Construction site of the new Holiday Inn

Construction superintendent Brian Burns, left, and George Nieto walk toward the construction site of the new Holiday Inn at the Lake of the Woods Exit on March 6.

Laying the foundations

Julio Rico, left, mixes concrete while Alberto Nieto patches holes in a wall on the construction site of the new Holiday Inn.

Patching holes at the Holiday Inn

Jim Heath, left, and Kenny Sims patch holes on the construction site of the new Holiday Inn.

Alpaca life

Four of Long's alpaca studs munch on their afternoon meal at the Osage Alpaca ranch near Hinton.

Hay isn't just for horses

Rob Long tosses hay to the female population of his Alpaca herd Thursday afternoon. Long has the largest alpaca herd in central Missouri with 75 alpacas and is known in the industry as a top breeder.

Alpaca kisses

Alpaca rancher Rob Long gives a young female resident of his ranch an "alpaca kiss." Long has been raising alpacas north of Columbia near Hinton and Prathersville since 2005.

Rob Long and alpaca

Just one day old and experiencing sunlight for the very first time, the male alpaca baby, or "cria," King's Jester receives a reassuring touch on the neck from Osage Alpaca ranch owner Rob Long as the mother, Penny, watches guard. Alpacas are a domesticated species of South American camelid, and had never been raised in the United States until as recently as 1984.

Preparing soil for growing food

Gonzalo Gonzales works to till the soil on a garden plot that is part of a new garden space for residents of Columbia to grow their own food. Gonzales was working on the garden plot reserved for Centro Latino's "Healthy Lifestyles and Obesity Prevention" project.

Working in the garden

Chloe Bierman digs her hoe into the ground as her mother Melinda Calloway works alongside her on the plot of land they reserved for a garden. Calloway reserved the plot of land for free through the Community Garden Coalition.

Mike Odette plays with his son Harry

Mike Odette plays with his son, Harry, 15 months, in the kitchen at Sycamore Restaurant on Tuesday, March 10, 2009.

Mike Odette and Harry in the kitchen

Mike Odette adjusts the backpack holding his son, Harry, 15 months, in the kitchen at Sycamore Restaurant on March 10

Mike Odette preps mushrooms

Mike Odette preps mushrooms with his son, Harry, 15 months, on his back at Sycamore Restaurant on March 10. Odette is one of 20 semifinalists for Best Chef in the Midwest region in the prestigious James Beard Awards, which are known as the Oscars of the food world. “It came along when I really needed something like this, professionally and personally,” Odette said. “It’s really energized me.” The five finalists in each category will be announced on March 23.

Don Cizek at work

Don Cizek has done a great deal as coordinator of Columbia Channel, including writing the station's original music, designing new graphics and adding $100,000 to the station's budget. He hopes to expand the channel further by increasing the amount of content online.

Don Cizek, TV Guy

Don Cizek, the coordinator of the Columbia Channel for the past two years.

Tigers discover place in NCAA Tournament

Missouri's sophomore Justin Safford, left, and senior Matt Lawrence watch the NCAA Tournament Selection Show Sunday at the Clinton Club in Mizzou Arena.

DeMarre Carroll celebrates Missouri Big 12 tournament title

Missouri's DeMarre Carroll hoists the trophy for the Big 12 men's basketball tournament title. "Once I transferred here, everything started going wrong and I was just looking around like, 'Man, what did I get myself into?'," said Carroll, who was named the tournament's most outstanding player. "I got shot, we lost a lot of games. But look at me now, I'm standing here smiling, a Big 12 champion."

Kim English goes for two

Kim English goes for a layup in the second half of the Big 12 Tournament Championship game against Baylor.

Keith Ramsey in the second half

Keith Ramsey drives the ball in the second half of the Big 12 Tournament Championship game against Baylor Saturday night.

Celebrating the Big 12 Tournament Championship

Demarre Carroll celebrates with Keith Ramsey.

Posing with the trophy

MU's Demarre Carroll poses with the Big 12 Tournament Championship trophy.