• Well, the story I've been waiting to write since the ultrasound nurse detected an extra appendage will have to wait at least another week, as my son and I are continuing our time-honored tradition of not shooting deer. The good news is, our sorrowful story is getting out and my friends in the hunting community are stepping up and inviting us to their farms, where we subsequently shut down all deer activity for the next 24 hours. It is not out of the norm to ask permission to dove or rabbit hunt on someone’s property, or even ask to duck or goose hunt if no one is hunting there, but you simply don’t ask someone to deer hunt on their

    Dec 22,
  • About 10 years ago, my family received a gift from a friend: a small book and three ornaments. The book described traditions from around the world involving ornaments at Christmas. Our family immediately fell in love with the story of the German families who hide a pickle in their tree and on Christmas morning the one who finds the pickle gets a special surprise from Santa. What we quickly found out is "finding the pickle" is much more fun than any prize. Before we ever got to Christmas morning, the kids had played hide-and-seek with the pickle multiple times each day. And thus, our new tradition began. My kids are now 13 and 16 and as we were trimming

    Dec 21,
  • POPLAR BLUFF - I am proud and excited that Mid Continent Nail Corporation, a division of Mid Continent Steel & Wire, has just announced an expansion in the Poplar Bluff Industrial Park. The expansion includes nearly $5 million in new capital investment and the addition of 91 full time jobs. Mid Continent Nail Corporation began business in 1987 under the ownership of David and Doug Libla. Mid Continent Nail is the largest bulk pallet nail manufacturer in the United States and is the largest supplier of nails to the wooden pallet and crating industry with customers throughout the U.S. and Canada. Libla Industries, Inc., dba Mid Continent Nail was purchased by Deacero USA, Inc. in February 2012. I am very

    Dec 20,
  • POPLAR BLUFF - As was reported in the SEMO TIMES today, the City's grant writer, Raynesha Hudnell, has secured two grants totaling $424,750 for city projects: $400k to connect city parks, and nearly $25k for Home Repair Opportunity (HERO) Program. Let's go back to early September when former councilwoman Susan McVey grandstanded during a council meeting questioning City Manager Kaplan, "How do you justify hiring a grant writer?"  And then in the DAR a few days later she was boldly quoted, "The grant writer's position was not in this year's budget. It was not advertised and it was not offered to a capable local person." Had the city not hired their own grant writer, one can first assume we'd never had gotten these funds. After

    Dec 19,
  • Last week the House made important progress on an issue I have been fighting since I got to Washington – protecting our farmers and landowners from intrusive federal regulations. Since I have been in office, the EPA and the Army Corps of Engineers have been scheming to take away our property rights. We know this from their actions. First, they proposed the National Blueway designation for the White River Watershed that would have created “buffer zones” keeping farmers from using their land. Then they proposed the incredibly damaging “Waters of the United States” rule that threatens to regulate every drop of water on our property. It could also require federal inspectors to approve how farmers and landowners use every collection

    Dec 19,

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