April 5, 2007

Senate Bill 364 Could Remove Local Control of CAFO Decisions

The debate over Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFO) took center stage in Scotland County more than three years ago when the Scotland County Commission enacted a health ordinance to regulate the spread of such facilities in the community.

The bill was enacted on October 14, 2004 to further regulate large concentrated animal feeding operations beyond the regulations in place through the Missouri Department of Natural Resources.

Since that date the county has issued three permits for CAFO facilities in Scotland County. All three have been for hog operations.

The county was at the forefront of a movement across the state to create more local control of an issue that centers around economic growth versus health and odor concerns. The ordinance was modeled after a similar law in Shelby County, one of just 10 counties at the time to have such laws on the books.

Since that time, several other counties have passed similar ordinances. However, recently this movement has hit a snag as state lawmakers are considering enacting legislation that would prohibit counties from enacting such guidelines.

Senate Bill 364, which is currently on the Senates informal calendar, would prohibit any county public health order, ordinance, rule, or regulation from applying to agricultural operations.

The act protects farms and farming-related activities from suits of nuisance or trespass for any condition resulting from, but not limited to, the acts of planting, cultivating, harvesting, mowing, applying pesticides or herbicides, land clearing, livestock management, or construction of farm roads, lakes, and ponds.

Farms or farming-related activities are not protected from suits of nuisance or trespass resulting from negligent conduct.

The act removes a provision stating that state regulation of certain concentrated animal feeding operations shall not be construed as restricting local control over concentrated animal feeding operations.

The bill originally came under fire but recent concessions have brought some support for a compromise.

The coalition of agricultural organizations supporting Senate Bill 364, the Missouri Farm and Food Preservation Act, has reached a major compromise with the Missouri Association of Counties (MAC) on a substitute bill that both groups have shown support for.

As introduced SB 364, sponsored by Senator Chris Koster from Harrisonville, would protect farmers from unjustified lawsuits and limit the regulation of agriculture to the state and federal levels.

The substitute version of SB 364 still contains both provisions; however, added to the legislation are several other changes that would limit the states largest animal feeding operations, set up a process for county input, increase setbacks in certain cases, and create incentives for using best management practices and odor control techniques.

The coalition of 19 agriculture organizations supporting this bill appreciates the willingness and desire of MAC to work together to find common ground on this legislation so vitally important to the future of agriculture in Missouri, said Charles E. Kruse, president of Missouri Farm Bureau. We initiated discussions with MAC even before SB 364 was introduced, and Senator Koster should be commended for his leadership in bringing both sides together to work out our major differences.

In addition to protecting farmers from unjustified lawsuits and regulations, the following 10 new provisions were added with the substitute bill:

1) No new Class 1A (the states largest) concentrated animal feeding operation (CAFO) in any county unless approved by the county commission.

2) Increased setbacks for new CAFOs not designated as a Managed Environmental Livestock Operation (MELO).

3) New MELO best management standards to aid in the neighbor and community acceptance of CAFOs.

4) County health ordinances regulating CAFOs remain in effect until MELO standards are developed and then the county ordinances would expire.

5) Creation of a CAFO Review Board with authority to review and have input on the Department of Natural Resources livestock facility permits and develop the MELO standards.

6) Increased state regulations for new livestock facilities greater than 650 animal units.

7) Increased setbacks from specified lakes for new CAFOs of any size greater than 650 animal units.

8) Increased size and expanded use of the livestock lagoon indemnity fund.

9) Authorization of state tax credits to address issues such as odor control abatement and infrastructure improvements.

10) Grandfather in existing CAFOs, which would still be required to comply with state and federal regulations protecting public health and the environment.

Contrary to what some opponents have said concerning SB 364, nothing in this legislation, as introduced or amended, would allow farmers and ranchers to pollute the environment and ignore compliance with state and federal laws, said Don Nikodim, executive vice president of the Missouri Pork Association. Regrettably, those who claim SB 364 has a hidden agenda are only misleading the public!

According to the Missouri Corn Growers Association CEO Gary Marshall, Agriculture and county governments have worked together constructively and in good faith to find common ground. The compromises reached are reasonable and in the best interest of farmers, consumers and a continued safe and affordable domestic food supply. No American wants to depend upon foreign food like we depend upon foreign oil today.

But the compromise has not been met with similar warm sentiments from all involved parties.

On April 2nd the Linn County Commissioners sent a letter to the staff and leadership of the Missouri Association of Counties (MAC) and the County Commissioner Association of Missouri (CCAM) requesting that they rescind the Associations letter of support for a proposed compromise on Senate Bill 364.

According to the Linn County letter, the commissioners are prepared to file an injunction if MAC/CCAM has not abided by existing by-laws and does not withdraw support for the bill.

We voted on proposed CAFO standards at the MAC meeting in November, stated Linn County Commissioners, Jim Libby and Randy Wade. At that time we were assured there would be no deviation from those proposals. But this compromise contains new language that had not been voted on, or even seen, by the majority of MAC/CCAM membership.

The commissioners say that the Executive Director of MAC/CCAM, Dick Burke, did not have the authority to sign on to a letter in support of the compromise bill because MAC/CCAM membership did not have the opportunity to vote on it.

According to Linn County Commissioners, Jim Libby and Randy Wade, the MAC/CCAM process was not open or transparent.

At this point MAC/CCAM should oppose Senate Bill 364 and start over with a process for next year that ensures that MAC/CCAM will work with all interested parties to reach a position that everyone can live with, they stated.

On the other side of the fence the group Missourians for Local Control has voiced its opposition to the compromise.

The group calls the compromise a deal between industrial livestock supporters (i.e. the Missouri Farm Bureau) and a six-member CAFO task force of the Missouri Association of Counties, adding that it does nothing to address the concerns voiced by thousands of farmers and property owners in opposition to Senate Bill 364. This opposition to the bill was a result of its anti-local control and anti-property rights agenda, says the group.

These opponents of the bill state the compromise still takes away authority of local elected representatives to protect the health, welfare and property rights of the majority of family farmers, landowners and rural citizens. It also still abolishes constitutional rights of farmers and property owners to defend their property through legal challenges when the negative impacts of corporate livestock factories infringe upon their property rights.

We have been very clear that our opposition to Senate Bill 364 is based on its blatant attack on local control and property rights, said Rhonda Perry, livestock and grain farmer from Howard County and Program Director of the Missouri Rural Crisis Center. Simply adding fourteen pages of language about how the state is going to take care of the CAFO issue does not change the truththis bill is about protecting corporate agri-business at the expense of local control and the property rights of the majority of family farmers and rural landowners,

The group argues that if this bill passes, counties and their local elected representatives will lose the only mechanism they have for protecting citizens from the well-documented impacts associated with CAFOs.

Many county commissioners continue to oppose the bill.

Schuyler County Commissioner James Werner said as county commissioners, we oppose Senate Bill 364, or any bill, that takes local control away from the counties.

It appears that the goal of the Farm Bureau and Senate Bill 364 is to get local government, and therefore local people, out of the way, stated Terry Spence, livestock farmer from Putnum County. This is an attempt to take the livestock industry out of the hands of independent and entrepreneurial producers, but we, as Missouris independent family farmers, cannot and will not let that happen,

Irritable Jowl Syndrome

I once made a ‘feller’ down around Rutledge, MO so mad, with one of my letters to the editor, that he went into the “Constricting Heaves”, which then caused “Abdominal Vapors”, complicated by “Carbonic Bunions” on his toes! He hopped around for three weeks, like a ‘Frozen Toed Rooster’, until he finally calmed down!

Yes, I seem to have that effect on some folks, especially when I pen one of my well-written, provocative, yet witty, letters to the editor!

Take what happened to my friend (he still is by the way) Chris Feeney, editor of the Memphis Democrat.

Upon reading my recent letter “The Board of One Accord”, Chris had smoke rings coming out of his ears! He went into “Bilious Spleen Vapors”, which then progressed into “Irritable Jowl Syndrome”!

This sad situation got started by the article in the Memphis Democrat “City Marshal Position in Question Following April Election”.

First, let me say at this point, that I have nothing personal against any city council member. And I have NEVER said anything against Bill Holland. I think he is a good man.

I also know, that it isn’t easy, being a city council member, or for that matter the member of a hospital board, school board, or even some church committees. It can be frustrating, and make one feel that it is a thankless job.

I expressed some ‘misgivings’ I had about the article ‘in question’. It just sounded to me like the city council wielded a proverbial “Sword of Damocles” over the position! With the power of the ‘purse strings’ for example, and the example of a past city collector position being done away with by simply defunding the position.

There also seemed to be an inordinate fear of, what candidate, the voters might elect.

Now, if I’ve got it wrong, I apologize. I just don’t know why these things would be alluded to, if not for the purpose of eliminating what the “Board of One Accord” considered to be an obsolete office. Obviously the voters felt differently. The big difference here, is that the county collector position is still an elected office.

Now, back to Chris’s malady of “Irritable Jowl Syndrome”. You never know what he might say next! Downright mean stuff!

I’m ‘gutshot’ over those “Peanut Gallery” remarks Chris! I mean, damn, now everyone thinks of me as being like that “Lounge Lizard” over at the Texas Road House, that just hangs out in the waiting area, gobbling buckets full of peanuts, all the while hurling insults at the paying customers as they come in! Shish! (Actually this could be partly true.)

And, I am still reeling from that “non-resident” tirade of yours Chris! To me, it sounded a lot like Obama’s “You Didn’t Build That” speech. Gosh… you don’t talk like that to the guys on the police department, and they’re not residents of Memphis either.

Furthermore, I’m heartbroken, over those mean comments about my personal hygiene problems. That hurts!

I’ll have you know, that where I grew up, we didn’t even wear shoes or socks all summer! Socks are important to me now.

And, so what, if I do get a “little Gamey” toward the end of the week. I want you to know that I take a bath every Saturday nite, whether I need it or not! (goin’ swimmin’ counts as bath.)

So… you readers oughta tune in next week to see what “slings and arrows of misfortune” ‘mean Chris’ will throw at me, Dave, a poor non-resident of Memphis, who is diligently striving for World Peace and Harmony!

Cipherin‘:

When you add up the votes.

The side that wins, is the one with the most.

“What if it’s a tie?” someone jokes.

Them I’m takin’ the last train to the coast!

At least I’ll still have the Father, Son and Holy Ghost!

Davis M. Burrus

New Replacement Trees Planted by Rutledge School Restoration Society

One more entry has been removed from the bucket list of the Rutledge School Restoration Society. Bob Hunolt, Lonnie Triplett, Oren Erickson, and Leon Trueblood recently rounded up their spades, water buckets, and measuring sticks to get two new American Linden trees planted (exactly as instructions for planting read) in the school yard.

These trees, when fully grown, will graciously replace the ever-popular Ash and Maple trees which, until early spring this year, had graced the school lawn for many decades. It was determined by the utility company the trees were a detriment to the electrical lines, so they had to go.

Thanks to Aaron Dannenhauer, the stumps were removed; and the sawdust from this grinding has appropriately mulched the new trees. The nursery-provided information claims the new trees to be well-adapted to Missouri daily weather change… so with hopes for fast growth, there will be shade on the Rutledge School lawn once again!

Three Teens Hurt When Vehicle Crashes Into Bridge

Three area teenagers were injured in a one-vehicle crash in Schuyler County at 6 p.m. on Thursday, May 17th west of Greentop.

According to the Missouri State Highway Patrol, Allyssia J. Jackson, 17 of Queen City, was southbound on Ranch Road when she lost control of the 2003 Ford Escape on the gravel and collided with a bridge rail. The vehicle ran off the right side of the roadway, collided with a bridge support and overturned.

Jackson suffered moderate injuries in the crash as did a passenger in the vehicle, Paige A. Humphrey, 15, of Queen City. A second passenger in the car, Cobe J. Coop, 18, of Memphis suffered minor injuries.

Jackson and Humphrey were transported by Schuyler County Ambulance to Northeast Regional Medical Center in Kirksville. Coop was taken by private vehicle to the Kirksville hospital.

The vehicle sustained moderate damage in the accident and was removed from the scene by Lakeside Towing of Memphis.

The Patrol was assisted at the scene by the Schuyler County Ambulance Service and the Schuyler County Sheriff’s Office.

Memphis Man Killed in Crash Near Arbela

A Memphis man was killed and another seriously injured in a two vehicle accident over the weekend in rural Scotland County.

According to the Missouri State Highway Patrol, Harley D. Stone, 24, of Memphis was killed when the 2015 Polaris Can Am all-terrain vehicle he was driving collided with a pickup truck on a hill crest on County Road 456 west of Arbela.

The Stone vehicle was eastbound when it crested the hill and met at the center of the road a westbound 2001 Dodge truck driven by Christopher M. Chabert, 29, of Memphis.

Stone and a passenger in his vehicle, Jacob A. Blessing, 21, of Memphis both were ejected from the ATV. Stone was pronounced deceased at the scene at 4:40 a.m. by Scotland County Coroner Dr. Jeff Davis. Blessing sustained serious injuries in the crash. He was transported by Scotland County Ambulance to University Hospital in Columbia.

Chabert was not injured in the crash, which occurred at 4:00 a.m. on May 20th. Chabert was ticketed for driving while intoxicated.

The Patrol was assisted at the scene by Scotland County Fire and Rescue, Scotland County Ambulance and Scotland County Sheriff’s Office.

SCR-I Band to Make ‘Long March’ to Washington DC to Take Part in National Memorial Day Parade

As residents of a rural school district, Scotland County R-I students are used to long bus rides. However on Thursday, some three dozen SCR-I musicians will be boarding a bus for a trip that will exceed their bus mileage for the year, just one-way.

At 4 p.m. on Thursday, May 24th the Scotland County R-I band, along with support staff, boosters and chaperones will be boarding a charter bus departing the SCR-I high school parking lot bound for Washington D.C. The public is invited to line the road to show the band support on its departure.

“Last minute preparations are well underway as the Marching Tigers are putting on the finishing touches on their performance,” said band Director Nathanial Orr. “You may even hear the band marching around town.”

The trip to the nation’s capital is more than 900 miles, with the group expecting to arrive on the East Coast  in time for lunch on Friday.

After the meal with tour manager Barbara Longnecker at Union Station, the group will take a tour of the U.S. Capitol before enjoying dinner at Bertucci’s Italian Restaurant. That evening the group will be treated to a parade at the Marine Barracks featuring the US Marine Band in full dress uniform.

Saturday will feature a full day of tours including stops at Lafayette Square, the White House and the National Archives Building, home of the Declaration of Independence, Bill of Rights and the Constitution.

After lunch they will visit Ford’s Theater where President Lincoln was assassinated before touring Arlington National Cemetery to witness the changing of the guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. The evening will conclude with tours of the US Air Force and Pentagon 9/11 Memorials, as well as the Jefferson, FDR and Martin Luther King, Jr. memorials.

The nation’s history will be on display again on Sunday as tour members will visit the Lincoln, and Vietnam and Korean War memorials as well as the US Holocaust Memorial Museum before spending the afternoon at the Smithsonian Institution’s museums. The evening will be capped off at the National Memorial Day Concert on the west lawn of the Capitol. The event will broadcast live on PBS.

Finally on Monday, the band members will get to work, participating in the National Memorial Day Parade.

“The band will be performing ‘Colonel Bogey March,’ a tune featured in ‘Bridge over a River Kwai’,” said Orr. “The color guard will be wearing homemade uniforms representing a different branch of the armed services.  Each member of the guard has a connection as parts of the uniform they will be wearing are from the uniform of their family members.”

Orr said the parade will be televised on the Armed Forces Network as well as streamed on YouTube.com, Military.com or NationalMemorialDayParade.com.

“Due to time constraints and commercial breaks, there is no guarantee that SCR-I will be televised,” he said.

Later that evening, the group will visit the World War II Memorial and place a Scotland County High School wreath at the base of the Missouri state marker.

Tuesday, day 6 of the event, will feature a trip to Mount Vernon, before boarding the tour bus at 2 p.m. for the return trip to Memphis. The group is expected to arrive back home Wednesday, May 30th around 9 a.m.

The trip has been made possible through the hard work of the band students and boosters as well as the generous contributions of local supporters. Work began last May after word was received the band had received the honor of participating in the national event. Numerous fundraisers were held over the next 12 months to fully fund the more than $1,000 price tag per band member for the trip.

Larry Gieseke to Address 72nd Annual Memorial Day Services

Larry Gieseke will be the featured speaker on Monday as the Wallace W. Gillespie Memorial Post #4958 of the Veterans of Foreign Wars hosts the 72nd Annual Memorial Day Services on the lawn of the Scotland County Courthouse.

The services will begin at 10 a.m. with Post Commander Lloyd Erickson and program chairman Donnie Middleton welcoming the crowd.

Veterans Floyd C. Baker and Mike Stephenson will perform the traditional wreath placement at the soldiers’ memorial on the southeast side of the courthouse. Fellow serviceman Bill Camp will lead the gathering in the Pledge of Allegiance.

Sonny Smyser of the Lancaster Church of Faith  will lead the invocation prior to the performance of the National Anthem by the Memphis Community Players, who will also provide additional patriotic music for the service.

Judge Gary Dial will again have the honor of introducing the service’s guest speaker.

Following Gieseke’s speech, veteran Jamie Parker will sing Sleep Soldier Boy.

Following the benediction by Smyser, the VFW members will present a 21 gun salute before the performance of taps by service member Melinda Briggs with ECHO played by Chris Kempke.

The service is open to the public. In case of inclement weather, the program will be moved indoors at the VFW post.

Fifty-Seven Units of Blood Donated at Spring Blood Drive

The spring community blood drive held on May 8th at the First Baptist Church of Memphis resulted in the donation of fifty-seven units of blood to the American Red Cross. We would like to thank all those who took time out of their busy day to come and donate.

Of the sixty-seven people who came out to donate, five were first-time donors: Laura Carr, Reilly Shoemaker, Luke Triplett, Matthew Woods and Mark Zeiset. May this mark the beginning of a lifelong habit of helping others through this life-saving gift.

The following donors are recognized for reaching their respective donation goals: a one-gallon pin was awarded to Harley D. Saulmon and a two-gallon pin, to Mike M. Blain. Carol McCabe earned a five-gallon pin, Sara Frederick earned a seven-gallon pin, and Bruce Childress was awarded an eight-gallon pin. David M. Ahland earned his fourteen-gallon pin. Way to go, Mike! But, the greatest achievement goes to Larry Riney who has reached 20 gallons, which is equivalent to 160 units of blood. This is the average total amount collected from two of our community blood drives. Thanks, Larry, you are an encouragement to us all and remind us that even one committed person can really make a big difference. Let’s be encouraged by their commitment, knowing that we, too, can make a difference, Congratulations to all these who have reached their respective goals and to all first-time donors. Your much-needed donations are greatly appreciated.

Special thanks are in order to Lighthouse of Faith for their generous supply of homemade cookies, to Community Bank for providing sandwiches, to Pizza Hut for donating free pizzas to student donors and to J’s Food for providing orange juice to all donors. And a very special thank you to all the local Red Cross volunteers for making this event possible by serving food and drinks to donors and providing comfort and support to both the Red Cross workers and all who give. God Bless!

BABY CICERO

Mandi and Chris Cicero, along with sisters, Kara and Alexis, would like to announce the birth of Christina Violet Cicero, born May 2, 2018 at Capital Region Medical Center.  She was born at 3:19 p.m., weighed 7 lbs 14 oz and was 21 ½ inches long.  She is the granddaughter of Wayne and Terri Bulen, Stephanie Cicero, and Kelly Wiles.

BABY BUCKNER-DAVIS

Kira Stark of Kahoka and Dante Davis of Kahoka are the parents of a son, Trevon Land Buckner-Davis, born May 12, 2018 at 8:45 a.m. at Scotland County Hospital in Memphis. Trevon weighed 6 lbs 8 oz and was 20.5 inches long. Grandparents are Dede Segovia of Kahoka; Steven Stark of Kahoka; Carissa Smith of Keokuk, IA; and Rick Davis of Keokuk, IA.

BABY HILL

Justin and Diana Hill of Bloomfield, IA are the parents of a son, Maverick Gabriel Hill, born May 5, 2018 at 8:06 p.m. at Scotland County Hospital in Memphis. Maverick weighed 7 lbs 14.8 oz and was 21.5 inches long. Grandparents are Monty and Isle Hill of Bloomfield, IA; Jim and Linda Snowbarger or Marshalltown, IA; and Thomas Upton of Mediapolis, IA.

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