March 13, 2003

City Considering Raising Utility Deposits For Renters

The City of Memphis could have a new utilities deposit rate if the city attorney approves the proposal made at the March 6 meeting of the City Council.

The council voted 4-0 to increase the deposit required for water and electrical services for renters to $140 for electricity and $60 for water and sewer for a combined deposit of $200.

The legal question arose because the city voted to maintain the utility deposit for property owners at the existing rate of $70 for electricity and $30 for water and sewer. The city attorney will review the issue to make sure the split rate is legal. Other surrounding towns such as Kahoka, Edina and Palmyra all have split policies for renters as opposed to owners.

The move came after the city reviewed its delinquent utility payments. The city was stuck with more than $3,800 in unpaid utility bills from renters as compared to just $412 in delinquent payments from property owners.

"In most of those cases of delinquent bills from renters, the new deposit would have covered the unpaid balance meaning the city would have been paid for all the services provided," stated city clerk Angela Newman.

The council reviewed a comparative report from surrounding towns and learned the existing deposit schedule was fairly low compared to these towns. The $70/$30 deposit required by Memphis is much lower than the $125 utilities deposit required of renters in Kahoka ($50 for owners). Edina required a $100 deposit from renters for water alone while charging property owners just $10. Palmyra does not require an electric deposit from property owners but mandates a $150 deposit from renters.

Even with an anticipated 50 percent return rate after the delinquent bills are turned over to a collection agency, the city still stands to lose roughly $2,000 in unpaid utility bills.

Trash Collection

Bill Kiddoo of Waste Corporation of America was present at the meeting in regard to the city's solicitation for bids for trash service. He discussed rising costs of providing the service and noted the closing of a local landfill.

Mayor Alexander indicated the service bids would be opened at the April 10 council meeting at which time the council will act on contract.

Department Reports

Police - City Marshal Steve Snodgrass presented February statistics for the P.D. Officers investigated one vandalism, two peace disturbances and two cases of stealing. The department made 53 traffic stops and two DWI arrests. Officers performed 23 community security checks and responded to 13 animal calls and five ambulance runs.

Water - Superintendent Dennis Howard reported the city's new turbidity meters have been installed and are working perfectly.

Howard asked the council for permission to order water line pipe due to an impending price increase. Howard noted his supplier had informed him the price per foot would rise from $2.21 to $2.33 in April. The superintendent stated he needs roughly 4,000 feet of pipe and noted the pre-order would save the city $300-$400.

The bulk of the water line will be used in the summer's major project, replacing the old cast iron line on Knott Street. Approximately seven blocks will be replaced from Grand Ave. to Madison Street. Howard said the water line will cost approximately $6,600 with the hydrants, valves and other accessories making up the rest of the estimated $14,000 cost of the project.

The fire station water line project is expected to get underway next month Howard said. The meter is in and the remainder of parts are on order. "We'd really like to get this new line in place before grassfire season," Howard said.

The water department is awaiting the final report from the city engineer regarding water rates. Howard indicated the city has not raised water rates since 1992. The council will review the rates once the engineering report is finalized.

The council also agreed to solicit bids for roof repair at the water plant. Howard indicated roof work was last done in 1994 when felt and hot tar were installed. However he noted the roof has had a bad leak on the west side for the past two years.

The council also agreed to transfer $50,000 from the water works principal and interest account into the department's operational and maintenance fund.

Line Crew - Superintendent Dave Kittle informed the council of a request by the hospital for electrical access on the north side of the building for a mobile MRI unit that will be at SCMH two days a month.

Kittle indicated it would cost the city $15,000 to install the poles and line.

The council tabled the issue for further review at the April meeting.

Street - Superintendent Roy Monroe reported meeting with two representatives from the Missouri Department of Conservation regarding the rifle range lease. He received a list of proposed improvements to be made to the range by MDC, including rebuilding the birms, removal of trees and installation of paper target holders. The lease agreement is still under review.

Monroe also discussed the possibility of a boat dock at the south boat ramp. The council will pursue the possibility with MDC.

The council voted 4-0 to remove the stop sign at the west end of Mety Street.

The street department also reported an anticipated price increase on drainpipe. Monroe stated the price is expected to go up six percent in April. The council agreed to order the city's pipe prior to that date.

Light Plant - Superintendent Mike Ahland indicated February was a busy month. "We did more running in the last couple of weeks than we did all of last year." Ahland reported.

Aldermen Reports

Alderman Mike Stone asked about abandoned vehicles on private property. The council discussed city ordinance that prohibits unlicensed vehicles on city property. However there is no law against storing vehicles on private property.

Alderman Teresa Skinner asked if the city had any ordinances regarding dangerous dogs, particularly pit bulls. There is no such ordinance in Memphis. Skinner also praised the work done by Roy Monroe on the new desks at city hall.

Mayor's Report

Mayor Ron Alexander reported attending a meeting discussing the availability of low-interest loans from the Department of Natural Resources for water projects. Alexander stated the loans are available at one-percent interest. He indicated the funds might be available for projects like a new water tower.


Chris and Lynette Parsons of Memphis are the parents of a daughter, McKenzie Grace Parsons, born August 25, 2016 at 1:05 p.m. at Scotland County Hospital in Memphis. McKenzie weighed 5 lbs 11 oz and was 19 inches long. She is welcomed home by big brother Teddy. Grandparents are Lynn and Teresa Parsons of Eagleville; Stanley and Shirley Green of Memphis and Steve Osborn of Oaks, OK.


baby moore web

Cody and Sadie Moore of Baring are the parents of a daughter, Kelsey Elaine Moore, born August 24, 2016 at 8:30 a.m. at Scotland County Hospital in Memphis. Kelsey weighed 7 lbs 9 oz and was 20 inches long. Siblings are Kayden and Kameron. Grandparents are Joe and Renee Schrage of Baring; Wayne and Janet Parrish of Baring; Larry and Connie Kelsey of Brashear; Brent Moore of Hurdland; the late Heather Kelsey; Janet Moore of Baring; and Ruth Schrage of Edina.


baby bagent web

Shaila Sturm and Scott Bagent of Kahoka are the parents of a daughter, Brylie Adalyn Bagent, born August 26, 2016 at 4:39 a.m. at Scotland County Hospital in Memphis. Brylie weighed 7 lbs 2.6 oz and was 20.75 inches long. Siblings are KayLeigh and Aliah. Grandparents are Jim and Tracy Sturm of McCloud, OK; Joe and Betty Young of Kahoka; and Charles Bagent of Carthage.


baby barela web

Dillon and Jessica Barela of Cantril, IA are the parents of a daughter, Abigail Eliana Barela, born August 17, 2016 at 12:08 a.m. at Scotland County Hospital in Memphis. Abigail weighed 7 lbs 6.6 oz and was 21.25 inches long.

Mohr’s Perfect Day Leads Memphis FFA Trap Team to First Place Finish

Lane Mohr (left) shatters one of the 50 straight clay pigeons he hit without missing to record a perfect score to lead the Memphis FFA Trap team to victory.

Lane Mohr (left) shatters one of the 50 straight clay pigeons he hit without missing to record a perfect score to lead the Memphis FFA Trap team to victory.

The Memphis FFA Trap Team is off to a good start for their 2016 Season. The team came in 1st place at last Saturday’s match in Macon, Missouri. Senior, Lane Mohr, shot a perfect score of 50/50.  Lane was the high scoring individual out of 178 shooters. There were 42 teams from 16 schools that competed from around Missouri.  The winning team was determined by taking the top five individual scores from each school.  The top five from the Memphis Team were Lane Mohr, Jared Dunn, Luke Triplett, and Lane Pence. Conner Payne and Harley Saulmon tied for 5th.

Jared Dunn scored 3rd overall and Tala Saulmon also tied for 3rd overall in the females division, both  from the Memphis FFA Team.

The team is being coached again this year by Dave Koch.  Waltedda Blessing is their Advisor and FFA Instructor.

The Memphis FFA Team would like to invite anyone out to watch as they have their 1st home match at the Memphis Lake Show Me Shooting Range on Saturday, September 3rd.  They will also be hosting their annual fundraiser Shoot-a-thon on Sunday, September 11th at the Lake Show Me range just west of Memphis. Call Waltedda Blessing for more information or to sponsor one of the FFA shooters.  Anyone is welcome to attend and shoot at the fundraiser on September 11th.

“We are looking forward to a great season!” said FFA Advisor Waltedda Blessing.

See’s Seventh Inning Heroics Give SCR-I 5-3 Win Over Fayette

Stevi See avoids the Fayette catcher’s tag attempt as she slides in safe at home during SCR-I’s 5-3 win.

Stevi See avoids the Fayette catcher’s tag attempt as she slides in safe at home during SCR-I’s 5-3 win.

The Scotland County softball team picked up its first ever Lewis & Clark Conference victory in the team’s debut in its new league on Friday night at Fayette.

For the second time this season, SCR-I picked up the victory in its final at bat. After a season-opening extra inning affair at Putnam County, SCR-I had more late fireworks as Stevi See plated a pair of runs in the seventh inning with a two-out single to give Scotland County the 5-3 win.

Fayette took advantage of some sloppy SCR-I defense in the first inning to score a run on four errors.

The Lady Tigers battled back to even the score in the top of the second. Maddie Brassfield and Kaylyn Anders had base hits to fuel the rally.

SCR-I went ahead with a pair of runs in the third. See was hit by a pitch and scored when Chelsea Wood reached on an error. Ashleigh Creek added an RBI single to make the lead 3-1.

Fayette scored an unearned run in the fourth courtesy of two more SCR-I errors and tied the game 3-3 in the bottom of the fifth before Creek was able to strand runners at second and third.

Scotland County squandered a leadoff double by Creek in the sixth inning before breaking through in the seventh. Kaitlyn McMinn led off with a walk and Julie Long beat out a bunt single to set the table for See’s heroics. The junior catcher drilled a base hit down the leftfield line that drove in both runners to give SCR-I the 5-3 win.

Creek retired the side in order in the bottom of the frame to secure her second win of the year as SCR-I improved to 2-1 and 1-0 in the L&C. She allowed three runs, one earned on six hits and a walk while striking out a season-high nine batters.

The junior hurler also went 2-3 at the plate with a double and an RBI. See was 1-2 with a run scored and two RBIs and is batting .555 on the season.

Base Running Blunders Cost SCR-I In 6-2 Loss to Clark County

Maddie Brassfield muscles a base hit up the middle.

Maddie Brassfield muscles a base hit up the middle.

Scotland County suffered its first loss of the softball season despite outhitting the opposition on Thursday night in Kahoka. Clark County knocked off SCR-I 6-2 on August 25th to drop SCR-I to 1-1 on the year.

The Lady Tigers struck first, jumping out to a 1-0 lead in the top of the first. Stevi See and Chelsea Wood had back to back singles. With runners at second and third, Ashleigh Creek grounded to the shortstop who went home to try to get See at the plate, but a wild throw allowed the run to score and left SCR-I with runners at second and third with just one out. But the threat ended prematurely on a lineout double play.

That proved to be the theme of the night for SCR-I which saw scoring threats end in three different innings with base runners being thrown out. In the third inning SCR-I had a runner doubled off first before a fourth inning rally was cut short by a bad bounce on a wild pitch that allowed a runner to be cut down trying to steal home.

Clark County pulled ahead in the second inning with a pair of lead off hits that came in to score. The damage was limited by a double play turned by Katie Feeney to end the inning.

The Lady Indians tacked on two more runs in the third to lead 4-1.

Creek started the fourth inning with a base hit. Courtesy runner Khloe Hamlin came in to score on a two-out single by Kaylyn Anders to trim the deficit to 4-2.

But SCR-I managed just one more hit over the final three innings. Clark County added some insurance in the fifth inning, taking advantage of a pair of SCR-I errors to score two unearned runs to make the final margin 6-2.

See went 2-3 with a run scored and a walk while Julie Long also contributed a pair of hits. Creek and Anders had the RBIs.

Creek surrendered six runs, four earned, on six hits, a pair of walks and a hit batter. She struck out seven.

Tigers’ Rally Comes Up Just Short in 22-16 Loss to Fayette

Austin Day breaks through the Fayette defense en route to a first quarter touchdown to put Scotland County on top of the Falcons 6-0.

Austin Day breaks through the Fayette defense en route to a first quarter touchdown to put Scotland County on top of the Falcons 6-0.

A last second comeback ended just inches short of a first down and only yards from a game-tying touchdown as Scotland County fell 22-16 in Fayette on Friday night.

SCR-I saw the game slip away in the third period, which saw the Tigers manage just three plays on offense as the Hornets dominated the time of possession, turning an 8-8 halftime deadlock into a 22-8 advantage on the first play of the fourth period.

The Tigers looked solid on the game’s first possession after Matthew Woods fielded a squib kick at the 48-yard line to open the contest and give SCR-I excellent field position. Austin Day opened a big night for the senior with a nine yard run on the game’s first handoff. SCR-I moved the chains with a short pass from Will Fromm to Gage Dodge.

Facing fourth and one, the Tigers again turned to Day, who took a counter handoff and broke through the defensive line and scampered 33 yards for SCR-I’s first touchdown of 2016. The senior tailback took the next handoff into the end zone as well, scoring the two-point conversion on a three-yard run to put SCR-I on top 8-0 with 9:20 left in the first period.

After Fayette picked up a first down on a pair of runs, the SCR-I defense clamped down. Cameron Stone and Stephen Terrill combined to stop Isaiah Estes for a loss. Mason Kliethermes tackled Brennen Hudson for a loss before Aaron Blessing tracked down Estes for a short gain on a screen pass to force a Fayette punt.

Unfortunately the Tigers went backwards on their next possession, losing yards before a punt that Tommy Phillips was able to return 32 yards to put Fayette in scoring position at the 38-yard line.

The Falcons took advantage of the short field, punching the ball into the end zone on the first play of the second period on a two-yard run by Estes. Phillips ran in the two-point conversion to knot the score at 8-8.

A good kick return by Jared Dunn again gave SCR-I the ball across midfield. But SCR-I was unable to move the chains and turned the ball over on downs.

The Tigers’ defense was able to defend the short field as Ian See broke up a fourth down pass attempt by the Falcons to give SCR-I the ball back.

Ian See goes high to haul in an 18-yard completion from Will Fromm.

Ian See goes high to haul in an 18-yard completion from Will Fromm.

Even after being flagged for an illegal block, SCR-I was able to move the chains courtesy of an 18-yard pass play from Fromm to Ian See. Fayette was flagged for a facemask penalty that moved the chains and kept the drive alive, but three plays later Fromm was sacked by a stout blindside hit from Chavez Kent that forced a fumble that Fayette pounced on at the 38 yard line.

The Falcons moved into scoring position before SCR-I came up with a big defensive stand. Dodge, Terrill and Kliethermes combined to swarm Phillips in the backfield for a loss and Grant McRobert had a tackle for a loss on the next play as the Tigers held.

SCR-I made things a bit dicey as Fayette intercepted a last-second Fromm pass to get one more shot at the end zone, but the Falcons were unable to take advantage of the turnover as the first half ended.

SCR-I suffered a key injury in the second period as linebacker Aaron Blessing was helped off the field with a knee injury.

His absence was felt in the second half, as Fayette opened the third period with an eight-play scoring drive. The Tigers appeared to catch a break when Estes broke free in the secondary headed for a touchdown when he fumbled the ball without any contact. The Fayette runner was able to recover the loose ball. SCR-I appeared to have taken advantage of the miscue, as Chase Cook and See made tackles for losses setting up fourth down and 24 yards to go. But Fayette’s Brennen Hudson made a spectacular catch, going over the SCR-I defender and turned it into a 47-yard TD pass.

The Fayette two-point try was stopped by SCR-I leaving the score at 14-8 with 7:15 left in the third period.

After the Tigers went three and out on their only offensive possession of the third period, Fayette put together a nine-play scoring drive capped off by an 11-yard TD run by Kent on the first play of the fourth period. Phillips again ran in the two-point conversion to extend the Fayette lead to 24-8.

SCR-I was able to overcome continued penalty problems, as Fromm connected with See on pass plays of six, 10 and 24 yards. The sophomore signal caller did the rest of the work on his own, breaking a 22-yard TD run with 7:37 left in the fourth period. Ryan Slaughter ran in the two-point conversion to cut the deficit to 24-16.

Bryson Orton led a defensive stand that saw SCR-I get the ball back at the 36-yard line after a Fayette punt. The junior lineman made a tackle for a loss and a quarterback sack to keep his team alive.

The Tigers moved into scoring position but turned the ball over on downs with just 2:50 left to play.

But once again the exhausted SCR-I defense, which had been on the field most of the second half, again came up with a stop and with just over one minute on the clock, Slaughter re-energized SCR-I with a 40-yard punt return that gave the Tigers the ball at the 27 yard line.

Ryan Slaughter burst to the outside as he heads up the sideline for a big gain against Fayette.

Ryan Slaughter burst to the outside as he heads up the sideline for a big gain against Fayette.

A pass interference call on Fayette moved the ball to the 12-yard line.

A third down completion to Jace Morrow fell a yard short of the first down and as time was running out, Fayette stuffed a fourth down rush by Day that was inches from a first down and just yards from the tying score.

Scotland County was held to 10 first downs on 102 yards rushing and 74 yards passing. Day did the bulk of the damage with 79 yards on 13 carries. Fromm ran for 27 yards and a TD on seven carries. He completed nine of 18 passes for 78 yards. See had four receptions for 56 yards.

Fayette managed 15 first downs on 186 yards rushing and 48 yards passing. Estes finished with 110 yards on 21 carries to lead the way.

Slaughter led the SCR-I defense with 12 tackles while Dodge made 10 stops and Terrill had nine.

Scotland County falls to 0-2 and 0-1 in the Lewis & Clark Conference while Fayette improves to 1-1 and 1-0 in L&C play.

Brief Lull

Digging out or digging in? Either way, Arthur is loving it. Photo by Ben.

Digging out or digging in? Either way, Arthur is loving it. Photo by Ben.

Howdy y’all. Ben here, with another brief report of events and happenings here at Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage, near Rutledge, MO. Actually, there aren’t a lot of human centered events or happenings here at the moment, which I am totally fine with.
Our quaint little ecological community is experiencing a brief lull in population, as a trainload of folks have taken off for Danielle and Hassan’s commitment ceremony, out at Hummingbird in New Mexico. While I expect the many folks who’ve taken the few days away from DR to celebrate the conjoined lives of our friends way out there in the Southwest are having a fine, and probably less humid time, I am rooted here with some basic homestead responsibilities, and remain happy to feel stuck, even with the ragweed pollen, barn muck, hollering children, et cetera.
Whenever I head out on a westbound train, which seems to be never, I feel a strange tinge of relief to be leaving behind community and all its associated responsibilities, even for a brief time. I couldn’t imagine traveling a thousand miles away, just to be sitting next to my neighbors the whole time, but that’s just me… and me, I’m here, with basically no one to talk to.
A couple weeks ago, a neighbor said something to the effect of, “Well, that’s the last hot day of summer.” That person was incorrect. Weather conditions have been nasty humid again, and breezeless to boot, though the bounty of ripening tomatoes and peppers is much appreciative of current climatic conditions.
Once again, I hear the familiar rumbling of the school bus, which marks the beginning of the end of summer, not to mention the beginning of firewood splitting, stacking, and sorting for our household at least. Maybe I’ll get to it next week, if the weather cools down. Also appreciative of these windless, sweaty, moist August days is the fungal life. Mushrooms, slime molds, and other living things which are neither flora nor fauna are blowing up all over, in the blink of an eye. This morning, the interior room of our barn had neat little rows of parasol fungi all over, and soon will begin the time of giant puffballs, one of my favorite mediums for ingesting large amounts of butter. Then again, I’d eat butter straight out of the churn, were that socially acceptable, or easy to get away with.
Most of the time, I find the silence around DR these days to be a pleasant thing, and without so many humans, the other sights and sounds of life here come through, like the cacophonous song of locusts, the mischievous rustle of bunnies in the brush, and the slow, aerial gyrations of turkey buzzards on the horizon. Down the slope, I am awoken every morn by a couple dozen or so cockerels, many of which we’ll be butchering in the coming month or two.
It has been another good year for sunflowers, as evidenced by the sudden, grand bursts of yellow flower heads about, a blaze of gold to match the burgeoning, budding, nodding heads of goldenrod, primrose, and tickseed coreopsis. My days have a rhythm, at least when things are going well. I awaken, mix feed for the pigs and poultry, let everyone out on pasture, trade my wheelbarrow for my son Arthur, (who seems to suddenly be able to pull himself along on flat surfaces, if there are any), fix breakfast in our outdoor kitchen, and wait, listening for the telltale bleating of goats that signals Mae and Riley returning from milking the goats. Most mornings, I see the same few sights, such as the flirtatious pair of cardinals (or is it a trio?) flitting about the low branches of osage and cherry, and our nonplussed kitty, Ragweed, lazing about the gravel road, the same dingy white tone as her own fur.
As of now, I feel little change in the situation of my life here. Every morning is about the same. I work as effectively as I can, in between chores and other obligations, and go to bed tired. It feels like endless summer, though I suppose it shall end soon enough.
Still, real change is happening. My older child, Althea, has lost her first tooth, while the younger one has traded napping for scooting around, often making a beeline for the dirtiest thing he can get into (which in my world, is pretty dirty.) He’ll have a stout immune system, at this rate.
This year’s goat kids are getting huge, not to mention the pigs, ducks, and chickens. Our garden has transitioned from mostly turnips to mostly cowpeas. Some of these silent, sudden changes feel good to me. Others come with a drop of sadness.
Of all those who are gone from my life at DR, some are gone forever, whether or not they still inhabit the land. This week saw the passing of canine matriarch Isis, guardian of Ironweed courtyard.
I already miss having to negotiate her fuzzy form on my bicycle as I ride up the footpath to the common house, and will also miss her occasional unannounced visits on the cold mornings after a day of poultry processing. While I am unable to get any firm numbers from either Membership or Pet committee, I think she may well have been here at DR longer than 95% of our population. Isis, for me, wasn’t merely a dog friend, but a part of my landscape, a fluffy traffic calming device who so often caused me to take a moment to be more intentional about my movement across this place. A mindfulness dog. As much as she blended in to her surroundings, her little alley now seems oddly vacant to me, and I hope to continue to consider the lessons that old dogs have to teach me.
The morning has grown long, the sun high, and there’s pasture fence to be wired, babies who need bounced, billy goats needing fresh browse and duckweed needing harvested for poultry feed. I desire for the wind to pick up, for the acorns and honeylocust pods to ripen, and for some amount of slowdown to creep into my life in coming weeks. I do not know what energies my absent neighbors will return with, nor whether enough dry days will be strung together to harvest the pounds and pounds of potatoes which await my fork. Change will arrive, nonetheless, and I hope we can all strive to make it the change we want, the change our little village, and our little planet both need, to thrive and survive in an uncertain climate, in a time when things out there are anything but quiet.

Wearing Obligatory Happy Faces 

Living in treacherous times has always been the case for every individual.  Stresses, pressures, inadequacies; all loom large in our current-day hurry up and wait scenarios. One reason we can’t even keep up with remembering seems to be that there is so much more information to forget these days.

As long as I’ve been directly engaged in ministry, I remain ultra-sensitive and sympathetic to the struggler.  Community tends to not notice such pain until it is found to be in their lap.  Otherwise, we are proficient at offering critical assessment as to how the cow really should eat the cabbage.

So… I remind you that a herd of very great and wonderful people have headed off to work one more time; one more day.  These will do their best to be amiable as well as efficient.  But just beware that too many have slipped into your workplace wearing a mask of happiness when behind it is nervousness and confusion.

May we be attentive; taking no one around us for granted.  For smiles to be genuine smiles; the more the merrier.  But be sensitive to those who are wearing their obligatory happy face while tears flow within.  Do well… my friend.  Cheer all on. People need us.


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