November 14, 2002

Current Conflict Reminds Local WWII Veteran Of His Service Time

While the war against terrorism in Afghanistan may no longer be the top story in the news, continued glimpses of the country have had a special meaning for one Scotland County man.

Video images of the caves the U.S. Special Forces have found in the mountains of the Middle East country sparked memories of similar caves that this soldier experienced more than 50 years before in the mountains of the Philippine Islands.

"I saw television coverage of these caves in Afghanistan where the terrorists have been hiding and fighting with our troops and it made me think back to similar caves we ran into during World War II," said Joe Neese, Jr. "I know what it was like back then so it makes me really think about our boys over there today and what they are going through for us."

At the same time, as the country was commemorating Veterans Day, Neese was proud to reflect on the military tradition dating back to his father, and now including his grandson.

Neese, a farmer who lives near Rutledge, served in the United States Army during WWII. He served two years with the 32nd Division, which was engaged in 654 days of combat during the Pacific Campaign.

His time in the army began at Camp Roberts in California. He was drafted into the service along with five others from Scotland County. He went to boot camp with Don Tague, Carson Parrish, John Shibley, Robert Gray and Fracis Swearingen. After graduating from boot camp March 20, 1944 Neese, Parrish and Gray went on to the Pacific while the other trio went to Europe.



Joe Neese, Jr. is a veteran of World War II, serving two years in the Philippines as well as in the occupational army of Japan.


After being shipped over seas Neese's service began in New Guinea. It was here that he lost touch with his two hometown friends as the men were assigned to different companies. Neese continued on to Leyte and Luzon in the Philippines. His travels also involved a transfer as he moved from L Company to become a member of the 128th Recon in Leyte.

It constituted a big change as he shifted to become a member of a 24-man unit responsible for some difficult tasks.

"We spent a lot of time behind enemy lines," Neese said. "We were responsible for checking enemy movements, directing artillery strikes as well as making maps."

As Platoon Sergeant, Neese said he quickly became friends with all the men in the small unit.

"We were all very close to each other," he said. "With the kind of work we did, there was a lot riding on the guys you were going in with so there definitely was a strong bond."

The bond wasn't the only strength that the men had to rely on.

"There were never more than eight men in a patrol so we had to carry a lot of fire power with us," Neese said. "The Browning Automatic Rifle (BAR) and the Tommy Guns were the weapons of choice."

Every day of service was a challenge but Neese said the most difficult task by far was the taking of the Villa Verde Trail, which twisted its way 24 miles from the Lingayen Plain to the mile-high peaks of Luzon's Caraballo Mountains. It proved to be the chosen ground of the Japanese as they dug in to make their last stand in the Philippines.

During this epic battle, Neese and his men traveled all over the mountain gathering information against the enemy and establishing travel routes for U.S. troops. They enlisted the aid of the Igorots, a tribe of mountainmen who befriended the U.S. cause after being terrorized by the Japanese occupation force.

Neese said, while the Igorots were short, they were stocky and were well suited to the labor at hand, often hauling loads of more than 100 pounds on trails that were not fit for an ox cart. While they were often used to pack in essential supplies for the troops, their most precious cargo was often wounded U.S. soldiers who were taken from the front back to the U.S. camps for medical treatment.

It was one of these patient transfers that connected Neese back with Carson Parrish.

"We were preparing to move out on a Recon trip when I heard my name being called out from a line of stretchers being hauled into the camp by the Igorots," Neese said. "I went over and there was Carson Parrish, and it was the first time that I had seen my friend since we had shipped out."

Parrish was by far not the only U.S. soldier injured in the fight for command of the trail. The 32nd Division fought for 119 consecutive days taking control of the region on its way to the Cagayan Valley.

During the Villa Verde Trail fighting 1,985 U.S. soldiers were killed with more than 5,000 soldiers injured. Over that same period more than 28,000 Japanese casualties were recorded during horrific fighting in the Philippines.

The key to the victory on the Villa Verde Trail was when the 128th and the 32nd Recon Troop seized Imugan Village, opening the trail wide open all the way to the Cagayan Valley, basically ending the 100 plus day battle.

Just a few months later as MacArthur was accepting Japanese envoys on the Battleship U.S.S Missouri, the 128th was receiving the surrender of General Yamashita, the Japanese Philippines commander who had become known as the Tiger of Malaysia.

It was on the way to the peace talks that the 32nd Division lost commander Merle H. Howe, the second regimental commander to be killed in action.

Neese said the loss hit home for him as Howe was a well liked leader. After the war Neese corresponded with Howe's son who was seeking information about his father's service time.

He was happy to have been of service to the young man. Yet, Neese expressed gratitude that he was able to pass on his own story to his son and his grandson as well as others who were interested in reading this article.

Local Transportation, Housing, Solid Waste Management Boards to Meet January 24th

The Northeast Missouri Transportation Advisory Council (TAC) will have a Council Meeting Wednesday, January 24, 2018 at 3 p.m. in the RPC Conference Room in Memphis to discuss current TAC topics and projects.

The Northeast Missouri Regional Planning Commission and Rural Development Corporation (NEMO RPC/RDC) will have an Executive Board Meeting to discuss current topics and projects Wednesday, January 24, 2018 immediately following the TAC Meeting in the RPC Conference Room.

The Northeast Missouri “Region C” Solid Waste Management District will have an Executive Board Meeting to discuss current topics and projects Wednesday, January 24, 2018 immediately following the RPC/RDC Meeting in the RPC Conference room.

The Scotland County Public Housing Agency (PHA) will have an Executive Board Meeting to discuss current topics and projects Wednesday, January 24, 2018 immediately following the SWMD Meeting in the RPC Conference room.

Take Action to Prevent the Flu

Missouri’s flu activity for 2017-2018 is showing widespread. The season currently is very similar to what was seen during the 2014-2015 flu season, both in the timing and amount of cases reported. A season total of almost 31,000 cases were reported to the Department of Health and Senior Services through the first week of 2018 according to Scotland County Health Department Administrator Margaret Curry.

During the same time period in the 2014-2015 flu season, 32,528 flu cases were reported statewide.

According to the national Center for Disease Control (CDC), the flu virus is now nationally widespread.

“So far in Missouri, the timing of this year’s influenza season has been more typical than last year, which had a large and late peak in January into February, with significant impact into late April,” said Scotland County Hospital CEO Dr. Randy Tobler. “Both in Missouri and nationally, the trend mirrors the ’14-15 winter, with sharp increases in cases in the last 2-3 weeks, earlier than the last 2 years.”

Tobler noted that case reports started appearing sporadically around Thanksgiving, and accelerated in early December.

While the current flu season is similar to the 2014-2015 season, it’s important to remember that flu is hard to predict, but you can help prevent the spread of the flu. The best way to prevent seasonal flu is to get vaccinated every year.

“It is not too late to get a vaccine, and while effectiveness has ranged from as low as 19% to a high of 60% in the last 10 years, influenza not only feels like you’re dying, but sadly, many do,” said Tobler. “The vulnerable are the very young and those over 65, particularly with other chronic illnesses.”

Whether vaccinated or not, the Health Department reminds the public, the most important thing you can do is wash hands obsessively and always remember to wash hands or use an antiseptic gel before touching eyes, nose or mouth.

“Since influenza or influenza like illnesses kill up to 50,000 Americans a year, handwashing and everyone sneezing and coughing into their elbow instead of the shared air is critical to minimizing suffering,” said Tobler. “Of course, spread is more likely in closed environments with numbers of people in close proximity, so avoiding gatherings where people with flu-like symptoms might attend should be considered.”

The hospital advises that anti viral agents like Oseltamavir (Tamiflu) and related drugs can shorten the course of the illness but not eliminate it, and are especially important for those under 5, over 65, pregnant women, and those with certain chronic conditions like COPD, Diabetes, heart failure, and others.

The flu usually comes on suddenly. People who have the flu often feel some or all of these symptoms: Fever or feeling feverish/chills; Cough; Sore throat; Runny or stuffy nose; Muscle or body aches; Headaches; and Fatigue (tiredness). Some people may have vomiting and diarrhea, though this is more common in children than adults.

The health department noted that most people with flu have mild illness and do not need medical care or antiviral drugs.

“If you get sick with flu symptoms, drink plenty of water and other clear liquids to prevent dehydration; get plenty of rest; and treat symptoms such as fever with over-the-counter medicines,” said Curry. “In addition, you should stay home and avoid contact with other people except to get medical care. You should stay home for at least 24 hours after fever is gone without the use of a fever-reducing medicine.”

School Board Moving Forward With Lease Project for Campus Addition

Neill McKee was recently recognized by the Scotland County R-I School District for his generous contributions that allowed the district to upgrade its sound equipment in the elementary and high school gyms. He is pictured with SCR-I administrators Kirk Stott and Ryan Bergeson.

The Scotland County R-I Board of Education met in regular session on Thursday, January 11, 2018.  President, Trinity Davis, called the public hearing to order at 6:00 p.m. The regular meeting was called to order at 6:30 p.m. seven members present.

The board voted 7-0 to authorize the Series 2018 Lease Certificates of Participation Financing. In November 2017 the board approved preliminary plans for estimated $1.1 million lease/purchase agreement to help fund a roughly 5,000 square foot expansion to the SCR-I campus and fund additional renovations.

The projects that the district hopes to complete in this phase include: new elementary classroom space for early childhood and an elementary Library/media center (5,000 SQ FT), the Band Room relocated to the Vo-Tech Building (1,600 SQ FT), new metal siding, limited window and door replacement  in the Vo-Tech Building, concrete foundation and slab for Corridor Connector from High School to Vo-Tech Building (9 FT-4 wide by 30 FT length, and increased bathroom occupancy with ADA compliance in the Vo-Tech Building.

Superintendent Ryan Bergeson indicated the January board action now authorizes the district to move forward with the proposal, which will effectively roll-over the final four years of a current 15-year lease purchase agreement entered by the school in 2007 to fund $1.9 million in upgrades to the districts infrastructure.

A January 11th public hearing was hosted by the district to discuss the proposal. Bergeson indicated there were some members from the community present at the meeting and no one voiced any disapproval of the plan.

The board announced a January 29th special meeting will be held at 6 p.m. to discuss the facility projects as well as future technology upgrades.

The board is expected to review and finalize plans for the proposal, which initially was described as a roughly 5,000 square foot addition to house three early childhood development classrooms as well as office space and classroom space for the district’s speech and therapy offerings.

Part of the expansion would house a new elementary school library and adjacent computer lab.

If the plans are approved at the January 29th meeting, Bergeson stated that bids would go out in February and the district likely could award the bid at the March 8th school board meeting, allowing for a possible spring start date.

Technology upgrades will also be discussed at the January special meeting.

The board was presented an update on district technology and heard feedback from members of the technology committee, which has recommended implementing a 1:1 policy utilizing Apple iPad technology.

“Basically 1:1 means that every student has access to a device, such as an iPad,” explained Bergeson. “This technology plan is similar to those already in place in neighboring districts and the committee indicated it would like to see our district roll out such a plan that insured every kid had access to a device.”

The committee, which consisted of faculty, staff, administrators and at-large community members, reviewed several options for devices before unanimously deciding to recommend the iPad platform.

Bergeson indicated the district currently is processing quotes for moving forward with the implementation of the new technology policy.

Financial Update

The board was presented with the monthly financial update.

Halfway through the fiscal year, year-to-date revenues are $2,488,535.16 and expenditures are $2,994,015.99.  The year-to-date deficit is $505,480.83 compared to $462,634.25 at this time last year.

“The deficit will correct itself with the receipt of local taxes received in January,” Bergeson told the board.

School Board Recognition Week

 The week of January 21 – 27 is School Board Recognition Week.  Board members were presented a certificate from the Missouri School Board Association and invited to the elementary carry-in luncheon on Friday, January 19.

February Meeting

 The next regular board meeting will be Thursday, February 8th at 6:00 p.m. in the Elementary Art Room.

Executive Session

In closed session the following items were approved 7-0:

Approve December 13, 2017 closed session minutes

Declined bid for sale of real estate

Approve Superintendent Bergeson’s Evaluation

Move to extend Superintendent Bergeson’s contract through 2020-2021.

The meeting adjourned at 9:25 p.m.

Salisbury Sinks SCR-I In Conference Standings With 53-22 Defeat

Kaylyn Anders puts up the shot in the lane over the Salisbury defender during Friday night’s road game.

Despite not making a single field goal the entire first quarter on Friday night at Salisbury, Scotland County still found itself in striking distance of an upset of the Lewis & Clark Conference leaders.

But the slim hope of a 22-13 halftime deficit was quickly dashed by a 17-0 Salisbury run to start the third period that led the Panthers to a 53-22 victory.

The SCR-I shooting slump continued, as the Lady Tigers went nearly 10 minutes on Friday night before the first shot went through the nets, a fast break score by Khloe Hamlin.

Salisbury built an 11-0 lead before Kilee Bradley-Robinson sank a pair of free throws. Kaylyn Anders added two free throws to make the score 15-4 to close the first period.

Hamlin’s steal on defense and transition bucket helped spark a SCR-I run in the second quarter, but the shooting woes spread to the free throw line, where SCR-I converted just two of seven shots from the charity stripe at one point. Even with the struggles, the team’s defense kept SCR-I within striking distance. So when Ashleigh Creek connected on a three-pointer and finished off the first half with pair of free throws, Scotland County found itself heading to the locker room down just nine.

That quickly changed to start the third period. Salisbury put the game away with a 17-0 run.

The Lady Tigers finally got on the board with 1:09 left in the quarter when Anders scored in the paint. A fast break score by Katie Feeney made the score 41-18 to close the quarter.

Feeney scored on a drive to the basket with 3:32 left in the fourth quarter to end another lengthy scoring drought and Micah Cooley added a field goal as SCR-I managed just four points in the fourth period and Salisbury went on to the 53-22 win.

The Lady Tigers were led in scoring by Anders and Creek with five points apiece. SCR-I dropped to 7-7 on the year and 2-2 in conference play.

Westran Tops SCR-I 54-52 on Last-Second Shot

Stephen Terrill goes up for two points vs. Westran.

A fourth quarter rally came up just short on Tuesday night in Memphis as Westran scored with 5.6 seconds left to play to post the 54-52 Lewis & Clark Conference victory over Scotland County.

After Matthew Woods scored the first bucket of the game to give SCR-I a 2-0 lead, the Tigers offense cooled off, allowing the Hornets to build a 16-7 lead at the end of the opening quarter.

Scotland County battled back in the second period, pounding the offensive glass and aggressively taking the ball to the basket. Will Fromm opened the quarter with a pair of free throws before Lane Pence scored in the paint. Brett Monroe scored on an offensive rebound and later connected on a three-pointer, but the Tigers still trailed 26-18.

The Tigers turned to a full-court press, which forced several turnovers late in the second quarter and allowed SCR-I to trim the deficit to 28-25 at the half after buckets by Jace Morrow, Monroe and Fromm.

The rally came full circle to start the third period. After a Fromm free throw, Pence scored on the fast break to knot the score at 28-28 and force a Westran timeout with 6:23 on the clock. The two squads traded the lead back and forth much of the third period, with four separate lead changes. Fromm put SCR-I on top 32-30 with 3:38 left in the quarter before Westran answered with a 4-0 run.

Monroe scored seven straight points for the Tigers. His three-pointer gave SCR-I its biggest lead of the night at 39-34.

Westran cut the deficit to 39-37 to close the quarter and then extended its rally to an11-0 run to start the fourth quarter before Fromm scored on an inbounds play to pull the Tigers back within 45-41. The junior forward scored seven straight points for the Tigers. He completed a three-point play with 1:57 left to play to make the score 50-46.

Monroe followed with a three-pointer to pull Scotland County within a point with 90 seconds left to play and then the Tigers stole the inbounds pass and Woods converted in the paint for a 51-50 lead with 1:24 left to play.

Free throws by both teams left the score knotted at 52-52 with 38.2 ticks left on the clock before Westran was able to score the go ahead hoop with only 5.6 seconds left to play. The Tigers last -second shot fell short, sending Westran home the 54-52 victor.

Monroe led all scorers with 18 points for Scotland County, which fell to 7-5 on the season and 1-2 in the L&C. Fromm added 16 points and Woods finished with eight.

Woods Stands Tall in 49-45 Victory at Salisbury

A big fourth quarter from Matthew Woods helped SCR-I rally past Salisbury 49-45 on Friday night.

A huge fourth quarter by Matthew Woods helped fuel a Scotland County rally and help the Tigers pick up a key Lewis & Clark Conference win on the road in Salisbury on Friday night.

Woods scored eight points down the stretch to help SCR-I rally for the 49-45 victory in a contest that went back and fourth most of the night.

The contest saw four lead changes in the first period. Will Fromm put the Tigers on top with a three-pointer to open the game. A bucket by Brett Monroe helped SCR-I regain the lead before Jace Morrow sank two free throws. A basket by Lane Pence gave the Tigers’ their fourth lead of the opening frame, but Salisbury pulled ahead 12-11 to close the quarter.

It was much of the same in the second period as the two teams traded scores. Stephen Terrill put the Tigers back on top with a basket in the paint. Fromm connected from behind the arc again for another lead change before SCR-I pulled back on top heading into the locker room with a 23-20 lead courtesy of free throws by Monroe and Lane Pence.

Fromm kept SCR-I afloat in the third period, scoring eight of the team’s 10 points, including his third three-pointer of the night, but Salisbury pulled ahead 34-33 with eight minutes left to play.

Woods came up big down the stretch and helped SCR-I overcome a bad stretch at the free throw line. The Tigers made just four of 11 free throws in the fourth quarter, but two free throws by Woods helped seal the 49-45 win.

Fromm and Woods both finished with 14 points to lead Scotland County to the win. The Tigers improved to 8-6 on the year and 2-2 in conference play.

SCR-I Rolls in Opener at North Shelby Tourney

All nine Tigers got into the scorebook Monday night in Shelbyville as Scotland County opened play at the North Shelby Tourney with a 69-22 victory over the Highland junior varsity.

SCR-I, the #1 seed in the tourney, put the contest away with a 22-2 run in the second period.

Lane Pence scored eight points in the first period as SCR-I built a 19-9 advantage.

Matthew Woods fueled the big second quarter, pouring in 10 points, as the Tigers went ahead 41-11 at the intermission.

Will Fromm scored 10 points in the third period and the Tigers outscored Highland 21-7 to extend the lead to 62-18.

Woods led all scorers with 21 points as Scotland County improved to 9-6 and advanced to the tourney semifinals on Wednesday. Fromm finished with 14 and Pence had 12.

Tigers Fall to Clark County 64-44

Jace Morrow dives for the loose ball during the game at Kahoka.

A rescheduled trip to Kahoka proved unfruitful for the Scotland County basketball team as the Tigers fell to Clark County 64-44 on Wednesday night in a game originally scheduled for the two-team’s season opener back in November.

The game was postponed because Clark County was still alive in the state football playoffs, leaving the team without several of its players.

The Indians were at full strength Wednesday night, allowing Clark County to pull away from SCR-I down  the stretch.

A three-pointer by Brett Monroe and a pair of field goals by Lane Pence helped the Tigers keep things close in the first quarter, trailing just 16-13.

The Indians created some separation with an 18-10 scoring advantage in the second period. Chandler Bevans capped off a big first half with a three-pointer to put Clark County ahead 34-23.

SCR-I couldn’t find any traction in the third period, managing just four field goals, as Clark County added to its lead at 49-31.

Lane Pence got things rolling in the fourth period, pouring in nine points but it wasn’t enough as the Indians rolled on to the 64-44 victory.

Pence led Scotland County in scoring with 15 points and Brett Monroe finished with eight. Scotland County dropped to 7-6 on the year with the loss.

Lady Tigers Hammer Hornets 55-25 for Conference Win

Ashleigh Creek goes around two Westran defenders for two points in Tuesday night’s win over the Hornets.

Scotland County got off to a slow start Tuesday night in a Lewis & Clark Conference matchup versus Westran but the Lady Tigers were able to put things together in the second half and pull away from the Hornets for a 55-25 victory.

Early on the contest looked like anything but a game that would end with a turbo clock, as Scotland County went the first seven minutes of the contest without a field goal. The lone points of the game’s opening seven minutes for Scotland County came on free throws by Ashleigh Creek and Kylee Stott, which were enough to give the Lady Tigers a 4-2 lead.

Katie Feeney extended the margin when she sank a three-pointer. The sophomore guard then closed out the quarter with a steal and a fast break score to put SCR-I on top 9-5.

The Lady Tigers were saddled with foul trouble most of the night as starters Kaylyn Anders and Madie Bondurant each were forced to the bench less than a minute into the second quarter with their third fouls.

Khloe Hamlin sank a jumper and Stott hit two more free throws before Creek drilled a three-pointer to push the lead to 16-8.

Feeney scored in the paint and then sank another three-pointer to help give Scotland County a 24-14 lead at the half.

SCR-I pushed the margin to 15 early in the third quarter with a three-pointer by Bondurant and a field goal by Feeney.

The Lady Tigers continued to do damage from the free throw line. Anders sank a pair from the charity stripe and Feeney added three free throws as Scotland County built a 38-21 lead to finish the third quarter.

Feeney finished off a career night with  a flourish to start the fourth quarter. She connected on a jumper and added a free throw before sinking her third three-pointer of the night to push the lead to 44-24.

Julie Long hit at three-pointer and Micah Cooley  went three of four at the free throw line down the stretch as SCR-I saw the lead grow to 30 points and force a running clock in the final minutes of the 54-24 victory.

Feeney led all scorers with 21 points, connecting on 50% of her shots on a night SCR-I shot just 25% from the field as a team. Creek finished with 11 points. SCR-I was able to sink 19 of 27 free throws to help make up for the cold shooting night. The Lady Tigers also benefit from a huge advantage on the glass, where SCR-I outrebounded Westran 37-20, led by Cooley and Creek who each had seven boards, and Stott who finished with six rebounds.

Scotland County improved to 7-6 on the season and 2-1 in conference play.

Nominees Selected for University of Missouri Extension Council Members Scotland County

Citizens of voting age in Scotland County. pursuant to the provisions of Section 262-577, RSMo., 1969, will have an opportunity to vote and elect members to the University of Missouri Extension Council of Scotland County in February.

The Extension council, consisting of elected and appointed members, is the official body within the county to cooperate with the University in carrying out the provisions of the Smith -Lever Act of Congress and amendments and acts supplementary thereto and any other acts effecting extension programs. Three people have been nominated for Combined District elective position and Two for Jefferson Districts elective position. The nominees and their districts are as follows:

Heliene Tobler, Combined

Tasha Eggleston-Wood, Combined

Dawn Triplett, Combined

Kim Smith, Jefferson

Laurie Jack, Jefferson

Additional nominations may be made by petition of 25 or more qualified voters residing within the district, filed with the council within 20 days after the publication of this notice of election.

Forms for nominations are available in your county Extension office located at: Scotland County Extension, 117 S. Market St. Suite 105, Memphis, MO 63555. 660-465-7255

Paul Campbell, Chair, University of Missouri Extension Council of Scotland County

University of/ Missouri Extension does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, religion, age, disability or status as a Vietnam-era veteran in employment or programs.

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