Mid Rivers Newsmagazine 1-24-24

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. 21 No. 2 • January <strong>24</strong>, 20<strong>24</strong><br />

midriversnewsmagazine.com<br />


Pointing the way<br />

to local businesses<br />

PLUS: Roundabout Reversal In O'Fallon ■ Bathroom Decision In Wentzville ■ Student Builds Homes In Mexico





Spring Term starts Jan. 22<br />

Spring Accelerated Term #1 starts Jan. 22<br />

Spring Accelerated Term #2 starts March 25<br />

February Start starts Feb. 5<br />

May Mini Session starts May 15<br />

stchas.edu<br />

636-922-8000<br />

SCC is an equal opportunity employer/program.




A nation Dr. King<br />

would not recognize<br />

This year, 20<strong>24</strong>, marks the 60th anniversary<br />

of the signing into law of the landmark<br />

1964 Civil Rights Act.<br />

(Each January) we observe the national<br />

day set aside to note and honor the leader<br />

of the movement that led to that act becoming<br />

law: Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.<br />

We must ask how, after 60 years, with<br />

vast changes in the world, with developments<br />

in technology unimaginable 60<br />

years ago, that we remain obsessed with<br />

race. How is it that claims of racism, injustice<br />

and unfairness persist like nothing<br />

happened?<br />

Indeed, data suggest that Black Americans,<br />

on average, still lag behind economically.<br />

The Federal Reserve recently published<br />

its Survey of Consumer Finances showing<br />

that average Black family income is 43%<br />

that of white families. In 1989, it was 42%.<br />

Average Black household net worth now<br />

is 15.6% that of white households. In 1989,<br />

it was 17.8%.<br />

The deterioration of traditional religious<br />

values in the country has taken a toll on<br />

all American families. But proportionally<br />

more on Black families.<br />

Per the U.S. Department of Justice,<br />

Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency<br />

Prevention, in 2022, 43% of Black children<br />

lived in a two-parent home – down 26.5%<br />

from 1970. Among white children, 75.6%<br />

lived in a two-parent home, down 15.5%<br />

from 1970.<br />

America today is a far different country<br />

than the one where King led the Civil<br />

Rights Movement.<br />

The language that King used to lead and<br />

animate his movement was the language of<br />

the Bible. He spoke as a pastor.<br />

But in 1965, according to Gallup, 70% of<br />

Americans said religion is “very important”<br />

in their life.<br />

In 2023, 45% of Americans say religion<br />

is “very important” in their life.<br />

In the last speech of his life in 1968, in<br />

Memphis, Tennessee, King spoke about<br />

“injustice,” that “we are God’s children.”<br />

He spoke about not being afraid of death,<br />

that “I just want to do God’s will,” and then<br />

spoke those famous words that he’d been<br />

“to the mountain top” and that he’d seen<br />

“the promised land.”<br />

“I’m not worried about anything. I’m not<br />

fearing any man. Mine eyes have seen the<br />

glory of the coming of the Lord.”<br />

Can anyone imagine a leader of a major<br />

political or social movement today speaking<br />

this way?<br />

Over these 60 years since the Civil<br />

Rights Act became law, courts took the<br />

Bible and prayer out of public schools,<br />

legalized abortion and changed our legal<br />

understanding of what defines marriage.<br />

The godless socialism of DEI – diversity,<br />

equity, inclusion – has replaced good and<br />

evil as our perspective on social justice.<br />

As we have purged religion and replaced<br />

it with politics, we have lost the core of a<br />

religious world view. There is good and<br />

evil, and the Creator gave free choice and<br />

personal responsibility to choose to each<br />

individual.<br />

Without this, the freedom we allegedly<br />

care so much about has little meaning.<br />

Government has become our new religion.<br />

In 1964, federal spending took 17.3%<br />

of our GDP. Today it takes <strong>24</strong>.4%. In 1964,<br />

gross federal debt equaled 46.2% of our<br />

GDP. Today it equals 119.8%.<br />

It is an unfortunate quirk of history that<br />

the Civil Rights Movement, led by a Black<br />

Christian pastor, reached its peak at the<br />

moment when Americans decided to start<br />

banishing the Bible from our culture.<br />

A movement informed by good and<br />

evil and personal responsibility has been<br />

replaced by politics, interest groups and<br />

victimhood.<br />

The community most hurt by the purge<br />

of personal responsibility that defines individual<br />

freedom is the one that started out<br />

the weakest and the greatest victim of our<br />

moral failures.<br />

Without a new birth of faith, we for sure<br />

will not have a new birth of freedom in<br />

America.<br />

The whole nation and our future are in<br />

danger. And the weakest, those whom the<br />

socialists claim to care the most about, will<br />

suffer the most.<br />

• • •<br />

Star Parker is president of the Center<br />

for Urban Renewal and Education and<br />

host of the weekly television show “Cure<br />

America with Star Parker.”<br />

© 20<strong>24</strong> Creators.com<br />

Read more on midriversnewsmagazine.com<br />

January <strong>24</strong>, 20<strong>24</strong><br />


I OPINION I 3<br />


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4 I OPINION I<br />

January <strong>24</strong>, 20<strong>24</strong><br />





Going over board<br />

We have been publishing a newsmagazine<br />

for nearly 28 years in West St. Louis<br />

County and nearly 20 years in St. Charles<br />

County. But we have printed more stories<br />

about public school boards of education<br />

in the last <strong>24</strong> months than we did in all<br />

the previous years combined. Did we<br />

hire a new crackerjack reporter who is<br />

uncovering all these scoops, using covert<br />

sources and pure tenacity? Not at all. We<br />

didn’t find the stories. The stories stood<br />

up, raised their hand, lit themselves on<br />

fire, and then started doing one of those<br />

TikTok dances. In other words, the stories<br />

found us.<br />

For the first, let’s just say, 20 years<br />

we were in print, the local school boards<br />

– every single one of them – intentionally<br />

operated in the background. They<br />

were quiet, supportive and steadfastly<br />

focused on student performance. The<br />

members of the school board were largely<br />

unknown. The regular school board meetings<br />

were lightly attended. Mild controversy<br />

would arise whenever the issue of<br />

taxes was raised, pun intended. In those<br />

cases, very clear lines were drawn. Voters<br />

with children in the district favored the<br />

tax increases. Voters without children in<br />

the district opposed them. At the end of<br />

the day, everything smoothed itself out<br />

because all of the districts within our coverage<br />

area were – as they remain today<br />

– very high-performing districts. As such,<br />

there was no value placed on a board<br />

drawing attention to itself. Their job was<br />

to keep the train on the tracks, not to see<br />

how fast the train could go.<br />

This is no longer the case. Lately, school<br />

board candidates have gone the way of<br />

Trump, leading school boards to go the<br />

way of MAGA. In a MAGA world, controversy<br />

is oxygen, and in modern education,<br />

there is all of a sudden, no shortage<br />

of oxygen. Critical Race Theory, porn in<br />

school libraries, transgender participation<br />

in sports, Black history classes, transgender<br />

bathrooms; America’s culture wars<br />

have come to the local school board.<br />

To give credit where it is due, some<br />

boards have managed to remain mostly<br />

quiet (Parkway and Fort Zumwalt). Some<br />

have heated up and cooled down (Rockwood).<br />

A few, however, have jumped<br />

into the fray with both feet and just keep<br />

throwing punches (Francis Howell and<br />

Wentzville).<br />

Last week, Wentzville’s board voted<br />

5-2 to adopt rules that require students<br />

to use whichever restroom matches “an<br />

individual’s reproductive biology at birth.”<br />

To ensure that Wentzville did not get the<br />

news cycle all to itself, Francis Howell’s<br />

board announced that they would vote in<br />

March on a revised curriculum for Black<br />

history and Black literature courses. The<br />

board had previously decided to eliminate<br />

the courses before agreeing to keep<br />

them if the curriculum could be rendered<br />

“politically neutral.”<br />

At the risk of sounding like the old man<br />

shaking his fist at the clouds, we miss the<br />

days of mundane school boards. We miss<br />

the days when student academic performance<br />

and fiscal responsibility were the<br />

hallmarks of good governance and too<br />

uninteresting to really cover at all. We<br />

miss the days of reviewing the meeting<br />

agenda and groaning at the dullness.<br />

The local board of education is not a<br />

place from which to launch a political<br />

career. It is a place to steward with care<br />

and consideration the social, emotional,<br />

physical and academic success of our<br />

children.<br />

Here’s hoping we can put the “bore”<br />

back into the school board.<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 />

Reporters<br />

Doug Huber<br />

Sharon Huber<br />

Tim Weber<br />

Kate Uptergrove<br />

Tracey Bruce<br />

Laura Brown<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 />

Robin S. Jefferson<br />

DeAnne LeBlanc<br />

John Tremmel<br />


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6 I NEWS I<br />

January <strong>24</strong>, 20<strong>24</strong><br />





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The Cottleville/Weldon Spring Rotary Club through a partnership with<br />

Mexican sports journalist Miguel Aguilar donated 10 soccer balls to the<br />

“Lázaro Cárdenas” soccer school on Three Kings Day, Jan. 6.<br />

NEWS<br />

BRIEFS<br />


City to hold Town<br />

Square open house<br />

The city of Dardenne Prairie will host an<br />

open house to acquaint residents with the<br />

Town Square Vision Steering Committee<br />

and get input on its work.<br />

The area known as Town Square is generally<br />

bound by Route 364, Technology<br />

Drive and Post Road. The steering committee<br />

was formed last fall after residents and<br />

government officials expressed concern<br />

over proposed developments, particularly<br />

the Prairie Encore Development at Bryan<br />

and Feise roads.<br />

Members of the steering committee<br />

include alderman Mike Costlow (Ward<br />

2) and citizens Mike Wooldridge, Cliff<br />

Branch, Jack Ballantine, Wendy Rackovan,<br />

Debbie Haley, EJ Sansone, John<br />

LeDoux, Carl Maus, Mark Hunter and<br />

David Hosking.<br />

The meeting is to be held at City Hall,<br />

2032 Hanley Road, from 5-7 p.m. on<br />

Monday, Feb. 12.<br />

Traffic calming considered<br />

for Stump Road<br />

Various traffic-calming needs were<br />

addressed at the Jan. 17 Dardenne Prairie<br />

Board of Aldermen work session. The main<br />

concern centered around Stump Road and<br />

how new developments will affect the street.<br />

Alderman Mike Costlow (Ward 2) noted<br />

that the long, straight roads present speeding<br />

issues. Alderman Laura Gittemeier<br />

(Ward 1) agreed and noted, “I haven’t seen<br />

a police presence out there in a long time.”<br />

City Administrator James W. Knowles<br />

III said the city receives many calls about<br />

traffic issues. Mayor John Gotway also said<br />

he has data proving that the city is doing<br />

everything possible to properly monitor<br />

the area. Gittemeier requested proof of this<br />

information because her observations do<br />

not substantiate those claims, she said.<br />

Alderman Mark Johnson (Ward 3) agreed<br />

that there should be proof of a problem<br />

before the city moved to commit funding<br />

to traffic calming measures, and there was<br />

a lengthy discussion about what could be<br />

done if further action was deemed necessary.<br />

City Engineer Tom Weis noted that<br />

they could add a chicane or speed table. He<br />

also suggested that the city experiment with<br />

temporary heavy-duty rubber speed bumps<br />

to discover whether a speed deterrent is<br />

helpful.<br />

The question of adding flashing red stop<br />

signs was introduced by alderman Keith<br />

Widaman (Ward 3). Weis agreed that stop<br />

signs could also be helpful but that adding<br />

stop signs could affect federal funding<br />

grants.<br />

Not everyone was convinced that Stump<br />

Road should be the city’s highest priority.<br />

Alderman Justin Ungerbock (Ward 2) said<br />

there are various neighborhoods in the area<br />

with traffic issues that must be addressed<br />

before committing any funding to Stump<br />

Road. By contrast, Costlow argued that if<br />

they added preventative measures while<br />

already working on the road, residents<br />

would likely receive better long-term results.<br />

Residents also voiced their concerns over<br />

the issue during the public comments portion<br />

of the board meeting. Everyone who<br />

spoke agreed that funding preventative<br />

measures during the development process<br />

would be a more useful way of spending<br />

city funding instead of waiting until a problem<br />

arises.<br />

O’FALLON<br />

Firing range approved<br />

on Hwy. 79 site<br />

At its Jan. 11 meeting, the O’Fallon City<br />

Council voted 9-1 to approve a conditional<br />

use permit to allow the city to construct an<br />

outdoor firing range in an agricultural district.<br />

The 200-yard, outdoor shooting range<br />

and classroom training area would be used<br />

by the O’Fallon Police Department and<br />

other law enforcement agencies. It would sit<br />

on 88.28 undeveloped acres located at <strong>24</strong>00<br />

Hwy. 79, across from an O’Fallon water<br />

treatment facility.<br />

Council member Deana Smith (Ward<br />

1) was opposed to the bill (No.7608). The<br />

Planning and Zoning Commission had recommended<br />

its approval.<br />

But Smith was not only in her opposition.<br />

The site’s lone neighbor was also opposed.<br />

During public comments prior to the<br />

bill’s first reading on Dec. 14, Tim Wilmes<br />

said the range would be located less than<br />

100 feet from his residential property.<br />

“There’s only one home here, guys, this is<br />

not a subdivision,” he told the council then.<br />

“There’s just one home, and it is occupied. If<br />

this firing range goes in the way it sits at the<br />

moment, nobody is going to want to live in<br />

that home. Not as a renter. And nobody will<br />

want to buy it. We have just taken the home<br />

off the market, pretty much.”<br />

He asked the council for a reasonable<br />

agreement before the range was approved.<br />

As of press time, the city has not yet<br />

responded to a news request for information<br />

about what that resolution might be.<br />

City approves Dardenne<br />

Greenway Connector plan<br />

The city of O’Fallon has been preparing to<br />

install new pathways to tie into the existing<br />

Dardenne Greenway system, connect into<br />

high-density residential development system<br />

in the area, and traverse under I-64 for future<br />

connectivity to the August Busch Wildlife<br />

Conservation area. The project has been<br />

dubbed the Dardenne Greenway Connector,<br />

or Busch Connector.<br />

The city already has approved a Transportation<br />

Alternatives Program agreement with<br />

the Missouri Highways and Transportation<br />

Commission to fund a portion of the project.<br />

An agreement with CDG Engineers for<br />

design services and a supplemental agreement<br />

with CDG Engineers for additional<br />

design services required for the project to<br />

reconstruct the existing Technology Drive<br />

bridge in coordination with MoDOT have<br />

also been approved.<br />

At its Jan 11 meeting, the O’Fallon City<br />

Council unanimously voted to approve Bill<br />

No. 7610 that approves plans for the project,<br />

declares it to be necessary and appropriate,<br />

and authorizes the land acquisition and certain<br />

other actions.<br />

The improvements include, but are not<br />

limited to:<br />

• Installation of new 10-foot-wide, shareduse<br />

path sections that will tie into the existing<br />

Dardenne Greenway system at Barat Haven.<br />

• A new parking lot/trailhead area.<br />

• A path section that connects into the highdensity<br />

residential development system in<br />

the area.<br />

• A path section that will traverse under I-64<br />

for future connectivity to the August Busch<br />

Wildlife Conservation area.<br />

The project includes coordinating with<br />

MoDOT for the reconstruction of the existing



January <strong>24</strong>, 20<strong>24</strong><br />


I NEWS I 7<br />

Technology Drive bridge. The new bridge<br />

will include a 12-foot-wide, shared-use path<br />

for connectivity of both sides of Dardenne<br />

Creek and the other improvements.<br />

The city budget includes funds to support<br />

this project.<br />

New tool created to aid in<br />

development decisions<br />

When a new residential, commercial,<br />

apartment, mixed-use, or industrial development<br />

is proposed, citizens of the city of<br />

O’Fallon expect its Planning and Zoning<br />

Commission (P&Z) and City Council to<br />

make informed and intelligent decisions<br />

about approvals of plans, financial arrangements<br />

and permits.<br />

To help achieve that goal, city staff have<br />

developed a flexible but easy-to-understand<br />

tool for evaluating the costs and benefits of<br />

proposed new development projects.<br />

The tool, known as the Fiscal Impact<br />

Analysis (FIA) spreadsheet, has been developed<br />

and tested using a variety of scenarios<br />

including old developments (Harvest,<br />

Thornwood, Gouge Tract), new developments<br />

(Post Farms), and potential future<br />

and hypothetical developments. Now, it is<br />

ready to be deployed.<br />

In any municipality, new developments<br />

generate a mix of benefits and costs. Benefits<br />

include tax revenue generation and<br />

population and business growth. Costs<br />

include infrastructure maintenance and city<br />

personnel expenses. The FIA is designed<br />

to calculate and summarize those factors<br />

based on input from city staff, the developer<br />

and existing data. Then, in a simple format,<br />

demonstrate the potential economic impact<br />

the development might have on the city.<br />

In a presentation of the new tool to the<br />

council on Dec. 14, Anthony Friedman,<br />

Ph.D., assistant director of engineering,<br />

explained that benefits can include population<br />

growth and tax revenue, including<br />

property tax, personal property tax, sales<br />

tax and online use taxes.<br />

According to Friedman, costs for new<br />

developments typically involve maintenance<br />

and replacement of roadways and<br />

stormwater infrastructure, plus additional<br />

city police and code enforcement personnel,<br />

their salaries, benefits, equipment and space.<br />

Friedman explained that property taxes<br />

can differ significantly because while the<br />

tax rate of $0.45 per $100 of assessed<br />

valuation is the same, residential and commercial<br />

land are assessed differently. Residential<br />

property is assessed at 19% of the<br />

total market value, while commercial land<br />

is assessed at 33% of market value.<br />

While broader trends may emerge, each<br />

development must be viewed and considered<br />

on a case-by-case basis, because there<br />

may be benefits and costs beyond the economic<br />

implications captured that should<br />

also be considered.<br />

Friedman expects the model to be continually<br />

improved and refined as diverse<br />

new developments are run through it in the<br />

future.<br />

ST. PETERS<br />

City clerk honored<br />

ahead of retirement<br />

St. Peters officials said goodbye to City<br />

Clerk Patty Smith at the Jan. 11 Board of<br />

Aldermen meeting. She has been city clerk<br />

since May 9, 2011. It was her last meeting<br />

before entering retirement.<br />

Alderman Nick Trupiano (Ward 4), along<br />

with all of his fellow aldermen, praised<br />

Smith for her outstanding work and wished<br />

her the best.<br />

“You make us look great,” he said. “You<br />

do a fantastic job.”<br />

Alderman Dave Kuppler (Ward 3) agreed.<br />

“She is a wonderful soul with a wonderful<br />

disposition,” he said. “To have her work for<br />

the city has just been a wonderful experience<br />

for all of us.”<br />

Alderman Judy Bateman (Ward 2) noted<br />

that not only was Smith a “great city clerk”<br />

but she is certified and recognized by her<br />

peers.<br />

Freezing weather is here!<br />


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“A lot of us have no idea what all goes<br />

on with a city clerk,” Bateman said. “We<br />

think it’s just getting our agendas to us, and<br />

maybe looking up some things, but she’s<br />

done an awful lot of things that we don’t<br />

even know about. Keeping us all legal.<br />

“Also I just think she goes above and<br />

beyond for kindness.”<br />

Bateman explained how Smith helped to<br />

look out for others whenever she could.<br />

“You’ve done so much for so many,”<br />

alderman John ‘Rocky’ Reitmeyer (Ward<br />

1) stated.<br />

See NEWS BRIEFS, page 23<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.

8 I NEWS I<br />

January <strong>24</strong>, 20<strong>24</strong><br />




O’Fallon passes North Cool Springs-Tom Ginnever intersection project<br />


A project that was defeated<br />

in December has been rejuvenated<br />

in January.<br />

At its Dec. 14 meeting, the<br />

O’Fallon City Council voted<br />

6-3 to deny the use of federal<br />

funding for a new roundabout<br />

at Tom Ginnever Avenue and<br />

North Cool Springs Road.<br />

That decision was reversed at<br />

the council’s Jan. 11 meeting,<br />

when reconsideration resulted<br />

in six council members voted to<br />

allow the use of federal funding.<br />

The $986,700 for the project comes in the<br />

form of MoDOT Congestion Mitigation and<br />

Air Quality Funding (CMAQ) funds administered<br />

through the East-West Gateway<br />

Council of Governments and the Missouri<br />

Department of Transportation (MoDOT).<br />

Lisa Thompson (Ward 2) brought about<br />

the change.<br />

Prior to the Jan. 11 meeting, Thompson<br />

requested reconsideration of the bill under<br />

rules defined in the city code that allow a<br />

council member who voted with the majority<br />

to request reconsideration at the same or<br />

next succeeding meeting. Council member<br />

Deana Smith (Ward 1) asked Thompson<br />

why she requested reconsideration.<br />

“The full city council was not present<br />

for the vote on Dec. 14, and this being an<br />

Tom Ginnever Avenue at North Cool Springs Road<br />

important project, I wanted everyone to<br />

vote,” Thompson responded.<br />

Council member Jeff Kuehn (Ward 4)<br />

was the member who had been absent/<br />

excused on Dec. 14.<br />

Thompson also said she had re-watched<br />

the council workshop during which Tony<br />

Friedman, Ph.D., the city’s assistant director<br />

of engineering, had presented the benefits<br />

and safety statistics of a roundabout at the<br />

intersection. Then, she did her own additional<br />

research about the safety of a roundabout<br />

versus a stop sign intersection. She said<br />

her research confirmed that the roundabout<br />

safety rating is an “A” compared to “C” and<br />

“E” for stop sign intersections. An “A” being<br />

the safest and “F” being the most dangerous.<br />

Regarding the proximity to two high<br />

schools, Thompson said, “I<br />

have two young drivers in<br />

my family, and they have no<br />

problem with roundabouts.”<br />

Several other council<br />

members responded with<br />

their views on Jan. 11.<br />

Debbie Cook (Ward 5)<br />

said she did not understand<br />

why the absence of one<br />

council member would be<br />

a reason for reconsideration<br />

and a re-vote.<br />

“We have members<br />

absent at various meetings<br />

throughout the year,” Cook<br />

said. “Should we cancel a meeting if we<br />

have one member absent?”<br />

She said safety is not a concern at this<br />

intersection and the stop sign is only a brief<br />

inconvenience.<br />

“Senior residents in nearby housing are all<br />

against this roundabout,” Cook said. “We<br />

asked them.”<br />

Cook said the city has “even busier intersections<br />

on Crooked Stick and other streets<br />

and no roundabouts are used there.” She<br />

said the three-way intersection at Mexico<br />

Road and Bryan Road has school buses,<br />

young drivers and a high traffic volume.<br />

She then asked if the federal project funds<br />

could be used for other intersections such<br />

as Bryan at Mexico. City Engineer Wade<br />

Montgomery said no, the city would need to<br />

(Google Earth photo)<br />

apply for that specific project funding. City<br />

Administrator Michael Snowden then commented<br />

that if the city did not use the federal<br />

funding available and already granted,<br />

applying again later would not be looked<br />

upon favorably.<br />

“I was absent from the prior meeting. I am<br />

an engineer, a numbers guy,” Kuehn said.<br />

“I agree with council member Thompson’s<br />

comments. I hate roundabouts, but my teenaged<br />

son has no problem with them, and<br />

roundabouts are obviously safer.”<br />

Smith said she talked with Friedman<br />

about safety and learned that accidents at<br />

North Cool Springs-Tom Ginnever intersection<br />

have mostly been sideswipe and rearender<br />

accidents with no fatalities.<br />

“We still will have sideswipes and rearenders<br />

with the roundabout,” she said. “This<br />

project is not fiscally responsible compared<br />

to other projects. We are creating a solution<br />

for a problem we do not have.”<br />

Smith said she also was worried about<br />

pedestrians using a roundabout.<br />

However, Montgomery said the current<br />

three-way stop intersection requires pedestrians<br />

to cross five traffic lanes. The roundabout<br />

has safety islands where pedestrians<br />

can wait, all traffic goes in the same direction,<br />

and pedestrians must cross only two<br />

lanes, making the roundabout much safer.<br />

Council member Dr. Jim Ottomeyer<br />

See O’FALLON, page 11<br />

St. Peters approves four road projects for 20<strong>24</strong><br />


Multiple road improvement projects were<br />

passed at the Jan. 11 St. Peters Board of<br />

Aldermen meeting. From the Spencer Road<br />

reconstruction to the Harvester Road at<br />

Queensbrooke Boulevard signal replacement<br />

and more, residents can expect to see various<br />

projects move ahead this year.<br />

The Spencer Road Reconstruction Project<br />

was passed in order to improve transportation<br />

systems and facilities to promote the<br />

general health, safety and welfare of the<br />

community. M&H Concrete Contractors, Inc.<br />

will be executing the updates, which amount<br />

to $3,025,983 in construction work.<br />

In addition, a Mexico Road Stabilization<br />

project was approved with the provision that<br />

it is to be funded utilizing the St. Charles<br />

County Capital Improvements Sales Tax. It<br />

will construct a 6-foot wall off of the back<br />

of the curb along the south side of Mexico<br />

Road from Kindred Hill Road, extending<br />

approximately 600 feet to the east. A 6-footwide<br />

sidewalk will also be created at the back<br />

of the curb along the south side of Mexico<br />

Road from First Executive Avenue to Jungermann<br />

Road, where no sidewalk currently<br />

exists, and a fence will be placed on top of<br />

the wall at the back of the sidewalk.<br />

The wall will help ease erosion and ensure<br />

the safety of residents. It is slated for completion<br />

by June 30, 2025. The cost of the project<br />

is estimated at $150,000, which includes<br />

design preparation. The city has also agreed<br />

to apply for federal funding in the form<br />

of grants administered by the East-West<br />

Gateway Council of Governments and/or<br />

MoDOT Cost Share funds.<br />

A Willot Road Replacement Project<br />

received approval as well. This will replace a<br />

pair of failing reinforced concrete pipes that<br />

are under Willott Road between Carrington<br />

Drive and Jody Drive and experiencing<br />

erosion and settlement issues on both ends,<br />

along with joint separation under the roadway.<br />

The pipes will be replaced with a pair of<br />

8-by-6-foot concrete box culverts. This will<br />

cost an estimated $938,986. The city noted<br />

that it is currently working with a consultant<br />

Northwest corner of Harvester Road and Queensbrooke<br />

Boulevard intersection looking south.<br />

to complete the design.<br />

The signal located<br />

at Harvester Road and<br />

Queensbrook Boulevard<br />

is also due for replacement.<br />

The current signal<br />

was a temporary installment<br />

that the city had<br />

planned to replace eventually.<br />

Now, the spanwire<br />

system is weathered and<br />

the signal has provided an unreliable for the<br />

St. Peters and GGL traffic network, making<br />

it difficult for the city to properly respond to<br />

outages.<br />

According to the city, the aging spanwire<br />

system will be replaced with a permanent<br />

steel signal system.<br />

“The project will also construct a sidewalk<br />

along the east side of Harvester Road from<br />

Queensbrooke Boulevard to Sugarwood<br />

Drive and provide a signalized pedestrian<br />

crossing at the Queensbrooke Boulevard signalized<br />

intersection. The project will install<br />

a fiber optic cable interconnect for the Harvester<br />

Road and Queensbrooke Boulevard<br />

signal,” according to city documents.<br />

Before voting on the signal replacement<br />

project, alderman Patrick Barclay (Ward 4)<br />

commended residents for reaching out to<br />

help the city decide to replace the light. He<br />

noted that various improvement projects are<br />

always being discussed and proposed, so<br />

hearing from concerned residents aids the<br />

board in choosing what issues need to be<br />

addressed in a more timely manner.<br />

Each of these projects focuses on different<br />

areas and was approved based on separate<br />

timelines. All four passed unanimously.



January <strong>24</strong>, 20<strong>24</strong><br />


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10 I NEWS I<br />

January <strong>24</strong>, 20<strong>24</strong><br />


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St. Charles County Police Chief Kurt Frisz<br />

has requested St. Charles County Council<br />

approval to revise the current regional SWAT<br />

memorandum of understanding to include a<br />

drone unit.<br />

In a memo to the council, Frisz said the<br />

St. Charles County Drone Unit has been in<br />

operation for nearly two years.<br />

“During this time, activation requests have<br />

doubled from 100 in 2022 to 200 in 2023,”<br />

he said. “The unit initially had seven FAAcertified<br />

drone pilots, but that number has<br />

also doubled to 14. To increase the efficiency<br />

and capabilities of the unit, area police<br />

department chiefs have agreed to initiate a<br />

regional drone unit similar to the regional<br />

SWAT and Crisis Negotiator units.”<br />

Drones are much more important and<br />

more integrated into police and emergency<br />

operations and procedures than in prior<br />

years and thus are more in demand today<br />

in area police departments. In January 20<strong>24</strong><br />

SCCAD and SCCPD combined now have 17<br />

deployable drones. The county refers to them<br />

as unmanned aerial systems (UAS).<br />

Lt. Ryan Streck, deputy commander of the<br />

Bureau of Operational Support, explained<br />

the history, “Collaborative efforts between<br />

SCCPD and SCCAD have evolved significantly<br />

since their initial partnership, marked<br />

by the successful integration of tactical<br />

medics into SWAT several years ago. The<br />

ambulance district developed its proof-ofconcept<br />

drone team to support emergency<br />

medical services operations, specifically<br />

for special teams such as urban search and<br />

rescue, hazardous materials, and SWAT.”<br />

“The inception of SCCAD’s drone program<br />

created an opportunity for SWAT to<br />

access and understand the advanced capabilities<br />

of unmanned technology systems, such<br />

as drones.<br />



County to vote on drone use Jan. 29<br />

Hyundai owners can receive a free antitheft<br />

software update at a drive-thru event<br />

from 8 a.m.-6 p.m. on Feb. 2-3 in the Chesterfield<br />

Mall parking lot, outside the closed<br />

Sears store.<br />

This event is being held in response to<br />

persistent thefts targeting certain Hyundai<br />

vehicles without push-button ignitions and<br />

immobilizing anti-theft devices. It’s goal<br />

is to complement Hyundai’s nationwide<br />

network of dealerships and drive further<br />

installations of Hyundai’s free anti-theft<br />

software upgrade for customers who continue<br />

to be affected by the thefts.<br />

No appointment is needed. The update<br />

takes around 20 minutes to install.<br />

When drivers arrive, they will check in<br />

“John Yeast, the director of technology at<br />

SCCAD and a certified FAA PART 107 pilot,<br />

played a pivotal role in launching the drone<br />

program and collaborated with SWAT command<br />

to enhance their drone capabilities.”<br />

An FAA Part 107 license allows a drone<br />

pilot to fly at night, over people and over<br />

moving vehicles.<br />

“Recognizing Yeast’s expertise, it became<br />

evident that his inclusion as the team’s tactical<br />

drone operator would add significant<br />

value. This collaboration yielded successful<br />

outcomes, paving the way for opportunities<br />

to formalize the SCCAD’s existing pilot<br />

resources,” Streck said.<br />

He noted that under Yeast’s leadership,<br />

SCCAD and the county united the two teams,<br />

resulting in a well-structured and coordinated<br />

effort. The team now operates a substantial<br />

aircraft fleet and boasts 14 licensed<br />

pilots from diverse disciplines, showcasing<br />

the success and growth of this collaborative<br />

initiative.<br />

SCCPD currently uses drones to:<br />

• Search for missing persons.<br />

• Locate fleeing suspects.<br />

• Search building interiors.<br />

• Assist SWAT, urban search and rescue,<br />

and Hazmat regional response teams.<br />

• Support the St. Charles County Regional<br />

Criminal Interdiction Task Force, leveraging<br />

drone technology in proactive patrol operations<br />

and vehicle clearing on high-risk felony<br />

traffic stops.<br />

• Survey damage from natural disasters.<br />

• Assist Emergency Management Agency<br />

with flooding assessments.<br />

At its Jan. 8 meeting, the council introduced<br />

Bill No. 5256 to authorize the execution<br />

of the revised Regional SWAT Team<br />

Agreement to include a drone unit. If typical<br />

process and timing are followed, the bill will<br />

receive a vote for passage at the next council<br />

meeting on Jan. 29.<br />

Hyundai hosts anti-theft drive-thru event<br />

and be escorted to a customer lounge. A<br />

valet will take their vehicle to the service<br />

bay for the software update. The valet will<br />

return the vehicle when the installation is<br />

complete.<br />

Additionally, every Hyundai owner who<br />

visits the clinic will receive a free steering<br />

wheel lock.<br />

Hyundai Motor America sponsors the<br />

drive-thru event. Since July of 2023 when<br />

the nationwide events began, more than 1<br />

million Hyundai vehicles have received<br />

software updates.<br />

To see a list of vehicles eligible for the<br />

update, visit hyundaiantitheft.com and<br />

enter the vehicle’s VIN to see if the software<br />

update is needed.



Wentzville Schools adopt<br />

biological sex bathroom policy<br />

January <strong>24</strong>, 20<strong>24</strong><br />


I NEWS I 11<br />

Ruby Williford speaks to the Wentzville School District Board of Education on Jan. 18<br />

(Robin Seaton Jefferson photo)<br />


“Hi, my name is Ruby, and I am 12 years<br />

old. I would like to talk about boys in the<br />

girls’ bathroom. It makes me uncomfortable<br />

… I understand about inclusiveness,<br />

but this crosses the line. I want people to<br />

be comfortable, but a boy coming into the<br />

girls’ bathroom makes me uncomfortable.<br />

And my rights matter too.”<br />

Ruby Williford stood before the Wentzville<br />

School District Board of Education<br />

on Jan. 18 just before it voted 5-2 in favor<br />

of making the district students who identify<br />

as transgender use bathrooms based on<br />

their “reproductive biology at birth.”<br />

Wentzville Superintendent Danielle Tormala<br />

cautioned the board just before the<br />

vote that the policy could expose the district<br />

to lawsuits for discriminating against<br />

transgender students under the federal<br />

government’s Title IX and Equal Protection<br />

Clause. She noted that the administrative<br />

recommendation was for the board to<br />

“refrain from adopting the policy at this<br />

time.” She warned that since current state<br />

and federal law remain unsettled, and “a<br />

split still exists on the gender identity bathroom<br />

issue,” adopting a policy now could<br />

create liability for the district.<br />

“WSD students who receive this type<br />

of accommodation make up less than one<br />

O’FALLON, from page 8<br />

(Ward 4) asked Montgomery about the<br />

estimated traffic increase expected over the<br />

next 5 to 10 years.<br />

“There is no crystal ball for this, but we<br />

already have a safety rating of C in the<br />

morning and E in the afternoon on a scale,”<br />

Montgomery said. “We are seeking to do<br />

this project now, before we have a more<br />

serious problem. And I won’t even bring up<br />

the reduction of emissions from buses and<br />

cars when a roundabout is use.”<br />

one-hundredths of 1% of our student population,”<br />

Tormala said Thursday. She noted<br />

that “the current language of the Missouri<br />

Human Rights Act … together with the<br />

Missouri Supreme Court’s decision that<br />

public school restrooms are public accommodations<br />

…literally prohibits school districts<br />

from segregating their restrooms on<br />

the basis of sex.”<br />

Tormala also quoted Duane Martin, the<br />

district’s former outside legal counsel,<br />

who, on the Ed Council podcast, recommended<br />

that school districts wait to make<br />

policy decisions on the issue “until the law<br />

is better settled, and the general assembly<br />

acts.”<br />

“At this point it is unknowable what the<br />

law will be in a few years from now, as<br />

to whether it is unlawful discrimination to<br />

exclude a student from a restroom based<br />

upon their gender identity,” Tormala<br />

quoted Martin as saying.<br />

Rather than adopting a policy, the district<br />

should deal with the issue “on a oneon-one<br />

individual basis,” Tormala advised.<br />

She said the new policies segregate the<br />

use of the district’s multi-user facilities on<br />

the basis of sex thus violating Missouri’s<br />

Human Rights Act.<br />

But school board member Jen Olson,<br />

See WENTZVILLE, page 22<br />

“We might not have an absolute need for<br />

this (roundabout) now,” Ottomeyer said,<br />

“but funding is there now, with a low cost<br />

to the city.”<br />

The city’s cost would be $100,000 for a<br />

$1.5 million project, with $950,000 from<br />

federal funding and $500,000 County Road<br />

Board funding.<br />

For the re-vote, Herweck, Thompson,<br />

Nathan Bibb (Ward 3), Steve Koskela<br />

(Ward 3), Kuehn and Ottomeyer voted in<br />

favor of the bill. Smith, Ronn Epps Ward<br />

1), Cook and Ragsdale voted against the bill.<br />

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Get in the ‘yellow seat’ at the 2nd Outdoor Show<br />

Enjoy the show Feb. 2-4 at the St. Charles<br />

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It’s time to think spring, and if you need<br />

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The SNPartners Outdoor Show is a great opportunity to learn from industry experts<br />

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of mind. In fact, his business, Serenity Wealth<br />

Management, is built on it.<br />

“Financial serenity is the peace of mind to enjoy the<br />

lifestyle you deserve no matter what is going on in the<br />

world and economy around us. We work hard to save<br />

for our financial future; it’s important to save efficiently<br />

with your goals in mind,” Chris said.<br />

Goal-based planning plays an essential role in securing<br />

this kind of financial peace. It starts with individual<br />

goals and then a thorough review and understanding of<br />

key concerns unique to each person, he said.<br />

“Goal-based planning, accounting for various financial<br />

risks is really important. I’m a big believer in having a<br />

plan and working with a trusted partner who can keep<br />

you in check, provide education, explain the tools you’re unfamiliar with and serve as your<br />

guide when making financial decisions,” he said.<br />

An investment advisor, insurance agent and CPA, Chris provides customized financial plans<br />

for individuals, families and business owners. His holistic approach includes accumulation,<br />

income and distribution, estate and long-term care planning. He provides advice on<br />

investments and insurance always through a lens of tax-efficiency.<br />

Chris hosts educational events in the St Charles Community to share his expertise on key<br />

financial concepts influencing your financial serenity. There are two options for his upcoming<br />

workshop “Principles of Retirement Planning.”<br />

Both are at Walnut Grill in O’Fallon, one on<br />

Thursday, Feb. 15 and one on Tuesday, Feb. 20.<br />

See his website for more information. Or<br />

request a free copy of his book “A CPA’s Guide<br />

to Tax-Free Strategies for Long-Term Care.”<br />

Get to know Chris and learn more about the<br />

path to financial serenity.<br />

(636) 333-9819<br />

www.serenitywealthnow.com<br />

Keeping your home HIGH & DRY<br />

HIGH & DRY foundation repair has a solution for your foundation problems. Whether it’s<br />

a leaky spot in the basement, a crack in the concrete or a leaning/settling foundation wall,<br />

HIGH & DRY can provide a cost-effective, professional<br />

repair.<br />

Co-owned by husband and wife Tom and Cindy Ely, the<br />

full-service foundation repair company has fixed tens<br />

of thousands of foundations in the St.Louis metro area<br />

since 2006. The company specializes in cost-effective<br />

crack injection, wall stabilization, settling foundations<br />

and interior drain systems. HIGH & DRY’s highly trained<br />

team members are not commission based, so they only<br />

recommend necessary repairs.<br />

The family-owned company also can structurally<br />

repair cracks and bowing walls using its carbon fiber<br />

Tom and Cindy Ely, owners<br />

products.<br />

“We use state-of-the-art technologies to provide a<br />

reliable and cost-effective solution for our customers’ needs,” Tom said. “Our goal is to provide<br />

the best quality and customer service in the industry. What makes us different? Others have<br />

sales processes for their products; we try to solve problems and then present solutions.”<br />

HIGH & DRY uses material supplies of only the highest caliber, made in the USA and keeps<br />

up with the latest technologies and techniques to ensure the best repairs available. The<br />

company offers free estimates for waterproofing and foundation repair, as well as a “Life<br />

of the Structure” transferable warranty.<br />

HIGH & DRY Foundation Repair has received<br />

the Super Service Award from Angie’s List<br />

several years in a row. The company is A+<br />

rated with the Better Business Bureau with<br />

no complaints.<br />

“We’re honest, with no intimidation,” Tom<br />

said. “We are going to tell the customer what<br />

they need – and nothing more.”<br />

2103 Penta Drive • High Ridge<br />

(636) 273-1150 • (314) 426-0900<br />

www.highanddrystl.com<br />

Where great food and service is a tradition<br />

Michael Bunyatove, server<br />

Hospitality, great food and value are core principles<br />

at Spiro’s. And with more than 45 years of pleasing<br />

long-time customers and winning new ones, it seems<br />

to be the perfect recipe for a restaurant’s success and<br />

longevity.<br />

Hospitality means service. Tableside service may be<br />

uncommon at other restaurants, but it is a tradition<br />

at Spiro’s. The experienced staff will make your dinner<br />

an enjoyable experience and guide guests through the<br />

menu and wine list to help them select the perfect<br />

combinations.<br />

Great food begins with Mediterranean recipes<br />

made from scratch that have been time-tested for<br />

generations.<br />

“We make everything from scratch, even our sauces<br />

and stocks because it makes food taste richer. You can’t get that from a package,” said Spiro’s<br />

general manager Stacy McCullison. Traditional, classic dishes are best, she said.<br />

“We get it right. And we keep getting it right,” she said. “You can sift through all the trends<br />

of new-fangled recipes, but you can always trace them back to the basics, the classics. That’s<br />

why our motto is ‘Make tradition the new trend.’”<br />

Value means extraordinary menu items at reasonable prices and a variety of choices for the<br />

perfect fit for your event. Relax and let Spiro’s staff serve your guests in the banquet room<br />

at the restaurant, have your party catered at<br />

your location, order and pick up party pans<br />

of appetizers, pasta and salad or build a gyro<br />

bar for your party. Or for a special meal at<br />

home Spiro’s has authentic Mediterranean<br />

dishes that are packaged for four and are<br />

perfect for families.<br />

Come experience Spiro’s, and start your<br />

own tradition.<br />

2275 Bluestone Drive • St. Charles<br />

(636) 916-1454<br />




January <strong>24</strong>, 20<strong>24</strong><br />



Real shopping finds for everyone<br />

From left, Derek and Janna Pollock<br />

and Jeff Herndon<br />

Sometimes all it takes is one family<br />

obeying God’s calling to build a team to<br />

serve a community.<br />

Jeff Herndon, his daughter Janna, and<br />

son-in-law Derek Pollock are that family,<br />

and the new Missions Thrift Store (MTS)<br />

in The Meadows is the result of their labor.<br />

The 12,000 sq. foot building with a huge<br />

sales floor opened Sept. 21 and is filled<br />

with real shopping finds for everyone. The<br />

store features new and used clothing, home<br />

goods, furniture, books, electronics, toys and<br />

lots of compassion. You can find everything<br />

from a Kate Spade handbag and high-end blue jeans to clothing and toys for a dollar or two.<br />

Conversations, prayers and a Bible are all free for those who need them.<br />

The way the project came together shows God was in it from the beginning, they said. As<br />

Jeff was discerning what God had in store for him next, he spoke to Janna about opening<br />

a thrift store to fund missions. She and Derek jumped on the idea. In faith, they sold their<br />

home in Iowa to fund the project and moved to Missouri. God’s timing was perfect. They<br />

bought some fixtures when a store closed but were given the rest. Merchandise donations<br />

started coming in a year before opening. “We put the word out and the merchandise came,<br />

including whole estates, and our whole house was packed,” Jeff said.<br />

MTS is driven by volunteers and more are<br />

welcome. MTS supports the Hope Food Pantry<br />

and Sparrow’s Nest with the proceeds. They also<br />

collect eyeglasses for Focus on Missions, give to<br />

Love Packages, send coats and blankets for the<br />

homeless, give bags for foster care and support<br />

local schools.<br />

Stop in and see what God is doing with one<br />

willing family that has a heart for the community.<br />

25 Meadows Circle Dr. Ste 102<br />

Lake Saint Louis • (636) 695-2612<br />

www.missionsthriftstore.org<br />

A place to call home in Wentzville<br />

“It’s their turn to be spoiled.”<br />

That’s the philosophy of Shahid<br />

Imran, owner of Hampton Manor, a<br />

premier assisted living and memory care<br />

community now open in Wentzville.<br />

At Hampton Manor, spoiling means<br />

offering a warm and welcoming<br />

environment that is expressed in an<br />

all-inclusive, resort-style community.<br />

Executive Director Kelly Gano noted<br />

that amenities include a movie theater,<br />

beauty salon, outdoor patios, a courtyard<br />

and transportation services. Plus high-end finishes such as “crystal chandeliers and a water<br />

feature when you first walk in the building.”<br />

“The courtyard at Wentzville has a beautiful fountain and a gazebo,” she added. “Imran’s<br />

expectations of the food also are very high. He wants everything to be top of the line.”<br />

Residents enjoy three daily delicious, well-balanced meals prepared fresh with a variety of<br />

menu choices and snacks available anytime.<br />

The new facility offers three senior living options: independent living, assisted living or<br />

memory care. The assisted living area of the community has two-bedroom, one-bedroom and<br />

studio apartments. The memory unit has all studio apartments, Kelly said.<br />

Every floor plan was created with ease of mobility and safety in mind.<br />

This is home and it is naturally a place for family and friends as well as residents. A host<br />

of holiday activities and family socials are planned each year, and the facility offers plenty<br />

of public spaces where residents can entertain<br />

visitors.<br />

Visit wentzvilleassistedliving.com and take a<br />

virtual tour. In-person tours can be arranged by<br />

calling (636) 538-6770.<br />

Two other Hampton Manor communities also<br />

are planned, one in St. Peters and one in O’Fallon.<br />

21 <strong>Mid</strong>land Park Drive • Wentzville<br />

(636) 538-6770<br />

www.wentzvilleassistedliving.com<br />

Protecting your family and your future<br />

There is no such thing as<br />

a one-size-fits-all plan for<br />

the future. When it comes to<br />

protecting your family and your<br />

estate, trust the experienced<br />

team at Beck, Lenox, & Stolzer<br />

Estate Planning & Elder Law to<br />

help you create a plan that will<br />

provide you with complete peace<br />

of mind.<br />

From newly independent young<br />

adults to the elderly loved one needing long-term care, their four in-house attorneys are<br />

here to provide the services appropriate for you. Powers of attorney documents are essential<br />

for everyone; and a living trust is likely what you need to keep things simple for your heirs.<br />

A child or adult with special needs may be best served with a guardian and conservator<br />

assigned to them or possibly having a special needs trust created for his or her benefit.<br />

A significant part of Beck, Lenox, and Stolzer’s practice is in elder law. Founder Rudy Beck<br />

has been a local pioneer in this field. Elder law focuses on helping seniors navigate the<br />

challenges of aging, which often includes finding funds to help pay for home or nursing<br />

home care or protecting your assets from those costs when there is time to plan ahead. Todate,<br />

Rudy and his partners Jay Lenox and Caroline Daiker Stolzer, along with Of Counsel<br />

Attorney Phil Ohlms, have helped over 3,200 clients qualify for Medicaid benefits and over<br />

2,800 veterans or their widowed spouses successfully apply for VA Aid & Attendance pension<br />

benefits. Rudy, Jay and Caroline are “accredited”<br />

attorneys with the VA.<br />

Are you ready to begin the process to obtain<br />

peace of mind? If so, go online to beckelderlaw.<br />

com to schedule a free phone call with one of<br />

our attorneys. Share your concerns and be<br />

actively engaged in protecting your family and<br />

your estate!<br />

2777 W. Clay Street • St. Charles<br />

(636) 946-7899<br />

www.beckelderlaw.com<br />

Experienced in real estate, committed to clients<br />

When it comes to navigating the ever-changing<br />

world of real estate, it’s vital to have an expert<br />

at your side who has the experience to provide<br />

guidance each step of the way.<br />

Peter Lu with eXp Realty has been helping<br />

folks buy and sell homes since 2006. He has<br />

experienced the market’s highs and lows and<br />

has had great success helping his clients navigate<br />

through the good, the bad and the ugly. He is<br />

committed to helping clients find the home of<br />

their dreams without the stress and worry the<br />

process can entail. Whether you are looking to<br />

buy or sell a home, Peter’s passion for real estate<br />

and in-depth knowledge of the market makes<br />

him an invaluable partner. The Peter Lu Team<br />

prides themselves on their service, high standards<br />

and exceptional rates. Peter and his team have worked with clients from across St. Louis<br />

and West County, and in a myriad of municipalities. Whether you’re in the market for a new<br />

home, condominium or acres of beautiful land for a personal project or endeavor, Peter and<br />

his team have inside knowledge and experience with sought-after locations. For those who<br />

don’t know where to start, skip the guesswork and let Peter and his team help match you<br />

with one of the area’s many available properties. They serve St. Charles County, St. Louis<br />

County, St. Louis City and Jefferson County.<br />

Trust a real estate professional who will have your best interests in mind throughout every<br />

step of the process. Call Peter today at (314) 662-6578, and experience the difference firsthand.<br />

11142 Olive Blvd. • St. Louis<br />

3636 S. Geyer Rd., Ste 100 • St. Louis<br />

Mobile: (314) 662-6578 • (866) 2<strong>24</strong>-1761 • www.peterluteam.com


January <strong>24</strong>, 20<strong>24</strong><br />




There is something about Erio’s Ristorante that makes a difference in fine dining.<br />

Perhaps it’s the hand cut steaks, custom trimmed chicken, original sauces and handmade<br />

dough. Maybe it’s the old school Sicilian way of cooking one order at a time, or a menu<br />

that spans from delectable steaks to tender veal<br />

dishes to seafood, pasta, sandwiches and pizza.<br />

“It’s all about details. Every little detail matters,”<br />

said Joe Creach, who owns Erio’s Ristorante with<br />

his brother Andrew. “When you add them all up it’s<br />

the small details that make a big difference.”<br />

For proof, stop by and try the Bistecca Alla<br />

Siciliana, the char-grilled 14-ounce strip steak.<br />

Crusted in homemade Italian bread crumbs, it is<br />

served with a fresh tomato, olive oil and garlic<br />

dipping sauce.<br />

Or try the Vitello Alla Parmigiana with its tender<br />

slices of veal breaded with homemade Italian<br />

Andrew and Joe Creech, owners<br />

Taste what you’re missing<br />

bread crumbs, baked with red sauce and topped<br />

with mozzarella and parmesan cheese. If pasta<br />

is your passion, try the Rigatoni Erio’s, which features large tubal pasta alongside fresh<br />

garlic, Roma tomatoes, sun dried tomatoes, sliced Italian sausage and red chili pepper<br />

flakes – all in a rich marinara sauce. And you can’t go wrong with the pizza.<br />

“People continually ask me what’s good. It’s hard to answer, and I know it’s a cliché to say,<br />

but everything is good,” Creach said.<br />

Perhaps it’s time to taste for yourself.<br />

Erio’s Ristorante opened in St. Peters in<br />

1991 and is a favorite of local diners. The<br />

restaurant is small, friendly and comfortable.<br />

Stop by soon to experience all the little details<br />

that add up to great food and exceptional<br />

customer service.<br />

951 Jungermann Road • St. Peters<br />

(636) 928-0112<br />

www.eriosristorante.com<br />

A personalized plan for every student<br />

At EYC Academy, they realize that<br />

every student’s journey is different,<br />

and learning isn’t one-size-fits all.<br />

Created by a team of experienced<br />

educators, EYC Academy opened<br />

its doors in 2018 to bring a nontraditional<br />

school experience to<br />

students. EYC removes barriers to<br />

success by offering a personalized<br />

plan for every student and supporting<br />

their individual academic, social and<br />

emotional needs in a safe environment.<br />

The day school program for grades 6-12 gives students greater one-on-one access to<br />

teachers, small groups, remote flexibility to recover after illness or significant life events, the<br />

ability to self-pace, writing and tutoring support, college planning, a national diploma and<br />

career certificate program and more.<br />

EYC Academy works in partnership with families and schools, navigating an array of<br />

learning environments together. But it goes beyond academics. Their wraparound services<br />

support the full student. They help align additional resources, such as counseling or therapy,<br />

should a student need it.<br />

Every student — no matter their age, background, or circumstance — has a place at EYC<br />

Academy and creating a safe space for them to learn is<br />

their main priority.<br />

Just because every student’s path to success is different<br />

it doesn’t mean they should have to walk it alone.<br />

Enrollment is ongoing for full- or part-time students,<br />

and a nationally approved digital curriculum allows<br />

the school to deliver services anytime and anywhere.<br />

Families from districts state-wide can choose to attend<br />

EYC virtually through the MOCAP (Missouri Course<br />

Access Program).<br />

13718 Olive Blvd. • Chesterfield<br />

(636) 220-3344<br />

info@eycacademystl.org<br />

Making dream kitchens a reality<br />

A home’s kitchen is more than a room. It’s the heart of the home and a gathering place for<br />

family and friends. From refinished cabinets to updated countertops, the experts at Classic<br />

Kitchen Refacing can help make your dream kitchen a reality.<br />

Since 2015, Classic Kitchen Refacing<br />

owner Don Sheehan and his staff have<br />

worked with each individual client<br />

on designing refacing options as an<br />

affordable alternative to remodeling.<br />

“We do cabinet refacing, custom<br />

countertops and tile backsplashes.<br />

That’s our niche in the market,” Don<br />

explained.<br />

That niche has allowed Classic<br />

Kitchen Refacing to focus its services<br />

and provide customers with the<br />

utmost excellence in both at-home service and quality materials.<br />

“The cabinet stays in place, and we cover the sides and front with quarter-inch solid wood,”<br />

Don explained. “All the exposed surfaces get covered. Then, we add new doors. You can<br />

change the color or the style of your door. If you have an arched oak door that you’re tired<br />

of, we can do a new shaker door or just a totally new style.”<br />

In addition to updating aesthetics and style, Classic Kitchen Refacing also offers assets like<br />

new soft-close hinges, handles and other hardware pieces to add a finishing touch. Plus, they<br />

have the latest in quartz countertop selections.<br />

“It’ll look and act like a brand new<br />

kitchen for less than half the price of<br />

tearing everything out and replacing<br />

it,” Don said.<br />

Financing options are available with<br />

a no pressure guarantee. Call today to<br />

learn more, get a free consultation or<br />

secure a quote for your next project!<br />

3444 North Lindbergh Blvd. • St. Ann<br />

(314) 739-1730<br />

www.classickitchenrefacing.com<br />

Dedicated to the communities it serves<br />

“We’re from here. We live here.<br />

And we love it here.”<br />

MRV Bank is dedicated to<br />

serving consumers and small<br />

businesses throughout Missouri.<br />

Its owners and investors are<br />

all local, too. That’s why every<br />

decision it makes is made with<br />

its communities in mind. MRV<br />

Bank believes in supporting<br />

local economies, organizations and businesses so it can create a better place to live.<br />

“Our branch is staffed with knowledgeable, friendly, local employees,” MRV Bank Market<br />

President Garrett Watson said. “We take pride in providing the best products and services<br />

for our customers. We also take pride in our personal approach to banking and helping our<br />

clients make the best financial decisions possible.<br />

“At MRV Bank, our business customers are small and local, just like us. They are the heart<br />

of our business, and we treat them with the importance they deserve. We make financing<br />

simple and easy to understand so owners can focus on their companies, and we offer a<br />

comprehensive product line and personalized services to help businesses thrive.”<br />

MRV Bank is one of the fastest growing banks in the region. CB Resource, Inc. a risk<br />

management firm, has ranked MRV Banks first on its CB Top Ten list of community banks<br />

with similar assets.<br />

When people bank locally, their money stays<br />

in and benefits their own community. Big<br />

banks send their profits out of town. MRV<br />

Bank invests to support local economies,<br />

organizations and businesses. When customers<br />

are ready to organize their finances and plan<br />

for future needs, MRV is here to help. To learn<br />

more, contact the St. Charles branch.<br />

1700 O’Fallon Road • St Charles<br />

(636) 638-2585<br />




January <strong>24</strong>, 20<strong>24</strong><br />



Let our family take care of your family<br />

The Johnson family, owners<br />

When it comes to your family’s heating and<br />

cooling needs, trust the family at Johnson<br />

Heating & Cooling. This family-owned and<br />

operated business, launched in 2013, is a passion for<br />

owners Tracy and Shaun Johnson, who graduated<br />

high school together in Wentzville.<br />

“I’ve been around the industry since I was 5 years<br />

old, and it’s in my blood,” said Tracy. Her parents<br />

owned a local HVAC company for more than 30<br />

years. “Shaun and I got into the business years ago<br />

and we share the same passion and work great<br />

with each other.”<br />

Johnson Heating & Cooling installs dependable,<br />

high-quality furnaces, air handlers, air conditioners<br />

and heat pumps in new construction homes and<br />

existing homes. They also perform service and<br />

maintenance on all brands of equipment. The<br />

Johnsons’ goal is to educate customers and provide<br />

them with the most comfortable, high quality systems available.<br />

Shaun takes pride in all aspects of the company’s workmanship. With over 22 years in the<br />

industry and a Journeyman License in several counties, Shaun’s honest, respectful approach<br />

has gained respect from both builders and homeowners. Tracy handles all aspects of<br />

customer service and internal office affairs. Her friendly, caring personality brings as much<br />

cheer to their office as it does to customers.<br />

“Our employees have been with us all<br />

these years!” Tracy declared. “We are one<br />

big family all sharing the same passion of<br />

wanting to provide a family-friendly HVAC<br />

company to our customers. We strive to<br />

provide the best service we can that you can<br />

trust and rely on.”<br />

223 N. Callahan Road • Wentzville<br />

(636) 332-4141<br />

www.johnson-heatingandcooling.com<br />

Inside-out knowledge of carpentry<br />

While some services fade in and out over time, the need for masterful carpentry and fine<br />

craftsmanship has continued to stand the test of time. When looking for a skilled craftsman<br />

to take on any woodworking or carpentry needs, look no further than Joe Overman, founder<br />

of Affordable Carpentry.<br />

With 20 years of experience, Joe provides a wide<br />

array of carpentry, all with a low overhead cost.<br />

Joe specializes in many interior and exterior jobs,<br />

including the installation of trim, framing, crown<br />

molding, chair rail, wainscoting and more. Joe can<br />

also do projects like stairs and doors, in addition to<br />

taking on multi-step builds like bookshelves. Inside or<br />

out, Joe treats every carpentry job as if it is a project<br />

in his own home.<br />

“I have skills with wood working and I enjoy it,” Joe<br />

said. “I have great satisfaction seeing my customers’<br />

faces when the job is completed.”<br />

Joe also ensures that each job is completed with<br />

Joe Overman, owner<br />

integrity while on the job and behind-the-scenes.<br />

“I care about my customers and their needs; I will<br />

try to help them by offering suggestions, but in the<br />

end it is their decision,” Joe said. “I do my job with the highest quality and standards.”<br />

Joe can also do installation jobs for items like kitchen cabinets and other built-in structures.<br />

He’s even built custom decks for multiple<br />

clients.<br />

“Those are really the kind of projects that<br />

you want someone with a lot of experience<br />

on,” Joe said.<br />

Services are available from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.<br />

daily, so don’t hesitate to call Joe today! Free<br />

estimates are offered.<br />

Advice to find the perfect fit for senior living<br />

When it comes to choosing a senior living community, a local advisor who knows the ins and<br />

outs of senior care in the St. Louis area makes a difference.<br />

Shona McIntyre said Senior Community Connections<br />

is about finding the right fit for seniors and their<br />

families, and she knows the St. Louis area well.<br />

“About two-thirds of seniors who move into a<br />

community find out that it’s not the right fit for them<br />

within the first six months,” she said. “So when they<br />

work with me, I really hone in on what’s important to<br />

them. And I know all the communities well.”<br />

National companies that have advisors don’t always<br />

know the local scene, she said.<br />

As a social worker and a certified dementia<br />

practitioner from the St. Louis area, Shona knows what<br />

to look for; she knows the questions to ask.<br />

“A local senior care advisor helps narrow down the<br />

search to two or three communities that meet all their<br />

Shona McIntyre, owner criteria, saving them thousands of dollars and lots of<br />

time,” she said.<br />

“Everyone’s needs are different, but the bottom line is quality care," Shona said. “I really dig<br />

in and look at communities to make sure they are offering the best care.”<br />

If you or a loved one needs to start thinking about a new, more convenient place to live, call<br />

Shona to set up a consultation. She will ask the right questions, then connect the family with<br />

those communities that are the best fit<br />

in lifestyle and affordability.<br />

“I am a neutral party that’s here to<br />

guide seniors and their families so<br />

they can make the best decisions for<br />

themselves or a loved one," she said.<br />

The service is free.<br />

(314) 401-0399<br />

www.seniorcommunityconnections.net<br />

Celebrating 50 years of honest and reliable service<br />

Over the last 50 years, Len’s Auto Repair has built a reputation as a friendly, reliable<br />

automotive facility where customers seek top-notch repair and maintenance services from<br />

trustworthy mechanics. Moreover, it is<br />

always open to those with inquiries about<br />

their vehicles with knowledgeable experts<br />

ready to provide answers and guidance.<br />

Leonard & Shirley Mertz opened Len’s Auto<br />

Repair on March 4, 1974, transforming an<br />

aging three bay gas station in Overland into<br />

the thriving shop it is today. For 32 years,<br />

Leonard worked hard to provide excellence<br />

in auto repair and honest, reliable service,<br />

and customers appreciated it.<br />

In 2003, Len’s Auto Repair increased the<br />

shop from three bays to six. In 2012, came the establishment of the Cottleville shop with six<br />

bays. As demand continued to soar, the Cottleville location expanded in 2017, upgrading to a<br />

total of 10 bays. Len’s Auto Repair proudly opened their third location in North O’Fallon in 2020,<br />

featuring another six-bay shop to serve the needs of their valued clientele.<br />

In 2022, Len’s Auto Repair constructed another new shop with a capacity of 12 bays. This stateof-the-art<br />

facility, still nestled in the picturesque town of Cottleville, was specifically designed<br />

to cater to the needs of their customers.<br />

Whether it’s a minor tire repair or a complex engine or transmission replacement, Len’s<br />

Auto Repair delivers high quality repairs. Their<br />

commitment to excellence remains unwavering,<br />

ensuring that each customer receives top-notch<br />

service.<br />

As the family and staff of Len’s Auto Repair<br />

celebrate its 50th anniversary, they say they<br />

are grateful for the privilege of serving local<br />

communities and appreciate all who have<br />

provided support through the years.<br />

(636) 441-2330<br />



January <strong>24</strong>, 20<strong>24</strong><br />




One-on-one complimentary design services<br />

The Foyer is a furniture and home decor store in Chesterfield that puts a unique spin on<br />

home decorating with design services for free. “It’s what sets us apart from other home<br />

décor stores,” said owner Carrie Keipp.<br />

They start, however, with beautiful decor<br />

– mirrors, pictures, florals accented with<br />

lights, vases, candleholders, trays, beads<br />

and large contemporary florals that will<br />

make your home something special.<br />

As for furniture, the tables, cabinets and<br />

chairs The Foyer offers are “statement<br />

pieces” that you can build your style<br />

around and accent pieces that complement<br />

Owner Carrie Keipp (left) and designer<br />

Chantell Gibson<br />

that style. Then, for some expert advice,<br />

make an appointment with designer<br />

Chantell Gibson or just walk in and meet<br />

one of the other associates. They have the expertise to make your home one of a kind.<br />

Take pictures and measurements of the space you need help with, whether it’s a giant wall,<br />

the area behind a couch, a fireplace mantel or a dining room tablescape. With customers’<br />

preferences in color and style, and an idea of how they want their own space to look and feel,<br />

designers can create a customized new look.<br />

Customers can also see how the design is put together to recreate it in their own home. The<br />

design team works with items in the store, but if<br />

a customer has a special piece to incorporate into<br />

the design, they will be happy to work with it.<br />

Beautiful decor, furniture and personalized oneon-one<br />

free design services is The Foyer’s way to<br />

help you create your own “home sweet home.”<br />

“Our goal is that customers leave here with<br />

something that expresses who they are and<br />

sets their home apart from everyone else’s,”<br />

Keipp said.<br />

1649 Clarkson Road • Chesterfield<br />

(636) 778-1400<br />

www.thefoyerhomedecor.com<br />

Make it a great 20<strong>24</strong> in wine country<br />

Nestled in the hills overlooking the Missouri River Valley, Augusta with its vineyards and<br />

wineries, restaurants and bed and breakfasts has become a destination in Missouri wine<br />

country, part of the beautiful landscape that brings visitors from all over the country.<br />

Adding to the interest, are themed festivals with food, wine, music and activities for the<br />

whole family. Coming up is the 21st Annual<br />

Augusta Plein Air Festival April 25 to May 4.<br />

On May 4, we will have a street festival with<br />

over 100 booths including art booths, food<br />

vendors, and an art tent for kids. Come out<br />

and take home a piece of original art.<br />

The Augusta Harvest Festival is planned<br />

for Sept. 20-21 with “Swingin’ in the Vines,”<br />

a gourmet picnic at Honey Bee Vineyard<br />

on Friday. Take a ride on a pumpkin wagon,<br />

collect your picnic basket for two, select<br />

your bottle of wine, enjoy a port tasting in<br />

The Augusta Plein Air Festival<br />

a historic wine cellar and dance under the<br />

stars to a live band. The all-inclusive cost<br />

of the evening is $125 for two people. Call 636-228-4005 to reserve your place. On Saturday,<br />

September 21, enjoy the parade; compete in the pie contest! Children’s activities are planned<br />

as well as live music.<br />

While you’re in Augusta, stop in at the Augusta Visitor Center, home to The Wandering Owl,<br />

a new gift shop providing a wide variety of<br />

items such as home décor, t-shirts, coffee mugs,<br />

Christmas ornaments and personal items you<br />

may have forgotten for your visit. The clerks<br />

will assist you in learning about the town<br />

with directions and contact information for<br />

the various businesses in the area. The Center<br />

is open daily with brochures and information<br />

about area attractions.<br />

See Augusta, a Missouri gem in your backyard!<br />

5577 Walnut Street • Augusta<br />

(636) 228- 4005<br />

gacc.augusta@gmail.com<br />

www.augusta-chamber.org<br />

Registration opens for summer programs Feb. 1<br />

Dancers from two through adult can find their niche in classes at Saint Louis Ballet School.<br />

Registration opens Feb. 1 for Summer Programs – the perfect time to further develop or begin<br />

your path in dance.<br />

Last year, a 5th studio was added providing another level to the daytime summer program<br />

and more room to better place students among their peers.<br />

“Ballet teaches you discipline and focus<br />

and is a great form of exercise. It can<br />

also be fun!” said Administrator Tanya<br />

Strautmann, who danced professionally<br />

with Saint Louis Ballet Company for 16<br />

years and has co-directed the school for<br />

over 15 years. “Saint Louis Ballet School<br />

is the educational branch of Saint Louis<br />

Ballet Company, the city’s regional<br />

professional ballet company, so students<br />

learn from those professionals as well as<br />

guest instructors.”<br />

“Dance requires muscle development<br />

and skill that needs continued training year-round including during the summer, especially for<br />

tween ages and up” Tanya explained. “You don’t want to lose that developed muscle training<br />

gained during the school year, so the summer is a great time to continue dance classes or try a<br />

new dance form.”<br />

Summer programs are offered for every age and level.<br />

Storybook Camps for ages 3-6 offer Disney themes plus<br />

favorites like “The Nutcracker,” and include dance, crafts,<br />

and a performance for parents. For ages 7-21, the school<br />

offers up to five weeks of programs. Participants take daily<br />

ballet interspersed with classes in contemporary, musical<br />

theater, jazz, hip hop and conditioning.<br />

“Saint Louis Ballet School offers well-rounded programs<br />

for students whether it be year-round or for the summer,”<br />

Tanya said. “We’ve become a trusted institution for St. Louis<br />

families, and we continue to strive to earn their trust.”<br />

218 THF Blvd • Chesterfield<br />

(636) 537-1998<br />

stlouisballet.org<br />

Customized transportation for special needs<br />

Ronda Meriweather,<br />

owner<br />

Sometimes people need a little help getting where they<br />

need to go. Whether it is a trip home from the hospital, a<br />

doctor’s appointment, dentist appointment or any nonmedical<br />

event, Transport-U can help!<br />

“Transportation is what we do,” said Ronda Meriweather,<br />

owner. “We are transporting people who are unable to drive<br />

themselves to non-emergency events, such as doctor and<br />

dentist appointments, the airport, family events or leisure<br />

trips,”<br />

“We are not Uber; we are not Lyft; and we are not a cab<br />

company,” Ronda said.<br />

“The difference between Transport-U and those other<br />

services is that we are dedicated to handle a situation when<br />

someone has a medical issue. After a procedure, hospitals are<br />

restricted on who they can release patients to when they are<br />

medicated because patients may be sick, dizzy or nauseous.”<br />

All staff, drivers, dispatchers, office staff including Ronda are trained in CPR and AED and have<br />

taken special driving courses which educate drivers on how to handle passengers with special<br />

conditions that need customized care like people who are visually or hearing impaired.<br />

Transport-U’s vehicles are wheelchair and gurney accessible.<br />

“We love our seniors,” Ronda said. “Most of our customers live in senior communities and do<br />

not live close to family who can help.”<br />

Family members who live outside of Missouri often<br />

rely on these services, entrusting their loved ones will<br />

be safely transported to their destination.<br />

Transport-U is a private pay company located in the<br />

Chesterfield area and provides transportation in a 30-<br />

mile radius as well as rural communities.<br />

For more information or to schedule a trip, give them a<br />

call or visit Transport-U’s website.<br />

(314) 970-3438<br />

www.transport-u.com<br />




January <strong>24</strong>, 20<strong>24</strong><br />


I SCHOOLS I 17<br />

Duchesne student build houses, relationships in Mexico with dad<br />


A father, a son and memories to last<br />

a lifetime. That’s the story of Dave and<br />

Nolan Hermann and their recent trip to<br />

Tijuana, Mexico.<br />

The Duchesne junior and his dad weren’t<br />

on vacation; they were on a mission with<br />

Homes of Hope International, a program<br />

run by Youth With a Mission (YWAM). The<br />

goal: to build a home for a family in need<br />

– and grow a little closer. Family, church<br />

groups, co-workers, and students are all<br />

encouraged to share a weekend to make<br />

a difference and become more aware and<br />

informed of conditions outside their world.<br />

“My parent company, Wiese, has sponsored<br />

these trips over the last two years,”<br />

Dave said. “This was the fourth or fifth<br />

planned trip. One of my employees has<br />

been on three of them now, and it inspired<br />

me to give it a try.”<br />

Each home takes approximately 15<br />

people, age 15 and older, two full working<br />

days, or a total of 16 hours, to build.<br />

Dave’s company provided enough volunteers<br />

to do two separate house builds for<br />

two families. They were joined by local<br />

residents, some of whom had homes built<br />

for them as children.<br />

Nolan (middle, in black) and Dave (right of Nolan) with the Homes of Hope International team.<br />

(Source: Duchesne High School)<br />

Nolan said he had no expectations of<br />

what the trip would bring. He went because<br />

his dad asked him to go.<br />

“Prior to the trip I had never been to<br />

Mexico, nor had I done any sort of mission<br />

trip,” he explained. “But what I wasn’t<br />

expecting was the harsh reality the family<br />

was facing in poverty.<br />

“Seeing their current home, sleeping<br />

place and general living conditions was<br />

something very eye-opening for me. It’s<br />

something you really don’t understand<br />

until you see it.”<br />

He said he enjoyed the educational<br />

aspect of learning to build a home but<br />

what surprised both him and his dad was<br />

how quickly they built relationships. By<br />

the end of the trip, almost everyone was<br />

good friends despite only knowing each<br />

other for three days and all having different<br />

backgrounds.<br />

“The build itself was something Nolan<br />

and I will never forget. Of course, over the<br />

years, everyone sees pictures and videos<br />

of the many less fortunate people around<br />

the world, but being there in person, meeting<br />

the family we were helping and really<br />

getting to see what their life was like was<br />

quite the eye opener. It really puts things in<br />

perspective,” Dave said.<br />

Nolan said the most fulfilling thing was,<br />

without a doubt, the look on the family’s<br />

face when they came back to see their new<br />

home.<br />

“You could see how thankful they were<br />

and I will never forget their reactions,”<br />

Nolan said.<br />

It was enough to make the duo consider<br />

a return trip.<br />

“I would love to go back again with<br />

Nolan or even bring other members of<br />

my family,” Dave said. “It’s amazing how<br />

close you can get to someone in just 48<br />

hours while doing something like this.”<br />

The strength of the experience, and<br />

bonding Nolan shared with his father, is<br />

something he thinks everyone should try.<br />

“During the build, we did things together<br />

most of the time throughout the day,”<br />

Nolan said of him and his dad. “It seems<br />

like a big project, but with all the people<br />

you will meet and work with, it feels like it<br />

gets done in minutes.”<br />

Homes for Hope International is open<br />

for groups of all sizes. For more information<br />

visit ywamhomesofhope.org.<br />

5 15% %APR*<br />

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Final Maturity: 2/<strong>24</strong>/2025<br />

Call Date: 7/23/20<strong>24</strong> @ $1000 per CD<br />

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*Subject to availability. The Annual Percentage Rate (APR) represents the interest earned through each eligible call date based on simple<br />

interest calculations, an investment price of $1000 per CD, and is accurate as of January 18, 20<strong>24</strong>. Callable CDs are more likely to be called in<br />

a lower interest rate environment, and investors may be unable to reinvest funds at the same rate as the original CD. The minimum balance<br />

required to open a CD and obtain the APR is $10,000. Interest payouts are mandatory, and interest cannot remain on deposit. The CD<br />

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18 I HEALTH I<br />

January <strong>24</strong>, 20<strong>24</strong><br />




The American Red Cross recently issued an emergency call for blood<br />

donations as a 20-year low in its donor numbers threatens critical<br />

blood supplies.<br />

(Adobe Stock photo)<br />

HEALTH<br />



Blood donations fall<br />

to 20-year low<br />

As the U.S. marks National Blood Donor<br />

Month in January, The American Red Cross<br />

has also issued an emergency call for donations<br />

as it faces the lowest number of people<br />

giving blood in the last 20 years. Blood<br />

and platelet donations are urgently needed<br />

to help alleviate the shortage and ensure<br />

lifesaving medical procedures can continue,<br />

according to its chief medical officer.<br />

“One of the most distressing situations<br />

for a doctor is to have a hospital full of<br />

patients and an empty refrigerator without<br />

any blood products,” said Dr. Pampee<br />

Young. “A person needs lifesaving blood<br />

every two seconds in our country – and its<br />

availability can be the difference between<br />

life and death.”<br />

The Red Cross received about 7,000<br />

fewer units of donated blood than it needed<br />

between Christmas and New Year’s Day<br />

alone, which left the organization with a<br />

major deficit of life-sustaining blood products<br />

to begin 20<strong>24</strong>. Additional challenges<br />

may lie ahead as winter weather and seasonal<br />

respiratory illnesses like the flu affect<br />

donor turnout.<br />

To find an upcoming blood drive near<br />

you, visit the organization’s website at<br />

RedCrossBlood.org. Appointments can<br />

also be made by calling 1-800-733-2767.<br />

Translating thoughts into<br />

speech comes closer to reality<br />

The ability to “read” and translate a person’s<br />

thoughts into speech is no longer a<br />

concept found only in science fiction. An<br />

implantable speech prosthetic developed<br />

by a team of neuroscientists, neurosurgeons<br />

and engineers at Duke University<br />

can translate a person’s brain signals into<br />

words they’re trying to say.<br />

In a recent trial, the team fabricated a<br />

postage stamp-sized piece of flexible, medical-grade<br />

plastic containing hundreds of<br />

microscopic brain sensors. They recruited<br />

four patients who were undergoing brain<br />

surgery for some other condition, such as<br />

to treat Parkinson’s disease or remove a<br />

brain tumor, to test the implants.<br />

During their surgeries, the devices were<br />

temporarily implanted in these patients,<br />

who were awake. They were given a simple<br />

listen-and-repeat activity in which they<br />

“heard” a series of nonsense words via the<br />

sensor, and then spoke each one aloud. The<br />

device recorded activity from the speech<br />

motor cortex of each patient’s brain, and<br />

was able to coordinate nearly 100 muscles<br />

that move the lips, tongue, jaw and larynx.<br />

The Duke researchers hope this new technology<br />

could one day help people who are<br />

unable to speak, due to neurological disorders<br />

such as ALS, to communicate effectively<br />

again. Their study was recently published in<br />

the journal Nature Communications.<br />

For the seventh year in a row, the<br />

Mediterranean diet has topped U.S.<br />

News and World Report’s annual list of<br />

Best Diets for 20<strong>24</strong>.<br />

The diet focuses on eating mainly nutrient-dense<br />

fruits, vegetables, whole grains,<br />

fish, nuts, seeds and healthy fats such as<br />

olive oil. It’s a consistent winner because<br />

research shows people who stick to a Mediterranean-style<br />

eating plan tend to live<br />

longer – and are also less likely to suffer<br />

from chronic diseases such as cancer, heart<br />

disease and Type 2 diabetes.<br />

While red meats and sugary sweets<br />

can be part of the Mediterranean diet as<br />

well, they should be kept to a minimum.<br />

COVID may ‘rebound’ more<br />

often after Paxlovid treatment<br />

There may be a downside to taking the<br />

antiviral medication Paxlovid to lessen the<br />

severity of COVID-19 symptoms, according<br />

to a recent study by University of California<br />

San Francisco medical researchers.<br />

Although Paxlovid is effective at protecting<br />

unvaccinated people who are at<br />

high risk for serious illness and hospitalization<br />

due to the virus, it does not prevent<br />

the litany of uncomfortable and sometimes<br />

life-altering symptoms known as long<br />

COVID which can follow the virus, the<br />

UCSF team reported. What’s more, people<br />

who take Paxlovid have a higher rate of<br />

“rebound” symptoms after treatment ends,<br />

and also continue to test positive for a<br />

longer period of time, their study found.<br />

The research was based on a group of vaccinated<br />

people participating in the university’s<br />

COVID-19 Citizen Science Study, some<br />

of whom took oral Paxlovid treatment during<br />

the acute phase of infection. In a follow-up<br />

survey conducted months later, about 16%<br />

of those treated with Paxlovid reported long<br />

COVID symptoms such as fatigue, shortness<br />

of breath, confusion, headache, and altered<br />

taste and smell – compared to 14% of those<br />

who had not taken the antiviral.<br />

Among those who symptoms improved<br />

during Paxlovid treatment, 21% reported<br />

rebound symptoms later. And in the group<br />

reporting rebound symptoms, about 11%<br />

reported one or more long COVID symptoms,<br />

compared to roughly 8% with no<br />

rebound symptoms. For participants who<br />

repeated antigen testing after testing negative<br />

and completing Paxlovid treatment, more<br />

than a quarter (26.1%) reported rebound<br />

symptoms or continued to test positive.<br />

The study was published this month in<br />

the Journal of Medical Virology.<br />

Vaping harms the heart<br />

study suggests<br />

Results of the most recent Annual<br />

National Youth Tobacco Survey, published<br />

last November, show that roughly 2.8 million<br />

American youth under 18 currently<br />

use tobacco products. The vast majority of<br />

them use e-cigarettes, including 6.6% of<br />

middle school-aged children.<br />

Mediterranian Diet again ranked No. 1 for health<br />

An occasional glass of red wine is also<br />

acceptable, according to its guidelines.<br />

The DASH diet (Dietary Approaches<br />

to Stop Hypertension) and the MIND<br />

diet (Mediterranean-DASH Intervention<br />

for Neurodegenerative Delay)<br />

were named the second- and third-best<br />

overall diets by the publication. The<br />

DASH eating plan is aimed at reducing<br />

or preventive high blood pressure, while<br />

MIND includes elements of both the<br />

Mediterranean and DASH approaches,<br />

concentrating on foods (such as leafy<br />

greens, berries, nuts and fish) that may<br />

improve brain health to potentially lower<br />

the risk of mental decline.



January <strong>24</strong>, 20<strong>24</strong><br />


I HEALTH I 19<br />

While health experts agree that vaping<br />

exposes users to fewer toxic chemicals<br />

than traditional cigarettes, more and more<br />

evidence shows that it is far from harmless.<br />

Recently, a new study from the University<br />

of Louisville found that the nicotine in certain<br />

types of e-cigarettes – including many<br />

of those favored by young people – may<br />

increase the risk for irregular heartbeat or<br />

heart arrythmias.<br />

The Louisville researchers compared<br />

heart rate and heart rate variability in<br />

mice exposed to vape aerosols containing<br />

different types of nicotine. They contained<br />

either freebase nicotine, used in<br />

older types of e-cigarettes; nicotine salts,<br />

used in popular pod-based e-cigarettes;<br />

or freebase nicotine, simulating the<br />

recently popularized synthetic nicotine.<br />

The mice received increasing concentrations<br />

of the nicotine over time, from 1%<br />

to 2.5% to 5%.<br />

The nicotine salts induced cardiac<br />

arrhythmias more often, and more<br />

intensely, than freebase nicotine, and<br />

the rate of cardiac arrhythmia increased<br />

at the higher concentrations. The study<br />

also revealed that higher levels of nicotine<br />

salts increased sympathetic nervous<br />

system activity, also known as the “fightor-flight”<br />

response. In the autonomic<br />

nervous system, sympathetic dominance<br />

results in symptoms including rapid heart<br />

rate, increased blood pressure, dry mouth,<br />

anxiety and others.<br />

“This suggests the nicotine (in e-cigarettes)<br />

is harmful to the heart and counters<br />

popular claims that the nicotine itself is<br />

harmless,” said Alex Carll, an assistant<br />

professor in the university’s Department<br />

of Physiology. “Our findings provide new<br />

evidence that nicotine type and concentration<br />

modify the adverse cardiovascular<br />

effects of e-cigarette aerosols, which may<br />

have important regulatory implications.”<br />

The study was published in Nicotine and<br />

Tobacco Research.<br />

On the calendar<br />

BJC St. Louis Children’s Hospital sponsors<br />

a Babysitting 101 virtual class on<br />

Tuesday, Jan. 27 from 6-8:30 p.m., live<br />

via Teams Meeting. This interactive class<br />

is a great introduction to the basics of<br />

babysitting and is recommended for ages<br />

10 and above. A workbook, first-aid kit,<br />

babysitter skills assessment and backpack<br />

are included in the cost of $25 per<br />

child. Parents may sit in on the class at no<br />

additional cost. Register online at bjc.org/<br />

babysitting-class.<br />

• • •<br />

BJC presents a Family and Friends<br />

CPR virtual course on Wednesday, Jan.<br />

28 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. This course does not<br />

include certification upon completion. The<br />

cost is $50. Registration for a seat in this<br />

class is for two people. Register online by<br />

visiting bjc.org/cpr-class.<br />

• • •<br />

BJC St. Louis Children’s Hospital presents<br />

a Staying Home Alone virtual class<br />

on Wednesday, Feb. 7 from 6:30-8 p.m.,<br />

live via Teams Meeting. An in-person<br />

class is also offered on Saturday, Feb. 17<br />

10-11:30 a.m. at the SLCH Specialty Care<br />

Center West County, 13001 N. Outer Forty<br />

Road in Town and Country, in the thirdfloor<br />

conference room. Parents and children<br />

attend the class together to ensure a<br />

child’s readiness – physically, mentally,<br />

socially and emotionally – to stay at home<br />

alone. The registration fee is $25 per<br />

family. To register, call (314) 454-5437.<br />

• • •<br />

BJC offers a Bariatric Surgery Information<br />

Session on Monday, Feb. 19<br />

from 5:30-6:30 p.m., live via Zoom. Join<br />

a Washington University bariatric physician<br />

to learn more about surgical treatment<br />

options available at Barnes-Jewish<br />

Hospital and Barnes-Jewish West County<br />

Hospital for patients who meet certain<br />

criteria. During this free session, you will<br />

learn about options including laparoscopic<br />

gastric bypass, gastric sleeve, duodenal<br />

switch and revisions to bariatric surgery.<br />

To register, visit classes-events.bjc.org; to<br />

learn more about BJC’s bariatric surgery<br />

criteria for patients, call (314) 454-72<strong>24</strong><br />

and press Option 1.<br />

• • •<br />

Mercy St. Louis offers a Sitter Skills<br />

course on Friday, March 1 from 6-9 p.m.<br />

at the hospital, 615 S. New Ballas Road,<br />

in Classroom #2 on the 7th floor. Children<br />

ages 11 to 13 will learn about infant care,<br />

child development, interactive play, safety,<br />

handling emergency situations and marketing<br />

babysitting services. Children should<br />

bring a doll or stuffed animal to class to<br />

learn how to change diapers. The cost is<br />

$30 per child. Register online by visiting<br />

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January <strong>24</strong>, 20<strong>24</strong><br />




October 26 to<br />

November 4th<br />

20<strong>24</strong><br />

St. Charles County Parks hosts Fishing 101 from 5-6 p.m. on Feb. 7 and Feb.<br />

28 in the Broemmelsiek Park Visitor Center meeting room. This free program<br />

is for all ages. Registration is requested by calling the Parks Department at<br />

(636) 949-7535 or online at https://bit.ly/stccparks_education-enrichment.<br />

LOCAL<br />

EVENTS<br />


Submissions are open until Feb. 6 for<br />

O’Fallon’s 20<strong>24</strong>-25 sculpture series, “The<br />

Shape of Community.” A citywide, temporary<br />

sculpture exhibition, the series<br />

features large-scale works of art loaned to<br />

the city by artists for 18 months. To submit<br />

artwork for consideration, visit ofallon.<br />

mo.us/shape-of-community.<br />

• • •<br />

First Fridays are from 5-8 p.m. monthly<br />

at the Foundry Art Centre, 520 N. Main<br />

Center in St. Charles. Features free activities<br />

in addition to paid workshops hosted<br />

by local business owners. For details, visit<br />

foundryartcentre.org/first-fridays.<br />

• • •<br />

The “Spanning the Generations” art<br />

show is on display through February at<br />

the Crossroads Arts Center, 310 W. Pearce<br />

Blvd. in Wentzville. Art from high school<br />

students to senior citizens is featured.<br />

Details at crossroadsartscouncil.org.<br />

• • •<br />

Wag: An Exhibition for Dogs is on<br />

display through March 23 at the Foundry<br />

Art Centre, 520 N. Main Center in Saint<br />

Charles. Wag is an interactive art exhibition<br />

featuring artists Greta Coalier, Justin<br />

King, Steve Jones and Laura Lloyd. Details<br />

at foundryartcentre.org.<br />

• • •<br />

The “Toys & Joys” art show is on display<br />

through Sunday, March <strong>24</strong> (with a<br />

reception from 6-8 p.m. on Thursday, Feb.<br />

1) at the Cultural Arts Centre, 1 St. Peters<br />

Centre Blvd.<br />

• • •<br />

The Fete de Glace Ice Carving Festival/Bowls<br />

and Brews event is from 9:30<br />

a.m.-3:30 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 27 on<br />

Main Street in Saint Charles. Details at<br />

discoverstcharles.com.<br />

• • •<br />

Once Upon a Valentine: Stories for the<br />

Loved & Loveless is from noon-3 p.m. on<br />

Saturday, Feb. 10 and Sunday, Feb. 11 at<br />

Historic Saint Charles. This mini-festival<br />

promises a unique blend of history, fun<br />

and spirited entertainment for locals and<br />

visitors alike. For details, visit discoverstcharles.com.<br />

• • •<br />

Lindenwood University Performing Arts<br />

presents “The Winter’s Tale” by William<br />

Shakespeare at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb.<br />

21 at the J. Scheidegger Center for the Arts/<br />

Emerson Black Box Theater, 2300 W. Clay<br />

St. in Saint Charles. Tickets are $10 plus a<br />

convenience fee. Details at lindenwood.edu.<br />


Volunteers are needed for Meals on<br />

Wheels, a lifeline program for many<br />

seniors in the community. Apply at agingahead.org.<br />

• • •<br />

The St. Charles Kiwanis Club hosts<br />

its annual All You Can Eat Pancake<br />

and Sausage Day from 7 a.m.-7 p.m. on<br />

Tuesday, Feb. 13 at in the Memorial Hall<br />

at Blanchette Park, 1900 W. Randolph St.<br />

and at Gingham’s Homestyle Restaurant,<br />

1566 Country Club Plaza Drive. This is the<br />

club’s main fundraiser. Tickets are $8 per<br />

person and are available on the “shopping”<br />

tab at ​stcharleskiwanis.com.<br />

Got events? Want publicity?<br />

Send all the pertinent details to<br />

events@newsmagazinenetwork.com.<br />

Event notices for print publication are due at least six weeks<br />

out from the date of the event. Events with advance registration<br />

should be submitted six weeks out from that deadline.<br />

All events will be listed online and in print when sent in with<br />

enough advance notice.<br />

• • •<br />

The Kiwanis of O’Fallon and Cottleville/Weldon<br />

host a Spring Trivia<br />

Night at 7 p.m. (doors open at 6 p.m.) on<br />

Friday, Feb. 16 at Harvester Lions Club,<br />

4835 Central School Road in St. Charles.<br />

Cost is $25 per person. Players should<br />

bring their own snacks and drinks. Ticket<br />

requests and checks should be mailed to<br />

O’Fallon Kiwanis, PO Box 1459. O’Fallon,<br />

MO 63366. Emails may be sent to karen.<br />

grant@cbrealty.com.<br />

• • •<br />

The 20<strong>24</strong> Soldier’s Christmas Card<br />

Project takes place from 1-4 p.m. on Sundays,<br />

Feb. 25, March <strong>24</strong> and April 28 at the<br />

MU Extension in St. Charles, 260 Brown<br />

Road in St. Peters. Write Christmas cards<br />

to ship with care packages to soldiers overseas<br />

during Christmas 20<strong>24</strong>. For details,<br />

visit extension.missouri.edu/programs.<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<br />

in St. Peters. Each session has games and<br />

crafts, storytime and hands-on displays.<br />

Free event. Details at stccparks.org.<br />

• • •<br />

Second Saturdays are from 1-3 p.m.<br />

monthly at The Foundry Art Centre, 520<br />

N. Main Center in Saint Charles. Features<br />

a tour of current exhibitions and hands-on<br />

art activities. Free event, all ages are welcome.<br />

Details at foundryartcentre.org.<br />

• • •<br />

Art Start is at 10 a.m. every Tuesday<br />

at The Foundry Art Centre, 520 N. Main<br />

Center in Saint Charles. Children create<br />

small art projects that pair with a story.<br />

Free event. For ages 2-5 with a caregiver.<br />

Details at foundryartcentre.org.<br />

• • •<br />

St. Charles County Libraries’ “Sweet<br />

Reads Winter Reading Challenge” continues<br />

through Monday, Feb. 26. Complete<br />

activities to earn badges. All ages<br />

are welcome to participate. For details,<br />

visit mylibrary.beanstack.org.<br />

• • •<br />

The Winter Wonderland Father-<br />

Daughter Dance is from 6:30-9 p.m. on



January <strong>24</strong>, 20<strong>24</strong><br />


I EVENTS I 21<br />

Saturday, Jan. 27 at the St. Peters Cultural<br />

Arts Centre, 1 St. Peters Centre Blvd. For<br />

girls aged 3 to 15. Music, dancing and<br />

refreshments are featured. A professional<br />

photographer will be available to take<br />

pictures for an additional cost. Tickets<br />

are $14 per person. Advance registration<br />

is required at stpetersmo.net/rec-connect.<br />

Spots will fill fast.<br />

• • •<br />

A Valentine’s Hunt for Kisses is at 10<br />

a.m. on Saturday, Feb. 10 at Rau Garden<br />

in Blanchette Park, 1900 W. Randolph St.<br />

in St. Charles. Children complete a scavenger<br />

hunt to receive chocolate kisses and<br />

a goodie bag. Crafts and a visit with Cupid<br />

are included in the $15 per person cost.<br />

Register at stcharlesparks.com/programs.<br />

• • •<br />

A Mardi Gras Parade is at 11 a.m. with<br />

an after-party from noon-2 p.m. on Saturday,<br />

Feb. 10 in Historic Frenchtown in<br />

St. Charles. Enjoy a family-friendly Mardi<br />

Gras celebration followed by the afterparty<br />

featuring live music, food, vendors,<br />

kids activities and more in the Foundry Art<br />

Centre parking lot. Free event. For details,<br />

visit stcharlescitymo.gov.<br />

• • •<br />

The Ancient Order of Hibernians’ St.<br />

Patrick’s Day Parade is at 4 p.m. on<br />

Sunday, March 17 on Main Street in St.<br />

Charles. Free event. Details at stcharlescitymo.gov.<br />


The O’Fallon Lions Club meets at 6<br />

p.m. on the fourth Thursday of each month<br />

at JJ’s Restaurant, 200 Fort Zumwalt<br />

Square in O’Fallon. Everyone is welcome.<br />

For details, call (636) 344-0065 or email<br />

weserve@ofallonlions.com.<br />

• • •<br />

Cottleville/Weldon Spring Rotary<br />

Club meets at noon every Wednesday<br />

at Bemo’s, 5373 Hwy. N. in Cottleville.<br />

RSVP to Toddrasche01@gmail.com.<br />

Details at cwsrotary.org.<br />

• • •<br />

The Cavesprings Toastmasters Club<br />

offers in-person and online meetings<br />

from 8 a.m.-9 a.m. Wednesdays at the St.<br />

Charles Ambulance District, 2000 Salt<br />

River Road in St. Peters. Improve public<br />

speaking and communication skills by<br />

gaining confidence when speaking in front<br />

of others. RSVP to cavespringstoastmasters@gmail.com.<br />

• • •<br />

St. Charles County Pachyderm Club<br />

meets at noon every Friday at B. Hall’s<br />

Family Grill, 3782 Monticello Plaza Drive<br />

in O’Fallon. Be informed and meet elected<br />

officials. No meetings on holiday weekends.<br />

For details, visit sccpachyderms.org.<br />

• • •<br />

The Rough Writers meet from 7-9 p.m.<br />

on the second Tuesday of the month at the<br />

Crossroads Arts Center, 310 W. Pearce<br />

Blvd. in Wentzville. Join this writing<br />

group to share writing, encourage others,<br />

and improve your skills. All kinds of writing.<br />

For details, contact Deborah Bowman<br />

at deborahbowman12@yahoo.com.<br />


The St. Charles Parks and Recreation<br />

Photo Contest continues through January.<br />

The winner will receive a $300 Parks<br />

and Rec gift card. Photos submitted may<br />

be featured in future PLAY brochures<br />

or other promotional materials. Open to<br />

all ages and all skill levels. The submission<br />

deadline is Jan. 26. For details, visit<br />

stcharlesparks.com/parks-photo-contest.<br />

• • •<br />

The Great Train Show is from 10 a.m.-4<br />

p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 27 and Sunday, Jan.<br />

28 to the St. Charles Convention Center,<br />

1 Convention Center Plaza. This is the<br />

nation’s largest traveling train show and<br />

features hundreds of tables of trains for<br />

sale, giant displays, kids activities and more.<br />

Admission is $12 on Saturday and $11 on<br />

Sunday; kids age 11 and younger are free.<br />

• • •<br />

A Dining with Diabetes cooking class<br />

is from 1-3 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 31<br />

at the MU Extension in St. Charles, 260<br />

Brown Road in St. Peters. Class includes<br />

cooking diabetes-friendly recipes, meal<br />

planning, group discussion and information<br />

about physical activity and label reading.<br />

Cost is $40. To register, visit extension.<br />

missouri.edu/events.<br />

• • •<br />

The Sydenstricker Nobbe Partners John<br />

Deere Outdoor Show takes place Friday,<br />

Feb. 2 through Sunday, Feb. 4 at the St.<br />

Charles Convention Center, 1 Convention<br />

Center Plaza. Admission times are noon-5<br />

p.m. on Friday; 10 a.m.-5 p.m. on Saturday<br />

and 10 a.m.-4 p.m on Sunday. Learn tips<br />

and tricks from experts for all John Deere<br />

equipment, including compact tractors,<br />

residential and commercial mowers, Gator<br />

UTVs and compact construction equipment.<br />

Admission is free.<br />

• • •<br />

A tour of the Kaplan Feldman Holocaust<br />

Museum is from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. on Monday,<br />

March 11. Along with a guided group tour,<br />

there will be a guest speaker and lunch at<br />

Mike Duffy’s. The cost is $85 per person and<br />

includes transportation, museum and lunch.<br />

Register online at stcharlesparks.com.<br />

• • •<br />

Engaged Neighbor is from 6-7 p.m. on<br />

Wednesday, March 13 at the MU Extension<br />

in St. Charles County, 260 Brown Road in<br />

St. Peters. Learn and discuss paths to better<br />

neighboring with Deana Dothage, engagement<br />

specialist with the University of<br />

Missouri Extension in St. Charles County.<br />

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BRIEFS<br />

PLACES<br />

Oh My Posh, 5<strong>24</strong>7 Hwy. N, owned<br />

by Amber Anians and Aimee Anderson,<br />

held a ribbon-cutting with members of<br />

the Cottleville Weldon-Spring Chamber<br />

of Commerce and community leaders on<br />

Jan. 10.<br />

• • •<br />

In 2023 Ameristar Casino Resort<br />

Spa St. Charles presented checks for<br />

$20,000 each to two local charities, The<br />

Disabled Athlete Sports Association<br />

(DASA) and Youth in Need, for a total<br />

of $40,000. DASA gives those living<br />

with physical disabilities the opportunity<br />

to participate in adaptive sports and<br />

recreational programs. Youth in Need is<br />

a family services agency that works with<br />

vulnerable children, teens and families<br />

by providing emergency shelter and<br />

additional programs and services.<br />

• • •<br />

Ziggi’s Coffee opened its first St.<br />

Peters location on Jan. 16 at 661 Salt<br />

Lick Road. The cafe features a drivethru<br />

with a walk-up window and covered<br />

outdoor seating area. This location is<br />

owned by Chad and Abbey Brenneman<br />

and Kevin Dameron. A grand opening<br />

is scheduled for Jan. 27 at which guests<br />

will be treated to one free 16 oz drink of<br />

choice. For more information, visit ziggiscoffee.com.<br />

• • •<br />

Earlier this month commercial real<br />

estate veterans Keith and Joe Schneider<br />

launched Schneider Commercial Partners,<br />

a commercial real estate services<br />

firm serving the Greater St. Louis and St.<br />

Charles region. The firm leverages over<br />

four decades of real estate experience<br />

and focuses on a client-centric approach.<br />

Learn more at schneidercommercial.<br />

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• • •<br />

Bemo’s Grill, 5373 Highway N in<br />

Cottleville, is celebrating its 10th year<br />

in business. Owned by Dave Bemis and<br />

his son, Colton, along with business<br />

partner Matt McDonough, the family<br />

friendly restaurant features steak, seafood,<br />

chicken and pasta. For more information<br />

visit bemosgrill.com.<br />

PEOPLE<br />

The Economic Development Council<br />

of St. Charles named Louis Shaikun<br />

as its new Small Business Counselor<br />

through a partnership with the Missouri<br />

Small Business Development Centers.<br />

Shaikun brings nearly two decades of<br />

local experience in business banking to<br />

the role. Shaikun’s territory includes St.<br />

Charles, Lincoln and Warren counties.<br />

• • •<br />

Gov. Mike Parson appointed the Honorable<br />

Brittney R. Smith as Circuit<br />

Judge for the 11th Judicial Circuit. Smith<br />

currently serves as an associate circuit<br />

judge in St. Charles County. She will fill<br />

the vacancy created by the appointment<br />

of the Honorable Rebeca Navarro-McKelvey<br />

to the Missouri Court of Appeals,<br />

Eastern District.<br />

WENTZVILLE, from page 11<br />

who sponsored the policy, said she’s “not<br />

waiting on the legislature.”<br />

“Before the board had any ‘suggested<br />

guidance … parents in the district and many<br />

other districts around the state and around<br />

the country assumed that we had separate<br />

facilities for males and females … but<br />

that’s not necessarily true, because there are<br />

accommodations being made that blur that<br />

line, which is why this increased level of<br />

privacy has been demanded from the public<br />

and that’s the purpose of the policy.”<br />

Board member Julie Scott questioned<br />

Olson as to whether opening the district up<br />

to possible lawsuits was a “prudent use of<br />

funds.<br />

“How do you explain to your constituents<br />

that this is okay?” Scott asked.<br />

Olson responded that some “100-plus”<br />

parents had emailed the board voicing their<br />

concerns. “There are 18,000-ish students<br />

in this district with likely… two parents<br />

each … maybe half of them would also<br />

not be OK with the status quo if we don’t<br />

take action to increase privacy, that they<br />

thought that they had for their children<br />

while not in their custody,” Olsen said.<br />

Scott said she can’t accept that “the trans<br />

student population, even though it is small,<br />

is not being acknowledged in the way that<br />

it should be.”<br />

If trans students “are forced to use bathrooms<br />

that do not fit their gender, they<br />

are the ones who are getting assaulted<br />

and raped in bathrooms,” Scott said. “It<br />

doesn’t matter if it’s one student or two<br />

students or 10 students.”<br />

In contrast, Aimee Benninghofen before<br />

the vote asked, “Is the administration or<br />



someone else going to monitor the bathrooms<br />

and locker rooms to make sure that<br />

only the ‘approved’ males are using the<br />

females’ bathrooms and vice versa?” she<br />

asked. “Why are we only considering the<br />

few over the many?”<br />

As the debate heated up, board member<br />

Jason Goodson said he wanted no part of<br />

the policy. “Objectivity in policy-making<br />

really matters. Perception or potential for<br />

perception of bias could exacerbate our<br />

problems and create more legal risk … to<br />

the extent that there’s a lawsuit,” he said.<br />

The new policy requires students to<br />

use the multi-user facility designated for<br />

that student’s sex, defined as reproductive<br />

biology at birth. When a student has<br />

an increased privacy need that does not<br />

comport with using a multi-user facility,<br />

the policy gives the student the option of<br />

using a single-user facility.<br />

As to student locker room access, the<br />

policy permits using a single-user facility<br />

for any student with enhanced privacy<br />

needs. It also allows the district, at the<br />

request of a parent, to provide additional<br />

accommodations on a case-by-case basis<br />

to any student. However, it prohibits the<br />

district from accommodating a student by<br />

allowing the student to use the facility corresponding<br />

to the student’s gender identity<br />

when it does not align with their biological<br />

sex.<br />

Voting yes to the policy were board vice<br />

president Katie Lyczak, secretary Renee<br />

Henke, Stolle, Lewis and Olson. Goodson<br />

and Scott voted no.<br />

The board delayed the implementation<br />

of the new proposal until April 3 to allow<br />

time for administrators to meet with transgender<br />

students about the new policy.<br />







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I 23<br />

NEWS BRIEFS, from page 7<br />

He jokingly pulled out a roll of tissues<br />

to dab at his eyes and teased about losing<br />

various raffles to her.<br />

When it was his turn to praise Smith,<br />

Mayor Len Pagano called her an “ideal<br />

person for St. Peters.” He then concluded<br />

that he needed to move on or he was going<br />

to cry.<br />

World War II veteran<br />

remembered<br />

World War II veteran Edwin L. Echelmeyer<br />

was honored at the St. Peters Board<br />

of Aldermen meeting on Jan. 11, after<br />

recently passing away at the age of 100.<br />

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

described Echelmeyer’s long life, which<br />

began in St. Charles County. He was stationed<br />

at the Panama Canal during WWII<br />

and then married the love of his life,<br />

Audrey. They went on to own the Arrowhead<br />

Motel in Columbia for 30 years. In<br />

later years, it was Audrey’s love of painting<br />

that led him to explore new things.<br />

In his autobiography, which is available<br />

at the St. Charles County Veterans Museum,<br />

Echelmeyer wrote that after Audrey died<br />

in 2008, “The grief was something I was<br />

struggling to handle.”<br />

“There were times when I would find<br />

myself downstairs in her art sanctuary to<br />

be closer to her,” he wrote. “Then, one<br />

day, I picked up her brushes and had the<br />

overwhelming spiritual inclination to paint.<br />

I grabbed a canvas, some paints and started<br />

to paint. Audrey inspires me, and at times,<br />

I feel like she takes hold of the brush and<br />

guides my hand to create something out of<br />

nothing.<br />

“Soon I was painting. My paintings are<br />

nothing compared to hers. But I have found<br />

peace and calmness in painting with her.”<br />

According to his obituary, Echelmeyer<br />

went on to paint over 1,500 works of art.<br />


Fewer funds available for<br />

community assistance<br />

As part of the consent agenda at its Jan.<br />

8 meeting, the St. Charles County Council<br />

unanimously approved 20<strong>24</strong> community<br />

assistance funding of $165,000. This is<br />

$55,000 or 25% lower than the $220,000<br />

allocated in 2023.<br />

Asked about the reduction, Community<br />

Services Grants Administrator Pinar Turker<br />

said, “Simply put, lower revenue collections<br />

will result in less money available for<br />

the Community Assistance Fund. The fees<br />

supporting this fund are tied directly to the<br />

number of real estate transactions recorded<br />

by the county. The 20<strong>24</strong> allocation is an<br />

estimate based on 2023 fees collected. The<br />

reason for the 20<strong>24</strong> reduced allocation is<br />

the decline in the number of real estate<br />

transactions recorded by the county in<br />

2023.”<br />

Turker further explained that during<br />

the pandemic years, mortgages were<br />

available at very low interest rates. This<br />

resulted in many real estate transactions<br />

for both new purchases and refinancing<br />

current loans. All transactions must be<br />

recorded by the Recorder of Deeds, causing<br />

high revenue collections. In 2021, the<br />

fund received almost $320,000 in fees. In<br />

turn, the amounts allocated to the recipients<br />

were high.<br />

But the economy began to change in 2022<br />

with inflation becoming a problem. Inflation<br />

led to higher interest rates for mortgages<br />

resulting in fewer borrowers for new<br />

mortgages and no refinancing of current<br />

loans. This caused a decline in real estate<br />

recordings and less revenue generated by<br />

the Recorder’s Office.<br />

20<strong>24</strong> funding will go to:<br />

• Preferred Family Healthcare - $10,000<br />

• Connections To Success - $10,000<br />

• Crisis Nursery - $10,500<br />

• Habitat For Humanity - $13,000<br />

• Love in the Name of Christ - $13,000<br />

• Northeast Community Action Corporation<br />

- $11,000<br />

• Our Lady’s Inn - $10,000<br />

• Saints Joachim & Ann Care Service -<br />

$30,000<br />

• The Salvation Army - $13,750<br />

• Tri-County Probation & Parole - $10,000<br />

• Turning Point Domestic Violence -<br />

$10,000<br />

• Volunteers In Medicine - $10,000<br />

• Youth In Need - $13,750<br />

Voter-approved funds<br />

aiding ambulance district<br />

With annual call volume eclipsing 50,000<br />

and trending upward, the St. Charles County<br />

Ambulance District (SCCAD) invested<br />

nearly $4 million in ventilators, stretchers<br />

and power load systems to replace devices<br />

that were at the end of their lifespan.<br />

The new 51 Stryker Power Pro 2 Stretchers<br />

are engineered to decrease body fatigue<br />

with enhanced ergonomics for paramedics<br />

assisting patients on and off the stretcher.<br />

Retractable sections of the new model<br />

enable first responders to navigate tighter<br />

quarters than was possible with previous<br />

stretchers.<br />

For patients suffering from breathing<br />

complications, 40 new Hamilton T1 ventilators<br />

will enable paramedics to set flow rates,<br />

oxygen concentration and volume with a<br />

high degree of specificity.<br />

The purchases were financed utilizing<br />

funds generated by Proposition Ambulance,<br />

the $70 million general obligation bond issue<br />

approved by voters in 2018.<br />

In addition to the recent purchases, the district<br />

will soon complete an ambulance purchase<br />

and chassis remount projects utilizing<br />

$2 million in bond funds. Other recent bondfinanced<br />

capital projects include SCCAD’s<br />

$32 million consolidated headquarters<br />

facility, which opened in 2021, and four<br />

ambulance stations constructed in St. Peters,<br />

Wentzville and unincorporated St. Charles<br />

County.<br />





Baseball Cards, Sports Cards,<br />

Cardinals Souvenirs and<br />

Memorabilia. Pre-1975 Only.<br />

Private Collector:<br />

314-302-1785<br />



Buying quality collections of<br />

Rock, Jazz, Blues and More!<br />

No collection to large or small<br />

Private Collector: JP<br />

Call or Text 636-342-1616 or<br />

Email: Jp.vinyl57@gmail.com<br />


Traveling Fossil & Rock<br />

Presentations with a Biblical<br />

Perspective. Suitable for all grade<br />

levels. FREE Fossils for everyone.<br />

Can the Bible timeline<br />

be tested and trusted? Yes!<br />

The Rock’s Cry Out Ministry<br />

Contact Bill Barnes 314-608-2928<br />



Licensed, Bonded and Insured:<br />

Service upgrades, fans, can lights,<br />

switches, outlets, basements,<br />

code violations fixed, we do it<br />

all. Emergency calls & back-up<br />

generators. No job too small.<br />

Competitively priced.<br />

Free Estimates.<br />

Just call 636-262-5840<br />


DSI/Door Solutions, Inc.<br />

Garage Doors, Electric Openers.<br />

Fast Repairs. All makes & models.<br />

Same day service. Free Estimates.<br />

Custom Wood and Steel Doors.<br />

BBB Member • Angie's List<br />

Call 314-550-4071<br />

www.dsi-stl.com<br />

FOR SALE<br />

Husky 5000-Watt Gasoline<br />

Powered Generator with Briggs<br />

& Stratton Engine<br />

features 6250-watt peak<br />

Call 314 -703-7456<br />

Ballwin Area<br />


J & J HAULING<br />


Service 7 days. Debris, furniture,<br />

appliances, household trash, yard<br />

debris, railroad ties, fencing, decks.<br />

Garage & Basement Clean-up<br />

Neat, courteous, affordable rates.<br />

Call: 636-379-8062 or<br />

email: jandjhaul@aol.com<br />


KCS LLC<br />

is Seeking Part-Time Help<br />

for Residential Cleaning.<br />

Hours 8am - 2pm<br />

Monday - Friday<br />

Starting at $14 per hour.<br />

Call 636-219-4178<br />



Private Home Health<br />

<strong>24</strong> hr. Affordable<br />

Home Healthcare Service.<br />

Referencces Available.<br />

Call 314-620-3550<br />

or email<br />

trossiecares@gmail.com<br />


Mizzou Crew LLC (Since 2004)<br />

We can’t do everything,<br />

but we CAN do a lot!<br />

Landscaping, Demolition,<br />

Flooring, Light Construction,<br />

Furniture Assembly, Fencing,<br />

Deck Repair, Rough Carpentry.<br />

Call/text Jeff 314-520-5222 or<br />

email mizzoucrewstl@gmail.com<br />


Kitchen Remodeling, Wainscoting,<br />

Cabinets, Crown Molding, Trim,<br />

Framing, Basement Finishing,<br />

Custom Decks, Doors, Windows.<br />

Free estimates!<br />

Anything inside & out!<br />

Call Joe 636-699-8316<br />


Rotted wood, Painting, Tile,<br />

Drywall, Floors, Electrical,<br />

Carpentry, Plumbing,<br />

Power Washing. Insured.<br />


Tom Streckfuss 314-910-7458<br />

sbacontractingllc@gmail.com<br />



"Don't Worry Get Happy"<br />

Complete home remodel/<br />

repair kitchen & bath, plumbing,<br />

electrical, carpentry. <strong>24</strong>HR<br />

Emergency Service. Commercial<br />

and Residential. Discount for<br />

Seniors/Veterans.<br />

636-541-9432<br />


Best Landscaping Values in Town!<br />

-Mizzou Crew-<br />

Mulch, Shrub Trimming,<br />

Yard Cleanups, Power Washing,<br />

Moles, Small Walls & Paver Patios.<br />

Hauling Services,<br />

Demolition,<br />

Handyman Services<br />

& Rough Carpentry<br />

Call/Text Jeff<br />

314-520-5222<br />

or www.MizzouCrew.com<br />


DEFINO’S<br />


EST. 2006<br />

Interior & Exterior Painting<br />

Deck Staining<br />

- Insured & Free Estimates -<br />

definospainting.com<br />

314-707-3094<br />






INTERIOR SPECIAL 20<strong>24</strong><br />

$75 Per Avg. Rm Size<br />

(12’x12’ Walls 3 Room Minimum)<br />


(636) 577-8960<br />

Exterior Painting!<br />




Good Prices! Basement<br />

bathrooms, small repairs &<br />

code violations repaired. Fast<br />

Service. Certified, licensed<br />

plumber - MBC Plumbing<br />

- Call or text anytime:<br />

314-409-5051<br />


Complete Tree Service for<br />

Residential & Commercial<br />

Tree Pruning & Removal<br />

Plant Health Care Program<br />

Deadwooding • Stump Grinding<br />

Deep Root Fertilization<br />

Cabling & Storm Clean Up<br />

ISA Certified Arborists<br />

Doug Beckmann MW-5255A<br />

Teresa Hessel MW-5754A • Brad Meyer MW-5286A<br />

Free Estimates • Fully Insured<br />

314-426-2911<br />

meyertreecare.com<br />


Marriage Ceremonies • Vow Renewals • Baptisms • Pastoral/Graveside Visits<br />

Full Service Ministry • (314) 703-7456

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