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Neosho Daily News - Neosho, MO
  • BILL LANT: Rep’s busy week includes learning about Ferguson, Mo.

  • What a week. I don’t know about you, but I learned more about Ferguson, Mo., last week than I ever wanted to know.
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  • What a week. I don’t know about you, but I learned more about Ferguson, Mo., last week than I ever wanted to know.
    Actually, Ferguson isn’t what was depicted by the media. It is, in fact, a city of 22,000 people, who are extremely proud of what they have accomplished. Ferguson has in recent years rebuilt their main streets, improved their schools, built parks, encouraged business and industry to move in , and all in all, tried to become a model city.
    Their representatives are Tommie Pierson and Sharon Pace and you can’t find two harder working or more caring people. What we’ve seen depicted by the news media does not tell the story of Ferguson. I guess what is the most disheartening thing, is that there has been such a dismal lack of leadership during this whole ordeal. Before there were any facts presented, there were pre judgments.
    I can understand people’s emotions running amuck, let’s face it, there was a shooting death. I’m not trying to make light of it, but there were several shooting deaths in Chicago during the president’s latest round of golf. Much was made of the response by the Ferguson Police. People acted shocked that they were wearing riot gear to deal with a riot. Duh.
    There were people shooting from the roof tops. Of the dozens of arrests made over the week, only six people were from Ferguson. Those crowds of looters —  most wearing masks and carrying weapons — were opportunistic thugs from other areas. Many were from across the river in Illinois and a lot of them drove down from Chicago. They were quoted as saying, “You owe us this stuff we’re taking.”
    Meanwhile, we have two state senators encouraging the violence and a governor who walked around making stupid statements and taking no action to stop the looting and violence. He was implored on the second day of looting to declare an emergency and bring in the National Guard. His hesitancy to alienate possible supporters of a run for national office caused him to allow millions of dollars of destruction and who knows how many injuries.
    Meanwhile, Obama played golf. The media says this may have ruined Nixon’s chance of higher office. Great, we don’t need any more indecisive leaders. Things have cooled off in Ferguson but I’m afraid this whole mess is far from over.
    I was invited to a meeting with Missouri American Water last week. All the local representatives were there with me to get an update on area water issues. Missouri American, is working along with other concerned groups in our area to formulate a long term plan to assure that we have a good clean source of water.
    Page 2 of 2 - Over many years the aquifer that most of our water supply is drawn from is being depleted. We are having to drill deeper and deeper to get enough volume for our growing population. We aren’t in imminent danger of running out but it is prudent to start planning for reservoirs to supply us our needs 50 years down the road.
    We also attended the ribbon cutting for the Blue Buffalo Pet Food Manufacturing Facility. They are the dominant structure in the industrial park east of Flying J. They intend to employ 160 people and will have as many as 100 truckloads in and out daily. The owners told their story of how they came to be interested in producing a healthy pet food for their Airedale and the idea grew from there. The product has no grain in it and has meat as it’s number one ingredient.
    Thursday evening, I presented a resolution to Jacob Dunkin at the Seneca School Board meeting. Jacob is in Terrie Asbill’s gifted class and was one of two top students in the nation in recent history competition. ( I wish he’d teach history to some of our governmental leaders, it appears as if they didn’t learn any.) He is also active in sports and community events.
    Friday I was at K&S Wire in Neosho at the invitation of Congressman Long. He brought Mr. Kairat Umarov, the Ambassador of Kazakhstan, to speak to us about trade possibilities. Kazakhstan is the most successful of the states of the former Soviet Union. They are looking at our agricultural successes and manufacturing facilities for future investments. With the new international trade zone coming to Neosho, there are many possibilities for area companies to export our goods to help serve their growing needs.
    Looks like a full schedule for this week also, I’ll give you a report next time. Until then, I am and remain in your service.
    Bill Lant represents the people of Newton and McDonald counties in the Missouri House of Representatives.

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