Saturday, November 29

Congrats Wildcats!

They were our biggest nemesis throughout the season, but yesterday I was pulling for them in the Class 3 State Football Championship in St. Louis. The Cassville Wildcats upended Monett's dream of a state championship on a dreary rainy cold Monday night earlier this month. After the initial shock of losing wore off, this community rallied around our Barry county neighbors and cheered them on past Logran-Rogersville and the tough as nails team from Chillicothe.

Yesterday, that cherring got louder as the Wildcats won the Class 3 State Championship by defeating Cardinal-Ritter 31-7. It was Cassville's first football championship ever. Coach Large and crew should be proud of the work they did and their season. They were dynamic!

Keep in mind this isn't coming from a normal Wildcat fan. This is coming from a conferene foe and district rival. However, for just a few hours yesterday everyone in Monett was a Wildcat fan. Congratulations! (Now be prepared to lose in basketball and wrestling!) :-) Just kidding... kind of!

Tuesday, November 25

Happy Thanksgiving!

Oh boy, here we go! It is already starting. The holiday season is upon us. So who is ready to start saying "Ho! Ho! Ho!"? I want to give it a few days. That is probably because with each passing year the holidays creep up on me faster and faster! Am I alone in feeling this way?

Anyway... I just wanted to take some time and wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving!

Whatever your plans are, be sure to be safe and have a happy time with friends and family!
PS -- Do you like my turkey?

Friday, November 21

Layoff For 40,000 Postal Workers "Not True" But...

The Monett Times released a very interesting story today in regards to the recent news of layoffs for up to 40,000 Us Postal workers. While United States Postal Service Media Relations Manager Gerald J. McKeiman released a statement on November 12. about the layoff being "not true," some area postal workers say there has been a letter in circulation at postal offices warning of a possible layoff. As the volume of mail continues to decline, concerns of what lies ahead for not only postal employees but the future of the Postal Service as a government institution are beginning to surface. The Monett Times Community Editor, Darla Damrill went searching for answers. Click Here for the full story.

Thursday, November 20

It's Going To Be A Long Season

The Lady Bears are now officially 0-2. Maybe, I am putting the cart before the horse but I have a feeling us fans are in for a long season of disappointments. I hope I am wrong because I would love nothing more than to be surprised. I just don't see that happening.

I was in Hammon Student Center when the MSU Lady Bears won the NIT Tournament Championship (in fact... I was there for all the games). I have been there for several successful seasons. In fact, since I started following the Lady Bears, I don't recall a let down of a season, that is until the last few.

I wish Milleson the best and I imagine the transition hasn't been easy. But I miss the Lady Bears of yesteryear. Someone put out an all points bulletin for them... that spark and fire is needed. Where is the next Melanie Howard, Jackie Stiles, Jenni Lingor, Kari Koch. Where are they? If they don't show up... once again... it's going to be a long season.

Tuesday, November 18

What a Whirlwind...

I have been so busy as of late (as has Donna) that we haven't updated the blog like we should. For that we apologize. I will have some stuff up in a day or so. Hang tight!

Sunday, November 9

Election Predictions Recap

Okay, so now the election is almost a week behind us. Some people are probably going into a political withdrawl (I am breathing a sigh of relief). With this in mind, I felt the need to look at my predictions and see how I did. Here we go...

President: I did surprisingly well in this category. I accurately predicted Obama would win (although my electoral math was off just a bit) and the only swing state I missed was Florida. I also nailed that McCain would win Missouri under 1%. Man, I'm good! (just kidding)

Governor: I got the individual correct, but I was low on the margin of victory. Nixon ended up winning by 18%.

Lt. Governor: Once again, I picked correctly but I missed the margin.

Secretary of State: I picked Carnahan correctly, but she won by 26%, not the 13% I expected.

Treasurer: My upset win of the night came to fruition. Clint Zweifel did win the race for Treasurer. He won by 3%.

Attorney General: This was my only missed person prediction of the night. I predicted that Gibbons would win by 2%. He actually lost by 6.

7th Congressional District: Man did I ever misread the voters of this district. I felt that all signs pointed to a "somewhat close" race between Richard Monroe and Roy Blunt. I figured that Blunt would win, but not by 41 points.

132nd MO House: I picked the winner. Don Ruzicka won, although by a little more than I thought he would.

Amendment 1: Passed like I expected it to

Amendment 4: Passed; I thought it would fail due to the confusing nature of the ballot language.

Prop A: Passed even though I still believe it is a horrible horrible thing!

Prop B: Passed like I expected

Prop C: Passed, but with a bigger margin than I anticipated.

All in all, not too bad of a prediction night for me. We shall see how I do the next time!!! :)

Thursday, November 6

Thank You Kevin Lighty

Last night, around 12:30 we were awaken from our sleep to find the tornado sirens blaring. As the family gathered in the basement we turned on the television to find out what was going on. I blazed through several channels to find one of the late shows on, another channel, nothing but a map of Missouri with the warning outlined. I had kind of figured that out by the sirens.

Then I turned to KSPR33, where meteorologist Kevin Lighty was on the air. He was going over the tornado emergency procedures. He was right there giving us important information as to where the storms were, when and what we could expect. Even though our satellite kept going in and out as the storm neared,every time it came back on, there he was. He never left us.

It was 12:30 at night with dangerous storms approaching, sirens blaring and people sleeping. I don't want to wait for someone to break in to late night television to tell me that I have just been blown off the map. I want someone who is warning me ahead of time, keeping me updated so that I can do all that is in my power to keep my family safe!  KSPR33 was the ONLY channel with continuous coverage through the whole ordeal.  That is what I as a viewer want and I am grateful that someone felt that rural Southwest Missouri was important enough to do just that. Thank you Kevin! I will know next time not waste precious time searching for life saving information, I will know exactly where to turn!

Tuesday, November 4

Well, Would You Look At That?

Not all of my predictions are true -- in fact, although there is still a lot out in Missouri it looks like I especially missed the mark on Prop A.

Big news of the night -- no need to elaborate -- I imagine we will have the news that Barack Obama will be the next President coming up within the next 30 minutes...

EDIT: Make that 4 minutes... CNN is projecting Barack Obama will be the next President of the United States.

Long Lines This Morning

Well, here in Monett people were out as soon as the polls opened. At the forest park precinct people were already standing in line outside at 6:10. It was about a 20 minute wait. I'm wearing my little sticker and will be watching the results with family this evening and of course checking the blog coverage.

Monday, November 3

Twas The Night Before The Election

'Twas the night before the Primary was a hit, so here is the general election version. Have fun!

Twas the night before the election and all across Missouri
Not a politician was sleeping, not even Matt Blunt's email attorney.
The yard signs were placed on the lawn with great care
With hope that the candidates they supported would win fair and square.

The ads were still playing on television sets
While visions of swaying voters still danced in their heads.
With Obama courting moderates, and McCain Republican fatcats
Tonight they will likely not settle down for any sort of nap.

When then in the kitchen there arose such a clatter
I sprung from my bed to see what was the matter.
Away to the telephone I flew like a flash
Hoping a friend or relative hadn't been in a crash.

The words on the phone said caller unknown
While the moon shone down brightly on the Ozarks below.
But what to my groggy ears should I hear
But a robo call from Missouri Right To Life, oh dear! oh dear!

With the time nearing two a.m. I knew pretty quick
That this had to be a darned ole Republican trick.
More rapid than eagles the slurs they came
All the things Richard Monroe would vote for, they called them by name!
Abortions! Stem cell research! A bad choice for us!
I heard about everything; how they hated his guts!

Around Missouri, in towns big and small
People were waking at midnight to all of these calls.
As dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fly,
When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky.

So I opened the door and out it the phone threw
With the caller id and the answering machine, too.
And then in a flash I heard on the roof
What sounded like tiny little donkey hoofs.

As I drew in my hand and was turning around,
Down the chimney Clint Zweifel came with a bound.
He was dressed in a suit from his head to his foot
But now his clothes were all tarnished with ashes and soot.

His cheeks were like roses but his eyes were all bleery
I thought to myself, this man is in the same party as John Kerry?
His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow
Like he had given a thousand campaign speeches in a row.
A cardboard cutout of Mike Gibbons he handed to me
And when he was done, I bade him to leave.

On the porch was a man with a broad face and little round belly
Jay Nixon, when he laughed, shook like a bowl full of jelly.
He had thought about calling for support, that jolly old elf,
But decided instead to come see me himself.

A wink of his eye and a twist of his head
Reminded me of one thing I had forgotten with dread.
Tonight was just the beginning of his work
His inauguraion was still weeks away he said with a smirk.

Now the dawn was coming quickly and I needed to doze.
But before going to bed the chimney flu I did close.
As I laid back down in bed faintly I heard a the whine of a whistle
And I prayed to the good Lord that Roy Blunt wasn't coming to visit.

Tomorrow some candidates would give up the fight...
While others would say Thank you to all...
And to all see you again in four years on election night!

My Election Predictions

Unfortunately for me, I am home sick today and the talking television pundits have me bored out of my mind. So... here are my predictions and explanations for election night.

President: I think this will be closer than some think, but the winner will be Obama. As far as electoral count, I will have to go with Obama only winning 305 electoral votes. Here is how I think the swing states will play out:
Obama: Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, New Hampshire, New Mexico, Colorado, New Hampshire
McCain: Florida, Missouri, North Carolina, Indiana, Montana
I believe McCain wins Missouri by less than 1 percent. This will be the first time in a long time Missouri has incorrectly picked the winner.

MO Governor: This is one of the biggest no-brainers in the contest. Nixon will win. SW Missouri has a larger than average affinity for the Democrat. This will propel him to victory. I am guessing the margin will be by about 10 - 12 points. In a state like Missouri, that is huge!

Lt. Governor: This may be also be very,very close. I am going to predict a Kinder win, but by less than 1 percent. If Obama ends up carrying Missouri heavily, then Page may win this.

Secretary of State: This one is going to Robin Carnahan, likely by 13 to 14 percent.

Treasurer: This is my upset of the night. I think Clint Zweifel will win this on the coattails of Nixon by around 1 percent. Both Lager and Zweifel are unknowns statewide. That will mean that people will vote based on party. The Republican mantra is not the best to have right now.

Attorney General: This is the most difficult race to predict. This one has so many facets to it that I don't know how they will play out. Conventional wisdom points one way, but my gut tells me that this race may be won by Gibbons. Neither have a lot of name recognition, but Koster has too many skeletons in his closet. His defection to the Democratic party has angered both sides and I believe that may cost him this race. I think Gibbons wins by 2 points, but this is my "going out on a limb" pick.

7th Congressional District: Contrary to some, I believe this has the potential to be a very close race. I know that yard signs aren't a sure fire way to tell who will win, but in a very conservative community such as this to see triple the amount of signs against Rep. Blunt can't be very encouraging. I think this depends on how Obama does in this region. If Obama picks up 30-40% in this region then I believe this race will be close. I predict Roy Blunt will win, but by about 9 points.

132nd MO House Race: Another close race because both have won races in the past. I believe you have to give this to the incumbent. I believe Ruzicka will win by 5 points. Again, the voting percentages for Obama could impact this race, too.

Amendment 1: Passes

Amendment 4: Fails

Prop A: Fails (but it will be close)

Prop B: Passes

Prop C: Passes (barely)

**So those are my thoughts... what say you?**

Saturday, November 1

I'm Proud To Be A Cub Today

(Photo from the Monett Times)

Graduating from the school and then coming back to teach there was the last thing on my mind as I said goodbye on my Graduation Night in early May. Yet, six years later I found myself back at my alma mater to teach and have been loving every minute of it.

There have been some exceptional high points at the school since I started teaching there: State Champions in Wrestling, State Champion in Debate, and 2nd place National Champion in Extemperanous Speaking among other things. Yet, the end of the week has that feel in the air again because the football team has gone 10-0.

I have heard students who don't normally get excited about athletics jump on the bandwagon. Thursday I saw the most students wearing purple and gold ever (and that includes my time there as a student). I even heard one student who is normally too cool for school say late yesterday afternoon, "I'm proud to be a Cub today." While academics will always be first and foremost in my emphasis, this kind of school spirit helps that environment tremendously.

Our hometown paper did a great job summarizing the reason for the jubilation: "Not since 1971 has a Monett team gone 10-0 in the regular season. And that 1971 club went on to win the first of two state titles in MHS history. In going to 10-0, the Cubs combined a solid defensive effort with an equally solid offensive one, scoring in every quarter."

So, while I am proud to be a Cub every day it was nice to see that others who wouldn't normally do so are feeling that way, too.

Congrats Cubs and good luck Wednesday night against Springfield Catholic!

New Meteorologist Joins KY3

This morning KY3 added a fourth meteorologist to the Stormteam. Sarah Jones is the newest member and will be providing weather forecasts for the weekend edition of Ozarks Today. KY3 has yet to add an official bio, but my research indicates that Ms. Jones was previously a meteorologist for 6 News out of Lawrence, KS.