They're charming, and rough on feet and car suspensions. But thanks to block grants and federal stimulus dollars, the cobbled streets of Laclede's Landing are getting a facelift.
John Clark, president of the Laclede Landing Community Improvement District spoke with Fox 2 News about the project that he says is long overdue. "Everybody that's ever been down here knows it's a mess," Clark said. He called the uneven pavers "a tripping hazard and hard on the shocks on your car."
The cobblestones aren't going away. They'll be dug up and relayed on top of a new base, making for a smoother road, with better drainage. Clark says that new base will be a big improvement over what engineers say is currently under the streets. "They found everything from railroad ties, to broken bottles, to cinders, to coal, and so, with that, that's the reason the cobblestones have become so uneven," he said.
Additional sidewalk and curb improvements will bring the Landing into compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act.
"It's going to be a straight shot from doorstep on one side of the street to doorstep on the other side of the street." Clark said, "It will have much more the feel of a promenade, than a street and sidewalk."
The Landing District will pay 20 percent of the project's $1.4 million cost. Clark calls that an investment in the Landing's future.
Conservation experts aren't sure why, but it seems the yellow jacket population is bigger than usual in the St. Louis area this year.
Mike Arduser of the Missouri Department of Conservation told Fox 2 News that the number of calls they've gotten regarding yellow jackets has doubled since last year. "Yellow jackets are always present and always abundant this time of year, because their colony cycle peaks right about now," he says.
And that can be a problem when the flying, stinging insects nest too close to humans. Consumers can buy products to kill the pests themselves, but for large nests, it may be best to call in a professional.
Dr. Anthony Scalzo with the Missouri Poison Center at Cardinal Glennon Children's Medical Center told Fox 2 that too many wasp stings can be dangerous. Dr. Scalzo says even people who are not allergic can die from too many stings. "In a toddler, maybe greater than five stings per couple of pounds of body weight" can be fatal, he says. "In an adult it could be, technically, as few as 30-50 stings from a wasp."
That's one reason Arduser says wasp and yellow jacket nests should be left alone if the insects aren't bothering anyone. "They're part of the landscape now," he says. "You just have to sort of learn to live with them like mosquitoes or horseflies or something else. They'll be gone soon, as soon as it gets cold.
St. Louis Archbishop Robert Carlson is scheduled to give a deposition Thursday in the sex abuse case involving Father Joseph Jiang.
Father Jiang has been charged with child endangerment for allegedly having a sexual relationship with a 16 year old Lincoln County girl. He also faces witness tampering charges. Father Jiang has pleaded not guilty.
A spokesperson for the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests says this is the first time a high ranking Catholic official in St. Louis will give a deposition in a criminal child sex abuse case.