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Your View: Three from 3/3

Monday, March 3, 2003

The Sikeston Area Chamber of Commerce would like to thank our members and the public for making the 8th Annual Business/Education EXPO such a success.

A special thanks goes to the local media who helped us with publicity and to our vendors displaying their products and talking to visitors about career opportunities with their companies at the EXPO:

Associated Electric, Bootheel Healthy Start, Bulldog Financial Center, Carnell's Collision Repair, DAEOC, Duckett Truck Center, Heath Facilities Rehabilitation, Kenny Rogers Children's Center, Manpower, Metro Business College, Mission Missouri, Missouri Career Center, Missouri Delta Medical Center, Missouri Department of Transportation, Missouri Highway Patrol, Missouri National Guard, Noranda Aluminum, Pepsi-Cola, St. Francis Medical Center, SEMO.net, Shawnee Community College, Sikeston Area Higher Education Center, Sikeston Department of Public Safety, Sikeston Public Schools, Steward Steel, Sullivan University, The First National Bank, Truman State University, U.S. Army, U.S. Bank, U.S. Navy, William Woods University, Winchester Chiropractic and Zimmer Radio Group.

We would also like to thank Burch Food Service, Houchin's Donuts, Domino's Pizza, Sav-A-Lot, Pepsi Company and Turner Dairy for their donations.

The Student Chamber of Commerce and their sponsor, Pat DuVault, did a great job with the "Dress for Success" skits and running the concession stand. The Chamber would also like to thank our 2003 Corporate sponsors for their support:

Carnell's Collision Repair, First Midwest Bank, First Security State Bank, Food Giant Supermarkets Inc., Health Facilities Management, Manpower, Noranda Aluminum, Pullen Brothers Inc., Sikeston Department of Economic Development, Sikeston Factory Outlet Stores, Sikeston Jaycees, Sikeston Motor Co., Sikeston Public Schools, Standard Democrat, Steward Steel, The First National Bank and Zimmer Radio Group.

Despite the weather we had a good turnout with high school students from 10 area school participating and job seekers from Sikeston, New Madrid, Dexter and Bernie also attending. It is our pleasure putting on an event like this one each year for our students and the general public, and we would not be able to do it without the help of everyone I have listed. Once again, thanks to all and we look forward to seeing you next year.

Debbie Glenn, president Sikeston Area Chamber of Commerce

Mike, as publisher of the Standard Democrat, I think it's time for you to have a little talk with your sports writers, especially editor Lance Hanlin. In general, your writers do a commendable job of covering the numerous high school sports activities in your wide coverage area, but more and more frequently, they are stepping into an area that should be no part of high school sports reporting.

The most recent case was Hanlin's mean-spirited piece about the Clarkton boys basketball team's surprising No. 4 ranking in Class 1. Not only does he rant about how ridiculous it was for the reindeer to be state-ranked, but his tone belittles the team in statements about their wins over weak opponents and their lone loss coming from "juggernaut" Campbell.

Now if these were professionals, or even athletes getting a "free" college education through scholarships, then maybe his remarks would be appropriate.

But we're talking about high school kids, playing their hearts out in a small, hometown atmosphere, and they are getting this kind of treatment from some buffoon who thinks he is uncovering some kind of big scandal?

In Hanlin's defense, he probably thinks he is just doing his job like the big sports writers at the Post-Dispatch and USA Today, but he is hurting high school athletes, not pompous millionaires and pampered college stars. You need to have a little chat with these guys, Mike, and calm them down just a little bit before they get a justified punch in the nose from a parent or fan who decides to stand up for their student-athlete.

As our country struggles with a wavering economy and constant reminders of imminent terrorist attacks, Missouri needs to play its part in safeguarding the future for Americans. Locally, one such way is to give the Missouri economy a quick boost.

Senate President Peter Kinder recognizes the need to improve the local economy, as sponsor of legislation that would create a sales tax holiday during the back-to-school shopping season. SB 11 would allow us to buy important items sales tax free, such as computers, clothing and school supplies, at a designated time.

Veterans, many of whom live on fixed or low incomes, would especially welcome this tax relief. It would provide a more affordable opportunity for us to purchase home computers for our children and grandchildren. Technology is a must for students these days, and access to home computers would allow our families to have a full range of opportunities for a bright education and future.

A sales tax holiday would encourage more consumers to buy, increasing sales and boosting the local economy. I encourage the Senate to pass SB 11, which would be a great lift for Missouri and an inspiration for the nation's well being.

Paul Jones, past state commander Missouri Department of the Veterans of Foreign Wars St. Peters