October 19, 2006

Amendment 3 Could Make Smokers Pay More To Puff

It took a court order, but an initiative petition calling for increased taxes on tobacco products will be decided by Missouri voters on November 7th. Amendment 2 asks: “Shall the Missouri Constitution be amended to create a Healthy Future Trust Fund which will:

1. be used to reduce and prevent tobacco use, to increase funding for healthcare access and treatment for eligible low-income individuals and Medicaid recipients, and to cover administrative costs;

2. be funded by a tax of four cents per cigarette and twenty percent on other tobacco products; and

3. be kept separate from general revenue and annually audited?”

The ballot states that the proposed additional taxes will generate an estimated $351-$499 million annually for tobacco control programs, healthcare for low income Missourians, and payments for services provided to Missouri Medicaid beneficiaries and uninsured Missourians.

The issue has sparked debate between proponents of the proposed law change and those who challenge the impacts the new tax would have.

The Committee for a Healthy Future was created to generate support for Amendment 3. The group, made up of health care professionals, physicians, and health care organizations, is championing the law change as an effort to stop the spread of smoking while providing needed financial assistance for medical care for under-served Missourians. The American Lung Association, the American Heart Association and the American Cancer Society have all lent their support to the initiative.

“The Committee for a Healthy Future’s proposal provides funding for programs that treat smoking–related illnesses,” said Cindy Erickson, spokesperson and chief executive officer of the American Lung Association of Missouri. “More importantly, for the first time, we can fund programs that will keep our children from smoking.”

The committee points out that Missouri has the second–lowest tobacco tax rate in the country and, as a result, one of the highest rates of adult and teen smoking in the country. The proponents also state the constitutional amendment will ensure that funds generated will be protected from politicians and used only to address the deadly impacts of tobacco use and to provide increased access to health care services.

“This is a mainstream, common–sense approach to two of the state’s biggest health care issues, namely teenage smoking and access to critical health care services for the most needy Missourians,” said Katie Plax M.D., director, Adolescent Center, Department of Pediatrics, Washington University School of Medicine.

However not everyone shares the Committee’s belief that the tax revenue will be used as described.

According to Ronald J. Leone, Executive Director of MPCA, there are numerous reasons why Amendment 3 is a very bad idea, any one of which is sufficient to once again convince the majority of voters to reject the outrageous 470% tax increase.

“Amendment 3 is not about smoking or the dangers of tobacco. It’s about greed and the government wasting even more of our tax dollars. All you have to do is follow the money”, said Leone.

“Amendment 3 is an outrageous 470% tax increase, proportionally the largest in Missouri’s 185-year history. More than 82% of the tobacco tax increase is not required to be spent on tobacco related diseases or illnesses”, Leone continued.

“Instead, that same 82% fattens the wallets of the greedy hospitals, HMOs and drug companies that have bankrolled the massive and oppressive tax increase. These greedy private companies are trying to hoodwink voters into approving their very own constitutional slush fund”, said Leone.

“Since 2000, Missouri has wasted almost $1 billion in tobacco revenue that should have been spent on tobacco diseases and health care. A statewide problem such as health care requires a statewide solution and not the taxing of a targeted minority population by some well-heeled special interests. We’re confident that common-sense Missourians will once again see through this slick Madison Avenue style campaign and defeat this outrageous 470% tax increase”, Leone concluded.

Also opposing the proposed 80-cent a pack cigarette tax hike is, Missourians Against Unfair Taxes, a group of tobacco wholesalers and retailers in Missouri, who have organized to fight the proposal.

Group members say smokers are being unfairly targeted with a tax hike from 17 cents to 97 cents per pack – or $9.70 per carton. The taxes would fall entirely on consumers.

If Amendment 3 passes, the combined taxes on a carton of cigarettes would be nearly $15. The state taxes would be in addition to the $3.90 per carton federal tax and the cigarette taxes that dozens of cities impose in Missouri. In St. Louis, for example, the cigarette tax is 70 cents a carton. In Springfield, the tax is 50 cents a carton. Local and state sales taxes are also added.

The group claims the public was kept from participating in the drafting of the initiative petition. “The proposal was drafted in secret and the public was shut out,” said Jim Boeving, of Missourians Against Unfair Taxes. “The public was kept out because the proposal was designed by hospitals and doctors to benefit themselves.” Boeving operates Discount Smokes & Beer in Springfield.

The group points out that last year, the state took in $145 million in tobacco settlement money but spent nothing on tobacco cessation efforts. This has caused Attorney General Jay Nixon, who was involved in the tobacco settlement, to become a staunch opponent of Amendment 3.

Proponents warn voters not to be mislead by information being circulated in opposition to the amendment.

“Big tobacco and convenience stores have aligned to mislead and confuse the public about Amendment 3,” Erickson stated. “They have spent decades and billions of dollars to protect their profits by lying to the public so it comes as no surprise that they are at it again here in Missouri.”

At issue is the allegation that the State Auditor’s fiscal note on Amendment 3 commits taxpayers to $2 billion in additional expenditures. In truth, the auditor’s fiscal note and a September 11, judgment issued by Cole County Circuit Court Judge Thomas Brown and an October 11 decision by the Missouri Supreme Court reached the same conclusion—taxpayers would not be committed to expenditures beyond the revenue generated by the tax. Specifically, they stated:

“The actual level of spending will reflect the revenue realized through the increase in the tobacco tax.” (Auditor’s fiscal note, p. 8)

“The petition imposes a new tax on tobacco products, distributes only those proceeds and does not divert money from existing funds.” (Judgment, p. 5)

“We will never have the war chest Big Tobacco has to fight Amendment 3 in Missouri,” said Erickson. “But, we have the truth on our side. Amendment 3 will improve the future health of Missouri by lowering smoking rates, improving health care and keeping children from smoking.”

Memphis Man Killed in Crash Near Arbela

A Memphis man was killed and another seriously injured in a two vehicle accident over the weekend in rural Scotland County.

According to the Missouri State Highway Patrol, Harley D. Stone, 24, of Memphis was killed when the 2015 Polaris Can Am all-terrain vehicle he was driving collided with a pickup truck on a hill crest on County Road 456 west of Arbela.

The Stone vehicle was eastbound when it crested the hill and met at the center of the road a westbound 2001 Dodge truck driven by Christopher M. Chabert, 29, of Memphis.

Stone and a passenger in his vehicle, Jacob A. Blessing, 21, of Memphis both were ejected from the ATV. Stone was pronounced deceased at the scene at 4:40 a.m. by Scotland County Coroner Dr. Jeff Davis. Blessing sustained serious injuries in the crash. He was transported by Scotland County Ambulance to University Hospital in Columbia.

Chabert was not injured in the crash, which occurred at 4:00 a.m. on May 20th. Chabert was ticketed for driving while intoxicated.

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

SCR-I Band to Make ‘Long March’ to Washington DC to Take Part in National Memorial Day Parade

As residents of a rural school district, Scotland County R-I students are used to long bus rides. However on Thursday, some three dozen SCR-I musicians will be boarding a bus for a trip that will exceed their bus mileage for the year, just one-way.

At 4 p.m. on Thursday, May 24th the Scotland County R-I band, along with support staff, boosters and chaperones will be boarding a charter bus departing the SCR-I high school parking lot bound for Washington D.C. The public is invited to line the road to show the band support on its departure.

“Last minute preparations are well underway as the Marching Tigers are putting on the finishing touches on their performance,” said band Director Nathanial Orr. “You may even hear the band marching around town.”

The trip to the nation’s capital is more than 900 miles, with the group expecting to arrive on the East Coast  in time for lunch on Friday.

After the meal with tour manager Barbara Longnecker at Union Station, the group will take a tour of the U.S. Capitol before enjoying dinner at Bertucci’s Italian Restaurant. That evening the group will be treated to a parade at the Marine Barracks featuring the US Marine Band in full dress uniform.

Saturday will feature a full day of tours including stops at Lafayette Square, the White House and the National Archives Building, home of the Declaration of Independence, Bill of Rights and the Constitution.

After lunch they will visit Ford’s Theater where President Lincoln was assassinated before touring Arlington National Cemetery to witness the changing of the guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. The evening will conclude with tours of the US Air Force and Pentagon 9/11 Memorials, as well as the Jefferson, FDR and Martin Luther King, Jr. memorials.

The nation’s history will be on display again on Sunday as tour members will visit the Lincoln, and Vietnam and Korean War memorials as well as the US Holocaust Memorial Museum before spending the afternoon at the Smithsonian Institution’s museums. The evening will be capped off at the National Memorial Day Concert on the west lawn of the Capitol. The event will broadcast live on PBS.

Finally on Monday, the band members will get to work, participating in the National Memorial Day Parade.

“The band will be performing ‘Colonel Bogey March,’ a tune featured in ‘Bridge over a River Kwai’,” said Orr. “The color guard will be wearing homemade uniforms representing a different branch of the armed services.  Each member of the guard has a connection as parts of the uniform they will be wearing are from the uniform of their family members.”

Orr said the parade will be televised on the Armed Forces Network as well as streamed on YouTube.com, Military.com or NationalMemorialDayParade.com.

“Due to time constraints and commercial breaks, there is no guarantee that SCR-I will be televised,” he said.

Later that evening, the group will visit the World War II Memorial and place a Scotland County High School wreath at the base of the Missouri state marker.

Tuesday, day 6 of the event, will feature a trip to Mount Vernon, before boarding the tour bus at 2 p.m. for the return trip to Memphis. The group is expected to arrive back home Wednesday, May 30th around 9 a.m.

The trip has been made possible through the hard work of the band students and boosters as well as the generous contributions of local supporters. Work began last May after word was received the band had received the honor of participating in the national event. Numerous fundraisers were held over the next 12 months to fully fund the more than $1,000 price tag per band member for the trip.

Larry Gieseke to Address 72nd Annual Memorial Day Services

Larry Gieseke will be the featured speaker on Monday as the Wallace W. Gillespie Memorial Post #4958 of the Veterans of Foreign Wars hosts the 72nd Annual Memorial Day Services on the lawn of the Scotland County Courthouse.

The services will begin at 10 a.m. with Post Commander Lloyd Erickson and program chairman Donnie Middleton welcoming the crowd.

Veterans Floyd C. Baker and Mike Stephenson will perform the traditional wreath placement at the soldiers’ memorial on the southeast side of the courthouse. Fellow serviceman Bill Camp will lead the gathering in the Pledge of Allegiance.

Sonny Smyser of the Lancaster Church of Faith  will lead the invocation prior to the performance of the National Anthem by the Memphis Community Players, who will also provide additional patriotic music for the service.

Judge Gary Dial will again have the honor of introducing the service’s guest speaker.

Following Gieseke’s speech, veteran Jamie Parker will sing Sleep Soldier Boy.

Following the benediction by Smyser, the VFW members will present a 21 gun salute before the performance of taps by service member Melinda Briggs with ECHO played by Chris Kempke.

The service is open to the public. In case of inclement weather, the program will be moved indoors at the VFW post.

Fifty-Seven Units of Blood Donated at Spring Blood Drive

The spring community blood drive held on May 8th at the First Baptist Church of Memphis resulted in the donation of fifty-seven units of blood to the American Red Cross. We would like to thank all those who took time out of their busy day to come and donate.

Of the sixty-seven people who came out to donate, five were first-time donors: Laura Carr, Reilly Shoemaker, Luke Triplett, Matthew Woods and Mark Zeiset. May this mark the beginning of a lifelong habit of helping others through this life-saving gift.

The following donors are recognized for reaching their respective donation goals: a one-gallon pin was awarded to Harley D. Saulmon and a two-gallon pin, to Mike M. Blain. Carol McCabe earned a five-gallon pin, Sara Frederick earned a seven-gallon pin, and Bruce Childress was awarded an eight-gallon pin. David M. Ahland earned his fourteen-gallon pin. Way to go, Mike! But, the greatest achievement goes to Larry Riney who has reached 20 gallons, which is equivalent to 160 units of blood. This is the average total amount collected from two of our community blood drives. Thanks, Larry, you are an encouragement to us all and remind us that even one committed person can really make a big difference. Let’s be encouraged by their commitment, knowing that we, too, can make a difference, Congratulations to all these who have reached their respective goals and to all first-time donors. Your much-needed donations are greatly appreciated.

Special thanks are in order to Lighthouse of Faith for their generous supply of homemade cookies, to Community Bank for providing sandwiches, to Pizza Hut for donating free pizzas to student donors and to J’s Food for providing orange juice to all donors. And a very special thank you to all the local Red Cross volunteers for making this event possible by serving food and drinks to donors and providing comfort and support to both the Red Cross workers and all who give. God Bless!

BABY CICERO

Mandi and Chris Cicero, along with sisters, Kara and Alexis, would like to announce the birth of Christina Violet Cicero, born May 2, 2018 at Capital Region Medical Center.  She was born at 3:19 p.m., weighed 7 lbs 14 oz and was 21 ½ inches long.  She is the granddaughter of Wayne and Terri Bulen, Stephanie Cicero, and Kelly Wiles.

BABY BUCKNER-DAVIS

Kira Stark of Kahoka and Dante Davis of Kahoka are the parents of a son, Trevon Land Buckner-Davis, born May 12, 2018 at 8:45 a.m. at Scotland County Hospital in Memphis. Trevon weighed 6 lbs 8 oz and was 20.5 inches long. Grandparents are Dede Segovia of Kahoka; Steven Stark of Kahoka; Carissa Smith of Keokuk, IA; and Rick Davis of Keokuk, IA.

BABY HILL

Justin and Diana Hill of Bloomfield, IA are the parents of a son, Maverick Gabriel Hill, born May 5, 2018 at 8:06 p.m. at Scotland County Hospital in Memphis. Maverick weighed 7 lbs 14.8 oz and was 21.5 inches long. Grandparents are Monty and Isle Hill of Bloomfield, IA; Jim and Linda Snowbarger or Marshalltown, IA; and Thomas Upton of Mediapolis, IA.

BABY SMALL

Bruce and Kendra Small of Memphis are the parents of a son, Abel Forrest Lee small, born May 11, 2018 at 2:36 a.m. at Scotland County Hospital in Memphis. Abel weighed 6 lbs 8 oz and was 19 inches long. He is welcomed home by siblings, Mason and Vancel. Grandparents are Bobby and Shelley Small of Memphis; Jodi Heatherly of Memphis; and Kenneth Westfall of Perry, IL. Great-grandmother is Linda Baker of Memphis.

Scotland County Genealogy Society Hosts May Meeting

Terry Arnold vice- president of the Scotland County Genealogy Society called the May 14th meeting to order with 10 members present.

June Kice gave the treasurer’s report.

Old business: Terry Arnold reported on work days.

New business: Bonnie Hayes reported the group’s copy machine will need replaced.

The book sale was discussed for Antique Fair days and the cookie sale will be held again at the Antique Fair, on Saturday as in the past.

A work day was scheduled for Tuesday, June 12th.

June Kice gave a program on the history of Mother’s Day, which was started in the 19th Century before the Civil War by Ann Reeves Jarvis of West Virg1na to teach local women to care for their children. Later, others honored Friendship Day, when mothers gathered with former Union and Confederate soldiers to promote reconciliation.

Suffragette and abolitionist Julia Ward Howe wrote a Mother’s Day proclamation promoting world peace The official Mother’s Day holiday arose in the 1900’s as the result of Anna Jarvis as a way of honoring sacrifices of mothers for their children.

President Woodrow Wilson signed a measure officially establishing the 2nd Sunday in May as Mother’s Day.

Terry Arnold closed the meeting.

Refreshments were served by Twyla Stevenson and Marlene Cowell.

Connie Bratton, Secretary

Register Now for SC Tiger Cub Summer Football Camp

Scotland County Tiger Cub Summer Football Camp 2018 will be held July 17, 18 and 19 from 4:00 p.m. – 5:40 p.m.

Kids entering fourth, fifth of sixth grade who are interested in playing football are encouraged to attend.

Coaches Kirk Stott, Nic Hatfield, Matt Buford, Travis Stott, William Parsons, Josh McSparren, and Curt Triplett will work with camp participants on fundamentals of the sport.

Registration forms, camp fee, complete with t-shirt size and parent/guardian signature must be returned to Coach Stott at the High School Office by Thursday, May 31, 2018.

This camp is used to learn basic fundamentals of the Scotland County Tiger football program.

Payment of $20.00 must accompany the entry form. Make checks out to Tiger Cub Football.

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