Sunday, March 31, 2013

Light Snow Possible Monday Morning

A mix of rain and snow showers transitioning to light snow is possible after midnight tonight in northern and central Missouri, the National Weather Service reports. There is little to no snow accumulation expected due to the warm surfaces from the warm weather of the past few days. This weather may continue into the mid-morning hours across portions of central Missouri. Rain is also expected to mix with snow in northeast Missouri and west central Illinois. Minor flooding is expected in the Ozarks and southeast Kansas.

After this, there will be little or no rain for the next several days until Monday, when rain is expected. Temperatures will warm back up into the 50's by Wednesday and the 60's by Thursday.

Today is sunny and mild with temperatures in the high 50's with brisk winds out of the north.

Skidmore Man Seriously Injured in Car Wreck

A Skidmore man was seriously injured in a car wreck Sunday morning. The Missouri State Highway Patrol reports that a 1983 Chevy Pickup driven by Mitchell Parman (32) was southbound on 71 and traveled off the left side of the roadway. The driver overcorrected and the vehicle started overturning. Parman, who was not wearing a seat belt at the time of the accident, was ejected from the vehicle. The vehicle came to rest in the median on the driver's side facing south. Parman was taken to St. Francis Hospital in Maryville. The pickup was totaled and was towed from the scene.

Four New Cases of Chronic Wasting Disease in NW Missouri

Four new cases of Chronic Wasting Disease in deer have been confirmed in Northwest Missouri, the Gallatin North Missourian and the Missouri Department of Conservation Report. The disease was first found in Northwest Missouri in early 2012 and has been confined to Linn and Macon Counties. There have been 10 confirmed cases, all from that area. The Missouri Department of Conservation has tested over 3000 deer so far and will continue to do so during deer seasons.

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Two Fires in Worth County Put Out

On Thursday night, Grant City and Sheridan fire units were dispatched to Oxford to put out a grass fire there at around 6:03 p.m. The fire was controlled by 6:20 and all units were back in service by 6:36. That fire made them late to the storm spotter training held in Sheridan that evening.

At 8:01 p.m. Friday, the Worth County Fire Department was dispatched to a wildland fire south of Grant City. Backburns were lit to protect exposures and regain control of the fireline. All units were back in service at 8:52 p.m.

The Grant City and Sheridan Fire Departments request that all people planning to burn CRP ground or planning a controlled burn to notify the local fire department to prevent unnecessary dispatches.

Isolated Thunderstorms, Light Snow Possible

The National Weather Service reports that isolated thunderstorms are possible tonight, affecting parts of northwest Missouri and extreme northeast Kansas. On Sunday night, rain changing over to snow is forecast continuing until morning. Minor snow accumulations are possible of less than an inch. The snow will end by Monday morning. The weather will cool off, with highs in the 40's on Monday and Tuesday. Things will warm up by Wednesday back into the 50's and back into the 60's by Friday.

There was light rain in Sheridan last night and it was cloudy much of the morning; however, it cleared off by mid-afternoon with highs in the upper 50's today after hitting 70 yesterday. However, it turned into showers by 5 that evening.

The region was missed by a storm system Saturday. Severe Thunderstorm Watches were issued for south of Kansas City; dime sized hail was reported with the storm.

Guess What You Missed at WCCC?

People who didn't go to the Easter Egg Hunt at the WCCC today missed out. There were free cookies for everyone. There were 50-75 people there who had a good time. Kids colored Easter pictures for WCCC residents and visited the Easter Bunny. Watch this space or pick up a copy of the Sheridan Express for future community events.

Situational Awareness Emphasized at Storm Spotter Training

Andy Bailey of the National Weather Service Pleasant Hill office said that situational awareness was important for weather whether you are a storm spotter or not. He said that the forecasts might call for 40% chance of showers; however, the next question was, what kind of storms?

The National Weather Service office in Pleasant Hill has 14 meteorologists and millions of equipment at their main office; however, even they cannot see everything from their office. That is because they are not allowed to shoot energy at the horizon, but must shoot it up into the sky. By the time it reaches Worth County, the waves may already be 10,000 to 12,000 high. That is too high for a Doppler Radar to pick up a tornado. That is why they rely on spotters on the ground to spot tornadoes and other damaging storms so that they can confirm what they are seeing on radar.

Sometimes, storms can strike with little or no warning. For instance, the Joplin Tornado had only 20 minutes warning before it touched down. There was no confirmation about the funnel cloud until it was almost through town. The Pleasant Hill office is staffed 24 hours a day, 7 days a week; therefore, if you're up at 3 a.m., they will take reports of hail.  Their number is (800) 438-0596.

Storm spotters need to know what kind of clouds to look for. Some clouds look dangerous, but do not have the vertical growth that is necessary to produce damaging thunderstorms. The peak of severe weather is usually mid-April through mid-June. The National Weather Service produces a hazardous weather outlook for the area three times a day at where it has information about the possibility of severe storms. They have hazardous weather information for the next seven days.

A watch issued by the Weather Service means that conditions are favorable for the development of severe thunderstorms or tornadoes. Normally, the Weather Service has two people on site at Pleasant Hill; however, in the event of a watch or warning, they bring in 8-14 people. If you're in a tornado warning, people should take cover immediately in the lowest level of the building or in a basement or cellar; in the event of a severe thunderstorm warning, people should go indoors immediately and stay away from windows. Bailey said that it was a good idea to have a weather radio to be aware of hazardous weather; however, he admitted that it didn't always work out in his situation since his wife threw a fit every time it went off for a warning on the other side of the county. If driving and caught in a tornado, drivers should attempt to drive away from the tornado if possible. It used to be that drivers were told to get into the ditch; however, the danger of getting struck by lightning or flying debris is too great.

In the next few years, the FCC will have the telecom industry provide warning information over cell phones over the next two years.

Factors that contribute to the formation of severe storms include moisture, instability, and lift as well as updrafts and downdrafts. In the morning, the weather is stable and it is less likely to have severe storms. However, in the afternoon, as the air is warmer, the air is much less stable and severe storm clouds form later in the afternoon. Sometimes, cold and warm fronts are what provide the final push for the warm air to rise to the point where severe weather begins.

Single cell storms are usually short-lived, less than an hour in length. They are seldom severe; an exception is microbursts like the one that hit Maryville a couple of years ago. A multicell cluster has a much better chance of producing rains. It is likely to produce flooding, but rarely turns into severe weather. The most severe of these can form squall lines hundreds of miles in length.

The supercells are the ones which are most likely to form tornadoes and other severe weather. Northwest Missouri usually gets three to four of these a year. Bailey said that the thing to watch for was persistent rotation for several minutes; that is usually the precursor to a tornado and people should take cover. Most people killed in tornadoes are struck by flying debris. Bailey said that the best viewing location for a supercell was three to five miles southeast of the storm path; it is out of the tornado path and in relative safety. He said that spotters should never drive through a supercell because that was when they were likely to get hit by a tornado.

There are several types of clouds that look like tornado clouds but that are not. These include low-hanging clouds, scud clouds, and rain shafts. Bailey said that if the cloud was not rotating, then there was no tornado.

Bailey said that people should report any of the following:
--3/4" or larger sized hail;
--thunderstorm damage;
--winds of 50 miles per hour or more;
--heavy snow and ice;
--2" or more of rain.

When measuring the size of hail, one can use a coin. Bailey said that callers should include as much detail as possible. For instance, when reporting a flood, is the road usually flooded over during a storm? A flash flood can wash out a bridge in five minutes or less; even 18 inches of water is enough to float a car. There are more deaths through flash flooding than there are through tornadoes due to drivers trying to drive through flash flooding.

If you can hear thunder, then you can be hit by lightning. Lightning can strike up to 10 miles away from a storm; therefore, it is possible for it to strike even when the sky is clear. There is no need to report lightning to the Weather Service.

For spotters, their personal safety was the top priority. If going out at night, spotters should have at least one person go with them. It is safer now than it was five years ago since there are radar apps that can show you where you are at.

Friday, March 29, 2013

Tiger Girls Win Early Bird; Boys Second

The Worth County girls won the Early Bird meet Thursday and the boys were second as track season opened up following a one week delay. The girls won with 119 team points; Albany followed with 89, East Union with 69, King City with 64, and Stanberry with 39. On the boys side, Maysville won with 111 points. Worth County followed with 91 along with South Harrison. Stanberry followed with 66 and Albany had 60.

The boys finished 1-2 in the shot put. Lane Craven won with a throw of 41 feet 7 1/2", followed by Josh Warner with a throw of 41'2". For the girls, Kaitlyn Davidson was second with a throw of 35'2". That was 1'4 1/2" off the throw of Amber Sleeth of King City.

Kaitlyn was also second in the discus with a throw of 93 feet. That was 3'5" off the throw of Haley Craig of North Harrison. Rebecca Moore was third with a throw of 90'11". On the boys side, Josh Warner was second with a throw of 130'11 1/2". That was 8'1" off the throw of Justin Fry of South Harrison, who won with a throw of 139' 1'2".

Jacklyn Brooks was 6th in the High Jump for the girls with a jump of 4 feet. That was 8" off the height of Alysa Lyle of North Nodaway, who won with a jump of 4'8".

Worth County was 2-3 in the Triple Jump for the girls. Rikky Hunt was second with a jump of 28'4 1/2". That was 1' 4 3/4" off the jump of Erin Greeley of North Nodaway, who won with a jump of 30'9 1/4". Dylanie Abplanalp was third with a jump of 23'3 3/4". For the boys, Grant Parman was 5th with a jump of 38'7".

Grant Parman won the Long Jump for the boys for Worth County with a jump of 20' 1/2". That was half an inch better than Dakota Peterson of Maysville. Shane Kollitz was 5th with a jump of 18'5 1/2". On the girls side, the Tigers also placed two. Katie Mullock was second in the Long Jump with a leap of 14'11". That was 1'2 1/4" off the jump of Jordan Breckenridge of King City. Sydney Thummel was 4th with a jump of 14' 7 3/4".

Claire Andrews, the two-time defending state champion of the Pole Vault, began her defense with a winning leap of 9 feet this year. That was 1'6" higher than the vault of Amy Gully of Albany. Tess Andrews was 5th with a vault of 6 feet. The boys also placed two in the Pole Vault. Andrew Mullock was 2nd with a vault of 9 feet while Jared Simmons was 4th with a vault of 8 feet.

The girls 4x800 relay team was third with a time of 12:55. That was one minute off the time of Stanberry. The boys were fifth with a time of 10:38.80, which was 1:19.20 off the winning time of Maysville.

The Tigers came close twice in the hurdles. Brevyn Ross was second in the Boys 110 with a time of 18.34. That was .01 of a second off the pace of Eli Rhea of Maysville in one of the closest races of the afternoon. Cole Parman was 6th with a time of 21.31. On the girls side, Sydney Thummel was 2nd with a time of 18.28. That was .04 of a second off the time of Brittany Malone of East Union.

Sydney Thummel was 2nd in the 100 with a time of 14.06. That was .24 of a second off the time of Jordan Breckenridge of King City, who won with a time of 13.82. Sydney was also second behind Breckenridge in the 200, where she had a time of 29.15. Breckenridge won with a time of 28.65. For Northeast Nodaway, Andrew Faustlin was 6th in the 200 with a time of 26.84.

The girls 4x200 relay team was second behind Albany with a time of 2:02.57. Albany won with a time of 2:01.53. Northeast Nodaway's girls were 5th with a time of 2:06.47. On the boys side, Worth County was also second with a time of 1:40.22. That was 2.1 seconds off the time of the winning Stanberry team.

Will Rennells was 6th in the 1600 with a time of 5:45. That was 49 seconds off the winning time of Avery Whitsell of Maysville.

Worth County's girls were fourth in the 4x100 relay with a time of 1:00.35. That was 6.64 seconds off the time of East Union, who won with a time of 54.71. The boys were also fourth, getting a time of 48.69.

Haven Schottel moved from the long distance to the middle distance races with immediate results as she won the 400 with a time of 1:09.42. That was 2.01 seconds ahead of Morgan Miller of King City. For Northeast Nodaway's girls, Katrina Freemyer was 4th with a time of 1:17.02.

Jacklyn Brooks was third in the 300 Hurdles with a time of 1:17.67. On the boys side, the Tigers placed two as Brevyn Ross was second with a time of 46.56 and Cole Parman was 5th with a time of 49.64.

For the boys, Jared Simmons was 4th in the 3200 with a time of 13:27.

The boys were 6th in the 4x400 with a time of 4:26. That was 38 seconds off the winning time of Stanberry, with a time of 3:48.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Worth County Spelling Bee Winners

Family, friends, classmates and teachers gathered on March 27, 2013 to support our 4th – 6th grade & 7th- 8th grade participants for our local spelling bee at Worth County R-III.  15 junior high students competed in the first spelling bee, which started at 12:30 in the multi-purpose room.  7th grader, Mason Hawk, son of Bart & Karla Hawk received 1st place.  8th grader, Reagan Drury, daughter of Darin & Nanci Drury received 2nd place.  32, 4th-6th grade students participated in a separate competition following the junior high.  5th grader, Gabe Latham, son of Josh & Kandi Latham received 1st place.  6th grader, Kennedy Galanakis, daughter of Dino & Kera Galanakis received 2nd place.    All students participating were able to receive a prize, thanks to Joana Putvain and donations from Dollar General.  1st and 2nd place winners of both competitions received donated gift cards from Casey’s and candy/pop bouquets bought from Beth Meek at Flower’s N’ Things.  Special thanks to our judges Mr. Chuck Borey & Mrs. Amy Jackson as well as our pronouncer, Mrs. Merry Spiers. 

Erle Bennett, Former Worth County FB Coach, Inducted into Missouri Hall of Fame

Erle Bennett,a former Worth County head football coach, was inducted into the Missouri Football Coaches Hall of Fame, the Mexico City Ledger reports. He will be recognized this December at Tan-Tar-A. He started his head coaching football career at Worth County from 1985 and served until 1989. After he left, he went to Centralia, where he was a defensive coordinator and an offensive line coach. Since 1994, he has been the head football coach at Centralia, where he has compiled a record of 167 wins and 46 losses. His teams have won the Clarence Cannon Conference title eight times, won the 2003 state title, had a runner-up finish in 2002, and made the final four in 2009. Among his assistants have been Worth County grads Michael Hann and John Rinehart. Currently, his teams have an active 70 game regular season winning streak that started in 2005 and is still in progress.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Opinion: Julia Cox Touts Business Experience, Financial Skills

by Julia Cox
Julia (Kollitz) Cox is a candidate for the Worth County R-III school board. Julia feels that she could bring a fresh new perspective to the board. She has experience writing grants as well as reviewing and writing policies and procedures. Julia has excellent organizational and communication skills. She has experience in financial accountability. She is a can-do person who approaches problems with a level head and a calm demeanor. Julia has management experience and a bachelor's degree in nursing which she feels have given her many skills that would be of benefit if she were on the school board.
Julia believes in the value of a smaller school. All seven of her children have attended Worth County RIII schools and she has seen the value of the education they received. Julia has also seen the value of extra-curricular activities in shaping children's futures. Several of her children have attained post secondary education and she has two children who are still attending high school at Worth County RIII. She appreciates the personal interest that the staff takes in the students.
Julia has been a member of the Worth County Ambulance crew (Grant City) for a few years. She has also served as an accompanist for choirs and individuals in both the school and community. She is currently employed full time as the Director of Nursing at Maryville Treatment Center.
Julia states that she would appreciate the opportunity to further serve the community and the school. She also stated that she wants to be available as a voice for all citizens of Worth County to communicate questions, concerns, or ideas to the school board.

Water Leak in Courthouse Basement

A water leak has sprung in the basement of the courthouse. It was leaking about 3000 gallons per month; the county usually uses 6000 gallons of water. The county will contact a certified boiler mechanic to come and make repairs.

Emergency Management Director Pat Kobbe reported that the county will be doing an ice storm exercise on October 22nd this year at the Courthouse. The county will prepare for the exercise in August.

Tentative plans are for the county to start hauling gravel by April 15th, depending on how the weather cooperates. Much of the discussion that day focused on how better to grade roads. The tax rock was not showing up in some places, especially in the eastern part of the county. There have been complaints from landowners about not getting gravel even when there was gravel delivered to the roads.

Commissioner Reggie Nonneman said that the county needed to start grading ditches and push rock back onto the road so that water would run off. Currently, he said that there were places in the county where there were no ditches in the road and the water was not draining properly, meaning that the problem was getting worse every year. He said he feared that the alternative was that the county would have a hard time keeping roads in minimal shape with 60, 80, or even 100 tons per mile. Currently, county tax rock is put on at a rate of 60 tons per mile.

One potential difficulty was increased labor, but one possible solution was having workers work 60 hours one week and then take time off when it rains. Currently, crews are waiting for weather to clear so they can start on bridge work for this year. Road 163 was reported as having a recurring problem; there is an underground spring underneath the road. Both the county and Tank Parman have put rock on the bad section of that road to no avail. Nonneman said that he wanted the county to fix it so that they wouldn't have to keep putting extra rock on that road every year.

Discussion also focused on gravel needs. Currently, the Bethany quarry offers 1 1/2" clear rock while Norris offers 1" rock.

Commissioner Davidson said that by his observation, the roads that were really good were the ones that were properly kept clear of brush as well as the soil type. "If we don't make changes, then we're never going to get a road," said Nonneman. He said that if the roads were not ditched properly, then grader crews can't push snow off the roads without pushing gravel off as well. He said that the alternative was to keep loading rock onto roads at a prohibitive cost. He said that his concern was what the roads would look like in five years.

Commissioner Ted Findley said that the current 60 tons per mile of tax rock was a bandaid for the roads. Road and Bridge Foreman Jim Fletchall estimated that an average road needed 80 tons per mile. Under the current financial situation, the county would need landowners to put 20 tons per mile of CART rock for such roads. But the question was how much the county could afford to do with the budget this year. Clerk Roberta Owens said that the budget looked fine this year, but that there were two grader payments that the county owes and that money would then get tighter. Nonneman said that he didn't want the county to get itself into a mess where the roads would be bad regardless of how much rock they put on. Road & Bridge Foreman Jim Fletchall said that he had heard several reports of roads that were in much better shape since the gravel tax levy passed. But, as Nonneman noted, there were others where the grader ditch was full.

Worth County Sheriff's Report

3-18 -- Officer transports Worth County prisoner from Ringgold County to court in Worth County.
3-18 -- Officer transports prisoner back to Ringgold County.
3-18 -- Registered offender calls regarding travel permit.
3-18 -- Officer investigates minor accident in Grant City.
3-19 -- Officer responds to alarm at Casey's in Grant City; all OK.
3-19 -- Officer responds to domestic disturbance on High Street in Grant City.
3-20 -- Person calls regarding car stranded at C & AA; officer responds, no assistance needed.
3-20 -- Officer responds to disturbance at Sunny Slope Apartments.
3-20 -- Person in office to report fraudulent use of a debit card.
3-20 -- Person reports seeking two people come out of her basement; nothing missing at this time.
3-21 -- Officer serving papers in Grant City.
3-21 -- Officer responds to three 911 calls at school; everything is OK.
3-22 -- MSHP 720 and 126 in office on business.
3-22 -- Officer responds to a call of people parking in her yard; the people moved their cars.
3-22 -- Officer investigates accident in Grant City.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Amazing Race Reality Show Reopens Vietnam War Wounds

The last American troops left Vietnam in 1973, 40 years ago. But the passage of time has not erased the wounds for many who have been there. Last Sunday, March 17th, an episode from the CBS reality show "The Amazing Race" reopened the war wounds for some Vietnam vets.

The Amazing Race is a reality show in which contestants forming teams of two race each other around the world while performing various cultural activities in the countries that they are visiting. On March 17th, the contestants flew to Hanoi, Vietnam. One of the controversial tasks involved contestants listening to a propaganda show inside a theater glorifying the Communist regime and then finding pictures with the correct words so they can move on to the next tasks. The problem was that they had hundreds of pictures to choose from, meaning that if they did not find the picture with the exact words on it, they would have to come down to the theater and listen to the show all over again. The other controversial task involved contestants going to a War Memorial showing off an American B-52 that was shot down.

In an angry post on the American Legion's website, National Commander James Koutz, himself a Vietnam veteran, cried foul.
"The show is called ‘The Amazing Race,’ but I call it ‘The Amazing Gall,’" Koutz said. "In a broadcast reminiscent of Tokyo Rose, reality game show contestants visited a ‘B-52 Memorial’ in Vietnam, which featured the wreckage of a B-52 bomber shot down during the war. What wasn’t shown were the U.S. crewmembers that were killed or the grieving American families that were left behind. The Department of Defense is encouraging Americans to honor and commemorate our Vietnam War veterans for the sacrifice that they made 50 years ago. The American Legion takes this obligation very seriously. We only wish that the network that once gave us Kate Smith – famous for her rendition of ‘God Bless America’ – would return to its great roots and not be so eager to broadcast anti-American propaganda."
American Legion members visited the Facebook pages of The Amazing Race to express outrage at the episode. The show apologized to viewers at the start of the March 24th episode.

The show is designed to be both entertaining and educational, educating viewers and contestants about different cultures around the world. Contestants must perform tasks related to the countries that they are visiting. In one task while in Hanoi, contestants had to hold hands and do the correct dance steps and hop through a hoop. If they forgot to hold hands or they did the dance incorrectly, they had to go back and do it over again before they could get the directions to the next task. In another, contestants had to choose between cooking a Vietnamese dish and matching living pieces with the pieces two Chinese Chess masters were playing on the board. Following the latter, contestants could make other competitors do a detour and do the other task before finishing the race.

The tasks were made more complicated by the language barrier; there were several times that contestants got lost because the cab driver didn't know where to go or they could not find anyone who could speak English. There were other times where the language barrier was a problem; for instance, in the cooking task, the contestants frequently had to go back and get the right ingredients because they had gotten the wrong ones.

Four Area Athletes Named for Lions All Star Classic

Four area athletes have been named to the Lions All-Star Classic to be held at Trenton this year. On the boys side Bryce Ross, Kevin Stoll, and Aaron Patton have been tabbed to play for the Black squad coached by Northeast Nodaway coach Chaim Jenkins. On the girls side, Kristan Judd will play for Coach Vance Proffitt's Black squad. The games will consist of four teams featuring area athletes from around the area.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Proposed Amendment would Make State Ag Department an Elected Position

A proposed Constitutional amendment proposed by Representative Jay Houghton (R-Martinsburg), HJR 29, would make the Missouri Department of Agriculture an elected position instead of a position appointed by the governor. It would weaken the governor's powers. There are currently 12 other states that have an elected Secretary of Agriculture position, including Iowa.

The Secretary of Agriculture would have the same qualification requirements as the governor. He or she would oversee all state agricultural programs that are established by law. The General Assembly shall provide the Secretary of Agriculture appropriations to carry out his or her duties and protect, foster, and develop the agricultural resources of the state.

If passed, the Secretary of Agriculture would be elected for a term of two years at the General Election of 2016 and his or her successors shall be elected for subsequent terms of four years. There would be no term limits. Currently, the governor and the treasurer are the only two statewide positions subject to term limits.

The Missouri Times quotes Houghton as saying that the state needed to do a better job of promoting its agricultural resources and envisioning the new director as a liaison between the state and the people. However, the state's farm groups are divided on the issue with the Missouri Soybean Association in favor and the Missouri Farm Bureau against it according to the article. The Farm Bureau said in the article that while they could see the benefits in the new legislation, there was a risk in what could happen when urban voters get to vote on farm issues that mostly affect rural Missourians. They expressed concerns about what might happen to agriculture if someone were to get elected who had nothing to do with Missouri farmers or ranchers.

The Missouri Net quoted other opponents to the proposed amendment. They quoted Representative Linda Black (D-Desloge) as saying that the cluster of population comes from urban areas, which would carry a vote in a statewide election. She is the wife of Jon Hagler, the current Secretary of Agriculture. A few years ago, the Humane Society of the US successfully pushed through a ballot measure regulating dog kennels. It was heavily opposed in rural counties and heavily supported in urban counties. The legislature later modified the initiative. However, the article quotes Missouri Soybean Association Dale Ludwig as being more supportive of the idea, saying that it was just as likely that the governor might appoint someone to the Department of Agriculture as a political payoff who had no background in farming or ranching.

If passed, the initiative would go on the ballot in November 2014 or a special election called by the governor for that purpose.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Roy Allee's Funeral Service Set for Saturday, March 30th

Roy Allee's service will be Saturday March 30, 2013 @ 9:30 am @ The First Assembly of God Church Fellowship Hall in Grant City. Mo. It will be informal and will have finger food breakfast items followed by a time of Everyone sharing stories about Roy. Memorials can be made to the VanSkyock addition of the Sheridan cemetery.

Softball Team Makes Academic All State List

The Worth County Softball Team made the Academic All State List as their grade point average was sufficient. In addition, six Tigers from the softball team made the Academic All State List. They were Brianna Fletchall, Kristen Andrews, Madison Cassavaugh, Kacey Smyser, Sydney Thummel, and Rebecca Moore. They were named by the Missouri Fastpitch Coaches Association.

Two Personnel Changes at Grant City Hall

Two personnel changes were made following closed sessions of the Grant City Council Wednesday. The first followed a special meeting held before the regular council meeting. The code enforcer position will end on March 29th, 2013 following a vote by the Grant City Council. The vote was unanimous. Following the regular meeting, the council went into closed session and voted unanimously to accept the resignation of Debbie Bowers from the Grant City License Office. The city will advertise for a clerk for the office and personnel may be utilized with City Hall.

More Gun Violence -- 3 Marines Dead at Quantico

This morning, thoughts and prayers are with three Marines who are dead at Quantico, VA. This includes the gunman, who took his own life. None of us have all the answers. Most of us believe strongly in the right to protect ourselves against criminals or the government. But most of us know of someone who we wouldn't want anywhere near a gun or carrying a concealed weapon on their person. The problem is that most of the corporate media is focusing on the symptoms of gun violence and not the causes. Mental illness is one of the causes of gun violence, as is excessive exposure to lead. We submit that there is another cause as well -- allowing teens under 18 access to alcohol. In Sterling, VA, a teen was shot and killed by the homeowner after he had gotten drunk and then entered the wrong house. Around here, it is telling that the teens themselves think that it is a problem. We could repeal the Second Amendment, take everyone's guns away, and we still would not have a handle on the plague of violence sweeping our country.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Obituary -- Martha Laura (McCord) Ray 1923-2013

      Martha Laura (McCord) Ray passed away Tuesday, March 19, 2013 at the age of 89. She was born on December 24, 1923 in Denver, Missouri and spent the majority of her life living in Grant City, Missouri with her husband Wilbur Ray of 68 years. She was baptized in her home church of Isadora Church of Christ in the late 1940’s where she was an active member until her death. Over the years Martha supported he husband and their family farm through her hard work, exceptional gardening, good cookin’ and generous hospitality. She is remembered for her spunk and determination, which she passed down to her family.
     Martha was preceded in death by their two infant children, Madonna May and Orlin Lee, parents; Ben and Annie McCord, brothers; Victor and Vernon McCord and sister Mary Etta Krumme.
     She leave behind her husband Wilbur G. Ray of Grant City, whom she married on October 15, 1944; one son; James G. Ray and wife Kathy of St. Joseph, Missouri; three grandchildren; Jeremy J. Ray and wife Rhapsody of Florissant, Missouri, Jamie J. (Ray) King and husband Shawn of Jefferson City, Missouri and Joshua J. Ray and wife Jennifer of St. Joseph, six, soon to be seven great-grandchildren; Chloe Ray, Reagan, Grant, Jackson and Madison King and John Wilbur Ray and Baby Ray, numerous nephews and nieces.
     Visitation will be Saturday, March 23, 2013 at 1:30 P.M. at the Prugh-Dunfee in Grant City, Missouri (660-564-3388) with funeral service to follow at 3:00 P.M. Interment in the Grant City Cemetery.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

7 Dogs Impounded in Grant City Recently

Public Works Director Carl Staton reported that the city had impounded seven dogs in the dog pound recently. All of them had owners within city limits and two of them were repeat offenders. "People don't realize that we are not picking on anyone, but we have been getting a ton of complaints about dogs in trash and on other peoples' property," said Clerk Ayvonne Morin. Mayor Debbie Roach said that it was a matter of people taking responsibility for their pets if they decided to own one. On one particular day, Staton reported that the city had gotten four calls about two dogs owned by the same owner running loose in violation of city ordinances.

Under city ordinances, it costs $50 the first time that the city impounds a dog. The second time is $75 and the third time is $100. The fourth time, the dog will be euthanized. In addition, it costs dog owners $5 per day that the city keeps the dog at the pound. One person noted that it costs around $200 to build a fence that can enclose a dog on one's property and come into compliance with city ordinances. "We have no intention of being mean or mistreating people," said Roach. "But there is a common misperception where people ask the neighbors if it's OK if the dogs run loose. But the neighbors don't tell you; they tell us."

Currently, city ordinances state that a dog must be contained on the owner's property. Another question came up about pit bulls. Regarding pit bulls, no new pit bulls were allowed after 1987 and the city does not have to return pit bulls that they capture. The ordinances focus on both breed and behavior; it applies to vicious dogs regardless of the breed. Dogs must be contained on a leash or enclosed in a fence or structure. Other complaints focused on dogs being walked in the park. Most cities back east have "pooper scooper" laws requiring owners to have a scooper and to clean up after their dog if they are walking them. Other cities have designated areas in parks for that.

The city ordinances also apply to cats and Staton said that the city gets complaints about cats as well. The problem is that the city has no facility for cats. However, Staton said that he got a call at 10:30 at night about a stray cat that had gotten in through someone's pet door and that it was frantic and out of control. He said that he and Greg Miller had to come and get it.

The city will turn their lagoon permit in early in order to prepare for any possible changes from the DNR. It is now every three years.

Lifeguards at the pool were discussed; the people who worked there last year all expressed interest in working again this year. Craig and Gina McNeese will manage the pool once again this year. The city is looking for potential subs for this year. The city is in the process of closing out the grant for the pool.

Grant City and other towns in the Midwest were never notified about a renewal of the franchise agreement with KCP&L that was to have gone into effect by January. Consequently, there is a 5% rollback penalty depending on what day is used. The city was finally notified on February 27th. Morin said she had called the Public Service Commission on this matter and that they didn't know what date to use.

Economic Developer Tammy Ueligger said that there would be a gardener's expo that would be held on April 20th and that they were looking for vendors for that event. She said that she was hoping for the business directory by next week. She said that County Market Days would be held during the Smokeoff and the Grant City Sesquicentennial.

Tjeerdsma Named New Northwest Athletic Director

Former head football coach Mel Tjeerdsma has returned to Northwest Missouri State as he has been named the new athletic director for the institution. He replaces Wren Baker, who resigned. Tjeerdsma was named following a quick search. As football coach, Mel turned around a program that had been struggling and turned it into a national powerhouse. As a coach who turned around a struggling program, he will be an invaluable resource for all the other coaches. He took an active interest in the other programs; he was a regular in attendance at Northwest basketball games turning his tenure as the Bearcats' head football coach. He was always there for everyone as a head coach, from his reserve freshmen to his top players and his assistants and coaching colleagues. His football program was marked by stability as he was able to keep the same staff for several years in a row. His wife Carol was a teacher at Northwest; she accepted everyone that she taught regardless of who they were.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

House Committee Approves Legislation Sponsored by State Rep. Delus Johnson to Extend Daylight Saving Time

The biannual ritual of changing your clock in accordance with the start and end of daylight saving time would be a thing of the past if State Rep. Delus Johnson has his way. Johnson is pushing legislation that would make daylight saving time the year-round standard in Missouri. His legislation (HB 340) was approved this week in the House Committee on Emerging Issues in Agriculture by a 9-3 vote.

Johnson’s bill would establish the Daylight Saving as New Standard Time Pact that would consist of Missouri and any other state desiring to observe daylight saving throughout the entire year.

The legislation also makes it clear that the change would only go into effect when at least 20 states have passed legislation entering those states into the pact. At that time, each state would switch clocks forward to daylight saving for the last time and never set their clocks back again. Daylight saving would then become the new standard time.

“This is a change that would allow farmers to work later into the evening earlier and later in the year. It would promote tourism by allowing more outdoor activity later in the day during the Spring & Fall months. It would also promote economic development because shoppers tend to shop more during daylight hours,” said Johnson, R- St. Joseph. “Changing our clocks twice per year is an outdated, unnecessary process based on energy policy that is over 100 years old. I’m hopeful we can pass my bill this year which allows Missouri to take the lead on this common sense change.”

Johnson’s bill now moves to the House Rules Committee for approval before moving to the House floor for discussion.

McCaskill Backs Legislation To End Tax Breaks for Companies Shipping Jobs Overseas

U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill is backing a measure to boost job creation by rewarding companies that “insource” jobs to the U.S., while ending tax breaks for those companies shipping jobs overseas.

The Bring Jobs Home Act introduced by Senator Debbie Stabenow, creates a special 20 percent tax credit for the moving expenses of companies who shift operations back to the U.S. from abroad.

The bill also prevents companies from deducting from their taxes the costs associated with shipping jobs overseas. Under current law, companies can deduct 100 percent of the cost of shipping equipment overseas, terminating leases, and other expenses associated with offshoring a business—meaning that taxpayers are on the hook for millions of dollars annually.

“Right now, some companies are undercutting hardworking Americans by sending valuable jobs out of the country,” McCaskill said. “We shouldn’t be rewarding them for doing it. Instead, let’s use some common sense, and reduce their incentive to outsource by ending tax breaks for companies that send jobs overseas, and rewarding companies that bring jobs back to the United States.”

A similar measure had bipartisan majority support in the Senate last year, but ultimately failed to advance after a Republican filibuster.

Route 46 in Worth County to be Resurfaced This Year

The Missouri Highway and Transportation Commission recently awarded a contract for doing Highway 46 in Worth County for the 2013 construction season..
  • Route 46
    • Counties: Nodaway and Worth
    • Location: From U.S. Hwy 136 in Nodaway County to U.S. Hwy 169 in Grant City
    • Type of Work: Seal Coat
    • Awarded to: Vance Brothers, Inc.
    • Amount: $412,197.83
    • Length of Project: Approximately 24 miles
Construction will take place during the 2013 construction season and motorists should expect lane closures and delays during construction.
MoDOT encourages all motorists to slow down, buckle up and drive safely through work zones to ensure everyone can Arrive Alive.
For more information about these and other MoDOT projects, call 1-888-ASK-MODOT (888-275-6636) or visit and view the online Traveler Information Map. In addition, MoDOT provides updated information on Twitter @MoDOTNorthwest, on Facebook at or via email and/or text message by signing up for E-updates at

Open Letter to George Bush and Dick Cheney from a Dying Iraq War Veteran

by Tomas Young
I write this letter on the 10th anniversary of the Iraq War on behalf of my fellow Iraq War veterans. I write this letter on behalf of the 4,488 soldiers and Marines who died in Iraq. I write this letter on behalf of the hundreds of thousands of veterans who have been wounded and on behalf of those whose wounds, physical and psychological, have destroyed their lives. I am one of those gravely wounded. I was paralyzed in an insurgent ambush in 2004 in Sadr City. My life is coming to an end. I am living under hospice care.
I write this letter on behalf of husbands and wives who have lost spouses, on behalf of children who have lost a parent, on behalf of the fathers and mothers who have lost sons and daughters and on behalf of those who care for the many thousands of my fellow veterans who have brain injuries. I write this letter on behalf of those veterans whose trauma and self-revulsion for what they have witnessed, endured and done in Iraq have led to suicide and on behalf of the active-duty soldiers and Marines who commit, on average, a suicide a day. I write this letter on behalf of the some 1 million Iraqi dead and on behalf of the countless Iraqi wounded. I write this letter on behalf of us all—the human detritus your war has left behind, those who will spend their lives in unending pain and grief.

You may evade justice but in our eyes you are each guilty of egregious war crimes, of plunder and, finally, of murder, including the murder of thousands of young Americans—my fellow veterans—whose future you stole.
I write this letter, my last letter, to you, Mr. Bush and Mr. Cheney. I write not because I think you grasp the terrible human and moral consequences of your lies, manipulation and thirst for wealth and power. I write this letter because, before my own death, I want to make it clear that I, and hundreds of thousands of my fellow veterans, along with millions of my fellow citizens, along with hundreds of millions more in Iraq and the Middle East, know fully who you are and what you have done. You may evade justice but in our eyes you are each guilty of egregious war crimes, of plunder and, finally, of murder, including the murder of thousands of young Americans—my fellow veterans—whose future you stole.
Your positions of authority, your millions of dollars of personal wealth, your public relations consultants, your privilege and your power cannot mask the hollowness of your character. You sent us to fight and die in Iraq after you, Mr. Cheney, dodged the draft in Vietnam, and you, Mr. Bush, went AWOL from your National Guard unit. Your cowardice and selfishness were established decades ago. You were not willing to risk yourselves for our nation but you sent hundreds of thousands of young men and women to be sacrificed in a senseless war with no more thought than it takes to put out the garbage.
I joined the Army two days after the 9/11 attacks. I joined the Army because our country had been attacked. I wanted to strike back at those who had killed some 3,000 of my fellow citizens. I did not join the Army to go to Iraq, a country that had no part in the September 2001 attacks and did not pose a threat to its neighbors, much less to the United States. I did not join the Army to “liberate” Iraqis or to shut down mythical weapons-of-mass-destruction facilities or to implant what you cynically called “democracy” in Baghdad and the Middle East. I did not join the Army to rebuild Iraq, which at the time you told us could be paid for by Iraq’s oil revenues. Instead, this war has cost the United States over $3 trillion. I especially did not join the Army to carry out pre-emptive war. Pre-emptive war is illegal under international law. And as a soldier in Iraq I was, I now know, abetting your idiocy and your crimes. The Iraq War is the largest strategic blunder in U.S. history. It obliterated the balance of power in the Middle East. It installed a corrupt and brutal pro-Iranian government in Baghdad, one cemented in power through the use of torture, death squads and terror. And it has left Iran as the dominant force in the region. On every level—moral, strategic, military and economic—Iraq was a failure. And it was you, Mr. Bush and Mr. Cheney, who started this war. It is you who should pay the consequences.
I would not be writing this letter if I had been wounded fighting in Afghanistan against those forces that carried out the attacks of 9/11. Had I been wounded there I would still be miserable because of my physical deterioration and imminent death, but I would at least have the comfort of knowing that my injuries were a consequence of my own decision to defend the country I love. I would not have to lie in my bed, my body filled with painkillers, my life ebbing away, and deal with the fact that hundreds of thousands of human beings, including children, including myself, were sacrificed by you for little more than the greed of oil companies, for your alliance with the oil sheiks in Saudi Arabia, and your insane visions of empire.
I have, like many other disabled veterans, suffered from the inadequate and often inept care provided by the Veterans Administration. I have, like many other disabled veterans, come to realize that our mental and physical wounds are of no interest to you, perhaps of no interest to any politician. We were used. We were betrayed. And we have been abandoned. You, Mr. Bush, make much pretense of being a Christian. But isn’t lying a sin? Isn’t murder a sin? Aren’t theft and selfish ambition sins? I am not a Christian. But I believe in the Christian ideal. I believe that what you do to the least of your brothers you finally do to yourself, to your own soul.
My day of reckoning is upon me. Yours will come. I hope you will be put on trial. But mostly I hope, for your sakes, that you find the moral courage to face what you have done to me and to many, many others who deserved to live. I hope that before your time on earth ends, as mine is now ending, you will find the strength of character to stand before the American public and the world, and in particular the Iraqi people, and beg for forgiveness.

Tomas Young is an Iraq War Veteran on hospice care at his home in Kansas City. He is the subject of a documentary, Body of War, which chronicles how he adapts to his massive injuries sustained in the war.

Tiger Junior High Boys Win Three Tournaments

The Worth County Junior High boys have been busy over the winter improving their basketball skills since the end of basketball season last year. They have won their last three tournaments; they won tournaments in Des Moines, Creston, and Kansas City. They plan to play in Kansas City every other weekend during summer.

WC School Board Tenures Five Teachers

The Worth County School Board voted to tenure five teachers during their regular Board of Education Meeting last Thursday. They voted to tenure Deanna Carpenter, April Healy, Patty Lischer, Selina O'Connor, and Julia Wideman. They also voted to offer Dr. Coleen Combs a probationary teacher's contract for the second half of the current school year. They also voted to rehire all probationary teachers. They also voted to name Patricia Warner to coach the Academic Bowl team for the 2013-2014 school year.

Grant City Sesquicentennial Committee Seeking Ideas for Celebration

The Grant City Sesquicentennial Committee is seeking ideas and volunteers for their upcoming Sesquicentennial Celebration this year. It is tentatively scheduled for August 30th, 31st, and September 1st on the Grant City Square. The committee moved forward with plans; tentatively, there will be pictures, music, entertainment, a religious service, and a parade. A fundraiser could possibly be held this summer. Another meeting will be held on April 16th at 6:30 at City Hall. If you have ideas for the celebration or would like to help, contact Debbie Roach.

House Speaker Tim Jones Says Missouri House Will Act Quickly to Preserve Second Amendment Rights and Privacy of Missourians

House Speaker Tim Jones said today that the Missouri House of Representatives will act quickly to address concerns that the Missouri Department of Revenue is violating the privacy and Second Amendment rights of Missourians.

He plans to fast track legislation sponsored by state Rep. Rick Brattin, R-Harrisonville, that would eliminate concealed carry endorsements and replace them with concealed carry permits. Specifically, it would allow the sheriff in each county to issue permits to Missourians with a certificate of qualification for a concealed carry endorsement or a driver's or non-driver's license with a concealed carry endorsement. Jones said the change would ensure Missourians are able to receive their concealed carry permits without fear their information is being shared with out-of-state parties.

“The ongoing legal challenge against the department’s current practices has caused many Missourians to have concerns that their private information is being shared without their consent. We must act quickly to restore the public’s trust and to safeguard their ability to obtain a concealed carry permit without having their right to privacy violated,” said Jones, R-Eureka, who also said he plans to refer Brattin’s legislation to committee when the legislature returns from its annual Spring Break on Monday, Mar. 25.

Jones and the members of the Missouri General Assembly made the issue a priority following a lawsuit filed by a Stoddard County man who objected to new requirements put in place by the revenue department. Eric Griffin was informed by his local fee office that the new requirements necessitated that his personal information be scanned in order to add his concealed carry endorsement to his license. Griffin refused saying he should not be forced to have documents scanned that could jeopardize the privacy of his personal information. At present, Stoddard County Judge Robert Mayer has issued a 10-day restraining order preventing the fee office from issuing concealed carry endorsements.

Jones said his goal is to find a legislative solution that will prevent any interruption in services that would prevent Missourians from obtaining or renewing an endorsement, while also making certain the personal information of all residents is protected and private. He said he will continue to work with his colleagues to explore all options for a legislative fix for an issue he said is a top priority for the second half of the legislative session.

Brattin’s legislation is HB 859.

Interstate cattle movement affected by new USDA rule

A new USDA animal disease traceability rule requires that livestock animals be officially identified before they are moved across state lines.
University of Missouri Extension veterinarian Craig Payne says everyone in the cattle industry should be aware of the rule, which went into effect nationwide on March 11.
Payne said that three classes of cattle are affected by the rule. Cattle falling into any of these classes will need to be officially identified and have a certificate of veterinary inspection before going out of state:

1. Sexually intact beef cattle 18 months of age or older.

2. Any cattle, regardless of age, that are going out of state to a rodeo, recreational event, show or exhibition.

3. All female dairy cattle, regardless of age, and all male dairy cattle, including dairy steers born after March 11, 2013.
There are some exemptions to the identification requirement, such as cattle moving directly to a recognized slaughtering establishment or a tagging site such as livestock markets that have been authorized by the USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service or state or tribal animal health officials.
“The big thing to keep in mind is that in terms of beef cattle, anything less than 18 months of age is not going to require identification,” Payne said. “Also, there are quite a few exceptions and details in this rule, so if you have any doubts about what is required, contact your veterinarian or state animal health official.”
Payne says the primary forms of identification that will be used include the silver or “brite” metal ear tags. “If heifers have been brucellosis-vaccinated, their orange brucellosis vaccination tag will qualify. There is also a tag called an AIN tag, which has a 15-digit number beginning with 840. These include a variety of types. One is the electronic identification tag, and there is also a visual tag.”
Payne notes that the federal rule is not a substitute for individual state import regulations, which may be more stringent than the USDA regulations. Because of this, Payne recommends that you call the destination state prior to shipment to make sure you are in full compliance with the state’s import regulations.
For more information about the animal disease traceability rule, go to

McCaskill Statement on 10th Anniversary of Iraq War

U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill, the daughter of a World War II veteran and a senior member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, today released the following statement on the 10th anniversary of the beginning of combat operations in Iraq:

“On this anniversary, I join all Missourians in offering my enduring gratitude to the American troops whose sacrifices were made both on and off the battlefield. Many of our servicemembers heroically gave their lives in service to our security and freedom, a sacrifice we will never forget and forever honor. Thousands of veterans also continue to cope with injuries, both physical and psychological, and it remains our obligation to ensure that they have the resources they need to recover and the benefits they've earned.

“Unfortunately, the war in Iraq will also be remembered for the staggering amount of taxpayer dollars wasted as a result of contracting. Combating that waste and fraud has been a focus of mine for six years, and I remain committed to ensuring that Congress and the Administration learn from the painful lessons of this war, so that we don’t find ourselves in the same position next time.”

McCaskill has served on the Armed Services Committee since joining the Senate in 2007. She has been a leader on identifying waste within the Pentagon, particularly within the area of federal contracting. Last year, after identifying up to $60 billion in contracting waste in Iraq and Afghanistan, she passed an historic reform bill overhauling how federal contracts are awarded and monitored during military contingencies. 

WCCC Easter Egg Hunting and Coloring Contest

The Worth County Convalescent Center will be having an Easter Egg hunting and coloring contest Saturday, March 30th at 1:30 at the WCCC Activity Room. It is for children from birth to 6th grade. Children are encouraged to bring their own baskets. The first place finisher in each group will win a new bike. Pictures will be judged by the residents of the WCCC. There will be three age groups; birth to pre-K, Kindergarten through 2nd grade, and 3rd through 6th grade. In case of rain, treats will be given to children in the activity room. The egg hunt is sponsored by the Grant City Chamber of Commerce; the coloring contest is sponsored by the WCCC.

Initative Petition would Mandate Test Scores for Teacher Evals

(Missouri National Education Association) -- Friday, billionaire extremist Rex Sinquefield's attorney, Marc Ellinger, filed an initiative petition for a constitutional amendment to remove local control of teacher evaluation and mandate the use of state controlled standardized test scores in teacher evaluation. This marks the second time Sinquefield has launched this particular threat on teachers.
"Attacking teachers and public education is nothing new for Sinquefield, whose ongoing attacks are a clear manifestation of his hostility toward public schools," says Missouri NEA President Chris Guinther, a teacher on leave from the Francis Howell School District. "Just last year, he referred the public school system as a conspiracy of the Ku Klux Klan. Furthermore, Sinquefield is the force behind the Everything Tax, a scheme that gives millionaires a tax break while gutting education funding."
Sinquefield's plan ties test scores directly to teacher evaluation and does not recognize the other factors that affect student achievement and the real issues that influence teacher quality.
"Everyone should be held accountable for student success, but specifically attacking teachers distracts from the real problems facing our schools‹chronic underfunding, overcrowded classrooms and unfulfilled promises from the legislature," Guinther says. "Sinquefield's proposal views children as interchangeable parts in a one-size-fits-all system. Valuable instruction time will be wasted in meaningless standardized testing of every child, in every subject, for every class. Everyone agrees that every student deserves a highly skilled teacher. That's why Missouri NEA advocates for teaching standards and a strong teacher evaluation system. This proposal does nothing to guarantee accountability or improve teaching."
Aside from the expert opinions on why Sinquefield's tenure proposal is a bad idea for public education, the cost alone should be reason to dismiss it. Last year, the Missouri Association of School Administrators prepared an independent analysis that determined Sinquefield's plan could cost Missouri taxpayers more than $1 billion in the first two years.