The 2000 Census reported that New Madrid county, the most sparsely populated county in the Bootheel, is still suffering long term population loss. The New Madrid County R-1 Board of Education did its job and examined the effects of long term trends. Two main problems were identified - loss of state aid due to declining enrollment and older buildings in need of expensive renovation. The issue before the voters is how to continue to provide superior educational opportunities for all students at the least expense for taxpayers.
A Concerned Citizens Committee has published "ignore the main issue" political ads without listing the Committee treasurer's name. The CCC is trying to convince the voters that a yes vote will spell "doom" in capital letters for the city of Matthews. In 1960, Matthews had a population of 450. The R-1 School District was created in 1968. The 2000 population was 605. Is R-1 educational policy killing Matthews?
On Dec. 10, 1957, the newly formed Matthews R-5 School District closed several rural school districts and the Canalou C-2 School District. The combined wisdom of the Matthews R-5 School Board dictated the closing of Canalou High School. Why? All high school students in that reorganized school district would get the best education at Matthews High School. Over the years the combined wisdom of the R-1 School Board has resulted in similar decisions to promote the best interests of all the students and taxpayers.
To gain creditability the CCC must tell the voters how they can "save Matthews" and match the benefits of the Board of Education's plan. Credibility must also include identification of CCC members.
Each member of the school board appeared before the voters and was elected. They have done what they were elected to do while maintaining the lowest tax rate in the state. The anonymous self-anointed CCC chooses to sling political mud from the shadows. Common sense says support the duly elected school board.
Paul Hill, Identifiable resident, voter, taxpayer and retired R-1 School administrator
Have you always wanted your life to count for something in this world, to make a difference and leave your mark in life? Many of you did just that when you chose to come out on Sept. 26 to the First United Methodist Church and gave someone else another chance in life a chance to live.
We would like to thank all of those involved in our successful blood drive. Have you ever wondered why we make an effort after each community blood drive to thank those who gave blood? You may ask if saving one life really makes a difference. Yes, it makes a life and death difference to that "one." We concentrate on saving one life at a time. You see, that one life could just be you or a loved one. We at the American Red Cross are serious about saving lives. That is what we do, but we can't do it without you.
Thank you KSIM for making our blood drive known throughout the region; Rotary for sponsoring us and all the many volunteers who gave of themselves a precious commodity in their time. We appreciate the refreshments from Randy of Bo's Bar-B-Q in donating his "specialty;" Teresa of Domino's Pizza and Ryans. Needles to say, we are so thankful to the Standard Democrat for always working so close with us.
Yes, life is full of choices. If we want to make a difference, we must choose to do so. It requires sacrifice and inconvenience to contribute something substantial to the world around us, but we can persevere. Every time we give of ourselves, we contribute to make our little worked around us just a little bit better because we are in it. If you have never given blood, I challenge you to consider making that choice, for in giving it is when we receive. We truly reap what we sow.
Thank you for making your life count by saving another. Thank you for choosing to give the gift of life, because help can't wait.
Freida Cardwell, American Red Cross