April 15, 2004

City Utilities Take Step Forward In Technology World

The Memphis City Council approved the gradual transition to automated meters for both water and electricity service that will dramatically reduce the utilities meter-reading requirements.
Technology often can reduce workload, but not many businesses have the opportunity to transform three weeks of work into an afternoon stroll around town. That is exactly what the City of Memphis is hoping to do with its newly approved automated utility meters.

In a special meeting March 16, the City Council voted 3-0 (Alderman Mike Stone was not present at the meeting) to move forward with a plan to install the new meter system. The proposal calls for the transition of the towns water and electricity meters into new units that will generate an electronic signal, which will allow the meters to be read by a handheld unit.

The project will cost an estimated $275,000 to install new automated meters as well as the transmitters on the existing electronic meters for the more than 1,000 customers of the citys water and light services.

Obviously we are not going to do this overnight, stated Superintendent Dennis Howard. We are going to space this out over the next three to five years both for budgetary reasons as well as the fact that we dont want all of these meters to come on line at the same time. You should change a water meter about every 10 years, so we dont want to put in all new meters now and be faced with replacing all 1,000 meters at the same time again in 10 years.

Currently the water department has already installed approximately 500 automated meters over the past several years. To make these meters compatible with the electronic reader, a transmitter must be installed on each unit at a cost of $105 for each piece.

The remaining 500 plus water meters must be purchased at a cost of $190 ($85 meter and $105 transmitter).

Right now we have 50-percent of the city covered by automated meters, Howard stated. Eventually, everyone will have a remote meter, meaning they will not be bothered each month when we come to get a reading.

The meter reader will no longer have to enter the home to take a meter reading. Nor will the employee have to worry about pumping water out of the meter pit or trying to find the pit when there is a snow covering.

That is obviously one of the biggest benefits of this system, Howard said. We wont be bothering residents to read their meters. The handheld unit can pick up the signal from as far away as 800-feet, in most circumstances the worker wont even have to get out of the truck.

The water superintendent pointed out that this will save the city a tremendous amount of man hours. Currently it takes approximately three weeks to record the meter readings for the city. Howard said the new system could cut that time down to a couple of hours each month.

The time savings is just one of the benefits. The automated system will cut down on billing mistakes and meter re-reads, as the hand-held unit transfers the data directly into the citys billing software, eliminating the need to manually enter the numbers each month.

The new system also will streamline the billing process. Previously the customers bill may have been read on the first day of the month and then not until the 15th day on the next month. With the new, quicker system, billing will be more consistent with a standard 30-day measurement period.

The convenience issue can not be overlooked for the reading process either. Snow in the winter, and rain in the spring make it difficult to manually read water meters that are located in tiles or meter pits in the yard. In February, with a foot of snow on the ground, the meter reader would have to use a metal detector to locate the pit cover and then would have to shovel off the snow to get to the meter to take a reading. They then would have to re-bury the pit to insure the water line did not freeze up. In a wet spring, the reader often has to use a pit-pump to remove water from the pit so that the meter can be read.

Now the meter reader simply will have to walk or drive past the property and receive the electronic signal.

That also will help the meter reader avoid inconveniencing the property owner. They wont have to worry about tracking mud into the home or avoiding the dog.

The city is moving forward with a Census model meter. Not only does the same company manufacture all the components of the meter, the units offer a 10-year battery warranty with extended coverage up to 20 years.

At the special meeting, the city council agreed to purchase 500 new automated electric meters, which include the transmitter, at a cost of $120 per unit. The city received a $20 discount per unit for buying in quantity. The mass purchase also allowed the city to receive the $14,500 package including the meter reader, a new touch-reader, software and the docking/recharging base for the units at a cost of just $2,000.

We used to start reading meters on the first of the month and wouldnt get done until the 15th or the 20th, Howard said. We had 10 different meter books and now this one little hand-held machine will replace them all.

The new machine will not immediately replace any city employees. Howard said the saved man hours will be put to work elsewhere in the department. However he noted that when members of the department began retiring or left the job for other positions, that the city could consider leaving those openings vacant because of the time savings generated by the new system.

Ultimately with all the time it saves the two departments, the improved accuracy and eventually the salary savings, this will definitely pay for itself over time, Howard said.

Scotland County Hospital Admissions & Dismissals

ADMISSIONS: 10/10/16 – Owen Nicholas Briggs, Memphis; Charles Burks, Sr., Wyaconda 10/11/16 – Stephanie Martin, Memphis; Lejric Martin, Memphis; Tyler Scott Ramer, Luray 10/13/16 – Finley Antal, Downing 10/16/16 – Willis Martin, Arbela; Tim Farley, Memphis 10/17/16 – Sheila Owings, Memphis; Shelbi Cline, Memphis 10/18/16 – Dominic L. Cline, Memphis; Vera Tague, Wyaconda; Morris Walker, Memphis 10/20/16 – Gracia Murphy, Keokuk, IA; Ruby Murphy, Keokuk, IA

DISMISSALS: 10/11/16 – Owen Nicholas Briggs, Memphis 10/12/16 – Lejric Martin, Memphis; Stephanie Martin, Memphis 10/14/16 -Finley Antal, Downing; Tyler S. Ramer, Luray 10/18/16 – Charles Burks, Sr., Wyaconda; Sheila Owings, Memphis 10/20/16 – Tim Farley, Memphis

Scotland County Commission Meeting Minutes

Thursday, October 13, 2016

PLACE OF MEETING: Scotland County Courthouse Commission Chambers

The meeting was called to order at 9:00 a.m.

PRESENT WERE:  Presiding Commissioner: Duane Ebeling; Eastern District Commissioner, Danette Clatt; Western District Commissioner, David Wiggins; and Deputy County Clerk, Nancy McClamroch,

Commissioner Wiggins moved to approve the consent agenda; seconded by Commissioner Ebeling. Motion carried 3-0.

The minutes from October 13, 2016 were presented. Commissioner Wiggins moved to approve the regular session minutes; seconded by Commissioner Clatt.  Motion carried 3-0.

Commissioner Ebeling signed Court Orders- #16-2016 to 30-2016.

Dave Davison with NEMO Regional Planning visited with the Commissioners.

Irvin Oberholtzer talked with the Commissioners about Route Y road conditions.

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, October 19, 2016.


Wednesday, October 19, 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 Clatt moved to approve the consent agenda; seconded by Commissioner Wiggins. Motion carried 3-0.

The minutes from October 13, 2016 were presented. Commissioner Wiggins moved to approve the regular session minutes; seconded by Presiding Commissioner Ebeling. Motion carried 3-0.

Kathy Kiddoo, Treasurer, reported the funds formerly requested by the Pauline Cemetery Association have fully been expended for maintenance of the cemetery.

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

Tom Shannon called to inquire about purchasing rock for the Village of Granger.

Jonathan Reiff presented an updated nutrient management plan for a proposed CAFO.  A public hearing for consideration of the permit application was set for November 10, 2016 at 10:00 a.m.

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, October 20, 2016.

Missouri State Auditor, Nicole Galloway, visited with Scotland County Elected Officials from 1:15 p.m. until 2:00 p.m.

SC Little Paw’s to Host Fall Fest October 29th


Would you like your children, daughters or sons, to have a great day of fun, dancing and playing group games with the Scotland County High School Little Paws?  Then mark October 29th on your calendar because from 9:00 a.m. -2:00 p.m. at the Scotland County High School, a day of learning large group and small group routines, and playing games with the SC Little Paws is something your child can look forward to.  The day will also include snacks and cheek cheers.

Parents are encouraged to attend their child’s performance of their routine at 2:00 p.m.

The cost for the day will be $15, which includes a t-shirt and snacks.  The children will need to bring a sack lunch.

Please sign up by October 21st so we can make sure each child receives a t-shirt.  The pom clinic is open to all girls and boys from three years to 8th grade.  Call Marie Brown at 465-2036 to register or with any questions.

We will also have our Yummy-Lix Lollipops available to the children for fifty cents each if they are interested.  And if you did not receive a pom calendar we will have some available for $5 each.

Hope to see you and your child/children on the 29th!

Downing House Hosts Candlelit Tour of the Past


The Downing House Museum Complex and members of the community hosted an “Evening at the Museum – Candlelit Tour of the Past” this past weekend, October 14th and 15th.  Approximately 240 people attended the event, raising $1,200.00. Volunteers portrayed various characters and wrote their own dialogue for the two-night performance.  Characters included: a one-room school teacher (Lois Quenneville), William Downing (Joe Fulk, who also provided the welcome), Dr. A. M. Keethler (Harlo Donelson), Ella Ewing (Teresa Cotton), the Depot ticket master (Tom Cotton), Tom Horn (Jeff Dyer), a Civil War soldier (Chris Kempke), a barber (Larry Riney), Granny Green (Anna Lynn Kirkpatrick), and a blacksmith (Frank Wineinger).  Tour guides for the evening included Lynette Dyer, Rhonda McBee, Leslie Clark, Mary Ann Kirkpatrick, Janet Hamilton, Brooke Wineinger, Angie Wentworth, Elle Wentworth, Melissa Miler, Gary Miller, Angela Westhoff, Scott Westhoff, and Jan Slayton.  Box office volunteers were Debbie Seamster, Ruth Ann Cairn and Pam Shalley.  Sheila Berkowitz made the flyers, tickets and videotaped the event.  Pam Shalley served as photographer.  Elaine Forrester provided refreshments including cookies, punch and wassail and Alisa Kigar’s 4-H group donated some of the cookies.







Photos by Pam Shalley

Hospital Pharmacy Celebrates National Pharmacy Week      

Scotland County Hospital Pharmacy staff members (L to R) Dani Waterman, CPhT, Matt McKee, RPh, and Jennifer Laws, BSPS will be honored as part of National Pharmacy Week October 16-22.

Scotland County Hospital Pharmacy staff members (L to R) Dani Waterman, CPhT, Matt McKee, RPh, and Jennifer Laws, BSPS will be honored as part of National Pharmacy Week October 16-22.

The Scotland County Hospital’s Pharmacy Department is celebrating National Pharmacy Week, October 16 –  22.  Pharmacy Week acknowledges the invaluable contributions that pharmacists and technicians make to patient care in hospitals, ambulatory care clinics, and other healthcare settings.  During Pharmacy Week, Scotland County Hospital celebrates and recognizes the significant role that our Hospital Pharmacy plays as a member of the healthcare team.

The Hospital’s Pharmacy Department is staffed by Matt McKee RPh, Director of Pharmacy, Jennifer Laws BSPS, Supervisor of the Pharmacy Department and Danielle Waterman CPhT, Certified Pharmacy Technician.  No matter the time of day or night, our physicians can write an order for a medication for our in-patients and the medication will be administered promptly after interactions have been checked, thanks to the staff in the Pharmacy Department and their cooperation with the physicians and nurses at Scotland County Hospital as well as the staff of Scotland County Pharmacy and Blessing Hospital pharmacists.

Many patients and their families are not aware that the Hospital’s pharmacy staff play a critical role in preventing medication errors, collaborating with other disciplines to optimally manage patients medication needs, improving safety and patient outcomes, and advising prescribers on the best drug choices, all while maintaining the proper inventory to meet the needs of the patients.

Although medicine can make you well, it can also harm you if it is not taken the right way. That’s why you need to know all you can about all the medicine you take. While you’re at Scotland County Hospital in Memphis, MO, the pharmacy staff is here to make sure that you receive the best and safest medications that aid you in your comfort and recovery.

Scotland County Speedway to Host Memphis Fall Nationals this Weekend


Racing action will return to the Scotland County Speedway this weekend for the annual Memphis Fall Nationals. The local track will host a two-day show October 21st and 22nd featuring modifieds, stock cars, sportmods, hobby stocks, sport compacts and late models.

With temps expected be in the high 60’s as highs and around 50 for the lows, the racing will continue this weekend at the Scotland County Speedway for the Fall Nationals,” said promoter Mike Van Genderen. “This show has been a huge tradition for many years and has become one of the favorite shows for many racers.”

Curt Marks of Dubuque Moving and Storage has added to the late model purse, making it $1,000 to win, which should add to the field of fastest cars at the speedway.

The track will host open practice for all classes from 3 to 5 p.m. on Friday.

Hot laps will start at 7 p.m. on Friday night and at 6 p.m. for Saturday’s show.

With modifieds, sportsmods, stock cars and now late models all vying or a $1,000 top prize, the track is expecting a large car count as the 2016 racing season winds down across the Midwest.

The races will also be broadcast live on Speed Shift TV at www.speedshiftTV.com.

Cayden Carter captured victories on both nights of the Memphis Bottom Heavy Nationals held at the start of the month at SCS with his 10C modified. The Oskaloosa driver will be looking to keep his streak alive.

Tommy Elston was the winner in the late models while Jason Cook and Jeff Mueller staged a battle in the stock cars, splitting the wins.

More than two dozen sportmods participated in the Bottom Heavy Nationals, with the stock cars and modifieds also more than 20 racers, numbers the Fall Nationals should duplicate or exceed.

Grandstand tickets are $15 for adults and $7 for students. Pit passes will be $30 nightly or $55 for the two-day show.

For more info contact Mike Van Genderen at 6441-521-0330.

Missouri Department of Insurance Offers Free Assistance To Seniors During Medicare Open Enrollment 

Jefferson City, Mo. – The Missouri Department of Insurance is encouraging Missourians eligible for Medicare to review their plan options and costs during this year’s open enrollment. To help Missouri consumers choose a plan that best meets their needs, the department offers free assistance through the CLAIM program.

CLAIM provides unbiased help to Missourians on Medicare and their caregivers. During the annual open enrollment period, which runs October 15 through December 7, consumers can change their Part D drug coverage or Medicare Advantage plans.

“Plans and prices can change from year to year and what you had last year may not be what is right for you this year,” said John Huff, director of the Insurance Department. “Contacting a CLAIM counselor could result in better coverage, more savings or both.”

Missouri consumers can ask questions by phone or arrange one-on-one counseling by calling 1-800-390-3330 or visiting missouriclaim.org. The website also offers a list of free open enrollment events that CLAIM is hosting throughout Missouri during open enrollment.

CLAIM can also assist consumers, who have limited income, determine if they qualify for programs to help lower the cost of prescription drugs.

Consumers with complaints or questions about insurance can call the department’s Insurance Consumer Hotline at 1-800-726-7390 or visit insurance.mo.gov.

About the Missouri Department of Insurance, Financial Institutions & Professional Registration

The Missouri Department of Insurance, Financial Institutions and Professional Registration (DIFP) is responsible for consumer protection through the regulation of financial industries and professionals. The department’s seven divisions work to enforce state regulations both efficiently and effectively while encouraging a competitive environment for industries and professions to ensure consumers have access to quality products.

Haunted House/Safe Stops Coming Soon!


by Andrea Brassfield

With Halloween less than two weeks away, local organizations are preparing activities for area trick-or-treaters.  On Thursday, October 27th, the Scotland County Care Center is hosting their first annual Haunted House.  The event will be open from 5:00-7:00 p.m. and admission is a free will donation.  The Haunted House will be located at the front entrance/activity room of the Care Center.  Everyone is invited.

The Memphis Area Chamber of Commerce is also hosting their annual Safe Stops on Monday, October 31st from 4:00-6:00 p.m. Children may visit Memphis Area Chamber of Commerce members for Trick-or-Treating.

You will see a bright orange flyer at participating businesses which have treats for the costumed little ones.  Crossing guards will also be posted at each corner of the Memphis Square where most of the members will be set up.

There are several MACC members who do not have a store front on or near the square, but do have treats at their business locations on Highway 136 and Highway 15.  Names of the participating MACC businesses will be published in the Memphis Democrat.  Only those businesses with an orange flyer are officially recognized as a Safe Stop.  A parent or adult should accompany the children.

As a reminder, Harlo Donelson is offering a Halloween Candy Buy Back.  The dental office will pay $4.00 per pound for your goodies, $3.00 he will give to you and $1.00 will be donated to the reading program at the elementary school.

Along with the candy and costumes comes the need for added caution as youngsters venture out onto the streets to trick-or-treat.  Drivers are asked to be extra safe this weekend.  Popular trick-or-treating hours are from 5:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. so be especially alert for kids during those times.

Children should be reminded to walk with an adult, remain on well-lit streets, if sidewalks aren’t available, walk on the far edge of the roadway facing traffic, and never cross between parked cars or out of driveways.

Have a Safe and Happy Halloween!!!

Chinese Delegates Agree to Buy $2.1 Billion More U.S. Soybeans

DES MOINES (Oct. 14, 2016) – Six weeks ago, Chinese buyers committed to purchase nearly $1.8 billion worth of U.S. soy, totaling 146 million bushels of U.S. soybeans. Friday, Chinese buyers made an even larger commitment, signing contracts worth $2.1 billion of U.S. soy, or 5.1 million tons.

The new commitments were signed at a ceremony held in Des Moines and attended by seven of the top Chinese buyers of U.S. soy, Chinese commerce officials, top Iowa state officials and representatives from the U.S. soy industry. The signing ceremony was hosted by the U.S. Soybean Export Council (USSEC) and the Iowa Soybean Association. Governor Terry Branstad, Lieutenant Governor Kim Reynolds and Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey were in attendance.

Iowa Governor Terry Branstad talked about the trust, honor and respect that have helped foster the long relationship between Chinese president Xi Jinping and U.S. soybean farmers, sharing a photograph that shows the Chinese leader’s first visit to Iowa in 1985. “It’s pretty neat to have the president of China call you an ‘old friend,’” he stated.

This year, U.S. soybean farmers are projected to export a record amount of soy and soy products, up from 62.88 million metric tons of soy and soy products, valued at $27.7 billion, in 2015. International buyers are turning to U.S. soy for a variety of reasons, including its quality, sustainability and reliability, to name a few.

China Chamber of Commerce for Import & Export of Foodstuffs, Native Produce and Animal By-products (CFNA) president Brian Zhenhu spoke about the trade collaboration between the U.S. and China. “This signing ceremony is just one manifestation of our cooperation,” he said.

These sentiments were echoed by the U.S. soy industry. “We were honored to be joined by a group of Chinese provincial officials and crush company representatives, who traveled 7,000 miles to meet with U.S. exporters to sign 16 purchasing agreements,” said Jim Miller, USSEC chair, American Soy Association (ASA) director and Nebraska soybean farmer. “These agreements are an example fo the strong partnerships between the U.S. soy value chain and the international buyers who purchase our crop.”

The U.S. Soybean Export Council connects U.S. soybean farmers with opportunities to improve human nutrition, livestock production and aquaculture. This mission is accomplished with a science-based technical foundation and a global network of partnerships including soybean farmers, exporters, agribusiness and agricultural organizations, researchers and government agencies.

For more information, contact Lisa Humphreys at (636) 449-6040 or LHumphreys@ussec.org

RICHARD W. BILLINGS (8/23/1946 – 10/17/2016)


Richard Wayne Billings, 70, of Gorin, died Monday, October 17, 2016 at Scotland County Hospital in Memphis.

He was born the son of Ross “Shorty” and Stella Margaret (Davis) Billings on August 23, 1946 on a hill in Scotland County.

Richard graduated from Wyaconda C-1 High School.   He joined the United States Army, attaining the rank of Sergeant, before being discharged in 1972.

He married the former Beverly Marie Hicks on May 28, 1988 in Kirksville.   She survives.

Richard worked as a machine operator at Metzler Automotive in Keokuk.  He was member of the United Steel Workers #444. Upon retirement, he devoted his time to farming.

He was a member of the American Legion and a former member of the Bible Grove Saddle Club.

Richard had a special interest in cattle, AC tractors, and his dog Ruby.   He was fond of his horses, cows, and dogs.   He always looked forward to reading the NEMO Trader when it came out.   Richard especially enjoyed spending time with his family and friends.

He was preceded in death by his parents; a brother, Tom Billings; and a stepson and stepdaughter-in-law, Chris and Cindy Van Hoozen.

He is survived by his wife, Beverly, of the home; his children, Lesia (Rick) Hunziker and Les (Erin) Billings of Kahoka and Kimberly (Kevin) Carr of Warsaw, IL; stepchildren, Jennifer (Troy) Esser and Shawna Stone and special friend, Bubba Hauk, of Memphis; grandchildren and step-grandchildren, Raelynn, Logan, Lauren, Vince, Garrett, Wyatt, Clint, Laura (Craig), and Trent (Amber); step grandchildren, Nichole (Jimmy), Caleb, John, Whitney, Emma, Grace, Phillip, Katie (Colton), Mason, Kenny, Jaycen, Heather (David), Carrissa (John), Nakiya, Kody and Kaleb; 22 step-great-grandchildren; numerous brothers and sisters-in-law, nieces, nephews, and friends.

Funeral services will be at noon on Thursday, October 20, at the Gerth Funeral Chapel in Memphis with Shawn McAfee, pastor of the Peaksville Christian Church, officiating.   Burial will follow in the Etna Cemetery.

Military rites will be performed by the Wallace W. Gillespie Memorial V.F.W. Post #4958 of Memphis.

Visitation is prior to the service, from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m., Thursday, at Gerth Funeral Home.

Memorials are suggested to the Scotland County Cancer Fund or the Clark County Local Cancer Fund and can be left at or mailed to the Gerth Funeral Service, 115 S. Main St., Memphis, MO 63555.

Online condolences may be sent to the Billings family by signing the online guest book at gerthfuneralservice.com.

Arrangements are under the direction of the Gerth Funeral Service.

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