Hadley Bjerke

Hadley is an English major at S&T. She works closely with Program Director  John Larson, and shares many KMST responsibilities including; Digitizing, Writing and Announcing for Here & Now.

A measure to raise the age for tobacco purchases in St. Louis County from 18 to 21 took a major step toward enactment last night with a near unanimous County Council vote to move the legislation toward final approval. The council signaled its ultimate approval of the legislation over objections from advocates for electronic nicotine delivery systems. If passed, St. Louis County would become the 191st jurisdiction in 12 states to ban the sale of tobacco and vaping products to young people under the age of 21.

The Lebanon Police Department will have more help to chase leads after the Lebanon City Council approved the purchase of a new police dog. On Monday the council voted to approve the purchase of a male German Shepherd from the Pennsylvania-based business Shallow Creek Kennels Inc. The Boone County Sheriff’s Department will train the dog. Lebanon Police Chief Randy Halstead said at the meeting that the police department will receive the dog on Sept. 25, and training will begin on Oct. 1.

Big Boots to Fill

Aug 26, 2016

Firefighters in Laclede County will take their boots to the streets between now and Labor Day, continuing their support in the fight against muscular dystrophy and ALS. The Lebanon Daily Record reports that this year, Laclede County’s firefighters will be among the 74 fire departments in the Ozarks supporting the Muscular Dystrophy Association by filling their boots with donations from their counties and communities. Fill the Boot began in 1954 in Boston and has grown into the greatest fundraiser in the history of the MDA.

A southern Kansas construction project has uncovered a tusk believed to have belonged to a mammoth. The Hutchinson News reports that the discovery was made last week while the Kingman County city of Cunningham was running a sewer line across a grain elevator's property.  Skyland Grain CEO David Cron says a Wichita State University associate professor would examine the seven- to eight-foot-long curved tusk Friday. Mammoths are the extinct, prehistoric cousin to the elephant and once roamed the region. Their bones also were discovered on a Scott County farm in recent years.

Lighting Up Lebanon

Aug 24, 2016

Solar power is coming to Lebanon in late December, and local government continues the process of bringing a solar farm to town. On Monday the Lebanon City Council approved the final plat for the solar farm that MCP-Lebanon intends to build on Sunrise Drive. The facility will be near both Detroit Tool Metal Products and Laclede Industries. According to the ordinance, the final plat vacates Indiana Avenue and Kansas Street, and it reconfigures Ohio Avenue and Sunrise Drive.

A Kansas mother who was caught in flash flooding says she is "blessed" after she and her 3-year-old son were rescued from a tree limb. The Wichita Eagle reports that 32-year-old Cassandra Phillips of Burlington pulled her toddler, Ethan, from his car seat Friday night after floodwaters rose in a rural area south of Rose Hill. She spent the next hour clinging to the tree limb with one leg while holding her son in the crook of an arm and talking to emergency dispatchers on her cellphone.  The National Guard soldier and mother of three says she didn't mean to drive her minivan into a flood.

Poker Run for a Cure

Aug 22, 2016

Motorcycle riders from around the area showed their support for a local cause over the weekend by participating in a poker run. The Fifth annual Laclede Electric Cooperative (LEC) Poker Run for Relay for Life was held Saturday morning with a registration deadline of 9:30 a.m. at L.E.C located at 1400 Route 66. For those that have never participated in a poker run, the rules are simple. A poker run is an event where participants on motorcycles visit five checkpoints, drawing a playing card at each one.

Wheels of Justice

Aug 19, 2016

An 8-year-old north St. Louis County boy has his bike back, and police have the suspect who robbed him in custody. Kaleb Gross of Dellwood was riding his bike with a friend Tuesday when someone asked to use it. When Kaleb said no, the suspect pulled out a gun. Police caught the juvenile suspect, and officers returned the bike yesterday, though it was spray-painted and damaged. Still, Kaleb's mother says she is grateful to police for their fast action to not only get the bike back, but restore her son's sense of security by arresting the suspect.

Police in suburban St. Louis are searching for a carjacking suspect after the victim successfully fought him off with a face full of coffee. KMOV-TV reports that a man was inside a convenience store in Fenton last week, paying for coffee at the counter, when he looked out the window and saw the suspect breaking into his car. The man ran outside, coffee in hand, and threw the hot java on the thief, then jumped through the window of his own vehicle to fight with the suspect.

The City of Rolla Fire and Rescue has been a big help to the Ozark Rivers Audubon chapter with fire management at the Audubon Trails Nature Center, and chapter members wanted to thank the firefighters. Two chapter officers - Louise Wilkinson and Mike Doyen - did so Tuesday afternoon by donating two drip torches to the fire department. Rolla Assistant Fire Chief Jeff Breen explained that drip torches are used during controlled burns at the Audubon Trails Nature Center. Firefighters use the drip torches to consume fuel ahead of the main fire, strengthening the control line.

Yesterday, about 20 toddlers heard a story, sang songs, and began work on a challenge to hear 1,000 books before kindergarten. The 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten campaign is an effort by the St. Louis County Library system to promote early literacy. Dozens of research studies have shown that reading to children as early as infancy helps build vocabulary and stronger foundations for reading and writing. Story times themselves, held weekly at most area libraries, are aimed at engaging children in books, art, music and play.

A video of K-9 officer, Arson, with an Alberta, Canada police department, showing off his skills to catch a wayward Pokemon has over four million views on one social media site and over 12,000 on another. Arson got his start right here in Pulaski County. The video, shot for fun, by Arson's handlers, shows Arson starting in his patrol vehicle. He spots Pikachu, one of the more well-known Pokemon, and races from the vehicle to take Pikachu down. The video ends with Pikachu apprehended and in the patrol car.

A Rolla firefighter who saved a woman from a home fire in St. James in January of this year received an award from the National Society of the Sons of the American Revolution Ozark Patriots Chapter. Firefighter Chase Butler received the Fire Safety Commendation Award and Medal, which honored Butler for his accomplishments and outstanding contributions to protect human life and property by preventing injuries or casualties due to fires. On Jan.

Rascals to Recruits

Aug 16, 2016

A camp in Illinois has replaced the average counselor with tough-talking police officers focused on transforming participants into their best selves over the course of a week at Principia college. The TeamIllinois Youth Police Camp is a military-style experience for almost 60 cadets. At the camp, “Yes ma’am,” and “yes sir,” are the only acceptable answers from these 12- to 17-year-olds during the week, teaching them to conform to high expectations. By three days in, most of the the teenagers who arrived with a bad attitude and unwillingness to try, found fresh mindsets.

Union Station now has nine restored passenger train cars and is renting the space out for excursions around the city. The renovated cars are part of an effort to bring history back to life at Union Station, said Cameron Schoeffel, sales and event manager for the station. The history of Union Station dates to 1894 when it opened as a major hub of transportation for the Midwest, although it closed in 1978. It reopened in 1985 after extensive renovation and is now undergoing remodeling again.

The Van with a Plan

Aug 15, 2016

Just before noon this past Friday, a mobile food van arrived to a side street in Wellston with free sack meals containing sandwiches, fruit, carrots and milk for youth 18 and under. The van served about 35 meals to children before moving on to eight more neighborhoods in north St. Louis. Another van made seven stops in south St. Louis. The two vans were part of Operation Food Search’s new initiative to provide free meals to children in the city and county who suffer from food insecurity.

With summer temperatures climbing higher the Salvation Army is offering “cool rooms” to citizens in Kansas City, Missouri. Martha Monarrez, who operates the front desk, says the majority of the visitors are homeless and come in to sleep. Recently, a woman with a flushed face entered pushing a man in a wheelchair holding a panhandler’s sign. The woman, 21-year-old Samantha Messer who is also homeless, guided the man to the center after seeing the man kicked out of a restaurant and struggling to make his way up the street.

In a mere five minutes with a student at the start of the academic year, a recent study indicates teachers can set the course for that student’s behavior for the rest of the year. A team of University of Missouri researchers found that students who were reprimanded during brief interactions generally had more behavioral problems at the end of the year. Conversely, students who received positive feedback tended to fare better. The researchers said teachers often are not aware of the nuances of their interactions with students and how those brief exchanges affect them.

34 sixth-graders are considering the role they could play in changing the course of the Ferguson-Florissant School District. They are among the inaugural class of sixth-graders who will receive full-time gifted instruction this year at the district’s Probe Center. Within a few years, the expanding class size will become a middle school including eighth grade. Classes at this school will emphasize science, technology, engineering, art and math education. District officials are working on plans to ensure that high school will also be tailored to meet their needs and ambitions.

A Massachusetts police officer has paid for the gasoline of a driver who mistakenly pumped $20 worth of fuel into his car with only $1.79 in his pocket. Paul Zabawa tells The Daily Hampshire Gazette he was in desperate need of fuel Monday when he pulled into a Northampton gas station with less than $2 on him. He gave the money to the attendant but accidentally pumped $20 worth of gas. The attendant said he would have to call police. Coincidentally, Officer Michael Szawlowski pulled into the station at that time to buy water before a detail. The officer paid for the gas.

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