• By Chris Stuckenschneider
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Once upon a time in a small city on the banks of the Missouri River, a dream crystallized and Neighborhood Reads, a bookstore, put down roots in Washington in a fading old home. The structure was resurrected by the Kitchell family — with love, care and creativity.

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  • By Chris Stuckenschneider, Book Editor
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Spots and swaths of color, vivid annuals, paired with native plants and perennials, patches of flowers and greenery grace our small city. Sometimes the caretakers of these kaleidoscopic beds are visible — glove-clad, their faces shaded by straw brims. Members of the Washington Garden Club pl…

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  • By Martha Fischer, curator, Mammals/Ungulates and Elephants; and Director of the Center For Conservation, Horn of Africa.
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Who doesn’t love giraffes? Their grace, their markings that are as unique as human fingerprints, their long, tough tongues that can extend a foot or longer to navigate sharp acacia thorns, and even their hair-covered “horns” (called ossicones) —all these traits are endearing. 

  • By Chris Stuckenschneider
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Recently our grandsons, Reed, 13, and Miles, 15, came to spend the night. I had plans previous to them coming, so PaPa took them to dinner and a movie. Over catfish and steak, Spark hatched a plan for National Doughnut Day, which is always the first Friday in June. They’d take a doughnut tou…

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  • By Karen Cernich, Feature Writer
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From the very beginning, Dawn Kitchell’s plans to turn the “little yellow house” across from Washington Public Library into a bookstore seemed poetic.

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  • By Karen Cernich, Feature Writer
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It didn’t take long for word to spread around the community that the massive bur oak tree that stood along Bluff Road between Marthasville and Dutzow had fallen suddenly on or around May 11.

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  • By Karen Cernich, Feature Writer
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Laura Vilela and her 5-year-old son, Luke, who has developmental disabilities, were among the participants in the Cinco de Mayo 5K run hosted by Four Rivers Area Family YMCA last month. They arrived wearing matching bright green T-shirts for their group, All Abilities Athletics, and she expl…

  • By Chris Stuckenschneider
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If anyone deserves martins, those marvelous mosquito-eating, sky-swooping songsters, it’s my sister. For years, Jackie would phone when the first scout arrived at her home, located not far from ours.

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  • By Karen Cernich, Missourian Feature Writer
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The 492nd meeting of The BookClub was smaller than usual. A couple of members were out of town, and another was recovering from an illness. Others were just not able to make it.

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To celebrate the 100th anniversary of Girl Scouts selling cookies, the Girl Scouts of Eastern Missouri will host their first-ever pop-up cookie booths at all 54 Schnucks locations in eastern Missouri this Saturday, June 3, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Throughout the remainder of the year, the St. Charles County Parks and Recreation Department, along with St. Louis Area Mountain Bikers (SLAMB) and Gateway Off-Road Cyclists (GORC), will host mountain bike night rides at county parks known for great biking trails.

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An intricately detailed scale model of the solar system will be on display at the St. Gertrude Parish Picnic this Sunday, June 4, as a preview of what will be set up at the Washington Fairgrounds for the total solar eclipse occurring Monday, Aug. 21.

  • By Chris Stuckenschneider
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How fitting. Over the Memorial Day weekend, Mom, who lives a few blocks from us, showed me some of my late father’s war mementos, news clippings and such, and I read over the bits and pieces of treasured history from World War II.

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  • By Karen Cernich, Missourian Feature Writer
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The only thing that says summer more than fun reading might be Cardinals baseball, and this summer, The Missourian is bringing both of those things together for its annual Summer Reading Program.

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“Louchfest,” a concert, fish fry and fundraiser to support the documentary film project “Path of the Past,” will be held Saturday, June 10, beginning at 1 p.m. at Brandt’s Farm, 444 Bethel Church Road in St. Clair.

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The 13th annual Riverfront Trail Day for senior citizens and anyone who is physically disabled will be held Wednesday, June 7, at the Washington Fairgrounds. A rain date has been set for June 8.

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  • By Karen Cernich, Missourian Feature Writer
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It’s been 25 years since Jackie Post Miller, Washington, was paired up with Rosemarie Winter, Marbach am Neckar, Germany, on the first Sister City trip between the two communities.

Crossroads Hospice & Palliative Care is seeking caring, compassionate volunteers to provide comfort, companionship and a helping hand to terminally ill patients and their families in their homes, in assisted living facilities and nursing facilities.

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The Saint Louis Zoo’s Jungle Boogie Friday Night Concert Series presented by Mid-America Chevy Dealers will kick off Friday, May 26, with a performance by Retro Boogie (rock, R&B, disco, soul) from 5 to 8 p.m. on the outdoor stage in the Schnuck Family Plaza in the center of the Zoo.

  • By Chris Stuckenschneider
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We learned new words, discussed politics, laughed ’till tears rolled down our cheeks, traded little gifts of affection and checked the Sister City Partnership agenda daily, to keep up with all the activities the committee had arranged for us.

Missouri State Parks will be offering motorized tram rides on the 3.5-mile stretch of the Katy Trail between the Marthasville trailhead and the Peers Store this Sunday, May 21, from 1 to 4 p.m.

Evening hours for the Missouri Botanical Garden’s summer exhibit, Garden of Glass, which opened last weekend, will begin next Thursday, May 25.

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  • By Karen Cernich, Feature Writer
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Kailey Robinson, who is now finishing up her junior year at Washington High School, is excited about a mission trip she will be taking with two of her sisters and their mom, Shannan Robinson, to Caldwell, Ohio, in a few weeks.

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  • By Karen Cernich, Feature Writer
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It took about 15 minutes for Nicki Harriman, RN, BSN, to get a new rear-facing convertible car seat for 8-month-old Winston Steffens installed in his mom’s minivan.

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Turtles and tortoises have been on the planet for 300 million years, but today, these animals are in real trouble. They are now the world’s most endangered vertebrates; half of the approximately 330 species of turtles and tortoises are threatened with extinction.

  • By Chris Stuckenschneider
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“The best 2 ½ minutes of your life” — that’s a stellar prediction of things to come, and precisely what Dr. Angela Speck said is in store for us on Aug. 21 with the total solar eclipse.

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  • By Karen Cernich, Missourian Feature Writer
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The smell of spaghetti and garlic bread wafted through the air as a team of volunteers from Arconic buzzed around the kitchen at St. Peter’s United Church of Christ at Fifth and Market streets in Downtown Washington one Saturday evening early last month.

Brian and Tina Bacott, Washington, announce the engagement of their daughter, Hannah Nicole Bacott, to Masin Patrick Lafferty, son of Mike and Tina Lafferty, Labadie.

  • By Chris Stuckenschneider
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You can tell your adult children about the good ol’ days, but nothing drives home the wonder of modern conveniences like having an appliance go on the fritz. Like most of us, our daughter Rebecca depends on her clothes dryer. When hers broke down recently, it threw her into a tailspin.

James and Sharon Gillison, Washington, will celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary Friday, May 12. Mr. Gillison and the former Miss Shamulus were united in marriage May 12, 1967.

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  • By Karen Cernich, Feature Writer
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Scrapper the robot didn’t live up to its name as much as the students at Four Rivers Career Center, who designed, built and programmed it, had anticipated.

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  • By Karen Cernich, Feature Writer
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After 48 years of teaching in Catholic schools, Ruth Noelker has taught more than 1,000 students, maybe as many as 1,500. She hasn’t kept track, but some names stand out.

  • By Chris Stuckenschneider
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We planned to chuck it out. The “seen-better-days birdhouse” had served its purpose, been a trusty refuge for sparrows — not the squatters we’d hope it would attract, but what the heck, everyone needs a spot to crash.

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