September 4, 2003

Rain May Dampen Drought Aid Efforts

While the much needed rain that dampened Scotland County over the Labor Day weekend may take some of the attention from drought concerns government officials likely will still proceed in attempts to help agricultural producers hurt by the dry July and August.

On August 29, following a request earlier in the week for 39 Missouri counties to be declared disasters because of drought, Governor Bob Holden asked the Missouri Farm Services Agency to assess drought damage in the state's remaining 75 counties.

Senator Kit Bond recently announced that he has urged U.S. Agriculture Secretary Ann Veneman to grant a disaster declaration for 39 counties in Missouri due to severe drought conditions.

"Once again Missouri's agricultural community has been hit hard by drought," said Bond. "Our farmers and ranchers need immediate relief, and this declaration will help."

The Missouri Agricultural Statistics Service (MASS) crop and weather report for last week stated row crops and pastures continued to deteriorate over most of the state as hot, dry weather prevailed.

The outlook for corn and soybeans declined steadily in recent weeks reflecting the moisture shortage. Most of the corn crop is now too advanced to benefit from rain as much of the crop is dented and drying. Soybeans remain urgently in need of moisture to develop pods, with development already hurt severely in many bean fields.

The topsoil moisture supply is rated at 66 percent very short, 24 percent short and 10 percent adequate, with only the east-central, south-central and southeast districts indicating adequate ratings as high as 20 percent or higher. More than three fourths of the state's pasture ground is reported in poor or very poor condition.

According to the MASS report nearly 60 percent of the state's corn crop is rated poor or worse with more than 60 percent of the soybeans in similar condition.

Governor Holden's request highlighted the MASS report's findings. He said a persisting lack of rainfall and extremely hot temperatures had caused crop and livestock conditions to continue to deteriorate throughout most of the state. Although not all counties have experienced the same degree of dry weather, the majority of the state remains drought-stricken, and the situation will probably get worse before it gets better, he said.

"Rather than waiting for the state's drought situation to get worse, I am asking the federal government to assess damage throughout the remainder of the state," Holden said. "Agriculture plays too significant of a role in Missouri not to take any action we can. To me, assessing all counties is the most efficient way to provide assistance to our farmers."

Holden's latest request includes the following counties: Adair, Audrain, Barry, Bollinger, Boone, Butler, Callaway, Camden, Cape Girardeau, Carter, Christian, Clark, Cole, Crawford, Dade, Dallas, Dent, Douglas, Dunklin, Franklin, Gasconade, Greene, Howard, Howell, Iron, Jasper, Jefferson, Knox, Laclede, Lawrence, Lewis, Lincoln, Macon, Madison, Maries, Marion, McDonald, Miller, Mississippi, Moniteau, Monroe, Montgomery, New Madrid, Newton, Oregon, Osage, Ozark, Pemiscot, Perry, Phelps, Pike, Polk, Pulaski, Ralls, Randolph, Reynolds, Ripley, St. Charles, St. Francois, St. Louis, Ste. Genevieve, Schuyler, Scotland, Scott, Shannon, Shelby, Stoddard, Stone, Taney, Texas, Warren, Washington, Wayne, Webster and Wright.

Areas in northwest Missouri are classified as being in extreme drought, while much of the western and west-central regions range from moderate to severe drought. The dry conditions that have plagued northern and western Missouri for two years are creeping south and east this year, Holden said.

"While some parts of the state have received spotty rains this week, the accumulation has not been enough to offset two years of extremely dry weather," Holden said. "We're continuing to work with our Congressional delegation and federal and state agencies to provide assistance to Missouri farmers."

The damage assessment reports will show the extent of the drought damage and could make producers in those counties eligible to apply for low-interest loans, Holden said. The loans can be used to restore or replace property, cover all or part of production costs, pay essential family living expenses, reorganize farming operations and refinance debt.

For more information on disaster aid, producers should contact their local Farm Services Agency.

Bond hopes with his urging the disaster declaration request for Missouri that recently came from state officials, will be quickly approved. A disaster declaration would allow farmers to access farm programs, such as the low interest loan program, which are vital to helping farmers get through this season and purchase their seed and fertilizer for the next growing season.

Already this season, the Missouri Farm Service Agency Board has extended haying and grazing of CRP land at Bond's request, but Bond feels further action is needed to bring real relief to farmers.

At this point, not even the extended period of steady rainfall could stave off the effects of Missouri's worst drought in 15 years. Still, producers can take steps to minimize the economic consequences of the drought of 2003, a University of Missouri agricultural economist said.

"There are no silver-bullet economic strategies for farmers facing the drought," MU extension associate professor Ray Massey said. "But there are some bullet points that could be expanded upon."

The prohibition against importing cattle from Canada has driven up beef cattle prices, he said. "This is a good time to cull cow-calf herds. Our slaughter plants don't have as many cattle as they normally have, and we're also at the top of the cycle" for cattle prices.

"If you're having a difficult time with your pasture or finding enough hay, now's a good time to cull your herd heavily because you'll get a decent price," he said.

Some of the worst hit areas might have the best alternatives for drought relief, Massey said. For example, in counties declared disaster areas, capital gains on the sale of livestock may be deferred.

"If your farm is in one of those counties, you should ask your tax accountant about special tax deferrals. If you happen to sell your combine, it would apply to that, too."

Farmers in designated disaster areas are often eligible for low-interest loans, he said. "Low interest loans aren't free money, but they can be less expensive money to help carry a farmer through the next year."

Campbell Tosses Gem as Tigers Capture Key Conference Win

Grant Campbell gets a visit on the mound from coach Matt Buford and catcher Gage Dodge during a game earlier this season. The junior didn’t require any visits on Friday night as he cruised to a 5-1 win over Schuyler County.

Grant Campbell gets a visit on the mound from coach Matt Buford and catcher Gage Dodge during a game earlier this season. The junior didn’t require any visits on Friday night as he cruised to a 5-1 win over Schuyler County.

Scotland County jumped out to an early lead over Schuyler County on Friday night in Memphis and Grant Campbell made the lead hold up. The junior hurler went the distance in a 5-1 victory over the Rams.

SCR-I struck for three runs in the bottom of the first inning. Gage Dodge led off with a walk and Aaron Buford followed with another base on balls before Will Fromm singled to right field to plate the game’s first run. Campbell walked to load the bases for Justin McKee who came through with a two-run single to centerfield to put the Tigers on top 3-0.

Schuyler County plated its lone run in the third inning on a double by Wyatt Homer.

SCR-I got the run back in the bottom of the inning courtesy of a pair of Rams’ errors.

The Rams threatened in the fourth and sixth innings, with a pair of base runners during each rally. But Campbell worked out of both jams to keep the score at 4-1.

SCR-I tacked on an insurance run in the bottom of the sixth inning. Buford led off with a double. He stole third base and came in to score on a ground out by Fromm.

Campbell retired the side in order in the seventh to notch the complete game victory. He allowed one earned run on just two hits while walking three and striking out six.

SCR-I managed just three hits on the night on offense. McKee had the key hit, the two-run single in the first inning and finished 1-3. Fromm was 1-4 with two RBIs and Buford went 1-3 with a pair of runs scored.

Scotland county improved to 8-3 on the season and 3-0 in the Tri-Rivers Conference.

Rutledge Couple, Son Arrested Following Altercation in Memphis

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A Rutledge couple and their son are facing felony charges following an altercation in Memphis on Friday night.

According to the Memphis Police Department, a report was received at 7:30 p.m. of an altercation at a residence on Jefferson and Maple streets in Memphis. The caller stated that a number of people armed with baseball bats were at the residence, breaking windows and making threats.

When officers arrived at the scene, the suspects had already fled. The home’s occupants were able to identify the three individuals responsible for breaking several windows at the home as well as several vehicle windows.

At 12:55 a.m. on Saturday morning, officers from the MPD, the Scotland County Sheriff’s Office and the Missouri State Highway Patrol served arrest warrants at a Rutledge residence where Jared D. Holt, 46 and Stacy Holt, 44, were taken into custody along with their son, 18-year-old Jacob D. Holt.

All three have initially been charged with class B felony burglary, class C felony tampering with a motor vehicle in the first degree, and class C felony assault in the second degree.

All three are being held in the Clark County Jail on $100,000 cash only bond.

They made initial court appearances on May 2nd in Scotland County Circuit Court where Judge Karl DeMarce overrules initial motions for bond reduction.

A May 10th court date has been set to review the counsel status of the defendants as well as to set the preliminary hearing date.


baby farris web

Pete and Jennifer Farris of Memphis are the parents of a son, Rhett Eli Farris, born April 24, 2016 at 1:38 p.m. at Scotland County Hospital in Memphis. Rhett weighed 8 lbs 1 oz and was 20 inches long. He is welcomed home by big sister Taylor Farris. Grandparents are Paul and Debbie Briggs of Memphis and Mike and Cathy Farris of Greentop.


baby tinkle web

Sarah Neel and Roger Tinkle or Memphis are the parents of a son, Spencer Joseph Rex Tinkle, born April 24, 2016 at 5:20 a.m. at Scotland County Hospital in Memphis. Spencer weighed 8 lbs 1 oz and was 19 inches long. Siblings are Zack, Zoe, Sophia and Ryker Tinkle. Grandparents are Larry and Geneva Tinkle of Memphis and Tony and Jerri Maisano of Martin, TN.


baby behrens web

Emmaline Ann Behrens was born on April 4, 2016 at Boone Hospital in Columbia, MO.   She was 10 lbs. and was 22 inches long.  Parents are Jeff and Melissa Behrens and brother Zac Behrens, all of Memphis. Grandparents are Fritz and Janet Gerth of Memphis and Tom and Linda Behrens of Quincy, IL. Great-grandfather is Herb Kauffman of Washington, IL.


baby cochran web

Anna Buckallew and Darrin Cochran of Memphis are the parents of a daughter, CaliRae Marie Cochran. She was born April 22, 2016 at 9:09 a.m. at Scotland County Hospital in Memphis. CaliRae weighed 7lbs 5.4 oz and was 20.5 inches long. She was welcomed home by her four-year-old brother, Cash Arrin.. Grandparents are Lonnie and Michaelene (Mikie) Cochran and Susan Buckallew, all of Memphis. Great-grandparents are Stanley Roberts of Logan, IA; the late Virginia Rae Roberts, and Robert and Marie Brown of Memphis.

Alternative Solutions

Young visitor Freya meets the critter crew for the first time. Photo by Christina.

Young visitor Freya meets the critter crew for the first time. Photo by Christina.

It has been a rainy week here, with some crazy thunderstorms and a tornado warning on Wednesday, but it wasn’t enough to dampen the singing or the weeding or the outreach-ing. It takes some pretty rough weather to keep us inside.

Christina here, new resident of Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage, bringing you news of the green, the magical, and the pig.

Over the weekend, Dan, Javi, and Tereza went to St. Louis for the Earth Day Festival, where they staffed our booth, talking to people about Dancing Rabbit. People were interested in learning about life at an ecovillage. Many didn’t know that we have amenities, but we do indeed have electricity (I am writing on my laptop right now).

The Rabbits answered non-stop questions for the whole nine hours that they were there. People were especially interested in the sense of community and how we interact, and the materials that are used for building here. Apparently people are interested in finding alternative solutions to the problems that they face.  

During the second week of their session, the visitors have been attending workshops, joining in work parties, eating lots of great food prepared by the various kitchens, and visiting with the baby goats. They have formed some strong bonds, and are already figuring out how they can bring what they have learned back to their lives—or how they can bring their lives back to Dancing Rabbit. If you want to visit, we still have three visitor sessions left this year!

On Wednesday night, we had a small turn-out for the weekly song circle. Just my two kids, Max and Emma, as well three other participants. We had just taught the others to sing an old Quaker hymn called “Dear Friend” that Max learned in preschool when we heard the sirens and saw people headed toward the storm shelter in the basement of the Mercantile. As a former New Englander, I am not afraid of rough weather, but when I see the locals heading for shelter during a storm, I follow.

We headed down the wet and dripping stairs into the dark cramped basement. With around fifteen people and four dogs, it was definitely not the most comfortable situation. But as we turned the corner looking for more room to sit down, we heard “Dear Friend” being sung—with harmonies and in a round no less. After a few rounds of that song, the group spontaneously started another. I am new to song circle, so I didn’t know the songs beforehand, but I was mostly able to join in or at least hum along. 

The acoustics in the basement were great, and we found some buckets for seats. My kids each took a seat on one of my legs, and the dog found a place to lie down away from the other dogs. There were more rounds of song, and the time passed quickly.

This is the kind of magical moment that happens here all the time, but that doesn’t make it any less special.

Apparently, my daughter Emma had not had enough of the singing, because when we went to a post-dinner bonfire hosted by the visitors by the old pond last night, she wanted to sing a few more rounds of “Dear Friend”, this time accompanied by a drum circle. After a few rounds of “Have You Seen the Ghost of John” we were all sufficiently mesmerized by the fire and the stars and the croaking frogs. We didn’t talk much but sat perfectly content, drumming more at times and less at others, and adding more wood to the fire.

In my other life, this would have been a once-a-year type experience, but spontaneous song has graced my life twice this week.

In other news, things are green.  

The cabbage, kale, and lettuce are thriving in our little garden, and so are the weeds. I spent about an hour hacking away at some long grass that has been choking out the tiny pea shoots that are bravely making their way up from the ground. I like snap peas, and more importantly, they are a green vegetable that my kids will eat. The prairie is beautiful here, but not when it’s in my garden. I think I might find a pick ax to go at the grass roots later today…  

On Friday, the Critters finally received their much-awaited pig. For the bacon and sausage fans among us, this was an exciting event. But it will be a few months until the pigs are ready for slaughter, and so until then, we have lots of greens and eggs.

We’ll go out to pick those greens when the rain stops, singing out loud or in our heads.

Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage is an intentional community and educational non-profit outside Rutledge, MO, focused on demonstrating sustainable living possibilities. We offer public tours of the village at 1pm on the 2nd and 4th Saturdays of the month, April-October; the next is May 14th. 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 To find out more about us, you can also check out our website:

Wesley, Helen Knupp Celebrating 65 Years of Marriage

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Wesley and Helen Knupp of Wyaconda will celebrate their 65th wedding anniversary with an open-house reception hosted by their children.  The open-house will be from 1:00 to 3:00 p.m. on Sunday, May 15, 2016 at the Christian Church in Wyaconda.  Friends and family are invited to attend. The couple requests no gifts.

Wesley Knupp and the former Helen Sprague were married on May 11, 1951 in Kahoka, MO. They have lived in the Wyaconda area since that time. Wesley and Helen are the parents of the late Clifford (Betty) Knupp of Wyaconda, Ed Knupp of Wyaconda, Crystal (Brad) Bliven of Quincy, IL and Lori (Dan) Doyle of Wyaconda.   They have 9 grandchildren and 13 great-grandchildren.

Stop by and celebrate with Wesley & Helen on Sunday, May 15, or mail a card to them at PO Box 263, Wyaconda MO 63474.

knupp young web

Weed Eating the Road to Innovation

Members of the Memphis MoDOT maintenance team were honored for this tractor-mounted weed eater innovation helping to streamline roadside trimming.

Members of the Memphis MoDOT maintenance team were honored for this tractor-mounted weed eater innovation helping to streamline roadside trimming.

Memphis MoDOT maintenance team brings home two awards for weed eating upgrade.

HANNIBAL – Every year, teams of Missouri Department of Transportation employees submit entries for the Innovations Challenge competition.

“This is an opportunity for MoDOT employees to bring innovations dedicated toward best practices and being the best value to customers,” explained Amy Crawford, MoDOT’s Northeast District Innovations coordinator and area engineer.

This year the Northeast District had several qualifying entries competing in the showcase and one innovation that brought home two statewide awards – the tractor mounted weed eater, borne in the Memphis maintenance facility.

Shannon Partin, Todd Greenstreet, and Richard Hyde, of the Memphis maintenance facility, and mechanics Robey Farr, Cyle Jones and Payden McCarty, came up with the idea for the tractor-mounted weed eater due to how difficult it was to manually cut around post with the reflectors and the guard rail post with regular weed eaters.

“Our maintenance superintendent was looking for a way to make weed eating easier and faster around the delineators along U.S. 61, and he knew our crew would enjoy the challenge of creating a new product,” Hyde explained.  “This innovation allows us to easily attach heavy duty string to a tractor and closely cut brush and weeds around post with reflectors, guard rail post and cable rail,” he added.  It saves time, money, and cuts down on injuries that occur during regular weed eating such as sprained ankles, back pain and heat exhaustion. This weed eater only requires one operator in the tractor and one employee following behind in a vehicle verses an entire maintenance crew working on foot.

“The tractor-mounted weed eater was used last year to mow from the Iowa state line to St. Charles County on U.S. 61 in just two weeks,” said Richard Hyde, one of the Innovations Challenge winners.   Usually to complete this task in two weeks, it would take several employees from every maintenance facility along U.S. 61 between the Iowa border and the St. Charles County line weed eating.

There was a total of forty-one eligible district and division winners presenting at the Innovations Challenge showcase, and twenty entries competing in the Tool & Equipment Best Practices category.   The tractor-mounted weed eater won in the category of Tool & Equipment Best Practices Award, and also took home the People’s Choice Award, an award voted on by all showcase attendees.  “This innovation is a valuable asset in daily MoDOT operations, and it will be considered by all 174 maintenance facilities throughout the state,” Crawford concluded.

Scotland County Commission Meeting Minutes

Thursday, April 21, 2016

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; 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 3-0.

The minutes from April 20, 2016 were presented. Commissioner Clatt moved to approve the regular session minutes; seconded by Commissioner Wiggins. Motion carried 3-0.

Presiding Commission Ebeling reported he attended a pipeline safety meeting in Kahoka Wednesday evening.

The Commission reviewed and approved the 2016 Railroad and Utility Schedule 13s and Form 40 as presented by Batina Dodge, County Clerk.

At 9:30 a.m. Commissioner Wiggins moved to enter executive session pursuant to RSMo § 610.021(3).  The motion was seconded by Presiding Commissioner Ebeling, and carried 3-0.

Commissioner Wiggins moved to exit executive session at 9:36 a.m. The motion was seconded by Commissioner Clatt, and carried 3-0.

The Commission signed the new IV-D County Reimbursement Cooperative Agreement with the Missouri Department of Social Services, Family Support Division as presented by George Cramer.

Bids for bulk diesel fuel were opened and read as follows:

Prairieland FS, Inc. bid $1.891 base price on 2,160 gallons of #1 ULS dyed diesel fuel with Dieselex and $1.621 base price for 37,840 gallons of #2 ULS dyed diesel fuel with Dieselex.

MFA Oil Company presented a bid of $1.7306 base price per gallon of #2 ULSD premium boss dyed diesel fuel.

Commissioner Wiggins moved to accept the bid from FS as lowest and best. Motion seconded by Commissioner Clatt.  Motion carried 3-0.

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, April 27, 2016.


Friday, April 22, 2016

Commissioners Ebeling, Clatt, and Wiggins attended a Northeast Regional Commissioners meeting in Edina.  Speakers included Paula Gough, MoDOT District Engineer; Dick Burke, MAC Executive Director, and Ivan Schraeder, attorney.


Wednesday, April 27, 2016

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; 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 3-0.

The minutes from April 21, 2016 were presented. Commissioner Clatt moved to approve the regular and executive session minutes; seconded by Commissioner Wiggins. Motion carried 3-0.

The Commission issued a letter of support to the City of Memphis for a recycling grant application being submitted to the Northeast Solid Waste Management District.

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

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, April 28, 2016

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