Monday, December 29, 2008

Interstate 29 in Atchison County closed

The Missouri Department of Transportation has announced that recent freeze and thaw conditions have damaged Interstate 29 in Atchison County at the 107 mile marker south of Rock Port. The northbound driving lane at that location will be shut down beginning immediately with all signs and arrow boards present. The northbound passing lane will remain open. Weather permitting, all lanes should reopen to traffic the morning of Wednesday, December 31, 2008.
MoDOT apologizes for any inconvenience this necessary closure will cause. The public is asked to slow down and drive safely through all work zones.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

A Moment with Mike for December 31st, 2008

As we prepare to embark on a new year, our State and Nation are facing challenging times. Many of us find ourselves struggling to make ends meet, keep our businesses running and keep our families safe and secure. The fear of losing jobs or financial security, distrust of leaders, and uncertainty of what is to come permeates our thoughts.

Peggy Noonan, an editorialist for the Wall Street Journal, in a recent article, states that the most disturbing undercurrent at “the heart of the great collapse” has become “a strong sense of absence” of leadership, of will, of strength and of character. She points out, however, that this is not the time to “throw in the towel” or accept an attitude of “oh well, I guess we will all go down with the ship”. We must now remember who we are. We are the largest and most technologically powerful economy in the world, the leading industrial power of the world and the wealthiest nation in the world. We are the world’s oldest continuing democracy under an enduring Constitution. People still want to come here by the millions to attend our universities, to work in our businesses and to live in our communities. We are still a very powerful , very charitable and very industrious nation.

Ms. Noonan also reminds us that in times of crisis, pain, worry and fear that we have “an extraordinary, brilliant and enduring base.” We are a nation of achievers, of builders, of innovators, of inventors and of leaders. We have the ingenuity, the flexibility, the strengths of a national economy, a labor force blessed with human talent and resources and an American people that have intelligence, integrity and honor.

We have been living beyond our means for some time. That is why bubbles burst, markets drop and fear sets in. What is needed now is not an attitude of fear and distrust. We must re-awaken the American spirit with the ideals, the ingenuity and that drive to succeed, to build and to create that has sustained this nation for well over 200 years. Right here in the Heartland, we are citizens who exemplify that frontier spirit and that drive to succeed.

With your continued support, advice and counsel I am looking forward to the 2009 Session and to working on legislation that will continue to improve the lives of Missourians. Incoming House Speaker Ron Richard has already outlined a “family recovery plan” for 2009 that focuses on pocketbook issues such as job creation, property taxes and raising living standards, all tangible benefits for Missourians. I believe that we can overcome this crisis and show that Missourians are prepared to shoulder the burden, lead the charge and set the standard.

If you have questions, you may reach me at my Capitol number 573-751-9465, at the local district number, 660-582-4014, by email at or by mail at Room 114B State Capitol Building, Jefferson City, MO 65101.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Jack Remembers for 12-31-08

New Year’s Eve, 1954, the Korean War had ended and the First Cavalry Division had pulled out and was stationed up and down the coast of Japan. I was in "Charlie" Company in the Eighth Cavalry Regiment and we had just moved from Hokkaido to a bombed out Japanese airbase 60 miles north of Tokyo. General Doolittle had bombed the base and bomb craters were still visible everywhere. We had a pass and headed out the gate to Boomtown to celebrate New Years. Boomtown consisted of dozens of Cabarets and had sprung up virtually overnight after we had moved to the old airbase.
After a full night of hooping and hollering, and not in good condition, we headed back to camp. The barracks were located a quarter of a mile or more up a slight hill past the gate and in our condition we were going to have a problem negotiating that hill. After going through the gate we noticed two MP jeeps sitting side by side pointed up the hill toward the barracks area. The only mistake we made was not taking both jeeps. Six of us piled in to one of the jeeps and I drove at a high rate of speed to the barracks. I looked back and there the other MP jeep was not far behind with every red light it had on. We jumped out and by best buddy James R. Heard from Coldwater, Kansas said, "Follow me!" He quickly entered the back door of a well lit barracks visible to the MP that belonged to "Baker" Company. We went through the barracks and out the front door and over to "Charlie" Company to our barracks. We all hopped into our bunks with our clothes on. It was quiet and we could clearly hear the MP’s and the First Sergeant of "Baker" Company ordering everyone to fall out into formation. The Sergeant explained to the troops if they didn’t tell the MP’s who had stolen the jeep, they were all going to take a 25 mile march the next morning on New Year’s Day.
Now I was just a low-life dog-face PFC, but had I been "Charlie" Company Commander, I would have given James R. Heard a medal for going beyond the call of duty and leading his drunken buddies quietly through the "Baker" Company barracks.
Jack can be reached at PO Box 40, Oak Grove, MO 64075 or

Take Control of Your Finances in Difficult Economic Times

Take Control of Your Finances in
Difficult Economic Times
Let’s face it. We are in a time of economic uncertainty. The news is full of information about the stock market, interest rates, and mortgage foreclosures. What can we do? The good news is that there are ways to maintain control in times of economic uncertainty, according to Dr. Rebecca J. Travnichek, Family Financial Education Specialist with University of Missouri Extension. While no one individual, not even the Federal Reserve chairman, can control the economy and the stock market, let alone predict the direction that they are moving, we can control the ways we think and act. Dr. Barbara O’Neill with Rutgers Cooperative Extension in New Jersey has developed eight ways we can maintain control over our finances when things are seemingly "out of control":
1. Watch Your Spending—In times of economic uncertainty, it’s wise to "live below your means" and practice what economists call "precautionary savings." There is some recent evidence that Americans are already doing this on a large scale. Consumer spending figures are down and, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis, the U.S. savings rate increased to almost 3% of disposable income in the second quarter of 2008, up from 1% or less during the past three years.
2. Prepare a Spending Plan—A spending plan is a written "best estimate" of the cost of future spending and saving. Ideally, a spending plan should balance income and expenses, including regular savings for future financial goals.
3. Tune Out Market "Noise"—People who are experiencing a lack of control put a lot of stock in any information that they hear. Daily financial reports that, by design, report moment by moment market fluctuations, with commentary, feed on market jitters and can cause some people to panic. Consider limiting your exposure to detailed stock market reports (e.g., CNN and CNBC) or, at the very least, keep reminding yourself that you are investing for the long term.
4. Minimize Investment Expenses—Pay attention to the expenses charged by mutual funds. This information is found in the mutual fund’s prospectus, which can often be downloaded from the Internet.
5. Save Money, Be Happy—The insurance company Northwestern Mutual recently conducted a study that found that people who do things that constitute good planning tend to feel happier than those who don’t. Specific practices that made "planners" feel better about life included setting financial goals, taking steps (saving) to achieve goals, and spending within a budget or spending plan.
6. Study Investment History—Financial markets often seem less scary when someone has previously experienced a grueling bear market and/or has learned about the characteristics and historical performance of investments. We know from history, for example, that stocks can be very volatile day to day but, over periods of 10 years or longer, volatility is greatly reduced. A good source of information about investing is University of Missouri Extension’s Investment Basics self-study course. In times of turbulence and change, knowledge is power!
7. Consider Getting Professional Advice—Professional financial advisors can provide perspective to nervous investors during uncertain economic times. They also have many helpful tools, such as software to run retirement income withdrawal scenarios that can estimate how long someone’s money will last. To locate a financial advisor, start by asking for referrals from other trusted advisors such as a CPA or attorney. Friends and co-workers may also have suggestions.
8. Take Care of Yourself—The last thing that someone needs in an uncertain economy is health problems, especially if your job (and access to health insurance) is shaky. Major health "issues" such as diabetes and cancer, are expensive to treat and a drain on household wealth. Put the odds in your favor by taking charge of your health. Specific actions such as losing weight, exercising regularly, and quitting smoking provide many associated financial benefits. Health is, indeed, the greatest wealth.
While the economy seems to be on a roller coaster ride, the best remedy for the motion sickness is to control the things that we can. Research has shown that people who maintain some measure of control over their lives in times of crisis and uncertainty generally cope better and feel less powerless than those who don’t. Making plans, and revising them when needed, is also a characteristic of financially savvy people. Dr. Travnichek hopes that you follow the suggestions of Dr. Barbara O’Neill and become financially savvy in 2009.
For more information on this or any other family or personal finance topic, contact Dr. Rebecca J. Travnichek at the Andrew County Extension Center (816) 324-3147.

Monday, December 15, 2008

NEN Girls Make Statement with 52-22 Rout of Stanberry

Northeast Nodaway's girls made a statement with their 52-22 rout of Stanberry. In what was supposed to be a defensive struggle between two of the better teams of the area. Instead, Northeast's win established them as one of the teams to beat this year while Stanberry, following two losses in the Albany tournament, was left reeling and searching for answers after one of their worst defeats in recent memory.

Blair Schmitz started off the scoring with a shot from the baseline while Jacqueline Schulte added a shot with 5:47 to put Northeast up 4-0. But from there, it turned into a slow defensive struggle for the next three minutes as Stanberry was only able to muster a pair of free throws while Northeast could not manage a bucket. But then Jacqueline Schulte connected from the wing and then Michelle Schulte, as she has done so many times, changed the momentum of the game as she followed with a steal and layup that made it 8-2. From there, Northeast began to pull away as Stanberry could not manage a field gol until the 2:05 mark of the second quarter.

In the meantime, Jessica Redden came off the bench to feed Blair Schmitz a perfect high-low pass and 3-point play to make it 11-4 with 40 seconds left. Northeast tacked on a bucket at the first quarter buzzer as Kristin Sherry hit a layup at the buzzer from another high-low pass. Schmitz, working against a defender four inches taller, started the second quarter scoring with an inside shot to make it 15-4.

Stanberry used a pair of free throws to cut it to 15-6 and there was a brief lull in the scoring; however, Jacqueline Schulte broke the ice with a three-point play on a putback and then Blair Schmitz scored off an Oleze steal. The bench then got in on the act as Emily Bryant posted up a defender to score from inside and then Cammi Hansen stole an errant pass to make it 24-6. Bryant scored four more points in the quarter while Jacqueline Schulte added a pair of free throws after a steal and Schmitz got a feed from Hansen for an inside shot to round out the scoring for Northeast, which led 32-10 at the break. Northeast's pressure defense was in high gear that half, forcing 15 Stanberry turnovers.

Hallie Oleze scored off a backdoor cut after Northeast ran off 1:05 to start the second half, but then Stanberry made a run at Northeast as they scored the next seven points to cut it to 34-17 with 4:03 left. But following a timeout, Blair Schmitz outworked the taller Stanberry players for a putback and Michelle Schulte connected with 2:59 left to stop the run. Stanberry answered Schulte's bucket with a 3-pointer, but Blair Schmitz hit a left-hander from the top of the key, Jacqueline Schulte stole the ensuing inbounds pass and hit two free throws, and Michelle Schulte stole the ensuing inbounds pass and Northeast was off to the races again. Kristin Sherry got a putback and then Hallie Oleze's shot from the top of the key was a dagger that left Northeast up 48-20 after three quarters of play. Michelle Schulte got a putback and got a steal and drive to round out the scoring for Northeast and trigger the running clock.

Miracle Finish Allows NEN Boys to Beat Stanberry by 1.

Northeast Nodaway boys got all three of their big men back Friday, and one of them, James Burns, played his best game of the year. And yet they still needed a miracle finish in regulation in order to beat Stanberry 53-52 in overtime Friday. Coach Charlie Burch was the first to say that his team was fortunate to win. With the return of three players to the lineup, there was bound to be a learning curve as the players were getting used to each other again, and such was the case Friday night.

Northeast Nodaway was seemingly finished after Stanberry made two free throws with 16.9 seconds left to put themselves up 46-42, but the Bluejays, who had turned the ball over on their last three possessions, brought the ball down the court really quickly and found Colby Wiederholt all alone for a seven-footer with 8.8 seconds left to make it a two-point game. Josh Wideman had driven the lane and had kicked it to Wiederholt for the bucket. When Stanberry missed two straight free throws, that left the door open. Wideman took full advantage as he brought the ball up the court really quickly and found Marshall Coffelt all alone under the basket for a layup at the buzzer to send the game into overtime.

The bucket was the first for Coffelt, and he was not done. The Bluejays fell behind by two, but Coffelt made a move around a defender to tie the game and then hit a shot from the top of the key with 1:30 left to put Northeast up 51-48. Cody Luke scored from inside to make it 51-50, but after a Northeast turnover with 40 seconds left, Stanberry missed three tries to take the lead and then Tyler Davis hit two free throws to put Northeast up 53-50. Cody Luke hit a putback to make it 53-52, and then with 15.1 seconds left, Northeast threw away the inbounds pass to give the Bulldogs a chance to win it at the end. Luke took the ball and drove right down the middle of the lane, right at Northeast's big men and threw up a layup which rolled halfway around the rim before dropping out, and Northeast Nodaway was home free.

Northeast got all three of their big men back. Tyler Davis, playing at half strength on his injured ankle, still was a force as he put up 15 points. James Burns matched Davis with 15 points and played his best game of the year; Coach Burch said that Burns had a lot of potential and that the best was yet to come from him.

The game was very evenly matched, as Stanberry was the superior ball handling team and made better decisions on the floor, but routinely could not finish shots against the taller Bluejays; Burns, Davis, and Farnan all altered a good percentage of everything thrown up. Stanberry led 8-2 in the early going before Davis hit a 3-pointer from the top of the key to spark a 7-0 run that put Northeast back in front. Neither team led by more than two until the three minute mark of the second quarter, when Davis hit another 3-pointer and Burns added a putback; Colby Wiederholt would connect with a baseline 3-pointer which gave Northeast its largest lead of the game at 24-17. But Stanberry chipped away thanks to their outside shooting and caught the Bluejays by the end of the third quarter. They led for much of the fourth until Bobby Welch hit a pair of clutch free throws with 1:56 left to tie it at 42.

Northeast Girls Rout Former Player's Team.

Northeast Nodaway's girls were matched against Ashley (Pride) Yount, coaching the North Nodaway Mustangs. Yount was one of many strong post players that Northeast Nodaway has produced, leading the Bluejays to their last trip to the Final Four in 2002 after coming close in 2001 along with Abbie Steins and Heather Wiederholt and Talina Cannon and Megan Wiederholt. But, coaching against the Bluejays for the first time, Yount could not find the answers as her alma mater routed the Mustangs 59-35 in Tuesday night action.
The Mustangs could do no right in that game, while Northeast could do no wrong. North Nodaway, which had been a hot shooting team against Worth County, could not hit the broad side of a barn against the Northeast pressure; they forced 41 turnovers against Worth County with their press the night before; however, Northeast broke the Hopkins press with ease, getting som easy layups against it in the first quarter, and forcing them out of it for the rest of the game; the Bluejays forced 15 first-half turnovers of their own in building a 39-11 lead.
Jacqueline Schulte started off the scoring for Northeast by scoring off a steal and then scoring off a Blair Schmitz steal. Once the bench got in on the act, Northeast pulled away; Hallie Oelze scored on a fast break against the press off a feed from Cammi Hansen and later got a steal and drive. Emily Bryant came off the bench to score a layup off a missed shot on the other end and later, Blair Schmitz, who was sprawled on the ground, nonetheless got off a pass to Bryant for a layup to make it 12-2. North Nodaway cut it to 12-6; however, Northeast pushed the ball up the floor with eight seconds left and Schmitz hit a layup at the buzzer to make it 14-6 after one quarter of play.
Michelle Schulte opened the quarter with a pair of free throws after going coast to coast. While she only had two points in the period, Kristen Sherry played a strong floor game for Northeast as she ran the floor and created an easy layup for Hallie Oelze; she would later get a quick outlet to Michelle Schulte for a layup after getting a defensive board and then run the floor for a layup. Michelle Schulte had back to back steals which turned the game into a rout as Bryant and Schmitz got layups out of her efforts. Trailing 28-11 with 2:09 left in the half, North Nodaway called a timeout to try to stem the bleeding, but it was Northeast which closed out the half on a strong run as Rachel Runde came off the bench to give the Bluejays a spark. Runde fed Schmitz on a high-low play and would find Bryant all alone after stealing an inbounds pass; Jacqueline Schulte would convert a 3-point play to close out the half. Runde showed that she was one of the most improved players from the first game, as she constantly harassed North Nodaway's leading scorer, Kylie Schulter, into mistakes and turnovers on defense.
Northeast continued to pull away in the third quarter and led by as much as 53-13. Hopkins tried to pack it inside to shut down the post play of Blair Schmitz; however, that just opened scoring opportunities for Kristen Sherry and Jacqueline Schulte from the outside. Schmitz added a bucket of her own and Oelze connected from the high post. North Nodaway scored the bulk of their points against Northeast's second, third, and fourth string late in the game.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Extension Ag Updates Scheduled

Extension County Ag Updates Scheduled
Area growers should plan to attend the County Extension Ag Updates scheduled December 16 through the 19th. The meeting will start at 8AM and conclude by noon.
The morning will start with latest information regarding crops. Fungicide use, new herbicide products, GMO crops and new technology will be just a few of the topics. Attendance of this portion of meeting will also satisfy requirements for Private Pesticide Applicator training with additional discussion of labeling.
At 11:00AM, Jim Humphrey, livestock specialists will discuss ways to reduce costs of feed rations; Bob Kelly, Ag Business, will discuss high input prices and Tom Fowler, horticulturalist will update the group on Emerald Ash Borer.
Please join us at one of the following meetings Tuesday, December 16 at the Conley Building in Maysville; Wednesday, December 17 at the Courthouse meeting room in Plattsburg; Thursday, December 18 at the Clasby Building in Savannah and finally on Friday, December 19 at the Rolling Hills Library located at 1904 N. Belt in St. Joseph.
For more information, contact Wayne Flanary, Regional Agronomist, University of Missouri Extension at 660-446-3724.

Sheridan Christian Church News for December 10th, 2008

I certainly appreciated all who came out to help decorate the church for the Home Tour last Saturday. It would have been a really cold job most all last week, so I was glad to get it done. Thanks also to those ladies who spent the afternoon giving the tour and fixing a beautiful table of cookies, etc. Last Sunday afternoon, a crew got the stable and pens set up for our annual Live Nativity Scene which will be going on Wednesday, December 17th between 6 and 7 p.m. We will also be having a free soup supper for the community during that time. At 7:00 that night, the children will present their Christmas program. Everyone is welcome and urged to come and invite someone to come with you.
There was a huge stack of boxes of gifts which will be given to the children in Mexico at the back of the sanctuary on Sunday. Folks are also shopping for gifts for families in our community who are needing help this Christmas with gifts for their children.
Christmas Eve services will be held again this year at the church at 7 p.m. Wednesday, December 24th.
On Wednesday, December 31st, New Year’s Even, Sheridan Christian Church families and guests will be reading through the Bible for 24 hours. A sign up sheet is at the back of the church for times. It will be starting at 5 p.m. and go to 5 p.m. New Year’s Day. The youth will have a lock-in that night, all night with games, fun, and God’s word for the whole family. See Bart Hinz, associate pastor, if you can help.
The big ice storm last year started on December 10th. It was a memorable one with electricity off for over a week for most of us. I hope and pray this winter will not be as bad as last.
We have several folks needing prayer this month, including Jerry Dignan, Richard Brand, Cheryl Allee, and Jay Sanders. Let’s remember our service men and women who are not able to be home for the holidays.
With all the parties, shopping, families getting together, let’s be sure to remember God’s greatest gift of His Son, which is the REAL REASON for the season.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Jack Remembers for 12-3-08

My oldest son, Dr. Steven Hackley, is a psychology professor at the University of Missouri at Columbia. He does research and also teaches. My daughter, Jackie Sommer, lives in Independence and is an attorney, working in the Jackson County Counselors Office. Take either one of them out of their profession, they would probably have a hard time making a living. My youngest son John is just the opposite, he was one of those kids who could do anything. He attended vo-tech school at Fort Osage and is now one of the top salespersons for Office Depot after having educated himself in computers and sales. He sells to corporate clients and teaches them how to order online.
When John was eleven years old, I gave him a 135 Massey Ferguson tractor and rotary mower. He called the railroad and got the job cleaning up and mowing the railroad right of way through Oak Grove. He also mowed weeds around the local home builders developments. He made so much money with that tractor and mower that when he was sixteen years old he bought himself a brand new pickup truck. At that time he also owned twenty head of brood sows and was loaning money to his older sister and brother.
One day the railroad called me up and said they wanted to come down to Oak Grove and talk to John Hackley. He had done such a good job on the right of way going through town that they wanted him to give them a price on cleaning up and mowing sixteen miles of right of way in Independence. I told them he was terribly busy and there was just no way he could do the job at this time. I failed to tell them he was only twelve years old.
Jack can be reached at PO Box 40, Oak Grove, MO 64075 or

More Ways to Save During the Holidays

More Ways to Save During the Holidays
You can never have too many tips on how to save money during the holidays. Dr. Rebecca J. Travnichek, Family Financial Education Specialist with University of Missouri Extension shares additional tips on how to spend less and get more over the holiday season.
Set some reasonable ground rules regarding gifts for relatives. It’s easy to lose control when it comes to family gift-giving. If you’ve always given a gift to your sister, but now she’s married with children, don’t get trapped into giving many gifts. You’ll end up spending a king’s ransom on present. Instead, suggest to family members that ground rules be set as to who will receive gifts and who won’t. One gift to each family, rather than one gift to each family member, would be an appropriate way to keep a financial lid on things.
Do your Christmas shopping early, when gifts are on sale. Draw up a Christmas shopping game plan well ahead of time. Your efforts will be amply rewarded. Once you know who is getting what, you can purchase gift items when they go on sale. Why fight frenzied last-minute Christmas shoppers for the privilege of paying full price?
Don’t go overboard when giving young children holiday gifts. Amid the general chaos and excitement that usually accompany major holidays, individual gifts receive only fleeting attention. Young children have short attention spans, which makes it unlikely that they will lavish much attention on most of their presents.
Don’t buy gifts that require batteries. Unless you want to bankrupt the recipient slowly.
Organize a "Secret Santa" at your office. If holiday gift-giving is getting out of hand at the office, organize a "Secret Santa." Each participant draws out of a hat a name of a coworker to whom he or she must anonymously give one present. Everyone is assured of getting a gift, and more importantly, each person has to buy only one gift.
Make your own wreaths. Rather than buying a wreath, why not make your own? It’s a fun family project, and it saves money. The best Christmas tree decorations are the homemade variety. If there are children about, take advantage of that no-cost source of enthusiastic labor to reduce the expense of adorning your tree.
Reuse tinsel. We use tinsel that has been used on the tree for the past several years. While the savings may be small, recycling tinsel sends an important message to the younger generation: Waste is wasteful.
Don’t spend a fortune in outdoor lighting. Drive around some neighborhoods during the holiday season and you will think that you’re in Las Vegas or Times Square. There must be some sort of no-holds-barred competition among the residents of these neighborhoods. Someday a jet is going to mistake these Xmas-happy locales for an international airport and attempt to land on someone’s front lawn. You don’t need a "thousand points of light" to celebrate the season, unless you own a large block of stock in your local utility company.
For more information on this or any other family or personal finance topic, contact Dr. Rebecca J. Travnichek at the Andrew County Extension Center (816) 324-3147.

Four-State Beef Conference

Area Cattlemen Should Make Plans to Attend
The 25th Annual 4-State Beef Conference

Area cattlemen should mark the dates of January 14th and 15th on their calendars and make plans to attend the 25th Annual 4-State Beef Conference. The conference planning committee has designed an excellent program that should have something of interest to all beef producers. Speakers and their topics for the 2009 conference are as follows: Dr. Rick Rasby, University of Nebraska – "Update on Storing Co-Products."; Dr. Darrel Mark, University of Nebraska – "Economics of Storing Co-Products."; Dr. Vern Anderson, North Dakota State University – "Drylotting Beef Cows."; Dr. Barry Dunn, Executive Director of the King Ranch Institute for Ranch Management, Texas A&M, Kingsville – "Whole Herd Management Strategies for Tough Times".
The conference is scheduled for Wednesday, January 14th and Thursday, January 15th, 2009. The Wednesday morning session will begin at 10:00 a.m. in Washington, Kansas at the First National Bank, and the afternoon session will begin at 4:00 p.m. in Tecumseh, Nebraska at the Community Building. The Thursday morning session will also begin at 10:00 a.m. in Lewis, Iowa at the ISU Armstrong Research Farm, and the afternoon session will start at 4:00 p.m. in King City, Missouri at the Eiberger Building.
The 4-State Beef Conferences are designed to give beef cattle producers in Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, and Nebraska an annual update on current cow-calf and stocker topics. The conferences provide a forum of Extension Specialists from four of the USA’s leading beef cattle land grant universities.
The registration fee is $25.00 per person and reservations are requested by, Friday, January 9th, 2009. The fee includes a beef meal and a copy of the conference proceedings. To keep registration fees affordable in the future, please help us by calling in your reservations. For more information or to register for the conference, contact your regional livestock specialist, or call the Andrew County Extension Center at (816) 324-3147, or visit our website at:

Friday, November 28, 2008

Blackwood Gospel Quarter Performs

On Nov. 22, the Grant City Baptist and Allendale Baptist Churches sponsored a concert by the Blackwood Gospel Quartet. People came from miles around to hear them sing some new songs and also old songs; some of them being songs that the original Blackwood Brothers had recorded. There were even a couple people from northern Iowa! A love offering was taken and then the group took requests. Everyone received a blessing from worshipping God through their singing and humor. Fellowship continued after the concert with cookies, coffee and punch. The Blackwood Gospel Quartet members are Mark Blackwood, Dustin Bearden, Dave Mann, and Brad Smith.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Jack Remembers for 11-26-08

A group of prominent businessmen in Lee’s Summit had a high stakes poker game every Wednesday night. Everyone knew about the game including a small time criminal by the name of Bobby Ash who robbed the game at gunpoint. In court, he was defended by an attorney by the name of Robert Duncan. Robert and I were drafted on the same day and spent two years together in the infantry. He was a brilliant and colorful criminal attorney. They tried Bobby for robbing one man, and he was acquitted. They then tried him for robbing each of the poker players and he was found guilty each time, sent to prison under the habitual criminal act. Robert appealed the case all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court, and lo and behold, they heard the case, reversed the decision saying it was double jeopardy since he had committed only one crime, which was robbing the poker game. Bobby was freed from prison and later killed by a prostitute in Kansas City.
In the meantime, Robert became famous, wrote a textbook for law students, traveled around to law universities on the lecture circuit, and became wealthy. He would call me when he came through on his way to St. Louis or Jefferson City and we would meet at Union 76 for coffee. When Robert went in a bar or restaurant before the waitress could say, "My name is Sally and I’ll be your waitress for the evening", he would say, "Hi, My name is Robert, and I’ll be your customer for the evening."
Robert bought a big complex in the Bahamas and was going to start seminars for continuing education for lawyers, and went broke. Almost everybody in our army outfit came home alcoholics. Robert and I were no exceptions, only I stopped before it got me. Robert had requested a pair of glasses, his favorite book, a flashlight, and a quart of bourbon be put in his casket when they buried him a few years ago.

McCaskill, Grassley Sponsor Bill to Strengthen Oversight

U.S. Senators Claire McCaskill (D-MO) and Chuck Grassley (R-IA) today moved to tighten government oversight of the financial rescue plan approved by Congress in October. The senators introduced a bill that would put in place provisions to better monitor how the $700 billion dollars are spent by increasing the power and authority of the Special Inspector General created to oversee the program.

The law was written based on the plan spelled out by the Treasury Department at the time, to buy up troubled, toxic assets. Now that the Treasury plan has changed, the authority of the Special Inspector General needs to be broadened. The McCaskill-Grassley bill will provide the necessary fixes to ensure there is strong oversight in place.

“We voted on this measure thinking there would be responsible oversight of how the tax dollars are being spent,” McCaskill said. “Instead, almost half the money has been doled out but no one is watching to make sure that the government is spending it wisely. We need to fix this before another cent is spent unsupervised.”

“The stronger the watchdog, the better, given the enormous stakes for the taxpayers with this bailout package. Congress, the current administration and the new administration need to take every step possible to make sure the sensibilities of Main Street are not violated as the $700 billion is used,” Grassley said.

The legislation will:

Give the IG temporary hiring power. This will allow the IG to quickly begin hiring staff without going thorough the normal civil service process which could cause a lengthy delay in beginning oversight work. The temporary hiring power is modeled after the provisions created for the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction (SIGIR) and will only last for six months.

Expand the authority of the IG to cover any and all action conducted as part of the Troubled Asset Relief Program, including assistance to homeowners and foreclosure mitigation efforts. Under the current language of the law, the IG’s authority would cover only two sections of the relief program.

The senators are hopeful the legislation will pass the Senate unanimously before Congress recesses for the year. Senators Susan Collins (R-ME) and Joseph Lieberman (I-CT) are co-sponsors.

DOT: Salt Shortage Will Not Affect Missouri Roads

When the first snowfall of winter hits this year, MoDOT is prepared with enough salt and equipment to maintain the level of service we have provided in previous years. Safety is always our highest priority. While some towns and municipalities in Missouri may be concerned about salt supplies, MoDOT will not have trouble keeping highways drivable.

Last year's particularly harsh winter depleted much of the country's salt supply causing prices to rise. This, coupled with a strong hurricane season and high Mississippi River levels, has made delivery of salt via river barges slow.

MoDOT takes salt bids in May and is virtually unaffected by the supply decline that happened late this summer. The department received its first salt shipment over the summer in order to pre-fill and prepare for the first snow in Missouri. During the winter, as salt supplies are used, part of the agency's contract agreement with suppliers is to provide for a replenishment order sometime between Nov. 1 and April 30.

"Trying to keep salt throughout the winter and not run out is tricky," Maintenance Liaison Engineer Tim Jackson said. "Conserving as much salt as possible is the best method. You have to keep the strength of the storm in mind and use the right amount at the right time, while still maintaining road safety."

MoDOT reminds you, "In Ice and Snow, Take It Slow."
Here are some tips for driving in winter weather:
Slow down for wet, snowy, icy conditions.
Avoid quick braking or acceleration.
Find out about driving conditions before you go.
Every time you travel - Buckle Up to Arrive Alive.
Turn signals, brake lights and windows need to be clear of snow.
You should never use cruise control in winter weather conditions. Find out more at

Missourians to See Increase in Unemployment Benefits

As the unemployment rate reaches a fifteen-year high, U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill applauded the passage of a bill in the United States Senate today to increase unemployment benefits. Over the past year, the U.S. economy has lost 1.2 million jobs, almost half in the last three months alone. States are facing budget shortfalls, and many families are struggling to meet basic needs.

“As we approach the holiday season with a weak economy, too many Missouri families are going to find themselves in a financial crunch,” said McCaskill. “This funding will help those hurting most by the economic downturn keep their heads above water, and I’m glad to say we got it done before Congress goes home for the holiday.”

The bill passed today will grant unemployment benefits for an additional seven weeks for those who lost their jobs and already exhausted their benefits. For states that have been hit particularly hard by the economic slowdown and have unemployment rates higher than 6 percent, including Missouri with 6.4 percent unemployment, the bill provides an additional 13 weeks in benefits. Thus Missourians will qualify for an additional 20 weeks of unemployment benefits.

The House of Representatives already passed a version of the bill so the legislation will now go to the President for his signature or veto.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Opinion: Corn Farmers Fight to Set the Record Straight

Opinions do not necessarily reflect those of the Sheridan Express

by the Missouri Corn Growers Association
Earlier this year, food processors, retailers and other critics blamed corn-based ethanol for rising grain prices and increased costs in the grocery aisle. Today those same critics have egg on their face as food prices remain high despite plunging commodity markets.
"Corn is selling under the cost of production, yet the price at the grocery store remains the same," said Keith Witt, Missouri Corn Merchandising Council chairman and farmer from Warrenton, Mo. "Judging by the record profits and smaller packaging, the motive of big food companies is crystal clear. Their focus is on their bottom line - at the expense of farmers and consumers."
These big food companies are blaming ethanol all the way to the bank. This quarter alone, Kraft boasted a net income of $1.4 billion - more than double last year's results. Sales at Kellogg's climbed 9.5 percent and third-quarter net income increased from $305 million last year to $342 million this year.
Targeting farmers and the ethanol industry, organizations such as the Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA) and the National Restaurant Association have repeatedly blamed higher food prices on biofuels. But according to the United States Department of Agriculture, the farm value of products producers supply to manufacturers accounts for only 19 cents of every dollar of processed food.
"The price of corn and other commodities equals less than two dimes of every food dollar," said Witt. "Since these slanderous allegations were made, commodity prices have dropped nearly in half, ethanol production continues to expand, but the price of corn flakes remains the same."
Studies from Purdue University, Texas A&M, the White House Council of Economic Advisers, Iowa State University, etc. have all concluded the price of oil, not ethanol, was the major driver behind food price increases. Commodity speculation, a declining dollar and an increasing middle class in China, India and other markets also played a role.
"Consumers deserve the truth and America's farmers deserve an apology," Witt concluded.
The Missouri Corn Merchandising Council has launched a series of radio ads to help educate consumers on the "sticky pricing" in today's food industry. Available in 60 and 30-second versions, the ads question how grain prices have dropped, yet food prices remain the same, therefore eliminating the blame ethanol has unfairly been given.
For more information regarding food and fuel visit, and click on the Food and Fuel icon.

Opinion: Marijuana and the Marginalization of Prevention

Opinion pieces do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the Sheridan Express.

by Dr. Stephen Wallace
Dealing a blow to years of work and recent gains in youth drug prevention, Massachusetts has joined a growing, but still short, list of states to decriminalize marijuana possession. At least that is the intention of some 65 percent of voters checking "Yes" on a ballot initiative that makes possession of an ounce or less of marijuana a civil offense (punishable by a ticket) as opposed to a criminal one. And this on the same day that the same voters approved a ban on greyhound racing.
Protect the dogs but throw the kids under the bus. Go figure.
Indeed, opponents of the ballot initiative – which include state constitutional officers, district attorneys, police chiefs, ministers, school superintendents, and major newspapers – say, "We believe that efforts to legalize drugs of any kind represent the wrong direction for Massachusetts and put our children, our families, and our communities at risk."
For its part, the Committee for Sensible Marijuana Policy, which backed the measure, points proudly to the monetary savings for police departments, never mind the total national economic cost of drug abuse of $254.8 billion in 2008 or the obvious cost shifting to an already overburdened health care system. For example, Massachusetts' Coalition for Safe Streets says that marijuana is already a primary factor in juvenile ER admissions.
And emergency department episodes involving marijuana almost tripled from 1994 to 2002, according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), which reports that marijuana is the most widely used illicit drug in America. In fact, of all youth ages 12-17 in drug treatment in 2000, nearly 62 percent had a primary marijuana diagnosis.
But dollars don't equal sense in this equation. What really matters is the health and safety of our children.
Marijuana smoke contains 50 to 70 percent more carcinogenic hydrocarbons than does tobacco smoke, increasing the risk of chronic cough, bronchitis, and emphysema, as well as cancer of the head, neck, and lungs. It also leads to changes in the brain similar to those caused by cocaine and heroin.
In addition, marijuana use affects alertness, concentration, perception, and reaction time, all critical to the safe operation of automobiles.
Yet, alarmingly, SADD research has shown that young people tend to underestimate the dangers of drugged driving, with 15 percent of teen drivers reporting having operated a car under the influence of marijuana.
Other risks, including deteriorating school performance, disrupted relationships, depression, suicide, and crime, can't be overlooked.
Our kids deserve clear, unambiguous messages about the dangers associated with marijuana, the very type of messages that have helped drive down use among Massachusetts high school and middle school students from 50 percent to 41 percent since 2001.
On a national level, annual prevalence of marijuana use has fallen 33 percent among 8th graders and 25 percent among 10th graders during the same time period.
And that is important because turning back the tide of progress in youth drug prevention is not only a Massachusetts issue, but rather one that threatens kids everywhere – especially with other loosening of restrictions on marijuana use being proposed in Congress.
Some supporters of decriminalization point to statistics showing that relaxed laws have not led to an increase in marijuana use (even though 65 percent of students in the SADD study cited the law as the number one reason why they choose not to use drugs). Interesting considering that SAMHSA reports half the states with the highest percentage of new youth marijuana users have medical marijuana programs .
But debates over the data aside, shouldn't our focus remain on reducing use, not on maintaining the status quo?
In What Americans Need to Know About Marijuana, the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) shoots holes in a series of "myths" that no doubt perpetuate drug use by young people and embolden even caring adults to send the message that smoking weed is really no big deal. Among them:
· Marijuana is harmless.
· Marijuana is not addictive.
· Youth experimentation with marijuana is inevitable.
In their place, ONDCP advocates for a closer examination of the facts, including the incredibly powerful role that parents can play in keeping their kids drug free by staying involved, setting limits, and enforcing consequences.
The importance of empowered parents in reducing youth drug use cannot be overstated, especially in the face of well-funded state and national campaigns to decriminalize the potent presence of marijuana in too many young lives.
It is, without a doubt, a clear and present danger.
Stephen Wallace, national chairman of SADD and author of the new book Reality Gap: Alcohol, Drugs, and Sex—What Parents Don't Know and Teens Aren't Telling, has broad experience as a school psychologist and adolescent counselor. For more information about SADD, visit For more information about Stephen, visit

Monday, November 17, 2008

Bin Corn Grain Drying Requires Special Attention

Bin Corn Grain Drying Requires Special Attention
A lot of high moisture corn is being binned this year. It is critical to manage this grain so it will keep in good condition until it is moved on to the elevator.
Most grain bins have air pushed through the grain from the bottom and then removed out the top. As the air moves through, moisture evaporates from the grain into the passing air. The grain at the bottom of the bin loses moisture the quickest as it is nearest to the incoming air. Once the grain moisture reaches equilibrium with the air, no more drying will take place. Once corn loses moisture, it does not readily absorb moisture back.
As air passes through the grain, it takes the path of least resistance. Grain top surface should be leveled so air will move through evenly. Secondly, fines may accumulate in the center of the bin where the grain is dropped. Fines will restrict the movement of air and this area of the grain should be watched carefully for heating.
Many use natural air drying, meaning that fans push unheated air through the grain mass. University of Missouri Guide, G1310, Low Temperature In-Bin Drying of Shelled Corn, is a resource that provides information regarding filling depth information. The depth of grain affects air flow and which, in turn, affects the rate of moisture loss from grain.
As the moisture leaves the grain, a drying front is formed and moves upward in the grain. This front should be pushed through the grain mass till the top of the grain is dried.
Research indicates that grain being stirred using natural air increases the time required to dry the grain. The drying front is broken up which causes the air leaving the grain mass containing less moisture.
If stirring devices are used with unheated air, the stirring device should be run during filling the grain to reduce packing and redistribute the fines along with leveling the grain. Then allow the drying front to move through the grain. The bottom of the grain will be somewhat dryer than the top, growers may want to use stirrers to just before the drying front moves through the top of the grain and this will help equalize moisture content of grain mass.
Continuous fan operation is needed when the moisture content of the corn is above 18% and the temperature of the grain is above 40 degrees F. The goal should be to reduce grain moisture to 15.5% if sold during winter and 15% moisture if held over to next year.
Another option is to use heated air to increase drying. Heated air increases the ability to carry away moisture. There are various charts which indicate the relationship between humidity and temperature.
As we move into colder temperatures, grain should be cooled down to prevent convection currents within the grain mass. Run the fan to create a uniform temperature in the grain mass. Convection currents can occur if outside temperatures are low and grain temperatures are high by the air moving along the bin sides downward and then upward in the warm grain center. This can lead to a wet area in the middle top of the bin.
Check grain temperature monthly. If you find problems, run the aeration fan. If you have a stirring device, use this to break up the area of high moisture corn. If you do not have a stirring device, you should remove grain to break up the wet area.
For more information, contact Specialists with the University of Missouri Extension Service, Wayne Flanary, Regional Agronomist at (660)446-3724 or Heather Benedict, Regional Agronomist at (660)425-6434 and Jim Crawford, Natural Resource Engineer at 660-744-6231.

Grant City CBC Meeting for November 3rd, 2008

Grant City Community Betterment held their monthly meeting on November 3rd at City Hall.
The Bingo/Soup Supper hosted by Grant City Community Betterment, VFW and VFW Auxiliary was a success with close to $1,000 being raised for the Pool Fund. We appreciate everyone who helped and attended.
Debbie Roach and Cathy James attended the 45th Annual Missouri Community Betterment Conference in Jefferson City on October 19th and 20th and Grant City received second place in their population category. The plaque will be put on display in City Hall and we invite you to stop by and see all the awards we have received over the past 20 years. We are proud of all the awards and accomplishments we have received and they wouldn’t have been possible without all the caring and wonderful people in our community.
We held our Annual Nut Sales which benefits the “Toys for Worth County Kids” Project. Each year the number of underprivileged children increases and with the help of Allendale and Sheridan Community Betterment Clubs , Dollar General and many other businesses and individuals who give toys, monetary donations and support we are able to make Christmas a little better for the children in our county. If you would like to make a monetary donation you may send it to Grant City Community Betterment, PO Box 335, Grant City, MO 64456.
We will be putting decorations up in the Courtyard on Sunday, November 23rd at 1 pm and would appreciate all the help we can get. We did not put them up last year due to the weather; hopefully this year will be better. We have added a couple of new decorations, we hope you enjoy them.
We will also be conducting a Holiday Home of the Week Contest. You do not have to do anything to enter; just be sure and get your decorations up by December 1st. The contest will run for 4 weeks and prizes will be awarded to the winners on December 1st, 8th, 15th and the 22nd. The contest will be sponsored by Grant City Community Betterment, Flowers Unlimited, and the Oldtowne Cafe.

County Commission Minutes for November 17th, 2008

Meeting was called to order at 9:00 am by Presiding Commissioner. Members present: Mozingo, Calhoon and Waldeier.
1. Commissioner Calhoon made a motion to approve the November 10, 2008 minutes as read. Commissioner Waldeier seconded. Motion carried.
2. Commissioner Waldeier made a motion to approve the Agenda. Commissioner Calhoon seconded. Motion carried.
3. Commissioner Waldeier made a motion to approve and pay bills. Commissioner Calhoon seconded. Motion carried.
4. Jim Fletchall discussed future bridge replacement projects one on CR 23 and one on CR 257. Commissioner Calhoon made a motion to have Bridge Engineering Assistance Program (BEAP) studies conducted on both sites. Commissioner Waldeier seconded. Motion carried. Mark Huck will be contacted.
5. Gary Kincaid and Mary George from Northwest Missouri Children’s Advocacy Center which provides various services for abused children. They came to the Commission to present information on the services offered to Worth County Children. The Center if partial funded by federal programs and thru local donations; they presented a request for $600.00 for Worth County’s portion.
6. Lisa Hargrave, County Clerk presented Certified General Election Results to the Commission.
7. Dick VanVactor; Secretary for the 911 Board came to the Commission to discuss 911 signage and expenses. John Young will be consulted on the Board’s ability to borrow money from commercial sources.
8. Charity Austin came to the Commission to present contracts for upcoming year’s services. After discussion, Commissioner Waldeier made a motion to enter into a contractual agreement with Worth County Progress Organization for economic development for 2009. Commissioner Calhoon seconded. Motion Carried. Commissioner Waldeier made a motion to pay $300 for Great Northwest Days. Commissioner Calhoon seconded. Motion carried.
9. Commissioner Waldeier made a motion to adjourn. Commissioner Calhoon seconded. Motion carried. Meeting adjourned at 11:35 am.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Jack Remembers for 11-19-08

I am so sad. I lost my best friend last week. Buddy was a big black dog who was 10 years old, weighed 140 lbs, and had a curl in his tail. One day my sister came by with a friend and her friend’s granddaughter. When the little girl saw Buddy, she asked, "Grandma, how did they curl that dog’s tail?"
Buddy never had a leash or a collar, nor was he ever penned up. When he was a pup, he rode to town with me to my office one night. I left the door of the office open. He normally came on in, but this time when I came out Buddy was gone. I drove all over town calling him until about 1:00 a.m. The next morning I went by the city worker’s garage and told them if they found my dog, I would give the finder a hundred dollar bill. About an hour later, here came one of the city employees with my dog to the coffee shop. He made the mistake of going to City Hall bragging about finding Hackley’s dog. The City Manager overheard him and made him give me the money back.
Buddy was the perfect companion, friendly, loyal, and always took a walk with me. One day on our walk he discovered a litter of pups someone had thrown over Horseshoe Creek Bridge and he wouldn’t leave until they were finally rescued by the Oak Grove Police Department.
Buddy loved deer meat and would drag a carcass someone had shot and left lay up to the house for me to butcher, cut up and freeze. I carried a saw in my truck and when I would see a deer along side of a road, I would stop and saw off the hind quarters for Buddy. I was at a Rotary Luncheon in Paris. The speaker was the local conservation agent. I asked him a supposedly hypothetical question if it would be legal to cut meat off a carcass found on the road for my dog. He assured me it was illegal, and if anyone was caught doing so they would be issued a summons. I quietly left the meeting and drove my truck out of sight behind the restaurant. Just that morning, I had found a deer south of Paris on Highway 15 and had the hind quarters in the back of my pick-up to take home to Buddy.
Jack can be reached at PO Box 40, Oak Grove, MO 64075 or

Getting Prepared for the Holidays

Getting Prepared for the Holidays
Savannah, Mo. The holiday season is almost here. Are you prepared? Dr. Rebecca J. Travnichek, Family Financial Education Specialist with University of Missouri Extension shares some tips on how to spend less and get more over the holiday season.
· Make holiday travel plans early. If you are planning to travel over the holidays, don’t delay: make your travel plans now. If you will be flying, advance planning could save you a lot of money. Cheap seats go fast.
· If you’re having guests at your home for the holidays, prepare the food yourself. Holidays are expensive enough without having to drain the family coffers by feeding guests. Unless you are hosting a truly monumental banquet, avoid the expense of a caterer. Instead, enlist the help of other family members and relatives who are invariably hanging around during the holidays.
· Cook it all at once. If you’re preparing the big feast, don’t waste time and money by cooking each item separately. (Cook the roasted potatoes and the pies together). Figure out a way to prepare the meal without being a financial turkey.
· Ask your guests to bring food and drink if you’re having a big holiday banquet. Victuals aren’t cheap and neither are spirits, especially if you plan on feeding a gaggle of revelers. Asking each guest to bring along some food is standard operating procedure these days.
· Cut down on the gift-giving. The plain fact is that most of us spend more on gifts than we should. (The price of a gift is not a measure of affection for our loved ones.) Be more imaginative. Note: You’ll know you’ve got control of your personal finances when you spend at the same rate between Thanksgiving and Christmas as you do between Christmas and Thanksgiving.
· Buy family members gifts they need. Sure it may not be your idea of romance, but if your husband needs a band saw, why not give it to him for his birthday? He’s going to enjoy it a lot more than a necktie or a sweater.
· Give gifts that show the recipient the importance of saving. Like U.S. Savings bonds.
· Don’t buy gifts that will keep on costing the recipient money. Like the video game gadgets that require cartridges.
For more information on this or any other family or personal finance topic, contact Dr. Rebecca J. Travnichek at the Andrew County Extension Center (816) 324-3147.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Walk 1440 for November 12th, 2008

“I don’t care what they think!?”
Have you ever said these words?
Usually when these words appear in a conversation they escape our lips as we are turning our back to someone, even throwing our hands in the air with our head down & a clinched jaw…sound familiar?

IF we don’t care what people think then why does our body language say different?
Reality check…we do care what people think!

Frankly, it hurts when it feels like people don’t like us or accept us…we can try to deny it with words but our heart knows better.

When you cater to the mindset that “you don’t care what that person thinks” has it helped in that relationship?
What would it take to work in a relationship where you feel hurt?

Might it take endurance? Endurance means to stick it out when it’s tough…is that relationship tough right now?

Might it take encouragement? Does the relationship feel positive or negative?
Likely, negative… it takes encouragement to work in a negative relationship

So, who do you seek out to get endurance & encouragement?
Might it be the very person you are trying to stop thinking about? (Is it working for you?)
Are they able to encourage you to endure in this relationship?

May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you a spirit of unity among yourselves as you follow Christ Jesus, Romans 15:5 NIV
The book of Romans is written to people who are in a church in Rome…they are Christians

Why would the writer of Romans have to tell Christians that God gives endurance & encouragement for the purpose of unity & acceptance of one another?
Could it be they weren’t united & accepting of one another?
Could it be they were seeking out people, not God for endurance & encouragement?

So that with one heart and mouth you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God. Romans 15:6-7 NIV
Your relationship with that person can get better but who do you need to seek out first for endurance & encouragement?

For sure, acceptance is what you want but have you accepted them first; which is what God wants?

When you choose to seek out God’s endurance & encouragement to work in that relationship and when you choose to accept the people that hurt you…those relationships will now have purpose…the praising of our God

The question is: do you care what God thinks?
There are 1440 minutes in a day…WALK1440 knowing God’s acceptance to accept them

County Commission Minutes for November 10th, 2008

Meeting was called to order at 9:00 am by Presiding Commissioner. Members present: Mozingo, Calhoon and Waldeier.
1. Commissioner Calhoon made a motion to approve the November 3, 2008 as read. Commissioner Waldeier seconded. Motion carried.
2. Commissioner Calhoon made a motion to approve the Agenda. Commissioner Waldeier seconded. Motion carried.
3. The Commission received the Notice to Proceed on the roofing contract. Commissioner Waldeier made a motion to sign the documents. Commissioner Calhoon seconded. Motion carried. Documents signed.
4. The Commission discussed the CERF contribution. Commissioner Waldeier made a motion to leave the present election in place for 2009. Commissioner Calhoon seconded. Motion carried.
5. The Commission received an email from River Bluff Architects regarding the Courthouse ADA Accessible project. They provided estimates on savings if switching to a limited use limited access elevator.
6. Jim Fletchall reported the Kirk Cemetery Bridge is completed banks seeded and gravel being hauled to both approaches. He needs to order tubes for projects approved in the last few weeks.
7. Commissioner Waldeier checked gravel needed on CR 71, CR 72 and CR 102 and gave Jim estimates on loads. Waldeier also reported a hole washing off the east side of CR 72 at the foot of the hill north of Jerry Dignan’s house. Jim was aware of the problem and solutions were discussed.
8. Commissioner Waldeier made a motion to go into closed session in accordance with Missouri Statute 610-022 to discuss personnel issues. Commissioner Calhoon seconded. Role vote: Mozingo – aye; Calhoon – aye and Waldeier – aye. Personnel present in the closed session Jim Fletchall, Road and Bridge Supervisor; Commissioners; Linda Brown, County Treasurer and Lisa Hargrave, County Clerk. Session closed at 10:45 am.
9. Session reopened at 11:15 am.
10. Charity Austin, Worth County Economic Developer came to the Commission to discuss 2009 budget issues. She also reported there will be a meeting with a Military group from Wentworth Military Academy on December 10, 2008.
11. Linda Brown, County Treasurer gave weekly financial reports.
12. Commissioner Waldeier made a motion to adjourn. Commissioner Calhoon seconded. Motion carried. Meeting adjourned at 11:45.

Pierce, Hoffer to Wed

Kevin and Charity Austin, of Sheridan, Missouri, announce the engagement of their daughter, Amber Pierce, to David Hoffer, son of Jim and Michelle Hoffer, of Granville, Ohio and Ken and Lisa Miller, of Johnstown, Pennsylvania. Amber graduated from Muskogee High School in 2001. She graduated from the University of Central Oklahoma with a double major in Kinesiology and Community Health. She is currently employed with the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences in Little Rock. David graduated from DuBois Area High School in 2001. He joined the United States Air Force in June of 2001. He is currently a Staff Sergeant stationed at the Little Rock Air Force Base. He has served his country through nine deployments.
The bride-to-be is a granddaughter of Dan and Naomi Whitehouse, Sapulpa, Oklahoma, Gene and Clauddea Austin, Owasso, Oklahoma and the late Gloria Pierce. The groom-elect is the grandson of Marlin and Joan Hoffer, Dubois, Pennsylvania and Phil and Myrna Magnuson, Curwensville, Pennsylvania.
A January 31st wedding is planned at Christian Chapel in Muskogee, Oklahoma with a Caribbean honeymoon to follow.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Community and Region Come Together for Julia Moore

When Donald Moore passed away prematurely of cancer, his wife, Julia (Hardy) Moore was left to take care of five children by herself. But since then, the community and region have come together to help her build a new house in Worth County northwest of Grant City. Moore said that the upstairs and the exterior were framed, the roof trusses were put on, the sheeting was put on, and some of the tar paper was put on as well. The house is being built on land donated by her parents, David and Carolyn Hardy.
The house is being built with almost all volunteer labor, with volunteers from the community, the Missouri State Highway Patrol, and the Missouri Baptist Builders Association coming in. At first, Moore’s three sisters, Jane, Susie, and Cindy, along with some of Donald’s friends from the seminary where he attended in Texas and people all over the country who were touched by her story sought to nominate her for Extreme Home Makeover. However, when that did not work out, Moore said that she turned to God in prayer.
She said her prayers were answered in January when that she came upon the book of Jeremiah, where the Lord told Jeremiah that he knew all the plans that he had for him. Moore then said that right then that she knew that the Lord was going to help her. A few weeks later, she got a call from Charles McCrary of the Missouri Baptist Builders Association, who agreed to donate labor to build the house.
Since then, men from St. Joseph, Savannah, Lees Summit, Edgarton, Macon, Albany, and Cameron have come to work on the new home. Among the people from Macon working is Larry Murdock a former Worth County grad and classmate of Julia’s father David Hardy. The number of people working on the project varies from day to day; however, 21 people worked on the house last Tuesday. In addition, there have been many local people helping as well. Dennis Downing drew up the plans for the house; Brian Monticue has helped with the construction as well. Among other local volunteers helping with the project have been Len Green, Jubal Summers, Jeff Blaine, Jerry Roach, Brad Gabriel, David Seat, and Michael Ruckman. Judd Summers has donated equipment for the project. Julia said that the quality of the work was "top-notch" and that they would make sure that everything was right for the project.
In addition, several area ministers have done devotionals for the workers, including Leland May of the First Baptist Church of Albany and Dirk Buffington, the new minister for the Grant City Christian Church. The CTA, the Worth County School, Sheila Hunt, and other people have donated food for the workers, while Mary Kay Hunt, Allen & Robin Andrews, and Pat & Sue Hardy have housed workers overnight. Mary Seat has coordinated the food help for the project as well as provide meals. Janie Gabriel, sister of Julia, has taken pictures of the project and posted them online. "Just about every church in the county is involved in some way," said Moore.
Moore, currently a teacher at Worth County, said that juggling teaching, raising five children, and working on the house project was difficult. "But it goes back to something Donald would say," she said. "I wouldn’t have picked this situation, but now that I’m here, I wouldn’t change a thing." She said that she wanted to keep Donald here and that she struggled with the issue constantly. "But there is a day and hour appointed for everyone," she said. "It’s truly in God’s hands."

Jack Remembers for 11-12-08

Deven Andrew Fulks was born three years ago last Sunday. He had a birthday party at the Broadway Grill, a restaurant run by his grandparents on Sunday afternoon when the restaurant was closed. The place was packed.
That kid got everything, toy trucks, clothes, a Spiderman toothbrush, a herd of horses, markers, games, books, and a battery operated John Deere tractor that he can ride on and it even pulls a trailer.
I watch Deven at church before the service while the choir is practicing. His grandmother is the church organist. Deven helps me put candy in a dish for the kids. One Sunday he sat patiently while I tried to get a package of Hershey Miniature Chocolates open. He desperately needed one of those Hershey bars. The only problem was that I couldn’t get the thing open. I was pulling on that plastic package and finally Deven said, "Bite it, Jack, bite it!"
One Sunday the candy bowl was empty and the preacher came by and said, "Jack, I had to dump your candy out. It was full of ants." Hearing that, Deven said, "We’ve got ants at our house, too." His mother doesn’t appreciate me telling that story.
This boy got more toys Sunday afternoon than my three kids had their entire childhood. I don’t really believe it’s a good idea for a three year old to get that many toys. What are they going to expect the next birthday and the year after that. By the time they are sixteen you’d have to buy the kid a Mercedes Benz convertible. They cleared a path through the restaurant for this boy to drive the tractor and he was flying down the isle when all of a sudden he hit the table with the ketchup bottles and they landed on the floor making a heck of a mess. Well, it serves them right. Buying all those expensive toys.
Whoa! Wait a minute! It was my wife Laura and I who gave him the battery operated John Deere tractor.

Registration for Winter Wheat School begins

Registration for Winter Wheat School Begins
Registration is now open for a winter wheat school to be offered Friday, December 12 at the Lions Hall in Forest City. The school will be held from 8:30AM to 5PM. This school is for growers who grow hard and soft red winter wheat in Northwest Missouri.
The school will focus on wheat management decisions before planting, through the growing season and harvest. We will be running a simulation which decisions will be made by growers and then discuss the impact of those decisions on the crop.
The simulation will have growers using example fields to grow wheat and make decisions. If growers would like to bring their own field information, soil test records, variety, planting date and rate information from this fall planting, this could also be used.
The school will be taught by Wayne Flanary, Regional Agronomist. There is a fee for the school. For further information, please contact Wayne Flanary, University of Missouri Extension at 660-446-3724.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Opinion: John McCain for President

Opinion Pieces are those of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of the Sheridan Express.

By Chandra Hopkins

Thankfully, the election process is about to wind down! I know we are all tired of the ads, the claims and the counterclaims, the flowery rhetoric and the billions of promises that will never be kept no matter who is elected. With all of this "junk" we have to sift through, no doubt many will wonder if it is even worth it to go to the polls.
It is our duty to participate in this important process. Many have fought for the right to cast their ballot and for all Americans to do the same. It is also important to be an informed voter. It is our responsibility to make sure that we know who and what we are voting for. Every election is important but this election is one of the most serious we have faced. We are faced with electing a leader of this great nation at a time in history when the consequences of our actions will have an enormous effect on generations to come. How then, are we to choose who would be the best leader based on all the political campaigns? It is hard to sort through and find the truth. When the truth is hard to find the best place to find it is in the facts. Facts cannot be changed and they will not go away. They are what they are.
Neither candidate running for president was my choice. I disagree with them both on several issues. However, there is a clear choice. No matter what the talking heads and spin doctors say, there are facts that cannot be ignored. Barrack Obama is a candidate that scares the daylights out of me. There are so many issues that are deal breakers just by themselves! No matter how many times Obama's supporters tell you that things you question are irrelevant to his presidency, the issues remain and must be considered. How many of us would sit in a church for 20 years listening to our minister spew hate and tell us how horrible our country was? How many of us would sit on a so called educational foundation with someone who bombed our pentagon and ran an underground domestic terrorist organization and have that very person launch our political campaign from his living room? How many of us would be so naive to think that Iran is just a little country who couldn't hurt us? How many of us would have the nerve to run for president of the greatest country in the world and go to Germany and tell them how bad the United States is and to constantly run our country down? How many of us would let a baby born alive when an abortion is botched and want a law to let that child die because that was the original intent of having an abortion?
Doesn't it make you a little nervous that Barack Obama attracts people like Rev. Wright, Louis Farrakhan, Father Pflager, Bernadine Dorn, Bill Ayers, Hugo Chavez (dictator of Venezuela) Fidel Castro, the American Communist party, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad (crazy man leader of Iran), the Hollywood leftist crazies and a host of other socialists, Marxist wing nuts? What is it about him that they subscribe to? I would venture to say that Mr Obama has the same ideas about "sharing the wealth" that socialists share. Give your money to the government and they will see to it that it is shared equally as they see fit to all Americans. Is that really what you want? Obama is running on "hope and change".....if he is elected we can "hope" that we all have a little "change" left when he gets finished "redistributing" our hard earned paychecks!! There are so very many flaws in his thinking that it would take more than a newspaper column to get it all covered. If you consider just the few things I have mentioned, there should be no doubt that there is sufficient reasons to vote for John McCain.
John McCain loves this country. It is abundantly apparent and is not something you have to wonder about. He would always have the best interests of our country in the forefront of all his decisions. We may not always agree with him but I would always be comfortable in knowing that he will be making decisions for the people of this great country and will not be thinking about being a global president. We are electing the president of the United States not the next president of the world!! Obama has delusions of turning America into Europe and of himself being the world's leader. John McCain knows that we are a capitalistic country and that socialism will not work. Our forefathers didn't set out to make us like Europe...that is why they founded a free country!
Barack Hussein Obama is an extreme socialist liberal. He is someone who is constantly apologizing for our actions and blaming America for all that is bad in the world. Liberalism has run amok enough in our country! If Obama would be elected, there would be no way to stop the insanity with congress being controlled with the likes of Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid and the other liberals in charge. It is time to take it back and reclaim it for the most blessed, most generous and greatest country in the world! I urge you to vote for the man who loves his country and has proven it, who has the most common sense ideas and who will stand up for the ideals our founding fathers set forth for us years ago. For our country's sake, vote for John McCain.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Jack Remembers for 10-29-08

My oldest son, Dr. Steven Hackley, got bored in high school and dropped out at the end of his Junior year. Luckily, he was accepted at MU without a high school diploma. He is now a Professor at the University of Missouri at Columbia in the Psychology Department. He does research and also teaches undergraduate and graduate students. He is the Past President of the world-wide Society for Psycho-physiological Research.
When Steve was a young boy he helped my dad milk cows. He was paid $1.00 per milking and he saved virtually every penny he earned. He had quite a bit of money saved up and decided he would like to take lessons and learn how to fly. He rode his bicycle four miles to the East Kansas City Airport located at Grain Valley. He had parked his bicycle and was looking in a plane parked next to the airport office when the management came out, ran him off, and told him not to come back. He talked his mother into driving him once a week twenty-one miles to the Higginsville Airport, located off I-70 and operated by Marshall Branson, who took an interest in Steve. Marshall was a compassionate and patient instructor and got Steve ready to solo on his 16th birthday, which was the legal age.
I called the Kansas City Star and told them my son was going to both solo an airplane and get his driver’s license on the same day. Branson flew the Cessna 150 from Higginsville to the Grain Valley airport to meet Steve. With the Kansas City Star reporter and Steve’s family watching from the ground, Steve completed his solo flight. The next stop was the Independence License Bureau, where he took his driver’s test, once again with his family and the Kansas City Star reporter looking on. Upon completion of the driver’s test, the examiner announced to the onlookers that the newly 16 year old pilot had flunked the test.

37529 Missourians May Overpay for Plan D

Medicare estimates that 37,529 eligible Missourians have not signed up for a program that would help them pay for Medicare Part D and drastically reduce their prescription drug costs.
The program is known as "Extra Help for Medicare Part D," or the "Low-Income Subsidy." It pays 75 percent or more of prescription drug costs associated with Medicare Part D, the federally subsidized prescription drug program.
Carol Beahan, director of the nonprofit CLAIM program, would like to see more people enroll in the program.
"Many people don’t think they can afford Medicare drug coverage, because it does require cost sharing. That’s what the Extra Help program is for. People shouldn’t have to make a choice between buying groceries, or buying their medicine. Tight budgets shouldn’t force people to sacrifice their health," Beahan said.
"Some simply may not know they could be eligible for the program. Others might see the program as a handout; but I tell them that every week they have paid for the benefit already. Now’s the time to use it," Beahan said.
Applications for the Extra Help program can be requested by phone by calling Social Security at 1-800-772-1213. It can also be completed online at or at your local Social Security office.

Time to Change Batteries in Smoke Detectors

As the fall time change approaches American Red Cross and the Sheridan Fire Department wants to remind residents to make another change that could save their lives - changing the batteries in their smoke alarms.

Saturday, November is “change your clock, change your battery” day and on that day it is recommended that everyone put a new battery in their smoke detector. The Red Cross and Sheridan Fire Department will be coordinating visits to homes of seniors and others who need help changing the battery in their smoke detector. Also, anyone who does not have a smoke detector in their home, the American Red Cross will provide a detector and a Firefighter will assist with installation. To schedule assistance with your smoke detector, please call the American Red Cross by Thursday, October 30 at 1-800-378-8438.

“A working smoke alarm provides an early warning and critical extra second to escape,” said Kevin Kirby, Executive Director. “This is particularly important for those most at risk of dying in a home fire, such as children and seniors.”

Children are particularly vulnerable during home fires. Children ages five and under are twice as likely as the population as a whole to die in home fires. 80% of child fire fatalities occur in homes without working smoke alarms.

Adults ages 65 and older are two times more likely to die in a home fire; those ages 75 and up are three times more likely and those ages 85 and up are 4.5 times more likely to die in a home fire.

Although 92 percent of American homes have smoke alarms, non-working smoke alarms are so common that they are robbing residents of the protective benefits these critical home fire safety devices were designed to provide. The most commonly cited cause of non-working smoke alarms: worn or missing batteries.

Changing smoke alarm batteries once a year is one of the simplest, most effective ways to reduce these tragic deaths and injuries. In fact, a working smoke alarm nearly cuts in half the risk of dying in a home fire.

Growers Use Crop Residues to Increase Yields and Protect Soil

Growers Use Crop Residues to Increase Yields and Protect Soil
Growers using no-till and reduce till systems have reduced soil erosion in Northwest Missouri to a point that we have achieved many of our goals in reducing soil loss. However, with heavy rains this spring and some of the damage that occurred in 2007, we do have some small ditches in fields.
If you have fields that have damage, you may want to smooth the ditch edges with a blade. Plowing or disking loosens more soil and this can dislodge with the impact of rains. Also, sowing some winter small grains that can create residue will help absorb the energy from rain. Old crop residues also help prevent erosion once the ditches are filled.
As we continue to look for ways to improve crop yields, some are questioning the value of no-till. We only have to look back about 20 years to see the benefits we have now.
When we lose topsoil, our crop yields decline. The organic matter contained in top-soil provides our crops with sources of nutrients such as nitrogen and phosphorus. Organic matter also provides the environment for good plant growth.
Our data at the Graves-Chapple Farm continue to show that no-till crop yields are equal to or greater than other tillage systems. Also, when you examine the income and expense, the economics are better with no-till.
Another reason for continuing with no-till is increased water infiltration. Tests conducted years ago at Graves-Chapple showed that no-till had greater infiltration rates of water compared to other tillage systems even ripping the soil. We also repeated this again last year at the Graves-Chapple Farm and again the results were faster infiltration rates with no-till.
The use of crop residues to protect the soil and the use of mechanical practices to move excess water off of row crop fields continue to be important strategies to keep our soils productive and producing high crop yields. Lets continue using these practices so future generations can have access to this resource.
For more information contact Wayne Flanary at (660)446-3724 or Heather Benedict at (660)425-6434, Regional Agronomists with the University of Missouri Extension.

Sooty Blotch in Apples

Sooty Blotch in Apples Not a Health Concern
By Janet Hackert, Regional Nutrition and
Health Education Specialist

This year the apple harvest has been bountiful! But some of those beautiful apples are showing blemishes caused by sooty blotch. Although they may not look nice, these apples "do not pose a health risk," says Dr Michael Ellis from the Department of Plant Pathology at Ohio State University.
An apple with sooty blotch has brown to dull black spots on it. The spots do not have clear-cut edges, but rather have an indefinite outline. The spots may be confined to one small area, or may cover most of the fruit’s surface. Most commonly this problem occurs with Golden Delicious or Grimes apples, but may show up on any variety.
Sooty blotch is caused by a fungal infection. It is particularly prevalent later in the season when May and June were cool and wet and July and August were hot and dry – much like we have had in many parts of northwest Missouri this year.
The good news is that sooty blotch is only ‘skin deep.’ Because it is confined to the surface of the fruit, it is easy to remove it. As Dr. Ellis reports, "Removal of the fungus by washing, rubbing or peeling the fruit results in fruit that is acceptable for cooking or eating fresh." But then, washing and rubbing any type of fruit is recommended to keep that food safe to eat, whether the process is to remove sooty blotch or any number of potentially dangerous microorganisms.
Hold apples at 35-40 degrees Fahrenheit for optimal long term storage. Apples at these temperatures last far longer than at room temperature. Temperatures in a garage or basement may be cool and will prolong the shelf life of apples. But even better would be to use a spare refrigerator where apples would be kept at a constant temperature. For apples with sooty blotch, the same storage conditions are recommended. Even after being held in cold storage, "sooty blotch could increase, but not be a health risk," says Dr. Ellis.
University of Missouri Extension is the local link between the resources of the four University of Missouri campuses in Columbia, Kansas City, Rolla and St. Louis; Lincoln University in Jefferson City; and people throughout the state.
Equal opportunity is and shall be provided to all participants in Extension programs and activities, and for all employees and applicants for employment on the basis of their demonstrated ability and competence without discrimination on the basis of their race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, national origin, age, disability or status as a Vietnam-era veteran. This policy shall not be interpreted in such a manner as to violate the legal rights of religious organizations or military organizations associated with the armed forces of the United States of America.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Bad Second Inning Dooms Northeast in Districts

A bad second inning doomed Northeast Nodaway in districts as they lost 11-1 in six innings to Stanberry Wednesday. The Bulldogs scored six times in the second to create an insurmountable 7-0 lead after two innings and cruised to the victory.
Stanberry scored once in the first; Sydney Stoll reached on an error and Hailey Stuart doubled her to third, hitting a shot into the right field gap. Kimberly Jensen was thrown out on a dropped third strike, but Stoll broke for home safely on the throw to first to make it 1-0.
Northeast threatened in the top of the second as Blair Schmitz walked and Mallorie Peters grounded out to advance her to second, but Taylor Dougan and Sarah Fox struck out.
The Bluejays were doomed by pitching breakdowns in the second inning. Emily Bryant struck out three Stanberry batters in the first, but her control deserted her and she walked four batters in the second. Stanberry teed off on her as well, getting four hits in the frame and sending eight straight batters to the plate safely. The big blows for the Bulldogs in the inning were Shannon Luke’s two-run single between first and second as well as Jensen’s line drive single that scored two more.
Northeast got a run back in the third when Bryant tripled in the gap in right center and Cammi Hansen grounded out to bring her in.
Bryant walked two more batters in the third; Alex Wallace advanced them with a bunt and Hailey Stuart singled them home. Stuart took second on a wild pitch and then Jensen reached safely when Mallorie Peters fell down trying to field a grounder, scoring Stuart. That made it 10-1.
After Northeast went in order in the fourth, Taylor Dougan replaced Bryant on the mound. She struck out the first two batters; Morgan Luke reached on an error for Stanberry, stole second, and took third on a wild pitch. But Cammi Hansen fielded a grounder and threw her out at the plate to end the inning.
Dougan was hit by a pitch for Northeast and took second on a wild pitch in the top of the fifth; however, Kelsie Shaw and Sarah Fox struck out and Emily Bryant grounded out to end the threat.
Stanberry loaded the bases with nobody out in the bottom of the fifth, but they could not score. Dougan struck out Jensen; Katie Redig hit a line drive that would have ended the game, but Bryant snared the shot at shortstop to keep Northeast alive. Kelsey Stuart struck out to end the inning.
With two outs in the sixth, Rachel Runde singled between first and second while Blair Schmitz walked; however, Mallorie Peters grounded out to strand them. Morgan Luke singled in the 11th run for Stanberry to end the game on the 10-run rule.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Jack Remembers for 10-15-08

January 11th, 1965 was the coldest day of the winter. The sun was out, but it was below zero. It was the second Monday in January and Inauguration Day for Governor Warren Hearnes. The Honorary Colonels were lining up in alphabetical order for the Inaugural Parade.
For many years, the Democratic governors had named Honorary Colonels to their staff. Normally they named two per county and sometimes many more. They had Colonels uniforms and marched in the Inaugural Parade. At the Inaugural Ball held in the Rotunda of the Capitol Building, the Colonels and their ladies would promenade down the spiral staircase and past the state elected officials. It was a colorful ceremony and cost the state nothing. The Colonels also paid for the painting of the First Lady’s portrait that would hang in the mansion, and would participate in functions throughout the Governor’s term of office.
The Colonel next to me asked if I was cold. I replied, "I’m freezing." Out of his inside coat pocket, he pulled a pint of whiskey, which we thought warmed us up. His name was Pat Jones and from that day on, he was my favorite "Colonel". He owned Modern Security Insurance Company, a 7500 acre ranch near Rogersville, and later built the Exotic Animal Paradise east of Springfield on Highway 44.
After the Inauguration at high noon we adjourned to one of the State Senator’s offices and continued to warm up by consuming some of the Senator’s stock. During this period of time, Pat related to me how proud he was of his two children. His girl he was not worried about, but he said he didn’t think his boy Jerry would ever be worth a dime because all he thought about was football. Jerry was playing that year on the University of Arkansas Razorback team as a guard. Little did Pat realize 30 years down the road his son would own the Dallas Cowboys. I don’t know what the Cowboys are worth, but the Washington Redskins recently sold for $800,000,000.00.

Pool Fundraiser October 18th

Grant City Community Betterment along with VFW and VFW Auxiliary will be hosting a Bingo Night and Soup Supper on Saturday, October 18th at the Worth County Fairgrounds Building. They will start serving at 5:30 pm and free will donations will be accepted for the soup supper.
Bingo will start at 7 pm and will be a 50% payback per game. All proceeds will go to the Pool Renovation Project.
Come join us for some good food and lots of fun.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Westfork Boosters 4-H Minutes for October 5th, 2008

The regular meeting of the West Fork Boosters 4H Club was called to order by President Austin Thummel at 4:00 pm on Sunday, October 5, 2008. The Pledge to the American flag and the 4H Pledge were led by Austin Thummel. DeAnn Warne, secretary did roll call. The Roll Call Question "What is your favorite color?" Wyatt Rush gave the treasurer’s report with a balance on hand of $1389.69.
Old business discussed everyone needs to turn in their enrollment forms. At our September meeting we discussed doing a food drive for the Mission Possible Center as our community service project. The goal was to raise 150lbs. of food. We receive quite a bit of food. Our December meeting will be Saturday, December 6th, with bowling at Maryville from 3-5 and we will have pizza delivered. Before bowling we will go shopping for kids that we have taken off the Angel Tree.
New business discussed was our November Community Service Project. A couple of ideas that were thrown out was a Soup Kitchen in St. Joe, cookies for seniors or adopt a family for Thanksgiving. The kids took a vote with 7 votes to Soup Kitchen, 6 votes to adopting a family for Thanksgiving and 2 votes for cookies for seniors. It was decided if we couldn’t get in the soup kitchen then we would adopt the family. We discussed who would bring drinks & snacks our meetings. Wyatt Rush made a motion to start at the beginning of the alphabet. Luke Andrews seconded.

November: Andrews / Gabriel Family
December: Hardy/Hunt Family
January: Rush/ Thorborn Family
February: Thummel/ Troutwine Family
March: Warne/Welch Family
April: Andrews/Gabriels Family
May: Hardy/Hunt Family
Next meeting will be Sunday, November 2nd at 4:00 p.m. at the Worth County Fairgrounds Building or we will find out about the soup kitchen.
A motion was made by Sidney Thummel to adjourn the meeting and Luke Andrews seconded it.

DeAnn Warne,

Silver-Haired Legislature Identifies Priorities

Silver Haired Legislative delegates from all areas of the state met September 29, 30 and October 1, 2008 for their 35th annual legislative session. Delegates debated and voted on twenty-two separate proposals during a three-day session, which took place at the Capitol Plaza Hotel & Conference Center, as well as the House and Senate Chambers of the Capitol in Jefferson City. Delegates attending from the Northwest area were Senators: Sharon Ferris, Trenton; Dale Faulkner, Tarkio; Helen Leimbach-Zech, Plattsburg. Representatives: Edwin & Dorothy Allender , Chillicothe; Dale & Patricia Midland, Maryville; Martha Rush, Sheridan; John Murphy, Maysville; James Crenshaw, Lathrop; Claude Brandon, Savannah; Joyce Nixon, St. Joseph; Jennie Vertrees, Princeton; Mary Catherine Damm, Chillicothe; Howard Trullinger, Eagleville.
At the conclusion of the session, delegates voted on their top five priority bills for presentation to the Missouri General Assembly, scheduled to convene in mid-January. Silver Haired priorities include:
1. Comprehensive Entry Point;
2. Increase Area Agencies on Aging Meal Funding;
3. Increase Missouri Health Net Asset Levels:
4. Increase Personal Needs Allowance of Facility Residents on Medicaid;
5. Regulate Payday Loans.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Capitol Report for September 24th, 2008

Repairing Missouri’s Bridges
From the very first day that you sent me to Jefferson City, I have fought vigorously for better roads and bridges. Although the progress has not occurred at the speed that I had hoped, our perseverance and determination has prevailed as MODOT has become more aware of the significant needs we have across this great state. Last week, MODOT forged ahead into an area very seldom seen by our state government when they announced their intention to use a design build approach for repairing some of Missouri’s worst bridges.
For nearly two years now, MODOT has been working to find a solution that would allow them to rebuild or replace the 800 lowest rated bridges in Missouri. It comes as no surprise to those of us who drive the roads in northwest Missouri to learn that over 150 of these unacceptable bridges are in the 16 counties that make up the 12th Senate District. As a result of MODOT’s actions last week, over 100 of the worst bridges in this state will be under contract and construction by next spring.
Having traveled thousands of miles on Missouri’s lettered routes and major highways, I understand first hand the need for these repairs. The citizens of this great state should not be forced to drive on roads that are unsafe for themselves and their families. Although the final implementation of the 800 Bridge Project has been modified from its original form, MODOT has held true to the goals and expectations of these projects while maintaining their commitment to thinking outside the box.
Our transportation infrastructure is the lifeblood of our communities and we cannot survive without safe and reliable roads and bridges. The 800 Bridge Project is an important step in improving our transportation infrastructure thereby ensuring the safety of our families and the continuation of our economy. While I will continue to fight for even greater improvements, I am hopeful that these projects mark the beginning of a steady commitment to finally bring our roads into the 21st century.
As always, please feel free to call, email, or write with your ideas or concerns. The Capitol number is (573) 751-1415, my email is and my mailing address is Room 429, State Capitol Building, Jefferson City, MO 65101.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

School has Mixed Results on No Child Left Behind testing

The annual testing report for the Worth County school brought bad news and good news. The bad news is that the school did not meet the Annual Progress requirements for Communication Arts. The good news is that the school is in the same boat as the rest of the state; the state as a whole did not meet its Annual Progress requirements under federally mandated No Child Left Behind testing. And the school’s students tested either at or better than the state averages on the annual testing for both math and communication arts; in addition, the school’s students tested well above the state averages on science and met the AYP for math.
Superintendent Matt Robinson said that the state was going to switch to a growth model for evaluating schools; he said that with the growth model, the school would have come closer to passing the Communication Arts component of the No Child Left Behind testing. He said that the 2014 goals of the No Child Left Behind legislation were never going to be met and that "it was going to start hurting schools." Previously, the state had switched from a 5-tiered system to a 4-tiered system.
Robinson noted in his written discussion of the results that the AYP was only a single indicator of the school’s academic performance, as measured by the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. Other factors, such as graduation rates and attendance rates, were considered, and the school met all of these standards.
Robinson said that the previous model had "compared apples to oranges" because it was comparing different kids; the new model would measure how well a particular student did compared to the year before. And he said that the results, in many cases, were close enough that one or two kids could take the school from red (in need of improvement) to green.
In addition, Robinson said that the school was switching from the MAP testing to end of course tests. He said that would ensure that the students were tested on subject matter taught in the schools rather than force teachers to teach to the test. Students from third to eighth grade will still take the MAP tests.
He said that it would get harder every year to meet the Annual Progress Requirements of No Child Left Behind, but he said that it could be done in this area; for instance, he said that Stanberry and Jefferson were gold star schools for their ability to meet the progress requirements.
In addition, Robinson reported that the school’s ACT scores went up as well, continuing a recent trend. He said that was good because more students than usual had signed up to take the ACT. He said that the ability of students to take upper level classes was predictive of how well they would do on the ACT, which meant that the school’s recent move to eight-hour days was a good move; he said that would allow students to take band and FFA and other such activities and still take upper level courses and stay on track to graduate; he said that in a lot of school districts, it was a struggle to make sure that students were prepared for college and that they met new state requirements for graduation.
Robinson said that improving the school’s test scores in Communication Arts, which covers literacy and reading, would involve the whole school and not just the English class. "It has to happen in all classes across the board," he said. Since this is the first year that the school has not met the Annual Progress requirements of No Child Left Behind, there are no penalties that the school faces; if the school fails to meet the Annual Progress Requirements, they would have to come up with a three-year improvement plan. However, Robinson said that he was not waiting for the school to miss the AYP goals next year and that he was already in the process of drawing up an improvement plan for Communication Arts and working with the administration and staff.
Christina Charles, a visitor, requested that the bus stop between 8th street and Lover’s Lane, citing safety concerns and the high number of kids who lived there. There is a bus that already drives by there, but it is full. The board adopted last year’s plan; however, Robinson said that he would continue to look into ways of busing more town students. He reported that he had done some checking and that if there was no extra cost to bus the students, the state would allow them to bus more town students, but that if there was extra cost, such as an extra trip, then there would be a penalty. He said that most of the busses were full right now and that was another problem that had to be addressed; he said that he would be riding busses to see the situation for himself and to evaluate the bus drivers.
On a related note, the school received a spot inspection from the Missouri Highway Patrol, which found that there was only one defect, an upper fender light, which was immediately replaced. Board member Kevin Austin reported that he had heard many positive comments from the inspectors afterwards; they told him that there were normally a lot more problems with busses that they found during random inspections at area schools.
Debbie From of ACES gave her annual presentation to the school board. ACES is a 21-member educational cooperative designed to meet the needs of students who are special education or who are at-risk. They include an alternative school and assist districts with behavioral intervention services.
From reported on the goals and challenges of the program. She reported that the number of suspensions reported by the schools was reduced by 12%, which is over the state goal of 10%. The graduation rate for the member school districts was 95.84%; that exceeds their goal of 95%. The attendance rate last year for students was 86.48%; however, From said that it was closer to 90% this year. She said that the group that skewed the numbers were the 17-18 year olds, who are not required by state law to attend school under the Compulsory Education Act. The goal was 93%.
The number of discipline/incident referral reductions for students enrolled in the program was 38.7%. The goal for the program was 50%; there were 30 students reviewed, and 17 decreased their number of referrals by 50% or greater. From said that they were on the right track, but that it could be better; she said that there were strict protocols for when teachers were to refer students for action.
One of the areas that was in most need of improvement for the program was the number of students who transitioned successfully back to their home school or who received an alternative diploma. For Fiscal Year 2008, only 50% of students met this outcome, down from 71.91% the year before. She said that the reason was that they were heavy on older students; she said that there would be better outcomes with earlier interventions with students. She broke down the data into age groups; the group most likely not to have successful outcomes was the Missouri Options Program students.
The Missouri Options Program is a last chance program for students who are in danger of not getting all the credits they need to get a high school graduation. This is not a GED program, because students still get a High School Diploma through the program; if a student successfully completes the program, schools do not have to count them as a dropout. The program had a 42% success rate because the students enrolled are at high risk for dropping out; by contrast, the 7th to 12th grade intervention program had an 82% success rate and the elementary intervention program had a 100% success rate.
Students at the program met 84.3% of their academic plans, that was an improvement from 2007; the state goal was 80%.
ACES also offers a prevention program for schools; it has served 108 students in their home districts; 82.4% of the students in the prevention program maintained placement in their home districts.
The estimated value of services provided by ACES was $86,469 for each school district. The Worth County School paid dues and tuition for students totaling slightly over $22,000, meaning that the school saves over $60,000 by participating in the program. And board members noted that there were even more savings given the fact that it creates a better environment for students not in need of intervention.
From said that the biggest challenge was getting funding from the state to continue the program. Safe Schools funding will decrease from the current level of $400,000 this year to a maximum of $300,000 next year, depending on the ability of ACES to get funding; they can renew their Safe Schools grant, but it will be a competitive process with similar programs around the state. They will also lose $60,000 in cooperative expansion grants.
Fifth grade teacher Ginny Quick reported on her classroom’s studies. In science, they were studying weather and weather lore, including tornadoes and other extreme weather; they were making brochures about weather emergencies. In English, they were working on writing sentences and writing short autobiographies about themselves; in math, they were working on place values and decimals. Julia Moore talked briefly about her English work at the junior high and high school levels.
Elementary Principal Nancy Lewis reported in her written report to the board that 88% of families attended the Open House on August 18th; school pictures were taken on the 25th and progress reports were sent home on September 5th. The current enrollment of the elementary was 191.
In his written report to the board. Robinson said that the school had gotten a Dollar General Grant for literacy for the Junior High Enhancement class. The grant is for $4,990 and will be used to target reading, including comprehension skills, vocabulary, and fluency, and will target individual deficits as measured on the Stanford Reading Test and the MAP Test. It will be used to purchase books for classrooms, supplies, and professional development.
Robinson said that there was no more state funding for the A+ program and that the school would need to incur the costs from its own budget if they wished to pursue that designation. The renovation of the softball field was progressing; the dugouts are being put in and the fence will soon be up. Starting in October, a new 5-year Comprehensive School Improvement Plan will be developed; a new committee will be formed for that purpose.