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Kirkwood School Board discusses possible changes to public comment at meetings

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Kirkwood School Board discusses possible changes to public comment at meetings

KIRKWOOD, Mo. – The Kirkwood School Board recently discussed possible changes to its public comment procedures after multiple meetings with heated public comment sections.

During a Monday, November 15 work session, the school board reviewed its current public comment policy and procedures and compared them to other school districts for ideas. With the current policy, the public comment section is a total of 30 minutes at the beginning of board meetings where any nonschool board member can register to speak once for three minutes.

Upon board approval, the public comment section can be extended. Board members do not respond to comments made by individuals. A registered speaker cannot give their time to someone who has already spoken.

Additionally, comments can be submitted online and are read out loud at meetings.

Board member Angie Bernardi suggested that the board address any misinformation from speakers at the end of public comment, as done by other school districts.

“I know we sit and listen to some things that aren’t actually facts, so it would be nice to be able to restate that,” she said.

Superintendent David Ulrich said he is reluctant to do that during meetings, “as that could get into a back and forth, and appear to be adversarial.”

He suggested there could be an addendum to YouTube posts or have another section on the school district’s website explaining the comment said by the speaker and the board’s response.

Below are some other changes that were discussed by board members:

  • Having a speaker hierarchy that would allow students to speak first, followed by parents, residents and nonresidents.
  • Lowering a speaker’s time to two minutes in the event of a large turnout.
  • Reading an online comment per each in-person speaker or allow for a certain amount time where online comments are read.
  • Having two public comment sections: one at the beginning to address agenda items and one at the end to address nonagenda items.

At the end of the meeting, Board President Jean Marie Andrews thanked her fellow board members for sitting through “some really tough public comments.”

“I know it’s not easy to sit here and hear from people, and quite frankly to be scared. None of us signed up to be board members thinking that we would be afraid, and so I’m sorry and I hope our public understands that the position that we’re in because it’s not OK,” she said.

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Bill aims to help Missouri school districts with fees in mask lawsuits

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Bill aims to help Missouri school districts with fees in mask lawsuits

ST. LOUIS – As 36 school districts in Missouri are being sued by the attorney governor for having mask mandates, a Senate bill was recently filed that would help districts with expenses if they win.

More than 70 parents have joined Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt, claiming schools do not have the authority to enforce mask mandates. In a recent interview with Fox 2, Schmitt referred to the mandates as “Illegal masking of kids.”

In the St. Louis area, 20 school districts are being sued, including St. Louis Public Schools, Parkway, Francis Howell, Fort Zumalt, St. Charles, Clayton, Mehlville, Ladue, and more.

SB 992, sponsored by Sen. Doug Beck, D-St. Louis, states that if a school district wins the lawsuit, then Schmitt would have to pay for the school district’s attorney’s fees and other expenses they may incur.

“In a civil action brought by the Attorney General against a political subdivision, including school districts, the court shall award attorney’s fees, court costs, and all other expenses incurred by the political subdivision or school district in defense of any such action brought if the action is terminated in favor of the political subdivision or school district,” the bill summary states.

“Additionally, any award of attorney’s fees or other expenses incurred by the political subdivision or school district shall be paid by funds appropriated to the Attorney General by the General Assembly on an annual basis for the expenses relating to the operation, personal costs, and equipment of the Attorney General’s office, and shall not be paid from any other designated, statutory, or administrative fund.”

On Saturday, Beck posted to his Facebook page about his bill saying, “Are you tired of our Attorney General’s frivolous lawsuits against our schools, our teachers, and our kids? Shouldn’t the AG protect our citizens and not try to harm them? Senate Bill 992 will help our schools to fight back and keep our kids safe.”

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7 things only people growing up in St. Louis during the 1970s would know

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7 things only people growing up in St. Louis during the 1970s would know

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Mississippi River Fesitval

ST. LOUIS – It was the decade when the St. Louis Cardinals football team was good and the St. Louis Cardinals baseball team was not so good. Bellbottoms, tie-dye, and disco were the rage. Here are a few other things only people growing up in the 1970s would know about St. Louis.

Burger Chef

The burger chain was a popular spot for St. Louis area families and was eventually bought by Hardee’s in 1982. The chain had two beloved mascots, Burger Chef and his sidekick Jeff. The restaurant came with its own “Works Bar” where customers could add their own toppings to the hamburgers.

Burger Chef was also the first restaurant chain to serve a burger-fries-drink combo which was called the “Triple Threat” according to Business Insider. The restaurant is also said to have served the first kids’ meal which the business called a “Fun Meal”. The company even partnered with “Star Wars” to create kids’ meals. You can watch a commercial here.

Mississippi River Fesitval

The Who, Grateful Dead, and Janis Joplin all performed at Woodstock in 1969, but those big names also played at the Mississippi River Festival which was held for 12 years at SIUE.

The festival was held between 1969 and 1980 and according to a book about the event, more than 1 million visitors attended. A book on the festival says the festival began as a partnership promoting the performing arts in the region. SIUE invited the St. Louis Symphony to play there during the summer season.

SIUE built an outdoor concert venue to appeal to the widest possible audience, including a variety of musicians. You can even check out the setlist from different years here.

Superjams at Busch Stadium

Some of the hottest rock groups also filled Busch Memorial Stadium during the summer for Super jam. The crowd was usually 40,000 plus. The St. Louis Post Dispatch reports the July 9, 1977 concert had more than 45,000 fans. REO Speedwagon, from Champaign, Illinois performed according to the paper. Also on stage were Head East, Gypsy, and Judas Priest. Tickets were $10 for the concert.

Some of the hottest rock groups also filled Busch Memorial Stadium during the summer for Super jam. The crowd was usually 40,000 plus. The St. Louis Post Dispatch reports the July 9, 1977 concert had more than 45,000 fans. REO Speedwagon, from Champaign, Illinois performed according to the paper. Also on stage were Head East, Gypsy, and Judas Priest. Tickets were $10 for the concert.

According to setlist.com there were 5 Superjams held between 1976 and 1982.

Screamin’ Eagle Debut

If you grew up in the 70s you may remember the anticipation of waiting for The Screamin’ Eagle to open. You may also remember waiting in line for hours to ride the longest, fastest, and largest roller coaster in the world at that time. The coaster opened on April 10, 1976, for the nation’s bicentennial year. The theme park was called Six Flags over Mid America at the time.

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Cardinals Football red hot; Cardinals Baseball not

The Cardinals baseball team has won 11 World Series but the 1970s weren’t so kind to the team. The decade was sandwiched between World Series wins in 1964 and 1967 and then one in 1982. Redbirdrants.com explains how at one point the team had five future Hall of Famers but still underachieved. You can read their synopsis here.

However, the other team wearing the red birds was red hot. in 1974, the St. Louis Cardinals football team started the season 7-0. The team won the NFC East in ’74 and ’75. If you went to a game at Busch Memorial Stadium during this time you may have seen names like Dan Dierdorf, Roger Wehrli, Terry Metcalf, and Tom Banks.

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Union Station’s last train

You may remember being on one of the last trains to leave Union Station. Train service stopped on October 31, 1978, at 11:38 pm. It ended the first chapter of Union Station’s history which started September 1, 1894, when the first train arrived. The station saw some of its highest traffic during the World’s Fair of 1904 and World War II. Today, you can see historic touches of the past in Union Station’s Grand Hall. There are several restored details and an attached hotel. It has also grown to include the St. Louis Aquarium, The Wheel, and popular attractions like The Polar Express.

7 things only people growing up in St Louis during
Union Station

Roller Skating

Roller Skating at Skate-a-Rama: Roller skating was a popular pastime in the 1970s and the skating rink was a hangout for many. Some may remember Skate-a-Rama in Fairview Heights. Roller skating still exists today but its popularity has decreased. There are some skating halls that are still around from the 1970s like Skate King in East St. Louis. Apparently, St. Nicholas Catholic Church on N 18th Street has hosted skating in its church hall since the 60s and you can still rent space today.

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New logistics center will help abortion seekers get to Illinois

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New logistics center will help abortion seekers get to Illinois

With abortion access increasingly restricted across much of the South and Midwest, two Illinois clinics near St. Louis on Friday announced a new logistics center to help abortion seekers get to their clinics.

Activists on both sides are convinced the landmark Roe v. Wade ruling is imperiled, with nearly two dozen states likely to impose sweeping bans if the conservative-led court overturns it.

Several states have already imposed new restrictions on abortions that have led women from those states to seek the procedure in states such as Illinois.

The new logistics center in Fairview Heights, Illinois, is jointly operated by Planned Parenthood’s abortion clinic in that city and the independent Hope Clinic for Women in Granite City, Illinois.

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