June 26, 2008

Natural Disaster Drives Local Family to Riverside Communities

by Toby Champion

Well, Id just finished a chunk of work for a client and needed a break, and to be honest, it all sounded pretty exciting and might just be a once-in-a-lifetime chance to see a real-life natural disaster in action. So I suggested we throw some stuff into our campervan and drive down the next day. Michelle was up for it, and the plan immediately evolved into an attempt, however small, to help folks out down there with sandbagging or whatever they needed. So later that afternoon I collected a bright-red, fiberglass shovel the Memphis Democrat bought for the trip, and grabbed some gardening gloves and boots to throw in with our usual trip kit.

When we arrived in Hannibal, we learnt from the Hannibal Courier-Post that work on reinforcing the levee had pretty much finished, and that our help was more likely to be appreciated in either of the much smaller towns of Canton, 12 miles north of Quincy - with an aging levee many doubted would hold - and Clarksville, 25 miles south of Hannibal, with only the makeshift levee being built right now. We were tired though, so decided to spend the night in Hannibal for now.

We walked down to the riverside to see how high the river was. There were signs all along, hanging from orange and white tape, demanding we STAY OFF LEVEE, but we thought that just meant stay off the very top, so we pushed the stroller up and peered over the side anyway. Wow. The other side of the river certainly seemed a long way away. Pretty much everything on the other side of the levee was underwater, including most of the Welcome to Hannibal sign. Dramatic, exciting, awe-inspiring, curious and downright depressing all at once.

Pretty soon a cop on a mountain bike approached us and told us we werent supposed to be there, in a firm-but-fair sort of a way. Oops. Down we came, feeling lucky that we were neither ticketed nor arrested. We couldnt figure out what the big deal was about staying away, and were only to discover just why towns are policing their levees so heavily on the last day of our trip.

Michelle took our eight-month-old son Adam back to the motel to get him to sleep, and I continued wandering. It turned out the best place to be in Hannibal to see things close up was on the road-bridge that takes route 79 over Bear Creek to the south of the town. From the top of the bridge I could see the sort of thing you always see on TV during floods: the tops of road-signs and roofs above the water. Eerie, but also, it being just after sunset and with a whopping-great moon appearing above the trees on the south side of town, quite beautiful. When a launch carrying a couple of National Guard guys motored quietly around the walls of the very-much-underwater Clemens Field ballpark, its searchlight bouncing cleanly off the mucky, murky water, it all looked very pretty indeed. It got me thinking about how theres beauty to be found in a lot of otherwise nasty situations. And this is nasty: as I write, 24 people have died in the floods.

On the bridge I met Carol, whod worked the flood with the Salvation Army back in 1993. Despite the levee protecting most of the town that year, it was still a lot of work, handing out mops, disinfectant and food to those whose homes had flooded. She seemed exhausted even by the memory of it all.

Seeing road signs underwater is always an odd sight. Even odder, though, was how Michelle and I both kept noticing road and other signs looking strange throughout our brief trip.

The next morning, after breakfast at the Mark Twain Dinette, we packed up and made a break for Clarksville the long way round, as route 79 was underwater just past the Mark Twain Caves. On the way, discovering that the Champ Clark Bridge taking the 54 across just north of the town was closed, we headed into Louisiana to find out why. We parked just this side of the bridge, and I walked onto the bridge to take a look. I ended up walking the 300-yard round-trip to the other side, and it was a pretty intense experience. Id not walked over the Mississippi before, and to do it when it was this wide, this quiet, and this threatening, was something special. The only company I had on the bridge was a biker who passed me there and back. The bridge, Ive since learnt, has become quite the tourist attraction. Im glad others will be able to have this unusual experience.

Once back on the east side, we drove downtown. This was where it starts getting real. The stuff you normally only see on TV, right in front of you. 3rd Streetthe 79was flooded as far as we could see. A trailer just up from the water, piled with a familys possessions, a king-size mattress plonked on top. Family and friends completing a wall covered in black plastic sheeting round the front of their house: those that arent standing in a green Jon boat are wearing waders. A guy in a pale-blue pick-up with mud stuck on the bottom is handing out white aluminum cans of drinking water to their tired-looking neighbours. And another bunch of family and friends are building a wall around their house, which looks like its on its very own island. To add the feeling that things are a bit rushed, theres a four-foot pile of sand ready to go in bags... the pile is in a foot of water.

When youre watching this kind of stuff on TV, sometimes you wonder how you can help. Maybe make a call, send some money. When I was down there though, I felt like a useless idiot. I wanted to offer to help, but the embarrassing truth is that I did my back in on Monday mowing the yard. I could barely lift my 13-pound baby, let alone a 75-pound sandbag. Michelle was going to have to do the actual helping, and she was hanging out with Adam back on Main Street. Rigid with worries that someone was going to ask me who I was and what I was doing here, I sloped off, past the first of many pipes I saw chucking flood-water out of basements. The arc was about eight-foot long.

At the front of a red-brick building that used to be Louisiana Plastic Inc. Warehouse No. 1, with cute fake windows painted on the sides, there was the whole flood-defence set-up: three feet of sandbags with white 4mm plastic sheet thrown over; two or three bags on top of that; a step-ladder over the whole thing; and a couple of green plastic pipes taking water pumped out. And a mug of coffee sat on top.

By this time I was glad our next and final stop would be somewhere where we knew we could actually help. Just before we left we met Kirsty, a nurse whose daily commute is south along the 79. Were just idiot flood tourists, I explained. Oh, me too. But Im going down to Clarksville next to help with sandbagging. Ooh, so are we! I explained, relieved that she could relate to my feeling a bit silly and excited that suddenly, we were all in it together, teaming up and helping out.

Back in the van, we took the 54 back to Bowling Green, the 61, then WW and W winding through Pike County into picturesque Clarksville.

No chance of being an idiot flood tourist here. Flashing red and blue lights everywhere. A cop stopped us at a roadblock. You here to help? he asked, and suggested we park up the road and wait for a shuttle bus to take us into town. Declining the bus, we walked the few blocks instead, Michelle carrying Adam and me pushing the stroller with the shovel wedged behind our daypack. We were guided by a local through alleys, and the intensity racked up as we approached downtown. National Guard trucks passed loaded with sand, one with I love the army! chalked on the drivers door. Pick-ups carrying filled sandbags and equipment edged by as we detoured onto muddy lawns, our borrowed off-road stroller proving its worth.

Once we hit Howard Street we realized this artists town of 490 residents had become the centre of attention for hundreds of volunteers, scores of National Guard personnel, and the national media. Four satellite trucks, TV cables everywhere, and the roar of three enormous pumps helping prevent the storm drain system from backing up behind the levee. We navigated the stroller through a group of twenty or so young people wearing white tees and yellow headbands, hard at work sandbagging; I later learnt they were inmates brought in to help. We signed in with the AmeriCorps team at City Hall, signed waivers, and tied orange plastic tape around our wrists. Collected some bottles of water, bought some snacks, and headed the long way round to Main Cross Street, where we were to help protect the lumberyard.

Shielded from the river on the east by a makeshift levee eight-feet high, with the water already a few feet up, around twenty folk were hard at work filling and placing bags. When we arrived, they were racking their brains for an Irish drinking song to sing. The only one I know escaped my mind in the heat of the moment, so my first real opportunity to help was dashed already. This lot had clearly been at it for hours, and had formed quite the team. Four bag-filling stations formed a square around a pile of sand, each consisting of a couple 2x4s resting on a pair of sawhorses supporting two upside-down traffic cones with their tops sawed off, acting as funnels into which people shoveled sand into bags held up by a colleague on the far side.

I handed Adam to one of the volunteers, and Michelle got on with some sandbag-holding while I joined Bob Reid on a nearby seat. He clearly deserved the break. Bob helps run the Clarksville Museum, and had been working the last five days to get all of our treasures up above the 93 level. We got five feet of concrete blocks, made a frame from 2x4s on top of them, then turned our display cases sideways and put them on top of that frame. In our office, theres a stairway to a little storage room, over the entryway. You cant walk in their sideways: weve just got it stacked clean to the ceiling... So I have a feeling that everything will Im gonna think positive. Im optimistic that everything will be alright.

Bob boasted that the plantings round the outside of the museum had been planned with the flood in mind: arborist Monica Barker chose species that would survive a flood. Yellowtwig dogwood, stuff like that. So she thought ahead of time. Those plants can resist being drowned for a while.

Charlie Meyers, an employee at the lumberyard and long-time Clarksville resident, explained that quite a few of the helpers were builders who needed the yard to stay in business. The group, I was surprised to learn, had no one in charge, and had previously been helped by some Amish, a Boy Scout group, prisoners, the National Guard and a couple of folks from St. Louis.

So, we did end up helping for an hour or so. Michelle held sandbags, and I even managed to get some action out of that shovel, as you can see in the photo. People seemed to really enjoy Adams presence, which is always nice to see.

When wed had enough, we walked back to the van along the roads wherever possible. We noticed more signs, including one under a foot of water that read ROAD CLOSED 1 MILE AHEAD. The drive on the W back to the 61 was pretty hairy. We were passed by a lot of big trucks carrying sand, and none of them were holding back.

We spent another couple of nights in Hannibalwhere the water had gone down a foot since we were first there, because of breaches upstreamand I watched Worlds Most Amazing Videos and rested my back.

On Friday, with me finally off the Tylenol, we left for home, stopping at Quincy and Canton on the way. The Memorial Bridge is closed as the west end is underwater, and the riverfront park on the Quincy side is under too. I mooched down to the riverfront. I met a tall, black pony-tailed guy with a camera round his neck hanging around a couple of boats getting ready to leave. I asked if he knew where the boats were going. Well, I dont know about that one, but this one is taking me to see my house and farmland, which is all underwater. I gulped. Im sorry. I offered. I appreciate that. Hope it works out in the end, I said. Yeh, in the end, itll be okay. We let him get on with his life and got back on the road.

Our final visit was with Canton, which over the previous week had National Guard and volunteers reinforcing its aging levee. We only spent five minutes or so there, and were struck that the town seemed deserted and that the town is very, very flat indeed. We tried to take a shortcut back onto the 61, but had to stop as the road goes through a break in the levee, and was closed by a wall of sandbags, staffed by a couple of National Guard guys.

That trailer home over there, the owners just upped and left, drove it out with their truck, at three in the morning. And the guards could explain why the levees are being so heavily policed: Some guy in Quincy in 1993 had had this big row with his girlfriend, and didnt want her to come home, so he got up onto a levee and started pulling bags out of it. It gave way in the end, and a lot got flooded. Hes still in jail. That was James Scott, who was convicted of intentionally causing a catastrophe.

As we headed northwest towards Memphis on the 61, we thought wed seen the last of the Mississippi for a while, but several miles on, we were driving with the river right next to us, above us, a mile or two from where it normally runs.

So the Memphis Democrat shovel is still in Clarksville, hopefully no longer necessary, but in a good home nevertheless. Maybe sometime, once things have dried up well pay the place another visit, see the work of some of those artists and figure out where on earth the river was supposed to be that day.

Toby Champion, originally from London, England, relocated to Scotland County a year ago. He, his wife Michelle Day, and their son Adam now call Memphis home.

SCR-I Dominates Newtown-Harris 77-4 in Tourney Opener

Ashleigh Creek scored 10 points in the win over Newtown-Harris.

Ashleigh Creek scored 10 points in the win over Newtown-Harris.

Scotland County went about its work on Monday night in the opener of the Novinger Tourney. The Lady Tigers who are looking for their ninth straight Novinger Tourney title, entered bracket play as the top seed, taking on #8 seed Newtown-Harris.

The Lady Tigers jumped out to a 33-0 lead in the first period and then spent much of the second half trying to avoid scoring too many points en route to a 77-4 victory.

Maddie Brassfield sank a three-pointer to open the contest for SCR-I. Despite never deploying its full-court press, SCR-I’s half court man-to-man defense still generated plenty of turnovers and the Lady Tigers poured in 10 straight points in transition capped by Chelsea Wood. The center picked off an errant pass and went coast-to-coast through traffic for the score.

Scotland County dominated the boards as well, cleaning up missed shots with offensive rebounds. Ashleigh Creek had six first quarter points coming from her work on the offensive glass.

With a home junior varsity game on Monday night as well, SCR-I dressed just seven players for the varsity tourney.  That still offered plenty of depth. Sadie Davis came off the bench to sink a pair of three-pointers in the second period.

SCR-I dialed back the fast break with the big lead. The half court offense proved plenty potent even without the transition game. Newtown-Harris had trouble defending the high-low pass in the post. Wood was the main benefactor, as she received several open looks on nice passes from fellow post player Creek, leading to some easy buckets.

Davis’s second three-pointer of the period just beat the buzzer and gave SCR-I a 53-2 lead at the half.

Scotland County further slowed down the offense in the third period, with Coach Cory Shultz demanding a minimum number of passes before SCR-I took a shot.

The results were much of the same. Bair drained a three pointer on the first possession. Creek and Wood continued their strong games in the paint, cleaning up missed shots with points on the offensive rebounds. But the third period was mostly about the Mad(d)ies. Maddie Brassfield scored in the paint on a nice pass from Bair before converting a three-point play on an offensive rebound. Madie Bondurant added a pair of field goals off the bench as SCR-I extended the lead to 70-2.

SCR-I went into a full-blown stall the final five minutes of the contest, refusing to take wide open shots while running through the offense as the clock ticked away on the 77-4 victory.

Wood finished with 20 points to lead Scotland County to the win. Bair had 19 points and Brassfield had 16 points while Creek finished with 10.

Chelsea Wood goes up for two of her game-high 20 points.

Chelsea Wood goes up for two of her game-high 20 points.

Keller, Coy Wedding

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Matt and Lisa Coy of Kaysville, Utah and Dr. Ronald and Blanche Keller of Memphis, Missouri are pleased to announce the marriage of their children, Joshua McIntosh Keller and Kelsey Rae Coy. They were married September 3, 2016, at the Bountiful Utah Temple of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. That evening they were honored at a reception at the Rock Chapel Courtyard in Kaysville, Utah. After graduating from Davis High School, the bride served 18 months on a Spanish speaking LDS mission in Mesa, Arizona. She is a senior at Brigham Young University where she is studying English and Business Management. Josh attended Scotland County High School before serving two years on an LDS mission in Villahermosa, Mexico. He is currently attending Brigham Young University, preparing for medical school. They reside in Provo, Utah.

2016 Omicron Theta Holiday Homes Tour Sunday

home-tours

The Boyer Retreat, owned by Shelly Boyer and Natalie Cook, located at 229 N. Clay in Memphis, will be one of the homes featured on the 2016 Omicron Theta Holiday Homes Tour.  This Victorian style home underwent restoration and beautiful changes by the previous owners, Keith and Michelle Klein.  The couple also remodeled the home’s kitchen.  With four bedrooms and two bathrooms, Shelly and Natalie are opening the house for lodging.  Their motto is “Let us be your home away from home.”  Home Tour guests are reminded that parking for the Boyer Retreat is limited.  The Omicron Theta Holiday Homes Tour will be held from 1:00-4:00 p.m. Sunday, December 4th.  Tickets will be available the day of the Tour only at Tumbleweeds on the square in Memphis starting at 12:45 p.m.  Ticket price is $10.00 and a portion of the proceeds will go to the Scotland County 4-H Extension Council.

Cooler Temperatures Expected This Winter: Expected Snowfall Between 15 and 20 Inches 

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Temperatures have started to cool and coats and sweatshirts have been pulled out of the closets.

Tony Lupo, University of Missouri professor of atmospheric science, said those coats could get a lot of use this winter, as it could be a tad cooler than the average.

“I’m thinking it’s going to be a little colder than normal,” Lupo said. “This is due to the neutral-to-weak La Nina conditions that are in the Pacific. Generally, when that happens, we get that jet stream that is coming down from Alaska and cutting through the central United States then back up the east coast. It usually leads to cooler conditions in our part of the world.

“I look for that forecast to continue through the winter.”

The average winter temperature hovers around 32 degrees in Missouri. Lupo said that average temperatures should hang around 30 degrees this winter.

“Right now, we’re watching Alaska and Siberia,” Lupo said. “Siberia is pretty snow covered right now. We’re getting cold air masses built up there, which is very normal. There is a lot of cold air on the Russian side of the globe. We watch that to see if it has any tendency to nose into Alaska. When it does, and you get these La Nina situations, the jet stream can punch up into the northern regions and push that cold air into the United States.

“That’s what we’re watching right now. The Siberian cold seems to be deeper and larger than normal.”

Lupo added that precipitation should stay around normal, with 15 to 20 inches falling.

“Typically, in Missouri, you get four inches of snow and it goes away,” Lupo said. “Then you get two inches of snow and it goes away. This year, with cooler temperatures, that snow may stick around a little bit longer.”

If the winter temperatures do average 30 degrees, it will be very different than last year. Lupo said last year’s winter was one of the warmest in Missouri history. Average temperatures were 37 degrees, five degrees above normal.

“That’s a pretty healthy warm anomaly, to be that far above normal,” Lupo said.

Lupo said that Missouri has seen a variety of weather patterns this year. The spring was cooler than normal and the summer was warmer than normal. The summer is usually dry as well, but was wetter in 2016.

“The heat was just constant during the summer months,” Lupo said. “We didn’t get any cool spells and no 100-degree heat. It was very consistent.”

The warm weather continued into the fall.

“Right now, we’re on track to have the second warmest fall ever,” Lupo said. “It’s been unreal. After the warmest fall, in 1931, they had the warmest winter ever. I don’t think that’s going to happen in 2016, but there certainly is precedent for something like that to occur.

“If it doesn’t cool down and this warm fall continues, I’ll be eating crow and we’ll have a very warm winter.”

Regardless of where the temperatures end up, Lupo said it’s important to be prepared for whatever happens, especially if cold weather comes.

“You want to have some things on hand like candles and blankets, put some of that in your car just in case,” Lupo said. “Carry some kitty litter or sand in the back of your trunk. It helps with the weight and, if you are stuck, you can use some of it under your tires to give you traction.

“Just be prepared.”

Lady Tigers Ranked #7 in State to Start Season

The Scotland County Lady Tigers were ranked #7 in the 2016-17 Missouri Basketball Coaches Association preseason poll recently released.

Skyline, which returns the bulk of its lineup from last year’s third place team in state, earned the #1 ranking in girls Class 2.

Hartville slotted in at #2 followed by SCR-I’s new Class 2 District 6 foes, Clopton, ranked at #3.

Plato comes in at #4 with New Franklin, the team SCR-I lost to last season in the state quarterfinals, earning the #5 ranking.

Norwood is ranked just ahead of SCR-I at #6 with Van Buren, Purdy and Tipton rounding out the MBCA Class 2 Missouri Top 10.

Despite going 28-2 last year, Scotland County failed to earn a state ranking until the post season poll, that had the Lady Tigers ranked 9th.

District also features two top 10 teams on the boys side as well.

After knocking off SCR-I in the district championship and advancing to the Elite Eight a season ago, Knox County is ranked #7 in the boys pre-season poll. Clopton is ranked #9.

Hartville is the top ranked boys team in the state in Class 2, followed by Mansfield, Stanberry, Crane, Vienna and Thayer. Ellington is ranked #8 and Purdy comes in at #10.

SCR-I School Menus

Breakfast

Thursday, December 1 – Breakfast Burrito, Choice of Cereal, Toast/Jelly, Orange Wedge/Grapes, Juice/Milk

Friday, December 2 – Sausage/Gravy Biscuits, Choice of Cereal, Apple Cinnamon Muffin, Banana, Juice/Milk

Monday, December 5 – Donuts, Choice of Cereal, Toast/Jelly, Apple Wedges, Juice/Milk

Tuesday, December 6 –Pancakes, Choice of Cereal, Sausage Link, Toast/Jelly, Orange Slices, Juice/Milk

Wednesday, Dec. 7 – Bacon/Egg/Cheese Sandwich, Choice of Cereal, Toast/Jelly, Orange Half, Juice/Milk

Thursday, December 8 – Breakfast Burrito, Choice of Cereal, Toast/Jelly, Orange Wedge/Grapes, Juice/Milk

Lunch

Thursday, December 1 – Chili Soup, Chicken Noodle Soup, Hamburger Bar, Turkey Salad Sandwich, Pickle Spear, Cheese Stick, Saltine Crackers, Cinnamon Apple Slices, Fresh Fruit

Friday, December 2 – Walking Taco, Fish Square/Bun, Diced Tomatoes, Cottage Cheese, Banana

Monday, December 5 – Chicken Nuggets, Fish Sticks, 5th/6th Grade Chef Salad, Macaroni and Cheese, Baked Beans, Chocolate Pudding, Sliced Pears, Fresh Fruit

Tuesday, December 6 – Bar BQ Hamburger, Bar BQ Hot Dogs, 5th/6th Grade Chef Salad, Tomato Slices and Pickles, Oven Ready Fries, Peas, Mandarin Orange Slices, Fresh Fruit

Wednesday, Dec. 7 –Salisbury Steak, Chicken Alfredo, 5th/6th Grade Potato Bar, Whipped Potatoes/Gravy, Broccoli/Cheese Sauce, Applesauce, Fresh Fruit

Thursday, December 8 – Spaghetti/Meat Sauce, Chicken Quesadillas, Hamburger Bar, Green Beans, Garlic Bread, Sliced Peaches, Fresh Fruit

Scotland County Senior Nutrition Center

MENU

Thursday, December 1 – Meatloaf, Scalloped Potatoes, Cauliflower Blend, Mandarin Oranges, Bread, Cake

Friday, December 2 – Catfish Nuggets, Macaroni and Cheese, 7 Layer Salad, Cornbread, Cherry Crisp

Monday, December 5 – Beef Stew, Lettuce Salad, Buttered Corn, Hot Roll, Baked Apples

Tuesday, December 6 – Country Fried Steak, Mashed Potatoes/Gravy, Coleslaw, Peas, Bread, Fruit Crisp

Wed., December 7 – Fried Chicken, Mashed Potatoes/Gravy, Spinach, Hot Roll, Mixed Fruit

Thurs. December 8 – Creamed Chicken/Biscuit, Tomato and Zucchini Blend, Lettuce Salad, Bread, Fruit Salad

ACTIVITIES

Thursday, December 1 – Card Party at 5:00 p.m.

Wednesday, Dec. 7 – Red Hats will join us for lunch today.

Thursday, Dec. 8 – Card Party at 5:00 p.m.

MDC Reports November Firearms Deer Harvest Tops 185,000

A fair share of the larger racks from the nearly 900 antlered bucks harvested in Scotland County rest beside the work desk of local taxidermist Scott Brassfield (pictured above), who said 2016’s firearms season produced an abundance of trophy deer for local hunters.

A fair share of the larger racks from the nearly 900 antlered bucks harvested in Scotland County rest beside the work desk of local taxidermist Scott Brassfield (pictured above), who said 2016’s firearms season produced an abundance of trophy deer for local hunters.

Preliminary data from the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) shows that deer hunters in Missouri harvested 185,066 deer during the November portion of fall firearms deer season, Nov. 12-22. Of the 185,066 deer harvested, 95,383 were antlered bucks, 18,889 were button bucks, and 70,794 were does. Top harvest counties were Howell with 3,910 deer checked, Franklin with 3,738, and Texas with 3,562.

Scotland County hunters checked in 897 antlered bucks, 173 button bucks and 632 does for a total of 1,702 deer. Schuyler County bagged 1,156 deer while Knox County topped out at 1,649 deer and Clark County checked in 1,539 deer.

Last year, Missouri hunters checked 186,542 deer during the 2015 November portion of firearms deer season with 90,094 being antlered bucks, 20,911 being button bucks, and 75,537 being does.

MDC reported three firearms-related hunting incidents during the fall firearms November portion. Two of the three incidents involved self-inflicted firearm wounds and occurred in Barry and Camden counties. The third involved one hunter in a party in Grundy County wounding another while shooting at a deer.

Deer hunting in Missouri continues with archery deer hunting from Nov. 23 through Jan. 15, firearms late youth portion Nov. 25-27, firearms antlerless portion Dec. 2-4, and firearms alternative methods portion Dec. 24 through Jan. 3.

2,944 Deer Checked in During Late Youth Season

The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) reported that young deer hunters ages 6 through 15 checked 2,944 deer during Missouri’s late youth portion of this year’s deer hunting season, Nov. 25-27. Of the 2,944 deer harvested, 1,149 were antlered bucks, 426 were button bucks, and 1,369 were does. Top harvest counties were Pike with 70 deer checked, Howell with 55, and Lincoln and Osage with 52 each.

Scotland County youth hunters checked in 26 deer, including 11 antlered bucks. The total was 16 deer in Schuyler County, with Knox County youth harvesting 28 deer and Clark County kids getting 23 deer.

Last year’s late youth portion harvest total was 2,353 with 664 being antlered bucks, 376 button bucks, and 1,313 does.

National Adoption Month Reminds Missourians That More Than 1,500 Children Are in Need of  Family

foster-adoption

November is National Adoption Month and approximately 1,500 children and youth in Missouri are waiting for a forever home with a loving family.  Every day, the Department of Social Services, Children’s Division and the Missouri Heart Gallery work to raise awareness of the youth and children in foster care who deserve a family they can call their own.

The wait for a forever family is especially hard for teens, approaching adulthood without a nurturing, loving and caring forever family by their side.   A forever family provides the encouragement, guidance, security, and reassurance they need at this crucial time in their life.  Older youth long to have a forever family they can make proud and share memories and celebrate joyful moments. They are anxious to begin their lives with a forever family exploring the world around them, pursuing their dreams, and building a brighter future with a loving family by their side.

Shelley Curry, First Circuit Manager for the Children’s Division reminded the public that anyone can apply to become an adoptive parent in Missouri, as long as they are 21 years old and willing to go through the training and assessment process. You can be with or without children; be single or married, own or rent a home, apartment, condo or other residence that meets licensing standards.

The adoption process includes background checks, health screenings, financial discussions and home assessments.

Basic requirements include:

At least 21 years of age

Complete a child abuse/neglect check and criminal record check (including fingerprints)

Be in good mental and physical health

Have a stable income

Be willing to participate in and complete a free training and assessment process

The Children’s Division is always looking for nurturing individuals who would be interested in becoming adoptive parents and opening their home to one of these incredible older youth or another child in need. If you would like to find out more about these wonderful youth or if adoption or foster parenting is right for you, please visit our Web site at http://www.MOHeartGallery.Org  or call 1-800-554-2222 for more information, or email us at MOheartgallery@adoptex.org.  You may also contact your local Children’s Division office at 660-465-8549 or 660-727-3393. You can make a difference in the life of a child through foster parenting and/or adoption.

On November 29th, U.S. Senators Roy Blunt (MO) and Amy Klobuchar (MN), co-chairs of the Congressional Coalition on Adoption, welcomed Senate passage of their resolution recognizing November as National Adoption Month and November 19th as National Adoption Day.

“Every child deserves a stable, loving home and the foundation for a successful future that it provides,” Blunt said. “As a proud adoptive parent myself, I hope more Americans will use this opportunity to consider expanding their families through the gift of adoption. It has been an honor to work with the adoption community to help connect children who need permanent homes with the devoted parents ready to welcome them into their lives, and I look forward to continuing that effort.”

As co-chairs of the bipartisan CCA, Blunt and Klobuchar work to engage Members of Congress on issues pertaining to children in need of permanent homes, children in the foster care system, and domestic and international child welfare.

Klobuchar added, “Over the years, some of my most memorable work as Senate co-chair of the Congressional Coalition on Adoption has been helping families navigate the often difficult and complicated adoption process. By recognizing November as National Adoption Month and November 19th as National Adoption Day, we help increase awareness about children in need of loving homes and honor the hard work of these nurturing adoptive families.”

Last week, Blunt and Klobuchar joined Representatives Trent Franks (Ariz.) and Brenda Lawrence (Mich.), House co-chairs of the CCA, in sending a letter to the U.S. Department of State expressing concern over new international adoption regulations and the negative impact some of the Department’s proposed changes could have on the adoption process. Blunt and Klobuchar have also worked to resolve pending adoption cases from several countries, including the Democratic Republic of Congo and Nepal.

In July, Blunt and Klobuchar introduced the Vulnerable Children and Families Act, which would help more children living without families or in institutional care find permanent homes by enhancing U.S. diplomatic efforts around international child welfare and ensuring that intercountry adoption to the United States becomes a more viable and fully-developed option.

Last year, Blunt and Klobuchar introduced the Supporting Adoptive Families Act to provide resources for pre- and post-adoption support services, including training, counseling, and mental health treatment.

Blunt and Klobuchar have also co-sponsored the Adoption Tax Credit Refundability Act and the Adoptive Family Relief Act, which was signed into law last year.

Memphis to Host 35th Annual Christmas Bazaar on December 3rd

bazaar-web

The 35th Annual Christmas Bazaar sponsored by Epsilon Iota Chapter of Beta Sigma Phi of Memphis, MO will be held Saturday, December 3rd, 2016, at the Scotland County High School from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.  There is no charge for admission.

A food stand will be open all day.  Doughnuts and coffee will be available in the morning.  Lunch will consist of hot dogs, chili dogs, ham sandwiches, chili, chips, pie, cake, tea, milk, coffee, soft drinks, hot chocolate and bottled water.

Santa pictures will be taken from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.  Child care will be provided again this year for bazaar shoppers.  There is a charge for these two services.

Vendors may set up Friday evening December 2nd between 7:00 p.m. and 10:00 p.m.

Along with our faithful exhibitors over the past 34 bazaars, we have a lot of new crafters with different items to be sold this year.  Come out and do your Christmas shopping and enjoy a meal with family and friends.

Exhibitors will be coming from Iowa, Illinois, and Missouri.

Epsilon Iota Chapter of Beta Sigma Phi has given over $3,300.00 back to the Memphis Community including Scotland County Senior Scholarships for continuing education, donations to school organizations, FBLA, SCR-1 Band, SCAMP, Boys Senior Breakfast, Dictionaries to the Spelling Bee winners and Scotland County After Prom Parents as well as helping with community emergency need assistance, May Day flower delivery, SC Care Center, Methodist Church Christmas Wish program, Head Start Adopt a Child and St. John’s Church Thanksgiving Dinner, just to name a few.

Doors open at 6:30 a.m. on Saturday for additional vendors to set up.  Students will be available to help exhibitors load and unload.  Exhibitors are asked not to leave before 3:30 p.m.

Anyone interested in exhibiting at the Christmas Bazaar, please call: (660) 465-2496 or (660) 465-2668.

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