The Mornin' Mail is published every weekday except major holidays
Tuesday, June 30, 2009 Volume XVIII, Number 8

did ya know?

Did Ya Know?... That more pets become lost during the July 4th fireworks season than any other time of the year. The Carthage Humane Society recommends to keep pets safe by bringing them indoors well before the fireworks start.

Did Ya Know?... There will be a Maple Leaf Committee meeting at the Chamber office on June 30th at 4:00 PM.

Did Ya Know?... Freeman Hospital will be holding a Heart Support Group in the Freeman Heart Institute Conf Rm A & B on June 30th from 6-7 PM. For more information call 417-347-3533.

today's laugh

Did you pay taxes?

A nervous taxpayer was unhappily conversing with the IRS Tax auditor who had come to review his records.

At one point the auditor exclaimed, "Mr. Carelton, we feel it is a great privilege to be allowed to live and work in the USA. As a citizen you have an obligation to pay taxes, and we expect you to eagerly pay them with a smile."

"Thank goodness," returned Mr. Carelton, with a giant grin on his face, "I thought you were going to want me to pay with cash."

- When working toward the solution of a problem, it always helps if you know the answer, provided of course you know that there is a problem.

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

Pittsburg Clerks at Lakeside

The retail grocery clerks of Pittsburg, Kansas, had a very enjoyable picnic at Lakeside park yesterday. The party, numbering about 300 persons in all, came over in a special train on the Memphis to Webb City, arriving there about 9 a.m. The electric line had cars in waiting and conveyed them in a body to Lakeside park, where they spent the day. At noon a big basket dinner was spread.

During the day a great many of the visitors took a ride to Carthage and admired the beauties of the city. They returned to Webb City and took the special train home about 8 o’ clock in the evening.

It was a nice crowd and enjoyed itself thoroughly. Not a single accident occurred during the day. The visitors were particularly well pleased with the park and all expressed themselves as having a good time

  Today's Feature

Prosecution Bark Alert:

Missouri cracks down on substandard breeding facilities and Unlicensed Breeders

Missouri Department of Agriculture Director Jon Hagler and Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster today announced phase two of Operation Bark Alert - a crackdown on unlicensed breeders in Missouri.

Phase two of the program, "Prosecution Bark Alert," is being launched using the top law enforcement authority of Missouri to stop unlicensed and substandard dog breeders from operating in the state. Operation Bark Alert was initiated in February and has thus far located more than 200 unlicensed breeders across Missouri and rescued nearly 1900 dogs.

"Substandard and unlicensed dog-breeding facilities are a recognized problem in our state," said Attorney General Koster. "We want to make sure Missouri’s commitment to protecting the health and welfare of animals is clear. These facilities will sometimes result in cruel and unacceptable conditions. The General Assembly has set a standard for such facilities and this Attorney General’s office intends to enforce that standard."

"With the leadership of Gov. Nixon and the support of Attorney General Koster, we have identified hundreds of substandard facilities and lead the nation in cracking down on unlicensed breeders," said Dr. Jon Hagler. "We want unlicensed breeders to know that in the days and weeks ahead, they will begin to face increasing pressure as we add more bite to Bark Alert. One way or another, they are going to get the message that substandard, unlicensed facilities are not welcome in Missouri."

For the first time in Missouri, the Department of Agriculture and the Attorney General’s Office have joined forces and publicly teamed up to take legal action against breeders who are not licensed. Missouri law requires dog breeders to become licensed with the Animal Care Facilities Act program at the Missouri Department of Agriculture.

"Since Operation Bark Alert was announced in February, my office has taken legal action against several unregistered breeders who were raided by the Department of Agriculture, rescue groups in Missouri and local law enforcement officials. We plan to file against irresponsible breeders and require they comply with the law or shut their doors," said Koster. "Our efforts are intended to send the message that dog breeders in Missouri must meet or exceed the General Assembly’s standards, and that examples of animal cruelty will be addressed."

Attorney General Koster’s office is also contacting breeders who may have let their licenses lapse to remind them they must be licensed with the state. For more information regarding Operation Bark Alert or to report an unlicensed breeder, visit 417-359-8181

Just Jake Talkin'

I’m not a big believer in superstition, but I do think that the pull of the moon affects more than just the ocean tide.

I’ve heard that there have been some statistics gathered that indicate that criminal activity is higher durin’ a full moon. More accidents, emergency room visits and the such seem to reinforce this "wives tale."

I’m not puttin’ out any scientific info here, maybe just an excuse for folks bein’ a little on edge ever now and then.

I heard several comment last Tuesday ‘bout it bein’ a weird day. I had "one a those days" also. Maybe one person had a bad day and it spread throughout the community. Maybe the hot weather is startin’ to take affect. Maybe the moon just likes ta mess with us ever’ now and then.

This is some fact, but mostly,

Just Jake Talkin’

  Weekly Columns

Five More Banks Failed on Friday

by Jake Bernstein, ProPublica

Community Bank of West Georgia, based in Villa Rica. It was founded in 2003 to take advantage of the red hot real estate market in Atlanta’s suburbs. As of the first quarter of 2009, about one-third of the bank’s $129 million in total loans were in some stage of delinquency, default or had become bank-owned foreclosures, according to the Atlanta Business Chronicle.

Usually when a bank fails, the FDIC finds a neighboring institution to help defray the cost of the failure in exchange for assets and deposits in what’s called a "purchase and assumption agreement." Customers of the failed bank continue with the new bank as if nothing had happened. The FDIC could find no takers for Community Bank of West Georgia. It will instead mail checks to insured depositors for their funds.

Next to fail was Neighborhood Community Bank of Newnan, Ga. In this case, the FDIC struck a purchase and assumption agreement with CharterBank of West Point, Ga.

Since the FDIC likes to close banks after business hours, it announces failures from east to west, usually beginning around 5 p.m. Eastern Standard Time. Almost two hours after the agency revealed the first Georgia failure, it moved west to Minnesota where Horizon Bank of Pine City officially failed. The bank’s assets and deposits were picked up by Stearn’s Bank of St. Cloud.

As in Georgia, bad real estate lending seems to be the culprit.

The Star Tribune had the quote of the day:

"There’s a lot of toxic assets," said Norm Skalicky, CEO and major owner of Stearns Bank, who was in Pine City on Friday. "Everybody was on kind of a spending spree. That has to get flushed out, I guess."

From Minnesota, the financial grim reaper swung over to California, where reckless real estate lending has led to multiple bank failures in the past two years. The FDIC announced the failure of Irvine-based MetroPacific Bank. Sunwest Bank of Tustin, Calif., picked up its non-brokered deposits. To cap the day off, shortly before 10 p.m. EST, the FDIC issued a press release on the closing of Mirae Bank, located in Los Angeles’ Koreatown district. The press release offered Korean and Chinese translations. Wilshire State Bank of Los Angeles assumed all the non-brokered deposits.

The Los Angeles Times reports that the FDIC has hired about 400 people to staff an office in Irvine to supervise bank closures in the region. As of late May, the FDIC’s list of problem banks nationwide numbered 305.

How Fast Can Greenbacks Go Green?

By Amanda Michel and David Epstein, ProPublica

Last week the administration released guidelines for counting jobs created by the stimulus. The guidelines, like the administration’s early estimates for stimulus job-creation, have stirred up some debate. Now we’re seeing the guidelines put into practice, and officials in Texas estimate that more jobs are being saved than created, according to an article in today’s Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

The Obama administration peppered the stimulus package with provisions emphasizing the need to use federal funds for projects that will reduce greenhouse gas emissions. So states have begun to ramp up energy-saving efforts, from weatherizing homes and installing wind-energy systems in schools to installing solar hot water heaters in fire stations and using energy-efficient LED bulbs in streetlights. The stimulus also promoted the purchase of plug-in, electric cars. But a recent GAO report found that because the electricity for electric cars is generated by coal-burning plants, it might just be a case of trading one greenhouse-gas emitter for another. "For plug-ins to reach their full potential," the report says, "electricity would need to be generated from lower-emission fuels such as nuclear and renewable energy rather than the fossil fuels—coal and natural gas—used most often to generate electricity today."

The Seattle Times reports that stimulus-funded jobs have been offered to almost 300 youths in four northwestern Washington counties, including six who now work at a fish-hatchery.

As has been reported before, many states are dusting off plans for road and bridge reconstruction efforts and using stimulus money to fund them. In Kansas, for instance, the Department of Transportation is "allowing the state to complete all the projects it outlined 10 years ago under its comprehensive program," reports the AP. States have until June 30 to decide how to spend half of their highway funds. Projects that have already been designed have, according to reports, largely been favored over new ones.

Roughly $500,000 of the $2.5 billion in stimulus funds for free and low-cost health clinics is making its way through the system. Today, Capitol Hill Blue documents some of the ways that clinics are using the funds, from routine dental check-ups for homeless youth in Colorado to opening up doors to more patients in Pennsylvania.

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