April 4, 2013

MDC, Federal Agents Snag Major Paddlefish Poaching Operation



Local conservation agents were among the officers involved in a huge operation that resulted in more than 100 citations and arrests following a two-year investigation into illegal taking and selling of paddlefish and paddlefish eggs. Photo courtesy of MDC

Known as the "Paddlefish Capital of the World," Warsaw, Missouri, is a favorite area for many of Missouri's approximately 16,000 sport paddlefish snaggers because of its location along the Osage River.

Agents with the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC), including Scotland County agent Gary Miller, and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) discovered that the Warsaw area is also a favorite location for paddlefish poachers.

A cooperative undercover investigation by the two agencies recently resulted in more than 100 suspects from Missouri and eight other states being issued citations and/or arrest warrants for state and federal crimes related to paddlefish poaching.

Missouri's official state aquatic animal, paddlefish are an ancient species. Also called spoonbills, they can grow up to seven-feet long and weigh 160 pounds or more. Paddlefish are valued as a sport fish for both their size, and for eating. Paddlefish are also valued for their eggs, or roe, which are eaten as caviar.

The section of the Osage River running along Warsaw in Benton County is a paddlefish hot spot because it is blocked upstream by Truman Dam. When spawning paddlefish reach the dam, their route is blocked and their numbers increase dramatically. This dramatically increases sport anglers' chances of snagging the big fish with a random jerk on a fishing line equipped with large hooks.

This concentration of female paddlefish laden with eggs also makes Warsaw a prime location for paddlefish poachers to get the fish eggs for national and international illegal caviar markets.

"The national and international popularity of Missouri paddlefish eggs as a source of caviar has grown dramatically in recent years," said MDC Protection Chief Larry Yamnitz. "This is a result of European sources of caviar having declined from overfishing of the Caspian Sea's once plentiful and lucrative beluga sturgeon, another species of fish known for its caviar."

Caviar is a delicacy created by preserving fish roe in special salts. According to MDC, about 20 pounds of eggs or more can be harvested from a large, pregnant female paddlefish. Retail prices for paddlefish caviar vary. A current common retail price is about $35 per ounce.

"Caviar prices in illegal or black markets also vary," Yamnitz said. "A common black-market price is about $13 an ounce. Therefore, a single large female paddlefish with about 20 pounds of eggs is carrying about $4,000 worth of potential caviar for black market sales."

Over the course of March 13 and 14, approximately 85 conservation agents of the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC), 40 special agents of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USWFS), and wildlife officers from other states contacted more than 100 suspects in Missouri and eight other states to issue citations, execute arrest warrants, conduct interviews and gather additional information regarding a paddlefish-poaching investigation.

The effort included eight individuals indicted for federal crimes involving the illegal trafficking of paddlefish and their eggs for use as caviar. Other states involved were Colorado, Illinois, Kansas, Minnesota, New Jersey, Oregon, Pennsylvania, and South Carolina.

The arrests and citations were the result of a multi-year joint undercover investigation by MDC conservation agents and special agents of the USFWS involving the illegal commercialization of Missouri paddlefish and their eggs for national and international caviar markets. The undercover investigation ran during the spring 2011 and spring 2012 paddlefish seasons, March 15 through April 30. It was based out of Warsaw, Missouri. Additional MDC conservation agents and federal agents supported the undercover operation.

"Sport anglers may only catch two paddlefish daily and the eggs may not be bought, sold or offered for sale," Yamnitz explained. "Extracted paddlefish eggs may not be possessed on waters of the state or adjacent banks and may not be transported. Paddlefish and their eggs may be commercially harvested only from the Mississippi River."

He added that through the undercover operation, agents were able to identify suspects engaged in wildlife violations involving the illegal purchase, resale and transport of paddlefish and their eggs, document other violations of the Missouri Wildlife Code in addition to the core investigation, and determine that paddlefish eggs harvested in Missouri were being illegally transported out of the state for redistribution.

Federal crimes tied to the poaching involve violations of the Lacey Act. The Act makes it a federal crime to poach game in one state with the purpose of selling the bounty in another state and prohibits the transportation of illegally captured or prohibited wildlife across state lines.

MDC and the USFWS worked with the Benton County Prosecuting Attorney's Office, the Benton County Sheriff's Department and the U.S. Department of Justice on the investigation.

Identification of suspects in violation of state wildlife charges is pending legal filings. Copies of the federal indictments may be obtained from the U.S. Attorney's Office in Kansas City.

The investigation began with tips from the public about illegal activities.

"Individuals from the Warsaw area first alerted us to potential paddlefish poaching in the area," said Yamnitz. "We are grateful to them, and encourage anyone spotting suspected illegal fishing or hunting activity to contact their local conservation agent, or call Operation Game Thief at 1-800-392-1111, 24 hours a day. Callers may remain anonymous and rewards are available for information leading to arrests."

Paddlefish are highly valued by both sport anglers and commercial fishermen. Through Missouri Department of Conservation stocking efforts at three large reservoirs, Missouri offers some of the best paddlefish snagging fisheries in the U.S. The reservoirs are at Lake of the Ozarks and its tributaries, Harry S. Truman Reservoir and its tributaries, and Table Rock Lake and its tributaries, primarily the James River arm.

Without MDC's stocking of these fisheries, and other paddlefish management practices, paddlefish numbers would sharply decline in Missouri's reservoirs, reducing opportunities for sport snaggers.

In the past, paddlefish were naturally abundant in Missouri, but their numbers declined because of channelization, damming, impoundments and other river modifications. These modifications have greatly diminished the natural habitat paddlefish need to reproduce in the wild.

Today, paddlefish in Missouri must be stocked. The Missouri Department of Conservation stocks about 45,000 hatchery-produced 10-12-inch-long paddlefish fingerlings each year in Missouri's three main paddlefish locations: Table Rock Lake, Truman Lake and Lake of the Ozarks.

Paddlefish can grow to a length of about seven feet, weigh up to 160 pounds or more, and live 30 years or more. Females grow larger and heavier than males. It takes about 6-8 years for a paddlefish to reach legal harvest size (34-inches) in Missouri's large reservoirs. Female paddlefish reach sexual maturity at 8-10 years and spawn every 2-3 years. Male paddlefish reach sexual maturity at 4-5 years and spawn annually. The egg masses of female paddlefish can be up to 25 percent of their body weight, with a large female paddlefish carrying about 20 pounds of eggs, or roe.

Paddlefish live mostly in open waters of big rivers and were historically found in the Mississippi, Missouri and Osage rivers, along with other streams. Paddlefish spend most of the year dispersed throughout large reservoirs and rivers until warm spring rains increase flows and raise water temperatures, which prompts the big fish to swim upstream on their spawning run. Spawning runs occur in late spring at times of increased water flow. It is triggered by a combination of daylight, water temperature, and water flow.

For more information about paddlefish, visit www.mdc.mo.gov.

Eight Indicted for Trafficking of Paddlefish 'Caviar'



WASHINGTON -Eight individuals face federal charges stemming from a joint U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and Missouri Department of Conservation investigation of interstate and international trafficking in paddlefish "caviar," the Department of Justice Environment and Natural Resources Division and the U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Missouri announced. Arkadiy Lvovskiy, Dmitri Elitchev, Artour Magdessian, Felix Baravik, Petr Babenko , Bogdan Nahapetyan, Fedor Pakhnyuk, and Andrew Praskovsky have been charged in four, separate indictments in the Western District of Missouri for acts that occurred in 2011 and 2012.

The American paddlefish (Polydon spathula), also called the Mississippi paddlefish or the "spoonbill," is a freshwater fish that is primarily found in the Mississippi River drainage system. Paddlefish eggs are marketed as caviar. Paddlefish were once common in waters throughout the Midwest. However, the global decline in other caviar sources, such as sturgeon, has led to an increased demand for paddlefish caviar. This increased demand has led to over-fishing of paddlefish, and consequent decline of the paddlefish population.

Missouri law prohibits the transportation of paddlefish eggs which have been removed or extracted from a paddlefish carcass. Missouri law also prohibits the sale or purchase, or offer of sale or purchase, of paddlefish eggs. There are also several restrictions on the purchase and possession of whole paddlefish in Missouri.

Among other things, the Lacey Act makes it unlawful for any person to import, export, transport, sell, receive, acquire or purchase fish that were taken, possessed, transported or sold in violation of any law or regulation of any State, or to attempt to do so. Such conduct constitutes a felony crime if the defendant knowingly engaged in conduct involving the purchase or sale, offer to purchase or sell, or intent to purchase or sell, fish with a market value in excess of $350, knowing that the fish were taken, possessed, transported or sold in violation of, or in a manner unlawful under, a law or regulation of any State.

Arkadiy Lvovskiy, 51, of Aurora, Colorado, Dmitri Elitchev, 46, of Centennial, Colorado, Artour Magdessian, 46, of Lone Tree, Colorado, and Felix Baravik, 48, of Aurora, Colorado, were charged with conspiring with each other, and others, to violate the Lacey Act, and with trafficking in paddlefish and paddlefish eggs in violation of the Lacey Act. The indictment alleges that in the spring of 2011 and 2012, the defendants traveled to Warsaw,

Missouri, where they engaged in multiple, illegal purchases of paddlefish and processed the eggs from those paddlefish into caviar. After processing the paddlefish eggs into caviar, the defendants transported the caviar from Missouri to Colorado. The indictment further alleges that, during the interstate transportation, the defendants engaged in counter-surveillance efforts in order to avoid being detected.

Petr Babenko, 42, of Vineland, New Jersey, and Bogdan Nahapetyan, 33, of Lake Ozark, Missouri, were charged with conspiring with each other and other individuals to violate the Lacey Act, and with trafficking in paddlefish and paddlefish eggs in violation of the Lacey Act. The indictment alleges that between March and April 2012, the defendants traveled to Warsaw, Missouri, where they engaged in multiple, illegal purchases of paddlefish and processed the eggs from those paddlefish into caviar. After processing the paddlefish eggs into caviar, they transported the caviar from Missouri to New Jersey.

Fedor Pakhnyuk, 39, of Hinsdale, Illinois, is charged with two counts of trafficking in paddlefish and paddlefish eggs in violation of the Lacey Act. According to the indictment, in the spring of 2011 and 2012 Pakhnyuk traveled from Illinois to Missouri for the purpose of obtaining paddlefish eggs. The indictment alleges that Pakhnyuk procured paddlefish eggs by purchasing them, and by performing processing services for other persons in exchange for a share of the processed eggs. After processing the paddlefish eggs into caviar, Pakhnyuk transported the caviar from Missouri to Illinois. The indictment alleges that Pakhnyuk also attempted to form an enterprise with other individuals that would market processed paddlefish caviar at markets in Chicago, Illinois.

Andrew Praskovsky, 40, of Erie, Colorado, is charged with two counts of trafficking in paddlefish and paddlefish eggs in violation of the Lacey Act. According to the indictment, in March and April 2012, Praskovsky twice traveled to Warsaw, Missouri, for the purpose of purchasing paddlefish. After processing the paddlefish eggs into caviar, Pakhnyuk transported the caviar from Missouri to Kansas. The indictment alleges that, in April 2012, Praskovsky attempted to export some of the paddlefish eggs in checked luggage on an international flight departing from Dulles International Airport in Washington, DC. The paddlefish eggs were seized at Dulles, as paddlefish eggs may only be exported if they are accompanied by a valid permit issued by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service under the Convention for International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES).

If convicted, the individual defendants face a maximum penalty of five years in prison, and a $250,000 fine per count, as well as forfeiture of any vehicles that were used during the commission of the crimes.

The case was investigated by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Missouri Department of Conservation, with assistance by the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation. The case is being prosecuted by Trial Attorneys James B. Nelson and Adam C. Cullman of the Department of Justice's Environmental Crimes Section and Supervisory Assistant U.S. Attorney Lawrence E. Miller of the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Western District of Missouri.

An indictment is a formal accusation and is not proof of guilt. Defendants are presumed innocent until and unless they are found guilty.

Evan Hite Travels to Washington D.C. for NEMR Telecom Youth Tour

Ashley Morelock and Evan Hite recently attended the Foundation for Rural Service (FRS) Youth Tour to Washington D.C.  The duo, sponsored by NEMR Telecom, are pictured at the Federal Communications Commission.

Ashley Morelock and Evan Hite recently attended the Foundation for Rural Service (FRS) Youth Tour to Washington D.C. The duo, sponsored by NEMR Telecom, are pictured at the Federal Communications Commission.

A pair of local students were among the 110 high school representatives who participated in the 22nd Foundation for Rural Service Youth Tour.

Each summer the FRS Youth Tour brings together high school students from across rural North America to visit the nation’s capital and learn about rural telecommunications. The tour provides a forum for teens to meet and interact with their peers from other rural communities as well as with key legislative, regulatory and government figures.  Since its inception in 1995, the youth tour has hosted thousands of students.

NEMR Telecom’s representatives this year were Evan Hite, son of Dan and Nancy Hite, from Scotland County R-I; and Ashley Morelock, daughter of Richard and Wanda Morelock, from Adair County R-I.

The five-day trip was packed full of activities which included a visit to Mount Vernon, home to George Washington, the Smithsonian Museum, a beautiful nighttime tour of the Monuments and a stroll down Pennsylvania Avenue.  A very memorable visit to Arlington National Cemetery is always a favorite of the students.

A highlight of the trip this year was the afternoon spent on Capitol Hill.  The groups could then split up and visit the US Capitol, their own senator’s office and the Library of Congress or Supreme Court.

NEMR Telecom sends two students every year.  If you would like more information on the FRS Washington DC Youth Tour, please contact NEMR Telecom at 660-874-4111.

Outlaw Rodeo at the Scotland County Fair Tuesday, July 12th

rodeo web

The action continues on Tuesday evening, July 12th at the Scotland County Fair with Outlaw/5J Rodeo Company hosting the ultimate rodeo experience beginning at 7:30 p.m.  Events will include Bareback Bronc Riding, Bull Riding, Calf Roping Cowgirl’s Barrel Racing, Cowgirl’s Breakaway Roping, Saddle Bronc Riding, Team Roping and Tie Down Roping.

Outlaw Rodeo/5J Rodeo Company evolved from the dreams of Lance McCollum and his wife, Joey.  In 1992, after being raised in a rodeo family, Lance decided to try his hand at fighting bulls.  After a few bullfighting schools and a lot of bumps and bruises, his career as a bullfighter took off.  “Lightning” Lance McCollum fought bulls for many years in the PRCA, MRCA, URA, NFPB, and several other associations.  He was named Bullfighter of the Year three times.

In 1998, Lance decided to take on his next big dream of becoming a stock contractor and pickup man.  This is where 5J Rodeo Company began.  It started with bucking horses, but soon Lance and wife, Joey, along with the rest of the McCollum family, dove head first into buying the best rodeo horses and bulls they could find.

In 2001, while Lance had been fighting bulls and picking up for the legendary Outlaw Rodeo Productions, the opportunity to become partners with them opened up. Without hesitation, Lance and Joey jumped right on board.  Outlaw Rodeo took on the production, paperwork and PR side of the rodeo, while 5J Rodeo Company took care of the arena setup, professional personnel and the award winning livestock.

Once again, 2015 started another new adventure for the McCollum Family.  After being partners for over a decade, the owners of Outlaw Rodeo Productions decided it was time to retire and 5J Rodeo Company purchased Outlaw Rodeo Productions.

To this day, Lance is still picking up broncs.  Joey helps keep books.  Lance’s brother Jeff runs the bucking chutes as the flank man.  Daughters Kacey and Emma, along with nephews Jackson, Ethan, and Jate help keep the calf pens running smoothly, and Nanny Linda oversees them all!  It is truly a family affair.

Come out to the Scotland County Fair, Tuesday, July 12th at 7:30 p.m. and enjoy an evening of rodeo entertainment!

DONALD LEE ALEXANDER (10/24/1935 – 6/21/2016)

Donald Alexander web

Donald Lee Alexander, 80, of Moore, SC, died Tuesday, June 21, 2016, at National Healthcare-Greer, SC.  Born in a log cabin on October 24, 1935, in Lesterville, MO, he was the son of the late Walter Sheron Alexander and Elizabeth Hanetta Gram Alexander.  His family moved from Lesterville, MO back to Kahoka, MO when he was about two years old, as it was the home of his parents.  Don remained there until he enlisted in the military after high school.

Don retired in October 1997 after working 33 years for Monsanto/MEMC, starting at the plant in St. Peters, MO in a number of departments, and was transferred to the plant in Moore, SC to assist with plant start-up, accepting the permanent transfer four years later.  Don worked in a number of areas, manufacturing and engineering, but the job he loved most was Safety Manager for the plant.  He worked diligently to keep his co-workers safe.

Surviving are his children, Robin Alexander and wife Sharon of Duncan, SC, Shawn Alexander and wife Katina of Moore, SC, and Kimberly “Kimi” Grace Alexander Johnson and husband Mike of Moore, SC; four granddaughters and three grandsons – Owen, Rachel, Seth and Sophia Alexander of Moore, SC and Aubrey, Brodie, and Mason McGregor of Moore, SC. Among the grandchildren were two sets of twins: the oldest, identical twin girls, and the youngest, a girl and a boy born on Don’s birthday. Also surviving are his brother, Ronald Alexander of Memphis, MO; sisters-in-law, Adelle Beathe of Tulsa, OK and Lodusky Tricks of Garden City, KS; and brother-in-law, Harold James Beathe of Mesquite, TX. In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his loving wife Patricia Jane Beathe Alexander on September 22, 2009; sisters, Jeanette Briscoe and Katherine Kennett; and brother, Sheron Alexander.

Visitation was 6:00-8:00 PM Thursday, June 23, 2016, at Floyd’s North Church Street Chapel, 235 N. Church St., Spartanburg, SC 29306. A graveside service, with military rites, was conducted at 11:00 AM Friday, June 24, 2016, in Westwood Memorial Gardens, 6101 Reidville Rd., Moore, SC 29369, by the Rev. Bob Aho.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Alzheimer’s Association, 901 South Pine Street, Spartanburg, SC 29302 online at ww.alz.org.  An online guest register is available at www.floydmortuary.com, Floyd’s North Church Street Chapel.

ROBERT ALLEN “BOB” BULEN (4/8/1937 – 6/20/2016)

bulen obit web

Robert Allen “Bob” Bulen, 79, of Eldon, Missouri, died at his home in Eldon on June 20, 2016.

He was born April 8, 1937 to George Coe and Ida Pauline Sparling Bulen.

He was a 1956 graduate of Moline High School in Moline, Illinois.  He enlisted in the U.S. Navy in July, 1956 and served twenty years as a deep sea diver. While in the Navy, they lived in Newport, Rhode Island; Virginia Beach, Virginia and Scotland where the family enjoyed many adventures and traveling.

Bob married Jane Carolyn Baker on September 6, 1958 at Newport, Rhode Island and to this union three children were born.  He graduated from Kirksville Vo Tech in Kirksville, Missouri, in 1985 as an LPN.  He worked for thirty-one years at the Scotland County Hospital in Memphis, Missouri, before his retirement.

Bob enjoyed gardening, woodworking and collecting and selling antiques, but his greatest enjoyment and passion was spending time with his grandchildren.  Bob spent most of his life in the Memphis area, moving to the Lake of the Ozarks area in 2010 to be closer to family.

He was a member of the V.F.W., American Legion and Fleet Reserve.

He is survived by his wife, Jane, of the home and his children:  Mark Bulen and wife, Lori, of  Non, Oklahoma; Karl Bulen and his wife, Jackie and Debra Gunnell and her husband, Robert, all of Eldon, Missouri.  Also surviving are ten grandchildren; fourteen great-grandchildren; a brother, George W. Bulen and his wife, Joyce, of Cedar Rapids, Iowa and two sisters:  Bonnie Dalton and her husband, Bill, of Memphis, Missouri and Phyllis Ford and her husband, Robert, of Lenexa, Kansas, as well as many nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.

Bob was preceded in death by his parents, a nephew, Anthony Dalton and a niece, Cindy Bulen Hamilton.

A visitation, with the family present to greet relatives and friends, was held Thursday, June 23, 2016, at the Memphis Funeral Home.

Funeral services were held at the funeral home on Friday, June 24th, with Robert Ford officiating.  Music was provided by Ann Luther, pianist and Brent Karhoff, vocalist.  Burial followed the service at Memphis Cemetery in Memphis, Missouri.  Casket bearers were Robert Bulen, Arnold Dalton, Bob Gunnell, Jason Gunnell, Joseph Gunnell and Jim Morgan.  Honorary bearers were Landon Bulen, William “Bill” Dalton and Robert Ford.  Military honors were provided by the Wallace W. Gillespie Memorial Post #4958 V.F.W. and the Missouri Military Honors Team.

To honor Bob’s memory, contributions may be made for a nursing scholarship to be awarded to a Scotland County R-I School senior and may be left at or mailed to Memphis Funeral Home, 378 South Market Street, Memphis, Missouri 63555.

On line condolences for the Bulen family may be made by logging on to memphisfuneralhome-mo.com.

Arrangements were under the direction of Memphis Funeral Home.

Sew & Go Quilt Guild Holds June Meeting

The Sew & Go Quilt Guild met on June 14th at the Downing Christian Church. Food was supplied by Sarah Myers and Jan Morrow and it was very, very tasty

Virginia Hoyal President called the meeting to order.  Betty Duncan passed out a quilt pattern called Molly’s Rose Garden. Debbie Payne won the raffle.

Several ladies brought their PIECE COTTAGE challenges, including Betty Duncan, Debbie Payne, Michele Drummond, Treva Wittstock, Sarah Myers, Brenda Eckland, and Jan Morrow. A couple of the other ladies brought theirs, which weren’t complete, including Virginia Hoyal and Susan Chidester.

Jeannie Childress gave the treasurer’s report,

Show & Tell was conducted and those helping show projects were Lily Wheeler, Renee Blaine, and Sarah Myers. Those showing projects were Angela Neese, Betty Duncan, Liz Reel, Rosalie Kinney, Barbara Blessing, Linda Marlowe, Treva Wittstock, Susan Chidester, and Debbie Payne.

Others attending were Joyce McGoldrick, Marilyn Blessing, Mary Creek, Linda Koser, Carolyn Schmitter, Zelda Keith, and Tina Newcomb. We had three guests, JoAnn Schultz, Sarah Markun, and Lily Wheeler.

Submitted by Tina M. Newcomb

Chris Kempke Completes First Year with Missouri Extension Office

Scotland County Extension Office Program Director Chris Kempke recently completed his first year at the post leading area MU Extension projects.

Scotland County Extension Office Program Director Chris Kempke recently completed his first year at the post leading area MU Extension projects.

by Andrea Brassfield

This time last year, Chris Kempke made the transition from college graduate to full-time employee when he was hired by the Missouri Extension Office in Scotland County to serve as Program Director for Scotland County and Community Development Specialist for Scotland County, Schuyler, Adair, Knox, Clark and Lewis Counties.  Chris started his new position on June 1, 2015 and now, a full year later, is excited by his acceptance into the community and the way his job has evolved, the expansion of existing programs and the development of new projects.

Always friendly and ready to help, Chris has had no problems fitting in and being accepted here in Memphis.  He humbly remarks that many of his activities are just “part of the job” but his volunteerism and willingness to serve go above and beyond and have made him a real asset to many local groups and organizations.

In the past year, Chris has volunteered in booths at the Antique Fair, singing with the Community Players, United Methodist Church Bell Choir, playing Taps for funerals and at the Memorial Day Service, Memphis Chamber activities, Scotland County Fair, Rotary presentations and the newly established School Foundation.  He is also actively involved with the Presbyterian Church.

Professionally, Chris has been involved with multi-site programs including Public Board Training that covered Sunshine Law, university resources for public boards, fiscal responsibilities and public board best practices; Your Farm, Your Business, Your Future where he introduced new curriculum including Family Communication and Estate, Succession and Retirement Planning.

Locally, Chris has helped the Scotland County School Foundation by guiding them through how a foundation works, selecting board members, writing bylaws and strategic planning.  This foundation has already raised over $1000.00 in its short existence.

Additionally, Chris is working with the Tiger Trail Committee by providing contacts and information on funding opportunities and best trail practices, introducing new volunteers to the group and helping plan trail events such as the Easter Egg Hunt.

Another local project Chris is helping with includes the Rutledge School National Designation Project where he connected members of the Rutledge School Preservation Group to Truman State University students to assist them to put the School House on the National Historic Registry.  He has also educated students, faculty and group members on the National Historic Registry process.

Finally, on the local level, Chris has also assisted the Scotland County Food Pantry Program by working to distribute recipes that are relevant to the commodities being delivered to the 200 families served by the food pantry.  He also created a volunteer position to assist in the recipe selection.

Chris also worked with students from the University of Missouri’s Alternative Breaks program.  Two groups, with nine and twelve kids respectively, came to Scotland County to do service work.  Between the two groups, seven projects were completed with approximately 108 hours of volunteer time being spent in the county.

At the state level, Chris has been involved with the Rivers Confluence SET Project, a USDA supported economic development project involving Hancock, Lee and Clark counties.  Over 40 community leaders have been involved in this process from Missouri, Illinois and Iowa where they create an economic development plan that is region specific and is aided by USDA money.

Looking ahead, Chris would like to continue focusing on building capacity with nonprofits and other community events, bringing additional economic development programs into the region, becoming a resource for local governments, becoming more active in outlying counties, expanding the curriculum in the Community Development program, helping to mobilize community members to address problems in their communities and therefore making them more sustainable.

Chris’ office is located in Room 105 of the Scotland County Court house.  He can be reached at 660-465-7256.

Scotland County Health Department Schedule

Thursday, June 30 – Clinic hours from 8-10:00 a.m. for immunizations.

Friday, July 1 – Clinic hours from 8:00-3:30 for fasting blood sugars, cholesterols and blood draws, blood pressure checks, immunizations, nail care, etc.

Monday, July 4 – 4th of July, Clinic Closed

Tuesday, July 5 – Clinic hours from 8-9:00 a.m. for fasting blood sugars and cholesterols and blood draws and from 12-2:30 p.m. for immunizations, blood pressure checks, nail care, etc.

Thursday, July 7 – Clinic hours from 8-10:00 a.m. for immunizations.

Howard, Sears Named to MU Spring Dean’s List

The University of Missouri in Columbia has released the 2016 Spring Semester Dean’s List.

Local students honored included Kathryn Mary Howard of Memphis, a junior Health Professions major; and James Rodney Sears of Memphis, a senior Education major.

Shannan Earns Honors at MVC

Dr. Parris Watts, vice president of academic affairs for Missouri Valley College, has announced the Spring 2016 Dean’s List. The requirements for the Dean’s List are a 3.3 or higher grade point average; at least 12 graded hours for the semester and no “D,” “F,” or “Incomplete” grades for the semester.

Claire Shannan, a Junior, Elementary Education major from Memphis, was named to the list.

Shannan was also named to the 2016 Presidential Scholars list announced by -Dr. Bonnie Humphrey, president of Missouri Valley College.

The requirements for this honor are a 3.9 or higher grade point average for both the fall and spring semesters.

Known for its dynamic, richly diverse, and friendly educational environment, Missouri Valley College offers many opportunities to grow in mind, body, and spirit. Grounded in the liberal arts, undergraduate studies empower students to master interdisciplinary skills needed to succeed in a knowledge-based global society.

MVC offers over 30 academic programs, study abroad programs, extracurricular activities, and many athletic opportunities. The most popular majors include education, agribusiness, nursing, criminal justice and athletic training.

Dry June Has Scotland County on Brink of Drought Designation

Crops in Missouri are showing signs of stress due to lack of precipitation and high temperatures.  This photo of corn was taken outside of Columbia on June 14, 2016. Credit: Photo by Pat Guinan

Crops in Missouri are showing signs of stress due to lack of precipitation and high temperatures. This photo of corn was taken outside of Columbia on June 14, 2016.
Credit: Photo by Pat Guinan

Crops need rain and lower temperatures soon for relief. Most crops are “just a few days away from difficult times,” says University of Missouri Extension agronomy specialist Bill Wiebold.

“We can go from ‘not so bad’ to ‘pretty bad’ quickly,” Wiebold says.

Crops need up to 1-2.2 inches of rain weekly to grow well. In June, most areas of the state fell far behind.

Wiebold points to June rainfall amounts in different areas of the state. Atchison and Boone counties reported only 0.04 inch and only 0.12 inch fell in Knox County in northeastern Missouri in the first week of June. Carroll County received 0.58 inch of rain; Pemiscot got 1.4 inches and Barton had 1.66 inches. In the second week of June, only Barton County received rain, and it was a meager 0.32 inches.

Lack of rainfall and temperatures above 90 degrees in the second week of June raise concerns of possible drought.

MU agronomists in much of the state report that corn plants are “rolling” with dwindling soil moisture and rising temperatures.

Corn leaves roll as a defense mechanism to protect against excessive moisture loss through transpiration. Rolling exposes less leaf surface to the sun’s heat. Lack of water during the time when ear size is developing can spell trouble. Smaller ears with fewer kernels mean lower yields.

Soybean, too, face stress due to lack of rain. Late-planted soybean lack time to develop strong root systems. Early rooting problems—whether due to cool weather, nutrient deficiencies or soil compaction—spell trouble for soybean if drought occurs, Wiebold says.

MU Extension climatologist Pat Guinan said the northeastern quadrant of Missouri faces “very dry” conditions. That area’s high-clay-content soil tends to be more vulnerable to water stress when a dry period emerges. “The forecast is not encouraging,” he says.

Guinan says May precipitation was below normal in the area and the recent hot spell hastened evaporative demand. Vegetation quickly went into stress mode. Also, a large part of the state, extending from northeastern through southwestern Missouri, reports precipitation deficits of 4-8 inches since January 1.

Guinan encourages Missouri residents to submit drought impact reports to the National Drought Mitigation Center. Use the Drought Impact Reporter,http://droughtreporter.unl.edu, to submit reports. These reports provide local expertise to authors of the Drought Monitor map. Drought impact statements are seen by the Drought Monitor author and the general public.

“More participation and input from local Missourians will establish a consensus among folks and hopefully provide a more accurate portrayal of drought in the Show-Me State,” Guinan says.

According to the National Weather Service, the Kirksville station has recorded just 1.49 inches of precipitation in June, nearly three inches less than the normal June rain totals. The bulk of that precipitation was recorded over night on June 20th and in the morning hours of June 21, a storm that largely missed Scotland County.

Compounding the problem are abnormally high temperatures. After a cooler than normal May, June has heated up, approaching 100 degrees on several days, with temperatures on average a full five degrees warmer than the normal June range in Missouri.

The outlook for rain is not good, with national weather forecasts not giving a better than 20% chance for daily precipitation through the first week and a half in July.

Despite the dry conditions, the Scotland County Fire Department has responded to just two natural cover fires in June. But with the Fourth of July holiday looming, there are concerns that number will go up, as fireworks and dry conditions are not a good mix.

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