Monday, March 30, 2015

Obituary -- Wendell Calhoon 1940-2015

Captain Wendell Monroe Calhoon, United States Air Force retired (July 20, 1940-March 27, 2015) was born and raised in Allendale, Missouri by his parents Alta and George Calhoon. After graduating high school in Grant City, Missouri, Wendell enlisted in the Air Force and earned his Bachelor’s degree in Industrial Management from the University of Oklahoma. He earned a commission as a Second lieutenant through Officer Training School in 1958. Wendell continued his education with the University of Texas and earned a Master’s of Business Administration degree in 1969. 

Following retirement from the Air Force in 1978, he worked on the F-16 program with General Dynamics in Fort Worth, Texas and various other weapons programs through the Ling-Temco-Vought Corporation in Buffalo, New York. Wendell is credited for adding the F-16 to the air forces of all North Atlantic Treaty Organization allies in Europe as well as partners in the Middle East. 

Throughout his life he found happiness through fishing and hunting and spending time with his sons. Wendell married four times while raising a family and serving his country. 

Wendell was preceded in death by his parents and sisters Linda (John) Farrell and Naomi (Dan) Whitehouse.

Wendell will be deeply missed by his sons, Benjamin (Leah), Stephen (Jamie), Patrick (Terri) and Chet(Kristi); sister, Wanda (Mike) brothers; Bill (Shirley), Max (Betty); grandson Max and more than a dozen nieces and nephews.

Funeral Services were 10:30 A.M. Tuesday, March 31, 2015 at the Prugh-Dunfee Funeral Home in Grant City, Missouri followed by cremation. Inurnment and Military Rites by V.F.W. Post #3123 and American Legion Post #92 will be 1:00 P.M. Thursday April 2 at the Allendale Cemetery in Allendale, Missouri.

Tands Monument to Open in Grant City

Robert (Bob) and Treasa Staton announced Sunday that they would be opening Tands Monument, which will offer a full line of monuments for loved ones.. They will offer monuments for beloved pets as well. They will handle pre-need monuments as well as walk-in customers. They will be running the business out of the Staton home in Grant City until they find a storefront property where they can move to. They are in the process of getting their state tax paperwork completed and getting merchants licenses from the county and city. They plan to begin operations next week.

DOT Report Finds County Bridges in Excellent Shape

The Missouri DOT recently completed their annual bridge inspection. For the most part, bridges were in excellent shape. "They were a pleasure to inspect," said Russ Love of the DOT. He, Brian Rosenthal, and Wesley Carmack met with commissioners and Road & Bridge Foreman Jim Fletchall Monday. Two bridges in need of attention were the Railroad Bridge near Worth and the former state bridge on Old 169. The Railroad Bridge needs more channeling cut, while the area under the Old 169 Bridge washed out four feed and needs more rip-rap for support.

Among other issues found include five bridges that need cross bracing, the wooden bridge on Road #257 northeast of Allendale needs work, and the one on Road #264 just south of HH northeast of Allendale has an 11 ton sign posted, yet state records say it doesn't need a weight limit. Love said that in general, creeks were cutting deeper into the soil, meaning that there would be more erosion problems down the road.

The commission lifted a burn ban that they had passed two weeks ago. Temperatures were forecast to climb up to 80 on Wednesday, but then cool back down with rain in the forecast Thursday.

County Clerk Robert Owens reported that there were a lot more signups for CART than expected. Several landowners with brush letters have requested cost share.

Worth County Sheriff's Report

3-23 -- Person reports car plates stolen from a car located south of Sheridan.
3-23 -- Person in to write a statement.
3-23 -- Report of trash dumped on 190th road.
3-24 -- Person from Division of Youth Services in office.
3-24 -- Cattle out near Allendale.
3-25 -- Person calls for ID-OD check.
3-26 -- No calls.
3-27 -- Officers assist motorist with locked-out car.
3-27 -- Court clerk brings in arrest warrant.
3-27 -- Person calls about deer hit in road west of Allendale.
3-28 -- Highway Patrol arrests person on Platte County Warrant.
3-28 -- Report of reckless driving in Grant City; officer issues warning.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Grant City Council to Pursue Wastewater Grants

The Grant City Council Wednesday authorized Mayor Debbie Roach to pursue grants to obtain an electric connection to the lagoon. The city has obtained a cost estimate for the project, and the estimate came to around $180,000.

Kelli Morris of the Northwest Missouri Enterprise Facilitation visited with the council about the organization's work. They have helped 72 different businesses start in the region which they serve, including several in Worth County and Parnell. They provide free consultation services with area businesses as well as people who want to start a business. It includes a support group of over 70 businesses in the region.

Chevy Davidson of the Worth County Progress Organization reported that the WCPO plans to fill the Economic Developer Position. He said that they would be making monkey tails (frozen chocolate bananas) for the Big BAM Tour.

Public Works Director Carl Staton reported that the city was working on the dump truck and old fire truck and patching potholes, The council approved two loads of cold mix. The council voted to purchase the maximum $2,000 worth of gravel for the city under the county's CART program. The city got the skid loader paid off. Staton said that he would look at a tube in front of the post office.

The council voted to raise the Midwest Data rates by $1/month. Rates do not include taxes. Midwest Data now offers phone service as well for $25/month. The city is looking into WiFi for the BAM Tour.

There are pockets in the concrete at the Baby Pool. The city is looking into ideas for it as well as a slide for the big pool.

The city currently has $235,000 in the street fund to pave all their streets. It would cost an estimated $600,000+ to pave everything according to an estimate the city came up with a few years ago. After that, the city scaled the project back and took out streets that did not have a lot of traffic. Staton will come up with a cost estimate.

Spring cleanup for the city will be held on June 6th. The council voted to move back their next meeting date to April 22nd at 7:00 at Grant City Hall.

Jean Hanks Named Interim Activity Director at WCCC

Jean Hanks was named interim Activity Director at the WCCC. She will be serving in that capacity while McKenzie Benson is on maternity leave.

Jim Larson, who will take over the West Fletchall spot on the WCCC Board in April, was observing the regular board meeting Wednesday night.

Board Member Susan Tucker was working with Secretary Victoria Rush on simplifying the financial statements that board members read every month. Revenues were higher than expected after all aging accounts are accounted for.

Administrator Bev Miller reported that she had ordered new railings for the north and west wings. There were 20 residents as of Wednesday and one inquiry. She said that she had reduced the hours of staff due to the low census. One problem that surfaced was that the WCCC is not in all the area insurance networks, meaning that some people are still staying at other facilities out of the area.

Miller reported that she had sent out a survey to therapy patients and that the only negative was the front door. The shower room received a counter top, a new paint job, and a new floor. The activity room was painted and reorganized. Miller said that the shower room would hold water much better. She said she was working on the hall and the appearance. The old stove in the activity room needs removed.

Future projects including the front walk as well as the back parking lot.

Sheridan Fire Board Reorganizes

The Sheridan Fire Board will reorganize following a meeting Sunday evening featuring all three board members, Fire Chief Butch Thomas, and members of the Sheridan Fire Department. The board had last had a quorum to do business on September 5th and in August of last year when they had their annual Tax Rate Hearing; since then, they had been unable to meet due to work commitments.

The board opened with a 15-minute closed session. Following the closed session, board member Marybeth Taute announced her resignation. The board accepted her resignation and appointed Rick Ridge to serve out her term, which ends in April. At that time, Judge Joel Miller, by law, will appoint a member to serve a full term. Sharon Hart has resigned as secretary of the Fire Department; Angela Holmes is now the secretary. Board member Sterling Hopkins announced at the meeting that he would resign citing work and conflicts of interest; he will be replaced by Larry Hibbs. Both new members said that they would seek to do things by the book.

"From now on, every expenditure needs to be approved by the board," said Hopkins to Butch Thomas regarding the construction of the new Fire Department extension, which will house two new trucks. The Fire Department had received a $21,000 donation from the dissolved Platte River Watershed District. "The money was given to us to build this building," said fireman Tyler Paxson. Thomas said that board members had not been coming to meetings and that as fire chief, he had to act. He said that the firetrucks had to be inside a heated building during cold weather, or they would not run, meaning public safety would be at risk. For example, he said that in one recent fire, he had to call for help from other area fire departments because the truck which had been left out in the cold due to inadequate space would not start. The Sheridan Fire Department has gotten several fire calls recently due to the warm and dry weather.

Board members said that they had no problem with the Fire Department's performance. "They're doing a hell of a job; I'm not denying that," said Hopkins. "The problem is, you started this building without due process," said Board Member Bart Hawk. He said that he didn't have a problem with it if Thomas needed to spend $250 or $300 a month on needed repairs. He said that they wanted to be in the loop if there was something major. Thomas said that he had gotten bids from three different contractors, including one from Monticue Construction, one from Campbell Construction, and one from a construction company from Clearmont. The Clearmont firm won the low bid of around $18,000. Secretary Angela Holmes reported that there was currently around $36,000 in the bank account, including 2014 tax revenues. This balance does not include the payment for the building. "We've tried to follow due process, but you don't cooperate," responded Thomas. "I love what you do, I just haven't had time, I've got my business to take care of," said Hopkins. "If anyone's to blame, it's me." Thomas said that he had recommended Hopkins, who has served on the Fire Department in the past, to serve on the board. "I'm not sorry I did." On the construction of the building, Thomas said, "We did what we thought we had to do."

Board members agreed that the deal was done and over with and that they wanted to move on. "All I want is for you guys to come join us when we're working on the fire trucks," said Thomas. The new board will meet every first Thursday at 7 pm. Every first Thursday, the Fire Department comes and inspects and tests fire equipment. They do many of the repairs themselves and come out ahead despite a tight budget. Despite only collecting $8,000 in tax revenues annually, the Fire Department had saved up $11,000 over the years even before receiving the large donation from the Watershed District. They had received three other large donations recently as well; one was for $1,500, another was for $1,000, and another was for $250. "We pinch every penny and we don't buy stuff unless we have to," said Thomas.

Worth County School to Revise Curriculum

The Worth County School will revise their curriculum; the last time they did so was in 1999. They will be guided by the Missouri Learning Standards.

Principal Chuck Borey reported that office referrals for the third quarter were down to 8; two years ago, there were 30 office referrals.

The University of Missouri Extension came to the school and did a Food Power presentation to grades K-5. It was a program which taught the importance of healthy eating and physical activity. There were various adventure stations, including farm, packaging and labeling, hand, cafeteria, mouth, stomach, and a muscles and bones station.

Borey reported that he had attended a MAESP Leadership Conference and that he was going to use some of the ideas at the school. Presentations focused on creating a complaint-free work environment, teaching tools, differentiated instruction, and becoming a more effective leader.

Professional Development sessions are focusing on assessment of students, teaching critical thinking skills, and reaching lower-level reading kids. The Academic Team is currently 5-2 and third in the GRC.

Principal Jon Adwell reported that there was a lot of interest in Vo-Tech from students. 17 seniors and 10 juniors have expressed interest. Adwell reported that it had cost the school $2,000 per student to attend; however, the Vo-Tech school agreed to cap the amount at $30,000.

The first annual Community Service Project will be held on April 21st. Students and staff are making plans to do community serving in each of the communities. Some of the proposed projects including painting the MFA bins, putting flowers on the square, the Jazz Band playing at the Senior Center, painting the gazebo at the Sheridan Park, painting chairs for the Sheridan Community Center, painting the gazebo at the Allendale Park, trash pick-up, and playing cards with the WCCC residents.

On discipline, Adwell reported that there were 27 student conversations, 15 parent contacts, 5 in-school suspensions, two office detentions, and 19 teacher detentions. 34% of students received a D or an F during the third quarter.

Worth County Music Department Receives $2,500 Donation

The Worth County Music Department has received a $2,500 donation from Monsanto's America's Farmers Grow program. The winning farmers were John and Mary Ewing of Grant City. Band leader Stephen Till said that the money will be used to replace instruments as well as putting a new rug in the classroom. The Ewings have given much to the school over the years; they had seven grandkids who grew up under Mr. Dale Healy and Mr. Jim Spiers. This is the third donation to the school from the America's Farmers Grow program.

Worth County School Rehires All Teachers

All teachers were offered contracts by the Worth County School Board following their regular meeting and a closed session Thursday. Following their regular meeting, they went into closed session for one hour. After they came out of closed session, the board voted to offer new contracts to Tiffany Bliley, Colleen Combs, Nanci Drury, Cassie Gilland, Amanda Pottorff, Bryce Schafer, Joshua Smith, and Stephen Till probationary teacher contracts for the 2015-2016 school year. The vote was unanimous.

In a separate vote, the board voted to offer Karen Andrews a probationary teacher contract. The vote was 6-0-1, with Jeff Andrews abstaining. The board then voted unanimously to tenure Nicki Tracy, offer Linda Phipps a part-time tenured contract, and offer Jamie Stalder a probationary teacher contract for the 2015-2016 school year.

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Obituary -- Charles William Leathers 1939-2015

Charles William Leathers, 75, Independence, MO,went home peacefully March 17, 2015, surrounded by family.

Charles was born November 1, 1939 in Higbee, MO., son of Charles Leslie and Eloise (Roberts) Leathers.

He was preceeded in death by his parents, uncles Loren and Robert Roberts, brother in law, Don Stevens, sister in law Sharon (Edwards) Stevens and daughter in law Connie (Kemp) Leathers.

He is survived by his loving wife Jacqueline (Stevens) Leathers of 55 years; children Sharon Hiebert, Estero, FL, Jeff Leathers, Raytown, Dianna (Jack) Bartee, Independence, Loren (Lynn) Leathers, Turney; grandchildren Tymon (Tracy) Leathers, Gladstone, Joshua (Sarah) Hiebert, Salem, OR, Dusstin Leathers, St. Louis, MO, Courtney and Jennifer Leathers, Raytown, Kera Leathers, Turney, MO, PO3 Garron Leathers, Tinker AFB, OK, Justin Norman, OK, Jason Norman, Dereck Norman, IN; great grandchildren TJ Leathers, Kevin Leathers, Gladstone, Ashlynn, Zane, and Eelah Hiebert, Salem OR, Gabriel Norman, MO.

He is also survived by his brother James (Coleen) Leathers of Excelsior Springs, mother in law, Elizabeth (Barnes) Stevens Leteux, Lee's Summit, aunt Patsy Roberts, nieces Nancy Chandler, Linda Musschaio, Debbie Lear, Dawn Stevens-Bush, Debra Stevens-Crum, and nephew Andrew Stevens; also several cousins, and great nieces and nephews.

He was a 1957 graduate of NKC High School. Charles was a veteran having served in the US Air Force from 1959-1963 when he was honorably discharged AFC1. He worked at General Motors Leeds from 1963-1967, then with his brother at James Auto Service until retirement in 2007. He was a member of the Randolph Baptist Church, Randolph, MO.

Mr. Leathers body has been cremated. Memorial services were held at 1:00 PM Saturday, March 21, 2015 at the Andrews-Hann Funeral Home in Grant City, MO. The Rev. Martha Schmidt officiated. Private Inurnment services will be held at a later date in the Allendale Cemetery, Allendale, MO.

King City, Braymer to Switch to Eight Man

King City and Braymer’s school boards have voted to switch to Eight Man effective 2016-2017. They will join the rest of the GRC schools in the Small School Division in Eight Man Football. The Western Division will include Albany, Braymer, King City, North Andrew, Pattonsburg, St. Joseph Christian, Stanberry, and Worth County. These schools will also compete with each other in softball and basketball. Mike Adkins of the GRC said that there were plans to have a conference championship game at the end of the conference season for both basketball and softball for both the east and west divisions. The conference champion for golf, track, and wrestling will be decided by one conference meet involving all schools participating in those sports.

Since Worth County will have a seven-game conference schedule in football, the Tigers will have three holes to fill in their schedule; however, it could well be filled by games with 275 schools that are nearby. South Nodaway has also been a district foe in the past. Worth County will have two games to fill in both softball and basketball with the move. The move means that there will be 21 schools playing eight man football, five more than the MSHSAA threshold of 16 to sanction the sport.