[ {"id":"b701df7c-9208-11e5-8c1b-176a03e75e4b","type":"link","starttime":"1448300160","starttime_iso8601":"2015-11-23T11:36:00-06:00","application":"editorial","title":"Mari de Villa iPad","permalink":"http://www.maridevilla.com/","canonical":"http://www.maridevilla.com/","relatedAssetCounts":{"article":0,"audio":0,"image":1,"link":0,"vmix":0,"youtube":0,"gallery":0},"prologue":"","supportsComments":true,"commentCount":0,"keywords":[],"internalKeywords":[],"customProperties":{},"presentation":null,"images":[{"id":"cbc8b20a-9208-11e5-8595-4387ad9bef70","description":"","byline":"","hireswidth":null,"hiresheight":null,"hiresurl":null,"presentation":"","versions":{"full":{"type":"image/png","width":"728","height":"90","url":"http://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/c/bc/cbc8b20a-9208-11e5-8595-4387ad9bef70/56534ec7c9538.image.png?resize=728%2C90"},"100": {"type":"image/png","width":"100","height":"12","url":"http://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/c/bc/cbc8b20a-9208-11e5-8595-4387ad9bef70/56534ec7c9538.image.png?resize=100%2C12"},"300": {"type":"image/png","width":"300","height":"37","url":"http://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/c/bc/cbc8b20a-9208-11e5-8595-4387ad9bef70/56534ec7c9538.image.png?resize=300%2C37"},"1024":{"type":"image/png","width":"1024","height":"127","url":"http://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/c/bc/cbc8b20a-9208-11e5-8595-4387ad9bef70/56534ec7c9538.image.png"}}}],"revision":1,"url":"http://www.maridevilla.com/"}, {"id":"4bd21e22-1ae9-53da-9f50-d7522ba020d0","type":"article","starttime":"1481220000","starttime_iso8601":"2016-12-08T12:00:00-06:00","priority":45,"sections":[{"the-daily":"the-daily"}],"application":"editorial","title":"Splitting the World Open","url":"http://www.laduenews.com/the-daily/article_4bd21e22-1ae9-53da-9f50-d7522ba020d0.html","permalink":"http://www.laduenews.com/the-daily/splitting-the-world-open/article_4bd21e22-1ae9-53da-9f50-d7522ba020d0.html","canonical":"http://www.laduenews.com/the-daily/splitting-the-world-open/article_4bd21e22-1ae9-53da-9f50-d7522ba020d0.html","relatedAssetCounts":{"article":0,"audio":0,"image":1,"link":0,"vmix":0,"youtube":0,"gallery":0},"byline":"Bryan A. Hollerbach","prologue":"Magdalene St. Louis\u2019 Bravely program seeks to empower disenfranchised women one T-shirt at a time.","supportsComments":true,"commentCount":0,"keywords":["magdalene st. louis","bravely","hope jernagan"],"internalKeywords":[],"customProperties":{},"presentation":"","images":[{"id":"cafef0d9-6c84-5926-9a98-4b7344afbfa1","description":"Hayley Perrin, left, and Carmen Dinwiddie","byline":"Photo by Sarah Conroy","hireswidth":1684,"hiresheight":1230,"hiresurl":"http://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/c/af/cafef0d9-6c84-5926-9a98-4b7344afbfa1/5849834897d11.hires.jpg","presentation":"","versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"760","height":"555","url":"http://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/c/af/cafef0d9-6c84-5926-9a98-4b7344afbfa1/5849834896195.image.jpg?resize=760%2C555"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"73","url":"http://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/c/af/cafef0d9-6c84-5926-9a98-4b7344afbfa1/5849834896195.image.jpg?resize=100%2C73"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"219","url":"http://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/c/af/cafef0d9-6c84-5926-9a98-4b7344afbfa1/5849834896195.image.jpg?resize=300%2C219"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"748","url":"http://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/c/af/cafef0d9-6c84-5926-9a98-4b7344afbfa1/5849834896195.image.jpg?resize=1024%2C748"}}}],"revision":2,"commentID":"4bd21e22-1ae9-53da-9f50-d7522ba020d0","body":"

Hayley Perrin, left, and Carmen Dinwiddie

In these turbulent and uncertain times, a local organization remains adamant about continuing in a counterintuitive but quintessentially American way:


Magdalene St. Louis, the organization in question, constitutes \u201ca residential community for women recovering from sexual exploitation, abuse and addiction,\u201d according to its own characterization. Less than a month ago, it launched \u201ca social enterprise program\u201d called \u2013 yes \u2013 Bravely.

Many readers likely will suspect the organization\u2019s name references the Biblical Mary Magdalene, mentioned in 12 passages in the New Testament, as at John 20:1: \u201cThe first day of the week cometh Mary Magdalene early, when it was yet dark, unto the sepulchre, and seeth the stone taken away from the sepulchre.\u201d

However, Hope Jernagan, Magdalene\u2019s executive director, gently rejects that potential association, at least in a formal context.

\u201cMagdalene St. Louis is not a faith-based organization,\u201d says Jernagan. \u201cHowever, we consider faith and spirituality to be an important aspect of recovery from trauma and addiction. We do weekly group work on the topic of spirituality and recovery, and we also have a large network of congregations who support us through volunteers and donations.\u201d

Jernagan also sketches what will be issuing, at least at first, from Magdalene\u2019s new program.

\u201cThe initial Bravely line consists of men\u2019s and women\u2019s shirts in three different styles and two color options,\u201d she says. \u201cWe also carry insulated, leak-proof water bottles and fully lined, heavy-duty tote bags.\u201d

The shirts in question sport such slogans as \u201cLove Is Brave,\u201d \u201cCompassion Is Badass\u201d and \u201cI Am a Work in Progress.\u201d None of the shirts feature especially ornate design, but the third does boast an intriguingly simple yet elegant look. It repeats the work-in-progress slogan, in two lines, four times and not only mixes Roman, bold and italic type, but also strategically flips many of its eight lines, something like a visual villanelle.

\u201cLikely all of the women who will work at Bravely are survivors of sexual assault,\u201d relates Jernagan. \u201cRecovery from that kind of trauma is lifelong, but we are doing our part to create a work environment where women feel safe, heard and valued. And in turn, we want to create products that share messages of hope and empowerment with the world.

\u201cMagdalene St. Louis serves up to 11 women at a time. Women can begin work at Bravely after approximately six months in the Magdalene residential program. Currently, we have two women employed at Bravely.\u201d

Those two women, Carmen Dinwiddie and Hayley Perrin, speak highly of the opportunity presented by Bravely.

\u201cWell, this program is affecting my life in a major way, because it is allowing me to get my life back in order with my son as well as my family,\u201d Dinwiddie testifies. \u201cThis program is also giving me the structure and support I have been needing but didn\u2019t know how to get.\u201d

Her co-worker echoes Dinwiddie.

\u201cWorking for Bravely has been very empowering,\u201d notes Perrin. \u201cI feel more confident than I have ever felt. I am building meaningful relationships. I am also learning skills I know I can carry with me after I graduate.\u201d

Regarding such skills, an online Bravely slideshow notes the program will focus on marketing, sales, order fulfillment, customer service, website management and social media. Magdalene\u2019s website characterizes Bravely as \u201can apparel company providing employment opportunities and empowering [its workers] to live free from abuse, addiction and prostitution.\u201d

Empowerment. That word and variants of it appear again and again and again in material devoted to Magdalene and Bravely alike.

The struggle for female empowerment, of course, predates the Bible\u2019s mentions of Mary Magdalene \u2013 a fact recognized by anyone who\u2019s read Aristophanes\u2019 sly and subversive Lysistrata, the classical Athenian comedy dating from four centuries before the New Testament.

The timeline of that struggle extends through 2\u00bd millennia to 39 simple words \u2013 the 39 words of Amendment XIX to the U.S. Constitution, which was ratified slightly less than a century ago, on Aug. 18, 1920, after decades of neglect and conflict.

\u201cThe right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex,\u201d states that amendment.

\u201cCongress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.\u201d

A month ago, the struggle for empowerment embodied in the Bravely program witnessed the election of such noteworthy women as Tammy Duckworth, Kamala Harris, Catherine Cortez Masto and Ilhan Omar \u2013 and one can\u2019t help suspecting the struggle for empowerment will continue, at Magdalene\u2019s Bravely and elsewhere.

\u201cWhat would happen if one woman told the truth about her life?\u201d poet Muriel Rukeyser asked, rhetorically, in \u201cK\u00e4the Kollwitz\u201d from 1968. \u201cThe world would split open.\u201d

Almost half a century after the publication of that poem, many women\u2019s voices, from day to day and week to week and month to month, still rise, unstoppably, in a hallelujah chorus.

Bravely, 2700 N. 14th St., St. Louis, 314-339-5218, bravely.org

"}, {"id":"3084585f-1d18-57c3-86eb-0261df5c1d85","type":"article","starttime":"1481220000","starttime_iso8601":"2016-12-08T12:00:00-06:00","lastupdated":"1481226664","priority":35,"sections":[{"the-daily":"the-daily"}],"application":"editorial","title":"Try These Potato Crostini Bites This Holiday Season","url":"http://www.laduenews.com/the-daily/article_3084585f-1d18-57c3-86eb-0261df5c1d85.html","permalink":"http://www.laduenews.com/the-daily/try-these-potato-crostini-bites-this-holiday-season/article_3084585f-1d18-57c3-86eb-0261df5c1d85.html","canonical":"http://www.laduenews.com/the-daily/try-these-potato-crostini-bites-this-holiday-season/article_3084585f-1d18-57c3-86eb-0261df5c1d85.html","relatedAssetCounts":{"article":0,"audio":0,"image":1,"link":0,"vmix":0,"youtube":0,"gallery":0},"byline":"Story, recipe & photography by Sherrie Castellano","prologue":"The colors in this party-perfect appetizer are bright and festive without overdoing it.","supportsComments":true,"commentCount":0,"keywords":[],"internalKeywords":[],"customProperties":{},"presentation":"","images":[{"id":"372493af-2836-5b06-8c89-f33cc85a96b6","description":"","byline":"","hireswidth":1175,"hiresheight":1762,"hiresurl":"http://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/3/72/372493af-2836-5b06-8c89-f33cc85a96b6/583f3479ced8b.hires.jpg","presentation":"","versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"507","height":"760","url":"http://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/3/72/372493af-2836-5b06-8c89-f33cc85a96b6/583f3479cd06b.image.jpg?resize=507%2C760"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"150","url":"http://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/3/72/372493af-2836-5b06-8c89-f33cc85a96b6/583f3479cd06b.image.jpg?resize=100%2C150"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"450","url":"http://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/3/72/372493af-2836-5b06-8c89-f33cc85a96b6/583f3479cd06b.image.jpg?resize=300%2C450"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"1536","url":"http://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/3/72/372493af-2836-5b06-8c89-f33cc85a96b6/583f3479cd06b.image.jpg?resize=1024%2C1536"}}}],"revision":5,"commentID":"3084585f-1d18-57c3-86eb-0261df5c1d85","body":"

In the Nov. 11 Ladue News, I shared a recipe for soup made with slow-roasted and then pur\u00e9ed golden beets. Although autumnal in color and mild in flavor, beets (as I wrote then) can be somewhat controversial; in my experience, people either love them or hate them. Yet when beets are prepared properly, I\u2019m a huge fan of them, especially of the red variety.

Red beets are an affordable, hearty and abundant root vegetable that are incredibly easy to grow in nearly all seasons. Beets are high in vitamin C and help keep our immune systems strong \u2013 they\u2019re also powerful detoxifiers.

Beyond their health benefits, beets are simply delicious. I eat beets raw in smoothies, juices and salads, and I cook them in a variety of ways, from roasting to steaming. The following crostini recipe calls for a saut\u00e9ing method that comes together fairly quickly. As a rule of thumb, the smaller you dice the beets, the less time they\u2019ll take to cook.

The colors in this party-perfect appetizer are bright and festive without overdoing it. If you can\u2019t source fennel fronds \u2013 the thin leaves on top of fennel bulbs \u2013 dill makes a great substitute.

Sherrie Castellano is a health coach, photographer and private chef based in St. Louis. She writes and photographs the seasonally inspired vegetarian and gluten-free blog With Food + Love. She has contributed work to Driftless Magazine, Vegetarian Times, Go Gluten-Free Magazine, Food52 and Urban Outfitters, among others. You can find her hanging with her aviation-enthusiast husband, sipping Earl Grey tea, green juice and/or bourbon.

Potato Crostini Bites With Beets and Fennel

If you\u2019re making the crostini for a holiday party and are short on stovetop space, you can roast the beets instead of saut\u00e9ing them.

Yields 10 to 12 bites

| Preparation | Preheat oven to 400\u00b0F, and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Scrub potatoes, pat dry and peel if desired. Using either a mandolin or very sharp knife, cut into thin medallions or lengthwise slices, approximately 1/16 inch thick.

In a large mixing bowl, toss potatoes lightly in 1 teaspoon olive oil, season with salt and pepper, and lay on prepared baking sheet in a single layer. Roast in oven for 10 to 15 minutes on each side, or until lightly brown and crispy. Remove from oven, tent with aluminum foil to keep warm and set aside.

In a medium saut\u00e9 pan, heat remaining oil over low heat. Add garlic and cook 1 minute. Increase heat to medium, and add balsamic vinegar while scraping any brown bits off bottom of pan. Add beets, stir and saut\u00e9 for about 15 minutes more, or until beets are tender. If pan becomes too dry, add a touch of water as needed.

| To Serve | Layer each potato crisp with 1 or 2 tablespoons saut\u00e9ed beets, 1 teaspoon blue cheese and a sprinkle of fennel fronds, and season with salt and pepper. Serve.

"}, {"id":"44f227f2-06b7-56b3-84c6-94d0b6d3b332","type":"article","starttime":"1481220000","starttime_iso8601":"2016-12-08T12:00:00-06:00","lastupdated":"1481226783","priority":35,"sections":[{"the-daily":"the-daily"}],"application":"editorial","title":"Holiday Prep for Parents","url":"http://www.laduenews.com/the-daily/article_44f227f2-06b7-56b3-84c6-94d0b6d3b332.html","permalink":"http://www.laduenews.com/the-daily/holiday-prep-for-parents/article_44f227f2-06b7-56b3-84c6-94d0b6d3b332.html","canonical":"http://www.laduenews.com/the-daily/holiday-prep-for-parents/article_44f227f2-06b7-56b3-84c6-94d0b6d3b332.html","relatedAssetCounts":{"article":0,"audio":0,"image":1,"link":0,"vmix":0,"youtube":0,"gallery":0},"byline":"Dr. Russell Hyken","prologue":"This truly is \u201cthe most wonderful time of the year,\u201d as the Christmas classic tells us.","supportsComments":true,"commentCount":0,"keywords":["hyken's homework"],"internalKeywords":[],"customProperties":{},"presentation":"","images":[{"id":"b39152e1-ef88-5987-964d-0009ab3830dd","description":"","byline":"","hireswidth":1763,"hiresheight":1176,"hiresurl":"http://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/b/39/b39152e1-ef88-5987-964d-0009ab3830dd/56d85e98997a2.hires.png","presentation":"","versions":{"full":{"type":"image/png","width":"760","height":"507","url":"http://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/b/39/b39152e1-ef88-5987-964d-0009ab3830dd/57978e715f227.image.png?resize=760%2C507"},"100": {"type":"image/png","width":"100","height":"66","url":"http://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/b/39/b39152e1-ef88-5987-964d-0009ab3830dd/56d85e999b1f0.preview-100.png"},"300": {"type":"image/png","width":"300","height":"200","url":"http://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/b/39/b39152e1-ef88-5987-964d-0009ab3830dd/57978e715f227.image.png?resize=300%2C200"},"1024":{"type":"image/png","width":"1024","height":"683","url":"http://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/b/39/b39152e1-ef88-5987-964d-0009ab3830dd/57978e715f227.image.png?resize=1024%2C683"}}}],"revision":5,"commentID":"44f227f2-06b7-56b3-84c6-94d0b6d3b332","body":"

This truly is \u201cthe most wonderful time of the year,\u201d as the Christmas classic tells us. Everyone\u2019s looking forward to parties, presents and spending time with friends and family. So to ensure holiday happiness doesn\u2019t turn into holiday headaches, do some advance planning, and consider altering your parenting approach.

When the festivities begin, kids of all ages will stay up late and indulge in sugary treats. As a result, expect a bit of unruly behavior, but also make sure to enforce reasonable limitations. In the spirit of the season, it\u2019s OK to relax the rules, but it\u2019s never acceptable for your kids to be rude or selfish.

Start the holidays with a family meeting. Parents, talk about your expectations, and allow kids to share their concerns. Teenagers, for example, may not want to spend all day with their little cousins when their friends are skating at Shaw Park. Open communication and advance planning mean everyone can do what he or she wants \u2013 within reason.

Younger children often can experience a spectrum of emotions during winter break. The structure of bedtime and school is replaced with the excitement of trips to see Santa and out-of-town guests. Kids don\u2019t intentionally have meltdowns, but such meltdowns often do occur. So consider lowering behavioral expectations, laughing more and gently redirecting your children.

College students, on the other hand, can create an entirely different set of worries. \u2019Tis the season \u2013 and spirits may be available. Parents should never endorse alcohol use by children under the legal drinking age. But parents\u2019 most important rule, without exception, is to make sure college students know it\u2019s never acceptable to drink and drive \u2013 or to get in a car driven by someone who has been drinking. It\u2019s more important to call mom, dad or Uber than to risk a trip to the E.R. \u2013 or worse.

Last, parents, wisely organize your days and evenings. With friends and family in town, it can be tempting to fill every minute of every day with social commitments. Don\u2019t! Over-scheduling creates conflict, and the true meaning of the season can get lost. So plan some quiet time with your kids, watching a movie, playing a board game or just lounging around the house. Make sure you don\u2019t need a holiday to recover from the holiday.

We spend the year guiding our children, planning their days and enforcing homework rules. Take advantage of our town: See the lights at the Saint Louis Zoo, go to a Blues game or take a walk in the park. The holidays and childhood are a lot alike \u2013 special times that end before you know it. Spend the forthcoming lull eating, playing and creating a lifetime of memories.

Prior to going into private practice as a psychotherapist and learning-disabilities specialist, Russell Hyken, Ph.D., Ed.S., M.A., LPC, NCC, worked for more than 15 years as an English teacher, school counselor and school administrator. Visit him online at ed-psy.com.

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right,","byline":"","hireswidth":1744,"hiresheight":1188,"hiresurl":"http://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/6/db/6db8d273-104d-5c12-8d40-a9f41121c672/5840494d2b6bb.hires.jpg","presentation":null,"versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"760","height":"518","url":"http://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/6/db/6db8d273-104d-5c12-8d40-a9f41121c672/5840494d2a84b.image.jpg?resize=760%2C518"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"68","url":"http://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/6/db/6db8d273-104d-5c12-8d40-a9f41121c672/5840494d2a84b.image.jpg?resize=100%2C68"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"204","url":"http://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/6/db/6db8d273-104d-5c12-8d40-a9f41121c672/5840494d2a84b.image.jpg?resize=300%2C204"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"698","url":"http://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/6/db/6db8d273-104d-5c12-8d40-a9f41121c672/5840494d2a84b.image.jpg?resize=1024%2C698"}}}],"revision":2,"commentID":"fb0bf5e4-48c5-50b4-bcde-48c54bd20131","body":"

Rita Swiener, founder and executive director of Santa's Helpers

She was living in a low-income housing project in Pittsburgh when her mother passed away. Her parents were divorced, and her biological father didn\u2019t want his kids. So, at age 6, Rita Swiener and her 9-year-old brother were placed in an orphanage.

As the holiday season rolled around, the young Jewish girl was asked to choose a gift for Hanukkah. \u201cI wanted a nurse\u2019s kit and a dolly whose eyes opened and closed,\u201d Swiener recalls. \u201cThe lady at the orphanage said I could only choose one toy.\u201d That memory lingered for 69 years, as Swiener channeled her disappointment into a desire to make it possible for poor children to be able to celebrate the holiday season with more than one toy each year.

Swiener is executive director of Santa\u2019s Helpers, Inc., an organization that has made the holiday season bright for underprivileged families in the metro St. Louis area for 49 years. This year, they will serve close to 700 families and almost 4,000 individuals. In addition to toys, children receive books and clothing, and their parents receive gifts, as well.

Swiener feels blessed that both she and her brother were adopted together by University City residents Julius and Rose Swiener. After arriving in St. Louis, she attended school in U City, graduating from University City High School in 1959, \u201csecond from the bottom of my class,\u201d she says. \u201cI had ADHD [attention deficit hyperactivity disorder] and didn\u2019t know it. I was not a good student because I had trouble concentrating.

\u201cAfter high school, I eloped to Arkansas with my 23-year-old boyfriend and picked cotton for a living. My fingers were bloody. I was not a good cotton picker.\u201d The marriage dissolved after 5\u00bd years, and Swiener moved back to St. Louis, working days while attending college at night. \u201cIt was then that I discovered I really was a good learner,\u201d she says. Today, Swiener teaches psychology classes at Lutheran School of Nursing through a partnership with Webster University. When her fall course ended in October, her focus shifted. \u201cSanta Claus owns me now,\u201d she says.


Swiener was president of the Evening College Council at University of Missouri-St. Louis when her professor asked if the council would sponsor a mother and her seven children \u201cwho were falling through the cracks for Christmas.\u201d The next year, she organized a group of friends to continue the tradition. When they delivered the gifts, they said, \u201cThis is from Santa. He is very busy, and we are his helpers.\u201d The understood name \u201cSanta\u2019s Helpers\u201d stuck, and it\u2019s been the organization\u2019s moniker ever since.

As Santa\u2019s Helpers grew, a local resident volunteered to dress up as Santa Claus to pass out presents. \u201cWe now have more than 50 crews of Santas delivering Christmas gifts,\u201d Swiener says. In the 1980s, Santa\u2019s Helpers incorporated as a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization; Swiener adds that Clayton attorney Jerry Raskas \u201chandled all our incorporation papers for free.\u201d

Each year, local charities and schools provide Swiener with lists of families experiencing financial hardship. \u201cAt the end of October, we already had bagged gifts ready for delivery for 82 families,\u201d she says. Swiener and her board of directors solicit both monetary and in-kind donations year-round, and they make certain each person receives age-appropriate items. All gifts are new, with the exception of bicycles in good working condition.

Home base for Santa\u2019s Helpers is a factory warehouse located south of the Dogtown neighborhood. \u201cWhen we began, all donations were in my home, and each room housed a different ZIP code filled with toys,\u201d she says. \u201cWe are fortunate we now have 5,000 feet of free warehouse space donated by Cee Kay Supply for the collection and allocation of gifts.\u201d

Swiener has been honored for her philanthropic and volunteer efforts as an Unsung Hero by the St. Louis Jewish Light newspaper. In addition, she was named a 2010 Woman of Achievement, was nominated for the St. Louis Rams\u2019 Community Quarterback award in 2008 and was inducted into the University City High School Hall of Fame in 2002. Swiener Hall at Call for Help in East St. Louis was named for her because of her help in establishing a residential center for homeless women there. She has been honored with Commerce Bank\u2019s Community Service Award, has been featured in Ladies\u2019 Home Journal and the National Enquirer and has appeared on ABC\u2019s Good Morning America.

Swiener credits her father, Julius Swiener, with instilling in her a love for helping others. \u201cMy father was a gentle and religious man who taught me the importance of giving,\u201d she says.

Although she never remarried, she says she always wanted to have children. In 1972, she became the legal guardian of Julie, a teenage runaway, and, in 1975, of 15-year-old Larry, whom she later adopted. She now has two grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. And nothing can hold Swiener down or prevent her from being the best Santa\u2019s Helper in St. Louis: In 1996, she was diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer. Following treatment, she worked in the warehouse picking out gifts and then covered her bald head with a green cap to deliver Hanukkah presents.

This year, for her 75th birthday, Swiener received more than 200 African-American Barbie dolls and other dolls, all to be given away by Santa\u2019s Helpers.

\u201cI didn\u2019t want anything for myself \u2013 I wanted toys that would bring smiles to the faces of kids,\u201d she says. Swiener will help deliver both Hanukkah and Christmas gifts again this year because she will forever be a Santa\u2019s Helper.

Santa\u2019s Helpers, 314-727-0186 or 314-647-1800, santashelpersstl.com


Mitzi Foster, left, and Deborah Puricelli, right,

"}, {"id":"6dc4a88d-5d8f-557c-900a-a95d784d3181","type":"article","starttime":"1480615200","starttime_iso8601":"2016-12-01T12:00:00-06:00","priority":35,"sections":[{"the-daily":"the-daily"}],"application":"editorial","title":"Game ON!","url":"http://www.laduenews.com/the-daily/article_6dc4a88d-5d8f-557c-900a-a95d784d3181.html","permalink":"http://www.laduenews.com/the-daily/game-on/article_6dc4a88d-5d8f-557c-900a-a95d784d3181.html","canonical":"http://www.laduenews.com/the-daily/game-on/article_6dc4a88d-5d8f-557c-900a-a95d784d3181.html","relatedAssetCounts":{"article":0,"audio":0,"image":1,"link":0,"vmix":0,"youtube":0,"gallery":0},"byline":"Frank Cusumano","prologue":"Frank Cusumano headshotWhen I was 6 years old and attending Our Lady of the Pillar Grade School, we were asked to put together a pictorial notebook of how we wanted our lives to go. My notebook contained several pictures of sportscasters, as that\u2019s what I wanted to be \u2013 I even remember being on the playground when a group of intimidating eighth-grade boys would crowd around me. They would yell, \u201cNew Orleans Saints.\u201d I would respond, \u201cBilly Kilmer.\u201d They would say, \u201cWashington Redskins.\u201d I would fire back, \u201cSonny Jurgensen.\u201d Then, they would scream, \u201cSan Francisco 49ers.\u201d I would respond, \u201cJohn Brodie.\u201d We went through every quarterback in the NFL. I loved sports, and I was hooked.","supportsComments":true,"commentCount":0,"keywords":["frank cusumano","game on","ksdk"],"internalKeywords":[],"customProperties":{},"presentation":"","images":[{"id":"2466a2f3-7d60-5ca3-afd8-5d23497a60eb","description":"","byline":"","hireswidth":null,"hiresheight":null,"hiresurl":null,"presentation":"","versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"443","height":"300","url":"http://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/2/46/2466a2f3-7d60-5ca3-afd8-5d23497a60eb/57c86038cb3d1.image.jpg?crop=443%2C300%2C0%2C88&resize=443%2C300&order=crop%2Cresize"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"134","url":"http://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/2/46/2466a2f3-7d60-5ca3-afd8-5d23497a60eb/56fec6d81e533.preview-100.jpg"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"221","url":"http://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/2/46/2466a2f3-7d60-5ca3-afd8-5d23497a60eb/57c86038cb3d1.image.jpg?crop=441%2C325%2C1%2C63&resize=300%2C221&order=crop%2Cresize"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"755","url":"http://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/2/46/2466a2f3-7d60-5ca3-afd8-5d23497a60eb/57c86038cb3d1.image.jpg?crop=441%2C325%2C1%2C63"}}}],"revision":4,"commentID":"6dc4a88d-5d8f-557c-900a-a95d784d3181","body":"
Frank Cusumano headshot

When I was 6 years old and attending Our Lady of the Pillar Grade School, we were asked to put together a pictorial notebook of how we wanted our lives to go. My notebook contained several pictures of sportscasters, as that\u2019s what I wanted to be \u2013 I even remember being on the playground when a group of intimidating eighth-grade boys would crowd around me. They would yell, \u201cNew Orleans Saints.\u201d I would respond, \u201cBilly Kilmer.\u201d They would say, \u201cWashington Redskins.\u201d I would fire back, \u201cSonny Jurgensen.\u201d Then, they would scream, \u201cSan Francisco 49ers.\u201d I would respond, \u201cJohn Brodie.\u201d We went through every quarterback in the NFL. I loved sports, and I was hooked.

I played every sport I possibly could \u2013 basketball being my first love. At the age of 13, I taped mock sportscasts on my $10 tape recorder, trying to be just like Brent Musburger from the CBS radio network. At 18, I began doing commentaries on Group W cable \u2013 today cringing when I look at one of those old tapes. I kept playing sports and had a basketball in my hands close to every day. I was really lucky that my parents decided to have a baby a year after the Stipanovichs . We went to De Smet, rarely lost and went to college for free.

At UMSL, I worked at the campus radio station, worked for the school newspaper and went to basketball practice. I interned at KMOX and KSDK, and I used to do some very important things for KSDK sports director Jay Randolph, like collect his scripts, buy his hairspray and chart games. I knew this was where I wanted to be someday. The problem was talent \u2013 I needed some. So I got my first job in Kingsport, Tennessee. I was there for 11 months, six days and three hours. I moved on to Lexington, Kentucky, and loved it because of the basketball. However, when my first child was born, I knew I had to get home. You can\u2019t have a son named Alex Cusumano growing up with a Southern accent. So I sent tape after tape to St. Louis stations \u2013 receiving rejection after rejection.

I had one friend in St. Louis, though, who believed in me \u2013 KSDK\u2019s Mike Bush, the sports director. I sent stories with St. Louis connections from the Southeast, and Bush would run them on \u201cSports Plus.\u201d He liked my work and fought hard for me. However, the general manager said, \u201cAs long as I am here, Cusumano won\u2019t get hired.\u201d He was fired \u2013 and on April 12, 1993, I began working at my dream job, KSDK. We have had a full staff of talented sportscasters since. I\u2019ve never thought of myself as a four or a three or a two; I just wanted to produce the best work I could and maybe win an award from time to time. I was never obsessed with doing the 10 p.m. sports every night because it would keep me from seeing my kids. I liked working two nights a week and being with the family for five. My weeknights were spent at a gym, a baseball field or a golf range, and I loved every second of it.

My kids are older now, and I just got the job as the sports director. I am humbled and honored. I am also as excited as can be. With radio, it\u2019s a long day. However, I think after 24 years, I know how to manage a department while being a good father and husband. I want to do commentaries, compelling features and lively interviews. I want to do documentaries and things that people will remember. We have an incredible sports department, with two outstanding producers in Andy Mohler and Larry Thornton. Audrey Dahlgren is a very good reporter, too.

The reason I love this job is, it\u2019s my town. I deeply care about the Cardinals and Blues. I despise the Rams. I want SLU and Mizzou to win every game. I want to make sure on Friday nights, high school athletes are getting their exposure. I want the small colleges to get some love, also. I want our great city to have sports covered in the best way possible.

One final thing. Before I got my first job in Kingsport, my mom wanted me to take the LSAT and become a lawyer, and I agreed. Then I was offered the job in Kingsport. So I took the LSAT, car already loaded and ready for my drive to Kingsport. In the middle of my test, I looked up and saw a young man with wire-rim glasses and thought, \u201cThat guy may want to defend criminals.\u201d I wanted to defend Ozzie Smith\u2019s credentials for the Hall of Fame. So I dropped the pencil on the ground and walked out of the room. My mom asked for a long time if I ever got the test scores back from the LSAT. I said, \u201cNo, Mom, I never did \u2013 but I will let you know if I ever do.\u201d

Frank Cusumano is a 17-time Emmy Award-winner on KSDK-TV; he also hosts The Pressbox on The All New 590 the Fan from 10 a.m. to noon each weekday and contributes to The Dave Glover Show on FM NewsTalk 97.1. Follow him on Twitter @frank_cusumano.

"}, {"id":"9f7cd579-c247-535c-8cf2-46701ff4ffaa","type":"article","starttime":"1480615200","starttime_iso8601":"2016-12-01T12:00:00-06:00","lastupdated":"1480693567","priority":35,"sections":[{"the-daily":"the-daily"}],"application":"editorial","title":"A Holiday Reading Rhyme","url":"http://www.laduenews.com/the-daily/article_9f7cd579-c247-535c-8cf2-46701ff4ffaa.html","permalink":"http://www.laduenews.com/the-daily/a-holiday-reading-rhyme/article_9f7cd579-c247-535c-8cf2-46701ff4ffaa.html","canonical":"http://www.laduenews.com/the-daily/a-holiday-reading-rhyme/article_9f7cd579-c247-535c-8cf2-46701ff4ffaa.html","relatedAssetCounts":{"article":0,"audio":0,"image":1,"link":0,"vmix":0,"youtube":0,"gallery":0},"byline":"Dr. Joseph Kahn","prologue":"Dr. Joseph Kahn\u2019Twas the month of December, and up on the shelves, What there caught my eye but a bevy of elves? The children in bed \u2013 good lassies and lads \u2013 Snuggled tight with their TVs and brand-new iPads. While Mom at the monitor sat surfing the net, On fantasy football, Dad placed a bet.","supportsComments":true,"commentCount":0,"keywords":["kids md","dr. joseph kahn"],"internalKeywords":[],"customProperties":{},"presentation":"","images":[{"id":"62b571c0-93b3-53d7-8201-c2a2c562fe53","description":"","byline":"Photo by Sarah Conard","hireswidth":null,"hiresheight":null,"hiresurl":null,"presentation":"","versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"620","height":"476","url":"http://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/6/2b/62b571c0-93b3-53d7-8201-c2a2c562fe53/545915545bd1e.image.jpg?resize=620%2C476"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"76","url":"http://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/6/2b/62b571c0-93b3-53d7-8201-c2a2c562fe53/545915546b6a7.preview-100.jpg"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"230","url":"http://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/6/2b/62b571c0-93b3-53d7-8201-c2a2c562fe53/545915545bd1e.image.jpg?resize=300%2C230"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"786","url":"http://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/6/2b/62b571c0-93b3-53d7-8201-c2a2c562fe53/545915545bd1e.image.jpg"}}}],"revision":6,"commentID":"9f7cd579-c247-535c-8cf2-46701ff4ffaa","body":"
Dr. Joseph Kahn

\u2019Twas the month of December, and up on the shelves,

What there caught my eye but a bevy of elves?

The children in bed \u2013 good lassies and lads \u2013

Snuggled tight with their TVs and brand-new iPads.

While Mom at the monitor sat surfing the net,

On fantasy football, Dad placed a bet.

The elves on the shelves were gloomily pleading,

\u201cWhat\u2019s with this nonsense? Isn\u2019t anyone reading?\u201d

When up on the roof there came a loud sounding:

Things hitting the shingles and making a pounding.

I ran to the skylight and took a quick look.

It was jolly old Santa \u2013 with a bounty of books!

\u201cReading\u2019s fun,\u201d bubbled Santa. \u201cIt\u2019s never a chore!\u201d

Why don\u2019t more Americans read books anymore?

Books take us places both foreign and near,

Teach readers ideas, make complex things clear.

Reading books takes Americans to new far-flung places,

Introducing our minds to countless new faces.

Many authors have shared a grand new creation

And challenged us all with true inspiration.

Take Rowling and Seuss,

E.B. White, Judy Blume \u2013

Children\u2019s books can easily fill up a room!

Good ol\u2019 Lemony Snicket and a gent name of Stine \u2013

The Berenstain Bears were favorites of mine.

So whether shopping in stores or browsing online,

Kindly give it your all to bear this in mind:

When you give kids a book,

It just keeps on giving.

Like a dog (but much cleaner),

It\u2019s a gift that is living.

So as you\u2019re \u201chelping\u201d Santa, parents, keep this in mind:

When the kids are wound up and need to unwind,

There\u2019s no better place for children to look

Than inside the pages of a favorite book.

The net too much weakens, but books transmit might.

So happy Christmas to all \u2013 and to all a good night!

See a video of Dr. Kahn doing a reading\u00a0here.

Dr. Joseph Kahn is president of Mercy Kids (mercykids.org), an expansive network of pediatric care dedicated to meeting the needs of every child, every day. We also suspect him of being a devotee of a gent named Moore.

"}, {"id":"1fd806c0-fc93-588d-be60-b199d9311a70","type":"article","starttime":"1479924000","starttime_iso8601":"2016-11-23T12:00:00-06:00","lastupdated":"1480518426","priority":45,"sections":[{"the-daily":"the-daily"}],"application":"editorial","title":"Heroes of Healing","url":"http://www.laduenews.com/the-daily/article_1fd806c0-fc93-588d-be60-b199d9311a70.html","permalink":"http://www.laduenews.com/the-daily/heroes-of-healing/article_1fd806c0-fc93-588d-be60-b199d9311a70.html","canonical":"http://www.laduenews.com/the-daily/heroes-of-healing/article_1fd806c0-fc93-588d-be60-b199d9311a70.html","relatedAssetCounts":{"article":0,"audio":0,"image":1,"link":0,"vmix":0,"youtube":0,"gallery":0},"byline":"Connie Mitchell","prologue":"More than 400 physicians affiliated with Washington University in St. Louis were recently named the best in the country by a national medical authority.","supportsComments":true,"commentCount":0,"keywords":["best doctors","washington university physicians"],"internalKeywords":[],"customProperties":{},"presentation":"","images":[{"id":"59cac39a-ef48-5469-9fee-d0c64d077271","description":"P. Kumar Rao, MD, Washington University ophthalmologist","byline":"Photo courtesy of Tim Parker","hireswidth":1762,"hiresheight":1176,"hiresurl":"http://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/5/9c/59cac39a-ef48-5469-9fee-d0c64d077271/5834cd7ee8b56.hires.jpg","presentation":"","versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"760","height":"507","url":"http://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/5/9c/59cac39a-ef48-5469-9fee-d0c64d077271/5834cd7ee72c4.image.jpg?resize=760%2C507"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"67","url":"http://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/5/9c/59cac39a-ef48-5469-9fee-d0c64d077271/5834cd7ee72c4.image.jpg?resize=100%2C67"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"200","url":"http://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/5/9c/59cac39a-ef48-5469-9fee-d0c64d077271/5834cd7ee72c4.image.jpg?resize=300%2C200"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"683","url":"http://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/5/9c/59cac39a-ef48-5469-9fee-d0c64d077271/5834cd7ee72c4.image.jpg?resize=1024%2C683"}}}],"revision":4,"commentID":"1fd806c0-fc93-588d-be60-b199d9311a70","body":"

P. Kumar Rao, MD, Washington University ophthalmologist

When the national organization Best Doctors recently released its updated 2016 directory, more than 400 physicians on the list were affiliated with Washington University in St. Louis. That\u2019s more than a third of the St. Louis-based physicians listed on the nationwide, peer-selected panel. This kind of recognition is not unusual for the more than 1,300 physicians at Washington University Physicians, many of whom are specialists within their specialty, according to chief medical officer Dr. Sam Bhayani.

Bhayani himself is a prime example of the expertise exhibited by many of the physicians at Washington University Physicians. \u201cI am just one of many leaders at Washington University,\u201d says Bhayani, who not only performs his administrative role but also serves as the Holekamp Family Endowed Chair in Urology, professor of urologic surgery and co-director of robotic surgery at the Washington University Institute for Minimally Invasive Surgery.

\u201cA lot of us have different roles,\u201d he continues. \u201cOverall, my [administrative] role is to help enhance quality of care, assist with partnerships with our hospitals and the community, and also assist with partnerships with our payers, the government and regulatory bodies.\u201d He does all this while also assisting other physicians with complex clinical situations and teaching and performing urological surgery specializing in kidney and prostate cancer.

Not every Washington University physician is as busy as Bhayani, though he says many of his colleagues also have multifaceted duties that include clinical, educational and research work. Although it might seem a physician doing so much would be spread too thin, Bhayani says that most of his colleagues are driven by a passion for the profession. \u201cWe certainly have physicians who have a passion for discovering the next great medical treatment, others who have a passion for being at the bedside, others who have a passion for being in the operating room and others who are great teachers,\u201d he says. \u201cOftentimes, they have a passion for more than one of these things.\u201d

For example, these physicians might be investigators in clinical trials while treating patients. Or with one of the nation\u2019s highest levels of National Institutes of Health funding for research, many Washington University physicians are on the forefront of developing new treatments and procedures. Of the $646 million in research funding received by Washington University in the 2016 fiscal year, $400 million came from the National Institutes of Health, and most of the remainder came from other federal agencies or private foundations that support biomedical research, says Dr. Jennifer Lodge, vice chancellor and associate dean for research. \u201cMany of the researchers with MDs or MD-PhDs are also some of our best practicing clinicians,\u201d Lodge says.

Among the major initiatives currently underway, Washington University researchers are exploring drug treatments to prevent the onset of dementia in those with a genetic predisposition to Alzheimer\u2019s disease, mapping and understanding neural connections in the brain that develop during childhood and change over time, using genomics to understand how individual cancers can be treated, and working to speed the translation of research findings from the laboratory to the clinical setting. Many ongoing research projects at Washington University are large-scale national or international collaborations.

\u201cOur research leads to innovation and brings new knowledge, diagnostic tools and treatments to the bedside,\u201d Lodge says. \u201cThis translates to evidence-based best practice, disease prevention and improved clinical outcomes for the patients we serve. In addition, as a top research institution, Washington University is able to attract the best clinicians.\u201d

Referring back to Bhayani\u2019s comments about the superspecialization of many Washington University physicians, Lodge notes that involvement in research offers these physicians a deep dive into specific clinical areas. \u201c[They] are often the scientists who are developing the knowledge that forms the basis of these latest and most-effective approaches and therapies,\u201d she says.

Yi Zhang, assistant dean for clinical studies, agrees: \u201cOur doctors will only offer a study if they believe it is appropriate for a particular patient. If at any time a doctor believes a clinical study is no longer benefiting a patient or there is a better alternative therapy available, he or she will change the patient\u2019s treatment plan to make sure [he or she is] receiving the best possible care. We also have more than 500 treatment trials available for patients with various cancers.\u201d

While research and teaching occur behind the scenes, Washington University Physicians are a staple in the St. Louis area health care arena, and about 25 percent of the group\u2019s patients come from outside the metro area, Bhayani says. Many are pursuing second or third opinions or seeking the group\u2019s ultraspecialized expertise and cutting-edge technologies.

Although the hub of Washington University Physicians remains on the group\u2019s medical campus, its footprint is expanding. \u201cMost people are familiar with Siteman Cancer Center,\u201d Bhayani says. \u201cWe\u2019ve expanded our access to patients with our children\u2019s specialty care center out in West County and also our orthopedics center. We\u2019ve built a satellite for Siteman and for the Center for Advanced Medicine in South County.\u201d

Bhayani adds that current growth can literally be seen, as construction continues on a new women\u2019s and infant\u2019s center on the academic medical center\u2019s north campus adjacent to the Central West End, new clinical facilities, more beds and additional operating rooms for abdominal and pelvic surgery. He also notes that Washington University Physicians practice at partner facilities across the St. Louis area. \u201cWe\u2019re also in positions outside the Central West End, and we\u2019re probably in more than 50 different locations now,\u201d he says.

Asked what he would most like people to know about Washington University Physicians, Bhayani concludes: \u201cWe\u2019re all over town. Come and discuss our expertise and how we can help you.\u201d

To learn more about clinical studies currently seeking volunteers, individuals should go to the Volunteer for Health Research Participant Registry at vfh.wustl.edu or call 314-362-1000. For cancer patients and their families, visit siteman.wustl.edu for available cancer trials.

"}, {"id":"6ce59c1d-12ba-5cc4-bbc3-8b1ded70b161","type":"article","starttime":"1479924000","starttime_iso8601":"2016-11-23T12:00:00-06:00","priority":40,"sections":[{"the-daily":"the-daily"}],"application":"editorial","title":"Connect the Dots: Gauging the Economy Under President Trump","url":"http://www.laduenews.com/the-daily/article_6ce59c1d-12ba-5cc4-bbc3-8b1ded70b161.html","permalink":"http://www.laduenews.com/the-daily/connect-the-dots-gauging-the-economy-under-president-trump/article_6ce59c1d-12ba-5cc4-bbc3-8b1ded70b161.html","canonical":"http://www.laduenews.com/the-daily/connect-the-dots-gauging-the-economy-under-president-trump/article_6ce59c1d-12ba-5cc4-bbc3-8b1ded70b161.html","relatedAssetCounts":{"article":0,"audio":0,"image":1,"link":0,"vmix":0,"youtube":0,"gallery":0},"byline":"Dr. Benjamin Ola. Akande","prologue":"The aftermath of each presidential campaign brings wildly divergent forecasts about what the inauguration of the new occupant at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. might mean for the economy.","supportsComments":true,"commentCount":0,"keywords":[],"internalKeywords":[],"customProperties":{},"presentation":"","images":[{"id":"49ca9c96-60e5-5de1-b304-4760e37027ab","description":"","byline":"","hireswidth":3200,"hiresheight":4800,"hiresurl":"http://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/4/9c/49ca9c96-60e5-5de1-b304-4760e37027ab/55523d1a9b407.hires.jpg","presentation":"","versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"413","height":"619","url":"http://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/4/9c/49ca9c96-60e5-5de1-b304-4760e37027ab/573e27481f8e6.image.jpg?resize=413%2C619"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"150","url":"http://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/4/9c/49ca9c96-60e5-5de1-b304-4760e37027ab/55032ed15ada8.preview-100.jpg"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"450","url":"http://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/4/9c/49ca9c96-60e5-5de1-b304-4760e37027ab/573e27481f8e6.image.jpg?resize=300%2C450"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"1535","url":"http://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/4/9c/49ca9c96-60e5-5de1-b304-4760e37027ab/573e27481f8e6.image.jpg"}}}],"revision":7,"commentID":"6ce59c1d-12ba-5cc4-bbc3-8b1ded70b161","body":"
Benjamin Akande Headshot

The aftermath of each presidential campaign brings wildly divergent forecasts about what the inauguration of the new occupant at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. might mean for the economy.

Just hours after Donald J. Trump was elected this nation\u2019s 45th president, markets around the world experienced wild swings that frightened investors. But in the end, the Dow recovered fully, and the Standard & Poor\u2019s stock index rose. Some analysts attributed the uptick in the markets to a perception by investors that Republicans are more business-friendly than Democrats.

But predictions by economists are just that: predictions. Sometimes they\u2019re spot-on. And sometimes, for a variety of reasons, they\u2019re way off.

That said, here are a few trends in the coming days, weeks and months to watch closely. These trends could help shape the nation\u2019s economic climate in the next four years and beyond.

Infrastructure Investment:\u2002It\u2019s no secret that a large percentage of the nation\u2019s bridges, roads and public school buildings are overdue for extensive renovations or replacement. Trump has proposed pumping $1 trillion into public infrastructure investment over time. This proposal has echoes of Franklin Delano Roosevelt\u2019s Works Progress Administration of the 1930s and early \u201940s, which created a massive number of jobs and led to the construction of thousands of public facilities around the country.

Investing heavily in infrastructure development in the coming decade could be an added bonus to a still-recovering economy. But as The Wall Street Journal pointed out recently, the road to this ambitious investment could be bumpy, given the fact that the plan relies heavily on a tax break for private sources that would in turn lead to infrastructure financing. Also, many experts believe that having private sources pour money into infrastructure projects in exchange for tax credits will fall short of the amount needed. Then there\u2019s also the concern that spending heavily on infrastructure could lead to higher long-term interest rates.

Gridlock-Free Washington:\u2002Although many corporations have awaited the advent of a new administration with a mix of hope and anxiety, there seems to be mostly hope. There\u2019s a sense among many large corporations and lobbyists that they will be able to get more done now that the executive branch and both chambers of the legislature are controlled by the same party. As The New York Times noted shortly after Election Day, the phones of many lobbyists have been ringing nonstop. Such lobbyists and their clients are confident they can work with their allies on Capitol Hill to get rid of or weaken regulations that have impeded their abilities to do business. This could be great news for many investors.

Deregulation:\u2002That word is music to the ears of investors and many large corporations. Trump has pledged to roll back parts of the Dodd-Frank financial reform legislation, environmental regulations and labor protections. Such measures would have a huge impact on banks, oil and gas companies, and the pharmaceutical industry. In fact, in recent days, the stock prices of many big companies in these industries have soared.

Of course, the future of the economy is all speculation at this point. January 20, Inauguration Day, still lies eight weeks away. And a lot can happen \u2013 or not happen \u2013 between then and January 2021. [LN dingbat]

Dr. Benjamin Ola. Akande is the 21st president of the 166-year-old Westminster College in Fulton, Missouri. He has a Ph.D. in economics and previously served as dean of the George Herbert Walker School of Business & Technology at Webster University.

"}, {"id":"7b2e3848-0368-5f9b-91a5-33eceab61478","type":"article","starttime":"1479924000","starttime_iso8601":"2016-11-23T12:00:00-06:00","priority":30,"sections":[{"the-daily":"the-daily"}],"application":"editorial","title":"Communication Conversation: The Final Push for College","url":"http://www.laduenews.com/the-daily/article_7b2e3848-0368-5f9b-91a5-33eceab61478.html","permalink":"http://www.laduenews.com/the-daily/communication-conversation-the-final-push-for-college/article_7b2e3848-0368-5f9b-91a5-33eceab61478.html","canonical":"http://www.laduenews.com/the-daily/communication-conversation-the-final-push-for-college/article_7b2e3848-0368-5f9b-91a5-33eceab61478.html","relatedAssetCounts":{"article":0,"audio":0,"image":1,"link":0,"vmix":0,"youtube":0,"gallery":0},"byline":"Janis Murray","prologue":"Hang in there, high school seniors \u2013 the college application process is almost over.","supportsComments":true,"commentCount":0,"keywords":[],"internalKeywords":[],"customProperties":{},"presentation":"","images":[{"id":"e49a6cac-e9e2-584e-baa0-3133af3d3823","description":"Janis Murray\u00a0","byline":"","hireswidth":1024,"hiresheight":1522,"hiresurl":"http://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/e/49/e49a6cac-e9e2-584e-baa0-3133af3d3823/5672ebf4a820e.hires.jpg","presentation":"","versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"511","height":"760","url":"http://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/e/49/e49a6cac-e9e2-584e-baa0-3133af3d3823/573a3ccf51730.image.jpg?resize=511%2C760"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"148","url":"http://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/e/49/e49a6cac-e9e2-584e-baa0-3133af3d3823/5672ebf4d6ff7.preview-100.jpg"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"446","url":"http://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/e/49/e49a6cac-e9e2-584e-baa0-3133af3d3823/573a3ccf51730.image.jpg?resize=300%2C446"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"1522","url":"http://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/e/49/e49a6cac-e9e2-584e-baa0-3133af3d3823/573a3ccf51730.image.jpg?resize=1024%2C1522"}}}],"revision":6,"commentID":"7b2e3848-0368-5f9b-91a5-33eceab61478","body":"

Janis Murray\u00a0

Hang in there, high school seniors \u2013 the college application process is almost over. November and December are tough months for those applying to college. Those who applied \u201cearly decision\u201d faced a November deadline, and the wait for a mid-December reply can be agonizing.

If you aren\u2019t accepted to your first choice, the application process repeats itself, but to multiple colleges. For those applying to \u201cstretch,\u201d \u201cright on\u201d and \u201csafety\u201d schools \u2013 as many as six to 10 \u2013 some are just running out of gas. They put their heart and soul into that 650-word common application essay and now are hitting the supplements. The most competitive colleges demand extra essays, as many as three or four, with word counts ranging from 100 to 500 words. This surprises some students. They\u2019ve possibly been juggling courses, sports and social commitments, all while trying to enjoy senior year with all this added obligation of college applications since September. In fact, many of my clients started last June and are glad they did now. Still, there is an urge to write off the supplements quickly just to get them done. Sorry, but this is a mistake.

College admission committees look at the supplements carefully, especially the ubiquitous one that always asks, \u201cWhy us?\u201d Colleges want to know what you have learned from your research about them and why you might be a good fit. So you can\u2019t just write one answer and submit it to all the colleges on your list, simply changing the college name. Why? Because just writing one forces you to stay general. \u201cI like the campus,\u201d \u201cThe teacher-to-student ratio is small,\u201d \u201cYou have a good ranking in magazines,\u201d \u201cI like your climate,\u201d etc. Dig deeper.

If you want to study engineering at Duke, you need to say at the Pratt School of Engineering, or for business at University of Michigan, it\u2019s the Ross School. One client this week applying to the University of Chicago wants to study radiology, and we found two professors with their own labs researching DNA degradation and microsecond X-rays for minimal exposure. He named these professors and explained why he would hope to work on their teams as an undergraduate. It was honest and convincing, which works.

So hang in there, and keep writing. You are almost done! [LN dingbat]

Janis Murray is president of Murray Prep LLC, providing communication training for individuals seeking college admission and career advancement. She works with students and professionals, creating successful strategies, r\u00e9sum\u00e9s, cover letters, essays, and image and interview/presentation performances. Contact her at jmurray@murrayprep.com.

"}, {"id":"b5179893-7931-5f92-9ee3-ee3bb1f2197a","type":"article","starttime":"1479405600","starttime_iso8601":"2016-11-17T12:00:00-06:00","priority":45,"sections":[{"the-daily":"the-daily"}],"application":"editorial","title":"Persons of Interest: Jackie Smith","url":"http://www.laduenews.com/the-daily/article_b5179893-7931-5f92-9ee3-ee3bb1f2197a.html","permalink":"http://www.laduenews.com/the-daily/persons-of-interest-jackie-smith/article_b5179893-7931-5f92-9ee3-ee3bb1f2197a.html","canonical":"http://www.laduenews.com/the-daily/persons-of-interest-jackie-smith/article_b5179893-7931-5f92-9ee3-ee3bb1f2197a.html","relatedAssetCounts":{"article":0,"audio":0,"image":1,"link":0,"vmix":0,"youtube":0,"gallery":0},"byline":"Paul Brown","prologue":"Jackie Smith, a former tight end in the National Football League, made two of the most remarkable moves\u00a0ever\u00a0by a professional football player.","supportsComments":true,"commentCount":0,"keywords":["jackie smith","persons of interest","national football league","nfl","cardinals football"],"internalKeywords":[],"customProperties":{},"presentation":"","images":[{"id":"d38aacee-e0e8-5694-b9dd-936dc8e8da77","description":"","byline":"Photo by Sarah Conard","hireswidth":1246,"hiresheight":1662,"hiresurl":"http://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/d/38/d38aacee-e0e8-5694-b9dd-936dc8e8da77/58261e236b665.hires.jpg","presentation":"","versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"570","height":"760","url":"http://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/d/38/d38aacee-e0e8-5694-b9dd-936dc8e8da77/58261e2368773.image.jpg?resize=570%2C760"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"133","url":"http://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/d/38/d38aacee-e0e8-5694-b9dd-936dc8e8da77/58261e2368773.image.jpg?resize=100%2C133"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"400","url":"http://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/d/38/d38aacee-e0e8-5694-b9dd-936dc8e8da77/58261e2368773.image.jpg?resize=300%2C400"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"1366","url":"http://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/d/38/d38aacee-e0e8-5694-b9dd-936dc8e8da77/58261e2368773.image.jpg?resize=1024%2C1366"}}}],"revision":5,"commentID":"b5179893-7931-5f92-9ee3-ee3bb1f2197a","body":"

Jackie Smith, a former tight end in the National Football League, made two of the most remarkable moves ever by a professional football player \u2013 moves that, in my opinion, prove why he embodies everything we\u2019d like our sports stars to be. The moves in question happened approximately four decades apart, and although Smith told me he doesn\u2019t remember either, I do. But I\u2019ll explain later.

Fans of St. Louis\u2019 old football team, the Cardinals, likely remember big No. 81 as the consummate tight end. He was tough, fast, skilled, admirable and gracious. These days it seems there aren\u2019t too many comparable players in the NFL. Maybe that\u2019s why TV ratings are way down \u2013 players are known more for controversy and alleged abuse than being gallant warriors of the gridiron. When I was a kid, though, football players were idols, and Jackie Smith was always my favorite.

Smith was one of the most reliable pass catchers in the game. He retired as the most prolific tight end in NFL history with a record 7,918 receiving yards, five straight Pro Bowls and 40 career touchdowns. He was inducted into the NFL Hall of Fame after 15 seasons with the Cardinals and one Super Bowl season with the Dallas Cowboys. After his 1977 season in St. Louis, Smith retired; the next year, though, he was brought out of retirement by legendary Dallas Cowboys coach Tom Landry.

At 38, Smith became a key player for the Cowboys in their run to Super Bowl XIII against the equally titanic Pittsburgh Steelers. Although most of us remember Smith for the entirety of his career, there are some who know him only for the Super Bowl touchdown pass he didn\u2019t catch. The surest hands in football wide open in the end zone, and he dropped the ball. The memorable video and call is replayed almost every year. \u201cBless his heart, he\u2019s got to be the sickest man in America,\u201d proclaimed announcer Verne Lundquist. Dallas eventually lost, and even though a lot of other factors cost the Cowboys the game, Smith was unfairly saddled with the brunt of blame. \u201cWell sure, you think about it, and I don\u2019t care to explain it, I don\u2019t care to talk about it,\u201d Smith says. \u201cWhat can you say? Sometimes I get ticked off about it.\u201d

Now 76, Smith is still a specimen of a man. During our conversation at the Des Peres Lodge, where we\u2019ve run into each other several times over the years, he demonstrates with quick, long strides and the sharp-pass-route cuts that made him so hard to stop on the field. Although he loves to talk about the glory days, he stresses that players shouldn\u2019t be judged only by what they did on the field. \u201cIt makes me feel bad for all players because that\u2019s all you are to people,\u201d Smith says. \u201cYou\u2019re not a thinking person, an individual. You\u2019re just a football player.\u201d We know better, though. Character and family are better gauges of a lifetime. Smith\u2019s four children and 14 grandchildren all call St. Louis home. His daughter Sheri is an elementary school principal in north St. Louis, and Smith says he is proud of them all. \u201cThey\u2019ve done well, and they\u2019re great kids because of their mom and because they were able to live in this great area.\u201d

About those moves I mentioned earlier. It was 1967 when a 9-year-old boy sat on a hallway bench in the Stadium Club at Busch Stadium II waiting for his parents long after a Cardinals football game had ended. He was uncomfortable in his coat and tie and bored to tears when Jackie Smith stepped out of an elevator. Smith was bruised and battered from the game, but approached the boy, whose head hung glumly in his hands. When the boy looked up, he saw his idol \u2013 a giant with curly blonde hair and a huge smile. Smith reached down and lifted the boy high above his head before safely returning him to earth, saying, \u201cSmile, Coach.\u201d That boy was me. The thrill of that moment never left. Fast-forward to 2007, when a bored 7-year-old girl sat waiting for her parents in the Fox 2 Newsroom. Jackie Smith was there on business, but when he saw the child who needed a smile, he lifted her high above his head. She giggled with delight. That girl was my daughter, and she felt the same thrill I did 40 years earlier in the sure hands of the same football star \u2013 remarkable.

Paul Brown is a longtime journalist on radio, on television and in print as a reporter, an anchor, a talk show host and a columnist. He\u2019s also a media and public relations consultant with Paul Brown Media.

"}, {"id":"db1be134-2edf-5b8b-9936-0e00caef270c","type":"article","starttime":"1479405600","starttime_iso8601":"2016-11-17T12:00:00-06:00","lastupdated":"1479406089","priority":40,"sections":[{"the-daily":"the-daily"}],"application":"editorial","title":"Test Drive the 2017 BMW X5 xDrive35i","url":"http://www.laduenews.com/the-daily/article_db1be134-2edf-5b8b-9936-0e00caef270c.html","permalink":"http://www.laduenews.com/the-daily/test-drive-the-bmw-x-xdrive-i/article_db1be134-2edf-5b8b-9936-0e00caef270c.html","canonical":"http://www.laduenews.com/the-daily/test-drive-the-bmw-x-xdrive-i/article_db1be134-2edf-5b8b-9936-0e00caef270c.html","relatedAssetCounts":{"article":0,"audio":0,"image":2,"link":0,"vmix":0,"youtube":0,"gallery":0},"byline":"Ryan Scott","prologue":"Crossovers are the new sales kings, but does BMW\u2019s X5 wear the crown?","supportsComments":true,"commentCount":0,"keywords":["test drive","bmw","bmw x5 xdrive35i"],"internalKeywords":[],"customProperties":{},"presentation":"","images":[{"id":"e0f88a51-a30d-5639-9bdd-6970b4923e79","description":"","byline":"Photo by Ryan Scott","hireswidth":1769,"hiresheight":1171,"hiresurl":"http://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/e/0f/e0f88a51-a30d-5639-9bdd-6970b4923e79/582dd8f4daaac.hires.jpg","presentation":"","versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"760","height":"503","url":"http://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/e/0f/e0f88a51-a30d-5639-9bdd-6970b4923e79/582dd8f4d8c5d.image.jpg?resize=760%2C503"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"58","url":"http://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/e/0f/e0f88a51-a30d-5639-9bdd-6970b4923e79/582dd8f4d8c5d.image.jpg?crop=1765%2C1018%2C1%2C82&resize=100%2C58&order=crop%2Cresize"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"173","url":"http://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/e/0f/e0f88a51-a30d-5639-9bdd-6970b4923e79/582dd8f4d8c5d.image.jpg?crop=1765%2C1018%2C1%2C82&resize=300%2C173&order=crop%2Cresize"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"591","url":"http://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/e/0f/e0f88a51-a30d-5639-9bdd-6970b4923e79/582dd8f4d8c5d.image.jpg?crop=1765%2C1018%2C1%2C82&resize=1024%2C591&order=crop%2Cresize"}}},{"id":"5d93fd45-cbb6-5633-8186-789f3267ffda","description":"","byline":"Photo by Ryan Scott","hireswidth":1769,"hiresheight":1171,"hiresurl":"http://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/5/d9/5d93fd45-cbb6-5633-8186-789f3267ffda/582dd8f555be4.hires.jpg","presentation":"","versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"760","height":"503","url":"http://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/5/d9/5d93fd45-cbb6-5633-8186-789f3267ffda/582dd8f554bd6.image.jpg?resize=760%2C503"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"66","url":"http://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/5/d9/5d93fd45-cbb6-5633-8186-789f3267ffda/582dd8f554bd6.image.jpg?resize=100%2C66"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"199","url":"http://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/5/d9/5d93fd45-cbb6-5633-8186-789f3267ffda/582dd8f554bd6.image.jpg?resize=300%2C199"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"678","url":"http://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/5/d9/5d93fd45-cbb6-5633-8186-789f3267ffda/582dd8f554bd6.image.jpg?resize=1024%2C678"}}}],"revision":5,"commentID":"db1be134-2edf-5b8b-9936-0e00caef270c","body":"
test drive 111816

For generations, auto manufacturers poured R&D resources into the crowded, yet lucrative, four-door family sedan market. If big sales numbers were the goal, that was the space to play.

But the times, they are a-changin\u2019 \u2013 or in this case, they\u2019ve already changed. Sedans have abdicated the throne to the new sales king, the SUV. Specifically, midsize crossovers are the new sales champions worldwide. Practicality has been the main reason, with driving enjoyment lagging in buyers\u2019 mindsets. In recent years, however, more driver-oriented brands such as BMW have made a concerted effort to bring fun back. For buyers, that can be interpreted only as a good thing.

In fact, the term crossover implies an SUV that drives more like a car than a light truck. And in the luxury segment, BMW practically invented the idea with the introduction of the X5 in 1999. In \u201999, the moniker crossover hadn\u2019t yet been coined. BMW\u2019s marketing crew knew SUV wasn\u2019t applicable and conceived SAV (sport activity vehicle) as a way to highlight its on-road driving prowess. Although what it\u2019s referred to has changed, the idea of sacrificing off-road capability for on-road dynamics stuck and has since reverberated throughout the industry. In BMW\u2019s case, the X5 now outsells the 5-series sedan.

As more proof of just how competitive the crossover market has become, BMW currently offers five distinct models. For this drive, I tested its best-selling X5, specifically an xDrive35i.

It\u2019s a complete package, if at first glance understated. Exterior styling remains very on-brand, though a bit forgettable, with a few interesting elements tied into an overall ho-hum profile. A Ford Explorer-owning friend called it \u201ca sharp-looking car,\u201d but overall it blends into the daily traffic ebb and flow more than I would prefer.

The inside mysteriously mixes dated and modern styling, as if its designers hadn\u2019t quite decided which direction to pursue. However, materials and fit-finish embrace a very high caliber: The seats are highly adjustable and provide support and comfort for long drives.

Analog gauges blend seamlessly with a customizable LCD display in what\u2019s probably the most successful design exercise. A huge panoramic roof lightens the overall dark theme significantly, and outward visibility in all directions is excellent. The 10.2-inch LCD screen is bright, and the adept iDrive integration, even with myriad configuration possibilities, is simple and intuitive.

But the most wow-inducing moment came when, after the BMW was put in reverse, a bird\u2019s-eye view of the car appeared on-screen. Regarding that feature, dubbed Surround View by BMW, my first thought was \u201cHow is that possible?\u201d

Power comes from a six-cylinder 3.0-liter engine featuring BMW\u2019s twin-power turbo technology, and direct injection. Rated at 300 horsepower and 300 lb-ft of torque, it\u2019s one of the smoothest engines available anywhere. The nearly 5,000-pound X5 is no rocket, but 60 mph sprints happen faster than expected. On-road, the theme of smooth continues. Cruising at 75, I wondered, \u201cWhy is everyone driving at 50 mph?\u201d before checking the speedometer. With driving mode set to comfort, sensory inputs are greatly dulled should you want to simply float home after a long day in the office.

But with this X5, the transition to sport mode brings a significant transformation to the driving experience. Steering tightens, the suspension gives more feedback in all directions and the throttle response sharpens significantly. No, it doesn\u2019t turn this people-hauler into a go-kart, but enough fun infuses the experience to keep things fresh.

Steering feel is probably the biggest letdown of this X5, however, as it can occasionally give a floaty performance that doesn\u2019t inspire confidence. Although I did occasionally hustle it around some twists, the vague on-center feel and need for more subtle input than necessary kept me from truly exploring its limits.

Taken in its entirety and in the target market, the X5 succeeds nicely. It\u2019s also highly configurable to any would-be buyer. The M Sport package increases curb appeal and would likely sharpen chassis dynamics.

A new plug-in hybrid option is available, and although it offers a short range, for those with light daily commutes, it\u2019s compelling. The salesperson I spoke with mentioned a new plug-in-hybrid owner who filled his tank for the first time after 1,100 miles of ownership.

For power junkies, the 50i ups the ante to a 445-horsepower turbo V-8. And of course, no one can ignore the thundering 567-horsepower beast that is the X5 M. Any qualms with driving excitement vanish if one can make the financial leap to the M model.

The X5, in short, offers a lot to like and even a few things to love. But it\u2019s not all roses in this highly crowded market. I\u2019d certainly welcome a bit more pizazz, both inside and out. And I would appreciate a car that speaks to me behind the wheel: Instead of just saying, \u201cOK, I\u2019ll do that,\u201d I want to occasionally feel an enthusiastic \u201cHell, yeah, let\u2019s go!\u201d

Does the X5 reign as king of the luxury crossover segment? To be honest, I\u2019m not ready personally to make that leap yet. It\u2019s certainly on the short list, but over the coming months, we\u2019ll investigate its competitors and further assess which wears the crown these days.

To learn more about the 2017 BMW X5, visit plazabmw.com.

111816 test drive
"}, {"id":"49203a80-1d66-5552-817b-31cdfc43b38e","type":"article","starttime":"1479405600","starttime_iso8601":"2016-11-17T12:00:00-06:00","priority":35,"sections":[{"the-daily":"the-daily"}],"application":"editorial","title":"Dream Big","url":"http://www.laduenews.com/the-daily/article_49203a80-1d66-5552-817b-31cdfc43b38e.html","permalink":"http://www.laduenews.com/the-daily/dream-big/article_49203a80-1d66-5552-817b-31cdfc43b38e.html","canonical":"http://www.laduenews.com/the-daily/dream-big/article_49203a80-1d66-5552-817b-31cdfc43b38e.html","relatedAssetCounts":{"article":0,"audio":0,"image":1,"link":0,"vmix":0,"youtube":0,"gallery":0},"byline":"Charlotte VM Ottley","prologue":"Charlotte Ottley Headshot New\u201cThinking about what you want that is achievable is the norm. Seeing beyond the boundaries of what you think you can do that dares you to dream to your limit is worth seeking and can bring you the most fulfilling moments of your life.\u201d \u2013An Ottley-ism To remain competitive in business, it is important to be innovative and futuristic in your thinking \u2013 especially to remain a valuable resource for constantly changing customer demand. Although tradition should not be compromised for those who travel near and far to obtain staple products, they still need to supplement tradition with trends and technology \u2013 even if there is something to be said for businesses that make tradition and unchanging quality their marketing brand. Alternative ways to attract new, discerning consumers are necessary. In today\u2019s market, new businesses are growing significantly. The internet is dominated by new products and affordable access to old ones.","supportsComments":true,"commentCount":0,"keywords":[],"internalKeywords":[],"customProperties":{},"presentation":"","images":[{"id":"18f532db-eaac-5eba-8097-6a41ba013060","description":"","byline":"","hireswidth":null,"hiresheight":null,"hiresurl":null,"presentation":"","versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"464","height":"640","url":"http://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/1/8f/18f532db-eaac-5eba-8097-6a41ba013060/57b5d0bc103c8.image.jpg?resize=464%2C640"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"137","url":"http://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/1/8f/18f532db-eaac-5eba-8097-6a41ba013060/560d485784dc2.preview-100.jpg"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"414","url":"http://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/1/8f/18f532db-eaac-5eba-8097-6a41ba013060/57b5d0bc103c8.image.jpg?resize=300%2C414"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"1412","url":"http://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/1/8f/18f532db-eaac-5eba-8097-6a41ba013060/57b5d0bc103c8.image.jpg"}}}],"revision":5,"commentID":"49203a80-1d66-5552-817b-31cdfc43b38e","body":"
Charlotte Ottley Headshot New

\u201cThinking about what you want that is achievable is the norm. Seeing beyond the boundaries of what you think you can do that dares you to dream to your limit is worth seeking and can bring you the most fulfilling moments of your life.\u201d \u2013An Ottley-ism

To remain competitive in business, it is important to be innovative and futuristic in your thinking \u2013 especially to remain a valuable resource for constantly changing customer demand. Although tradition should not be compromised for those who travel near and far to obtain staple products, they still need to supplement tradition with trends and technology \u2013 even if there is something to be said for businesses that make tradition and unchanging quality their marketing brand. Alternative ways to attract new, discerning consumers are necessary. In today\u2019s market, new businesses are growing significantly. The internet is dominated by new products and affordable access to old ones.

Those business owners who are passionate about their vision for growth, while wanting to retain marketability, may want to consider some of the following:

\u2022 Are you settling because you are afraid to try new ways to introduce either your product or service to a new customer base?

\u2022 Do you need help expanding your customer base without compromising quality? Do you have the fulfillment capabilities to respond to the potential new demand?

\u2022 Do you have a great idea, but when it\u2019s shared with others, they think it is wishful thinking?

Consider these points of caution:

\u2022 Avoid becoming a victim of your own shortsighted limitations.

\u2022 Calculate your risks and potential gains. Decide if it\u2019s worth the risk.

\u2022 Ask yourself why you are inspired to think bigger and want more.

\u2022 Think about value alignment. Does this bigger vision challenge or complement what is really important to you?

Also, consider these points of motivation:

\u2022 If you are passionate about it, try it. Take a calculated risk. I\u2019m not sure which is worse \u2013 a dream deferred out of fear or a future spent agonizing over \u201cshould\u2019ve, would\u2019ve or could\u2019ve\u201d!

\u2022 Ask for help. Take time to seek what may seem impossible. I have a very practical example: Recently a young lady started a company making cakes in a jar. Her refrigerator broke, and she heard about a women\u2019s forum on the radio and an opportunity to win $1,000 \u2013 just what she needed to get a new refrigerator. With all the problems she had to address, she stopped to attend the forum and left as the winner of the $1,000. Sitting at home thinking about not winning would have helped no one.

\u2022 Have pride in your dream. Be sincere and enthusiastic when seeking support. Think of how it benefits others.

I close with a few quotes from an unknown author . \u201cEvery major invention began with skepticism, little capital and a wealth of self-belief. The more things change, the more they stay the same. Only you know for sure. It\u2019s not who you are that holds you back, it\u2019s who you think you are not. Success comes in cans, not can\u2019ts. You have to expect things of yourself before you can do them.\u201d

Is your vision big enough to fulfill your dreams?

Charlotte VM Ottley is a market-development strategist, a \u201creal-time\u201d coach in professional development, an Emmy Award-winning TV producer and an author. She is available for seminars, interviews and speaking engagements. Contact her at cottley@cottleystl.com.

"}, {"id":"ecc60ed5-432d-56e7-9816-b3ec98729f4b","type":"article","starttime":"1479405600","starttime_iso8601":"2016-11-17T12:00:00-06:00","priority":35,"sections":[{"the-daily":"the-daily"}],"application":"editorial","title":"Overcome Teen Angst","url":"http://www.laduenews.com/the-daily/article_ecc60ed5-432d-56e7-9816-b3ec98729f4b.html","permalink":"http://www.laduenews.com/the-daily/overcome-teen-angst/article_ecc60ed5-432d-56e7-9816-b3ec98729f4b.html","canonical":"http://www.laduenews.com/the-daily/overcome-teen-angst/article_ecc60ed5-432d-56e7-9816-b3ec98729f4b.html","relatedAssetCounts":{"article":0,"audio":0,"image":1,"link":0,"vmix":0,"youtube":0,"gallery":0},"byline":"Dr. Russell Hyken","prologue":"RussellHyken_headshotI recently presented to a professional group, courtesy of the Mental Health Association of St. Louis, a nonprofit dedicated to \u201cimproving the care and treatment of persons living with mental illness.\u201d We watched a film titled It\u2019s Kind of a Funny Story, which takes a lighthearted but poignant look at mental illness in teens. After the film, I spoke about depression in adolescents and treatment options.","supportsComments":true,"commentCount":0,"keywords":[],"internalKeywords":[],"customProperties":{},"presentation":"","images":[{"id":"b39152e1-ef88-5987-964d-0009ab3830dd","description":"","byline":"","hireswidth":1763,"hiresheight":1176,"hiresurl":"http://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/b/39/b39152e1-ef88-5987-964d-0009ab3830dd/56d85e98997a2.hires.png","presentation":"","versions":{"full":{"type":"image/png","width":"760","height":"507","url":"http://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/b/39/b39152e1-ef88-5987-964d-0009ab3830dd/57978e715f227.image.png?resize=760%2C507"},"100": {"type":"image/png","width":"100","height":"66","url":"http://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/b/39/b39152e1-ef88-5987-964d-0009ab3830dd/56d85e999b1f0.preview-100.png"},"300": {"type":"image/png","width":"300","height":"200","url":"http://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/b/39/b39152e1-ef88-5987-964d-0009ab3830dd/57978e715f227.image.png?resize=300%2C200"},"1024":{"type":"image/png","width":"1024","height":"683","url":"http://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/b/39/b39152e1-ef88-5987-964d-0009ab3830dd/57978e715f227.image.png?resize=1024%2C683"}}}],"revision":5,"commentID":"ecc60ed5-432d-56e7-9816-b3ec98729f4b","body":"

I recently presented to a professional group, courtesy of the Mental Health Association of St. Louis, a nonprofit dedicated to \u201cimproving the care and treatment of persons living with mental illness.\u201d We watched a film titled It\u2019s Kind of a Funny Story, which takes a lighthearted but poignant look at mental illness in teens. After the film, I spoke about depression in adolescents and treatment options.

At the heart of the film\u2019s story is a loving family with a teenage boy who\u2019s conflicted by his parents\u2019 desire that he attend a rigorous preparatory school despite his wish to study at a creative arts academy. The students in the story reminded me of my children and their friends \u2013 intelligent and socially conscious, but still just kids faced with making \u201cbig\u201d decisions.

As I watched the movie \u2013 and read the book, Ned Vizzini\u2019s 2006 novel of the same name \u2013 it made me think about how angst-filled the teenage years can be. Social drama, academic pressure and hormones take over. Friends become more important than family, every decision is a major decision, and adults \u201cjust don\u2019t understand.\u201d

Parenting a teen differs significantly from parenting a child because most teenagers think they have the answers to all of life\u2019s questions. And while it is true that we are older and wiser than our children, they don\u2019t see it that way.

To connect with your independent-thinking adolescent, focus more on listening and less on talking. When appropriate, interject your opinions. Open, nonjudgmental communication creates conscientious, right-thinking children who will ultimately make good decisions.

Unfortunately, most parents will experience extreme and conflicting emotions while raising adolescents: sadness followed by joy, worry followed by excitement, or anxiety followed by a sense of calm.

To survive, you yourself should indulge in some quality self-care. Commiserate with other parents over a good meal or a cup of coffee \u2013 share stories, find humor and understand that you\u2019re not alone.

Teenagers are self-centered individuals searching for identity. Arguments typically increase because of emerging independence, but the torment, for the most part, remains short-lived. Disagreement coincides with healthy development. Conflicts will decrease as a teen matures, gains his or her self-confidence and understands his or her identity.

The teen years brim with emotional ups and downs. Support your child and empathize with his or her concerns. Provide a warm family environment, and your kids will mature into responsible young adults.

Prior to going into private practice as a psychotherapist and learning-disabilities specialist, Russell Hyken, Ph.D., Ed.S., M.A., LPC, NCC, worked for more than 15 years as an English teacher, school counselor and school administrator. Visit him online at ed-psy.com.

"}, {"id":"196906a4-27e6-5c2e-974c-538ad5abe739","type":"article","starttime":"1478800800","starttime_iso8601":"2016-11-10T12:00:00-06:00","priority":45,"sections":[{"the-daily":"the-daily"}],"application":"editorial","title":"Character Counts","url":"http://www.laduenews.com/the-daily/article_196906a4-27e6-5c2e-974c-538ad5abe739.html","permalink":"http://www.laduenews.com/the-daily/character-counts/article_196906a4-27e6-5c2e-974c-538ad5abe739.html","canonical":"http://www.laduenews.com/the-daily/character-counts/article_196906a4-27e6-5c2e-974c-538ad5abe739.html","relatedAssetCounts":{"article":0,"audio":0,"image":1,"link":0,"vmix":0,"youtube":0,"gallery":0},"byline":"Alice Handelman","prologue":"Veronica McDonnell, board member of Friends of CharacterPlus, has been making a difference in the lives of young people for more than a decade.","supportsComments":true,"commentCount":0,"keywords":["veronica mcdonnell","friends of characterplus"],"internalKeywords":[],"customProperties":{},"presentation":"","images":[{"id":"03304d15-c345-59eb-ae16-ce830b71f245","description":"","byline":"Photo by Sarah Conard","hireswidth":1680,"hiresheight":1233,"hiresurl":"http://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/0/33/03304d15-c345-59eb-ae16-ce830b71f245/5824a104beeca.hires.jpg","presentation":"","versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"760","height":"558","url":"http://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/0/33/03304d15-c345-59eb-ae16-ce830b71f245/5824a104bd568.image.jpg?resize=760%2C558"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"73","url":"http://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/0/33/03304d15-c345-59eb-ae16-ce830b71f245/5824a104bd568.image.jpg?resize=100%2C73"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"220","url":"http://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/0/33/03304d15-c345-59eb-ae16-ce830b71f245/5824a104bd568.image.jpg?resize=300%2C220"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"752","url":"http://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/0/33/03304d15-c345-59eb-ae16-ce830b71f245/5824a104bd568.image.jpg?resize=1024%2C752"}}}],"revision":2,"commentID":"196906a4-27e6-5c2e-974c-538ad5abe739","body":"
veronica mcdonnell

Veronica McDonnell believes that weaving character values like honesty, responsibility, respect, leadership, teamwork and caring into schools\u2019 curricula makes a difference in the academic achievement of children. For her dedication to character building, the Friends of CharacterPlus will honor her on Nov. 18 with the Sandy McDonnell Dedication to Character Award, named after her late father-in-law, Sanford McDonnell. McDonnell has been a member of the organization\u2019s board and founded its Friends support group in 2005.

\u201cCharacter education is so important,\u201d she says. \u201cIt is vital to start teaching people at a young age that what you do has an effect on others. Kids must learn that bullying is not acceptable behavior. They need to realize that it can have harmful effects on people for years.

\u201cMy father-in-law was a great proponent of character education and started the organization that became CharacterPlus 28 years ago. His dedication sparked my interest in promoting character building in schools, as well. He saw common courtesies going by the wayside.\u201d

During his tenure as chairman of aerospace company McDonnell Douglas, Sanford McDonnell helped focus national attention on the importance of ethics in all aspects of life. He chose character education in schools K-12 as his retirement career. \u201cHe said that character education must begin in schools, with our children,\u201d Veronica McDonnell says. \u201cValues learned there will then be passed on. He felt that teaching basic principles during routine classes and emphasizing we instead of I would make all the difference.\u201d

Today, character education is integrated into the curricula of 70 school districts in Missouri, Illinois and Kansas. \u201cThis has affected 300,000 children, increasing academic scores and decreasing interruptions in the classroom,\u201d she says.

Veronica McDonnell started Friends of CharacterPlus, a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization, to \u201chelp increase the awareness of the CharacterPlus program,\u201d she says. \u201cThe Friends group consists of community volunteers who help raise money for the programs to help instill positive character traits in our youth.\u201d According to McDonnell, Friends\u2019 current 21-member board got its start by doing awareness days in her home.

Health and wellness form another huge pillar in McDonnell\u2019s life. A registered dietitian for 24 years, she graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in general dietetics from Fontbonne College (now Fontbonne University) and completed a postgraduate dietetic internship with the Department of Veterans Affairs. She has practiced as a renal dietitian for most of those years, caring for patients with kidney disease. \u201cWhen I was younger, I saw family members who were ill who were helped by dietitians,\u201d she says. \u201cThis had an immense impact on my life. People are living longer today because of the new advances in dialysis and the ways we are able to help them.\u201d

McDonnell has held professional executive board positions with the Eastern Missouri and Metro East Council for Renal Nutrition and the Missouri Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics; with the latter, she chaired its statewide conferences in 2010 and 2012 and received a Volunteer of the Year award in 2010.

Named a Woman of Achievement in 2013, McDonnell spends countless hours each week with volunteer commitments that make a difference in the lives of others. Both creative and driven, she has chaired events for the Missouri Baptist Healthcare Foundation, Missouri History Museum, Saint Louis Art Museum, Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, Community Music School of Webster University and National Kidney Foundation. Her most recent event was the opening for the \u201cLittle Black Dress\u201d exhibition at the Missouri History Museum.

\u201cVeronica has that special flair, and our opening event was a big splash,\u201d says Gwendolyn Packnett, vice president of Women of Achievement, who served on the committee with McDonnell. McDonnell also has served as a trustee and member of the Friends\u2019 Board of the Saint Louis Art Museum, a trustee of the Missouri History Museum, a board member of Missouri Baptist Medical Center and the chair of its foundation. She was honored with Fontbonne University\u2019s Founders Award for Distinguished Service and Dedication to the Community in 2007.

When she isn\u2019t volunteering or working, McDonnell plays tennis, loves watching baseball and hockey, and spends time with her nieces and nephews. Married since 2000, she and her husband, Randy, an aeronautical engineer, live in Frontenac with their three dogs.

\u201cWe have two rescue dogs and our lap dog, who doesn\u2019t like laps,\u201d she says. \u201cRandy and I met at a restaurant in Clayton on a night when I didn\u2019t really plan or want to go out. That proves you can expect great things when you least expect them.\u201d

She says her heroes are \u201cmy mom, who is the glue that keeps our family a unit\u201d and \u201cmy husband, for the support he has shown me. I would not be able to be an effective volunteer or volunteer as much as I do if not for Randy. He is an inspiration to me.\u201d

Friends of CharacterPlus Fall Party on Nov. 18

The fall party will honor Veronica McDonnell with the Sandy McDonnell Dedication to Character Award and feature cocktails, hors d\u2019oeuvres, an upscale pizza bar, desserts and music at City Cottage on Chouteau in St. Louis. For event information, call 314-692-1215.

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