Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Swine Flu in Platte County

Gov. Jay Nixon today reported that the swine flu (H1N1) virus already spreading in other states appears to have reached Missouri. The administration is responding by ensuring that anti-viral medications are distributed to the affected site and that the case is properly handled.
The first probable case of swine flu in a Missouri resident was discovered Wednesday afternoon during lab tests on specimens sent to the state health lab as part of the state’s stepped-up efforts to defend against the new strain of flu. Department of Health and Senior Services Director Margaret Donnelly, state epidemiologist Sarah Patrick, MPH, Ph.D and emerging infections coordinator Eddie Hedrick, BS, MT(ASCP) CIC joined Gov. Nixon to announce the discovery of the probable case.
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) will test the sample to make a final confirmation that the Missouri case is the swine flu. The time for the CDC to complete these tests is currently averaging about two days.
State officials cautioned that a single case of swine flu was a concern but not a cause for alarm. Gov. Nixon said the state has a plan to deal with flu outbreaks and local health agencies and state officials are following that plan.
"Since the first case was reported in the U.S., we have prepared for the possibility that the disease would reach Missouri," Nixon said. "Now that a probable case has been found here we are moving quickly to send anti-viral medications to the community and taking all appropriate steps to treat the problem and prevent its spread."
Gov. Nixon remarked that the state’s response plan includes aggressive outreach and notification of all local health agencies, as well as communication between the state epidemiologist and the Centers for Disease Control. Gov. Nixon also reiterated that communication with the public about influenza prevention and treatment would be a critical component of the state’s response.
"The most important thing we can do is make Missourians aware of the state’s response, of the best practices for avoidance of swine flu and facts about how the disease is treated. We want everyone to know how to keep themselves healthy and that the effects of a positive test will be controlled," said Gov. Nixon.
Missouri’s swine flu case involves a resident of Platte County. Because notification is pending, further information about the patient cannot be released at this time.
Health officials are working to determine who might have been exposed before the patient showed symptoms. Officials will be notifying anyone with whom there was close contact.
The patient will be asked to remain at home until seven days after symptoms first appeared to ensure the patient is no longer contagious. Typically, the patient’s family will also be given instructions in ways to avoid spreading the illness to family, including proper hand washing techniques and medical care, and family members will be monitored for signs of illness.
People who have been in close contact with the patient will be advised to go home at the earliest sign of illness and to minimize contact in the community to the extent possible.

Friday, April 24, 2009

National Crime Victim Rights Week

April 26th - May 2nd is National Crime Victims’ Rights Week, a time to focus on victims of crime and celebrate our nation’s progress in serving them. This year’s theme, “25 Years of Rebuilding Lives: Celebrating the Victims of Crime Act,” honors a landmark national commitment to victims of crime. In 1984 Congress passed the Victims of Crime Act (VOCA), which created the Crime Victims Fund.

The Missouri Crime Victims Fund supports victim compensation programs, which reimburse victims for many out-of pocket expenses that victims face in the aftermath of the crime. It also helps fund victim assistance programs that support victims by providing physical and emotional care and guidance in navigating the criminal justice system. Since 1993, the fund has provided services to approximately 861,000 victims of crime in the State of Missouri and has paid more than $93 million in victim compensation to Missouri crime victims and their families.

Gov. Jay Nixon said, “The Victims of Crime Act was an important recognition of the continuing impact crime has on victims and of the assistance they deserve. The entire Department of Public Safety shares my commitment to ensuring crime victims receive the assistance they need.”

The State of Missouri will hold a ceremony in honor of National Crime Victims’ Rights Week on April 30th, 2009 at noon on the first floor of the Missouri State Capitol Building. A reception hosted by Mothers Against Drunk Driving will immediately follow the ceremony. Gov. Jay Nixon is scheduled to speak and read a Victims' Rights proclamation. Gov. Nixon has been a leader in supporting and expanding the rights of crime victims during his more than two decades of public service, including increasing funding for domestic violence shelters and fighting for the rights of victims to be present during court proceedings.

Also speaking at the ceremony will be Darrel Ashlock, Executive Director of Kids Harbor, and serving as master of ceremonies; Dwight Scroggins, Buchanan County Prosecuting Attorney and the President of the Missouri Association of Prosecuting Attorneys; and Melanie Oldani, a courageous woman who following her sister’s murder became a vocal advocate for all victims of crime.

The following agencies donated their time and effort to make this year’s Crime Victims’ Rights Week ceremony and awareness week a success: the Missouri Department of Public Safety’s Office of the Director, the Department of Corrections, the Department of Social Services Division of Youth Services, Mothers Against Drunk Driving, the Missouri Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence, the Missouri Office of Prosecution Services, the Department of Health and Senior Services, the Missouri Attorney General’s Office, and the Missouri Secretary of State’s Office.

Producers may need to bale some pasture for hay

Source: Robert Kallenbach, 573-884-2213
Warm weather after a long, cool spring will make grass growth jump in pastures and hay fields, said Rob Kallenbach, University of Missouri Extension forage specialist.
“Producers must be prepared to deal with a lot of extra growth,” he said.
Soils moisture was plentiful this spring, so all it takes is some sunshine and warmth, Kallenbach said.
Forage graziers who measure growth in their paddocks have been getting about 40 pounds of dry-matter growth per day per acre in mid-April. That was when soil temperatures were still low, in the 40-degree range. When soil temperatures increase to 55 degrees, production goes up sharply.
“We’ll be seeing about 80 to 90 pounds per acre per day,” Kallenbach said. “At 40 pounds, you think you are a good forage manager. At 80 pounds, things fall apart as forage growth gets ahead of the livestock.”
A challenge for pasture managers is to keep forage grazed down so that plants don’t set seed heads, he said. Once a plant sets seed, it stops growing leaves. With intensive grazing, livestock prevent seed head formation.
“The secret to pasture management is keeping the forage in the vegetative stage,” he said.
For easier pasture management, farmers divide large pastures into smaller grazing paddocks and move their herds from one to another every couple of days. By concentrating large numbers of animals on a smaller acreage, grass can be grazed down uniformly. No plant escapes nipping, preventing set of seed heads.
Seed control is important on tall fescue, the most common grass in Missouri pastures. Most fescue plants are infected with an endophyte fungus that makes a toxin that retards animal growth. While the whole plant can contain endophyte toxin, it becomes concentrated in the seed heads.
If cattle cannot keep up on eating the grass growth, some paddocks should be set aside for hay harvest. For best nutritional content, that grass must be cut for hay before seed heads set.
Kallenbach alerted alfalfa growers to watch their fields closely as the weather warms. “The first cutting of alfalfa will be due about the first week of May. It might not look like it now, after a cool spring, but it will grow quickly with warmer temperatures,” he said.
Alfalfa should be harvested before full bloom and seed set. Cutting when plants are at first bloom gives the best compromise on yield and quality.
To take advantage of haymaking days, all haying equipment should be checked and ready to run. “Haying time is closer than anyone thinks,” Kallenbach said.
To cut haying costs, Kallenbach urges management-intensive grazing when possible.
Increasingly, graziers use rising-plate meters to measure the daily dry-matter growth in each of their grazing paddocks. The cane-mounted device can measure pasture growth as the producer walks through a paddock. Most users are dairy producers, Kallenbach said, but beef producers also are adopting the measuring devices, which are imported from New Zealand.
Results of the regular forage measurement are plotted on a grazing wedge, using software. MU Extension has developed an online grazing-wedge calculator, available at The online tool also allows producers to view grazing wedges that participating farmers have volunteered to make public.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Straight Talk with Sam Graves for April 22nd, 2009

Tea Parties Serve as Wake Up Call for Washington
In December of 1773, colonists boarded three British ships and threw its cargo into the Boston Harbor. This tea party served notice to the king in London that his loyal subjects in the New World believed the Tea Act had gone too far. Of course, the king and the British Parliament did not listen and passed even more authoritarian laws. This led to more protests and eventually sparked the American Revolution.
So it should be of concern to Congress that bags of tea have started showing up in our mail. Constituents fed up with Washington are once again using tea to make a point to their tone deaf leaders. Hopefully, Washington will heed this wake up call.
The issues have changed, but the sentiment is the same. The government in Washington has once again stopped listening to its constituents. In Missouri, we know that you cannot spend or tax or bail your way to prosperity. Yet, that is exactly what this government has been attempting to do.
The spending has not stopped. Instead, Congress passed the biggest budget in American history. It will result in a trillion dollar deficit this year and into the future. In fact, it will double our national debt in five years and triple it in 10 years.
Americans deserve a government that understands you cannot tax and spend your way to prosperity. Citizens from across the country are pleading with Washington to stop spending and start listening. Perhaps a good ole fashioned tea party will remind Washington that they are spending your money.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Capitol Report for April 22nd, 2009

The Need for a Balanced Budget
This past week, the Missouri State Senate passed it’s version of the fiscal year 2010 budget. I believe that crafting our state’s spending plan is the most important thing we do in state government. Unlike our friends in Washington DC, here in Missouri, we are bound by our Constitution to produce a balanced budget. Although this forces the Legislature to make many difficult decisions, I believe that our state government must live within its means just like you and I do in our personal checkbooks.
In the coming weeks, the appropriations leaders in both the House and Senate will meet in conference to work out the differences. As I look at both versions of this budget, I am concerned with the amount of federal money being used to fund ongoing programs. For example, the Senate version includes nearly $950 million of one-time money to fund ongoing state programs. While many legislators are happy to take this federal handout thereby avoiding the difficult decisions necessary to balance this year’s budget, I am disappointed that the General Assembly once again took the easy but fiscally irresponsible approach to budgeting. Relying on this one-time money does not fix the underlying problem; it simply postpones the difficult decisions that will have to be made in order to structurally balance our budget in future years.
As the budget process moves forward, I will continue to fight for a budget that does not spend more than we bring in. We must make the difficult decisions necessary to responsibly deal with our growing financial demands and live within our means. We must work to reduce the rate at which government programs are growing while prioritizing current funding to honor our promise of making education Missouri's number one priority. I believe we have a responsibility to the taxpayers to make the decisions necessary to balance the budget while ensuring state government is held accountable for how the people’s money is utilized. Although balancing the budget in difficult times is never easy, it is the responsible thing to do.
As always, please feel free to call, email, or write with your ideas or concerns. The Capitol number is (573) 751-1415, my email is and my mailing address is Room 429, State Capitol Building, Jefferson City, MO 65101.

Doin God's Work for April 22nd, 2009

Sheridan United Methodist Church news and notes by Glenda Wyer.
This week has inspired many to plant crops, gardens, and flowers. "There is a time for everything and every activity under heaven." -- Ecclesiastes 3. Some times, God’s time doesn’t seem like our time. I’m sure all of us get impatient, especially when spring fever hits. The old wise tale may hold true as it rained Easter Sunday and the forecast looks promising. Spring rains seem to have also brought new life to more flowers.
In Bible study, we are studying a great lesson; patiently waiting and what we are to do while we wait quietly for answers to prayers. It can strengthen our relationship with God. I can testify that persistence in prayer and patience can have a silver lining behind those clouds.
Wednesday nights, come join us as we sing praises, pray, and fellowship. Trust me, "Daddy Sang Bass" misses a lot with no male voices. Come on, guys, join in. What are you waiting for, the harvest? While all of us wait, what kind of seeds are we sewing? Hopefully, the qualities Jesus desires in all of us will reflect His ways. We are all disciples Doin’ God’s Work.
Perhaps you have heard the phrase, "Pay it forward." It can be contagious. When you are doing something nice for others, that’s doing God’s work. Try planting a few seeds of kindness this week and see if they don’t smile back at you.
I pray that what seeds we sow will be only good seeds that others can see the Light of Christ in us. May God bless you; see you in church this week.

Friday, April 17, 2009

School Proposes Tightening Interventions for Low Grades

Parnell Secondary Principal Dale Healy requested that the Worth County School Board adopt tighter standards allowing the school to intervene when a student gets a zero on their homework. The current policy is that they go to intervention study hall when they get a D+ or lower grade on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday of each week. Healy said that the school now has the ability to detect when a student is not doing work thanks to the automated grading system put in place and that they can intervene earlier as a result. Students would be assigned under the new plan if they get a 0, a star grade, or what Healy called "zero quality work," or, for instance, a student getting only 5 points out of 20 on an assignment. He said that would help avoid problems where students could try to get out of going by getting a 1.

Under the proposal, students with no zeros will have the option of participating in other activites during intervention hall; Healy said he wanted to focus on ways of rewarding students with no zeros. Students who are required to be in an intervention study hall who do not bring work and necessary materials would get an alternate assignment. Students who skip out of study hall would receive multiple after-school detentions.

The objective under the plan would be for the student to finish the assignment. There would be teachers paired up with students; for instance, math teachers would be paired up with students getting zeros in math. Healy said that there would be committee meetings that would work out the logistics and that they would come back to the board with a proposal next month. Board members were supportive; Richard Mullock said that it would help with situations later in life both in college and in work situations. Healy said that the school already sends notes out to parents of students with zeros and doesn't wait for mid-terms to notify them.

In other action, the board named Jubal Summers board president, Karen Fletchall vice president, Sherri Runde treasurer, and Candy Sorensen secretary.

Suzi Smith gave a report on the 7th and 8th grade science and Physical Science classes that she was teaching. She said that her students were making extensive use of the laptops to make brochures of the human digestive and respiratory systems. They were doing so using the Microsoft Publisher software.

Superintendent Matt Robinson asked the board for feedback regarding the reading of the school policies that is done monthly. Richard Mullock said that the current procedure, where the board gives policies two readings before adoption, was a good one because it prevented things from getting pushed through without deliberation. He thought that the board could have more input in the drafting of policies; Robinson said that the school board policies were normally ones that came from the state. Jubal Summers said that another advantage of the current process was that it helped new board members get up to speed on the policies of the school. All board policies are online at the school's website; the policy that is online is the one that the school is bound by.

The board voted to transfer $187,205 from the General Fund to the Capital Fund. This is the money that will go towards the heating and cooling project as well as other possible expenses. The school typically keeps the money in the General Fund every year until it is needed.

Duane Warner was present to discuss the next phase of the heating and cooling project for the school. They went from a 10 ton/12 ton system to two 12 ton systems for the gym, which Warner said would be cheaper since he would not have to get two different sets of parts for the two systems. Other changes included addition of some duct work. The fans would still be there to supplement the system in the event of a large crowd. The system would have sensors that would adjust the level. Two potential problems that Warner identified were pressurization and condensation. Warner said that with the exhaust fan, pressurization should not be too much of a problem while he said that if the school set the system before it became hot and humid, condensation on the floor should not be a problem.

The board voted to authorize Superintendent Matt Robinson to go below the 18% threshold that they had previously set in order to complete the second phase of the project for $91,776. They also decided to give Robinson the discretion to spend out of either this year's or next year's budget. The board had decided to set a reserve threshold of 18% of their annual expenses that they could not go under except for capital improvements, maintaining existing programs, and keeping current staffing levels.

After a brief discussion, the board decided to keep the current registration policy, in which all visitors have to register at the main office.

The board voted to pursue two grants. One was for a corporate grant for science equipment for Tish Warner's classroom that would not require a match. The other was for a Family Consumer Science grant that would require a $5,000 match by the school.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Corn Planting Starts but Soil Temperatures Slow Germination
Soil temperature data at Graves Chapple Demonstration Farm and Hundley-Whaley Farm weather stations have been in mid-40s as of Thursday, April 9th. Early planted corn will be slow to emerge at these temperatures.
Growing degree days (GDDs) base 50 which is used to measure how fast corn grows has accumulated about 78 degree days at Graves Chapple and 62 at Hundley-Whaley. Corn requires about 110 GDDs to emerge but can range from 90 to 150 GDDs. The accumulation starting point is the corn planting date. Then the GDDs are measured from that point on.
This data is available on the web from each of the weather stations under weather indices and is already calculated for you.
To determine daily GDD accumulation on your own, calculate the average daily temperature (high + low)/2 and subtract the base temperature which is 50 degrees F for corn. If the daily low temperature is above 50 degrees, and the high is 86 or less, then this calculation is performed using actual temperatures, but if the low temperature is less than 50 degrees, use 50 degrees as the low in the formula. Similarly, if the high is above 86 degrees, use 86 degrees in the formula.If it takes a corn hybrid 100 GDDs to emerge, and daily high and low temperatures average 70 and 50 degrees following planting, 10 GDDs accumulate per day, and corn should emerge in about 10 days (100 GDDs to emerge/10 GDDs per day = 10 days). However, if daily high and low temperatures are cooler, averaging 60 and 45 degrees after planting, 5 GDDs accumulate per day, and it may take nearly 3 weeks (100 GDDs to emerge/5 GDDs per day = 20 days) for corn to emerge.
Seedling emergence is dependent on soil temperature and air temperature. Also, keep in mind that estimates of emergence based on GDDs are approximate and can be influenced by various factors including residue cover, tillage and moisture content. Corn emergence can be slowed by inadequate soil moisture.
Crops vary widely with regard to the minimum moisture content required for emergence. For corn, the minimum moisture content at which the radicle emerges is 30% of the seed dry weight. In contrast, for soybean, the reported minimum moisture content required for germination is 50%.
For more information, contact Wayne Flanary at 660-446-3724 or Heather Benedict at 660-425-6434, Regional Agronomists, University of Missouri Extension.

WCCC News for April 15th, 2009

Last week started off like most at Worth County Convalescent Center in Grant City. Sunday school and church services were presented by the Allendale Baptist Church.
Monday, the ladies received manicures with some new nail polish. They looked very pretty and professional for a few days. Monday afternoon, most residents went bowling and had a good time.
Tuesday we exercised with Lisa in the morning and attended a service provided by the Grant City Christian Church that afternoon.
Wednesday is bingo day, which is always a favorite among the residents.
Thursday, Pastor Dirk from the Grant City Christian Church came for bible study. The Greens came and sang for the residents that afternoon.
Friday was a busy day as usual, we started with coffee, folded a few napkins and exercised with Lisa in the morning, and then that afternoon, went bowling again.
Until next time, Chao from WCCC in Grant City. Stop by and visit whenever you can!

Friday, April 10, 2009

National Infant Immunization Week

“When you’re a parent or caregiver for a child, you’re like an umbrella. Not only do you have to be ready to offer protection at any given moment, but you never know what’s going to be raining down. It’s often up to you to be that layer protecting your children from the elements, whether it’s making sure the carseat is secure or insisting on broccoli before dessert. Today, let me remind you that you can shield your children from something you may take for granted—vaccine-preventable diseases.

Approximately one million kids in the U.S. are not fully immunized by two years old. While the occurrence of most vaccine preventable diseases is declining; we have seen resurgence of whooping cough (also called pertussis) over the past few years. In 2006, there were over 15,000 cases of whooping cough reported nationally. To prevent whooping cough, a child needs four doses of a vaccine called DTaP by age two. It can be hard to get your children to the doctor or clinic for their immunizations, but that fourth dose is critical to protect them against this serious and sometimes deadly disease. You can sometimes use a “sick visit” to catch up on immunizations; ask your doctor or nurse. It’s not just kids that need shots—did you know that grownups can spread pertussis to others, too? Ask your healthcare provider about a pertussis booster shot for adults and pre-teens to protect the entire family, including infants who haven’t been completely immunized from this serious disease.

Just as an umbrella can collapse in the wind, protection from childhood diseases can break down if vaccinations are missed or doses skipped. The sad fact is that low immunization rates can lead to outbreaks—clusters of disease—that can hospitalize or even kill children who are not up-to-date on their immunizations.

April 25-May 2, 2009, is National Infant Immunization Week. All around the country, doctors, nurses, clinics, and parents will be working together to get children caught up on their immunizations. Our goal is that every child will be immunized “on time, every time” by two years old. Don’t wait until a child goes to school to catch up on vaccinations—you would be shocked to know how vulnerable your infant or baby is without the recommended immunizations. Older brothers and sisters, relatives, or even a trip to the grocery store can expose an infant to disease. By boosting babies’ immune systems through vaccination, they are protected from what used to be common childhood diseases.

The good news is that we are fortunate in this country to have free and low-cost vaccination programs. There are 14 diseases you can protect your child against by immunizing them on time before they turn two years old. We have seen a great reduction in many diseases, and we want to continue that trend. I urge you to continue to be your children’s umbrella, shielding and protecting them.
How can you do this?
(1) Make sure your child is up-to-date on immunizations; visit CDC’s childhood scheduler online at: find out what immunizations your child needs;
(2) get an immunization card or record, and bring it to every doctors visit;
(3) ask at every visit if your child needs an immunization;
(4) talk with your child’s doctor, and don’t be afraid to ask questions; and
(5) visit the CDC website at: or call 1-800-CDC-INFO for more information on immunizations. “

National Infant Immunization Week (NIIW), April 25- May 2, 2009, is an annual observance established 14 years ago by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to remind parents, health professionals, and the public that children deserve a healthy start to life by immunizing them against vaccine-preventable diseases. Hundreds of educational activities and media events are expected to take place nationwide to celebrate and promote this important issue. The theme for this year’s campaign is Love them. Protect them. Immunize them. For more immunization information visit or call 1-800-CDC-INFO.

General Health Clinic encourages you to speak with your healthcare professional with questions or concerns about childhood vaccines. The Clinic welcomes most major insurances along with Medicare and Medicaid. Payments by cash, credit cards, and debit cards are accepted. The clinic is located at the junction of highways 148 and JJ in Hopkins, Missouri. The clinic will be closed on Friday, April 17; Saturday, April 18; and Saturday, April 25 and open on Saturday, May 2. Appointments can be made by calling 660-778-3209.

Protect Erosive Field Areas

Protect Erosive Field Areas
The rains have slowed spring terrace building but hopefully, weather will change so much work can be accomplished. Terraces should be maintained on highly erodible land preventing gullies from cutting in area fields. If gullies are formed, one can use terraces to collect water and use tile lines or water ways to carry water off the field.
If field slopes continue to erode, it is sometimes best to place these areas into permanent vegetation. Other alternatives are to use no-till planting to keep crop residues in place to protect the soil from being loosened. Another option is to plant cover crops to protect the soil from being loosened until crops protect the soil.
Often gullies will form where water collects and forming small ditches in fields. Left unchecked, gullies will grow deeper. If small ditches are filled using a disk or field cultivator, the loose soil may wash out to the tillage depth of the implement used. One should use some type of winter rye or winter wheat to hold soil in place and give the soil a chance to develop soil structure. Field areas that have been severely eroded lack organic matter and are much more susceptible to erosion.
Also, if we continue to push soil into the gully, the area loses topsoil and what is left is low organic matter soils. Also, topsoil moves down the side slope and deposits at the toe of the hill or if water is moving quickly, it is carried into streams. Movement of topsoil contains valuable organic matter and other crop nutrients that are very expensive today.
End rows are especially susceptible to concentrated water. Often ammonia tracks will wash out and eventually take out corn stands leaving areas without growing plants making them more susceptible to creating small gullies. Winter annuals used as cover crops can help protect these sensitive areas of the field.
No-till continues to protect soil from erosion. The demonstrations at the Graves Chapple Farm continue to show that no-till corn and soybean yields have a slight advantage to any other tillage system. Also, no-till continues to develop soil structure and prevents crusting. More water can be infiltrated into the soil compared to other tillage systems even that of ripping. Ripping disturbs soil structure and the macro-pores so they are not continuous which slows infiltration rates.
For more information, contact Wayne Flanary at 660-446-3724 or Heather Benedict at 660-425-6434, Regional Agronomists, University of Missouri Extension.

Jack Remembers for 4-8-09

In 1968, I was Bill Morris’ campaign coordinator when he ran for Lt. Governor. I worked almost full time for no pay. It was getting close to the primary election when we were told that we were going to lose in the old 10th Congressional District because Bill’s major opponent was Ed Dowd, who was from the area. Bill immediately sent me and a group of young volunteers to southeast Missouri. My job was to try to get the support of the renegade political groups who were looking for someone other than Dowd to support.
I was in Bonne Terre and everybody told me to talk to old man Simmons who was very influential in elections, and had not endorsed anyone for Lt. Governor. He lived on the edge of town and when I came to his house, there was a huge tree growing in the middle of the road next to his house. The street actually did a half circle around the tree. I parked and as I walked up to his porch I noticed there were several political signs on the tree, and about 10,000 nails. He said, “Tell me about your candidate, and if I like him better than Dowd I’ll put his picture on the winning tree. No one has ever lost if I let them put their sign on the winning tree.” Simmons and the winning tree had been featured in all the area newspapers including St. Louis Post Dispatch.
I told him how Morris was a high school drop out and was making a living hustling pool in the local pool hall when he was recognized as someone with a future after having organized the Lafayette County Young Democrats. The County Collector encouraged him to enroll in Wentworth Military Academy and paid his way. Bill was drafted in the Army as a Private and came out a Major, got his law degree on the G.I. Bill and was currently Public Administrator of Jackson County.
The old man finally agreed to let me nail Morris’ picture on the winning tree and said, “You can quit worrying now, your man is going to win.” And he did.
Jack can be reached at PO Box 40, Oak Grove, MO 64075 or

Free Composting Workshop

Residents of Gentry, Nodaway and Worth counties are invited to join the Northwest Missouri Regional Solid Waste Management District for a free composting workshop. The workshop will be designed for a beginner level group interested in learning the basic fundamentals of composting.
As reducing the waste entering our landfills becomes more important, individuals are looking for cost effective, easy ways to help the environment. Composting has become an easy way to reduce waste without spending a lot of money, and the composted product makes excellent mulch for use in gardens and landscaping. By reusing the organic wastes, individuals are protecting our water, air, land, and energy resources. Each participant who registers will learn how to start composting at home and will receive a free composting bin.
The workshop will be taught by Jim Crawford, Natural Resource Engineer for the University of Missouri Extension. Jim specializes in natural resource management and has extensive knowledge of composting needs in northwest Missouri. The workshop is being sponsored by the Northwest Missouri Regional Solid Waste Management District and the Missouri Department of Natural Resources.
The composting workshop will be held Saturday, April 25, 2009, from 9:00 a.m. until noon at Maryville Community Center, 1407 North Country Club Road, Maryville, Missouri. The deadline for registration is April 17, 2009 by 2:00 p.m. Class size is limited, so please register soon.
To register for the composting workshop or for any questions, please contact Jerri Dearmont at (660) 582-5121. For more information on composting, please visit

County Commission Minutes for April 4th, 2009

Meeting was called to order at 9:00 am by Presiding Commissioner. Members present: Austin, Ruckman, and Gabbert.
Commissioner Austin called the meeting to order.
Amended minutes that the policy of employees leaving the work during the work day was discussed. The policy manual will be amended when updated that leaving the work site must be preapproved by the supervisor except in emergencies.
Commissioner Gabbert made a motion to approve the minutes as read. Commissioner Ruckman seconded. Motion carried. Minutes approved.
Commissioner Ruckman made a motion to approve the agenda. Commissioner Gabbert seconded. Motion carried.
Commissioner Ruckman made a motion approve and pay bills and payroll checks. Commissioner Gabbert seconded.
Jim Dunfee came to the Commission regarding CR 188 by the Miller cemetery. The brush on the north side are encroaching on the roadway and forcing the traffic into the cemetery. The Commissioners will have Jim check on the tube.
Commissioner Austin read Road Closure Petition ICO Pren Ross and John Ewing concerning road 121 on the Middlefork East Fletchall township line. Having no objections in writing Commissioner Austin signed the Vacation Order.
Commissioner Austin read a Road Closure Petition ICO Chrissy Ackard concerning an unnumbered abandoned road in West Fletchall township (Section 6, Township 65N, Range 32W). Having no objections in writing Commissioner Austin signed the Vacation Order.
Commissioner Austin reported on a phone call from the post office regarding CR 188. The postal carrier is unable to pass thru the road.
Jim Fletchall, Road and Bridge Supervisor report that the white service truck is having problems with the transmission. The Commission advised him to hold off on repairs until money builds up in the account.
Jim also reported a 30” x 60’ tube north of Jerry Dignan’s on CR 72 washing out and needs to be replaced.
The Commission worked on the gravel hauling bid and discussed hiring a gravel checker.
Commissioner Ruckman left the session to attend to personal business at 11:30 am.
Commissioner Gabbert made a motion to adjourn. Commissioner Austin seconded. Motion carried. Meeting adjourned at 12:20 pm.

IBS Awareness Month

If you have irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), you are not alone – IBS is common with worldwide prevalence estimated at 9% to 23%. Although the condition is associated with heavy economic and social burdens, many people remain undiagnosed and unaware that their symptoms indicate a medically recognized disorder.
In an effort to bring attention to the symptoms and difficulties associated with irritable bowel syndrome, IFFGD has designated April as IBS Awareness Month. Beginning with the first IBS Awareness Month in April 1997, and every subsequent year, we work to focus attention on important health messages about IBS diagnosis, treatment, and quality of life issues. IBS Awareness Month is listed on the U.S. National Health Observances calendar.
IBS, which affects up to one in every five people, is characterized by chronic or recurring abdominal pain or discomfort associated with diarrhea, constipation or other changes in bowel patterns. It often can be diagnosed during a medical history and physical examination by its symptoms alone or along with limited testing.
There are many causes for abdominal pain, but in IBS, the pain or discomfort is persistent and is associated with a change in bowel habits, such as diarrhea or constipation. Bloating and feeling an urgent need to use a restroom also commonly occur. Symptoms may occur over a single long period or in several shorter bouts.
Anyone with persistent digestive problems should consult a doctor or other medical professional, Norton advises. A doctor will diagnose IBS by identifying symptoms typical of the disorder, and excluding other medical conditions that may have a similar clinical presentation. Personal embarrassment prohibits many people from taking this important step, however.
IBS is a multifaceted disorder and, while there is no known cure, it can usually be managed. But like other chronic diseases, managing irritable bowel syndrome is not easy. Effective management is often dependent on a successful patient-doctor relationship.
General Health Clinic encourages you to speak with your healthcare professional with questions or concerns about irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). The Clinic welcomes most major insurances along with Medicare and Medicaid. Payments by cash, credit cards, and debit cards are accepted. The clinic is located at the junction of highways 148 and JJ in Hopkins, Missouri. The clinic will be open Saturday, April 11 and closed on Saturday April 18 and Saturday, April 25. Appointments can be made by calling 660-778-3209.SOURCE:

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Capitol Report for April 8th, 2009

State Senator Brad Lager
Becoming Energy Efficient
Last week, the Senate Committee for Commerce, Energy, and the Environment, passed out legislation aimed at addressing Missouri’s future energy needs. The legislative package works to balance future energy demands, fluctuating costs, the availability of energy, and the environmental impacts of energy generation. Although there is no silver bullet that will fully address these complex challenges, we must keep working to head off this potential crisis. Regardless of the final energy generation solution, one agreed upon fact is that energy efficiency programs are a vital component of any future energy policy.
There is little doubt that without an increase in energy production we will not be able to meet the energy demands of the future. However, it takes time to design, develop, and build new energy production facilities. As a result, we must be smarter, more efficient and more effective in how we utilize the energy we currently generate. We must cultivate, facilitate and encourage energy efficiency programs. If done correctly, these programs will build partnerships between a utility company and its consumers so that they can work together to better utilized current energy supplies.
If passed, Senate Bill 376 will allow Missouri utility companies to make financial contributions in energy efficiency programs and then recover them in their rate base. The Missouri Public Service Commission will oversee this process by evaluating these programs to ensure that these investments are resulting in significant energy savings that are in the best interest of the ratepayers.
I believe this is a reasonable and responsible approach to becoming more efficient in our energy consumption. This legislation has received broad-based support from consumer groups, energy companies, industrial energy users, economic development groups, and environmentalist. By working together, these groups have helped us craft a legislative package that will encourage energy companies to work with their customers to better utilize the energy we currently generate. Until a low cost, long term energy solution is found, we as consumers must manage our energy use so that we utilize these precious resources in the smartest manner 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 and my mailing address is Room 429, State Capitol Building, Jefferson City, MO 65101.

A Moment with Mike for April 8th, 2009

State Representative Mike Thomson
This week we saw the introduction of House Bill 668 which expands the Castle Doctrine. The Castle Doctrine, passed last year, justifies the use of deadly force if someone unlawfully enters your home and you feel threatened. HB 668 expands the Castle Doctrine by including laws that protect your property – not just your home. The bill extends deadly force rights to land owners/leasers and eliminates the requirement to retreat from your property, which is beneficial for several reasons. It covers the base on something as simple as standing at your mailbox and being attacked by an intruder as well as cases such as cattle rustling or someone attempting to steal a piece of farm equipment. This would enable you to react confidently to protect yourself and others around you.
Additionally, HB 668 lowers the minimum age requirement for obtaining a concealed carry endorsement from 23 years of age to 21. At the age of 21, Missouri citizens have reached adulthood and been granted full rights. We expect citizens of this age to be responsible enough to own a gun and use it for protection if needed. Changing the age requirement will legally allow them to defend themselves should the occasion arise.
This legislation has been filed, passed out of committee and is expected to make its way to the floor for debate.
Two bills that passed through the House of Representatives this week were HB 381 and HB 681. House Bill 381 is designed to ensure a fair system for determining fee office contracts. Through this legislation we take a common sense approach to awarding the contracts. The bill gives priority to non-profit organizations, then to municipalities, counties, and fire protection districts, rather than to individuals who have been known to turn and donate these funds into political campaigns. Simply put, it will require our Department of Revenue to award fee office contracts that focus on Missouri’s best interest.
Finally, House Bill 681 improves Missouri law in regards to when an elected executive branch office (Lieutenant Governor, Attorney General, Secretary of State, State Auditor, State Treasurer) becomes vacant. The intent of HB 681 is to restore power to the public when choosing a replacement. It temporarily allows the Governor to administer the duties of the office but a special election would be scheduled to fill the vacancy. HB 681 is similar to the 24th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. State legislatures originally had the power to select Senators to represent their state in Washington D.C. The 24th Amendment took that power from the legislators and gave the power to the people, where the power really belongs.
HB 681 is expanding voting rights for all Missourians. We feel that our citizens should vote for a replacement, especially since it is our initial right to begin with. The process of choosing an individual to state office should not be in the hands of just one person. It is time to bring that power back to you, the people.

Doin' God's Work for April 8th, 2009

Sheridan United Methodist Church notes by Glenda Wyer
Wednesday evening, there was a good turnout to sing praises, but there is always room for more voices to chime in. Some just need that extra fellowship to get us through the rest of the week before Sunday services. We missed a few regulars due to upcoming nuptials. Praying for God to bless all marriages and those who chose to renew their vows recently.
Thursday Bible study, we welcomed visitors to the study. We didn’t welcome the big snow flakes that followed them in. God heard our prayers; by mid-afternoon, the snow seemed to have disappeared. Yes, this is Missouri; stick around, the weather will change! All of are anxious for it to feel like Spring. I wonder if the old wise tale may apply this year; "If it rains on Easter Sunday, seven Sundays of rain will follow." Editor’s note -- showers are indeed forecast for Easter Sunday.
Several turned out for the Auxillary Hen Party Friday. The ladies had a lot of good food prepared. My luck at playing Bingo hasn’t improved. I think everyone enjoyed themselves.
Palm Sunday always holds a special meaning for me. Special Easter services will be at the Grant City Methodist Church April 6th to 10th at 7:00 a.m. Many celebrate Good Friday and Easter with special church services, family, and friends. May we give thanks for what the cross represents and continue to do God’s work. See you on Easter Sunday and give thanks that Jesus took our place on the cross for our sins!

Being Jobless Does Not Mean You Are Helpless

Being Jobless Does Not Mean You Are Helpless
With the current economy, you or someone you know may be without a job to support their family. Whether through a lay-off, furlough or a business closing, times are tough. However, just because you may be jobless does not mean you are helpless. According to Dr. Rebecca J. Travnichek, Family Financial Education for University of Missouri Extension, you should keep a clear head, don’t panic, and don’t do anything drastic. In a recent article in the Board of Certified Financial Planners (CFP®) electronic newsletter, Eleanor Blayney, CFP® and the CFP Board’s Consumer Advocate, “if you are one of the many unfortunate unemployed, your first instinct may be to panic, then to sink into depression as dark and deep as the economic hole our nation seems to be in.” Please resist this natural inclination to batten down the hatches and ignore the rest of the world. For the future of you and your family, you need to keep your eyes wide open. Look at everything clearly and realistically; to outside sources of help, as well to your own resources.
Here are some suggestions shared by Ms. Blayney in her article:
1. Start with reaching out. You need to talk to your ex-, or soon to be ex-employer, to understand exactly what benefits and assistance are available to you. Are you eligible for any benefits, such as unpaid sick leave, continued health care coverage through COBRA, programs for displaced workers or job search assistance? If it was the economy and not you that led to the elimination of your job, be sure to ask your boss for some reference letters; he or she may be pretty busy with similar requests, so you might offer to write the letters yourself for his or her signature.
2. You now have a new full-time job—to identify and find your next job. If your former job wasn’t great—not exactly what you wanted to do and not what you needed (and deserved) to be paid—now is the time to get ready for the right job. Whom do you need to talk to? Start by gathering information from people who work in your targeted field before you actually apply for a job. What skills do you need to acquire or brush up on to take that next step? Where, and how, do you need to live to be available for that next opportunity? Do you need to relocate? Do you need to downsize?
3. Don’t forget to keep your family up-to-date about your situation. Maybe you were previously working so hard there was no time for family meetings, now is the time to hold frequent and regular talks around the kitchen table. Enlist your family’s support for your efforts; telling them how you will go about finding another job will make you accountable and thereby more motivated. Children will want to know how your job loss impacts them: does this mean a move or new school? Will their activities with their friends be affected? Be optimistic, but also be factual and specific. Don’t sugarcoat the situation. Make sure the family understands the need for some belt-tightening.
4. Be realistic—the job search is going to take time. The amount recommended by financial professionals for a family emergency fund used to be three to six months’ expenses. New recommendations are six to eight months’ expenses. For those who have been living paycheck to paycheck, this advice may seem like being told to “close the barn door after the horse is out,” so some additional horse-finding measures may be necessary.
5. This is the time to know your financial numbers inside and out. What does it cost you to live each month? Of those expenses, which are fixed (must be paid in a given amount), which are variable but nondiscretionary (flexible amount but must be paid), and which are purely discretionary (you have the choice to spend or not spend)? The last two categories are where you have some flexibility in your decisions. When you have no or now limited outside income, you can at least “pay yourself” by analyzing your spending habits and current expenses. If you have fixed expenses—rent or mortgage, an auto loan, credit card minimums—that cannot be cut and cannot be paid in the short term, talk to your creditors, and contact them early. Explain your unemployment situation and ask if alternative payment arrangements might be considered. Don’t wait until you get a call from a collection agent.
6. Finally, seek professional advice, particularly if you are thinking of making any big changes—moving, selling assets, dropping insurance coverage, defaulting on debt—as a result of losing your income. To find a financial planning professional qualified by experience, education, and ethical standards, go to CFP Board’s Web site where you can search for a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional in good standing and close to where you live.
If you desire further information on this or any other topic, contact your local University of Missouri Extension office. To contact Dr. Rebecca J. Travnichek, Family Financial Education Specialist, e-mail her at or call the Andrew County Extension Office at 816.324.3147.