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Sedalia snake lady

Connie Koch of Sedalia, fondly known as the Snake Lady by children and adults around Pettis County, shows off one of her 10 snakes in her snake room at her Sedalia residence. The snake is a ball python she named J.J. Buddy and has had for eight years.

'Snake Lady' known all over Sedalia

Connie Koch of Sedalia calls her bull snake, Maxine, a drama queen because it tends to hiss when annoyed. Lots of children — some now adults — have met Koch as she hosted educational programs over the years. Many don't remember her name, but they remember who she is: the Snake Lady.

Last lap crash

Kyle Busch (18) crashes with Tony Stewart (14) heading to the finish line in Saturday's Sprint Cup race at Daytona International Speedway. Busch hit the wall and Stewart was able to win the race.

Stem cell researcher studies cell culture

Toshihiko Ezashi — lead investigator on the stem cell research team of R. Michael Roberts, MU curator's professor of molecular biochemistry in the animal sciences division — examines a cell culture inside the biological safety cabinet. Ezashi said that the team can spend up to 12 hours at a time in their lab.

A-blazing sky

Spectators at the 58th annual "Fire in the Sky" celebration watch fireworks over the parking lot at Hearnes Center on Saturday.

Caught in the rain

Chicago residents Otto and Kelly Kudrna, center, huddle under their umbrella, along with other couples and families waiting out the rain before the "Fire in the Sky" fireworks display in Columbia on Saturday.

Caught in a jump rope

Before the fireworks, a group of girls worked on their jump rope techniques. From left are Terriona Starks, Samantha Lester, Tanett Hopson and Tammie Jackson.

Ashland man plans on climbing another of the Seven Summits

Bill Powell, who lives in Ashland, stands at the top of Mt. Elbrus in Russia in 2003. The mountain is part of the seven summits, which are the highest mountains on each continent, and is the second one Powell has climbed. Powell plans to climb his third, Mt. Kilimanjaro, on Aug. 2 and says he will try to climb as many of the seven as he can.

Unwinding the cable for 'Fire in the Sky'

Kayla Roberts, left, unwinds a firing cable away from Premier Pyrotechnic Inc.'s fireworks display for "FIre in the Sky," while Bill Davis prepares another cable on Saturday.

Fireworks computer demonstrated

Mark Bookout demonstrates Saturday the computer responsible for launching the fireworks inside Memorial Stadium.

Pam Huddleston hugs her mother-in-law

Pam Huddleston, left, hugs her mother-in-law Dorothy Huddleston during a birthday gathering for Dorothy Huddleston on Saturday at Cosmo-Bethel Park. "Today, the birthday girl can get anything," joked the birthday girl, whose family calls her Grandma Huddy.

Dorothy Huddleston at a party for her 84th birthday

Dorothy Huddleston, right, adjusts a chair at a celebration for her 84th birthday on Saturday at Cosmo-Bethel Park. Four generations of the Huddleston family attended the celebration.

B.J. Powers cooks burgers on the Fourth

B.J. Powers cooks burgers at a celebration for Dorothy Huddleston's birthday on Saturday at Cosmo-Bethel Park.

Zach Huddleston blows out birthday candles

Zach Huddleston blows out the candles on his grandmother Dorothy Huddleston's birthday cake on Saturday at Cosmo-Bethel Park. Each year, the family gathers to celebrate her birthday as well as Independence Day.

Coffee and Games and More Meetup group

Members of Coffee and Games and More, a Meetup group, share a laugh as they try out the board game Rummikub for the first time June 27 at It's a Grind coffee shop. From left are Christine Goyette, Pamela You, Colleen Brown, Kate Brown and Greg Leonard. The group has been meeting and playing games since November. "We always laugh so much, we always have fun," Leonard said.

Dog and owner at Ashland Independence Day parade

Bryn the dog glances over her shoulder as her owner, Paul Beuselinck drives their float back to the start point of the Ashland Independence Day parade today.

Close-up at Ashland Independence Day parade

Surrounded by the flurry of activity during the Ashland Independence Day parade, Bryn the dog sports a patriotic ribbon, samples the occasional Tootsie Roll and sniffs everything in sight.

Ashland Independence Day parade pases by

Paul Beuselinck waves at residents of the Ashland Healthcare nursing home facility as the Ashland Independence Day parade passes by today.

Children at Ashland Independence Day parade

Kayla Jestis,8, decorates her friend Daniel Gustofson, 6, with colorful plastic cable ties just before the start of the Ashland Independence Day parade today.

Lola the dog dressed up for Ashland parade

Lola the yellow lab waits patiently for the Ashland Independence Day parade to begin today while cousins Mary Gracer Grover, left, and Mia Blanchard chat in the background.
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