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.

School Board Rejects All Bids For New Addition Project

The Scotland County R-I Board of Education met in regular session on Thursday, March 9th, 2018, at 6:00 p.m.  President Trinity Davis called the meeting to order with seven members present.

Financial Update

Superintendent Ryan Bergeson presented a financial update for the board. “Year to date, we are on target for local, state, and federal revenues,” he said. ” We have received 79% of our budgeted revenue and spent 61% of our budgeted expenditures.”

Bergson reported total revenues at $5,424,190.68 and current expenditures at $4,054,680.91, creating a current surplus of $1,369,509.77 for the fiscal year.

“The current fiscal year surplus is mostly due to receiving all of our local taxes in January,” reported Bergeson. “This surplus will begin to offset as we progress towards the end of the fiscal year in the month of June. We will continue to monitor the legislative session and its effect on state funding.”

Facility Projects

The board voted 7-0 to reject all bids for the new addition construction.

The board voted 7-0 to authorize Kim Mulch with Klingner and Associates to re-bid the project with the list of amended items as discussed with new bids due April 12th at 4:00 p.m.

The board voted 7-0 to accept the bid from Fergies Build and Play to reset the playground for $7,400.00.

Resolution for sale of Lease Certificates of Participation, Series 2018

The board voted 7-0 to approve a resolution authorizing the issuance and sale of $1,145,000 Lease Certificates of Participation, Series 2018 to complete facility projects on the district campus.


The board voted 7-0 to increase the district’s bandwidth to 250mb with MOREnet starting July 1, 2018. The board voted 7-0 to approve a proposed contract with Quality Network Solutions for a 3-year flat rate fee.

Summer School

The board voted 7-0 to approve the district summer school proposal.  Summer school will offer credit recovery, math and reading enrichment.  High school credit recovery will run for a total of ten days and elementary summer school will run for a total of fifteen days during the summer of 2017.  Summer school will tentatively begin May 24 and conclude on June 14.

 Amend 2017-18 Budget

The board voted 7-0 to approve the amended 2017-18 budget as proposed.  The changes reflect projected revenue of $6,856,957.35 and projected expenditures of $6,833,208.19.


The board voted 7-0 to accept letters of resignation from Megan Trueblood; Rechelle Haslag; and Martha Gudehus.

April Meeting

The April board meeting is scheduled for Thursday, April 12th at 6:00 p.m. in the Elementary Art Room.

Executive Session

In Executive session the board voted 7-0 to approve the following:

February 8, 2018 closed session minutes

Hired the following non-tenured teachers:

Ali Gregory, Shelby McAfee, Michael Moore, Jessica McBee, Chanel Oliver, Sandra Swearingen, Rachel Burke, Allison Amidei, Jennifer Kauth, Waltedda Blessing, Kim McCluskey, Cory Shultz,  Kody McCluskey, Nathaniel Orr, Jenna Ward, Troy Carper, Lauren Ewing, Megan Creek, Kyle Ellison, Rod Sears, Amber Cochenour, Miller Bowles, Andrea Brassfield, Melinda Briggs, Emilee Morton, and Hannah Ross.

Hired the following half time Title I Math Teachers: Lynnette Dyer 7-0.

Hired Jayme Geisendorfer as Innovative Learning Specialist 7-0.

Hired Melissa Hamm as Jr.-Sr. High School Guidance Counselor 7-0.

The board voted 7-0 to go into open session for the purpose of adjournment.

The meeting adjourned at 10:10 p.m.

Scotland County Hospital Wins Awards for Clinical Distinction in Wound Care Center 

Staff from the Wound Care Center at Scotland County Hospital. (L to R) are Crescent Smith, RN; Celeste Miller-Parish, DO; Lisa Rollison, DO; Christy Bristow, RN; and Ashley Harvey, RN.

The Wound Care Center at Scotland County Hospital in Memphis has been recognized with three distinguished awards from Restorix Health®, a leader in developing and managing comprehensive wound healing facilities throughout the country.  Scotland County Hospital has received the “Clinical Distinction Award” which recognizes wound care centers that have demonstrated exceptional success in meeting or exceeding clinical and safety benchmarks.  The three awards were received in meeting criteria for “Days to Heal” which is a count of days from initial visit to wound outcome; “Healing” which is a calculation of those wounds/patient outcomes as positive and those discharged as negative and finally “Patient Safety” which is an audit of 71 separate items to ensure overall patient safety in the Wound Care Center.

The Wound Care Center located in the outpatient services area at Scotland County Hospital is a specialized, outpatient wound care treatment center dedicated to the care of patients with chronic, non-healing wounds, such as those resulting from diabetes, circulatory problems, or injury.   “We are extremely proud of our talented and dedicated wound care team.  Drs. Miller-Parish and Rollison work hard with the team and the Restorix Health® clinicians to give patients positive outcomes,” said Randy Tobler, MD, FACOG and CEO at Scotland County Hospital & Clinics.  “Our Center offers vital wound care services to our community, and we are honored to be recognized for our continuous efforts to ensure patients receive the highest quality care, in a safe environment.”

To learn more about the Wound Care Center at Scotland County Hospital, call 660-465-8511 or visit go to: and scroll down to Specialty Services.

Rutledge Volunteer Fire Department Announces New Chief

Javier Gil was appointed Chief of the Rutledge Volunteer Fire Department in January, 2018. Gil is a certified firefighter in the States of Missouri and New Hampshire. He is also a Wildland Firefighter with the State of Missouri.

Gil, known to his friends as “Javi,” grew up in Madrid, Spain. He attended school at Ramon y Cajal, where he met Christina Lovdal, an American student studying Spanish. Christina came for a semester and ended up staying a year; the two were married in 1999. After traveling they eventually made their home in Hampton Falls, New Hampshire, where Christina taught high school English and Javi ran J. Gil Organic Lawn care for 12 years.

While living in New Hampshire Gil became interested in firefighting, and in 2011 attended fire fighting school. The program was 40 hours a week and lasted for four months. After completing the program he joined the Volunteer Fire Department of Hampton Falls. He spent five years in service there. When Gil moved to Missouri 2 years ago, he quickly became part of the Rutledge Volunteer Fire Department Crew. He also spends his summers fighting fires across the US during the Wildfire season.

The Gil family, which now includes two children, Max and Emma, moved to Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage in Rutledge in 2016.  In the spring of 2017, Javi volunteered with the Rutledge crew for the first time. In the summer of 2017 he spent two months in Washington State fighting wildfires. In early March he is attending a course to become part of a Wildfire Helicopter Crew. Gil says he enjoys working with the Rutledge crew, and he looks forward to keeping the residents of Rutledge safe. He may be reached at with any questions.

Scotland County Sheriff / Memphis Police Department Blotter

The following law enforcement related activities were logged from February 23rd – March 4th by the Scotland County Sheriff’s Office dispatch service.

February 23

Investigation of possible vandalism

Assisted a stranded motorist

Disposed of drug paraphernalia that was found

Dog returned to owner

Traffic stop resulting in a verbal warning for equipment

February 24

Assisted a motorist

Investigated suspicious vehicle

February 25

Investigation of activity at a business after hours

Investigation of damage to mailbox

Report of vandalism

Report of cows in roadway

Traffic warning given for crossing center line

Traffic stop resulting in a verbal warning for equipment

Traffic stop resulting in a verbal warning for failure to stop

Traffic stop resulting in a verbal warning for speed

February 26

Traffic stop resulting in a verbal warning for speed

Suspicious vehicle parked at conservation area

Vehicle lost trailer needed assistance with traffic

Report of SCAM call

Assisted children’s division at school

Traffic stop resulting in a verbal warning for speed

Traffic stop resulting in a verbal warning for equipment

February 27

Assist fire dept fire at Christian church outside –piece of equipment

Report of SCAM letter

Dog complaint

Report of wire down out by the hosp area of town

Report of clothes all over roadway in Arbela area

Cow out

Fire in Gorin

Trespassers given direction to leave property

Report of a missing dog

February 28

Complaint of driver making unnecessary noise

March 1

Report of hit and run — turned over to highway patrol

Wellbeing check

Property dispute/ issue

Juvenile investigation

Report of bank security alarm

March 2

Custody dispute

Fire at the lake

Traffic stop resulting in a verbal warning for no tail lights

March 3

Grass fire

March 4

Arrest of Paul Nichols for passing bad check -2 counts

Dog complaint

Well being check

Shelley Honored At Farm Bureau Insurance Conference

Greg Shelley, Scotland County Farm Bureau insurance agency sales manager, achieved membership on the Missouri Farm Bureau Insurance Companies’ Health Applications Pyramid.  Shelley is one of the company’s top agents qualifying for the award this year.    Mike Voiles, Senior Director of Life Company and Brokerage for Missouri Farm Bureau Insurance Companies, made the presentation during the company’s All Star Conference.     The conference was held March 1-2 at Chateau on the Lake, Branson.

State Veterans’ Representative to be Available in Memphis

Military veterans seeking employment will be receiving additional aid from the Missouri Department of Economic Development and the Division of Workforce Development.

The Division of Workforce Development has staff throughout the state to specifically assist veterans. That assistance is offered through the Disabled Veteran’s Outreach Program and the Local Veteran’s Employment Representative Program.

Veterans’ Representative Jeremiah Beamer will be available in Memphis the third Tuesday of each month, beginning on March 20th. He will be available to meet with area veterans in the basement of the Scotland County Courthouse from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Local Veterans’ Employment Representatives facilitate or provide assistance in job placement and accessing needed services. They also advocate for veterans by developing employment opportunities with businesses.

Disabled Veterans’ Outreach Program specialists provide case management and develop career and job training opportunities for veterans, with special emphasis on veterans with service-connected disabilities.

Jolly Jacks & Jills 4-H Club Hosts March Meeting

Members of the Jolly Jacks and Jills 4-H club enjoyed skating on Sunday, March 11th in Kahoka for their spring fun activity.

The March meeting of the Jolly Jacks and Jills 4-H Club was called to order by President Elsie Kigar on March 6, 2018 at the SC Fire Station. The pledges were led by Lanie Mallett & Wesley McSparren.  What is the name of your favorite pet was answered by 32 members for roll call.  There were also 22 parents present.  Kilee Bradley-Robinson read the February minutes and they were approved as read along with the treasurer report given by treasurer, Corbin Kirchner.

Projects reports were given by:    Mason Mallett, Conner Wiggins, and Eli Kigar- beef; Sadie Jackson & Kenna Campbell-bucket calf; Wesley McSparren, Mason Mallett, Eli Kigar & Kadence Burnett-Woodworking.

In old business:

Sadie Jackson and Morgan Jackson reported on the 4-H Expo held in Moberly on Feb 17th.  They agreed it was fun to join 4-Hers across northeast Missouri in learning activities.

Morgan Jackson, Kenna Campbell, Mason Mallett, Eli Kigar and Sadie Jackson reported on the Achievement Event, March 4th, consisting of Table Settings, Demonstrations, Extemporaneous Speeches, Prepared Speeches, Judging & Reasons, Knowledge Contest and Clover Kid events.

The club’s spring activity will be roller skating in Kahoka on March 11th 4-6 p.m.  Please bring a finger snack.

In new business:

March 4-H Council report:  Alisa Kigar received the Frank Graham Leadership Award.  Cookie Sales are in full swing, please make checks payable to our club.  Orders and money are due by April 2 to Sarah or Lanea.  Each member is to sell four items or pay $25.  SMQA training is Wed. March 14 at 7pm at SC Hospital.  Letters were mailed to those members who need to complete this class.

Members nominated the following to represent our club for the royalty contest at the SC Fair.  Princess-Kenna Campbell; Prince-Kadence Burnett; Queen-Elsie Kigar; and King-Eli Kigar.

Families were asked to review their calendars for the next meeting to determine when a trash pickup could be scheduled in early to mid-April for our Adopt-A-Highway service project.

A tentative 2018 fair schedule was also handed out.

Announcements:  April 3 will be the next meeting at the Fire Station at 5:30 pm.  Drinks and paper products will be provided by C. Mallett and Tague families.  March 17—Rabbit Workshop, March 24 –Chicken Clinic, March 24-25 – Teen Conference, April 8 — Sheep and Swine Weigh-in 2-3 at the fairgrounds, April 14 – Shooting Sports Fundraiser @ Hillside Gun Shed, April 21 – Shooting Sports Safety Day, May 6 – Goat Weigh-in 2-3 at the fairgrounds, May  30-June 1  State Congress, June 3-6  Junior Camp, June 6-9  Teen Camp July 7 –  SC Open Shows, July 8-14  Scotland County Fair.

Kenna Campbell and Alyssa Kirchner led the members in a game of Simon Says.  They were creative in their directions.

Members made paper umbrellas decorations for the SC Care Center for the month of April.

After adjournment, snacks were enjoyed.

Submitted by Wesley McSparren, Reporter

Memphis Spring Nationals to Open 2018 Season at Pepsi Scotland County Speedway

by Brian Neal

The driver’s, along with the fans, have been waiting for the first race of the 2018 season to begin in the area for the past four and a half months. Well that wait is about over, as the Pepsi Scotland County Speedway in Memphis, Missouri is set to kick-off their season this coming Friday, March 16th and Saturday, March 17th. Sauerman Trucking of Grimes, Iowa is helping to bring you the “Memphis Spring Nationals” this weekend.

In action both nights this weekend will be the Modifieds, Stock Cars, SportMods, Hobby Stocks, and Sport Compacts. Both nights will be a complete show, with a full payout each night. All drivers will draw for their starting spot in the heat races each night, with a redraw being used to help determine the feature line-ups.

The Modifieds, Stock Cars and SportMods will be racing Friday night for $1,000 to win and $100 guaranteed to start the feature. On Saturday, if you raced on Friday, the Modifieds will be racing for $2,000 to win. While the Stock Cars and SportMods will be racing for $1,500 to win. A driver can still show up and just race on Saturday, but the Modifieds, Stock Cars, and SportMods that race Saturday only will be racing for $1,000 to win.

Also joining the card both Friday and Saturday will be the Hobby Stocks and Sport Compacts racing for $300 to win each night. Entry fees for both nights will be $50 for the Modifieds, Stock Cars, and SportMods, with the Hobby Stocks and Sport Compacts having NO entry fee each night.

Friday nights, and if you can only race Saturday, complete payouts will be as follows: MODIFIEDS – 1. $1,000, 2. $600, 3. $400, 4. $300, 5. $250, 6. $200, 7. $170, 8. $150, 9. $140, 10. $130, 11. $120, 12. $110, 13.-24. $100 TOW $75…STOCK CARS & SPORTMODS – 1. $1,000, 2. $500, 3. $350, 4. $250, 5. $200, 6. $150, 7. $140, 8. $130, 9. $120, 10. $110, 11. $105, 12.-24. $100 TOW $75.

Before Friday night’s action gets started a practice will be held from 2 p.m. until 4 p.m., with a fee of $30 per car being charged. Then Hot Laps on Friday will begin at 7 p.m., with Racing to follow. On Saturday Hot Laps will get started at 6 p.m., with Racing to follow. (NOTE: Saturday nights start times could be moved up, so stay tuned to their Facebook for any changes on this.)

Grandstand admission for each night will be adults $15, students (7-16) $7, and kids 6 & under FREE! Pit passes each night will be $30, ages (7-13) $15, ages (4-6) $10, and ages 3 & under $3.

The following rules will apply for this weekend: A Working Raceceivers Mandatory In All Classes – 454.000……NO GROOVED TIRES ON REAR IN ANY CLASS!!!…MODIFIEDS – IMCA Rules Apply except for the following:  IMCA Stamped Hoosier or American Racer G60 tires may be grooved on the front…Non IMCA legal cars must run 25 lbs. in front of mid plate…All Aluminum headed motors must add 50 lbs. of lead on front by the motor…Roller motors and stud girdles are legal…Quick change rear ends are legal…Fuel pump on transmission is legal…Front tubular is okay…7800 RPM chip with all open motors…Rear suspension must be IMCA legal…Lift arms must add 25 lbs. extra!…STOCK CARS – IMCA Rules Apply with the following allowed: IMCA Stamped Hoosier or American Racer G60 tires may be grooved on the front…Aftermarket blocks are okay…SPORTMODS – IMCA or USRA Rules Apply with the following allowed: IMCA Stamped Hoosier or American Racer G60 tires may be grooved on the front…USRA legal SportMods must run NO Spoiler…HOBBY STOCKS – IMCA Rules Apply with floater rend ends allowed….SPORT COMPACTS – IMCA Rules Apply.

Something new for the 2018 season at the Pepsi Scotland County Speedway will be a crowning of a track champion at the end of the season. In all 11 race nights during this season driver’s will earn points to go towards their year end points total to help determine the champion in the Modifieds, Stock Cars, SportMods, Hobby Stocks, and Sport Compacts. Here is the following schedule in which driver’s will be awarded points:

Friday, March 16th and Saturday, March 17th – “Spring Nationals”

Friday, March 30th and Saturday, March 31st – “Inaugural Memphis Shootout”

Friday, May 4th – Regular Race Night

Friday, June 15th – “Sprint Invaders”

Friday, July 13th – Fair Race

Friday, September 28th and Saturday, September 29th – “2nd Annual Jerry Barrickman Memorial”

Friday, October 19th and Saturday, October 20th – “Fall Nationals”

Also kicking off this weekend is the opportunity for a driver to earn a spot into a special race to be held on practice night Tuesday, April 3rd at the Pepsi Lee County Speedway in Donnellson, Iowa. The top 16 Modifieds in points, with perfect attendance at the “Spring Nationals” on March 16th and 17th at the Pepsi Scotland County Speedway in Memphis, Missouri, the “Spring Extravaganza” on March 23rd and March 24th at the Pepsi Lee County Speedway in Donnellson, Iowa, and the “Inaugural Memphis Shootout” on March 30th and March 31st at the Pepsi Scotland County Speedway in Memphis, Missouri will be locked into the 4th round of the Dirt Dominator. Each winner of the Dirt Dominator event takes home a $1,000 to win check. But more importantly earns a spot into the final Dirt Dominator event that pays a whopping $10,000 to win.

The top 8 Stock Cars, SportMods, Hobby Stocks, and Sport Compacts in points, with perfect attendance at the “Spring Nationals” on March 16th and 17th at the Pepsi Scotland County Speedway in Memphis, Missouri, the “Spring Extravaganza” on March 23rd and March 24th at the Pepsi Lee County Speedway in Donnellson, Iowa, and the “Inaugural Memphis Shootout” on March 30th and March 31st at the Pepsi Scotland County Speedway in Memphis, Missouri will be locked into the King of the Hill races on practice night Tuesday, April 3rd at the Pepsi Lee County Speedway in Donnellson, Iowa. Shawn’s Hay Grinding has stepped up to offer the Stock Cars and SportMods $250 to win, the Hobby Stocks $150 to win, and the Sport Compacts $100 to win their King of the Hill races.

For more information you can contact Mike Van Genderen at 641-521-0330.

RENEWED to Perform Concert at Memphis Theatre on March 29th

RENEWED will be in concert in Memphis on March 29th. Pictured (L to R) are Tim Cason, Mel Bissey, John Gorham, and Blake Pigg.

The Southern Gospel group, RENEWED, will be in concert at the Memphis Theatre on Thursday, March 29th at 7 p.m.

Their objective is to share the gospel in such a way that believers are encouraged in their walk with the Savior, and that others will develop a thirst for the blessings enjoyed by followers of Christ.

RENEWED, based in Kirksville, MO, primarily ministers in churches in northern Missouri through concerts and revival services.

Southern Gospel music is music with a message, and RENEWED presents that message with strong vocals backed by keyboard as well as soundtracks. The group consists of Mel Bissey, tenor, Tim Cason, baritone, John Gorham, lead, and Blake Pigg, bass.

Twenty-Two High School Students Gave Blood for First Time During Chester Robinson Memorial Blood Drive

Coaches Troy Carper, Lance Campbell, and Cory Shultz all volunteered to have their heads shaved if at least twenty-five students agreed to participate in the Chester Robinson Memorial Blood Drive last week. The students held up their end of the bargain, so on Monday, March 12th, the student body was treated to a short assembly during sixth hour where everyone gathered in the gym to witness the event. The coaches drew names to see which lucky students were given the honor of shaving their heads. Harley Saulmon, Gage Dodge, and Ashleigh Creek were the lucky winners.

The Red Cross community blood drive held on March 6th at the Memphis First Baptist Church was staffed by student volunteers from our own Scotland County High School. This year’s student-led drive was held in memory of Chester Robinson to honor him for his commitment to giving to this life-saving cause, and the response of our high-school students was truly outstanding.

Although not all could donate on that day, 104 people came out for the drive of which 35 were high-school students. This is more than three times the number of students that came to last year’s student-led drive. A total of 98 units were collected through this event held in honor of Chester.

Twenty-five first-time donors added their names to the list; 22 are SCR-I High School students: Jaycen Bair, Caleb J. Brown, Cecilia M. Brown, Billie Childress, Kyle Childress, Austin Cochran, Ashleigh Creek, Haley Darcy, Gage Dodge, Shaye Eggleston, Khloe Hamlin, Jacob Kapfer, Tristan Kice, Jacob McDaniel, Kaitlyn McMinn, Brett Monroe, Kaleb Parkins, Jayden Payne, Tala Saulmon, Stevi See, Diane Siver, Zach Tinkle, Austin Whitaker, Eric Yarbrough and Gabby Zahn. Other students who have donated before and gave this time are Nova Cline, Blake Coop, Annie Hyde, Harley Saulmon and Cliff Whitaker.

Please continue to give at every drive when possible and encourage others to consider giving to this life-saving cause. It is safe, free, doesn’t take much time and not as scary as you might think—just ask the students.

It is also important for our community to realize that all units collected during this student-led drive each year count toward scholarships given to our local students by the American Red Cross. The involvement of our students in the March drive encourages community involvement and civic responsibility.

The American Red Cross and your local volunteers would like to thank all those who took time from their day to come and donate to this life-saving cause. As always, many in the community had a hand in making this blood drive a success: J’s Food donated orange juice, the First Baptist Church of Memphis provided homemade cookies, Pizza Hut donated personal pan pizzas to all student donors, and the Scotland County Ministerial Alliance provided sandwiches. Thank you to all who came out and donated blood and all the students who gave generously of their time as volunteers.

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