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Sherman A1

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Gender: Male
Current location: U.S.
Member since: Sat May 13, 2006, 07:37 AM
Number of posts: 34,088

Journal Archives

April's Ferguson-Florissant School Board Election To Be The First Using Cumulative Voting

Voters in the Ferguson-Florissant School District will select their school board members much differently on April 2.

The new method, called cumulative voting, settles a Voting Rights Act lawsuit filed in 2014 by the ACLU of Missouri and the NAACP. The U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear the case in January.

As in the past, an unlimited number of candidates can run for open seats — there are three candidates for two open posts in April — and the top vote-getters will be elected. But unlike previous elections, voters can cast up to two votes for one candidate under the new cumulative system.

Black residents make up 80 percent of the students in the Ferguson-Florissant schools but just half of the district’s voting population. That meant white residents voting as a bloc for their preferred candidates could keep candidates preferred by black residents off the board, said Tony Rothert, the ACLU of Missouri’s legal director.



I did not win and am very disappointed. If I win it's for everyone!

HIV Remains Persistent Problem In Missouri -- Especially In Rural Areas

The number of new HIV cases in Missouri is on the rise — and a disproportionately large number are in rural counties.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has identified Missouri as one of seven states with a “substantial rural burden” — noting that it has more than 75 cases and 10 percent or more of diagnoses in rural areas. Public health researchers say the concentration of cases likely is due to several factors, including lack of access to health care.

Statewide, there are nearly 13,000 people living with HIV.

Many are on antiretroviral therapy, a drug regimen that allows HIV-infected people to live longer and reduces their risk of passing the virus to others.

But in rural parts of the state, it’s often more difficult for people to gain access to HIV testing and treatment, said Bill Powderly, director of the Washington University School of Medicine Institute for Public Health.


Fort Leonard Wood Adds Staff And Increases Communication To Fix Base Housing Issues

Soldiers and their families who live on base at Fort Leonard Wood will now have quarterly opportunities to express any concerns about their homes directly to the Garrison Commander.

And the staff that handles inspections and oversees repairs to the more than 1,800 homes at the base in the Ozarks will increase from three to five.

Those changes are the result of a national effort to review the quality of military housing and address concerns about delays in repairs.

The Military Family Advisory Network issued a scathing report to Congress last month showing substandard conditions at on-base housing across the country, and concern about reporting problems for fear of reprisal. The Department of Defense mandated a complete review and inspection of all bases around the country.


Will levees hold in St. Joseph?

St. Joseph officials continued making preparations Thursday for a cresting Missouri River — a list of duties that included opening a shelter and shutting down a major thoroughfare due to the flood.

Late Thursday afternoon, the city decided to move forward on an earlier consideration of closing Stockyards Expressway. An American Red Cross shelter for residents of Elwood, Kansas, and others in the area and St. Joseph displaced by flooding opened at 5 p.m. at The Keys Christian Church, 6001 S. Ninth St.

Meanwhile, City Manager Bruce Woody said the two levees of greatest concern are the L-455, located north of National Beef Leathers and extending south to Contrary Creek and U.S. Highway 59; and R-460-471, located downstream from Peters Creek in Wathena, Kansas, and tying in with the river north near Elwood and Rosecrans Memorial Airport.


Company won't operate duck boats in 2019 after fatal sinking

The company that owns a duck boat that sank on a Missouri lake last year, killing 17 people, won’t operate the vessels this year and will instead open a replacement attraction in the tourist town of Branson

The company that owns a duck boat that sank on a Missouri lake last year, killing 17 people, won’t operate the vessels this year and will instead open a replacement attraction in the tourist town of Branson.

Ripley Entertainment’s Suzanne Smagala-Potts announced plans for the new attraction, called Branson Top Op, on Thursday. She declined to comment on whether the boats would ever float again on Table Rock Lack, saying only that the company is focused on 2019 and hasn’t “looked in the future of what we may or may not do.”

The entertainment venue will include indoor laser tag and an interactive outdoor maze. It’s expected to open for Memorial Day weekend.


Agriculture markets for 2019 hinge on regional, international factors

Kelly Smith, director of marketing and commodities, talks about impacts from local to international level that could impact agriculture markets

More than 50 area farmers gathered to see what the coming year could bring for agriculture markets during the Palmyra Young Farmers and Marion County Farm Bureau Marketing Meeting on Wednesday, March 13 at HATS Restaurant in Palmyra.

Kelly Smith, marketing and commodities director with the Missouri Farm Bureau, presented several factors that could affect agriculture markets in the coming months. The signed but not yet ratified United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement has been boosting international trade of agricultural products in the wake of last year’s trade talks, said Marion County Farm Bureau President Joe Kendrick. If the Senate ratified the agreement, the resulting free trade between the nations would benefit markets, he said.

Regional forecasts call for a cool, wet spring similar to last year’s — creating a tight planting timeline for local farmers — Kendrick said some farmers hadn’t yet pulled crops out of their fields from the 2018 season.


Attorney accuses St. Louis County municipalities of using city dollars against Better Together

A politically connected lawyer working for a mystery client has sent letters to all 88 municipalities in St. Louis County demanding they account for any use of public dollars against the petition to merge St. Louis and St. Louis County.

Charles W. Hatfield, a lawyer at Stinson Leonard Street in Jefferson City, sent letters on Wednesday morning saying that Missouri law prohibits political bodies from using tax dollars to oppose a ballot measure, and that even putting out information on the issue could break the law. Hatfield said he believed some of the municipalities already were.

Municipal officials decried the move as a scare tactic.

“This is an attempt to stifle me from speaking to the residents of Des Peres about what could potentially happen to their city, to their services, to their police,” said Mark Becker, the mayor of Des Peres and a partner at the Hullverson Law Firm in St. Louis. “I can’t think of anything that would be more un-democratic than that.”


Fake grassroots group tries to turn back Missouri's minimum wage gains

In her first attempt at being a citizen lobbyist, Jennifer Sawhill wondered whether she was doing it right. Earlier this year, the 29-year-old server at Bartolino’s Osteria on The Hill, was walking the marble halls of the Missouri Capitol in Jefferson City alongside Bob Bonney, CEO of the Missouri Restaurant Association. Sawhill was urging passage of Senate Bill 10, which is sponsored by Sen. Mike Cunningham, R-Rogersville.

She and Bonney kept visiting Republicans in the Missouri Senate who seemed already to support Cunningham’s bill.

“Why are we wasting our time talking to people who already agree with us?” she wondered.

Soon, she would have her answer.

Senate Bill 10 is not what she thought it was. Sawhill and other food servers like her were being used as props by the restaurant industry to try to undo elements of the increased minimum wage passed overwhelmingly by voters in Missouri last November.


Missouri approves wind energy transmission line. Landowners vow to fight back.

After years of rejection, court battles and delays, a four-state transmission line that would connect western Kansas wind farms to the eastern power grid gained approval Wednesday from the Missouri state agency that regulates public utilities.

With the Grain Belt Express projected to cross properties of 570 Missouri landowners, the Missouri Landowners Alliance and Eastern Missouri Landowners Alliance said they plan to appeal the Public Service Commission’s order to the Missouri Court of Appeals, according to the opposition’s attorney Paul Agathen.

Though far from the last step, Wednesday’s unanimous vote by the five PSC commissioners in favor of granting the Grain Belt Express a certificate of conveniency and need -- giving it the ability to acquire property through eminent domain -- is the furthest the project has come in its quest to stretch a transmission line more than 200 miles through eight northern Missouri counties.

“There can be no debate that our energy future will require more diversity in energy resources, particularly renewable resources,” PSC commissioners said in a joint statement. “We are witnessing a worldwide, long-term and comprehensive movement towards renewable energy in general and wind energy specifically. Wind energy provides great promise as a source for affordable, reliable, safe and environmentally-friendly energy.”

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