Saturday, November 30, 2013

Growth in Healthcare Spending Slowest on Record

Figures show that real per enrollee growth in health spending has shown the slowest growth on record according to figures from the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services and the Bureau of Economic Analysis. The Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services administers those programs at the federal level while the Bureau of Economic Analysis provides economic data for the government.

For 2000-2007, the increase for private health insurance was 5%, as was Medicare. The increase for Medicaid was nearly zero. These numbers started going down before Obamacare was passed, meaning that these decreases are not entirely attributable to Obamacare For 2007-2010, the increases were 4% for private insurance and 2% for Medicare and 0% for Medicaid. Following the passage of Obamacare, these trends continued downward. For the period 2010-2013, private insurance increased by 1.5%, Medicare did not increase at all, while Medicaid showed a slight decrease. While the problems with the website have been in the news, the real success of Obamacare will hinge on whether these trends accelerate or continue given that its stated purpose is to make healthcare more affordable.

Figures from the Presidents’ Council of Economic Advisors showed that the rate of increase for total national health expenditures was declining during the 2000-2007 time frame. From 1965 to 2010, total national health expenditures went up 4.5% annually. For the period from 2000 to 2007, that figure was 3.9%. For 2007 to 2010, the figure was 1.8% while for 2010-2013, that figure was 1.3%.

In a recent 25-page report about healthcare costs, the Presidents’ Council of Economic Advisors stated, “The evidence is clear that recent trends in healthcare spending and price growth reflect, at least in part, ongoing structural changes in the healthcare sector. The showdown may be raising employment today and, if continued, will substantially raise living standards in the years ahead.” Since the rate of healthcare increases is slowing or stopping, that will free up money for employers to hire more workers. Given the recent protests at Wal-Marts across the country, this could create even more pressure for Wal-Mart to raise wages.

But the slowing rate of increase is not being felt across the board. The City of Grant City paid 10% more this year for its health insurance plan for its employees, and alternatives were substantially higher or would have come with less benefits. A similar plan for the County of Worth would have cost tens of thousands of dollars annually. And some users who got into the website have been offered more expensive policies than the ones they already have.

Black Friday Shows Politicians a Reflection of Society

This year, according to the Wall Street Journal and the National Retail Federation, there were 140 million people, or almost 40% of the country, out shopping on Black Friday. The big winners? Gigantic multinational corporations along with their CEO's and shareholders. There were ugly scenes at various department stores around the country as people were fighting each other tooth and nail for the best possible deals. And in some parts of the country, Wal-Mart workers were demanding better wages for themselves.

If anybody wonders why we have such unpopular politicians, then all we have to do is look in the mirror. Congress has record-low approval ratings; Gallup pegged them at about 9% last month. And yet, most Americans believe that their Congressman is not part of the problem, which means that around 90%+ of incumbents will return to office again. There is a big difference between what Americans think of their own representatives and what they think of Congress in general. That is why we continue to have gridlock in Washington.

People may well be outraged at corporatist SCOTUS Justice John Roberts. Based on his Citizens United ruling as well as his Obamacare ruling, among others, Roberts believes that corporations, given their ability to create millions of jobs and keep the economy going, represent the highest form of good. Roberts is normally a moderate to conservative justice. However, when corporations argue before the Supreme Court, Roberts casts that to the winds and makes his ruling based on how it will affect the bottom line regardless of political affiliation. This is why he voted both for Citizens United, which upholds unlimited corporate campaign spending as long as it is not directly given to a candidate, as well as Obamacare, which forces all Americans who can afford it to get health insurance. People for the American Way notes that Roberts sides with the US Chamber of Commerce around two thirds of the time when they intervene in a SCOTUS case. And the New York Times notes that this is the most pro-corporate court since World War II.

And Obama's popularity has cratered to the lowest that it's been since his Presidency began. It is now anywhere between 37% (CBS) and 42% (CNN). The Dow Jones is at its all-time high. But the problem is that wealth inequality is growing, according to the October 10th edition of the LA Times. Other factors that are sinking his popularity include the problems associated with the Obamacare rollout, the NSA spying scandal, and the IRS auditing taxes of conservative groups.

And yet when the Black Friday doors open up for the best savings of the year, we, as a society, can't wait to push each other over and burst open the doors. We happily keep the coffers of the movers and shakers flowing through our mad shopping rush. The economy, although better, remains stagnant five years following the Great Recession of 2008. It seems as though we are continuing to buy into the notion that if only we would shop more, we would finally turn the prosperity corner and get back to where we were. And then we wonder why we don't have enough money to pay the bills.

The problem is that we are struggling with the false god of materialism. If we are sick and tired of the reckless spending that is plaguing Washington or Jefferson City, then maybe the solution starts at home. Maybe the way to get this country back on track is for each of us to live within our means, don't borrow unless absolutely necessary, and put aside as much money as possible to save. Then, if we want jobs to stay here in the US instead of going overseas, we should buy small instead of big. After all, as Congressman Sam Graves has consistently noted, small businesses are the drivers of our economy, not large megacorporations contrary to popular belief. He should know; he is the chair of the House Small Business Committee.

Over the past few years, people fed up with the way things were going have taken to organizing. Those fed up with corporate control of our lives organized themselves into the Occupy Movement while those fed up with deficits, Obamacare, and too much government control of our lives organized themselves into the Tea Party Movement. But most of the same people who were in power then are still in power now and Obama is still President (unless, of course, you don't believe he was a citizen in the first place). The problem is that politics is a reflection of society. Maybe if we live within our means, buy local when possible, and buy from a small business when possible, we can be the change we want to see in Washington and Jefferson City.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Taryn Farnan Hangs 22, Dallis Dawn 18 on Albany

Taryn Farnan hung 22 points on Albany and Dallis Coffelt had 18 more as Northeast Nodaway's girls' season started off with a bang with a 63-36 win over Albany Tuesday night. Northeast showed that they had improved a lot from last year's eight-win season. Asked if he had said anything to light a fire under Northeast's players, Coach Vance Proffitt said that he didn't need to because they were ready to play someone after some strong practices at the beginning of the season.

Albany had problems matching up with Northeast; they only had one player in their regular rotation over 5'4". That meant that post players Taryn Farnan and Dallis Coffelt both had a huge height advantage on the Warrior defenders, meaning a lot of post-up and second chance opportunities.

A strong defensive team, Northeast needed to get better offensively if they were to continue to improve. They showed a lot more team speed on offense this year, did a much better job of recognizing transition opportunities, and did a much better job of running their half-court sets in the win. They return nearly everyone from last year, meaning that they have played together a lot and were on the same page a lot more this year.

Shelby Fish did all she could to carry her team in the first quarter, getting 11 of her team's first 13 points as Albany led 13-10 at the 2:17 mark of the first quarter. But Taryn Farnan would not let Albany take control of the game, getting the last eight points of the period in a 1:28 span as Northeast took control with a 20-13 lead after one. Taryn had 14 just in the first quarter while Dallis Coffelt had the other six.

Brianna Riley scored the first points by someone else besides Taryn or Dallis at the start of the second, getting behind the defense after a steal and hitting two free throws. She showed that she was one of the most improved players from last year, showing a lot more willingness to attack the basket and using her speed a lot better to create transition opportunities. On the next play, Brianna drew Shelby Fish's second foul of the game, sending her to the bench as Northeast continued to pull away. Brianna added a free throw, Taryn got behind the defense and took a pass from Jill Spire, and Jill added a putback to put Northeast up 27-13.

Shelby Fish came back in to try and stop the bleeding, but Dallis got a putback and a driving layup and Kerrigan Adwell found Taryn inside to make it 33-13 with 1:48 left. The 33 points that Northeast scored at that point was more than they scored in a lot of entire games last year.

In most games, it is only a matter of time before the other team makes a run of some kind and Albany made one late in the second and early in the third to get back to within 36-21 with 5:57 left in the third. They were doing a better job attacking Northeast's three-quarters press and getting to the offensive glass. Taryn Farnan made some free throws to put Northeast back up 39-21, but there were some anxious moments to follow as she was shaken up and had to come out after that as Albany trimmed it to 39-23. But Northeast rallied with Taryn on the bench as Kerrigan Adwell hit a free throw, Claudia Wiederholt scored off a drive, and Dallis Coffelt scored off a steal and added a putback to put Northeast back up 46-23. Much like Worth County's Drake Kinsella, Dallis Coffelt showed the ability to play the post strongly, but play defense like a guard; she collected a ton of steals off the press during the game.

Jill Spire grabbed an offensive glass and kicked it out to Dallis Dawn and Holly Redden hit Brianna Riley for a basket to make it 50-25 after three.

Fish got going again for Albany, hitting consecutive shots to make it 53-32, but then back to back 3-pointers by Holly Redden squelched the rally as Northeast took their biggest lead of the night at 60-32 following a free throw from Jill Spire. Bailey Judd hit a free throw with 6.3 seconds left to become the 7th player to score for Northeast.

The boys got off to a promising start and got career highs from 4 different players, but fell to defending Class 2 District Champ Albany 69-58 in the nightcap. Northeast led by as much as 18-8 in the first and 36-21 in the second quarter. But after Albany scored three 3-pointers to start the third quarter, Northeast forgot what got them the lead; they panicked against Albany's pressure and threw the ball away against it and then committed makeup fouls afterwards and they settled for contested 3-pointers instead of running their plays and getting a good look. After the 5:48 mark of the third, they didn't score another field goal until 51 seconds were left in the game, when it was already decided. But Coach Chaim Jenkins said that it was not a bad effort for having the team together for the first time all year due to football commitments. "We know what we need to work on now," he said.

For Northeast's boys, Joel Scroggie had 17, Steve Schulte 16, Shaun Burns 10, Garet Jackson 8, and Andrew Freemeyer 7. Steve earned a lot of respect for his play and was congratulated by two of the Albany players afterwards. For the team, the focus in the Platte Valley Tournament will be on staying on the floor and not getting into foul trouble, keeping composure, and developing some depth.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Grant City Water Line Down to Final Mile

The 11-mile water line project is down to its final mile, Public Works Director Carl Staton told the Grant City Council at their regular meeting Wednesday. Completion is dependent on the weather. As of Wednesday, the 10-day forecast for the area called for mostly 30's and 40's with Saturday showing a high of 29 and a low of 13. The crew doing the project hit the Rural Water line twice.

John Joe came to discuss alternatives to the city's current health insurance plan. Currently, out of the plans he offers, Blue Cross & Blue Shield offers the lowest rate for the current plan that the city has. There are currently eight employees enrolled in the city plan. The other plans charged significantly higher rates for similar benefits. Currently, the city pays around $3300 a month for its plan. The rates are locked in until December 1st, 2014.

Joe said that there might be several plans that could be available on a self-funded basis with 8-10 blocks of rates. He said that there have been around 125,000 enrolled in Obamacare since October 1st. Cancellations have been in the news recently. Joe reported that Blue Cross & Blue Shield sent out 300,000 cancellation notices for Missouri customers whose plans do not meet Obamacare standards. He said that another glitch in the system is that they have still not figured out how to set up the billing.

The council voted to renew its pledge of $6500 per year for the Economic Developer contingent on the Progress Organization's hiring of one.

Staton reported that city crews repaired a storm drain that collapsed by Dave Moyer's along with three smaller leaks. The city has also been repairing equipment.

The council declined to sign a building permit for Whitney Harker for a trailer until they could find more information about whether it complied with city ordinances regarding trailers.

Grant City's CBC won $200 for finishing second in the state CBC contest.

Clerk Ayvonne Morin reported that she was waiting for more tax money to come in before doing the budget. One need is a new city barn; the current one is falling apart and rotting. The roof is leaking and it now takes two people to shut the doors.

The council discussed lighting for the new Grant City sign.

The Department of Economic Development will bring a dream team to Grant City to help develop a long-range plan based on priorities sometime at the start of next year. The current Strategic Plan is up for renewal this year; it was last done in 2009 and is up for renewal every five years. This will be done at no cost to the city.

February 4th and 5th will be Great Northwest Days held at the Capitol. The county will once again be doing a booth for the event.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

New Physician Assistant Jared Keller Thriving in Small Town Environment

When Northwest Medical Center CEO Jon Doolittle hires people for the center, he doesn't just look for qualified people. He hires people with a positive outlook on life who enjoy meeting new people. New Physician Assistant Jared Keller is a perfect fit for the organization. "I like rural medicine because I can spend more time with my patients," he said in an interview at the open house Tuesday evening. "I came here because this is a good place to raise kids and Northwest Medical Center has a great staff to work with." He will team with Katie Dias at the Northwest Medical Center office in Grant City. He will also man a clinic in Albany.

Keller lives in Albany with his wife Cheryl and their two daughters; one is two years old and one is one month. He grew up in a larger city in Utah, but said that he was always attracted to the small town lifestyle. He majored in Biology and attended college in Idaho before moving to the Midwest. "I wanted to become a physician because I love to meet new people and I love science," he said.

He said that there was a lot of uncertainty with Obamacare, but that would not change his mission of providing quality care to his patients. "The more I can visit with my patients about their needs, the better care I can provide," he said. He said that he was loving his practice because it enables him to meet new people. "People have been good to me here. They wave at you on the road and talk with you for 15 minutes in the store. I grew up in a bigger city, where you don't always get that."

Back in Utah, Keller said that he loved going to the many national outdoor parks in that state along with Yellowstone. His hobbies include hunting, running, and reading. "I'll read almost anything," he said. Keller ran cross-country in both high school and college and still gets out and runs today. "Dr. Keller is a great person and people will enjoy working with him," said CEO Jon Doolittle.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Kathy DeVault Planning to Run for State Representative

Kathy DeVault of Graham plans to be the third candidate to file as the next State Representative for the 1st District; she is planning to file as a Republican. If elected, she would be the first woman ever to serve as a State Representative in this district. She would replace term-limited Mike Thomson. She attended the Parnell City Council Meeting Thursday.

DeVault has ties to the Parnell area. Her grandparents, Viron and Edna (Busby) Bird, both graduated from Parnell High School. Viron's father, Harry Bird, ran a produce store in Parnell, which had 600 people at that point. The current census has Parnell at just under 200 people. She was born and raised on a farm between Barnard and Graham; she has worked in the Nodaway-Holt school for the past 10 years. Her husband, Kevin, operates a farm. They have a daughter, Keri (24), and a son, Klay (16).

DeVault showed off a composition book written by her grandfather during his time at Parnell. At one time, Missouri used to be known as the Bullion State. She said that her main issues were agriculture, healthcare, and education. "As a registered nurse, I'm really concerned about the healthcare issue and its problems," she said. "As a small-town girl, I see little people getting lost. I am planning to run because I'm tired of the way things are going and I'm offering some fresh blood."

She said that she had been to Jefferson City to shadow current State Representative Mike Thomson and said that she wanted to continue his leadership on education issues. "There are things going on that are really concerning me," said DeVault. "Small towns are near and dear to me." DeVault has already been around the area; this is her second stop in Parnell and she has also made stops at Northeast Nodaway and Maryville.

Demolition of Parnell City Hall Slated for December

Plans for the demolition of the old Parnell City Hall building were finalized at the Parnell City Council Meeting Thursday. Tentative plans, weather permitting, are for the demolition to start around December 1st. The city has already purchased a new building that will be moved in to replace the old City Hall. It will be used for both the City Hall and the Boy Scouts. It will house 41 people. It will look similar to the Fire Department building.

Councilman Greg Welch reported that he had flushed 22 fire hydrants. Councilman Jeremy Kohlappel reported that it would cost a fortune to lift two meters that were too low. One possible solution was to put 2' risers on them. They had sunk into the ground over the year, creating a possible hazard for the water lines if they freeze.

The council awarded the snow removal bid to Bryan Sobotka at a rate of $60 an hour, which is the same as last year.

Filing dates for the Parnell City Council are December 17th at 8 a.m. to January 21st at 8 p.m. Council members Greg Welch and Jeremy Kohlappel are up for reelection. Both seats are at-large seats, meaning anyone from the city can run. Previously, the town had been divided into north and south wards. However, the city changed that law so that all seats are now at-large. State law permits all cities under 1000 population to do this. Sheridan switched to at-large seats this year.

The Northwest Missouri Regional Council of Governments received $21,000 in solid waste money that they will distribute. Linda will meet with the council in January as well as other interested parties. They are in the process of gathering data.

Dalton Auffert is planning to build a brick sign for Parnell similar to Grant City's new sign as part of his Eagle Scout project. It will be red and white, which is what the old Parnell school colors were.

Mayor Virginia Burns compiled a list of street lights that were not working.

Councilman Greg Welch reported that DNR had inspected the city system. There was a high water loss rate; the DNR recommended that the city document its flushes better.

VFW Plans Memorial Day Flag Disposal Ceremony

The Grant City VFW announced plans to have another flag disposal ceremony during Memorial Day at their regular meeting Thursday. All people with flags that are no longer fit to fly should turn them in to Commander Bob Hull or any VFW member.

Six members were present at the meeting -- Bob Hull, Jack Cottrell, Joe Marshall, Harold Fletchall, Garland Roach, and Delbert Jackson. Garland led the group in the opening prayer.

There was a vandalism at the VFW building recently. Someone threw a golf ball through the window and shot it with a BB gun. The roof is in need of repair.

The District VFW is selling raffles for a rifle. Tickets are $5 each or $25 for six chances. The value of the rifle is $460. The drawing will be held January 4th in Kansas City. Contact Bob Hull for details.

There are 1963 members in the district and 24 members of the Grant City chapter. This includes 21 life members and 3 who are annual members. The Grant City VFW gets money back for every life member that they have. The membership fee is determined based on age.

The VFW Auxiliary also met Thursday night. They are having a Christmas Soup Supper at the Worth County Senior Center starting at 6 on December 12th. The VFW and VFW Auxiliary will meet afterwards. The Auxiliary is looking for overseas people from Worth County on active duty. Contact Lisa Hargrave for information. The VFW Auxiliary has crafts, goods, and books for sale at the building. Contact Lisa for an appointment.

Worth County Sheriff's Report

11-11 -- Persons report they have installed an ADP system at their residence in Worth County.
11-12 -- Report of horses out north of Allendale; owner notified.
11-12 -- Resident in to pick up CCW permit.
11-13 -- Resident reports someone ran thru a fence on their property.
11-13 -- Officer serves papers in Sheridan.
11-14 -- Juvenile officer in for court case.
11-14 -- Denver resident reports loud music in Denver.
11-15 -- Resident asking where to buy hunting permit.
11-15 -- Person in to report missing bull.
11-15 -- Officer escorts football boys out of town for football game.
11-16 -- Report of domestic outside of Sheridan; happened in Nodaway County and referred to Nodaway County; Worth County officer assisting.
11-16 -- Officer assists with a confused person.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Worth County Sheriff's Report

11-4 -- Person calls about a juvenile problem.
11-4 -- Cow out on Route B; notified owner.
11-4 -- Maryville Public Safety calls about finding Worth County resident's driver's license.
11-5 -- Call about hunting license issue.
11-6 -- Officer investigates suspicious truck west of Allendale.
11-6 -- Officer serves civil papers on Worth County resident.
11-7 -- Cow out on Quartz Trail; owner notified.
11-7 -- Officer transports prisoner from Nodaway County to Worth County for court.
11-7 -- Officer transports prisoner from Ringgold County Jail to Worth County for court.
11-7 -- Nodaway County officers in with prisoner for court.
11-7 -- Person calls about someone making threats to him.
11-8 -- Received call about security at residence.
11-8 -- Citizen's call about someone driving in his cornfield.
11-9 -- Female from Nodaway County was taken into custody for her own protection.
11-9 -- Officer assists stranded motorist.
11-9 -- Officer investigates call of shots fired northeast of Allendale; person sighting in a rifle.
11-9 -- Report of cow out on Route Y; owner notified.

Junior High Boys Drop Jefferson 57-17

Drake Kinsella had 20 points and Mason Hawk had 12 and a monster stuff as the Worth County Junior High boys remained unbeaten with a 57-17 win over Jefferson last Tuesday. Drake Kinsella led the scoring with 6 in the first quarter, putting up his usual steady production. Drake Simmons added a pair of steals and a free throw. Ryan McClellan added a putback at the buzzer for two. Cade Allee had a 3-pointer while Mason Hawk scored one from inside.

Jefferson hung around in the second frame as Worth County led by as much as 24-3 at the 3:59 mark. But Jefferson chipped away and trailed 28-12 at the break. Caleb Parman scored off a couple of steals to lead the Tigers with four in the period. Cade Allee and Drake Kinsella had 2 each while Wayde Parman and Issac Alarcon had one each.

But Drake Kinsella carried the Tigers in the third quarter as they pulled away with 19 unanswered points to lead 47-14 after three. Drake had 11 and Mason Hawk added 8 in the period as Worth County went back to working the ball to their taller post players. Drake Simmons had 3 in the fourth quarter as Worth County used a balanced attack to pull away. Ryan McClellan and Cade Allee had 2 each along with Mason Hawk, who added a monster stuff that he sent into the stage as an exclamation point. Caleb Parman and Ryan McClellan added steals and Drake Kinsella added a free throw.

The "B" team won 20-0 in the nightcap. Issac Alarcon led the reserves with 8 in the extra period. Bobby Lynch added six off a pair of steals and a backdoor layup from Issac Alarcon. Jimmy Raymond, Caleb Parman, and Wayde Parman added two each in the frame. Jefferson had trouble getting the ball up the court against Worth County's pressure, a major reversal from previous years.

The Junior High girls lost 21-15. They were tied with Jefferson at 11 after three, but the Eagles scored the first eight points of the fourth to put the game away in the tight defensive struggle. Grace Schottel had 9 to lead the Tigers. Haley Hunt followed with 4 and Kennedy Galanakis had 2. The B team won the nightcap with Darbi Weddle leading the reserves with 4.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

WCCC Up to 28 Residents

The Worth County Convalescent Center is now up to 28 residents and is on track to meet a goal set by Administrator Bev Miller to hit 30 by the end of the year. It was at a low of 19 at one point. There were 7 admissions and 7 discharges this past month. The influx of new residents has led to Miller scrambling to get new supplies for the staff.

By the end of the year, the WCCC will be able to report year to date expenses and be able to compare it with last year's numbers, Miller told the board. The general operating account was sharply lower this month. Miller said part of the problem is that NCA, which does the Medicare and Medicaid billing for the facility, has grown so big so fast and they are undergoing a major shakeup, meaning that they are not taking care of their customers like they have in the past. Thanks to the increased census, the facility's cost per resident is sharply lower this month.

The shower room is nearly finished on the north wing. The east wing developed a sewer leak; Randy Allen and his crew were in the facility Wednesday evening working on finding the clogged area. The women's bathroom in the main area has been out of order for the last two months. For the shower room, the floor has been laid, the room repainted, lights and a new tub have been put in, and the goal is to complete the project by next week. Hookup work still needs to be done. The goal is to work on the therapy room; the size of the new room will double the present one and allow the facility to improve its rehab care.

The board approved bonuses for WCCC employees. For employees present for 0-3 months, the bonus will be $200. 4-6 months will be $300 while 7 months or more will be $500. PRN's will get a $100 bonus.

Miller reported the mammoth dryer in the laundry room is about to go; she said she would get a quote for a new one.

At the request of Miller, all WCCC board meetings will be held on the third Wednesdays of each month rather than second Wednesdays. She said this would give them more time to prepare an accurate financial statement for board members. Meeting time will remain at 6:00.

The board took no action on putting solar panels on the facility. The problem is that the panels weigh 300 pounds; although they are spread out over 6-8 feet, it would still create a lot of weight on the roof. There is no place on the ground to put them. Board President Mike Hall said that he had visited with someone about putting in new solar panels and that wind undercurrent would be an issue on his shop. One possible issue would be how to get at the roof should there be leaks in the future; there have been roof leaks in the past. Another issue is trees blocking the sun. Board member Kathy Miller said that her family had solar panels on her house and that they would pay for themselves in 2-3 years. However, there is still a steep up-front cost. KCP&L buys back electricity that is not used, meaning that the burden on their existing lines is reduced.

Friday, November 1, 2013

180 Trick or Treat on High Street

Around 180 kids trick or treated on High Street this year. Dressed as goblins, ghouls, hobos, favorite movie and cartoon characters, and other spooks, kids went up and down High Street collecting candy and other treats. Some came by the WCCC, where residents gave the kids some treats. But trick or treating is not just for the young. High school students Kristen Andrews and Brianna Fletchall were out collecting canned goods for FCCLA. Brianna was dressed as an Indian Princess. And some of the parents dressed in costumes as well. Sara Hubbard dressed as the Wicked Witch of Worth while Amber Steele dressed in combat gear.

Many residents went well above the call of duty; Gary and Barb Landrum opened up their home and served meals to all comers. They scared people with a life-like witch on their front porch. Another resident had a remote controlled bat. Sheridan Christian Church had their own celebration with hot dogs, marshmallows, and people giving away treats out of the trunks of their cars.

Four Roads to Close in Worth County

Four roads will close next week in Worth County for maintenance. On November 4th, Route Z will close from 8-3 for a culvert replacement from Route W to County Road 200. On November 6th, Route Z will close again, this time from Route 46 to Route J for a culvert replacement. On November 7th, Route F will close from Falcon Trail to 130th Road from 8-3 for a culvert replacement. On November 8th, Route D will close from Route F to the Iowa State Line for a culvert replacement from 8-3. All jobs are tentative, weather permitting. The DOT will also do mowing along state-maintained roads throughout the week.

Two Main Breaks in Sheridan Friday

Two water main breaks hit the Sheridan water system Friday. The first break was spotted by Barry Lyle near Sur-Gro. The second break was spotted near the first one, behind the old American Legion Building now owned by David Parman. Mayor Leland Wake broke out a backhoe and dug through to the second one; Barry Lyle and Water Superintendent David Parman found the leak and fixed it. The leak was fixed by 5:30 that evening; water service for all customers was restored by 6:30. Despite the water outage, both MFA and Snakebite remained open for the day. A boil advisory was issued because of the break.

Junior High Boys Basketball Jumps to 3-0 Start

Worth County's Junior High squad jumped out to a 3-0 start as they downed St. Gregory's 35-9, North Nodaway 74-11, and Stanberry 47-15. The 74 point out burst by the Tigers against the Mustangs may have been a record performance. Against Stanberry, a team which was supposed to give problems, Worth County triggered the running clock for the second time in three games.

Balanced scoring, pinpoint passing, good ball movement, strong depth, and tough defense are all hallmarks of this year's junior high boys squad, giving hope to a varsity squad that only won three games last year. Against North Nodaway, a team that had beaten Worth County last year in one of their two meetings, Worth County hung 31 unanswered points to start the first quarter. Cade Allee scored all 13 of his points in the quarter, getting three triples, arching them high in the air. Drake Kinsella led all scorers with 16 points, consistently working the post all night. He plays defense like a guard, knocking away and stealing a lot of balls during the night. Drake Simmons was the other player to score in double figures, adding 12.

The Tigers landed 10 of their 12 players in the scoring column for the night. Mason Hawk had 9, Jacob New followed with 6, Caleb Parman had 5, Issac Alarcon had 4, Ryan McClellan and Bobby Lynch had 3, and Bryant McCord had 2.. Wayde Parman did not score, but was all over the floor as he came off the bench and played stingy defense all night.

Worth County was able to put 33 unanswered points on the board before North Nodaway finally got on the board. The lead grew to 48-4 just before the half as Bobby Lynch hit a 3-pointer in the corner. Drake Simmons got 10 of his 12 points in the period and Drake Kinsella worked the offensive glass for 4 more.

In the third, Drake Kinsella worked the offensive glass at will to get 6. Jacob New jumped a pair of passes for four points as he showed a nose for the ball on defense. Issac Alarcon had a putback and a nifty backdoor layup after getting a pass from Wayde Parman. Mason Hawk had 4 and Caleb Parman had 2 to round out the third quarter scoring.

The Tigers continued to pull away in the fourth as Caleb Parman had a 3-pointer, Bobby Lynch blocked a shot on one end and went coast to cost to draw a foul and get a free throw, and Bryant McCord came off the bench to score near the end.

For the girls, Grace Schottel got a career high 14 points, but it was not enough as Worth County lost 34-23 to North Nodaway. Worth County was pitted against a team that was much bigger and quicker than they were. They hung around for a while, drawing to within 16-13 early in the third period. But then the wheels fell off as North Nodaway led by as much as 19 at one point. Schottel could be the real deal as the left-handed guard has improved on her right hand over last year; she collected a ton of steals to keep the game close. The Tigers put up a much better fight than last year against the powerhouse Mustangs, who won  a running clock game in Hopkins last year. If they develop more bench depth and improve on their ability to break the press, they will become a force to be reckoned with this year. Aubrey Ragan showed that she was one of the most improved players from last year, earning a starting spot this year after playing on the 3rd string last year. She had three and provided some size inside. Grace McElvain and Jessi Badell had 3 each. Haley Hunt showed a lot of potential on the defensive end, blocking three shots for the Tigers. Kennedy Galanakis showed some scrappy play off the bench and provided some defense and rebounding.