March 25, 2010

Proposed Legislation Cutting Summer School Funding Could Impact SCR-Is 2010 Program

Spring is in the air and summer is just around the corner. Despite being just months away from the end of the current school year, the Scotland County R-I School District and other districts across the state remain up in the air regarding summer school plans. The uncertainty according to Scotland County R-I Superintendent Dave Shalley comes courtesy of a recently introduced bill in the Missouri legislature that would eliminate state funding for the program immediately.

This is designed to help reduce the shortfall in the state budget, Shalley stated at the March 16th meeting of the SCR-I School Board. But since the average daily attendance from summer school is added to the state formula payments, this could mean a reduction in the state formula money for Scotland County R-I of over $160,000.

Shalley indicated the outcome of the legislative proposal may not be known until as late as mid May. He noted that this legislation could affect the 2010 summer school.

With current budget withholdings from the state, SCR-I is projecting a deficit budget of $335,902 for the current school year.

We must proceed in the future with great caution, as budget projections look ominous for 2010-11 and even worse for 2011-12, Shalley told the board.

In other business, the board voted 7-0 to eliminate the In-School Suspension/ PE position as a budget reduction item for next school year.

The board went into executive session at 8:55 p.m.

The board voted 7-0 to offer employment to the following non-tenured teachers: Jennifer Beeler, Lori Bish, Lynnette Dyer, Emily Frederick, Dani Fromm, Toni Middleton, Cheyenne Pinson, Danielle Reynolds, Erin Tallman, Cindy Van Hoozen, Ryan Anderson, Ivy Garmon, Kevin Gundy, Dustin Harper, Jaryt Hunziker, Jenna Ketchum, Claire Overton, Kim Small, Matt Reel, Sean Reynolds, Corey Stott, Cassandra Whitlock, Greg Wilson and T.J.Young.

The board voted 6-0 to offer Lance Campbell employment. Paul Campbell stepped out of the room for the vote.

The board voted 6-1 to offer Ivonne Wiegand employment with Stacy Alexander, Bill Cottrell, Campbell, Gary Miller, Dr. Randy Tobler and George Koontz voting yes and Matt McKee voting no.

The board voted 7-0 to non-renew Tom McDaniels contract due to the elimination of the ISS/PE position.

The board voted 7-0 to offer Dana Frederick employment for the elementary art position.

The board voted 7-0 to offer contracts to Lindsay Tippett and Angela Cochran.

The board voted 6-1 to extend the contract of Dave Shalley to June 30, 2013. Alexander, Campbell, Koontz, Miller, McKee and Tobler voted YES; Cottrell voted NO.

The board voted 6-1 to extend the contract of Rhonda McBee to June 30, 2013. Alexander, Campbell, Koontz, Miller, McKee and Tobler voted YES; Cottrell NO.

The board voted to go out of executive session and into open session to adjourn at 2:00 a.m.

In other business during the regular session, the board approved a pair of overnight trip requests for school clubs. The FBLA State Leadership Conference is in Columbia April 18, 19 and 20. The club plans on leaving Monday morning at 8:00 and returning Tuesday at 6:00 p.m. Denice Blaine requested an overnight stay for the Gifted Program May 24 in Chicago. The board voted 7-0 to approve both requests.

Surplus Property Bids- Last month several pieces of SCR-I equipment were deemed as surplus property and advertised for bids for sale.

The following bids were accepted on each item: 50 used choir robes- Putnam County High School- $250; Delta Rockwell 10 table saw- Allen Creek- $308; Delta upright variable speed drill press- Jason Emel - $151; Delta 10 radial arm saw- $125 Greg Porter; 2 1/2 ton floor jack - $125 - Joe Humes; 2 squat racks - $50 each - Salisbury High School; 2 weight benches - $90 each - Scotland County Fitness Center; hip flexor machine - $165 - Scotland County Fitness Center; miscellaneous weight equipment - $25 - Jason Emel.

The board voted 6-0-1 to accept the high bids. George Koontz abstained

Bus Bids

At the February board meeting, Transportation Director Carl Trueblood was authorized to advertise for bids for the purchase of a new bus. The district received bids from Central States ($74,340), Midwest Transit ($70,958) and Ponder Equipment ($72,985).

Due to the forecasted financial difficulties, the board instructed me to look into a possible lease option which would reduce our annual obligation and stretch payments over three years Shalley stated.

Board Resolution

The board voted 7-0 to adopt the following resolution: Be it resolved the Scotland County R-1 School Board supports Professional Learning Communities in order to foster teacher effectiveness, thus increasing positive student outcomes.

In February, the board had discussed adopting a resolution supporting the commitment to becoming a PLC (Professional Learning Communities) school. PLC schools demonstrate a commitment to students success in their academic careers.

Senior Dismissal

In the past, we have allowed the senior class to be dismissed from the final three or four days of school following their graduation ceremony, Shalley stated. Due to the large number of days missed this year, (nine) their absence would directly impact our attendance rate, as well as some state aid.

The district administrators requested that the Class of 2010 seniors final day be May 21st. The board voted 7-0 to approve this dismissal date.

Board Workshop

The planned board budget workshop scheduled for April has been canceled and will be rescheduled at a later date when the needed budget information from the legislature is made available.

Letter Of Resignation

Arlene Dochterman submitted a letter of resignation, effective the end of the academic year. Arlene has worked for the district for 40 years as a bus driver and cook. The board voted 7-0 to accept Arlenes resignation.

Rural Hospital are a Lifeline

by U.S. Congressman Sam Graves

Rural hospitals are a literal lifeline for tens of millions of people across this country. In communities that don’t have enough primary care doctors or health facilities, rural hospitals provide a critical, lifesaving service that otherwise would not be here for us.

Unfortunately, about 80 rural hospitals have closed since 2010. What’s worse, one third of all rural hospitals in the U.S. could close in the next few years. That’s 12 million Americans at risk of losing access to the closest emergency room. A devastating number, and something we can’t allow to continue in rural America.

Cuts to hospital payments have worsened the problem, and as populations decrease in rural communities, so-called “medical desserts” are popping up across rural America. It leaves people living on farms or in small towns dangerously vulnerable to medical emergency – particularly older Americans.

This week, I am joining with my colleague from Iowa, Dave Loebsack, to introduce the Save Rural Hospitals Act. This bipartisan bill looks to reverse the trend of rural hospital closures, in part by eliminating unrealistic federal regulations like the “96 hour rule,” which forces rural hospitals to move a patient within 96 hours in order to get reimbursed by Medicare.

The average rural hospital creates 195 jobs and generates $8.4 million in annual payroll. But more than that, these facilities make communities livable, ensuring a doctor isn’t far away when a medical emergency strikes.

This bill shines a light on the rural health crisis in Missouri and across the country. If we accept this reality – and neglect this much needed conversation – rural hospitals in Missouri will continue to close. This leaves thousands without access to health care, putting lives in jeopardy and affecting every family in Middle America. That’s simply not acceptable.

City Looking to Crack Down on Traffic Violations

Memphis residents are being reminded to monitor posted speed limits. Photo by Maddy Zahn.

With an increasing number of citizens voicing complaints regarding traffic concerns, the Memphis City Council recently agreed to move forward with an increased police presence while also encouraging a lower tolerance level for infractions.

Complaints have centered around speeding, stop sign adherence and non-traditional vehicle usage such as ATVs and golf carts.

“The City of Memphis has not written a lot of traffic tickets, but unfortunately that appears like it is going to have to change,” said Alderman Chris Feeney. “This isn’t about revenue, or being punitive, it is about public safety.”

Police Chief Bill Holland indicated officers have tried to use warnings and have allowed some leeway when dealing with speed enforcement.

Under the new council directive, that tolerance level will be reduced.

“In the past, we may have just flashed our lights at you, or offered a warning when a car was going a little too fast,” said Holland. “Now those cars going 30 in a 20 will likely be looking at a ticket.”

Holland stated the enforcement efforts have been ongoing, with officers performing additional traffic patrols. In an effort to enhance those efforts, a part-time officer has been added to the police force. Justin Allen from Clark County will be joining the MPD, and Holland indicated his initial responsibilities will focus on traffic control. The department has been shorthanded with the departure of officer Jason Ketchum, and Holland said efforts will continue to replace that full-time officer as well.

The council also has discussed the possibility of adding a radar camera system that could be deployed by the department in trouble areas to help deter speeding and produce data on traffic volume and speed habits of motorists.

“We are not turning a deaf ear to citizen complaints,” said Holland. “When we become aware of trouble spots, we increase our presence there, but it takes being in the right spot at exactly the right time to catch the people responsible for the complaints.”

Unless otherwise posted, the speed limit within the city limits is 25 mph. ATV’s, golf carts or utility vehicles are allowed on public streets only by special permit, available at city hall. They may only be driven by licensed drivers and are not to exceed 30 mph regardless if the posted speed limit is higher.

Holland noted that enforcement efforts are difficult with a small force, that typically only has one officer on duty, adding that police presence performing traffic patrol normally turns into a simple deterrent rather quickly as motorists become aware of the law enforcement presence and temporarily reduce speeds or choose alternate routes.

While automated traffic controls such as radar cameras and stop sign video surveillance are not particularly popular with the public, the city council expressed a willingness to at least consider such measures.

“I’m certain I have exceeded a posted speed limit at some time or other,” said Alderman Feeney. “In doing so I could be putting the public safety at risk. So I have a choice, I can either slow down and monitor my speed better, or I can risk paying a ticket.”

The council is hoping the community chooses the first option, but is anticipating it will take more of the later for the initiative to hit home and start to sink in for motorists.

Area Students Named to MU Dean’s List

Several area students were named to the University of Missouri spring semester 2017 dean’s list.

Kathryn Mary Howard of Memphis has been named to honor roll. Howard is a senior student.

Samantha Rachel Tobler, a senior, was named to the 2017 dean’s list for the spring semester.

Jaclyn Wiggins, a junior student in the arts and science school, was named to the honor roll as well.

More Than $988 Million in Unclaimed Property Waiting to be Returned  Statewide

JEFFERSON CITY – State Treasurer Eric Schmitt on June 15th announced the start of an annual effort to return Unclaimed Property to Missourians by publishing the names of owners in Missouri newspapers. Starting June 16, the names of more than 145,000 individuals, families, small businesses, and non-profits with Unclaimed Property will be printed in more than 100 publications across the state.

“Our team works hard every single day to financially empower Missourians by returning the money they are rightfully owed,” Schmitt said. “One in ten Missourians have Unclaimed Property, and this public awareness initiative is one of the many creative ways we work to get abandoned money back to its rightful owners. I encourage all Missourians to visit ShowMeMoney.com to see if they or someone they know has money waiting to be claimed free of charge.”

Missouri law requires these notices be published annually in order to list the names of individuals whose Unclaimed Property valued at $50 or more has been turned over to the State Treasurer’s Office in the past year.

Individuals, families, small businesses, and others can check to see if they have Unclaimed Property on ShowMeMoney.com. They can also sign up for email notifications when new assets come in matching their information and send notifications to family and friends to let them know about money being held in their name.

Treasurer Schmitt has returned more than $13.5 million to over 50,000 account holders since taking office in January. The average Unclaimed Property return is around $300.

Fireworks Season Will Run June 20th – July 10th in City of Memphis

As the Independence Day holiday approaches, the Memphis Police Department is reminding city residents of ordinances related to the discharge of fireworks in city limits.

Fireworks may be discharged from June 20 – July 10th from 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. daily. That coincides with the permitted sales period.

Fireworks are prohibited on public property, including parks and the municipal lakes. It is unlawful for any person to discharge any fireworks within the city limits of Memphis, except upon their own property or upon property whose owner has given his/her consent. It is also illegal to recklessly discharge fireworks in such a manner that the explosion of the same will be likely to endanger or cause injury or damage to any person or property within the city limits of Memphis.

Any person violating any of the provisions of the city’s fireworks ordinance shall, upon conviction, be punished by a fine not exceeding $500 or by imprisonment in the City or County Jail not exceeding ninety 90 days, or by both such fine and imprisonment; provided, that in any case wherein the penalty for an offense is fixed by a Statute of the State, the statutory penalty, and no other, shall be imposed for such offense.

Memphis Man Facing Charges Following Motorcycle Crash

A Memphis man is facing numerous charges following a motorcycle crash on Route MM Tuesday evening.

According to the Missouri State Highway Patrol, the accident occurred at 7:30 p.m. on June 13th, a half mile south of the Highway 136  intersection, just south of Memphis.

Russell B Matthew, 34, was southbound on Route MM on a 1993 Suzuki 500 motorcycle when the vehicle ran off the right side of the roadway and overturned. Matthew sustained moderate injuries in the crash. He was transported via patrol car to Scotland County Hospital.

Matthew was ticketed for driving while intoxicated, no valid license, leaving the scene of an accident, child endangerment, failure to wear approved headgear and failure to drive on right half of the roadway.

The Patrol was assisted at the scene by the Memphis Police Department and the Scotland County Sheriff’s Office.

Large Hail Storm Pounds Scotland County

Chrissy Myers put the hail to the ruler test, topping out at two inches in diameter.

Some brief power outages and several downed tree limbs  were all that law enforcement had to report following Saturday’s severe weather that hit northeast Missouri, but the real damage reports started rolling in Monday at local insurance offices.

The National Weather Service reported “Severe thunderstorms tracked across eastern Iowa, northeast Missouri, and north central Illinois Saturday afternoon and evening. Large hail, torrential rain, and damaging winds up to 65 mph were reported.  Very large hail fell in Muscatine, IA and Antioch, MO, where golf ball and baseball size hail was reported respectively.”

The heavy rains and high winds did minimal damage in Scotland County, but hail ranging in size from golf ball to as big as baseballs, was reported, leading to hundreds of claims for hail damage to vehicles, homes and businesses.

Local insurance agents and auto body repair specialists indicated it is too early to offer a  solid estimate for storm damages, but several speculated that with anywhere from 300 to 500 damaged vehicles and a smaller number of hail damaged homes and businesses, the total could easily eclipse $1 million.

At approximately 7:15 p.m. Saturday evening, the frozen precipitation hit the City of Memphis. Trained storm spotters reported hail up to two-inches in diameter, with reports and photos of larger bundles of ice making their rounds via social media.

Kris Lister collected this assortment of hail stones at his Memphis residence on Mi-Lor Street.

The storm continued east, with similar damage reports out of Kahoka and Clark County around 7:45 p.m.

More than 2 inches of rain was reported during the storm, with the hail dissipating as the storm left Missouri, but still resulting in significant rainfall in southeast Iowa and eastern Illinois.

Fundraisers Planned for Future Home of Pheasant Airplane

A series of fundraisers have been planned for a local effort to construct a permanent home for the historic Pheasant Airplane. Three separate summer events have been planned by the committee to help secure funds to construct a building on the south end of the east side of the Memphis city square.

Volunteers will be providing the lunch services during the Keith family auction to be held July 1st.

A quilt made by the late Zelda Keith, and donated by her family to the committee, will be raffled off later this summer. Tickets are on sale now for the benefit quilt auction, with the winner to be drawn on Saturday of the 2017 Scotland County Antique Fair.

Tickets will be available from committee members. Secretary Peggy Brown said the committee plans to display the quilt at various area businesses leading up to the raffle, with tickets available at those locations as well.

The group is also planning to host a ham & bean supper in October.

Proceeds from all three events will go into the construction fund. Donations may be mailed to the Scotland County Historical Society – Pheasant Airplane, at PO Box 263, Memphis, MO 63555.

Gorin Man Killed in One-Vehicle Crash in Clark County

A Gorin man was killed and two passengers in his vehicle were injured just after midnight on Sunday morning in a crash in rural Clark County.

According to the Missouri State Highway Patrol, William C. See, 24, was westbound in a 2013 Ford F250 truck on Route D two miles west of Neeper, when the vehicle became airborne at the crest of a hill. The truck ran off the right side of the roadway, overcorrected, and then ran off the left side of the roadway before overturning multiple times. See was ejected from the vehicle. He was pronounced deceased at the scene by Clark County Coroner Ed Wilson.

Two passengers in the truck were injured. Reid R. Harris, 22, of Muscatine, IA sustained serious injuries. He was transported by Clark County Ambulance to Keokuk Area Hospital in Keokuk, IA. Luke A. Sedore, 19 of Alexandria, sustained minor injuries and was treated at the scene.

The Patrol was assisted at the scene by the Clark County Sheriff’s office, Clark County first responders and the ambulance service.

Memphis Red Hats Meet at Keith’s Cafe

The Memphis Red Hats met on Wednesday, June 7th at Keith’s Café.  Hostess Barb Creath gave a reading about veterans followed by funny experiences of people.

Those attending were Vera Monroe, Nancy Eaves, Jean Walker, Shirley Ruth, Marlene Cowell, JoAnn Rood, Nelda Billups, Benjie Briggs, Pat Wiggins, Barb Creath, Marcine Evans and guest, Conner Wiggins.

Marlene Cowell will be the July Hostess.  The meeting will be on July 5th at 5:00 p.m. at the Catfish Place in Arbela.

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