FIve-year-old high-fives crossing guard

Skyler Roberts, 5, high-fives crossing guard Ralph Bowers as he crosses the street with Cassie Sapp and Zach Green at Russell Boulevard Elementary on Thursday. The first day of school began Bowers' 14th year as a crossing guard.

Waiting for the bus

On Thursday, West Boulevard Elementary School students, from left, kindergartener Anisia Hernandez, 5, fourth-grader Blessing Oliver, 9, preschooler Isaiah Oliver, 5, and first-grader Messiah Oliver, 6, watch as their bus pulls up on Worley Street on the first day of school.

First day of school

Lainey Reeves, 5, embraces her uncle Chip Miller after disembarking from the school bus on Thursday at Russell Boulevard Elementary. It was Lainey's first day of school.

Raising the flag

Evan Drane, 10, clips the flag to the flagpole before raising it while Cora Siewart, 5, and Catherine Siewart assist him and wait for photos at Russell Boulevard Elementary on Thursday. Many parents brought their students to school early to document their first day.

Getting off the bus

Assistant Principal Tami Ensor ushers kids off the school bus at Russell Boulevard Elementary on Thursday. School staff were on hand early to help guide students to classrooms on their first day.

First-grade teachers at Shepard share laughs

Holly Snyder shares a laugh with fellow first-grade teachers Janine Taylor, Jessica Bach and Ann Cardetti during a meeting in Shepard Elementary on Wednesday. The first-grade teachers were meeting to plan ahead of the first day of school.

Shepard third-grade teachers plan curriculum

Hannah Hassemer helps plan the year with fellow third-grade teachers during a meeting at Shepard Elementary School on Wednesday. The teachers were spending the day planning for the next day, which would be the first school day of the year.

Stephens College orientation leaders generate game ideas

Sam Schwartzman and Ricardo Rique-Sanchez exchange ideas during a planning meeting for Stephens College orientation student leaders inside of Stamper Commons on Wednesday. The student leaders were brainstorming ideas for icebreaker games to put new students at ease in their first days on campus.

Columbia College orientation leaders build rapport

Austin Miller shares a laugh with his fellow Columbia College orientation leaders during a team building game inside of the Atkins-Holman Student Commons on Columbia College's main campus on Tuesday, Aug. 10. Miller and his peers were working to build communication between themselves before student orientation began.

Kim Coke facilitates Columbia College team building exercise

Kim Coke, director of Student Development at Columbia College, explains what orientation will be like to the group of student orientation leaders during a team building exercise inside of the Atkins-Holman Student Commons on Columbia College's main campus on Tuesday, Aug. 10. The eight students and Coke will be on hand during orientation to answer questions and help lead new students to success at Columbia College.

Blaine Gabbert at Missouri football practice

Missouri quarterback Blaine Gabbert breaks downfield on a run during practice Wednesday morning at Faurot Field.

Warm greetings

Hayden Chaney, 2, gets acquainted with Ocean. Hayden and her mother stopped to play with the cats while waiting on a German Shepherd adoption.

Exploring the new facility

Snow White stands protected behind Brandi Beuthien's legs. Beuthien allows the cats to roam the room if they've been on good behavior.

Walking the hallways

Casie Farmer brings Marty and Goldie back from the outdoor dog run. The renovations to the shelter replaced chain link cages with glass-front pens.

Throwing the ball around with a friend

Zahria Haikal and Adam Kickham pet Shady in the outdoor dog run. Haikal and Kickham brought Shady outside to toss a tennis ball.

Looking for the perfect pet

A kitten clings to Adam Goldberg's shirt on opening day of the newly-renovated Central Missouri Humane Society. Goldberg had come to the shelter three days running in hopes of adopting a low-maintenance pet.

Wall of pet homes at Humane Society

Missy naps in her new home. The shelter staff refers to these cubicles as "cat condos."

Aimee Gutshall

Aimee Gutshall is an MU student and a summer intern for the Missouri Farm Bureau.

Teen hearing loss

Matthew Brady, 17, of Foxborough, Mass., poses for a portrait in his home while wearing ear phones and displaying an iPod. Brady, who has some mild hearing loss, used to listen to the device while running on a treadmill with the volume turned up.

Blagojevich juror

Erik Sarnello of Itasca, Ill, a juror in the corruption trial of former Gov. Rod Blagojevich, talks to reporters inside his home on Tuesday, Aug. 17, 2010. Sarnello, 21, said the panel was deadlocked at 11-1 in favor of convicting the former Illinois governor of trying to sell or trade President Obama's former Senate seat.