May 31, 2001

Representative Sam Berkowitz Calls 2001 Legislative Session A Success

The Memphis Democrat may have been a little out of place among the "big boys" covering the final day of the Missouri State House of Representatives. However the Scotland County newspaper was in agreement with the likes of the St. Louis Post Dispatch and the Associated Press, that it was a productive legislative session that came to a close May 18.

First District Representative Sam Berkowitz agreed that the law making session provided numerous improvements for citizens of his district as was the case for the entire state.

The Missouri House of Representatives concluded the 2001 legislative session after posting big victories for the state's schools and working families.

"On the first day of session, we set forth an agenda dedicated to public education and the working families of Missouri, with a strong commitment to bipartisanship," said House Speaker Jim Kreider, D-Nixa. "Based on our accomplishments during this past session, I think we have proven that we can work together for the benefit of all Missourians."

One of the most significant accomplishments during the year was the completion of the state budget, said Speaker Kreider, noting that budget negotiators were required to find a half billion dollars to trim from state departments. But even in a tight budget year, he said, the House approved a $78 million increase for Missouri schools.

"In my view, the funding of public education is among our most important duties in state government," said Speaker Kreider. "We must maintain a quality educational system to give our students the education they deserve."

The House also approved revisions to the Criminal Asset Forfeiture Act (CAFA), which requires all assets seized from drug busts and other criminal activity to be dedicated to a school building fund. Governor Holden has signed the measure into law.

With more than 200 bills reaching final passage, members of the House can truly say they had a busy session. But its leaders say the session was not only busy, but successful as well.

"I'm here to brag on the members of this House," said Speaker Kreider at a news conference following the final day of the legislative session. "They worked hard and the citizens of Missouri were well served by the Missouri House of Representatives."

"We went to work in the Missouri House and got some important legislation passed for the good of the people of Missouri," said Minority Leader Catherine Hanaway. "We were also successful at stopping some potentially harmful legislation. And while there were disappointments along the way, I think you can say we had a good session for the people of Missouri."

Speaker Kreider pointed to bills on women's health, the .08 drunken driving limit, redistricting and the budget as particular successes of the House.

He also pointed to the successful passage of trans-portation funding, accountability in transportation, and the spending of proceeds from the national tobacco settlement as bills that passed the House, but then stalled in the Senate.

Rep. Berkowitz echoed these sentiments, indicating his frustration in the inability to get the Governor's transportation bill passed. He noted the plan would have created significant improvements for northeast Missouri, including funding for projects on Highways 61, 63 and 36.

Berkowitz also noted his disappointment in the failure of the prescription drug plans that would have provided financial aid for elderly citizens to meet the growing costs of medicine.

"I think that is a topic that will be addressed at the special session in September," Berkowitz said. "Hopefully we can get a plan together to help these people so they will not have to go another year having to decide whether to spend their limited resources on medicine or other everyday necessities."

The House passed legislation creating the Pharmaceutical Investment Program for Seniors (PIPS), a prescription drug coverage plan for low-income senior citizens. In spite of early approval by the House, the measure failed to gain passage in the Missouri Senate.

Despite the transportation and prescription drug issues, Berkowitz praised the work done this year in the House, including productive work across party lines.

Lawmakers from both parties worked together to craft bills on lowering the state's drunken driving level from .10 to .08. They also worked together to pass legislation on agriculture, health care, veterans issues, senior citizens, education, insurance and the budget.

"From day one, we said our party's priority was to make government work for the people of the state of Missouri," said Rep. Hanaway. "We worked hard with members from the other side of the aisle and accomplished a great deal."

"I want to commend Leader Hanaway and members of her caucus, they were cooperative and worked hard with us," said Speaker Kreider. "This was a House that was united on many issues, and one which provided strong leadership on a number of important issues. I look forward to continuing our relationship and our commitment to hard work next year."

This session of the Missouri Legislature will be known as the session that dealt with a giant hole in the budget and began historic debates on transportation and the uses of the state's share of the national tobacco settlement. It could also be known for legislation that touches ordinary citizens' lives.

House Bill 762, the Well Women's Health Initiative, is an example of such legislation. It requires health insurance providers to include obstetrical/ gynecological coverage, to annually notify enrollees of cancer screenings covered under the health care plan, and to cover contraceptives if the enrollee requests.

"The women of Missouri now truly have a health care package that will encompass their lives from child bearing age until menopause," said Rep. Joan Barry, the sponsor of HB 762.

"We are so pleased that this will come to pass after so long. The winners in this are the women of Missouri."

House members also took a stand against drunken driving, by lowering the state's threshold for drunken driving offenses from .10 to .08. The bill (HB 302) was a result of more than five years of effort by Rep. Craig Hosmer.

"It's one of the biggest things that we have done for public safety and the safety of our highways in the eleven years I have been a member of the House of Representatives," said Rep. Hosmer. "This is a good bill, it is good public policy, and it's good for the safety of the people who travel our roads and highways."

"We're losing lives and highway dollars by not having .08 as our state law," said bill co-sponsor Rep. Sam Gaskill referring to the federal government's withholding of millions of dollars in highway funds from the state each year for not enacting the low drunk driving standards. "It makes no sense to carry on with opposition when so many studies point to the fact that everyone is inebriated and lacks good judgement at .08."

Another bill that was a long time coming was House Bill 328, legislation that requires health care insurance providers to, within 45 days of a claim, provide a complete description of all information necessary to process the entire claim.

The legislation also allows a person who has filed a claim for reimbursement for health care service to file a civil action against a carrier for violation of the "prompt pay" provision. Rep. Tim Harlan handled the bill that some say has been around since 1993.

"It's finally time for the state to take a stand on this issue," said Rep. Harlan. "There is no good reason for insurance companies to leave consumers dangling on whether or not their claims will be paid."

Elementary school students who read below grade level are the target for legislation passed in Senate Bill 319. Under an amendment passed by the House, local school districts are required to come up with a plan for helping students improve their reading bills. The new provisions do away with mandatory grade retention policies under existing law.

"Our children need to read at least at grade level to succeed anywhere in school," said House bill handler, Rep. Connie Johnson. "This legislation mandates that the individual school districts take action to make sure their students learn to read."

"The important thing about this legislation is that it gives districts local control about how to best handle individual students who fall behind," said Rep. Charlie Shields, a key supporter of the House amendment. "We now no longer mandate that a student should be held back an entire grade because of their reading, but instead we now mandate the district take action to help that student."

Missouri House members also tacked important legislation on to a Senate agriculture bill. The Farmland Protection Act (an amendment to Senate Bill 462) will help protect farmers who own land near and around developments. The bill has several provisions aimed at keeping cities and real estate developers from swallowing farmland from owners who are not ready to sell. The act was sponsored in the House by Speaker Jim Kreider and Rep. Luanne Ridgeway.

"With cities encroaching more and more into our rural areas, we need to do all we can to protect the family farms, which are our heritage," said Rep. Ridgeway. "Farm families should not be disadvantaged just because a developer wants to build a subdivision out in the country."

House members also remembered the state's military veterans by passing House Bill 207. It allocates a portion of the Veterans Commission Capitol Improvements Trust Fund to fund matching grants for veteran's service officer programs, provide medallions for the state's World War II veterans, and provide $10 million for the expansion and renovation of the Liberty Memorial in Kansas City.

"This is a way our generation can express our thanks and appreciation for all these veterans have given us," said bill sponsor, Rep. Carson Ross. "A worthy theme, taken from one of our veterans' service organizations, is to 'honor the dead by serving the living.'"

Finally, House members reached out to stop felons from being released from jail if there are out-standing warrants for their arrest in the memory of a little boy from Independence. By sending House Bill 144, "Jake's Law", to the governor, the House paid tribute to Jake Robel, a six-year-old boy, dragged to death by a car-jacker who had been erroneously released from a north central Missouri jail just hours before.

"We need to make sure law enforcement is more careful before releasing prisoners back on to the street," said HB 144 sponsor Dennis Bonner. "What happened to Jake should never happen again."

SC Little Paw’s to Host Fall Fest October 29th


Would you like your children, daughters or sons, to have a great day of fun, dancing and playing group games with the Scotland County High School Little Paws?  Then mark October 29th on your calendar because from 9:00 a.m. -2:00 p.m. at the Scotland County High School, a day of learning large group and small group routines, and playing games with the SC Little Paws is something your child can look forward to.  The day will also include snacks and cheek cheers.

Parents are encouraged to attend their child’s performance of their routine at 2:00 p.m.

The cost for the day will be $15, which includes a t-shirt and snacks.  The children will need to bring a sack lunch.

Please sign up by October 21st so we can make sure each child receives a t-shirt.  The pom clinic is open to all girls and boys from three years to 8th grade.  Call Marie Brown at 465-2036 to register or with any questions.

We will also have our Yummy-Lix Lollipops available to the children for fifty cents each if they are interested.  And if you did not receive a pom calendar we will have some available for $5 each.

Hope to see you and your child/children on the 29th!

Downing House Hosts Candlelit Tour of the Past


The Downing House Museum Complex and members of the community hosted an “Evening at the Museum – Candlelit Tour of the Past” this past weekend, October 14th and 15th.  Approximately 240 people attended the event, raising $1,200.00. Volunteers portrayed various characters and wrote their own dialogue for the two-night performance.  Characters included: a one-room school teacher (Lois Quenneville), William Downing (Joe Fulk, who also provided the welcome), Dr. A. M. Keethler (Harlo Donelson), Ella Ewing (Teresa Cotton), the Depot ticket master (Tom Cotton), Tom Horn (Jeff Dyer), a Civil War soldier (Chris Kempke), a barber (Larry Riney), Granny Green (Anna Lynn Kirkpatrick), and a blacksmith (Frank Wineinger).  Tour guides for the evening included Lynette Dyer, Rhonda McBee, Leslie Clark, Mary Ann Kirkpatrick, Janet Hamilton, Brooke Wineinger, Angie Wentworth, Elle Wentworth, Melissa Miler, Gary Miller, Angela Westhoff, Scott Westhoff, and Jan Slayton.  Box office volunteers were Debbie Seamster, Ruth Ann Cairn and Pam Shalley.  Sheila Berkowitz made the flyers, tickets and videotaped the event.  Pam Shalley served as photographer.  Elaine Forrester provided refreshments including cookies, punch and wassail and Alisa Kigar’s 4-H group donated some of the cookies.







Photos by Pam Shalley

Hospital Pharmacy Celebrates National Pharmacy Week      

Scotland County Hospital Pharmacy staff members (L to R) Dani Waterman, CPhT, Matt McKee, RPh, and Jennifer Laws, BSPS will be honored as part of National Pharmacy Week October 16-22.

Scotland County Hospital Pharmacy staff members (L to R) Dani Waterman, CPhT, Matt McKee, RPh, and Jennifer Laws, BSPS will be honored as part of National Pharmacy Week October 16-22.

The Scotland County Hospital’s Pharmacy Department is celebrating National Pharmacy Week, October 16 –  22.  Pharmacy Week acknowledges the invaluable contributions that pharmacists and technicians make to patient care in hospitals, ambulatory care clinics, and other healthcare settings.  During Pharmacy Week, Scotland County Hospital celebrates and recognizes the significant role that our Hospital Pharmacy plays as a member of the healthcare team.

The Hospital’s Pharmacy Department is staffed by Matt McKee RPh, Director of Pharmacy, Jennifer Laws BSPS, Supervisor of the Pharmacy Department and Danielle Waterman CPhT, Certified Pharmacy Technician.  No matter the time of day or night, our physicians can write an order for a medication for our in-patients and the medication will be administered promptly after interactions have been checked, thanks to the staff in the Pharmacy Department and their cooperation with the physicians and nurses at Scotland County Hospital as well as the staff of Scotland County Pharmacy and Blessing Hospital pharmacists.

Many patients and their families are not aware that the Hospital’s pharmacy staff play a critical role in preventing medication errors, collaborating with other disciplines to optimally manage patients medication needs, improving safety and patient outcomes, and advising prescribers on the best drug choices, all while maintaining the proper inventory to meet the needs of the patients.

Although medicine can make you well, it can also harm you if it is not taken the right way. That’s why you need to know all you can about all the medicine you take. While you’re at Scotland County Hospital in Memphis, MO, the pharmacy staff is here to make sure that you receive the best and safest medications that aid you in your comfort and recovery.

Scotland County Speedway to Host Memphis Fall Nationals this Weekend


Racing action will return to the Scotland County Speedway this weekend for the annual Memphis Fall Nationals. The local track will host a two-day show October 21st and 22nd featuring modifieds, stock cars, sportmods, hobby stocks, sport compacts and late models.

With temps expected be in the high 60’s as highs and around 50 for the lows, the racing will continue this weekend at the Scotland County Speedway for the Fall Nationals,” said promoter Mike Van Genderen. “This show has been a huge tradition for many years and has become one of the favorite shows for many racers.”

Curt Marks of Dubuque Moving and Storage has added to the late model purse, making it $1,000 to win, which should add to the field of fastest cars at the speedway.

The track will host open practice for all classes from 3 to 5 p.m. on Friday.

Hot laps will start at 7 p.m. on Friday night and at 6 p.m. for Saturday’s show.

With modifieds, sportsmods, stock cars and now late models all vying or a $1,000 top prize, the track is expecting a large car count as the 2016 racing season winds down across the Midwest.

The races will also be broadcast live on Speed Shift TV at

Cayden Carter captured victories on both nights of the Memphis Bottom Heavy Nationals held at the start of the month at SCS with his 10C modified. The Oskaloosa driver will be looking to keep his streak alive.

Tommy Elston was the winner in the late models while Jason Cook and Jeff Mueller staged a battle in the stock cars, splitting the wins.

More than two dozen sportmods participated in the Bottom Heavy Nationals, with the stock cars and modifieds also more than 20 racers, numbers the Fall Nationals should duplicate or exceed.

Grandstand tickets are $15 for adults and $7 for students. Pit passes will be $30 nightly or $55 for the two-day show.

For more info contact Mike Van Genderen at 6441-521-0330.

Missouri Department of Insurance Offers Free Assistance To Seniors During Medicare Open Enrollment 

Jefferson City, Mo. – The Missouri Department of Insurance is encouraging Missourians eligible for Medicare to review their plan options and costs during this year’s open enrollment. To help Missouri consumers choose a plan that best meets their needs, the department offers free assistance through the CLAIM program.

CLAIM provides unbiased help to Missourians on Medicare and their caregivers. During the annual open enrollment period, which runs October 15 through December 7, consumers can change their Part D drug coverage or Medicare Advantage plans.

“Plans and prices can change from year to year and what you had last year may not be what is right for you this year,” said John Huff, director of the Insurance Department. “Contacting a CLAIM counselor could result in better coverage, more savings or both.”

Missouri consumers can ask questions by phone or arrange one-on-one counseling by calling 1-800-390-3330 or visiting The website also offers a list of free open enrollment events that CLAIM is hosting throughout Missouri during open enrollment.

CLAIM can also assist consumers, who have limited income, determine if they qualify for programs to help lower the cost of prescription drugs.

Consumers with complaints or questions about insurance can call the department’s Insurance Consumer Hotline at 1-800-726-7390 or visit

About the Missouri Department of Insurance, Financial Institutions & Professional Registration

The Missouri Department of Insurance, Financial Institutions and Professional Registration (DIFP) is responsible for consumer protection through the regulation of financial industries and professionals. The department’s seven divisions work to enforce state regulations both efficiently and effectively while encouraging a competitive environment for industries and professions to ensure consumers have access to quality products.

Haunted House/Safe Stops Coming Soon!


by Andrea Brassfield

With Halloween less than two weeks away, local organizations are preparing activities for area trick-or-treaters.  On Thursday, October 27th, the Scotland County Care Center is hosting their first annual Haunted House.  The event will be open from 5:00-7:00 p.m. and admission is a free will donation.  The Haunted House will be located at the front entrance/activity room of the Care Center.  Everyone is invited.

The Memphis Area Chamber of Commerce is also hosting their annual Safe Stops on Monday, October 31st from 4:00-6:00 p.m. Children may visit Memphis Area Chamber of Commerce members for Trick-or-Treating.

You will see a bright orange flyer at participating businesses which have treats for the costumed little ones.  Crossing guards will also be posted at each corner of the Memphis Square where most of the members will be set up.

There are several MACC members who do not have a store front on or near the square, but do have treats at their business locations on Highway 136 and Highway 15.  Names of the participating MACC businesses will be published in the Memphis Democrat.  Only those businesses with an orange flyer are officially recognized as a Safe Stop.  A parent or adult should accompany the children.

As a reminder, Harlo Donelson is offering a Halloween Candy Buy Back.  The dental office will pay $4.00 per pound for your goodies, $3.00 he will give to you and $1.00 will be donated to the reading program at the elementary school.

Along with the candy and costumes comes the need for added caution as youngsters venture out onto the streets to trick-or-treat.  Drivers are asked to be extra safe this weekend.  Popular trick-or-treating hours are from 5:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. so be especially alert for kids during those times.

Children should be reminded to walk with an adult, remain on well-lit streets, if sidewalks aren’t available, walk on the far edge of the roadway facing traffic, and never cross between parked cars or out of driveways.

Have a Safe and Happy Halloween!!!

Chinese Delegates Agree to Buy $2.1 Billion More U.S. Soybeans

DES MOINES (Oct. 14, 2016) – Six weeks ago, Chinese buyers committed to purchase nearly $1.8 billion worth of U.S. soy, totaling 146 million bushels of U.S. soybeans. Friday, Chinese buyers made an even larger commitment, signing contracts worth $2.1 billion of U.S. soy, or 5.1 million tons.

The new commitments were signed at a ceremony held in Des Moines and attended by seven of the top Chinese buyers of U.S. soy, Chinese commerce officials, top Iowa state officials and representatives from the U.S. soy industry. The signing ceremony was hosted by the U.S. Soybean Export Council (USSEC) and the Iowa Soybean Association. Governor Terry Branstad, Lieutenant Governor Kim Reynolds and Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey were in attendance.

Iowa Governor Terry Branstad talked about the trust, honor and respect that have helped foster the long relationship between Chinese president Xi Jinping and U.S. soybean farmers, sharing a photograph that shows the Chinese leader’s first visit to Iowa in 1985. “It’s pretty neat to have the president of China call you an ‘old friend,’” he stated.

This year, U.S. soybean farmers are projected to export a record amount of soy and soy products, up from 62.88 million metric tons of soy and soy products, valued at $27.7 billion, in 2015. International buyers are turning to U.S. soy for a variety of reasons, including its quality, sustainability and reliability, to name a few.

China Chamber of Commerce for Import & Export of Foodstuffs, Native Produce and Animal By-products (CFNA) president Brian Zhenhu spoke about the trade collaboration between the U.S. and China. “This signing ceremony is just one manifestation of our cooperation,” he said.

These sentiments were echoed by the U.S. soy industry. “We were honored to be joined by a group of Chinese provincial officials and crush company representatives, who traveled 7,000 miles to meet with U.S. exporters to sign 16 purchasing agreements,” said Jim Miller, USSEC chair, American Soy Association (ASA) director and Nebraska soybean farmer. “These agreements are an example fo the strong partnerships between the U.S. soy value chain and the international buyers who purchase our crop.”

The U.S. Soybean Export Council connects U.S. soybean farmers with opportunities to improve human nutrition, livestock production and aquaculture. This mission is accomplished with a science-based technical foundation and a global network of partnerships including soybean farmers, exporters, agribusiness and agricultural organizations, researchers and government agencies.

For more information, contact Lisa Humphreys at (636) 449-6040 or

RICHARD W. BILLINGS (8/23/1946 – 10/17/2016)


Richard Wayne Billings, 70, of Gorin, died Monday, October 17, 2016 at Scotland County Hospital in Memphis.

He was born the son of Ross “Shorty” and Stella Margaret (Davis) Billings on August 23, 1946 on a hill in Scotland County.

Richard graduated from Wyaconda C-1 High School.   He joined the United States Army, attaining the rank of Sergeant, before being discharged in 1972.

He married the former Beverly Marie Hicks on May 28, 1988 in Kirksville.   She survives.

Richard worked as a machine operator at Metzler Automotive in Keokuk.  He was member of the United Steel Workers #444. Upon retirement, he devoted his time to farming.

He was a member of the American Legion and a former member of the Bible Grove Saddle Club.

Richard had a special interest in cattle, AC tractors, and his dog Ruby.   He was fond of his horses, cows, and dogs.   He always looked forward to reading the NEMO Trader when it came out.   Richard especially enjoyed spending time with his family and friends.

He was preceded in death by his parents; a brother, Tom Billings; and a stepson and stepdaughter-in-law, Chris and Cindy Van Hoozen.

He is survived by his wife, Beverly, of the home; his children, Lesia (Rick) Hunziker and Les (Erin) Billings of Kahoka and Kimberly (Kevin) Carr of Warsaw, IL; stepchildren, Jennifer (Troy) Esser and Shawna Stone and special friend, Bubba Hauk, of Memphis; grandchildren and step-grandchildren, Raelynn, Logan, Lauren, Vince, Garrett, Wyatt, Clint, Laura (Craig), and Trent (Amber); step grandchildren, Nichole (Jimmy), Caleb, John, Whitney, Emma, Grace, Phillip, Katie (Colton), Mason, Kenny, Jaycen, Heather (David), Carrissa (John), Nakiya, Kody and Kaleb; 22 step-great-grandchildren; numerous brothers and sisters-in-law, nieces, nephews, and friends.

Funeral services will be at noon on Thursday, October 20, at the Gerth Funeral Chapel in Memphis with Shawn McAfee, pastor of the Peaksville Christian Church, officiating.   Burial will follow in the Etna Cemetery.

Military rites will be performed by the Wallace W. Gillespie Memorial V.F.W. Post #4958 of Memphis.

Visitation is prior to the service, from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m., Thursday, at Gerth Funeral Home.

Memorials are suggested to the Scotland County Cancer Fund or the Clark County Local Cancer Fund and can be left at or mailed to the Gerth Funeral Service, 115 S. Main St., Memphis, MO 63555.

Online condolences may be sent to the Billings family by signing the online guest book at

Arrangements are under the direction of the Gerth Funeral Service.



Proud parents Zach and Jessica McBee of Memphis are happy to announce the birth of their daughter Payton Leigh McBee on October 1, 2016 at Northeast Regional Medical Center in Kirksville, Missouri. Payton weighed 7 pounds, 14 ounces and was 21 1/2 inches long. Grandparents are Jim and Rhonda McBee of Memphis, Valerie Bair and Patrick Hines of Memphis, and Doug Bair of Kansas City. Payton is the McBee’s first child.

Scotland County Health Department Schedule

Thursday, October 20 – Clinic hours from 8:00-9:00 a.m. for immunizations. A nurse will be available at the Scotland County Nutrition site to do blood pressure checks.

Friday, October 21 – Clinic hours from 8:00-3:30 for fasting blood sugars, cholesterols and blood draws, immunizations, nail care, flu shots, etc.

Tuesday, October 25 – Clinic hours from 8-9:00 a.m. for fasting blood sugars and cholesterols and blood draws and from 12-2:30 p.m. for immunizations, blood pressure checks, nail care, flu shots, etc.

Thursday, October 27 – Clinic hours from 8:00-9:00 a.m. for immunizations.

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