December 28, 2006

Missouri Conservation Department Confirms Mountain Lion Sightings

CHILLICOTHE, Mo.-The Missouri Department of Conservation has confirmed the ninth and 10th documented mountain lion occurrences in the Show-Me State in modern times.

The most recent confirmed report of a mountain lion in Missouri came in the form of a photograph taken Dec. 7 by an automatic trail camera. A bowhunter, Joe Neis, placed the camera on private land in Livingston County north of Chillicothe to monitor deer activity. He told investigators he had no idea the cat was in the area before the trail camera captured its image.

Conservation Department Resource Scientist Dave Hamilton announced the confirmation after he and other members of Missouris Mountain Lion Response Team visited the site where the photo was taken and verified that evidence at the scene confirmed the authenticity of the photo.

The photo shows an apparently healthy mountain lion walking past the camera. The cat has dark spots on the insides of its front legs, indicating it is less than 2 years old. Hamilton estimated its weight at 110 to 120 pounds.

The other confirmation was based on an incident that occurred in November on private land in Shannon County. A hunter shot a doe at dusk and decided to wait until the next day to track and retrieve the deer. When he did, he found the carcass had been partially devoured. Closer examination by Conservation Department investigators showed convincing evidence that the wounded deer had been killed by a big cat and then fed upon.

We have long been expecting the next mountain lion sighting in Missouri, said Hamilton. It was overdue. We were averaging about one a year, and we have missed three years. It looks like it is evening out.

The Mountain Lion Response Team, headed by Hamilton, investigates many mountain lion reports each year. The Conservation Department formed the group in 1996 to ensure that all citizen reports are recorded and that timely investigations are conducted where physical evidence may exist. Most reports either cannot be verified or are found to involve other animals, such as dogs, deer, coyotes and bobcats. Surprisingly, house cats often are misidentified as mountain lions.

Dog tracks account for more mistaken reports of mountain lions, said Hamilton. Unlike mountain lion tracks, which seldom show claw marks, dog tracks usually do. That is an easy giveaway. House cats can be tricky for some, though.

Domestic cats body shape and behavior are enough like those of mountain lions to create the potential for mistaken identity. When seen at a distance in an open field, often through the lenses of binoculars, rifle scopes or cameras, the illusion can be convincing.

While part of the team was investigating the two sightings we eventually confirmed, others were following up on a report from Clark County that involved a video tape, said Hamilton. The tape had been around for a year or so and had been seen by a lot of people. It was widely viewed as being a mountain lion, but it turned out to be another of many videos of an ordinary house cat.

Techniques used to tell the difference between photos of mountain lions and house cats include analyzing the ratio of body and head size, thickness of body, the shape of the back when the cat is seated on its haunches, and other body conformation factors.

Those tests are fairly simple to apply to photographs when you are sitting in an office, said Hamilton. Trying to do the same thing with a living animal in the field sometimes is more difficult. It is not surprising that people get fooled.

Mountain lions also are called cougars, pumas or panthers. So far, confirmed sightings support the theory that mountain lions seen in Missouri migrated here from western states. Hamilton noted that young males typically leave their birth areas looking for territories of their own, and often wander hundreds of miles before settling down.

That is consistent with what we have documented in Missouri, he said. A wealth of evidence leads us to believe that Missouri does not have an established, breeding population of mountain lions, just individuals filtering in from the west.

In addition to evidence that cougars found in Missouri are mostly young males, Hamilton points to a significant lack of evidence of an established population in Missouri. In areas with breeding populations, physical evidence is very easy to find, he said. You see lots of tracks. You find deer carcasses with the unique signs of mountain lion kills, and you see cougars of all ages, from cubs to adults, killed by cars. We dont see any of those things in Missouri.

Hamilton also said that with hundreds or even thousands of trail cameras like Mr. Neis in use around the state, if cougars were present in significant numbers, he would expect to see many photos, not just one.

Most telling, says Hamilton, is the extremely small number of road kills in Missouri. Even states with small mountain lion populations record frequent road kills. South Dakota, where the statewide population is estimated at 200 cougars, has had over 20 road-killed in the past two years. In Florida, where the panther population is estimated at 70 to 100, 11 have died on roads this year.

Darrell Land, statewide Florida panther coordinator for the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, called roadkill an effective sampling method, though regrettably not one that permits returning sampled animals to the population.

Missouris first confirmed mountain lion sighting in modern times came in 1994, when two men illegally killed a cougar near Eminence. Since then, five other cougars have been documented on film and video cameras. Two more, both young males, were killed by motorists. One was killed in the Kansas City area in 2002, the other near Fulton in 2003.

Mountain lions are not the only wildlife that wanders into Missouri from the west. Earlier this fall, the Conservation Department confirmed sightings of at least two elk in northwest Missouri.

Nor is Missouri the only state where dispersing mountain lions turn up. Cougars-mostly young males-also have wandered into Nebraska, Iowa, Illinois, Kansas and Oklahoma after decades of absence. Some of these animals carried radio collars and were known to have traveled up to 700 miles from their original capture sites.

It’s Flocking Season!

SCAPP Pink Flamingo Flocking

In just a few days, pink flamingos will be soaring in and around Memphis, landing in flocks onto front lawns all over the county!

This fun fundraiser is being sponsored by the Scotland County After-Prom Parents to raise money for the 2017 After-Prom Event.  To prepare for the flocking frenzy, the organization purchased 100 pink flamingos.

Flamingo flocking has a variety of options.  First, the cost to “flock a friend” is $25/flock of 25 flamingos.  You can place one and up to four flocks in a yard.  Secondly, flocks will remain in a yard for 24 hours.  At this time, the person being flocked can choose to have the flock removed early and the cost to do so is $10 or they   can have them removed early and then moved to another yard of their choice for $30.  Of course, you can also wait out the 24 hour period and the pink flamingos will “fly off” on their own.

Anti-flocking insurance will also be available.  The cost to insure you won’t be flocked is $5.  You can also purchase the anti-flocking insurance after you’ve been flocked to insure you won’t be flocked again.

This fundraiser is meant to entertain and “annoy” your friends and neighbors through a spirit of fun-loving generosity.  These pretty pink birds are sure to bring a smile, and perhaps a giggle, to your morning if you wake up, with coffee in hand, and look out to see a flock decorating your front lawn!  To schedule a “flocking”, please call Tina McKee at 660-216-7734 or Matt McKee at 660-216-7735.

Scotland County After-Prom Parents Preparing for the 2017 After-Prom Event

after prom

The Scotland County After-Prom Parents (SCAPP) is a Parent Organization whose goal is to raise money for the After-Prom event held each year following Prom.  The group was formed several years ago in an effort to offer a safe environment for our students to gather after prom, offering games, entertainment, food and prizes for everyone in attendance.

Each year, typically in May, the current year’s parents meet with upcoming parents of any student who will be a junior for the next school year.  At that time, officers for the new school year are elected and plans begin for fundraisers and activities.

This year’s SCAPP officers are Co-Chairs, Matt McKee and Debbie Payne, Secretaries, Kris Hyde and Jenny Aldridge, and Treasurers, Tina McKee and Candace Kratzer.  The group typically meets once a month on Monday evenings at 6:00 p.m. at the Scotland County Pharmacy.  A SCAPP, Class of 2018 Facebook page has been created as one way of communicating and passing along information.  Additionally, meeting reminders are sent out through School Reach.

The group held its first fundraising activities during the Antique Fair. They had two booths; one for selling snow cones and watermelon and the other for selling Scotland County T-shirts, sweatshirts, and hoodies.  All of the shirts will also be available for sale at the Memphis Democrat, the Scotland County Pharmacy, and at some home ballgames. In addition to shirt designs, black “Tigers” socks will also be available to purchase.

Other fundraisers being planned for the year include a Potato Bar at the September 9th football game against Schuyler County and a Soup Supper at the October 7th football game against Harrisburg.  Other meals at future games are also being discussed.

Additionally, SCAPP has already secured the Harlem Wizards again this year after a very successful turnout last year.  This year’s game against the Harlem Wizards and members of SCR-1 faculty, student body, and community, will take place on January 5th at the high school gym.

The always popular Daddy/Daughter Dance is also being planned and will include a dinner.  A date for this very special evening will be announced later in the year.

The tradition of displaying business signs during all home games will continue this year.  If you are a new business or haven’t participated before and are interested in purchasing a business sign this year, please contact one of the SCAPP officers.  Renewal cost for last year’s signs is still $50.  Paige Troutman of Just Sayin Designs will be designing the business signs this year.

New fundraisers this year will include Flamingo Flocking, planned to start next week.  And a Mother/Son Scavenger Hunt, date TBD, which will include a hotdog and marshmallow roast.

If you have any questions or need additional information, please contact Tina McKee at 660-216-7734 or any SCAPP parent.

First Christian Church Seeking History to Share at Centennial Homecoming Celebration

The First Christian Church promoted the upcoming 100 Year Homecoming events with a float in the 2016 Antique Fair.

The First Christian Church promoted the upcoming 100 Year Homecoming events with a float in the 2016 Antique Fair.

The Memphis First Christian Church will be hosting a Church Homecoming to celebrate the completion of the current church building (located on the corner of Jones and Main Streets) which was completed in 1916.  The dates for the celebration have been set for September 30- October 1-2, 2016.

The Planning Committee for the Church Homecoming celebration will share historical information about First Christian Church and will host special services, music, and times of fellowship with snacks, a barbecue, and luncheon for  the congregation, the community, and friends to enjoy.

The First Christian Church of Memphis was organized in 1850.  On June 5, of that year, a tract of ground was purchased on the corner of Main and Jones Streets for the sum of $100 for the purpose of erecting a church building.  In 1853, the first church building, a brick building 40 x 60 feet in size, was erected on this site at a cost of $3000.

This remained the house of worship until 1888 when this building was removed and a modern brick building was erected at a cost of $4000. This building was dedicated (debt free) in 1889 and had a membership of eighty.  Even though the membership seemed low in comparison to the county’s population (Scotland County had grown to over 12,000 people by 1880), it was speculated that there could have been 200 worshipers in attendance each Sunday.

By 1896 the membership had grown to 250, so that it was necessary to enlarge the worship site again.  A lecture room, robing room, and a basement with a coal furnace were added to the facility.  Also the building was refurnished and electric lights installed all at a cost of  $2000. The church also owned and maintained a good parsonage. These improvements would sustain the congregation for another twenty years until 1916 when the building was removed and the current building was erected.

Anyone wishing to share information or stories about the history of the Church may email documents to Sheila Berkowitz, sberko@truman.edu, mail items to Sheila Berkowitz  705 W. Newman  Memphis, MO 63555, or leave them at the church.

Updates about speakers and activities can be found on the Facebook page – Memphis First Christian Church Homecoming.  Anyone seeking further information can contact the Church by phone at 660 485-7751 or email www.fccmemphis.org.

A complete schedule of events will be published in a future edition of the Memphis Democrat.

Scotland County Senior Nutrition Center

MENU

Thursday, September 1 – Taco Salad, Lettuce, Beans/Chips, Tomatoes, Peas, Applesauce, Cookie

Friday, September 2 – Hot Beef Sandwich, Mashed Potatoes/Gravy, Coleslaw, Buttered Carrots, Crème Pie

Monday, September 5 – Labor Day, No Meals

Tuesday, September 6 – Baked Ham, Sweet Potatoes, Buttered Broccoli, Peaches, Slice Bread, Pudding

Wednesday, Sept. 7 – Fried Chicken, Mashed Potatoes/Gravy, Mixed Beans, Hot Roll, Fruit

Thursday, September 8 – Meatloaf, Macaroni and Cheese, Fruit Juice, Pickled Beet, Peas, Slice Bread, Cookie

ACTIVITIES

Thursday, September 1 – Card Party at 5:00 p.m.

Monday, September 5 – Closed for Labor Day

Thursday, September 8 – Card Party at 5:00 p.m.

SCR-I School Menus

Breakfast

Thursday, September 1 – Breakfast Burrito, Choice of Cereal, Toast/Jelly, Orange Wedge/Grapes, Juice/Milk

Friday, September 2 – Sausage/Gravy Biscuits, Choice of Cereal, Cinnamon Toast, Banana, Juice/Milk

Monday, September 5 – Labor Day, No School

Tuesday, September 6–Mini Breakfast Bites, Choice of Cereal, Cinnamon Biscuit, Orange Rings, Juice/Milk

Wednesday, Sept. 7 – Bacon/Egg/Cheese Sandwich, Choice of Cereal, Toast/Jelly, Orange Half, Juice/Milk

Thursday, September 8 – Breakfast Burrito, Choice of Cereal, Toast/Jelly, Orange Wedge/Grapes, Juice/Milk

Lunch

Thursday, September 1 – Beef‘N’Tator Bake, Chicken Quesadillas, Hamburger Bar, Green Beans, Dinner Roll, Strawberries.

Friday, September 2 – Tuna Noodle Casserole, Ham and Cheese Sandwich, Peas/Carrots, Sliced Peaches, Chocolate Ice Cream, Fresh Fruit

Monday, September 5 – Labor Day, No School

Tuesday, September 6 – Chicken Patty/Bun, Bar BQ Ribb/Bun, 5th/6th Grade Taco Bar, Macaroni and Cheese, Peas, Mandarin Orange Slices, Fresh Fruit

Wednesday, Sept. 7 – Country Fried Steak, Pork Choppett, 5th/6th Grade Potato Bar, Whipped Potatoes/Gravy, Broccoli/Cheese Sauce, Dinner Roll, Jell-O/Fruit

Thursday, September 8 – Spaghetti/Meat Sauce, Chicken Fajitas, Hamburger Bar, Layered Lettuce Salad, Garlic Bread, Applesauce, Fresh Fruit

Giant Puffball

George Zimmerman found this giant puffball on his farm located south of the Show-Me Lake.  It weighed 2 lbs, 12 oz.  The technical term for this fungus is calvatia gigantea.  These unmistakable fruit bodies, which appear in late summer and autumn, are often the size of footballs and sometimes much large.

George Zimmerman found this giant puffball on his farm located south of the Show-Me Lake. It weighed 2 lbs, 12 oz. The technical term for this fungus is calvatia gigantea. These unmistakable fruit bodies, which appear in late summer and autumn, are often the size of footballs and sometimes much large.

Scotland County High School Class of 1971 Reunion

The 1971 Scotland County High School class reunion was held at the VFW, Memphis, Mo., August 27, 2016. Front row left to right: Bob Newland, Mary Ann Moore Kirkpatrick, Marjorie Cunningham Durham, Roberta Ferguson Anderson, Debbie Hamilton Goff and David Kirkpatrick; middle row left to right: Stan Eggleston, Dennis Bradley, David Gardine, Sharon Garrett Hicks, Shirley Doscher Green, Mickey Childress Schaefer, Kris Lancaster, Mike Freburg and Suzy Phillips Miller; back row left to right: Craig Comstock, Rex Ewing, Roger Riebel, Ron Miller, Denny Hyde, Mike Eastin, Stan Prather, Steve Morris, Danny Emel, Dan Cotton, and Glen Miller.

The 1971 Scotland County High School class reunion was held at the VFW, Memphis, Mo., August 27, 2016. Front row left to right: Bob Newland, Mary Ann Moore Kirkpatrick, Marjorie Cunningham Durham, Roberta Ferguson Anderson, Debbie Hamilton Goff and David Kirkpatrick; middle row left to right: Stan Eggleston, Dennis Bradley, David Gardine, Sharon Garrett Hicks, Shirley Doscher Green, Mickey Childress Schaefer, Kris Lancaster, Mike Freburg and Suzy Phillips Miller; back row left to right: Craig Comstock, Rex Ewing, Roger Riebel, Ron Miller, Denny Hyde, Mike Eastin, Stan Prather, Steve Morris, Danny Emel, Dan Cotton, and Glen Miller.

Giant Watermelon

Ron Kice harvested this sixty pound Black Diamond Yellow-Belly watermelon in the Memphis area on Monday, August 29th.  Ron’s Grandpa Palmer and Floyd Sommers sparked his interest in growing watermelons sixty years ago!

Ron Kice harvested this sixty pound Black Diamond Yellow-Belly watermelon in the Memphis area on Monday, August 29th. Ron’s Grandpa Palmer and Floyd Sommers sparked his interest in growing watermelons sixty years ago!

Tiger Cubs Football Program Makes Donation

The Tiger Cub Football League recently donated $4000 to the high school football program to purchase new tackling equipment and other items. The funds were raised by the Tiger Cub group through admissions and concession stand funds from home games the last couple of years. Pictured in the back row (L to R) Aaron Buford, Cameron Stone, Austin Day, Aaron Blessing, Ryan Slaughter, Ian See, and Riley Kliethermes. (Middle Row (L to R) are Travis Cunningham, Keegan Beard, Chase Cook and Griffin Kerkmann. Front row (L to R) are Lucas Durflinger, Owen Triplett, Carson Miller, Elias Hatfield, and Payton Frederick.

The Tiger Cub Football League recently donated $4000 to the high school football program to purchase new tackling equipment and other items. The funds were raised by the Tiger Cub group through admissions and concession stand funds from home games the last couple of years. Pictured in the back row (L to R) Aaron Buford, Cameron Stone, Austin Day, Aaron Blessing, Ryan Slaughter, Ian See, and Riley Kliethermes. (Middle Row (L to R) are Travis Cunningham, Keegan Beard, Chase Cook and Griffin Kerkmann. Front row (L to R) are Lucas Durflinger, Owen Triplett, Carson Miller, Elias Hatfield, and Payton Frederick.

McClamroch Claims County Showdown Crown

Paige McClamroch was crowned the winner of the 2016 KMEM Country Showdown held at the Memphis Theatre during the Antique Fair.

Paige McClamroch was crowned the winner of the 2016 KMEM Country Showdown held at the Memphis Theatre during the Antique Fair.

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