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Wednesday, Apr. 1, 2015
Features
Murray Bishoff: Flooding in Monett remains a major concern (03/28/15)
The rain on Wednesday brought that old sinking feeling, one of complete helplessness when the rain keeps coming and coming. This time, the storms moved slowly across Arkansas and southern Barry County, sparing Monett from the kind of deluge-without-end that we saw on Sept. 19, 2009...
Murray Bishoff: Rocky local relationship with the Sunshine Law (03/21/15)
This is Sunshine Week, where the media and the public celebrate transparency in government. Sunshine laws provide access to government records and help the public to know how their leaders conduct business. Government entities, especially in small towns, have had a historically rocky relationship with Sunshine laws. In time, leaders generally find a way to live with public disclosure and discover relationships with the public go much better...
Murray Bishoff: Cancer from Ferguson must not spread (03/14/15)
There's an old social psychology experiment that shows up in all the old textbooks. A subject is supposed to oversee another participant hooked up to electric shock device. A supervisor tells the subject to shock the other person for giving a wrong answer, and apply more voltage as questions continued. The experiment showed that the subject consistently obeyed, submitting to the authority of the supervisor, even over the cries of the other person...
Murray Bishoff: In the eyes of the beholder (03/07/15)
A drive across the county this week gave another one of those object lessons for liking Monett. When other towns were starting their snowplowing, the Monett street department crews had engaged in final clean-up. The slogan "Pride and Progress" has characterized much of how the city of Monett has conducted itself with forward-looking thinking for many decades. ...
Torree Pederson: Kudos to Pierce City schools for forward thinking (03/07/15)
Dear Editor: As a 1996 Pierce City High School graduate, I would like to say kudos to Superintendent Russ Moreland and the Pierce City School Board for their innovative decision to change the status quo. Society, technology and business has changed dramatically, even since I graduated nearly 20 years ago. ...
Russ Moreland: Monett Times columnist's claims insulting, unfounded (02/28/15)
As a public school superintendent, I realize that with the job comes public scrutiny and criticism for decisions that are made regarding the school district. Although I don't particularly enjoy this part of the job, I accept it for what it is and try to keep moving forward...
Murray Bishoff: The magic of Roaring River (02/28/15)
Tomorrow morning, it starts again. Trout season at Roaring River State Park is like the convening of church. There is a cordiality combined with the excitement of a kid at Christmas, plus a religious awe standing in God's temple. The pre-dawn atmosphere is like nothing else: a combination of shock from the cold with the novelty of the place and the hour, the thrill of the hunt and participation in a decades-old tradition. ...
Murray Bishoff: 4-day school and the abyss (02/21/15)
Government leaders who make bold decisions often receive praise in this space for bravely advancing new and different ideas. At the same time, extraordinary actions that don't measure up also deserve scrutiny. That brings us to the Pierce City School Board's decision to go to a four-day school week...
Murray Bishoff: Making it old and new to preserve the future (02/14/15)
John Kleiboeker, at Arvest Bank, recently discussed attending an agriculture conference where the speaker asked if the farmers still grew the same corn they used in the 1970s. No hands went up. Then, he asked how many of them still had the same grass in their pastures that they had 40 years ago, and why...
Murray Bishoff: It's winter, or so the calendar says (02/07/15)
It's been two weeks since the robins flew back into the Monett area. On Thursday morning, if you were standing in just the right place, you would have seen a female Monett High School student running between the high school and Scott Tech, without a coat, wearing her gym shorts. To her credit, the young woman was not dawdling in her passage...
Murray Bishoff: Transportation questions in your future (01/31/15)
This week, the Monett City Council got busy and interviewed three engineering firms in search of a consultant for the transportation plan. Council members plan to ask voters in August to replace the sales tax that built the Justice Center. The old tax expires once the building is paid off in April 2016...
Murray Bishoff: The terrorists amongst us (01/24/15)
In 1942, Monett had air raid drills and black-out night drills. These were greeted with a certain degree of skepticism. After all, what enemy would be stupid enough to waste ammunition bombing a totally non-strategic spot on the map like Monett? Yes, it might inspire terror, but there were so many better places for the Axis powers to bomb between Berlin and Toyko that it seemed laughable for local people to worry...
Peter Henderson : Tea Party group invites local participation (01/24/15)
Dear Editor: The South-West Missouri Tea Party started in Shell Knob more than five years ago. The leadership group is made up of five people -- four from Shell Knob and one from Golden. We are all senior citizens, some a little more senior than others. ...
Murray Bishoff: Opportunity knocking for new leaders (01/17/15)
When was the last time you heard a young person -- someone in their 30s, or even their 20s -- get excited about the idea of taking on a leadership role in the community? You can fall back on excuses like everyone is too busy for stuff like that. But is that true, or just an excuse to stay away?...
Murray Bishoff: Attention sorely needed at First and Broadway (01/10/15)
Back in the summer, a committee assembled to look at livable streets in Monett. Participants came up with some startling observations, such as slowing traffic on Broadway below 25 miles per hour, or essentially walking speed. This has obvious benefits for merchants and creating an overall friendly atmosphere, except for agitated motorists trying to get from here to there...
Don Johnson: Commentators defend Freedom of Speech selectively (01/10/15)
Dear Editor, Since the tragic events in Paris, I have heard several commentators extol the victims as martyrs of free speech. And they are. No matter how obnoxious a person's views are, they have the right to express them. What I don't understand is the same progressive people who laud the staff of Charlie Hebdo are quick to call for the resignation, boycott, or ostracizing of those in the U.S. whose speech or actions do not agree with their own...
Murray Bishoff: Winners and the rehab center's future (01/03/15)
It took courage this week for the Mt. Vernon City Council to wrap up a deal to take over the venerable Missouri Rehabilitation Center and make a lease with the Veterans Administration to keep the Gene Taylor Veterans Clinic in town. It may have been more a matter of blind hope or a lack of options. It still took guts...
Murray Bishoff: Are clouds on the horizon for 2015? (12/27/14)
You know what they say about the weather in southwest Missouri. Just because the crystal ball for 2015 sees storm clouds on the horizon doesn't mean the storm will arrive or last for long. It just seems like sunny weather has lasted a long time and a change has to come...
Kyle Troutman: Hanging our stockings in hopes of prosperity (12/24/14)
As our stockings are hung by the chimney with care, it is our hope that an even stronger economy may soon be there. Steadily improving over the last few years, economic recovery seems just within sight. The first place to find a positive economic sign is in the Barry County unemployment rate, which peaked at 9.4 percent in January 2010. ...
Murray Bishoff: Looking back at 2014 (12/20/14)
The crystal ball had a pretty clear picture of what laid ahead in 2014. Both good and bad, we saw it this year. As anticipated, Monett Main Street drove the downtown efforts and secured the historic district. Hiring the right firm to create the application and paying to have more classic buildings uncovered from siding, the Main Street board made successes happen. ...
Penny Smith: Reader thankful for those who receive little thanks (12/20/14)
Dear Editor: In the Christmas season, we often think of those throughout the year who have blessed our lives by their thoughtful actions -- some by a special action, or many because they merely doe their jobs daily with excellence. It is to these folks I wish to speak...
Ralph Lamberson: Community's spirit on display at Wheaton Christmas parade (12/20/14)
Dear Editor: The city of Wheaton has enjoyed a blessed existence and a rich history of close, personal relationships that now have covered five and six generations. The spirit of this small, close-knit community was clearly demonstrated during the annual Wheaton Christmas Parade and the Wheaton Depot Museum Open House...
Murray Bishoff: Monett is the oasis down the road (12/13/14)
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 (12/06/14)
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 (11/29/14)
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...
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