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2021: A Year In Review, Part 1

2021 was another wild ride of a year. While Coronavirus continued to impact everyone’s lives, a lot of other things happened in Scotland County. Here is a look back at the news from January through June, 2021.

January 2021

Missouri Veterans Commission chairman Timothy Noonan released a full 415-page independent, external investigation report into the Missouri Veterans Commission response to Covid-19. The investigation, ordered by Governor Mike Parson and conducted by Armstrong Teasdale, examined the Covid-19 response in all seven veterans’ homes and by the MVC headquarters.

The City of Memphis started a new program to address the growing problem of abandoned and derelict properties inside the city limits. According to Memphis City Administrator Allen Creek, the goal of the Residential Blight Removal Program is to partner with private property owners to remove blighted residential dwelling structures.

Scotland County Hospital in Memphis announced the first baby born in 2021 at the Women’s Center. Tova Dawson Galbreath was born to Laken Irvin and Trevor Galbreath.

Jordin Luthenauer became the new Knox County and Scotland County Probation and Parole Officer through the Missouri Department of Corrections. Luthenauer began her duties on January 1, 2021, replacing Jamie Goodwin of Lewis County.

February

The Missouri Department of Agriculture was accepting proposals for anticipated funding through the Specialty Crop Block Grant Program. Interested individuals, community organizations and research institutions working to enhance the competitiveness of specialty crops had to submit their application by March 8, 2021.

The University of Missouri Extension System and the Small Business Administration (SBA) have partnered on a project designed to support agriculture businesses in Missouri and it’s not just for farmers. Agriculture businesses can be anything from seed companies and cooperatives to rural restaurants serving locally sourced farm-fresh menus. If there is an agriculture component to the business, owners and aspiring owners can qualify to participate-free of charge.

The Memphis FFA Chapter in Memphis, Missouri celebrated National FFA Week, February 20-27, 2021. National FFA Week embraces more than 93 years of FFA traditions while looking forward to the organization’s future.

March

NEMR Telecom hosted an interview dinner which would normally be to choose two candidates to represent the company at the annual Foundation for Rural Service Youth Tour to Washington, D.C. Unfortunately, the trip was canceled for another year. The Board of Directors made the decision to award scholarships in lieu of the cancelation of the FRS trip.

The Lady Tigers closed out their season with a 4th place finish in Girls Class 2 Show-Me Showdown.

Members and friends of the Arbela Methodist Everyday Neighbors Society (aka A.M.E.N) joined forces Saturday March 21, 2021, from 8 am-12 pm at the Community Bank of Memphis, where they displayed approximately forty delicious cakes in many styles and flavors for sale in what they referred to as their first ever “cake bake.” All proceeds from this event have been directed to the benefit of the local Scotland County Cancer Fund, where all monies will be kept within this county for assistance to qualifying cancer patients.

April

Concerned about declining conditions on the lettered routes that serve as the primary connections for the bulk of the county’s population, several Scotland County residents recently traveled to Jefferson City on the invitation of Representative Greg Sharpe to help raise the alarm about similar conditions across northern Missouri. Joyce Harvey of rural Scotland County led the group of concerned citizens that were joined by representatives of the Northeast Missouri Regional Planning Commission to highlight the disparity in pavement conditions on low volume roads in Scotland County as compared to the rest of the state.

State Senator Cindy O’Laughlin (R-District 18) hosted a meeting at Edina’s Knox County Community Center to bring local government officials together and begin the process of thinking of ways to best use millions of dollars being distributed through the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) beginning next month.

The Missouri Veterans Commission (MVC) announces all seven Veteran Homes are taking applications for new admissions. The homes are in Cameron, Cape Girardeau, Mexico, Mount Vernon, St. James, St. Louis, and Warrensburg. At full capacity, the homes have a total of 1, 238 beds that provide long-term skilled nursing care.

After years of dreaming, planning and fundraising, the new all-weather track at Scotland County R-1 became a showcase for area track and field talent at the Scotland County Relays on Thursday April 8th. Seven men’s teams and 6 women’s teams competed in the invitational event. The host team Tigers finished 3rd in the men’s team standing with 94.5 points.

April 21, 2021, Cindy Maddex received her Order of the Eastern Star 50-Year pin from Worthy Matron Linda See. The ceremony was held on Wednesday, April 21.

May

In partnership with the National Association of Counties and Missouri Association of Counties, the Scotland County Commission has installed a flag retirement box, at no cost to the county at the Scotland County Courthouse located in the first-floor hallway.

As of May 12, 2021, eligible households are now able to enroll in the Emergency Broadband Benefit program to receive a monthly discount off the cost of broadband service from an approved provider. Eligible households could enroll through an approved provider or by visiting GetEmergencyBroadband.org.

The 33 seniors in the Scotland County R-1 class of 2021 walked the stage and received their diplomas. The commencement exercise began with the class walking in at 2 pm to the familiar strains of “Pomp and Circumstance” performed by the Scotland County R-1 High School band under the direction of Mr. Nathaniel Orr. Class President Bobbie Darcy gave the welcome.

The Scotland County Hospital (SCH) Employee Engagement Committee, in Memphis, recognized employees for their years of service with the organization and recently awarded service pins during National Hospital Week. Tracy Simpson, Betty Orton, Jeff Davis and Jodie Jackson were recognized.

June

A rainy morning didn’t stop around 200 Scotland County residents from honoring America’s soldiers who have paid the ultimate sacrifice. The Wallace W. Gillespie VFW Post 4958’s 75th Annual Memorial Day Service was moved inside the VFW Post.

As part of “Delivering for America” its 10-year plan to achieve financial sustainability and service excellence, the United States Postal Service filed notice today with the Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC) requesting price changes to take effect August 29, 2021, that are in accordance VFW Auxiliary members voted at the June 7th meeting to donate $500 to Scotland County R-1 Band’s Hawai’i trip. They also extended their sincere appreciation to the band for their willingness to participate in Memorial Day services in uniform.

Special Touch Ministry, Inc. is a non-profit service organization “serving the concerns of people with disabilities.” Crossing denominational lines as a Para-church organization, Special Touch provides a network of support for people with disabilities consisting of hundreds of volunteers and caring churches across America. Founders Charlie and Debbie Chivers have a goal to raise funds for a facility or campground for north Missouri.