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Balloon inflation

Layne Walters attempts to hold a balloon steady while it inflates in a field at Corporate Lake Park on Friday. Steady winds and wet landing areas kept many pilots on the ground Friday morning.

Balloon preparations

Fred Schoening of Moberly makes final preparations to the basket of the 'Yankee Doodle' balloon at Corporate Lake Park on Friday.

Balloon setup

'Yankee Doodle' balloon pilot Fred Schoening of Moberly explains to volunteer Sarah Viall how to set up the balloon basket at Corporate Lake Park on Friday.

Wade School building

Angela Baldwin and her husband, Joseph, bought the 0.79-acre lot and Wade School building for $20,000 at a Columbia Public Schools auction in June. Their house adjoins the property.

Wade School inside

Zack Baldwin, 13, lives next to the Wade School in northern Columbia.

Saying goodbye on the first day of school

Andy Tribble hugs and wishes his goddaughter Silvia Aguila a good first day of classes at West Boulevard Elementary.

First day of fourth grade

Students in Lora Lee Hensel's fourth grade class at West Boulevard Elementary begin their first day of the new school year.

Teacher welcomes students back

Lisa Turner greets and guides students at West Boulevard Elementary on the first day of the new school year.

Ringing in the school year

First-time teacher Annie Arnone leads her new class in stretching exercises on Thursday. "Make yourself as big as you can," she told the Lee Elementary third graders.

Raindrops ring in new school year

As children and their parents huddle under Parkade Elementary's entranceway to stay dry, Erica Pefferman preps her son, Colton Carney, 5, for his first day of school.

Teaching babies, toddlers to communicate

Andrew Trask, right, gives an egg rattle to his mother, Rhiannon Trask, during a "Kindermusik with Brenda" class. Several parents took their children at the Columbia Public Library to attend a 30-minute course on using sign language to communicate.

Teaching babies to communicate

Brenda Haynes waves goodbye at the end of a "Kindermusik with Brenda" class. Several parents took their children to the Columbia Public Library to attend a 30-minute course on using the sign language to communicate.

Goodbye hug

Andy Tribble hugs and wishes his goddaughter Silvia Aguila a good first day of classes at West Boulevard Elementary.

Pep talk

As children and their parents huddle under Parkade Elementary's entranceway to stay dry, Erica Pefferman preps her son, Colton Carney, 5, for his first day of school.

School equipment

The first day of school is filled with new students, new teachers and, of course, new supplies.

William Street improvements

An artist's rendering shows proposed improvements to William Street.

Nate Hutchings on his first day

Nate Hutchings handles introductions on his first day of teaching at Paxton Keeley Elementary School.

William Street improvements

An artist's rendering shows some of the planned improvements for William Street.

A walk to class

Abby Froman, 5 uses her backpack as an umbrella on the way to her first day of school at Mill Creek Elementary Thursday. Abby started her first day of kindergarten on Thursday.

A new day in fourth grade

Fourth grade students in Lora Lee Hensel's class at West Boulevard Elementary begin their first day of school.
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