February 16, 2006

Outdoor Corner

by Chris Feeney

What, two weeks in a row? Yes, after a month or more away from regular sports columns, Im trying to dive back into the weekly presence in this spot. Unfortunately, February isnt the best time to try to come up with material.

Of course, after several days of cold weather I was beginning to wonder if I had not given up on ice fishing too soon. Maybe I had put my tent away too early and stored the auger prematurely. Turned out Mother Nature was just teasing me, as she snowed on my parade (not rained), insulating the frozen pond tops before hitting us with above freezing temperatures to dash my final hopes of one more outing.

Im not a coyote hunter and the reports I had on rabbits were as bleak as the bird numbers, so Ive remained indoors as the weeks of winter mount up. While Im not physically out hunting, I have been pondering some related issues.

One of the things Ive been wondering about since November, was the impact the Missouri Department of Conservations change to the telecheck system had on the deer harvest totals. We all heard that hunting totals were down in 2005. The experts blamed it on the abnormally large acorn crop, which kept the deer hidden in the forests where their favorite food was easily accessible.

Im no biologist, so I can speak as an expert on this subject. It just struck me as strange when I read that statewide in 2005, deer harvest numbers were down roughly 15,000 from the record take of 222,329 deer in 2004s firearms season.

Strange may not be the right word. I guess suspicious better describes the way I felt as I perused the list of harvest totals for the states counties. I dont think Schuyler County has that many more acorns than Scotland County, yet hunters in this county saw totals go up 227 deer this year, while Schuyler County hunters harvest total was down by more than 500, as was Adair countys.

Now the biologist will give way to the mathematician who will argue that counties that saw such large declines likely had fewer hunters take to the woods. Again, Im no expert, nor have I sought subpoenas for the records for the number of hunting licenses sold in these neighboring counties.

But as I sit there trying to decide if the glass is half full or half empty, I cant help but wonder if the states new checking system didnt play some roll in the decline of harvest numbers. Please all of you Schuyler and Adair County hunters dont call, or write hate mail just yet. Im not trying to single you out, those were just two numbers that would hit close to home and would easily argue my point my point being, that maybe the deer harvest wasnt down 15,000, but maybe the number of deer checked in was down 15,000.

Im not going to use this forum to argue the pros and cons of the telecheck system. Personally I like the ease wait what am I saying? I didnt get a deer this year. I would have liked the ease, no loved the ease of informing MDC of my monster buck via phone line or over the Internet. I would have enjoyed it much more if I hadnt missed twice with the bow and once with the rifle.

Hey, theres an argument for declining harvest numbers maybe everyone is as bad a shot as I am?

I suspect that neither acorns, or poor marksmanship accounted for all 15,000 deer we were off in 2005. Call me distrustful, but I would guess that there were a few hunters out there who simply forgot to call their deer in, or maybe they couldnt get connected to the Internet that day?

Is that a fault of the telecheck system? Would they have been more likely to drive the deer to the local check station? Probably not. I mean, a person who deliberately fails to check the deer in one manner, likely would take similar steps the following, regardless of the medium for checking the harvested animal.

Well, if the new system doesnt encourage folks to cheat, could it be that its just too simple? Too easy, isnt an excuse not to do it, but maybe it was the reason why some people accidentally forgot to check in their deer? Lets face it, we got into the routine of driving to town with the deer hanging off our tailgate, making several laps around the square for public viewing before heading off to the taxidermist or the locker. Now all we do is haul the deer out of the field back to the house. Or if you have your cell phone, you check it in right there in the field (thats my plan, so I can say they put me on hold with some elevator music while my partners field dress my deer for me.) But say the number is busy, or the wife is on the Internet when you get back. Then you fall asleep or whatever, and boom you forget to telecheck the deer. I may be wrong, but I wonder if all the deer hunters in the state read this, if there wouldnt be about 15,000 scratching their heads and asking themselves if they had forgotten to check their deer in?

Public Service Commission Sets Hearing Schedule for Liberty Utilities Proposed Rate Increase

Seeking to increase revenues by $7 million while also consolidating its three delivery districts into one, Liberty Utilities will be appearing before the Missouri Public Service Commission in a series of hearings beginning in May.

Formal evidentiary hearings are scheduled for May 21-25, 2018 and May 30-June 1, 2018 in the natural gas rate case filed by Liberty Utilities (Midstates Natural Gas) Corp. d/b/a Liberty Utilities.

The Commission will hold local public hearings in this case. Those hearings will be announced when dates, times and locations have been finalized.

On September 29, 2017, Liberty Utilities filed a natural gas rate case with the Missouri Public Service Commission seeking to increase annual natural gas revenues by approximately $7.5 million, of which approximately $500,000 is already being recovered from customers through the Infrastructure System Replacement Surcharge (ISRS). This results in a net increase of approximately $7 million. The ISRS appears as a separate item on the monthly bills of Liberty Utilities customers.

According to the Liberty Utilities filing, the proposed rate increase for a residential customer with average usage would be approximately $2.06 a month in the Northeast District (NEMO); approximately $14.09 a month in the Southeast District (SEMO); and approximately $7.62 a month in the Western District (WEMO). In this case, Liberty Utilities also seeks to consolidate its three rate districts, NEMO, SEMO and WEMO, into a single district with a uniform delivery charge.

Liberty Utilities provides natural gas service to approximately 53,400 customers in 25 Missouri counties (Adair, Bates, Butler, Cape Girardeau, Cass, Dunklin, Henry, Iron, Knox, Lewis, Macon, Marion, Mississippi, New Madrid, Pemiscot, Pike, Ralls, Ripley, Schuyler, Scotland, Scott, St. Clair, Stoddard, Wayne and Worth).

The initial public hearings will be held in Room 310 of the Governor Office Building, 200 Madison Street, Jefferson City. The Governor Office Building meets accessibility standards required by the Americans with Disabilities Act. Any person who needs additional accommodations to participate in these hearings should call the Public Service Commission’s hotline at 1-800-392-4211 (voice) or Relay Missouri at 711 prior to the hearings.

Downing Board Receives Update on Water Meter Replacements

The Board of the City of Downing convened at 6:00 p.m. on December 4, 2017 with Mayor Alan Garrett presiding. Present were Aldermen Ray Bange, Gene Bruner, Hannah Poe, and Bill Anderson, City Clerk Carol Dryden and Water/Waste Water Operator Larry Smith.

Copies of the agenda, minutes of the previous meeting, water/waste water report, deposits and disbursements, account balances and a revised sewer budget were given to those present.

Mayor Alan Garrett called the meeting to order.

A motion to approve the agenda was made by Bill Anderson and seconded by Ray Bange and carried unanimously.

A motion to approve the minutes from the previous meeting was made by Ray Bange and seconded by Bill Anderson and carried unanimously.

A motion to approve the bills was made by Bill Anderson and seconded by Ray Bange and carried unanimously.

Water/ Waste Water Report: Have replaced about 60 meters with our new ones still several to go. Larry is trying to find more rings and lids so we have some extra when needed. Hopefully Larry and Bill will be able to get the ditch measured that the lagoon runs into this week.

Street Maintenance: Need to work on roads there are several in town that have pot holes and dips. This needs done as soon as possible.

Cemetery: Discussed making changes to the ordinance in regard to flowers in the cemetery. Still have some research to do, so will discuss this and decide how we want to proceed next month.

Old Business: Had some mistakes on Sewer Budget, so revised for the board to look over. A motion was made to approve the new sewer budget by Bill Anderson and seconded by Gene Burner and carried unanimously.

New Business: Checking on getting some new Christmas decorations for the city. Will check on prices and discuss next month.

Complaints and other business that the Board Members have been made aware or by their constituents: The only complaints that have been made is on the condition of several streets which has been addressed.

Positive Thoughts: It is almost Christmas and we want to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

A motion to adjourn the meeting at 730 p.m. was made by Bill Anderson and seconded by Gene Bruner and carried unanimously.

Submitted by Carol Dryden, City Clerk

Winners Drawn for Rose Hardware Inc Shopping Spree

Two Local Winners Take Home $500 Each

The Christmas season just got a little more golden for TWO Rose Hardware Inc. customers.

On November 15th, the names of Anna Mae Good and Amy Carleton were drawn as winners of the Rose Hardware Inc. $500 Shopping Giveaway. Anna Mae and Amy were selected at random from more than 1000 entries submitted at the store from August 28-November 13, 2017.

Both Good and Carleton are loyal Rose Hardware Inc. customers and were THRILLED when contacted about their winning.  Good exclaimed, “That’s the best news I’ve heard all day,” and Carleton declared, with great appreciation, “This is truly an answer to prayer.”  Good and Carleton have hopes of completing some fall/winter projects with their winnings.

Scott and Angela Westhoff, Rose Hardware, Inc. owners, said that they are delighted to provide two of their customers with the opportunity to make their fall/winter projects a little more exciting.  “Everyone has a few extra chores this time of year, and we’re glad that Good and Carleton will be able to choose whatever supplies they need to get the jobs done.  We thank all those who entered the giveaway for their participation.”

Rose Hardware Inc. is located at 109 South Main on the west side of the Memphis square, and has been serving customers in the area for over 80 years.  Rose Do it Best Hardware offers a complete line of hardware, plumbing, electrical, paint, and housewares for everyone from the do-it-yourself homeowner to the professional contractor.  Rose Hardware Inc. is also a leader in Milwaukee power tool sales and service in Missouri and has been a Do it Best Corp. member since August 2002.

Based in Fort Wayne, Indiana, Do it Best Corp. is the only full-service U.S.-based, member-owned hardware, lumber and building materials buying cooperative in the home improvement industry.  With annual sales of $3 billion, Do it Best Corp. is the second largest co-op in the industry, serving 3,800 member-owned stores in the United States and in 53 countries.

Conservation Groups Help Hire New Land Management Specialist for Region

Pheasants Forever, Quail Forever, and its partners are pleased to announce the expansion of the Missouri Farm Bill Biologist Partnership with the hiring of three new positions throughout the state. The biologists – Wes Buchheit, Bryan O’Connor, and Wesley Hanks – will assist landowners in designing, developing, and funding habitat improvements on private lands through a unique partnership with the Missouri Department of Conservation and USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service.

Created in 2004, the Farm Bill Biologist Partnership has provided a valuable benefit across the country to landowners who are interested in voluntary conservation program enrollment. Pheasants Forever & Quail Forever biologists possess the knowledge of federal, state, and local programs to assist landowners in finding the right program to meet their personal habitat and land use goals. Since 2012, Missouri Farm Bill Wildlife Biologists have put over 150,000 acres of high quality wildlife habitat on the ground with Missouri landowners.

Wes Buchheit –  Farm Bill Wildlife Biologist in Jackson, Missouri. Buchheit, a native of Perryville, will provide conservation assistance to farmers and private landowners in the state’s southeast region to directly benefit bobwhite quail, monarch butterflies and other upland wildlife species in the diverse 3-county area of Perry, Cape Girardeau, and Bollinger. He can be reached at wbuchheit@quailforever.org or 573-517-8860.

Bryan O’Connor – Working for Pheasants Forever & Quail Forever in Clark, Lewis, Knox and Scotland counties, O’Connor will be responsible for land management and conservation assistance throughout northeast Missouri. For more information about private lands conservation programs in northeast Missouri, contact Bryan O’Connor at boconnor@quailforever.org or 308-750-2267.

Wesley Hanks – Working in Washington, Franklin, and Warren counties, Hanks will be assisting private landowners with Farm Bill programs. Hanks comes to us from the Missouri Department of Conservation, where he has been working on several conservation areas since 2012. For more information about scheduling a farm visit, contact Wesley Hanks at whanks@quailforever.org or 573-301-9672.

Green City Ends Lady Tigers Title Streak With 52-43 Defeat in Novinger Tourney Championship

Nove Cline puts up the shot over the Green City defender.

A nearly decade-long domination of the Novinger Tournament finally came to an end on Saturday in Novinger as Scotland County saw its nine-year championship streak snapped in the Novinger Tournament as a talented Green City squad proved too much to handle in the title tilt.

The Gophers (4-0) advanced to the Class 1 Elite 8 a season ago led by freshman Brooke Littrell. If Saturday has anything to show, Littrell, now a sophomore, is posed to lead the Gophers even further in 2018, as she poured in 28 points and grabbed 12 rebounds to help lead Green City to a 52-43 win over SCR-I.

The Lady Tigers jumped out to a 6-2 lead behind a a pair of baskets by Katie Feeney. But the Gophers battled back as Kassi Straley netted a pair of three pointers, forcing SCR-I out of its double-team defense versus Littrell.

That opened up a little more space for the sophomore, and she took advantage, connecting on nine of 10 shot attempts in the paint. She also sank 10 of 11 free throws.

The latter resulted in some serious foul trouble for the Lady Tigers, who saw starters Ashleigh Creek and Kaylyn Anders both forced to the bench early with three fouls.

A solid game from Nova Cline helped keep SCR-I within striking distance. The junior center had back-to-back field goals in the paint to follow a three-pointer by Madie Bondurant. Green City still was able to lead 27-17 at the break.

The margin grew to as many as 17 early in the third period before Creek was forced back to the bench with her fourth foul.

Cline continued to carry the load in the paint for SCR-I, which also got solid minutes from Micah Cooley and Khloe Hamlin who helped rally to a 42-30 deficit to end the third period.

But SCR-I could never get the lead below double digits. Feeney had a pair of field goals to start the fourth period, but she fouled out with three minutes left to play. Creek and Anders soon joined her, leaving the bench full of starters, but empty of any substitutes.

Cline finished with 13 points to lead Scotland County (2-2). Feeney added 10 points and Bondurant had eight.

Lady Tigers Knock Off Newtown-Harris 52-20 in Tourney Opener

Katie Feeney puts up the runner in the win over Newtown-Harris.

After a tough start to the season, Scotland County turned the tables on the competition Tuesday night at Novinger, blasting Newtown-Harris 52-20 in the opening round of the Novinger Tourney.

SCR-I’s pressure defense forced 32 turnovers and allowed the Lady Tigers to get off twice as many shots as the opposition.

Scotland County jumped out to a 15-4 lead in the first period and never looked back.

Ashleigh Creek and Nova Cline led the Lady Tigers on the night, pouring in 14 points apiece as SCR-I dominated the paint. Creek also grabbed a team-high nine rebounds.

SCR-I built a 28-9 lead at halftime behind the stifling defensive performance. Katie Feeney had five steals on the night and Madie Bondurant had a solid game on defense as well as Newtown Harris shot just 30% on the night.

Feeney finished with eight points and also dished out five assists while Bondurant added eight points on the night as well for a balanced scoring attack.

SCR-I outscored Newtown-Harris 12-2 in the third period to put the game away.

The Lady Tigers improved to 1-1 on the year with the win, advancing to the semifinals to take on Atlanta..

Tigers Overcome Slow Start to Get By Gophers 45-42

Calling Thursday night a slow start for Scotland County may not do justice to the Tigers’ difficult debut that saw SCR-I score just 10 points in the game’s first 16 minutes.

Fortunately for Scotland County, the team’s defense kept the team in the game, allowing for a second half comeback to advance the Tigers to the tourney title game with a 45-42 win over Green City.

Will Fromm got the Tigers off to a solid start with back-to-back scores that built a 4-0 lead and forced a quick timeout by the Gophers less than two minutes into the contest.

SCR-I’s shooting went south after the stoppage. A basket by Jared Dunn on a drive to the basket were the lone points the remainder of the first period. Fortunately the defense allowed just six points to keep the score knotted.

Lane Pence sank two free throws to open the second period and give SCR-I an 8-6 lead. The scoreboard  worker got a lengthy break, as neither team scored over the next five minutes until Pence scored on an offensive rebound to extend the lead to 10-6 with less than three minutes remaining in the first half.

Green city closed out the second period on a 9-0 run to build a five point advantage at the intermission.

Scotland County got things going on offense in the third period, matching the entire first half output in less than two minutes. Stephen Terrill had a pair of baskets and Pence drained a three pointer as Scotland County pulled ahead 20-19.

The shooting cooled off from there, as SCR-I managed just five more points in the period, all on free throws, allowing Green City to pull back ahead 30-26.

The Tigers got the transition game going in the fourth period. Football fans saw Fromm connect with Brett Monroe on plenty of touchdowns this season, but the tables were turned to start the fourth period as Monroe played quarterback on the basketball court, finding a streaking Fromm with a beautiful full-court pass that gave SCR-I a 32-30 lead with 5:11 left to play.

Matthew Woods also got into the act, scoring six points on fast breaks, as SCR-I poured in 19 points down the stretch to finish off the 45-42 comeback victory.

Pence led the way with 17 points on the night. Fromm finished with 12 points as the Tigers improved to 2-0 and advanced to take on Milan in the championship game of the Novinger Tournament.

Milan’s Pressure, Depth Too Much for SCR-I In Tourney Championship

Brett Monroe extends around the Milan defender to get the shot up on a drive to the hoop during the first half of Saturday’s championship game.

Any shot at a fourth quarter rally clanged away Saturday night in the championship game of the Novinger Tournament, as Scotland County struggled through a brutal eight minutes of foul shooting that allowed Milan to march away with a 64-42 win.

The Tigers made just 4 of 15 foul shots in the fourth period as Milan maintained  a double-digit lead the final three periods of a whistle-filled contest.

SCR-I fell behind 16-9 in the first period as Milan’s three-quarter court trap wreaked havoc in the passing lanes, making it a difficult task for SCR-I simply to advance the ball past midcourt.

Eight different Wildcats got into the scorebook in the first period as former SCR-I coach Andrea Dabney used her team’s depth to keep the pressure on SCR-I.

The Tigers were saddled with foul trouble most of the contest, with leading scorers Will Fromm and Lane Pence forced to the bench early in the first half.

That allowed Milan to extend the lead to 22-9 early in the second quarter before Brett Monroe ended an 8-0 Milan run with a three point lead. Stephen Terrill and Matthew Woods added baskets in the paint, but Milan went on to a 28-18 halftime lead.

Fromm and Pence both connected on three-pointers as Scotland County tried to rally in the third period. But Eddie Gonzalez answered, scoring eight of his game-high 20 points in the quarter to help Milan extend the margin to 43-30.

SCR-I continued to battle foul trouble in the second half as three starters finished with four fouls, and sub Parker Triplett fouled out.

That helped Milan put the game away from the free throw line. The Wildcats made 8 of 10 from the foul line in the final eight minutes to contrast SCR-I’s shooting woes from the charity stripe.

Fromm finished with 14 points to lead Scotland County in scoring. Terrill had a season-high nine points while Pence was held to seven. Scotland County dropped to 2-1 on the season.

Big Second Quarter Sends SCR-I On to Tourney Title Game

Khloe Hamlin and Julie Long put the full-court press on the Atlanta guard during Scotland County’s win over the Hornets Thursday in the Novinger Tournament.

A huge second quarter proved to be the difference on Thursday night at the Novinger Tourney as Scotland County outscored Atlanta 19-5 en route to a 56-42 win to advance to the championship game.

SCR-I built a 9-8 lead in the first period behind the interior play of its post players. Ashleigh Creek had the team’s first four points before Nova Cline and Kaylyn Anders each added field goals. A free throw by Micah Cooley gave SCR-I the one-point lead after eight minutes of play.

The second period was all Scotland County. Katie Feeney got the run going with a steal and a layup. SCR-I worked the offensive glass for a pair of put-back scores by Anders and Khloe Hamlin. The Lady Tigers then found the range from deep as Creek and Madie Bondurant each connected on three-pointers, helping give Scotland County a 28-13 lead at intermission.

The Lady Tigers pressured Atlanta into 31 turnovers on the night. Feeney had seven steals in the contest and Creek had five to lead to some easy transition opportunities for SCR-I.

The duo helped push the lead to 20 points. Feeney converted on a three-point play to open the third period. Creek connected on a jumper and then drilled another three-pointer before Feeney capped off the run with a steal and nifty step-through move to finish on the fast break and make the score 42-22.

Atlanta made things interesting with a couple of late runs. The Hornets pulled within 12 to start the fourth period before Feeney scored on a drive to the hoop. Bondurant then delivered with a steal and a score in transition. Feeney ended a 6-0 Atlanta run with back-to-back scores before Bondurant again came up with the theft on defense, leading to a fast break bucket that helped SCR-I hold on for the 56-42 win.

Feeney led Scotland County in scoring with 13 points. Creek finished with 12 points and Bondurant added 10 as the Lady Tigers improved to 2-1 on the season.

Tigers Slam Newtown-Harris 64-18 in Season Opener

Scotland County got the basketball season off to a flying start, literally, on Tuesday night in the opening round of the Novinger Tourney. Matthew Woods punctuated a huge first quarter versus Newtown-Harris with a two handed slam dunk on the fast break as the Tigers easily rolled to the 64-18 victory.

Woods had eight first period points as the Tigers jumped out to the 21-6 lead.

Jared Dunn and Lane Pence each had a pair of field goals in the second period as Scotland County extended the margin to 37-10 at the intermission.

Will Fromm took over in the third quarter, scoring nine of his game-high 17 points as the Tigers grew the lead to 54-18.

SCR-I outscored Newtown-Harris 10-0 in the final eight minutes with a running clock to post the 64-18 win.

Joining Fromm in double digits were Dunn and Pence both with 10 points, as Scotland County improved to 1-0 on the year.

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