The Mornin' Mail is published weekly

Week of
Thursday, January26-February 1, 2011 Volume XIX, Number 144

did ya know?.

Did Ya Know?. . The weekly Saturday evening acoustic jam session will be held at the New Salem church in Red OakII beginning at 6 p.m. All accoustic instruments and music styles are welcome.

today's laugh

A fellow rings his friend. The phone is answered and Little Johnny whispers "Hello"

The man says "Can I speak to Daddy?"

"He’s busy" comes the reply.

"Well can I speak to Mummy?"

"She’s busy"

"Is there any one else there?"

"Social services are here"

"Well can I speak to them?"

"They’re busy"

"Is there anyone else there?"

"There’s a policeman here"

"Well can I speak to him?"

"He’s busy"

"Well what are all these people doing at your house"...

Little Johnny answers, "Looking for me!"


One summer evening during a violent thunderstorm Little Johnny’s mother was tucking her son into bed.

She was about to turn off the light when he asked with a tremor in his voice, "Mommy, will you sleep with me tonight?"

The mother smiled and gave him a reassuring hug. "I can’t dear," she said. "I have to sleep in Daddy’s room."

A long silence was broken at last by his shaky little voice:

"The big sissy."


Red meat is not bad for you. Fuzzy green meat is bad for you.

  Today's Features

Audit Shows City Stable.

The recently received audit of the City finances for the fiscal year 2011 indicates that the economic downturn has not significantly reduced services or forced a large reduction in staff.

"Generally, recommended appropriations in the General Revenue Fund provided for a relatively equivalent level of municipal services as provided for last year," stated City Administrator Tom Short in the written report. "There were no new programs proposed or recommended for the new fiscal year. Capital and capital projects were proposed based on the needs presented by the department heads and available funds. The Fiscal Year 2012 Budget provides for capital equipment and projects for the various departments to maintain current service levels. Cuts impacting levels of service were made as minimally as possible based on Department and Agency proposals to the Budget Committee. The provision of giving priority to those items necessary to maintain current service levels for the City (even in light of the economic problems), is a goal of the Council in the 2012 budget."

The city has dipped into reserves in the last two years but still maintained above minimum levels in that fund.

The Carthage Golf Course and McCune-Brooks Hospital both failed to cover operation expenses for the year.

The golf course had a total revenue, including a $100,000 grant from the Steadly Trust, of $544,678. Expenditures, which include principle and interest payments of $185,262, came to a total of $782,482.

McCune-Brooks Hospital continued its struggle to cover expenses during the year with an operating shortfall of just over $3.5 million (see chart at right). That, combined with interet expense of just under $2.5 million ended with a deficiency for the year of $5,103,946. As has been reported before, the hospital has now been leased to Mercy which will assume payments on the bonds financing the recently built structure.

The City overall (excluding the hospital and CW&EP) recorded revenue of just under $9.9 million with expenditures of just over $9.4 million.

The three main departments of the City- Fire, Police, and Street, accounted for approximatel $4 million of the total expenses.

Chamber Banquet an Evening of Roses and Juleps.

The Carthage Chamber of Commerce celebrated the past year Derby style with their 2012 Annual Banquet on Friday, January 20th. Over 250 Chamber members and community leaders gathered to recognize outstanding teachers, business leaders, volunteers, and community members.

The evening began with a social hour featuring music by Louis Morgan and Trio at 6:00 p.m. followed by dinner catered by L.L. Sayers and an awards ceremony at 7:00 p.m.

The awards and their winners were:

Chairman’s Award – Andrew Jordan of Schmidt Associates Presented by the outgoing Chairman in recognition of 2011 contributions to the Chamber and Carthage community.

Outgoing Board of Directors and Chairman’s Awards -

Steve Swearengen (2011 Chairman), Heritage State Bank, Pam Barlet, Mercy-McCune Brooks Hospital, Patrick Scott, Arvest Bank, Kip Smith, Smith Midwest Real Estate

Given to the outgoing Chamber Chairman and retiring Board Members in appreciation of their continued insight, support and/or encouragement.

ATHENA Award – Tamra Soriano O.D., Carthage Eye Care

A nationally recognized award presented to a local businesswoman each year whose work and/or career have helped to inspire and improve the local business community and fellow businesswomen.

Artist Award – Cherry Babcock, Cherry’s Custom Framing and Art Gallery

Awarded to a local artist whose work has continually inspired and drawn recognition from the artisan community.

Golden Key Awards -

Amy Grimes, 2nd grade teacher at Mark Twain Elementary School

Michelle Hensley, 5th grade teacher at Carthage Middle School

Doug Garrison, Language Arts teacher at Carthage Junior High School

Cathy Lipscomb, Language Arts teacher at Carthage High School

Matt Huntley, Assistant Principal at Carthage High School

Spotlight Award – Carthage Water & Electric Plant, Bob WIlliams

Awarded to one business each year that has contributed to the overall enhancement of the business community of Carthage through revitalization or improvements made to their business location.

Small Business of the Year Award – Dr. Fly’s Salon, Robyn Paul

Presented to one business each year that has provided a positive image and been a vibrant entity within the Carthage business community.

Richard M. Webster Citizen of the Year Award – Marjorie Housh

Given in memory of the late Senator Richard M. Webster, the Citizen of the Year Award is presented to an individual who has devoted much of their time to the improvement and enhancement of the Carthage community as a whole.

Master Gardener Program to Begin in February.

A person who wishes to become a Master Gardener is required to attend 30 hours of training, and agree to return 30 hours of volunteer service during the following year. The fee is $135, but thanks to the support of the Ozark Gateway Master Gardener organization, the cost to those enrolling will be $95.

Contact Ed Browning or Janet LaFon, Courthouse Basement, Carthage, 358-2158.

Jasper County Jail Count

189 January 25, 2011

Total Including Placed out of County

Sponsored by Metcalf Auto Supply

Weekly Column



We have a 2009 Toyota Camry. When our local mechanic was checking the brakes, he noted that the left rear strut was leaking fluid. Since the car was still under warranty, I took it to the dealer. The dealer noted that it is normal for Camry struts to leak, and that unless it is gushing fluid, there is no issue. I then spoke with our mechanic, and he was very clear that struts are sealed, and that any leakage of fluid is very bad. What is your opinion?-- Todd

RAY: Your mechanic is right. Struts are sealed, and the good ones never leak.

TOM : On the other hand, a small leak in a strut is not a sign of impending disaster. It’s just disappointing. And it’s a sign that the strut is going to get worse over time.

RAY: Right. It’s like having a new car that burns oil, and having the dealer say, "That’s normal." Well, it might be normal, but it shouldn’t be normal, so it frosts your shorts.

TOM: So, since the car is still under warranty, I think you should go back to the Toyota dealer. Tell him that you’re disappointed. And ask him to replace it for you under warranty, in the interests of making you a happy customer.

RAY: When that doesn’t work, try crying, Todd.

TOM: He may argue that the shock still functions correctly, which probably is true. Even if you ignore it, you won’t have a disastrous or dangerous event while you’re driving; you’ll just need to replace it at some point.

RAY: But since we know it’s starting to fail now, and the car is relatively new, why shouldn’t Toyota take responsibility and fix it? Push a little harder, and see if you can get him to help you out. Remind him that Toyota doesn’t need any more hits to its reputation for quality at the moment.


ART NOTES from Hyde House

by Sally Armstrong, Director of artCentral

Congratulations to Cherry Babcock, the 2011 winner of the Artist Recognition Award presented this past Friday evening at the annual Carthage Chamber of Commerce banquet! Cherry and her husband Joe are the owners and operators of Cherry’s Gallery and Framing located on Howard St. in Carthage. This is a business that continues to grow and thrive and represents a large number of successful artists from both the area as well as out of state. This recipient was chosen by last year’s winner, Rachel Wilson, who was unable to attend due to her presence at her own opening at Spiva Center for the Arts in Joplin. In the remarks that I delivered written by Rachel, Cherry was wished well by both Trisha Courtney, artist and gallery owner of the Rose Gallery in Joplin, and artist Theresa Rankin who displays her work at Cherry’s regularly. Both women used words like professional, generous, knowledgeable, and friend. In her personal remarks, Rachel noted additional personal positive attributes, and all three agreed that Cherry’s love and support of artists was uppermost in her criteria for winning this award. Sited as recent community service, Cherry began a new yearly art event two years ago with the first "Plein Air Paint Out" sponsored by her and various art patrons and held during Maple Leaf week. Area artists were invited to register for two days of outdoor painting of subjects in the Carthage area, and then their work was judged and sold in a public evening event on the third day at Historic Phelps House. The 2011 event was even bigger and better with many paintings sold to the public by artists both known and unknown in our community. I was pleased to present to Cherry the tiny found-wood horse sculpture made by Rachel Wilson, the media she is currently known for, and which has since been named "Willow" by the recipient! We again congratulate this winner of the art award which has been awarded yearly since 2002 to a deserving artist or art patron in the Carthage area, and note that she is most deserving. Cherry’s along with Koral Martin’s gallery, Koka Gallery will jointly be underwriting our first exhibition for 2012, and more about that in my next article!

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