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Brian Wattenbarger serves himself lunch while Lieutenant Brain Wasson has already dug into his salad. The Columbia Fire Department crew at station 3 has made a ritual out of lunch time with meals varying in size, flavor and who cooks them, but they always sit down to eat with every place set at 11 a.m.

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Erik Cranmer sits down to lunch with his crew at the Columbia Fire Department station house 3, on Tuesday, April 22, 2008. The menu on Tuesday was small since they were missing part of their team, but baked beans, corn on the cob, and brats rounded out the menu.

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Fire Lieutenant Brian Wasson puts his sandwich on the stove to toast while talking with fellow station crew members Brain Wattenbarger and Erik Cranmer during lunch on Tuesday, April 22, 2008. The team at station house 3 in Columbia has made a ritual out of lunch time making sure that they sit down to eat together at 11 a.m. everyday during the week.

Two young local divers look to make splash on national scene

Ashley Shelton, 14, of Columbia, joined the Missouri Diving Club five years ago and competed at nationals in 2006.

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Christian Head, 13, of Columbia finished in 22nd and 25th places this weekend during the West National Diving Championships, which were held at the MU Student Recreation Complex.

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Christian Head makes a dive during the West National Diving Championships held Saturday at the MU Student Recreation Complex. Head, 13, was participating in his fourth national competition.

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The Ashland Senior Citizen Prom queen, Barbara Calvin, and king, J.T. Mustain, dance with each other during the King and Queen Dance to "Unchained Melody."

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Parkade Elementary School students drew what they wanted to see their playground become. Updated equipment was the most popular request among students.

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Students at Parkade Elementary School drew pictures of what equipment they would buy for the playground and how they would redesign the space.

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Students at Parkade Elementary School used drawings to depict how they would redesign their playground space.

Columbia woman to serve as civilian diplomat in Iran

Lily Tinker Fortel is taking a 12-day trip to Iran as a civilian diplomat with the Fellowship of Reconciliation, an interfaith organization, to promote peace through conversational diplomacy. She hopes to gain "a better understanding of the Iranians, their culture and beliefs."

Health fair teaches students to eat right, exercise, brush their teeth — and have fun

On Monday, Eugene Field Elementary School student Michael Linzie Hayes does pull-ups, instructed by Gunnery Sgt. James Knuckles of the U.S. Marine Corps, at one of the stations set up for the nursing fair organized by the MU Sinclair School of Nursing.

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On Monday, Gunnery Sgt. Scott Kates of the Marine Corps and MU Sinclair School of Nursing students Sarah Raish and Alyssa Norton and Midshipman Brittany Dabrowski talk at one of the stations set up for the health fair at Eugene Field Elementary School.

66-year-old Columbian tackles 42-mile bike ride

Judy Knudson will be traveling to New York next week to participate in the Five Boro race.

City to build 8-story parking garage

The parking garage approved by the City Council last week is similar to one built in Elmhurst, Ill., by the same company Columbia hired for the job.

Cantwell, Miller win at Drake Relays

Missouri's Kinsey Farren smiles after winning the women's 10,000 meter run on Thursday, April 24, 2008, at the Drake Relays in Des Moines, Iowa.

A new place for play at Parkade: 'More jungle gyms,' 'new monkey bars,' 'a football field'

The Parkade Elementary School playground is getting an upgrade, thanks to a $15,000 grant approved by the City Council.

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Jerry Troy, third grade: "Some tether balls so more kids can play."

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Cole Serrage, third grade: "New acrobat things and a new jungle gym because we only have small spaces and small things. We need more space to have fun."
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