Murray Bishoff: Monett is the oasis down the road
One of the favorite descriptive phrases we use in reporting homicides comes from Barry County Detective Brian Martin, who said murders are usually due to "money, honey or drugs." That formula has held true in most scenarios we report. It helps provide a reason and a framework for feeling safe. We'd like to think that staying away from those temptations and the people who cross the line will leave us safe...
Murray Bishoff: Changing face of Christmas
The holiday season rolls around with inevitable regularity. While the celebration of Christmas remains constant, the way the community shares in the experience has changed significantly in just the last 25 years. In the late 1980s, Monett Elementary School still held its all-classes Christmas program at the E.E. Camp gymnasium. An overflow crowd attended performances under the direction of John Archer that lasted more than three hours...
Murray Bishoff: Tolerance for differing opinions sorely lacking
The decision of the grand jury in St. Louis County over the shooting death of Michael Brown, announced Monday, underlined a division of perspectives within the public. Those who remember the disparity in reaction to the O.J. Simpson murder trial verdict between African Americans and non-African Americans left an indelible image of two Americas. Sitting in a St. Louis-area restaurant this week, I heard comments from a white commentator that showed no understanding of another point of view...
Kyle Troutman: Pass the peas and thanks
This week, when we all sit down at the dinner table with family and friends -- hopefully with a big bird and enough peas and potatoes to put us in food comas -- we should take a minute to give thanks for what we have. While I'm not a billionaire with a supermodel wife and a beachside house in the Bahamas (well, not yet anyway), I can think of plenty of things for which to be thankful...
Murray Bishoff: We need more Monett moments
Wednesday will mark the beginning of the season for Monett's Festival of Lights at South Park. This week the downtown banners changed to "Merry Christmas." After that, the holiday season gets into full swing. There's no other time of year like it. Monett has a parade (hooray!), churches host festive programs, stores decorate their windows, special music floats daily downtown...
Yvonne Kerr: Monett woman thankful for Thanksgiving dinner
Dear Editor: I wish to thank the Asociaci--n Latina Imagen for sponsoring a Thanksgiving dinner for Senior Citizens. We were served a delicious turkey meal with all the trimmings and every person in attendance received a gift card. I really appreciate the Asociaci--n Latina Imagen for all the good work they do in the Monett community...
Murray Bishoff: A fresh look at education
This week, former Monett Superintendent John Jungmann delivered an assessment of the needs he sees in the Springfield School District, where he took over as superintendent. Jungmann followed the steady hand set by Charles Cudney in shaping the Monett district for 15 years. With his keen sense of technology needs and Monett's tradition of facility improvements, Jungmann proved a capable leader in his tenure here...
John R. Hagar: Monett veteran feels let down on Veterans Day
Dear Editor: On Veterans Day, I visited my son, SSGT Russell T. Hagar, in Springfield for us to be celebrated as veterans by those showing appreciation with discounts and freebies, and to thank other for their prior and present service to this country...
Jay Jastal: Thanks for support of recent Tootsie Roll Drive
Dear Editor: The officers and members of Monett Knights of Columbus Council No. 1075 would like to sincerely thank the citizens of Monett and the immediate surrounding area for their generous contributions to our recently-concluded "Tootsie Roll Drive" to raise funds to help support our citizens with developmental disabilities...
Patricia Kindler: Local community failing in caring for animals
Dear Editor: Mahatma Ghandi said, "The greatness of a society and its moral progress can be judged by the way it treats its animals." This being said, we are failing here in our community and county. We have uncared-for animals running loose in Cassville, and countless dogs and cats are dropped off in rural areas by uncaring people. Unwanted puppies and kittens are given away in the Walmart parking lot with no thought as to their futures. Some are just left there...
Murray Bishoff: Welcome home, heroes
The homecoming for the 276th Engineers of the Missouri National Guard brought no small amount of relief to the crowd gathered at Monett High School's gymnasium on Sunday. Twice, engineers from Guard armories in Monett and Pierce City have gone to the other side of the world, and everyone has come back...
Murray Bishoff: The burden of safety is ours
We are fortunate that the injury accident at PlayPower in Monett this week is now a rare event. We forget that over time, Monett has had plenty of dangerous workplaces. Perhaps none were more dangerous than working for the railroad in Monett's formative years. ...
Kyle Troutman: Mental health care resources lacking in Barry County
My mother is my hero for multiple reasons, but one of the biggest reasons is how she has handled -- and continues to handle -- challenges with her children that many moms have never had to deal with.
Murray Bishoff: The face of panic coming to get you
The other day, there was a Facebook posting circulating that proclaimed someone in Monett had Ebola. A team in hazmat suits had to go in to the residence to move the patient. Click on the photo and the link took you to a laughing picture and someone declaring you had been duped...
Vicky and Robert McGuire: Monett family thankful for community support
Dear Editor, We would like to take this opportunity to say thank you to the Monett community. First, we would like to thank everyone who had any part of the recent fund raiser held for our benefit. To the businesses and individuals who donated merchandize or baked goods, thank you. ...
Kyle Troutman: Transparency sorely lacking in Pierce City government
James Madison, the fourth president of the United States, once said, "The essence of Government is power; and power, lodged as it must be in human hands, will ever be liable to abuse." The city government of Pierce City bordered on such abuse when three aldermen and the mayor held an unannounced meeting Sunday evening to discuss Reserve Police Officer Mike McCracken's alleged failure to complete shooting range qualifications...
Murray Bishoff: What does the future hold?
As the Monett Chamber of Commerce begins leading discussions about where is Monett going and how do we get there, the subject arises of the next generation that will lead the community. This is a much harder question that it seems. From all accounts, young professionals and millennials have a different world view. They aren't very tolerant of conditions they don't like. That includes a job, a career, or a town that doesn't deliver satisfaction...
Wendy Cairus: Mom: System failed son
Dear Editor, Have you ever been told that jail is the only option? Mental illness is an "above the neck" illness treated much differently than any other. My 18-year-old son, who is autistic, has been sitting in jail for weeks without his needs being met. Worse yet, the things he has seen and heard while incarcerated are scarred into his brain...
Murray Bishoff: Farwell to a friend on the sunny side of the street
For a long time -- nine years now -- we've been missing Jack Frost on Broadway. Jack's infectious laugh, his irrepressible smile and his big personality made a strong impression downtown. Losing him this week at age 86 brought back many memories. Jack was a promoter at heart, who pumped enthusiasm into everything he did. ...
Times employee tells of her fight against breast cancer
Growing up as a female, you hear the words breast cancer often. You see it on billboards, the television, the radio and even the ongoing awareness information during the entire month of October. There are campaigns to raise money for awareness and to celebrate survivors. The information is everywhere around us...
Murray Bishoff: Broken windows, broken illusions
The troubling account of the juveniles taken into custody and the vandalism rampage they allegedly caused in August revealed the depth of the Monett community's vulnerability to such a threat. We saw it for several years now on Front Street, where the venerable Jumping-Jacks factory building was, bit by bit, picked apart. ...
Murray Bishoff: The long climb back to economic daylight
In the big picture, a lot of things are going right for Monett at the present time. Six years ago this week, the Panic of 2008 sent the stock market into to spin that threatened to unravel the nation's economic fabric, or at least tie it into knots. It took six months for the impact to send its ripples through Monett's economy, but once the factory orders dried up, we joined the rest of the nation wondering and waiting for what would happen next...
Murray Bishoff: A fighting chance to save the rehab center
MT. VERNON -- With serious trepidation, the Mt. Vernon City Council voted this week to pursue a deal to buy the 143 acres at the Missouri Rehabilitation Center (MRC) from the University of Missouri and try to save some of its jobs and services, especially those linked with the Veterans Administration...
Murray Bishoff: Rallying the community
This time of year Monett experiences Cub Nation, a shared identity, a rallying point for the community. Year after year, Monett's football team has had its moments, enough to warrant affection and devotion much more than any other sport. The key is finding a shared link. ...
Murray Bishoff: Repurposing downtown
Last weekend's Repurposed Faire introduced a whole new idea in local festivals and saved Monett from going a year without a festival at the same time. Ann Saunders, chairperson of Monett Main Street's economic restructuring committee, came up with a nifty idea for an event drawing people downtown. ...