June 7, 2001

SCR-I School District Hit With 22% Increase In Employee Insurance Costs For 2001-2002

The Scotland County R-I School District will be experiencing an increase of more than 20 percent in the cost of insurance for employees next year and the district may actually be exhaling a sigh of relief.

Superintendent LeRoy Huff informed the board that the NEMO Coop had finally reached an agreement with the group's insurance carrier on a medical insurance plan for the 2001-2002 year for the Coop member schools.

Huff stated the agreement called for a dramatic increase of 22.02 percent in the premium cost for employee benefits. He noted it marked the second consecutive year the district had sustained cost increases for insurance as the service had gone up 16.3 percent the previous year.

However Huff noted that it could have been much worse. "There are many horror stories being told concerning what many schools will be paying next year for medical insurance," Huff told the board. "I feel fortunate our rates were only going up 22.02 percent as many schools were experiencing more than 35 percent increases in insurance rates."

Huff broke down the increase for the board, telling members the increase would mean an additional cost of $576.84 per employee next year.

After discussing the situation the board voted unanimously to accept the insurance program as presented.

Non-Certified Salary Report

Salary committee chairperson Ellen Aylward presented a proposal for the salary structure of non-certified staff at SCR-I. She told the board that committee members had met with representatives of the non-certified staff and worked together to create the report.

Aylward read the report, which recommended a 2.5 percent increase in pay (before insurance and requirement matches) for all non-certified employees. The custodians, secretaries, aides, food director, head cook, cooks, part-time cooks, bus drivers, PAT instructors, nurse, transportation director and secretary to the superintendent all would receive the same percentage increase.

The committee report also suggested allowing all these staff members one step on the salary schedule.

The board further indicated a desire to increase the number of sick days a staff member could take for personal reasons. Under current policy, only one personal day is allowed. The proposal would change that to two days for personal leave.

One final addition to the proposal called for an additional step on the salary schedule for bus drivers.

After discussing the issues, the board voted 7-0 to follow the recommendations of the salary committee and approve the proposal as presented.

Student Accident Insurance

The district was presented a proposal from Lawrence E. Smith and Associates of St. Louis to be the school's carrier for student accident insurance for the 2001-2002 academic year.

The board reviewed the proposal and voted 7-0 to accept the plan that will allow the district to offer the voluntary coverage option to students next year.

The board noted that all students seeking to play school-sponsored sports must have proof of accident insurance coverage before they can participate. If they have no coverage they will have the option of purchasing the policy through Smith and Associates to meet the requirement.

The plan also is available to all other students in the district with four options available in the plan. The school time plan will cost $10 per student. A 24-hour coverage option is available for $38 per student. The varsity football plan will cost $39 with an additional dental option available on all three plans for an additional $3.

Old Business

The two items under old business on the district's agenda involved the sale of surplus equipment.

The board had authorized transportation director Dennis Robertson to advertise for sealed bids on two used school buses. No bids were received on either unit so the board extended the bid period until prior to the June meeting.

Superintendent LeRoy Huff gave the board a report on the district's surplus property auction that was held May 24th. The school cleared more than $400 from the auction after expenses were paid from the $744.50 sale.

Procedural Evaluations

Denice Blaine presented the procedural evaluation on the district's gifted students program. Blaine discussed her first year in the position of gifted instructor and how the program is currently being utilized by students. Currently there are 17 students enrolled in the gifted program in K-12. This group attended the GAM Northeast Gifted Conference in Macon. Blaine stated she plans to apply to have the conference held in Scotland County in the future.

Special Education

Rhonda McBee discussed the district's special education program with the board. The special education assurances report is required by the state for districts to receive special education funds for the year 2001-2002.

Title I

McBee followed that up with her procedural evaluation of the Title I program. She and Julie Clapp discussed plans for the program in the current fiscal year.

Overnight Trips

Two overnight trip requests were approved by the board. State FFA Camp is June 18-22. Twenty SCR-I students have indicated plans to attend. Two students will be attending the More-Net Technical Academy at Reed Springs June 4-7.

NAEIR Membership

Upon recommendation of Superintendent Huff, the board unanimously approved the district's membership renewal in the NAEIR Coop in Galesburg, IL. The membership provides the district five trips to the group's warehouse to retrieve donated items for use by the school and staff members. The board agreed the $575 annual fee was well worth the results seen each year from the membership.

Resignation

The board regretfully accepted the resignation of second grade instructor Joni Lloyd. Huff stated Lloyd had been a valuable employee the past three years and hoped the district might entice her to return in the future. "We hate to lose an instructor with Joni's capabilities but understand the reason for the decision," Huff stated.

Special June Meeting

The board agreed to schedule a June 12 meeting for the purpose of reviewing the existing 2000-2001 budget and to receive a preliminary budget for the 2001-2002 academic year. The current fiscal year ends June 30.

The board also voted to reschedule the regular June meeting from Thursday June 28 to Tuesday, June 19 at 6:30 p.m.

Bank Bids

Huff told the board the district's current contract for financial services needed to be renewed for the 2001-2002 fiscal year through the 2003-2004 year.

The school currently is served by the Bank of Kirksville. The board voted to solicit bids for the service to be reviewed at the June 19 meeting.

Strategic Planning Committee

The board appointed a strategic planning committee of Gary Miller, Doug Shalley, Paul Campbell, Fred Clapp and Superintendent Huff to meet and establish a list of community members to take part in the project. The group met May 23 and established the list.

Clapp, chairperson of the committee, told the board 23 citizens had agreed to serve on the committee. Clapp stated Lin Stephenson, Scott Wickert, Gary Dial, Darrell Harvey, Wayne Winn, David Trueblood, Aaron Dannenhauer, Kathy Kiddoo, Barb Blomme, Don Fromm, Chris Feeney, Chris Harris, Barbara Campbell, Ken Cross, Marla O'Donnell, Scott Brassfield, Tom Deberry, Jeff Behrens, Jason Glass, Jenny Stone and Michele Garnett have agreed to serve on the committee.

Transportation Committee

A committee of George Koontz, Paula Neese and David Kirkpatrick was established to review the district's transport-ation costs. The group will review costs as well as future trans-portation needs of the district in the wake of the growing fuel costs in an effort to make the system as cost effective as possible.

Natural Gas Coop

The district had been seeking to form a cooperative of districts for the purpose of purchasing natural gas for the upcoming school year. Huff reported the Missouri School Board Association had formed such a cooperative but recommended the district not participate at this time.

Huff stated due to the current meter charge from the district's provider as well as the fact that the Missouri Public Service Commission has not allowed the MSBA coop to receive a reduced rate, that it was not economically feasible for the district to join the group. He did note that MSBA recommended the district join the coop as soon as the PSC allows the reduced rate.

Executive Session

The board voted unanimously to offer employment to Brook Garbati as a district 7-12 special education instructor and to Lisa Denney as half-time Title I reading instructor and half-time special education instructor. Sue Schneider was offered the opportunity to transfer from her high school Title I instructor to a full time position as a second grade instructor for the 2001-2002 year.

Brackets Unveiled for Class 2 District 6 Basketball Tourneys

GIRLS BRACKET

Defending its district title got a lot tougher for the Scotland County girls thanks to redistricting in 2017 and the Tigers didn’t benefit from the move either, as the Class 2 District 6 brackets were released this week.

The boys’ bracket features seven out of eight teams with winning records in 2016-17.

Despite posting a 20-1 record and a #7 ranking in the state, the Scotland County girls will enter next week’s district tourney as an underdog. Clopton, the #1 ranked girls team in Class 2 will be the top seed in the district tournament, which will be hosted by the Clarksville, MO  school, which is located south of Hannibal.

The host school will face #8 seed Louisiana (1-19) in the opening round on February 20th at 4 p.m.

The #2 seeded Lady Tigers will take on #7 Van-Far (6-14) at 5:30 p.m.

The third opening round game on Monday night will pit #4 Knox County vs. #5 South Shelby before the girls finale at 9 p.m. featuring #3 Paris vs. #6 Canton.

The boys will take the court Tuesday with #3 Louisiana (16-5) vs. #6 South Shelby (14-8) at 4 p.m.

BOYS BRACKET

Top seed Knox County (17-4) will then take on #8 Paris (8-12) at 5:30 p.m.

Scotland County, the #7 seed will be in action at 7 p.m. versus #2 seed Canton (15-6). The final game will pit #4 Clopton (15-6) against #5 Van-Far (13-7) at 9 p.m.

The girls semifinals will be played at 5:30 and 7 p.m. on Wednesday night. If the Lady Tigers take care of business in the opening round, they would advance to play the winner of Paris vs. Canton, in the 7 p.m. contest.

The girls’ championship game is set for 6 p.m. on Saturday, February 25th.

The boys’ semifinals are set for 5;30 p.m. and 7 p.m. on Thursday, February 23rd. An opening round win for the tigers would advance them to play the winner of Louisiana and South Shelby in the 7 p.m. game.

The boys’ championship game will be played at 4 p.m. on Saturday, February 25th.

The Late Mike Wagner’s Pink Elf is Honored in the International Gladiolus Hall of Fame

The late Mike Wagner was recently honored when he and his gladiolus hybrid, Pink Elf, were inducted into the International Gladiolus Hall of Fame located in Greeley, Colorado.

by Andrea Brassfield

The late Mike Wagner was fondly remembered as a man who loved and appreciated nature.  As a science and biology teacher, he enthusiastically taught for thirty-four years.  But his passion for science, and specifically genetics went well beyond the classroom as he and his wife spent much of their personal time in their garden. Over a 40 year span, they grew their flower garden to more than an acre in size with more than 1800 varieties of gladiolus.

Gladiolus hybridization was one of Mr. Wagner’s greatest joys and his work led to the development and introduction of many named seedlings into the commercial flower market not to mention the success his new creations experienced on the show table.

Thirty-seven years ago, in 1980, Mr. Wagner, introduced Pink Elf, one of his award winning gladiolus.  Last month, at the Annual North American Gladiolus Council Convention, in Myrtle Beach, VA, it was announced that Mr. Wagner’s Pink Elf was being inducted into the International Gladiolus Hall of Fame.

Mr. Wagner’s wife, Diana, received correspondence from Jane Bruce, Curator of the International Gladiolus Hall of Fame, letting her know about Pink Elf’s induction.  She received both a plaque and certificate with a description and picture of Pink Elf, letting her know the information would be included and archived at the International Hall of Fame.  The certificate reads: “This Certifies that Pink Elf is honored in The Gladiolus Hall of Fame inclusion in which is limited to those cultivars which represent outstanding achievement in the Gladiolus world.  And which have, thereby, contributed significantly to the betterment of Gladiolus. Michael E. Wagner 1980”.

Pink Elf was one of Mr. Wagner’s favorite creations and is described as a ruffled 300 size pink with yellow blotch.  It was introduced out of a cross of K&M’s “butterfly” Elf x Parfait (Lauras 1958 233). It is still cataloged by Peters and remains healthy, still winning ribbons both in North American and the UK.

Pink Elf is also described as proven to be a great parent, at least among North American breeders: Elfin, from Bates; Rose Elf (and others) from MacKenzie; sister-seedlings Cream de Mint and Pink Doll) from Everson; and others too numerous to mention.  It is still being used successfully, at least as a seed parent.

The International Gladiolus Hall of Fame is in the Michener Library at the University of Northern Colorado, Greeley, and is a repository for gladiolus literature from throughout the world and honors both outstanding gladiolus varieties and people who have notably contributed to gladiolus culture.

SCR-I Grad Rob Morgan Recognized for Contributions to Discovery of New Element

Recently, 1998 graduate of Scotland County High School, Rob (Bobby) Morgan was recognized for his contributions to the discovery of the newest element to be added to the periodic table. Element 117 received the official name Tennessine and was added to the seventh row of the table in November 2016.

The discovery of element 117 was officially announced in April of 2010, but began in early 2008 in a joint effort between researchers at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory(ORNL) in Oak Ridge Tennessee and the Joint Institute for Nuclear Research (JINR) in Dubna, Russia. To synthesize element 117, researchers bombarded the heavy element Berkelium7249 with a beam of Calcium-48 atoms. During the bombardment some of the calcium and berkelium atoms would combine to form the new element 117.

ORNL’s High Flux Isotope Reactor and adjoining Radiochemical Engineering Development Center(REDC), is the only facility in the world capable of producing the Berkelium-249 necessary for the experiment. Morgan was part of a small team of researchers and technicians at REDC who worked on the year-long campaign resulting in the production of 22 milligrams of Berkelium-249, the necessary amount to perform the experiment.

The berkelium target material was then shipped to the JINR in Russia where it would begin the six-month process of calcium bombardment in a particle accelerator. Following this experiment researchers announced they had detected the presence of six atoms of element 117. These findings were later confirmed by researchers at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in Livermore, California.

The proposed name, Tennessine, was approved by the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC) in 2016 to recognize the significant contributions of ORNL Vanderbilt University (Nashville, TN), and the University of Tennessee (Knoxville, TN).

The discovery of Tennessine is evidence of the existence of the theoretical “island of stability”, where superheavy elements have increasingly stable properties. Discovery of these stable superheavy elements could lead to new technologies in energy, and have a drastic impact on the current view of chemistry and physics.

Jolly Jacks & Jills Make Valentines Cards for Meals on Wheels Deliveries

The Jolly Jacks & Jills 4-H Club held their regularly monthly business meeting on Tuesday, February 7, 2017 at 5:30 p.m. at the Rotary building on the east side of the Memphis square.

President McKaela Bradley called the meeting to order.  Pledges were led by Kadance Burnett and Mason Mallett.  The Roll Call question was, “What is your favorite candy?”  Roll call was answered by 17 members.  Treasurer, Corbin Kirchner gave the treasurer’s report.  Several members reported on project meetings and work on their projects.

In Old Business, Assistant Leader, Sarah McSparren reported on the County Council meeting held on Jan 18th. Sarah reported that the nominations for the State Awards were written and submitted for Naomi Crouch Award – Sarah McSparren; Frank Graham Award – Josh McSparren; Hall of Fame – Pat Wiggins.  Sarah reported six 4-Hers are registered to attend State Teen Conference.  She reported there’s a FARM CITY night in Kahoka on Feb 25th.

Julian Vale and Sadie Jackson reported on volunteering at the Memphis Theatre. Club Leader, Alisa Kigar, reported on the craft that the members will do after the meeting that will be given to approximately 30 Senior Nutrition Site home delivered meals on February 14th.

In New Business, it was announced if any members are not aware of their project leaders to talk to the Extension Office.  Trash pickup was tabled until next month, but suggested an early out date from school in April for trash pickup.

President McKaela asked members if they wanted to do a fun spring activity?  Skating was suggested and kickball was suggested.  President McKaela called for a vote: Skating 13; Kickball 2. Julian Valle moved a motion that the club pays for the skating party. Morgan Jackson seconded the motion.  Motion carried.

Under announcements: Drive on Pig Camp in Warrensburg on April 29th.  It was announced that all members that wish to show livestock at the fair must complete the SMQA (Show-Me Quality Assurance) training either live or via computer training.  The rules are that youth age 8 -13 must take the course 2 consecutive years to be certified.  Youth age 14 must complete an additional session to be certified.  Training is offered in our area in the following locations: March 2 @ 7 pm Lewis County Courthouse; March 8th @ 6 pm Scotland County Courthouse; March 13 @ 3:20 pm at Knox County High School; March 14 @ 7 pm at Clark County Courthouse.  Please contact the Extension Office in these counties if you plan to attend one of the live courses.  Otherwise, complete the course on-line at: http://agebb.missouri.edu/smqa/.

There’s a NORTHEAST REGIONAL 4-H ENERGIZER in Macon on Feb. 18th from 10 – 2 pm for youth age 11 – 18.  It costs $10.  Any youth that want to attend, please call the Extension office.

Achievement Day is scheduled for Sunday, March 5th.  The committee is meeting soon and registration papers will be sent out soon.  Members are encouraged to participate in all activities that day and prepare  a demonstration.  To learn about how to give a demonstration, go to University of MO Extension on-line and look up document Y 744 Let’s Demonstrate.

President McKaela asked for adjournment.  Elsie Kigar moved to adjourn.  Kilee Bradley-Robinson Second motion.  Motion carried.

After the business meeting, members and adults enjoyed snacks and made Valentines for the shut-in meal recipients for home delivered meals on Valentine’s Day. Thirty valentines were made by members of the club.

Scotland County Senior Nutrition Center

MENU

Thursday, February 16 – Spaghetti/Meat Sauce, Buttered Corn, Cottage Cheese, Garlic Bread, Peaches

Friday, February 17 – BBQ Ribs, Parsley Potatoes, Coleslaw, Hot Roll, Strawberry Shortcake/Topping

Monday, February 20 – Chicken Strips, Sweet Potato Fries or Regular Fries, Breaded Tomatoes, Applesauce, Bread Slice, Pudding

Tuesday, February 21 – Tenderloin/Bun/Onion, Lettuce Salad, Cauliflower/Cheese Sauce, Carrot-Pineapple Salad, Rice Krispies

Wednesday, Feb. 22 – Fried Chicken, Mashed Potatoes/Gravy, Buttered Cabbage, Hot Roll, Fruit

Thursday, February 23 – Liver and Onions or Chicken Pattie, Mashed Potatoes, Green Beans, Bread, Fruit

ACTIVITIES

Wed., February 15 – Board and Business Meeting 1:00 p.m.

Thursday, February 16 – Scotland County Health Department is doing blood pressure checks at the Nutrition Center. Card Party at 5:00 p.m.

Monday, February 20 – President’s Day, Center Open.

Thursday, February 23 – Card Party at 5:00 p.m.

Scotland County Health Department Schedule

Thursday, February 16 – Walk-in clinic hours from 8-10 a.m. for immunizations.  Nurse available at the Scotland County Nutrition Site for blood pressure checks.

Friday, February 17 – Walk-in clinic hours from 8:00-3:30 for fasting blood sugars, cholesterols, blood draws, blood pressure checks, immunizations, nail care, etc.

Monday, February 20 – Office closed for Presidents’ Day.

Tuesday, February 21 –Walk-in clinic hours from 8-9 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, etc.  WIC certifications and mid certifications by appointment.  Please call 465-7275 to schedule an appointment.

Wednesday, Feb. 22 – WIC nutrition education and check pick up.

Thursday, February 23 – Walk-in clinic hours from 8-10 a.m. for immunizations.

SCR-I School Menus

Breakfast

Thursday, February 16 – Breakfast Burrito, Choice of Cereal, Toast/Jelly, Orange Wedge/Grapes, Juice/Milk

Friday, February 17 – Sausage/Gravy/Biscuits, Choice of Cereal, Chocolate Chip Muffin, Banana, Juice/Milk

Monday, February 20 – NO SCHOOL

Tuesday, February 21 – NO SCHOOL

Wednesday, Feb. 22 – Sausage/Egg/Cheese Sandwich, Choice of Cereal, Toast/Jelly, Orange Half, Juice/Milk

Thursday, February 23 – Breakfast Burrito, Choice of Cereal, Toast/Jelly, Orange Wedge/Grapes, Juice/Milk

Lunch

Thursday, February 16 – Chili Soup, Broccoli Cheese Soup, Hamburger Bar, Grilled Cheese Sandwich, Pickle Spear, Cheese Stick, Saltine Crackers, Applesauce

Friday, February 17 – Macho Nachos, Tuna Noodle Casserole, Peas/Carrots, Dinner Roll, Strawberry Shortcake, Fresh Fruit

Monday, February 20 – NO SCHOOL

Tuesday, February 21 – NO SCHOOL

Wednesday, Feb. 22 – Country Fried Steak, Chicken and Noodles, 5th/6th Grade Potato Bar, Whipped Potatoes/Gravy, California Blend Vegetables,  Dinner Roll, Mandarin Orange Slices, Fresh Fruit

Thursday, February 23 – Spaghetti/Meat Sauce, Deli Wrap, Hamburger Bar, Layered Lettuce Salad, Green Beans, Garlic Bread, Fruit Salad, Fresh Fruit

First Christian Church Hosts Central Christian College Students

Five students from Central Christian College of the Bible in Moberly, MO, and Preaching Professor, Jason Poznich, were guests at the First Christian Church in Memphis on Sunday, February 12th. CCCB Students are: Ian Whitmore a freshman Preaching major from Des Moines; Roni Busick, a freshman Christian Counseling major from Newtown, MO; Ashley Tanner a freshman Youth & Family Ministry major from Columbia, MO; Lucas Reynolds a sophomore Preaching major from Eldon, MO, and Admissions Counselor, Dillan Hayes, originally from Ft. Worth, TX. The Team is pictured here with the various youth groups from First Christian Church in Memphis.

A worship team, from Central Christian College of the Bible in Moberly, accompanied by a professor was in attendance at the First Christian Church in Memphis on Sunday, February 12, 2017.  During the Sunday School hour, the team met with the Junior High & Senior High students from the youth group and the topic of discussion was prayer.  Following the Sunday School hour, the church worship service was led by students Ian Whitmore, a Freshman Preaching Major from Des Moines and Roni Busick a Freshman Christian Counseling Major from Newtown, MO.   Preaching Professor, Jason Poznich, delivered the message from Luke 11:1-13.

After the church service, a carry-in lunch was enjoyed in the fellowship hall as part of the Annual Mid-Winter Cook-Out which was prepared by Randy Harrison, Paul Campbell, Lance Campbell & Lane Campbell, who cooked burgers & brats over the grill in the chilling temps.  After the Mid-Winter Cook-Out, the CCCB Team and Professor Poznich led youth group activities in the afternoon.

Central Christian College of the Bible in Moberly, MO, is an accredited four-year Bible college, founded in 1957 and dedicated to equipping men and women for leadership in the Kingdom of God both nationally and internationally.  CCCB offers four-year degrees in Preaching, Christian Education, Youth & Family Ministries, Christian Counseling, Cross-Cultural Ministries and Christian Ministries.  The college also offers a variety of Associate Degrees and Certificates.  For more information, please call 1-800-263-3900 or go to www.cccb.edu or like them on Facebook.  Jack Sumption, Preaching Minister and Josiah Holloway, Youth Minister at First Christian Church, are both alumni of CCCB.

Memphis FFA Celebrates FFA Week February 18-25, 2017

The Memphis FFA Chapter is celebrating National FFA Week February 18th-26th, 2017. This year’s theme is Transform Purpose to Action.FFA Week

Memphis FFA and FFA chapters across the nation will celebrate National FFA Week, February 18th-26th.  The theme this year is Transform Purpose to Action.  Chapters have activities planned to raise awareness about the National FFA Organization and the role it plays in the development of the agriculture industry’s future leaders and the importance of agricultural education.  The week-long tradition started in 1948.  Each year, National FFA Week runs Saturday to Saturday, encompassing President George Washington’s February 22nd birthday in recognition of Washington’s legacy as an agriculturist and farmer.

FFA was founded by a group of young farmers in 1928.  Its mission is to prepare future generations for the challenges of feeding a growing population.  Since the founding members the organization has taught generations that agriculture is more than planting and harvesting – it involves science, business and much more.

Today, FFA continues to help the next generation rise up to meet new agricultural challenges by helping members develop their own unique talents and explore their interests in a broad range of career pathways.  Members prepare for careers as biologists, chemists, veterinarians, engineers and entrepreneurs.

Memphis FFA activities and events include:

Saturday, February 18th – Card Party in the High School Commons from 6:00-9:00 p.m.  Everyone is welcome to attend.

Monday, February 20th – KMEM Coffee Break, No School.

Tuesday, February 21st – No School.

Wednesday, February 22nd – Pajama Day.

Thursday, February 23rd – Wear Official Dress.

Friday, February 24th – Drive trucks or tractors to school and dress like a farmer.

Wednesday thru Friday – FFA students will be going into the elementary classrooms to do lessons on Agriculture.

Saturday, February 25th – Community Appreciation Breakfast in the Ag Building from 7:00-9:00 a.m.  Everyone is welcome.

Sunday, February 26th – Those members who choose to will all go to church together wearing official dress.

Bridging partisanship for climate change

Dear Editor,

As the national news continues to highlight deep divisions in our country, I am encouraged by two recent events that actually highlight the bridging of partisanship around the topic of climate change.

First, a group of highly respected “elder statesmen” of the Republican Party has put out a position paper entitled “The Conservative Case for Carbon Dividends:  How a new climate strategy can strengthen our economy, reduce regulation, help working-class Americans, shrink government and promote national security.”  While action on climate change has often been associated with Democrats and “liberals,” this group, the Climate Leadership Council, includes former Secretaries of State and Treasury, James A. Baker and George Schultz, well-known for their service during the Bush and Reagan administrations.

In the thoughtful position paper, the authors state that, now that the Republican Party controls the White House and Congress, it has “the responsibility to promote a climate plan that showcases the full power of enduring conservative convictions”. This would mean that such a plan would embody the principles of free markets and limited government. They write that their proposed “carbon dividends” plan makes just plain good economic sense, even if one is not one hundred percent sure about the science.  Harking back to Ronald Reagan’s philosophy, they urge the Trump Administration and Congress to take out an insurance policy, just in case the science is right.

Meanwhile in Congress, the bipartisan Climate Solutions Caucus is growing quickly. More and more Republicans are signing on, in “Noah’s Ark style” with a partnering Democrat, to address issues around climate change.  The newest arrivals to the Caucus include Nebraska Republican Congressman Don Bacon, the first from the Midwest.  Rep. Bacon was quoted as saying, “I am proud to be joining the Climate Solutions Caucus to further expand my knowledge on the potential impacts of climate change and find bi-partisan solutions.”

It is attitudes like that – willingness to learn, explore solutions, and bridge differences – which will ultimately solve problems.  When it comes to impacts of national security, the health and productivity of our agricultural lands, and the well-being of our economy, we’re all in this together.  I applaud the courage of those who act to bridge our divisions in addressing these vital issues, whatever their political persuasion.

Sincerely,

Sharon Bagatell – NE Missouri Citizens’ Climate Lobby

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