December 13, 2007

Memphis Man Fixing Military Vehicles 6,600 Miles From Home

Brian Brush is working for Lear Siegler Services, Inc., repairing U.S. marine vehicles in Iraq.

For most folks that commute to work, the long drive typically is a negative. Fortunately for Memphis resident Brian Brush, he decided not to travel back and forth to work this year. That decision was made pretty easy by the fact he is working more than 6,600 miles from home in Iraq.

Brush was back in Memphis over Thanksgiving on a two-week vacation from his position as a mechanic for Lear Siegler Services, Inc.

The former city alderman departed from Memphis in early may to attend 10 days of training and initiation in Houston, TX.

On May 21st he left the United States for Iraq and a one-year commitment to work for the military contractor. As part of the corporations Defense Systems and Services group, Brush is a member of a unit providing system modification and logistics support for government aircraft, tracked and wheeled vehicles, shelters and ground support equipment.

Specifically he is working on United States military vehicles, the majority of which are humvees and the Medium Tactical Vehicle Replacement MTVR, more commonly called the 7-ton truck.

All of this is being done at Camp Fallujah, located approximately 45 minutes west of Baghdad. That is 45 minutes by helicopter, which is the only way brush has ever entered or left the camp.

I can honestly say I have never felt unsafe once at the base, Brush confessed. That said, I still have never ventured outside the wire.

The wire is the secured barbed wire fence that houses the base, which houses only contractors and other non-military personnel.

Brush instead focuses his attention on work, which goes on seven days a week.

On the typical day, Brush is up at 5:00 a.m. and on a bus to the meal hall by 5:30 a.m. After breakfast, the employees answer the muster call at 6:30 a.m. After a 30-minute safety briefing, it is back on the bus. Brush and five fellow mechanics travel to the transportation unit where they work on US Marine Corps vehicles.

The workday closes at 6:00 p.m. with a bus ride back to the main facility, for muster and another safety briefing before being dismissed at 7:00 p.m. After dinner, its a bus ride back to the sleeping quarters, large tents.

The Memphis man then waits patiently with the 300 other employees for access to one of the camps four telephones or four internet connections to send a message back to his family or try to catch up on news from back home.

That is one of the more difficult aspects of life at the camp, Brush said. There is only one TV station and one radio station, so we are limited on what news we hear, Brush admitted.

After that time, Brush said he hits the shower and then normally mingles with co-workers, normally finding time to watch a movie on a neighbors portable DVD player.

A lot of guys have laptop computers and other entertainment to keep them busy after work, he said.

Brush admitted there are plenty of days that folks are not too interested in doing anything after dark except sleep.

After working in 120 degree temperatures, he noted that the mechanics can be pretty drained by the end of the day.

The hottest I saw it was 144-degrees, he said. In July and August the temperatures ranged from 120 to 140 degrees. But we have a system in place that mandates regular breaks when it gets that hot, to make sure no one overheats.

That also means the consumption of large quantities of water.

That was one thing I realized when I got back, he said. I stopped at Caseys and bought a Mountain Dew and I couldnt get over how small the bottle felt in my hand compared to the giant water containers we can down in just a few drinks while working in that heat.

But as the seasons change, the 100-degree nights are being replaced with what we would call fall weather here. Temperatures are still in the 80s during the days, dropping down to the 50s after dark. The mercury will continue to fall, but winter will mean lots of rain instead of snow.

Brush said he is packing his cold-weather gear for his return trip. His final five months in Iraq will include the winter months when temperatures will cool off. Carhart coveralls will be a must as Brush said that most of the vehicles his crew works on are too large for the tent where they work, forcing them to brave the heat, or cold to get the job done.

The work includes second and third level maintenance. The mechanics work directly with the U.S. Marines, handling the more difficult tasks to maintain the trucks and humvees used for military convoys.

While Brush spent approximately 19 hours on planes on his way to Iraq, he said the long distances were erased when he arrived. He rooms with a fellow mechanic from Des Moines, IA and also works regularly with a marine from Quincy, IL, proving it really is a small world.

That isnt to say that his 53-person unit isnt diverse. While 90-percent of the crew has past military backgrounds, their hometowns are scattered across the United States and even Europe, with one man from the Philippines.

While the schedule sounds like all work, Brush said the group does get treated to special events from time to time, including barbecues on Sundays.

While he has lost more than 20 pounds on the job, Brush said it was not due to the food. He praised the cafeteria as well as the other infrastructure at the camp, referring to it as a small-scale town.

He couldnt say the same for the area outside of the camp. While he doesnt see much around the camp, as all of the helicopter traffic is conducted after dark, with no lights, he said he was sad to see the conditions in Baghdad.

The contractors are transported off base to the capital city where the travel on commercial airlines from Baghdad International Airport.

The area shows what it has been through, a war, he said. Obviously the conditions arent great.

The 19 hours of travel commence from there on a plane to Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates. Then it is on to London, before hopping a plane to Chicago, and then down to St. Louis.

It definitely is a long trip, Brush said. Factor in a nine-hour time difference and it really hits you.

Despite the heat, the long days and the jet lag, Brush has a positive response to the year-long adventure.

I have to say that I have enjoyed the experience, he said. And yes, if I had it to do all over again, I would make the same decision to go to Iraq.

Buford Shuts Down Knox County In Conference Tourney Semifinals

Knox County had the bases loaded with just one out in the top of the second inning Saturday afternoon in Moberly in a 0-0 game in the Lewis & Clark Conference Tournament semifinals. But starter Aaron Buford buckled down and struck out Logan Miller and Jacobi Miller to end the scoring threat, and basically end the Eagles chances.

Buford was perfect over the final five innings, retiring the final 17 batters in order.

The Tigers finally got their bats going in the third inning of Knox County starter Isaiah Prebe. Will Pickerell led off with a base hit. Buford walked. Pickerell was caught trying to steal third, but the Tigers kept the pressure on. Gage Dodge plated Buford with a base hit. Will Fromm added a hit before a Knox County error allowed two more runs to score to put SCR-I up 3-0.

Elijah Cooley started the fourth inning with a bunt single. After a hit by Aaron Blessing, Cooley scored on a fielder’s choice by Pickerell. Buford doubled in a run and Dodge added an RBI hit to push the lead to 6-0.

The Tigers tacked on two more tallies in the bottom of the sixth. Blessing tripled and scored on a hit by Buford. Pinch runner Parker Triplett came in to score on a sacrifice fly by Fromm to make the final score 8-0.

Buford notched the shutout, holding the Eagles to just two hits and one walk while striking out 11 over seven innings of work.

He also went 2-3 at the plate with two RBIs and a run scored. Dodge was 2-3 with two RBI and Blessing went 2-3 with a run scored while Lane Pence went 2-4 as the Tigers out hit Knox County 11-2 on the day.

Scotland County improved to 12-0 with the win.

USDA Officials Visit Memphis to Announce $4.6 Million Loan for Wastewater System Upgrades

City of Memphis officials were joined by representatives of the United States Department of Agriculture’s Rural Development Division, and representatives from the offices of Rep. Sam Graves and Sen. Claire McCaskill to announce funding for a municipal wastewater project.

USDA Rural Development Acting Area Director Leann Gleason today announced a Water & Waste Disposal Loan of $4,641,500 to the City of Memphis. The funds are being used to upgrade the existing wastewater treatment system from a discharge to a no-discharge, land application system in order to comply with the Missouri Department of Natural Resources, along with collection system improvements.

“Having a sanitary and up-to-date sewer system is very important to the livelihood of any community. Without wastewater treatment facilities, residences and businesses would not exist,” said Gleason. “The City of Memphis is taking proactive steps to make improvements to their wastewater treatment system for long term use. We are proud to be in partnership with the city to assure they have a system in place to preserve and improve the quality of life for the community.”

Memphis has operated a centralized sewer system for several decades. The city currently owns and operates a sewer collection and treatment system consisting of one facultative lagoon system and a combination of gravity sewer, lines and collective force mains. After the upgrades, the City of Memphis’ wastewater treatment facility will comply with the current MO DNR requirements.

The Water & Waste Disposal Loan and Grant Program provides funding for clean and reliable drinking water systems, sanitary sewage, disposal, sanitary solid waste’ disposal, and storm water drainage to households and businesses in eligible rural areas. Further information on additional programs is available by visiting the USDA Missouri Rural Development website at http://www.rd.usda.gov/mo. Interested parties may also. contact the Kirksville Area Office at (660) 665-3274 Ext 4.

USDA, through its Rural Development mission’ area, has an active portfolio of more than $216 billion in loans and loan guarantees. These programs are designed to improve the economic stability of rural communities, businesses, residents, farmers and ranchers and improve the quality of life, in rural America.

NANCY JUNE BARNES (9/13/1942 – 4/24/2017)

Nancy June Barnes, age 74, of Edina, MO, passed away Monday, April 24, 2017, in Edina, MO.  She was born September 13, 1942 in Peoria, IL the daughter of Perry Riley and Zerita Faye Wright Meeks.

She was united in marriage to Gerald James Barnes on April 10, 1960, in Edina, MO, and he preceded her in death on September 3, 2011.  Nancy was also preceded in death by her parents, one brother Hollis Meeks, two sisters Jewel Skelton and Virginia Meeks.

Surviving are three children, Brenda Strange of Edina, MO, Jimmy (Sharon) Barnes of Novinger, MO, and Richard (Teresa) Barnes of LaPlata, MO, one brother Perry (Ruth) Meeks of Wheaton, IL, eight grandchildren, Juston and friend Mindy, John and wife Kim, Eric and friend Traci, Todd and friend Sabrina, Mark and friend Sara, Shyanne and husband Jerome, Kylea and husband Cody and Lexi, eight great grandchildren, Ava, Paisley, Addison, Brylee, Ariel, Eliza, Scotty and Krystina, several brothers and sisters-in-law, Darrell, Harold and Linda Barnes, Stanley Purdin, Donna Patterson, Sandra Hoskins, Kay Cassidy, Larry, Ronnie and Jana Barnes, Donna and Perry Meeks.  Several nieces, nephews and cousins.

Nancy received her education in Scotland County.  She was employed for 19 years with Edina Elementary and Knox County High School as a Cook.  She was also employed with Knox County Home Health, Midge’s Greenhouse and Knox County Nursing Home.  Nancy enjoyed being with her family and friends, gardening, quilting and reading books.  She was a past 50 year member of Colony Eastern Star, and an active member of the Edina First Christian Church.

Funeral services will be held 10 a.m. Saturday, April 29, 2017, in the Hudson-Rimer Funeral Home, in Edina, MO.  Reverend Dewayne Wellborn will officiate the services assisted by Steve Miller.  Burial will be in the Linville Cemetery.

Music will be Rita Worthington and Wynona Banks.  Selections will include In The Garden.

Casket bearers will be John Strange, Todd Strange, Mark Strange, Phillip Spory, Dave Fagan and Joe Campbell.

Honorary bearers will be brothers and sisters-in-law and Perry Meeks, Lexi Barnes, Eric Strange and Juston Barnes.

Visitation will be held Friday, April 28, 2017, after 4 p.m. with family receiving friends from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. in the Hudson-Rimer funeral Home in Edina, MO.

Memorials may be made to Edina First Christian Church or Hospice Compasses.   Memorials may be left at or mailed to Hudson-Rimer Funeral Home, P.O. Box 1, Edina, MO 63537.

Classified Ads

GARDEN TILLERS FOR SALE – Rear and front tine tillers.  All makes and sizes.  Lots of Troy Bilts. Kahoka, MO 660-216-1809.

FARMER’S MARKET – Each Thursday starting May 4, 2017 at Memphis Medical Building (SC Hospital). 2:00-6:00 p.m.  Vendors welcome to join us.

JUST ARRIVED – Garden Seed, Seed Potatoes and Onion Sets are in at  Countryside Flowers. 465-8521.

HOUSE FOR RENT – Three bedroom house in Memphis.  No Smoking. Call 660-341-4819.

FOR SALE – Fresh homegrown asparagus.  Call 660- 945-3020.

FOR SALE – Green Mountain Pellet Grill, Daniel Boone Model.  Works perfect. Paid over $600, will take $500, OBO.  Still 1½ year guarantee remaining.  Includes grill cover and a bag of pellets.  Contact Richard Harper at 660-328-6216 or 660-341-4327.

FOR SALE – 4 plots in the New Catholic Cemetery, Edina, Section NE West half F11.  Good location in upright stone section. 660-627-1688.

MULTI-FAMILY GARAGE SALE – Friday, April 28 (8-4) and Saturday, April 29 (8-12).  Tons of shirts and dresses, shoes and coats, boys’ and girls’ clothes up to 2T, new infant caps, changing table, high chair, car seats, sweeper, Cabella’s Camp Chairs, rocking chair/ottoman, grill (propane), meat grinder, baked goods and much more.  One mile west of Memphis, Good Residence.  Beside Ed’s Machinery.

SCR-I School Menus

Breakfast

Thursday, April 27 – Breakfast Burrito, Choice of Cereal, Toast/Jelly, Orange Wedge/Grapes, Juice/Milk

Friday, April 28 – Sausage/Gravy, Biscuits, Choice of Cereal, Chocolate Chip Muffin, Banana, Juice/Milk

Monday, May 1 – Mini Breakfast Bites, Choice of Cereal, Cinnamon Biscuit, Orange Slices, Juice/Milk

Tuesday, May 2 – Cinnamon Rolls, Choice of Cereal, Toast/Jelly, Orange Rings, Juice/Milk

Wednesday, May 3 – Bacon/Egg/Cheese Sandwich, Choice of Cereal, Toast/Jelly, Fruit Medley, Juice/Milk

Thursday, May 4 – Breakfast Burrito, Choice of Cereal, Toast/Jelly, Orange Wedge/Grapes, Juice/Milk

Lunch

Thursday, April 27 – Goulash, Chicken Stir Fry, Hamburger Bar, Green Beans, Dinner Roll, Fruit Cocktail, Fresh Fruit

Friday, April 28 – Walking Taco, Fish Sticks, Diced Tomatoes, Cottage Cheese, Sliced Peaches, Fresh Fruit

Monday, May 1 – Mini Corn Dogs, Chicken Nuggets, 5th/6th Grade Chef Salad, Macaroni and Cheese, Mixed Vegetables, Chocolate Pudding, Mandarin Orange Slices, Fresh Fruit

Tuesday, May 2 – Cheeseburger/Bun, Chicken Patty/Bun, 5th/6th Grade Taco Bar, Oven Ready Fries, Tomato Slices and Pickles, Applesauce, Fresh Fruit

Wednesday, May 3 – Pork Choppette, Chicken and Noodles, 5th/6th Grade Potato Bar, Whipped Potatoes/Gravy, Buttered Corn, Dinner Roll, Sliced Pears, Fresh Fruit

Thursday, May 4 – Spaghetti/Meat Sauce, Chicken Wrap, Hamburger Bar, Green Beans, Garlic Bread, Applesauce, Fresh Fruit

Scotland County Senior Nutrition Center

MENU

Thursday, April 27 – Roast Pork, Mashed Potatoes/Gravy, Bread, Sauerkraut, Cranberry Sauce, Pudding

Friday, April 28 – Fish Fillets, Sweet Potatoes, Broccoli Salad, Peas, Cornbread, Cream Pie

Monday, May 1 – Juicy Burger/Bun, French Fries, Cauliflower Blend Veggies, Peaches, Cookie

Tuesday, May 2 – Meatloaf, Baked Potato, Marinated Tomatoes, Lima Beans, Slice Bread, Pudding

Wednesday, May 3 – Fried Chicken, Mashed Potatoes/Gravy, Buttered Corn, Hot Roll, Fruit Salad

Thursday, May 4 – Ham and Beans, Carrot-Pineapple Salad, Buttered Beats, Cornbread, Cake

ACTIVITIES

Thursday, April 27 –Card Party at 5:00 p.m.

Wednesday, May 3 – Red Hats will join us for lunch today.

Thursday, May 4 –Card Party at 5:00 p.m.

SC Ministerial Alliance Plans for National Day of Prayer Thursday, May 4

Dion Elmore, Chief Communications Officer of the National Day of Prayer Task Force, states, “The National Day of Prayer is not just a vital part of America’s heritage, but is as relevant and critical today as it was at the first call by our Continental Congress in 1775.”  Established in public law by a joint resolution of Congress signed by President Truman in 1952, then amended to designate the day under the 100th Congress and President Reagan in 1988, it states that “The President shall issue each year a proclamation designating the first Thursday in May as a National Day of Prayer on which the people of the United States may turn to God in prayer and meditation at churches, in groups and as individuals.”

Elmore goes on to say, “As our nation struggles with foreign and domestic threats, economic insecurity, cultural tensions, and continual challenges to basic constitutional rights, citizens of the United States are preparing to heed the call by our elected leaders to exercise one of their most precious freedoms – the right to gather, turn to God, and pray.  In response, millions will assemble at thousands of local events across the nation, where they will take time out of their daily schedules to intercede on behalf of their communities, their nation, and their leaders.”

The theme for the 2017 National Day of Prayer observation is For Your Great Name’s Sake! Hear Us…Forgive Us…Heal Us! Based upon Daniel 9:19, it emphasizes our need as a nation to cry out to God who is sovereign over all governments and authorities; “O Lord, Listen! O Lord, Forgive! O Lord, Hear and Act!”

The Scotland County Ministerial Alliance invites everyone to the First Christian Church in Memphis on Thursday, May 4th at noon to join them in praying for our nation.

Preparation is Key to Successful Blood Donation

Healthy individuals are needed every day to maintain an adequate blood supply for patients in need.  Once a donor has made the commitment to give blood, it is important to take a few simple steps to prepare and help ensure a good donation experience.

The Red Cross recommends getting a good night’s sleep, eating a good breakfast or lunch, and drinking water and fluids to help replace the volume you will donate.  Additionally, they suggest avoiding caffeinated beverages and eating iron-rich foods to boost your iron level.

Donating blood is an easy way to help others and only takes about an hour of your time.  The Red Cross encourages donors to give blood every time they are eligible: every 56 days for whole blood donations and every 112 days for double red cell donations.

Make an appointment and encourage your family and friends to donate on Tuesday, May 9, 2017 from 1:30-6:00 p.m. at the First Baptist Church, 910 N. Weaver in Memphis.

Simply call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or visit redcrossblood.org to make an appointment or for more information.  All blood types are needed to ensure a reliable supply for patients.  A blood donor card or driver’s license or two other forms of identification are required at check-in.  Individuals who are 17 years of age (16 with parental permission in some states), weigh at least 110 pounds and are in generally good health may be eligible to donate blood.  High school students and other donors 18 years of age and younger also have to meet certain height and weight requirements.

The American Red Cross provides shelter, food and clothing to victims of disasters; supplies more than 40 percent of the nation’s blood; teaches lifesaving skills; ministers international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families.  The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission.  For more information, please visit redcross.org or join their blog at blog.redcross.org.

Sheriff’s Office to Offer Drug Take Back Day

The Scotland County Sheriff’s Office is participating in National Prescription Drug Take Back Day on April 29, 2017.

Expired or no longer needed prescription drugs can be dropped off at the Sheriff’s Office on the north end of the lower floor of the Courthouse in Memphis from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

While the Sheriff’s Office will take medications all year long, this day and time focuses awareness about disposing of medications in a environmentally safe way.

Having a dedicated disposal date also assists with eliminating the potential for abuse or accidental ingestion by an adult or child who has not been prescribed the medication.

All medications are eligible to be taken back with the exception of inhalers or aerosol-propelled medications, or any kinds of needles or “sharp?. api-pens (epinephrine injectors) can be accepted only if they are in a box.

Spring clean the medicine cabinet knowing you have place to go with what you no longer want or need!

Local Students Receive State FFA Degrees

SCR-I seniors Sadie Davis, Lane Mohr, Calesse Bair, and McKaela Bradley each received their State FFA Degree at the 89th Annual Missouri FFA Convention held in Columbia April 21-22, 2017.

Four members of the Memphis FFA Chapter, Calesse Bair, McKaela Bradley, Sadie Davis, and Lane Mohr, received their State FFA Degree, the highest degree members can receive at the state level.

The Memphis FFA members were 4 of 761 degree recipients who received the honor during the State FFA Degree Ceremony at the 89th Missouri FFA Convention. The annual convention was held April 20-21 at the Hearnes Center in Columbia, Missouri.

Awarding of the degree is based on a member’s supervised agricultural experience program in agribusiness or production agriculture and leadership ability as demonstrated through involvement in FFA, school, and community activities. The State FFA Degree award charms are sponsored by MFA Inc., Columbia.

“The State FFA Degree is the highest recognition a state can award, representing three percent of the total Missouri FFA membership per year,” said State FFA Advisor Leon Busdieker.

Embrace Change, Respect Tradition was the theme for this year’s Missouri FFA Convention More than 8,500 youth and guests were in attendance.

The Missouri FFA has 26,057 members representing 342 chapters. The national organization has more than 649,000 members representing 7,589 chapters in all 50 states, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

The FFA makes a positive difference in the lives of students by developing their potential for premier leadership, personal growth and career success through agricultural education.

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