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Your World Today - February 22, 2011

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The Salem Board of Aldermen held their regular meeting Monday evening at the city hall council chambers. The board approved the purchase of 10 Alleycat bins for the recycle trailer. The funds are from a MRPC grant and will cost $6,842.02. The consent agenda was reviewed and it showed sales taxes collected for January to be $92,164.82, this is up $18,240.44 over last year’s total. Mayor Gary Brown reported that the finance committee met to review the first six months of the budget year. It showed expenses over revenues of $422,689, but real estate taxes have not been received for this time period. The committee reviewed the $23,000 loss at the swimming pool for the past summer. The average daily attendance at the pool has dropped to 72 per day, down from 127 per day just two years ago. The board asked if the fee structure that was recently changed and the elimination of the family pool pass was the reason. Parks and Recreation Director Greg Nash explained that the pool attendance on weekends has decreased dramatically and at times the pool was closed because of low attendance. The Park Board will meet soon to discuss the number of employees and ways to decrease expenses and increase revenue. Brown reported that there is $72,000 in unpaid electric bills since 2008 and the credit agency that was recently hired is working to decrease this amount. Brown reported that the Utility Committee recently met and discussed decreasing the discount for paying early since the city does not get the discount from Sho-Me Power anymore. They also discussed passing the 5% electric rate increase on to the citizens and possibly passing an ordinance to automatically pass on all rate increases as they occur. All of the committees’ recommendations will be presented as an ordinance at the next meeting.  Brown reported that the city would advertise for bids on a sound system for the council chambers. Jared Brown has been hired as the new Animal Control/Nuisance Officer for the city. The March aldermen meetings will be moved to Thursday, March 3rd and Thursday, March 17th since the Mayor will be in Washington DC representing MRPC. Alderman Kenneth Nash made a motion to move the Fourth of July fireworks display back to the Commons and Jerry Randell seconded.  Attorney Nancy Wisdom advised the board not to vote on this issue until the public could be notified and have input on the decision. The board voted to approve the motion with Brad Nash voting no after hearing the recommendation of the city attorney. The board approved Resolution #2-2011 that allows the mayor to sign a lease/purchase agreement with the Bank of Salem for the 2011 Ford Explorer that was ordered several months ago from C&E Auto. Wisdom read Bills 3213-3217 dealing with a number of appointed positions within the city that created a limit on their terms and the aldermen approved them all. Mayor Brown said that he would veto them all and would not sign them. He will give his reasoning at the next meeting. Wisdom reported that she recently attended meetings of the Western Cherokee Tribal Council. The Council, the tribal members present and the governing body of the non-profit board all agreed to transfer the old high school property on Tenth Street back to the City. However, it has not yet been determined who has legal authority to do so. Interim Chief, Wanda Nash, and some members are looking into their options on the property and will let the city know of their intent.  After the bills were approved, the Board went into closed session.

A friendly reminder that tonight is the final Livestock Quality Assurance Meeting for Dent County starting at 7:00 at The Commons. If you missed last week’s meeting, but plan to exhibit an animal at the 2011 Fair (this includes Clover Kids), you must attend this meeting. The only other alternative is to call Ted Cunningham at the Extension office at 729-3196 for Quality Assurance meeting dates in surrounding counties. There are NO exceptions as this is a state mandated meeting for all animal exhibitors at the fair.

A report on the feasibility study for a potential National Heritage Area in the Missouri Ozarks is available to the public for their review and comments. The study encompasses an area that would include Carter, Dent, Douglas, Howell, Iron, Oregon, Ozark, Reynolds, Ripley, Shannon, Texas, Wayne and Wright counties. The report is available at the Salem Public Library and online at www.wparts.org or www.scogog.org. This project was spearheaded by Ozark Action, Inc., the Ozarks Preservation, Inc. and the West Plains Council on the Arts and was started in December of 2009. The project was federally funded by ARRA funds received by Ozark Action, Inc. from the US Department of Health and Human Services provided by the Missouri Department of Social Services, Family Support Division. The project premise is to find a way to market the cultural assets of the area that include the works of traditional artists and craftspeople, locally grown foods, and related resources of the Ozarks in a more integrated and effective way. National Heritage Areas are a program initiated by the National Park Service where they can provide technical, planning and limited financial assistance to the area. The NHA program’s website says, “the National Park Service is a partner and advisor, leaving the decision making authority in the hands of the local people and organizations.” The site also said that “Nothing in this management plan shall be construed to modify any provision of federal, state, or local law with regard to public access to or use of private lands.” Area residents are encouraged to read the report and to comment on it by writing to the West Plains Council on the Arts, P.O. Box 339, West Plains, MO. 65775, or emailing them at arts@townsqr.com. The original cut off date to submit your comments was March 5th, but they have extended the comment period to March 15th for Dent County residents.

Sports [TOP]

Jennifer Herndon scored 14 points and Kaitlyn Wells added 12 more as the Salem Tigers hung on to beat St. Clair last night in the opening round of Districts, 35-33. Kristy Bermudez pulled down 12 rebounds to help Salem to a 14-11 record overall and a trip to the semi-finals to face Sullivan Wednesday night at 6:00.

The Salem Boys Basketball Tigers will be in Union to face Sullivan tonight in the first round of District play. Salem is seeded 5th and Sullivan 4th. Game time is 6:00 and the admission to the game is $4.00 per person. If you can’t make it to the game, you can hear it on KSMO Radio and online at ksmoradio.com.

Jonathan Toews capped a four-goal second period, and the Chicago Blackhawks rallied to beat the St. Louis Blues, 5-3, Monday at the Scottrade Center. Andy McDonald and Brad Boyes had given the Blues a 2-0 lead in the opening frame, while Alex Pietrangelo drew St. Louis within a goal in the third period. Ben Bishop, making his first start of the season for the Blues, was pulled in the second after allowing four goals on 18 shots. Ty Conklin stopped seven shots in relief. The Blues host the Colorado Avalanche tonight at 7:00 on KSMO.

Andrew N. "Drew" Baur, who was part of the ownership group that bought the St. Louis Cardinals in 1996, died Sunday at the age of 66. Bauer served as the team's treasurer since buying part of the team from Anheuser-Busch.

The Kansas City Royals on Sunday agreed to terms on one-year contracts with infielders Mike Aviles and Alcides Escobar. Aviles batted .304 and drove in 32 runs last season for the Royals, while Escobar, who was acquired in December from Milwaukee in the Zack Greinke trade, hit .235 in 2010. Kansas City also signed pitchers Henry Barrera, Kevin Pucetas, Kanekoa Texeira, and Everett Teaford and catcher Lucas May to one-year deals.

Obituaries   [TOP]

Funeral mass for Philip Werner of Steelville, age 1 year and 10 months, will be held today morning at 10:00 at the Immaculate Conception Catholic Church in St. James. Interment will be in the Pleasant Hill Baptist Cemetery in Steelville.

Funeral services for Billy Charles Cook of Salem, age 80, will be held Wednesday at 2:0 at the Wilson Mortuary Salem Chapel. Visitation will be held from 5:00 to 7:00 today. Interment will be in the Cedar Grove Cemetery.

Funeral services for Pearl Ora Woods of Steelville, age 96, will be held Thursday at 1:00 at the Britton-Bennett Funeral Home in Steelville. Visitation will be Wednesday from 4:00 to 8:00. Interment will be in the Liberty Cemetery in Steelville.

Graveside services for Gertrude L. Caswell of Salem, age 84 will be held Friday at 10:00 at the Mt. Vernon Memorial Estates in Lemont, Illinois. Visitation will be Wednesday from 5:00 to 7:00 at the James and Gahr Mortuary in Salem. Memorials are suggested to the American Cancer Society.

Memorial services for Virginia Lois Conaway, Pevely, age 52, will be Saturday at 2:00 at Lookout Assembly of God Church, Davisville. Interment will be in the Skaggs Cemetery at Shoal Creek. All arrangements are under the direction of the Britton-Bennett Funeral Home in Steelville.

Funeral services for Robert M. Andrews of St. James, age 86, are incomplete at this time, but under the direction of the James & Gahr Mortuary of Rolla.

Weather [TOP]

Today..Mostly sunny, high of 42.
Tonight..Partly cloudy, low of 28.
Wednesday..Mostly cloudy, high of 52.
Wednesday night..Cloudy with a 60% chance for showers and scattered thunderstorms, low near 40.
Thursday..Cloudy with an 80% chance for showers and thunderstorms, high of 52.
Thursday night..70% chance for rain, then changing to snow, low of 35.

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