We were at Pineville Elementary at 9 a.m. last Monday for their always great Veterans Day Assembly.

We were at Pineville Elementary at 9 a.m. last Monday for their always great Veterans Day Assembly.

We enjoyed the junior high band and recognized the vets in the crowd then we drove over to Rocky Comfort Elementary for their great ceremony. The high school band played there and also at the high school later on. There were ceremonies all over the district and veterans were recognized and honored all over our great state. All 163 representatives and 34 senators were busy Monday doing the same thing I was. I sincerely doubt that any of them enjoyed the day any more than I did.

Tuesday evening we held our third Town Hall Meeting on child abuse and neglect. We had a great turnout and heard from several foster parents. We are going to hold some additional town hall type meetings in neighboring districts. We will be at Webb City on Monday, Nov. 25 at Granny Schaffer's. The meeting will start at 6 p.m.

Dec. 12 we will be at the Lampo building in Neosho at 6 p.m. also. My committee is now preparing its report for the speaker and the senate and we will meet in full committee on the Dec. 11 to plan next year's agenda.

Thursday we travelled to Kansas City for the Missouri Chamber of Commerce yearly meeting and awards banquet. Ten legislators out of 197 were given the Chamber award for a 100 percent voting record on Economic Development issues. I was proud to be one of the 10! The banquet was held in Kansas City's Union Station. Boy what an impressive building. They have done a wonderful job of restoring it to its former grandeur and we really enjoyed the evening.

We found our way to the Newton County fairgrounds Saturday night for the 4-H Awards Night. They served a great meal and we saw literally dozens of kids rewarded for their efforts with trophys, medals, and certificates testifying that they were the best of the best. 4-H serves young people in urban as well as rural areas and many times the lessons learned there set the stage for a future career. My hat is really off to the MU Extension Staff and our local Council Officers for all the long hot hours spent guiding these young people. Congratulations to all the participants in the awards ceremony.

Congratulations are also in order for the Seneca football team. They won handily at Eldon last week which sets up a great semifinal game with John Burroughs High on Saturday at Seneca. Those boys have certainly had a great season! Webb City and Lamar also advanced to the semifinal round which just proves that Southwest Missouri can not only lead the state in test scores, we can play football too!

Speaking of test scores, there seems to be some additional opposition to Common Core implementation. The program has captured national attention as well. My major objection is that, much like the Affordable Care Act, we can't get accurate information about the darned thing. The House and Senate Interim Committees spent all summer trying to get The Department of Education to testify, but the Secretary of Education still refuses to answer questions about the content and future plans for changes and additions to the curriculum. Statements from the department like "you're going to get it whether you like it or not" have the effect of aggravating the Senate who can very effectively control DESE's budget. Personally, I like the idea of local control of curriculums. Our elected school boards, working within the limits set by the State Legislature is the way the education was intended by the framers, not adhering to a set of standards set by a group of governors in order to capture more stimulus money. Oh well, we will just wait and see.

Jane and I went over to the Pineville Grill for lunch Saturday and met Mr. Kole Lewis who proudly displayed his 8 point buck! Kole is 6 years old and is now hooked! To start your hunting career with a buck that nice is really something!

More next week, until then, I am and remain in your service.

Bill Lant can be reached in Jefferson City at (573) 751-9801, locally at 437-8223, or by email at bill.lant@house.mo.gov. He represents the people of Newton and McDonald counties in the Missouri House of Representatives.