• By Karen Cernich, Feature Writer
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Sitting at the funeral home after her firstborn son, Cain, died at age 19 from a self-inflicted gunshot wound, Lisa Weddle found comfort in one thing: The words of another grieving mother whose presence felt like she was saying, “I’m here. I understand what you are going through.”

  • By Chris Stuckenschneider
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So what do you hate spending money on? This is something my husband and I talked about recently. For Spark it’s not so much what he hesitates to buy, but money spent on increases for telephone services and the like; these charges can be slight, but his reaction isn’t.

  • By Karen Cernich, Feature Writer
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A bad dream awoke Nancy Campbell, Labadie, from her sleep several years ago and immediately sent her searching for paper and pen to capture the thoughts in her head.

Dale and Barb Aholt, Washington, announce the engagement of their daughter, Stephanie Lynn Aholt, Washington, to Joshua David Riegel, Washington, son of David Riegel and Connie Small, both of Marthasville.

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  • By Karen Cernich, Missourian Feature Writer
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Billy Rombach had been a student at Benedictine College in Atchison, Kan., for one semester when he realized he wanted to become a consecrated religious of some sort.

  • By Chris Stuckenschneider
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It was a bleak Friday evening, a cold front arriving when I got to the Washington City Park Auditorium. Quite honestly, I’d wanted to snuggle in at home, veg in front of a movie, not drive across town to go to the Daddy-Daughter Sweetheart Dance sponsored by the Parks Department. But I thoug…

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  • By Karen Cernich, Feature Writer
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The crowd at Otis Campbell’s was just letting out as Aaron Evers was driving around late one night last year taking photos of the streets in Downtown Washington.

February is National Bird Feeding Month . . . Now that we are in the throes of winter, and the coldest month of the year is upon us, it is a good time to assess how the birds are doing. This time of year, is especially difficult for them. If given a little assistance, their chances of surviv…

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  • By Karen Cernich, Feature Writer
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T-shirts handed out at the Union Kiwanis Club’s annual Memorial Day Day 5K Run/Walk for the last four years have had a single message — “I Saved 11 Lives.”

  • By Chris Stuckenschneider
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Three nights a week, spirited voices swell the sanctuary of a church off Highway 100, up a curving hill on South Point Road. That’s where the Presbyterian Church of Washington is located and where longtime East Central College Theater Director John Anglin is applying his expertise as a pluck…

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  • By Karen Cernich, Feature Writer
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The sight of half a dozen white doves bursting forth from their container at the start of last year’s Walk to End Alzheimer’s in Washington brought tears to Barb Hellmann’s eyes — and the eyes of everyone present, she imagines.

  • By Chris Stuckenschneider
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It was nerve-wracking having friends over for the first meal in our Instant Pot, a cast-off gift meant for Mom. The gizmo comes with a story, as does our new Swiss pressure cooker, a Kuhn Rikon we got at a kitchen shop in St. Louis.

  • By Karen Cernich, Missourian Feature Writer
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World War II Army veteran and Bronze Star recipient Dean Corsa started building the room-sized train layout that would become his life’s hobby in 1946 in Alton, Ill., with an HO engine that he and his new wife, Lee, purchased in Vienna, Austria, before coming to the United States to start th…

  • By Chris Stuckenschneider
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When a vacation is over, I look in the rearview mirror, replaying what we did while we were away, and feeling a bit nostalgic. Spark is just the opposite. On Saturday, when we left Florida after being on Hutchinson Island for two weeks at my parents’ condo, he said when it’s time to go home,…

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  • By Karen Cernich, Feature Writer
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The bitter cold temperatures felt here earlier this month had at least one winter-loving creature feeling right at home — Kali (pronounced Cully), the Saint Louis Zoo’s resident polar bear. 

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  • Story and Photos by Barbara Gibbs Ostmann Special to the Missourian
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Napoleon Bonaparte once said that an army marches on its stomach. The same is true for tourists. Food is often a main focus for travelers, and culinary tours have become one of the most popular things to do.

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  • By Karen Cernich, Missourian Feature Writer
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School hadn’t started for the day when students began pouring into Kaylin Bade’s classroom at Washington Middle School.

This month’s American Culture Topics book discussion at Neighborhood Reads Bookstore, 401 Lafayette St., in Downtown Washington, will be on the book “Kennedy and King: the President, the Pastor, and the Battle Over Civil Rights,” by Steven Levingston.

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  • By Karen Cernich, Feature Writer
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The minute Chris Homyk, Washington, read a Facebook post by Erin Gaebe about a homeless man she had helped in Milwaukee in early November, he knew what he wanted to do.

Each year, SHARPP (Sexual Harassment and Rape Prevention Program) responds to many individuals who express concern about being stalked.

A Paint, Sip and Support event to benefit St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital will be held Thursday, Jan. 11, from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Bank of Washington’s downtown location, 200 W. Main St.

  • By Chris Stuckenschneider
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It seems we’ve been having a real winter, at least until this week when warmer temps are expected. Knowing Missouri as we do, another arctic blast is sure to have us shivering and dashing indoors, icy fingers attacking any inch of exposed flesh.

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  • By Karen Cernich, Missourian Feature Writer
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Looking around the room full of their second cousins in Valpergo, Italy, in 2014, sisters Dee Pollinger, Washington, and Jean Woll, Union, could see some family resemblances, striking resemblances in at least two cases.

  • By Chris Stuckenschneider
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As I get older, I don’t make rigid resolutions, writing them down in a journal, but I do look back on the old year and all that’s happened, holding out hope for a fresh start, and the promise a new year holds.

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On Jan. 1, the annual First Day Hikes event will take place at 36 state parks and historic sites across Missouri. Participants can choose from more than 40 free, guided hikes that range in difficulty from easy to moderate, cover distances up to 4 miles and use a variety of trails in every re…

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  • By Karen Cernich, Feature Writer
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Trooper Jake Schultz didn’t grow up around horses. The last horse on his family’s farm in Villa Ridge died about 10 years before he was born.

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  • By Karen Cernich, Feature Writer
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If you discovered one of these snowmen crafted from a couple of grapevine wreaths on your doorstep, a park bench or somewhere around Washington with a sign that said “Take Me Home,” you were the recipient of a bit of Christmas spirit that a group of friends hope they can keep going all year long.

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  • By Karen Cernich, Feature Writer
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They keep their crowns and sashes on display in their bedrooms, at least when they’re not wearing them. Such is the life of pageant queens.

  • By Chris Stuckenschneider
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This is the story of a baby born to a high school junior, a 17-year-old, who makes the ultimate sacrifice and gives the infant up for adoption. That’s what a new friend of ours did years ago. Her name is Jan and she lives in rural Augusta with her husband Tom.

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  • Story and Photos by Barbara Gibbs Ostmann
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I recently scored a travel trifecta — a perfect line-up of three of my favorite things: Switzerland, Christmas markets and train travel. The result was a holiday trip to remember — and one you can replicate on your own.

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  • Photos by Jeanne Miller Wood
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Christmas Day is fast approaching, but if you are looking for a holiday perfect photo op, there is none better than the Missouri Botanical Garden’s fifth annual Garden Glow.

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  • By Karen Cernich, Missourian Feature Writer
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When Amanda Koch, Washington, plays bocce, her specialty is the long ball.

  • By Karen Cernich, Feature Writer
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Fans of Harry Potter, the boy wizard at the heart of J.K. Rowling’s book series, are familiar with the name Nicolas Flamel. He created the famous “sorceror’s stone” (featured in the first book), which was said to provide immortality to whomever owned it — so, naturally, the evil wizard Lord …

  • By Chris Stuckenschneider
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Some might call the lower area that runs the length of our ranch-style house a basement or storage area. But to us, it’s the “back room,” the scourge of our existence — a place we shoved everything into when we built our house 28 years ago.

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  • By Chris Stuckenschneider, Book Editor
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Lots of elves sit on shelves, but at The Missourian Santa’s select troupe has been burning the midnight oil so they could share their top picks from 2017 with area readers.

  • Story by Karen Cernich, Photos by Jeanne Miller Wood
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Standing in the gallery of Sam Stang’s Augusta Glass Studio with sunlight pouring in through the plate glass window feels a little bit like you’re standing inside a rainbow — the brightly colored bowls, platters, pitchers, wine glasses, ornaments and other pieces all around you.

Several of the people who write book reviews for The Missourian’s MO Books blog will give a presentation on their favorite new books Wednesday, Nov. 29, at 7 p.m. at the Neighborhood Reads bookstore, 401 Lafayette St., Washington.

  • By Chris Stuckenschneider
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In our family, I’m the pie baker — as such I know each of our family’s favorites. Baking an apple crumb pie, chocolate with whipped cream, cherry and pumpkin at Thanksgiving fills the bill for everyone, except our daughter, Jennifer. For years she’s groused about me not making lemon pie —so …

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