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Protecting Columbia's water

A newly planted cottonwood tree stands about 12 inches tall at the Columbia landfill. Last year, 1,800 trees were planted to keep toxins and heavy metals out of the groundwater, which eventually ends up as drinking water.

Drum lession

Pam Fleenor (left) gives a private djembe lesson to aspiring drummer Chad Parmenter at Orr Street Studios. Fleenor said she devoted most of her time at Orr Street working on her visual art, but occasionally gives private drum lessons.

Making drums

Pam Fleenor prepares to cut a fresh piece of wood in her workshop. Fleenor has been making her own drums in Columbia for over twelve years.

Building drums

In addition to building drums, Pam Fleenor also repairs instruments. She said the tone and power of a drum depended on its size and tightness of the skin.

Hand drum

Artist and drummer Pam Fleenor gives a private djembe lesson to aspiring drummer Chad Parmenter at Orr Street Studios. Fleenor said she devotes most of her time at Orr Street working on her visual art, but occasionally gives private drum lessons.

Student tutor Stephanie Gaynor

Stephanie Gaynor sits in the computer lab at the Missouri Athletic Training Complex. Gaynor, an MU senior, is one of about 125 tutors assigned to MU student athletes through the athletic department’s Total Person Program. She started helping athletes with their school work in 2007.

Celebrating twice

Debbie Shenker lights candles for the fourth day of Hanukkah. The Shenkers' extended family celebrate both Christmas and Hanukkah.

Dolores Mead

Dolores Mead

MU men's basketball vs. Illinois

MU's DeMarre Carroll falls in a scramble for the ball Tuesday in the Braggin Rights game against Illinois in St. Louis.

He's a singer, not a ringer

Michael Kasten, 22, sings Christmas carols instead of ringing a bell for the Salvation Army while Renee Baxter donates money Tuesday at Hy-Vee shopping center. "He's wonderful," Baxter said, "and it really gets you in the Christmas mood."

Magic tree on Hickam Drive

The magic tree at 303 Hickam Drive in Columbia has been lit for 14 consecutive years. The 28-foot-tall crab apple tree is 45 years old. It is decorated with 75,000 LED lights, which take owner Randy Fletcher about 120 hours to string on the branches. Lighting costs $10 per night for the tree.

MU guard Zaire Taylor

Missouri guard Zaire Taylor says Tuesday's game against Illinois in St. Louis is a chance for the Tigers "to prove something as far as where we’re coming along as a team.”

Former MU swimmer Max Jaben

Former MU swimmer Max Jaben

Charged in killing

Tausha L. Fields, 33, of Dickinson, Texas, has been charged with the first-degree murder of her estranged husband, Mitchell Wayne Kemp, a Columbia man who was shot and killed in 2004, according to a news release from the Boone County Sheriff's Department. Fields' ex-husband, Gregory Warren Morton, was arrested on the same charges in Columbia earlier this year.

Mary Watkins

Mary Watkins, shown in her Columbia apartment, was born in 1940 in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. She said her family didn't have a lot of money after the Depression so the children learned not to expect expensive holiday gifts.

Katherine Finley

Katherine Finley was born in 1919 in Bosworth. While posing for a portrait in her Columbia apartment, she shared memories of holidays during the Great Depression. She said her most memorable Christmas involved her grandfather's makeshift "fairy Christmas tree" covered in homemade tinsel.

Claude Havens

Claude Havens, who was born in 1915 in New York City, looks through a photo album in his Columbia apartment. He grew up in an orphanage and was sent to Missouri on an orphan train. He said the Great Depression didn't have a big effect on him because he was used to living on nothing.

A stronger bond

Clint Pickett plays with his two sons, Cody, 3, on his back, and Luke, 21 months, at their Wardsville home on Dec. 6, 2008. The Picketts said Luke and Clint's trip to China gave the two time to bond.

Together again

Cheryl Pickett holds her son Luke while her other son, Cody, 3, peers out from under the chair on Dec. 6, 2008. Cheryl, who recently gave birth to twins, stayed in Missouri with Cody while Clint and Luke were in China.

Little fingers of hope

Luke Pickett grasps his father, Clint PIckett's, finger on Dec. 6, 2008. Luke, who recently had a cord blood stem cell transplant to try and treat his cerebral palsy, has been able to use his fingers with more purpose, according to his parents.
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