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."

Bash Trash with MDC and MoDOT Trash Bash!

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Volunteer to clean up litter through May 15 and report efforts at nomoretrash.org.

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo.  – Missourians from every corner of the state are asked to do spring cleaning outdoors and help fight litter through the state’s annual No MOre Trash! Bash, which runs through May 15. The Trash Bash is sponsored by the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) and Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT) as part of their ongoing No MOre Trash! statewide, anti-litter campaign.

The annual Trash Bash encourages people to clean up litter across Missouri from roadsides, parks, neighborhoods, rivers, streams, trails, and other places. Trash Bash activities also include educational efforts in schools, community events, and Earth Day celebrations.

Each year, MoDOT spends about $6 million to remove litter from more than 385,000 acres of roadsides along 34,000 state highway miles. Annual volunteer efforts to pick up litter along Missouri highways are valued at $1 million.

Last year, more than 60,000 bags of litter and several truckloads of debris were picked up during the one-month Trash Bash. People also attended numerous educational events stressing the importance of not littering. Volunteers participated through Adopt-A-Highway and Stream Team litter cleanup events. Missouri Stream Team Program volunteers removed 581 tons of litter from waterways and dedicated over $1.8 million worth of volunteer time to litter removal statewide annually.

“Litter is a big problem because it’s unattractive, costly, and harmful to the environment,” said Stacy Armstrong, MoDOT No MOre Trash! coordinator. “If more people would keep their trash and properly dispose of it, or, better yet, recycle it, we would reduce the amount of litter we need to pick up in the first place.”

Littering isn’t just ugly, it also hurts wildlife and Missouri outdoors.

“Birds, fish, turtles, and other animals get tangled in litter, such as discarded plastic six-pack holders and plastic bags, and it can kill them,” said Conservation Department No MOre Trash! Coordinator Joe Jerek. “Litter can also poison wildlife and can cost a litterer up to $1,000 in fines and one year in jail.”

Jerek added that helium balloons released for social or celebratory reasons can also become a litter threat to fish and wildlife, which may consume or get tangled in the deflated balloons and ribbons.

Volunteers are needed across the state to participate in litter cleanup activities. Participants can report their cleanup efforts and will receive a thank you No MOre Trash! pin. For more information and to learn how to participate, visit nomoretrash.org or call 1-888-ASK-MODOT (1-888-275-6636). 

City of Memphis Marks Earth Day With Tree Plantings

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An estimated one billion or more people in 192 countries commemorated Earth Day on Friday, April 22nd, including the City of Memphis.

Superintendent Roy Monroe reported a pair of trees were planted in Johnson Park as part of the celebration that fosters environmental awareness while promoting such activities as community clean ups, and like this year, planting trees.

This year Earth Day Network focused on the urgent need to plant new trees and forests worldwide.

“Throughout the year, EDN sponsors and takes part in tree plantings across the US and worldwide,” said Kathleen Rogers, president of Earth Day Network. “But this year we are raising the stakes. As we begin the four year count down to Earth Day’s 50th anniversary in 2020, Earth Day Network is pledging to plant 7.8 billion trees worldwide – one for every person on Earth! That’s incredibly ambitious, but we believe this down-payment must be made in order to combat climate change and keep our most vulnerable eco-systems from facing extinction.”

Recognized as a Tree City USA by the National Arbor Day Foundation, Memphis continues to promote tree health and expansion of the tree inventory within city limits. The city offers free tress for planting on city right-of-ways on private property.

“The City of Memphis is again giving a tree to residents who will help with its survival,” said Monroe. “The trees will be planted by city employees on city right of ways.  Species will be determined by tree ordinance with consideration given to utilities at the location of the tree.”

For more information contact City Hall at 465-7285.

According to the US Census Bureau, trees play a key role in the national economy. More than 54,000 people are employed in forestry fields. More than 2.5 million homes nationwide are heated primarily by wood-burning, which is more than 2% of all housing.

Lucas Oil MLRA Late Models Help Kickoff 2016 Scotland County Speedway Season on May 7th

Billy Moyer, Jr., of Batesville, AR, took home the $5,000 top prize with a win at the last Lucas Oil MLRA Late Model race, April 17th at State Fair Speedway in Sedalia.

Billy Moyer, Jr., of Batesville, AR, took home the $5,000 top prize with a win at the last Lucas Oil MLRA Late Model race, April 17th at State Fair Speedway in Sedalia.

After losing a pair of spring shows to Mother Nature, Scotland County Speedway is hoping to kick off its 2016 schedule of special races with a bang on Saturday, May 7th when the Lucas Oil MLRA Late Models will travel to Memphis.

Modifieds have been added to the card courtesy of J & J AG, Jon and Jardin Fuller, for a show that will also feature Stock Cars, Sport Mods, and Sport Compacts.

Gates will open at 5:30, p.m. with hot laps at 6:45 p.m. and racing at 7:15 p.m.

Grandstand prices will be adults $20, students $10 and 6 & under free.  Pit pass will be $30.  Check out Scotland County Speedway on Facebook for more information.

The stop in Memphis on Saturday will cap off a three-day run across Iowa and Missouri. The MLRA late models will hit Donnellson, IA on May 5th for a $3,000 to win race at Lee County Speedway. The following night they will be chasing a similar purse at Davenport Speedway in Davenport, IA before arriving at Scotland County Speedway for another $3,000 race.

The circuit was last in action on Sunday afternoon, April 17th at the State Fair Speedway in Sedalia. A good field of 27 competitors signed in to run for the $5,000 top prize.

Justin Asplin led the field to green from the DirtOnDirt.com pole. An opening lap pileup caused a good deal of body damage to several cars. Once back underway only two additional quick yellows slowed the pace.

Billy Moyer Jr. ventured in from Batesville, Arkansas and was fast from hot laps. Jr. won his heat early in the day and rolled from third. He quickly took the lead and pushed on to his second win of the season and first with the Lucas Oil MLRA since 2012 in La Monte, Missouri.

“We had a heck of a car,” said Moyer Jr. following the feature. “I was just glad to win the thing.”

A 22-lap scamper to the checkers had cars racing all over the track. On a couple of occasions Moyer Jr. had to exercise patience to navigate lapped cars. Terry Phillips closed nearly to his bumper, but he was able to maneuver out of the close quarters.

The runner-up finish for Phillips is his best of the season. Moving from 11th, he made a lot happen in a relatively short amount of time. Phillips also captured the Casey’s General Stores Hard Charger of the Race award.

“I always love coming here,” commented Phillips “I miss this place. I’m glad somebody got it going again here. It was a pretty good race track for a daytime race. They did all they could to get it wet early. All in all it was a good night for us.”

Rolling off just one row ahead of Phillips, Rodney Sanders worked forward into third where he finished.

“It was pretty bottom dominant,” Sanders said. “We had a good car there just a little bit too tight. I can’t say enough about Jimmy (Mars) and the guys, they’ve been working hard. I felt like we had a pretty good weekend. Just got to improve a little bit, but I think we are getting in the right direction.”

Pitch, Hit and Run Competition Being Held at Johnson Park

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The City of Memphis Parks Department is hosting a Pitch Hit and Run Competition on Saturday, May 7th starting at 9:00 a.m.  The event is being held at Johnson Park Ball Field.

The competition, a free, 1-day event for boys and girls ages 7-14, is divided into two separate divisions, baseball and softball, and participants may compete in either division.

Divided into three fundamental aspects of baseball/softball, participants are scored on pitching, hitting and running.  In pitching, the participant is tested throwing strikes to a designated “strike zone” target.  Any method of throwing is permitted.  In hitting, the participant hits a ball off a stationary tee for distance and accuracy.  In running, the participant is timed, starting from second base, touching third then touching home plate.

All of the events are individually scored and converted to a total point score through the use of conversion tables.  After competing in each of the three components, participants accumulate a total score based on his/her performance.

Champions at the Local level advance to a Sectional competition.  Those winners then become eligible to advance to the Team Championships held in June and then the final culmination occurs at the National Finals held at the 2016 MLB All-Star Week.

Complete information and rules can be found at PitchHitRun.com.  Registration forms for the Local completion being held on May 7th can be picked up at Memphis City Hall and the Memphis Democrat.  For more information, contact Memphis City Hall at 660-465-7285.

Service Day Brings Out Best In CMU

From sororities and fraternities to sports teams and service clubs, some 700 volunteers from Central Methodist University did their part on Thursday, April 7 to, in the words of the CMU mission statement, “make a difference in the world.”

The University called off classes for its annual Service Day, when students, faculty and staff are encouraged to engage in volunteer activities to support a variety of causes. Event coordinator Matt Williams, associate director for CMU’s Center for Faith and Service, estimated CMU dedicated more than 1,700 hours this year.

Lucas Howard, a Sophomore computer science major from Memphis, volunteered with the Cleanup Fayette project, where over one hundred volunteers worked to pick up trash around town.

The many Service Day projects included yard work at various homes, work at the food bank in Columbia, volunteering at Fayette Head Start, sewing colorful pillow cases for children who are battling cancer, and many more.

“As President (Roger) Drake likes to say, we’re helping to prepare students for ‘advanced citizenship’ in the world around them,” Williams added. “Even though classes were canceled for Service Day, the learning continued.”

Since its founding in 1854, CMU has evolved into a university that confers master’s, bachelor’s and associate’s degrees through programming on its main campus in Fayette, Mo., and through extension sites located across Missouri and online

Delaney Gundy Inducted Into C-SC’s Chapter of Alpha Chi National College Honor Society

Delaney Gundy, senior art education major from Gorin, MO, was among 22 students inducted into the Missouri Beta chapter of the Alpha Chi National College Honor Society. The ceremony was held Wednesday, April 20, in Johnson Hall Parlor on the Culver-Stockton College campus.

Faculty co-sponsors Dr. Scott Giltner and Dr. Lauren Schellenberger welcomed the new members into the society. Dr. Dell Ann Janney, Associate Dean of Instruction and Professor of Accounting, delivered this year’s charge to initiates, family, and friends.

Alpha Chi honors those juniors and seniors in the top ten percent of their class. Founded in 1922, Alpha Chi has over 300 chapters nationally and works toward the goal of “Making Scholarship Effective for Good.”

Culver-Stockton College, located in Canton, Mo., is a four-year residential institution in affiliation with the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). C-SC specializes in experiential education and is one of only two colleges in the nation to offer the 12/3 semester calendar, where the typical 15 week semester is divided into two terms, a 12-week term and a 3-week term.

The C-SC Wildcats are members of the Heart of America Athletic Conference (HAAC) and the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA).

Show Me Dog Club to Host Dog Day in the Park

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Dog parks are becoming more popular all across the United States. They are different in size and design but share the same purpose: to provide a place where dogs can run freely off-leash and socialize with other dogs. Although they’re not for everyone, dog parks can benefit both people and their pets. Once or twice a year the City of Memphis generously opens Johnson Park as a dog park. Here are some tips on why you should take your dog to the park:

Many behavior problems in dogs are caused by a lack of physical and mental activity. Dogs were born to lead active lives. They’ve worked alongside people for thousands of years, hunting game, herding and protecting livestock, and controlling vermin. Dogs’ wild relatives lead busy lives, too, hunting, scavenging, avoiding predators and complex social interaction. Most pet dogs, on the other hand, spend the majority of their time alone at home, napping on couches and eating food from bowls. Many become bored, lonely and overweight. They have excess energy and no way to expend it, so it’s not surprising that they often come up with activities on their own, like unstuffing couches, raiding trash cans and gnawing on shoes.

To keep your dog happy, healthy and out of trouble, you’ll need to find ways to exercise his/her brain and body. If she enjoys the company of her own kind, visits to your local dog park can greatly enrich her life. Benefits of going to the dog park include:

Physical and mental exercise for dogs: your dog can zoom around off-leash to her heart’s content, investigate new smells, wrestle with her dog buddies and fetch toys until she happily collapses. Many dogs are so mentally and physically exhausted by a trip to the dog park that they snooze for hours afterwards.

Opportunities to maintain social skills: dogs are like us, highly social animals, and many enjoy spending time with their own species. At the dog park, your dog gets practice reading a variety of other dogs’ body language and using his/her own communication skills, and she gets used to meeting unfamiliar dogs on a frequent basis. These valuable experiences can help guard against the development of fear and aggression problems around other dogs.

Fun for pet parents, dogs aren’t the only ones who enjoy dog parks. People do too. They can exercise their dogs without much effort, socialize with other dog lovers, bond and play with their dogs, practice their off-leash training skills, and enjoy the entertaining antics of frolicking dogs. This article was from petsWebMD.com.

Please join us for A Dog Day in the Park at Johnson Park this Saturday, April 30, 2016 from 1:00-3:00 p.m. Please no female dogs in heat or unneutered males. We ask that all dogs be current on their shots. Just a fun hour or two for you and your dog to run around, socialize, and have fun. In case of rain, the event will be cancelled.

Ruby Red Hats of Rutledge

The Ruby Red Hats of Rutledge went to the Edina Nutrition Center on April 18th.  Marjorie Peterson was hostess.  She gave everyone a petunia and a packet of flower seeds.

Those attending the meeting were Celine Erickson, Marilyn Dunn, JoAnn Rood, Virginia Hustead, Joyce Bass, Ruth Ludwick, Reva Hustead, Marlene Henry, Neta Phillips and Nancy Jo Waack.

The next meeting will be Monday, May 16th at Keith’s Café in Memphis.  Hostesses will be JoAnn Rood and Marilyn Dunn.

Memphis FFA Hosting 2016 Awards Banquet

The Memphis FFA Chapter will be celebrating the successes of its FFA Chapter members on Thursday, May 5th at their annual Awards Banquet.

The Memphis FFA has had a very successful year and seen many accomplishments.  They have been awarded Proficiencies, attended Leadership Development Events and Career Development Events where they qualified and competed at top levels.  The Chapter credits their successes not only to their own hard work but also to the support received from businesses and the local community.

The Memphis FFA Banquet is being held at the Scotland County High School Gymnasium with dinner starting promptly at 6:00 p.m.  In addition to regular banquet activities, they are also holding a silent auction to raise funds to help with the cost of sending members to leadership conferences, CDE events and state and national conventions.

Is Maintenance Due On Your CRP?

Mid-Contract Management is required on CRP (Conservation Reserve Program) acreage. MCM (Mid-Contract Management) practices must be performed during the program years indicated in the participants’ Conservation Plan. For most contracts, management practices will be required to be performed one time on each contract acre during contract years 3 through 6.

CRP participants, in consultation with NRCS (Natural Resources Conservation Service), have the choice of one or more of the following three required MCM practices after a grass stand is considered established: strip disking, prescribed burning, and chemical application. Mowing alone is not an approved MCM practice. Each practice has a specific time-frame it may be performed. In no case will MCM be allowed during the primary nesting season of May 1 to July 15.

Spring disking ended March 31stt. The deadline to burn cool season grasses is April 30th. The spring deadline for chemical application of cool season grasses is also April 30th. There are additional times later in the year available to perform MCM practices.

CRP participants are to report to their FSA (Farm Service Agency) office when the practice is done. After the bills for the disking, burning, or chemical application are submitted, cost-share of $11 per acre may be issued.

CRP that does not have the required MCM practices applied as required will be subject to a penalty or cancellation of the CRP contract.

For more information about when you need to perform MCM, the specifications for each MCM practice, or any other questions in regards to maintaining your CRP, please contact your county FSA office. The Scotland County FSA office is open Monday through Friday from 7:45 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The phone number is (660) 465-8517.

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