A crowd of nearly 100 people gathered at Depot Park in downtown Pleasant Hill last Monday evening to observe Suicide Prevention Month in September. Three young ladies (above) join in a prayer led by United Methodist Church pastor Dave Owsley for victims of depression who are contemplating suicide. Pleasant Hill has had an unusual number of suicides recently and the crowd was urged to watch for signs of depression and learn how to prevent suicide. Materials were made available at last week's vigil to help people recognize signs of depression and how to help save the life of a friend or family member. Others who have lost a loved one to suicide told their stories. The Pleasant Hill Transition Team hosted a suicide prevention training workshop at the First Christian Church on Sunday evening, Sept. 28, to help people recognize signs of depression in friends and relatives and how to persuade them to seek help. They were told just like people trained in CPR help save thousands of lives each year, people trained in suicide prevention learn how to question, persuade and refer someone for help.
City Council meets
Bridge on bike trail hits delay
By F. KIRK POWELL
Editor & Publisher ...Work on the Rock Island Trail State Park east of Pleasant Hill is being delayed again. ...City Administrator Mark Randall reported to the Pleasant Hill City Council last week that the latest information he has been given is that the State Division of Parks will wait on construction of bridges on the first 7-mile section of the Rock Island Trail until it closes and takes possession of the rest of the line from Pleasant Hill to Windsor. ...Randall said according to an official with the Federal Surface Transportation Board in Washington, D.C., the state won't take possession of the old rail line before the end of December. ...Meanwhile, work on removing rails on the old Rock Island right-of-way between Pleasant Hill and Windsor continues. A substantial amount of clearing has also been done along the route to facilitate the removal of the rail. ...Work on the first phase of the trail includes a large bridge over the Missouri & North Arkansas Railroad and another bridge to be built under the "green bridge" on Highway 7. ...Additional phases of the project will eventually extend the trail to Windsor where it will connect to the Katy Trail State Park. ...On a related note, Ameren is taking bids for the sale of the rest of the old Rock Island right-of-way from Windsor to Beaufort outside of St. Louis in Franklin County. Missouri authorities have expressed interest in acquiring the old rail line for another cross-state trail. ...To the north, Jackson County has been given tentative approval for a $10 million federal grant to help with the cost of buying the Rock Island tracks from Kansas City to just south of Lee's Summit from the Union Pacific Railroad. ...Jackson County hopes to connect its trail with the city's MoPac Trail from downtown Pleasant Hill to the City Lake. ...In other business at the City Council's September 22 meeting, Malea Yount with the Dana F. Cole & Company accounting firm presented Pleasant Hill's 2014 audit to the councilmen. ...In her presentation, Yount noted that there were no unauthorized transactions, all funds were within the budget authorized, inter-fund transactions and balances reconcile out and the city was in compliance with federal requirements for government grants. ...Final approval by the City Council is waiting a review of by the city attorney. ...Yount thanked the city staff for its cooperation during the audit and said she looks forward to working with them next year. ...Earlier, the councilmen approved a change in zoning of a piece of property on 7 Highway from agricultural to commercial uses and okayed the final plat of three lots in Corbin Acres. ...The Pleasant Hill Fire Protection District and Sallee Homes Inc., requested the rezoning of a 5.98-acre piece of property at the corner of 7 Highway and Short Road from agricultural uses to commercial uses. The fire district had agreed to sell the property to Sallee Homes contingent on approval of the zoning change. ...A Sallee spokesman said a storage facility is planned on part of the property, but there are no plans yet for the rest of the site. ...The councilmen approved the change in zoning by a unanimous 4-0 vote contingent on a traffic study of the site. ...The councilmen also approved the final plat for lots 3 at Corbin Acres at Kellogg and Independence streets submitted by Scott Grant. ...The city staff said most issues had been addressed and a motion to approve the final plat passed by a unanimous 4-0 vote, ...Both the change in zoning and the final plat had been recommended for approval at a prior meeting of the Pleasant Hill Planning & Zoning Commission. ...Director of public works Bob Kee reported that work on the Oaks sewer interceptor is underway and about a third completed. The sewer line will take flows from north of the Oaks subdivision directly to the Duncan Branch interceptor, eliminate bottlenecks and backups in the neighborhood and provide additional capacity for new development in the north end of town. ...Police Chief Robert Driscoll reported that his officers reviewed lockdown procedures with school personnel in the R-3 District the previous week and everything went well. ...Finally, city administrator Mark Randall said Pleasant Hill is still in the running for a new industry that has expressed an interest in moving to Pleasant Hill, although he admitted that it is probably a long shot.