October 28, 2010

Senate, House Hopefuls Square Off at Schuyler County Candidate Forum

The two candidates for the 18th Senatorial District took advantage of one final area candidate forum to establish firm differences in their platforms while the two First District Representative hopefuls continued to propose similar actions if they are sent to Jefferson City.

Approximately 100 people gathered in Queen City on Monday evening at the Schuyler County School at a forum sponsored by Western's Smokehouse, the Schuyler County Times and the Memphis Democrat newspapers.

Schuyler County Times publisher Herb Austin along with Schuyler County judge-elect Kelly Lovekamp moderated a series of submitted questions for senate candidates Wes Shoemyer D-Clarence and Brian Munzlinger, R-Lewistown as well as first district representative candidates Keri Cottrell, D-Canton and Craig Redmon, R-Monticello.

The senate candidates quickly distanced themselves from each other on a number of the questions.

When asked about the dollar value modifier used for public school funding, Shoemyer pointed the finger at a change in the funding formula that was built by the former 18th District Senator Joe Maxwell that targeted equity to the new formula authored by Republican Charlie Shields that instead provides adequacy.

"Those are both two verbs, but they have totally different meanings," he told the audience.

Munzlinger agreed that the dollar value modifier is bad for the district, adding that he co-sponsored a bill to change the modifier. But he added House Bill 21-66 never could get the votes needed.

"If you take the five county geographical area of the First District and overlay it over St. Louis, you have somewhere between 53 to 57 house districts compared to our one," Munzlinger said arguing that the dollar value modifier is a rural versus urban issue not a partisan problem.

He added that one way to help rural schools with funding would be to do away with prevailing wage requirements for education-related capital improvements projects.

"That would allow school districts to save 20% to 22% on costs of building projects that could be spent on education instead," Munzlinger argued.

Shoemyer voiced his opposition to that solution.

"You propose to take the funds from the backs of the hard working people that put in the plumbing and fix the fixtures," he said. "One of the reasons I'm a Democrat is because I will always stand up for working folks every single day."

The two candidates took opposing viewpoints on the question of tort reform.

Munzlinger said tort reform is necessary to lower healthcare costs, pointing the finger at liberal trial attorneys that are driving up the cost of malpractice insurance. He added that the end result is fewer physicians in rural areas as they are forced to go to larger communities to receive umbrella liability coverage only available at big hospitals.

Shoemyer noted that the state created its own malpractice insurance provider back in 2005 to help doctors find affordable coverage, funding the plan with $6 million in an effort to take insurance companies out of the equation.

He added that tort reform is not the total answer to the health care crisis.

"Before you say all torts need to be eliminated, remember that one of the only places the common man is on the same footing as a big corporation is in the courtroom," Shoemyer said. "We need to think twice before we eliminate that right."

The two candidates also took opposing views on the voter-approved Proposition C that opposed the federal health care plans insurance mandates.

Shoemyer stressed that he voted to allow Missourians to cast their vote on the referendum despite political advertising to the contrary.

Munzlinger pointed out that while Senator Shoemyer may have voted for the issue on the floor, he did so after voting against it in committee and then voted against it at the ballot box.

He noted that Prop C was Missourian's way of telling the federal government to "stop ramming things down our throat."

"When the elected stop listening to what the people want, we are in a sorry shape here in the United States," Munzlinger said.

Shoemyer explained his position on Prop C by looking back to the 2005 Medicaid cuts.

"We sent hundreds of thousands of people off the line and today Missouri has over 700,000 uninsured individuals," Shoemyer said.

He asked what hospitals are going to do, because they are required to offer universal coverage, regardless of whether the patient has health insurance.

"So what are hospitals to do?" Shoemyer asked. "They find you or I who have insurance, those of us who are responsible. So what do they do, they jack our bills up. Then what happens? Insurance companies do actuaries, and what do they do - they jack our bills up."

He went on to highlight that Missouri's insurance rates are going up faster than any contiguous state.

"Those cuts were cuts that cost each and every one of us," Shoemyer said. He pointed out that for every dollar cut from Medicaid, it cost the state two dollars in federal money. "And for every dollar that was cut from CHIPS, which is children's insurance, we left three dollars in D.C., and left children uninsured."

Shoemyer pointed out that the one thing the federal health care plan mandates is that everyone will have insurance, which he explained is good because it saves money in the long run for people to be able to pursue preventive care from the doctor as opposed to emergency room care.

"This is a huge problem and yeah we don't like government getting in the way, but you think of who is in the way - insurance companies. The only way they make their money is if they deny or you die."

Another area of differing opinions came to light when a question was asked regarding enhanced 911 services for the region.

Shoemyer pointed out that Missouri is the only state that doesn't tax cellular phone service to fund E911 services. He noted that 95% of Missourians have cellular phones. "If we tax them one thin dime a month, that generates $7.2 million a year."

The senator explained this would not be a new tax, but would simply be replacing lost tax revenue from land lines that are being discontinued and replaced by cellular phones.

Munzlinger countered that it is not the time for new taxes, adding that while a dime might not sound so bad, "I've never seen a tax stop at that."

He instead noted the four counties lacking E911 service could have implemented the system four years ago when he visited with the county officials with a grant proposal in hand to help fund the mapping and service costs. None of the local governments chose to pursue the service.

Local control is a hot topic in northeast Missouri counties and the two candidates shared differing opinions on the subject.

Munzlinger highlighted the need to find technological advances to help battle odor issues related with livestock, an underlying factor in calls for greater limitations on CAFOs.

Shoemyer championed himself as the candidate that fought for local control, pointing the finger at Munzlinger as the candidate that voted to end it at the urging of Cargill and 17 other farm organizations.

HOUSE CANDIDATES

The house candidates offered far fewer fireworks, agreeing that the best solution for the E911 issue might be through the use of regional call centers and centralized dispatching to consolidate the costs.

Both Cottrell and Redmon spoke out in favor of local control. Cottrell noted that eliminating it only benefits corporate farmers while Redmon noted that local control is also very important for counties to be able to make zoning changes and other moves to promote economic development.

The two candidates also agreed that education funding cannot continue to be cut and the dollar value modifier needs to be repealed.

When questioned about Missouri's Prop C, Redmon said the state should not be forced to buy insurance and that the bill does not appear to be lowering costs as promised, pointing out price hike announcements in 2011 by Blue Cross and by Boeing for its employees benefits as well as the announcement that Principal will no longer offer health insurance coverage beginning in 2011.

Cottrell said she was initially excited about "Obamacare" and the opportunities it pledged to provide to increase access to healthcare.

However she noted that further investigation revealed that it is creating some obstacles to the promised access that have caused her some concerns.

Happy Red Hatters Meet in Memphis

The Happy Red Hatters of Downing, MO had lunch at the Scotland County Nutrition Center in Memphis on August 10, 2017.

 The hostess was Carolyn Schmitter, Those present were Bette Herbert, Marilyn Blessing, Betty Anderson, Arlene Stice, Carolyn Schmitter, Margaret Mobley, Louise Newland, Rosalie Kinney, and Maudie Oliver.

 The September 7, 2017 meeting will be held at the Downing Appreciation Days Building.

SCR-I School Menus

Breakfast

Monday, August 21 – French Toast Sticks, Choice of Cereal, Toast/Jelly, Fruit Medley, Juice/Milk

Tuesday, August 22 – Donuts, Choice of Cereal, Toast/Jelly, Fruit Medley, Juice/Milk

Wednesday, August 23 – Bacon/Egg/Cheese Sandwich, Choice of Cereal, Toast/Jelly, Orange Half, Juice/Milk

Thursday, August 24 – Breakfast Burrito, Choice of Cereal, Toast/Jelly, Orange Wedge/Grapes, Juice/Milk

Lunch

Monday, August 21 – Hot Dog/Bun, Bar BQ Ribb/Bun, 5th/6th Grade Chef Salad, Potato Rounds, Pork and Beans, Mandarin Orange Slices, Fresh Fruit

Tuesday, August 22 – Cheeseburger/Bun, Tenderloin/Bun, 5th/6th Grade Taco Bar, Oven Ready Fries, Buttered Corn, Sliced Peaches, Fresh Fruit

Wednesday, August 23 – Pork Choppette, Chicken and Noodles, 5th/6th Grade Potato Bar, Whipped Potatoes/Gravy, California Blend Vegetables, Dinner Roll, Sliced Pears, Fresh Fruit

Thursday, August 24 – Spaghetti/Meat Sauce, Chicken Fajitas, Hamburger Bar, Green Beans, Garlic Bread, Sliced Peaches, Fresh Fruit

Local Students Graduate With Honors From MU

Kathryn Mary Howard of Memphis was among the 2017 spring graduates at the University of Missouri in Columbia. Howard graduated with Cum Laude honors with a Bachelor of Health Science degree.

Jeremy Wiggins of Kahoka graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, BSBA with an emphasis in management as well as an undergraduate certificate and multicultural studies certificate.

Avery Shultz Selected to Perform with National FFA Band at 2017 National Convention & Expo

Avery Shultz, a member of the Memphis FFA chapter in Memphis, Missouri will be on stage and in the spotlight Oct. 25-28 during the 2017 National FFA Convention & Expo in Indianapolis.

Shultz, a sophomore and the daughter of Trent and Amy Shultz, has been selected to play flute in the National FFA Band.

Shultz submitted an audition tape and was selected to help bring full instrumental balance to the band from a pool of applicants nationwide.

The National FFA Band will perform several times during the national convention and expo.

Shultz will join fellow band members in Indianapolis for rehearsals three days before the convention and expo begins. Dow Agrosciences sponsors the National FFA Band.

The National FFA Organization provides leadership, personal growth and career success training through agricultural education to 649,355 student members who belong to one of 7,859 local FFA chapters throughout the U.S., Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The organization is also supported by 225,891 alumni members in 1,934 alumni chapters throughout the U.S.

About National FFA Organization

The National FFA Organization is a national youth organization of 649,353 student members as part of 7,859 local FFA chapters in all 50 states, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The organization is supported by 225,891 alumni members in 1,934 local FFA Alumni chapters throughout the U.S. The FFA mission is to make a positive difference in the lives of students by developing their potential for premier leadership, personal growth and career success through agricultural education. The National FFA Organization operates under a federal charter granted by the 81st United States Congress and it is an integral part of public instruction in agriculture. The U.S. Department of Education provides leadership and helps set direction for FFA as a service to state and local agricultural education programs. For more, visit the National FFA Organization online at FFA.org and on Facebook, Twitter and the official National FFA Organization blog.

The National FFA Foundation builds partnerships with industry, education, government, other foundations and individuals to secure financial resources that recognize FFA member achievements, develop student leaders and support the future of agricultural education. Governed by a 19-member board of trustees composed of educators, business leaders, individual donors and FFA Alumni, the foundation is a separately registered nonprofit organization. About 82 percent of every dollar received by the foundation supports FFA members and agricultural education opportunities. For more, visit FFA.org/Give.

St. Louis Group Searches for Historic Civil War Battle Site

Members of the Gateway Metal Detecting Club of St. Louis display their first find of the day, what is believed to be a Union bullet, during a recent search in the Bible Grove area for the site of the Civil War Battle of Vassar Hill. Bible Grove resident Jordan Dunn (left) helped facilitate the recent outing.

More than 150 years ago the sounds of gunfire rang out across the hills and valleys of southern Scotland County as America’s Civil War found its way to rural northeast Missouri in the form of the Battle of Vassar Hill.

While the struggle isn’t found in most Civil War history books as the 28 confirmed casualties didn’t likely have much impact on the war’s outcome, it remains an interesting part of local history.

In an effort to help confirm some of the lore surrounding the fighting, members of the St. Louis Metal Detecting Club recently visited the Bible Grove area in search of artifacts that might help determine the actual battle sites.

Bible Grove resident Jordan Dunn, who took part in the search process, shared some of the history surrounding the county’s Civil War conflict.

“Fifteen miles south of Memphis, near the town of Bible Grove, there was a skirmish fought between Confederate and Union troops on July 18, 1862,” he said. “Confederate riders had set out from Memphis and rode south, where they would set up an ambush on the old Memphis-Kirksville road.”

Dunn, who is a history major at Truman State University in Kirksville, spent this summer doing an internship at the Missouri Civil War Museum in St. Louis.

Dunn said the battle began as the 125-man Confederate force dug into Vassar Hill, waiting for the 280 Union soldiers to cross the North Fabius River and fall into their attack.

History tells that with each series of volleys, the Confederate men would fall back to a new defensive position and wait for the Union commander to order another advance. For two hours this went on, the valley filling with smoke, men and horses being killed or wounded.

“Finally the Union commander ordered his men back, believing the Confederate force that he faced to be far superior in number than the reality,” said Dunn.

Union casualties numbered 23 in total with an additional 60 being wounded, compared to the five killed or wounded for the Confederate army.

But inconsistent reports and stories have left the actual location of the Battle of Vassar Hill up for debate.

“Because of the conflicting records there is a chance that the main location of the fighting has yet to be detected,” said Dunn.

Matt Brewer helped facilitate the operation, granting permission for the searchers to access the Brewer farm, while also sharing some of the many different versions of the history, which highlighted no fewer than three possible locations to focus the efforts upon.

Dunn and his family members, including his grandfather Keith, joined the club members, scouring over approximately 20 acres of land. They discovered two Union bullets and four other mini-balls, leading them to believe that more searching could lead to the discovery of where this battle took place over 150 years ago.

Memphis License Office Set to Reopen August 22nd Under New Management

After nearly four months without a local option for driver’s license renewals and motor vehicle registrations, Scotland County will be back in business starting next week.

The Office of Administration, in conjunction with the Missouri Department of Revenue, has awarded the management contract for the Memphis License Office to Kay Eggleston Bookkeeping and Tax.

The four-month downtime notwithstanding, the transition will be fairly simple for customers. The office will continue to be operated at 338 S. Clay Street, adjacent to the bookkeeping and tax office.

Eggleston stated the office would be open from 9 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. The first day of business will be Tuesday, August 22nd.

All license office contracts in Missouri are awarded through a competitive bid process through the Missouri Department of Revenue.

According to Michelle Gleba, the state agency’s director of communications, the bid process opened June 1 and ran through June 29 and was handled via the state’s eProcurement System website, where prospective bidders could learn of the availability and generate a bid for the job.

The office officially closed on April 27th. During the approximately four-month period it was not available, Scotland County residents were forced to travel to other area license offices to handle business, with the closest locations being Kahoka, Edina and Kirksville.

Gleba reported that in fiscal year 2016, more than 13,800 transactions were conducted at the Memphis office, generating $45,764 in contractor processing fees.       All local license offices are overseen by the Missouri Department of Revenue, but each is operated by an independent contractor

New Aviation Collection to Highlight Pheasant Airplane Display During 2017 Antique Fair

A new collection of aviation materials is now on display at the Wiggins Family Museum as part of the Pheasant Airplane display. Jack White’s Corner will officially be announced as part of the exhibit during the 2017 Antique Fair festivities next week.

New to the Pheasant Airplane exhibit this year is an extensive aviation collection donated by Jack White of Palmyra. White, who served in the United States Air Force with Scotland County resident Bob Hunolt, took an interest in the historic aircraft manufactured in Scotland County after attending the unveiling ceremony when the original plane was brought back to Memphis five years ago.

The exhibit features numerous books, magazines, and periodicals as well as two display cases of various model aircraft.

The Museum will be open Thursday and Friday during the Antique Fair from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. and on Saturday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The Zelda Keith Memorial Quilt will also be on display at the museum as the raffle ticket drive draws to a conclusion. Tickets will be on sale for the raffle during the Antique Fair, with the drawing set to be held Saturday night, August 26th at the Antique Fair finale.

Seniors Creek, See Looking to Lead Lady Tigers to Elusive Playoff Berth

The Lady Tigers are hoping for plenty of celebrations like this one when they greeted Ashleigh Creek following one of her six home runs in 2016. SCR-I will look to Creek and fellow senior Stevi See (R to L) in helmets) to lead them in 2017.

An upset win over Canton in district semifinals a year ago boosted Scotland County’s softball team one step closer to the state playoffs. But the Lady Tigers fell to Knox County 2-0 in the title game, and the elusive district championship and berth in the state tourney once again  evaded SCR-I.

Will 2017 be the year? A pair of Lady Tigers seniors are hoping so. It will be the final shot for four year starter Ashleigh Creek who will toe the rubber for her final high school season, tossing to her battery mate and three-year starter Stevie See behind the plate.

The talented duo will be leaned upon heavily by coach Cory Shultz if the Lady Tigers hope to extend the season into the playoffs.

They have the talent to do it. Creek posted a miniscule 1.30 ERA a year ago, tossing 151 innings, allowing just 106 hits. She struck out 166 batters while walking 27.

She also handled the bat very well, posting a .346 batting average while bopping six home runs and driving in 29 runs.

See led Scotland County with a .350 batting average while hitting eight doubles and a home run and was second on the squad with 20 RBIs.

The duo will be backed by a completely new infield in 2017, as Shultz will have to replace three graduates who also filled a big part of the top of the lineup surrounding Creek and See. Gone are third baseman Chelsea Wood, first baseman Maddie Brassfield and shortstop Abi Feeney.

Feeney batted just .228 on the year but her bat came to life in the playoffs, when she went 3-4 in the upset win over Canton. Her glove will be the bigger loss, as she helped anchor the infield defense behind Creek.

Wood batted .306, overcoming a slow start to be one of the team’s more feared bats down the stretch. Brassfield  hit .214 on the year, hitting fifth behind Creek in the lineup.

In the preseason, Shultz has kept his lineups pretty fluid, moving a lot of players around on the diamond trying to determine his best defensive lineups.

Junior Khloe Hamlin looks poised to capture the starting shortstop role. Katie Feeney, who started at second base as a freshman, may move across the diamond to man the hot corner to replace Wood. She hit .308 in her debut season, and may take over for her sister in the leadoff spot in 2017.

Filling her spot at second base early on the preseason has been Julie Long, the team starting right fielder last year. Brassfield will be replaced by Madie Bondurant at first base.

Kaylyn Anders will return to handle the left field job alongside Abby Blessing who returns to start in center field. Anders batted .250 a year ago and will be counted on to replace some of the production in the middle of the order.

Freshman Kylee Stott is in the mix for the right field job along with Kaitlyn McMinn, Hailey Darcy and Morgan Blessing.

SCR-I went 14-11 a year ago, with a 4-4 mark in the Lewis and Clark Conference.

The Lady Tigers will open the season on Monday, August 21st, hosting Putnam County. Clark County will come to town on Thursday, August 24th.

VFW Auxiliary Holds August Meeting

Antique Days is coming up so break out those white pants. Those members marching in the parade will meet at the post at 9:30 on August 26th.

Due to the Labor Day holiday, the meeting in September will be moved to the 11th. Join us then at 6:30 at the post.

There will be no stagette this month, but get your appetites ready for details about the co-ed dinner in September.

Scotland County School Foundation

Dear Mr. Editor:

We are writing on behalf of the Scotland County School Foundation. During the past school year we were able to provide four students from Scotland County High School financial assistance to earn college credits through community colleges. This was accomplished through generous donations from local civic groups and individuals who were willing to invest in the future of students with financial need. Our committee has specific guidelines to award the scholarships. The requirements consider financial need through the free and reduced lunch eligibility, above average attendance, above average grades, and recommendations from faculty and community members.

This year we are again seeking donations to fund the dual credit program through the Scotland County School Foundation. The Foundation is a tax deductible 501c program that allows contributions to be earmarked for specific programs. We are hoping that any person or group will join us in contributing to the dual credit scholarship fund. We are not asking for specific amounts, but would be most appreciative of any donation.  If you could make a tax deductible donation, please send a check payable to “Scotland County School Foundation” in care of Ellen Aylward, 367 South Market Street, Memphis, Missouri   63555.

Any support will be highly appreciated by us and the students that receive the scholarships. If you have any questions please feel free to contact us by phone or talk to a Scotland County School Foundation member.

Respectfully,
Rhonda McBee and Julie Clapp

« Older Entries