We started the week by having a great visit with the Missouri American Water Board. They explained a bit about their company, its past and their future plans for the area. There are few things more important than a dependable safe source of water. It's reassuring to have a quality supplier like Missouri American in our area.

On Tuesday, we were at Crowder for the Harry S Truman Coordinating Council meeting. They were organizing a committee to assess encroachment issues around the National Guard facility at Crowder. It was decided to hold public meetings with all of Crowder's neighbors and determine if there are any issues that need to be addressed and look at possible future issues. It was a well-attended and informative briefing and I look forward to future meetings.

On Thursday evening, the McDonald County High School Band served dinner for the Republican Club. We had a great turnout and the band raised some much-needed funds for their next trip. Boy, what a trip it's going to be! They have an invitation to travel to Hawaii in 2015 to perform. Talk about the opportunity of a lifetime! These lucky young people have an extremely dedicated group of boosters that are helping them raise the funds to make the trip. Watch for events coming up to help them out.

On Friday evening, we were the guests of the Pineville-Jane American Legion. I had the pleasure of presenting House resolutions for the Boys and Girls State participants and also to recognize Fred Sexton for 50 years as a member.

On Saturday evening we were at a fundraiser for Brian Lantz at Goodman. Brian was the victim of tick bites which led to a toxic reaction and organ shutdown. He has recovered from the worst of his ailments, but will have to take medication from now on. Isn't it amazing that something as common as a tick bite can lead to such serious complications?

This week will be very busy also. I started out on Sunday afternoon on a trip to Little Rock to attend an Arkansas Public Service Commission hearing concerning the SWEPCO Power line proposed for Northwest Arkansas. One of the possible routes proposed shows the line traversing Barry and McDonald counties on the Missouri side of the line. At the moment, this is only a proposal, but I think we should learn first hand as much as possible about their future plans. I'll report my findings next week.

We also have Jesse James days starting on Wednesday evening and running through Saturday night. There is something for everyone, young and old. Jane is even involved as a judge for the children's contest. There will be plenty of fun, food, and good old visiting. Come out and enjoy!

Food for thought this week: If you have to show identification to board an airplane, cash a check, or check out a library book, but not to vote on our government's leaders, you might live in a country founded by geniuses but run by idiots.

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

Bill Lant serves the people of Newton and McDonald counties in the Missouri House of Representatives.