JEFFERSON CITY- The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) held its annual event Wednesday in the Capitol rotunda. The goal was to advocate for legislation aiding the department’s current and future preservation plans.
The day’s event included several displays on the third floor rotunda showcasing the MDC’s efforts throughout the state. Department professionals answered questions on topics such as wild bird rehabilitation and other issues relevant to the public enjoyment of wildlife and the outdoors. A bald eagle was part of a live demonstration of Missouri’s wide array of wildlife.
Conservation bills being considered in the legislature this session cover the department’s budget, taxes, land grants, and rules on animals born in captivity.
HERMANN – Relentless rain and melting snow in the Upper Midwest is bringing the curious to the banks of the Missouri River. In this Gasconade County community known for its deep German heritage and the wine that followed it, the early spring focus is on the rising river that has always been respected, never tamed.
Upstream in the northwest corner of the Show-Me-State, a state of emergency is providing relief to Missouri River communities long under the mighty wrath and current of the Big Muddy. Both town and country have recently been destroyed by this longest river in America. Not thanks to climate change or politics, but by record snowfall and the rains that are melting it. The river’s rise – like many slow-moving natural disasters – is a magnet to locals and not-so-locals alike.
“This is a beautiful river, but it has to be respected,” said Ron Holman, a tourist from Indiana watching the river at Hermann’s riverfront park. “I’ve always been in love with the Missouri (River).” Monday afternoon, he was curious about the river’s future rise-and-fall trend.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) watches and reports the official river gauge, used by tugboats and others making a living on the Missouri. Locals look at long-established landmarks – boat ramps, railroad tracks, parking lots – and generations of experience.
“I wouldn’t worry about it just yet,” said one older man watching the water from the riverfront park. “Not yet.”
On Monday, the folks at NOAA reported the river to be in moderate flood at 28 feet. The river has a few more feet to rise before things get serious. For now, life goes on in Hermann and other communities downstream towards Washington and beyond. The forecast, it seems, calls for sitting by the river, watching the Big Muddy roll on and on and on.
A car became engulfed in flames at about 1 p.m. Monday near Dunklin and Lee streets, blocking traffic to the Dawson Hall and Page Library parking lots. Jefferson City fire and police blocked the scene until about 1:45 p.m.
The car appeared to suffer severe damage. No injuries were reported. (Photo by Ashton Greene/Clarion News)
SULLIVAN, Mo. – Last week’s closing of a Franklin County Steak ‘n Shake adds to a growing list of more than 30 restaurants the chain has shuttered since January due to poor performance and a shift in ownership strategy. About one-third of the closings have occurred in the St. Louis region, including Ballwin, Chesterfield, Ellisville, St. Ann, and Maryland Heights.
According to published news reports, Steak ‘n Shake has about 600 locations, with about 200 being owned by franchisees. The Indianapolis-based company announced last August that it plans to sell the remaining 400 under a franchisor-franchisee agreement. The Sullivan store is corporate-owned and could reopen if a new ownership agreement is reached.
The company says its plan is to sell corporate locations under an agreement similar to other chain restaurants. The idea is to turn Steak ‘n Shake into an owner-manager model, with a local franchisee owning and focusing on only one restaurant. The plan calls for company-owned restaurants to be sold to franchisees for $10,000 each, with profits being split and the property/equipment leased from Steak ‘n Shake.
In a 2018 letter to shareholders, parent corporate owner Sardar Biglari of Biglari Hodlings said recent times have been rough for Steak ‘n Shake. “For the past three years, we have been in decline, with same-store sales below the average for the industry,” wrote Biglari.
The company acknowledges that the current interior kitchen design and management style was unprepared for a significant shift from quick-serve family dining to drive-thru, which now accounts for slightly more than half of all revenue. Future plans include new equipment, quicker drive-thru service, and improved customer relations.
The closed locations will presumably remain inactive until new ownership agreements are reached. Efforts to reach a Steak ‘n Shake spokesperson were unsuccessful.
LINCOLN UNIVERSITY – On Saturday, March 23, students highlighted their skills as entrepreneurs at the Young Business Expo held in Jason Gym. Both students and alumni attended the event, selling their goods and services and testing their mettle as business owners.
The range of products included clothing, cosmetics, and personal training. The students are serious enough about their products to include unique logos and business cards.
,Whether attending school or already graduated, the entrepreneurs are motivated and ready for the professional marketplace. Not just in the goods they provide, but in bringing a positive message to the world at large. Exhibiting his “New True” clothing line, entrepreneur Brandon Hunter hopes to promote a positive image of self-love for his customers.
“There’s two parts to my business,” Hunter said. “There’s ‘New True’ media and “New True” clothing. The clothing is based on self-love, letting yourself know you’re important, and being true to yourself.” That is what Hunter believes his clothing line is all about – being a new you everyday by learning from past mistakes and being true to who you are.
While others agree with Hunter, some have decided to take a more introspective approach. Professionally known as Renzo Scorsaize, the former Lincoln student set out to creating a clothing line with his brand GUDPPL (good people). After graduation, Scorsaize decided to invest his time into fashion – something he’s always felt passionate about.
Other entrepreneurs at the expo brought their own touches to their businesses. With many already dedicated to beauty services, it was important for each to find their voice. Tailer Bevly spotlighted Gwen’s Dollhouse, a boutique selling clothing and accessories and named in honor of her grandmother, who passed away during Christmas. According to Bevly, it was her grandmother that inspired her to never give up and to always pursue her dreams.
Ultimately the expo was an exercise in what young people could do to contribute to the market in both commerce and positivity. “Get addicted to bettering yourself,” says the expo’s personal trainer Kat Langley. With that in mind, each entrepreneur made sure that they brought their offerings were both inspiring and practical.
QUINCY, Ill. – The Lincoln softball team notched 14 hits, including three by Jordan Lawson, but Quincy prevailed in a pair of games on Wednesday (March 27). The Hawks won the first game, 10-3, and took the second game, 9-1.
The Blue Tigers struck first in the opener, bringing in three runs in the third inning on three hits. Gabi McGinty and Paige Parker led the frame off with consecutive hits, and an error allowed Lawson to safely get on board and load the bases. That set up Camryn Pryor, who provided the third hit of the inning with a single into center field, bringing home McGinty for a 1-0 Lincoln lead. Rachael Balke drove in Parker with a ground-out in the next at-bat, and another QU error allowed Lawson to score for a 3-0 LU advantage.
Quincy (13-13) answered with a two-out rally in the bottom half of the third, taking the lead with six runs on seven hits. The Blue Tigers had a base runner in each of the next three innings, including two in the sixth, courtesy of base hits by Tori Nienhueser and McGinty, but the Hawks held on for the win.
Bekah Kirker also had two hits for LU in the opener while Lawson had one, and Shannon Greene struck out two Quincy batters in a complete game performance inside the circle. Pryor led the Lincoln defense with seven putouts, and Mykenzie Livesay provided four assists while Kirker and Parker finished with two apiece.
In the second game, Trista Heavin hit her second homerun of the season, as well as her second in the past five days, in the fifth inning to put Lincoln (4-26) on the scoreboard. The Blue Tigers had six hits in the contest, including singles by Lawson and Pryor in the opening inning. Lawson went 2-for-3 at the plate with another base hit in the top of the third.
Livesay and Emily Williams also had hits, and Hannah Hennessy struck out a pair of Hawk batters in the circle. Pryor had four putouts to lead the LU defense while Nienhueser recorded two assists.
The Blue Tigers are scheduled to travel to Maryville, Mo. on Friday (March 29) to play a double-header against Northwest Missouri, with first pitch scheduled for 2:00 p.m. CDT.
Malik Henry, Landon Bernskoetter, and Cameron Gerber/Clarion News staff
JEFFERSON CITY – More rain, more flooding. That’s the gist of a significant late-week rain event that will impact area rivers already swollen from upstream precipitation and melting snow.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) on Tuesday issued numerous flood warnings and advisories for the Missouri River at Jefferson City and the Osage River at the Mari-Osa campground at the U.S. 50 bridge near the Cole-Osage county line.
The warnings/advisories are based on expected river crests due to upstream action and rain forecasted through the weekend. Many area tributaries – including the Moreau River – may rise near flood stage during the next few days. If the anticipated heavy rains enter the area, the Moreau River may rise by at least 10 feet by Saturday afternoon.
The Missouri River is expected to rise to about 26 feet on Saturday, which is within the moderate flooding stage. Residents and property owners affected by flooding should stay tuned to local weather radio stations and the NOAA website.
(Drone photos/photography by Malik Henry, Landon Bernskoetter, and Cameron Gerber of the Clarion News staff)