Weather-Related Disclaimer: missives from legislators concerning road conditions, although timely and important, should be considered snapspots in time. For the most recent travel information, please consult MoDOT's Web site at

except when the post starts "MO Expat", all content published on Missives from Missouri is written and supplied by the noted legislator. Said missives will not necessarily reflect the views of Kyle Hill, the operator of Missives from Missouri, and as such the operator does not assume responsibility for its content. More information
Share this missive:

11 November 2011

Torpey: Salute to Veterans 2011

On Friday, November 11, our nation will pause once again to pay tribute to the many men and women who have so bravely defended the freedoms we hold dear. Veterans Day represents the one official day each year when we recognize our veterans for their service to our nation. However, on this Veterans Day, I ask you to make a commitment to do more. I encourage you to honor these real life heroes each and every day of the year. Our state is home to more than 500,000 veterans. They are all around us. They are our family members, friends, neighbors and coworkers. Every day we encounter someone who has served our nation and every day we have the opportunity to say thank you for that service. We must always remember that freedom is never free. And, we must never forget our veterans are the ones who have paid the price to defend the freedoms we too often take for granted. On this Veterans Day, I ask that we all take time to pay our respects and show our gratitude to the many veterans who call Missouri home. I also ask that we all make a commitment to honoring these devoted Americans not just on Veterans Day, but each and every day of the year. They deserve no less.

I would encourage you to find a way to show anyone that is or was in the military how much you appreciate the sacrifices they have made, and if you see someone in uniform tell them that you appreciate their service to our country. And not just on Veterans Day, but every time you get the chance; because they did not fight for one day and quit. Our service men and women have dedicated their lives to make ours better, and we should take every opportunity that we can to make sure that they know how much it means to us to be able to live in the freedoms that they provide.

God bless our Veterans and God bless America!

Goodman: 3rd Annual Season of Hope Food Drive

JEFFERSON CITY – Senator Jack Goodman, R-Mount Vernon, today announced the kick off of his 3rd Annual Season of Hope Food Drive. The Season of Hope effort is designed to help provide families in need with all the groceries needed to prepare a traditional Christmas dinner.

"While most children are dreaming of the gifts they will open on Christmas, we have children in our midst who are worried about when they will eat again. I wish I could solve this problem for every child every day, but no one person can. We have great local organizations helping out year round, and I encourage all of us to support them continuously. Working with a great team, our effort strives to provide something extra at Christmas."

Senator Goodman noted that the first Season of Hope Food Drive was a great success, providing food to more than 1,800 people. Last year, the effort grew to feed more than 2,400 of our neighbors. "Living in southwest Missouri, I am continually impressed by the generosity and compassion of our neighbors who are so willing to reach out and help others who have true need. I look forward to our team helping even more of our neighbors this year," observed Sen. Goodman.

The Season of Hope Food Drive collects food at donation boxes placed at businesses, chambers of commerce, and courthouses across the 29th Senatorial District, collects food from corporate donors, and collects funds to purchase the remaining food items needed. 100 percent of funds and food received go to meals distributed in this all-volunteer effort.

In addition, Sen. Goodman partners with a number of hunger-relief organizations throughout the 29th Senate District to collect groceries, identify families in need of assistance, and coordinate distribution days. In recent years, families served by Season of Hope received either half of a turkey, a whole chicken or a six pound bag of chicken filets; a box of stuffing, a 15 pound bag of potatoes or boxed mashed potatoes; fresh or canned sweet potatoes, canned vegetables, boxed macaroni and cheese, and a variety of other groceries. The total weight of food donated or purchased with donations last year was in excess of 15,000 pound.

Throughout its duration, Season of Hope has benefitted from the guidance and work of a dynamic steering committee composed of community leaders in every county of the 29th Senate district. Senator Goodman is pleased to announce that Branson Mayor Raeanne Presley again has agreed to chair the steering committee assembled to help coordinate this year’s activities.

“It's always a blessing to see the outpouring of generosity that helps make Season of Hope a great success.” said Mayor Presley. “The need is still great, and we are working hard to make sure this year’s food drive can help meet those needs across the 29th Senate District”

Like last year, Season of Hope will distribute food at multiple drop points throughout the district about one week before Christmas. Those interested in donating, volunteering, or receiving assistance, should contact Senator Goodman’s Office at (573) 751-2234 or (417) 466-7937.

Collection boxes that are already in place for the 2011 Christmas season are listed below:


First State Bank
106 E. Cleveland
Monett, MO
(417) 235-6100

First State Bank Monett Wal-Mart Branch
885 Highway 60
Monett, MO 65708
(417) 236-2710

First State Bank
Highway C & Kay Avenue
Purdy, MO 65734
(417) 442-3247

First State Bank
98 Main Street
Cassville, MO 65625-1610
(417) 847-6623

Ramey Supermarket
91 Main Street
Cassville, MO 65625
(417) 847-4155

Cassville Chamber of Commerce
504 Main Street
Cassville, MO 65625-1418
(417) 847-2814

Barry County Electric Cooperative
4015 Main Street
Cassville, MO 65625-9753
(417) 847-2131

Barry County Courthouse
700 Main Street
Cassville, MO 65625

Country Fresh Market
24988 Missouri 39
Shell Knob, MO 65747
(417) 858-6647

Shell Knob Chamber of Commerce
Missouri 39 & State Highway YY
Shell Knob, MO 65747
(417) 858-3300

20935 Farm Rd 1252
Shell Knob, MO 65747
(417) 858-2887


Mt. Vernon Methodist Church
621 W. Sloan
Mt. Vernon, MO 65712
(417) 466-2459

Flummerfelt’s Town & Country
110 N Elm St.
Pierce City, MO 65723-1217
(417) 476-2233

Summer Fresh Supermarkets – Mt. Vernon
615 E Mt. Vernon Blvd
Mt. Vernon, MO 65712
(417) 461-1717

Alps Supermarket
534 E Mount Vernon Blvd
Mount Vernon, MO 65712-2102
(417) 466-0032

Lawrence County Courthouse
1 East Courthouse Square
Mt. Vernon, MO 65712
(417) 466-3666

Price Cutter Supermarket – Aurora
708 S. Elliott
Aurora, MO 65605
(417) 678-3800

Aurora Chamber of Commerce
121 E Olive St.
Aurora, MO 65605-1666
(417) 678-4150

Sears Hometown Store
1612 S Elliott Ave
Aurora, MO 65605
(417) 678-2458

Modern Variety
30 East College Street
Aurora, MO 65605-1602
(417) 678-3453

St. John’s Hospital - Aurora
500 South Porter Avenue
Aurora, MO 65605
(417) 678-2122


S & S Market
207 S. Roy Hall Blvd
Goodman, MO 64843
(417) 364-7910

Crosslines – McDonald County
925 N. Hwy 71
Anderson, MO 64831
(417) 845-1800

Dollar General
920 N 71 Business Hwy
Anderson, MO 64831
(417) 845-7372

Town & Country Supermarket
704 S Highway 59
Anderson, MO 64831
(417) 845-6387

McDonald County Courthouse
602 Main St.
Pineville, MO 64856
(417) 223-7512

McDonald County Chamber of Commerce
302 Harmon St.
Pineville, MO 64856
(417) 223-8888

342 Commercial Dr.
Pineville, MO 46856
(417) 226-5800

Harp’s Supermarket
204 Main Street
Noel, MO 64854
(417) 475-3434

David’s Supermarket & Clothing
104 S Main St
South West City, MO 64863
(417) 762-3215


Town & Country Supermarket
102 South Main Street
Gainesville, MO 65655
(417) 679-4584

Dollar General
Hwy 5 N & Hwy 160
Gainesville, MO 65655
(417) 679-2733

Ozark County Food Pantry
304 West 3rd Street
Gainesville, MO 65655
(417) 679-3334

Ozark County Times
P.O. Box 188
Gainesville, MO 65655
(417) 679-4641

Ozark County Courthouse
Courthouse Square
Gainesville, MO 65655
(417) 679-4096

Century Bank
39 Court Square
Gainesville, MO 65655
(417) 679-3321


Christian Associates of Table Rock Lake
13192 Missouri 13
Kimberling City, MO 65686-9897
(417) 739-3200

Table Rock Lake Area Chamber of Commerce
14226 State Hwy 13
Kimberling City, MO 65686
(417) 739-2564

Christian Associates of Table Rock Lake – North
106 Edgewood
Crane, MO 65633
(417) 723-0370

Dollar General
211 Cortney Lane
Crane, MO 65633-9197
(417) 723-0024

City Hall
110 Silver Lady Lane
Reeds Spring, MO 65737
(417) 272-3313

Porter’s Supermarket
209 Cortney Lane
Crane, MO 65633-9197
(417) 723-5700

Circle K Phillips 66
121 N Commerce St.
Crane, MO 65633
(417) 723-5733

Spee Dees
30841 State Highway 413
Galena, MO 65656
(417) 357-6878

Stone County Courthouse
108 East 4th Street
Galena, MO 65656
(417) 357-6141


City Hall
110 W. Maddux
Branson, MO 65616
(417) 334-3345

Branson Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce
269 State Highway 248
Branson, MO 65616
(417) 334-4084

Hollister City Hall
312 Esplanade Street
Hollister, MO 65672
(417) 334-3262

Gateway to Branson Travel Stop
4914 US Hwy 65
Walnut Shade, MO 65771
(417) 561-2900

Forsyth City Hall
15405 US Highway 160
Forsyth, MO 65653
(417) 546-4763

Scooter's Express Gas
13022 MO-76
Forsyth, MO 65653
(417) 546-5911

Country Mart, Branson
1447 State Hwy. 248, Suite J
Branson, MO 65615
(417) 334-2956

Christian Action Ministries, Branson
610 South Sixth Street, Suite 102
Branson, MO 65616
(417) 334-1157

Kander: Citizen Soldiers Demonstrate Uncommon Sacrifice

Dear friends,

I wanted to wish each of you a very special Veterans Day and share with you a column I wrote that was published on the Huffington Post today. The column talks about the uncommon sacrifice made by those in the guard and reserve and their families during the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Thank you for your friendship and support. It is an honor and a pleasure to continue to be involved in public service.



Guard, Reserve Demonstrate Uncommon Sacrifice

One weekend a month, two weeks a year — that old slogan would seem almost quaint if it weren’t so outdated. This Veterans Day, as the United States winds down our involvement in Iraq and begins a handover in Afghanistan, the sacrifices of thousands of our guard and reserve families simply cannot be overstated.

By day they work as teachers, contractors, nurses and, yes, even politicians. But for so many of them the last decade has also involved fighting on the frontlines in deserts and mountains halfway around the world, often over multiple tours of duty. While our reserve men and women in uniform are taking the fight to the enemy abroad, their spouses are left to live, work and raise a family back here at home.

The facts are well known by now: more than 370,000 Guardsmen have been deployed to Iraq or Afghanistan and more than 670 have made the ultimate sacrifice, according to the Defense Department.

When these guardsmen and reservists sign up, they write a blank check to our nation. They know that the cost of that check, their sacrifice, may include their own lives. But they do it anyway, because they know that to live in the freest most prosperous nation on earth, there must be those that protect that freedom at all costs. The sacrifices our warfighters make for us is simply astonishing in modern American society.

Yet we are surrounded by their selfless service almost every day in communities across our great nation. This year alone the National Guard here in Missouri has responded forcefully to the deadliest tornado in recent memory in Joplin, flooding along both the Mississippi and Missouri Rivers, and ice and snow storms that closed down an interstate. Throughout these duties the guard not only accomplished its mission, it did so with the dignity and precision that time after time calmed the nerves of restless communities.

Last Sunday I made a drive familiar to me from mid-Missouri, where I drill in the Army National Guard, to my home in Kansas City. This particular drive home was different, though, because it was my last. I signed up for military service in the months following 9/11 and later as a military intelligence officer I felt called, like so many others, to volunteer for deployment and service in Afghanistan. My experience in uniform has shaped my life and informed who I am like no other and it’s difficult for me to wrap my mind around the idea that I will no longer be a soldier. But earlier this year, as my service obligation neared its end, my wife and I made the decision that I would step down from my position to hopefully start a family. I’m fortunate that my position on the Missouri Veterans Commission will allow me to continue to serve those who have served, but, of course, it won’t be the same.

Many times over the last several years, someone has approached me at a gas station or in an airport when I’ve been in uniform and thanked me for my service. Frankly, I’ve never known exactly how to respond. I always felt a little awkward about it. To me, serving wasn’t uncommon and my service paled in comparison to so many of my friends who had done so much more. In my world – as a citizen soldier – I was surrounded by other soldiers just doing their jobs. Now that I’m on the other side of my service, I instantly understand.

From the minutemen 200 plus years ago to the men and women posted in Kabul and Baghdad today, the heart and soul of our military is, and forever will be, the citizen soldier. Nobody exemplifies this better than the guardsmen and reservists that are currently protecting our country. On this very special Veterans Day, my personal gratitude and the gratitude of a grateful nation goes out to them and their families. May God watch over them as they watch out for us.

10 November 2011

Neth: Reaction To Speaker's Announcement, Special Session

I was in Jefferson City for a majority caucus meeting in the last few days. We discussed the results of this recent election in terms of races that were won and lost. We also had an initial discussion on what our priorities will be in the upcoming session beginning in January.

However, the most insightful thing that happened was something that one of our members announced. Speaker of the House Steven Tilley, who had announced some time back that he was running for Lieutenant Governor in 2012, told us he would not be running for that seat and would be leaving politics after his term expires next year.

To say this was a shock was an understatement. Here is someone that has been a powerhouse in our state for many years now and was on the track to move up in politics. In addition, he has raised millions of dollars for his own campaign and others. However, life happened and he missed some of it. That is, after doing some soul searching and having some marital issues of late, he decided his family was more important and missing any other moments due to politics was not going to be acceptable. So he took a huge step in bowing out of a potentially big political future.

I applaud Steve for many reasons. Not only has he been a friend and great supporter, but I applaud him most for being humble and brave enough to make the right decision, which was not necessarily the easiest decision.

I have started to have some of the same issues as Steve, albeit on a much smaller scale, when it comes to balancing family and politics. I have remained of the thought, though, that I cannot be everything to everyone, be everyplace I should be, and that I will not do anything that would be detrimental to the long term health of my family and the people I care about.

So if you send me letter or give me a call and you don't hear from me too quickly, it's not that you or your issues are not important, it may just be that my family is more so at that period of time.


Veteran's Day

I want to salute all the veterans and thank them for all they have done for our country. There are numerous events going on around the area, including one in Liberty at Liberty North High School where there will be a special flag raising ceremony at 8:00 AM. Make sure to thank a veteran today.

Mark Your Calendar Town Hall Meeting

Monday, December 5th, 7:00-8:30 PM
Liberty Community Center

Come and get information on the upcoming session as well as give feedback to take to Jefferson City.

Special Session 2011

I am sure you have heard many things about the Special Session that concluded recently. Many are saying that nothing substantial happened in regards to job creation, which supposedly was its intent. Personally I think that is debatable depending on your point of view. We did get MOSIRA passed [SB7], which is a big thing for the Liberty and KC area, albeit with poison pill from the Senate (which we hope to get thrown out in court). Other than that nothing did get done. But if we had I question whether it would have been all for the best.

If we had passed the initial bill [SB8], it would have started many new incentive and tax credit programs, which many feel are too much of a giveaway. It would have potentially ended many other tax credit programs that some feel are very worthwhile. So depending on one's point of view might determine whether the session was ultimately successful or not.

Overall, I don't think it was time well spent as my weeks were very uncertain to the days I would need to be in Jeff and to plan for family and work things was very hard. In addition, I had a bad feeling from the beginning on it and my intuition played well as once again the Senate was unable to bring much of anything to an up or down vote.

I am sure we will address a few of the items in the upcoming session so all is not dead.

Hoskins: Observing Veterans Day

Veterans Day 2011

The first observance of Veteran’s Day was on November 11, 1919; one year after the end of all major hostilities between the Allied Nations and Germany at the eleventh hour, of the eleventh day, of the eleventh month in 1918. Originally celebrated as “Armistice” Day, the legislature on June 1st, 1954, replaced “Armistice” with “Veterans” in order to recognize all veterans.

I feel there is no greater honor than that which is bestowed upon those whom serve the cause of freedom through service in our nation’s armed forces. We owe all our veterans a debt of gratitude for the freedom we still enjoy today. While Veterans Day is a day set aside to honor all of America’s veterans, I am grateful and honor our veterans every day; for they deserve no less.

Visiting the Capitol

Anytime you find yourself near our Missouri State Capitol (201 West Capitol Avenue, Jefferson City, MO 65101) please feel free to stop by and pay us a visit. Our state boasts one of the most beautiful Capitol buildings in the nation and I and my staff truly enjoy meeting constituents of the 121st District.

Ways to Keep in Contact

I consider communication with my constituents a high priority. My weekly Monday morning chat at 8:45 a.m. with Woody at KOKO Radio on AM 1450 is one of the best ways I’ve found for you to literally “hear” from me. During session or interim, tune in every Monday morning at 8:45 to hear the latest concerning District 121.

Please share this report with anyone you feel would be interested in this information. It is genuinely a privilege to serve
as your state representative.

Berry: Veterans Day, Special Offers For Vets

Veterans Day

On Friday, November 11, our nation will pause once again to pay tribute to the many men and women who have so bravely defended the freedoms we hold dear. Veterans Day represents the one official day each year when we recognize our veterans for their service to our nation. However, on this Veterans Day, I ask you to make a commitment to do more. I encourage you to honor these real life heroes each and every day of the year.

Our state is home to more than 540,000 veterans. They are all around us. They are our family members, friends, neighbors and coworkers. Every day we encounter someone who has served our nation and every day we have the opportunity to say thank you for that service. We must always remember that freedom is never free. And, we must never forget our veterans are the ones who have paid the price to defend the freedoms we too often take for granted.

On this Veterans Day, I ask that we all take time to pay our respects and show our gratitude to the many veterans who call Missouri home. I also ask that we all make a commitment to honoring these devoted Americans not just on Veterans Day, but each and every day of the year. They deserve no less.

Special Offers for Veterans

I thought I would share with you the attachments below. Listed are many businesses giving special offers to veterans on Veteran’s Day (and in some cases all week).

While I have checked many of these and the list is from a trusted source, please double-check with the location near you to make sure they are participating.

Nance: Veterans Day, Help With Finding Life Insurance

“The price of freedom is eternal vigilance.” –Thomas Jefferson

Veterans’ Day

Thank you to all veterans that have served and are serving our country. You have bravely defended the freedoms we hold dear. I will speak at the Ray County Veterans annual program set for the Courthouse at 11:00 ll they have done. A.M..Clay –Ray Veterans will also have a program in Excelsior Springs. Be sure to thank a veteran for all they have done.

Life Insurance

Having trouble finding that policy?

The Missouri insurance department has a new way to help people track down the life insurance policies of deceased relatives.

Many people know their parents had a life insurance policy, but do not have a copy of it - or even know the name of the insurance company.

The department will collect information from people searching for a deceased relative's life insurance policy. It then will send that information electronically each month to licensed life insurance companies in Missouri. Those insurance companies can then contact the beneficiaries if a policy is located.

In The District

Zona Rosa was the location on October 28th for State Representatives to meet with “Youth With Vision” to discuss their views on alcohol and drugs. The group is composed of students from various high schools in the northland.

November 3rd I attended a Western Missouri Sheriff’s meeting in Richmond on “Internet Crimes Against Children”.

That evening I spoke to a group MORE2 ( Metro Organization for Racial and Economic Equity) about giving individuals better opportunities to succeed after jail sentences.

Attached is a document that lists many of the businesses giving special offers to veterans on Veteran’s Day (and in some cases all week).

While I have checked many of these and it is from a very trusted source, I would suggest you probably want to double-check with the location they are at, to make sure they are participating, just to play it safe.

Denison: Veterans Day, Share The Harvest

“In war, there are no unwounded soldiers.” – Jose Narosky

Veterans Day

On Friday, November 11, our nation will pause once again to pay tribute to the many men and women who have so bravely defended the freedoms we hold dear. Veterans Day represents the one official day each year when we recognize our veterans for their service to our nation. However, on this Veterans Day, I ask you to make a commitment to do more. I encourage you to honor these real life heroes each and every day of the year. Our state is home to more than 540,000 veterans. They are all around us. They are our family members, friends, neighbors and coworkers. Every day we encounter someone who has served our nation and every day we have the opportunity to say thank you for that service. We must always remember that freedom is never free. And, we must never forget our veterans are the ones who have paid the price to defend the freedoms we too often take for granted. On this Veterans Day, I ask that we all take time to pay our respects and show our gratitude to the many veterans who call Missouri home. I also ask that we all make a commitment to honoring these devoted Americans not just on Veterans Day, but each and every day of the year. They deserve no less.


Share The Harvest

One program I hope local hunters will participate in this year is known as Share the Harvest. The Share the Harvest program provides a way for deer hunters to donate venison to the needy. Because many Missouri families are in need of a dependable source of protein in their diets, donated deer meat is a great way to provide this vital part of the daily diet.

Administered by the Conservation Federation of Missouri and the Missouri Department of Conservation, the program saw 5,731 hunters donate more than 305,643 pounds of venison during the 2010 deer seasons. This year we hope to see that total grow.

Donating is easy. Hunters who want to participate simply take their deer to an approved meat processor and let the processor know how much venison they wish to donate. The processor will package the meat, which will be picked up by the local sponsoring organization and taken to a participating charitable agency for distribution. The cost of processing the deer is the responsibility of the hunter. However, funds are available to help with processing cost when a whole deer is donated. The entire processing cost is paid by the Conservation Federation of Missouri and local sponsors during the urban zones portion of the firearms season for whole deer donations.

If you are an avid deer hunter and interested in helping those in need, please consider participating in this wonderful program. To learn more about the program or to find out how your organization can become involved, contact the Conservation Department at 573-522-4115 or the Conservation Federation of Missouri at 573-634-2322. For hunters interested in donating venison, there are two processors in Greene County ready to help - J&L Custom Processing in Walnut Grove and Turner Meat Processing in Fair Grove.

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.

Rupp: Honoring Those Who Serve Our Country

As citizens of this country, we have so many privileges and blessings that we often take for granted. We have the freedom of speech, the right to elect our country’s leader, and the ability to encourage our children to be whatever they’d like to be when they grow up. As our former president Ronald Reagan once said, “Freedom is one of the deepest and noblest aspirations of the human spirit.” While we are fortunate to enjoy countless freedoms, it is important to remember that freedom isn’t free. We have the opportunity to benefit from a high quality of life because of our armed forces who continuously put their lives on the line to protect us and our great nation.

This Friday — Veterans Day — serves as a reminder that we should appreciate our troops and veterans year-round for their courage, and we should never forget the sacrifices so many men and women have made for us. I encourage you to take the opportunity this week to thank a veteran and a member of the armed forces, or observe a moment of silence to remember how lucky we are to live in America.

I’d also like to take this opportunity to thank all the police officers who serve us in the 2nd Senatorial District. These heroes put their community as their top priority every day, not just because it’s their job, but because they care about the well-being and safety of their neighbors. An officer from the O’Fallon Police Department, Steven M. Landsness, was awarded the Missouri Medal of Valor last week at our State Capitol. This is the highest honor that can be awarded to a law-enforcement officer. Mr. Landsness, along with seven other officers from across Missouri, were recognized for their acts of bravery that saved the lives of their fellow Missourians in 2010. I am so proud of Mr. Landsness’ accomplishment, and am grateful for his service to our area.

Once again, to all our veterans and servicemen and women, thank you for your bravery and selflessness. Our country would not be as strong as it is without heroes like you, and your noble acts will forever be remembered. May God bless you always.

As always, if you have any inquiries regarding this issue or any other matter within state government, please feel free to e-mail me or call my office toll-free at (866) 271-2844. You can also visit my website at Here, you can keep up to date on all my columns, press releases, and multimedia postings.

Lichtenegger: Know Your Missouri State Departments: Department of Public Safety (DPS), Veterans Commission

I thought it appropriate –given tomorrow is Veterans Day- to review the Missouri Department of Public Safety’s Veteran Commission.

The most recent and significant publication of the MO Veterans Commission is the first ever comprehensive –State & Federal- guide for Veterans, National Guard, Reservists, and their families. Link here to view the Missouri Benefits and Resource Guide. Be sure to save yourself an electronic copy for yourself or a loved-one. The commission ran out of hard copies soon after its publication so currently it is only available in a downloadable pdf format from the Missouri Veterans Commission's website.

This guide covers state benefits available to veterans and the military that include education, small business, employment, vehicle licensing, and healthcare. The guide also contains information from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs' Veterans Health Administration and Veterans Benefits Administration.

During your visit to the website be sure to explore the other areas of information and resource. Below is a link where you can view the Commission’s main webpage:

The lower portion of the main page has a Missouri map wherein you can easily find any state Veteran facility.

And certainly don’t hesitate to call the info-line the commission has set up to answer all your questions: 1-866-VET-INFO

You may also wish to hear actual stories of veterans by visiting the Missouri Veteran History Project website and click on the Listen To Veterans’ Stories (left-most side near top).

Constitutent Corner

One of the many Veterans Day events in Southeast Missouri is the Southeast Hospice Partners with Veterans Home

Southeast Hospice, in partnership with the Missouri Veterans Home in Cape Girardeau, will hold a special program at the Veterans home on Armistice (Veterans) Day, November 11.

"Let Freedom Ring: 11-11-11" will begin at 10:30 a.m. and will culminate at 11:00 a.m. with the ringing of bells for two minutes.

The Hospice and Palliative Care Association Veterans Committee is asking every church, school, business and town across Missouri, to ring their bells at 11:00 a.m. in memory of the 1918 armistice ending World War I.

The program will include a color guard by American Legion Post 158 in Jackson; a performance by the St. Andrew Lutheran Church Bell Choir, under the direction of Eric Coomer; a selection of songs performed by Mary Bauer, Miss Jackson 2011; and brief remarks by Sen. Jason Crowell. Small, hand held bells will be distributed so everyone can participate in the 11:00 a.m. bell ringing.

Dugger: A Thank You To Our Veterans

“Our veterans have borne the costs of America's wars and have stood watch over America's peace. And, today, every veteran can be certain: The nation you served and the people you defended are grateful.” – George W. Bush

So often it is easy to forget the many blessings we as Americans enjoy. Yes, times are rough, but we still have so much to be thankful for. Without a doubt, the dedication of America’s courageous veterans has to be one of our greatest blessings.

Since the birth of America, the sacrifices of our veterans have preserved the freedoms we hold so dearly. Men and women have left behind family and friends to fight on the frontlines in times of war and protected our liberties in times of peace. Friday, November 11th we, as a country will take the time to honor these brave individuals.

We owe so much to our veterans, and will never be able say thank you enough. Thanks to their service, America remains to be the “home of the free.” I strongly encourage you to attend your local Veterans Day ceremony. Our veterans have given so much; it is the least we can do to give one hour in their honor. As Brittany Skinner writes in her poem “Veterans”:

They were there,
And they remember,
The shock, the horror
Of watching strangers die.
A life ended
By a fellow soldier's shaking hands.
The unimaginable debt,
Owed by a free world
Can never be repaid,
Still we try
Giving up an hour, a day
To thank you for the burden you now carry
Laid there so we can live our lives.
They fought,
And killed
Enemies with faces
Identities unknown to the bullets
Shattering the protective shield
Laid there by those they loved.
For one day a year we honor you
For our lives,
It can never compare
Still we try
Thanking you on this day
For a million moments
You lived so we could too.

Thank you to all the veterans who have and continue to protect the freedoms we enjoy as Americans. May we never forget that freedom is not free.

09 November 2011

Kraus: Veterans Day: A Day Worth Celebrating

Using the word “celebrate” in relation to Veterans Day has seemed a stretch to me. When we think of celebrating, we think of gathering in joy and in happiness of the occasion. We often think of potlucks and barbecues, and of crowds of family and friends. In many minds, the Veterans Day holiday is, instead, a time for reflection, for stoic honor, and for thanks.

But this year, as both a veteran myself, and as the father of a current serviceman, I believe that celebrating Veterans Day is exactly the right thing to do. This country’s veterans have steadfastly stood as the barrier between the rights and freedoms that have made this nation great and those that would trample those same freedoms underfoot. We can celebrate Veterans Day in a dozen small ways; participating in or watching a parade, visiting a veterans’ memorial, taking the time to shake the hand of a veteran, or even simply saying thank you to a person that took time out of their lives and away from their families to defend our daily lives.

I have said this before, and I’m certain I will again: please take a few moments out of this holiday to honor our veterans, our past servicemen and women. Their efforts have helped preserve the freedoms we enjoy, and we should not let them feel as if we might not appreciate that fact.

As well, think about making the time to recognize those brave men and women who continue to carry the mantle of our freedoms today. Around the world, these brave people still stand firm in their resolve to protect and defend our homes and our way of life.

To the members of the military of yesterday, today, and tomorrow: thank you for your sacrifices.

Busy Veterans Day in Lee’s Summit

On Friday, Nov. 11, Lee’s Summit VFW Post 5789 will conduct a brief memorial service at the Lee’s Summit cemetery at 8:00 a.m. The public is welcome to attend the ceremony.

After that, most of the participating members will go to the Hy-Vee store for breakfast. Hy-Vee East, 301 NE Rice Road in Lee's Summit (near Hwy. 291) is sponsoring a free breakfast for veterans. From 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., the VFW will provide a FREE ham and bean dinner for all veterans at its building located at 329 SE Douglas Street. At 1:00 p.m., members of the Post will visit Richardson Elementary School for a “Vets in the Classroom” program.

2011 Free Veterans Day Meals and Other Discounts

Following is a list of restaurants and other businesses that offer a free meal or other discounts to veterans. I really appreciate the efforts of these businesses to honor our country’s service members, and I encourage you to take advantage of these offers if you are a veteran. However, note that this list is not specific to District 8. Therefore, please call ahead to make sure that the offer is good in this area.
  • Applebee’s – free meal, Friday, Nov. 11: Last year, Applebee’s served 1,024,000 million free meals to military veterans and active service members. Applebee’s is again offering a free meal to military veterans and active-duty service members on Veterans Day, Friday, Nov. 11, 2011. There will be seven entrées to choose from. Military ID or proof of service required. Find locations at
  • Chili’s – free meal, Friday, Nov. 11: Chili’s is offering all military veterans past and present their choice of one of six meals. This offer is available during business hours on Nov. 11, 2011 at participating Chili’s in the U.S. only. Dine-in from limited menu only; beverages and gratuity not included. Veterans and active duty military simply show proof of military service. Visit their website to find locations.
  • Golden Corral – free meal, Monday, Nov. 14: The 10th Annual Golden Corral Military Appreciation dinner will be held on Monday, Nov. 14, 2011, from 5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. in all Golden Corral restaurants nationwide. The free “thank you” dinner is available to any person who has ever served in the United States Military. If you are a veteran, retired, currently serving, in the National Guard or Reserves, you are invited to participate in Golden Corral’s Military Appreciation Monday dinner. For more information visit
    • Special thanks to Golden Corral: To date, Golden Corral restaurants have provided over 2.5 million free meals and contributed over $4.3 million to the Disabled American Veterans organization.
  • Hooters – Free Meal, Friday, Nov. 11: Hooter’s is serving up a free meal to military veterans all day on Veterans Day. Offer good for all veterans and active duty military personnel. Choose one of the new specialty items on the Hooters’ menu. Offer valid at participating Hooters only; open to all active duty and military veterans with valid military ID or proof of military service. Drink purchase required. For more information, visit,
  • Krispy Kreme – free doughnut. Available only at participating Krispy Kreme stores. Offer available to all active-duty, retirees and veterans on Friday, Nov. 11. Be sure to call ahead to verify your local Krispy Kreme is participating.
  • McCormick & Schmick’s Seafood Restaurants – free lunch or dinner, Sunday, Nov. 13, 2011: McCormick & Schmick’s is celebrating their 13th annual Veterans Appreciation Event on Sunday, Nov.13. Veterans will be able to choose a complimentary lunch or dinner entrée. Veterans must provide proof of military service. Be sure to contact your local McCormick & Schmick’s, as this is valid at participating restaurants only. Also, space is limited and reservations are highly recommended. For more information, visit M&S Veterans Appreciation Event.
  • Outback Steakhouse – A week of Free Bloomin’ Onions and Cokes Monday, Nov. 7 – Friday, Nov. 11: Outback Steakhouse is honoring America’s military veterans by offering active duty military and veterans a free Bloomin’ Onion and a Coca-Cola product during the week leading up to Veteran’s Day. This offer is available to Military Personnel who have one of the following forms of identifications: U.S Uniform Services Identification Card, U.S Uniform Services Retired Identification Card, Current Leave and Earnings Statement (LES), DD form 214 Veterans Organization Card (i.e., American Legion and VFW), Photograph in Uniform, Wearing Uniform. For more information, visit,
    • The Outback understands commitment. For the past two years, The Outback, with the help of their patrons, has donated $2 million to Operation Homefront, a non-profit organization providing everyday and emergency support for active troops, wounded warriors and their families.
  • Subway – free six inch sub: Select Subway locations offer a FREE six inch sub to military veterans on Veterans Day. However, Subway restaurants are franchises, so this offer may not be available everywhere. Please call ahead.
  • Texas Roadhouse – free meal, Friday, Nov. 11. Offer varies by location; our local Texas Roadhouse is offering a free meal from opening until 4:00 p.m. Other locations may vary in offer, hours, or availability. Call ahead to your local restaurant for more information.
  • T.G.I. Friday’s – Buy one, get one free Nov. 11-14. At participating locations for anyone with an old or current military ID.
  • Uno Chicago Grill, Friday, Nov. 11: Uno’s is offering a free entree or individual pizza with a purchase of an entree or pizza of equal or greater value. Offer good for all military veterans and active duty military. ID or proof of service required: Show up in uniform (if your service permits), provide military ID, show a picture of yourself in uniform, or have other ID showing proof of service. More info here.

Home Depot and Lowes Coupon Updates

  • Update: Home Depot and Lowes 10% Military Discount Available Everyday.
  • Home Depot - The Home Depot(R) is offering all active duty personnel, reservists, retired military, veterans and their families a 10 percent discount off their purchases in honor of Veterans Day. The offer is valid on purchases of up to $2,000 for a maximum of $200 and is available at The Home Depot stores, The Home Depot Design Center locations, Yardbirds and EXPO Design Center(R) locations. The 10 percent discount is available everyday for active duty and retirees, but not all veterans. Home Depot makes this offer available to all veterans on most military holidays. You can also find Home Depot discounts online.
  • Lowes - Lowe’s Companies, Inc. will offer all active, reserve, honorably discharged, retired military personnel and their immediate family members a 10 percent discount on in-store U.S. purchases made during the Veterans Day holiday. The discount is available Nov. 7 – Nov. 11. The discount is available on in-stock and special order purchases up to $5,000. To qualify, individuals must present a valid military ID or other proof of service. Excluded from the discount are sales via, previous sales, and purchases of services or gift cards. Like Home Depot, Lowes offers this discount daily to active duty military members, but not to veterans. However, they extend the offer to military veterans on military holidays. You can also find exclusive discounts at Lowe’

Free Park Admissions for Veterans Day

  • Anheuser-Busch Parks: Here's to the Heroes! Anheuser-Busch Parks offers Active Duty Service Members free admission for them and up to 3 dependents to any of their parks once a year. Throughout 2011, members of the military and as many as three direct dependents may enter SeaWorld, Busch Gardens or Sesame Place parks with a single-day complimentary admission. The Here’s to the Heroes program is only available to any active duty, activated or drilling reservist, or National Guardsman. Eligible parks include: Adventure Island, Busch Gardens (Tampa Bay or Williamsburg), SeaWorld (Orlando, San Diego, or San Antonio), Sesame Place, and Water Country USA. Not valid at Discovery Cove and Aquatica. Christmas Town at Busch Gardens in Williamsburg, Va. is not included as part of this program. For more information and to register, visit: Free admission summary, and ticket application.
  • Colonial Williamsburg Free Admission: Colonial Williamsburg offers free weekend-long admission tickets to active-duty military, reservists, retirees, veterans, and their immediate dependents from Friday, Nov. 11 through Sunday, Nov. 13th. The complimentary ticket includes admission to Colonial Williamsburg exhibition sites, art museums, and most daytime programs, as well as free parking and use of the shuttle bus system. Tickets are only available at on-site ticket sales locations. Tickets are also available to families of deployed service members. Tickets available on the following dates: Nov. 11-13.
  • Historic Jamestowne Free Admission: The National Park Service commemorates Veterans Day with Fee Free days at Historic Jamestowne Nov. 11-13. Free admission for everyone. See events calendar.
  • Knott’s Berry Farm Military Tribute Days Free Admission: Knott’s Berry Farm has an annual Military Tribute event in which they offer military members past and present by offering free park admission. This year, the Military Tribute Days run from Nov. 1 – 24 (Thanksgiving Day). Veterans or current serving military personnel, plus one guest get in FREE with proper ID presented at Knott’s turnstile (DD214, Veterans Administration Hospital ID or Active Military Service ID). Purchase up to six additional tickets for just $17 each. More info.
  • Fee Free Day at National Parks: To honor America’s service men and women, Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar announced that areas managed by the National Park Service would not charge entrance fees for Veterans Day weekend – Nov. 11-13, 2011. Over 100 national Parks will be participating in this event.
  • San Jacinto Monument and Museum (La Porte, TX): Nov. 7-13: Free admission to the theatre, Observation Floor and (on Nov. 12-13) the special exhibit to all veterans and their families. More info.
  • Bed and Breakfast for Vets: In the third year of the program, B&Bs for Vets has organized over 485 (and counting) participating bed and breakfasts and inns across the US and Canada which will be offering veterans a free night’s stay on Nov. 10, the night before Veterans Day. This offer is available to both active duty military members and veterans with ID, but space is limited. Each inn and B&B has at least one room available for this promotion and reservations must be made directly through the participating inns and B&Bs. For more information, visit B&Bs for Vets.
  • Free Hugo® Canes for Veterans: Sam’s Club® - locations nationwide will distribute 36,000 Hugo® canes free of charge on Nov. 9-11, 2011 to U.S. military veterans in need of mobility assistance. Limited quantities available, while supplies last. Sam’s Club® Membership is not required, but proof of military service may be required. For more information, visit

Other Veterans Day Discounts

Here are some additional Veterans Day Discounts. In all cases, be sure to provide proper ID or proof of service. In addition, some of these stores are franchises, so verify participation before assuming the discount is in place.
  • Free Car wash. Thousands of car washes around the country are offering vets a free car wash on Veterans Day. Find a list at Grace for Veterans, which helped veterans receive 101,537 FREE Washes on Veterans Day in 2010.
  • – Discount “Veterans Day Honor” MP3 album download. This downloadable album includes 12 songs as performed by the military bands and ensembles of the U.S. Armed Forces. Visit Amazon on Veteran’s Day to download the album.
  • Netflix – One Month Free Trial.
  • Sport Clips – FREE haircut to active-duty military & veterans. Offer only available at select locations. Please call to verify local participation.
  • Tim Hortons – all US locations are offering a free donut to all veterans (check out the Star Spangled donut!).

Stouffer: Serious Proposal Aims to Remove Children from Farm Activities

When the federal government decides to update regulations, it usually makes folks nervous. This seems to be the case with the first changes to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) to be proposed in 41 years.

The FLSA includes rules on minimum wage, overtime and child labor laws. It is the recommended changes to child labor laws, in relation to farmers, that have a lot of rural folks worried. In addition, those that work with youths enrolled in 4-H and FFA need to take note:

The U.S. Department of Labor’s (DOL) Wage and Hour Division has announced it will now extend its comment period on proposed changes to the child labor laws to Dec. 1, 2011. This comes after several federal lawmakers and thousands of folks throughout the country asked for an extension of the comment period.

DOL announced in early September its plan to change agriculture-related child labor laws. Here are some of the proposed changes, according to DOL’s website:
  • Strengthening current child labor prohibitions regarding agricultural work with animals in timber operations, manure pits, storage bins and pesticide handling.
  • Prohibiting hired farm workers under the age of 16 from employment in the cultivation, harvesting and curing of tobacco.
  • Prohibiting youth in both agricultural and nonagricultural employment from using electronic devices, including communication devices, while operating power-driven equipment.
  • Prohibiting hired farm workers under the age of 16 from operating almost all power-driven equipment. A similar prohibition has existed as part of the nonagricultural child labor provisions for more than 50 years. A limited exemption would permit some student-learners to operate certain farm implements and tractors (when equipped with proper rollover protection structures and seat belts) under specified conditions.
  • Preventing children under 18 years of age from being employed in the storing, marketing and transporting of farm-product raw materials. Prohibited places of employment would include country grain elevators, grain bins, silos, feed lots, stockyards, livestock exchanges and livestock auctions.
In other words, most of the activities handled by folks on the farm every day would be illegal for anyone under 16 or 18 years sold. I cannot imagine where these ideas came from, but I am pretty sure they were not thought of by someone who has ever set foot on a family farm. In all, there are 113 pages of revisions proposed by DOL.

I hope folks will take their time to look at these proposed changes and tell the federal government what they think of these over-the-top revisions that do nothing more than help kill off family farms everywhere. You can make your comments by clicking here, or visiting

Allen: Veterans Day 2011

Attached is the latest Capitol Report with a few thoughts for Veterans Day. I also came across a list of coupons and offers for Veterans this weekend and thought I’d pass it along. Before utilizing them, be sure to check if the restaurant/store in your area is participating! Have a great week and a blessed Veterans Day!

Sue Allen
Missouri State Representative
District 92

On Friday, November 11, our nation will pause once again to pay tribute to the many men and women who have so bravely defended the freedoms we hold dear. Veterans Day represents the one official day each year when we recognize our veterans for their service to our nation. However, on this Veterans Day, I ask you to make a commitment to do more. I encourage you to honor these real life heroes each and every day of the year. Our state is home to more than 500,000 veterans.
They are all around us. They are our family members, friends, neighbors and coworkers. Every day we encounter someone who has served our nation and every day we have the opportunity to say thank you for that service. We must always remember that freedom is never free. We must never forget our veterans are the ones who have paid the price to defend the freedoms we too often take for granted. On this Veterans Day, I ask that we all take time to pay our respects and show our gratitude to the many veterans who call Missouri home.

I would encourage you to find a way to show anyone that is or was in the military
how much you appreciate the sacrifices they have made. If you see someone in
uniform tell them that you appreciate their service to our country. Our serviceman
have dedicated their lives to make ours better, and we should take every opportuni-
ty that we can to make sure that they know how much it means to us to be able to
live in the freedoms that they provide.

God bless our Veterans and God bless America.

Oxford: Ending The Recession: What If This Is The Approach That Would Work?


With almost three-quarters of a billion dollars going to tax credit programs in MO annually, our unemployment rate is still high, and many of our neighbors suffer foreclosure, hunger, and the chaos of poverty. The gap between the top one percent and the 99% that we hear so much about these days continues to grow.

About six centuries before the Common Era, the Hebrew prophet Isaiah wrote a recipe for how to produce a vibrant society in a bold series of "If......then" statements:

If we share our bread with the hungry......
        If we bring the homeless poor into our homes......
                If we clothe those who are naked......

.....Then our light will break forth like the dawn.
        .....Then our healing will come quickly.
                .....Then we will be like a watered garden.

(More of this powerful formula may be found in Isaiah 58 at -

I am proud of the United Church of Christ for initiating a bold national campaign to address hunger - the Mission 1 campaign which runs from 11/1/11 to 11/11/11. During these 11 days, UCC congregations are working together to collect:
  • more than a MILLION healthy food items for local food banks and outreach services;
  • $111,111 for Neighbors in Need food-related ministries;
  • $111,111 for famine relief in East Africa; and
  • 11,111 letters to Congress to reform foreign assistance related to poverty and hunger
Read more about it at:

Here are ways you can help locally:
  • Come to a forum on hunger tonight at First Congregational Church, Nov. 9, 7 p.m. at 6501 Wydown (flyer attached) - Senators McCaskill and Blunt have promised to send staff, as have Congressman Carnahan's office and Congressman Clay's office. Speakers include Glenn Koenen of Circle of Concern, Gedlu Metaferia of African Mutual Aid Association of Missouri, and Clint McCann of Eden Seminary (representing Bread for the World). I am honored to be moderating the panel.
  • If you come to the forum, bring a donation of healthy food items (e.g., tuna packed in water, oatmeal, whole wheat pasta, canned fruit in light syrup or natural juices, peanut butter, etc.).
  • If you cannot come to the forum, make a donation at a local UCC by this Sunday. We would welcome your gift at Epiphany UCC, 2911 McNair - or call my cell to arrange to drop off food at my home - 314-775-8940.
  • Make an online donation at:
  • Send an e-mail to Congress (or learn more about sending a snail mail letter) at:
What if Isaiah's words are true? (In my own paraphrase) "If you remove the yoke of oppression from among you, if you stop pointing fingers and speaking evil of others......then your ancient ruins will be rebuilt, then you will be called repairers of the breach and restorers of streets fit to live in." Wouldn't that be wonderful?

Hope to see you tonight or at any Mission 1 related event. (Please help pass the word to others as well.)


07 November 2011

Torpey: Election Day

Tomorrow, November 8th, is a special Election Day in Jackson County. We only have one issue on the ballot this time around. However, I urge you to make it to the polls to vote on the “zoo tax” in order to let your voice be heard. Please see below for a sample ballot, paying special attention to the wording or the question and voters instructions.


Notice is hereby given to the registered qualified voters of Jackson County, Missouri, that the Jackson County Legislature has called a Special Election, pursuant to Ordinance Number 4334, to be held in said County on Tuesday, November 8, 2011. The polls will be open from 6 a.m. until 7 p.m. The official ballot will be substantially in the following form:



Shall a retail sales tax of one-eighth of one percent (1/8%) be levied and collected for the benefit of the Kansas City Zoological District, which shall be created and consist of the county of Jackson and the counties of Cass, Clay, and/or Platte, if approved by such other county’s voters, for the support of zoological activities within the district?




If you are in favor of the question, use the Inkavote stylus to dot the circle located directly to the right of YES. Press down to fill the circle. If you are opposed to the question, use the Inkavote stylus to dot the circle located directly to the right of NO. Press down to fill the circle.


Please note that there is no sunset proposed for this sales tax, meaning that it will not expire if passed unless taken up again by the legislature or the people.

Regardless of how you choose to vote, please get out to the polls! If you are unsure where your polling place is, please visit the Jackson County Election Board website by clicking here.

Lant: Career Fair at MCHS, Veterans Day Ceremony Brings Crowd To Stella

I was honored last week by being asked to participate in the McDonald County High School Career Fair. The school had 80 or so tables set up in the Gymnasium with placards on them designating the businesses that were represented. I was very pleasantly surprised to see how many area businesses made the time and expenditure to talk to high school students about career opportunities. There were representatives there from every imaginable business in Newton and McDonald County and even a few from exotic places like Arkansas. You have to be amazed at how many businesses are wanting to encourage High School Students when all we hear on the news is "There are no jobs!" Sure there are, and lots of them. There are opportunities for work all around us. One thing that encourages me is that many of the Seniors and Juniors were spending time exploring the different trades. McDonald County has a significant percentage of students enrolled in vocational courses which I think is to be applauded. Don't misunderstand me, I still believe that a college education is a very valuable tool, but let's face it, not every student wants to attend college. If young men and women can be encouraged to start learning a trade, they will be very well equipped for the future. Every one of the building trades complain about being understaffed. If you find that hard to believe, try to find a carpenter, a brick mason, an electrician, a surveyor, etc. It's amazing how busy these people are. Crowder College offers some great vocational training in everything from nursing to auto body repair.

I got a real kick out of The National Guard table. They brought along some really cool backpacks that they were giving away to anyone who could do 70 pushups! Bill Reibold and I did 2 apiece but they wouldn't even give us a pencil. There were so many of those tough kids that did 70 that the Guard ran out of backpacks; so much for this being a soft generation, at least in Southwest Missouri.

Saturday, I had the pleasure of being in Stella for their Veterans Day Ceremonies. We started around 10:00 A.M. and it was a beautiful but quite cool morning. Duane Bowman was the Master of Ceremonies and believe it or not, he can still sing a little! Speaking of singing, The Star Spangled Banner was performed by Jeannie Merritt and I've never heard it done more beautifully. The Neosho ROTC, The Tri-Way Choir, The Westview and Wheaton School Bands, and The Crowder Choral Group all did a wonderful job. The Honoree this year was Ed Parker, 50 year member of the Masonic Lodge, and World War II Veteran. We presented him with Proclamations from The Missouri House and Senate and a lemon pie (His Favorite) which he guarded a lot closer than the resolutions. The U.S Flag was ceremoniously raised and a little later on there was a separate ceremony raising the MIA Flag. The parade was great with a Fire truck, Corvettes, Classic Cars and Trucks, Tractors, Shriners, Horses, and my personal favorite, The Patriot Guard. There was a fabulous Dune Buggy and Three Wheel Bike painted depicting MIA and Fallen Soldier themes and a couple of dozen great bikes. The Neosho VFW did a great job of organizing the patriotic ceremonies. I would have to say that most of the credit for such a great celebration goes to Chuck Dalbom and his great crew of volunteers.

You might wonder why I'm spending so much time talking about Stella. It's because a little town of 200 people can have such a great influence on so many people! Do we live in a wonderful part of the country or what?

Saturday evening we were at Crowder for the annual Newton County Republican Bean Feed. As usual, the Republican women did a great job of setting up the event and Chairman Nick Meyers had Billy Long as his keynote speaker. We were then to hear from U.S.Senate hopefuls, Todd Aiken, Sarah Steelman, and John Brunner. All three hope to be the candidate chosen to run against Claire McCaskill. Shane Schoeller, the Speaker pro-Tem from Springfield, and Senator Bill Stouffer were also there as candidates for Secretary of State to replace retiring Robin Carnahan. It was a fun evening with the inevitable silent auction where I bought two great cakes I didn't need (Jane and the grandkids made me do it!) Next week we have to travel back to Jeff City for a couple of days, but I think we'll have nice weather, at least I hope so. Until next week I am and remain, in your service.