August 1, 2002

SCR-I Board Appoints Committee To Consider School Surveillance System

The Board of Education met in regular session on July 26, with six members present. Board member Paul Campbell was absent. The board considered one item under old business, and 13 items under new business.

Old Business:

Report On Sale of School Freezer - Superintendent LeRoy Huff reported to the board on the sale of the old food service freezer at the high school. He informed the board that seven bids had been received and the high bid was in the amount of $1,101.33. Those bidding on the unit and the amounts bid were as follows: Harmony Hills of Unionville, $450; Chester Hosletter of Drakesville, IA, $500; Chariton Valley Beef, Iowa State University, Ames, IA, $611; Kevin Small of Memphis, $765; Lyle Sutts of Lewistown, $930; and Doren Miller of Clarksville, MO, $1,001.00. The freezer was awarded to Roland and Ronald Meyer of St. Louis, who had submitted the high bid.

New Business:

Renew M.A.R.E. Member-ship - The Scotland County R-I Schools has belonged to Missouri Association of Rural Education, (M.A.R.E.) for the past six years. This association was organized to be of assistance to rural schools and the problems faced by rural education. The association provides numerous services to its members. Included among these services are new board member training, workshops, and meetings to help improve rural schools. The board voted unanimously to continue their membership with M.A.R.E.

Surveillance Project - High School Principal Dave Shalley and Special Education Director, Rhonda McBee, have been examining the concept of a security system for the secondary facility. They presented to the board their recommendation along with how the project would be funded. The system will use 15 cameras around the exterior of the premises and in the halls of the high school. Rhonda explained to the board that the school applied for and received a grant to implement the project. Mr. Shalley informed the board that several schools in the area currently use security systems including Clark County R-I and Highland. The board authorized by a six-zero vote the appointment of a committee of Ellen Aylward and David Kirkpatrick to meet with Mr. Shalley, Mrs. McBee and Mr. Huff to accept the best proposal for the project as long as all funding comes from grant monies.

Discuss Lunch Prices For 2002-2003 School Year - Following a study of comparative lunch and breakfast prices among six schools conducted by the District's Food Service Director Terry Arnold, the board voted unanimously to keep all school meal prices the same for fiscal year 2002-2003, as they were this past year. The K-six breakfast will cost 90 cents, seven-12 breakfast 90 cents, and the adult breakfast $1.10. The K-six lunch will cost $1.25, seven-12 lunch $1.30 and adult lunch will be $1.60.

Adopt Electronic Device Policy - Last year the district had asked the Mickes Law Firm to draft for it an electronic device policy for the school to implement. Since school had already started the board postponed acceptance and implementation of the policy written by the Mickes firm until fiscal year 2002-2003. The board voted six-zero to implement the policy as written for the upcoming school year. The policy adopted by the board is as follows:

Electronic Devices - The possession or use of beepers, cell phones, and other means of electronic communication is prohibited in all school facilities and school activities during regular school hours by students. Such use is considered a disruption of the educational environment.

First Offense: Detention/ISS, confiscation of device (returned to parent), contact parents.

Second Offense: ISS/OSS, confiscation of device (returned to parent), contact parents.

Third Offense: OSS, confiscation of device, contact parents.

The use or possession of laser pointers at school or at any school-sponsored activity is prohibited.

First Offense: Detention/ ISS, confiscation.

Second Offense: ISS, confiscation.

Third Offense: OSS, confiscation.

Set Tuition Rates For Fiscal Year 2002-2003 - The board voted six-zero last night to establish the tuition rates for fiscal year 2002-2003. The tuition rate for secondary will be $6,203 and for elementary $4,435. This represents a 1.6% increase in the tuition rate over last year. The 1.6% figure that was used for setting the rate is the (CPI) consumer price index for the year. This figure is provided annually by the state auditor's office and reflects the increase in the cost of living over the previous fiscal year.

Set Tax Rate Hearing Date - The board voted six-zero to set the date for the annual tax rate hearing on August 29th at 6:15 p.m. prior to the regular meeting of the Board of Education. An annual hearing must be held before the tax rate for the new fiscal year can be established.

Assign At-Risk And Homeless Coordinator For Fiscal Year 2002-2003 - Annually, DESE requires the district to appoint an At-Risk and a Homeless Coordinator to serve the needs of those students who are in need of special services that these coordinators would provide. Ken Cross is our current Homeless Coordinator and he had agreed to also serve the district as our At-Risk Coordinator. The board voted unanimously to offer both of these positions to Mr. Cross.

Establish Date For Celebration Of Excellence Dinner, New Teacher Dinner/Picnic, And Staff Breakfast - The board voted unanimously to host three events for staff this fall. These events will be as follows: August 19th will be the date for the new employee picnic at 6:00 p.m. at the Memphis Lake; August 20th at 7:30 a.m. in the High School commons is the date the board established for the breakfast for all school employees before school begins on August 21st; and October 22nd was the date the board adopted for the Celebration of Excellence V Dinner to be held in the high school gym at 7:00 p.m.

Discuss Elementary Vesti-bule Project - The board discussed at some length how best to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of student achieve-ment in the lower elementary grades. Everyone was in agreement that we should not have P.E. first thing in the morning. What we should do is to have our children focus on their academics while their minds are fresh each day. This cannot currently happen because of the "bottle neck" caused by the gym doubling as our lunchroom.

To accommodate this problem major work has been done by Mr. Moore, Mr. Shalley and Superintendent Huff to arrange schedules so that staff assignments will align in both buildings since both buildings share staff. For the concept to work successfully a gym curtain needs to be installed in the gym/cafeteria in order for one half of the gym to have P.E. while the other half of the gym is used as a cafeteria for breakfast and lunch. To complete the project the board also studied a proposal to enclose the overhang at the southeast entrance to the elementary gym. This would in effect make this a vestibule much like the west entrance at the high school.

The cost of the gym curtain would be $4,500 and the vestibule enclosure should not exceed $7,100. After deliberate and thoughtful consideration the board voted six - zero to approve the construction of an elementary vestibule and purchase the curtain for the gym.

Accept Procedural Evalua-tion - Each year one of the procedural evaluation reports required is School Safety. Linda Gray the district's safety coordinator, prepared the school's safety program report for the board to consider. Following Linda's written report, the board voted six - zero to accept her recommendation as presented. A second procedural evaluation, prepared by Linda Gray, was the report on School Facilities and Grounds. Again, following an appropriate period of discussion the board voted six - zero to accept Linda's report as presented.

Amend 2002-2003 Budget - Following the receipt of additional revenue from the federal government in Title monies, a Rural Education Enhancement Grant, and expenditures to off-set the additional federal monies the board voted six - zero to amend the budget to accommodate these new monies and expenditures for fiscal year 2002-2003.

Approval Of Annual Secre-tary Of The Board Report (ASBR) - Annually, following the close of business for the fiscal year, the district must report to the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education the status of the district's finances and other academic programs for the preceding year. This is called the Annual Secretary of the Board Report (ASBR). Before the document can be officially mailed to DESE the Board of Education, at the July meeting must approve the report so it can be submitted by the August 15th deadline. The board reviewed the report for fiscal year 2001-2002. As we analyze the year financially, the district was able to pay $58,630.00 for a bus, $9,846.00 for a new mower for the custodial department, $6,200.00 for a new curtain for the high school gym, $13,036.25 for a new freezer for the food service department, $14,039 for the elementary overhang and numerous other items that were not a part of the budget for last year. Superintendent Huff explained to the board that it is significant to note that these unbudgeted expenses were paid for out of the fiscal year 2001-2002 budget and the district was still able to end the year with a balanced budget. I expressed my appreciation to the board for their patience in insuring that we continue a policy of financial solvency. I also thanked the board for their support and told them that without the board's cooperation this would not have been possible. The board voted six - zero to accept the ASBR report following an appropriate period of discussion.

Permission To Advertise For Title Instruction Assistant - With the verbal resignation of Angela Westhoff this month, a vacancy has occurred in our instructional aide staff. Angela has resigned to assist her husband, Scott manage Rose Hardware Store. The board voted six - zero to advertise for an instructional assistant to begin work on August 21st. Persons desiring to apply for the position must have a minimum of 60 college hours of credit.

Executive Session - In Executive Session, the only issue the board considered was a review of personnel issues.

2016 Scotland County Fair Junior Cattle Show

 

Taylar Eggleston-Wood exhibited the Grand Champion Female of the 2016 Junior Cattle Show with her cow and calf entry. She is pictured with her sister Tasha and SC Fair Queen Calesse Bair.

Taylar Eggleston-Wood exhibited the Grand Champion Female of the 2016 Junior Cattle Show with her cow and calf entry. She is pictured with her sister Tasha and SC Fair Queen Calesse Bair.

 

Kassie Bulen took home the Grand Champion and Reserve Champion Rate of Gain trophies from the 2016 Junior Cattle Show. She is pictured with her grandfather George Bulen.

Kassie Bulen took home the Grand Champion and Reserve Champion Rate of Gain trophies from the 2016 Junior Cattle Show. She is pictured with her grandfather George Bulen.

 

Hannah Dunn exhibited the Reserve Champion Market Animal of the 2016 Junior Cattle Show. She also showed the Grand Champion Bull.

Hannah Dunn exhibited the Reserve Champion Market Animal of the 2016 Junior Cattle Show. She also showed the Grand Champion Bull.

 

The Class 1 Showmanship winner from the 2016 SC Fair Cattle Show was Jessica Huff.

The Class 1 Showmanship winner from the 2016 SC Fair Cattle Show was Jessica Huff.

 

The Grand Champion Market Animal of the 2016 SC Fair Junior Cattle Show was exhibited by Jared Dunn.

The Grand Champion Market Animal of the 2016 SC Fair Junior Cattle Show was exhibited by Jared Dunn.

 

Jillian Crane took home the Class II Showmanship Award from the 2016 Junior Cattle Show.

Jillian Crane took home the Class II Showmanship Award from the 2016 Junior Cattle Show.

 

Tasha Eggleston-Wood exhibited the Reserve Champion Bull of the 2016 SC Fair Junior Cattle Show.

Tasha Eggleston-Wood exhibited the Reserve Champion Bull of the 2016 SC Fair Junior Cattle Show.

 

The Dairy Showmanship Award went to Corbin Kirchner.

The Dairy Showmanship Award went to Corbin Kirchner.

 

Megan Kirchner showed the Grand Champion and Reserve Champion Dairy Females and the Grand Champion Dairy Steer during the 2016 Junior Cattle Show.

Megan Kirchner showed the Grand Champion and Reserve Champion Dairy Females and the Grand Champion Dairy Steer during the 2016 Junior Cattle Show.

 

The Reserve Champion Female of the 2016 Junior Cattle Show was exhibited by Will Montgomery.

The Reserve Champion Female of the 2016 Junior Cattle Show was exhibited by Will Montgomery.

 

2016 Scotland County Fair Junior Sheep Show

Luke Triplett (assisted by Abby Blessing) showed the Grand Champion Pair of Market Lambs at the 2016 Junior Sheep Show.

Luke Triplett (assisted by Abby Blessing) showed the Grand Champion Pair of Market Lambs at the 2016 Junior Sheep Show.

 

Avery and Gabe Shultz showed the Reserve Champion Pair of Market Lambs at the 2016 Junior Sheep Show.

Avery and Gabe Shultz showed the Reserve Champion Pair of Market Lambs at the 2016 Junior Sheep Show.

 

The Grand Champion Market Lamb of the 2016 Scotland County Fair Junior Sheep Show was exhibited by Taylar Eggleston-Wood.

The Grand Champion Market Lamb of the 2016 Scotland County Fair Junior Sheep Show was exhibited by Taylar Eggleston-Wood.

 

The Grand Champion Ewe of the 2016 Scotland County Fair Junior Sheep Show was exhibited by Sadie Davis.

The Grand Champion Ewe of the 2016 Scotland County Fair Junior Sheep Show was exhibited by Sadie Davis.

 

Morgan Blessing earned the 2016 Junior Showmanship award for the Junior Sheep Show.

Morgan Blessing earned the 2016 Junior Showmanship award for the Junior Sheep Show.

 

Brianna Kraus showed the Reserve Champion Ram at the 2016 Scotland County Fair.

Brianna Kraus showed the Reserve Champion Ram at the 2016 Scotland County Fair.

 

Katie Miller exhibited the Champion Katahdin at the 2016 Sheep Show.

Katie Miller exhibited the Champion Katahdin at the 2016 Sheep Show.

 

Clara Davis showed the Grand Ram at the 2016 Scotland County Fair. She also received the Grand Champion Rate of Gain award for the show.

Clara Davis showed the Grand Ram at the 2016 Scotland County Fair. She also received the Grand Champion Rate of Gain award for the show.

 

Baleigh Phillips exhibited the Grand Champion Rate of Gain exhibit (two exhibitors tied for the top rate of gain) at the 2016 Junior Sheep Show.

Baleigh Phillips exhibited the Grand Champion Rate of Gain exhibit (two exhibitors tied for the top rate of gain) at the 2016 Junior Sheep Show.

 

The Reserve Champion Ewe of the 2016 Scotland County Fair Junior Sheep Show was exhibited by Abby Blessing.

The Reserve Champion Ewe of the 2016 Scotland County Fair Junior Sheep Show was exhibited by Abby Blessing.

 

Kaylyn Anders was named the Round Robin showmanship champion of the 2016 Scotland County Fair Junior Sheep Show. She also claimed the Senior Showmanship honor and exhibited the Reserve Champion Market Lamb. Kaylyn is pictured with 2016 SC Fair Queen Calesse Bair.

Kaylyn Anders was named the Round Robin showmanship champion of the 2016 Scotland County Fair Junior Sheep Show. She also claimed the Senior Showmanship honor and exhibited the Reserve Champion Market Lamb. Kaylyn is pictured with 2016 SC Fair Queen Calesse Bair.

2016 Scotland County Junior Goat Show

The Charles B. Green Memorial Award ($150 toward the purchase of a goat) at the 2016 Scotland County Fair Junior Goat Show went to Hailee Darcy. She is pictured with 2016 SC Fair Queen Calesse Bair.

The Charles B. Green Memorial Award ($150 toward the purchase of a goat) at the 2016 Scotland County Fair Junior Goat Show went to Hailee Darcy. She is pictured with 2016 SC Fair Queen Calesse Bair.

 

Anna Triplett was crowned the Round Robin showmanship champion at the 2016 Junior Goat Show. She is pictured with 2016 SC Fair Queen Calesse Bair.

Anna Triplett was crowned the Round Robin showmanship champion at the 2016 Junior Goat Show. She is pictured with 2016 SC Fair Queen Calesse Bair.

 

Beau Triplett earned the Junior Showmanship award at the 2016 Junior Goat Show. He also exhibited the Grand Champion Doe.

Beau Triplett earned the Junior Showmanship award at the 2016 Junior Goat Show. He also exhibited the Grand Champion Doe.

 

The Reserve Champion Rate of Gain Trophy for the 2016 Scotland County Fair Junior Goat Show went to Dane Blessing.

The Reserve Champion Rate of Gain Trophy for the 2016 Scotland County Fair Junior Goat Show went to Dane Blessing.

 

Hugh Baker showed the Grand Champion Buck at the 2016 Scotland County Fair. He also exhibited the Reserve Champion Wether and the Reserve Champion Doe.

Hugh Baker showed the Grand Champion Buck at the 2016 Scotland County Fair. He also exhibited the Reserve Champion Wether and the Reserve Champion Doe.

 

Jenna Blessing exhibited the Grand Champion Market Wether of the 2016 Scotland County Fair Junior Goat Show.

Jenna Blessing exhibited the Grand Champion Market Wether of the 2016 Scotland County Fair Junior Goat Show.

 

The Champion Rate of Gain Trophy for the 2016 Scotland County Fair Junior Goat Show went to Kara Mallett. She also showed the Reserve Champion Buck.

The Champion Rate of Gain Trophy for the 2016 Scotland County Fair Junior Goat Show went to Kara Mallett. She also showed the Reserve Champion Buck.

 

Nova Cline earned the Senior Showmanship award at the 2016 Junior Goat Show.

Nova Cline earned the Senior Showmanship award at the 2016 Junior Goat Show.

2016 Scotland County Fair Junior Dog Show

Carlee Smith and Bullet won the Beginner Novice 13 & Under division.

Carlee Smith and Bullet won the Beginner Novice 13 & Under division.

 

Tasha Eggleston-Wood earned the Overall Showmanship and Showmanship 14 & Over trophies as well as the Agility 14 & Over win at the 2016 Junior Dog Show. Clara Davis and Skippy won the pre-Novice 13 & Under division.

Tasha Eggleston-Wood earned the Overall Showmanship and Showmanship 14 & Over trophies as well as the Agility 14 & Over win at the 2016 Junior Dog Show. Clara Davis and Skippy won the pre-Novice 13 & Under division.

 

Clara Davis and Skippy won the Pre-Novice 13 & Under division.

Clara Davis and Skippy won the Pre-Novice 13 & Under division.

 

Anna Triplett and Mazy took top honors in the Canine Agility 13 & Under class at the 2016 Scotland County Fair Junior Dog Show. The duo also earned the Showmanship 13 & Under trophy.

Anna Triplett and Mazy took top honors in the Canine Agility 13 & Under class at the 2016 Scotland County Fair Junior Dog Show. The duo also earned the Showmanship 13 & Under trophy.

 

Erica Yarbrough and Buster took first place in the Pre-Novice 14 & Over class.

Erica Yarbrough and Buster took first place in the Pre-Novice 14 & Over class.

 

Taylar Eggleston-Wood and Dan won the Novice II 14 & Over category with a score of 185 out of 200.

Taylar Eggleston-Wood and Dan won the Novice II 14 & Over category with a score of 185 out of 200.

Sealing Operations Will Temporarily Close Route B

HANNIBAL – Weather permitting, August 1, MoDOT crews will temporarily close Scotland County Route B between the Iowa state line and U.S. 136 from 7:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. for sealing operations.

Please use alternate routes during this time.

Again, this work is weather dependent and could be delayed or rescheduled. For more information contact MoDOT’s Customer Service Center toll-free at 1-888-ASK MoDOT (275-6636). All roadwork is posted on the traveler information map. You can also visit us online at www.modot.org/northeast.

August 2nd Election to Decide School Tax Levy, Two County Races

vote

The August 2nd primary election will decide a pair of Republican races for local offices and also will feature the return of a tax levy issue for the Scotland County R-I School District.

Local voters who take the Republican ballot in the open primary election, will decide the party’s nomination for County Assessor. Incumbent Jim Ward faces a challenge from Lisa Grubb for the party’s nomination for the position.

Residents in the western district of Scotland County will also have the chance to decide the Republican nominee for Western District Commissioner. Incumbent David Wiggins is being challenged by George Owings.

While the Democratic and Republican ballots feature a number of state races for U.S. Senator, Governor, Lt. Governor, Secretary of State, State Treasurer and Secretary of State, the lone other local issue to be decide is Proposition 1. The school district tax-levy question will appear on all ballots. Individuals not wishing to cast a Democratic, Republican, Libertarian or Constitutional Party may select a non-partisan ballot, which will only have the Proposition 1 question.

Proposition 1, if approved, would allow the Scotland County R-I School District to borrow $3.3 million to build an early childhood development center and make other upgrades at the high school and elementary school. The process would be funded by a $0.33 debt service levy increase.

Voters previously had turned down a $4 million tax levy question from the school district in April by a 628 to 505 margin and a $5 million tax levy proposal was shot down in November 2014.

This spring the Scotland County R-1 School Board of Education used results from more than 200 public survey responses to help fashion the current levy proposal. The board scaled back some of the original proposals after more than 20% of the survey respondents indicated they did not support particular points in the initial bond issue, particularly spending on extracurriculars such as a new all-weather track and new lights for the baseball, softball and football fields.

Many of those items were removed from the current tax levy proposal, helping to lower the total cost to $3.3 million and decrease the tax levy hike from $0.40 to the current proposed levy rate increase of $0.33.

Scotland County Senior Nutrition Center

MENU

Thursday, July 28 – Meatloaf, Mixed Vegetables, Cauliflower/Cheese Sauce, Bread, Peach Crisp

Friday, July 29 – Catfish Nuggets, Macaroni Salad, Baked Beans, Cornbread, Strawberry Shortcake

Monday, August 1 – Chicken Strips, Scalloped Cabbage, Buttered Corn, Bread, Apple Crisp

Tuesday, August 2 – Tenderloin/Bun, Onion Slice, Pasta Veggie Salad, Green Beans, Watermelon and Cantaloupe

Wednesday, Aug. 3 – Fried Chicken, Mashed Potatoes/Gravy, Spinach, Wheat Roll, Jell-O Fruit

Thursday, August 4 – Taco Salad, Lettuce, Beans/Chips, Tomatoes, Peas, Applesauce, Cookie

ACTIVITIES

Thursday, July 28 – Card Party at 5:00 p.m.

Thursday, August 4 – Card Party at 5:00 p.m.

Heat Wave, Visitors, and a Sad Farewell

Althea hugging a duck. Photo by Ben.

Althea hugging a duck. Photo by Ben.

Howdy. Ben here, bringing y’all news from the storm-swept prairies, soggy draws, and humid homes of Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage. It certainly has been an eventful week here, though to be honest I haven’t had an uneventful one yet in my four years of time on farm. I’ll just stick with the formula y’all have come to expect and give you the weather report first.

We’ve spent the past week enduring a nasty heat wave here, with temps pushing towards a hundred degrees Fahrenheit, intense humidity, and still, stale, boggy air. The top eight inches or so of our swimming pond are unsettlingly warm, like broth. The fish might not bite under such conditions, but the crawdads are really nipping my toes these days during my daily cool downs at the old swimmin’ hole.

The sole motivation for completing my afternoon chores is the mere thought of our animals running low on fresh water. Come three in the afternoon, the barnyard is reminiscent of a ghost town, ducks and chickens peering from beneath the shade of cedars and sheds, the pigs nearly completely submerged in their wallows.

Other telltale signs that this is the height of summer include the whine and drone of cicadas, the emergence of partridge peas out in the field, and a sudden abundance of blackberries, perhaps the most I’ve ever seen since I’ve been here. In our kitchen co-op we’ve had enough for pie, wine, and consistent, daily snacking. Still, there’s more on the way. The paths are speckled with blackberry scat, perhaps belonging to possum or raccoon.

The only thing I’m more abundant in than berries is flies. It has been a banner fly year. I’m not sure if you’d call it a good fly year, or a bad fly year, but let’s just say there’s a fair few of ‘em. Appreciative as I am of all forms of biomass, I could stand to have fewer flies tickling my ankle hairs and landing on my baby during naps, but I’ll just remain thankful I’m not a goat on pasture, as they’re also seeming quite annoyed, stomping and shaking in the midday sun. Bring on the spiders, I say.

The mud daubers agree, as they busily take clay from our cob buckets and construct nests stuffed with paralyzed little orchard spiders, the living meals for their young. Such strange, fascinating things, these itty bitty critters do.

As of yesterday evening the sweaty, nasty, dense haze of summer moved out for now, pushed along by a swift, torrential storm, complete with corn-flattening winds. Here at Critter Kitchen, dinner was about to be served. In addition to our usual crew of diners, I was preparing a meal for about a dozen or so visitors. Dinner would be the usual fare, turnip fritters, collard greens, and pintos. Yum yum.

Keep in mind that our kitchen is outdoors, and has only one wall. Caleb hollered down from his tree house that a storm would be blowing in shortly, but being tired of this same old story (we’ve had many rains inexplicably navigate around us this year), I shrugged it off as I added yet more grease to my turnip cakes.

Then came the rumble and roar of thunder, a creaking of tree limbs, and intense, horizontal rain. The sorta rain that hurts. Five-gallon buckets, cloth diapers, feed sacks, tin cups, leaves and thorny little sticks all started whipping about. I might’ve seen a chicken set a flight record.

This is about the time all the visitors showed up. After a few moments of sorting out the sensible and unsensible desires of this crew, most folks headed to our root cellar on the count of three. It can fit a lot of people when there’s no food in there.

Eventually, the severe weather subsided, I checked on the toilet paper, the livestock, the rain gauge, and dinner, in that order, and after a few more moments spent picking up and drying off our plates, we had a swell time eating greasy turnip patties, joking and dripping wet.

While some folks have a preference for slightly more formalized get-to-know-you type activities and conversations, these are the kinds of bonding moments that I appreciate about our visitor sessions: sharing in the experience of the natural elements, be they as pleasant as the taste of wild berries, or rough as the late July heat followed by an intense gullywasher. Nobody, as far as I figure, makes it through Dancing Rabbit without at least a little mud on ‘em. You ought to come on and try it some time. The mud you have at home ain’t quite the same.

After a storm, especially a windstorm, a common sight in our village is helpers. A handful of folks will usually walk about, check on people, animals, tents, and homes for signs of damage, and help out if an outhouse needs propped up, or if some laundry needs to be found somewhere out there in a three-acre radius, or if some scattered chickens or goats need herded. I’d like to think of us as a community of helpful doers. No one can probably help me with my windblown tomatoes, or my wet toilet paper, though.

Sadly, I must announce that one of our helpful doers has passed into the next cycle of existence. Dennis Hoffarth, my neighbor and good friend, and a very helpful doer well before Dancing Rabbit was even an inkling of an idea, was laid to rest here one week ago.

Anyone who’s spent time with Dennis can tell you that he was a tireless worker for change, a dedicated builder of hope, and the sort of idea man who was willing to walk his talk. That is not to mention that he was a truly fun friend to work with, and funny as hell, too.

I can only attempt to memorialize Dennis from my own point of view, as I know his impact was felt in innumerable ways, by innumerable people. I will probably always think of him when I’m riding or tuning a bike, training my left hand to saw as well as my right, or hoisting an improbably large object into the air.

In my first year here at DR, I had the opportunity to work on the frame and foundation of Robinia, the home he built with his partner Sharon, and in that time I was introduced to concepts as mundane yet useful as shims and kerfs, and some greater, deeper ideas, about how to treat people and the planet with thoughtfulness and respect. I myself, and many others, will miss his wit, observations, and ideas. I aspire to be near as helpful a doer as he was.

For a person dedicated to cooperation, Dennis did things against the grain, at least when that was beneficial for all of us. One of his major pursuits in that department was practical, functional bicycling. Before it was cool for grown adults to ride around on bikes (ok, it’s always been cool, just not hip), Dennis was talking that talk, and walking it too.

Maybe peddling the pedal, would be the appropriate wordplay. He paved the way for whippersnappers like me to ride bikes safely and meaningfully. That’s why it seemed obvious that he ought to be brought to his final rest by bike. Supported by many friends, family, and neighbors, Dennis took his final ride last Monday morning, as well-secured cargo on our community bike trailer. Many helpful doers made preparations for the burial site and ceremony, and even more were on hand and available for the necessary help and support in Dennis’ final days. I lack the words for all y’all. Maybe just thanks, and I’m sorry, and love you.

An ecovillage, by definition, is meant to be a fully featured settlement. We have the occasional need of midwives, and yes, the occasional need of undertakers. A few hours after Dennis was laid to rest, our July visitor session began, and although we had let them know by email and phone what the community was going through, I am sure that many of them became more immediately aware that Dancing Rabbit was in a place of tenderness and mourning. I hope that they see it as a place of great caring, too.

Death sure can be scary, and it is coming for all of us at some point. What happens after that ain’t none of my business.  I’d like it to come for me in a place like this, where the experience can be shared and felt more equally, where we can be as present for the dying as we can be for the children growing up in the world that the dying have given us.

And Dennis wanted to give us a better world for growing up in. I cannot help but look at my own kids, one of them fierce, free, and occasionally sweet, the other one basically either sleeping, laughing, or crying, but typically drooling, and hope that all of us together are going to build the world that others have so thoughtfully dreamt up for us. Happy trails, neighbor.

* * *

Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage is an intentional community and educational nonprofit outside Rutledge, MO, focused on demonstrating sustainable living possibilities. We offer public tours of the village on the 2nd and 4th Saturdays of the month, April-October; the next is Saturday, August 13th at 1 pm. Reservations not required. Tours are free, though donations to help us continue our educational and outreach efforts are gratefully accepted. For directions, call the office at 660-883-5511 or email us at dancingrabbit@ic.org. To find out more about us, you can also check out our website: www.dancingrabbit.org.

Area Families Stepping Up to Meet Needs of 57 Foster Children

Efforts of local families are meeting the needs of 57 area foster children in Scotland, Clark and Schuyler counties, but more foster parents are needed.

Efforts of local families are meeting the needs of 57 area foster children in Scotland, Clark and Schuyler counties, but more foster parents are needed.

In Clark, Schuyler, and Scotland Counties there are currently 57 children who are not able to live with their own family due to safety concerns.  Foster families provide a safe, comfortable and caring haven for these children during this traumatic time.  Staying connected to familiar and reassuring things, such as friends, school, and routine activities, helps lessen the stress and change a child must cope with in his or her young life.

“It is through the commitment of foster parents that children who have been abused or neglected are able to remain in their community in a safe and nurturing environment,” said Rachelle Curry, MSW, Circuit Manager.

Unfortunately, remaining in the community is not always an option if a foster family is not available when a child comes into care. Some children must go to a neighboring community, far from the community they know.

“We are always in need of more families who will open their hearts and homes to children in Clark, Schuyler, and Scotland counties,” said Curry. “Foster parents make children feel safe, nurtured, and loved, and they provide support for children and families during a challenging time in their lives.”

Anyone can apply to become a foster parent in Missouri, as long as they are 21 years old and willing to go through the training and assessment process.  That process includes background checks, health screenings, financial discussions and home assessments.

“You don’t have to be married or own your own home,”‘ said Curry. “As long as your housing and income are stable and meet licensure standards and there is room in your home and heart for more family members, you are likely to be approved.”

There are other ways to support children living in foster families in your community, and Curry said she and her staff will be happy to work with community members to explain how to donate items or personal time to support children in foster care.

To learn more about foster foster parenting or ways to get involved, visit http://www.MOheartgallery.org or call Laura Babington at 660-727-3393, ext 229, or 1-800-554-2222 for more information.

“The Missouri Children’s Division would like to thank everyone in Clark, Schuyler, and Scotland Counties for their generosity and support of foster families during our foster parent appreciation activities this year,” said Curry. “We have outstanding foster parents and it was a wonderful opportunity to recognize their dedication to helping children in foster care.”

Recently a local a pool party was held to demonstrate appreciation to foster parents and the children they are supporting. The following local businesses donated to help make it fun and memorable event: Casey’s General Store, Community Bank of Memphis, Exchange Bank of Kahoka, Memphis Pizza Hut, Scotland County Ministerial Alliance, Scotland County Pharmacy, People’s Bank of Wyaconda, Shelter Insurance – Tim Bertram, and Vigen Memorial Home of Kahoka.

Edina Woman Hurt in Crash Near Baring

An Edina woman was injured in a one-vehicle crash near Baring early on Monday morning. According to the Missouri State Highway Patrol, Jessica L. Leckenby, 37, suffered moderate injuries in the crash that occurred at 6:35 a.m. on July 25th.

Leckenby was southbound on Highway 15, two miles south of Baring when the 2003 Chevrolet Trailblazer she was driving went off the right side of the roadway and struck a ditch before overturning. Leckenby was flown from the scene by Air Evac helicopter to Northeast Regional Medical Center in Kirksville.

The Patrol was assisted at the scene by the Baring Fire Department, Knox County Fire and Rescue, and the Knox County Ambulance Service.

The vehicle sustained total damage and was removed from the scene by Lakeside Towing of Memphis.

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