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APRIL 29, 2011

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Can Another Flood Be Prevented ?


SEMO TIMES 4.29.11 Volume 3 Issue 25 2725 N. Westwood Blvd. Suite 17 Poplar Bluff, MO 63901 573-785-2200

Inside this edition

The Week in Review - 3 The Social Network - 3 The Great Easter Flood - 4 News Briefs - 5 Your Local Expert - 6 Opinion: Volunteerism - 7 Opinion: Right to Work - 7 The Rambler - 11 Fork: Rowland Stollen -11 Tech Talk - 11 Arts : The Anchor Holds - 13 +bluffee Event’s Calendar - 15 Scott R. Faughn, publisher scottfaughn@semotimes.com Tim Krakowiak, managing editor tim@semotimes.com Christy Norman, advertising director christy@semotimes.com Mark Cozart, distribution manager mark@semotimes.com Rachel Woolard, marketing director rachel@semotimes.com Justin Robison, graphic designer justinrobison@gmail.com

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the social network

The Week in Review

ur

o It was a good week for from on: s d n the staff at the Black Riv- frie er Coliseum, the rescue workers, the volunteers and the entire community who came together to help the victims displaced by the devastating flood.

It was a good week for pets in Southeast Missouri, thanks to the Animal Welfare Alliance. Gov. Jay Nixon commented, “I usually say we’ll be here until the last dog dies,” and then he pointed out he could not make such a statement in this case since the coliseum was housing 100 dogs, 20 cats, a ferret and a parrot. It was a bad week for Lt. Gov. Peter “Dude, where’s my car?” Kinder. He finally put the overblown story about his visits to St. Louis (which by the way is in the state he is the second highest ranking elected official of) to bed when he left his keys in the car and two Cape Girardeau locals stole his car, went to McDonald’s drive through, rammed a gun store, then torched the car. We can confirm the lieutenant governor did not respond to the event:

current events Section

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It was a good week for the folks with the Merchants Showcase. Apparently rain, hail nor flooding shall keep the showcase from happening. We hope the hospitality booth has hot coffee. SOUTHEAST MISSOURI’S NEWS-MAGAZINE OF POLITICS AND CULTURE

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News Section

Can Another Flood Be Prevented ? Tim Krakowiak Managing Editor

Two devastating floods in three years with the current one caused by more than 15 inches of rainfall in a week have Butler County officials and landowners questioning whether they have a fighting chance against a future levee failure. “The federal government has got the bar so high [to qualify for assistance], it’s unreachable with the financial capability of our drainage districts,” said Rick Sliger, Butler County emergency management director. “We’re asking for con-

The Missouri Democrat acknowledged that while “water projects and drainage levees come with a large price tag” during a lean time, the federal government may “end up spending significant money in disaster recovery” if the rules and regulations do not become less stringent. Part of the solution, McCaskill noted, might mean seeking help on the state level as well.

When Gov. Jay Nixon visited the Black River Coliseum on Tuesday he said an evaluation would take place to identify where the levees were weakened or broken so a stronger preventative measure could be taken next time.

“A levee is a levee is a levee, and it takes a certain base to maintain, and additional funds if it’s damaged in a flood.”

The Democratic governor added during his press conference that the state’s resources must be prioritized, and there are larger levee systems in heavily populated places with more infrastructure in place. “Where the Ohio hits the Mississippi River is a hot spot,” he -P.J. Spaul, said.

Corps of Engineers gressional help to develop a plan to save our levee system before all the levees across the country become [obsolete].”

during the last flood. “I feel like in my heart Poplar Bluff needs to pay attention to its levees,” she said.

Albert Faughn of County Road 360, another evacuee at the shelter, lost his mobile home in the flood three years ago. With $10,000 from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, he was able to elevate his replacement trailer three feet off the ground, but that still was not enough to fend off the overtopped river.

Gov. Jay Nixon visits with evacuees Aaliyah Toleman [left] and Deveigh Deal [right] at the Ameri“I hate to leave it, I can Red Cross shelter at the Black want to stay, but it might River Coliseum Tuesday. be time to move to

higher ground,” Faughn said. “That water will drown you.”

Among about 1,000 displaced flood victims this week, Marsha Bostic of Hampton Court happened to have lost her previous rental home on Midland Street

The Easter flood caused four breaches in levees on the south and west sides of the Black River between Poplar Bluff and Qulin by early Wednesday morning, Sliger reported. Later that day, U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill met with local county and city officials to survey the damage and said during a press conference she would be “making sure bureaucrats in Washington don’t make it harder than it should be” to assist with levee repairs.

A vehicle is submerged on South 6th Street behind the Black River Coliseum. SOUTHEAST MISSOURI’S NEWS-MAGAZINE OF POLITICS AND CULTURE

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LEVEE ALREADY UNACCEPTABLE

Two of the breaks occurred along County Road 607 in Drainage District No. 7, the same area where the levee failed in March of 2008.

@ semotimes.com First Choice Insurance to Conduct Claims Adjustments for Storm Damage Next Week In staying true to its agency motto, “Our Family Protecting Your Family,” Steve Phillips and First Choice Insurance Agency has arranged for Allied Insurance, a nationwide company, to be on location next week to adjust the damages created by the flood over the last several days. Rodgers Flood Benefit May 7 In an effort to raise money for the flood victims of Butler County, the Rodgers Theatre along with the Butler County Community Resource Council will host a benefit concert at 7 p.m. May 7 at the historic downtown theater featuring nationally known comedian, Aaron Wilburn. Shelter Designation causes Godsmack to be Postponed The Godsmack concert at the Black River Coliseum has been rescheduled for May 10. Tickets for the canceled show will remain valid. American Red Cross Shelters Remain Open Butler County: Black River Coliseum, Poplar Bluff Stoddard County: Lighthouse Christian Center Ministries, Dexter Three Rivers College President Applies for a Job Elsewhere Three Rivers College President Dr. Devin Stephenson confirmed in a recent e-mail that he applied for a job at Daytona State College in Florida.

During a subsequent maintenance inspection conducted by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the repaired DD7 levee privately

“It’s a vicious cycle is what it is.” -Andy Clark, Drainage District No. 7. owned and operated received an “unacceptable” rating due to vegetation, encroachments and lack of animal control, according to P.J. Spaul, Corps chief of public affairs over the Little Rock District. Because the levee board was unable to properly address the maintenance issues, DD7 was removed from active status in the rehabilitation and inspection program, and cannot participate in the cost share program with the federal government. “It’s not a level playing field,” Spaul admitted. “A levee is a levee is a levee, and it takes a certain base to maintain, and additional funds if it’s damaged in a flood. If you got a metropolitan area with lots of homes, businesses and industry, you got a pretty good tax base there because everybody is kicking in a share.”

Read the full story on the daily fix over at the .com.

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Many agricultural levees in the Midsouth, including those in the Black River basin, were built in the 1930s and kept by farmers, according to Spaul. With the passage of time, he explained, board members either retired, died, the land changed hands or was subdivided,

daily updates MON - subfeature Tues - local expert WEDs - almost famous thurs- guest column fri - print edition

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Business

“Spot News”

SEMO Times: Where do you start in covering a story like the recent flooding? Tyler Profilet: I start by driving around and surveying the damage. If an area looks like it got hit hard, I want video of that neighborhood. I then try to get in contact with city and county officials to get the facts. But these stories are about more than facts; it’s about the people who are impacted. For example, when we found out parts of Poplar Bluff were going to be evacuated, we immediately went to that neighborhood and talked to the people leaving their homes so we could tell their stories.

your viewers? Profilet: Twitter is the quickest way to break news. Information can spread to thousands of people with just the click of a mouse. The information we were getting was constantly changing and needed updating, and Twitter was Tyler Profilet the best way to get that out and still reporter, KFVS-12 be able to do our jobs as journalists. It was also great to get updates from people affected by the flood. Tips on Twitter let us know where we needed to go, and what information we needed to confirm with authorities.

ST: Do you prepare any differently when you are going to be on CNN versus KFVS? Profilet: The only difference between CNN and KFVS is that the anchors have different names. If I tried to think about how many people are watching across the county, I’d freak out. Breaking news is all about show and tell. Tell the viewer what the facts are and show them what’s going on. Of course, the folks watching CNN don’t need as much detail as local viewers, so I keep things a little more generic. Other than that, it’s ST: How can the victims of this tragedy assure they are the same. not forgotten after the water ST: Was the time you spent at the KFVS-12 Pop- recedes? lar Bluff bureau helpful in covering this story Profilet: Come forward and share your stories. When dithat went national? Profilet: There’s no way I could have covered sasters hit, the compassion this story in depth without being in the Poplar of communities like Poplar Bluff bureau. News is about gathering informa- Bluff comes to the forefront. tion, and you have to know who to get that in- People want to know what formation from, and convince them to give it to the long term effects of this you. The contacts I made at my time in Poplar flood will be, and how they can help. The only way othBluff carried my coverage of this story. ers will know is if they come ST: Many of our readers closely followed your and tell their stories. Twitter account during the flooding. How has Twitter changed the way you communicate with Looking for a New Career? Do you hate time clocks? Do you have a Facebook page? Do you know Charlie Sheen’s one-word catchphrase? If you got four affirmations on our pop quiz, then we may have the opportunity you have been searching for. We, at 573 Media, are expanding our sales team. If you are looking to join Southeast Missouri’s fastest growing media company in this seemingly desolate industry, e-mail your best resume to christy@ semotimes.com. Let’s see if we have a winning combo on our hands. No phone calls necessarily.

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Opinion & Editorial “The Youth vs Organized Labor”

“Volunteerism”

By Derek Spencer, Poplar Bluff

By Joe Dicken, Poplar Bluff Hope has a way of finding you even in the darkest hour. Houses are flooded, south Poplar Bluff is in chaos, and people are afraid for their belongings. In any other city, the outlook would be bleak at best. But this isn’t just any other city. Beginning as soon as flooding was imminent, the citizens of Poplar Bluff began to band together and accomplish something amazing: we took care of our neighbors, even the ones we didn’t know. Within hours, a flood shelter had been established at the Black River Coliseum, and efforts were under way to provide for those who needed assistance. Initially headed by the American Red Cross, this shelter became a beacon in the dark for people who were scared. But the Red Cross didn’t have to work alone. City and county officials began working ungodly hours to ensure the safety of our town. Homes were evacuated in the dead of night. With the worst of the flooding, water patrol boats were dispatched through the streets of Poplar Bluff to rescue those who were trapped by flood waters, and AmeriCorps tackled the task of being the reserve regiment and filling in gaps wherever a gap was found and a warm body was needed. Without question, professional organizations did the job we hope them to do when the horn is sounded. Even that, though, has not been the end. The indomitable spirits of the citizens of Butler County called them to take action. Nurses, farmers, factory workers and secretaries all came from the woodwork. Sandbags were filled. People were saved. The hungry were fed. And the weary were given rest. Yes, times like this make me proud to live in Butler County. The task before us is far from over. The United Gospel Rescue Mission has become the go-to location for families needing a warm meal or some clothes to wear; they’ll need supplies replenished in the days ahead. The Manufacturers Assistance Group Butler County Sheltered Workshop has become a supply depot for donations to the community, and they also need people to help inventory donations and dispense them when the appropriate time comes as well as all the donations you can spare. Still the siren sounds, Butler County. I know you’ll be up to the challenge. I saw something amazing in the coliseum today. I saw strangers greet each other as neighbors. I saw children who had never met toss a football as best friends. I saw a community show compassion with no regard to race or creed. This is how citizens of a city are meant to interact, and I am proud to have been in the middle of it and to continue to be a part of efforts in the coming days. Hope has a way of finding you even in the darkest hour. And me? I’m full of hope.

In 1779, American patriot Thomas Jefferson stated, “To compel a man to furnish contributions of money for the propagation of opinions which he disbelieves is sinful and tyrannical.” I am a very strong advocate for personal liberty, as are the majority of my peers. Perhaps that is why my peers, the 25-34 year old aggregate of the workforce, seem to prefer “Right to Work” states. There are 17 non-western states with right to work status and 20 states that are “forced unionism” (Sen. Rob Mayer is currently leading the fight to make Missouri a right to work state). In the right to work states, this aggregate population increased 12.7 percent compared to union states with a 4.6 percent decline! Furthermore, in the western part of the country, right to work states saw a 38.7 percent higher population increase than forced union states. (N.I.L.B. research) Not only will this legislation put Missouri in position to retain and attract young employees, it can also level the playing field, Missouri has six border states with right to work status. Missouri has fenced itself off in the Heartland, entrapping worker’s lack of freedom and the Democrat’s best political machine, and failing to incentivize new companies to locate here. As Ronald Reagan would say, we should tear down this wall, thus bringing in new jobs.

cal machine that, by some accounts (of inside unions) spent $400 million to re-elect Pres. Bill Clinton, and are projected to give Pres. Barack Obama nearly half a billion for his next campaign. All the while, Missouri is still allowing unions to force workers, against their will, to pay union dues and keep their “good-standing” or be fired. The purpose of this is not an assault on organized labor, which in the past has made positive impacts in our country. Rather it is to tackle their present state of strong-arm tactics, which Jefferson would label as “sinful and tyrannical.” I agree with our third president, I support Rob Mayer’s efforts in the Missouri Senate, and most of all I agree with the young workers of this country - give me a workplace with freedom, and I’m on board!

To submit a letter to the editor or become a contributing columnist, e-mail the managing editor Tim Krakowiak at tim@semotimes.com.

Workers should be at the liberty of deciding whether or not they would like to have the union represent them, and it should be based on the two sharing similar goals. Have you ever thought how a Conservative feels giving their hard-earned money to unions, which circle the money around to the Democratic Party? Why is the government standing by while its First Amendment rights are flagrantly trampled on? Big labor is a politi-

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www.semotimes.com [Below] Garden of Aden on Highway B after the Great Easter Flood of 2011.

[Above] The landscaped property of Garden of Aden taken earlier this month. new people moved in and some levee boards became less proactive. “Since Hurricane Katrina, a lot of parts of the country started waking up and looking at their levees,” Spaul said. “Some states have been looking at perhaps creating at the state level some sort of umbrella agency that could oversee the levees.” Bob Walls, president of the DD7 board, said they have worked hard to maximize the taxpayer’s resources, but remain unprepared for a 21-foot crest when flood stage is at 16 feet. They maintain 100 miles of ditches plus the levee, which is just a roadbed built up by the county, on a $160,000 budget. “We can’t fix it to the government’s specifications because we don’t have the money, yet they won’t appropriate you any money unless you do so,” said Andy Clark, DD7 board vice president. “It’s a vicious cycle is what it is.” Tim Krakowiak can be reached by e-mailing tim@semotimes. com.

Waters from the swelled Black River flood out a house on Highway B.

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Columns

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The Rambler

with Gordon Johnston “A Sloppy Joe by Any Other Name….” Perhaps you saw or heard about the recent Anthony Bourdain show filmed in the Ozarks. “No Reservations” is a program on the Travel Channel where Bourdain goes to exotic locations, hangs out with the locals, and eats their food—the weirder the better. Some of the West Plains intelligentsia were less than thrilled with the broadcast—too much hunting, not enough culture, was the gist of it. In one segment, West Plains novelist Daniel Woodrell takes Bourdain gigging on Current River. Bruce Carr, an old friend of mine who took the author photographs for Woodrell’s last two books (“Winter’s Bone,” “Bayou Trilogy”), said: “He should have taken him to Dairy Princess!” Dairy Princess, home of the crumble burger, isn’t exactly a paragon of culture, and the crumble burger isn’t exactly a sloppy joe, but they seem to be related, so that’s where I’ll start. When I was a kid I lived in Nebraska, where sloppy joes were called “barbecues.” They got away with that because there was no actual barbecue. As I remember, it was pretty much just ketchup and hamburger cooked up together and served on white bread. Years later, in a café in Sioux City, Iowa, I saw a sign promoting “loose meat.” I preferred to savor the mystery rather than ask what the &@*$ that was, but then the Connors on the “Roseanne Show” opened a café and served loose meat sandwiches, which turned out to be sloppy joes, more or less. Then my sister married an Iowan, who told me about a chain of restaurants called Maid-Rite, also the name of their signature sandwich—seasoned burger (cooked “loose”—I guess there’s no other word for it) on a bun with pickles, mustard and onion. Although it’s a northern chain, somehow one of them ended up in West Plains. During the time they were working on the author photographs, Mr. Woodrell found opportunity to explain to Mr. Carr his method of eating a maid-rite: 1) order two sandwiches and two order of fries 2) flatten out the sack and dump the fries on it 3) hold the sandwiches over the fries while you eat them to catch the fallout 4) add ketchup to the fries and what fell out of the sandwiches and eat it with a plastic fork Somewhere along the line the West Plains Maid-Rite became The Dairy Princess (for marketing reasons, I guess— the menu stayed the same), and the maid-rite became the crumble burger. How’s that for culture?

Rowland Stollen: Cookies of the Gods By Mark Cozart, SEMO Times

In Greek mythology, there are three foods consumed by the pantheon of gods and those are nectar, ambrosia and Rowland Stollen cookies. Some readers might question the accuracy of this, but I assure you that this is part of the myth, started by myself. Perhaps one day, you will see a Grecian urn on display at the Margaret Harwell Art Museum depicting Zeus with a lightning bolt in one hand and a chocolate chip cookie in the other. SEMO Times Publisher Scott R. Faughn generously treated the staff with a bag of cookies from Rowland Stollen Bakery and Deli. Faughn is a sensitive guy and I certainly did not want to offend him by not taking him up on the kind gesture. So I took a nibble and promptly fell in love with this chocolate goddess, consuming two or six cookies in a setting. A client had visited the office with his female Chihuahua, while I feasted on the sugar laden treats. There was in the office a cookie obsessed beast waiting for a cookie crumb to drop to the ground and the dog was equally as excited about the prospect. The Chihuahua (let’s call her burrito since my creativity ran out with the Greek mythology bit) and I do agree that these things are simply the best cookies in the entire ancient world (and Poplar Bluff too!).

Chain E-mails

Every week I receive an e-mail forwarded from somebody which was forwarded from somebody else which was also forwarded from somebody else. These “chain emails” are almost always obvious as to what they’re about because they normally have a slew of names the message is being forwarded to. Typically these e-mails are jokes, silly pictures or a kind political or social message. Curious, why people continue to send these is a mystery. On most of my service calls I typically get asked how to control so much junk coming into e-mail. Typically, many of these junk messages are coming from their friends or family members who were just trying to be social and pass on something they thought was funny or of interest. I encouraged them to discuss this with their friends and family to help discourage sending so many and to be sure they are of importance. While the jokes and silly pictures are one thing, it’s the political and social messages I’d like to draw attention to. Many of these messages over the last few years have targeted Pres. Borack Obama or another foreign leader or about Muslims in different parts of the world. And, that’s just to name a few. Many times, while they seem innocent enough, these messages can trigger a firestorm of apathy and prejudice and even stir hate between peoples and their beliefs. What’s worse, some of the messages are not even true. Origins of some of these messages are unclear. Some may just be making a comment or sharing what they think about a particular person or situation. Others may be fueling propaganda to try to win support for their cause or raise opposition against someone else. For example, there’s an e-mail that takes a stab at Obama for not wearing wedding rings or a watch during a Christmas holiday vacation. The claim is Obama was observing Ramadan, an Islamic observance where a Muslim is not to wear jewelry. This particular message is really bad because it first started circulating in the first year of Obama’s term. I just recently received this message again from a family member. So, one: the message is old news. Secondly, the message was totally false. Yet the message continues to be propagated around the Internet. While there is no way to stop this practice entirely, we should take steps to help mitigate the propaganda and reduce the junk mail. Before forwarding, check the validity of the message by going to websites like www.snopes. com or www.oaxbusters.org. If you are sure the message is true, quote the source as it will give credibility. Bret and Judy Ladewig are local business owners of 1-2-1 Computer Services providing Web support, online marketing, computer training and repair. Go to www.12-1computerservices.com.

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Arts section

For: An Anchor That Holds I awoke during one of the many storms during the week of the Easter flood with a sense of dread and despair for the people directly affected by the disaster. The area was marked by disaster and forecasters still called for four to six more inches of rain. I closed my eyes and began to pray for Southeast Missouri. It was shortly thereafter that I started to sing a small part of a church hymn called, “The Anchor Holds.” ‘The Anchor holds, though the ship is battered I have fallen, fallen down on my knees as I faced the raging seas. But the Anchor holds; O, in spite of the storm’ One-thousand people were displaced in Poplar Bluff and hundreds took refuge at the Black River Coliseum. Upon touring the shelter, I started to see part of what makes Poplar Bluff so remarkable. There were children playing and most were full of good humor and smiles. The people there were grieving, but they had a strength that was evident in their countenances. Kaylee Goins of the American Red Cross, Greater Ozark Chapter, said of the victims: “They are pretty positive… many people say it’s just material things.” The volunteers were numerous and many kept coming back day after day because they had a sense of pride in the community and a longing to

www.semotimes.com help their comrades. They slept in the coliseum, organized supplies and worked in the food lines. The officials at Lake Wappapello called for volunteers to sandbag the area until the smaller hours of the following day. True to Missouri form, hundreds showed up to work, and the project was completed in less than the expected time. The city was stunned the ominous clouds continued to bombast the city with rain, winds and hail in what seemed like a never ending horror story. Yes, property was lost and lives were altered in a terrible and devastating way. Yet, I still see the children playing, the adults praying, and the volunteers fighting off stress and fatigue to lend a helping hand. It is in these things and in these people that I know a truth about this community. The anchor holds, in spite of the storm. Mark Cozart can be reached by e-mailing mark@semotimes.com.

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Entertainment section

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9 am Saturday April 30 727 Ridge Ave Womens Conference 9 to 3 pm Saturday April 30 Three Rivers College Merchants Showcase 8 pm Saturday April 30 The Wine Rack Nickel Diamond 8 pm Friday May 6 The Wine Rack Christina Taddonio and Friends 5 pm Thursday May 12 Black River Coliseum Taste of the Town 8pm Friday May 13 The Wine Rack Barnett and Gurley 8pm Friday May 20 The River Centre in Van Buren Ray Wylie Hubbard Powder Mill

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4.29.11 SEMO Times