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Brittany Ruess

Stories by Brittany

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General municipal election attracts average voter turnout in Callaway County

Voter turnout for Tuesday’s general municipal election was nearly what Callaway County Clerk Denise Hubbard had expected. Leading up to election day, Hubbard said she thought Callaway County would see turnout between 9-10 percent, but the figure was short at 8.75 percent.

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Fulton High School students create robot, future opportunities

Last year, Hayden Long, who was a Fulton High School freshman, got a glimpse of the robot designed and built by the school’s after school robotics program. The program was in its first year, and Long said it was something he knew he eventually wanted to be a part of. The robot looked complicated, he said, but that was OK with him. Long was determined to learn how it worked.

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Callaway County use tax measure fails for a second time by close margin

Disappointed. That’s the word Callaway County Western District Commissioner Doc Kritzer used to describe his feelings of the use tax measure failure.

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School board, council incumbents retain seats

Fulton Public Schools Board of Education incumbents Kristi Donohue and Dennis Depping retained their seats and will serve three more years on the board. With no challengers, Fulton Mayor LeRoy Benton and councilmen keep positions.

Easter egg-stravaganza

Central Bank hosts Easter egg hunt

An Easter egg hunt in the grassy area near Moser's Grocery in Fulton only last several minutes after event organizers yelled, "Go!" and signaled for dozens of children to fill their baskets.

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Ms. Connie fulfills dream of free store

For six years, Connie Cashion has driven countless miles around Callaway County, delivering anything and everything to those in need. She climbed through packed storage units and hauled furniture out of her truck in the hundred-degree summer heat and freezing temperatures in the winter. Rain or shine, nothing has stopped Cashion bringing people the items they need: blankets to stay warm at night, kitchen supplies for cooking and furniture to fill out a home.

Callaway County Commission pushes for use tax on Tuesday ballot

Callaway County voters will see a familiar ballot measure when they hit the polls Tuesday.

Fulton Board of Education Policy Committee reviews public comment policy

The Fulton Board of Education Policy Committee, which consists of three school board members, met Tuesday evening to go over 18 points of discussion, which included public participation at board meetings.

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Putting out the fire

Fulton, Callaway County firefighters participate in free, hands-on hose training

Engine House Training, a firefighting training company, emphasized the importance of proper hose techniques to Fulton firefighters and those from across Callaway County and the state during a day-long training session on Tuesday.

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Fulton Public Schools self reports federal law violations over ‘Claim It’

Fulton Public Schools has self-reported federal law violations administrators believed were committed with an activity titled, “Claim It” that recently took place during a Fulton Middle School physical education class.

Fulton Public Schools to self-report federal law violations regarding 'Claim It' activity

Letter to parents states actions district is taking to address controversy, including providing additional counseling

In a letter to parents of Fulton Middle School students, Fulton Public Schools (FPS) Superintendent Jacque Cowherd states eight actions which the district is taking to address concerns over a recent classroom activity that upset students and their parents.

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Fulton Public Schools lists state learning standards for 'Claim It' activity

Fulton Public Schools Superintendent Jacque Cowherd has identified the 11 Missouri Learning Standards physical education teachers were attempting to align to through a classroom activity called “Claim It,” which has outraged parents and upset students.

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Kingdom Supper guest of honor highlights love for Callaway, family

When Jane McClellan, the 2015 Kingdom of Callaway Supper guest of honor, returned home to Fulton earlier this week, she was given the opportunity to reconnect with her roots and the people who watched her grow up. She said the homecoming is the closest experience she’s had to life flashing before her eyes.

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Kingdom of Callaway Supper celebrates community, tradition

The 2015 Kingdom of Callaway Supper brought together the Callaway County community Tuesday, March 24 on the William Woods University campus.

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Kingdom City businessman named 2016 Kingdom Supper president

As the owner and operator of Gasper’s Truck Plaza in Kingdom City, Ron Atkinson has met truck drivers from across the country. Despite learning of places far and wide from those who pass through his business, Atkinson kept his feet planted in Callaway County to run the family business and raise a family with his wife, Cindy, a 1980 Fulton High School graduate.

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Fulton Public Schools investigates class activity that made middle school students uncomfortable

Fulton Public Schools (FPS) is launching a comprehensive investigation during its spring break after physical education teachers conducted a class activity that has parents and participating students upset.

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Longtime Callaway volunteer to receive Settler’s Award at Kingdom of Callaway Supper

Joyce Epperson has led her life with open arms and open ears. As a mother, crisis response team member and medical first responder, the Fulton woman has cared for a countless number of people by listening to their woes and offering them hugs. She’s done this in various situations — at home with neighborhood children, car accidents and death scenes. Her hugs know no race, color, gender or economic status.

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For sale by the pound

KPI holds quarterly pound sale to benefit its employees, mission

Kingdom Projects, Inc., a non-profit sheltered workshop that provides employment to disabled residents of Callaway County, hosted a pound sale on Saturday to benefit its employees and mission.

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Former CARDV director receives second annual Jane Bierdeman-Fike Humanitarian Award

Jerrie Bell’s commitment to service spans more than two decades, and in that time she’s advocated for a group of people she said can be overlooked — victims.

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Civil War reenactors share history knowledge

Confederate and Union reenactors and historians gave library patrons a blast from the past on Saturday.

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Relaxed riding

William Woods University hosts dressage show in stress-free environment

William Woods University hosted its annual Completely Relaxed Spring Schooling Dressage Show on Saturday. The event draws participation from William Woods students, graduates and dressage enthusiasts from outside Callaway County lines.

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Callaway County Clerk requests new voting machines

The Callaway County Commission and County Clerk Denise Hubbard met with sales associates from Springfield-based Elkins-Swyers Company to learn about options for new voting machines.

Westminster College suspends fraternity indefinitely

Westminster College President Barney Forsythe announced Wednesday the joint decision between the college and the Sigma Chi International Headquarters (SCIH) to indefinitely suspend the Delta Tau chapter of Sigma Chi after new evidence surfaced of offensive comments posted on a private Sigma Chi Facebook page.

Fulton City Council gives first reading to city warehouse loan agreement

Mayor LeRoy Benton proposes sidewalk improvement funding, council approves suggestion

The Fulton City Council read for the first time an ordinance which would authorize the $4 million lease-purchase agreement between the city and three area banks — The Callaway Bank, Central Bank and Bank Star One — to fund the city’s new warehouse facility.

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Westminster College fraternity has its activities suspended

Sigma Chi International finds violations, including hazing, on Fulton college campus

The Sigma Chi International Fraternity has suspended activities at its Delta Tau chapter at Westminster College for the rest of the spring semester.

FSH hosts annual Community Conversation, increases LGBTQ awareness

The speakers at the Fulton State Hospital’s Cultural Competence Committee third annual Community Conversation will be back again Tuesday and Wednesday for the fourth annual event, addressing issues and topics within the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning (LGBTQ) community.

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Callaway hospital to bring back orthopedic surgeries, new CEO says

If all goes according to plan, Callaway Community Hospital will re-implement orthopedic surgery this April, according to new Chief Executive Officer Mike Powell.

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Missouri School for the Deaf hosts Latin American cultural fair

Students from the Missouri School for the Deaf and six other schools from across Missouri took an educational trip to Central and South America on Tuesday during MSD's "Festival de Latinos."

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Owls fly high at William Woods University

The World Bird Sanctuary and its owls made a visit to William Woods University on Wednesday during the biology club's "All About Owls" event.

Fulton Parks and Recreation seeks citizen input for 10-year master plan

Fulton City Council gives first reading to five ordinances

The city of Fulton Parks and Recreation Department needs the public’s help in forming its 10-year master plan.

Moore’s Mill Battlefield closer to being listed as historic

The Moore’s Mill Battlefield in Calwood is one step closer to being listed on the National Register of Historic Places after the Missouri Advisory Council on Historic Preservation unanimously voted for nomination Friday.

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Fulton residents feast at first fish fry Friday

Knights of Columbus to serve hot meals throughout Lent

Knights of Columbus hosted its first fish fry of the 2015 Lenten season. Click for photos and for information on the group's next fish fry.

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Holts Summit Police discovers five young individuals involved in explosive-related crime

Two male adults, ages 17 and 18, and three juveniles could face consequences after placing a homemade explosive inside a mailbox on the 200 block of Venus Street in Holts Summit, according to Sgt. Marc Haycook with the Holts Summit Police Department.

Fulton seeks grant to decrease number of vacant homes

The city of Fulton is in preparation stages of applying for a Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) through the Missouri Department of Economic Development that would demolish vacant homes within city limits.

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Ash Wednesday starts Lenten season

The religious event kicks off the Lenten season, a six week period in preparation for Easter Sunday on April 5. Click to see photos from Ash Wednesday mass at St. Peter Catholic Church in Fulton.

Callaway County Jail to receive new sprinklers, meals

Work is underway this week at the Callaway County Jail to update the facility’s sprinkler system.

Appeal questions DNR permit to hog operator

Hearing raises concerns over if application requirements were met for proposed Callaway County hog farm

JEFFERSON CITY — A Missouri state commissioner will decide if the Missouri Department of Natural Resources properly issued an operating permit for a proposed 10,000-hog facility in Kingdom City. The topic was debated Monday during a hearing presided over by Commissioner Karen A. Winn, who must return a decision in March.

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South Callaway seventh graders dream up their vision for America

Middle school students present self-developed political parties

Gun control. Abortion. Taxes. Same-sex marriage. Health care. Seventh grade students in the South Callaway R-II School District tackled those national topics and more for the past month as they developed their own political parties for a project-based learning presentation.

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Schulz on stage

Fulton High School's Rising Stars Thespian Troupe presents Snoopy! The Musical

The Peanuts comic strips come to life on the Fulton High School stage as its thespian troupe, Rising Stars, showcases its production of Snoopy! The Musical.

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Fulton City Council discusses sidewalk upgrades, hears project updates

During a scheduled work session Tuesday evening, the Fulton City Council discussed the city's need to improve sidewalks. It's been a high priority for Councilwoman Mary Rehklau who has been championing sidewalk upgrades for years, and she said she's glad the council is making it a priority as well.

Callaway County Commission works to keep victim advocate

Commission to re-apply for state grant

The Callaway County Commission is re-applying for a state grant in order to maintain a victim advocate for the 13th Circuit Court’s juvenile system.

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Public safety, government officials meet with community to cultivate relationships

Thomas Cooper sat in the front row at Guiding Light Missionary Baptist Church on Saturday, listening to a panel of law enforcement officers and public officials speak about their responsibilities in the community. Fulton city and Callaway County leaders gathered for a community forum — the brainchild of Rev. Charles Jackson with Guiding Light — in the hopes of connecting more with the public they serve and addressing any issues.

Volunteers move animal shelter project along

Volunteer efforts continue to advance Fulton’s new animal shelter, as reported by Planning and Protective Services Director Les Hudson to the city council during its Tuesday night meeting.

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Admirers reflect on Churchill’s life during 50th anniversary of his death

British ambassador, Churchill descendants travel to Fulton for ceremony

Sounds from a trumpet resonated inside the Church of St. Mary the Virgin Aldermanbury Saturday as international and state leaders and community members silently reflected on the life of Sir Winston Churchill.

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Life in medicine result of military experience for World War II veteran

As Gale Fuller’s 18th birthday approached in 1945, World War II raged on after Allied and Axis forces clashed in the historic Battle of the Bulge. He enlisted for the Navy with his father by his side. The war wouldn’t last much longer after Fuller’s birthday, but his military involvement provided him with abundant opportunities.

New Fulton animal shelter pushes forward

City officials update council on sewer projects, warehouse facility

The new Fulton animal shelter has made recent progress, Protective Planning and Services Director Les Hudson reported to the Fulton City Council Tuesday night at its regularly scheduled meeting.

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Land of make believe

Fulton School District holds Disney Day during spirit week

This week is spirit week for the Fulton district, pumping up students, staff and faculty for the winter homecoming basketball games against Mexico on Friday night. Wednesday was Disney Day. Click to see photos.

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Focus on fitness

YMCA free classes aid common New Year's resolution

Feel the burn. That was the theme for patrons of free fitness classes Saturday morning. The YMCA of Callaway County offered classes in BODYPUMP, BODYCOMBAT, cycling and step to those who wanted to kick start their new year in good health.

The Callaway Bank offering youth entrepeneurship program

Area youth now have the opportunity to pursue entrepreneurial opportunities thanks to a new program The Callaway Bank recently launched. The bank’s Youth Entrepreneur Program (YEP) was established for high-school age students interested in pursuing a project or business venture, but need help with funding. The YEP offers low-interest loans up to $1,000, according to a The Callaway Bank press release.

Fulton Area Chamber of Commerce and Visitor's Center to mark history, contributions to community

Annual banquet to celebrate 90 years, includes creation of time capsule

The annual Fulton Area Chamber of Commerce and Visitor’s Center banquet will have a unique twist this year. Jenny Bondurant, Westminster College, said the chamber’s 90-year history played an important role in the banquet brainstorming process, which concluded in the decision to create a time capsule.