The Mornin' Mail is published every weekday except major holidays
Friday, August 28, 2009 Volume XVIII, Number 50

did ya know?

Did Ya Know?...The Carthage VFW will sponsor a dance with the Country Boys Sat. Sept 12 from 8 p.m. until 12.p.m. $4

Did Ya Know?... The Pet Photo Contest put on by the Carthage Humane Society is taking place now until the end of the month. They will use 12 entries for their 2010 Calender. Entry fee is $10, no limit on entries. For info, call 417-439-7134.

Did Ya Know?... A Mother’s night out is being held at the New Life United Methodist Church Friday, Aug. 28 from 7 to 10 p.m. One child, $10, two $15. Information or reservations call 793-7841 or 438-2961.

today's laugh

• Only in America......can a pizza get to your house faster than an ambulance.

• Only in America......are there handicap parking places in front of our skating rinks.

• Only in drugstores make the sick walk all the way to the back of the store to get their prescriptions, while healthy people can buy cigarettes at the front.

• Only in banks leave both doors open and then chain the pens to the counters.

• Only in we leave cars worth thousands of dollars in the driveway and put our useless junk in the garage.

A Chronological Record of Events as they have Transpired in the City and County since our last Issue.


A. H. Witt’s fine new outfit of billiard tables and accessories arrived yesterday and were transferred to the hall. The erection of one of the tables was completed yesterday and the rest are being installed today. Two of them are billiard tables and four are pool tables. They are finished in oak with a rosewood cushion rail and are made by the well known Brunswick-Balke Collender Co. Frank Faestel, of St. Louis, is here to look after the erection of the tables and will remain until they are all up and satisfactorily tested.

The room, with its new paint, paper and floor, and its bright and shining fittings, is taking on a very handsome appearance. It is expected that the tables will all be up and ready for use by tomorrow. The old tables were turned in on the trade for the new ones and were taken apart yesterday for shipment. Mr. Witt has been ten years in the business here and eight years at his present location.

  Today's Feature

Special Council Meet.

The Carthage City Council met in an special meeting yesterday at noon. The meeting was a regular open meeting and eight of the ten members were in attendance.

The sole item on the agenda was the change of signers on the Municipal Court Bond Bank Account.

Council member Bill Welch made a motion, seconded by Mike Harris, to remove Amy Young and Captain Kevin Davis as signers for the account. The motion was also to add immediately the names of Police Chief Greg Dagnan, Police Captain Randee Kaiser, and City Clerk Lynn Campbell as signers. The motion was approved 8-0. Davis has been deceased for over a year.

Police Chief Dagnan says that City Hall raised some concerns over how the money was being handled and when receipts and deposits were compared it became obvious that money was missing.

He said that a department employee that worked with the court system was terminated yesterday for policy violations. The Highway Patrol is beginning a criminal investigation.

Just Jake Talkin'

I always enjoy it when I get a chance to drop by a County Commission meetin’. You have to follow things along as they weave from here to yonder ever’ now and then. It’s sorta like one a those movies that have five or ten stories goin’ at once. Ya get a little piece of the plot here, then it will pop up again in the middle of another discussion all together.

It reminds me some of sittin’ ‘round the dinner table after a day out in the fields durin’ harvest. Some talk of the day’s work, a little politics, some pokin’ fun, and some serious decisions. Just part of the Midwestern experience.

Speakin’ of experience, ever try to enjoy a good meal with the other farm hands after one of ‘em picked up a skunk in the hay bailer?

This is some fact, but mostly,

Just Jake Talkin’.


Crossing the Border Between Politics and Stimulus Spending

by Christopher Flavelle,

The Associated Press has today’s must-read on the interplay of politics and stimulus spending. "Despite Obama’s promises that the stimulus plan would be transparent and free of politics," the AP reports, "the government is handing out $720 million for border upgrades under a process that is both secretive and susceptible to political influence." Among the results: a checkpoint in Laredo, Texas, that gets more than 55,000 travelers a day was passed over for stimulus money, while a checkpoint in Westhope, N.D., that sees just 73 people a day is getting almost $15 million for renovations.

Hopes that the stimulus would fund education reform are being dashed, The Washington Post reports, as schools across the country use stimulus money simply to survive. The American Association of School Administrators released a survey (PDF) Tuesday on how school districts are using Recovery Act money. The takeaway? "A lack of flexibility in the funding and the use of the money to backfill federal, state and local budget holes have limited the ability of districts to implement innovative reforms and changes."

Good news: Slumping construction costs mean the government is spending an estimated 16 percent less on construction projects than expected, according to an analysis of 700 stimulus projects commissioned by USA Today. On those projects, the government has paid $620 million less than anticipated, and the savings are funding additional projects like new rail cars and enhanced airport security.

Bad news: The Social Security Administration said Tuesday that it mistakenly sent stimulus checks worth a total of $425,000 to 1,700 prison inmates. Official records "did not accurately reflect that they were in prison," an SSA spokesman told Fox News. Inmates typically aren’t eligible for Social Security benefits, but, in a twist, some of the inmates—those who weren’t incarcerated between November 2008 and January 2009—did in fact get the $250 checks "fair and square," according to Fox News.


GOP: Having It Both Ways on Stimulus?

by Christopher Flavelle, ProPublica

The Associated Press continues its impressive stimulus coverage with a report on Republicans who opposed the stimulus—then lobbied for stimulus funding. "Billions of dollars worth of Defense Department stimulus money is paying for repairs and construction at military installations in areas represented by lawmakers who said ‘no’ to the legislation," the AP reports. Republicans respond that they can oppose wasteful spending over all and also back worthy projects.

Meanwhile, The New York Times has a great article on the difficulty of counting stimulus jobs in New York City, where Comptroller (and likely mayoral challenger) William Thompson has criticized as "puffery" Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s estimates of stimulus jobs. Case in point: the replacement of ramps at a ferry terminal on Staten Island. The city government estimates that the project will create 5,000 jobs, but Rep. Michael McMahon, a Democrat who represents Staten Island, says the figure will reach only into the hundreds. (ProPublica has reported in the past on the challenge of counting stimulus jobs nationwide.)

A labor union in Nevada is seeking a court order to block the state from spending $10 million in stimulus funds. The Nevada AFL-CIO says the Nevada Housing Division is trying to avoid complying with a new state law that requires, among other things, paying workers the prevailing wage for weatherization projects, the Reno Gazette-Journal reports. The agency responded that it intends to comply with the law once all its provisions are in place, but that it risks losing the money if it doesn’t meet federal requirements to spend it quickly.

Not content to excel in watersports and sunny dispositions, Australians are apparently better than Americans at spending stimulus money as well. According to a study at the Australian National University, Australians were twice as likely as Americans to spend the stimulus payments they received from the government. (The study looked at stimulus checks sent by the U.S. government in 2008, under the Bush administration.) The findings were reported in the Australian newspaper The Chronicle, which adds, "Unlike the U.S., Australia has so far avoided a technical recession."

Sponsored by Carthage Printing Weekly Columns


by Matilda Charles

Porky Boomers Could Strain Medicare

Here’s another reason for us to watch our weight: More of us age 55 to 64 are becoming obese -- just before we reach Medicare age.

In an annual report on obesity rankings, that age group, the leading edge of the Baby Boomer generation (those born between 1946 and 1964), has been experiencing a significant increase in the percentage of obese individuals. And there are so many Boomers -- 78 million. Those in the first wave are turning 63 this year.

How does this tie into Medicare? In a nutshell, the costs will go up if so many of us enter our Medicare years with such a large percentage of us being obese.

Obesity brings with it a number of medical conditions, such as lung disease, hypertension and diabetes. While life expectancy doesn’t necessarily change because of advances in health care, the costs do. According to the report, health-care costs for an obese senior could be 36 percent to 88 percent higher than for a patient who’s not obese.

The Trust for America’s Health report (titled "F as in Fat: How Obesity Policies Are Failing in America 2009") found 31 states had an obesity rate above 25 percent. Twenty-three states saw their obesity rates rise within the past year, and no states saw a decline in those rates.

To see how your state fared, go online to and click on the "F as in Fat" report for 2009. Notice all the charts, especially the ones comparing the current generations getting Medicare (age 65-plus) with the Boomer group that’s coming -- the 55- to 64-year-olds. I didn’t see a single state where the percentage dropped.

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