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Spotlight on St. Louis Area Neighborhood Activities - Updated March 3, 2015

Scammers Using Ameren's Name Illegally
ST. LOUIS, MO, (, March 3, 2015 - In observance of National Consumer Protection Week, Ameren is warning customers in Missouri and Illinois to be aware of scam artists who are using Ameren's name illegally.

Last year an estimated 1,400 Ameren customers were affected by phone scams totaling more than $23,000. The majority of scams reported to Ameren threatened disconnection of utility service unless a payment was made immediately from a pre-paid money card over the phone. Some thieves have even come right to customer doors.

"We've received reports of scam artists coming to homes and businesses suggesting that there are problems with electrical equipment," said Tim Reagan, director of corporate security at Ameren. "Scammers will demand payment for repairs that don't exist. We never demand payment at a customer's home or business."

Ameren offers these tips against scammers:

  • Ameren never demands personal, account or financial information for immediate payment. Never give your credit card, debit card, Social Security, ATM, checking or saving account numbers to anyone who comes to your home, calls or sends an email requesting this information.
  • Ameren field employees do not accept payments.
  • Never let anyone into your home claiming to be from the utility unless they show proper Ameren badge identification.
  • Ameren never sends emails that include attachments, unless you've contacted us to specifically request information. Never open attachments unless you've contacted Ameren and are expecting to receive information.
  • Ameren continues to work with federal, state and local authorities to investigate utility scams. "We know how important it is to keep customers' information safe and secure, and we appreciate any information they can provide to help eliminate these scams altogether," said Reagan.
If you suspect someone is impersonating an Ameren employee, end the conversation and immediately call Ameren Illinois at 1.800.755.5000 or Ameren Missouri at 1.800.552.7583. Customers can also follow Ameren on social media to receive the latest updates on scams.

Boys & Girls Clubs to Open New Club in Ferguson
ST. LOUIS, MO, (, February 28, 2015 - As part of a greater strategy for proactive expansion and deeper impact into communities and neighborhoods where kids need us most, the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater St. Louis is planning to open a new Club to serve youth ages 6-18 in Ferguson and the surrounding communities. Starting this summer, a new Boys & Girls Club will open in Ferguson Middle School, located at 701 January Avenue, to serve approximately 400 members.

What has happened since the death of Michael Brown last August reflects a series of broken relationships; between communities of color and law enforcement; between the affluent and the poor; between whites and blacks; between government and the governed; and between those with jobs and the unemployed. Any response to these underlying causes of tension and unrest must attempt to address one or more of these challenges.

"Creating a Boys & Girls Club in the Ferguson area will produce positive outcomes in a community that has been subsumed with difficult realties and negative images. Moving a successful youth focused organization into Ferguson like Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater St. Louis, which has a long track record of success, can bolster young people's attitudes and give them a sense of hope. A new club will enrich our children's lives and the city by helping its youth build strong character, graduate from high school with a plan for life, and become productive citizens," said Dr. Flint Fowler, Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater St. Louis President.

Ferguson area youth currently have limited options for afterschool activities. When the school bell rings in the afternoon, many students lack a place to go for safe, structured, and supervised programs that can help them learn and grow. Boys & Girls Clubs take a comprehensive approach to youth development while addressing the barriers that might limit a child's involvement.

"Recent events and research from Brookings Institution highlight the need to strengthen the social sector and youth development infrastructure in North St. Louis County," noted Rev. Starsky D. Wilson, President and CEO of Deaconess Foundation and co-chair of the Ferguson Commission. "We are pleased that Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater St. Louis, one of Deaconess' Impact Partners, is so well positioned to respond to the call and encourage others to support their work."

"The Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater St. Louis, has a deep tradition of helping youth throughout the metropolitan area. Having worked closely with teens and local youth organizations since 2010 as part of the Ferguson Youth Initiative, I welcome opportunities that will continue to enrich the lives of our youth. We are truly excited that your organization is starting a Ferguson based club in the near future, that will ultimately benefit our youth and our residents," stated Dwayne T. James, City Council Member.

Dave Spence, Founder & CEO, Ferguson 1000 adds, "It is imperative that we give the children of our community a safe haven and a place to fill idle time with productive activities. The Boys and Girls Club is a beacon in most communities and we feel confident that the opening of a club in Ferguson is one of many positive steps towards healing our community."

The Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater St. Louis has a 50 year track record of success in the St. Louis region as a youth services provider and will implement nationally recognized programs at the new Club similar to those offered in the five Clubs it presently operates. These programs will address the challenges faced by many Ferguson area youth, helping them succeed in school, stay healthy, pursue interests in arts and sports, STEM and explore career choices.

The Ferguson Middle School Club will be open every day after school until 8 pm and for an eight week summer day camp program. For information on registration, families can call 314.335.8000.

A Night for Hope & Healing: The Gala to Benefit Lydia's House
ST. LOUIS, MO, (, February 28, 2015 - Join Lydia's House and gala emcee Kevin Hewgley on March 7, 2015, for A Night for Hope & Healing: The Gala to Benefit Lydia's House, at The Ritz-Carlton. For calendar of upcoming galas and benefits, see Community Events.

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Archived St. Louis Community News and Information:
 Annual MLK Day Marchers Clash with Ferguson Protesters
 West Florissant Avenue Great Streets Project Gets Boost
 Reinvest North County Fund Issues Second Round of Funding
 St. Louis Marathon Rock 'n' Rolls Through the Neighborhoods
 Monsanto Commits $1 Million for North St. Louis County
 President Reed Teams with Forest ReLeaf with 'Trees for Peace'
 Webster University Kicks Off Centennial Celebration at the Old Post Office Plaza
 Reinvest North County Fund Announces First Round of Awards
 City of Clayton Municipal Court to Hold Amnesty Day Court Docket, October 6
 VA Acting Secretary Sloan D. Gibson Addressed Issues at Hospital
 'Food for Fines' Program During July at St. Louis Public Library
 St. Louis Fire Department to Receive Grant to Enhance Training
 Painted Articulated MetroBus Spotlights South Grand
 Biking to Work Increases 60 Percent Over Last Decade
 Newly Rebuilt River des Peres Greenway Trail Opens at the Shrewsbury/Lansdowne MetroLink Station
 St. Louis City Introduces 'Milkweeds for Monarchs'
 Heat-Up St. Louis Hits A Record High of $165,000 To Date
 stl250 to Install 250 Cakes for the "Cakeway to the West"

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