February 16, 2006

What if?

by Chris Feeney

What if I was a greedy newspaper publisher? Well, if you listen to proponents of House Bill 1028, it might seem as if newspapers are simply out for money. The industry has come out in opposition of the proposed legislation that would eliminate the requirement for 2nd, 3rd and 4th class counties to publish a detailed financial statement annually in the local newspaper.

Bottom line is, if passed, House Bill 1028 will cost newspapers money. If the county chooses not to print its detailed financial statement, and instead prints a limited balance statement such as the City of Memphis is allowed to do, it will mean a decline in revenue for the newspaper of as much as $1,400.

Thats a lot of money, so its easy to say that all I care about is the annual check when the newspaper indicates its opposition to House Bill 1028. When I argue the public needs to know where its tax dollars are being spent, you all may still have that $1,400 figure in the back of your heads. Ask yourself, Does he really care about accountability and our right to know, or is he simply worried about his bottom line?

Its okay, I asked myself the same question. In an effort to understand the other side of this issue, I contacted the bill sponsor, Representative Robert T. Johnson of Jackson County with the idea that maybe he would make me see the true reason for proposing such legislation.

Let me preface this commentary by stating there are obviously huge differences between Memphis and Kansas City. Johnsons District is south of Lees Summit and contains seven times as many people as we have here in Scotland County. Missouris First District encompasses five counties, while Jackson County itself consists of 19 different representative districts for its 659,723 residents. So obviously there are some differences.

I was going to argue that one of those underlying differences was newspaper readership. I dont think Im bragging when I say that a majority of folks that live in Scotland County either take the newspaper, have the opportunity to read someone elses or are involved in regular discussions with those who do read the news. This means that the newspaper is a logical (and I would argue affordable) way to get information to the public.

I got the impression that Johnson didnt believe that was the case in Jackson County. The City of Lee Summit, a big part of his district, has a weekly newspaper that has a circulation of just 4,823 in a town of more than 82,000. However, the Kansas City Star does serve the area with a circulation of more than 440,000. Maybe it wasnt readership that was at issue, but just the idea that people did not pay attention to the financial statements in the newspaper. I dont know.

Representative Johnson indicated the underlying factor for his decision to sponsor the bill for the third attempt at passage (it has failed the past two years) was fairness. He stated that it is not fair that only certain political subdivisions are required to publish detailed financial statements.

The Missouri Association of Counties (MAC), a major backer of the bill, takes a similar stance.

Our organization is supporting HB 1028 as a matter of equity, said Dick Burke Executive Director of MAC. Second, Third and Fourth Class counties (97 in total) are the only public entities that are required to publish their financial activities in detailed manner. Schools, cities, the largest counties, and special districts are not.

Being the greedy newspaperman, I jumped on this opportunity and questioned why not make things fair by requiring schools and municipalities to publish detailed financial statements instead of eliminating the counties requirements. Man, I could make a bunch of money if the lawmakers would think that it is important for communities to have detailed knowledge of how their schools and city councils are spending tax money.

Jackson even commented that he would be interested in seeing his local schools detailed financial statements to know for example how much teachers are being paid.

If we want this issue to be fair, then we should not only be fair to the schools, the cities and the counties, but we should be fair to all of us that pay for the schools and the cities and the counties. I dont think that making this information easily accessible to the community by printing it in the newspaper is being unfair.

What is unfair is allowing these tax-based entities to hide from the public behind legislation that is touting fairness.

But dont forget that the newspaper is not only unfair, but we are greedy too.

Cost is also a factor obviously and varies widely around the state, Burke stated.

According to the Missouri Press Association, its members charged anywhere from $219 to $6,803 with the average of the 96 publication costs being $1,409.

It costs Scotland County roughly $1,400 a year to print the financial statement in the newspaper. Thats highway robbery. Or is it?

Stop and consider how much it would cost the county to photocopy 2,300 copies of the 24-page document and mail them directly to these individuals. Maybe that newspaper ad isnt such a bad deal after all. Besides Im sure the county clerks office wouldnt hold that many people at one time.

Printing the county financial statement annually represents .000467 percent of the countys budget each year.

This sparring match has gone on long enough. Its time for the knockout punch.

This isnt about fairness, nor is it about saving money. (If the MAC wanted to do that it might suggest to counties to stop paying their annual dues to the organization, which costs Scotland County taxpayers more than $500 a year.) This is just one more attempt at hiding government from the people.

There is no fairness in allowing counties (cities or schools for that matter too) to hide their finances. I dont believe that my county commission has anything to hide, nor do most for that matter. Yet, if you dont have anything to hide, how can you, with a straight face try to justify this law by saying, everyone else can hide their records, so its only fair we should be able to as well.

While I dont believe House Bill 1028 should be passed, I must remind all of these public entities that the laws do not prevent cities, schools and counties from publishing a detailed financial statement, they just simply allow them to print the abridged balance statements. Help the greedy newspaper industry out. Contact your aldermen, your commissioners and your board of education and tell them that its worth the cost of publication for the constituents to have easy access to their financial statements.

Rutledge School Restoration Society Makes Plans to ‘Walk Down Memory Lane’

Street barricades are visible along the side street, tractors and other motor vehicles from yesteryear are being polished and shined, vendors are in their stations, the entertainment stage is set the whole city of Memphis MO is in a buzz – it is Scotland County Antique Fair Days!!

While you might be interested in attending the Vesper’s Service, Tailgate Party, Country Showdown, Quilt Show, Baby Contests and Crowning of the Fair Queen & King, or participating in the SCH 5K Walk/Run, save some energy for hailing on one of the most exciting parades of the season.

Walking down memory lane, visit the Downing/Boyer Houses, the railroad depot, the original county courthouse and, for sure, don’t miss seeing the Barnett Statue in its new location and notice the school bell from the Gorin R-III School District adorning a corner of the Boyer House Lawn.

There will be games for the kids, fun food for everyone, and special music throughout the next few days of August 23-27, 2017.

The Bingo tent will entertain folks as they rest awhile from touring the courthouse lawn.

Following the parade on Saturday, August 26, the Rutledge School Restoration Society will be ready and waiting to serve you a full- course pork meal from down under the old hickory tree in the Downing House Lawn. If you just want to enjoy a moment of calming pace in your life, drop by to have a glass of lemonade or tea and a large piece of country- baked pie or cake. You will most certainly enjoy visiting with folks you haven’t seen in awhile!

Extension to Offer Master Gardener Training

Master Gardener training classes will be offered September 14 through December 7, 2017 at the University of Missouri Extension Center in Kirksville. Classes will be held Thursday afternoons from 1 to 4 p.m.

The University of Missouri Extension Master Gardener classes will cover a variety of horticulture topics including diseases, insects, soils & fertilizer, vegetables, fruit trees & shrubs, pruning, lawn care, flowers and landscaping. Some classes will have garden tours. To be a Master Gardener, you must attend 30 hours of classroom training AND provide 30 hours of volunteer service your first year after training.

The deadline to register is Friday, September 8. For more information and to register visit our website at http://extension.missouri.edu/adair or contact the Adair County Extension Center at 660-665-9866.

University of Missouri Extension provides equal opportunity to all participants in extension programs and activities, and for all employees and applicants for employment on the basis of their demonstrated ability and competence without discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, ancestry, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, age, genetic information, disability, or protected veteran status.

Deputy Jeremy Head Joins Scotland County Sheriff’s Office

Novelty-native Jeremy Head has joined the Scotland County Sheriff’s Office as a new deputy.

The Scotland County Sheriff’s Office has added a new deputy to its law enforcement team. Sheriff Wayne Winn announced the hiring of Jeremy Head, who will be joining Winn and chief deputy Bryan Whitney as the department’s three full-time officers.

Head will fill the vacancy created by the official retirement of long-time highway patrolman Roger Gosney, who had been working part-time for the sheriff’s office as a deputy.

Head is returning to his northeast Missouri roots. He grew up in Novelty and attended school at Kirksville and Knox County. He entered the United States Army following graduation. He spent time as a truck driver following the service, before ultimately deciding to pursue a career in law enforcement.

He attended the Central Missouri Police Academy on the Campus of the University of Central Missouri in Warrensburg. Following completion of his training and certification, Head worked for the Lafayette County Sheriff’s Office, near Kansas City for a year.

Head said he hoped to get back closer to home and was happy to have the opportunity in Scotland County, especially now that his father resides here.

He officially started with the Scotland County Sheriff’s Office on Tuesday, August 15th.

Alarm, Rapid Response Foil Pharmacy Burglary Attempt

Surveillance video caught a burglar attempting to gain entry into the Scotland County Pharmacy on August 16th.

The drive-thru window at the Scotland County Pharmacy proved to be closed for an unwelcomed early morning visitor on Wednesday, August 16th.

The security system at the pharmacy, located just off of Highway 136 near Shopko, was triggered at 2:45 a.m. when a burglar attempted to gain entry to the building by breaking out the glass in the drive-up window, on the east side of the building.

Surveillance video shows a single masked individual using a hand tool to break the glass and then carefully remove the pieces. Apparently the would-be burglar was not careful enough, as the actions ultimately set off the building’s alarm, which caused the burglar to calmly exit to the north, the direction from which he or she approached.

The security company contacted the Scotland County dispatch, and an officer from the Memphis Police Department was dispatched at 2:47 a.m., arriving on scene at 2:50 a.m.

“I want to say what an incredible job Bill Holland did,” said Pharmacy owner Matt McKee of the Memphis Police Chief. “He responded and was at the scene in minutes.”

McKee has offered a $1,000 reward for information that leads to the arrest and conviction of the burglar(s).

Holland stated the Police Department is following up on numerous tips. As of August 22nd no arrests have been made.

One such bogus lead has landed a Memphis man in trouble.

On August 19th, Charles J. Smart, 34, was ticketed for making a false report to the MPD in regards to the burglary. He is set to appear in the Scotland County Court on September 9th on the class B misdemeanor charge.

Northeast Missouri Genealogical Society to Meet August 26th at Heartland 

The Northeast Missouri Genealogical Society will hold their third meeting of the year on Saturday, August 26 at 10:00 a.m., at the Solid Rock Café, located at Heartland Community, 2 miles south of Newark, Missouri on highway Rte. E. Attendees, please note that Route 156 just east of Newark is closed to traffic due to bridge repairs.

Sharon Harrison, president of the Northeast Missouri Genealogical Society, will conduct the business meeting

Lois Hunziker, Meg Glover, and Brent Karhoff will present a program titled “Newark:  A Hamlet With a History”.  Lois Hunziker is a Director of the Northeast Missouri Genealogical Society, Meg Glover is the author of a history of Newark and Brent Karhoff is the president of the Knox County Historical Society.  The trio will be telling the history of Newark using old newspaper articles, letters and memoirs from Newark’s citizens of the past, especially those who lived during the time of the Civil War.

The Northeast Missouri Genealogical Society serves 14 counties in northeast Missouri and the quarterly meetings are scheduled at various locations to make it possible for the outlying members to attend.  The Society is dedicated to the collection of genealogy materials, both published and unpublished, for printing in the “Northeast Reporter”.  The 33 page quarterly is published each April, June, August and October.

The public and those interested in family research are welcome to attend. For information call (573) 221-7282.

Truck Driver Hurt When Semi Overturns on Highway 136

A Harris, MO truck driver suffered minor injuries after his semi overturned in Scotland County early on the morning of August 11th.

According to the Missouri State Highway Patrol, William J. Miller, 37, was eastbound on Highway 136 in a 2005 Volvo Tractor Trailer when the vehicle traveled off the right side of the roadway, approximately five miles west of Memphis. The semi overturned in the accident.

Miller sustained minor injuries and was transported to Scotland County Hospital by Scotland County Ambulance.

The vehicle sustained total damage and was removed from the scene by Lakeside Towing of Memphis.

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

Scotland County Senior Nutrition Center

MENU

Thursday, August 24 – Roast Pork, Mashed Potatoes/Gravy, Sauerkraut, Cranberry Sauce, Slice Bread, Ice Cream

Friday, August 25 – Fish Fillets, Macaroni Salad, Baked Beans, Cornbread, Strawberry Shortcake

Monday, August 28 – Tenderloin/Bun, Onion Slice, Pasta Veggie Salad, Green Beans, Watermelon and Cantaloupe

Tuesday, August 29 – Chicken Strips, Scalloped Cabbage, Buttered Corn, Bread, Fruit Crisp

Wednesday, August 30 – Fried Chicken, Mashed Potatoes/Gravy, Green Beans, Hot Roll, Mixed Fruit

Thursday, August 31 – Swiss Steak, Hash Brown Casserole, Cauliflower Blend Veggies, Bread, Pudding and Fruit

ACTIVITIES

Thursday, August 24 – Card party at 5:00 p.m.

Sunday, August 27 – Center is rented.

Thursday, August 31 – Card party at 5:00 p.m.

SCR-I School Menus

Breakfast

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

Friday, August 25 – Sausage/Gravy Biscuits, Choice of Cereal, Cinnamon Toast, Banana, Juice/Milk

Monday, August 28 – Pancakes, Choice of Cereal, Sausage Link, Toast/Jelly, Strawberries, Juice/Milk

Tuesday, August 29 – Cinnamon Rolls, Choice of Cereal, Toast/Jelly, Orange Slices, Juice/Milk

Wednesday, August 30 – Ham/Egg/Cheese Croissant, Choice of Cereal, Toast/Jelly, Fruit Medley, Juice/Milk

Thursday, August 31 – Breakfast Burrito, Choice of Cereal, Toast/Jelly, Orange Wedge/Grapes, Juice/Milk

Lunch

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

Friday, August 25 – Chicken Nuggets, Fish Sticks, Macaroni and Cheese, Cole Slaw, Chocolate Ice Cream, Mandarin Orange Slices, Fresh Fruit

Monday, August 28 – Crispy Chicken Strips, Grilled Cheese Sandwich, 5th/6th Grade Chef Salad, Tri Potato Patty, Buttered Corn, Mandarin Orange Slices, Fresh Fruit

Tuesday, August 29 – School Made Pizza, BBQ Meatballs/Roll, 5th/6th Grade Taco Bar, Vegetable Sticks/Dip, Applesauce, Fresh Fruit

Wednesday, August 30 – Country Fried Steak, Chicken and Noodles, 5th/6th Grade Potato Bar, Whipped Potatoes/Gravy, Carrot Coins, Dinner Roll, Sliced Pears, Fresh Fruit

Thursday, August 31– Goulash, Mini Corn Dogs, Hamburger Bar, Green Beans, Garlic Bread, Applesauce, Fresh Fruit

Local 4-H Youth Take Part In 2017 Missouri State Fair

Elsie Kigar gives a 4-H demonstration “How to Make Homemade Noodles” at the 2017 Missouri State Fair in Sedalia.

SEDALIA, MISSOURI —  On August 13, 2017, Elsie and Eli  Kigar from the Jolly Jacks & Jills 4-H club in Scotland County presented demonstrations at the Missouri State Fair in the 4-H Building on the fairgrounds in Sedalia.

Elsie’s demonstration was entitled  “How to Make Homemade Noodles” while Eli gave a presentation entitled “How to Make A Dirt Hole Set for Trapping”.

The siblings were among the 300 youth selected to give a demonstration in the 4-H Building at the Missouri State Fair.  Missouri 4-H members compete at the county events in order to qualify for the State Fair 4-H Building demonstrations.

Demonstrations are a great way of sharing what the youth has learned in 4-H projects.  Preparing for a demonstration helps 4-H youth develop research, organization and communication skills.  Presenting a demonstration in front of a group helps 4-H youth build poise, confidence and public speaking skills.

For more information about the University of Missouri Extension 4-H program, contact Kristy Eggleston-Wood at the Scotland County Extension Center at 660-465-7255.

Eli Kigar receives his ribbon for being a presenter at the 2017 Missouri State Fair.

Putnam County Stops SCR-I 3-2 in Softball Season Opener

Katie Feeney’s head-first slide into home just beats the tag as she scored on a wild pitch in the third inning to knot the score at 2-2.

Ashleigh Creek smashed the first strike she saw in her senior season for a solo home run on Monday night in Memphis, but it was not enough as Scotland County fell to Putnam County 3-2 in the 2017 season debut for the Lady Tigers.

The Lady Midgets jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the top of the first with a couple of base hits.

But Creek trimmed the deficit to 2-1 when she led off in the bottom of the second inning, crushing a line drive over the left field fence to make the score 2-1. Khloe Hamlin and Abby Blessing followed with base hits to give SCR-I a chance at a big inning, but both runners were stranded.

SCR-I erased a lead off error in the third when catcher Katie Feeney gunned down a would-be base stealer at second with a nice catch and tag by shortstop Khloe Hamlin.

The momentum carried over to the bottom of the third when Feeney led off with a base hit. She stole second base and moved into scoring position on a ground out by Kaitlyn McMinn. The sophomore then sprinted home and her head-first slide just avoided the tag on a wild pitch to knot the score at 2-2.

But Putnam County pulled ahead for good in the top of the fourth inning. A pair of singles and a hit by pitch loaded the bases with two outs when a blooper fell in behind the mound and everyone was safe to make the score 3-2.

Creek worked out of a jam in the seventh, stranding a pair of runners.

Unfortunately, SCR-I managed just one base runner over the final four innings, a two-out single by Creek in the sixth, as Putnam County held on for the 3-2 win.

Creek took the loss on the mound, allowing three runs, two earned, on six hits and a hit by pitch. She struck out eight in seven innings of work.

Sammi Bradshaw limited SCR-I to two runs on five hits while striking out five.

Creek went 2-3 with a home run, an RBI and a run scored. Feeney, Hamlin and Blessing recorded the other hits, all going 1-3.

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