Wednesday we held Claim meetings at Seneca and Pineville to help seniors make decisions regarding Medicare Part D. A wonderful group of volunteers from Springfield and Joplin were on hand at the Libraries to enroll people on line. They made it look easy, but then again, they have a lot of experience. I'm sure going to get them back next year to help us again.
Thursday morning I was treated to teaching the Rocky Comfort 4th graders a class on State Government. After fielding a couple of dozen questions from the same two students, I made them honorary Senators! It's amazing what they can come up with. The problem is, I caught myself thinking that's what I would have asked when I was a 4th grader. I promise you that I enjoyed it immensely. I always look forward to being asked to do those lessons. Thursday evening we held a Town Hall meeting in Seneca to discuss problems with division of Children's services. Senator Richard showed up, and as always, had some great advice. Many thanks to the Seneca Phone Company for providing us a great meeting room.
Friday evening we attended the Newton County Republican Bean Feed at Crowder. We heard from Senator Richard, Senator Schaffer, and Congressman Billy Long. Senator Richard, the Floor Leader of the Senate spoke briefly regarding the Common Core implementation. He pointed out that, like the DOR mandate last year that was sneaked past the Legislature, the Common Core proposes to collect data on students and their families from the time they begin school. This is only one of the concerns that the Legislature has about Common Core. The Governor and the Department of education have been planning this new Core Standardization since 2008 without the knowledge of the Legislature or the public. Senator Schaffer, the Senate Budget Chairman, suggested withholding DESE funds until some of these issues are resolved. I couldn't agree more. Until the public has a chance to understand what is being proposed and the Legislature weighs in on the rules that are being changed, we should not allow its implementation. We have seen too many new laws recently that we have to pass before we know what's in them!
We had some great fun Saturday night when we attended the "Chicken House Opry" This delightful facility is operated by Harold Brazeal who also is the lead singer of the "Ozark Mountain Boys". It is located about 2 miles North of the State Line on E highway in Southeast McDonald County. They are open the second and fourth Saturday nights each month except January and February. There are a number of different bands that also perform there. We also were treated to hear "Greasy Creek". If you like Bluegrass and Gospel with terrific desserts and great company, you can't beat it.
Finally, on the way home I stopped for gas and met a "Future Veteran" Mark Hull, a senior at McDonald County High and an ROTC member has enlisted in the Marine Corps! If you know Mark, shake his hand and thank him. I did!