October 18, 2001

Scotland County Raceway Letter to the Editor

From: Ron Anderson

Promoter Scotland County

Raceway

To: All Racers, Spectators, Race Sponsors and Interested Parties

It has been my pleasure to work with you during the 2001 race season.

I thank all the sponsors for the financial support and confidence in a first year race program.

I thank the racers for their patience while we were getting our staff and facility organized, and for continuing to support the track verbally and with their presence during the race year.

I thank the spectators for supporting the track with their presence and for their kind words of encouragement.

I am very disappointed by my failure, after numerous attempts, to even obtain a meeting to discuss the future of the raceway with the Scotland County Fair Board. As with any lessor/lessee arrangement a certain amount of disagreement and/or discord between the parties may exist. However try as I may, I have been unable to create a reasonable constructive negotiation between myself and the Fair Board.

I honored my commitment to build a program. We have a great race program, certainly with room for improvement but as good or better than most tracks in the tri-state area. We have had some of the most exciting late model racing in the country. (Where else do you see four wide racing at 100 MPH for almost an entire lap)? We have had sprint car racing at 110 MPH. Some of the best A modified racers in the country (and they are local guys), not to mention great B modified, hobby stock, stock car and two man cruiser action.

I am at this time sharing with you the offer I was never able to discuss with the Scotland County Fair Board for the promotion of the Raceway for next year and the significant future. It follows:

What I wanted:

1. A 10-year lease on the Raceway; (from West Side of the gravel road directly behind the grandstand to the fence at Highway 15. From the ditch at the north end of the Raceway to the fence before Lake Road at the South of the Raceway), and one quonset hut. This lease would of course require certain performance criteria, i.e. number of races per year, certain maintenance requirements, etc.

2. Control of all functions that happen on the raceway. (I'll be happy to cooperate with the Fire Department for the Demo Derby and the Fair Board for tractor pulls, etc.)

3. Exclusive rights to solicit and market racing sponsorships and race advertising for the raceway.

4. Have permission to build and/or make improvements as required on the leased property (at my own expense of course).

5. Have all rights to vendor selection and product sales at the raceway.

6. Parking rights on the fairgrounds at no additional charge for all promoted events.

7. Untreated water as required at no charge.

8. Sewage disposal on a regular scheduled basis.

What I was willing to give:

1. I would have agreed to invest a minimum of $20,000.00 dollars in improvements to the raceway as my lease payment in 2002. (I would however, have the final decision on what improvements are made).

2. During the 2nd through the 10th years, I would have agreed to invest a minimum of $5,000.00 per year in improvements to the raceway in addition to $300.00 in payment to the Scotland County Fair Board for each week in which an event is promoted and held, as lease payment.

3. I would have agreed to do all maintenance on the raceway, on the grandstands (once they were brought to a serviceable state), and on the leased grounds.

4. I would of course be responsible for all utilities used by the Raceway.

The Raceway would still belong to the County and after the ten-year lease period the improved property could be leased to the highest bidder.

I believe this was a fair and equitable offer that would have allowed this promoter the freedom to invest in the raceway long term, the county to get a much improved facility, and the community to enjoy a quality race program as well as the revenue it would have generated for local establishments.

I made a request for a special Fair Board meeting to discuss this proposal during a special Fair Board meeting in August and stated this was an urgent matter that needed to be addressed quickly. I made numerous additional requests for a meeting in August to discuss this proposal and additional requests in September. At the end of September I was given the attached lease to sign. On Monaday the 15th of October, I spoke with the president of the Scotland County Agricultural and Mechanical Society, Phil Aylward, at which time he stated to me "there is very little wiggle room in which to negotiate" the lease.

This lease was created with no input from the promoter and is totally unacceptable with no room for the promoter to grow a program or to invest in the raceway with any reasonable expectation of return. Without a multiple year contract and the opportunity for growth and investment, continuing to try to build a quality race program is futile.

As the Fair Board pointed out in their September 13th article in the Memphis Democrat, "The promoter, whoever he is, must look at promoting weekly racing, as a business". Maybe they should consider how much money a race program brings into other community businesses and how many promoters are standing in line to accept this kind of lease.

Also attached you will find the original 2001 agreement which you will see has a first option to renew which has not been honored because the terms and conditions have been changed.

I apologize to the racers, sponsors, spectators, and community for not being able to continue and grow the program we all worked to build, but at this time I must reject this lease and again apologize for my failure to create a constructive negotiation and dialog with the Fair Board.

Proposed New

Lease For Raceway



This Lease is made and entered into this _________ day of ________________ , 2001, by and between Scotland County Agricultural and Mechanical Society, hereinafter referred to as Lessor, and R.L. Anderson, hereinafter referred to as Lessee, with reference to the Scotland County Raceway, hereinafter referred to the Raceway.

The parties hereto, for and in consideration of the rents, covenants and agreements contained herein agree as follows:

1. PREMISES. That Lessor hereby leases to Lessee and Lessee hereby takes from Lessor the premises described as the Scotland County Raceway track, pit area, parking lot, north food stand, south food stand, public bathrooms, bathrooms in art hall and office area in art hall building. The parties hereby acknowledge that the Quonset huts and all other areas of the Scotland County Fair Grounds are excluded from said Agreement.

The Lessor and Lessee agree that Lessee shall have NO SPRINT CAR RACES AT THE RACEWAY.

Lessee will have exclusive rights to solicit and market racing sponsorships and race advertising at the Scotland County Raceway for the period of the Agreement.

2. SCOTLAND COUNTY FAIR. Lessor and Lessee hereby agree that Lessor shall regain exclusive use of all areas of the Scotland County Fairgrounds including racetrack, pit area, parking lot, north food stand, south food stand, public bathrooms, bathrooms in art hall and office area in art hall building for the week of the Scotland County Fair. Parties hereby agree that the Lessor during this period of time will utilize the track for tractor pulls, demolition derby, entertainment, or any other purposes at the sole discretion of the Lessor. The parties further agree that the Lessor will have until the Wednesday following the completion of the Scotland County Fair to clean up the racetrack and pit area.

Lessee will commit to provide two (2) separate nights of racing events during the Scotland County Fair Week. Neither race will be on the Saturday of the Scotland County Fair. All concessions and beer from these two (2) events will be payable to the Lessor. Lessee shall pay the purse, put on the races, get the proceeds from the grandstand and pit admissions.

The parties further agree that the Lessor shall have exclusive use of the racetrack, pit area, parking lot, north food stand, south food stand, public bathrooms, bathrooms in art hall and office area in art hall building during the Scotland County Antique Fair for purpose of holding the Antique Tractor Pull. Said date to be set by Lessor.

3. RENT. During the Lease Term, Lessee shall pay Lessor rent for the leased property in the amount of Six Hundred Dollars ($600.00) per event sponsored by Lessee or held at the Scotland County Raceway. Said payment will be payable on the last day of the month. The parties agree that Three Hundred Dollars ($300.00) of this rental will be paid directly to the Fairboard account. The parties further agree that Three Hundred Dollars ($300.00) of this rental shall be placed into an account for the material for maintenance and materials for grandstand repair or other general capital improvement. No labor charges can be made against this amount. Lessee hereby agrees to present a financial statement to the Scotland County Fairboard at least monthly itemizing his expenditures out of said account.

All mowing of the entire leased premises shall be at Lessees expense and shall be Lessees responsibility.

4. TERM. Subject to either termination as hereinafter provided, the initial term of this lease shall be for the period commencing on April 1, 2002 and ending on October 31, 2002.

5. UTILITIES. The Lessee shall pay all charges for water, electricity, gas and telephone used during the term of this Lease.

6. DEPOSIT. The Lessor and Lessee agree that Lessee shall pay to Lessor a deposit of Five Thousand ($5,000.00) cash to be held in an interest bearing account (interest payable to Lessee if Lessee complies with all the terms and condition of this Agreement). The Five Thousand Dollars shall be payable as follows: Two Thousand Five Hundred ($2,500.00) payable on or before October 15, 2001 and Two Thousand Five Hundred ($2,500.00) payable on or before March 1, 2002.

Said Deposit shall be returned to Lessee if Lessee has a minimum of twelve (12) separate evenings of racing events between April 1, 2002 and October 31, 2002; if Lessee pays all water, electric, phone or other bills incurred by Lessee; and if Lessee repairs all damages and does all required maintenance to the leased premises.

If Lessee fails to fulfill any of the above conditions, the Deposit shall be reduced by the amount of said bill or maintenance cost. If Lessee fails to hold twelve (12) separate evenings of racing events between April 1, 2002 and October 31, 2002 then said deposit shall be taxed Six Hundred Dollars ($600.00) for each evening of racing less than the agreed upon twelve (12).

Within thirty days after the termination of this Lease Lessor hereby agrees to return Lessee's deposit, or to provide Lessee with a written itemized list of damages, bills or other charges for which the deposit or any portion thereof is withheld, along with the balance of the deposit; and further, to give the Lessee written notice of the time and date of the inspection of premises to determine the amount of the security deposit to be withheld. Lessor shall send all notice, payments and statements to the Lessee's address as set forth in this Agreement.

7. MAINTENANCE. Lessee agrees to maintain and operate the Scotland County Raceway and keep the same in good repair. Lessee may at his own costs and expense erect or install other permanent fixtures on said Leased premises with the advanced written approval of Lessor. Lessee agrees that any such improvements become the property of Lessor without contribution from Lessor.

Lessee agrees to return the premises in as good as repair and condition as at the time of the signing of this Lease.

8. RIGHT TO TERMINATE. Either party may terminate this Lease at any time by giving the other party written notice thereof at least ninety (90) days before the termination date.

9. LESSOR'S RIGHT OF ACCESS. Lessor shall have the right to enter the leased property and inspect it at any time. Lessee shall provide one (1) ticket for pit or grandstand entry per event per Scotland County Agricultural and Mechanical Society board member at no cost to said member.

10. OTHER INDEMNIFI-CATION. During the Lease Term, Lessee assumes all risks relating to the Leased Property normally associated with ownership of such Property, including personal injury claims. Lessee shall be responsible for any damages to the Leased Property occurring during the Lease Term which are not caused by the negligence of Lessor or Lessor's agents. Further, Lessee agrees to indemnify and hold Lessor harmless from any liability, demand, action, claim, loss cost, penalty, fine, clean-up expense or other expense of any kind or character including, but not limited to, reasonable attorneys' fees of Lessor, relating to such assumed risks or arising out of Lessee's use or occupancy of the leased Property during the Lease Term. Lessee shall also have Lessor listed as a coinsured on his race insurance policy.

11. MISCELLANEOUS. Lessee agrees to keep all track equipment in the pit area and not on the fair grounds. Lessee shall keep all fuel in containers which meet the Department of Natural Resources Regulations and under containment in the pit area.

Lessee and Lessor agree that Lessee shall do the following:

a. Promote and market all races in a professional and business like manner.

b. Hire all paid employees (approximately 25) from the surrounding area.

c. Hire local organizations for facility cleanup, (ie Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, 4H).

d. Provide a family oriented race venue including some events for children.

e. Repair any damage caused during a promoted event.

f. Be responsible for track maintenance, concessions, rest rooms, and trash removal for all promoted events.

g. Be responsible for utilities and insurance for all promoted events.

h. Pay all race purses.

12. NOTICE

(a) In the event any notices are to be given to Lessor, they shall be addressed to:

Phil Aylward,

President Scotland County

Agricultural and Mechanical

Society

Rt. 2 Box 144

Memphis, MO 63555



With a copy to Lessor's attorney:

Kimberly J. Nicoli

133 S. Main Street

Memphis, MO 63555

and deposited in the United States Mail, Certified Mail, Return Receipt Requested, postage prepaid.

(b) In the event any notices are to be given to Lessee, they shall be addressed to:

R.L. Anderson

232 Prime Street

Downing, MO 63536

And deposited in the United States Mail, Certified Mail, Return Receipt Requested, postage prepaid.

(c) For the purposes hereof, the date of mailing shall be deemed to be the date notice is given.

13. ASSIGNMENT OF LEASE. Lessee shall not at any time assign this lease or any part thereof without the consent in writing of Lessor.

14. CANCELLATION OF LEASE. This agreement is made upon the express condition that Lessor shall not be liable for any loss, damages, injuries, or other casualties of whatever kind or by whomever caused to the property or person of another, whether the person or property of Lessee, its agents or employees, or third persons, occasioned by any cause(s) whatsoever, including failure of lessor to keep the premises in repair or any other acts of negligence by lessor, while in or upon the premises, or any part of the premises, during the term of this agreement or occasioned by any occupancy or use of the premises or any activity carried on by Lessee in connection with the lease of the premises, and Lessee covenants and agrees to indemnity and save harmless Lessor from all liabilities, charges expenses (including counsel fees) and costs on account of or by reason of any such injuries, liabilities, claims, suits or losses, however occurring, or damages growing out of same.

Original Lease

Agreement



Agreement

R.L. Anderson proposes to market and promote all racing at the Scotland County Raceway. This commitment would be for a minimum of but not limited to twelve race dates starting in May 2001 and ending in September 2001. The classes of cars to be raced will be determined at a future date after meeting with area drivers and car owners. Classes will be discussed with the fair board, with the promoter of the races having the final decision. I will commit to race one night of late mods on Wednesday, July 4th, 2001 and one night of sprint cars on Thursday, July 5th, 2001, during Fair week. In addition R.L. Anderson agrees to relinquish one Saturday in September to the Antique Fair. All other Saturdays between the beginning of May and the End of September are reserved for and committed to the race promoter R.L. Anderson.

R.L. Anderson agrees and commits to the following:

* To promote and market all races in a professional and business like manner.

* To hire all paid employees (approximately 25) from the surrounding area.

* To hire local organizations for facility cleanup, (ie Boys Scouts, Girls Scouts, 4H).

* To provide a family oriented race venue including some events for children.

* To repair any damage caused during a promoted event, less normal wear and tear.

* To be responsible for track maintenance, concessions, rest rooms, and trash removal for all promoted events.

* To be responsible for utilities and insurance for all promoted events.



Budget and Expenses

* R.L. Anderson agrees to provide the Scotland County fair board a security deposit of $2,000 to be deposited in an interest bearing trust account prior to the start of racing. This deposit to be refundable at the end of the lease if any damage caused to the facilities, less normal wear and tear, is repaired.

* R.L. Anderson agrees to pay the Scotland County fair board $500 per week for any week in which a race is promoted and raced, except for events canceled and/or rescheduled because of inclement weather or other unavoidable condition.

* All concessions sales and vendor selection (both pit and spectator side) will be exclusively R.L. Anderson, for all events promoted by the same. Spectator side concession sales will be conceded to the Scotland County fair board during the week of the County Fair, and during the Antique Fair.

* R.L. Anderson will have exclusive rights to solicit and market racing sponsorships and race advertising at the Scotland County Raceway for the period of the agreement.

* R.L. Anderson will pay all race purses.



History

I would require the historical race data i.e. racers names, addresses, phone numbers, and/or any past mailing lists from the Scotland County fair board as well as any other historical information that might be relevant.



Future

* If R.L. Anderson fulfills the commitments as stated in this proposal/contract the Scotland County fair board agrees to give R.L. Anderson first option to renew this lease for additional years at rates not to exceed a 20% increase for any single year.



By our signatures below we agree to be bound by the terms and conditions listed above.

R.L. Anderson, Promoter

11-29-00



Phil Aylward, Fair Board President

11-29-00

Area Students Named to Buena Vista University Graduate & Professional Studies Dean’s List

STORM LAKE, IA – The following area students have been named to the Dean’s List at Buena Vista University Graduate & Professional Studies for terms one and two:

Hilary Harris of Memphis, Mo., who attends Buena Vista University Graduate & Professional Studies Ottumwa location.

Shelbie Jones of Greentop, Mo., who attends Buena Vista University Graduate & Professional Studies Ottumwa location.

Derrick Muntz of Memphis, Mo., who attends Buena Vista University Graduate & Professional Studies Ottumwa location.

Students named to the Dean’s List must have a minimum grade point average of 3.5 for the two terms, based on a 4.0 grade point system, and must have taken at least 12 hours of coursework.

Buena Vista University’s main campus in Storm Lake, Iowa, was founded in 1891, and its Graduate & Professional Studies (GPS) degree-completion program began 40 years ago. Today, the GPS program’s 16 learning locations and online courses have given more than 15,500 graduates the opportunity to expand their potential with a pace, academic rigor, and class sizes that appeal to a wide variety of students. A diverse menu of over 50 different programs and courses designed for working adults delivers options that meet many educational needs, and a variety of class formats make scheduling even more convenient. Visit www.bvu.edu/gps.

Buena Vista University blends liberal arts with real-world experiences, preparing students for lifelong success, especially in the areas of elementary, secondary, and special education; business and accounting; and biological and chemical sciences. BVU is an affordable option for all students and, combined with its academic programs, has led U.S. News & World Report to rank BVU as the third best value school among Midwest Regional Colleges.

Rotary Collecting Shoes for Orphan Soles

shoes feature web

Rotary President, Bill Kiddoo has announced the local Rotary Club will take part in the District 6040 annual shoe drive.  To date, over fourteen years, Missouri Rotarians have contributed 270,528 pairs of shoes and $8,513 in cash.

Shoes and socks collected go to the most vulnerable children around the world.  This includes orphans, children who have lost one or both parents, those who live in institutionalized care, or poverty.

Donated shoes must be new, uppers with shoe strings or Velcro and hard soles and heels.  No open-toed or flip flops are allowed.  Donated cash helps to pay for shipping cost to Africa, Asia, Europe, North America and South America.  Shoes sizes should be for children ages one to teens.

You may bring shoes or cash to the Rotary Building at noon on any Tuesday, contact any Rotarian, or leave your donation at Cook’s Mens Store. This year’s shoe drive will end on April 16, 2016.

Gundy Named to Culver-Stockton College’s President’s List

CANTON – Delaney Gundy, a junior Art Education major from Gorin, was named to Culver-Stockton’s President’s List for work done during the fall 2015 semester.

To be named to the President’s List, Culver-Stockton College requires students to meet high academic standards. President’s List students have earned a 4.0 GPA and were enrolled in a minimum of 12 hours.

C-SC also announced its Honor Roll for the fall 2015 semester. To be named to the Honor Roll, students must meet high academic standards established by Culver-Stockton.

Local students honored included Ashley Watson of Brashear and Wyatt Kice of Memphis.

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).

Azen Jolly Timers Host February Club Meeting

The Azen Jolly Timers met at the Scotland County Hospital on February 3rd at 6 p.m. Alisa Kigar, Communication Specialist from SCH, led the group on a hospital tour.  Following the tour President Brock Aylward called the meeting to order. Pledges were led by Penelope Cline and Kendal Anderson. Roll call was your Super Bowl prediction.

The minutes were read by Bryn Aylward.  Kendal Anderson moved to approve and Abby Doster seconded the motion, motion passed. The treasurer’s report was read by Bailegh Phillips. Penelope Cline moved to pay bills and Brenna Phillips seconded the motion, motion passed.

In the report of project groups the Clover Kids met January 6th at the United Methodist Church and completed terrariums. In new business the achievement event will be March 6th  at the SCR-1 Elementary School. Registration begins at 1:30. Enrollment forms were passed out and are due back to Kristy by February 26th.  Dog school will begin on Feb.22nd and continue every Monday.

Demonstrations next month will be Avery Cowell and Jacob Stott.

Next month refreshments will be provided by Mohrs (snacks) and Justin Cowell (drinks).

Penelope Cline moved to adjourn the meeting and Kendal Anderson seconded the motion, the meeting was adjourned.

Submitted by Bryn Aylward. Reporter

Columbaria, Mapping Among Upgrades Being Considered at Memphis Cemetery

columbaria web

Improvements and upgrades for the municipal cemetery were a focus point of the February 4th meeting of the Memphis City Council. The board of aldermen reviewed a preliminary proposal for the addition of a columbaria, a structure or building that includes niches to house funeral urns for cremation remains.

A proposal is being considered to ad such a structure in the recently completed scattering garden at the Memphis Cemetery. Initial estimates have established costs ranging from $25,000 – $40,000 for stand-alone walls or structures with outside access of 70-90 niches.

Ron Henkenius of Memphis Funeral Home has been working with City Superintendent Roy Monroe to gather information for the proposal.

“Predictions at present, estimate that in 15 years cremation will be selected by 85 to 90 percent of the public,” said Henkenius.

The cost of the columbaria would be recovered over time in the purchase price of niche space, which was estimated between $650 – $800.

The city has been requested to provide digital photography of the proposed site to allow professional rendering of an official proposal, free of charge.

The council also considered a proposal from Midland GIS Solutions for digital GPS mapping of the cemetery.

The Maryville-based company currently is performing GPS mapping of the city’s utility systems.

The proposal calls for digital aerial photography integration into the cemetery mapping GIS program to be used for visual ground reference. The mapping would establish cemetery lot boundaries as accurately as possible using coordinate geometry.

While the proposal would only identify plots by section, block, lot and space numbers, the data base would be available for the city to add additional information, such as the name, plot classification (open, sold, closed, etc.), date of birth, date of death and additional comments.

As part of the proposal, the company would also create an online cemetery mapping program, which if the city chose, could be made available to the public for research purposes.

The bid included a 47,000 price tag for the mapping, $2,500 for the online mapping program, and $1,200 for a one year data hosting agreement for a total cost of $10,700.

The council tabled the bid until further details are received regarding the actual mapping process, and if GPS coordinates will be used to accurately establish all plot sizes and locations, or if the mapping is simply based on descriptions and existing mapping.

Continuing on the cemetery topic, Monroe presented a preliminary estimate for resurfacing the driving surface at the site. Monroe stated preliminary figures were approximately $150,000 for a hot-mix resurfacing of the 1.7 miles of road in the cemetery.

Due to the cost, Monroe suggested considering using city crews to make asphalt upgrades where feasible and added he was working on some preliminary plans to install additional parking areas.

Monroe also reported initial groundwork with the USDA office regarding mapping of possible terrace installation or other upgrades to remedy an expanding ditch issue on the new cemetery ground.

“The experts told us that cemeteries are notorious for runoff issues,” said Monroe. “Because they are mowed and manicured so well, they produce as much as 90% runoff of storm water, which can lead to ditch issues.”

Duley, Hunolt Named to Northwest’s Honor Roll

The Office of the Registrar at Northwest Missouri State University announced the names of students named to the Academic or President’s Honor Roll at the end of the 2015 fall trimester.

To be included on the Academic Honor Roll a student must carry a minimum of 12 credit hours and attain a grade point average of 3.50 or above on a 4.00 scale. Students named to the President’s Honor Roll have attained a perfect 4.00 GPA for the trimester.

Anna A. Duley of Memphis and Andrew M. Hunolt of Baring were named to the Academic Honor Roll.

Bruner Earns MBA Degree at Northwest

The Office of the Registrar and the Graduate School at Northwest Missouri State University have released the names of students who completed requirements for degrees at the conclusion of the 2015 fall trimester.

Degree recipients include: bachelor of science (B.S.), bachelor of science in education (B.S. Ed.), bachelor of technology (B.T.), bachelor of arts (B.A.), bachelor of fine arts (B.F.A.), master of science (M.S.), bachelor of science in clinical laboratory sciences (B.S. CLS), bachelor of science in medical technology (B.S. MT), master of arts (M.A.), master of business administration (M.B.A.), master of science in education  (M.S. Ed.), and education specialist (Ed. Spec.)

Alex Newly Bruner of Downing received his Master’s of Business Administration degree.

Behind the Lens – How To Take A Picture Perfect Self Portrait

by Taylor Lloyd

Let’s face it. Pictures are the best… and the worst. A picture is so unique in that it has the power to transport you back in time to a place filled with fond memories or more often (for me anyway) it can evoke embarrassment (did I really wear that? What on earth was I thinking!?). For better or worse though, pictures are often treasured keepsakes and while I’m strictly more of a nature/ landscape photographer, even I understand the importance of a good portrait. For this reason, I’ll share with you a few tips on how to look your best when it comes to taking your own portrait.

(1) Remember what your trying to capture. While I believe that the difference between a Selfie and a self portrait is that the latter is more thoughtful and time consuming, Self portraits can be anything you want them to be (I mean come on. You’re in charge). They can be a means to capture a flattering authentic image of yourself or an artistic impression of who you aspire to be. They can be goofy or business oriented. Whatever the case may be, being focused on what you are trying to convey in the first place will most certainly improve your portrait.

(2) To achieve flattering portraits (either on you or someone else) is to know what is your best side or angle or features you possess. One thing I strongly believe in is when a face is turned slightly, it will be more flattering than looking squarely straight at the face. The reason being is that an angle gives the appearance of depth and causes the viewer to be more engaged and intrigued in your photo.

(3) Having good lighting is key to creating good portraits. Though take this tip with a grain of salt, though, because everyone has their own opinions on what looks good, for some like to play with other lighting elements to create different feelings. But good lighting will enhance details. With good lighting it is also important to let the light brighten your face. You will want to be having the light source facing you, otherwise you’ll end up with shadows or patchy splotches of sunlight covering your face. Inversely, don’t overexpose your face in the light or else you’ll be squinting and look washed out in the harsh light. Photographing on a cloudy day usually produces great lighting because the clouds act like a giant diffuser, making the sun’s light less intense and more evenly dispersed.

(4) For beginners, starting to shoot yourself at eye level, if not slightly above, is a good angle to start with and having your eyes on the top third of your photo is generally more visually pleasing. More times than not, the eyes are the first thing you notice on a person and with that being said, always make sure the eyes are in focus when taking pictures. Catchlights (the light source you see reflected in the eyes of your subject) are also something that is pleasing to capture in the eyes because it captures the life or spark in a person.

(5) Just like in horror movies, always be aware of what’s behind you. Instead of monsters, it’s the background that should concern you. Background as much as lighting plays an important role in your self portraits. A background that’s not out of focus enough or is too bright distracts the viewer from the main subject and thus loses the point of taking the photograph in the first place. Also be conscious of what you are wearing. Wrinkles or an upturned collar on a shirt can make a photo look sloppy. Unless this is your goal, give yourself a once over before snapping the picture.

(6) Where you position yourself will direct the rest of your photo. It is wise to never crop your pictures right on the joints of your subjects. Your goal should be to elongate and flatter the body and when you crop at the knees, ankles, toes, fingers, elbows, waist, neck, and wrists can make a person look rather stumpy. A good question to ask yourself when you crop (whether in camera or in photo editing) is, “does this look deliberate or does it look like a mistake?”

(7) Don’t be afraid to use props in your photos. Mirrors especially can make an image even more interesting. Holding a mug full of steaming coffee, or a full wine glass for example, will help give the picture a certain mood. Using a prop to stand in your place while you prefocus for your shot is also very useful if you have no other means by which to prefocus.

(8) My final tip is a bit more on the technical side but it might be the most handy. Use a tripod and also put your camera on timer mode. It is also wise to use Continuous Mode (or Burst Mode as some call it). Continuous shooting Mode isn’t just something that DSLRs have – most point and shoot cameras have it as an option also. This mode allows you to take multiple pictures as the shutter button is pressed down instead of the usual single shot you would otherwise get. There are a few variations to this mode, one of them being that your camera has a set amount of pictures it will take in an allotted time. This allotted amount of time is determined by how long of a shutter speed you have. For example, if you have the camera set on Continuous Mode and your shutter is set for a one second exposure, your camera will take the picture for that length of time and then take another photo for the same length of time. Continuous Mode is a great tool when combined with the timer mode. It gives you enough time to get into place and it will take multiple pictures, leaving you with several photos to choose from. Another great tool to throw into this combination is a remote. I have a cheap ($10 off Amazon) remote that has been an excellent device to own and I use it more often than I imagined I would. The reason I love my remote so much is it reduces camera shake when you are taking long exposures and it is also helpful for when you are in position for your portrait and you can’t move from your predetermined spot to press the shutter button down. Another excellent function of the remote is that if your camera is on Auto Focus, using the remote will focus the camera for you, which is crucial when you lack props to take your place where you will stand.

Self portraits can be quite addicting and each one can be vastly different from the last with just a few alterations. Armed with these simple tips, I hope you can better hone your skills at taking self portraits and have fun doing so. Until next time, happy shooting!

Construction Projects Lead Agenda at February City Council Meeting

construction

While the current cold spell may not make it seem like it, the Memphis City Council worked the through its February 4th meeting agenda under the premise that spring is just around the corner. And with the improving weather comes the start of construction season.

The board of aldermen discussed a number of proposed projects being considered for the 2016 construction season.

City Superintendent Roy Monroe reported ongoing legal work surrounding possible ramifications of a joint effort between the city and private property owners adjacent to the municipal light end power plants for the proposed construction of a flood levee.

The partnership idea was born out of shared interests in protecting property that currently is threatened by canal flooding at the west city limits of Memphis, on the north side of Highway 136.

Initially the city was considering construction of a concrete berm surrounding the power plant’s new substation. After learning that adjacent landowners were considering building an earthen levy on the west side of their properties and along the north/south boundary between these properties and the city’s water and power plants,  the parties met to discuss a possible partnership.

Initial discussions were had between the city and the property owners about the possibility of completing an earthen levy along the western borders of the private property and continuing the length of the city property.

Such a proposal would eliminate the need of the private property owners building the levy on the north border of their properties, and would also eliminate the need for the city to build the concrete retaining wall around the substation, which would represent significant savings for the city.

Preliminary discussions between the city and the landowners have centered around initial costs as well as maintenance responsibilities moving forward.

Monroe reported additional concerns have risen regarding potential liability generated by such a levee if flooding occurs on non-protected land on the other side of the canal.

The council asked Monroe to continue to seek legal advice regarding such liability issues, working with the Corp of Engineers and other resources to establish options for moving forward with the project.

PARK BUILDINGS

Monroe reported progress working with the local Boy Scouts as well as the American Legion regarding the possibility of restoring a community building at Legion Park. Such a structure had existed for many years before its deteriorating condition had forced its removal more than a decade ago.

The project is still in the planning stages and will be dependent upon available funding from all three partners.

A proposed shelter and new restrooms at Johnson Park has hit a snag, as grant funding for the project was denied by the Department of Natural Resources.

Monroe reported the City of Memphis was one of 16 applicants for grant funding, and one of just four that did not receive funding.

Last season, the city had placed portable restrooms at the site, but the city will now look into constructing some form of temporary restrooms, with the possibility of later moving the building and using it for storage if and when funding is secured for the larger shelter/restroom project.

MOWER BIDS

The council opened bids for the purchase of two new commercial zero-turn mowers and three commercial-grade trimmers. The low bid of $4,500 was accepted from The Farm Shop, Inc. of Edina for two 2016 EXMARK mowers with 60″ deck and 27HP Kohler engines, and three RedMax Trimmers. The bid price included trade in of two 61″ SCAG mowers.

Bids were also received from Wiss & Wiss Equipment of  Kahoka, Armstrong Tractor, LLC of Donnellson, IA and Garden Spot in Edina.

AIRPORT

Continued maintanence issues with the airport beacon have led to preliminary discussions regarding replacing the lighting system that identifies the airstrip to planes in the air. Preliminary cost estimates ranged from $4,000 to $10,000 to replace the beacon, which is believed to be the original installed in the 1970s.

The airport committee will work on a proposal to be presented to the council at a later date.

Scotland County Hospital Admissions & Dismissals

Scotland County recorded 26 admissions and 26 dismissals from January 29 through February 8, 2016.

ADMISSIONS: 1/31/2016 – Joseph L. Young, Kahoka 2/01/16 – Angela Wiley, Bloomfield, IA; Chyanne Popp, Lancaster; Gracelynn Popp, Lancaster; Jase James Wiley, Bloomfield, IA 2/02/16 – Ashton Pruett, Wayland; Tara Pruett, Wayland 2/05/16 – Roxie B. Miller, Memphis

DISMISSALS: 1/29/16 -Shelby Garrett, Lancaster; Aidyn Lynnae Jackson, Lancaster 2/3/16 – Chyanne Popp, Lancaster; Gracelynn Popp, Lancaster; Angela Wiley, Bloomfield, IA; Jase J. Wiley, Bloomfield, IA 2/4/16 – Tara Pruett, Wayland; Ashton Pruett, Wayland 2/5/16 – Joseph L Young, Kahoka 2/6/16 – Roxie B. Martin, Memphis

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