November 18, 2010

Board of Education Approves Audit Report at November Meeting

The Scotland County R-I Board of Education met in regular session on Thursday, November 11, 2010. Vice President George Koontz called the regular meeting to order at 6:30 p.m. with four members present. Doctor Tobler arrived at 6:45 and Gary Miller arrived at 7:05. Paul Campbell was absent.

The board voted 5-0 to approve the following items on the Consent Agenda: Minutes - The October 14, 2010, minutes were approved. Procedural Evaluations - Co-Curricular - Mr. Hay; Secondary Guidance - Mr. Bondurant; Elementary Guidance - Mrs. Fromm. Declare Surplus Property - A number of old uniforms to declare surplus. Set Board Candidate Filing Dates - The 2011 election calendar establishes the filing dates for the April 5, 2011, election. Candidates may begin filing during regular business hours (8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.) on December 14th. Filing closes at 5:00 p.m. January 18th.

In old business, the board reviewed a portion of the Comprehensive School Improvement Plan (CSIP). No action was required.

MSBA Conference

Gary Miller, George Koontz, Paul Campbell, Fred Clapp and Superintendent Dave Shalley attended the annual MSBA Conference. The conference addressed many key issues facing the state and schools. The report was for information purposes only and no action was required.

In new business, the board approved the district audit. NEMO CPA LLC presented the district audit for the 2009-2010 school year. The auditors found no concerns. The full audit report will be published in the Memphis Democrat. The board voted 6-0 to approve the audit.

Fall Board Workshop

The board voted 6-0 to schedule the annual fall workshop for December 15th at 6:30 p.m. The workshop is for information purposes only and no action can be taken.

Staff Absence Policies

The board adopted a resolution to allow administration to use discretion interpreting absence times for staff. The current policy causes inconsistencies within the district.

2011/2012 Junior-Senior High Master Schedule

The Scheduling Committee presented a tentative 2011-12 master schedule. The schedule consists of an eight-period day, with all classes meeting every day.

Reduced Schedule

The board voted 6-0 to approve one student request for a reduced schedule.

Personal Day Requests

Policy requires board approval when using a personal day to extend a vacation. The board received three requests to use personal days to extend a vacation. They voted 6-0 to approve the requests of Tamara Tague and Ronnie and Bonnie Young.

Executive Session

The board went into executive session at 8:45 p.m. The board voted 6-0 to approve the minutes of the October 14th meeting. The board voted 6-0 to offer the custodial position to Brian Lewis. The board voted to go out of closed session and into open session at 9:00 p.m.



Long Range Planning Committee Offers Input on School District Upgrades



Parents, faculty and community members offered their opinions on what they would like to see the Scotland County R-I School District look like in the future. Volunteers held a series of meetings in October as the SCR-I Long Range Planning Committee met to review the district's budget, enrollment figures, student achievement data and also toured the facilities.

During the process, the LRPC established a list of long term (5-10 year) and short term (3-5 year) goals. Those lists were presented to the SCR-I school board for consideration.

Technology was a key issue on the short term goal list. The top priority listed by the committee members was improving and updating the district's computer lab. Other high priorities included maintaining and improving teacher salaries, installation of an air conditioning system in the elementary school kitchen, as well as installation of a central thermostat in the elementary school.

The planning committee also highlighted the need to maintain the Career Ladder program as well as the School Reach system.

Other priorities ranked on at least half of the LRPC members' responses included covered sidewalks at the high school, adding a second transportation van for the district, additional computers and laptops for every classroom, upgrading the elementary school playground, development of an Early Childhood Center and preschool, development of a district website, additional security cameras at both buildings, and updating the school bus fleet.

Over the longer haul, committee members agreed that a new bus garage was the top priority.

Several of the shorter-term goals carried over to this list as well, as the LRPC highlighted continued support for updating technology, possibly with the addition of laptop computers in every classroom.

An annex continues to occupy future expansion goals, offering additional space for such goals as housing a multi-purpose center, an early childhood center, added space for the band and music departments and the possibility of separate high school and junior high areas. An administrative building a goal of several LRPC members as was upgrades in the school restroom facilities.

Security camera upgrades and awning improvements also were ranked toward the top of both lists as was the elementary school thermostat upgrade.

Maintaining the districts fine arts and performing arts programs was a priority as was adding additional college class offerings.

Sports-related goals included replacing the football field lights, creation of an all-weather track, baseball and softball field lighting upgrades, and repair of the football scoreboard.





SCR-I Finances Remain Strong Despite Weakened State Support



Thanks to the solid groundwork put in place over the past several decades, the Scotland County R-I School District remains on solid financial ground despite ever dwindling state support.

Superintendent Dave Shalley presented the district financial system procedural evaluation at the November 11th board meeting, tempering the picture of financial strength with growing concerns about education funding going forward.

At the center of that apprehension is the sluggish arrival of state aid. The district has received $1,070, 978.18, or 21%, of budgeted revenues. As of October, 25% of budgeted expenses, or $1,459,694.64, has been realized.

"At this point in the fiscal year, 33% of budgeted expenses and revenues are appropriate," Shalley told the board. "State revenues, which comprise 39.74% of the total budget, are down."

Local and county revenues, which make up 49.85% of the total budget, will arrive beginning in December and January.

"The reduced state funding is cause for concern due to the uncertainty of state revenue," Shalley said.

Fortunately, the district's unrestricted balances are $2,335,224.53 or 40.06% of the district's budgeted expenditures. Past boards established a goal of 17% balances to help with any unforeseen financial obligations.

Because of that solid bank account, Shalley said the board of education has been able to establish the local tax rate of $3.36, which is below the voter-approved ceiling of $3.69.

"This allows us to bring in needed revenue without over charging the local taxpayers," he said.

Other strengths of the financial system listed in the procedural evaluation included annual savings of $49,000 the district is realizing through the energy saving upgrades made in the summer of 2007. The district saved an additional $200,000 with the interest free, pass-through loan from the USDA and Tri County Electric. Recent resignations and retirements (six) have saved the district approximately $220,000 in salaries and benefits.

But with the strengths also came some concerns. Shalley noted that this year's budget projects a deficit of $459,266.00.

"We are in a cycle of deficit spending," he said. "The past three years the district has deficit spent $81,851, $136,014 and $124,280. This is a trend we will have to break."

Education funding will continue to be a hot topic at the state government level, where declining revenue led to budget cuts in many categorical areas including transportation, MOREnet and P.A.T.

Shalley noted that the new funding formula further hurts Scotland County with reduced funding to the district.

He did point out that the FY11 budget includes 2.3% growth in state revenues and as of October 1, year-to-date collections are up 2.6 percent, compared to 2010. As much as $189 million in Federal Jobs money will be run through FY11 supplemental budget process but the foundation formula includes $247 million in Federal Stabilization Funds, which will not be available next year.

Other revenue concerns include state gaming revenues that support the formula are about $50 million under budget.

Currently the formula requires an additional $233 million to fully fund education in 2012, with the state's total general revenue projected at a $600 million shortfall.

"There is a serious problem with state funding that we cannot overcome locally, without a major tax increase," Shalley said. "The assessed valuation of the district is currently $47,320,000. A penny increase on the tax rate will generate $4,700. If we take the entire Prop C waiver, the district will generate an extra $117,500."

These scenarios, coupled with the rising fuel and energy costs and Senate Bill 711, which lowers the tax rate ceiling in reassessment years, could have a negative impact on the district's funding according to the superintendent's report.

The district has a fifteen-year obligation to pay for the $1.9 million upgrades installed in the summer of 2007, which is scheduled to end in 2022. In addition, the maintenance of continually added technology will be costly, but necessary, to provide students the skills needed to compete in today's workforce.

"We must continue to spend carefully, maintain our buildings and keep resources up to date, as well as support programs for the student," Shalley said. "We have operated programs with very little increase in budget lines over the past eight years, but we do have increasing costs. This will reduce our balances over the next few years, but will put us more in line with the desired balance of 17%."

Jauflione Chapter NSDAR Hosts Memorial Service for Care Center Veterans

Tuesday, May 15th, the  Jauflione Chapter DAR members honored veterans living at the Scotland County Care Center and the Residential Care Facility with a Memorial Day Service.

A candle lighting ceremony honoring deceased veterans who had resided at the Care Center was conducted. Those honored were: Richard Allen, Clifford Wilson, Sterling Forrester, Vern Howard, Larry Fulk, and Warren Hocker.

Resident Veterans attending the ceremony were: Johnny Erickson, Charles King, Lloyd Arps, Donald Newcomb, Helen Cary, Charles Alexander, Bob Hatferty, and, Lee Wheeler. Other guest veterans attending were: Emmett Phillips, Oren Erickson, and Patricia Miller. Lee Wheeler, a resident attended wearing a military uniform.

Light refreshments of cookies and punch were served by Jauflione members. Those members were: Jeannie Bissell, Connie Bratton, Angel Chance, Nelda Billups, Maxine Phillips, Linda Larsen, Terry Arnold, Patricia Miller, Rhonda Davis, and June Kice.

Service to Veterans is a DAR objective. Jauflione Chapter is pleased to honor Veterans of our community.

Gorin American Legion Post Plans Memorial Day Gathering

The Leslie Chambers #395 Gorin American Legion Post will be hosting its annual Memorial Day gathering on Sunday, May 27th.

There will be a carry-in dinner at 12:30 p.m. at the Gorin Christian Church with a program following the dinner. The Post will present military services at the Gorin Cemetery at 2:00 p.m. and everyone is invited.

County, Mapping Solutions to Host Public Hearing May 30th to Close out 911 Addressing Project

Just over three years after the proposal initially was approved by the Scotland County Commission, the 911 addressing and mapping project for the region will officially come to a close on May 30th.

Service provider Mapping Solutions will join with the Scotland County Commission to host a public hearing on Wednesday evening, May 30th at 6 p.m. in the Scotland County courtroom.

Anyone wishing to give feedback on the project or seeking answers to addressing questions is welcome to attend the public meeting.

On May 13, 2015, the Scotland County Commission voted 3-0 to enter a two-year, $45,000 contract with Mapping Solutions of Lathrop to create the new 911 mapping system for the county.

The company constructed a grid-based map using established east-west and north-south coordinates and assigned five-digit numbers assigned consecutively from the grid origin point, which is the northwest corner of the county. The address numbering increment was 5.28′ which allows for 1,000 unique numbered addresses per mile. This increment is recommended by NENA (National Emergency Number Association).

The new addresses first went into effect in September of 2017, replacing the old rural route mailing address for county residents with the five-digit house numbers and the corresponding county road number.

Hospital Recognizes Employees’ Years of Service, Awards Scholarship

Lynn Fincher (45 years) and Debbie Ward (40 years) were honored by the Scotland County Hospital Employee Committee for their loyalty and dedication to the hospital. They are pictured with Dr. Randy Tobler, CEO, Scotland County Hospital & Clinics.

The Scotland County Hospital (SCH) Employee Committee in Memphis recognized employees for their years of service with the organization and awarded service pins this month during National Hospital Week.  The Hospital is in its 48th year of providing healthcare services in the community and opened its doors on July 20, 1970.

There are several employees at SCH that have been loyal to the organization for multiple decades and received service pins this year.  At the top of that list, working 45 years is Lynn Fincher.  She earned her 45-year pin while Debbie Ward earned a 40-year pin.

Ms. Fincher is a native of Glenwood and lives in Memphis.  She started her career with SCH in April 1973.  Her first position was in Medical Records.  She then moved to the Registration Department and in 1980 she became the Supervisor of the Business Office.  Next on the list of long time hospital employees is Debbie Ward of rural Memphis.  She joined the hospital staff in June 1978 after completing nursing school.  She became the Operating Room Supervisor in 1984 and is now a staff nurse in the Surgery Center.

Next on the list of long time hospital employees is Angela Schmitter earning a 25 year pin. She is the Director of Health Information/ Compliance Officer. Twenty year pins were presented to Jean Hull from Registration & Admissions; Jennifer McMinn from Therapy Services and Diane Tague, Ancillary Services Assistant.

The Employee Committee recognizes employees, annually, with service pins in five year increments.  Other employees receiving pins this year include: 15 year pins – Thelma Norton, Ella Neagle & Ryan Elliott.  10 year pins – Jennifer Folker, Shelly Girardin, Berniece Kenny, Rodney Baldwin, Tonya Harrison, Kerri Shirkey, Jason Moss, Tammy Wheeler, Bethanie Grubb, Kristi Frederick, Robert Miller and Dr. Julia McNabb. 5 year pins – Travis Onken, Lindsie Kelley, Tara Neeves, Missy Smith, Kaitlin Grubb, Katie Tuck, Stephanie Henley-Pippert, Jonathan Holton, Trinity Davis, Dave McGinnis & Dr. Lisa Rollison.

The Scotland County Hospital Employee Committee awarded a $500 scholarship to Knox County High School Senior, Lindsey Alexander who plans to attend the University of Missouri – Kansas City and study in the anesthesiologist assistant program. She is pictured with Alisa Kigar from Scotland County Hospital & Clinics.

Recently, the Scotland County Hospital Employee Committee awarded a $500 scholarship to a Knox County High School Senior, Lindsey Alexander.  Ms. Alexander  is attending University of Missouri – Kansas City and plans to study in the anesthesiologist assistant program.  She is the daughter of Stacy & Lora Alexander of Edina.  Each year the SCH Employee Committee offers the scholarship to one student that applies from either Clark, Knox, Scotland or Schuyler County school districts.  This year the Employee Committee reviewed nine scholarship applications from the four school districts.  Because hospital employees come from all of these counties, it’s only fitting to offer the scholarship in these four school districts.

Irritable Jowl Syndrome

I once made a ‘feller’ down around Rutledge, MO so mad, with one of my letters to the editor, that he went into the “Constricting Heaves”, which then caused “Abdominal Vapors”, complicated by “Carbonic Bunions” on his toes! He hopped around for three weeks, like a ‘Frozen Toed Rooster’, until he finally calmed down!

Yes, I seem to have that effect on some folks, especially when I pen one of my well-written, provocative, yet witty, letters to the editor!

Take what happened to my friend (he still is by the way) Chris Feeney, editor of the Memphis Democrat.

Upon reading my recent letter “The Board of One Accord”, Chris had smoke rings coming out of his ears! He went into “Bilious Spleen Vapors”, which then progressed into “Irritable Jowl Syndrome”!

This sad situation got started by the article in the Memphis Democrat “City Marshal Position in Question Following April Election”.

First, let me say at this point, that I have nothing personal against any city council member. And I have NEVER said anything against Bill Holland. I think he is a good man.

I also know, that it isn’t easy, being a city council member, or for that matter the member of a hospital board, school board, or even some church committees. It can be frustrating, and make one feel that it is a thankless job.

I expressed some ‘misgivings’ I had about the article ‘in question’. It just sounded to me like the city council wielded a proverbial “Sword of Damocles” over the position! With the power of the ‘purse strings’ for example, and the example of a past city collector position being done away with by simply defunding the position.

There also seemed to be an inordinate fear of, what candidate, the voters might elect.

Now, if I’ve got it wrong, I apologize. I just don’t know why these things would be alluded to, if not for the purpose of eliminating what the “Board of One Accord” considered to be an obsolete office. Obviously the voters felt differently. The big difference here, is that the county collector position is still an elected office.

Now, back to Chris’s malady of “Irritable Jowl Syndrome”. You never know what he might say next! Downright mean stuff!

I’m ‘gutshot’ over those “Peanut Gallery” remarks Chris! I mean, damn, now everyone thinks of me as being like that “Lounge Lizard” over at the Texas Road House, that just hangs out in the waiting area, gobbling buckets full of peanuts, all the while hurling insults at the paying customers as they come in! Shish! (Actually this could be partly true.)

And, I am still reeling from that “non-resident” tirade of yours Chris! To me, it sounded a lot like Obama’s “You Didn’t Build That” speech. Gosh… you don’t talk like that to the guys on the police department, and they’re not residents of Memphis either.

Furthermore, I’m heartbroken, over those mean comments about my personal hygiene problems. That hurts!

I’ll have you know, that where I grew up, we didn’t even wear shoes or socks all summer! Socks are important to me now.

And, so what, if I do get a “little Gamey” toward the end of the week. I want you to know that I take a bath every Saturday nite, whether I need it or not! (goin’ swimmin’ counts as bath.)

So… you readers oughta tune in next week to see what “slings and arrows of misfortune” ‘mean Chris’ will throw at me, Dave, a poor non-resident of Memphis, who is diligently striving for World Peace and Harmony!

Cipherin‘:

When you add up the votes.

The side that wins, is the one with the most.

“What if it’s a tie?” someone jokes.

Them I’m takin’ the last train to the coast!

At least I’ll still have the Father, Son and Holy Ghost!

Davis M. Burrus

New Replacement Trees Planted by Rutledge School Restoration Society

One more entry has been removed from the bucket list of the Rutledge School Restoration Society. Bob Hunolt, Lonnie Triplett, Oren Erickson, and Leon Trueblood recently rounded up their spades, water buckets, and measuring sticks to get two new American Linden trees planted (exactly as instructions for planting read) in the school yard.

These trees, when fully grown, will graciously replace the ever-popular Ash and Maple trees which, until early spring this year, had graced the school lawn for many decades. It was determined by the utility company the trees were a detriment to the electrical lines, so they had to go.

Thanks to Aaron Dannenhauer, the stumps were removed; and the sawdust from this grinding has appropriately mulched the new trees. The nursery-provided information claims the new trees to be well-adapted to Missouri daily weather change… so with hopes for fast growth, there will be shade on the Rutledge School lawn once again!

Three Teens Hurt When Vehicle Crashes Into Bridge

Three area teenagers were injured in a one-vehicle crash in Schuyler County at 6 p.m. on Thursday, May 17th west of Greentop.

According to the Missouri State Highway Patrol, Allyssia J. Jackson, 17 of Queen City, was southbound on Ranch Road when she lost control of the 2003 Ford Escape on the gravel and collided with a bridge rail. The vehicle ran off the right side of the roadway, collided with a bridge support and overturned.

Jackson suffered moderate injuries in the crash as did a passenger in the vehicle, Paige A. Humphrey, 15, of Queen City. A second passenger in the car, Cobe J. Coop, 18, of Memphis suffered minor injuries.

Jackson and Humphrey were transported by Schuyler County Ambulance to Northeast Regional Medical Center in Kirksville. Coop was taken by private vehicle to the Kirksville hospital.

The vehicle sustained moderate damage in the accident and was removed from the scene by Lakeside Towing of Memphis.

The Patrol was assisted at the scene by the Schuyler County Ambulance Service and the Schuyler County Sheriff’s Office.

Memphis Man Killed in Crash Near Arbela

A Memphis man was killed and another seriously injured in a two vehicle accident over the weekend in rural Scotland County.

According to the Missouri State Highway Patrol, Harley D. Stone, 24, of Memphis was killed when the 2015 Polaris Can Am all-terrain vehicle he was driving collided with a pickup truck on a hill crest on County Road 456 west of Arbela.

The Stone vehicle was eastbound when it crested the hill and met at the center of the road a westbound 2001 Dodge truck driven by Christopher M. Chabert, 29, of Memphis.

Stone and a passenger in his vehicle, Jacob A. Blessing, 21, of Memphis both were ejected from the ATV. Stone was pronounced deceased at the scene at 4:40 a.m. by Scotland County Coroner Dr. Jeff Davis. Blessing sustained serious injuries in the crash. He was transported by Scotland County Ambulance to University Hospital in Columbia.

Chabert was not injured in the crash, which occurred at 4:00 a.m. on May 20th. Chabert was ticketed for driving while intoxicated.

The Patrol was assisted at the scene by Scotland County Fire and Rescue, Scotland County Ambulance and Scotland County Sheriff’s Office.

SCR-I Band to Make ‘Long March’ to Washington DC to Take Part in National Memorial Day Parade

As residents of a rural school district, Scotland County R-I students are used to long bus rides. However on Thursday, some three dozen SCR-I musicians will be boarding a bus for a trip that will exceed their bus mileage for the year, just one-way.

At 4 p.m. on Thursday, May 24th the Scotland County R-I band, along with support staff, boosters and chaperones will be boarding a charter bus departing the SCR-I high school parking lot bound for Washington D.C. The public is invited to line the road to show the band support on its departure.

“Last minute preparations are well underway as the Marching Tigers are putting on the finishing touches on their performance,” said band Director Nathanial Orr. “You may even hear the band marching around town.”

The trip to the nation’s capital is more than 900 miles, with the group expecting to arrive on the East Coast  in time for lunch on Friday.

After the meal with tour manager Barbara Longnecker at Union Station, the group will take a tour of the U.S. Capitol before enjoying dinner at Bertucci’s Italian Restaurant. That evening the group will be treated to a parade at the Marine Barracks featuring the US Marine Band in full dress uniform.

Saturday will feature a full day of tours including stops at Lafayette Square, the White House and the National Archives Building, home of the Declaration of Independence, Bill of Rights and the Constitution.

After lunch they will visit Ford’s Theater where President Lincoln was assassinated before touring Arlington National Cemetery to witness the changing of the guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. The evening will conclude with tours of the US Air Force and Pentagon 9/11 Memorials, as well as the Jefferson, FDR and Martin Luther King, Jr. memorials.

The nation’s history will be on display again on Sunday as tour members will visit the Lincoln, and Vietnam and Korean War memorials as well as the US Holocaust Memorial Museum before spending the afternoon at the Smithsonian Institution’s museums. The evening will be capped off at the National Memorial Day Concert on the west lawn of the Capitol. The event will broadcast live on PBS.

Finally on Monday, the band members will get to work, participating in the National Memorial Day Parade.

“The band will be performing ‘Colonel Bogey March,’ a tune featured in ‘Bridge over a River Kwai’,” said Orr. “The color guard will be wearing homemade uniforms representing a different branch of the armed services.  Each member of the guard has a connection as parts of the uniform they will be wearing are from the uniform of their family members.”

Orr said the parade will be televised on the Armed Forces Network as well as streamed on YouTube.com, Military.com or NationalMemorialDayParade.com.

“Due to time constraints and commercial breaks, there is no guarantee that SCR-I will be televised,” he said.

Later that evening, the group will visit the World War II Memorial and place a Scotland County High School wreath at the base of the Missouri state marker.

Tuesday, day 6 of the event, will feature a trip to Mount Vernon, before boarding the tour bus at 2 p.m. for the return trip to Memphis. The group is expected to arrive back home Wednesday, May 30th around 9 a.m.

The trip has been made possible through the hard work of the band students and boosters as well as the generous contributions of local supporters. Work began last May after word was received the band had received the honor of participating in the national event. Numerous fundraisers were held over the next 12 months to fully fund the more than $1,000 price tag per band member for the trip.

Larry Gieseke to Address 72nd Annual Memorial Day Services

Larry Gieseke will be the featured speaker on Monday as the Wallace W. Gillespie Memorial Post #4958 of the Veterans of Foreign Wars hosts the 72nd Annual Memorial Day Services on the lawn of the Scotland County Courthouse.

The services will begin at 10 a.m. with Post Commander Lloyd Erickson and program chairman Donnie Middleton welcoming the crowd.

Veterans Floyd C. Baker and Mike Stephenson will perform the traditional wreath placement at the soldiers’ memorial on the southeast side of the courthouse. Fellow serviceman Bill Camp will lead the gathering in the Pledge of Allegiance.

Sonny Smyser of the Lancaster Church of Faith  will lead the invocation prior to the performance of the National Anthem by the Memphis Community Players, who will also provide additional patriotic music for the service.

Judge Gary Dial will again have the honor of introducing the service’s guest speaker.

Following Gieseke’s speech, veteran Jamie Parker will sing Sleep Soldier Boy.

Following the benediction by Smyser, the VFW members will present a 21 gun salute before the performance of taps by service member Melinda Briggs with ECHO played by Chris Kempke.

The service is open to the public. In case of inclement weather, the program will be moved indoors at the VFW post.

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