Friday, June 29, 2012

Worth County Compiling Disaster Reports for Drought

A sweltering heat wave has gripped the area and the governor has requested information so that he can declare disasters as needed. Various offices are completing damage reports and sending info regarding the drought to the governor’s office. Temperatures were in the 90’s and 100’s all last week with no end in sight for this week.
Mark Cadle of the Farm Service Agency said that they were trying to secure an emergency release of CRP land. Normally, most CRP land has managed provisions where they can be hayed only once every three years; Cadle said that the FSA is seeking the release of ground that was hayed last year. Cadle said that they were also seeking to get land released for grazing.
One of the difficulties is that the county must have a 40% shortfall in moisture over the last four months. While the county has received little rain in May and June, it still did not necessarily meet the 40% shortfall when March and April were added.

Dare Turns Into Theft Charges

A dare by friends turned into theft charges for Timothy Rippy. Information filed by Worth County Prosecuting Attorney David Baird alleges that on the night of April 20th, Rippy appropriated firearms and miscellaneous property including an AC-15 rifle and a Beretta .40 handgun owned by Tim Adams and Allen and Becky Cameron.
On May 2nd, 2012 at around 4:05 p.m., according to a statement provided by the Worth County Sheriff’s Office, Rippy came to the Worth County Sheriff’s Office and admitted that he had been dared by friends to load a large safe by himself onto his truck, a 1987 GMC. He did so and then broke into the safe with a torch. He wouldn’t say where the safe was, but said that two of the guns in question were seized by the Gentry County Sheriff according to the statement. The statement says that he returned a Model 88 Mav 12-gauge shotgun and a large amount of ammunition to the Sheriff.
Hearing is set for July 9th at 1:30 at the Worth County Courthouse.

Hay Bailer Catches Fire East of Sheridan

A hay bailer owned by Clint Larison caught fire Wednesday (June 27th) evening shortly before 7. Larison was haying for Rod and Debbie Bowers behind their home east of Sheridan when the bailer caught fire and Sheridan fire units and the Worth County Sheriff’s Department were called out. Larison was able to unhitch his tractor and drive it to safety. Nobody was injured in the blaze.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Blockton Woman Seriously Injured in Wreck

A Blockton woman, Sonia Lambson, was seriously injured in an accident Wednesday morning, June 27th. The Missouri State Highway Patrol reports that a 1999 Volkswagen driven by Lambson was southbound on 169 three miles north of Grant City when she crossed the center line, went off the east side of the roadway, struck a field entrance, and became airborne. Upon landing, the vehicle began overturning and came to rest on its wheels off the east side of the roadway facing north. She was taken to the Northwest Medical Center by the Grant City Ambulance. Lambson was wearing a seatbelt at the time of the accident.

Finnegan Reid Lehr

Finnegan Reid Lehr was born to Katie (Groce) Lehr Wednesday, June 27th. He is welcomed by older brother Creighton Davis. Grandparents are Jerry and Laura Groce, formerly of Grant City. Katie is a 1997 graduate of Worth County R-III.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Opinion: Are Americans Not Submissive Enough?

 by Sheldon Richman
Future of Freedom Foundation
If I didn’t know better, I’d have thought New York Times columnist David Brooks was having a laugh at our expense. Alas, Brooks means every word of his column titled “The Follower Problem,” as anyone who reads him regularly will realize.
“I don’t know if America has a leadership problem; it certainly has a followership problem,” Brooks laments. “Vast majorities of Americans don’t trust their institutions.”
Worse than that, he thinks Americans dislike all authority.
We live in a culture that finds it easier to assign moral status to victims of power than to those who wield power.… Then there is our fervent devotion to equality, to the notion that all people are equal and deserve equal recognition and respect.… But the main problem is our inability to think properly about how power should be used to bind and build.… Those “Question Authority” bumper stickers no longer symbolize an attempt to distinguish just and unjust authority. They symbolize an attitude of opposing authority.
I think Brooks is wrong, though I wish he were right. I see little real rejection of political authority. Too bad. We need it.
But let’s assume Brooks is right. Is anti-authoritarianism a problem? You’d have to be a nationalist devotee of intrusive government to think so. Who else would value mindless obeisance to political authority?
Brooks disparages “our fervent devotion to equality” because it’s “hard in this frame of mind to define and celebrate greatness, to hold up others who are immeasurably superior to ourselves.”
Is he kidding? Is he really finding fault with those of us who fail to recognize greatness and superiority in “our political leaders”? (“Misleaders” is a better word.) Where, pray tell, is the evidence of either greatness or superiority in those whom Brooks has in mind? For some reason he doesn’t provide any. He just takes it for granted.
He quotes Dwight Eisenhower, who wrote, “Always try to associate yourself with and learn as much as you can from those who know more than you do, who do better than you, who see more clearly than you.”
That’s good advice, but is Brooks suggesting that our misleaders know more, do better, and see more clearly than the rest of us? Can he give us any reason for that assertion?
Presidents routinely interfere with our lives and authorize the mass murder we call “war.” Members of Congress do equally stupid things, such as passing bills authorizing unaccountable and ignorant bureaucrats to write inane rules about how to manage everything from medical care to the financial industry.
These people get elected not by demonstrating superiority, or even greater-than-average knowledge, but by their facility for setting the right mood for voters. Politics is theater, and politicians are actors. If one portrays a character that enough people find appealing, he or she gets elected.
Of course, that’s not all politicians do. They devote a good deal of time promising new ways to spend other people’s money — money that will be extracted from the taxpayers by threat of violence. They will also borrow money, which means they will create liabilities for future generations that have no say in the matter.
This is greatness? It’s ludicrous to read superiority into anything they do. Nefariousness and condescension are more like it.
Brooks fears the consequences of a general skepticism about authority:
You end up with movements like Occupy Wall Street and the Tea Parties that try to dispense with authority altogether. They reject hierarchies and leaders because they don’t believe in the concepts. The whole world should be like the Internet — a disbursed semianarchy in which authority is suspect and each individual is king.
Again, I wish he were right. But he is far too optimistic. (He’d call it pessimistic.) Neither Occupy Wall Street nor the Tea Party have identified the root of our political and economic problems, and consequently their solutions are not anti-authoritarian enough. But at least they sense something is wrong systemically. That’s a start.
Brooks, on the other hand, thinks it’s not the leaders who need changing so much as those who distrust “their” leaders.
“We have to relearn the art of following,” he writes.
No we don’t. We need to learn the art of living free.
Sheldon Richman is senior fellow at The Future of Freedom Foundation ( and editor of The Freeman magazine.

Jack Remembers -- The Mother Lode

My best friend in grade school was Leon Johnson. He lived in a small house in town, was the oldest of four sisters and one brother. When I was in the fifth grade, we moved to a farm about a mile from town. If neither one of us had to work, Leon would ride out to our farm on Saturday. Back then there was no trash pick up, so people from town would come out to the edge of town to dump their trash. There was a trash dump down the road from our farm where we could always find a few pop or beer bottles and take them to a tavern on 40 Hiway at the Oak Grove intersection called Y Not Eat, run by a guy by the name of Wayne Thompson, who liked both of us. Although some places only gave one to two cents a bottle, Wayne gave us three cents a bottle, which was big bucks back then. We could buy a Polly’s soda pop or a Baby Ruth candy bar for a nickel, and a pack of Wing cigarettes for a dime.
One Saturday, here came Leon flying in the driveway on his bike hollering at me, “Jack come quick! Somebody dumped a huge pile of beer bottles down at the dump.” I jumped on my bike and sure enough, it was a gold mine. The mother lode. We were rich. He stood guard while I went back for the gunny sacks. They were so heavy we had to leave our bikes to drag and carry the sacks full of bottles up to the beer joint. It was hot summer time and we had to stop every hundred yards to cool off and talk about what we were going to do with the money.
Wayne came out to count the bottles and wanted to know if they taught reading where we went to school. He handed me one of the beer bottles and asked me to read on the bottom of the bottle. It said, “No Deposit. Non Refundable Plastic Bottle.” Wayne said, “Boys, it’s something new. Now take these bottles back to the trash dump where you found them. I just threw them in there earlier this morning.”
Jack can be reached at PO Box 40, Oak Grove, MO 64075 or Visit

Japanese beetles rear their shiny heads again on flowers and in fields

Farmers, gardeners and homeowners should keep their eyes peeled for shiny, green and bronze Japanese beetles feeding on the crops, vegetables and flowers.
This insect’s wide variety of food preferences make scouting a necessity.
“Certainly we need to be looking at this point,” said Wayne Bailey, a state entomologist for University of Missouri Extension. “These beetles are gregarious feeders, so if you have one, a lot will come in because they tell others through chemical signals that the food is good in an area. You might have a few in your garden the first year, the next year it might be in the hundreds and then the year after it could be in the thousands.”
Dry weather this year has affected the emergence of mature beetles. While some areas saw Japanese beetles first emerge as early as May, many are seeing populations peak in the last weeks of June.
“Japanese beetles first emerged about three weeks early this year because the warm winter allowed the white grub to emerge earlier,” Bailey said. “In a normal year we’d be having numbers similar to last year, but with this drought we’re not sure if numbers will be similar, higher or lower, but some of our traps are catching substantial numbers.”
The dime-sized green beetle – with bronze wings and white tufts of hair around its shell – feeds on any plant that has a pleasant smell.
“They do eat about 440 different plants, but their favorites include Linden trees and roses,” Bailey said. “They feed high in the plant, out in the sunlight, and can do a lot of damage to trees and ornamentals and shrubs.”
Japanese beetles also can feed on soybean leaves and corn silks, especially in the critical pollination period.
“In corn the economic threshold is three or more insects per ear when pollination is less than 50 percent complete and silks are chewed to less than a half inch from the ear husk, but sometimes you will get 20-30 or more beetles feeding on one ear,” Bailey said. “In soybean the threshold is set at 20 percent defoliation this year because of higher soybean prices.”
Japanese beetles arrived in the United States in the early 1900s, probably in potted irises from their native Japan. They were first found in New Jersey in 1916 and by 1932 had spread to Missouri, where they caused problems with ornamental plants and other crops.
About 10 years ago MU entomologists began seeing Japanese beetles in more rural areas of the state and they are now found in most counties. The insect can fly up to three miles to find a tasty, fragrant meal.
Japanese beetles live for one year. In July, the adults lay eggs, which hatch and develop into white larvae that overwinter in the soil and mature during the spring. They emerge as beetles around mid-June and begin feeding. Each healthy female lays 40 to 60 eggs. Adults live up to 60 days.
Homeowners can fall back on a staple insecticide, powdered Sevin (carbaryl), to combat Japanese beetles, or just pick the beetles off the plant.
“One of the things we discourage is putting out pheromone traps because they will bring in more beetles to your area than what would normally be there, and that can build your numbers faster,” Bailey said. “These beetles typically can move about three miles per year, and it’s very common in an area where you don’t have very many to see numbers climb exponentially from year to year.”
Find current insect numbers in your region from the University of Missouri at
Read more about Japanese beetles and find pesticide recommendations at

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Hayden Sanders, Lilly Richardson Reign at Defiance Days

Hayden Sanders and Lillian Richardson reigned at Old Defiance Days last weekend. Hayden is the daughter of P.J. & Jessica Sanders of Parnell and Lillian is the daughter of Marcy Richardson of Olathe, KS. Friday’s activities were rounded up with a poker run and a karaoke show at Snakebite.
A rainstorm delayed the parade and other festivities for an hour, but the parade got underway at around 11 that morning following a biscuits & gravy breakfast put on by the Sheridan 4-H. It was followed by the Mic-O-Say Tribe’s performance and the 50 State Tribute to America. They rode around the Sheridan Park Square twice.
Ed Jacobs and friends entertained in the afternoon as there were many different events to choose from. An antique tractor pull was held on the 2nd & Lincoln Block northeast of the park while there were ATV races. Sheridan Grocery offered their pizza special. During the evening, people could choose between live music at the tavern and bluegrass music sponsored by the Sheridan Christian Church.
There were many different vendors. The Burns family came from Parnell with their chuckwagon and sold BBQ while there was an ice cream stand at the northwest corner of the park along with Jim Harrell’s yard sale. John and Lisa Hargrave came and sold their honey. Volleyball was held in the park with teams battling it out until the evening. An exotic bird show was held, with exotic birds of all different colors, some quite rare; there was also a huge owl as well. Sheridan Christian Church and the Sheridan United Methodist Church both sold baked goods. Lunch was provided by the Worth County Cub Scouts.
Festivities were concluded Sunday with a church service in the Sheridan Park sponsored by the Sheridan Christian Church along with a ranch rodeo at the new rodeo grounds in the afternoon. The new rodeo grounds got their first workout with the 180 races and the Ranch Rodeo.

Worth County School Board Agenda

Closed session pursuant to Section 610.01, 610.021, 610.022 RSMO to discuss students (subsection 6 & 14), personnel matters (subsection 3 & 13), and legal action.

1.     Call to Order       
2.     Approval of Agenda       
3.     Pledge of Allegiance       
4.     District Mission Statement       
5.     Approval of Consent Agenda   
      A. Minutes of Previous Meetings
      B. Financial Report, Monthly Bills   
      C. Concession Stand Payments   
6.     Citizen Comment's       
7.     CTA and Non-Action Report       
      A. Safe and Drug Free Survey        
8.     Principals Report       
      A. Elementary Principal        
      B. High School Principal        
9.     Superintendent's Report       
      A. Transportation Inspection        
      B. A+        
      C. Excess Trophies       
10.     Administrative Requiring Action    
      A. Student Handbooks       
      i. Elementary    
      ii. High School        
      B. Teacher Handbook        
      C. Resignation        
      D. School Lunch        
      E. Items for Bid        
      F. FY13 Budget        
      G. 2012-2013 Tuition        
      H. 1st Read Policy 4320   
      I. SOAR GRANT   
      J. Fund 4 Transfer       
11.     Closed Session   
12.     End Closed Session       
13.     Personnel       
      A. PreSchool Director       
14.     Items for Future Meetings       
15.     Adjourn

David Dunfee Recalls Rock and Roll Era

David Dunfee recalled the Rock N’ Roll Era that hit Worth County at the time that the Class of 1962 graduated from Worth County. He spoke at the Worth County Alumni Reunion Sunday afternoon.
He said that Missouri stood out because people waved all the time, unlike Iowa, where he lives.
Dunfee and his friends grew up with coonskin caps, cherry fountain cokes, penny loafers, and everything else that made the early 1960’s a great time to grow up. John F. Kennedy was President, the Yankees were still a perennial powerhouse team behind Mickey Mantle, and the US was preparing to go to the moon.
As Dunfee grew up, Worth County transitioned from an era of one-room schoolhouses to consolidation. Gas was 10-17 cents a gallon and college tuition cost $400 per year.
Dunfee said that there was no such thing as fast food in those days; they ate as a family and that if he didn’t like something, “I had to sit there until I did.” He did all sorts of farming work, including stacking up hay bales in the barn; if it wasn’t done properly, they had to do it over again. If the weather was too hot, they would go fishing instead. They did not get their first TV, a Black & White, until he was 10.
The family had 1,000 chickens and Dunfee had to gather the eggs three times a day, clean them, and take them to Safeway in Maryville where they would get paid 25 cents per dozen. He also had to help hang clothes and iron as well in the era of no automatic washers and dryers.
Dunfee started off at Pine School, where there were eight grades and only nine students. The next year, there were only three. Lorraine Hughes was the teacher. The school was heated with a wood stove and they would have to get water.
Next, they would go to Allendale, where first through third graders, fourth through sixth, and seventh through eighth were all put together. Evelyn Groom, long-time teacher in the Worth County school system, was 19 and she was their teacher at Allendale.
In 1956, a lightning strike led to a fire that destroyed the old Worth County school building and Dunfee recalled going to the lumberyard, the Pixie, and the American Legion and going all over town to attend classes. Lunch was at the theater. This situation lasted during an acrimonious fight in which a bond issue was put on the ballot once every 30 days for 12 times before it finally passed. Finally, they moved into the present building.
The Class of 1962 had 26 girls and 9 boys, meaning that the football team was struggling to win games. But they finally broke a 24-game losing streak by beating Hamilton 19-14 and happy players threw Coach Rockne Calhoon in the shower afterwards. As the yearbook prophetically noted, “The Tiger has been asleep, but it is showing signs of awakening.”
Dunfee recounted some of the pranks pulled, such as the time when he and some other boys got some hay and stacked it in the door of the new school. They were found out and the principal called them into the office and made them take the hay back where they got it. Another time, Dunfee struggled to get out of the mud roads, which he said were much worse than they are now, to get to prom his junior year. Finally, he made it out and called uncle Arch Dunfee, the funeral home man, and asked him if he could come over and change his clothes before going to prom. Arch agreed but David freaked out when Arch asked him to lie down after David asked if he could show him how to put on a tie.
Another time, it was the winter of December 1961, one of the coldest winters on record, school let out early, and there was zero visibility one particular day. Long-time bus driver Garland Gibson called Dunfee up to the front and Dunfee would tell him if he was going off the side of the road. Jerry Litton, who would later become Congressman, spoke at graduation. There were two drug stores, two farm implement dealerships, three hardware stores, a jewelry store, two barber ships, and a grocery store in every town. There were two theaters in the county, one in Grant City and one in Allendale. The Skating Rink and Nell’s Drive-In were the place to be for teens.
At one point, the present Highway 169 was completed but was not officially opened for traffic. That was like a godsend for Dunfee and his fellow teens, who would get on that road and race on it without fear of cops or oncoming traffic.
Dunfee recalled driving in a red ‘57 Chevy and “the louder the muffler, the better.” Dunfee closed with recalling Lisa Beemer, the wife of the man who said, “Let’s Roll” during the 9/11 attacks. He said that each of us should find something beautiful daily and appreciate the small things in life.
There were 85 graduates and 23 guests present at the reunion Sunday, The Rinehart family had the most family members present and Victor Fletchall, Class of 1940, was the oldest grad. John Lutes from San Diego and Jim Rinehart from Maine were the farthest away. The class with the most present was the Class of 1962, with 11 present. Judith Matteson, Julie Tracy, and Janice Borey helped decorate the tables for the banquet. Lana (Dannar) Wake sang “Without a Valley.”

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Cut to the Chase -- Not your Father's Farm Bill

Not Your Father’s Farm Bill
By Tracy Taylor Grondine
Farm bill legislation approved by the Senate and awaiting debate in the House of Representatives is not your father’s typical farm bill. It’s about the future. Passing through the Senate last week, the Agriculture Reform, Food and Jobs Act (S. 3240) recognizes that U.S. farmers are aging and something needs to be done to ensure that the future of agriculture is viable. The Senate's version includes significant measures to address this demographic predicament.
According to the Agriculture Department’s most recent census, the average age of the American farmer is 57 years old. Further, a quarter of American farmers are 65 or older. The future of American agriculture depends on the next generation of farmers and ranchers. More than any previous farm bill, this one takes direct aim at providing retiring farmers extra benefits for passing their farms on to beginning farmers.
Probably most importantly, the bill provides nearly $200 million in new funding for expanded access for crop insurance for beginning farmers. These improvements will lower the cost of crop insurance for beginning farmers, allow the Risk Management Agency to consider a beginning farmer’s previous experience in calculating their production history, and will provide additional assistance when beginning farmers face natural disasters.
Farmers like Michigan fruit producer and Farm Bureau member Ben LaCross understand the importance of this provision first hand. In a normal year, his farm produces 4 million pounds of cherries. Due to extremely bad weather conditions, this year he’ll be lucky to harvest 40,000 pounds – only 1 percent of his normal production. This level of losses is tough on any producer, but especially catastrophic for a beginning farmer who is still trying to build up equity. If S. 3240 were in existence today, Ben and others like him would have the opportunity to cover more of their crops under crop insurance, using new programs that would provide better coverage at a lower cost.
In other areas, the bill continues the Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program, which offers education, training, outreach and mentoring programs to ensure the success of the next generation of farmers. It also increases access to capital and prioritizes the needs of beginning farmers to ensure they have access to programs like the Environmental Quality Incentives Program, a program that is critical to farmers and ranchers striving to be good stewards of the land and trying to meet tough environmental mandates.
The bill makes significant strides in increasing lending to beginning farmers by expanding eligibility, removing term limits on guaranteed lending and providing opportunities for beginning farmers to earn direct loan access. For the first time, USDA will have the ability to create pilot programs in the Farm Loan Programs exclusively targeted to beginning farmers.
Finally, the farm bill legislation encourages older farmers to help beginning farmers get started by providing two extra years of Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) participation to retiring farmers who transition their expiring CRP land to beginning farmers.
Unlike past farm bills, this one is about the future. It’s about farmers like Ben LaCross and the many other young and beginning farmers and ranchers who want to one day pass their farms to their own children.
(Tracy Taylor Grondine is director of media relations for the American Farm Bureau Federation.)

Weekly Area Road Work for June 27th, 2012

The following is a listing of general highway maintenance and construction work in the Northwest Missouri region for the week of June 18-June 22 from the Missouri Department of Transportation. Weather conditions may cause postponements in planned work schedules. Other construction or maintenance work may occur on other roadways throughout the area. Many projects will include lane closures, and delays can be expected. MoDOT reminds the public to buckle up, slow down, and drive with extreme caution through work zones.
For more information about a project, please contact MoDOT at 1-888-ASK-MoDOT (888-275-6636) or log onto You can also follow MoDOT's Northwest Missouri District on Twitter at or on Facebook at
Gentry County
·    Route AA - CLOSED from Route E to Route V; pavement sealing, June 25-28
Harrison County
·    Route T - Pothole patching, June 26-27
·    Route 46 - CLOSED at West Fork Big Creek Bridge; Safe & Sound Bridge Project, June 25
Nodaway County
·    Route AH - CLOSED; pavement overlay, June 25-26
·    U.S. Hwy 71 - At Iowa State line; box drain repair, June 26
·    Route UU - Entire route; pothole patching, June 27-28
·    Route AD - Entire route; pavement repairs, June 29
·    U.S. Hwy 71 - CLOSED at the White Cloud Bridge; Safe & Sound Bridge Project, opens June 28
·    Route VV - CLOSED at the Long Branch Bridge; Safe & Sound Bridge Project
·    Route A - CLOSED at the Elkhorn Creek Bridge; Safe & Sound Bridge Project

Friday, June 22, 2012

Obama Accused of Morphing Into Cheney

Michael Klare in Tom's Dispatch compares Obama to Bush in his appetite for military action. He quotes foreign policy people as calling him "George Bush on Steroids."
Obama protested the Bush involvement in Iraq, saying he was not against all wars, but against "dumb wars." In his view, Bush expended thousands of American lives when he could have used technology -- drones, targeted strikes, assassinations, covert operations -- to accomplish the same objectives.
Obama's rationale is clear -- he rationalizes that he is saving lives through these methods by using technology and black ops that would have required a multiple-front war in previous times. Or Vietnam on a worldwide scale.
As for energy policy, Cheney believed that oil was so fundamental to the world's economy that it was sometimes necessary for the US to go to war to prevent someone else from controlling the world's oil supplies. He was one of the pushers for war against Saddam both times.
This sort of thinking has led to out of control deficits; after all, the ends justified the means in Cheney's view.
The unemployment problem could be solved tomorrow if we wanted to solve it. Simply take all the money that is being waged on all these covert wars and use it to rehire every teacher, policeman, and firefighter laid off since Bush/Cheney took office in 2001 and the unemployment rate would drop below 7.
Obama is now mimicking Cheney's geopolitical oil games in many respects, such as his boasting about more and more offshore drilling. In fact, we have opened more than 75% of our potential offshore oil and gas resources for drilling under Obama, as he himself said this year in his State of the Union Address.
The article goes on to talk about Obama's plan of expanding our network of bases and alliances surrounding China. It is ironic that Vietnam is included in this network, given that we fought a war against them just one generation ago.
This is dangerous brinksmanship on Obama's part, given the fact that the UN was formed by the five major powers after World War II -- the US, UK, France, USSR, and China. It was formed to prevent a third world war and was set up in a way that requires the Big Five to cooperate in order to get things done. While we can and should take a stand against human rights abuses in China and everywhere, we must also engage in a cooperative relationship with our other four partners.
Klaire concludes:

But as history suggests, engaging in aggressive global geopolitical confrontations with other determined, well-armed players usually leads to friction, crisis, war, and disaster.
In this regard, Cheney’s geopolitical maneuvering led us into two costly Middle Eastern wars while heightening tensions with both China and Russia.  President Obama claims he seeks to build a more peaceful world, but copying the Cheney energy blueprint is bound to produce the exact opposite.
Brinksmanship over cooperation and reliance on oil over developing new forms of energy means less and less money domestically to build roads and bridges, maintain adequate funding for our schools, and preserving our national infrastructure, and hiring more teachers, firefighters, and police. But that has been the Washington Way since 1945 even as it fundamentally undermines our way of life.

OATS Schedule for July 2012

July 4th – Holiday
July 5th – Maryville
July 10th – Stanberry
July 13th – Pot Luck, Grant City
July 18th – Maryville
July 23rd – Bethany
July 25th – Stanberry
July 31st – Stanberry

Sheridan Birthdays & Anniversaries for July, 2012

July Birthdays:
1 – Lisa (Allee) Reidlinger
1 – Margaret Findley
2 – Trent Hamblin
2 – Les New
2 – Betty Thrasher
2 – Jack Fisher
3 – Brooke Monticue
3 – Jared Simmons
4 – Sharon Dakson
4 – Ronnie VanFossan
5 – Jana (Runyon) Finch
5 – Samantha Morrow
6 – Brandon Allee
6 – Jessica Garrett
6 – Shane Morrow
6 – Pete Belokonny
6 – Terry Lee
6 – Kirby Bradford
7 – Mattie Dimmitt
7 – Dale Rowe
7 – Haley Hunt
8 – Tina Fletchall
9 – Stormy Sherer
10 – Laura Lebow
10 – Brian P. Hunt
10 – David Rowe
11 – Brad Hardy
11 – Yalonda Verbick
13 – Corey DeMott
13 – Kim Brand
13 – Deb Parman
14 – Lori Constant Slagle
15 – Terrill Owens
15 – Tim Wall
16 – Larry Dowis
17 – Garrett Hawk
17 – Farn Parman
18 – Della Sue Asher
18 – Duane Finch
18 – Daniel Finch
19 – Elaine Mitchell
20 – Sandra Meredith
20 – Kim Fletchall
20 – Bo DeMott
20 – Venita Jennings
20 – John Williams
21 – Valerie Hines
22 – Brylea Paxson
22 – Debra (Parman) Dukes
23 – Josh Parman
23 – Shirley Troutwine
23 – Kay Smith
24 – J.T. Titus
25 – Gary Cotter
28 – Shelly (Fletchall) Barnett
29 – Alexis Hawk
29 – Maxine Roberts
29 – Dustin Rauch
30 – Mary Kay Hunt
30 – Morgan Hawk
31 – Mackenzie Hawk

July Anniversaries
3 – Harold & Dee Wake
4 – Bobby & Sue Heideman
7 – Steve & Patty Paxson
8 – Chris & Tina Fletchall
14 – Bill & Ramonia Parman
22 – MiTasha & Jarod Loseke
23 – Jeff & Debbie Thummel

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Obituary -- Richard Eugene Hull 1950-2012

Richard Eugene Hull was born September 26, 1950 in Maryville, Missouri to Glen and Clara Belle Hull. He passed away June 19, 2012 in the Albany Hospital due to bad health. He was the oldest of 4 sons.

Richard attended Blockton and Bedford schools. He also helped his parents on the family farm. He served three years in the United States Army. He spent time in Germany, the Vietnam War and then back to Germany.

On February 19, 1972 Richard married Ruby Morse. To this union three daughters were born. Rose, Betty, and Barbara. They were married for 40 years. He worked on farms, had a welding and tire shop, drove truck over the road and later made horse carts. In 1989 at the age of 39 he had health problems and became disabled.

Richard gave his life to God in 1990 and was baptized with his wife Ruby and daughters Betty and Barbara. He enjoyed helping others and giving to others. He loved making things and giving them away.

He was preceded in death by two brothers: Wilbur and Allen; grandparents and great-grandparents.

He is survived by wife Ruby of the home in Redding, three daughters: Rosie Miller and husband Shawn of Afton, Iowa, Betty Fields and husband Nick of Perry, Iowa and Barbara Strubberg and husband Andy of St. Louis, Missouri; parents: Glen and Clara Hull of Blockton, Iowa; grandchildren: Clayton and Taylor Miller of Afton, Iowa Austin Claypole, Zavier and Anicka Fields of Perry, Iowa, Cassandra Bounds and Joey Strubberg of St. Louis, Missouri; and brother Bob Hull and wife Carolyn of Blockton, Iowa.

Funeral Services were 11:00 A.M. Saturday, June 23, 2012 at the Prugh-Dunfee Funeral Home in Grant City, Missouri. Rev. Scott Marcum and Rev. Len Green officiated. Interment was in the Athelstan Cemetery in Blockton, Iowa.

Worth County Absentee Ballots Available June 25th

Roberta Owens, Worth County Clerk, wishes to inform all registered voters that absentee ballots will be available in the County Clerk’s office by June 25th for the 2012 August Primary Election.  Anyone needing to vote absentee because of illness or absence from the polls on Election Day may do one of the following:

1)    Submit a request in writing by mail or fax and include: name, address, mailing address if different, signature, date of birth, and the last four digits of their social security number, party ballot
2)    Call the office for an absentee application
3)    Vote in person in the County Clerk’s office Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. along with identification ie:  voter registration card, drivers license, utility bill
4)    Go to the county website at and print the absentee form, fill it out, then mail it in.

The August 7th election is a Primary Election.  Therefore it is imperative that a request include the political party preference for the ballot they wish to vote or a request for a non-partisan ballot.

The final day to mail an absentee ballot to a voter is Wednesday, August 1st.  The final day to vote absentee in person is 5:00 p.m. on Monday, August 6th in the County Clerk’s office.

If you have any questions, contact Roberta Owens at 660-564-2219 or submit a written request for an absentee ballot to:  PO Box 450, MO 64456-0450 or fax a request to 660-564-2432.

Parnell to Hold Two Days of Festivities

Parnell will be holding its annual Town Festival and will hold two days of celebrations to mark their 125th anniversary on July 7th and 8th.
Events will kick off on July 7th. At 2, the 180 ATV Race will start at the Parnell Horse Arena, sponsored by the Parnell Fire Department. Registration will start at 1. For more information, call (660) 582-0223 or (660) 254-3430.
At 3, the Shimmy & Shake Dance Studio will perform at the Bandstand. From 4-8, there will be a flea market. There will be a $10 set-up fee to the Park Board; for more information, call (660) 986-3029.
At 4, there will be a Pet Show at the Bandstand. Registration will be at 3:30. For more information, call (660) 986-2281.
At 5 will be the Baby Show. Registration will start beside the Bandstand from 4-4:30. There will be four categories, 0-6 months, 7-12 months, 13-24 months, 25-36 months, and 37-48 months. For more information, call (660) 986-2468 or 2688.
Little Mr. & Miss Parnell will be chosen immediately following the baby show. Contestants must be 4-6 years old and have a Parnell address. Registration and contact information are the same as the baby show. Little Mr. & Miss Parnell will ride in the parade Sunday.
At 5:30, there will be a chuckwagon supper in the park with pulled pork, baked potatoes, baked beans, cole slaw, and lemonade. Cost for adults is $8, $5 for 9-12. Children 8 and under are free. Proceeds go to the Parnell United Methodist Church.
At 6:30, there will be a mystery box auction at the bandstand sponsored by the Parnell United Methodist Church. Following that, there will be bandstand entertainment and a 50/50 drawing. People can buy chances for the 50/50 throughout the day and the drawing will be held just before dusk. You must be present to win.
At dusk, there will be a fireworks show presented by the Parnell Fire Department.
At 7:00 a.m. Sunday, festivities will resume with a free will donation breakfast at Burns Chuckwagon in the park. It will last until 9:30.
At 9, there will be a free car show south of the Legion Building. Registration will be from 9-11 and awards will be handed out at 3. Classes are Car Stock, Car Modified, Truck Stock, Truck Modified, Motorcycle, Tractor, and Special Interest. For more information, call (660) 582-9374.
At 10, there will be a church service in the park led by Rev. Don Ehlers of the Parnell United Methodist Church. From 10-6, the Flea Market will resume. From 11-3, there will be a BBQ sponsored by the Parnell Methodist Church, serving grilled pork loin, hamburgers, and hot dog sandwiches and plate meals, including potato salad and baked beans. From 11 until it’s gone, the church will also be serving homemade ice cream at the Lions Shelter.
At 11:30, the parade will start, beginning at the former school building. The theme will be “Celebrating 125 years.” Registration will be from 9:30 to 11 east of the school. For more information, call 986-2468 or 2688. Ribbons will be awarded in the following categories – floats, costumes, autos, tractors, animals, 4-wheelers, bicycles, horses, and miscellaneous. Following the parade, the Mic-O-Say tribe will perform at the bandstand.
At 12, Dale Stoll and the Midnight Playboys will perform on the bandstand as well as Tony Brown performing guitar and “old time” music.
At 1, the “Pink in Parnell” Washer Tournament will be held. Registration will start at 11 and the tournament will start at 1. All proceeds will go to breast cancer research. This is sponsored by Cargill, Fred the Barber, and R&S Seeds. For more information, call (816) 244-8983.
At 1:30, the annual Northeast Nodaway PTO Duck Race will be held on the Platte River. Buy a chance on a duck at the park on Sunday or contact any PTO member. First place will be $100, second will be $75, and third place will be $50. You need not be present to win. For more information, call (660) 937-2628.
At 2, there will be a fire brigade for all ages at the firehouse. There will be a bingo for all ages during band breaks sponsored by the Parnell Park Board.
Throughout the day, there will be many different activities. The American Legion & Auxiliary will be having a bake sale, drinks, mugs, and raffles for various prizes. The Parnell Park Board will have a quilt raffle and Parnell 125 year t-shirts. The Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts will be having games. The Northeast Nodaway PTO will be having a free bounce house. The Northeast Nodaway FFA will be having their animal bingo; you can buy a chance from any Northeast Nodaway FFA member that day. The Northeast Nodaway seniors will have a game and the juniors will have hair and face painting. The freshmen will have a dunk tank and the 8th graders will have a pie-n-face. There will be another 50/50 drawing; must be present to win. Winners of the Legion Auxiliary, Duck Race, and 50/50 drawing will be announced after the last band number.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Sheridan Express -- Not Just a Paper; A Way of Life

We cover Sheridan, Grant City, Worth, Denver, Allendale, Ravenwood and Parnell along with occasional forays into Southwest Iowa. This is a cooperative newspaper. We are owned and operated by members of the community who wish to see a local area paper thrive. We have almost 30 cooperative members and 450 subscribers and newsstand customers so far. We have a highly engaged audience; our readers read every word of the paper, meaning that anything you publish will be read and talked about. Our papers are passed from person to person much more than usual, meaning that most people in our coverage area have read the paper. Our ownership consists of people of all different political persuasions. That means that we do not merely print one side of the story like more and more corporate media outlets do; we try and offer material for everyone.

We are in our fifth year of existence. Like any business, we need your support to survive. If you mention this post, we invite you to try us out for $20 per year (Good for anywhere in the US). This is good for new and lapsed (at least one month) subscribers who mention this piece. We offer 12-16 pages of local news about your friends and neighbors every week as well as state and national news that has a direct impact on the way we live. If you would like to look us over first, that is fine as well; we sell papers at Country Corners and Hy-Vee in Grant City, Sheridan Grocery and Snakebite Tavern in Sheridan, Emery’s Service and K&T Bar & Grill in Parnell, and Gage Fertilizer & Grain in Ravenwood.

Our goal is to support our way of life. Our goal is also to support our local businesses and fight for a level playing field with the large corporate interests. We stand against any government, corporate, or political policy that would threaten our way of life.

This is no longer a battle of Liberal vs. Conservative or Democrat vs. Republican. This is a battle to protect our basic freedom to live our lives the way we want with minimal government or corporate interference. Let’s use vouchers as an example – if we were to shut down all the public schools and give people vouchers to go to a private school, that sounds good on the surface (Editor -- there is another proposal regarding vouchers in which parents would get vouchers to send children to attend neighboring public schools as well as private schools; that is a whole different debate). But what certain proponents of vouchers miss is that if we were to shut down our public schools, then we would have to send our kids to St. Joseph to LeBlond or St. Joseph Christian to school. There would be all these empty buildings that would have to be cleaned up – it would be the Sheridan Schoolhouse magnified many times over. And that is on top of the fact that vouchers have been held by many courts all over the land to be an unconstitutional government infringement on religious belief. After all, I don’t want my taxpayer dollars to go to support some belief system that is against my values. And even if it were to  be made feasible somehow, as Congressman Sam Graves pointed out one time, the next logical step would be for government bureaucrats to assume control of private schools in the same way that they try to do with public schools by attaching funding to their agendas.

Ron Paul offers an attractive alternative for people fed up with the present two-party system. But the question is, is he cutting for the sake of cutting or cutting what needs to be cut? After all, what would happen if we don’t have enough money for roads and bridges? Then, all of the roads in the country would be like many of the lettered roads around here. Somehow, I don’t think that would fly.

None of us have all the answers, which is why we will, from time to time, present different points of view in the paper. We will try and present as many different perspectives as possible, not just the people that the giant corporate media says are frontrunners. Our system of government was made to function through cooperation. Therefore, we will look at things from a Constitutionalist perspective. The best way to break the grip of the two-party oligarchy on our system is to go back to the values which our country was founded on and which we sometimes take for granted. For instance, freedom of movement is taken for granted here. But in certain parts of the world, a trip from Sheridan to Grant City, 10-15 minutes drive, would take all day because of all the military checkpoints you would have to go through.

Finally, all of us who own and operate the paper come at this from many different perspectives. Therefore, as the late Mickey Floyd would have said, I cannot claim to speak for any other board member or cooperative member or agent of the Sheridan Express; the views expressed here are my own and are solely my responsibility. Thank you for your support.

Jesse Stark
Editor & Publisher

Brooklyn Jo Baldwin

Brooklyn Jo Baldwin was born Tuesday, June 19th to Jessica Redden and Justin Baldwin. She is welcomed by uncle Walter Redden and grandparents Chris and Denise Redden. Jessica is a graduate of Northeast Nodaway.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Watch For Two-Spotted Spider Mites Damaging Soybeans

Spider mites are a common pest during dry conditions. This pest prefers dry dusty conditions.  Under a severe drought, mite populations can double every 5 to 7 days.  Rains can cause the mite populations to decline but fields should continue to be scouted.
Spider mites are first found along field borders or waterways.  Mite damage first appears as speckling or spots on the soybean foliage. Later injured leaves turn yellow then brown and die.  Damage moves across the field as mites infest additional soybean plants. 
You may need a hand lens to see mites.  Also, a white sheet of paper to shake the mites on will help you see them.  The mites once shaken on the paper will crawl about.
Generally, spider mites occur later in season.  However with the dry conditions, damage can be found on small soybeans.  A general recommendation is to control this pest when the foliage yellowing reaches 20% before pod set and when foliage turns 10% after pod set.
Heavy infestations of this pest can cause severe damage.  In my experience in the 80’s, spider mites would begin as a small circle in the field.  Then the wind would catch them and move them across the field.  There would be small circles of damage from the pest, and then the circles would enlarge causing damage.  It is important to note that the yellowed areas are already damaged and the pests are moved onto undamaged plants to feed.
Scouting is critical.  Since wind picks up this pest, one should watch the entire field.  Plants may show damage symptoms for up to 7 to 10 days following control of spider mites.
Dr. Bailey reports spider mites found along the Iowa and Missouri borders.  At the time of printing of this news article, I have not had any local reports into the Extension office.  With dry weather, however, it is a matter of time before we have this problem.
For more information, contact Wayne Flanary at 660-446-3724 or Heather Benedict at 660-425-6434, Regional Agronomists, University of Missouri Extension.

Russell & Nancy Burns Celebrate 35th Anniversary

Russell and Nancy Burns celebrated their 35th anniversary Monday, June 18th. They were married in 1977 and live near Worth. They have two children, Matt and Dru. They have one grandson.

Jack Remembers -- Triple Success

I received an interesting letter from Walter Peterson from Gurnee, Illinois, which is located between Chicago and Milwaukee.
Letter in part. To: Jack Hackley
My sister who resides in the city of Madison, MO periodically sends me clippings of your column from one of the local papers. (Frequently to prove she was right and I was wrong.) I thought you might have some interest in the following country events. Three country boys Eldon Brown, Jim Snell, and myself, Walt Peterson grew up in the general area Gravel “D” four miles west of Mexico, MO. All three attended the same country church, Bethel Methodist, survived their elementary years in a one room school, and graduated from Mexico High School in 1952. All three earned some of their college tuition expense by hauling hay bales (bucking bales) during the summer break.
Eldon completed his PhD in Entomology at the University of Minnesota. Jim’s area was Agriculture Economics at a University in Tennessee, and my area was Counseling Psychology at the University of Missouri.
There were 108 graduates from Mexico High School in 1952 and as far as I know, we were the only three with PhD’s. So can we conclude that those early years in the country school created the basis for eventual PhD’s? I doubt it. Many of these teachers were committed to teaching the students, many were preparing for marriage. It was less than an ideal setting, eight grades in the same room. The teachers’ good relationship with the parents was a necessity because getting in trouble at school would always mean you were in trouble at home. The student’s behavior at school reflected on the parents and the worst thing you could do was make your parents look bad.
Back then as I recall, most union jobs paid better than a job as a college graduate. There was not the same emphasis on college as there is today. (That situation could return.) Thanks, Walter Peterson, Gurnee, IL. If your school has unusual set of accomplishments by the students like this story from Walt, let me know.
Jack can be reached at PO Box 40, Oak Grove, MO 64075 or Visit

Early Deadline for Sheridan Express

Dear friends and correspondents,
Next week, the 4th of July falls on Wednesday; therefore, we will be printing on Tuesday, July 3rd. The printer has requested all pages be sent on Monday. Please submit all copy and advertising by Sunday evening so we can get it in. Copy received on or after Monday will be printed in the July 11th issue. Our schedule will return to normal for the July 11th issue.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Letter to the Editor -- Five Trillion Dollars!

Dear Editor,
Five Trillion Dollars! That is the amount the national debt Obama has increased (so far) since he was immaculated in January 2009. This is in addition to the tax revenue we taxpayers paid. To be fair to Obama, he needed the Congress to vote for the national debt increase prior to his insane spending spree.
Many Republicans joined with Democrats in Congress to raise the debt limit. Unfortunately, our Sixth Congressional District Representative, Sam Graves, was one of those Republicans who crossed the aisle joining the Democrats to vote for a humongous two trillion dollar debt limit increase last summer. Two Missouri Congresspersons voted "NO" on this huge Obama debt limit increase. Praise to Congressman Todd Akin, now a candidate for the US Senate, and Congresswoman Vicki Hartzler for their conservative stance to stop our country’s runaway spending.
Fortunately, Republican Bob Gough is opposing Sam Graves in the August 7th Primary election. I urge Republicans to vote for Bob Gough for the Sixth District Congressman.
Bob Holliger
Independence, Mo

A Moment with Mike -- Making Higher Ed More Easy and Effective

     In the coming months I will discuss some of the legislation that was passed and signed into law this last session.  I will also be sending you an “End of Session” report that will highlight some of the bills passed with short descriptions and will also give a break-down on the budget showing how your tax money was spent.  In addition to the thirteen budget bills, there were just over one hundred other bills that were passed and they are now being scrutinized by the Governor as he weighs the decision to sign them or not.
     Among the first bills to be signed by the Governor this year was a bill that I sponsored and was drawn up through a collaborative effort of individuals that represented two-  and four- year institutions, the Department of Higher Education and the General Assembly.  The purpose of the bill (HB1042) is to make the path to a two-year or a four-year degree more efficient and effective.
     Higher education institutions across our country are caught in a dilemma in that funding support is diminishing and costs are rising.  This necessitates higher tuition and fees and students are carrying more burden with student debt going up every year.  The student debt in our country is now close to a trillion dollars.  Students often times graduate with a large debt and then have a difficult time finding a job that will allow them to pay back the debt in a timely manner.  This is happening at a time when the need for graduates of post-secondary institutions is increasing and statistics indicate that by the year 2025, over 60% of jobs available in our state will require some kind of certification or a degree.  At this time, less than 40% of those in our workforce under the age of 35 have a degree and in order for us to meet that need for the future we must increase our output of credentialed workers by over 4% per year.  It will be necessary to do everything we can to make it easier for our students to attain some type of higher education training without lowering the standards and keeping up with the ever-changing technology.
     It is this scenario that stimulated the need for HB 1042 which we believe will not only reduce some of the obstacles that students face but also  increase efficiency.  It seems that time is the enemy when we are in school.  The longer we take to get through school, the more it costs, the more debt we accumulate and more time is spent with little or no income.  The bill will require the Coordinating Board for Higher Education to develop a library of core courses that will be transferrable to all public institutions of higher learning in the state.  It also charges the board with developing a system to allow students to reverse transfer college credits from a four-year institution to a two-year institution.  It contains a provision that requires institutions to make remedial study courses more effective so they do not delay students from enrollment in college-level courses and, lastly, it changes the certification of proprietary schools so that they can be more responsive to the needs of those students who are training for specific jobs.
     Some of these things are already being done in our state.  Northwest MO State University works closely with North Central Community College to facilitate some of the things discussed and others may do the same.  However, there needs to be a collaborative effort across the state to become more efficient in our delivery of higher education.  Higher education is  instrumental in supplying the workforce that we need for our future economy.

Opinion: NRA Not to Blame for Columbine Shootings

by Darrell Scott
"Since the dawn of creation there has been both good & evil in the hearts of men and women. We all contain the seeds of kindness or the seeds of violence. The death of my wonderful daughter, Rachel Joy Scott, and the deaths of that heroic teacher, and the other eleven children who died must not be in vain. Their blood cries out for answers." "The first recorded act of violence was when Cain slew his brother Abel out in the field.
The villain was not the club he used. Neither was it the NCA, the National Club Association. The true killer was Cain, and the reason for the murder could only be found in Cain's heart. "In the days that followed the Columbine tragedy, I was amazed at how quickly fingers began to be pointed at groups such as the NRA.
I am not a member of the NRA. I am not a hunter. I do not even own a gun. I am not here to represent or defend the NRA - because I don't believe that they are responsible for my daughter's death. Therefore I do not believe that they need to be defended. If I believed they had anything to do with Rachel's murder I would be their strongest opponent."
"I am here today to declare that Columbine was not just a tragedy-it was a spiritual event that should be forcing us to look at where the real blame lies! Much of the blame lies here in this room.
Much of the blame lies behind the pointing fingers of the accusers themselves. "I wrote a poem that expresses my feelings best. This was written way before I knew I would be speaking here today:"
Your laws ignore our deepest needs,
Your words are empty air.
You've stripped away our heritage,
You've outlawed simple prayer.
Now gunshots fill our classrooms,
And precious children die.
You seek for answers everywhere,
And ask the question "Why?"

You regulate restrictive laws,
Through legislative creed.
And yet you fail to understand,
That God is what we need!

"Men and women are three-part beings. We all consist of body, soul, and spirit. When we refuse to acknowledge a third part of our make-up, we create a void that allows evil, prejudice, and hatred to rush in and reek havoc. Spiritual influences were present within our educational systems for most of our nation's history. Many of our major colleges began as theological seminaries. This is a historical fact.
What has happened to us as a nation? We have refused to honor God, and in so doing, we open the doors to hatred and violence. And when something as terrible as Columbine's tragedy occurs politicians immediately look for a scapegoat such as the NRA. They immediately seek to pass more restrictive laws that contribute to erode away our personal and private liberties.
We do not need more restrictive laws." Eric and Dylan would not have been stopped by metal detectors. No amount of gun laws can stop someone who spends months planning this type of massacre. The real villain lies within our own hearts.
Political posturing and restrictive legislation are not the answers. The young people of our nation hold the key. There is a spiritual awakening taking place that will not be squelched! We do not need more religion. We do not need more gaudy television evangelists spewing out verbal religious garbage. We do not need more million dollar church buildings built while people with basic needs are being ignored.
We do need a change of heart and a humble acknowledgment that this nation was founded on the principle of simple trust in God!" "As my son Craig lay under that table in the school library and saw his two friends murdered before his very eyes, He did not hesitate to pray in school. I defy any law or politician to deny him that right!
I challenge every young person in America, and around the world, to realize that on April 20, 1999, at Columbine High School prayer was brought back to our schools. Do not let the many prayers offered by those students be in vain. Dare to move into the new millennium with a sacred disregard for legislation that violates your God-given right to communicate with Him. To those of you who would point your finger at the NRA- I give to you a sincere challenge.
Dare to examine your own heart before casting the first stone! My daughter's death will not be in vain! The young people of this country will not allow that to happen!"

Darrell Scott's daughter was killed in the Columbine shootings.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Word on the Street -- Growing Gap Between Rich and Poor

Does this surprise anyone? A survey by the Federal Reserve shows that there is a growing gap between the rich and the poor.
In the meantime, Obama has a six-point plan for Global War that involves special operations, drone attacks, and intelligence operations throughout the world.
There are two disturbing things about this. The first is that Congress has the sole power to declare war or authorize the use of force.Yet our President will have the power to conduct operations without it ever seeing the light of day, even in the halls of Congress. "Disturbance in Africa? Coming right over!"
The other thing is that the more such small operations that Obama authorizes, where in Central America disrupting drug operations, in the Middle East trying to get the next Al-Qaeda Number One, or trying to shut down Iran's nuclear program, the more unintended consequences that will happen.
And then our politicians turn around and declare that taxes are off the table. And then investments in Medicare, Medicaid, education, and infrastructure are down. Once again, it's a matter of priorities. The Middle East over Middle America.
And then they wonder why our Economy is not recovering like it was expected to.
And in the meantime, people like billionaire Sheldon Adelson are donating $10 million to Mitt Romney's Super Pac and plans to donate $100 million before all is said and done. Once again, priorities.

Cut to the Chase -- Eden along the Missouri

The Garden of Eden, in my mind, has always looked something like a cornfield in late June. Just before tasseling, when the corn is at its darkest green, perhaps even blue, and if you listen really close, you can almost hear it grow. Perhaps it is a field along the Missouri River, where the rows run long and straight.
To others, the Garden of Eden is a Missouri River that meanders from bluff to bluff, surrounded by land untouched by human hands. Those contrasting visions clashed in Jefferson City on June 11th, at a meeting of the Missouri Clean Water Commission (MCWC), and the decision that group makes will move us closer to one vision or the other.
In 2007, the Commission stopped the U.S. Corps of Engineers from dumping soil into the Missouri River. The Corps was digging a chute along the river near Jameson Island to help create what the Corps calls Shallow Water Habitat. In theory, the establishment of these areas will increase the population of the endangered pallid sturgeon.
The Commission stopped the project because the Corps was dumping the soil removed from the chute into the river. The Commission is charged with protecting the waters of Missouri from the sort of discharges that the Corps was making, and the Commission was correct in their decision to put a halt to the project.
The river finished the job that the Corps had started, and a chute is in place. There is no evidence that the chute is increasing the population of pallid sturgeon, the stated aim of the project. Not only that, waters moving through the chute are causing damage to a levee on the other side of the river. The chute cannot remain in its present position, as it will eventually cause the levee to fail. The question that the Commission must decide is what will be done with the soil removed from the redirected chute. Missouri Farm Bureau has asked that the soil not be dumped in the river, while the Corps would prefer to allow one million cubic yards of soil to enter the river.
Missouri taxpayers and the federal government are spending millions of dollars to fight soil erosion in order to protect the Missouri River, the Mississippi Basin, and the Gulf of Mexico from the damage done by excess nutrients flowing into the river. Farmers all across our state work hard to prevent erosion. That conservation ethic is something of which we farmers are proud. It’s extremely difficult for us to understand a project that will negate so much hard work and expense by the farmers and the taxpayers of this state and nation. If the Corps is allowed to dump the soil into the river, it is hard to see a net benefit to the environment. Most groups favoring the project would argue excess nutrients are causing damage to the Gulf of Mexico, yet they favor allowing the Corps to dump a million cubic yards of nutrient rich soil into waters leading directly to the Gulf.
By the time this project is complete, the taxpayers will have spent over $100,000 per acre to recreate some people’s version of Eden. If the Corps is allowed to complete their long-term recovery plan, which includes similar projects all along the river, the total bill will be billions of dollars. Let’s spend some time thinking about how we spend our nation’s dwindling resources before we continue building a multi-billion dollar monument to the pallid sturgeon. This fish stimulus package is a non-starter, and it’s time to go back to the drawing board.
The public comment period on this issue ends June 30. Please send your written comments favoring alternative 3 to the MCWC and Corps at the Missouri Department of Natural Resources, P.O. Box 176, Jefferson City, Mo., 65102.

(Blake Hurst, of Westboro, Mo., is the president of Missouri Farm Bureau, the state’s largest farm organization.)

Nobody Injured in Two Car Accident in Sheridan

Nobody was hurt in a two-car accident in Sheridan Thursday afternoon at around 3. A Park Avenue driven by Gene Via was eastbound on 246 while a truck driven by Charles Jones was backing out of the parking lot in front of the storefront. Via sideswiped the Jones vehicle, causing damage to the right side of Via’s car and shattering the passenger side window.

Flag Day Celebrated at WCCC

Flag Day was celebrated Thursday afternoon as Ben Fletcher of the local National Guard came by and explained how an artillery piece works to around 10 residents. They are made of titanium, which cuts down on the weight and they are capable of being airlifted. They cost $2 million each to make and they can only be towed at slow speeds. If they are towed more than 55 miles per hour, then the load will start swinging back and forth and the driver will have to slow down again to stabilize it.
Residents who served in the military were recognized along with Maxine Roberts, who was at Pearl Harbor working as a nurse when the Japanese attacked. Another resident, Jan Smith, had a father who served in World War I, a husband who served in World War II, and three brothers who also served in the military.

WCCC Board Wrestling with Delinquent Bills

The Worth County Convalescent Center had a positive bottom line last month of $10,746, leaving them $12,833 in the black for this year. They anticipate approximately a $100,000 surplus when the property taxes come in this November.

However, the board is having an ongoing problem with bills that are over 90 days old. Currently, there are around $161,000 worth of bills that are 90 or more days old. "We're not being kept in the loop," said board member Kathy Miller. "We have been waiting 15 months for this information. We're looking at a huge amount of money. We have a fiduciary duty to the taxpayers to make decisions about our finances and we can't make these decisions about money without the proper information." The difficulty is that under patient confidentiality laws, certain information cannot be disclosed even to board members without the patients' permission. Some of the bills involve billing errors while others involve patients who are deceased. There are 24 residents at the facility, but there are 40 such accounts to deal with averaging around $4,000 each. Secretary Jozy Moyer thought that the oldest one was two years old. The facility sends out bills to the estate in the event of the death of a resident, but a difficulty arises if there is no estate to bill or if it closes.

"We all need to know what is going on," said board member Jeff Thummel. "It's not acceptable to write off $50,000 to $60,000 every year. I thought we put a policy in place to prevent this from happening," added Miller. At least four customers are paying off old debts. Part of the problem is that the bills are not classified as to whether they are private or Medicare. Board President Scott Houk said that he knew from experience that in billing the government, you had to get the codes exactly right or they would not pay. Houk agreed that they needed to be broken down into whether they were government or private. The board directed Administrator Karen Fletchall and Secretary Jozy Moyer to do so. Board member Anthony Steinhauser said that the danger was that the facility would develop a reputation for not collecting on bills, which would really hurt the bottom line.

Part of the problem is that it is difficult for Quickbooks to make these distinctions between government and private bills and that a lot of work has to be done by hand. Mike Schremf, from Denver, a visitor to the meeting, said that he had worked in the industry before retiring and that there was specialized billing software out there. He said that he worked at places where companies hired people whose sole job it was to fight for the money they were owed from Medicare. A few years ago, the board had looked into purchasing such software; however, the cost was around $12,000 to $15,000 for an outright purchase or several hundred dollars a month in lease payments.

The facility is looking into developing an assisted living wing, possibly on the west side closed off from the rest of the facility. Administrator Karen Fletchall said that she had been learning about the process and that they would have to notify the state of any major renovations that would be done. The land in question would possibly have to be appraised and there is a separate licensing process. It would need to have its own separate living and dining area and possibly its own laundry room. A new activity room would have to be set up, possibly in the main dining area. A lot of activities have been moved to the main dining area anyway so that residents won't have to travel as far. It may also affect the facility's respite care and day care services that they presently offer and that some people are using. The board and administration would need to decide whether to set up a two-room apartment style or one-bedroom wing or a combination of both.

Work is still progressing on the room in the east wing. The window still needs to come in; the countertop was scheduled to be delivered Friday. The plan is to complete the room by Friday, June 22nd. Other items on the renovation agenda include removing old air conditioner holes as well as pulling out excess shrubs which board members say have excessive growth and that get in the way.

The board approved a $20,000 life insurance policy for the 38 employees which are eligible. It will be provided by Blue Cross/Blue Shield.

Equipment needs of the facility were discussed prior to doing the new budget for next year. A new lift for the bathroom, a new alarm call system which would replace the present one, and a new up to date exercise seat for the therapy room which both the occupational therapist and physical therapist could use were discussed.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Fatal Teen Wreck Near Eagleville

A fatal teen wreck occurred Saturday afternoon near Eagleville. The Missouri Highway Patrol reports that a 1999 Kia driven by Brittni Brenizer, 16, was southbound on 69 one half mile north of Eagleville when she crossed the center line and overcorrected, causing the car to travel off the west side of the roadway and strike an embankment. The vehicle then rolled multiple times during which Brenizer was ejected. The vehicle came to rest on its wheels facing southwest in the northbound lane. She was pronounced dead at the Harrison County Community Hospital. A passenger, Reed Hallock, 16, received moderate injuries and was taken to Harrison County Community Hospital.

Athelstan Wreck Results in Serious Injury

A wreck 3 miles South of Athelstan in Worth County resulted in the serious injury of Troy Prez, 16, of Athelstan Sunday evening. The Missouri Highway Patrol reports that a 1995 Toyota Tacoma driven by Prez was eastbound on County Road 100 at around 6:06 p.m.The driver lost control and struck a bridge abutment. The vehicle came to rest facing south on its wheels off of the roadway. The accident was investigated by the Missouri Highway Patrol, the Worth and Taylor County Sheriff's Departments, and the Sheridan Fire Department. He was transported via Ambulance to Mercy Hospital in Des Moines.

Northwest agricultural sciences department to host cover crop workshops

The Department of Agricultural Sciences at Northwest Missouri State recently received a grant from the Missouri Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) to develop and host cover crop workshops focused on educating local producers and gardeners on the virtues of using cover crops in their traditional production systems.
The workshops will be 8:45 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Tuesday, July 10, beginning in Charles Johnson Theater. Onsite registration begins at 8 a.m., although pre-registration is recommended online at or by calling the department at 660.562.1155.
The one-day workshops are free and open to the public. A free lunch also will be provided.
The workshop will consist of guest speakers, including local producers, university experts and NRCS personnel. In addition, attendees will have the opportunity to tour Northwest’s cover crop demonstration plots, which consist of various cover crop species and cover mixtures.
The workshop will be divided into two tracts. The agronomy tract will focus on the use of cover crops in corn, soybean and small grains, and the horticulture tract will focus on the use of cover crops in orchards, vegetables and gardens.
“We have seen a dramatic upswing – some estimate a 400 to 500 percent increase – in the use of cover crops to promote soil quality over the past few years,” said Dr. Jamie Patton, associate professor of agriculture at Northwest. “Cover crops are used to increase soil organic matter contents, porosity and nutrient levels, as well as reduce erosion.”
The use of cover crops is becoming more common, Patton said, after fertilizer and pesticide production steered ag producers away from growing the beneficial crops. Prior to World War II, cover crops were commonly grown during the fall, winter and early spring for use in grazing and to add nitrogen to the soil and help control weed pressures for cash crops.
“Some producers who have regularly used cover crops in their typical crop rotations have experienced the decreased need for commercial fertilizers coupled with increases in corn yield,” Patton said. “To me, that is a win-win situation, particularly as we move toward more sustainable agricultural systems.”
Patton said Northwest’s agricultural sciences department has grown various types of cover crops during the last three years. Last fall, within an area of highly compacted soil north of the Valk Center, the department grew tillage radishes and studied the impact of the roots on improving soil tilth. At the Mozingo Outdoor Education Recreation Area, the department has grown various cereal grains, legumes and winter canola to control erosion, improve soil fertility and provide wildlife habitat near Mozingo Lake.
“While the exploration of varied cover crops adds to Northwest students’ knowledge, the students also are gaining valuable skills by helping to plan and organize the upcoming workshop,” Patton said.
“Many of our students are going into careers where they’ll be responsible for hosting field days or educational events. By integrating our students in all aspects of this workshop, from planning to execution, we’re providing our students experience in the challenges of planning and organizing such events, as well all aspects of budgeting and publicity. Students are getting a good feel of the whole process, and they’re really excited that this isn’t just a class project. It is exciting that there is actually going to be real, tangible product in the end, and that the decisions they make will impact the experience of all the workshop attendees.”

Word on the Street – Middle America, not the Middle East

If anybody wants to know why Sheridan is not getting money to fix their water system or why Worth County School has to make hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of budget cuts after already having made a bunch of cuts or why our lettered roads are not in good shape anymore, look at the Middle East.
When Bill Clinton was President, his mantra was “It’s the Economy, Stupid!” We had eight years of economic growth under his rule. Surpluses were the rule of the day at the end of his term, not deficits.
But now, it seems that our politicians on both sides of the aisle are obsessed with the Middle East instead of Middle America. And now, our roads are crumbling, our schools are having to make more and more cuts, and our towns are struggling to keep up water systems in the face of burdensome government regulations.
George Bush had a personal vendetta against Saddam while Dick Cheney had personal interests in occupying Iraq.
And now Obama is going to continue his drone attacks far into the future even though Bin Laden is dead and we have not been attacked since 9/11.
The question is, when is enough enough? The more that Obama continues his drone attacks, the more that we plant the seeds for the next 9/11, just like our building of permanent bases in Saudi Arabia planted the seeds for the 9/11 attacks.
We’re not excusing anybody’s actions. But we’re suggesting that there is a much better way of bankrupting the terrorists than the extrajudicial kidnappings and imprisonments of the Bush Administration or the Obama drone attacks – getting off of foreign oil and getting electric cars, wind farms and solar plants built in every city in the US.
Actions speak louder than words. Most of us agree that we should have a strong national defense. But when certain politicians cry the blues about our escalating deficits and then turn around and spend trillions of dollars on Iraq and Afghanistan while making plans to cut 90% of federal funding from our schools over the next 10 years, we know that these politicians care more about the Middle East than they do about Middle America.
And actions can have unintended consequences, no matter how heroic they might seem. The corporate media reports all of the good consequences about the raid that killed Bin Laden, but ignores the bad – such as the fact that Pakistan is running for cover from Polio immunization campaigns after it turned out that a US agent, Dr. Shakil Afridi, set up a phony public health immunization campaign in an effort to get Bin Laden’s DNA.
Polio, for those of us who didn’t grow up in the 1950’s, was the biggest scare in the US following the fear of nuclear war during those days.
But we eradicated Polio by making it a national priority. And we can bankrupt the terrorists by doing the same thing with energy.
None of us have all the answers. Therefore, the best role for government is not to stick their heads in the sand under the guise of “All of the Above” or to dictate to small towns and small businesses and farmers how to run their operations. The best role for the government is to facilitate, providing resources and expertise to towns and cities and help them develop a vision of a country free of dependence on high gas prices and free from the fear of terrorism.

Claire McCaskill -- New Safeguards in Farm Bill Against Unreasonable Regulations

After waging a successful battle against unreasonable proposals to regulate farm dust and teenagers who work on family farms and ranches, U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill today moved to amend the Farm Bill to include strong new safeguards against any future attempts at unnecessary and burdensome federal rules on farmers and ranchers.

McCaskill, who was born and raised in small town Missouri, introduced an amendment to the Farm Bill that would dramatically strengthen the authority of a farm policy advisory position at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)—a position that currently exists, but that is not required by law. McCaskill’s measure would establish a framework in which that official would serve as an important check against new unnecessary federal regulations that would negatively impact agriculture.

“We can keep batting down each unreasonable or unneeded regulation on our farms and ranches like a game of whack-a-mole, or we can tackle the root issue head on—that farmers and ranchers need a seat at the table when these decisions are made,” McCaskill said. “That’s exactly the gap my plan would bridge—by making sure the EPA has an in-house agriculture advisor at all times, and giving that position real authority. That way, before any new rule can be issued that will affect the jobs and livelihoods of farming families across rural America, whoever thinks the rule is a good idea would be forced to hear—and respond to—some common sense from folks who know the business of agriculture.”

McCaskill’s amendment would require the EPA’s Chief Agriculture Counsel to weigh in on behalf of farmers and ranchers on any proposed new regulations that would have a significant impact on agriculture, and would require the EPA Administrator to issue a written response to any concerns raised by the advisor. McCaskill also introduced a separate amendment today, along with Sen. Amy Klobochar (D-Minn.), which would allow the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture to appoint farmers or ranchers to the EPA’s Science Advisory Board, doubling the number of members with a background in agriculture serving on the Board.

The Farm Bill currently being debated in the Senate would protect agriculture jobs and reduce the national deficit by $23 billion by streamlining and consolidating federal programs and ending unnecessary farm subsidies, while preserving important resources for farm and ranch families and strengthening the crop insurance program—issues which are critical to the livelihoods of Missouri’s farmers and ranchers.

McCaskill also renewed her support today for two other proposals that would bar the federal government from issuing future rules regulating farm dust and limit the ability of teenagers to work on family farms and ranches. McCaskill is also supporting an amendment to prohibit the EPA from requiring duplicative permits for pesticide use.

A copy of McCaskill’s amendment to boost the authority of the EPA’s farm policy advisor is available on her website HERE.

Jack Remembers -- Buckner Girls

When our schools were smaller, we knew most of the kids from Grain Valley, Odessa, Buckner and Blue Springs. The schools all looked alike. They were two-story brick buildings with all 12 grades and a gymnasium. Oak Grove was the only one that did not have a gymnasium in the school. Our gym was located in town in an American Legion Building. Buckner’s school was located on the southeast corner of Buckner-Tarsney Road and 24 Highway.
One night, Buckner had a basketball game with some other school. My cousin Kenneth Turner, who went to Grain Valley school and had a girlfriend in Buckner, was going to fix me up with one of the Buckner girls they knew. The game was just about over and we had made arrangements to meet the girls outside at Kenneth’s car. In the meantime, the girl’s older brother had gotten wind of the meeting and didn’t approve. He had paid the biggest farm boy in Buckner to wait outside for us. It was cold and there was snow on the ground. When we walked around the corner of that building into the dark, all I saw or felt was a big fist. My cousin was behind me, so when he saw me lying on the slick sidewalk, he thought I had slipped and fell. He picked me up, and you guessed it, that big old farm boy hit me again. I was on the ground getting ready to say, “Don’t pick me up again Kenneth, leave me down here!” The next thing I knew, he was down there with me. I guess the ol’ boy didn’t know which one of us he was supposed to get, so he nailed us both. I looked around and here came the girl’s brother with two more guys. The big guy was still there, no doubt waiting for his money.
One thing about going to school at Oak Grove, our superintendent and teachers taught us common sense. Common sense told me to get out of Buckner, which we did.
After that night, Buckner girls never did much appeal to me.
Jack can be reached at PO Box 40, Oak Grove, MO 64075, or Visit

Monday, June 11, 2012

Fireworks Law Signed by Governor Nixon

Gov. Jay Nixon today signed into a law a bill that removes a discrepancy between Missouri and federal laws on the labeling of commercial fireworks, and makes those fireworks that are legal under federal law now legal under Missouri law. Because Senate Bill 835 contains an emergency clause, it takes effect immediately, and brings clarity for communities and civic organizations that plan and sponsor Fourth of July fireworks displays.
“Celebrating America’s birthday with community fireworks displays is a time-honored tradition in towns large and small across Missouri,” Gov. Nixon said. “I greatly appreciate the countless volunteer hours that our civic organizations devote to making these community events successful, and this new law will help ensure that the displays continue to be both safe and enjoyable.” 
In 2009, the U.S. Department of Transportation changed the way it defined and classified fireworks for the purpose of labeling, shipping and possession. Those federal changes included the designations on the amount of explosives contained in the fireworks. Missouri law had referenced the old designated amounts, and had not been updated to reflect the new federal designations.
Gov. Nixon’s signing of Senate Bill 835 enacts the updates to Missouri law to reflect those previous changes in the federal law. The bill was passed by the General Assembly with the support of the Missouri State Fire Marshal.

McCaskill Takes Another Step to Protect Jobs, Resources for Missouri Farmers, Ranchers

U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill today continued her fight to ensure Farm Service Agency offices remain accessible for Missouri’s farmers and ranchers.

The Farm Bill being currently debated in the Senate would protect agriculture jobs and reduce the national deficit by $23 billion by streamlining and consolidating federal programs and ending unnecessary farm subsidies, while preserving important resources for farm and ranch families and strengthening the crop insurance program—critical to the livelihoods of Missouri’s farmers and ranchers.  

McCaskill has introduced an amendment that would  prevent the closure of a Farm Service Agency (FSA) office unless another office is located within 20 miles driving distance.  

“The Farm Bill is another one of those opportunities to ensure that the voices of families in our small towns and rural communities are heard in Washington,” said McCaskill, who was born in Rolla, Mo. “Not everyone in Congress knows what it means to be from rural America—but as someone who does, I plan to keep up my fight to protect jobs in our ag industry, to guard against any unreasonable regulations on our farm and ranch families, and to preserve access to crucial resources that our small towns rely upon.”

Farmers and ranchers visit FSA offices for assistance with various farm programs, including payment programs, loan services, disaster programs, and conservation programs. In the 2008 Farm Bill, Congress placed limitations on the ability of the Secretary of Agriculture to close FSA offices limiting closures to those offices within 20 miles of another FSA office to avoid placing unreasonable travel burdens on farmers and ranchers.

However, that legislation did not specify that the twenty mile requirement refers to driving distance, as opposed to distance measured in a straight line. Ignoring the clear intent of the 2008 bill, the U.S. Department of Agriculture is attempting to abuse this technicality to close down additional FSA offices in states across the country, including one in Morgan County that is a twenty-six mile drive from the next nearest office, but less than 20 miles away “as the crow flies.”

McCaskill has already been active on the Farm Bill, last week introducing an amendment ensuring that a program designed to increase broadband access in rural Missouri didn’t have its resources wasted through diversions to large metropolitan areas.

A copy of McCaskill’s amendment to protect Missourians access to Farm Service Agencies is available HERE.

McCaskill Supports Addition of Veterans’ Mental Health Providers

U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill today released the following statement in response to the plan released by the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) to make good on promises to hire nearly 2,000 workers nationwide to treat and assist military veterans requiring mental health services:

“Veterans in Missouri and across the country need to have access to the best possible care—period—and that’s especially important when we’re talking about issues of mental health. I’ve fought to increase veterans’ access to mental health care, and I’m thrilled that additional providers will be hired in Missouri.  But I’m not going to rest for a second until our veterans are receiving the care that they need and have earned.”

VA medical centers in St. Louis, Kansas City, Columbia, and Poplar Bluff are slated to receive additional mental health clinicians.  According to the VA, the number of additional staff to be added at each facility is based on the veteran population in the service area, the mental health needs of veterans in that population, and the range and complexity of mental health services provided in the service area.

McCaskill has been a champion for military veterans and servicemembers since coming to the Senate in 2006.  McCaskill has fought to increase funding for veterans health programs, and in 2009, helped pass the Veterans Health Care Budget Reform and Transparency Act, legislation that enables advanced appropriations for Veterans Health Administration accounts in order to provide greater stability and support to critical veterans care programs.  In 2010, McCaskill introduced the TRICARE Mental Health Care Access Act, legislation intended to improve veterans' access to mental health services. The bill aimed to expand access to mental health services for military families and retirees by cutting through red tape that prevented licensed mental health counselors from participating in the TRICARE system. The change was signed into law as part of the Fiscal Year 2011 National Defense Authorization Act.

Read more about McCaskill’s work for veterans by clicking HERE.