What a great week in the district.

What a great week in the district.

On Tuesday, we were at the annual donor appreciation Dinner for the Talkington Foundation at the Civic in Neosho. The Talkington Foundation is located on North Valley in Neosho. The foundation and it’s outreach arm, The Kelly Club, are dedicated to drug and alcohol recovery. The foundation is totally funded by donations and it is unbelievable what they are accomplishing.

The program has an excellent percentage of success and is recognized all over the state as a pilot program. Once again, our southwest area is setting the standards for the state. Did you know that drug and alcohol courts — along with programs like the foundation — are being credited with reducing our prison populations?

For the second year in a row, we have a lower number repeat offenders being sent to Missouri prisons. When we work together to solve the problems of alcohol and drug addiction, we also reduce the crime rates in our communities. Their purpose statement reads: “To provide and maintain a facility in which persons addressing and recovering from substance abuse can meet for any activities beneficial to their education and recovery. By providing this daily accessible resource we achieve a positive impact on the recovering abuser and thus benefit the community as a whole.”

They are truly a valuable asset to our community.

Thursday evening, we took part in a carnival and pie auction to benefit the residents of Seneca House. The proceeds are to go for Christmas presents and much needed essentials for those folks residing there. They had a variety of activities for young and old, some great music, and of course, the pie auction. It didn’t take Jim Lievens long to spot me as a potential buyer and Dave Arwood did a great job of running up the prices. A great time was had by all.

Saturday, we were at Stella for their veterans celebration. Representative Charlie Davis and I were honored to present James Miles, Tommy Thomson and James Wilson with House Resolutions. Mr. Glen Pogue, who passed away in September, was also presented with a resolution posthumously. The Neosho ROTC performed the salute to P.O.W ‘s and the Patriot Guard was present as always. If you haven’t been to Stella to see their Veteran’s Memorial, it’s well worth the trip.

The Newton County Republican Committee had their annual Bean Feed on Saturday evening. We were able to hear from Tom Schweich, the candidate for Auditor, Catherine Hannaway who has announced a run for governor, Billy Long who is running for U.S. Representative, Will Krause who is running for Secretary of State, and Senator Ron Richard who is running for his last term as State Senator. We also heard an explanation of the Amendments that are on the ballot.

Sunday afternoon we had a reception for Jim Tatum in honor of him having a portion of I-49 named for him. From the intersection of Highway 60 and I-49 south to the county line is now the James B.Tatum Highway. I can’t think of anyone who deserves the honor more.

This week we will be back in Jefferson City planning for next session. The elections will, without a doubt, bring about some changes. It remains to be seen whether they will be changes for the good. It might be a good time to pray for our leaders, our country and our state.

Until next time I am and remain in your service.

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