January 26, 2006

State Auditors Office Completes Review of Scotland County

January is the time most Scotland County residents turn their attention to finances as they prepare to visit the tax accountant. The local county government also is currently focused on its own financial records as the office of the Missouri State Auditor recently released its report on the county audit just completed for the 2003 and 2004 fiscal years.

The Missouri State Auditor is required by state law to conduct audits once every four years in counties, like Scotland County, that do not have a county auditor.

The audit report noted no legal or fiscal issues regarding the countys finances during 2003 and 2004.

We noted no matters involving the internal control over financial reporting and its operation that we consider to be material weaknesses, stated Auditor Claire McCaskill in the final report. A material weakness is a reportable condition in the countys procedure or internal controls where misstatements caused by error or by fraud can go undetected in a timely manner by county employees performing their jobs.

However, in addition to a financial and compliance audit of various county operating funds, the State Auditors statutory audit covers additional areas of county operations, as well as the elected county officials, as required by Missouris Constitution.

A number of concerns were noted as part of the audit in the Management Advisory Report (MAR).

The biggest concern involved declining financial conditions in the countys General Revenue Fund and Special Road and Bridge Fund since 2002.

During the years ended December 31, 2003 and 2004, disbursements of the General Revenue Fund exceeded receipts and it appears that receipts will continue to lag behind typical disbursement levels, the audit report stated. Significant increases were experienced in several expenditure categories of the Special Road and Bridge Fund during 2004, and overall road rock costs have been increasing.

In 2003 and 2004, the county deficit spent by more than $100,000 each year, lowering the countys balance from $325,000 to $96,480 entering the 2005 fiscal year.

The Special Road and Bridge Fund saw similar financial issues, with deficit spending of more than $90,000 in 2003 before a positive balance of more than $23,000 in 2004 helped return the funds balance to just over $78,000. The audit indicated the budget problems were related to road rock purchases, which accounts for more than $50,000 of the funds annual expenditures.

Considering the overall financial condition, it appears that receipts into the General Revenue and Special Road and Bridge funds are not keeping pace with the expenditures despite the existence of dedicated funds which are intended to supplement the operations of the two funds, the report stated.

The county agreed with the audit recommendation to consider alternative revenue sources while attempting to decrease expenditures.

We are aware of the significant decrease in fund balances and are working to correct those deficiencies, the county commission statement said.

The county noted that the 2005 financial condition had improved by more than $40,000 thanks to curbing of incidental expenditures throughout county government. The commission highlighted the dispatching contract with the city of Memphis as one new source of revenue, bringing in $20,000 to the county annually.

The audit noted that county procedures to monitor budget and actual disbursements were not effective, and as a result, actual disbursements exceeded the budgeted amounts in various funds. The audit stated that for costs shared by multiple funds, the County Commission has not been consistent in designating which costs will be paid from certain funds. In addition, support for some transfers between funds was not always adequate and amounts were not always repaid as appropriate.

The commission stated We agree with the recommendation and during the current year we have closely monitored funds and made budget amendments as necessary. In the future, we will document the circumstances regarding such disbursements and budget amendments as appropriate. While we could not provide complete documentation, we feel comfortable with the transfers in question. We will try to avoid making such transfers in the future. Not near as many transfers have been needed during 2005. Better documentation of the reasons for transfers will be maintained.

The county officials also intimated that they now have a better understanding of classification of expenditures and to which fund those expenditures should be allocated. Each month the County Clerk provides year-to-date budget information on the six major county funds (General Revenue, Special Road and Bridge, Assessment, Law Enforcement Sales Tax, Road and Bridge Capital Improvement, and Road Rock) and the Treasurer provides cash balances each month when it is time to authorize expenditures.

The declining financial condition in the Special Road and Bridge fund is primarily the result of unanticipated price increases during the last few years on such materials as rock, fuel, and steel, said the commissions audit response. Some alternatives we have considered include closer evaluation of roads and the amount of rock needed to maintain the integrity of roads and the already implemented procedure of taking phone bids each time we make fuel purchases. Receipts should increase for 2006 since the county was approved for a community development block grant to help fund various bridge projects. We have also considered purchasing additional equipment for hauling rock, which we believe will decrease overall hauling expenses in the long run.

The audit suggested the county create a formal road and bridge maintenance plan and noted that the county made a $104,000 prepayment for road rock and did not enter into a written agreement with the quarry. In addition, the countys procedures related to the review of road rock invoices and the sale of some materials to the public were not adequate.

The county defended the pre-payment arrangement in its audit reply.

Prepayment arrangements will be considered again in the future if they are in the best interests of taxpayers; however, we will ensure a written agreement is prepared. Also, the prepayment arrangement discussed above saved the county quite a bit of money on rock purchases during 2004.

Another audit concern highlighted county engineering costs of $99,600 for various federal bridge projects from 2001 to June 2005. There was no documentation that the county considered other engineering firms as required by state law when procuring these services.

In the audit report, the county commission indicated that the firm was selected because of past experience with local projects.

By law, the county is required to consider at least three firms for engineering services when using the federal program. The county recently entered into an agreement with the current engineering firm for the next four county bridges, but indicated it would obtain and file all required documentation when contracting future engineering services as recommended by the audit.

The audit MAR went on to point out that several of the recommendations in this report are repeated from prior audits including findings related to the countys bidding procedures, property tax records, computer controls, commission minutes, and property records/inventory. In prior reports county officials indicated they would implement many of the recommendations; however, no significant improvements were noted in some of these areas.

The audit also included recommendations concerning the lack of documentation for some county official salaries, county commission minutes, county phone usage and various trusts handled by county.

All 11 Lady Tigers Score in 85-21 Win Over Marion County

Eleven players suited up for the Scotland County Lady Tigers on Monday night in the opening round of the North Shelby Tournament, and all 11 girls got into the scorebook as the #1 seeded SCR-I squad dispatched Marion County 85-23.

Despite a dense fog outside that made travel difficult for spectators, SCR-I cut right to the point, jumping out to a 17-0 lead. Calesse Bair and Maddie Brassfield sank three-pointers on SCR-I’s first two possessions. Abi Feeney scored on the fast break and Ashleigh Creek cleaned up SCR-I’s first miss, with an offensive rebound and put back. Chelsea Wood scored on the fast break to extend the lead to 12-0 and force a Marion County timeout at the 5:48 mark of the first period.

Brassfield and Bair each connected from behind the arc again and Madie Bondurant came off the bench to sink a three-pointer. Creek closed out the first period onslaught with a three-point play to put SCR-I ahead 28-3.

Bair poured in eight quick points to start the second period as the lead grew to 40-5 with 5:17 left in the first half.

Nova Cline came off the bench and scored a pair of field goals in the paint. Julie Long sank a jumper and Sadie Davis drilled a three-pointer as the lead grew to 54-11 at the break.

Bair closed out a big night, scoring 10 points in the third period, including her fourth three-pointer of the contest.

Long and Cline continued their solid efforts off the bench, each scoring a third period field goal. Abby Blessing and Kaylyn Anders also got into the score book with field goals as the lead grew to 78-17.

Wood closed out her best scoring performance of the year with a pair of field goals to start the fourth period as the varsity got in a couple more minutes on the court before coach Cory Shultz went back to the junior varsity squad to close out the 85-23 victory.

Scotland County improved to 11-1 and advances to play South Shelby in the semifinals. Bair led the way with 24 points and Wood finished with 18. Creek hit double digits for the second straight game, finishing with 13.

Bible Grove Native Wins Heart of Texas Championship Title

Philip Padget recently competed in the Heart of Texas Championship held in Waco, TX. He is pictured here with the roping partner he drew for the team roping event. He competed with over 270 other teams in his division and won the Championship title.

by Andrea Brassfield

Philip Padget, Bible Grove, MO native and 1997 Scotland County R-1 graduate, recently won a championship title at the annual Heart of Texas Championships held in Waco, Texas January 6-8, 2017.

This United States Team Roping Championship (USTRC) is set up in different divisions from open to number eight.  Upon entering, each roper is assigned a number based on their skill set.  The sum of your number and your partner’s number cannot be higher than the number of Roping you’re entering.  For this event, Philip won the number Eight and his class had a little over 270 teams competing.

Upon asking Philip, to give me some background information about his rodeo experiences, he very humbly admits he has won 28 belt buckles, though “not all of these are for first place and not many give cash prizes.”  Therefore, he added, “That being said, I am very far in the hole (LOL) but anybody that owns a horse and says that they have made money are complete liars!”

Philip started riding at about the age of two and says he had amazing parents that always made sure he had a quality horse to ride.  He didn’t start roping until he was around 18 years old.  His first roping experience was at the Coffey Arena in Downing, MO.  He fondly gives credit to three men, Mike Grey, Les McCarty, and JL Newland, who were his influences and helped him learn this rodeo sport. “These men and the way they played the sport will always be stuck in my mind,” says Philip, “and I was hooked.”  “But my greatest influence, even though he never competed in an arena, would have to have been my father, one of the best cowboys that ever threw a leg over a horse.”

During his time as a student at SCR-1, more than 20 years ago, Philip was very active in FFA and he gives credit to FFA Advisor, Bill Cottrell who helped him out with equine studies so he could better familiarize himself with these animals.

Philip says he tried to play basketball and football, but once again humbly declares, “I was a horrible athlete. Thank you, Dave Shalley, for understanding!”

A few years after graduation, Philip joined the United States Air Force and was stationed at Peterson Field in Colorado Springs.  He has moved all around the country, but eventually settled in Texas about 10 years ago.  He lives in Tyler, Texas and owns a small roofing and construction company while also working for another company as the sales manager/project manager.

Philip keeps very busy roping, attending events most weekends.  He followed his last win with a competition in Oklahoma City on January 15th and plans to compete in Hamilton, Texas this weekend, January 21st.  He tries to jackpot every weekend at a roping event somewhere.  After all, “This is Texas,” he says, “you can rope every day if you want to.”  Philip practices three to four times a week.  And as far as his future goals go, he has already accomplished one by making the shoot-out in Oklahoma City in October.  His next goal is to make the World Series Finale in Las Vegas in December.

It doesn’t sound like his roping legacy will stop here either.  “With the help of their amazing mothers, I am raising two future national finals qualifiers…Mason Padget and Pace Padget,” states this proud father.

Finally, as far as his horse goes, Philip describes 13 year old Tex whom he purchased from a boys ranch in New Mexico, as an amazing animal.  “Although we’ve had our ups and downs, he is an absolute athlete and I’m very lucky to have him!”

After visiting with Philip, I suspect in the 20 years since graduating from SCR-1, he has learned that life has a way of moving us to unexpected places and into great adventures; some that live up to our dreams and goals, others that require flexibility and compromise, and even some that might feel a little like being thrown from a horse…leaving us to stand back up, dust off, and try again!

When I first contacted Philip about his win in Waco, telling him we would like to feature him in an article, his response was, “Wow, I’m flattered!  And would absolutely be interested!  My heart is still in Memphis, Missouri!”  His sentiment reminded me of the lyrics from a song by Mark Patterson, “I leave the hills that I have known, the woods and meadows I have roamed.  The journey calls and I must go, but I will never be far from home.”

From all of us “back home” we wish you and Tex the best of luck in all your future roping endeavors!!

Two Area Men Seriously Hurt in Early-Morning Crash

Two area men suffered serious injuries in an early-morning accident in Scotland County on Friday, January 13th at 6:25 a.m.

According to the Missouri State Highway Patrol, Noel K. Meier, 58 of Kahoka, was westbound on Highway 136, one mile west of Highway A, in a 2001 Dodge Dakota when the vehicle impacted the tow unit of a eastbound 2014 Peterbuilt semi that was eastbound and trying to make a left hand turn. The semi was driven by Charles G. Cook, 36, of Keokuk, IA.

Meier and a passenger in his vehicle, Delbert E. Hoage, 65, of Keokuk, IA, sustained serious injuries in the crash. They were both flown from the scene by Air Evac Helicopter and transported to Blessing Hospital in Quincy, IL.

Cook was uninjured in the crash. His vehicle sustained moderate damage while the Meier vehicle was totaled. Both were removed from the scene by Lakeside Towing of Memphis.

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

WWII Vet wife’s letter needs to find its way home…

WWII Vet wife’s letter needs to find its way home…

April 27, 1945 Mrs. Vernon Priche; (could be misspelled due to original letter hand written); wrote a letter requesting information about how her husband was wounded, treated and died. He was a soldier in Europe, and a friend of my deceased father, Donald Minster.

I found her letter in my father’s old letters. If there is anyone who knows any relative that may desire the letter, I will be happy to forward it.

The address was; 351 East Madison St., Memphis, MO… in April 1945!

I hate to have someone’s family treasure undiscovered.

Thank God for soldiers and wives like this, so I can enjoy my freedom!

Hopefully,

Alan Minster

1861 Selby Circle, Camarillo, CA 93010

aminster@verizon.net

At Halfway Mark, SCR-I Expenditures at $2.79 Million

The Scotland County R-I Board of Education met in regular session on Thursday, January 12, 2017, at 6:30 p.m.  President Trinity Davis called the meeting to order with six members present.

Superintendent Ryan Bergeson presented a financial report for the district, which recently reached the halfway mark of the fiscal year.

Year-to-date revenues are $2,331,017.41 and expenditures are $2,793,651.66.  The year-to-date deficit is $462,634.25 compared to $440,152.92 at this time last year.

“The deficit will correct itself with the receipt of local taxes received in January,” Bergeson told the board.

Future Projects

The board voted 6-0 to set a special board meeting for January 18 at 7:00 a.m. in the Elementary Art Room to discuss future capital projects and other upgrades for the district.

Building Trades

The board voted 6-0 to accept the low bid proposal of $7,727.00 from Ketchum Heating, Cooling and Electrical for the 2016-17 Building Trades Furnace and Central Air Units including all duct work, thermostat, thermostat wiring, gas line installation, and vent covers.

Update Budget

The board voted 6-0 to amend the budget as presented to reflect a projected ending balance of $18,974.97.  The budget was amended to reflect the current revenues, expenditures, and projections for this fiscal year.

Observe School Board Recognition Week

The week of January 22 – 28 is School Board Recognition Week.  Board members were presented a certificate from the Missouri School Board Association, a proclamation from Governor Nixon, and invited to the elementary carry in luncheon on Friday, January 20.

February Meeting

The next regular board meeting will be Thursday, February 9th at 6:30 p.m. in the Elementary Art Room.

Consent Agenda 

The board voted 6-0 to approve the following items on the consent agenda:

December 8, 2016 Minutes

Approve MSBA Policy Maintenance Agreement

Updated Sub List

Update District Health Services and District Testing Procedural Evaluation Plan

Approve Extended Holiday

Approve Overnight Request

Approve LJ Hart and Co. Underwriting Agreement

Executive Session

The board entered into executive session and the following items were approved 6-0:

Approve December 8, 2016 closed session minutes.

Offer Jennifer Tinkle the 7 hour food service position in the elementary school.

Approve Superintendent Bergeson’s Evaluation.

Move to extend Superintendent Bergeson’s contract through 2019-20.

The meeting adjourned at 9:32 p.m.

Are we entitled to never have to lose?

What if we did away with declaring a winner and a loser in a competition and just gave everyone participation medals?

I vote no on that motion, but it sure seems like that is where we are headed as a society. Instead of recognizing people who work hard and excel at something, it seems like we would rather drag them down and draw them back to the rest of the crowd so that no one feels inferior.

This internal debate arrived in my mind last night at a basketball game as I listened to the crowd react to a lopsided game, which is often what you experience in a varsity basketball tournament when the #1 seeded team takes on the #8 team.

Scotland County’s state ranked girls defeated Marion County 85-19. (For the record I looked back to when Marion County won the state championship back in 2010-11 season. They posted victories like 83-16, 67-13 and 69-19.)

I’ve been on the 19 point-side of that mountain before, and yes it sucks. But after I got over the frustration, I had to ask myself what should have been done differently? I came to the conclusion, I could either get better, or I could get used to it. Sometimes in life you are going to run into a superior opponent. Tip your hat and get ready for the next challenge.

Is it really fair to ask the better team to not play so hard? “Look I know you worked really hard to be this good, but we didn’t, so could you please waste all of your efforts to make yourselves better players, and not showcase your talents to the college scouts in the crowd so that we don’t look so bad?”

Before you say that the coach should play the bench more, let me remind you this is a varsity tournament. There is a junior varsity season for the younger kids. The varsity kids do not get to travel to all the junior varsity games and play extra minutes if the competition level dictates it. These seniors only have so many minutes left in their high school careers. They didn’t make the schedule. They have no control over the competition. They deserve to be able to play, not because they are entitled to it because they are seniors, but because they have put in the time and the effort to be the best players on their team.

Sure you can argue that the better team should back off, and not try so hard. But you have to stop and ask yourselves why we are here in the first place? Do you get any better by only giving 50%. In a tournament, you are trying to win all three games to claim the championship and a plaque for the trophy case. Over the season, you are trying to get better and possibly be able to hoist the conference championship banner, or claim a district title and make it into the state playoffs.

If your best players are only getting to play half a game because everyone else is so worried about beating someone too bad, it can only make it that much more difficult to achieve your goal.

On game nights, there is no practice. So kids are getting their conditioning in via the game, meaning they need to run. If they only play half the game, they are going to be out of shape when they need to be able to play an entire game.

If you are asking them to hold back, and not play so hard, the same thing can happen. When the time comes for them to make a good play, will they be able to, as before they weren’t allowed to try because it might create too large a margin of victory.

Before you send the lynch mob my way – I’m not encouraging calling timeouts late to try to reach 100 points, or demanding the full-court press all 32 minutes. I’m only suggesting that people cut these kids a little slack. They aren’t out their trying to rub it in the face of their opponents. They are simply working to produce the best basketball play possible for every second they have left to be on the court together.

When did we become so entitled?

If one person excels at the workplace, should they be told to slow down, and not work so hard so that everyone else has a chance at the promotion?

How about in the classroom? Do we need to force the top students to the back of the room to play video games, watch movies or sleep instead of paying attention in class and completing their assignments? That way no one makes the honor roll.

Should we move the kindergarteners into calculus and physics classes to bring down the competition level to boost the self esteem of the lower achieving high school students by giving them someone that they can do better than?

No? Then why should the basketball court be any different? I say do your best and forget the rest!

SCR-I School Menus

Breakfast

Thursday, January 19 – Breakfast Burrito, Choice of Cereal, Toast/Jelly, Orange Wedge/Grapes, Juice/Milk

Friday, January 20 – Sausage/Gravy/Biscuits, Choice of Cereal, Chocolate Chip Muffin, Banana, Juice/Milk

Monday, January 23 – Pancakes, Choice of Cereal, Sausage Link, Toast/Jelly, Strawberries, Juice/Milk

Tuesday, January 24 – Scrambled Eggs, Choice of Cereal, Hash Browns, Toast/Jelly, Apple Wedges, Juice/Milk

Wed., January 25 – Cinnamon Rolls, Choice of Cereal, Toast/Jelly, Orange Half, Juice/Milk

Thursday, January 26 – Breakfast Burrito, Choice of Cereal, Toast/Jelly, Orange Wedge/Grapes, Juice/Milk

Lunch

Thursday, January 19 – Chili Soup, Broccoli Cheese Soup, Hamburger Bar, Grilled Cheese Sandwich, Pickle Spear, Cheese Stick, Saltine Crackers

Friday, January 20 – Tuna Noodle Casserole, Ham and Cheese Sandwich, Peas/Carrots, Sliced Peaches, Fresh Fruit

Monday, January 23 – Crispy Chicken Strips, Grilled Cheese Sandwich, 5th/6th Grade Chef Salad, Tri Potato Patty, Mixed Vegetables, Sliced Pears, Fresh Fruit

Tuesday, January 24 – School Made Pizza, Bar BQ Meatballs, 5th/6th Grade Taco Bar, Vegetable Sticks/Dip, Applesauce, Fresh Fruit

Wed., January 25 – Country Fried Steak, Chicken and Noodles, 5th/6th Grade Potato Bar, Whipped Potatoes/Gravy, Buttered Corn, Dinner Roll, Pineapple Tidbits

Thursday, January 26 – Spaghetti/Meat Sauce, Chicken Quesadillas, Hamburger Bar, Green Beans, Garlic Bread, Fruit Salad, Fresh Fruit

Scotland County Senior Nutrition Center

MENU

Thurs. January 19 – Roast Pork, Mashed Potatoes/Gravy, Cranberry Sauce, Wax Beans, Bread, Cake

Friday, January 20 – BBQ Ribs, Parsley Potatoes, Coleslaw, Hot Roll, Strawberry Shortcake and Topping

Monday, January 23 – Chicken Strips, Sweet Potato or Regular Fries, Breaded Tomatoes, Applesauce, Bread Slice, Pudding

Tuesday, January 24 – Tenderloin/Bun/Onion, Lettuce Salad, Cauliflower/Cheese Sauce, Carrot-Pineapple Salad, Rice Krispies

Wed., January 25 – Fried Chicken, Mashed Potatoes/Gravy, Buttered Cabbage, Hot Roll, Fruit

Thurs. January 26 – Liver and Onions or Chicken Pattie, Mashed Potatoes, Green Beans, Bread, Fruit

ACTIVITIES

Thursday, January 19 – Scotland County Health Department blood pressure checks here; Card Party at 5:00 p.m.

Thursday, January 26 –Card Party at 5:00 p.m.

NEMR Telecom Accepting Applications for 2017 Youth Tour to Washington D.C.

All local high school juniors whose parents or guardians have local service with NEMR telecom can apply for the all-expense paid trip to Washington D.C.

Northeast Missouri Rural Telecom is currently accepting applications for the 2017 Youth Tour to Washington D.C., which will take place June 3  through June 7. The application process is open to all high school juniors whose parents or guardians have local service with NEMR Telecom.

Students must be under 18 years of age at the time of the Youth Tour to apply. In addition to meeting specific eligibility guidelines, the NEMR board is asking student applicants to submit, along with their application, a one-page essay covering the topic: “Why I Should Be Chosen for the FRS Youth Tour.”

The 2017 Youth Tour gives students the opportunity to gain a first-hand look at the telecommunications industry and government process  as they spend four days visiting famous historical sites, including the Washington Monument, The Smithsonian, and much more.

Guidance counselors at each high school in the service area have the application form, or students can request a form by calling Tammy Childers at NEMR Telecom, 660-874-4111 or send an email to tchilder@nemr.net.

Applications and essays should be mailed to NEMR Telecom, Attn: Youth Tour, PO Box 98, Green City, MO 63545 by March 6, 2017.

The Foundation for Rural Service’s (FRS) annual Youth Tour is one of the most visible examples of the foundation’s involvement with, and commitment to, rural youth.  2017 marks the 23rd annual Youth Tour.  Each year, in collaboration with NTCA member companies, FRS brings rural students from across the United States to Washington, D.C. for a four-day tour of the some of the most historical sites in the nation. 

Tigers Top Atlanta 53-10 in Tourney Opener

Scotland County advanced to the semifinals of the North Shelby Tournament with a 53-10 victory over Atlanta on Monday night.

The Hornets dressed just five players, but after the initial tip off, only had four players on the court due to an injury.

Grant Campbell scored 16 points in limited action to lead the Tigers to the win, improving SCR-I’s record to 9-3 on the year.

The game was shortened in the second half to two four minute quarters, with a running clock the entire time, as SCR-I led 39-9 at the half.

The Tigers will take on South Shelby, who bested the host squad 66-65 in a triple overtime thriller to close out Monday night’s action.

« Older Entries