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Mail drop

Alan Austene drops off mail on Academy Road. He uses his own vehicle to zigzag on and off dirt roads throughout Hallsville.

On his mail route

Alan Austene drives along Kemper Road during his mail route. He and two fellow mail carriers deliver to Hallsville's 1,353 mailboxes.

Delivering mail and jokes

Alan Austene jokes with Sara Crane and Deanna Rowland as he delivers mail at Hallsville Elementary School.

1,353 mailboxes and counting

Alan Austene, a Hallsville postal worker for 32 years, loads his car for deliveries. Austene's route takes him an average of 8 1/2 hours and 64 miles through the roads surrounding Hallsville.

Making room for mail

Alan Austene makes room in his car for mail to be delivered. His route takes him past farmland and horses and through newer subdivisions that have popped up over the years.

Family finds perfect tree

Clay Stem and his sons, Chase and Grady, prepare to take home their Christmas tree after selecting the perfect one at Log Providence Pines Tree Farm on Friday. The entire family helped select, cut and carry the tree to the cashier's stand.

Log Providence Farms celebrates its past

Dean Fitzgerald owns Log Providence Pines, a Christmas tree farm south of Columbia. Dean and his wife, Diane, have owned the farm for more than 20 years, but this will be his last year. The farm lets families find and cut their own tree, sold by the foot.

Daniel P. Mehan mug

Daniel P. Mehan is the president and CEO of the Missouri Chamber of Commerce and Industry

Black & gold (& green)

MU pre-med seniors Daniel Lyons, left, and Jack Short are the co-founders of Factory Green Inc., an environmentally friendly clothing and housewares company.

Sooners claim 2008 Big 12 crown

Oklahoma celebrates its victory over Missouri on Dec. 6 in the Big 12 Conference championship game at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City.

Sooners celebrate

Oklahoma players celebrate an interception on Dec. 6 in the Big 12 Conference championship game at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City.

Daniel recovers ball

Missouri quarterback Chase Daniel bobbles the ball but keeps possession against Oklahoma on Dec. 6 in the Big 12 Conference championship game at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City.

Gang tackle

Missouri defenders bring down Oklahoma's Ryan Broyles on Dec. 6 in the Big 12 Conference championship game at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City.

MU's Tommy Saunders

Oklahoma defenders pull down Missouri receiver Tommy Saunders on Dec. 6 in the Big 12 Conference championship game at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City.

MU's Will Ebner

Missouri defender Will Ebner dives to bring down Oklahoma's Ryan Broyles on Dec. 6 in the Big 12 Conference championship game at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City.

Jeremy Maclin lands hard

Missouri receiver Jeremy Maclin rests on the turf after landing hard in the end zone on an attempted pass reception against Oklahoma on Dec. 6 in the Big 12 Conference championship game at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City.

Oklahoma receiver Juaquin Iglesias

Oklahoma receiver Juaquin Iglesias sets down the ball after a catch against Missouri on Dec. 6 in the Big 12 Conference championship game at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City.

Just out of reach

Missouri receiver Danario Alexander can't get his hands around a pass on Dec. 6 against Oklahoma in the Big 12 Conference championship game at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City.

Danile struggles against Sooners

Missouri quarterback Chase Daniel swerves to avoid the Oklahoma rush in the Tigers' loss to the Sooners on Dec. 6 in the Big 12 Conference championship game at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City.

Tigers fall in Big 12 title game

Jeremy Maclin and Chase Daniel console each other on the sideline Saturday night in the final moments of Missouri's loss to Oklahoma in the Big 12 Conference championship game in Kansas City.
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