Mid Rivers Newsmagazine 11-29-23

Local news, local politics and community events for St. Charles County Missouri.

Local news, local politics and community events for St. Charles County Missouri.


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Vol. 20 No. <strong>23</strong> • November <strong>29</strong>, 20<strong>23</strong><br />

midriversnewsmagazine.com<br />


Shining light in the darkness<br />

A conversation with Rabbi Chaim Landa<br />

PLUS: Mature Focus ■ Townhomes Approved in St. Peters ■ Holiday Happenings




November <strong>29</strong>, 20<strong>23</strong><br />


I OPINION I 3<br />

Community colleges, trade schools<br />

largely void of Israel-Hamas protests<br />

TV host Mike Rowe said that eight years<br />

ago, he was switching the news channels on<br />

his television and saw several college students<br />

setting fire to the American flag and<br />

dancing around a pile of burning flags. They<br />

were telling reporters in interviews they<br />

were disgusted with Old Glory and “fearful”<br />

of the flag.<br />

“It wasn’t lost on me in the moment that<br />

all of these events were happening at what<br />

is considered the best of the best elite universities<br />

across the country,” Rowe told<br />

me. Among supposedly non-elite students,<br />

though, the situation wasn’t and isn’t as bad.<br />

Rowe said it didn’t take long for him to<br />

figure out why those “elite” students drew<br />

those conclusions about Old Glory: The<br />

idea of associating fear with the flag came<br />

from the very people who were supposed to<br />

be instructing these privileged students.<br />

Rowe said the evidence was crystal clear<br />

when Jonathan Lash, then the president of<br />

Hampshire College, chose not to assure the<br />

students that no country offers more liberties<br />

to their people and therefore there was<br />

nothing to “fear” from the flag. Instead, he<br />

spoke up in ways they understood to validate<br />

their fears.<br />

“Lash actually removed any traces of the<br />

American flag from the campus and said in<br />

a statement that removing the flag from the<br />

campus ‘will better enable us to focus our<br />

efforts on addressing racist, misogynistic,<br />

Islamophobic, anti-immigrant, antisemitic,<br />

anti-LGBTQ rhetoric and behaviors,’”<br />

Rowe explained.<br />

Lash, a former Peace Corps volunteer, federal<br />

prosecutor, Harvard graduate and president<br />

of a Washington-based environmental<br />

think tank, left the college in 2018. Hampshire<br />

College, under Lash in 2015, was one<br />

of the first elite schools in the United States<br />

not to accept SAT scores from applicants, in<br />

part because Lash said SATs were strongly<br />

biased against students of color.<br />

Rowe said that if people are shocked by<br />

the blatant antisemitism among college<br />

students and by the students’ clear lack of<br />

understanding of history, they haven’t been<br />

paying attention to the ethos of (supposedly)<br />

elite universities for at least two generations.<br />

Higher education, for decades, has been<br />

trending not liberal but radically left. Phillip<br />

Magness and David Waugh wrote earlier<br />

this year in the Independent Review that<br />

60% of faculty in universities across this<br />

country identified as “hard left.”<br />

Magness and Waugh wrote that while<br />

the modal college professor has been at the<br />

political left of the public since the 1960s,<br />

it wasn’t until very recently that this overall<br />

skew obscured an underlying stability in the<br />

political composition of faculty.<br />

Their data showed it was in 2001 that faculty<br />

majorities went from liberal to hard left<br />

and now are nearing a supermajority in the<br />

academic world.<br />

It is not lost on Rowe that the two places<br />

of higher education where you don’t see<br />

campuses erupting in violence and destroying<br />

the safety of Jewish students are trade<br />

schools and community colleges.<br />

“In 2016, I was feeling very proud to have<br />

a scholarship fund that was earmarked for<br />

trade schools when everywhere I looked, I<br />

saw people burning the flag at elite universities,”<br />

Rowe said, adding, “Maybe it happened<br />

then, or maybe it is happening now,<br />

but I looked, and I couldn’t find a single<br />

incident of a trade school or community college<br />

burning the American flag.”<br />

“These schools simply don’t go there,” he<br />

said of the trade schools and community<br />

colleges nationwide whose certificate programs<br />

and two-year degrees are designed<br />

around filling this country’s skills gap.<br />

The typical financial aid package is huge<br />

at Harvard University, in which pro-Palestinian<br />

rallies have cost the school financial<br />

support from alumni. The total budget for<br />

a student this year is $80,600, with federal<br />

scholarship amounts set at $64,500.<br />

Over 55% of the students attending Harvard<br />

received federal grants or loans.<br />

Rowe said if you want to throw a little gas<br />

on the fire of the psyche of the American sitting<br />

at home, shaking her head, wondering<br />

what these students are up to, “Just remember<br />

you’re paying for it.”<br />

The Department of Education tallies show<br />

there are nearly 4,000 colleges and universities<br />

across this country with 40% of their<br />

students holding some type of job while<br />

attending school.<br />

In contrast, there are just a little over<br />

1,000 community colleges and 7,407 trade<br />

and technical schools as of 2022 with 80%<br />

of those students employed while attending<br />

school in the former.<br />

Rowe said that when the protests at the<br />

elite universities started to unfold after the<br />

Oct. 7 massacre, he wondered what seemed<br />

so familiar. “And the answer isn’t because<br />

it’s familiar in terms of bad behavior. It was<br />

familiar because it’s another thing that never<br />

happens at schools where people go to learn<br />

a skill.”<br />

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6 I OPINION I<br />

November <strong>29</strong>, 20<strong>23</strong><br />





You ‘Musk’ be kidding me<br />

Big business sure is fun, isn’t it?<br />

Who needs daytime soap operas or the<br />

federal government to keep us entertained<br />

when corporate America is bringing this<br />

level of drama?<br />

Take Elon Musk, please! The billionaire<br />

entrepreneur and super awkward Saturday<br />

Night Live host spent most of last week<br />

convincing us that he was and then was not<br />

an antisemite. Which is correct? No idea,<br />

never met the man. Nor have 99.9% of<br />

the people who have a “very strong opinion”<br />

on the topic. That said, Musk made it<br />

way, way too easy to get painted with the<br />

brush of antisemitism, that’s for sure. Can<br />

he defend his odd posts? Sure, but it takes<br />

some serious linguistic jiu-jitsu to walk<br />

back his very public statements. Musk<br />

might be the only man alive who would<br />

buy a $44 billion platform, turn it into a<br />

$15 billion platform, use it to get labeled<br />

an antisemitic conspiracy theorist, and<br />

then declare victory for free speech.<br />

(By the way, check this out. If the controversy<br />

surrounding Musk continues and<br />

ends up getting labeled as a full-blown<br />

issue, we could call it getting “Elon-gated.”<br />

That right there is pure comedy gold.)<br />

Now, consider artificial intelligence. Not<br />

the technology, that’s what we call the Board<br />

at OpenAI who ousted their CEO out of the<br />

blue, shocking everyone (including their<br />

lead investors), and then promptly hired<br />

him back when the entire staff threatened to<br />

quit. As if AI wasn’t scary enough, we add<br />

palace intrigue between CTO Ilya Sutskever<br />

and fired/rehired CEO Sam Altman (Who<br />

is from here! Parents still live here. They<br />

might read this. Yikes!). Sutskever, whom<br />

the press keeps calling a genius, led the coup<br />

against Altman, changed his mind, and then<br />

co-signed a letter calling for his own firing<br />

from the Board. This genius-level stuff sure<br />

is complicated.<br />

Seriously though, it is easy to pick on<br />

Big Business (easy and surprisingly satisfying<br />

– I would recommend it!), but that’s<br />

not why we’re here.<br />

We’re here to make our annual plea for<br />

local readers to shop at local stores. Not<br />

exclusively, we gave up chasing that dream<br />

long ago. We know how easy it is to shop<br />

with a single click, to shop without leaving<br />

your computer screen, to shop without<br />

really having to shop. (It’s good to put a<br />

couple extra bucks into Jeff Bezos’ pockets<br />

because there is absolutely nothing super<br />

weird and creepy about that guy.)<br />

What we’re asking is that you check out<br />

your local stores as well. Eat at a local restaurant,<br />

shop at a local boutique, or let a local<br />

jeweler help you make lasting memories.<br />

We think you’re gonna find it to be<br />

worthwhile. We think your life becomes<br />

enriched when you do business with<br />

people who truly appreciate the business.<br />

We believe it comes back to you tenfold.<br />

That local business owner you’re working<br />

with has kids in the same school as you.<br />

They live nearby and pay the same taxes<br />

and drive the same streets and vote on<br />

the same issues. No, those local business<br />

owners aren’t Elon Musk or Jeff Bezos<br />

or Sam Altman, they are your neighbors.<br />

(Although, again, your neighbors could be<br />

Sam Altman’s parents, and if so tell them<br />

we said “hi” and we would love to interview<br />

them one day. Link in bio.)<br />

So, set aside some gifts on your list<br />

and drive to local places where you can<br />

buy things from a human being. Skip the<br />

online checkout and the self-checkout, and<br />

instead check out your neighbors’ stores.<br />

Every day we drive by a local restaurant<br />

that you’ve probably heard of called<br />

“Annie Gunn’s.” Now, Annie Gunn’s is<br />

not an advertiser so this is not pandering<br />

(though they should be an advertiser;<br />

if only because we’re mentioning them<br />

because we are nice despite the fact they<br />

do not advertise with us and should.) OK,<br />

that last part was pandering.<br />

Anyhoo, Annie Gunn’s is owned by the<br />

Sehnert family and has been an icon in this<br />

area for more than 30 years. The restaurant<br />

and market is currently displaying a 30-foot<br />

banner that goes across the front of their<br />

store. It’s been there since the pandemic.<br />

To us, that 30-foot banner epitomizes the<br />

spirit of local business. It reads simply,<br />

“Grateful & Thankful.” Why haven’t they<br />

taken it down? Probably because local<br />

businesses never lose that feeling of being<br />

grateful and thankful for local support.<br />

We would be grateful and thankful if you<br />

took a little time and a little money to shop<br />

and dine at a local business this holiday<br />

season.<br />

Founder<br />

Publisher Emeritus<br />

Publisher<br />

Managing Editor<br />

Associate Editor<br />

Staff Writer<br />

Features Editor<br />

Business Manager<br />

Graphic Designer<br />

Graphic Designer<br />

Graphic Layout<br />

Advertising Account Executives<br />

Nancy Anderson<br />

Vicky Czapla<br />

Ellen Hartbeck<br />

Jessica Baumgartner<br />

Bethany Coad<br />

Suzanne Corbett<br />

Robin S. Jefferson<br />

Reporters<br />

Doug Huber<br />

Sharon Huber<br />

Tim Weber<br />

Kate Uptergrove<br />

Tracey Bruce<br />

Laura Saggar<br />

Lisa Russell<br />

Erica Myers<br />

Donna Deck<br />

Aly Doty<br />

Emily Rothermich<br />

Linda Joyce<br />

Joe Ritter<br />

Sheila Roberts<br />

DeAnne LeBlanc<br />

John Tremmel<br />

Sue Zimmerman<br />

ON THE COVER: Rabbi Chaim Landa, co-director of the Chabad Jewish Center of St. Charles County<br />


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8 I NEWS I<br />

November <strong>29</strong>, 20<strong>23</strong><br />





12/1 from 5pm to 8pm & 12/2 from <strong>11</strong>am to 5pm<br />

foundryartcentre.org<br />

The 505 Foundation donated $8,000 to the St. Charles County Police Department in memory of Sgt. John C.<br />

Bush on Nov. 13. Presenting the award are members of Bush’s family.<br />

(Source - both photos: St. Charles County)<br />

NEWS<br />

BRIEFS<br />

O’FALLON<br />

Road project funding,<br />

plans remain tabled<br />

Funding and plans for the new intersection<br />

at Tom Ginnever Avenue and North<br />

Cool Springs Road remain on hold until<br />

Dec. 14.<br />

O’Fallon has been seeking to use external<br />

funds to help with the reconstruction<br />

and replacement of the Tom Ginnever<br />

Avenue and North Cool Springs Road<br />

stop-controlled intersection with a roundabout<br />

to mitigate congestion and delays,<br />

and to improve safety through this intersection.<br />

The project also would address<br />

pedestrian improvements including the<br />

installation of new 10-foot, shared-use<br />

path sections within the intersection project<br />

limits.<br />

The total project cost is estimated to be<br />

$1,518,000. The city has proposed to use<br />

$986,700 in federal funding (65% of the<br />

estimated project total) for all items that<br />

are eligible for federal reimbursement.<br />

Bill No. 7596, sponsored by Mayor Bill<br />

Hennessy, would authorize an agreement<br />

to use MoDOT Congestion Mitigation<br />

and Air Quality Funding (CMAQ) for this<br />

project. CMAQ funds actually are federal<br />

funds passed through the East-West<br />

Gateway Council of Governments and<br />

MoDOT.<br />

The City Council had planned to do a<br />

second reading and a vote for passage of<br />

the bill at its Oct. 26 meeting. However,<br />

the bill was tabled in order to collect more<br />

information and address concerns from<br />

residents, especially related to the planned<br />

roundabout.<br />

At the Nov. 16 pre-council meeting workshop,<br />

intersection plans were reviewed<br />

in detail and discussed with the council,<br />

focusing specifically on the proposed new<br />

roundabout. However, at the regular council<br />

meeting, the bill was left on the table.<br />

Asked after the meeting about the bill,<br />

Mayor Bill Hennessy explained, “It was<br />

left on the table because both (Ward 1)<br />

council members were excused from the<br />

meeting and this is in their ward. I do<br />

expect that the bill will removed from the<br />

table at the December (14) meeting and<br />

will be voted on.”<br />

City sets 20<strong>23</strong> property<br />

tax rate<br />

O’Fallon had established a 20<strong>23</strong> general<br />

property tax levy rate of $0.<strong>29</strong>17 per<br />

$100 assessed valuation. However, the<br />

city’s assessed property value after Board<br />

of Equalization review increased by<br />

$7,462,882 as compared to the information<br />

used to calculate the initial tax levy rate.<br />

Consequently, O’Fallon had proposed<br />

legislation (Bill No. 7598) that would<br />

reduce the general tax levy rate to $0.<strong>29</strong>09<br />

per $100 assessed valuation. The higher<br />

valuation and the lower rate would yield<br />

the same amount of tax revenue. The debt<br />

service tax levy rate portion of the property<br />

tax would remain the same.<br />

At its Nov. 16 meeting, the City Council<br />

approved the bill by a vote of 8-0, setting<br />

the 20<strong>23</strong> general tax levy rate at $0.<strong>29</strong>09<br />

per $100 assessed valuation. Council<br />

members Deana Smith and Ron Epps<br />

(both Ward 1) were absent/excused.<br />


Helping Hands<br />

donations sought<br />

Through Friday, Dec. 8 residents can<br />

donate winter coats, gloves and personal<br />

County Executive Steve Ehlmann congratulates<br />

Director of Administration Joann Leykam on her<br />

Lifetime Public Service Award.<br />

care items for residents in need. The items<br />

will be distributed at the St. Charles Convention<br />

Center’s annual Helping Hands for<br />

the Holidays event on Wednesday, Dec. 13.<br />

Donations can be dropped off at the following<br />

St. Charles locations:<br />

Saint Charles Convention Center<br />

1 Convention Center Plaza<br />

(636) 669-3000<br />

Upper-level Administrative Offices from<br />

8 a.m.-5 p.m., Monday through Friday.<br />

Embassy Suites Hotel<br />

2 Convention Center Plaza<br />

(636) 669-3000<br />

Donations may be dropped off in the<br />

lobby 24/7.<br />

St. Charles City Hall<br />

200 N. Second Street, #2851<br />

(636) 949-3200<br />

Donations may be dropped off in the<br />

lobby from 8 a.m.-5 p.m., Monday through<br />

Friday.<br />

New Frontier Bank<br />

1771 Zumbehl Road<br />

(636) 940-8740<br />

Donations may be dropped off in the<br />

lobby during regular business hours.<br />

St. Charles Fire Station #4<br />

3201 Boschertown Road<br />

(636) 949-3250<br />

Donations may be dropped off 24/7.



November <strong>29</strong>, 20<strong>23</strong><br />


I NEWS I 9<br />

In 2008, the Saint Charles Convention<br />

Center embarked on a mission to make a<br />

difference in the local community and produced<br />

its first annual Helping Hands for<br />

the Holidays.<br />

The Convention Center created the free<br />

event with the goal of improving the lives<br />

of people in need during the holidays. Over<br />

the years the event has surpassed 14,000<br />

attendees and many volunteers.<br />

Last year, the event saw a 55% increase<br />

in attendance from 2021, welcoming 870<br />

guests. The Convention Center partnered<br />

with CAPS of St. Charles County, Sam’s<br />

Club and Dollar General to host the 15th<br />

Annual Helping Hands event.<br />

paign will host its annual St. Charles<br />

County Elected Officials day on Saturday,<br />

Dec. 9. Meet local officials as they ring the<br />

bell at the Red Kettle.<br />

Dardenne Prairie raised $1,973.33 in<br />

20<strong>23</strong>, taking the lead of local communities.<br />

Police sergeant’s<br />

service lives on<br />

At the Nov. 13 St. Charles County Council<br />

meeting, representatives of the John<br />

Bush family presented a check for $8,000<br />

to the St. Charles County Police Department<br />

on behalf of the 505 Foundation.<br />

The foundation was created to honor the<br />

memory of Sgt. John C. Bush.<br />

Bush diligently served the county for<br />

50 years, and his family has continued<br />

that legacy through their donations toward<br />

public safety.<br />

This year, the foundation was able to provide<br />

the St. Charles County Police Department<br />

with steel targets, a brass catcher and<br />

tables for the range classroom.<br />

Director of Administration<br />

awarded for service<br />

Joann Leykam, St. Charles County<br />

Director of Administration, recently was<br />

presented with the Lifetime Public Service<br />

Award by the East-West Gateway Council<br />

of Governments.<br />

In her role with the county, she has<br />

been pivotal in many collaborative and<br />

innovative efforts, including the establishment<br />

of the St. Charles County Police<br />

Department, the Metro Air Support Unit,<br />

the St. Charles County Regional SWAT<br />

Team, the St. Charles County Drug Task<br />

Force, St. Charles County Regional<br />

Emergency Management, and the<br />

Regional Information and Intelligence<br />

Center.<br />

Pedal the Cause moves<br />

to new location<br />

Pedal the Cause is moving to the city of<br />

Saint Charles and the Family Arena for its<br />

15th annual ride in 2024.<br />

Two years ago, with news that the Chesterfield<br />

Mall would be redeveloping and<br />

with the knowledge that the ride would be<br />

outgrowing the roads and levee capacity in<br />

Chesterfield, organizers began looking for<br />

a new home.<br />

Two course options will be offered on<br />

the Katy Trail. According to the announcement,<br />

“The 20-mile and longer course will<br />

make it out to flat, newly paved roads with<br />

no traffic and incredible farmland in every<br />

direction. Rest stops will be positioned at<br />

several historic sites along the way like<br />

the historic Black Walnut Trailhead, Portage<br />

des Sioux and the Marais Temps Clair<br />

Conservation Area. Riders will make their<br />

way toward the Mississippi River where<br />

the Our Lady of the River Shrine could<br />

make the perfect spot for a water break.<br />

The Big Hitter, Metric Century and River<br />

Century rides will all pass through this<br />

beautiful place.”<br />

According to organizers, Century riders<br />

will travel to Grafton, Illinois, via ferry<br />

and enjoy the scenic River Road and Pierre<br />

Marquette Park.<br />

In 20<strong>23</strong>, Pedal the Cause donated a<br />

record-breaking $5,003,916 to Siteman<br />

Cancer Center and Siteman Kids at St.<br />

Louis Children’s Hospital to fund the best<br />

new ideas in adult and pediatric cancer<br />

research. The donation is the highest in the<br />

organization’s 14-year history. Founded in<br />

2010 with the bold model of using 100% of<br />

public donations to fund world-class cancer<br />

research, Pedal the Cause has donated more<br />

than $45.8 million to the cause, funding 2<strong>11</strong><br />

adult and pediatric projects.<br />


Salvation Army<br />

seeks donations<br />

The Salvation Army Red Kettle Cam-<br />

Freezing weather is coming!<br />

Slips and falls affect us all.<br />

Frost, ice and snow are particularly dangerous for our seniors.<br />

If you slip, give us a call!<br />

95% of our rehab residents return to home.<br />


gardenviewcarecenter.com<br />

636-240-2840 | O’FALLON<br />

636-537-3333 | CHESTERFIELD<br />

636-861-0500 | DOUGHERTY FERRY

10 I NEWS I<br />

November <strong>29</strong>, 20<strong>23</strong><br />




Chanukah: A little bit of light can change the world for the better<br />


The celebration of Chanukah runs Dec.<br />

7-15, and despite the dark tidings ongoing<br />

from Israel and the conflict in Gaza, the<br />

focus of the festival in St. Charles County<br />

will be about light – as it always has been<br />

for Chanukah, from its beginning until now,<br />

Rabbi Chaim Landa, co-director of the St.<br />

Charles Jewish Community - Chabad, said.<br />

“Chanukah is about light over darkness,”<br />

said Landa. “I think this year’s celebration<br />

is especially significant, meaningful and<br />

needed. Now, more than ever, we need<br />

this expression of light, the sense of<br />

Jewish pride; our response to the hatred<br />

of any kind is to illuminate our surroundings,<br />

stand proudly as Jews and focus on<br />

what we are fighting for. We cannot cower<br />

or hide our faith and certainly not obsess<br />

about the hate in the darkness.<br />

“That is the lesson of Chanukah, the tremendous<br />

power of light to overcome darkness.”<br />

Chanukah commemorates the rededication<br />

of the Second Temple in Jerusalem,<br />

after the Jews rose up against their<br />

Greek-Syrian oppressors in the Maccabean<br />

Revolt and were victorious. The fight was<br />

to preserve Judaism and Jews as a people.<br />

“Chanukah recalls the victory of a militarily<br />

weak but spiritually strong – Jewish<br />

people over the mighty Syrian-Greek<br />

forces who had overrun ancient Israel and<br />

also threatened to engulf the land and the<br />

people in darkness,” Landa said.<br />

Before the temple was desecrated during<br />

the occupation, the lighting of the menorah,<br />

a lamp stand with nine branches, was<br />

a daily event. After the temple was recovered,<br />

only one container of oil<br />

that had not been desecrated<br />

was discovered – only enough<br />

for one day. It took eight days<br />

to press olives into oil. Miraculously,<br />

the menorah was lit and<br />

the oil lasted eight days, according<br />

to the Babylonian Talmud.<br />

Today, the traditional celebration<br />

of that event begins with<br />

the lighting of one candle on<br />

the menorah on the first day of<br />

Chanukah with another candle<br />

lit each day until the eight days<br />

are complete.<br />

“I think this is especially<br />

important now as antisemitism has come<br />

to the fore. The menorah’s representation<br />

of the words of the sages – that ‘a little bit<br />

of light expels a lot of darkness’ becomes<br />

that much more meaningful. It shares the<br />

universal message of triumph of freedom<br />

over oppression, light over darkness, of<br />

liberty and independence; and one and<br />

all it’s a story of the Jewish people, it is<br />

our story. Unfortunately, it has been a<br />

reoccurring theme,” Landa said. “But the<br />

Jewish people are an eternal people, and<br />

we will not only embrace our Jewishness,<br />

but embrace it more proudly, more openly<br />

with more confidence. We’ll stand tall.<br />

We’ll stand strong.<br />

Landa said during these difficult times<br />

people need to be proactive to make a<br />

difference. Landa is a student of the late<br />

Rebbe Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson,<br />

(the Rebbe) who has been called the<br />

most influential Jewish leader of the 20th<br />

century and is the leader of the Chabad-<br />

Lubavitch movement.<br />

The Dreidel Man is a favorite part of Chanukah on Main in<br />

Saint Charles.<br />

(Source: Rabbi Chaim Landa)<br />

“The real battle ... is a spiritual battle.<br />

There are people trying to make our world<br />

dark. They are terrorists. They are creating<br />

terror. We have to be responsible, We have<br />

to remain positive, not let fear trip us or<br />

hate destroy us,” Landa said. “We can’t<br />

wait for positivity or light to come upon<br />

us; we have to be intentional about it.<br />

“I think that’s always but especially when<br />

there are other forces of negativity, of<br />

darkness and hatred, that makes it so much<br />

more important to go out and positively<br />

engage and appreciate the next person<br />

for who they are. Celebrate your heritage<br />

proudly openly.<br />

“Sometimes it seems like what we are<br />

doing can be insignificant – giving charity<br />

daily, doing a good deed, being kind<br />

to another person, it can seem like this is<br />

small stuff. If the message of Chanukah is<br />

that a little bit of light can push away a lot<br />

of darkness. Just imagine what a whole lot<br />

of light can do. Light will always prevail<br />

over darkness.”<br />

“What the Rebbe has taught us is that<br />

every single individual or individual<br />

good deed can change this world for<br />

the better and never underestimate it.”<br />

The reminder of Chanukah is not<br />

only to bring light but show that light<br />

to others. It is a holiday celebrated in<br />

the open, publicly rather than in the<br />

home or synagogue, he said.<br />

“This holiday is in the streets; it’s<br />

by the window,” Landa said. “I think<br />

that it is coming at a very important<br />

time. People, Jewish people and I think<br />

people of all faiths need this message<br />

of hope of light and of pride. We should<br />

be proud Jews, openly, publicly … We<br />

are proud of who we are.”<br />

Landa said they are expecting very large<br />

turnouts for all the events planned in St.<br />

Charles County for Chanukah.<br />

“We’re gearing up for a very, very busy<br />

Chanukah season,” he said.<br />

Plans include lighting a menorah in Berthold<br />

Square Park in Historic Saint Charles<br />

on Dec. 10. The event will begin at 5 p.m.<br />

In addition to lighting the menorah, there<br />

will be sufganiyot, (jelly donuts), hot latkes<br />

(potato pancakes), the Dreidel Man, and<br />

traditional games, such as dreidels (spinning<br />

tops). The Chabad will also be giving<br />

away menorahs to anyone who wants one,<br />

Landa said.<br />

“The Jewish people need it. St. Charles<br />

needs it. America needs it. The world needs<br />

it,” Landa said of Chanukah on Main and<br />

other public celebrations. This is the story<br />

of the effort to wipe out the Jewish nation,<br />

but the Jewish nation is not only surviving<br />

but thriving and celebrating, and that is<br />

what we are going to do,” he said.<br />

Capital Improvement Sales Tax retention proposed for April ballot<br />


At its Nov. 13 meeting, the St. Charles<br />

County Council introduced Bill No. 5243,<br />

proposing the reauthorization of the current<br />

1/4-cent capital improvement sales tax<br />

by placing it on the April 2, 2024, ballot for<br />

a vote of the people.<br />

The bill was sponsored by council<br />

member and chair Terry Hollander (District<br />

5). If normal process and timing are followed,<br />

the bill will receive a vote for passage<br />

at the next council meeting on Nov. 27.<br />

If the voters approve the ballot item on<br />

April 2, a sales tax would be retained at the<br />

current rate of 1/4 cent to provide funding<br />

for capital equipment necessary to the<br />

overall design, construction, furnishing,<br />

equipping, and maintaining the operation<br />

of county capital improvements. The tax<br />

would be effective Jan. 1, 2027, and would<br />

sunset on Dec. 31, 2041, unless renewed<br />

by the voters.<br />

Past projects funded by the capital<br />

improvements sales tax included the first<br />

responder communication system for<br />

all police, fire and ambulance services<br />

throughout the county; the Pet Adoption<br />

Center, which serves the unincorporated<br />

area and all municipalities desiring to have<br />

the county serve as its kennel; the County<br />

Administration Building: the Courts Building;<br />

the Emergency Operations Center;<br />

the Juvenile Detention Center; the County<br />

Police Department; the Law Enforcement<br />

Training Center; and the renovation of the<br />

Adult Corrections Center to add additional<br />

space for jail cells.<br />

The Capital Improvement Sales Tax was<br />

first approved by voters on the Aug. 6, 1991,<br />

ballot at a rate of 1/4 cent for a period of 15<br />

years. Then was renewed by the voters in<br />

2005 at 1/5 cent for the period of 15 years<br />

from Jan. 1, 2007, through Dec. 31, 2021.<br />

In 2009 the county became aware it<br />

needed to replace the law enforcement,<br />

fire and emergency medical communication<br />

system for police, fire and ambulance<br />

communication throughout the county, so<br />

it requested the voters to return the tax to<br />

its original rate of 1/4 cent at the election<br />

in August 2009. The voters approved; the<br />

1/4 cents tax was set for 15 years from Jan.<br />

1, 20<strong>11</strong>, through Dec. 31, 2026, then the<br />

tax is to return to 1/5 cents from Jan. 1,<br />

2027, through Dec. 31, 2031.<br />

In 20<strong>23</strong>, the county said it now recognizes<br />

the need for:<br />

• Upkeep of the law enforcement, fire and<br />

emergency medical system radio system<br />

serving not only the county but also all<br />

municipalities, fire districts and the ambulance<br />

district.<br />

• Coverage of the annual costs of operating<br />

the 9<strong>11</strong> system throughout the county.<br />

• Building maintenance.<br />

• Bonds payments of the Emergency<br />

Operations Center.<br />

• Expansion of the countywide jail.<br />

• Future expansion needs of the county<br />

police laboratory, which serves all county<br />

municipalities as well as county police.<br />

• Additional space for the county’s Pet<br />

Adoption Center which serves any municipality<br />

within the county choosing to house<br />

dogs and other animals there.<br />

Those identified needs require keeping<br />

the Capital Improvement Sales Tax at the<br />

current rate of 1/4 cent and not reducing it<br />

to 1/5 cent in 2027.



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12 I NEWS I<br />

November <strong>29</strong>, 20<strong>23</strong><br />


The Best<br />

in Steaks,<br />

Seafood, Pasta & Mediterranean Cuisine<br />

Happy Hour Menu!<br />

Tuesday - Thursday 4-6:30pm and Friday 4-6pm<br />

includes choice of soup or salad, entree, sides except for pasta, dessert, and beverage!<br />

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636.916.1454<br />

2275 Bluestone Dr. • St. Charles<br />

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per visit, per table. Void with other offers or specials.<br />

Present coupon when ordering. NO CASH VALUE. Please<br />

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636.916.1454<br />

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View the Full Dinner Menu at<br />

www.spirosrestaurant.com or call 636.916.1454<br />


At its Nov. 16 meeting, the O’Fallon<br />

City Council gave first readings to Bill<br />

No. 7602 for the proposed 2024 City<br />

Budget and Bill No. 7606 for the proposed<br />

2024-20<strong>29</strong> Capital Improvement<br />

Plan. Both bills were sponsored by Mayor<br />

Bill Hennessy.<br />

The council had conducted discussions<br />

about the proposed budget at a workshop<br />

on Oct. 19 and at the Oct. 26 council<br />

meeting.<br />

Because the budgets must be passed<br />

prior to year-end, both bills will receive<br />

second readings and votes for passage at<br />

the Dec. 14 council meeting.<br />

The budget consists of 18 different<br />

funds with anticipated revenues of<br />

$132,439,654 and planned expenditures<br />

of $143,108,384 (including transfers). It<br />

reflects direction provided to city staff<br />

during budget preparation along with<br />

goals identified in the city’s Strategic<br />

Plan. The 2024 budgeted expenditures are<br />

about $14.2 million or <strong>11</strong>% higher than<br />

20<strong>23</strong>. The number of full-time positions<br />

authorized for 2024 is 13 or 2.7% higher<br />

than 20<strong>23</strong>.<br />

The Capital Improvement Plan (CIP)<br />

includes $133,161,218 for 2024. That is<br />

about $10 million or 8.2% higher than<br />

20<strong>23</strong>. The CIP is for planning purposes<br />

and does not constitute an adopted budget.<br />

Its purpose is to systematically plan,<br />

schedule and finance capital projects to<br />

ensure cost-effectiveness and conformance<br />

with established policies. It also<br />

provides a basis for funding future capital<br />

projects based on available resources.<br />



O’Fallon City Council to vote on<br />

2024 budgets at Dec. 14 meeting<br />

Schaefer Autobody Centers is hosting<br />

a Holiday Toy Drive through Dec. 15 in<br />

support of St. Louis Children’s Hospital’s<br />

Snowflake Village program.<br />

The Snowflake Village is an in-hospital<br />

“toy store” that ensures every child receives<br />

a special gift during the holiday season.<br />

The donations create a festive atmosphere<br />

for families facing challenging circumstances.<br />

A particular need is for teen gifts such<br />

as Lego sets, sports apparel, and spa items.<br />

Infant toys, including board books, rattles,<br />

and lovies, are also in high demand. An<br />

Amazon wish list from Children’s Hospital<br />

of the most wished-for items can be found<br />

on the Schaefer Autobody Centers’ website<br />

(schaeferautobody.com/toys). Monetary<br />

donations can also be made through<br />

2024 Budget Funds Expenses<br />

• General: $40,301,321<br />

• Street & Road Improvement:<br />

$24,791,726<br />

• Sewer: $21,088,415<br />

• Water: $16,676,138<br />

• Recreation: $9,222,013<br />

• Police & Road Improvement:<br />

$8,427,593<br />

• Environmental Services: $5,924,136<br />

• Debt Service: $4,333,634<br />

• Police Training Facility: $3,770,000<br />

• Renaud Center: $3,242,041<br />

• Stormwater: $2,101,317<br />

• Sewer Lateral Insurance: $971,183<br />

• Transient Guest Tax: $942,840<br />

• CBDG: $520,785<br />

• Public Venue: $469,689<br />

• Water Service Line Insurance: $256,853<br />

• Inmate Security: $38,700<br />

• Police Training: $30,000<br />

The 2024 budget includes 490 personnel<br />

authorized at the beginning of the year,<br />

plus <strong>11</strong> newly authorized, resulting in 501<br />

total authorized full-time positions.<br />

2024 Capital Improvement Plan<br />

• General: $40,326,321<br />

• Street & Road Improvement:<br />

$24,448,094<br />

• Sewer: $21,088,415<br />

• Water: $16,683,563<br />

• Recreation: $9,222,013<br />

• Police & Road Improvement (Use Tax):<br />

$8,427,593<br />

• Environmental Services: $5,924,136<br />

• Renaud Center: $3,242,041<br />

• Stormwater: $2,101,317<br />

• Sewer Lateral Insurance: $971,183<br />

• Public Venue: $469,689<br />

• Water Service Line Insurance: $256,853<br />

Toy donations sought for St. Louis Children’s Hospital<br />

the same website.<br />

St. Louis Children’s Hospital kindly asks<br />

donors to avoid contributing items such as<br />

play guns, Nerf guns or other toy weapons,<br />

latex balloons, candy, gum or other food,<br />

scary or violent action figures or dolls, and<br />

used toys or books. Handmade items are<br />

also not recommended for donation.<br />

New, unwrapped toys can be dropped<br />

off at any of Schaefer’s 13 area locations,<br />

including:<br />

• St. Peters, 4170 N, Service Road<br />

• O’Fallon, #1 Team Drive<br />

• Wentzville, 2530 E. Pitman Street<br />

In addition to supporting Snowflake Village,<br />

the donations will help sustain the<br />

hospital’s ability to celebrate important<br />

childhood milestones, including holidays,<br />

birthdays and treatment milestones.



November <strong>29</strong>, 20<strong>23</strong><br />


Townhomes at Lienemann Park development approved in St. Peters<br />

I NEWS I 13<br />


A new single-family townhome development<br />

was approved at the Nov. 9 St. Peters<br />

Board of Aldermen meeting. This came<br />

after the senior purchasing manager of<br />

Lombardo Homes, Steve Valentine, gave<br />

a presentation noting updates that have<br />

been added to the Harvey Fred Lienemann<br />

Unified Credit Trust and Lombardo Homes<br />

of St. Louis, LLC’s plans to better serve<br />

residents.<br />

Lienemann noted that the 22-acre site is<br />

set to house around 226 new units, as well<br />

as a new city park. It will be developed in<br />

two phases. He said Lombardo took tree<br />

preservation into serious account during<br />

the planning process. The project goal was<br />

to preserve about 50% of the existing trees.<br />

With additional clearing added for parking<br />

for the new park, as well as clearing for rerouting<br />

stormwater, the final approved plan<br />

preserved 49.1% of the site’s tree cover.<br />

“We believe that an outdoor lifestyle is<br />

our selling feature,” Valentine noted.<br />

In addition to the preserved trees, the<br />

planned layout includes additional greenery<br />

that will be planted around the townhomes<br />

and in the courtyard. The new community<br />

will offer additional amenities that include<br />

a pool, clubhouse, dog park, playground,<br />

courtyard fire pits and connectivity to the<br />

proposed Lienemann Park and its nature<br />

walking trail. The units themselves are to be<br />

designed with varying colors and styles to<br />

give them a unique look that ensures that no<br />

two units are the same.<br />

Valentine explained that the developer<br />

reached out to the Francis Howell School<br />

District to determine what kind of impact<br />

the development would have on it. Jennifer<br />

Jolls, the district’s chief communications<br />

officer, provided demographic information<br />

that indicated “no space issues exist<br />

currently, and enrollment is anticipated to<br />

remain relatively stable through the period<br />

noted.”<br />

“Typically, impacts from housing of this<br />

nature bring limited student enrollment<br />

increases,” Jolls noted.<br />

Concerns regarding water runoff were<br />

also addressed. Stormwater concerns<br />

were brought to light in the early stages<br />

of planning. In order to better serve the<br />

community, the developer reconfigured<br />

the plans to eliminate a proposed basketball<br />

court to grow both detention basins.<br />

In addition, Linemann Park is expected to<br />

provide ample space for water flow, while<br />

an easement that runs the entire length of<br />

“This has been looked at<br />

so many ways and made<br />

better each time. Is it<br />

100% to my agreement?<br />

No. But it’s 95% there.”<br />

– Alderman Patrick Barclay<br />

the northern border is expected to aid with<br />

runoff. The current site layout is designed<br />

to work with existing waterways and eliminate<br />

the need for retaining walls as much<br />

as possible, which also aids in preventing<br />

drastic water impacts on existing residential<br />

land.<br />

A homeowners association is slated to<br />

be created so that residents within the new<br />

community will take over ownership of<br />

the area once the development is finished.<br />

Alderman Dr. Gregg Sartorious (Ward 2)<br />

expressed concerns regarding the HOA.<br />

“Some of them are in dire straits,” Sartorius<br />

said.<br />

He then described how a lack of funds<br />

has led homeowners to pay $300 a month,<br />

yet their siding is still chipping and other<br />

problems are arising. He asked if there is<br />

an upfront fee being instituted in home<br />

buying costs within the development to<br />

ensure that the HOA is started with the<br />

funding it needs to achieve longevity.<br />

“This is something Lombardo takes pride<br />

in,” Valentine said. “Many of the HOAs in<br />

the area start off in debt. Lombardo has a<br />

history of ensuring that they do not hand it<br />

over to the HOA in debt.<br />

He explained that the early years of<br />

development can be difficult for budgeting<br />

as the community begins.<br />

“Relative to the pre-funding,” Valentine<br />

said, “there is a capitalization fee that<br />

varies based on the community which budgets<br />

with the HOA companies to ensure<br />

that they have a great operating budget and<br />

that upon each closing on homes puts in<br />

$1,000 for the HOA account to ensure that<br />

the association gets a proper start.”<br />

Alderman Patrick Barclay (Ward 4)<br />

praised the developer for taking the time to<br />

make the project fit the community.<br />

“I want to just thank not only the developers<br />

to landowners, the realtor, especially<br />

the staff and employees,” he said. “This<br />

has been looked at so many ways and<br />

made better each time. Is it 100% to my<br />

agreement? No. But it’s 95% there.”<br />

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<strong>11</strong>/20/<strong>23</strong> 10:04 AM

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November <strong>29</strong>, 20<strong>23</strong><br />


I SCHOOLS I 15<br />


BOARD<br />


Hardin educator earns<br />

prestigious award<br />

On Nov. 17, Leah Lawrence, a seventhgrade<br />

English language arts teacher at<br />

Hardin <strong>Mid</strong>dle School became the first<br />

Milken Educator Award recipient in the<br />

city of St. Charles School District’s history.<br />

Bestowed by the Milken Family Foundation,<br />

the award recognizes outstanding<br />

K-12 educators nationwide for their excellence<br />

and leadership. Along with the honor<br />

comes a $25,000 unrestricted cash award.<br />

Milken Educator Awards Vice President<br />

Stephanie Bishop was joined by Missouri<br />

Commissioner of Education Margie<br />

Vandeven to surprise Lawrence at an allschool<br />

assembly.<br />

She is one of up to 75 recipients across<br />

the country who will be honored in 20<strong>23</strong>-<br />

24 as part of the Milken Family Foundation’s<br />

Journey to the 3,000th Milken<br />

Educator. Hailed as the “Oscars of Teaching,”<br />

the awards will reach $75 million in<br />

individual financial prizes in 20<strong>23</strong>-2024<br />

and more than $144 million invested in the<br />

Milken Educator Award national network<br />

overall.<br />

“We are thrilled to have the Milken<br />

Family Foundation recognize one of<br />

Missouri’s exceptional teachers with this<br />

award,” said Commissioner of Education<br />

Margie Vandeven. “The hard work that<br />

Leah does every day to use both creativity<br />

and data to drive her instruction and help<br />

her students succeed is so exciting.”<br />

Outside the classroom, Lawrence serves<br />

as a mentor to new teachers and as Hardin’s<br />

English language arts department chair. She<br />

has presented on a wide range of instructional<br />

topics, including at the district’s orientation<br />

for new teachers, the Missouri Association of<br />

Secondary School Principals, and at Lindenwood<br />

University, her alma mater.<br />

Lawrence is a three-time Lindenwood<br />

University graduate, earning a Bachelor of<br />

Arts in English education in 2007, a Master<br />

of Arts in education in 2012, and an education<br />

specialist degree in school administration<br />

in 2016.<br />

Howell <strong>Mid</strong>dle rallies around<br />

breast cancer survivors<br />

Last month, Francis Howell <strong>Mid</strong>dle<br />

wore pink in solidarity with and to raise<br />

awareness of those fighting breast cancer.<br />

The entire student body went on a mission<br />

to garner support for Pink Ribbon Good, a<br />

nonprofit organization.<br />

Recognizing that many students have<br />

been impacted personally by cancer and<br />

wanting to honor several teachers who<br />

have fought and survived breast cancer,<br />

the students planned the Pink Out Pep<br />

Rally on Oct. 27<br />

As part of the planning, students learned<br />

that Pink RIbbon Good exists to serve each<br />

person and family affected by breast and<br />

gynecological cancer. The organization<br />

provides free healthy meals, rides to treatment,<br />

house cleaning, essentials and peer<br />

support so that no one is alone in the fight.<br />

“I think the reality is that everyone has<br />

personal experiences or connections to<br />

cancer,” Principal Kirsteen James said. “I<br />

have experienced the loss of my grandfather<br />

and father-in-law, and my father is<br />

currently in treatment. Specifically as a<br />

building principal, I have seen some of the<br />

bravest, strongest, most resilient women<br />

fight long and hard and persevere … all<br />

while being incredible teachers, para educators,<br />

administrative assistants, wives and<br />

Retirement & Assisted Living Community<br />

cordially invites you to our<br />

Holiday<br />

Boutique<br />

Tuesday, December 5, 20<strong>23</strong> • 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.<br />

Shop a variety of vendors including:<br />

Betty's Baubles and Beads, Augusta/Montelle/Balducci and<br />

Mount Pleasant Wineries, Mary Kay Cosmetics, Paper Pie Books,<br />

Dot's Chocolate Shop, Live Laugh Love Create, Kordick’s Creations,<br />

Wild & Wooley, Whistle Shop 301, Pampered Chef, and Touchstone Crystal.<br />

Holiday Sweets Buffet including Cookies and Cupcakes,<br />

Give-a-Ways, Festive Music & Tours!<br />

RSVP to Rhonnie at RAyden@delmargardens.com or call 636-242-8842.<br />

7092 S. Outer 364 • O’Fallon, MO 63368<br />

DelmarGardens.com<br />

mothers. They are truly some of the most<br />

inspiring women I have had the privilege<br />

of knowing.”<br />

Setting a goal to beat the $2,500 raised<br />

last year, the student council jumped into<br />

action, selling pink items and planning the<br />

pep rally. Each year the school designs and<br />

offers special edition Pink Vikings spirit<br />

wear for students and families that wish to<br />

purchase and which 100% of all proceeds<br />

are donated to the Pink Ribbon Good nonprofit.<br />

Ultimately, the 20<strong>23</strong> Pink Out Pep<br />

Rally raised $2,500 for Pink Ribbon Good.

16 I SCHOOLS I<br />

November <strong>29</strong>, 20<strong>23</strong><br />


an ESSENTIAL part of your<br />




Immanuel Lutheran welcomes<br />

best-selling ‘What if?’ author<br />

<strong>Mid</strong><strong>Rivers</strong><strong>Newsmagazine</strong>.com<br />

is updated daily<br />

with the local news,<br />

events and information that<br />

impact your world.<br />

The benefits of exercise have been<br />

well established for people living with<br />

Parkinson's Disease (PD). What's<br />

been found is that not all exercises<br />

are created equal.<br />

People with Parkinson's have<br />

symptoms that affect movement.<br />

One of the most common is rigidity.<br />

When someone has rigidity, they will<br />

have extreme stiffness in one or<br />

more areas of their body. This<br />

makes it difficult for them to achieve<br />

fluid, natural looking movements.<br />

Another symptom affecting people<br />

with Parkinson's is bradykinesia, or<br />

slowness of movement. This can<br />

impact trying to start a motion as well<br />

as carry out a movement.<br />

People with Parkinson's often<br />

experience lack of coordination with<br />

their movements. This can result in<br />

poor balance, falls and difficulty<br />

carrying out daily tasks.<br />

Another area that suffers with<br />

Parkinson's disease is the<br />

automaticity of certain tasks. This<br />

means it takes someone with<br />

Parkinson's more concentration to<br />

perform simple tasks that the rest of<br />

us do on "autopilot".<br />

Exercises specifically designed to<br />

target these problem areas have<br />

been very successful in improving<br />

PD symptoms. This makes it crucial<br />

to find someone who is trained in<br />

Parkinson's specific exercises.<br />

It's common that people have<br />

symptoms for several years before<br />

getting an actual diagnosis. So even<br />






If you are newly diagnosed, you've<br />

probably been experiencing some<br />

of these symptoms for several<br />

months to years. That's why it's<br />

never too early or too late to start<br />

exercising.<br />

Want to learn more about the best<br />

exercise options for people living<br />

with PD? Then register to attend<br />

our “Parkinson's and Exercise”<br />

Talk at HouseFit. During this FREE<br />

Community Talk we will cover:<br />

Why you shouldn't accept<br />

losing your independence with<br />

PD.<br />

How intense exercise helps you<br />

slow the progression.<br />

How exercise can improve your<br />

balance and even prevent falls.<br />

Why everyone with PD needs<br />

to be seen by a Physical<br />

Therapist.<br />

Why PWR!Moves are a great<br />

option for anyone with PD.<br />

When: Fri, December 8th at 2:30<br />

pm<br />

Where: 3809 Lemay Ferry Rd,<br />

63125<br />

*Attend in-person or join us online<br />

from your home. Space is limited.<br />

Call (314) 939-1377 to register.<br />

3809 Lemay Ferry Rd.<br />

Saint Louis, MO 63125<br />

(314) 939-1377<br />

info@housefitstl.com<br />

HouseFit www.housefitstl.com<br />

Laura Numeroff with Immanuel Lutheran students.<br />


If you give a school a book, an author<br />

may come to visit. At least, that is what<br />

happened at Immanuel Lutheran St.<br />

Charles, when Laura Numeroff, author of<br />

the widely popular “If You Give a Mouse a<br />

Cookie” series, came to visit.<br />

On Friday, Nov. 10, the entire student<br />

body had the opportunity to meet and greet<br />

Numeroff, who interacted with all classes<br />

from preschool through the middle grades.<br />

The event was the brainchild of kindergarten<br />

teacher Darlene Rockenbach, who<br />

is currently in her ninth year of teaching<br />

at Immanuel but has taught in elementary<br />

schools for 30 years across the states of<br />

Nebraska and Missouri.<br />

A passionate advocate for reading<br />

instruction, Rockenbach believes if students<br />

learn to read they can accomplish any<br />

of their life goals. For her, inviting authors<br />

to school is nothing new.<br />

“While I was in Nebraska<br />

I’d get famous authors to<br />

come to my school and do<br />

presentations,” Rockenbach<br />

explained. “It got our students<br />

excited about reading<br />

and writing. I wanted to<br />

create this same excitement<br />

at Immanuel Lutheran.”<br />

Rockenbach started communicating<br />

with Numeroff<br />

more than a year prior to<br />

the visit, trying to schedule<br />

a good date. Last year, fundraisers<br />

were in anticipation<br />

of the big day and students<br />

spent time getting ready to ask solid questions.<br />

“Students spent time doing art projects<br />

and writing their own “What If …” stories.<br />

Laura was excited to read their thoughts<br />

and see the artwork!” Rockenbach<br />

exclaimed.<br />

Zillah and Numeroff<br />

(Source: Immanuel Lutheran School)<br />

Numeroff began her visit by reading<br />

some of her own books to Immanuel’s preschool<br />

classes. Springboarding off her own<br />

experiences and tailoring her explanations<br />

to each grade category, she explained how<br />

she created books – viewing words as if<br />

put together like a puzzle.<br />

“Don’t give up,” Numeroff told the students.<br />

She said “If You Give A Mouse a<br />

Cookie” was rejected nine times before a<br />

publisher accepted it. She also explained<br />

that rejection and editing, which can feel<br />

like another obstacle, come with the territory<br />

of being a writer. Demonstrating that<br />

perseverance pays off, she relayed that she<br />

recently sold the rights to her 48th book.<br />

A more interactive presentation was<br />

given to the sixth through eighth grades in<br />

the form of a writer’s workshop at which<br />

Numeroff asked students to read their own<br />

“What If” stories.<br />

“Our students were excited<br />

and very brave to get up and<br />

read to her,” Rockenbach<br />

said. “She encouraged students<br />

to be careful on how<br />

many “what ifs” and “thens”<br />

to use in their writing.”<br />

In discussing how the<br />

publishing process works,<br />

Numeroff talked about the<br />

ins and outs of getting an<br />

illustrator involved in the<br />

book process, including how<br />

she had illustrated several of<br />

her own books when she was<br />

getting started.<br />

An avid animal lover, she<br />

connected with Immanuel Lutheran’s<br />

comfort dog, Zillah. In 2016, she released<br />

the book “Raising a Hero,” which supports<br />

Canine Companions for Independence and<br />

represents all those – human and canine –<br />

helping children, adults and veterans with<br />

disabilities and special needs.

18 I<br />

November <strong>29</strong>, 20<strong>23</strong><br />




On the Bookshelf: A selection of local authors’ books worth gifting<br />


Every year dozens of local authors<br />

release a wide range of books on topics that<br />

are close at hand and deep in their imaginations.<br />

Either way, a book is a journey that<br />

begins with the flip of the first page.<br />

Among the latest titles from these local<br />

authors, you might find a journey you want<br />

to take or one you want to share as a gift<br />

this holiday season.<br />


In “Walking South City: A Journey<br />

Through Historic St. Louis Neighborhoods,”<br />

Jim Merkel sets out on a walk<br />

that takes him block-by-block through the<br />

tales of history and community in South St.<br />

Louis. Along the way, he ponders how the<br />

area has changed over time. Join him as he<br />

interviews some of the unique characters<br />

and leaders who help maintain the city,<br />

encounters quirky stores and restaurants,<br />

and enjoys beautiful scenery in parks and<br />

on restored streets.<br />

Merkel loves St. Louis, possibly because<br />

one branch of his history-loving family<br />

moved there before the Civil War. A longtime<br />

local journalist and author, he always<br />

finds hope in the underdogs – in neighborhoods<br />

that have come back to life after<br />

decades of decline and people whose love<br />

for their homes and neighbors remains<br />

steadfast.<br />

Merkel has written five books about the<br />

Gateway City, including “Hoosiers and<br />

Scrubby Dutch: St. Louis’ South Side.” His<br />

books are available at jimmerkelthewriter.<br />

com and through local publisher Reedy<br />

Press (reedypress.com), where you will<br />

find plenty of other local authors.<br />

“The Gateway Arch: An Illustrated<br />

Timeline” by John C. Guenther, FAIA,<br />

LEED AP seeks to “connect the dots” of<br />

history and take readers on a journey of discovery<br />

not unlike the one Lewis and Clark<br />

through key events, assisted by historic<br />

images. Readers can enjoy a chronological<br />

look at the historic foundations of the Jefferson<br />

National Expansion Memorial, starting<br />

from the very beginning: when the Louisiana<br />

territory was controlled by France.<br />

As the “Gateway to the West,” St. Louis<br />

has served a central role in U.S. history. It<br />

was here that Lewis and Clark began their<br />

Corps of Discovery Expedition (1804–<br />

1806) and steamboats docked during the<br />

country’s Golden Age of Steamboating. St.<br />

Louis is also where the Missouri-Pacific<br />

Railroad began, in 1849, to forge a path to<br />

the west coast.<br />

An architect who has produced a distinguished<br />

body of architecture that contributes<br />

significantly to the built environment,<br />

Guenther explains how Eero Saarinen’s<br />

Gateway Arch became a powerful and<br />

symbolic expression of westward exploration.<br />

With projects ranging from the adaptive<br />

reuse of historic landmarks to new<br />

projects that fit into their physical, environmental,<br />

social and historical context,<br />

Guenther is uniquely qualified to write on<br />

the intersection of history and architecture.<br />

Furthermore, he serves as the president of<br />

the Society of Architectural Historians – St.<br />

Louis Chapter and co-founded and taught<br />

<strong>Mid</strong>-Century Modernism in St. Louis 1930-<br />

1970 at Washington University in St. Louis.<br />

His book can be found at reedypress.<br />

com.<br />

In another journey through history,<br />

authors Cameron Collins and Dennis Dillion<br />

revisit some of the “Lost Treasures of<br />

St. Louis.” Their latest work is the second<br />

edition of “Lost Treasures” and features<br />

130 new memories of the people, places<br />

and things that are woven into the identity<br />

of St. Louis and her citizens.<br />

Chock full of photos, this beautiful<br />

coffee table book makes a perfect gift for<br />

anyone whose ever said, “Do you remember<br />

…?” or “Remember when ….” With<br />

help from Collins and Dillion, readers can<br />

travel back to places they thought they had<br />

forgotten and discover quirky St. Louis<br />

history that to them is new.<br />

“Lost Treasures of St. Louis” is another<br />

offering from Reedy Press (reedypress.<br />

com), which is known for its impressive,<br />

photo-centric histories.<br />

In “Convinced? Decisive Answers to<br />

the 21 Most Challenging Questions,” coauthors<br />

Dan Manternach and C.J. Rysen<br />

take readers through more than four years<br />

of research into scientific proof, historical<br />

records and reasoned logic on the way to<br />

answering 21 of the most often asked and<br />

difficult questions challenging Christianity.<br />

The duo points to a “cosmic harmony<br />

of science, scripture and reason” that they<br />

say even the most ardent skeptic will find<br />

hard to deny. “In fact,” Rysen says, “Our<br />

research is so well-documented with over<br />

400 annotations and references that the<br />

onus will be on the skeptic to keep an open<br />

mind and remain intellectually honest with<br />

themselves.”<br />

Manternach and Rysen say you don’t<br />

have to replace intellectual honesty with<br />

“blind faith” to believe the Bible is divinely<br />

inspired and without error. But the two<br />

retired executives invite readers to judge<br />

for themselves. Their book can be found<br />

at BarnesandNoble.com and Amazon.com.<br />

“And Then You Went Missing,” is a<br />

self-help guide that encourages readers to<br />

take a good hard look at the relationships<br />

that cause them unhappiness<br />

and consider<br />

what they can do to find<br />

serenity regardless of the<br />

choices of other people.<br />

Drawing on her personal<br />

experiences and<br />

those from her coaching<br />

practice, Sonja Meyrer<br />

leads readers on a journey<br />

of rediscovery as<br />

she reveals the avenues<br />

she explored in finding<br />

strength, courage and<br />

her best self. Meyrer<br />

provides readers with<br />

practical tools to help set<br />

boundaries and protect<br />

what matters most.<br />

A certified professional<br />

recovery coach, Meyrer is wellversed<br />

in helping people navigate difficult<br />

relationships. She said she wrote this book<br />

because a workshop participant asked her<br />

to do so. In its creation, she wanted to provide<br />

a step-by-step action plan for preparing<br />

to set firm, life-changing boundaries<br />

that last.” Her book is available through<br />

sonjamcoaching.com.<br />


In her latest work of historical fiction,<br />

author Pat Whaler weaves a story around<br />

the life of self-taught artist Rose O’Neill,<br />

who traveled from the <strong>Mid</strong>west to New<br />

York in 1893, determined to become an<br />

illustrator in a field dominated by men.<br />

Mindful of her duty to the impoverished<br />

family she left behind, Rose’s obligations<br />

require her to yield to the men who hold<br />

the reins of her career.<br />

Yet despite the obstacles facing her, she<br />

excels at her craft, eventually designing a<br />

new character, the Kewpie, from which the<br />

Kewpie Doll was born.<br />

“The Rose of Washington Square”<br />

gives insight into a woman that readers will<br />

not soon forget: illustrator, artist, writer,<br />

suffragist, and philanthropist – all brought<br />

to life masterfully by Whaler. In September,<br />

“The Rose of Washington Square”<br />

won the Missouri Writers Guild Show Me<br />

Your Best Award. In August it was longlisted<br />

for the esteemed Chanticleer Goethe<br />

Book Award.<br />

In May, it was named a finalist in the<br />

Readers’ Choice Book awards.<br />

An avid reader since childhood, Whaler<br />

says writing became a reality for her when<br />

editors began to accept her stories a dozen<br />

or so years ago. Today, she has eight published<br />

works – two historical novels, two<br />

in the holiday fiction category and a threepart<br />

romance series. Locally her books are<br />

available at Main Street<br />

Books, 307 S. Main St.<br />

in historic Saint Charles,<br />

and at the usual places<br />

online. Learn more at<br />

patwhaler.com.<br />

It’s the 1890s and<br />

young entertainers Billy<br />

Brannigan and Daniel<br />

Baron are on the road to<br />

fame and fortune but not<br />

without some misadventures<br />

and mayhem along<br />

the way. In “Baron &<br />

Brannigan: Book 1,<br />

Song and Dance” by<br />

Ed Farber, unexpected<br />

detours take the young<br />

duo from Doc Noble’s<br />

<strong>Mid</strong>west medicine show to a traveling<br />

minstrel show and finally the gas-lit stages<br />

of old New York’s gaudy music halls and<br />

vaudeville theaters.<br />

As they hone their song and dance act,<br />

they mix with talented performers, zany<br />

songwriters and popular celebrities of the<br />

era including champion boxer John L. Sullivan.<br />

Both find romance. Billy squires<br />

beautiful Lily Langford and Danny pines<br />

for Claire Noble, but each discovers that<br />

love, like life, seldom follows the chosen<br />

path.<br />

At age 91, Farber says age is no reason<br />

to slow down if you are mentally alert. In<br />

addition to writing, the Creve Coeur resi-<br />


20<strong>23</strong><br />

Holiday Gift Guide<br />

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from Favazza’s Restaurant on The Hill?<br />

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purchase of $100 in gift cards, the givers<br />

will get a $30 gift certificate of their<br />

own. Generations of St. Louis families<br />

who have made Favazza’s the place for<br />

their finest celebrations can’t be wrong.<br />

Now celebrating its 45th year, Favazza’s<br />

will fill your plate with the finest steaks,<br />

pasta, salads, seafood and more.<br />

Favazza’s<br />

5201 Southwest Ave. • St. Louis<br />

(314) 772-4454 • www.favazzas.com<br />

A sweet and tasty stack<br />

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Golden Oak Pancake House<br />

6149 <strong>Mid</strong> <strong>Rivers</strong> Mall Dr. • St. Peters<br />

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SCC is an equal opportunity employer/program.

22 I HEALTH I<br />

November <strong>29</strong>, 20<strong>23</strong><br />




Giving Thanks<br />

for Your Health<br />

St. Luke's Urgent Care - O'Fallon<br />

55<strong>11</strong> Winghaven Blvd.<br />

Suite 100<br />

O'Fallon, MO 63368<br />

We're Open until 5 p.m.<br />

on Thanksgiving<br />

stlukes-stl.com/urgent-care<br />

314-695-2500<br />


7-0142<br />

<strong>11</strong>/20<strong>23</strong><br />

The act of gift-giving at the holidays has mental health benefits for the<br />

giver, research has shown.<br />

(Adobe Stock photo)<br />

HEALTH<br />



Area hospitals again earn<br />

high grades for safety<br />

BJC Progress West Hospital, Barnes-<br />

Jewish West County Hospital and Mercy<br />

Hospital St. Louis were among the 30% of<br />

hospitals nationwide to earn the best possible<br />

grade of A in the recently announced<br />

Fall 20<strong>23</strong> Hospital Safety Grade rankings<br />

from The Leapfrog Group. Barnes-Jewish<br />

St. Peters Hospital, Missouri Baptist Medical<br />

Center and St. Luke’s Hospital both<br />

earned above-average safety grades of B.<br />

Twice each year, the independent group<br />

assigns letter grades to nearly 3,000 general<br />

acute-care hospitals across the country.<br />

These grades area based on more than 30<br />

national performance measures reflecting<br />

errors, accidents, injuries and infections, and<br />

the processes in place to prevent patient harm.<br />

For Mercy St. Louis, this distinction for<br />

safety is its <strong>23</strong>rd straight A in a row, dating<br />

back to 2010.<br />

“Having an independent organization, like<br />

Leapfrog, recognize the priority we place<br />

on patient safety is important,” said Kat<br />

Nelson, Mercy chief quality officer. “It’s a<br />

validation that our communities can trust us<br />

for safe, high-quality care. And it’s an honor<br />

our co-workers can take pride in earning.”<br />

Mercy earned five of the 13 Leapfrog A<br />

grades awarded in Missouri, with Mercy<br />

Hospital South, Mercy Hospital Washington,<br />

Mercy Hospital Springfield and Mercy Hospital<br />

Joplin also receiving top safety ratings.<br />

Information on all St. Louis area hospitals’<br />

performance is available at hospitalsafetygrade.org.<br />

Gift-giving has mental<br />

health benefits<br />

The positive feelings we receive from<br />

giving gifts to others during the holidays<br />

have their basis in neuroscience, it turns out.<br />

Particularly when a gift is shared with<br />

someone with whom we have a close relationship,<br />

the act of giving it activates key<br />

reward pathways in our brains, according<br />

to researchers at the University of California,<br />

Berkeley’s Greater Good Science<br />

Center. Several of its studies over the last<br />

decade have demonstrated that spending<br />

money on someone other than yourself<br />

promotes happiness and mental well-being.<br />

Research also has shown that spending<br />

money on others feels better than splurging<br />

on ourselves, and that the joy of giving a<br />

gift – no matter the size –lasts longer than the<br />

fleeting pleasure we feel when accepting one.<br />

That’s because generous behavior,<br />

whether it’s by giving a loved one something<br />

they really want for the holidays or<br />

donating to a charity, boosts interaction<br />

between the parts of the brain associated<br />

with socialization and feeling pleasure,<br />

Applesauce recall linked to high lead levels includes local brand<br />

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration<br />

recently recalled three<br />

cinnamon applesauce products containing<br />

“extremely high levels of<br />

lead” linked to 22 toddlers falling<br />

ill as of mid-November, including<br />

in Missouri.<br />

The FDA investigation primarily<br />

involves WanaBana brand Apple<br />

Cinnamon Fruit Puree sold in 3-pack<br />

pouches of 2.5 ounces each. Schnucks<br />

brand cinnamon-flavored applesauce<br />

pouches have also been recalled, along<br />

with Weis brand cinnamon applesauce<br />

pouches. However, no cases of illness<br />

related to either the Schnucks or Weis<br />

brands have been reported to date, according<br />

to a WanaBana media release.<br />

There is no safe level of lead in children’s<br />

blood. It can cause long-term effects<br />

including damage to the brain and nervous<br />

system, learning and behavioral problems,<br />

Schnucks cinnamon applesauce pouches are among three<br />

brands recently recalled due to potentially high lead levels.<br />

(U.S. Food ad Drug Administration photo)<br />

and decreased ability to pay attention, the<br />

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention<br />

said in a related health alert.<br />

The CDC considers 3.5 micrograms per<br />

deciliter an above-normal level of lead<br />

exposure in most children. The affected<br />

children, who are between the ages of 1<br />

according to Emiliana Simon-Thomas,<br />

Ph.D., the center’s science director.<br />

“Oftentimes, people refer to it as a<br />

‘warm glow,’ this intrinsic delight in<br />

doing something for someone else,” said<br />

Simon-Thomas, who studies the neuroscience<br />

and psychology of compassion,<br />

kindness, and gratitude. “But part of the<br />

uniqueness of … gift-giving compared<br />

to something like receiving an award<br />

or winning money is that because it is<br />

social it also activates pathways in the<br />

brain that release oxytocin, which is a<br />

neuropeptide that signals trust, safety,<br />

and connection. It’s often referred to as<br />

the ‘cuddle hormone.’”<br />

Local study examines effects<br />

of long hospital stays on kids<br />

Ranken Jordan Pediatric Bridge Hospital<br />

in Maryland Heights is already unique. It’s<br />

one of only a few hospitals in the U.S. with<br />

the mission of caring solely for kids from<br />

birth to age 21 who are well enough to<br />

leave a traditional hospital, but need more<br />

help before they can go home. Recently,<br />

and 3, had levels ranging<br />

from 4 to <strong>29</strong> micrograms per<br />

deciliter. They experienced<br />

symptoms including headache,<br />

nausea, vomiting, diarrhea,<br />

change in activity level<br />

and anemia.<br />

The FDA’s recall<br />

announcement said consumers<br />

should not eat, sell<br />

or serve recalled WanaBana,<br />

Schnucks or Weis brand cinnamon<br />

applesauce pouches<br />

and should discard them.<br />

An early November<br />

press release from Schnuck Markets<br />

said its recall includes both 4-packs and<br />

12-packs of Schnucks Cinnamon Applesauce<br />

Pouches along with 20-packs of<br />

Schnucks Applesauce Variety Pouches,<br />

all of which may be returned to Schnucks<br />

or Eatwell Market stores for a full refund.



November <strong>29</strong>, 20<strong>23</strong><br />


I HEALTH I <strong>23</strong><br />

the Ranken Jordan team conducted a pioneering<br />

study that takes its advocacy for<br />

kids a step further.<br />

While it’s known that children hospitalized<br />

for long periods are more at risk for<br />

neurodevelopmental delay due to lack of<br />

stimulation, the study is the first of its kind<br />

to track the movements and interactions of<br />

children in a hospital setting, an important<br />

step towards reversing this trend at children’s<br />

hospitals nationwide.<br />

“Our study confirmed to me that patients<br />

who are hospitalized during a crucial<br />

early childhood development window are<br />

not getting enough neurodevelopmental<br />

stimulation,” said Nick Holekamp, M.D.,<br />

Ranken Jordan’s chief medical officer and<br />

leader of the research. “The accepted standard<br />

of care for children in hospitals does<br />

not prioritize play and time away from the<br />

hospital room. The fact that our study is the<br />

first to look at how young patients spend<br />

their time shows this issue is not getting<br />

enough attention.”<br />

The research team used time-motion<br />

observations to track 20 patients at<br />

Ranken Jordan for more than <strong>23</strong>0 hours.<br />

While they found that Ranken-Jordan<br />

patients spend nearly half their waking<br />

hours out of bed – significantly more than<br />

in a typical hospital setting – “the data<br />

shows even we have room for improvement,”<br />

Holekamp said.<br />

The study’s findings have already<br />

inspired one of Ranken Jordan’s newest<br />

initiatives, called OZ (short for Optimization<br />

Zone), a program of structured play<br />

for medically complex children ages 5<br />

and younger that has nearly doubled the<br />

time they spend out of their rooms each<br />

day. OZ was the basis of a talk Holecamp<br />

gave at TEDxStLouis earlier this year,<br />

calling on the pediatric medical community<br />

to change how kids with complex<br />

medical needs are treated in the hospital<br />

environment.<br />

Ranken Jordan Chief Executive Officer<br />

Shawn Dryden said the hospital is committed<br />

to devoting more time and resources<br />

both to research and to sharing Ranken<br />

Jordan’s unique care model with the larger<br />

medical community. “Because of advancements<br />

in technology, there is a growing<br />

number of children in the U.S. with complex<br />

medical conditions, so research in this<br />

area is essential,” Dryden said.<br />

On the calendar<br />

St. Luke’s Hospital and Macy’s cosponsor<br />

a Winter Wellness Event on Saturday,<br />

Dec. 2 from <strong>11</strong> a.m.-2 p.m. at the<br />

Macy’s location in <strong>Mid</strong> <strong>Rivers</strong> Mall, 1600<br />

<strong>Mid</strong> <strong>Rivers</strong> Mall Drive in St. Peters. Learn<br />

about St. Luke’s women’s health and wellness<br />

resources and take advantage of free<br />

health screenings. Gifts with purchases<br />

will be available at select cosmetic counters;<br />

the event also includes a scavenger<br />

hunt and storewide discounts, light refreshments<br />

and gift basket drawings. Register<br />

online at stlukes-stl.com.<br />

• • •<br />

St. Luke’s Hospital presents Vitamin<br />

ZZZ … Steps to Sounder Sleep on Tuesday,<br />

Dec. 5 from 6:30-7:30 p.m. at the St.<br />

Luke’s Hospital Institute for Health Education,<br />

222 S. Woods Mill Road in Chesterfield,<br />

Rooms 1 and 2. Are you one of the<br />

approximately 60 million Americans who<br />

have a chronic sleep issue? Learn more<br />

about sleeping better at this free, in-person<br />

class. Register at stlukes-stl.com.<br />

• • •<br />

BJC presents a Family and Friends<br />

CPR virtual course on Wednesday, Dec.<br />

6 from 6:30-8:30 p.m., live via Teams<br />

Meeting. This class uses the American<br />

Heart Association curriculum to teach<br />

hands-on CPR skills (course does not<br />

include certification upon completion).<br />

The cost is $50. Registration for a seat<br />

in this class is for two people. Register<br />

online by visiting bjc.org/cpr-class.<br />

• • •<br />

BJC St. Louis Children’s Hospital presents<br />

a Staying Home Alone virtual class<br />

on Tuesday, Dec. 12 from 6:30-8 p.m., live<br />

via Teams Meeting. Parents and children<br />

attend the class together to ensure a child’s<br />

readiness to stay at home alone. The registration<br />

fee is $25 per family. To register,<br />

call (314) 454-5437.<br />

• • •<br />

Schnucks and St. Luke’s Hospital offer<br />

an Eatwell Market grocery store tour<br />

on Wednesday, Dec. 13 from 6-7 p.m. at<br />

Eatwell Boones Crossing, 220 THF Blvd.<br />

in Chesterfield. Take a wellness-focused<br />

tour through Eatwell Market by Schnucks<br />

with a St. Luke’s dietitian. Participants will<br />

receive a $10 gift card to use at Eatwell<br />

Market. The cost is $5; space is limited and<br />

registration is required. To sign up, visit<br />

stlukes-stl.com.<br />

• • •<br />

BJC St. Louis Children’s Hospital sponsors<br />

a Babysitting 101 virtual class on<br />

Thursday, Dec. 14 from 6-8:30 p.m., live<br />

via Teams Meeting. This interactive class is<br />

a great introduction to the basics of babysitting<br />

and is recommended for ages 10 and<br />

above. The cost is $25 per child. Parents<br />

may sit in on the class at no additional cost.<br />

Register online at bjc.org/babysitting-class.<br />

• • •<br />

St. Luke’s Hospital presents Coffee and<br />

Conversations on Wednesday, Dec. 20<br />

from 10-<strong>11</strong> a.m. at the Desloge Outpatient<br />

Center, 121 St. Luke’s Center Drive in<br />

Chesterfield, in Building A. This month’s<br />

topic is Mindfulness and Spiritual Health;<br />

learn about practicing mindfulness to<br />

relieve stress and find new ways to take<br />

care of your spiritual health. Register at<br />

stlukes-stl.com.<br />

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APR*<br />

Year 1 & 2: Fixed Rate of 5.90%<br />

Year 3: Fixed Rate of 6.25%<br />

Year 4: Fixed Rate of 6.70%<br />

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4 Yr. Step-UP Note<br />

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Final Maturity Date: <strong>11</strong>/24/2027<br />

First Callable Date: <strong>11</strong>/24/2024<br />

*Subject to Availability. The Annual Percentage Rate (APR) represents the interest earned through each eligible<br />

call date based on simple interest calculations, an investment price of $1000 per corporate bond, and is accurate<br />

as of November 20, 20<strong>23</strong>. Callable corporate bonds are more likely to be called in a lower interest rate<br />

environment, and investors may be unable to reinvest funds at the same rate as the original corporate bonds.<br />

The minimum balance required to purchase the corporate bond and obtain the APR is $10,000. Interest payouts<br />

are mandatory, and interest cannot remain on deposit. This investment is not FDIC insured.<br />

The Step-UP bonds are callable in twelve months, and six months thereafter. At the end of the 24-months, if the<br />

bonds are not called in, the interest rate will step up to 6.25%. The bonds will pay 6.25% for the next 12 months.<br />

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and will pay the rate for the last 12-months, until maturity.<br />

Corporate bond prices move opposite to interest rates, increasing when rates decline and falling when rates increase.<br />

Corporate bonds are intended to be held until maturity, as this assures redemption at par value. Investors<br />

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Cutter & Company, Inc. and the issuer are not affiliated. Banking products and FDIC insurance are provided by the issuer.

24 I<br />

November <strong>29</strong>, 20<strong>23</strong><br />


ON THE BOOKSHELF, from page 18<br />

dent is an accomplished artist whose paintings<br />

have been included in numerous St.<br />

Louis Artists Guild exhibitions and hang<br />

in private collections. Visit edfarberauthor.<br />

com to buy his book and learn more.<br />

St. Charles resident Linda Alcorn says<br />

she enjoys adventuring through her imagination.<br />

But what’s an adventure –real or<br />

imagined – without a furry friend alongside?<br />

Alcorn drew from her own “dog<br />

mom” adventures in penning “Don’t Bark<br />

to Strangers,” the story of Chip, an Australian<br />

Shepherd puppy who turns the life<br />

of his owner, Sinclair, (and her trash can)<br />

upside down.<br />

Chip changed everything for Sinclair,<br />

her family and her moody cat. But he made<br />

them all a little crazy. So, in her quest to be<br />

the best dog mom ever, Sinclair came up<br />

with a unique idea. She decided to start a<br />

Ruff Life therapy business for pet parents.<br />

She’s unlicensed and a little unhinged, but<br />

her clients love talking to her, and to each<br />

other, about their furry family members.<br />

You can bet they have some hilarious stories<br />

to share.<br />

“Don’t Bark to Strangers” is available on<br />

amazon.com.<br />


In 2021, Michael Kleckner published<br />

“Mike’s Unforgettable St. Louis History,”<br />

a book for adults. But why should grownups<br />

have all the fun?<br />

As he tucked his<br />

5-year-old son into<br />

bed one night, Kleckner<br />

decided to write<br />

“Mike’s Unforgettable<br />

St. Louis History,<br />

For Kids.” Kids and<br />

their grown-ups will<br />

enjoy historical photos<br />

alongside whimsical<br />

illustrations that bring<br />

history to life. From<br />

the humorous origins<br />

of favorite foods to animals<br />

escaping from the<br />

zoo, Kleckner shares<br />

fun stories from St.<br />

Louis history. Learn<br />

more at mikesunforgettablestlouis.com.<br />

J.M. Gulmire is a kid at heart with a house<br />

full of critters and elves (aka children). She<br />

wrote “Kay-9 the Robot Dog” because<br />

the elves begged her for a story about robot<br />

dogs. Upon searching through mountains<br />

of books and so many web pages that the<br />

computer revolted, she found nothing.<br />

When the dust settled there was nothing<br />

in children’s fiction, nonfiction, or unfinished<br />

fiction about a robot dog, so Kay-9<br />



jumped onto the page demanding belly<br />

rubs and bolts, Gimire says.<br />

In “Kay-9 the Robot Dog,” Gulmire<br />

tells the story of Ryan, a lonely only child<br />

whose dad is away serving in the military.<br />

Ryan can’t have pets and all he wants is<br />

a dog. So he decides to make one. He<br />

loves computers and building things, but<br />

everyone thinks he’s just playing around,<br />

making a toy.<br />

Ryan focuses on creating the best Kay-9<br />

he can but can he prove that his robot<br />

dog isn’t just a toy? Find out for yourself.<br />

“Kay-9 the Robot Dog” is available on<br />

amazon.com.<br />

In “Lexi’s Gift,” John R. Stoeffler<br />

founder of the “Sweet Dreams Pillow”<br />

tells the story of a little girl named Lexie,<br />

whose best friend’s father is in the Army<br />

and called to active duty. Susan is so sad<br />

that her dad will miss her birthday and<br />

Christmas and won’t be there to hug, kiss<br />

and tuck her in at bedtime. Lexie wishes<br />

she could do something to comfort Susan<br />

while her father is away. With a little help,<br />

she makes the perfect present for Susan:<br />

a pillow on which her father’s picture is<br />

printed. Susan is thrilled, and the girls<br />

decide to make more picture pillows for<br />

military kids. In doing so they discover it<br />

is more fun to give than to receive.<br />

Illustrated by Jeanine-Jonee Keith,<br />

“Lexie’s Gift” is available at amazon.com<br />

and barnesandnoble.com.<br />

In “Oceans of<br />

Sand,” award-winning<br />

young adult<br />

fantasy author Jessica<br />

Flory shares<br />

the story of a young<br />

woman whose desert<br />

world has always<br />

been treacherous but<br />

now is plagued by an<br />

unnatural famine that<br />

threatens to destroy<br />

all. Norah is chosen<br />

with her best friend,<br />

Zadock, to sail across<br />

an ocean of sand in<br />

search of an artifact<br />

that could end the<br />

famine.<br />

Caught in a crossfire<br />

between forbidden feelings, an unforgiving<br />

desert, and starving nations willing to<br />

do anything to survive, Norah and Zadock<br />

discover the true meaning of sacrifice and<br />

the power that love has to heal the world.<br />

Flory uses her bachelor’s degree in<br />

molecular biology from Bringham Young<br />

University-Provo to dream up cool settings<br />

and magic systems. She is a proud member<br />

of the Hot Mess Writers Critique Group<br />

since 2013. Her books are available at<br />

amazon.com and barnesandnoble.com.

November <strong>29</strong>, 20<strong>23</strong><br />


Cottleville Smiles – spreading joy through every smile<br />



Rendering of Cottleville Smiles’ new office coming soon.<br />

(Cottleville Smiles photos)<br />

Cottleville Smiles has been<br />

serving the residents of the St.<br />

Charles area for over 40 years.<br />

In 2021, Dr. Tanner Brown<br />

DMD took over the practice<br />

with a vision of changing the<br />

way people experience dentistry.<br />

In his own words, he<br />

shares why that vision of dentistry<br />

is so important to him.<br />

“At Cottleville Smiles, our<br />

mission began with my personal<br />

journey. Inspired by the<br />

memory of my beloved sister<br />

and her courageous battle with<br />

cancer, I am deeply driven to<br />

provide exceptional care to others with<br />

love and compassion. This heartfelt<br />

commitment shapes the core values of<br />

our company, fostering a work family<br />

that embraces fun, pours out compassion,<br />

and creates enduring friendships.<br />

We firmly believe that such an uplifting<br />

atmosphere directly translates into<br />

transformative care for our patients that<br />

goes beyond dentistry.<br />

“We understand that everyone faces<br />

hardships, whether in their personal<br />

lives or when seeking dental care. That<br />

is why we are passionately dedicated to<br />

creating a warm and inviting environment<br />

where every individual is heard and<br />

supported. Our goal is to not only address<br />

your dental needs but to also uplift your<br />

spirits and leave you feeling better about<br />

yourself than when you arrived. By combining<br />

our heartfelt approach with the latest<br />

advancements in technology, we strive to<br />

provide the highest level of comfort, predictability,<br />

and outstanding dental outcomes.<br />

“At Cottleville Smiles, we have witnessed<br />

the profound impact of a smile. It<br />

radiates confidence, inner joy, and the<br />

power to spread happiness to those around<br />

you. We are committed to helping you<br />

achieve a smile that reflects your true happiness,<br />

enabling you to make a<br />

positive difference in the lives<br />

of others.<br />

“Together, we are more than<br />

a dental practice – we are a<br />

community built on trust, compassion,<br />

and shared smiles.<br />

We value your trust and are<br />

honored to help guide you with<br />

your dental care. At Cottleville<br />

Smiles, we are<br />

here to support<br />

you, listen to you,<br />

and partner with<br />

you on your smile<br />

journey. Let us<br />

empower you to<br />

embrace your best<br />

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the joy and confidence<br />

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your life and the lives of those you touch.”<br />

New technology has also helped to make<br />

dentistry more convenient by reducing<br />

the number of appointments needed and<br />

detecting problems sooner.<br />

“Dentistry has changed more in the last<br />

10 years than it had in the 100 years prior<br />

to that,” Dr. Tanner explained. “All the<br />

advancements coming into our space are<br />

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“It can be a lot to keep up with but we<br />

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Cottleville Smiles is expected to move in<br />

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News & Notes<br />


Preventing holiday falls<br />

For older adults and those who care for<br />

them, the holidays can quickly turn from<br />

joyful to disastrous due to an accidental<br />

fall. According to data from the Centers for<br />

Disease Control and Prevention, emergency<br />

departments record about 20 million visits a<br />

year due to fall injuries… and the number of<br />

falls generally reaches its peak in December.<br />

Many falls that occur at this time of year<br />

can be prevented with a little thoughtful<br />

planning, however. Following are some<br />

tips from the University of Chicago’s<br />

Successful Aging and Frailty Evaluation<br />

(SAFE) Clinic for making your home as<br />

“fall-safe” as possible this holiday season.<br />

Decorating hazards: Using a ladder to<br />

string holiday lights or hang ornaments<br />

is a major cause of the deadliest fall accidents.<br />

It’s important to ask for help or hire<br />

assistance for aging loved ones who plan<br />

to continue those decorating traditions<br />

this year. The lights themselves can also<br />

cause disorientation that leads to a fall for<br />

those living with Alzheimer’s or dementia,<br />

so avoid using flashing, twinkling, or animated<br />

lights to prevent possible injuries.<br />

Tripping hazards: While it’s customary<br />

to display gifts underneath the tree,<br />

this creates a risk for trips and falls, so<br />

keep them off the floor if possible. Electrical<br />

cords connected to trees and other<br />

lighted items also create major tripping<br />

hazards if not secured out of the way. Floor<br />

decorations such as trains, rugs, figurines<br />

and other holiday items can significantly<br />

increase fall risks as well, so be mindful<br />

to keep these items out of walkways and<br />

leave plenty of room for older residents<br />

and holiday guests to navigate.<br />

Outdoor hazards: Keep sidewalks,<br />

driveways and steps clear of decorations.<br />

In bad weather, clear any ice and snow and<br />

make sure surfaces are well-salted. Provide<br />

ample exterior lighting to allow visitors<br />

to clearly see where they are stepping<br />

and walking.<br />

Party hazards: At gatherings, make<br />

sure any spills are cleaned up promptly to<br />

minimize the risk of slip-and-fall accidents.<br />

Keep an eye on household pets and small<br />

children so they don’t get underfoot when<br />

larger groups are together. Be mindful as<br />

well that some older adults who have a holiday<br />

cocktail or two could become dizzy and<br />

fall, especially if they take medications that<br />

interact with alcohol.<br />

If you or someone in your household<br />

does take a fall, don’t let the fact that it’s a<br />

Using a ladder to hang decorations creates<br />

is one of several fall risks facing older adults<br />

during the holiday season. (Adobe Stock photo)<br />

holiday delay you from seeking treatment,<br />

the clinic’s experts say. Complications<br />

such as head injuries, internal bleeding or<br />

fractures are more serious for older adults<br />

and should be treated immediately.<br />

Beware of ‘phantom hackers’<br />

Complex financial scams primarily targeting<br />

seniors are rising all over the U.S.,<br />

according to a recent FBI public service<br />

announcement. Unfortunately, many victims<br />

of so-called “phantom hackers” have<br />

lost some or even all of their retirement<br />

savings as a result – with an average loss<br />

of more than $30,000.<br />

Between January and July of 20<strong>23</strong> alone,<br />

about 19,000 complaints related to this<br />

specific type of fraud were filed with the<br />

FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center.<br />

These scams comprised losses of more<br />

than $542 million, an increase of 40% over<br />

similar crimes reported in all of 2022 – and<br />

there may be many more victims who have<br />

FBI ‘don’ts’ for avoiding<br />

financial fraud<br />

1. Don’t click on unsolicited computer<br />

pop-ups, as well as links or attachments<br />

in text messages and emails.<br />

2. Don’t call any phone number provided<br />

in a pop-up, text or email provided<br />

for your “assistance.”<br />

3. Don’t download computer software<br />

at the request of an unknown<br />

individual.<br />

4. Don’t let any unknown person<br />

have control of your computer, no<br />

matter what company they claim to<br />

represent.<br />

5. Don’t send money via wire transfer<br />

to foreign accounts, cryptocurrency<br />

or gift or prepaid cards at the instruction<br />

of someone you don’t know.



November <strong>29</strong>, 20<strong>23</strong><br />



not yet come forward, the agency stated.<br />

The multi-layered scams involve groups<br />

of criminals posing as technology professionals,<br />

financial institution representatives,<br />

and government employees and are<br />

usually carried out in three phases.<br />

First, scammers posing as tech support<br />

representatives from legitimate companies<br />

contact victims via phone call, text, email<br />

or computer pop-up window, informing<br />

them that their information may have been<br />

compromised. When they call a provided<br />

number for “assistance,” they are directed to<br />

download a software program which allows<br />

the scammers access to their computer…<br />

and in many cases, they also give the criminals<br />

access to their financial accounts.<br />

The scam is then turned over to fraudulent<br />

“representatives” of the victims’ banks<br />

or investment or brokerage firms, who tell<br />

them their funds have been accessed by foreign<br />

hackers and must be moved into “safe”<br />

third-party accounts, such as with the Federal<br />

Reserve. They are directed to transfer<br />

money via wire transfer, cash or cryptocurrency,<br />

sometimes in multiple transactions<br />

and often directly to overseas recipients.<br />

They are directed not to tell anyone<br />

about these transactions … and if they<br />

become suspicious, they are also contacted<br />

by scammers posing as representatives of<br />

the U.S. government. This part of the scam<br />

may also include an official-looking letter<br />

or email to calm their suspicions.<br />

The FBI has requested that anyone in the<br />

area who believes they have been targeted<br />

by phantom hackers, or who may have been<br />

a victim, contact both its local St. Louis<br />

field office at (314) <strong>23</strong>1-4324 and the Crime<br />

Complaint Center (www.ic3.gov), including<br />

as much information as possible.<br />

On the calendar<br />

BJC Missouri Baptist Hospital offers a<br />

Today’s Grandparents class on Monday,<br />

Dec. 4 and Wednesday, Dec. 13 from 6:30-9<br />

p.m. at the Missouri Baptist Medical Center<br />

Clinical Learning Institute, 3005 N. Ballas<br />

Road. The course fee is $20 per person<br />

(each person attending must register separately).<br />

Registration is available online at<br />

classes-events.bjc.org.<br />

• • •<br />

BJC of St. Charles County sponsors a<br />

monthly Stroke Support Group meeting<br />

on Monday, Dec. 4 from 1-2 p.m. at Barnes-<br />

Jewish St. Peters Hospital, 6 Jungermann<br />

Circle in St. Peters, in Medical Office Building<br />

1. A virtual attendance option is also<br />

available online via Teams. Register online<br />

at classes-events.bjc.org.<br />

• • •<br />

St. Luke’s Des Peres Hospital offers<br />

Medicare counseling sessions on Tuesday,<br />

Dec. 5 between 10 a.m. and 2:30 p.m.<br />

in Conference Room 1 of the hospital,<br />

<strong>23</strong>45 Dougherty Ferry Road in Des Peres.<br />

Registration is limited and is available at<br />

stlukes-stl.com.<br />

• • •<br />

Lindenwood University’s College of<br />

Science, Technology and Health presents<br />

LindenW.I.S.E., a community program<br />

for adults over 60. The December event,<br />

Holiday Teach ‘n Taste, is on Wednesday,<br />

Dec. 6 from <strong>11</strong> a.m.-12:30 p.m. at the university’s<br />

Hyland Arena, 209 S. Kingshighway<br />

in St. Charles, in the VIP Room. The<br />

event is free. For more information or to<br />

register, email wise@lindenwood.edu.<br />

• • •<br />

St. Luke’s Hospital presents a free<br />

online program, A Discussion of Overactive<br />

Bladder with Dr. Cathy Naughton,<br />

on Wednesday, Dec. 13 beginning at 6<br />

p.m., live via Zoom. If symptoms such as<br />

uncomfortable urges to use the bathroom,<br />

frequent accidents and getting up multiple<br />

times at night are part of your everyday<br />

life … relief is possible! Register online at<br />

stlukes-stl.com.<br />

• • •<br />

St. Louis Oasis presents A Holiday Classic<br />

Christmas on Thursday, Dec. 14 from<br />

1-2 p.m., online via Zoom. Get into the<br />

holiday spirit with this festive presentation<br />

featuring movie trivia and clips from all of<br />

your favorite holiday classics. The cost is<br />

$17. Register by visiting st-louis.oasisnet.org.<br />

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28 I<br />

November <strong>29</strong>, 20<strong>23</strong><br />



Dec. 1 | Jamey Murphy, Legislative Assistant to<br />

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Dec. 8 | John Tompkins, Club President –<br />

2024 Club Plan of Action<br />

Dec. 15 I Member Christmas Party & 2024<br />

Installation of Officers – Must RSVP by Dec. 8<br />

Dec. 22 I NO MEETING – Merry Christmas<br />

Dec. <strong>29</strong> I NO MEETING – Happy New Year<br />


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Gifts from the kitchen<br />

Nut Brittle<br />


Yes, you can buy candy for gift-giving but<br />

making it is somehow sweeter, especially if<br />

you customize your creations. For instance,<br />

Peanut Brittle is easy enough to buy just<br />

about anywhere. But what if your gift<br />

recipient likes it spicy, or extra Christmasy,<br />

or with a different type of nut? That’s where<br />

creativity in the kitchen comes into play.<br />

Handmade gifts say you cared enough<br />

to make something special. Here are a few<br />

recipes to jump start your imagination.<br />


Ingredients<br />

2 cups sugar<br />

1/2 cup water<br />

6 tablespoons unsalted butter<br />

1/3 cup light corn syrup<br />

1 teaspoon baking soda<br />

12 ounces roasted salted peanuts,<br />

cashews, pistachios and/or pecans<br />

Flaky sea salt, optional but it does help<br />

balance the sweetness<br />

Cooking spray<br />

Variations<br />

Spicy Brittle: Add a sprinkling to 1 teaspoon<br />

of chipotle powder, depending on<br />

your heat preference.<br />

Christmas Brittle: Add 1/4 teaspoon each of<br />

cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and allspice.<br />

Directions<br />

• Spray sheet pan with cooking spray;<br />

then line with parchment paper allowing<br />

some paper to rise above the sides of<br />

the pan. The cooking spray will hold the<br />

Christmas Fudge<br />

parchment in place. The parchment paper<br />

will allow you to remove the brittle easily<br />

from the sheet pan. A silicone mat could be<br />

used in place of the parchment paper. Hot<br />

mixture will be poured into this pan so putting<br />

a towel beneath it is a wise idea.<br />

• Measure out all your ingredients.<br />

• Attach a candy thermometer to the side<br />

of the saucepan; do not let it touch the<br />

bottom of the pan.<br />

• Now, you’re ready to get cooking. In<br />

a heavy 2-quart pan, add the sugar, water<br />

and corn syrup. Cook over medium-high<br />

heat until the sugar is dissolved, the mixture<br />

is boiling and has reached 275º F on a<br />

candy thermometer. The mixture should be<br />

a light, golden brown.<br />

• Add the butter and nuts. Stir constantly<br />

over heat until the mixture reaches 300ºF.<br />

• Remove from the heat and quickly but<br />

carefully stir in the baking soda and optional<br />

flavorings. The mixture will bubble.<br />

• Pour the brittle into the prepared baking<br />

sheet, spreading it with a metal spoon to<br />

achieve a thin, even layer.<br />

• Lightly sprinkle with sea salt.<br />

• Let the brittle cool completely, about 30<br />

minutes. Then, break it into large shards.<br />


There are two schools of thought when it<br />

comes to fudge. Marshmallow fluff versus<br />

sweetened condensed milk. Both are pretty<br />

foolproof but the marshmallow variety can<br />

be too sweet, so this recipe goes old school.<br />

Ingredients<br />

14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk<br />

1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract<br />

Here are a few fun facts about fudge:<br />

• According to legend, this holiday<br />

favorite can trace its roots to Valentine’s<br />

Day, 1886, when a Baltimore chocolatier<br />

“fudged” a batch of French caramels.*<br />

• In the mid-20th century, the fudge<br />

recipe of choice was First Lady Mamie<br />

Eisenhower’s Million Dollar Fudge. It<br />

was published in “Who Says We Can’t<br />

Cook,” compiled by the Women’s<br />

National Press Club and sold for $2 a<br />

copy plus 15 cents postage as a fundraising<br />

project in 1955.*<br />

• The first marshmallow creme, as<br />

used in Mamie’s Million Dollar Fudge,<br />

was marketed commercially in 1917 as<br />

Toot Sweet Marshmallow Fluff.<br />

• Kraft introduced its Fantasy Fudge,<br />

perhaps the most famous “fluff” fudge,<br />

on the back of its Marshmallow Creme<br />

jar in 1979*<br />

*Find these recipes and more on<br />

midriversnewsmagazine.com<br />



What you’ll need<br />

In addition to the ingredients for each<br />

recipe, you’ll need:<br />

• A candy thermometer<br />

• A heavy-bottomed 2-quart saucepan<br />

• A roll of parchment paper or a silicone<br />

may<br />

• A baking sheet pan with sides (jelly<br />

roll pan)<br />

• Flaky sea salt<br />

• Cute boxes, bags, or tins for wrapping<br />

up the final product.<br />

This is important<br />

When making candy, you are typically<br />

working rapidly with hot mixtures.<br />

So it is very important to be<br />

prepared and read all directions before<br />

beginning any recipe.<br />

Measure all ingredients before starting<br />

the candy-making process. Likewise,<br />

be sure to prep all surfaces and<br />

have all the equipment you’ll need<br />

ready to use.<br />

Don’t wait to gift your goodies. To<br />

ensure maximum freshness, deliver<br />

your handmade gifts within a day of<br />

making them. Most candies will retain<br />

their freshness for a week at room temperature.<br />

24 ounces semi-sweet or dark chocolate<br />

chips or chopped<br />

3 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into<br />

1/2-inch pieces, at room temperature<br />

Dash of salt<br />

Variations<br />

With Nuts: Add chopped pecans or walnuts<br />

as a final step.<br />

Peppermint Fudge: Substitute white chocolate<br />

chips and add in crushed candy canes.<br />

Mexican Hot Chocolate: Add 1/4 teaspoon<br />

cayenne pepper and 1 teaspoon cinnamon<br />

to the melted chocolate.<br />

Instructions<br />

• Spray an 8 x 8-inch glass baking dish<br />

with cooking oil; then line with parchment<br />

paper allowing some paper to rise above<br />

the sides of the pan.<br />

• In a 2-quart saucepan, combine the<br />

sweetened condensed milk, vanilla extract,<br />

chocolate, and butter.<br />

• Cook over low heat, stirring frequently,<br />

until the chocolate has melted and the mixture<br />

is completely smooth.<br />

• Add in extra ingredients for variations<br />

if you desire.<br />

• Remove from heat and spread into the<br />

prepared pan.<br />

• Refrigerate for at least 2 hours before<br />

cutting into slabs for gifting.<br />

• Fudge can be stored a room temperature<br />

for two weeks, in the refrigerator for a<br />

month, and in the freezer for two or more.



Holiday Happenings<br />

Saint Charles Christmas Traditions<br />

continues on historic Main Street<br />

on weekends through Dec. <strong>23</strong>. For a<br />

complete schedule of activities, visit<br />

discoverstcharles.com/events/christmastraditions.<br />

• • •<br />

Holiday Bazaar Art Show is on display<br />

through Dec. 24 at the St. Peters Cultural<br />

Arts Centre, 1 St. Peters Centre Blvd. Original<br />

art is available for purchase and can be<br />

picked up Dec. 21-<strong>23</strong>.<br />

• • •<br />

Holiday Night Lights is from 5:30-9:30<br />

p.m. through Saturday, Dec. 30 at Rotary<br />

Park, 2577 W. Meyer Road in Wentzville.<br />

Enjoy a one-mile light display that features<br />

large illuminated commercial scenes and<br />

tunnels of twinkling lights. The cost is $10<br />

per vehicle with up to six passengers, plus<br />

$1 per additional passenger. Display is<br />

closed Dec. 3, <strong>11</strong> and 25. For details, visit<br />

wentzvillemo.gov.<br />

• • •<br />

Tractor-pulled “Sleigh Rides” through<br />

Rotary Park are on Mondays and Wednesdays<br />

through Dec. 28 in Wentzville to<br />

tour the Holiday Night Lights. Hot chocolate<br />

and cookies included. Maximum of<br />

25 people, including lap children. Free<br />

rides are scheduled on a first-come, firstserved<br />

basis. Pre-registration is required.<br />

See the schedule for available dates at<br />

wentzvillemo.gov. To register, call (636)<br />

332-9<strong>23</strong>6.<br />

• • •<br />

Celebration of Lights is from 6-9<br />

p.m. nightly through Saturday, Dec. 30<br />

at Fort Zumwalt Park, 1000 Jessup Lane<br />

in O’Fallon. This festive one-mile route<br />

of holiday light displays was designed<br />

and funded by local organizations,<br />

churches and businesses. Drive-through<br />

tickets are $14 per vehicle and must be<br />

purchased in advance at ofallon.mo.us/<br />

COL, or by calling (636) 474-2732.<br />

Closed to vehicles on Dec. 3, 4, 5 and<br />

Dec. <strong>11</strong>. The entire display is closed on<br />

Christmas Day. The City Train tour of<br />

the park takes place on Monday, Dec. <strong>11</strong>.<br />

Each carriage holds up to five adults and<br />

five children. Reservations are required.<br />

Bring a blanket to stay warm during the<br />

ride. To schedule a ride, visit ofallon.<br />

mo.us/celebrations-of-lights.<br />

• • •<br />

A Holiday Remembrance Candlelight<br />

Memorial is at 6 p.m. on Thursday, Nov.<br />

30 at Baue, O’Fallon; at <strong>11</strong> a.m. and 2<br />

p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 2 at Baue, Cave<br />

Springs; and at 6 p.m. on Monday, Dec. 4<br />

at Baue in St. Charles. Remember loved<br />

ones with a name-reading ceremony,<br />

music, light refreshments and a candlelighting<br />

ceremony. To register, visit baue.<br />

com/events/holiday-remembrance or call<br />

(636) 328-0874.<br />

• • •<br />

Merry Makers Market is from 5-8<br />

p.m. on Friday, Dec. 1, and from <strong>11</strong> a.m.-5<br />

p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 2 at the Foundry<br />

Art Centre, 520 N. Main Center in Saint<br />

Charles. Artists and other vendors will<br />

be selling their wares. Additional details<br />

at foundryartcentre.org/merry-makersmarket.<br />

• • •<br />

The Augusta Candlelight Christmas<br />

Walk featuring over 1,000 luminaries<br />

is from 5-10 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 1 and<br />

Friday, Dec. 8 at 5577 Walnut St. in downtown<br />

Augusta. For details, visit augustachamber.org.<br />

• • •<br />

Las Posadas is at 6:30 p.m. on Saturday,<br />

Dec. 2 on Historic Main Street, Boone’s<br />

Lick-South Main in Saint Charles. Las<br />

Posadas is a re-enactment of the journey<br />

of Mary and Joseph as they seek<br />

shelter on their way to Bethlehem. The<br />

procession ends at Frontier Park with<br />

carols around a bonfire. For details, visit<br />

stcharleslasposadas.com.<br />

• • •<br />

The Choral Society of St. Charles’ Holiday<br />

Concert, “My Favorite Things” is at 2<br />

p.m. and 7 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 2 at Fort<br />

Zumwalt South High, 8050 Mexico Road<br />

in St. Peters. Tickets are available online<br />

only at brownpapertickets.com and search<br />

event. Adult ticket is $10; children ages<br />

6-12 are $5 (plus service fees). Children 5<br />

and younger are free.<br />

• • •<br />

The Choral Arts Singers presents “A<br />

Season of Joy” at 7 p.m. on Saturday,<br />

Dec. 2 at Troy United Church of Christ,<br />

725 S. Main St. in Troy; at 3 p.m. on Dec.<br />

3 at Friedens United Church of Christ,<br />

313 E. Main St. in Warrenton; and at 3<br />

p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 10 at The Chapel of<br />

Assumption Catholic Parish, 403 N. Main<br />

St. in O’Fallon. The concerts are free;<br />

donations are appreciated. Visit concertarts.org<br />

or Facebook @Choral Arts Singers<br />

for concert details and to learn about<br />

the choir.<br />

• • •<br />

An Old-Fashioned Holiday Stroll is<br />

nightly from 6-8:30 p.m. on Sunday, Dec.<br />

3 through Tuesday, Dec. 5 at Fort Zumwalt<br />

Park, 1000 Jessup Lane in O’Fallon. Fireworks<br />

start at 7 p.m. and 7:45 p.m. each night.<br />

Tickets must be purchased in advance. Tickets<br />

are $5 per person. Ages 2 and under are<br />

free. To purchase tickets, visit ofallon.mo.us/<br />

See HOLIDAY HAPPENINGS, page 30<br />

November <strong>29</strong>, 20<strong>23</strong><br />


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• • •<br />

The Holiday Night Lights 5K and<br />

Fun Run is from 5-8 p.m. on Sunday,<br />

Dec. 3 at Rotary Park, 2577 W. Meyer<br />

Road in Wentzville. The cost for the 5K<br />

is $35 and Fun Run is $20. Each runner<br />

will receive a custom fleece-blend crew<br />

sweatshirt, finisher medal and post-race<br />

snacks. Register at wentzvillemo.gov or<br />

by calling (636) 332-9<strong>23</strong>6.<br />

• • •<br />

Holiday Cookie Decorating is from<br />

6:30-8:30 p.m. on Monday, Dec. 4 at<br />

Memorial Hall in Blanchette Park. All participants<br />

will learn and use different decorating<br />

techniques and will take home their<br />

cookies. For ages 15 and over. Cost is $50<br />

per person; supplies included. To register,<br />

visit stcharlesparks.com.<br />

• • •<br />

St. Peters Police invites the public to<br />

help trim their holiday tree from 6-8 p.m.<br />

on Friday, Dec. 8 at the St. Peters Justice<br />

Center, 1020 Grand Teton Drive. Guests<br />

can make their own ornament for placing<br />

on the tree. The tree trimming is recommended<br />

for kids ages 3-12, but all ages are<br />

welcome. Hot cocoa and cookies will be<br />

available for refreshments, and no reservations<br />

are needed.<br />

• • •<br />

A “Do You Want to Paint a Snowman?”<br />

workshop is from <strong>11</strong> a.m.-noon<br />

on Saturday, Dec. 9 at The Foundry Art<br />

Centre in St. Charles. Celebrate the snowy<br />

season by creating a one-of-a-kind snowman<br />

painting on canvas. Children, ages<br />

5-12 will receive step-by-step painting<br />

lessons to create a frosty masterpiece. Supplies<br />

are included in the registration fee of<br />

$35. For details, visit foundryartcentre.org/<br />

kids-classes.<br />

• • •<br />

Christmas Trivia Night is from 6-9:30<br />

p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 9 at Augusta<br />

Harmonie Verein, 5333 Hackman Road.<br />

Tables of eight are $120 per table or $15<br />

per person. The best-dressed table wins<br />

$120. The theme is “Ugly Sweater.” Bring<br />

your own food. Drinks will be for purchase.<br />

To RSVP, call (314) 605-2200.<br />

• • •<br />

Chanukah on Main Street is at 5 p.m.<br />

on Sunday, Dec. 10 in Berthold Square<br />

Park in Historic St. Charles. Featured are<br />

the lighting of a giant Menorah, a gelt drop,<br />

Jewish music, the Dreidel Man and hot<br />

latkes. Everyone is welcome.<br />

• • •<br />

A Holiday Home Tour from 3-7 p.m. on<br />

Sunday, Dec. 10 starting at the Historical<br />

Center, 310 W. Pearce Blvd. in Wentzville.<br />

This is a driving tour. Afterward, continue<br />

the fun at Friendship Brewery Company.<br />

Tickets are $20 and include a drink ticket.<br />

Tickets can be purchased before the event<br />

at the Historical Center or on the day of<br />

the event. Proceeds benefit the Wentzville<br />

Community Historical Society. For details,<br />

visit wentzvillehistoricalsociety.org.<br />

• • •<br />

Sundaes with Jack Frost & Friends<br />

is from 6-8:30 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 10<br />

at The Foundry Art Centre, 520 N. Main<br />

Center in Saint Charles. You’ll become<br />

an honorary member of the Blue Crew<br />

and craft your own frozen masterpiece at<br />

a fully-stocked sundae bar featuring Kilwins-St.<br />

Charles’ original recipe ice cream.<br />

Tickets are $25 and can be purchased at<br />

discoverstcharles.com.<br />

• • •<br />

The Snowball Blizzard Blitz is from<br />

6-7 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 15 at the Renaud<br />

Center, 2650 Tri Sports Circle in O’Fallon.<br />

Participants will have a blast with snowball<br />

fights and winter games. Must preregister<br />

by Dec. 6. Cost is $15 for residents<br />

and $18 for non-residents. For ages 5-12.<br />

For details, visit ofallon.mo.us.<br />

• • •<br />

Ugly Sweater Bingo is from 7-9 p.m.<br />

on Friday, Dec. 15 at Memorial Hall in<br />

Blanchette Park, 1900 W. Randolph St. in<br />

St. Charles. Registration can be made as<br />

either an individual or a group of eight per<br />

table. Cost is $20 per person. For ages 21<br />

and up only. Cost includes admission, all<br />

Bingo rounds, beer and soda. Guests may<br />

bring in their own food. To register, visit<br />

stcharlesparks.com/programs/events-withparks/ugly-sweater-bingo.<br />

• • •<br />

The St. Charles County Youth Orchestra’s<br />

Winter Concert is at 2 p.m. on<br />

Saturday, Dec. 16 at the Missouri Baptist<br />

University Pillsbury Chapel, 1 College Park<br />

Drive in Creve Coeur. Come hear ensembles<br />

perform seasonal favorites, including<br />

“Polar Express” and “Ode to Joy.” Cost is $9<br />

for an adult ticket and $5 for kids. Tickets<br />

are on sale at sccyotickets.org.<br />

• • •<br />

Wentzville United Women in Faith<br />

holds its Christmas Cookie and Candy<br />

Sale from 9 a.m.-noon on Sat. Dec. 16 at<br />

Wentzville UMC, 725 Wall St. Shop handmade<br />

crafts and holiday decor as well. All<br />

proceeds go toward projects benefitting<br />


women, children and youth.<br />

• • •<br />

Winter Wonderland on Ice Show is at<br />

5 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 16 and at 2 p.m.<br />

on Sunday, Dec. 17 at the St. Peters Rec-<br />

Plex, 5200 Mexico Road. Tickets are on<br />

sale on Nov. 27 at the Rec-Plex front desk.<br />

For details, visit stpetersmo.net.<br />


Children may write Santa a letter<br />

using the provided template at wentzvillemo.gov.<br />

Drop off your letter at one of the<br />

special mailboxes at Progress Park Recreation<br />

Center, around downtown historic<br />

Wentzville, or at the Kolb Building during<br />

Santa Saturdays. Mailboxes will be up in<br />

late November.<br />

• • •<br />

Santa Claus Visits are from <strong>11</strong> a.m.-<br />

7. p.m., Monday-Thursday through<br />

Dec. 24 at <strong>Mid</strong> <strong>Rivers</strong> Mall in St. Peters.<br />

Extended hours begin on Dec. 8. Visits<br />

are always free and photo packages are<br />

available for purchase. For details, visit<br />

shopmidriversmall.com.<br />

• • •<br />

Santa Saturdays continue through Dec.<br />

<strong>23</strong> in Rotary Park, 2577 W. Meyer Road in<br />

Wentzville. After driving through the Holiday<br />

Night Lights display, stop by the Kolb<br />

Building to see Santa. For details, visit<br />

wentzvillemo.gov.<br />

• • •<br />

The St. Peters Tree Lighting Ceremony<br />

is at 6:30 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 1 at<br />

St. Peters City Hall, One St. Peters Centre<br />

Blvd. This free event includes festive musical<br />

performances from the Childbloom<br />

Guitar Program of St. Charles County,<br />



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November <strong>29</strong>, 20<strong>23</strong><br />


I 31<br />

Lindenwood’s Voices Only, a performance<br />

by Butch Wax & The Hollywoods, and an<br />

appearance by Santa Claus. For details,<br />

visit stpetersmo.net.<br />

• • •<br />

A Candy Cane Hunt is from 1-2 p.m.<br />

on Sunday, Dec. 3 at Gould Building at<br />

Wapelhorst Park, 1875 Muegge Road in<br />

St. Charles. Expect a visit from Santa and<br />

hot cocoa. Cost is $15 per person (ages<br />

14 and younger.) Bring a bucket or bag to<br />

collect the candy canes. For details, visit<br />

stcharlesparks.com/programs.<br />

• • •<br />

Breakfast with Santa is from 9-<strong>11</strong> a.m.<br />

on Saturday, Dec. 9 at the Rec-Plex, One<br />

St. Peters Centre Blvd. in St. Peters. Children<br />

ages 2-8 will enjoy a continental-style<br />

breakfast, crafts, a hot chocolate and donut<br />

bar, and Christmas Carols with Santa<br />

and his elves. The cost is $9 for member<br />

adults (ages 9 and over); $14 for member<br />

children (ages 8 and under) and $<strong>11</strong> for<br />

non-member adults; $16 for non-member<br />

children. Advanced registration required at<br />

stpetersmo.net.<br />

• • •<br />

Storytime With Santa is from 6-7<br />

p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 10 at Webster<br />

Park Community Building, 2201 S.<br />

River Road in St. Charles. Children are<br />

welcome to wear pajamas and bring a<br />

blanket and pillow to get comfortable<br />

during storytime. Each child will have<br />

the chance to get their photo taken with<br />

Santa. Cost is $15 per person. To register,<br />

visit stcharlesparks.com.<br />



St. Charles Flea and Artisan Market<br />

is from 8 a.m.-2 p.m. on the second Saturday<br />

of the month through December at<br />

the Saint Charles City Hall parking garage,<br />

200 N. Second St. in St. Charles. Details at<br />

stcharlesflea.com.<br />

• • •<br />

St. Charles County Youth Orchestra<br />

will be accepting video auditions for new<br />

students through the month of December. All<br />

levels of string, wind, brass and percussion<br />

are invited to apply. Rehearsals will begin<br />

Jan. 6. For details, contact sccyomusic@<br />

gmail.com or visit sccyo.org.<br />

• • •<br />

Artists sought for 2024-2025 sculpture<br />

series, “The Shape of Community,” a citywide,<br />

temporary sculpture exhibition, featuring<br />

large-scale works of art in prominent areas<br />

throughout O’Fallon loaned by artists for an<br />

18-month period. Submissions are open until<br />

Feb. 6. To submit artwork for consideration,<br />

visit ofallon.mo.us/shape-of-community.<br />


Cornucopia of Care continues through<br />

Dec. 8. Join Volunteer O’Fallon to collect<br />

items for local food pantries. Donation sites<br />

include O’Fallon Municipal Centre, 100 N.<br />

Main Street, and Renaud Center, 2650 Tri<br />

Sports Circle. For details, visit ofallon.mo.us/<br />

cornucopia-of-care.<br />

• • •<br />

The Immaculate Conception of Dardenne<br />

Mens Knights Of Columbus hosts a Knight<br />

At The Mouse Races at 7 p.m. (doors open<br />

at 6 p.m.) on Saturday, Jan. 13 at 2199 Post<br />

Road in Dardenne Prairie. Tickets $20 and<br />

include snacks, beer and setups.<br />


Family Story Time is at 9:30 a.m. and<br />

10:30 a.m. on Mondays and Thursdays<br />

weekly at the Spencer Road Branch Library,<br />

427 Spencer Road in St. Peters. Stories,<br />

songs and activities intended for children<br />

ages 6 and younger. Free event. Register at<br />

attend.mylibrary.org/events.<br />

• • •<br />

Family Fridays are from 2-4 p.m. on the<br />

second Friday of every month at the Heritage<br />

Park Museum, 1630 Heritage Landing in St.<br />

Peters. Each session has games and crafts,<br />

storytime, or hands-on displays. Free event.<br />

Details at stccparks.org.<br />

• • •<br />

Art Start is at 10 a.m. every Tuesday at<br />

The Foundry Art Centre, 520 N. Main Center<br />

in St. Charles. Children create small art projects<br />

that pair with a story. Free event. For<br />

ages 2-5 with a caregiver. For details, visit<br />

foundryartcentre.org.<br />


The Cavesprings Toastmasters Club<br />

offers in-person and online meetings from<br />

8 a.m.-9 a.m. Wednesdays at the St. Charles<br />

Ambulance District, 2000 Salt River Road<br />

in St. Peters. Improve public speaking and<br />

communication skills by gaining confidence<br />

when speaking in front of others. RSVP to<br />

cavespringstoastmasters@gmail.com.<br />

• • •<br />

Public Stargazing is at sunset or 7 p.m.<br />

on Friday nights at the Broemmelsiek Park<br />

Astronomy Site, 1593 Schwede Road in<br />

Wentzville. Join the Astronomical Society<br />

and discover the planets, stars, constellations,<br />

nebulas, and galaxies on clear Friday<br />

nights through the largest public-viewing<br />

telescope in Missouri. Advanced registration<br />

is requested for groups of 10 or more. For<br />

details, email outreach@asemonline.org or<br />

visit asemonline.org.<br />

• • •<br />

St. Peters Lions Club meets on the first<br />

and third Tuesday of the month at The Lions<br />

Club House, 9 Park St. in St. Peters. Being<br />

a Lion is about leading by example, building<br />

relationships and improving the world<br />

through kindness. For details, email lionsclubstpetersmo@gmail.com.<br />

• • •<br />

Cottleville/Weldon Spring Rotary Club<br />

meets at noon on Wednesdays at Bemo’s,<br />

5373 Hwy. N. Details at cwsrotary.org.<br />

RSVP to Toddrasche01@gmail.com.<br />

• • •<br />

Citizens for Smart Growth in St.<br />

Charles County hosts an evening of<br />

dinner, wine and live entertainment by<br />

Michael Shaerer. The evening begins at 6<br />

p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 17 at Defiance Ridge<br />

Vineyards. Tickets are available at defianceridgevineyards.com,<br />

search “Smart<br />

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