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Stillwater residents upset with towing company’s plan to remove 97 trees

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Stillwater residents upset with towing company’s plan to remove 97 trees

When a Stillwater towing company announced earlier this year that it planned to cut down 181 trees at a proposed new location, residents of the Forest Hills neighborhood cried foul.

But Stillwater Towing officials announced Friday that they were changing their plans at 1749 Greeley St. in light of the neighbors’ concerns. Under the new proposal, 97 trees would be removed from the 5 acres of land, which is zoned business park/industrial, to build a new impound lot.

The tree removal is necessary to create a relatively flat surface for vehicle storage, according to the company’s variance application.

Under city code, Stillwater Towing can remove up to 35 percent of the 265 significant trees on the site — 93 trees in all — without replacing them, city planner Abbi Wittman said.

Stillwater Towing hopes to avoid removing the other four trees, but is prepared to replace them if necessary, Cameron Kelly, the company’s attorney, said. If they can keep those trees, they won’t have to obtain a variance to the city’s tree-replacement requirements.

“The goal is to take as few trees as possible,” Kelly said.

Gloria Hatchel was shocked when she heard that 181 of the trees on the other side of her backyard might be cut down. Hatchel, who lives on Rainbow Court, said the wooded area and nearby wetlands are a habitat for wildlife and birds, including foxes, coyotes, deer, turkeys and cardinals.

Although the company’s proposal has changed, she said Friday that she still objects.

“I don’t want them to even touch the property,” she said. “It’s a sanctuary back there with all these trees and the pond. It’s beautiful, and they want to build a parking lot in the middle of it.”

Stillwater Towing, she said, should look elsewhere.

But Stillwater Towing officials say the company, founded in 1975, must be in a central location in the city to handle its calls. The company employs 25 full-time and five part-time employees.

Owner Rick Ritzer, who took over the family business from his father in 1980, began looking to expand 15 years ago, Kelly said. “They were starting to outgrow their lot, but they wanted to stay in the area,” he said. “It’s centrally located, which is key for their business.”

The new location is the former site of Croix Oil and Olson Transport, Kelly said. “This lot has handled commercial trucks since 1940,” he said. “It’s a much safer location from a traffic perspective, proximity to stoplights, etc.”

Washington County owns a strip of land between Stillwater Towing’s property and the neighbors, Kelly said, and there is about 300 feet of land between the back of the proposed impound lot and the nearest house. The land “is pretty heavily wooded, and it’s down a large slope,” he said. “The impound lot is higher. It’s a long way away, and the houses are a lot lower.”

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Get ready for warmer days with MSHP boating safety classes

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Get ready for warmer days with MSHP boating safety classes

JEFFERSON CITY – Want to think Summer on a cold Winter day? Then sign up for a Missouri State Highway Patrol boating safety course to get ready for the boating season. Missouri law requires everyone born after January 1, 1984, who operates a vessel on Missouri lakes to have a certified boating safety education card. This includes personal watercraft operators.

You can sign up for a certified course at: https://www.mshp.dps.missouri.gov/WP02Web/app/safetyEdClasses

The courses are free, but registration is required and the boater ID card costs $15.

Don’t see classes in your troop location? Contact your nearest troop headquarters and ask to speak with a marine operations supervisor to check the possibility of additional classes.

Troop Headquarters Contact Information:
Troop A Lee’s Summit- (816) 622-0800
Troop B Macon- (660) 385-2132
Troop C Weldon Spring- (636) 300-2800
Troop D Springfield- (417) 895-6868
Troop E Popular Bluff- (573) 840-9500
Troop F Jefferson City- (573) 751-1000
Troop G Willow Springs- (417) 469-3121
Troop H St. Joseph- (816) 387-2345
Troop I Rolla- (573) 368-2345

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St. Louis woman charged in McDonald’s shooting over french fries

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McDonald’s employee shot in north St. Louis County Wednesday afternoon

ST. LOUIS COUNTY (KTVI)– Authorities have charged a woman who is accused of shooting a McDonald’s restaurant employee Wednesday after an argument over a discount on french fries escalated. The St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney’s office has charged Terika Clay, 30, of St. Louis, with first-degree assault and armed criminal action.

Normandy Police say Clay came through the drive-thru at the McDonald’s on the 1700 block of South Florissant Road in Cool Valley Wednesday afternoon when she argued with the victim, who was working the drive-thru window, about a discount on french fries. Court documents say Clay threatened to shoot the victim. When the employee left for a break, the confrontation continued, with a probable cause statement saying Clay hit the victim with the weapon before shooting her with it. The incident was captured on surveillance cameras, according to police.

The victim, police say, suffered a superficial wound and has been released from the hospital.

Clay is being held on $150,000 bond. A bond reduction hearing is scheduled for next week. If she’s released, a judge has ordered that she stay out of contact with the victim or other employees at the restaurant location and that she cannot be within 1,000 feet of the victim or the restaurant.

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Four Stylish Homes from LIV Sotheby’s International Realty that Just Hit the Market

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Four Stylish Homes from LIV Sotheby’s International Realty that Just Hit the Market

The selling season is officially here in Colorado. Buyers and sellers are hitting the ground running this month rather than waiting for the start of spring when the market typically begins heating up. This sooner-than-normal start to the season means there are exciting new listings entering the market every day that are ready to help the lucky buyers than claim them live the life they love in Colorado.

As Colorado’s leading luxury and lifestyle-focused real estate brokerage, LIV Sotheby’s International Realty (LIV SIR) represents some of the most spectacular homes along the Front Range and beyond. Here is a look at some of the most recent luxury listings to enter the market.

Craftsmanship Near the City
Start your next chapter in the classic Denver home located at 675 N. Humboldt St. Listed by LIV SIR broker, Debra Fagan, for $4,200,000, every inch of this home is exquisitely designed to create a luxury city living experience. Offering five bedrooms, seven bathrooms, and ample space for formal and casual entertaining, this Denver residence is a must-have for those looking for a home that can do it all. Originally built in 1908, the house was taken down to the studs before being completely redesigned using the finest finishes and materials. Box beam ceilings, elegant colonnades, custom built-in storage, interior corbels, hand-cuts stair railings, leaded glass windows, mahogany wood floors, Bradbury & Bradbury wall treatments, and more is what you’ll find in this richly designed residence.

Timeless Elegance in Castle Rock
Sophistication and style abound at 918 Dakota Dr., listed by LIV SIR broker, Audrey Will, for $2,950,000. This stunning, spacious home is situated on over an acre of land adjacent to natural, open space in Castle Rock. The moment one enters this five-bedroom, five-bathroom estate, they are greeted by soaring ceilings and an abundance of natural light pouring in from the many oversized windows throughout the home. An entertainer’s dream, this home features incredible spaces for hosting friends and family such as the two-story great room, lower-level recreation room, wet bar, and movie theater. Each room within the home is teeming with luxurious finishes that elevate this already incredible home.

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