O'Fallon Weekly May 15, 2019

Wednesday May 15, 2019 Planning Commission approves Schnucks liquor license, new strip mall Page 5 JaRon Dent submits letter of resignation Board unanimous accepts Vol. 5, No. 4 $1.00 O'Fallon comes out for first Vine Street Market JaRon Dent thanks a supporter at the April 23 school board meeting. (O'Fallon Weekly File Photo) By Nick Miller Weekly Editor O’FALLON - In a special meeting held Wednesday evening, the District 203 Board of Education accepted the resignation of teacher JaRon Dent. Dent, who has been on administrative leave for the past two months as the district performs an investigation into him, submitted a short letter to the District stating he was resigning from his position effective May 24, 2019. While the school district cannot comment as to the na- ture of the investigation, documents and reports obtained by the Weekly from the O’Fallon Police Department reve- al that the investigation into Dent could revolve around allegations of improper conduct with and grooming of female students. The reports detailed a history of text messaging with students and allegations of improper touching. Securi- ty footage from the high school obtained by the police showed Dent walking through the halls with his arm around a student. While a number of supporters attended the April 23 board meeting and spoke on his behalf, no one was pre- sent at the meeting Wednesday night, including Dent or union representatives. The board unanimously voted to accept the resignation. In This Edition Calendar..................................................3 News................................................... 4-7 Law & Order............................................8 Education ........................................... 9-10 Health & Wellness ���������������������������������� 11 Sports................................................12-13 Milestones.............................................. 14 Vantage Point......................................... 15 Lifestyle.................................................. 16 Fun & Games.......................................... 17 Marketplace........................................... 18 Bon Appétit............................................ 19 By Annabelle Knef & Martha Stoffel Weekly Reporters O'FALLON - O’Fallon Stations’ Vine Street Market held its grand ope- ning on Saturday, May 11, and many residents were in attendance. Residents shopped from various vendors selling plants and flowers, culinary items and artisanal products. Despite the rain and gloom, many stopped to enjoy live music available at the market. During the Parks and Environment committee meeting on Monday, the al- dermen received an update on the first weekend of the Vine Street Market. See “Market” on page 6 (O'Fallon Weekly Photos by Annabelle Knef) O’Fallon based organization to serve survivors of sex trafficking By Annabelle Knef Weekly Reporter O'FALLON - Being sold for purposes of forced labor or sexual exploitation is a brutal reality for many children across the globe - and shockingly, it also impacts the Metro East because of its proximity to St. Louis, where trafficking is conside- red among the highest in the nation. Jessica May of O'Fallon is on a mission to ease suffering among victims. In August 2018, May felt as though God called her to raise aware- ness on the issue of sex trafficking, which ultimately led her to form Renewed Strength Ministries.  The purpose of the ministry is to educate the community about the sexual exploitation and trafficking of young males in particular, while providing survivors with opportuni- ties for healing and growth through a Christ-centered program where they can experience the renewal of their hearts and minds. “It was a vision that God gave me,” May said of starting the ministry. Before she founded the organization, May did work with Covering House, See “Trafficking" on page 6