Here’s a look at what’s happening around the region:
Washington County hard hit by flu
Health Department officials are reporting at least 50 cases of flu confirmed recently. Flu vaccine has dwindled, but 150 new doses are expected soon.
Officials are recommending that children 6 months of age or less be vaccinated. They should be kept away from public areas.
Children or senior citizens with persistent high fever should see a doctor or go to the hospital emergency room.
The price for the flu shots are $10. Medicare and Medicaid will be accepted.
Santa Claus sets office hours in Potosi
The jolly old elf has set up office hours in Potosi. He will be stopping by downtown businesses and the Santa House Headquarters from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 3:30 to 5 p.m. weekdays, as well as Saturday mornings.
The Santa House Headquarters are on the County Courthouse Lawn and will be open daily through Christmas Eve.
Santa will close up shop after 4 p.m. that day.
Christmas lighting contest begins
The Christmas lighting contest began this week for residents residing within a five-mile radius of the Iron County Courthouse.
Judging criteria for residences and businesses includes originality, neatness and arrangement of lighting. Those wanting to be judged should leave their lights on each night through Thursday.
The contest is sponsored by the Arcadia Valley Chamber of Commerce.
Health Department out of vaccine
The Iron County Health Department, like many other health departments in the state, has run out of the flu vaccine.
The health department received 600 doses of the vaccine and ran out before Thanksgiving. Adults should check with their local health care provider for vaccine availability.
The health department does have some doses of the vaccine for children. For information, contact the health department.
Individuals with a high fever, cough, chills, or other symptoms of the flu should contact their physician.
EPA says it will add Ste. Genevieve to nonattainment area
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently announced that it will add Ste. Genevieve County to the St. Louis air quality nonattainment area despite the advice given from the Missouri Department of Natural Resources (DNR).
The DNR had recommended that the nonattainment area should include the counties of St. Charles, St. Louis, Franklin and Jefferson, along with the City of St. Louis.
The EPA has indicated that emissions form existing facilities and from projected future growth in Ste. Genevieve County potentially can contribute to the ozone concentration in the St. Louis area.
Police discover federal warrants for kidnapping on suspect arrested for traffic offenses
An arrest made by the Ste. Genevieve Police Department last weekend resulted in the discovery of a federal warrant. Graiel Hernandez, 26, Ste. Genevieve, was arrested on December 7 on Ste. Genevieve warrants for traffic offenses. Hernandez was charged with possession of a controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia.
During the arrest police discovered Hernandez had a federal warrant for his arrest that originated in North Carolina. It charges Hernandez with aggravated kidnapping of a minor.
Students win honors at All-State Band
Eight students from Fredericktown High School attended auditions at Columbia to compete in the All-State Band Auditions. Four students, Jessica Morgan, Ashley Moyers, Kayla Goldsmith and Stephen Emlund, qualified for this year’s band.
Aldermen say no to bypass
The Fredericktown Board of Aldermen accepted the recommendation of the seven members who attended the bypass committee meeting. The aldermen passed a motion not to create a Highway 72 bypass citing the cost of $4 million as one of the reasons.
Also at the meeting it was noted that EPA had found some of the road salt stored in Fredericktown was contaminated with lead chat. The salt will be removed and disposed of in the same manner as other contaminated soil.
Organization receives early gift
Wal-Mart Associates in Fredericktown recently presented the United Organizations of Madison County with a $500 donation to help fund projects or purchase needed items such as food, clothing and toys for those in need.