Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Flustered Playwright Scrambles to Deliver Murder Mystery at Roxy

The North Nodaway School Play, “Murders in the Heir,” was a scramble to get done because Billy St. John, the author, wanted to get the play just right. He was constantly calling Mr. T, the director, with one last-minute change after another. There was one problem – Mr. St. John could never make up his mind who the murderer ought to be. Consequently, the audience had to vote on who the murderer was. The cast had to practice all five scenarios and be ready to do any one of five, depending on who was the unlucky winner.

The eccentric billionaire, Simon Starkweather, one of the world’s first, summoned his entire family down to his home in the backwoods to tell them about important changes to his will. He announced to shocked family members and servants that as of the next morning, the will, which had initially provided generously for them after he was gone, would be null and void. Instead, he designated a surrogate parent to raise him up after he was cloned using a new, experimental procedure. The money would be kept in trust and be used to pay expenses, except for some token gifts to family members, and once Simon came of age again, he would be free to begin making money again – and perhaps becoming the world’s first trillionaire.

Mr. Starkweather (Garrett Torres), despite all his wealth, was on his last legs. He needed an oxygen tank, machines, medicine, and round the clock nursing care just to stay alive. There was no time to waste, and the signing of the new will was set for tomorrow morning. As family members expressed their anger and consternation over what had just happened, a storm that had been moving in the area got out of hand, knocking out the power, and forcing everyone to rely on candles – another thing that all Mr. Starkweather’s wealth could not prevent. But before the will could be signed, there was a ringing of the bell, which Mr. Starkweather used to summon the nurse. When he was brought out, everyone realized he was dead. “Maybe the old man did himself in,” said Rufus (Jordan Snyder), the hick servant at the bottom of the totem pole who everyone wondered why he hadn’t been fired yet. But the truth turned out to be much more sinister – he had been strangled to death, and it had been made to look natural. It was up to Mike Davis (Cole Bird), the investigator, to piece together the puzzle since the power was out and the police would not have access to the place until the morning.

Cast members were Garrett Torres, Faith Adwell, Drew Roderick, Emily Dew, Trevor Brown, Kelsi Oberhauser, Leslie Richardson, Bailey Tate, Jordan Snyder, Abigail Ferguson, Jaiden Hopkins, Layna Murphy, Cole Bird, Greg Thompson, Shelbie King, and The Cat. Director was Nine Dewhurst. Props Mistress was Tarynne Poe. In charge of lights was Madison Thompson. In charge of sound was Bethany Herndon. Technical assistants were Olivia Miller and Audrey Trimble. Doing set construction were Brian Roderick, Drew Roderick, Scott Lance, Alyssabeth Roderick, and Alex Roderick. In charge of the house were Jaclyn Smail and Salena Condray. Ticket takers were Saylor Brown, Alonna Cross, Alyssabeth Roderick, and Alexus Strough.

Mountain Lion Spotted South of Allendale

A mountain lion was spotted south of Allendale 2-3 weeks ago. It was spotted along a dirt road between Denver and Allendale near a wooded area. Male mountain lions frequently roam hundreds of miles looking for food and mates. Mating season generally ranges from December to March. There was a confirmed female mountain lion sighting in southern Missouri earlier this year. There are 20,000 mountain lions in the western part of the country. Although Missouri is part of their historic range, the Missouri Department of Conservation is not reintroducing mountain lions to the state and has no plans to do so.

Monday, March 20, 2017

Grass Fire Strikes Southeast of Sheridan

A grass fire struck southeast of Sheridan Saturday afternoon at around 3 pm east of Vern Mitchell’s home at 170th & Colt. The Parnell Fire Department initially responded to the call, which was in their district. Later, further calls came into 911 and Sheridan and Grant City units responded. Fireman Justin Rush said the Sheridan Fire Department had been supervising controlled burns all morning since 9:00 and had supervised about 250 acres worth when they got the call. The Parnell crew said they were glad Sheridan arrived when they did, because they were nearly out of water. Between 3:30 and 4, the blaze, aided by a stiff south wind and a warm day, jumped 170th road and burned a small area north of the road before being contained. Area landowners were scrambling to move hay out of the area in case the fire spread. The breeze died down later in the day and the extra manpower allowed the blaze to be contained by 4:30.

Musket Lifters Third at Home Power Lift

The North/West Nodaway Muskets finished third in their home power lift that was held Saturday, March 11th. They competed against bigger schools, but still were able to medal.

Karissa Oberhauser won gold in junior high. She benched 95, squatted 105, and was 85 on the hang clean. In the men’s 167 & under in the junior high, Karson Oberhauser won gold, getting 115 in the bench, 175 in the squat, and 145 in the hang clean. Gabe Goff got overall gold, getting 175 in the bench, 315 in the squat, and 175 in the hang clean.

At the high school level, MaKayla Cross got gold in the 153 & under division as she got 110 in the bench, 275 in the squat, and 115 in the hang clean. In the men’s 134 & under, Tyler Bix got bronze in the bench with a lift of 125 pounds He got gold in the squat with a lift of 235, and gold in the hang clean with a lift of 135.

Dalton Smyser won silver in the bench press with a lift of 135 pounds. He got a bronze in the squat with a lift of 130 pounds, and was  silver in the hang clean with a lift of 115.

Alex Roderick got silver in the bench with a lift of 175. He won gold in the squat with a lift of 325, and gold in the hang clean with a lift of 190.

In the 145 & under, Trevor Brown got a bronze in the bench, with a lift of 165 pounds. In the 164 & under, Dakota Smyser got silver in the hang clean with a lift of 185 pounds.

Jordan Snyder was silver in the bench, with a lift of 195. He was also silver in the hang clean with a lift of 225. He won gold in the squat, with a lift of 450. With that lift, he moved to second in the school record board; he also set a personal best with 870 pounds overall.

Shenandoah won gold at the lift with 290 total points. They were followed by Nodaway-Holt with 288 points, and North Nodaway with 170 points for the bronze.

Coach Cody Marriott said that Karson Oberhauser, Karissa Oberhauser, and Gabe Goff all stood out in the junior high division. “Shenandoah brought 25 kids and Nodaway-Holt brought 17-18, but we competed, and it’s good for the kids to push themselves and get experience,” he said. He said that they were looking to get Jordan Snyder to the top spot on the leaderboard following his squat of 450 pounds. And he said Alex Roderick, who will go out for football next fall, earned his gold medal with hard work by coming in several times a week to lift.

He said that to get more than two wins next year, it would take kids understanding the need to get into the weight room and make themselves stronger during the offseason. The Muskets only won two games, but they were only a few possessions away from having a 5-5 year instead.

Mustang Baseball Posts Run Rule Victory in Opener

North Nodaway posted an 11-1 run rule victory over North Harrison in their opener Friday despite it being played on St. Patrick’s Day. The young Mustang squad got all the hitting they needed from their underclassman, three of whom got critical hits.

Jake Shipman’s squad got its first runs of the season in the bottom of the first. North Nodaway got its leadoff man in Dakota Smyser on base with a walk and he stole second, but it looked like he would be stranded after Logan Keho and Peyton Coleman struck out. But then Smyser took third on a wild pitch, Arron Coleman reached on catcher’s interference, and stole second, restarting North Nodaway’s chances. That brought up freshman Ryan Riley, who promptly stepped up like a veteran and knocked them both in to make it 2-0.

North Harrison got its lone tally in the second when Collin Castleberry walked to lead off and later came around to score on a three base throwing error when Tyler Bix threw away a bunt and Ryan Thomsen made it to third with one out. But Trey Gilliland flied out to Dakota Smyser in center, too shallow to score Thomsen and pitcher Peyton Coleman picked off Thomsen to end the threat.
In the top of the third, Logan Huitt walked with one out, but was promptly shot down stealing as Tyler Bix showed that he had a rifle for an arm behind the plate for North Nodaway.

The Shamrock pitcher, Gilliland, kept North Nodaway shut down until the third, when he started fighting the strike zone and walked Logan Keho to lead off. Peyton Coleman singled, but Keho hesitated coming around second and was gunned down at third with Coleman taking second. Arron Coleman walked and Riley was plunked to load the bases, but Jordan Snyder struck out for the second out and it looked like North Nodaway would go down quietly. But then Gilliland plunked his second batter of the inning, Makayla Cross to force in Peyton and Bix walked to force in Arron Coleman and North Nodaway was up 4-1.

Breakingballer J.D. Baker came on to replace Gilliland and struck out Austin Bird, but ran into trouble with the top of the order in the fourth. Dakota Smyser walked and stole second and scored when Logan Keho whistled a single past short to score him. Peyton Coleman grounded to third, but the third baseman threw away the force at second and Keho made it to third. Coleman stole second, Arron Coleman walked to load the bases, and Riley got a solid hit right at second which was enough to bring in Keho to make it 6-1.

That finished Baker and brought in Randy Rinehart for the Shamrocks, but freshman Dalton Smyser greeted him with a solid single that brought in two more runs to break it open. MaKayla Cross struck out, but Tyler Bix walked, Garret Torres was plunked for the third hit batter of the game, and Dakota Smyser’s pop fly dropped in untouched behind second. With two outs, everyone was off on the crack of the bat and two more runs scored to make it 10-1.

Mustang pitcher Peyton Coleman was on a pitch count limit as he was nearing 75 pitches. It looked like he would get through as Ryan Jones grounded out to Arron Coleman at short. But then Trey Gilliland’s grounder hit the mound, bounced 20 feet up into the air, and he got a scratch hit. J.D. Baker struck out, but then Arron Coleman had to replace Peyton as he had reached his pitch limit. Tyler Lundy walked to put two on, but then Arron settled down and struck out Logan Huitt to get out of the inning.

Peyton Coleman tripled to right center as the ball sliced hard away from the center fielder and Arron Coleman grounded out to bring him home for the 11th run.

Friday, March 17, 2017

Worth County School Board Rehires All Teachers

The Worth County School Board offered all their certified teachers contracts for the 2017-2018 school year following a brief closed session after their regular Board of Education Meeting Thursday evening. For the non-tenured elementary, rehired were Nanci Drury, Amanda Pottorff, Bryce Schafer, Stephanie Scofield, and Jami Stalder. Tenured elementary staff rehired were Stormy Hayes, Leena Hightshoe, Amy Jackson, Jodi Lawrence, Patty Pischer, Linda Phipps, and Trisha Ross. Non-tenured staff rehired for high school included Karen Andrews, Tiffany Bliley, Coleen Combs, Blaire Owens, Julie Capps, and William Coleman. Tenured staff rehired included Jonell Cook, Amy Garrett, April Healy, Chris Healy, Selina O'Connor, Farrah Richey, Kelley Ross, Josh Smith, Merry Spiers, and Julia Wideman.

The board conducted a brief public hearing on the school calendar, since it running early this year. Afterwards, no changes were made to the 2017-2018 calendar. School was called off for one afternoon due to the Sectional Basketball game that Worth County's boys played in. While some schools such as Jefferson call off school during Show-Me Showdown, the Worth County school board decided to have the administration make the call on whether or not to have school on a case by case basis. "Do we do it for state golf?" asked board member Tish Warner.

Teachers Patty Lischer and Julie Capps gave presentations about their work during the CTA portion of the board meeting. Lischer reported that they were doing data-driven instruction in the elementary and working with students on setting academic goals for themselves.

Julie Capps talked about her time in general since coming to Worth County. She said it was a leap of faith to move across the state, but that it was worth it every day. She reported that she was teaching students how to play the recorder starting in 5th grade. She said the High School band was doing well and was not afraid to ask questions. A new 6th grade band has also been formed. She said they had really taken off after the Christmas break and that she wanted to see them enter into contests at some point. The high school band resurrected the old school fight song, "Faithful and True-Hearted" and is playing at football and basketball games.

The 5th and 6th graders and Junior High competed in honor choir last fall. Capps said her favorite part of teaching band was concerts and competitions. She is heavily involved with musical and professional organizations; she is a member of the Missouri Bandmasters Association. She drives to Liberty to go to the North Winds Symphonic Band and also goes to Cameron to perform.

At the elementary level, Capps reported that the Cat in the Hat came to school earlier this month and donated books to the school library. During the week of February 27th to March 5th, there were dress-up days at the elementary. Monday was Red & Blue day, Tuesday was crazy socks, Wednesday was wear green, Thursday was Twin Day, and Friday was Hat Day. A new Tri-Music Honor Society has been formed at the school, which will give the students more recognition. The school has 16 ensembles planned for the Solo Ensemble and will compete in the Large Ensemble Festival as well. For the Elementary Concert, the K-2 will put on a play, accompanied by the 6th Grade Band. Down the road, Capps said she would like to take the band to Worlds of Fun, Show-Me Showdown, and MMEA.

Capps reported that the school has a massive surplus of instruments accumulated over the years. She and the administration will come up with a plan to care for and use them over the next few years.

Board President Rodney Brown presented a certificate of appreciation to outgoing board member Stephanie Hardy for her service to the board. She is not seeking reelection this year. Seeking reelection are incumbents Jeff Andrews and Tyler Steele along with challengers Amanda Gilland and Amber Monticue.

Elementary Principal Chuck Borey reported that character superstars for February did a party with the Principal and Mrs. Pottorff. In conjunction with Worth County Emergency Management, the school conducted a tornado drill on March 7th. An Elementary Math Contest was held at Northeast Nodaway; qualifying from Worth County were Lance Abplanalp, Alison Anderson, Levi Cassavaugh, Ethan Frese, Tyler New, and Zane Rippy.

Sue Robison from University Extension comes every Tuesday to teach nutrition classes with the students. 2nd graders worked on sorting a variety of different foods into the five different food groups. 3rd graders are learning about the different nutrients that bodies need to be healthy.

A career day was held for the fourth through sixth graders organized by Mrs. Pottorff. Six different speakers came to the school to talk about their work. They were Matt Pearl (Times-Tribune), Amber Monticue (Great Western Bank), Dan Weddle (Hilltop Vet), Austin Hann (Nodaway County Sheriff's Department) along with the drug dog, Barry McClellan (United Electric), and D.J. Engel (Natural Resources and Agriculture).

Principal Jon Adwell reported that 8th graders had taken a tour of the Vo-Tech School with Ms. Owens. The FFA and FCCLA took a joint field trip and to Kansas City. They played laser tag in the limestone caves, went to the Oak Park Mall where there were huge can sculptures there, and did community service work at Harvesters.

The school received three bids for mowing the non-athletic grounds at the school. Larry Kinsella bid $300 per mow. Anthony Steinhauser bid $325 per mow. Kobbe Lawn Care bid $371.50 per mow. Anthony Steinhauser had mowed the school grounds for the last six years; however, the board awarded the mowing contract to Larry Kinsella, who was the low bidder. The vote was 4-2, with board members Stephanie Hardy and Matt Kanak voting to go with Steinhauser's bid.

The school solicited bids for a seven-passenger vehicle that would be used to transport the golf team or other school organizations to events. Glendenning bid $21,000 for a grey Chrysler Town & Country for $21,000 with 25,500 miles. Pettijohn submitted three bids. One was for a red and black Dodge Grand Caravan for $17,950 (28,119 miles). One was for a black and gold Chrysler Town & Country with 26,591 miles for $20,500. The third was for a white and black Chrysler Town and Country with 25,627 miles for $20,500. The board elected to go with the black and gold Chrysler because it had the school colors. The vote was unanimous and contingent on inspection by the bus supervisor.

The board voted to approve the application for a recycling program for the school, which will be done in conjunction with Rolling Hills, which also does recycling for Grant City. The school will recycle paper, cardboard, plastic, and tin. Students will collect paper throughout the classrooms and work areas. Custodial staff will consolidate paper into bags. Kitchen staff and custodial staff will break down cardboard boxes. Kitchen staff will rinse and compact tin cans. Plastic water and pop bottles from concession stands and vending sales will be collected. The Grant City Leo Club will remove caps and rinse bottles. Plastic and tin cans will be separated from the paper. Sorted materials will be stored in a shed, which will be built by the Agriculture Construction Class, or in enclosed trailers, using grant money. Grant money will also be used to purchase 6 bins to collect plastic bottles. The school is requesting $8,287 for the project. The in-kind match will be $1,615, all of which will involved labor by students and staff. Total project cost will be $9,902.

The school board approved the contract with the Worth County Summer Ball Board for the use of the ball diamond from April 1st to June 30th for a cost of $500/month. Previously, it had been handled by the Superintendent; however, the auditors told the school that board approval was needed. The ball board will manage little league and summer softball programs during that time frame.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

North Nodaway Seeks Spark from Young Players

North Nodaway’s baseball team will be looking for a spark from its younger players as well as some of its returning players. They have 13 players out this year who have been doing as many repetitions as possible under coaches Jake Shipman and Cody Marriott. Marriott said that teams to watch for this year include North Andrew and North Harrison; the Cardinals started a new baseball program this year under former Worth Countyian Todd Simmons; North Harrison started a new baseball program last year and beat North Nodaway following the dismantling of boys softball. North Andrew has been dominant in football and basketball, so coaches are naturally wary about their new baseball team.

Peyton Coleman, Arron Coleman, and Dakota Smyser will be counted on to pitch for North Nodaway this year; they have been breaking in Dalton Smyser and Drexel Richardson as well in that position. Dakota has taken on a much bigger leadership role this year, helping everyone else out during batting practice. Will coaching be in his future? “That’s what everyone tells me,” he said.

The Mustangs lose Daytona Lutz, who graduated early to enter the Marines. That means they will need to find a catcher. A freshman, Tyler Bix, may step into that role. He was handling all the catching chores last Wednesday, going through some reaction drills with Marriott and catching the pitchers.

The Mustangs will have a lot of holes to fill from a team that was district runner-up last year. One player who may step up big this year is Logan Keho, who was hitting everything close to the plate all the way to the wall. Dalton Smyser started getting some solid contact after being coached not to turn his head while swinging. Garrett Torres also got some solid hits. They will join big guns such as Peyton Coleman, Dakota Smyser, and Arron Coleman at the plate.

Mikayla Cross is a person of many talents; she does softball, quilting, and now baseball. She said the biggest change from softball to baseball was the heavier bats; she said the smallest one was 30 ounces. In softball, most of the bats are 20 ounces. “That will make me stronger; that’s my goal,” she said. She is following in the footsteps of Northeast Nodaway’s Jill Spire, who secured a starting spot on Vance Proffitt’s squad, played errorless ball at second base, and got a critical hit to secure Northeast’s third straight conference title. “The other players have accepted her and are showing her the ropes,” said Marriott. Cross also has the support of her softball coach. “If anyone can do it, she can,” said David Carroll, her softball coach. She will compete for a spot on the infield and had a couple of solid cracks in batting practice last Wednesday. Peyton Coleman and Arron Coleman will likely play somewhere on the infield.

When not pitching, Dakota Smyser will play somewhere in the outfield. Also playing could be Austin Bird, who showed a rocket launcher for an arm in practice. He doesn’t know his own strength, but he was throwing the ball farther than anyone else.