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05 July 2011

Lant: Local Town Festival Appearances

Last week was certainly a busy one!! We started with a lunch on the Pineville square benefitting the Bunker Hill Quilting Club. From the length of the line, I would say that was a real success. The burgers and hot dogs were good but the pineapple upside down cake was excellent! Old Mining Town Days were held last week also. I was given the distinct honor of providing and reading proclamations for four lovely ladies. The first one was for the Distinguished Citizen of the Year and was awarded to Jo Ann Lamp. From the look of surprise on her face, I would say that she was unaware that she had been chosen. I also was privileged to award proclamations to two ladies at Granby House that have achieved the age of 99 years. Mrs. Helen McDaniel and Mrs. Jennie McFarland were both a lot of fun to visit with. Finally, on Sunday evening I had the great honor to offer a proclamation from The Missouri House of Representatives to Mrs. Eunice Lewis who is the oldest Woman's Army Corps member in the United States. Eunice will be 97 on the 7th of July and I would encourage anyone to send her a card or stop by and wish her a Happy Birthday. This turns into an opportunity for me to climb up on my soapbox! We have nursing home facilities all over Newton and McDonald counties that are full of seniors with fantastic memories to share. Many of these older folks no longer have family or friends to visit with. There is no better project that I can think of for youth groups or service organizations than to adopt one of these facilities. They have amazing stories to tell and can share historical information with you that is available no where else. Most importantly, you can make them feel wanted and needed and there is no feeling of satisfaction better than that!

Over a month has now passed since Session ended. Since that time we have had record flooding around the state and the horrific tornadoes that struck Joplin and the St. Louis area. The Speaker Pro Tem, Shane Schoeller, was asked to form a committee to look into our preparedness and responses to these disasters. Although there was substantial warning in some areas, it appears that we might be able to do better in some of the more rural areas. I have had my attention directed to some possible blank spots in radar coverage and have also been made aware that The National Weather Service has been contemplating reducing the number of Weather Satellites. Congressman Longs' office assured me that they are actively opposing such a move and they don't think it will happen. We need to keep an eye on this as well as explore better coverage for some areas. I will be trying to get a bill passed that will enable home owners to qualify for some type of assistance if they install Storm Shelters. We are researching the best way to approach this now.

Over the next couple of months I will be attending some conferences on Work Force Development. I can't think of many issues more important than the creation of good jobs in our area. We have much to offer industry, not the least of which is a well trained and eager work force. In the aftermath of the awful tornado, we have an opportunity to draw some new businesses to our area. Let's all hope that they move quickly to take advantage of all the folks needing jobs. I welcome your thoughts and ideas, and certainly welcome your prayers as we try to work out our problems.

Until next week, I am and remain, in your service.

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