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Thursday, Sep. 29, 2016

July 11, 2012

Posted Tuesday, July 10, 2012, at 11:03 AM

We celebrated the Fourth of July this past week, and HBO gave us all seven episodes of its JOHN ADAMS series in one day. It was a marathon of TV watching, but it was TV worth watching. Mr. Adams is the Founding Father who predicted and suggested that we would and should celebrate the Fourth with fireworks.

We have had an incredibly hot and dry summer in our area so far (I can report that it is raining right now and the temperature has dropped like a rock) and our fire chief has issued a "no burn ban." The use of fireworks was not prohibited but caution was suggested. There is, at this time of year, always talk of a permanent ban on fireworks. I have lived in this town for almost sixty-seven years and have ignited a lot of gunpowder wrapped in paper. I helped keep "Pa Lonnie" and "Ma Mary" George in groceries when they had the only fireworks stand not in town but just on the west city limit line. Fireworks were not permitted in Malden in my youth, but the night sky lit up around the first week in July anyway.

We could reinstitute a ban by city ordinance on both the sale and ignition of fireworks in Malden. I believe Mr. Adams of the Declaration of Independence fame would agree with me that if you pass a law there should be some reasonable expectation of accomplishing something. If we banned fireworks, I don't know if the Missouri National Guard could enforce the ban. We are Americans, and we have over the last couple of hundred years shown a great affection for events, toys, and things in general that are incredibly loud and noisy.

This past week we lost Andy Griffith who gave us a great fictional small town called Mayberry with its cast of memorable characters. Sheriff Andy would probably just say, "Now simmer down, Barney, folks like to have a good time, and we'll try to keep the fires put out."

The darker side of Mayberry occurred in Malden on July 1 when a young man allegedly shot a large firework at two of our police officers responding to a complaint. Thankfully, injuries and property damage were not serious. "Not serious" has a whole different meaning if you were the victim of the injury. Our emergency people do a good job, and I appreciate what they accomplish under commonly difficult circumstances.

The young man who allegedly shot the explosive at the police officers is in the Dunklin County Jail under a $100,000 bond, and he will get his day in court. He may have thought he was realizing his Declaration of Independence right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Possibly, he forgot that with his right to act comes the duty to act responsibly.

The financial report is as follows:

June 29, 2012

Balance $1,284,446.31

Revenues $169,895.95

Expenses $98,862.08

July 6, 2012

Balance $1,355,480.18

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