July 13, 2006

SCMH Womens Center Dedication Adds Another Asset to Local Healthcare System

Government officials and healthcare professionals joined with the public to welcome the newest addition to the Scotland County communitys medical sector as the $1.3 million Womens Health Center was unveiled Friday, July 7th at a special ceremony at the hospital complex.

SCMH CEO Marcia Dial welcomed a large crowd to the grand-opening festivities at the state-of-the-art facility located adjacent to the hospitals medical clinic building.

Dial praised the work of the hospitals governing board as well as the facilitys staff for working together to make the new facility possible. She also thanked the Missouri Foundation for Health for the grant that helped fund the construction of the addition to the hospital, which greatly expands the hospitals obstetrics programs.

U.S. Congressman Kenny Hulshof was joined by representatives from the offices of Senator Talent and Senator Bond as well as state representatives Brian Munzlinger and Bob Behnen at the head table for the event. Joining the government officials was MFH President James R. Kimmey along with the hospital board and staff.

This is not only a great day for Memphis, but a great day for the Missouri Foundation for Health, Kimmey told the gathering. We had the opportunity to help a community with a dream, to make that dream come true.

However, Kimmey stated that the foundations resources arent great enough to meet the needs of all of rural Missouri, a truth that has been reaffirmed by public forums held by the MFH across the state.

These forums have highlighted needs in areas of mental health, dental care and transportation. Kimmey noted the latter area had been addressed in this region by a previous MFH grant that helped fund the purchase of five ambulances for the northeast Missouri ambulance districts including Clark, Knox, Scotland and Schuyler counties.

The MFH president asked for help from the federal government, urging it to look back 50 years to some of the funding ideas that helped initially build the nations rural healthcare system. He stressed that federal funding would ultimately be required to maintain the system and to help fix problems in rural healthcare.

Representative Brian Munzlinger took the podium next and quickly pointed out that SCMH was obviously bucking the trend.

You watch the news and all we hear about is how rural healthcare is lacking, Munzlinger said. Im glad to see the media here today to report on this event, as these folks have gone against the norm and are continuing to bring improved healthcare to northeast Missouri and southeast Iowa.

Munzlinger added that he expected to be back in the not-to-distant future.

Marcia mentioned that this new facility has freed up space in the hospital for other opportunities, he said. Knowing how hard these folks work to improve their system, I cant wait to see what they do with that space.

SCMH Chief of Staff Dr. Jeff Davis concurred, praising the hospital board and administration for maintaining a progressive approach to bring the new obstetrics center to the healthcare system that already offers numerous services that are not commonly found in rural communities.

Dr. Dixon and I both did our residencies at Blessing Hospital in Quincy, IL, a much bigger community, Dr. Davis stated. Im proud to say that we have all the same services available here.

Congressman Hulshof called it a red letter day for the community when a small rural region could offer ever-expanding healthcare options.

Hulshof stated that when he was preparing for his trip to Memphis, several of his colleagues believed that he was going to Memphis, TN.

That raises the point that ones healthcare shouldnt be determined by where one chooses to live, he said. The type of healthcare you get shouldnt be different whether you live in Memphis, MO, Memphis, TN, or Memphis whereever.

SCMH board president Judy Wilson addressed that same issue when she first relocated to the community from her home near Peoria, IL.

My parents thought I was moving to Siberia, moving away from the modern conveniences of a more urban life, she said. I still dont think Ill ever convince them to move here with us, but I can honestly say that we have the facilities and the people to insure they would get the healthcare they have back home.

Following the public presentations, the guests were provided guided tours of the new facility and then treated to refreshments in the hospital cafeteria.

City Council Approves Purchase of New Fire Department Gear at January Meeting

The Board of Aldermen of the City of Memphis met in regular session on Thursday, January 3, 2019 in Memphis City Hall.  Mayor William Reckenberg called the meeting to order.  Aldermen present were:  Tom Glass, Chris Feeney, and Lucas Remley; Alderman Aaron Dale was absent.  Others in attendance were City Supt. Roy Monroe; Utility Supt. Stacy Alexander; Police Captain Bill Holland; Electric Foreman Jordan Fulk and Mike Ahland; citizen Laura Schenk; and City Clerk Angela Newman.


Alderman Glass moved and Alderman Feeney seconded to approve the minutes from the December 6, 2019 council meeting.  Vote:  Glass, Feeney, and Remley, all aye.


Alderman Feeney moved and Alderman Glass seconded to approve payment of the monthly bills as presented.  Vote:  Glass, Feeney, and Remley, all aye.

Alderman Remley moved and Alderman Feeney seconded to have each department inventory their tools by March 1, 2019.  Vote:  Glass, Feeney, and Remley, all aye.  Council set a meeting date of January 17, 2019 to establish a standard for the inventory.


Laura Schenk passed along appreciation to the City for their help with the Christmas decorations.


MoDOT Aviation – Capital Improvement Plan

Alderman Feeney moved and Alderman Glass seconded to turn back the remaining FFY 2016 non-primary entitlement funds in the amount of $131,728 that will expire on 9/30/19.  Vote:  Glass, Feeney, and Remley, all aye.

Council will meet at a later date to discuss hangar rent and future development at the airport.


Bunker Gear Bids – Fire Department

One bid was received from Banner Fire Equipment in the amount of $28,908.00 for the purchase of twelve bunker gear units for the fire department.  Alderman Remley moved and Alderman Feeney seconded to accept the bid from Banner Fire Equipment.  Vote:  Glass, Feeney, and Remley, all aye.  The purchase of the bunker gear will be funded in part through a grant with USDA-RD.  Due to the government shutdown, purchase of the units will be on hold until authorization is received from USDA-RD to proceed.

Approval to open checking accounts for USDA funds

Alderman Glass moved and Alderman Feeney seconded to approve the opening of an account at the Memphis Branch of the Bank of Kirksville to be named the Memphis Fire Gear Construction Account for the purpose of depositing grant funds from USDA-RD for the purchase of the twelve bunker gear units.  Vote:  Glass, Feeney, and Remley, all aye.

City Prosecutor Appointment

Mayor Reckenberg recommended the appointment of April Wilson as the City Prosecutor.  Alderman Feeney moved and Alderman Remley seconded to approve the appointment effective January 1, 2019.  Vote:  Glass, Feeney, and Remley, all aye.

Electric Department

Wage Scale

Council asked that action on the proposed wage scale for the electric department be placed on the agenda for the special meeting scheduled for January 17, 2019. 

Power Outages

Causes of recent power outages was discussed as well as priority projects for the electric department.  The department will begin work on Missouri Street beginning next week in preparation of the replacement of a pole near the light plant. 

Request Baker Farm Bids

Council unanimously agreed to seek bids for the Baker Farm Lease, expiring February 28, 2019.  Bids will be reviewed at the February 7th council meeting.

Bill No. 18-19

City Clerk Newman presented and read two times by title Bill No. 18-19 – Authorize Amendment No. 1 with the Missouri Highway and Transportation Commission.  Alderman Feeney moved and Alderman Glass seconded to adopt Bill No. 18-19.  Vote:  Glass, aye; Feeney, aye; and Remley, aye.

The special ordinance approved an extension with the MHTC to extend the timeline for proposed federally funded projects at the Memphis Airport.

Bill No. 18-20

City Clerk Newman presented and read two times by title Bill No. 18-20 – Authorize Supplemental Agreement with the Missouri Highway and Transportation Commission.  Alderman Glass moved and Alderman Feeney seconded to adopt Bill No. 18-20.  Vote:  Glass, aye; Feeney, aye; and Remley, aye.

The bill authorized a supplemental agreement to the airport agreement between the MHTC and the City of Memphis to extend the deadline for the taxiway project at the airport.


City Supt. Monroe discussed a possible meeting date for the proposed construction of cabins at the lakes. Monroe was instructed to set a date of January 17, 2019 at 4:00 p.m., prior to the special meeting at 5:00 p.m.

Monroe asked council permission to seek funding through a LWCF grant to move a bridge from the northwest part of the county to the Legion Park area.  Council approved the request.

Monroe reported the recycling of plastic bottles and cans is moving along but currently requires three employees approximately three days to bale a semi load of plastic.  Monroe hopes that with the recent approval of grant funds from NEMO Solid Waste for the purchase of a conveyor that time and labor will be reduced.  He will further monitor the process and report back to the council.

Utility Supt. Alexander reported the purchase price for a used 5000 kva transformer from Palmyra is $12,000.  Alderman Feeney moved and Alderman Remley seconded to authorize Alexander to offer $10,000 for the transformer.  Vote:  Glass, Feeney, and Remley, all aye.

Captain Bill Holland reported he will be needing tires for the police department trucks in the near future.


Alderman Feeney reported he is awaiting information regarding no interest loans to communities to give out as low interest loans to fund cost savings improvements, such as solar projects.

Feeney asked what could be done differently in the street sealing operation to minimize the amount of rock left on the streets.  Supt. Monroe stated that if the City had a street sweeper then it could be cleaned up prior to winter, but since we do not, there really is nothing that can be done.

Council discussed the possible purchase of additional property.  Alderman Feeney will contact the seller for additional information.

Feeney submitted a proposal from Toth and Associates for a valuation analysis of the City’s electrical system in an amount not to exceed $5,000.  Council agreed to pursue the analysis.  Alderman Feeney will contact Toth and Associates for a contract.  Supt. Alexander stated he would like to speak with the City’s current engineer, Verbal Blakey, regarding the report.

Alderman Remley suggested a flat screen TV and laptop be purchased for placement in the council room for use during council meetings to view the City’s mapping software and PubWorks software, as well as employee trainings.  Council unanimously agreed to the proposal.

Supt. Alexander reported the need to purchase licensing for the PubWorks software.  Cost of the license is $800 for five users and will be active for the life of the operating software on the server in City Hall, which is estimated at 3 – 4 years.  Council agreed to the purchase of the licenses. 


Mayor Reckenberg and Alderman Remley requested closed session for personnel be scheduled for the meeting on January 17th at 5:00 p.m.


Alderman Feeney moved and Alderman Remley seconded to adjourn.  Vote:  Glass, Feeney, and Remley, all aye.

Meeting adjourned at 10:25 p.m.


Scotland County

Citizens of voting age in Scotland County, pursuant to the provisions of Sec. 262-577, R.S. Mo. 1969, will have an opportunity to vote and elect members to the University of Missouri Extension Council in February. The elected and appointed members of the extension council will guide and direct extension work within the county. Five people have been nominated for each of the elective positions in their respective districts. The nominees and their districts are as follows:

Deidra Musgrove, Jefferson

Jessica Karsch, Combined

Paul Campbell, Combined

Ellen Aylward, Jefferson

Sharon Bradley, Combined

Additional nominations may be made by petition of 25 or more qualified voters residing within the district, filed with the council within 20 days after the publication of this notice of election. Forms for nominations are available in your county extension office located at:

117 S. Market St. Memphis, MO  660-465-7255

The Scotland County University Extension Council

Bruce Childress, Chair

Great News for North Missouri Farmers

by Congressman Sam Graves 6th District of Missouri

Farmers and rural landowners in North Missouri received several pieces of good news last week.

President Trump’s EPA announced that the disastrous “Waters of the United States” rule, or WOTUS, is no more and a new Clean Water Rule will replace it.  

With WOTUS, the Obama administration rewrote standing law to extend its authority onto farms and private property. It represented everything people distrust and resent about the federal government because it added more red tape for farmers and property owners who were simply trying to manage their land and make an honest living.

As a sixth-generation farmer, I found this to be a blatant abuse of our private property rights and I was disgusted that farmers and small businesses were forced to comply with overcomplicated regulations put in place by unelected bureaucrats. 

I had the privilege of joining President Trump’s EPA Administrator, Andrew Wheeler, to announce that the new definition of what constitutes “Waters of the United States” is far clearer. 

Most importantly, dry creek beds, most ditches and other bodies of water that only occur when it rains have been excluded from federal regulation. The new rule will also enable private property owners to avoid spending thousands of dollars on engineers to find out if they need a federal permit for a project on their land. 

While reducing onerous regulations will greatly benefit farmers, a piece of legislation that they depend on is finally finished. The Farm Bill has finally been completed, providing farmers the certainty they need to feed the world. This long-term bill preserves crop insurance, which was my number one priority, and makes improvements to commodity support programs, known as Agriculture Risk Coverage (ARC) and Price Loss Coverage (PLC). It also includes important changes to conservation programs that farmers use to maintain their land. 

The Farm Bill doesn’t just help farmers; it helps everyone in our rural communities. Whether it’s hospitals, water systems or schools, the Farm Bill includes programs to help build critical rural infrastructure projects including connecting rural Missourians with the broadband speed and access they need. The days of no internet availability or average internet speeds being acceptable are over. Everything we do today, from the farm fields to the classroom, requires fast, functioning broadband internet. This bill makes grants and loans available to build out broadband infrastructure to the rural areas and requires those utilizing them to maintain 21st century internet speeds.

It was a very beneficial week for rural America. I’m pleased that our farmers have been given more certainty when it comes to both farm programs and regulations. Hopefully, this will provide some peace of mind as they continue to feed the world.

Downing Board Addresses Low Water Pressure Issues at January Meeting

The Board of the City of Downing convened at 6:00 pm on January 7, 2019 with Mayor Alan Garrett presiding. Present were Aldermen Bill Anderson, Ray Bange, Gene Bruner, Hannah Reed. City Clerk Carol Dryden and water/waste water Operator John Petary, and contract Operator Eric Bowens.

Copies of the Agenda, minutes of the last meeting, deposits & disbursements, monthly water report, account balances and the 2019 budget were given to all 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 of the last meeting was made by Gene Bruner and seconded by Ray Bange and carried unanimously.

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

Dewayne Mullinix came to the meeting just to sit in and hear what was going on. Talked a little about the roads and the good work John is doing.

Water/Waste Water Report: John is going to do some pressure checks around town have had a few people ask about low pressure. We started Batch Discharge on the Lagoon on Jan. 1. Everything is going well.

Street Maintenance: There are a couple of places John needs some rock on roads but waiting for the roads to dry up some as working on them now would only make them worse. Carol Will order some more rock. Cemetery is needing some road work and rock will get to that as soon as it dries up.

Cemetery: Had a $200.00 donation from Jeri Baker.

Carol will be working on a couple of new Ordinances, one for Lead Ban ant the other for Cross Contamination. These need to be updated for DNR.

Old Business: A motion was made to accept the 2019 budget by Gene Bruner and seconded by Bill Anderson and carried unanimously. The Board discussed the proposal given them by Steve and Penny Swindler and a motion to not close the road and alley was made by Bill Anderson and seconded by Hannah Reed and carried by all except Ray Bange who abstained.

New Business: Carol Seamster is raising the price for the city to use her dumpster. A motion was made not to use the dumpster at the increased price by Ray Bange and seconded by Hannah Reed and carried unanimously.

Positive Thoughts: Beautiful weather for January.

Went into closed session at 7:20. needed to discuss some issues the board had and to discuss employees work.

A motion to adjourn the meeting at 7:30 was made by Bill Anderson and seconded by Ray Bange and carried unanimously. Submitted by Carol Dryden, City Clerk

Submitted by Carol Dryden, City Clerk

DNR Awards More Than $50,000 To Study Regional Wastewater Partnership In Eight Missouri Counties

The Missouri Department of Natural Resources has awarded $50,473 in grant funding to the Meramec Regional Council of Governments to conduct a wastewater partnership feasibility study in Crawford, Dent, Gasconade, Maries, Osage, Phelps, Pulaski and Washington counties.

The project will calculate time and expenses related to the operation of wastewater systems in the study area and evaluate the potential cost effectiveness of a multi-community partnership that shares a regional operator of multiple facilities.

“Investing in these communities provides them with the proper infrastructure and necessary facilities to maintain a strong quality of life,” said Carol Comer, director of the Department of Natural Resources. “It also provides environmental benefits and positive economic impacts.”

The study’s objective is to determine whether cost savings and improved stability can be achieved by sharing operational responsibilities among several communities rather than each community hiring and training its own part-time staff. A shared regional operator may benefit small, rural communities by reducing expenses and eliminating staff turnover.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency – Region 7 has provided funding for this project under Section 604b of the Clean Water Act. The Department of Natural Resources will administer the grant funds. The department is committed to supporting formation of water and wastewater system partnerships and to working closely with Missouri communities to improve water quality.

This grant is in addition to $80,776 awarded to the Mid-Missouri Regional Planning Commission to further develop plans for the Callaway County Sewer District and $78,911 awarded to the Northwest Missouri Regional Council of Governments to examine the feasibility of a regional wastewater partnership.For more information, contact the department’s Water Protection Program at fac@dnr.mo.gov or

Top 10 Things I Love About Dancing Rabbit

I recently returned to Dancing Rabbit for a week and a half, after spending some time with family, before heading out to a meditation retreat. It was just in time to fulfill my monthly clean team duties, to attend approximately eight meetings, and to write this column. It has also been just enough time to appreciate what I love about living at DR; but not quite enough time to do as many of those things as I would have liked.

Christina here, writing from cold, snowy northeast Missouri (taking some inspiration from a late-night show of my youth) with the top 10 things I am loving about Dancing Rabbit right now:

1. Not having to get in a car for days on end. When my family and I were traveling to visit family in North Carolina, we spent a lot of time driving. Sure, I enjoyed the freedom of being able to go wherever I wanted, but being home now, I really appreciate time spent not waiting to get somewhere — or burning fossil fuels to go buy groceries.

2. Going outside multiple times a day. Since I don’t have everything I need in our house here, I am forced to go outside throughout the day. Sometimes, like during the recent snowstorm, that feels hard. But usually, I love it. I know that every minute I spend in nature I am slightly more sane (and probably slightly nicer to my family) so I really appreciate having the outdoors be such a big part of my life here.

3. Homeschool, cooking new food, watching videos, and learning about feelings.  One of the reasons I moved to DR was so I could homeschool. Usually, I am so grateful that I get to influence what my kids learn, and how we spend our time. But on the days when one math problem takes us 10 minutes, or when getting a child to write an entire sentence feels like I’m asking them to carry a fifty pound backpack up a mountain, I often need a little reminder that this is what I want and what I chose; which means that this week I have really enjoyed the untraditional ways that we learn. On Tuesday, we made falafel and pita bread, as a part of our unit on the Middle East. On Thursday, we watched an amazing video about the ways that camels have adapted to life in the desert. Throughout the week we have been playing games about feelings, in my attempts to teach the kids about Nonviolent Communication. (In a nutshell, nonviolent communication, or NVC for short, is a collaborative communication model based on mutual and reciprocal empathy, developed by Dr. Marshall Rosenberg.)

4. Kids in and out all day, lots of pretend, and legos. One thing that I really missed while being away from home for a few weeks was the kids stopping by throughout the day to play. Yes, our homeschool day takes longer when we have a break every 35 minutes for lego time, and yes, I think there might be more mud in our mudroom than there is floor because of all the traffic, but it is so great not having to arrange playdates or drive across town in order for the kids to see friends; and I especially appreciate the time that they have throughout the day to process whatever it is we have been studying in school while playing.

5. Getting back to my morning routine of yoga and meditation. As much as I might try to keep up with my routine when we travel, I inevitably find reasons why I just can’t fit it in, so I have been glad to get back to it, if only for a week or so. Liz and I have been meditation buddies for over a year now, and she is the reason why I have been able to be so consistent with the meditation for so long. There have been many mornings that I have pulled myself out of bed simply because I know that she’ll be meditating alone if I don’t get there.

6. Art time on Friday. Katherine, Burl, and I have been taking turns hosting art time on Friday afternoons in the common house. It’s a time for folks of all ages hang out and be creative. Yes, there was more running in circles than was ideal for me, but it was so nice to doodle and chat for a while.

7. Going to bed early. There is something about life here that makes it really easy to go to bed early in the winter. It feels natural to sleep a lot when the nights are long, and I have found myself getting ready for bed by 7:30 at times. Of course, it will be balanced out by summer nights when we are still at the pond, chatting in the courtyard, or watering the garden at 9:00 pm, but right now, it feels great to get into my warm bed with a good book early on in the night.

8. Eating the food that we grew and then froze, stored, or dried for the winter. When were were traveling, I tried to fully appreciate having mangos, and as much fresh salad as I wanted, in December, but the truth is that food doesn’t taste as good as the Brussel sprouts I froze last October, or the nettles I dried last spring. I have been happy to rifle through the freezer or open new jars of tomato sauce, since we have been home.

9. Playing games about end-of-life decisions. On Tuesday after potluck, Sara hosted the Hello Game, which involves talking about what is important to you when it comes to death and end-of-life decisions. All day Tuesday I told myself that I was too tired to stay out after dinner, but when everyone gathered to play (and since the kids were happily playing with their friends in the kids’ room) I decided to stay. I learned that I have a few things I need to figure out. I also learned to appreciate my friends a little more, and I just love that I live somewhere that people are excited to play this kind of game.

10. Quiet nights with the stars. Every time I come home to the prairie, I am newly surprised at how vivid the stars are out here. The village is often pretty dark at night, with little nighttime lighting. When I am walking back from dinner or going outside to get water on a clear night, I am always a little taken aback by how beautiful the night sky can be.  

I’m heading out again on Wednesday, this time for 10 days, and I am already a little sad about what I’ll miss here. When I get back, it will be a whole new season. At Dancing Rabbit, late winter means time for our annual retreat, when we gather to spend a few days to discuss matters of import to the community, and it also means garden planning and gearing up for spring – but then I’ll have a whole new list of reasons why I love living here.

You too can spend a little time relaxing, maybe make some friends, and get a great view of the stars if you visit us for pizza night at the Milkweed Mercantile on Thursdays from 4pm – 8pm. They have a selection of 26 different kinds of beer, and their handmade deserts are always a highlight. (Blueberry cheesecake and rich chocolate-walnut brownies were the offering last week.) Check google maps for the best directions from your location, and call ahead to make a reservation: 660-883-5522.

Knox County Sheriff’s Office Reports Two Arrests

The Knox County Sheriff’s Office reported a pair of arrests were made last week in two cases.

According to Sheriff Allen Gudehus, Taylor Bartz, of Canton, was arrested on January 9th following an alleged burglary near Novelty.

Gudehus indicated that a deputy was responding to a trespassing complaint and located Bartz, who was in a vehicle that was stuck in a muddy field northwest of Novelty. The sheriff said that the subsequent investigation revealed the burglary at a nearby location where fuel had been stolen and property damage occurred.

Bartz was transported to the Adair County Detention Center where he was being held on a $10,000 bond.

The following day, the Knox County Sheriff’s Office arrested Douglas Garrett of Novinger on an assault charge.

The arrest stemmed from an incident at a Hurdland address that occurred in December of 2018. Garrett was being held on a $5,000 cash only bond.

Help for a Stranger

I wanted to thank your Police Department. I had a tire blow out last week on Highway 136 just outside of Memphis.  Of course this had to happen in the middle of the night, and I know NO one in that area as I live over two hours away. 

The Sheriff’s Office dispatch was able to get me phone numbers to repair facilities and your officer (Bill Holland) was kind enough to come out to direct traffic and assist.  He stayed until I was back on the road, and was very polite and professional. He had no idea I was a fellow law enforcement officer and it wouldn’t have mattered, as I’m sure he’d have done the same for any person in need of assistance.

The tow service I originally called was unable to assist but did give me a number to Holton Tire Repair. They were able to get me fixed up and back on the road and were VERY fair on pricing.  That is another rarity, seems like too many have found road side repair as a time to gouge a person who has limited options.  As a side note the tow service (Lakeside I think?)  Called the next day just to make sure I got helped out.

I guess overall I’d just like to share that I had a VERY positive experience in Memphis, MO, and am very thankful for those that were willing to help a stranger.

Sgt. Joe Nickell T347

Iowa Department of Transportation

Fire Destroys Off-Road Tire & Service Business in Memphis

A Memphis business will be looking to rebuild following a late-night fire over the weekend that resulted in significant property damage.

Off-Road Tire & Service on Highway 136 sustained extensive damage in the blaze, which was reported at approximately 12:30 a.m. on Monday morning, January 14th.

“Apparently there was a group of young people parked in the lot across the highway who first saw the flames and called it in,” said owner Shawn Phillips.

The fire started in the southwest corner of the five-bay metal building in an area that houses an air compressor room that was also adjacent to one of the structure’s two oil furnaces.

“It is too early to pinpoint exactly what caused it, but we suspect it was either one of the air compressors or the furnace,” said Phillips.

The Memphis Fire Department was dispatched at 12:20 a.m. and was on the scene until around 3:00 a.m. Approximately 20 volunteer firemen responded to the call with five fire trucks.

“The first responders on the scene reported that the flames were already through the roof in the southwest corner of the structure as well as exiting the first bay’s door,” said Fire Chief Greg Probst.

The blaze quickly spread through the first bay, where a semi owned by Patrick Miller was parked awaiting service work on Monday morning. The truck, as well as three automobiles also awaiting service, were all destroyed in the fire.

“It could have been much worse,” said Jardin Fuller of RPM, the neighboring business. “Shawn had an MFA diesel fuel hauler in the shop for work, but he had decided to pull it out and park it outside over the weekend.”

The blaze destroyed all five bays of the auto and diesel mechanic shop and caused extensive damage to the office, which is located at the north end of the facility.

“It definitely isn’t something you look forward to seeing,” said Shawn’s father Robert Phillips, owner of the neighboring business RPM. “However, as far as 1:00 a.m. phone calls go, those can end up with a lot worse news. No one was hurt and everyone is safe. It is just a bump in the road, a big one, but, one we’ll get over.”

Shawn Phillips said the building was insured and he expects to begin a rebuild as soon as possible.

“I’ve turned a wrench for close to 25 years, it’s what I do,” he said. “As soon as we can get this cleaned up and rebuilt, it’s what I plan on continuing doing.”

Scotland County Buried (Temporarily) by 12 Inches of Snow

Despite recording an estimated 10 to 12 inches of snow Friday night and Saturday, Scotland County was back to business Monday morning.

Ball games were canceled Friday night and the school also postponed Saturday events and few Sunday morning church services were canceled, but by and large the region emerged from the weekend storm relatively unscathed.

The Missouri State Highway Patrol did not report a single vehicle accident over the weekend and local law enforcement noted there were a few slide offs, but most motorists refrained from driving until later Saturday and Sunday after city, county and state road crews had cleared the way.

“Hats off to the city crews,” said Dave Trueblood of Community Bank of Memphis. “That was a lot of snow and they did a fine job getting us all dug out so we can get back to business this morning.”

City officials did remind residents to please try to remove their vehicles from city streets during such situations to allow roads to be cleared more fully and efficiently.

The county crews got similar accolades, as they had made significant progress on Sunday, allowing Scotland County R-I schools to be in session on Monday, observing a two-hour delay to start the morning.

“We would like to give a big shout out to the road crews in Scotland County that worked so hard this weekend to ensure everyone could make it to work and school this morning,” the SCR-I School District’s Facebook page announced on Monday. “We really appreciate your long hours, late nights, and the service you provide our community.”

The district was not as fortunate on Tuesday, January 15th, as classes were canceled due to freezing drizzle and rain overnight which left secondary roads too slick for travel for school children.

According to the National Weather Service, a strong area of low pressure tracked across the lower Mississippi River Valley,  bringing heavy snow from central Missouri and southern Illinois up to eastern Iowa and northwest Illinois Friday night (January 11) and Saturday (January 12). The heaviest amounts fell from Missouri into Ohio, where amounts over a foot were common.

The National Weather Service in Columbia, MO had even higher snow totals, as accumulations climb the further south you travelled from Scotland County, starting at 13.5 inches in Lewistown before reaching 19 inches in Mexico, MO and 17-18 inches in the Columbia area.

Unfortunately the NWS forecast is calling for more precipitation, with freezing rain and snow in the forecast early in the week, with snow highly likely again Friday evening and Saturday, with 6-10 inches of additional snow forecast as of Tuesday, with temperatures expected to drop below zero Saturday night and only reach single digits on Sunday.

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