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Graftons Aid Namesake City in Illinois

July 22, 1993

GRAFTON, Mass. (AP) _ The Graftons are aiding Grafton.

Cities named Grafton in Massachusetts, Virginia and West Virginia are collecting food and hygiene items for Grafton, Ill., smothered by the Mississippi River.

After they saw Grafton’s woes on television, Louisa and Jeremiah Jones of Grafton, Mass., were inspired to organize a relief campaign.

″I think it’s the simplest things that are really going to make the difference here,″ Jeremiah Jones said.

Grafton flood coordinator Paul Arnold said the town is grateful but is having trouble finding room for the gifts.

″No one in their wildest dreams expected the river to get this high. You look out the window and you see boats going down Main Street. It’s like a nightmare,″ Arnold said. --- Floodwater for $15

ST. LOUIS (AP) - Want a wet piece of history? Two-ounce bottles of the flooded Missouri River are going for $15.

″People wanted a piece of the Berlin Wall when they tore it down in 1989. Why not give them a piece of the flood?″ said Paul Tipton, 10.

The bottle is glued to a marble base, which also features a plastic reproduction of the St. Louis Gateway Arch.

The young entrepreneur gave bottles to Gov. Mel Carnahan and Mayor Freeman Bosley Jr. He had sold 86 when a National Park Service ranger said he could not sell souvenirs on the Arch grounds.

Tipton’s father, Ken, said City Hall also refused to provide a peddler’s license. The youngster, however, plans to stay in business and share the money with the American Red Cross.

The bottles are filled with Missouri River water because the Mississippi River, also flooded, is too muddy, Tipton said. --- A Paid Day Off for Workers who Clean

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - City employees who volunteer to help Quincy, Ill., clean up from floods will get a day off with pay.

″I think this is a humanitarian effort. ... I don’t think the citizens of this city will squawk about us sending some help to a city in need,″ said Alderman Chuck Redpath.

Volunteers will be sent to Quincy, 116 miles west on the Mississippi River, during the next several weeks.

The emergency ordinance was approved Tuesday by the City Council, despite budget problems that could mean layoffs later in the year.

Redpath hopes to tap local businesses for transportation.

″We don’t want to use city funds if we don’t have to for the bus service,″ he said.