Monday, September 26, 2011

Football Homecoming Plans Underway

October 7, 2011, marks the day for Worth County Tiger Football Homecoming celebration. “Classic Football Movies” has been chosen by the Student Council as this year’s theme. Scheduled activities on October 7 include a pep rally at 8:15, a parade which will originate in front of the school at 2:15 and arrive on the square for coronation activities at approximately 2:30. In an attempt to expand the day’s activities, the Student Council is extending an invitation to Worth County organizations or groups encouraging them to sponsor an entry in the parade. The student council asks that NO CANDY be DISPENSED DURING THE PARADE. Information regarding entry requirements, parade order and entry judging may be obtained by contacting Dale Healy, 564-2218. A short pep assembly as well as announcements regarding class and float competitions will precede the coronation activities.

The Student Council is sponsoring a Homecoming Window Decoration contest for Worth County businesses and organizations. Any Worth County business or organization may enter the contest by contacting Mr. Healy at school prior to 3:00, Thursday, October 6. The judging will be done between 5:00 and 10:00 Thursday evening. The winning entry will receive $25 from the student council.

The pre-game show on Friday is slated to begin at 6:35 p.m. on the Frank B. Matteson Memorial Field, with the introduction of the queen and her court escorted by their fathers at 6:35. At 6:50 will be the introduction of teams followed by the playing of the National Anthem by the Worth County Marching Tigers. Opening kickoff between the Worth County Fighting Tigers and the West Nodaway Rockets is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. Halftime activities will be conducted.

A dance, sponsored by the student council, will conclude the day’s activities at 11:30. All students, grades 7-12, as well as Worth County alumni are invited to attend. Charge to the dance will be $3.00 per person; $5.00 per couple.

Questions in regard to homecoming activities may be addressed to Jessica Garrett, Student Council President.

2011 Homecoming Royalty are: Queen Candidates – Jessica Garrett, Alexis Hawk, Paige McPike; King Candidates – Jordan Harding, Eli Mullock, Bryson Scott; Junior Attendants – Haven Schottel, Bryce Ross
Sophomore Attendants – Katie Mullock, Andrew Mullock; Freshmen Attendants – Madison Cassavaugh, Gavin Hawk

A special recognition this year goes to the 1981 football team. They will have a float in the parade and be recognized at the game.

We, here at the school, encourage our patrons to take an active role in this year’s Homecoming celebration, whether it is supporting the “Tigers” at the game, sponsoring an entry in the parade, decorating business windows or simply attending the dance. All positive means of support for our school’s celebration will be appreciated.

WCCC News -- Homemade Apple Cider

Shirley Pierce led Sunday School on Sunday morning and Scott Marcum from the Blockton Christian Church provided Church Services Sunday afternoon. The Residents always look forward to these Sunday activities.

Exercise started off our week on Monday September 19th. We played Bingo later in the day and had a very good crowd. Bingo is a favorite of our residents. Becky Supinger and Rachel Downey stopped by later in the afternoon; the residents always enjoy the different stories.

Tuesday morning we had a grab bag game with many Residents participating. In the afternoon we played several games of Dominoes, Howard Burns was the winner.

Homemade butter making was the Wednesday morning activity. We used heavy whipping cream and a stand mixer. We were all a little skeptical about it working but, it did and the butter turned out very well. Bingo was the afternoon activity; Jerry Dignan was the blackout winner. Thank you to Shirley Calhoun for helping with Bingo.

I would like to thank Len Green for leading Bible Study, Thursday morning. Thursday afternoon several residents went for a ride to Allendale and over to the Nation. Residents enjoyed visiting about all of the great music and good times they had at the Nation.

Friday was the first day of autumn we celebrated with homemade apple cider and homemade bread in the afternoon. Shirley Pierce and Karen Fletchall loaned their bred machines to us. This was the first time many of our Residents had seen a bread machine operate. They discussed many of the ways they made bread from scratch. Thank you to Vivian Coleman and Marilyn Shafer for helping Friday afternoon.

We will be having a pumpkin decorating contest later in October for the community. Please watch the paper for details.

Brad Lager's Capitol Report -- Missouri's Challenges & Opportunities

Missouri’s Challenges and Opportunities

Missouri has a strong and proud history of overcoming its challenges and advancing its opportunities. This has led to economic growth and a better quality of life for future generations. However, we once again find ourselves at a crossroad as pivotal decisions need addressed. In order to ensure a bright future for our state, we must be willing to confront the unique and varying challenges faced by our communities.

In many areas of our state, declining population continues to create tremendous challenges as we work to fuel and grow regional economic opportunities. Because of these declines, many of our towns struggle to find the financial resources necessary to upgrade their antiquated public infrastructure while other communities are growing so fast that they cannot expand quick enough to meet the demands for services from their new residents. As a result, they find themselves struggling to maintain the “small town feel” and quality of life that draw people to their communities.

Fortunately, the qualities that make Missouri a great place to live are the same qualities necessary to overcome these challenges. When a problem arises within a community, we come together and work to improve the lives of those around us. Increasingly, we have come to view our challenges as regional issues which often produces a collaborative solution.

Job creation and economic growth continue to be the most pressing concerns throughout our state. If we are going to grow our economy, we must empower entrepreneurs, encourage innovation and invite risk takers into our communities. These new businesses will develop, emerge and fuel our economies. The world around us is changing, and we will need to change in order to be competitive in the economic opportunities of the future. We have a tremendous task in front of us to ensure future generations have the same chance to succeed and the same great quality of life we enjoy today. I believe Missouri’s greatest asset is its people, and by working together towards common goals, we can improve each of our communities and ensure a bright future for all Missouri’s citizens.

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 422, State Capitol Building, Jefferson City, MO 65101.

Missouri community colleges to invest $20 million to train Missourians for health care careers, Gov. Nixon announces

Gov. Jay Nixon announced today that Missouri community colleges will invest $20 million through MoHealthWINS, a statewide effort to educate 4,600 more Missourians for health care jobs and careers. Under Gov. Nixon’s leadership, Missouri’s 12 community colleges and Linn State Technical College collaborated with the Missouri Department of Economic Development and the state’s Workforce Investment Boards to apply for these federal funds to retrain unemployed Missourians for jobs and careers in growing health care fields.

The colleges estimate that MoHealthWINS will provide educational opportunities for approximately 4,600 additional Missourians. The grant specifically targets unemployed adult learners who are seeking new career opportunities.

“From the moment I became Governor, we have worked closely with Missouri’s outstanding community colleges to train more Missourians for the jobs and careers of tomorrow and to get folks back to work,” Gov. Nixon said. “Missouri’s health care industry is growing quickly, and hospitals, clinics and other employers need more nurses, lab techs and other workers with the right education and skills today. By expanding educational opportunities for Missourians in these fields, we’ll open the door for employment for more folks and keep our economy growing. This is a strategic investment in the growth of our economy and the future of our state.”

Individual colleges will use these funds to develop or expand training programs in the health services and health sciences industry, which is a targeted industry under the Missouri Strategic Initiative for Economic Growth. The application focused on this industry because it offers immediate and long-term employment opportunities and relatively high-wage jobs. Training will target specific occupations within this industry, including:

n Health information technologist

n Information systems

n Certified nursing aide

n Certified medical technician

n Licensed practical nurse

n Associate nursing degree

n Pharmacy technician

n Hearing instrument technician

n Medical lab technician

n Phlebotomist

n Radiologic technician

n Maintenance technician

n Mechanical technician

These competitive funds were made available under the U.S. Department of Labor’s Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training Grant Program. When the grant process was announced, Gov. Nixon brought Missouri’s community colleges together to submit a joint, comprehensive application. In the application, the colleges looked for ways to develop collaborative and targeted programs that would capitalize on the unique resources of each college, avoid duplication, and save money. Colleges will share equipment and faculty, emphasize online and distance learning and take other steps to expand access, improve efficiency and reduce redundancy.

Throughout the application process, senior leaders within Gov. Nixon’s administration worked closely with community college and Workforce Investment Board leaders to develop and craft the grant application. In April 2011, Gov. Nixon submitted a strong letter in support of the application, noting that this investment supplemented his “Big Goal” for higher education: Increasing the percentage of Missourians who hold a postsecondary credential from 37 percent to 60 percent by 2020. Gov. Nixon also discussed the importance of this application directly with federal leaders, including Education Secretary Arne Duncan.

“This grant is a major step forward for our community colleges in our efforts to expand opportunities for adult students across this state,” said Zora Mulligan, executive director of the Missouri Community College Association. “Throughout this process, Gov. Nixon has been a steadfast partner, and his leadership was instrumental in making our application so successful. We look forward to continuing to work closely with Gov. Nixon and with the state’s Workforce Investment Boards to turn this grant into real learning opportunities for folks in every corner of Missouri.”

Gov. Nixon will visit several community colleges in the coming days to detail specific programs that will be developed or expanded as a result of this grant.

A copy of Gov. Nixon’s letter in support of the application is available here


A copy of the application summary with information about specific programs is available here


Sunday, September 25, 2011

Obituary -- James Ivan Nally 1921-2011

James Ivan Nally, 90, passed away Wednesday, September 14, 2011 at St. Francis Hospital, Maryville, MO.
He was born January 23, 1921 in Hopkins, MO, the son of Willa Frances (Knowles) and Moses Earl Nally. Ivan married Virginia Lee Magill on August 30, 1946 and she preceded him in death in 2001. Ivan was a graduate of Northwest Missouri State University, Maryville. He served in World War II from 1942-1946 in the Coast Guard in Alaska and was stationed in Fort Collins, CO until his discharge. After his discharge from the Coast Guard, he retired from the Scottsdale, Arizona school system as a purchasing agent.
Also preceding him in death were brothers, Norvel Nally and Knowles Nally and sister, Ethel Evans.
Survivors are son, Jim (Christine) and three granddaughters, Richardson, TX, grandaughter, Dawn, State of Nebraska, brother and sister-in-law, Raymond and Helen Nally, Delaware, OH and many nieces, nephews and special friend, Margery Lemon, Lenox, IA.
Ivan loved country music, dancing and playing cards.
He has been cremated under the direction of Bram-Danfeldt Funeral Home and a Memorial Service will be held at a later date.

National Head Lice Prevention Month

The non-profit National Pediculosis Association (NPA) has been the annual sponsor of National Head Lice Prevention Month since 1985. NPA initiated Comb First! to help communities safely manage head lice by teaching parents how to screen regularly, detect infestations early, remove all the lice and nits (lice eggs) with an effective combing tool, and most importantly protect children.

A part of its mission, the NPA developed the LiceMeister® comb

in 1997, setting a new standard in nit removal combs and a non-chemical approach to manage pediculosis. NPA’s philosophy? “If you don’t get the lice and nits out of your hair, then you’ve still got them!”

Pediculosis is a communicable disease affecting children and families across the nation and around the world

and the most widely used treatments are pesticides (pediculicides). No pesticide treatment is completely safe or effective and lice resistance to them is common. Screening for head lice and nits is a healthy hygiene measure and not just something to do when you hear of another infested child.

1. Know how to identify lice and nits in advance of outbreaks.

2. Know how to check heads at home so kids can arrive to the group setting lice and nit free.

3. Know your child's school policy

on head lice. Policies vary greatly from school to school. Some parents are given advice to use a lice treatment without any warning that the treatment is a pesticide, with unfair expectations of its effectiveness and without any mention of the benefits of combing. Treatment failure, whatever the reason, leads to repeated pesticide exposures and children are especially vulnerable to the risks

Parents who check their children regularly are first to know when their child is infested.

So Comb First!

NPA's website offers free educational resources and a public service announcement formatted for sharing, including videos with step-by-step instructions for combing and screening, available in English and Spanish.

Founded in 1983, the National Pediculosis Association®, Inc. (NPA) is a non-profit volunteer organization including scientific advisors dedicated to protecting children from the misuse and abuse of readily available over-the-counter and prescription pediculicides. Proceeds from the LiceMeister® comb allow the NPA to be self-sustaining and accomplish its mission to protect children.

NPA's President Deborah Altschuler points to the organization’s long-time commitment to promoting children's health: "Combing is the safest and most cost effective approach that accomplishes what chemicals cannot. It allows regular screening and early detection which makes the combing approach practical and realistic. While chemical treatments, pediculicides, and broad spectrum antibiotics develop resistance and potentially adverse health effects, nothing compares to the kindness of a comb."

General Health Clinic encourages you to speak with your healthcare professional with questions or concerns regarding head lice. 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 and offers Botox® and Juvaderm®. Appointments can be made by calling 660-778-3209.


Monday, September 19, 2011

Hog Farm Controversy Rages On

The debate over the proposed CAFO hog farm south of Grant City raged into its second week as supporters and opponents of the proposal debated before the County Commission meeting Monday. The crowd this week was even larger than the last time as over 40 people were present at the meeting. Brian and Kathy Sherer are proposing to put in a CAFO with 2500-7500 Cargill hogs that would be raised and shipped off to processing facilities. As of Friday, the Missouri DNR had not received a permit application for the facility; they must wait a minimum of 30 days to turn a spade as the DNR reviews their application.

In response, a large group of people have proposed that the county pass a health ordinance regulating CAFO's. David B. Parman said that the goal was not to ban all CAFO's; the goal was for the county to set standards that people should follow. Specifically, he said that it was a matter of determining what the setbacks should be and what the number of hogs should be. The problem, as Chevy Davidson saw, was that it would not be possible to pass such an ordinance without regulating all other farming operations, such as cattle operations.

Both sides came armed with studies; Cargill sent three different representatives to the meeting to address the commission. Davidson quoted a University of Missouri study in which Premium Standard had contributed $1.9 million just to local schools. Worth County only got $2,500 of the pie since there are only six barns on the southern edge of the county. Distribution was spread over much of north Missouri, with Mercer County, where Premium Standard is headquartered, getting almost half of the revenue increase. Davidson said that the economic impact for Premium Standard was around $1.1 billion for the area.

Davidson said that health risks were confined to direct contact and that there were no public health risks regardless of production method. He said that this was a matter of making it possible for farmers to put food on the table for future generations.

The problem for a lot of the opponents of the Sherer facility was the fear that their property values would go down because of the belief that nobody would want to live near such a place. In fact, Josh Nana said that there was a study showing that property values went down by as much as 40% if a CAFO were to move into the area. The facility would be in the new proposed Enhanced Enterprise Zone for the county; however, Commissioner Rob Ruckman said he was not sure if the Sherer farm would qualify.

Mike Sherer, who runs a facility by Bethany, said that this was a matter of bringing grandson Scott back to the area and that it was "terrible the way you were treating him." Sam Martell responded that it was not a personal vendetta that he had but the concern that property values would go down. Mike Sherer responded that he had run 1000 head of hogs all the time when he was younger and that his personal health had actually improved in the last few years since he built his facility.

The Sherer farm would be 3/4 of a mile from the main road and they would inject waste into the ground deep enough so that it would not create an odor problem; they have been in the process of getting easements so that they could do so. Josh Nana said that this was not personal for him and that the Sherers had been good neighbors to both him and his mother, who owns land next to where the facility would be built. But he said that it was a major health issue for the area; for instance, he said that in Iowa, there were 10% higher asthma rates for schoolchildren who live near to such places.

Jerry Foster of Cargill said that the study in question was not peer reviewed and characterized a lot of studies done by opponents as "circular logic." "All they do is quote each other," he said. "You can't go off one study when you do these things." For instance, he said that the study in question didn't control for different situations at the two schools studied that might have affected the data.

Mike Sherer said that odor was not a problem for him and that perfume odor was much more of a problem. "There are places I quit going to because people have too much perfume on," he said. "That's a good point," responded Sam Martell. "You have the option of leaving. People who have to live near one of these places don't have that option."

Brenda Parman said that what the Sherers were doing amounted to taking away property values from other people for their own well-being. "This is not about you," she said. Randall Baker said that if the commission were to do nothing, it would set a dangerous precedent because more and more CAFO's would come in. "We're not willing to gamble our property values in the hopes that this would work," added Martell.

Mike Sherer said that putting up his barn was what kept him in the area. He said that only one of his neighbors ever gave him trouble over the place and that he was not even from the area. "Everyone else knew that it was about farming. This is a farming community," he said.

"But these people are not farmers," said Jerry Roach, referring to Cargill, who would be stocking the facility with their hogs. "They are in it for the money." Mike Sherer said that the alternative was to try to get bigger so that he could compete with giants like Cargill, which he said he could not do.

Herb Petty said that corporate farming was illegal in the state of Missouri. Addressing Brian and Kathy Sherer, he said, "But you're on their contract and doing whatever they are telling you to. This is part of an industrialized takeover of farming." He pointed out that if problems arose with the facility that people would sue them instead of Cargill. Petty said that what they were doing affected everyone. "These people have a whole record of screwing up the environment," he said. Addressing a rejoinder that they dealt with combine odor all the time, Petty noted that combines were not a constant like CAFO's are.

Addressing the studies from the University of Missouri, Petty said that there were just as many other professors who did studies showing that CAFO's were a liability to the state.

Tim Steinkamp of Cargill said that farming hogs could still be done; it was a matter of finding a niche and responding to consumer demand. He said that it was a misconception that Cargill shipped all their food overseas and that the company kept 75% of its food in the US and exported the other 25%.

Steinkamp acknowledged that odor was an ongoing problem and that the company was doing ongoing work to address the problem. While he did not have an exact figure as to how much the company spent, he said that they were involved in several different programs which address odor problems. He said that in places where they were at, there were compliments from neighbors and that with 1/2 mile setbacks from any homes, they did not have a big problem with odors. He said that they would work with local setback requirements. The three barns in Harrison County are around 10 miles apart from each other. He said that there was a big difference between their facilities and the Premium Standard facilities which have been the target of an ongoing lawsuit by the state for the last 15 years. The Sherer facility would have 2400 to 4800 hogs as opposed to the 48000 that Premium Standard houses.

Addressing the danger of gases from such facilities killing people, Jerry Foster said that sort of thing had happened back in the 1970's before CAFO's and that it was an ongoing risk from working in such places. He said that there were studies that cat odor was more toxic that a CAFO one mile away. He said that there were places like Lancaster, PA in which huge chicken barns coexisted side by side with $300,000 homes. In fact, he said that land values went up. However Rhonda Richards said that there was a big difference from Worth County's situation since people were moving from there out of the suburbs of Washington, DC and that land was consequently in high demand. In other words, she said that they were comparing apples to oranges.

Parman said that many health ordinances like the one proposed for the county would require a fee and a cleanup bond in case the project went under. The state has an indemnity fee that they charge in case of abandonment, but Parman said that they had not used it in the last 15 years, meaning that the DNR was very lax when it came to enforcement.

The discussion got heated as Kathy Sherer said that opponents were simply trying to shut them down. "Cargill doesn't care what this community thinks; they don't fit in with us," responded Martell. "You keep using the cattle operations as a defense; that's not a defense," said Brenda Parman. "So you're discriminating against hog operations," responded Brian Sherer. David Parman said that in any health ordinance, existing operations would be grandfathered in and that Linn County and other places were able to work around cattle operations.

Another issue discussed was groundwater contamination. Ann Roach said that when she got up at 5 in the morning, her coffee tasted like hog manure and that they didn't even live that close to the Premium Standard operation. Responding to Kathy Sherer's rejoinder that their operation was different, she asked, "Where does it all end? I have to stand up before one comes on my own doorstep."

The argument continued after the commissioners returned to the meeting room as 15 different people filled the room. Kathy Sherer said that there were adequate safeguards put in place so that groundwater contamination would not be an issue. For instance, both they and the people who they have easements with have to have a manure testing plan filed with the state and that the people applying the waste, out of Mount Ayr, had liability insurance so that would not be a problem. "That's fine that you're going to do the responsible thing, but what about the next people to come in here?" asked Josh Nana.

Dan Yonker of the Missouri Pork Producers Association and a Cargill employee said that farming was different today than it was 30-50 years ago and that the market was becoming more and more specialized. He said that more and more people were wanting lean beef, meaning that these CAFO's were necessary to respond to consumer demand. Yonker said that it was a matter of creating opportunities for people to come back and manage farms and that when they went into Atchison County, it created a huge economic benefit for people that caused a lot of initial opponents to change their minds about the project. However, Nana pointed out that these farms were done on a much bigger scale than the Sherers were proposing and that the benefit would be much less since these facilities have 26000 hogs.

Although Josh Nana said that the DNR was getting 1600 complaints a month about CAFO's, Jerry Foster, who worked for the DNR before going to work for Cargill, said that most complaints that the DNR got were from a small group of people from a small area of the state, whereas these facilities were located all over the state. He said that the DNR's hands were tied to the guidelines given them by the legislature. "It's easy to complain about something, but it's a lot more difficult to substantiate these allegations," he said. Nana said that there had already been objections registered with DNR regarding the Sherer facility, which Foster said was not unusual.

Steinkamp said that there were many counties who had chosen not to go down the path of health ordinances. He said that in that case, they would still be regulated by the state. Josh Nana said that meant that it came down to a question of whether the commission wanted local control or whether they wanted to give up control of the state. "You're the ones in control, not these corporate guys," he said. He said that a better alternative would be for the county to work with the Sherers to find a way that didn't involve CAFO's.