Monday, August 31, 2009

Tigers Get 5th Place Trophy After Princeton Forfeit

Worth County dropped two games at the Albany Tournament Saturday, but claimed the 5th place trophy after picking up a forfeit win against Princeton after the latter team decided not to show up for their 3:00 game following their 6-5 loss to Albany, a team that had only won two games last year. The Tiger players and fans wound up waiting three hours for a game that never happened as their last game ended at 12:00 and their 5th place game had been scheduled for 3:00 p.m.

If anyone had a right to claim that they were shafted, it was Worth County, who was put in the same bracket with two powerhouse teams in Gallatin and North Harrison. The Tigers went down to Gallatin 13-2 in their first game after they had led 2-1 after two innings of play. That was quite a comedown for the Tigers offensively after they had hung 41 runs on North Nodaway and 15 on North Andrew. The Tigers and Bulldogs have played several extra inning games in recent years, but Worth County struggled against the always tough Gallatin squad. Then, they had to face a North Harrison squad which had beaten them 10-0 in districts and which had launched one shot after another over the short Stanberry fence. This time, they made a game of it after being on the ropes early before they fell to the Shamrocks 8-5. "The scoreboard didn't show it, but I was proud of the way the girls played Saturday," said assistant coach Amy Jackson, helping with the team again after a two-year hiatus. Freshman Casey Smyser made her first-ever start for the Tigers; she pitched strongly for the first two innings, got in a lot of trouble in the middle innings, but then got stronger as the day wore on to keep Worth County in the game and give them a chance to win.

The Shamrocks seem to find power pitchers year in and year out, and this year was no exception. They also featured Morgan Hallock, one of the top catchers and hitters in the area; her arm preserved a subsequent 5-4 upset of Gallatin as she threw out two runners at second in the late innings to preserve the win. Hallock led off for the Shamrocks against Worth County and she took advantage of a fielding lapse to go to second as centerfielder Brooke Adams' throw was wild and rolled all the way to the first base fence as Hallock took second. She advanced to third on a bunt and scored on a wild pitch to score North Harrison's first run of the day.

But Worth County came right back thanks to some fielding lapses by the Shamrocks. Brooke Adams reached first on a dropped fly ball by the right fielder and Ashley Reynolds walked. Brooke Adams then took third on a delayed steal and then Ashley Reynolds took second as the throw went to third in an unsuccessful attempt to retire Adams. Amanda Downing then grounded out to score Adams and Delaney Davidson beat out an infield single as the shortstop knocked down a sharp grounder but didn't have a play.

North Harrison could not get anything going in the second as Tiger catcher Rebecca Moore picked a runner off of first, but they erupted for six in the top of the third. Smyser struggled to start off the third as she walked three batters and Brooke Gilland dropped a force throw to third base as she was covering on a bunt. That let in one run and two more scored on wild pitches. A sacrifice bunt scored another; Gilland threw a grounder into the first base dugout to let in another, and a single accounted for North Harrison's sixth run of the inning. That made it 7-2 and it looked like the Gallatin game all over again.

But Worth County answered North Harrison's outburst with one of their own. Brooke Gilland beat out a grounder to short and Ashley Reynolds reached on an error as the centerfielder misjudged a fly ball and it dropped behind her for a two-base error. Gilland scored on a wild pitch and Amanda Downing singled between third and short to plate Adams and make it 7-4. Delaney Davidson singled past a diving shortstop to put her on first and Downing on second with one out. But a bizarre double play that was made in conflict with the rules killed Worth County's momentum. Tonya Troutwine hit a pop fly that dropped in and, assuming there was no call, the Shamrocks threw to third to force Downing out. Downing went into the dugout thinking she was out and then the plate umpire called it an infield fly, meaning that Troutwine was out as well. The decision was made in conflict with the rules since the infield fly had taken away the force play at third.

Smyser pitched into some more trouble in the fourth as she walked three batters and hit another and let in Hallock with yet another wild pitch. That made it 8-4, but the Tigers got out of the inning when Gilland alertly threw to third for a force play for the third out. Worth County got another run with a two out rally as Smyser and Adams singled to center and Brooke Gilland drove Smyser in with a single down the left field line to make it 8-5.

North Harrison could not score in the fifth as Moore threw her second runner out stealing for the game. But Worth County couldn't take advantage in their half; Delaney Davidson walked with one out and Bailey McPike singled with two outs. But Moore grounded out to end the threat. Smyser got stronger as the game progressed as she struck out the side in the top of the sixth. But the Tigers went down in order in their half of the sixth as well.

The Shamrocks tried to get some insurance runs in the top of the seventh, as they got runners on second and third with two outs and Morgan Hallock coming to the plate. But Smyser struck out Hallock for the third out of the inning and Worth County was still in the game. Ashley Reynolds hit a pop fly single that dropped in as the Shamrocks were playing her deep to lead off the seventh. Amanda Downing forced her at second but back to back Shamrock errors loaded the bases with one out. But Paige McPike grounded into a force at home and Moore grounded out to the pitcher to end the game.

Tigers Shake Off Ragged Start, Down West Nodaway 52-6

Worth County shook off a ragged start that included nine penalties and typical first-game jitters as they beat West Nodaway 52-6 Friday night behind the running of Barrett Baker and Eli Mullock and the passing of Zach Harmening. Coach Chuck Borey said after the game that they needed to work on reading their keys as well as keeping away from penalites. "Everyone has a part on this team," he said. He told the players they needed to push it harder in practice, saying that getting in 1/2 hour of all-out conditioning would be worth more to them than five hours of conditioning at half effort. He said that they needed to start out quicker in next week's game at Nodaway-Holt, saying that the Trojans were much stronger this year and that they had everyone back from last year's team. "The year we went back to state, they led us at half," he said. He said that the longer they kept any team in the game, the better chance that team would have of winning the game.

On the offensive side of the ball, the Tigers overcame a holding penalty following a long return from Barrett Baker that put them at their own 37. The penalty wiped out a 43-yard touchdown run from Baker and set them second and 15 at their own 32. But Josh Wagner caught a flat pass for eight yards and then Baker's 10-yard run to the Rocket 30 off a Wyatt McClain block got them out of the hole. Baker then started off right and then cut back left for a gain of 14 down to the 16; Wagner took a quick hitter up the middle for 6 down to the 10 as the Tigers caught the Rockets overreaching on defense. Barrett Baker then took a power sweep for a gain of 5 as he got a block from Josh Wagner and then followed a surge by the line up the middle for the touchdown with 9:14 left in the first quarter. Baker took a dive play and jumped to the outside for the extra points to make it 8-0.

But West Nodaway came right back following a long return to the Tiger 39 and used the favorable field position to score. They used an eight play 39 yard drive and mixed up sweeps and short passes to get in. But Mitch Andrews broke up the extra point pass, which left the Tigers up 8-6 with 6:13 left in the first quarter. The sloppy play continued on the kickoff as Baker apparently returned it for a touchdown, only to have it called back when someone who was not even part of the play held on the return. That moved the Tigers back to their own 16. Worth County went to the air to get down the field as Eli Mullock took a short pass and ran with it for 30 yards down to the West Nodaway 30. Two plays later on third and seven, Barrett Baker's nine yard dive play took it down to the 18 and then Zach Harmening aired it out to Mullock, who was all alone for the score. On the extra point pass, Harmening faked right and threw to the left corner of the end zone, where Alex Harmening caught it for the score to make it 16-6 with 3:34 left.

The next series was much better for the Tigers as Dallas Greenland flew down the field to bury the Rocket return man at their own 9. West Nodaway only gained five yards in three plays and were forced to punt. The ensuing punt was a short kick that gave Worth County good field position at the Rocket 37. Baker shot through a big hole up the middle for a gain of 15 yards down to the 22, but a holding on the next play brought it back to the 32. Baker took a sweep and weaved in and out of traffic for a gain of 11 to the 21; two plays later at the beginning of the second quarter, Zach Harmening aired it out to Alex Harmening for a strike that made it 22-6.

The hard hitting continued on the next defensive series as Jordan Harding was the next Tiger to lay the hurt on the Rocket return man. Two plays later, Josh Wagner intercepted a tipped pass and returned it four yards to the Rocket 19. Wagner then took a counter play and juked and faked his way down to the five for first and goal. Two running plays only netted two yards and a false start brought it back to the 8 for third and goal. But Zach Harmening threw a play action pass to Alex, who broke a tackle and made it into the end zone for Worth County's fourth score of the evening to make it 28-8 with 9:20 left.

West Nodaway used a 30-yard sweep thanks to some poor tackling to threaten again as they moved the ball down to the Tiger 28. But after a three yard gain, Josh Wagner shot through and got the initial hit as the Tigers ganged up on a running play to force third and long. Then, Barrett Baker shot up the middle and got a sack to force fourth and 20. A substitution infraction penalty made it fourth and 20 at the 38 and a short pass could only net six yards, giving the Tigers the ball back on their own 32.

Barrett Baker dove through and ran into a wall after picking up five and the Josh Wagner took a counter sweep for 12 and then the ref tacked on a five-yard facemask penalty own to the Rocket 25. Two plays later, Coach Chuck Borey inserted Eli Mullock in at runningback and he responded by outrunning everyone for a 26-yard touchdown. Mullock ran in the extra points as well to make it 36-6 with 5:02 left.

West Nodaway started off at their own seven thanks to a fumbled kickoff, but then they got their option game going and started clicking, moving down the field. They marched down the field to the Worth County 10, where they had first and goal. But then a false start moved them back to the 15 and then the West Nodaway quarterback fumbled thanks to pressure up the middle. Brian Hall caught the ball in midair and returned it 65 yards the other way for the score as Worth County thwarted any comeback aspirations from West Nodaway; that made it 44-6. With time running out in the half, West Nodaway could not mount a drive and the Tigers went into halftime with a 44-6 lead.

The Rockets went three and out to start the second half and then a short kick gave the Tigers good field position on their own 35. Two penalties and a busted play moved the ball back to their own 20 but then Eli Mullock took a pitchout and outran everyone for the score. Barrett Baker caught the extra point pass to make it 52-6 with 9:03 left in the third and end the game on the 45-point rule.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Northeast Can't Erase Eight-Run Deficit Against Mustangs

Once again, Northeast Nodaway fell into a big hole as they trailed 8-0 to North Nodaway after two innings. But as Coach Rex Wallace said, "They have a lot of heart." He was not merely trying to sugarcoat a 13-5 loss to South Nodaway; he was stating fact. The Bluejays made things interesting against the Mustangs, rallying to trail 8-7 before North Nodaway got three insurance runs in the top of the fifth. Northeast had another rally in them as they plated two runs in the bottom of the fifth, but they fell short, falling to North Nodaway 11-9. The loss was their second of the Northeast Nodaway tournament, which meant that they played in the consolation game Saturday.

Emily Bryant started on the mound and ran into trouble right off the bat. Northeast committed seven errors in the first two innings of play and North Nodaway took full advantage. Ali Ramsey reached when her sharp grounder went under Rachel Runde's legs at third. Paige Baker walked, moving her to second; Natasha Blackford singled. However, Sarah Fox got the ball in from left field quickly and the relay throw got Blackford at the plate for the first out. But singles from Morgan Wood and Nikki Larabee plated the first two North Nodaway runs and then Mallorie Peters couldn't corral Sara Frueh's slap hit at second, leading to another run to make it 3-0.

Like the South Nodaway game, Northeast was never able to get the big hit until it was too late. A single from Rachel Runde and a pair of two-out walks from Hallie Oelze and Blair Schmitz loaded the bases, but Sarah Fox popped out to end the threat.

Sarah Fox dropped Samatha Smyser's fly ball for a two-base error to start the North Nodaway second. Ali Ramsey grounded out to Runde at third and Smyser broke for third; Dougan's return throw was wild, allowing Smyser to score. Baker walked and back to back singles from Natasha Blackford and Morgan Wood scored a run. Taylor Miller hit a grounder than Hallie Oelze muffed at short and then Fox booted at left; that scored two more runs for the Mustangs. The errors kept coming as Mallorie Peters mishandled Sarah Frueh's slap, making it 8-0. That chased Bryant from the mound and Coach Rex Wallace shuffled his defense trying to find a combination of players that would field the ball solidly behind the pitching. "The pitching and catching are our strengths," he said. "We need to find a defense behind our pitchers." Dougan came on in relief and pitched strongly, allowing Northeast the chance to make a game out of it. The fielding behind her did better as well. Dougan struck out Breana Chesnut to end the second and Northeast finally started hitting the ball.

The Bluejays used a two-out rally to finally get on the board in the second. Kristan Judd and Emily Bryant walked on eight pitches and Rachel Runde hit a shot off the third baseman's glove that went for a single and loaded the bases. Taylor Dougan then walked in a run and then Hallie Oelze hit a pop fly double down the left field line that scored Dougan and Runde to make it 8-3.

Coach Wallace shuffled his defense again, putting Runde at second and putting Katrina Freemeyer at third. North Nodaway got runners on first and third with one out, but Natasha Blackford flied out to leftfielder Sarah Fox, whose fielding became stronger as the game went on; Fox's strong throw kept a run from scoring. Wood grounded out to third to end the threat. Northeast scored two more in the fourth to make it 8-5; Freemeyer walked and Allison Carter hit a grounder to third that she threw away for a three-base error, scoring Freemeyer. Kristan Judd grounded out to short, scoring Carter.

Aided by a pair of strikeouts by Taylor Dougan in the top of the fourth, Northeast was able to keep North Nodaway off the scoreboard and make things interesting. Rachel Runde reached on an error when the third baseman got played by a hop. Taylor Dougan, trying to bunt her over, popped out but Hallie Oelze got hit by a pitch. Blair Schmitz and Sarah Fox walked to score Runde and then Katrina Freemeyer singled in Oelze to make it 8-7.

North Nodaway finally got going and bunched together four consecutive singles for a run; Dougan then got wild and walked in a run and hit a batter to force in another to make it 11-7. But she settled down and got a strikeout and then Sarah Fox made a diving catch in left field to take away extra bases that might have let in two or three more runs.

Emily Bryant led off the last inning for Northeast by reaching on an error by the shortstop as she got played by the hop. Rachel Runde singled to left. Taylor Dougan grounded out to advance them and then Hallie Oelze doubled down the left field line to plate Bryant and Runde to make it 11-9. Blair Schmitz popped out to the catcher, but Sarah Fox and Katrina Freemeyer walked to put the winning run on base. But Allison Carter grounded out to end the threat.

Longhorns Take Wind Out of NEN's Sails

Northeast Nodaway was flying high after an impressive 5-1 win over Mercer in which pitcher Taylor Dougan struck out 14 batters. But they came down to earth in the opener of their tournament as they fell to the Longhorns 13-5. "We can't wait until the third inning to get going," said coach Rex Wallace to his charges after the game. Northeast had baserunners in all of their innings, but with the exception of the third, could never get the big hit that would make the game competitive. And twice, they had runners thrown out trying to steal bases to kill rallies.

Emily Bryant started off the Bluejay first with a pop fly single behind second that dropped in for a hit, but she was promptly caught stealing. Rachel Runde singled to right center to restart the inning, Taylor Dougan struck out, and Hallie Oelze walked. But Blair Schmitz struck out to end the threat in the first.

On the defensive side, Northeast had trouble defending against the bunt; they also struggled with making the routine plays at times. They also made some spectacular plays. They made two errors in the first inning as they struggled to defend against South Nodaway's bunting game. Dougan, who only gave up three walks in the Mercer game, walked one and hit another batter; catcher Blair Schmitz threw away a pickoff try to let in two runs, and another scored on an outfield error. The inning could have been worse, but Hallie Oelze fielded a grounder with one out and a runner on second and threw to Rachel Runde at first for the second out. The runner tried to take off for third after the throw, but Runde threw a strike to Bryant at third for the double play. But the damage had been done and Northeast was down 5-0 after one inning.

Freshman Katrina Freemeyer, who showed some pop in her bat during the day, started off the Northeast second with a pop fly double that dropped on the right field line and rolled away from the Longhorn fielders. But she was stranded there as Sarah Fox and Mallorie Peters struck out; Freemeyer tried to steal third, but was thrown out for the third out of the inning.

Two consecutive batters for South Nodaway reached base safely;one when Peters, playing second, failed to cover first. Following a walk, a 3-run double highlighted South Nodaway's six run second that put the game out of reach at 11-0.

Northeast finally got on the scoreboard. Kristan Judd reached on an error when South Nodaway second baseman Marissa VanPelt got shorthopped by a grounder. Bryant then dug out a low pitch and drove it to the center field wall to plate Judd. Bryant then scored on a wild pickoff attempt. Rachel Runde started off Northeast again when she hit a slow roller down the third base line and there was no play. Taylor Dougan hit a pop fly for what should have been the first out of the inning, but everyone froze on it and everyone was safe. Oelze then laid down a perfect bunt down the third base line to load the bases. Blair Schmitz grounded out for a force play at the plate but then Katrina Freemeyer and Sarah Fox walked and Mallorie Peters grounded out to make it 11-5.

South Nodaway plated two more in the top of the fourth and Northeast could not answer; Runde was hit by a pitch, but Taylor Dougan's fly ball to center was caught despite a three-way collision and Oelze grounded out.

Zero Tolerance for Zeros at R-III

Secondary Principal Dale Healy reported on the progress of the school's policy on zeros at the Worth County School Board Meeting last Thursday. Students at Worth County must make up any work in which they get a zero or perform zero quality work in special study halls designed for the purpose. Healy reported that after the policy was implemented last spring, the number of D+ or lower grades dropped by 35%. Now, the school will e-mail parents whose children get zeros, which Healy said will create more parent-school interventions for students who need it.

Teachers Todd Simmons and Tish Warner reported on the work that they were doing with their students. Simmons reported on some of the testing that he did on students in his Physical Education Classes. Warner reported on the way she was teaching students to recognize the difference between observations and inferences. Among other things she was doing included having the students write obituaries about her based on objects that she brought from home and having the class use the "whole class inquiry method." This method involves the teacher giving the class a project and then having the whole class work on the project with as little teacher direction as possible.

The board voted to set the tax levy at $3.52, of which 28 cents will go into Fund 2.

The student balances were zeroed out from the previous school year. Board member Jeff Andrews said that it would be a good idea to figure out ways for the school to break even or make a profit on athletics. Possibilities would include cutting supplies or having an activity fee for participation, none of which the board wanted to do. Another alternative was raising the price of admission. The Tiger Club donates money for uniforms, but there is no corporate sponsorship; that was looked at as another possibility. Some schools set up their gyms as places for community activities and then charge for them. Superintendent Matt Robinson said that there used to be good money from Coke or Pepsi for such programs, but that they had cut back since schools had started restricting the use of vending machines during school hours.

The board voted to go into closed session to hire some substitute teachers and some athletics assistants. The board voted to add Gidget Funk, Jerry Hynes, Elisa Houts, Katie Hayes, and Judy Hayes to the substitute teacher list. The board also voted to hire Adam Beatty as assistant junior high softball coach for the 2009-2010 school year. The board also voted to approve Todd Simmons as volunteer junior high assistant coach and Andy Ross as volunteer assistant football coach.

Elementary Principal Nancy Lewis reported that 17 families and 64 total people attended the Kindergarten Picnic at the Pool Park to meet the students and their families and for the families to meet each other on August 7th. Lewis attended the Back to School Fair on the 7th as well. She reported on the numbers of students attending elementary; Mary Chapman will be teaching 23 kindergarten students and will have an aide. Dianne Koehler and Patty Lischer will teach 24 first graders; each will have 12. The school will have two new first graders this year. Jackie Findley will have 15 second graders and Vonda Runde 16; there will be one new second grade student. Jodi Lawrence will teach 26 third graders and Selina O'Connor will be in third grade part time. There will be one new third grade student. Janet Kinsella will teach 15 fourth graders while Leena Hightshoe will have 16; there is one new fourth grader this year. Ginny Quick will have 13 fifth graders while Farrah Richey will have 12. Kelley Ross will have 14 sixth graders while Trisha Ross will have 13.

The board approved a resolution approving the bylaws for Midwest Public Risk of Missouri, formerly MARCIT, which insures the school's group health policy. Passage of the resolution was required for continued participation in the plan. The school switched to the plan as a means of controlling what they saw as growing health insurance costs; switching to a group plan would minimize the risks for the insurance company due to the larger pool to insure from. The company changed its name in order to emphasize the regional nature of its business; it has recently moved into Kansas and gotten its license to do business there.

The board adopted a code of ethics governing conflicts of interest by board members. The policy states that the proper operation of government requires that public officials and employees be "independent," "impartial," and "responsible to the people." It requires elected and appointed officials to comply with Missouri law regarding conflicts of interest and requires disclosure of "substantial or private interests" in measures, bills, orders, or ordinances that are proposed or pending before the school board. The policy sets forth requirements on how members must disclose conflicts of interest and when they are required to file such conflicts.

The board adopted a transportation plan for the new school year. The transportation plan states that students who live beyond 1/2 mile from the school will be transported at district expense. Students living one mile of more will be transported at district expense with approximately /46 of the cost reimbursed by the state. Stops will be designated in towns for pickups; Grant City students who live east of Main Street, west of Highway 169, south of Highway 46, and whose homes border Main Street will not be transported.

A new change this year is that all motorists are now required to stop at the south end of East Avenue. At the request of Superintendent Matt Robinson, the city put up the stop sign; Robinson cited safety concerns, saying that there had been too many near-misses at that intersection. Motorists are also required to stop at the crosswalk in front of the school if a pedestrian is attempting to cross the street.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Nursing Home Focuses on Viability, Quality of Life

Administrator Charlie Green and Secretary Jozy Moyer discussed some more changes that the Nursing Home plans to implement in an interview with the Sheridan Express Thursday. The changes are focused on ensuring the long-term viability of the Nursing Home as well as improving the quality of life for residents by creating a less restrictive environment for the residents. Green said that some of the changes were as a result of state mandates; others were a matter of running a business. "There is a lot of stuff that we are doing that is simply a matter of running a business," he said.

The Nursing Home has already made some changes; they have replaced the stoves and remodeled the showers twice. They will get a new van from a state grant in November; the used van that they were recently donated has already led to more independence for residents; residents are able to go to more doctor's appointments and the Nursing Home has taken residents to a lot more community events such as the Draft Horse Pull and the Allendale Rodeo. Previously, they had not been able to do so for fear of the old 1970 van breaking down. In addition, under the grant program, the state owns 80% of the new van, meaning that in eight years or 175,000 miles, the state will likely replace the current van, meaning that the WCCC will not have to wait 20 years to replace their van like last time.

Among other changes that are down the road include the following:

--The boiler system, which has been there for 40 years and has far exceeded life expenctancy, will be replaced with individual heating and cooling systems. This will allow residents to control the heating and cooling in their own rooms and gives residents more control of their own rooms.

--The floor, which was the original floor, will also be replaced.

--The wall between the two therapy rooms will be knocked down and the therapy room enlarged, allowing for a greater variety of exercises for residents and patients doing rehabilitation. It will also allow the WCCC to put in more equipment as well.

--Administrator Charlie Green said that as the result of a new federal mandate, the current railing beds would be replaced with a high-low bed which was adjustable and which could slide up and down. Green said these would be safer and provide more independence for residents than the old beds.

--The employee policy manual is being updated to become more specific and eliminate what Green said were redundancies and contradictory policies. Green said that they were being dated for the first time so that it would be easier to enforce. He said that previously, it was difficult to enforce the policy manual because nobody would remember when policies were put in place. For instance, Green noted that the policy manual has always had a loyalty policy and a dress code, but that they have never been enforced. In the same way, the job evaluation criteria and the performance evaluations were being updated as well.

Work continued on the current projects as well, with painting being done on the rafters in the dining area; the front parking lot is still being worked on while the bidding deadline for the rear parking lot was Friday. Residents or Powers of Attorney (POA's) or other relatives authorized to act on behalf of a resident will vote; when the votes are tallied up in early September, the work on the hallway walls will proceed. Secretary Jozy Moyer said some of the old pictures may go back up while residents have taken others and put in their rooms. She said that the facility would try to balance the wants of residents who wanted old nostalgic art with those who wanted art that looked forward to the future. She said that the location of the birdcage was not set in stone, but that it would be determined after the current dining room and hallway projects were complete.

In addition to renovations, the facility has been focusing on safety with a series of in-service safety meetings with employees. On Thursday, they conducted a training on infection control; one of the main concerns this year will be swine flu, which has been deemed to be a pandemic by the World Health Organization. Other safety trainings will be held in September and November. One will focus on protecting residents' privacy; for instance, employees need to know proceedures to follow so that when they fax information, they fax the information of the patients that they intend to and not fax someone else's information.

Green said that he would gauge interest in a Family Council at the upcoming WCCC Picnic September 3rd and would go from there. He said that the two purposes of a Family Council were to give residents who were not able to voice their opinions a voice through POA's and family members who were able to speak for them. Family Councils would be able to represent the interests of family members and residents who were not able to make their voices known to the board and staff and administration; the final say in decisions would still be with the administration and board. Green said it would be another platform for residents to speak for a non-threatening position. "We want there to be plenty of avenues for communication whether you are a resident or employee or family member," he said. For instance, the WCCC has a suggestion box that people can use to submit their ideas. Suggestions have focused on offering a greater variety of food; the facility has switched to bringing out meals restaurant-style, which Moyer said involves bringing food to residents directly from the kitchen. "It's more like home to bring food to residents directly from the kitchen," she explained.

"We have to keep in mind that there are currently 36 residents and we have to determine all of their wishes and let them speak for themselves," said Moyer. "Everyone has a voice here and there are always going to be different opinions." She said that in the same way, they had to take into account the opinions of all of the employees as well. The WCCC board instituted a salary freeze in 2007 during the height of the financial crisis, but they instituted a new salary scale in July of this year that includes raises for the employees. She said that there is a procedure for employees to resolve problems with their supervisors and go up the chain of command.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Grant City Commits $15,000 Matching Funds for Bath House.

Grant City is in the process of turning in paperwork to the Missouri DNR so that they can forward it to the National Park Service and recommend it for approval. If approved, the National Park Service grant will help construct a new bath house for the pool. The new bath house will replace the old one, which has been deteriorating and leaking. The city would get $75,000 cash from the Missouri DNR; the DNR would reimburse the city for expenses related to the project. The council voted to provide a cash match of $15,000; it will consist of $5,000 each from the general fund, the street light fund, and the park fund for their share of the cash match. The rest of the funds will come from in-kind donations; Mayor Debbie Roach and Janice Borey have lined up the labor for the project. Dick VanVactor will be working on the project; he is currently in the process of designing the floor plan for the new bath house.

The new building will consist of a metal roof and have a concrete block. It will be an estimated 24x40 feet. It will have an outdoor toilet, a storage area, dressing rooms, and a basket room which would double as a concession stand. The city could bid out the concession stand so that outside organizations could raise money. Gina McNeese will go and look at other facilities to get ideas for the project.

The pump at the lift station needed repair; it needs annual repair due to heavy use.

Annette Weeks of Northwest Missouri Enterprise Facilitation (NWMEF) did a presentation to the council. She said that they now have 65 board members; they are a free and confidential resource to businesses in the area. They have monthly brainstorming sessions between business people; they have a 94% success rate in Kansas, where it has been tried in six different regions. They help businesses develop realistic projections. They help both existing and startup businesses. They help with facilitation, introductions, networking, marketing, licenses, finances, and working through ideas. They help people work through ideas and prevent businesses from failing in the first place; Weeks said that sometimes, people realize that their idea is not feasible before they start their business as opposed to starting their business and realizing their idea is not feasible only after getting into mountains of debt.

Economic Developer Charity Austin reported that she sent out sponsorship letters to potential donors for the Worth County Fall Festival. There will be two sides of the square closed from Tuesday through Friday and all four sides will be closed on Saturday. The council voted to sponsor the event and give a $100 donation; events that are sponsored by a county or city are released from liability.

The city is sending out income surveys with their next monthly billing and is looking for an 80% response rate for their CDBG project for the 11-mile water line. The surveys are totally confidential and respondents do not have to put their names on the surveys. The cost of the proposed 11-mile water line will be an estimated $1 million. The maximum that the city can get from a CDBG grant will be $375,000, which means that they have to find other sources of funding; other possible sources of funding are a bond issue on next April's ballot as well as a USDA grant/loan program. The city can bond itself for up to 20% of its assessed valuation depending on the type of bond that is run. It would require a 4/7 majority if held during a primary, municipal, or general election and 2/3 majority if held during a special election. A general obligation bond would tax city property owners while a revenue bond would tax water revenues. The bonds could go through a local bank or they would be picked up by a bonding company.

The first hurdle for the 11-mile water line replacement would be the income surveys; the next hurdle would be getting a preliminary engineering report done. The council voted to bid that out and set a bidding deadline of October 15th.

The council took no action on joining the Northwest Wholesale Water Commission. If they were to join, the city would appoint a representative to attend the meetings. City Attorney David B. Parman said that the concept was good, but that he feared that the city might get stuck with having to raise rates or taxes to pay for everything. On the one hand, they would not have to worry about a treatment plant or buying needed chemicals. On the other hand, the city would have to tax issues that 20 other entities would have to and that it would be very difficult for the city to get out. But Parman said that the city might not have a choice, given that he said that the DNR was getting difficult to deal with due to increased regulations and given the fact that if they were to join down the road, they would have to play catch-up. Parman said that they were about 10-15 years from seeing any water out of the partnership and that some day, the country and world would be faced with a water shortage. The partnership would have to go through the Public Service Commission for any rate hikes like current utility companies do. The council took no action on the proposal and will revisit joining the commission at their September meeting.

There were two first notices sent by Code Enforcement Officer Patsy Worthington; there were three second notices and 15 verbal conversations. Once case was referred to Parman for prosecution.

Public Works Director Carl Staton reported that the city had dug a trench for the pipes for the new concession stand at the ball diamond. There was a four-inch main broken on 5th; a service line on Farwell was broken due to a lightning strike. There was a service line broken near the old K.E. Thompson residence. The city had gotten complaints about brown water; however, all of the samples that they sent in for testing showed that the magnesium, phosphate, and alkalinity levels were all within DNR regulations. Staton reported that he had completed his training for water and will now begin his training for sewer lines.

Staton reported that he had gotten a complaint about truck parking on north High Street on private property; council members said that the property owner should get a "No Parking -- Private Property" sign and should call law enforcement if the problem continues.

Councilwoman Cathy James reported that there was a light by the basketball courts that burned continuously. There were two requests for stop signs; one came from Superintendent Matt Robinson for a stop sign on the south end of East Avenue; another came from James for the High Street/Lovers Lane intersection which she said was an "accident waiting to happen." City Attorney David Parman said that motorists were required to stop at marked crosswalks if a pedestrian was about to cross it; councilwoman Linda Phipps said that she had observed a motorist drive through the school crosswalk without stopping. James asked about School Bus Road north of the School; Staton said that the city could patch it.

The Nature Trail has been marked off; the next task for the city is to line up volunteer labor to move the dirt. Mayor Debbie Roach and Councilwoman Cathy James will line up volunteer labor for the project while Clerk Ayvonne Morin will coordinate.

City Attorney David B. Parman reported on the progress of the city's efforts to collect franchise fees from phone companies. He said that Northwest Cellular had acknowledged receiving the letter regarding the city franchise fee while Grand River Mutual, Alltell, and Windstream were parties to a lawsuit involving the collection of franchise fees. Since the city has passed an initiative authorizing the city to collect the franchise fees, they are now a party to class action suits involving these three companies.

Fall cleanup day will be October 17th with brush cleanup day set for October 15th and 16th. All brush must be cut in four foot lengths and set beside the road or they will not be picked up.

The council voted to put in a bid to continue doing the Department of Revenue office; should the city not get the bid, the license office would have to move to some other location since Parman said that it would not be a good idea to have someone who is not a city employee have access to the computers.

The council voted to donate a $25 Dollar General Gift Card to the Head Start, which was seeking donations.

Public Works Director Carl Staton reported that a dozen signs were stolen and that it would cost around $200 to replace them. The council voted to commit $2,000 towards the completion of the street sign project, which is part of the Enhanced 911 service. Cities are responsible for signage within city limits while the Emergency Services Board is responsible for signage outside city limits.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Worth County Election Results for August 4, 2009

Brush Control Ordinance:
Yes 331
No 102

Road Rock Levy:
Yes 299
No 136