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Chasing the Dragon The Heroin Epidemic

Part 2

focu n S T .

C H A R L E S

C O U N T Y

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focusOn Magazine

May/June 2017

May/June 2017

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focus n C H A R L E S

C O U N T Y

magazine

S T .

TABLE OF CONTENTS St. Charles County Municipality Mayors ....................page 4 Publisher’s Note | Meet the Team............................page 5

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Advertiser Directory.................................................page 6 Up Coming Events .................................................page 10

tributor

n - Con an inJim Frai souri is Story by n, Mis unique O’Fallo n a tale of iness ory of upo king bus The Hist one, based g hard wor families who ip, of terestin ely-knit eneursh entrepr and of clos leaders y hats. orical man ing hist wore interest in the area many BC true histhere are k to 8,000 ri, the the inWhile g bac Missou facts goin O’Fallon, ri begins with road now sou souri Rail n, Mis that is O’Fallo the North Mis two brothers, tory of of tion of igrating sence corpora and the pre Krekel. Imm and 3 holas was 17 in 185 and Nic n Arnold experienced when Judge s Arnold sia whe perand a brother move to Mis owner ot on his pro rd from Prus was 10, the the a land s her in t to both the boa d ess as to build a dep Nichola of their mot difficult star e d succ ncy of th to thriv preside achieve lic-minde railroad was a the dea dream eed. , quickly mission to the Krekel for his sman and pub Missouri This loss they had a did succ souri. r brother per but they Arnold ier, busines as O’Fallon, men the olde t-of-way and , and ired by map young a sold Krekel, country righ atly adm on the ess as r new Arnold the needed ll spot man gre with his succ in thei a e sma ugh ted g n was he gav wth thro ly crea O’Fallo oad alon its gro n was ty. John s of the railr ing of the new pany and t of O’Fallo 1857 s. ctor The nam kel brother d Com den of dire in ropist. Kre h Railroas. The first resi allon and t office philanth choice of the Wabas pos ger of O’F ds of the and passen in the City store and the flourished was the e the han iler his Store th sed into or route for trad the first reta He operated Krekel the Nor oad pas nt. ame maj n. The ed by is is a The railr provided a in 1856 bec Railroad Age of O’Fallo publish St. Lou n chure a city and from allo bro who s new ster O’F simple y three mile dry goods and s Krekel, t in the Postma le. A and Nichola the city’s first one buil nspeop on, thirt has two ory, depot the first nce 100. It fact and tow wing: “O’Fall became his home, about inesses , broom is a good cha the ion of the follo of bus k yard out of there needs 0 said has a populat r mill, bric and the , 187 t l here m flou to mee Railroad in in 1856. It do wel se, stea ri Missou n, first settled boarding hou Farmers e. offic l, small towstore, a hote and express e grocery , post offic turers.” stock yard s of manufac kind for all ially was offic first the city allon’s 1912 ted ts. O’F and in residen store and star grow g ed to ely 600 switchdru a tinu mat first con roxi n the self with at ambiO’Fallo with app who built gre alled him rated grain Jacoby, ch he inst talents and incorpo nted a was Fred service, whi of many ne and inve mayor band e. A man telepho the first his drug stor allon’s first in Paul ted O’F board by star , Mayor y nue fund first sanitar tion, Jaco of eral reve city’s reaper. in a gen to build the ched the City d have $50 laun only vote ious Bloo sthoff iding 9, with ion. yor We Most Prec In 193 cast the dec of the em. Ma ss and expans ff to Sisters er syst Westho $5,000 ors. The and wat era of progre city with tion foundsewer an l endeav 5. the d n into vide cationa corpora 187 O’Fallo udly pro oldest their edu e here in tute pro is O’Fallon’s d to support cam Insti first ry’s Bloo e they Mary’s The St. system. St. MaMost Precious O’Fallon sinc in build the Sisters of the nt presence the importa ed by ned an maintai ine Magaz uson focus fo 12 |

History of O’Fallon, Missouri ..................................page 12 Babykid Expo .......................................................page 14 inbusiness with Jack Johnson ..................................page 16 Craft Beer Taste-Off 2017 ......................................page 18 page

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Life on Venus ........................................................page 27

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Leaders: Are You Starving Your Team.......................page 28

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The First Responder ...............................................page 34 Medical Minute with Cheryl Hohe ...........................page 37 Chasing the Dragon - The Heroin Epidemic Part 2 .....page 41 Trivia Night - Chuck & Liz Kincaid ...........................page 45 Local Celebrity - Billy Berry .....................................page 46

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Cottleville Parks and Recreation ..............................page 48

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0 • Pr e! rr y • 50/5 Fo lk al ik Bi lly Be uc ti on us ic by Common Si le nt A Li ve M rs an d The ers Lo ve Craf t Be r Stru fo n? g Fa in FUN ! af t Be er ggle Fu n Even fo r th e Not a Cr R come BA s By: LL Robin s a FU Seato lut ion ha vo e n Jef Be us ferso ap Ho n et t w ith swer anknyScacott Mercer, ...T ck es Ha ri n an k the Da No wor ha nd to ! do jus for fixing amate zine maga

Life on Mars .........................................................page 33

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Who Saves the One Who Save Us? ........................page 30

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Struggles with ALS - Scott Mercer’s Story ..................page 22

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When s of a could ecially sobriety the chance othe ces that er ions, esp ds and r substan family the bett r medicatvents their frien and othe ing with DO: all of you y cans y pre n interact CAN YOU ME: Lock up locked awa ners, spra us whe ry, icio clea WHAT SAFE HOME: of them k s, Hen g susp A er, oxy , keeping n. anythin keep trac HAVE ks, wat for suspicio out for Ns and take them ns, per ICATIO the look would s, bea you is cause be on OKD MED “button to s and Also,” D ANY talk of sense gloss symptom make DISCAR for any ters, lip ers, signs and sages doesn’t SAFELY highligh tain w the al mes it that . E: Kno person has lingo in pens and s or altoid con get high ok ABL of e ebo Fac ds. WLEDGE a can cesinsid read that.com ne and ng spa rs, empty sod BE KNO and their frien ng.com d’s pho message you .nos long s for hidi oslo chil ber ppe ck r w w.n che wra mem ww ck you ly, any dy room and gum or can f and good Basical lingo site ARE: Che in their BE AW , blue, nods.” it on a drug stuf g ants, trash can deoder place to hide are now bein little boy doubt google ugh the iene bottles, in familiar Belt buckles taped behind hyg ly go thro When also a rite g is Routine d compacts, ard. Cars are GENT: dashbo see if anythin tresses, favo er mirrore BE DILI mat books. ts and sticks, s and d, sea also check to Don’t forget the toilet or und and lip console the hoo game under You can inside vents. taped behind socks, ck are partments. s or g is g on tche to che thin goin es swi com t is if any plac s, light hidden to see and wha gers of pre l hangingLastly, check sold with dan g drugs apand wal s of usin kids about the rs. 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St. Charles County Municipality Mayors Sally A. Faith, Saint Charles 636-949-3268 sally.faith@stcharlescitymo.gov Len Pagano, Saint Peters 636-278-2244, ext. 1233 LPagano@stpetersmo.net Bill Hennessy, O’Fallon 636-379-5500 bhennessy@ofallon.mo.us Nick Guccione, Wentzville Nick.Guccione@wentzvillemo.org 636-639-0354 Kathy Schweikert, Lake St. Louis 636-561-4366 kathyschweikert@yahoo.com Jim Hennessey, Cottleville 636-498-6565 Ext. 100 jim.hennessey@cityofcottleville.com Donald D. Licklider, Weldon spring 636-441-2110 ext. 101 dlicklider@weldonspring.org David C. Zucker, Dardenne Paririe 636-755-5306 mayorzucker@dardenneprairie.org David Rollins, Augusta 207-626-2300 loretta.lathe@augustamaine.gov Richard West, New Melie 636-578-9574 caninekopz@msn.com Mark Warner, Portage De Sioux 636-899-0640 mark@warnersgarageandguns.com William Richter, West Alton 636-899-0808 willie@richterfarms.com

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Springtime is ideal for rejuvenation and growth. On that note, we have some exciting news to share... Synergy Center, in Historic Downtown Cottleville, is our new office location. We now have our Printing Services, Video Production and Publication operation all housed under one roof. But even more exciting is our magazine expansion plans, to the entire St. Charles County, and hence the name change, “FocusOn”. Our community-centered outlook will be the same, but the expanded distribution gives our advertisers/sponsors a broader business reach. Let’s face it; embracing change is no fun, but we were amazed by the outpouring encouragement from our community leaders and readers alike. In our previous editions, we introduced a few profound topics like “Heroin Epidemic” and “Heart Disease”, for which your feedback was so positive. Our May / June issue is no exception. Check out the candid discussion on leadership, by Asst. Fire Chief Skip Stephens with Lt. Craig Hebrank. Then again, the History of O’Fallon by Jim Frain is sure to blow your mind. We hope you all continue to enjoy our publication, and as always we love hearing from you. Your feedback and ideas are our heartbeat. Until next time

Stephen Thompson, Ph.D. Publisher/Owner

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Advertiser Directory

All Star Cuts .......................... page 39 AMP Restoration ..................... page 21 Barklage Realty Group ............ page 21 Basye Flooring ....................... page 36 Bemo’s .................................. page 40 Berry Construction .................. page 26 Cottleville Firefighters ................ page 7 Cottleville Synergy Center ........ page 25 Cottleville Wine Seller ............. page 44 Crown Luxury Resale ............... page 48 Earth Angel Elite Salon ............ page 19 Exit 6 .................................... page 24 Farm & Home Supply ................ page 8 Farmer’s Insurance .................. page 24 FocusOn Print & Media Group.... page 8 Jo’s 5th Street Pub ..................... page 4 KFAV Hot Country ................... page 38 Lance Law Firm ......................... page 4 Lloyd & Company, LLC ............. page 36 Main Street Diner .................... page 38

Makin’ It Personal by Kim ........ page 39 Mannino’s Market ..................... page 2 Man Up ................................. page 32 Mud Jacking ............................. page 4 Partners in Grime ...................... page 7 Photography by DeClue ........... page 15 R & R Pools ............................ page 21 She Said He Said ................... page 26 Securus .................................. page 52 Spectrum Glass ....................... page 17 Tap House .............................. page 47 The Gables of Cottleville .......... page 51 The Hairy Elephant.................. page 38 The White Hare ........................ page 7 Total Tinting & Customs ............ page 37 Turtle Creek Pub & Grill .... page 19, 47 Two Shamrocks ....................... page 20 Unique Heating & Cooling ........Page 50 Wyld Flour Bakery .................. page 21

Advisory Board Chris Shreves Kelly Lamm Jim Hennessey Scott Lewis Skip Stephens Phillip Morse Mike Reiter

Volume 1 - Issue 3 May/June 2017 FocusOn Magazine 5377 State Hwy N, Ste 105 Cottleville, Missouri 63304

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O’Fallon - Green

Cottlevile -

St. Peters - Blue

Dardenne Prairie -

St. Charles -

MAY 6th - FRIDAY FOUNDERS DAY & GARDEN EXPO - 10 am – 2 pm • Fort Zumwalt Park, 1000 Jessup Drive, O’Fallon Cost: Free - Contact: - 636-379-5614 - Website: www.ofallon.mo.us/founders-day MAY 10th - WEDNESDAY

- 7 pm - 8:30 pm - Hosted by O’Fallon and Cottleville Police Departments. Baue Funeral Homes Crematory and Memorial Gardens 620 Jefferson Street, St. Charles

MAY 12th - FRIDAY RSC CHALLENGE RUN AND MOVIE IN THE PARK, MOANA - 7 pm and movie at 8 pm - Renaud Spirit Center (RSC), 2650 Tri Sports Circle, O’Fallon - Cost: $32 for residents, $36 for non-residents through May 11; add $10 for race day registration Contact: 636-474-2732 - Website: http://www.renaudspiritcenter.com/rsc-challenge-run MAY 13th - SATURDAY - Hosted by Streets of St Charles - 8 am - 12 pm - 1650 Beale Street, Suuite 147, St. Charles MAY 20th - SATURDAY ARMED FORCES DAY - 11 am - Veterans Memorial Walk, 800 Veterans Memorial Parkway, O’Fallon Cost: Free - Contact: Conan Stott 636-379-5550 or cstott@ofallon.mo.us. - Website: www.ofallon.mo.us/veterans-commission MAY 24th - WEDNESDAY PUBLIC WORKS FAIR - 10 am – 2 pm - Ozzie Smith Sports Complex, 900 T.R. Hughes Boulevard, O’Fallon Cost: Free - Contact: 636-379-3807 or kmarcotte@ofallon.mo.us Website: www.ofallon.mo.us MAY 27th - 29th - SATURDAY - MONDAY ALLIGATOR’S CREEK AQUATIC CENTER OPENS FOR THE SUMMER 10 am – 8 pm on Saturday, 12 pm – 7 pm on Sunday, 12 pm – 6 pm. on Monday Alligator’s Creek Aquatic Center (in Civic Park), 403 Civic Park Drive, O’Fallon Daily Admission: Residents - $4 for kids (3-18) and seniors (55+), and $5 for adults (19-54); add $2 for non-residents Contact: 636-272-1626 - Website: www.ofallon.mo.us/parks&rec/alligators-creek-aquatic-center MAY 18th - THURSDAY

- ‘Last Chance Oldtimers’ - 6:30 pm – 8:00 pm - Legacy Park Log Cabin, Cottleville

MAY 19th - FRIDAY

- CHOMP will be held from 5 - 10 pm. Featuring up to 30 food trucks competing for prizes. Guests will also enjoy live music, arts and other vendors, all on SCC’s Blue parking lot. St. Charles Community College, 4601 Mid Rivers Mall Drive, Cottleville SUNSET FRIDAYS FEATURING WADE TRENT - 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm, 370 Lakeside Park, St. Peters SPRING ICE SHOW - TALES OF ARABIAN NIGHTS - Shows: Friday, May 19th, 7 pm - 9 pm; Saturday, May 20th, 5 pm - 7 p.m.; Sunday, May 21st, 2 pm - 4 pm - St. Peters Rec-Plex North Ice Rink, 5200 Mexico Road, St. Peters Ticket Prices: Rec-Plex Members: $8.50 for adults and $6.50 for children ages 12 and under and seniors 55 and over. General Public: $9.50 for adults and $7.50 for children 12 and under and seniors 55 and over.

MAY 28th - SUNDAY HISTORIC HEALD HOME, ZUMWALT’S FORT INTERPRETIVE CENTER - 12 pm – 3 pm - Fort Zumwalt Park, 1000 Jessup Drive, O’Fallon - Cost: $5 package to see both attractions; children 10 and under admitted free Contact: 636-379-5614; private and group tours available - Website: www.ofallon.mo.us MAY 29th - MONDAY MEMORIAL DAY CEREMONY - 11 am Veterans Memorial Walk, 800 Veterans Memorial Parkway, O’Fallon - Cost: Free - Contact: Conan Stott at 636-379-5550 or cstott@ofallon.mo.us. - Website: www.ofallon.mo.us/veterans-commission 10 | fo focus usOn Magazine


JUNE 2nd - FRIDAY FOOD TRUCK FRENZY AT SPORTS PARK - 5:30 pm - 8:30 pm - Sports Park, 3589 Highway K, O’Fallon Free admission; Purchase from food trucks - Contact: 636-379-5614 - Website: www.ofallon.mo.us/food-truck-frenzy JUNE 3rd - SATURDAY ST. PETERS POLICE RANGERS 370 LAKESIDE FISHING DERBY - 8:30 am to 1:00 pm 1000 Lakeside Park Drive, St. Peters - The fee is $5/person. All other events that day are FREE and open 9 am -1 pm. Giveaways for kids include kite-building kits and bike helmets. JUNE 6th - TUESDAY O’FALLON JAMMIN’ OUTDOOR CONCERTS 6:30 pm – 9 pm - Civic Park Bandstand, 305 Civic Park Drive, O’Fallon Cost: FREE - Website: www.ofallon.mo.us/jammin JUNE 8th - 10th - THURSDAY, FRIDAY, SATURDAY O’FALLON THEATREWORKS YOUTH THEATRE PRESENTS, ONCE UPON A STORYTIME - 7 pm June 8th -10th; 2 pm matinee on June 10th. O’Fallon Municipal Centre (City Hall), 100 North Main Street, O’Fallon - See Ticket Prices online Contact: 636-474-2732 or purchase tickets in advance at the Renaud Spirit Center, www.renaudspiritcenter.com JUNE 10th - SATURDAY CRAFT BEER TASTE-OFF - 7:00 pm - Close • Tap House, 9015 Veterans Memorial Parkway, O’Fallon Cost: Free to attend. $25 to participate in the taste-off - Contact 636-439-9347 JUNE 11th - SUNDAY FAMILY FISHING DAY - 8 am - 12 pm • Lake Whetsel, Fort Zumwalt Park, 1000 Jessup Drive, O’Fallon Cost: FREE; pre-registration requested - Register by calling 636-474-2732 JUNE 12th - 16th - MONDAY, TUESDAY, WEDNESDAY, THURSDAY cityofcottleville.com for info

T - Child Safety Program (Ages 4 to 6) - visit

JUNE 13th - TUESDAY O’FALLON JAMMIN’ OUTDOOR CONCERTS - BORDERLINE playing country music. 6:30 pm – 9 pm - Civic Park Bandstand, 305 Civic Park Drive, O’Fallon Cost: FREE - Website: www.ofallon.mo.us/jammin JUNE 15th - 17th - THURSDAY, FRIDAY, SATURDAY O’FALLON THEATREWORKS YOUTH THEATRE PRESENTS, SHREK THE MUSICAL, JR. 7 pm nightly; 2 pm matinee on June 17th - O’Fallon Municipal Centre (City Hall), 100 North Main St., O’Fallon Cost: See Ticket Prices online - Call 636-474-2732 - Website: www.ofallon.mo.us/parks&rec/ofallontheatreworks JUNE 15th - THURSDAY JUNE 17th - SATURDAY City Hall Park, 2032 Hanley Road, Dardenne Prairie

- 7 pm – 8:30 pm. Legacy Park Log Cabin, Cottleville - Butch Wax And The Hollywoods - 6 pm - 9 pm

JUNE 20th - TUESDAY O’FALLON JAMMIN’ OUTDOOR CONCERTS - BayWolfe - 80’s Cover Band 6:30 pm – 9 pm - Civic Park Bandstand, 305 Civic Park Drive, O’Fallon Cost: FREE - Website: www.ofallon.mo.us/jammin JUNE 27th - TUESDAY O’FALLON JAMMIN’ OUTDOOR CONCERTS - Missouri National Guard 135th Army Band 6:30 pm – 9 pm - Civic Park Bandstand, 305 Civic Park Drive, O’Fallon Cost: FREE - Website: www.ofallon.mo.us/jammin JULY 2nd - 4th - SUNDAY, MONDAY, TUESDAY O’FALLON’S HERITAGE & FREEDOM FEST - Sunday, 4 pm - 10 pm; Monday, 4 pm - 11 pm; Tuesday, 12 pm - 10 pm Ozzie Smith Sports Complex, 900 TR Hughes Blvd, O’Fallon - Admission, general parking and live entertainment is free Contact: 636-379-5614 - Website: www.heritageandfreedomfest.com JULY 4, 2017 - TUESDAY 2017 HERITAGE & FREEDOM FEST PARADE - 9:30 am - Main and Third Streets to Tom Ginnever and T.R. Hughes Blvd. - Cost: Free - Contact: Call 636-379-5614 - Website: www.heritageandfreedomfest.com/parade focus fo usOn Magazine | 11


Story by Jim Frain - Contributor The History of O’Fallon, Missouri is an interesting one, based upon a tale of unique entrepreneurship, of hard working business leaders and of closely-knit families who wore many hats. While there are many interesting historical facts going back to 8,000 BC in the area that is now O’Fallon, Missouri, the true history of O’Fallon, Missouri begins with the incorporation of the North Missouri Railroad in 1853 and the presence of two brothers, Arnold and Nicholas Krekel. Immigrating from Prussia when Arnold was 17 and Nicholas was 10, the brothers experienced the death of their mother in the move to Missouri. This loss was a difficult start to both young men but they had a dream to thrive in their new country, and they did succeed. Arnold Krekel, the older brother, quickly achieved success as a landowner and a Judge when he gave the needed right-of-way and permission to the railroad to build a depot on his property. John O’Fallon was a man greatly admired by Arnold Krekel for his presidency of the board of directors of the railroad along with his success as a soldier, businessman and public-minded philanthropist. The naming of the newly created small spot on the map as O’Fallon, Missouri was the choice of the Krekel brothers. The railroad passed into the hands of the Wabash Railroad Company and its growth through O’Fallon provided a major route for trade and passengers. The first resident of O’Fallon was Nicholas Krekel, who in 1856 became the first retailer in the City of O’Fallon and in 1857 became the city’s first Postmaster and Railroad Agent. He operated his store and the post office out of the his home, the first one built in the new city of O’Fallon. The Krekel Store flourished to meet the needs of businesses and townspeople. A simple brochure published by the North Missouri Railroad in 1870 said the following: “O’Fallon, thirty three miles from St. Louis is a small town, first settled in 1856. It has a population of about 100. It has two dry goods and a grocery store, a hotel, boarding house, steam flour mill, brick yard, broom factory, depot and stock yard, post office and express office. Farmers do well here, and there is a good chance for all kinds of manufacturers.” O’Fallon continued to grow and in 1912 the city was officially incorporated with approximately 600 residents. O’Fallon’s first mayor was Fred Jacoby, who built the first drug store and started the first telephone service, which he installed himself with a switchboard in his drug store. A man of many talents and great ambition, Jacoby started O’Fallon’s first band and invented a grain reaper. In 1939, with only $50 in a general revenue fund, Mayor Paul Westhoff cast the deciding vote to build the city’s first sanitary sewer and water system. Mayor Westhoff launched the City of O’Fallon into an era of progress and expansion. The St. Mary’s Institute proudly provided the city with $5,000 to build the system. St. Mary’s is O’Fallon’s oldest corporation founded by the Sisters of the Most Precious Blood to support their educational endeavors. The Sisters of the Most Precious Blood have maintained an important presence in O’Fallon since they first came here in 1875. 12 | fo focus usOn Magazine


America entered World Was II with their young men entering the war while remaining residents found jobs at the governments TNT Manufacturing Plant built near Weldon Spring. By 1956, the population of O’Fallon had grown to 1,357. O’Fallon’s three day Centennial Celebration included a beard-growing contest drawing many spectators from the neighboring towns. Also, during this time the first subdivisions were started and the growth began. A sign was posted along the highway, “O’Fallon, A Good Place To Live.” Many residents of O’Fallon commuted to manufacturing jobs in St. Louis. Until the early 1970’s, O’Fallon remained within an area of 20 square blocks in size, mostly on the north side of I-70. In fact, the town was so small that if there was trouble, the O’Fallon Police Officers usually had an idea who caused it, while the area was so rural that officers were occasionally called out to handle stray cattle wandering across a road.

Heald Home - Circa 1900

In the mid-1990’s an aggressive program of city-wide infrastructure improvements that supported an amazing growth in residential, retail and manufacturing was begun. The results of this growth resulted in a 25% increase in the number of available jobs. Yes, O’Fallon, Missouri had become a boomtown. At the same time, a new industry based upon O’Fallon’s past emerged tourism. As a small town begun by Arnold and Nicholas Krekel, the O’Fallon historic sites now include Native American Mounds in Dames Park, Zumwalt’s Fort, the Heald Home, the site of the Sisters of the Most Precious Blood, the O’Fallon Historical Society 1870’s Log Cabin Museum, the Veterans Memorial Walk, Sage Chapel Cemetery, the east, west and south wings of St. Mary’s Institute which is now the O’Fallon City Hall and the 2019 opening of the Saint Charles County Veterans Museum. Zumwalt’s Fort - Circa 1825

Today, O’Fallon’s borders have extended to over 30 square miles and the estimated population is now 87,000. While the growth has turned O’Fallon into the 7th largest city in the State of Missouri, the same railroad line which started our city in 1856 is still in operation.

Current Day City Hall

There is still a feeling of a small town in O’Fallon when residents venture out to city functions, civic activities, recreational opportunities and participation in their neighborhood events. Consistently ranked as one of the “Best Places, Safest Places and Most Economical Places” to live in the United States, the City of O’Fallon embarks on a great future with a strong remembrance of its past. focus fo usOn Magazine | 13


Family Fun

at the St. Charles Convention Center The 11th Annual

Bring the Family to the 2017 Baby Kid Expo! What if you could plan a fun day with the kids, and connect with businesses in our area as well? You can at the Baby Kid Expo event! The 11th Annual Baby Kid Expo will take place Saturday, May 6th, at the St. Charles Convention Center, from 9:00a.m. – 3:00p.m. Free Admission.

The Baby Kid Expo is the largest annual event held in the metro St. Louis area that’s specially designed to provide parents with a fun trade show atmosphere, while their kids enjoy an awesome day of fun and entertainment! The Baby Kid Expo is a place for parents to learn about things available in the community that they might not be familiar with otherwise. Over one hundred businesses will have information on recreation, education, health, camps, finance, home improvement and many unique products will be available for purchase. Our presenting sponsors, BJC St. Charles County, will be bringing their new Mobile Health Fair to this event. It is an interactive experience with games, activities and giveaways focused on health and wellness. There’s skeeball, Zoltar the fortune teller and more! The St. Charles County Ambulance District will be teaching CPR for infants and children on site! This life saving skill is so important for all parents to know how to perform. There is no charge for this and it will be taught from 9am-1pm. New this year is the American Diamonds pageant! Register your kids to be a part of the fun where they can choose to participate in either Bling-Bling Wear or Diamond in the Rough Wear and model on stage! Ages 1-15, boys and girls, are eligible. Visit our website for more information. 14 | focusOn Magazine

Mad Science will be amazing the kids with their Fire and Ice Show on the main stage! Kids will be dazzled and entertained as they interact with our Mad Scientists! Foggy dry ice storms, giant beach balls floating in the air and even a special Mad Science “burp” potion. Don’t miss this at 10:45 am. The Diaper Derby is back, sponsored by STL Sprout and About. Get your 9-14 month old crawler registered to race for great prizes! Register on our website beginning April 21st to race at 10 am on the main stage! Safety is important and what better way to teach the kids about street dangers than with the interactive exhibit from St. Louis Children’s Hospital called Safety Street. This large exhibit is a fun way for kids to learn about stranger danger, safely crossing streets and more. MoChip will be on site to put together a free CD with your child’s vital information just for you to have in case the unthinkable would happen. In these situations, time is of the essence so stop by their area and go through the process to gather this important information. The Baby Kid Expo would not be complete without a performance and sing along with our favorite princesses and mascots from Once Upon an Occasion. Don’t miss them starting at 9:30am on the main stage. Visit the Activity Zone sponsored by Brain Skinz. We will have a petting zoo, pony rides, face painting, and


everyone-can test their climbing skills on the rock wall. Our Abra-Kid-Abra magic show and dance groups will entertain all! Serengeti Steve will be back with his reptile show at 2pm! Stop by the Ameren Zone and learn about our Spotlight Charity, The Sparrow’s Nest Maternity Home. Participate in their raffle and help support their mission. Join the Cutest Baby Contest sponsored by American Diamonds! Visit our website on details of how to enter your 0-3 year old in our contest to win a prize pack that includes St. Louis Cardinals tickets, a photography session and more! Visit our website www.babykidexpo.com for a full schedule of the participating businesses and schedule of events.

Become social with us and join in on our contests! www.facebook.com/babykidexpo For more information about the Baby Kid Expo, please visit... www.babykidexpo.com or call 1-866-654-EXPO (3976)

Thank you to our Sponsors: Barnes Jewish St. Peters Hospital, Children’s at Progress West Hospital, Brunswick Zone XL, Ameren, Metro PCS, Primrose Academy, Academy of the Sacre Heart, British Swim School, St. Charles County Ambulance District, St. Charles City County Library District, Proctor & Gamble, Upper Limits, FocusOn Magazine, Community News, Sprout and About, Kids Out and About, Fun 4 Kids Stl.

focusOn Magazine | 15


in

business

with Jack Johnson

I hope you had a chance to see my first article in the March/April edition of MyCottleville. I am excited to offer more of my

business insight in this edition and hope you enjoy the read.

Today I want to talk about Focus… and how you must do what you came to do and not get sidelined or hung up on all the little details that will slow you down. Spending two hours on the phone disagreeing about a $20.00 charge on your business credit card is simply a waste of valuable time. How much is your time worth just spinning your wheels? Sometimes we just have to let stuff go…Focus on what you do. You will likely need to make many good decisions as quickly as possible, it’s part of being an entrepreneur, SO don’t get emotional on every decision. Spending your valuable time doing things that could easily be done for you will prove to be a waste. Don’t sweat the small stuff… Seriously if you build widgets and you are the guy building them….they still have to be built…

You don’t have to do it all: Sometimes letting professionals handle your back office work like: accounting, human resources, payroll and tax payments, will prove to cost far less than you making mistakes and then getting penalized with fees and interest. Lessons learned are sometimes costly and unproductive. Focus, all these things take time away from what you do best…

Payroll Services: I highly recommend using a payroll service to handle all aspects of payroll for you and your Employees, including making timely federal and state employment tax deposits. There are several choices out there, but make sure you compare apples to apples as some include additional benefits with their service and some only do payroll. Paying employees becomes pretty simple when using a payroll service. You simply login online and enter the amounts to pay and or hours worked and bada bing bada boom it’s done. You and your employees will appreciate the service as well as the direct deposit and reporting features. The end result for me was, what used to take me at least half a day had now turned into a ten minute process. I would also recommend a payroll company that provides a liability insurance policy known as Employment Liability Insurance within their benefit package. This is something you will need no matter if you do your own payroll or not these days.

Protect yourself: Employment liability insurance, also known as EPL insurance provides coverage to Employers against claims made by Employees alleging discrimination, wrongful termination, harassment and other employment-related issues. These kinds of lawsuits can cripple you financially, not to mention mental anguish and pull you away from your responsibilities. I am speaking from experience here. I did not have an EPL in place and I certainly learned the hard way and it cost me dearly. Had I not been in business as long as I was when it happened it could have brought my whole gig down. There are many soon-to-be Employees just waiting for their next employer to take the blame for everything they can imagine. The problem is, your employees don’t have to prove that you are guilty of anything to cost you thousands of dollars in attorney fees, BUT you will have to prove you are innocent, which is extremely costly to you because you have to pay for your attorney by the hour and they don’t, as their attorneys have taken their case on a contingency basis. This means a disgruntled employee spends nothing to make your life miserable and likely the attorneys who handle these cases have done their homework and know they will collect something from you as you will likely settle to avoid a lawsuit. If you remember only one sentence here let it be this one: If you are already an employer and do not have an EPL in place you need to get one ASAP. Protect yourself. 16 | focusOn Magazine


Bank Smart: When it comes to banking, make sure you have a bank that offers a totally free checking business account. You don’t need any additional expenses or fees while you try to build a business. Here’s a big one for you: if you intend to take credit card payments your business bank can usually handle this for you, but beware of the fees they charge for their merchant services. Again, I am speaking from my own experience. I had banked with a local bank and they provided merchant services, but I soon learned that the merchant services division of the bank was charging me 3.5% to 6% of every sale!! That was an incredible amount of money off the top of the sale just to insure the money would be in my account within 48 hours….So naturally I shopped banks and merchant services. I then switched banks based on lower MS fees and my rate dropped to a flat 2.7% average. This lowered my credit card fees over $20k in one year. Little catches like this can help you so much in the beginning so compare before banking. I hope these tips have helped you understand more of the process of being in business. I will be back in the next edition to talk about old school marketing concepts vs. marketing SEO and how your business needs both. See ya next time! Jack Johnson – promedjack@yahoo.com

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focusOn Magazine | 19


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The Struggles of ALS:

Scott Mercer’s Story By: Robin Seaton Jefferson

Scott Mercer, the amateur athlete, United States Marine Vet, and member of the United States Coast Guard, has always had a knack for fixing things and taking care of other people. It never occurred to him, even a decade ago, that he wouldn’t be able to do just that... but, thanks to the kindness of others, he gets by with a little help from his friends. Ten years ago, Scott, was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). More commonly referred to as Lou Gehrig’s Disease, ALS is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord. According to the website alsa.org, A-MYO-TROPHIC comes from the Greek language. “A” means no. “MYO” refers to muscle, and “TROPHIC” means nourishment – “no muscle nourishment”. When a muscle has no nourishment, it atrophies, or wastes away. LATERAL identifies the areas in a person’s spinal cord where portions of the nerve cells that signal and control the muscles are located. As this area degenerates, it leads to scarring or hardening (SCLEROSIS) in the region. Motor neurons travel from the brain to the spinal cord and from the spinal cord to the muscles throughout the body. The disease, simply put, causes motor neurons to die, and when they do, the ability of the brain to initiate and control muscle movement is lost. There is no cure for ALS. Although the ALS Association reports that recent years have brought a wealth of new scientific understanding regarding the physiology of this disease, there is currently only one FDA-approved drug, Riluzole, that only modestly slows the progression of ALS... and it doesn’t work on everyone. As with Scott, ALS usually strikes people between the ages of 40 and 70 (Scott was 44), and approximately 20,000 Americans can have the disease at any given time. No one knows why, but military veterans are approximately twice as likely to be diagnosed with the disease as the general public. Athletes also have a higher incidence of the disease. 22 | focusOn Magazine

Baseball great Lou Gehrig, for whom ALS got its name, had the disease,as have theoretical physicist, cosmologist and author Stephen Hawking; Hall of Fame pitcher, Jim “Catfish” Hunter; Toto bassist, Mike Porcaro; actor, David Niven; Sesame Street creator, Jon Stone; boxing champion, Ezzard Charles; NBA Hall of Fame basketball player, George Yardley; former Vice President of the United States, Henry A. Wallace; U.S. Army General Maxwell Taylor; and NFL football players, Steve Gleason, O.J. Brigance, and Tim Shaw. As strange as it sounds, Scott is one of the lucky ones. The ALS Association reports that half of all people affected with ALS live at least three or more years after diagnosis. 20% live five years or more; and up to 10% will live more than ten years. Scott is in that top ten percent. Scott said that he doesn’t know why he has lived so long after his diagnosis any more than he knows why he got ALS in the first place. He does know what the disease has stolen from him, though. “The first thing I thought after the diagnosis was, ‘How am I going to take care of my wife and daughter?’” he said. “It really hurt that I couldn’t take care of my wife because I prided myself on taking care of her. That is the one thing that is the ugliest thing about this disease... I can’t take care of my family. It’s terrible when I know that they are hurting or sad and I can’t do anything about it. I can’t even go to them and hug them.” Scott’s first symptom was weakness in his right arm. He was managing a distribution warehouse in St. Louis at the time and had been having trouble with his sciatic nerve. “I thought it was a coincidence,” he said. It wasn’t long before he was unable to lift the toes on his right foot.

Scott, Jena Dee, and Mackenzie

Scott had cramping in his forearms, but again, he assumed it was minor. “I thought it was potassium or something,” he said. “I was always big into working out. I was an athlete all of my life.”


In fact, there were few sports that Scott wasn’t involved in at one time or another in his life; including baseball, football, wrestling, boxing and motocross. His doctor sent him to a neurologist who diagnosed him with ALS. “There is no test for ALS,” Scott said. “They just take any symptoms you have and rule out anything else that doesn’t cause those symptoms.” According to the ALS Association, once ALS starts, it almost always progresses, eventually taking away the ability to walk, dress, write, speak, swallow and breathe... shortening the life span. How fast and in what order these changes occur is different from person to person. For Scott, it went right arm, left arm, right leg, and then left leg. Currently for Scott, speaking is becoming more difficult, as his tongue is beginning to lose function and his breathing ability is compromised. Scott said that he is different from a quadriplegic in that he can feel everything. “I can tell when I have an itch, but I can’t scratch it. I’m pretty miserable all of the time. I just sit in this chair all day, but I do spend a lot of time in my head with my memories.” Scott has a computer program that allows him to operate a mouse via a reflective dot on a pair of eye glasses with no lenses. The dot moves the cursor, which controls the lap top and the television.

Funds from the golf tournament also helped with the devices that control his computer and television. Without those devices, his life would be so much more complicated. Many insurances and even government assistance do not kick in until a person is 100 percent disabled. There is a lot of life between diagnosis and complete disability, and much of it is simply inconceivable without the financial help from the golf tournament.

Scott at Mercer Madness 2013

a l a d ne s s g o l u f n m to r n ur

ce

“We are just so grateful that everyone donates their time and money and gifts. I’m just amazed every year at how generous people are and how caring they are,” Scott said. “I really want people to know how much we appreciate what these guys do for us.”

Scott said that he has never forgotten his blessings. “Sometimes I wonder, ‘What did I do to deserve this,’” he said. ”But then I meet other people who I know are good people, and they have it as well... and I know that I didn’t do anything wrong.”

The disease occurs throughout the world with no racial, ethnic or socioeconomic boundaries and can affect anyone. There can be significant costs for medical care, equipment, and home health care later in the disease.

8th A m er n

That is where Scott’s friends have stepped in. This year they will hold the 8th Annual Mercer Madness Golf Tournament. In the first seven years, Scott’s friends, including John Christopher, Randy Carder, Bob Hawkins, Jack Jackson, Hank Hedges, Rob Wolf and Steve Naugher , just to name a few, have raised more than $115,000 for Scott and his family. The money has paid for things such as nurses, ramps, driveway, hardwood floors in his home so he can get around in his wheelchair easier, and a sidewalk surrounding the home so he can enjoy the outdoors in his wheelchair.

a me n t

This year, the Mercer Madness Golf Tournament will be June 3rd at Incline Village. Registration will start at 6:30 am. $90 per person includes 18 holes, lunch at the turn, and dinner afterwards. All beverages included. For more information or to make a donation... • Twitter@MercerMadnessGolf • Facebook at 8th Annual Mercer Madness Golf Tournament at golf • Website: www.mercerfund.org • John Christopher - Email: jchristopher@fz.k12.mo.us or Phone: 636-357-3398.

http://www.alsa.org/donate/

June 3, 2017 focusOn Magazine | 23


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24 | focusOn Magazine


Cottleville Synergy Center - COMING SOON! to the heart of historic Cottleville Keller Williams Realty West (KWRW), has been a staple real estate company in the City of Cottleville for over eight years. Always supportive of many community initiatives, KWRW has grown their business so much that they have out-grown their current 10,000 square feet of office space in Cottleville’s historic downtown district. Number one in the entire St. Charles County area, KWRW will be moving to their larger office facility off Hwy K and Waterbury Falls in O’Fallon the first week of April. We wish them the very best and are thankful for all of their community involvement thus far. This move has inspired a new trend for small business in Cottleville! The Cottleville Synergy Center (CSC) is offering a cost-effective alternative to traditional office leasing, with an opportunity for store front Retail and also Tech Companies will find a comfortable place as well in this Beautiful, State of the Art building. The CSC is not only poised to foster opportunities for new business, but to evolve as a stable economic catalyst to keep Cottleville vibrant. CSC’s shared office space model, also known as serviced office space, retail, Tech space, or executive suites, are a turn-key office/retail/tech solution providing an office space shared by other companies or professionals. CSC will indeed be a viable solution for small established businesses as well as business startups. We have space that will fit your need and not a lot of overhead. We will call it a “Formula for Success”!

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focusOn Magazine | 25


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a humorous look at life by Kayleen Ziegemeier

“Sweet Summertime” FIN-A-LLY! SUMMERTIME! No school, no schedules, sleeping in, and absolutely no worries. You will be able to find me poolside getting my tan on, and most importantly I will be with a nice, cold, refreshing adult beverage in my hand. I can just imagine it now, the warm breeze, the smell of suntan lotion and sweat dripping down off my glass bottle. Wait, wait, wait... uh, who am I kidding that’s not gonna happen. I am a Mom, and as a Mom there is no such thing as a summer break! Like the whip of a wet towel, the flashbacks come streaming in from the last summer at the pool... Going to the pool always sounds like a great idea until it actually starts to happen. Getting ready for the pool makes me question my sanity and my alcohol usage. Now, when we decide it’s pool time, the craziness ensues. At the first sign of going to the pool, the kids sprint to their rooms, like wild hyenas, to get their swimsuits on. God forbid they would act like this when I tell them to clean their rooms, or pick up their toys. But when it’s pool time they act like flipping ninjas on speed. I have three kids, two sons (10 and 7) and a daughter(4), they are HIGH spirited and that’s putting it lightly. So after they get their swimsuits on, they suddenly become taskmasters and don’t stop asking, “Can we go?”, “Are you ready?”, “Mooommm, Come on.” This is all happening while I am trying to make lunches, pack the cooler (where the ratio of kid and adult drinks might be a little skewed), get the swim bag ready, and put sunscreen on the kids. When all these tasks are done I get to carry everything out to my car, usually I’m mumbling profanities under my breath as I am tripping over the floaties that fall out of the pool bag. But then I think to myself, “Just a few more minutes and I will be poolside with an adult beverage in my hand, getting my tan on. Just a few more minutes.” The pool is only a couple streets over from our house, we could walk, but it’s so much easier to drive. So, I make choice, and that choice is to keep my sanity by driving instead. When we pull into the parking lot, the kids hop out of the car and are ready to jump in the pool. We finally get inside the gates of the pool and we have to find a table and chairs that will accommodate us, our crazy amount of bags, and cooler. I see an awesome table right by my neighborhood “mom” friends. Score, I count that as a win for me. Hey, I take the wins when I can. My oldest son is usually gone in a flash. He can swim so I’m not too worried about him. But, my middle son thinks he can swim; so, I immediately have to get a floatation device on him before he jumps in a sinks to the bottom of the damn pool. My daughter also thinks she can swim. I can tell you I have had to jump in the pool a minimum of three times fully clothed to get her out, and let me tell you that’s a sight to be seen. So the next task is to get her in her floaty. When I get this done, I make my way to sign in. At this point my oldest son has already found his friends and has gone off the diving board a few times. Of course he has worked up a thirst and now he is so, so, so thirsty and wants a drink from the vending machine. Because the cheap drinks in the cooler just aren’t as awesome as the $2 drinks in the vending machine. After I give him a bit of a reality check, he gladly gets a drink from the cooler. As I get his drink, I reach for mine. As I am about to open this icy cold beer and lay on a chair to get my long awaited bronze glow. My daughter comes up and declares how she is so hungry. “Of course she is! Why wouldn’t she be hungry? We only had breakfast 90 minutes ago, “I think sarcastically to myself. I get her situated, again about to open my beer, and now my middle son needs the bathroom. “Does anyone else need to go to the bathroom I ask?” “No!” All my kids yell happily as they are playing in the pool. So I sit my cold frosty on the poolside table. I take him to the bathroom, and as we are about to go into the girls bathroom he says “Wait I’m a boy Mom, I can’t go in the girls bathroom. I can go by myself Mom it’s ok.” “Ok” I say keeping my sanity together. I turn around and my chair is in my sight, and I hear a tiny girl voice scream, “MOM! I need to go to the bathroom.” “Oh my God, all I want is a drink of my beer and lay on a chair! Why is this so impossible to do?!” I think to myself. When we get back from the bathroom the second time, my middle son comes up because he is hungry. - “Lord Jesus, please give me patience right now.” .” - While I am getting him his lunch my daughter came up to me and said a little boy had taken her toy. I finish getting my son lunch, and go on to put the next fire out. So I am trying to convince my daughter that we share, while I know my beer is roasting in the sun, when that’s all I want to be doing. Jealous of a beer, what has my life come to? After putting all these fires out I’m finally able to grab my beer and find that it is still chilled, lay down on a chair, and look at my kids smiling, laughing and having fun. This is what summer is all about. I finally get to open my beer and take a sip. Oh yeah, sweet, sweet summertime! focusOn Magazine | 27


Leaders Are You Starving Your Team By: Ken Willard - Contributor

Team members of all ages and stages are hungry for one thing from their leaders, constructive feedback. Everyone values the praise, opinion, and even the criticism (when it is delivered effectively) of those who lead them. A study done by DDI (Development Dimensions International) in 2011 found that only 49% of employees believed that their managers gave them feedback most of the time or always. A Gallup survey in 2009 found that 25% of people felt “ignored” in their place of work. How about you and your team? When was the last time you gave each person on your team some constructive feedback on how they were doing? (Sorry, not counting any type of formal performance review.) Before we get too far into this, let’s talk about what “constructive” really looks like when it comes to feedback. While it is true that some feedback is better than nothing, as leaders, we really need to provide our team with feedback that they can actually use. So when we say things like, “Good job” or maybe, “Nice work” or even, “Way to go!” Those may feel good to say and even to hear, but they are not specific enough for most people to do anything with them. That is one reason they are quickly forgotten. Think about it this way, if someone on your team did a great job on something and you want them to repeat that performance, the chances of them doing it again go way up when you can tell them specifically what they did well and why it matters. Years ago as a DDI facilitator, I learned a very simple and effective acronym to ensure we are giving others feedback they can use. It is called “S.T.A.R.” and stands for: Situation or Task, Action, and Result. What was the situation your team member was engaged in, or what was the task they were working on? What did they say or what action did they take? What was the result? The more specific you can get each element, the better. Here is an example of what that might sound like: “Patti, I overheard you talking to that customer on the phone a few minutes ago who was obviously upset. You really listened to her, and kept calm, even though I could hear her voice getting louder several times. I thought you did a wonderful job of representing the company without taking her complaint personal. Not only did you find a solution to her issue, I think you have won us a customer for life! Well done.” That would likely take only a minute or two of your time, and would certainly make Patti’s day. In fact, Patti would likely remember that conversation more than her last performance review. In those cases where your feedback needs to address a correction in behavior more than celebrate, you will need to add two very important pieces to the S.T.A.R. process. First, what was the alternative action the person should have taken? What would you have rather they say or do in that situation? Second, describe clearly to them the enhanced result the alternative action would have created. Shared together, these two additional components added to the S.T.A.R. feedback process will improve communication and reduce the number of time you need to repeatedly address the same issue. The following are best practices concerning constructive feedback: •

When possible, always give the feedback immediately following the action. Every hour that goes by lessens the impact. This is especially true for positive feedback, because the person is often thinking that their good efforts are not being noticed.

28 | focusOn Magazine


• • •

• • • • •

Don’t make the person guess. When giving positive feedback, be sure to share exactly what they did or say that was good. If you are giving feedback to correct a performance issue, get right to the point without beating around the bush. Each person is different. Some like to be recognized for positive performance in front of others, but not everyone is comfortable in this situation. Even when you mean well, a positive situation can become a source of embarrassment. Know the person’s preference before you recognize them in public. Any type of negative feedback should always be done away from others. Even if this means having to wait a while to address the situation. Limit your feedback to one topic. Either positive or negative. (The old “sandwich” approach is never effective.) Don’t confuse the person by trying to cover too much ground. Avoid using the work “but” (or substitute words like “however”) in your feedback. For example, “Ken, you did a great job with that presentation this morning! But, all of the monthly reports you submitted were wrong and will have to be redone.” People tend to only recall what we say after the “but” in our feedback. Make every effort to share constructive feedback person-to-person and not through technology or another person. The nature of constructive feedback is verbal and informal. This is best done face-to-face. The phone and programs like Skype, would be a good second choice. Work with a professional coach who can help you improve your constructive feedback skills. Be balanced. Most people need to hear twenty or more positive feedbacks for every one negative they hear to stay motivated at work. How is your ratio? Be sincere. Can you tell if someone is telling you what they think you want to hear? So can others. Respect the person you are giving feedback. Make the feedback count by being sincere. Bring in a professional who can facilitate a seminar with you and others on how to give more constructive feedback and performance coaching. Read the books, Leadership and the One-Minute Manager by Ken Blanchard, and Thanks for the Feedback by Douglas Stone & Sheila Heen.

You team is starving for more feedback from you as their leader. Yes, it will take time and may not feel like it is your top priority every day. See it as an investment in growing the potential of each and every person who looks to you for influence. Like most good investments, the long-term payoff will be worth your efforts. Feed Your Team!

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By: Robin Seaton Jefferson “Times have changed. The younger age groups are more open to talk about things then, say, my parents were or I was. We’re too proud. We’re not going to talk about the dead body we saw and how it affects us, or the child that was hit by a car. We’re going to go home and deal with it in our own way, good or bad. It’s why you have first responders cracking a beer at 6 a.m. It’s why divorce rates among first responders are so high. Finally people are admitting they need help.” Pat Byrne was a firefighter for 30 years and retired December 31, 2016 as a captain in the Riverview Fire Protection District in North St. Louis County. Nine years ago he started Responder Rescue, a 501(c)(3) organization that provides assistance—emotional, tangible or monetary—to area first responders who have been injured, become ill or suffered a traumatic situation after all other resources have been exhausted. “Our goal is to give a safe, confidential environment that stays within the family of police officers, firefighters and EMS,” Byrne said. He serves as president of the organization. “They don’t have to deal with any stigma or tell anyone they’re going through an issue.” Byrne said each day, thousands of police officers, firefighters and EMS professionals do the job of protecting everyone else. And every day they know they may not come home, or even worse, to them, they may be the cause that someone else doesn’t come home. 30 | focusOn Magazine

“These men and women go to work every day knowing that if they make one mistake, it can cost someone their life. They don’t get any re-dos. They don’t get to say, ‘Let me try that again.’ One mistake and somebody can die. That is a lot to carry,” Byrne said. That and the horrors they may see in the course of a day led Responder Rescue to create a new arm under the organization to help first responders. The program is called H.E.R.O or Helping Emergency Responders Overcome. While Responder Rescue helps first responders with physical injuries, like when they are hurt, injured or sick; H.E.R.O. comes through when the afflictions are emotional and psychological. And, many times, being the first on the scene of an accident or trauma can be an emotionally devastating experience. “People see firefighters as people just sitting in front of the fire house in a lawn chair waving at people with smiles on their faces. Then they go in and make dinner. That may be their life today, but tomorrow they could see two car wrecks where people are decapitated or a baby dies in a burning building,” Byrne said. “We try to look for ways to help police officers, firefighters and EMS workers deal with those experiences, because it is real. It’s the same as if they had gotten hurt physically.” The programs can also help family members of first responders. They could help with therapy costs for a firefighter’s son or daughter who has an addiction, or in one case, a police officer whose child has Asperger’s syndrome along with other medical issues and is dealing with being bullied at school.


The programs have also helped with funeral costs for a first responder whose child has died as the result of an addiction. “We network the best we can because we don’t have a big war chest of money,” Byrne said. For instance Twin City Monuments out of Crystal City, Missouri, helps families with grave markers in the event of a death of a first responder or their family member. Ongoing sponsors of Responder Rescue and H.E.R.O. also include the St. Louis Blues and St. Louis Blues Alumni, Jack in the Box, United Health Care, SSM Health, Backstoppers, International Association of Firefighters, Missouri State Lodge Fraternal Order of Police and many local companies. “Each day, these individuals strive to keep each and every one of us safe. While we often see them as daily heroes, they still face injury, illness and traumatic events, on and off duty,” Byrne said. “Unfortunately, there is only so much their insurance companies and the departments they work for can do to help. Not every department has the same issues. Not every first responder makes the same amount of money. We don’t give cash. We pay bills. We’ve helped firefighters where the roof has collapsed on them. They were incapacitated and forced into retirement. There is a gap in time when there is no money coming in to help these individuals pay their bills. These are things you don’t talk about. They are things you don’t like to talk about. We try to bridge that gap, to help them from losing their homes or cars. We pay the bills directly to the utility company.”

Byrne said H.E.R.O. was developed after the organization witnessed the amount of first responders and their families in need of help for emotional wounds, and there are many. “That’s why we are concentrating on this now, because that’s what’s happening. Last year alone, we had 96 people reach out to the H.E.R.O. program, compared to about 40 in the Responder Rescue program. We are small, but we could spend $1 million a year if we had it. That’s the need that’s out there.” Responder Rescue is located at 3711 Mexico Road, St. Charles, Missouri, 63303. Byrne said the organization mainly assists first responders in the St. Louis Metropolitan Area and a small part of Illinois just over the state line, though it has assisted people in Jefferson County, Lake of the Ozarks, Jefferson City and Columbia, Missouri. “We keep basically to this area, but we try not to turn anyone away. We get calls from all over the country, but we can’t help everybody. We have been asked about growing it, so we are looking into federal grants and donations now,” he said. Responder Rescue is always looking for volunteers as well as financial or in-kind donations and silent and oral auction items for its events. For more information on Responder Rescue or to make a tax-deductible contribution, call 314-627-0700 or visit www.responderrescue.org. Individual, corporate, family, police, fire and EMS agency annual memberships are also available.


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humorous look at life by Kevin Ziegemeier

It’s Swimsuit Season! Winter is over, spring is upon us, and summer is just around the corner. With longer days and warmer temperatures, it is once again swimsuit season. Another winter has gone by with most of our New Year’s resolutions falling alling by b the wayside. The pounds we were going to lose and the inches we were going to take off got lost in the weekends of binge watching Netflix. Now is the time for us to pay for those push-ups we did not do, the miles we did not run, and the fruits and vegetables we did not eat. Most of us middle age guys do not go to the pool because we e want want to, t but because we have to. o. Our kids love to swim and we love our kids. Unfortunately for or us, not not only onl do our kids want us to take them to the pool, we must play with them in the he pool. This means that that we we cannot canno just put on a pair of shorts, a tee shirt, and some flip flops and throw the little rats in the pool. It means we must suck it up and put on the trunks. Swimming attire and the middle age man usually do not belong together. While we wish we could wear that Speedo we wore as a well-conditioned teen, we have to resign ourselves to something that covers as much skin as possible. Even when we do pick the suit that makes us feel like Patrick Swayze, we still end up looking like Chris Farley. While the suits are designed to cover the things that need covering, there are many other things on the middle aged man that should not be left exposed. The belly button, while mostly ignored, is the centerpiece of the human body. When we were young, we could answer the simple “innie” or “outie” question. However, after years of training for a career in competitive eating, our belly buttons have taken on a new identity. It is not just an innie, it is how deep does that thing go? The wife is afraid of you holding the newborn grandkid without wearing a shirt for the fear of the child getting stuck in that thing. It no longer just called a belly shot…….it is called a belly fifth. And the outie………it looks like someone blew it up and tied it off. No matter what we are calling our belly buttons these days, unless the male one piece becomes fashionable again, the pool going public will just have look away. Everybody loves hair…….on our heads. Body hair is a different matter. There just never seems to be the right amount for us fellas. Some of us have so much hair that it is hard to tell where the head begins and the body ends. The lifeguards do not encourage us to get into the pool for fear of clogging the filters. Having a small amount of body hair would seem to be cool……if it was spread out evenly. Unfortunately, we have a soul patch in the middle of our chest, five or six sprout surrounding our areolas, and small tail growing on our back. The fall and winter months let us do a lot of work on our moon tan. When going to the paint store I discovered a new shade of white. It was called the middle age man. Mothers cover their children’s eyes as if there were a solar eclipse. We reflect more light than a safety vest. But no worries, after a day in the sun, our shoulders, bellies, backs, and shins will be a nice shade of pink. Then light red. Then beet red. Now that our skin has blistered and coming off in sheets, we get the thing we were hoping when pool season opened…….a vacation from the pool. Unless you live in Alaska, swimsuit season is here to stay. Middle age men will continue to ignore their pride, wives will tell everyone they are single, and kids will claim they were adopted. But the middle age man did not train for swimsuit season. We trained for the season where large, hairy, white bellies are accepted……football season. focuson Magazine | 33


The First Responder Police • Fire • EMS

Cottleville Police Department’s Lieutenant Craig Hebrank

Skip Stephens, Assistant Chief Cottleville Fire District Contributor

Leading by Example When deciding who to interview next for this leadership column, I wanted to find someone that really stands out in our community. A person that lights up the room when they walk in and naturally exudes a multitude of leadership qualities. Immediately a face and a name came into my mind and I knew who was next. I sat down with Lieutenant Craig Hebrank of the Cottleville Police Department for lunch and leadership discussion. I had prepared my standard seven questions that I wanted to ask, but Lt. Hebrank began giving me answers long before I could ask a single one of them. It was obvious to me from the start that Craig has a passion for leadership and had a lot to say about the subject. Lt. Hebrank has been in law enforcement for the past 27 years. He worked for St. Louis City Police Department for 15 years before joining the Cottleville Police Department in 2005. Throughout his law enforcement career, Lt. Hebrank has worn many hats including police officer, detective, sergeant, lieutenant, and 10 years as an investigator with the Major Case Squad of Greater St. Louis. Lt. Hebrank is a graduate of the Missouri Police Chiefs Command College. But it was his time as a School Resource Officer that brings a smile to his face. “I was reluctant to accept the SRO position at first, but quickly grew to love it.” Lt. Hebrank described the beginning of his 5 year stint as an SRO and DARE instructor at Seager Middle School, Warren Elementary, St. Joseph’s and Francis Howell Central. “But, I soon realized that I found my calling in life. It was such a rewarding experience. Just getting to know the kids and letting

them know that I was there for them, to be their protector, their security blanket. You know, kids can be so unsure of themselves and to get a chance to be a positive role model and to be someone they can confide in was very important. I was able to open lines of communication, learn about their lives, what’s going on at home, and their normal behaviors, so I was able to detect if something wasn’t quite right. Many kids have a lot of disruptions and problems at home, as well as problems with bullies, and other issues. I made it be known that I was there for them and that school was a place to feel safe and welcome. My hope was to steer kids in the right direction, to help them emotionally, support them, and provide a positive message coming from someone that wasn’t a parent or teacher.” Then we got into leadership. If you know Lt. Hebrank, you know that he loves to talk and engage with people. His passion for people overflows. When you look at his eyes, you know that he is truly authentic and means what he says. I still wasn’t able to get a question out before Lt. Hebrank began a verbal sprint about leadership. “I am a big believer in leading by example. You have to practice what you preach. Never ask someone to do something you are not willing to do yourself. But, you have to let your officers do their jobs, you can’t micromanage. You have to empower your employees, let them know they are supported and give them the tools and resources to do their job safely, effectively and efficiently. If they feel unsupported, they may hesitate to do their job and we can’t have that in law enforcement. You also have to give positive feedback and reinforcement. Telling people nice job goes a long way.”

Skip Stephens & Craig Hebrank 34 | focuson Magazine


Skip: What gets you out of bed in the morning? Lt. Hebrank: “My love for the job. My passion for the job. Even after 27 years, I have a lot of passion. You have to have passion for whatever you do. But, being a mentor and a teacher more than anything else. When I was young I received great training and education by some wonderful mentors and I enjoy giving that back to our younger officers.” Skip: You are such a positive person. How do you maintain such a positive attitude? Lt. Hebrank: “You have to be “on” when you put on the uniform. As a police officer, we are always in the public eye and have to carry ourselves in a professional manner. I want to be a person that makes people feel assured. But it carries over into my personal life as well. I don’t turn it on and off. My career has helped me become a better person because I tend to think I am a positive person and maintain a positive outlook in my personal life as well.” Skip: What are some of the biggest things you have learned in your career about leadership? Lt. Hebrank: “You have to maintain an open line of communication. Lead by example. Otherwise it will be tough for other people to “buy in” and follow you. The ability to listen. This can be tough for police officers with our Type A personalities because we always want to have the answers. But I have learned that we need to be sponges, need to be able to absorb what others are saying. Also the ability to delegate authority and recognize and utilize the strengths of others.” Skip: What are you most proud of? Lt. Hebrank: “I have wonderful, very supportive parents who from the beginning encouraged me to find a career that makes me happy. I am proud that they are proud of me. The fact that I am a positive and encouraging role model for others, especially in schools. (Then Lt. Hebrank pulled out his phone and showed me a text message that he received earlier in the day from a former student, now 20 years old, that he had as an SRO 8 years ago. The student, now living in Arizona, was telling Lt. Hebrank that he was doing well, going to college, studying to be a firefighter. I noticed, too, the incredibly supportive message that Craig had sent back to his former student. Lt. Hebrank took his phone back and continued) Not a day goes by that I don’t run into a former student who is always quick to fill me in on recent happenings in their lives.” Skip: You are in an elevator, going up 12 floors and somebody asks you “what is your passion?”, and you have to answer before the elevator stops. Lt. Hebrank.: “My passion in life is the Golden Rule. Being a respectful, upfront person that leads by example. I love talking to people and making them feel welcome. I enjoy passing the torch on to younger officers about how to be more proficient officers in regards to accepting input from community members and an fostering an attitude of partnership. My passion is treating everyone with respect, having open lines of communication, not just as an officer, but as a person, especially in this world of smart phones and technology. You can’t beat good old fashioned conversation. I’m also passionate about talking to younger officers about becoming mentors themselves, about helping others, making things easier for others. How can you not be passionate about that? That’s what life is all about.” Skip: What motivated you to pursue law enforcement as a career? Lt. Hebrank: “In college, I took a criminal law and procedure class. The instructor was a former St. Louis PD detective. I found the class fascinating and it opened my eyes to a career I never considered. I learned that throughout the instructor’s career as a police officer, he was able to make a difference; he was able to make a real impact on people’s lives. I decided to give it a year. If I was passionate about it, I would continue, but if not I would find something else because you can’t just go through the motions in this line of work. And wow; I knew from the start that this was the career for me because I was able to impact people’s lives in ways of making them feel safe, reassured and appreciated.” Skip: What do you want the community to know about police officers that the average person may not know? Lt. Hebrank: “Hopefully kids realize that we are not the real heroes. We can serve as positive role models, however, the real heroes are mom and dad. We just happen to be wearing a uniform and are always willing to help. We are regular people, too, with our own families and concerns. But more than anything else, we want people to know that we enjoy when they approach us and we get a chance to learn a little bit about one another as well as their needs and issues in their neighborhoods or personal lives. We are truly in a partnership with the community we protect. We want positive and negative feedback because without input from citizens and businesses, our ability to be proactive is limited.” I asked Lt. Hebrank if he had any final thoughts. Lt. Hebrank: “I want people to know that we have great officers at Cottleville. It’s a nice mix of younger and veteran officers and that provides a wealth of knowledge and diversity. As a smaller department, we are asked to wear several hats and our officers always do so without hesitation or complaint. The attitude in the department is ‘how can we make it better?’, ‘what can we do to help?’. We couldn’t ask for a better group of officers. We have quite an amazing team. They truly are an asset to Cottleville.” Lieutenant Craig Hebrank loves to travel, enjoys following the Cardinals, Blues and Mizzou. He is an avid reader who also enjoys spending some of his spare time managing his rental properties. He calls himself a “half glass full kind of guy”, but I would say that is a vast understatement of his positivity. Cottleville is lucky to have someone with his attitude, professionalism and leadership. Everything that Lt. Hebrank represents is also reflected across the rest of Cottleville Police Department, from Chief Brett Mitchell to every one of their officers. For that, we should all be grateful. focuson Magazine | 35


medical minute with Cheryl Hohe, MSN, ANP-BC

The month of May is National Melanoma/Skin Cancer Detection and Prevention Month. This month is dedicated to increasing public awareness of the importance of skin cancer prevention, early detection, and treatment-including basal cell, squamous cell, and melanoma. Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the United States. More than 3.5 million skin cancers in over 2 million people are diagnosed annually.

Skin Cancer Facts

• In 2017, about 73,871 new melanomas will be diagnosed. • The risk of melanoma increases with age the average age is 62. Melanoma is not uncommon, however, among those younger than 30. In fact it is the most common cancers in young adults, especially in women. • Melanoma is more than 20 times more common in whites than in African Americans. • Basal cell carcinoma is the most common form of skin cancer, an estimated 2.8 million are diagnosed annually in the United States. They are rarely fatal, however, can be highly disfiguring if allowed to grow. • Squamous cell carcinoma is the second most common form skin cancer. An estimated 700,000 cases are diagnosed each year in the United States. • Actinic keratosis is the most common pre-cancer; it affects more than 58,000,000 Americans. • 40% to 50% of Americans who live until age 65 will develop skin cancer, either basal cell or squamous cell, at least once.

• The 5 year survival rates for patients whose melanoma is detected early (before the tumor has penetrated the skin) is about 97%. The 5 year survival rate falls to 15% - 20% for those with advanced disease.

Skin Cancer Risk Factors

• Skin type: Those with fair skin and have many freckles or moles are at the highest risk. However people with darker skin can get skin cancer. • Unprotected exposure to sunlight: more than 90% of cases are caused by exposure to ultraviolet radiation from the sun. This exposure increases the risk of all 3 main types of skin cancer. Exposure has increased partly due to a thinner ozone layer. • Use of tanning beds • Family history of skin cancer • Age • Gender (men are at higher risk for melanoma) spot, or a new growth. • Xeroderma pigmentosum (an inherited skin condition) • Smoking

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Prevention Guidelines

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With summer upon us, with many outdoor activities that we will be enjoying, be sure to protect yourself and your children!

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Prelude: Darlene Fischer - contributor Story by: Jeanette Coopermann - St. Louis Magazine

focus fo usOn

Part 2

: The Heroin Epidemic is Here! I recently attended an Opiate Awarness Program at Liberty High School. These programs are held monthly around St. Charles County. I strongly encourage parents to attend. They are very informative and could save lives. There are only three possible outcomes for a person trapped in addiction: a premature death, legal complications and jail, or sobriety. When drug addiction is present, the quicker the action to become informed about addiction and find effective treatment the better the chances of a full recovery. WHAT CAN YOU DO: HAVE A SAFE HOME: HOME: Lock up all of your medications, especially prescription meds. Even if you don’t think anyone in your family would take them, keeping them locked away prevents their friends and others from quickly taking them while visiting in your home. Also,” SAFELY DISCARD ANY OKD MEDICATIONs MEDICA and keep track of cleaners, spray cans and other substances that could be inhaled to get high. BE KNOWLEDGEABLE: Know the signs and symptoms and be on the lookout for anything suspicious when interacting with family members and their friends. BE AWARE: Check your child’s phone and Facebook personal messages for any talk of “buttons, beans, perks, water, oxys, Henry, little boy, blue, nods.” Basically, any message you read that has lingo in it that doesn’t make sense to you is cause for suspicion. When in doubt google it on a drug lingo site www.noslong.com BE DILIGENT: Routinely go through the trash can in their room and check for hiding spacesinside of pens and highlighters, lip gloss and lip sticks, mirrored compacts, hygiene bottles, deoderants, gum or candy wrappers, empty soda cans or altoid containers, socks, game consoles and books. Cars are also a familiar place to hide stuff and good places to check are under the hood, seats and dashboard. Belt buckles are now being sold with hidden compartments. You can also check to see if anything is taped behind posters and wall hangings, light switches or inside vents. Don’t forget mattresses, favorite toys or stuffed animals. Lastly, check to see if anything is taped behind the toilet or under the lid. COMMUNICATE AND LISTEN: Discuss the dangers of using drugs and what is going on at their “get-togethers” Only 13% of parents talk to their kids about the dangers of prescription medications while 90% of addictions start in the teenage years. In 2014, approximately 75% of children 12 years and older reported using pain relievers without a prescription. (Source: 2014 National Survey of Drug Use and Health) If YOU SUSPECT SOMETHING MAY BE WRONG: Call NCADA immediately! They can be reached at 314-962-3456. They are a non-profit organization with skilled counselors who can talk with you about your suspicisions, help with assessment and assist you with finding appropriate treatment, if necessary. All information that you share with them is strictly confidential. Above all, know that you will not be getting your child in trouble but will be saving them from danger. It is stronger than morphine and crosses the blood brain barrier 100 x’s faster! FACT: The United States makes up only 5% of the world’s population. However, we use 80% of the opiates And 99% of the Vicoden . FACT: 712 opiate deaths in 2016 in St. Charles and St. Louis counties. That’s more deaths than homicides or car wrecks. This number does not include the ones paramedics were able to ressucitate. foc fo cus usOn On Magazine | 41


Story Two: Lexi’s Story Lexi and her mom sit in my kitchen eating coffee cake. She is not wearing any makeup and her skin’s pale against an orange T-shirt emblaz-oned with a cat, flat on its back, paws rigid. The shirt says, “Curiosity + Heroin.” She tried detox in 2010, but she immediately started using again. In October, she went into the hospital for a six-day medical detox, then spent 21 days in an inpatient program. Now, she receiving a monthly shot of Vivitrol. If she uses heroin, Vivitrol will block the high and increase the chance of a fatal overdose. “Drug addicts don’t care where they shoot up,” she shrugs. “McDonalds, alleys, bathrooms in Quik Trips - all you need is a spoon, a needle, water, maybe a tie-off.” Lexi attends support groups whenever she can, learning a lot about triggers. “Resentments will be the first thing to send you out,” she remarks. “My mom just pissed me off. F--k that bitch. I’m going to go shoot up.” She sighs, “you have all these problems before you do drugs, and then you go do heroin for two years. You don’t know how to feel, because for the last two years you’ve insulated yourself. Everything hits you like a ton of bricks because you don’t have a suppressant anymore. It comes back to this painful place, and you’d do anything to get rid of it.” “In the end,” Lexi says, “people do heroin because they want to be numb.” After Lexi and her mom leave. I don’t hear from them for several weeks. Then an email arrives from Lexi’s mom: “Lexi has relapsed, took a lethal dose of heroin with intent to commit suicide (5 heartbeats away from dying, according to EMT), stent in hospital, on streets for a few days, I’ve convinced her to go to hospital due to suicide threats (I signed her in involuntarily), now back in 30-day rehab, voluntarily...I sound matter of fact without motion, but that is not so.” Lexi’s mom thought she was 90 days clean. The one night she told her mom goodnight and that she loved her. A little while later she went down to look in on Lexi and found her purple and blue, eyes rolled back in her head, and she was not breathing. When the paramedics injected Narcan to reverse the heroin, Lexi was furious: “One more minute and I would have been fine.” Packing for her daughter, Lexi’s mother pulled out her favorite shirt, held it a minute, and set it aside. “It’s what she ‘s going to be buried in,” she tells me, her voice hoarse and remote, “if she doesn’t overcome this.”

Scan this QR code with a phone or tablet and it will take you directly YouTube documentary

In an effort to combat the growing epidemic of prescription drug and heroin abuse, the FBI and DEA have released “Chasing the Dragon: The Life of an Opiate Addict,” a documentary aimed at educating students and young adults about the dangers of addiction. More at www.fbi.gov/ChasingTheDragon 42 | fo foc cus uson on Magazine


If only I had known then, what I know now… Most addicts will never ask for help because they fear the pain and sickness of withdrawal more than death! Behavior Changes Angry, argumentative and even combative Unusual sweating Can’t keep jobs or relationships Sleeping a lot more or “nodding off” Lying Stealing Missing or bent spoons Seem to be unusually sick or under the weather Lack of hygiene Depression Never have any money, or can’t account for spending Weird snoring or foam coming from mouth or nose while sleeping Missing your prescription or over the counter medications Do you notice any paraphernalia in their rooms or bags (straws, spoons, pipes, lighters, capsules, powder, razor blades, Benadryl, Dormin, or any other over the counter sleep medicines or decongestants) “Pinned Pupils” contracted pupils looking like someone pinned them on with a sharpie Wearing long pants, sleeves, or collars to hide needle marks or self-cutting Lack of appetite Running mysterious errands Sudden change in friendships

1. Lock up all medications especially prescription meds. Even if your child isn’t using, there’s a good chance someone at school will entice them to explore your medicine cabinet 2. Check your child’s phone and Facebook messages for any talk of “buttons, beans, perks, water, oxys, henry, little boy, blue, nods” basically any message you read that has lingo in it that doesn’t make sense is cause for suspicion. 3. Go through the trash cans in their rooms and check for hiding spaces 4. Know the above signs and be on the lookout for them in your child and watch for them in their friends

foc fo cus usOn On Magazine | 43


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FU ND R A IS E R for Chuck & Liz Kincaid

Join us the evening of June 24th for a fun night of Trivia! The funds raised during the event will go to help Chuck Kincaid in his battle with Leukemia. Chuck was diagnosed with Leukemia in November 2014. In December of the same year he went into septic shock. Chuck received a stem cell transplant in March of 2015. He spent most of 2015 in the hospital recovering from the procedure. In August of 2015 doctors began giving Chuck blood infusions. This is a process where the blood itself is transfused. The need for the infusions were a result of an iron overload in his blood from all of thehis blood transfusions. When Chuck was given infusions he was also given additional blood, platelets or any nutrients his body needed. Chuck had been in remission for a year when the Leukemia returned. In January of this year he was back in the hospital and was given chemotherapy. He spent the next 3 weeks suffering and the next month waiting for his bone marrow to start producing. In an effort to speed up the process he was give 5 bags of stem cells. The doctors then waited but still no production from bone marrow. The first week of April Chuck was given horse immunoglobulin to kill off t-cells to see if that was keeping the bone marrow from producing. They are now trying to get the approval from the insurance company to get stem cells from his brother, who is only a half match, while they are keeping him alive by giving him platelets and blood every other day. The bone marrow transplant was successful but he is now battling other illnesses. Chuck and Liz need our support, prayers and financial help. A fun night of trivia for us, means the world to them.

Chuck Kincaid

Prayers For Chuck

The night has been completely donated.. Trivia MC, beer, prizes, auction items and even the building. The event is being held at Prymal Soccer Academy 1712 West Terra Lane in O’Fallon, MO The event starts at 7:00pm Door open at 6:00

To reserve a table please fill out and mail this portion Contacts: Andy Garrett - 636.399.0258 Laura Fletcher - 314.518.5663 Laura Fletcher 3112 Grace Hill Dr. Lake St. Louis , MO 63367 $25 per person ($200 per table) Name _____________________________________________ Phone _____________________ Address ___________________________________________ Email______________________ Make checks payable to Liz Kincaid focuson Magazine | 45


Dare to Dream.. Billy Berry’s Journey Through Country Music

By: Robin Seaton Jefferson

It started out with a “Band of Bobs”. No... really. William “Billy” Berry is moving up in the music business. In fact, the 49-year-old owner of Berry Construction Storm Repair company has put together a three-album project about the life of the illustrious “Turtleman.” Ernie Brown Jr. is known as the one to call if you have a critter problem in Kentucky. He was nicknamed the “Turtleman” for his uncanny ability to catch monster snapping turtles, but he also handled snakes, raccoons, venomous spiders, possums and skunks, using his bare hands to catch his prey on the Animal Planet series, “Call of the Wildman.” According to animalplanet.com, Brown has been diving into murky Kentucky ponds in search of snapping turtles for nearly 40 years. Born and raised in Washington County, Kentucky, he spent his childhood exploring the woods and learning the ways of the animals that occupy them. He caught his first snapping turtle, a 25-pounder, when he was just seven-years-old, after his father and uncle schooled him on the risky technique. The site says in his lifetime, the Turtleman estimates he has caught over 12,000 turtles. In any event, his continued story is being told with the help of local musician Berry. A decade ago, Berry was hanging out with a friend, when he was asked to do a song over the phone for his friend’s friend. The friend on the other end had a studio. They called this guy “Guitar Bob” Berzack. Berzack is a producer, songwriter and musician, He has a master’s degree in music. He wanted Berry to record the song in his studio. The friend holding the phone was called “Drum Bob” Barth. The Bobs asked Berry to form a country music group, along with “Banjo Bob” Stuckey and another guy named “Bass Bob” Piciulo. Berry told them they could just take his first name and call him “Billy Bob.” And though Piciulo was eventually replaced with Terry Sudholt, the story is nonetheless noteworthy. They all formed the Billy Berry Band. It was the beginning of Berry’s dream to write and play country music. And it was Berzack who gave him his start. “The incredibly talented and patient Bob Berzack is the person who started my music career,” Berry said. 46 | focuson Magazine

It wasn’t long after in 2010 that Berry traveled to Nashville, only to be told, at 42 years old, he was too old to be a country music star. But Berry wasn’t giving up that easy. He came home and recorded “Guitar Grace,” which now spins over 5,000 times a week at stations around the world. “Just not here,” he said. Berry is currently working on his fourth album with 30 South Productions out of Nashville, Tennessee. He took the initial rejection as an opportunity to start his own company, William Berry Publishing. He said he figured the best way into the business was via a direct route. “I formed William Berry Publishing to hire Nashville writers to write for me, which led to many more connections,” he said. “I had to find a way into Nashville. My music deserves to be heard. My music deserves to be played by somebody, maybe not by me, but somebody else. But my songs deserve that, so I started making more connections in Nashville.” So now the Turtleman’s life story will be told with the help of producer/songwriter/singer Steve Oliver, Songwriter James Breedwell, Berry and many other great Nashville talents, and they have the attention of major Nashville record labels including the Japanese multinational conglomerate corporation Sony. Not bad for a construction worker from Kentucky. The first writer Berry hired to his publishing company was Songwriter James Breedwell whose musical background includes writing with Blake Shelton, Joe Nichols, Craig Morgan, and several other artists and songwriters, including six Number 1 Songwriters of the Year, which include Craig Wiseman who wrote “Live Like You’re Dying” for Tim McGraw and “I Believe” for Brooks & Dunn; Tia Sellers who wrote “I Hope You Dance” for Leann Womack; Danny Wells and Dana Oglesby who wrote “Check Yes or No” for George Strait; Eddie Kilgallon who wrote “One Night at a Time” for George Strait and Brett James who wrote “Jesus Take the Wheel” for Carrie Underwood. Breedwell is also known for landing a cut in 2009 James with singing sensation Jackie Evancho, who captivated the world on “America’s Got Talent.”


Breedwell introduced Berry to Steve Oliver of 30 South Productions. Oliver has penned songs with Red Lane, Max D. Barnes, Vern Gosdin, Harlan Sanders, Mack Vickery, Hank Cochran, Dean Dillon, Donny Kees and Dawn Sears. His song “So Far Apart” is on the “The Time Jumpers” self-titled double Grammy nominated album and is performed by Dawn Sears and Vince Gill. Steve was also awarded a gold album for his guitar picking on “The Fireman” for the “Songwriter’s Tribute To George Strait” Album. Oliver had seen one of Berry’s songs on YouTube. He called and Berry took off for Nashville. As it turned out, Berry lost his debit card while in the “Music City,” and Oliver had to loan him $100 to get home. From there, Oliver put Berry in the studio with Brent Mason and an all-star cast of musicians. Mason is a studio session guitarist and songwriter, also based in Nashville. A 2008 Grammy Award winner, and a two-time winner of the CMA Award Musician of the Year, Mason was discovered by guitarist Chet Atkins, and has gone on to play on well over a thousand other artists’ albums, including those of George Strait, Alan Jackson, Shania Twain, David Gates, Brooks & Dunn, Zac Brown Band, Scotty McCreary, Blake Shelton and Neil Diamond. In that studio Mason played guitar for what will be Berry’s fourth album which includes the single “Built to Last.” “Brent Mason is a fantastic musician and it was an honor to have a Grammy-winning guitarist playing guitar on my new album,” Berry said. The video for “Built to Last” was recorded on Berry’s parent’s farm in Kentucky. Berry said much of the lyrics on his album, especially “Built to Last,” were inspired by that farm and his country upbringing. “I’m humbled by the whole thing, because no one took me serious for years,” Berry said. “Now we’ve opened Oliver Berry Publishing and we are partners now in production of ‘Turtleman Strong.’”

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Berry said he met Brown in Nashville, and the Turtleman asked him to write him a song. Berry told him they’d write the album. Berry’s writer, James Breedwell, who also happened to know the Turtleman, has written all 14 songs on the album. “With the gravity of this project, with number one song writers, top publishers, top musicians and top Nashville artists, and because of Turtleman’s 26 million fans, Sony wants to do the distribution of the album. Now my dream came true and I’m going to be on the album with the top of the line people. And not only that, but I own 25 percent of it.” For Berry, the statement isn’t empty and it isn’t merely self-serving. Twelve years ago, Berry had lost his wife, his home, his business and his brother all within a three-month period. “I sat down and wrote songs instead of jumping off of a bridge,” he said. “I know what happened. God blessed my music for staying strong and raising my sons. I kept my faith. All I had was my two boys and my pickup truck and an old guitar my little brother taught me to play.” Berry said music “became a dream when I realized how much a part of me it was.” And while he has attained his dream, and can honestly tell his sons to “dare to dream”— and does quite often—he isn’t finished yet. “I’ve gone as far as I need to go to be happy, but my songs still haven’t gone as far as I think they can go, so I’m not done yet. My ultimate goal is to play at the Grand Ole Opry.” For more information on Berry’s music, look for him on YouTube and Facebook. “Turtleman Strong” will be released nationwide in August. Look for it at Turtle-man or Call of the Wild – Turtleman on Facebook. Billy Berry is scheduled to play at Turtle Creek Pub & Grill in O’Fallon, Missouri on June 3 and at the Tap House Pub & Patio on June 10. For more information, visit www.turtlecreekpub.com and www.taphousepub.com, respectively.

Menu: www.taphousepub.com

(636) 439-2390 9015 Veterans Memorial Pkwy, O’Fallon, MO 63366

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Cottleville Parks and Recreation The City of Cottleville provides many ways to have an active lifestyle in our community. Enjoy the 125+ acres of park grounds and 38.5 acres of lakes. It’s easy to plan an outing or event in Cottleville’s Parks and 5K run/walks, graduation parties, birthday parties, and fundraisers events happens throughout the year. A few Special Events include the Haunted Hayride, Mission Clean Stream, the Easter Egg Hunt are home to Cottleville and it’s parks. Pavilions are available to rent by completing a Pavilion Registration Form and remit it to City Hall along with your cash/ check payment. For larger events, or if you have any questions, please contact Amy Lewis 636-498-6565 x201 or amy. lewis@cityofcottleville.com. • Legacy Park: located at 5490 Fifth Street near City Hall on Hwy N. • McCauley Playground in the future to be Hansen’s Park located behind Mercy Kids on Ohmes Road. Plans & funding for this park is under way. • Scott A Lewis Park: located in the rear of Miralago Subdivision off Mid Rivers Mall Drive at 1000 Scott A. Lewis Lane. • College Meadows Park: located on North Side of St. Charles Community College. https://youtu.be/rCo0CrdN_dw” Ckeck out this video “Cottleville Parks and Recreation “https://youtu.be/rCo0CrdN_dw Special thanks to our sponsors for this film; MTL Excavating Services, Securus Circle Of Advisors and Bemo’s Grill

Parks and Recreation Video

Did You Know? Do you have a kayak, paddle board, or a canoe? You can use it right here in Cottleville at Scott A. Lewis Park with easy launching via the boat ramp at Buchheit Lake. This lake is nearly 20 acres giving you lots of room for water sports of all kinds, including fishing and boating.

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Movie ReviewS by: Kevin Ziegemeier

Moonlight Starring: Mahershala Ali, Janelle Monae, Naomie Harris

Rated R

Rating scale 3 Screws… EXCELLENT, A MUST SEE

2 Screws… Good, Wait for video release

1 screw… Average, Wait for Netflix release

You’ve been screwed… do not waste your time or money

Wehrenberg Theatres Town Square 12 Cine

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Regal Cinemas O’Fallon 14

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Wehrenberg Theatres Mid Rivers 14 Cine

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Wehrenberg Theatres St. Charles Stadium 18 Cine

This time of year is a black hole for movie goers. All of the Oscar nominated movies are long gone from the theaters and the summer block busters are still several weeks away. We may run across a movie that has some entertainment value from time to time, but those movies are few and far between. While the theaters may not have a movie that attracts our attention, the local video store has plenty of new releases that are worth watching. Most, if not all, Academy Award nominated movies have made their way to video by now. Since many of these movies never made it to the big screen in the Midwest, we now have an opportunity to watch these movies and see if they were worthy of the nomination. Moonlight won the Oscar for best picture for 2016. It is a movie that tells the story of a man at three different stages of his life. The movie begins with a preteen Chiron (Alex R. Hibbert) dealing with being bullied inside and outside of school but has no support form his crackhead mother (Naomi Harris). Chiron is found one day hiding in an abandon building by a local drug dealer, Juan (Mahershala Ali). Seeing that the boy needs help, Juan take him to his house where he lives with his girlfriend Teresa (Janelle Monae). Juan and Teresa offer some stability in Chiron’s life at the time where he is questioning his sexuality. Cut to the next scene, we now find Chiron (now played by Ashton Sander) in high school……still being bullied by classmates and dealing with a crackhead mother. Chiron is pretty much a loaner who has not come to grips with his sexuality. The issue is brought to the fore front when he has a sexual encounter with his best friend. After Chiron is betrayed by this friend and is beaten severely by a group of thugs, he retaliates against one of the bullies and is put in jail. Chiron (now played by Trevante Rhodes) gets out of jail and now is in his mid twenties. His life has become a contradiction to his youth. His mom is clean and working in a rehab facility while Chiron is a drug dealer. He must also confront his sexuality and make amends with the best friend that betrayed him. After viewing this movie, I can understand the frustration of the casual movie watcher in regards to the Academy Awards. Some of the movies nominated for best picture do not come across as entertaining pictures for much of the population. I had not heard of Moonlight until around Oscar time and was very intrigued when it won for best picture, best supporting actor, and best adapted screenplay, as well as being nominated in several other categories . I had seen most of the other nominated movies and figured Moonlight had to be a great picture to win. What I saw was a movie that was well acted but the story moved very slow. There was not a lot of dialogue. Some of the story was confusing and I spent some time trying to fill in the blanks. The ending was unsatisfying and left me with more questions than answers. This movie won the Academy Award for 2016 best picture. I had high expectations for Moonlight, but I was very disappointed. Even though it had a couple of compelling scenes, I feel the movie is not for the average viewer. I give Moonlight... 1 Screw

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foc fo cus uson on Magazine | 49


St. Louis Co. (314) 647-0604 • St. Charles Co. (636) 388-4100

TRANE makes the air conditioner, The difference is Since 1967, Unique Heating and Cooling has been an industry leader in the installation and service of heating, air conditioning, humidifying and air filtration systems. With NATE (North American Technician Excellence) trained and certified technicians to maintain all types of indoor comfort systems, Unique Heating and Cooling provides customers with unsurpassed service and solutions for your comfort. As an independent Trane Comfort Specialist™ Dealer, we strive to be more than a heating and cooling service company. We want to offer you a Unique experience as we help you navigate through your total home comfort process. From maintenance and service repair, to total HVAC system installation, our mission is to provide each customer with solutions that will give you peace of mind, knowing you made the best decision for your family, your home or your business.

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