The congregations of two New Orleans churches, one mostly black and one mostly white, are now worshipping together in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. The black church, Grace United Methodist, was wrecked by the hurricane, while its white counterpart, First United Methodist, had been suffering declining attendance for years. But ever since the two merged into First Grace United Methodist a few months ago, in the former First United building, the pews have been filled. “This didn’t have to happen, and it’s easy to underappreciate,” said Rev. Shawn Anglim, First Grace’s pastor. “But because they’ve stayed faithful, they’ve heard a new voice.”

After languishing 50 years in a janitor’s closet in Japan, some 250 pieces of animation art from the classic Walt Disney film Sleeping Beauty are being returned to the studio that created them. The cels, backgrounds, preliminary paintings, and sketches had been sent to Japan in 1960 for an exhibit to promote the film. The pieces were displayed throughout the country, but when the tour was over, they were consigned to a storage closet and forgotten. Rediscovered in 2004, the pieces have now been restored and are on their way back to Disney. “There is no way to put a price on these works,” said company spokesman Lella Smith. “They represent our artistic heritage.”

As his train rolled through western Utah, freight conductor Ken VanMoorhem saw a stray, mangy dog, lost in the desert. But because the train couldn’t stop, the best VanMoorhem could do was tell friends about the dog’s approximate location. Soon, the female dog, a blue heeler mix, was located by rescuers. Though suffering from a broken pelvis and other problems, she is expected to recover. “The vet said she’ll be able to have a good quality of life,” said VanMoorhem, who has taken the dog in. “Her will to live and survive is amazing.”