August 16, 2007

What if?

by Chris Feeney

What if the city wasnt always the bad guy? Yup, here he goes again, another soap box speech defending the city council. There are probably a lot of readers asking what if a city alderman didnt own the newspaper so he could write regular editorials trying to justify his positions.

If you remember right, I used to do this, even before I was one of the people being defended. But regardless of what people believe are the motivations behind it, here goes what I hope will be read as a poetic rebuttal to what I believe is unfair criticism of our fine city.

After listening to the radio and watching local television news coverage I fully expected to awake with a PETAled picket in my front yard calling for the ouster of the dog killers from city hall.

In case you have been on vacation for all of 2007, the City of Memphis has been implementing efforts to answer a public outcry for improved animal control.

After canine problems were on the council agenda for seven of the past nine months, the city acted, making an investment in a city dog pound, while also revamping the ordinances that regulate nuisance animals.

The policy states that an animal detained by city law enforcement will be held at the pound for seven business days, allowing its owner the opportunity to claim the animal, pay a fine and daily boarding fees, and return the animal home once it is licensed and vaccinated.

If after seven business days the dog is not claimed by an owner, the city is authorized to destroy the animal.

Recently the city came under fire because it was prepared to adhere to this policy. A cry for amnesty for the animal went up in the community. Back channel trade talks were begun as a handful of dog lovers went to work trying to save the poor dogs life.

But instead of addressing this issue in the months that led up to the situation, proponents of the policy chose instead to use this impending execution as a rallying point to try to produce enough pressure to force the city to ignore the recently approved law.

Instead of coming to a city council meeting, voicing concerns about the policy and attempting to offer productive options, the issue boiled over into a battle in the media.

Common sense says, if there is a person willing to adopt the animal, under the stipulation that it be licensed, meet all vaccination requirements and be spayed or neutered, the city would be in a better financial situation to consider it. That would allow the city to avoid the cost of euthanizing the animal.

The city did not consider this option, because during the initial permit process, officials were informed the city could not allow adoption under a dog pound permit. That would require a shelter permit, which has numerous other stipulations that would make constructing such a facility cost prohibitive.

Apparently the advice that was followed when the policy was crafted, may have been inaccurate.

Yet even strict adherence to policy doesnt prevent someone from coming in at the end of the confinement period when the dog has gone unclaimed by an owner, and stating the animal is yours. Unfortunately, if the animal is not licensed (which is required by law) the city has no way of determining ownership. So, if no one else claims the dog, anyone can step up and say that dog is mine. There is the little matter of paying the fine and boarding bill, but most shelters charge you to adopt an animal anyway.

That sounds like I am suborning perjury, but if you dont want the animal to be destroyed, and no one has claimed it, wouldnt you be the owner if you claimed it?

I dont believe anyone on the city council is in a hurry to destroy these dogs.

What the city council is in a hurry to do, is to take control of the streets back from animals that have made pedestrians feel unsafe. Officials arent rushing out trying to kill off every dog that wanders away from home. We are attempting to make animal owners responsible when their dog habitually violates the rights of other property owners. There is a misconception that police officers are cruising the streets 24/7 eagerly awaiting a wayward canine to step one foot off its property. The vast majority of dogs picked up by the city are in direct response to a public complaint. There is no policy that prevents the officer from returning the animal to its owner, if the dog is licensed, and it is not a habitual offender. Believe it or not, the ordinance does allow some room for common sense. The law is not meant to punish law abiding animal owners whose dog occasionally slips its chain, or escapes the kennel.

Regardless of whether or not the city allows adoption of these animals after they exceed the required confinement period to allow the rightful owner the opportunity to claim it, eventually the first dog will be euthanized. Its an unfortunate fact of life.

According to the American Humane Society roughly 64 percent of animals at the nations shelters are ultimately euthanized. The numbers are staggering, with as many as 9.6 million animals destroyed each year.

So before you join any future boycott in front of city officials homes, stop and consider where the real blame lies. If people take care of their animals, have them spayed or neutered, and make a good faith effort to follow rules and regulations put in place to protect non-animal owners rights as well, we wont have to be bombarded in the media by fights like this one.

Local Transportation, Housing, Solid Waste Management Boards to Meet January 24th

The Northeast Missouri Transportation Advisory Council (TAC) will have a Council Meeting Wednesday, January 24, 2018 at 3 p.m. in the RPC Conference Room in Memphis to discuss current TAC topics and projects.

The Northeast Missouri Regional Planning Commission and Rural Development Corporation (NEMO RPC/RDC) will have an Executive Board Meeting to discuss current topics and projects Wednesday, January 24, 2018 immediately following the TAC Meeting in the RPC Conference Room.

The Northeast Missouri “Region C” Solid Waste Management District will have an Executive Board Meeting to discuss current topics and projects Wednesday, January 24, 2018 immediately following the RPC/RDC Meeting in the RPC Conference room.

The Scotland County Public Housing Agency (PHA) will have an Executive Board Meeting to discuss current topics and projects Wednesday, January 24, 2018 immediately following the SWMD Meeting in the RPC Conference room.

Take Action to Prevent the Flu

Missouri’s flu activity for 2017-2018 is showing widespread. The season currently is very similar to what was seen during the 2014-2015 flu season, both in the timing and amount of cases reported. A season total of almost 31,000 cases were reported to the Department of Health and Senior Services through the first week of 2018 according to Scotland County Health Department Administrator Margaret Curry.

During the same time period in the 2014-2015 flu season, 32,528 flu cases were reported statewide.

According to the national Center for Disease Control (CDC), the flu virus is now nationally widespread.

“So far in Missouri, the timing of this year’s influenza season has been more typical than last year, which had a large and late peak in January into February, with significant impact into late April,” said Scotland County Hospital CEO Dr. Randy Tobler. “Both in Missouri and nationally, the trend mirrors the ’14-15 winter, with sharp increases in cases in the last 2-3 weeks, earlier than the last 2 years.”

Tobler noted that case reports started appearing sporadically around Thanksgiving, and accelerated in early December.

While the current flu season is similar to the 2014-2015 season, it’s important to remember that flu is hard to predict, but you can help prevent the spread of the flu. The best way to prevent seasonal flu is to get vaccinated every year.

“It is not too late to get a vaccine, and while effectiveness has ranged from as low as 19% to a high of 60% in the last 10 years, influenza not only feels like you’re dying, but sadly, many do,” said Tobler. “The vulnerable are the very young and those over 65, particularly with other chronic illnesses.”

Whether vaccinated or not, the Health Department reminds the public, the most important thing you can do is wash hands obsessively and always remember to wash hands or use an antiseptic gel before touching eyes, nose or mouth.

“Since influenza or influenza like illnesses kill up to 50,000 Americans a year, handwashing and everyone sneezing and coughing into their elbow instead of the shared air is critical to minimizing suffering,” said Tobler. “Of course, spread is more likely in closed environments with numbers of people in close proximity, so avoiding gatherings where people with flu-like symptoms might attend should be considered.”

The hospital advises that anti viral agents like Oseltamavir (Tamiflu) and related drugs can shorten the course of the illness but not eliminate it, and are especially important for those under 5, over 65, pregnant women, and those with certain chronic conditions like COPD, Diabetes, heart failure, and others.

The flu usually comes on suddenly. People who have the flu often feel some or all of these symptoms: Fever or feeling feverish/chills; Cough; Sore throat; Runny or stuffy nose; Muscle or body aches; Headaches; and Fatigue (tiredness). Some people may have vomiting and diarrhea, though this is more common in children than adults.

The health department noted that most people with flu have mild illness and do not need medical care or antiviral drugs.

“If you get sick with flu symptoms, drink plenty of water and other clear liquids to prevent dehydration; get plenty of rest; and treat symptoms such as fever with over-the-counter medicines,” said Curry. “In addition, you should stay home and avoid contact with other people except to get medical care. You should stay home for at least 24 hours after fever is gone without the use of a fever-reducing medicine.”

School Board Moving Forward With Lease Project for Campus Addition

Neill McKee was recently recognized by the Scotland County R-I School District for his generous contributions that allowed the district to upgrade its sound equipment in the elementary and high school gyms. He is pictured with SCR-I administrators Kirk Stott and Ryan Bergeson.

The Scotland County R-I Board of Education met in regular session on Thursday, January 11, 2018.  President, Trinity Davis, called the public hearing to order at 6:00 p.m. The regular meeting was called to order at 6:30 p.m. seven members present.

The board voted 7-0 to authorize the Series 2018 Lease Certificates of Participation Financing. In November 2017 the board approved preliminary plans for estimated $1.1 million lease/purchase agreement to help fund a roughly 5,000 square foot expansion to the SCR-I campus and fund additional renovations.

The projects that the district hopes to complete in this phase include: new elementary classroom space for early childhood and an elementary Library/media center (5,000 SQ FT), the Band Room relocated to the Vo-Tech Building (1,600 SQ FT), new metal siding, limited window and door replacement  in the Vo-Tech Building, concrete foundation and slab for Corridor Connector from High School to Vo-Tech Building (9 FT-4 wide by 30 FT length, and increased bathroom occupancy with ADA compliance in the Vo-Tech Building.

Superintendent Ryan Bergeson indicated the January board action now authorizes the district to move forward with the proposal, which will effectively roll-over the final four years of a current 15-year lease purchase agreement entered by the school in 2007 to fund $1.9 million in upgrades to the districts infrastructure.

A January 11th public hearing was hosted by the district to discuss the proposal. Bergeson indicated there were some members from the community present at the meeting and no one voiced any disapproval of the plan.

The board announced a January 29th special meeting will be held at 6 p.m. to discuss the facility projects as well as future technology upgrades.

The board is expected to review and finalize plans for the proposal, which initially was described as a roughly 5,000 square foot addition to house three early childhood development classrooms as well as office space and classroom space for the district’s speech and therapy offerings.

Part of the expansion would house a new elementary school library and adjacent computer lab.

If the plans are approved at the January 29th meeting, Bergeson stated that bids would go out in February and the district likely could award the bid at the March 8th school board meeting, allowing for a possible spring start date.

Technology upgrades will also be discussed at the January special meeting.

The board was presented an update on district technology and heard feedback from members of the technology committee, which has recommended implementing a 1:1 policy utilizing Apple iPad technology.

“Basically 1:1 means that every student has access to a device, such as an iPad,” explained Bergeson. “This technology plan is similar to those already in place in neighboring districts and the committee indicated it would like to see our district roll out such a plan that insured every kid had access to a device.”

The committee, which consisted of faculty, staff, administrators and at-large community members, reviewed several options for devices before unanimously deciding to recommend the iPad platform.

Bergeson indicated the district currently is processing quotes for moving forward with the implementation of the new technology policy.

Financial Update

The board was presented with the monthly financial update.

Halfway through the fiscal year, year-to-date revenues are $2,488,535.16 and expenditures are $2,994,015.99.  The year-to-date deficit is $505,480.83 compared to $462,634.25 at this time last year.

“The deficit will correct itself with the receipt of local taxes received in January,” Bergeson told the board.

School Board Recognition Week

 The week of January 21 – 27 is School Board Recognition Week.  Board members were presented a certificate from the Missouri School Board Association and invited to the elementary carry-in luncheon on Friday, January 19.

February Meeting

 The next regular board meeting will be Thursday, February 8th at 6:00 p.m. in the Elementary Art Room.

Executive Session

In closed session the following items were approved 7-0:

Approve December 13, 2017 closed session minutes

Declined bid for sale of real estate

Approve Superintendent Bergeson’s Evaluation

Move to extend Superintendent Bergeson’s contract through 2020-2021.

The meeting adjourned at 9:25 p.m.

Salisbury Sinks SCR-I In Conference Standings With 53-22 Defeat

Kaylyn Anders puts up the shot in the lane over the Salisbury defender during Friday night’s road game.

Despite not making a single field goal the entire first quarter on Friday night at Salisbury, Scotland County still found itself in striking distance of an upset of the Lewis & Clark Conference leaders.

But the slim hope of a 22-13 halftime deficit was quickly dashed by a 17-0 Salisbury run to start the third period that led the Panthers to a 53-22 victory.

The SCR-I shooting slump continued, as the Lady Tigers went nearly 10 minutes on Friday night before the first shot went through the nets, a fast break score by Khloe Hamlin.

Salisbury built an 11-0 lead before Kilee Bradley-Robinson sank a pair of free throws. Kaylyn Anders added two free throws to make the score 15-4 to close the first period.

Hamlin’s steal on defense and transition bucket helped spark a SCR-I run in the second quarter, but the shooting woes spread to the free throw line, where SCR-I converted just two of seven shots from the charity stripe at one point. Even with the struggles, the team’s defense kept SCR-I within striking distance. So when Ashleigh Creek connected on a three-pointer and finished off the first half with pair of free throws, Scotland County found itself heading to the locker room down just nine.

That quickly changed to start the third period. Salisbury put the game away with a 17-0 run.

The Lady Tigers finally got on the board with 1:09 left in the quarter when Anders scored in the paint. A fast break score by Katie Feeney made the score 41-18 to close the quarter.

Feeney scored on a drive to the basket with 3:32 left in the fourth quarter to end another lengthy scoring drought and Micah Cooley added a field goal as SCR-I managed just four points in the fourth period and Salisbury went on to the 53-22 win.

The Lady Tigers were led in scoring by Anders and Creek with five points apiece. SCR-I dropped to 7-7 on the year and 2-2 in conference play.

Westran Tops SCR-I 54-52 on Last-Second Shot

Stephen Terrill goes up for two points vs. Westran.

A fourth quarter rally came up just short on Tuesday night in Memphis as Westran scored with 5.6 seconds left to play to post the 54-52 Lewis & Clark Conference victory over Scotland County.

After Matthew Woods scored the first bucket of the game to give SCR-I a 2-0 lead, the Tigers offense cooled off, allowing the Hornets to build a 16-7 lead at the end of the opening quarter.

Scotland County battled back in the second period, pounding the offensive glass and aggressively taking the ball to the basket. Will Fromm opened the quarter with a pair of free throws before Lane Pence scored in the paint. Brett Monroe scored on an offensive rebound and later connected on a three-pointer, but the Tigers still trailed 26-18.

The Tigers turned to a full-court press, which forced several turnovers late in the second quarter and allowed SCR-I to trim the deficit to 28-25 at the half after buckets by Jace Morrow, Monroe and Fromm.

The rally came full circle to start the third period. After a Fromm free throw, Pence scored on the fast break to knot the score at 28-28 and force a Westran timeout with 6:23 on the clock. The two squads traded the lead back and forth much of the third period, with four separate lead changes. Fromm put SCR-I on top 32-30 with 3:38 left in the quarter before Westran answered with a 4-0 run.

Monroe scored seven straight points for the Tigers. His three-pointer gave SCR-I its biggest lead of the night at 39-34.

Westran cut the deficit to 39-37 to close the quarter and then extended its rally to an11-0 run to start the fourth quarter before Fromm scored on an inbounds play to pull the Tigers back within 45-41. The junior forward scored seven straight points for the Tigers. He completed a three-point play with 1:57 left to play to make the score 50-46.

Monroe followed with a three-pointer to pull Scotland County within a point with 90 seconds left to play and then the Tigers stole the inbounds pass and Woods converted in the paint for a 51-50 lead with 1:24 left to play.

Free throws by both teams left the score knotted at 52-52 with 38.2 ticks left on the clock before Westran was able to score the go ahead hoop with only 5.6 seconds left to play. The Tigers last -second shot fell short, sending Westran home the 54-52 victor.

Monroe led all scorers with 18 points for Scotland County, which fell to 7-5 on the season and 1-2 in the L&C. Fromm added 16 points and Woods finished with eight.

Woods Stands Tall in 49-45 Victory at Salisbury

A big fourth quarter from Matthew Woods helped SCR-I rally past Salisbury 49-45 on Friday night.

A huge fourth quarter by Matthew Woods helped fuel a Scotland County rally and help the Tigers pick up a key Lewis & Clark Conference win on the road in Salisbury on Friday night.

Woods scored eight points down the stretch to help SCR-I rally for the 49-45 victory in a contest that went back and fourth most of the night.

The contest saw four lead changes in the first period. Will Fromm put the Tigers on top with a three-pointer to open the game. A bucket by Brett Monroe helped SCR-I regain the lead before Jace Morrow sank two free throws. A basket by Lane Pence gave the Tigers’ their fourth lead of the opening frame, but Salisbury pulled ahead 12-11 to close the quarter.

It was much of the same in the second period as the two teams traded scores. Stephen Terrill put the Tigers back on top with a basket in the paint. Fromm connected from behind the arc again for another lead change before SCR-I pulled back on top heading into the locker room with a 23-20 lead courtesy of free throws by Monroe and Lane Pence.

Fromm kept SCR-I afloat in the third period, scoring eight of the team’s 10 points, including his third three-pointer of the night, but Salisbury pulled ahead 34-33 with eight minutes left to play.

Woods came up big down the stretch and helped SCR-I overcome a bad stretch at the free throw line. The Tigers made just four of 11 free throws in the fourth quarter, but two free throws by Woods helped seal the 49-45 win.

Fromm and Woods both finished with 14 points to lead Scotland County to the win. The Tigers improved to 8-6 on the year and 2-2 in conference play.

SCR-I Rolls in Opener at North Shelby Tourney

All nine Tigers got into the scorebook Monday night in Shelbyville as Scotland County opened play at the North Shelby Tourney with a 69-22 victory over the Highland junior varsity.

SCR-I, the #1 seed in the tourney, put the contest away with a 22-2 run in the second period.

Lane Pence scored eight points in the first period as SCR-I built a 19-9 advantage.

Matthew Woods fueled the big second quarter, pouring in 10 points, as the Tigers went ahead 41-11 at the intermission.

Will Fromm scored 10 points in the third period and the Tigers outscored Highland 21-7 to extend the lead to 62-18.

Woods led all scorers with 21 points as Scotland County improved to 9-6 and advanced to the tourney semifinals on Wednesday. Fromm finished with 14 and Pence had 12.

Tigers Fall to Clark County 64-44

Jace Morrow dives for the loose ball during the game at Kahoka.

A rescheduled trip to Kahoka proved unfruitful for the Scotland County basketball team as the Tigers fell to Clark County 64-44 on Wednesday night in a game originally scheduled for the two-team’s season opener back in November.

The game was postponed because Clark County was still alive in the state football playoffs, leaving the team without several of its players.

The Indians were at full strength Wednesday night, allowing Clark County to pull away from SCR-I down  the stretch.

A three-pointer by Brett Monroe and a pair of field goals by Lane Pence helped the Tigers keep things close in the first quarter, trailing just 16-13.

The Indians created some separation with an 18-10 scoring advantage in the second period. Chandler Bevans capped off a big first half with a three-pointer to put Clark County ahead 34-23.

SCR-I couldn’t find any traction in the third period, managing just four field goals, as Clark County added to its lead at 49-31.

Lane Pence got things rolling in the fourth period, pouring in nine points but it wasn’t enough as the Indians rolled on to the 64-44 victory.

Pence led Scotland County in scoring with 15 points and Brett Monroe finished with eight. Scotland County dropped to 7-6 on the year with the loss.

Lady Tigers Hammer Hornets 55-25 for Conference Win

Ashleigh Creek goes around two Westran defenders for two points in Tuesday night’s win over the Hornets.

Scotland County got off to a slow start Tuesday night in a Lewis & Clark Conference matchup versus Westran but the Lady Tigers were able to put things together in the second half and pull away from the Hornets for a 55-25 victory.

Early on the contest looked like anything but a game that would end with a turbo clock, as Scotland County went the first seven minutes of the contest without a field goal. The lone points of the game’s opening seven minutes for Scotland County came on free throws by Ashleigh Creek and Kylee Stott, which were enough to give the Lady Tigers a 4-2 lead.

Katie Feeney extended the margin when she sank a three-pointer. The sophomore guard then closed out the quarter with a steal and a fast break score to put SCR-I on top 9-5.

The Lady Tigers were saddled with foul trouble most of the night as starters Kaylyn Anders and Madie Bondurant each were forced to the bench less than a minute into the second quarter with their third fouls.

Khloe Hamlin sank a jumper and Stott hit two more free throws before Creek drilled a three-pointer to push the lead to 16-8.

Feeney scored in the paint and then sank another three-pointer to help give Scotland County a 24-14 lead at the half.

SCR-I pushed the margin to 15 early in the third quarter with a three-pointer by Bondurant and a field goal by Feeney.

The Lady Tigers continued to do damage from the free throw line. Anders sank a pair from the charity stripe and Feeney added three free throws as Scotland County built a 38-21 lead to finish the third quarter.

Feeney finished off a career night with  a flourish to start the fourth quarter. She connected on a jumper and added a free throw before sinking her third three-pointer of the night to push the lead to 44-24.

Julie Long hit at three-pointer and Micah Cooley  went three of four at the free throw line down the stretch as SCR-I saw the lead grow to 30 points and force a running clock in the final minutes of the 54-24 victory.

Feeney led all scorers with 21 points, connecting on 50% of her shots on a night SCR-I shot just 25% from the field as a team. Creek finished with 11 points. SCR-I was able to sink 19 of 27 free throws to help make up for the cold shooting night. The Lady Tigers also benefit from a huge advantage on the glass, where SCR-I outrebounded Westran 37-20, led by Cooley and Creek who each had seven boards, and Stott who finished with six rebounds.

Scotland County improved to 7-6 on the season and 2-1 in conference play.

Nominees Selected for University of Missouri Extension Council Members Scotland County

Citizens of voting age in Scotland County. pursuant to the provisions of Section 262-577, RSMo., 1969, will have an opportunity to vote and elect members to the University of Missouri Extension Council of Scotland County in February.

The Extension council, consisting of elected and appointed members, is the official body within the county to cooperate with the University in carrying out the provisions of the Smith -Lever Act of Congress and amendments and acts supplementary thereto and any other acts effecting extension programs. Three people have been nominated for Combined District elective position and Two for Jefferson Districts elective position. The nominees and their districts are as follows:

Heliene Tobler, Combined

Tasha Eggleston-Wood, Combined

Dawn Triplett, Combined

Kim Smith, Jefferson

Laurie Jack, Jefferson

Additional nominations may be made by petition of 25 or more qualified voters residing within the district, filed with the council within 20 days after the publication of this notice of election.

Forms for nominations are available in your county Extension office located at: Scotland County Extension, 117 S. Market St. Suite 105, Memphis, MO 63555. 660-465-7255

Paul Campbell, Chair, University of Missouri Extension Council of Scotland County

University of/ Missouri Extension does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, religion, age, disability or status as a Vietnam-era veteran in employment or programs.

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