Editor’s note: This is the fourth and final story in a series about Hurricane Katrina evacuees rebuilding their lives in the Whittier area. WHITTIER – Schewon Kelly’s house is noisy and a bit messy.But she likes it that way. In fact, she leaves a few cups out in the living room to make it feel “lived in.”She’s not even that mad about the music blaring from her son’s stereo upstairs.“It’s almost like home,” she said. “I haven’t put the pictures up yet, though.”Framed portraits of her four children lay on a couch that still has price tags attached to it.Schewon’s two youngest children, Nicole, 17, and James, 15, were reunited with her Wednesday night, after having been apart for about three months.The unsuspecting family was at home in Gretna, La., on Aug. 29 when Hurricane Katrina hit. The following week was like being in the reality TV show “Survivor,” said James Adams, Schewon’s son.“We had to cook everything on a grill,” he said. “And I had to eat hard rice because I was hungry.”A week after the storm hit, Schewon realized that their lives wouldn’t be returning to normal anytime soon. In a caravan of two cars filled with 10 family members and neighbors, they headed for Texas.Soon after, she made the decision to come to Los Angeles, where she was born, and start over.Once here, she and her family moved into a shelter. Schewon sent James and Nicole to live with her sister in Chicago until she got back on her feet.It took three months and the diligent help of members of La Mirada’s St. Paul of the Cross Church, but Schewon is finally reunited with her children. She is also enrolled in school, studying to be a pharmacy technician.Their first night in Whittier, James and Nicole ran through every inch of their new, three-bedroom town home, inspecting everything.Schewon gave them Christmas gifts that night, even though it was four days before Christmas.“It just felt good to see that joy,” she said.The next day, the family set out to discover their new hometown – Whittier. They drove around, looking for landmarks, shopping centers and to familiarize themselves with the area.“It’s like starting a whole new life,” James said. “It’s scary and exciting.”JCPenney donated furniture to the family, and St. Paul of the Cross staff member Donna Ponce and the Rev. Roger Labont? helped Schewon find the town house apartment and to move in.Now, they are helping her find a job.“You can’t just forget hurricane evacuees,” even months after the hurricane is over, Labont? said. “It’s a relationship, not just a handout.”The church also offered free tuition for Nicole and James at St. Paul of the Cross Catholic School. [email protected](562) 698-0955, Ext. 3026 AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORERose Parade grand marshal Rita Moreno talks New Year’s Day outfit and ‘West Side Story’ remake160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!
The Nelson Daily SportsThe Nelson Leafs climbed back to the .500-mark by holding off the North Okanagan Knights 3-2 in Kootenay International Junior Hockey League action Sunday at the Nor-Val Centre in Armstrong.A goal by Patrick Martens less than two minutes into the third snapped a 2-2 to spark the Leafs to the victory.Nelson, 10-10 on the season, won its second game in three starts during a road trip into the Shuswap Division of the KIJHL.Saturday Connor McLaughlin scored three times to spark the Nelson Leafs to a 3-1 victory over the Eagles at the Recreation Center in Sicamous.Nelson opened the trip with a 6-3 loss Friday to Revelstoke.Martens scored on the only shot of the period for Nelson as North Okanagan took the play to the visitors. The Knights out shot the Leafs 13-1 in the period and 32-14 in the contest.However, goalie Marcus Beesley, playing his third consecutive game, was equal to every shot by the Knights to power Nelson to the victory.Cody Abbey, with this first marker of the season, opened the scoring on the power play for the Leafs.William Kapp tied the contest in the second before another unlikely goal scorer, captain Taylor O’Neil with his second of the season, scored to restore the lead for Nelson.Doug Chadwick scored a power play goal before the period concluded to send the teams into the 40-minute break tied at 2-2.In Sicamous, it was Beesley once against coming to the rescue for the Leafs as the Eagles held a 35-22 advantage.Despite the lopsided play it was Nelson holding period leads to 1-0 and 2-0 thanks to McLaughlin’s goal scoring.Gavin Currie had two assists while Abbey registered his first point in six games, assisting on McLaughlin’s second goal of the contest.Friday at the Forum in Revelstoke, the Grizzlies exploded for five goals on special teams en route to doubling the Leafs.The Grizz scored four consecutive times with the man advantage — two late in the first period and a pair to start the second — to grab the easy win.The final special teams tally came with Revelstoke playing short-handed.Marcus Dahl opened the scoring for Nelson before the Leafs ran into penalty troubles. With Riley Henderson serving a cross checking minor Garett Kemmler got the home side going.Brooks Christensen put Revelstoke in front for good with another power play marker with nine seconds remaining in the frame.Reid Blinkhorn and Dylan Rota scored power play goals just over two minutes apart to start the second to give the Grizz a commanding 4-1 advantage.Nelson cut the margin to 5-3 on goals by McLaughlin and Connor Enright before period ended but could get no closer.Devon Hascarl added a short-handed tally for Revelstoke with time running out in the third.The Grizzlies out shot Nelson 42-33, including a 25-3 advantage in the second period.ICE CHIPS: The three goals Saturday gives Connor McLaughlin, riding a four-game point streak, the team lead with nine. . . . Gavin Currie still leads Nelson in scoring with 23 points, eight in front of Colton Schell and McLaughlin. . . .Friday Leaf minor hockey grad Adam DiBella registered no points against his hometown team. . . . The Leafs, fourth in Murdoch standings, are 2-1 in the month of November after closing out October with a 5-4 record. . . .Nelson closes out a five-game span of games away from home Friday in Fruitvale against the Beaver Valley Nitehawks. The Hawks lead the season series 2-0. . . .Next home game is Saturday against Grand Forks at 7 [email protected]
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