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Archive for Wednesday, September 7, 2005

KU graduate student’s relatives most likely not coming to city

September 7, 2005

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It looks like Rochelle James' parents, three sisters, a brother, a sister-in-law, two nephews and her father's ex-wife - all displaced by Hurricane Katrina - won't be moving to Lawrence.

"My folks are still in limbo," said James, a Kansas University graduate student who grew up in New Orleans and whose family's home is there.

"But my brother and sister-in-law and their 9-year-old son have decided to relocate to Salt Lake City," she said. "One of my sisters works for the (U.S. Department of Agriculture) and she's trying to get a transfer to a job somewhere else. My other sister is staying in Baton Rouge because her husband is on the (New Orleans) police force and can't leave."

A third sister and her 15-year-old son, James said, plan on returning to south Louisiana.

A sister who had stayed in New Orleans, she said, was rescued "by a boat" on Thursday.

James, 23, said she received several offers of free room and board after her family's plight was the subject of a Sept. 2 article in the Journal-World.

"People here have been very nice," she said. "My parents want everybody to know that they really appreciate all the offers. It's been uplifting."

James said her parents - her father is a retired teacher and her mother is a high school counselor - hope to move to a Red Cross shelter in Greenville, Miss., today, giving up their motel room.

Family members had been staying at the motel since evacuating New Orleans on Aug. 28. The family's home is three blocks from Lake Pontchartrain.

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