Bob Mitchell: Keep Daylight Saving Time

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

It's completely out of reach why the Missouri Legislature, beginning in the House, is so determined to get rid of Daylight Saving Time. Don't the House members have more important things to consider for the state than dropping something that actually helps this part of the state?


Some, even those close to home, seem to forget this is an area that thrives on tourism. With more daylight hours during the summer months, doesn't it make sense to enhance the possibility of dollars being spent in Roaring River, Table Rock and other recreational possibilities? If the folks we send to Jefferson City aren't any more in touch with advantages to a region in Missouri than this, they have no business making the trip and charging expenses.

It would appear the legislature's proximity to Lake of the Ozarks, the same opinion would apply in that vast center of tourism. Other reservoirs in Missouri provide lots of sales tax, which lawmakers use at their discretion, which should be of interest to those who make their homes in the capitol during sessions of making laws for people to follow.

Flooding problems

If the legislature really wants to strike a blow for achievement in this area, why not provide funds for the Missouri Highway and Transportation Department to make improvements in the two bridges crossing streams in Cassville? They have been credited with causing floods in town because of long-time buildup beneath them that acts to dam heavy flows of water, pushing the backwater into developed areas.

The structures crossing Horner Branch and Flat Creek were constructed in 1930, which means there has been considerable development in the City of Seven Valleys over that period of time, which serves to cause more runoff when another parking lot or development goes in place. With this additional flow and build-up that accumulates over these 80 years, no less than destruction of property can result.

There are ideas within the community that could well provide a solution to this problem. They are naturally costly, beyond Cassville's reach, meaning the owners of the bridges need to start thinking about a solution to relieve a serious problem. The place to begin would be Cassville in a possible public hearing at which point local input, possibly the best available, could be voiced.

Apparently, our voices in Jefferson City aren't aware of the situation, or just don't have time to hear from the folks here since they are involved in the more serious-to-them workings of the state's so-called leaders.

As brought forward previously, there are possibilities floating around in Cassville that need to be heard. If elected representatives and the people in charge of the state's bridges aren't willing to listen, then they aren't doing their jobs.

The fescue story

Just last week, there was a conversation about how fescue grass came to Barry County, and this one just added itself to many that have rolled around for years. Here's how the grass got its start here.

Information provided by my late uncle Means Ray stated that the first three sacks of the seed came from Kentucky University where one of his early buddies, Dr. Thomas Talbert -- a Cassville native of the dairy family fame -- was involved in the department of agriculture. Dr. Talbert's family was well versed in the importance of agriculture, since they operated the early dairy operation in the area that includes the Old Reunion Grounds Campus, Wildwood Estates and surrounding acres. The family built the Ruth Thompson home in Wildwood.

Uncle Means' records on the arrival of the grass seed outlined how it was being distributed to some area cattlemen who he thought would put the new grass to good use and give it a chance to make a difference here in Barry County. Chosen for this division of the three sacks were the Sparkman brothers on Washburn prairie, Buck Weaver of the Horner community, the John Snider farm, and Floyd Blythe, both in the Mano community.

There were some sprinklings of the seed to others farmers in the area, but these possible growers were the principle ones to experiment with something that was to become a three-way crop in Barry County.

Since farmers could seed the crop, either in windrows or off the stump, then bale it for hay, all after it had been grazed for an appropriate time, cattle numbers increased until Barry County became one of the top cattle populations in Missouri.

Cassville's one-time observance of a Fescue Festival was among one of the top events this community has ever celebrated. Proliferation of fescue growing, lowering market prices, reduced activity on this crop, but fescue remains a dominant pasture grass in Barry County.

Bob Mitchell is the former editor and publisher of the Cassville Democrat.

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