Of mice and money

JACKSON, Mo. (AP) - October 23, 2008

A southeast Missouri man is expected to be reimbursed for about $1,000 in bills that had been munched on by rodents.

He had left the $20 bills in an unzipped vinyl bag on a desk at his home, and it was misplaced during the ice storm last winter and the flooding in March.

He eventually found the bag, and in August took it to First Missouri State Bank in Jackson in hopes of covering his losses.

Bank manager Michelle Johns said Wednesday she and two staffers picked through rodent droppings and bird feathers and reassembled the bills.

"With that mess, I didn't know if we could do anything with it," Johns said.

The U.S. Mint advised Johns that both sets of serial numbers printed on the bills must be complete to get reimbursement.

Johns said mint officials instructed her to send the reassembled bills - and the feces and feathers - to them in Washington, D.C.

The mint will then issue the customer a check for the exact amount the torn money is worth.

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