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  • By Karen Cernich, Feature Writer
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The last day of their year-long quest to visit each of America’s 59 national parks ended last July in a more poetic way than Cole and Elizabeth (Sumner) Donelson could even have imagined. And not just because it was happening on their third wedding anniversary (July 27) in one of the most be…

January is National Stalking Awareness Month, a time to focus on a crime that affected 7.5 million victims in one year. The theme — “Stalking: Know It. Name It. Stop It.” — challenges the nation to fight this dangerous crime by learning more about it.

  • By Chris Stuckenschneider
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How quickly the years pass; this spring our grandson Miles will be 15. His birth ushered in a big change in my life, the beginning of grandparenting — what a blessing. Five months after Miles debuted, another buddy was born — Newsbee, the now well-known mascot of Book Buzz, a program that ow…

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  • By Tom Uhlenbrock, Missouri State Parks
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PLEASANT HILL, Mo. – Katy Trail State Park just took a giant step toward achieving its longtime goal of stretching across Missouri’s midsection to join the St. Louis and Kansas City metropolitan areas.

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  • By Karen Cernich, Missourian Feature Writer
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Heritage tourism. That’s what it’s called when the cultural history of an area is promoted to attract visitors.

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  • By Karen Cernich, Missourian Feature Writer
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Tim Frankenberg admits there were a number of reasons why he was opposed to his son, Braedyn, signing up with the Navy National Defense Cadet Corp Washington (NJROTC) program for his freshman year at St. Francis Borgia Regional High School. But the biggest reason was he believed it to be str…

  • By Chris Stuckenschneider
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I’d like to say New Year’s Eve was stellar. It wasn’t. A tummy bug hit on Friday.

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  • By Barbara Gibbs Ostmann, Special to The Missourian
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New Year’s resolutions are easy to make, but often hard to keep. How about a resolution that will be both easy and fun to keep? Make a pledge to yourself to spend more time outdoors in the coming year, and kick it off with a First Day Hike.

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  • By Karen Cernich, Feature Writer
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A slight angle was enough to get people’s attention. A turn of just six degrees.

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  • By Steve Bircher, Saint Louis Zoo Curator of Mammals/Carnivores, Director of WildCare Institute Center for Conservation of Carnivores in Africa
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While the world’s fastest land mammal may be racing toward extinction, the Saint Louis Zoo and its partners have been working diligently to slow and, ultimately, reverse this process.

  • By Chris Stuckenschneider
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On Christmas Eve, after going to our granddaughter Avery’s 11th birthday party in St. Louis, I returned to our kitchen to get back to cooking. Spark hit the sack at 11 p.m. leaving me to happily make pies I hadn’t gotten to earlier in the day, chocolate, cherry and apple crumb, the grandkids…

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  • By Karen Cernich, Feature Writer
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It was all hustle and bustle inside the United Bank of Union branch on Main Street Wednesday afternoon as employees began sorting all of the wrapped presents that had been donated by people around the community for their neighbors in need.

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  • By Karen Cernich, Missourian Feature Writer
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Moments after he’d fired the shot to bring down a 900-some pound moose on the second day of a hunting trip to Vermont last October, Ray Hoeft, a senior at St. Francis Borgia Regional High School, was in disbelief. Standing in the woods of Bloomfield, Vt., with a team from the nonprofit group…

  • By Chris Stuckenschneider
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They offer lists verbally and in writing. Kids are all about telling you what they want for Christmas. Though we try repeatedly to teach children it’s better to give than receive, the reminder often falls on deaf, young ears. But not always.

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The Saint Louis Zoo’s bull elephant, Raja, will receive special presents to celebrate his 24th birthday Tuesday, Dec. 27, at 11 a.m. in River’s Edge at the Zoo, weather permitting. Visitors are invited to sing “Happy Birthday” and cheer for Raja.

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  • By Karen Cernich, Feature Writer
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Among the artifacts and items on display inside the Washington Historical Society Museum at Fourth and Market streets is a uniform worn by a member of the Washington Cornet Band, along with a photo of the band and even one of the batons used by the band conductor.

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  • By Karen Cernich, Missourian Feature Writer
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There’s an old story that many people in Labadie know or have heard about Sylvester Labaddie Jr. fighting a bear in Labaddie Cave sometime in the early 1800s. There’s even a Bryan Haynes mural depicting the imagined scene over the bar at the popular downtown Labadie restaurant, The Hawthorne Inn.

  • By Chris Stuckenschneider, Book Editor
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Snow globes and good books provide scenes to awaken our imaginations, replacing daily life with fantastical realms that delight.

George Hearst was born Sept. 3, 1820. His parents were William G. Hearst and Elizabeth, nee Collins. They lived on the land purchased by William’s father in Section 20, Township 41, Range 1 East. The property was located along the Meramec River about 5.5 miles south and west of St. Clair.

  • By Chris Stuckenschneider
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A couple of weeks ago, we picked up two of our grandkids in St. Louis to spend the night. The oldest asked to sit in the front, a perk now that she’s nearly 11. I didn’t mind because I could sit in the back with her younger sister and read with her on the way home.

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  • By Karen Cernich, Missourian Feature Writer
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Among the papers Tracy Conway, Union, carries with her on daily visits to the pulmonary rehab department of Barnes-Jewish Hospital in St. Louis is a card her grandson Jason made for her 60th birthday. It includes a picture he drew of them at the park together — he is on the slide, and she's …

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  • By Chris Stuckenschneider
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This weekend I partook of the joys of the season at Immaculate Conception School in Union. There’s nothing like a good cookie to get you in the Christmas spirit, along with seeing a bunch of do-gooders offering their culinary skills to benefit others.

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  • By Karen Cernich, Feature Writer
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With a laptop open, microphone ready and “Shh! Recording” sign taped to the door outside, three sixth-grade students in Melissa Golder’s reading class at Labadie Elementary prepared to begin their assignment.

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  • By Martha Fischer, curator of mammals/ungulates and elephants, and director of the Center for Conservation in the Horn of Africa, and Tim Thier, zoological manager, antelope area, Saint Louis Zoo
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What are ungulates?

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  • By Karen Cernich, Feature Writer
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The ornaments adorning the two 12-foot-tall Christmas trees flanking the altar at Immanuel Lutheran Church in Washington do more than just sparkle and shine. They tell a story.

  • By Chris Stuckenschneider
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Tiny beads of white lights illuminate a Christmas tree with ornaments collected over the years, handmade ones, oldies with memories attached and a crystal collection we add to annually.

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  • By Barbara Gibbs Ostmann, Special to The Missourian
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From butterflies to bright lights and Broadway-style shows, Branson has it all for the holiday season. Even if you’ve experienced an Ozark Mountain Christmas in the past, there are plenty of new attractions to ring your holiday bells.

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Take a trip down the Mother Road via the new documentary film “Show Me 66: Main Street Through Missouri,” which will air on the Nine Network of Public Media this Saturday, Nov. 26, at 7 p.m.; Thursday, Dec. 1, at 9:30 p.m.; Sunday, Dec. 4, at 3:30 p.m.; and Tuesday, Dec. 6, at 8:30 p.m.

  • By Chris Stuckenschneider
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We’ve entered the season of goodwill, a time when we pause and give thanks for our blessings and share ourselves in ways that will better mankind. Some good deeds can be small, just listening to the cares of another, but others are major.

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  • Story and Photos by Barbara Gibbs Ostmann, Special to The Missourian
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The city of Washington was one of the many high points of a paddling journey down the Missouri River in late September.

  • By Chris Stuckenschneider
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There’s nothing better than an awesome audiobook to wile away highway miles, or escape the drudgery of dusting. Edoardo Ballerini’s stellar reading of “The One Man,” by Andrew Gross, is just the ticket, a thriller with heart set largely in Auschwitz during World War II.

In commemoration of the National Park Service’s 100th anniversary — which was celebrated Aug. 25 — the superintendents of Missouri’s six national parks sites announced a statewide initiative that encourages park-goers to “Find Your Park” and explore the Show Me State.

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  • By Karen Cernich
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Just minutes into the description of what life with pulmonary arterial hypertension is like for her, Martha Masgai, Washington, was alerted when her medicine pump began sounding. Time for another dose.

  • By Chris Stuckenschneider
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Next to turkey and dressing, no other item smacks of Thanksgiving more than pies. Ask foodies what their top favorite is and you’ll probably hear one of the following: pumpkin, apple crumb or pecan pie, mouths watering at the thought of savoring a scrumptious bite of any, or all.

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  • By Karen Cernich, Missourian Feature Writer
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This week marks three months since the lives of Cindy Finder, Washington, and her family were thrown into utter chaos after a trip to the emergency room for what appeared to be signs of a stroke ended with Finder in a coma for 4 1/2 weeks and now living in a nursing home where the widowed mo…

  • By Chris Stuckenschneider
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While investigating an upcoming story, I introduced myself to a woman I hadn’t previously met. “I know who you are,” she said, adding that she reads “Sights” all the time. She said she couldn’t believe how big my grandkids are getting, that she could recall when they were small.

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  • By Karen Cernich, Feature Writer
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Even before Brooke Pulliam was born, her parents, Dawn and Rob Pulliam, Gray Summit, knew she likely had Marfan syndrome. It was obvious just looking at ultrasound images of her extra long fingers, arms and legs, said Dawn, who had been diagnosed with Marfan’s herself just a few years earlier.

Jim and Donna Deppe of Deppe Farm are holding a hog raffle to benefit Cindy (Scheidegger) Finder, a widow with four children who is now living in a care center after having contracted the flu and then ADEM, or Acute Disseminated Encephalomyelitis, which is characterized by a brief but widesp…

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