Back to School: At the playground

Kathryn West talks with her son, Max Black, 7, as he waits to begin his first day of second grade. Tausha Hall helps her daughter, Tianna Hall-Patton, 5, with her shoes, before her first day of kindergarten. Both Max and Tianna are excited to start school at Grant Elementary School on Monday. Grant Elementary School enrolled 323 kindergarten through fifth graders for the 2009-2010 school year.

Back to School: A family moment

Mary Beth and Chris Schneider help their children, Nina, 6, and Nathan, 7, as they prepare to enter Grant Elementary School on Monday. Usually quiet, Nina has been chattering about her first day of kindergarten for over a week, according to her mother, Mary Beth Schneider.

Back to School: Young Minds

Parents watch as their children line up to go inside on their first day of school at Grant Elementary School. Grant teaches students in kindergarten through fifth grade. Monday is the first day of classes for Grant and the other schools in the Columbia School District.

Back to School: Familiar faces

Students greet each other before they begin another school year at Hickman High School on Monday. In June, Hickman High School was named in Newsweek as one of the top 1,500 American high schools, placing it in the top six percentile of schools nationwide.

Rebecca Mowry in her MU lab

University of Missouri master's degree candidate Rebecca Mowry holds an electrophoresis gel rig in her lab in Tucker Hall. Mowry is conducting research to gauge Missouri's river otter population by extracting DNA from samples of otter scat.

Faculty hand out Tiger Stripe ice cream

Theodore Tarkow, associate dean of arts and sciences, works with Billy, Cilicia and Kristi Jamison to hand out an MU tradition: Tiger Stripe ice cream. They were participating in the 15th annual Tiger Walk, on Sunday on the Francis Quadrangle.

MU Color Guard participates at Tiger Walk

Allie Scott, one of four captains of MU's Color Guard, spins as part of the 15th annual Tiger Walk on Sunday on the Francis Quadrangle.

MU Golden Girls participate in Tiger Walk

The Golden Girls, MU's dance team, perform for the crowd as part of the 15th annual Tiger Walk on Sunday night at Francis Quadrangle.

MU Golden Girls' pompoms sit in the grass at Tiger Walk

Pompoms rest on the ground as the Golden Girls, MU's dance squad, line up to perform as part of the 15th annual Tiger Walk, on Sunday on the Francis Quadrangle.

MU students take part in Tiger Walk

Freshmen stream through the Columns at the Francis Quadrangle as part of the 15th annual Tiger Walk on Sunday. Tiger Walk, which began in 1995, symbolizes the students' entrance into the MU community.

Atogwe motivated

Atlanta Falcons tight end Tony Gonzalez, right, catches a pass for an 11-yard gain before being hit by St. Louis Rams safety Oshiomogho Atogwe during the first quarter of Friday's preseason game in St. Louis.

Entrance to Missouri State Penitentiary

The entrance to the Missouri State Penitentiary in Jefferson City on Aug. 8. The penitentiary was in service from 1836 until 2004, and was the only maximum security prison in the state until 1989.

Penitentiary residential units

The entrance to one of the residential units in the MIssouri State Penitentiary in Jefferson City on Aug. 8.

Showing off makeshift weapons

Mark Schreiber shows makeshift weapons confiscated from inmates in the Missouri State Penitentiary in Jefferson City on Aug. 8. Schreiber was the deputy warden when the penitentiary closed in 2004.

Keys to the prison

Ray Miller displays keys for the Missouri State Penitentiary in Jefferson City before a tour on Aug. 8.

Variety is the spice of tomato-growing

Tim Reinbott has been superintendent of MU's Bradford Research and Extension Center for nine years and likes the different varieties of tomatoes grown at the center. "Some I get because I like the way they look, " Reinbott said.

MU Power Plant needs repairs

A large white piece of fabric gets affixed to the south-side smokestack of the MU Power Plant on Tuesday. The sheet will help keep pieces of the tower from falling during the winter.

Sunset prayer

On the first day of Ramadan, Kisha Houston prays alone during the sunset hour in a room reserved for women at the Islamic Center of Central Missouri on Saturday. It is Houston's second Ramadan.

Breaking fast

The men broke the first day of Ramadan fasting together by eating dates and samosa after sunset. During the month of Ramadan observers fast from sunrise to sunset.

Holy books

Several Qurans line a shelf at the Islamic Center of Central Missouri. Fading sunlight shines in from a window signaling sunset and the end of fasting on the first day of Ramadan.