October 27, 2005

High Pump Prices Have Some Seeking Fuel Alternatives

When gas prices were nearing $3 per gallon, motorists across the area were scratching their heads, pondering what they could do to avoid paying escalating fuel prices.

While current prices have come down some, the average cost of $2.76 per gallon in the Midwest is still more than 80 cents a gallon higher than just one year ago according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

Its just 81 cents, but when you stop and consider that motorists in Missouri use 8.3 million gallons of gas per day, that represents $6.7 million a day more being spent to get back and forth to work, to the grocery store or to go on that Sunday drive.

According to the Missouri Department of Natural Resources the typical Missouri vehicle uses approximately 600 gallons of fuel and is driven more than 16,000 miles each year. So on average, drivers will spend close to $500 more at the pump in 2005.

Unless one owns stock in an oil well, motorists would probably rather spend that $500 on something else. There are options to try to offset the added expenditure.

One such opportunity can be seen in the new hybrid vehicles that combine gasoline engines with electric motors to power the car.

One example than can be seen locally is the Toyota Prius. Fritz and Janet Gerth recently purchased a 2005 model year Prius specifically for the fuel efficiency. The hybrid ranked at the top among mid-sized cars available today by generating an average of 55 miles per gallon of gasoline.

With our kids living in Columbia, Florida and Wisconsin, it just made sense to take gas mileage into consideration, said Janet Gerth. Still it was pretty amazing, the first time I went to fill up the car, it only took six gallons of gas, and we had driven 480 miles.

The Prius sports an efficient gas engine with an emissions-free electric motor that generates the industrys best gas mileage while also proving to be more environmentally friendly as far as emissions.

The hybrid features a regenerative braking system that converts otherwise wasted kinetic energy into electricity, automatically recharging Prius battery so it never has to be plugged in. The regenerative braking allows the motor to act as a generator when braking, converting the kinetic energy of the cars motion into electric energy that recharges the battery, further increasing the hybrids fuel economy.

Those that prefer to stick with standard gasoline-powered rides should be able to find a little relief thanks to farmers.

Ethanol and biodiesel are two alternative fuels that folks living amongst the nations corn and soybean fields can only hope will eventually replace imported oil as the nations top fuel source.

Ethanol is a clean-burning, high-octane fuel produced from corn, a renewable resource grown locally. A blend of 10% ethanol, 90% gasoline (called E10) can be used in any make or model of vehicle. E85, a mix of 85 percent ethanol is also available but may only be used in specific flexible fuel vehicles (FFV).

Farmers will be the first to tell you that a bushel of corn sells for less than a barrel of crude oil, so why isnt ethanol replacing gasoline at the pumps.

The problem is, there are only 87 ethanol plants currently producing in the United States. The U.S. ethanol industry produced a record 3.4 billion gallons of ethanol in 2004, which was roughly 3 percent of the fuel used in the U.S.

Congress is pursuing an aggressive energy policy that calls for a Renewable Fuels Standard that would provide for a market of 8 billion gallons of ethanol by 2012, more than doubling the current supply. Still that will displace only roughly five percent of the nations dependence on foreign oil (dropping from 67.4 percent to 62.3 percent - 2.125 billion barrels of crude oil, taking $64.1 billion away from foreign oil producers) according to a LECG report.

The American Coalition for Ethanol notes that E10 currently sells for as much as 10-cents less per gallon than 100 percent unleaded gasoline and E85 can be bought for as much as 50-cents per gallon less.

In addition to the cost savings, ethanol means higher profits for local farmers. The U.S. Department of Agriculture estimates that every 100 million bushels of corn used to produce ethanol increases the price of corn by 3 to 5-cents per bushel.

If you prefer soybeans instead of corn or that vehicle runs on diesel instead of gasoline, then biodiesel is the ticket.

Biodiesel is the name of a clean burning alternative fuel, produced from domestic, renewable resources. Biodiesel contains no petroleum, but it can be blended at any level with petroleum diesel to create a biodiesel blend. It can be used in compression-ignition (diesel) engines with little or no modifications. Biodiesel is biodegradable, nontoxic, and essentially free of sulfur and aromatics.

Biodiesel is better for the environment because it is made from renewable resources and has lower emissions compared to petroleum diesel. It is less toxic than table salt and biodegrades as fast as sugar. Since it is made in the USA from renewable resources such as soybeans, its use decreases dependence on foreign oil and contributes to our own economy.

The only problem is, biodiesel currently costs more than standard diesel fuels.

Locals still might want to consider the alternative fuel considering a study completed in 2001 by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. It found that an average annual increase of the equivalent of 200 million gallons of soy-based biodiesel demand would boost total crop cash receipts by $5.2 billion cumulatively by 2010, resulting in an average net farm income increase of $300 million per year. The price for a bushel of soybeans would increase by an average of 17 cents annually during that ten-year period.

Just some fuel for thought.

Area Students Named to Buena Vista University Graduate & Professional Studies Dean’s List

STORM LAKE, IA – The following area students have been named to the Dean’s List at Buena Vista University Graduate & Professional Studies for terms one and two:

Hilary Harris of Memphis, Mo., who attends Buena Vista University Graduate & Professional Studies Ottumwa location.

Shelbie Jones of Greentop, Mo., who attends Buena Vista University Graduate & Professional Studies Ottumwa location.

Derrick Muntz of Memphis, Mo., who attends Buena Vista University Graduate & Professional Studies Ottumwa location.

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.

Buena Vista University’s main campus in Storm Lake, Iowa, was founded in 1891, and its Graduate & Professional Studies (GPS) degree-completion program began 40 years ago. Today, the GPS program’s 16 learning locations and online courses have given more than 15,500 graduates the opportunity to expand their potential with a pace, academic rigor, and class sizes that appeal to a wide variety of students. A diverse menu of over 50 different programs and courses designed for working adults delivers options that meet many educational needs, and a variety of class formats make scheduling even more convenient. Visit www.bvu.edu/gps.

Buena Vista University blends liberal arts with real-world experiences, preparing students for lifelong success, especially in the areas of elementary, secondary, and special education; business and accounting; and biological and chemical sciences. BVU is an affordable option for all students and, combined with its academic programs, has led U.S. News & World Report to rank BVU as the third best value school among Midwest Regional Colleges.

Rotary Collecting Shoes for Orphan Soles

shoes feature web

Rotary President, Bill Kiddoo has announced the local Rotary Club will take part in the District 6040 annual shoe drive.  To date, over fourteen years, Missouri Rotarians have contributed 270,528 pairs of shoes and $8,513 in cash.

Shoes and socks collected go to the most vulnerable children around the world.  This includes orphans, children who have lost one or both parents, those who live in institutionalized care, or poverty.

Donated shoes must be new, uppers with shoe strings or Velcro and hard soles and heels.  No open-toed or flip flops are allowed.  Donated cash helps to pay for shipping cost to Africa, Asia, Europe, North America and South America.  Shoes sizes should be for children ages one to teens.

You may bring shoes or cash to the Rotary Building at noon on any Tuesday, contact any Rotarian, or leave your donation at Cook’s Mens Store. This year’s shoe drive will end on April 16, 2016.

Gundy Named to Culver-Stockton College’s President’s List

CANTON – Delaney Gundy, a junior Art Education major from Gorin, was named to Culver-Stockton’s President’s List for work done during the fall 2015 semester.

To be named to the President’s List, Culver-Stockton College requires students to meet high academic standards. President’s List students have earned a 4.0 GPA and were enrolled in a minimum of 12 hours.

C-SC also announced its Honor Roll for the fall 2015 semester. To be named to the Honor Roll, students must meet high academic standards established by Culver-Stockton.

Local students honored included Ashley Watson of Brashear and Wyatt Kice of Memphis.

Culver-Stockton College, located in Canton, Mo., is a four-year residential institution in affiliation with the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). C-SC specializes in experiential education and is one of only two colleges in the nation to offer the 12/3 semester calendar, where the typical 15 week semester is divided into two terms, a 12-week term and a 3-week term.

The C-SC Wildcats are members of the Heart of America Athletic Conference (HAAC) and the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA).

Azen Jolly Timers Host February Club Meeting

The Azen Jolly Timers met at the Scotland County Hospital on February 3rd at 6 p.m. Alisa Kigar, Communication Specialist from SCH, led the group on a hospital tour.  Following the tour President Brock Aylward called the meeting to order. Pledges were led by Penelope Cline and Kendal Anderson. Roll call was your Super Bowl prediction.

The minutes were read by Bryn Aylward.  Kendal Anderson moved to approve and Abby Doster seconded the motion, motion passed. The treasurer’s report was read by Bailegh Phillips. Penelope Cline moved to pay bills and Brenna Phillips seconded the motion, motion passed.

In the report of project groups the Clover Kids met January 6th at the United Methodist Church and completed terrariums. In new business the achievement event will be March 6th  at the SCR-1 Elementary School. Registration begins at 1:30. Enrollment forms were passed out and are due back to Kristy by February 26th.  Dog school will begin on Feb.22nd and continue every Monday.

Demonstrations next month will be Avery Cowell and Jacob Stott.

Next month refreshments will be provided by Mohrs (snacks) and Justin Cowell (drinks).

Penelope Cline moved to adjourn the meeting and Kendal Anderson seconded the motion, the meeting was adjourned.

Submitted by Bryn Aylward. Reporter

Columbaria, Mapping Among Upgrades Being Considered at Memphis Cemetery

columbaria web

Improvements and upgrades for the municipal cemetery were a focus point of the February 4th meeting of the Memphis City Council. The board of aldermen reviewed a preliminary proposal for the addition of a columbaria, a structure or building that includes niches to house funeral urns for cremation remains.

A proposal is being considered to ad such a structure in the recently completed scattering garden at the Memphis Cemetery. Initial estimates have established costs ranging from $25,000 – $40,000 for stand-alone walls or structures with outside access of 70-90 niches.

Ron Henkenius of Memphis Funeral Home has been working with City Superintendent Roy Monroe to gather information for the proposal.

“Predictions at present, estimate that in 15 years cremation will be selected by 85 to 90 percent of the public,” said Henkenius.

The cost of the columbaria would be recovered over time in the purchase price of niche space, which was estimated between $650 – $800.

The city has been requested to provide digital photography of the proposed site to allow professional rendering of an official proposal, free of charge.

The council also considered a proposal from Midland GIS Solutions for digital GPS mapping of the cemetery.

The Maryville-based company currently is performing GPS mapping of the city’s utility systems.

The proposal calls for digital aerial photography integration into the cemetery mapping GIS program to be used for visual ground reference. The mapping would establish cemetery lot boundaries as accurately as possible using coordinate geometry.

While the proposal would only identify plots by section, block, lot and space numbers, the data base would be available for the city to add additional information, such as the name, plot classification (open, sold, closed, etc.), date of birth, date of death and additional comments.

As part of the proposal, the company would also create an online cemetery mapping program, which if the city chose, could be made available to the public for research purposes.

The bid included a 47,000 price tag for the mapping, $2,500 for the online mapping program, and $1,200 for a one year data hosting agreement for a total cost of $10,700.

The council tabled the bid until further details are received regarding the actual mapping process, and if GPS coordinates will be used to accurately establish all plot sizes and locations, or if the mapping is simply based on descriptions and existing mapping.

Continuing on the cemetery topic, Monroe presented a preliminary estimate for resurfacing the driving surface at the site. Monroe stated preliminary figures were approximately $150,000 for a hot-mix resurfacing of the 1.7 miles of road in the cemetery.

Due to the cost, Monroe suggested considering using city crews to make asphalt upgrades where feasible and added he was working on some preliminary plans to install additional parking areas.

Monroe also reported initial groundwork with the USDA office regarding mapping of possible terrace installation or other upgrades to remedy an expanding ditch issue on the new cemetery ground.

“The experts told us that cemeteries are notorious for runoff issues,” said Monroe. “Because they are mowed and manicured so well, they produce as much as 90% runoff of storm water, which can lead to ditch issues.”

Duley, Hunolt Named to Northwest’s Honor Roll

The Office of the Registrar at Northwest Missouri State University announced the names of students named to the Academic or President’s Honor Roll at the end of the 2015 fall trimester.

To be included on the Academic Honor Roll a student must carry a minimum of 12 credit hours and attain a grade point average of 3.50 or above on a 4.00 scale. Students named to the President’s Honor Roll have attained a perfect 4.00 GPA for the trimester.

Anna A. Duley of Memphis and Andrew M. Hunolt of Baring were named to the Academic Honor Roll.

Bruner Earns MBA Degree at Northwest

The Office of the Registrar and the Graduate School at Northwest Missouri State University have released the names of students who completed requirements for degrees at the conclusion of the 2015 fall trimester.

Degree recipients include: bachelor of science (B.S.), bachelor of science in education (B.S. Ed.), bachelor of technology (B.T.), bachelor of arts (B.A.), bachelor of fine arts (B.F.A.), master of science (M.S.), bachelor of science in clinical laboratory sciences (B.S. CLS), bachelor of science in medical technology (B.S. MT), master of arts (M.A.), master of business administration (M.B.A.), master of science in education  (M.S. Ed.), and education specialist (Ed. Spec.)

Alex Newly Bruner of Downing received his Master’s of Business Administration degree.

Behind the Lens – How To Take A Picture Perfect Self Portrait

by Taylor Lloyd

Let’s face it. Pictures are the best… and the worst. A picture is so unique in that it has the power to transport you back in time to a place filled with fond memories or more often (for me anyway) it can evoke embarrassment (did I really wear that? What on earth was I thinking!?). For better or worse though, pictures are often treasured keepsakes and while I’m strictly more of a nature/ landscape photographer, even I understand the importance of a good portrait. For this reason, I’ll share with you a few tips on how to look your best when it comes to taking your own portrait.

(1) Remember what your trying to capture. While I believe that the difference between a Selfie and a self portrait is that the latter is more thoughtful and time consuming, Self portraits can be anything you want them to be (I mean come on. You’re in charge). They can be a means to capture a flattering authentic image of yourself or an artistic impression of who you aspire to be. They can be goofy or business oriented. Whatever the case may be, being focused on what you are trying to convey in the first place will most certainly improve your portrait.

(2) To achieve flattering portraits (either on you or someone else) is to know what is your best side or angle or features you possess. One thing I strongly believe in is when a face is turned slightly, it will be more flattering than looking squarely straight at the face. The reason being is that an angle gives the appearance of depth and causes the viewer to be more engaged and intrigued in your photo.

(3) Having good lighting is key to creating good portraits. Though take this tip with a grain of salt, though, because everyone has their own opinions on what looks good, for some like to play with other lighting elements to create different feelings. But good lighting will enhance details. With good lighting it is also important to let the light brighten your face. You will want to be having the light source facing you, otherwise you’ll end up with shadows or patchy splotches of sunlight covering your face. Inversely, don’t overexpose your face in the light or else you’ll be squinting and look washed out in the harsh light. Photographing on a cloudy day usually produces great lighting because the clouds act like a giant diffuser, making the sun’s light less intense and more evenly dispersed.

(4) For beginners, starting to shoot yourself at eye level, if not slightly above, is a good angle to start with and having your eyes on the top third of your photo is generally more visually pleasing. More times than not, the eyes are the first thing you notice on a person and with that being said, always make sure the eyes are in focus when taking pictures. Catchlights (the light source you see reflected in the eyes of your subject) are also something that is pleasing to capture in the eyes because it captures the life or spark in a person.

(5) Just like in horror movies, always be aware of what’s behind you. Instead of monsters, it’s the background that should concern you. Background as much as lighting plays an important role in your self portraits. A background that’s not out of focus enough or is too bright distracts the viewer from the main subject and thus loses the point of taking the photograph in the first place. Also be conscious of what you are wearing. Wrinkles or an upturned collar on a shirt can make a photo look sloppy. Unless this is your goal, give yourself a once over before snapping the picture.

(6) Where you position yourself will direct the rest of your photo. It is wise to never crop your pictures right on the joints of your subjects. Your goal should be to elongate and flatter the body and when you crop at the knees, ankles, toes, fingers, elbows, waist, neck, and wrists can make a person look rather stumpy. A good question to ask yourself when you crop (whether in camera or in photo editing) is, “does this look deliberate or does it look like a mistake?”

(7) Don’t be afraid to use props in your photos. Mirrors especially can make an image even more interesting. Holding a mug full of steaming coffee, or a full wine glass for example, will help give the picture a certain mood. Using a prop to stand in your place while you prefocus for your shot is also very useful if you have no other means by which to prefocus.

(8) My final tip is a bit more on the technical side but it might be the most handy. Use a tripod and also put your camera on timer mode. It is also wise to use Continuous Mode (or Burst Mode as some call it). Continuous shooting Mode isn’t just something that DSLRs have – most point and shoot cameras have it as an option also. This mode allows you to take multiple pictures as the shutter button is pressed down instead of the usual single shot you would otherwise get. There are a few variations to this mode, one of them being that your camera has a set amount of pictures it will take in an allotted time. This allotted amount of time is determined by how long of a shutter speed you have. For example, if you have the camera set on Continuous Mode and your shutter is set for a one second exposure, your camera will take the picture for that length of time and then take another photo for the same length of time. Continuous Mode is a great tool when combined with the timer mode. It gives you enough time to get into place and it will take multiple pictures, leaving you with several photos to choose from. Another great tool to throw into this combination is a remote. I have a cheap ($10 off Amazon) remote that has been an excellent device to own and I use it more often than I imagined I would. The reason I love my remote so much is it reduces camera shake when you are taking long exposures and it is also helpful for when you are in position for your portrait and you can’t move from your predetermined spot to press the shutter button down. Another excellent function of the remote is that if your camera is on Auto Focus, using the remote will focus the camera for you, which is crucial when you lack props to take your place where you will stand.

Self portraits can be quite addicting and each one can be vastly different from the last with just a few alterations. Armed with these simple tips, I hope you can better hone your skills at taking self portraits and have fun doing so. Until next time, happy shooting!

Construction Projects Lead Agenda at February City Council Meeting

construction

While the current cold spell may not make it seem like it, the Memphis City Council worked the through its February 4th meeting agenda under the premise that spring is just around the corner. And with the improving weather comes the start of construction season.

The board of aldermen discussed a number of proposed projects being considered for the 2016 construction season.

City Superintendent Roy Monroe reported ongoing legal work surrounding possible ramifications of a joint effort between the city and private property owners adjacent to the municipal light end power plants for the proposed construction of a flood levee.

The partnership idea was born out of shared interests in protecting property that currently is threatened by canal flooding at the west city limits of Memphis, on the north side of Highway 136.

Initially the city was considering construction of a concrete berm surrounding the power plant’s new substation. After learning that adjacent landowners were considering building an earthen levy on the west side of their properties and along the north/south boundary between these properties and the city’s water and power plants,  the parties met to discuss a possible partnership.

Initial discussions were had between the city and the property owners about the possibility of completing an earthen levy along the western borders of the private property and continuing the length of the city property.

Such a proposal would eliminate the need of the private property owners building the levy on the north border of their properties, and would also eliminate the need for the city to build the concrete retaining wall around the substation, which would represent significant savings for the city.

Preliminary discussions between the city and the landowners have centered around initial costs as well as maintenance responsibilities moving forward.

Monroe reported additional concerns have risen regarding potential liability generated by such a levee if flooding occurs on non-protected land on the other side of the canal.

The council asked Monroe to continue to seek legal advice regarding such liability issues, working with the Corp of Engineers and other resources to establish options for moving forward with the project.

PARK BUILDINGS

Monroe reported progress working with the local Boy Scouts as well as the American Legion regarding the possibility of restoring a community building at Legion Park. Such a structure had existed for many years before its deteriorating condition had forced its removal more than a decade ago.

The project is still in the planning stages and will be dependent upon available funding from all three partners.

A proposed shelter and new restrooms at Johnson Park has hit a snag, as grant funding for the project was denied by the Department of Natural Resources.

Monroe reported the City of Memphis was one of 16 applicants for grant funding, and one of just four that did not receive funding.

Last season, the city had placed portable restrooms at the site, but the city will now look into constructing some form of temporary restrooms, with the possibility of later moving the building and using it for storage if and when funding is secured for the larger shelter/restroom project.

MOWER BIDS

The council opened bids for the purchase of two new commercial zero-turn mowers and three commercial-grade trimmers. The low bid of $4,500 was accepted from The Farm Shop, Inc. of Edina for two 2016 EXMARK mowers with 60″ deck and 27HP Kohler engines, and three RedMax Trimmers. The bid price included trade in of two 61″ SCAG mowers.

Bids were also received from Wiss & Wiss Equipment of  Kahoka, Armstrong Tractor, LLC of Donnellson, IA and Garden Spot in Edina.

AIRPORT

Continued maintanence issues with the airport beacon have led to preliminary discussions regarding replacing the lighting system that identifies the airstrip to planes in the air. Preliminary cost estimates ranged from $4,000 to $10,000 to replace the beacon, which is believed to be the original installed in the 1970s.

The airport committee will work on a proposal to be presented to the council at a later date.

Scotland County Hospital Admissions & Dismissals

Scotland County recorded 26 admissions and 26 dismissals from January 29 through February 8, 2016.

ADMISSIONS: 1/31/2016 – Joseph L. Young, Kahoka 2/01/16 – Angela Wiley, Bloomfield, IA; Chyanne Popp, Lancaster; Gracelynn Popp, Lancaster; Jase James Wiley, Bloomfield, IA 2/02/16 – Ashton Pruett, Wayland; Tara Pruett, Wayland 2/05/16 – Roxie B. Miller, Memphis

DISMISSALS: 1/29/16 -Shelby Garrett, Lancaster; Aidyn Lynnae Jackson, Lancaster 2/3/16 – Chyanne Popp, Lancaster; Gracelynn Popp, Lancaster; Angela Wiley, Bloomfield, IA; Jase J. Wiley, Bloomfield, IA 2/4/16 – Tara Pruett, Wayland; Ashton Pruett, Wayland 2/5/16 – Joseph L Young, Kahoka 2/6/16 – Roxie B. Martin, Memphis

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