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PROGRESS Jessica Crabtree/Democrat-News



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FRIDAY, MARCH 17, 2017


Taco's Champ spicing up Eastwood Street

Arron Hustead/Democrat-News

Gerardo Hernandez, who opened his own restaurant in October 2016. He says the eatery's name comes from his childhood nickname, "Champ." Currently located at the former HaveA-Snak on Eastwood Street, Hernandez says he has plans to expand Taco's Champ, potentially as early as fall 2017.

Arron Hustead/Democrat-News

The interior of Taco's Champ remains virtually as it was when it was the location of Patty's Have-A-Snak. Owner Gerardo Hernandez said almost all of the kitchen equipment in use comes from the previous restaurant and looks like new after it was cleaned up.

By Arron Hustead Staff Writer

After previous experience working at Mexico Lindo and Applebee's, Gerardo Hernandez seized the opportunity to open his own restaurant in October 2016. Hernandez, along with his family, operates Taco's Champ, located on Eastwood Street at the former location of Patty's Have-A-Snak. The restaurant's name comes from the nickname "Champ," he got from his cousins many years ago.

"I've kind of jumped around from different jobs and once I started working on restaurants, I knew this was something I wanted to do," he said. "For the longest time, I've wanted to do a sports bar, which is something that Marshall really needs." Not much has changed from the location's former use, Hernandez said. Taco's Champ uses all of the previous equipment and furnishings with the addition of only a few new appliances. The restaurant cur-

rently seats just 18 customers at a time. Hernandez said he hopes to be able to expand the restaurant in the future, depending on the availability and viability of a larger location. Some potential locations with enough space, he said would require a lot of work to repair. Hernandez said he looks forward to being able to further expand not just the business, but the menu as well. "Now that the city has granted me permission to sell alcohol, I think it's going to become pretty

small for us," Hernandez said of the current location. "It's kind of limited on space, on storage, especially when I want to expand the menu, but I can't because I'm limited by that." Hernandez takes pride in providing what he calls the real authentic food, meaning it makes use all the traditional flavors and spices. "A lot of them have been mild down on the senses of the spices and the cuisine and everything," he said of the Mexican food people are used to. "We want to

bring all that back. We want to bring the spiciness back. … You have a taco with the onion and the cilantro, and people are like 'What, onion and cilantro?' and then a lime, you know, you squeeze it on it and it definitely changes the flavor. A lot of people have never had tacos like that. You have those people that have had tacos like that, and they'll never go out and eat (any other) taco because that's the real flavor. Then you've got your sauces on the side — your mild, your hot, your

avocado sauce — and that right there just turns the whole taco around. I get people in here all the time that have one taco to try it out, and then turn around and say 'Let me get five more." They say, 'Man, I've been lied to my whole life.'" The reception and feedback from customers through the first few months had been great so far, Hernandez said, noting each seat can typically see a turnover of 2-3 customers during the lunch rush.

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FRIDAY, MARCH 17, 2017

Saline County Habitat for Humanity begins construction on 15th home

Arron Hustead/Democrat-News

Foundation work has begun on Habitat for Humanity’s newest home, located at the intersection of East Watermill Road and Sunset Drive, in Marshall. The application process for this house began at the beginning of 2016.

By Jessica Crabtree Staff Writer

The process for Habitat for Humanity is much the same — go through an application process, decide on a family and build a home — though each home honors a different family. 2016, Saline For County Habitat for Humanity began the application process and getting plans in place for the new project after the last project’s family moved into their new home in time for Christmas 2015. According to co-treasurer of the board Myra Switala, this project will be the 15th Saline County Habitat for Humanity partner house that has been built. “This is going to be the 15th partner we will have, but, and this was prior to

me coming aboard, there were I think at least two other houses that were built and were sold,” she said. This year’s partner is Jim Steinmetz and Steinmetz Inc. in Marshall. “He works very well with us,” Switala said. “This will be the third house that he has worked with us on.” One of the requirements to be a partner in the project is that they have to put in 300 hours of “sweat equity.” Switala said that those hours could be acquired a number of ways, including helping build the home, preparing lunches for volunteers, and counting the work hours of friends to the partner. “If they have friends come in and help, which we encourage, we want friends to come, then they

can count their hours as well,” she said. Switala explained the application process, saying that they distribute flyers including information about two application meetings in Marshall and Slater. Those interested in receiving a habitat home must be present at one of those two meetings, and are then given a deadline to fill out applications and supply supporting documents. Once documentation is received, it’s up to the board to decide on a family before the building process even begins. This year’s application process took longer than expected, Switala said, because the first set of meetings did not produce what the board thought was a viable candidate. She explained that applicable families have to qualify financially, which is based

on the area’s median income. “It’s a really great deal for people,” she said. “We are our own bank, so it’s an incredible deal because (the families) don’t pay interest, which is a huge, huge savings.” She added that for the past four or five houses, they have been working hard on stressing to the families that they should take pride in receiving the home. While waiting on the application process, Switala said they completed a few repairs to current homes, like installing an outside spigot at one house and power washing the outside of several other homes. Switala said besides being co-treasurer, she has taken on other responsibilities during that time. “I help with trying to

get bids from folks because we have to hire HVAC (Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning), we have to hire plumbing, electrical,” she said. “We have to have licensed people for those, so that’s one of the things that I’ve been doing in the meantime is getting bids, getting the building permit, getting the site developed; of course before that, we had to get the blueprints.” She further explained that she and another board member watch for sales on items needed for the house so that they can get the best deals and keep the price of the house down as much as possible. “We also try to keep as much business as possible in town in terms of building materials, because obviously we don’t want our lumberyards to go away,” she added. Now that the application process is complete, a family of five and the location — a lot located at the intersection of East Watermill Road and Sunset Drive — were chosen and construction plans are well underway. Switala commented that the partner was planning to talk with the Saline County Career Center about utilizing students in building trades classes. “Once the slab is poured, then that’s when we’ll really try to get the volunteers there,” she said. “On the last habitat house, we built all of the exterior walls and raised them in one day, which is pretty amazing; we had a lot of good help.”

Switala said that anyone interested in volunteering to help build the home doesn’t have to sign up and can show up when work is underway. She said the most work is usually done on Saturday mornings, but a group of five or six will work a few days during the week. On the days that the exterior of the home is built, she said she hopes to have a large group of 15-20 people helping. “I’d say probably at least those first couple of Saturdays because we start putting up the walls,” she said of when to expect the most volunteers. “Actually, what we have started doing was the sheeting that goes on the wall, we go ahead and put that on before we raise it, so that’s even better.” In addition to volunteers, Switala said another way people can help is by preparing meals for the volunteers. Though she encouraged monetary donations, she said that if people donate to Habitat for Humanity, it goes into the general fund, and does not go toward a specific project. “It used to be that they always had to have fundraisers to get enough money in our account to be able to start a new house,” she said. “Now we have enough partners, and through their payments, that’s what allows us to have enough money to start a new home, plus donations.” Those interested in the process or have questions may call Switala at 816392-0038.


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FRIDAY, MARCH 17, 2017


County constructs plans for bridge improvements

Jessica Crabtree/ Democrat-News

The bridge on 230th Road over Camp Creek is slated to be reconstructed beginning in June 2017. The bridge was originally built in 1910.

Jessica Crabtree/ Democrat-News

Presiding Commissioner Kile Guthrey (fourth from right) cuts a ribbon during the opening ceremony for the new bridge over Salt Fork Creek at 205th Road on Wednesday, Nov. 30.

By Jessica Crabtree Staff Writer

As one of the main jobs for county commissioners, the reconstruction of older bridges in Saline County continues to be high priority. The main bridge project commissioners oversaw during 2016 was the reconstruction of the bridge on 205th Road over Salt Fork Creek, located a few miles southeast of Marshall near County Road WW. The new bridge is a 193-foot, three-span bridge, with a width of 24 feet. The reconstruction totaled

$712,977.24, with 80 percent of the funding from the Federal Highway Administration and the remaining 20 percent from the Saline County Credit Match. According to a MoDOT bridge inventory and inspection report from 2012, the bridge was built in 1948 and had a sufficiency rating of 33.9 percent before reconstruction. Construction officially began in July 2016, and was completed on Nov. 26, with final inspection during a ribbon-cutting ceremony held Nov. 30. The project engineer was Rich Rhodes of

Rhodes Engineering Company Inc., located in Brookfield. Rhodes has been involved with four additional projects with the county over several years. Rhodes said his company had to acquire two easements from property owners Elizabeth McDaniel and John Allen Bacon, who were affected by the bridge’s reconstruction. An easement was also acquired from Union Pacific because of the railroad tracks that run immediately west of the bridge. “The project definitely affected Mrs. McDaniel because she lives less than a quarter

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of a mile from the bridge itself, so the project helped her tremendously,” Rhodes said. “It’s working great,” Frank McCracken, who farms McDaniel’s land near the bridge, said. “We needed it desperately and now we can take our bigger equipment across it and all that stuff, so it’s working good.” Rhodes will also be engineering the county’s 2017 bridge project, which will be a reconstruction of the bridge on 230th Road over Camp Creek. That bridge is located approximately five miles east of Marshall, just

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north of Highway 41. “It will be under construction this summer, but I expect to get permission from MoDOT to bid it here in the next 30-45 days,” Rhodes said. The Camp Creek bridge was built in 1910 and currently has a 27.9 sufficiency rating, according to the MoDOT bridge inventory and inspection report. “This is the exciting part about this job, getting these things replaced and fixed,” Southern Commissioner Monte Fenner said. “I love this part of it.” Fenner also noted

that the commission completed three “in house” bridges, where older bridges in the northern part of the county were taken out and replaced with either culverts or a bridge kit. Two more bridges are scheduled to be completed as “in house” bridges this year. Though there are several other bridges in the county that have been worked on during the past year, they were constructed through MoDOT instead of the commission because they are state bridges. This includes the bridges on County Roads YY, O and AA.

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FRIDAY, MARCH 17, 2017

Former lodge refreshed for an extended stay

Arron Hustead/Democrat-News

Above — The western building (pictured) of Tower Extended Stay Suites could be completed by the summer of 2017. The accompanying eastern building opened July 2016. Property Manager Sandy Hisle said the goal was to have the full property completed in time for the total solar eclipse in August, which is expected to draw a substantial amount of visitors to Marshall due to the city's location in the center of the event's path.

By Arron Hustead Staff Writer

Arron Hustead/Democrat-News

The all-new interior of Tower Extended Stay Suites was finished in 10 rooms of the property's eastern building in the summer of 2016, and opened for business. Virtually everything but the framework in the structure, formerly the Northside Lodge and Gene's Motel, was replaced.

After months of neglect, new life was breathed into the former Northside Lodge and Gene's Motel in 2016. Sandy and Steve Hisle, of Tower Realty, purchased the property in the winter of 20152016, taking on the task of an almost complete rebuild of the two adjoining buildings. During the summer prior to the change in ownership, the building had been abandoned with rooms left standing open, interior walls knocked down and significant amounts of wiring and plumbing taken, trash accumulated and the basement flooded. By July, the rebuilding of the eastern of the two buildings was finished and Tower Extended Stay Suites officially opened. The remodel included new heating and cooling, new windows, new flooring, new trim, refinished walls, new elec-

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trical and plumbing systems, new bathroom fixtures, and new furniture and appliances. In the basement of the eastern building, construction is ongoing to install an exercise area and a recreation room along with existing laundry facilities. Currently, the property has a capacity of 10 completed rooms, targeting individuals in need of lodging for three days or more. That business model would cater to individuals visiting for a multiple-day business trip or shortterm employment, bridging the gap between an overnight stay and permanent housing. "We really try to shoot for those longterm people if we can," Sandy said. "We like those ones that stay two weeks or a month. We'll

take the others, but really about three days is the minimum we like to have them." Another six rooms and a home attached to what was the office of the former lodge and motel could be finished by the summer of 2017. Plans for the home / former office are to model it into a three bedroom, two bath space available for groups or families to stay together. Sandy said the current goal was to have the second building rebuilt and ready to open prior to the anticipated total solar eclipse in August. The eclipse is expected to attract a significant number of guests to Marshall due to its location near the center of the event's path as it crosses the country on Aug. 21.

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FRIDAY, MARCH 17, 2017


Wood & Huston Bank continues to put customer needs first

contributed images

By Sarah Reed

General Manager Security. Technology. Convenience. The three-word saying embodies the principles Wood & Huston Bank sets out to achieve. The financial institution has been implementing ways to meet the needs of its customers while maintaining the relationships and services it’s relied on for years. “We have about six generations of people working in the bank here … and it’s similar for our customers,” President and CEO Mark Thompson said. “They all have different likes and habits, and we have to meet all of those. It’s not about how we want to do it. We’ve got to be able to meet their needs.” Just as customers can walk into a lobby or roll through a drivethrough and speak with a teller, other services are now providing banking options. Wood & Huston Bank has introduced its latest version of Internet-mobile banking, which Thompson said is top-rated in the country. Switching vendors allowed it to incorporate Apple Pay and Samsung Pay. This service is compatible with Apple Watch and the Android watch, for those on the forefront of technology who like to quickly check their account balance on their wrists. The bank also utilizes CardValet, which gives customers the capability of setting up alerts for their debit card usage. “I think the CardValet is great security and great convenience,” H.J. Huston, vice president and manager of retail banking, stated. “We’re seeing a lot of parents, if they have kids that are old enough to have an account but are still involved with their parents financially, having some of this ability to have parameters on

contributed images

the debit card as security and convenience for them … This is an easy tool for them to have to help their kids learn some good financial habits.” How customers want to bank has also been a driving factor in offering mobile deposits. Huston stated the technology has been a great tool of convenience, particularly for customers who have moved out of the area. “We see that they are staying with us, because they’re so much more connected through the technology,” he said. “If they move away for college, for instance, they’re still banking back here. They get a check and they’re at college, they take a picture of it. Of course it has to be secure to work, so tying all those together, it’s been a great retention item for us. For the customer, they know they can call and ask for people they know if they need to, but they haven’t had to change their bank just because their geography has changed.” The customer demand for banking services has exploded in the

past decade, Thompson noted. In addition to mobile deposit and the more than one dozen ATMs throughout the region, technology will enhance the ATM experience for W&H customers in one remote location very soon. Bank employees have been training on a new ITM — or interactive teller machine — and it will debut in the Boardwalk Canteen, in Arrow Rock across from the J. Huston Tavern. “When we think about what drives the economy in Saline County, one thing is tourism,” Huston stated. “Arrow Rock has been getting something over 100,000 tourists a year. If they’re having a crafts festival (for example) and people need cash or want cash, or a vendor is not taking plastic, the ATM is there. It supports Arrow Rock and supports Saline County.” The teller machine works two-fold: first, as a typical ATM, and then also as a video teller in order to provide the full-banking experience. When a customer touches the screen and selects the video op-


contributed images

tion, a teller — who is live from a W&H location — appears on screen and can have a real-time video conversation with the customer. “So whatever transaction you want to do, maybe in the case of you need some money because you forgot your card — it has a scanner that you can put your driver’s license on it, ask you a few questions to identify you, just as if you’re in the front of the bank here,” Thompson explained. “They can dispense cash to you. They can take a deposit from you and cash a check to the penny.” The ATM aspect will benefit visitors, while the teller aspect benefits residents who are already banking with W&H. Thompson explained there are numerous farmers and small businesses in the Arrow Rock area that would be affected by the convenience. “What it allows us to do is provide teller services where you couldn’t have a live person waiting for transactions,” Thompson said. “I’m pretty sure we’re the only one in town

that is going to have these, for several counties around. The bigger metro areas have that technology already.” W&H strives to be “a bank first” with an emphasis on relationship with its customers and community. This year, the bank will continue to sponsor community events, particularly those in which employees are involved. Currently, it is a sponsoring company of the total solar eclipse speaker series and has partnered with Red Cross Pharmacy to supply eclipse viewing glasses to school children in the county. Additionally, W&H Bank plans to reach out to Higginsville students because of its customer base in that community. “We’re excited about the eclipse,” Huston said. “And we’re excited

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about the economic impact it could have. … How the community goes is how we go. We have involvement with the hospital, college, schools, other things that are very important to the community because without those things the community doesn’t thrive.” Thompson noted they have seen a lot of revitalization in the economy, activity in small businesses and the housing market, which are good economic indicators. For Wood & Huston Bank, which was established in 1874, staying ahead of the curve is proving to benefit the bank, its customers and community interests. Reaching out with security, technology and convenience, the company looks forward to a strong year.


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5 fast shortcuts to make your home sparkle this spring

(BPT) — We all know that one person who just adores cleaning. But for the rest of us, it's a necessary evil that gets old very quickly! Before you tackle that long list of spring cleaning tasks, try some of these cleaning hacks designed to make these chores faster and easier. When cleaning is fun and even effortless, you'll feel more energized and gain the momentum you need to knock out your list of chores. Afterward, your house will sparkle from top to bottom, which is its own reward! 1. Find smarter tools Throw out the messy bucket and mop and reach for a smarter floor solution that's efficient and fun to use. For example, the O-Cedar EasyWring Spin Mop & Bucket System has a built-in wringer that offers superior moisture control of the mop, which makes it safe and easy to use on all hard floor surfaces - even hardwood! The handsfree wringer requires a simple press of the foot pedal to easily spin out the water and help finish the job with less mess and faster drying times. 2. Try natural solutions

Commercial cleaning solutions can add extra costs to your deep cleaning session, not to mention the harsh chemicals can leave behind unpleasant odors. Why not experiment with everyday pantry items? These often cost less and are just as effective in their cleaning power. A simple solution of warm water and vinegar removes built-up grime from your floors, while leaving a clean, rinsefree finish. Just add a half cup of distilled white vinegar to a gallon of warm water and start mopping. If you dislike the smell of vinegar, add a couple drops of your favorite essential oil - the fresh scent will be like a small reward! 3. Shortcut to shining windows If you want streakfree mirrors and clean windows without the hassle, Cas Aarssen, author of "Real Life Organizing: Cleaning and Clutter-Free in 15 Minutes a Day" and the YouTube channel ClutterBug, has this expert tip: Add a teaspoon of cornstarch to your favorite glass cleaner and shake until dissolved. Cornstarch improves the

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cleaning power of the solution and makes streaks a thing of the past, so you'll get the job done more quickly. 4. Use a cleaning method that also protects Aarssen has an easy tip that will not only shine up your kitchen appliances, it will repel fingerprints and food splatters often left behind. Just spritz on a little wood furniture polish and rub in with a soft cloth until the surface shines like new. 5. Clean up top Dust can collect on those high, hard-to-reach places, such as decorative molding and ceiling fans, making cleaning day more difficult. To clean your ceiling fan without showering dust bunnies everywhere, an old pillowcase is your best tool. Spritz the inside of the pillowcase with a vinegar and water solution and slip it over the blades of the fan, pulling it back to trap the dust. For those tough to reach moldings and corners, use a sturdy rubber band to wrap a microfiber cloth around the end a broom, and give those hard-to-reach areas a clean sweep!

FRIDAY, MARCH 17, 2017

Trend alert: Wood planks warm up ceilings and walls (BPT) — For centuries, hardwood planks have been the ultimate material for residential floors. Combining exceptional durability with unrivalled good looks, oak, walnut, cherry or other solid-wood floorboards add value and beauty to any home they grace. But these days, handsome timber planking is not only found underfoot, but also on the ceilings and walls of many stylish houses, whether newly built or freshly renovated. "Timber beams and wood paneling have always played important roles in historical and contemporary residential design, and continue to do so," says Linda Jovanovich of the American Hardwood Center. Information "But in addition to these classic applications, we've seen a strong trend toward the use of floorboard-style wood planks on ceilings and walls. Homeowners are finding it's a great way to create interiors that are clean and modern yet still have a traditional warmth." New York-based interior designer Laura Bohn agrees. "I've installed wood-plank ceilings in many projects, both in the city and the country," she says. "The ceiling is often a forgotten surface, but I like to think of it as the fifth wall in a room — a blank canvas that can enhance the architecture of a space." A case in point is a vacation home in Aspen, Colorado, where Bohn used tongue-andgroove red oak planks on the floors and livingarea ceilings. "It's a big, sprawling house," Bohn says. "Using the same materials underfoot and overhead gave the spaces added unity." In

some rooms, the wood ceilings extend past clerestory windows to create covered porches that link the interior of the house to the mountain landscape outside. More drama is provided by the natural light that streams through the clerestories and across the ceilings, changing the look of the red oak boards throughout the day. Ascher, Rebecca principal at Ascher Davis Architects in New York and Newport, Rhode Island, points out that only large, high-ceiling rooms can accommodate such visually distinctive overhead treatment without being overwhelmed. "This is especially true if you're using strongly characterful hardwoods like walnut or hickory," she says. "In smaller, lower spaces, a plank ceiling with too much personality can feel oppressive. In those situations, I would probably specify something simple like poplar beadboard finished with a light, natural stain. That would look crisp and airy, adding visual interest while remaining pleasingly low-key." Home renovators discovered that installing new wood floorboards overhead is not only a surefire way to refresh an interior — even change its character entirely, if so desired — but also an effective method of covering old, damaged ceilings with relative ease. " To n g u e - a n d - g ro ove can be installed directly over drywall, plaster, and other ceiling materials," Ascher says. "Just make sure it is securely attached to the joists underneath." Similar decorative and architectural transformations can be achieved by covering

existing walls with wood planking. A feature wall clad in honeycolored oak or some other distinctive hardwood can give a room focus, bringing a sense of organization and intention to what was previously an amorphous or confused space. It can also add warmth, color and texture to sleek, modernist interiors that can sometimes feel chilly or austere. That is what Texas-based Cornerstone Architects did in a contemporary Austin residence. The decorative temperature of the master bedroom — a coolly elegant arrangement of steel and glass, polished concrete and white plaster — was raised a degree or two by turning the entire wall behind the headboard into a magnifiexpanse of cent burnished walnut boards. Installing hardwood planking on existing walls has become even easier in recent years with the development of self-adhesive boards. "All you need is a wall surface that has been primed or painted and is clean, dry, and relatively flat," says Jack Shannon, III of Rustick Wood Co. in Tennessee, one of a growing number of manufactures producing sustainably grown, stick-on hardwood boards. "Our solid wood boards are available in a variety of finishes, ranging from the refined to the rustic, to fit different styles of home décor." The 5inch wide planks come in lengths between 2and 5-feet and can be applied in many possible patterns — classic end-to-end horizontals and verticals, graphic herringbones and chevrons — the homeowner's imagination is the only real limit.

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Marshall Public School presence at former Hab Center campus growing

Arron Hustead/Democrat-News

A remodeled classat the room Spainhower Building now has twice the space after an interior wall previously splitting the space into two classrooms was removed during the summer vacation. Four other classrooms were similarly altered.

Arron Hustead/Democrat-News

In addition to the Spainhower Building, the Tudor (left) and Guest (right) houses at the Marshall Habilitation Center are also currently being used by Marshall Public Schools. The Tudor House is used primarily as an administration and business space while the Guest House will be the home of the district's new HOOT (Homeless Community Outreach Team) Resource Center. (Arron Hustead/Democrat-News)

Arron Hustead/Democrat-News

Northwest Community Services horticulture program Supervisor Lisa Caldwell (left) and Marshall Public Schools Superintendent Carol Maher (right) examine the orchids in the Spainhower Building's green room. Maher said she hopes the program remain at will Spainhower even after the conveyance of the former Marshall Habilitation Center campus by the state to the city is finalized, along with the then proposed gift of the building to the school district.

Arron Hustead/Democrat-News

Above: Before and after images of the kitchen at the Spainhower Building, installed during the summer vacation to allow most students to eat lunch there rather than being transported to another campus.

By Arron Hustead Staff Writer

After leasing the Spainhower Building on the campus of the former Habilitation Marshall Center for a year, Marshall Public Schools started making itself more at home. The district still currently only uses the first floor of the building, with approximately 50 students attending classes there. However, during summer vacation before the start of the district's second year in the building, 10 of the building's smaller classrooms were turned into five larger classrooms after the dividing interior walls were removed. Additionally, a kitchen was installed, allowing hot lunches to be

prepared on site and served without students having to be transported to another campus to eat. All of the building's students who take lunch there currently do so in one shift with two staff members manning the kitchen. Along with the students, the Spainhower Building houses the district's print shop and Northwest Community Services continues to operate its horticulture program in the building's green room. MPS Superintendent Carol Maher said the district's students also get the chance to help out in the green room. "They still have clients that work there," Maher said. "We partner with them. Our kids go inside

and work alongside their clients. It's a really, really good program. … We'd like to be able to continue to work with them. That remains to be seen, but as for now, and next year for sure, they're hoping to be able to take some of their programs and integrate it into the elementary schools, which would be great." Maher expressed appreciation for many of the items that the state left behind at Spainhower, allowing the district to keep virtually whatever desks, chairs and equipment it needed. The plans, Maher said, are to have the Spainhower Building eventually house preschool, kindergarten and first grade, which would require adding on a wing

of classrooms, but not until the 2018-2019 academic year at the earliest. The conveyance of the property from the state to the city, though approved last spring, has not yet been finalized, leaving the district uncertain of the exact extent of the property on the campus the city would pass to the district. Once that's finalized and the district can fulfill its plan to build onto Spainhower, the district wants to potentially form one consolidated elementary campus. "What we'd like to do, if we get the property that we think we're going to get, is across (East Slater Street, which runs through the middle of the campus) build a second through fifth grade building, so all of our elemen-


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one) Program's HOOT Resource Center. The district's Homeless Community Outreach Team will operate the resource center to serve as a safe place for students and families in the community experiencing homelessness. It will provide services such as access to laundry and shower facilities, group and individual counseling, Wi-Fi access, and aid with homework and job applications. The resource center is paid for through grant money, costing nothing from the district's regular funds. A washer and dryer were added to the Guest House / HRC, but other than that, Maher said no other changes to those buildings had needed to be made.

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tary kids would be right here on one campus," Maher said. "What we're hoping is at the front entrance, we'd be able to put a (second floor) walkway over the street… that would access the other building. …That is just pie in the sky, wouldn't it be great, a decade from now." Besides the Spainhower Building, the district has also made use of the Tudor and Guest houses, located to the north of the Slater Street entrance to the campus. The Tudor house currently holds the office of Assistant Superintendent Terry Lorenz, and serves as the site for the district's business meetings. The Guest House will house the S.A.F.E. (Seeking Acceptance for Every-

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3 backyard projects you can tackle in Thinking outside the coop: 8 common myths about raising backyard poultry a weekend

(BPT) — Now that warmer weather has finally arrived, you want to be outside to enjoy it. Your backyard could be the perfect place to bask in the sun, entertain friends or indulge in your hobbies. It just needs a little sprucing up, and the right projects can help. Best of all, many of these projects are quick and easy. To get you started, here are three projects you can accomplish in a spring weekend - and enjoy all summer long.

Forging a fire pit Whether it's an afternoon gathering or an evening under the stars, adding a fire pit to your backyard is a great way to make an enjoyable gettogether last even longer. And building one is easier than you think. Start by marking the center of your pit in the ground. Spray a circle around the center, outlining your pit's desired circumference - say 5 feet. Dig this space to a depth of 6 inches. In your newfound pit, make a similar circle 12 inches in from your outer circle to make the inner wall of your pit. Fill this area with small stones to serve as the foundation, and lay wet concrete on the ground to solidify and build that foundation. If you do not have the tools you need to successfully make concrete, you can always rent them to elim-

inate the need for a onetime purchase. Once the foundation is ready, apply mortar and stones around the ring. Build up the fire pit wall with additional mortar and stones. After the pit has been built to a height of your choosing, use a brush to remove excess mortar from the inside. You may also spray the inside with a can of spray paint to give your pit's interior a uniform look.

Planning the planters If you've always wanted to add a pop of color to your backyard, planter boxes can be just the ticket. They are relatively simple to build yourself. Start by choosing a wood, like cedar, for your project. Cut four strips with two half the length of your other two, but sharing the same height. These strips will form the foundation of your rectangular planter. If you lack a saw to cut them with, you can always rent one. Once your strips are cut, butt the ends together and apply wood glue at the joints to secure the fit. Drill a screw into each end to solidify the fit. Next, attach the bottom panels with glue and drill a screw through the ends of the bottom panels into the sides for a more secure fit. Finish by lightly sanding any rough or unseemly spaces on the

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Shedding new light on the shed If you're going to spend more time in your backyard this year, it's time to finally do something about that old shed you've been ignoring for years. Fortunately, something as small as a new coat of paint can have a large impact on your shed's appearance. Before applying a drop of paint, inspect the shed to be sure no structural maintenance is needed. Then it's time to clean it. Rent a pressure washer for a quick clean that will free the building of dirt, debris and cobwebs. Once the shed is clean and dry, apply an oilbased primer, which will help protect the building from the elements and make it easier to paint. Finally, it's time to paint. A long-nap roller works well for this project, but you can also rent a paint sprayer. Choose a color to your liking and be sure to select a paint designed for outdoor projects. Each of these three projects can be tackled in a single weekend, and each can have a lasting effect on your outdoor space. So, what are you waiting for? Get started on your outdoor DIY project today.

(BPT) — From fresh egg production to natural garden fertilizer, there is no shortage of benefits in raising backyard poultry. But even as families become more familiar with sustainable living and keeping chickens, several poultry myths still exist. Here to set the record straight for our feathered friends is poultry expert Lisa Steele, creator of the renowned Fresh Eggs Daily brand and author of three top-selling books on the subject. Steele is also a consultant with Tractor Supply Company, the rural lifestyle retailer now celebrating Chick Days with live chicks and ducklings at its stores nationwide. Here are Steele's eight most common surrounding myths backyard flocks: Myth 1: Chickens are difficult to care for. "There is, of course, a certain level of responsibility required to properly care for any living animal. However, when it comes to backyard poultry, the time commitment is fairly minimal - maybe 30 minutes daily," Steele says. Here's what you can expect: In the morning, chickens will need to be let out and fed; waterers will need to be filled. At some point, eggs will need to be collected. Then, around dusk, after the chickens have wandered back to the coop, the door needs to be locked to protect from predators. Myth 2: Chickens (and coops) smell. "Chickens themselves don't smell, nor does a well-maintained coop," Steele says. "On average, a chicken produces about 1.5 ounces of manure a day, which is far less than the average dog - not to men-

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tent of an egg is based largely on a hen's diet, not the color of its egg, which is determined solely by the chicken's breed," Steele says. According to a study conducted by Mother Earth News magazine, a freeroaming chicken that consumes grass and bugs will lay eggs with less cholesterol and saturated fat and more Vitamin A and E, and beta-carotene Omega-3s than a chicken fed purely commercial corn/grainbased foods. Myth 7: Chickens carry disease. "Chickens don't carry any more risk of disease than a dog or cat. In fact, they love to eat ticks and other pesky critters known to transmit diseases like Lyme disease, tapeworm and heartworm," Steele explains. "While salmonella can be transmitted to humans through poultry dander and feces, simply washing hands after handling the chickens keeps the risk of infection minimal." The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) also cautions against live poultry inside the home and against letting children younger than 5 years old handle poultry. Myth 8: Chickens attract rodents and predators. "Wild predators are not any more attracted to chickens than they are to wild birds, rabbits, squirrels and other small animals," Steele says. "The truth is, predators are likely already living in your midst. The key to keeping them at bay is to keep your chickens safe in an enclosed pen or run area. Chicken feed should also be taken up at night and stored in predator-proof containers to reduce the possibility of flies and mice."

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tion, when composted, it makes wonderful nitrogen-rich fertilizer for a garden." Myth 3: Chickens are noisy. "Despite what you may have heard, chickens are pretty quiet. In fact, a clucking chicken tends to be on par with normal human conversation (60-65 decibels). In other words, it's a lot quieter than your neighbor's barking dog, lawn mower or car alarm," Steele says. Roosters are a different story, and some areas prohibit them for that very reason. Be sure to check your local ordinances about keeping backyard poultry! Myth 4: You need a rooster to get eggs. Chickens will lay eggs regardless of whether or not there is a rooster in the flock. A male chicken is only needed to fertilize an egg, meaning eggs laid by hens in a roosterless flock can never hatch into baby chicks. And while there are some benefits to having roosters, they aren't necessary for your hen to produce a basket of delicious, fresh eggs. Myth 5: A chicken lays an egg every day. Fresh eggs to eat and share with friends are one of the best benefits of raising poultry, but Steele says not to expect your hen to lay an egg every day. "The average chicken will produce four to five eggs a week, but that will vary depending on the chicken's age, breed, health and environment. Shorter days, extreme temperatures, molting (growing in new feathers) and other stressors, such as the presence of predators, can all affect egg production," Steele says. Myth 6: Brown eggs are more nutritious than white eggs. "The nutrient con-

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The Marshall Parks and Recreation Department has a storied past. I believe that you can’t know where you are going unless you know where you have been. It all began in 1933. On March 20,1933 on the recommendation of Mayor Joe F. Swisher, the Marshall City Council approved the purchase of 110 acres from Ralph, Juanita and George Duggins for $5,000. The purchase of this land was not looked upon with much favor among the citizens of Marshall, as this land was commonly referred to as “goat hill”. Since this purchase there have been many changes and improvements to our parks. These Leaders had a vision. They knew that for the Marshall to be a viable, thriving community that people needed to relax, unwind and recreate. You can learn more about the history of the parks and our facilities on the History tab. As we continue to upgrade and improve our facilities and programs, the Park Board and staff is committed to providing the citizens of Marshall with quality that’s expected, a comfortable, relaxing family entertainment in a safe and welcoming environment. The Marshall Parks and Recreation Master Plan of 2014 is our road map to our future. Thank you for visiting our site and for your support of your parks. Get out and enjoy all the beauty that surrounds you in our parks! Jeff Stubblefield Director of Parks and Recreation City of Marshall, MO

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