Archives for June 2011

Fewer Smokers in Missouri Now Than 15 Years Ago

There are fewer smokers in Missouri now than there were 15 years ago.

Fifteen years ago, about one in four people in Missouri smoked. Today, its one in six, and the Missouri Foundation for Health’s Community Health program director Matthew Kuhlenbeck says that’s a significant number.

He said, “We’ve gone from over 27 percent of Missourians using tobacco, to almost 20 percent. That’s a dramatic decrease.”

Kuhlenbeck says in seven years, the foundation has invested 28 million dollars to try to get Missourians to stop smoking. The state does not fund any of those programs, and he says its all done with private dollars.

Uncle Aame At Walmart for Food Drive

Don’t forget the food drive at Walmart today.

The Food Bank of Central and Northeast Missouri is holding is “Independence from Hunger” food drive today and Mike DeSantos…a very striking likeness of Uncle Sam will be there to have his picture taken with you.

DeSantos describes Uncle Sam as “very, very good looking, and he’s rather tall too, with his extended feet, he’s about eight and a half feet tall, wearing a partially modified…well, his outfit comes from all parts of America, because America’s a place of many fabrics and strains. I’ve got a vest from one place and I’ve got pants that were made…

I interrupted: “Don’t you mean Uncle Sam?”

DeSantos, I mean US went on, ” Oh, I’m sorry! I’m so patriotic this time of year, I tend to identify with Uncle Sam.”

The food drive is from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. at the Walmart today.

Missouri State Parks accepting donations for Joplin area parks

When you visit Missouri state parks and historic sites for the Fourth of July weekend, you can do more than just have fun – you can assist your neighbors in the Joplin area with their recovery and rebuilding effort.
Donation boxes will be available in all Missouri state parks and historic sites beginning Saturday, July 2. All donations will be used to help purchase and plant trees in the Joplin area parks.
“We believe the Missouri state park system belongs to the people of this state. This is one way we can provide assistance to the people and give back to those who need us,” said Bill Bryan, Missouri State Parks director, a division of the Missouri Department of Natural Resources.
The donation boxes are one part of a larger effort to assist in replacing the hundreds of trees destroyed by the recent tornado. Missouri State Parks is currently participating in the Odwalla Plant-a-Tree Program, which allows people across the nation to vote where they want trees planted. Odwalla has committed $100,000 to the campaign and each vote will be equal to $1 that can be used for trees. This year, Missouri State Parks will be donating the trees they receive to help Joplin area parks.
To vote to donate trees to the Joplin area parks, go to mostate parks.com website and click on the Odwalla Plant-a-Tree program link. It will take you through the process to vote for Missouri state parks. If you enter the six-character code printed inside the Missouri state park system’s new Welcome Kit, Odwalla will donate an extra dollar per vote. Voting will continue through Aug. 31, 2011.
“As more people vote, the number of trees available to the Joplin area will increase. We encourage you to have your friends vote as well,” Bryan said.
In addition to helping replace trees, Missouri State Parks is assisting the Joplin area residents by waiving all camping fees in three state parks for those displaced by the tornado in Joplin. Camping fees will be waived at Table Rock State Park near Branson, Stockton State Park near Stockton, and Roaring River State Park near Cassville. The waiver applies to all Missouri residents in the state-declared disaster counties of Jasper and Newton counties. The waiver will apply for 30 days on available campsites on a first-come, first-served basis. People requesting a fee waiver need to provide documentation from a governmental or charitable organization certifying that they have been displaced by storm damage in one of the state-declared counties.
“As you celebrate the Fourth of July weekend with your friends and family, take a moment to remember those who need your assistance. You can do so by simply making a donation in a donation box or by voting online for Missouri state parks in the Odwalla Plant-a-Tree program,” Bryan said.
For more information about state parks and where they are located, visit mostateparks.com.

NWS: Extreme Heat Warning Thursday, Friday

EXTREME HEAT IS EXPECTED TODAY AS A DOME OF HIGH PRESSURE ALOFT BUILDS IN ACROSS THE CENTRAL PLAINS AND MID MISSOURI RIVER VALLEY. AFTERNOON TEMPERATURES FOR TODAY AND TOMORROW WILL LIKELY SOAR INTO THE MIDDLE TO UPPER 90S…WITH HEAT INDICES RANGING FROM 105 TO 110 DEGREES.

AT THIS TIME…CONDITIONS FOR SATURDAY ARE NOT EXPECTED TO BE AS HOT AS THURSDAY AND FRIDAY DUE TO A COLD FRONT MOVING INTO THE REGION.

EXCESSIVE HEAT WARNING IN EFFECT FROM 1 PM THURSDAY TO 7 PM CDT FRIDAY… ..
EXCESSIVE HEAT WATCH NOW IN EFFECT FROM FRIDAY EVENING THROUGH SATURDAY EVENING

Storm Debris Pickup to Start Tuesday

City officials have announced a curbside pickup for limbs and brush from the recent storms. It will start next Tuesday, July 5th. To make this process go more smoothly, the city asks anyone with debris to do several thing.

All limbs must be at the curbside no later than 7 am on Tuesday, July 5th-Once Public Works has picked up limbs on your street, they will not come back to get additional curbside limbs.

Cut limbs into sections that are no more than 10 feet long so that they fit into the back of the truck;

Use brown paper yard waste disposal bags for small leaf litter and sticks;

If hauling limbs to the City brush pile next to the Humane Society on Hwy 6 West, please unload them at the brush pile at the entrance unless otherwise directed by City Staff;

Please DO NOT use the dumpster located at the Public Works Complex for large limbs and brush. This dumpster is intended for lawn clippings and leaves.

Please DO NOT place trash, demolition materials of any kind, commercially generated hazardous waste; tires, batteries; motor oil or lubricants at the curb, City crews will not pick up these materials.

Although a specific schedule is not available for limb pick-up, the crews will be using the same route areas used for trash pick-up. They will start in section D and then move on to Section B, Section E, Section C and finally Section A of the trash route map. Crews will be working as quickly as possible to remove limbs from the curbside but this process is expected to last for several weeks.

Missouri School Drug Testing Students

More and more Missouri school districts are drug testing students.

And you’ll be surprised to find out why those districts are doing it. Kelli Hopkins, the drug policy director for the Missouri School Boards Association says its that old “just say no” thing.

She says, “What I hear from school districts that want to implement a drug testing program is that it’s not because they have a lot of kids that do drugs. Its because the want to give the kids a way to say no. Its a way to deal with the peer pressure.”

Hopkins said many schools use drug testing is a deterrent.

SURPRISE! Be There

There’s a surprise on Saturday for a local soldier.

Marine Lance Corporal Chas Gamblin is coming home on Saturday. The Missouri Patriot Guard, the American Legion, and local law enforcement will escort Corporal Gamblin from KCI Airport to Marceline. They want you to line to route, so plan on getting your friends together, and showing up on Saturday. For more, call 660-735-2278.

Community colleges struggle with budget cuts

The governor has withheld another $1.9 million from funding for the state’s community colleges. That returns funding to a 7 percent decrease.

As enrollment in Missouri’s community colleges grows, funding for them shrinks, and the Missouri Community College Association says that presents big challenges. Executive Director Zora Mulligan says funding is back to where it was in 2000, and though enrollment is up 10 percent, more tuition doesn’t make up for the cuts.

Mulligan says state budget leaders were up front at the beginning of the process in saying decreases were imminent, so most community colleges were bracing for cuts up to 15 percent.

She says next year schools will continue to be realistic as well as optimistic, knowing they’ll be sharing the pain with everyone is suffering funding cuts right now.

She says with more students and less resources to serve them, open enrollment isn’t so much “open” anymore. Classes fill up and there are no resources to expand.

"Independence From Hunger" Food Drive Friday

There’s a non-perishable food drive coming up tomorrow.

Its called “Independence from Hunger” in honor of the Fourth of July holiday, and its a chance for you to help your neighbors in Kirksville. Mike DeSantos of the Food Bank for Central and Northeast Missouri says you will get something in return for your donation of food or funds.

DeSantos says, “Uncle Sam, THE original Uncle Sam will be there, on site, and everyone who brings a food or monetary donation will get a free photo, courtesy of Walmart, with Uncle Sam!”

The food drive runs from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Friday at the Kirksville Walmart. Bring something you’d like to eat!

Princeton R-V HS FFA Gives to Joplin Tech FFA

A Missouri high school FFA chapter that received a first-place prize in a recent regional competition has donated its winnings to help students in tornado-ravaged Joplin rebuild their FFA chapter and operations.

Joplin High School’s Franklin Technology Center, which is operated by the school’s FFA chapter was one of the many buildings destroyed in the deadly twister on May 22.

Princeton R-V High School’s FFA chapter received a first-place $1,500 credit line prize in the inaugural FFA Chapter Challenge, a pilot competition that encouraged FFA chapters in seven states to forge new relationships with area farmers in turn for their online votes of support. And that’s what they gave to Joplin’s FFA chapter. The credit line can be used to buy FFA jackets, chapter banquet supplies, chapter medals and awards and fund trips to FFA functions.