If you hadn’t already heard of the train-pedestrian fatality that occurred on Tuesday morning just west of the Rolla Street and 4th Street rail road crossing near the Phelps County Courthouse, I would like to say how unfortunate this tragic incident was, especially as we head into the holidays. My sincere condolences and sympathies go out to the family, friends and neighbors of 21-year-old Tommy R. Lee, who was a resident of Edgar Springs.
I would like to reiterate what Captain Jason Smith mentioned in an article in the Rolla Daily News on Wednesday regarding the use of extreme caution while walking near railroad tracks and crossings. Please refrain from walking on or close to any rail road tracks so that we can avoid future tragic accidents like this one. It is not only dangerous, but also illegal for the public to walk either on or near the railroad tracks.
Trains and their frequent passage through the City of Rolla at various times throughout the day are part of our community’s history, heritage, and you could say culture – as we co-exist with train traffic, and need to make allowances for their existence.
Saturday’s Rolla Christmas Parade was filled with the joy and festive mood that makes the holiday season in Rolla so special and memorable for so many folks. And the 15th Annual Christmas at the Old Courthouse was as equally an uplifting and joyous occasion. Our thoughts and prayers go out this weekend and throughout the holidays for Mr. Lee’s loved ones, friends and family members.
In closing I’d like to remind everyone that the City of Rolla Environmental Services Department will suspend the regular collection of yard waste as of today, Dec. 19, 2009. The collection of yard waste (leaves, grass clippings and small sticks) in brown paper bags will resume in March, 2010. Residents wishing to dispose of these materials during the winter suspension can use the composting facility located at the Phelps County Transfer Station, or arrange for a special pick up. For more information, please contact the Environmental Services Department at 364-6693.
We also encourage everyone to “think green” during the holidays. So instead of placing your wrapping paper in the trash, recycle it! The Rolla Recycling Center accepts most types of wrapping paper, and will take boxes as well. You can either put the paper and boxes out for collection with your weekly recycling or bring it to the Recycling Center.
Lastly, I would like to remind everyone to ‘shop local’ during the holidays whenever possible, as local purchases will benefit our community, businesses, employees, and of course, our economy as a whole. The best gift you can give this community and yourself over the holidays is to invest in it! Have a safe week and safe holiday season!