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In a culture of ever-shrinking attention spans, we all sometimes strain to quickly fit everything and everyone into a conceptual box. Once that happens, we judge accordingly and thus may have difficulty seeing things differently. And as unthinkable as it sounds, sometimes we err.

To that point, when the Audi West County team told me they had an all-new 2018 Audi S5 to drive, I did my research \u2013 and swiftly prejudged what to expect.

Now, the S5 has always been a looker, showcasing Audi\u2019s ability to make simple shapes elegant and appealing. For 2018, it sports more visual edge while deviating little from the original S5 design, which debuted in 2007. Fender arches have grown more defined, with the front grill a bit busier, and my engineering mind couldn\u2019t help wondering what makes the sharply downward-pinched hood possible. Elsewhere, on paper, the new S5 seems easy to view as a sporty, adrenaline-infused ride by its also-new turbocharged V-6 (which produces 354 horsepower), the torque-vectoring rear differential and the massive front six-piston brakes.

So would my sporty expectations align with experience? We test-drive to answer just such questions.

The new S5\u2019s interior makes it hard not to immediately focus on the center instrument cluster, a 12.3-inch configurable LCD display. Full of fillips like layering the speedometer and tachometer displays atop Google Earth navigation, Audi\u2019s virtual cockpit becomes something that after use, you wonder how you can live without. Elsewhere inside, typical benchmark Audi levels of fit and finish greet the driver.

Although meticulously crafted with a striking blend of contrasting materials, however, the higher-than-I\u2019d-like seating position provided my first clue that, possibly, Audi doesn\u2019t intend this S5 to be a corner-carver.

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Pursuit of economy has in large part made V-8s go the way of the dodo, as is the case here. Audi employs a 3.0-liter V-6, which uses a single twin-scroll turbocharger nestled between the cylinder vee for fastest spool time. And for the most part, it boasts a very successful, albeit rather introverted, powerplant. Speed builds rapidly, with the car achieving 0-to-60 mph in 4.5 seconds and ticking off a quarter of a mile in 12.9.

But even at full throttle, the S5 keeps a perfect poker face, as it were. The only sign of cracking a smile involves the just-audible exhaust crackle on shifts when in sport mode. As if doing standup to a room full of proctologists, I felt as if I was the only one having fun. Come on, big Audi, let\u2019s be silly! No matter what inadvisable right- and left-foot combos I tried, I couldn\u2019t make the S5 break loose. What this means to other drivers will depend on mindset; maybe that all-business approach appeals to some, but for me, it meant my snap judgment of the S5\u2019s sport orientation was looking less and less accurate.

That suspicion extended into driving dynamics. On one hand, the 3,924-pound S5 can dig through corners with a Velcro-like grip. On the other, it does so without translating any sense of excitement or feel. Again, how that informs your own opinion will depend on your mindset. Although not intended to feel like a sharp-edged sports car, the S5 does produce respectable performance numbers, but sans drama.

The S5 excels, though, in high-speed highway cruising and long distances. Comfort ranks high, with the body structure and interior vaultlike in strength and quiet, and this car effortlessly burns miles. Short blasts into triple-digit speeds feel like slow-lane lollygagging in lesser-built cars. Also, Audi\u2019s progressive steering, which provides increasing steering ratio as the driver adds input, pays dividends here. Little off-center wiggles at interstate speeds fail to disrupt the car, but unlike your grandpa\u2019s town car, no floaty feeling occurs, either. I could see this car as being completely at home on a European autobahn.

Otherwise, I test-drove the coupe, a sleek vehicle low on practicality for those with families. The S5 also comes as a four-door sedan, a drop-top cabriolet and a new four-door hatchback Audi calls the Sportback. Leading the way in whatever life throws at it, the Sportback\u2019s highly adaptable rear hatch and flat-folding back seats could swallow a small mountain of stuff. And under the skin, it remains the same S5 as reviewed here. When compared with most small SUVs, suddenly the S5 Sportback becomes the fun, sporting option.

No car can meet every criterion from shoppers, of course, and balancing acts inevitably ensue. This S5, though, does shift a few checkmarks from the \u201csporty\u201d column into \u201cluxury,\u201d resulting in a car that looks at first glance sportier than it really is. And as ever with Audi, the technology criteria tower as tall as any, and the company\u2019s sales numbers make clear that tech speaks to many people. If you\u2019re one, then the new S5 does indeed deserve a test drive.


LOANER FROM: Audi West County audiwestcounty.com

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You are officially one month into 2018. Maybe it\u2019s the year you pledged to work out more, read more, travel more \u2013 do anything and everything more. While it\u2019s great to have goals, it\u2019s hard to implement more into an already hectic schedule, especially when you aren\u2019t allowing yourself adequate time to rest and recharge. Occasional fatigue is perfectly normal, yet if it\u2019s a constant for you, it could signal a larger, overarching problem.

According to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, an estimated 836,000 to 2.5 million Americans suffer from chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), approximately 90 percent of which cases have not been diagnosed. Ladue News spoke with Margaret Reiker, MD, at Missouri Baptist Medical Center, about the symptoms, causes and treatments for CFS.

It\u2019s common in our hectic lives to feel exhausted, especially when we likely don\u2019t log enough hours in bed each night. How can one distinguish the difference between everyday exhaustion and CFS?

The difference between CFS and other fatigue is that it begins suddenly, does not improve with rest and is associated with significant new exercise intolerance.

What are common symptoms of CFS?

The common symptoms of CFS are feeling tired all of the time. Often this begins with a sudden onset, such as after a cold or other infection, and then just never seems to get better. Other symptoms include poor exercise tolerance, trouble thinking or fuzzy thinking, trouble sleeping and dizziness when standing up suddenly.

What causes CFS?

The cause for CFS is not clearly defined. A viral infection such as Epstein-Barr, which causes mononucleosis (and may play a role in multiple sclerosis and other diseases), or other specific viral infections may trigger a disturbance in the immune system that causes this in some individuals.

What are the dangers of CFS going undiagnosed?

If CFS is undiagnosed and untreated, some patients may slip into progressive depression or deconditioning [generally, reverting to being out of shape]. By actively working on sleep, nutrition, a graded exercise program and any associated issues that may be aggravating the symptoms, most patients can eventually overcome this.

Why do so many cases go undiagnosed? How does one get tested for CFS?

Many people are undiagnosed that suffer with CFS because there is not a simple well-defined test, the condition is not really well understood, and we do not have a simple, easy fix for it.

There is no simple test for CFS; this is a clinical diagnosis. You have to see a physician or nurse practitioner [and] have other causes of fatigue ruled out. Generally, you feel tired all the time for no reason, and you have some of the other symptoms of poor sleep, poor exercise tolerance, dizziness or difficulty concentrating.

What are treatments for CFS?

The treatments for CFS are supportive. Most patients improve with different approaches to improve their sleep quality. Counseling with cognitive behavioral therapy may help some, and getting good support for the stress that accompanies this. A graded exercise program, where you gradually rebuild your exercise tolerance, sometimes with the help of a physical therapist, is often helpful. Good nutrition for support of the immune system also helps, and this just means an adequate variety of vegetables, adequate protein, limiting sugar.

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When winter hits in full force, even the best of us can feel a little down. Whether we realize it or not, weather affects mood \u2013 and for many of us, the winter blues elude self-control.

Cold weather and shorter days alter brain and other metabolic chemistry. The hormones melatonin and serotonin control energy and feelings, for instance, with the former affecting sleep and the latter influencing mood. In the colder, darker winter months, the brain produces more melatonin, which can make many of us feel tired, and less serotonin, which can make many of us feel gloomy. For some, unfortunately, the cold proves unmanageable, resulting in seasonal affective disorder, or SAD.

For some parents suffering from SAD, winter weather and school snow days can cause even more moodiness. The thought of leaving the house, entertaining the kids and putting on snow clothes can be simply too much. Moreover, when instant messages start inviting families outside to play, build snowmen or sit around a fire, moms and dads may feel even more stressed, being forced to face how lousy they feel compared to the happy friends and neighbors around them.

Further complicating many people\u2019s moods during this time of year are widespread post-holiday blues. The gifts have been unwrapped, the cookies have been baked (and eaten) and the holiday decorations have been boxed. Instead of reflecting on joyous memories, though, some folks dwell on unmet expectations, feel guilty over holiday overindulgences and miss the energy and social aspects of the season.

Although SAD and the post-holiday blues remain real concerns for many, the outlook isn\u2019t as cloudy as it sounds. Many easy fixes can improve sufferers\u2019 moods. Exercise can provide immediate stress relief that lasts long after a workout ends, for instance. Also, eating nutrient-rich foods energizes the body and promotes feelings of healthiness. Otherwise, going outside can improve people\u2019s emotional states, as sunlight provides vitamin D, a natural mood enhancer.

In addition to physically healthy behaviors, being social improves negative winter emotions. Keep a mental list of special people in your life who always remain happy to talk; something as simple as a phone call or a chat over coffee (in addition to a nice email or text) can brighten anyone\u2019s day.

Even if you don\u2019t suffer from SAD, winter weather often causes some mild depression, lack of motivation or low energy. Don\u2019t despair; rather, recognize your emotions and do something about them. If, however, your low mood persists, reach out to a mental health professional or your family doctor for extra support. Although spring may lurk just around the corner \u2013 fingers crossed \u2013 winter months can seem even colder than they already are if you experience ongoing blue moods.

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

"}, {"id":"5c8a6592-bfc3-59b5-b696-9674d07c1ff4","type":"article","starttime":"1515692700","starttime_iso8601":"2018-01-11T11:45:00-06:00","priority":45,"sections":[{"features":"nonprofits/features"},{"features":"business/features"}],"application":"editorial","title":"Bringing Sunshine and Joy","url":"http://www.laduenews.com/nonprofits/features/article_5c8a6592-bfc3-59b5-b696-9674d07c1ff4.html","permalink":"http://www.laduenews.com/nonprofits/features/bringing-sunshine-and-joy/article_5c8a6592-bfc3-59b5-b696-9674d07c1ff4.html","canonical":"http://www.laduenews.com/nonprofits/features/bringing-sunshine-and-joy/article_5c8a6592-bfc3-59b5-b696-9674d07c1ff4.html","relatedAssetCounts":{"article":0,"audio":0,"image":2,"link":0,"vmix":0,"youtube":0,"gallery":0},"byline":"Robyn Dexter","prologue":"Through his David & Gloria Fissell Foundation, a St. Charles senior seeks to spread a legacy of light and love to residents in area care facilities.","supportsComments":true,"commentCount":0,"keywords":["david & gloria fissell foundation","nursing home"],"internalKeywords":[],"customProperties":{},"presentation":null,"images":[{"id":"c9a75033-1628-59bb-93c6-bdb0cc0bbb21","description":"","byline":"Photos by Sarah Conroy","hireswidth":1763,"hiresheight":1175,"hiresurl":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/c/9a/c9a75033-1628-59bb-93c6-bdb0cc0bbb21/5a578c5eeefb2.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/c/9a/c9a75033-1628-59bb-93c6-bdb0cc0bbb21/5a578c5eedfe1.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/c/9a/c9a75033-1628-59bb-93c6-bdb0cc0bbb21/5a578c5eedfe1.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/c/9a/c9a75033-1628-59bb-93c6-bdb0cc0bbb21/5a578c5eedfe1.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/c/9a/c9a75033-1628-59bb-93c6-bdb0cc0bbb21/5a578c5eedfe1.image.jpg?resize=1024%2C682"}}},{"id":"4d412a33-7088-5bb4-b90e-c99338652168","description":"","byline":"Photos by Sarah Conroy","hireswidth":1662,"hiresheight":1247,"hiresurl":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/4/d4/4d412a33-7088-5bb4-b90e-c99338652168/5a578c5f660e9.hires.jpg","presentation":"","versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1662","height":"1247","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/4/d4/4d412a33-7088-5bb4-b90e-c99338652168/5a578c5f652e6.image.jpg?resize=1662%2C1247"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"75","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/4/d4/4d412a33-7088-5bb4-b90e-c99338652168/5a578c5f652e6.image.jpg?resize=100%2C75"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"225","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/4/d4/4d412a33-7088-5bb4-b90e-c99338652168/5a578c5f652e6.image.jpg?resize=300%2C225"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"768","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/4/d4/4d412a33-7088-5bb4-b90e-c99338652168/5a578c5f652e6.image.jpg?resize=1024%2C768"}}}],"revision":4,"commentID":"5c8a6592-bfc3-59b5-b696-9674d07c1ff4","body":"

It was summer 2014, and David Fissell\u2019s wife, Gloria, had been in and out of more than one nursing home. A few weeks before she passed away, she had a talk with her husband of 30-plus years about what his life would be like after her passing.

\u201cShe asked me, \u2018What are you going to do after I pass away, sweetie?\u2019\u201d he says. \u201cShe said, \u2018Do you know how many people here tell me how lucky I am to have you?\u2019\u201d

When Gloria Fissell was in the nursing homes, David Fissell hardly ever left her side, staying from breakfast until after supper and helping other residents while she napped. In fact, he was voted employee of the month twice because of his caring efforts and assistance. Gloria Fissell had noticed that many nursing home residents rarely or never had visitors and wanted her husband to do something for those in need after she was gone.

Gloria Fissell died at 80 years old on July 26, 2014. She left her husband a $1,000 stash in their home that he was to use to improve the lives of area nursing home residents.

\u201cI started out trying to help [people on] Medicaid, especially those who didn\u2019t have families,\u201d he says. \u201cAfter several trips to nursing homes, I found that even residents with traditional insurance or living family members usually had it just as bad.\u201d

Fissell started off helping out at Mount Carmel Senior Living in St. Charles and got involved with bingo, something he says brings real joy to the facility\u2019s residents. They call him \u201cthe bingo man.\u201d

\u201cMost people don\u2019t want their relatives or loved ones to go into a nursing home,\u201d Lisa Owen, executive director of the David & Gloria Fissell Foundation, says. \u201cIndividuals also don\u2019t want to think about nursing homes, in general, and what may go on there because we\u2019ve all heard stories or seen news reports. It\u2019s challenging for the foundation to find volunteers willing to go into facilities because of the fear and stigma attached to such places. For many individuals, folks in nursing homes are kind of \u2018out of sight, out of mind\u2019 \u2013 people don\u2019t want to think about it.\u201d

Fissell made the decision in 2016 to start the David & Gloria Fissell Foundation, a nonprofit organization headquartered in St. Charles. The foundation currently serves five St. Charles County nursing homes and assisted living facilities, encompassing more than 500 residents and welcomes volunteers to bake treats, read to residents and play games with the elderly.

The foundation\u2019s goal is to \u201cput smiles on faces every day\u201d and improve the lives of the residents at these facilities by providing items that bring joy and comfort, such as handmade fleece blankets, baked goods, snacks and treats, crossword and word-search puzzle books, and cards, gifts and decorations for holidays and special occasions, such as birthdays, resident appreciation days and ice cream socials. Just weeks ago, residents at the O\u2019Fallon Mount Carmel Senior Living facility celebrated the season at a party that included gifts, carolers, festive d\u00e9cor and holiday candy.

Fissell now plays bingo every day of the week across four different facilities, which costs the foundation between $450 and $550 a month.

Owen explains that bingo is \u201creally meaningful\u201d for the residents. \u201cThe games are a wonderful opportunity for seniors to get out of their rooms, make friends, socialize with other folks and engage in a purposeful activity,\u201d she says. \u201cThis helps them get a little exercise, use fine motor skills and keep their brains sharp. In addition, residents know that Dave and the foundation he represents truly care and are looking out for them.

\u201cOne item that\u2019s extremely special to our residents are the blankets we make and distribute. You can\u2019t imagine how much comfort our warm, soft and cuddly homemade fleece tie blankets bring to lonely seniors and disabled folks in the care centers and rehab facilities we serve!\u201d

Fissell says Gloria is his guardian angel and continues to watch over him as he works tirelessly to bring some joy to the lives of area nursing home residents.

\u201cWe were married over 30 years,\u201d he recalls fondly. \u201cI was her third husband, and she was my fourth wife, but we were together longer than all the other ones added up. She was my soulmate.\u201d

David & Gloria Fissell Foundation, 314-764-5042, dgfmemfund.org

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Books that explore both familiar and unfamiliar vehicles and machines can really set children\u2019s imaginations rolling \u2013 so in that light, consider these three offerings for youngsters who enjoy observing, pretending and interacting during story time.

freight train

Freight Train by writer/illustrator Donald Crews \u2013 a beautifully simple, yet intricately detailed picture book \u2013 brings to life the movement and excitement of a passing train. Beginning with a bare train track, Crews introduces individual rail cars using bold hues and patterns.

With this wonderful intro to colors, counting, size, order and motion, toddlers and preschoolers should enjoy pointing out things they notice each time they experience the book.

Freight Train won the esteemed Caldecott Medal (awarded annually by a division of the American Library Association \u201cto the artist of the most distinguished American picture book for children,\u201d according to that division\u2019s website) in 1979, but Crews\u2019 spare text and visually energetic illustrations have made this book a children\u2019s favorite for almost 40 years. Freight Train also appears in various formats \u2013 including as a board book perfect for tiny hands.

goodnight goodnight construction site

Goodnight, Goodnight, Construction Site by Sherri Duskey Rinker and illustrator Tom Lichtenheld, this month\u2019s second recommended book, provides a rhyming intro to the giant tools commonly used in building projects.

In taking readers on a journey around an active construction site, Rinker presents each machine as a hardworking character in a busy, connected scheme. Lichtenheld, meanwhile, offers engaging, personified images, enabling youngsters to bond with the mechanical characters.

After learning how and why the machines are used, as well as naming their moving parts, children enjoy the opportunity to tuck each into bed at the end of the day to the refrain of \u201cShh \u2026 goodnight.\u201d Goodnight, Goodnight, Construction Site also can be enjoyed in earlier activity; with the book\u2019s wealth of verbs, children and parents can play movement games while pretending to be cranes, cement mixers, bulldozers and more.

Ready Readers took pride in gifting this month\u2019s third recommended book, Old MacDonald\u2019s Things That Go, to the children in our program. This new book by Jane Clarke and illustrator Migy Blanco expands on the familiar children\u2019s song and nursery rhyme \u201cOld MacDonald Had a Farm,\u201d but with a mechanical twist: Clarke\u2019s story pays hommage to the rolling, chugging, gliding, skimming and zooming equipment found on farms and beyond. Yes, familiar farm animals appear, but Blanco features them as comical passengers and drivers of a multitude of vehicles and agricultural equipment on what must be the world\u2019s largest farm.

Instead of focusing on animal sounds, though, Old MacDonald\u2019s Things That Go encourages children to repeat the sounds of the moving machines in a highly singable refrain that ends, \u201cOld MacDonald had a farm. He loved things that go!\u201d A delightful read-aloud for groups, Clarke and Blanco\u2019s book should be ideal for sharing one on one as a funny and engrossing seek-and-find for children 3 and older.

At Ready Readers, we know that \u201cKids Who Read Succeed!\u201d Visit our website (readyreaders.org) to learn how you can support our efforts to ensure a brighter future for our community\u2019s most vulnerable children by providing new books, early literacy experiences and more.

old macdonalds things that go
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sheraton clayton plaza 011218

\u201cThe customer\u2019s imagination is really the only limit,\u201d says Sarah Johnson, director of sales and marketing at Sheraton Clayton Plaza Hotel St. Louis. \u201cWe can host just about anything.\u201d

\u201cWe\u2019re very adept at being able to conform to the customer\u2019s needs and to make the event a success,\u201d maintains Johnson. This willingness to work collaboratively with clients is one of the many reasons the Sheraton Clayton Plaza Hotel St. Louis has become a premier destination for hosting local, national and international business events in St. Louis. With more than 18,000 square feet of meeting space \u2013 much of which is flexible and can be reconfigured, as needed \u2013 the hotel is able to accommodate a variety of events, from a 10-person board of directors meeting to corporate conventions of up to 350 attendees.

The Sheraton Clayton Plaza Hotel St. Louis staff works diligently to make the scheduling, planning and execution of events as seamless as possible. To that end, the hotel assigns a conference services manager to every client. Three months prior to the event, the conference services manager will reach out to the client to discuss event details like setup and menu. \u201cThat person acts as the liaison from the time the contract is signed to the moment the customer has left the property,\u201d explains Johnson. \u201cThey add a personal touch.\u201d

Businesses and corporations holding events at the hotel will find a host of amenities from which to choose. The hotel has on-site audiovisual technicians to troubleshoot any technological hiccups, so there\u2019s no need to worry about faulty microphones or PowerPoint presentations that won\u2019t load. With a full service staff and a banquet kitchen \u2013 one of only five dedicated kosher kitchens in the area \u2013 the hotel is equally equipped to meet clients\u2019 dining needs. And, for those requiring room accommodations, the hotel boasts 259 elegantly-appointed guest rooms.

Because the Sheraton Clayton Plaza Hotel St. Louis is a Marriott International property, clients also benefit from a number of other perks.

\u201cMarriott is the world\u2019s largest hotel company,\u201d declares Johnson. \u201cAnd with that comes two of the top loyalty programs, Marriott Rewards and Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG).\u201d By signing up for these programs, professional meeting planners and administrative personnel can earn rewards for both their professional and personal activities in one joint account.

Close to downtown St. Louis, the hotel\u2019s location in Clayton is especially desirable. Locals and out-of-town visitors alike can easily take in a Cardinals baseball game or pay a visit to the iconic Gateway Arch. After a long days\u2019 worth of meetings, clients can also take advantage of Clayton\u2019s bustling restaurant scene. With an array of dining options within walking distance, \u201cpeople don\u2019t have to roam around, not knowing where they\u2019re going, and they don\u2019t have to spend money to take a cab or an Uber,\u201d says Johnson.

With myriad amenities and a central location, the Sheraton Clayton Plaza Hotel St. Louis is the place to do business.

Sheraton Clayton Plaza Hotel St. Louis, 7730 Bonhomme Ave., St. Louis, 314-863-0400, sheratonclaytonhotel.com

"}, {"id":"ecbe03e7-1088-5b34-848e-cbcbd086e3ae","type":"article","starttime":"1515088800","starttime_iso8601":"2018-01-04T12:00:00-06:00","priority":45,"sections":[{"features":"business/features"}],"application":"editorial","title":"Telling St. Louis Stories","url":"http://www.laduenews.com/business/features/article_ecbe03e7-1088-5b34-848e-cbcbd086e3ae.html","permalink":"http://www.laduenews.com/business/features/telling-st-louis-stories/article_ecbe03e7-1088-5b34-848e-cbcbd086e3ae.html","canonical":"http://www.laduenews.com/business/features/telling-st-louis-stories/article_ecbe03e7-1088-5b34-848e-cbcbd086e3ae.html","relatedAssetCounts":{"article":0,"audio":0,"image":1,"link":0,"vmix":0,"youtube":0,"gallery":0},"byline":"Robyn Dexter","prologue":"Nine Network senior director Jim Kirchherr was recently recognized for his nearly three-decade career by the St. Louis Media Hall of Fame.","supportsComments":true,"commentCount":0,"keywords":["nine network","jim kirchherr","st. louis media hall of fame"],"internalKeywords":[],"customProperties":{},"presentation":null,"images":[{"id":"e688266e-618e-5b29-ab91-039b9b2b16b8","description":"Jim Kirchherr","byline":"Photo by Sarah Conroy","hireswidth":1732,"hiresheight":1196,"hiresurl":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/e/68/e688266e-618e-5b29-ab91-039b9b2b16b8/5a4e5ac3ee3ea.hires.jpg","presentation":"","versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1732","height":"1196","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/e/68/e688266e-618e-5b29-ab91-039b9b2b16b8/5a4e5ac3ed5b1.image.jpg?resize=1732%2C1196"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"69","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/e/68/e688266e-618e-5b29-ab91-039b9b2b16b8/5a4e5ac3ed5b1.image.jpg?resize=100%2C69"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"207","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/e/68/e688266e-618e-5b29-ab91-039b9b2b16b8/5a4e5ac3ed5b1.image.jpg?resize=300%2C207"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"707","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/e/68/e688266e-618e-5b29-ab91-039b9b2b16b8/5a4e5ac3ed5b1.image.jpg?resize=1024%2C707"}}}],"revision":2,"commentID":"ecbe03e7-1088-5b34-848e-cbcbd086e3ae","body":"

Jim Kirchherr

Jim Kirchherr didn\u2019t always want to work in media. In fact, when he was at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, he was studying history with plans to be a social studies teacher. But the now-senior director of content at Nine Network made a \u201cspur of the moment\u201d decision to switch to broadcast. \u201cIt was never something I was dreaming about,\u201d he says. \u201cI\u2019ve just always been good with words.\u201d

His way with words didn\u2019t lead him astray. Kirchherr went on to have a successful career in media, including 27 years with St. Louis\u2019 Nine Network. At the end of November, Kirchherr learned he would be inducted into the 2018 class of the Media Hall of Fame for his work with the local public television station on countless broadcasts, digital content, documentaries, public affairs specials and more. He\u2019s won 26 regional Emmy awards, most recently for his work on a program about a Washington University in St. Louis laboratory that was studying the abilities of swarms of cyborg locusts to use their antennae to sniff out explosives.

\u201c[The Hall of Fame induction] is a recognition of a very steady output of really good work,\u201d he says. \u201cWhen you work in public TV, people appreciate that, but you often don\u2019t get a lot of recognition. This is kind of nice.\u201d

When asked about memorable career highlights and milestones, Kirchherr harks back to his first TV job, which showed him he was in fact cut out for the career ahead. It was Dec. 13, 1977, and a plane carrying the University of Evansville Aces basketball team crashed on takeoff, killing all 29 passengers.

\u201cThat was the first national story I covered, and it was important to me because I realized how well I could work under pressure and try to organize a newscast on short notice,\u201d he says. \u201cIt was an important revelation for a terrible story.\u201d

Kirchherr has been at Nine Network since 1991 and has worked on numerous projects he calls to mind as memorable. At the turn of the century, he produced a nine-part history series called Decades: St. Louis in the 20th Century, which he notes he is particularly proud of. Kirchherr also notes Homeland: Immigration in America as another career highlight \u2013 Kirchherr served as a producer and writer on the three-hour documentary series that explored America\u2019s immigrant experience and aired nationally during the 2012 election.

Although he grew up in Chicago and moved to St. Louis in 1978, Kirchherr says his \u201coutsider\u201d lens gives him a new view of the city that born-and-raised residents don\u2019t have.

\u201cNot being born and raised here gives you a different perspective because you tend to notice things that people who grew up here don\u2019t notice,\u201d he says. \u201cAlmost anything I notice on the street that catches my eye is something I\u2019m curious about and want to know what the story is.\u201d

This curiosity often leads to stories that unveil parts of St. Louis residents would\u2019ve never otherwise known.

\u201cMy favorite thing to hear from people after they\u2019ve seen something I\u2019ve done is \u2018I\u2019ve lived here all my life, and I never knew that,\u2019\u201d Kirchherr says.

Although sometimes they\u2019re not \u201cearthshaking\u201d things, Kirchherr says this fresh perspective has led him to do things like climb the inside of the Union Station clock tower.

\u201cI\u2019ve driven by that a million times,\u201d he says. \u201cOne day I wondered if they\u2019d let me climb it. It took some negotiating, but we took a camera and did it.\u201d

Kirchherr calls St. Louis a well-kept secret in many aspects and summons a quote from writer Theodore Dreiser to describe how he feels about the city. \u201cI learned in time to like it very much, but for the things that set it apart from other cities, not for the things by which it sought to rival them,\u201d the quote goes.

\u201cI think that\u2019s both praiseworthy and somewhat indicative of St. Louis not tooting its horn as much as it should,\u201d he says. \u201cSt. Louis could really play to its strengths.\u201d

In his work with the Nine Network, Kirchherr has been able to dig into St. Louis\u2019 strengths and weaknesses alike. He says the most gratifying part of his job is the ability to find and tell stories across the region in a way that\u2019s comprehensive and thoughtful.

\u201cIt\u2019s given me the opportunity to do research, to dig into the past, to cover current issues \u2026 and do it all well,\u201d he says. \u201cWith public television, we have the airtime to do these stories well.\u201d

Where other networks might have only a minute to tell a particular story, public television allows producers like Kirchherr the airtime to delve deep into their topics and really tell the story.

\u201cThe challenge for public TV is always funding,\u201d he says. \u201cChanging technologies can be viewed as an obstacle or an opportunity. I think if Nine Network remains a valuable resource, the quality of content is always going to be a top priority, not necessarily the tools.\u201d

"}, {"id":"3b320a16-c83b-51a0-8573-89b02ebc1ec3","type":"article","starttime":"1515088800","starttime_iso8601":"2018-01-04T12:00:00-06:00","priority":35,"sections":[{"columns":"business/columns"}],"application":"editorial","title":"Frank Cusumano Talks the Cardinals, Mizzou Football","url":"http://www.laduenews.com/business/columns/article_3b320a16-c83b-51a0-8573-89b02ebc1ec3.html","permalink":"http://www.laduenews.com/business/columns/frank-cusumano-talks-the-cardinals-mizzou-football/article_3b320a16-c83b-51a0-8573-89b02ebc1ec3.html","canonical":"http://www.laduenews.com/business/columns/frank-cusumano-talks-the-cardinals-mizzou-football/article_3b320a16-c83b-51a0-8573-89b02ebc1ec3.html","relatedAssetCounts":{"article":0,"audio":0,"image":1,"link":0,"vmix":0,"youtube":0,"gallery":0},"byline":"Frank Cusumano","prologue":"\u00a0I believe the Cardinals hit a home run with the Marcell Ozuna trade.","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":"3b320a16-c83b-51a0-8573-89b02ebc1ec3","body":"

Frank Cusumano

Here are half a dozen things on my mind this month:

1. I believe the Cardinals hit a home run with the Marcell Ozuna trade. The Cardinals gave up four guys who have never done anything in the Major Leagues for one of the most prolific hitters in baseball. Only two players in all of baseball have more than Ozuna\u2019s 124 RBIs, and only one left fielder has a higher on-base plus slugging (OPS). We\u2019re talking about a 27-year-old who has started back-to-back All-Star Games and won a Gold Glove last season. Did I mention that he also happens to be incredible in the clubhouse and great with the media? And the Cardinals picked up this player without having to give up a top five prospect! Well done.

2. I\u2019m not sure anybody anticipated what ended up happening with Mizzou football. I\u2019ll be honest. I was thinking that it was time to put that shortlist together for potential coaches. Instead, football coach Barry Odom got a two-year contract extension. He\u2019s done a great job, but I disagree with the extension. He had years left on the deal. Let him do it for another season. Let him have back-to-back winning seasons and reward him. Colleges should rethink giving coaches extensive contracts only to fire the coach and hand out buyouts exceeding $10 million.

3. I believe high school basketball is wacked out. Webster Groves went to play Memphis East, which has two players who needed court injunctions to play. They transferred in for that season. What a joke! Whatever happened to going to the actual school where your family actually lives within the district? Or if you go to a private school, staying at that school for four years and not transferring out because another school has a famous coach. It\u2019s all about scholarships! You can get one if you work hard and have ability.

4. The sports personality of the year in St. Louis should be Tommy Pham. Just think about everything he had to overcome: an incredible history of injuries, not making the Major League roster out of spring training and the chronic eye issues. He was the MVP of the Cardinals. He became a 20-20 guy. He hit 306 with a 411 on-base average and a 931 OPS. He put together one of the best seasons in all of baseball. Plus, he saw things in the clubhouse he didn\u2019t like. He wasn\u2019t impressed with the work ethic of some of his teammates and let it be known. I want him to have a lengthy career. We need guys like this to thrive, guys who wake up every day and try to get better. Go, Tommy!

5. The Blues are in the position right now to make that one sexy trade at deadline to put them over the top. They don\u2019t always do it. Sometimes it doesn\u2019t matter what you do at the deadline; you\u2019re simply not good enough. The Blues are good enough. They\u2019re going to need a goal scorer and a top-six forward at the deadline. It\u2019s kind of like a really tasty piece of cake \u2013 it doesn\u2019t have to have the warm caramel sauce, but it helps. This is it. The year to end the 51-year drought.

6. Finally, things I really appreciate in my life: KSDK, KFNS, 97.1, Saturday nights with the lovely Monique, every moment I have watching the kids play something, incredible doctors like Rick Lehman and Kevin Rutz, fantasy football, Greentree Community Church, a really good red sauce, documentaries, a great sermon or interview on a podcast, tune-in radio, Lexa on Apple music and the great producers I work with on radio and television \u2013 Rachel, Brian, Chris, Andy and Larry. With their help, I can at least be OK on the air. [LN dingbat]

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":"70710f95-680f-582f-b33a-005fcecefc4c","type":"article","starttime":"1515088800","starttime_iso8601":"2018-01-04T12:00:00-06:00","priority":35,"sections":[{"columns":"business/columns"}],"application":"editorial","title":"Kids MD: Successful Sharing","url":"http://www.laduenews.com/business/columns/article_70710f95-680f-582f-b33a-005fcecefc4c.html","permalink":"http://www.laduenews.com/business/columns/kids-md-successful-sharing/article_70710f95-680f-582f-b33a-005fcecefc4c.html","canonical":"http://www.laduenews.com/business/columns/kids-md-successful-sharing/article_70710f95-680f-582f-b33a-005fcecefc4c.html","relatedAssetCounts":{"article":0,"audio":0,"image":1,"link":0,"vmix":0,"youtube":0,"gallery":0},"byline":"Dr. Joseph Kahn","prologue":"Although a time for celebration, compassion and giving, the holidays, unfortunately, also can involve issues of ownership and possession, especially for children in the \u201cterrible 2s\u201d or thereabouts.","supportsComments":true,"commentCount":0,"keywords":["kids md","dr. joseph kahn"],"internalKeywords":[],"customProperties":{},"presentation":null,"images":[{"id":"3c1f5a0b-514f-506d-9b36-e06ef6882de6","description":"","byline":"","hireswidth":1550,"hiresheight":1336,"hiresurl":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/3/c1/3c1f5a0b-514f-506d-9b36-e06ef6882de6/5a3bf795997c1.hires.jpg","presentation":"","versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1550","height":"1336","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/3/c1/3c1f5a0b-514f-506d-9b36-e06ef6882de6/5a3bf7959872c.image.jpg?resize=1550%2C1336"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"86","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/3/c1/3c1f5a0b-514f-506d-9b36-e06ef6882de6/5a3bf7959872c.image.jpg?resize=100%2C86"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"259","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/3/c1/3c1f5a0b-514f-506d-9b36-e06ef6882de6/5a3bf7959872c.image.jpg?resize=300%2C259"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"883","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/3/c1/3c1f5a0b-514f-506d-9b36-e06ef6882de6/5a3bf7959872c.image.jpg?resize=1024%2C883"}}}],"revision":6,"commentID":"70710f95-680f-582f-b33a-005fcecefc4c","body":"

Although a time for celebration, compassion and giving, the holidays, unfortunately, also can involve issues of ownership and possession, especially for children in the \u201cterrible 2s\u201d or thereabouts.

At the age of 2 or even 3, toddlers start to see themselves as individuals. They understand that I and we are how they identify themselves. Despite the importance of learning such pronouns, though, doing so has a downside; specifically, a child\u2019s favorite word may become mine. This ranks as a normal stage of development, however, and although you shouldn\u2019t interfere with such self-differentiation, you can take steps to teach your child or children how to share.

Consider, for instance, these four suggestions:

\u2022 Help your toddler to share by always being a good role model. (Being a role model, this column\u2019s regular readers may have noted, remains a pretty consistent theme in raising children.)

\u2022 Share your own possessions, but most important, share your time and attention.

\u2022 Reassure your child where warranted. Recognize his or her feelings. He or she may truly fear never getting a shared toy returned, for instance.

\u2022 Talk about taking turns, and make sure your child has plenty of toys. That way, when the opportunity to share presents itself, there\u2019s more to share and less to own. Also, make certain your child isn\u2019t always forced to share; sharing should become a welcome choice rather than an unwanted obligation.

As your child grows and nears school age, consider this trio of additional suggestions:

\u2022 Teach negotiation tactics: \u201cI\u2019d like my turn.\u201d \u201cYou can be next.\u201d

\u2022 Teach that sharing encourages friendship and fun.

\u2022 Model and reinforce good sharing behavior, and allow children to work things out when they\u2019re able.

So \u2013 sharing, in a nutshell. Imagine where we as a society would be today if some of our leaders had learned to work things out together as children!

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.

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Camping at Cub Creek Science and Animal Camp involves much more than roasting marshmallows fireside. While no summer camp would be complete without s\u2019mores, Cub Creek Science and Animal Camp offers more than 100 activities across six areas: adventure, animals, arts and crafts, nature, science and traditional.

Does your child light up at the sight of a furry creature? Then, he or she would love the camp\u2019s popular Adopt an Animal program. During this week-long course, campers \u201cadopt\u201d one of the camp\u2019s animals, learning not only how to feed and take care of it, but also about its natural habits and habitat.

If science ignites your child\u2019s interest instead, then the camp\u2019s Chemistry program might be the perfect fit. Campers enrolled in this course especially delight in making giant bubbles, which are used to teach properties of surface tension and light.

Cub Creek campers can also take part in more traditional camping activities like archery, riflery, ropes and zip lining. \u201cWe\u2019re a well-rounded camp with a unique aspect that few other camps can offer,\u201d underscores Farley. \u201cBut we\u2019re still about those traditional camp experiences, like making friendships, meeting people and admiring your camp counselors.\u201d

A former Cub Creek counselor, senior camp leader and camp photographer, Farley has watched kids grow up at the camp, returning year after year \u2013 often with friends that they made right there.

\u201cCub Creek is a camp that cares a lot about camper experiences,\u201d emphasizes Farley. \u201cWe try to build self-confidence and to foster an appreciation for the environment and for each other. Our goal is that everyone leaves with at least one friend.\u201d

Farley encourages interested parents to schedule a camp tour or to call her directly, so that she can answer any questions that may not be addressed in Cub Creek\u2019s brochure or on its website. \u201cI love to build relationships with campers and their parents. I am invested in their camper\u2019s [well-being],\u201d she says.

Cub Creek Science and Animal Camp, 16795 Route E, Rolla, 573-458-2125, mosciencecamp.com

"}, {"id":"18deed45-c05c-5a5f-acb8-66697e7cea19","type":"article","starttime":"1514484000","starttime_iso8601":"2017-12-28T12:00:00-06:00","priority":45,"sections":[{"features":"business/features"}],"application":"editorial","title":"Resolve and Recharge","url":"http://www.laduenews.com/business/features/article_18deed45-c05c-5a5f-acb8-66697e7cea19.html","permalink":"http://www.laduenews.com/business/features/resolve-and-recharge/article_18deed45-c05c-5a5f-acb8-66697e7cea19.html","canonical":"http://www.laduenews.com/business/features/resolve-and-recharge/article_18deed45-c05c-5a5f-acb8-66697e7cea19.html","relatedAssetCounts":{"article":0,"audio":0,"image":2,"link":0,"vmix":0,"youtube":0,"gallery":0},"byline":"Connie Mitchell","prologue":"Follow these five tips and strategies to achieve fitness in the new year.","supportsComments":true,"commentCount":0,"keywords":["new year's resolution","forward fitness"],"internalKeywords":[],"customProperties":{},"presentation":null,"images":[{"id":"f49e29ae-986d-5320-947f-df7e0073f3f1","description":"","byline":"Photos courtesy of Forward Fitness","hireswidth":1200,"hiresheight":800,"hiresurl":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/f/49/f49e29ae-986d-5320-947f-df7e0073f3f1/5a4524b915f87.hires.jpg","presentation":"","versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1200","height":"800","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/f/49/f49e29ae-986d-5320-947f-df7e0073f3f1/5a4524b914f17.image.jpg?resize=1200%2C800"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"67","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/f/49/f49e29ae-986d-5320-947f-df7e0073f3f1/5a4524b914f17.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/f/49/f49e29ae-986d-5320-947f-df7e0073f3f1/5a4524b914f17.image.jpg?resize=300%2C200"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"683","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/f/49/f49e29ae-986d-5320-947f-df7e0073f3f1/5a4524b914f17.image.jpg?resize=1024%2C683"}}},{"id":"397d1da8-3bbf-50b6-9728-50aef10fdde0","description":"","byline":"Photos courtesy of Forward Fitness","hireswidth":800,"hiresheight":1200,"hiresurl":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/3/97/397d1da8-3bbf-50b6-9728-50aef10fdde0/5a4524b9812f1.hires.jpg","presentation":"","versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"800","height":"1200","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/3/97/397d1da8-3bbf-50b6-9728-50aef10fdde0/5a4524b9808ed.image.jpg?resize=800%2C1200"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"150","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/3/97/397d1da8-3bbf-50b6-9728-50aef10fdde0/5a4524b9808ed.image.jpg?resize=100%2C150"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"450","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/3/97/397d1da8-3bbf-50b6-9728-50aef10fdde0/5a4524b9808ed.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/3/97/397d1da8-3bbf-50b6-9728-50aef10fdde0/5a4524b9808ed.image.jpg"}}}],"revision":1,"commentID":"18deed45-c05c-5a5f-acb8-66697e7cea19","body":"

Now that holiday feasts have ended and sweets have vanished, the time has come to turn attention to 2018, and for many, that includes the perennial post-holiday resolution to lose weight and get fit.

Depending on the source, statistics for New Year\u2019s-resolution failure range from 80 to 92 percent. Health and fitness, however, remain important to overall well-being, and it\u2019s possible to make a healthier lifestyle stick, says Mike Klaus, owner of Forward Fitness, a fitness facility in Maplewood.


Klaus recommends five strategies for making fitness integral to a healthy life:

1. Hire a coach.

\u201cMost people are lost,\u201d Klaus says. \u201cThey\u2019ve tried this diet and that fad workout, and they may have seen some preliminary results, but most have gotten hurt trying something crazy, or they stopped and ended up worse off than when they started.\u201d A personal trainer or fitness coach helps clients stay consistent and on track, as well as providing accountability and motivation, he notes, adding, \u201cIt\u2019s an investment in yourself.\u201d

When seeking a coach, look for an individual who follows the fitness industry and recognizes new findings and knowledge. Beyond technical know-how, personal chemistry is important. Individuals who like their fitness coach will more likely keep training. \u201cMake sure they do some sort of movement assessment \u2013 that\u2019s pivotal,\u201d Klaus says. The assessment will reveal weaknesses and tendencies that inform the coach\u2019s program for the client and help ensure the client makes progress without injury.

2. Make Monday mandatory.

The first task of each new workweek should be a workout that sets you up for continued success. \u201cYou get one under your belt right away,\u201d Klaus says. \u201cIt\u2019s so easy to have one or two days go by and just decide you\u2019ll start next week.\u201d Also, he points out that releasing endorphins, the brain\u2019s \u201cfeel-good\u201d chemicals produced by physical exertion, makes a good way to start many people\u2019s least favorite day of the week.

3. Find a workout and setting you enjoy.

The social aspect of group coaching with two to four other people \u2013 or even in a larger class \u2013 makes working out an opportunity to spend time with people who may eventually become your friends. \u201cYou want to do the right thing, but you also have to make it fun and interesting,\u201d Klaus says.

Klaus notes that good coaches make their fitness facility the \u201cthird place\u201d where people hang out, after home (the \u201cfirst place\u201d) and work (the \u201csecond place\u201d), and he identifies one of the trends in fitness as the increasing number of personalized boutique gyms that offer small group training. The workout itself should include conditioning through resistance training, which builds muscle using body weight and/or exercise equipment, along with cardio benefits through interval training, explosive movements and speed work.

4. Don\u2019t try to out-train a poor diet.

If weight loss constitutes a goal, then better nutrition remains a must \u2013 even if you exercise regularly. \u201cResistance training will help build muscle and burn fat, but you need to make good dietary decisions throughout the day,\u201d Klaus says. He emphasizes that most people don\u2019t drink enough water \u2013 and, no, swilling coffee all day doesn\u2019t count. He suggests people consume at least half their body weight in ounces of water daily by keeping a favorite reusable water bottle nearby and refilling it throughout the day.

Klaus\u2019 wife, Suzanne, serves as a registered dietitian and certified personal trainer who also works at Forward Fitness. She recommends filling half your plate with vegetables at each meal and taking time to prep all the veggies for the week at once so they\u2019re convenient to grab and go.

5. Don\u2019t skimp on sleep.

Once you\u2019ve found a good coach, started your workweek with a workout you enjoy, drunk your water and eaten well all day, a good night\u2019s rest becomes key. \u201cSleep is as important as nutrition and exercise,\u201d Klaus says. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 32 to 35 percent of Missourians report getting less than seven hours of sleep per night. People deprived of sleep are less likely to make good decisions about diet and may feel too tired to exercise, Klaus adds.

In 2018, resolve to make your fitness a priority \u2013 not just for a day, a week or a month, but for the rest of your life.

Forward Fitness, 3111 Sutton Blvd., Maplewood, 314-367-9273, forwardfitnessstl.com

"}, {"id":"16981bdf-def0-52d5-97fe-2dc26e88e0cb","type":"article","starttime":"1514484000","starttime_iso8601":"2017-12-28T12:00:00-06:00","lastupdated":"1514487422","priority":40,"sections":[{"columns":"business/columns"}],"application":"editorial","title":"Health Notes: Cervical Cancer Awareness","url":"http://www.laduenews.com/business/columns/article_16981bdf-def0-52d5-97fe-2dc26e88e0cb.html","permalink":"http://www.laduenews.com/business/columns/health-notes-cervical-cancer-awareness/article_16981bdf-def0-52d5-97fe-2dc26e88e0cb.html","canonical":"http://www.laduenews.com/business/columns/health-notes-cervical-cancer-awareness/article_16981bdf-def0-52d5-97fe-2dc26e88e0cb.html","relatedAssetCounts":{"article":0,"audio":0,"image":1,"link":0,"vmix":0,"youtube":0,"gallery":0},"byline":"Connie Mitchell","prologue":"With Cervical Health Awareness Month upon us come January, the topic is important, especially in light of the sobering statistics.","supportsComments":true,"commentCount":0,"keywords":["health notes","cervical cancer","cervical health awareness month"],"internalKeywords":[],"customProperties":{},"presentation":null,"images":[{"id":"38282794-0a01-5c66-8452-d0d7b8b063f0","description":"","byline":"","hireswidth":1762,"hiresheight":1176,"hiresurl":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/3/82/38282794-0a01-5c66-8452-d0d7b8b063f0/5a342072d6657.hires.jpg","presentation":"","versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1762","height":"1176","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/3/82/38282794-0a01-5c66-8452-d0d7b8b063f0/5a342072d54be.image.jpg?resize=1762%2C1176"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"67","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/3/82/38282794-0a01-5c66-8452-d0d7b8b063f0/5a342072d54be.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/3/82/38282794-0a01-5c66-8452-d0d7b8b063f0/5a342072d54be.image.jpg?resize=300%2C200"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"683","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/3/82/38282794-0a01-5c66-8452-d0d7b8b063f0/5a342072d54be.image.jpg?resize=1024%2C683"}}}],"revision":5,"commentID":"16981bdf-def0-52d5-97fe-2dc26e88e0cb","body":"

With Cervical Health Awareness Month upon us come January, the topic is important, especially in light of the sobering statistics.

\u201cIncidence of cervical cancer has not changed in the last 10 years, with 12,820 new cases estimated in 2017, accounting for 4,210 deaths,\u201d says Dr. Lindsay Kuroki, a Washington University gynecologic oncologist, quoting figures from the American Cancer Society.

Ladue News spoke with Kuroki about cervical health, preventive steps and treatments.

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) recommends Pap tests to screen for cervical cancer every three years in women ages 21 to 29 years, and either Pap test screening every three years alone or every five years with human papillomavirus (HPV) testing in women ages 30 to 65 years. Yet many women still have a Pap test every year as part of an annual well-woman exam. What are your thoughts and recommendations regarding Pap test frequency?

The fundamental goal of cervical cancer screening is to prevent morbidity and mortality from cervical cancer. Most Pap abnormalities are related to HPV infections that go away when recognized by women\u2019s immune systems. There\u2019s no benefit to identifying these. Only persistent infections cause cancer. The HPV test is better at detecting these changes so it doesn\u2019t need to be done as often.

Many women and providers want to be safe, so they screen too often. Over-screening leads to harms, such as anxiety, cervical injury and disrupted relationships after diagnosis of a sexually transmitted infection. The USPSTF recommendations are a good balance between benefits and harms.

There continues to be controversy surrounding the HPV vaccine, and some parents who are concerned about side effects decline this vaccine for their adolescent children. What would you advise these parents regarding the benefits versus risks of the vaccine?

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Food and Drug Administration have reviewed the safety information for the prophylactic HPV vaccines and have determined that they are safe and nearly 99 percent effective if administered before first sex, since almost everyone contracts HPV. Serious side effects are rare and similar to other vaccines. Commonly reported symptoms include injection-site reactions such as brief soreness, redness or swelling, dizziness, fainting, nausea, and headache.

Like all vaccines, the HPV vaccine is monitored on an ongoing basis to make sure it remains safe and effective. As a gynecologic oncologist, I advise parents that the HPV vaccine is a rare opportunity to protect their child against HPV-related cancers. HPV causes 30,700 cancers in men and women, and the HPV vaccination can prevent most of the cancers \u2013 about 28,000 \u2013 from occurring.

For women who are diagnosed with cervical cancer, new treatments have been introduced. What are the most effective new treatments, and how much have they affected cervical cancer survival?

New treatments are exciting, but prevention through vaccination and screening remains the best strategy. The first targeted biologic agent, bevacizumab, plus chemotherapy, helps women with advanced cervical cancer live four months longer. However, considerations of adverse effects, cost and duration of therapy are important to discuss. More recently, immunotherapy research holds promise as a new cervical cancer therapy option.

Are there signs of cervical cancer that women should recognize and see a physician about?

Unfortunately, women with early cervical cancers and pre-cancers typically have no symptoms, which is why adherence to cervical cancer screening is so important. However, those who present with more advanced disease may experience abnormal vaginal bleeding or discharge, odor, pelvic pain, painful intercourse, lower back pain, unintentional weight loss, or difficulty urinating or having bowel movements.

What\u2019s the most important thing you think our readers should know about cervical cancer?

There are things you can do to minimize your risk of cervical cancer.

Obtain the HPV vaccination at the appropriate age, ideally before exposure to HPV. In 2016, Missouri ranked near the bottom for adolescent HPV vaccination. Only 51.6 percent of adolescents age 13 to 17 years in Missouri received at least one dose of the HPV vaccine, and 35.8 percent were up-to-date with the recommended vaccination series of three shots.

Also, avoid cigarette smoking, which is a risk factor for cervical cancer, keep up to date with your Pap tests and don\u2019t ignore abnormal Pap results.

"}, {"id":"6936e003-e7a5-5ca6-970e-53fcb0e7be2c","type":"article","starttime":"1514484000","starttime_iso8601":"2017-12-28T12:00:00-06:00","priority":35,"sections":[{"columns":"business/columns"}],"application":"editorial","title":"Hyken\u2019s Homework: Alcohol and Teens","url":"http://www.laduenews.com/business/columns/article_6936e003-e7a5-5ca6-970e-53fcb0e7be2c.html","permalink":"http://www.laduenews.com/business/columns/hyken-s-homework-alcohol-and-teens/article_6936e003-e7a5-5ca6-970e-53fcb0e7be2c.html","canonical":"http://www.laduenews.com/business/columns/hyken-s-homework-alcohol-and-teens/article_6936e003-e7a5-5ca6-970e-53fcb0e7be2c.html","relatedAssetCounts":{"article":0,"audio":0,"image":1,"link":0,"vmix":0,"youtube":0,"gallery":0},"byline":"Dr. Russell Hyken","prologue":"By invitation, I recently spoke to a group of high school parents at Ladue\u2019s John Burroughs School.","supportsComments":true,"commentCount":0,"keywords":["hyken's homework","dr. russell hyken"],"internalKeywords":[],"customProperties":{},"presentation":null,"images":[{"id":"b39152e1-ef88-5987-964d-0009ab3830dd","description":"","byline":"","hireswidth":1763,"hiresheight":1176,"hiresurl":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/b/39/b39152e1-ef88-5987-964d-0009ab3830dd/56d85e98997a2.hires.png","presentation":"","versions":{"full":{"type":"image/png","width":"1763","height":"1176","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/b/39/b39152e1-ef88-5987-964d-0009ab3830dd/57978e715f227.image.png?resize=1763%2C1176"},"100": {"type":"image/png","width":"100","height":"66","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/b/39/b39152e1-ef88-5987-964d-0009ab3830dd/56d85e999b1f0.preview-100.png"},"300": {"type":"image/png","width":"300","height":"200","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/b/39/b39152e1-ef88-5987-964d-0009ab3830dd/57978e715f227.image.png?resize=300%2C200"},"1024":{"type":"image/png","width":"1024","height":"683","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/b/39/b39152e1-ef88-5987-964d-0009ab3830dd/57978e715f227.image.png?resize=1024%2C683"}}}],"revision":4,"commentID":"6936e003-e7a5-5ca6-970e-53fcb0e7be2c","body":"

By invitation, I recently spoke to a group of high school parents at Ladue\u2019s John Burroughs School. In a seminar format, we discussed typical versus troubled teen behavior. Although the presentation covered valuable information related to peer relationships and mental health, though, the topic the parents there seemed most interested in better understanding was alcohol use by teenagers.

Teens often drink for a variety of reasons \u2013 peer pressure, amusement and, in some glum situations, self-medication. Sad to say, experimenting with so-called adult beverages often constitutes a common part of adolescent development. According to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, in fact, more than 85 percent of high school students have tried alcohol. So, parents, it\u2019s reasonable to assume that your child will be offered a beer at some point \u2013 and it\u2019s equally reasonable to assume that, at some point, your child will accept such an offer.

To ensure teens\u2019 safety, have regular conversations about substance use with them. Listen to their views, and share your thoughts. Parents do have the power to influence their children\u2019s values. When mom and dad regularly send the message that they disapprove of underage drinking, they raise teenagers who are less likely to abuse alcohol both in the present and in the future.

Because teen drinking has grown so prevalent in our society, some families, unfortunately, do allow underage alcohol consumption in their homes. These parents often believe that supervised consumption limits the number of beverages consumed \u2013 a somewhat difficult argument to disprove. However, teens who drink at home also more likely drink outside the home and more likely binge-drink than children of parents with a zero-tolerance policy.

Need another reason to discourage teen drinking? In addition to compromised thinking, loss of inhibition and poor in-the-moment decisions, alcohol causes long-term consequences for the developing teen brain. More specifically, it damages the region of the brain that controls learning, attention and decision-making. Also, excessive alcohol use during adolescence permanently damages a teen\u2019s memory and thinking. Nothing good comes from mixing alcohol and teens.

To help keep your own teens on a healthy path, parents, appropriately monitor their social lives. Know where they are, know who they\u2019re with, be awake when they arrive home and have clear expectations. Kids avoid drinking primarily because of parental boundaries. If your child does choose to drink, however, he or she should recognize the most important rule of all: Never drink and drive.

The sad reality of underage drinking is hard to avoid. Scaring your children into compliance never makes an effective strategy to curb any behavior. In fact, warm, caring two-way conversation constitutes the best approach to proactively protect your children against problematic alcohol use. How you and your spouse discuss this sensitive topic now will positively influence your children in the moment \u2013 and long after their teen years have ended. [LN dingbat]

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

"}, {"id":"ac0dbd17-7050-5ff4-910f-e9183d510434","type":"article","starttime":"1513874400","starttime_iso8601":"2017-12-21T10:40:00-06:00","lastupdated":"1514494443","priority":45,"sections":[{"features":"business/features"}],"application":"editorial","title":"Giving Back","url":"http://www.laduenews.com/business/features/article_ac0dbd17-7050-5ff4-910f-e9183d510434.html","permalink":"http://www.laduenews.com/business/features/giving-back/article_ac0dbd17-7050-5ff4-910f-e9183d510434.html","canonical":"http://www.laduenews.com/business/features/giving-back/article_ac0dbd17-7050-5ff4-910f-e9183d510434.html","relatedAssetCounts":{"article":0,"audio":0,"image":1,"link":0,"vmix":0,"youtube":0,"gallery":0},"byline":"Bryan A. Hollerbach","prologue":"A local financial adviser shares tips for smart and generous charitable giving this holiday season.","supportsComments":true,"commentCount":0,"keywords":["financial planning","david s. obedin","renaissance financial corporation"],"internalKeywords":[],"customProperties":{},"presentation":null,"images":[{"id":"8c737d71-918c-579e-96e6-09cc583b6cda","description":"","byline":"Photo by Carmody Creative Photography","hireswidth":1175,"hiresheight":1762,"hiresurl":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/8/c7/8c737d71-918c-579e-96e6-09cc583b6cda/5a3be51c5e40f.hires.jpg","presentation":"","versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1172","height":"662","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/8/c7/8c737d71-918c-579e-96e6-09cc583b6cda/5a3be51c5ce9f.image.jpg?crop=1172%2C662%2C0%2C303&resize=1172%2C662&order=crop%2Cresize"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"56","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/8/c7/8c737d71-918c-579e-96e6-09cc583b6cda/5a3be51c5ce9f.image.jpg?crop=1172%2C662%2C0%2C303&resize=100%2C56&order=crop%2Cresize"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"169","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/8/c7/8c737d71-918c-579e-96e6-09cc583b6cda/5a3be51c5ce9f.image.jpg?crop=1172%2C662%2C0%2C303&resize=300%2C169&order=crop%2Cresize"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"578","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/8/c7/8c737d71-918c-579e-96e6-09cc583b6cda/5a3be51c5ce9f.image.jpg?crop=1172%2C662%2C0%2C303&resize=1024%2C578&order=crop%2Cresize"}}}],"revision":3,"commentID":"ac0dbd17-7050-5ff4-910f-e9183d510434","body":"
MI 41820.jpg

At this time of year, year after year, charitable metro residents often find themselves mulling how to make an open heart and an open wallet coexist optimally, a circumstance about which David S. Obedin knows more than a little.

Obedin, a financial advisor with St. Louis\u2019 independently owned and operated Renaissance Financial Corp., provides a few insights into how charitable individuals can benefit themselves while benefiting others.

Regarding Obedin\u2019s insights, Renaissance Financial notes one major proviso. \u201cFinancial advisors do not provide specific tax/legal advice, and this information should not be considered as such,\u201d it cautions. \u201cYou should always consult your tax/legal advisor regarding your own specific tax/legal situation.\u201d

First, Obedin addresses the best strategies for maximizing holiday charitable donations in 2017 from a financial-advisory perspective.

\u201cThere are several different ways to define maximizing charitable donations when looking at both the opportunity to save money, leverage giving and/or [make] a difference to the receiving charity,\u201d he states. \u201cSome of the more common tools that we employ with clients [are] to transfer appreciated securities (stocks and mutual funds) directly to a charity or to use [a donor\u2019s] retirement account annual Required Minimum Distribution (RMD) to fund their charitable intent.

\u201cIn the case of transferring appreciated securities, the donor gets to deduct the fair market value of the security, when the donated security has been owned for more than 365 days, and avoid a layer of capital gains taxes that would have been due upon the sale of the underlying security. The charity will then sell the security, tax-free based on its 501(c)3 status, having the full use of the proceeds to satisfy the donor\u2019s intent.

\u201cA second tool, which applies to clients [who] have reached the age of RMDs from their retirement account \u2013 greater than age 70\u00bd \u2013 is to distribute money directly from their retirement account to charities. The amount that donors may distribute and offset their RMD is limited to $100,000 per year; however, this can be a great tool, especially when clients have paid off their mortgage and/or they have limited itemized deductions. The gift from the retirement account is not deductible on the donor\u2019s tax return, but [he or she] also does not have to take the distribution (to the charity) as taxable income. This will help reduce the impact of income-based items in the tax code \u2013 including the cost of Medicare, which is a function of your Adjusted Gross Income (AGI).\u201d

Of course, donors, in addition to donees, sometimes enjoy pleasant end-of-the-year surprises, which can provide additional options, according to Obedin.

\u201cIn the case of a windfall event, where income has had a one-time spike or if a client holds a large block of highly appreciated securities, some clients will donate funds to a Donor Advised Fund, which is an intermediate step to donating the money to an end charity,\u201d he states. \u201cThe client makes an irrevocable transfer of cash or securities to a Donor Advised Fund and receives a tax deduction for this gift. The Donor Advised Fund will hold the funds for reinvestment and distribution to charities based on the recommendation of the donor. A key issue with a Donor Advised Fund is frequently a timing issue, as the donor gets the deduction in the year of contribution to the Donor Advised Fund and then has the ability to distribute the money over a series of years based on [his or her] giving preference and timetable.

\u201cLastly, we encourage clients to look for charities that have year-end matching grants. This is a great way to leverage a gift, as many matching grants are based on either new or increased giving, and therefore, the matching gift may significantly increase the effective size of each gift to the charity.\u201d

Given current federal tax and budgetary tumult, Obedin next mulls what should be most closely monitored in 2018 and beyond.

\u201cBased on the current tax reform proposals, we\u2019re encouraging clients to maximize their current year gifting in 2017, as there is little consensus on the net impact of tax reform and charity deductions,\u201d he says. \u201cIf there is an increased standardized deduction at the net expense of itemized deductions, we suspect that this will be hard on many charities \u2013 especially based on the generosity of so many individuals in the St. Louis community.

\u201cOne tool that seems especially efficient in the era of tax reform uncertainty is a Donor Advised Fund. Clients are limited to giving 50 percent of their AGI to charity, but the gift to the Donor Advised Fund is still a gift to charity \u2013 even if the proceeds take years to get distributed to the end recipient. Therefore, a client could make a supersized donation to a Donor Advised Fund in 2017, get a tax deduction today under relative certainty that the tax code changes will be forward-looking versus retroactive to Jan. 1, 2017, and have a tax-free investment pool for allocating dollars toward [his or her] charitable intent in the future.

\u201cAll the while, the Donor Advised Fund could be invested in mutual funds or other securities based on the investment guidelines of the Donor Advised Fund\u2019s investment policy \u2013 some funds will limit clients to specific investments based on the size of the client\u2019s Donor Advised Fund.\u201d

Finally, Obedin briefly dwells on what major mistakes charitably inclined individuals may make from year to year.

\u201cOur experience is that charity is learned at home, and one of the biggest mistakes in charitable giving is not including children and grandchildren in the giving conversation,\u201d he states. \u201cNot all families have transparency in their financial details, but all families can have transparency in discussing the role of philanthropy in their overall planning. This conversation could include a family charity budget, a review of the charity\u2019s financial reporting and a discussion of the charity\u2019s mission or target service population.

\u201cThe technical mistake that we see is the donation of appreciated securities that have been owned for less than 365 days. In this case, the donor is limited to the cost of the securities versus the fair market value of the security donated. Therefore, it is always worth checking [the] purchase date of all securities before donating them to charities.\u201d

Renaissance Financial Corp., 5700 Oakland Ave., Suite 400, St. Louis, 314-932-4300, renaissancefinancial.com

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Yemi Akande

Crime, racial conflict, lagging education, a stagnant economy and a shrinking tax base in the city \u2013 sound familiar? Challenges like those numbered among those facing Chattanooga, Tennessee, in the latter half of the 20th century. Its problems grew so bad, in fact, that the U.S. Department of Health, Education and Welfare once labeled Chattanooga \u201cthe dirtiest city in America.\u201d

As I discovered during a recent visit, though, the Gateway to the South has been revitalized with significant housing and transportation improvements, an extensive environmental cleanup and popular new attractions, including a stadium, an aquarium and a cultural center. The city hasn\u2019t yet solved all its problems, but Chattanooga does have a vision of what it wants to be and a clear plan on how to get there.

I thought about Chattanooga last month when I read about the dedication of a statue honoring local icon Frankie Freeman. This African-American female attorney spearheaded the effort to end racial discrimination in public housing, became a national leader for civil rights and later co-led an initiative to turn around Saint Louis Public Schools. I was struck by how one woman could have accomplished so much, by how she continues to care so deeply about our community and by how, even at the age of 101, she still works to stay involved.

Freeman early believed in her heart that we as a community could be better than we were \u2013 and she set out to prove just that. Much as what happened in Chattanooga, she demonstrated that seemingly intractable issues can be overcome when one has the courage, the commitment and the collaboration to make things happen.

Solving problems that seem to persist and besmirch our region\u2019s image both locally and nationally has to start with a shared vision \u2013 and some soul-searching questions. What do we want St. Louis to be known for, for instance? How do we want the world to regard us \u2013 and then how do we identify and address those things that need to change to achieve our goals?

Fortunately, the solutions to our region\u2019s problems are often hiding in plain sight. We have myriad assets on which we can build: a centralized location, solid corporate citizens, a thriving entrepreneurial sector, unparalleled cultural attractions, a generous philanthropic community and so much more. Arguably the largest challenge we face involves coming together on a true, inclusive vision, one that recognizes that we all have a stake in the region\u2019s future and one for which each of us willingly sets aside parochial interests for the common good.

That, of course, requires leadership. But leadership doesn\u2019t have to come from the top, as Freeman has shown us. Leadership can and should live within each and every St. Louisan. Leadership means speaking out about your concerns and getting involved with issues that matter to you. Leadership means an openness to listen to others with whom you may disagree and a willingness to compromise to achieve workable solutions. Leadership implies a conviction to stay engaged, to work with others and not walk away when times get tough, and to remain focused on achieving something better.

Looming above Chattanooga is Lookout Mountain, a fitting symbol for a region that looked far into its future and set out to rise to new heights. Perhaps it\u2019s time for St. Louis to ascend the Gateway Arch (figuratively, lest the National Park Service object) and envision the enormous potential our region possesses \u2013 if only we can look past our problems and work together to create a dynamic new beginning.

Yemi S. Akande-Bartsch serves as president and CEO of FOCUS St. Louis, the region\u2019s premier civic leadership organization.

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