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Ben Yarnell

Stories by Ben

Jefferson City panel explores new storm sirens

At Thursday morning’s meeting of the Jefferson City Public Safety Committee, item No. 1 on the agenda was an issue that has been on the minds of many Missourians for almost two weeks — tornado sirens.

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Jefferson City Council to discuss rising river levels

Concerns about the release of historic amounts of water from upstream dams on the Missouri River will surface at the Jefferson City Council’s meeting Monday.

Paving the way to going green

After more than nine months of planning, meeting and organizing, Jefferson City residents had the opportunity Thursday afternoon to see the fruits of their labors with the Greening America’s Capitals project.

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Festival district debuts in downtown Jefferson City

Participants in Jefferson City’s Thursday Night Live event will have something new to which they can raise a glass tonight — the fact they have a glass.

A lasting impression for interns

For many college students, summer is the time to focus on gaining valuable experience — and if they are lucky, a little money — at an internship.

Documents can be saved multiple ways to prepare for disaster

Expert: Cataloging belongings also important in emergency preparations

No one ever thinks a natural disaster is going to happen to them — but they should. While the statistics for a major natural disaster like last week’s tornado in Joplin are low, there are still steps that everyone can take to make recovering from such a tragedy a little easier.

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Millbottom action team considers development

There is a phrase that the Greek philosopher Plato kept at the center of his teachings: “Know thyself.”

City staff’s duties shift after firing

The city cannot slow down for anything — even a firing.

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Rasmussen fired as city administrator

The City Council has terminated City Administrator Steve Rasmussen’s contract, effective immediately, Jefferson City officials announced Monday.

Jefferson City Parks-Rec panel looks at ‘bare bones’ plan

It’s time to think small.

Jefferson City Council votes to shift funds in proposed tax projects

Sometimes in government, it does not take much to see significant funding changes occur in no time at all.

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Gaydos, Doyle, Aur address Helias grads

Class lauded for great ambition

For the faculty and staff of Helias Catholic High School, Sunday’s graduation ceremony at St. Joseph’s Cathedral may have been a familiar sight, but for the 192 members of the Class of 2011, it was a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

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A model of devotion returns as chancellor of the Jefferson City diocese

In some ways, life has come full circle for Sister Kathleen Wegman, SSND. More than 50 years after the Jefferson City native first stepped through the doors of St. Joseph Cathedral School, she is back, working just a stone’s throw away at the chancery for the Diocese of Jefferson City as its chancellor.

Tour to spotlight unique downtown loft areas

‘Hidden Spaces, Secret Places’

Sam Bushman wants to show off some of Jefferson City’s hidden treasures.

Helias, JC graduating Sunday

For the first time in recent memory — and maybe the first time in history — Jefferson City High School and Helias Catholic High School are holding graduation ceremonies on the same day.

Interim community development director retiring

Charlie Lansford is ready to rest for a little while.

Surtax dispute still at a stalemate

In the latest installment of the Cole County surtax ordeal, the Blair Oaks R-2 School District has offered to pay just more than half of what county officials have determined it owes.

CAMPO board discusses transportation funding challenges

As the Missouri Department of Transportation continues to discuss plans for significant cuts to both funds and employees, the Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization (CAMPO) is working to determine how to use the available funds from MoDOT.

Jefferson City sales tax on August ballot

The Jefferson City Council has done everything it can; now it will be up to the voters.

Mall’s success called vital to Jefferson City's retail growth

Retail action team: Change in mindset needed

The way Eric Schulte sees it, his action team serves as a barometer. Schulte serves as one of the co-chairs for the retail attraction action team, one of nine under the Jefferson City Area Chamber of Commerce’s economic development plan called “Transformation.”

Jefferson City Council, staff get to work at retreat

Panel discusses priorities for year

Almost one month after Jefferson City’s newly elected mayor and council members were sworn in, the entire council and select members of city staff spent the better part of Saturday determining what the priorities will be for both the coming year and beyond during its yearly retreat.

Jefferson City Council to put half-cent sales tax on August ballot

One of the items that will be introduced to the Jefferson City Council on Monday night will be a measure that will place the renewal of the city half-cent sales tax on the August ballot.

Jefferson City official: Sales tax receipts improving

Jefferson City sales tax figures are improving, but questions still remain about a large deficit from earlier in the year.

Old Town action team turns attention to trolley, convention center

Just because its a “catch-all” does not mean the Old Town action team isn’t working on important issues.

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Cole County Commission urged to upgrade emergency system, including sirens

With Mid-Missouri in the middle of tornado season, the Cole County Commission is looking into the idea of installing new outdoor warning systems.

Action team considers: What is an entertainment district?

Chamber action team’s ideas include dining, drinks, shopping destinations

Entertainment means different things to different people.

Team offers new ideas for Old Town

Action team looks to encourage owner-occupied housing

One of the ideas the Old Town action team is “picking up” is what is known as single-family housing rehabilitation.

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MoDOT: 229 jobs to be cut at Central Office

Mid-Missouri is still working to figure out what it will mean for the area after the Missouri Department of Transportation announced Wednesday it would cut 1,200 jobs statewide, close 135 facilities and sell off $44 million in equipment in the next five years.

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MoDOT outlines proposed workforce cuts

Many would be in Jefferson City

The Missouri Department of Transportation on Wednesday proposed closing three of its district offices, selling off almost $44 million in equipment and eliminating almost 20 percent of its workforce, a significant portion of which would come from Jefferson City.

MoDOT plans to close three offices, cut 1,200 positions

The Missouri Department of Transportation announced today its plan to close three district offices, as well as cut 1,200 positions by December 2012.

Group seeks to improve ties between LU, community

Will it take a village?

Lincoln University has been known as many things since it was founded in 1866. But in 2011, the community wants it to be more.

Council considers creating cemetery board

The city-owned cemeteries in Jefferson City will soon be receiving more attention, courtesy of the City Council.

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Team’s business growth zone centers around Capitol Avenue

‘One of the most beautiful streets in Jefferson City’

Of all the area their action team is considering, Bill Plank and his co-chair, Joe Scheppers, agree that Capitol Avenue is one of the highest priorities. Scheppers explained that, in his estimation, that particular stretch plays a unique role for Jefferson City.

Team works to create ‘Angel Network’

Program would help secure funds for local entrepreneurs

Not too many people are going to turn down free money. And on its surface, that is what the “Angel Network” the Jefferson City Area Chamber of Commerce’s “Transformation” action team is investigating might look like to some people.

Snapshot: Matt Morasch, deputy director of public works services

Matt Morasch wants to do it all. Unfortunately, that isn’t quite as easy as he would like it to be. As the Jefferson City deputy director of public works services, Morasch is responsible for the engineering, wastewater, street and parking departments.

Committee considers using metal detector for council meetings

There may soon be a new fixture at Jefferson City Council meetings — a metal detector.

Council to take up sign code Monday

The firsts are out of the way for the new Jefferson City Council and mayor, and at Monday night’s meeting, it will be time to get down to business.

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Play offers laughs for adult audiences

Rob Crouse knows theater fans might not be familiar with the name of the Capital City Players’ new show, “Sexual Perversity in Chicago.” That’s why he is glad they can have the 1986 film “About Last Night” with which they can identify.

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Group looks at new uses for St. Mary's hospital campus

Of all of the projects that the Jefferson City Area Chamber of Commerce is studying for its economic strategic plan, “Transformation,” Ken Hussey thinks one stands above the rest in terms of potential — the redevelopment of St. Mary’s Health Center.

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Jefferson City company awarded low-interest, state loan

A Jefferson City business has an extra $1.5 million with which to work, all thanks to state Treasurer Clint Zweifel.

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Local company awarded low-interest, state loan

A Jefferson City business has an extra $1.5 million with which to work, all thanks to state Treasurer Clint Zweifel.

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Downtown action team studying parking, lofts, commercial incentives

It’s safe to say there are few areas in Jefferson City that have received attention from more groups than downtown.

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Questions, frustrations arise with local annexation issues

When it comes to the annexation issues raised at a Jefferson City Council work session earlier this month, there are a lot of things being said by a lot of different people. But one thing in the conversation is consistent with the messages of all parties involved — no one is happy with the other side.

Officials face several issues after taking office

The dust has settled, Jefferson City’s elected officials have all been sworn in, and now it is time to get down to the business of running the city. But the question that remains is where to start.

Holts Summit, St. Martins seek upgrades near schools

Local municipalities in the Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization (CAMPO) are on the hunt for public funds and may find them in what is becoming a common source.

Council approves $225K commitment for Lafayette Street interchange

Jefferson City’s Lafayette Street interchange could be coming sooner than expected.

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Incoming Jefferson City officials take oath of office

It was out with the old and in with the new Monday night at the Jefferson City Council meetings.

Black community starts dialogue on recent violence

NAACP leader: Lincoln University not to blame

Kemoh Edwards is concerned about what he sees in the headlines these days. More importantly, he wants to do something about it.

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Chamber’s community development director excited about big-impact projects

As Mark Mehmert took a seat for an interview in downtown Jefferson City’s Coffee Zone, he took a moment to catch his breath. That’s a rare treat for the director of community development for the Jefferson City Area Chamber of Commerce.

Jefferson City Council to have two sessions

New mayor, officials to be sworn in Monday

At Friday afternoon’s brown bag meeting of the Jefferson City Council, the city had its first and only chance to see both John Landwehr and Eric Struemph acting as mayor at the same time as both prepared for the pair of city council meetings that will take place Monday night at City Hall.