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29 August 2011

Lant: Resident Turns 100, "Calamity Jane" Appears At Jesse James Days

Last week on Tuesday, I was privileged to be part of a Birthday Celebration for Mrs. Tressa Puhl. Her friends at Granby House notified me about a month ago that Tressa would be celebrating her 100th birthday on August 23rd. We got a Resolution from the House of Representatives and a big sheet cake and the party was on! The cafeteria at Granby House was filled up with family, friends, well-wishers, and lovers of cake by 2:00 P.M. and there were pictures, gifts and short speeches. Ii just doesn't get any better than that! I was delighted to get acquainted with Mrs. Puhl and her family and I look forward to next years bash already. Tuesday evening found us at a Heartland Conservatives meeting at Daddy Jims. There were a couple of short updates from Representative Reiboldt and myself after which we had a Presidential straw poll. The best part was the catfish dinner!

Wednesday morning we attended a ribbon cutting at Scholastic Book Clubs Inc. They had just opened a new addition and are in the process of adding 80 new jobs. There were a couple of speeches given outlining how Scholastic nearly picked a different city for their business after flooding out in downtown, but because they were reluctant to lose their excellent employees here, they were able to work with the city and area banks to relocate to their present building and now are expanding already. Once again I am reminded how people in this part of the country can be fiercely self-reliant! We are truly showing the rest of the country how to work yourself out of a recession. Whether its floods or tornados or whatever else comes our way, we don't just sit around and wait for hand-outs, we get up and do something about our problems.

On Friday morning I joined all the area legislators for a tour of Access Family Care in Joplin. They told us about their part in the Tornado aftermath and gave us an update on their future plans. The facility was extremely impressive with both medical and dental services offered. They have ample room for expansion, and from what I saw, they are going to need it. I'd like to personally thank Dr. Bentlage and the very capable staff at Access Family Care for what they are doing for our community.

Jesse James Days at Pineville took up Friday and Saturday. The celebration is commemorating the movie starring Tyrone Power that was filmed in Pineville. They usually have a play depicting the foiled bank robbery, but this year the actors had another commitment. Never mind that, there was plenty of fun to be had. They had a carnival set up on the square with lots of local vendors serving food, drinks, and all sorts of fun stuff. All the area fire departments participated in fund raising events for much needed equipment such as bunker gear and respirators. Saturday evening we were in a parade that was surprisingly well attended. It took nearly an hour for all the entrants to make it around the square. If you didn't get to see Jane in her "Calamity Jane" outfit, you missed something!

By now you have probably heard about the Governor calling a special session. We are to convene on Tuesday following Labor Day and as of now, there are only 4 bills that will be filed. 1) St. Louis City Police Dept. Local Control, 2) Election Law issues (to address issues in the election law that the Governor vetoed), 3) Tax Amnesty, 4) The Omnibus Tax Credit Reform/ Economic Development/Job Creation Bill that the house passed will be filed in The Senate. Because of the overwhelming support the first 3 bill received in the House, we expect to send them to The Senate by Friday. We have been told that The Senate should be ready to send us their bill by Friday also. There is a lot of change possible in these scenarios. By now I am learning that almost anything is possible. Senator Richard is hoping to see a "New Markets Tax Credit Program" that was passed in 2007 for businesses devastated by Katrina introduced. Joplin and the Missouri River flood areas need to be included in this bill. It would allow business owners who find themselves without suitable buildings, inventory, machinery, or working capital, to qualify for one dollar in tax credit for every two dollars in private funding. This type of incentive costs the taxpayer nothing, but has huge benefits for the community. Please help us to convince lawmakers to back this incentive program.

Finally, I have to point out how confusing Politics can get. We have a Democrat Governor who withheld 170 million dollars from social programs such as The Fine Arts Academy, Medicaid, Parents as Teachers, Area Agencies on Aging, The Office of Child Advocate, and many others and a Republican Auditor who filed suit to have him restore the programs. If you figure this one out, let me know will you?

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

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