October 26, 2006

Missouri Voters Being Asked To Raise States Minimum Wage

Proposition B on the November 7th ballot in Missouri will ask voters to consider raising the states minimum wage from $5.15 to $6.50.

The ballot language states that a yes vote will amend Missouri statutes to increase the state minimum wage rate to $6.50 per hour, or to the level of the federal minimum wage, whichever is higher. Every year thereafter, the state minimum wage rate will be adjusted based on changes in the Consumer Price Index.

This is great news for the hard-working people of this state, said John Bowman, Treasurer of the Give Missourians a Raise Coalition. We dont have to wait for the politicians to address this issue anymore. Now, the people of Missouri can take matters into their own hands and vote yes on Proposition B to raise the minimum wage.

In May, the Coalition submitted signatures from over 210,000 Missouri voters more than twice the number required in order to place the initiative on the ballot.

However not everyone is in favor of the proposal.

S.O.S. Jobs (Save Our States Jobs) Coalition is opposing Proposition B. Its members, consisting of Associated Industries of Missouri, the Missouri Restaurant Association, the Missouri Retailers Association, NFIB Missouri, the Missouri Grocers Association and the Missouri Merchants and Manufacturers Association, believe any effort to adjust the minimum wage should be initiated at the federal level. The SOS coalition says through federal action, Missouri businesses would be on a level playing field with surrounding states, and not be at a disadvantage in competing for new business opportunities.

By dealing with this on a state basis instead of at the federal level, stated Pat Bergauer, Treasurer of the S.O.S. Jobs coalition, businesses in Missouri will be fighting to maintain jobs and employees against surrounding states with one hand tied behind their back. Raising the minimum wage will leave many employees without a job and no financial means to support their families.

Proponents of the proposition point to a report from the non-partisan Economic Policy Institute, that shows that approximately 256,000 Missourians will receive a raise if Proposition B passes, including 120,000 Missourians who currently make less than $6.50, as well as an additional 136,000 who make slightly more than that, but who will see a bump in their wages due to a spill-over effect.

Supporters also believe that a raise in the minimum wage will generate between $3.3 million and $4.3 million more each year in state revenue, and would pump over $21 million in new spending into the economy.

Opponents are attacking this report, stating that while The Economic Policy Institute managed to find 650 economists who supported raising the minimum wage, the Employment Policies Institute differs in opinion. It points to a survey conducted by the University of New Hampshire revealing that 77 percent (13,860) of labor economists with the American Economics Association believe minimum wage hikes have a negative effect on employment.

Minimum wage opponents could release a thousand studies predicting job loss if Missouri raises the minimum wage. It doesnt change the facts states that have raised the minimum wage have seen no job loss, even in the low-wage industries directly impacted by a raise in the minimum wage, said Sara Howard, Communications Director for the Give Missourians a Raise coalition.

No one can survive on $5.15 an hour, Howard continued. Raising the minimum wage is a long-overdue step that is going to help thousands of Missouri families who are struggling to get by.

Still, opponents of the bill fire back that job loss experienced by low-skilled adults, in particular, is substantial following a minimum wage hike. They site research from Cornell and the University of Connecticut that found a 10-percent increase in the minimum wage results in an 8.5-percent increase in unemployment among adults lacking a high school diploma. Research from economists at Duke, Boston University, and Michigan State University all confirm that low-skilled adults suffer considerable job loss following minimum wage hikes.

Proponents of minimum wage hikes contend that the attendant job loss is minimal and worth it, but theyre ignoring the fact that it is almost exclusively low-skilled adults who lose their job, said Mike Flynn, director of Legislative Affairs at the Employment Policies Institute. Minimum wage hikes end up hurting the very people they are intended to help by jeopardizing the jobs of those most in need of assistance.

Opponents also are questioning the ballot language, specifically how the minimum wage calculations in years following the proposed raise to $6.50

The SOS Coalition asks voters if they understand what the Consumer Price Index (CPI) is, and more importantly what the CPI-W, which is the index identified in Proposition B, is?

They explain that the Bureau of Labor Statistics publishes CPIs for two population groups, CPI-W and CPI-U:

The CPI-W (Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers) comprises approximately 32 percent of the total population. Not included in this population are technical workers, self-employed persons and all agricultural jobs. This is the annual increase being identified for Missouri to use in Proposition B.

The CPI-U (All Urban Consumers) covers approximately 87 percent of the total population and includes all lines of work and populations including agriculture, the self-employed, etc. The SOS Coalition states that, while its not being used in our states calculation, this percentage increase better reflects the national increase in the cost of living and runs considerably less than the CPI-W. The group also notes that the Bureau of Labor Statistics publishes a break down of the CPI-W, looking specifically at four regions of the nation, the northeast, south, west and midwest. With the Midwest being 25 percent lower for the past year than the other three.

Simply stated, Missouri will be forced to use the cost of living adjustments for large urban areas such as New York City and Los Angeles to calculate our minimum wage increases every year, said Gary Marble, president of Associated Industries of Missouri (AIM), which is part of the Save Our States Jobs Coalition. Not included in those calculations are 68 percent of the population, including agriculture and the self-employed. That certainly isnt clearly stated on the ballot.

Marble questions whether Missouri should have a minimum wage for low skill, entry level, jobs of $8 per hour, which is what proponents are predicting the amount to be in only five years. He adds that it will continue to increase at a rate of over $.25 to $.30 per hour every year thereafter.

He and fellow SOS Coalition members say Proposition B will force Missouris minimum wage to increase annually as the cost of living increases which they feel means that year after year, Missouri companies will find it harder and harder to compete and Missouri will lose jobs.

They point out that Missouri consumers and employees likely will pay the additional costs of a higher minimum wage. Businesses will be forced to increase prices to consumers and employees could have to pay more for health insurance and other benefits to offset the additional costs.

For small businesses, raising prices is not always an option. stated Brad Jones, state director of NFIB Missouri. Having to compete with bigger companies often means operating on razor thin margins just to survive.

Descendants of Original Pioneers Pay Visits to Scotland, Schuyler Counties

Henry Hawkins Downing, II descendants recently gathered to explore Scotland and Schuyler counties where their ancestor was one of the original pioneers settling in the region. Photo by Abby Fincher.

by Barbara Blessing

On August 14 and 15, 2017, descendants of pioneer settlers converged on northeast Missouri to view the origins of their predecessors. Henry Hawkins Downing I and his wife Airy Hitch Downing were joined by five of their seven children to make the 1,000 mile trek to Missouri in 1834. Included with the five journeying to Missouri was our ancestor Henry Hawkins Downing II.  The other four children were Harriet Green Smoot, Martha Acton Briggs, Amanda Melvina Williams, and William G. Downing.  A sister, Sarah Ann Downing Hudnall, with her family, soon joined the Missouri contingent.  The only one to remain in Virginia was son John Hitch Downing.  Together with their families, they made the trek from Virginia to settle on the frontier.  While they had no wealth when they left Faquier County, Virginia, through industry and hard work, they were soon landowners and prominent businessmen.

Henry H. Downing II had nine children: namely, John Alexander, Rhoda Ann, William Green, Mary Etta, Amanda D., Harriet (Hattie) Ann, Henry Hawkins III, James M, and Jennie Valiant.  The descendants of John Alexander, Rhoda Ann and Jennie Valiant were present for the reunion.  Those attending were Bill Cox, Rebekah Cox Fish, Jennie Downing Cox, Mel Cox, Abby Cox Fincher, and matriarch Melba Cox from the Jennie Valiant Nelson family.  Those attending from John Alexander’s family were Kathleen Downing de Izaguirre, Indiana Lugo Downing and Emma Lugo Downing, Maria Downing de Villa, Martha and Frank Fair, Pearl Gizzarelli, Vivian B. Najarra,  Sergio and Maria Zamora, and Maria Downing,   Those present from Rhoda’s family were Henry Hawkins Blessing and his wife Barbara, Marilyn Blessing and her husband Roy Blessing, Jr., Jim Bruner, Louise Newland, and  SC researcher Joanne Aylward who had helped Mr. and Mrs. Cox during a previous visit.  The descendants attending currently live in New Jersey, California, Kansas, Georgia, Tennessee, Missouri, Nicaragua, and Venezuela.

Bill Cox and his late wife Teresia have done extensive research on our family’s origins.  On Monday, he presented a notebook to everyone detailing some of the information they have gleaned from years of study.  We left the fellowship hall of the Downing Christian Church to go to the Downing Family Cemetery located on land owned now by Henry H. Blessing II, another descendant of Rhoda’s.  We visited at the recently renovated site and took pictures.  Then we journeyed to the James Garnett home to visit the place of the original homestead of Henry H. Downing II.  There have been years of change, but there remains the cistern and a depression in the ground where the cellar was originally and then filled in.  After lunch at Keith’s, we went to the Downing House Museum built by Henry’s brother, William G. Downing to view artifacts, history, and memorabilia from Scotland County.

The Downing House Museum hosted the group of Henry Hawkins Downing descendants during their visit to Memphis. Photo by Jennie Cox.

The Scotland County Genealogical Society presented us with folders of information from their files.  They also hosted a reception at their building and served refreshments in honor of Miss Indiana Lugo Downing’s 77th birthday.  We then went to view the square where Mr. John Alexander Downing, upon returning to America from Nicaragua, established a business.  His father Henry II had deeded him three lots with a house where they resided during their brief sojourn in America before returning to Nicaragua to finally establish their permanent home.

We went to the Scotland County Library where we viewed the resources that were available for genealogy study.

On Tuesday, we reconvened at the Fellowship Hall of the Downing Christian Church before going to the Downing Museum where we were hosted by volunteers Judy Sharp and Jerry Scurlock.  Several pictures were taken and visiting continued.  We then went to the Winn Hill Bed and Breakfast to view a typical 1850’s home where the brick were kilned on the property.  After a fantastic meal and more visiting and picture-taking, several had to depart to catch planes to return to their homes.  The Cox family went to the Dover Cemetery to view the resting places of Colonel John William and Rhoda Priest and their descendants and then to Henry and Barbara’s home to view the Middle Fabius grist stone, the site of the presumed Rhoda Downing Priest’s home, and other artifacts.

We are indebted to the Genealogical Society, Curators of the Downing House Museum, Rhonda McBee, Lynette Dyer, and Anna Lynn Kirkpatrick, the Childresses for opening their Winn Hill B&B home for touring and dining, Melissa Schuster of the SC Library (who is herself a Downing descendant), Mr. Garnett and Henry Blessing II for access to their land, The Downing Christian Church for use of their fellowship hall, and to Ronnie Tinkle for refurbishing the family cemetery.

“I am bound to them, though I cannot look into their eyes or hear their voices, I honor their history.  I cherish their lives.  I will tell their story.  I will remember them.”  Author Unknown

 

Summer Winding Down

School starting, no way. Both of our youngest grandsons, Kameron and Russ are in their last year of preschool. Several of our older grandkids have taken off to college.  Times passes quickly.

I hope you all have had a good summer and enjoyed being with kids and grandkids. I have managed a couple of road trips with mine. In July we went to Beach Ottumwa for a day of water fun, and in August we had a fantastic day at Hannibal seeing the sights downtown, and lunch, then on to the cave.

I think Russ has been intrigued with Mark Twain. He listened intensively to several guides explaining Mark Twain days, and was able to see an impersonator of Mark Twain. He asked a lot of questions also. Fun times. I was talking to Kayla relative to calling my phone company, being Mark Twain Rural Telephone Co.  I said I called Mark Twain, and Russ turned around, quite wide eyed and said Granny did you talk to Mark Twain?  So very cute.

Recently, I don’t know  about all of you, but I have been making a lot of hummingbird food. I so enjoy watching them close up. I always say I am going to hold a feeder in my lap some morning and see if they will feed right from there. I make at least 4-6 cups per day.  Hungry little feathered friends need energy.

The wrens on the front porch are almost ready to fly and most birds on the trails are tending their young and teaching them what they will need to know for the winter months ahead. The Robins have sure quieted down. I love fall, but hate to see the hummingbirds leave in early October and all the other visitors get ready for winter.

My bluebirds took a hit this summer from the raccoons.  I tried a lot of things but some of them went down due to nest compromise.  I know that many of us need rain. We were able to get an inch here this last week, and close by 2.2 inches. Much needed.  My lawn mower has had a rest.

You should be seeing some American Gold Finches right now at your feeder, still colored in their best yellow suits. Enjoy the rest of the summer, and until next time, good bird watching.

We Must Not Let Religion Get In The Way Of Christ-ianity 

The four gospels are consistent with repetitive pattern; religion and Jesus do not mix. This. Is. Their. Message. Of. Which. We. Are. Still. Learning.

The church, which is to be the body of Christ on earth today, has a fierce ongoing battle which must be faced.  Yet, basic indifference has transpired.  The light has gone out in much of the spiritual terrain for the Son of God has been placed by a religious ego of sorts known as “we do church right”.

We are in desperate need for the Spirit of God to awaken us.  Awaken us; not the unbelieving world, not the thieves and robbers and swindlers…but us!  A growing picture is developing in far too many places which replicates the garden scene; Jesus praying while the disciples tip over in contented slumber.

Religion puts one to sleep in the midst of the very process of vital activity.  The constant repeating of acts of worship gradually becomes that which is worshipped…. not God…. in all religions.  Christ-ianity, on the other hand, is vibrant with anticipatory enthusiasm for the worshipper senses a reality of one’s spirit connected to the reality of One’s Spirit.

Imagination becomes fascinated as the heart engages in bringing God honor.  One at this juncture has no taste for going through the church motions.  The craving for the Higher cannot be satisfied by the habits of the Lower.

Religion is all about motions.  We call a portion of it “acts of worship”.  The question for us is, “Are we genuinely, actually, actively worshipping God?”  Indeed, this accomplishment is rewarding, renewing, and rebuilding.  We must praise something (Someone) bigger than ourselves.  Otherwise, we will continually be watching the one(s) better than us… and such a one(s) will eventually have a clay foot fall off.

It is a daily call, I believe, because it is a daily war to not let religion get in the way of Christ-ianity.  I preached Bible too many years without preaching the Christ of the Bible.  I had my slants, my perspectives, and my applauded/lauded stances; all the while, Jesus was not the centerpiece of ministry and labor.  May we gain new momentum and then renewed momentum day by day.

Christ is to be the key in the term Christ-ianity.  Religion and Jesus do not mix; but, oh how we still try to make the two fit into our preferred forms.

WE MUST NOT LET RELIGION GET IN THE WAY OF CHRIST-IANITY

JAMES “JACK” AARON RUTH (1/12/1940 – 8/13/2017)

A celebration of life service for Jack Ruth, 77, of Brownwood, Texas was held Thursday, August 17 at Victory Life Church under the direction of Heartland Funeral Home. Burial was in Eastlawn Memorial Park.

James “Jack” Aaron Ruth was born in Brownwood, on January 12, 1940, to Wesley Charles Ruth and Ruth Evelyn Ruth. Jack went home to be with the Lord on August 13, 2017.

Jack graduated from Brownwood High School in 1958. While attending Howard Payne College, he managed the Pepsi Cola Bottling Company that his father had founded.

In 1960, he married his best friend and the love of his life, Peggy Joyce Crow, who he adored, and affectionately referred to himself as Mr. Peggy Joyce Ruth.

The highlight of Jack’s life was pastoring Living Word Church (now Victory Life Church) where he became a father to many and developed life-long friendships. He went on to establish a Christian school and radio station. He retired from pastoring in 2005, but not from the ministry. Jack has spent the last 12 years spreading the Good News of the Gospel, counseling and ministering to college students and providing marital counseling.

He enjoyed spending time on the ranch and taking on projects, one of which was the Old Yantis house on Main Street, and was always there to help others along with being a devoted husband, father and grandfather.

Jack is survived by his wife of 57 years, Peggy Joyce Ruth; one daughter, Angelia Schum; one son, William Ruth; and loving grandchildren who he became their “Bumbie,” not to mention numerous relatives, life-long friends and his church family who he loved dearly, and who loved him.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks for donations to Victory Life Academy and Crosslines College Ministry.

Honorary pallbearers were Bo Allen, Robert Johnson, Dr. Henry McGowen, Joe McCluskey, Mike Welch, Herb Waits, Mitch Huser, Gene Reagan, David Patton, Wilson Smith, Steve Brandenburg and Tim Dees.

Condolences can be offered to the family online at heartlandfuneralhome.net.

Scotland County Commission Meeting Minutes

Thursday, August 10, 2017

PLACE OF MEETING: Scotland County Courthouse Commission Chambers

The meeting was called to order at 8:30 a.m.

PRESENT WERE:  Presiding Commissioner: Duane Ebeling; Eastern District Commissioner, Danette Clatt; Western District Commissioner, David Wiggins; Deputy County Clerk, Nancy McClamroch;

Commissioner Wiggins moved to approve the consent agenda; seconded by Commissioner Ebeling. Motion carried 3-0.

Commissioner Clatt moved to approve the minutes from August 9, 2017; seconded by Commissioner Wiggins.  Motion carried 3-0.

The Commission audited and signed checks.

Seeing no further business, Commissioner Ebeling adjourned the meeting at 12:00 p.m.

The Scotland County Commission adjourned to meet in regular session on Wednesday, August 16, 2017.

 

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

PLACE OF MEETING: Scotland County Courthouse Commission Chambers

The meeting was called to order at 8:30 a.m.

PRESENT WERE:  Presiding Commissioner, Duane Ebeling; Eastern District Commissioner, Danette Clatt; Western District Commissioner, David Wiggins was absent; and County Clerk, Batina Dodge.

Commissioner Clatt moved to approve the consent agenda; seconded by Presiding Commissioner Ebeling. Motion carried 2-0.

The minutes from August 10, 2017 were presented. Presiding Commissioner Ebeling moved to approve the regular session minutes; seconded by Commissioner Clatt. Motion carried 2-0.

Presiding Commissioner Ebeling reported that he attended a meeting with FEMA and SEMA Tuesday to review floodplain maps.

The Commission approved invoices 170195-010-5 and 170195-020-5 to SKW for engineering services on Bridges 2170011 and 1600009.

The Commission reviewed budget reported presented by Batina Dodge, County Clerk.

Ryan Clark, Road and Bridge Supervisor, met with the Commission to discuss current projects.

Seeing no further business, Presiding Commissioner Ebeling adjourned the meeting at 12:00 p.m.

The Scotland County Commission adjourned to meet in regular session on Thursday, August 17, 2017.

Living Life Over

FIVE YEARS AGO

A Saturday afternoon fire destroyed a machine shed and all of its contents north of Gorin.  The Scotland County dispatcher received a call at 5:29 p.m. reporting a possible fire on the property, owned by Chad Winters.

The Gorin Fire Department responded to the structure fire call and placed a mutual aid call to the Scotland County Fire Department.

Responding emergency service personnel found the structure fully engulfed in flames.  Crews worked shuttling water from a nearby pond to allow the blaze to be extinguished.

The structure and its contents were a complete loss.  The contents were owned by Brian and Karen Kraus and Robert and Joni Kraus.  The fire destroyed two tractors, a baler, a 1979 Ford pickup, shop tools and some personal belongings that were being stored in the building.

The fire department indicated the blaze likely started in one of the tractors, which had been used prior to the blaze.

TEN YEARS AGO

Seven people from northeast Missouri and southeast Iowa recently traveled to Texcoco, Mexico, just outside of Mexico City, to work with Adrian Sanchez and his church plant.

The travelers were Martha Parish, Tom Owings, Dr. Celeste Miller-Parish, Jierra Woods, BethAnn Shewmaker, Justin DeVries, and Barri Hoffman.

The group assisted in a four-day vacation Bible school while in Mexico.  The volunteers also assisted their host community, doing multiple painting and carpentry jobs.

While in Mexico, the mission group had the opportunity to visit the pyramids, The Temple of the Sun and The Temple of the Moon.

20 YEARS AGO

An early morning fire destroyed a hay barn and caused extensive damage to an adjoining milking building at the Leon Horst residence on Route T near Bible Grove.

The Scotland County Fire Department was called to the scene at approximately 5:15 a.m August 21st.  At least a dozen firemen responded to the call, taking four fire trucks to the scene.  Upon arrival at the scene the hay barn was totally consumed by fire.  The firemen focused their work on saving the milking building.

Hose teams concentrated their efforts on the concrete building where as many as four hose teams attempted to stop the spread of the flames.

Through the combined efforts of both the Scotland County Fire Department and the Rutledge Fire Department, the fire was eventually brought under control at approximately 7:30 a.m.  They hay barn was totally destroyed, but a large portion of the milking building was saved despite fire damage to the interior.

30 YEARS AGO

If you are traveling within 75 miles of Memphis and you see some strange flashing lights, don’t be alarmed, it is not a UFO! What you are seeing are the lights on the newly constructed TV tower located southwest of Colony.

The tower, erected by KTVO-TV, Kirksville-Ottumwa, IA, is one of the tallest in the United States, and among the tallest in the world.  The 2,000 foot tower, equipment and anchors cover 160 acres of land. Seven levels of strobe lights, with a total of 19 lights, can be seen for miles.

The tower was built to increase the number of viewers.  The estimated cost of the construction is 1.4 million dollars.  It is expected to attract a viewing audience of a 150 mile radius.

40 YEARS AGO

Sunday, August 28th, the Memphis Pool is having a water basketball game.  There will be half-time entertainment.  It will be free to the public.

Immediately following the game the pool will be open to the public as usual.

At 4 p.m. a dance contest will be held.  The winning couple will receive two adult passes to the Airway Drive-In or dinner for two at B & B Snack Bar.

After the Dance Contest, watermelon games and a drawing for Pepsi will be enjoyed.

50 YEARS AGO

A new class in Drafting has been placed into the curriculum at the high school and will be taught by Duane McDonald.  Physics is being offered this year and will be taught by Mrs. Sheryl Pringle.  A third course added to the curriculum is clerical practice which will be offered on a double period basis and will be taught by Mrs. Betty Smith.

Typing this year is being opened to sophomores on a limited basis.  A summer class of typing helped to make it possible to have more in the fall class for additional students.

60 YEARS AGO

About 35 consignors met at the Fairgrounds Tuesday and built another sorting alley and row of holding pens for the Scotland County Producers Association.

This new equipment will make it possible to handle more cattle in a shorter time than has been done in the past.

This year’s cooperative sale will be held on September 30th.  Those beef cattle producers who plan to consign calves for the 1957 sale should list them very soon at the extension office as listings may be closed at any time.

The Scotland County sale was at the top of all Missouri sales last year in average selling prices.

70 YEARS AGO

The Gerhold building on the south side of the square, occupied by the E. J. Caldwell Co., will be extended back toward the alley approximately 45 feet.

The new addition will be one story, constructed of concrete blocks and the contract has been let to J. M. Creek.  Work on the building will start within a few days.

Part of the new additions will be used for sales room, enlarging the present room, and the balance will be used for a stock room.  The present stock room is on the second floor.

Carper Set to Take Helm of Tigers Football Program

After seven years with the Scotland County R-I football program Troy Carper is ascending to the head coaching job to lead the Tigers in the 2017 season.

Carper, a special education instructor at SCR-I High School, has moved into the head post after serving the past two years as the team’s defensive coordinator.

“I’ve worked in just about every possible football coaching capacity since I started here,” said Carper. “I coached at the junior high and junior varsity levels as well as the past two years with the varsity program and it all has been great experience.”

The Tigers’ new leader came to the program from his hometown of Palmyra, where he was an all-state offensive lineman for the Panthers before moving on to play at Culver-Stockton College.

Former Coach Mikel Gragg took the head coaching job at California, to move back closer to his home.

Carper will take over a Tigers team that is coming off back-to-back winning seasons, but one with plenty of holes to fill after graduating a talented senior class.

“There are some big shoes to fill for sure, but we have some really talented players returning that should make this a fun season,” he said. “If we can stay healthy I think we’ll be a lot of fun to watch.”

Carper feels a special bond with his senior class, which he coached to an undefeated season as the head junior high coach.

Fans will get their first look as the Tigers this Friday in a pre-season jamboree at Monroe City where SCR-I will play a series of offense and defense versus the Panthers, as well as Schuyler County and Van Far. The action kicks off at 6 p.m.

‘Small But Dedicated’ Roster Looking to Lead Tigers Football to 3rd Straight Winning Season

After riding the talented class of 2017 to back-to-back winning seasons, the Scotland County football program has big shoes, or in this case sets of cleats, to fill heading into the 2017 season. That is not to say that the Tigers don’t have their fair share of talent returning, making a third straight winning season a distinct possibility.

If the Tigers can reach the goal, it will guarantee Coach Troy Carper will have a career mark over .500. Carper enters his first year at the helm of the SCR-I program with his work cut out for him. The first-year head coach will have to replace two all-state stalwarts from his top performing defense a season ago.

As defensive coordinator of last year’s 7-4 squad, Carper witnessed standout performances from defensive back Ryan Slaughter and linebacker Aaron Blessing. The Missouri Football Coaches Association named Slaughter First Team All State after he led the team with 109 tackles and added two interceptions. Blessing earned second taem all-state accolades, finishing second on the squad with 104 tackles.

“Obviously those two are going to be difficult to replace,” said Carper.  “We graduated a very talented class of kids. I’m not sure everyone totally grasps how special that group was.”

But Carper said he has had a talented group of athletes in camp ready to fill those voids.

“We have some really good players, some of them who may have been stuck behind that Class of 2017, who are now going to get a shot to shine,” said Carper.

The problem is, that while the kids who are now stepping up, provided necessary depth in previous seasons, the 2017 Tigers don’t currently have that kind of depth.

“Numbers are going to be an issue,” said Carper. “I like what we are putting on the field, but we are going to have to stay healthy. Our roster is small but it’s dedicated.”

While the new coach says that there are definitely some kids walking the hallways at SCR-I that would have helped the program, he couldn’t be more pleased with the dedication demonstrated by the band of players who have been there since day one.

“Several of the kids came to me and said they wanted to play both offense and defense and that they didn’t want to come out of the game,” said Carper.

The coach explained to the players that his first job was to keep them safe and healthy, and in order to do that, they were going to have to demonstrate a state of conditioning that would allow him to be comfortable to play them more.

“It started right away,” Carper said. “Those kids stayed after practice for voluntary extra conditioning. Then I see them out running around town. Not driving around hanging out, but really running to get into even better shape.”

It’s that type of dedication that has lent itself to hope the Tigers can continue their recent winning ways and maybe even get back to the district title game to erase the sour taste of last year’s 44-42 defeat to Mark Twain.

Quarterback Will Fromm said that loss, which came down to a failed last-second two-point conversion, after a big comeback by SCR-I, is serving as motivation for the current squad.

The junior will take over as the team’s primary signal caller, after seeing time last year at both quarterback and receiver. Fromm completed 43 of 77 passes for 554 yards and seven TDs.

SCR-I’s receiving corps is going to have to develop some new threats after graduating the top three threats. Slaughter led the squad with 24 catches for 432 yards and six TDs. Also gone are Ian See and his 14 grabs for 203 yards, and Aaron Buford, who caught 11 passes for 187 yards and two scores.

Gage Dodge will be the top returning receiver. The senior was third on the team with 12 receptions for 133 yards.

Carper is expecting Brett Monroe and Jace Morrow to step up. Both saw limited time a season ago when Monroe caught five passes for 50 yards and a TD while Morrow had two grabs for 24 yards and a TD. Matthew Woods will also factor into the rotation.

“They are going to be a key to our success,” said Carper. We’re going to have to catch the ball.”

Carper said he hopes to have a balanced attack, passing as much as 50% of the time, with a lot of motion out the pistol sets to move the defensive ends and linebackers around into coverage to try and open up some running lanes.

A veteran offensive line will also play a big part in the team’s success. Starters Stephen Terrill, Bryson Orton and Mason Kliethermes return to anchor the squad, which gelled last year after losing starting center Will Pickerell for the year with a pre-season knee injury. After staring on the defensive line last year, Grant McRobert will move into a starting role on the offensive line as well. Dylan Karch played at various spots on the line a season ago and will take over as a starter in 2017 to replace Blessing.

The rushing attack will have a new look as top rushers Buford and Austin Day have graduated, taking with them a combined 1,450 yards and 18 TDs.

Jayden Payne has been tabbed the starting tailback after being forced into duty in last year’s playoffs due to injuries. He carried the ball 12 times for 57 yards and scored two TDs in the playoffs.

Dodge ran the ball 39 times a year ago for 168 yards and two TDs while Fromm ran the ball 70 times for 273 yards and two TDs.

On the other side of the ball, Terrill will return at defensive end where he amassed 83 tackles as well as three quarterback sacks. Orton is back as the run stopper up the middle where he anchored the defensive line from his tackle spot. McRobert and Karsh will round out the front four in Carper’s base 4-3 defense.

While Blessing’s departure leaves a hole at middle linebacker, Carper said he likes what he has seen thus far in practice from Payne who will slide into that spot, leaving Kliethermes at the outside backer spot where he made 72 tackles a year ago. Luke Triplett and Branton Burrus are battling for the other starting spot.

The defensive backfield is going to be another key to the Tigers’ 2017 outcomes. Carper has to replace all-starter Slaughter as well as Buford and Griffin Kerkmann, Dodge is the lone starter returning.

“The secondary is going to be crucial,” said Carper. “We have a lot of new faces back there, and they are just going to need to get more and more reps to help them identify and make the right reads.”

Monroe and Woods are in the mix with Parker Triplett at the cornerback slot opposite of Dodge, who also could see time at one of the safety spots. Fromm likely will start at one of the safety positions, with Morrow and Kayden Anders also expected to see time there.

Carper said in addition to Anders, fellow freshman Preston Sanchez has been impressive in early workouts, as has newcomer Conner Harrison, as the team works to develop the next wave of talent.

SCR-I will open the season Friday night at home versus Marceline in a Lewis & Clark Conference matchup. The visiting Tigers made it to the second round of the state playoffs a year ago, posting a 12-2 record with a conference title and a perfect 8-0 mark in league play in 2016.

Missouri to Experience First Total Solar Eclipse In Nearly 150 Years

On Monday, August 21st, the state of Missouri will get to experience something the Show-Me State hasn’t seen in nearly a century and a half, a solar eclipse.

Scotland County lies just outside the approximately 70-mile swath the total eclipse will travel across Missouri, entering the state near St. Joseph, crossing Columbia and Jefferson City before hitting Farmington and Cape Girardeau as the phenomenon travels west to east across the United States.

NASA predicts the lunar shadows will start in Oregon at 9:05 a.m. PDT before it exits the U.S. in South Carolina after 4 p.m. EDT. In the middle, Hopkinsville, KE will view the greatest eclipse, at the point where the sun, moon and earth line up the most precisely.

According to the Missouri Department of Natural Resources, this will be the first time since August 7, 1869 (148 years ago) a total solar eclipse will be witnessed in Missouri, and that one only crossed the northeast corner of the state.

The last total eclipse in the United States was viewed February 26, 1979, with the last total eclipse to cross the entire U.S. dating back to June 8, 1918, according to NASA.

“This is the first eclipse in almost 100 years that’s covering the entire country and that’s going to be a game changer for eclipse science – both for studying the sun and what’s happening here on Earth,” said Alex Young, Solar Scientist, NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center.

The national space agency explains that a total solar eclipse happens when the sun, moon and Earth are perfectly aligned, so that the moon blocks all the sun’s light to part of Earth’s surface.

“Total solar eclipses are only possible on Earth because of a celestial coincidence: The moon and the sun both appear to be about the same size from our vantage point on the ground,” explains the NASA press kit. “The sun is about 400 times wider than the moon, but it is also about 400 times farther away. That geometry means that when they line up just right, the moon blocks the sun’s entire surface, creating a total solar eclipse.”

The geometry plays out even further through the two concentric cones that form the moon’s shadow as it passes between the Earth and the sun.

The penumbra is the moon’s faint outer shadow. Observers in the penumbra experience a partial solar eclipse, because the sun is only partially blocked by the moon from their perspective.

The umbra is the moon’s dark inner shadow. Observers in the umbra see a total solar eclipse. The path of the umbra across Earth’s surface, called the path of totality, usually stretches for about 10,000 miles (16,000 kilometers), though it is only about 70 miles (113 kilometers) wide.

It is within this umbra where a total eclipse can be observed. While Scotland County falls just outside the umbra’s path, NASA predicts that Memphis and the surrounding towns in adjoining counties will experience up to 97% obstruction of the sun, beginning around 11:45 a.m. and lasting until after 2:30 p.m. with the highest level of obstruction expected to occur between 1:10 – 1:15 p.m.

“The hair on the back of your neck is going to stand up and you are going to feel different things as the eclipse reaches totality,” said Brian Carlstrom, Deputy Associate Director of the National Park Service Natural Resource Stewardship and Science Directorate. “It’s been described as peaceful, spiritual, exhilarating, shocking. If you’re feeling these things, don’t worry, you’re experiencing the total eclipse of the sun!”

But it won’t last for long, considering the umbra will be traveling some 3,000 mph when it hits Oregon before steadily slowing down as it crosses the U.S. with an exit speed of 1,500 mph in South Carolina.

Experts estimate that more than 12 million Americans live in the path of the eclipse, but are expecting much more people to travel to the region to view the rare occasion. Missouri officials are expecting an influx of more than 1 million tourists for the event and the Missouri Department of Transportation is advising motorists to expect heavy traffic. That number may be even larger than anticipated considering the fact experiencing a solar eclipse where you live happens once every 375 years according to NASA experts.

“This will be like Woodstock 200 times over—but across the whole country.” said Young.

Viewing Safety

The only safe way to look directly at an uneclipsed or partially eclipsed sun is through special purpose solar filters, such as eclipse glasses or handheld solar viewers. Homemade filters or ordinary sunglasses, even very dark ones, are NOT safe for looking at the sun. It is safe to look at a total eclipse with your naked eyes, ONLY during the brief period of totality, which will last just a minute or two during the Aug. 21 eclipse.

It is NOT safe to look at the sun through the viewfinder of a camera or an unfiltered telescope. You may, however, safely look at the screen of your smart phone or digital camera focused on the eclipse, though you are unlikely to get a good view.

An alternative method for safe viewing of the partially eclipsed sun is pinhole projection. In this method, you don’t look directly at the sun, but at a projection on a piece of paper or even the ground. For example, cross the outstretched, slightly open fingers of one hand over the outstretched, slightly open fingers of the other. Do not look at your hands, but at the shadow of your hands on the ground. The little spaces between your fingers will project a grid of small images, showing the sun as a crescent during the partial phases of the eclipse. See the appendix for ways of making projectors out of readily available materials such as a cereal box. 3-D printable pinhole projectors of each state available at: https://eclipse2017.nasa.gov/3dprintable-pinhole-projectors

Food, Fun & Fellowship… Mark Your Calendars For This Year’s Antique Fair!

Tenderloins and BBQ Chicken and Funnel Cakes…Oh My! The 2017 Scotland County Antique Fair will kick off a five-day festival on Wednesday, August 23rd on the Memphis Square.  The theme for this year’s event is “A Walk Down Memory Lane”.

Everyone is invited to attend the Vesper Service at 6:00 p.m. on Wednesday and then stick around for the SCR-1 Tailgate Party at 6:30.  The Country Showdown starts at 7:30 p.m.

All displays will open at 9:00 a.m. Thursday, August 24th and stay open until 8:00 p.m.  Displays will be available Thursday thru Saturday and will feature various church and community group stands along with many others.  The Wiggins Museum will also be open every day, ALL day, where the Pheasant Airplane will be on display. Also on Thursday, guests will be able to walk around and view window displays and visit food stands.  The Downing House Museum will be open from 1-4 p.m.  Quilt entries are from 3-7 p.m.

The Thursday evening line-up starts at 6:00 with the crowning of the Antique Fair King and Queen, Baby Show, crowning of the Prince and Princess, and the opening of the Bingo tent.  At 7:30, NO APOLOGY, from Greentop, MO, will provide music on stage.  The evening raffle drawing of $100 will take place at 10:00 p.m.

The fun continues Friday, August 25th with the Show Me Dog Club at 6:00 p.m. and Tractor and Small Engine Judging at 7:00 p.m.  NO APOLOGY will make an encore appearance on stage at 7:30 p.m. and another $100 raffle drawing will take place at 10:00 p.m.  Additionally, a Quilt Show will be available from 2:00-7:00 p.m. in the Coffrin Building and window display results will be announced at 5:30.

You’ll want to get up early Saturday morning and enjoy the Fireman’s Breakfast at the Memphis Fire Station starting at 6:00 a.m.  The 5K Walk/Run and 1.5 Leisure Walk, sponsored by Scotland County Hospital, starts at 8:00 a.m. on the east side of the square, and the Parade will begin at 10:00 a.m.

The Downing/Boyer Houses, Railroad Depot, Barnett WWI Monument and Original Courthouse will all be available to view and tour from 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

The Kiddies’ Sanction Pedal Tractor Pull will take place at 11:30 a.m. on the east side of the square.

Immediately following the parade, food stands, including Rotary pork chops and chicken, along with vendors and the Wiggins Museum will be open.

The Car Show begins at 12:30 p.m. and a Tractor Poker Run will start at 1:00.  At 3:00, Tractor Games with prizes sponsored by Farm Bureau, and the Bingo tent will open.

Saturday evenings music on the Stage will feature COUNTRY TIME, from Warsaw, IL and will start at 7:30 p.m.  The final raffle drawing will take place at 10:00 p.m. with two $100 winners.  The quilt raffle will also take place at this time.

On the final day of this year’s Antique Fair, Sunday, July 27th, activities will move to the Scotland County Fairgrounds with an Antique Tractor Pull beginning at 10:00 a.m.

Everyone is invited to come out and enjoy a weekend of entertainment, fabulous food, homemade crafts, and a bit of Scotland County history!

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