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PROGRESS Jessica Crabtree/Democrat-News
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FRIDAY, MARCH 24, 2017
New electronic features highlight upcoming Community Bank anniversary
New electric signage added in the summer of 2016 outside Community Bank of Marshall's College Street location highlights community events in addition to advertising for the bank.
By Arron Hustead Staff Writer
Though features change, the name stays the same for Community Bank as it approaches 40 years in Saline County. Among the changing features, one in particular stands out to motorists passing by the bank's College Street location. A new electric sign, like those along U.S. Highway 65 through Marshall, allows the bank to draw attention from those at the intersection of College Street and Miami Avenue to the sign's changing messages. Along with sharing information from the bank to the public, Bank President Robbie Fuchs said the sign was intended to highlight
community events and is available to civic organizations in the community. "We really want to use that as much as possible for community events," he said. "We feel… the products that we have are similar to others, but we just want to be able to give the community access to advertising." Future plans are in place, Fuchs said, to update bank facilities and also to add other electric signage at the bank's Odell Avenue location, which was freshly landscaped in 2016. Evolving operational features, such as Community Bank's Shazam Bolt$ mobile app, have granted customers with more tools to combat consumer fraud. By
using the app, customers can receive notificatransaction tions and new in 2016, they gained the ability to block transactions from their account at any time with the press of a button. They can then remove that block whenever they're ready. "They can do it, obviously, just in general, but at the first sign that there's a potential fraud on their card, they can put that block on their card so it doesn't continue," Bank Security Act Officer Julie Schwetz said. Some people, Fuchs said, choose to keep their card locked at all times, unlocking it only at times when they are personally preparing to make a transaction. Other newly added online features include
account electronic statements, or e-statements, and the ability for person-to-person payments. "That just rolled out quite recently," Fuchs said of the person-toperson payment feature. "It's sort of like a PayPal, except all you've got to do is have my email address or a phone number or text, then I can go into the system and put my banking information in. Then, you can automat-
ically send me money. It's just a secure way to conduct e-business." As things continue to change, including transitions in staff due to retirement and the addition of two new members of the bank's board of directors, Fuchs noted one thing that has never changed about Community Bank has been the name. That's something he said will be celebrated along with the bank's anniversary in 2017.
"The banking environment in Saline County has changed quite a bit over the last five years," Fuchs said. "Names have increased the competition. Some banks have changed names. And the one thing that we feel we are — our bank has never changed the name. Can't say that's never going to happen, but we certainly, the intent is to keep on doing what we've done in our market area."
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FRIDAY, MARCH 24, 2017
After 20 years in Marshall, Salt Fork YMCA is still growing
Representatives of Salt Fork YMCA (top) and the Marshall Knights of Columbus (bottom) pose with Santa Claus and Rudolph during the first "Breakfast with Santa" event Saturday, Dec. 10.
Events at the Salt Fork YMCA's 20th anniversary carnival included face painting and a petting zoo Saturday, Aug. 27.
Jessica Crabtree/ Democrat-News
Tr i c k - o r - t r e a t e r s gather candy and play carnival games during Salt Fork YMCA's annual Halloween Party Saturday, Oct. 29.
By Arron Hustead Staff Writer
A 20-year long mainstay of the Marshall community saw numbers on the rise in 2016.
As it celebrated two decades in Marshall, the Salt Fork YMCA reports an uptick in membership and event participation numbers. Salt Fork Y also exceeded the $70,000
goal for its annual fundraising campaign, part of which goes to provide financial assistance with membership for individuals of all ages. In 2016, it provided $45,868.35 in full
or partial financial assistance for memberships and $15,893.96 in indirect assistance. Indirect assistance is described as allowing facilities to be used by community groups or nonprofit organizations, outreach or support to other community groups, community outreach programs or other community support. "Those dollars that we raise go right in to ensure that nobody is ever denied the opportunity to participate due to inability to pay," Salt Fork Y CEO Kirk Alexander said. "If we had to sustain the organization solely off of membership, we couldn't do that. â€ŚThe membership, honestly, doesn't even cover the operational cost of the organization. We understand that if we had to price our membership at a price point to support the organization, we would be shutting a lot of folks out. They just could not afford it, and then that would put an even bigger burden on our financial assistance program." The year also saw Ys throughout the state join together through "My Y is every Y," a reciprocal membership program which allows individuals with a membership at any Y in the state to visit any other in Missouri and Kansas and enjoy full membership benefits there at no additional cost.
Alexander noted a number of existing Y activities in Marshall, such as summer camp and the annual Halloween party, had been successful throughout the year. Also, he said the Y had started branching out into a new range of activities. "Good, bad or indifferent, I think the perception is the YMCA is just for members," Alexander said. "Again, we are a membershipbased organization, but we're trying to do more things to kind of lend ourselves, or invite the community to participate as well." Breakfast with Santa, a new Y program in partnership with the Knights of Columbus, reportedly attracted 70 kids to participate, which Alexander said was great for the first time doing it. The daddy/daughter dance had an estimated 130 couples participate. Cookies and canvas was another new event hosted by the Y, which Membership Director Kelsey Mumm described as a mommyand-me painting project. "It was a really cool hands-on activity that you got to do with a parent, which a lot of parents just don't take the time to do at home," Mumm said, adding that including more family programs was a future goal. Additionally, in celebration of its 20th anniversary in Marshall, the Y hosted a carnival
in August that Alexander said had received great feedback from people wanting to do it again next year. However, he said such an event might have to wait to return in five years for the 25th anniversary. Also in celebration of the anniversary, a black tie/tennis shoe event was organized with invites sent to original board members, campaigners, founders and others who had an early influence on the Y in Marshall. The event was so well received, Alexander said, that it was decided it would be an annual event which the Y would use in the future to focus on the Y's endowment. "Marshall, I think, is really fortunate, really blessed to have a Y, but having a Y in a community the size of Marshall â€” it can be a bit of a struggle too, to support it," Alexander said. "I've heard people say the easiest thing to do is to raise the seed money to build the building â€” what's really hard is finding all the revenue that you need to maintain the building. Nobody wants to give to a new roof. So, it's going to be really critical for us to have a nice, strong endowment to ensure the success of the organization as we move forward." The Y's endowment also benefits from a portion of the proceeds from the annual piccadilly auction.
FRIDAY, MARCH 24, 2017
County fairgrounds staying up on current trends
Above Left: A roof addition is constructed at Saline County Fairground on the facility's hog barn.
Photo left and above: Upgrades to the entrance of Saline County Fairground’s multipurpose building were completed early this year, including new doors, stacked rock and car siding finishes.
By Sarah Reed
General Manager The Saline County Fairground is a host site for long-standing and traditional events; but fairground association members know they have to look ahead to keep up with drawing both traditional events and new. From its Denim & Diamonds fundraising dinner and auction, as well as private donations, the fairground has been able to steadily expand and
improve. In 2016, that began with remodeling some of the multipurpose building. “We remodeled the end walls with rock and car siding,” fair association member Gary Dowell said. From floor to ceiling, the north and south interior walls have been resurfaced with modern stacked stone and stained wood, helping to bring the aesthetic from a functional space to a designed look. Additionally, the lowered ceiling
was removed, insulation was added to the peaked ceiling, and new lighting was installed, as well as ductwork and acoustic tile. “Part of that building is (more than) 40 years old, some is newer,” Dowell said. “We want to make it all the same. The livestock barns are 40plus years old. It needs a facelift.” Those multipurpose building alterations were finished in January of 2016. Toward the end of last year, the organiza-
tion began the newest capital improvement for the building: revamping the entryway. The $15,000 project included introducing the same new materials, rock and car siding, to both the interior and exterior of the entrance. Contractors also built in new doors. “We’ve had a lot of good comments,” Dowell said. Work was completed by Gibson Construction, as well as C&D Masonry from Sweet Springs. Con-
For now, association and community members will enjoy the progress that has taken place at Saline County Fairground. But association members are also thinking about the future in an effort to stay on the front edge of current trends and changing needs. “We’re getting the long-range planning committee to see what the next project is,” Dowell said. “We want to put the community’s contributions to good use.”
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FRIDAY, MARCH 24, 2017
Elmer Hare Ford sports a new look
Before photo courtesy Facebook, after photo - Arron Hustead/Democrat-News
Elmer Hare Ford, before and after the summer 2016 renovations completely transformed the building's appearance.
By Arron Hustead Staff Writer
The difference inside Elmer Hare Ford is night and day following a fiverenovation month process, according to General Manager Matt Hare.
A project that had been in the planning stages for a couple of years, Hare said the numerous upgrades were all focused on providing better customer service. In the sales department, new features in-
clude a "state-of-theart" waiting area with a coffee bar, extra seating and new televisions. A new heating and cooling system and new insulation were added along with new flooring and freshly re-carpeted offices. Hare said there
were probably other small remodeling projects through the years, but that this was the major renovation for the building, which dates back to 1983. "Beforehand it was a lot darker in here," Hare said. "A lot more the 80s
Added features in the Elmer Hare Ford waiting room include a coffee bar, extra seating and new televisions. and 90s were still in here. The waiting area just wasn't quite as comfortable. The insulation wasn't near as good. The comfort of it probably wasn't quite as good, and the flow from service to the front wasn't probably quite as good."
Additional upgrades throughout the building include new countertops in the parts room, a new service desk area, a new service drive, refreshed and repainted walls and ceilings, a new delivery area and a new exterior appearance.
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FRIDAY, MARCH 24, 2017
Tech goals to save money and make life easier
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tips for avoiding common pain points and consumer grievances. • Know what you’re paying for. Many techrelated monthly bills contain hidden fees and fine print. “Your mobile bills are some of the most complex. From paying for bits and bytes to hidden
fees, the advertised low monthly payment never seems to materialize on your statement,” says Andrea Smith, technology expert and journalist. In an average year, consumers pay more than $17.2 billion in taxes and fees to the wireless carriers. Often
they don’t even know what these fees are for! To save on your bills, look for transparent billing practices, like those that include all taxes in fees on statements and don’t charge you a penny more than promised. • Treat your data as a right, not a privilege. It
1.5 million meals to pets in 30 locations across the U.S. and Canada. "Many people feel financially tapped out after the holidays, but helping families and pets in need doesn't have to cost a lot," Fuller says. Here are six simple ways you can help families in need care for their pets in the New Year: •Have you ever bought a bag or case of pet food your pet wouldn't eat? Consider donating it to your local food pantry. •Many pantries provide volunteers with
printed paper bags to use in gathering food donations. Ask your local food pantry for some donation bags and drop them off at homes in your neighborhood. Include a note asking for pet food donations and let your neighbors know when you'll be back to pick up the filled bags and deliver them to the food pantry. •Contact your local homeless shelter to find out what they need to help care for the pets of the homeless people in your community. Donating extra blankets and pet sweaters could help keep those pets warm throughout the
is predicted the majority of TV will be viewed on mobile devices this year, so be prepared to use more data each month than ever before. One key tip: connect your mobile devices to Wi-Fi whenever possible. If excess data charges constantly turn your family’s wireless bill into a monthly nightmare, find an unlimited plan or a wireless provider that doesn’t charge overages, so your leisure activities aren’t counted against you. • Help technology help you. These days, mobile apps can help you track spending and some can even help you save. For example, Mvelopes, a free budgeting app, helps users avoid over spending by offering real-time updates as purchases are made. Other apps such as Mint, give users an opportunity to check credit scores and automate bill payments. • Look for rewards, and then take advantage of them. When service choosing providers, seek out re-
ward programs like the ones you find for credit cards. Some tech companies offer customers exclusive deals on entertainment, dining and more when you download an app or sign up for the program. For example, the T-Mobile Tuesdays app features weekly free offers and discounts to customers from partners including Fandango, Lyft, Wendy’s, Shell Gas and more. • Evaluate your needs, and slim down accordingly. Do a tech audit. Are you really using that cable or landline service enough to make the expense worthwhile? Could you be a cord cutter and just use streaming video services for TV? Evaluate your consumption for a month and determine if you actually use all the services that you pay for each month. As we all come to rely more on our technology, it can be easy to pay extra fees blindly. Becoming an informed consumer can help take on any potential challenge or unexpected change.
Year-round ways to help pets and their families in need
BPT — Approximately 48 million Americans face food insecurity every day, according to Feeding America, a non-profit organization and network of more than 200 food banks. That means they, and their pets, face uncertain access to a sufficient amount of affordable, healthy food. "People who face food insecurity should not have to sacrifice the unconditional love and companionship pets bring to their lives," says Joann Fuller, U.S. Shelter Engagement Manager for Hill's Pet Nutrition. "Most food pantries also accept pet food dona-
tions. So when you drop off a bag of dog or cat food, you're helping a family in need take care of their best friend." Recognizing the need to provide year-round help for families and pets in need, Hill's has partnered with VCA Charities, the philanthropic arm of VCA Hospitals, to support the organization's Pet Food Pantry program. The program's goal is to provide healthy, nutritious pet food to families that could not otherwise afford it. Created in 2010 in Venice, Calif., the program and participating pantries have served more than
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winter. •Shelters for victims of domestic violence may need help with temporary housing for pets of families in transition. Contact your local shelter to see if they have a fostering program that needs volunteers. •Seniors who no longer drive may have trouble accessing regular veterinary care for their pets. Check with your local senior center or county's department of senior services to see if you can volunteer to drive seniors and their pets to veterinary appointments. •Contact your veteri-
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Spring home improvements you can do in 24 hours or less
BPT — For most of us, the idea of spring cleaning probably sounds refreshing after a winter of bundling up against the cold. Now that spring has arrived, it's finally time to get started! Sprucing up your home doesn't have to take lots of time, and is a great way to leave you feeling reinvigorated after a long winter. To help you spring into warm weather home improvement, here are 24 simple projects that take 24 hours or less to accomplish: •Put a fresh coat of paint on the front door. Standard paints can take a long time to dry, especially if you live in a humid climate. The paint can be used inside or outside the home and it resists dirt, fingerprints, UV rays and weathering. •Update kitchen cabi-
FRIDAY, MARCH 24, 2017
nets. Recently, homeowners are changing the facades of their kitchen cabinets and painting them instead of staining them — a trend that has tremendously. grown Add new knobs to complete the look for an easy, inexpensive way to give your cabinets a facelift. •Swap pillows and throws. You can't change your couch every time the season changes, but switching out pillows and throws is a great way to give seasonal flare to your living room decor. •Create a statement wall. Installing graphic wallpaper or wood planking on one wall, or simply painting one wall or the ceiling a contrasting color, can add drama to any room in the house. •Spruce up the deck for summer enjoyment. A refinished deck looks great, and doesn't have
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to be a lot of work. •Add wow factor to your entryway. Large planters with hardy, bright blooms add curb appeal when positioned on either side of the front door. •Update your lighting. Modern light fixtures in kitchens and bathrooms shed a whole new light and look on the room. Consider installing a dimmer so you can create the right mood, any time of the day. While you're upgrading lighting, be sure to replace old-style incandescent bulbs with energy-efficient ones that will last longer and cost less to operate. •Create a gallery wall. Hang multiple family photos and/or chic prints in varying frame styles and sizes on one wall of the living room. •Rearrange your furniture. Talk about a no-
cost way to get a totally different look. Experiment with different furniture configurations, and don't be afraid to move pieces from room to room. •Create a recharging drawer in your kitchen. Clean out that junk drawer, add dividers and a power strip and you have the perfect place for recharging your family's electronic devices. •Install a ceiling fan. Nothing says spring and summer like a ceiling fan wafting a gentle breeze through a room. Choose the style and size that's right for your space. Bonus: ceiling fans can help reduce energy bills by cheaply supplementing air-conditioning and heating. •Organize your mudroom. Whether it's a formal mudroom or a corner of the entryway, every house has a spot
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where shoes, backpacks and other personal items collect. Organize that area with hooks for hanging and cubbies or shoe racks for storage. •Add a display shelf above a doorway. A wooden shelf above a doorway is a great place to feature collectibles. •Add vintage class to a powder room. Replace the ordinary doorknob on your powder room door with a vintage or replica glass knob. •Install decorative house numbers. You can purchase decorative tile or glass numerals from a variety of sources. •Stencil some fun. Add animal or character stencils to the walls of a child's room, staircase or kitchen, or patio table for a quick, artsy take. •Add a ceiling medallion. Draw attention to a light fixture by installing a decorative ceiling
medallion that has a slightly different color than the ceiling. •Replace a kitchen faucet. A new kitchen faucet can be practical and decorative, but can also control water flow, saving money. •Pressure wash siding and walkways. Power washing exterior home areas makes siding and walkways look fresh. •Hang a new mirror in the bathroom. A decorative framed mirror in place of a standard bathroom mirror adds interest, elegance and even light to the space. •Put a decorative decal in the laundry room. Create some fun in the laundry area by adding a decal with a humorous saying, such as "Life is too short to fold fitted sheets!" •Upgrade bathroom towel storage. Replace those builder-issue towel bars and rings with decorative options that add pizzazz. •Make your own art with a shower curtain. Love large-scale artwork but have a smaller scale budget? Use wood to frame a decorative shower curtain and turn it into wall art. •Wash windows! What's the one spring DIY task that will make all the others in your home look even better? Wash windows to allow spring and summer sunlight into your home.Trying just a few of these easy home-improvement tasks is a fast way to perk up your home for spring and summer.
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FRIDAY, MARCH 24, 2017
Projects give park a refreshed look
Above: Renovations to the Lyon Bowl fields at Indian Foothills Park were discussed at the Marshall Parks and Recreation Board meeting Wednesday, March 2, 2016. At that point, the Marshall Parks and Recreation Department had received a $10,000 royalty fields grant, which was received from Royals Charities Monday, Feb. 15. Ideally, park officials had hoped reconstruction would begin at the end of the 2016 ball season, but it was pushed back. Also pictured is the progression of the renovation of two of the baseball and softball fields at Indian Foothills Park's Lyon Bowl Thursday, Feb. 16. The first phase of renovations includes leveling the fields and altering the direction of the infields, as well as installation of an Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) compliant ramp from the south parking lot to the fields. Parks Director Jeff Stubblefield estimated roughly 95 percent of the dirt on the fields had been moved around at the time. The nearly $400,000 project is financed with the help of donations from the Optimist Club of Marshall, Royals Charities, and the estate of William M. Huston. Sarah Reed/Democrat-News
Left: A new expression swing installed at Indian Foothills Park was reportedly a big hit with the public, according to park officials. An expression swing allows an adult to swing with a small child or toddler. The adult sits on a normal bench swing with a bar that wraps around above, ending with a booster seating, facing in the opposite direction. This allows the adult and child to face each other and maintain eye contact while enjoying playtime together. The swing without a frame costs approximately $1,500. Due to the swing’s popularity, Director Jeff Stubblefield announced in March 2017 that a second swing would be added in the park later in the year.
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FRIDAY, MARCH 24, 2017
New sirens put to test during March storms
Above left: Saline County Buildings and Grounds Supervisor Bill Sleeper installs window louvers for the new severe weather sirens in the courthouse in late October.
Above right: One of four new storm sirens sits in the bell tower of the Saline County Courthouse after Blue Valley Public Safety Inc. installed them on Oct. 20.
Bottom left: Jeff Edgington, with Blue Valley Public Safety Inc., instructs fellow workers on the best installation for new sirens in the bell tower of the Saline County Courthouse on Thursday, Oct. 20.
By Jessica Crabtree Staff Writer
Four new storm sirens in the Saline County Courthouse were put to the test earlier in March as a line of severe storms traveled across the Midwest. According to Emergency Management Director Tony Day, the new sirens worked very well after the storms caused a tornado warning to be issued for the county. “I think it’s a great addition to our system,” he said. “They’ve been
working out great.” The sirens are also voice-capable, though that feature was not used during the tornado warning. Day said voice capability will help direct listeners, instead of a siren sounding without any information about why it is sounding. The feature will be geared more toward events that draw large crowds, and will be used “to warn crowds of people that there is an imminent danger and that they need to evacuate, take cover or go one direction or another.”
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The sirens can also warn people of other dangers besides a tornado or high winds, like an anhydrous leak. The new sirens were installed in the bell tower of the courthouse in late October 2016, and a siren testing ceremony was held on Nov. 2. During the ceremony, Emergency Management Director Tony Day explained the reasoning behind the new storm sirens. He said that approximately two years ago, a big storm was headed for Saline County and had the po-
tential to produce tornadoes. At the time, a concert was in progress at the fairgrounds, as well as a local high school football game. Day said because of that occurrence, he looked into new sirens that could be installed “at places where people gather — the courthouse, fairgrounds and school parks.” He then explained the process of getting the new sirens, including speaking with the Marshall City Council and Saline County Commission for use of the courthouse. Addition-
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the high school, though he said it will take some time to complete. “That would be a great addition out there by the sports stadiums to be able to get specific warning information about what the hazard is,” he said. “That way, you could give them specific voice instructions about where to go and what to do.” A portable voice-capable siren is also at the Saline County Fairground and can be used during those events, or could be deployed to surrounding towns if needed.
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ally, he spoke with Mark Thompson, Wood & Huston Bank’s president and CEO. “If it wasn’t for Mark Thompson, I probably wouldn’t have done this,” Day said during the ceremony. “He thought it was a good project and he would support it.” Others who contributed to the project were Community Bank, Cargill, Mid-Missouri Energy, Exchange Bank, Fitzgibbon Hospital and McDonalds. Day said he hopes to get another siren similar to the new ones by
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