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Copyright © 2007
City of Rolla, MO
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City of Rolla, Missouri
901 North Elm Street
Rolla, MO 65401

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Thursday December 20 2007

Events Calendar / News

A listing of upcoming public meetings and events of interest involving City government For information on items with no contact number, please call City Hall at 364-1384. For a more complete community calendar of events, visit the Rolla Chamber of Commerce site at

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Sat, 1 13th Annual Christmas at the Historic Old Courthouse - 11 a.m.-2 p.m.; Old Phelps County Courthouse & Dillon Log Cabin Museum (located at Third & Rolla Streets); historic tours, entertainment and refreshments to enjoy at the 1860 Phelps County Courthouse and 1838 Dillon Log Cabin Museum; entertainment in the Courtroom (enjoy the sounds of holiday music); 11:30 a.m. - "Sometime Tuesday" Mountain Dulcimers; 12-noon - Mark Twain 4th Grade Steamboat Choir; 12:30 p.m. - Rolla Jr. High School Choir; 1 p.m. - Rolla Sr. High School Choir
Sat, 1 Rolla Christmas Parade - 3 p.m. - Pine Street in downtown Rolla; to place an entry in the parade call Carolyn Peplow at (573) 364-3577 or The Rolla Chamber of Commerce will host Christmas festivities at the downtown Bandshell (4-6 p.m.), including photos with Santa, parade awards, hot chocolate and roasted marshmallows (bonfire), Christmas caroling and much more. The events will conclude with the Annual Tree Lighting Ceremony at 6 p.m. If you would like to help plan and host these festivities, please contact the Chamber office at 364-3577 or
Sat, 1 Annual Tree Lighting Ceremony - 6 p.m.; downtown band shell (corner of 9th and Oak St) next to Rolla City Hall; FREE and open to the public. The Rolla Chamber will host Christmas festivities at the band shell from 4-6 p.m. prior to the tree lighting ceremony (573.364.3577)
Mon, 3 City Council Meeting - 6:30 p.m., City Hall Council Chambers, 1st Floor, 901 N. Elm St.
Sun, 9 Eighth Annual Holiday Celebration Buffet and Entertainment - 11 a.m. - 3 p.m., UMR's Havener Center (corner of University Drive and Bishop Avenue). As guests arrive in the Havener Center foyer, they will be greeted with the sights and sounds of the holidays. Musicians will be providing a variety of entertainment throughout the event. Members of the Rotary Club of Rolla and Rotary Breakfast Club of Rolla will serve, clear tables and assist guests during the event, which includes a sumptuous feast of meats such as top round of beef, roast turkey and baked ham. The buffet tables will be overflowing with sweet potato casseroles, green beans amandine, corn O'Brien, cornbread stuffing, mashed potatoes, gravy and an array of salads and hot rolls. The dessert table will be filled with pumpkin pies, layer cakes and assorted cakes. Tickets are $17 for adults (ages 13 and up and $8 for children (ages 4 to 12). Children under four will be admitted free.
Fri, 7-19 Christmas in the Park - Drive through display of Christmas lights at Lions Club Park on Hwy. 63 South. Over 50 organizations, businesses, and churches will be displaying their Christmas lights. Hours: Monday - Thursday (6 p.m.-9 p.m.); Friday and Saturday (6 p.m. - 10 p.m.) and Sunday (6 p.m.-9 p.m.). Free to the public and no charge to the displayers. All donations go back into the local community. Hosted by the Rolla Lioness located
Sun, 9 Ozark Christmas - 7:30 p.m - 10 p.m., Leach Theatre, Castleman Hall Performing Arts Center on the University of Missouri-Rolla campus. Ozark Christmas is a special Christmas show featuring the sounds of local and guest bluegrass musicians, comedy, dance and good old fashion Christmas fun for the whole family. This year will mark the 7th Annual Ozark Christmas making it an event that has become a family tradition for the area. Tickets are $10 for adults and children age 6 and under FREE (Leach Theatre Box Office - 573-341-4219). For more information, contact Deborah DeWitt at 573-458-0165 or 573-458-2207, or visit
Tues, 10 Transportation Symposium - 3 p.m. - 4 p.m., The CENTRE (1200 North Holloway St., Rolla); Rod Jetton, Speaker of the House, Missouri House of Representatives, and Missouri Department of Transportation Director Pete Rahn are traveling around the state studying Missouri's roads and bridges. During their visit to Rolla on Dec. 10 they will be highlighting major accomplishments of MoDOT and gathering information about projects yet to be done. Tom Stehn, MoDOT's South Central District Engineer, will also be providing a report. The symposium is free and open to the public.
Tues, 11 Public meeting to discuss Major Thoroughfare changes / Planning & Zoning, 5:30pm, City Hall
Mon, 17 City Council Meeting - 6:30 p.m., City Hall Council Chambers, 1st Floor, 901 N. Elm St.
Tues, 18 Candidate filing for April 8, 2008 Rolla Municipal Election begins Dec. 18. The positions open for election this year are six City Council representatives, Municipal Judge and City Attorney (Prosecuting Attorney). The last day for candidate filing is Tuesday, Jan. 22, 2008. Persons wishing to file their candidacy may do so between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. in the Rolla City Clerk’s Office (located at Rolla City Hall, 901 North Elm Street). For more information, click here.
Mon, 24 City Hall closed for Christmas Eve
Tue, 25 City Hall closed for Christmas Day
Wed, 26 Development Review Committee, 1:30pm, City Hall

JANUARY - 2008
Tue, 1 City Hall closed for New Year's Day
Mon, 7 City Council Meeting - 6:30 p.m., City Hall Council Chambers, 1st Floor, 901 N. Elm St.
Sat, 12 Rolla’s Diabetes Education Fund announces a special evening with Big George Brock and the Houserockers - Bruno's Pub and Grill, Rolla, MO. (For more information, please call Morgan Bearden, Director Diabetes Education Fund, at (573) 364-1695/(573)308-3591 or
Sat, 19 88th Annual Rolla Area Chamber of Commerce Awards Banquet - 6 p.m.; Matt's Steakhouse; for tickets and information, please call (573) 364-3577 or e-mail Stevie Kearse at
Mon, 21 City Hall closed for MLK Jr.'s Birthday
Mon, 22 City Council Meeting - 6:30 p.m., City Hall Council Chambers, 1st Floor, 901 N. Elm St.

Mon, 4 City Council Meeting - 6:30 p.m., City Hall Council Chambers, 1st Floor, 901 N. Elm St.
Mon, 18 City Hall closed for President's Day
Tues, 19 City Council Meeting - 6:30 p.m., City Hall Council Chambers, 1st Floor, 901 N. Elm St.

MARCH - 2008
Mon, 3 City Council Meeting - 6:30 p.m., City Hall Council Chambers, 1st Floor, 901 N. Elm St.
Mon, 17 City Council Meeting - 6:30 p.m., City Hall Council Chambers, 1st Floor, 901 N. Elm St.

APRIL - 2008
Mon, 7 City Council Meeting - 6:30 p.m., City Hall Council Chambers, 1st Floor, 901 N. Elm St.
Mon, 21 City Council Meeting - 6:30 p.m., City Hall Council Chambers, 1st Floor, 901 N. Elm St.

MAY - 2008
Mon, 5 City Council Meeting - 6:30 p.m., City Hall Council Chambers, 1st Floor, 901 N. Elm St.
Mon, 19 City Council Meeting - 6:30 p.m., City Hall Council Chambers, 1st Floor, 901 N. Elm St.
Mon, 26 City Hall closed for Memorial Day

JUNE - 2008
Mon, 2 City Council Meeting - 6:30 p.m., City Hall Council Chambers, 1st Floor, 901 N. Elm St.
Mon, 16 City Council Meeting - 6:30 p.m., City Hall Council Chambers, 1st Floor, 901 N. Elm St.

JULY - 2008
Fri, 4 City Hall closed for Independence Day
Mon, 7 City Council Meeting - 6:30 p.m., City Hall Council Chambers, 1st Floor, 901 N. Elm St.
Mon, 21 City Council Meeting - 6:30 p.m., City Hall Council Chambers, 1st Floor, 901 N. Elm St.

AUGUST - 2008
Mon, 4 City Council Meeting - 6:30 p.m., City Hall Council Chambers, 1st Floor, 901 N. Elm St.
Mon, 18 City Council Meeting - 6:30 p.m., City Hall Council Chambers, 1st Floor, 901 N. Elm St.

Mon, 1 City Hall closed for Labor Day holiday.
Tues, 2 City Council Meeting - 6:30 p.m., City Hall Council Chambers, 1st Floor, 901 N. Elm St.
Mon, 15 City Council Meeting - 6:30 p.m., City Hall Council Chambers, 1st Floor, 901 N. Elm St.

OCTOBER - 2008
Mon, 6 City Council Meeting - 6:30 p.m., City Hall Council Chambers, 1st Floor, 901 N. Elm St.
Mon, 20 City Council Meeting - 6:30 p.m., City Hall Council Chambers, 1st Floor, 901 N. Elm St.

Mon, 3 City Council Meeting - 6:30 p.m., City Hall Council Chambers, 1st Floor, 901 N. Elm St.
Mon, 17 City Council Meeting - 6:30 p.m., City Hall Council Chambers, 1st Floor, 901 N. Elm St.
Thurs, 27-28 City Hall closed for Thanksgiving Day Holiday

News, Events & Activities

Buckle Up and Arrive Alive during the holidays

buckleupIn an effort to ensure everyone arrives safely at holiday gatherings this season, the Rolla Police Department has joined forces with the Missouri Coalition for Roadway Safety to support the “Arrive Alive” campaign sponsored by the Missouri Department of Transportation.

“The best way to ensure safe travel is to buckle up and drive sober,” said SSgt. Rick Williams of the Rolla PD. “Heavy traffic coupled with Missouri weather is enough to contend with, without adding alcohol or drugs to the mix.”

The holiday season is one of the deadliest periods of the year in Missouri due to traffic crashes. During the 2006 Thanksgiving holiday weekend, 15 people died in nearly 1,400 crashes. Last year in Missouri, 273 people died in more than 7,900 alcohol-related traffic crashes, resulting in a death or injury every 1.6 hours.

In addition to a beefed up public information campaign and increased traffic enforcement, “Arrive Alive/Buckle Up” window decals also will be displayed on patrol cars.

Sergeant Williams said we are all part of the solution toward having a safe and accident free holiday season, and to please consider the following tips:

    1. If you plan to drive, don’t drink
    2. Encourage safe driving behaviors among family, friends and co-workers
    3. Choose a designated driver before partying. A designated driver is someone who drinks NO alcohol at all.
    4. Take mass transit, a taxicab, or ask a friend to drive you home
    5. Party hosts should include alcohol-free beverages
    6. Spend the night where the activity is being held
    7. Report impaired drivers to law enforcement
    8. Always wear your safety belt – it’s your best defense against an impaired driver

Rolla City Hall to close Dec. 24-25 for Christmas

snowstormRolla City Hall, located at 901 N. Elm Street, will be closed on Christmas Eve, Monday, Dec. 24 and on Christmas day, Tuesday, Dec. 25.

The Solid Waste Department will be operating as usual on Monday, Dec. 24, and will be closed on Tuesday, Dec. 25. Tuesday’s trash will be picked up on Wednesday. For more information regarding the City of Rolla holiday trash pick-up schedule, please call 364-6693.

The CENTRE, Rolla’s Health and Recreation complex, located at 1200 North Holloway Street, will be open on Christmas Eve, Dec. 24 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. and closed on  Christmas day, Dec. 25. Regular operating hours at The CENTRE resume on Wednesday, Dec. 26.

For more information, please visit the City of Rolla Website at

City of Rolla and MRPC host Transportation Forum with Missouri House Speaker Jetton

groupA few years ago, Missouri House Speaker Rod Jetton walked his way from Marble Hill to St. Louis, in protest of the poor highway conditions and the job being performed by the Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT). On Dec. 10, Speaker Jetton met with Phelps County officials at The CENTRE in Rolla for a Transportation Forum to share a different story – one of praise for MoDOT and the great strides the agency has made to improve the safety and quality of Missouri’s roads and bridges and increase its efficiency to get the job done.

Speaker Jetton, who began his two-week tour Dec. 3 in Jefferson City to learn about Missouri’s roads and hear presentations from MoDOT’s 10 transportation districts, provided a PowerPoint presentation at the Dec. 10 forum titled “Improving Missouri’s Highways and Bridges” that included a discussion of the transportation infrastructure needs and challenges facing the state in the coming years. To view the PowerPoint presentation, click here.

"This tour is an excellent opportunity to see the state of Missouri’s roads and bridges first hand,” Speaker Jetton said. “Transportation will be a focal point of the upcoming session and the information we learn on this tour will help in crafting legislative policy that will improve roadways for the people of Missouri.”

Several officials from the City of Rolla, Phelps County, Meramec Regional Planning Commission (MRPC) and MoDOT attended the Transportation Forum hosted by the City of Rolla and MRPC with Speaker Jetton (R-Marble Hill) Dec. 10 at The CENTRE.

jettonTom Stehn, MoDOT South Central District Engineer, kicked off the meeting by giving an overview of some of the transportation projects that have been completed and are being considered in District 9, which includes Phelps County.

Richard Cavender, Executive Director of MRPC, thanked Speaker Jetton and Tom Stehn for holding the transportation forum in Rolla and for providing a regional dialogue regarding the transportation infrastructure projects that need to be discussed and prioritized in the months and years to come.

City, County and State officials who attended the forum included State Representative Bob May, Rolla Mayor Bill Jenks, III, Rolla City Councilman Don Barklage, Rolla City Administrator John Butz, Phelps County Presiding Commissioner Randy Verkamp, Phelps County Commissioner Larry Stratman and Darrel Skiles, Presiding Commissioner of Dent County.

Rolla Police Department offers new Law Enforcement “Torch Run” T-shirts

torchrunStaff Sergeant Rick Williams is excited to announce the new 2008 Law Enforcement Torch Run T-shirts that symbolize the public’s support for Special Olympics athletes are now available at the Rolla Police Department.

The Rolla Police Department holds several Law Enforcement Torch Run events throughout the year to benefit Special Olympics athletes including the Torch Run, Trivia Night, Polar Plunge, Rt. 66 Motorcycle Classic, Battle of the Badges Softball Tournament, and T-shirt sales.

The department has been involved in the Law Enforcement Torch Run since 1986. In 1993 Special Olympics – Missouri established the Torch Club to recognize Law Enforcement Agencies that have raised at least $1,000 each year for Special Olympics. This achievement allows the agency’s name to appear on the back of the Torch Run T-shirts for each year this is accomplished.

“Members of the department are proud the Rolla Police Department’s name has been on each shirt every year since 1993,” said SSgt. Rick Williams. “We owe all of this success to the citizens and businesses in and around Rolla. Without your support we could not help over 14,000 athletes. Thank you for helping us help the athletes.”

The front design on the Texas orange Torch Run T-shirt is the Torch Run lettering emblazoned with flames. The long sleeve has blue lettering down the left sleeve depicting the new slogan “I’m a Fan – Be a Fan”. These shirts look good with jeans, skirts or even dress slacks. The price for a children’s short sleeve and adult short sleeve shirt is $10. Adult long sleeve shirts are $15.

To place an order for your 2008 Torch Run T-shirt, or for more information, please contact SSgt. Rick Williams at the Rolla Police Department at 364-6346, or visit the City’s Website at

Rolla Police Department to crack down on impaired driving

The Rolla Police Department will join law enforcement officers across Missouri to crack down on impaired driving with increased enforcement beginning Dec. 15.

“It’s never worth the risk to drive under the influence of drugs or alcohol,” said Rolla Police Chief Mark Kearse. “Drivers could lose their license, pay large fines, or worst of all, cause a tragic loss of life.”

In 2006, 273 people died in more than 7,900 alcohol-related traffic crashes, resulting in a death or injury every 1.6 hours.

For more information on impaired driving, visit or contact Corporal Scott Jarrett, Traffic Supervisor at the Rolla Police Department at 573-364-1213.

Rolla Chamber and Visitor Center receives Regional Marketing Organization Certification

The Rolla Area Chamber of Commerce & Visitor Center has been approved for certification and recognized by the State of Missouri as the Phelps County Regional Marketing Organization, (RMO) for the Division of Tourism’s Cooperative Marketing Program. The certification designation is valid through 2012.

The RMO certification will allow the Rolla Area Chamber & Visitor Center to apply for 09 funding from the Cooperative Marketing Program offered through the Division of Tourism.

In other tourism related business, Gail Hustead, Director of Tourism, was appointed to the Missouri Travel Council (MTC) and will represent our region as a board member of this state tourism organization.

“It is encouraging to see Rolla being represented with both the RMO certification and MTC board participation,” said Hustead. “This involvement will allow Rolla and Phelps County to participate in more tourism and economic development programs offered at the state level.”

2008 Tourism Partnership grant funds available

The 2008 Tourism Partnership Grant Program (TPG) program administered by the Motel Tax Management Committee of the Rolla Area Chamber of Commerce has funds available for organizations planning events that will attract visitors for an overnight or multiple night stays in Rolla, Missouri.

Grant directions and applications are available at the Visitor Center and on the Chamber Website.  We encourage you to contact groups or organizations that might benefit from this grant program.  The grant allocations are up to $3,000 per application. Applications must be submitted 90 days prior to the event for consideration and a personal presentation will be required. As a community we continue to promote and encourage events that will benefit Rolla.

For more information on the grant application and program, please contact Gail Hustead at (573) 364-3577, ext. 2 or e-mail

Rolla’s Diabetes Education Fund announces a special evening with Big George Brock and the Houserockers Jan. 12

Rolla’s Diabetes Education Fund announces a special evening with Big George Brock and the Houserockers Jan. 12, 2008 at Bruno's Pub and Grill.

Hot off the release of his new recording, Live at Seventy Five, and last summer’s tour of England, Big George, Clarine Wagner, and the Houserockers will perform for the third annual Diabetes Education Fund winter fund-raiser to benefit the Central Missouri Diabetic Children’s Camp.

Guaranteed to be Rolla’s musical highlight of the season, come see for yourself why Big George is the undisputed King of the Saint Louis Blues – and he has the Heavyweight Champion of the Missouri Blues Harp belt to prove it! From the heart of the Mississippi Delta, by way of St. Louis, Big George has been entertaining audiences for over fifty years with his combination of original tunes and blues standards. He is the only man in the world who has knocked out both Sonny Liston AND music lovers everywhere.

This is the honest-to-goodness, back-breaking, lonesome-cotton-field, real-deal “Delta went North” blues. Big George has garnered four Blues Music Award nominations and won one Living Blues Critics Award. His newest CD, Live at Seventy Five, went to Number One on XM Radio's Bluesville. Big George has also played recently in: England, France, Switzerland, and Italy.

He recorded on Steven Seagal's all-star blues album Mojo Priest, on Jimbo Mathus' Live at Ground Zero album, and on Watermelon Slim's forthcoming live DVD. Come to Bruno’s Pub and Grill on January 12 for a night of entertainment that you will never forget.

For more information, please call Morgan, Director Diabetes Education Fund, at (573) 364-1695/(573) 308-3591 or via E-mail at

The DEF is a tax exempt, non-profit corporation that was established for the purpose of raising funds to be distributed to organizations that teach diabetes management. The goal of the DEF is to improve the quality of diabetes management through the education of diabetics and those who care for them.

There is evidence that diabetes was first described in 1500 BC on an Egyptian papyrus. Today, diabetes is the leading cause of adult blindness and non-traumatic amputation. Proper management of one’s diabetes is a critical skill that all diabetics must learn. An estimated seventeen million Americans have diabetes, one third of them are unaware of their condition. The cause of diabetes is unknown and there is no cure.

All proceeds from this even will be donated to the Central Missouri Diabetic Children’s Camp where diabetic children learn to live healthy, productive lives.

Candidate filing for April 8, 2008 Rolla Municipal Election begins Dec. 18

Filing for the City of Rolla’s 2008 General Municipal Election, which will be held April 8, 2008, begins Tuesday, Dec. 18, 2007 at 8 a.m. The positions open for election this year are six City Council representatives, Municipal Judge and City Attorney (Prosecuting Attorney).

One Council representative from each of the City’s six wards will be elected to serve a two-year term. The City Council positions up for election are Monty Jordan (Ward 1), Stan Spadoni (Ward 2), Sue Eudaly (Ward 3), Judy Jepsen (Ward 4), Jim Williams (Ward 5), and Richard Sibley (Ward 6). The City Prosecuting Attorney and Municipal Judge positions are also two-year terms.

Persons wishing to file their candidacy for any of the above-listed positions may do so between 8 a.m., Tuesday, Dec. 18, 2007 and 5 p.m., Tuesday, Jan. 22, 2008 in the Rolla City Clerk’s Office at City Hall located at 901 North Elm Street. Municipal candidates are not charged a filing fee.

City Council seats must be filled by candidates with the following qualifications: at least 21 years of age prior to taking office, a citizen of the United States, an inhabitant of the city of Rolla for one year at the time of his/her election, and a resident of the ward from which he/she is elected for a period of six months at the time of his/her election. The City Attorney’s office (City Prosecuting Attorney) must be filled by a candidate with the following qualifications: a person licensed to practice law in the State of Missouri and a resident of the City of Rolla.

The Municipal Judge’s office must be filled by a candidate with the following qualifications: a licensed attorney qualified to practice law within the State of Missouri, a resident of the city of Rolla and between the ages of 21 and 68 years.

For more information, please contact Carol Daniels in the City Clerk’s Office at (573) 426-6942 or at

City addresses chemical spill downstream from Vichy Wastewater Treatment Plant

The City of Rolla's Public Works Department quickly responded to an accidental chemical spill in a creek approximately 500 yards downstream of the City of Rolla's Vichy Road Wastewater Treatment Plant on Wednesday, Nov. 28.

The chemical, Calcium Hypochlorite (HTH), which is similar to the elements found in bleach, was applied in the final clarifier at the Vichy Road Wastewater Treatment Plant.

Upon discovering the spill, Allen McNece, the City's Wastewater Superintendent, was in direct contact with the Missouri Department of Natural Resources and the Missouri Department of Conservation on Thursday, Nov. 29 to rectify the situation. McNece said HTH should never have been used in this application.

"The residents of Rolla can be assured that immediate action was taken to restore the quality of water in the creek to its natural state and that no permanent damage was done to the aquatic life," said Steve Hargis, the City's Director of Public Works. "The HTH chemical dissipated within a few hours and the streams returned to their natural states."

If residents or members of the community have any questions regarding this incident, please call the Public Works Department at 573-364-8659.

City of Rolla Fire & Rescue hosts Youth Firesetter Intervention Course

The City of Rolla Fire & Rescue recently hosted a Youth Firesetter Intervention Course for 30 staff members and first responders from communities throughout Missouri. The course was instructed by Rodger Windle, Fire Investigator Supervisor with the Missouri Division of Fire Safety and Robert Sperberg, Assistant Chief of Fire Prevention, Fort Leonard Wood Fire Department.

This course will allow the City of Rolla Fire & Rescue and members of the Youth Firesetter Coalition, to teach parents of children who may be exhibiting firesetting behaviors to seek assistance. Parents may be reluctant to seek assistance for a variety of reasons, but the goal of a fire prevention coalition is to decrease firesetting behaviors through prevention education. The coalition is not designed or intended to discipline a child or to place a child into the courts system.

The City of Rolla Fire & Rescue and members of the Youth Firesetter Coalition are striving to establish several trained teams throughout the state to ensure parents have accessibility to such a valuable resource. Team members from various disciplines such as mental health, elementary and secondary educators, social services, juvenile justice, family services, law enforcement and, of course, fire service would be available depending upon the situation.

The National Fire Protection Association reports fires set by children yearly result in 95,000 fires, 300 deaths, 3,000 injuries and $300 million in losses. Children themselves are usually the victims of these fires, accounting for 85 of every 100 lives lost. Most children who set fires are between the ages of 5 and 9 and 95% of those fires are set at home.

For more information regarding fire safety tips for children and adults, please visit or contact Training Officer Ron Smith at 308-4052.

Chief Kearse announces Special Assignments in Rolla Police Department

Rolla Police Chief Mark Kearse recently announced four special assignments in the Rolla Police Department that recognizes the City's special trust and confidence in the professional excellence of these members of the department.

Detective/Sergeant Will Loughridge, who has been with the Rolla Police Department since 2003, was assigned to the SWAT Team as Team Leader on Nov. 15. Investigator Luke Kearse, who has been with the Rolla Police Department since 2003, was also assigned to the SWAT Team as Asst. Team Leader on Nov. 15.

Senior Patrol Officer Shawn Hedge, who has been with the Rolla Police Department since 2000, was assigned as a Field Training Officer on Nov. 15. Senior Patrol Officer Adam Meyer, who has been with the department since 2005,  was also assigned as a Field Training Officer on Nov. 15.

"All of these individuals are to be commended not only for their dedication and commitment to the law enforcement profession and the Rolla Police Department, but the citizens of Rolla," said Chief Kearse.

D.A.R.E. program begins Nov. 28 for 5th graders in Rolla schools

The Rolla Police Department will begin their 17th D.A.R.E (Drug Abuse Resistance Education) session Wednesday, Nov. 28 for 5th graders in Rolla schools.  Over 7,500 Rolla students have successfully graduated from the D.A.R.E. program since its inception.

The D.A.R.E. program was started in 1983 by the Los Angeles Police Department in an effort to educate elementary students on the dangers of alcohol, tobacco and drug abuse. The Rolla Police Department adopted the program in 1990 and selected Sgt. Wayne Rapier and former Rolla Police Officer Cody Fulkerson to become certified in D.A.R.E. instruction.

The program began as a 17-week course taught to 5th graders by uniformed Police Officers in the Rolla Public Schools, Parochial schools and the Lutheran schools. Students are taught the dangers of drug, alcohol and tobacco addiction and are presented with a variety of healthy alternatives and to consider the consequences of this abuse. The students are also instructed on the importance of building self esteem and to be assertive when confronted with these dangers.

This program has proven to be very successful in preparing our youth for what may lay ahead for them, and offers a positive approach in their decision making to help combat the dangers of drugs, tobacco, alcohol and gang violence. D.A.R.E. Officers are often approached by former students who relate that the D.A.R.E. program has helped them prepare themselves to become responsible drug-free adults.

Today, the D.A.R.E. program has been condensed into a 10-week curriculum that offers that same basic lesson plan, but takes less time throughout the school year. Sgt. Wayne Rapier coordinates the program and continues to teach classes. Additionally, Corporal Scott Jarrett, Senior Patrol Officer's Mike Phillips and Tony Lauth are also certified D.A.R.E. instructors who continue this great tradition of providing a valuable service to our youth.

Prepare early for severe weather conditions

Despite the moderate temperatures we have enjoyed this fall in the Ozarks, weather conditions can change drastically from mild spells to thunderstorms, to bitter cold and snow within hours.

As the Ozarks region experienced last year, winter storms can be devastating, and the rugged terrain in the Ozarks makes winter weather conditions even more treacherous. Even though above normal temperatures and near normal precipitation are expected across the region this winter, the Ozarks will still experience a variety of winter weather conditions from mild spells to bitter cold.

Folks in this region should stay tuned to the latest forecasts as winter weather conditions can change rapidly.  A good idea before winter arrives is to prepare a winter storm plan and disaster supplies kit. Make sure your home is well insulated and that you have weather stripping around your doors and window sills to keep the warm air inside.

Winter storms are considered deceptive killers because most deaths are indirectly related to the storm. People die in traffic accidents on icy roads and from hypothermia due to prolonged exposure to cold. During the historic ice storm of January 2007 several indirect fatalities due to the extreme elements were documented. Carbon monoxide poisoning occurred in some homes where gas generators were being used in garages, which allowed for dangerous levels of carbon monoxide to seep into houses. Twenty six Missourians died during the 2006-2007 winter due to carbon monoxide poisoning.

To avoid the dangers of winter storms: Avoid over exertion, wear layers of loose fitting warm clothing, have a winter storm survival kit in your home and vehicles, and be sure to receive the latest weather information from the National Weather Service.

Also, be aware of carbon monoxide poisoning. Never use generators, grills, camp stoves, or other gasoline, propane, natural gas, or charcoal-burning devices inside your home, basement, garage, or camper – or even outside near an open window.

For more information concerning winter weather safety, please visit

City Council begins strategic planning for City's 10-Year Capital Improvement Plan

councilWhat would we like to see the Rolla area look like in the next 10 years? That question was at the center of a productive two-hour discussion among Rolla City Council members and City staff who during a City Council Workshop/Retreat Oct. 29 to begin the strategic planning process for the City's preliminary 10-Year Capital Improvement Plan.

The purpose of the workshop, which was facilitated by Richard Cavender, Executive Director of the Meramec Regional Planning Commission, and City Administrator John Butz, was to review both the funded and unfunded projects included in the City's preliminary 10-Year Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) while engaging City Council and Department Directors in a visioning process that will establish the foundation and ground work for this important strategic planning document.

In addition to the thought and effort that City staff devoted to the development of the preliminary 10-Year CIP, considerable input was received from members of City Council and City staff regarding the road map that will be used as a guide to navigate our City and community over the next 10 years.

prioritylistOf all the documents, including the recently adopted Rolla 20-20 Comprehensive Plan, the City's 10-Year Capital Improvement Plan is right at the top in terms of prioritization of projects, goal setting, vision setting and meeting the most significant challenges our community is facing and will face in the next 10 years.

Many of the ideas and projects discussed at the Oct. 29 Workshop are critical issues facing our community such as infrastructure improvements, transportation enhancements, economic development and expansion, enhancing the City's image, and solidifying the Rolla/Phelps County area as a regional hub for not only transportation, technology, education, health/medical care, recreation, and outdoor activities, but also the retail and high tech industry.

Also  ranking high on the priority list during the strategic planning session were the need to project a more prosperous, successful, business friendly, and attractive image (i.e., property maintenance, the City's gateway entrances, etc.), to developers, businesses and individuals interested in locating in the Rolla area. Attracting both high tech and light manufacturing/industrial businesses and jobs was also ranked high, as was positioning the City as a sustainable and healthy (i.e., ample fitness and recreational opportunities), community.

With the input and priority setting data provided by City Council and staff, revisions are currently being made to the preliminary 10-Year CIP. An updated draft of the preliminary CIP will be posted in the next week or so on the City of Rolla's Website. A copy of the Tentative Development Schedule outlining the 10-Year CIP planning and public input process can be viewed here.
A critical component of the 10-Year CIP will of course be community and public input, which will be achieved through a series of Ward/Public meetings, public hearings and the ETC Leisure Vision Citizen Attitude (Direction Finder) Survey, which will be discussed and announced in the weeks and months ahead.

With continued input and feedback from both the Rolla City Council, City staff and members of the Rolla community, that the 2008 10-Year CIP will be both an effective and flexible strategic planning document that will serve our community well for the next 10 years.

Striking costumes just part of Halloween Open House at RPD

chaingangIt seemed like half the town paid a visit to the Rolla Police Department headquarters Halloween night to trick or treat and pay a visit to members of the department who were barely recognizable in their own outrageous Halloween costumes.

Dressed in stark black and white striped prison-clad Halloween attire in the "Records Division" of the Rolla Police Department were "Killer" Kandi Trentham,"Lefty" Laurie Dunn and Christy "Elvira" Moberly.

Following an exhaustive manhunt, they were all apprehended without incident and sentenced to a full shift of passing out of candy and friendly hellos. Rolla Police Chief Mark Kearse said "the community can now breathe a sigh of relief knowing these ladies served their sentence well, and are now right back where they belong serving the citizens of Rolla!"

The annual Halloween Open House at the Rolla Police Department is a long-standing holiday tradition that continues to grow in popularity as members of the community are made to feel welcome and safe in the Rolla community.

Other City departments who held Halloween Open Houses and hosted costume contests, haunted houses and other Halloween activities for children in the community included Rolla Fire and Rescue, The CENTRE, Rolla's Health and Recreation Complex, and Public Works Department at City Hall.

Kiwanis Club brings "Hug a Bear" Program to Rolla Police Dept.

For the most part, citizens are generally not too excited about receiving something from a police officer such as a traffic summons, an accident report or some other type of official document. But the "Hug a Bear" program is designed to change all that.

The Rolla Noon Kiwanis Club has coordinated this program in which cute, cuddly "teddy bears" are provided to Police Officers. The officers carry the bears in their patrol cars and if they are involved in a situation where children have been traumatized or injured, the bears are offered as a means of calming the child.

The bears are soft and cuddly and when the children hug them it offers a bit of security and lets the children know they are safe that everything will probably be all right. "We have been involved in the "Hug a Bear" program with the Rolla Kiwanis Club for the past 5 years and consider this a valuable tool in dealing with children that have been placed in bad situations" says SSgt. Rick Williams. "We use the bears when children are involved in vehicle crashes, home fires, domestic disputes and even when a parent or other family member has to be arrested".

The bears offer a means to help the children get over the ordeal and get back to their comfort zone. "We have gone through several hundred "teddy bears" since the program began and are grateful to the Rolla Noon Kiwanis Club for providing us with this resource," said Williams.

7th Annual Rolla Police Dept. Trivia Night A Success!

The Rolla Police Department and Special Olympics – Missouri would like to announce that the 7th Annual Law Enforcement Torch Run Trivia Night was a success. This fundraiser is one of several Law Enforcement Torch Run events hosted by the Rolla Police Department throughout the year and may be considered the most fun.

There were 14 teams competing for the Championship Trophy vacated by the 2005 champions "Maries R-2 Schools" who were unable to attend. This event raised over $1,400 for our Special Olympic athletes.

There were 10 categories with 10 questions in each on various topics such as history, geography, music, math & science and even a topic entitled "65401" that included questions about the City of Rolla. The winning team for 2007 is "Ground Chuck," which was made up of University of Missouri-Rolla faculty, local business owners and others who will now not only receive the coveted "traveling trophy," but will also be allowed free berth to the 2008 Torch Run Trivia Night where they will defend their championship from the "head" table.

Teams competing in this year's event were: Stahlman Powersports, Clinical Research of the Ozarks, The Partons & the Spartans, Phelps County Bank, Williams, Robinson, Rigler and Buschjost, John's Firestone, USGS, Team "no cool name", Missouri DNR – DGLS, Rolla Radiology Clinic, Ground Chuck, Rolla Junior High School and Vickie's Wiz Kids. Even though only one team is declared "Champion", we believe all our teams are champions at heart!

We would like to thank our special guest Master of Ceremonies Phelps County Sheriff Don Blankenship, The Rolla Elks Lodge and bartender staff, Pizza Inn, Subway of Rolla, Lee's Chicken, Imo's Pizza, LL  - Dogs, Pizza Hut, Domino's Pizza, Papa John's Pizza, KFC, Casey's General Stores, Something Special Florist,  Applebee's, Chef's Pantry, Kent Jewelry, Il Bacio Day Spa, Stage, Sonic, Rolla Books and Toys, Blossom Basket Florist, Dairy Queen, Key Sport Shop, Town & Country Bank, Kirlin's, Forum Cleaners, Fidelity Communications, Kerri Shults, Paula Volkmer,  Stayce Smith, Joyce, Alex and Lucas Williams, Gloria Teft, the Results Radio Group and the Rolla Daily News.

Public meeting to discuss proposed Hwy. 72 Extension well attended

More than 150 Residents from the Ridgeview neighborhood and surrounding neighborhoods attended a public meeting Oct. 25 hosted by the City of Rolla and Missouri Department of Transportation regarding the proposed Hwy. 72 extension.

The purpose of the meeting was to provide information and gather feedback on the proposed Highway 72 Extension project between I-44 and U.S. Highway 63 in Rolla.

Draft concept plans (large PDF ~ 4.0mb) for the future Hwy. 72 extension were on display, and representatives from MoDOT, the City of Rolla, and the consulting firm HNTB were available to answer questions and gather input.

If you did not have an opportunity to attend the meeting on Oct. 25, the City of Rolla is accepting public comments regarding the proposed Hwy. 72 Extension through Nov. 9.

Comments regarding the proposed Hwy. 72 Extension can be sent to Steve Hargis, Director of Public Works, at 573-364-8659/, or at Rolla City Hall, 901 N. Elm Street, Rolla, MO 65401.

Major Thoroughfare Plans

A public hearing on the proposed revised major thoroughfare plans was held at the City's Planning & Zoning Commission meeting on Dec. 11 in the City Council Chambers at Rolla City Hall (901 North Elm St.).

The maps are available online here: Map with aerial / Map without aerial

If you have any comments or questions, please call John Petersen at 573-426-6970, or e-mail

Rolla Firefighters receive Hazardous Materials Certification

certificationAfter completing a rigorous Hazardous Materials training course, four City of Rolla Fire & Rescue firefighters recently received Hazardous Materials Technician Certification.

Firefighters Alan Hill, Chris Recker, Kenny Chase, and Jason Goebel were all recognized and congratulated for a job well done by Fire Chief Robert Williams and Training Officer Ron Smith.

"I am fortunate to have the opportunity to work with such a talented group of firefighters who are not afraid to expand their skills while providing additional services to the Citizens of Rolla," said Chief Williams.

The certification process is conducted in a three step training cycle, which begins with an 8-hour Hazardous Material Awareness class. The firefighters must then attend a 24-hour Hazardous Material Operations class, followed by a 40-hour Hazardous Material Technician class.

The final class, which is very hands-on, teaches the firefighters to make entry into the contaminated area, stop the leak, and prevent any further exposure of the materials to the public or the environment.

"Having the City's firefighters trained, certified and prepared to respond to a Hazardous Materials incident is an important benchmark for not only the Rolla Fire Department, but the City of Rolla," said Chief Williams.

Rolla Police Dept. to discontinue Vehicle Lock-Out Assistance program

In order to allow Rolla Police Officers to be more effective in their critical law enforcement efforts, the Rolla Police Department will discontinue the Vehicle Lock-out Assistance program effective Monday, Oct. 8.

Rolla Police Chief Mark Kearse acknowledges for the past several years, as a courtesy, Rolla police officers have responded to requests from motorist to assist them in retrieving keys from locked vehicles. On average Chief Kearse said officers spend over 720 man-hours per year unlocking or attempting to unlock vehicles.

Although this program is a valuable service to the motorist, liability issues have surfaced, and the department is discontinuing the program Oct. 8. Chief Kearse cites the following reasons for discontinuing the Vehicle Lock-Out Assistance program:

Many new cars have side impact air bags that are very susceptible to damage when using improper lock-out tools or techniques.

New cars have sophisticated locking systems that do not respond well to outdated tools or techniques, and successful entry to the vehicle is accomplished less than 50% of the time.

The purchase of proper equipment to access the newer vehicles is approximately $150 per officer, which is over a $3,000 expenditure, not including training for each officer to use the equipment.

In the past, several vehicles have been damaged by officers attempting to defeat the locking devices. Most motorists did not complain, but some made claims to the City for damages.

Even though this program was a valuable service to motorists, the department feels that the officer's time can be better spent on more critical services such as getting the officers back in our neighborhoods. Vehicle lock-outs are not a law enforcement function and should be serviced by a certified locksmith.

After Oct. 8 the Rolla Police Department will respond to vehicle lock-outs only in an emergency situation, such as a child locked inside a vehicle or medical situations. In non-emergency situations, please check the phone directory for a lock smith service or vehicle towing company.

Rolla Police Dept. reactivates K-9 Unit

adamThe Rolla Police Department is proud to announce a new member has been added to their ranks, but the member will not be in uniform. The newest member is a 15-month-old male Dutch Shepherd named "Ziggy".

Ziggy recently graduated from a comprehensive training regiment that concentrated on patrol work (attack), narcotics detection, building and area search, article search and tracking. Ziggy will be partnered with Patrol Officer Adam Meyer.

Officer Meyer has served with the Rolla Police Department since 2005 and has an extensive background in both dog handling and dog training. He began his law enforcement career in 1995 when he joined the U.S. Army and was trained in military policing and K-9 enforcement.

Meyer is very excited to be working with his new partner and will begin patrolling after a brief familiarization period where he and Ziggy learn each other's patrol techniques. Officer Meyer describes Ziggy as a very friendly dog, who can "turn it on" when he needs to! Ziggy will replace the department's former Police dog named "Max," who retired in June 2005.

Rolla Police Chief Mark Kearse is also excited about activating the K-9 unit and describes "Ziggy" as a great asset to the department's overall mission.

"The K-9 unit is a valuable resource in our commitment to taking an aggressive approach to fighting crime and illegal drugs," said Chief Kearse. "We are very confident that Officer Meyer and Ziggy will contribute to our success in reaching these goals.

Truman students receive hands-on fire prevention training from Rolla Fire & Rescue

waterhoseHands-on, interactive, engaging and fun are all words that describe the educational activities students at Truman Elementary School participated in during fire prevention awareness day hosted by the Rolla Fire Department Oct. 3 at Truman.

"There's nothing like the thrill of holding a water hose that's shooting out 125 gallons of water per minute," said Ron Smith, Training Officer with the Rolla Fire Department. "Performing skills that our firefighters perform is about as real as it gets."

In addition to the fire hose spray, students participated in five other stations that included a smoke house, the City's new Mobile Command Center, extrication equipment, firefighter gear demonstration and ladder truck demonstration.

remoteAll the activities held at Truman Elementary were part of a month-long Fire Prevention Awareness Month campaign hosted by the Rolla Fire Department that includes visits to Wyman Elementary and Mark Twain Elementary. The theme for this year's Fire Prevention Month was "Practice Your Escape."

Community-wide activities for Fire Prevention Month began Sept. 29 at Denny Ford- Lincoln-Mercury with fire prevention materials, fire apparatus and child safety seat installers.

In addition to the visits to the elementary schools, Rolla Fire and Rescue also participated in the Phelps County Health Fair on Oct. 5 at The CENTRE (located at 1200 N. Holloway Street in Rolla).

For more information regarding public safety programs and awarenes, please contact Ron Smith, Training Officer, Rolla Fire and Rescue, at (573) 308-4052 or

Construction of Southwest Wastewater Treatment Plant well underway

southwestIf you haven't driven along Martin Springs Drive in Rolla lately, you might not be aware of the significant construction that is occurring at the Southwest Wastewater Treatment Plant facility located on the far western edge of Rolla.

Built in 1966 to serve the west side of Rolla, the original Southwest Treatment Plant was about one fifth the size of the new plant that is being significantly expanded and improved. When completed at year's end, it will serve an area of about 10-square miles, including the western portion of Rolla and portions of the town of Doolittle (the City of Rolla and Doolittle entered into a joint facility wastewater treatment agreement in 1996). This construction project is yet another example of how the City's Public Works Department and the City is addressing crucial infrastructure challenges for the coming years.

With aging mechanical systems, increasing sewage flows due to increased population and tougher water treatment standards imposed by the Department of Natural Resources (DNR), the expansion of this treatment plant was essential. This area is also a future growth area that may someday serve the Rolla West development that is currently being discussed and studied. Funding for the Southwest Treatment Plant was provided through a $3 million revenue bond election held in April 2006. The election passed with 82% of the residents in favor of the funding. The City Council approved the second of two 10-cent sewer increases per 1000 gallons, (the first increase was approved in November 2006), of water at the Sept. 17 City Council meeting. These increases will add about $1.20 more per month for the average sewer user.

Engineering services for these improvements will be funded from the city's Sewer Service Capital Reserve Account. This account is funded solely from user fees.

Cities throughout the country are realizing more and more the necessity and value of investing in the maintenance and improvements to their infrastructure. Fortunately in Rolla we have, for sometime, been investing in our infrastructure, including over 100 miles of newly paved city streets, 12 new storm water detention facilities, numerous box culverts, the renovation of City Hall, new 12-inch water mains installed by Rolla Municipal Utilities on Pine Street this summer and now the expansion and improvements to the Southwest Wastewater Treatment Plant.

If you have any questions regarding the expansion and improvements to the Southwest Treatment Plant, please call the Public Works Department at (573) 364-8659.

Arts Rolla announces 20th Annual Art Competition & Exhibition

Arts Rolla is holding the 20th Annual Art Competition and Exhibition Nov. 1 through Nov. 30 at The CENTRE, Rolla's Health and Recreation Complex (located at 1200 N. Hollway St.) in Rolla, Missouri.

Categories and awards are: 1) Oil or Acrylic; 2) Watercolor; 3) Additional Two-Dimensional (pastel, pencil, ink, woodcut, etc.); 4) Three-Dimensional. First Prize: $150 in each category; Second Prize: $50 in each category and Best in Show: $500 prize for this award has been underwritten by Phelps County Bank. Honorable Mentions will be presented at the discretion of the judge.

For additional information, please contact Arts Rolla at (573) 364-5539, or at, or P.O. Box 721, Rolla, MO 65402-0721. You may also visit their website at

Rolla Police Officer saves two women in house fire

On Sunday, Sept. 2 at approximately 6:30 a.m., Rolla Police Officer Greg Long was patrolling the area of North Olive Street when he observed smoke coming from the attic vents and chimney of an apartment building.

Officer Long approached the building and saw an interior wall of an apartment fully engulfed in flames. He then contacted Central Dispatch and requested that the Rolla Fire Department respond to his location for a structure fire. Investigation revealed that the apartment on fire was not occupied, but that an adjacent apartment may be occupied.

After banging on the door of the apartment Officer Long announced his presence, but did not receive an immediate response. After several more attempts he was met at the door by Deanna Stocum. Officer Long told her the building was on fire and that she needed to leave immediately. Ms. Stocum explained that her mother Dana Casto, was still inside and that she needed to warn her of the fire.

Fortunately both women and their family dog escaped the fire without injury. Further investigation revealed that the source of the blaze may have been arson.

"I am very proud of Officer Long's actions and commend him for his attention to detail while on patrol," said Rolla Police Chief Mark Kearse. "Ms. Stocum, Ms. Casto and I firmly believe if it were not for Officer Long's quick actions, the outcome of this event may have been very different."

Chief Kearse will present Officer Long with the Rolla Police Department's Life Saving award at the department's award's banquet in November.

You may also view this media release at

Rolla Fire & Rescue raises $3,421 at MDA Boot Drive

boot driveThanks to the generosity of area residents, and the efforts of the City of Rolla Fire and Rescue, over $3,421 was raised for the Muscular Dystrophy Association during a boot drive held Labor Day weekend at the Rolla Wal-Mart Supercenter.

"The support and generosity of both Wal-Mart and the public during the boot drive was really what made this effort possible," said Ron Smith, Rolla Fire & Rescue Training Officer. "Our firefighters were very pleased with the great response."

The Muscular Dystrophy Association is a voluntary health agency – a dedicated partnership between scientists and concerned citizens aimed at conquering neuromuscular diseases that affect more than a million Americans.

MDA combats neuromuscular diseases through programs of worldwide research, comprehensive medical and community services, and far-reaching professional and public health education.

MDA supports more research on neuromuscular diseases than any other private-sector organization in the world. MDA scientists are in the forefront of gene therapy research and have uncovered the genetic defects responsible for several forms of muscular dystrophy, Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease, a form of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS, or Lou Gehrig's disease), childhood spinal muscular atrophy, and several other neuromuscular conditions.

The Association's comprehensive service program includes medical examinations, flu shots, support groups, MDA summer camps for youngsters and assistance with the purchase of wheelchairs and leg braces.

MDA was created in 1950 by a group of adults with muscular dystrophy, parents of children with muscular dystrophy, and a physician-scientist studying the disorder. Since its earliest days it has been energized by it number-one volunteer and national chairman, Jerry Lewis.


Finding downtown gets easier with new way-finding signage

wayfindingFinding your way around town – especially downtown Rolla – has become a lot easier thanks to the new way-finding signage program implemented recently by the City's Public Works Department.

The project was first conceived of over a year ago by Steve Hargis, Director of Public Works, who was brain-storming with an ad-hoc committee established to consider ways to enhance and revitalize the downtown area. The recent renovations to the downtown band shell, which were completed by the Public Works Department, were also among the projects the committee suggested, along with the future construction of display cases to house train memorabilia in the Frisco Caboose.

Funding for the way-finding project, band shell renovations and enhancements to the Frisco Caboose was provided through a U.S. Housing and Urban Development (Economic Development Initiative) grant awarded to the Rolla Area Chamber of Commerce.

To further defray the costs of the new signs that will provide additional direction for motorists and pedestrians to municipal, county, civic and public areas in Rolla, the Engineering Division designed, assembled and posted the signs throughout the downtown area.

The blue and white signs, which range in size from 20 inches by 10 inches, to 20 by 40 inches, are very similar in color to the blue and white "Welcome Rolla" banners that are located along Pine, Rolla and Main Streets in the downtown area. This was intentionally done to maintain a common color theme in the downtown area. We hope that you will find that the white lettering on the dark blue background is also very recognizable and easy to read.

While the majority of the 58 signs have already been posted in and around the downtown area, including downtown arterial streets, and Hwy. 63, 72 and Kingshighway, the Traffic Division is in the process of assembling more signs, which should be posted in the next couple of weeks.

With the recent resurfacing of Pine Street from 6th to 12th Streets, and several side streets, the construction of the brick walkways at the corner of 10th and Pine, renovation of the downtown band shell, and way-finding directional signs, Rolla's downtown revitalization should prove beneficial to the entire community.

The next phase of the downtown enhancements to be completed by the Public Works Department will include a new historical signage program that will showcase many of the historical buildings and structures in and around downtown Rolla. The historic signs will be designed in-house by the Traffic and Engineering Divisions in Public Works at a considerable savings to the community.


New Mobile Command Center is huge asset to City

Mobile Command CntrRealizing the importance of being prepared and equipped for an unexpected emergency, the City's Fire Department recently purchased a new, state-of-the-art Mobile Command Center funded by a Homeland Security Grant through the State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA).

The new 37-foot-long by 12-foot-high vehicle, which is being housed at the City's Fire and Rescue Headquarters (1490 East 10th Street), will be a huge asset to the City and community in the event of a natural disaster (such as a tornado, severe weather storm or earthquake), hazardous waste materials spill, pandemic flu outbreak, weapons of mass destruction (WMD) event, or other large-scale emergency.

Purchased from Burlington RV in Sturtevant, Wisconsin, for $205,000, the vehicle is equipped to accommodate 13 emergency professionals, including 10 command staff and three dispatchers. It was designed by members of the City's Fire and Rescue HAZMAT (Hazardous Materials) team who collaborated with representatives from Burlington RV on the design and construction phases of the vehicle.

Equipped with cutting-edge technology and equipment, the vehicle has satellite TV in the front and rear; a 6-foot light tower that rotates 360 degrees; Mobile Command Internet capabilities; voiceover IP (Internet Provider) capabilities for telephone communications via the Internet (in the event of telephone or cell phone outages); a 5-foot satellite dish that can withstand 30 mile per hour winds; a 75-gallon fuel tank; an 8,000-watt diesel generator; stabilizer jacks, 12-foot by 3-foot slide out room extension for more useable space; 8-foot by 4-foot dry eraser board for strategic communications and dispatch planning; a rear vision systems so the driver can see out the back of the unit with side-mounted video cameras; ample internal and external (slide-out storage trays) storage compartments and a 22-foot awning.

In addition to the good news about the new Mobile Command Center, the City has achieved a high level of recognition by members of SEMA as one of the best Homeland Security Response Teams (HSRT) in the state. The City's HAZMAT team recently collaborated with and received assistance from the 7th Civil Support Team – a National Guard Unit from Fort Leonard Wood, in creating an 80-page Standard Operating Guideline (SOG) recently adopted by SEMA to be used by all 28 Homeland Security Response Teams (HSRT) in the state.


Rolla Fire & Rescue scores again with ISO rating of 3

firepatchIn less than six months after the City of Rolla dropped from a Class 5 to a Class 4 Fire rating, the Insurance Services Offices (ISO) in Chicago, Illinois notified the City that it has now received an even better rating with a Class 3.

Dropping from a Class 5 to a Class 4 was a huge accomplishment for the Rolla Fire Department and the City as a whole, but dropping two levels to a Class 3 Fire rating in less than a year is a tremendous achievement. I would like to join Fire Chief Robert Williams in expressing a special thanks to all the business owners in the City of Rolla for their patience and cooperation in allowing the Fire Department to inspect their buildings. It was the first time all 1,000 businesses were inspected in less than a year by the Fire Department. The lower Fire designation was also made possible by a concerted effort from the Rolla Police Department, Rolla Municipal Utilities, the Rolla Fire Department and the recommendations made five years ago in a Fire Protection Study conducted by St. Louis Quint Concepts, LLC. Chief Williams and his staff were very proactive in determining through the study what it would take for the City's Fire Department to achieve lower ISO Fire ratings.

After reviewing the ISO's initial findings In November 2005 when the City received a Class 4 Fire rating, the Rolla Fire Department realized the City was within a few points of receiving a Class 3 designation. Realizing the significance of achieving the Class 3 rating, the Fire Department installed dedicated fax lines from the 911 Dispatch Center at the Rolla Police Department and the Rolla Fire Dept. to the City's two fire stations in case the City's communication radio system malfunctions during severe weather or power failures. The dedicated fax lines provide a secondary and necessary means of communicating. This additional communication feature is required by the ISO because the Rolla Fire Department responds to over 700 calls for service each year. The fax line was implemented for less than $1,000.

The City's new ISO Class 3 Fire rating takes effect Nov. 1, 2006, and commercial and industrial businesses in the Rolla area should see some reduction in their fire service insurance premiums depending on what insurance company they are insured with. Residential customers could also see some level of reduction in their fire insurance premiums. These reductions in fire service related insurance premiums could ultimately result in over a $1 million savings City-wide on fire insurance.

The Rolla Fire Department is among 44 other cities in the state to receive a Class III Fire rating, which puts the City of Rolla in an elite category with other larger metropolitan areas that typically have larger tax bases and resources. Rolla now has one of the lowest Fire ratings of any city between here and St. Louis and here and Springfield - if not the lowest.

The ISO process is a very in-depth inspection process that covers the entire fire operation, and the Rolla Fire Department is to be commended for diligently addressing and enhancing the department's training, operations, equipment, records management, dispatch and fire protection flows.

The new Class 3 rating is indicative not only of the improvements and great strides that the Fire Department has made since the city was surveyed just six months ago by the ISO, but also of the increased cooperation among the Fire Department, Police Department and RMU to lower the rating. The Class 3 rating includes a range between 70.00 and 79.99 percent. The city received a score of 71.03 percent.

The City's ISO Fire rating has also continually improved because the Rolla Police Department's Dispatch Center has significantly upgraded all of their telecommunications equipment. The department also hired more dispatchers. RMU also installed larger water mains and additional storage capacity that provide the fire department with better water flows for fire protection.

Be assured that the changes and upgrades that were made to obtain the Class 3 Fire designation significantly enhance the City's ability to respond to fire service calls, provide excellent fire service to the community, and ultimately protect the safety and well being of our residents.


City of Rolla Fire & Rescue partners with UMR during hydrogen fuel class

hydroRolla area first responders recently met with the University of Missouri-Rolla and Ford Motor Company representatives to familiarize themselves with vehicles which use hydrogen gas as fuel to power vehicles.

In the next few months, UMR will be studying Hydrogen as a fuel for motor vehicles and how to transform transportation infrastructure to safely accommodate this renewable fuel. Two hydrogen-powered shuttle vans will operate around campus until January and then be used as part of the new commuter shuttle service between Rolla and Fort Leonard Wood.

The four-hour hydrogen fuel safety class conducted at Rolla's Fire Station #2 was attended by 75 representatives from the University of Missouri-Rolla Safety and Police Departments, City of Rolla Fire & Rescue, Police, and Community Development Departments,  Missouri Highway Patrol, Department of Transportation, Phelps County Regional Medical Center, Missouri State Fire Marshal, Ford Motor Company and the Phelps County Sheriffs Department.

This training was provided through the University of Missouri-Rolla.


Ashley Flores Missing Child Hoax

Initial reports in the media and on the Internet of the missing 13-year-old Philadelphia girl named Ashley Flores have proven to be nothing more than a very bad hoax, according to numerous law enforcement agencies and credible news outlets.

Despite conclusive evidence that the original missing person report and Amber Alert regarding Ashely Flores was a hoax concocted by a kid's prank, the Rolla Police Department still receives hundreds of calls every day regarding her status.

A variety of searches through law enforcement agencies, including the Federal Bureau of Investigations, New Jersey State Police and Philadelphia Police, and numerous missing child websites such as The Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC), confirms there has never been an official report of a missing girl named Ashley Flores.

The Rolla Police Department is trying to spread the word that although Ashley Flores may exist, reports of her disappearance were an unfortunate internet hoax. Pranks such as these are not only illegal, but also hamper and interfere with communications and law enforcement operations.

For more information, please go here or call Lt. Doug James at 573-364-1213.


Citizens needed to serve on City Advisory Boards and Commissions

With all the various advisory boards and commissions that are active in the City of Rolla, vacancies become available from time to time. The City current has three openings on the Board of Adjustment, which is scheduled to meet monthly as needed.

If you or someone you know is interested in serving on one of the City's advisory boards or commissions, please contact Millie Street, Executive Secretary, in the Administration Department, at (573) 426-6941 or e-mail her at

A complete list of City advisory boards and commissions can be viewed on the City of Rolla Website at

The expertise, knowledge and insight provided by the numerous residents who serve on boards and commissions provide an invaluable service to our City and community.


Mayor Jenks and Rolla City Council encourage participation in 'Helping Hand" program

Rolla Mayor Bill Jenks, III and the Rolla City Council encourage Rolla Municipal Utility customers to participate in the "Helping Hand" program that has been sponsored by RMU for several years to provide assistance for Rolla residents who need help in paying their utility bills.

"I have already pledged $2 a month for the "Helping Hand" program where 100% of your donations are returned to the Rolla Community through the G.R.A.C.E. organization," said Mayor Jenks. "I'm aware of at least one other City Council member who has publicly pledged $1 per month to go towards the ‘Helping Hand' program as well."

RMU collects, on a voluntary basis, donations for the "Helping Hand" program with 100% of your donations returned to the Rolla Community through the Greater Rolla Area Charitable Enterprises organization. In 2006, GRACE, through the "Helping Hand" program, disbursed 72 payments, helping 240 Rolla residents.

Mayor Jenks said if 3,000 of the approximately 8,000 RMU customers in Rolla were to voluntarily pledge $1 per month towards the Helping Hand program, $36,000 could be raised in 12 months.

"The great aspect of this program is that it's 100% voluntary, and it is not using tax dollars in any way," said Mayor Jenks. "This is a great vehicle to assist those who are having difficulty paying their utility bills and I encourage anyone who can afford to pledge $1 or more to participate in Helping Hand."

Enrollment forms and a copy of the Helping Hand policy are available at the RMU Business Office on 9th Street in downtown Rolla. You may also contact RMU at 364-1572 or visit their Website at Just click on the ‘Customer Service' tab and ‘Helping Hand' link.


Citizens Police Academy opened to all residents - applications available

Applications for the 12th annual Citizens Police Academy, which begins in August, 2008, are available in the lobby of the Rolla Police Department located at 1007 N. Elm Street. Citizens may also obtain an application by calling (573) 364-1213. Applications must be turned in to the Rolla Police Department by Aug. 17, 2007.

The purpose of the Citizens Police Academy is to bridge the gaps between the Police Department and the people it serves. The Citizens Police Academy is intended not only to remedy some of the misunderstandings, but also to allow private citizens to experience some of the training and situations normally known to only those individuals of the law enforcement profession. The academy is a 12-week program, meeting once a week for three hours.

For more information or an application, please call Lt. Doug James at (573) 364-1213.

Outdoor Warning System Can Save Your Life

Along with flowers, fresh-cut grass and warmer temperatures, tornado season is also an aspect of spring that residents in South Central Missouri need to be mindful of. And while most tornados occur between the months of March and September, they can strike at any time, day or night.

If you hear an outdoor warning siren, take cover immediately, go to an interior room on the lowest level of your home and avoid windows and doors. If you are in a mobile home or vehicle during a tornado or severe weather, evacuate them and get inside a substantial shelter. If no shelter is available, lie flat in the nearest ditch or other low spot and cover your head with your hands. If you don't have a basement or if you live in a mobile home, make arrangements in advance to stay with friends, relatives or neighbors who have a basement so that you will have appropriate shelter during an actual tornado "warning."

The sirens are activated anytime a tornado warning has been issued for Phelps County and the warning's path cast specifically mentions Rolla in the path of the storm. Sirens will also be sounded when a severe thunderstorm warning indicates hurricane strength winds of 75 mph or greater are expected.

"In addition to heeding the sound of a warning siren, you should be aware of changing weather conditions and monitor the weather through local and state media outlets," said SSgt. Rick Williams, the City's Emergency Management Director, who is responsible for activating the city's inclement weather warning system.

Williams also reminds the community that on the first Wednesday of every month at 10 a.m. the Rolla Police Department tests the City's emergency warning system, which includes outdoor sirens and tone alert monitors at Rolla schools. "If you hear the sirens go off at this time realize that it is just a test to ensure the system is fully operational," said Williams.

The Rolla Police Department also encourages residents to monitor your TV and radio news stations for updates and avoid calling 911 or the Rolla Police Department unless there is a true emergency. To ensure you and your family are well prepared in case a tornado or severe weather storm does touch down in your neighborhood, you should have an updated emergency plan; an emergency kit that includes a flashlight, battery operated radio, bottled water and prescription medicines; First Aid kit; cell phone and list of emergency/ contact information and three or four days of food in case the power goes out.

For more information regarding emergency preparedness, please visits the City of Rolla Website at


City receives $160,000 from MoDOT to construct Deible Bike Path, Phase II

The City of Rolla was awarded $160,000 in enhancement funds from the Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT) to construct Phase 2 of the Deible Bike Path in Rolla.

sarahACORNRealizing what an important asset the city's system of bike/pedestrian paths and parks are to our residents and visitors, the Rolla City Council recently approved the MoDOT Agreement for the Deible Phase 2 Bike Path. The funds were made available through the Missouri Highway and Transportation Commission Transportation Enhancement Funds Program Agreement administered by MoDOT.

The Rolla community already enjoys over 8 miles of bike trails along the popular Acorn Trail that adults and children of all ages enjoy walking, biking, roller blading or taking their pets for a casual stroll on. Phase I of the Deible Bike Trail, which is the design phase, will run from the Acorn Trail trail head at Highway O along Deible Branch to Sycamore Drive near Carriage Lane. This phase will be constructed in late 2007 or early 2008.

The second phase of the Deible Bike Path will be an 8-foot-wide bike path that will run from Sycamore Drive near Carriage Lane along Deible Branch and parallel with Lions Club Drive. This phase will run west to Lions Club Park. A map illustrating the present and future planned bike/pedestrian trails in the city can be viewed here.

Future phases of the City's bike/pedestrian trial system will include another 1.6 miles running north through Lions Club Park and eventually tie into the west trail head of the ACORN Trail at Green Acres Park, bringing the total length of the trail to nearly 11 miles. These future phases, which the City hopes to fund through future TEAA 21 Grants, will need additional documented support form the community to enhance the City's ability to compete for future funding with other communities.

Anyone interested in providing a letter of support to encourage funding of future phases of the City's trail system should contact Steve Hargis, Public Works Director, at 573-364-8659 or e-mail him at Letters of support can also be e-mailed; faxed to 573-364-8602 or mailed to the City of Rolla Public Works Department, 901 North Elm Street, Rolla, MO 65401.


ACORN Trail – Rolla's Pedestrian/Bikepath Network continues to expand

bikesIn addition to the vast network of spacious parks that enhance the quality of life in Rolla, the ACORN Trail also provides miles of pedestrian/bike paths that are enjoyed year round.

Adults and children of all ages enjoy walking, biking, roller blading or taking their pets for a casual stroll on this 9.2 mile-long trail that currently connects to 9 City parks. If you love the outdoors, nature and serenity, you will love the ACORN Trail and all the wildlife, scenic beauty and enjoyment it provides.

The majority of the trail was funded over the years through several Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act (ISTEA) and Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century (TEA21) grants form the Missouri Department of Transportation.

The first phase, completed in 1997, consisted of the installation of approximately 1.6 miles of sidewalk form the Visitor Center on Bridge School Road to and around the University of Missouri-Rolla Golf Course. The second phase, completed in 2000, saw the addition of another 2 miles of eight-foot sidewalk form Green Acres Park to Highway 72 along the Dutro Carter Creek and included a pedestrian footbridge, wildlife food plots, an interpretive forest, and off street parking. The third phase of the project, completed in 2002, consisted of the construction of approximately 3.9 miles of sidewalk connecting the previously constructed phases I and II, creating a 7.5 mile long walking/biking facility. A series of five-foot walks were built through the urbanized portions of the community.

Phase IV, a 0.95 mile stretch of sidewalk completed in 2003, connects the southeast portion of town to the previous three phases of the bikepath and runs southeasterly along Highway 72 to Osage Drive. Phase V, which is the construction/contract phase, will run east from the intersection of Tenth Street and Forum Drive along the south side of Tenth to its intersection with Lovers Lane. This fifth phase is scheduled to be completed in the summer of 2007, and will add an additional .75 miles of eight-foot walk, for a total of 9.2 miles.

Beginning in late 2007 or early 2008, the next phase will be an 8-foot-wide bike path that will run from Highway O to Sycamore Drive (the trail head of the ACORN Trail), along Deible Branch and parallel with Lions Club Drive. It will run west to Lions Club Park for 1.7 miles, bringing the total length of the trail to 11 miles.

Future phases will include another 1.6 miles running north through Lions Club Park and eventually tie into the west trail head of the ACORN Trail at Green Acres Park. These future phases, which the City hopes to fund through future TEAA 21 Grants, will need documented support form the community to enhance the City's ability to compete for future funding with other communities.

Anyone interested in providing a letter of support for this worthwhile project should contact Steve Hargis, Public Works Director, at 573-364-8659 or e-mail him at Letters of support can also be e-mailed; faxed to 573-364-8602 or mailed to the City of Rolla Public Works Department, 901 North Elm Street, Rolla, MO 65401.


MODOT selects Rolla National Airport for upgrades

airportThe City of Rolla was recently notified by the Missouri Department of Transportation that the Rolla National Airport has been awarded millions in funding for improvement to the facility.

The Rolla National Airport (located just 13 miles from Rolla off Hwy. 63 in Vichy), is not only a great regional aviation transportation center, but also an economic engine that could attract industries and businesses to an industrial park also planned for the airport's future.

In addition, the airport, which boasts two runways and several hangers, has been designated by the State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) as an Aviation Staging Area that would be used during state emergencies for the deployment of medical personnel, equipment and supplies in the event of a state-wide emergency such as an earthquake along the New Madrid Fault, pandemic flu outbreak or an Homeland Security related exercise or event.

The multi-million dollar improvements MODOT is offering the City in the foreseeable future could include the lengthening of runway 4-22 at Hwy. 28 from 5,500 feet to 7,000 feet, which would allow for much larger aircraft to land. MODOT would also build a parallel taxiway for runway 13-31, construct a new airport terminal building and construct an Omni Dash Directional Approach Light System (ODDALS) and Precision Approach Path Indicator (P.A.P.I.). This new hi-tech instrumentation, along with the installation of a Visual Glide Slope Indicator (V.G.S.I.) will provide upgraded systems that will greatly enhance the all weather approach system.

In the event the airport is used as a designated Aviation Staging Area, the runway at Rolla National Airport would be extended with the placement of large corrugated steel slabs that would allow C-140s carrying emergency medical personnel, supplies and equipment to land and take off. In a worse-case scenario such as an earthquake along the New Madrid Fault near St. Louis, the Missouri National Guard would also be deployed to the airport to assist with medical transport, evacuation and traffic management along Hwy. 63, if necessary.

The importance of the Rolla National Airport is highly recognized by local, state and federal agencies and officials in terms of its strategic location along Hwy. 63, South Central Missouri and its proximity to other major population centers.


New storm water retention facilities aid economic development

Most everyone is aware of the importance that the City's infrastructure such as streets, roads, water lines, sewage systems and storm water retention facilities play in the quality of life that Rolla residents enjoy.

That said, Rolla Mayor Bill Jenks would like to bring to the community's attention and awareness to the efforts of the Public Works Department over the last three years to oversee the planning and construction of no less than six large storm water retention facilities throughout the community.

The construction of these retention facilities are helping the City address issues related to storm water retention, flood control improvements and the growing need for storm sewer system upgrades. Since most of these storm water detention facilities are located in hard-to-access areas, however, they are unfortunately not easily seen or appreciated by the public.

The six storm water facilities I'm referring to include: Tory Park Detention Facility (located just east of the Forum Cinema off Tory Avenue); the Bray Sports Complex Detention Facility located adjacent to the Rolla High School (the ball field doubles as a dry detention facility – protecting downstream homes from possible flooding); the Taylor Anderson Detention Facility; Vichy Road Storm water Detention Facility; White Columns Drive Detention Facility and the RCDC Storm water Detention Facility (located just west of the Rolla Industrial Park).

Other projects associated with these flood control improvements identified in the City's 10-year Capital Improvement Plan implemented in June 2005 include the construction of 10 box culverts. These along with the six storm water retention facilities, will be completed by December of this year. The total cost of these improvements was funded by a no-tax-increase bond issue of $3 million and a $180,000 Missouri Department of Transportation Grant. These bonds will be retired using the existing ½ cent Capital Improvement Sales Tax.

While the paramount benefit of storm water detention improvements will ultimately remove nearly 200 homes from the 100-year flood plain, the economic development benefits derived should not be overlooked. These vast improvements to storm water retention are also paving the way for more prosperity in the City of Rolla and enhancing our quality of life through additional recreational opportunities such as the dry detention facility at the Bray Sports Complex and new park opportunities along Lions Club Drive. In addition to these flood control benefits, the City has added 120 acres of open space and conservation area to preserve and enhance Rolla's sensitive eco-systems.

Infrastructure upgrades and improvements such as new storm water detention facilities, roads and sidewalks are all areas that prospective developers, real estate investors and contractors look closely at when considering which areas in a region they might want to invest, build or expand in.

With the assistance of engineering consultants, the City has also identified over 30 neighborhoods that have localized storm water drainage problems. These projects, which are part of the Public Works' annual street and storm sewer maintenance activities, are being prioritized in terms of severity, street maintenance schedule and availability of funds. The City appreciates the community's patience and cooperation as we continue to address these very important improvements.

Although many of these storm water retention improvements are not easily seen, Mayor Jenks hopes that the community will recognize the value and importance of the large scale infrastructure improvements that continue to be made in the City of Rolla.