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Cuba Free Press
Cuba, Missouri
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April 3, 2003     Cuba Free Press
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April 3, 2003
 

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2A Second Front Page The Cuba April 3, 2003 Free Press Red Cross is main contact with those .in service By Sue Seidel - Services that the American Red Cross provide go way beyond just disaster emer- gency aid and health and safe- ty education or instruction. The Red Cross also offers armed forces emergency serv- ices. We are the main contact between a service person and his or her parent and/or spouse in an emergency. If a parent or spouse of a Crawford County service person has any con- cerns about their loved one or would need to make emer- gency contact with them, call the Crawford County Red Cross at 573-885-6214. We then do what we can to help. Updates come in daily to the chapter. Recently, we have received a list of items that are needed by our military and we do have a Quality of Life pro- gram that sends donated items from our Red Cross to Red Cross chapters in other loca- tions for delivery to military personnel. Due to security and&apos; process of initigting a wrist safety issues because of poten- tial terrorism, there are new regulations and procedures related to this program; we ask of groups or individuals inter- ested in participating to call the Crawford County Red Cross first rather than sending packages directly to the mili- tary overseas. Many packages not sent through the Red Cross will be considered unsafe and either returned or destroyed. The chapter is also in the band prayer program where individuals and organizations can adopt a Crawford County service person to pray for. To ensure success of this program we need to update our files. Therefore, we ask that all par- ents or spouses of military service men and women call the Red Cross office with cur- rent addresses, as that also helps us if we have to make an emergency contact or if we send packages overseas. Tax issues are being put before county, voters in the April 8 election Continued from IA R-1 School ' District are also being asked by the administra- tion and board of education to pass two separate ballot meas- ures on Tuesday. District rep- resentatives hope voters will endorse their proposals that would generate additional school operating expenses by increasing the property tax levy by 50 cents and eliminat- ing the effects of the Prop C rollback. "Our operating levy has remained at $2.75 since the 1994-1995 school year," said Crawford County R-1 Superintendent Chris Gaines. "We're at a crossroads point where we need to raise more local money to be certain we can continue to operate at our current level of expenses. With the way the state's budget situ- ation is going right now, it's more important than ever for us to be able to raise money locally to support our system." A 50 cent increase of the dis- trict's property tax level would raise it from $2.75 to $3.25 per $100 of assessed valuation. On a residential property assessed at $100,000, for example, a homeowner's tax would increase from $522.50 to $617.50 annually; a $100,000 commercial property's operat- i[g levy tax would raise from $880 to $1,040 annually. R-l's total current levy rate--including the operating, incidental, teachers and debt service funds--is set for 2002- 2003 at $3.5461 per $100 assessed valuation. This ballot proposal, if passed, would raise the total levy to at least $4.0461 for next year; however the Hancock rollback (which offsets increased assessed val- uation due to reassessment) would take effect in the 2004- 2005 school year and eventual- ly roll the operating levy back to $2.75 again, bringing the overall levy rate back to cur- rent levels. Because the Prop C rollback is directly connected to increases to the operating'levy, R-1 voters will have to approve both the 50 cent levy and the rollback waiver to keep the levy hike permanently in effect. "The two issues work in conjunction with one another," Gaines explained. "Without a full waiver of Prop C, the levy increase will be automatically readjusted by the Prop C roll- back, reducing the levy back to $2.75 again..They very much work hand i hand; you can't have one without the other. But it's important for people to understand this isn't two dif- ferent tax measures we're try- ing to pass. The Prop C roll- back simply allows the 50 cent increase to stay in effect. We're asking voters to approve both." The administration has said if either of the measures fail to pass this year, some school pro- grams, services and personnel would be cut in order to main- tain a balanced financial budg- et for the district. The operat- ing levy was last increased by voters in 1988, when it was raised by 75 cents. Funds gen- erated by the additional tax revenues will be used to main- tain existing facilities and make capital improvements, as well as purchase new desks, chairs, computers and other school equipment. Moneys could also be used to keep employee salaries and benefits competitive with other area schools. Jail construction not likely to be completed until june Continued from IA five full-time employees and a time to pass out meals, to pass power receptacles, overhead roof, skylights, exterior win- dows, sealing of exterior joints, drywall on the second floor, joint taping, painting and security caulking in dayrooms, ductwork for the heating sys- tem and water line extensions to the heat pumps. The eleva- tor was due to arrive at the site last week. As if the comnission didn't have enough to worry about with jail construction already, Sheriff A1 Engelbrecht has indicated he'll need six new full-time jailers to staff the expanded 96-bed facility after it opens. There are currently part-time worker on the jail staff, typically overseeing about 22 prisoners on the aver- age day; the jail crew would expand to a dozen according to Engelbrecht's plan, at an addi- tional cost to the county of about $132,000 annually in staff salaries alone. "We're looking at potentially tripling our inmate count, so we'll have to add new person- nel to the staff to compensate for those higher numbers of prisoners," said Engelbrecht. "During the busier summer months, we may have 70 or 80 inmates held in the jail," added Lt. Joe Weber of the Jail Division. "It will take more out medications and to do laundry. All of the everyday labor activities will be increased. What I'm concerned about is running the jail so that it skirts around any possi- ble safety or liability concerns. Now is the time to be working these things out, rather than waiting until the jail opens in June." County commissioners are currently reviewing Engelbrecht's plan and will meet with him again on Monday to discuss the staffing issue. "I was under the impres- sion that it would take fewer people to run the new jail, not more," Mitchell commented. Candidates for R-2 board respond to questions from Cuba Free Press Continued from IA , students are the future work- ing class men and women. In this date and time, every child needs  strong education in order to meet the challenges of the working world. Portions of state funds are generated by attendancea percentage, which enables us to utilize as needed. As a board member I am , very aware of the financial cri- sis we are now facing. The. community has been informed for the last two years of antici- pated state cuts and how it will affect the school budget. It is now becoming a reality. I would like to see every student (I have one), parent (I am one), and taxpayer (I am one of those also) have a part in keep- ing our schools financially sta- ble. Volner: The number one concern for the 2003-2004 school year will be finances. Our school, much like the state of Missouri, will have to cut our budget in order to make ends meet with the state budg- et cuts in the coming year. We must insure that our children continue to receive the best education that we can offer and insure that our teachers' salaries stay competitive with surrounding schools in order to keep our quality teachers from going to other schools that may have more to offer. : CFP: State funding contin- ues to be a major issue every years as the district fights to remain competitive ad stay under budget while the state keeps cutting education spend- ing. What's your solution? Is a local tax levy increase neces- sary and would you support it? Bouse: The state of Missouri has a funding crisis on its hands that could deeply affect all public schools and tate aided programs. Every responsible school board mem- ber should be monitoring legis- lation closely. We should keep an open mind and actively seek ways to fund our budget in the future. Specific funding must be available to support our teachers and administration, teacher recruitment and reten- tion, school facility improve- ments, ever increasing utility and 'health insurance costs, supplies and student achieve- ment. This is funding that we depended on from the state of Missouri that may be less available in the future. Farris: Superintendent Boast has worked very hard to stay on target as money gets tighter and tighter. We as a board have looked at major budget reductions for the last two school years. It has not been an easy task to witness our state funds being cut and our students, employees and schools taking the impact of these cuts. I feel if state funding contin- ues to decrease, a local tax levy proposition will become neces- sary in the future. You can rely on me to look with a positive attitude at the growing prob- lems of our financial state. I have faith in our schools and the children who attend. They are the future of Cuba and we the taxpayers have an obliga- tion to pillar that future. Volner: I feel that we must continue to provide quality education no matter what funding is cut. To do this, we must compensate our teachers in order to provide this quality education. Unfortunately, there will have to be cuts somewhere and cutting uncer- tiffed staff and teachers cannot be tolerated. We must continue to be fully staffed in order to provide quality education to our children. One way to accomplish this may be to look at administra- tive salary freezes. Another may be to appoint a committee made up of local citizens in the community to work with the board and administration to attack these problems and decide together which way best to resolve them. At the current time, I am not in support of a tax levy. In a perfect world, a tax levy would be a welcomed sight, enough money to make up for the cuts in funding we are cur- rently experiencing. But this is not a perfect world. Currently, our nation is at war, gas prices are rising and taxes are at an all-time high. At this time, we just can't afford another raise in taxes. Hopefully, in the future, when the economy improves, the board will have gained the trust of the people during these difficult times and a .much- needed tax levy can be approved. CFP: What qualifications do you have for this position and why should voters elect you to the school board? Bouse: I have four years experience as a school board member with the Cuba school district. I completed board member certification in March 1999, attended three annual school board conferences and various seminars on school finance, goal setting and parental involvement. I live in Crawford County and have two children in this district. I wish to see our schools prepare kids for a successful future. I am energetic and always open for new suggestions and ideas for improvement. Farris: I have served on the R-II School Board for three years. Having the experience and certifications required by the State, I have already met and will continue to meet the challenges of serving as board member. After being employed with Cuba schools for seven years in the accounting departnent working with the superintend- ent, I bring a level of expertise and clear understanding to the board of our schools' finances. As we strive to build a better future for our community, I will continue to be an asset to our schools. Volner: I have served on the board of education for three years and am a certified board member. Having been on the board, I have some knowledge of what makes a board work and the importance of team- work among the board, staff and community. Cuba R-II board members are elected officials placed in that office to represent the best interests of our children. It is a very impor- tant position that should not be taken lightly. If elected, I will represent the citizens of our school district to the best of my ability. CFP: What short- and long- term goals do you have for the school board andor R-H District? Bouse: Short terms goals-- to help get the school through this state budget crisis, sup- port our administration and ensure a clean and safe educa- tional environment for all stu- dents. Long term goalsto improve MAP scores, update middle school facilities, encourage and increase parental involvement, and decrease number of students receiving failing quarter grades. Farris: Short-term goals would be to keep in mind we are serving our community and future citizens, so we must do what is best for our students and the taxpayers who support our schools. The board should review the budget, prioritize expenditures and make sure children have the opportunity to learn and feel safe in an environment that will allow them to flourish. Long-term goals would be to balance the budget and pro- vide a quality education for every student attending Cuba schools. Volner: Short-term goals would be to meet with admin- istration, staff and the itizens of Cuba to assess the current budget cuts and decide the best way to continue to provide quality education to the chil- dren of Cuba R-II. Longrterm goals would be to establish better communica- tion among the board, adminis- tration, staff, students and cit- izens of the Cuba R-II School District. I feel that these lines of communication are impera- tive to providing the best edu- cation for our young people. Heather Wilson CHS grad takes to the Heather Wilson, a 2002 Cuba High School graduate, is singing her way through school at Missouri Baptist University in St. Louis. Wilson performed in musicals throughout high school and is a freshman at MBU majoring in Communica- tions. This weekend, April 4 and 5, she will be performing in the musical "Babes in Arms." She is also a member of Allusion, MBU's vocal jazz/pop group. "Babes in Arms" depicts a show production staged by a group of teenagers, children and vaudevillians, in order to avoid being sent to a work farm. Even when their boss reneges on his agreement to help them, they are deter- mined to continue working. Their production takes place in a barn, with a famous director ending up in the audience. Wilson plays "Terri," lend- ing her talent to the Broadway musical. Singing duets and dancing, Wilson plays the comedic lead. The only fresh- man cast in "Babes iz this is Wilson's first musical. Call for box office tion at 314-392-2345 www.mobap.com. $15 and the show p.m. both nights. The tion will take place Arts Building on campus. As a member of Wilson performs the St. Louis area They performed at School February 26, that day performed i cert held at Assembly of God Allusion is available formances for school, civic and business Their repertoire is including music temporary, popular, blues, and gospel book Allusion, Lacey, director, <mailto:laceyp or call (314) 392-2101. Soldier sends his love EDITOR'S NOTE: The Free Press received this e-mail Monday and wanted to pass it on to our readers. Hello, my name is Sgt. Glen Roussin. I am a resident of Cuba, Mo. My wife's name is Michelle Roussin, she works at the Cuba Mobil On-the-Run store, and she is assistant manager there. I am in the U.S. Army Reserves. I have been mobi- lized since January. I am in Uzbekistan now. I would like for you to do me a favor and see if you can put an article in the paper for me. I would like to tell my lovely wife Michelle that I love her very much and miss my sons, Andrew, and Daniel. I also other marriage. Her Lydia Roussin -and Cuba also. I have children who live Charles their James and Ashlee I would like to children that I love miss them very you for your time ate this very much. Thank you, Sgt. Glen Roussin 375th Quartern Det 1 Operation Enduring APO AE 09311 BoB Kos00, O" Financial ,".'."-'' At PEOPLES Youfirst. 701 North Cuba, Me Iei Bank 573-885-2511 WHEN WAS YOUR LAST FINANCIAL CHECKUP? Nearly everyone has heard their doctor preach, at one time or about the need for routine checkups. Yet, how often do you cot need for a review of your personal finances? By asking lowing questions you may determine that the time has cial checkup. Do you have financial goals? If so, are they in writing a nl include deadlines? .d Is your debt under control? Do you pay off your credit caru$ month? Have you reviewed your investment portfolio recently? Are fortable with the level of risk associated with your merits? Are you satisfied with the rate of erating? Have you started a retirement fund yet? If so, will savings provide an adequate fund to meet your future needs? Have you reviewed your tax situation recently to see if to reduce your tax liability? Have you started a savings program to meet the cost of your children's college education? If so, will your current rate be adequate given the effects of inflation and rising tuit Have you reviewed your life insurance coverage event of an untimely death, will your current policies quately for your'spouse and/or children? If you are not satisfied with your answers to any.of these contact your financial advisor today. Together, you can work o0 your finances on track. Securities offered exclusively through Raymond James Financial ServiceS, NASD/SIPC, an independent broker/dealer, and are not insured bank insurance, are not deposits or obligations of the bank, are not g and are subject to risk, including the possible loss of principal.