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Brittany Ruess

Stories by Brittany

South Callaway OKs baseball-softball upgrades

South Callaway R-II Schools will move forward with more updates to its athletic facilities after approval for its school board Wednesday night. The South Callaway Board of Education voted 6-1 for more than $330,000 to be spent on baseball and softball field improvements.

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Sides chime in on hog confinement dispute

HATTON — Many different voices sounded Tuesday night during an open forum to discuss a potential hog farm site in Kingdom City that could house up to 7,600 sows and 2,720 swine.

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Annual fishing tournament reels in participants despite rain

The annual Alan Leake Fishing Tournament drew about 35 participants to Veterans Park on Saturday. Children and teenagers competed to see who would catch the most and the biggest fish. In total, fishers caught 269 fish.

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Lifelong Callawegian turns 100 today

One hundred years ago today, Martha McCray, resident at Presbyterian Manor in Fulton, was born to Oliver and Mary Sebastian in Stephens — a town located in the northwest region of Callaway County.

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Kingdom City residents to hold Q&A on hog confinement

Concerned citizens near a potential hog confinement site will have an opportunity to ask questions 7 p.m. June 10 in an open forum.

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Lost dog to be reunited with Chicago owner tomorrow in Mokane

Leeloo, an Australian cattle dog, will head back home to Chicago Saturday after being missed in Callaway County by her owner, Art Wilk of Chicago, for more than a week.

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Library, children go mad for science

The Callaway County Library hosted a Mad Scientists Lab Wednesday inside the Friends Room where children could explore the world of science. Experiment stations were set up that allowed children to play with the reaction between liquids and solids in addition to sound.

Callaway, Fulton officials urge veto on 4 bills

Four Missouri tax bills could cost Callaway, local entities up to $1.25 million says Department of Revenue

Callaway’s county, city and ambulance district officials have voiced their concerns for a series of last-minute Missouri state bills that would cost them a combined estimated $1.25 million in annual tax revenues.

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Kansas City woman found dead in Holts Summit was a prostitute

HOLTS SUMMIT — The Kanas City woman found dead in Holts Summit was a prostitute who solicited sex at truck stops, according to Holts Summit Police Department Chief Kyle McIntyre. Jessica Murafetis, 44, was found Jan. 30 in a grassy field near an ExxonMobil station’s parking lot off of U.S. Highway 54, where tractor-trailers commonly park.

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Art House's plein air event to showcase Callaway County scenery

They’ll travel from the states of Ohio and Illinois, and Missouri cities like Washington, Rocheport, Ethel, Hannibal and more to paint the landscapes of Callaway County this weekend for the Art House’s first plein air event.

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National Churchill Museum prepares for D-Day exhibit, presentation from Churchill expert

The artwork of three former U.S. Navy artists who documented D-Day through watercolors and drawings will be on display at the Churchill Museum starting May 30. The director of the Churchill Archives Centre will give a presentation during the exhibit's opening.

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New Bloomfield Fire Protection District deems home 'total loss' after early morning fire

A New Bloomfield couple suffered no injuries after a fire ignited their home this morning, but have lost all of their belongings and are missing two pets.

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Westminster College student, professor team up to research 32 million-year-old tortoise shell

Meredith Bolen, Westminster College student, said she is the kind of person who enjoys learning, research and a challenge. So when environmental sciences professor David Schmidt offered project opportunities to his students, Bolen inquired about her options.

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Westminster President Forsythe announces retirement

Westminster College President Barney Forsythe recently announced he will retire at the end of the 2014-2015 school year.

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A man and his goat to pass through Callaway County as they walk across America to support cause

Steve Wescott, 34, continues his journey today through Mid-Missouri, walking with his goat to make it to New York City. Wescott and his goat, LeeRoy Brown, started their trek at the Space Needle in Seattle on May 2, 2012 and set out for the 3,800-mile trek to Times Square to raise money for an orphanage in Nairobi, Kenya.

South Callaway approves major projects, includes turf field

The South Callaway Board of Education awarded bids for several facility upgrades totaling more than $2 million during its meeting Wednesday night.

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There is such a thing as a free lunch

Portland couple donates to clear South Callaway students' lunch debts

Phillip Baumgarth, 72, stood inside the South Callaway High School cafeteria, waiting for to be served his meal at the Kingdom Telephone Cooperative annual shareholders meeting in March. As he waited, Phillip Baumgarth noticed a sign posted in the cafeteria that troubled him.

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Westminster College graduates become engaged at the columns

Kayla Foust of Fulton walked through the Westminster columns with a degree and engagement ring on Saturday.

William Woods professor, student release survey results on sexual consent

Elizabeth Wilson, professor of social work at William Woods University, recently released the results of a survey she and sophomore Katherine Johnson created on sexual consent. Wilson and Johnson collaborated for the school’s mentor-mentee program in which a professor and student team up for research.

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New tanning salon opens in Fulton, offers various services

While running her mobile spray tanning business, Fulton native Veronica Baker, a then-Columbia resident, would travel back to her hometown for appointments.

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Family fun run benefits 'Super Sam'

Ava Santhuff (right), 5, of Fulton whispers in her mother’s ear as they along with Ava’s grandmother, Martha Wayne, judge the costume contest Sunday at the Super Sam Family Fun Run.

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William Woods freshman wants to bring Quidditch to Fulton

When the first Harry Potter movie came out in theaters in 2001, the book and movie series became a part of Alex Burns’ life. She started attending midnight release parties of the books and midnight premieres of the movies dressed in her Harry Potter gear. At her Christian elementary school, she would find herself in trouble for even talking about Harry, Hogwarts, Hagrid or anything magical.

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MSD event, Fulton poet impart the power of poetry

Missouri School for the Deaf student Cody Avila took the floor Thursday inside the school’s library to read his original poem, “Prove Them Wrong,” which told the story of his grandfather and an important lesson he taught Avila.

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Former Miss Montana shares story about life with autism

A former Miss Montana and her twin sister spoke at William Woods University yesterday as a part of a class project to promote autism awareness.

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Students experience delight of flight at Fulton’s airport

Kaitlin Nichols remembered lying on the concrete of the Elton-Hensley Memorial Airport in Fulton, watching the airplanes fly above her and experiencing the wonder of aviation as a little girl.

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Westminster College honors alumni

Westminster College recognized its distinguised alums Saturday inside the Church of St. Mary Aldermanbury for its 2014 Alumni Awards Convocation. Eight alums were honored individually and the Westminster class of 1964 was inducted into The Order of the Golden Legion — a society of alums who’ve been graduated for 50 years or more.

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A reason to dance

What happens on the last Friday of the month in the John C. Harris Community Center has been a 16-year dream for mother Janice Craighead.

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Police arrest Fulton man on cocaine charges

Fulton Police and a regional drug task force arrested a Fulton man on an outstanding warrant for drug-related charges and executed a search warrant that netted more than 10 grams of crack cocaine and drug paraphernalia, a press release stated.

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Riddle, House Majority Floor Leader try to dispel rumors surrounding Fulton State Hospital funding

Funding still a go for new building

Representative Jeanie Riddle, R-Mokane, and House Majority Floor Leader John Diehl, R-Town and Country, addressed what Diehl called “rhetoric that’s been going around the capitol the past couple days” regarding funding for a new Fulton State Hospital and a possible broad-based tax cut with House Bill 509.

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Portland tree farmers receive statewide recognition for conservation efforts

Bill and Margie Haag honored as Tree Farmers of the Year from Missouri Department of Conservation

When Bill and Margie Haag purchased 185 acres in Portland, they wanted an open space to hunt and enjoy the outdoors. But one question let the Haags to a dedication to conservation.

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New hunter/jumper professor saddles up for William Woods University

Susie Ouderkirk’s path to William Woods University started on her Aunt Janet’s Kansas farm. Ouderkirk, William Woods’ new hunter/jumper professor, spent summers as a “little horse-crazy girl” at the age of five with her Aunt Janet whose farm came with an older male horse. Aunt Janet would hop Ouderkirk on the horse and told her to “go for it.”

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On target for fun

Event takes local foster, adopted children to the great outdoors

Adopted and foster children made long-lasting memories as they experienced the great outdoors Saturday.

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William Woods University students help hungry children in Callaway County

William Woods University Greek Life students made pact to feed the hungry through joint philanthropic efforts of sororities and fraternities.

New Bloomfield Superintendent David Tramel’s proposed budget could give teachers pay increase

New Bloomfield educators could see an increase on their paychecks if Superintendent David Tramel’s proposed budget is finalized and approved by the district’s board of education.

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Fulton Middle School, Garden Club celebrate Arbor Day with tree planting

Fulton Garden Club passed its gift of green thumbs onto Fulton Middle School students Thursday by planting a willow tree.

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South Callaway searches for bids, projects totaling to $5.5 million

The South Callaway Board of Education gave clearance to Superintendent Kevin Hillman to search for bids for facility upgrades totaling an estimated $5.5 million.

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CARDV supporters commemorate 20 years in Callaway County

Supporters of the Coalition Against Rape and Domestic Violence gathered Tuesday night to celebrate 20 years of the organization’s existence.

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New Bloomfield students become baristas with coffeehouse business

There’s a new business brewing at New Bloomfield High School.

Local suicide survivors support group to begin in May

Three local women will begin a support group in May for those who’ve lost loved ones to suicide.

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Millersburg preschool community unites, celebrates milestone

As kind words and praise continued for Sherri Griffin, founder of Millersburg Preschool, on Saturday during the preschool’s 30th anniversary celebration, she couldn’t hold back the tears.

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College students learn lessons in law

The Western District Court of Appeals was in Fulton for the second time this school year to hear cases and offer a learning opportunity to local college students.

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Evolution of Dance creator, inspirational speaker shares three life lessons

Dancing is more than what inspirational comedian Judson Laipply is known for, it represents a metaphor he tries to live by and encourages others to live by.

Lockwood, Houghton face off again in 2014 District 43 race

Ed Lockwood, Democratic candidate for Missouri’s 43rd district, and Houghton both sought out Missouri’s 43rd District, which covers all of Audrain County and northern and eastern portions of Callaway County, in 2012.

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New Bloomfield School Board candidates state objectives in forum

The four candidates for New Bloomfield Board of Education were given an opportunity to answer five questions during a forum Tuesday sponsored by the New Bloomfield Parent-Teacher Association.

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Callaway group reflects on social progress during Celia Commemoration

Since the hanging of Celia — a southern Callaway County slave — in 1855, community members pondered how much social advancement has taken place in 159 years during the annual Celia Commemoration on Saturday.

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Callaway pushing for more stops on tourism bus tours

The Tourism Board is hoping to expand the variety of bus tours in Callaway County.

Callaway County looking at moving from Class 1 to Class 2 county

Callaway County officials are in the very early stages of understanding a possible change in Callaway County’s classification from class 1 to class 2.

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Missouri School for the Deaf students dive into movie, animation techniques with literacy event

Dressed in a cat costume, Missouri School for the Deaf senior Courtney McCarty guided fellow students through hands-on animation and video activities Thursday during the school’s “Reading is Fundamental” (RIF) event.

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Father who lost son to heroin warns William Woods University students about drug trends

Jim Marshall, Westminster College’s track and field coach and founder of the drug abuse awareness organization Cody’s Gift, called heroin addiction an “invisible epidemic” Wednesday as he spoke to William Woods University students.

South Callaway purchases land for just under $250K, unsure about use

South Callaway R-II Schools Superintendent Kevin Hillman said he’s not yet certain how the district is going to use a 65-acre piece of land purchased in January.