October 28, 2004

Berkowitz, Munzlinger Square Off In Debate For House Seat

Regardless of how voters in the First District cast their ballots, the region will have an experienced legislator to serve northeast Missouri in Jefferson City. Incumbent Brian Munzlinger, R-Lewistown and former state representative Sam Berkowitz, D-Memphis, squared off in a televised debate October 20th in Canton to try to help voters decide who is the best candidate come November 2nd.

The forum, which was televised live on WGEM television of Quincy, allowed both candidates to address questions from a media panel consisting of Doug Wilson of the Quincy Herald-Whig, Dan Steinbeck of the Canton Press News Journal and Matt Schmidt of KHQA television.

Education took center stage for both men as funding issues have been one of the bigger campaign platforms for both candidates.

Berkowitz stated that education has always been his top priority. He pointed to the $600 million shortfall in fully funding the states education formula, adding that 3,000 school employees had been laid off in education including 1,500 certified teachers.

I will never ever cut the schools of this area like they have been cut the last couple of years, Berkowitz said.

That kind of rings hollow, Munzlinger retorted. The last year my opponent was in the legislature seven of our schools up here lost funding. Actually, we have given education more money each year than they have gotten the year before. I dont see any cuts there.

Munzlinger pointed out that the foundation is outdated, having been in use for 13 years even though the creator had envisioned its use for only eight years.

Its time we rolled up our sleeves and went to work on this, Munzlinger said. Its a broken formula. However if there are any changes, we need to be sure and protect the funding for our rural schools.

He pointed out that in each of his four years in Jefferson City that education funding has increased, including a growth of $143 million this year, which was $10 million more than Governor Bob Holden had in his original budget plan.

Berkowitz countered, pointing out that the foundation formula was $600 million from being fully funded.

What the Republicans did this year was to fill in the gap from 2003, Berkowitz said. The people in this district lost $700,000, in all the counties, $700,000, in things that were cut by the Republicans in 2003. We are $115 million still behind in the foundation formula this year.

The education funding issue boiled over into a later question regarding tax increases.

Asked when they would vote for a tax increase, Munzlinger stated that he had not voted for a tax increase since he had been in Jefferson City. He added that he would not do so until we run out of cutting waste, fraud and abuse, that we have in our system, then it might be necessary, but not until then.

Berkowitz responded, stating that lack of funding for education in the past few years had forced school districts to pass tax levy increases.

Actually Brian you have voted for a tax increase, he said. Last year when you voted to cut $700,000 from this area and $600 million statewide in the last two years, you shifted the burden of the taxes from the legislature to the local taxpayers.

Berkowitz stated that last year 114 school districts voted on tax levy increases.

If thats not a tax increase, nothing is, Berkowitz said. And you voted on it.

Munzlinger countered, noting that it was withholdings by Governor Holden that caused the funding shortages for schools that ultimately pushed the districts to pursue local tax levy increases.

That was 3,000 teachers salaries that he withheld, Munzlinger said.

Berkowitz pointed to the transition to lump sum budgeting under the Republicans control of the legislature as a problem for education funding and the budget problems overall.

If Im elected Id stand on my desk to make sure this didnt happen again, Berkowitz said. Lump sum budgeting in essence took every legislator out of the budget process. We used to go over the budget line item by line item.

Berkowitz blamed the lawmakers Republican leadership for changing this process in 2003, giving the budget process over instead to the department heads.

That in effect, is giving the budget to the bureaucrats, he said. That is a total diminished leadership. We in this district were diminished because of that.

Munzlinger responded, stating that Berkowitz knew what really happened as he was working in Jefferson City when Governor Holden sent out a memo to all the department heads encouraging them not to work with the legislature on the budget plan.

Other areas where the two candidates differed included support for Amendment #3, which would end the diversion of funding meant for transportation into the states general revenue fund.

Berkowitz pointed out his history of supporting transportation funding for highways 136 and 61, but noted the proposed law change does have a Catch 22. He indicated the law change could create a $1 billion revenue shortfall because of the transportation funds that will no longer find their way to the general revenue fund.

There is the possibility that some of that money that went to education, social services and other departments may not be available, Berkowitz said. So whats the next step when they say that it wont raise your taxes? Well if the money is not available, then what do you do? You either do something about taxes, or you cut.

Munzlinger responded, stating he had not heard any concerns about a budget shortfall, not since Governor Holden was playing Chicken Little two years ago, and actually this last year when he withheld the reserve funds from education.

The Republican candidate said he was in favor of the amendment, noting it would make MoDOT more accountable, something voters have wanted since Proposition B failed to increase funding to the state highway department.

The two men also differed in opinion regarding a new governor.

Munzlinger stated any new governor would be a breath of fresh air since Governor Holden refused to work with the legislature. He noted that both Matt Blunt and Claire McCaskill have campaigned as candidates that will make bipartisan efforts with lawmakers to solve the states problems.

Ive had the governors people in my office and they told me one thing on Thursday night and on Monday morning it was exactly opposite.

Berkowitz defended Governor Holden, pointing out his efforts to help make the Highway 61 project a priority to receive funding for four lanes.

If it wasnt for Governor Holden, the highway out here that we see running through this county and soon to be in Clark County, would not have been done, Berkowitz said. So lets give credit, where credit is due.

Both candidates agreed on a number of key issues, including the high priority of transportation, prescription drug prices, expanding ethanol and bio-diesel use programs, and the war on methamphetamine.

Berkowitz closed by saying Im the representative that improved your road and bridges. I made your nursing homes safer. I helped find operating funds for the Jim Sears Northeast Technical Center that will help to bring you more jobs here. I had eight forums in the four years I was here on every subject you can think of. Im the representative that brought Jefferson City closer to the First District. Id like to continue that effort.

Munzlinger closed by stating that when my opponent was in Jeff City he voted 23 times to raise $1.2 billion in taxes, and that reaches into your pocket. What I want to do, is simply what Ive done Ive represented the values of our rural area. I want to be sent back to Jefferson City to represent the people of the First District and carry on what weve started - that is making the government more accountable.

Happy Red Hatters Meet in Memphis

The Happy Red Hatters of Downing, MO had lunch at the Scotland County Nutrition Center in Memphis on August 10, 2017.

 The hostess was Carolyn Schmitter, Those present were Bette Herbert, Marilyn Blessing, Betty Anderson, Arlene Stice, Carolyn Schmitter, Margaret Mobley, Louise Newland, Rosalie Kinney, and Maudie Oliver.

 The September 7, 2017 meeting will be held at the Downing Appreciation Days Building.

SCR-I School Menus

Breakfast

Monday, August 21 – French Toast Sticks, Choice of Cereal, Toast/Jelly, Fruit Medley, Juice/Milk

Tuesday, August 22 – Donuts, Choice of Cereal, Toast/Jelly, Fruit Medley, Juice/Milk

Wednesday, August 23 – Bacon/Egg/Cheese Sandwich, Choice of Cereal, Toast/Jelly, Orange Half, Juice/Milk

Thursday, August 24 – Breakfast Burrito, Choice of Cereal, Toast/Jelly, Orange Wedge/Grapes, Juice/Milk

Lunch

Monday, August 21 – Hot Dog/Bun, Bar BQ Ribb/Bun, 5th/6th Grade Chef Salad, Potato Rounds, Pork and Beans, Mandarin Orange Slices, Fresh Fruit

Tuesday, August 22 – Cheeseburger/Bun, Tenderloin/Bun, 5th/6th Grade Taco Bar, Oven Ready Fries, Buttered Corn, Sliced Peaches, Fresh Fruit

Wednesday, August 23 – Pork Choppette, Chicken and Noodles, 5th/6th Grade Potato Bar, Whipped Potatoes/Gravy, California Blend Vegetables, Dinner Roll, Sliced Pears, Fresh Fruit

Thursday, August 24 – Spaghetti/Meat Sauce, Chicken Fajitas, Hamburger Bar, Green Beans, Garlic Bread, Sliced Peaches, Fresh Fruit

Local Students Graduate With Honors From MU

Kathryn Mary Howard of Memphis was among the 2017 spring graduates at the University of Missouri in Columbia. Howard graduated with Cum Laude honors with a Bachelor of Health Science degree.

Jeremy Wiggins of Kahoka graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, BSBA with an emphasis in management as well as an undergraduate certificate and multicultural studies certificate.

Avery Shultz Selected to Perform with National FFA Band at 2017 National Convention & Expo

Avery Shultz, a member of the Memphis FFA chapter in Memphis, Missouri will be on stage and in the spotlight Oct. 25-28 during the 2017 National FFA Convention & Expo in Indianapolis.

Shultz, a sophomore and the daughter of Trent and Amy Shultz, has been selected to play flute in the National FFA Band.

Shultz submitted an audition tape and was selected to help bring full instrumental balance to the band from a pool of applicants nationwide.

The National FFA Band will perform several times during the national convention and expo.

Shultz will join fellow band members in Indianapolis for rehearsals three days before the convention and expo begins. Dow Agrosciences sponsors the National FFA Band.

The National FFA Organization provides leadership, personal growth and career success training through agricultural education to 649,355 student members who belong to one of 7,859 local FFA chapters throughout the U.S., Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The organization is also supported by 225,891 alumni members in 1,934 alumni chapters throughout the U.S.

About National FFA Organization

The National FFA Organization is a national youth organization of 649,353 student members as part of 7,859 local FFA chapters in all 50 states, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The organization is supported by 225,891 alumni members in 1,934 local FFA Alumni chapters throughout the U.S. The FFA mission is to make a positive difference in the lives of students by developing their potential for premier leadership, personal growth and career success through agricultural education. The National FFA Organization operates under a federal charter granted by the 81st United States Congress and it is an integral part of public instruction in agriculture. The U.S. Department of Education provides leadership and helps set direction for FFA as a service to state and local agricultural education programs. For more, visit the National FFA Organization online at FFA.org and on Facebook, Twitter and the official National FFA Organization blog.

The National FFA Foundation builds partnerships with industry, education, government, other foundations and individuals to secure financial resources that recognize FFA member achievements, develop student leaders and support the future of agricultural education. Governed by a 19-member board of trustees composed of educators, business leaders, individual donors and FFA Alumni, the foundation is a separately registered nonprofit organization. About 82 percent of every dollar received by the foundation supports FFA members and agricultural education opportunities. For more, visit FFA.org/Give.

St. Louis Group Searches for Historic Civil War Battle Site

Members of the Gateway Metal Detecting Club of St. Louis display their first find of the day, what is believed to be a Union bullet, during a recent search in the Bible Grove area for the site of the Civil War Battle of Vassar Hill. Bible Grove resident Jordan Dunn (left) helped facilitate the recent outing.

More than 150 years ago the sounds of gunfire rang out across the hills and valleys of southern Scotland County as America’s Civil War found its way to rural northeast Missouri in the form of the Battle of Vassar Hill.

While the struggle isn’t found in most Civil War history books as the 28 confirmed casualties didn’t likely have much impact on the war’s outcome, it remains an interesting part of local history.

In an effort to help confirm some of the lore surrounding the fighting, members of the St. Louis Metal Detecting Club recently visited the Bible Grove area in search of artifacts that might help determine the actual battle sites.

Bible Grove resident Jordan Dunn, who took part in the search process, shared some of the history surrounding the county’s Civil War conflict.

“Fifteen miles south of Memphis, near the town of Bible Grove, there was a skirmish fought between Confederate and Union troops on July 18, 1862,” he said. “Confederate riders had set out from Memphis and rode south, where they would set up an ambush on the old Memphis-Kirksville road.”

Dunn, who is a history major at Truman State University in Kirksville, spent this summer doing an internship at the Missouri Civil War Museum in St. Louis.

Dunn said the battle began as the 125-man Confederate force dug into Vassar Hill, waiting for the 280 Union soldiers to cross the North Fabius River and fall into their attack.

History tells that with each series of volleys, the Confederate men would fall back to a new defensive position and wait for the Union commander to order another advance. For two hours this went on, the valley filling with smoke, men and horses being killed or wounded.

“Finally the Union commander ordered his men back, believing the Confederate force that he faced to be far superior in number than the reality,” said Dunn.

Union casualties numbered 23 in total with an additional 60 being wounded, compared to the five killed or wounded for the Confederate army.

But inconsistent reports and stories have left the actual location of the Battle of Vassar Hill up for debate.

“Because of the conflicting records there is a chance that the main location of the fighting has yet to be detected,” said Dunn.

Matt Brewer helped facilitate the operation, granting permission for the searchers to access the Brewer farm, while also sharing some of the many different versions of the history, which highlighted no fewer than three possible locations to focus the efforts upon.

Dunn and his family members, including his grandfather Keith, joined the club members, scouring over approximately 20 acres of land. They discovered two Union bullets and four other mini-balls, leading them to believe that more searching could lead to the discovery of where this battle took place over 150 years ago.

Memphis License Office Set to Reopen August 22nd Under New Management

After nearly four months without a local option for driver’s license renewals and motor vehicle registrations, Scotland County will be back in business starting next week.

The Office of Administration, in conjunction with the Missouri Department of Revenue, has awarded the management contract for the Memphis License Office to Kay Eggleston Bookkeeping and Tax.

The four-month downtime notwithstanding, the transition will be fairly simple for customers. The office will continue to be operated at 338 S. Clay Street, adjacent to the bookkeeping and tax office.

Eggleston stated the office would be open from 9 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. The first day of business will be Tuesday, August 22nd.

All license office contracts in Missouri are awarded through a competitive bid process through the Missouri Department of Revenue.

According to Michelle Gleba, the state agency’s director of communications, the bid process opened June 1 and ran through June 29 and was handled via the state’s eProcurement System website, where prospective bidders could learn of the availability and generate a bid for the job.

The office officially closed on April 27th. During the approximately four-month period it was not available, Scotland County residents were forced to travel to other area license offices to handle business, with the closest locations being Kahoka, Edina and Kirksville.

Gleba reported that in fiscal year 2016, more than 13,800 transactions were conducted at the Memphis office, generating $45,764 in contractor processing fees.       All local license offices are overseen by the Missouri Department of Revenue, but each is operated by an independent contractor

New Aviation Collection to Highlight Pheasant Airplane Display During 2017 Antique Fair

A new collection of aviation materials is now on display at the Wiggins Family Museum as part of the Pheasant Airplane display. Jack White’s Corner will officially be announced as part of the exhibit during the 2017 Antique Fair festivities next week.

New to the Pheasant Airplane exhibit this year is an extensive aviation collection donated by Jack White of Palmyra. White, who served in the United States Air Force with Scotland County resident Bob Hunolt, took an interest in the historic aircraft manufactured in Scotland County after attending the unveiling ceremony when the original plane was brought back to Memphis five years ago.

The exhibit features numerous books, magazines, and periodicals as well as two display cases of various model aircraft.

The Museum will be open Thursday and Friday during the Antique Fair from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. and on Saturday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The Zelda Keith Memorial Quilt will also be on display at the museum as the raffle ticket drive draws to a conclusion. Tickets will be on sale for the raffle during the Antique Fair, with the drawing set to be held Saturday night, August 26th at the Antique Fair finale.

Seniors Creek, See Looking to Lead Lady Tigers to Elusive Playoff Berth

The Lady Tigers are hoping for plenty of celebrations like this one when they greeted Ashleigh Creek following one of her six home runs in 2016. SCR-I will look to Creek and fellow senior Stevi See (R to L) in helmets) to lead them in 2017.

An upset win over Canton in district semifinals a year ago boosted Scotland County’s softball team one step closer to the state playoffs. But the Lady Tigers fell to Knox County 2-0 in the title game, and the elusive district championship and berth in the state tourney once again  evaded SCR-I.

Will 2017 be the year? A pair of Lady Tigers seniors are hoping so. It will be the final shot for four year starter Ashleigh Creek who will toe the rubber for her final high school season, tossing to her battery mate and three-year starter Stevie See behind the plate.

The talented duo will be leaned upon heavily by coach Cory Shultz if the Lady Tigers hope to extend the season into the playoffs.

They have the talent to do it. Creek posted a miniscule 1.30 ERA a year ago, tossing 151 innings, allowing just 106 hits. She struck out 166 batters while walking 27.

She also handled the bat very well, posting a .346 batting average while bopping six home runs and driving in 29 runs.

See led Scotland County with a .350 batting average while hitting eight doubles and a home run and was second on the squad with 20 RBIs.

The duo will be backed by a completely new infield in 2017, as Shultz will have to replace three graduates who also filled a big part of the top of the lineup surrounding Creek and See. Gone are third baseman Chelsea Wood, first baseman Maddie Brassfield and shortstop Abi Feeney.

Feeney batted just .228 on the year but her bat came to life in the playoffs, when she went 3-4 in the upset win over Canton. Her glove will be the bigger loss, as she helped anchor the infield defense behind Creek.

Wood batted .306, overcoming a slow start to be one of the team’s more feared bats down the stretch. Brassfield  hit .214 on the year, hitting fifth behind Creek in the lineup.

In the preseason, Shultz has kept his lineups pretty fluid, moving a lot of players around on the diamond trying to determine his best defensive lineups.

Junior Khloe Hamlin looks poised to capture the starting shortstop role. Katie Feeney, who started at second base as a freshman, may move across the diamond to man the hot corner to replace Wood. She hit .308 in her debut season, and may take over for her sister in the leadoff spot in 2017.

Filling her spot at second base early on the preseason has been Julie Long, the team starting right fielder last year. Brassfield will be replaced by Madie Bondurant at first base.

Kaylyn Anders will return to handle the left field job alongside Abby Blessing who returns to start in center field. Anders batted .250 a year ago and will be counted on to replace some of the production in the middle of the order.

Freshman Kylee Stott is in the mix for the right field job along with Kaitlyn McMinn, Hailey Darcy and Morgan Blessing.

SCR-I went 14-11 a year ago, with a 4-4 mark in the Lewis and Clark Conference.

The Lady Tigers will open the season on Monday, August 21st, hosting Putnam County. Clark County will come to town on Thursday, August 24th.

VFW Auxiliary Holds August Meeting

Antique Days is coming up so break out those white pants. Those members marching in the parade will meet at the post at 9:30 on August 26th.

Due to the Labor Day holiday, the meeting in September will be moved to the 11th. Join us then at 6:30 at the post.

There will be no stagette this month, but get your appetites ready for details about the co-ed dinner in September.

Scotland County School Foundation

Dear Mr. Editor:

We are writing on behalf of the Scotland County School Foundation. During the past school year we were able to provide four students from Scotland County High School financial assistance to earn college credits through community colleges. This was accomplished through generous donations from local civic groups and individuals who were willing to invest in the future of students with financial need. Our committee has specific guidelines to award the scholarships. The requirements consider financial need through the free and reduced lunch eligibility, above average attendance, above average grades, and recommendations from faculty and community members.

This year we are again seeking donations to fund the dual credit program through the Scotland County School Foundation. The Foundation is a tax deductible 501c program that allows contributions to be earmarked for specific programs. We are hoping that any person or group will join us in contributing to the dual credit scholarship fund. We are not asking for specific amounts, but would be most appreciative of any donation.  If you could make a tax deductible donation, please send a check payable to “Scotland County School Foundation” in care of Ellen Aylward, 367 South Market Street, Memphis, Missouri   63555.

Any support will be highly appreciated by us and the students that receive the scholarships. If you have any questions please feel free to contact us by phone or talk to a Scotland County School Foundation member.

Respectfully,
Rhonda McBee and Julie Clapp

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