■ A Farmington-based development company has a contract to purchase the long-vacant Ursuline Sisters property off Crystal Heights Road in Crystal City. Built in 1936, the 144-acre property fronts the Mississippi River and has a landmark building, the 44,000-square-foot former novitiate where future nuns for the Catholic order were educated. See Patrick Martin’s story.
■ Over the objections of one Hillsboro-area resident who likened changes to JeffersonCounty’s way of hearing planning and zoning cases to Hitler’s Germany, the County Council voted 6-1 at its Nov. 23 meeting to advance amendments to the Unified Development Order. The UDO includes the county’s zoning order, subdivision regulations, sign codes and other development standards in unincorporated areas. It was passed in 2008, and, although it has been amended since then, the council now is considering the first major changes to it. The council’s vote was the first of three required affirmative votes required for the proposed changes to take effect; the next vote likely will be taken on Dec. 14. See Steve Taylor’s story.
■ Scouts are making news in Jefferson County. Tracey Bruce has a feature story about Eagle Scout candidate Cody Sehie planting redbud trees at the Byrnes Mill Municipal Complex in memory of his grandfather, former Byrnes Mill City Administrator Bill Sehie. Kim Robertson has a feature story about Amanda Shipley, who built five “literacy centers” and donated them to the Fox C-6 School District’s preschools. And Kevin Carbery has a story about three Twin City-area young men who went through Scouting together all the way from Tiger Cubs to receiving their Eagle Scout designation in a Nov. 14 ceremony.
■ The Northwest R-1 School District will purchase Chromebook laptop computers for each of the district’s 500 certified staff, after learning that a budget surplus is predicted this year. The cost of the Chromebooks is estimated at $325 apiece with a total cost of about $162,500. The surplus is predicted to be about $400,000. Staff could have the laptops in hand before Christmas break, Superintendent Paul Ziegler said. See Tracey Bruce’s story.
■ Fox C-6 School District students recently made Thanksgiving a little brighter for local families in need, spending the past month collecting canned goods and other food for them. Fox High School students collected more than 1,500 canned goods and other food items and delivered them to the Arnold Food Pantry on Nov. 20. Seckman High School students collected enough food to feed 61 local families for a week, including turkeys and other items for Thanksgiving Day, and delivered it to them on Nov. 24. See Kim Robertson’s story.
■ The owners of a limestone quarry at highway B and C west of Hillsboro got the go-ahead to nearly triple its size after the Jefferson County Council voted 6-1 to approve a conditional-use permit at its Nov. 23 meeting. Knox County Stone Co. Inc. of Moline, Ill., which has operated the Morse Mill Quarry on 237 acres in the area for about 20 years, has acquired 424 additional acres to expand its operation. The company needed the conditional-use permit to allow mining operations in a large-lot residential zone district.
■ Editorial Page editor Patrick Martin takes on “cultural appropriation” in his column this week.
■ Sports editor Gordon Bess writes in his column about Ashlie Winkler, 18, a former Hillsboro High School soccer player, who nearly died after contracting Lemierre’s Syndrome, a particularly vicious form of bacterial infection. She and her family want others to know the symptoms and to be wary.
*** There’s still time to get a ticket for the Leader Holiday Dinner on Friday, Dec. 4. Call the Leader at 636-931-7560.