■ The Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office has said goodbye to Thor, a police dog and six-year veteran of the department. Thor, a 7 1/2-year-old German shepherd from Slovakia, was euthanized Dec. 28 because of kidney issues, Sheriff Dave Marshak said. The dog had been partnered with Cpl. Jason Clardy since November 2013. See Tony Krausz’s story.
■ Former Jefferson Countian George Bauer, a partner in the recently opened St. Louis Aquarium at Union Station, recalls times long ago when he would fish from the banks of the Mississippi River. “I used to fish in the Mississippi River and catch catfish,” said Bauer, 88. “Now, I see them swimming in the aquarium from the perspective of underneath the water!” Bauer, who graduated from De Soto High School in 1949, said he is thrilled with the aquarium, which opened to the public on Christmas Day.
■ The first building for the Mary’s House of Hope transitional housing complex for women and children who are victims of domestic violence may open by March. Sue Curfman, Comtrea’s chief executive officer, said the roof over the four-family building is expected to be installed this week. See Steve Taylor’s Page 1 story.
■ The Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office investigated a record number of vehicle thefts in 2019, public information coordinator Grant Bissell said. There were 360 stolen vehicles, which includes cars, motorcycles, trucks and ATVs, in the 660 square miles the Sheriff’s Office patrols in the county. That number is up about 6 percent from 2018, according to Sheriff’s Office records. See Tony Krausz’s Page 1 story.
■ The new year means new homes in Jefferson County for two military veterans. Former U.S. Army specialist Todd O’Neal and his family settled into a new house in Arnold before the end of last year, and retired U.S. Army Sgt. Nathan Shumaker and his family except to soon move into their home currently under construction in the Hillsboro area. Both families received new homes from organizations that aid wounded military veterans. See Tony Krausz’s feature story.
■ Retired Leader editor Patrick Martin ruminates on the art of napping, and how it changes under a weighted blanket. Letters aren’t ONLY about Trump this week.
■ Sports editor Russell Korando writes about the changes girls wrestling has wrought on boys wrestling in Missouri and catches up on basketball competition countywide.
*** Notice the sunlight? It’s sticking around longer!