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The Parkland responds

Racing families

They will be passing the hat around at the Big River Sand Drags Saturday night to help victims of the hurricane.

The drive is being organized by Jason Shipman of Complete Auto Recycling Service (C.A.R.S.) and David Boyd of Elite Financial.

Racers will pass helmets around through the stands for donations. The money will be used to purchase non-perishable items at the Wal-Mart Supercenter in Farmington, which is making them available at cost. Non-perishable food items will also be accepted at the front gate.

Other collection points through Saturday include Goodson Realty in Leadington, Wild River on Route W west of Farmington, Mineral Area Office Supply in Park Hills and Elite Financial in Suite 116 of Liberty Hall in Farmington.

Volunteers are needed at 11 a.m. Sunday morning at C.A.R.S. to help pack and wrap the pallets for shipping. Shipman plans to drive the donations to Louisiana on Sunday.

Anyone wishing to make a monetary donation can contact any First State Community Bank. Make donations payable to: For Benefit of Operation Blessing. For more information, call 573-747-3005.

EMAA

East Missouri Action Agency (EMAA) has started a drive to collect items for the hurricane relief efforts. The agency is asking for donations of non-perishable food, bottled water, baby formula, diapers, toilet paper, paper towels, blankets, pillows, bath towels, personal care items, paper plates, utensils and cleaning supplies. The agency also will take monetary donations but will not accept clothing at this time.

The EMAA is working with the Community Action Network across the country, said Keri McCrorey, Community Services Director. Items will be stored in a donated tractor trailer, then shipped to St. Mary Community Action Agency in Franklin, La. That agency will distribute donations from across the country to hurricane victims in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama.

“Anything donated is tax deductible,” McCrorey said. “We hope donations will be made within the next week or so, but we haven’t set a deadline yet. If we have more than we can take in one load, we will ship another one.”

Donations can be dropped off at the agency at 107 Industrial Drive, Park Hills. For more information about the drive, contact McCrorey at 431-5191.

TCRC AT MAC

The Telecommunications Community Resource Center (TCRC) at Mineral Area College will make their computers available to anyone for hurricane information or to e-mail storm victims from 8 a.m. until 8 p.m. Monday through Friday.

A variety of online Web sites will allow people to post their whereabouts for family members, such as the Hurricane Katrina Safe List at http:// www.cnn.com/ SPECIALS/ 2005/ hurricanes/ list/ or the I’m OK forum at http:// www. wwltv. com/ forums/ viewforum. php?f=15. SunHerald.com has localized information about what is happening on the Gulf Coast of Mississippi, as well as forums to post whereabouts and queries. The site is http:// www.sunherald.com/ mld/ sunherald/.

Ameren

About 100 workers from Ameren in Missouri and Illinois have been sent to the Baton Rouge area to help restore power.

Mike Cleary of Ameren said they expect the workers to be gone two to three weeks. In addition, about 200 individuals who do regular contract work for them also went to Baton Rouge.

Cleary said most of the workers were from the outstate area rather than the metro area, which is still recovering from bad storms a few weeks ago.

St. Joe Manor

New toys for children of all ages are being accepted at St. Joe Manor in Bonne Terre. Erica Rau said they would be given to the Salvation Army which will eventually distribute them to hurricane victims.

Air Evac

Crews from Air Evac bases are helping with evacuations in the area affected by Hurricane Katrina.

Cindi Walk of the local Air Evac said there are seven aircrafts and crews in the southern states volunteering their services.

As of Thursday night, Air Evac crews had transported 45 patients from hospitals in the Hurricane-stricken region in Mississippi and Louisiana to inland hospitals.

Julie Heavrin, a public relations manager for Air Evac, said they are there to perform a mission to the people there and will continue to do so whether or not they receive any pay for their efforts. They do not have a contract with FEMA.

The crews are taking medical supplies, food and water into medical facilities when they fly in to pick up patients.

Pilots have told Heavrin it is a very complicated situation because they have almost no communication with the medical facilities in the area. They don’t know the helicopters are coming until they land.

Walk said no one from the Farmington base is helping out but bases like Farmington are having to cover for those who are helping out in the disaster area.

Air Evac is a membership-supported air ambulance service. It has been providing medical transport to rural communities in the central United States for the past 20 years, beginning in West Plains, Mo., and then spreading to more than 55 communities.

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