MRH grad Linda Alton Randall Kennedy dies at 68; dedicated actor at Black Rep

Linda Alton Randall Kennedy, of Richmond Heights, died Friday, August 16, 2019, at age 68, according to several sources. 40 South News reader and Maplewood Richmond Heights classmate (1970) Lynn Kretchmar Goode said in an email to 40 South that Kennedy spent about four decades as a dedicated local shining star in St. Louis theater and dance, mostly with the The Black Rep in St. Louis. The St.

Maplewood History: The 1970’s

For the tiny town of Maplewood, the 1970’s were a very turbulent era.  I moved here in December of 1975. Due to the naivete of youth (I was 26) and the demands of full time employment in an automobile factory, I was blissfully unaware of most of the drama that was playing out just a few blocks away. The following pages are lifted directly from my first Maplewood History book – “The First Hundred Years, Maplewood MO”.  They were researched and written by my co-author Joyce Cheney (no relation to Dick). Shortly after the book was published the very talented Joyce moved to Colorado where I believe she is still.  Joyce is the author of several books including Aprons: A Celebration, Aprons: Icons of the American Home and All Our Lives: A Women’s Songbook. Many of my readers are still making do without owning a copy of this first book which I have recently rebranded as “Second Printing – Volume One”.  There is no need to deprive yourselves any longer for the book is readily available at the reliable Scheidt Hardware (known to newcomers as True Value) where I am still the best selling author.  Or the book can be obtained at the Mid County Chamber of Commerce just a few more steps west at 7326A Manchester.

Brentwood School District responds to criticism following removal of trees

Some large trees were recently removed from the front of Brentwood High School, though some alumni had tried hard to save them. After 40 South published comments by one of those alumni, the school district responded to a previous request for information on the project. Sam Rayburn, director of communications, said in an email that the primary reason behind the changes to the front lawn and parking area is to make the building ADA accessible. The front entrance and parking lot were not accessible before the construction. See also: Driveway and parking plan claims trees in front of BHS

Also, the changes to the front lawn will allow new entryways that “meet modern safety and security standards,” Rayburn said.

Maplewood officials advance rezoning for house’s use as MRH after-school care

Maplewood city council on Tuesday took the Maplewood Richmond Heights School District’s request to rezone a house on Laclede Station Road a step closer to completion. The district wants to use the house, at the corner of Laclede Station and Burgess Avenue, for its Discover Zone, a popular after-school program. In a meeting one school board member described later as lively, with many resident comments, city officials voted 7-0 to rezone the house (2812 Laclede Station Road) for the school district’s use. The final vote will be taken at the next council meeting. Plan and zoning voted 5-1 last week to recommend rezoning to the council.

In the news: BHS, MRH neck and neck in statewide ranking

The website Niche released its 2020 school rankings, and Brentwood and Maplewood Richmond Heights high schools are side by side, with BHS having the advantage. DSJ Now — Class reunion scheduled (MRH Class of 1979)
Hotel Business — Marriott Expands Family of Brands in the Heartland
Niche — 2020 Best School Districts in Missouri (Brentwood 13th, MRH 14th)
St. Louis Post-Dispatch — Man killed in Rock Hill homicide was former head of Boys Hope Girls Hope in Richmond Heights
St. Louis Post-Dispatch — No pension for Stenger, after St. Louis County Council changes ordinance
The Call — Clancy, Page [to] hold 5th District town hall (Town hall and open forum for 5th District constituents from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Aug.

Driveway and parking plan claims trees in front of BHS

Construction is underway at Brentwood High School and Middle School following the passage of the school district’s Proposition B last year to update the buildings. In preparation for a roadway and parking lot in front of the high school several large trees were removed in July. In conversations with Superintendent of Schools Dr. Brian Lane, BHS alumnus Barry Williams said he and others tried to have the trees saved. He said they were “stunned and saddened” to see them removed. “For decades the BHS front lawn was a green and welcoming place,” Williams said.

Maplewood History: Rosaleen Bergin Rice

You say you never heard of Rosaleen Bergin Rice? I’d bet that she never heard of you either. Rosaleen for a while was part of the human fabric of Maplewood. In 2007, work began on what would become the now legendary (according to some folks, myself being one of them) “The First One Hundred Years, Maplewood MO”, our centennial community history book, which, by the way, is now available as an improved version of the original.  Copies of this long awaited reprint can be had at our Chamber of Commerce and Scheidt Hardware which are almost adjacent to one another in the 7300 block of Manchester. Try Scheidt Hardware first.

Residents tired of ECC traffic speak out in plan & zoning meeting

Maplewood Planning and Zoning on Monday considered a request by Maplewood Richmond Heights School District to rezone a residence near the ECC (2812 Laclede Station Road) from Single Family to Public Activity, to use as a before- and after-school care facility. About a dozen residents showed up, some to oppose the rezoning, citing ongoing traffic problems on the small streets around the entrance to the ECC; and a fewer number who supported the program, in spite of the traffic issues. See also: Maplewood officials advance rezoning for house’s use as MRH after-school care

The residents’ comments and the committee’s responses took up the first hour of the meeting. Tommas Ledbetter, who lives near the entrance to the ECC, on Burgess Avenue, said she’s recorded 65 cars in 20 minutes, and 200 in a day going down the street. She said parents don’t use the new parking lot (constructed since the passage of Prop K) because they don’t want to get caught in the crush, and parking on Burgess gets them closer to the entrance.

In the press: Aldi car jacking, plant theft

In the news this week: MRH golfer Kal Kolar competes in an American Junior Golf Association competition; police searching for carjacking supect. eMissourian — Henson Takes Second, Unnerstall Ties for Third At AJGA Tournament (Kal Kolar of MRH competed)
Fox 2 — Maplewood Aldi carjackers steal woman’s vehicle in broad daylight
KMOV —  WATCH: Surveillance video shows serial plant thief striking again, police say
KMOV — Suspect in custody after carjacking woman at gunpoint in Maplewood, police say
KDSK — Missouri tax-free weekend returns this weekend (Brentwood, Maplewood, Richmond Heights opt out)
KSDK — Police search for suspects in University City after carjacking at Maplewood Aldi

Richmond Heights firefighter marries in the firehouse: Facebook

Richmond Heights Fire Department announced on Facebook that a Richmond Heights firefighter was married in the firehouse. From Richmond Heights Fire Department Facebook: “A first for the Richmond Heights Fire Department, Wesley Richards who started with us August of 2017 and his girlfriend Melissa decided to get married today. They wanted to hold their nuptials at the firehouse. Congratulations to Wes and Melissa. Welcome to the RHFD family Melissa!!”

In the news: baker and brewer win Feast awards; woman steals truckload of plants for her home

An Illinois woman ‘shopped’ for plants in off-hours at a Richmond Heights nursery. A Maplewood baker, brewer and ice cream shop got some great mentions in the area, and national press. Feast — 2019 Feast 50 Awards: St. Louis
Fox 2 — Green-thumbed thief landscapes home with plants stolen from Richmond Heights business
Hospitality Net — Courtyard Hotel To Open In Richmond Heights, Missouri
KSDK — Club fitness just opened its newest gym in Maplewood, Missouri
Today — These are the absolute best ice cream shops in America

Family Video to close

Family Video at Deer Creek, at at 3515 S. Big Bend Boulevard, is closing soon, a source has told 40 South (and independently confirmed). The last day the store will rent movies is Sunday, July 28. The store will remain open in August for sales only, no rentals. According to one staff member the location will become a dentist office. Other area Family Videos have begun selling CBD (cannabis-based) products, according to the Riverfront Times.

Maplewood History: The Most Famous Maplewoodian of All Time – Pee Wee Russell

As I mentioned in my previous post I have no recollection how I first learned that the jazz musician, Pee Wee Russell, had once lived in Maplewood.  I suspected that he was a minor figure who had attained a little recognition and not much more than that. Probably not long after I began to be interested in Maplewood history, I searched for information on Pee Wee on the internet.  In 2002 or thereabouts I didn’t find anything. There was not much information on the internet back then. A year or so ago I subscribed to  If you’re not familiar with that website, it contains the digital archives of, I suppose, hundreds of newspapers from around the country.  Some of the files are massive.  I noticed that the entire archives of just one newspaper, “The Tennessean”, from Nashville are reproduced. Every page from 1834 through 2019.  That’s 2,659,705 pages!

Appliance Discounters store now at Deer Creek Center

It’s come to our attention that Appliance Discounters has opened a location at Deer Creek. They carry brands for all budgets, according to their Facebook page.From Facebook:
We carry brands for all budgets, including, Smeg, BlueStar, Electrolux, Frigidaire, GE, Cafe, Big Chill, GE Monogram, Thermador, Bosch, Danby, Samsung, LG, Aga, Scotsman, Fisher & Paykel, just to name a few. We carry “in box” and “out of box” new appliances at a much lower price than any competitor around town! By purchasing direct and by the truckload, we receive deep discounts from our manufacturers, so that we can pass the savings onto you, our loyal customers! For your total convenience, if you ever need an appliance repaired, we are a factory-authorized servicer, as well.

Maplewood History: The Most Famous Maplewoodian of All Time!

I have no recollection of when or where I first heard or read about this person.  Many years have passed since I first learned that this person had once lived in Maplewood.  Quite a lot more time passed before I learned any more than that about this person. The first time I googled this person’s name it turned up very little.  Since then I have uncovered enough data to make me believe that this person is the most famous Maplewoodian ever! Watch this space.  In a few days I’ll reveal details of this person’s life and how I came to the conclusion that this person is our MOST famous Maplewoodian.  If you’d like to try and guess the identity of this person, have at it. Here are a few clues. I don’t think that I have ever mentioned this person’s name in my blog.  I might be wrong about that what with my memory being what it is these days.

Music lessons, coffee & flower shop coming to the corner of Sutton and Hazel

Lessons for piano and guitar are coming to a space on Sutton Boulevard north of Hazel Avenue. Shock City School of Music is coming to 2743 Sutton. The location was formerly part of a pinball arcade. Nextdoor, on the corner of Sutton and Hazel, Oliver, a coffee shop and ‘flower bar’ plans to open. (Previously reported in March 2019.)

Refugee in Maplewood could be freed, and more: in the press

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch has reported that U.S. Rep. William Lacy Clay has introduced legislation that could free Alex Garcia, a Honduran refugee living in sanctuary at United Church of Christ in Maplewood since 2017. If passed, the bill would change Honduran refugee Alex Garcia’s immigration status to permanent legal resident of the U.S., Clay said. Fox 2 — Catholic priests group meets with Poplar Bluff man fearing deportation
KMOV — St. Louis baby born 7/11 weighing 7 lbs., 11 oz.

Maplewood still interviewing for new city manager

Maplewood’s longtime city manager, Marty Corcoran, has agreed to stay on until a new city manager is hired, Maplewood Mayor Barry Greenberg said Thursday. Corcoran’s last day on the job was scheduled to be July 14 but Greenberg said they’re still interviewing candidates for the position, and that a decision should be made within the next two weeks.

Clementine’s Creamery set to open Maplewood location

The St. Louis ice cream shop, Clementine’s Creamery, plans to open a new location in Maplewood. It was confirmed to 40 South through Instagram. The planned location is the now vacant space on the southeast corner of Manchester Road and Sutton Boulevard. The space is part of what was previously The Live Juke Joint Dueling Piano Bar.

Following reassessments, resident warns of a “municipal mutiny”

Maplewood resident Alice Hezel went to a town hall meeting hosted by St. Louis County Assessor Jake Zimmerman in June for residents who might have felt their recent reassessment was too high. Many had an increase of more than one hundred percent. See the St. Louis Post-Dispatch post on the issue.