• Below, some highlights of the past year of discovery and media coverage for Marion and Mack West of Poplar Bluff: January, 2007: Marion West drove a van up to collect Vy Higginsen and daughter Knoelle in St. Louis for their very first visit to Poplar Bluff. This first encounter was captured on videotape. West family members---and many friends, both black and white---gave the new cousins a grand welcome dinner at Poplar Bluff's Perkins Restaurant. February: West, wife Mack, and their grandson Scott McDowell traveled to New York as guests of Vy Higginsen. The New York Times ran a piece on "The DNA Cousins". Higginsen threw a party and, says Mack West, "invited every available cousin". Gospel luminary Cissy Houston, mother

    Jan 16,
  • In 1959, Marion West and his new bride, Mescal Alma West---affectionately known as "Mack"---established their home in a rural stretch of Poplar Bluff. Together they grew the West Cattle Company and kept that "backgrounding ranch" rolling for nearly half a century, as it handled light yearlings and sent them out to feedlots in 10 states across the country. West Cattle began bringing operations to a close in 2005. Now the only part of the 156-acre spread Marion West visits virtually daily is the area where his "prayer pine" stands apart from a distant grove. Here, in the pre-dawn hours, West has long had the custom of collecting his thoughts and praying at the start of each new day. (The Oprah Winfrey

    Jan 11,
  • UPDATE: This issue has been resolved, and cable internet is functioning normally. We are currently experiencing a cable internet outage. This is due to our block of addresses used for Cable Internet service is not being properly routed by our upstream provider (AT&T). We announces to the world that our block of IPs can be serviced through AT&T (this is done by using BGP). AT&T has somehow lost one block of our IP addresses in their routing table that tells them where to send data. At this time, all our cable customers use the IP address of 205.147.108-110.0. Your requests and data are going out to the Internet just fine, but when the server you are interacting with tries to

    Jan 09,
  • It's not every day that a Poplar Bluff-related story comes to resonate deeply with Americans throughout the country, but national coverage of "The DNA Cousins"---as Marion West and Vy Higginsen have unofficially been dubbed---suggests a collective chord has been struck, and with considerable feeling. Indeed, Oprah Winfrey's January 21st show will feature the West/Higginsen saga as part of Winfrey's birthday tribute to the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.  semo.net's homepage will introduce you to who's who and what's what in this captivating family tale before the January 21st national broadcast! *** 2007 was a year like no other for retired Poplar Bluff cattle rancher Marion West. But it's a fair bet that, as increasing numbers of Americans begin to investigate their own genetic

    Jan 09,
  • Having decided long ago, from personal experience, that he "didn't like factory work", Greenville High School graduate Scott Allen Davis joined the Missouri National Guard in the summer of 1985. It must have been an unusually good fit: He gained a Bachelor of Science degree in digital communication technology, courtesy of the Guard; participated in traditional weekend-and-summer service for six years; then, in 1991, made the move to full-time active duty Army service through the Missouri National Guard. "My everyday job is the Guard," says Major Davis, who, together with wife Tobie, has made a home for their four children just outside of Jefferson City. Davis speaks of realizing the family life he and his wife had envisioned early on:

    Jan 05,

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