July 16, 2009

What if?

by Chris Feeney

What if logic was a requirement in school? Sure, Spock was always my favorite Star Trek character, but right now I wish someone in the post office would do a bit of sound reasoning so we can all live long and prosper.

In difficult economic times such as these many businesses are being forced to make budget cuts, often resulting in layoffs. The United States Postal Service has been dealing with declining mail count for years, so the recession is simply compounding these problems to the tune of a drop off of more than 9 billion fewer pieces mailed last year.

The USPS is currently conducting roughly 30 Area Mail Processing (AMP) studies of postal processing centers across the nation to determine if they can be consolidated. One of those sites currently being reviewed is Quincy, IL.

The reality is we have an excess of equipment, staff and facilities to process a declining volume of mail, said Loretta Toliver USPS customer relations manager in St. Louis. Consolidating some postal operations only makes logical business sense given the economic realities. It would be fiscally irresponsible not to do so.

I understand that if there isnt enough business to make a profit, a business must make cuts. One of the fastest ways for a company to cut costs is reduce payroll. But after meeting with representatives of the postal service in Quincy on Thursday, that doesnt appear to be an option under the USPS unions current contract.

Another option is to liquidate assets. Im not sure if that is a consideration here, but one has to wonder if the USPS isnt looking at moving all of the Quincy Center on to Springfield, IL, for a complete consolidation. That would allow the company to sell its Quincy facility.

I guess that building must be worth a ton, because thats the only logical explanation for a plan that calls for shipping mail addressed to 11 counties in northeast Missouri and similar numbers in southeastern Iowa and western Illinois an additional 108 miles, one-way to be sorted. Then the mail would be loaded back up and travel that 108 miles back to Quincy before being distributed to the satellite post offices across this region.

Apparently the Springfield, IL, center is being under utilized. Someone, somewhere has discovered this and devised a proposal to transfer at least a portion of Quincys workload to this center to better utilize its workforce. According to postal union officials, the mail likely wont be the only thing making the four and a half hour commute, as the workers at the Quincy plant likely will have to transfer to some other facility or risk losing their job.

As we all know, there are just 24 hours in the day. If you consume 4.5 hours driving the mail further away from where it needs to be delivered, obviously this is going to impact its delivery, likely pushing the service back an additional day at least thanks to the added commute.

Im not sure what the Springfield facility is like, but I know that the Quincy sorting center is considered state of the art, and is less than 10 years old. It also sits a whopping two stop signs away from immediate access to the interstate. Sounds like a pretty choice location.

Im going to go out on a limb here, tossing out a logical alternative to the USPS. If the Springfield center is under utilized, why not look at transferring some of its workforce to other facilities. It sounds like it is the center that should be undergoing the AMP study.

Since the bulk of my newspapers were rerouted from St. Louis to the Quincy, IL, sorting center I have seen a dramatic improvement in the quality of service.

The USPS states the goal of an AMP is to increase efficiency and improve productivity to allow for the continuation of universal service at a reasonable cost. Whats missing from this mission statement is service. If the USPS consolidates the Quincy center, Scotland County and dozens of other counties have to question what impact this will have on our service.

As a newspaper, I depend upon the postal service to reach more than 1,500 readers each week. No one wants to read old news. Bottom line is this move is going to effect my bottom line. If thats the case, it is going to hurt the USPS profit margin as well, because if I lose subscribers, they lose those mail pieces too. Getting your paper a day or two later is a hassle, but how about your prescription medicine or that overdraft notice from the bank?

If you agree that the Quincy, IL, Processing and Distribution Annex is worth fighting for, please offer your input to Consumer Affairs Manager at 1720 Market St. Room 1015, St. Louis, MO 63155-9631. (Good business logic here, they dont offer a telephone contact or an e-mail address at which to offer input).

Scotland County Library Presents ‘Build a Better World’ Summer Reading Program

Readers of all ages will explore exciting things this summer as the Scotland County Library presents “Build a Better World” during their summer library program.  The 2017 Summer Reading Program is open to young people ages three through 6th grade with programs and prizes.

Registration for “Build a Better World” begins Monday, June 5th, and the last day to collect prizes will be Friday, July 21st.  Prizes will be awarded based on hours spent reading.

Weekly programs will also be presented at 10:00 a.m. each Wednesday beginning June7th. The first program will feature Jeff Dyer’s presentation of a famous Scotland County resident.  On June 14th, Karen Armstrong of the Missouri Department of Conservation will give an animal presentation.  Other programs will include the Scotland County R-1 FFA presenting a Petting Zoo, Kim Ludwick of the Scotland County Health Department, and Brian Whitney and members of the Memphis and Scotland County Fire Departments.

For more information, call the library at 660-465-7042.  All programs are free of charge.

Residential Terrace Hosts 20th Annual Car Show

The soggy streets and roads didn’t keep 30 diehard vehicles from showing off at the 20th Annual Residential Terrace Car Show on Saturday, May 20th.

The residents of both the Scotland County Care Center and Residential Terrace were thrilled to view the vehicles in the parking lot. The weather threatened rain and was chilly so most viewing was from the many windows. Some brave residents ventured out for a closer look.

Memphis Mayor William Reckenberg awarded Alan Hufford with the Mayor’s Award for his bright yellow 1972 Chevy Nova.

The residents chose a red 1993 Chevy S-10 owned by John and Donna Austin from Memphis as their favorite color.

The vehicle with the most memories was a 1951 Pontiac Chieftain owned by Ewing and Louise Dean from Kirksville.

The fun car award was a 1965 Volkswagen owned by Larry and Michell Balanda from Anchorage, AK.

The fancy car award was a 2015 Chevrolet SS owned by Michell and Larry Balanda from Anchorage, AK.

Peoples’ choice award was a 1955 Chevy Bel Air convertible owned by Gary Harris from Moulton, IA.

Other awards for the top 10 cars, top 3 pickups and top motorcycle were awarded also.

A special plaque was awarded to Jerry Grosenkemper for his volunteering and dedication for the past 20 years of this car show.

As always, the organizers expressed their appreciation to all who helped and participated in this year’s show.

Tague Attends ‘Chosin Few’ Reunion in Springfield

Left to right: Don “Buck” Tague, Dr. Baes Suk Lee, Jong Kook Lee. Baes Suk Lee (center) was part of the Army in Korea, serving as an interpreter – in his capacity to do so – even though he was a youth at the time. He came to the U.S. post Korean War. Jong Kook Lee (right) , the Consulate General of the Republic of (South) Korea , stationed in Chicago, presented Tague (and other veterans) with the Korean Government’s Ambassador of Peace Medal at this reunion.

submitted by Sandra Kalman

Don “Buck” Tague of Gorin attended a Korean War battle reunion in Springfield, Missouri, May 18 to 20.

Commemorating the Korean War Battle of Chosin Reservoir, survivors of that battle have taken to calling themselves: “The Chosin Few.”

This particular reunion was the U.S. Army Chapter reunion of The Chosen Few – another association holds reunions for both Marines and Army survivors together and Tague attends those Korean War reunions too.  He also attends World War II reunions with his Patton’s Third Army 65th Infantry Division Association.

The Battle of Chosin Reservoir lasted from late November, 1950, until the end of December, making this reunion not quite 67 years post battle.  Details of the battle are not pretty.  Tague played a part in the Army’s 79th Construction Engineering Battalion in Korea.

An interesting editorial written about this reunion by a local Springfield physician, Yung Hwang, M. D., published prior to the reunion, said the purpose of this reunion was “To honor the surviving veterans and the memory of those who died during that decisive battle…”

Hwang said:  “On the eve of Chosin Few coming to town, the Korean community will warmly welcome and happily join in their memorial service as we are also hoping North Korean and Chinese communism will stop their bad behaviors against the world.”

Several highlights of the reunion are described in text accompanying photographs in a Fathers’ Day ad, placed here by Tague’s proud children.

About the general feeling of the reunion, Buck’s son, David, said:  “They were glad to be here.”

Scotland County Senior Nutrition Center

MENU

Thursday, May 25 – Roast Pork, Mashed Potatoes/Gravy, Sauerkraut, Cranberry Sauce, Slice Bread, Pudding

Friday, May 26 – Fish Fillets, Sweet Potatoes, Broccoli Salad, Peas, Cornbread, Cream Pie

Monday, May 29 – Memorial Day, Center Closed, No Meals

Tuesday, May 30 – BBQ or Plain Pork/Bun, Scalloped Potatoes, Cauliflower Blend Veggies, Pears, Cookies

Wednesday, May 31 – Chicken Strips, Mashed Potatoes/Gravy, Buttered Corn, Bread, Fruit Salad

Thursday, June 1 – Ham and Beans, Carrot-Pineapple Salad, Buttered Beets, Cornbread, Cake

ACTIVITIES

Thursday, May 25 – Card Party at 5:00 p.m.

Monday, May 29 – Memorial Day, Center Closed

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

Regularly Scheduled Audit of Scotland County Underway

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo (May 19, 2017) Missouri State Auditor Nicole Galloway has announced her office has started work on audits of Scotland and Mercer counties, located in northern Missouri.  Audit staff is on-site in both locations, and Auditor Galloway encouraged citizens to submit concerns or information through the dedicated hotline.

“The public deserves a government that is transparent and works efficiently on behalf of its citizens,” Auditor Galloway said. “These audits will provide an independent review, and I encourage anyone who has information to contact my Whistleblower Hotline.”

The most recent audits of Scotland and Mercer counties were completed in 2013 and both counties received good ratings.

Individuals who would like to provide information for consideration in this or any audit may contact the State Auditor’s Whistleblower Hotline at moaudit@auditor.mo.gov or by calling 800-347-8597. Concerns may also be submitted anonymously online at auditor.mo.gov/hotline.

MLRA Late Models to Highlight June 1st Races at Scotland County Speedway

Racing action will return to Scotland County Speedway next week as the Lucas Oil Midwest Late Model Racing Association will kick off a three-day circuit across northeast Missouri and southeast Iowa with a stop in Memphis on Thursday, June 1st.

The MLRA event will highlight a full schedule of events at SCS, paying $3,000 to win the late model feature. Modifieds, sport models and stock cars will all be racing for a $1,000 top prize with sport compacts battling for a $300 payday.

The track will be open from 2 to 4 p.m. for practice at $25 per car. The gates will open at 5:30 p.m. with hot laps at 7 p.m.

The local event is being sponsored by J & J Ag, Memphis Pepsi-Cola, Brain’s Foundation Repair and Crop Production Services.

The MLRA will be racing May 25-27th in Wheatland, MO. After the Memphis stop, the late models will be in action Friday night at Lee County Speedway in Donnellson, IA before heading to Randolph County Speedway in Moberly on Saturday.

On May 4th-6th the circuit was in Iowa, racing at Lee County Speedway, Davenport and Independence with Chris Simpson, Bobby Pierce and Billy Moyer all picking up wins. Thus far in 2017, five races in the books have generated five different winners for the MLRA.

Rush Releases Latest Book ‘You Can’t Make This Stuff Up!!’

Pastor Terry Rush is no stranger to the people of his hometown, Memphis. But while Scotland County residents may know Rush from his frequent visits back home for speaking engagements, or as readers of his newspaper column of one of his books, his latest release starts with a revealing confession.

“All I ever wanted to be was famous.” That is the statement Rush offers to open “You Can’t Make This Stuff Up!!”, his newest book fresh off the press.

Of course that confession was made tongue-in-cheek to the high school guidance counselor, as Rush was clinging to his dream of one day becoming a St. Louis Cardinal. Fittingly enough, he offered stand-up comedian, as his backup plan.

It turns out, God had other plans for Terry. While his professional baseball career never took off, Rush has had plenty of brushes with the fame he joked about.

After offering more than a dozen publication’s Rush penned his latest book in which he reveals how God has continued to send him to the right place at the right time, over and over again, to minister to the famous.

“In my younger days, I would never have guessed that the famous need and want spiritual and emotional support,” said Rush. “Surprised me. We tend to think they’ve got it made. Think again. They need people who care; just as we do.”

It has been the stories of meeting some of these needs that has led Rush to fulfill the new book’s subtitle, “Experiencing God Beyond Imagination”.

“I love people,” Rush says in the opening chapter of the book. “The famous have been ignored because it seems they are assumed to be both unneedy and unreachable. Fans just figure they have no problems.”

Rush goes on to explain in the book that his stardom, didn’t come from becoming a St. Louis Cardinal baseball player as he dreamed of as a young man, but instead only after he became a pastor in Tulsa, Oklahoma and happened upon an ad for adults to attend a Cardinals Baseball Camp to play alongside past and current stars and coaches.

“When I read this article about playing baseball with these heroes, I wondered if God would use me to encourage them,” Rush says in the book. “As I thought of the possibilities, I wept.”

Little did he know that the Legends Camp would only be the beginning of the multitude of opportunities the Lord presented for Rush to interact with the famous and offer God’s encouragement. “You Can’t Make This Stuff Up” is a collection of stories about “chance” meetings Rush has had with a number of celebrities from the movies, sports, politics, the music industry and television. The book is packed with amazing encounters that surely cannot be true, yet they are. These things couldn’t happen to a man from rural northeast Missouri, yet they did.

The book is chocked full of such unbelievable experiences that have put Rush in the presence of the likes of Charlton Heston, Loretta Lynn and James MacArthur.

It is through these experiences that Rush has learned that we are all alike, adding that everyone has confidences that are often undermined by fears. The author sais he hopes his latest book will open readers’ hearts to new possibility and potential.

Copies of you “You Can’t Make This Stuff Up!!” are available at J’s Foods in Memphis or can be ordered directly from Kelly Press, Inc. by calling 573-449-4163 or by emailing colin@kellypressinc.com.

Judge DeMarce to Address 71st Annual Memorial Day Services

Judge Karl DeMarce will be the featured speaker on Monday as the Wallace W. Gillespie Memorial Post #4958 of the Veterans of Foreign Wars hosts the 71st 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 Flody 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 the Pledge of Allegiance.

Pastor Leon Buford, also a Scotland County veteran, will lead the invocation prior to the playing of the National Anthem by the Scotland County R-I band. The Memphis Community Players will keep the music flowing with a series of patriotic selections.

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

Following DeMarce’s speech, veteran Jamie Parker will sing Sleep Soldier Boy accompanied by Connie Courtney.

Following the benediction by Buford, 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.

Gorin American Legion Post Plans Memorial Day Gathering

The Leslie Chambers #395 Gorin American Legion Post will be hosting their annual Memorial Day gathering on Sunday, May 28.  There will be a carry-in dinner at 12:30 at the Gorin Christian Church with a program following the dinner. The Post will present military services at the Gorin Cemetery at 2:00 p.m. and everyone is invited.

BABY FUNK

Casey and April Funk of Coatsville, MO are the parents of a son, Carter Bret Funk, born May 10, 2017 at 8:16 a.m. at Scotland County Hospital in Memphis. Carter weighed 7 lbs 1.8 oz and was 20.75 inches long. He has a sibling, Caley Archer. Grandparents are Chris and Ida Archer of Moulton, IA; Ralph Funk of Coatsville, MO; and Judy Funk of Coatsville, MO.

BABY KEEFE

Kara Ball of Kahoka and Johnathon Keefe of Kahoka are the parents of a son, Michael Raymond Keefe, born May 16, 2017 at 6:28 a.m. at Scotland County Hospital in Memphis. Michael weighed 7 lbs 2.8 oz and was 21 inches long. Grandparents are David and Stacie Parson of Lawrence, Patrick Keefe of Keokuk, and Alicia Boyd of Eureka.

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