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Brittany Ruess

Stories by Brittany

New Bloomfield-based company, Gastineau Log Homes, increases international presence

Gastineau Log Homes, located on Old Highway 54 in New Bloomfield, will send 25 of its home kits to Mongolia’s capitol, Ulaanbaatar, and will double that number by next year, said Lynn Gastineau, the company’s president.

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Jim Gill stresses the importance of play through music, visit to Fulton

Children's artist embraced the simplicity of children learning with music at the Callaway County Library.

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Down and derby

Fulton-based Cub, Boy Scouts compete in pinewood derby

Members of Cub Scout Pack 50 intently watched as their cars whiz down the track at the pack’s pinewood derby race yesterday.

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Jeanie Riddle's campaign committee breaks $200K mark

State office candidates in the Callaway County area file finance reports

Campaign finance quarterly reports were due yesterday for the three local candidates looking to earn state spots this year.

Holts Summit finalizes plans for sewage treatment, annexation

The Holts Summit Board of Alderman took final action on two priority issues at its meeting Monday night.

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Loved ones of both Paul and Sandra Plunkett react to guilty verdict

Family and friends of Sandra Plunkett were emotional in court Friday after the guilty verdict was read. Some cried and shared tissues, knowing her sentence for the murder of her husband, Paul Plunkett, was life in prison without parole.

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Jury returns verdict in Holts Summit murder trial

Sandra Plunkett found guilty of murder in the death of her husband, former Jefferson City police officer Paul Plunkett

After three hours of deliberation, the jury found Sandra Plunkett guilty of murder in the first degree Friday afternoon. They also delivered a guilty verdict on charges of armed criminal action.

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Jury hears testimony of Sandra Plunkett, closing statements begin today

In day three of the trial, Plunkett made accusations that her husband was abusive.

The jury will hear closing statements today and will most likely deliberate as well in the murder case against Plunkett.

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Defense rests in Sandra Plunkett trial, closing arguments begin tomorrow

Callaway County Court resumes Friday in murder case against Holts Summit woman

Defense called Sandra Plunkett, the 40-year-old Holts Summit woman accused of killing her husband, today in court. She told her side of the story from the day of her husband's death and what led up to it.

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Sandra Plunkett trial continues for third day

Holts Summit woman accused of murdering husband, former Jefferson City police officer

The state plans to call its last witness today, the third day of the murder trial against Sandra Plunkett — a Holts Summit woman accused of murdering her husband in 2011.

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Plunkett interview tapes focus of 1st day of trial

Holts Summit woman accused of murdering husband, claims self defense

The ongoing trial of Sandra Plunkett, the 40-year-old Holts Summit woman being charged with first-degree for the murder of her husband, continues today after jurors heard opening statements, testimonies and interview tapes Tuesday.

Plunkett murder trial begins in Callaway: jurors hear testimony from witnesses

Holts Summit woman accused of murdering her husband, a former Jefferson City police officer

The trial of Sandra Plunkett started this morning with opening statements from Callaway County Prosectuing Attorney Chris Wilson and Justin Carver, Plunkett’s public defender.

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‘Super Sam,’ mother travel to Florida for specialized cancer therapy

Santhuff family shares experience with ‘kicking cancer’s butt’

Matt and Cassie Santhuff thank God for seed ticks. The tiny bugs helped lead them to their son’s cancer.

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2013: A Year in Photos

The Fulton Sun selected its top photos that illustrated a year in Callaway County.

Jury selection begins today for Plunkett trial

Sandra Plunkett, the 40-year-old Holts Summit woman being charged with her husband’s murder, was in court Thursday for parties to take care of what Callaway County prosecuting attorney Chris Wilson called, “housekeeping issues.”

Two men arrested on charges of stealing metal for scrap

Two Callaway County men are facing charges of stealing after police alledge they took scrap metal for money.

Callaway County Health Department continues to seek funding, grants for faith-based suicide prevention group

The Callaway County Health Department was not selected for a grant to establish a new faith-based suicide prevention group for the area, but Pam Phelps, director of the Callaway County Medical Reserve Corps, isn't giving up.

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Millersburg family starts to rebuild life, home after loss of father and boyfriend, Robert Walker, in fire

The Walker Family hopes to be moved into a new home by New Year’s Eve. With community support, the family enjoyed Christmas, but is still seeking help with funeral costs.

New Bloomfield's mayor, Mike Lowe, sets sights on reelection, city initiatives for 2014

Mayor of New Bloomfield Mike Lowe said attracting business is key for the new year.

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Chili and hot dog supper to raise money, support for local cancer patient ‘Super Sam’

A week from today a local boy and his mother will leave Fulton for Florida in hopes that a specialized radiation treatment will attack what’s remaining of the boy’s cancer. The medical bills and travel expenses are adding up and two churches in Fulton are pitching in to help the Santhuff family out.

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Temperature spike begins thaw in Fulton

Last week's winter storm covered the area with ice that covered the area. That ice started melting yesterday with temperatures in the 40s. More on this week's weather here.

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Christmas — and holidays — around the world

Westminster College international students gather for holiday brunch while domestic students are away for winter break

Westminster College students from Costa Rica, Namibia, Lebanon, Thailand among other counties gathered on Christmas Day for brunch and a chance to be together.

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Fulton woman releases Christmas-themed children’s book

Growing up, Bonnie Cruickshank loved to write. She wrote short stories and novels frequently. Now, she is the author of the children's book, "A Soddy Christmas: A Story of the Prairie."

Prefiled bill could clarify statute of limitations for mental health professionals

Of the long list of prefiled bills for the Missouri 2013 legislative session, one has potential to effect mental health professionals in the area.

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PHOTOS: Fulton Middle School students showcase creativity with Christmas movie-themed wagons

The movies "Elf," "A Christmas Story," "A Charlie Brown Christmas," and many other holiday favorites were on display as Fulton Middle School students represented the films in its annual Christmas wagon parade.

New Bloomfield school board hears concern on future of preschool funding

David Tramel, superintendent, said at the New Bloomfield Board of Education meeting on Thursday that state funding is not what it used to be, and financial support for the preschool program to make up for the lack thereof from the state may need to be internal.

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Cool to be cold blooded

Bush Elementary students learn about scaly creatures native to Missouri

Bush Elementary students learn about scaly creatures native to Missouri

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Here we come a-caroling

Two Fulton churches gathered parishioners to carol at assisted living facilities to spread Christmas cheer.

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Cigarette causes garage fire in Fulton

Fulton emergency workers quickly put out a garage fire after the a cigarette ignited gasoline, Fulton Assistant Fire Chief Kevin Coffelt said.

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A giving heart

Holts Summit resident holds annual Christmas giveaway

Connie Cashion of Holts Summit and her volunteers packed the John C. Harris Community Center in Fulton on Saturday with winter clothes, kitchen supplies, toys and much more — all for the taking.

Callaway County man dies from home fire near Millersburg

A Callaway County man is dead after a home fire late Thursday night. Robert Walker, 37, died from smoke inhiliation while trying to escape his residence at 2952 Ben Oaks Drive near Millersburg, according to Lt. Clay Chism, investigator with the Callaway County Sheriff’s Office.

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Digging the snow

About two inches of snow blanketed the Fulton area Friday night and Saturday morning

Check out photos from the winter storm here.

Callaway County man dies from home fire near Millersburg

A Callaway County man is dead after a home fire late Thursday night.

Attendance remains high priority for South Callaway

At a school board meeting on Wednesday, South Callaway principals reported their continuing efforts to increase attendance.

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South Callaway math teacher up for national award

Shelly Sconce reflects on teaching career, supporting students

Shelly Sconce’s second year of teaching at South Callaway High School is when she experienced a defining moment in her teaching career. She reached a low point in her personal life when a student approached her and gave her a hug during calculus class. “I remember (the student) coming up and putting arms around me and saying, ‘I just want to let you know I love you,’” Sconce said.

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AUDIO: Mid Missouri Christian Choir celebrates the season with song

The Mid Missouri Christian Choir performed Christmas carols at the First Baptist Church in Fulton on Tuesday. Click to listen to the choir sing.

Houghton to run for 3rd term as District 43 representative

Rep. Jay Houghton, R-Martinsburg, plans to run for Missouri House of Representative’s 43rd district for the third time.

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Holts Summit man campaigns for 49th district, replace Riddle

As Rep. Jeanie Riddle, R-Mokane, looks to represent Missouri’s 10th district in the state senate, Holts Summit resident Travis Fitzwater has started his campaign to replace Riddle in the Missouri House of Representatives.

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Winter Wonderland

The annual Fulton Jaycees Christmas parade rings in the season.

Fulton soup kitchen president reacts to possible cuts to SNAP program

With uncertainty for the fate of the national Farm Bill, a Missouri agency has expressed concerns about the bill’s outcome for the Supplemental Nutritional Assisstance Program (SNAP), commonly known as food stamps.

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Exotic animals amaze Bartley Elementary students, teachers

Bartley Elementary welcomed new friends to school on Thursday — Larry, the legless lizard; Julius Squeezer, the carpet python; and Tasha, a baby wolf — just to name a few.

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Missouri company begins install of new, safer playground equipment at Veterans Park

Construction of new playground equipment started yesterday at Veterans Park. The city of Fulton selected Miracle Recreation Equipment Company, based in southwest Missouri, to build the new playground. Matt Nash, one of the playground constructors, said the playground should be completed Monday.

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'The Dead Guy' premieres at William Woods University

Eldon Phelps is set to die, and America chooses how. Peacefully in his sleep. Chainsaw accident. Hit by a bus. Poison.

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Snow storm to leave behind below freezing temperatures

Callaway County residents can plan for a one-inch accumulation of “light, dusty” snow between Thursday and Friday, according to National Weather Service meteorologist Kelsey Angle.

Callaway County to see new suicide prevention group

Pam Phelps, director of the Callaway County Medical Reserve Corps, will learn in December whether the county has received a grant from the National Association of County and City Health Officials to help fund a new suicide prevention group. Regardless whether she receives the grant, Phelps said she’s determined the start the group that will ensure a community “safety net” through developed programs and support services.

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Fulton soup kitchen sees cornucopia of volunteers

Before leaving for the Fulton Soup Kitchen on Saturday, Susan Nolte of Fulton said she considered staying in and enjoying her Saturday at home. Nolte said she’s glad she didn’t stay home as she volunteered at the soup kitchen’s Thanksgiving, serving meals to people in the community.

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Holts Summit unveils new city hall

The city of Holts Summit unveiled its new 5,000-square-foot city hall to the public on Tuesday with a ribbon cutting and open reception. With the new space for city employees, the Holts Summit Police Department remains in the former city hall.

Callaway County veterinarian, Dr. Robert Barnett, denied motions for bond reduction

Dr. Robert Barnett was in Callaway County court yesterday for two DWI arrests — one in July and the other in October — for a preliminary hearing and arraignment, respectively.

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Survivors of suicide share stories, work for closure

Eight people gathered at the Callaway County Health Department to honor loved ones affected by suicide and to gain greater knowledge of the subject on Saturday for the International Survivors of Suicide Day. The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) sponsored the event, which allowed those who have lost someone from suicide, also referred to as suicide survivors, to network, share experiences and seek advice.

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Jefferson City man pursues artistic passion through Fulton VFW ceiling tiles

The ceiling tiles in the Fulton VFW are more than that — they are pieces of art work. The tiles illustrate the personality of the veteran who has died or had a tile dedicated to.