July 11, 2002

Prop. B Will Reveal If MoDOT Has Regained Trust Of Voters

The Missouri General Assembly passed legislation this past session giving the people of Missouri the opportunity to decide on increased funding for transportation. If approved by a majority of the voters on August 6, the ballot issue, now known as Proposition B, will generate $483 million annually for transportation improvements.

Proposition B calls for a half-cent increase in the state's general sales tax (from 4.225 to 4.725 percent) and a four-cent per gallon increase (from 17 to 21 cents per gallon) in the motor-fuel tax. If approved, these new taxes would take effect January 1, 2003, and continue through June 30, 2013. It requires a majority vote to pass.

Of the $483 million total, $364 million would go to fund road and bridge improvements on the state system, and $61 million would go to other transportation modes. Missouri cities and counties would receive $52 million for local transportation improvements, and $6 million would go to biodiesel and ethanol producers.

Northeast Missouri would see two major improvement projects funded by the Prop. B proposal as approved by the Missouri Highways and Transportation Commission last month.

Highway 63 will be upgraded to a four-lane facility from south of Route KK south of Kirksville to Route DD north of Macon, completing the majority of the corridor from Kirksville to Jefferson City. This project involves alternative methods of financing through partnerships and agreements with the Highway 63 Transportation Corporation.

Highway 61 will be upgraded to a four-lane facility from south of Wayland to Canton. This completes the corridor from Iowa to St. Louis and connects to improvements in Iowa. This highway is the major north/south corridor on the eastern side of the state.

Commissioners made their determination after considering several options presented by the Missouri Department of Transportation for spending the funds that would become available for the state's transportation program if the measure passes.

"We'll be able to bring Missourians many of the trans-portation improvements they want," MoDOT Director Henry Hungerbeeler told the group. "Our commitment to complete all the Prop. B projects is absolute."

However opposition leaders counter that Prop. B is a "trust us" kind of tax proposal pointing out MoDOT and Transportation Commission past failures on tax issue promises. Opponents say if voters approve the proposition there is no requirement that the promised road improvements will be built, leaders of the No on "B" committee have warned.

State Sen. Larry Rohrbach of California and Fred Lindecke of St. Louis county, co-chairs of the No on "B" committee, said voters should be aware of the lack of accountability in the promises of advocates of Proposition B's half-billion dollar tax increase.

At present, funds for roads, highways and bridges come from gasoline taxes, truck and automobile license fees, drivers license fees and other motor vehicle fees, Sen. Rohrbach pointed out. These are all user-based, and our state constitution requires that all the money from these user taxes, fees and charges be used for roads. But Prop B would - for the first time - use a general sales tax on all types of consumer goods to raise two-thirds of the tax increase for

roads, Rohrbach said.

"The sales tax money would not be dedicated to roads under the constitution, and the people would have to trust the Legislature and the Governor to continue to use it for roads and not divert it to some other expense," Rohrbach stated. "The people would also have to trust the Transportation Commission to spend it on the projects it is promising now," he said, "because there is nothing that binds them legally to their campaign promises."

However proponents point out Missourians would see 100 percent of the state's interstate highways in good condition, more work on major highway projects and an increased focus on taking care of existing highways if voters approve the tax proposal.

"Prop. B is a chance to improve safety and enhance economic development in Missouri," Hungerbeeler said. "This is the best economic stimulus package the state could have. Many jobs are created in the construction industry, but there's also a tremendous secondary benefit in jobs in other industries such as suppliers, restaurants and others.

"If Prop. B passes, Missourians will see a noticeable improvement in the smoothness of the state's highways in the next 10 years, " he said.

"Proposition B would mean a consistent, high level of funding for rehabilitation and recon-struction projects, significantly improving the condition of our roadway system," he said. "And it would more than triple the amount of funds available for completing vital expansion projects. Without Proposition B, we can only invest $160 million a year in major projects; with it, the number jumps to $554 million."

The highway commission reviewed three options illustrating how the new funds could be spent to take care of the existing system, to finish various expansion and corridor projects MoDOT has started, and to provide additional transportation options.

The commission approved a reserve of 15 percent of the major project funds to give MoDOT the opportunity and flexibility to work with its local transportation planning partners to address emerging needs and to handle unforeseen events such as an economic downturn. If not needed for emerging needs, the reserve would speed up projects already underway.

Despite the assurances from proponents of the legislation Lindecke said the Transportation Commission's record "does not encourage trust on the part of the people." He recalled that when the Legislature passed a 6-cent per gallon tax increase in 1992, the Transportation Commission promised a four-lane road between every town of at least 5,000 people. "But six years

later," Lindecke pointed out, "the commission abandoned that promise."

Lindecke added that the MoDOT budget has gone up 150 percent since 1992, while the budget of the entire state government has gone up 100 percent. "Yet the condition of the roads has deteriorated," he said.

Rohrbach added that the Transportation Department "has had plenty of money for new buildings and public affairs officers, but not enough money to fix the roads. They built new or remodeled the district offices all over the state, and the number of public affairs personnel increased from 10 in 1991 to 78 in 2001.

Then the number of public affairs people suddenly dropped to 37 in 2002," Rohrbach said.

"If the people like what is being promised and go for this tax increase, they will just have to take it on faith that those promises will be kept," Lindecke

said. "We urge the voters to demand a better deal by voting no on Proposition B on Aug. 6."

Despite the past failures backers of Prop. B point out that under the commission's approved option, the percentage of pavement in good condition would increase from the current 35 percent to 57 percent.

Through Prop. B, more than 700 bridges would be replaced in 10 years, virtually eliminating the backlog of bridges in the most serious condition. Additionally, 14,000 miles of collector highways would be resurfaced, which is almost two-thirds of the state's 23,000-mile total of these smaller roads.

Funding invested in other transportation modes would allow MoDOT to purchase 100 more transit vehicles per year for increased public transit service, and increase by 25 percent the number of airports capable of handling jet aircraft. Prop. B funding would also allow the state to begin work on higher-speed rail service through the Midwest Rail Initiative, construct or repair docks at six ports, and improve or build terminal facilities at nine ports.

Commissioners said they liked the reserve fund and the emphasis on restoring smoothness and safety to all of Missouri's interstates.

Barry Orscheln, commission vice chairman, said the projects are fairly distributed around the state, and would also address the state's critical need for bridge repairs.

August 1st Blood Drive Asking Donors to ‘Knock it Outta the Park’

The American Red Cross Memphis Blood Drive will take place Tuesday, August 1st at the First Baptist Church in Memphis.  The blood drive is from 12:30-6:00 p.m. and all presenting donors will receive a commemorative St. Louis Cardinals Blood Drive T-shirt, while supplies last.

Healthy individuals are needed every day to maintain an adequate blood supply for patients in need. Once a donor has made the commitment to give blood, it is important to take a few simple steps to prepare and help ensure a good donation experience.

The Red Cross recommends getting a good night’s sleep, eating a good breakfast or lunch, drinking extra water and fluids to help replace the volume you will donate, avoid caffeinated beverages, and eating iron-rich foods to boost your iron level.

Donating blood is an easy way to help others and only takes about an hour of your time. The Red Cross encourages donors to give blood every time they are eligible: every 56 days for whole blood donations and every 112 days for double red cell donations.”

Donating blood is easy…simply call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or visit redcrossblood.org to make an appointment or for more information. All blood types are needed to ensure a reliable supply for patients. A blood donor card or driver’s license or two other forms of identification are required at check-in. Individuals who are 17 years of age (16 with parental permission in some states), weigh at least 110 pounds and are in generally good health may be eligible to donate blood. High school students and other donors 18 years of age and younger also have to meet certain height and weight requirements.

The American Red Cross provides shelter, food and clothing to victims of disasters; supplies more than 40 percent of the nation’s blood; teaches lifesaving skills; ministers international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org or join our blog at blog.redcross.org.

The need is constant. The gratification is instant. Give blood.'”

Petition Calls for Highway 15 Improvements North of Memphis

A rash of recent traffic accidents on Highway 15 north of town has led a local veterinarian to start a petition drive to drive to get improvements on the road.

Larry Wiggins, DMV, recently started a local petition drive and already has more than 200 signatures on the paperwork that is calling on the Missouri Department of Transportation to address the concerns.

“Too many of my friends have been hurt or killed in accidents on that road,” said Wiggins. “It is time to try to do something about it.”

Doc started the petition last week after hearing other area residents share their frustrations about the road, its current condition and the lack of improvements being made by the state.

“I’ve talked with lots of folks who have called MoDOT or other government officials and felt like they haven’t got anywhere,” he said. “It left us feeling like one person alone really cannot get anything accomplished. That’s what led to this petition drive. Hopefully a whole lot of voices coming together will make sure our concerns are heard.”

Wiggins highlighted the narrow bridges on Highway 15, the general lack of shoulders as well as the declining road surface itself.

“I had a customer in from Iowa last week who had brought her dog down for care,” he said. “Her car was side swiped on that narrow bridge just north of town.”

That is just one of the signatures on the petition. Countless others have followed suit, with a number of serious accidents recently on the road, including one fatality.

“The road edges are in horrible shape, and there is a six to eight inch drop off in most places along the shoulder,” said Wiggins. “When people’s vehicles drop off that, that leads to over correcting when they come back on to the road and we’re seeing lots of accidents because of it.”

Wiggins said he hopes to get at least 1,000 signatures before he and several other concerned citizens plan to travel to the Hannibal regional office of MoDOT to deliver it personally.

“If that doesn’t get their attention, then we’ll head right on down to Jefferson City and deliver it there until we can get something done,” he said.

Anyone interested in signing the petition can stop by the Scotland County Veterinary Clinic in Memphis or catch Dr. Wiggins in person.

Memorial Services Thursday for David Hayes

FAIRFIELD, IOWA – Memorial services for James David Hayes, 53, of Fairfield will be at 10 a.m., Thursday, July 20th at the Barker Cemetery.   Officiating the service will be Larry Smith, pastor of the Downing Christian Church.

James David Hayes died Sunday, July 16, 2017 at his home in Fairfield.

Memorials are suggested to the family and can be left at or mailed to the Gerth Funeral Service, 115 S. Main St., Memphis, MO 63555.

He is the son of David and Bonnie Hayes of Memphis.

A complete obituary will appear in next week’s edition.

Condolences may be sent to Mr. Hayes’ family by signing the online guestbook at gerthfuneralservice.com.

Arrangements are under the direction of the Gerth Funeral Service.

State Regent Visits Local DAR Chapters

Susan Fain Bowman, MSSDAR Regent, was honored by her area DAR Chapters during her annual June visit to all Missouri DAR Chapters.

Schuyler County Chapter, MSSDAR, with Clark County Chapter and Jauflione Chapter as co-host, feted Regent Susan Fain Bowman, MSSDAR, with an afternoon social, June 16, 2017.

Following opening ritual, Regent Bowman presented an interesting program featuring the role of Missouri DAR Chapters during WW1.  Regent Bowman had a slide presentation featuring numerous pictures of these activities. An especially interesting item was a picture of a 1916 ambulance purchased by Missouri Daughters of the American Revolution.

Regent Bowman also told the group of her enthusiasm for the WW1 museum in Kansas City.  She urged everyone to visit this WW1 memorial.

All Missouri Chapters are honoring the 100th anniversary of WW1.

Light refreshments were served by Schuyler County DAR, the host Chapter, along with Clark County and Jauflione Chapters. Everyone enjoyed a pleasant social hour.

City of Downing Addresses Property Concerns

The Board of the City of Downing convened at 6:00 p.m. on July 10, 2017 with Mayor Alan Garrett presiding. Present were Aldermen Bill Anderson, Ray Bange, Gene Bruner, and Hannah Poe; City Clerk, Carol Dryden and Water/Waste Water Operator, Larry Smith.

Copies of the agenda, minutes from previous meeting, water/waste water report, deposits & disbursements and account balances were given to those present

Mayor Alan Garrett called the meeting to order.

A motion to approve the agenda was made by Ray Bange and seconded by Bill Anderson and carried unanimously.

A motion to approve the minutes from the presiding meeting was made by Bill Anderson and seconded by Gene Bruner and carried unanimously.

A motion to approve the bills was made by Bill Anderson and seconded by Gene Bruner and carried unanimously.

Visitors: Joe Webker, Schuyler County Sheriff came to talk to us about how we can get someone to patrol our town and help in the issuing of citations for the problems we are having with people not cleaning up their properties.  Ben Gray, Attorney: came to talk to us about how we can legally go about getting the unlivable properties taken care f. He will be doing more research on this and get back to us.

Water/ Waste Water: Nothing to report.

Street Maintenance: We got some more rock delivered, still more to come. Several ditches around town need to be dug out so water can flow better when it rains.

Cemetery: Sold 2 plots to Junior and Millie Elliott. Received $30.00 from Darrell Downing for a memorial for Fred Havens. Received a donation to the cemetery for $100.00 from Arthur Robinson.

Old or Unfinished Business: Carol talked to Cheryl Elliott about the PER report and things are moving forward. Larry has been working on painting the parking lines.

New Business: Nothing to report.

Positive Thoughts: Trying to keep stepping forward toward getting improvements made in the town.

A motion to adjourn the meeting at 8:20 was made by Bill Anderson and seconded by Gene Bruner and carried unanimously.

Submitted by Carol Dryden, City Clerk

SCMA Back-to-School Fair Set for August 5th

The Scotland County Ministerial Alliance is sponsoring the Back-to-School Supply Fair once again this year.  The purpose of the event is to encourage and bless families in Scotland County by providing the necessary school supplies needed by their student/students to have a successful start to the upcoming school year.

Pre-registration for the event is Thursday, July 20, 2017 from 5:00-6:30 p.m.  Pre-registration is located outside, under the overhang, at the SCR-1 Elementary School entrance.  Parents may pre-register their kids through Thursday, July 27, 2017 by contacting Marie Ebeling or through a local church.

A packing party to organize supplies is scheduled for Thursday, August 3, 2017 at 5:30 p.m. at the home of Curtis and Marie Ebeling.

Distribution of the supplies will take place during Ignite Ministries’ Back-to-School Bash on Saturday, August 5, 2017 from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. on the Memphis Square.

If you are interested in helping with any of the above events, please contact Marie Ebeling at 465-2445 or 660-342-0917.

Meeting Planned to Provide Input into Federal Conservation Programs

A local working group charged with identifying local priority resource concerns and providing input about program criteria to the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) will meet at 2 p.m. July 27th at The Edina USDA Service Center.

The working group is comprised primarily of representatives of various local, state and federal agencies with knowledge of natural resource concerns. Specifically, the group will help prioritize selection criteria for NRCS’ Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) and Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) applications in Knox, Scotland, Lewis and Clark counties. The meeting is open to the public and will include time for comments from residents of the represented counties. While final decisions will be made by NRCS leadership, local input is requested. Anyone needing accommodation to participate in this meeting should contact Ashley Johnson at the Edina Service Center seven days prior to the meeting.

For more information, contact Ashley Johnson at 660-3972223 or email ashley.johnson@mo.udsa.gov

Burlington Woman Killed in Crash Near Cantril

A Burlington, IA woman was killed and six passengers in her vehicle sustained serious injuries in a one-car crash just east of Cantril, IA on Highway 2 at approximately 3:30 p.m. on Friday, July 14th.

According to the Iowa State Patrol, Mindy Raye Johnson, 26, was eastbound on Highway 2 in a 2005 Mercury Mariner when the SUV went off the right side of the roadway onto the gravel shoulder. The driver overcorrected and the vehicle returned to the roadway and traveled off the left side of the roadway, traveling down a steep embankment on the north side of the road where it overturned before coming to rest on its wheels in a cornfield.

Johnson was pronounced deceased at the accident scene.

April I. Maul, 36, of Burlington suffered serious injuries as well as two eight-year-old passengers. They were taken to University Hospital in Iowa City. Another eight-year-old passenger, a five-year-old passenger and a three-year-old passenger were also injured in the wreck and transported to Van Buren County Hospital.

The Patrol was assisted at the scene by the Van Buren County Sheriff’s Office.

Stolen Vehicle Recovered in Memphis

A follow-up review after a routine traffic stop in Memphis over the weekend has uncovered a stolen vehicle that authorities believe may also have ties to a local burglary.

According to the Memphis Police Department, a white Honda Civic was stopped near Gas & More on Friday evening, July 14th at 10:30 p.m. The driver of the vehicle, Chanyel T. Crow, III, 27, of Kansas City, formerly of Memphis, was ticketed for no valid driver’s license. During the stop it was determined that Crow was wanted on probation violation warrant, and he was subsequently taken into custody and transported to the Scotland County Jail.

On Sunday, officers returned to the vehicle, which had not been moved from the original stop location in the Gas & More parking lot. Further inspection of the vehicle revealed that the license plates on the car, while for a White Honda Civic, did not match the vehicle VIN number. Further investigation revealed that the car had been stolen out of Kansas City.

A passenger in the vehicle, Sky White, 21, of O’Fallon, is now being sought for questioning in a local theft investigation.

Anyone with knowledge of her whereabouts is asked to contact the Scotland County Sheriff’s Office at 660-465-2106.

Downing House Museum Complex Awarded $2000 US Bank Grant

US Bank representative Bill Kiddoo presents a check for $2,000 from the US Bank Foundation to Downing House Museum volunteers Rhonda McBee and Julie Clapp.

This grant project, “Opening the Doors of the Past to Future Generations” focuses on an effort to provide a greater number of our community’s children aged 12 and under, the opportunity to participate in historical and cultural activities. The ultimate desired outcome is to “Open the doors of the past to our future generations” by providing children with opportunities to actually view the past and apply the information to the current world today. Oftentimes, students read about history, but without actually visiting and participating in activities with historical significance they cannot experience the history of our community and state and apply it to their own lives. We want to bring history to life for our younger generations.

With this in mind, the Downing House Museum Complex in Memphis, Missouri was awarded a US Bank Grant to provide area students (an estimated 200 3rd graders), tours of the Downing House Museum Complex at no charge. Typically, the cost for tours is $5 per person and schools often do not have available funds to provide local field trips. A trip to the museum complex could enhance the study of local Missouri history for area students in counties surrounding Scotland County that are within a 30 mile radius of Memphis, MO. The museum offers Civil War History and the battles fought in Missouri, railroad history, famous Missourians such as Ella Ewing and Tom Horn, historical musical instruments, medical equipment used throughout the early days of Missouri’s statehood, Indian artifacts, blacksmithing history, and many items that were invented and manufactured in Missouri. Additionally this grant will provide 50 tickets to children aged 12 and under (priced at $5 each for a total of $250) at no cost for the “2nd Annual Evening at the Museum, Candlelight Tour of the Past” event on October 13 & 14, 2017. These tickets will be offered on a first come first served basis and children must be accompanied by an adult. The evening event is being planned based on the great success of our first candlelight tour, held in October 2016.

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