Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Book Review -- "Tip and The Gipper: When Politics Worked" by Chris Matthews

This book is available for checkout at the Worth County Partnership Library, located on the south side of the school. Hours are weekdays from 1:30-5:30 and when Worth County R-III is in session.
"Tip and The Gipper" is a book by MSNBC's Chris Matthews about two formidable political antagonists -- Democratic Speaker of the House Tip O'Neill and Republican President Ronald Reagan. Now, Matthews is an institution at MSNBC, the 24 hour news network competing with CNN and FOX News. But this is also, in a sense, a book about how Chris Matthews became one of the most recognizable faces on TV news today.

Matthews was, at one point, a speechwriter for Jimmy Carter during his losing 1980 Presidential campaign against Reagan. When Carter lost by a landslide and the GOP swept into power in the Senate, Tip O'Neill went from being a formidable backroom dealer to the most recognizable face of the Democratic opposition. Chris Matthews got a job with the Speaker following Carter's defeat and rose to become Tip's right-hand man and had a front-row seat for a battle between two men who were made for each other. His experience in being a part of these titanic political battles helped him to become a giant in the news business after he left the House.

Both Ronald Reagan and Tip O'Neill had a common Irish heritage, which allowed them to form a fast friendship. But that did not stop the two men from going for each other's throats during the important political battles of the day -- nuclear arms, the Cold War, taxes, the budget, welfare, and Social Security, among others. Yet out of those battles, as Matthews notes, came some important legislation that was done for the good of the country. Reagan got historic tax cut reform that slashed the highest income tax rate to 28%. Yet Tip was able to rescue a tottering Social Security system and keep it going for a good long time to come, with the help of Reagan and Bob Dole, afterwards a candidate for President. And Tip's support was crucial to Reagan achieving a historic nuclear arms reduction treaty with the Soviet Union, whom Reagan once called the "evil empire."

As Matthews recounts, both men came from a working class background and both formed strong political beliefs based on their own personal experience. Tip grew up in Massachusetts, under the shadow of Harvard; from that experience, he learned to fight for opportunities for all people in this country, not just the select few. And he never forgot his lesson from the first time he ran for office and lost; he learned the value of one on one politics. He never lost another election. Reagan moved out west, where he became a successful actor. His beliefs were also formed from personal experience; for instance, he did not want to do more than two movies a year, because that would have propelled him into the 90% tax bracket. And Reagan became disillusioned at what he saw as the heavy-handed tactics of certain union factions while he was involved with the actors' unions.

Neither man was without their flaws. Ronald Reagan campaigned on eliminating the deficit by 1984, yet thanks to his insistence on bankrupting the Soviet Union through the nuclear arms race, he wound up running larger deficits than all his predecessors combined. But later history has shown that this reliance on deficit spending and dependence on the military industrial complex has become an addiction, with future presidents of both parties continuing the pattern of massive deficit spending and expensive weapons systems. Tip O'Neill, despite being one of the early opponents of the Vietnam War in the 1960's, still held the common belief that politics stops at the water's edge. This led, according to Matthews, to Tip acting against his better judgment in supporting Ronald Reagan's sending of troops to Lebanon. The result was a quagmire and a terrorist bombing which left over 200 of our servicemen dead in Lebanon. Luckily, Reagan knew when to cut his losses and withdraw our troops before things got worse. But later history has shown that this belief that politics stops at the water's edge leads to situations like Iraq and Afghanistan, which both resulted in the loss of thousands of our troops and long drawn-out wars lasting years.

But Matthews writes in his book that both Tip and The Gipper were men who were both frequently wrongly underestimated. The common belief during the 1980 campaign season was that Ronald Reagan would be the easiest man to beat for Jimmy Carter because his views were farther to the right than the other GOP candidates. The common belief in 1981 after Reagan was sworn in was that Tip O'Neill was about to retire and was washed out politically. Both beliefs were way out in left field as the best days of both men were still ahead of them despite both men being in their 70's. "Tip and The Gipper" takes the reader along for the ride.

Our political system is set up in such a way that no one group of people can have all the power. Like today, factions on both the right and left regularly accused Reagan and O'Neill respectively of selling them out by cutting deals with the other side. But Matthews' thesis is that this sort of dealmaking is necessary in order for our government to function even when both sides are ideologically polarized. And as "Tip and The Gipper" notes, battles over raising the debt ceiling are nothing new; one of Ronald Reagan's first challenges as President was to get a debt ceiling raise through the Democratic House.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Obituary -- Wanda Sue Pittsenbarger Schmitz 1949-2013

Wanda Sue (Pittsenbarger) Schmitz, 64 of Hanover, Kansas passed away December 25, 2013 at the KU Medical Center after an extended illness. She was born January 8, 1949 to Walter and Melba (Groom) Pittsenbarger at Worth, Missouri.

Sue graduated from Worth County High School and the Beauty Academy in St. Joseph, Missouri.

She lived and worked in St. Joseph, Missouri before moving to Home, Kansas where she met her husband Gregory. They were wed on February 13, 1988 in Marysville, Kansas and later moved to Hanover, Kansas. She worked as a beautician and part time at K Mart, Walmart and waitressed at several restaurants.

Preceding her in death were her parents.

Surviving are her husband Gregory of the home; son: T. Gregg Smith and wife Kristi; grandchildren: Whitney, Gage and Jake of Pagosa Springs, Colorado; sister: Linda and husband Charles Pickering of Mt. Ayr, Iowa; aunts: Doris Owens of Grant City, Missouri and Kathleen Groom of Clarinda, Iowa , mother-in-law, sisters-in-law, brothers-in-law, many nieces, nephews and cousins.

Sue enjoyed her family, church family and friends.

Funeral Services will be 11:00 A.M. Monday, December 30, 2013 at the Prugh-Dunfee Funeral Home in Grant City, Missouri. Interment will be in the Grandview Cemetery in Albany, Missouri. Friends may call after 10:00 A.M. Friday, December 27, 2013.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Temperature Drops to 22 Below Zero

Temperatures dropped to 22 degrees below zero Tuesday morning in Sheridan. It was the coldest temperature recorded since 1995, when the thermometer dropped to 30 below zero. The weather forecast called for eight below, but the temperature dropped well below that in river bottoms. On higher ground, the temperature "warmed up" to around 14 below. Temperatures were still in the single digits as of early afternoon Tuesday. The cold snap came following a snowstorm which dropped as much as 10 inches in some places over the weekend.

Fire Destroys Bob & Treasa Staton Residence

A fire in Grant City destroyed the Bob and Teresa Staton residence Tuesday afternoon. Sheridan fire units were called to the scene at around 12:00 that day for backup. The Sheridan and Grant City Fire Departments, the Worth County Ambulance, and the Worth County Sheriff's Office responded and cordoned off traffic from the residence at 4th and Briggs.

Nobody was injured in the blaze and everyone was able to make it out. Fire units were unable to save the residence; the fire spread too fast. The fire units were focused on containing the blaze and making sure it did not spread to the garage or nearby trees or houses. Someone came with a Bobcat to cut a path so their vehicles could be moved out.

People interested in donating goods so the Statons can get back on their feet can leave them in the basement of the Grant City Christian Church, across the street from the Grant City Fire Department. The basement door will be open. The Statons received several different offers of shelter following the blaze. The home was insured. Grant City Fire Chief Ben Fletcher said that the cause is still under investigation.

Sheridan Christian Church took up an offering for the Statons following their Christmas Eve service.

Monday, December 23, 2013

Obituary -- David Snow 1948-2013

David H. Snow, 65, Maryville, Missouri, formerly of Glenwood, Iowa died Sunday, December 22, 2013, at his home.

David  was born March 3, 1948, in Gentry, Missouri to Charles C. And Margheretta  (Kirschner) Snow. David was a 1966 graduate of Grant City High School and had been in sales his entire life.

He married Linda Cook  April 17, 1965, in Kansas City, Missouri.  To this union three children were born Paul, Darrin, and Kelly.

David  was a member of the  First United Methodist Church, Maryville, Missouri. Preceding in death were his father Charles, son Darrin Snow, and grand daughter Hailey M'Lynne Snow.

Survivors include wife Linda Snow, of the home, son Paul (Cari) Snow, Maryville, daughter Kelly Bryant, Glenwood, Iowa, brother Tom (Diane) Snow, Winona Lake, Indiana, his mother Marg Snow, Warsaw, Indiana, four grandchildren, two extended family grandchildren, and two great grandchildren.

Visitation will be from  5:00 PM to 6:30 PM,  Thursday, December 26, 2013, at Price Funeral Home, Maryville followed by funeral services  at 6:30 PM.

Burial will be 10:00 AM, Friday morning December 27, 2013 at the Evergreen Cemetery, Red Oak, Iowa.
Memorials may be made to SSM Hospice and Homecare Foundation, Maryville, Missouri in David's name.
Arrangements: Price Funeral Home (www.pricefuneralhomemaryville.com)

Megan Rosenbohm Nearly Gets Quintuple Double

Nodaway-Holt standout Megan Rosenbohm has had a pretty impressive career, but she had an outstanding game even by her own standards. She nearly pulled off a quintuple double in Friday night’s championship game against South Nodaway at the Northwest Missouri Tournament at Northeast Nodaway. Nodaway-Holt won the game 60-42.

She had 22 points, 11 assists, 10 boards, 8 blocks, and 8 steals in the win. But true to form, she said, “It doesn’t matter as long as we get the win.”

This has not been the only time that she has excelled on the Northeast Nodaway court. During her 8th grade year, Holly Redden had just hit an NBA 3-pointer with a defender draped all over her for Northeast Nodaway in the closing seconds of the third quarter. Megan got the ball and lofted up a three quarters court shot with her right hand, which is her non-dominant hand. The shot was nothing but net; she shrugged it off afterwards like it was no big deal.

After the Trojans had not won a game for the previous two years, they have had an unprecedented run of success with Megan on the court. A matchup between Megan Rosenbohm’s Trojans and Sierra Michaelis’ Mercer Cardinals would have been an epic battle, but it was not to be as the Trojans were beaten by Mound City in districts. Nodaway-Holt finally got by the Panthers this year and stands undefeated.

Megan has signed with Southwest Baptist, where she will play for the purple Bearcats.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Elizabeth Martz Named New Economic Developer

Elizabeth Martz has been named the new Worth County Economic Developer, the Grant City Council learned at their regular meeting Wednesday. She was hired by the Worth County Progress Organization. She will begin her duties on January 1st. She is the wife of Worth County Superintendent Dr. Matt Martz.

Sydney Thummel and Kristen Andrews attended the meeting as Worth County student representatives.

Gwyanda and Whitney Harker came to discuss their trailer building that they are putting up within city limits. The city says that it is in an area that is not zoned for trailers. Persons have to pay a $250 application fee to file for a variance; once the variance is approved by the council, they can proceed. The building permit must be applied for in addition to the zoning variance. Page 426 of the city’s ordinances states that the council can amend regulations and boundary lines and allow for existing conditions. A zoning variance is for one situation. City ordinances do not allow for grandfathering of exceptions past six months. Persons interested in a variance must pay the application fee, write their own application, and provide a legal description of the property in question.

The city approved a final payment to USDA of $157,882 after the whole 11 mile water line project is done. Completion date is tentatively scheduled for the 15th of May, although it could be done sooner. The ground where the new pipe was put in will be seeded.

Councilman Dennis Downing reported that there was a loose bolt in the overflow pipe. Water was lowered so that it would be below. The city set a policy on new water meters outside city limits. The city will charge a fee of $30/month in addition to normal fees and require a $200 utility deposit. Owners are responsible for water lines outside the city limits unless they have been grandfathered in.

The 2013 budget will come in at an estimated surplus of $150,000. Total revenues are an estimated $1,919,196 and expenses are an estimated $1,770,415. Sales taxes came in an estimated $23,000 short for 2013. There is an estimated $103,000 in the general revenue fund, $145,000 in the street construction fund, $13,000 in the health fund, $382,000 in the gas fund, and $13,000 in the park fund. The water fund went from an estimated $180,000 in the hole to an estimated $78,000 in the hole. The figures do not include the December tax revenues, which will affect the figures. The council voted to approve the revised budget for 2013.

The council voted to pay for the cost of a hotel room for one day for Great Northwest Days in Jefferson City. The council will pay the other half of expenditures.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Opinion -- God and Country, Not Party

We read some recent stories about the continued decline in membership in most churches throughout the country. And we have long known about the prevalence of voter apathy over the last several election cycles. We submit that the reason is that we have lost sight of the basics in both cases.

Let’s start with the church. The ideal church in the Book of Acts is described as follows: “They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread, and to prayer. Everyone was filled with awe and many wonders and miraculous signs were done by the apostles. All the believers were together and had everything in common. Selling their possessions and goods, they gave to anyone as he had need.”

So given the fact that there is rising poverty and growing wealth inequality in this country despite the fact that we are a predominately a Christian nation, it is obvious that the church has lost sight of its primary mission – to focus on God and to provide for its members. There are many reasons for the decline of membership in the churches today, but we submit the primary reason is that many people simply don’t see the church as relevant for their lives anymore. And more and more people are having to work 10 or 13 hours a day, 7 days a week just to survive and pay the bills, leaving no time for church or other activities.

Nobody is in the clear in all this. The liberal “social gospel” wing of the church holds the form, but denies the power of God. Many see the resurrection not as something that actually happened, but a mere symbolic metaphor.

Isaiah gave the clearest sign possible of the power of God over the idols made by human hands which represent gods wealth, materialism, lust, and all the other human vices. The difference between God and idols is the ability to foretell the things to come. And Isaiah specifically foretold the captivity of Israel following by the restoration by the Persian King Cyrus, specifically named nearly 200 years before the actual event. Yet the liberal “social gospel” wing chooses to claim, without factual basis, that this part of the Bible was actually written by a “Second Isaiah.” We realize that science and archeology provide a lot more insights on the Bible, but this is mere human conjecture, not science. And this conjecture flies in the face of the evidence, seeing that the Book of Isaiah was intact in its present form as early as 200 BC based on archeological finds.

The fundamental question is this – if this is mere myth on a par with the Greek mythology that is being taught in our schools today, then how is it relevant to peoples’ lives today?

The fundamentalist wing of the church is not in the clear either. The problem is that too many national church leaders confuse following the commandments of God with the platform of the Republican Party. When we go to church, we expect to hear a sermon about how to live a better Christian life. And all of our local pastors are very good about preaching such sermons. Yet when we hear preacher after preacher on national platforms reciting the talking points of the Republican Party, the church has shut out over half the country right off the bat. We expect to hear sermons about getting closer to God, not the latest GOP talking points. If we want to know the latest GOP talking points, all we have to do is look up one of our right-wing friends or turn on KFEQ.

And so when we hear a  preacher on national TV threatening Vice President Joe Biden with hell fire because he is pro-choice and not anti-abortion, then it is obvious why people were put off and voted for Obama for a second term despite the tanking economy. Last time we checked, Jesus told us not to judge.

We get the pro-life position. One of the best presentations we saw regarding the pro-life position was one on EWTN (a national Catholic cable channel) about the pre-born Jesus in Mary’s womb. In a nutshell, in the book of Luke, we are told that Elizabeth’s (Mary’s sister) baby jumped with joy in the womb on hearing Mary. Abortion was practiced in the 1st century like it is today and it was just as hotly debated in Roman and Jewish circles.

And yet Mary never even contemplated having an abortion despite the social stigma of being pregnant outside of marriage. Back in those days, women were considered property, first of their fathers and then of their husbands. A common practice, as we learned in a BBC documentary about the life of Jesus, was for fathers to throw daughters into deep wells if they brought shame and dishonor on the family if they became pregnant out of wedlock – even if they were raped.

But here is the catch – Mary accepted the calling of God to bear Jesus for 9 months willingly, without any compulsion on her part. That is why she is venerated in the Roman Catholic Church today. Take away the free choice on her part and the virgin birth is not nearly as meaningful.

This means that people have to accept the moral teachings and precepts of the church willingly, not out of any compulsion on peoples’ part. That is why we support Roe vs. Wade, for instance. To enlist the government in a wholesale assault on peoples’ privacy by snooping on personal private medical choices is to show the same sort of dependence on government that the Republican Party says that they’re against. The government needs to trust the people of this country to make right moral choices. This applies both ways. Obama should respect the right of business owners and religious organizations to follow their consciences in deciding whether or not to cover abortion or contraception as long as they are up front with their employees about it. The church should present its moral vision of the pro-life ethic clearly, yet trust the people to make the right moral choices for themselves, not depend on the government to do it for them.

Which brings us to the government. Our political system has lost sight of the principles found in the Declaration of Independence when it declares that all people are created equally in God’s eyes, or the Bill of Rights and the Constitution. We have a fundamental right of privacy that is contained in the Constitution. But when we have the government prying into peoples’ medical decisions, then it is only a small step from that to the Patriot Act passed by George Bush to Obama’s enlisting the NSA to pry on our phone conversations and e-mails.

We are not worried about the kinds of choices that our friends and neighbors make regarding their personal lives. I may not agree with your personal choices or lifestyle, but I’ll defend your right to live it. We are much more worried about the police state that is emerging and continuing to grow. And the best way to combat the police state starts with respect – respect of other people to make their own choices. Whether it be immigrants who come to this country to live a better life, someone wrestling with major medical and financial decisions regarding their pregnancy, someone choosing their lifestyle, or someone choosing to use a gun to defend themselves, we can’t depend on the government to make those sorts of choices for people.

The government says that we need the NSA to snoop and pry on your personal life in the name of stopping terrorism. I submit that when we trust on God to protect us, we have much more security. When the Israelites depended on God to protect them, they were safe. But when they trusted in their own strength, as even their good kings did sometimes, then they were not.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Obituary -- Geraldine Cook 1933-2013

     Geraldine Mae Cook, 80, Grant City, Missouri passed away December 15, 2013 at the Worth County Convalescent Center. She was born February 21, 1933 to William and Essie Mae (Thompson) Hamilton of Grant City, Missouri.

     She married Jerry Cook on December 21, 1951. Geraldine was preceded in death by her parents; brothers, Ben and Raymond Hamilton; her sisters, Helen Gail Stevens and Velma Faye Pitney.

     Surviving is husband Jerry; daughter, Patti (Jack) Spainhower; son, Mike Cook; 2 granddaughters, Stefani Spainhower and Keely Cook; and Jonell Cook.

     Memorial services will be 11:00 A.M. Thursday, December 19, 2013 at the Prugh-Dunfee Funeral Home in Grant City. Inurnment will be at a later date. The family will receive friends after the service at the funeral home.

     The family suggests memorial contributions to the Worth County Convalescent Center and the Alzheimer’s Association.

Worth County Sheriff's Report

12-9 -- Resident calls asking about court for today.
12-9 -- Officer serving as court bailiff today.
12-10 -- Person in with statement about bull being shot.
12-11 -- No reports.
12-12 -- Juvenile officer in office today.
12-12 -- Missouri State Highway Patrol officer in office.
12-12 -- Resident calls regarding possible scam.
12-13 -- Resident calls about a scam from New York.
12-13 -- Officers investigating 911 call from Sheridan area; person states someone wants to harm him; Worth County, Nodaway County, and Highway Patrol respond but caller not found.
12-14 -- Officer transports hitchhiker from Gentry County line to Iowa; Ringgold County notified.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Worth County Fall Sports Teams Overcame Inexperience, Adversity

Worth County's fall sports teams overcame a lot of inexperience and adversity and all improved as their seasons progressed. They were all recognized at the Fall Athletic Banquet last week.

The football team finished 8-4 this year, overcoming a lot of injuries at the start of the year and a lot of adversity to win districts, beat Rock Port for the first time in school history, and set some records along the way. Andrew Mullock broke the single game record for interceptions, getting four against Tarkio. Wyatt Rush and Andrew Mullock were the first runningback pair to both get over 150 yards in a game in the team's win over Rock Port. Wyatt had a 280-yard performance on his way to a 1500+ yard season, impressive for converting from blocking back to runningback for his senior year.

Participation awards went to Andrew Faustlin and Justin Parker. First year letterwinners went to Ben Badell, Dalton Auffert, Johnny Carlson, Harley Charles, Andrew Freemeyer, Wade Rush, Rowdy West, and Jacob Wimer. Returning letterwinners were Lane Craven, Andrew Mullock, Wyatt Rush, Austin Carlson, Gavin Hawk, Josh Warner, Chris Alarcon, Shadow Briner, Jacob Hardy, Nate Pointer, Tristan Miller, Truman Moore, Brevyn Ross, and Will Runde. Maddison Cassavaugh and Ally Buffington served as the managers for the team, enduring some of the hottest games and one of the coldest games in recent memory. Assistants were Mark Fletcher, Josh Smith, and Joshua Smith. Statisticians were Jeannie Fletcher and Janice Borey. Larry Kinsella and Jeannie Fletcher helped prepare the field before every home game.

The Senior Dedication Award went to Lane Craven, Andrew Mullock, and Wyatt Rush. Together, they helped their teams to a 41-7 record, one state title, three conference titles, and three district championships during their time at Worth County. Team dedication awards, for showing a strong work ethic during the offseason, went to Andrew Faustlin, Jacob Hardy, Truman Moore, and Josh Warner. Ironman award went to Austin Carlson. Recognized for post-season honors were all-conference honorees Wyatt Rush, Austin Carlson, and Lane Craven; all-district honorees Wyatt Rush, Austin Carlson, Lane Craven, Truman Moore, and Andrew Mullock; KAAN all-stars Lane Craven and Wyatt Rush; and all-state honorees Lane Craven, Wyatt Rush, and Austin Carlson.

For the cheerleaders, 1st year letterwinners were Kristen Ross, Carissa Runde, Erin Colvin, Dominique Findley, and Jarisa Moffit. Returning letterwinners were Brianna Fletchall and Dylanie Abplanalp.

For the girls golf team, Taylor Causey and Tess Andrews were the returning letterwinners for the squad. They were able to field a team for the first time in the last few years. First year letterwinners were Kaitlyn Davidson, Dora Martz, and Erin Colvin. They won two meets this year; they won a four-way match with King City, Rock Port, and West Nodaway. They also won a three-way match at Mozingo with West Nodaway and Rock Port. They beat out Braymer at the South Harrison meet and performed well at the Albany Best Shot Tournament. Taylor Causey and Kaitlyn Davidson made it to sectionals.

Taylor Causey was recognized for having the lowest average. Dora Martz was named the most improved. Gary Owens of the Grant City Golf Club helped retrieve golf balls after practices and got the course ready for them while Craig McNeese helped the players with their form.

This year's girls softball team won eight games this year, one game better than last year. They also won four GRC games, two more than last year. They also placed third in the King City Tournament. They beat Princeton, who won their districts this year. Coach Dave Gilland said that his squad got much smarter at the plate as the season progressed. They had a team on base percentage of .376 this year. Gilland said that one of the umpires for the King City game double booked that night, thinking it would be over by the third inning. But Worth County refused to go along, giving King City everything they could handle before losing 11-7; he recalled that the umpire was making frantic phone calls between one of the innings trying to find someone to cover for him.

Victoria Moore and Kristen Ross both had an on base percentage of 1.000 in just one at bat. Participation awards went to Victoria Moore, Dylanie Abplanalp, Dominique Findley, and Nicole Aragon. Provisional letterwinners went to Kristen Ross and Brooklyn White. First year letterwinners went to Taylor Causey, Payton Adwell, Adrian Fletchall, Jacklyn Brooks, Sidney Troutwine, Quinci Schottel, and Rachael Gardner. Returning letterwinners were Brianna Fletchall, Rikky Hunt, Kenna LaFollette, Claire Andrews, Kristen Andrews, Maddison Cassavaugh, and Sydney Thummel. Kristen Andrews was second team all-conference while Adrian Fletchall was honorable mention. Kristen Andrews and Adrian Fletchall were first team all district while Claire Andrews and Payton Adwell were second team all district.

Gilland said that there were several girls who shared the traits necessary to earn the Tiger Award, consisting of attitude, helping the team, and character. But earning the award were Quinci Schottel and Victoria Moore. Kristen Andrews won the MVP award while the senior awards went to Claire Andrews, Kristen Andrews, and Brianna Fletchall. Assistant coaches were Bryce Shafar and Kirby Dowis while Ann Gilland was the statistician.

Concert Choir Members Honored at Holiday Concert

Members of the All District Choir as well as the Four State Honor Choir were recognized at the Holiday Convert last Wednesday. Claire Andrews, Brianna Fletchall, Jacy Gabriel, Clayton Ross, and Jacob Wimer were named to the All District Choir, where they performed in Platte City. The Four State Honor Choir members were Claire Andrews, Brianna Fletchall, Joel Kollitz, Taylor Raymond, Clayton Ross, and Jacob Wimer. They were selected based on the merits they had earned over the years.

At the concert Wednesday evening, they opened with "Carol of the Bells." Other numbers performed were "Bidi Bom," "Breath of Heaven," "Fruitcake," and a medley of medieval carols from the 1500's and before. A two-part harmony version of the popular "Silent Night" carol closed out the performance.

Sopranos were Claire Andrews, Dominique Findley, Brianna Fletchall, Jacy Gabriel, Dora Martz, Kaitlyn Davidson, Elizabeth Owens, and Kristen Ross. Altos were Tess Andrews, Taylor Causey, Olivia Davidson, Matti Downing, Reagan Drury, Riley Drury, Victoria Moore, Taylor Raymond, Carissa Runde, and Jen Runde. Tenors were Wyatt Frese, Trent Gabriel, Jimmy Raymond, Jacob Wimer, and Jeremy Wimer. Basses were Joel Kollitz, Shane Kollitz, Clayton Ross, and Will Runde.

Tiger Girls Down Rockets for First Win

Worth County’s girls picked up their first win of the year, a 44-27 win over West Nodaway as they received balanced scoring in the effort. Defensively, they collected a ton of blocked shots. Danielle Funk had three blocked shots for the Tigers, Sidney Troutwine had two despite her small size, and several other Tigers had one each.

Worth County took an early 6-2 lead as Claire Andrews had a pullup, Kaitlyn Davidson had a putback, and Payton Adwell took a pass from Troutwine for a baseline jumper with 4:01 left. Claire and Kaitlyn shared scoring honors for the Tigers with eight points. Claire had 11 points in all four games previous to Thursday night’s win before getting eight. However, sister Tess added three, meaning that the Jeff Andrews family was still able to combine for 11 points for the night. Payton Adwell played her best game as a Tiger so far, following right behind with seven.

The focus of the game defensively for Worth County was to limit Emily Cordell early; Sidney Troutwine stuffed her twice right off the bat despite her small size and she was never able to get untracked. Offensively, the Tigers had to concentrate on ball fakes, good ball movement, and not letting Melody McGinness jump passes and get some easy baskets on the other end. Worth County was effective when they were able to get a couple of ball reversals going, make good ball fakes before throwing passes, and got good looks from Claire Andrews or Payton Adwell on the baseline. When they got away from that in the last four minutes of the first quarter, they were unable to score and West Nodaway was able to tie it at 6.

Finally, Kaitlyn Davidson got a steal and set up a Kristen Andrews pass to Payton to break the tie with 6:13 left in the second and break a six minute scoring drought. West Nodaway was able to hang around throughout the second thanks to some silly fouls by the Tigers 60 feet from the basket as well as one cheap bucket where nobody matched up on defense. Worth County led 18-16 at the break; take away the silly fouls and mental mistakes and it would have been 18-11. Claire Andrews and Kaitlyn Davidson paced the Tigers in the period with four points each and Quinci Schottel added 2.

Kaitlyn also had an outstanding defensive play in the period when she took a charge on McGinness and forced her to the bench with four fouls. Without McGinness in the game, West Nodaway was not nearly as effective in disrupting Worth County’s offense and they were not nearly as effective in transition defense.
With McGinness out, Cordell tried unsuccessfuly to take over the game in the third quarter by slashing to the rim; she got to the line twice in the first few minutes and hit three free throws, but missed a ton of shots, fueling Worth County’s transition game. Worth County was able to spring Sydney Thummel loose in the third quarter; she got a couple of layups in transition along with a nice pass to Sidney Troutwine for a layup. Payton Adwell added a backdoor cut and a free throw off an offensive board. Kristen Andrews of all people put a perfect seal on a Rocket defender and got a basket; Kaitlyn Davidson and Danielle Funk added baskets and Kaitlyn added a tieup on defense. Kristen Andrews hit Claire for a pass to the baseline for a jumper. Worth County had one of their most productive quarters of the year, getting 17 points in the period as seven different people scored in the frame.

Worth County led 35-22 after three quarters and continued to pull away in the fourth as both Cordell and McGinness fouled out. Dylanie Abplanalp got her first two points as a Tiger while Tess Andrews hit a 3-pointer in the period. Sidney Troutwine scored off a Quinci Schottel steal and added a steal of her own in the period. Sydney Thummel had a rejection in the period while Kaitlyn Davidson and Sydney Thummel added free throws.

The boys lost to West Nodaway 57-50 in the nightcap. Unfortunately, they did not do enough to stop Jaden Gillenwater, who went off on them and scored 36 points for the night. The focus of the team in future games will be to limit the other team’s best scorer. They dug themselves into a 42-22 hole early in the third quarter and didn’t get going until it was too late as they did not get any closer than the final score.

Truman Moore led the scoring with 17 points, 17 boards, and took a charge on defense and nearly took out the ball rack on the north end of the gym going after a loose ball. Brevyn Ross added 16 points and Ben Badell nine. Truman was a rare bright spot in the North Nodaway loss, getting 18 boards in that game. If he can maintain that level of energy and effort during games, stay on the floor, and stay healthy, then he will be on track to pass Andrew Davidson for first place on the all-time rebounding list sometime during his senior year.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Jimmie Lee Pearce 1956-2013

October 25, 1956, Jimmie Lee Pearce was welcomed by his parents, Jimmie Henry and Freda Arlene (Teen) Thurman Pearce and his older sister Sally. Later, he was joined by brothers Keith, David and Randy. He grew up in Ringgold County and graduated from Mt. Ayr Community High School with the class of 1975. He helped his family farm and most importantly, learned the value of hard work and family bonds. He enjoyed fixing cars up and hunting with his classmates Warren Angus, Mark Baker, Doug Frost and friend Rick Cooper.
On March 10, 1979 he married Charlotte Myers and they began their journey together. In May of that year he began his working career of 33 years working for the City of Blockton. He retired on June 30, 2012 and continued to enjoy life in the outdoors, spending time with the family, his animals and traveling.
Some of Jim’s proudest things were his 3 children, his 4 grandchildren, family time and doing the best at whatever he did.
Jim may have lived a simple life but it was what he enjoyed and what he was… a man of few words, dependable, a pillar in the family and community.
On December 9, 2013, after a courageous battle with cancer, Jim left the following loved ones to carry on the family trees: his wife Charlotte of 34 years; oldest and namesake son, Jimme LEE Jr., Blockton (Danielle) and  sons, Hunter and Tucker; son: Gregory Allen, Mt. Ayr and children, Corbyn and Taraleigh;  daughter Shondel Kay, Blockton; parents: Jim and Arlene, Mt. Ayr; his “twin” sister Sally Schweedler (Paul) “Butch”,  Pattonsburg, MO; nephews; Paul, Jeff and Steven; all of MO; brother Keith (Bev Green), Murray, IA; and nephews, Mike and Holly of WI and Mark and Tracy of IA; brother: David (Teresa), Mt. Ayr, IA; nephew Brandon and niece Megan; brother: Randy (Kitty Borkowski )of LA; and niece Nichole of KY; sister-in-law, Charlene Pearce, Osceola, IA and Darlene Fry (Doyle), Creston, IA; and one great-niece, Courtney of MO; many aunts, uncles, cousins and dear friends.
Preceding him in death were grandparents: Charlie and Elsie Pearce and George and Tanzy Thurman; aunts and uncles Bob Thurman, Howard and Peggy Kerns; Mary Mead, May & Wallace Leeper, Elmer Scott; cousins: Donny Thurman, Roger Kerns, Mary Jane Hayword, Louise Jean Leeper and Brian Mead.
Each of us are Jim’s pallbearers. We will carry on what he taught us in the time we spent with him.
Jim requested that he be cremated and laid to rest in the Rose Hill Cemetery in Blockton, IA with a simple service which was held on December 14, 2013. Before leaving the cemetery balloons were released with messages for him. Family and friends then gathered at the Blockton Community Hall for fellowship following the services.
Arrangements were under the direction of the Prugh-Dunfee Funeral Home in Grant City, MO.

Worth County Elementary Concert Highlights Christmas Around the World

The Worth County Elementary Christmas Concert showcased what students learned about Christmas and related holiday celebrations around the world. Students learned about the roots of Christmas traditions such as ringing bells, different names for Santa Claus around the world, Hanukkah (a Jewish celebration), and Christmas songs in Spanish and Hawaiian. For instance, the Hawaiian version of Santa Claus wears swim trunks and goes around in bare feet.

Bells had been used in ancient times to ward off evil spirits before Christmas had been thought up. During the long dark days of winter, people in those times believed that there were evil spirits lurking around throughout the night. Candles, another frequent fixture in Christmas, were placed in windows during winter nights to guide travelers back during ancient times. Hanukkah was celebrated following the dedication of the 2nd Jewish Temple as the people rededicated themselves to keeping the Jewish law following their return from exile.

Some of the songs were borrowed from the upcoming "Yes, Virginia" musical that will be performed Friday at the Worth County School.

Around the world, students learned that people and families all celebrate Christmas a little differently. Students studied some of these differences.

The concert was directed by Alysa Kramer. Preschool and Kindergarten classes sang "Season of Bells" and "A Kitty for a Present." The first graders sang "Merry Merry Joy Joy" and "Kindled by the Flame." The first and second graders sang "Fa La La Fugue." Second graders sang "Christmas Tree, What will you be" and "Celebramos Juntos." The third graders sang "Demos Gracias" and a Celtic version of "Over the River." The third and fourth graders sang "A Broadway Carol." The fourth graders sang "First Day of Winter" about the Winter Solstice that happens on December 21st. The 5th graders sang "A Hawaiian Christmas." The 5th and 6th graders sang "Santa by the Book," with Keelin Engel singing a lead solo. They also sang "Light the Candles all around the world," with soloists Kaylee McElvain, Lauren Moore, and Zoey Morin.

NEN Girls Lose Lead, Recover to Beat Stanberry

Northeast Nodaway's girls started off with one of their best quarters of the year against Stanberry in the first quarter of their game with them Friday. They then lost the lead by the third quarter; however, they recovered to win 42-35 to raise their record to 4-2. Dallis Coffelt led the team with 9 points, 5 blocks, and took a charge on defense. Taryn Farnan followed with 8 points and a ton of boards, Claudia Wiederholt had a season-high 7, while Brianna Riley had 6.

The game started out low-scoring as Northeast did not score a point in the first 4:13 and picked up five fouls during that stretch. But Stanberry could not take advantage as they only led 1-0 at that point. Then, Northeast put together one of their best stretches of the year, sparked by a steal from Jill Spire and feed to Dallis Coffelt for a layup. Dallis Dawn followed up with a block that set up a long outlet from Taryn Farnan to Jill Spire for a layup. Holly Redden then got a defensive board and quick outlet to Jill to make it 7-1. Brianna Riley then went coast to coast after a quick outlet from Taryn and then followed with a drive. Kerrigan Adwell followed with a free throw to put Northeast up 12-1 after one.

But Stanberry started pounding it into their post players at will to score the first five points of the second quarter to make it 12-6. Northeast was dribbling into traps too much, not getting enough spacing on offense, and taking some bad shots during that stretch. Northeast was committing too many fouls 60 feet away from the basket and committing too many makeup fouls, where they would turn the ball over on offense and then try to make up for it on defense. Northeast got untracked in time to keep a six point lead at 21-15 at halftime after Stanberry had cut it to 14-12 at one point. Stanberry scored five points from the free throw line off makeup fouls and fouls that were 40-60 feet away from the basket in the first half. Take those away and Northeast's lead would have been much more comfortable at 21-10.

 As it was, Stanberry started off the third quarter with a concerted effort to drive to the rim. That got them a 23-22 lead after Riley Bremer's steal and layup. The focus of the game for Northeast was finishing off games strongly; in their two losses this year against Tarkio and South Nodaway; the Bluejays had started off strongly in the first half before fading in the second half and losing. But this time, Northeast got back to what made them successful, getting to the rim and drawing fouls from Stanberry. Claudia Wiederholt got a drive and found Taryn open for a 3-point play which put Northeast back in front for good at 25-23 with 3:19 left in the third. Taryn, who had been scoreless in the first half, scored all eight of her points in the second half.

At that point, Stanberry had seven fouls to three for Northeast, and the Bluejays were able to use the foul differential to their advantage the rest of the way. Brianna Riley scored off a drive, Dallis hit a free throw, Taryn Farnan got a pass from Holly Redden for a score, and Kerrigan Adwell hit two free throws to put Northeast back in front at 32-27 at the end of three.

Northeast successfully ran out the clock in the fourth quarter as Stanberry was in foul trouble by that point, with three of their starters with four fouls. Claudia Wiederholt had 5 free throws, Taryn Farnan and Dallis Coffelt had 2 each, and Holly Redden had 1.

The girls JV team won 12-9. Bailey Judd had 4 while Talina Nelson, Kerrigan Adwell, Allie Runde, and Brianna Riley each had 2. The boys lost to defending state runner-up Stanberry 71-35; the game was never close after the first 4-6 minutes and it became a layup drill for Stanberry for much of the night. Steve Schulte had 14 points to lead Northeast. Joel Scroggie and Shaun Burns had 6 each, Garet Jackson had 5, and Andrew Freemyer and Dalton Auffert had 2 each. Schulte had two 3-pointers while Jackson had 1.

Worth County Adopts Policy Against Technical Fouls

The Worth County School administration adopted a new policy Wednesday against technical fouls and unsportsmanlike conduct by athletes. Under the new policy, any athlete who receives a technical foul is out for the rest of the game as well as the next game automatically. An athlete who receives three technical fouls or unsportsmanlike conduct penalties during the course of the year is ineligible for any further athletics competition for the remainder of the year.

The policy was put in place following two ugly losses by the Tigers at North Nodaway Tuesday night. The girls had two players suspended for one half by Coach Bryce Shafar for disciplinary reasons. The girls lost 53-21 to North Nodaway. The boys had two players receive technical fouls during the boys game for something they said in separate incidents. The boys dug themselves into an 18-point hole against North Nodaway, a team that had won only four games the previous year and had not won a game this year before Tuesday night. Finally, they cut it to as little as four, but it was too late as they lost 53-47.

The policy took effect Wednesday. The policy does not affect the two technical fouls assessed in the North Nodaway game, but it will apply to any such incidents in the future.

Assistant Principal and Athletic Director Chuck Borey said that he had talked to the Mound City and North Andrew school districts, which have similar policies, and that it worked well for them in curbing inappropriate behavior. Northeast Nodaway has a similar policy; players who receive technical fouls are out for the rest of the game and the next game as well. Players must also write a letter of apology to the officials and the opposing player if applicable.

When officials assess technical fouls or unsportsmanlike conduct penalties against athletes or coaches, they file a special report with the Missouri State High School Activities Association. The school must then file a response detailing the actions and policies that they have taken in response to the incident.

The football team had received four unsportsmanlike conduct penalties during the course of the season in addition to the two technical fouls assessed Tuesday night to the boys basketball team.

Monday, December 9, 2013

County Plans to Purchase GIS System

The County of Worth is planning to purchase a new Global Information System at an estimated cost of $52,000 from money appropriated by the State to the Assessor's Office that has been saved up over the last few years. Assessor Carolyn Hardy said that the system would be used to create a more accurate picture of who owns land in the county. The county would be able to update it in real time. It can also be used by the Road & Bridge crew to line up bridge and tube work and to keep track of where tubes are. It can also be used for 911, voter registration, school district and fire district boundary lines, and easements. The $52,000 price tag includes the program along with a map. The county will put it out for bid.

The old map was last updated in the 1970's, before the Flood of 1993 and before Golf Tee Lane was built in Grant City. Down the road, the county might be able to print its own plat maps according to County Clerk Roberta Owens. The next goal, she said, would be to get a specialized printer that could print off these maps.

All CART rock for this fall has been delivered. Due to snow, commissioners talked about doing it earlier in the year next time. Patrons can get emergency rock at any time for $150 a load and the county will haul the gravel.

The county received a query regarding the payment of funeral expenses when a deceased person does not have a living relative who can or will pay funeral expenses. Missouri Revised Statute Section 205.630 says that the "county commission of the proper county shall allow such sum as it shall think reasonable, for the funeral expenses of any person who shall die within the county without means to pay such funeral expenses." Commissioners at Monday's meeting said that at the present time, the county does not pay funeral expenses. Medicare and Medicaid do not pay for burials or funeral expenses.

The new Irena road has been done as far as possible for this year, Road & Bridge Foreman Jim Fletchall reported. The road can be driven on, but it is rough and needs to settle. The commission discussed new brush letters for the Irena area. Generally, the commission sends out letters for roads that are on school bus routes, that are on grader routes, and that receive complaints. A section of Old 169 north of Grant City is now closed; the county has put up markers.

Worth County Sheriff's Report

12-2 -- Report of cow out near Route C and Route M; owner notified.
12-3 -- Report of cattle out north of Grant City.
12-3 -- A+ Security calls to verify Sheriff's phone number.
12-4 -- Person in to file protection order.
12-4 -- Worth County resident reports a bull shot and killed on his property; officer investigating.
12-4 -- Maryville Department of Public Safety calls about possible stolen antenna.
12-5 -- Juvenille officer in with papers for Sheriff's office to serve.
12-5 -- Officer investigates report of suspicious pickup on Jaguar Ave.
12-5 -- Officer transports prisoner from Nodaway County for court.
12-5 -- Officer transports prisoner from Ringgold County for court.
12-6 -- Officer transports prisoner to St. Joseph Department of Corrections.
12-6 -- Officer oversees person getting personal property from his residence.
12-7 -- Officer serves papers in Worth County.
12-7 -- Call of suspicious person trying to give away free stuff.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Bluejay Girls Win 1st Trophy in Two Years; Off to 3-1 Start

Northeast Nodaway’s girls beat Stewartsville 59-18 to take their first trophy in two years, getting the Consolation Trophy of the Platte Valley Tournament. They had a surprisingly easy time with the Cardinals, who had figured to give Northeast a run for their money.

The focus of the game was to shut down post player Ashley Schultz and guard Randi Schottel, both of whom went off on Osborn in Stewartsville’s 50-26 win over the Wildkats in the consolation semifinals. Northeast had beaten Osborn by 22 last year, so it figured to be a dogfight for consolation. In particular, Schultz had eaten Northeast alive two years ago in Stewartsville when the Cardinals won by one point. Last year, Northeast won handily at home when she didn’t play. Since Schultz was an intimidating presence in the paint, Northeast had to get production from their guards in addition to their post players.
But not only did Northeast get good production from their guards, they got their usual production from post players Taryn Farnan and Dallis Coffelt. Northeast’s players showed no signs of being afraid of going in and attacking Schultz this time, getting to the basket and getting on the line. Northeast was able to get the Cardinals in foul trouble, a big factor since they only have eight players on their roster this year.
After a sluggish start, Northeast was able to jump out to a 10-2 lead after one quarter. Northeast was able to get some steals off the press and they forced a pair of 10 seconds calls in the period. One difference between this year and two years ago is that Northeast was much more able to pressure the Cardinals and force them to play at Northeast’s pace. Dictating the pace had been a problem for Northeast each of the last two years. One change that Coach Vance Proffitt did that helped was putting Taryn Farnan on top of the press; that helped create a lot of tips and steals as it was very difficult for them to throw over her.

Stewartsville hung around for a while in the second quarter, but then the whistles and fouls on the Cardinals started mounting and Northeast scored the last 19 points of the period to take a 33-9 halftime lead. Taryn went relentlessly to the basket and collected points and trips to the line, Dallis Dawn was jumping some passes off the press, and Kerrigan Adwell got into the act, collecting baskets off a steal and a putback.
 Brianna Riley also scored off a steal and Bailey Judd got an offensive glass that she got to Dallis for a basket.

The team rode Taryn’s back through most of the third quarter as the Bluejays continued to pull away as she collected six in a three-minute span; that opened up Holly Redden for a 3-pointer. Normally a 3-point shooter, Holly got behind the defense as Jill Spire threw a long outlet to Bailey Judd who threw to Holly for the finish. Claudia Wiederholt added a steal and Dallis added a pair of free throws. Taryn had one play where she clobbered a Cardinal defender football style, drawing the blocking foul on Stewartsville.

Taryn Farnan had 15 points and Dallis Coffelt had 13 for Northeast to lead eight people in the scoring column. Talina Nelson came off the bench and got behind the defense repeatedly for Northeast, collecting six points, a personal best.

Northeast ran into an improving Union Star squad that has gone the distance in all of its games so far, but Northeast still won handily 42-15 against the host Trojans. Dallis Coffelt battled foul trouble but still had 10 to lead the Bluejays. Taryn Farnan and Jill Spire had 8 each and Bailey Judd 6 for the Bluejays as they had a balanced attack against the Trojans. They landed 10 in the scoring column that night.

Northeast lost 42-37 to South Nodaway in the first round of the tournament in a highly physical game. Brianna Riley played the best game of her career for Northeast and collected 9 points, along with Jill Spire. Dallis Coffelt and Holly Redden had 6 each.

The boys lost both of their games in the tournament. They gave up 31 points in the second quarter and suffered one of their worst defeats in recent memory, 78-31 to North Andrew. Joel Scroggie had 16 points for Northeast in the loss. The hope was that North Andrew would still be adjusting from having just won the state title, but that was obviously not the case Monday night.

It didn’t get any easier Tuesday night in the consolation semifinals as they were matched up with a Union Star squad that has been playing some of its best basketball in recent memory. But they gave a better accounting of themselves than they did previously; after digging themselves into a 21-point hole after three quarters, Northeast outscored Star 22-10 in the final period and their rally fell short 58-49. Joel Scroggie had a career high 19 points and Garet Jackson followed with 12. Scoring for the first time in a Bluejay uniform were Dalton Auffert with 4 points and Rowdy West with 2. If they can develop some depth, then coach Chaim Jenkins will have more options and there will be less pressure on the starters to stay out of foul trouble.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Obituary -- Robert Lager 1943-2013

Robert Lager, 70, Grant City, Missouri died December 3, 2013 at his home. He was born October 6, 1943 in Nodaway County, Missouri to Alfred and Irene (Schweibach) Lager. After High School Bob joined the Nation Guard where he served his country four years.  He worked as a carpenter until his health forced retirement .

He was preceded in death by his parents Alfred and Irene Lager and sister Clara Lager. Surviving is  wife: Shirley of the home; children:  Angela Holmes of Arispe, Iowa, Anita (Barry) McClellan of Grant City and Rob (Jessica) Lager of Kearney, MO:  extended family, Angela (Ted) LeMay of Russellville, Alabama, Donnie Pickering  of Grant City and Todd (Tonya) Pickering of Wakefield, Kansas; 15 grandchildren; 7 great-grandchildren; 3 brothers: Ronnie Lager, Marvin Lager, both of Maryville, Mo, Kermit Lager of Barnard, Mo. and 1 sister Joan Jackson of Ravenwood, Mo.

Bob enjoyed the outdoors, gardening, and working with wood.  He had a special love for animals, especially his faithful dog Fifi.  He loved his wife and family, who will miss him greatly.

Memorial services were held 2:00 P.M., Saturday, December 7, 2013 at the Prugh-Dunfee Funeral Home in Grant City. Interment: Honey Grove Cemetery, Grant City. Visitation was from 1:00 P.M. to service time.
Arrangements are under the direction of the Prugh-Dunfee Funeral Home in Grant City.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Three Lettered Roads to Receive Projects for 2014

Three lettered roads in Worth County will get scratch and chip projects in 2014, according to the Missouri DOT. They are Route F from the Iowa State Line to the Y east of Sheridan, Route YY from Old 169 to Gentry, and Route D. For Nodaway County, Routes FF and MM will be done. For Gentry County, ROutes P and BB will be done. Herzog was awarded the contract to do various lettered roads throughout Northwest Missouri at a total cost to the DOT of $2.9 million. Motorists can expect lane closures and possible route closures during the projects. More information about project schedules and construction dates will be released after meeting with the contractor.