October 21, 2010

First District Representative Candidates Face Off at Canton Forum

This ain't her first rodeo... and it showed as Democratic Candidate Keri Cottrell used the experience she gained in an unsuccessful run at the First District Representative seat back in 2008 as a springboard for a successful showing at Canton on Monday evening.

Cottrell squared off against newcomer Craig Redmon, the Republican candidate for the post being vacated by Brian Munzlinger, R-Lewistown. The two candidates were the guests of the Canton Chapter of American Association of University Women (AAUW), which sponsored the forum allowing them to answer questions submitted live by the audience and read by a moderator.

What Redmon lacked in facts and figures, he made up for with straight forward answers, avoiding the pitfalls of partisanship along the way.

The October 18th event was held at Meaders Lounge on the Culver-Stockton College campus in Canton.

The two Lewis County natives introduced themselves to the mostly student crowd giving brief personal histories before answering a series of questions posed by the audience through a moderator.

With the event being hosted by Culver Stockton College, it was only fitting the first question had to deal with education funding in the state.

Redmon noted that education funding was a hotbed of discussion, with both he and Cottrell in agreement that the state needs to come through with better funding for schools while also eliminating the dollar modifier that is added for urban schools under the guise of higher costs of living in those areas.

"Everybody in Missouri knows, there is a pot of money that all services must be funded from as we are constitutionally obligated to maintain a balanced budget," he said. "So to fully fund education we are going to have to take from some other areas."

Redmon declined to pinpoint what areas, noting it would be unfair to promise budget cuts before ever being involved in the budget process.

Cottrell's experience shined through in her discussion of education funding. She gave a concise explanation of the state's education funding formula and the $6,177 per pupil adequacy target for state aid per student.

She also pointed out the First District is shortchanged by the system's funding on a per pupil basis.

"Our school districts are small in northeast Missouri, they are not the size of the district in Kansas City and St. Louis," she said. So when your overall funding formula is on a per pupil basis that is drastically harmful to the districts in northeast Missouri."

But Cottrell turned the funding formula from an issue of rural versus urban into a question of politics.

She noted that the funding formula was created by Senate Bill287 sponsored by Charlie Shields during a period of Republican control of both the house and the senate.

"The vote was 96 Republicans to 64 Democrats. So many people say that it is a rural versus urban issue, unfortunately I am afraid it is a partisan issue because of the vote that it received."

Both candidates highlighted their opposition to Proposition A, which if passed would eliminate a 1% earnings tax in St. Louis and Kansas City.

Cottrell stated the earnings taxes fund approximately 33% of St. Louis's budget and 44% of Kansas City's budget.

"If this is something we in northeast Missouri choose to support, then we are going to be receiving even more leftovers, as state government is caused to fund more services in St. Louis and Kansas City," Cottrell stated.

Redmon drew a round of applause with a short and to the point response.

"No I'm not for it," he said. "Basically it will take the tax that Kansas City and St. Louis is paying for their goods and services and defer it to northeast Missouri and other areas."

When asked what programs and agencies they would cut to fund drooping health care programs Redmon again steered clear of pinpointing any specific targets.

"I'm afraid I can't tell you what department's need to be cut, because I haven't been down there yet," he said. "It wouldn't be fair."

Redmon did note that with a state in a budget crunch as Missouri is, legislators owe it to their constituents to look at making cuts wherever feasible, adding "there should be no sacred cows, everything needs to be looked at."

Cottrell responded that her first cuts would be made by scrutinizing tax credits.

"There's about $587 million in tax credits," she said. "Tax credits are good if they bare the fruits there were supposed to bare. We need to evaluate them and look and see if they are continuing to do what they were supposed to do, and if they're not they need to be stopped and we need to put that money back into general revenue."

Cottrell also highlighted the 2005 Medicaid cuts.

"1,317 people had their access to health care taken away," she said. "The state legislature took those people from Medicaid but at the same time they chose to insure their own families on state-sponsored health insurance."

Both candidates shared similar sentiments on a number of issues raised at the forum, such as favoring campaign contribution limits, promoting agriculture and investing in renewable energy.

Cottrell highlighted the importance of ethanol and bio diesel tax credits to continue the viability of the fuel source to help decrease dependency on foreign oil.

In addition to the local value-added crop products, Redmon also pointed to the hydro-electric possibilities offered to the First District by its bordering Mississippi River as well as other alternatives such as wind power.

"What we have to remember is this will take a long-term commitment to these alternative energy sources," Redmon said. "This isn't going to happen overnight."

When faced with questions regarding big government and a growing bureaucracy, Cottrell noted that it is a standard line found in one political party's advertising.

"Adding all kinds of programs and funding all different kinds of additional agencies, that is not what we need to do," she said. "What we need to do is look at streamlining that and not working harder, but let's work smarter."

Redmon responded that he does think state government is too big. Again he deferred to identify any areas to cut, noting it is premature to make specific budget choices before being involved in the process.

The forum closed with a question voicing fear the candidates will chose to reflect the interests of their chosen political party in lieu of the needs of the First District.

"My party will always be second," Cottrell said. "That is one reason why I'm kind of proud to be a Democrat. Because in Jefferson City if you're a Democrat, they let you vote on the basis of what is best for your constituents."

Redmon highlighted his nine years of service on the Canton school board to answer the question. He related making decisions not just for his two children, but for the greater good of the entire district.

"I have to look at that guy in the mirror when I get up in the morning and know that I'm making decisions based on you folks and not based on what the people in Jefferson City want me to do," Redmon said. "It'll be tough, I know that. I'll be a freshman lawmaker and they're going to want to twist my arm hard on certain things, but at the end of the day I have to be able to call home and say I made this decision because it was in your best interest."

Downing House Museum Complex News

The Museum Complex has had a very busy summer. We have been fortunate to have some great volunteers who have worked this summer providing tours and updating and cleaning the buildings and displays. Volunteers who have given their time are: June Kice, Gwendolyn Lohmann, AnnaLynn Kirkpatrick, Lynnette Dyer, Melissa Miller, Natalie Miller, Holly Harris, Marie Ebeling, Sandra Ebeling, Janet Hamilton, Elaine Forrester, Diana Koontz, Ruth Ann Carnes, Julie Clapp, Rhonda McBee, and the US Bank employees. We are still gathering aluminum cans to raise funds for the upkeep of our grounds. Thanks to everyone who takes the time to drop those off at the museum and to Elaine Forrester for gathering cans from several local businesses and community friends. Angel Arnold has kindly offered to take the cans with Iowa markings to the recycle center in Bloomfield, Iowa.

A summer thunderstorm brought down some very large tree branches, so the old maple on the front lawn of the Downing House received a much needed trim. Joel Kapfer donated the use of his power lift for Robert Waddell to clean and trim all of the trees in the front lawn. We have also began to refurbish the Rose Garden. It is a work in progress, but we hope to plant new roses in the near future. The local Boy Scout group worked at putting new sand into the brick sidewalk in the garden to maintain it.

The front of the Museum Complex is now illuminated with new outside lighting. Lamp posts and LED lights light the front of the Downing House and the Boyer House. This was made possible by memorial gifts given in memory of Florine Forrester.

The Carriage House is being furnished and is beginning to take shape. We have several tools, blacksmith items, and farm items displayed. New blinds have been hung in the Memphis Depot to help prevent sun damage to items that are found inside on the west side of the historic building.

The Museum Complex will be open on Friday and Saturday during the Scotland County Antique Fair from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.  We will not be charging admission, but will ask for free will donations from patrons. We will be displaying several antique quilts in the Downing House music room and parlor on the first floor of the museum. The gift shop will be open with our coverlets, rugs, and museum memorabilia available to purchase. We are once again hosting the Lawn Party. Lunch will be served by the Rutledge School Restoration Society. Serving will begin as soon as the parade concludes. The menu includes pulled pork, cheesy potatoes, green beans, salads and desserts. The Heritage Band will be playing on the lawn for entertainment.

If you haven’t been to the museum complex lately, please come by for lunch and tour our wonderful facility, see our new carriage house and view our beautiful quilts. We have some wonderful local history to share.

Birding Season

Birding season is quieting down, although I am still enjoying my baby blues and the busy hummingbirds. Most of my sugar consumption goes to hummingbirds. They are hungry.

If you are planning to set up a nice bird feeding station, now would be a good time to measure it off and kill the grass, plant shrubs and get it mulched before winter.  Pick out the feeders that you want to get placed and get ready for an exciting winter of bird feeding.

It is a well known fact that I live in the area that Tom Horn was born and lived for a time.  As I have written, he left home when he was 13 and never looked back. By the time he had been gone from home for a year,  he was on Beaver Head Creek, in the heart of Indian country and could speak Mexican fairly well.  His feelings were so different and his life was so different from the way it was when he left home that it seemed to Tom that he had been on the stage line all his life.

During some of his travels, he was hired as a scout and interpreter.  He would be drawing $100 a month. He and the guy he worked with even had the occasion to speak to interpret for Geronimo. He also worked helping return Indians to the reservations, helping them get blankets, rations, and other needed items.

Horn’s next job was in 1879 helping furnish beef to the Indians for $150 for one month.  The Indians he was dealing with were the Chiricahua. San Carlos was near the Gila River and so was Camp Thomas where Horn did some of his dealings. At this time of turmoil, was the beginning of the Indian War. He continued to translate and guide officers through this Indian war.  Early on in 1881, the Indians and Mexicans were always in turmoil. Horn was very intelligent and knew how to deal with both Mexicans and Indians. More to come later.

Continue mixing up your sugar water 1/4 c. sugar to one cup water, keep it fresh, and no need to fill the feeder completely up. No need to add red coloring, and no need to boil. I would not recommend using anything but granulated sugar, organic raw sugar will not sweeten the same and will also spoil faster.  Until next time, good bird watching.

SCR-I Board of Education Approves Tax Rate Increase

money grad

After eight years of deficit budgets, the school board increased the tax levy to $3.50,  well below the $3.69 voter-approved ceiling.

The Scotland County R-I School District ended an eight-year pattern of deficit spending and is looking to a bump in next year’s tax levy to help start a new trend.

The SCR-I Board of Education met August 18th and unanimously approved a tax rate increase for the 2016-17 school year. The board set the 2016 levy rate at $3.50, an increase from $3.3928 in 2015.

The hike is expected to generate an additional $110,000 in revenue that Superintendent Ryan Bergeson indicated will be utilized in helping to meet maintenance and facility costs.

“Basically we felt like we were in a position where we really need the added revenue to help us to continue to provide quality educational opportunities for our kids,” said Bergeson.

The revenue increase represents what amounts to a 1.7% budget increase overall for the district, which forecasted expenditures of $6.328 million in 2016-17.

The district has benefited from positive balances, which allowed it to weather nearly a decade of deficit spending.

But faced with growing maintenance needs as well as facility upgrades, Bergeson said the board decided to move forward with the tax rate increase, while choosing to still remain well below the voter approved tax rate ceiling.

More than a decade ago, local voters approved a $3.69 tax rate ceiling, a rate the board of education has never reached, instead offering voluntary rollbacks every year since the ceiling was established.

“I would estimate that these levy rollbacks have saved taxpayers around $2 million over the past several years,” said Bergeson.

The state also plays a role in the levy rate. The Hancock Amendment sets limits on the rates at which tax revenues can increase. For school districts, that specifically correlates with local assessed valuations, meaning if new construction or other upgrades cause significant increases in the total assessed valuation of the tax district, the district’s tax rate ceiling is lowered to try to prevent revenue windfalls that weren’t intended.

In 2016, the adjusted tax rate ceiling for SCR-I is $3.5949, meaning the board took a voluntary reduction of more than nine cents when establishing the current tax rate.

In 2015 the SCR-I tax rate went down to $3.3829 to account for a nearly $9 million increase in the district’s assessed valuation coming through the addition of the former Gorin R-III district. The tax rate in 2014 was $3.43.

The Gorin annexation also brought in some additional revenue in the form of the district’s existing cash balances, which helped SCR-I break the deficit budget trend as well.

“I think we were going to be close without it, but it definitely was a big boost that helped us meet some of our transportation needs,” said Bergeson.

With the Gorin balance transfer, SCR-I closed the 2015-16 fiscal year with $6,802,127.68 in revenue. With expenditures of $6,394,274.93, the district had a surplus year of $407,852.75.

Bergeson noted that a big chuck of that surplus has already been put into play with the recent purchase of three new buses and a fourth used bus.

“With a total of 18 buses in the fleet, we have a constant need for upgrading,” said Bergeson. “This one-time revenue increase from Gorin helped us address that in a significant fashion.”

The superintendent indicated that the district spent nearly $300,000 on the bus upgrades, a point of emphasis for the district, which has replaced 10 of the oldest buses in the past several years.

The remainder of last year’s surplus, combined with the added tax revenue from the levy increase will be used to meet the district’s day-to-day expenses with an eye toward looming upkeep and repairs as well as facility upgrades.

“The heating and air conditioning system at the elementary school is one issue we will likely be looking at,” said Bergeson. “Obviously we also have facility needs, and we’ll be considering all of our options on how to provide more classroom space and on how to house our early childhood programs.”

BOND ISSUE

In other business, the board addressed the August election results. Board President, Trinity Davis, appointed a Facilities Committee to continue working to address facility needs for the school district.  Davis appointed George Koontz, Jamie Triplett, herself, Ryan Bergeson, Erin Tallman, and Kirk Stott to the committee.  The first meeting was scheduled for 8:30 a.m. on Monday, August 22.

BLEACHERS

The board voted 6-0 to purchase the bleachers for the softball and baseball fields at a total cost to the district of $5,000.  The total cost of the bleachers was $10,000 and the Scotland County R-1 Booster Club agreed to contribute $5,000 for the upgrade.

BOARD MEETING

The September Board Meeting is set for Thursday, September 8, 2016 in the Elementary Art Room.

EXECUTIVE SESSION

The board approved Tia Hamilton as Junior High Cheerleading Coach and Shelby McAfee as Volunteer Cheer Coach.

Dr. Larry Wiggins Inducted into Missouri 4-H Hall of Fame

Missouri 4-H Foundation Chair Dr. Marla Tobin (left) with Scotland County 4-H volunteer Dr. Larry Wiggins. Photo by Amanda Stapp.

Missouri 4-H Foundation Chair Dr. Marla Tobin (left) with Scotland County 4-H volunteer Dr. Larry Wiggins. Photo by Amanda Stapp.

“Making the best better” for generations of Missouri 4-H Club members, Dr. Larry Wiggins of Memphis was inducted into the Missouri 4-H Hall of Fame on Aug. 13 at State Fair Community College in Sedalia.

He was among 54 inductees from 40 counties establishing a legacy totaling 1,594 years of service to 4-H. More than 400 family members and friends attended the 10th annual event.

Dr. Larry Wiggins has dedicated more than 40 years of service to Scotland County 4-H. In the early 1970’s, he and his family were charter members of the Jolly Jacks and Jills 4-H Club, which remains one of the largest clubs in the county today.

Dr. Wiggins was the veterinary science project leader from the early 1970’s to the 1990’s, and held many of his project meetings during his small animal clinic, providing an incredible opportunity for 4-H members to witness a variety of animal science lessons. Today, he still welcomes 4-H and FFA members to visit his clinic for learning opportunities and job shadowing experiences.

The Missouri 4-H Foundation recognizes individuals who have created a legacy of service to 4-H by honoring them with membership in the Missouri 4-H Hall of Fame, said Rachel Augustine, associate director of development for the Missouri 4-H Foundation.

“These volunteers have played a vital role in helping our youth develop essential life skills that will empower them to become strong leaders in the 21st-century workforce,” she said. “We are proud to honor their legacy of service to Missouri 4-H.”

The annual event is sponsored by FCS Financial and the Missouri State Fair in partnership with the Missouri 4-H Foundation.

“Our University of Missouri Extension 4-H youth faculty and staff work in partnership with our volunteers to see they have the support needed to empower youth to succeed as future leaders,” said Dr. Ina Metzger Linville, program director, MU Extension 4-H Center for Youth Development. “Dedicated faculty and staff, committed volunteers, and spirited 4-H’ers will continue to learn and grow together to help our youth and communities thrive.”

For more than 65 years, the Missouri 4-H Foundation has been managing funds for the MU Extension 4-H Youth Development Program, providing higher education scholarships and recognizing 4-H volunteers. MU Extension 4-H is a community of more than 260,000 youths from across Missouri learning leadership, citizenship and life skills.

Bar B Saddle Club Holds August Meeting

The Bar B Saddle Club of Bible Grove held their monthly meeting Monday, August 15th at the Club House.

Final plans were made for the horse and ATV’s Poker Ride. Discussion was held regarding the arena work and materials. Also, horseback riders are needed for the parades in Memphis on Saturday, August 27th (Antique Fair) and in Downing on Saturday, September 10th (Downing Appreciation).  All are welcome to come and ride with the Saddle Club.

The next meeting will be Thursday, September 1st at 6:00 p.m. at the Club House.

Scotland County Genealogical Society Holds August Meeting

The Scotland County Genealogical Society met Monday, August 8th with eight members present plus one new member.  Darlene Johnston called the meeting to order.

The secretary gave her report.  There wasn’t a treasurer’s report to give.

Under new business, Alisa Kigar inquired if we would like Dr. Heather Martin, a new member of SCH staff, to present a program.  Everyone agreed this sounded like a good program and she will be presenting at the September meeting.

There was no old business to discuss and President Johnston closed the meeting so the program could begin.

Bonnie Hayes gave the program this month on getting your DNA testing done through Ancestry.  We learned that 50% of our DNA comes from both our parents and that 50% of their DNA comes from each of their parents, and so on.  When getting back the results of your DNA, you will have a chart showing how different segments of DNA might have been passed down to each generation.  Siblings can have different segments than what you have.  Genetic inheritance is random and sibling’s ethnicity results are a great example of this.

Several members of the Genealogy Society have done the DNA testing so curiosity getting the best of me; I decided to give it a try to see what is in my blood line.  I know there is Irish and English so in a few weeks, I will know more.  If anyone would like more information about this, they can go in on Ancestry.com or ask a member of the Genealogy Society for help.

This was a good program and many thanks to Bonnie Hayes for having this program.

Following the program, refreshments were served by Darlene Johnston.  Thanks to Darlene.

The Genealogical Society would like to invite anyone to come to their meetings which are held once a month on the second Monday of each month at 1:30 p.m.  The meetings are held in the Genealogy Building across from the Memphis Fire Station.

Submitted by Terry Arnold, Secretary

SCR-I School Menus

Breakfast

Thursday, August 25 – Breakfast Burrito, Choice of Cereal, Toast/Jelly, Orange Wedge/Grapes, Juice/Milk

Friday, August 26 – Sausage/Gravy Biscuits, Choice of Cereal, Blueberry Muffin, Banana, Juice/Milk

Monday, August 29 – Donuts, Choice of Cereal, Toast/Jelly, Fruit Medley, Juice/Milk

Tuesday, August 30 –Pancakes, Choice of Cereal, Sausage Link, Toast/Jelly, Strawberries, Juice/Milk

Wednesday, August 31 – Ham/Cheese on Croissant, Choice of Cereal, Toast/Jelly, Fruit Medley, Juice/Milk

Thursday, September 1 – Breakfast Burrito, Choice of Cereal, Toast/Jelly, Orange Wedge/Grapes, Juice/Milk

Lunch

Thursday, August 25 – Spaghetti/Meat Sauce, Chicken Wrap, Hamburger Bar, Green Beans, Garlic Bread, Fruit Salad, Fresh Fruit

Friday, August 26 – Walking Taco, Fish Square/Bun, Diced Tomatoes, Cottage Cheese, Sliced Peaches, Fresh Fruit

Monday, August 29 – Crispy Chicken Strips, Corn Dog, 5th/6th Grade Chef Salad, Potato Rounds, Mixed Vegetables, Mandarin Orange Slices, Fresh Fruit

Tuesday, August 30 – Chicken Patty/Bun, Cheeseburger/Bun, 5th/6th Grade Taco Bar, Oven Ready Fries, Peas, Sliced Peaches, Fresh Fruit

Wednesday, August 31 – Salisbury Steak, Beef and Noodles, 5th/6th Grade Potato Bar, Whipped Potatoes/Gravy, Broccoli/Cheese Sauce, Dinner Roll, Sliced Pears, Fresh Fruit

Thursday, September 1 – Beef‘N’Tator Bake, Chicken Quesadillas, Hamburger Bar, Green Beans, Dinner Roll, Strawberries.

Lady Tigers Prevail 3-1 in Extra Innings to Win Season Opener

Julie Long puts down the sacrifice bunt during the Lady Tigers’ season opener at Putnam County on August 22nd. SCR-I picked up the 3-1 victory.

Julie Long puts down the sacrifice bunt during the Lady Tigers’ season opener at Putnam County on August 22nd. SCR-I picked up the 3-1 victory.

It took a little longer than normal, but the Scotland County softball squad opened the 2016 season in the win column with a 3-1 victory at Putnam County that took 10 innings to decide.

SCR-I jumped on top 1-0 in the top of the first inning. With one out, Stevi See crushed a double to left field which would have been out of most fields. The junior catcher came in to score on a two-out hit by Ashleigh Creek.

The lone run looked like it might hold up as Creek was perfect through two plus innings before a two-out hit and a walk created a scare in the bottom of the third. But she was able to coax a comebacker out of Kori Hornaday to end the threat.

Unfortunately, the SCR-I offense went completely quiet after the opening frame. Kendall Ingersoll retired six straight batters before See launched a deep flyball to center field that was misplayed for a two base error.

But the Lady Midgets’ pitcher worked out of the jam, going on to retire seven straight batters.

SCR-I’s best threat came in the sixth inning when Abi Feeney reached on an error. She stole second base and moved to third when the throw skipped into centerfield. But See ripped a liner down the third base line that was snagged by Jordan Holland at the bag to easily double off the runner and end the threat.

That proved costly, as Putnam County finally got on the scoreboard in the bottom of the sixth. Kennedy Childers led off with a double. Following an SCR-I error that allowed Sara Webb to reach, Putnam County used a sacrifice bunt followed by an RBI groundout by Riley Rouse to knot the score at 1-1.

SCR-I was unable to take advantage of a leadoff walk to Kaylyn Anders in the eight, and then left two runners in scoring position in the ninth inning after a base hit by See and an error that allowed Creek to reach base.

After a leadoff single in the bottom of the seventh, Creek retired nine straight batters.

SCR-I finally broke through in the 10th inning. Anders walked to start the rally. Katie Feeney followed with a base hit. Abi Feeney reached on an error to load the bases with one out. See delivered a sacrifice fly to leftfield. Anders tagged up and beat the throw home. An errant throw to third trying to get Katie Feeney, allowed the freshman to come all the way in to push the lead to 3-1.

Creek worked around a leadoff error to retire the heart of the Putnam County order to secure the win.

See led the offense, going 2-4 with a run scored and an RBI. Creek was 1-4 with an RBI.

Creek picked up the win, allowing one unearned run in 10 innings of work. She allowed just four hits and walked one while striking out six.

19th Annual Ag Day Golf Tournament at Timber Ridge

J & J Ag Equipment Sales is hosting the 19th Annual Ag Day Tournament at Timber Ridge Golf Course on Friday, September 9, 2016.  Sign-in opens at 9:00 a.m. with a 10:00 a.m. shotgun start.

The tournament is an 18 Hole, 4 Person Scramble.  Cost per team is $360 and includes lunch and beverages all day.  Teams are encouraged to sign-up early to reserve a spot and can pre-register by contacting Randy (660-216-7306), Kris (660-341-0465, or the golf course (660-883-5341).

In addition to free food and drink, there will be a silent auction and games.  The Hole in One contest is being sponsored by Pepsi, The Farm Shop and Gas & More.

Timber Ridge Golf Course is located on Hwy 15, south of Memphis.

Area Moving On Program to Meet August 30

The Scotland County Area Moving On Program will hold their monthly meeting on Tuesday, August 30, 2016 at the Methodist Church starting at 11:30 a.m.  After lunch, the group will travel to Edina to the Baker Cemetery.

If you have suffered a loss, the Area Moving On group helps provide support through caring confidential visiting and fellowship with others than have lost love ones by sharing support and friendship with each other.  This is a monthly meeting with the time and meeting place decided on by those attending.

For more information or to arrange for a ride, please call Nelda Billups (660-328-6367), Laura Schenk (660-465-7363) or Chris Tinkle, Program Coordinator (660-465-7322.

Local sponsors of the program include The Daisy Patch, US Bank, Rose Hardware, Payne Funeral Chapel, Memphis Funeral Home, Countryside Flowers, Community Bank of Memphis, and Exchange Bank of Northeast Missouri.

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