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Gerry Tritz

Stories by Gerry

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Islamophobia, war on terror assailed

The U.S. War on Terror has ruined the lives of many innocent people and led to a general decline in civil liberties, according to speakers at a Capital Area Interfaith Alliance event on Sunday.

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Helias graduates told to 'live for others'

160 students pick up diplomas on Sunday

At Helias Catholic High School’s graduation Mass on Sunday, the Rev. Nicholas Reid told the school’s 160 graduates that the point of their lives is to live for others.

School district seeks to recruit minority employees

Like the rest of the state, Jefferson City’s school district has struggled to recruit minority employees.

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Parts of Lincoln University graduation speech plagiarized

Several inspirational ideas, words in 20-minute speech lacked attribution

Lincoln University’s 2015 commencement speaker appears to have used the wit and wisdom of others — without using attribution.

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625 JCHS seniors offered hope, pride, love

Jefferson City High School graduated 625 seniors Sunday evening as leaders in the class honored those who helped them along the way, while acknowledging the bonds they have as classmates.

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10 years of building Christian leaders

Celebration marks 10th anniversary for Calvary Lutheran High School

Calvary Lutheran High School supporters celebrated the school’s first decade with prayer, song, memories and food Sunday afternoon.

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Lincoln University graduates 419 on Saturday

‘The tassel is worth the hassle’

Lincoln University’s 419 graduates were sent off on a soggy Saturday morning with a rousing speech from motivational speaker Patricia Russell-McCloud, who finished by emphasizing “never” 13 times in telling them to “never give up.”

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Plan for old hospital in works

Local developer working with St. Mary’s, other parties

A new plan to renovate the old St. Mary’s Health Center could be similar to a failed plan last year, with at least one key difference: With no state funding, Farmer Development Co. would step into the picture.

Audit reveals problems at Moreau Heights school

But public perception of the incidents often was distorted

An audit that primarily examined behavioral issues at Moreau Heights Elementary School found problems with leadership and inconsistent processes, as well as communications and chain-of-command issues that cause an appearance of “disjointedness” in the district.

Prenger Center contract approved

Low bid far exceeds planned expense

The Cole County Commission on Tuesday awarded a contract to Air Systems of Columbia to replace the heating/cooling system at the Prenger Family Center.

Facility expansion discussion continues at JCPS

As early as November, Jefferson City voters could see another funding appeal from the local school district to address what it describes as a critical need to expand facilities.

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‘Success is not an accident’

Jefferson City High School seniors begin graduation festivities

The Rev. Troy Easley told Jefferson City High School graduating seniors success in life isn’t an accident, it’s a choice, and the decisions they make in the next few years will shape their lives.

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From rough to ready for living

Andrew and Katherine Sartorius were wide-eyed upon entering the old Exchange Bank on downtown High Street Sunday, as part of the annual “Hidden Spaces, Secret Places” tour.

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Identified flying object

Mystery solved: roofing company’s drone caught on video

The mysterious flying object video recorded in Jefferson City earlier this week has garnered more than 50,000 views online — and a simple explanation that might disappoint UFO enthusiasts. It was a drone.

Local restaurateur helping to raise funds for Nepalese

The Himalaya Family Health Care Project is one organization seeking donations in the wake of Saturday’s earthquake in Nepal.

Mysterious object in sky intrigues viewers

An online video of a mysterious object in the Jefferson City sky Sunday evening has drawn thousands of online viewers, but no definitive answers.

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Fire, smoke damage downtown businesses

A downtown High Street fire Sunday afternoon caused damage to Hair Plaza and smoke damage to nearby businesses, but caused no injuries.

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Legion's national leader sets priorities here

The national commander of the American Legion spoke at the local American Legion on Sunday, saying that addressing brain injuries and post-traumatic stress syndrome among veterans is one of his key priorities.

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Citizen’s guide to lobbying

Individual advocacy still can be effective

You may be just one person — as opposed to a Fortune 500 company with a fleet of high-powered lobbyists — but don’t assume that your voice won’t be heard if you go to Missouri's Capitol.

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Rare double set of twin calves take extra care

Two pairs in poker? Somewhat common. Two pairs of calves, not so common.

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Shooting, robbery victim Johnny Evans Jr. put folks at ease from start

It’s said large families aren’t conducive to generosity — siblings are left to fight for a smaller piece of the pie.

CrimeStoppers helped name Evans' killers

It was a CrimeStoppers tip that led to the arrest of three people for the killing of Johnny Evans.

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Sunday morning fire destroys apartment building

All 9 tenants escape unharmed; fate of several pets unknown

A Sunday morning fire destroyed a house containing five rental units at 201 Cherry St., just across Capitol Avenue from the old Missouri State Penitentiary.

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Fifth annual Gillam family magic show promotes drug free youth

Gillam Family Illusions is preparing for its fifth annual show in Jefferson City to benefit the Council for Drug Free Youth, and the local family isn’t resting on its laurels.

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Police identify man killed Sunday afternoon

Jefferson City police have identified the man killed Sunday afternoon as 52-year-old Johnny Evans of Jefferson City.

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Youth celebrate their race, Black History Month

Quinn Chapel AME’s youth group unveiled its second annual Black History Museum on Sunday, featuring a dozen prominent African Americans from baseball great Jackie Robinson to author/poet Maya Angelou.

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The three at the top

3 JCHS seniors just .05 points apart in GPA; their valedictory message: plan, work hard, believe

If the race for valedictorian at Jefferson City High School was a sporting event, yawning fans might ask for their money back. And the seniors competing for the honor are just fine with that.

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Soybeans produce record yields, but less income

It’s confirmed: Missouri’s 2014 bumper soybean crop broke two yield records. But area farmers aren’t laughing all the way to the bank.

Petition seeks statewide vote on marijuana legalization

Between now and May 8, you might be asked to sign a petition seeking a statewide vote on legalizing marijuana in Missouri.

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Lights dimmed for ‘Mr. Christmas’

Every year, Jack Steppelman brightened Jefferson City with his home Christmas lights display, and every year he said it would be his last. On Monday — four days after Christmas — he died at the age of 85.

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Unity through song

About 170 people marched downtown on High Street Sunday afternoon with the simple idea of uniting the community through song.

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Home tour brings note of history

It’s probably apt that Villa Panorama Mansion was included in Sunday’s Heisinger Homes Tour. The home at 1310 Swifts Highway has a history of being open to the community in various ways.

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Military museum grows 7-fold, draws large crowd to opening

About 200 people attended the grand opening of the new Museum of Missouri Military History, which features three times the space as the old museum, interactive displays, virtual exhibits and a 1967 Cobra attack helicopter.

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Faith Voices marchers continue call for justice

About 100 people participated in Sunday’s Faith Voices of Jefferson City march and rally to show solidarity with the residents of Ferguson and to push for police reforms in black communities.

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Bans: Real challenge for libraries

Most efforts to ban books, DVDs come from parents

More Missouri River Regional Library patrons attempt to ban DVDs than books these days, the library’s teen services librarian told a group on Sunday.

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Friends a perfect fit for fundraising

Chicago-area friends Katie Arnold and Samantha Laufer recently quit their jobs and embarked on a yearlong journey of fundraising and fitness across the United States, stopping by Jefferson City on Sunday to lead a fundraiser.

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Liberty Road Baptists packs Christmas gift boxes for Third World kids

It started by packing a few shoe boxes with gifts — a simple way to give Christmas presents to Third World children while also spreading the message of Christianity. Now, tens of thousands of churches are involved in sending millions of boxes a year.

BizBeat: Harbor Freight coming to Jefferson City

Harbor Freight Tools has building plans on file with the city’s Planning and Protective Services Department to locate at the existing building at 2009 Missouri Blvd., across from Furniture Factory Outlet.

Initiative petition to legalize marijuana in Missouri filed

A Columbia-based group supporting marijuana legalization wants Missouri voters to change the Constitution to legalize, tax and regulate marijuana.

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Annual Harvest Festival in Taos brings friends together to help parish, school

Mary Jane Henke was enjoying a game of bingo with her husband, Fred, along with their friends and family at Sunday’s St. Francis Xavier Harvest Festival.

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JC man expanding funeral-related businesses

After working for local funeral homes since the age of 15, Tyler Woods came to a realization: Burying loved ones shouldn’t bury their families in debt.

More than just trick-or-treating this Halloween season

While some of Jefferson City’s bigger entertainment events on Halloween have moved to different dates or been canceled, one continues to grow and grow.

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Church-wide effort draws area residents to Westphalia

For Tuscumbia residents Ken and Norma Runge, Sunday’s St. Joseph Catholic Church Fall Picnic in Westphalia was an intimate gathering, despite attendance that more than tripled the size of the small town.

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Mid-Missouri band joins label, releases record, prepares for tour

Battling cancer and a new album, Shaman’s Harvest’s lead singer tells all

Local band Shaman’s Harvest has gone through years of struggling — balancing the band with families and part-time jobs. At times, they’ve questioned whether they should continue.

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Pastors lead Sunday discussion on racism and equality

Speaking at a “Dialogue on Racial Justice” on Sunday, the Revs. John Bennett and W.T. Edmonson talked about their experiences with racism and thoughts on equality, while Edmonson urged the community to “be engaged in the conversation.”

Storms disrupt Thursday Night Live; Sip n' Stroll still on

A “bleak” forecast has lead to the cancellation of today’s Thursday Night Live in downtown Jefferson City, event planner Jill Snodgrass said.

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Crews raze West McCarty Street building

The Jefferson City Housing Authority has bought and razed the building that was the last piece in the city’s land-acquisition puzzle to clear the way for a planned conference center just east of Capitol Plaza Hotel.

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New Jefferson City fire station draws big crowd

Hundreds of people streamed through Jefferson City’s newest fire station on Sunday afternoon, describing it as “spacious” and “impressive” as they snacked on hot dogs, chips, cake and punch.

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84-unit retirement complex progressing

Company expects to open by end of year

Primrose Retirement Communities, which operates 30 retirement communities in 15 states, hopes to open an 84-unit retirement complex on Old Lohman Road in western Cole County by the end of the year.

Jefferson City losing 70 jobs as DST closes office

Software developer DST Systems Inc. will close its Jefferson City offices on Dec. 31, leaving its 70 employees to transfer or find other jobs.