• By Chris Stuckenschneider
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Life can be gratifying when you have a new project to consume you. In this case Spark and I are the consumers. We have turned into side-yard farmers, and are currently over the moon about our bumper crop of tomatoes.

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  • By Karen Cernich, Feature Writer
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Washington High School social studies teacher Allison Graves has heard news reports and read articles about the refugee crisis in Europe, but this summer she learned about it from a new source — student-age refugees living in Germany and the German teachers who are helping to educate them.

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Over the weekend, Spark and I found ourselves in the kids’ section of a shoe store overrun with parents and grandparents buying school shoes. We stopped in to treat Parker before we went to the “Dolls and Desserts” event at the Magic House with her cousin Phoebe, who’s going into second grad…

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  • By Karen Cernich, Missourian Feature Writer
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Hunting season started back up last Wednesday when the cable TV show “Outdoor Vigilantes” began airing new episodes of footage they filmed on hunts last fall.

  • By Chris Stuckenschneider
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A Missourian reader was telling me she wanted to write a Letter to the Editor about the “wonderful photographs in the newspaper.” Others, I know, have praised Jeanne Miller Wood’s uncanny ability to capture our area in photographs, to highlight events, present natural wonders she happens ont…

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  • By Karen Cernich, Missourian Feature Writer
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If you thought a pogo stick was just a fun child’s toy, you have to make it out to the Washington Town and Country Fair this week. You’ll be amazed at the high-flying flips and stunts a pair of XPOGO athletes will be performing three times a day for the Fair’s annual chairman’s event.

  • By Chris Stuckenschneider
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Washington draws its fair share of visitors, even when it’s not Fair Week, and the Katy Trail, like the river, spawns a unique breed of explorers.

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In an article about the Top 10 songs by Alabama, “the most successful band in country music history,” Taste of Country notes that this is the group that paved the road for so many of today’s top country groups.

  • By Chris Stuckenschneider
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What’s been the best year of your life? That’s an interesting question and one that came up in an interview with a former journalism student of mine, Tobias Johansson, from Lund, Sweden.

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Paige Plaisted, daughter of Harry and Ruth Plaisted and a student at Meramec Valley Middle School in Pacific, who was crowned 2016 National American Miss Missouri, 10-12 Cover Girl at the state pageant last month, will hold a fundraiser this Sunday, July 24, to benefit the Ballwin Police Off…

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  • By Karen Cernich, Missourian Feature Writer
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There’s something irresistibly cute about young wildlife — baby raccoons, kits, fawn . . . People who come across them in Missouri parks and woods, maybe even on their own property, want to protect them, so they sometimes pick them up and bring them inside if they don’t see the animal’s moth…

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  • By Karen Cernich, Missourian Feature Writer
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Ever wonder why pet food companies don’t make something like ice cream flavored cat food? Wouldn’t cats run to gobble it up?

  • By Chris Stuckenschneider
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Vacations are learning experiences. We returned home smarter than we started after a week in upper Michigan. In the past, we’d visited Traverse City, and knew how beautiful the area is, but this time we went further north to a very nice Vacation Rental By Owner cottage in Harbor Springs.

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  • By Karen Cernich, Missourian Feature Writer
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Meg Engelhardt has two different work spaces — a quiet lab inside the Edgar Anderson Center at Shaw Nature Reserve in Gray Summit and the wide open spaces of parks, prairies, roadside patches, basically anywhere native plants are growing across the Missouri Ozarks. Where you will find her on…

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  • By Karen Cernich, Missourian Feature Writer
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As education coordinator at Shaw Nature Reserve, Karen Bryan has watched dozens of kids each year discover and deepen a love of nature, conservation and science, but there are a few moments that stand out to her, like when a middle school girl in the H2O club asked her mom if they could get …

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Paige Plaisted, daughter of Harry and Ruth Plaisted and a student at Meramec Valley Middle School in Pacific, was crowned 2016 National American Miss Missouri, 10-12 Cover Girl at the state pageant held June 25-27 at the Holiday Inn Executive Center in Columbia.

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  • By Karen Cernich, Missourian Feature Writer
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Katy (Ledo) Boyer had just turned 17 back in August 1961 when her parents put her on an airplane with her 15-year-old brother, Juan, and dozens of other young Cuban girls and boys (more than 14,000 would eventually come), and sent them from their homes in Cuba to live in the United States.

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The Saint Louis Zoo’s Jungle Boogie Friday Night Concert Series offers free live music every Friday evening from 5 to 8 p.m. through Sept. 2. Concerts are performed on the outdoor stage in the Schnuck Family Plaza in the center of the Zoo.

  • By Karen Cernich, Missourian Feature Writer
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Mental health services can be difficult to access for anyone, but especially so for teenagers. One reason is there just aren’t enough psychiatrists in general and, in particular, psychiatrists who accept teenage patients, said Dr. Paul Simon, D.O., a new general psychiatrist at Mercy Hospita…

  • By Chris Stuckenschneider
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The movie “Airplane,” a 1980 disaster spoof, made famous a quote many are familiar with, “Surely you can’t be serious . . . I am serious and don’t call me Shirley.” There’s a club comprised of members who don’t mind being called Shirley because they all share that first name and have a barre…

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  • By Karen Cernich, Missourian Feature Writer
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New Haven Care Center residents Ruth Meyer and Ruth Cooper said they never thought in all their years that they would ever be entered in a beauty pageant but fellow resident Octavia Straub joked that her husband always told her she was a beauty, so it came as no surprise to her.

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  • By Chris Stuckenschneider
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Each June, for “Novel Ideas,” a business or organization reviews a selection of books in a variety of genres. Several Washington service groups are doing the honor this year. These individuals, be they a Lion, Optimist or Rotarian, possess a common denominator — each is a self-professed book…

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  • By Karen Cernich, Missourian Feature Writer
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Washington native Anne Elise Stratton feels a connection to Latin America. It goes back to her childhood and trips her mother, Holly Stratton Schmitt, owner of Washington Healing Arts, would take her on to Peru.

  • By Chris Stuckenschneider
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With hot and humid arriving early, I’m wearing clothes usually reserved for July and August. So goes Missouri weather.

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  • By Karen Cernich, Missourian Feature Writer
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The backyard area of Bart and Wendy Poepsel’s home off Bieker Road in Washington was merely a wide open space a few years ago. Then their son, Quinton, and his friends got to work and transformed it, at least for the summer months, into Wifflers Stadium, an official wiffle ball field where s…

  • By Chris Stuckenschneider
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By the time this column appears in The Missourian, our Brit cousins will be home in England. As their nine-day visit drew to a close, Spark and I hosted a get-together on Saturday. Nearly all in our immediate family gathered to meet Gill and Kenneth, her dad, to wish him an early happy birth…

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  • By Karen Cernich, Missourian Feature Writer
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Standing outside the barn at Hermann Farm and Museum, Inca, a 2,000-pound Shire mare, scratched impatiently at the ground with her feathered foot.

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  • By Karen Cernich, Feature Writer
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When Dr. Nisha Full Moon of St. Clair arrives at nursing homes with her rabbits, a goat and St. Bernard dog, it may look more like she’s there to set up a petting zoo than to offer animal assisted therapy, but the joy and benefits she and her animals bring to residents are real and lasting.

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  • By Karen Cernich, Feature Writer
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The only rooms in Martha Stoenner’s Washington home that don’t have dolls lining the walls or stored in closets and under furniture are a single bathroom and the room where her late husband, Oliver Stoenner, played pool. Everywhere else, you’ll find dolls and doll accessories, maybe even a f…

  • By Karen Cernich, Missourian Feature Writer
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One of the things that 17-year-old Elena Heinz of Beilstein, Germany, most loves about America is the hospitality, the friendliness of the people.

  • By Chris Stuckenschneider
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It may be the official start to summer – kids spilling out of school doors with whoops and laughter. Classes have come to a close, but the good works of area students are still being felt by one little boy and his family, a child who continues to benefit from big hearts in our area, from stu…

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  • By Karen Cernich, Feature Writer
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The older a piece of metal is, the more Sherry Day seems to like it, although she doesn’t discriminate. This Union metal artist takes anything, never knowing what will inspire her next creation.

Peers Store in the Marthasville area is open every Saturday and Sunday from noon to 4 p.m. now through Oct. 30 with old-time music played on site from noon to 3 p.m.

Mercy Hospital Washington is accepting applications for its High School Student Volunteer Summer Program. Applicants must be at least 15 years old, be available to volunteer on a weekly basis and must commit to a minimum of 40 total hours for the summer.

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  • By Karen Cernich, Feature Writer
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Eagle Scout Evan Searcy of Troop 462 sponsored by V.F.W. Post 2661 in Washington can still remember when he was a new Cub Scout at his first meeting and flipping through the Scout book looking at all of the merit badges available to earn. He must have only been 6 years old, but he made a dec…

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