October 1, 2009

Missouri Releases Findings of Biennial Scotland County Audit

The biennial audit of Scotland County government was recently completed by the Missouri State Auditors office which highlighted a number of findings for officer holders and the public.

State Auditor Susan Montee indicated the scope of the audit included, but was not necessarily limited to, the two years ended December 31, 2008.

Officers reviewed minutes of meetings, written policies and procedures, financial records, and other pertinent documents while interviewing various personnel of the county, as well as certain external parties and testing selected transactions.

The objectives of the audit were to evaluate the countys internal controls over significant management and financial functions. The audit also reviewed the countys compliance with certain legal provisions and the economy and efficiency of certain management practices and operations, including certain revenues and expenditures.

This was not a financial audit. That part of the two-year review is being performed by McBride, Lock & Associates, Certified Public Accountants, whose report will be available at a later date.

The state auditors office released five audit findings following the completion of the Scotland County audit.

The audit highlighted the countys failure to post notice for the August 2, 2007, closed session meeting of the county commission. In addition, for two of the three closed session meetings held during the 2 years ended December 31, 2008, the open meeting minutes did not document the related vote for closing the meeting or cite the specific statute and subsection allowing the closure.

The county was again found to be lacking in record keeping for open meetings of the commission, as cited in previous audits.

The report stated the County Commission open meeting minutes do not always include sufficient detail of matters discussed or actions taken, and it appears many motions passed are not included in the meeting minutes. Under the Sunshine Law minutes are required to include, but not be limited to, the date, time, place, members present, members absent, and a record of votes taken. In addition, the minutes should provide details regarding discussions that take place during meetings. Complete and accurate minutes are necessary to retain a record of the business conducted and actions taken by the commission.

The Scotland County Commission provided the following response to the finding:

We plan to implement the recommendation. We will also have Sunshine Law training through the Attorney Generals office in September 2009.

We will work to include all motions in the minutes. The details of discussions could be marginally improved, which we will try to do.

In another finding, the audit noted the countys controls over fuel use are not adequate. During the two years ended December 31, 2008, the road and bridge department spent approximately $268,000 on fuel for 17 trucks and various equipment (such as graders, tractors, and loaders). The county purchases fuel for non-diesel vehicles by using fuel cards at a local gas station and it purchases diesel in bulk and maintains two tanks on county property.

The road and bridge department does not maintain any type of fuel logs in the vehicles or equipment, nor does it maintain fuel inventory records or logs of fuel dispensed at the countys bulk fuel tanks.

The auditors noted that by not maintaining inventory records and fuel logs, the road and bridge department cannot reconcile fuel purchases made during the month to fuel used and on hand.

Complete fuel inventory records and use logs are needed to compile data required to perform effective reviews and reconciliations. To monitor the reasonableness and propriety of fuel use and disbursements, fuel logs should be maintained and periodically reviewed. Recorded use should be reconciled to fuel purchased and on hand. Failure to account for fuel use could result in theft or misuse going undetected.

The audit also pointed out that mileage logs that include the purpose and destination of each trip and beginning and ending odometer readings are not maintained by the road and bridge department to document the use of county-owned vehicles.

Complete and detailed mileage logs for all county owned vehicles should be maintained, and a review of these records should be periodically performed.

The county commission issued the following response:

We will put a log in every vehicle and piece of machinery to track fuel usage and mileage. We will also reconcile the logs to the fuel purchases made.

A third finding revealed that the County Clerk does not prepare or verify the accuracy of the current or delinquent tax books. The County Collector extends and prints the tax books and tax statements and verifies the accuracy of amounts to be collected. Because the County Collector is responsible for collecting property tax monies, good internal controls require someone independent of that process be responsible for generating and testing the accuracy of the property tax books.

The County Clerk provided the following response to the auditors:

I will start preparing the current and delinquent tax books.

A fourth finding cited the county for inadequate computer systems security. The audit stated password and backup procedures are not adequate in some county offices.

The County Commission provided the following responses:

We will work with the other officials to establish user identifications and passwords and ensure passwords are changed every 30 days.

We will work with the other officials to ensure backup data is tested and periodically taken off-site.

The County Treasurer provided the following response:

Backups are now taken to a bank lockbox weekly.

The final audit finding highlighted the Sheriffs office procedures related to bank reconciliations, receipts, deposits, inmate costs, contracts, and change funds.

The Sheriffs office processes monies for conceal and carry permits, civil fees, bonds, trailer inspections, phone commissions, calendar sales, and receipts intended for inmates. Receipts totaled approximately $56,000 and $75,000 for the years ended December 31, 2008 and 2007, respectively.

The audit stated monthly bank reconciliations are not performed.

Our review of four months of activity in the Sheriffs bank account and the respective monthly transmittals made to the County Treasurer noted each month had an unidentified balance of approximately $140. Monthly reconciliations would have revealed the unidentified balance and allowed the necessary corrections to be made on a more timely basis, the audit report stated.

The audit found that deposits are not made timely. During the 2 years ended December 31, 2008,deposits were made one to three times per month and averaged approximately$2,900. To adequately safeguard receipts and reduce the risk of loss or misuse of funds, all receipts should be deposited on a timely basis.

It also recommended that the sheriffs department periodically review the costs of housing inmates and establish billing rates sufficient to recover costs. In addition, the Sheriff and the County Commission should ensure written contracts are obtained for all services.

The Sheriff provided the following responses:

Bank reconciliations are now performed monthly. The unidentified balance is currently being investigated.

Deposits are now made at least weekly. Cash bonds are deposited the same day they are received.

Perfect Storm Sinks SCR-I Baseball Playoff Hopes in District Title Game

Gage Dodge hangs on to the ball after being taken out by the slide at second base. Scotland County recorded the out on the stolen base attempt to end the inning during the district championship game.

For Scotland County baseball fans, Wednesday evening proved a bit eerie, as the dark storm clouds that blew in prior to the Class 2 District 5 championship game proved emblematic of the storm ahead that ended SCR-I’s dream of a playoff run before it got off the ground.

With winds whipping and a storm brewing, Canton struck a key blow in the top of the first inning. Josh Kermoade led off with a walk. With one out, Lance Logsdon singled. A passed ball allowed both runners to move into scoring position before Carson Birck singled to put the visitors on top 2-0.

SCR-I had a chance to answer in the bottom of the frame after two out singles by Grant Campbell and Will Fromm, but Logsdon struck out Lane Pence to end the threat.

With one out in the second, Lavion Wilson struck out but reached on a passed ball. He stole second base and scored on a base hit by Trey Metz to extend the lead to 3-0 off starter Aaron Buford.

The senior hurler, who had signed earlier in the day to play collegiately at Southeastern Community College in Burlington, IA, ran into more trouble in the third inning. Koy Smith walked and Cooper Hudnut was hit by a pitch that left the SCR-I hurler grasping his right elbow, forcing him to leave the game.

Grant Campbell took over on the mound and was greeted by an RBI single from Birck.

The storm clouds worsened and the game was halted for a lightning delay, that included a few brief showers.

Once the game resumed, Canton delivered another blow plating two more runs on a fielder’s choice and an error to extend the lead to 6-0 before Pence gunned down Wilson trying to steal second base to end the crazy inning.

SCR-I never recovered from the storm.

Logsdon kept the potent Tigers’ bats in check the entire night as SCR-I struggled with the strike zone, as Logsdon piled up nine strikeouts on the evening, including seven when the bat never left the hitter’s shoulder.

After the first inning, Scotland County only mounted one true scoring threat. In the fifth, Elijah Cooley was hit by a pitch to start the frame. Aaron Blessing followed with a base on balls. But the Tigers were able to scratch out just one run, on an RBI infield singled by Gage Dodge. Campbell fouled out with two runners in scoring position, as the winds blew a ball that appeared to be well out of play, back onto the field for the third baseman to grab and end the rally.

Canton put the game away in the top of the sixth, plating seven runs, all with two outs, as the wheels came off the SCR-I season. Canton used a little bit of everything, including a walk, a hit batsman, an SCR-I error, a dropped third strike, and a few other defensive misplays that punctuated a dreadful day for a really good baseball team.

Logsdon retired the side in order in the bottom of the sixth as Canton charged on to the field to celebrate the district championship.

Buford was tagged with the loss, surrendering five runs, three earned, on three hits and two walks in 2 1/3 innings pitched. He struck out four. Campbell allowed eight runs, four earned, on seven hits and six walks in 3 2/3 innings of relief work.

Logsdon limited Scotland County to just four hits on the night, walking one and hitting one batter.

The Tigers end the season with a 19-2 mark. Canton advances to take on Sturgeon in round one of the state playoffs as one of the 16 teams remaining in Class 2 play.

In the Valley

Turkey hunting, where I live, is not for the faint of heart. Even though there are some easy places, much of the hunting I do is in the mountains. Our mountains are not like the Rockies but they are also not like the Deep South. The highest peak is about three thousand feet. Needless to say, to traverse the ridges and valleys in search of turkeys can be a very exhausting experience. It seems if I’m on this side of the hollow, the bird is always on the other side. So, here I go down in the depths of the hollow on this side only to climb up to the top of the ridge on the other side.

By the second week of hunting, I’m in great shape. What I have noticed, however, is the view is always better the higher I get. And not only is the view better, but it’s that particular view that always lingers in my mind. I never think about the wonderful sites in the small, dark valleys but the picturesque landscape from the top of the mountain remains permanently ingrained in the recesses of my mind.

I often think of the possibilities of getting lost when I keep climbing and climbing. You know, it’s easy to do that when we’re so wrapped up in getting to the top. You can get so turned around you lose your bearing. The experts say when this happens to find a water source and follow it down stream. Downstream?  You mean to find where I’m am, I have to go down?  You mean down in the hollows? You mean down in the valleys? You mean down where it’s dark and where the view is limited and confined? I guess so.

Sometimes we all get caught up in climbing higher and higher in things other than hunting. We get wrapped up in the possibilities and what my lie just ahead. In the climb, sometimes, we lose sight of whom and what we are and where we are as well.  It’s at that time the Lord has to awaken us and bring us back to Him and to ourselves. How do we get there? In the valley. But don’t fear the valley, because it’s there where He always shows us the way back home.

Gary Miller

Outdoor Truths Ministries


Traffic Changes Implemented at Two Memphis Intersections

A new stop sign has been installed at the intersection of Market and North Streets in Memphis. the change was approved recently by the Memphis City Council to address visibility concerns at the intersection caused by parked vehicles.

The council approved installing a stop sign for traffic northbound on Market Street. Traffic at the intersection was already stopped by signs on North Street for both east- and westbound traffic.

The move turns the intersection into a three-way stop. Southbound traffic will not be required to stop. The council decided not to make it a four-way stop because of the steep incline heading into the southbound intersection on Market Street, which could be a factor in inclement weather.

The council also agreed to install a yield sign on County Road 555 at the northeast corner of Memphis where the gravel road comes onto Sigler Avenue near Scotland County Hospital. The intersection technically is county property, but the county does not install or maintain traffic signs.

The yield sign will impact southbound traffic on the gravel rood and will not impact traffic on Sigler Street.

Missouri DAR to Host Wheeling for Healing in September

Missouri DAR (Daughters of the American Revolution) is sponsoring Wheeling for Healing, a fundraising bike ride across the historic Katy and Rock Island Trail, on Saturday, September 30, 2017 from 8:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.  Proceeds from this ride will be divided between the Wounded Warrior Project and DAR’s Project Patriot.

The WWP mission is to honor and empower Wounded Warriors who incurred a physical or mental injury, illnesses, or wound, co-incident to their military service on or after September 11, 2001.  WWP also supports family members and caregivers of a Wounded Warrior.

DAR’s Project Patriot supports the Chaplain’s Closet at Landstuhl Medical Center in Landstuhl, Germany; the Warrior Transition Brigade at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center Bethesda, Maryland and the Wounded Warrior and Family Support Center in San Antonio, Texas.  In addition, Project Patriot provides support to deploying and returning service members and their families.

The bike ride will take place across the historic Katy and Rock Island Trail. DAR chapters from all across the state are sponsoring SAG (Support And Gear) stations along the trail. Participants can enter and exit at any point along the Katy Trail and the Rock Island Spur.  The Jauflione Chapter of NSDAR, our local chapter, will be set up at the Hartsburg SAG. All registered riders will receive a T-shirt and swag bag.

Bicycling registration is due June 1st.  However, anyone is welcome to join riders along the trail, and any donation is greatly appreciated and can be dropped off at any SAG location.  For those wishing to register for the event, the Adult Rider fee is $30 and includes a t-shirt and SWAG bag.  The Child Rider (16 and under) fee is $15 and includes a t-shirt.  Jerseys can be purchased for $55 and additional t-shirts can also be purchased for $15.

Susan Miller is the coordinator for the Hartsburg SAG stop being sponsored by our local DAR chapter.  For more information about this event, whether to register as a rider, make a donation, or become a corporate sponsor, please contact Susan at: RR1 Box 130, Memphis, MO 63555 or call her at 660-945-3757.

Junior High Track Squads Close Out Season at Conference Meet

Teammates Kaden Anders and Alex Long battle it out down the stretch in the conference finals of the 200 meter dash. (Photo by Dr. Stephen Terrill)

The Scotland County junior high track teams closed out the 2017 season at the Lewis & Clark Conference on May 9th at Central Methodist University in Fayette.

The Tigers finished third in their inaugural season in the new league while the Lady Tigers were sixth out of nine schools.

Paris won the boys title with 124 points followed by Knox County with 94. SCR-I amassed 86 points to edge Clark County with 81.25 points. Westran was fifth followed by Harrisburg, Marceline, Schuyler County and Salisbury.

Marceline won the girls crown with 159 points. Salisbury (109) was second, followed by Paris (77.33), Harrisburg (75)  and Clark County (45). SCR-I earned 42.33 points to edge Schuyler County (41.33), Westran (15) and Knox County (12).

Kaden Anders led the Tigers with a first place finish in the long jump with a distance of 19′ 6.5″. Alex Long was third with a distance of 18′ 7″.

Anders also took top honors in the 400 meter dash and was third in the high jump and third in the 200 meter dash.

Alex Long finished fifth in the 200 meter dash. He took fourth in the 100 meter dash with brother Hayden Long in fifth. Alex was third in the 100 meter hurdles while Hayden took seventh.

Hayden Long earned third in the 1,600 meter run while Brady Curry was seventh.

Austin Holtke finished third in the shot put.

The 4×400 relay team of Kale Creek, Carson Harrison, Kade Richmond and Holtke finished fifth. They also teamed up for a seventh place finish in the 4×200 relay.

The 4×100 team of Jared Cerroni, Hunter Cook, Kabe Hamlin and Magnum Talbert finished eighth.

Hailey Kraus led the Lady Tigers with a third place finish in the high jump. She took seventh in the 400 meter dash.

Hannah Feeney finished third in the 800 meter run and was seventh in the triple jump.

Aayla Humphrey finished sixth in the 200 meter dash and was eighth in the 100 meter dash.

Shantel Small finished seventh in the 1,600 meter run and eighth in the 200 meter dash.

Haylee McMinn was sixth in the shot put and Emily Dial took eighth in the long jump.

The 4×400 relay team of Morgan Blessing, Jenna Blessing, Emily Terrill  and Kraus finished fourth.

The 4×100 relay team of Bobbi Darcy, Kiley Bradley-Robinson, Jenna Blessing and Morgan Blessing, also took fourth place. The same team took fifth in the 4×200 relay.

Spring Turkey Hunters Harvest 43,339 Birds

Preliminary data from the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) shows that turkey hunters checked 39,239 birds during Missouri’s 2017 regular spring turkey season April 17 through May 7. Top harvest counties were Franklin with 932 birds checked, Texas with 843, and Callaway with 697. Young turkey hunters harvested 4,100 birds during the 2017 spring youth season, April 8-9, bringing the overall 2017 spring turkey harvest to 43,339.

Scotland County hunters checked in 274 adult gobblers, 35 jakes and five bearded hens for a harvest total of 314. Schuyler County hunters bagged 215 birds while Knox County checked in 271 turkeys and Clark County hunters harvested 318 turkeys.

The 2016 overall spring turkey harvest was 48,374 birds with 4,167 harvested during the youth weekend and 44,207 during the regular spring season.

“Given that we haven’t had good hatches the past couple years, and the less-than-ideal weather during a considerable portion of this year’s season, the drop in harvest compared to last year was not unexpected,” MDC Turkey Biologist Jason Isabelle said.

He added that the number of birds harvested this spring wasn’t too far behind last year’s harvest total going into the second weekend of spring turkey season, but the heavy rains that blanketed much of the state shortly thereafter caused the harvest to drop rapidly.

Isabelle noted favorable weather over this past weekend helped harvest numbers bounce back a bit.

The 2017 spring turkey season included two non-fatal hunting incidents. One involved a shooter who mistook another hunter for a turkey and the other was a self-inflicted shooting injury.

Missouri offers some of the best turkey hunting in the nation. MDC restoration efforts in past decades have taken this popular game bird from almost being wiped out in the state by the 1950s to an estimated sustainable population of more than 300,000 birds today. Missouri turkey hunters spend more than $125 million each year on related travel, food, lodging, and hunting equipment, which helps local businesses and the economy.

Tigers Mash Milan 14-0 to Advance to District Championship Game

Aaron Buford tossed two shutout innings as the Tigers blanked Milan 14-0 in the Class District 5 semifinals on Monday in Memphis.

A pair of nice defensive plays early on by the Milan outfielders kept Scotland County off the scoreboard early in Monday’s Class 2 District 5 semifinals in Memphis. But the Tigers’ offense proved too potent to keep down for long, as SCR-I put up seven runs in back-to-back innings to defeat the Wildcats 14-0.

Aaron Buford got off to a rough start, walking the leadoff hitter before surrendering a single. He recovered nicely, striking out the next six batters he faced.

Milan got out of a bases loaded jam when Wyatt Boyle robbed Justin McKee of a hit with a diving catch in center field.

Jesus Gonzalez made a similar play in right field in the bottom of the second inning to steal a base hit from Will Pickerell after Elijah Cooley opened the frame with a bunt single. After Buford was hit by a pitch, Cooley advanced to third on a wild pitch and scored on a throwing error by the catcher. Gage Dodge singled home Buford to make the score 2-0. With two outs, Grant Campbell walked and Will Fromm plated both runs with a base hit. He scored on a double by Lane Pence. McKee followed with an RBI single. After a base hit by Cooley, Aaron Blessing walked to load the bases. A base on balls to Pickerell plated McKee to extend the lead to 7-0.

That was more than enough cushion to give Buford the hook after just 36 pitches, allowing him to be used in Wednesday night’s title game.

The Tigers limited the workload on the rest of the staff as well, adding another seven-spot in the bottom of the third to insure the game would end early by the 10-run rule.

McKee, Campbell and Blessing had RBI doubles in the frame.

Grant Campbell held Milan hitless over the next 2 2/3 innings in relief for SCR-I. Gage Dodge got the final out to nail down the 14-0 victory as SCR-I improved to 19-1 on the season.

Buford notched the win, allowing a hit and a walk in two innings of work while striking out six. Campbell fanned five batters and walked one.

Fromm went 3-4 with three RBIs. Cooley was 3-3 with two runs scored and McKee went 2-3 with two RBIs.

Dollar General Literacy Foundation Awards Nearly $170,000 to Missouri Schools, Nonprofits and Literacy Organizations

The Dollar General Literacy Foundation announced the award of more than $170,000 in literacy grants to Missouri nonprofit organizations, libraries and schools this morning. These funds are aimed at supporting adult, family and summer literacy programs within a 20-mile radius of a Dollar General store or distribution center across the 44 states Dollar General serves, and plan to positively impact the lives of nearly 15,000 Missourians.

“Dollar General is excited to provide these organizations with funding to support literacy and education throughout the 44 states we serve,” said Todd Vasos, Dollar General’s CEO.  “Providing these grants and supporting the communities we call home reflects our mission of Serving Others and it’s rewarding to see the impact these funds have.”

Northeast Missouri Caring Communities, Inc. of Edina received a $12,000 grant.

Statewide grants are part of more than $7.5 million that the Dollar General Literacy Foundation awarded this morning. Recipients of today’s grant announcements plan to use Dollar General Literacy Foundation funds to help adults learn to read, prepare for the high school equivalency exam, promote childhood summer reading or learn English. Missouri recipients are listed below and a comprehensive list of grant recipients may be found online at www.dgliteracy.org.

The Dollar General Literacy Foundation is also currently accepting applications for youth literacy grants through Thursday, May 18, 2017. Youth literacy grants support schools, public libraries and nonprofit organizations in implementing new or expanding existing literacy efforts. Funding can be used to purchase new technology, equipment, books, materials or software to enhance literacy programs. Applications are available online at www.dgliteracy.org.

For additional information, photographs or items to supplement a story, please visit the Dollar General Newsroom or contact the Media Relations Department at 1-877-944-DGPR (3477) or via email at dgpr@dg.com.

Anna Monroe Named to  Graceland University 2017 Honors List

LAMONI, IA (05/16/2017)– The honor roll lists for Graceland University’s 2017 spring term have been announced, and Anna Monroe of Memphis, MO, has been named to the Honors List.

Graceland University students with a GPA between 3.65 and 3.99 are named to the honors list. Congratulations, Anna! Graceland commends you on your academic success.

For more information visit www.graceland.edu and find Graceland University on Facebook and Twitter to follow additional student achievements.

Founded in 1895 and sponsored by Community of Christ, Graceland University in Lamoni, Iowa, is more than just a school. It is a community of passionate, caring and dedicated individuals who put their relationships with students first. Campuses are located in Lamoni, Iowa, and Independence, Missouri. For more information and to see additional student achievements, follow @gracelandu on Twitter and like Graceland University on Facebook, or visit www.graceland.edu.

Cemetery Revitalization

I want to publicly applaud the efforts of Elaine Smith, Ronnie Tinkle, Jeff Smith, and the generous donor(s) who made the revitalization of the Bethel Cemetery possible! On behalf of all the Rodgers, Barr and Overfield descendants, we are so grateful for your hard work!

Seeing Bethel the last time I was in Scotland County was heartbreaking and I wanted so badly to find a way to get it cleaned up. Elaine, Ronnie, Jeff, and the donor(s) were an answer to prayer. God Bless you!

Bruce Rodgers

Rochester, MN

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