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.

Blessings to Celebrate 60th Anniversary

blessing anniversary

Junior and Marilyn Blessing will be celebrating their 60th wedding anniversary on August 28, 2016. Congratulatory cards may be sent to them at 13822 Blessing Drive, Downing, MO  63536.

Turnovers Topple SCR-I in 27-0 Loss at Marceline in Football Opener

Gage Dodge uses a stiffarm to get around the Marceline tackler en route to a big gain.

Gage Dodge uses a stiffarm to get around the Marceline tackler en route to a big gain.

Injuries and turnovers. Not the way Scotland County wanted to start the 2016 football season, especially opening at Marceline, which was coming off a Final Four appearance last season.

Four Scotland County turnovers and a rib injury to quarterback Aaron Buford early in the second period was too much to overcome as the Tigers dropped the season opener 27-0.

Despite a pair of early interceptions, the first of which led to the only score of the first half, SCR-I trailed just 6-0 at halftime. More importantly, SCR-I had the ball inside the 10 yard line twice, but came away without any points.

Scotland County’s defense set the tone early. Aaron Blessing stuffed Marceline’s first running play before Buford came up from his free safety position to drop Rylan Chrisman in the backfield for a five-yard loss that led to a three and out series for Marceline.

 

Aaron Blessing (55) upends Marceline's Brady Stallo (33) in the backfield on the first play of the game to set the defensive tone.

Aaron Blessing (55) upends Marceline’s Brady Stallo (33) in the backfield on the first play of the game to set the defensive tone.

After the punt, SCR-I moved the chains with the debut first down of the season coming in memorable fashion as tight end Will Fromm made a circus catch. The sophomore went high with one hand to tip the ball to himself. The ball actually went behind his back as he was sandwiched between a trio of Marceline tacklers. He spun away from the group, ripping the still loose ball out of the scrum. Now seated on his rear end, he extended fully to his toe tips to snag the ball out of mid air and record the reception.

Unfortunately the momentum was short lived as a long run by Buford was nullified by a holding penalty. Just three plays later linebacker Brady Stallo made an acrobatic catch of his own, snagging a pass attempt to Fromm out of the air at the 20 yard line and then running over a couple of tacklers on the way to a pick-six.

The interception came at the 7:00 minute mark of the first quarter. The point after kick was no good, leaving Marceline on top 6-0.

Marceline came up with its second interception of the first period when Dylan Wheeler took advantage of a pair  of SCR-I receivers colliding to snag the uncontested pass at midfield for the turnover.

The SCR-I defense again was up to the task, forcing another three and out after a big tackle by Blessing and a nice play by Buford on third down to break up a pass.

Aaron Buford and Mason Kliethermes swarm Marceline's Dylan Wheeler in the backfield for a big loss.

Aaron Buford and Mason Kliethermes swarm Marceline’s Dylan Wheeler in the backfield for a big loss.

Despite starting at the nine yard line, SCR-I quickly crossed midfield with a first down run by Buford followed by a direct snap to Ryan Slaughter out of the Wildcat formation with the senior taking it 18 yards behind a nice block from Gage Dodge.

Buford broke  a nice run on fourth and three to keep the drive alive. But an intentional grounding penalty backed the Tigers up all the way to the 40 yard line. SCR-I got a big chunk of that back on a completion from Buford to Fromm before the senior signal caller again came up big on fourth down, breaking a 25-yard run that put the ball first and goal at the five. The play proved costly as Buford was helped off the field with a rib injury.

Marceline turned back three short run attempts before Buford tried to return. The gutsy attempt turned bad as he was unable to make the pitch to Slaughter and Marceline recovered the loose ball at the 13 yard line.

SCR-I got the ball right back when Mason Kliethermes forced a Marceline fumble on the next play and his brother Riley pounced on the loose ball at the 18 yard line.

Fromm took over for Buford at quarterback and connected with Ian See on a seven yard pass play. But Marceline got the yards back with a sack of Fromm. Slaughter took the next snap and hit Fromm for an eight yard completion, but SCR-I was stopped a yard short on fourth down.

Marceline quickly moved into scoring position on a 31-yard run by Chrisman. Marceline found the end zone on a 35-yard screen pass to Levi Terrell but the play was called back for an illegal block.

That proved key as SCR-I again made a big defensive stop behind plays from Blessing, Steven Terrill and Grant McRobert.

Defensive end Cameron Stone works to put pressure on Marceline quarterback Andrew Edgar.

Defensive end Cameron Stone works to put pressure on Marceline quarterback Andrew Edgar.

The Tigers kept changing up looks on offense, as Dodge took the first several snaps of the next possession, moving the chains with a run as well as an option play to Slaughter. The later nearly broke a reverse for a touchdown, but the big play was called back on a penalty and SCR-I was forced to punt as the first half came to a close.

SCR-I went three and out to start the third period. Marceline on the other hand just needed three plays to add to its lead as on third down, Andrew Edgar hit Wheeler with a short screen pass that turned into a 59-yard score. McRobert stuffed the two-point try to keep the deficit at 12-0 with 8:36 left in the third period.

The home team got the ball right back on the third turnover of the contest for SCR-I when the Tigers muffed a squib kick off.

The SCR-I defense held as the two teams traded punts on the next three possessions.

After Fromm connected on a 18-yard pass play to Brett Monroe the SCR-I drive stalled near midfield. SCR-I went for it on fourth and long and was turned away.

Marceline capitalized on the short field, as Edgar hit Wheeler for a 42-yard TD pass on the very first play. While it goes in the book as a three-yard gain, the Marceline quarterback then ran at least 40 yards, changing direction a number of times, and eluding the entire SCR-I defense after a bad snap to convert the two-point conversion that seemed to take the last of the wind out of SCR-I’s sails.

If that play didn’t, the second consecutive kickoff muff by the SCR-I special teams, gave Marceline the ball right back on another onside kick.

The two teams traded defensive stands before Marceline finally tacked on a touchdown run by Chrisman in the final minute to make the score 27-0.

The offensive stats were fairly even, with Scotland County actually holding the slight advantage with 10 first downs to just eight for Marceline, which only outgained the Tigers 268 to 218.

Buford completed six of 10 passes for 49 yards in the opening quarter. He also ran for 35 yards on five attempts. Fromm caught five passes for 46 yards. He threw for 25 yards on three of seven passing and rushed for 10 yards on six carries. Slaughter finished with 60 yards rushing and caught one pass. Dodge ran the ball seven times for 43 yards and had a pair of receptions.

Edgar completed four of eight passes for 121 yards and two TDs. Chrisman ran the ball 11 times for 106 yards and a TD while Wheeler had the two TD catches totaling 101 yards.

Blessing and McRobert each had 10 tackles to lead the SCR-I defense while Cameron Stone contributed eight stops.

SCR-I will travel to Fayette on Friday to take on the Falcons, a 26-6 loser to Carrollton in week one action.

Excelsior Springs Woman Dies From Drug Overdose

crime scene web

An Excelsior Springs woman has died while visiting Scotland County and medical examiners have ruled the cause of death as a drug overdose.

According to Scotland County Coroner Dr. Jeff Davis, Stephanie L. Howard, age 30, was pronounced deceased at 8:01 p.m. on Sunday, August 21st at a rural Scotland County farm.

An emergency 911 call was received at approximately 6 p.m. of a non-responsive female who had been found in a camper on Route H north of Arbela.

First responders and the Scotland County Ambulance Service responded to the scene and determined Howard was deceased. The coroner’s office was contacted and Dr. Davis made the official pronouncement of death.

Howard’s body was transported to the Boone County Medical Examiner’s office in Columbia where an autopsy was performed on Monday, August 22nd. Preliminary results indicated the cause of death was a drug overdose.

The coroner’s office was assisted by the Scotland County Sheriff’s Office, Scotland County Ambulance service, first responders and the Missouri State Highway Patrol Division of Drug and Crime Control. The criminal investigation is still ongoing.

 

Antique Fair to Offer ‘Memories of the Past’ August 24th-28th

antique fair

by Andrea Brassfield

“Memories of the Past” is the theme for the 2016 Scotland County Antique Fair which is being held August 24th thru August 28th on the Memphis Square and at the Scotland County Fairgrounds and Airport on Sunday, August 28th.

The Fair is offering a multitude of games, activities and entertainment including a display of Small Engine, Antique Toys, Quilts and Antique Tractors, a Baby Show, Antique Fair Tractor Pull, Car Show, Craft Booths and Sales, Street Dances, Kiddies’ Sanction Pedal Tractor Pull, the Country Showdown and Airplane Rides.

The Fair activities begin on Wednesday, August 24th with the Vespers Service at 6:00 p.m., followed by the SCR-1 Tiger Tailgate Party at 6:30 and at 7:30 p.m., the Country Showdown.

On Thursday, August 25th, the square will come to life as stands are set up, window displays will be available to view, food stands and Museums open and entries begin coming in. In the evening the crowning of the Antique Fair King and Queen will take place on the stage at 6:00 p.m., followed by the Baby Show, Crowning of Prince and Princess and the Bingo tent opens.  No Apology from Greentop, MO will take the stage at 7:30 p.m. and a $100.00 raffle drawing is schedule at 10:00 p.m.

Food stands and vendors will be available all day Friday, August 26th.  At 5:00 p.m., there will be a Washer Tournament (with limited teams) sponsored by Helena.  Window display results will be announced at 5:30.  At 6:00 p.m. the Bingo tent opens.  Tractor and Small Engine judging takes place at 7:00 and at 7:30 p.m., the Renegades from Oskaloosa, IA will take the stage.  Another $100.00 raffle drawing will be held at 10:00 p.m.

The Fireman’s Breakfast at the Memphis Fire Station will start the day’s activities on Saturday, August 27th.  The 9th annual 5K, 1.5 mile Fun Run/Walk sponsored by the Scotland County Hospital will begin at 8:00 a.m. on the east side of the square. The Parade starts at 10:00 a.m. with all food vendors and stands serving at the conclusion of the parade.  The Kiddies Sanction Pedal Tractor Pull starts will start at 11:30 a.m., also on the east side of the square.

Saturday’s afternoon events include the Car Show starting at 12:30, a Tractor Poker Run at 1:00 p.m. and Tractor Games (prizes by Farm Bureau) and Bingo tent opens at 3:00 p.m.

That evening, The Clarksville Station from Indianola, IA takes the music stage at 7:30 p.m. and the final raffle drawing for two $100.00 winners and the Quilt Raffle will take place at 10:00 p.m.

The final day of the Antique Fair, Sunday, August 28th, will start at the Scotland County Fairgrounds at 10:00 a.m. with the Antique Tractor Pull.  A Fly In Dinner with free will donation to the Pheasant Project will begin at 11:00 a.m. at the Memphis Airport.  Airplane rides will be given all day.

Antique Fair Marks Start of Fall Festivals Across Region in September

festivals

by Andrea Brassfield

Fall is in the air and while the Scotland County Antique Fair will wrap up local festivities this weekend, other surrounding communities are working to host area fall festivals close by.

Labor Day weekend is the Nauvoo Grape Festival (September 2-4) and Festival on Wheels Car Show (September 3-4).  One of the oldest festivals in West Central Illinois, the Nauvoo Grape Festival has become a well-known attraction in the tri-state area.  Festivities at this annual event include live entertainment, great food, Nauvoo Pageant, car show, wine tastings, carnival rides, parade, buck skinners rendezvous, mud volleyball, 5K run, arts and crafts, flea market, archery and more.  For more information, visit their website at http://www.nauvoograpefestival.com.

The following weekend, September 9-11 is the Milton Fall Festival in Milton, IA.  This year’s theme is “Remembering 911”.

Organizers are asking for donations for this year’s raffle.  They are planning both a children and adult raffle and donations can consist of money, items, or gift certificates.  They are also looking for sponsors to help with any of the events that go on throughout the festival.

Nothing will be sold; all prizes will be raffled off.  They will also be putting an ad in the Tri-County Shopper to recognize the businesses and individuals who donated or sponsored this year.  Everything is tax deductible.

Events will include a mud bog, fireman’s challenge, parade, horse shoe tournament, raffle, bounce houses, horse pull, kiddie tractor pull, kids’ games, craft show and flea market, medivac helicopter, music and entertainment, ball tournament and a car, truck, tractor and motorcycle show.

For more information, contact Mary Small (319-677-6298), Regina Vanhemert (319-288-1013) or Chris Fields (641-208-7524).  Everyone is welcome to come join in and have some fun!

The same weekend in Missouri, Edina, will be hosting their annual Knox County Corn Festival on the Court House Lawn.

Festivities kick-off Friday evening with the Opening Prayer at 5:20 p.m. followed by a Fish Fry in the 4-H Pavilion at 5:30.  The musical A cappella group, Blend performs from 7:00-8:30 p.m.

On Saturday, Sept. 10th, the Jerry Gudehus Memorial 5K Run/Walk starts at 8:00 a.m. followed by the parade at 10:00.  Judging for the Car Show will take place at Noon with awards at 2:00 p.m.

A Poker Run starts at 11:00 a.m. and entertainment featuring Paige McClamroch runs from 12:00-1:00 p.m.

The afternoon activities include a Pedal Tractor Pull, Baby Show, and Cornhole Tournament.  Vocalists for the evening include Natalie Clark, Amber Morgret and Tara Schrage.

Sunday morning activities kick-off at 9:00 a.m. with a 3 on 3 Basketball Tournament, church services from 11:00 a.m. – Noon and the Genesis House Meal at Noon.  A Power Wheels Derby begins at 1:30 p.m. and Grand Prize Drawings will take place at 3:00 p.m.

September 16-18 the fun moves to Kahoka, MO as they are holding their annual Clark County Mule Festival at the Clark County Fairgrounds.  Events for the weekend include a Fish Fry, Mule Polo, Trail Riding, Craft and Flea Market, and the Mule Show.

Proof of negative Coggins Test is required for all mules and horses at the Main Gate and current (30 day) health certificate for out-of-state horses and mules.

For more information, check out their website www.clarkcountymulefestival.com.

Also, on September 17th, Rutledge is hosting their annual Fall Festival.  The parade starts at 10:00 a.m., Kids’ Games at 11:00 followed by a Barbeque lunch and then musical entertainment.

Anyone wishing to be in the Rutledge Fall Festival Parade can contact 660-341-0680 or 660-216-0692.  Bikes, politicians, horses, and antique vehicles are all welcome!

For a complete list of festivals in the tri-state area, visit https://www.everfest.com/.

Discovering Pinta and The Nina

The Pinta and The Nina, replica ships to the original caravel used by Christopher Columbus on his voyage to discover new land in 1492.  The replica ships are docked in Hannibal where they can be toured until their departure on Monday, August 29th.

The Pinta and The Nina, replica ships to the original caravel used by Christopher Columbus on his voyage to discover new land in 1492. The replica ships are docked in Hannibal where they can be toured until their departure on Monday, August 29th.

“In 1492 Columbus sailed the ocean blue…”.  Departing from Spain on August 3, 1492, after receiving financing from the King and Queen of Spain, Columbus commanded three ships, the Pinta, The Nina, and the Santa Maria.

Today, well over 500 years later, the Columbus Foundation, whose purpose is to educate the public on the type of ships that Columbus used to discover a new world, travels from port to port within the United States to display the only traveling replicas in existence.

On average, they travel ten months out of the year, visiting 30 to 40 locations around the U.S.  On Tuesday, August 23rd, at 3:00 p.m., they arrived in Hannibal, MO.  Docking at Center Landing, they will stay there until their departure early Monday morning, August 29th.

While in port, the general public is invited to visit the ships for a walk-aboard self-guided tour.  Prices are $8.00 for adults, $7.00 for senior citizens and $6.00 for students 5-16.  Children four and under are Free.  The ships will be open every day from 9:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. and no reservations are necessary.

These ships are floating museums with exhibits on each ship highlighting the history of the Age of Discovery, navigation of the era, how the ships were built and a taste of what life was like over 500 years ago.

The Nina is an exact replica.  She is regarded as the most accurate reproduction ever constructed and was built by hand and without the use of power tools.  The Pinta, built in Brazil, was built 15 feet longer and eight feet wider than the original, so she can accommodate more people, and be used for dockside charters/events.  Historians consider the caravel the Space shuttle of the fifteenth century.

The Santa Maria was a different type of ship, known as a “Nao” and considerably larger than the Caravels, the Nina and Pinta.  The biggest operational difference between the two designs is the draft.  The Santa Maria would require 14 feet of water depth, where the Nina and Pinta only draft seven feet.  A Santa Maria replica would not be able to travel to many places where The Nina and Pinta visit.

For more information about the Columbus Foundation visit their website at http://www.thenina.com.

Foundation Funds New Band Chairs

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The Scotland County School Foundation, through a grant from the Shopko Foundation, has donated $650 to the Scotland County R-I Music program for the purchase of posture chairs for the junior high and senior high band. The purpose of posture chairs is for the band students to maintain the correct position for optimum breathing and instrumental technique.  The Scotland County Association of Music Parents (SCAMP) paid the balance of the chairs.  SCAMP supports the music program through various fundraising activities throughout the year, such as the sale of walking tacos at the Antique Fair, spaghetti suppers at basketball games, and Trivia Night in the spring. The Scotland County School Foundation is a 501(c)(3) charity.  Donations to the SCSF are tax-deductible for the donor.  If you are interested in learning more about the Scotland County School Foundation, you may contact Ellen Aylward, President at 660-216-9951 or Chris Kempke, Secretary, at the Scotland County Extension Office.

band 2

 

band 3

Fishing Success

Ken McVeigh web

Ken McVeigh formerly from Memphis has been fishing the Great Plains and Midwest Kayaking fishing series side by side since April of this year. These events have been various monthly online competitions that each month was the target of new Species.  April and May found Ken and his son, Sean McVeigh, back home to fish where his roots began as a kid. Ken and Sean put up some mind blowing stats on their trips to Memphis for the April Crappie challenge and then again with the Bass Tails May challenge. These two tournament series allowed the angler to travel anywhere in the Midwestern States to fish. Armed with a unique printed identifier, digital camera and a measuring board, fish were all caught, measured, photographed and released. Ken maintained a top 10 lead of the Midwest series with 7th place in the Crappie Challenge, 3rd place in the Bass Tails, and coming out well in the June multi species (1 catfish, 1 bass and 1 bluegill). He found himself going into the final live bass fishing event held at Lake Wanahoo  with a 2nd place lead overall. A rough day of fishing for all 46 anglers, Ken ended with a 6th place win overall …8 inches short from maintaining his 2nd place lead. He had only a 4 of 5 fish stringer that day. One of those 4 bass only being 7″ long. Only six anglers turned in a 5 of 5 limit.  A great finish to an incredible series.

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.

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