May 23, 2002

Athletic Banquet Honors Participants In Winter, Spring Sporting Activities

Meagan Fromm and Aarron Holt were presented the National Federation of High School Associations citizenship awards by principal Connie Courtney at the May 15 Sports Awards banquet held at Scotland County R-I High School.

The Scotland County R-I High School and Junior High Sports Award Banquet was held May 15 in the SCR-I high school gymnasium.

Terri Bulen introduced the junior high cheerleaders. The team was made up by Julie Eggleston, Monica Schmitz, Michelle Lodewegen, Lynette Green, Kelly Cochenour, Hannah Kiddoo, Brittany Newcomer, Ausha Crow and Jennifer Briggs.

Gary Hunziker presented his seventh and eighth grade girls basketball teams with t-shirts following their successful seasons.

Seventh grade players were Sharail Barton, Laura Duley, Lauren Grogan, PJ Brown, Julie Triplett, Angela Graham, Lora Elder, Jessica Hayes, Trisha Harvey and Kelsey Caldwell.

The eighth grade players were Ali Fromm, Brittney Courtright, Anna Johnson, Delayna Bondurant, Crystal Cotton, Jamie Fuller, Angie Bulen and Ashley Frederick. Nicole Kerkmann was the team's manager.

Jaryt Hunziker was next on the list with his seventh grade boys basketball team. He announced the following players: Bryce Blomme, Grant Blomme, Colby Brown, Chris Chabert, Andy Cowell, Chris Holt, Zach McBee, Gary Perrilles, Mikel Shaffer, Marcus Shalley, Matt Wickert and managers Lance Smith and Kolby Peterson.

The eighth grade boys team was announced by coach Nathan Pippert. Players on the team were Brandon Alexander, Jessie Mattingly, Kyle Lister, Chad Trueblood, Logan Buckallew, Kaleb Reese, Kyle Hoskinson, Josh Blake, Casey Parrish, Cody Ward and managers Jeff Long and Jeremy Hinds.

Josh Smith presented the freshman girls basketball team. He announced the following players: Katie Schneider, Becky Miller, Valerie Crawford, Kayla Ebeling, Ashley Ellison, Leslie Duley, Jacqui Drummond, Megan Walker and Rebecca Consbrock.

The freshman boys basketball list was a little shorter, as coach Jason Jones listed his roster. Players included Andy Graham, Greg Neagle, Sean Woods, Lance Norton, Jared Shelley, Toren Skinner, Carl Wittstock, Drew Holt and manager Brittney Courtright.

Smith returned to the podium to recognize the girls junior varsity basketball team which consisted of Consbrock, Walker, Schneider, Drummond, Kim Bair, Duley, Ellison, Ebeling, Brandi Mallett, Jennifer Crawford, V. Crawford, Katie Kittle, Jenna Shalley, Elizabeth Monroe, Becky Miller and manager Latitia Sherman.

Coach Jaryt Hunziker made his second appearance of the night to honor the junior varsity boys basketball team. He called the following players forward to be recognized: Andrew Bulen, Clint Cottrell, Jason Findling, Graham, Cody Holt, Neagle, Nick Oldham, Danny Roach, Shelley, Skinner, Wittstock, Woods and manager Sara Eggleston.

The three varsity winter sports teams were next on the agenda. Sponsor Andrea Brassfield started the presentation announcing the varsity cheerleaders. The team consisted of Andrea Shaffer - captain, Danielle Shelley, Margaret Drummond, Ladica Wittstock, Anna Dochterman, Erin Morgan and Amy Morgan as Spike, Brandi Blakeburn, Laura Raymond, Lacey Williams, Shana Reese and Corolla Voss.

Andrea Dabney was next with the varsity girls basketball team. Team members were Meagan Fromm and Brenna Cook, co-captains, Consbrock, Jessie Cotton, Sara Norton, Amy Blomme, Kittle, J. Crawford, V. Crawford, and manager Jenna Dial.

Norton was honored as Miss Tiger Basketball. Fromm was recognized as the team's scoring, rebounds and assists leader for the season while Cotton took top honors as the team's steals leader. Cotton and Norton received honorable mention all-conference. Fromm was the conference MVP, first team all-district and second team all-state. Fromm and V. Crawford were named the team's academic all-stars with 11.0 grade points.

Marc Colvin presented the boys varisty hoops squad. Team members were Aaron Dale, Aarron Holt, Kirk Stott, Jake Fogle, Robbie Miller, Michael Lodewegen, Chase Moore, Brad Holt, Tim Buford, Cottrell and Jason Glass. Managers were Andrea Kirkpatrick and Amy Duley and Brian Harvey was the audio-visual technician.

Dale was recognized as the team's rebounding leader while Moore won the scoring title.

Spring sports were next on the agenda for the night starting with junior high track.

Chris Dunham recognized the girls team which consisted of Ali Fromm, Ashley Frederick, Jamie Fuller, Kelly Cochenour, Trisha Harvey, Laura Duley, Nicole Kerkmann, Brittney Courtright, Anna Johnson - manager, Crystal Cotton, Monica Schmitz, Brittany Newcomer - manager, Ausha Crow, Kelsey Caldwell, Hannah Kiddoo, Jacqui Brush, Angela Graham, Jessica Hayes, Esther Nichols, Brandi Kapfer, Lauren Grogan and Delayna Bondurant.

Fromm was recognized for breaking the school record in the 400-meter dash. She also holds the record for the event at the Putnam County Relays.

The junior high boys also had a record breaking performance as Jeremy Hinds set the SCR-I record in the 100-meter dash at 11.9 seconds. He was announced by coach Jaryt Hunziker along with teammates Bryce Blomme, Grant Blomme, Colby Brown, Chris Chabert, Chris Holt, Jason Ketchum, Jeff Long, Jesse Mattingly, Zach McBee, Casey Parrish, Gary Perrilles, Kolby Peterson, Kaleb Reese, Mikel Shaffer, Brett Sagerty, Marcus Shalley, Matt Wickert, Justin Williams and managers Aaron Eldridge and Lathan Watson.

Josh Smith presented the varsity girls track team. Amy Morgan was recognized as the top points earner for the squad. Other team members were Sara Norton, Amy Blomme, Mandi Bulen, Rebecca Consbrock, Jessie Cotton, Sara Eggleston, Christine Kirchner, Erin Morgan, Valerie Crawford Megan Walker, and managers Ladica Wittstock and Sara Melton.

Marc Colvin presented the varsity boys track team. The team consisted of Carl Wittstock, Travis Onken, Aaron Cline, Jason Findling, Aarron Holt, Tim Buford, Kiel Fogle, Tim Robinson, Danny Roach, Jason Glass, Clint Cottrell, Cody Holt, Don Hurley, Brett Masden, Brian Harvey, Brad Wood, David Hillyer, Jon Keller, Joel Myers, Greg Neagle, Lance Norton, and managers Ladica Wittstock and Anthony Miller.

Glass, Cody Holt and Masden earned all-conference honors. Masden qualified for state in the shot put. Glass went to state in the discus and the SCR-I 4x800 relay team of Cottrell, C. Holt, Roach and Fogle went to Jefferson City as well.

The varsity and junior varsity golf teams were announced by coach Dave Shalley. Varsity team members were Andy Boyer, Chase Moore, Brian Dial, Josh McBee, Corvin Drummond, Vince Rockhold, Josh Marlowe and Brock Meeks. Moore was named first team all-conference after finishing with the team's best scoring average. Boyer earned second team all-conference honors.

Junior varsity letter winners were Ryan Hinds, Nick Oldham and Micheal Monroe.

Coach Shalley also awarded the three sports awards for the high school and junior high.

Junior high award winners were Grant Blomme, Colby Brown, Chris Chabert, Chris Holt, Zach McBee, Casey Parrish, Gary Perrilles, Kaleb Reese, Brett Sagerty, Marcus Shalley, Matt Wickert, Delayna Bondurant, Angie Bulen, Crystal Cotton, Brittney Courtright, Ali Fromm, Jamie Fuller, Lauren Grogan and Hannah Kiddoo.

High school three sports award winners were Tim Buford, Clint Cottrell, Jason Glass, Aarron Holt, Greg Neagle, Danny Roach, Carl Wittstock, Chase Moore, Andrew Bulen, Amy Blomme, Rebecca Consbrock, Jessie Cotton, Valerie Crawford and Sara Norton.

Special weight lifting awards were given to students with high attendance records in the weight room during the off season. Award winners were Loren Billington, Bryce Blomme, Grant Blomme, Colby Brown, Chris Chabert, Andy Cowell, Zack Dale, Casey Parrish, Gary Perrilles, Kolby Peterson, Marcus Shalley, Matt Wickert, Jeremy Hinds, Jeff Long, Joe Talbert, Tim Robinson, Andrew Bulen, Aaron Cline, Brenna Cook, Eric Long and Vince Rockhold.

Scotland County Farm Bureau Leaders Attend MFB Annual Meeting

Greg and Kat Probst and David and Raella Wiggins represented Scotland County at the 103rd annual meeting of the Missouri Farm Bureau.

Farm Bureau members were challenged to tell their stories of family farming during the 103rd annual meeting of the Missouri Farm Bureau (MFB). The meeting theme “Agvocate,” stressed the importance of farmers and ranchers talking about production agriculture and farm life.

During the meeting, members heard from several Missouri Congressmen, a whole slate of statewide elected officials, including Governor Eric Greitens, and communications experts. The meeting took place December 3-5 at Tan-Tar-A Resort at the Lake of the Ozarks and wrapped up with voting delegates passing legislative priorities for 2018.

In his annual address to the group, MFB President Blake Hurst said “Our voice matters when we weigh in on public policies that impact farmers, rural Missourians and the hundreds of thousands of citizens in small towns and wide places in the road who need and deserve a voice in 114 county seats, in Jefferson City and in Washington, D.C.”

The Scotland County Farm Bureau joined more than 1,200 other members from throughout the state to formulate those policies on issues that affect their livelihood and the economy. Those attending from Scotland County were Greg and Kat Probst and David and Raella Wiggins.


Philip and Karen Brubaker of Memphis are the parents of a daughter, Jessica Patience Brubaker, born December 8, 2017 at 7:21 p.m. at Scotland County Hospital in Memphis. Jessica weighed 6 lbs 8.6 oz and was 20 inches long. Grandparents are Edwin and Esther Brubaker of Memphis and Roland and Mary Weiler of Rutledge.

Pruetts to Celebrate 60th Anniversary

Dick and Faye Ann Pruett of Wyaconda will celebrate their 60th wedding anniversary. On December 15, 1957, Dick Pruett married Faye Ann Waterman in Wyaconda, MO. The children of the couple will be having an anniversary party for them on December 17, 2017, at the Wyaconda Fire Station in Wyaconda, MO from 11am to 4pm. Food and drinks will be served.

Rutledge Renegades

Luke and Lena Mae Horning went to PA to a wedding.

Janet Lee (Ewing) and husband Don Deaton of Huntsville, AL are here for a few weeks visiting with family and friends.

Martin Guinn and Reva Hustead went to Cantril, IA and Kirksville.

Charlene Montgomery and Naomi Kidd-Schwandt went to Kirksville.

Madison Mallett, Katrina and Neta went to Kirksville.

Missy Hyant, Kevin and Kathy Hyant and daughter, Aspen Sloan from Macon came and visited with Tamara Tague.  They came in Zimmerman’s café for breakfast and Lena Mae’s donuts.

Some of those in this week were:  Tim Morris, Dale Tague, Neta Phillips, Charlene Montgomery, Mark Mazziotti and Cole, Bob and Dorothy Hunolt, Don Tague, John Riddle, Ruth Ludwick, Darrell Shultz, Ronnie and Bonnie Young.

Living Life Over


A cooperative effort between the Scotland County Road and Bridge Department and the City of Memphis recently helped grant funding for a trails project at Lake Show-Me.

Last week, crews from both entities put the plans to work, transferring an abandoned county bridge to the lake to be refurbished and installed as part of the recreational trail for pedestrian traffic.

The bridge, a 72-foot span across a creek bed on an unnamed county road in southern Scotland County off Route W, has been closed since 2005.  The bridge was originally constructed in 1910.

A new wooden floor will be installed on the bridge in the weeks to come and finish work will be completed on the piers.

The bridge can be accessed from the campground at the south end of the dam.  The pedestrian trail runs from the primitive camping area.  The bridge spans the main lake drainage channel between Lake Show-Me and the old city lake.


With a significant upgrade project winding down at Briggs-Smith Memorial Airport this year the Memphis City Council is already preparing for future projects to continue to improve the Scotland County facility.

Engineer Brian Garkie of Crawford, Murphy & Tilly, Inc., is working with the city to continue the successful capital improvement program that has been made possible in large part by federal grant funding.

Airport committee members have been reviewing the existing long-range planning goals that were used to determine the need for the current project.

The list includes expanding the apron and construction of new hangar taxiways, construction of a parallel taxiway, construction of a terminal building, installation of a new Avgas fuel facility, installing new medium intensity runway lights, plus numerous other electrical upgrades.


The Timber Ridge Golf Course was the third site in a string of burglaries that has hit the Scotland County area in December.

According to the Scotland County Sheriff’s Department, the clubhouse at the golf course was broken into sometime after 10:30 p.m. on the evening of December 12th.  The burglar(s) made off with a 19-inch Magnavox television set as well as some golf balls, golf gloves, and some beer.

The theft was discovered at approximately 8:00 a.m. the following morning.  According to the report there was no sign of forced entry.  The burglar(s) did break a window between the main room and the pro-shop.


The Scotland County Rotary Club will be sponsoring a soup luncheon on December 19th at the old Place’s building, located on the south side of the Memphis square.  Serving will begin at 11:00 a.m.

According to Chairman Harold Davis, Jr., bean soup and “Gary’s Special Vegetable Soup” (with 44 herbs and spices, but not the kitchen sink) will be served.  Cornbread will be served with the soups.  The cornbread will be baked by the “Rotary-Anna” who, according to Chairman Davis are “the best cooks in Memphis”.  Drinks will be available.

Cost of the luncheon will be $1.50 per person.


The local Scotland County R-1 High School was recently honored when two of its students were named to “All American” honors according to information received from Dan O’Donnell, Director of the Scotland County R-1 High School Band.

The “All-American” Hall of Fame Band award is made annually by Purdue University (Lafayette, Indiana) in order to recognize superior and outstanding musicianship and service by student musicians in high school bands throughout the United States.

Those receiving the honors are Jan Hinds who plays a clarinet and Carolyn Bullock who plays a trumpet.


State Rep. Richard DeCoster of Canton, MO, representing the 9th Missouri district, has notified the Gate City that he had received a copy of an Interstate Commerce Commission order directing the Santa Fe railroad to continue three trains for at least four months.

The commission has ordered the Santa Fe to continue trains Nos. 9, 11, and 12 between Chicago and Kansas City and Fort Worth – Dallas pending a hearing and decision by the commission.

The decision must be made within four months from December 18, the date set by the railroad for terminating service on these three trains.

The trains operate through Representative DeCoster’s district and he, along with others, has protested removal.


Santa Claus Day will be observed in Rutledge Saturday p.m., Dec. 21.  There will be a program and treats for the children.

All persons present will be eligible to register for prizes consisting of turkeys, hens, and articles donated by merchants.  Also, prizes will be given to the oldest and youngest present.

Santa Claus will be present to deliver the treats.

Must say, Santa is surely getting around this year!  Just learned he’s going to make his last stop in Wyaconda Monday, Dec. 23, before heading back to the North Pole.  Of course, you know he’s coming to Gorin Friday, before heading over to Rutledge.  Many of you saw him on his visit to Memphis last Saturday.


A Lions Club was organized at Gorin Friday night at the Civic Club rooms with a membership of 21 prominent businesses and farmers. Carl Hickey of Jefferson City represented the International Lions Club.  Al Peterson was elected president and Porter Heckethorn, secretary; W. E. Shannon, treasurer, and C. M. Boyer, Russel Nickels, and L. M. Shanes, vice-presidents.  Joseph Buford was elected Tail Twister.  The other officers will be elected at the next meeting.  Memphis Lions Club is sponsoring the new club in Gorin.

Tea Time

The American colonists in the late 1700s certainly loved their cup of tea. Estimates indicate that colonial tea-drinkers consumed more than a million pounds of tea each year. The tax on tea imported from England was continued after other taxes levied by the Townshend Act were repealed in 1770. The colonists believed Britain was unfairly taxing them to pay for expenses incurred during the French and Indian War, and they objected to being taxed without representation in the British Parliament. The merchants of Boston turned to the smuggling of tea from Dutch traders. In the spring of 1773, Parliament authorized the Tea Act, which gave the British East India Company exclusive rights to tea sales in America and imposed a duty tax on the colonies. Protests began as colonists learned of the Tea Act. In Boston, when three British ships arrived in port in December carrying tea, the protesters reacted. On December 16, 1773, a midnight raid on the ships by about sixty Massachusetts men disguised as Mohawk Indians became known as the “Boston Tea Party”. The men boarded the ships and tossed 342 chests of valuable tea overboard. The raid was the first organized rebellion against British rule. The raiders, organized by Patriot leader Samuel Adams, were members of the Sons of Liberty, a resistance group formed to protest harsh restrictions placed on the colonies by England. In retaliation, Britain passed the Intolerable Acts, which included closing the port of Boston, an action that further outraged and unified the colonists.

From Jauflione Chapter, National Society Daughters of the American Revolution

Scotland County Commission Meeting Minutes

Thursday, November 30, 2017

PLACE OF MEETING: Scotland County Courthouse Commission Chambers

The meeting was called to order at 8:30 a.m.

PRESENT WERE:  Presiding Commissioner: Duane Ebeling; Eastern District Commissioner, Danette Clatt was absent; Western District Commissioner, David Wiggins; and County Clerk, Batina Dodge.

Commissioner Wiggins moved to approve the consent agenda; seconded by Presiding Commissioner Ebeling. Motion carried 2-0.

The minutes from November 29, 2017 were presented. Commissioner Wiggins moved to approve the regular session minutes; seconded by Presiding Commissioner Ebeling. Motion carried 2-0.

The Commission audited and signed checks.

Adam Slayton requested permission to refurbish five to ten of the benches that sit in the courthouse lawn as part of an Eagle Scout project.  The Commission approved the request.

Seeing no further business, Presiding Commissioner Ebeling adjourned the meeting at 12:00 p.m.

The Scotland County Commission adjourned to meet in regular session on Wednesday, December 6, 2017.


Wednesday, December 6, 2017

PLACE OF MEETING: Scotland County Courthouse Commission Chambers

The meeting was called to order at 8:30 a.m.

PRESENT WERE:  Presiding Commissioner: Duane Ebeling; Eastern District Commissioner, Danette Clatt was absent; Western District Commissioner, David Wiggins; and County Clerk, Batina Dodge.

Commissioner Wiggins moved to approve the consent agenda; seconded by Presiding Commissioner Ebeling. Motion carried 2-0.

The minutes from November 30, 2017 were presented. Commissioner Wiggins moved to approve the regular session minutes; seconded by Presiding Commissioner Ebeling. Motion carried 2-0.

The Commission signed court orders 87-2017 and 88-2017.

Kathy Kiddoo, Treasurer, presented a monthly settlement of funds.

The Commission approved a purchase order for Kimberly Nicoli, Prosecuting Attorney, to purchase office supplies.

Ryan Clark, Road and Bridge Supervisor, discussed current projects with the Commission.

The Commission reviewed the property and liability insurance renewal from MOPERM.

The Commission approved invoice #117868 from PSBA for engineering services on rehabilitation of the road and bridge facility.

The Commission approved a trade of soft-match credit funds for BRO funds with St. Louis County.

In a letter to Robert Maznke, district design liaison for the Missouri Department of Transportation, Scotland County agreed to transfer $150,000 of its soft-match credits, earned for replacing eligible bridges not on the federal-aid system solely with county funding, to St. Louis County. The soft-match funds can be used as a county’s 20% match on BRO funded projects. In exchange St. Louis County will transfer $150,000 of its Off-System Bridge Replacement or Rehabilitation (BRO) funds to Scotland County, which can be used with remaining soft match funds to fully fund a state-approved bridge replacement.

Seeing no further business, Presiding Commissioner Ebeling adjourned the meeting at 12:00 p.m.

The Scotland County Commission adjourned to meet in regular session on Thursday, December 7, 2017.

Living in a Seatbelt Society 

We have designed within our minds an ideal church that is two things; happy and safe.  However, this isn’t reality.  This isn’t the church that Jesus built.  Yet, it is the very weave we choose to form organizational tactics.

The Jesus-Life continues to be the ultimate call for every heart.  Its powerful impact remains available for today’s world; yet, its designed strength has been sabotaged and weakened.  And, what would I know about it as I am among the weakest?  Therefore, my judgment is based upon looking at our world and looking at His Word.

I see a calling for drastic adjustment.

The Jesus-Life is often the opposite of our tendencies.  We seem to believe we can/should choose where to serve; find a place that makes us feel needed and useful.  The underlying criteria is that it shall not make us uncomfortable.  However, this is not necessarily losing our life due to our crosses strapped to our backs.  No, we are driven by a state of religious convenience which permits individuals to hide from reaching the world while carrying out various church works…. in quite demanding safety.

Edwin H. Friedman spells out a concept in his book, A Failure of Nerve that we have become a “seatbelt society”.  He expresses this term to point out that we are creatures of safety over adventure.  A thirst for safety directly impacts our talk, our doctrine, our walk, our entire mission. Fundamentally, far too many of us are afraid to venture even into additional truths of the Bible because we operate from safety of not being challenged by nor in trouble with co-believers.

Churches are clearly buckled up with seatbelts of safety and, thus, stymied from opportunity.  As long as one perpetually looks over his/her shoulder to see if what one is discovering from God is going to be accepted, we are basically shut down; focused toward where we have been with no vision for where we are going.

We are left with the repeated motions of what we have always believed.  To buckle up with our religious seatbelts of safety is a drastically costly move.  It is costing us friends, relatives, and neighbors as they don’t find life among us….just more church habit.  The demand for religious habit was what called for the killing of Jesus.  He was living without a seatbelt.

I would encourage us to unbuckle.  Drive the lanes of faith without seatbelts.  Yes, some of us might die to our biases, preferences, and whims…. but hasn’t this been the call for every believer all along?


Return of the Cold

Karina and Christina brave the cold to prep garden beds for next year by mulching them with newspaper. Photo by Javi.

Greetings from a much chillier Dancing Rabbit! If you’ve been reading the last few weeks you’ve likely noticed regular mentions of continuing unseasonable warmth. Yeah, not this week. Tereza here, with a cold-impacted take on happenings in the village.

Note that there’s a double meaning in that last sentence: I’ve been down with a nasty cold most of the week. So as sometimes happens, most of my reporting will be word-of-mouth, as I wasn’t around and about to find out what’s up, and certainly didn’t go to much myself.

Even if I wasn’t able to participate this week, I’m really enjoying all the energy for events as we head into winter. I’m sure that having five rhythms dance regularly will be really great for me. This week as I lay in bed in Nathan‘s house (where I stay when I’m ill so he can more easily take care of me) I could hear the music ever so faintly coming from Casa next door, and every so often I could hear (and feel!) pounding on the dance floor, perhaps from feet hitting the ground or people jumping up and down as they dance, each in their own way, to the music. It was fun to imagine who might be there and what they might be doing, although of course I would much rather be there in person. Maybe next time!

I’m also excited about the qigong classes Liz is offering in Casa twice a week. It sounds like a number of new folks attended this week, and I hope they keep going– I’m really enjoying it and want other people to come enjoy with me.

One interesting report is the construction of a big hoophouse out in Critterville. Javi told me he, Cameron, and Ryan have been working on it, and now I’m looking forward to my next walk out that direction so I can check it out. Or maybe I’ll see it when I drop by the Open Barn (‘cause it’s not really an open house) that’s happening out thataways this week. (Humorous aside: at our weekly planning meeting I’m not the only person who heard Ben say “open bar” and got maybe a little too excited. Tho’ I’m sure I’ll like the barn a lot too.)

Also reported to me was a rash of sleepovers happening among various kid groupings in the communities. Apparently (and this will be shocking, simply shocking to most of you) very little sleep happens at most of these sleepovers. Perhaps it’s time for a new name? I’m thinking  “chatterover” or “giggleover” might be more apt, not to mention way more fun to say.

Quite a few folks will be traveling for the winter holidays, visiting family and such. Ted, Sara and Aurelia of Ironweed kitchen co-op will be gone for a few weeks, so Danielle and I need to decide whether to hold down the fort on our own or close the place up and seek kitchens elsewhere. She’ll be heading out just before the New Year, so if we do stay in Ironweed I’ll be on my own for a stretch too. Other folks have stepped up for Ironweed chicken care, so I might only need to tend the kitchen and the kitten. (I know, I know, Gromit isn’t a kitten anymore, but it sounded cuter that way, didn’t it?)

I know we try to keep these updates fairly positive, but that proved fairly hard for me as I was writing. During this bout of illness it has felt difficult to keep myself from falling into despair and depression. Is it just the lack of sun? (But I have my happy light, I tell myself.) The state of the world? (Well, yeah, but it’s not like that’s new.) That we’re heading into the holidays? (Bingo.) I know it’s meant to be a time of joy and all that, but I often struggle with this time of year in general, and being in bed for days, hurting and uncomfortable, and just feeling too lousy to do much of anything, as others are heading for family and friends elsewhere, really threatened to take me down the rabbit hole this time. On a positive note, I was able to notice it happening, and was able to (intellectually, at least) know that as soon as I felt physically better, I would feel emotionally better as well. Often just knowing what’s going on for me can ease the challenge a lot. So I’m choosing to see that as progress.

And I know I always feel better when I remember to invoke gratitude. So: I am very grateful to have shelter and clothing and food and clean water. And I am grateful to live in community, and for the sheer number of people who are willing to help out when I’m not well. Ted, Sara, and Aurelia all brought me Ironweed meals, made me breakfast, and (along with Dee before she left for a long weekend away) cooked a lot of tasty food this week. (And here I just have to mention that Aurelia made the most amazing sweet potato fries I think I’ve ever had in my entire life. Nom nom nom. Dang, they were good!) Nathan brought me food from Thistledown, and water, and helped take care of my house and bring me what I needed from there, and was a great general support co. Liz made a special dessert delivery of cookies and tasty tiny pecan tart that was much appreciated. Ted and Ezra both volunteered to come hang out and eat with me during community dinner, when I wasn’t up for going but wanted company. And new resident Cameron did setup for that same dinner, which I’d volunteered for the Sunday before but was not able to do. I could keep going with gratitude, but I think I’m out of my little self-made pit-o-despair enough to finish the rest of the update now…

It takes a village to do lots of things: not just raising kids, but caring for the sick, and helping people be born and die, and helping each other learn how to be better humans. Today that’s what I think community is really all about: all of us together, helping each other be the best we can. And in our particular case that includes trying to be way less bad to the planet that our species seems bent on destroying.

And on that cheery note, I’ll say farewell. May you all be well and happy, and for those of you who celebrate any of the upcoming holidays, I wish you light, warmth, and joy. Be good to each other out there!

Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage is an intentional community and educational nonprofit outside Rutledge, focused on demonstrating sustainable living possibilities. Public tours are offered April – October on the 2nd and 4th Saturdays of the month. In the meantime you can find out more about us by checking out our website,, calling the office at (660) 883-5511, or emailing us at

Public Service Commission Sets Hearing Schedule for Liberty Utilities Proposed Rate Increase

Seeking to increase revenues by $7 million while also consolidating its three delivery districts into one, Liberty Utilities will be appearing before the Missouri Public Service Commission in a series of hearings beginning in May.

Formal evidentiary hearings are scheduled for May 21-25, 2018 and May 30-June 1, 2018 in the natural gas rate case filed by Liberty Utilities (Midstates Natural Gas) Corp. d/b/a Liberty Utilities.

The Commission will hold local public hearings in this case. Those hearings will be announced when dates, times and locations have been finalized.

On September 29, 2017, Liberty Utilities filed a natural gas rate case with the Missouri Public Service Commission seeking to increase annual natural gas revenues by approximately $7.5 million, of which approximately $500,000 is already being recovered from customers through the Infrastructure System Replacement Surcharge (ISRS). This results in a net increase of approximately $7 million. The ISRS appears as a separate item on the monthly bills of Liberty Utilities customers.

According to the Liberty Utilities filing, the proposed rate increase for a residential customer with average usage would be approximately $2.06 a month in the Northeast District (NEMO); approximately $14.09 a month in the Southeast District (SEMO); and approximately $7.62 a month in the Western District (WEMO). In this case, Liberty Utilities also seeks to consolidate its three rate districts, NEMO, SEMO and WEMO, into a single district with a uniform delivery charge.

Liberty Utilities provides natural gas service to approximately 53,400 customers in 25 Missouri counties (Adair, Bates, Butler, Cape Girardeau, Cass, Dunklin, Henry, Iron, Knox, Lewis, Macon, Marion, Mississippi, New Madrid, Pemiscot, Pike, Ralls, Ripley, Schuyler, Scotland, Scott, St. Clair, Stoddard, Wayne and Worth).

The initial public hearings will be held in Room 310 of the Governor Office Building, 200 Madison Street, Jefferson City. The Governor Office Building meets accessibility standards required by the Americans with Disabilities Act. Any person who needs additional accommodations to participate in these hearings should call the Public Service Commission’s hotline at 1-800-392-4211 (voice) or Relay Missouri at 711 prior to the hearings.

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