November 15, 2001

Fair Board To Begin Search For New Racetrack Promoter After Negotiations Fail

More than eight hours of contract discussions evaporated in a split second as former track promoter Ron Anderson walked away from the negotiation table at the November 12 meeting of the Scotland County Fair Board.

The move left the fair board scrambling in an effort to secure the services of a track promoter for next season, and left many members scratching their heads about the process after numerous concessions were granted by the fair board in the negotiation process.

The two sides had first met to discuss a new contract on November 6 when Anderson highlighted a number of issues in the groups proposed contract that he deemed "unacceptable."

Following the first meeting, which lasted well over four hours, the fair board met in executive session to take Anderson's requests under advisement.

The initial proposal had called for a change in the payment schedule, asking for $600 rental payment for each event scheduled at the track. Anderson countered that, stating he should only have to pay $600 rent per week, regardless of the number of events held at the track.

"Anytime you have an event at the fair grounds there is additional wear and tear on the facilities that ultimately costs the fair board more money to repair," fair board president Phil Aylward stated.

Anderson countered stating "You can only have a function down there at the track if you can afford to make ends meet and we sure lacked a lot for paying for the program last year. If the promoter can not make any money there is not a lot of reason to promote."

Anderson did note that he was not anticipating having more than one event per week but he insisted the fair board was not going to tell him he could not do so by charging him additional rent for each extra race.

The second main sticking point was the length of any contract agreement. Anderson was requesting a 10-year lease, while the fair board made it clear it did not want to enter any long term agreement considering the working relationship's difficult times this year as well as the track's history for promoters.

"I will not discuss this without multi-year renewal," Anderson stated. "If you won't even guarantee multiple year renewals we don't need to discuss this any further. A promoter can not build a program without a guarantee. I want to work something out we can all work with. I wanted 10 years, because I wanted to build some things at the racetrack that the fair board doesn't want to invest in. I can not secure financing without some type of guaranteed future at the track."

Fair board president Phil Aylward attempted to explain the board's position on a long-term agreement.

"There has been a lot of animosity between both groups this year, yet we feel that the track has made a lot of big strides," Aylward said. "Lets go on another one year contract, see if we can get along, and then go from there."

Anderson countered by stating the animosity had caused a lengthy delay in the contract negotiations. He said if the board would not agree to an extended contract, he would like the first right of renewal on the contract at a fixed rental rate.

"We have wasted a lot of money because I could not pick up and run with marketing and sales for the track in September," Anderson stated. "Basically I have to start over again this year. I can't keep starting over, it costs too much money."

Both groups agreed that the two sides did not need to like each other, but simply needed to be able to work together in a professional business relation-ship. Each side also agreed that a lack of communication was a major problem this year.

Anderson suggested having a monthly meeting the first Saturday of each month at the racetrack. The fair board agreed to send two different members to the meeting each month to discuss track issues.

A third major issue was the fair board's desire to ban all Sprint Car races due to safety concerns.

Anderson countered stating "I am the promoter. It is not acceptable for the fair board to tell me what we race there. If the race track is not safe to race sprint cars then it is not safe enough to race anything."

Several issues however were agreed upon at the second meeting, after initially being considered sticking points at the initial contract negotiation.

Anderson had asked to have the Saturday night of the Scotland County Fair for races, but agreed to remove that request after the fair board indicated it was not negotiable since that evening is reserved for the fire department's demolition derby.

Anderson also agreed to take on all expenses of mowing the grounds for all events except during the fair. Initially he had requested the fair board handle the mowing duties.

The fair board agreed to lower the suggested contract deposit per Anderson's request to $2,000 from the initial contract level of $5,000.

The fair board removed the original right to termination of the contract as requested by Anderson while also agreeing to rewrite the fuel container requirements per the promoter's suggestion.

The two groups met in the middle regarding the expenses of track repairs prior to the season. Anderson had asked the fair board spend an estimated $11,000 to repair the crow's nest, the flag stand, the grandstands, the catch fence in front of the grandstands, and the guard wall on the back stretch.

The fair board agreed to cover all costs of repairing the grandstands as well as for installing the new catch fence in front of the grandstands while also repairing the flag stand and extending it out over the track to allow drivers better visibility of the flag. The group noted it had already made plans to make the grandstand repairs regardless of contract discussions.

Anderson agreed to pay for the construction of a new concrete guardrail on the back stretch as well as a proposed walk way from the pits to the grandstands.

After further discussing the issue the fair board also agreed to provide 100 gallons of paint for Anderson to use to paint any facilities he wanted to paint at the fairgrounds.

The fair board also pointed out that $300 of each week's rent would be placed in a maintenance fund for use by Anderson to make additional repairs at the track.

However the fair board stipulated that the weekly maintenance fund could not be used to pay any labor costs.

Anderson argued that this defeated the purpose of the fund.

"No labor costs is not acceptable," he said. "I have never claimed to be a non-profit organization. I pay all my help, it is not unreasonable to expect to pay someone to perform the maintenance."

The fair board countered that there was no control over labor costs, and felt the fund could easily be abused, for example by paying an employee $50 an hour to perform maintenance.

Despite the labor issue, both sides agreed upon the repair issues and moved onto other debate.

Anderson had initially refused the concept of allowing the fair board right of inspection at the track, which basically allowed the fair board free admittance to race events. After discussing the issue he agreed to the issue and noted he would provide free gate and pit passes to board members.

Ultimately the final issues boiled down to the track rent structure, the ban on sprint cars and the length of any agreement.

After lengthy discussion of the rent issue, the two sides seemed to reach an agreement that would bridge the gap. Instead of charging per event as initially desired by the fair board, the group agreed to charge $600 per week up to 20 events and then an additional $400 per race beyond 20, with half of both amounts going into the maintenance fund.

In addition the fair board agreed to allow Anderson to hold up to four special sprint car races at the track during the year.

Still neither side could agree upon the contract length. Anderson stated he felt it takes at least five years to build a program and apparently was holding out for either that figure or the annual first right of renewal.

"What are you all worried about?" Anderson asked. "If I pay my rent and hold the specific number of races what do you have to lose?"

"We want this thing to work but we are not going to be trapped into someone shoving something down our throat if it doesn't work out," Aylward stated in response to this argument.

"I felt I did more than I said I was going to this year and look how we ended up in this mess at the end of the year."

Fair board member Jimmie Winn said, "It didn't work this year, so we reworked the whole contract and now we need to be able to see if this new plan will work. Then we can revisit it again next year without having to worry about having it renewed automatically with no control over it"

Despite the opposition to anything beyond a one-year agreement the final concession came from the fair board in the form of an agreement to offer a three-year lease to Anderson.

This decision came in executive session. The meeting was reopened and Anderson was informed of the proposal.

He noted that the fair board still was asking for the right to annually raise the rent as much as 20%. He also questioned why the fair board had shifted the cost of the repairs from the Crow's nest to the promoter's side in the new proposal.

The issues were not discussed as Anderson commented that the deal had been down to two concerns before the last executive session and now had expanded to half a dozen.

At this point Anderson thanked the fair board for its time and walked away from the negotiation tables.

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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