April 9, 2009

Producers Meet With Commission to Discuss Animal Health Ordinance

Area livestock producers met with the Scotland County Commission at a special meeting held April 1st at Lakeview Community Center in Rutledge. Between 100 and 150 people were present for the gathering.

During the March 26th regular meeting of the commission, the county had indicated plans to hold a pair of public hearings regarding the a proposed animal health ordinance it had been working on with the Scotland County Concerned Citizens group.

During the session, a number of livestock producers spoke with the commissioners regarding questions about the health ordinance. It was announced that the producers would be holding a meeting April 1st, and the commission agreed to postpone the public hearing on the proposed ordinance until after meeting with the producers to discuss their concerns.

The following are the minutes of the meeting as presented by the Scotland County Clerks office.

Clyde Zimmerman opened the meeting by welcoming everyone and stating that this was an informational meeting to learn more about ordinances and how they work. Mr. Zimmerman introduced the Scotland County Commission and asked them to individually speak about some of the problems and concerns they have had to address concerning Scotland Countys health ordinance in particular.

Commissioner Paul Campbell addressed the audience. He stated that Scotland County did have an ordinance but because of enforcement issues the Commissioners scrapped it. Commissioner Campbell admitted that they have been working with a group of individuals to see if another ordinance could possibly be adopted; however, Commissioner Campbell reiterated that this was just talk. Nothing has formally been done. Commissioner Campbell stated that some points have come to the Commission that do not reflect well on the CAFOs in the County. Commissioner Campbell addressed the issue of applicators running up and down the road from the lagoon to the land where the manure is going to be applied. In this case manure is spilled on the roads and the neighbors do not like it. Additionally these full applicators are tearing up the county roads. Commissioner Campbell asked the producers to try to use good judgment when hauling and spreading manure. Be as clean as possible when hauling manure and, while the process is weather permitting, try to work the manure in as quickly as possible when spreading to help the smell and nutrient levels. Problems from dairies are getting blamed on CAFOs. Commissioner Campbell asked the producers to be aware of their neighbors. Please watch for drainage on your neighbors property if you cannot work the manure in quickly. He restated that these are merely points the Commission was asked to address. The Commission is not trying to govern the dairies. He then asked Presiding Commissioner Mike Stephenson and Commissioner Denis (Deny) Clatt if they had anything else to address.

Presiding Commissioner Stephenson and Commissioner Clatt replied that Commissioner Campbell had addressed all their concerns.

Mr. Edwin Brubaker addressed the audience about local dairy farms. He stated that there are currently 39 dairy farms in Scotland County, and those dairy farms employee approximately 50 families. He commented that these 39 dairies combined have around 3,000 cows, and last year those farms generated nearly $10 million in revenue. According to his statistics, each dollar generated by these dairies turns over seven times within the County equaling a $70 million impact on the County. The 39 local dairies paid approximately $100,000.00 in county taxes. Mr. Brubaker then spoke about some concerns he had with the proposed health ordinance. He stated that if a producer expands his business he will fall under the proposed ordinance because of the way it is written. He was also concerned about the citizens advisory board being composed of non-CAFO people. Mr. Brubaker felt that non-producers would not be qualified to be on the advisory board, and suggested that it would be difficult to determine who, besides employees of the Missouri Department of Natural Resources (DNR), would be qualified to be on that board. Mr. Brubaker said that all Grade A dairies must have an approved sewage system for their homes; whereas most country homes merely drain sewage into the grader ditch. He asked how water quality was affected differently between manure from a confinement and manure from a home. Mr. Brubaker addressed the problem of manure being spilled on the roads. He believes that all producers have the responsibility to be a good neighbor. While mistakes happen, there should be a plan of action in place to clean the spill. He suggested that the careless producers should have to clean the mess and fix the road. Mr. Brubaker also commented that grain trucks also tear up the rock roads, but they do not stink.

Dave Drenum with Missouri Dairy Association stated that there are only 18 counties in Missouri with a health ordinance. The Dairy Association is opposed to these ordinances because more restrictions results in increased costs to the producers. Missouri is a milk-deficit state (i.e. we haul more milk into Missouri than we produce), so he believes that the state needs more dairies. Increasing cost of production is not going to increase dairies. Mr. Drenum clarified that 210 cows equals 300 Animal Units (AU) (0.7 of a cow equals 1 AU). Producers must remember that all animals, hogs, dairy cows, dry cows, etc., are considered when figuring total AUs. The average dairy is 65 cows, however most dairies around here are smaller. Mr. Drenum believes that the proposed ordinance does not offer practical solutions for producers. The proposed ordinance mandates disposal of dead animals within 24 hours. This is not feasible because new laws require dead animals to have the brain and spinal cord removed. Not many rendering companies can do this without passing the cost on to the producer. Mr. Drenum also said that knifing in the manure would not be feasible. He expressed the need to adopt a Best Management Practices policy, not an ordinance. Dairies do not need an ordinance because they are highly inspected since they are dealing with a perishable product. Mr. Drenum introduced Kevin Frankenbock from Marion County, and stated that Barry Stevens at the University would be willing to help anyone with questions about this ordinance.

Jerry Foster, Cargill Environmental Manager (and past DNR employee) stated that 0.7 of a cow is 1 AU, and an animal counts once it is weaned. Mr. Foster informed the audience that DNR has composed an odor commission, but it only regulates Class IA Operations (Sharps is the only one in the state). This commission is backed by the Missouri Clean Air Commission. Mr. Foster said that DNR is also looking at new Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) laws and what effect they would have on Missouri Law affecting CAFOs.

Gigi Wahba asked Mr. Brubaker if dairies would be affected by this ordinance because they did not confine their cows for a 45-day period. Mr. Brubaker said that they take their cows to the barns every day, and that counts as confinement, thus the ordinance affects the dairies.

Mr. Drenum recognized Larry Frederick from Baring, who is also with the Missouri Dairy Association. He then asked Mr. Foster to answer questions from the audience.

Mr. Foster began by clarifying that he is no longer a DNR employee; he is a Cargill employee. If anyone has any questions for DNR he advised them to contact Joe England at DNR in Jefferson City (800) 361-4827 or Joe Bowdish at the Macon office.

Presiding Commissioner Stephenson asked Mr. Foster if he felt that state regulations were coming closer to regulating these CAFOs.

Mr. Foster replied that he felt state regulations were becoming more strict because they are developing a new nutrient management technical standard.

Mr. Jay Sensenig asked Mr. Foster about the proposed ordinance requiring the producer to inject manure 8 inches deep.

Mr. Foster stated that injecting manure 8 inches is a pretty severe requirement. He also replied that injecting the manure too deep causes more problems. For example, manure injected past the level where breakdown occurs would cause the manure to stay in the ground. Mr. Foster referred the question to Bryan Ripland, agronomist with Pennacal.

Mr. Ripland replied that he would be worried about injecting manure 8 inches because the root systems cannot get down that far in a wet year. Mr. Ripland went on to say that this proposed ordinance has some scary things in it. He asked who would regulate the ordinance. Who would be conducting the soil testing, and paying for that testing with the price of things going up? He suggested spending that money on educating producers as to what the County expected of them. Perhaps, he suggested, the County would be better off being proactive than reactive.

Commissioner Clatt asked Mr. Ripland how deep he would knife in the manure. Mr. Ripland replied that he thought 6 inches was ideal that way the manure is just covered and gets to where the roots are located.

Mr. Foster asked if injecting was always appropriate as some land is not suitable for injecting.

Mr. Brubaker commented that it is nearly impossible to inject dairy manure.

Mr. Ripland agreed with Mr. Brubaker as diary manure has more solids than hog manure. A larger injector would be required and add cost to the producer.

Commissioner Clatt asked Mr. Brubaker if he could disc in the manure immediately after spreading. Brubaker replied that the manure had to have time to dry before discing it in or he would get stuck.

Mr. Ripland said it would take a lot of time and money to do the testing this proposed ordinance requires and it would be difficult to prove the testing was actually being done. He also said the producers would have to be educated on how to do the testing.

Ms. Wahba stated that she is part of the group advocating the ordinance. She said that hog manure is different from dairy manure because of the antibiotics and genetically modified organisms (GMOs) being fed to the hogs. She suggested that the dairymen were being told this ordinance would apply to them in the future and she does not think they should believe it.

Mr. Ripland asked Ms. Wahba to whom this ordinance would apply. Ms. Wahba replied that this ordinance would apply to animals that are indoors all the time. There are 8 to 10 facilities in the County now, but the factory system has problems.

Mr. Ripland asked Ms. Wahba if those animals in confinements are treated differently from animals on pasture.

Ms. Wahba responded that animals in confinements are treated differently because they are fed large amounts of antibiotics and GMOs.

A gentleman stated that he had sows outside for years and recently moved them inside. Now he has large amounts of manure to haul out of his pit. He would like to know where all that manure went when the sows were outside.

Mr. Foster addressed the Commission by asking them to consider three questions. First, where do regulations stop? He questioned if the Commission was going to stop farmers from planting round-up ready soybeans (also a GMO)? He asked the Commission to consider land values. In his experience, land values are lower where ordinances are in place. Last he asked the Commission to consider what was driving this ordinance-health, social, or economic concerns.

An individual asked how manure compared to anhydrous.

Mr. Foster replied that manure is more natural than anhydrous; however, all things should be used in moderation. Anhydrous has more phosphorus than manure, which burns up earthworms and other microbes. As long as manure is not injected too deep it works with microbes to add organic matter (which soil in this area is lacking) to the soil. Anhydrous breaks down organic matter.

Kevin Frankenbock from Marion County said that Marion County threw out their ordinance. The Commission had a group of people come to them requesting to reinstate the ordinance. The Commission said they had no intent to do so, so the group went to the County Health Board and got the ordinance reinstated. He said that anytime the county did a referendum the producers won hands down.

Presiding Commissioner Stephenson apologized to all the producers in attendance for ever supporting the ordinance, and stated that he would continue to oppose reinstating the ordinance. He was received with ovations from the crowd.

Tim Steinkamp with Cargill spoke about confining animals and feeding them GMOs. He stated that this ordinance is a vehicle to stop commercial livestock production in Scotland County.

Dee Ruth asked the Commission how they would handle this proposed ordinance as they did not enforce the previous ordinance. She feels that producers need only be regulated by DNR.

A gentleman asked how much revenue a CAFO generates.

Mr. Frakenbock estimated that a 5,000 head unit would generate approximately $7,000 in tax revenue.

The Commission asked if they had this ordinance and it drove the numbers down what would they do to make up the revenue for schools.

The Commission replied that they did not heavily rely on this income, but if they did the only option they would have would be to raise the tax levy for the school.

Garth Lloyd said that he detected fear in the room. He said that the last ordinance did not affect the dairies and this one would not either.

Many dairy producers stated that this ordinance would affect them.

Mr. Clyde Zimmerman closed the meeting.

Hay Ground Bids Approved at December Memphis Board of Aldermen Meeting

The Board of Aldermen of the City of Memphis met in regular session on Thursday, December 7, 2017 at 6:30 p.m. in Memphis City Hall.  Mayor William Reckenberg called the meeting to order.  Aldermen present were:  Tom Glass, Andrea Brassfield, Chris Feeney, and Lucas Remley.  Others in attendance were:  City Supt. Roy Monroe; Utility Supt. Stacy Alexander; City Marshal Bill Holland; citizen Laura Schenk; reporter Rick Fischer; and City Clerk Angela Newman.

Alderman Remley moved and Alderman Glass seconded to approve the minutes of the November 2, 2017 council meeting.  Vote:  Glass, Brassfield, Feeney, and Remley, all aye.

Alderman Remley moved and Alderman Brassfield seconded to approve payment of the bills as presented.  Vote:  Glass, Brassfield, Feeney, and Remley, all aye.

Citizen Participation

Laura Schenk thanked the City on behalf of the Memphis Area Chamber of Commerce for their help in getting the Christmas lights ready for the holiday season.

CDBG Demolition Grant Close-Out Public Hearing

Lucinda Clubb, Project Administrator-Northeast Missouri Regional Planning Commission, conducted a public hearing to close-out the Community Development Block Grant Demolition Grant received by the City.  Demolition of all properties have been completed which included twelve residential structures and one commercial structure.  Clubb will have an audit with Denise Dierks, Compliance Specialist with the Department of Economic Development, in January which will complete the project.

Alderman Glass moved and Alderman Feeney seconded stating the City is satisfied with the demolition work that was completed and agree to move forward with the final steps to close-out the project.  Vote:  Glass, Brassfield, Feeney, and Remley, all aye.

Open Bids – Lake ShowMe Hay Ground

Six bids were received for hay harvesting services at Lake ShowMe.  Bids received were as follows:

David H. Martin – $8.75/large bale; Philip Zimmerman – $15.00/large bale; Larry Jackson – $16.60/large bale; Curtis Mallett – $20.53/large bale;  Chris Mallett – $21.79/large bale; and Mitchell Pence – $17.75/large bale.

Alderman Feeney moved and Alderman Glass seconded to accept the high bid from Chris Mallett in the amount of $21.79 per large bale.

BILL NO. 17-25 – Authorize Lake Showme Hay Ground Agreement

Bill No. 17-25 – Authorize Lake ShowMe Hay Ground Agreement – was presented and read two times by City Clerk Angela Newman.  Alderman Feeney moved and Alderman Glass seconded to adopt Bill No. 17-25.  Vote:  Glass, aye; Brassfield, aye; Feeney, aye; and Remley, aye.

Open Bids – Opening and Closing Of Graves

One bid was received for the opening and closing of graves at the Memphis Cemetery.  The bid received was from Sam Redding/Clark County Memorial Shop in the amount of $450.  Alderman Feeney moved and Alderman Glass seconded to accept the bid.  Vote:  Glass, Brassfield, Feeney, and Remley, all aye.

BILL NO. 17-26 – Authorize Opening And Closing Of Graves Agreement

Bill No. 17-26 – Authorize Opening and Closing of Graves Agreement – was presented and read two times by City Clerk Newman.  Alderman Feeney moved and Alderman Glass seconded to adopt Bill No. 17-26.  Vote:  Glass, aye; Brassfield, aye; Feeney, aye; and Remley, aye.

BILL NO. 17-27 – Sewer User Charge Rates

Bill No. 17-27 – Sewer User Charge Rates – was presented and read two times by City Clerk Newman.  Alderman Feeney moved and Alderman Brassfield seconded to adopt Bill No. 17-27.  Vote:  Glass, aye; Brassfield, aye; Feeney, aye; and Remley, aye.  The new sewer rates will be effective as of January 1, 2018.

BILL NO. 17-27      

Coverage Acknowledgment With Moperm

Alderman Glass moved and Alderman Remley seconded to approve the coverage acknowledgment agreement with Missouri Public Entity Risk Management Fund.  Vote:  Glass, Brassfield, Feeney, and Remley, all aye.

Total Plan Solutions – Health Insurance Renewal Quote

Alderman Feeney moved and Alderman Brassfield seconded to approve the group health insurance renewal with Total Plan Solutions for 2018.  Vote:  Glass, Brassfield, Feeney, and Remley, all aye.

Rates for calendar year 2018 are as follows: Employee – $442.69/month;  Employee/Spouse – $674.47/month; Employee/Children – $546.75/month;       Family – $844.86/month.

The new rates represented an increase of less than $4,000 in total maximized exposure amount from the 2017 rates.

Department Reports

City Superintendent Roy Monroe reported he had contacted Sparks Construction regarding the removal of the ramp at the swimming pool and the cost of a removable ramp but have not heard back from them.

The Department of Conservation is asking for further information on the archery range to possibly construct the range larger than originally planned which could be 90% funded.

Monroe reported the estimated costs to seal coat the parking lots at Johnson Park is $8,914.00.  The salt shed being constructed by the Road and Street department is now complete.  The new transformer bank behind Oakwood Industries has been completed by the Electric Department and the Water Department has been changing out water meters with new electronic read meters.  There will be an inspection by Department of Natural Resources of the recycling building and equipment purchased with Solid Waste Management Funds on Monday, December 11th.

Monroe also reported the brush under the 69kv line outside of town needs to be cut.  Alderman Remley suggested contacting the County to see if they could use their equipment to assist with the project.

Utility Supt. Stacy Alexander reported he had travelled to Quiver River Electric Coop in Troy Missouri, along with Tri-County Electric representatives, to view their new metering system by Landis and Gyr.  Alexander had also attended the quarterly Missouri Public Utility Alliance meeting in Columbia earlier in the day.

Aldermen Reports

Alderman Feeney discussed the City’s policies regarding sewer repairs being done on private property and at what point the City should become involved.  It was agreed that a written policy be implemented to include inspections by City personnel and a copy be mailed to the main contractors doing work in this area to alert them of our policies.  City personnel should also contact any other contractors when they see there will be work done as shown on a Dig-Rite locate order from Missouri One Call.

Feeney also asked about the ability to update our mapping system as needed.  Supt. Alexander will contact Midland GIS to inquire about training on updating the system.

Alderman Glass moved and Alderman Brassfield seconded to adjourn.  Vote:  Glass, Brassfield, Feeney, and Remley.

Meeting adjourned at 7:58 p.m.

Scotland County Senior Nutrition Center

MENU

Thursday, Dec. 14 – Swiss Steak, Scalloped Cabbage, Buttered Peas, Slice Bread, Pudding/Fruit

Friday, December 15 – Turkey, Mashed Potatoes, Gravy/Dressing, Green Beans, Cranberry Sauce, Hot Roll, Cherry Dessert

Monday, December 18 – Beef and Noodles, Mashed Potatoes, Lima Beans, Mandarin Oranges, Hot Roll, Cookie

Tuesday, December 19 – Roast Pork, Mashed Potatoes/Gravy, Sauerkraut, Green Beans, Bread, Cake

Wed., December 20 – Fried Chicken, Mashed Potatoes/Gravy, Buttered Carrots, Hot Roll, Fruited Jell-O

Thursday, Dec. 21 – Turkey Tetrazzini, Tomato and Zucchini Blend, Lettuce Salad, Bread, Fruit Salad

ACTIVITIES

Thursday, December 14 – Card party at 5:00 p.m.

Friday, December 15 – Join us for our Christmas Meal here at the center.

Sunday, December 17 – Center rented today.

Wednesday, Dec. 20 – Board and Business Meeting at 1:00.  Volunteer and Board Christmas Party at 1:30 p.m.  All welcome!

Thursday, Dec. 21 – Card Party at 5:00 p.m.

SCR-I School Menus

Breakfast

Thursday, December 14 – Breakfast Burrito, Choice of Cereal, Toast/Jelly, Orange Wedge/Grapes, Juice/Milk

Friday, December 15 – Sausage/Gravy, Biscuits, Choice of Cereal, Apple Cinnamon Muffin, Banana, Juice/Milk

Monday, December 18 – French Toast Sticks, Choice of Cereal, Toast/Jelly, Fruit Medley, Juice Milk

Tuesday, December 19 – Scrambled Eggs, Choice of Cereal, Hash Browns, Toast/Jelly, Grapes, Juice/Milk

Wed., December 20 – Blueberry Bagel/Cream Cheese, Choice of Cereal, Toast/Jelly, Apple Wedges, Juice/Milk

Thursday, December 14 – Cook’s Surprise

Lunch

Thursday, December 14 – Chili Soup, Broccoli Cheese Soup, Hamburger Bar, Peanut Butter Sandwich, Pickle Spear, Cheese Stick, Saltine Crackers, Cinnamon Apple Slices, Fresh Fruit

Friday, December 15 – Pizza Roll-Ups, Fish N Cheese Sandwich, Green Beans, Strawberry Shortcake, Sliced Peaches, Fresh Fruit

Monday, December 18 – Crispy Chicken Strips, Mini Corn Dogs, 5th/6th Grade Chef Salad, Macaroni and Cheese, Mixed Vegetables, Mandarin Orange Slices, Fresh Fruit

Tuesday, December 19 – School Made Pizza, BBQ Meatballs/Roll, 5th/6th Grade Taco Bar, Vegetable Sticks/Dip, Peas, Applesauce, Fresh Fruit

Wed., December 20 – Grilled Cheese Sandwich, Chicken Nuggets, 5th/6th Grade Potato Bar, Tri Potato Patty, Creamed Peas, Sliced Pears, Fresh Fruit

Thursday, December 21 – Sack Lunch

MERRY CHRISTMAS!

Memphis City Council Approves Major Sewer Rate Increases of 2018

If you’ve ever felt like you flushed money down the drain, well it’s now going to be even more costly. Faced with a looming $4.5 million upgrade to the municipal lagoon and waste-water treatment system, the Memphis City Council on Thursday night unanimously approved a significant sewer rate increase.

The council voted 4-0 to increase the minimum usage charge as well as the cost per hundred gallons for sewer service to take effect January 1st. Currently city sewer customers are paying a monthly $6.70 service charge in addition to $0.27 per 100 gallons of usage. Those rates will jump to a $12.65 service fee with a $0.435 rate per each 100 gallons of use.

Previously the average customer paid $18.58 a month for sewer services for 4,400 gallons of use. Under the new rates, that average cost will jump to $31.79, an increase of 58% .

The price hike came in well below a proposed cost of $57.87 for the average 4,400 gallons of use first suggested during preliminary hearings with the USDA regarding financing the city’s looming sewer upgrades.

Voters approved a $7.9 million levy proposal in April of 2016 authorizing the city to borrow funds up to that amount, leveraging future revenues for water and sewer services to pay for upgrades to the municipal water plant, sewer lines, water tower and lagoon. The issue passed with 76% of the vote.

The city is moving closer to transitioning the lagoon treatment process to a land-application system, which would apply the wastewater to agricultural ground, in an effort to meet growing environmental standards administered by the Missouri Department of Natural Resources and the federal Environmental Protection Agency.

Part of that process included a recent land purchase adjacent to the lagoon, which will accommodate a large percentage of the proposed irrigation system.

City officials indicated the next step in the process will be improvements to the existing sewer lines in an effort to remedy storm water inflow, which could help reduce the scope of the land-application process by reducing the amount of water entering the system.

While the new rates go into effect at the first of the year, they won’t appear on consumers statements until the February billing cycle, which relates to January usage.

Extension to Host Christmas Music Concert Fundraiser December 20th

A number of local performers are joining forces once again to help out the local University of Missouri Extension Office. Scotland County Extension will host a Christmas Music Concert fundraiser on Wednesday, December 20th at 7 p.m. at the Memphis Theatre.

Lonnie Erwin, Angela Neese, Nathaniel Orr, Harlo Donelson, Paige McClamroch, Schelle Cooley and Cole and Lindsay Tippett will all take the stage to perform a wide variety of Christmas music. The event will also feature a special community ensemble.

Cost of admission for the event is $8 at the door, with all proceeds going to the Scotland County Extension Office. For more info call 660-465-7255.

Rick Fischer Signing Off For Final Time After 35 Years at KMEM Radio

Rick Fischer has been at home behind the microphone at KMEM 100.5 FM for the past 35 years.

Rick Fischer’s very first day at work ended with the broadcaster signing off as KMEM went off the air that night. Now after 35 years broadcasting over those same airwaves after KMEM first took to the air March 29, 1982, Fischer will be signing off for the last time as he closes out a historic broadcasting career with the Memphis radio station.

“It has been a heck of a ride,” said Fischer, who will call it quits at KMEM FM 100.5 on December 29th. “There have been moments of jubilation and celebration and times of tragedy and tears, and everything in between.”

The names Rick Fischer, and KMEM are synonymous for most area listeners, a fact that was almost derailed before it ever got started.

Fischer, who grew up in Luray and graduated from Wyaconda High School, was an aspiring actor, working toward a theatre arts and English degree at Iowa Wesleyan University in Mt. Pleasant, IA.

“I didn’t have any illusions of grandeur,” said Fischer. “I wasn’t planning on packing my bags for Hollywood, but I did have hopes of getting involved in theatre somewhere.”

That wasn’t always the case. Fischer started out his college life in pursuit of a teaching degree with thoughts of possibly becoming a coach as well.

That changed when one of his professors convinced him to take part in one of the school’s theatrical productions.

“I had enjoyed being part of  a few productions in high school, but this was something entirely different, as the college performances drew huge crowds,” said Fischer. “I can still remember, my first line was in a comedy, and the crowd erupted in laughter. I was hooked.”

But while he was taking part in productions like Hello Dolly and Shakespeare’s tragedy Richard III, Fischer got his first taste of radio, doing “some work” for the campus radio station.

“It was just a small broadcast system that went out over the campus phone lines,” said Fischer. “Some of us would get together on Saturday nights and we’d bring our own albums and broadcast.”

But theatre was still the lure for Fischer. After graduating in 1981, he went on the road touring as an actor with the last remaining tent comedy theatre in America, the Tobie and Susie Show, based out of Mt. Pleasant.

“The group used to tour this area, and also played at state fairs in Iowa, Missouri, Nebraska and Illinois.”

During school Fischer had worked with Showtime Talent, Inc. providing lighting and stage service for country music shows.

Fischer said it was thrilling to work on productions for the likes of Johnny Cash. But it was ultimately a bad experience in the field that ultimately led Fischer back home.

Fischer had contracted to provide lighting and stage services for a Waylon Jennings performance, but the singer was unable to take the stage, and the concert was canceled, causing the promoter to chose not to pay for the stage services.

“Who knows, I may have continued on that path if it hadn’t been for that,” said Fischer. “But after that I came home.”

Fischer was uncertain of his future career path until his mother, Venice Fischer-Barclay, spotted a small newspaper article in the Daily Gate of Keokuk announcing the start of a new radio station in Memphis.

But it went beyond her good fortune, as Fischer had to persevere to nail down the shot at what turned into his life-long career.

“I went to Memphis and met with station owner Sam Berkowitz,” said Rick. “I was persistent, I needed a job”.

Finally after his third round of interviews, Fischer landed the job as the station’s nighttime disc jockey as it prepared to go on the air in 1982.

Roughly a year and a half later, Jim Sears joined the station as its news director, and a spot opened up for the morning DJ services, two life-changing experiences for Fischer.

The two friends spent the next 13 years entertaining listeners with their popular morning show.

“I can’t fully explain how much fun that was,” Fischer said. It was craziness, but a wonderful kind of crazy working with Jim. He was the funniest guy I have ever known.”

The run came to an end after 13 years when Sears was elected to the Missouri House of Representatives. Fischer took over as the station’s news director and then sadly had to report on his friend’s passing in a tragic auto accident less than a year later.

“It was difficult not being able to work with Jim anymore, but when I got the news of the crash that Wednesday before Thanksgiving, that was the saddest day I’ve ever had.”

For the next 20 plus years, Fischer served as news director at KMEM, serving through two sales of the radio station and countless life-changing stories such as the farm crisis and the Flood of 1993.

“I think that is what ultimately drew me to radio and kept me right where I’m at,” said Fischer. “I like being at, or near the center of things when they are happening.”

That was the case one afternoon in Wayland when Fischer was among a throng of reporters present for a campaign stop by presidential candidate Bill Clinton.

He explained how the buses were late arriving and when they finally did appear, it was just momentarily before pressing on to the next stop.

“Clinton answered a few questions before finally getting to me,” said Fischer. “He told me ‘fella it is going to have to be quick, we’re running out of time’. I asked a quick question and in that 60 seconds he convinced me he was going to be the next president of the United States.”

Later Fischer found himself seated across the table from Willie Nelson for an interview with the iconic country music star during a benefit concert event in Unionville.

Over the years he had similar meetings with the Oakridge Boys, Lorrie Morgan and one of his favorite interviews of all time, Aaron Tippin.

“I am very blessed,” said Fischer. “I was lucky enough to be the person in this seat, who got to be a part of all of these amazing interviews and to meet all of these famous folks.”

KMEM also put Fischer front stage for some memorable celebrations via the station’s sports coverage including Mizzou college athletics and St. Louis Cardinals baseball.

Fischer spent nearly 30 years broadcasting Clark County football and was there for the 2008 state championship.

“I can’t do justice trying to explain the joy and the excitement generated by these championship seasons,” said Fischer. “I was at Faurot Field in 1989 for Putnam County’s state championship loss and then I got to experience the ultimate celebration in 2008 at the Edwards Jones Dome in St. Louis when the Indians won it all.”

It was times like this that were at the heart of Fischer’s drive to be a good steward of his community.

“A wise man told me once that the way to make a radio station successful was to support the community and its activities,” said Fischer. “That became a life mission for me. I’ve always tried to be a best friend to this community and an avid supporter of everything that goes on here.”

Fischer said he was blessed to have worked with three different ownership groups which all understood the connection to community. It started with founder Sam Berkowitz, continued under the leadrship of Keith and Ruth Ann Boyer as well as Jeff and Denise Boyer of the Boyer Broadcasting Group, and remains imperative with current owners Mark and Karen McVey and Mark and Lisa Denney.

Now after 35 years behind the microphone, Fischer said it is time to sign off for the final time.

“I have been dealing with some health issues, but let me assure you I’m not dying,” Fischer said. “It has just opened my eyes to the fact that it is time to step away, to finally spend some more time with my family.”

Fischer praised the thankless sacrifices made by his wife, Teresa, over the years to support his career.

“She worked her fingers to the bone and always did so behind the scenes,” Rick said. “I can never repay that kind of devotion.

“When I got married 30 years ago, I told Teresa that I loved her but she had to know what she was getting, and I was already married to this radio station. For all these years my family has waited for me while I was covering the news. Now it is time for me to reciprocate. It is time to do some healing, some resting and to get healthy and it is time for me to make up for some of the things my family has missed out on.”

Lady Tigers Hold Off Putnam County Rally for 50-40 Win

Ashleigh Creek goes high to snag an offensive rebound in the victory Friday night over Putnam County.

It was a night of peaks and valleys for the Lady Tigers, but Scotland County was able to come out on top Friday night at home with a 50-40 win over Putnam County.

SCR-I got off to a great start as Nova Cline had six points before a three-pointer by Katie Feeney gave SCR-I a 9-0 lead and forced a quick Putnam County timeout.

The Lady Tigers kept the pressure on as Feeney and Julie Long both connected on three-pointers. Cline converted a three-point play at the buzzer to give SCR-I a 20-10 lead.

Kaylyn Anders scored six points in the second period and SCR-I looked poised to pull away after Feeney made a steal on defense and converted on the fast break, pushing the lead to 32-18.

But the SCR-I offense went cold, allowing the Midgets to trim the deficit to 33-23 at the half.

That trend carried over into the third period. The Lady Tigers managed just five points during that eight minute stretch, allowing the Midgets to pull within 38-34 heading into the fourth period.

Baskets by Anders and Madie Bondurant gave the Lady Tigers some breathing room to start the fourth quarter before Putnam County rallied to trim the deficit to 42-39 with 4:42 left to play, to force a Scotland County timeout.

The stoppage paid off, as Ashleigh Creek scored in the paint and then sank a pair of free throws. Feeney scored on a drive to the rim and Anders sealed a 8-1 SCR-I run with a bucket in the paint to give SCR-I the 50-40 win.

Cline led Scotland County in scoring with 15 points. Feeney finished with 12 points while Anders posted a double-double with 11 points and 13 rebounds.

Scotland County improved to 5-2 on the season with the victory.

Pence Powers Tigers Past Putnam County 62-44

Lane Pence poured in 25 points and grabbed 11 rebounds to help power SCR-I past Putnam County.

Lane Pence was a man on a mission Friday night in Memphis as he helped Scotland County power past Putnam County 62-44. The senior had a monster night, pouring in 25 points and grabbing 11 rebounds.

Pence went to work right out of the gates, scoring the contest’s first points on a drive to the hoop. That helped fuel a 10-3 SCR-I run that forced a Putnam County timeout with 4:41 left in the quarter.

Will Fromm and Pence combined to score the next nine points for SCR-I, which led 19-12 after one quarter of play.

The second period started a bit sluggish for SCR-I, which didn’t get on the board until the 5:29 mark on a bucket by Brett Monroe. Fromm added back-to-back scores to make it 25-17. Putnam County answered with a 7-0 run before Pence sank a three-pointer. He added a bucket just before the buzzer to extend the halftime margin to 32-24.

The Midgets wouldn’t go away. Putnam County pulled within four before a basket by Stephen Terrill. Pence scored on consecutive inbounds plays to help push the margin back to double digits late in the second period. Jared Dunn sank four free throws, before Monroe scored on an offensive rebound at the buzzer to put SCR-I on top 48-34.

Terrill extended the lead with back-to-back scores to start the final period and SCR-I sealed the game at the free throw line, making 8 of 10 from the line in the quarter, and 13 of 17 on the night.

In addition to Pence’s big night, Fromm finished with 13 points while Terrill had nine and Dunn added seven for the Tigers who improved to 4-2 with the victory.

Milan Spoils SCR-I’s Home Opener With 4th Quarter Rally

Brett Monroe had 11 points in the loss to Milan.

Stepping on its home court for the first time all season seemed to be the cure for Scotland County, which had struggled offensively to start the season. The Tigers jumped out to an early lead Tuesday night versus Milan and maintained that advantage until the fourth quarter when the Wildcats rallied to take the 62-55 win.

In a rematch from the Novinger Tournament championship game just two days prior, SCR-I looked poised to avenge their lone loss of the year. Will Fromm got the Tigers off to a strong start with six points in the opening period as the Tigers led 15-14.

After struggling from long range in the three games at the Novinger Tourney, SCR-I turned things around on their home court. Brett Monroe connected on his second three pointer of the contest to help the Tigers hold a 30-29 advantage at the intermission.

Monroe and Lane Pence both connected from behind the arc in the third period, but Milan’s half-court trap started to take its toll on the SCR-I offense, which managed just four field goals in the fourth quarter. Freshman Dominic Dabney came off the bench for Milan to spark the comeback win. He scored eight of his 13 points in the final period as the Wildcats pulled away for the 62-55 win.

Pence led Scotland County in scoring with 14 points. Monroe, Fromm and Matthew Woods each finished with 11 points as Scotland County fell to 2-2 on the season.

Milan was led in scoring by Eddie Gonzalez with 14 points and Dabney with 13.

Five Tigers Earn Academic All-State Honors as Post Season Awards Announced

Coach Troy Carper spent plenty of time at the podium at his inaugural post season awards banquet as head coach of the Scotland County football program.

Carper was proud to announce that five members of his squad were honored on the Missouri Academic All-State Team.

Recipients must be starters on offense or defense and must score a 25 or higher on the ACT or 1740 on the SAT, or post a 3.5 non-weighted grade point average or higher, or rank in the top 10% of his class.

The Missouri Football Coaches Association (MFCA)  recognized Will Fromm, Parker Triplett, Luke Triplett, Mason Kliethermes, and Stephen Terrill as Academic All-State football players.

Carper also announced the MFCA All-District award winners:

1st Team – Gage Dodge -defensive back, Bryson Orton- defensive line, Will Fromm – quarterback, and Gage Dodge- kicker.

Named to the second team were Jaydan Payne -linebacker, Mason Kliethermes – linebacker and Stephen Terrill – offensive line.

Coach Carper also announced several post  season awards from area media.

The Quincy Herald Whig honored Dodge as a first team performer from the area at defensive back. Named to the Whig’s  honorable mention list were – Orton (DL), Will Fromm (QB), Payne (LB) and Brett Monroe (TE).

The coaching staff also presented several team awards at the banquet. Dodge  was honored as the team’s most valuable player. Fromm was named the offensive MVP while Payne earned defensive MVP honors and Monroe earned special teams MVP honors.

Bryson Orton received “The Big Ugly Award” as the most valuable lineman. The blue collar award for the program’s top scout team players went to Jace Morrow and Branton Burrus.

Conner Harrison was named the program’s most improved player while Kaden Anders received the Iron Tiger Award for the player that demonstrated a consistent work ethic in the weight room.

Stephen Terrill received the Chester Robinson Award,  given to the player showing the most sportsmanship, loyalty, and inspiration, in honor of former Tiger Chester Robinson.

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