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Current Events

Semo times

The Week in Review

11.4.11 Volume 3 Issue 48 2725 N. Westwood Blvd Suite 17 Poplar Bluff, MO 573-785-2200

It was a bad week for meth houses, but thanks to Chief Danny Whiteley and the Poplar Bluff Police Department, a couple labs in the city were busted, one of which sits directly next-door to a SEMO Times employee. What a tragedy for their children… and dogs!


It was a good week for Sterling Bank for coloring its waterfall red in honor of the World Series champs, the St. Louis Cardinals!

Publisher Scott R. Faughn

Managing Editor Tim Krakowiak

Reporter Liz Ellis

About US Established in 2008, the SEMO Times reports the most important news of your week. In addition to our online archives, plus our popular iPhone and Droid apps, the free publication is available in print at over 60 distribution locations throughout Butler County. With our primary coverage area centering in Poplar Bluff, our mission is to be the mouthpiece for our community. Our opinion section regularly features dozens of contributing columnists—voluntary writers that have included leaders of the business community and regional legislators. Made in Poplar Bluff, we are Butler County’s only 100 percent locally owned alternative newsweekly. We cover human interest stories, arts, entertainment, education and business, but our primary focus is bigger picture news. We report ‘The Why’ rather than ‘The What.’ Get with the Times!

It was also a good week for Tony “Angels in the Outfield” La Russa for calling it a career. We here at thumbs think you had another few good seasons left in

you, but we don’t fault you in the least for going out on top. Thank you for allowing Missouri to celebrate with you. It was a good week for U.S. Senate hopeful Sarah Steelman, who visited Poplar Bluff Thursday to meet with officials at First Community Bank, Mid Continent Nail Corp., the local Kiwanis Club and Westwood Baptist Academy. We like seeing candidates politicking around these parts.

ine, a 2-year-old rat terrier who was abandoned at Christy Smith Norman’s house, an animal lover who works at Susan McVey State Farm Insurance. If you can provide Maxine with a forever home, or would like to contribute to the ‘Heal Maxine’ fund to treat her heart worm, contact or send your donation to Hicks Animal Hospital.

It was a bad week for Max-

the social network from our friends at:

1. Where were you Friday when the Cardinals won the World Series?

Mercy Cuevas-Pickard

2. What was the last CD you actually purchased?

Bradley Wilson

Kim Aud Snyder

‎1. Causbies with friends

‎1. I was in St. Louis with no tickets so I was watching from my hotel room

1. Just got home from the movies and watched the last 3 outs of the game

2. Last Whitesnake CD before their last concert here

2. The best of Vanilla Ice

2. Alter Bridge: Blackbird

how to join our social network:

1. Become a friend of SEMO Times on Facebook 2. Reply to our questions for a chance to be featured with your profile pic in the newspaper

Current Events

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Long-sought $5.7 million bypass under way to reroute freight traffic Tim Krakowiak Managing Editor


he $5.7 million Poplar Bluff Industrial Park Bypass Road, over a decade in planning, is expected to be complete in less than a year, according to contractors. Gov. Jay Nixon and other leaders will speak at the groundbreaking ceremony beginning at 2 p.m. Monday on Business 67 across from Heartland X’Press, where the two-lane bypass will intersect east of the Bypass 67 interchange. The 2.1-mile roadway will extend to the Union Pacific Railroad crossing at the southwest corner of Industrial Park, improving freight shipment and safety for factories, reducing damage in city

limits like that sustained several years ago by the Rodgers Theatre marquee before Pine Street was widened to temporarily accommodate. “There’s an amazing amount of infrastructure getting built in Poplar Bluff and it all ties together to the great job city, county, state and federal leaders have done,” said Doug Libla, co-owner of Mid Continent Nail Corporation, one of the benefactors of the project. “There were bumps in the road, and several times the bypass almost fell by the wayside, but many folks kept after it, pushing it to the forefront.” Libla, who is running for Missouri Senate next year, is credited for helping spearhead the project, which has been facilitated by the Butler County Commission with multiple government

funding sources from all levels. For the final round of financing presented by the Missouri Department of Agriculture—$435,000 from the Delta Regional Authority in 2010, Mid Continent went as far as to commit to retaining 75 jobs over five years. “I have been involved with this project for over 12 years now and can honestly tell you that, although many people deserve credit for seeing this project finally get to the groundbreaking stage, Doug Libla has been the single, consistent driving force,” said Steve Halter, president of the Greater Poplar Bluff Area Chamber of Commerce and Poplar Bluff Industries. Halter and Libla are members of the Transportation Advisory Committee under the Ozark Foothills Regional

Submitted Photo

Smith & Company Engineering rendering of the proposed bypass. The project has been in planning for over a decade, but is estimated to be completed prior to the October 2012 deadline.


Planning Commission, which acted as a grant administrator for the project. TAC, which represents five counties, initially identified the bypass project as a regional economic development priority in 2007. Former U.S. Sen. Kit Bond proceeded to secure $2.1 million through the Federal Highway Administration’s Delta Region Transportation Development Program, and another $1.4 million through the 2010 Omnibus Appropriations Act. “Like all the good ideas I worked on in Washington, this one came from local leaders in Missouri who asked me to send some of their tax dollars back home to improve safety for the Poplar Bluff community and invest in the region’s transportation infrastructure,” said Bond, who now works for the Thompson Coburn law firm in St. Louis. “Good roads like the new bypass are critical to attracting and sustaining business, job creation and economic growth in our communities.” U.S. Rep. Jo Ann Emerson, who will also deliver remarks at the official groundbreaking, earmarked an additional $665,000 in federal funds for the project. The congresswoman from Cape Girardeau said the bypass road will result in a “real boon” for Poplar Bluff. “We have to use every available resource to support our mission to expand economic opportunity in rural Missouri, from the local level to the federal level,” Emerson stated. “Poplar Bluff is very fortunate to have advocates throughout the community who work extremely hard to make sure we can bring home infrastructure improvements like this one.” The Missouri Department of Transportation initiated the project at the end

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Nixon speaks for Missouri about La Russa’s retirement Monday JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – Gov. Jay Nixon Monday issued the following statement regarding the retirement of St. Louis Cardinals manager Tony La Russa three days after his World Series victory, capping off a 33-year-career as a major league manager. “In the baseball world and in Missouri, Tony La Russa was already a legendary figure before last week’s World Series championship,” Nixon said. “But after leading the Cardinals on one of the most outstanding runs in baseball history, Tony La Russa retires as an icon. He’s truly irreplaceable. On behalf of the people of Missouri, I thank Tony La Russa for everything he gave Missouri – both on and off the field.”

College provides free financial aid workshops to assist incoming students Three Rivers College employees are working hard to prepare current and future students for the spring 2012 semester, according to the community college news bureau. Davine Conover, a student loan management specialist for the college, has been known to incorporate props like oars and a life-jacket. Conover will present a free workshop titled “Navigating the Waters of Financial Aid” at the Tinnin Fine Arts Center at 6 p.m. Nov. 29 at the Kay Porter building of Poplar Bluff High School. Conover taught the workshop last year at high schools all over Southeast Missouri.

Three Rivers Forestry takes home seven first place wins Three Rivers College students faced off against University of Missouri competitors at the 2011 Ozarks Regional Timberfest Oct. 7-8 at the Ripley County Fairgrounds in Doniphan.

PBRMC heart surgery program receives national recognition

Dr. Stanley Ziomek and the heart surgery program at Poplar Bluff Regional Medical Center recently received national recognition from the American College of Surgeons. Ziomek was asked by the ACS Scientific Exhibits Program to present on the outstanding results of the new and advanced heart surgery technique, beating heart surgery, used at PBRMC. Ziomek’s presentation was heard by more than 5,000 surgeons nationwide that attended the American College of Surgeons Clinical Congress on Oct. 24 in San Francisco.

Disaster assistance in Butler County nearly reaches $4 million COLUMBIA, Mo. – As the six-month anniversary of the May 9 presidential disaster declaration for Missouri approaches, federal disaster grants and loans in Butler County have reached $3,900,876, according to disaster recovery officials today. Wednesday marks six months since the declaration for disaster damages that occurred from April 19-June 6. The Federal Emergency Management Agency’s Individuals and Household Program has provided 479 households in Butler County with total grants of $3,201,791.

Local press releases emailed to Managing Editor Tim Krakowiak at also appear at, and are shared on the SEMO Times’ Facebook and Twitter pages.


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Your Local Expert on: Beading Liz Ellis Reporter


hy buy something that everybody else could buy when you can make something unique?” said Pat Judd, owner of The Bead Shop. The Bead Shop just celebrated its second anniversary, and business, Judd noted, is as good as ever. The Bead Shop, located at1018 S. Westwood Blvd., near The Deep Freeze, sells beads, beading tools, wire, books, finished jewelry and even offers classes for a small fee. There is a gorgeous selection of beads in every color imaginable, and many of them are actual stone, glass, wood, and bone or metal beads. They even sell gemstones. “They’re very affordable. Most anybody could have something like that,” Judd said. Her gemstones are not the transparent, faceted types of gems that one would see in a professional jewelry store, but they are still gemstones. Many of them are opaque, which makes them cheaper, but just as beautiful in their own way. “I have ruby and emerald beads, Peruvian opals, a golden sapphire…” Judd said, pointing to just a few examples in one of her display cases.


what’s soft, you name it,” Judd explained. It was partially those rock shows that got her so interested in precious and semiprecious stones. H o w e v e r, the beading part came Photo by Liz Ellis much earPat Judd, owner of The Bead Shop, began doing beading when lier. she could not afford new jewelry and instead mader her own. “I kind of got into beading out She also works with fossils and arrowof necesheads. sity,” Judd recalled. “I was raising two Her beads and gems come from all kids, didn’t have any money for jewover the country, through the Internet, elry. So I would go to yard sales and travelling suppliers or via rock and estate sales and buy jewelry and then gem shows. tear it apart and remake it.” “Hanging around with rock people… Judd went on to say she has been well, they know stuff… I learned about doing beading for about 20 years. She rocks and minerals and what to look for, attended craft shows to sell diachronic what was good quality, what was going glass for several years before she deto fall apart if you put it in the lapi- cided to actually open up The Bead dary machine to polish it, what’s hard, Shop.

Now, two years later, she offers about nine classes on various beading and wire techniques, including basic beadwork, advanced wire-wrapping of gemstones, their popular Viking weave necklaces, and extreme metal work, where copper is cut and fashioned into jewelry. Classes are generally suitable for ages 8 and up, and cost anywhere from $10 for the simple classes to $50 for the advanced level. The fee often includes all of the materials needed to create a piece of jewelry or two, as well as personal instruction. The upper classes have a limit of five people per class, while the beginner classes will allow for more. “I want to share my enthusiasm for gemstones and for beading and creating something,” Judd said. “I believe that everybody has that potential within them. My business started out being 8th Wonder Gems, and the wonder to me was that feeling you get… whenever you create something and you know that you made it, and it’s never existed before. That, to me, is a wonder.” Liz Ellis can be contacted by emailing or by calling 573-785-2200.

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Food Review:

The Wine Rack It was our 4th anniversary and we decided that the only place for us to dine was at the restaurant where we went on our first date, The Wine Rack. Needless to say we were not disappointed. The Wine Rack is a very unique place. There are literally wine racks along one of the walls, which sets the tone for the very elegant atmosphere that I enjoy. There are trendy chalkboards hanging along above the kitchen area and track lighting that my husband finds cool. Adding to the atmosphere is the open floor plan. Immediately we saw three other couples we are friends with. I think seeing other people you know makes a place more comfortable, and for other young professionals you will be at home here. As trendy and inviting as the atmosphere is, so is the service provided by staff. The staff is friendly, but more than that, they know your name and they are very knowledgeable. Probably the best mix of friendliness, and helpfulness with the menu. Our server


was able to find a very dry wine for me, while accomplishing the more difficult task of pleasing my husband’s taste for sweet wine. For dinner I had the crab cakes which are priced at an incredibly reasonable $12, and my husband had the chicken parmesan which cost $15. My crab cakes were outstanding. They have a somewhat unique recipe that I love. I would like to tell you more about my husband’s entrée, however he ate it so quickly there was not much conversation about the dish. He did comment on the tremendous spinach. About the time we were finished to our surprise a live band began playing in the corner. We ended the evening pushing a couple tables together with our friends, and listening to the band. We couldn’t have asked for more. The Wine Rack 1212 N. Westwood Blvd. 573-785-0999


Game Review:

Lord of the Rings: War in the North Rob Burson SEMO Times Review Team In a somewhat bold move, developer Snowblind Studios and producer Wa r n e r Bros. Interactive Entertainment released the first ever M rated “Lord of the Rings” game on Tuesday. In my opinion, the game has certainly earned its rating, with intense, gory, battle sequences. Unlike other LOTR games, “Lord of the Rings: War in the North” runs parallel to the “Fellowship of the Ring.” In Peter Jackson’s film trilogy, you do not see what goes on outside of the lands the fellowship travels, but other wars were fought against Sauron, and this video game is a playthrough of those wars. All in all, I would give the game a 9/10 and highly recommend it to fans of J. R. R. Tolkien and to anyone who enjoys a standard hack-andslash roleplaying game. Sound and Graphics: I would have to give it a 9/10 in this department. I loved the graphics. They are crisp and almost as good as watching a movie, making the game a marvel to play. The sound, while as beautifully done as the movies, gets in the way of a perfect 10/10. When having conversations with characters in the game, the music doesn’t fade—it continues to grow louder and softer, making subtitles a must. The con-

versations are nothing too spectacular, but in the right sequencing they can add to the movie feel of the game. The soundtrack is absolutely amazing, much like the soundtrack in the movie. Concept and Playability: Again, I give it 9/10. The concept is mostly sound, being an action-RPG that tells


ame Rating uide


Absolutely terrible. Buying or renting discouraged.


Slightly below average. Buying discouraged. Rent only if you like the game type.


Nothing spectacular, but still enjoyable. Buying encouraged if you enjoy the game type. Renting encouraged.


All around amazing game that most will enjoy. Buying and renting strongly encouraged.

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Reviews the story that Peter Jackson didn’t cover. The plot is very similar to what is mentioned in the books of the North, though there are some changes to suit a video game. However, the elements are rather basic and while it was a refreshing change from all of the new ideas flooding the market, I felt they didn’t take quite enough risk with the game to make it stand out. One risk they took was designing it to be more of a coop game, which is where it excels. While fun on single player, add a friend to the mix and the game goes up multiple notches. As far as playability, it’s easy to learn and the fights are so engaging that you don’t want to stop playing. The conversations can give you a lot of knowledge about Middle Earth that only die-hard fans would know. Many die-hard fans, in turn, will likely find themselves nodding, smiling and applauding Snowblind for putting so much info in the game. Many references to “The Hobbit” are made as well, which, for me, really added to the experience and let me feel more like I was in Middle Earth. Entertainment and Replay Value: A perfect 10/10. The game is so engaging and entertaining, even with the slightly repetitive style of battling hordes of orcs and goblins, it was hard to put down. The blood and gore that gives it the mature rating adds to the game, making it even more thrilling and giving an air of realism to the world. The replay value is immense, as the three characters give you options to replay and the treasure is varied enough that you won’t get the same experience twice. Rob Burson of Poplar Bluff is an avid gamer and a proud nerd. His reviews are primarily over Xbox 360 games, and he will gladly take suggestions for new games to review in the future. He can be contacted by emailing

Across 1. Winglike parts 5. Actual 9. Exile isle 13. Pelvic bones 15. As a result 16. Bottom of the barrel 17. ___ nous 18. Carson’s predecessor 19. Hard to hold 20. Summer drink 21. Civil disturbance 23. Pamper 25. Cushions 26. Birthplace of St. Francis 27. Plant-eating aquatic mammal 30. Howe’er 31. Long for 32. Esemplastic 37. Apex, pinnacle 38. Camera setting 40. Zeno’s home 41. Antidote 43. Dens 44. Hit sign 45. Ancient Egyptian king 47. Yellowish color 50. Belonging to us 51. Surroundings 52. Capital of the Ukraine 53. Cad or heel 56. Getting ___ years 57. Masked critter 59. From the beginning: Lat. 61. Prison 62. Romance novelist Victoria 63. Alleviates 64. Compassionate 65. Epic narrative poem 66. Hang around

Down 1. Between ports 2. Ground 3. Entr’___ 4. Be human

Crossword of the Week

Presented by

The Book Shop

320 N. Main Street, Poplar Bluff 573-714-5642

Crossword puzzles provided by Used with permission.

5. Sleep 6. Part of Q.E.D 7. Turkish title 8. “Your _____”; said to a British judge 9. Nicholas Gage book 10. City in West Yorkshire 11. Attorney Melvin 12. ___ sow, so shall... 14. Add fizz 22. Chemical ending 24. Beginning 25. Street machine 26. ___ extra cost 27. Future doc’s exam 28. Flatfoot’s lack 29. Appoint 32. “Respect for Acting” author Hagen 33. A long time

Solution on pg 16 34. Bones found in the hip 35. Emperor of Rome 54-68 36. Deep cut 38. Fierce 39. Flat-bottomed boat 42. Archipelago part 43. Immature insects 45. Indicates a direction 46. Color 47. Biblical mount 48. Set straight 49. Covered on the inside 51. Deride 52. Serbian folk dance 53. Damage, so to speak 54. Eye layer 55. Cheerful 58. Alley ___ 60. ___-relief


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News Bypass, from pg 4 of 2009 with $1 million in stimulus money from the Missouri Highways and Transportation Commission, acquiring the right-of-way and constructing a new intersection, along with installing signal lights, where Highway M and Outer Road meet Business 67 South. “Providing trucks a direct route to a four-lane facility was critical for heavy traffic traveling along two-lane roads through downtown or subdivisions on Cravens Road,” said former MoDOT Southeast District Project Manager Bill Robison, now the communications and client relations director for Smith & Company. “If you look at where folks are driving in, from Doniphan, Dexter and all over really to sell goods in Poplar Bluff, this transportation network is absolutely necessary for the future of Southeast Missouri.” The Butler County Commission hired Smith & Co. to conduct the sur-

vey and engineering work for the bypass. Municipal Utilities committed to provide streetlights and utility relocation at no cost, while Ozark Border Electric Cooperative agreed to relocate electric lines at half-off material and labor to help with the county’s in-kind match, according to Smith & Co. Project Manager Greg Bell. The Butler County Highway Department began clearing land for the proposed bypass July 27, according to superintendent Bill Taylor. R.L. Persons Construction started its preliminary work last week, with plans for major dirt work next week, according to owner Randy Persons. He said paving would start in early spring. “Benefits to the community will include safety, industrial recruitment, job retention, less pollution [and] less truck traffic in the downtown area,” said Andrew Murphy, Ozark Foothills transportation planning coordinator. “The Industrial Park currently has limited access and this road will provide

Photo by: Scott Faughn

Here is the signal light installed last year by MoDOT at Business 67 South, Highway M and Outer Road, where the new bypass will intersect. more, which should play a large role in bringing in new jobs and keeping the ones we already have, making the Poplar Bluff Industrial Park more at-

tractive.” Tim Krakowiak can be contacted by emailing, or follow him on Twitter @timkrakowiak.


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Arts & Entertainment

Three Rivers theater department to perform “The Nerd” next weekend Liz Ellis Reporter


he Three Rivers College theater department will be performing its first full-length show next weekend at the Tinnin Fine Arts Center. The show will start at 7 p.m. Nov. 11–12, and at 2 p.m. on Nov. 13. Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for seniors and students. “It’s a romantic comedy,” said Tim Thompson, director of the play. “The plot is that this guy can’t seem to get the gumption to go after this girl he knows and really woo her. I mean, they’ve dated, and she kind of takes care of him, but he won’t say, “Hey, let’s be exclusive.’ So she decides to move on, and the third main character develops this idea on how to push them together: he gets ‘The Nerd’ to move in and be as annoying as possible to push the two characters together.” “He certainly is very nerdy, clumsy and has no sense of social tact,” said Henry Breitkopf, who plays the part of the nerd. “He is just totally oblivious to a lot of things. It’s a really fun part to play.”

The play is full of clever dialogue, witty one-liners, and physical humor— not slapstick, Thompson distinguished, but just funny physical humor as they run around and do crazy things trying to get rid of the nerd. “Imagine if you had your boss over for dinner and everything went completely and totally and hysterically wrong,” said Megan Keathley, who plays one of the main characters. “It’s one of those things where, if it were happening to me in real life it would be horrifying, but since I get to watch it from the comfort of my theater chair, it’s hysterical. I pretty much guarantee people that they will laugh.” The play will run about two hours, and will have an intermission halfway through. Thompson said the play is suitable for ages 10 and up, but warns that there is a little bit of strong language so it may not be appropriate for small children. “A comedy, a good strong comedy just helps you laugh a little bit and release some stress,” Thompson said. “It’ll be a fun evening. It’s clever, it’s bright and I think it’ll be impressive. This cast is very strong and talented.”

Arts & Entertainment

Thompson said he has directed this play in the past, and he loved it enough that he decided it would be a good first show to bring to Poplar Bluff. “I thought opening the year with the 9/11 [tribute] was patriotic and was a way to start at that particular time. So now we want to [show] something that is real slick and polished and funny that makes you go, ‘You know, I want to go back and see a show there,’” Thompson Submitted Photo said. This play has a small The production “The Nerd” will be the cast of seven, he added, and is first full-length theater production that the set in the 1980s, making the Three Rivers theater department has ever set easier to put together. “I produced. think a key element when you come to a new place is to find the show that you can bite off and chew and not choke on,” he said. However, being the first full-length play this departWillium.........Paul VanPraag ment has ever done, there are Tansy.............Megan Keathley always challenges. The bigRick...............Henry Breitkopf gest, Thompson said, will be Axel...............Danny Vaughn getting the set put together Waldgrave.....Guy Henry McAndrews in the short time they have between opening night, and Clelia.............Brittany Patterson when the last act prior to it Thor...............Isiaha Haywood leaves the stage. “We will only have two days to put the finished set chased at the business office at Three together on stage because Monday and Rivers, at the Greater Poplar Bluff Tuesday of show week we have a jazz Area Chamber of Commerce or at the band festival in here for two days,” door of the event. Thompson said. “Then Tuesday night [the band] leaves the stage and we have Liz Ellis can be reached by emailing Wednesday and Thursday to put the set or by calling together, and then we open on Friday.” 573-785-2200. Tickets for “The Nerd” can be pur-

Cast List

Editorials and Reviews

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The Big Secret Gaming Videogaming has been a prominent part of society for decades now. Gaming has in the modern age stretched its reach to include all age groups, from toddlers to the elderly and everyone in between. The core for all videogaming that we know today originated from Magnavox employee Ralph Baer in the late 1960s when he patented the interface that would control a computer generated character on the screen by simple directional movements from a controlling device. These games were very simple, and yet still fun and addictive in nature. This technology later found its home in the first cartridge-based game console called the Magnavox Odyssey. Today we have a much wider audience to support the fast-growing industry of electronic gaming. Even the most basic modern computer can play many games that are far superior to those first games that came out in the 1970s. Getting the absolute best gaming experience out of your computer, however, is another story. With the constant changing technology in mind we hope to guide you in your future choices with our biweekly reviews and conversations about today’s and yesterday’s gaming products and software. Our first review will be in two weeks, and we will be focusing on the soon to be released “Battlefield 3” combat simulation. Look forward to great reviews and previews of gaming hardware and software from One Stop Computer Shop's top system builders. Joshua Carnes is the owner of One Stop Computer Shop on South 5th Street, which can be found online at You can reach him by emailing josh@onestopcompshop. com.

So why the big secret about the Secret (Real Estate) Agent Man? It would make sense if this was a masked crusader fighting crime and concealing his/ her identity to protect his loved ones. It would even make sense if he/she just didn't want their Daily Planet co-workers to know what they did last weekend. But what could possibly justify stealth articles on a subject as benign as real estate? When the SEMO Times asked me to do a column, I was eager to do it.... with one concern. I did not want it to look like an advertisement. My goal was to give the reader an honest, transparent glimpse into the Poplar Bluff real estate market. Hopefully, out of each column, you can find a few tidbits of info that will help you as you buy or sell real estate. My goal is not to self-promote. One objective, however, is to help you see the advantages of working with a real estate professional. I will make no bones about that, nor apologize for it. With that out of the way, let me share a few real secrets about Poplar Bluff real estate: 1) Business is not bad. Honestly, it's not off the charts, but it's far from bad. At least once a day, someone makes a comment to insinuate that homes aren't selling. They are. 2) Poplar Bluff has reason to applaud. The building of the new hospital and Eight Points is HUGE for this area. A local real estate broker told me the other day, "Most communities have nothing to applaud right now; Poplar Bluff does."

thing to blame it on. We do it, too. (So do people in other professions). I spoke with an agent recently who lamented about how bad the market was. I played along, knowing all the while that they had lost interest and seldom visited the office. Bottom line: Agents who are working hard right now are doing just fine. Find them if you need to buy or sell property. 4) We charge 7 percent. OK, that's probably not a secret. And it sounds like a lot of money when you do the math. I had someone this week tell me that agents "clean up" when they sell a house. I said, "Yeah, we get paid well when we do sell one. But we also spend a lot of time and money along the way. And sometimes we spend that same time and money, and the house just doesn't sell. We take that risk." And unless you spend a day in this office, you'll never see the work the agent does behind the scenes. Working with a banker, getting closings lined up so they'll go smoothly, handling issues with unclear titles, keeping the peace between buyer and seller, and much much more. OK, enough secrets for one column. One thing that is no secret is that Poplar Bluff is headed into a very interesting 2012 and 2013. In my opinion, we will be way ahead of the national and state real estate markets. And there are lots of good, professional, hardworking agents out there. Call us!

3) Real estate agents make excuses. I read a book one time with a chapter called "Loser's Limp." It described a football player missing a pass he should catch, and he limps when he gets up to have some-

Editorials and Reviews

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The Book Shop 320 N. Main Street, Poplar Bluff



Crossword Solution

from pg 9

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Opinion & Editorial

The Rambler by Gordon Johnston

Mind your manners As I have always said, Personal Style is not just about how you look. It's about who you are. We've got lots of idioms that state that: “You can't tell a book by it's cover.” “Beauty is only skin deep.” What says the most about a person, who they are, and how they were reared, is their manners. We've all known people who have looked great on the outside... but the inside was a different story. It all comes down to manners. Parents used to go to great pains to teach their children manners. Parents taught their children to say “please” and “thank you” and to “please pass the biscuits” rather than just grabbing them. In my teaching days, I always told the children that the most important rule in life to know was “The Golden Rule.” Most of them knew what I was talking about: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” I've been doing some substitute teaching lately, and when I mention The Golden Rule, out of an entire classroom of 25 children, not a single one of them has a clue as to what I am talking about. That tells me something. American society is losing something very important. Manners. And I see it everywhere. The loss is evident in politics, in media, in restaurants, in schools and in homes. And this is scary, because I think manners are really one of the few things that truly separate humans from animals. Just a few years ago, it would not have been acceptable to say some of the things I hear about a U.S.

president. My dad always told me, even if you don't agree with the president, you respect the office. In homes, you don't hear common table manners being expressed because too few families are actually sitting down at a table together. And no one is teaching the children that there are polite ways to ask for what you want, and there are impolite ways. In my mind, good manners do not mean subservience. Sure... there are times to be clear and honest and even sometimes disagreeable when you are standing up for yourself. But as a rule, good manners are a lubricant for society and help reduce conflict just by showing mutual respect for one another. So... adults... say please and thank you. Hold the door open for a woman or for someone that needs some assistance. Learn to hold your tongue. You don't have to say everything you think. In other words, use The Golden Rule. And for goodness sake... please teach it to your children. It's the only thing standing between society and chaos! And I fear that we are edging ever more closely to chaos. Let's please try to preserve what is best in humanity. Otherwise I may just start hanging out entirely with dogs. Tammy Hilderbrand is the owner of Hilderbrand Diamond Company in Poplar Bluff, which can be found online at You can reach her by emailing

Black Apples In mid-October, I stopped at the Mountain View Farmer’s Market to see if fall apples were in. There were a couple sacks of very dark red apples, and I said to the man behind the table, “Those wouldn’t be Arkansas blacks, would they?” They were, and I said I would take some, and he said, “Now, you know you are supposed to let them cure for 4-6 weeks, don’t you?” I didn’t know any such thing, not that I let on, but that information may help clear up a mystery. Arkansas black apples don’t show up all that often. Their rarity along with the name and color make them sought after beyond perhaps their actual quality. They ripen very late in the season and do not become available until well into October. I assume they originated in Arkansas, but I haven’t looked it up. My first encounter with the black apple was at an orchard near Waverly, north of the Missouri River. I was drawn immediately to their color, which, when well-polished is a deep, purplish-black. I don’t remember how they tasted, but it seemed exotic at the time—like wine and honey and some unidentifiable spice. The ones I’ve had since have paled by comparison, being dry and tasteless. Since it was probably around Thanksgiving when I bought those first ones, my guess is they were well into the curing process, which I suppose is a matter of sugars developing or something, and the others weren’t fully cured. When I was a kid there was a little

shed on our place which I think had been a smokehouse. There was a root cellar under it, and the first year we lived there we gathered apples from some gnarly trees in the pasture, and my parents wrapped them in newspaper, packed them in boxes and stored them in that cellar for the winter. I don’t remember how it turned out, but I don’t remember that they did it again. It’s my good fortune to own a similar shed, built of rough oak lumber, sometime early in the last century, I imagine, and covered in green tarpaper and tin—in other words, classic Ozark architecture. It has a root cellar also, which I have only ventured into a time or two. It would make a great set for a Grade Z horror movie. It’s cool and dry, not wet or filled with trash or cob-webby or anything, so it seemed like the right place to cure my apples. We’ll see. I wrapped them individually in sheets of the Daily American Republic, packed them in a bucket and carried them down. If all goes well, they should be done by Thanksgiving. I was thinking later that with a little cleaning up, my cellar would make a serviceable storm shelter. A couple of pretty bad storms have come through in recent years, and the families across the street might benefit from it. But let’s hope no one has to go down there for anything scarier than rotten apples. Gordon Johnston is the director of library services at Three Rivers College. He can be reached by emailing

Opinion & Editorial

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Dear Joy, Is breaking up ever easy? Everyman, Poplar Bluff

Everyman, For most breakups, it is a very hard thing to go through. Some on the other hand can be a great relief. It really depends on the reason for breaking up. Say you in a very controlling or any unhealthy relationship, I would imagine you would feel a great sense freedom and relief. If you were the one being broken up with and you were in love with the other person, then of course it will be painful. The one thing to remember is that it is something that we all face and we all eventually move on. If someone has broken up with you, I promise someday it won’t hurt like it does now. I know that is something everybody says to you, but it really is true. Keep yourself busy and even though it may be hard, think practical. If someone does not want to be with you, then you are so much better off to get it over with and find someone who deserves the special YOU that you are. If you are about ready to do the breaking up, remember to be direct and honest. Don’t play with someone’s emotions. If you cared about them enough to get in the relationship in the first place, then have respect for their feelings now. Good luck and go be happy!!! -Joy A weekly advice column from a local romance expert, Ask Joy is our own version of Ask Abby. To ask Joy a relationship question, email her at, or friend her on Facebook at Ask Joy.


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Event Calendar

Community Calendar

Semo Times

Upcoming community events from Nov. 4 - 15 Marty Stuart Nov. 4, 5 8 p.m. The River Centre at The Landing Van Buren

“Printing without a Press” Art Class Nov. 5 9 a.m.-noon Margaret Harwell Art Museum Annex Poplar Bluff

Bloomfield Girl Scouts Food Drive Nov. 7 8 a.m.-3 p.m. Bloomfield Elementary Bloomfield

Cherokee Basket Making 7-9 p.m. Nov. 7, 8 6-9 p.m. Nov. 9 Sustainable Communities and Small Farms Network Harviell Charity Concert Nov. 11 5 p.m. Whiskey Down Poplar Bluff

“The Nerd” at Three Rivers College 7 p.m. Nov. 11, 12 2 p.m. Nov. 13 Tinnin Fine Arts Center Poplar Bluff

“Bendy Folks” Art Class Nov. 12 10 a.m.-noon Margaret Harwell Art Museum Annex Poplar Bluff

Disney Live! Three Classic Fairy Tales Nov. 12 noon-3 p.m. Black River Coliseum Poplar Bluff

St. Judes Coloring for a Cure Nov. 12 5-9 p.m. Reynolds County Fairgrounds Redford

Beginning Pond Management Nov. 15 6-9 p.m. Sustainable Communities and Small Farms Network Harviell

Poplar Bluff Artists’ Guild Flash Mob Zombie Exhibit & Reception video shoot Nov. 6 11:30 a.m.-2 p.m. Nov. 5 1-3 p.m. 10:30 a.m.-1 p.m. Nov. 12 Margaret Harwell Art Museum flashmobzombie Poplar Bluff Poplar Bluff

To submit an event, go to and click on the +bluffee tab

Event Calendar

11.4.11 SEMO Times  

SEMO Times web edition

11.4.11 SEMO Times  

SEMO Times web edition