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The 70th New Melle Festival June 8 - 10

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Kyle Shell Receives Community Service Award

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New Melle Chamber of Commerce Scholarships Winners

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The 9th Annual Kickin’ It For Cancer Kickball Tournament

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    • Letter to the Editor - Is More Growth Too Much?

      June 01, 2023 This past November, I expressed concerns about the explosive growth in St. Charles County, including the explosion of apartment buildings by over 300% in the past two years.

      Recently, a request for rezoning was submitted to the St. Charles County Planning and Zoning Commission to develop an approximate 600-home subdivision near Frontier Middle School on Highway DD to Schwede Road. In this request, the property is being rezoned from Agricultural District to R1A (1-acre minimum lot size) and R1E Residential District (7,000 square feet minimum lot size).

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    • New Melle Chamber of Commerce Scholarships Winners

      June 01, 2023
      By Dianne Sudbrock

      The New Melle Chamber of Commerce awarded four $2000 scholarships to area students this year at their annual scholarship banquet May 18 at The Quarry Wine Garden.

      The 2023 Scholarship recipients were Allison Counts, Rachel Deason, Caden Hayek, and Kendall Martin.

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    • Kyle Shell Receives Community Service Award

      June 01, 2023 By Dianne Sudbrock

      For the third year in a row, the New Melle Chamber decided to recognize an individual member who has gone above and beyond in serving both the Chamber of Commerce and the community at large. This year, that person was Kyle Shell. He was surprised with this award at the NMCC Scholarship Banquet, May 18.

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    • The 9th Annual Kickin’ It For Cancer Kickball Tournament

      June 01, 2023 The 2023 New Melle Festival Queen Candidates hosted the 9th Annual Kickin' it for Cancer Kickball Tournament on Friday, May 12 and was again a tremendous success.

      It was a beautiful night for kickball, and twelve teams registered and came out to play to support the cause. The teams were: 2 Legit 2 Kick, Balls of Fury, Booze on First, Burbes, Catala & Red Beauty, Elite Alcoholics, Freeballers, Homefront Homies, Kickin' It, Shadow Wizard Money Gang, The Blue Balls, and The Lenders.

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    • The 70th New Melle Festival June 8 - 10

      May 06, 2023
      New Melle Sports and Rec is hosting the 70th Annual New Melle Festival from June 8-10. On Saturday, June 10, the New Melle Festival Parade will begin at 1 p.m. This year’s theme is the 70s. Be sure to register and enter your float today!

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Most Visited In The Last 30 Days

Most Visited

By Leslie Limberg

You know those gawky, camel-like animals used as pack horses in South America? Ones you’d call llamas? Well, the ones in our neighborhood are not llamas at all; they’re alpacas. They are more friendly than llamas, more manageable, adorable and lots more family fun. Several productive locals use the alpaca fleece for crafts to sell, increasing their income.  The good news; our own Boone Country area has a booming alpaca industry. Several alpaca farms have started up in the last ten+ years.  Let’s tour the area north to south, from Foristell to New Melle to Defiance and Matson Hill.

First, in Foristell, Carol Hudgens, a former alpaca breeder and artist, owns Stone Bluff Farm and three Huacaya Alpacas, a black, a brown and a gray. Every Spring, she sheers their coats for the incredibly soft, warm and luscious fleece used for her crocheted and knitted scarves, hats, ponchos and sweaters, ones you would covet in Winter.  She sells them locally at her farm store (see website below) or on the Internet at These are not ordinary clothes; on the contrary, they are genuine crafts and excellent gifts for special people. Many of her scarves can serve as home decorations over chairs and sofas (lending serious topics for conversation.)  Consider buying Carol’s alpaca yarn for making your own hand-knitted gifts for family members - a sure legacy. 

By the way, Alpaca manure is easily used as garden fertilizer.  The droppings, also called ‘beans,’ resemble little pellets, like deer scat, and can be scattered in home gardens without the concern for burning plants.

Going south, the next farm is an ‘artist’s studio’ west of New Melle, where artist and new mother, Karry Heun, creates surprisingly different and artistic crafts with Alpaca fleece. She has four Huacayas that provide multi-colored fleece for her multi-cultural photographic clientele in New York, California and Paris.

Karry cleans, pulls, and hand spins her own fiber, and this requires strong hands and, needless to say, is a labor of love. She makes pillows, rugs (with Angora goat mohair,) wall hangings, trivets, dog beds and even felted soap covers. Her crafts beg to be touched. 

Closer to Defiance is Joyce Johnson of Shadowland Ranch. Joyce has a rare herd of Suri Alpacas.  Suri fiber and yarn is shiny and straight, rather than the hollow and crimped Huacaya alpaca fleece. It produces a fine texture and bright sheen, unique among artisan fiber products and beautiful for hats and purses.  Joyce’s crafts are also for sale on the internet site for artistic products,

According to history, Alpaca fleece, cultivated in the Andes Mountains of Peru and Chile, is so soft and silky smooth it was reserved for ancient Inca royalty. Warmer than wool and hypo-allergenic, it does not itch.

Lastly, on Matson Hill Road is Midwest Alpaca Farm with a herd of 50! Owned by Dale Natoli and his family, this 55-acre farm boasts making the warmest and most durable socks you have ever worn! They are sold at Straatmann Feed in New Melle. Dale’s alpacas are an exotic breed of Peruvian, Chilean, and English alpacas, especially bred to produce fleece that surpasses the warmth of sheep wool. His socks are called Norlander Socks (, and they really work!

Alpaca artists are on the cutting edge of a trend in many communities - that of creating ‘cottage industries’ and increasing local economies. This kind of creativity is smart and helps us all by making our Boone Country area a more sustainable place to live and thrive.  Please consider buying from these hard-working artists. We’d all agree support of our locals is a good community investment.

Leslie Limberg is a community advocate and supporter of Southwestern St. Charles County.

1. Small Herd with Personality web  IMG_2465.jpg

 From Karry Huen’s farm -- Alpacas with personality!

11. alpaca socks at straatmann web  IMG_2472.jpg
Norlander socks from Midwest Alpaca Farms.

2. Natoli freshly sheared in pasture web  image-2.jpg
Freshly sheared alpacas at Dale Natoli’s Midwest Alpaca Farm.

3. Close up brown web IMG_2462.jpg
A close-up of one of these unique, inquisitive animals.

4. Karry Huen bowl trivet web IMG_2507.jpg
A trivet or ornamental table-top sculpture made from balls of alpaca fur.

5. Karry Huen felted bowl web  IMG_2509.jpg
Karry Huen Felted bowl

6. Karry Huen Rug web IMG_2508.jpg
Karry Huen Rug

7. Carol Hudgens scarf  brown cream web IMG_0621.jpg
Carol Hudgens Scarf

8. Carol Hudgens  scarf 2-color web IMG_1939.jpg
Carol Hudgens Scarf

9. Carol Hudgens scarves tan web IMG_0517.jpg
Carol Hudgens Scarf

Dog Bed made by Karry Huen