[ {"id":"517935de-287b-5953-883d-49171926293f","type":"article","starttime":"1534438800","starttime_iso8601":"2018-08-16T12:00:00-05:00","lastupdated":"1534439854","priority":45,"sections":[{"testdrive":"business/testdrive"}],"application":"editorial","title":"Test Drive: Irrational Decisions","url":"http://www.laduenews.com/business/testdrive/article_517935de-287b-5953-883d-49171926293f.html","permalink":"http://www.laduenews.com/business/testdrive/test-drive-irrational-decisions/article_517935de-287b-5953-883d-49171926293f.html","canonical":"http://www.laduenews.com/business/testdrive/test-drive-irrational-decisions/article_517935de-287b-5953-883d-49171926293f.html","relatedAssetCounts":{"article":0,"audio":0,"image":3,"link":0,"vmix":0,"youtube":0,"gallery":0},"byline":"Ryan Scott","prologue":"LN compares the best small sports cars to reveal more similarities than differences.","supportsComments":true,"commentCount":0,"keywords":["test drive","mazda mx-5","alfa romeo 4c 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\u201cWhy do you drive such a small car?\u201d is a question I\u2019ve received countless times since purchasing a 2016 Mazda MX-5. My typical retort: \u201cWhy do you have such a big car?\u201d The question often causes clumsy scrambling of justification on the part of my questioner(s); meanwhile, I\u2019m thinking, \u201cYou might as well get a license plate that reads \u2018ZRO FUN.\u2019\u201d

Weight and size in a car are the enemies of all things exciting. Newton postulated that force equals mass times acceleration, so the more mass involved, the more force that\u2019s required to accelerate a car in any direction. Keep things trim, and the act of driving becomes an engaging treat for the senses. Unfortunately, modern lifestyles and dreadful traffic situations have convinced most folks that driving is a chore not to be enjoyed. I believe, however, that there are two types of people: those who love driving and those who haven\u2019t yet realized they love driving. Here, we look at three cars rich in the ability to awaken the driver in us all.


\"MX5_1.jpg\"
MX5_1.jpg

Mazda MX-5

The Mazda MX-5 has been my personal everyday driver for the last two years and is now at just over 25,000 miles. Its case for being fun is obvious, but the case for practicality is less so. But I\u2019ve averaged more than 35 mpg (highway and city combined), it has no problem holding all my groceries in the trunk, and the cup holders work just fine. At 6 foot 2 inches, I wear the car like a tailored suit \u2013 a comfortable suit. Filling the role of mundane to-and-fro driving tasks, the MX-5 has serviced me admirably without a single inconvenience during its two years.

Time together has shown the MX-5 is more than just a fun second car, but admittedly, the fun factor is what sold me in the beginning. Looking at the other cars on this list, I\u2019d expect car-savvy readers to expect the MX-5 can\u2019t compete. And truthfully, in stock trim, it doesn\u2019t. Off the showroom floor, it has an anemic exhaust note more akin to a clogged Shop-Vac than a sports car, power delivery that gives in the midrange but then takes away just as revs get into the higher range, and a suspension that lets the car roll and dive far too much in twisty bits. All of these \u201cissues\u201d are forgivable considering its price point of around $30,000, but they do also take away from the experience. Although worthy of being on this comparison list, one of its greatest points of comparison is definitely its more affordable price point.

Thankfully, they\u2019re all issues easily remedied. Throughout the first few months of ownership, my MX-5 was transformed with just a few simple aftermarket additions. Tubular headers and a more aggressive ECU, or electronic control unit, tune bumped horsepower from 155 to 185, new exhaust gave it a demanding voice, and cornering is greatly improved with coilover shocks and sway bars from St. Louis-based James Barone Racing. All told, these upgraded bits cost well under $3,000 and transformed the MX-5 from toy to contender status. Not only is the car greatly improved in every metric of absolute performance, but also the hard-to-quantify fun factor is multiplied.


\"Alfa4C-1.jpg\"
Alfa4C-1.jpg

Alfa Romeo 4C Spider

I\u2019ve gushed about the Alfa Romeo 4C in the past, having driven and reviewed the coupe version in these pages. So when the opportunity to drive a rare Spider arrived, I didn\u2019t hesitate. The 4C makes no effort to be and sets no expectations of being an everyday car. The carbon fiber monocoque chassis feels about like the name implies on entry and exit, and there\u2019s about as much interior storage as the pocket on your cargo shorts. But on the bright side, the 4C is rated at 34 mpg highway!

No, the 4C isn\u2019t going to sell anyone on its potential day-to-day livability. This is a car that\u2019s all about raising your heart rate. You know that look a cat gets when you\u2019re about to throw its favorite toy, when its booty shakes and its eyes dilate into coal-black pie plates? Yeah, driving the 4C is like that. Even more so in the topless Spider version, the audible whoosh and hiss from the turbocharger are amplified, the spits and crackles from the exhaust can be heard, and because the chassis owes its stiffness to the carbon-fiber tub, there\u2019s no compromising shake over bumps. That final point also means no weight gain in the Spider \u2013 in short, no downside. When you\u2019re trying to stretch the legs of a 237-horsepower, 1.7-liter turbocharged engine as far as possible, adding weight would be a no-no.

Driving both the hard-top and topless 4C confirms something I\u2019ve always believed: Not having a lid only magnifies all the sensations that make driving enjoyable. All my prior impressions of the 4C coupe being one of the pure driver\u2019s cars available today, if not the best, are strengthened by driving the 4C Spider. With a price of entry roughly double that of the MX-5, it\u2019s also easy to make a case that the 4C is a bargain in today\u2019s market.


\"Lotus_1.jpg\"
Lotus_1.jpg

Lotus Evora 400

Although the Lotus Evora 400 is currently available only with a fixed roof, it\u2019s been teasing us with promises of a topless Roadster version for years. The Lotus tips the scales at a portly 3,075 pounds (whereas the 4C and MX-5 both barely top 2,300 pounds). The Evora even has a back seat, although clearly not intended for human occupancy. But the Evora\u2019s intent is the same as the others \u2013 to generate an intense feeling of euphoria.

You might not know much about Lotus, which is understandable. Mazda and Alfa Romeo aren\u2019t exactly behemoths of the automotive industry, but compared to Lotus, they invite a David-and-Goliaths comparison. The Evora is the only car in its U.S. lineup, and as such, Lotus has focused heavily on its development. Lotus builds only sports cars, and the people who seek them know Lotus does them very well. Starting from a blueprint similar to the 4C \u2013 midengine with a tub chassis (bonded aluminum in this case) \u2013 one might think it provides a similar experience. But no: Where the 4C is raw and unbridled, the Evora adds a layer of polish and refinement. Its cabin is full of Alcantara and leather, and sound-deadening treatment muffles a lot of the noises that you might want to hear.

Of the three cars here, the Evora has the most power by far. Sourcing a 3.5-liter V6 engine from Toyota, Lotus significantly modifies its internals and adds an Edelbrock supercharger boosting output to 400 horsepower. Although faster than the 4C or MX-5, in the six-speed manual, second gear feels a bit too tall, and it\u2019s not until the latter half of third gear that you mumble, \u201cDamn!\u201d to yourself. By then, you\u2019re touching 90 mph, and it\u2019s time to rein things in a bit. Plus, the gear ratios just feel off for carving up twisty road. Where the 4C jumps out of corners, and even the modified MX-5 does, the Evora doesn\u2019t seem to wind up until you\u2019re almost to the next bend, and then it\u2019s hard on the brakes again.

However, steering is sharp and precise. The interior makes a great first impression. It\u2019s the fastest car here but perhaps not the most exciting. By choosing to make the Evora a more upscale Porsche competitor, Lotus removed the rawness and left us with a curious choice. There\u2019s also the price to consider, at a 50 percent-again premium over the 4C.


Conclusion

Let\u2019s get this out of the way: These are all incredible cars. Any of them will stir your soul and awaken the giggling child within. The MX-5 sells many times over the other two for a reason, with its easy-to-swallow price, negligible cost of ownership and heavy dose of fun. To hold serve against these two heavy hitters, however, you must be willing to tinker with the available aftermarket options. The 4C is almost a cautionary tale of being too good at just one thing. Its sales are dismal, and indications are it will be gone after the \u201919 model year. Knowing that makes me sad because we might never see as well executed a pure sports car again. And the Evora is a dose of fun at heart that maybe forgot its roots and is trying to blend with the hip crowd. I feel that if the Evora would give us a chop-top option and forget trying to lure Porsche cross-shoppers, we could have another reason to not be sad for the future.

But I could just as easily turn things around and make a different case for any of these cars if I had a different perspective. With some federal grant money, I could prove they all cause massive endorphin releases, which is the whole point of them existing. Time in any of these cars could make anyone remember how much fun driving can be.


LOANERS FROM:

Bommarito Mazda West County, bommaritomazdawest.com

Jim Butler Alfa Romeo, jimbutleralfaromeousa.com

St. Louis Motorcars, stl.cars

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\"RussellHyken_headshot\"
RussellHyken_headshot

Much of my clinical practice focuses on assessing students for learning issues to help teens secure appropriate school and test accommodations, including getting extended time during standardized assessments like the ACT and SAT. In that light, just recently, a client phoned to ask about \u201ctest-optional\u201d colleges, wondering if her child should apply to such schools and avoid a stress-producing admissions test.

\u201cTest-optional\u201d colleges mean just that: four-year educational institutions that don\u2019t require applicants to submit an ACT or SAT score as part of their admissions packet. In 1969, Bowdoin College, a private school in Brunswick, Maine, became the first four-year postsecondary educational institution to forgo an entrance exam. Since that time, more than 850 colleges and universities have implemented some form of test-optional policy.

For many schools, this progressive admissions strategy marks a move to level the playing field and broaden student diversity. According to FairTest, the online National Center for Fair & Open Testing, many experts consider standardized tests to be culturally biased, favoring affluent, male Caucasians. When entrance tests are eliminated, though, admissions professionals can focus on the quality of the candidate and consider grades, work ethic and community involvement instead of making a decision based on a single test score.

Some critics, however, suggest an ulterior motive to an institution\u2019s going test-optional: More students typically apply, allowing schools to reject more applicants and to appear more selective, which also increases their U.S. News & World Report \u201cranking.\u201d In addition, schools can bolster their financial position, taking borderline candidates solely because such candidates can fully pay their tuition.

No matter your personal feelings, in my professional opinion, most college-bound students should take at least one admissions test. More than 4,000 colleges and universities still expect students to take the ACT or SAT. Also, I further recommend that students consider sitting for both of those standardized assessments. Why? Well, each covers different material and asks questions in different ways, leading some students to perform tellingly better on one than on the other. With scores in hand, a student then can more clearly assess his or her choices and decide which educational path to choose.

If your son or daughter does choose the test-optional route, it\u2019s extremely important to review a given school\u2019s requirements, as they vary by institution. Some institutions want an on-campus interview, some request state achievement test scores, some have \u201cother\u201d criteria, and some may still require an ACT or SAT for admission to a specific academic program. Know a school\u2019s expectations so your child can apply successfully.

As the bottom line, the ACT/SAT requirement isn\u2019t disappearing anytime soon despite the test-optional movement. In consequence, it remains imperative to seek information early in the college search. Consult a college counselor, and determine the school that best fits your student, in order to ensure both academic success and personal happiness.

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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\"Zach
Zach Hatraf

When most of us come up with a good idea for something, we usually just let it fade away and go on with our lives. Zach Hatraf is not like most of us; he\u2019s an entrepreneur.

When the Oakville resident came up with his idea, he made it a reality. For the past eight years, he has worked practically nonstop to build a company called Anchor, which has been described as \u201cUber for boats.\u201d

Hatraf and Anchor have become very well-known around the Lake of the Ozarks. The key to his success is an app he developed that uses geospatial social interaction (your kids and grandkids can likely explain this further) to match up people who want to use charter boats with nearby boat owners and skippers who want to make money by taking on passengers.

\u201cPeople want to rent really cool boats, so we give them access to really cool boats,\u201d says Hatraf. \u201cThey get a $400,000 vessel that they probably never would have been able to afford.\u201d

Hatraf says you can charter a boat for anywhere from a couple of hundred dollars for a runabout up to $2,000 for an all-day boat ride on a big cruiser. In the past year, his company has more than doubled in size and revenue, focusing on the Ozarks and Tampa Bay. He\u2019s already signed up about 1,000 captains, but Hatraf believes he\u2019s just getting started.

\u201cWe\u2019re suiting up with the tools for the breakthrough,\u201d Hatraf says. \u201cThat would mean explosive growth \u2013 400,000 to 500,000 percent growth.\u201d

Entrepreneurs like Hatraf think big, and when they succeed, they can make it look easy. But he says that\u2019s the furthest thing from reality.

\u201cIf there were a hundred people in a room, the entrepreneur would be the person in that room who could endure the most pain and stay in there the longest and work through the most problems and continue to endure,\u201d Hatraf says.

Hatraf intends to make a lot of money from Anchor, but it wasn\u2019t money that caused him to take the leap into the world of entrepreneurship. He got the idea after suffering a deeply personal loss. In 2006, his best friend, Jeremy Coplin, was killed in a drunk boating accident near \u201cParty Cove\u201d at the Lake of the Ozarks. A year later, Hatraf went back to the lake and wanted to rent a boat and hire a sober driver; he says the workers at the dock laughed at him. With the sad memory of his friend still fresh in his mind, he says he watched in horror as dozens of rental boats with inexperienced drivers were loaded up with coolers full of booze.

\u201cIt gave me chills,\u201d Hatraf recalls. \u201cEvery single one of these people was going out, and they were going to drive a boat that they had no business driving on a lake they may know very little about, and they were going to be drunk doing it \u2013 it made no sense.\u201d

That\u2019s when the lightbulb went off: If nobody else was going to create a business to rent out boats with sober captains, then he was.

Hatraf graduated from Springfield\u2019s Missouri State University with a degree in business and was making a six-figure salary working for an information technology consulting company, but the job didn\u2019t match his entrepreneurial personality.

\u201cMy boss used to pull me in and say, \u2018You make half the calls as everyone else, yet your numbers are on pace with everyone. So why don\u2019t you try harder and make five times as much as everybody?\u2019\u201d he says. \u201cI said, \u2018Because I just really don\u2019t give a crap about this.\u2019\u201d

So Hatraf quit his job and started developing apps that use geospatial technology to start his first company, which he called Who\u2019s Your Captain, and then that led to the launch of Anchor. Hatraf\u2019s still in the blood, sweat and tears part of this venture and works endless hours for a lot less money than he did before, but says he\u2019s a lot more gratified.

\u201cI wake up at 2:30 in the morning, so I can\u2019t even sleep without thinking about the business,\u201d Hatraf says. \u201cI may get frustrated, but I come right back. To be an entrepreneur, you have to know it means that you want to endure pain, and if there\u2019s no chance that you can go broke, then you are not an entrepreneur.\u201d

Hatraf sees a future without limits and predicts that in the next 10 years, his start-up company will be a household name, drunk boating will be less of an issue, and he will be very wealthy. Most of us may ask ourselves, \u201cWhy didn\u2019t I do something like that?\u201d The answer should be obvious: Most of us aren\u2019t entrepreneurs.

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":"3560b01e-4a40-5fe2-8d0b-2b7c51aa61ae","type":"article","starttime":"1533834000","starttime_iso8601":"2018-08-09T12:00:00-05:00","lastupdated":"1534172045","priority":45,"sections":[{"features":"business/features"}],"application":"editorial","title":"Getting Down to Brass Taxes","url":"http://www.laduenews.com/business/features/article_3560b01e-4a40-5fe2-8d0b-2b7c51aa61ae.html","permalink":"http://www.laduenews.com/business/features/getting-down-to-brass-taxes/article_3560b01e-4a40-5fe2-8d0b-2b7c51aa61ae.html","canonical":"http://www.laduenews.com/business/features/getting-down-to-brass-taxes/article_3560b01e-4a40-5fe2-8d0b-2b7c51aa61ae.html","relatedAssetCounts":{"article":0,"audio":0,"image":1,"link":0,"vmix":0,"youtube":0,"gallery":0},"byline":"Connie Mitchell","prologue":"Financial experts share strategies for charitable giving under the new tax code.","supportsComments":true,"commentCount":0,"keywords":["nonprofit","charity","standard deduction","tax law"],"internalKeywords":[],"customProperties":{},"presentation":null,"images":[{"id":"13030850-9028-5a78-bf10-6dab7414d86c","description":"","byline":"","hireswidth":1763,"hiresheight":1175,"hiresurl":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/1/30/13030850-9028-5a78-bf10-6dab7414d86c/5b6c5ba839413.hires.jpg","presentation":"","versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1763","height":"1175","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/1/30/13030850-9028-5a78-bf10-6dab7414d86c/5b6c5ba838749.image.jpg?resize=1763%2C1175"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"67","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/1/30/13030850-9028-5a78-bf10-6dab7414d86c/5b6c5ba838749.image.jpg?resize=100%2C67"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"200","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/1/30/13030850-9028-5a78-bf10-6dab7414d86c/5b6c5ba838749.image.jpg?resize=300%2C200"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"682","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/1/30/13030850-9028-5a78-bf10-6dab7414d86c/5b6c5ba838749.image.jpg?resize=1024%2C682"}}}],"revision":3,"commentID":"3560b01e-4a40-5fe2-8d0b-2b7c51aa61ae","body":"
\"Man
Man hand holding money bag and giving money to another person is

The federal tax overhaul that goes into effect this year means many potential changes for millions of tax filers. One of the most significant of those changes is the increase in the standard deduction, which will prevent many people from itemizing and deducting a number of things, including charitable donations.

\u201cSome commentators estimate that the tax law changes may have a $17 billion impact on charitable giving in 2018,\u201d says Susan Teson, senior vice president and private wealth management senior legal counsel for UMB Bank. \u201cThis includes both an impact on individual gifts and estate gifts to charitable organizations. This will make it difficult for many charities to continue operating at their current budget levels, as they will not have the funds to sustain their current level of activity.\u201d

Of course, the need for the services these organizations provide is still there, notes Amy Pieper, senior vice president and director of nonprofit services for Commerce Trust Company, a division of Commerce Bank. \u201cNonprofit organizations are maintaining their mission to continue providing services, and they still need the support of donors to help them do so,\u201d she says. Fortunately, Pieper adds, there are ways in which people who will no longer itemize deductions within their tax returns can continue to make donations to their favorite charities without losing all the tax benefits.

For instance, people who are older than 70\u00bd, per the IRS website, are required to take a minimum individual retirement account distribution annually. They can transfer as much as $100,000 of that distribution to a qualified charity.

The qualified charitable distribution is not counted toward adjusted gross income, thus helping to decrease the overall tax burden.

In some cases, individuals with more resources may begin bunching charitable donations by making larger charitable donations every two to three years rather than every year, Teson notes. This strategy may help increase the amount of itemized deductions to a level that exceeds the standard deduction \u2013 $12,000 for individuals and $24,000 for married couples filing jointly \u2013 in the years in which the charitable donations are made.

\u201cIf people want to continue giving to charitable organizations, it makes sense to have an in-depth conversation about the optimal mechanism for this philanthropy,\u201d says Kenneth Bower, CEO and managing director of Clayton Financial Group. \u201cWe are recommending that everyone consult with their CPA at this time so that they can optimize their tax strategy for April of next year. In some cases, people are very familiar with direct transfers of highly appreciated stocks, and increasingly people are relying on donor-advised funds (DAFs).\u201d Contributions to DAFS are irrevocable, meaning the dollars are no longer owned by the donor and ultimately must be recommended to a 501(c)(3) organization. The dollars inside the account may be invested, and any growth inside the DAF is tax-free. Pieper adds that giving gifts of appreciated securities, stocks or real estate also helps taxpayers avoid capital gains taxes on these assets.

From the charities\u2019 side, communication, careful planning and building lasting relationships are crucial. \u201cThe organizations may have to put an increased focus on their mission and the impact they have on the community to encourage charitable giving,\u201d Teson says. \u201cThey might need to appeal to individuals\u2019 emotional and personal connections to charitable organizations. They also might have to increase their solicitation of charitable gifts, as individuals may no longer make as many unsolicited charitable gifts.\u201d

Teson also notes that charitable organizations will need to have a more detailed budgeting process to make sure they are planning for those larger gifts that might now only happen every two to three years. Additionally, such organizations might need to create larger reserves in order to get through the years when their donors are not making donations.

How much the new tax code will affect nonprofit and charitable organizations remains largely academic until the effect of future tax returns is calculated. Despite all the projections and assumptions, \u201cUltimately, this answer relies heavily on the client\u2019s motivation for giving: the tax benefit versus support for the mission of the organization,\u201d Bower says.

Pieper urges donors to talk with their financial partners and tax advisors to determine the best ways to continue supporting the organizations that mean the most to them. \u201cThere are definitely ways you can still provide support while maintaining some tax advantage,\u201d she says. \u201cI think people who support charities are altruistic in general and understand the need within our community. With this understanding, I think they will continue to help the charities they believe in.\u201d

Clayton Financial Group, 165 N. Meramec Ave., No. 130, Clayton, 314-446-3250, claytonfinancialgroup.com

Commerce Trust Company, various locations, commercetrustcompany.com

UMB Bank, various locations, umb.com

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\"Forest
Forest Park (3).JPG

Although his usual views involve pristine greens and rolling fairways, Mike Tucker now watches as trucks and forklifts rumble past his office windows. As director of golf at Bellerive Country Club in Town and Country, Tucker has a workplace that resembles a construction site these days as final preparations occur for the 100th PGA Championship from Aug. 6 through 12. \u201cWhen you see the village going up \u2013 the grandstands, the corporate chalets, the merchandise tent \u2013 you really understand that this is a huge global event,\u201d he says.

After officials from Bellerive, PGA of America\u2019s Gateway Section and Baseball Hall of Fame member Ozzie Smith presented a case in 2011 for bringing the 100th PGA Championship to St. Louis, PGA of America, which organizes and runs the championship tournament, announced its choice of the venue in December 2014. Thus, Bellerive\u2019s subsequent transformation began about two years ago, when staff from PGA of America set up trailers to serve as a base camp in the country club\u2019s parking lot. Ticket sales opened about a year ago and reached record levels as golf enthusiasts snapped up the opportunity to be part of the PGA\u2019s historic centennial tournament.

\u201cThis event will be viewed by almost half a billion people,\u201d Tucker says. \u201cIt\u2019s probably the biggest thing since the 1904 World\u2019s Fair [Louisiana Purchase Exposition] in terms of international exposure for our city.\u201d

Visitors will arrive via shuttles from remote parking locations and enjoy their first views of the country club\u2019s driving range from an elevated walkway beside the 45,000-square-foot merchandise tent and pro shop. As they continue along the walkway, visitors will quickly access the practice range and greens.

\u201cWe\u2019re making it very easy and convenient to arrive and get to the course,\u201d Tucker says. \u201cWe\u2019re confident that we can accommodate the crowds while still providing the feel of an intimate setting.\u201d He notes that because of security and traffic concerns, no spectators will be able to park at the country club, adding: \u201cWe\u2019ve had wonderful cooperation with municipal and state law enforcement in taking safety precautions. The shuttle rides are only about 20 minutes from the parking venues, and security screenings will occur at the parking area before people board the shuttles.\u201d

\"MO_BLR_CH_FACADE_517.jpg\"
MO_BLR_CH_FACADE_517.jpg

The thousands of spectators will watch the game\u2019s biggest names compete for the cup on Bellerive\u2019s historic course, which last hosted the championship in 1992. Michael Block was a star-struck 16-year-old golfer and fan at that tournament. This year, the Parkway Central High School and University of Missouri-St. Louis graduate will be on the course, competing alongside golf\u2019s current heroes.

\u201cI never thought I\u2019d be playing at Bellerive in the PGA Championship as an adult,\u201d Block says. \u201cThis has been a dream of mine ever since the date and location were released. It\u2019s going to be amazing to be playing on a course and on grasses that I\u2019m familiar with. The course is just perfectly maintained \u2013 a first-class venue.\u201d Block is the head golf pro at Arroyo Trabuco Golf Club in Mission Viejo, California.

As a club professional, Block qualified for the PGA Championship three times in the last five years, finishing in the top 20 from a field of 312 golf pros who competed to play in the championship tournament. In the last four years, he has played in 15 PGA tournaments and five major championships, and as the 2014 PGA Professional National Champion, 42-year-old Block automatically qualifies for the annual Professional Championship tournament until age 60.

\u201cThis tournament will be special, though,\u201d he says of the 100th PGA Championship. \u201cThis time, I\u2019m bringing my family along, and I\u2019ll have high school and college friends cheering me on.\u201d It will be the first time Block\u2019s wife and sons, ages 11 and 13, visit his old stomping grounds in St. Louis.

Jay Delsing, a native St. Louisan, professional golfer and owner of Jay Delsing Golf, is also excited about the upcoming tournament. \u201cThis is far and away the biggest sporting event to ever come to St. Louis,\u201d Delsing says. \u201cThe Bellerive course is one of the longest golf courses around, and the weather could be challenging. Not only is the heat intense here, but [also] the weather could make a difference in preparing the greens, and that can change the way the balls roll. But Bellerive is a straightforward course that doesn\u2019t require 50 practice rounds to understand.\u201d

Delsing and Tucker both encourage golf fans to take advantage of the $35 tickets for the practice rounds on Aug. 6 through 8. \u201cYou\u2019ll see a lot of great golf, and the players will be close enough that you\u2019ll get a really spectacular display of the power of today\u2019s professional golfers,\u201d Delsing says. \u201cThe speed and distances they hit will just make your head spin.\u201d

During the 1992 PGA Championship at Bellerive, Tucker\u2019s brother, Jerry, was head golf pro at the club and played in the tournament while a young Mike Tucker caddied for him. \u201cI\u2019ve experienced other tournaments during my career, but there\u2019s only one 100th Championship,\u201d he says. \u201cThis is special, and it\u2019s part of who we are at Bellerive. It\u2019s bringing people together unlike any other sporting event.\u201d

Bellerive Country Club, 12925 Ladue Road, St. Louis, 314-434-4400, bellerivecc.org

\"MO_BLR_02_GRN_517.jpg\"
MO_BLR_02_GRN_517.jpg

Hit These Links, Too!

Golf fans who attend the 100th PGA Championship Monday, Aug. 6, through Wednesday, Aug. 8 will have more to look forward to than watching some of best in the sport compete. Honored St. Louis Cardinals legend and Gateway PGA REACH Foundation president Ozzie Smith will serve as \u201cHost City Champion.\u201d His PGA REACH initiative, in partnership with Bellerive Country Club, is a national program that inspired the arrival of two PGA major championships to our city: the 2013 Senior PGA Championship and the 100th PGA Championship in 2018.

Special themed events will include:

Monday, Aug. 6: Opening Monday at the 100th PGA Championship

Watch world-famous Budweiser Clydesdales kick off the historic tournament as they make their way down Ladue Road, with Host City Champion Ozzie Smith riding on the hitch to deliver the Wanamaker Trophy. Show your city pride by wearing clothing from your favorite St. Louis sports.

Tuesday, Aug. 7: Junior Day at the 100th PGA

In an effort to break the all-time attendance record for most juniors in a single day, PGA Jr. League golfers will have the opportunity to participate in unforgettable experiences throughout the day. These include visits from special guests and a scheduled Long Drive Contest where local PGA Jr. League teams will be invited to go inside the ropes off the 10th tee. With each single-ticket purchase, four children under the age of 17 receive free entry.

Wednesday, Aug. 8: Celebrating the Champions of Today and Tomorrow

Honor Host City Champion Ozzie Smith by gathering with a confluence of past PGA champions and local celebrities. Smith helped found the PGA REACH program and is a vocal proponent and embodiment of the core beliefs and values of PGA of America, the sport of golf, and love and passion for his city.

"}, {"id":"074cf7e1-b506-50bb-81ec-fe590121dd0b","type":"article","starttime":"1533229200","starttime_iso8601":"2018-08-02T12:00:00-05:00","priority":35,"sections":[{"columns":"business/columns"}],"application":"editorial","title":"Game ON!: For the Redbirds, What\u2019s in the Cards?","url":"http://www.laduenews.com/business/columns/article_074cf7e1-b506-50bb-81ec-fe590121dd0b.html","permalink":"http://www.laduenews.com/business/columns/game-on-for-the-redbirds-what-s-in-the-cards/article_074cf7e1-b506-50bb-81ec-fe590121dd0b.html","canonical":"http://www.laduenews.com/business/columns/game-on-for-the-redbirds-what-s-in-the-cards/article_074cf7e1-b506-50bb-81ec-fe590121dd0b.html","relatedAssetCounts":{"article":0,"audio":0,"image":1,"link":0,"vmix":0,"youtube":0,"gallery":0},"byline":"Frank Cusumano","prologue":"I think it wouldn\u2019t matter if Whitey Herzog or Tony La Russa were managing this Cardinals team.","supportsComments":true,"commentCount":0,"keywords":["frank cusumano","game on"],"internalKeywords":[],"customProperties":{},"presentation":null,"images":[{"id":"655f894a-cbb8-5968-9dba-2429702c9f2e","description":"Frank Cusumano","byline":"","hireswidth":null,"hiresheight":null,"hiresurl":null,"presentation":"","versions":{"full":{"type":"image/png","width":"190","height":"239","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/6/55/655f894a-cbb8-5968-9dba-2429702c9f2e/583cad5d1d2bd.image.png?resize=190%2C239"},"100": {"type":"image/png","width":"100","height":"126","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/6/55/655f894a-cbb8-5968-9dba-2429702c9f2e/583cad5d1d2bd.image.png?resize=100%2C126"},"300": {"type":"image/png","width":"300","height":"377","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/6/55/655f894a-cbb8-5968-9dba-2429702c9f2e/583cad5d1d2bd.image.png"},"1024":{"type":"image/png","width":"1024","height":"1288","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/6/55/655f894a-cbb8-5968-9dba-2429702c9f2e/583cad5d1d2bd.image.png"}}}],"revision":4,"commentID":"074cf7e1-b506-50bb-81ec-fe590121dd0b","body":"
\"Frank

Frank Cusumano

Here\u2019s what I really think about half a dozen things:

1. I think it wouldn\u2019t matter if Whitey Herzog or Tony La Russa were managing this Cardinals team. The record wouldn\u2019t be that much different. This isn\u2019t about a bad pitching move in the 8th inning against the Cubs. This is about a team that lacks stardom. They don\u2019t have it and haven\u2019t had it for years. It hasn\u2019t helped that for about the last two decades, the Cardinals have drafted either in the middle of the first round or late in the first round. The electrifying talent is usually gone when the Cardinals select! The solution is to package some of the young pitching for a franchise player. Then you hope you can sign him for many useful years.

2. The Blues are the franchise that doesn\u2019t want to remain complacent. They just had a heck of a July. By adding Patrick Maroon, Ryan O\u2019Reilly, David Perron and Tyler Bozak, they changed the team\u2019s look completely. We\u2019re talking about an addition of 68 goals, 145 assists and 213 points. Blues G.M. Doug Armstrong knew things had to change. The one item that\u2019s not changing is Jake Allen. He\u2019s the key to the franchise. There isn\u2019t a Plan B. Why not have Assistant G.M. Martin Brodeur take over Allen\u2019s career? When Brodeur was the goaltending coach, Allen was really good. Why not try it again?

3. August is going to be one of the best sports months we\u2019ve ever had in our town. Imagine Tiger Woods hitting golf balls off Ladue Road! Can you envision Phil Mickelson 20 feet away from you in the gallery hitting flop shots or Dustin Johnson blasting drives? The 100th PGA Championship will never be forgotten. How about if Tiger makes this the tourney to culminate his comeback? Bellerive does set up nicely for him. Then, after golf, it\u2019s time for the Bommarito 500. Almost every car you watched at the Indy 500 will be here for this race. And last year\u2019s race was nearly perfect. Curtis Francois, who owns the track, and John Bommarito, who sponsors the race, have done an incredible job.

4. How did we live without Netflix? So much quality. So easy to access. So inexpensive. Very shortly, Ozark will come out for a second season. House of Cards Season 6 will also be released, without Kevin Spacey. There\u2019s a reason Netflix just passed HBO for most Emmy nominations. Almost everything Netflix does is quality. Heaven for me sometimes is a three-episode binge-watch day where I don\u2019t have to worry about timing a show, editing a feature or anchoring a sportscast.

5. These \u201cFrank\u2019s Food Picks\u201d TV segments for KSDK are a lot of fun. I mean, we go to the hottest restaurants in town and eat only their signature dishes. That lobster roll at Peacemaker Lobster & Crab is insane. I think the muffuletta at Blues City Deli is memorable. I love that malt at Crown Candy. The response we get on social media is crazy. In fact, the other day, I was at the store, and I heard a woman tell another woman, \u201cThere goes the food reporter from Channel 5.\u201d

6. We\u2019re about to have our youngest child, Dominic, go to school. He\u2019s going to major in finance and play baseball at Indiana State \u2013 hopefully in that order. I know he\u2019s not going to war, and he\u2019ll only be 2\u00bd hours away, but I hate it. I really do. It doesn\u2019t get easier with each kid, either. I don\u2019t want to go in the kitchen and not see him. I don\u2019t want to go up in his room and think that he won\u2019t be there. I used to wonder when I was younger why my dad always gave me a great greeting when I walked into a room. Always. I don\u2019t wonder any more. I know exactly how he felt!

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":"5074ce26-db6b-5feb-9e16-f027cde0cb0f","type":"article","starttime":"1533229200","starttime_iso8601":"2018-08-02T12:00:00-05:00","priority":35,"sections":[{"columns":"business/columns"}],"application":"editorial","title":"Kids MD: Childhood Obesity","url":"http://www.laduenews.com/business/columns/article_5074ce26-db6b-5feb-9e16-f027cde0cb0f.html","permalink":"http://www.laduenews.com/business/columns/kids-md-childhood-obesity/article_5074ce26-db6b-5feb-9e16-f027cde0cb0f.html","canonical":"http://www.laduenews.com/business/columns/kids-md-childhood-obesity/article_5074ce26-db6b-5feb-9e16-f027cde0cb0f.html","relatedAssetCounts":{"article":0,"audio":0,"image":1,"link":0,"vmix":0,"youtube":0,"gallery":0},"byline":"Dr. Joseph Kahn","prologue":"134812517Reportedly, one in five children in this nation under the age of 18 qualifies as obese \u2013 a grave societal problem. Clinically, obesity means having a body mass index (commonly BMI, a person\u2019s bodily mass/weight divided by the square of his or her bodily height) at or above the 95th percentile, a complex statistical measure unto itself. Even more children qualify as \u201cjust\u201d overweight \u2013 with a BMI between the 85th and 95th percentiles.","supportsComments":true,"commentCount":0,"keywords":[],"internalKeywords":[],"customProperties":{},"presentation":null,"images":[{"id":"18b7dde7-f2ee-5634-8fd1-b5aa4a381dd7","description":"","byline":"","hireswidth":1763,"hiresheight":1175,"hiresurl":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/1/8b/18b7dde7-f2ee-5634-8fd1-b5aa4a381dd7/5b5b7b78ab125.hires.jpg","presentation":"","versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1763","height":"1175","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/1/8b/18b7dde7-f2ee-5634-8fd1-b5aa4a381dd7/5b5b7b78aa08c.image.jpg?resize=1763%2C1175"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"67","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/1/8b/18b7dde7-f2ee-5634-8fd1-b5aa4a381dd7/5b5b7b78aa08c.image.jpg?resize=100%2C67"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"200","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/1/8b/18b7dde7-f2ee-5634-8fd1-b5aa4a381dd7/5b5b7b78aa08c.image.jpg?resize=300%2C200"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"682","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/1/8b/18b7dde7-f2ee-5634-8fd1-b5aa4a381dd7/5b5b7b78aa08c.image.jpg?resize=1024%2C682"}}}],"revision":5,"commentID":"5074ce26-db6b-5feb-9e16-f027cde0cb0f","body":"
\"134812517\"
134812517

Reportedly, one in five children in this nation under the age of 18 qualifies as obese \u2013 a grave societal problem.

Clinically, obesity means having a body mass index (commonly BMI, a person\u2019s bodily mass/weight divided by the square of his or her bodily height) at or above the 95th percentile, a complex statistical measure unto itself. Even more children qualify as \u201cjust\u201d overweight \u2013 with a BMI between the 85th and 95th percentiles.

Several factors contribute to childhood obesity, including genetics, sleep issues, community design and safety, and individual metabolic differences. At base, though, obese children, like obese adults, usually consume too many calories and exercise too little.

No less significantly, children living in certain communities \u2013 including many urban zones characterized as \u201cfood deserts,\u201d defined by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as \u201careas that lack access to affordable fruits, vegetables, whole grains, low-fat milk and other foods that make up the full range of a healthy diet\u201d \u2013 often have little access to fresh foods and eat diets low in quality and nutrition.

Children suffering from obesity experience higher incidences of chronic health problems like sleep apnea, bone and joint stress and pain, and Type 2 diabetes. Moreover, childhood obesity often persists into adulthood, and such adults face increased risks for heart disease, certain cancers and adult-onset Type 2 diabetes.

Tellingly, obesity can impose a psychosocial burden in addition to a somatic one. That is, bullies often target children with obesity, who also frequently feel depressed and socially isolated from their peers.

All of these factors can then prompt increased eating, decreased activity and further weight gain \u2013 a vicious circle.

Preventing obesity can be much easier than treating it \u2013 so parents, consider these four tips for doing so:

Your child\u2019s pediatrician likely monitors his or her height and weight at each routine checkup, which makes the perfect time to discuss BMI, diet and exercise patterns. Aim to address any potential weight-related issues before they become more challenging problems down the line.

The CDC provides invaluable information on this topic on its website at cdc.gov/healthyweight/assessing/bmi/childrens_bmi/about_childrens_bmi.html. More information and a listing of pediatricians near you also appears at mercy.net/laduenews.

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.

"}, {"id":"fc894c5f-02d5-5802-be64-12e3bd0ea8c1","type":"article","starttime":"1533229200","starttime_iso8601":"2018-08-02T12:00:00-05:00","priority":29,"sections":[{"promotions":"business/promotions"},{"promotions":"promotions"}],"application":"editorial","title":"The Gatesworth: A Zest for Life","url":"http://www.laduenews.com/business/promotions/article_fc894c5f-02d5-5802-be64-12e3bd0ea8c1.html","permalink":"http://www.laduenews.com/business/promotions/the-gatesworth-a-zest-for-life/article_fc894c5f-02d5-5802-be64-12e3bd0ea8c1.html","canonical":"http://www.laduenews.com/business/promotions/the-gatesworth-a-zest-for-life/article_fc894c5f-02d5-5802-be64-12e3bd0ea8c1.html","relatedAssetCounts":{"article":0,"audio":0,"image":1,"link":0,"vmix":0,"youtube":0,"gallery":0},"byline":"Emma Dent","prologue":"From its state-of-the-art fitness center and lush walking paths to meditation sessions and current events discussion groups, The Gatesworth caters to residents\u2019 physical and mental well-being.","supportsComments":true,"commentCount":0,"keywords":["the gatesworth"],"internalKeywords":[],"customProperties":{},"presentation":null,"images":[{"id":"7451c1d5-81ad-56c9-a7af-b557f9e83cc6","description":"","byline":"Photo by Geoff Story of TOKY","hireswidth":1175,"hiresheight":1762,"hiresurl":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/7/45/7451c1d5-81ad-56c9-a7af-b557f9e83cc6/5b63247f1577d.hires.jpg","presentation":"","versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1162","height":"865","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/7/45/7451c1d5-81ad-56c9-a7af-b557f9e83cc6/5b63247f143ad.image.jpg?crop=1162%2C865%2C2%2C819&resize=1162%2C865&order=crop%2Cresize"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"74","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/7/45/7451c1d5-81ad-56c9-a7af-b557f9e83cc6/5b63247f143ad.image.jpg?crop=1162%2C865%2C2%2C819&resize=100%2C74&order=crop%2Cresize"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"223","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/7/45/7451c1d5-81ad-56c9-a7af-b557f9e83cc6/5b63247f143ad.image.jpg?crop=1162%2C865%2C2%2C819&resize=300%2C223&order=crop%2Cresize"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"762","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/7/45/7451c1d5-81ad-56c9-a7af-b557f9e83cc6/5b63247f143ad.image.jpg?crop=1162%2C865%2C2%2C819&resize=1024%2C762&order=crop%2Cresize"}}}],"revision":1,"commentID":"fc894c5f-02d5-5802-be64-12e3bd0ea8c1","body":"
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LNActiveLiving_154r.jpg

On occasion, Nancy Schapiro enjoys a doubleheader \u2013 not of baseball games or movies, but rather fitness classes.

Schapiro has found numerous ways to stay active since moving into an apartment at The Gatesworth nearly 2 \u00bd years ago. During the week, she regularly takes group classes, sometimes even challenging herself by attending two separate sessions within a single day. \u201cI take them every day that they are offered!,\u201d she says proudly. And on the weekends, she catches up on cable news programs while logging miles on the treadmill in the community\u2019s top-of-the-line fitness center, which is outfitted with Keiser equipment specially designed for seniors.

\u201cFrom its inception and opening in 1988, The Gatesworth\u2019s philosophy has been to provide an environment where active seniors are invigorated both mentally and physically,\u201d maintains Kathy Davis, resident program director.

At The Gatesworth, residents can choose from a wide variety of instructor-led fitness classes that target balance, endurance and strength. Offered five days a week, classes range from line dancing to water aerobics and water ballet, held in the community\u2019s indoor saltwater pool. The Gatesworth also marries mental and physical fitness through offerings like chair yoga, meditation and a twice-weekly adapted Tai Chi class, which counts Schapiro as a devotee.

For William Richter, who joined The Gatesworth community with his wife this past winter, developing and sticking to a fitness regimen has become crucial to recovery. After undergoing cardiac bypass surgery last October, Richter spent four months in rehab at Barnes-Jewish West County Hospital. Once his stint was complete, he sought to continue the exercises that he had learned on his own, and The Gatesworth\u2019s well-equipped fitness center has allowed him to do just that.

\u201cThey have a very nice fitness center here,\u201d says Richter. \u201cI\u2019ve been able to put together a routine that tracks my rehab program quite well.\u201d Three times a week, Richter hops on the NuStep cross trainer to work his upper and lower body, then moves on to free weights and freestanding balance exercises, before winding down with stretches.

For seniors living at The Gatesworth, however, staying active doesn\u2019t necessarily mean staying indoors. The community\u2019s picturesque grounds offer walking paths that are perfect for a casual stroll or for more serious exertion.

In addition to participating in fitness classes, Schapiro also goes for daily walks around The Gatesworth campus, soaking up the scenic surroundings and breathing in the restorative fresh air.

\u201cI don\u2019t drive any longer, but it\u2019s good to get out for a bit,\u201d she says. \u201cSometimes I walk by myself, or with friends. It\u2019s so pretty here. There are lovely flowers planted all around, and two ponds with baby ducks. We all watch out for the baby ducks.\u201d

If golf is more your game, then The Gatesworth\u2019s putting green is the ideal spot to spend an afternoon. An avid golfer, until he was sidelined by arthritis in his hand, Richter frequently grabs his putter and joins his wife on the green. He has even taken to entering into The Gatesworth\u2019s monthly putting contests, triumphing on his first attempt. \u201cI only won by a stroke!,\u201d he quips.

Because The Gatesworth cares equally about residents\u2019 mental engagement, the community also runs a host of programs, like its weekly current events discussion group, designed to stimulate ideas and conversation. Residents interested in more global affairs can join The Questers, a rotating group of area university professors and academics who lead hour-long symposia about pressing international issues.

\u201cWhat\u2019s most gratifying about these two offerings is the stimulation our residents bring to the meetings,\u201d shares Davis. \u201cThe academics frequently comment that the questions and observations from The Gatesworth\u2019s lecture audience are as challenging as any university classroom!\u201d

Davis sees the same level of enthusiasm during the community\u2019s St. Louis Icon Series, themed luncheons spotlighting notable members or experts from the city\u2019s myriad arts, cultural and educational institutions. \u201cThe love of learning amongst our residents is apparent,\u201d she affirms.

\u201cThat\u2019s really why I came here,\u201d says Shapiro of The Gatesworth\u2019s programming. \u201cAfter my husband died, I became kind of isolated in my house. But there are so many activities.\u201d

\u201cPeople can be as active as they want here,\u201d Richter adds. And that\u2019s the beauty of independent living at The Gatesworth: the freedom to live as you wish, on your own terms.

The Gatesworth, 1 McKnight Place, located at Delmar and I-170, 314-993-0111, thegatesworth.com

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Golf is a precision game. From beginners to experienced golfers, tracking the ball\u2019s distance and trajectory is key, yet it\u2019s not easy when standing on a tee and searching for the ball\u2019s final stopping point after a fairway drive. But a new venue in Chesterfield is about to make it easy to measure your ball\u2019s speed, distance and arc \u2013 and golfers young and old are guaranteed fun in the process.

Topgolf St. Louis is a new entertainment, dining and golf venue opening in late summer in the Chesterfield Valley. Director of operations Ben Wolski says that the location is convenient for patrons from the city and suburbs alike and that the new three-story structure is easily visible from both east and west. This marks the venture\u2019s first Missouri location.

\u201cWe\u2019ve created a golf experience that\u2019s really everyone\u2019s game,\u201d Wolski says. Among Topgolf\u2019s 102 high-tech golf bays, as many as eight people per bay can gather to play a variety of golf games while enjoying food and beverages delivered to them. Of the eight people, as many as six can take turns hitting microchipped golf balls into Topgolf\u2019s outfield with dartboardlike targets. Players can compete for points or hone their skills.

\u201cTraditional golfers can measure the exact yardage of each shot and practice their game,\u201d Wolski says. \u201cBut we\u2019re also drawing people in with the entertainment aspects of golf. This is not your traditional style of golf, but people may find out they love it, and some get into traditional golf after trying this out.\u201d

At Topgolf\u2019s current locations in 20 states (with five more coming soon) and two foreign nations (with three more coming soon), more than half of the clientele consider themselves nongolfers, he adds.

\"OKC_Marketing+Programs_Choate-104.jpg\"
OKC_Marketing+Programs_Choate-104.jpg

Every new player pays $5 for a lifetime membership that covers free club rental, access to play at any Topgolf worldwide and the ability to track points. The Early Drive Membership, available for $300 for three months or $500 for six months, allows for unlimited gameplay from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. weekdays. Platinum membership, which costs $250 per month, provides unlimited play during specific \u201cplatinum\u201d hours, access to one bay and up to six players per visit, discounts on food and beverages, invitations to members-only outings and parties, and the ability to receive priority access, jumping to the top of Topgolf\u2019s waitlist. Topgolf also offers discounts on events, additional gameplay credit to use outside of \u201cplatinum\u201d hours, free club rental upgrades, free lifetime memberships for guests, and a $1,000 hole-in-one prize for Platinum members in the brown, blue and white targets.

Those who have never picked up a golf club before can still enjoy the Topgolf experience. Staff are available to provide tips for beginners, and players can choose from several different types of games that work on different skills, such as ball accuracy and distance with various types of clubs. Individual and group lessons also will be available from two PGA golf pros at the Chesterfield location. Kids\u2019 golf camps will be planned during summer, winter and spring breaks.

Aside from golf, patrons can enjoy billiards, shuffleboard, a sports bar and a rooftop terrace with DJs or live music. \u201cThere\u2019s a lot to do for everyone, whether you play golf or not,\u201d Wolski says.

In fact, he notes that Topgolf is a popular entertainment and event venue, hosting everything from birthday parties to corporate meetings to wedding receptions. He points out that the space is flexible and that event planners can choose from small meeting spaces to renting the entire building for large events. \u201cWe can cater to groups of all sizes, with or without the golf experience,\u201d Wolski says. \u201cWe especially love to see charity events occur at Topgolf, and we can work with organizations on specific fundraising packages.\u201d

The dedication to charity and community involvement is clear in Wolski\u2019s emphasis on Topgolf\u2019s ethos when it comes to hiring. Topgolf staff participate in local volunteer opportunities, and Topgolf works to form partnerships with charitable organizations.

\u201cWe\u2019re just really excited to be here,\u201d he says. \u201cWe want to be great neighbors and embrace this community in a positive way. Everyone who walks into Topgolf should feel better when they leave than when they arrive.\u201d

Topgolf St. Louis, 16851 N. Outer 40 Road, Chesterfield, 636-898-8044, topgolf.com

\"OKC_Marketing+Programs_Choate-217.jpg\"
OKC_Marketing+Programs_Choate-217.jpg
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\"EllenPort_2018MetroAmwomenwinner.jpeg\"
EllenPort_2018MetroAmwomenwinner.jpeg

Port Takes Trophy

Ellen Port is back, and that means one of the area\u2019s top women amateur golfers is looking to re-establish herself in the elite ranks.

Port recently won her 16th Metropolitan Women\u2019s Amateur Championship at Sunset Hills Country Club, posting a 6-over 150 to win the tournament, meaning she brought the Jayne M. Watson trophy back to her home till next year.

\u201cI was a little surprised I won,\u201d Port says. \u201cI didn\u2019t think I had a prayer. I\u2019m shocked nobody surpassed me. Winning on your home course is always fun. I love that Watson trophy. She was there and she awarded it to me. She watched the back nine. I think she brought me good luck. I was inspired.\u201d

Port hasn\u2019t played as much in the last few years, as she\u2019s been coaching the Washington University women\u2019s golf team; however, she stepped down from her coaching duties at the end of the 2018 season. Before Washington University, she coached at John Burroughs for 32 years.

\u201cMy time as a collegiate coach was challenging and extremely rewarding \u2013 a good combination,\u201d Port says. \u201cI am thankful to have had the opportunity to be associated with Wash U athletics and Division III golf.\u201d

With that, Port now has coached and taught at the elementary, junior high, high school and collegiate levels. So \u2013 is she fully retired now?

\u201cI can\u2019t say the \u2018R\u2019 word yet,\u201d Port replies. \u201cI don\u2019t know if I am or not. My kids are in college. I\u2019m taking a little sabbatical here.\u201d


\"Mason
Mason Reynolds_Scoreshole-in-one.jpeg

Hole-in-One Goes to 9-Year-Old

Mason Reynolds, a 9-year-old entering the fourth grade at Ellisville Elementary this fall, scored a hole-in-one recently at Forest Hills Country Club in Clarkson Valley.

The ace came on the par-3 third hole and was set up at 109 yards. Reynolds used a 9-iron off the tee and didn\u2019t see the ball go into the hole because of the elevated green. However, when he got to the green and couldn\u2019t find his ball, his scorer insisted on checking the hole. Sure enough, there it was.

\u201cHe actually played the rest of the round with it,\u201d says Jason Reynolds, Mason\u2019s father. \u201cNow he knows, if it happens again, pocket the ball!\u201d

Reynolds fils does indeed have the ball, and his parents are ordering a case for it to be preserved.

The youngster plays in the junior golf program at Forest Hills, as well as in Junior PGA events. He takes lessons from Forest Hills pros Gideon Traub and Marvin Herrod.


\"Max
Max Kreikemeier_Gateway PGA Junior Champion.JPG

Kreikemeier Returns to PGA Junior Championship

Lafayette High School\u2019s Max Kreikemeier will compete in the upcoming Boys Junior PGA Championship to be held July 31 to Aug. 3 at the Valhalla Golf Club in Louisville, Kentucky.

Kreikemeier earned his berth in the tournament by finishing with a 3-over-par 147 to win the recent Gateway PGA Junior Championship at Forest Hills Country Club.

Last year, the Junior PGA Championship took place at the Country Club of St. Albans, and although Kreikemeier made the field, he missed the cut by shooting a 150.


\"KaylaEckelkamp_2018MGAMid-Amatuerchamp.JPG\"
KaylaEckelkamp_2018MGAMid-Amatuerchamp.JPG

Women\u2019s Mid-Amateur Features Playoff

The top two women from 2017 battled it out for the championship of the recent Missouri Golf Association Mid-Amateur, and it took a playoff before Kayla Eckelkamp won the tournament.

Eckelkamp, the 2017 MGA Player of the Year, defeated 2017 Mid-Amateur champion (and 2017 MGA Senior Player of the Year) Kathy Glennon in the tourney played at Glen Echo Country Club.

Eckelkamp, a Maryville University graduate and a Washington native, is a member at the Franklin County Country Club. Glennon belongs to the Country Club of St. Albans.

Eckelkamp fired a par 71 in the opening round, while Glennon was a stroke back, at 72. Kelly Osborne, of Ballwin, carded a 74.

Play in the second round began with a two-hour rain delay as tournament administrators called the golfers off the course because of lightning, and the delay played havoc with the scores: Eckelkamp (71-75) ended the second round with a 4-over 75 to tie Glennon (72-74).

Eckelkamp and Glennon proceeded to No. 17 for a playoff as the clouds and sky were darkening once again. The Pro Shop and MGA staff were closely monitoring lightning that was headed to the area. The ladies sprang into action with the intent to get the playoff going \u2013 and Eckelkamp then won in the playoff.


\"BradNurski_2018MoAmchamp.jpg\"
BradNurski_2018MoAmchamp.jpg

St. Joe Natives Vie in Missouri Golf Association News

Two St. Joseph natives, Brad Nurski and Brooks Jungbluth, faced off in a 36-hole match play competition to determine the 2018 Missouri Amateur Championship held at Dalhousie Golf Club in Cape Girardeau.

In the morning round, Jungbluth made incredible putts to take the lead over Nurski. Jungbluth stayed either all square or ahead of defending champion Nurski all morning, but Nurski brought the match back to all square by the completion of the first 18 holes. Both players had outstanding morning rounds, with both shooting modified match play scores of 67.

After a break for lunch and a rain shower, Jungbluth continued to hold Nurski off until the 25th hole, when Nurski took his first lead of the day. The two went back and forth until the 29th hole, where Nurski took the lead for good.

Nurski continued to build his lead until finally claiming his back-to-back Missouri Amateur victory on the 35th hole, winning the final round 3 and 1.

Nurski is a back-to-back and three-time winner of the top amateur tournament in the state.


\"WallisClassic_2018.jpg\"
WallisClassic_2018.jpg

Wallis Classic Takes Place

The Bill Wallis Golf Classic Celebrated 17 years of fun and fundraising at the Country Club of St. Albans.

\u201cWe honor Bill\u2019s legacy each year as we raise funds to help young people pursue their education,\u201d says Nolan Keller, chairman of the classic for the past five years. \u201cBill died in 2001 of melanoma, but his vision continues. To date, we\u2019ve given $243,000 to 90 scholarship recipients.\u201d

Lynn Wallis adds: \u201cA major thank-you to all of the Wallis Companies sponsors, vendors, suppliers, staff volunteers, family and friends who make this golf classic a premier event each year, and also have been a big part of our company\u2019s success as we celebrate our 50th anniversary.\u201d\u00a0

"}, {"id":"e613b368-0a6c-5040-96b8-652fe9ef4914","type":"article","starttime":"1532624400","starttime_iso8601":"2018-07-26T12:00:00-05:00","priority":35,"sections":[{"columns":"business/columns"}],"application":"editorial","title":"Communication Conversation: Speaking on TV","url":"http://www.laduenews.com/business/columns/article_e613b368-0a6c-5040-96b8-652fe9ef4914.html","permalink":"http://www.laduenews.com/business/columns/communication-conversation-speaking-on-tv/article_e613b368-0a6c-5040-96b8-652fe9ef4914.html","canonical":"http://www.laduenews.com/business/columns/communication-conversation-speaking-on-tv/article_e613b368-0a6c-5040-96b8-652fe9ef4914.html","relatedAssetCounts":{"article":0,"audio":0,"image":1,"link":0,"vmix":0,"youtube":0,"gallery":0},"byline":"Janis Murray","prologue":"This month, I\u2019m training at least two nonprofit spokespersons to be on TV, give speeches, make quick media comments and promote their causes.\u00a0","supportsComments":true,"commentCount":0,"keywords":["communication conversation","janis murray"],"internalKeywords":[],"customProperties":{},"presentation":null,"images":[{"id":"b3116118-d60d-5f13-89ca-aac7d991bdeb","description":"","byline":"","hireswidth":1766,"hiresheight":1173,"hiresurl":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/b/31/b3116118-d60d-5f13-89ca-aac7d991bdeb/5b522ae8066d1.hires.jpg","presentation":"","versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1766","height":"1173","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/b/31/b3116118-d60d-5f13-89ca-aac7d991bdeb/5b522ae805767.image.jpg?resize=1766%2C1173"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"66","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/b/31/b3116118-d60d-5f13-89ca-aac7d991bdeb/5b522ae805767.image.jpg?resize=100%2C66"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"199","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/b/31/b3116118-d60d-5f13-89ca-aac7d991bdeb/5b522ae805767.image.jpg?resize=300%2C199"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"680","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/b/31/b3116118-d60d-5f13-89ca-aac7d991bdeb/5b522ae805767.image.jpg?resize=1024%2C680"}}}],"revision":6,"commentID":"e613b368-0a6c-5040-96b8-652fe9ef4914","body":"
\"697928228\"
697928228

This month, I\u2019m training at least two nonprofit spokespersons to be on TV, give speeches, make quick media comments and promote their causes. They realize opportunities, especially on local TV, have increased dramatically, particularly on local morning shows that last hours \u2013 their best shot, in my opinion, because there\u2019s a lot of time to fill.

TV producers want guests who are TV-savvy and offer an entertaining and informative segment that leaves them little to no work. So here are some tips that will improve your chances of getting airtime.

1. Have a fresh pitch. Have something new \u2013 whether an event, project, policy or fundraiser \u2013 that will be of interest. Producers need a reason, and those are of news value.

2. Propose b-roll. B-roll, in essence, is video assisting putting your words into context. For example, if your nonprofit works closely with animals, footage of volunteers working or playing with said animals in some respect can be more visually stimulating than simply watching someone speak into a microphone. Plus, having b-roll available might make a critical difference whether you are selected for inclusion.

3. Be prepared. Anticipate questions the anchors might have, but remember, it\u2019s a conversation, not a speech. Let them talk. It is their show, after all!

4. Have an easy-to-understand \u201chome base message.\u201d Make sure it applies to the widest range of people, which TV stations want for high ratings.

5. Smile and show vitality. Interact with the anchors cheerfully, depending on the topic. Showing your smile may make viewers more receptive to your message and your organization.

6. Arrive early. Arriving early allows a buffer for potential traffic situations, etc. Also, it allows you time to get acquainted with those you\u2019ll be working with. However, don\u2019t be disappointed if anchors don\u2019t envelope you completely with their attention. They are likely preparing to go on the air at any moment, just like you.

7. Leave quietly and don\u2019t expect any thanks. The next minute is on the TV staff\u2019s minds. Don\u2019t feel offended.

8. Follow up. Reach out to those you worked with to thank them for the opportunity.

Summers are typically slow, so now is a good time to propose a spot. When you reach out to executive producers, you\u2019ve got approximately 30 seconds to convince them why your organization should receive inclusion. Show a comfortable, upbeat personality in your voice, don\u2019t be pushy and focus on the public good \u2013 and you\u2019ve got a shot.

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, résumés, cover letters, essays, and image and interview/presentation performances. Contact her at jmurray@murrayprep.com.

"}, {"id":"67727577-79aa-504a-b946-18b3828cf5bc","type":"article","starttime":"1532624400","starttime_iso8601":"2018-07-26T12:00:00-05:00","priority":35,"sections":[{"columns":"business/columns"}],"application":"editorial","title":"Connect the Dots: Street Wisdom","url":"http://www.laduenews.com/business/columns/article_67727577-79aa-504a-b946-18b3828cf5bc.html","permalink":"http://www.laduenews.com/business/columns/connect-the-dots-street-wisdom/article_67727577-79aa-504a-b946-18b3828cf5bc.html","canonical":"http://www.laduenews.com/business/columns/connect-the-dots-street-wisdom/article_67727577-79aa-504a-b946-18b3828cf5bc.html","relatedAssetCounts":{"article":0,"audio":0,"image":1,"link":0,"vmix":0,"youtube":0,"gallery":0},"byline":"Dr. Benjamin Ola. Akande","prologue":"A few years ago, I had the good fortune to visit the studios of\u00a0Sesame Street, a treasured part of many children\u2019s lives for just under half a century now.","supportsComments":true,"commentCount":0,"keywords":[],"internalKeywords":[],"customProperties":{},"presentation":null,"images":[{"id":"d0b16d94-855f-5bfa-a38c-cbddc0445bb6","description":"","byline":"","hireswidth":1175,"hiresheight":1762,"hiresurl":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/d/0b/d0b16d94-855f-5bfa-a38c-cbddc0445bb6/56d89acf70555.hires.jpg","presentation":"","versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1175","height":"1762","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/d/0b/d0b16d94-855f-5bfa-a38c-cbddc0445bb6/5762f19436264.image.jpg?resize=1175%2C1762"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"149","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/d/0b/d0b16d94-855f-5bfa-a38c-cbddc0445bb6/56d89acfb5383.preview-100.jpg"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"450","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/d/0b/d0b16d94-855f-5bfa-a38c-cbddc0445bb6/5762f19436264.image.jpg?resize=300%2C450"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"1536","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/d/0b/d0b16d94-855f-5bfa-a38c-cbddc0445bb6/5762f19436264.image.jpg?resize=1024%2C1536"}}}],"revision":5,"commentID":"67727577-79aa-504a-b946-18b3828cf5bc","body":"
\"Akande
Akande Headshot

A few years ago, I had the good fortune to visit the studios of Sesame Street, a treasured part of many children\u2019s lives for just under half a century now.

It was certainly entertaining (and more than a bit humbling) to meet the late Jim Henson\u2019s Muppets face-to-face and realize those iconic puppets represent the best of what we all strive to be.

Kermit the Frog, for instance, teaches the value of friendship and originality; he challenges viewers to strive to stay unique. Big Bird, meanwhile, teaches that viewers are all \u201cbirds of a different feather\u201d and that life centers not around how different people are but around the differences they make; like his wee green amigo, he challenges viewers to continue to build relationships with others. Also, Count von Count introduces viewers to the intricacies of money, but warns against the tendency to overvalue material things. Even Oscar the Grouch consistently demonstrates the value of respect and tolerance for different ideas and people.

Sesame Street, in short, has taught generations of children the values of peace, love and tolerance each day, showing youngsters the best way to bring authenticity to themselves remains simply to be themselves. Big Bird and his buds teach viewers of all ages to embrace the feelings of others and to celebrate the diversity of people and ideas that have made our country so special.

These days, unfortunately, it often seems as if the lessons of Sesame Street have been forgotten \u2013 or at least set aside for more expedient means. Yet this seems exactly the time to reconnect with our true values, with our internal Big Bird and Kermit. At a time like this, we need to recognize this great nation was built on principles that have made us, as President Ronald Reagan (who was borrowing from English Puritan lawyer John Winthrop, who himself was borrowing from Matthew 5:14) so aptly dubbed us, \u201cthat shining city on a hill.\u201d

With one degree of success or another, our nation collectively has always aspired to anchor itself in goodness, good faith and the willingness to do whatever it takes to elevate ourselves, our organizations and our communities. For decades, Sesame Street has mirrored what we all strive to be. It\u2019s demonstrated our values, celebrated our strengths and reminded us we can live together harmoniously on the street of humanity, a thoroughfare to which each of us holds right of way.

Perhaps the time has thus come to change our figurative channels and tune in again to those lovable Muppets and monsters that show us how to be the best we can be.

Dr. Benjamin Ola. Akande is the president of BOA Consulting, senior advisor to the chancellor at Washington University in St. Louis and former president of 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":"85a24ac7-7eb5-5d14-85ee-e42608122937","type":"article","starttime":"1532019600","starttime_iso8601":"2018-07-19T12:00:00-05:00","priority":45,"sections":[{"testdrive":"business/testdrive"}],"application":"editorial","title":"Test Drive: 2018 Audi S3","url":"http://www.laduenews.com/business/testdrive/article_85a24ac7-7eb5-5d14-85ee-e42608122937.html","permalink":"http://www.laduenews.com/business/testdrive/test-drive-audi-s/article_85a24ac7-7eb5-5d14-85ee-e42608122937.html","canonical":"http://www.laduenews.com/business/testdrive/test-drive-audi-s/article_85a24ac7-7eb5-5d14-85ee-e42608122937.html","relatedAssetCounts":{"article":0,"audio":0,"image":3,"link":0,"vmix":0,"youtube":0,"gallery":0},"byline":"Ryan Scott","prologue":"The sport-turned-entry-level 2018 Audi S3 provides unexpected thrills.","supportsComments":true,"commentCount":0,"keywords":["test drive","audi s3"],"internalKeywords":[],"customProperties":{},"presentation":null,"images":[{"id":"1917f8e0-9a4b-5986-ae11-bea5dab5117e","description":"","byline":"Photos by Ryan Scott","hireswidth":1769,"hiresheight":1171,"hiresurl":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/1/91/1917f8e0-9a4b-5986-ae11-bea5dab5117e/5b50b499ab251.hires.jpg","presentation":"","versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1769","height":"1171","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/1/91/1917f8e0-9a4b-5986-ae11-bea5dab5117e/5b50b499aa0b8.image.jpg?resize=1769%2C1171"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"66","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/1/91/1917f8e0-9a4b-5986-ae11-bea5dab5117e/5b50b499aa0b8.image.jpg?resize=100%2C66"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"199","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/1/91/1917f8e0-9a4b-5986-ae11-bea5dab5117e/5b50b499aa0b8.image.jpg?resize=300%2C199"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"678","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/1/91/1917f8e0-9a4b-5986-ae11-bea5dab5117e/5b50b499aa0b8.image.jpg?resize=1024%2C678"}}},{"id":"919d5a33-a429-5de3-9755-215f16209ef5","description":"","byline":"Photos by Ryan Scott","hireswidth":1769,"hiresheight":1171,"hiresurl":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/9/19/919d5a33-a429-5de3-9755-215f16209ef5/5b50b49a03064.hires.jpg","presentation":"","versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1769","height":"1171","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/9/19/919d5a33-a429-5de3-9755-215f16209ef5/5b50b49a023b6.image.jpg?resize=1769%2C1171"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"66","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/9/19/919d5a33-a429-5de3-9755-215f16209ef5/5b50b49a023b6.image.jpg?resize=100%2C66"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"199","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/9/19/919d5a33-a429-5de3-9755-215f16209ef5/5b50b49a023b6.image.jpg?resize=300%2C199"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"678","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/9/19/919d5a33-a429-5de3-9755-215f16209ef5/5b50b49a023b6.image.jpg?resize=1024%2C678"}}},{"id":"ddc5bb2f-1781-5103-a103-214b1ef3db7b","description":"","byline":"Photos by Ryan Scott","hireswidth":1769,"hiresheight":1171,"hiresurl":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/d/dc/ddc5bb2f-1781-5103-a103-214b1ef3db7b/5b50b49a5925d.hires.jpg","presentation":"","versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1769","height":"1171","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/d/dc/ddc5bb2f-1781-5103-a103-214b1ef3db7b/5b50b49a58401.image.jpg?resize=1769%2C1171"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"66","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/d/dc/ddc5bb2f-1781-5103-a103-214b1ef3db7b/5b50b49a58401.image.jpg?resize=100%2C66"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"199","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/d/dc/ddc5bb2f-1781-5103-a103-214b1ef3db7b/5b50b49a58401.image.jpg?resize=300%2C199"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"678","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/d/dc/ddc5bb2f-1781-5103-a103-214b1ef3db7b/5b50b49a58401.image.jpg?resize=1024%2C678"}}}],"revision":3,"commentID":"85a24ac7-7eb5-5d14-85ee-e42608122937","body":"
\"_DSC7401.jpg\"
_DSC7401.jpg

Thoughts of driving the Audi S3 weren\u2019t even on my radar. It wasn\u2019t until a string of requests to drive other, more lustworthy cars went unanswered that I ended up on my S3 fallback plan. Please, don\u2019t shed a tear for me.

With keys in hand from the fantastic staff at Audi Creve Coeur, the S3 makes its first impression thanks to loads of cutting-edge tech. The virtual cockpit is brilliant and intuitive, just as it was in the Audi S5. In fact, every piece of the Audi user interface makes perfect sense. I won\u2019t go so far as to say my parents could master it, but anyone living in the post-rotary phone era will feel at home quickly. The car I was given, with Prestige trim, sported a couple of additional features seen in many cars \u2013 adaptive cruise control and high-beam assist \u2013 but while using them, I discovered they\u2019re the best implementations I\u2019ve experienced yet. The adaptive cruise induced nary a heart-rate spike, as many other systems do with herky-jerky speed management and aggressive braking. And with Audi\u2019s high-beam assist, I didn\u2019t blind a single fellow driver. It\u2019s a set-it-and-forget-it feature, just as it should be.

Audi\u2019s entry-level sport sedan delivers surprises in the experience, as well. Out is much of the overly damped and disconnected feel; in is a truly playful demeanor of a car that wants to be your partner in shenanigans. Under acceleration, it feels stronger than the quoted 292 horsepower would suggest. However, like the S5, it\u2019s impossible to slingshot the S3 from a standing start. Whether it\u2019s the traction control attempting to manage wheel spin, lag from the turbocharged 2.0-liter engine or just some auto-nannying, it takes a good half-second of foot to the floor before the S3 complies with your request. Once it does, though, forward thrust is delivered with vigor. Add to that the clearly audible turbo-whoosh, and you have a truly visceral experience.

As my new play partner and I were getting along swimmingly, we agreed to a blast down my personal test circuit of Rock Creek and West Four Ridge roads. A beautiful, approximately 10-mile stretch of fresh blacktop spattered with 15- and 20-mph turns, this road separates the pros from the posers quickly. And the S3 accommodated itself nicely. It was very neutral in balance and rotated through corners without drama. All that held the S3 back from being higher in ultimate cornering ability was the all-season Bridgestone tires, which, honestly, is to be expected. I speculate if fitted with some sticky summer-only tires, the S3 could transform into a track weapon in capable hands.

\"_DSC7368.jpg\"
_DSC7368.jpg

The Audi S3 shares underpinnings with the Volkswagen Golf R, a car aimed at younger enthusiast drivers. And if I were to further speculate, I would suggest that explains the entirely different set of sensations communicated to the driver of an S3 versus the S5 mentioned earlier. While the S3 feels more grown-up than a VW Golf R, the bones of a dancer remain underneath. The VW Golf R is renowned as a brilliant-to-drive hot hatch, whereas Audi takes the S3 to boarding school for class and refinement. Magnetic shocks used in the S Sport package deliver the best of both worlds: pancake flat during hard cornering but also making potholes feel like pebbles. And there\u2019s no comparing the fit and finish of the two cabins.

But it\u2019s not all roses. Much of the S3\u2019s goosebumps-delivering success comes from its small size. Its relatively light weight and short wheelbase are of course pieces in the formula, but also factoring in are a comical rear seat and limited trunk space. Don\u2019t let the four doors fool you; unless the two front-seat occupants are under 5 foot, 8 inches, the S3 is not a place where four adults can exist comfortably.

In recent years, Audi has carved out its market share by appealing to seekers of the latest technology and wrapping it in a refined-but-understated shell. Excitement had seemingly gone by the wayside, but this S3 keeps the same simple lines packed with tech \u2026 and thankfully left the fun intact. Much like the BMW M240i, the S3 isn\u2019t a car I find myself craving for more, but I did walk away with a healthy heaping of respect. Also, as the M240i elicits the thought of \u201cWhy not just get an M2?,\u201d the middle-child S3 begs the question of why not just jump in headfirst and opt for the 400-horsepower turbo five-cylinder Audi RS3. It\u2019s just as practical \u2013 or impractical, depending on perspective \u2013 and, if a buyer went light on options, can be had for barely over our S3\u2019s as-tested price. In a packed segment, though, questions and hypotheticals like that are never-ending. What is certain is that this S3 is a welcome addition and deserving of your own test drive.

LOANER FROM: Audi Creve Coeur, audicrevecoeur.com

PRICE AS TESTED: $51,850

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_DSC7389.jpg
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\"Page,
Page, Ken (1).jpg

\u201cRight here in St. Louis.\u201d

When that last line from Meet Me in St. Louis is spoken and the final curtain comes down on The Muny\u2019s 100th season next month, it\u2019s fitting that Ken Page will be on that stage. Page, a Muny favorite, will be there with the rest of the cast, in front of approximately 11,000 people, taking his bows and singing \u201cAuld Lang Syne\u201d yet again. It will be his 35th show at The Muny since he first appeared in South Pacific there in 1973. That was the start of a career that has taken him to Broadway, London, Paris and Vegas, as well as roles in both television and movies.

Page was born and raised in the Carr Square public housing projects just north of downtown St. Louis in 1954 \u2013 often regarded as the same year the civil rights movement began. When he was in the fourth grade at St. Nicholas school, Page says Sister Ruth Cecilia recognized his singing talent. St. Nicholas was an all-black Catholic school, but on Fridays, Sister Ruth brought him to the mostly white Holy Innocence School to sing with the choir. During that period, people participated in sit-ins and marches and were laying the foundation for civil rights, while young Page was crossing barriers of his own \u2013 through the church, on the stage and with song.

\u201cPeople don\u2019t realize how many black Catholics there were and are in St. Louis,\u201d Page says. \u201cIt was still separated, but I knew a completely Catholic world that was African-American. Most black Catholic kids went to DeAndreis High School, but it had no theater program, so Sister Ruth pulled some strings.\u201d

In fact, the sister got Page into Bishop DuBourg High School even though he didn\u2019t live in its district parish. He went on to study theater at Fontbonne University and ended up onstage at The Muny before moving on to New York and beyond. His biggest roles were playing Old Deuteronomy in the original Broadway cast of Cats and voicing Oogie Boogie in Tim Burton\u2019s 1993 The Nightmare Before Christmas \u2013 an audition Page remembers fondly.

\u201cThey asked, \u2018What do you think this villain would be vocally?\u2019\u201d he says. \u201cI looked at the song and the story, and I said, \u2018It would be somewhere between Burt Lahr from The Wizard of Oz and the voice of the demon in The Exorcist. They were like, \u2018OK!\u2019 \u2013 because that was about as weird as they were.\u201d

In his career, Page has rubbed shoulders with stars like Cab Calloway and Sammie Davis Jr. and has even gotten some backstage advice from the great Lena Horne. \u201cShe looked me up and down and said, \u2018Uh-huh, y\u2019all save your money and behave yourself.\u2019 When you get advice from Lena Horne, you take it!\u201d

But throughout his journeys, it was always the mammoth stage between the trees and under the stars at The Muny that kept calling him home. \u201cIt\u2019s unlike anywhere else,\u201d Page says, \u201cThe closest thing to it is maybe Radio City, but that\u2019s inside, and there\u2019s the Hollywood Bowl. But The Muny is The Muny.\u201d

Page and I stroll past the familiar columns and chandelier at the front of the theater, near which is the walk of fame, where plaques bear the names of the most famous performers of the past 100 years. \u201cWhen you think about all the people that have played here and came through here, the list is endless,\u201d Page says with a star-struck gleam in his eye. \u201cPearl Bailey, Yul Brynner, Ethel Merman, Carol Channing \u2013 the list goes on and on. They all had a singular experience of working here, and I don\u2019t know of another place anything like this.\u201d

Page says theater people still want to work here when they get the chance. \u201cThere is a direct corridor between The Muny and New York,\u201d he says. \u201cMany of the people we see at The Muny in the summer are people who are in a downtime for a Broadway show. If they\u2019re not working in New York in the summer months, then they are clamoring to get here now.\u201d

Very few actors have had the experiences that Page has had here \u2013 and even fewer African-American performers. \u201cI\u2019ve done a lot of roles here that were nontraditional,\u201d he says, \u201cand it was a wonderful opportunity for me that Paul Blake and Mike Isaacson would say, \u2018This is someone who is right for this part, and it\u2019s not about race, so let\u2019s just do it.\u2019\u201d

Starting on Aug. 4, Page will play the role of the grandfather in Meet Me in St. Louis. That\u2019s something most kids growing up in Carr Square never could have dreamed of, but because of Page, those who came before him and The Muny, a lot more dreams like that could come true \u2013 right here in St. Louis.

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.

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\"Kathy
Kathy Schrenk author photo (credit Liz Schrenk, Something Blue Photography and Design).jpg

Writer, former newspaper reporter and mother of three Kathy Schrenk has had an avid longtime interest in hiking, borne from nearly a decade and a half of living in and exploring the ever-changing Northern California landscape. On her family\u2019s return to St. Louis, of which her husband is a native, Schrenk formed a social media group for parents who wanted to join her and her kids on hikes around St. Louis, growing to nearly 2,000 members in just a few years. Recently published, Best Hikes With Kids: St. Louis and Beyond encapsulates Schrenk\u2019s storehouse of trail knowledge that she has gleaned from years of on-the-ground research in and around St. Louis city and county, along with nearby Illinois.

Designed for kids 10 and under, the book features 85 locations, most of which include hikes that are less than 5 miles long and have less than 1,000 feet of elevation gain. Hike descriptions include sidebars with games, nature facts and more, as well as tips for parents with cautions for sharp drop-offs or potty time on the trail. Notes for barrier-free or Americans with Disabilities Act-accessible trails are available, as well as trail suitability for jogging strollers. LN spoke with Schrenk about her background and research \u2013 she has hiked all 85 trails featured and a few more that didn\u2019t make the cut \u2013 and what readers can expect from Best Hikes.

Are you from Missouri? If not, how did you end up here?

I was born in northern Illinois and lived in the San Francisco Bay area for 14 years before moving to St. Louis five years ago. My husband is from here, and we decided it was time to live someplace cheaper and closer to family.

What inspired you to write the book?

I fell in love with hiking when I lived in California. When we decided to move to St. Louis, I was concerned there wouldn't be as much chance to hike. But I quickly realized there were a huge number of amazing trails. I also realized there was no hiking guide to the area specifically geared toward kids. When I lived near San Francisco, I had a book called Best Hikes With Kids: San Francisco Bay Area. So I looked up the publisher and sent in a proposal, and they said yes.

I am really excited about getting kids and families to hike, so I did my best to share tips about getting kids out on the trail and enjoying hiking. The most important thing is to do what\u2019s best for your family that will make it easiest for you and your kids to hike. For my family, we already hiked regularly, so the way to get our kids to be more enthusiastic was to find other families to hike with.

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BestHikesWithKids_SL.indd

Did you enlist research partners to land on the \u201c10 & under\u201d demographic?

My kids are now 5, 11 and 12, so they were all under 10 during the research. I didn\u2019t quit hiking when I was pregnant or once I had kids. It was good for my mental and physical health as a new mom to keep hiking, and it became an important activity for our whole family. So I\u2019ve done lots and lots to do hiking with kids of all ages.

Are these trails popular hikes (for example, a Castlewood State Park or segments of the Katy Trail), less densely populated trail sites or both and all points between?

There\u2019s definitely a wide range. Those well-known trails can get really crowded on nice weekends, but most trails in the area are fairly quiet. There are many trails maintained by the state in \u201cnatural areas\u201d or \u201cconservation areas\u201d that don\u2019t get a lot of traffic. I\u2019m thinking of Valley View Glades or Hickory Canyons areas. So pretty and so quiet.

How far does \u201cand Beyond\u201d stretch?

The farthest hikes are a couple hours away. If you\u2019re on vacation in Lake of the Ozarks, the state parks there are a great break from the craziness of the lake and the tourist towns. Ha Ha Tonka State Park can be pretty busy, especially near the castle ruins, but is really worth a trip. Johnson\u2019s Shut-Ins is spectacular and also about two hours away from St. Louis. To the east, Giant City State Park is also worth a trip. Luckily, those all have nice campgrounds and often cabins or hotels nearby. The book includes \u201cGreat Getaways\u201d features that give suggestions about where to stay and other activities if you want to make a weekend of one of those trips.

Purchase\u00a0Best Hikes With Kids: St. Louis and Beyond here.

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