“The Guest Book” by Sarah Blake is an engrossing family epic, a big, meaty novel that attracts with beautiful writing, strong characters and a story line that never bogs down. It’s a gorgeous book with a strong sense of place, like “Empire Falls.” There are no cheap shots here — social mores…

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Marc Houseman never met a woman he has come to call “Aunt Dorthea.” She had been dead already for 20 years when, as a member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows Lodge in Washington, Houseman took charge of her cremated remains to be placed in the columbarium at the Wildey Odd Fellows Cemetery.

Jerome and Darlene Brinkmann, Washington, celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary April 27, 2019, with a blessing and dinner with family and friends. Jerome and the former Darlene Schwoeppe were united in marriage April 25, 1959.

Dominic and Kim (Straatmann) Aguilar, Union, announce the birth of a daughter, Ellie Jean Aguilar. Born April 13, 2019, at Mercy Hospital Washington, she weighed 6 pounds, 2 ounces.

Children love visiting their local fire station. Oh, the excitement of seeing a ladder truck and shaking the hand of a firefighter outfitted in full gear. That adventure comes to the page in “At the Firehouse,” the May Baby Buzz Pick — the newest book in the Tinyville Town series by Brian Bi…

Rashea Caldwell, St. Louis, announces the adoption of a daughter, Vera Christine Caldwell. The adoption was completed April 26, 2019.

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For 20 years, children’s book author/illustrator Brian Biggs has lived down the street from Philadelphia’s Ladder Company 30. When his sons were young and the family would pass by the firehouse, they often saw the firefighters sitting outside on nice evenings playing cards and hanging out.

Lisa (Allen) Breig and Alex Breig, New Haven, announce the birth of a daughter, Lucy Evelyn Breig. Born April 4, 2019, at Mercy Hospital Washington, she weighed 7 pounds, 15 ounces.

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Matthew Blomberg got a word he could spell correctly. 

Jamie (Diener) and Jeff Holtmeier, Washington, announce the birth of a daughter, Violet Anna Holtmeier. Born March 19, 2019, in Washington, she weighed 6 pounds, 15 ounces.

Reading reviews from Buzzland makes Newsbee’s soul sing, which is usually what birdies do, but your bee buddy can’t resist. This month’s reviews really made him puff out his chest in pride. For these young reader’s efforts, each will receive the next month’s Book Buzz Pick, compliments of th…

Planting cover crops is one of the current trends in farming today, although there’s nothing new about the practice. It’s actually old school, said Dan Brunjes, one of the supervisors of the Franklin County Soil and Water Conservation District.

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Hand-me-downs are a staple of most sibling relationships. When an older child outgrows anything, a younger child often receives it.

Spending a year in Louisiana as a foreign exchange student is a dream come true for Ilya, a 15-year-old from Russia. Ilya lives in a housing development overlooking an abandoned mine with his mother, grandma, and older brother Vladimir, the family’s black sheep, too often compared to his hig…

Tim and Jean Altemueller, Beaufort, announce the engagement of their daughter, Megan Marie Altemueller, Beaufort, to Tyler Warren Beck, Union, son of Tom and Julie Beck, Union.

John and Randi (Mullen) Hutchison, Wentzville, announce the birth of a son, Jason Michael Ralph Hutchison. Born April 7, 2019, at Progress West Hospital, O’Fallon, he weighed 8 pounds, 6 ounces.

Christina (Ridgley) Poggas and Sam Poggas, High Hill, announce the birth of a daughter, Elodie Lorraine Poggas. Born April 2, 2019, at Boone Hospital, Columbia, she weighed 9 pounds, 4 ounces.

Nicholas Hood and Bridgette Smith, Washington, announce the birth of a son, Nicholas Marvin Evan Timothy Hood. Born April 12, 2019, at Mercy Hospital Washington, he weighed 6 pounds, 9 ounces, and was 20 inches long.

Savannah Klenke had never taken dance classes before, but last fall when she joined the fine arts program at Life Stream Church in Washington, she wanted to try something new.

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With a unique array of adorable toddlers on display and clever rhyming text, “Hooray for Babies” by Susan Meyers has earned the honor of being named the April Baby Buzz Pick.

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Washington, Mo., may not seem like the front lines when it comes to fighting the flow of trash into the world’s oceans, but if you saw the amount of garbage pulled from the Missouri River during a cleanup event, like the one going on here Saturday, April 13, you might think differently.

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Spring into a great book — get inspired to “Page On” by reading student reviews on some of Newsbee’s recent picks. Congrats to the young readers whose reviews appear here. As an incentive to keep reading, the Washington Optimists will present each of them with a new Book Buzz Book.

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Hearing that you are going to be grandparents for the first time is the best news ever. However, when you get news from another daughter that they are also expecting is almost unbelievable, especially when the due dates are just five days apart.

The walls and surface areas of Grenville George “G.G.” Sutcliffe’s office at Husky Corporation in the Pacific Industrial Park tell the story of his life — from his experiences in the Special Forces during Vietnam to chasing solar eclipses around the world, from piloting his own Viking airpla…

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Bees and human-beeings take nature for granted yet our glorious orb keeps rolling along, mesmerizing our psyches with crashing oceans, verdant land, sky-blue heavens, deep recesses beneath the ground and a dizzying array of unique creatures and plants. On April 22, join Newsbee in celebratin…

Spelling bee champions from 35 area schools will compete in The Missourian’s regional spelling competition, The Bee, on Saturday, April 27 at East Central College. This is the ninth year for The Bee, organized by The Missourian, sponsored by hth companies and hosted by ECC.

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As he was nearing retirement a few years ago, Jim Armistead, 60, Washington, began thinking about what he would do with all of his soon-to-be free time: Travel, play golf, spend more time with family . . . but he also wanted to do more hands-on volunteering.

Micah Dawes Larsen, neé Haynes, and Eric Larsen, Missoula, Mont., announce the birth of a son, Wilder Dawes Larsen. Born Feb. 11, 2019, at Community Medical Center, Missoula, Mont., he weighed 5 pounds.

Ryan and Nicole (Hackmann) Lause, Washington, announce the birth of a daughter, Bree Ann Lause. Born March 30, 2019, at Mercy Hospital Washington, she weighed 7 pounds, 3 ounces.

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Maggie Mahoney, who will turn 12 next week, was born with a severe heart defect that left her with only three working chambers rather than the usual four. As a result, she had three major heart surgeries — at 6 days old, 6 months old and 2 1/2 — and, to this day, she routinely has cardiac ca…

Carol Jean McBride and Dr. Philip Douglas Dean, both of Warrenton, were united in marriage Jan. 26, 2019, at Warrenton Wesleyan Church. Pastor Vaughn Telfer officiated at the 3 p.m. double-ring ceremony.