This is the first day that Missouri hunters can take to the fields and woods in quest of the cunning quail. But the Conservation Department says the sport is in decline. The department says quail hunting should be improved this year—that quail have made a significant recovery from last year although the bird count is only about half of the long-term average. Last year’s census was the lowest ever recorded. The department expects about 33-thousand hunters in the field this fall and winter. But the department’s Tom Dailey says that’s down about 70 percent from the 40-year average. He says there deer, turkey, and duck hunting are serious competition for quail hunting. In fact, he says deer hunting seems to be the entry level for many hunters because it’s an easier sport and doesn’t require a dog. But Dailey says quail hunters usually do well although they get only about half of the birds available. The season lasts until January 15th. Hunters can kill eight birds a day…but cannot have more than 16 at any one time.
Archives for October 2006
Election Day is less than a week away, and the sides in Amendment 3 – the tobacco tax ballot initiative – are intent on campaigning right up to the time the polls close next Tuesday.
The Missouri Petroleum Marketers and Convenience Store Association is one of the organizations fighting the initiative. Executive Director Ron Leone says this 470 percent tax hike – the largest single tax increase in the state’s history – will have negative economic consequences. He says small businesses that sell tobacco products – especially the businesses near Missouri’s state borders – will be hurt because customers will cross state lines to buy cigarettes.
Many organizations and individuals supporting the initiative make up the Committee for a Healthy Future. One of those supporters is Cindy Erickson, former Chief Executive Officer of the American Lung Association of Missouri. She rejects arguments Missouri’s economy would suffer if the initiative passes, saying people who buy tobacco products are not likely to spend gas money to cross state lines.
As to where this additional revenue would end up, Leone points out only 17-and-a-half cents from every dollar collected would end up going to smoking prevention and cessation efforts, while the rest would be used to provide health care to the needy and to pay health care professionals. Erickson insists the 17.5 cents on the dollar is the percentage for anti-tobacco efforts recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Interview with Ron Leone
Interview with Cindy Erickson
Freezing temperatures this winter don’t mean Missouri homes have to be cold, because of more lenient payment terms under a revised Cold Weather Rule. The Cold Weather Rule goes into effect today. Disconnected residents can now get reconnected by paying either 50 percent of their existing debt or by paying 5-hundred dollars, whichever option costs less. The remainder of the debt will have to be paid at a pro-rata rate during the next 12 months. But, Public Service Commission Chairman Jeff Davis says all registered customers are safeguarded from heat being shut off when temperatures dip below freezing. Davis also says if you are an elderly or disabled citizen and you meet certain income guidelines, you can’t be shut off for any reason. Residents can also seek assistance from the state’s Low Income Heating Assistance Program.
A prescription drug program for poor senior citizens and the disabled is expanding. It’s called the Missouri RX program, which replaced the Senior RX program when Medicare Part D began about 160,000 are served now. Lt. Governor Peter Kinder says the program will expand to cover another 60,000. Kinder says the state doesn’t want senior citizens making a choice between buying food or paying for prescriptions. The MoRX plan pays for about half the out-of-pocket expense that Medicare won’t cover; the so-called donut hole in Medicare prescription drug coverage. Kinder says he will work to raise awareness about the Missouri RX program and its expanded coverage by traveling the state in November to get the word out. Senior citizens making less than 200% of the poverty level and the disabled are eligible for the Missouri RX program.
The Royals could be without catcher Paul Bako and first baseman Doug Mientkiewicz next season. Both players have filed for free agency and could generate some interest.
All-Star pitcher Mark Redman is eligible to file but has yet to do so.
The Cardinals could lose some pieces of its championship puzzle. Infielders Scott Spiezio and Jose Vizcaino joined pitcher Jason Marquis as players to file. Marquis is probably the least likely to return after he was left off the League Championship roster and the World Series roster.
Fumbling and injuries are two things that make it easy for a running back to lose his starting spot on the depth chart. Nobody knows this better than Missouri tailback Tony Temple who has had trouble holding the football dating back to his days at Rockhurst High School. His separated shoulder – suffered against Oklahoma – compounded the situation and now Earl Goldsmith is the starter.
Temple has fumbled twice in the last three games, both resulting in scores for the opposition. His 662 yards rushing leads the team.
With college basketball season set to begin Friday, the last thing Missouri needed was to deal with another loss. So far, the Tigers have two losses already and the opening tip has not been tossed yet.
Freshman guard Keon Lawrence joined swingman Glen Dandridge on the injured list. Dandridge broke his foot earlier in the month. Lawrence recently suffered a stress fracture in his left foot that will sideline him for six-to-eight weeks.
Lawrence was expected to log major minutes in his college debut season. He will not need to undergo surgery but will be placed in an orthopedic boot.
Mizzou opens the season Friday with an exhibition game against Missouri-Rolla.
Campaign finance reports show opponents of amendment two – the stem cell initiative – have raised more money between October 1st and the 26th than backers of it – $1.9-Million to $1.3-Million. But the total figures for the entire campaign show supporters have raised more than $30-Million, most of it from Jim and Virginia Stowers, who opened the Stowers for medical research in Kansas City. Opponents have raised about $3.6-Million in all. $600,000 of that amount is from the St. Louis Catholic Archdiocese, which says the money came from private donors, and $272,000 from a St. Louis woman.
Livestock producers in 30 counties can receive assistance to offset the loss of pasture and hay due to drought. State Agriculture officials have received $2.7 million in assistance to be distributed to livestock producers, a first for the state says Agriculture Department spokeswoman Misti Preston. Preston says federal drought assistance usually flows from the United States Department of Agriculture to the Farm Service Agency offices. This time, the state has been given the money to distribute directly to farmers. The assistance comes in the form of grants, rather than the low-interest loans that usually is given as agriculture assistance.Farmers in 30 counties are eligible, counties mainly in central and southern Missouri which have been extremely dry. Preston acknowledges that a bit under $3 million isn’t all that much money, but should help ease the financial cost of the drought. The money isn’t just for cattle producers. Included are those who have dairy cattle, goats, sheep, horses, even elk and bison. The deadline to apply is November 17th. Applications should be made to the Missouri Department of Agriculture, Missouri Farm Service Agency offices, and University of Missouri Extension offices.
Related web sites:
Dept of Agriculture, Drought Assistance
The main candidates in Missouri’s U.S. Senate race are criss-crossing the state as the final week of the campaign gets underway. Incumbent Republican Senator Jim Talent and Democratic challenger Claire McCaskill are putting on the miles as they visit just about every region of the state in a bid to shore up the decided voters and to attract voters who are still on the fence. Senator Talent is traveling the state, talking to supporters and trying to convince fence sitters to come over to his side. He’s stressing what he calls his conservative values and the differences between the two candidates on issues such as the gay marriage amendment and support for conservative judges. For her part, McCaskill is talking about some of the main voter concerns, asking them if they are happy with the way things are in Washington and throughout the country. She says she’s hearing from many Missourians who say they are concerned about the war in Iraq and about domestic issues such as access to health care. McCaskill says anyone who believes it’s time for a change should support her, and is reminding people throughout the state of the importance of showing up to vote next Tuesday.