Tuesday, April 29, 2008

NEN Community Library Opens for Summer

The Northeast Nodaway Community Library opened in Parnell and Ravenwood for the summer with more books and expanded hours for patrons to come. On Mondays, both the Ravenwood and Parnell buildings will be open from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. These hours will be effective April 28th. Starting May 28th, the library will be open from 10 a.m. to 12 noon in Ravenwood and from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. in Parnell. On Saturdays, starting on April 26th, the hours in both school buildings will be from 10 a.m. to 12 noon.
Mary Alice Staples of the library said that the hours would make it easier for people to remember which building was open. "Last year, people were confused about which building was open when," she said. She said that an increased number of volunteers helped, as there are now over 30 volunteers working for the library, as opposed to 23 last year. "And we haven’t even talked to the parents about volunteering," she said.
In Ravenwood, the 8th grade was having a story hour for children there. They worked during their art time to make story bags which have books and activity kits for children that parents could check out. For instance, one book called "The Green Eyed Monster" has costumes that kids can play with and make themselves look like monsters.
The library is funded through a service learning grant and offered many different offerings for both adults and preschoolers.

Clown Prince of Basketball entertains WC Students

School ended early for Worth County students Friday as they were entertained by former ABA player Valentino Willis, the self-described Clown Prince of Basketball. Along the way, Willis talked to students about the need to stay clear of drugs, tobacco, and alcohol. "I have traveled all over the world and all over, there are kids who think it is cool to do drugs," he said. "I’ve gotten letters from principals who had students die from using too much drugs."
Willis said that it was OK to have fun and that it could be done without using them; he proved his point by keeping the assembly rolling in laughter and teaching people various ball-handling tricks. "Some kids want to fight with their teachers and principals," he said. "But they do what they do because they love you," he said. He said that it was very important for kids to do homework and that "you are never too old or too young to start learning."
Keeping off of drugs starts with parents, said Willis. "If your kids see you smoking or drinking, they will want to act like you," he said. "Talk to your little ones. We may have a doctor or a teacher or a lawyer. Knowledge is power." He said that alcohol takes the future of our kids away and that "you are the future of the world." And he said that it also starts with love. "I want everyone to go home and give mom and dad a big hug and tell them you love them," he said. "There is not enough love in this world today."
Willis said that he spoke from personal experience; he was friends with the late Maryland star Len Bias, who was drafted by the Boston Celtics and died that very night from a drug overdose. "He would tell me, ‘Valentino, all I ever want to do is make it to the NBA,’" said Willis. But when Len Bias got drafted, he decided to do something that he had never done before -- he went to a party, got high on cocaine, and died of the resultant overdose. "That was the first time he every tried drugs," said Willis. "That’s why I travel all over the country asking students not to use drugs."
"Please don’t give your teachers and parents and coaches a hard time; they are here for you," he finished. Willis then led the assembly in applause for the teachers, coaches, school employees, parents, and grandparents. Willis then called out 25 different elementary and high school students and got them in a circle where he would throw them the ball and they had to catch it or get knocked out. He would throw the ball several times in a row at some of the more sure-handed students and would sometimes try to surprise people with no-look passes or surprise passes from various parts of his body.
Willis then led a group of students in a layup race, where the object was for the teams to make all their layups before the other teams did. But at the end of the day, Willis told them that it didn’t matter who won; they were all winners.

Graves Talks Farm and Energy Policy at Telephone Town Hall

Sam Graves held a teleconference with constituents about the Farm Bill, energy policy, and related issues Tuesday night. Along the way, he got a couple of questions from area residents and talked about ways to bring down gas prices.
Graves said that the 6th District has 65,000 agricultural jobs and that the entire country depended on agriculture for its survival. "What a farmer decides affects what someone has for dinner on the table in New York City," he said. The problem is that the Farm Bill is bottled up in a conference committee and that without a new farm bill, it would revert to 1938 and 1949 laws that he said were a lot less flexible in allowing farmers to decide what to produce in a given year. He praised the bi-partisan work of the Agriculture Committee in Congress and that while the Farm Bill was not perfect, "it meets the needs of the 6th district well."
Graves said that the US had the "safest, most abundant food supply in the world" and that the Farm Bill would work to keep it that way. He said that it gives farmers a lot of flexibility, which he said was needed because of the volatility of food prices. He said that it creates research opportunities for farmers, increased biofuels, and reduced our dependence on foreign oil. "A lot of people don’t realize why helping farmers is so important," he said. "Take price quotes and throw in the weather, and you get a lot of uncertainty." Graves said that stability was the goal of the new Farm Bill.
However, only 10 percent of the Farm Bill actually deals with agriculture. The rest of the bill involves such things as rural development, conservation programs, and more broadband access, which Graves said was key to the development of this area. "Broadband can bring the world to your doorstep," said Graves. "That means someone from Albany can have access to the same kinds of opportunities as someone in Kansas City. Where you live will no longer dictate your opportunities." Graves said that the biggest challenge of the area was gas prices; "When we got our first delivery of fuel at our farm, I thought my dad was going to have a heart attack," he said. Graves said that he was frustrated that the leadership in Congress was "not serious" about stopping the rise of gas prices despite the fact that experts predict $4 gas prices this year.
Turning to ethanol, Graves said that technology has gotten to the point where not only would it address the problem of gas prices, he said that it would provide feed for livestock through distiller’s grain as well so that policymakers would not have to choose between livestock production and bringing down gas prices. But Graves said that it would only provide a partial solution; he said that more nuclear energy, coal plants, and oil drilling was the key to energy independence.
Graves then went on to take questions from constituents who participated in the session; the first question was from a local caller who pointed out that wealthy businessman T. Boone Pickens had invested $1 billion in wind farms and that it might be more energy-effective to produce wind power than it would ethanol. Graves responded that the technology for ethanol was improving and blamed "oil company misinformation" for a lot of the resistance to ethanol. For instance, he said that it was about to progress to the point where you could get both biodiesel and ethanol fuel from the same ear of corn.
Graves was ambivalent about oil companies; while he reserved some of his harshest criticisms for the oil industry, going so far as to say that Congress was held hostage to the oil lobby, he advocated a lot of measures to help them; for instance, he advocated opening up the the continental shelf and the controversial Arctic National Wildlife Refuge for drilling. "The ANWR is an area about the size of South Carolina," said Graves. "The land that is needed to do the drilling only covers three square miles. The technology has gotten to the point where we can get to the oil by drilling almost totally underground."
Graves said that thanks to ethanol, gas prices were $1 a gallon cheaper than they would have been otherwise and that it was cheaper to produce. "On the other hand, Big Oil pulls oil out of the ground, has to transport it overseas, and then reimport it to the US and transfer it to district facilities." But he said that wind energy was important as well; he said that there were 2-3 wind companies that he knew of that were looking to expand into the area.
A Pickering caller said that Congress needed to stop what he called "all this pussyfooting" and stop importing so much oil. Graves blamed the refusal of Congress to open the ANWR for drilling. "I thought that they were finally going to when gas hit $2 per gallon," he said. He said that Congress was being held hostage by the environmental lobby and Castro had more rights to drill off the coast than the US did. "Right now, we can’t drill within 100 miles of the coastline," said Graves. "President Jimmy Carter signed a treaty with Cuba that allows them to come within 40 miles of the Florida Coast. And guess where all that oil is going to? China, who is working with them on drilling there." Graves said that in order to make this country energy independent, we had to open up federal lands for drilling. "The government owns 1/5 of the acres of this country; we need to open them up for drilling," he said. Graves said that there were reserves in North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wyoming.
In talking about CRP land, Graves said that there would be cuts in the number of acres in CRP, although nobody would be forced out. He said that it would be done through attrition. He explained that the reason was to bring down food prices and put more land in production to combat rising food prices in this country. "If you get a bunch of acres in production, that will bring down prices; the market always corrects itself," he explained.
One local caller asked Graves about roads; he said that the federal government was doing better than it had been at getting money to Missouri. "Right now, they give back 98 cents on the dollar, which is better than it has been," he said. But Graves, who was a critic of the MODOT during his time as State Representative, said that there was a long ways to go; "there are holes in roads that would swallow a car or a pickup," he said.
In addition to opening more lands for drilling, Graves said that another problem is that no new refineries have been opened in the US for the last 20 years; "it takes 12 years to do the necessary paperwork to get a permit." said Graves. He said that he had introduced a bill that he said would make it faster for oil refineries to open in the US, which he said would also create thousands of jobs as well. "Right now, it is cheaper to take oil outside the country, refine it there, and then ship it back into the US," said Graves. "Right now, it takes appeal after appeal before a refinery can open here."

Obituary: Helen V. Tucker 1936-2008

Helen Voncille (Richardson) Tucker, 71, of St. Joseph, went to be with her Lord Wednesday, April 16th, 2008.
Helen was the fourteenth child of sixteen born to John Elmer Curley and Cora (Yates) Richardson on November 26th, 1936 at Worth.
She married Marion Wyer on July 13th, 1951 in Mount Ayr. They divorced in 1966 and she married Marion Tucker on November 29th, 1982. He preceded her in death January 25th, 2004 and Marion Wyer preceded her in death January 21st, 2007. Helen also preceded in death by her parents and 11 brothers and sisters.
Survivors include her two daughters, Linda Zebelean of St. Joseph and Glenda Wyer of Sheridan; a son, Steve Wyer of St. Joseph; four sisters, Alta Adams of Hopkins, Betty Fidler of Chillicothe, Barbara Gladman of Riverton, WY; and Patty Brown of Clarinda; four grandchildren, Stacey Counts, Erin Nold, Cicely Penland, and Andrea Clark; five great-granddaughters; and numerous nieces and nephews.
She was laid to rest Saturday, April 19th at Wathena, KS, Bellemont Cemetery, beside Marion Tucker. She will be sadly missed by the many lives she touched on her journey through this world. Her courage and her faith were an inspiration for the last 16 years on kidney dialysis.

Sheridan Christian Church Relay for Life Fundraiser May 24th

The Sheridan Christian Church will host a Relay for Life fundraiser at the Sheridan Schoolhouse on May 24th. The evening will kick off with a spaghetti supper and silent auction beginning at 5:00 p.m. A talent and comedy show will begin at 6:30 with a full lineup of great talent.
To go along with the "Let’s Go Racing for a Cure" theme this year, the Sheridan Christian Church team will hold a derby car race at the Relay in Grant City on July 18th. Derby car kits for the race will be available at the fundraiser on May 24th and at the Sheridan Christian Church booth in the Sheridan Park on Old Defiance Days, June 28th. Kits may also be purchased anytime from any one of the Sheridan Christian Church team members. The price of the kit is $5.
The team is also selling tee shirts to raise money for the cure. They are available at Main Street Cuts and The Sheridan Grocery store in Sheridan and at the Great Western Bank in Grant City for a $10 donation. If anyone would be interested in donating items, either new or used to the auction, it would be greatly appreciated. Items can be left in the Sheridan Christian Church fellowship hall, or you can contact Jeff Blaine, Mary Beth Taute, or Marcia Rush.
The church will also be hosting a tea and information meeting on breast cancer awareness May 12th at the Sheridan Christian Church in Sheridan. The tea will begin at 6:30 p.m. At 7:30 p.m., Tammi Brundage from the American Cancer Society will be present to give information on breast cancer prevention and early detection and to answer any questions. Tammi will have forms that will simulate actual lumps. There is no cost for this event. We encourage all ladies to attend. This is great information that would be lifesaving.

With planting delayed, efficiency and extra labor crucial for farmers, says MU Extension agricultural engineer

With planting delayed, efficiency and extra labor crucial for farmers, says MU Extension agricultural engineer
COLUMBIA, Mo. - Producers need to develop strategies to make up for lost planting days due to soil conditions from a wet spring, said a University of Missouri Extension agricultural engineer.
"Planting conditions are far from perfect when the ground is wet enough that the planter and tractor leave tracks in the field," said Bill Casady. "Seeds planted in muddy soil will emerge poorly and non-uniformly. They could also struggle to grow in a smeared and compacted seed furrow."
Casady outlines steps producers should take to maximize efficiency and minimize downtime:
Plan to have at least two people available to run the planter and at least one support person to supply seeding, help with maintenance and assist in any unforeseen problems.
"There will be little time for last-minute calculations or adjustments," he said.
Hire additional labor. Having someone on the ground to assist can often offset unforeseen breakdowns or obstacles in the field.
If you farm near wooded areas, check the field edges for any cleanup required before planting begins. Stopping to remove fallen limbs reduces field efficiency.
Keep the planter rolling. At least two people should be available to keep the planter running from dawn to dusk or as long as conditions permit.
Communicate effectively. Plan to take breaks as needed and have a partner meet you at the field to relieve you for meal breaks.
Use extra labor to check planter performance. The operator should not have to take time digging for seed behind the planter to verify good performance.
Use bulk feeders or keep a crew ready to help fill the planter.
"Tensions can run high when seasonal stress begins to hit," he said. "Always review and consider safe practices. Shortcuts or hurrying, especially when you are tired, can cause accidents."

Sheridan Christian Church News for April 30th, 2008

Our church families will be honoring three couples with grocery showers this Sunday, May 4th right after the first service and before Sunday School classes start, around 9:15 a.m. Wes and Andrea Parman, Todd and Dee Hibbs, and Tyler Paxson and Sharon Hunt have recently been married or will be. Everyone is welcome to share in this event.
Several of our ladies went to the Ravenwood Christian Church Ladies Salad Supper last Monday night.
On May 12th, we will have a Breast Cancer Awareness Clinic for all area women at Sheridan Christian Church starting at 6:30 p.m. with cookies and coffee. There will be a lady from the American Cancer Society here with a presentation on self-examination to detect cancer.
Worth County R-III Baccalaureate and Graduation will be Sunday, May 18th. Devan Dignan will be speaking at 10 a.m. in the high school gym; graduation will be at 2:00 p.m. The church will have a cook-out honoring our three seniors: Andrew Davidson, Connor Dignan, and Logan Dignan on Sunday, June 8th in the Sheridan Park after the second service around noon. The church will provide the mean. Families bring side dishes and dessert. Everyone is welcome.
On May 24th, the church Relay for Life team will sponsor a spaghetti supper and silent auction. There will also be a talent show starting around 6:30 p.m. If you have items for the silent auction, you may leave them in the fellowship hall at the church. All donations are welcome.

Worth County Commission Minutes for April 30th, 2008

Meeting was called to order at 9:00 am by Presiding Commissioner. Members present: Mozingo, Calhoon and Waldeier.
Commissioner Waldeier made a motion to approve the April 21st minutes. Commissioner Calhoon seconded. Motion carried.
Commissioner Calhoon made a motion to approve the agenda. Commissioner Waldeier seconded. Motion carried.
Commissioner Calhoon made a motion to approve and pay bills. Commissioner Waldeier seconded. Motion carried.
Commissioner Mozingo received Certificate of Training from County Commissioner Organization.
Commissioner Mozingo read the Capitol Improvement Sales Tax Resolution:

Be it resolved that upon voter approval of the Capitol Improvement Sales Tax Renewal on April 8, 2008:
The Worth County Commission approves the continuation of the Capitol Improvement Sales Tax. The Capitol Improvement Sales Tax will continue to be collected and disbursed in accordance with Missouri State Law and Statutory requirements.
Signed this the Twenty-eight day of April, Two Thousand and Eight

Bill Mozingo
Presiding Commissioner
William Calhoon
Associate Commissioner
Lorace Waldeier
Associate Commissioner
Attested by:
Lisa Hargrave
Clerk to the County Commission

Commissioner Calhoon made a motion to approve the Resolution. Commissioner Waldeier seconded. Motion carried. Resolution signed.
Jim Fletchall, Road and Bridge Supervisor reported
Commissioners discussed the vacancies on the Senior Tax Board. Commissioner Waldeier made a motion to appoint Loretta Rinehart to the vacancy. Commissioner Calhoon seconded. Motion carried. Additionally, the Commission discussed another potential vacancy and identified more candidates to contact.
10:00 a.m. Opened bids for Ice Damaged Trees from Courtyard. Received one bid from John Hargrave Custom for removal of trees. The bid was $635.00. Commissioner Calhoon made a motion to approve the bid. Commissioner Waldeier seconded. Motion carried.
Jim Fletchall, reported that Melbourne Fletchall requested maintenance rock for CR 150, the county did some ditch work last year. The Commissioners left it up Jim Fletchall to decide how much maintenance grave is needed on the road.
There is a tube on CR 52 near Marvin Mercer’s has a tube washing out and needs to be reset but there is a phone line in the crossing that may be in the way.
The old shed on the east side of the county yard needs either extensive repair work or torn down. After discussion it was decided to tear the shed down when weather prevents road work. Discussed grader operators: Norvil Miller, Brian Sherer and Dave Thomas will be grading roads until bridge packages are delivered.
Pat Kobbe, Emergency Sirens Director came to the Commission with paperwork from the Emergency Performance Grant. Commissioner Mozingo signed for the County.
Tye Parsons, NW Regional Council of Governments sent a request for emergency sirens for storm warnings. The County put in for $24,000 for sirens and accessories for communities without sirens at present time.
Commissioner Waldeier made a motion to recess until 1:00 pm. Commissioner Calhoon seconded. Motion carried. Session recessed until 1:00 pm.
1:00 pm Reconvened session to approve 2008 Budget Amendment and to interview gravel checkers.
Lisa Hargrave, County Clerk read 2008 Budget Amendment Message.
Commissioner Waldeier made a motion to approve the 2008 Budget Amendments. Commissioner Calhoon seconded. Motion carried. All documents were signed and will be forwarded to appropriate offices.
Jim Fletchall and Commissioners discussed ordering tubes before the price increases go into effect.
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, Christina Charles, Commissioners, and Lisa Hargrave. Session closed at 1:25 pm.
Session reopened at 2:00 pm. During closed session it was decided to hire Christina Charles as Gravel Checker/Seasonal employee position.
Butch Thomas reported a tube on CR 27 either sinking in and would like it checked. Also on behalf of the Sheridan Fire Department – they have to have some Emergency Radio Frequencies added to the radio. The Commission will discuss the matter with Pat Kobbe, Emergency Management Director.
Bob Sifers, Victor Phillips came to the Commission to complete paperwork for the Hyundai Excavator.
Commissioner Waldeier made a motion to adjourn. Commissioner Calhoon seconded. Motion carried meeting adjourned at 3:00 pm.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Rain-delayed corn planting no reason to switch crop

Rain-delayed corn planting no reason to switch crop,
says MU agronomist

COLUMBIA, Mo. - Rain-delayed planting is no reason to switch from corn to soybeans or to switch to an early-maturing corn variety, said a University of Missouri Extension agronomist.
Yields usually begin to drop on corn planted after May 10 in central and northern Missouri. Continued rains and cool soil temperatures kept farmers from planting their corn fields at usual times in mid-April.
"I would stick with corn through the end of May," said Bill Wiebold, corn and soybean specialist. "With the high price of corn, there is financial incentive to stick with corn even with some yield loss."
Growers have to make individual decisions for their farms, Wiebold said during a weekly teleconference with MU Extension regional agronomists. "Even if you incur a 5-percent yield loss after May 10, it doesn't make economic sense to try to find soybean seed and make the switch."
Rains coming every other day haven't made planting decisions simple for crop farmers this year, Wiebold said. He cautioned against rushing into the field before the ground is ready to work. Planting in wet fields can cause soil compaction and form clods that will hamper crop growth.
"Planting when soils are wet can compact the planter slot sidewalls. That compaction increases root damage and restricts where roots can grow," Wiebold said. "The corn may come up and look fine until dry weather hits. Then there won't be enough roots to supply water to the plant.
"Rain is our major concern now. Soil temperatures, which should be above 55 degrees at the two-inch depth, are safe for planting now. If they are not warm enough, they will be in a few days."
Switching to an early-maturing variety almost assures yield loss. "Those early varieties are shorter and have less yield potential," he said. "An early variety might offer some advantage in reduced drying time at harvest, but that depends on the fall season."
Anyone switching from a 110-day variety to a 100-day variety should increase seeding rates by up to 4,000 seeds per acre to offset potential loss.
Delayed planting increases the risk from drought damage at the time of pollination. The later a corn plant matures, the higher the chance of pollen drop coming in hot, dry weather, which reduces the kernel set on the corn cob.
In four years of planting-date studies at the MU Bradford Farm in Columbia, Wiebold found that corn yields begin to drop after the first week of May. By May 20, yields dropped an average of 16 percent compared with the earliest planting date over the four-period. By June 4, yields dropped 24 percent.
"So much depends on the weather in late June," Wiebold said. "We've had late plantings when rain and cooler temperatures occurred at pollination. Excellent yields resulted in those years."
With normal rainfall or irrigation, yield loss is minimal through at least mid-May planting dates.
Corn seed should be planted between 1.5 and 2 inches deep in the soil, Wiebold said. That allows for good root development, which helps later in a dry season. "In general, Missouri farmers plant too shallow," he added.
"For now, wetness is our problem," Wiebold said. "We need a week of good drying weather."

WCCC News for April 30th, 2008

Monday morning in honor of Jazz Month we had a new jazz CD during coffee time. The residents named several jazz musicians they were familiar with. They also decided jazz was not their favorite type of music. Manicures were ongoing throughout the day. Becky had Bible Stories in the late afternoon.
Tuesday morning was coffee and conversation time. We never lack for a subject to talk about here. In the afternoon Beverly Cadle, Bill Mozingo, Martha Groom and Opal Fisher of the Christian Church conducted the service and communion.
Wednesday afternoon we had our weekly Bingo games. Each resident Bingo’s three times. Following Bingo we have refreshments and visit.
Thursday morning Jerry and Ann Roach of the Methodist Church lead our Bible Study. In the afternoon Len and Rita brought music. They had several requests they filled. We always enjoy our visits with them as well as the music.
Friday morning we discussed Walter Lantz and his creations. We had a matching puzzle we worked together. In the afternoon we had our monthly birthday party.
Saturday afternoon we had a new band The Stragglers here.
Sunday School is taught by Shirley Pierce of the Baptist Church. The afternoon services this week are with the Allendale Baptist Church.

Walk 1440 for April 30th, 2008

Do you remember the 3-A’s of your teenage years?
Acceptance…you just wanted to feel acceptance by people…especially your peers
Affirmation…you wanted to hear someone say they like you for who you are & what you are
Adjustment…life was a constant adjustment…a new hair style, clothing style, a complexion that changed overnight could ruin a life…if you don’t adjust you don’t fit in
I can recall as a teenage student feeling the pain of not having the 3-A’s…lying awake at night…groping out into the darkness of my room frustrated & sad…hoping to grab at least one of the A’s?
As we age…do you think we still have a tendency to reach out for the 3-A’s?
Have you noticed the 3-A’s have continued to follow you?
What do you do when you feel like you don’t have the 3-A’s?
Do you continue to grope out into your everyday life to grab acceptance…affirmation… your making constant adjustments…only to come up empty handed?
Listen to what a man wrote 2700 years ago… "At night my soul longs for You…indeed, my spirit within me seeks You diligently" Isaiah 26:9 NAS
…to put a face with the 3-A’s…we are seeking God
The writer of Isaiah 26 found the secret to the 3-A’s…listen carefully… "The steadfast of mind You will keep in perfect peace…because he trusts in You" Isaiah 26:3 NAS
Our soul, our spirit will forever be restlessly seeking the 3-A’s…word to the wise…we won’t find the 3-A’s until we trust the right person…that right person is God
The writer suggests that we will have peace…a perfect peace…when our mind is steadfast on God…who does your mind dwell on?
Listen again to the writer…. "Trust in the Lord forever, for in God the Lord, we have an everlasting Rock." Isaiah 26:4 NAS
Friends, if you have no peace because people don’t accept you, people don’t affirm you & you’ve made adjustments to be like people only to feel empty handed…who are you trusting more…God or people?
The writer of Isaiah says God is an "everlasting Rock"…how many people do you know can last forever & be that strong, unmoving rock that gives you peace?
Reality check…people don’t last forever & people waiver, falter, change…so, why do we continue to trust people for our peace?
What would happen to your mind, even your life, if you seriously looked at what you do on a day to day basis & asked the question…"am I making adjustments in my life for people to accept me, to affirm me…am I seeking peace of mind from people?"
Look again…what happened to the writer of Isaiah in his mind, in his life, when he chose to trust God more than people…?
There are 1440 minutes in a day...WALK1440 seeking the 3-A’s of God for peace of mind

Blockton Birthdays and Anniversaries for May 2008

May Birthdays
1 David Dukes
3 Katy Dukes Longfellow
4 Haley Green
4 Dee Qualls
6 Jo Lynn Schoenmann
7 Nathan Drake
7 Lenore King
7 Brenda Murphy
7 Christina Stroburg Degase
7 Mary Stroburg
8 Lacee Lawrence
8 Sherri Smith
9 Stan Amrine
9 Edna Dukes
10 Connie Guthrie
15 Earl Drake
15 Tim Melvin
15 Wayne Poore
16 Karyn Graham
16 Taylor Kahn
17 Marlene Stewart
18 Rachel Amrine
18 Laura Castillo
19 Barb Freeman
19 Colt Ridge
20 Bob Pinkerton
22 Erin Smith
22 Kirk Smith
23 Margaret Kettle
25 Buddy Freeman
26 Jason King
26 Daniel Wall
26 Dean Bentley
27 Gene Bentley
27 Selina O’Connor
27 Cindy Qualls
28 Myranda Drake
28 Keith Walters
31 Troy Farrens
31 Jane Saville

May Anniversaries
7 Mr. & Mrs. Joe Young
8 Richard & Joyce Brown
9 Floyd & Nina Elliot
12 Rusty & Tammy Faubion
14 Ken & Linda Gray Smith
15 Glen & Clara Bell Hull
17 Jeff & Connie Guthrie
22 Scott & Debbie Marcum
22 Brent & Vickie Melvin
23 Scott & Michelle Miller
28 Oren & Wanda Campbell
31 Randy & Amber Abernathy

Capitol Report for April 30th, 2008

Transforming Healthcare in Missouri
Our current healthcare system is broken, inefficient, and ineffective. Healthcare costs continue to skyrocket, and the traditional model of healthcare is failing to meet the needs of Missouri’s citizens. Healthcare entitlements now compose over 1/3 of our state budget and yet, nearly 700,000 Missourians are without health coverage. This system cannot be reformed, it must be transformed if we are going to be successful in solving these problems.
Last year, the General Assembly transformed Missouri’s Medicaid system from a reactive healthcare model to a prevention driven system with the establishment of MoHealthNet. This new approach enabled patients to take control of their healthcare decisions, which will allow these healthcare consumers to make better healthcare decisions and demand accountability.
This year, the Missouri State Senate has continued working to find solutions to the challenges plaguing our healthcare system. As we work to finalize the legislative package, I believe we are on track to develop a solution that does not recklessly expand government entitlements, but does create a consumer driven model where low income Missourians are directly invested in their healthcare choices. This legislation will not only ensure more Missourians have access to healthcare coverage; it will also promote preventative care and greater transparency of healthcare costs.
As we enter the final weeks, the passage of the Healthcare Transformation Act will be at the top of our agenda. Most importantly, we must ensure that our healthcare policies are focused on driving down cost while increasing the efficiency and accountability of our healthcare system. I believe these solutions will only be successful if patients are invested in their healthcare and have the power to demand transparency, quality, and affordability.
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 brad.lager@senate.mo.gov and my mailing address is Room 429, State Capitol Building, Jefferson City, MO 65101.

Sheridan Express Cooperative Meeting for April 25th, 2008

At the meeting of the Board of Directors of the Sheridan Express Newspaper Cooperative held on April 25, 2008, the following items were discussed:
-A cooperative seal was presented for approval.
-Approval was given to a new sign and drop box which was brought to the meeting by Mickey Floyd.
-Discussion was had concerning possible attraction of artists and authors as participating members of the cooperative.
-An "obtainable goal" of 1000 subscribers before January 1, 2009 was set by the board.
Next meeting will be Saturday, May 10, 2008 at 7 p.m. at Sheridan City Hall. The public is invited.

Show-Me State of Mind for April 16th, 2008

Washington Should Answer to Consumers, Not Exxon
Everywhere I go in Northwest Missouri, residents tell me how angry they are at Washington. I share that anger and never more so than right now.With the price of gas nearly doubling since 2001, everyday Missourians can barely afford to fill their gas tanks. Truck drivers and family farmers are struggling to make ends meet, and the costs of food and other goods are rising.
At the same time, oil companies are raking in record profits. Exxon Mobil, for example, made over $40 billion in profits just last year. Now there's nothing new about oil companies making big money. What's shocking is that we pay the oil industry twice: once at the pump, and again with our tax dollars, which the government gives them in the form of generous tax credits and subsidies. Given how well the oil industry is doing right now, we need to take away those tax breaks and invest them in alternative energy instead.
Earlier this year, the House of Representatives passed a bill to do just that. H.R. 5351 would redirect a portion of the tax subsidies going to big oil companies and put them toward renewable energy projects, such as the ethanol plants and wind farms right here in Northwest Missouri. This would help to lower the price of gas, reduce our dependence on foreign oil, and create jobs in our own backyard.
Although a number of his fellow Republicans supported the bill, Congressman Sam Graves voted "no." I was even more appalled when Congressman Graves' office was required to report that he received thousands of dollars in campaign contributions from Exxon just two weeks before the vote. Only 14 other House members have received more campaign cash from Exxon than Graves has since 2006.
Now his vote makes more sense. He had to choose between consumers in the 6th District or his friends in Texas. Northwest Missourians deserve a representative who will make Washington work for them and not for special interests like big oil.
Kay Barnes is a candidate for U.S. representative for Missouri's 6th Congressional District

May Birthdays and Anniversaries

1 Terry Larison
1 Candy Martin
3 Donnie Burns
3 Kristin Deidrik
4 Myrtle Risser
5 Palmer Eckert
5 Kathy Fletchall
6 Shelly Hiatt
7 Vicki Swaney
8 Dale Winemiller
8 Sydney Thummel
9 Ryan Dignan
11 Clayton Troutwine
12 Scott Davidson
13 Tania Morrow
14 Mark Bullock
15 Pat Kobbe
15 Skyler Rauch
17 Kim Wray
17 Mitchell Charles
17 Henry Rowen
18 Pistol Asher
20 Robert Finch
20 David Parman
20 Stella Lantz
21 Garth Lantz
21 Devin Dignan
25 Karen Wray
27 Connor Dignan
27 Logan Dignan
28 Jessica Scott
28 Jeff Andrews
29 Larry Hansen
29 Shelly Schneider
30 Bart Hawk
31 Leo Parman
31 Vera Hamblin
31 Dusty Hamblin
31 Corey DeMott
31 Derek Fletchall

1 Drexel and Patti Musick
2 Bob and Kyla McClain
5 Jerry and Karen Fugate
6 Clarence and Vicki Heideman
9 Gerry and Kristy Hinshaw
18 Jack and Ruth Ann Thummel
30 Clint and Denise Rowen

Sheridan News for April 30th

Well, Mothers Day is almost upon us. The family and friends of Faye {Dowis} Reynolds will be celebrating her 90th birthday on June 13 and would like to have cards for either Mothers Day or her birthday sent to her. Her Address is 13228 43rd, Yuma Arizona. Hearing from old friends would be a pleasant surprise.
Marion Rowe is still at Parkdale Manor but hopes to get home soon. She is doing well. Dale and I drove to Oregon Mo. Saturday to help with a benefit auction for a friend of our Grandkids.
Everyone was happy to see Charlene Hinshaw out and about. She is doing better after her surgery.
The CBC had a good turnout for the Relay For Life Fund raiser on April 19. Everyone had lots of fun.

Nixon Unveils Missouri Promise for College Education

ST. LOUIS – Attorney General Jay Nixon today announced the Missouri Promise, a new plan he says will provide a pathway for middle-class Missourians to earn a four-year degree from a state college or university -- tuition free. Nixon announced his plan on the campuses of the University of Missouri at Saint Louis, Columbia and Kansas City.
"With tuition skyrocketing at colleges and universities across the state, too many middle-class families in Missouri are getting squeezed by the cost a college education," Attorney General Nixon said. "While other states have been making college more affordable and accessible, Missouri has moved backwards. The Missouri Promise will create a pathway to a four-year degree for those families struggling to afford college tuition during these difficult economic times. We must make the dream of a college education a reality for all Missouri families."
Building on the state’s existing A+ Schools Program, the Missouri Promise creates a pathway to a four-year degree for Missouri students who satisfy specific academic, community service and financial need requirements. After completing a two-year associate’s degree at a Missouri community college or technical school under the A+ Program, students who meet the criteria would be eligible to access the Missouri Promise scholarship to cover cost of tuition at a Missouri state college or university.
To implement the Missouri Promise, Nixon will:
(1) Expand the existing A+ Program, which is currently available to only half the state’s high school students, so that all Missouri high school students who meet the performance requirements have an opportunity attend community college or technical school tuition free.
(2) Offer all high school seniors who plan to access an A+ scholarship the opportunity to sign the Missouri Promise, a contract between the student and the State of Missouri that will allow the student to earn a four-year degree after completing his or her two-year degree at a community college or technical school. In exchange for earning good grades at the community college (3.0 GPA), completing 50 hours of community service per year of participation and avoiding disciplinary action, the student then will receive a Missouri Promise scholarship to complete his or her four-year degree at a state college or university.
The Missouri Promise is intended to target middle-class Missouri families who are struggling to afford the cost of tuition. In order to be eligible for a Missouri Promise scholarship, the student’s Estimated Family Contribution (EFC) must be below $12,000 annually. Under Nixon’s plan, the EFC will be based on the same formula used for federal aid when students file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FASFA) form. For example, a family of four with one child in college could have an annual income of roughly $80,000 and qualify for the Missouri Promise.
For details on the eligibility chart, see: http://www.finaid.org/calculators/scripts/quickefcchart.cgi
To qualify for a Missouri Promise scholarship, the student must apply for and take advantage of all federal and state financial aid already available, as well as applicable scholarships offered by the colleges and universities.
Based on estimates provided by the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, the expansion of A+ and the implementation of the Missouri Promise will cost approximately $61 million.
Joining Nixon today was State Rep. Clint Zweifel, D-St. Louis County, who has sponsored a similar bill in the Missouri House of Representatives (HB 1693).
"No child in Missouri should be barred from a four-year degree because of the constantly increasing cost of higher education," Rep. Zweifel said. "I’m glad to stand with Jay and let Missouri’s students know that if they’re willing to commit to good grades and good citizenship, we’re willing to commit to helping them earn their college degree. The Missouri Promise will change the lives of thousands of Missouri students and move our entire state in the right direction."
Former State Sen. Jim Mathewson, D-Sedalia, the author of the original A+ Schools legislation, praised Nixon’s proposal as an extension of the work he began years ago.
"When we created the A+ Program, our goal was to help Missouri’s young people get the education and skills they need to lead productive, fruitful lives," Sen. Mathewson said. "The Missouri Promise takes that original idea a step further by creating a pathway to a four-year degree for anyone who’s willing to devote time and effort to their studies and community service. This is a wonderful program, and I am proud to stand with Jay and will do everything I can to support his plan."
Higher education leaders also pointed to Nixon’s plan as a giant step forward for higher education accessibility and affordability in the state.
"The Missouri Promise would turn the dream of a college education into reality for families across Missouri," said Dr. Charles McClain, former Commissioner of Higher Education, former president of Truman State University and the first president of Jefferson College, the original two-year community college in Missouri. "As college tuition continues to skyrocket, this program would give every family in Missouri an accessible and affordable option. As an educator, I’m extremely excited about this plan and the positive impact it will have on students in our state."
University faculty have endorsed Nixon’s plan as well, citing the tremendous debt that increasingly burdens recent college graduates.
"As a professor, it’s disheartening to watch my students celebrate their graduations and immediately face thousands of dollars in debt," said Dr. Terry Jones, professor of political science at the University of Missouri – St. Louis. "This program will allow our students to start their careers and not worry about paying off student loans for years – if not decades. I fully support this plan because I know what a difference it will make for students and families in our state."

Sunday, April 27, 2008

SEMA Announces Disaster Donation System

SEMA today announces Missouri has become the fifth state to use a new donations management system, AidMatrix. AidMatrix is a web based program used to register, track, and link undesignated and unsolicited donated goods and services. This new program was launched with a grant from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
"Anyone wishing to make a donation to the disaster response in Missouri can go to SEMA’s home page at: http://sema.dps.mo.gov and click on the link to Donations for Missouri Flood Response. Citizens or businesses can donate to either the immediate flood response or to long term recovery efforts in Missouri. This software allows Missouri receive donations from all over the country and the world. The donor can track the items and make sure they are delivered to a specific community in a timely manner," Ron M. Reynolds, SEMA Director said.
Reynolds noted that Missouri’s 211 system was able to use AidMatrix to match a donation with community during the recent March/April flooding in Southern Missouri.
"Currently, cash donations are urgently needed for long term recover services for flooding victims," said Dante Gliniecki, SEMA Statewide Volunteer Coordinator.
The AidMatrix Network can manage donated goods, and cash donations. Eventually, it will also help match volunteer capabilities to communities. For example, it will be able to match a transportation company volunteering to transport donated goods to a specific community.
The donor can log onto Missouri’s Donations website to make a donation offer and within minutes their donation offer will be acted upon. These donations may take the form of goods, services and cash. This summer the volunteer component will allow those willing to volunteer their time to also log onto the website to volunteer.
Local governments and volunteer agencies can log onto the system to accept a donation, arrange transportation and have it delivered directly to the location where most needed. Also, the AidMatrix software allows local governments and volunteer agencies to post items needed from the public.

Black Cutworm Moths Arrive

Black Cutworm Moths Caught in Area Traps, Scout Emerging Corn
Seems like Black Cutworm like cool, wet weather and there have been moth flights into our area. The flights have been just short of what is called "intense" by Integrated Pest Management Specialist at the University of Missouri but in my experience, these are much higher numbers than I typically catch in my traps and along with other local trappers.
Black cutworm is one of the most common pests that attack small corn. Black cutworms do no over-winter in Northwest Missouri but migrate northward on southerly winds in the spring from southern U.S.
The flights typically begin in mid-March and run through mid-May. Cutworm injury may last much longer depending on the time of corn planting. Delayed plantings are attractive to moths.
Corn is typically vulnerable as its starts its early growth. As the stalks become larger, the worms tend to leave the corn plants alone. Cutting may last from two to three weeks in a local area.
Cutworms are attracted to fields that have winter annual weeds. They like to lay their eggs in the green vegetation. Also, they prefer low lying corn fields such as those on river and creek bottoms. We have caught moth flights in upland locations this year. I encourage everyone to keep a close eye on their corn crop and watch for this pest.
For more information, contact Wayne Flanary, Regional Agronomist, University of Missouri Extension at 660-446-3724.

A Moment with Mike for April 30th, 2008

In the last few years, the General Assembly in Missouri has made considerable effort to crack down on fraud and abuse in many programs. We have been able to reduce fraud in our Medicaid system and have worked to end frivolous lawsuit abuse that caused medical malpractice insurance premiums to skyrocket. These changes have begun to bring a higher level of accountability to our state and we are continuing on this path by looking at illegal immigration and the drain it imposes on Missouri families and our public benefits.
Across America and here in Missouri, we have many programs meant to address the urgent needs of our citizens. Services like MO HealthNet provide health care services and Utilicare helps with the heating costs for low-income families. These and programs including food stamps and housing assistance offer help we hope is a temporary relief for Missourians who are going through a rough period. While it is my personal hope that most citizens only use these temporarily during tough times, it is our tax dollars that pay for these services and they should be there when Missouri taxpayers need them. There is already a high demand for these programs and we need to make sure that our Missouri citizens are first in line to receive these needed services and that they are not exhausted by those that are coming into our country and our state illegally.
The House recently passed HB 1626 which would prohibit certain illegal immigrants from receiving public benefits. Passing this bill would add greater accountability to our programs, save the tax-payers money, act as a deterrent and send a strong message about Missouri’s priorities. To qualify for Missouri programs, applicants would have to take simple steps to prove they are Missouri citizens. This bill outlines those steps and the necessary documentation to assure that those who are here illegally are not receiving benefits and that our Missouri citizens are not denied.
We are also working to empower our law enforcement. We have given approval to HB 1549, which would require the Highway Patrol and other law enforcement personnel to verify the immigration status of any person arrested and inform federal authorities if the person is found to be an illegal immigrant. This same bill would also prohibit sanctuary cities and crack down on those who commit drivers’ license fraud – two ways we can strongly discourage illegal immigrants from making Missouri their home.
Another public benefit we want to make sure is only utilized by U.S. citizens and legal immigrants is our public system of higher education. We have passed a bill that would prohibit Missouri public institutions of higher education from knowingly enrolling unlawfully present aliens.
It is common sense to make sure people who are here illegally, who don’t pay the same taxes as legal residents, are not entitled to receive our public benefits. We will continue to make every effort to continue to reduce fraud and abuse of our public assistance programs in Missouri.
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 mike.thomson@house.mo.gov or by mail at Room 406A State Capitol Building, Jefferson City, MO 65101.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Worth County Band Concert May 6th

By Donald Null
The Worth County R-III band will feature their performance of The Witch and the Saint at the spring band concert to be held at 7 p.m., Tuesday evening, May 6, under the direction of Jonna Healy in the school gymnasium. The band received a one rating for the performance of the piece at district contest in Maryville. As always, I doubt that Mrs. Healy will emphasize one performance over another but I, as a fan of the band, would like to point out the excellence of this piece and encourage everyone in the community to attend the performance to see for themselves what a wonderful band program we have. I am so very proud of Mrs. Healy and the young people who make up the band. They have worked very hard to excel in their performance of this extraordinary piece. I really hope you will take the time to attend the concert and show your support.
A little background information may be helpful before hearing the piece. The following has been taken from the online encyclopedia, Wikipedia. The Witch and the Saint by Steven Reineke is a one movement symphonic band piece describing the lives of Helena and Sibylla; twin sisters born in Germany at the end of the 1500s. The piece has five distinct parts and has become a favorite among audiences and bands throughout the world. It has a running time of just over 10 minutes. It is a tone poem, composed in 2004. Overall, it’s an epic piece – anyone listening to it without knowing the story behind it would get the impression of a melancholy story being told through powerful musical phrases.
The piece opens with a thundering timpani triplet. A Gregorian chant type motif follows quietly and builds throughout the brass instrument section. The dark, threatening feel is broken suddenly by a melody portrayed by an oboe as the bells join on after the new mood is established. That certain melody is recurrent and returns three more times in the entire piece. This first time, the melody is very airy. The eight-bar solo ends with the return of the ominous feel before the entire band is made to crescendo enormously. From here, the piece speeds up dramatically. The primary melody is established by the first flutes, and the texture builds from here, growing progressively uneasy. The climax of the section is very medieval sounding, and reaches an entirely new altitude not seen again in this piece. Then the tempo and velocity of the piece dies down, and the slow melody repeats itself here, this time in a lower key and by the first flutes. To accompany this, a French horn melody is introduced, followed again by the previous melody in a different key. The reminiscent fast section begins again – this time in a different key, with an altered melody. This section is far less angry, but houses a different sort of velocity, the emphasis on the lower sections of the band as opposed to the higher sections the first time. The final section of the piece comes in with the final occurrence of the slow melody. Note that the previous times evoked sadness, hopelessness and loneliness. This time, it’s heroic, and very full of hope. The band is playing with a thicker assortment of textures and counter-melodies. The piece, which by now seems to end on a happy note, drops the heroism and suddenly dies into a melancholy echo of the very beginning.
This is the story of Helena and Sibylla. They were twins born in Germany in 1588. In that era twins were a bad omen and said to draw evil towards them. The girls also had the gift of foresight and were able to see that which had not yet come to pass. The suspicions of the general public were supported once the girls were old enough and began using their ability. Sibylla was raised at home and it took very little time for the village to notice her unexplainable knowledge of the future. When they did, she was labeled witch and sorceress by the townsfolk and was hated and feared. She led a quiet, empty childhood being bullied and shunned by society. Helena led a very different life. She was sent away to a convent to be raised in the church as a nun\fs24plain . Once her ability was discovered the community revered her and she was seen as a saint and sage by everyone and given the highest respect by even the wisest of men.
The two girls grew up facing their own challenges and struggles trying to fit into the societies in to which they had been placed. Helena continued her life as a saint and prophet and Sibylla learned to be a midwife and helped the people as best she could. She was eventually accused of being a witch and sent to jail for life. Helena learned of her sister’s trouble and raced back to the town they had been born in to rescue her sister. Helena freed her sister from the jail and they ran off towards the forest. Before they got very far, however, they were captured. In her fear of the wrath of the villagers, and of the torment, Helena drank a poison and died in her sister’s arms. Sibylla’s heart was shattered, and while still grieving the loss of the only one in the world she had ever loved, she buried her sister’s body. She then rode off to find a place where she wouldn’t be known as a witch. She was never seen again.
A sample of the musical piece performed by The Washington Winds can be heard online at this website: http://www.barnhouse.com/samples/mp3/012-3391-00.mp3

Barnes says Graves favors Exxon over Consumers

Speaking at the Golden Age Living Center in Smithville, Kay Barnes, 6th District candidate for Congress, pointed to the clearest example yet of how badly Washington is broken. She criticized Congressman Sam Graves' February vote to protect the tax breaks for the big oil companies less than two weeks after accepting a $2,000 campaign contribution from Exxon Mobil.
Barnes said to community members and leaders, "Exxon got what they paid for. Congressman Sam Graves delivered for them and not for you. So just remember the next time you fill up your tank - thanks to Congressman Sam Graves you are paying Exxon twice, once at the pump and again with your own tax dollars. He is making Washington work for the Exxon executives in Texas, and not for the consumers in Northwest Missouri and around the country. That is the formula for the status quo and I'm as sick of it as you are. It is not going to change until we change who we send to Congress."
On February 13, 2008, Exxon Mobil gave Congressman Sam Graves a $2,000 contribution, and 14 days later Graves voted against H.R. 5351, the Renewable Energy and Energy Conservation Act, a bill which would redirect tax breaks away from the big oil companies and toward renewing the production tax credit for wind farms and creating new tax incentives for solar power and ethanol. Graves is one of Exxon's top recipients of campaign cash. Only 14 other members of the House of Representatives have received more campaign contributions from Exxon than Graves since 2006.
Barnes concluded, "When elected I will fight hard to pass legislation to take the tax breaks away from companies like Exxon and redirect those dollars to our wind farms and ethanol plants right here in Northwest Missouri. Congressman Graves makes Washington work for the corporate special interests and turns his back on consumers everywhere struggling to pay these outrageously high gas prices."

Friday, April 25, 2008

State FFA Results Told; Cody Mullock wins 1st, Four get Highest Honors

Cody Mullock of the Worth Co FFA Chapter, Parnell, Mo., was named the state winner of the FFA Agricultural Mechanics Design and Fabrication Entrepreneurship and Placement Award at the 80th Missouri FFA Convention. Mullock, a graduate of Worth Co R-III High School, is the son of Kenneth and Coleen Mullock. His FFA advisor is Celia Brammer.
Mullock has participated in numerous FFA events and activities including national convention in 2004 and 2006, and Washington Leadership Conference in 2006. He also has served as chapter treasurer and in 2007 was awarded the State FFA Degree.
Mullock said he has wanted to be a welder since he was 10-years-old. He started his Supervised Agriculture Experience (SAE) four years ago at Mullock Farms working as a machine operator. Mullock began learning welding at the farm shop. His first projects were simple repair jobs done with a stick welder, but he soon learned mig welding and spent many hours in the shop practicing laying uniform beads. Always striving to learn new welding skills, Mullock said that he then learned how to use an oxy-acetylene torch, a band saw, a lathe and how to read blue prints. His welding skills have earned him a blue ribbon at the Missouri State Fair.
In 2006 Fletchall Pipe and Steel hired Mullock as a welder and fabricator. Mullock said that in his position he utilizes his skills to repair machinery and work on new projects like designing tools and equipment. Mullock said he is always thinking of ways to improve Fletchall's products. "It has taken several years and a great deal of practice, but I have become a very skilled welder," reflected Mullock.
In March 2008 Mullock graduated from Tulsa Welding School as a Certified Master Welder. He has plans to be a journeyman welder and work for a large corporation.
Proficiency awards recognize FFA members who excel as agricultural entrepreneurs, employees or volunteers while gaining hands-on career experience. Agricultural Mechanics Design and Fabrication and Entrepreneurship and Placement Combined Award are two of 47 proficiency awards presented at state level. Ahrens Steel and Welding Supply sponsored this award.
Local FFA Member Receives State's Highest FFA Honor
Tom Davidson, Connor Dignan, Logan Dignan and Allison Hunt received the State FFA Degree, the highest degree members can receive at the state level. The Worth County chapter members were ones of 724 degree recipients receiving the honor during the State Degree Ceremony at the 80th Missouri FFA Convention. The annual convention was held April 17–18 at the Hearnes Center in Columbia.
Awarding of the degree is based on a member's Supervised Agricultural Experience Program in agribusiness or production agriculture, and leadership ability as demonstrated through involvement in FFA, school and community activities. The State Degree award charms are sponsored by MFA Inc., Columbia.
Agricultural Education Supervisor Jim Bellis noted that the number of State Degree Recipients is up and the highest ever. "FFA membership and the number of State FFA Degree recipients have reached an all time record high. The State FFA Degree is the highest recognition a state can award, representing 3 percent of the total Missouri FFA membership per year," said Bellis.
"Schools, communities and youth continually recognize the outstanding leadership opportunities through FFA and want to be a part," added Bellis.
Members Excel Musically at State FFA Convention
Four Worth County FFA Chapter members were selected to sing in the State FFA Choir. The choir performed at the two sessions held on Friday, April 18 at the Hearnes Center in Columbia. Connor Dignan, Logan Dignan, Allison Hunt and Austin Thummel were chosen out of members across the state on an individual basis to make up the State FFA Choir.
Choir members sang various songs including "God Bless America", "Find the Cost of Freedom" and several others. Connor Dignan auditioned and was selected to sing a solo during the choir’s performance of "Jesus is a Rock in a Weary Land".
In addition to members being chosen to sing in the State Choir, two Worth County FFA members were chosen to be a part of the State FFA Talent. Tyler Garrett and Allison Hunt sent in an audition tape months prior to the convention and were selected to sing a duet in front of thousands on stage during the 3rd Session of convention. Tyler Garrett played the guitar while Allison Hunt provided the vocals to the Sugarland song "Stay".
Worth County FFA Members serve in the Courtesy Corp
David Baker, Brandi Force, Haley Green, Michelle Lynch and Jake Rush served as Courtesy Corp members during the 2008 State FFA Convention. The members helped organize chairs and nametags for the 3rd Session of Convention. The five members also helped to usher recipients back stage in order to receive their awards. Volunteer groups from various chapters throughout the state serve as Courtesy Corp and Ushers annually during State FFA Convention.
Worth County Members Attend 2008
State FFA Convention
Fifteen Worth County FFA Members traveled to Columbia, MO for the 80th Annual Missouri FFA Convention held at the Hearnes Center April 17-18th. More than 7,500 FFA members, who represent the 311 chapters in Missouri, take part in leadership activities, career development events, award programs and convention sessions. Participants also include adults representing industry; the MU College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources; school administrators; the press; parents; and guests.
The State FFA Officers plan and conduct the convention sessions, including the business meetings, award programs, entertainment and inspirational activities. The 622 delegates, two from each chapter, transact business. Lucas Harding and Erik Groven represented the Worth County FFA Chapter as voting delegates during the business session.
The MU Agricultural Education faculty coordinates the career development events. Members from the Worth County FFA Livestock team competed at state convention. Members included: Haley Green, Jake Rush and Austin Thummel. Worth County also had an Agricultural Mechanics team compete at the state level. Members of this team include: Erik Groven, Lucas Harding and Aaron Summers. In addition to those teams’ competing, chapter member David Baker also represented Worth County. David placed first at the District level in Extemporaneous Public Speaking, this qualified David for state competition.
Michelle Lynch attended the ‘Change Lives – Teach Agricultural Education’ workshop during State Convention. This workshop was designed for high school juniors and seniors that have an interest in becoming an agriculture teacher. Michelle got to participate in hands-on, high energy activities that demonstrate the rewards and benefits of becoming an agricultural education teacher.
The hard work and achievements of many young people who represent the broad field of agriculture, food, fiber and natural resource industry were recognized. The theme for this year’s convention was "Blue Jackets – Bright Futures." This year’s National FFA Officer Address by President Zack Kinne was extra special. Kinne, from Eagleville, is only the second National FFA president to be from Missouri. He is a North Harrison High School graduate and a junior at the University of Missouri – Columbia. Kinne was elected as National FFA president in October at the national convention in Indianapolis. During his term as president, Kinne will travel over 100,000 miles, visit over 40 states, be part of an international tour of Japan, and meet leaders in education, business and government. Kinne spoke at Friday evening’s session.
The Missouri FFA Association has 24,137 members, the largest ever Missouri membership. FFA strives to make a positive difference in the lives of students by developing their potential for premier leadership, personal growth and career success through agricultural education.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

It's a Dog's Life for April 23rd, 2008

"Desert Dogs"
*"Spot" and "Peaches" live in the desert of Arizona. Even though it’s only the last of April, the temperatures have soared into the high 90’s a couple of days.
*Desert dogs learn early in life the sun is their nemesis and to look for shade at all costs, at least in the summer months. Crushed ice for treats are just part of life another with a wading pool in the back yard.
*Most desert dogs don’t stay outside all day long; it’s simply too hot! One advantage desert dogs have, however, is in the winter months, while dogs in the Middle or Northern states are searching for a way to keep warm in the cold of winter, desert dogs are basking in the nice warm sun of the Southwestern climate.
*So, if your dog looks a little bummed out come December or January, pack his sunglasses and a box of milk bones and send him out to the desert for a dip in the pool.

Community Blood Center blood drive in Grant City May 5th

Every four minutes, an individual within the communities served by the Community Blood Center needs a blood transfusion. Because the demand never lets up, each day, the Community Blood Center must collect 580 pints of blood.
It isn’t every day you can do something to save someone’s life, but by donating blood at the Community Blood Center blood drive on Monday, May 5th from 1:30 to 6:00 p.m. in Grant City at the Worth County School Elementary multi-purpose room, 510 East Avenue, you will be doing just that. This blood drive is being sponsored by FCCLA. To make an appointment online, go to www.esavealifenow.org and use sponsor code grantcity. You may also contact Patty Spainhower at (660) 564-2218. T-SHIRT TO DONOR!
Sixty percent of the United States population is eligible to donate blood, yet only six percent actually do. An individual may donate blood every 56 days. One donation can help as many as two patients. The Community Blood Center serves 75 hospitals in 70 counties within Missouri and Kansas.
"Every day, thousands of people need blood donations and this year along, over 4 million Americans will need a transfusion to survive illness or injury," said Dr. Jay Menitove, executive director and medical director of the Community Blood Center. "When you consider that red blood cells have a shelf life over only 42 days and that platelets have a shelf life of five days, blood is a precious commodity that must be constantly replenished."
Requirements for a blood donor are few -- you must be at least 16 years of age, weigh 115 pounds, and be in good health. Individuals are asked to bring photo identification such as a driver’s license. The Community Blood Center staff performs various health checks on all donors, including temperature, blood pressure, and hemoglobin. All donors receive cholesterol results which are mailed to the individual’s home four to six weeks after their donation.
Community Blood Center is a member of America’s Blood Centers, a national network of independent blood centers that provides half of the nation’s blood supply and is a member of the American Association of Blood Banks.

Walk 1440 for April 23rd, 2008

There is a word we don’t like to dwell on that much…
This word can be painful, depressing, hurtful, & frustrating…as a matter of fact most of us will do all within our power to avoid this word…or its meaning…the word?
Failure…what do you do to avoid it?
Have you noticed in yourself a pattern of behavior you do over & over, subconsciously expecting different results?
Have you ever said "It will be different this time…if I just try harder…things will change if I just do it this way one more time"…only to have failure…again?
In my short life I have heard people say (because of repeated failures) "I just want to die…I don’t want to live any more…it would all stop if I were dead"…in my observation of these people I see the same pattern of thinking over & over with the same failing results…they begin to think death of themselves is the only solution…can you relate?
This may surprise you but they are right…death is the solution….
We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. 2 Corinthians 4:8-9 NIV
A guy named Paul wrote these words…sounds like life for him is tough, difficult, not easy…but he’s not destroyed…not dead…if you described your life like him…death might be nice…just to be done with it all…by his next words he would agree…
We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body. 2 Corinthians 4:10 NIV
What do you "carry" each day…do you carry failure?
If you carry around "in your body" the burden of "I’m a failure"… your body will look like somebody carrying a load of failure…heavy, burdened, pained, stooped shoulders…lifeless?
What if you replaced your repeated patterns of thinking (that always end in failure) with one thought…Jesus died for me?
What would your life look like? Paul said "life... [will] be revealed in our body"
Life offers life & death…you have no choice when you get life or when you die…your only choice in life is to choose how you live while alive…we can live it how we want to which leads to feeling like a failure or live it how the Creator of life wants you too…so, those of us alive (please note: if you’re reading this you are alive) how do we get life into life again?
For we who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus' sake, so that his life may be revealed in our mortal body 2 Corinthians 4:11 NIV
Paul says he learned he had to be willing to be "given over to death"…meaning he had to be willing to let die his thoughts, his behaviors, his attitude, his way of doing things …he let them die to give honor to Jesus for dying for him…the result?
"His life may be revealed in our [physical] body"
Just a thought…if you let Jesus be revealed in your life…your body…is it possible to be labeled a failure in the eyes of the Creator?
There are 1440 minutes in a day…WALK1440 dying to self to live for Jesus

Boys as Babes Softball Game in Bedford

The New Found Treasures Relay for Life team will be having a "Boys as Babes" softball game at the Bedford Baseball field in Bedford Sunday, April 27th at 2 p.m. They will be selling grilled hamburgers, walking tacos, hot dogs, popcorn, baked goods, pop, tea, and bottled water. All proceeds will go to the Worth County Relay for Life. They will also be selling Casey’s pizza cards and raffle tickets for a gas-grill patio set and quickshades.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Obituary: Harriette Francis Warnick 1922-2008

A 60-year resident of the South Bay passed away on Sunday, March 23rd, 2008 in Torrance, CA. Born in Miami, OK, Harriette was 86 when she died. She was a member of Welsh Presbyterian Church of Los Angeles and the Order of the Eastern Star of Torrance. She worked for the telephone company for 32 years in the accounting department. She enjoyed gardening and loved to read. She traveled all over the world. She is survived by her sister Mildred Lugar of Monett, MO; Lindell Lugar of Monett, MO; Charlotte Sprouse ofSan Diego; Cathrine Tanner of Las Vegas; and their families. She was preceded in death by her parents, Harriette and Winfred Warnick; and brothers Jasper and Windred Warnick Jr. A gathering of family and friends was held at Rice Mortuary in Torrance on Thursday, March 27th from 1 p.m. - 4 p.m. Burial was in the Dawn Welsh Cemetery near Dawn, MO. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Welsh Presbyterian Church of Los Angeles. Please sign the guest book at www.dailybreeze.com/obits. Please go to the mortuary’s website at www.Lafuneral.com to send the family messages, share memories, and view the online video tribute.
Her brother, Winfred, taught grade school in Sheridan during the 1940’s before he was called to the service, and Faye Doris Reynolds filled in. Her sister, Mildred, is related to the Dowis family of Sheridan; they lived in the Maryville area at one time.

Setting in a Mousetrap, Pondering my Fate for April 23rd

I am impressed by Pope Benedict XVI
You who know me know I am not Roman Catholic. I want to begin this article by saying that I have no intentions of offending anyone, but when a non-Catholic comments on the pope, it can be easily construed to be a slam. The truth of the matter is, lately I am professing no affiliation to any organized religion. By doing so I have become more tolerant of different beliefs. My religion is between God, Jesus and myself and if that is not good enough, I guess that is just to bad for me. Enough of me but it gave me a tolerant mind to look at television where I would not have before.
I watched the ceremony at the sight of the World Trade Center in New York City and I was very deeply impressed. Yes, it has been six and a half years since 9-11, but I do not think we appreciate the trauma it caused in New York City and to the friends and family of those whose lives were changed on that day.
Pope Benedict impressed me as a man who truly wants to bring comfort to those who came to him. I got the impression at times he did not understand the short comments made by the faithful; do to the language barrier, who came to be blessed by him. I saw him smile and at times it looked like he was laughing. I feel he is a very tender man, but the most of my impressions were he really cared about his flock in this city and wanted to make his flock know the ceremony at the World Trade Center very important to him. I felt no pretension in this man.
As a boy I grew up in a very heavily Roman Catholic population in the Chicago area. There was a Roman Catholic Church on about every corner it seemed. Many of my friends at the time were of that faith. As a non-Catholic it seemed at times there was a certain friction between the Catholics and the Protestants. This friction really began to ease when John F. Kennedy was elected as president. The days of the Italian only popes held my vision of them was old men, in long robes, stuck in some old, musty, dusty, Vatican only to be seen on a balcony, far above the crowd and illusive to all but the inner circle. John Paul II changed all of that, the end of the centuries long Italian only pope era, seemed to bring a new freshness to the office of pope and the Roman Catholic Church as well. John Paul II became the people’s pope and began to travel, become more accessible and to minister to his people. I really believe that John Paul had a lot to do with the downfall of the Soviet block. Benedict now; in what in reality was a tough act to follow, has in good sense not taken the office of pope back into the seclusion of the Vatican. He has followed the example set by his predecessor and gone into the world, "to preach the gospel." He came to America with a real heart to minister the church, which he bears responsibility, in the spirit of Christ. Pope Benedict XVI brought a teaching example to men and women of any faith, may it be clergyman, pastor, minister, evangelist, missionary, rabbi, priest, or what ever else I am missing. Go to your people and minister to them, don’t wait for them to come to you. The people who gathered in two baseball parks, one in Washington and one in New York, didn’t come to get upbeat by music, they came to have their faith renewed and strengthened by a man who they respected as a man of God, who really cares for them.
When I was a boy, in all honesty the Catholics were a brunt of many jokes, many of them degrading and or dirty. As I said, Pope John Paul II set a new tone for the Catholic Church and Pope Benedict continues in that frame of mind. People want to see a real man of God, they want faith and they want an example of faith. They want somehow to believe in a world of difficulty. Pope Benedict gave them a lot of what they needed.
There is only one thing I can think of more about the man, which I thought the second I heard he took the name Benedict. His given name is Joseph Alois Ratzinger. I wonder how he would have really brought his church into the twenty-first century if he would have taken the name, "Pope Joe?" I hope you will forgive me for this one piece of attempted humor. I know he would, because that is the kind of man I know he is. Frankly, I think he would laugh.

A Moment with Mike for April 23rd, 2008

As I attended the very impressive celebration last Friday in Rock Port designating them as the first and only town in the United States to be 100 percent wind powered it was evident that a great amount of foresight, hard work and risk had been involved. The leaders of the Rock Port community can be very proud of their efforts and achievement. It was also made clear that without the Federal tax credits and other incentives, this project would not have become a reality.
The growing number of varied tax credits in the state of Missouri is quite honestly a big concern for me but when they are used to stimulate business that pays back big dividends they have been used effectively. On Forbes Magazine’s 2007 list of the best states for business, Missouri ranked #16. That is especially impressive considering the fact that only a few short years ago our state was one of the leading states in jobs lost. Our labor force, quality of life, business cost rank and regulatory environment led to this encouraging ranking that I think we should all be proud of. Whether you are a small business owner, executive at a large Missouri business, or just a hard-working Missouri employee, this is good news because it means we have implemented a strong economic policy that has immediate, positive effects including encouraging new business and providing more quality job opportunities.
Proof that we have our doors open for business is the recent interest we have received from Bombardier Aerospace. As you might have read in the news lately, Kansas City is one of the top candidates for a project for a passenger jet assembly plant. Bombardier Aerospace is a Montreal based company that is looking for a site to assemble its C Series 110 and 130 seat passenger jets. The plant would eventually employ up to 2,100 people, with up to 5,200 indirect jobs attracted to the area – meaning millions in economic development for Missouri.
The fact that our state is a top contender would not have been possible without the pro-growth initiatives we have enacted during the past few years. With policies such as our workers comp reform and business incentives; we have been able to add thousands of new jobs. Incentives like the Quality Jobs Act have made sure we are attracting the right kind of jobs – ones that offer livable wages and health care benefits for Missouri Families. These initiatives have helped create more than 90,000 jobs since 2005, unemployment rates are comparatively low and the stimulation of small business is especially encouraging.
We are excited to have this chance in the Kansas City region, but we are also doing all we can to attract economic development all over the state. We have given initial approval to another economic development bill, HB 2058, which offers numerous provisions to promote job growth across our state. This bill would increase the annual cap on the amount of tax credits available for the Enhanced Enterprise Zone Program, which is designed to help stimulate development, and revitalization in economically challenged areas by providing economic development assistance.
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 mike.thomson@house.mo.gov or by mail at Room 406A State Capitol Building, Jefferson City, MO 65101.

Capitol Report for April 23rd, 2008

Budgeting for a Stronger Missouri
Last week, the Missouri State Senate spent most of its time debating the 2009 state budget. As we debated the nearly $23 billion spending proposal, I was continually reminded of the broken fiscal policies of the past and how important it is that we adopt a forward looking fiscal policy. All too often, government takes a short-term view to budgeting and appropriates every available dollar to expanding government programs. The "spend it because we have it" mentality sets the stage for significant budget challenges when revenues level out or decline.
I firmly believe that the state should live within its means, just as you and I do with our personal checkbooks. Nearly every year since you first sent me to Jefferson City, I have introduced legislation to reform the states spending practices by implementing a spending limitation that would keep government from growing fast than inflation. This common sense approach to spending would ensure that the legislature would not adopt massive expansions of government when revenues are up and then be forced to slash programs or raise taxes when revenues decline.
As taxpayers, we deserve elected officials who fight for reasonable and responsible levels of funding. Unfortunately, there are those in government that believe state revenues belong to the state and not to the people. They believe that solutions only come from growing government at the cost of the taxpayer. This is why I continue to stand firm in the understanding that the taxpayer best spends taxpayer dollars.
By implementing common sense policies that establish fiscal restraint and an equitable tax code, the legislature can ensure that Missouri remains on sound fiscal footing far into the future. These reforms would eliminate the short-term focus on budgeting and instead force the legislature to budget for the long-term thereby ensuring that Missouri’s taxpayers’ dollars are being spent in most efficient way possible. Government obtains its authority from the consent of the people and our fiscal policy should always recognize that Missouri is made stronger when Missourians keep as much of their hard earned money as possible.
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 brad.lager@senate.mo.gov and my mailing address is Room 429, State Capitol Building, Jefferson City, MO 65101.

May is Arthritis Month

COLUMBIA, Mo.- May is National Arthritis Month and farm families should be aware that they are particularly vulnerable to the disease and that help is available, said a University of Missouri rural health and safety specialist.
A study by MU Extension indicated that almost one-third of Missouri farmers interviewed said they were unable to do some work-related activities due to arthritis.
The MU AgrAbility program assists Missouri farm families when a family member experiences a disease, disability or disorder.
To address the specialized needs of farmers with disabilities, specialists make on-site farm visits to offer ideas on how to modify buildings or farm equipment. They can suggest ways to restructure work to maximize productivity and conduct educational workshops for families, said program director Karen Funkenbusch.
There are more than 100 forms of arthritis and related diseases. Common forms include osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis and fibromyalgia, she said.
"Given the nature of farm work - constant bending, twisting and lifting - farm workers should keep in mind physical limitations imposed on them if they are affected by arthritis or chronic joint symptoms," she said.
"Reduced mobility and reaction time may prevent an operator from responding to a dangerous situation in a way that prevents injuries," she said. "Reduced endurance may put arthritis-affected farmers at risk as they push their limits.
"Unlike most workers, aging farmers continue to farm, sometimes well into their 70s, making them more likely to be affected by arthritis," she said.
The federally funded AgrAbility program, started in 1994, is a partnership of MU Biological and Agricultural Engineering Extension, Columbia-based Services for Independent Living, St. Joseph-based Midland Empire Resources for Independent Living and the Missouri Division of Vocational Rehabilitation.
To learn more about this program, visit the Web site http://agrability.missouri.edu/ or call 800-955-8503.

Show-Me State of Mind for April 23rd, 2008

Illegal Immigration will dry up when jobs do
When it comes to illegal immigration, Washington just doesn't get it. With our lax border security, it's no wonder that illegal immigrants flock to our country. We need to secure our borders now. But you and I both know that the illegal immigrants who are already here came to this country to work at our factories, hotels, and corporate farms.
There are about 12 million illegal immigrants in the United States right now, and almost half of them entered the country after January 2001. These illegal immigrants are currently employed by 6 million different U.S. companies. But in 2007, only 17 firms faced criminal fines or other forfeitures for hiring illegal immigrants. That's right - just 17 of the 6 million firms employing illegals were punished. Those numbers just don't add up.
Senator Claire McCaskill hit the nail on the head. "Why is it that hundreds of bar owners can be sanctioned in Missouri every year for letting somebody with a fake ID have a beer, but we can't manage to sanction hundreds of employers for letting people use fake identities to obtain a job?" The answer is that the big business lobby has kept Washington wrapped around its little finger. In 2005, Congress failed to pass an amendment to increase the fines for businesses who knowingly hire illegal immigrants. And enough lawmakers beholden to corporate special interests continue to drag their feet.
Washington stands by as businesses hire illegal workers instead of Americans. And we wonder why we're in a recession? I believe in an old-fashioned value called "accountability." Employers who hire illegal immigrants are breaking the law, and we need to hold them accountable. It's as simple as that.
A fine of less than $3,000 is pocket-change for a multi-million dollar firm. We need to significantly increase these fines for companies who knowingly hire dozens, or sometimes hundreds, of illegals. Illegal immigrants come across the border in search of jobs. We need to enforce and strengthen these laws to reverse this trend.
Kay Barnes is a candidate for U.S. representative for Missouri's 6th Congressional District

WCCC News for April 23rd, 2008

Monday we started our week with a movie, Cheaper by the Dozen, starring Steve Martin. In the late afternoon Becky and helper led Bible Story time.
Tuesday morning we had coffee and conversation. Madlyn Meek dropped by and we prevailed on her to play the piano for us. Our residents had several requests for favorites. In the afternoon we remembered Carol Burnett, the queen of Comedy. Then we enjoyed a Reminisce Story, Please Pass the Peas, it brought back memories of raising children.
Wednesday afternoon we had our weekly Bingo games. Later in the afternoon the SOAR children joined us. We had domino games and puzzles together. The children brought pictures and mobiles they had colored for our residents. They also brought suncatchers they had painted. They delivered them to all our residents.
Thursday morning Marynell Richards and Jerry Roach were here from the Methodist Church for Bible Study. At noon we had our monthly alternate meal. We serve a meal in the activity room and residents and staff chose what they want to eat. This month we had a salad luncheon, followed by cobbler for dessert. In the afternoon we had game time. Dominoes and pitch were the games they choose.
Friday morning we had coffee and what’s new? We scanned the paper after discussing the early morning earthquake in Illinois. In the afternoon we celebrated the "pocketbook". We had several on display. One was filled with items carried in the 40-50’s era. Then we emptied and looked through Jean’s purse. Some items were similar but many were not. Brent Fletchall provided dinner music tonight.
Sunday School is taught by Shirley Pierce of the Baptist Church. Rev. Scott Marcum of Blockton will lead the afternoon services.

County Commission Minutes for April 21st, 2008

Meeting was called to order at 9:00 am by Presiding Commissioner. Members present: Mozingo, Calhoon and Waldeier.
1. Correction to minutes item 5: the annual training attended by Commissioner Calhoon and Waldeier was in Jefferson City, not Columbia.
2. Commissioner Waldeier made a motion to approve the April 14th minutes as corrected. Commissioner Calhoon seconded. Motion carried.
3. Commissioner Calhoon made a motion to approve the agenda. Commissioner Waldeier seconded. Motion carried.
4. Commissioner Calhoon made a motion to approve and pay bills. Commissioner
5. Linda Brown, County Treasurer gave financial reports.
6. County Maintenance Barn Gutter Project is completed.
7. Jim Fletchall measured the tube for the road into Don Turners and it was 48" x 60’. Commissioner Waldeier made a motion to replace the tube. Commissioner Calhoon seconded. Motion carried. Jim will order the tube.
8. Pat Kobbe reported the debris removal preliminary check came in from FEMA $12,927.28. Also discussed the Courtyard debris clean-up of ice damaged trees. After discussion it was decided to advertise and take bids for the tree removal, bids to be opened on April 28, 2008 at 10:00 am.
9. The Commission and Jim Fletchall, Road and Bridge Supervisor discussed Gravel Checker, applications will be reviewed and interviews scheduled April 28, 2008 beginning at 1:00 pm.
10. Census Local Update Census Address program was discussed.
11. Commissioner Waldeier made a motion to adjourn. Commissioner Calhoon seconded. Motion carried; meeting adjourned 11:55 am.

Group says Gas Prices Higher without Ethanol

--Missouri Corn Growers Association
A study released today confirms Missouri drivers are saving money at the pump thanks to ethanol. The research results were announced at a press conference in the State Capitol and concluded that drivers in Missouri are expected to save an average of 9.8 cents per gallon due to the 10 percent ethanol standard that went into effect Jan. 1, 2008.
According to the Energy Information Administration (EIA), Missouri drivers used over 2.9 billion gallons of gasoline in 2007. With nearly a dime a gallon difference, using ethanol-blended fuels translates to statewide savings of more than $285 million dollars in 2008. The study, "Impact of Ethanol on Retail Gasoline Prices in Missouri," was performed by John Urbanchuk with the economic consulting service LECG and paid for by the Missouri Corn Merchandising Council.
"With petroleum industry profits of $123 billion and fuel prices spiking 40 percent in the last four months, the pain at the pump is getting intense," said Jayne Glosemeyer, Missouri Corn Merchandising Council chairwoman and farmer from Marthasville, Mo. "The implementation of the Missouri Renewable Fuel Standard, blending the state's gasoline with 10 percent ethanol, is the one thing helping to ease the pain. It is keeping money in consumers' pockets and keeping dollars here at home."
The savings and projections in the study were estimated using 2007 gasoline price data at the rack and retail levels for Missouri published by EIA and ethanol price data published weekly by USDA. Gasoline and ethanol price projections were estimated using information published by EIA in its 2008 Annual Energy Outlook.
The study does not factor in the increasing use of biofuels like ethanol that are helping to extend gasoline supplies and hold retail pump prices down. According to Merrill Lynch commodity strategist Francisco Blanch, U.S. gas prices would be 15 percent higher without the increasing effect of biofuels. Without ethanol, the price at the pump would be $3.70 a gallon instead of the recent average price of $3.25 a gallon.
"If you add the 10 cents drivers are saving from ethanol and the 45 cents from additional supply, Missouri consumers are saving 55 cents a gallon. That's a huge deal," stresses Glosemeyer. "It's especially huge when you consider we use 3 billion gallons of gasoline in this state every year. And all those savings are staying here in Missouri. That's money we're keeping here and not sending overseas to pay for imported oil."
With over 70 percent of Missouri's fuel supply containing 10 percent ethanol in 2007, few problems were observed when the Missouri Renewable Fuel Standard kicked into on Jan. 1, 2008. The standard includes a consumer safety net, requiring the E10 blend only when the price of ethanol is less than regular gasoline. Missouri is one of three states to have a renewable fuel standard in place and the first to have this unique pricing mechanism.
"Consumers are still hurting at the pump, but it is nice to know ethanol is helping to ease that burden," said Glosemeyer.