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Your World Today - November 30, 2010

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A group of about 125 people were in attendance Monday evening at the Salem City Hall Auditorium for the public forum concerning Biomass presented by the Salem Area Chamber of Commerce. Chamber President George La Joie was the moderator for event. Director of Operations for ProEnergy, John Smeltzer and Mike Mills, a consultant from Spectrum Consultant Group LLC, which is in partnership with ProEnergy, were in attendance. From the area were Thom Haines from the Salem Ranger District of the Mark Twain National Forest, Senator Frank Barnitz, Kim Smith from Jadwin Sawmill and Salem Economic Development Director Sharon Tubbs along with others to comprise the panel of ten presenters. The City of Salem was represented at the public forum as Mayor Gary Brown and Board of Alderman were all in attendance as were Dent County Presiding Commissioner Darrell Skiles, Commissioner Dennis Purcell and Commissioner Gary Larson to learn more about biomass. After a power-point presentation from ProEnergy, each person on the panel was allowed time to present their views, pros and cons on the issue of biomass in the Salem area. ProEnergy currently provides 5,000 mega-watts world wide and the plant in Salem would be expected to employ about 150 people in the construction of the plant on the east side of town and to then employ between 22 to 30 people to run the 20 mega-watt facility. Executive Vice President of Royal Oak, Randy Beech from Atlanta, Georgia, was in attendance to express concerns about his business and how it could deeply affect the 95 to 100 people that Royal Oak employs. Professor from the University of Missouri Hank Stelzer talked about landowners as well as the Mark Twain National Forest and stated that use of the Pioneer Forest is out of the question. Senator Frank Barnitz talked about that in 2008, voters approved a port-folio regarding wind, hydro, biomass, or methane as sources of fuel which are to be in place by the year 2020 in the state of Missouri. Kim Smith from the Jadwin Sawmill was in opposition to biomass. The sawmills feel that the wood products that would be needed to run the plant would be great and would then go to the highest bidder, thus affecting their operations. Economic Development Director Sharon Tubbs spoke about what a difference biomass would make in the Salem and Dent County area economically and feels that biomass is a once in a lifetime opportunity for the Salem area. When asked where the finances would come from, the reply was ProEnergy would put up 1/3 of the equity into the project and once certified as a biomass facility, bonds and lending agents would be looked into after an agreement is signed. Grants would be applied for and there would be tax credits and dollars from the federal government as well. There were a several dozen questions at the end of the presentations such as the demand on water wells and it was noted an additional well if not two would be needed as the biomass plant would require 500,000 gallons of water per day, and the city already uses 500,000 to 600,000 gallons a day. In case of a breakdown where would the electric come from and the power would be purchased from a grid. Salem Ranger Thom Haines talked about the waste of tops already in the forests and how they could be better utilized rather than to have them lay on the forest floors and rot. He also said there would be less need for controlled burns. The final decision as to whether or not there will be a Biomass plant in the City of Salem rests with the Salem Board of Alderman. It will also be up the Alderman to set the electric rates.

The Dent County Commissioners regular meeting was held Monday morning at the Dent County Courthouse. In the road report District 1 Commissioner Dennis Purcell reported that grading was going to be done on Dent County Roads 5150, 6040, 6070, 6220 and 6230. He also said that brush was going to be cut on Dent County Road 5600 and that community service workers were painting out at the new road and bridge department building addition. In District 2, Commissioner Gary Larson reported that grading was going to be done on Dent County Roads 2030, 2060, 5240 and 5250. He said that brush was going to be cut on Dent County Roads 2050 and 3200, brown rock was going to be added and grading was going to be done on Dent County Road 3300, and brown rock was going to be added to Dent County Road 2020. Larson said that later this week the trucks would be prepared for winter weather. Presiding Commissioner Darrell Skiles reported that all three commissioners attended the MAC meeting last week and most of the discussion was centered on the effect that the state budget will have on counties. He also said that he would be would be attending the Ozark Rivers Solid Waste Management District meeting and annual awards dinner at the MRPC today along with Commissioner Larson. The next meeting of the Dent County Commissioners will be held Thursday morning at 9:00 at the courthouse and the meeting is open to the public.

The Dent County Fire Protection District is again hosting their annual toy drive. The toy drive is for children birth thru age 12. Registration will be today and Thursday, December 2nd from 3:00 to 7:00 p.m. at the Dent County Fire Protection District Station. Parents or guardians need to bring verification of the child’s age, that the child lives with them, and proof that the child is a Dent County resident (such as utility bill). Only registered children are allowed to participate in the toy drive. The toy pick-up date will be December 21st. For more information please contact Brad Nash at 729-3250. Volunteers are needed to help staff the event – to volunteer please contact Becki Godi at 247-0086.

The Salvation Army Service Unit of Dent County would like to announce that this year’s Christmas kettle campaign is going on now through Friday, December 24th. The kettles will be located at Wal-Mart, Country Mart, and Dollar General. Counter Kettles will be placed at various locations around Dent County. This year’s goal is $21,000 and with the continuation of a local mail appeal and the hundreds of volunteer hours donated by individuals, businesses, and clubs to ring the bell at the Christmas kettle, the Salvation Army is hopeful that local citizens will support this campaign generously as they have in the past. This year, David Dittman, a Vice-President at the Bank of Salem, will serve as the Honorary Christmas Campaign Chairman and he thanks everyone for their donation on money, time or both during this Christmas season to make it a brighter 2011 for hose less fortunate. The funds raised during this campaign will be used to assist the citizens of Dent County with utility assistance, and prescriptions. The Salvation Army also supplies local school children with backpacks, and provides assistance to families who have lost everything due to a fire. The generosity of the citizens of Dent County will enable the local Salvation Army to continue to meet the needs of those who need assistance in 2011. If you would like to help by ringing the bell as the Christmas kettle or need additional information about the local Salvation Army, please call Jim and Diane Boulware at 729-6685 or Sherry Lea at 729-8163.

Sports [TOP]

The Salem Tigers dropped their second game of the year to the West Plains Zizzers last night by the score of 54-44. Jacob Kettner scored 13 points to lead Salem. The Salem Tiger JV team also lost but mounted a strong 4th quarter comeback to get within five points after trailing by 21. The final score was 50-41 as Chad Elliot scored 14 points to pace the Tigers. The Tigers will be at Pacific Friday night starting at 6:00 with the JV contest.

The Salem Lady Tigers lost to Northwest Saturday in their opener, 43-36. Alayna Sellers led all Salem scorers with 14 points. The Lady Tigers will be at Sullivan tonight starting at 6:00 with the JV contest.

The Missouri Tiger Basketball Team will be in Kansas City to face the Georgetown Hoyas starting at 8:00. KSMO Radio will air the pre-game show immediately after the first period of the St. Louis Blues game. Missouri is 5-0 on the year.

The St. Louis Blues will attempt to end a two-game losing streak as they will be in Chicago tonight to face the Blackhawks. KSMO will air the first period and tape delay the third period until after the Missouri Tiger basketball game is concluded.

Obituaries   [TOP]

Funeral service for Joyce Riebel of Steelville, age 67, will be held this morning at 11:00 at the Presbyterian Church in Steelville. Interment will be in the Steelville Cemetery. Memorials may be made to the ASPCA or the Steelville Presbyterian Church. All arrangements are under the direction of the Britton-Bennett Funeral Home of Steelville.

Funeral service for Eugene Abbott of Salem, age 71, will be held Wednesday at 11:00 at the Dent County Memorial Chapel. Visitation will be tonight from 6:00 until 8:00. Interment will be in the Jadwin Cemetery.

Funeral services for Kathleen Burch of Vichy, age 73, will be held Friday at 1:00 at the Britton Bennett Funeral Home in Steelville. Visitation will be Friday from 11:00 until service time. Interment will be in the Steelville Cemetery.

Funeral services for Dr. Jay Gordon Crump of Rolla, age 60, are incomplete at this time, but are under the direction of the James and Gahr Mortuary in Rolla.

Weather [TOP]

Today..Mostly cloudy, breezy and colder, high of 35.
Tonight..Mostly clear, low around 20.
Wednesday..Mostly sunny, high around 40. |
Wednesday night..Partly cloudy in the evening, mostly cloudy after midnight, low of 24.
Thursday..Mostly cloudy early, becoming partly cloudy by the afternoon, high of 49.



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