Metro East Area News Briefs

Chronicle Media

March for Our Lives demonstration in O’Fallon

March for Our Lives draws hundreds in O’Fallon

Despite rain and competing events, hundreds of mostly high-school aged school safety advocates turned out for Metro East’s March for Our Lives demonstration, March 24 in O’Fallon.

One of more than 800 protest actions scheduled for that day around the world, the O’Fallon march was designed to encourage support for gun control legislation.

Several thousand people reportedly took part in a March for Our Lives demonstration a few miles away in Downtown St. Louis.

In Carbondale, a March for Our Lives event, centered around the city’s Downtown Pavilion, reportedly drew several hundred.

The marches come in the wake of the Feb. 14 mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., and other school shooting incidents over recent years.

“We won’t be silenced even by rain,” organizers of the O’Fallon march posted to their Facebook pages as a morning-long series of rainstorms threatened the event.

As planned, the Metro East marchers walked from O’Fallon City Hall, beginning at 8:30 a.m. and proceeded along a predetermined route through area streets; returning to the municipal building. There, voter registration was offered.

Complicating planning for the O’Fallon march was the nearby O’Fallon VFW’s fifth annual .1K “Race at Your Own Pace,” which was expected to draw about 450.

The O’Fallon City Council members approved a permit for the march at their March 24 meeting; following a March 18 conference between Mayor Herb Roach and the O’Fallon Township High School (OTHS) seniors who organized the event.

O’Fallon Police reported no incidents in connection with the march.

The March for Our Lives events follow the March 14 National School Walkout, which saw students at a reported 3,100 schools across the country – including OTHS – leave class for 17 minutes in response to the Florida school shooting.

Like student leaders at other schools around the nation, some OTHS students are now calling for a National School Walkout event in O’Fallon on April 20, the 19th anniversary of the Columbine High School shooting.

OTHS administrations emphasized they have not sanctioned the protests.

Alton reality show production begins this month

A family-owned restaurant, a recording studio, and a popular tavern are among a half-dozen Alton businesses slated to receive a share of $500,000 in new technology and other improvements from an online reality show.

The six business-makeover subjects, to be featured along with their city on the Hulu series “Small Business Revolution — Main Street” this fall, were announced by program co-hosts Amanda Brinkman and Ty Pennington during the annual Alton Broadway Bash street party, March 23.

They are:

  • Sham Pooches, dog grooming salon at 1735 Main St.;
  • Lovett’s Snoots, Fish, Chicken & More, restaurant known for its Fried Kool Aid and other unusual menu items, at 2512 College Ave.;
  • Bluff City Outdoors, a bait and tackle shop at 2813 E. Broadway Blvd..;
  • Today’s Beauty Supply at 1415 Central Ave.;
  • Morrison’s Irish Pub at 200 State St.; and
  • Lighthouse Sounds, a recording studio at 115 Market St.

The six were selected by program producers from among dozens of Alton-area firms that reportedly applied for the business improvement grants over the past month.

In addition to providing the small business update packages, the producers are to spend a portion of their half-million-dollar Alton budget on municipal administration technology and public works, such as improvements along the town’s Broadway central commercial district.

In addition to management and marketing advice, the Small Business Revolution improvement efforts will center around implementation of integrated digital accounting-and-cash-management systems, developed by St. Paul, Minn.-based banking supply giant, Delux Corporation, the reality show’s primary sponsor.

Production of the eight-episode Small Business Revolution series on Alton is set to begin this month (April), with about 10 days of filmed consultations with businesses and city officials.  

Program staff, working at their Minnesota offices, will then develop marketing and improvement programs for the town and the businesses.  The show’s staff will then return in June to unveil the improvement projects.

Launched in 2016, “Small Business Revolution — Main Street”, each season focuses on a different small town and its businesses. The series on Alton is scheduled to debut in November.

Public meetings, hearing set on Metro Reimagined program

The Bi-State Development agency has scheduled a series of informational meetings and public hearings on its “Metro Reimagined” program to update Metro Transit services.

Under the Metro Reimagined program, buses and Metro Link trains will run more frequently, according to the agency. The transit systems will now offer more connections to Park and Ride locations, along with enhanced van pool and shuttle services in certain areas.

Details on the new services will be explained at the following public meetings:

  • Tuesday, April 3: 2:30 – 5:30 p.m., North Hanley Transit Center, 4300 N. Hanley Road, Berkeley, Mo.
  • Wednesday, April 4: 2:30 – 5:30 p.m., Ballas Transit Center, 790 S. New Ballas Road, St. Louis.
  • Thursday, April 5: 2:30 – 5:30 p.m., North County Transit Center, 3140 Pershall Road, Ferguson, Mo.
  • Tuesday, April 10: 3 – 6 p.m., Thomas Dunn Learning Center, 3113 Gasconade Street, St. Louis.
  • Wednesday, April 11: 3 – 6 p.m., Affton White-Rodgers Community Center, 9801 MacKenzie Road, St. Louis
  • Tuesday, April 17: 4 – 7 p.m., St. Louis Public Library, Central Library 1301 Olive Street, St. Louis.

Public hearings set for:

  • Wednesday, April 18: 11 – 2 p.m., St. Louis City Municipal Court Building 1520 Market Street, St. Louis, MO
  • Thursday, April 19: 3 – 6 p.m. ,St. Louis City Municipal Court Building 1520 Market Street, St. Louis.

Brochures, explaining the revised services, will available, beginning this week at Metro Transit’s Civic Center Transit Center, Riverview Transit Center and the Shrewsbury Lansdowne I-44 Transit Center.

Bi-State Development operates the St. Louis region’s Metro Transit public transportation system, which includes 400 buses, MetroLink light rail vehicles serving 37 stations in Illinois and Missouri, along with Metro Call-A-Ride, a paratransit fleet of 122 vans. Metro Transit is one of five enterprises operated by Bi-State Development.


–Metro East Area News Briefs–