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Thursday, October 17, 2019
2045 Metropolitan Transportation Plan Draft Review

The St. Joseph Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) has released the draft version of the 2045 Metropolitan Transportation Plan (MTP). For the last three years, the MPO has worked closely with the consulting company AECOM to develop a look into the future of transportation. Including three different surveys and a multitude of public comments, the draft version will be released in mid-September to the public for comment. The plan is the official document outlining the transportation vision for the St. Joseph MPO planning area. The MTP, among other plans and programs, guides the development of an integrated, multimodal transportation system that facilitates the efficient movement of people and goods via all transportation modes, supports community development, and advances social and environmental goals. This all in the face of the current and future challenges of limited transportation funding, increasing mobility constraints among an aging population, and growing urgency in preserving environmental quality and promoting sustainability, among others. 

All modes of transportation are covered and developed in this plan as the document will be used when any type of transportation development is discussed in the metro area. Different goals and objectives were developed after meeting with members of the metro area including residents, businesses and stakeholders. The goals developed for the plan include safety, economic vitality, regionalism, accessibility, funding, transportation/land use, environmental protection, system management and public input. The draft plan is now available to the public to suggest changes or provide comments through November 11. Residents are also encouraged to attend an open house on October 23, from 3-5pm, in the lobby of City Hall to provide feedback on the plan.
Open Burning

After a recent ordinance approval by City Council, open burning has been approved for November 1-30, between the hours of 8am-6pm. Only dry yard waste such as leaves, brush and logs grown on the residential property may be burned. Residents are encouraged to explore alternatives to open burning. Many options for disposing of yard waste are easy, do not contribute to air pollution, are not dependent on time restrictions or the weather and provide the health benefit of physical activity while doing yard work.

Financial Crimes

Today’s society is seeing an increase in the number of various types of financial crimes committed against businesses and individuals. These crimes range from business fraud, credit card fraud, fraud against senior citizens, identity theft and many other forms. These are just some of the more serious and prevalent crimes committed.

The Financial Crimes Unit of the detective division of the St. Joseph Police Department is responsible for the assignment and investigation of these crimes. The unit currently staffs two detectives, whose primary responsibilities are to investigate the crimes listed above. These investigations are usually complex in nature and difficult to investigate as some of the crimes are committed overseas. There are some preventive measures people can take to prevent themselves or their loved ones from becoming a victim of these crimes. According to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) some of these preventive measures include:
 
  1. Spot imposters. Scammers often pretend to be someone you trust, like a government official, a family member, a charity or a company you do business with. Don’t send money or give out personal information in response to an unexpected request, whether it comes as a text, a phone call or an email. 
  2. Do online searches. Type a company or product name into your search engine with words like “review,” “complaint” or “scam.” Also search for a phrase that describes your situation, like “IRS call.” You can even search for phone numbers to see if other people have reported them as scams.
  3. Don’t believe your caller ID. Technology makes it easy for scammers to fake caller ID information, so the name and number you see aren’t always real. If someone calls asking for money or personal information, hang up. If you think the caller might be telling the truth, call back to a number you know is genuine.
  4. Don’t pay upfront for a promise. Someone might ask you to pay in advance for things like debt relief, credit and loan offers, mortgage assistance or a job. They might even say you’ve won a prize, but first you have to pay taxes or fees. If you do, they will probably take the money and disappear. 
  5. Consider how you pay. Credit cards have significant fraud protection built in, but some payment methods do not. Wiring money through services is risky because it’s nearly impossible to get your money back. This is also true for reloadable cards and gift cards. Government offices and honest companies won’t require you to use these payment methods.
  6. Talk to someone. Before you give up your money or personal information, talk to someone you trust. Con artists want you to make decisions in a hurry and might even threaten you. Slow down, check out the story, do an online search, consult an expert or just tell a friend.
  7. Hang up on robocalls. If you answer the phone and hear a recorded sales pitch, hang up and report it to the FTC. These calls are illegal and often the products are bogus. Don’t press 1 to speak to a person or to be taken off the list as this could lead to more calls.
  8. Be skeptical about free trial offers. Some companies use free trials to sign you up for products and bill you every month until you cancel. Before you agree to a free trial, research the company and read the cancellation policy. Always review your monthly statements for charges you don’t recognize.
  9. Don’t deposit a check and wire money back. By law, banks must make funds from deposited checks available within days, but uncovering a fake check can take weeks. If a check you deposit turns out to be a fake, you’re responsible for repaying the bank.
  10. Sign up for free scam alerts from the FTC at ftc.gov/scamsGet the latest tips and advice about scams sent right to your inbox

If you or your business would like to receive training in how these crimes are investigated or how to prevent these crimes from happening, contact the Financial Crimes Unit at 271-5310.  
Bringing the Activities Indoors for Fall

When the calendar turns to October and the feel of fall is in the air, sports move in from the fields of summer to the indoors. At the St. Joseph REC Center, we have recreational opportunities available... read more
Taking in a Show
From enjoying a performance by the cast of Robidoux Resident Theatre or catching a show featuring well-know musical performers, there is always something to enjoy on the stage of the Missouri Theater. Take a trip to the theater this fall to discover what downtown St. Joseph has to offer!

(816) 271-5300