Talk of the Towns: 7.16.14
Anything that improves Manchester Road is a good thing. And the work that may have begun by the time you read this is from the top down: Resurfacing of Manchester from Hwy. 141 westward through Ballwin, Ellisville and Wildwood. “But traffic is already horrid,” we hear some of you whimper. ‘Whimper not!’ replies MoDOT. Most of the roadwork will be done at night, so lane closures will be while we sleep. The heralded Great Streets Initiative is upon us. An outlay of $5 million will yield better signage, including illumination of some street signs, better sidewalks and improved median access, along with landscaping. The lion’s share of the work is projected to cost $10 million and is earmarked for resurfacing Manchester from 141 to Westglen Farms Road in Wildwood. Yes, Virginia, we can get there from here. When? When we get there. Just imagine how long it would have taken in the stagecoach.
Sure are some smart folks out yonder in Chesterfield. First it was a near national-champ speller, and now a young lady has scored a perfect 36 on the ACT college entrance exam. That’s not to say Catherine Lambert, 16, a rising senior at Marquette, has decided on a college yet … from Mizzou to the Ivy League, they’re probably lined up, pleading for her to take this or that wonderful offer. She also plays varsity golf and will edit the school newspaper, which won’t hurt her chances of landing a sweet college deal. And she is in a very special category, indeed: ACT officials say fewer than one-tenth of 1 percent of students who take the test score a perfect 36.
By midsummer, patrons of Saint Louis Bread Co. bakery and café in Clayton across from the Esquire will have to take their business to Richmond Heights. But, that’s not far at all—it’s right across Clayton Road, the border between the two communities, and a few doors west. The present location is 6701; Bread Co. is renovating the former Applebee’s Restaurant at 6734, which closed last summer and is projected to reopen in the new space this August. Fans of this particular Bread Co. location were extremely frustrated by the inadequate parking. There’s not a space to be had at lunch or breakfast, and those just running in and out for a bagel and coffee at 8 a.m. or salad at noon have had fewer than 24 spots to squeeze into, all behind the restaurant. To create three of those spaces, the parking lot guys actually painted them in along the alley (for expert parallel parkers, if any of those remain).
Say what you will about lawyers chasing ambulances. This 64-year-old attorney had vehicles chasing him last summer—after the last of three bank robberies he committed in July, August and September. And he shot a state trooper, who was saved by a bulletproof vest. If it sounds like the Wild West, it sort of was, according to details released by the Feds after Warren J. Gladders pleaded guilty last week. His first holdup was of the Reliance Bank west branch in Creve Coeur, 13303 Olive Blvd.; the others were out west a ways, in Weldon Spring and Marthasville. In all three robberies Gladders displayed a gun. After this robber made off with $43,000 from the Marthasville heist, his third, he shot the cop who pulled him over. Sentencing in this doozy of a case is slated for Oct. 16 at U.S. District Court in St. Louis. Wentzville resident Gladders, also referred to as a businessman, probably will be in another, lower-paying line of work come October. What’s more, he also faces state charges for his spree, which netted him a grand total of $55,000. Just wait till he sees his legal fees!
Almost before the dough started to rise on its next batch in Maplewood and it announced expansion into Kirkwood, Strange Donuts said it was planning a third location: Columbia, Mo. Makes sense for the edgy company to set up in a college town. But to grow this fast after it had taken so long to open the doors of its first shop? No matter. These aren’t your daddy’s Krispy Kremes, and they’re doughnuts that might just keep Bart Simpson out of trouble for awhile … which is good, because Maplewood and Kirkwood cops might just wander off the beat for this tasty treat. The shop has a T-shirt with the cartoon of a ‘strange’-looking officer carrying a nightstick piled with donuts. Just how strange do these doughnuts get? Well, there’s Strawberry Chovocado, a fudge cake doughnut with coco avocado mousse, honey and berries. At any rate, wipe your mouth and refocus. The Kirkwood store is set to open in August, the Columbia store in October … around the first anniversary of the flagship Maplewood shop.
This dude in St. Charles is all honked off about the parking ticket Hazelwood police issued to his mother, posthumously. She died four months before the ticket last spring, but the cops kept issuing reminders, and finally an order to appear on the charge. Her good son got his 15 minutes of fame by making it onto TV on the very day of the court’s ‘invitation’ to lament the situation. The cops were inflexible, pointing out that someone else, perhaps, could have been driving the car after the mother’s passing. Um … perhaps.
The settlement amount is confidential in a sexual abuse lawsuit that has shaken the Archdiocese of St. Louis to its foundations. The settlement, announced the Monday morning (July 7) jury selection was to begin, precludes an airing of both parties’ dirty laundry… the possibility of the plaintiff’s attorneys digging into other allegations against the archdiocese and the defense unveiling some of the woman’s very personal issues. The suit held that the archdiocese transferred a priest with a known pattern of abuse to the plaintiff’s parish, and that the abuse started in the 1990s when she was a young girl and continued for four years. This same priest had pleaded guilty to molesting a boy in 1988; now defrocked, he faced other allegations in the 1970s and 1980s. The archdiocese claims the plaintiff suffers from a condition that includes a propensity for falsification and exaggeration, and that members of her own family and medical team dispute some of her claims. Perhaps it would have been a lose-lose for both sides had further details come out in court?
A pig was on the loose in Webster Groves recently, and was even part of the city’s storied Independence Day parade. But the sculpture of a large piggy bank was only a little loose, said Melody Evans, its creator … a bolt on one of its four shopping-cart-style casters needed tightening afterward. The life-size piggy bank was, and is, a visible effort by the city’s Arts Commission to drum up support for new and ongoing arts projects in Webster. For one thing, says Evans, the recently opened Sculpture Garden could use some lighting so visitors can stroll after dark. Donations would also go a long way toward the purchase of additional sculpture for the compact space. The mobile bank’s moniker is, wait for it… Art E. Pig. Get it? It took us longer than expected (well, OK, it took me longer). Art E., a veritable piglet at 100 pounds, lightweight by porcine standards, was fashioned from industrial-grade Styrofoam, wire mesh and mortar, then covered in a pink patchwork fabric. Delightfully multimt the pink fella will raise more than awareness—also some money, like coins in a fountain. We can just visualize the pink bumper stickers: ‘Oink if you love art!’edia though her porker may be, Evans points out that Art E. Pig is not representative of her oeuvre. But he’s all for the good of a very arts-centered community, and she hopes tha
A few weeks ago, the U. City School Board voted to send about 80 transfer students back to Normandy schools for the 2014-15 school year. Normandy, once unaccredited, is now controlled by the state, therefore ‘officially’ accredited. But now it seems that U. City school officials and parents are having a crisis of conscience, and a week ago Monday (July 7) a public meeting showed a community divided. Those pro-transfer were anxious that letting the kids stay would lower test scores overall in U. City; others said the transfer had hurt the bankrupt Normandy district by pulling away some of its best students. At any rate, the board’s transfer vote at its regular meeting had been a tie, with board member Tom Peters absent—and there was no time for public comment. Last week, the public got to speak its mind—for about two hours—at the special meeting Peters called to revisit the issue. Those who commented in favor of allowing the transfers to remain emphasized that returning them would be at cross purposes with U. City’s inclusive values. Further evaluation and another possible vote have been scheduled for 7 p.m. July 17.
By Bill Beggs Jr.