Mid Rivers Newsmagazine 2-21-24

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. <strong>21</strong> No. 4 • February <strong>21</strong>, 20<strong>24</strong><br />

midriversnewsmagazine.com<br />

Understanding political divides<br />

in Dardenne Prairie<br />

PLUS: Summer Camps ■ Dardenne Prairie Town Square Update ■ Technology For Independence




Winds of change<br />

in the Black vote<br />

Data shows that winds of political<br />

change are blowing among Black voters.<br />

In volatile times like now, predictions<br />

can be made with only the greatest caution.<br />

However, it seems clear that something<br />

is going on and Black voters are breaking<br />

with past voting patterns.<br />

The New York Times reported last<br />

November that, per its polling with Siena<br />

College, 22% of Black voters in six key<br />

battleground states – Arizona, Georgia,<br />

Michigan, Nevada, Pennsylvania and<br />

Wisconsin – indicated they would support<br />

Republican Donald Trump.<br />

In 2020, Trump gained ground with<br />

Blacks, picking up 12% of the Black vote,<br />

up from 8% in 2016. But any suggestion<br />

that any Republican candidate might pick<br />

up 20-plus percent of the Black vote is<br />

revolutionary.<br />

The last time the Black vote went beyond<br />

the teens for a Republican was in 1960,<br />

when Richard Nixon got 32% of the Black<br />

vote, in a close election he lost to John<br />

Kennedy.<br />

The next election in 1964 was, for Blacks,<br />

about the Civil Rights Movement. The<br />

Republican candidate, Barry Goldwater,<br />

opposed passage of the Civil Rights Act<br />

and got 4% of the Black vote. Republicans<br />

have not recovered since.<br />

Nixon returned and won the presidency<br />

in 1968 and 1972. However, Blacks supported<br />

him at a fraction of what he received<br />

in 1960 – Nixon getting 10% of the Black<br />

vote in 1968 and 13% in 1972.<br />

In a USA Today/Suffolk University Poll<br />

reported in January, only 63% of Black<br />

voters indicated support for President Joe<br />

Biden, compared to 87% who voted for<br />

him in 2020.<br />

The USA Today/Suffolk University poll<br />

shows a less compelling picture of Blacks<br />

moving toward Trump. That poll shows<br />

12% support for Trump, exactly where he<br />

was in 2020.<br />

However, the poll shows Black sentiment<br />

moving away from Democrats with<br />

almost 20% of Black voters indicating they<br />

would support a third party candidate.<br />

Now we have new data from Gallup<br />

reporting that “The Democratic Party’s<br />

wide lead over Republicans in Black<br />

Americans’ party preferences has shrunk<br />

by nearly 20 points over the past three<br />

years.”<br />

Among Black Americans surveyed, 66%<br />

said they identify as Democrat/lean Democrat<br />

and 19% Republican/lean Republican,<br />

for a differential of 47 points.<br />

A little over three years ago in 2020, in<br />

the same survey, 77% of Black Americans<br />

identified as Democrat/lean Democrat,<br />

compared to 11% identifying as Republican/lean<br />

Republican, for a differential of<br />

66 points. In just three years, the differential<br />

between Black support for Democrats<br />

and for Republicans has shrunk 19 points.<br />

Overall, the 47-point differential in this<br />

latest survey is the smallest since Gallup<br />

first started doing the survey in 1999, when<br />

the differential was 72 points.<br />

With recent elections decided by tiny<br />

margins in battleground states, a fundamental<br />

change in voting behavior by one<br />

key demographic – Blacks – can be a game<br />

changer.<br />

The implications over the long haul are<br />

profound given the demographic changes<br />

taking place, with the percentage of the<br />

white vote, which accounts for the majority<br />

of Republican votes, shrinking in each<br />

election. In 2020, whites accounted for<br />

67% of the vote. This compared to 1980<br />

when the white vote stood at 88%.<br />

Per the Census Bureau, the percentage<br />

of the U.S. population that is white will<br />

be down to 45% by 2060. So, any movement<br />

of Blacks, and Hispanics, away from<br />

Democrats means a lot.<br />

Why is this apparent movement of<br />

Blacks from Democrats happening?<br />

Here’s one hypothesis I propose from the<br />

New York Times/Siena College Poll.<br />

That poll shows that, relative to whites,<br />

Blacks care more about economic issues<br />

than social issues. Sixty-five percent of<br />

Blacks say economic issues are most<br />

important compared to 53% of whites.<br />

Twenty-one percent of Blacks say social<br />

issues are most important compared to<br />

33% of whites.<br />

Perhaps we are entering new times when<br />

fewer Blacks look to government for social<br />

justice and more want economic growth<br />

and opportunity.<br />

This means Republicans.<br />

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

Read more on midriversnewsmagazine.com<br />

February <strong>21</strong>, 20<strong>24</strong><br />


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Heritage Collection<br />

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Heritage Collection<br />

Cottage Collection<br />

Oakleigh Townhomes<br />

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6 I OPINION I<br />

February <strong>21</strong>, 20<strong>24</strong><br />





Three stories<br />

The eyes don’t have it<br />

A 280-million-year-old fossil had<br />

baffled scientists for more than a century,<br />

and with good reason. The fossil is a fake.<br />

The details are relatively unimportant.<br />

The fossil appeared to be a largely intact<br />

8-inch lizard, which is remarkably rare<br />

for a fossil so old. Turns out, only a portion<br />

of the fossil was legitimate. The rest,<br />

namely the part that appeared as intact<br />

skin fragments, was merely painted rock.<br />

The fossil was discovered in 1931. The<br />

forgery was discovered last month.<br />

In other news, OpenAI, the company<br />

behind ChatGPT, unveiled its new AI<br />

video application last week. Called Sora,<br />

the novel technology can generate hyperrealistic<br />

video from simple text prompts.<br />

In other words, you can enter “orange<br />

cat slaps mustachioed dictator while<br />

tap dancing on leaves of lettuce” and,<br />

by golly, that is what you will see just<br />

moments later. For people who love to<br />

see cats slap dictators, this is great news.<br />

For the rest of us, it means that bad actors<br />

who want to create deep fake videos now<br />

require only the will – not the skill - to<br />

deceive. The company does not currently<br />

plan to release Sora to the public.<br />

In the history of mankind, “seeing is<br />

believing” has never been a more meaningless<br />

phrase.<br />

Home is where the NAR is<br />

The National Association of Realtors,<br />

or NAR, is not some quaint little group<br />

of real estate agents talking about how<br />


best to make an open house smell like<br />

chocolate chip cookies. It claims to be<br />

the largest trade association in the country,<br />

with more than 1.5 million active<br />

members and some $1 billion in assets.<br />

Its seemingly most important role is<br />

to maintain an antiquated commission<br />

structure that splits a 5.5% average commission<br />

fee between the buyer’s agent<br />

and the seller’s agent. Those commission<br />

levels are largely unchanged over the last<br />

century, and rank amongst the highest in<br />

the world. By comparison, the average<br />

commission in the U.K. is just 1.3%.<br />

A consequence of such a commission<br />

structure is that it maintains an artificially<br />

high number of semi-professional,<br />

dues-paying Realtors. The average agent<br />

in the U.S. is involved in just a dozen<br />

transactions per year, hardly enough to<br />

claim expert level.<br />

Most of the controversy with the commission<br />

structure centers around the<br />

role of the buyer’s agent. Once a muchneeded<br />

position to locate potential<br />

homes for the buyers, that role can now<br />

be filled by any number of websites.<br />

The role of the buyer’s agent has been<br />

greatly diminished, but their commission<br />

has not.<br />

Last October, a jury in Kansas City,<br />

Missouri, awarded a $1.8 billion verdict<br />

against the NAR saying that the association<br />

had kept fees artificially inflated.<br />

That is the beginning of a much-needed<br />

change in the industry. Truly professional<br />

Realtors are good people working<br />

hard to maintain their clients’ slice of the<br />

American Dream. Their trade association<br />

should reflect that attitude and that future,<br />

not work to protect an impossible past.<br />

Three cheers for Caitlin Clark<br />

Women need great role models these<br />

days. Who are we kidding, everyone<br />

needs great role models these days.<br />

Last Thursday, Iowa senior guard<br />

Caitlin Clark became the all-time NCAA<br />

Division I leader in points scored. There<br />

is a chance she could also pass Pete<br />

Maravich’s all-time record of 3,667<br />

points with five games remaining in the<br />

season.<br />

Clark is athletically amazing and<br />

almost completely non-controversial.<br />

She has made women’s college basketball<br />

10 times more financially valuable<br />

in her years. She is the model of modern<br />

athletics and deserves at least three<br />

cheers.<br />

Here is something else interesting. We<br />

said Clark became the all-time NCAA<br />

leader with 3,569 points. That is only<br />

sort of true. Lynette Woodard starred<br />

at Kansas from 1978-1981. She scored<br />

3,649 points in four years. She did that<br />

prior to the advent of the three-point shot,<br />

making the feat even more impressive.<br />

She also did it before women’s sports<br />

were recognized by the NCAA, so her<br />

record is largely ignored today. Clark is<br />

likely to pass Woodard this year, and is<br />

deserving of every cheer she gets, but<br />

let’s make sure we save at least one of<br />

those cheers for Lynette Woodard.<br />

Gaslighting in Francis Howell<br />

To the Editor:<br />

Remember the good ole days when<br />

conservatives complained of overreach,<br />

vowed to keep government small, and<br />

demanded transparency? Not so anymore.<br />

A new conservative guard has taken St.<br />

Charles County by storm. In 20<strong>21</strong>, they<br />

showed conservative moderates the door,<br />

called up a PAC from Texas, and created<br />

an alliance. Pairing deep pockets with the<br />

farthest right leaders in Missouri, they targeted<br />

nonpartisan school boards. In 2022,<br />

the Republican Party donated $3,500 each<br />

to school board president Adam Bertrand<br />

and director Randy Cook’s campaigns.<br />

The Gontarz family has now financed and<br />

endorsed five sitting school board directors,<br />

pouring nearly $35,000 into Francis<br />

Howell School District (FHSD) races.<br />

The hypocrisy of PAC president Ken<br />

Gontarz’s recent opinion, railing against<br />

powerful political action committees when<br />

he, himself, is president of a PAC formed<br />

exclusively to advance the latest culture<br />

war in our district speaks volumes. Ironically,<br />

this PAC already sued FHSD for<br />

the right to advertise its PAC in public<br />

comments. Mr. Gontarz not only attends<br />

weekly Pachyderm meetings (a club for<br />

prepping young Republicans), but his PAC<br />

events host Republican leaders so extreme<br />

that they have recently drawn the ire of<br />

their own party leadership.<br />

It is no surprise Mr. Gontarz’s opinion<br />

repeated the conspiracy theories of Christopher<br />

Rufo (a paid operative for private<br />

school vouchers), implicated our children’s<br />

teachers, and attacked the Southern<br />

Poverty Law Center (the first organization<br />

to successfully sue the Klu Klux Klan).<br />

If such an author wants to fling the term<br />

“radical” (the same insult thrown at Susan<br />

B Anthony, Dr. Martin Luther King and<br />

Caesar Chavez) at those willing to stand<br />

up to his FHSD5, I’ll proudly wear the<br />

label, and you should, too. Because a real<br />

political agenda bought and paid for by Mr.<br />

Gontarz is well underway in FHSD, and<br />

his version of reading, writing, and discipline<br />

is looking more and more dystopian<br />

every day.<br />

Jamie Martin, president<br />

FrancisHowellForward.org<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 />

754 Spirit 40 Park Drive<br />

Chesterfield, MO 63005<br />

(636) 591-0010<br />

midriversnewsmagazine.com<br />

Please send<br />

Comments, Letters and Press Releases to:<br />

editor@newsmagazinenetwork.com<br />

<strong>Mid</strong> <strong>Rivers</strong> <strong>Newsmagazine</strong> is published <strong>24</strong> times per<br />

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submission. © Copyright 20<strong>24</strong>.<br />

Submit your letter to: editor@newsmagazinenetwork.com


March 5 - 7 | Tuesday - Thursday | 10am - 5pm<br />

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8 I NEWS I<br />

February <strong>21</strong>, 20<strong>24</strong><br />





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Congratulations to St. Charles Borromeo School on winning the “judges<br />

favorite” award in the Saint Charles Mardi Gras Parade.<br />

NEWS<br />

BRIEFS<br />

ST. PETERS<br />

Park reservation<br />

system now open<br />

The city of St. Peters is accepting reservation<br />

requests for its park pavilions<br />

and athletic fields, with discount rates for<br />

residents. Offerings include the recently<br />

renovated City Centre Gazebo, which is<br />

surrounded by a picturesque pond, fountains<br />

and landscaping. The Gazebo is available<br />

April 1-Oct. 31. Folding chairs also<br />

can be rented. To rent the Gazebo, visit<br />

stpetersmo.net/rec-connect or call (636)<br />

397-6903 ext. 16<strong>24</strong>.<br />

Pavilion reservations open March 1,<br />

with online reservations open at 7 a.m. and<br />

in-person reservations available at 9 a.m.<br />

at the Rec-Plex. Pavilions can be rented<br />

from April 1-Oct. 31.<br />

Athletic field reservations open March<br />

18, 20<strong>24</strong>, with online reservations open at<br />

7 a.m. and in-person reservations available<br />

at 9 a.m. at the Rec-Plex. Fields can be<br />

rented from April 1-Nov. 30. Phone reservations<br />

will not be taken for athletic fields.<br />

Reservations for the pavilions at 370<br />

Lakeside Park are available year-round<br />

by contacting 370 Lakeside Park at (636)<br />

387-5283.<br />

A guaranteed reservation fee is required<br />

at time of reservation. To qualify for resident<br />

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Privilege Card is required.<br />


Improvements for Detention<br />

Center, Family Arena<br />

At its meeting on Feb. 12, St. Charles<br />

County Council authorized the issuance of<br />

$32.75 million in special obligation bonds<br />

to renovate, improve, equip and furnish<br />

the County Adult Detention Facility and<br />

the Family Arena. The separate projects<br />

would construct a new mental health and<br />

substance abuse unit and relocate kitchen<br />

facilities in the detention facility and install<br />

new seats at the Family Arena.<br />

The action was approved in a 6-1 vote<br />

with council member Joe Brazil (District<br />

2) opposed.<br />

Prior to the vote, Assistant Director of<br />

Administration Bob Schnur was asked to<br />

provide an update about the actual sale of<br />

bonds that was completed the same day as<br />

the council meeting. Schnur said it was<br />

a great day, with 14 parties interested in<br />

the bonds and 12 of those submitting bids.<br />

Because of the high number of bidders, the<br />

county was able to obtain a premium and<br />

thus reduced the bond sale to $32.75 million<br />

instead of the originally planned $35<br />

million, saving the county $2.25 million.<br />

The council thus voted on substitute Bill<br />

No. 5265 for $32.75 million.<br />

Last September the council approved<br />

Resolution 23-07, that set a $35 million<br />

bond issue into motion. $32 million is<br />

designated for completion of the Jail modification<br />

project along with $3 million that<br />

represents the part of the total $14 million<br />

Family Arena renovation project to be paid<br />

from county resources. ARPA funding<br />

and the Shuttered Venue Operators Grant<br />

account for the other $11 million.<br />

The principal of and interest on the<br />

bonds will be payable solely from the revenues<br />

derived from annual appropriations<br />

by the county council.<br />

County approves new fire/<br />

EMS alerting system<br />

In October 2023, the St. Charles County<br />

Emergency Services Association Inc.<br />

decided to use US Digital Designs by<br />

Honeywell as the sole source vendor for<br />

all current and future G2 fire station and<br />

ambulance base alerting system projects<br />

within St. Charles County. A G2 system<br />

refers to tone and automated voice alerting,<br />

an LED light alert, dispatch text information<br />

and input/output controls.<br />

The system will include any and all fire<br />

and ambulance districts and fire departments<br />

dispatched by the St. Charles<br />

County Department of Emergency Communications.<br />

As part of the Consent Agenda at its Feb.<br />

12 meeting, the St. Charles County Council<br />

unanimously authorized initial setup,<br />

use, and one year of warranty and support<br />

of US Digital hardware and software for<br />

integrated and automated Fire and EMS<br />

station alerting of incidents. This will help<br />

automate a portion of the dispatch process<br />

and reduce some staff workload.<br />

In a background memo to the council,<br />

Jeff Smith, director of emergency communications,<br />

explained that his department<br />

had been pursuing this type of solution for<br />

years and had been waiting for the Fire/<br />

EMS agencies to come together and select<br />

a vendor of choice. Those agencies did<br />

select US Digital as vendor for this solution,<br />

and purchasing from US Digital is<br />

available via the National Purchasing Partners<br />

government contract.<br />

St. Louis County recently selected US<br />

Digital as their Fire and EMS station alerting<br />

solution and has successfully implemented<br />

the product. Smith said using the<br />

same vendor will be ideal once St. Charles<br />

County computer aided dispatch (CAD)<br />

systems are integrated and the counties<br />

are able to share and assign each other’s<br />

resources on both mutual aid and automatic<br />

aid fire and EMS related incidents.<br />

Mosaics Fine Art Festival<br />

opens application process<br />

Mosaics Fine Art Festival is seeking<br />

applicants for 29th annual event to be held<br />

Friday, Sept. 13 through Sunday, Sept. 15.<br />

Only 100 artists will be invited to showcase<br />

and sell their wares at this exclusive<br />

juried event. The application deadline is<br />

March 31, and notification of acceptance<br />

will take place May 5.<br />

Media categories include clay, drawing,<br />

glass, leather, metal, pastel, oil/acrylic,<br />

photography, printmaking, sculpture,<br />

watercolor, and wood. A total of $5,000<br />

will be awarded to the top nine artists.<br />

The Mosaics Fine Art Festival features<br />

live musical entertainment, a Children’s<br />

Village Creation Station for hands-on art<br />

experiences, the Mary Hediger Memorial<br />

Art Shop for Kids where children ages 14<br />

and younger can buy professional artwork,<br />

and the Joyce Rosen Founder’s Scholarship<br />

art display where emerging high<br />

school artists showcase their work. The<br />

Artists for Adoption Pet Pavilion is open<br />

to families interested in adopting pets from<br />

Stray Paws Adoptables.<br />

Artists can apply at zapplication.org,<br />

search “Mosaic” in the events listing. For<br />

more information, call (314) 406-2067 or<br />

visit stcharlesmosaics.org.



February <strong>21</strong>, 20<strong>24</strong><br />


I NEWS I 9<br />

Multi-use trails coming<br />

to Missouri Bluffs Park<br />

A unique multi-use trail system will be<br />

constructed at Missouri Bluffs Park to<br />

accommodate a wide range of skills and<br />

abilities. The trails will incorporate multiple<br />

features specifically designed for the<br />

existing terrain and will provide opportunities<br />

for hikers and bikers of all ages.<br />

The trail system will include at least<br />

three miles of flowing, natural single<br />

track with loops and connections to different<br />

trails. It also will include two to three<br />

miles of directional flow trails with reasonable<br />

climb routes back to the beginning.<br />

As part of the Consent Agenda at its Feb.<br />

12 meeting, the St. Charles County Council<br />

unanimously authorized a $320,535<br />

contract with Stray Trails, LLC, a St.<br />

Louis company, to design and construct<br />

the unique trail system. They were the only<br />

company to respond to the bid request.<br />

According to the parks and recreation<br />

department, these new trails will continue<br />

to add amenities to Missouri Bluffs Park<br />

that help make it a unique attraction for St.<br />

Charles County residents.<br />

The bid response document indicates<br />

Stray Trails LLC is a turnkey, mountain<br />

bike specific, trail building solution<br />

founded in 2022. Zac Milner, owner/<br />

operator, had worked with Progressive<br />

Trail Designs in Bentonville, Arkansas, for<br />

seven years prior to starting Stray Trails.<br />

His mission is to build world class mountain<br />

bike trails to greater St. Louis and surrounding<br />

areas.<br />

Stray Trails already has constructed<br />

Bluff View Trails in Wildwood, MTB Park<br />

Trails in Eureka, and Plattin Creek Trails<br />

in Festus.<br />

Council approves<br />

roadwork projects<br />

At its Feb. 12 meeting, the St. Charles<br />

County Council approved five bills, each<br />

by a vote of 7-0, to help with funding for<br />

bridge replacement and road improvement<br />

projects. The bills authorize the use of federal/state<br />

reimbursements totaling $4.176<br />

million (80%) toward projects totaling<br />

$5.22 million. The county will need to provide<br />

$1.044 million (20%).<br />

The projects include:<br />

• Replacing the Josephville Road bridge<br />

over a tributary of the Cuivre River, with a<br />

project cost of $640,000.<br />

• Replacing the Dietrich Road bridge<br />

over a tributary of McCoy Creek, with a<br />

project cost of $640,000.<br />

• Replacing the Howell Road bridge over<br />

a tributary to Femme Osage Creek, with a<br />

project cost of $690,000.<br />

• Designing and constructing roadway<br />

improvements along the existing South<br />

Point Prairie Road corridor from approximately<br />

0.4 miles north of Jackson Road<br />

to 0.1 miles north of Hwy. N, as part of<br />

the continued extension of David Hoekel<br />

Parkway. The project will include reconstruction<br />

and widening of shoulders and<br />

cost approximately $4,410,000.<br />

• Designing and constructing roadway<br />

improvements along Josephville Road<br />

from Kersting Road to approximately one<br />

mile north of Route A. The project will<br />

include an overlay, widening to include<br />

shoulders, and curve improvements to<br />

improve the condition of the pavement and<br />

increase public safety and cost approximately<br />

$3,<strong>24</strong>0,000.<br />

Historic Courthouse to<br />

receive interior facelift<br />

St. Charles County began working<br />

in 2023 to renovate the interior of its<br />

119-year-old Historic Courthouse with the<br />

intent to restore it to its original design as<br />

much as is feasible.<br />

The building currently houses the offices<br />

of the county executive, county counselor,<br />

county council and the director of administration.<br />

As part of the Consent Agenda at its Feb.<br />

12 meeting, the St. Charles County Council<br />

unanimously approved a new project<br />

Freezing weather is here!<br />

for interior plaster and paint repair. Seals<br />

Enterprises Inc. of Chesterfield, has been<br />

awarded the $150,090 contract. They have<br />

extensive restoration experience and will<br />

be working with Woemmel Plastering of<br />

St. Louis on these repairs.<br />

Project cost will be covered by parks<br />

and recreation department’s budget and<br />

was included in the approved 20<strong>24</strong> County<br />

Budget.<br />

Background materials provided by the<br />

parks and recreation department note that<br />

over the years the original plaster walls<br />

See NEWS BRIEFS, page 14<br />

Slips and falls affect us all.<br />

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

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

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


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636-537-3333 | CHESTERFIELD<br />

636-861-0500 | DOUGHERTY FERRY

10 I NEWS I<br />

February <strong>21</strong>, 20<strong>24</strong><br />




Committee seeks ‘balance’ in developing Dardenne Prairie’s Town Square<br />


While the Dardenne Prairie Town<br />

Square Vision Steering Committee was<br />

envisioned in May of 2023, its first official<br />

meeting did not take place until Sept. 25.<br />

Since that time, the committee has conducted<br />

multiple committee meetings and<br />

two public meetings – all with the goal<br />

of bringing residents and city leadership<br />

closer together in terms of what types of<br />

residential and commercial development<br />

should be pursued for the area bound by<br />

Route 364, Technology Drive and Post<br />

Road.<br />

Specifically, the committee is looking<br />

at three primary development areas: Town<br />

Square Avenue and Post Road, Merz Farm<br />

Lane and Town Square, and Technology<br />

Drive. Last fall, the city hired PGAV Planners<br />

to assist with the process and create<br />

potential development plans.<br />

The committee was given a six-month<br />

window to complete its task. With the<br />

March 25 deadline looming, committee<br />

chair Carl Maus, who also is running for<br />

the Ward 1 aldermen seat in the April 2<br />

election, gave a progress update at the Feb.<br />

7 Board of Aldermen work session.<br />

Maus went over the timeline of how the<br />

committee was formed and all of the meetings<br />

they have held.<br />

During his remarks, he noted that the<br />

Dardenne Prairie Town Square public meeting in November 2023<br />

(Source: Dardenneprairie20<strong>24</strong>.com)<br />

committee is diverse with many different<br />

viewpoints and said it struggled early on.<br />

So much so that a special meeting was<br />

called for Jan. 8. Maus described that meeting<br />

as “highly productive” and said he felt<br />

“everyone participated and everyone was<br />

heard.” Alderman Mike Costlow (Ward 2)<br />

disagreed with that assessment.<br />

Costlow, who serves as the board of<br />

aldermen’s representative on the steering<br />

committee, said he was not heard. Costlow<br />

was out of town when the meeting<br />

took place. He had been assured that he<br />

would be able to remotely participate, but<br />

although the city has that capability, the<br />

equipment was not properly set up and he<br />

was unable to be a part of the conversation.<br />

That action came up later in the board<br />

meeting on Feb. 7 when Costlow argued<br />

against approving an additional fee, not to<br />

exceed $5,000, as payment to PGAV Planners<br />

for its role in the Jan. 8 meeting. He<br />

questioned the PGAV bill, noting that the<br />

committee and the planner had continued<br />

issues finding common ground, which is<br />

what led to a need for the additional meeting.<br />

Ultimately, a final vote on the payment<br />

was postponed until the board’s Feb. <strong>21</strong><br />

meeting.<br />

As for his part, Maus told the board<br />

during the work session, that the committee<br />

is “trying to find a balance” between<br />

what the city needs and what its residents<br />

want. To that end, he asked about any<br />

financial constraints the city has that the<br />

committee should be looking at. He also<br />

noted that a website (dardenneprairie20<strong>24</strong>.<br />

com) had been launched to help residents<br />

see the committee’s progress and voice<br />

their opinions on what types of residential<br />

and commercial developments should be<br />

pursued.<br />

Survey questions include:<br />

• Where do you feel the “Front Door” of<br />

Dardenne Prairie is or should be?<br />

• As the city contemplates future development<br />

in the planning area, what type of<br />

residential development would you like to<br />

see? Options include townhomes, condominiums,<br />

single-family residences, midrise<br />

apartments and high-rise apartments.<br />

• What development characteristics are<br />

most important for development within<br />

this focus area (Merz Farm)?<br />

• What should future commercial development<br />

look like in the planning area?<br />

Options include small-scale neighborhood<br />

See TOWN SQUARE, page 14<br />

New gun shop, frozen custard shop, coffee shop proposed for OFallon<br />


O’Fallon’s Planning and Zoning Commission<br />

(P&Z) has recommended City<br />

Council approval of a new gun shop, a new<br />

frozen custard shop with drive-thru, and<br />

a new coffee shop with drive-thru. This<br />

would create the fifth gun shop, the 10th<br />

frozen custard/ice cream shop, and the 11th<br />

coffee shop within O’Fallon city limits.<br />

At its Feb. 8 meeting, the council conducted<br />

public hearings and first readings<br />

for bills that would authorize those businesses.<br />

Except for a concern about congestion<br />

at an access point and a concern about<br />

too many gun shops, there was little opposition<br />

to the three businesses.<br />

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

the bills will receive second readings<br />

and votes for passage at the Feb. 22<br />

council meeting.<br />

Bill No. 7617 would authorize a Conditional<br />

Use Permit (CUP) to allow a gun<br />

shop and gunsmith named Vault Armory &<br />

Supply, LLC, at 9390 Veterans Memorial<br />

Parkway, on 6.29 acres of property zoned<br />

I-1 Light Industrial District.<br />

The property has O’Fallon Christian<br />

Church immediately adjacent to the east,<br />

Magnolia Village B subdivision to the<br />

south, Veterans Memorial Parkway to the<br />

north, and vacant C-2 and R-3 land to the<br />

west.<br />

Another gun shop and indoor range,<br />

Range USA, is located at 9100 Veterans<br />

Memorial Parkway, about 700 yards (0.4<br />

mile) to the east.<br />

The applicant has proposed a gun store<br />

in the northernmost of four structures on<br />

this property, the building closest to Veterans<br />

Memorial Parkway and the most visible.<br />

That building currently has signage<br />

indicating The Auto Gallery by Gregg<br />

Adam. Hours of operation for the new gun<br />

shop would be 10 a.m.-8 p.m., Monday-<br />

Saturday and 10 a.m.-6 p.m. on Sunday.<br />

The applicant has been in contact with<br />

the O’Fallon Police Department regarding<br />

a security plan and all recommendations<br />

from the department are listed as conditions<br />

for approval.<br />

An attorney representing Vault Armory<br />

told the council that the business would be<br />

focused on safety and training. All employees<br />

would have military or police officer<br />

backgrounds. The shop would sell firearms,<br />

ammunition, related equipment such as ear<br />

and eye protection, and clothing. It would<br />

not include a gun range but would refer<br />

customers seeking that service to existing<br />

gun ranges in O’Fallon, keeping the business<br />

local.<br />

Only one person, Arnie Dienoff, spoke<br />

during the public hearing. He said he welcomed<br />

the business to O’Fallon, along<br />

with the sales tax it would generate but<br />

he reiterated the importance of the police<br />

safety requirements outlined in the P&Z<br />

conditions, the need for safety bollards to<br />

prevent smash-and-grab robberies where<br />

cars could be forcibly driven into the building,<br />

and the need for Americans with Disabilities<br />

Act (ADA) compliance in order to<br />

have adequate access to the shop.<br />

The attorney assured the council that all<br />

police, city, ADA and robbery-prevention<br />

measures will be met, along with everything<br />

required to obtain federal gun shop<br />

licensing. He said federal licensing forms<br />

already are being filled out to be submitted<br />

immediately after council approval of the<br />

CUP.<br />

Asked about the proposed gun shop next<br />

door, the pastor of the adjacent church said<br />

he had not been aware of the proposal until<br />

asked for comment. He said the church<br />

has a private school with children present<br />

five days per week. After being given the<br />

contact information, he said was calling<br />

his Ward 5 council member to discuss the<br />

topic.<br />

Asked for comment, Ward 5 council<br />

member Linda Ragsdale said, “I did not<br />

know about the private school but will<br />

certainly look into that.” She said she<br />

and Ward 5 council member Debbie Cook<br />

would research and discuss the shop’s<br />

location next to the school and determine<br />

next steps.<br />

In regard to the custard shop, Bill No. 7618<br />

would rezone 1.04 acres at 2892 Hwy. K<br />

from “newly annexed” to C-2 General Business<br />

District and Bill No. 7619 would authorize<br />

a CUP to allow Andy’s Frozen Custard<br />

with a drive-thru at that rezoned location.<br />

There would not be any indoor seating; how-<br />

See O’FALLON, page 30



February <strong>21</strong>, 20<strong>24</strong><br />


One city, two directions: Understanding the political divides in Dardenne Prairie<br />

I 11<br />


The future of Dardenne Prairie has<br />

become a hot topic for residents and city<br />

officials. What was once known as a small,<br />

quiet area is growing, but some residents<br />

say the city is growing too fast.<br />

At meetings of the city’s Planning and<br />

Zoning Commission and its Board of<br />

Aldermen, residents have expressed opposition<br />

to the city’s urbanization, with the<br />

Prairie Encore development at the intersection<br />

of Bryan and Fiese roads serving as<br />

a flashpoint and resulting in the formation<br />

of the Town Square Vision Steering Committee,<br />

charged with creating a development<br />

plan for the area bound by Route 364,<br />

Technology Drive and Post Road.<br />

Opposing viewpoints also have been<br />

expressed by the mayor and some of the<br />

city’s aldermen, including alderman Mike<br />

Costlow, who represents the board on the<br />

Town Square steering committee alongside<br />

citizens Mike Wooldridge, Cliff Branch,<br />

Jack Ballantine, Wendy Rackovan, Debbie<br />

Haley, EJ Sansone, John LeDoux, Carl<br />

Maus, Mark Hunter and David Hosking.<br />

To better understand their viewpoints,<br />

Gotway and Costlow sat down with <strong>Mid</strong><br />

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

Gotway, who was an<br />

alderman for six years,<br />

said, “I did not want to<br />

run for mayor.” But run<br />

he did, with two main<br />

goals: fix the streets and<br />

form a friendly partnership<br />

with officials in<br />

the neighboring city of<br />

O’Fallon.<br />

Gotway explained<br />

that while he was walking<br />

the streets talking to<br />

residents during his campaign,<br />

he realized just<br />

how badly they needed<br />

repairing. This led him<br />

to propose Proposition T,<br />

which was a ballot initiative<br />

voted on by residents<br />

to instate a half-cent<br />

sales tax for the purpose<br />

of road maintenance. Anyone shopping in<br />

Dardenne Prairie would then be contributing<br />

to fixing the streets, he said.<br />

According to Gotway, Proposition T pays<br />

for about 60% of the city’s road repairs. It’s<br />

one example of how commercial development<br />

benefits Dardenne Prairie residents.<br />

He said if major retailers serving the area<br />

were to leave, the city would lose money.<br />

“If we lose Schnucks, or JCPenny, or if<br />

we lose Target, we’re bankrupt,” he siad.<br />

“We can’t pay our bills.”<br />

That hypothetical situation is one of the<br />

reasons why the mayor embraces developing<br />

Dardenne Prairie with multi-use projects,<br />

such as the Prairie Encore project at<br />

(File photo)<br />

the corner of Bryan and Fiese roads.<br />

That project met with considerable<br />

objections from residents and even<br />

the Wentzville School District; however,<br />

in response to those concerns,<br />

Mia Rose Developments/KaLeCo<br />

LLC revised its development plan<br />

and reached an agreement with the<br />

school district that offset the impact<br />

of the 12-year tax abatement offered<br />

by the city.<br />

Gotway highlighted the developer’s<br />

actions by pointing out that<br />

the car wash originally associated<br />

with the Prairie Encore development<br />

was removed from the plans after<br />

residents complained. And he noted,<br />

“The final plan is still not final.”<br />

“Your role in any office in city government<br />

is to do the common good for<br />

the whole city,” Gotway said.<br />

He said he believes the common<br />

good for Dardenne Prairie means building<br />

more multi-use developments like other<br />

cities are doing. He referenced a $4 billion<br />

multi-use development in Cummings,<br />

Georgia, where businesses line the streets<br />

with three- and four-story apartments<br />

See DARDENNE PRAIRIE, page 31<br />


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12 I NEWS I<br />

February <strong>21</strong>, 20<strong>24</strong><br />


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St. Peters creates small business award<br />


A small business committee group was<br />

formed by St. Peters alderman Judy Bateman<br />

(Ward 2) last year. Its goal was to<br />

welcome small businesses to the area and<br />

provide local owners with the support<br />

needed to not only keep their businesses<br />

in St. Peters but also encourage other local<br />

shops and restaurants to locate there.<br />

While various small businesses reside<br />

in Old Town St. Peters and provide local<br />

flavor, Bateman expressed a desire to bring<br />

shops from outside that district into the<br />

conversation.<br />

St. Peters has a history of ranking as a top<br />

community to live and work in – achieving<br />

a Best Places to Live in America ranking<br />

from “Money Magazine” in 2008, 2010,<br />

2012, 2017, 2020 and 20<strong>21</strong> (No. 22 overall<br />

and No. 1 in Missouri). Over 2,300 businesses<br />

operate in the area, serving nearly<br />

60,000 residents and an additional 60,000<br />

visitors each year.<br />

Last June, the committee held its first<br />

meeting and has continued to meet for<br />

quarterly roundtable discussions. Now,<br />

Bateman is seeking to broaden the committee’s<br />

reach by creating a new St. Peters<br />

Small Business Award. She explained that<br />

both the Economic Development Council<br />

of St. Charles County and the St. Charles<br />

Regional Chamber present their own small<br />

business awards, but St. Peters had yet to<br />

offer an accolade for the businesses that<br />

operate in the city.<br />

Thus, the St. Peters Small Business<br />

Award has been created.<br />

Nominations are now open and Bateman<br />

plans to present the first award at the small<br />

business committee meeting in May.<br />

“It’s just been a passion of mine,” she<br />

said.<br />

Residents and business owners can<br />

nominate their favorite St. Peters small<br />

business. Business owners are allowed to<br />

nominate themselves.<br />

“It just has to be a small business in the<br />

city of St. Peters, and hopefully, maybe<br />

they’ve had a little bit of a background of<br />

community service,” Bateman said.<br />

Nominated businesses will be judged on<br />

their community impact, employee dedication,<br />

ability to overcome challenges and<br />

business growth. All nominations are due<br />

by 5 p.m. on Wednesday, April 10.<br />

Nomination forms are available now by<br />

contacting Julie Powers, St. Peters director<br />

of planning, community and economic<br />

development, at jpowers@stpetersmo.net<br />

or by calling (636) 477-6600, ext. 1305.<br />

The form is also expected to be made available<br />

on the city’s website (stpetersmo.net)<br />

in the near future.<br />

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Three St. Louis-area organizations<br />

recently received $11,000 from the<br />

Spectrum Employee Community Grants<br />

program. The largest of those was a<br />

$7,500 grant to Reach St. Charles, a<br />

nonprofit that seeks to connect individuals<br />

in St. Charles County with resources<br />

to address their specific needs on a<br />

case-by-case basis. The organization<br />

provides food boxes and holiday meal<br />

boxes, and distributes meals, supplies<br />

and clothing to individuals experiencing<br />

homelessness.<br />

Since its inception in 2019, Spectrum<br />

Employee Community Grants has provided<br />

more than $230,000 in funding to<br />

more than 40 St. Louis area nonprofits,<br />

where Spectrum employees volunteer their<br />

time and talent.<br />

Other Spectrum employee grants include<br />

a $1,000 grant to DREAMM, a nonprofit<br />

that supports young mothers and families<br />

with clothing and personal items and<br />

a mentoring program; and a $2,500 grant<br />

to R.E.S.T., which works to combat homelessness,<br />

illiteracy, under nourishment and<br />

unemployment.<br />

Both Reach St. Charles and R.E.S.T.<br />

have received Spectrum employee grants<br />

in the past.<br />

Earlier this year, Charter Communications,<br />

Inc., which operates the Spectrum<br />

brand of connectivity products and<br />

services, announced its commitment to<br />

award $2.5 million over the next five<br />

years to local nonprofits through Spectrum<br />

Employee Community Grants.<br />

“Spectrum Employee Community<br />

Grants support local nonprofits that hold<br />

a meaningful connection to the Spectrum<br />

employees who nominate them,<br />

and to the communities they serve,” said<br />

Rahman Khan, Group Vice President of<br />

Community Impact at Charter. “Looking<br />

forward to the next five years, we’re<br />

increasing our investment in the program,<br />

in support of our employees’ dedication<br />

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14 I NEWS I<br />

February <strong>21</strong>, 20<strong>24</strong><br />


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NEWS BRIEFS, from page 9<br />

have been deteriorating and are starting to<br />

spall in the rotunda area. The damage was<br />

a result of high humidity levels.<br />

A recent mechanical upgrade was specifically<br />

designed to resolve the humidity<br />

problem in this historic site, allowing the<br />

county to now address the plaster damage.<br />

The work approved Feb. 12 will repair<br />

the spalling and damaged plaster in the<br />

rotunda area and both sides of the front<br />

staircases from the first floor through to<br />

the third. This will require extensive scaffolding<br />

to be erected in these areas for an<br />

extended period of time. Once the plaster<br />

is repaired, and cured, the walls will be<br />

repainted in these areas.<br />

In October 2023, the St. Charles County<br />

Council approved a project to reproduce<br />

elements of the building’s original artwork<br />

and commission new murals that<br />

portray historically significant people and<br />

events in the county’s history. The project<br />

includes designing and painting three distinct<br />

areas on the third floor.<br />

Fiber optic cable<br />

contract approved<br />

At its Jan. 8 meeting, the St. Charles<br />

County Council had removed an item from<br />

the Consent Agenda and then tabled it until<br />

the Jan. 29 meeting. The item would have<br />

approved a Fiber Optic Cable Use Agreement<br />

with i3 Broadband to interconnect 65<br />

public facilities at a cost of $3,688,687.50,<br />

for a term of 20 years with two 5-year<br />

renewal options.<br />

At the Jan. 29 County Council meeting,<br />

TOWN SQUARE, from page 10<br />

retail, dense, mixed-use development,<br />

outlot retail and shopping centers.<br />

• What characteristics are most important<br />

for development within this focus area<br />

(Town Square and Post intersection)?<br />

• Thinking about the city as a whole, what<br />

are the greatest strengths of Dardenne Prairie<br />

that you would like to see remain?<br />

• What do you worry about related to the<br />

city’s future?<br />

Those same questions were asked of<br />

participants at the committee’s first public<br />

meeting, an open house on Nov. 2. Participants<br />

were asked to place dots on the<br />

options of their choosing.<br />

The majority of those participating indicated<br />

that the “front door” of Dardenne<br />

Prairie is the wedge of land heading southeast<br />

from the intersection of Interstate 64<br />

and Route 364.<br />

As for the types of residential development<br />

preferred, single-family homes came<br />

in first with mixed-use close behind. <strong>Mid</strong>rise<br />

apartments and condominiums failed<br />



the item was kept on the table and was not<br />

addressed.<br />

At the Feb. 12 County Council meeting,<br />

the item was removed from the table, discussed<br />

at length, and then approved by a<br />

vote of 5-1 with council member Joe Brazil<br />

(District 2) voting no, and council member<br />

Mike Elam (District 3) abstaining.<br />

Prior to the vote, Brazil vehemently<br />

stated his opposition to the agreement and<br />

why he would vote against it. He said the<br />

council had originally been told this was<br />

a single-source bid because only i3Broadband<br />

would allow the county to own the<br />

fiber optic cable, and none of the other<br />

bidders allowed that. Then, he said he was<br />

told the county would not own the cable,<br />

but it would be leased for 20 years, which<br />

he described as an “indefeasible right of<br />

use.” He questioned whether or not the<br />

other bidders were allowed to rebid with<br />

ownership of the cable no longer an issue.<br />

Brazil said city staff should stop writing<br />

specifications for bids that only one<br />

company can meet, because that puts<br />

the council in a bad position. He said the<br />

county charter sets up checks and balances<br />

between the executive and the council, and<br />

the way this agreement came about prevents<br />

those checks and balances. He also<br />

questioned who benefits from this agreement<br />

in this form and said anyone on the<br />

council who votes to approve the agreement<br />

would be in violation of their oath of<br />

office and the law.<br />

Members of the council and city staff<br />

responded to and interacted with Brazil<br />

with various clarifications and explanations<br />

prior to the vote.<br />

to garner any support. Participants also<br />

preferred small-scale neighborhood retail<br />

and a lifestyle center with living options<br />

above retail to the options of high-density<br />

mixed-use, a stand-alone retail or a shopping<br />

center. No votes were given to the<br />

concept of a stand-alone big box store.<br />

During the second open house meeting<br />

on Feb. 12, residents were once again<br />

invited to view concept boards, and place<br />

dots on the images they preferred and<br />

comment on those concepts. There was<br />

a majority support for preserving green<br />

spaces and multiple comments requesting<br />

connected walking trails and bike paths.<br />

Concerns about the prospect of adding<br />

more multi-family apartment complexes<br />

were also posted, specifically cited was<br />

increased traffic and a lack of police to<br />

support additional multi-family structures.<br />

Small local business settings were<br />

again mostly preferred with an emphasis<br />

on engaging outdoor spaces; however,<br />

interest in rooftop dining options and<br />

some mixed-use business developments<br />

was also expressed.



February <strong>21</strong>, 20<strong>24</strong><br />


Raising mentally healthy kids begins with adult awareness<br />

I 15<br />


Recent studies and statistics are showing<br />

an alarming trend in the mental health of<br />

youth in America:<br />

• 26.9% of teens ages 12 to 17 reported<br />

one or more mental, emotional, developmental,<br />

or behavioral problems.<br />

• 36.7% of high school students reported<br />

feelings of sadness or hopelessness in<br />

the past year. This percentage is higher<br />

for females (46.6%), Hispanic students<br />

(40.0%), and lesbian, gay or bisexual students<br />

(66.3%).<br />

In a new analysis of mental health data,<br />

Missouri ranked 40th, significantly below<br />

the national average for mental health.<br />

According to Julia Pickup, director<br />

of Behavioral Health & Prevention Services<br />

at Lutheran Family & Children’s<br />

Services of Missouri (LFCS), “The issue<br />

of mental health concerns in children has<br />

been steadily increasing since before the<br />

COVID pandemic, and the pandemic exacerbated<br />

these issues.”<br />

What can parents, caretakers, grandparents<br />

and educators do to combat this rising<br />

epidemic?<br />

According to Pickup, helping kids begins<br />

with adult awareness.<br />

“Parents should trust their gut when it<br />

comes to getting care for their children<br />

and always advocate for the best interest of<br />

their child because they know their child<br />

best when it comes to noticing changes<br />

in their behaviors, moods or overall emotional<br />

state,” she said.<br />

But hidden struggles like anxiety and<br />

stress can go unnoticed in children and<br />

teenagers, as mood swings can seem par<br />

for the course during the often bumpy<br />

childhood and teen years. One of the main<br />

reasons parents may miss the signs of<br />

mental health struggles is that teenagers<br />

can be good at masking the symptoms.<br />

Since depression and anxiety can appear<br />

in a variety of ways in children and teenagers,<br />

Pickup said parents should be proactive<br />

if they notice any significant change in<br />

their child’s behavior or if something feels<br />

off.<br />

“Ask questions, listen, get involved,<br />

and make sure you become their support<br />

system,” she advised.<br />

Uncovering the signs of anxiety and<br />

depression is key. So is figuring out habits<br />

for building resilience. Parents may need<br />

to seek professional support to help prioritize<br />

their children’s mental health. According<br />

to Pickup, LFCS offers programs that<br />

(Source: Adobe Stock)<br />

might help, even with a sliding fee scale.<br />

A good relationship with the child’s<br />

school counselors and teachers is imperative<br />

when it comes to their mental health.<br />

Having established good lines of communication<br />

makes it easier to immediately<br />

communicate and address serious issues<br />

should they arise.<br />

“Most schools have some level of mental<br />

health support in place through counselors,<br />

social workers, or social-emotional<br />

learning specialists who can help provide<br />

families with community resources that<br />

may help meet the child’s needs, as well<br />

as offering school-based supports that can<br />

be very helpful,” Pickup explained. “The<br />

earlier (parents) seek support for concerning<br />

moods or behaviors, the more likely<br />

preventative programs or mental health<br />

interventions can make a big difference.<br />

“Left untreated, these mental health<br />

problems can disrupt functioning at home,<br />

school, or in the community. It can cause a<br />

lack of ability to maintain healthy relationships<br />

or a lack of interest in hobbies and<br />

activities. Those impacts have long-term<br />

effects increasing a child’s likelihood of<br />

suspension and expulsion, making it more<br />

difficult to graduate, and creating a lack<br />

of social support through adulthood and<br />

a lack of skills to handle emotions in a<br />

healthy and productive way.”<br />

The good news according to Mental<br />

Health America is that mental health problems<br />

in children are highly treatable.<br />

But Pickup warned, “Because these<br />

mental health symptoms are treatable,<br />

early intervention and seeking support is<br />

important.”<br />

The most important thing parents can do<br />

to help their kids is to listen to them and<br />

meet them where they are, Pickup said.<br />

“Listen to young people, show a genuine<br />

interest in them as a person and concern for<br />

their well-being, and take their concerns<br />

seriously,” she said.<br />


GAME ON.<br />

And double-down on life.<br />

At The Landing of O’Fallon, you can trust that it will be all right. From our<br />

signature program, PrimeFit Wellness, to a community calendar filled<br />

with activities, it’s the right place and the right time. Right now.<br />

Call 636-791-4625 today for more information and to schedule<br />

your visit.<br />

1000 Landing Circle | St. Charles, MO 63304<br />

636-791-4625<br />


16 I SCHOOLS I<br />

February <strong>21</strong>, 20<strong>24</strong><br />


Local band teacher makes strides toward Olympic goal<br />


Side by side in Jerod Broadbrooks’ life are<br />

two very different but encompassing passions:<br />

music and running.<br />

Broadbrooks, in his second year as band<br />

director at Francis Howell’s Barnwell<br />

<strong>Mid</strong>dle, recently competed against some of<br />

the best runners in the nation by participating<br />

in the Olympic trials held in Orlando on<br />

Feb. 3.<br />

Broadbrooks has been running since his<br />

freshman days at Eureka High where he<br />

made all-conference both his junior and<br />

senior years in cross country. He also was<br />

part of an 800-meter relay team that was<br />

named All-State and placed fifth in the state<br />

in 2014. After high school, he continued running<br />

at Lindenwood University while pursuing<br />

his music education degree. While there,<br />

he helped win the <strong>Mid</strong>-America Intercollegiate<br />

Athletic Association Championship<br />

in 2017 and came in eighth in the National<br />

Collegiate Athletic Association Division 2<br />

National Championships in the Mile Run in<br />

2019.<br />

Broadbrooks started playing guitar in<br />

middle school. By the end of high school, he<br />

knew he wanted to become a music teacher.<br />

“Music and running are similar in that both<br />

require a lot of hours of dedication and focus,”<br />

Broadbrooks said. “There are no shortcuts. If<br />

you put in the time, you will see results in<br />

both disciplines.”<br />

And put in the time he does. Training twice<br />

a day on a typical day and running seven<br />

days a week. During peak training, Broadbrooks<br />

runs between 100 and 300 miles in a<br />

typical week.<br />

“I am usually up at 5 a.m. most mornings in<br />

order to train before I go to work. It can be<br />

tricky to fit it all in, but my wife is very supportive<br />

and picks up my slack at home when<br />

I am out training,” he said.<br />

The decision to compete in the trials came<br />

with challenges.<br />

“I had accomplished many of the goals I had<br />

with running, but I knew that I still needed to<br />

run a marathon. Given my background with<br />

running, I knew I had to set some sort of time<br />

goal to help motivate me,” Broadbrooks said.<br />

“I decided I’d try to run the Olympic Trials<br />

Qualifying time of 2:18:00 for my first marathon.”<br />

After training for eight months, Broadbrooks<br />

reached his goal by completing the<br />

California International Marathon in Sacramento<br />

with a time of 2:14:59 in December<br />

2023.<br />

Qualification accomplished, he headed to<br />

the trials with excitement.<br />

“It was a very surreal experience because I<br />

was in a race with guys that I have looked up<br />

to and followed since I was in high school,”<br />

Broadbrooks said.<br />

Coming in 26th out of 200, Broadbrooks<br />

said he is determined to compete in the race<br />

again, reach the top three in 2028 and make<br />

the Olympic Team.<br />

In true middle school fashion, Broadbrooks’<br />

students knew of their band director’s<br />

passion for running but initially didn’t<br />

really care. However, once the news of the<br />

trials leaked out, the entire school got behind<br />

him.<br />

“It is cool to see how excited they get about<br />

it! It definitely is something I want to use to<br />

inspire my kids. Many kids get labeled as a<br />

‘band kid’ or an ‘athlete’, et cetera,” he said.<br />

“You can be both!<br />

“There are no rules when it comes to what<br />

you are passionate about. Everyone is complicated<br />

and has many things they are passionate<br />

about and should pursue all of their<br />

passions to the best of their abilities.”<br />

Broadbrooks said the school’s support<br />

meant a lot to him.<br />

“The day I left for the trials, they had a<br />

send-off for me,” he said. “The whole school<br />

lined up in the hallways, and I did a ‘victory<br />



Jared Broadbrooks gets a supportive sendoff<br />

at Barnwell <strong>Mid</strong>dle before the Olympic trials.<br />

(Source: Francis Howell School District)<br />

lap’ around the school with all the kids and<br />

staff cheering.”<br />

Outside of school, his supporters include<br />

his wife, Megan, and friends and family,<br />

including his dad, Dennis, who has been<br />

at every one of his races since high school.<br />

Broadbrooks said his faith also keeps him<br />

motivated and he often prays for the strength<br />

to keep persevering.<br />

“I would tell anyone who does any sport<br />

or activity that you can achieve your goals if<br />

you work at them for long enough,” Broadbrooks<br />

said. “There is no substitute for hard<br />

work, and you would be surprised at what<br />

you can accomplish with enough dedication.”<br />

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18 I SCHOOLS I<br />

If you've recently been told that<br />

you have osteoporosis or<br />

osteopenia, it's tempting to brush<br />

it off as a "normal" part of aging.<br />

You may think that because<br />

everyone your age seems to be<br />

having the same trouble as you<br />

that it's something you will have<br />

to learn to live with.<br />

You may not know how to live<br />

with this new diagnosis, but now<br />

you're worried about breaking a<br />

bone. You've even started to limit<br />

what you're willing to do, in order<br />

to protect your fragile bones. If<br />

this is happening to you, you're<br />

not alone. We hear these types of<br />

things all the time. In fact,<br />

Osteoporosis is one of the most<br />

common problems we see at<br />

HouseFit.<br />

Most people realize that their<br />

osteoporosis or osteopenia won't<br />

magically go away on its own, but<br />

they still don't take action. It<br />

might be because they don't<br />

know what steps to take to<br />

improve their bone density OR<br />

they don't truly believe they can<br />

improve their bone health "at their<br />

age". Fortunately, there are<br />

several options to help manage<br />

and even reverse your<br />

osteoporosis and to keep you<br />

active as you age.<br />

February <strong>21</strong>, 20<strong>24</strong><br />


us on<br />

facebook.com/midriversnewsmagazine<br />



GUIDE TO<br />




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What’s better than a break from work?<br />

A cozy space in which to stop and<br />

breathe. While a school doesn’t seem<br />

to be the best candidate to find such a<br />

place, the Family and Consumer Science<br />

(FACS) department at Timberland<br />

High thought differently. Looking for a<br />

hands-on interior design project, FACS<br />

teacher Jennifer Caimi was immediately<br />

drawn to Timberland’s four teacher<br />

lounges, which were perfectly adequate<br />

but slightly boring.<br />

Boring is just what Caimi needed for<br />

inspiration. Choosing on of the lounges,<br />

she and her class began analyzing<br />

the space: how it was<br />

used and what was missing,<br />

design and comfort-wise.<br />

Working with Chief Architect,<br />

an architectural home<br />

design software program,<br />

the students split into groups<br />

to turn thoughts into reality.<br />

Once completed, the designs<br />

were posted in the lounge,<br />

where the teachers could<br />

vote on their favorite.<br />

The winner was “Comfy<br />

Corner,” primarily designed<br />

by Karis Blankenship, Izzy<br />

Cuneo, Addie Ebert and<br />

Faith Sieffert. The teachers<br />

also were drawn to a<br />

mural designed by Alayna<br />

Keeteman that was added to<br />

the winning design.<br />

“On the ballot, teachers<br />

could make comments on<br />

what they liked about the<br />

design and what they didn’t like,” Caimi<br />

explained. “So we were able to combine a<br />

few things from other designs into the winning<br />

design.”<br />

Senior artist Keeteman loves creating<br />

and making things with her hands as<br />

is demonstrated by the various projects<br />

she has done in class including designing<br />

a single room, designing a tiny home,<br />

researching alternative building materials,<br />

and building a model of a home made out<br />

of a bomb shelter. Her responsibility in this<br />

project was being in charge of the painting.<br />

“We had a small group of about three<br />

to six students depending on the day, and<br />

each of us had assigned jobs that we agreed<br />

upon,” Keeteman said.<br />

Caimi handled securing funds, negotiations<br />

with school administrators and<br />

permission for some heavy lifting by the<br />

maintenance department to remove a wall<br />

of unused lockers. The design work was<br />



Timberland students transform<br />

school lounge into ‘Comfy Corner’<br />

left to the students.<br />

Giving students the opportunity for an<br />

interior design project was nothing nee for<br />

Caimi.<br />

“The Wentzville School District Foundation<br />

gives out grants each year, and I<br />

have applied for this before, but last year I<br />

finally received … the $500 grant,” Caimi<br />

explained.<br />

FACS classes focus on practical life<br />

skills, such as interpersonal communication,<br />

goal setting and problem-solving.<br />

Goal setting was something of a learning<br />

curve, as Caimi had never done anything<br />

like this project before. Time management<br />

became an important factor.<br />

Timberland FACS students try their hand at interior<br />

design.<br />

(Source: Wentzville School District)<br />

“The most important thing someone<br />

should know before doing a project like<br />

this is that it will take time and that’s OK,”<br />

Keeteman said. “Anyone who is interested<br />

in completing a project like this should be<br />

very thorough with their initial design so<br />

they can get all the right things. They also<br />

should consider any problems they might<br />

run into such as needing to remove or<br />

replace things.”<br />

Caimi said she never had students work<br />

so hard to make their designs so perfect.<br />

“They really wanted to make the teachers<br />

happy,” she said. “The teachers that use the<br />

lounge find it so much more inviting and<br />

relaxing, and the students got so much out<br />

of it.”<br />

“You often will use skills you learn in<br />

these classes in your day-to-day life or<br />

your career, which is a great jumpstart to<br />

being able to live on your own,” Keeteman<br />




Summer Camps<br />

& Opportunities<br />

February <strong>21</strong>, 20<strong>24</strong><br />



Big Blue Swim School<br />

2259 Hwy. K • O’Fallon<br />

(636) 293-4367 • www.bigblueswimschool.com<br />

Big Blue Swim School provides year-round swim lessons to kids from<br />

3 months to 12 years old, with the flexibility to start and stop lessons<br />

whenever parents choose. Rescheduling lessons is a snap with up to<br />

15 make-ups per year. The school tracks children’s achievements and<br />

constantly reports their progress via their app. The instructors are<br />

exceptional, and each is committed to assisting each child as they<br />

progress along the Big Moments Journey. Whether you’re looking for<br />

swim classes for toddlers, babies, or big kids, count on Big Blue for a<br />

welcoming, supportive, kid-centered environment. They even offer norisk<br />

trial lessons, so you can try them out for free!<br />

Cub Creek<br />

16795 State Hwy. E • Rolla<br />

(573) 458-<strong>21</strong>25 • www.cubcreeksciencecamp.com<br />

With 300 animals in the hands-on zoo, an incredible ropes course and<br />

a variety of activities including archery, crafts, survival skill, cooking,<br />

animal care, swimming, fishing and so much more, Cub Creek Science<br />

and Animal Camp is a unique summer camp experience for boys and<br />

girls ages 7 to 17! Campers make lasting friendships and memories<br />

under the encouragement of caring staff members. Cub Creek provides<br />

spacious, air-conditioned cabins, delicious meals and a safe, loving camp<br />

environment. Sessions run from June 2nd through August 10th. Spots<br />

are filling fast! Visit our website for more information and to register.<br />

Saint Louis Ballet<br />

<strong>21</strong>8 THF Blvd. • Chesterfield<br />

(636) 537-1998 • www.stlouisballet.org<br />

Saint Louis Ballet Storybook Camps are designed for the young dancer<br />

at heart, introducing children to the basics of ballet and creative<br />

movement with storybook ballets and Disney favorites! Spark your<br />

child’s joy of dancing with ballet stories, crafts and more! Saint Louis<br />

Ballet’s five-week summer intensive program for ages 7-<strong>21</strong> offers<br />

instruction in several dance genres but is based on the principle that<br />

ballet is the foundation in all areas of dance. The program now offers<br />

four levels of instruction to guarantee a class that fits you. Finally, for<br />

those who cannot attend a daytime program, check out July evening<br />

classes. For dates and times or to learn more, visit www.stlouisballet.<br />

org/allsummer.<br />

View Summer Camp Directories<br />

online at midriversnewsmagazine.com<br />


June 17- July 19<br />

Now 4 Levels!<br />

Choose up to 5 Weeks!<br />

Saint Louis Ballet’s five-week summer intensive<br />

program for ages 7-<strong>21</strong> offers the most complete<br />

program in the metro area with a variety of dance<br />

genres while standing on the principle that ballet is<br />

the foundation for success in all areas of dance.<br />

Ballet 1/2 (ages 7–8) Ballet 3/4 (ages 9–11)<br />

Ballet 5/6 (ages 12–13) Ballet 7/8 (ages 14–<strong>21</strong>)<br />

Ages are approximate and used only as an initial guide. if unsure<br />

of level, please call the office to discuss.<br />


Y daily ballet Y pre-pointe/pointe Y jazz Y<br />

Y contemporary Y variations Y<br />

Y certified pilates Y ballroom Y<br />

Y musical theater Y hip hop Y<br />

*classes vary based on level and week<br />


Ages 3-6<br />

Saint Louis Ballet Storybook Classes are specifically<br />

designed for the young dancer at heart. These classes<br />

are age appropriate yet introduce your child to the<br />

basics of ballet steps and creative movement through<br />

the world of storybook ballets and Disney favorites!<br />

SUMMER<br />


stlouisballet.org/allsummer or 636-537-1998<br />

Located in Chesterfield Valley


February <strong>21</strong>, 20<strong>24</strong><br />






60<br />



Hurry, sale ends March 17!<br />

Enroll today! Scan the QR code or visit<br />

bit.ly/bigblueofallon<br />

2259 Highway K, O’Fallon, MO<br />

*This promo automatically signs you up for perpetual lessons and recurring monthly billing at full lesson price.<br />

Cancel at any time with 30-day notice. Promotion applies to new customers only.<br />

STAGES St. Louis<br />

1023 Chesterfield Parkway East • Chesterfield<br />

(636) 449-5775 • www.StagesStLouis.org<br />

STAGES Performing Arts Academy offers an exciting variety of musical<br />

theatre camps, workshops and productions for students of all ages and<br />

abilities. Act, dance and sing all summer long while learning new skills<br />

and techniques. Classes include Musical Minis, Improv, Act It Out,<br />

Musical Theatre Exploration, Ace Your Audition and more! And don’t<br />

miss out on the Broadway Performance Workshops of Disney’s “Frozen<br />

Kids,” “13: The Musical Jr.,” “Madagascar Jr.” and the new musical,<br />

“Between The Lines.” It’s all at STAGES Performing Arts Academy this<br />

summer. Register today at www.stagesstlouis.org/summer or call 636-<br />

449-5775.<br />

The Saint Louis Science Center’s<br />

Summer STEM Explorers<br />

5050 Oakland Ave. • St. Louis<br />

(314) 289-4400 • www.slsc.org<br />

What better place to take inquisitive children than to the Saint Louis<br />

Science Center? And this summer they will find activities that will reward<br />

their curiosity, amaze their senses and could spark a direction for the<br />

future.The Saint Louis Science Center’s Summer STEM Explorers is a<br />

hands-on experience for kids ages five to nine. With an array of interactive<br />

activities – science demonstrations, experiments and exclusive access<br />

to exhibits around the Science Center – campers will engage in STEM<br />

(science, technology, engineering and mathematics) learning while<br />

enjoying hours of fun each week! Camps are scheduled for June 3-July<br />

26. Registration is open. Learn more at www.slsc.org.



February <strong>21</strong>, 20<strong>24</strong><br />


Plan ahead to find the right fit for summer camp<br />

I SUMMER CAMPS I <strong>21</strong><br />


Daffodils and daylight savings time are<br />

just around the corner, and that means<br />

making summer plans for children and<br />

sign ups for summer camp.This annual<br />

ritual of researching and selecting the best<br />

camp can be daunting to say the least, but<br />

for parents of first-time participants, it can<br />

be a real challenge.<br />

To find a camp that best meets the specific<br />

needs and interests of a child, Dr.<br />

Rachel Dickerson, a St. Luke’s Hospital<br />

physician, suggests following the child’s<br />

lead.<br />

“It is always a good idea to choose a<br />

camp that will build upon a child’s interests,”<br />

Dickerson explained. “It can be general,<br />

like choosing a sports camp for a child<br />

interested in athletics, or more focused,<br />

like soccer camp, for the child that wants a<br />

more subject matter intensive, competitive<br />

experience.”<br />

“Another way to evaluate whether a<br />

camp is a good fit is to see if it will provide<br />

supplemental information to topics the<br />

child enjoyed at school,” Dickerson said.<br />

“For instance, summer camp is a great way<br />

to work in something like drama or art, to<br />

enhance interests and delve deeper into a<br />

subject matter.”<br />

In the case of core subjects, like<br />

math and science, many camps<br />

are available that teach these subjects<br />

in fun ways, such as robotics<br />

or construction-themed camps.<br />

But interest isn’t the only thing<br />

to consider when choosing a<br />

camp.<br />

Age level, the family’s schedule<br />

and finances, and transportation<br />

components are all valid considerations.<br />

So is the decision to attend<br />

one camp or many. Accounting<br />

for all of these conditions, as well<br />

as making sure to apply before<br />

the registration is full, takes some<br />

careful planning.<br />

While parents have to have the<br />

big conversations about schedule, finances<br />

and transportation, it is important that the<br />

child have some say in choosing from the<br />

camps of which mom and dad approve.<br />

Attending camp with a friend or friends,<br />

especially for younger children, is a plus<br />

for the child and often the parents as car<br />

pools can be formed for day camps.<br />

Beyond convenience, cost and camaraderie,<br />

experts suggest parents take a close<br />

look at credentials, safety and staffing.<br />

(Source: Adobe Stock)<br />

“From my standpoint a list of all policy<br />

and protocol measures should be accessible,”<br />

Dickerson said.<br />

Examining those measures is a good<br />

place to start in evaluating the camp-tofamily<br />

fit.<br />

Another important consideration is<br />

safety. Dickerson suggests parents meet<br />

and ask questions of the staff and counselors<br />

that will be spending time with the<br />

children.<br />

“It is always wise to ask the personnel<br />

what type of training they have<br />

received. For instance – do they know<br />

CPR? is a defibrillator on site? are they<br />

aware of the symptoms of heat exhaustion<br />

and dehydration?” she asked.<br />

Parents also should consider how the<br />

camp is structured.<br />

If campers are younger and require<br />

more guidance, camps with a smaller<br />

counselor to camper ratio often provide<br />

a better fit. In addition, it is often<br />

better for younger campers to attend<br />

camps with structured routines. For<br />

older campers, children who are used<br />

to school environments, it is less necessary<br />

that the camp has rigid structure.<br />

In either scenario, Dickerson said “it<br />

is always good to break up the routine<br />

with free time for children … Summertime<br />

is a great time for them to explore spontaneity<br />

and creativity,” she added.<br />

Careful consideration before signing<br />

on the dotted line is an important part of<br />

making plans for children to attend summer<br />

camp. It not only provides the best fit for<br />

children’s age, interest and safety, but it<br />

gives parents peace of mind.<br />

[Editor’s note: This article first appeared<br />

in spring 20<strong>21</strong>.]<br />



COMING AGAIN 3.6.<strong>24</strong><br />

To Advertise call 636 591.0010

22 I HEALTH I<br />

February <strong>21</strong>, 20<strong>24</strong><br />




Having a sense of purpose makes online daters more attractive to<br />

potential partners, according to recent Washington University research.<br />

(Adobe Stock photo)<br />

HEALTH<br />



Looking for romance?<br />

First find your purpose<br />

Valentine’s Day has come and gone once<br />

again … and those still looking for that<br />

special someone may have better luck if<br />

they’re also seeking a sense of purpose in<br />

their lives, according to new research from<br />

Washington University in St. Louis.<br />

Dating apps now play a central role in<br />

the world of romance, and have become<br />

one of the most common ways for couples<br />

to connect and start relationships. Wash<br />

U researcher Isabella D’Ottone made up<br />

a number of dating app profiles based on<br />

four different “sense of purpose” categories,<br />

along with control profiles which didn’t<br />

mention a sense of purpose. Then, she asked<br />

study participants to rank the attractiveness<br />

of these fictional potential dates.<br />

The four “higher purpose” categories the<br />

study focused on were prosocial orientation,<br />

or purpose found in helping others;<br />

relationship orientation; financial orientation;<br />

and creative orientation, meaning<br />

purpose found in creative pursuits.<br />

“In general, we found people with a higher<br />

purpose were considered to be more romantically<br />

attractive,” D’Ottone said of the results.<br />

The exception to that rule were the false<br />

profiles which mentioned a sense of purpose<br />

based on achieving financial success –which<br />

were not so appealing to participants unless<br />

they also were mainly motivated by money.<br />

D’Ottone completed the research while<br />

working in the lab of Patrick Hill, Ph.D.,<br />

associate professor of psychological and<br />

brain sciences. Hill said the study shows how<br />

people are picking up on sense of purpose<br />

and factoring that into how they are attracted<br />

to others, whether they are aware of it or not.<br />

“When it comes to attraction, knowing<br />

someone has a direction matters…We actually<br />

seek out people with a purpose,” he said.<br />

The study, published in the International<br />

Journal of Applied Positive Psychology,<br />

was designed to build on previous research<br />

conducted in Hill’s lab, focused on how<br />

having a common sense of purpose is connected<br />

to better long-term relationships.<br />

School nurses play key role<br />

in spotting absenteeism risk<br />

Students’ chronically missing school is a<br />

growing problem since most returned to their<br />

classrooms during the COVID-19 pandemic.<br />

Nearly 15 million young Americans – about<br />

a third of the student population – were<br />

chronically absent (defined as 15 or more<br />

days per academic year) during the 20<strong>21</strong>-<br />

22 school year, data shows. These absences<br />

can impact students’ grades and test scores,<br />

mental well-being, and prospects for future<br />

success in their lives and careers.<br />

A recent University of Missouri study<br />

found that one staff member present at every<br />

school is uniquely positioned to identify<br />

students at risk for chronic absenteeism:<br />

the school nurse. This finding could help<br />

schools to better support students who are<br />

likely to miss school frequently, according<br />

to the new report.<br />

The research was led by Knoo Lee, an<br />

assistant professor in the MU Sinclair<br />

School of Nursing.<br />

Lee’s new study looked at partial-day<br />

absences, and found that kids who have<br />

many of these absences often seek out their<br />

school nurses as a source of comfort and<br />

support.<br />

“Through interviews with school nurses,<br />

we are learning that some kids who miss<br />

part of the school day are more likely to go<br />

see the school nurse first before they come<br />

to class or before they leave school for the<br />

day…Therefore, they are in a good position<br />

to possibly identify personal factors,<br />

family factors or environmental factors<br />

that may be at play,” Lee said.<br />

In some cases, for example, students<br />

would visit the nurse’s office at the same<br />

time every day, indicating problems with<br />

a particular class. In others, nurses found<br />

out that students’ food insecurity was<br />

leading them to come to the office hungry<br />

every morning. This gives school nurses<br />

School nurses are in a unique position<br />

to identify students at risk for chronic<br />

absenteeism.<br />

(Adobe Stock photo)<br />

an opportunity to get students more help<br />

before their partial-day absences become<br />

chronic or turn into more and more full<br />

days of missed school.<br />

Lee added that because of school nurses’<br />

front-line awareness of students’ issues,<br />

he hopes they will be given a seat at the<br />

table during discussions about strategies to<br />

combat absenteeism among key stakeholders,<br />

including school administrators, state<br />

legislators, social workers, school principals<br />

and teachers.<br />

In a previous study published last June,<br />

Lee’s team identified 18 factors commonly<br />

linked with students who were chronically<br />

absent from school. These included peer<br />

pressure and the approval of friends; drug<br />

or alcohol use; health or behavioral issues;<br />

family struggles, and other adverse childhood<br />

experiences.<br />

Most parent decline antivirals<br />

for their kids with flu<br />

Influenza infections can sometimes be<br />

dangerous or even deadly for children,<br />

especially those under age 5. For example,<br />

during the 2023-<strong>24</strong> flu season – considered<br />

to be average so far in terms of severity –<br />

65 pediatric deaths had been reported to<br />

the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and<br />

Prevention as of the end of January.<br />

Oseltamivir, also available under the<br />

brand name Tamiflu, is the only antiviral<br />

medication approved in kids under 5 who<br />

test positive for flu. Although clinical trials<br />

have found that early use of oseltamivir<br />

can shorten the illness and make its symptoms<br />

less severe in children more than 2<br />

weeks old, well over half of parents choose<br />

not to give the medication to their children,<br />

a large new analysis found.<br />

Researchers from Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s<br />

Hospital at Vanderbilt University<br />

collaborated with a University of Illinois<br />

at Chicago team on a large study looking at<br />

both outpatient and emergency department<br />

prescriptions for kids under 18. It found that<br />

over a nine-year period, just 40% of children<br />

were treated with an antiviral, with low<br />

rates of use across all age groups.<br />

Potential reasons for the drug’s underuse<br />

include a wide range of perceptions about<br />

its effectiveness, differences in test interpre-



February <strong>21</strong>, 20<strong>24</strong><br />


I HEALTH I 23<br />

tation, misunderstanding of medical<br />

guidelines and concerns about<br />

adverse drug events associated with<br />

oseltamivir in children, according to<br />

lead author and principal investigator<br />

James Antoon, M.D., Ph.D., assistant<br />

professor of pediatrics at Vanderbilt.<br />

A main concern to parents may<br />

be a low risk for neuropsychiatric<br />

effects, such as behavior changes,<br />

altered mental states, seizures and<br />

hallucinations. Oseltamivir carries a<br />

“black box” warning for these neuropsychiatric<br />

effects, and Antoon<br />

also led a 2023 study looking into<br />

their frequency and causes. However,<br />

it remains unclear whether the<br />

antiviral medication or the influenza<br />

infection itself is responsible for most of<br />

them.<br />

The conclusion of this new study is that,<br />

for nearly all kids, oseltamivir is beneficial.<br />

“Antiviral treatment, when used early,<br />

improves health outcomes with influenza…<br />

Treatment of children in the outpatient setting<br />

has been reported to decrease symptom<br />

duration, household transmission, antibiotic<br />

use and influenza-associated complications<br />

like ear infections,” Antoon said. The new<br />

study was published in Pediatrics.<br />

Most people conceal illness<br />

due to FOMO study finds<br />

During these winter months, when many<br />

of us are hit with respiratory illnesses and<br />

other viruses, we’d like to believe that our<br />

sick co-workers, friends and others would<br />

stay home to avoid spreading them. But<br />

that’s far from the case, say University of<br />

Michigan researchers.<br />

In a series of surveys involving both sick<br />

and healthy adults, about three-fourths of<br />

Your next social gathering may include someone who is hiding<br />

symptoms of an illness, a recent study found.<br />

(Adobe Stock photo)<br />

the more than 4,000 participants said they<br />

had either hidden an infectious illness or<br />

might do so in the future. Many reported<br />

going to work, taking plane trips, going<br />

on dates, attending parties, and participating<br />

in other social situations while secretly<br />

sick. More than 60% of healthcare workers<br />

who participated in the study also said they<br />

had concealed an infectious illness.<br />

One part of the study involved a large<br />

group of university healthcare employees<br />

and students, who were interviewed about<br />

their behavior after the start of the COVID-19<br />

pandemic. They were asked how many days<br />

they felt symptoms of a potentially infectious<br />

illness, and rated how often they left home on<br />

those days while covering up their symptoms<br />

and not telling others they were sick.<br />

More than 70% of these participants<br />

reported hiding their symptoms (only<br />

five people said they had hidden a known<br />

COVID infection, however.)<br />

Another part included conducting online<br />

surveys of about 2,000 different participants,<br />

some who were healthy and some<br />

who were actively sick. They<br />

were asked to rate the symptom<br />

severity and transmissibility of<br />

their real or imagined illness, as<br />

well as to rate their likelihood of<br />

covering up that illness – whether<br />

real or imagined – in a meeting<br />

with another person.<br />

Participants were most likely<br />

to say they would hide an illness<br />

when symptom severity was low,<br />

and least likely to conceal one<br />

when symptoms were severe and<br />

highly communicable. Compared<br />

to healthy participants who only<br />

imagined being sick, though, the<br />

results showed those who were<br />

actually sick were more likely<br />

to conceal their illness, regardless of how<br />

communicable it might be.<br />

“This suggests that sick people and<br />

healthy people evaluate the consequences<br />

of concealment in different ways,” said<br />

Wilson N. Merrell, a Ph.D. candidate and<br />

the study’s lead author. “Healthy people<br />

forecasted that they would be unlikely to<br />

hide harmful illnesses – those that spread<br />

easily and have severe symptoms – but<br />

actively sick people reported high levels<br />

of concealment regardless of how harmful<br />

their illness was to others.”<br />

Overall, these findings carry significant<br />

public health implications, Merrell said.<br />

“This suggests that solutions to the problem<br />

of disease concealment may need to<br />

rely on more than just individual goodwill.”<br />

On the calendar<br />

BJC St. Louis Children’s Hospital sponsors<br />

a Babysitting 101 virtual class on<br />

Tuesday, Feb. 27 from 6-8:30 p.m., live via<br />

Teams Meeting. This interactive class is a<br />

great introduction to the basics of babysitting<br />

and is recommended for ages 10 and<br />

above. A workbook, first-aid kit, babysitter<br />

skills assessment and backpack are included<br />

in the cost of $25 per child. Parents may sit<br />

in on the class at no additional cost. Register<br />

online at bjc.org/babysitting-class.<br />

• • •<br />

St. Luke’s Hospital presents Be Still to<br />

Chill: Basics of Meditation on Wednesday,<br />

Feb. 28 from 6:30-7:30 p.m. at the<br />

Desloge Outpatient Center, 1<strong>21</strong> St. Luke’s<br />

Center Drive in Chesterfield, in Building<br />

A. Come to this free in-person program to<br />

learn the basics of meditation as well as<br />

many tips to support your practice. Register<br />

at stlukes-stl.com.<br />

• • •<br />

St. Luke’s Hospital presents Let’s Cook!<br />

Heart Healthy Cooking on Thursday,<br />

Feb. 29 from 2-3 p.m. at Schnucks Eatwell<br />

Market, 220 THF Blvd. in Chesterfield.<br />

The DASH (Dietary Approaches to<br />

Stop Hypertension) diet is a flexible and<br />

balanced eating plan for everyone that<br />

promotes a heart-healthy lifestyle. Join<br />

a St. Luke’s dietitian to get the scoop on<br />

DASH, learn now to prepare sodium-free<br />

seasonings, and taste a delicious cranberry<br />

grain salad. The course is free. Register at<br />

stlukes-stl.com.<br />

• • •<br />

St. Luke’s Hospital presents a monthly<br />

Conversations for Women event on<br />

Monday, March 12 from 6:30-7:30 p.m.<br />

at the Desloge Outpatient Center, 1<strong>21</strong> St.<br />

Luke’s Center Drive, Building A in Chesterfield.<br />

This month’s free event, Are You<br />

Hot?, will feature Dr. Kael Murphy, a St.<br />

Lukes’ OB/GYN physician who will lead<br />

a conversation about all things menopause,<br />

including how to thrive after early menopause.<br />

Register at stlukes-stl.com.<br />

Dr. Genevieve Otto, Orthodontist<br />

Otto Orthodontics<br />

Des Peres • Fenton • St. Peters • Wentzville<br />

314-900-OTTO (6886) • www.ottoortho.com<br />

The goal for the professionals at Otto Orthodontics is to treat patients the way they would like to be treated<br />

– with respect, professionalism and sensitivity. Take Dr. Genevieve Otto who runs the orthodontic office with her<br />

husband A.J. Orthodontics is her passion, and she calls it a blessing to be able to help others.<br />

“I love that I can be a positive influence on so many adolescents during a very influential time in their lives,” she<br />

said. “Orthodontics helps increase self-confidence and provides a smile that everyone is proud to show off.”<br />

A board certified member of the American Association of Orthodontists and the Greater St. Louis Dental Society,<br />

Dr. Otto was top of her class at the University of Southern California. Along with Dr. Otto, Otto Orthodontic’s topof-the-line<br />

team includes orthodontists: Dr. Kirsten Karkow, Dr. Katelyn Roland and Dr. Andrew Larkin.<br />

Otto Orthodontics provides braces, Invisalign, surgical orthodontics, Zoom<br />

whitening, Botox and injectable lip fillers. Voted St. Louis’ Top Orthodontist in<br />

St. Louis Magazine and St. Louis Post-Dispatch, they have the latest technology<br />

and a caring staff of industry veterans. Free consultations are available.

<strong>24</strong> I BUSINESS I<br />


BRIEFS<br />

February <strong>21</strong>, 20<strong>24</strong><br />




PLACES<br />

Hotworx St. Peters is now open at<br />

7112 Mexico Road in St. Peters. Members<br />

of the Cottleville Weldon-Spring Chamber<br />

of Commerce hosted the ribbon cutting<br />

on Feb. 2. Jeremy Wolfe is the owner<br />

of the gym that houses virtually instructed<br />

exercise programs created for users to<br />

experience infrared heat absorption while<br />

working out. For more information visit<br />

hotworx.net.<br />

• • •<br />

Attorneys and staff of Hamilton Weber<br />

LLC celebrated its 25th anniversary<br />

with a ribbon cutting on Feb. 2. Partners<br />

K. Andrew Weber and John A. Young<br />

led the celebration that included City of<br />

St. Charles Mayor Dan Borgmeyer and<br />

St. Charles Regional Chamber President<br />

Scott Tate. Hamilton Weber LLC focuses<br />

their practice on state and local municipal<br />

law, land use and zoning, real estate,<br />

business and commercial law, commercial<br />

litigation and personal injury defense.<br />

Hotworx St. Peters is now open at 7112 Mexico Road in St. Peters.<br />

For more information on Hamilton Weber<br />

LLC visit hamiltonweber.com or call 636-<br />

389-8964.<br />

PEOPLE<br />

St. Charles County Ambulance District<br />

welcomes Dr. David K. Tan as the<br />

district’s Chief Medical Officer Medical<br />

Director. A double board-certified subject<br />

matter expert in the field of emergency<br />

medicine and EMS medicine, Tan<br />

joins the district after a long career with<br />

Washington University School of Medicine,<br />

where he served as professor and<br />

EMS division chief and was an attending<br />

emergency physician at Barnes-Jewish<br />

Hospital. Tan’s appointment as CMO<br />

makes him the first full-time EMS physician<br />

in the state. Since 2006, Tan has<br />

served as associate medical director for<br />

the district, focusing on the Tactical EMS<br />

Unit aligned with the St. Charles County<br />

Regional SWAT Team, and the medical<br />

specialists serving with St. Louis Metro<br />

Urban Search and Rescue Task Force 1.<br />

• • •<br />

Leif Assurance insurance agency<br />

recently hired Lauren Elizabeth Gulli<br />

as brand marketing specialist and Connor<br />

Kay as digital marketing specialist. Gulli’s<br />

responsibilities include developing<br />

and executing marketing campaigns to<br />

drive business growth. As digital marketing<br />

specialist, Kay will use various digital<br />

platforms to optimize Leif Assurance’s<br />

marketing campaigns. Lief Assurance is a<br />

full-service insurance agency that exclusively<br />

handles construction insurance.<br />

The perfect replica of natural wood with<br />

WetProtect full coverage<br />

waterproof protection<br />

backed by a lifetime warranty

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I 25<br />

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February <strong>21</strong>, 20<strong>24</strong><br />


Cornhole players sought to help provide ‘Technology for Independence’<br />

I 27<br />


Building self-confidence, selfdetermination<br />

and increasing<br />

independence for neurodivergent<br />

individuals are the main goals of<br />

the Adam Morgan Foundation’s<br />

Technology for Independence program.<br />

Through this program, the<br />

foundation connects non-speaking<br />

clients and other individuals with<br />

disabilities to technology that helps<br />

them communicate and perform<br />

tasks and teaches caregivers how to<br />

help the client adapt to the technology.<br />

The foundation recently became<br />

part of Missouri’s Medicaid waiver<br />

program, which is keeping it busier<br />

than ever with a long waiting list of<br />

clients. To help raise money to hire<br />

more staff members the foundation is holding<br />

its 4th Annual Cornhole Tournament<br />

at 2 p.m. on Feb. <strong>24</strong> at CrossFit O’Fallon<br />

located at 64 North Central Drive. Tickets<br />

start at $30 a person and can be purchased<br />

online at adamorgan.org.<br />

Rachael Morgan is the founder and executive<br />

director of the foundation, which was<br />

established in 2008 and is named for her<br />

Adam Morgan<br />

son, who is a 22-year-old, non-speaking,<br />

autistic person.<br />

Adam is a graduate of Fort Zumwalt<br />

East. In 2020, he gave the keynote address<br />

to his graduating class through an iPad<br />

using a text-to-talk app. Now, he is the first<br />

non-speaking autistic person to attend the<br />

University of Missouri-St. Louis, where he<br />

is majoring in educational studies with a<br />

minor in counseling. He has plans to<br />

become a motivational speaker and is<br />

already an author.<br />

Rachael said she believes that her<br />

son’s opportunities with technology<br />

gave him the ability to achieve so<br />

much success. She wants every nonspeaking<br />

person to have those opportunities.<br />

“Technology has really leveled the<br />

playing field for (people with autism),”<br />

Rachael said. “We use technology for<br />

everything. We do everything online.<br />

“Pragmatic language is very difficult<br />

for people on the spectrum. It’s understanding<br />

tone, sarcasm and facial cues<br />

all at once. It’s too much for them. Texting<br />

takes that away. They are able to<br />

read the message on the screen in black<br />

and white.”<br />

She said she wants people to know<br />

that speaking is not the only way to communicate.<br />

One major objective of the program is to<br />

show caregivers that neurodivergent individuals,<br />

like those who are non-speaking,<br />

are likely more capable than the caregiver<br />

may know.<br />

“We work on the belief values of the<br />

caregivers and family members of our clients<br />

with disabilities,” Rachael said. “I’ve<br />

worked with a guy whose staff didn’t even<br />

realize he could read.<br />

“Most of the time (our clients) can read,<br />

they just haven’t had the ability to communicate<br />

back out because they haven’t found<br />

their preferred way to communicate yet.<br />

We have them try different things and then<br />

choose what works best for them through<br />

trial and error.”<br />

Rachael believes that everyone can learn<br />

at a high level if they are given the tools<br />

and training to achieve.<br />

“(The caregivers) aren’t being mean.<br />

They’ve just been hired to help someone<br />

do things they have never done before,”<br />

she said.<br />

That’s exactly why the Adam Morgan<br />

Foundation exists – to help caregivers and<br />

clients discover new ways to succeed.<br />

Some individuals in the Technology<br />

for Independence program are using their<br />

own email accounts and completing transactions<br />

online. Rachael said teaching a<br />

client to shop online for grocery delivery<br />

can be a major step toward independence.<br />

Recently, she worked with a client to help<br />

them use Uber safely. The idea, she said, is<br />

to increase independence and purpose for<br />

the individuals.<br />



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28 I EVENTS I<br />

February <strong>21</strong>, 20<strong>24</strong><br />




LOCAL<br />

EVENTS<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<br />

display through Sunday, March <strong>24</strong> at the<br />

Cultural Arts Centre, 1 St. Peters Centre<br />

Blvd. For details, visit stpetersmo.net/<strong>24</strong>3/<br />

Art-Shows-Exhibits.<br />


Youth in Need - “Celebrating 50 Years”<br />

is at 6 p.m. on Saturday, March 2 at Ameristar<br />

Casino Resort Spa, 1 Ameristar Boulevard<br />

in St. Charles. Join in celebrating 50<br />

years of empowering children, youth and<br />

families. Tickets start at $250. For details,<br />

visit youthinneed.org.<br />

• • •<br />

The Eras Trivia Night is at 7 p.m.<br />

(doors open at 6 p.m.) on Saturday, March<br />

2 at Boys and Girls Club, 1<strong>21</strong>1 Lindenwood<br />

Avenue in St. Charles. Choose your<br />

decade. $<strong>24</strong>0 for a table of 8. Outside food/<br />

drink permitted. All proceeds to benefit the<br />

Fort Zumwalt West Grad Night. For questions,<br />

email aweiskopf@fz.k12.mo.us. To<br />

register, visit whs.fz.k12.mo.us.<br />

• • •<br />

A Quilt Show and Sale is from 9 a.m.-<br />

noon on Saturday, March 9 at All Saints<br />

Ministry Center, 310 Cardinal Place Drive<br />

in St. Peters. The All Saints Quilters present<br />

beautiful hand-stitched large quilts<br />

and baby quilts for sale. For details, visit<br />

allsaints-stpeters.org.<br />

• • •<br />

Harmony STL Gala is at 7 p.m. (doors<br />

open at 6 p.m.) on Saturday, March 9 at the<br />

Saint Charles Convention Center, 1 Convention<br />

Center Plaza. Entertainment includes<br />

live a cappella singing performances by<br />

award-winning youth and adult choruses<br />

and quartets. Live auction. Cost is $150 per<br />

person. Proceeds benefit youth through adult<br />

music education and outreach programs. For<br />

tickets, visit harmonystlgala.com.<br />

• • •<br />

A Blood Drive will be held from 8:30<br />

a.m.-1:30 p.m. on Sunday, March 10 at<br />

Sts. Joachim & Ann Care Service, 4116<br />

McClay Road in St. Peters. To register, call<br />

ImpactLife at (800) 747-5401. Registered<br />

donors will be eligible to receive an electronic<br />

gift card or other featured item.<br />


Fluffy Tails and Pancake Trails is<br />

from 9-10:30 a.m. on Saturday, March 16<br />

at SunRise Church, 7116 Twin Chimneys<br />

Blvd. in O’Fallon, featuring pancakes and<br />

sausage with the Easter Bunny, petting zoo<br />

and more. Free event. To register, visit sunrisefamily.org/events.<br />

• • •<br />

A Youth Easter Egg Hunt is from 10-11<br />

a.m. on Saturday, March 23 at Memorial<br />

Hall & Rau Garden, 1900 W. Randolph<br />

Street in St. Charles. Children of all ages<br />

are welcome to bring a basket and join<br />

in the hunt. Crafts and visits with the<br />

Easter Bunny are included in the $15 per<br />

person cost. Registration is required at<br />

stcharlesparks.com.<br />

• • •<br />

Easter Egg Hunt is from 10 a.m.-noon<br />

on Saturday, March 23 at Lake Saint Louis<br />

Founders Park, 7 Freymuth Road in Lake<br />

St. Louis, featuring bounce houses, face<br />

painting, a petting zoo and more. Children<br />

ages 10 and under are invited to participate.<br />

Free event. For details, visit lakesaintlouis.<br />

com/1<strong>21</strong>7/Easter-Egg-Hunt.<br />

• • •<br />

The Bunny Bolt 5K and 1-Mile Fun<br />

Run is at 7:30 a.m. on Saturday, March 23<br />

at Boulevard Park, 2550 Lake Saint Louis<br />

Boulevard, featuring a 1-mile run through<br />

the park and a 5K through Lake Saint<br />

Louis that will precede the Lake Saint<br />

Louis Easter Egg Hunt. 5K Cost is $45.<br />

Fun Run Cost is $20. All participants will<br />

receive a short-sleeve T-shirt. Registration<br />

ends March 20 or until full. To register,<br />

visit lakesaintlouis.com/<strong>24</strong>27/Bunny-Bolt-<br />

5k-and-1-Mile-Fun-Run.<br />

• • •<br />

​Easter Egg Dive is from 9-10:30 a.m.<br />

on Sunday, March <strong>24</strong> at the St. Peters Rec-<br />

Plex, 5200 Mexico Road. Participants will<br />

swim or dive to collect eggs floating or<br />

weighted, when their heat is over, they will<br />

trade their eggs in for candy. Children will<br />

also take photos with the Easter Bunny.<br />

Bags for collecting eggs will be provided<br />

but bring a basket for carrying candy<br />

home. Parents are permitted to get in the<br />

pool with small children. Cost is $10 for<br />

members and $12 for non-members. For<br />

ages 6 months-18 years. To register, visit<br />

st.petersmo.net.<br />

• • •<br />

An Adult Easter Egg Hunt is at 7:30<br />

p.m. on Friday, March 29 at Wapelhorst<br />

Park, 1875 Muegge Road in St. Charles.<br />

Hunt for eggs, enjoy adult beverages and<br />

compete for prizes. Participants should<br />

bring flashlights and buckets. The $30 per<br />

person cost includes admission and two<br />

drink tickets. For ages <strong>21</strong> and over. Register<br />

at stcharlesparks.com.<br />

• • •<br />

Easter Egg Hunt is at 9 a.m. on Saturday,<br />

March 30 at Dardenne Prairie City<br />

Hall Park, 2032 Hanley Road. Hunts will<br />

be divided by age and begin with the 0-2<br />

age group. Ages 3-4, 5-6 and 7-8 will<br />

follow shortly after the previous hunt ends.<br />

The Easter Bunny will make an appearance.<br />

Inclusive hunt requires pre-registration<br />

by emailing your name, child’s name,<br />

child age, address, and phone number to<br />

nichole@dardenneprairie.org. Free event.<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 />

See EVENTS, next page<br />

Looking for Lenten fish fries in St. Charles County?<br />

Here is an alphabetical list of Friday<br />

Fish Fries through March 22.<br />

All-Saints Church Knights of Columbus,<br />

7 McMenamy Road in St. Peters<br />

from 4-7 p.m. Fried cod, catfish and sides.<br />

Drive-thru and Dine-in. For details, visit<br />

allsaints-stpeters.org.<br />

• • •<br />

Immaculate Conception, 7701 Hwy.<br />

N in Dardenne Prairie from 4:30-8 p.m.<br />

Cod, catfish, shrimp, fish tacos, hushpuppies<br />

and more. Dine-in, carry-out and<br />

drive-thru are available. For details, visit<br />

Facebook - “ICD Fish Fry” or email icdfishfryexec@gmail.com.<br />

• • •<br />

Knights of Columbus - Post 2269<br />

at Assumption Catholic Church, 403 N.<br />

Main St. in O’Fallon, from 5-7 p.m. Cod,<br />

catfish, potato salad, cole slaw and spaghetti.<br />

Dine-in or carry-out. For details or<br />

visit, thecompass2269.com.<br />

• • •<br />

Knights of Columbus at St. Joseph<br />

Catholic Church. Fish fries are held at<br />

the Pezold Banquet and Meeting Center,<br />

5701 Hwy. N in St. Charles from 4-8 p.m.;<br />

4-7 p.m. Good Friday (March 29). Cod,<br />

catfish and shrimp. For details, email kurt.<br />

speckhals@sbcglobal.net.<br />

• • •<br />

St. Charles Borromeo, 601 N. Fourth<br />

Street in Saint Charles from 4-7 p.m. Catfish,<br />

cod, fish tacos and pizza. Dine-in or<br />

carry-out. For details, call (636) 946-1893.<br />

• • •<br />

St. Cletus Church, 27<strong>21</strong> Zumbehl<br />

Road in Saint Charles from 4-7 p.m.,<br />

in the gym. Batter-fried cod or catfish,<br />

baked cod, fried or boiled shrimp, cheese<br />

pizza and sides. Dine-in or drive-thru.<br />

For details, call (636) 946-6327 or visit<br />

saintcletus.org.<br />

• • •<br />

St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Knights<br />

of Columbus, 2 Seton Court in Saint<br />

Charles from 4-7 p.m. Fried and baked<br />

cod, catfish, cole slaw, french fries and<br />

quesadillas. Dine-in or carry-out. For<br />

details, call (636) 946-6717.<br />

• • •<br />

St. Joseph, 1410 Josephville Road in<br />

Wentzville from 4:30-6:30 p.m. Baked/<br />

and fried fish, sides, complimentary dessert.<br />

Dine-in or carry-out.<br />

• • •<br />

St. Patrick Knights of Columbus, 405<br />

S. Church St. in Wentzville from 4-7 p.m.<br />

Fried catfish, whitefish, cod, spaghetti,<br />

sides and drinks. Dine-in or carry-out. For<br />

details, call (314) 440-5510.<br />

• • •<br />

St. Peter’s Church, 201 First Capitol in<br />

Saint Charles from 4-7 p.m. Cod, catfish,<br />

shrimp, hushpuppies and more. Dine-in<br />

or carry-out. For details, call (636) 946-<br />

6641 or visit stpstc.org.<br />

• • •<br />

Sts. Joachim & Ann, 4112 McClay<br />

Road in Saint Charles from 4-7 p.m. Catfish,<br />

cod, shrimp, crab cakes, fish tacos,<br />

sides and more. Dine-in or carry-out. For<br />

details, visit stsja.org.<br />

• • •<br />

St. Theodore Knights of Columbus,<br />

2061 Grothe Road in Flint Hill from 5-7<br />

p.m. Fresh catfish with coleslaw, potato<br />

salad, dessert and more. For details, visit<br />

uknight.org.<br />

• • •<br />

Sunrise Church, 7116 Twin Chimneys<br />

Blvd. in O’Fallon from 5:30-7:30 p.m. on<br />

Friday, March 1. View menu and register<br />

at sunrisefamily.org/events or call (636)<br />

978-2727.<br />

• • •<br />

VFW Post 5077, 8500 Veterans Memorial<br />

Parkway in O’Fallon from 4:30-7 p.m.<br />

Every Friday through Lent, including<br />

Good Friday. For details, call (636) 272-<br />




February <strong>21</strong>, 20<strong>24</strong><br />


I EVENTS I 29<br />

EVENTS, from previous<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 />

Kids Clay Workshop - Pi Day is from<br />

11 a.m.-noon on Saturday, March 2 at The<br />

Foundry Art Centre, 520 N. Main in St.<br />

Charles. Sculpt an inedible pie. This class<br />

will use a pottery wheel and traditional<br />

clay-building techniques. Supplies are<br />

included in the registration fee of $40. For<br />

details, visit foundryartcentre.org/kidsclasses.<br />

• • •<br />

Teen workshop from 1-3 p.m. on Saturday,<br />

March 23 at the Foundry Art Centre,<br />

520 N Main Center in St. Charles. Trash to<br />

Treasure with Taylor Marrie. Teens (ages<br />

13-18) will create with their peers while<br />

working with professional artists in handson<br />

art-making experiences that will expose<br />

them to new art processes. All supplies are<br />

provided and all skill levels are welcome.<br />

The fee is $50. Anime is on March 30. For<br />

details, visit foundryartcentre.org/teenworkshops.<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 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 at<br />

Bemo’s, 5373 Hwy. N. in Cottleville. Contact<br />

Toddrasche01@gmail.com to RSVP.<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<br />

Drive in O’Fallon. Be informed and meet<br />

elected officials. No meetings on holiday<br />

weekends. For details, visit sccpachyderms.org.<br />

• • •<br />

Dog Yoga is from 9-10 a.m. on Saturday,<br />

March 9 at the Foundry Art Centre, 520<br />

N. Main Center in St. Charles. Join Kim<br />

with Fitness for Fido and experience Wag:<br />

an exhibition for dogs while stretching and<br />

working on patience with your favorite<br />

pooch. Bring a yoga mat, water for you<br />

and your dog, and dog treats/food. 1 dog<br />

per person; no retractable leashes. Cost<br />

is $35. For details, visit foundryartcentre.<br />

regfox.com/dog-yoga.<br />

• • •<br />

“Daycation” Bus Tour to the St. Louis<br />

Aquarium is from 9:15 a.m.-4:15 p.m. on<br />

Wednesday, March 13. Meet in the west<br />

parking lot at City Hall, One St. Peters<br />

Centre Blvd. Enjoy a day at the aquarium<br />

before having lunch at Chris’ Pancakes,<br />

then take a driving tour of downtown<br />

St. Louis, including a drive past the new<br />

soccer stadium. Spend the afternoon shopping<br />

at The Hill, visit Urzi’s Italian Market<br />

and Missouri Bakery and explore The Hill<br />

Antique Market. The cost is $119. Register<br />

online at stpetersmo.net/Rec-Connect by<br />

Feb. 28.<br />

• • •<br />

Cottleville’s Irish Fest is at 11 a.m.<br />

on Saturday, March 16 at Public School<br />

House, 5546 Chestnut Street, featuring<br />

live entertainment from Champagne Fixx,<br />

DJ entertainment, a 5,000-square-foot<br />

heated tent, indoor and outdoor bars and<br />

more. Free admission tickets & VIP tickets<br />

($40 each) are available. For details, visit<br />

publicschoolhouse.com/event-details-registration/irish-fest-at-public-school-house.<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 />

• • •<br />

The Wentzville Veteran’s coffee group<br />

will resume meeting at the Wentzville<br />

Senior Center on Wednesdays March<br />

13, March 27 and every second and forth<br />

Wednesday thereafter. Come join us for<br />

some comradery and a cup of coffee.<br />

Lincoln Day Dinner<br />

Friday, March 22, 20<strong>24</strong><br />

5:30 pm | Doors open | Check in - pick up name tag<br />

in the Foyer near Banquet Room Entrance - CASH BAR<br />

5:30 pm - 6:25 pm | VIP Reception – Additional $100 per Person<br />

VIP Reception Includes: Open Bar & Hors d’oeuvres in the Hickory Room<br />

(Lower Level)<br />

6:30 pm | St. Charles County Republican<br />

Central Committee Program & Dinner<br />


1 Dye Club Drive<br />

St. Charles, MO 63304<br />


EARLY BIRD PRICING NOW UNTIL MARCH 15, 20<strong>24</strong><br />

TICKETS AVAILABLE AT www.stcharlesgop.com<br />

No Refunds Will Be Issued<br />

All Federal, State and County Republican Office Holders Invited to Attend<br />

Paid for by St. Charles County Republican Central Committee – Mike Sommer, Treasurer<br />

5 70%<br />

APR*<br />

Semi-Annual Interest<br />

Fixed Rate / Callable in 12 months<br />

Issued by<br />

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The Corporate Bond is callable in twelve months at the issuer’s option and semi-annual thereafter with 15<br />

calendar days notice.<br />

* Subject to Availability. The Annual Percentage Rate (APR) represents the interest earned through each eligible<br />

call date based on simple interest calculations, an investment price of $1000 per corporate bond, and is accurate<br />

as of February 14, 20<strong>24</strong>. Callable corporate bonds are more likely to be called in a lower interest rate<br />

environment, and investors may be unable to reinvest funds at the same rate as the original corporate bonds.<br />

The minimum balance required to purchase the corporate bond and obtain the APR is $10,000. Interest payouts<br />

are mandatory, and interest cannot remain on deposit. This investment is not FDIC insured.<br />

Corporate bond prices move opposite to interest rates, increasing when rates decline and falling when rates<br />

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Securities and Investment Advisory Services are offered through Cutter & Company, Inc. Member FINRA, SIPC.<br />

Patterson Wealth Management, Cutter & Company, Inc. and the issuer are not affiliated.

30 I<br />

February <strong>21</strong>, 20<strong>24</strong><br />




O’FALLON, from page 10<br />

ever, three covered walk-up windows would<br />

be available. No outdoor speakers would be<br />

used for ordering. Instead, customers would<br />

order directly at the drive-thru window, or if<br />

the store got busy, staff would walk to each<br />

car in the queue and use an iPad-type device<br />

to place orders.<br />

The property has a Burger King to the<br />

north, the Crossroads Plaza strip mall to<br />

the south, unincorporated/Best Box Storage<br />

to the east, and Hwy. K to the west.<br />

Entrance and exit for Andy’s would be<br />

through the existing Burger King access<br />

ramp from Hwy. K.<br />

During the public hearing, Dienoff<br />

called for safety bollards instead of curbing<br />

to prevent cars from hitting pedestrians<br />

using Andy’s walk-up windows. He also<br />

said he had noticed the lights at Andy’s<br />

locations in St. Peters and Columbia were<br />

very bright and asked for lighting with less<br />

candlepower. He said he welcomed Andy’s<br />

and the sales tax revenue it would generate.<br />

Stefanie Terry, vice president of Broadway<br />

Restaurant Group (Burger King), said<br />

the existing Burger King welcomes Andy’s<br />

but asked for help regarding congestion<br />

already experienced with vehicles using<br />

the entry and exit ramp from and to Hwy.<br />

K into the Burger King facility. She said<br />

Site of proposed gun shop at 9390 Veterans Memorial Parkway in O’Fallon.<br />

adding traffic from Andy’s would make the<br />

congestion severe.<br />

Council members and city staff<br />

exchanged facts about the situation, mainly<br />

that there currently is no viable alternative<br />

for another entrance or exit. The site<br />

is landlocked without direct access to<br />

any other street except Hwy. K. Planning<br />

and Development Director David Woods<br />

pointed out that alternative rights of way<br />

to nearby Fallon Loop Road fall short of<br />

getting to that street, and Taco Bell management<br />

has refused several times to share<br />

access to their parking lot with its entrance<br />

and exit off Fallon Loop Road.<br />

At this time, it appears all anyone can<br />

do is keep revisiting the situation with surrounding<br />

property owners and Taco Bell<br />

to see if some accommodation for another<br />

exit can be found.<br />

Bill No. 7620 would authorize a CUP<br />

to allow a Dutch Bros coffee shop with a<br />

drive-thru at 982 Bryan Road, within the<br />

new North Bryan Road Commercial development,<br />

zoned C3 Highway Commercial<br />

District. The hours of operation would be 5<br />

a.m.-11 p.m., daily.<br />

This property, just south of Veterans<br />

Memorial Parkway and east across Bryan<br />

from the O’Fallon Justice Center, has a<br />

recently approved Dobbs Tire & Auto site<br />

to the north, a vacant C-3 commercial site<br />

to the south, Columbia Meadows R3-PUD<br />

common ground to the east, and Bryan<br />

Road to the west. An existing Starbucks is<br />

less than 200 yards to the north.<br />

Beverages would include hot and cold<br />

coffees, teas, proprietary Rebel energy<br />

drinks, blended freezes and kids’ drinks.<br />

Regarding the total number of these<br />


types of businesses brought forth in various<br />

council sessions during the past five<br />

years, council members and the city attorney<br />

noted that the council is obligated to<br />

approve applications for conditional use<br />

permits as long as the proposed use of the<br />

property fits within its zoning guidelines<br />

and does not otherwise create any public<br />

safety problems.<br />

In other words, if a business meets zoning<br />

guidelines and specific conditional uses, it<br />

must be allowed to open and compete with<br />

other similar businesses in the area. At this<br />

time, the city has not set any guidelines for<br />

the maximum number of any type of business.<br />

Property owners and entrepreneurs<br />

are free to open in O’Fallon as many gas<br />

stations, car washes, self-storage facilities,<br />

bakeries, daycares, dry cleaners, banks,<br />

coffee shops, gun shops, ice cream shops,<br />

et cetera, as the market will bear. Those<br />

businesses then compete and succeed or<br />

fail based on supply, demand and how well<br />

the business is received by customers.<br />

The only exception is for state-licensed<br />

marijuana facilities. Those are subject to<br />

Missouri state regulations and O’Fallon<br />

ordinance requirements for minimum distance<br />

from each other and from schools,<br />

churches and daycare centers, thus indirectly<br />

capping the number of marijuana<br />

facilities based on geography.<br />





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February <strong>21</strong>, 20<strong>24</strong><br />


I 31<br />

DARDENNE PRAIRIE, from page 11<br />

above them. He noted how townhomes<br />

were being developed behind the apartments,<br />

with single-family homes spread<br />

behind those.<br />

“I was so impressed with it,” Gotway<br />

said. “Everything is multi-story, multiuse.<br />

It says a lot about how people want to live.”<br />

He said his vision for Dardenne Prairie<br />

follows those city trends. Pointing to<br />

Dardenne Prairie’s aging population, he<br />

said, “There’s more people 50 and older,<br />

like The Prairie (a luxury apartment complex<br />

at the southwest corner of Bryan Road<br />

and Missouri Route 364), the average age<br />

is 65.”<br />

Catering to that demographic is something<br />

Gotway takes pride in. He said older<br />

residents want to downsize and not have to<br />

worry about fixing a home when it breaks,<br />

instead, they would rather rent. “That’s<br />

what people want,” he said.<br />

Gotway disagrees with the need for the<br />

Town Square Vision Steering Committee.<br />

“We have spent over $900,000 on these<br />

types of studies,” he said, noting that<br />

other vision plans have been developed<br />

but not all have been successful. “The<br />

one that we’ve got now, our vision,<br />

there’s no vision in it. All it does is it’s<br />

got zoning for different areas of property,<br />

which can be anything. The one before<br />

was a complete vision. It was all of this<br />

mixed-use. Everything had to be at least<br />

two stories.”<br />

He admitted that the city was the driving<br />

force behind the requirement for taller<br />

developments.<br />

In regard to residents who do not<br />

want the city to become urbanized with<br />

two-, three-, or four-story developments,<br />

Gotway said, “They need to keep going<br />

west because Dardenne Prairie is not that<br />

place anymore.”<br />

Costlow has a different vision for the<br />

city – one that embraces suburban life.<br />

Costlow was a vocal opponent of the<br />

Prairie Encore development, both in terms<br />

of its concept (​high-density, mixed-use<br />

residential) and in regard to tax incentives<br />

offered to KaLeCo by the city.<br />

“No residents from the city expressed<br />

their support of the Prairie Encore project,”<br />

he said. He claimed that the mayor<br />

brought people before the board to support<br />

the project but, according to Costlow, they<br />

merely offered statements that it could’ve<br />

been worse. He said people who are seeking<br />

a suburban life do not want to live in<br />

urbanized areas.<br />

“That’s the problem, someone who’s<br />

looking for that, they don’t have anywhere<br />

to go. When a city tries to be what every<br />

other city is then there’s nowhere for that<br />

niche,” Costlow said. “We need to preserve<br />

the suburban life within St. Charles<br />

instead of just kicking it out to Foristell or<br />

somewhere, and I think that’s the beauty of<br />

Dardenne Prairie.”<br />

Costlow said the area is his family’s<br />

refuge.<br />

“That’s what I’m hearing from every resident,”<br />

he said. “If they want, you know, the<br />

fast-paced life, they can move.”<br />

He said the Town Square Vision Steering<br />

Committee has struggled to get PGAV<br />

planners on board with the idea of a suburban<br />

community. He said the committee<br />

members have explained a desire for green<br />

space and suggested hosting a farmers<br />

market in Town’s Square to provide a local<br />

flavor that serves the community instead of<br />

big businesses.<br />

“The planners that we’ve contracted<br />

(PGAV) came back, and in that spot where<br />

we said, ‘We should do this farmers market’<br />

they came back and suggested two large<br />

four-story apartments and a warehouse<br />

district,” Costlow said.<br />

He then described how the committee<br />

was unable to approve PGAV’s work<br />

because the firm did not offer what they<br />

were directed to do.<br />

“We’ve gotten nothing from PGAV that’s<br />

useful,” he said.<br />

Costlow has misgivings about how the<br />

miscommunication with PGAV occurred.<br />

He questioned whether PGAV is focused<br />

on urbanization or whether other suggestions<br />

were made to the consulting firm<br />

from outside of the steering committee.<br />

Either way, he said Dardenne Prairie is<br />

being pulled in two different directions.<br />

He also expressed concerns that Gotway<br />

does not want the committee to succeed<br />

at preserving Dardenne Prairie’s current<br />

culture.<br />

“If that happens, after the election, we’re<br />

going to do what we should’ve done from<br />

the beginning. We’re going to start a subcommittee<br />

of the board, and we’re going<br />

to keep them (the mayor and developers)<br />

out of it.”<br />

In the April 2 Municipal Election, the<br />

seats of Dave Wandling (Ward 1) and<br />

Justin Ungerboeck (Ward 2) are open.<br />

Candidates Ryan Wilson and Carl Maus<br />

are vying for the Ward 1 seat. Joel Ogle<br />

and Carla Detweiler are vying for the Ward<br />

2 seat. (Learn more about these candidates<br />

in the March 6 issue of <strong>Mid</strong> <strong>Rivers</strong> <strong>Newsmagazine</strong>.)<br />

When asked if he has any aspirations to<br />

run for mayor in 2025, Costlow said he is<br />

undecided.<br />





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Men’s 60+ Senior<br />

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