February 8, 2007

What if?

by Chris Feeney

What if I had a heart? Im sure some people will be calling me heartless after they read this column. Yet I feel obligated to speak my mind, and I have one word rattling around up there this morning - accountability.

There are always millions of various reasons we make decisions and we all know that excuses are like, well you know the saying, we all have one. Yet while we may have plenty of excuses and all kinds of troubling circumstances that may have led us into making a bad decision, ultimately the decision was made and the consequences should have to be faced.

That is how I feel about the bomb scare that was phoned into Scotland County R-I High School on Tuesday night. One young individual made the decision to call the school, and when the phone was answered in the office, to tell the listener that there was a bomb in the school.

Opponents of my view point will say, kids will be kids, or try to argue that a juvenile cant be held responsible for his or her actions, because they are too young to realize the consequences of such foolish behavior.

Id counter that by excusing such behavior we are only making the next generation of juveniles very aware of the fact that there are no consequences for your foolish actions.

Believe it or not, I do have a heart. And yes it does tug at my heart when I hear sad circumstances leading up to bad decisions. Yes I have trouble saying we should place a giant black mark on a juveniles record because a poor choice was made. And yes I have compassion for the parents too.

However I know of no other way to teach said individual not to make future bad decisions. More importantly, I think society must send the message that such actions will not be tolerated, and we will not allow excuses for this type of behavior. Its unfortunate that we have to harshly punish folks, but an example must be made so that in the future people will think twice about making similar bad decisions.

Our judicial penalty system is not set up solely to punish criminals. The harsh penalties are twofold, also serving to warn others not to commit such crimes. As the old saying goes, if you cant do the time, dont commit the crime.

But he or she is just a kid? Nobody got hurt. It was just an innocent prank that got blown out of proportion.

I heard all of these excuses this week as folks talked about letting the prank caller get off with a slap on the wrist.

I disagree. Folks uttering these words must not live in a two-block radius of the school. People that reside close to the bomb-threat area were warned of the situation and advised to leave their homes in the middle of a bitterly cold evening. That could not have been easy for one of my neighbors, an elderly gentleman that is on oxygen.

This joke stole the innocence of so many other young people in our community. While the majority of folks at the ball game took this for what it was, a false alarm, there were plenty of kids and adults for that matter, that were obviously shaken by the situation.

I had two little ones crawl into bed with me in the middle of the night, because of bad dreams. They had scrambled around when my wife evacuated my house, crying wanting her to save the fish in the aquarium from the impending explosion.

If that doesnt make you realize this was anything but innocent, then maybe the financial impact will make you reconsider.

Three city police officers, three Scotland County Sheriffs department officers, and the Missouri State Highway Patrol all immediately responded to the scene. Then the bomb dog from the Missouri Fire Marshals office came to Memphis from down around Jefferson City. Pretty quickly the bill has gotten into the thousands of dollars just in mileage and overtime for these folks who were there into the early morning hours. Add in the cost to the school for rescheduling the game, officials and the travel for the Clark County school system to return to Memphis, and the bill for this innocent prank goes higher and higher.

One three-second phone call dramatically impacted the lives of hundreds of people. If we do not punish the person responsible for this action we better add call-waiting to all of our phone lines.

At bare minimum someone that does this should be responsible for repaying every penny that his or her actions cost. They should also be required to attend the rescheduled basketball game between Clark County and Scotland County and stand at the entrance offering an apology to every individual that returns to the game. Then they should be forced to walk the entire two-block radius of the school area in the freezing cold, just like the volunteer firemen did, and go to each door and offer an apology to the homeowners for forcing them to be evacuated.

Once all of that is completed, we can talk about performing a few hundred hours of community service sweeping up after the horses in the parade. Show me you are truly sorry for your mistake, while also showing everyone else that they dont want to make a similar bad decision, and then Ill show you that I have a heart and Ill forgive you.

DONALD LEE ALEXANDER (10/24/1935 – 6/21/2016)

Donald Alexander web

Donald Lee Alexander, 80, of Moore, SC, died Tuesday, June 21, 2016, at National Healthcare-Greer, SC.  Born in a log cabin on October 24, 1935, in Lesterville, MO, he was the son of the late Walter Sheron Alexander and Elizabeth Hanetta Gram Alexander.  His family moved from Lesterville, MO back to Kahoka, MO when he was about two years old, as it was the home of his parents.  Don remained there until he enlisted in the military after high school.

Don retired in October 1997 after working 33 years for Monsanto/MEMC, starting at the plant in St. Peters, MO in a number of departments, and was transferred to the plant in Moore, SC to assist with plant start-up, accepting the permanent transfer four years later.  Don worked in a number of areas, manufacturing and engineering, but the job he loved most was Safety Manager for the plant.  He worked diligently to keep his co-workers safe.

Surviving are his children, Robin Alexander and wife Sharon of Duncan, SC, Shawn Alexander and wife Katina of Moore, SC, and Kimberly “Kimi” Grace Alexander Johnson and husband Mike of Moore, SC; four granddaughters and three grandsons – Owen, Rachel, Seth and Sophia Alexander of Moore, SC and Aubrey, Brodie, and Mason McGregor of Moore, SC. Among the grandchildren were two sets of twins: the oldest, identical twin girls, and the youngest, a girl and a boy born on Don’s birthday. Also surviving are his brother, Ronald Alexander of Memphis, MO; sisters-in-law, Adelle Beathe of Tulsa, OK and Lodusky Tricks of Garden City, KS; and brother-in-law, Harold James Beathe of Mesquite, TX. In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his loving wife Patricia Jane Beathe Alexander on September 22, 2009; sisters, Jeanette Briscoe and Katherine Kennett; and brother, Sheron Alexander.

Visitation was 6:00-8:00 PM Thursday, June 23, 2016, at Floyd’s North Church Street Chapel, 235 N. Church St., Spartanburg, SC 29306. A graveside service, with military rites, was conducted at 11:00 AM Friday, June 24, 2016, in Westwood Memorial Gardens, 6101 Reidville Rd., Moore, SC 29369, by the Rev. Bob Aho.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Alzheimer’s Association, 901 South Pine Street, Spartanburg, SC 29302 online at ww.alz.org.  An online guest register is available at www.floydmortuary.com, Floyd’s North Church Street Chapel.

ROBERT ALLEN “BOB” BULEN (4/8/1937 – 6/20/2016)

bulen obit web

Robert Allen “Bob” Bulen, 79, of Eldon, Missouri, died at his home in Eldon on June 20, 2016.

He was born April 8, 1937 to George Coe and Ida Pauline Sparling Bulen.

He was a 1956 graduate of Moline High School in Moline, Illinois.  He enlisted in the U.S. Navy in July, 1956 and served twenty years as a deep sea diver. While in the Navy, they lived in Newport, Rhode Island; Virginia Beach, Virginia and Scotland where the family enjoyed many adventures and traveling.

Bob married Jane Carolyn Baker on September 6, 1958 at Newport, Rhode Island and to this union three children were born.  He graduated from Kirksville Vo Tech in Kirksville, Missouri, in 1985 as an LPN.  He worked for thirty-one years at the Scotland County Hospital in Memphis, Missouri, before his retirement.

Bob enjoyed gardening, woodworking and collecting and selling antiques, but his greatest enjoyment and passion was spending time with his grandchildren.  Bob spent most of his life in the Memphis area, moving to the Lake of the Ozarks area in 2010 to be closer to family.

He was a member of the V.F.W., American Legion and Fleet Reserve.

He is survived by his wife, Jane, of the home and his children:  Mark Bulen and wife, Lori, of  Non, Oklahoma; Karl Bulen and his wife, Jackie and Debra Gunnell and her husband, Robert, all of Eldon, Missouri.  Also surviving are ten grandchildren; fourteen great-grandchildren; a brother, George W. Bulen and his wife, Joyce, of Cedar Rapids, Iowa and two sisters:  Bonnie Dalton and her husband, Bill, of Memphis, Missouri and Phyllis Ford and her husband, Robert, of Lenexa, Kansas, as well as many nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.

Bob was preceded in death by his parents, a nephew, Anthony Dalton and a niece, Cindy Bulen Hamilton.

A visitation, with the family present to greet relatives and friends, was held Thursday, June 23, 2016, at the Memphis Funeral Home.

Funeral services were held at the funeral home on Friday, June 24th, with Robert Ford officiating.  Music was provided by Ann Luther, pianist and Brent Karhoff, vocalist.  Burial followed the service at Memphis Cemetery in Memphis, Missouri.  Casket bearers were Robert Bulen, Arnold Dalton, Bob Gunnell, Jason Gunnell, Joseph Gunnell and Jim Morgan.  Honorary bearers were Landon Bulen, William “Bill” Dalton and Robert Ford.  Military honors were provided by the Wallace W. Gillespie Memorial Post #4958 V.F.W. and the Missouri Military Honors Team.

To honor Bob’s memory, contributions may be made for a nursing scholarship to be awarded to a Scotland County R-I School senior and may be left at or mailed to Memphis Funeral Home, 378 South Market Street, Memphis, Missouri 63555.

On line condolences for the Bulen family may be made by logging on to memphisfuneralhome-mo.com.

Arrangements were under the direction of Memphis Funeral Home.

Sew & Go Quilt Guild Holds June Meeting

The Sew & Go Quilt Guild met on June 14th at the Downing Christian Church. Food was supplied by Sarah Myers and Jan Morrow and it was very, very tasty

Virginia Hoyal President called the meeting to order.  Betty Duncan passed out a quilt pattern called Molly’s Rose Garden. Debbie Payne won the raffle.

Several ladies brought their PIECE COTTAGE challenges, including Betty Duncan, Debbie Payne, Michele Drummond, Treva Wittstock, Sarah Myers, Brenda Eckland, and Jan Morrow. A couple of the other ladies brought theirs, which weren’t complete, including Virginia Hoyal and Susan Chidester.

Jeannie Childress gave the treasurer’s report,

Show & Tell was conducted and those helping show projects were Lily Wheeler, Renee Blaine, and Sarah Myers. Those showing projects were Angela Neese, Betty Duncan, Liz Reel, Rosalie Kinney, Barbara Blessing, Linda Marlowe, Treva Wittstock, Susan Chidester, and Debbie Payne.

Others attending were Joyce McGoldrick, Marilyn Blessing, Mary Creek, Linda Koser, Carolyn Schmitter, Zelda Keith, and Tina Newcomb. We had three guests, JoAnn Schultz, Sarah Markun, and Lily Wheeler.

Submitted by Tina M. Newcomb

Chris Kempke Completes First Year with Missouri Extension Office

Scotland County Extension Office Program Director Chris Kempke recently completed his first year at the post leading area MU Extension projects.

Scotland County Extension Office Program Director Chris Kempke recently completed his first year at the post leading area MU Extension projects.

by Andrea Brassfield

This time last year, Chris Kempke made the transition from college graduate to full-time employee when he was hired by the Missouri Extension Office in Scotland County to serve as Program Director for Scotland County and Community Development Specialist for Scotland County, Schuyler, Adair, Knox, Clark and Lewis Counties.  Chris started his new position on June 1, 2015 and now, a full year later, is excited by his acceptance into the community and the way his job has evolved, the expansion of existing programs and the development of new projects.

Always friendly and ready to help, Chris has had no problems fitting in and being accepted here in Memphis.  He humbly remarks that many of his activities are just “part of the job” but his volunteerism and willingness to serve go above and beyond and have made him a real asset to many local groups and organizations.

In the past year, Chris has volunteered in booths at the Antique Fair, singing with the Community Players, United Methodist Church Bell Choir, playing Taps for funerals and at the Memorial Day Service, Memphis Chamber activities, Scotland County Fair, Rotary presentations and the newly established School Foundation.  He is also actively involved with the Presbyterian Church.

Professionally, Chris has been involved with multi-site programs including Public Board Training that covered Sunshine Law, university resources for public boards, fiscal responsibilities and public board best practices; Your Farm, Your Business, Your Future where he introduced new curriculum including Family Communication and Estate, Succession and Retirement Planning.

Locally, Chris has helped the Scotland County School Foundation by guiding them through how a foundation works, selecting board members, writing bylaws and strategic planning.  This foundation has already raised over $1000.00 in its short existence.

Additionally, Chris is working with the Tiger Trail Committee by providing contacts and information on funding opportunities and best trail practices, introducing new volunteers to the group and helping plan trail events such as the Easter Egg Hunt.

Another local project Chris is helping with includes the Rutledge School National Designation Project where he connected members of the Rutledge School Preservation Group to Truman State University students to assist them to put the School House on the National Historic Registry.  He has also educated students, faculty and group members on the National Historic Registry process.

Finally, on the local level, Chris has also assisted the Scotland County Food Pantry Program by working to distribute recipes that are relevant to the commodities being delivered to the 200 families served by the food pantry.  He also created a volunteer position to assist in the recipe selection.

Chris also worked with students from the University of Missouri’s Alternative Breaks program.  Two groups, with nine and twelve kids respectively, came to Scotland County to do service work.  Between the two groups, seven projects were completed with approximately 108 hours of volunteer time being spent in the county.

At the state level, Chris has been involved with the Rivers Confluence SET Project, a USDA supported economic development project involving Hancock, Lee and Clark counties.  Over 40 community leaders have been involved in this process from Missouri, Illinois and Iowa where they create an economic development plan that is region specific and is aided by USDA money.

Looking ahead, Chris would like to continue focusing on building capacity with nonprofits and other community events, bringing additional economic development programs into the region, becoming a resource for local governments, becoming more active in outlying counties, expanding the curriculum in the Community Development program, helping to mobilize community members to address problems in their communities and therefore making them more sustainable.

Chris’ office is located in Room 105 of the Scotland County Court house.  He can be reached at 660-465-7256.

Scotland County Health Department Schedule

Thursday, June 30 – Clinic hours from 8-10:00 a.m. for immunizations.

Friday, July 1 – Clinic hours from 8:00-3:30 for fasting blood sugars, cholesterols and blood draws, blood pressure checks, immunizations, nail care, etc.

Monday, July 4 – 4th of July, Clinic Closed

Tuesday, July 5 – Clinic hours from 8-9:00 a.m. for fasting blood sugars and cholesterols and blood draws and from 12-2:30 p.m. for immunizations, blood pressure checks, nail care, etc.

Thursday, July 7 – Clinic hours from 8-10:00 a.m. for immunizations.

Howard, Sears Named to MU Spring Dean’s List

The University of Missouri in Columbia has released the 2016 Spring Semester Dean’s List.

Local students honored included Kathryn Mary Howard of Memphis, a junior Health Professions major; and James Rodney Sears of Memphis, a senior Education major.

Shannan Earns Honors at MVC

Dr. Parris Watts, vice president of academic affairs for Missouri Valley College, has announced the Spring 2016 Dean’s List. The requirements for the Dean’s List are a 3.3 or higher grade point average; at least 12 graded hours for the semester and no “D,” “F,” or “Incomplete” grades for the semester.

Claire Shannan, a Junior, Elementary Education major from Memphis, was named to the list.

Shannan was also named to the 2016 Presidential Scholars list announced by -Dr. Bonnie Humphrey, president of Missouri Valley College.

The requirements for this honor are a 3.9 or higher grade point average for both the fall and spring semesters.

Known for its dynamic, richly diverse, and friendly educational environment, Missouri Valley College offers many opportunities to grow in mind, body, and spirit. Grounded in the liberal arts, undergraduate studies empower students to master interdisciplinary skills needed to succeed in a knowledge-based global society.

MVC offers over 30 academic programs, study abroad programs, extracurricular activities, and many athletic opportunities. The most popular majors include education, agribusiness, nursing, criminal justice and athletic training.

Dry June Has Scotland County on Brink of Drought Designation

Crops in Missouri are showing signs of stress due to lack of precipitation and high temperatures.  This photo of corn was taken outside of Columbia on June 14, 2016. Credit: Photo by Pat Guinan

Crops in Missouri are showing signs of stress due to lack of precipitation and high temperatures. This photo of corn was taken outside of Columbia on June 14, 2016.
Credit: Photo by Pat Guinan

Crops need rain and lower temperatures soon for relief. Most crops are “just a few days away from difficult times,” says University of Missouri Extension agronomy specialist Bill Wiebold.

“We can go from ‘not so bad’ to ‘pretty bad’ quickly,” Wiebold says.

Crops need up to 1-2.2 inches of rain weekly to grow well. In June, most areas of the state fell far behind.

Wiebold points to June rainfall amounts in different areas of the state. Atchison and Boone counties reported only 0.04 inch and only 0.12 inch fell in Knox County in northeastern Missouri in the first week of June. Carroll County received 0.58 inch of rain; Pemiscot got 1.4 inches and Barton had 1.66 inches. In the second week of June, only Barton County received rain, and it was a meager 0.32 inches.

Lack of rainfall and temperatures above 90 degrees in the second week of June raise concerns of possible drought.

MU agronomists in much of the state report that corn plants are “rolling” with dwindling soil moisture and rising temperatures.

Corn leaves roll as a defense mechanism to protect against excessive moisture loss through transpiration. Rolling exposes less leaf surface to the sun’s heat. Lack of water during the time when ear size is developing can spell trouble. Smaller ears with fewer kernels mean lower yields.

Soybean, too, face stress due to lack of rain. Late-planted soybean lack time to develop strong root systems. Early rooting problems—whether due to cool weather, nutrient deficiencies or soil compaction—spell trouble for soybean if drought occurs, Wiebold says.

MU Extension climatologist Pat Guinan said the northeastern quadrant of Missouri faces “very dry” conditions. That area’s high-clay-content soil tends to be more vulnerable to water stress when a dry period emerges. “The forecast is not encouraging,” he says.

Guinan says May precipitation was below normal in the area and the recent hot spell hastened evaporative demand. Vegetation quickly went into stress mode. Also, a large part of the state, extending from northeastern through southwestern Missouri, reports precipitation deficits of 4-8 inches since January 1.

Guinan encourages Missouri residents to submit drought impact reports to the National Drought Mitigation Center. Use the Drought Impact Reporter,http://droughtreporter.unl.edu, to submit reports. These reports provide local expertise to authors of the Drought Monitor map. Drought impact statements are seen by the Drought Monitor author and the general public.

“More participation and input from local Missourians will establish a consensus among folks and hopefully provide a more accurate portrayal of drought in the Show-Me State,” Guinan says.

According to the National Weather Service, the Kirksville station has recorded just 1.49 inches of precipitation in June, nearly three inches less than the normal June rain totals. The bulk of that precipitation was recorded over night on June 20th and in the morning hours of June 21, a storm that largely missed Scotland County.

Compounding the problem are abnormally high temperatures. After a cooler than normal May, June has heated up, approaching 100 degrees on several days, with temperatures on average a full five degrees warmer than the normal June range in Missouri.

The outlook for rain is not good, with national weather forecasts not giving a better than 20% chance for daily precipitation through the first week and a half in July.

Despite the dry conditions, the Scotland County Fire Department has responded to just two natural cover fires in June. But with the Fourth of July holiday looming, there are concerns that number will go up, as fireworks and dry conditions are not a good mix.

Classified Ads 6-30-2016

REWARD – $300 reward for the safe capture and return of Red Rosie, a small yearling Dexter heifer.  Red, dehorned (looks polled), about 300-350 lbs.  Escaped six miles Northeast of Brock Station 6/18/2016.  May still have rope halter on.  Please call Lois Quenneville: 660-988-1716 or 660-945-3733.

YARD SALE – Thursday, June 30 (6-8 p.m.) and Friday, July 1 (8-Noon).  Lots of men’s and women’s name brand clothing.  Boy’s clothes size NB-3T.  Household misc.  Tippett residence, West Highway 136.  Cancelled if raining.

School Buses Get Perfect Score in Annual Inspection

web buses

School is out for the summer, but the Scotland County R-I School District is still passing tests with flying colors. The local district received a 100% score on recent safety testing of the district’s bus fleet performed by the Missouri State Highway Patrol.

Officers in the Motor Vehicle Inspection Division recently visited Memphis and inspected the SCR-I district’s 17 school buses for safety measures.

A district approval rate of 90% or better qualifies for the distinction of Total Fleet Excellence. Awards will be presented at the 2016 Missouri Association for Pupil Transportation convention on July 13th.

More than 12,000 school buses were inspected by the highway patrol in 2016, with an average approval rate of 89.9%. The 12,014 inspections resulted in an 8% defective rate with 2% of buses receiving an out of service rating.

“It remains our responsibility to provide safe transportation services to Missouri’s school children,” said Captain Lester D. Elder of the Motor Vehicle Inspection Division in a letter to the SCR-I district. “Congratulations for earning the distinction of Total Fleet Excellence. Thank you for your continued commitment to this goal.”

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