April 21, 2005

What if?

by Chris Feeney

What if government for the people, by the people, meant that the average person actually knew what the government was doing? Lately, its become painfully obvious to me that, a lot of people know very little about what their elected officials are doing.

Granted, many of those ignorant of current events, are lacking the knowledge by choice. But what worries me are those who want to know what government is up to, but who are not getting that information. Im not overly concerned that we have bad officials or that anyone has anything to hide. My anxiety deals more with the fact that its my job to inform the public of what is going on with their city council, water board, school district, hospital, care center

A few weeks ago many media outlets across the state commemorated Sunshine Law Week. The Sunshine Law governs public meetings and maintains open records for government to allow the public to keep track of their leaders decisions and how their tax dollars are spent.

At this time I was considering a similar editorial, announcing the newspapers new policy of publishing minutes from every board meeting we could get our hands on. Call me lazy, call me less than excited about hunting down all of the records, or call me reluctant to make these organizations feel like I was checking up on them. I guess you can call me whatever you want, because Im now issuing the pledge to regularly publish the official minutes from:

the SCR-I and Gorin R-III school boards; the Memphis City Council and board meetings from Downing, Arbela, Granger and Gorin; Scotland County Memorial Hospital, Scotland County Care Center, Scotland County Health Department and the Scotland County CPWSD#1, plus any other governmental decision makers that spend your tax money or control other aspects of your life.

Again, let me stress that Im not suggesting that any of these boards are doing anything wrong, I just dont want to hear the public complaining about new policy and saying I never heard anything about it until it was too late.

Ive heard that on numerous occasions and I must say that it makes me feel quite guilty. Its the duty of the newspaper to keep the public informed. When a decision is made and the public is uninformed, I take responsibility. Thats why I hope all of these boards will cooperate and make every effort to submit minutes in a timely and regular manner to allow us to keep the public in the know.

At the Thursday meeting of the Memphis City Council I heard numerous citizens question why the city was raising water rates? Why hadnt the city and the rural water worked together to solve the supply issues that ultimately led to rural water switching to Lake Rathbun and the city having to impose a significant rate hike?

It wasnt the first time Ive heard a newspaper reader ask that question. The readers didnt know, because the newspaper editor didnt know. I hadnt attended the meetings and hadnt requested the minutes. Its my fault you didnt know, and I apologize.

Im not commenting on the decisions, or the process, simply the fact that I let you down as a newspaper editor and Im going to try not to let that happen in the future. This editorial is not meant to suggest that any official was hiding anything, or acted inappropriately in any matter. As far as I know these were public meetings.

I only single out the water issue, because it is in the news this week. Ive had the same questions posed about decisions made by just about every governmental entity in the community at some point or other.

My wife and family would disown me if I pledged to attend every single board meeting every month, so letters will be going out in the next week or so, requesting regular submission of meeting minutes. If there are boards that I have not listed that you would like to read about, please let me know.

Memphis Man Killed in Crash Near Arbela

A Memphis man was killed and another seriously injured in a two vehicle accident over the weekend in rural Scotland County.

According to the Missouri State Highway Patrol, Harley D. Stone, 24, of Memphis was killed when the 2015 Polaris Can Am all-terrain vehicle he was driving collided with a pickup truck on a hill crest on County Road 456 west of Arbela.

The Stone vehicle was eastbound when it crested the hill and met at the center of the road a westbound 2001 Dodge truck driven by Christopher M. Chabert, 29, of Memphis.

Stone and a passenger in his vehicle, Jacob A. Blessing, 21, of Memphis both were ejected from the ATV. Stone was pronounced deceased at the scene at 4:40 a.m. by Scotland County Coroner Dr. Jeff Davis. Blessing sustained serious injuries in the crash. He was transported by Scotland County Ambulance to University Hospital in Columbia.

Chabert was not injured in the crash, which occurred at 4:00 a.m. on May 20th. Chabert was ticketed for driving while intoxicated.

The Patrol was assisted at the scene by Scotland County Fire and Rescue, Scotland County Ambulance and Scotland County Sheriff’s Office.

SCR-I Band to Make ‘Long March’ to Washington DC to Take Part in National Memorial Day Parade

As residents of a rural school district, Scotland County R-I students are used to long bus rides. However on Thursday, some three dozen SCR-I musicians will be boarding a bus for a trip that will exceed their bus mileage for the year, just one-way.

At 4 p.m. on Thursday, May 24th the Scotland County R-I band, along with support staff, boosters and chaperones will be boarding a charter bus departing the SCR-I high school parking lot bound for Washington D.C. The public is invited to line the road to show the band support on its departure.

“Last minute preparations are well underway as the Marching Tigers are putting on the finishing touches on their performance,” said band Director Nathanial Orr. “You may even hear the band marching around town.”

The trip to the nation’s capital is more than 900 miles, with the group expecting to arrive on the East Coast  in time for lunch on Friday.

After the meal with tour manager Barbara Longnecker at Union Station, the group will take a tour of the U.S. Capitol before enjoying dinner at Bertucci’s Italian Restaurant. That evening the group will be treated to a parade at the Marine Barracks featuring the US Marine Band in full dress uniform.

Saturday will feature a full day of tours including stops at Lafayette Square, the White House and the National Archives Building, home of the Declaration of Independence, Bill of Rights and the Constitution.

After lunch they will visit Ford’s Theater where President Lincoln was assassinated before touring Arlington National Cemetery to witness the changing of the guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. The evening will conclude with tours of the US Air Force and Pentagon 9/11 Memorials, as well as the Jefferson, FDR and Martin Luther King, Jr. memorials.

The nation’s history will be on display again on Sunday as tour members will visit the Lincoln, and Vietnam and Korean War memorials as well as the US Holocaust Memorial Museum before spending the afternoon at the Smithsonian Institution’s museums. The evening will be capped off at the National Memorial Day Concert on the west lawn of the Capitol. The event will broadcast live on PBS.

Finally on Monday, the band members will get to work, participating in the National Memorial Day Parade.

“The band will be performing ‘Colonel Bogey March,’ a tune featured in ‘Bridge over a River Kwai’,” said Orr. “The color guard will be wearing homemade uniforms representing a different branch of the armed services.  Each member of the guard has a connection as parts of the uniform they will be wearing are from the uniform of their family members.”

Orr said the parade will be televised on the Armed Forces Network as well as streamed on YouTube.com, Military.com or NationalMemorialDayParade.com.

“Due to time constraints and commercial breaks, there is no guarantee that SCR-I will be televised,” he said.

Later that evening, the group will visit the World War II Memorial and place a Scotland County High School wreath at the base of the Missouri state marker.

Tuesday, day 6 of the event, will feature a trip to Mount Vernon, before boarding the tour bus at 2 p.m. for the return trip to Memphis. The group is expected to arrive back home Wednesday, May 30th around 9 a.m.

The trip has been made possible through the hard work of the band students and boosters as well as the generous contributions of local supporters. Work began last May after word was received the band had received the honor of participating in the national event. Numerous fundraisers were held over the next 12 months to fully fund the more than $1,000 price tag per band member for the trip.

Larry Gieseke to Address 72nd Annual Memorial Day Services

Larry Gieseke will be the featured speaker on Monday as the Wallace W. Gillespie Memorial Post #4958 of the Veterans of Foreign Wars hosts the 72nd Annual Memorial Day Services on the lawn of the Scotland County Courthouse.

The services will begin at 10 a.m. with Post Commander Lloyd Erickson and program chairman Donnie Middleton welcoming the crowd.

Veterans Floyd C. Baker and Mike Stephenson will perform the traditional wreath placement at the soldiers’ memorial on the southeast side of the courthouse. Fellow serviceman Bill Camp will lead the gathering in the Pledge of Allegiance.

Sonny Smyser of the Lancaster Church of Faith  will lead the invocation prior to the performance of the National Anthem by the Memphis Community Players, who will also provide additional patriotic music for the service.

Judge Gary Dial will again have the honor of introducing the service’s guest speaker.

Following Gieseke’s speech, veteran Jamie Parker will sing Sleep Soldier Boy.

Following the benediction by Smyser, the VFW members will present a 21 gun salute before the performance of taps by service member Melinda Briggs with ECHO played by Chris Kempke.

The service is open to the public. In case of inclement weather, the program will be moved indoors at the VFW post.

Fifty-Seven Units of Blood Donated at Spring Blood Drive

The spring community blood drive held on May 8th at the First Baptist Church of Memphis resulted in the donation of fifty-seven units of blood to the American Red Cross. We would like to thank all those who took time out of their busy day to come and donate.

Of the sixty-seven people who came out to donate, five were first-time donors: Laura Carr, Reilly Shoemaker, Luke Triplett, Matthew Woods and Mark Zeiset. May this mark the beginning of a lifelong habit of helping others through this life-saving gift.

The following donors are recognized for reaching their respective donation goals: a one-gallon pin was awarded to Harley D. Saulmon and a two-gallon pin, to Mike M. Blain. Carol McCabe earned a five-gallon pin, Sara Frederick earned a seven-gallon pin, and Bruce Childress was awarded an eight-gallon pin. David M. Ahland earned his fourteen-gallon pin. Way to go, Mike! But, the greatest achievement goes to Larry Riney who has reached 20 gallons, which is equivalent to 160 units of blood. This is the average total amount collected from two of our community blood drives. Thanks, Larry, you are an encouragement to us all and remind us that even one committed person can really make a big difference. Let’s be encouraged by their commitment, knowing that we, too, can make a difference, Congratulations to all these who have reached their respective goals and to all first-time donors. Your much-needed donations are greatly appreciated.

Special thanks are in order to Lighthouse of Faith for their generous supply of homemade cookies, to Community Bank for providing sandwiches, to Pizza Hut for donating free pizzas to student donors and to J’s Food for providing orange juice to all donors. And a very special thank you to all the local Red Cross volunteers for making this event possible by serving food and drinks to donors and providing comfort and support to both the Red Cross workers and all who give. God Bless!

BABY CICERO

Mandi and Chris Cicero, along with sisters, Kara and Alexis, would like to announce the birth of Christina Violet Cicero, born May 2, 2018 at Capital Region Medical Center.  She was born at 3:19 p.m., weighed 7 lbs 14 oz and was 21 ½ inches long.  She is the granddaughter of Wayne and Terri Bulen, Stephanie Cicero, and Kelly Wiles.

BABY BUCKNER-DAVIS

Kira Stark of Kahoka and Dante Davis of Kahoka are the parents of a son, Trevon Land Buckner-Davis, born May 12, 2018 at 8:45 a.m. at Scotland County Hospital in Memphis. Trevon weighed 6 lbs 8 oz and was 20.5 inches long. Grandparents are Dede Segovia of Kahoka; Steven Stark of Kahoka; Carissa Smith of Keokuk, IA; and Rick Davis of Keokuk, IA.

BABY HILL

Justin and Diana Hill of Bloomfield, IA are the parents of a son, Maverick Gabriel Hill, born May 5, 2018 at 8:06 p.m. at Scotland County Hospital in Memphis. Maverick weighed 7 lbs 14.8 oz and was 21.5 inches long. Grandparents are Monty and Isle Hill of Bloomfield, IA; Jim and Linda Snowbarger or Marshalltown, IA; and Thomas Upton of Mediapolis, IA.

BABY SMALL

Bruce and Kendra Small of Memphis are the parents of a son, Abel Forrest Lee small, born May 11, 2018 at 2:36 a.m. at Scotland County Hospital in Memphis. Abel weighed 6 lbs 8 oz and was 19 inches long. He is welcomed home by siblings, Mason and Vancel. Grandparents are Bobby and Shelley Small of Memphis; Jodi Heatherly of Memphis; and Kenneth Westfall of Perry, IL. Great-grandmother is Linda Baker of Memphis.

Scotland County Genealogy Society Hosts May Meeting

Terry Arnold vice- president of the Scotland County Genealogy Society called the May 14th meeting to order with 10 members present.

June Kice gave the treasurer’s report.

Old business: Terry Arnold reported on work days.

New business: Bonnie Hayes reported the group’s copy machine will need replaced.

The book sale was discussed for Antique Fair days and the cookie sale will be held again at the Antique Fair, on Saturday as in the past.

A work day was scheduled for Tuesday, June 12th.

June Kice gave a program on the history of Mother’s Day, which was started in the 19th Century before the Civil War by Ann Reeves Jarvis of West Virg1na to teach local women to care for their children. Later, others honored Friendship Day, when mothers gathered with former Union and Confederate soldiers to promote reconciliation.

Suffragette and abolitionist Julia Ward Howe wrote a Mother’s Day proclamation promoting world peace The official Mother’s Day holiday arose in the 1900’s as the result of Anna Jarvis as a way of honoring sacrifices of mothers for their children.

President Woodrow Wilson signed a measure officially establishing the 2nd Sunday in May as Mother’s Day.

Terry Arnold closed the meeting.

Refreshments were served by Twyla Stevenson and Marlene Cowell.

Connie Bratton, Secretary

Register Now for SC Tiger Cub Summer Football Camp

Scotland County Tiger Cub Summer Football Camp 2018 will be held July 17, 18 and 19 from 4:00 p.m. – 5:40 p.m.

Kids entering fourth, fifth of sixth grade who are interested in playing football are encouraged to attend.

Coaches Kirk Stott, Nic Hatfield, Matt Buford, Travis Stott, William Parsons, Josh McSparren, and Curt Triplett will work with camp participants on fundamentals of the sport.

Registration forms, camp fee, complete with t-shirt size and parent/guardian signature must be returned to Coach Stott at the High School Office by Thursday, May 31, 2018.

This camp is used to learn basic fundamentals of the Scotland County Tiger football program.

Payment of $20.00 must accompany the entry form. Make checks out to Tiger Cub Football.

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