February promises to be a busy time in these parts.
On Feb. 12 local VFW Post 5443 will be holding its annual Cruise Party fund raiser. The event will be held at the Post's hall on the South Bypass. Tickets are $100 per couple and include the dinner, entertainment and an opportunity to win prizes. To purchase a ticket see any VFW member. Gene Lemonds has been known to have an extra ticket or two available. If you can get away with it, that's can be a nice Valentine's Day dinner.
Also on tap for February is the annual Mardi Gras Party at the Bootheel Youth Museum. That's going to be held the following Saturday night at the BYM facility in Malden. Back-to-back weekends of fun. Kennett residents can contact local BYM board members Karen Vandiver or Randi Allgood for tickets. Pat Morehead has also been known to have a few extra tickets in her possession.
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The lawmakers are back in session; back in Washington, D.C., as well as Jefferson City. Judging from bills pre-filed or filed in Jeff it looks like this session will be a busy one. Just in case the budget shortfall and anticipated budget cuts were not enough to keep them busy.
Checking at the respective websites last week it looks like the 163 members of the House have filed some 196 bills and/or resolutions. In the Senate those 34 members have filed 126 bills and/or resolutions.
Some (okay, many) of these resolution are more about form than substance. For instance, the House notifies, via a resolution, the Senate that it is in session and the Senate returns the favor. They both notify the governor they're in session as well. I suppose there's a law that mandates a formal announcement of the opening session as opposed to the governor sticking his head out of the office and seeing the hallways a lot more crowded.
There will be some productive legislation come out of the session and the possibility that some counter-productive legislation will make its way into law this year as well. Missourians can only hope the former outweighs the latter.
Some bills invoke rather curious questions though. For instance:
HB (that's House Bill) 38, filed by Rep. Sharon Pace: Requires certain administrative officials of jails or detention facilities to notify the Missouri Uniform Law Enforcement System within five hours of the escape of certain specified dangerous felons. Really, five hours?
HB 49 filed by Rep. Tim Meadows: Designates the new Interstate 70 Mississippi River Bridge connecting downtown St. Louis and southwestern Illinois as the "Stan 'The Man' Musial Mississippi River Expressway Bridge" The former Cardinal is probably past the point in his life where concerns about naming public edifices after living individuals is a concern. Think former Speaker Bob Griffin, Paige Laurie both of whom had buildings named in their honor at the University of Missouri and Mark McGwire Highway. The same thought holds true for proposed Ferlin Husky Highway in St. Francois County, honoring the Flat River native.
HB 74 filed by Rep. Shalonn Curls: Specifies that certain felons will be eligible for federal food stamp program benefits. Really?
A bill proposed by Rep. Rodney Schad would give the Dept. of Conservation ownership off all the elk in our state. At the same time the department would be responsible for all damages caused by its new charges. I smell an elk in the henhouse here.
Those are just a few of the things that will take up time over the next few months in Jefferson City. I don't know if the session of our General Assembly can necessarily be referred to as a "big time," but it will certainly be a busy time.
And a reminder not to spend all of your money at the BYM auction. The local Rotary Club will hold its annual auction the week of Feb. 24.
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Good ol' days
"Albert Goodman of Holcomb was in town Saturday and while visiting with friends began to talk about the 'Good Old Days.'
"Fifty-two years ago he lived in Malden, then called Beckwithville. It consisted of a store and a Post Office which stood near the present high school. In those days he would drive down to Cokers Landing to catch fish for market. There was not a bridge all the way.
"There was a farm every three or four miles. These farms consisted of five or six cleared acres and log buildings. A few had as much as forty cleared acres on them.
"About that time Press Nicholas traded Rich Williams a forty acre farm for a gallon of whiskey, a musket, a dugout and a run of steel traps. Everybody thought Nicholas got the better end of the bargain. Record of the transaction still exists on the county books, according to Mr. Goodman. Mr. Goodman still owns this tract of land and considers it worth $4,000.00."
Thanks to the DDD's unofficial, but much appreciated historian, Vivian Helton, for passing along that real estate news from the pages of the Tuesday, Jan. 29, 1929 edition of the Dunklin Democrat. Mr. Goodman's recollection would make the date of the sale somewhere around 1877.
Bud Hunt is regional vice
publisher of the
Daily Dunklin Democrat, Daily Statesman, Delta News-Citizen, Missourian-News and
North Stoddard Countian.