after Taron Crawford was found guilty of second-degree murder and armed criminal action by a Johnson County jury in the Nov. 16, 2003, shooting death of MU student Charley Blondis.

Crawford found guilty

Taron Crawford, center, reacts to a Johnson County jury's verdict Thursday evening at the Boone County Courthouse. Crawford was found guilty of second-degree murder and armed criminal action. Standing with him are defense co-counselor Sara Watson and public defender Tony Manansala.

Daniel Boone City Building construction

Phase 2 of construction on the Daniel Boone City Building continues. Construction has closed some streets, such as Eighth Street north of Broadway.

Going over evidence in Crawford case

Detective Jeff Nichols, right, one of several witnesses called during the retrial of Taron Crawford, points to photographic evidence presented by prosecutor Andrew Scholz on Wednesday in Columbia.

Taron Crawford granted retrial

Taron Crawford, center, looks towards the courtroom entrance as another witness is called to the stand Wednesday in Columbia. Crawford, convicted for the killing of Charles Blondis in 2004, was granted a retrial because of ineffective counsel.

Montessori directors teach children

Emma Kingsley, 4, left, and director Holly Kroon watch as Garrett Hoover, 4, traces a sandpaper letter before carving it in coffee grounds at the Columbia Montessori School on July 9. Montessori teachers prefer to be called directors, in keeping with the idea that they guide students instead of instructing them.

Multiplication board at Columbia Montessori School

Braden McKenzie, 4, left, waits his turn while Ben Stephen, 5, works on a multiplication board at the Columbia Montessori School on July 9.

Checking her face paint

Amanda Huckabey checks out her new face paint in a mirror at the Family Fun Fest at Flat Branch Park on Wednesday.

Bouncing around at the park

Deacon Sweeting, 5, jumps in a bounce house at the Family Fun Fest at Flat Branch Park on Wednesday.

MU wheelchair basketball player John Gilbert

The Tigers' John Gilbert breaks for the basket during a 2007 scrimmage at MU. Gilbert, a repeat All-American for the Missouri wheelchair basketball team, also plays for the U.S. national team, which won the International Wheelchair Basketball Association's Under-23 World Championship this week in Paris.

Gender-bending the rules

Michele Spry helps coach Chuck "Charlene" Everitt arrange his skirt, T-shirt and wig ahead of their team's first game in the Kickballapalooza tournament at Rainbow Softball Center on Wednesday, July 19, 2009. The Gold Coats did not have enough women, according to the rules, so Everitt dressed up as one.

Kickball warm-ups

Brandon Spry warms up with his team, the Gold Coats, ahead of the first round of Kickballapalooza at Rainbow Softball Center on Wednesday, July 15, 2009. Looking on from left to right: Chris Rosskopf, Jim Cherrington and Karen Brown.

Here's the kick

Les Borgmeyer pitches to teammate B.J. Hunter before the start of Kickballapalooza at Rainbow Softball Center on Wednesday, July 15, 2009. Their team, the Gold Coats, were up against the Columbia College Kicks Balls in the first round of play.

Young gymnast returns from injury

Stephanie Gregg, center, practices her beam routine. Gregg is returning from a back injury to compete in the Show-Me State Games gymnastics competition.

Hang-Gliding fun

Fair-goers ride the Hang-Glider during last year's Boone County Fair. This year's fair kicks off Monday, and features a new animal show and hypnotist.

Hannah Pingleton's Gryffindor shirt

Hannah Pingleton of Columbia wore a shirt in support of her favorite Hogwarts house, Gryffindor, at the midnight showing of the sixth Harry Potter film, "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince."
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