Disaster Relief Efforts
Our state has been hit hard in recent weeks with flooding in Southeast Missouri and then tornadoes in both the Sedalia area and Joplin. It has been a trying time for the many families who have been displaced from their homes and for those who have lost loved ones to the ferocious weather. But through it all, the people of this great state have shown their resilience in the wake of tragedy and their compassion as so many have come together to provide support to those in need. In fact, we’ve seen so many Missourians offer their support to the survivors of the Joplin tornado that the recovery effort has been overwhelmed by volunteers and donations. It’s a great reminder of the kind of people we have here in the Show Me State – thoughtful and compassionate folks who care about their neighbors and are willing to lend a hand when it’s needed.
Because the Joplin relief effort has been inundated with donations and volunteers, officials are now doing their best to coordinate the effort to ensure the process moves forward with the utmost efficiency. My colleagues who represent the Joplin area are now urging Missourians to utilize a new website to find resources and help those affected by the tornado. The RebuildJoplin.org website is a resource for people affected by the storm and for those who wish to help. Those looking for ways to contribute to the ongoing efforts in Joplin can go to the website and get connected with verified agencies. These agencies and resources are screened and verified. RebuildJoplin.org is endorsed by the City of Joplin, Joplin Schools, Joplin Area Chamber of Commerce and United Way 2-1-1.
For anyone who wants to help, I encourage you to visit the site and investigate ways you can donate or volunteer to assist in the rebuilding effort.
Union Pacific Railroad’s Great Excursion Adventure
Union Pacific’s legendary No. 844 steam locomotive is making a goodwill tour which started in Kansas City, Missouri, heading east through Jefferson City and St. Louis before turning south en route to Cape Girardeau, Poplar Bluff and North Little Rock, Arkansas. When diesel locomotives took over pulling passenger trains, No. 844 was placed in freight service in Nebraska between 1957 and 1959. It was saved from being scrapped in 1960 and held for special service. This engine has run hundreds of thousands of miles as Union Pacific’s ambassador of goodwill.
Legislators and a guest were invited on this tour. This was an once-in-a-lifetime experience, and I was very honored to ride as a guest from Jefferson City to Washington, Missouri. My wife Daryl accompanied me on the tour.
Pictured left to right: Daryl Denison, Rep. Charlie Denison, Rep. Darrell Pollock, Rep. Steve Cookson, Mary Scruggs (Assn. of MO Electric Cooperatives), Rep. Bart Korman, Elaine Meller
Whistle stop in Washington, Missouri
Interim Office Hours
Due to cutbacks, and in an effort to save the state money, my office has elected to reduce office hours during interim. Effective June 1, 2011, my office will be staffed 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.