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News of parvo concerns dog owners

News of a serious disease for animals has a local parks and recreation department reminding users of important user instructions for a dog park.

Farmington Parks and Recreation Director Chris Conway said he learned about a posting on the “Farmington Dog Park Project” Facebook page after the Farmington City Council meeting Thursday. The post was voiced in concern after an animal died from canine parvovirus days after visiting the park.

On Friday morning, Conway said he got in touch with a local veterinarian clinic to get more information on parvo.

Canine parvovirus, according to www.avma.org, is a “highly contagious virus that can affect all dogs, but unvaccinated dogs and puppies younger than four months old are the most at risk.” According to the website, dogs that are ill from canine parvovirus infection are often said to have "parvo." The website states the virus affects dogs' gastrointestinal tracts and is spread by direct dog-to-dog contact and contact with contaminated feces (stool), environments or people.

According to Conway, the veterinarian said there is no way to determine if there is an instance of active parvo virus at the dog park.

“We were told there was a dog there that had parvo,” Conway said.

Conway said there is no way to determine if the dog the dog brought the virus in or picked it up from there.

"The vet will keep us posted of any other cases that come and we will act appropriately,” he said.

On Monday, a sign informing visitors about the incident were posted to the entrance gates of both the large and small dog sections at the park.

Conway said it is important for dog owners wishing to use the park to keep in mind the rules for the park, which are found at farmington-mo.gov/recreation/farmington-parks/farmington-dog-park and posted at the dog park on Perrine Road as well.

“Truly, the best course of action for our dog park is education,” Conway said.

He noted it is important for all visitors to pay close attention to the rules of the park.

“Two rules in particular … one states that all dogs must have their vaccinations. The other states that dogs must be (at least) four months old to enter the dog park, mainly because they don’t have all their shots before four months.”

Conway said staying up-to-date on pets’ vaccinations provides the best protection for a pet … and for other pets as well.

“It’s an honor system, and it takes responsible pet owners to make sure that system stays intact,” he said. “So, again, we urge pet owners to not take sick dogs to the dog park, make sure they’re dogs are up-to-date on their vaccinations and don’t take puppies.”

Additionally, Conway said there was no recommendation made for the city to a chemical means to “clean” the park.

“Basically, when you spread bleach on grass, it becomes inactive,” he said. “We didn’t think that would be the best course of action. We didn’t know how effective that would be.”


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Loughary named Desloge alderman

Local radio personality Jason Loughary was approved by the Desloge Board of Aldermen to fill the vacancy left following the recent passing of long-time Ward I Alderman James "Yogi" Jones who died Feb. 26 at the age of 64.

Jones served 17 years on the board and had been re-elected to another two-year term in April 2017.

The appointment was made as the board met in regular session Monday night at city hall.

Prior to the appointment of Loughary, Mayor David Kater presented a resolution from the board to Barbara Jones recognizing her late husband's significant contributions to the community.

The resolution concluded with the following statement: "Be it further resolved that we can't replace Yogi Jones, but we will attempt to improve our lives and continue his good work and live our lives as demonstrated by the example set by Jim 'Yogi' Jones."

In other matters, Desloge Police Chief James Bullock announced that patrolman Jason Boyer had been recognized as his department's Officer of the Year at the 27th Annual Law Enforcement Appreciation Night held March 1 at the Mineral Area Community Elks Lodge 2583. Bullock nominated Boyer for the honor.

In other action, the board approved the annexation of two small pieces of property along the Eastern Outer Road; OK'd an ordinance raising city water rates by 2 percent; approved changes to the city code on alcoholic beverages; OK'd a bid submitted by Angie Boen of approximately $15 each for Desloge Community Baseball uniforms; and approved a bid for concessions at Brightwell Park from long-time park concessionaire J.W. Coale.

The board also discussed the city's overtime policy, as well as the possibility of hiring a city parks and recreation director. City Administrator Dan Bryan said he would look into both issues and bring additional information to the board next month.


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Residents voice concerns about halfway house proposal

The Bonne Terre City Council met in regular session Monday night and during the meeting they discussed a recent halfway house proposal and the Legacy Project.

Halfway house proposed for Bonne Terre

On Tuesday night, the Bonne Terre Planning and Zoning Committee heard a presentation from Xcell Prison Health on plans for a halfway house at the old muffler shop on Benham Street.

Several residents were in attendance and voiced their concerns regarding a presentation the planning and zoning board heard last week on a halfway house proposal.

Three residents spoke on the matter and all agreed that it would not be a good fit for the city of Bonne Terre. It was brought up that they are already burdened with a prison within the city and within 30 miles there are three prisons, a sexual offenders program, a halfway house, four county jails, two drug treatment centers, as well as mental health facilities.

Alderwoman Andrea Richardson said for the record that she had been approached by several residents in her ward and has received an overwhelming amount of negative responses regarding a proposed facility moving to Bonne Terre.

Aldermen Bruce Pratte and Erik Schonhardt both agreed with Richardson. Mayor Brandon Hubbard said that was the feedback they had from a lot of the citizens. He said no one was in favor of it.

“They came to us, that needs to be cleared up, we didn’t know anything about it until last week,” said Hubbard. “I don’t think anybody has anything to worry about.”

Later in the meeting, Hubbard said it spoke volumes that Dr. Junaid Syed was not there to talk with the council after he had requested the proposal be placed on the agenda Monday.

Also during the meeting, Bonne Terre Public Works Superintendent Shawn Kay spoke about the Bonne Terre Legacy Project.

“As you are aware, this is our stab at trying to have some of the lead remediation done in the city of Bonne Terre,” said Kay. “We entered into an agreement with Mr. Mike Alesandrini to help us work through the process to make that happen.”

Kay said everyone is well aware of the lead contamination that they have along the railroad tracks, the flooding issues and the Superfund site.

“What we are hoping to do is tap the ASARCO Funding or any other Department of Natural Resources or the EPA or any other monies to mitigate that, so it continually quits running into the Turkey Creek Water Shed,” said Kay. “We have had some pretty good meetings with Mr. Alesandrini and if there are any questions I will be meeting with him soon.”

Kay said after they sat down with him to go over the bulk of the issues across town, he had a very good idea of what the city needs moving forward.

Bonne Terre’s heritage is linked to the lead mining industry that supported an entire region known as the “Old Lead Belt.” The mining industry grew and supported the region for nearly three centuries, with the city of Bonne Terre at its heart.

According to Alesandrini's report, attached to that heritage is a legacy of residual impacts of 300 years of extensive lead mining activity within the city, which needs to be addressed to assure healthy, sustainable community well into the future. Several of those impacts have already been remedied by responsible parties, as well as state and federal agencies.

There are several areas of concern that still need to be addressed and it’s the intention of the city’s leaders to call attention to and provide a resolution for those concerns. A program of work has been developed to identify specific areas of concern and to engage agency/elected officials to address outstanding public health and ecological issues, while also enhancing opportunities for public access and enjoyment inaccessible or underutilized public space throughout the community.

Some areas the city hopes to address includes the former railroad beds that run through the city and are believed to be constructed with materials with high concentrations of lead. Many of these tracts run in the immediate vicinity of parks, ball fields and residential neighborhoods. They also clearly impact Turkey Creek from one end of town to the other.

The tracts are subject to considerable erosion with material washing into Turkey Creek and its tributaries, which empty directly into Big River just north of the city. The east side experiences flooding during high volume rain affecting heavily trafficked roadways.

The Bonne Terre Legacy Project’s objectives are to affect ecological conditions within the city and to diminish potentially deleterious impacts of stormwater run-off carrying lead sediment into the water and to positively affect public health by limiting exposure to lead sediment for those living, working, playing near affected areas.

Within this project they hope to remediate and restore several areas around town, improve existing stormwater infrastructure, implement elements of the parks and create a municipal service road on a former railroad bed.


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Man charged with stalking

A Perryville man has been charged with a felony after police say he harassed and stalked his ex-girlfriend and threatened to kill her.

Seth Little, 31, is charged with a class E felony of stalking in the first degree in Ste. Genevieve County.

According to court documents, on Feb. 6 at 1:35 a.m. the Ste. Genevieve Sheriff’s Department was dispatched to a home in reference to threats and harassment. When the deputy arrived, a woman said she had filed for a temporary emergency ex parte against Little on Feb. 5.

The woman told the deputy on Jan. 31 she received approximately 508 blocked phone calls from Little from 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. and on Feb. 1 she received another 388 blocked phone calls. She said he left numerous voicemails when making those calls.

The deputy said he listened to one of the messages and heard a man say he was going to slit her throat and that she needed to tell her daughter good-bye. The woman said because of the constant harassment she disconnected her phone.

After disconnecting her phone, Little began to harass her through Facebook, Instagram and YouTube. She said she tried to block Little on all social media outlets, but he just created new accounts and continued to message her.

She told the deputy he was posting negative comments with a topless photograph of her on a public Facebook post. She provided the deputy with screenshots of the messages, which will be included in the case file.

The woman also told the deputy that Little began harassing her current boyfriend and he said the threats were vague, but Little indicated he would end the boyfriend's life when he ended the woman’s life. A screenshot of those messages were also provided to the deputy.

On Feb. 6 the deputy went back to the home at 9:30 p.m. to pick up written statements from the couple and when he arrived he was informed that Little had sent several photographs to the man’s employer’s Facebook page.

The deputy asked how he found out about the photographs and the man said his boss and several other employees saw the photographs when they logged into the company's Facebook page. The woman said Little created a fake Facebook account using her name to post six photographs of her in lingerie and one topless photo of her.

The woman gave the deputy a copy of the photographs sent to her boyfriend’s work. The deputy was also informed that the woman’s bedroom window screen had been removed from the window within the last 24 hours of the deputy’s visit. The couple believed Little had been in the area and looking inside the bedroom window while they were sleeping.

As of Feb. 7, Little had not been served his ex parte by the Perry County Sheriff’s Department. On Feb. 9 the deputy made three attempts to contact Little by phone to request an interview with him in person about the allegations made against him, but he refused to return the deputy’s calls.

A warrant for his arrest was issued on March 6 but as of press time, he was not in custody. His bond is set at $5,000 cash or surety.