Tag Archives: Nodaway County

‘Add color to otherwise black and white memories’

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“Do what you can, with what you’ve got, where you are.”

It’s a quote from Squire Bill Widener, although widely misattributed to Theodore Roosevelt who shared it in his autobiography.

Over the past year, it has kept me moving forward.

Because of my health issues, and the fact that I spend most of my life in bed now, I’ve been trying to focus on what I can do, with what I have, and with where I’m at.

One thing I’ve recently discovered I can do is family history. I mean, I can’t go out and wander around cemeteries. But I’ve got a laptop and the internet.

Growing up, my grandma was very into genealogy. My mom, too, and then my younger sister as well. I had no interest in it whatsoever.

One day last fall, however, trying to figure out what I can do, with what I have, where I’m at, family history popped into my head. And I decided to give it a go.

I’m still learning. And I don’t spend as much time with it as I’d like. But finding my ancestors and learning their stories and making connections that hadn’t yet been discovered by our family has been quite life-changing.

One connection is from my Eckerson family line. America Pulliam jumped out at me because of her patriotic name. She died in 1905 in Sullivan County, MO. The work that had previously been done by my grandma had ended with her. We didn’t know who her parents were so I started digging.

After several weeks of searching and working, I found them. And that opened up several lines, one going back 27 generations to Guillaume DeBray who was born in 1054 in England.

The line from America to Guillaume included other ancestors such as Captain Thomas Warren, born in Kent, England, who came to Virginia in 1640 and purchased land from Thomas Rolfe, the son of John Rolfe and Pocahontas. And 1st Baron Edmund Braye, born in 1484, who was in attendance when King Henry VIII and King Francois I met following the Anglo-French Treaty of 1514.

Another fascinating story for me has been from my husband’s side.

The granddaughter of a Cherokee Indian and a descendant of those who came on the Mayflower, Peninah Cotton was born in 1827 in Illinois. She married Daniel Wood, and because of their Mormon faith, they were driven out of their home by a mob, leaving behind everything they couldn’t carry and journeyed westward to escape persecution. They arrived in Salt Lake in 1848 and Daniel later founded the community of Woods Cross, Utah.

I’ve also found I’m related to several famous people through a fun family history website, RelativeFinder.org. I’m cousins with Walt Disney, Mark Twain, Henry David Thoreau and Orville and Wilbur Wright as well as several US Presidents including FDR, John Adams, William Howard Taft and a few more.

In just the few short months since I began this new adventure, it’s also been fun to share these stories with my kids.

A study conducted at Emory University and published in 2010 found the more children knew about their family history, the higher their self-esteem and the better able they were to deal with the effects of stress.

“Family stories provide a sense of identity through time and help children understand who they are in the world,” the researchers said.

During RootsTech 2016, a global family history event, blogger Miryelle Resek wrote: “For many of us, the thrill of researching our ancestors comes from learning about their stories. Glimpses of what their everyday life looked like, the challenges they overcame and the hopes and dreams they worked toward add color to otherwise black and white memories.”

Reading from Daniel Wood’s journal and how difficult the journey to Utah was for them helps our family have strength to get through rough times.

Maya Angelou said: “We are braver and wiser because they existed, those strong women and strong men. We are who we are because they were who they were.”

So if I’ve piqued your interest at all in family history, you can get started at familysearch.org and/or ancestry.com.

If your history includes Nodaway County, the historical society is a valuable resource and is open from 1 to 4 pm, Tuesday to Friday, or by appointment. Call 660.582.8176 for more information.

There’s also a Family History Center at the LDS Church in Maryville. Call 660.541.0124 and leave a message.

Several local genealogists are also willing to help including Mandi Brown who can be contacted at brownmandi0911@yahoo.com.

So get out there and start digging. Explore where you came from, link your past to your present and build a bridge to your future. You won’t regret it.

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prescription addiction: small towns not immune to rising opioid epidemic, Part 4

By Jacki Wood, written for the Nodaway News Leader, March 2016

Editor’s note: this is the last part in the series; the names have been changed to protect their privacy.

Nine days after law enforcement officers and Family Services visited Bethany’s home and issued a stern warning to her step-father about getting help, her family moved halfway across the country.

A new state, larger city and several hospitals to frequent, her step-father’s drug abuse only worsened.

Soon thereafter, Bethany was sent to live with her grandparents where it would be “safer for her to stay.”
“That was the healthiest and best thing that ever happened in my childhood,” she said.

***

For the 2016 legislative session, Missouri State Senator Holly Rehder proposed HB 1892, a prescription drug monitoring program, after similar bills she had proposed the last couple of years failed.

During a Senate Special Committee Meeting to highlight the opioid epidemic in January, Rehder told the personal story of her daughter’s drug addiction which began with prescription painkillers.

“I tell you this story to show that drug addiction is no respecter of persons,” she said. “It crosses all socioeconomic statuses. When you go into a high school and ask the kids, ‘what do you want to be when you grow up?’ The answers are ‘a doctor,’ ‘a lawyer,’ ‘a business owner.’ None say, ‘I want to be an addict.’

“Yet addiction is the growing epidemic of our time.”

***

After Adrianna’s mom moved out and she cut ties with her, the effects of her mom’s prescription drug abuse continued to plague her.

“I struggled with depression,” she said. “My attitude toward everything became negative. And I still have trust and confidence issues.”

The one person that was supposed to teach her how to love and be loved was gone, she said.

***

In 2014, Missouri State Representative Steve Lynch helped pass legislation that allowed qualified first responders to use Naloxone, an antidote for heroin overdoses.

Lynch has filed three bills this legislative session to continue to fight opioid overdoses.

HB 1568 would allow pharmacists to dispense Naloxone to individuals.

“Massachusetts passed a similar law and saw opiate-related deaths cut nearly in half as a result,” Lynch said. “We have the opportunity to put a safe, non-addictive drug in the hands of folks who can use it to save lives.”

HB 1569 would provide immunity to those who seek medical attention for someone suffering from an overdose and HB 1570 would authorize a $5 fee for drug-related court cases to fund rehabilitation programs.

***

Emergency Department Nurse Manager Pat Giffin, RN, said SSM Health St. Francis uses Naloxone when an opioid overdose case comes to the hospital.

“The problem is getting so severe that another one of the Suggested Emergency Department Prescribing Practice Recommendations is that healthcare providers should encourage policies that allow providers to prescribe and dispense Naloxone to public health, law enforcement and families as an antidote for opioid overdoses,” she said. “We have the advantage of also having a physician who is specially trained so he can prescribe Suboxone to help those with addictions get off the opioids.”

Suboxone contains Naloxone as well as buprenorphine, a controlled substance to treat pain and addiction to narcotic pain relievers.

Another option for those dealing with opioid addiction is Methadone, a pain reliever used as part of drug addiction detox and maintenance. It is only available from certified pharmacies and there are several Methadone clinics across the state.

***

It’s been a year now since Adrianna’s mom moved out.

“I have been growing up on my own, teaching myself how to be an adult and I have missed out on so many things that I would have done with her,” she said. “She will never get this time back with me.”

Looking back, Adrianna is still struggling with how to deal with it all.

“My mom became a prescription drug abuser,” she said. “And it tore my family and my life apart.”

***

But there is hope.

Bethany has been there. She understands, at least to some extent, what Adrianna is going through.

“In all the books I have read over the years, for my own healing or to make sure my children never experience anything like I did, one thing stood out to me,” she said.

“A child who has at least one adult in their life – it only has to be one – who they have bonded with and who believes in them and adores them, they absolutely can heal and have a ‘normal’ life with healthy relationships.

“My advice would be to embrace that adult – that aunt, grandmother, teacher, coach or pastor who embraces them for who they are – and try to make a strong connection with them.”


prescription addiction: small towns not immune to rising opioid epidemic, Part 3

By Jacki Wood, written for the Nodaway News Leader, March 2016

Editor’s note: this is the third part in the series; the names have been changed to protect their privacy.

An estimated 1.9 million people abused or were addicted to prescription opioid pain medication in 2014.

Those findings from SAMHSA were highlighted March 15 when the CDC released new guidelines aimed to reduce the risk of opioid addiction.

The voluntary guidelines are based on emerging evidence for patients with chronic pain not related to cancer treatment, palliative or end-of-life care.

Among the recommendations are that doctors try pain relievers like ibuprofen before prescribing highly addictive painkillers such as hydrocodone and oxycodone.

Other recommendations include non-prescription treatments such as exercise therapy, tai chi, yoga, weight loss, psychological therapies, interventions to improve sleep and certain procedures.

“It has become increasingly clear that opioids carry substantial risk but only uncertain benefits,” Dr. Thomas R. Frieden, CDC director, said, “especially compared with other treatments for chronic pain.”

***

As Adrianna’s mom became more addicted to the pain meds prescribed by her doctors for her chronic illness, the worse things got at home.

She began seeing problems in her parents’ marriage and her mom finally moved out which surprisingly was a relief for Adrianna.

Her mom had been texting hateful, degrading messages and posting belittling statuses on social media about her. She eventually had to block her phone number and report and block her on social media sites.

“I wanted her out of my life,” she said. “It wasn’t my mom; it was a monster in my mom’s body.”

***

Pat Giffin, RN and emergency department nurse manager at SSM Health St. Francis Hospital, said people don’t intend to become addicted to opioids, they just want something to take away their pain.

“Opioid addiction can make people do things they never would have thought of doing before the addiction, just to get more of the drug,” she said.

The hospital is currently working with SSM Health’s legal department to develop a notice for the emergency department stating that the hospital will not prescribe narcotics unless there is an acute reason.

“Prescribing opioids to patients who do not need them for acute pain only results in addiction and more problems for the patient,” Giffin said. “Chronic pain issues need to be handled by one physician so that the usage can be monitored and controlled.”

***

That was the issue with Bethany’s step-father. His opioid use was not being carefully monitored or controlled by his doctors and the hospital.

And even though everyone around her seemed to know about it, she said, no one would talk.

Until someone finally did.

“Looking back now, as a mother of three, I am in shock that it took someone as long as it did to make the call,” she said.

After hearing that Bethany’s dad was slurring his words and saying really hateful things to her, a friend’s mom spoke up.

“It was humiliating, and at the same time, I felt like I was going to be in trouble for exposing our family secret,” she said.

***

Six organizations representing Missouri healthcare providers issued recommendations in December to reduce opioid painkiller misuse and abuse.

The Missouri Academy of Family Physicians, Missouri Association of Osteopathic Physicians and Surgeons, Missouri College of Emergency Physicians, Missouri Dental Association, Missouri Hospital Association and Missouri State Medical Association jointly recommended that healthcare providers adopt the recommendations.

Many of the state’s emergency departments have existing systems, however, there has not been a consistent set of guidelines statewide for providers throughout the state.

Dr. Evan Schwarz, Fellow of the American College of Emergency Physicians and MD at Barnes-Jewish Hospital in St. Louis, said emergency physicians deal with opioid misuse and abuse on a daily basis.

“This is an important initial effort to address the problem of prescription drug abuse,” he said. “However, in the long run, it will require a multi-disciplinary, public-private approach to provide treatment, reduce abuse and its costs.”

***

Shortly after the call about her step-father’s behavior, law enforcement officers and a Family Services representative visited Bethany’s home.

They discussed what had been reported and her mom reassured them they were fine and that Bethany had exaggerated the situation.

“A pot of coffee later, they were driving away,” she said, feeling even more hopeless about the situation.

However, a follow-up visit came shortly thereafter, and with it, a stern warning that her step-father needed to get help.

Nine days later, they moved halfway across the country.


prescription addiction: small towns not immune to rising opioid epidemic, Part 2

By Jacki Wood, written for the Nodaway News Leader, March 2016

Editor’s note: this is the second part in the series; the names have been changed to protect their privacy.

“The opioid epidemic has been called the worst drug crisis in American history,” wrote Dan Nolan and Chris Amico in their Frontline special, “Chasing Heroin,” on February 23.

“Death rates now rival those of AIDS during the 1990s, and with overdoses from heroin and other opioids now killing more than 27,000 people a year, the crisis has led to urgent calls for action.”

***

Adrianna
After being diagnosed with the chronic illness, Adrianna’s mom received a prescription to deal with the pain and their way of life changed very quickly.

Gone were the days of shopping and getting their nails done together, doing makeovers, talking until two in the morning.

“I started noticing a real difference in her,” Adrianna said. “She would come home (from work) and go straight to bed.”

Barely 16, Adrianna wasn’t really sure what was happening.

“My mom was either yelling at me or ignoring me,” she said. “She would tell me she didn’t love me. And never did. She would tell me she never wanted to see me again.

“Then a couple of hours later, she would say she was sorry.”

And that was just the beginning.

***

Over the last 15 years, opioid deaths have jumped 369 percent while heroin deaths have risen 439 percent, the CDC reports.

Heroin use is growing in popularity as a direct result of prescription painkillers.

Ninety-four percent of people in treatment for opioid addiction said they started using heroin because it was far cheaper and easier to get than prescriptions painkillers.

Nolan and Amico wrote: “Over the course of more than a decade, it has grown into a problem destroying lives across the nation, regardless of age, race, wealth or location.

“Nearly 90 percent of the people who tried heroin for the first time in the past decade were white. And a growing number are middle-class or wealthy.”

The opioid epidemic is erasing the stereotypes of drug abuse. It’s soccer moms and CEOs and even grandmothers.

Last July, the CDC found “significant increases in heroin use were found in groups with historically low rates, including women and people with private insurance and higher incomes. The gaps between men and women, low and higher incomes and people with Medicaid and private insurance have narrowed.”

***

Emergency departments across the country are also feeling the effects of the growing problem.

Between 2005 and 2014, the rate of hospitalizations and emergency department visits from opioid overuse in Missouri has more than doubled, according to the Missouri Hospital Association.

Pat Giffin, RN and emergency department nurse manager at SSM Health St. Francis, said the hospital in Maryville is dealing with similar trends.

“We are seeing a lot of Norco (hydrocodone) use and abuse,” Giffin said. “It has substantially increased in the past couple of years.”

***

Bethany
More than 20 years after her step-father’s car accident, where he was initially prescribed opioids for the pain, Bethany’s younger brother finally learned the truth about those emergency room visits from his childhood.

The 30-year-old youth pastor and father of four was astounded by the revelation.

“Do you realize I spent most of my childhood in an emergency room?” he said to her. “Mom had to drag me along to the ER when he had to get a shot for the ‘pain.’ All the soccer and baseball and basketball games missed…

“All because he was a drug seeker? It was preventable? It was all a lie?”

While Bethany was saddened by his disappointment, she was not surprised.

“Those physician-prescribed drugs ruled our life, and sadly, destroyed relationships and severed family ties,” she said.

***

Missouri is the only state in the nation, Giffin said, without a prescription drug monitoring program.

She said MHA issued a policy in November stating: “The absence of a prescription drug monitoring program through a registry system impedes the ability of physicians, pharmacists and hospitals to evaluate patients’ complete prescription and utilization profile.

“The use of a prescription drug monitoring program may be one effective strategy to help identify patients who may be seeking multiple providers and would benefit from opioid diversion.”

***

The chronic illness became too much for Adrianna’s mom to handle.

“It felt like she gave up on everything,” she said.

And that’s when she started abusing the medicine prescribed by her doctors.

“She held herself differently and sometimes I could barely understand what she was saying,” Adrianna said. “I tried to talk to her about it but she didn’t care about me or my opinion.”

With her dad working long hours – and not feeling like she could share her situation with her friends – Adrianna began to feel very alone.

“My life wasn’t supposed to end up like this,” she said.


Australian exchange student finds unexpected success at Nodaway-Holt

By Jacki Wood, written for the Nodaway News Leader

NaliSmilesWhen Nali Tattersall arrived in Missouri in January, the 17-year-old exchange student had never participated in track and field, never attempted the high jump nor the long jump, never even seen how to do the triple jump.

Now, the Nodaway-Holt junior from Darwin, Australia, will be competing at state this weekend after qualifying in all three events at sectionals.

“(I) feel overwhelmed to receive all the attention,” Tattersall said. “I enjoy seeing everyone’s athletic ability and getting to meet others I compete with and build relationships with them.

“I’m also excited to be able to help my team with points and hopefully continue this journey as far as I can.”

Tattersall’s host family, Erick and Heather Thornton and their son, Derick, have enjoyed watching him compete.

“He is a natural to jumping events, and having never done it before, we didn’t expect him to be doing so well,” Heather said. “It’s been great to celebrate with him each time he sets a new personal record or see his face light up when he gets another trophy or medal.”

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Darwin is the capital of the Northern Territory of Australia and has a population of 136,000.

Tattersall said while the language is the same and western culture is shared, there are several differences between his home country and the US.

“We drive on different sides of the road and (there are) changes in climate. Here it gets really cold and I’m used to it being hot year round,” he said.

The food is also different.

“Americans have so many choices,” he said. “There are so many different kinds of snacks and restaurants in the states. In Australia, we don’t have free refills and very few candy bars. I love trying it all.

“I do miss vegemite, though.”

Vegemite is a popular spread for sandwiches, toast and crackers in Australia. It’s dark brown, tastes salty and slightly bitter and is made from leftover brewers’ yeast extract with vegetable and spice additives.

Tattersall has also found that school is somewhat different.

“There are no sports in schools in Australia and here there is something to do all year,” he said.

Nodaway-Holt

The students at Nodaway-Holt, however, are mostly the same as those in Australia.

“(They) like similar things such as hanging out on the weekends, playing video games and they like to fish and hunt,” Tattersall said.

Sarcasm has been a bit of a challenge for him, he said, understanding when it’s being used and what is meant by it. But he is really enjoying his time at Nodaway-Holt especially participating in athletics and making new friends.

“My school is amazing,” he said. “And I’ve built so many friendships that will last a lifetime.”

That includes his host family.

“I have been placed with an awesome host family who are very supportive and keep my family in Australia involved with pictures and videos on Facebook,” he said.

Heather said they are grateful for the opportunity to have him in their home.

“He is a great kid, very funny and easy going, polite and enjoys interacting with others,” she said. “He has taught us many things about his culture and answers your questions, even if it’s the 500th time he had answered it. Watching him experience new things is a joy.

“We are grateful for the experience and know he will be a part of our family for many years.”

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Track

While there were no athletics offered at school in Australia, Tattersall did play basketball in what would be equivalent to a YMCA or community center league.

In addition to track and field, he participated in part of the basketball season at Nodaway-Holt after he arrived, and because he will be here until November, he plans to also play football in the fall.

Before Tattersall arrived in Missouri, a few students had shown Coach Josh Petersen video clips of him dunking a basketball from right inside the free throw line.

“When he started school here, I think it was his first or second day of basketball practice, I asked to see him dunk it,” Petersen said. “And I was just amazed at how high he could jump.”

So when track season rolled around, Petersen said he couldn’t wait to see how well he could or would do in the jumping events.

“Long jump and high jump weren’t really an issue but I was curious to see how he would do in triple jump,” he said. “The day before our first meet, I showed him the technique. And after seeing the look on his face and him saying ‘far out’ in that Australian accent of his, I figured he would like it.”

Not only did he like it, he excelled at it.

The day after learning how to triple jump, Tattersall participated in his first meet and jumped around 38 feet. Now, he’s jumping nearly 43 feet.

His long jump started at around 18 feet and now he’s jumping 20’2”.

In high jump, Petersen said he was stuck on 6’2” for awhile but he eventually got 6’4” at the Mound City meet which is his best and a Nodaway-Holt school record.

He was also a part of the 4×200-meter relay team, which Petersen said fared pretty well in every meet.

“Nali has been a very big part in the success of our track team this year,” Petersen said. “We only had six guys out and he was usually first or second in every event he was in. He has been our high point guy in every track meet, usually scoring 26 to 30 points by himself.

“I have really enjoyed watching him do his events and couldn’t have asked for a better person to coach in my first year. It’s been exciting to watch him perform.”

With his unexpected success, Tattersall is now considering the sport as a potential part of his future.

“Participating in track at the collegiate level is not a possibility (at home); they don’t have sports in college there,” he said. “I could continue track in Australia, however, it would be very limited and difficult.”

So after he finishes high school, he said he will consider returning to the US to further his education and participate in track while doing so.

“This has been amazing,” Tattersall said, “and I can’t wait to see what the future holds.”

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Parnell couple uncovers long-forgotten cemetery

By Jacki Wood for the Nodaway News Leader

Located near Honey Creek and the Platte River in eastern Nodaway County, the tiny sawmill town of Wilcox is long gone and mostly forgotten.

But Aaron and Rosey Runde are doing their part to change that.

Prior to purchasing their farm near Honey Creek in the rural Parnell and Ravenwood area, the Rundes were out looking at the farm when they walked right past it without even noticing.

It wasn’t until Aaron walked by it a second time that he realized he was walking past a cemetery.

Located in the southwest corner of their farm, it is the Wilcox Cemetery and the oldest gravestone dates back to 1872.

“I didn’t know what to think at first,” he said. “I thought possibly it was a small family cemetery.”

He soon realized it was more than that.

When he started to uncover the cemetery, only two or three of the stones were actually still standing.

“Most of the stones were broken off and laid scattered in pieces,” he said. “Now, 67 stones have been found and pieced back together.”

Cemetery1

He said he’s spent well over a year’s worth of Sundays clearing and cleaning up the cemetery so far with the help of his wife and friends Josh Schmitz, Cody Schmitz, Caleb Spire and Kim Savano.

“I started by cutting down lots of good-sized trees and lots of brush and piling it all up and burning it,” he said. “It took a whole lot of clearing and cleaning before I could even think about mowing it.”

Runde said the work he’s done to restore the cemetery was mostly done out of respect for the people buried there but also from a feeling of obligation since it rests on their property.

“Reading the gravestones has been educational and enlightening,” he said. “Some of them have lengthy epitaphs. And a lot of the stones are infant graves which makes us thankful for medical advancements over the past 100 years.”

Cemetery2

Cemetery3

In addition to clearing and cleaning up the area, he has replaced the fence on three sides of the cemetery, added a new entrance gate on the west side and recently built a new pipe fence along the south edge.

“I plan to continue to make improvements,” he said, “along with keeping it mowed and cared for.”

Several folks have stopped by the “newly found” cemetery to thank Runde for his efforts to uncover their ancestors’ grave markers.

Runde said he has no way of knowing how many graves could still be missing so he’d like to have a map of the cemetery to see how many were there at one time. Also, if anyone knows of a good, inexpensive way to mend broken gravestones, please let him know.

He can be reached at 660.937.2060.

Cemetery4 Cemetery5 Cemetery6

 


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.


‘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.