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Gerry Tritz

Stories by Gerry

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85-year-old trying to solve lifelong puzzle

Off and on for nearly seven decades, a Jefferson City woman has been puzzled after receiving a nearly 600-year-old gift accompanied by a cryptic note. Now 85, Sue Overland is making one more attempt at solving a mystery from far in her past.

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99 and looking ahead

At his 99th birthday celebration at Heisinger Bluffs on Sunday, E. John Knapp was planning his future.

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Confederate flag rally planned for Saturday

Event set to begin in Fulton, end in Jefferson City

A Fulton man who recently formed the Missouri Confederate American Flag Supporters is organizing a Fulton-to-Jefferson City rally for the Confederate flag on Saturday.

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Feeling July chill

Ice arena opens season with a frosty day of fun

Jefferson City’s parks department held a skating/ice cream party for its supporters on Sunday, in advance of today’s reopening of the Washington Park Ice Arena for the season.

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JC fundraiser a first for Jack in the Box chain

Pre-opening event benefits Big Brothers Big Sisters

For a fundraiser to benefit Big Brothers Big Sisters (BBBS), a group of local VIPs were selected to sample Jack in the Box menu items one day before the restaurant officially opened.

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Mid-Missouri native spots F-16 pilot after NC collision

A Taos, Mo., native who now serves in the U.S. Coast Guard was among those who rescued the pilot of an F-16 fighter jet involved in a mid-air crash on Tuesday.

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Local woman bitten by copperhead

Doris Smith remains hospitalized after snake strikes on July 4

A local woman has been hospitalized since the Fourth of July after she reached down to pick up what she thought was a stick and was struck by a copperhead.

Salute success

Few problems, good weather and revenues … and a marriage proposal

Jefferson City once again played host to some 50,000 people celebrating the country’s independence, and officials said the weather played a part in making the festival financially successful and without any major problems.

Holts Summit mayor tenders resignation

Holts Summit Mayor Lucas Fitzpatrick has resigned, effective Tuesday, citing new job duties that have created a strain on his time.

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Central United’s new pastor wants church more involved in neighborhood

Central United Church of Christ’s started as a neighborhood church for German immigrants, and its new pastor wants to reconnect the church to the neighborhood.

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Quinn Chapel feels love of area residents

More than two dozen area residents showed up before Quinn Chapel AME’s Sunday morning church service to show their support for the church in the wake of nine killings at an AME church in Charleston, S.C.

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Jessica Thiele — Finding rewards in a community of animals

For Jessica Thiele, the new veterinarian at Jefferson City”s Animal Shelter, making the move from a veterinary hospital is a big move, but a welcome one.

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Church program feeds youngsters during summer break

Kids streamed into Second Christian Church in Jefferson City over the lunch hour on Tuesday, some with parents and some by themselves, to take the church up on its offer for a sack lunch.

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Getting dirty for some good clean fun

Mud run offers family fun, funds for CLHS boosters

At Sunday’s Family Fun Mud Run, the lead of the race featured a neck-and-neck battle for first place between the overall male winner — a college freshman — and the overall female winner — a soon-to-be seventh-grader.

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United Way sets goal, leadership team

The United Way of Central Missouri announced Barb Prasad and Matt Tollerton as co-chairs for its upcoming fundraising campaign, which has a $1.8 million goal.

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Vision for outdoor garden railroad keeps chugging along

Train show set for Capital Mall this weekend

Two years ago, Randy Hackman and his father, Kenneth, set out to create the second-largest outdoor model railroad that’s open to the public.

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New eye on things

Helias installing new security system

When Helias Catholic High School students return this fall, the school will be equipped with a new Internet-based security camera system.

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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.

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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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.

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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.