Monday, July 27, 2009

Northeast Nodaway School Board Minutes for July 16, 2009

Present: Kenny Runde (Presiding Officer), Dan Schmitz, Chris Oelze, Bruce Wiederholt, Cecilia Gallagher, Chris Redden, Superintendent Dr. Jeff Mehlenbacher, Secondary Principal Mr. Jeremy Covey, Elementary Principal Linda Mattson. Absent: Julia Judd.

Meeting was called to order by Kenny Runde at 8:00 p.m.

Motion to approve the minutes and warrants as presented made by Cecilia Gallagher. Seconded by Chris Oelze. Vote 6-0.

A. Salary Schedule Comparison
Dr. Mehlenbacher presented salary schedules from surrounding school districts.

B. AmeriPride Bids
Dr. Mehlenbacher reported to the board on the meeting with the AmeriPride representative.

C. Alternatives to Salary & Steps
Discussion was held on the recommendations received from the CTA for increased personal and bereavement days, stipends, and free birthday lunches for faculty and staff.

D. Report on the Runoff Water from School Grounds
Dr. Mehlenbacher reported on discussions he has had with the mayor and city councilmen on the situation.

Julia Judd arrived at 8:15 p.m.

A. Preschool Program Evaluation
Heidi Pederson presented the preschool program evaluation for approval.
Motion to approve the program evaluation as presented made by Cecilia Gallagher, seconded by Chris Redden. Vote: 7-0.

B. Tax Rate Hearing Date Set
Motion to approve setting the date for the tax rate hearing on August 20, 2009 at 6:45 p.m. Motion made by Chris Redden, seconded by Chris Oelze. Vote: 6-0.

C. Declaration of Surplus Property
Motion to approve the surplus property list as presented made by Chris Redden, seconded by Bruce Wiederholt. Vote: 7-0.

D. Corporate Resolution
Motion to approve the corporate resolution from Citizens Bank and Trust made by Chris Oelze, seconded by Cecilia Gallagher. Vote: 7-0.

A. Transportation -- Dr. Mehlenbacher reported on repairs to a broken window on bus #4. Bus drivers will meet with Dr. Mehlenbacher in August to prepare for the upcoming school year.

B. PTO Report -- PTO would like to thank board members for their help in making the Duck Race fundraiser a success. Proceeds totaled $600.

C. Superintendent's Report --
1. Reservations have been made for the annual MSBA fall conference.
2. Dr. Mehlenbacher has met with Roger Adamson from L.J. Hart Company to discuss tax rates.
3. Discussion on alternating board meetings between Ravenwood and Parnell.
4. Reported on the superintendent's evaluation forms.
5. Dr. Mehlenbacher reported on current school finances.
6. Dr. Mehlenbacher presented the 2009-2010 free and reduced price meal income guidelines for approval. Motion to approve the income guidelines as presented made by Chris Oelze, seconded by Cecilia Gallagher. Vote: 7-0.

Break at 9:15 p.m.

Motion to go into executive session to discuss personnel matters made by Cecilia Gallagher, seconded by Chris Redden. Vote: 7-0 by roll call.

Time: 9:25 p.m.

Discussion was held on personnel and contracts during executive session.

Motion to go out of executive session made by Chris Redden, seconded by Cecilia Gallagher. Vote: 7-0 by roll call.

Time: 9:37 p.m.

Motion to adjourn the meeting made by Chris Redden, seconded by Cecilia Gallagher. Vote: 7-0.

Time: 9:40 p.m.

Elementary Principal's Report
Linda Mattson, Elementary Principal

On July 8th and 9th, I attended a workshop at Northwest about Response to Intervention. This program outlines a system of helping all students and intervening for those who are struggling. RTI has been shown to greatly decrease referrals to Special Education. Teachers attending with me included Kathy Gabbert, Lori Harris, Denise Henggeler, Carrie Coulter, Barb Bredlow, Katie McMillen, Melissa Kissler, and Nikki Delp.

Obituary: Philip Merrett Berg 1934-2009

Philip Merrett Berg was born on January 14, 1934 in Maryville to Clarence and Dolly Berg. He departed this life on July 21, 2009 at the Golden Living Nursing Home in Maryville at the age of 75.

Philip went to school and graduated the eighth grade in Parnell. Philip served in the United States Army from 1955-1956. He enjoyed fishing, hunting, gardening, cooking family dinners, playing dominos, playing pool, and his rat terrier dogs.

On August 27, 1957, Philip united in marriage to Donna P. Rowe in Ravenwood. She preceded him in death on January 11, 2002.

Survivors include his five daughters Valerie (Jerry) Rauch of Sheridan, Shelly (David) Berg of Athelstan, Stacey (Charlie) Supinger of Grant City, Amy (John) Hansen of Parnell, Wendy Berg of Sheridan; one brother, Francis (Erma) Berg of Maryville; one sister, Agnes (Harold) Teaney of Ravenwood; aunt Leona Stein of Gallatin; 10 grandchildren, Philip (Melissa) Owens of Hopkins, Mindy Carlson of Sheridan, Heather (Joe) Ackman of Maryville, Stephanie (Brett) Hardy of Grant City, Jason (Lynette) Berg of Hopkins, Ashley Adams of Grant City, Ryan Ballou of Union Star, Dawn (David) McClement of Pueblo, CO, Josh Hansen of Parnell, Tasha Hansen of Parnell; 15 great-grandchildren, Shelbi, Taylor, Austin, Johnny, Natalie, Adam, Emma, Sarah, Jacob, Jillian, Daryn, Dustin, Dayna, Dakota, and Diamond; and his special dog Daisy.

Philip was preceded in death by his parents Clarence & Dolly Berg, wife Donna P. Berg, and brother Alfred Berg.

He wil be sadly missed by all his family and friends.

Funeral services were 2 p.m. Friday, July 24th at the Prugh-Dunfee Funeral Home in Grant City. Cremation will follow the service with interment at a later date in Rose Hill Cemetery, Parnell. Visitation was held Thursday, July 23rd from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. at the funeral home.

Friday, July 24, 2009

School Budget Deficit Not as Bad as Originally Feared

Superintendent Matt Robinson reported to the board that the budgetdeficitfor the just-ended fiscal year was not as bad as originally projected. The budget deficit came out to $61,000, as opposed to the$159,000 which had originally been budgeted, although the district is looking at deficit spending $100,000 dollars again this year. He reported that the school was in the process of revising its books; they will then send them off tothe auditor.

Jeff Andrews was sworn in as the newest board member for the SchoolBoard.He replaces Kevin Austin, who resigned after being appointed Presiding Commissioner by Governor Jay Nixon.

The board voted to award the fuel bid to MFA at 6 cents less than current tank wagon prices. The bid for bread went to Hy-Vee at $1.26, up two cents from last year. The hamburger buns were $1.34, unchanged from last year; the coney buns will cost 96 cents, up two cents from last year. Roberts was awarded the bid for milk; their bids for milk were sharply lower than what the school paid Anderson/Erickson last year. The price of orange juice will be 17 cents while cottage cheese will cost $5.40. Sour cream will cost $4.75. Veolia was awarded the trash service for this year at a cost of $819 per month, up from $812 per month last year. Mefford was awarded the pest control bid at $39 per month, unchanged from last year.

The board voted to raise most lunch prices for the next school year.Adultlunch prices will be $2.40, up five cents from last year. High school lunch prices will be $1.65, up 15 cents from last year. Elementary lunch prices will be $1.40, up 15 cents from last year. Elementary school breakfast will be $1.15, unchanged from last year. Superintendent Robinson said that the prices would help keep the lunch fund in the black, allowingthe school to pay for needed expenses out of that fund without having to take money out of other funds. Worth County would continue to have some of the lowest lunch prices in the area even with the increases. The elementary breakfast price was unchanged because Robinson said that he wanted to encourage participation in the program.

The board voted to get four credit cards for the school. Robinson said that it would be more convenient for the school; for instance, the school would not have to reimburse staff every time they purchased materials for the school. More and more hotels are requiring credit card numbers and not taking PO's, which means that it would be easier for the school to plan student trips to state or national events with a credit card. They could also be used in the event of an emergency. Robinson said that there would be a set of procedures to approve credit card purchases and that all credit card statements would be reconciled and and documented. All credit card statements would go to the school. Robinson said that he would figure out a credit limit with the bank representative. There would be protections against identity theft. The school would set their own billing cycles, which means that they would not have to worry about late fees.

The tax rate hearing will be August 20th at 7:30 p.m. before the regular board meeting.

The board went to closed session to hire substitute teachers and fill athletic positions as well as hire a new food service employee. After the closed session, the board voted to offer Ginger Myers a six-hour food service position for the 2009-2010 school year at $8.27 per hour. The board then voted to add Mark Carlson as a substitute driver. The board then offered the Junior High Boys Basketball coaching position to Chris Healy. Chris Cadle was offered the High School Boys Basketball Assistant position while Jessica Burton was offered the High School Girls Basketball Assistant position. Shelly Straight was offered a 2/3 Concession Stand contract while Arlette Robinson was offered a 1/3 Concession Stand contract. Added to the substitute teacher list were Kayna Cameron, Cassie Gilland, Scott Darrach, and Deloris Darrach.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

County Commissioners Answer Ballot Initiative Questions

The Worth County Commissioners have provided the Sheridan Express with written answers to frequently asked questions about the road rock fund as well as the brush removal ordinance which are both on the ballot on August 4th. Poll information is on Page 5.

How much is needed to pass?
Both measures require a simple majority to pass.

Why should the voters of Worth County vote for and pass the Gravel Tax and Brush Enforcement Law?
There are several reasons why the residents will benefit if these two issues are approved. One is to improve Worth County roads. This will allow for absentee landowners to contribute and help maintain our roads. They typically use these roads for recreation on a regular basis, but have had no responsibility in the maintenance of these roads. Worth County is one of the few places in the country that does not have the benefit of the two proposals. The positive impact of these two issues would have numerous benefits to families living here in the county.

Better and safer roads should be a concern to everyone, not just parents whose children are bussed to school. We feel that people who live, work, and raise their families here should have the same benefits of living elsewhere. We feel that it is past time to level the playing field and find a more equal and fair way to maintain and improve our roads in the county for which we live.

At one time, almost all of the land in Worth County was once owned by hard-working people who resided here. They farmed, raised their families, sold their livestock, and purchased supplies and machinery all locally. The problem now is that purchasing and selling locally is not always an option and that means our tax dollars are leaving our area and are benefiting and supporting some other county’s roads. Every dollar spent locally works several times over to benefit all. There is a high percentage of farmland in Worth County that is owned by people or corporations that do NOT live in or work in the area. This situation puts more burdens and responsibilities on the people that do live here and do their business locally. As the trend continues of land purchases for recreation and hunting, it hurts our local economy.

Mowing, brush control, and road rock has always been on the “honor system” for lack of a better term. The “honor system” worked fairly well at one time, but things are much different now. If a landowner decides not to control the brush by mowing or spraying or buying gravel for the road, then someone else has to either take up the slack and do more than his fair share, or the road becomes neglected and soon will become a large problem. School busses, emergency vehicles, and other vehicles all need to have the ability to travel all of our county roads. We see no way that this will cure itself and only foresee it getting worse if we do not act and vote YES on August 4th and pass both of these issues.

We believe that all of the elected officials and employees of the county should be and are committed to doing the best and most efficient job for all of the county. We are looking for ways to make the most of what we have to work with. These are trying times economically. The Road and Bridge Department must become more efficient to meet existing goals and to use and maintain equipment and machinery safely. Breakdowns because of brush and trees are a constant threat.

Another problem is that the state will not allow a county credit for roads that fall below a certain standard. Our county has already lost credit on some roads which equals a loss of money and we cannot afford to lose anymore. Our county needs to recapture some of these credits and increase our inventory of safe and reliable roads. Not only would we have safer roads, but we will not have to pay the majority of the price tags. The new system would spread it out to all landowners equally, whether they live here or not. We cannot depend on the absentee landowners to donate to help keep our roads to a decent standard. While a few have helped to donate, most have not. Every time we purchase something out of the county, we help to maintain that county’s roads and schools. It is time for us to stand up and take a stand for ourselves and take care of our county. Today, Worth County has an “honor system.”

How are roads funded now?
Currently, we operate under the CART (patron gravel) program, which is generated from the State Vehicle Tax, other state fees, and the state's gas tax. This is the county’s primary source of gravel. This is money that the state collects and reimburses the county based on the number of miles of county roads. With the current economic conditions, the state reimbursements have drastically dropped and could drop in the next few years as well. What this means is that the county's cost-share for gravel would continue to drop every year. For instance, last year, the county's cost-share for CART gravel was 100%; this year, the county could only match 75%. As state funds decline, the county will have to make further reductions.

What can the voters expect if these two issues are not passed?
We can only project that the county’s share of the patron gravel will decrease and the road conditions will deteriorate. Cost share budget on brush removal will need to be reduced as well.

Will the Patron/CART Gravel system still be used if the new system is passed by voters?
Yes, it will still be utilized to the best advantage of the residents of Worth County. This system can be used on a cost-share basis to bring a road up to specs to qualify a road to the newly-passed system or if a road for some reason does need more rock.

Will all roads in Worth County be graveled?
Only roads that have had patron gravel applied recently or is brought up to spec will qualify. This means that if the road has not been graveled for years, it must be brought up to spec, improved, and inspected after base rock is applied before normal road stone could be applied and qualify for the newly-passed gravel system.

By passing the Brush Enforcement Law and Gravel Tax, do you think that this is the best way to maintain our road system?
No, but it is much more fair and equal than the system we currently have, and will be the best system that is, or will be available for Worth County at this time. We would like to see some changes made at the state level that would make it possible for Worth County landowners who live here in the area to not have the full burden of purchasing all the gravel on our roads. But until changes can be made, this is the first step that has to be made before better ways of improving the system can be made for the residents of Worth County.

If the voters pass the Brush Enforcement Law and the New Gravel System Tax, what can they expect to change?
Better and safer roads. Approximately 70 tons for every mile of rocked road would have been applied at the 2009 delivered price if the new system had been in place for this season. This would have been applied to every mile of all of the current graveled roads.

As for the Brush Enforcement Tax, roads will be maintained and clear of trees to a standard that at a minimum will allow road maintenance equipment to properly blade, keep gravel on, and allow water to drain off the roadways and autos and farm machinery to pass down a road. The cost share program will still be in place and will be expanded as funds are available for brush removal.

Friday, July 17, 2009

WCCC Residents Air Grievances at Special Meeting

The WCCC Residents Council called a special meeting Thursday to air out grievances that several residents had against management and the board of the WCCC. Some of the problems involved process while others involved continued concerns about the viability of the home in the long term.

Resident Merle Foley, who ran the meeting, said that the first problem that residents had was the board and administration moving things around without consulting the Resident's Council. Specifically, she referred to the recent move of the birdcage from the front of the facility to the resident's room along with the possibility that the TV might be hung on the wall instead of placed on the ground. Foley said that having the birdcage in the front of the facility was a matter of creating good first impressions with vistors while another resident, Jerry Dignan, said that "the board only meets here two hours a month. The employees are here 40 hours a week, while we're here 24 hours a day, seven days a week" and that "these things should go through the Resident's Council." Another resident, Wendell Calhoon, said that there were a lot of people there who were incapacitated and that the WCCC should focus on getting them the specialized treatment that they needed instead of doing cosmetic changes. "We need specialized facilities for people who need assisted feeding, specialized care, and an encouraging environment," he said. And he said that placing the TV on the wall would be a bad idea, because "people might think that someone is around" because that is the way that they were wired.

The meeting was conducted with three staff members, Amanda Moyer, Ruth Allen, and Laurie Holmes, who sought to answer the residents' questions the best that they could. Moyer said that the TV had been donated and that nothing had been set in stone regarding its placement. She said that a lot of the changes that the facility was making were required by a new state mandate that requires all nursing homes to make cultural changes for the psychosocial well-being of the residents. She said that the paint job was "just the start," and that there would be more changes on the way. For instance, the Nursing Home is in the process of fixing a bathroom floor that is deteriorating and they are in the process of lining up a contractor who will come in and put a new floor in.

Dignan then asked about the pay status of the employees; Moyer said that the board had lifted the pay freeze that it had imposed at the height of the financial crisis and that everyone who had been there over a year had gotten a raise. Dignan protested the extended closed session that the board conducted at the start of their regular meeting last Wednesday, saying that the pay raises should have been voted on in public and that it was a violation of the Missouri Sunshine Law. Foley said that the closed session should have been done at the end of the meeting, instead, "the board scooted us all out and didn't get done until suppertime."

Rose Dilley then protested the removal of the bench to the activity room; Ruth Allen said that the reason it was removed was because the state felt that it would be too crowded to get people out in the event of an emergency. Calhoon responded that if that was such a big concern, that the dining area was overcrowded during meals, that the overcrowding problem has been there since before the present painting job was started, and that he had to have someone push him to where he wanted to go because of the crowding. Moyer said that part of the goal of the Nursing Home was to expand the dining area and that part of the reason for the crowding and the changes was because all of the residents were now eating together and that the dining area was being expanded to alleviate that crowding.

Returning to the discussion of the birdcage, Dignan said that he wanted to see the birdcage back to where it was while Calhoon said that he would be happy if it were moved out of the activity room; Rita Ware, a visitor to the meeting who has done extensive volunteer work for the facility, said that the birdcage was creating an odor problem. Another problem with the birdcage being in the activity room mentioned by the residents present was the inability of residents to hear the numbers during Bingo Nights at the Nursing Home. And Ware said that the Activity Room should not be used for storage because when the Activity Room was built, it was privately funded and it was built for the specific purpose of activities for the residents. Moyer said that most activities were now being held there except when there was a conflict.

Another issue that Calhoon brought up was the issue of personnel. He said that he wanted to board to figure out what staffing was required and what was not. For instance, Ware noted that at one point, they had one administrator, one nurse, and one secretary for the entire facility and that all 60 rooms were filled. And Dille noted that the facility was completely different from the time when her mother went to the facility in 1993. Since then, the facility has become a skilled nursing unit. When the WCCC became a Skilled Nursing Facility earlier this decade, it became a place of residence for people who require constant nursing care and have difficulties performing basic tasks associated with daily living. Eligible adults 18 or older can stay in a skilled nursing facility to receive physical, occupational, and other rehabilitative therapies following an accident or illness. That means that the facility has had to hire more staff in order to comply with stringent federal and state regulations. On the other hand, the fact that the WCCC is a Skilled Nursing Facility means that they participate in and are reimbursed by Medicare.

Dignan said that the WCCC employees were being underpaid by $2/hour compared to neighboring facilities and that was scaring off applicants to the WCCC. Calhoon said that on top of that, the WCCC was letting people go who had worked there for years. While most of the residents present agreed that the present staff was very understanding when it came to peoples' needs, Calhoon said that the facility could do much better. "We need to hire CNA's who are properly trained in how to deal with psychiatric conditions," he said. "We have only one such person on staff right now." Resident Maxine Roberts said that she was being treated very well by the staff. "I have no family here, and I couldn't ask for better treatment from the staff here," she said.

Dille said that one of her main concerns was communication between the residents and the staff. "I'm always asking questions from people who should know the answers, and they always give me the runaround," she said.

On a more positive note, residents agreed that the cooking had greatly improved since Laurie Holmes was hired to that position. Foley said that the cooks were very understanding of the needs of their patients and were willing to listen to them. For instance, diabetic patients have to have foods that are sugar free.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Hallie Oelze Returns from ACL Tear; Northeast Sinks Tigers Again

Worth County, for the first fifteen minutes of their second meeting with Northeast Nodaway, gave the highly-touted Bluejays everything they could handle in their second meeting with the Bluejays in as many weeks Tuesday, July 7th. They were not allowing good looks on defense, getting back in transition, and even forcing a few turnovers. Jacqueline Schulte returned after missing a week with a bruised knee, but that did not seem to matter for a while as the Tigers had come to play. But then, Hallie Oelze made her return and saw her first action since tearing an ACL last December against West Nodaway. Although Oelze did not score a point and saw only limited action, the mere fact that she was back on the court seemed to give Northeast's players a jolt of energy as they finished the first half with a 19-2 run to lead 24-6; they would go on to win 46-11.

Ashley Reynolds started off the scoring for Worth County with a putback; Emily Bryant countered with a shot from the baseline and Kenzie Waldeier scored a free throw. Brooke Gilland answered with a drive and threw up a prayer that went in at the 15:39 mark, and it seemed that it might be one of those nights where everything went Worth County's way. The only basket that either team scored during the next ten minutes was a shot from the right wing from Jacqueline Schulte that made it 5-4 at the 11:31 mark. But then, after Oelze came in, Northeast suddenly made their huge run that put Worth County away.

Michelle Schulte scored a free throw off an offensive board with 5:42 left and then Jacqueline, seemingly rejuvenated after missing a week with her knee injury, followed with a steal and then scored again off a Michelle Schulte steal in a 15-second span to make it 10-4 at the 5:14 mark. Kristan Judd then burned the Tigers with a backdoor layup at the 4:35 mark; nine seconds later, Jacqueline Schulte got yet another steal to make it 14-4.

Ashley Reynolds answered with a steal of her own at the 3:52 mark to make it 14-6, but NEN Coach Ryan Davis put in his other group of players, who followed with a run of their own. Rachel Runde scored in the paint, Kenzie Waldeier scored off a putback, Kristin Sherry scored off a steal, Taylor Dougan scored off yet another steal, and Kristen Sherry worked a give and go with Bryant at the buzzer to make it 24-6 at the break.

Worth County came out and sought to hang with Northeast in the second half. Brooke Gilland posted up inside and drew a foul and made one out of two free throws for Worth County. Baseline shots from Kristin Sherry and Emily Bryant were answered by a fast break by Reynolds against the press to make it 28-9. But then, Northeast put the Schulte sisters back in and the Bluejays were once again off to the races. First, Jacqueline Schule got a steal and layup. Kristan Judd then blocked a shot that Jacqueline Schulte rebounded and threw to Michelle Schulte for the layup. Emily Bryant then scored a fast break off a Kristen Sherry block; Sherry returned the favor by cleaning up on a Bryant steal. Sherry then scored off a Taylor Dougan steal to make it 38-9 with 9:16 left; Northeast had scored 10 points in a two-minute span.

Brooke Gilland scored from the baseline after a steal with 5:23 left, but Northeast answered with a final flurry of points at the end. Jacqueline Schulte answered with a putback and a pair of free throws, Michelle Schulte went coast to coast after getting a defensive board, and Kristin Sherry scored a pair of free throws after a steal to round out the scoring for Northeast.

Stingy Tigers Split in Fairfax.

Worth County's girls had been thrashed twice in consecutive outings against Northeast Nodaway. But in their second encounter with the Bluejays in Summer Jam action, they were within a point of them with five minutes left in the first half before Northeast went on a 19-1 run to put the game away. Last Thursday, July 9th, Worth County showed that they had learned from playing one of the best teams in the area in consecutive weeks and showed that their ability to hang with Northeast for nearly a half of play was no accident as they beat CFX 15-12. The Bulldogs were hardly an easy opponent as they would go on to lose to Northeast by only eight and hang with highly-touted Sacred Heart of Falls City, NE for a whole half before going down in the second.

The Tigers sat back in mostly a 2-3 zone throughout the first half and jumped and denied everything. CFX resorted to throwing up 3-pointers the whole half, without success. The only points during the whole half in the hot, sweltering gym were a pair of shots from the Bulldogs' Kelsey Sly, a backdoor layup from Jessica Garrett, and an inside shot from Ashley Reynolds off a drive from Lauren Null. The Tigers kept hanging around and hanging around the Bulldogs and finally took over the game in the second half, although the score was always close.

Kiley Reynolds opened the scoring for Worth County with a steal. Fairfax moved back in front 7-6, but a free throw from Reynolds and a putback from Delaney Davidson put Worth County back in front at 9-7. CFX tied the score at 9 on a transition shot after a block, but Reynolds' shot from the high post and a putback from her put Worth County in front to stay at 13-9 at the 6:14 mark.

CFX moved closer with a free throw but then saw a pair of 3-pointers go in and out. Sly stole the ball and drew a foul with 26 seconds left and hit the free throws to make it 13-12. CFX then forced a tieup and got the ball back, but a shot from the baseline missed and Delaney Davidson got the rebound. As CFX was trying to pressure the inbounds play and steal the ball for a layup, Ashley Reynolds beat the defense down the floor for a layup at the buzzer.

Worth County hung with Sacred Heart for the first ten minutes of the game before falling to the Irish 43-9. Ashley Reynolds scored from the baseline with 14:29 left to open the scoring, but the Tigers then struggled against the press as they went down 10-2. They then made a mild rally as a fast break from Rebecca Moore against the press and a banked 3-pointer from Reynolds cut Sacred Heart's lead to 11-7. But the Irish would then go on to score the next 28 points on an array of steals and fast breaks before Moore's inside shot with a defender in her face broke the run late in the game.

Grant City to Pursue CDBG for Water Line

The Grant City Council decided to pursue a CDBG grant that would replace the 11-mile water line from Grant City to the Middlefork Water Plant, which supplies the city with water. In order to qualify, the city has to do an income survey to determine if 51% of their residents are low to middle income. An 80% response rate is required on the survey. The city has been experiencing breaks along the line, leading to interruptions in water service. One such break led to students missing a day of school. The city got a rough estimate of $1,000,000 for the project, meaning that the city might have to pass a bond issue to help finance the project.

The council voted to accept the revised contract with agent Bill Dierenfeldt for carrying the city's health insurance for $2,325 per month.

Code Enforcement Officer Patsy Worthington was not present at the meeting but submitted a written report showing that six first notices were mailed along with six second notices. Two notices were placed on the door while she reported eight verbal conversations with residents. The notices involved weeds, trash, vehicles, houses, and brush. Seven abandoned homes were in the process of coming down while three and possibly five other houses were planning to come down. Mayor Debbie Roach added that students from the school were doing a lot of work around the city painting things and beautifying the city under the Jump Start program.

Public Works Director Carl Staton reported that the city worked on two tubes, repaired the dump truck, is in the process of removing abandoned gas lines, fixed two water leaks, is in the process of blading streets, and helping with the pool. Staton will attend extensive training sessions for the month of August in Stanberry. He reported that the liner in the pool was not leaking and that it was holding up well. The city will not drain the pool like they have in the past; they will leave the water in as part of the guarantee against leaks. There is a leak in the pipes; the city will inspect it after the pool closes for the year; Staton estimated that it was leaking one gallon a minute.

The city looked into getting a track paver and using it as matching funds for the Nature Trail Project but decided against it after they could not find money in the budget to pay for it. There is currently $157,000 left in the grant fund for the project; the city could have allocated money on an hourly basis for every hour that the paver was used for the project. One possible way to make it pay for itself might have been to rent it out to other entities, but that would have required having a city employee take time off from other tasks to operate it.

The main printer that the city uses to print out bills and do other tasks is about to go out; council members told Clerk Ayvonne Morin to get a new printer.

The city has awarded Midland Surveying the contract to mark out the trail for the project; the city is currently waiting on that to finish. The city will try to get it done before softball season starts. Midland will mark out the middle of the trail; once it is marked out, the dirt will begin to move on the project.

The council decided to prosecute those people who refused to mow lawns; they had a choice between mowing the property and sending the bill to the owner and referring it for prosecution. The council decided that it would involve too many time constraints on city employees.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Gov. Nixon signs Omnibus Crimes Bill to increase consequences for cattle theft

Gov. Jay Nixon signed House Bill 62 on the morning of July 9, 2009 at the State Highway Patrol Headquarters Crimes Lab in Jefferson City, Mo. This law will go into effect August 28, 2009.

Steve Willard, president of Missouri Cattlemen’s Association, applauds Gov. Nixon for signing the bill. “This is a big step for cattle producers around the state. It is great to see an issue so important to our members be just as important to our governor and legislators. This is a prime example of MCA membership impacting MCA policy.”

This bill, also known as the Omnibus Crimes Bill, raises the penalty for cattle theft from a class C to a class B felony, which requires a sentence of 5-15 years in prison. It will also require the convicted persons to serve a minimum of 80% of their sentence.

Under this bill, veterinarians must open any record of the livestock to be inspected by the department of agriculture to determine the origin and destination of that animal. Cattle theft has become a large problem in Missouri. Since 2004, over 3,300 head of cattle have been stolen and over $1.2 million in property, panels, 4 wheelers, trucks, trailers, and cattle have been stolen.

Opinion: Training Session Provides EPA Officials with Biodiesel Facts

by the Missouri Soybean Association
Officials from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) were on hand for a biodiesel training session intended to educate decision makers on a controversial issue that could significantly impact the U.S. biodiesel industry. Representatives from the Kansas City and St. Louis Regional Clean Cities partnered with the Kansas Soybean Commission and the Missouri Soybean Merchandising Council to address a proposed ruling made by the EPA that would revise the expanded Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS-2). The session began in a soybean field and included a bus tour to a soybean processing facility and biodiesel plant. "We wanted to be able to show every step of the biodiesel process from the field to the tailpipe," said Dale R. Ludwig, executive director and CEO of the Missouri Soybean Merchandising Council. "Sometimes people need to see something firsthand before they can truly understand it. We hope this educational session will help government officials make informed decisions regarding biodiesel." The EPA ruling calls for indirect land use change to be included in the calculations used to determine biodiesel's greenhouse gas emissions. In order to qualify for use in the RFS-2, biofuels must demonstrate an ability to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 50 percent compared to petroleum-based fuels. Studies have shown biodiesel easily meets that goal by reducing lifecycle carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas, by 78 percent compared to conventional diesel fuel. When indirect land use calculations are applied, biodiesel's emission reductions fall below the 50 percent threshold. The indirect land use theory is based off the assumption that an increase in production of biodiesel in the United States results in the deforestation of Brazil and other countries to plant more crops to make up for demand. This assumption penalizes biodiesel for the release of carbon from trees that have been cut down. However, statistics from the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Foreign Agricultural Service show deforestation in the Amazon Rainforest has actually decreased since 2004, when U.S. biodiesel production began to increase significantly. "There's a great deal of uncertainty regarding the calculations the EPA is using in the indirect land use formula that render it suspect," said Kevin Herdler, executive director of the St. Louis Clean Cities chapter. "You've got to be sure of all the facts when you're making a decision of this magnitude. At this point, it would appear the methodologies the EPA is using to determine the impact of indirect land use are flawed." The EPA is currently accepting public comments regarding its proposed ruling on the RFS-2. The deadline to submit comments is Sept. 25, 2009. The EPA requests that comments on this issue be identified by Docket ID No. EPA-HQ- OAR-2005-0161. Comments can be e-mailed to

Gov. Nixon signs bill to protect Missouri families from sudden foreclosures

Gov. Jay Nixon today signed House Bill 836 & 753 into law to protect Missouri families from sudden foreclosures during these difficult economic times.

Under the new law, tenants of a residential property must be given written notice when the property has been foreclosed. If the new owner plans to seek possession of the property, the current tenants must be given at least 10 days from the date of notice to vacate the premises.

Previously, notice of foreclosure was only given to the owner of a residential property and often was not passed on to tenants legally residing at the property. This caused many families to be evicted without notice, and in some instances, without alternative housing arranged.

“During these difficult economic times, more and more homes and properties are being foreclosed every day,” Gov. Nixon said. “This bill will help to ensure vital protections for those who rent their homes. The impact that a sudden foreclosure can have on a family is devastating and cannot be ignored. This bill will make a real difference for Missouri families.”

The bill received overwhelming, bipartisan support in both the Missouri House of Representatives and the Senate. In each chamber, the bill passed unanimously.

The Governor delivered remarks and signed the bill during a luncheon at the annual conference of the Missouri Legislative Black Caucus in Kansas City.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Jack Remembers for 7-15-09

by Jack Hackley
Somebody please help and tell me what I have missed out on. I try to watch the evening national news. I prefer Brian Williams on NBC. On a Thursday night when I turned on the news, Brian Williams announced there was breaking news that Michael Jackson had died and for virtually the rest of that newscast, it was about Michael Jackson. I flipped the channel to ABC, same news there, and on CBS with Katie Curik. The next night and all weekend, it was the same thing except now they are saying that Michael Jackson was the greatest singer and dancer who ever lived. Whoa! Wait just a minute. These are the same stations that told us he was a child molester.
If I am not mistaken, Bing Crosby sold somewhere between 500 million and 900 million records back when no one had any money to buy them. "White Christmas" alone has sold 100 million and still selling strong. Not only that, Crosby won an Oscar for his role in the movie "Going My Way". Let’s don’t forget Frank Sinatra who had a few hits himself and also won an Oscar for best supporting actor in one of my favorite movies, "From Here to Eternity". Of course, my favorite singer was Hank Williams who I watched at the Ivanhoe Temple sing the number one song on the Hillbilly Hit Parade, "Lovesick Blues".
I also liked Earnest Tubb, Hank Snow, and in my drinking days ran in to Red Foley in a bar in Springfield and had a few drinks. Of course one of the all time greats was Eddie Arnold, who probably had more songs on the charts than anyone else since he recorded for 62 years, never drank, smoked, and remained married to the same woman. The greatest in my lifetime besides Bing Crosby would have been Elvis Presley. Elvis sold a billion records even though he got drafted in the Army and spent two years of his life in the Third Armored Division in Germany. Ironically, that Division’s photographer was Richard Deason, a brother to Beth Fulks, who owns Broadway Grill in Oak Grove, and also helps me prepare my articles. Richard photographed Elvis several times.
Michael who?
Jack can be reached at PO Box 40, Oak Grove, MO 64075 or

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Sheridan High School Classes of 1966-1976 Reunite

After a few years of talking and planning, a reunion celebrating the last 10 graduating classes of Sheridan High School finally became a reality. The reunion was held at the community hall in Sheridan the evening of June 27th.
Those in attendance included the following:
1976-Ricky Welch - Parnell MO
Ed Morrow - Pickering MO
1975-Doug Allee - Sheridan MO
Don Lantz - Harlan IA
Renee Morrow Smyser - Maryville MO
1974-Rick Morrow - Sheridan MO
Steve Smyser - Grant City MO
Roger Ridge - St Joseph MO
Chandra Allee Hopkins - Sheridan MO
1973-Mike & Linda Smyser Scott - Grant City MO
Stephen Allee - Overland Park KS
1972-Kathy Rowe Ruiz - Sheridan MO
Connie Randle Wonderly - Sheridan MO
1971-Joan Randle Osmon - Albany MO
Linda Dowis Marsh
Janet Scott Gladstone -- Moberly MO
1970-Sherry Rowe Evans - Sheridan MO
Stephen Wake - Shenandoah IA
Bob Fletchall - Kansas City MO
Bob Henry - Bedford IA
Alan Welch - Parnell MO
1969-Larry Anderson - Maryville MO
Jessie Ridenour - Maryville MO
Debbie Davis Pettit - Mt Ayr IA
1968-Sharon Scott Rawlings - Columbia MO
1967-Eddie Troutwine - Plattsburg MO
1966-Larry Musick - Hopkins MO
Jay Sanders - Parnell MO
A special invitation was issued to David Parman, class of 1965 - Sheridan MO
Guests included Ruby Allee, Larry Marsh, Paul Dowis, Pat Musick, Bonnie Sanders, Marcha Anderson, Dean Pettit, Grace Morrow, David Evans, Larry Osmon, Peggy Lantz and Kathy Troutwine.
Plans were made for another reunion next year during Defiance Days again. All classes from the 60's and 70's are invited.

Range of Corn Development Found Across Northwest Missouri Fields

Range of Corn Development Found Across
Northwest Missouri Fields

There is a wide range of corn planting dates across Northwest Missouri. Corn plants range from emergence to silking.
Late planted corn generally has issues of poor weed control and need for fertilizer. If products were applied earlier, the weed control products are now losing control. Also, fields that have been delayed from wet soils also face the need for additional nitrogen fertilizer.
At the Graves-Chapple Demonstration Farm, the south part of the farm was saturated with standing water during the spring. We applied supplemental nitrogen to this area as much of the nitrogen denitrified or was leached deeper into the soil. The plants have responded to additional nitrogen compared to the checks so we are maintaining our yields.
Early planted corn especially along the west side of the region looks extremely good. Corn is dark green and moving along in forming kernels.
Growers, who are considering applying fungicides and herbicides, should do so according to the label. Research from Purdue indicates that adding surfactants before tassel emergence can impact ear development. Also some herbicides can also cause the same type of injury.
Also, be careful when applying products to avoid drift onto any adjacent crops. We want to progress through the growing season without any issues.
Corn insect problems have been few. We are currently trapping for Western Bean Cutworm at the Graves-Chapple Farm and have only captured a few moths. We are looking at four different types of traps to determine which may work best.
For more information, contact Wayne Flanary at 660-446-3724 or Heather Benedict at 660-425-6434, Regional Agronomists with the University of Missouri Extension.