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News Briefs: Stepping back in time

Morgan Lake (center) with Caroline Close Stuart Chapter board members (from left) Marcy Hosty, Jean Lorenz, Marion Waters, Mary Jo Anderson, Cecelia Whitaker, Karen Wisner, Chapter Regent Marilyn Hartnett and Judy Blandino.

Morgan Lake (center) with Caroline Close Stuart Chapter board members (from left) Marcy Hosty, Jean Lorenz, Marion Waters, Mary Jo Anderson, Cecelia Whitaker, Karen Wisner, Chapter Regent Marilyn Hartnett and Judy Blandino.

Stepping back in time

Heald House, located in Fort Zumwalt Park in O’Fallon, was the setting of a colonial tea hosted Oct. 12 by the Caroline Close Stuart Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution.

The reason for the tea was to meet State Regent Morgan Lake.

Decorated with fall foliage, elegant table linens, real china, candles and a full silver tea set, the home harkened back to days gone by. Members of the chapter used the opportunity to wear their own colonial clothing creations while Karen Wright played a collection of period songs on her fiddle. The formal dining room table offered those in attendance lush finger foods, delicate pastries, home made fudge and candy. A special blend of berry tea and apple cider was served from both the front and back parlor.

The afternoon was highlighted by the chapter presenting Lake with a large gift basket full of a monogramed teapot and cup, tea, candy and other items including a tole painted box created by Marilyn Hartnett and featuring Missouri Blue Birds in a cherry tree. Note cards of this design were also created for Lake’s future use, according to chapter representatives.



Firefighters receive medals of valor

Three Cottleville firefighters – Joel Rydberg, Tom Smoot and Ryan Haake – received the Medal of Valor Award from the St. Louis Metro Area Fire Chiefs Association on Oct. 19 for heroic actions that took place on May 25, 2014.

The firefighters were among those who responded to a report of a structure fire at the Tee Kay Mobile Home Park located in unincorporated St. Charles County. As the fire crew arrived on scene, they were met by neighbors who stated that a female subject was still in the home.

The fire crew had to force their way into the locked home, where they encountered moderate to heavy smoke and fire conditions. Acting captain Rydberg along with Haake and Smoot recognized the immediate threat to the victim and disregarded their own safety to enter the home without the protection of a hose line. In doing so, the men were able to locate and rescue the victim.

“These three men are excellent examples of professionalism and dedication,” said Cottleville Fire Chief Rob Wylie. “It makes me proud to have members of my department recognized for their actions.”

Each of the firefighters also received  Firefighter of the Year awards in an earlier ceremony held  at the local Elks lodge.



City passes distracted driving ordinance

The city of O’Fallon has passed an ordinance prohibiting distracted driving within the city limits.

At a meeting on Oct. 23, the council passed the legislation in an 8-1 vote, with Councilmember John Haman (Ward 3) opposed.

The ordinance states that drivers on private or public roads in O’Fallon are expected to operate their vehicles with the greatest of care, and that any action by a driver that “causes his or her vision or attention to be obscured, diminished or directed away from the path of travel or operation of the vehicle is prohibited.”

According to the ordinance, this includes, but is not limited to, using a mirror for grooming, reading anything located in the vehicle other than information displayed on vehicle gauges, writing or drawing, manually inputting information into a GPS device or turning one’s head substantially away from the vehicle’s path of travel.

Prior to the council’s vote, Haman said while he is confident that the O’Fallon Police Department would exercise great care in enforcing the ordinance, he has an issue with the vagueness of the legislation.

“I think the potential for this getting out of control is very high,” Haman said.

Councilmember Jim Pepper (Ward 2) said that driving is a privilege, and drivers have a responsibility to act safely on the roads.

“When you are on the road, you are in charge of a vehicle, basically a moving missile,” Pepper said after the Oct. 23 meeting.




Loan applications still available

The application process for the St. Peters Urban County Home Improvement Loan Program has been extended until all openings are filled. Applications are being accepted at St. Peters City Hall on a first-come, first-served basis.

The St. Peters Urban County Home Improvement Loan Program provides funding for low-income homeowners to complete certain home rehabilitation projects. Eligible applicants can receive up to $5,000 through a no-interest, 5-year forgivable loan for projects such as new windows, furnaces and air conditioners, roof replacement, driveway replacement or repair and more.

Eligible participants must be residents and homeowners within city limits who hve not participated in the program before. Homeowners must also have lived in the home for at least one year, and fall under the household income guidelines established by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).

This program is made possible through Community Development Block Grant funding from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. For more information, call 279-8279 and select option 2.


City begins planning for Celebrate St. Peters 2015

With the dust barely settled this year, St. Peters officials already have begun planning next year’s Celebrate St. Peters event.

Plans now call for Celebrate St. Peters, the city’s annual two-day community festival, to be held Sept. 18-19 in 2015. The event is held at 370 Lakeside Park just off Interstate 370, east of Interstate 70.

Lisa Bedian, the city’s communications director, told the Board of Aldermen at their Oct. 23 meeting that the city began planning for 2015 even before this year’s event began. She said the city has looked at suggestions for musical acts for next year and has contacted a number of artists, but that no decisions have been made. An immediate priority, she said, is finding a new carnival ride vendor because the present vendor has another commitment on the dates for the celebration next year.

According to Bedian, the city is currently discussing an agreement with one of two carnival vendors, Lowery Carnival Company and Premier Works. Items being discussed include a revenue-sharing agreement with the city, providing at least 14 rides including a large ferris wheel, and ride tickets and wrist bands that allow admission on rides.

“It’s got to have wristbands,” said Alderman Dave Thomas (Ward 1). “They’re very important.”

Bedian said one change next year may be the use of the Corporate Pavilion at the park, which can seat perhaps 800 to 1,000 people in and around it.

Butch Wax and the Hollywoods, with Theo Peoples, may be the first act booked for the pavilion, she said.




Local cities named among happiest in state

The Movoto Real Estate blog has named St. Peters as one of the 10 happiest cities in Missouri.

St. Peters was ranked fourth on the list, narrowly edging out O’Fallon, which came in at No. 5.

The city of St. Charles came in at No. 8 and Wentzville captured the No. 9 slot.

Movoto based its assessment of happiness on a number of criteria. First, each city had to have a population of at least 25,000. Next, the number-crunchers at Movoto looked at data from the 2010 U.S. Census, the 2012 FBI Uniform Crime Report, and WalkScore.com, to determine:

• stress factors (including unemployment, commutes, and cost of living)

• personal safety (violent crimes per 100,000 people)

• percent of residents making greater than $20,000/year

• percent of married residents

• home ownership

• percent of residents with a bachelor’s degree or higher

• walkability score

Cities were ranked in each category, earning scores from 1 to 25. Cities with combined average scores in the top 10 made the list.


City deemed ‘best place to live’

St. Charles has been ranked as one of the “50 Best Cities to Live” by 24/7 Wall Street, a digital business and financial news operation.

Crime rates, employment growth, housing stock, cost of living, and education rates were factors considered in the rankings. St. Charles was ranked 47th on the list.


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