Tag Archives: Maryville

Beneath the surface: Maryville resident fights through pain to live joyfully

By Jacki Wood, Nodaway News Leader

“Look beneath the surface; let not the several quality of a thing nor its worth escape thee” – Marcus Aurelius, Meditations, 167 AD

Karin Yarnell doesn’t have the energy to play with her kids. Or do house projects. Or be involved with her church or help others or spend time with friends.

All of which was a big part of her life just a few short years ago.

“I used to be extremely active,” the 40-year-old Maryville resident said. “I loved to play sports, work out, hike, swim, bike and run.”

Now, she does none of those things.

To look at her, though, nothing seems wrong.

But beneath the surface, she lives her life in pain.

“I rarely have pain-free days,” she said. “I have learned to fight through pain as much as possible to be able to do what I love. Some days, though, the pain wins, and I go to bed.

“I reserve my best for my family and my ministry. After that, there isn’t much left.”

She and her husband Jason, who is the Baptist Student Union minister, have three children, Meghan, Caleb and Allison. She is a homemaker and also serves as a BSU mentor.

Diagnosed illnesses

Yarnell lives with what have been called invisible illnesses – chronic conditions not visible on the outside.

She was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s in 2005 and Celiac disease in 2008.

With Hashimoto’s, her immune system attacks her thyroid and prevents it from making enough hormones.

Celiac disease is a digestive disorder that damages the small intestine and is triggered by eating foods containing gluten.

She was on thyroid medication for several years but her body started having hyperthyroid reaction to it and she was taken off it.

Then in 2012, she was also diagnosed with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Fibromyalgia.

CFS affects many body systems making it difficult to do normal activities. Fibromyalgia includes long-term pain spread throughout the body in the joints, muscles, tendons and other soft tissues and is often linked to fatigue, sleep problems, headaches, depression and anxiety.

“I have been under the care of several doctors and functional practitioners throughout the years who have all provided me with great knowledge and have helped in various ways,” she said. “My treatment right now consists of a very strict diet, rest, managing stress, low exercise and managing symptoms with medication as they arise.”

Daily life

“Fatigue is the single most life-changing symptom I have,” Yarnell said. “I can manage pain. I can manage not feeling well, but the fatigue is relentless. It’s not a fatigue that goes away with sleep. It doesn’t go away with a nap. It’s always with me. It affects me every day.”

In addition to fatigue, she is extremely sensitive to gluten and has severe reactions to even a small amount of cross-contamination. She makes her own meals, doesn’t eat out and takes food with her wherever she goes.

“I try to set people at ease, but I know some feel uncomfortable when I can’t eat what they have prepared,” she said. “I never expect anyone to cater to my needs, but I know they still feel badly about it.”

Another symptom is brain fog which has affected her ability to communicate with others.

“I used to be a confident public speaker, but now I have difficulty stringing together coherent thoughts.”

She also can’t drive for long periods of time as her eyes grow weary and her whole system wants to go to sleep.


Dedicated support

“My family is tremendously supportive,” she said. “My husband is phenomenal. He believes me and affirms me when I tell him how I feel even though I look fine on the outside. He prays for me. He encourages me to try new things that might help my symptoms. He adds extra work on himself so I don’t have to do it and he never complains.”

She said her children are incredibly supportive as well.

“They understand I can’t do the things I used to do. They make me laugh. They are understanding and sympathetic.”

Yarnell said her church recently started an encouragement group for women with chronic illness. It is open to the public and meets at 7:30 pm on the first Monday of the month at Laura Street Baptist Church.

“It is a blessing to be around others who understand how you feel,” she said. “I read a lot of blogs and talk to people online that share my symptoms. Sometimes it’s just nice to know you aren’t alone.”


Different view

One of the biggest lessons she’s learned is how to depend on God for everything.

“I need God every day,” she said. “He is my Friend, my Comfort, my Savior. I talk to Him a lot about the pain I am feeling. I know He knows and understands. He sees my struggle that is invisible to everyone else and He is there for me. He gives me joy, peace and contentment.”

She is also continuing to learn it’s okay to not do everything that is expected.

“The reality is that I can’t,” she said. “I have to choose to not feel guilty about it.”

Despite living with these illnesses, Yarnell offers encouragement and hope.

“It’s okay and important to grieve,” she said. “Cry over what is lost, but don’t quit.

“Be kind to yourself. You don’t have to do what everyone else does. You are fighting a battle others know nothing about. Don’t compare what you can do with what healthy people do.

“You can still be happy! It might take some extra work, and you might have to cut things out in order to give your best to what you find the most meaningful, but it’s worth it.”

Background information came from the National Institutes of Health at nih.gov.

Are you following us yet?

That they might have joy column for Nodaway News Leader by Jacki Wood


Interdependence is and ought to be as much the ideal of man as self-sufficiency. Man is a social being.” – Mahatma Gandhi

I joined Facebook in April 2007 as a way to stay in touch with family. I recently looked back at some of my first posts and they were mainly just conversations between my sister, Amy, and me. It has changed a lot since then and I have changed how I use it, although one of the best things about it is keeping in touch with family and friends all across the country and around the world.

Then in March 2009, I joined Twitter and hated it. Like a lot of new technology, and even social media, I didn’t really get it. Only 140 characters per tweet? No thanks. And who cares what some celebrity is eating for breakfast. But I kept hearing about what a great tool it was for journalists. Really, it’s all in who you follow. I use it to learn. I get my local, national and worldwide news from it daily. And I can keep up with BYU athletics more readily.

And then I jumped on the Pinterest bandwagon, which I use to find recipes, plan road trips, gather ideas for family reunions, hairstyles, holidays, the home – and thousands of other things.

I started using Instagram in May 2012 as a fun way to edit my road trip pictures and see more of the world around me.

Now I realize not everything about social media is good. I recently took a six-week hiatus from Facebook. I came back refreshed, made some changes and love using it again. But I do advocate moderation in all of this.

So why am I sharing about my social media use?

Well, I also manage the social media accounts of the Nodaway News Leader. After reading about how businesses were getting involved, I advocated the NNL get on board. In August of 2009, we joined Facebook and Twitter, and in the years since, added YouTube, Pinterest and Instagram. It’s been quite a ride.

I love that I can be sitting in my home, three hours from Nodaway County, and watch the Spoofhounds (@Spoofhound1) play football on Leader Live Action and tweet that Brody McMahon (@mcmahon_34) just scored a TD for the Hounds or that Jacob Cacek (@BigSauce_05) came up with a big sack.

Or that the new North-West Nodaway football co-op (@NNMustangs and @West_Nodaway) won its first game.

Or retweet that the Jefferson (@JC123Eagles) girls softball team won 15-2. Or the South Nodaway (@SouthNodawayFAN) softball team defeated Albany.

Or share events happening at Mozingo Lake (MozingoLake), at the university (@NWMOSTATE) or with Big Brothers Big Sisters (@BBBSNodaway), just to name a few.

On Twitter, in addition to live-tweeting games and scores, we also tweet school and community events, post content from our website and information we feel our followers might find worthwhile.

On Facebook, we share lots of photos, stories and fun and distribute news, information and alerts.

On Instagram, we post photos (obviously) of high school sports, community events and more.

On Pinterest, we share recipes on our Good Eats board that correlate with those in the paper, holiday fun and informative boards like local schools, businesses and elected officials.

We have a small staff and are limited in covering all of Nodaway County, its community governments, events and nine school districts for the paper.

The same can be said about our social media accounts.

But we are always looking at ways to improve. I try to stay up on the latest trends (they move very quickly), what people want and ways to better connect with you, our readers and followers.

What works for some, doesn’t work for others, though. So please feel free to email me at jwood@nodawaynews.com with your suggestions, complaints and compliments. Or, better yet, tweet me at @jackijwood. I’d love to hear from you.

You can also tweet the paper at @NodawayNews or the rest of the staff: Kay Wilson, publisher/owner, @KWilsonNNL; Dustin Henggeler, sports reporter, @DHenggeler; Kathryn Rice, reporter, @Kathsmagic; Tiffany Whipple, advertising rep, @tiffwhipple; and Brent Barnett, videographer, @25Barnett.

Neal Schaffer, author of “Maximize Your Social,” said: “Social media replaces nothing – but complements everything.”

We’re still the same Nodaway News Leader, bringing you good news and covering all of Nodaway County, but we’re just complementing it more socially.

So if you’re not already, give us a follow on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram. We’d love to connect.

Life after Energizer…

Life after Energizer keeps on going and going and going: Bow Wow Barber offers mobile pet grooming

By Jacki Wood


Editor’s note: this is the first in a series about former Energizer employees who have become entrepreneurs since the plant’s closing.

Jennifer Lynch pulls her forest green mini bus right up to the front door and hops out ready to groom Bella, a cute Maltese.

Normally timid around others, Bella gave her new groomer a few kisses after her trim.

It’s a familiar scene happening all over Northwest Missouri and Southwest Iowa, from Maryville to Skidmore and Bedford to Bethany. Dogs and cats getting trimmed, bathed, pampered and pedicured. All at the convenience of the pet owner. And all right outside their front door.

And soon, that forest green mini bus will be replaced with a custom-built trailer for Lynch’s new business, Bow Wow Barber mobile pet grooming.


When Energizer made the announcement in November 2012 that it would be closing the Maryville plant, nearly 300 employees faced uncertainty.

“At first, the announcement was very unsettling and left a lot of what ifs, what now, what am I going to do questions in all of our minds,” Lynch said, who resides in Maryville and has been a resident of the area her entire life. “But I couldn’t let all that bother me.”

Lynch, 35, and the mother of two children, had worked at Energizer since March 2000.

She tossed around several ideas about what to do. The self-described animal lover had been grooming her own dogs for several years, so going in that direction just made sense.

In December of last year, she decided to attend Petropolis, an International Society of Canine Cosmetologists accredited school in St. Louis. She was trained by master groomers and has the option of becoming a master groomer herself.

“I just looked at the situation as a way to finally get a chance to do something I wanted to do and not what I had to do,” she said, “to do something that I truly enjoy.”

Through her schooling at Petropolis, she became a certified pet groomer and opened Bow Wow Barber in April of this year.


The mobile business offers a full grooming service including baths, nails and haircuts on all sizes of dogs and cats.

“I did a lot of research when making the decision to go mobile with my grooming,” she said. “(I wanted) to be different than others and to cater to people and their busy lifestyles.”

Some of the advantages of being mobile, Lynch said, include pets not having to wait in cages before and after grooming, less stress for pets visiting a loud shop with other animals and more convenient for owners without having to drop off and pick up their pets.

“I provide a service unlike other groomers in this area and the results have been fantastic,” she said. “I enjoy everything about my decision to start up my own business.

“Since the plant closed, my whole life has changed – for the better.

For more information or to schedule an appointment, call 660.541.0621 or visit Facebook.com/BowWowBarber2014.

Hard-working Hopkins couple leaves lasting legacy

By Jacki Wood for the Nodaway News Leader

The name Rickard has become synonymous with giving and grant funding in Nodaway County over the last decade.

But the story of Floyd and Gladys Rickard began outside of Nodaway County in the late 1890s.

Early years

Floyd L. “Skeet” Rickard was born October 23, 1896, in Craig, the son of Robert and Hattie Rickard.

Gladys Marie Heflin was born September 1, 1898, in Clarinda, IA, the daughter of Charles J. and Hanna Rogers Heflin.

Skeet moved to Hopkins at some point in his young life. In 1913, he was a member of the Hopkins High School basketball team.

Skeet Rickard, front left

Skeet Rickard, front left

He went on to pharmacy school, graduating with honors, and passed the Missouri Board of Pharmacy on June 12, 1916.

Later that year, he began working at The Owl drugstore in Hopkins.

Skeet enlisted in the US Navy on May 18, 1918, and was a pharmacist’s mate during World War I. He was released on August 29, 1919, and returned to Hopkins and to The Owl.

He was the Hopkins White Sox baseball team manager and played shortstop in 1922 and then played second base for the Hopkins Towners in 1924.

In 1923, he and Oliver Lewis, then co-owners of The Owl, purchased a building where Lewis opened Herbert-Gray Drug while Skeet stayed at The Owl.

Then in 1929, Skeet purchased Herbert Drug and moved the stock to a new location on the north side of Barnard Street where he opened Rickard Rexall Drug. He installed the “latest” in fountain equipment and several years later added an ice cream making machine.

Skeet and Gladys

On May 23, 1930, Skeet and Gladys were married in King City.

Gladys had worked as the city clerk in Clarinda before they were married. She then joined her husband at the drugstore.

Anna Cross, former owner of the Hopkins Journal, and her daughter, Sharon Bonnett, remembered the Rickards as being conservative, hard-working people who were “always” at the drugstore. Skeet was more outgoing and personable than was Gladys.

“I think Skeet was well liked in Hopkins. He became involved in a lot of the town’s endeavors,” Cross said. “And I think of Gladys as a serious-minded, all-business woman.”

The drugstore

The drugstore was a gathering place, Bonnett said, and the old-fashioned soda fountain was an attraction.

“The drugstore was at the bottom of schoolhouse hill,” Bonnett said. “The kids who lived in town would go to the drugstore for ice cream or a soda drink or candy every night before they headed home, if they could afford it.”

The Rickards did not have any children, Cross said, but always had a dog that they considered family. And the dog was always with them in the drugstore, Bonnett added.

Gladys Rickard and her dog

Gladys Rickard and her dog

“What I remember most about Gladys is her love of dogs,” Bonnett said. “I don’t remember her looking forward to children visiting their store, but I would go to the back where the pharmacy was because that’s where the dog was. She kind of liked me because I liked her dog.”

Community service

The Rickards owned a two-story home on schoolhouse hill and were both involved in the community during their time in Hopkins.

They attended the Christian Church in Hopkins.

Skeet was elected mayor in 1934.

He was a charter member of the newly formed Glen Ulmer Post No. 288 on October 9, 1939, and Gladys was a charter member of the American Legion Auxiliary.

Skeet was also a 50-year member of the Xenia Masonic Lodge and Gladys was a member of the Eastern Star, Art Club, Hilltop Club, Hopkins Historical Society, CWF and the Hopkins Organ Club. She also played bridge.

“I don’t know how active she was in any of those organizations but she was a member,” Cross said. “Skeet was much more active.”

Later on

In 1948, Skeet purchased the Shamrock Inn north of Hopkins and sold it seven months later to Roy and Rose Burri who opened State Line Oil and Cafe.

Then after 25 years of operating Rickard Rexall Drug, they sold the drugstore to Mr. and Mrs. Clell Corum on March 1, 1953.

Skeet then served as president of the Hopkins State Bank when it opened on March 5, 1955, and Gladys also worked there as a teller.

After they retired, the Rickards moved to Arizona. Skeet died at the age of 86 on October 31, 1982, in Phoenix.

Following his death, Gladys returned to Hopkins and then moved to Maryville. She died September 7, 2002, at the age of 104.

Skeet and Gladys Rickard

Skeet and Gladys Rickard

The trust

Hopkins native Ed Mutti, who serves as a trustee for The Gladys M. Rickard Charitable Trust, said his mother and Gladys were good friends. After Skeet’s death, he prepared her taxes for her.

“She was always very good to me,” he said. “They were really hard working. And they spent hours in that drugstore.”

With no children to benefit from their hard work, conservatism and saving, Gladys set up a trust to assist Nodaway County residents.

“It’s touched a lot of organizations and a lot of people,” Cross said.

To date, the trust has awarded over $2 million in grant funding to organizations located in Nodaway County or which directly benefit the county.

“Their conservatism has enabled a lot of things,” Bonnett said. “Their trust has made a big difference for a lot of Nodaway County.”

Special thanks to the Hopkins Historical Society, the Nodaway County Historical Society, Anna Cross, Sharon Bonnett, Ed Mutti, Garland O’Riley and Amy Anderson.


Side Story: Nodaway County organizations receive over $2 million from trust

By Jacki Wood for the Nodaway News Leader

Over the last 10 years, The Gladys M. Rickard Charitable Trust has assisted numerous Nodaway County organizations with over $2 million in grant funding.

“Nodaway County has benefited immensely in having this resource for bettering the communities and the lives of our residents,” Jessica J. Loch, Rickard board member, said. “Since December 2004, $2,449,616 has been given out.”

Floyd L. “Skeet” and Gladys M. Rickard lived in Hopkins for many years, were involved in the community and owned the Rickard Rexall Drug in town from 1929 to 1953.

Following the death of Gladys in 2002, the trust was funded on May 15, 2004, with the first awards given out in December of that year.

“The purpose of the trust is to award grant monies to 501©(3) organizations that are located in Nodaway County or directly benefit Nodaway County,” John W. Baker Jr. said, who along with Loch and Edward Mutti Jr., also serves on the board of trustees.

Some of the organizations that have received funding from the trust include the Hopkins Community Club, the Children and Family Center, New Nodaway Humane Society, Habitat for Humanity, Hopkins Historical Society, Nodaway County Historical Society, The Ministry Center, Mozingo Lake and Maryville Park and Rec, Camp Quality, North Nodaway, Eugene Field Elementary, Maryville Middle School, Community Services, Clearmont Community Club, Lifeline, Big Brothers Big Sisters, Nodaway County Senior Center, St. Francis Hospital and Foundation, SSM Hospice Foundation, Toys for Tots, United Way, Nodaway Community Theater Company, NOCOMO, Nodaway Chorale, JFK Recreation Center, Children’s Mercy Hospital and Maryville Public Library.

“The citizens of Nodaway County are very proud of their farms, homes and towns,” Loch said. “I’m always impressed that when something needs doing, such as the community center buildings or parks or safety and health needs, the residents rally and get it done.

“Getting assistance with the Rickard funds makes it easier to see that a goal can be met and maybe is a shot in the arm to accomplishing it.”

Loch said the trustees look at certain factors in determining who receives grant funding, including: is the use of money for non-consumable items that will be used for a period of time; is it an established program that has proven it is sustainable; how large is the population that will be served and what is the diversity of the population; is it an organizations that does good work but might not have other sources of funding.

The trust also sometimes requires matching funds from the recipients, Loch said.

“The imagination and care shown in resolving needs and issues in the county is endless,” she said. “One cannot describe the joy there is in being ‘Santa Claus.’ The thank you letters of appreciation we receive are heartfelt in describing how many families are aided by Community Services for rent assistance, Toys for Tots, hospice care, elderly housing and Lifeline. I am very fortunate to serve on this trust.”

The trustees usually meet in June and November to evaluate requests and make a decision on grant awards. Funds must be distributed by the end of the year to satisfy IRS requirements.

Baker said the amount that the trust is worth depends on the stock market. As of December 31, 2013, the value was $5.5 million.

“By IRS guidelines, we must set aside an amount equal to at least five percent of the twelve-month average fair market value of the trust assets,” he said, which determines how much is awarded each year.

Applications for grant funding can be obtained from Diane Thomsen, Strong and Strong Law Office, 124 East Third, Maryville, and must be submitted by May 1 and November 1 each year.

Relay For Life: Osborns work together to fight cancer and move on

Feature for the NNL by Jacki Wood


Audrey Osborn had been engaged just four months when her husband, Joel, was diagnosed with testicular cancer in 2009.

They were both just 24 years old at the time.

“I remember I was in the athletic offices on campus,” Audrey said. “We were both graduate assistants at the time. And he came up and told me that they had found a lump and the doctor was pretty positive it was cancerous.

“He was very calm and positive about it. It honestly didn’t even hit me at the time because he was so optimistic about it. That was his attitude throughout his entire journey, always positive, never felt sorry for himself, he just knew in his mind that he would beat it and be fine. His attitude made it very easy on me in the beginning because we just went on with our lives like nothing was wrong.”

That was in November, and the following summer, the two were married. They found out on their honeymoon that Joel – the former Northwest Missouri State quarterback and current assistant coach – would need to start chemotherapy when they returned.

“He completed four rounds of chemo, and even after his first round, he was still going about life as normal,” Audrey said. “It really wasn’t until the second round that it started taking a toll on him.”

The caregiver role

Joel started losing his hair, his energy decreased, his appetite changed and there were times when he would get pretty sick.

And that’s when Audrey stepped in with her role as caregiver for her new husband.

“God works in mysterious ways,” she said. “I just so happened to be in between jobs at the time so I was able to go with him every day to chemo. What a blessing that was. I don’t know how we could have planned that any better. God was definitely watching over us during that time.”

She said her role as caregiver was to be his rock.

“We left all the drama out of everything and just did what we had to do when we had to do it,” she said. “We both always had the mindset that this is how it is now, but we’ll get past this and move on. I just did whatever he needed me to do. That’s part of the deal, ‘in sickness and in health.’ He would have done the same for me.”

As bad as Joel felt toward the end of his treatments, it was football season and he was a graduate assistant. Audrey said he felt he had a job to do and so he never missed a game.

“That just goes to show you how dedicated he is and how loyal he is,” she said.

His last round of chemo finished up around his 25th birthday in October of 2010, right in the middle of the season.

During that time, Audrey said they looked to their family, especially their parents, and their good friends for support.

“They did everything they could to help out and were always there to talk to, to lean on and give encouragement,” she said. “Our Bearcat family was awesome during this time, too. The coaches and their wives were nothing but supportive and helped out any way they could. They brought us meals and drove Joel to appointments if I couldn’t.

“We are honestly so blessed to be a part of the Bearcat family.”

Relay For Life

Since Joel’s diagnosis, the couple has walked with a team each year. His parents started a team in his hometown of Harlan, IA. They go up there and walk with them when they can, in honor of Joel as well as in the memory of his Grandma Osborn and his Grandpa Blum.

The Bearcat athletic office also has a team the Osborns have been a part of in the past. And they have also participated in the Survivor Dinner.

“Relay is a chance for us to take a break from our crazy schedules and remember what Joel went through and what so many others are going through,” she said. “It brings you back to reality and reminds us how thankful we are that Joel is still in remission four years later.”

And Relay is also a time for everyone to be on the same team, Audrey said.

“You realize that cancer affects just about every family in one way or another,” she said. “You get to spend the day with your community, maybe someone you see at Hy-Vee or someone that you run into at the Community Center, and it reminds you that in reality, we’re all here for each other.

“It also reminds you that you don’t always know someone else’s story, what someone else is going through. It’s just a great way to show your support for everyone in the community.”

The Nodaway County Relay For Life event will be held Saturday, May 17, at Bearcat Stadium. For more information, visit facebook.com/RelayForLifeOfNodawayCounty.

Too Busy For A Heart Attack

Written by Jacki Wood in the Nodaway News Leader for Heart Health Month

More women die of heart disease than all forms of cancer combined. Unfortunately, this killer isn’t as easy to see. Heart disease is often silent, hidden and misunderstood – American Heart Association

The signs had been there but they were slight, hidden even. And then there were the risk factors.

But Maryville resident Jill Hardin was too busy for a stroke, too busy for a heart attack.

“Even me, who had a father who had a stroke, sat in my kitchen and said, well, gee, I can’t go to the hospital today because I’ve got to do this, this and this.”

It was two weeks before Christmas and the 66-year-old single mother of an 11-year-old and a 14-year-old was too busy to realize what was wrong until it was almost too late.

It was Saturday and she hadn’t done the laundry yet. She’d planned on going Christmas shopping later that day. And then there was the wrapping to do and Christmas cookies she had promised to make with the girls.

“I’m thinking of all of this stuff,” she said. “And I’m trying to tell myself that even though my right hand didn’t have any feeling, even though I couldn’t see, even though I couldn’t talk, that I was fine.

“I was going to be fine. Just give me a few minutes and I’ll rally”


At 66, Hardin stays very active. She plants trees, flowers and bushes, mends fences and does other outside work. She refinishes floors and paints walls, ceilings and trim.

“I’m kind of a jack-of-all trades,” she said. “And I’ve just always been very active.”

She had a few underlying health problems, but they hadn’t been enough to slow her down any or make her feel like she should.

High cholesterol that she was told to watch several years ago. But nobody had said anything about it recently.

An ocular migraine she was diagnosed with a couple of years ago. No pain, just a kaleidoscope effect she would have once in a while, but nothing really to worry about.

A pain that went from her left shoulder across her chest and to her right shoulder after carrying a heavy box a couple of years ago. She thought she had just pulled something. When the pains starting happening more frequently. she was diagnosed with acid reflux.

Chest pain this winter that she noticed only when she went out to chore on a really cold morning, but went away quickly after going back inside.

And she was tired.

She told her doctor this. But she didn’t have trouble climbing stairs and she wasn’t short of breath, so the doctor said, maybe at 66, she might consider slowing down.

“I felt good so I didn’t see any reason to slow down,” she said. “I had things to do. And I’ve never been to a doctor who was concerned about anything, and when I had a complaint, there was always some other reason.”


That Saturday morning, December 14, 2013, she had been busy doing her regular morning activities when she suddenly experienced one of those ocular migraines.

“I couldn’t see clearly. I tried to talk, I tried to continue to communicate, but I couldn’t.”

Thankfully, a friend was at the house.

“He kept saying he couldn’t understand me. I was fighting to see and I was trying to talk and then I gave up.”

She grabbed a bottle of aspirin, and when she went to get the pill out of her palm, she noticed her right hand didn’t have any feeling in it.

“We debated for a while whether to take me to the hospital or not,” she said. “I’m saying to myself, come on, there’s nothing wrong with me.”


Hardin said she wants to share her story to help other women.

“Just because you’re healthy doesn’t mean you’re healthy,” she said.

There were warning signs. One of the most important symptoms for women is exhaustion, she said.

“But how many women aren’t exhausted?”

She said a woman today generally has a job, but she also usually has most of the responsibilities in the home including meals  and laundry and running the kids to activities.

“She’s tired,” Hardin said. “And she doesn’t know when she’s really tired.”


On that Saturday morning, after some convincing from her friend, she finally agreed to go to the hospital.

“The doctor there saw a woman who was healthy having a few problems with her speech but not a lot,” she said.

He said she was probably having a TIA, or transient ischemic attack, which is when the blood flow to a part of the brain stops for a brief period of time. He told her she might have them from time to time or not at all, but he wanted her to stay overnight.

Then he called a doctor in neurology, who said she needed to be transferred to a stroke center right away.

She traveled to St. Luke’s by ambulance – after being convinced driving herself in her pick-up was not a good idea – and was swarmed with doctors who asked lots of questions about her previous diagnoses, her symptoms and her family history.

After days of testing, a double bypass heart surgery, a carotid endarterectomy (a surgery used to prevent strokes in those who have carotid artery disease) and nine days at St. Luke’s, Hardin was finally able to come home two days before Christmas.


“I was very lucky. I’m very fortunate. I think the thing that saved me was that I have always been very active.”

Looking back, Hardin realizes the signs were there.

“It was different this year,” she said. “I was slower to rally. And my enthusiasm was down.”

But being a single parent, if she didn’t do the things that needed to be done, no one else was going to, she said. So she made herself do them.

“I was tired, though, exhausted,” she said. “And I knew it was different.”


She’s now undergoing cardiac rehab through St. Francis Hospital in Maryville and realizes some changes need to be made.

But she really wants other women to learn from her story.

“I’m just glad I’m here,” she said. “And I hope I can wake up some other women because this is important. I want them to think, wow, maybe I ought to think about me for a change.”

Hounds defeat Oak Grove to advance to semifinal game

By Jacki Wood, Nodaway News Leader, November 2013

And then there were four.

The Maryville Spoofhounds took one step closer to a return to the Dome on November 16.

The Hounds’ 42-20 win at Oak Grove in the state quarterfinal game makes them one of four teams left in the Class 3 playoffs.

But Head Coach Matt Webb isn’t letting his team get ahead of themselves.

“We talk about one day at a time,” Webb said. “Win the day.”

It’s been a phrase he’s used since the beginning of last year when the Hounds began the historic ride they are currently on – a 28-game winning streak.

And it’s the phrase he’ll continue to use as they head into this weekend’s semifinal game against 12-1 California, a rematch of last year’s semifinal game against the Pintos in which Maryville won 42-7.

“California is a great football team,” Webb said. “We feel like this was a great team we just beat and we know California is going to be just as good.”

Not only did Maryville beat a solid Oak Grove team Saturday, they also did it battling against the wind, which had gusts of 30-40 mph.

The Hounds started the game facing that wind but seemed undeterred by it. After a 53-yard run by junior Brody McMahon, senior quarterback Trent Nally scored on a one-yard keeper to go up 6-0 with 10:54 to go in the first.

Oak Grove responded with a touchdown of its own, but the Hounds blocked the PAT to keep it tied at 6-6 with 5:18 remaining.

On the next drive, Nally fumbled the snap and the Panthers took over at the Maryville 24-yard line. But Oak Grove wasn’t able to capitalize on the turnover and the quarter ended still tied, 6-6.

The Hounds used a big second quarter with the wind at their backs to tack on two touchdowns – a 42-yard pass from Nally to Payden Dawson and a two-yard run by McMahon. The defense also came up big, holding Oak Grove scoreless, to take a 22-6 lead into halftime.

“We were able to score twice with the wind in the second quarter,” Webb said. “And that was huge.”

Oak Grove scored first in the third quarter, but Maryville quickly responded with a 32-yard Nally-to-McMahon TD to make it 28-14 with 7:04 left in the third.

The Panthers and Hounds traded touchdowns once again. Oak Grove scored with 4:21 left to make it a 28-10 game. Then with just over a minute to go, Nally found the end zone from 13 yards out, and a two-point conversion by McMahon put Maryville up 36-20.

Maryville’s defense responded again in the fourth quarter. With 7:13 left in the game, the Hounds held Oak Grove on 4th and 13 to regain possession. The offense put together a long drive and Nally added his fifth score of the game. His one-yard rushing touchdown put the Hounds up 42-20 with 2:53 remaining, which would hold as the final score.

“That was two very good football teams, laying it on the line,” Webb said. “That’s what playoff football is. I’m just very proud of the character and effort of our young men.”

Nally was 5-6 passing for 137 yards and two TDs. He also had 11 rushes for 45 yards and three TDs.

McMahon carried the ball 17 times for 136 yards and one touchdown. Dakota Beemer had 10 rushes for 64 yards and Dawson added six rushes for 20 yards.

Adam Thompson had two receptions for 43 yards, Dawson had one catch for 42 yards and a touchdown, McMahon had one catch for 32 yards and a touchdown and Beemer had one reception for 20 yards.

Chris Dougan led the defense with 13.5 tackles. Nally and Elijah Green each had 9.5 tackles, followed by John Schenkel with 6.5 and Dawson and McMahon with five each. Dalton Pistole added 3.5 tackles, Adam Thompson had three, Jackson Morrison had 2.5 and Brendan Weybrew added two.

With the win, the Hounds advance to the state semifinal game at California on Saturday, November 23. Kickoff is set for 1:30 pm.

‘Parting is such sweet sorrow’

“That they might have joy column” by Jacki Wood

In “Ulysses,” Alfred, Lord Tennyson wrote:

“I cannot rest from travel…

“Much have I seen and known; cities of men

“And manners, climates, councils, governments…

“I am a part of all that I have met.”

This is one of my favorite passages ever written, because like Tennyson, I feel I am a part of all I have met.

I’d like to rewind the clock back to August 2006 when I first started here at the Nodaway News Leader and share a little about those I’ve met…

My first feature story came a couple of months into the job: “Graham Lions Club marks 50 years of frying fish.” I will never forget all of those men working in the kitchen, frying chicken and fish. And the stories they told. And how I felt welcomed there. There’s something special about a small town and its people.

A little over a year later, the December 2007 ice storm hit. I slid all over town, taking photos of the damage and of people helping one another. I also spent some time at the Red Cross shelter at the Maryville Community Center. I met a lot of amazing people and I wrote about a woman I met named Grace: “She helped care for an elderly woman from her community, something I learned she does on a daily basis, and being at the shelter was no different. In the quiet moments, when no one was aware, I saw her for who she really was. A strong-willed woman, she had a coarse voice, and yet she was so full of patience and love for her friend. I will forever be changed because of Grace.”

In the fall of 2009, South Nodaway Elementary was recognized as a National Blue Ribbon School for academic achievement. Since I covered the district, I attended a special community ceremony, but I also had this crazy idea to do a feature story on the principal, Darbi Bauman, since I had come to learn that Mrs. B, as she is known by her students, was the heart of that school.

I knew, though, that the humble principal would never agree to it, so I did it in secret. Everyone had an amazing story about Mrs. B. And everyone wanted to be involved — current students, former students, her staff, community members. The result was “Behind the blue ribbon lies the extraordinary, remarkably uncommon… Mrs. B.”

Darbi told me earlier this month she still hadn’t forgiven me. It’s a story I will never forget. And she is someone who I now call a friend.

In December 2010, I spoke to some local high school students for Issues and Answers where I asked them about their goals for the new year. Their responses were typical teenage goals like getting their driver’s licenses or doing well in sports. One girl, however, looked at me, smiled casually and said, “Enjoy it.”

I loved it. And I wrote a column about finding joy in the journey because of her. I don’t remember her name but I will never forget her simple yet wise statement.

During the summer of 2011, I did a couple of “a day in the life” stories. I met dairy farmer, Richard Groves, who has lived on the same land his entire life near Graham. He taught me a lot that day, not just about cows and milk, but about doing what you love. He said, “It’s a hard life, but it’s a good life.” We sometimes get overwhelmed with how hard life can be that we forget how blessed we truly are.

A couple of months later, I covered the fire at the Third and Main building in downtown Maryville. I later wrote about an experience I had during those early morning hours:

“I walked out of the Nodaway News Leader office just as the morning light showed the harsh reality of the downtown fire earlier this month. I’d already been out to take pictures when it was still dark, so I was heading out to take a few more when I saw a weary Dave Weigel walking toward me. His business had been completely destroyed. And typical Dave, he seemed almost upbeat about forging ahead.”

I’ve seen that same resiliency and optimism in many I’ve met in Nodaway County.

Last summer, I wrote a “fun and games” series and had the privilege of interviewing several of my former teachers for this story: “Bridge Club builds relationships for over 40 years.” I spent an hour listening to them laugh as they shared stories. One from their group, Marj Hansen, died last week, too young, from cancer. The community will miss her greatly.

Earlier this year, I was tasked with sharing the most difficult story I’ve ever had to write. It was a story about hospice called “Refracted: seeing life in a different light.”

“His spirit is willing but his body is weak. Diagnosed with inoperable pancreatic cancer in August, Maryville resident Gus Rischer was told he had up to six months to live. ‘I’m getting near the end of my road,’ the soft-spoken 83-year-old said.”

Gus has since passed, but his story taught me so much about living life and facing death with grace.

There are hundreds more stories like these. Hundreds more I’ve met, or previous relationships I’ve renewed, who have become a part of me.

I’m a part of school administrators, teachers, secretaries and students; a part of city leaders and business owners; a part of organization volunteers and community leaders.

I am a part of Nodaway County.

And now, well, now the time has come. The time to bid farewell. This is my last week with the paper.

As Shakespeare said in Romeo and Juliet, “Parting is such sweet sorrow.”

I am sad to be leaving. It’s been an incredible seven years here. However, all things must end. And so it is with my time here.

Thank you all for helping me over the years, for teaching me and helping me to grow.

I am indeed a part of all that I have met.

Play Ball! Father passes his love of the game on to his son

By Jacki Wood for the Nodaway News Leader
Editor’s note: this is the fourth in the series


Albert Theodore Powers said: “Baseball is sunshine, green grass, fathers and sons, our rural past.”

That’s what Maryville resident Jeff Lyle loves about the game.

“It brings me back to my roots,” he said.

The 42-year-old has been a fan of the game all of his life and a fan of the Kansas City Royals ever since going to Kauffman Stadium as a little boy with his grandpa.

“This is where my love of the game comes from,” he said. “I love baseball because it’s a wholesome sport that brings me back to my childhood, simpler times and just good old fashion fun.”

And now he’s passing that love onto his son, Trystan, who attends all of the Royals’ games with him.

Lyle also coaches Trystan’s team during the summer.

“Watching my soon-to-be 15-year-old son play short stop is one of my favorite things to do in the world,” he said. “I’ve given up Royals front-row seats to watch my son play a pick-up game on a Saturday afternoon.”

In addition to watching his son and the Royals play, Lyle also enjoys learning about the history of his favorite team. He and Trystan frequently tour the Royals Hall of Fame at Kauffman Stadium.

“Kauffman is good about keeping the Hall of Fame fresh by adding new things,” he said.

He’s also been to the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame in Springfield and would love to see more of those types of venues, he said.

Last year, he had the opportunity of taking in the All-Star Fan Fest when the All-Star game was in Kansas City.

“It was amazing,” he said. “I felt like a little kid in a candy store.”

Over the years, he’s also compiled quite a baseball collection.

“My wife calls it my addition, not collection,” he said. “I own all the Kauffman Stadium giveaway Bobbleheads, which are also on display in the Hall of Fame.”
He has also renovated an entire room in his home just for his Royals collection which includes both vintage and new items, jerseys, toys, coolers, All-Star merchandise, broken game bats and “too much more to mention,” he said.

“It’s quite overwhelming and very impressive,” he continued. “I’ve spent a lot of time and money collecting it and finding just that right item here and there.”

Other fun baseball fan facts about Lyle include his favorite ballpark is Kauffman Stadium since that’s where the Royals play, his favorite ballpark food is a stadium hot dog and “The Bad News Bears” with Walter Matthau is his favorite baseball movie.

For Lyle, what baseball really means is wholesome fun with family and friends, he said, especially with Trystan.

“I’m so glad I’ve been given the opportunity to share my love of baseball with my son,” he said.

“Keeping the sport alive is up to the fans. I’ve got my part covered.”

Refracted: seeing life in a different light

 His spirit is willing but his body is weak.

Diagnosed with inoperable pancreatic cancer in August, Maryville resident Gus Rischer was told he had up to six months to live.

“I’m getting near the end of my road,” the soft-spoken 83-year-old said.

While his body has been failing him the last few months, his mind tells a different tale… still razor sharp as he shares his story… about his family, coming to Maryville, his stained-glass hobby and his decision to choose hospice care.


Originally from St. Louis, Rischer attended Pepperdine University and California State University, Los Angeles, for undergraduate and graduate degrees before returning to Missouri. In 1968, he began his tenure at Northwest Missouri State University where he was a psychology professor and chairman of the department for eight years before retiring in 1991.

He and his late wife, Katie, have three sons, Brad, Jon and Greg, and three grandchildren.


Rischer has been down the brutal and unforgiving cancer road before with his wife. So it was an easy decision to not have any of what he called “false kinds” of treatment like chemotherapy or radiation after his diagnosis.

“I watched my wife die with that,” he said. “It was a miserable process with her and I didn’t particularly look forward to experiencing it.”

He looked at what options were available and chose hospice care through SSM Hospice of Northwest Missouri in Maryville.

“I decided to take it as it comes and live in my own home until I can’t do it anymore,” he said.


In the last several months, the care given through hospice staff members has helped Rischer and his family deal with the reality of the prognosis.

It has also enabled him the time at home to go through his remaining stained-glass treasures, hundreds of pieces he’s crafted over the last 13 years, and give them to his children and grandchildren.

Frogs and teddy bears. Window hangings for the holidays. A slew of picture frames. And his personal favorites — two complete sets of ducks.

“I really enjoyed making the ducks,” he said. “I had spent hours and hours making them for myself.”

One set has now gone to his son, Brad, and the other will go to his son, Jon.


Walking around his home, showing off that set of stained-glass ducks which Jon hasn’t received yet, Rischer’s step is noticeably slower. And his voice a little more weathered. But brief moments of joy flash across his face as he describes in detail his love of the hobby.

It began when a friend of his was visiting Maryville.

“He was making figurines to hang in windows,” Rischer said. “So I asked him if he could teach me. Before he left, he had taught me how to cut glass, how to weld it and how to put it in a frame.”


Rischer completed his very first project, a stained glass window for his bathroom, on his friend’s next visit to town.
 Since that time, he said he’s made three to four hundred items, at least, which he’s given away.

“It was fun to learn and to watch myself progress and get better,” he said. “And then to see other people enjoy it.”

But because of the pain from pancreatic cancer over the last few months, his abilities have declined.


The hospice care staff has been wonderful in many ways, Rischer said, especially in helping him manage the pain.

“They’re a special kind of people,” he said.

One aspect he has especially enjoyed has been the time spent visiting with a pastor.

“I’m not a very religious person but the pastor who comes to visit, I enjoy his visits,” he said. “He’s a very intelligent man and we just talk, not necessarily anything religious. Maybe about something in the news. We enjoy each other’s viewpoints on daily happenings.”


Looking out Rischer’s front room window, the view unfolds the rolling hills and fields that are so characteristic of the Midwest landscape. The setting sun just above the horizon streams light into his stained-glass window.

The process of the artistry that went into that first project — and all of them since then — begins with picking out 12×12- or 12×14-inch pieces of glass.

After gluing a pattern of what he wants to make onto the glass, it is cut with a special glass cutter and the edges are smoothed with a grinder.

The pattern is then removed and copper foil is wrapped around all of the pieces which are put together like a puzzle, he said, one against the other so the soldering can begin.

When each of the pieces has been soldered on both sides of the glass, the project is finished by being cleaned and waxed.

“It’s an interesting, lengthy, multi-skilled process,” he said.


Rischer’s hospice care could also be described as a multi-skilled process. In addition to the pastor who visits an hour each week, he also has a social worker, physical therapist and a nurse who comes to his home every three days or whenever he needs more attention.

“Hospice is a wonderful organization,” he said. “And the one we have in Maryville is an award-winning organization.”


While Rischer saw his stained-glass artwork as simply a hobby, after many hours of practice, he’s been able to produce many beautiful and wonderful pieces.

To be truly enjoyed, stained glass depends on refracted light. Only after light passes through the glass can the beauty and wonder be seen.

Refraction is defined as a change in direction because of a change in the medium. It can also be defined as altering something by viewing it differently.

With stained glass, it is the turning or bending of the light when it passes through the colored pieces at different angles.

With Rischer, it has been the opportunity to see life in a different light through his hospice care, especially through the care given to him by his nurse.

“You have to be a special kind of nurse to be a hospice nurse and we’ve got some dandies,” he said. “Most nurses treat people so they can get well. Hospice nurses are treating me so I can get ready to pass on. And that takes a special kind of intelligence and skill and psychological makeup to deal with it.”