I started the week with a trip to the McDonald County Courthouse to visit with the Commissioners. I had a new report from MoDot on bridges in the state that were classified as seriously deteriorated and in need of extensive repairs. Statewide there are over 600 of them. We only had 4 in McDonald County and 5 in Newton County but the number will continue to grow each year without some action. Carthage has a key bridge on 96 Highway that has recently had a weight restriction. This can cause fire and emergency equipment to route around the bridge and depending on the weight of school busses, they may have to re-route. Without additional funding, this situation is likely to worsen. Finding a funding plan is one of the top priorities for the House and Senate next year, but we must have voter approval to raise the amount of tax dollars it is going to require. I'll keep you posted on developments.
Tuesday found me at Anderson Elementary where I was privileged to speak to over 100 fourth graders about state government. During the question and answer portion, we got sidetracked into a discussion on drugs. I am constantly amazed at how much our children understand about social problems. They have the answers too! "Make people stop buying them, put people in jail, and stop selling them in drug stores" were the favorites.
Tuesday evening we went to the Neosho Exchange Club for an award ceremony honoring Rudy Farber for his contributions to Southwest Missouri. It is called the "Book of Golden Deeds" award and Mr. Farber is certainly worthy of the honor.