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).

Rams Outlast Lady Tigers 2-1 In Defensive Battle

Shortstop Abi Feeney makes a throw to first from her knees after one of her several nice defensive plays at Lancaster.

Shortstop Abi Feeney makes a throw to first from her knees after one of her several nice defensive plays at Lancaster.

Tuesday night saw an old-fashioned pitching duel in Lancaster backed up with plenty of defensive gems. Unfortunately for the Lady Tigers, Schuyler County was the last one standing in the 2-1 defeat.

Scotland County took a 1-0 lead in the top of the first. Abi Feeney led off with a walk. With two outs, she was able to score all the way from first base when Ashleigh Creek reached on an error on an errant throw from third base than got by the first baseman.

Schuyler County came right back in the bottom of the frame. The Rams led off the inning with a blooper that landed and died between the pitcher and home plate for an infield single. After a wild pitch and a sacrifice bunt, Megan Haley delivered an RBI ground out to knot the score at 1-0.

After that point, pitchers Ashleigh Creek and Dystine Priebe locked horns, putting up zeros on the scoreboard.

Ashleigh Creek fields a bunt and fires to Katie Feeney at first base to record the out.

Ashleigh Creek fields a bunt and fires to Katie Feeney at first base to record the out.

SCR-I managed a base runner each inning until the sixth, but were unable to advance anyone past first base. Julie Long singled in the second, but was stranded. Stevi See and Abby Blessing walked in the third and fourth innings before Abi Feeney got a base hit in the fifth, but Priebe worked out of the jams, in large part thanks to nine strikeouts.

Her defense helped out a bit, as center fielder Brooke Whitton made a fine running grab in deep center field to rob Creek of extra bases in the third and Haley made a nice catch to rob Chelsea Wood of a hit in the fifth.

Creek matched the zeroes, albeit with a little more effort, struggling a bit with wild pitches that had the Lady Rams with runners in scoring position every inning.

Priebe singled and moved to second on a wild pitch in the second inning. Abi Feeney ended the threat with a diving grab on a line between short and third base.

The senior shortstop made back-to-back put outs in the third to leave a runner at third base. Maddie Brassfield then made a defensive gem at first base to end the threat in the fourth.

Schuyler County finally broke through for the winning run in the fifth inning. A leadoff single followed by a passed ball and a wild pitch allowed the Rams to score on a sacrifice fly.

Long smacked a one-out single in the seventh, her second hit of the contest, but Priebe closed out the rally to secure the 2-1 win for Schuyler County.

Scotland County fell to 6-5 on the season and 4-3 in the Lewis & Clark Conference.

Creek pitched six innings and allowed two runs, one earned on five hits and no walks while striking out three.

Priebe held SCR-I to just three hits and three walks over seven innings, surrendering just the one unearned run.

Rutledge School Building Sold

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The Village of Rutledge sold the school to the Restoration Society for $1.00 on Tuesday, September 20th at 12:00 p.m.  Those at the closing were Society members L to R Lyle Otte, Reva Hustead, Charlene Montgomery, Gwen Ludwick, Bob Hunolt, Dorothy Hunolt, Elaine Forrester, Betty Lodewegan, Lynn McClamroch,  (Keith Zimmerman and Carol McCabe from the Village) and Leon Trueblood.

Grand Hall Singspiration in Memphis

by-grace-ministry-web

The Rabers, part of the By Grace Ministry, will be hosting a Grand Hall Singspiration in Memphis at the Grand Hall, across from the BP Station, 418 E. Grand, on Sunday, October 2nd at 7:15 p.m.  They are also hosting a Men of Valor men’s meeting on Monday, October 3rd at 7:15 p.m.  Everyone is welcome and admission is a free will offering.  For more information about the By Grace Ministry, visit www.bygraceministry.com.

Area Children Enjoy Games at Annual Rutledge Fall Festival

The annual Rutledge Fall Festival was held Saturday, September 17th and several area children enjoyed participating in various games.  Karl DeMarce emceed the games this year.

Balloon Toss winners in the six to eight division included Trevor and Evan Tague (1st), Kadence Burnett (2nd), and Craig Pflum and Cole Mazziotti and Nina Knepp (tied for 3rd).  In the nine and over division winners were Owen and Lucas Durflinger (1st), Hunter Holt and Aden Aldridge (2nd), and Aaron McDaniel and Hugh Baker (3rd).

Shoe Kick winners in the five and under division were Natalie Tague (1st), Travis Tague (2nd), and Ethan Pflum (3rd).  In the six to eight division winners were Evan Tague (1st), Cole Mazziotti (2nd), and Nina Knepp, Trevor Tague and Cole Pflum (3rd).  In the nine and over division winners were Owen Triplett (1st), Riley Small (2nd), and Lucas Durflinger (3rd).

Running Race winners in the five and under division were Landon Davis (1st), Kinze Mallett and Travis Tague (2nd), and Natalie Tague (3rd).  In the six to eight division winners were Kaden See (1st), Cole Mazziotti (2nd), and Evan Tague and Nina Knepp (3rd).  In the nine and over division winners were Owen Triplett (1st), Hunter Holt (2nd), and Lucas Durflinger (3rd).

Egg Race winners in the five and under girls’ division were Kenzie Mallett (1st), Nora Guthrie (2nd), and Natalie Tague (3rd).  In the boys’ division winners were Travis Tague (1st), James Guthrie (2nd), and Clay White (3rd).  In the six to eight girls’ division, winners were Natalie Howerton (1st), Kayla Pflum (2nd), and Tegan Mallett (3rd).  Boys’ division winners were Trevor Tague (1st), Kadence Burnett (2nd), and Craig Pflum (3rd).  In the nine and over division, winners were Braydon Tietjens (1st), Aden Aldridge (2nd), and Owen Triplett and Lucas Durflinger (3rd).

Afternoon games included a Kiddie Tractor Pull, Tug-of-War Race and the Shirley Chancellor Memorial Hot Cookie Race.

SCR-I School Menus

Breakfast

Thursday, Sept. 29 – Breakfast Burrito, Choice of Cereal, Toast/Jelly, Orange Wedge/Grapes, Juice/Milk

Friday, September 30 – Sausage/Gravy Biscuits, Choice of Cereal, Blueberry Muffin, Banana, Juice/Milk

Monday, October 3 – Waffles, Choice of Cereal, Cinnamon Biscuit, Apple Wedges, Juice/Milk

Tuesday, October 4 –Cinnamon Rolls, Choice of Cereal, Toast/Jelly, Orange Half, Juice/Milk

Wednesday, October 5 – Ham/Cheese/Croissant, Choice of Cereal, Toast/Jelly, Fruit Medley, Juice/Milk

Thursday, October 6 – Breakfast Burrito, Choice of Cereal, Toast/Jelly, Orange Wedge/Grapes, Juice/Milk

Lunch

Thursday, Sept. 29 – Spaghetti/Meat Sauce, Chicken Wrap, Hamburger Bar, Green Beans, Garlic Bread, Sliced Peaches, Fresh Fruit

Friday, September 30 – Sack Lunch Today – HOMECOMING

Monday, October 3 – Chicken Ala King/Biscuit, Juicy Burger/Bun, 5th/6th Grade Chef Salad, Onion Rings, Peas, Mandarin Orange Slices, Fresh Fruit

Tuesday, October 4 – Cheeseburger/Bun, Tenderloin/Bun, 5th/6th Grade Taco Bar, Oven Ready Fries, Tomato Slices and Pickles, Applesauce, Fresh Fruit

Wednesday, October 5 –Country Fried Steak, Chicken Alfredo, 5th/6th Grade Potato Bar, Whipped Potatoes/Gravy, Broccoli/Cheese Sauce, Dinner Roll, Sliced Pears

Thursday, October 6 – Beef ‘N’ Tator Bake, Chicken Wrap, Hamburger Bar, Green Beans, Dinner Roll, Pineapple Tidbits, Fresh Fruit

Scotland County Senior Nutrition Center

MENU

Thursday, Sept. 29 – BBQ or Plain Pork/Bun, French Fries, Cauliflower Blend Veggies, Mandarin Oranges, Cake

Friday, September 30 – Hot Beef Sandwich, Mashed Potatoes/Gravy, Coleslaw, Buttered Carrots, Pudding

Monday, October 3 – Juicy Burger/Bun, French Fries, Mixed Vegetables, Cottage Cheese, Peaches

Tuesday, October 4 – Roast Pork/Stuffing/Gravy, Sauerkraut, Green Beans, Slice Bread, Cake

Wednesday, October 5 – Chicken Strips, Mashed Potatoes/Gravy, Buttered Carrots, Hot Roll, Fruit Salad

Thursday, October 6 – Meatloaf, Macaroni Salad, Buttered Broccoli, Applesauce, Bread, Glazed Donut

ACTIVITIES

Thursday, Sept. 29 – Card Party at 5:00 p.m.

Thursday, October 6 – Card Party at 5:00 p.m.

Special 100-Year Homecoming Services This Weekend at First Christian Church

The Memphis First Christian Church will be hosting Homecoming Services to celebrate the completion of the current church building (located on corner of Jones and Main Streets) which was completed in 1916.  The celebration will take place this weekend –  September 30- October 1-2, 2016.

Phillip Gore and Tim Hawkins former ministers of the Memphis First Christian Church will be the speakers for the Sunday, October 2, morning worship service, and former Memphis resident Terry Rush will speak at the closing service on Sunday afternoon.  Following the morning service, there will be a luncheon served.

There will also be services on Friday, September 30, beginning at 7:00 with a “Linger Longer” fellowship time after the service.  On Saturday, October 1, there will be a barbecue at 5:00 with services beginning at 6:30.

Special music for the services will be provided by the Gateway Singers and Paul Burton and Mercy’s Bridge Band, a country gospel group.  The Planning Committee for the Church Homecoming Celebration will share historical information about First Christian Church as part of the three special services.

Members of the community are cordially invited to attend all of the services and meals for the celebration.

Mayor Reckenberg Proclaims Constitution Week, Sept. 17 – 23, 2016 in Memphis

Memphis Mayor William Reckenberg was joined by members of the Jauflione Chapter of the NSDAR to sign a proclamation declaring Constitution Week in Memphis.

Memphis Mayor William Reckenberg was joined by members of the Jauflione Chapter of the NSDAR to sign a proclamation declaring Constitution Week in Memphis.

On Friday, September 23, 2016, Mayor William Reckenberg signed and issued a proclamation announcing September 17 through 23, 2016 to be Constitution Week in Memphis, and asks our citizens to reaffirm the ideals the Framers of the Constitution had in 1787.

The Proclamation reads as follows:

Whereas, September 17, 2016 marks the two hundred and twenty-ninth anniversary of the drafting of the Constitution of the United States of America by the Constitutional Convention; and

Whereas, it is fitting and proper to officially recognize this magnificent document and the anniversary of its creation; and

Whereas, it is fitting and proper to officially recognize the patriotic celebrations which will commemorate the occasion; and

Whereas, public law 915 guarantees the issuing of a proclamation each year by the President of the United States of America designation September 17 through 23 as Constitution Week;

NOW THEREFORE, I, William Reckenberg, by virtue of the authority vested in me as Mayor of the City of Memphis in the County of Scotland do hereby proclaim September 17 through 23, 2016 as CONSTITUTION WEEK and ask our citizens to reaffirm the ideals the Framers of the Constitution had in 1787 by vigilantly protecting the freedoms guaranteed to us through this guardian of our liberties, remembering that lost rights may never be regained.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the Seal of Memphis to be affixed this twenty-third day of September in the year of our Lord two thousand sixteen.

The United States Constitution stands as a testament to the tenacity of Americans throughout history to maintain their liberties and freedoms and to ensure those unalienable rights to every American.

In 1955 the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) petitioned the Federal Government to dedicate September 17-23 as Constitution Week.  Congress adopted the resolution and on August 2, 1956, President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed it into Public Law 915.  DAR Chapters have been observing Constitution Week various ways since then.  The local Chapter, Jauflione, places a display in a store window to remind the public of the Constitution and its significance to our way of life.  The city Mayor also issues a proclamation declaring Constitution Week.  This is an annual reminder of the inalienable rights the Constitution affords all Americans.

The aims of the celebration are to:  (1) Emphasize citizen’s responsibilities for protecting and defending the Constitution, (2) Inform people that the Constitution is the basis for American’s great heritage and the foundation for our way of life and (3) To encourage the study of the historical events which led to the framing of the Constitution in September 1787.

Written in 1787, the Constitution was signed September 17th.  But it wasn’t until 1788 that it was ratified by the necessary nine states.

The Constitution is a living document, being amended 27 times.  Of the written national constitutions, the U.S. Constitution is the oldest and shortest.

Jauflione Chapter, NSDAR helps keep alive the memory of the men and women who secured the Nation’s independence, whose bravery and sacrifice made possible the liberties Americans enjoy today.

Scotland County Speedway to Host Memphis Bottom Heavy Fall Special This Weekend

racing-web

With a special payout schedule making it more profitable for all drivers and a pleasant weather forecast, the Scotland County Speedway should be rocking this weekend for the Memphis Bottom Heavy Fall Special races to be held Friday, September 30th and Saturday October 1st.

“We have received an overwhelming amount of calls and messages on this show from people who have never raced in Memphis,” said promoter Mike Van Genderen. “As a race track, we never know how many cars will show up, but with the amount of calls we have a good chance of getting a great field of cars. Memphis usually gets around 30 cars in most classes.”

If the fields swell to 40 cars or more, the modified, stock cars and sportmods would all pay $2,000 to win.

Van Genderen stated there will be prize payouts on both nights with more than $60,000 in purse money on the line this weekend.

The Bottom Heavy Nationals feature a “bottom heavy” payout, meaning much better returns for all racers, instead of the traditional top heavy payouts that send the bulk of the prize money to the top finisher.

Hobby stocks, sport compacts and Lee County late models will also be in action on both nights.

Hot laps on Friday night start at 7 p.m. Fans will need to be at SCS an hour earlier on Saturday night, with hot laps scheduled for 6 p.m.

The two-day event will feature two complete shows, with payouts each night.

Grandstand admission will be $15 with students entering for $7 and children six and under receiving free admission. Pit passes will be available for $30 or a two-day pass for $55.

Absentee Voting Process Underway for November 8th Election

election

While the general election is still more than a month away, voting technically began on Tuesday, September 27th, the first day for absentee ballots to be cast.

Under Missouri law (statute (115.277, RSMo) “Any registered voter of this state may vote by absentee ballot for all candidates and issues for which such voter would be eligible to vote at the polling place if such voter expects to be prevented from going to the polls to vote on election day.”

Justification for using absentee voting includes absence on election day from the jurisdiction of the election authority in which such voter is registered to vote.

Voters who are incapacitated or confined due to illness or physical disability, including a person who is primarily responsible for the physical care of a person who is incapacitated or confined due to illness or disability, may also vote by absentee ballot.

If religious belief or practice or employment as an election authority prevents a voter from making it to the polls on election day, they may also use an absentee ballot.

Scotland County Clerk Batina Dodge stressed that absentee voting is not early voting.  The voter must sign an affidavit stating their reason for voting absentee.

Absentee ballots may also be used by incarcerated individuals, as long as all qualifications for voting are retained; and by certified participation in the address confidentiality program established under sections 589.660 to 589.681 because of safety concerns.

Application for an absentee ballot may be made by the applicant in person, or by mail, for the applicant, in person, by his or her guardian or a relative within the second degree by consanguinity or affinity. Disabled voters, college students, and military personnel may also apply by mail.

The deadline to mail absentee ballots is November 2, 2016.

Dodge explained how the process works.

“Upon receiving an absentee ballot in person or by mail, the voter marks the ballot, places the ballot in the ballot envelope, seals it and completes the statement on the ballot envelope,” she said. “The affidavit of each person voting an absentee ballot shall be subscribed and sworn to before the election official receiving the ballot, a notary public or other officer authorized by law.”

Each absentee ballot must be returned to the election authority in the ballot envelope and is to be returned by the voter in person, or in person by a relative of the voter who is within the second degree of consanguinity or affinity, by mail or registered carrier or by a team of deputy election authorities.

The last day to vote absentee ballot in person is November 7th, the day before the General Election.

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