Listening to Barakat

Mohammed Khalilia rests his head on the shoulder of Keila E. Pena-Hernandez during a reading by Ibtisam Barakat. Barakat gave a lecture and read from her new book, "Tasting the Sky: A Palestinian Childhood" at MU on Oct. 2.

A neighborhood divided

Houses on Kipling Way in Columbia stand on a dividing line between jurisdictions of the city fire department and the county fire district. Houses on the left of the photo are under the county's protection while houses on the right are under the city's protection.

Rios trial goes into jury deliberations

Special prosecutor Morley Swingle demonstrates how he says Steven Rios grabbed Jesse Valencia, which left Rios' arm hairs on Valencia's chest when he was murdered.

Kisses for mom

Chris Willow-Schomaker plays with her youngest son, Silas, 3.

"Nessie Von Kelpie"

"Nessie Von Kelpie" is photographed at Chris Willow-Schomaker's home. According to Willow-Schomaker's Web site, she was inspired to make the toy because her son was fascinated by the "Nessie and the Water Horse" story.

"Three blind mice"

Chris Willow-Schomaker shows her "Three Blind Mice" at her Columbia home. Willow-Schomaker created mamaroots, a company she made that sells her homemade, all-natural toys.

Mom creates all-natural toys

Chris Willow-Schomaker watches her sons play at her Columbia home.

Helping the hellbender

The Ozark Hellbender, pictured here, is a fully aquatic animal, meaning they cannot live on land. Hellbenders mainly eat crayfish, and unlike most salamanders, perform external fertilization.

Hellbender close up

Rich Collister, curator of life sciences at the Wonders of Wildlife Museum in Springfield, said hellbenders have high sensitivity to changes in their habitat. Their declining numbers serves as an environmental indicator, telling us what is happening in the environment.

Columbia police Officer Tim Giger testifies during third day of Rios trial

Columbia police Officer Tim Giger indicates the amount of time it took him to drive from the Columbia Police Department to Jesse Valencia's apartment. Defense attorney Gillis Leonard objected to the time chart, saying Giger had no way of knowing what route, if any, Rios took to Valencia's apartment.

The Sooners' Allen Patrick leaves MU's Alonzo Dotson behind

Sooners running back Allen Patrick leaves defensive lineman Charles Gaines in the dust during the third quarter of the Big 12 championship game at the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas, on Dec. 1, 2007.

Karen Momper wraps a EuroGlory poinsettia

Karen Momper wraps a EuroGlory poinsettia in gold paper for a customer in the Anheuser-Busch Natural Resources Center on Dec. 4, 2008. Momper is a member of the Mizzou Horticulture Club, which grows and sells poinsettias every year.

MU club has grown about 10 poinsettia varieties

The Mizzou Horticulture Club has been growing about 160 poinsettias of about 10 varieties this semester.

MU linebacker Sean Weatherspoon haircut

Sean Weatherspoon gets his hair cut by teammate Steve Redmond. "He always does something real good for me,” Weatherspoon says of Redmond.

Healthy Breakfast for Healthy Kids

From left, Lupita Magdaleno, Faith Elsbury and Rosemary Munger enjoy muffins, apples and blueberry smoothies for breakfast at the YouZeum as part of the Healthy Kids, Healthy Communities initiative to combat childhood obesity. The PedNet Coalition, which hosted the event, was recently given a $400,000 grant to promote physical activity and healthy eating in the city.

MU women's basketball player Christine Flores against Toledo

Christine Flores, right, reaches in for the steal against Toledo's Jessica Williams on Dec. 3 at Mizzou Arena. Tigers coach Cindy Stein complimented her defense, which forced 25 turnovers and recorded 17 steals and seven blocks.

Missouri forward Shakara Jones against Toledo

Missouri forward Shakara Jones goes up for a shot over Melissa Goodall of Toledo on Dec. 3 at Mizzou Arena.

Texas football fan cheers for Longhorns

Texas freshman Tim Liu cheers on the Longhorns against Texas A&M while wearing a sign showing the score of Texas' win over Oklahoma.

Beyond the partition

Construction worker Neil James move a waste bin inside of the particle board partition that separates the construction area from the lobby of Boone County Courthouse on Wednesday. Construction has caused some courthouse employees to move to temporary workspace while renovations are being completed.

Boxed in

Unit manager Lana Brooks works in her office in Boone County Courthouse on Wednesday surrounded by boxes that are ready to be moved to her temporary workspace; her permanent workspace is being completed. "It has been inconvenient, but it's nothing we can't overcome," Brooks said.