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Plans to tear down old Cole County jail and sheriff's house move forward April 16, 2014

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Kris Hilgedick

Stories by Kris

School weighs expanding ACT prep course

An ACT prep course held at Blair Oaks High School might be expanded to accommodate all interested students.

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The singing butcher

If you hear someone singing Elvis Presley tunes over the intercom at Schnucks, don’t get all shook up.

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Yarn 'bombing' aims to bring awareness of domestic violence

RACS volunteers cover downtown with yarn cozies

Jefferson City, you’ve been yarn bombed in colorful shades of string. On Saturday, volunteers from the Rape and Abuse Crisis Service didn’t let a little rain wash away their plan to wrap High Street in enough colorful art to draw attention to the problem of domestic violence.

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Cross replaces vandalized statue at Vanderfeltz memorial

New statue commissioned for Helias grotto

Helias Catholic High School supporters have temporarily placed a steel cross in the empty grotto where a statue of Jesus and the Virgin Mary stood until vandals wrecked it last April.

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Missouri sees little impact from federal shutdown

The Missouri National Guard has “delayed drill weekend activities until the (federal) government resumes normal operations,” Maj. Tammy Spicer said Tuesday.

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Robotics enliven classroom

Math class project offers moving taste

In the darkened classroom the students knelt on the floor in a small circle. In their midst, a scattering of small machines jittered to and fro.

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Jefferson City's Oktoberfest sees growth

Annual event set for Saturday

lthough the German word "Gemütlichkeit" has no exact translation into English — it means a mix of “coziness,” “friendliness” and “no need to hurry” — it’s exactly the kind of feeling organizers of the Old Munichburg Association’s Oktoberfest hope to foster from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday.

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Gala celebrates history of JC schools

Historian Gary Kremer touted the Jefferson City Public Schools “incredible record” Tuesday evening at the JCPS Foundation’s Annual Gala held at the Capital Plaza Hotel.

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Champions of cheering

Blair Oaks varsity cheerleaders take state title

As the Blair Oaks varsity squad waited for the final outcome of the state cheerleading championship, they didn’t believe they were going to win. They looked quite dejected as they sat in the stands at the Hearnes Center in Columbia after finishing their performance.

Gala to celebrate district’s 175 years

Several to be honored by JCPS Foundation

While it’s not certain Mary Virginia Polson Stapleton is the oldest Jefferson City High School alumni alive today, at 99 years old she’s definitely a member of an exclusive club. On Tuesday, she’ll be recognized at the Jefferson City Public School Foundation’s annual gala at Capitol Plaza Hotel.

Ashland struggles with teen's suicide

‘No one wanted to see any harm come to Jacob’

When an Ashland teen sent that threatening text message to a friend less than two weeks ago, was it just an awkward adolescent prank that went awry? Whatever it was, it set in motion a tragedy that has left many Mid-Missourians lamenting the violence that pervades society.

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JC Day Care plans upgrade facility

After four decades of steady use, the Jefferson City Day Care Center on Myrtle Drive is slated for $500,000 in needed renovations.

School board wants more diverse staff

Jefferson City Public School leaders are working to recruit more faculty members who reflect the makeup of the student body, but the district hasn’t yet seen a marked increase in the diversity of the workforce.

What will the JC school district need in 20 years?

A committee of community volunteers met for the first time en masse on Saturday to talk about the future of the Jefferson City Public Schools.

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Andy Atkinson: Coordinating 9 psychiatric facilities

As a hospital operations specialist for the Missouri Department of Mental Health, Andy Atkinson coordinates the work of the state’s nine comprehensive psychiatric service facilities, including Fulton State Hospital.

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Blair Oaks remembers

Dozens of students plant field of 2,976 U.S. flags to mark anniversary of Sept. 11 attacks

When people say “We remember” in conjunction with the events of Sept. 11, what do they mean?

Local tributes to remember 9/11 attacks

The Cole County Historical Society’s second Remembering 9/11 event will be today, starting at 5:30 p.m. in the society’s courtyard. Blair Oaks Middle School will hold a Pep and Patriot Assembly at 2 p.m. today.

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Ashland teen fatally shot himself

Police were trying to question him about text threat against school

Monday at approximately 10:30 p.m., Ashland Police received a report of a threat against Southern Boone County High School in Ashland.

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Welding program aims to aid displaced workers

Jefferson City area economic development leaders are hoping an expedited welding program might offer new opportunities for employees losing their jobs at enterprises like RR Donnelley and the Chamois Power Plant.

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Pair of Helias seniors lay groundwork for medical studies while in Costa Rica

The indigenous tribes of Costa Rica have much to contribute to western medicine, two Helias Catholic High School seniors learned this summer.

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Missouri, 6 area schools look for ways to better 'MSIP 5' scores

Missouri’s educational performance has historically matched its geography. We’re in the middle, according to the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. But, what will it take to be excellent?

Town hall topics

Three topics — Jefferson City’s animal shelter, its transit system and the possibility of a new conference center — dominated the discussion at the Fourth Ward community meeting on Saturday.

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Acting on his experiences

Alan Bailey is a man of contradictions.

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State exam gives ‘C’ to Jefferson City Public Schools

JC schools score 77 percent

According to the state of Missouri’s latest accountability measures for education, the Jefferson City School District would be a high “C” student. The district earned 108 out of 140 total points possible — 77.1 percent — on the Missouri School Improvement Program’s 2013 annual performance report.

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Food festival offers local taste

Taste of Local Missouri draws connoisseurs to Old Munichberg district

As owner of The Salad Garden, a small farm located in Ashland, Dan Kuebler was part of the entertainment at Taste of Local Missouri, a food festival held in Jefferson City's Old Munichberg district on Saturday night.

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Body recovered from Missouri River

A body was found in the Missouri River on Saturday morning. According to Jefferson City Police, officers were dispatched to an area north of Chestnut Street at 10:52 a.m. after receiving the report of a body found in the river.

JCHS, Helias, Blair Oaks top national ACT mark of 20.9

Jefferson City High School students haven’t seen their composite ACT scores budge much over the last half-decade, according to data released Wednesday.

State MAP scores below expectations

Students in the state of Missouri didn’t make as much academic progress last year as education leaders hoped they would, according to data gathered by the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.

JC to look at high school options again

Committee to develop long-range building plan for district

Jefferson City public school community leaders once again are examining how to solve the district’s long-term space needs, particularly at the high school. A master facility plan is needed, officials say, because the district is facing its fifth kindergarten class in a row that exceeds 700 students.

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New year at ‘new’ Jefferson City school

South students, staff get big kick out of first day of school

Most South Elementary students saw their newly refurbished school for the first time at an open house Wednesday evening. By Thursday morning — the first day of school for the Jefferson City Public Schools — the school’s 304 students were clearly enjoying their new classrooms.

Blair Oaks begins another year of classes with more students

Scrambling to find chairs, space

The Blair Oaks School District is continuing to see signs of growth in its student population, although the spike this year isn’t quite as intense as in the past.

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Showtime for JC schools

More than 950 Jefferson City Public School educators gathered at the Miller Performing Arts Center Monday morning to rev up their engines in anticipation of the 2013-14 school year.

JC School board bumps up debt levy

After four years of voluntarily rolling back the Jefferson City Public School’s debt service levy — saving taxpayers about $2.2 million — the Board of Education has raised it again.

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For Hartsburg, memories of river’s rampage imprinted

The Flood of 1993 transformed Hartsburg in a thousand different ways. People who had considered the town home for years were forced to move away. Many of the town’s houses were purchased by the federal government, leaving vacant lots to this day.

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Behind the scenes of making a movie

Saturday’s “Apparitional” events started with a panel discussion featuring the movie’s cast and crew inside of A-Hall on the Missouri State Penitentiary campus.

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Rolling out the red carpet

Hundreds of Mid-Missourians filled the Capital 8 Theater Saturday night in hopes of glimpsing the stars of “Apparitional” as they strolled down the red carpet.

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Changes at South School both cosmetic, functional

Students returning to Jefferson City's South Elementary this fall will hardly recognize their old school, since it is being gutted — and renovated — this summer from the front door steps to the back loading dock.

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Patrons excited to see ‘Apparitional’ opening

Audiences cheer for local actors

Jefferson City rolled out the red carpet for the cast and crew of the independent film “Apparitional” with a Hollywood-style premiere Saturday night. Hundreds of Mid-Missourians bought tickets to see the movie that was filmed at the Missouri State Penitentiary site in April.

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Kelly Cook: 20 years of breaking down barriers for disabled

Kelly Cook knew in high school she was interested in helping people with disabilities. Volunteering in a hospital setting led her to the idea that counseling might be a good way to start.

Blair Oaks board discusses wider drug testing

School may consolidate codes of conduct

Blair Oaks administrators are considering creating a new Student Activity Code of Conduct that would apply equally to all students who participate in extracurricular activities, Superintendent Jim Jones told the school board Tuesday.

Handbook revisions await Blair Oaks students

Girls' shoulder blades must be covered

Revisions to the Blair Oaks schools’ handbooks could affect students when they return for classes in August. Under the new policies, elementary students may be cited for “horseplay” and “demeaning conduct.” Middle school students may be cited for “horseplay” as well.

School board reviews progress on security

Two years ago the Jefferson City Public School district started spending significantly more on security initiatives.

JC school board to discuss safety measures

Measures being take to ensure students and buildings are safe and secure will be reviewed Monday by the Jefferson City Board of Education. The board also might discuss again the possibility of raising the district’s debt service levy.

Family of ‘Boulevard Bob’ surprised at support after his death

The Jefferson City area lost one of its more beloved, though slightly eccentric, individuals this past week when Eugene N. “Boulevard Bob” Long died Wednesday at his home. Long, 77, was a frequent sight as he scooted around on bikes, scooters and mopeds in his signature American flag helmet.

LU alumni coming home

National convention makes rare stop in JC

The Lincoln University Alumni Association is gearing up for its 73rd National Convention to be held July 25-28 in Jefferson City. Hundreds of alumni are expected to visit to reminisce about their alma mater and build support for the university.

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Memories take flight

As a U.S. Army Air Corps navigator, Lt. E. John Knapp flew 35 Flying Fortress missions during World War II, including a mission on D-Day that softened the beaches of Normandy ahead of British troops.

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Textbooks vs. tablets: Schools begin exploring transformation in learning tools

This summer, the Jefferson City Public Schools purchased almost 2,000 new iPads — five for every elementary classroom in the district and one per every certified faculty member. By the fall of 2014, the district hopes to be able to provide a device to every member of the freshman class.

Helias leadership transitioning

Bishop tabbed new president; 3 board members resign

The Catholic schools community has experienced significant leadership changes at both the board of directors and administrative levels this summer. In the wake of Stephen W. Jones’ appointment as Helias president, three of the members on the Helias Catholic High School Board of Directors — all lay people — submitted written letters of resignation.

New president seeks to build on Helias legacy

As the incoming president of Helias Catholic High School, the Rev. Stephen W. Jones views his role as the public face of the school, providing leadership and guidance to both the faculty and the student body. But he noted Helias has a storied history of success since its inception in 1956.

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Local boy faces a different kind of battle

T.J. Clime is afflicted with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, an inherited disorder that causes a person’s muscles to weaken quickly. The Climes have not given up hope of a cure. They are in regular contact with elected officials in Washington, D.C., to raise awareness about the disease. And they have been raising funds in support of the “Parent Project Muscular Dystrophy.”