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.

Rams Outlast Lady Tigers 2-1 In Defensive Battle

Shortstop Abi Feeney makes a throw to first from her knees after one of her several nice defensive plays at Lancaster.

Shortstop Abi Feeney makes a throw to first from her knees after one of her several nice defensive plays at Lancaster.

Tuesday night saw an old-fashioned pitching duel in Lancaster backed up with plenty of defensive gems. Unfortunately for the Lady Tigers, Schuyler County was the last one standing in the 2-1 defeat.

Scotland County took a 1-0 lead in the top of the first. Abi Feeney led off with a walk. With two outs, she was able to score all the way from first base when Ashleigh Creek reached on an error on an errant throw from third base than got by the first baseman.

Schuyler County came right back in the bottom of the frame. The Rams led off the inning with a blooper that landed and died between the pitcher and home plate for an infield single. After a wild pitch and a sacrifice bunt, Megan Haley delivered an RBI ground out to knot the score at 1-0.

After that point, pitchers Ashleigh Creek and Dystine Priebe locked horns, putting up zeros on the scoreboard.

Ashleigh Creek fields a bunt and fires to Katie Feeney at first base to record the out.

Ashleigh Creek fields a bunt and fires to Katie Feeney at first base to record the out.

SCR-I managed a base runner each inning until the sixth, but were unable to advance anyone past first base. Julie Long singled in the second, but was stranded. Stevi See and Abby Blessing walked in the third and fourth innings before Abi Feeney got a base hit in the fifth, but Priebe worked out of the jams, in large part thanks to nine strikeouts.

Her defense helped out a bit, as center fielder Brooke Whitton made a fine running grab in deep center field to rob Creek of extra bases in the third and Haley made a nice catch to rob Chelsea Wood of a hit in the fifth.

Creek matched the zeroes, albeit with a little more effort, struggling a bit with wild pitches that had the Lady Rams with runners in scoring position every inning.

Priebe singled and moved to second on a wild pitch in the second inning. Abi Feeney ended the threat with a diving grab on a line between short and third base.

The senior shortstop made back-to-back put outs in the third to leave a runner at third base. Maddie Brassfield then made a defensive gem at first base to end the threat in the fourth.

Schuyler County finally broke through for the winning run in the fifth inning. A leadoff single followed by a passed ball and a wild pitch allowed the Rams to score on a sacrifice fly.

Long smacked a one-out single in the seventh, her second hit of the contest, but Priebe closed out the rally to secure the 2-1 win for Schuyler County.

Scotland County fell to 6-5 on the season and 4-3 in the Lewis & Clark Conference.

Creek pitched six innings and allowed two runs, one earned on five hits and no walks while striking out three.

Priebe held SCR-I to just three hits and three walks over seven innings, surrendering just the one unearned run.

Rutledge School Building Sold

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The Village of Rutledge sold the school to the Restoration Society for $1.00 on Tuesday, September 20th at 12:00 p.m.  Those at the closing were Society members L to R Lyle Otte, Reva Hustead, Charlene Montgomery, Gwen Ludwick, Bob Hunolt, Dorothy Hunolt, Elaine Forrester, Betty Lodewegan, Lynn McClamroch,  (Keith Zimmerman and Carol McCabe from the Village) and Leon Trueblood.

Grand Hall Singspiration in Memphis

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The Rabers, part of the By Grace Ministry, will be hosting a Grand Hall Singspiration in Memphis at the Grand Hall, across from the BP Station, 418 E. Grand, on Sunday, October 2nd at 7:15 p.m.  They are also hosting a Men of Valor men’s meeting on Monday, October 3rd at 7:15 p.m.  Everyone is welcome and admission is a free will offering.  For more information about the By Grace Ministry, visit www.bygraceministry.com.

Area Children Enjoy Games at Annual Rutledge Fall Festival

The annual Rutledge Fall Festival was held Saturday, September 17th and several area children enjoyed participating in various games.  Karl DeMarce emceed the games this year.

Balloon Toss winners in the six to eight division included Trevor and Evan Tague (1st), Kadence Burnett (2nd), and Craig Pflum and Cole Mazziotti and Nina Knepp (tied for 3rd).  In the nine and over division winners were Owen and Lucas Durflinger (1st), Hunter Holt and Aden Aldridge (2nd), and Aaron McDaniel and Hugh Baker (3rd).

Shoe Kick winners in the five and under division were Natalie Tague (1st), Travis Tague (2nd), and Ethan Pflum (3rd).  In the six to eight division winners were Evan Tague (1st), Cole Mazziotti (2nd), and Nina Knepp, Trevor Tague and Cole Pflum (3rd).  In the nine and over division winners were Owen Triplett (1st), Riley Small (2nd), and Lucas Durflinger (3rd).

Running Race winners in the five and under division were Landon Davis (1st), Kinze Mallett and Travis Tague (2nd), and Natalie Tague (3rd).  In the six to eight division winners were Kaden See (1st), Cole Mazziotti (2nd), and Evan Tague and Nina Knepp (3rd).  In the nine and over division winners were Owen Triplett (1st), Hunter Holt (2nd), and Lucas Durflinger (3rd).

Egg Race winners in the five and under girls’ division were Kenzie Mallett (1st), Nora Guthrie (2nd), and Natalie Tague (3rd).  In the boys’ division winners were Travis Tague (1st), James Guthrie (2nd), and Clay White (3rd).  In the six to eight girls’ division, winners were Natalie Howerton (1st), Kayla Pflum (2nd), and Tegan Mallett (3rd).  Boys’ division winners were Trevor Tague (1st), Kadence Burnett (2nd), and Craig Pflum (3rd).  In the nine and over division, winners were Braydon Tietjens (1st), Aden Aldridge (2nd), and Owen Triplett and Lucas Durflinger (3rd).

Afternoon games included a Kiddie Tractor Pull, Tug-of-War Race and the Shirley Chancellor Memorial Hot Cookie Race.

SCR-I School Menus

Breakfast

Thursday, Sept. 29 – Breakfast Burrito, Choice of Cereal, Toast/Jelly, Orange Wedge/Grapes, Juice/Milk

Friday, September 30 – Sausage/Gravy Biscuits, Choice of Cereal, Blueberry Muffin, Banana, Juice/Milk

Monday, October 3 – Waffles, Choice of Cereal, Cinnamon Biscuit, Apple Wedges, Juice/Milk

Tuesday, October 4 –Cinnamon Rolls, Choice of Cereal, Toast/Jelly, Orange Half, Juice/Milk

Wednesday, October 5 – Ham/Cheese/Croissant, Choice of Cereal, Toast/Jelly, Fruit Medley, Juice/Milk

Thursday, October 6 – Breakfast Burrito, Choice of Cereal, Toast/Jelly, Orange Wedge/Grapes, Juice/Milk

Lunch

Thursday, Sept. 29 – Spaghetti/Meat Sauce, Chicken Wrap, Hamburger Bar, Green Beans, Garlic Bread, Sliced Peaches, Fresh Fruit

Friday, September 30 – Sack Lunch Today – HOMECOMING

Monday, October 3 – Chicken Ala King/Biscuit, Juicy Burger/Bun, 5th/6th Grade Chef Salad, Onion Rings, Peas, Mandarin Orange Slices, Fresh Fruit

Tuesday, October 4 – Cheeseburger/Bun, Tenderloin/Bun, 5th/6th Grade Taco Bar, Oven Ready Fries, Tomato Slices and Pickles, Applesauce, Fresh Fruit

Wednesday, October 5 –Country Fried Steak, Chicken Alfredo, 5th/6th Grade Potato Bar, Whipped Potatoes/Gravy, Broccoli/Cheese Sauce, Dinner Roll, Sliced Pears

Thursday, October 6 – Beef ‘N’ Tator Bake, Chicken Wrap, Hamburger Bar, Green Beans, Dinner Roll, Pineapple Tidbits, Fresh Fruit

Scotland County Senior Nutrition Center

MENU

Thursday, Sept. 29 – BBQ or Plain Pork/Bun, French Fries, Cauliflower Blend Veggies, Mandarin Oranges, Cake

Friday, September 30 – Hot Beef Sandwich, Mashed Potatoes/Gravy, Coleslaw, Buttered Carrots, Pudding

Monday, October 3 – Juicy Burger/Bun, French Fries, Mixed Vegetables, Cottage Cheese, Peaches

Tuesday, October 4 – Roast Pork/Stuffing/Gravy, Sauerkraut, Green Beans, Slice Bread, Cake

Wednesday, October 5 – Chicken Strips, Mashed Potatoes/Gravy, Buttered Carrots, Hot Roll, Fruit Salad

Thursday, October 6 – Meatloaf, Macaroni Salad, Buttered Broccoli, Applesauce, Bread, Glazed Donut

ACTIVITIES

Thursday, Sept. 29 – Card Party at 5:00 p.m.

Thursday, October 6 – Card Party at 5:00 p.m.

Special 100-Year Homecoming Services This Weekend at First Christian Church

The Memphis First Christian Church will be hosting Homecoming Services to celebrate the completion of the current church building (located on corner of Jones and Main Streets) which was completed in 1916.  The celebration will take place this weekend –  September 30- October 1-2, 2016.

Phillip Gore and Tim Hawkins former ministers of the Memphis First Christian Church will be the speakers for the Sunday, October 2, morning worship service, and former Memphis resident Terry Rush will speak at the closing service on Sunday afternoon.  Following the morning service, there will be a luncheon served.

There will also be services on Friday, September 30, beginning at 7:00 with a “Linger Longer” fellowship time after the service.  On Saturday, October 1, there will be a barbecue at 5:00 with services beginning at 6:30.

Special music for the services will be provided by the Gateway Singers and Paul Burton and Mercy’s Bridge Band, a country gospel group.  The Planning Committee for the Church Homecoming Celebration will share historical information about First Christian Church as part of the three special services.

Members of the community are cordially invited to attend all of the services and meals for the celebration.

Mayor Reckenberg Proclaims Constitution Week, Sept. 17 – 23, 2016 in Memphis

Memphis Mayor William Reckenberg was joined by members of the Jauflione Chapter of the NSDAR to sign a proclamation declaring Constitution Week in Memphis.

Memphis Mayor William Reckenberg was joined by members of the Jauflione Chapter of the NSDAR to sign a proclamation declaring Constitution Week in Memphis.

On Friday, September 23, 2016, Mayor William Reckenberg signed and issued a proclamation announcing September 17 through 23, 2016 to be Constitution Week in Memphis, and asks our citizens to reaffirm the ideals the Framers of the Constitution had in 1787.

The Proclamation reads as follows:

Whereas, September 17, 2016 marks the two hundred and twenty-ninth anniversary of the drafting of the Constitution of the United States of America by the Constitutional Convention; and

Whereas, it is fitting and proper to officially recognize this magnificent document and the anniversary of its creation; and

Whereas, it is fitting and proper to officially recognize the patriotic celebrations which will commemorate the occasion; and

Whereas, public law 915 guarantees the issuing of a proclamation each year by the President of the United States of America designation September 17 through 23 as Constitution Week;

NOW THEREFORE, I, William Reckenberg, by virtue of the authority vested in me as Mayor of the City of Memphis in the County of Scotland do hereby proclaim September 17 through 23, 2016 as CONSTITUTION WEEK and ask our citizens to reaffirm the ideals the Framers of the Constitution had in 1787 by vigilantly protecting the freedoms guaranteed to us through this guardian of our liberties, remembering that lost rights may never be regained.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the Seal of Memphis to be affixed this twenty-third day of September in the year of our Lord two thousand sixteen.

The United States Constitution stands as a testament to the tenacity of Americans throughout history to maintain their liberties and freedoms and to ensure those unalienable rights to every American.

In 1955 the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) petitioned the Federal Government to dedicate September 17-23 as Constitution Week.  Congress adopted the resolution and on August 2, 1956, President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed it into Public Law 915.  DAR Chapters have been observing Constitution Week various ways since then.  The local Chapter, Jauflione, places a display in a store window to remind the public of the Constitution and its significance to our way of life.  The city Mayor also issues a proclamation declaring Constitution Week.  This is an annual reminder of the inalienable rights the Constitution affords all Americans.

The aims of the celebration are to:  (1) Emphasize citizen’s responsibilities for protecting and defending the Constitution, (2) Inform people that the Constitution is the basis for American’s great heritage and the foundation for our way of life and (3) To encourage the study of the historical events which led to the framing of the Constitution in September 1787.

Written in 1787, the Constitution was signed September 17th.  But it wasn’t until 1788 that it was ratified by the necessary nine states.

The Constitution is a living document, being amended 27 times.  Of the written national constitutions, the U.S. Constitution is the oldest and shortest.

Jauflione Chapter, NSDAR helps keep alive the memory of the men and women who secured the Nation’s independence, whose bravery and sacrifice made possible the liberties Americans enjoy today.

Scotland County Speedway to Host Memphis Bottom Heavy Fall Special This Weekend

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With a special payout schedule making it more profitable for all drivers and a pleasant weather forecast, the Scotland County Speedway should be rocking this weekend for the Memphis Bottom Heavy Fall Special races to be held Friday, September 30th and Saturday October 1st.

“We have received an overwhelming amount of calls and messages on this show from people who have never raced in Memphis,” said promoter Mike Van Genderen. “As a race track, we never know how many cars will show up, but with the amount of calls we have a good chance of getting a great field of cars. Memphis usually gets around 30 cars in most classes.”

If the fields swell to 40 cars or more, the modified, stock cars and sportmods would all pay $2,000 to win.

Van Genderen stated there will be prize payouts on both nights with more than $60,000 in purse money on the line this weekend.

The Bottom Heavy Nationals feature a “bottom heavy” payout, meaning much better returns for all racers, instead of the traditional top heavy payouts that send the bulk of the prize money to the top finisher.

Hobby stocks, sport compacts and Lee County late models will also be in action on both nights.

Hot laps on Friday night start at 7 p.m. Fans will need to be at SCS an hour earlier on Saturday night, with hot laps scheduled for 6 p.m.

The two-day event will feature two complete shows, with payouts each night.

Grandstand admission will be $15 with students entering for $7 and children six and under receiving free admission. Pit passes will be available for $30 or a two-day pass for $55.

Absentee Voting Process Underway for November 8th Election

election

While the general election is still more than a month away, voting technically began on Tuesday, September 27th, the first day for absentee ballots to be cast.

Under Missouri law (statute (115.277, RSMo) “Any registered voter of this state may vote by absentee ballot for all candidates and issues for which such voter would be eligible to vote at the polling place if such voter expects to be prevented from going to the polls to vote on election day.”

Justification for using absentee voting includes absence on election day from the jurisdiction of the election authority in which such voter is registered to vote.

Voters who are incapacitated or confined due to illness or physical disability, including a person who is primarily responsible for the physical care of a person who is incapacitated or confined due to illness or disability, may also vote by absentee ballot.

If religious belief or practice or employment as an election authority prevents a voter from making it to the polls on election day, they may also use an absentee ballot.

Scotland County Clerk Batina Dodge stressed that absentee voting is not early voting.  The voter must sign an affidavit stating their reason for voting absentee.

Absentee ballots may also be used by incarcerated individuals, as long as all qualifications for voting are retained; and by certified participation in the address confidentiality program established under sections 589.660 to 589.681 because of safety concerns.

Application for an absentee ballot may be made by the applicant in person, or by mail, for the applicant, in person, by his or her guardian or a relative within the second degree by consanguinity or affinity. Disabled voters, college students, and military personnel may also apply by mail.

The deadline to mail absentee ballots is November 2, 2016.

Dodge explained how the process works.

“Upon receiving an absentee ballot in person or by mail, the voter marks the ballot, places the ballot in the ballot envelope, seals it and completes the statement on the ballot envelope,” she said. “The affidavit of each person voting an absentee ballot shall be subscribed and sworn to before the election official receiving the ballot, a notary public or other officer authorized by law.”

Each absentee ballot must be returned to the election authority in the ballot envelope and is to be returned by the voter in person, or in person by a relative of the voter who is within the second degree of consanguinity or affinity, by mail or registered carrier or by a team of deputy election authorities.

The last day to vote absentee ballot in person is November 7th, the day before the General Election.

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