Author Archives Brian Becker

Monster Catfish Caught In Italy

Posted by Brian Becker  /   July 15, 2014  /   Posted in FrontSlider, Nature/Wildlife, Sticky  /   No Comments

Italian angler Dino Ferrari caught an eight-foot, 260-lb wels catfish on the River Po in Italy. While the catfish is one of the biggest in European record books, it’s certainly not an anomaly. The record currently stands at 297lbs, 9 oz for anyone looking to break into Guinness…

Here’s a video of him bringing in the monster.

http://proptalk.com/260-lb-wels-catfish-caught-italy/

Windows XP and SEMO.net Webmail Compatibility Issues

Posted by Brian Becker  /   June 30, 2014  /   Posted in Features, FrontSlider, Sticky, Technical or Geeky  /   6 Comments

First of all, we are excited that our webmail system has been upgraded. One of the newest features is that you now have access to a calendar within webmail. I am convinced that the more you use our new webmail service, the more you will find uses for the new calendar feature.

The new and improved SEMO.net Webmail is not very compatible with Windows XP’s Internet Explorer. Microsoft ended all of their support of Windows XP back in March of this year, Internet Explorer cannot be upgraded on Windows XP past version 7, and the new security measures of our new Webmail are not compatible with Internet Explorer 7. Older Mac users using an older version of Safari browser are having similar problems.

Some customers have reported that Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox browser have fixed their problem once they got one of those browsers installed on their Windows XP computer.

We understand this is frustrating, but security is a prime concern in today’s world and we support our email vendor’s efforts to make the webmail system more secure. Microsoft’s decision to end the life of Windows XP after twelve years is at the heart of the issue. At the same time, an operating system that has lasted 12 years is also an amazing feat.

NewWave Wins Hearts of Kids

Posted by Brian Becker  /   June 26, 2014  /   Posted in Business, FrontSlider, General Articles, Human Interest, Sticky  /   2 Comments

NewWave, the new owners of City Cable, converted Whiteley Park into a kids dream. Bouncy houses and blowup slides and rock walls had lines of kids waiting for their turn.

According to John Brinker, NewWave General Manager of Missouri/Arkansas, over 300 citizens came out to enjoy an evening of family fun. When asked about the transition, Brinker was pleased with their progress and the NewWave team expects that customers will begin receiving their bills from NewWave by mid-August.

Climbing the Rock Wall

Climbing the Rock Wall

More than 40 stood in line to get their face painted

More than 40 stood in line to get their face painted

Sliding Down The Slide

Sliding Down The Slide

Rainbow the Clown was making kids happy

Rainbow the Clown was making kids happy

New Wave employees were there to explain the different services they offer

New Wave employees were there to explain the different services they offer

Great music filled the air by Jim Hager and SEMO DJ Service

Great music filled the air by Jim Hager and SEMO DJ Service

Over 300 turned out for the New Wave Carnival

Over 300 turned out for the New Wave Carnival

The kids loved the bouncy basketball court.

The kids loved the bouncy basketball court.

All aboard. These kids were having a barrel of fun

These kids were having a barrel of fun

Enjoying a ride on the train

Enjoying a ride on the train

A great picnic was provided for everyone

A great picnic was provided for everyone

Two kids ready to race to the bottom

Two kids ready to race to the bottom

SEMO.net Is Building a Team of Photographers

Posted by Brian Becker  /   June 23, 2014  /   Posted in Business, FrontSlider, General Articles, Human Interest, Sticky  /   No Comments

Are you an amateur photographer? SEMO.net is building a team of photographers for a project we are working on. We are not looking for professional photographers with side businesses, we are talking about amateurs who love photography and enjoy trying to catch that perfect shot and would love to have their work appear online for the area to see.

If you are interested then please contact me at brian@semo.net and send me links to some of your favorite shots. Don’t overwhelm me with 50, narrow it down to less than 10 photos. It’s okay if you just send me one or two. Just so it allows me to see how good you are with a camera.

 

 

Message For our Wireless Customers

Posted by Brian Becker  /   June 13, 2014  /   Posted in Archived Announcement, FrontSlider  /   1 Comments

Dear Wireless customers,

For those who use our wireless Internet service, SEMO.net is having to end our wireless internet service as of the middle of July. We are very sorry but the wireless service has come to a point where it is costing more to provide than it is generating. We wanted to give you as much time as possible to find a new solution.

We will continue to offer DSL, Dialup, hosting and email services and the SEMO.net web page will continue to be available.

To help us avoid any confusion with other customers who use other services, please make sure that when talking about this you always make reference to our “wireless” service that is shutting down.

If you use your SEMO.net email address, you can keep using your email address for $19.95 per year. We can help you configure to use your @SEMO.net email address no matter what service you choose to use for your Internet.

For many of you, your options will be either satellite Internet service like Hughes.net or cell internet service from a company like AT&T. We still provide dialup service for those in remote areas, if you choose to go back to dialup service, please call us at 686.9114.

I am very sorry to have to bring you such bad news, but we have decided that there is no other option other than to close down our wireless services.

Please email billing@semo.net or call 686.9114 once you have switched over to another provider.

Brian Becker
brian@semo.net

Schrieber Gets Caught Pushing Personal Agenda

Posted by Brian Becker  /   June 11, 2014  /   Posted in Features, FrontSlider, General Articles, Nature/Wildlife, Political/Government, Sticky  /   3 Comments

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. [The Missouri Times] – Several southeast Missourians have informed The Missouri Times that Schrieber has told them that by attacking Senator Libla on an issue that the [Conservation] department was lobbying against would be an avenue toward helping him be appointed to the [Conservation] commission when the local highly-respected Don Bedell finishes his term in July of next year.

Schrieber has reportedly told several locals that Frank Campa, a conservation agent based out Cape Girardeau, informed him that attacking the Senator would be a perfect way to “curry favor” with the department and assist in his appointment.

Read the rest of the story at: The Missouri Times

Senator Libla to PSC: Opportunity Crucial For Our Economy

Posted by Brian Becker  /   June 10, 2014  /   Posted in Business, FrontSlider, General Articles, Human Interest, Political/Government, Sticky  /   No Comments

Caruthersville, MO – Thirty-four individuals signed the request to testify list to address the Public Service Commission at the first of three Public Hearings scheduled for June 9, 10 and 11 in Caruthersville, St Louis and Jefferson City, respectively.

The Public Hearings are to determine an issue between Noranda, an aluminum smelter in New Madrid who is Southeast Missouri’s largest employer, and Ameren, the power company. Noranda is asking for their power rates to be fixed at $30/Megawatt hour. Ameren claims this rate would be below their cost and all other Ameren customers would see an increase of 1.8%.

Noranda is Ameren’s biggest customer buying 10% of all of Ameren’s power each month. Noranda pays over $160 Million to Ameren for electricity, a cost which has increased by $44 Million since 2009 and represents more than one-third of Noranda’s annual expenses.

2014-06-09 18.35.52
With over 750 in attendance, Senator Doug Libla was the first to testify before PSC Regulatory Judge Woodruff and two PSC Commissioners (Stoll and Hall). The Senator’s words were carefully crafted and to the point, “Our Public Service Commission has an opportunity to do something crucial for our economy. It will help the entire state, and in particular Southeast Missouri, one of the poorest regions of this entire country.”

Libla also told the panel that of nine aluminum smelters operating in the U.S., Noranda now has the second-highest electric rate. The Senator went on to state, “nobody fights harder for consumers in Missouri than Noranda” and “without Noranda, Ameren customers would see higher rates.”

One of the most poignant statements by Senator Libla was his attempt to convey to the panel how important Noranda is to the counties he represents, “I have tried to fathom what the economy of the Bootheel would look like without Noranda. Basically it would be like St. Louis losing the Cardinals, Boeing, Anheuser- Busch, Monsanto, and Express Scripts all at once.”

Following the three public hearings, the two issues (Ameren over-charging customers and Noranda’s request for a fixed rate of electricity) will move to formal hearings on June 16 and July 28 in Jefferson City.

“Protect & Serve” versus “Redneck Profiling”

Posted by Brian Becker  /   June 08, 2014  /   Posted in Business, Entertainment, Features, FrontSlider, Human Interest, Nature/Wildlife, Political/Government, Sports, Sticky, Uncategorized  /   25 Comments

Trucks Gone Wild came to Brick’s Offroad Park this weekend (June 7-9) and out came the big trucks and even bigger crowds. This is the sixth year that the video company has come to Southeast Missouri to capture trucks doing crazy things like launching into the air at 45 miles per hour to jump a 30 ft slough.

Bricks3 IMG_4486 IMG_4524 IMG_4527 IMG_4528 IMG_4536 IMG_4546(1) IMG_4568 IMG_4586

IMG_4572

In years past the Highway Patrol monitored the area but this weekend it was described as more aggressive and an all out ticket-trap. One Brick’s fan called it “redneck profiling.”

A group of eight from Brick’s were eating at Colton’s steakhouse Saturday night. The talk bounced from one trailer being stopped for exceeding the maximum height by two inches; to the awesome slough-jump; to calculating the financial impact Brick’s has on the community; to the number of patrolmen in the area; to the Brick’s employee pulled over twice in less than two miles and ticketed for no seatbelt.

Two of the three CVE trucks lying in wait for a Brick's vehicle.

Two of the three CVE trucks in the area lying in wait for a Brick’s vehicle.

CVE officer informed this driver he was stopped for a "routine inspection."

CVE officer informed this driver he was stopped for a “routine inspection.”

This truck/trailer was stopped for trailer license plate violation.

This truck was stopped for trailer license plate violation.


Knupp, who received a ticket on his way to Bricks two days earlier, was filling his truck up at Heartland Express. He estimated he spent over $300 with local businesses while in the area.

Knupp, who received a ticket on his way to Bricks two days earlier, was filling his truck up at Heartland Express. He estimated he spent over $300 with local businesses while in the area.

Krupp's ticket for driving in left lane too long.

Krupp’s ticket for driving in left lane too long.

On Sunday morning at Heartland Express, Shayn Knupp from Jonesboro, Ill, held up a ticket he received on Friday because he “failed to drive within right lane of highway with two or more lanes in same direction.” Knupp explained he was driving south on his way to the Brick’s park and had just gone through the two-lane construction zone when the “cop started tailing me.” He continued south but was nervous and didn’t change lanes until he saw the exit for Hwy 160 [slightly more than 1 mile in the left lane]. “The cop pulled me over when I got onto Hwy 160 and gave me a ticket” he complained.

On Saturday night, the highway patrol set up a sobriety checkpoint for several hours at Hwy M at Hwy 67 stopping traffic at one of the two main routes to/from Brick’s. A K-9 unit was reported in the Cane Creek Flats area of Hwy 67 and multiple stops were also made along F Hwy (between Hwy 160 and Brick’s Park).

According to Corporal Slaughter of Troop E, Sunday’s supervisor, the Highway Patrol was working overtime this weekend on “a Special Operation” to help keep everyone safe and sound. “We’ve got people coming in from out of state for Bonestock and Brick’s. We want everyone to come and have a good time but we just want everyone to be legal.” He went on to state that they had received several calls from thankful citizens who appreciated their presence in the area because things had gotten out of hand over the years. Slaughter also confirmed that all officers of Troop E were asked to come to the area over the weekend.

All officers of Troop E converged on Poplar Bluff this weekend.

All officers of Troop E converged on Poplar Bluff this weekend.


When asked why the Commercial Vehicle Enforcement officers were stopping vehicles with trailers, Slaughter stated “Well, CVOs can stop for routine inspections.” But no explanation was given as to why the CVE taskforce “responsible for enforcing the laws, rules and regulations for the State of Missouri dealing with commercial vehicles” was stopping muddy, non-commercial pickups with trailers.

Brick’s co-owner and founder, Scott Brickell, told SEMO.net “I am glad they are stopping people who are drinking and driving. That is a good thing. But stopping people coming into our park for petty issues is not right.”

It’s estimated that over $300,000 pours into the Poplar Bluff area retail market over this event which draws Mud Truck enthusiasts from 15 different states. According to Brick’s employees, they start checking in customers as early as Wednesday for the three day event that starts on Friday. Holiday Inn reported being at capacity over the weekend. Their parking lot, like all the hotels in town, were filled with trucks and trailers from Friday through Sunday.

While the Highway Patrol’s stated mission to serve and protect aligns with their vision to ensure Missouri is a safe place to live or visit, there is a growing animosity among the Brick’s “visitors” who feel targeted and forced to think twice before heading into the Bluff for dinner or supplies.

One man, stopped for a routine inspection of his trailer by a Commercial Vehicle Enforcement officer, stated “If I was speeding, or drinking or doing something wrong then I’d understand being pulled over, but I didn’t do anything other than leave Brick’s.”

Shelby Road Phase II – Delayed By Corp of Engineers

Posted by Brian Becker  /   June 03, 2014  /   Posted in Features, FrontSlider, General Articles, Political/Government  /   3 Comments

In a letter from the Little Rock District of the Corp of Engineers to the City of Poplar Bluff, Project Manager Louis Clark alerted the City Manager that they had 30 days to respond to the issues raised by multiple agencies regarding the second phase of Shelby Road which was to extend from Kanell Blvd (PP Hwy) south and east to the intersection of Business Hwy 67 and Hwy 53. This builds a second north-south business corridor allowing for better traffic flow and continued business development for the Poplar Bluff area.

Shelby Road Phase II Proposed Route

Shelby Road Phase II Proposed Route

The letter states that the Environmental Protection Agency, the Missouri Department of Conservation and the Missouri Department of Natural Resources were all concerned with the mitigation efforts as stated in the City’s application. The Corp was even more specific on their concerns:

The concerns of the Corp of Engineers include, from a cultural resource perspective, is that the project has the potential to impact cultural resources and therefore a cultural resources survey of the final road alignment is required. The road project is within the 100-year floodplain and the floodplain of Pike Creek. Appropriate waivers and permits must be obtained prior to construction in these areas.

The Corp goes on to suggest two alternate routes the city consider rather than the current one which cuts across abandoned sewage lagoons and drops into the floodplain.

…modifying the road alignment so it runs west from Business 67 and Hwy 53 intersection to the approximate location of CR-485 and then run north, parallel to CR-465 to the south end of Shelby Road. Another alternative might be to stay on the east side of Pike Creek, running behind businesses on the high ground and then crossing Pike Creek in the vicinity of Roxie Road and then meeting with the southern end of Shelby Road. It appears that both of these alternatives may reduce impacts to the floodplain and floodway, as well as impacts to the waters of the United States.

Rendering of alternative routes suggested by Corp

Artist rendering of alternative routes suggested by Corp

As residences along the Hwy 53 Industrial Bypass found out, a highway is nothing but a paved levy. The county is involved with civil cases involving several landowners for the floodplain issues caused by that levy since its construction. Culverts have been installed to help drain the pent-up water during downpours, but to date, the landowners around the bypass are still concerned every time the weather report calls for heavy thunderstorms.

The last thing the south side needs is another highway funneling more water toward the 53 corridor. Hopefully one of the alternative routes will alleviate much of the flood concern and provide another business corridor through our city.

City Files Against Former City Manager Regarding Contract

Posted by Brian Becker  /   June 02, 2014  /   Posted in FrontSlider, General Articles, Sticky  /   1 Comments

On May 30, the City of Poplar Bluff filed a petition against former City Manager Doug Bagby with the Butler County Circuit Court requesting Declaratory Judgment. The City is asking the court to look at the City Manager contract from 2003 and determine if it is valid. The petition cites that the city believes the contract was not valid because it was at odds with Missouri Statutes, Missouri Constitution and City Ordinance.

SEMO.net received a City v Doug Bagby from the Circuit Court Clerk.

You can also read a SEMO.net article from May 7: Crazy Claims Regarding Bagby’s Contract

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    1899 N Westwood Blvd #218
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