PHOTO GALLERY: Preschoolers spend day learning about Rock Bridge State Park

Preschool students from Field Elementary School spent Thursday exploring Rock Bridge State Park. The students explored Devil's Icebox Cave and captured insects.

McCaskill among Congress members identified as top social media users

Advocacy groups have pointed to four members of Congress, including Missouri Sen. Claire McCaskill, who effectively use social media sites such as Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and Tumblr to reach constituents. McCaskill is in the top 10 for the highest number of Twitter followers.

Massachusetts man charged with Pentagon, Capitol terror plot

Rezwan Ferdaus, 26, was charged with plotting to blow up the Pentagon and the U.S. Capitol using remote controlled airplanes packed with explosives. He was also charged with supporting al-Qaida.

Pfizer, pharmacy group warn against counterfeit drugs

Worldwide sales of counterfeit medicines totaled more than $75 billion last year. The company behind the pill Viagra is teaming up with a pharmacy standards group to educate people about the dangers of counterfeit drugs. 

Hickman softball team defeats New Franklin

The Hickman softball team defeated New Franklin 13-2 Thursday.

Missouri Republicans consider caucuses to avoid loss of delegates

Missouri Republicans were to discuss the Feb. 7, 2012, presidential primary elections. The early primary could cost Missouri Republicans half of their national convention delegates.

UPDATE: Temporary repairs on Birds Point levee nearly finished

Interim repairs at three breached spots should be finished by Nov. 30, but officials are pushing for a full restoration of the levee, which would cost an additional $21 million.

500 species of plants and animals could receive new protections

The list of species protected under the Endangered Species Act is getting longer. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has until Friday to take action on more than 700 pending cases of potential wildlife protection. 

Missouri using weevils to consume roadside weeds

The long-snouted bugs have been deployed to eat the flowers and seeds of spotted knapweed. The weed produces an herbicide that kills plants growing nearby. 

Grand jury indicts three Macon residents on bank robbery charges

Jeffrey Heckman, Jacob Norris and Alexia Baker, all of Macon, were indicted Thursday on charges in the July 8 robbery of Merchants & Farmers Bank in Columbia. The three were indicted earlier in Texas on charges stemming from a credit union robbery.

Two more illnesses reported in Missouri from tainted cantaloupe

An outbreak of listeria has sickened people across the country and caused more than a dozen deaths in 18 states.

WHAT OTHERS SAY: It's time to admit failure with No Child Left Behind

Local solutions, not a federal mandate, are the best way to achieve educational excellence for the nation's students.

WHAT OTHERS SAY: Learn from the mistakes of No Child Left Behind

The philosophy behind the failed act is sound, but its unrealistic standards can't be met and only hurt students in the process.

Temporary repairs on Birds Point levee nearly finished

Southeast Missouri officials are pressuring the corp to rebuild the intentionally breached levee.

MU's claim to crown of first homecoming contested

Schools and scholars have recently begun to dispute the university's claim to the first homecoming, and several other schools have risen to claim the title.

Missouri Theatre shared inventory seen as advantage to MU

As part of a lease agreement between MU and the Missouri Symphony Society for the Missouri Theatre Center for the Arts, ownership of more than 335 pieces of equipment will be transferred to MU, including more than 180 musical instruments and audio components.

Fraternity facilitates conversation on Troy Davis, death penalty at Black Culture Center

The crowd of mostly students discussed the morality of having the death penalty in modern society.

ON THE BLOG: Is Missouri in flight from the Big 12?

Is Missouri in flight from the Big 12? To read about the curious case of the of the plane that went to Birmingham, go to the Missourian Sports Blog.

Columbia College soccer player Yamaguchi shines in new midfield position

Since moving from forward to midfielder, Yudai Yamaguchi has led the Cougars with six assists in eight games.

Columbia sobriety checkpoint yields seven arrests

Columbia police participated in a statewide crackdown on drunken driving during the week of Sept. 19 as part of the ongoing You Drink & Drive, You Lose campaign.