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18 November 2011

Denison: Child Abuse Reporting Laws, "Be Safe, Be Seen"

“Reflect upon your present blessings, of which every man has plenty; not on your past misfortunes of which all men have some.” –Charles Dickens

Missouri Attorney General Asks Legislature to Look at Child Abuse Reporting Laws

One of the issues that may come up during the rapidly-approaching 2012 legislative session focuses on the mandatory reporting requirements for cases of sexual abuse of a child. The shocking scandal that continues to unfold at Pennsylvania State University has led many states to take a closer look at the laws the reporting requirements they currently have in place. Here in Missouri, current law requires teachers, clergy and members of certain other professions to report child sex abuse to law enforcement. Missouri’s Attorney General is asking the members of the General Assembly to consider extending the mandatory reporting requirement to all citizens. The change would put us in line with 18 other states that require all citizens to report suspected abuse or neglect of children.

MoDOT Reminds Motorists and Pedestrians to “Be Safe. Be Seen”

A disturbing increase in the number of pedestrian traffic deaths has prompted the Missouri Department of Transportation to launch a new public safety campaign. Known as “Be Safe. Be Seen”, the campaign is meant to remind pedestrians and motorists to look out for each other. MoDOT officials released statistics showing that as of the end of September, 54 pedestrians died as a result of a traffic crash. In all of 2010, there were 57 similar fatalities. Officials believe the spike in accidents is related to people already experiencing a bad day by having a flat tire or mechanical problem. To avoid accidents while stopped on the side of the road, safety advocates say to stay alert to the traffic around you and don't expect that vehicles will yield. It’s also important to make yourself visible - especially if your car is disabled – and to turn on your headlights and hazard lights. Other safety tips include pulling as far off the road as possible and having all occupants remain in the vehicle with seat belts fastened. MoDOT also recommends that when walking near a highway or street, you should move in the opposite direction of traffic, so you can see oncoming vehicles. To find more pedestrian safety information, please visit

Committee Meeting

The Joint Committee on Transportation Oversight met Wednesday, November 16th. Kevin Keith, Director of The Missouri Department of Transportation presented the annual accountability report to the committee. Several members of the State Highways and Transportation Commission were present. A copy of MoDOT’s report to the Joint Committee on Transportation Oversight can be found at

In the District

House Resolution

On Wednesday, November 9th, I was very honored to present a House Resolution to Jodie Adams in recognition of 37 years of exceptional service to the Springfield-Greene County Park Board. Jodie officially retired from the Park Board on November 1, 2011.

Road Construction in Springfield

Following is the work being accomplished this week on two of the road construction projects in Springfield. The Information is from MoDOT:

Route 60/65 Reconstruction in Springfield:
  • Westbound Route 60 traffic shifted to eastbound lanes at Lake Springfield bridge east of Route 65.
  • Southbound Route 65 traffic shifted to old northbound lanes and southbound-to-eastbound ramp traffic using temporary pavement.
  • Two-way traffic in eastbound lanes of U.S. 60. Speed limit 45 mph.
  • Westbound U.S. 60-to-southbound U.S. 65 ramp CLOSED until fall 2012.
  • Other nighttime lane and ramp closings possible. When lanes or ramps closed, 45 mph work zone

Route 65 Sound Walls:
  • Ingram Mill Road CLOSED between Linwood and Bennett streets north of Sunshine Street. Large crane set up to install columns and panels for new sound-reducing walls. Work hours: 7 p.m. to 6 a.m. Monday through Friday.
  • One or two northbound lanes closed south of Battlefield Road. Work hours: 7 p.m. to 6 a.m.
  • Narrowed lanes on Ingram Mill Road with traffic shifted to the west. NO big trucks allowed on this stretch of Ingram Mill Road. Constructing sound walls.

Medicare Part D Enrollment

The Medicare Part D enrollment period for the 2012 plans is October 15, 2011 - December 7, 2011. If you have questions about the Medicare Part D prescription plans for 2012, you may contact CLAIM for assistance at 1-800-390-3330, and a counselor will assist you with selecting a plan. Seniors may switch plans without penalty until December 7, 2011.

Interim Office Hours

Interim office hours are Tuesday through Thursday, 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Normal schedule will resume December 1, 2011. If you need to call me at home, my number is 417-887-3353.

I look forward to hearing from you. If you ever have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact my office. Best wishes.

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