November 27, 2003

Childrens Division Striving To Create Awareness Of Adoption Process

While they may not have a magic wand, for many area children the staff of the Childrens Division of the Department of Social Services here in Scotland County still serve as a fairy godmother for a lot of kids in need.

One of the major roles these individuals play is in the adoption process for children that are removed from their home settings for a variety of reasons. As November is National Adoption Awareness Month this time of year the process garners a little extra attention.

Circuit Manager Barbara Blessing said the national awareness month helps bring to light not only the services available for children and families but also makes the public aware of the need for both adoption families as well as foster homes.

Locally we go in spurts as far as having children awaiting adoption but statewide our division always has children needing to be placed in adoptive homes, Blessing said.

This isnt the typical adoptive setting. Its not an orphanage for children whose parents are deceased or who have been left behind.

The Childrens Division works with kids that have had to be removed from their home for one of a number of reasons ranging from criminal or neglectful activities of parents or guardians to behavioral or discipline issues with the children themselves.

A lot of our cases begin with a hotline call, Blessing said. We receive a call from someone reporting a problem with a particular child or family. Its our job to investigate these issues and determine if further action is necessary.

This is where Amy Frederick gets involved. Frederick serves as investigator for the circuit office, covering Scotland, Clark and Schuyler counties.

Frederick is joined by representatives from local law enforcement, the juvenile office and family services in a multi-disciplinary team. They review the situation to determine if the child needs to be removed from the home.

Of course there is a big misconception that the Childrens Division is the one who takes the child out of the home, Blessing said. Thats wrong. We have no jurisdiction to do so. Removal is strictly up to the juvenile office or law enforcement.

If a child is removed from the home the Childrens Division places them with a family member or a foster home.

The first goal of the process is the ultimate reunification of the family. But Blessing said unfortunately that is not always possible.

These kids have the right to live in a safe, healthy environment, free from abuse and neglect, she said. A key to this picture is permanency, and ultimately that is what an adoptive home provides if reunification is not possible.

September was a unusual one for the First Circuit Childrens Division. There were no out of home placements in Scotland County and just three in the whole circuit. Statewide in September there were more than 400 out of home placements.

But while there were no children placed in foster care, an adoptive setting or a residential care facility in September there are currently more than 30 kids in Scotland County foster homes.

That raises the obvious concern for availability of foster care locally.

Fortunately area residents have stepped up to the challenge. There are 14 registered foster homes in the first circuit with 10 of those, right here in Scotland County. Still that is not enough as the process can be rather lengthy for the kids determining if they can return home or if they will be placed in an adoptive home.

Each case varies as there is no cookie cutter approach to the placement of children but the process is geared to try to reunite the child with his or her parents, Blessing said.

But ultimately the law mandates some form of permanency for the child. If the child is out of the home for 15 of the last 22 months another permanency plan other than reunification must be put in place.

This is where adoption enters the picture.

The first option is a kinship placement. Often the best choice is with another family member. The Childrens division reviews the home and the family member undergoes a background check to insure the fitness of the new home for the child.

If there are no kinship placement opportunities the child is placed in a foster home. In the case of a kid with behavioral issues, they can also be placed in a residential care facility to receive treatment and counseling for their problems.

There are also different levels of foster care. The traditional foster home setting is the lower level home. This home can host up to six children (including the natural children of the parents).

Level two is called the behavioral level with level three the career level, which is basically for children that are beyond parental supervision. Currently there is not a career level foster home available locally.

To become a foster home, interested parties simply must contact the Childrens Division. To become a contracted foster home, the participants must complete a 27-hour STARS course and submit to home reviews and pass criminal and child abuse and neglect background checks.

When the court takes action and terminates parental rights, if there are no family members to consider for adoption, the foster home usually has the first opportunity to be considered for adoptive placement if they have decided they are interested. Many homes choose to foster only, with no intention of ever adopting.

The goal is permanency and thats why the foster home gets an early opportunity to step forward to adopt the child as it is obviously less disruptive to the child not to have to make another move to a new home, Blessing said.

If the child is not adopted by a family member or the foster home the Childrens Division seeks another adoptive home. The ultimate decision as to a childs placement is the result of a team decision made by the guardian ad litem, the juvenile officer, Childrens Division and ultimately the Circuit Judge.

Persons wishing to adopt must complete the same process required to become a foster parent. In addition, adoptive parents must also complete the Spaulding course, which is geared toward the special needs unique to an adoptive placement. There will also have been a satisfactory home study completed before homes are considered as a potential placement.

Meanwhile children in need of adoption have profiles created by the Childrens Division. These profiles are made available to prospective adoptive parents as the process attempts to find a good match between children and the new parents

Missy Smith is the adoption specialist in Scotland County. Vicki Whitlow serves Schuyler County and Clark County is served by Ellen Sterner. Barbara Melton is the adoption supervisor for the circuit.

SCAPP to Host Celebrity Showmanship Event at 2017 Fair

The Scotland County After-Prom Parents are teaming up with the 2017 Scotland County Fair to bring some new entertainment to the summer event while helping raise money for the 2018 SCR-I after-prom party.

The group will host the Celebrity Showmanship contest at the fair on Wednesday, July 12th at 6 p.m.

Nominations are being accepted for any “celebrity” to show in special swine, goat, sheep and chicken shows at the fair that evening.

Cost is $20 to nominate a celebrity, which can include students, athletes, business owners, community members, church family, or just about anyone the nominator would like to see participate in the show.

A winner will be chosen for each livestock category, earning a special prize as well as the right to advance to the round robin show, where the top four participants will compete against one another in showing all four types of livestock to produce a grand champion.

To nominate participants, contact Dawn Triplett (660-341-0233), Melissa Anders (660-341-8969, or Tonya Harrison (660-341-1322. Nominee forms will also  be available at the Memphis Democrat.

The event is being sponsored by the SCR-I class of 2019 Scotland County After-Prom Parents.

Gilliam Family Illusions, United FMX FreeStyle Stunt Team to Perform at 2017 SC Fair

Members of the Gilliam family are pictured here performing their acts of illusion. They will perform at this year’s Scotland County Fair on Tuesday evening, July 11th at 6:00 p.m.

Gilliam Family Illusions will open Tuesday evening’s grandstand entertainment at this year’s Scotland County Fair on July 11th starting at 6:00 p.m.

Gilliam Family Illusions is a show involving their entire family.  They offer a fast-paced, contemporary presentation for audiences of today.  Energy level is kept high with the use of a lot of music.  But the most important aspect of the show is they share the message of the Gospel in a way the audience will understand and remember!

The evening’s entertainment won’t stop there.  Terry Russell with United FMX FreeStyle Stunt Team will perform at 8:00 p.m.

Terry Russell with United FMX FreeStyle Stunt Team will the entertain grandstand crowd at this year’s Scotland County Fair. His show begins at 8:00 p.m. Tuesday, July 11th.

United FMX is a faith based freestyle motocross team that features experienced riders and a complete ramp-to-ramp setup.  They ensure a family-friendly, exciting, action sports exhibition.

Terry Russell, born in 1979, calls Jefferson City his hometown.  He started riding at the age of five.

Terry will host a meet and greet immediately following his show.

Missouri Street to be Resurfaced This Summer

Missouri Street in Memphis is set to get a nearly $85,000 facelift this summer after the Memphis City Council approved a bid from W. L. Miller Company of Hamilton, IL to resurface the city street.

The contract calls for roughly 58,000 square feet of asphalt to be installed by the contractor to create a new two-inch thick driving surface. W.L. Miller Company will also performing milling at all crossroads, along concrete curbing as well as driveways that will be impacted by the new road surface.

The work, which is scheduled to be done later this summer, will run from the Main Street intersection west to the end of the street, approximately eight city blocks. The project comes on the heels of last year’s municipal project installing new water lines along the same route. With the new lines in place, which should eliminate the need for disturbing the road for underground repairs, the city elected to pursue the better driving surface, a practice that has been followed on several other streets in the past decade.

City Superintendent Roy Monroe noted that the project will also including paving of the south parking lot at the Memphis Swimming Pool, which is located north off of Missouri Street. The paving was initially measured at 41×60 for the lot.

NEMO Open Livestock Show Schedule at 2017  Scotland County Fair

The Northeast MO Open Shows takes place Saturday, July 8, 2017 during the Scotland County Fair in Memphis, MO.

Following is the day’s agenda:

Pig Show: Check-in from 7:00-9:00 a.m.  Showtime is at 10:00 a.m.  The entry fee is $10.00 per head.  Purebred animals must show all breed characteristics.  The show includes Market and Breeding classes and is open to all ages.  Contact for the Pig Show is Chris Montgomery (660-342-7979).

Market Lambs and Breeding Goat Show:  Check-in from 10:00 a.m.-Noon.  Showtime is at 2:00 p.m.  The entry fee is $10.00 per head.  Market classes broke by weight and Breeding classes broke by age.  Health papers are required and the show is open to all ages.  Contact for the Market Lambs and Breeding Goat Show is Joanie Baker (660-216-4645).

Cattle Show: Check-in from 2:00-4:00 p.m.  Showtime is at 6:00 p.m.  The entry fee for an out of county exhibitor is $25 and for in county exhibitors the fee is $10 per head.  Heifers will be shown by breed and age.  Steers will be shown by weight.

Champion Steer – $350.00, Champion Heifer – $200.00, Reserve Champion Steer – $150.00, Reserve Champion Heifer – $100.00.  The Cattle Show is open to all ages and contact person is Curtis Mallett (660-341-6297).

Gorin Go-Getters 4-H Club Hosts June Meeting

by Sadie Davis

Vice President Morgan Blessing called the June meeting of the Gorin Go-Getters to order on June 11 at 2:00 p.m. at the Gorin Christian Church. Pledges were led by Dawson Crane & Tracy Huber. Secretary Lauren Triplett called roll by asking each member what their summer vacation plans were. Lauren also gave the minutes of the last meeting. Advisor Joanie Baker gave the Treasurer’s Report, announcing that the club had a current balance of $3,468.22. Council Representatives Kaitlyn Talbert and Shelby Troutman gave the Council Report.

The Financial Committee reported that working at the Boyer wedding resulted in donations from the Boyer family. Layla Baker reported that she had attended and enjoyed the Goat Camp.

Heidi Triplett announced that she had Club T-Shirts for members to buy. Joanie Baker asked that participants in the Super Farmer Contest tell her their t-shirt size. The club discussed the silent auction for the fair and Joanie informed the club that proceeds will go to the Salary account. Joanie passed around a sign-up sheet and asked members to sign up to work at the fair in either the Art Hall, Pepsi Wagon, or trash pick-up.

Joanie asked that members check their meeting attendance because they must have attended six meetings to show or sell at the fair. She also reminded members that SMQA requirements must be met to show or sell at the fair. Fair Clean-Up Day is June 24 and members must report by 10:00 a.m. to be counted for lunch. Wristbands for exhibitors are $15.00 at the Extension Office. NEMO Fair entries are due June 30 and you must have the leader’s signature. State Fair entries are due June 30 as well.

The next club meeting is July 3 at 5:30. Refreshments will be provided by the Jamie Triplett family and Jessica Huff will be giving a demonstration. The Azen Jolly Timers July meeting is on July 5 at 6:00 p.m. at the fairgrounds. July 8 are the Scotland County Open Livestock Shows. July 9-16 is the Scotland County Fair. The Gorin Go-Getters’ Art Hall slot is from 10:00-10:45 a.m.

After the meeting was adjourned, the club enjoyed popsicles provided by the Tara Huber family.

City Of Memphis Participates in Regional Cybersecurity Workshop

COLUMBIA, MO  –  The City of Memphis municipal utilities services participated in a regional Improving Cybersecurity Workshop and Cyber Mutual Assistance Orientation, held by the Missouri Public Utility Alliance (MPUA).

Memphis Utilities Superintendent Stacy Alexander attended the June 9 workshop in Columbia, among 42 representatives attending from 24 Alliance-member cities and utilities. The workshop was one of 14 regional cybersecurity workshops nationwide, sponsored by the American Public Power Association (APPA) and funded by the U.S. Department of Energy.

“The workshop was filled with information about very real threats and concerns,” said Duncan Kincheloe, President and General Manager of the Missouri Public Utility Alliance. “Participants left with issues to consider for timely action in their local systems, or to discuss with other community leaders.”

Participants in the workshop joined in exercises and discussions to strengthen security of utility computer systems and critical infrastructure. Information was shared to help participants evaluate cyber threats and response measures, and discuss cyber resiliency and physical solutions, including advanced controls.

The second part of the workshop was an orientation to a Cyber Mutual Assistance program created by Homeland Security’s Electricity Subsector Coordinating Council (ESCC). Mutual assistance, used by utilities to recover more quickly from natural disasters, can also be used to address cyber threats for utilities of all sizes.

The city is considering joining MPUA’s member municipal utilities participating in MPUA’s Cybersecurity Initiative. Overseen by N-Dimension Solutions, the service would provide continuous monitoring for intrusion detection and alerts, and security management to help identify areas of concern. The program also provides guidance to reduce vulnerabilities, and action steps to shut down threats and reduce damage in the event of a threat event.

The Missouri Public Utility Alliance is a multi-state association of more than 110 city-owned electric, water, gas, wastewater, and broadband utilities in Missouri, Illinois, Arkansas, and Kansas. MPUA provides support to its members in the areas of electric and natural gas supply, water and wastewater compliance, mutual aid disaster assistance, financing, safety training, and utility operations. MPUA also advocates on behalf of municipalities on utility issues at the national and state levels.

Grant Funding Helping to Enhance Memphis Recycling Program

Another round of grant funding from the Northeast Missouri Solid Waste Management District is helping enhance the City of Memphis’s recycling program. Earlier this month the city council approved a contract with Memphis Lumber for the construction of a new 20×28 post frame building and a 18×53 lean-to to be added to the existing recycling facility, located at the intersections of Hamilton, Monroe and Strong streets on the southwest edge of Memphis.

Once the new building is completed it will house the municipal recycling collection center, which has temporarily been located in the old state shed at the intersections of Highway 15 and 136.

The project cost is $12,790. The city will install cement flooring as part of the matching fund requirements of the grant.

The solid waste management district funding, which is made possible through landfill fees, also allowed the city to upgrade the systems baler, a a price tag of just shy of $25,000.

City Superintendent Roy Monroe said the improvements will help make the program much more efficient. The baler upgrade features a higher capacity hopper  which will make the process much less time consuming. The lean-to will add additional storage space for the recycled items, which offer a higher price when shipped in larger volume, while also helping lower transportation costs.

Monroe added that the new drop off point should be more user friendly as well while also being located at the recycling center, further reducing collection times for the city employees as well as transportation costs.

Work is expected to begin this week to install the floor at the lean-to that was constructed last week. The new collection building has not been completed yet. Monroe stated that once it is done, the floor is installed and the collection bins are installed, the city will close down the former collection site and notify the public of the changeover.

Annual Woods Reunion Held Sunday June 18th

With fifty-seven family members and friends gathered at the Grand Hall in Memphis, Sunday, June 18th for the Woods family reunion.  Fried chicken was furnished for all attending, as was a beautiful layered cake honoring all fathers there – it was also Father’s Day – and others brought salads, desserts, and veggies.  Lucille Woods Cossel asked the blessing prior to eating.

Randy and Charles Woods were in charge of reunion arrangements, with many pitching in to help.  Bonnie Woods Schultz gave a number of “mug rugs” to adults and to the children she had magnetic gifts.

An added area of interest was the display of family fact sheets and pictures display.  Randy and Bonnie were mostly responsible for these displays.  More pictures are desired for next year’s reunion.

Alison Woods Widmer from Aurora, CO, came farthest and Avery Rimer from Edina, MO was the youngest attending.  Ivan and Virginia Woods claim the honor of being the oldest!

Attendees were Alison Widmer Aurora, CO; Andrea Krog, Clarence; Johnny Morrison, Alexandria; Nancy and Joe Plowman, Cassie Plowman, Scott Shively, Bloomfield, IA; Darla and Leon Steenblock, and Darrel Cossel, Des Moines, IA; Dianna Rempp, Lucille Cossel, Tessa Islander, Ali Jo Islander, Reasnor, IA; Golda Seybold, Vicki Shear, Don McClean; Alicia, Will, and Adrian Gore, Quincy, IL; Hollis Woods, Keokuk, IA; Junior Woods, Ottumwa, IA; Sean and Clarinda Woods, Lone Jack, MS; Dale and Christine Heaton, Richard and Samantha Heaton, Unionville, MO; Bonnie Schultz, Kirksville; Lowell and Darlene Woods, Baring, MO; Dean Woods, Melvin Lee, Sarah, Jaxon, and Avery Rimer, Edina; Jennifer Woods, Downing; Jim and Kim Woods, Arbela; Jon, Sam, and Shannon Rader; P.T. and Diana Woods, Novinger; Chas. Woods, Jannet Graham, Ivan and Virginia Woods, Kevin, Debbie, Matthew Woods, Buzz, Faith Ann, Merit, and Halle Miller, Pam Mallett, Randy Woods, Karen Shippen, all from Memphis.

Submitted by Virginia Woods

Wright Graduates from MSU

SPRINGFIELD – Missouri State University conferred 2,651 degrees to students at its 2017 spring commencement May 19 at JQH Arena.

A total of 1,995 bachelor’s degrees, 554 master’s degrees, 93 doctorate degrees and nine specialist degrees were conferred.

Shaye Wright of Memphis, Missouri, graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology.

Jones Named to BVU’s Dean’s List

STORM LAKE, IA – Shelbie Jones, of Greentop, was named to Buena Vista University’s (BVU) Dean’s List for terms three and four. Students named to the Dean’s List must have a minimum grade point average of 3.5 for the two terms, based on a 4.0 grade point system, and must have taken at least 12 hours of coursework.

Jones attends BVU’s Ottumwa site.

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