After formally adopting the agenda, approving the agenda and the bills, the meeting began with a presentation by St. James Chief of Police Ron Jones. Chief Jones stood before the council to recognize two citizens for their actions on Monday, August 7. Chief Jones read a brief summary of the incident to the council and attendees.

“On Monday, August 7, I was off duty at a fuel station here in St. James,” he said. “I observed a barefoot female running across the parking lot and a vehicle back up abruptly out of my view. I peeked my head around the corner and noticed a male subject in the back seat slumped over and two male subjects attempting to wake him up.

“I made my way to the vehicle and observed the subject was blue and not breathing,” said the Chief.
“I attempted to get the subject out of the back seat of the car and was met with resistance by two of the occupants in the vehicle. When I attempted to call 911, one of the occupants attempted to grab at me, to stop me. I identified myself as a law enforcement officer. With some further negotiations I was able to get the individuals to comply, so we could get the individual out of the car.”

Chief Jones explained how he gave the subject chest compressions on the side of the road in an attempt to resuscitate him.

“A few seconds later, Deborah Kleinheider jumped in the middle of this chaotic scene and began relaying information to 911—during a time the situation was very chaotic. A few seconds after that, Whitney Sybert showed up, jumped right on the scene and asked what she could do to help. She held his head up while I continued doing chest compressions on the individual.”

“Both of these ladies continued to watch the surroundings—they weren’t in the distance [watching] what was going on,” explained Chief Jones. “They jumped directly in the middle of what was going on in this incident.”

Chief Jones said the man was able to resume breathing and was transported to the hospital where he was later released.

“We had a lot of people stop and ask if we were doing okay,” he said. “I appreciate everyone who stopped, but for these two ladies to jump in and do what they did . . . that really meant a lot to me.”

In a later interview, Chief Jones expressed his thanks to Brian Lambeth of the St. James Ambulance District and Chris Giacolone from the Rolla Police Department. Both of them arrived on the scene as well, to assist in the situation. Lambeth was off duty at the time.

“They did an outstanding job,” said Chief Jones.

Both women were presented with a plaque by Chief Jones and a round of applause by those at the meeting.

Following Chief Jones’ presentation, the council was greeted by Benjy Daniel, an enthusiastic high schooler with a passion for the city. Benjy gave his own presentation about how he felt he could contribute to the ongoing growth of the city.

“I love St. James, it’s a wonderful town,” he said. “I appreciate being able to come to these meetings and do what I can to help grow St. James.”

Benjy explained how he recently started his own auction on Facebook, and began donating 10% of it’s income towards the city of St. James.

Benjy even did a 50/50 raffle at a yard sale, and raised the donation amount to 20% to increase is charitable giving to the city. He presented a jar of cash donations to the council at the meeting.

“A plain person can do that,” he said. “I feel like there’s a lot of people, that like to keep their money or put it towards things they don’t need when there’s a lot of people that need help or need support.” Benji then proposed the council implements a monthly 50/50 raffle to take place at city council meetings to help raise money for the city.

“If we can try and donate to grow things and to help other people, we should do it,” he said. “I feel like this would be one more opportunity to help St. James.”

Following the presentations the council addressed other city matters, such as the removal of abandoned or severely neglected buildings, and the state of public works. The next city council meeting is scheduled for  September 11, at 7 p.m..