You are the owner of this page.
A1 A1
2019 Pigskin Preview

News-Press NOW is running a series of articles featuring local and area football teams. Today will feature the Lafayette Fighting Irish football program. This story and others can be found online at

Details on Page C1

top story
A place to call home | Nodaway County fast becoming mecca for youthful migration
Nodaway County becoming popular destination for young adults

Nodaway County proves itself to be a popular destination for young adults. A USA Today article ranks Nodaway County — out of 40 total counties — as the second most popular for young people looking for a new home. It beat out Johnson County, which it lists in 12th place.

The list is based on data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey. Greg McDanel, city manager of Nodaway County’s seat Maryville, said the results were only mildly surprising.

“We’ve been building something special here for a long time,” McDanel said. “I think that it’s an accurate reflection of where we’re headed as community.”

Improving the quality of life for Nodaway County residents has been a group effort, according to McDanel, including support from the healthcare, government, industry and business sectors.

“I certainly would believe Maryville is a case study of how a community can invest in itself and slow the trend of rural decline,” McDanel said.

Northwest Missouri State University, based in Maryville, and the city’s ranking as one of the top 10 safest cities in Missouri also makes the area more attractive, according to McDanel. Another reason are low home prices: The median home value in Nodaway county is $117,800 while the U.S. median home value is $229,000.

“I think home prices do play a role,” McDanel said. “You can have a quality affordable lifestyle here in the community again, with consistent access to cultural amenities.”

The median age of 29.4 years in Nodaway County is also 8.9 years younger than the median age of the U.S. McDanel, who attended Northwest Missouri State University, is able to see this trend firsthand.

“When I started as city manager, 4 out of the 5 elected officials I had were at retirement age,” he said. “Now I believe I have a city council that’s all under 45 years old.”

For more information about the area, visit or

top story
Animal shelter issues plea to help alleviate animal intake

This month the St. Joseph Animal Shelter has been at or near capacity of dogs and cats.

The facility has been battling the issue since spring, with a steady flow of dogs and cats entering the shelter as strays or as surrendered house pets.

When the shelter is at capacity, animals can be sent to nearby rescues or to foster homes.

Jennifer Lockwood, a humane educator, said the shelter reaches capacity because no animals are initially turned away.

“We have to hold all animals that come in here, and when both cat and dog numbers are climbing, we just kind of burst at the seams,” Lockwood said.

Lockwood said this problem isn’t unique to St. Joseph.

“It’s kind of become an epidemic, making spaying and neutering so important because it reduces those unwanted litters that then come into the shelter and continue to make numbers climb,” Lockwood said.

Lockwood said it’s fortunate that the community trusts the shelter to take care of these animals, but also that surrendering a pet should be the last resort. The shelter offers multiple services to help people keep their pets, but people don’t always take advantage of them.

“There are actual safe pet re-homing sites where you can re-home them on your own and not having to bring them into the shelter for us to do it,” Lockwood said.

Another way to help with capacity issues is inquiring about an adoption fee discount with the Friends of the Animal Shelter.

“Adoptions can sometimes be expensive so we try to help as much as we can to get these guys out into forever homes,” Lockwood said.

The shelter is doing everything possible to find homes for animals with limited space and resources.

They urge anyone interested in adopting a dog or cat to come and help alleviate space issues or go to

Planned Parenthood exits federal family-planning program

NEW YORK — Planned Parenthood said Monday it’s pulling out of the federal family planning program rather than abide by a new Trump administration rule prohibiting clinics from referring women for abortions.

Alexis McGill Johnson, Planned Parenthood’s acting president and CEO, said the organization’s nationwide network of health centers would remain open and strive to make up for the loss of federal money. But she predicted that many low-income women who rely on Planned Parenthood services would “delay or go without” care.

“We will not be bullied into withholding abortion information from our patients,” said McGill Johnson. “Our patients deserve to make their own health care decisions, not to be forced to have Donald Trump or Mike Pence make those decisions for them.”

Enforcement of the new Title X rule marks a major victory for a key part of President Donald Trump’s political base — religious conservatives opposed to abortion. They have been campaigning relentlessly to “defund Planned Parenthood” because — among its varied services — it is the largest abortion provider in the United States, and they viewed the Title X grants as an indirect subsidy.

About 4 million women are served nationwide under the Title X program, which distributes $260 million in family planning grants to clinics. Planned Parenthood says it has served about 40% of patients, many of them African American and Hispanic. Family planning funds cannot be used to pay for abortions.

In a statement, the federal Department of Health and Human Services said Planned Parenthood knew months ago about the new restrictions and suggested that the group could have chosen at that point to exit the program.

“Some grantees are now blaming the government for their own actions — having chosen to accept the grant while failing to comply with the regulations that accompany it — and they are abandoning their obligations to serve patients under the program,” the department said.

It said it would strive to make sure patients are served.

Planned Parenthood was not the only organization dropping out. Maine Family Planning, which is unaffiliated with Planned Parenthood, also released its letter of withdrawal Monday. The National Family Planning & Reproductive Health Association, an umbrella group for family planning clinics, is suing to overturn the regulations.

A federal appeals court in San Francisco is weighing a lawsuit to overturn the rules, but so far the court has allowed the administration to go ahead with enforcement. Oral arguments are scheduled the week of Sept. 23. Several states and the American Medical Association have joined the suit as plaintiffs.

Abortion rights activists are also pressing Congress to overturn the rule, though it seems unlikely that the Republican-controlled Senate would take that step.

Monday was the deadline set by the government for program participants to submit statements that they intended to comply with the new rules, along with a plan. Enforcement will start Sept. 18.

In addition to the ban on abortion referrals by clinics, the rule’s requirements include financial separation from facilities that provide abortions, designating abortion counseling as optional instead of standard practice, and limiting which staff members can discuss abortion with patients. Clinics would have until next March to separate their office space and examination rooms from the physical facilities of providers that offer abortions.

The Trump administration has also made it possible for faith-based organizations opposed to abortion to receive Title X grants.

Among the recipients of grants this year was Obria Medical Clinics, which runs a network of facilities in California. It promotes abstinence-based sex education and “natural family planning,” and does not prescribe birth control.

The impact of Planned Parenthood’s withdrawal will vary from state to state. Some states, including Illinois and Vermont, have said they would step in to replace lost federal funding.

“We will make sure that access to these services remains available, because in Illinois we trust women,” said Gov. J.B. Pritzker, who joined Planned Parenthood’s news conference on Monday. He said Planned Parenthood serves about 70,000 people in Illinois.

Elsewhere, the impact could be substantial. In Utah, Planned Parenthood is the only Title X grantee; in Minnesota, it serves 90% of patients.

“It will simply be impossible for other health centers to fill the gap,” said McGill Johnson. “Wait times for appointments will skyrocket.”

HHS said in its statement that it’s grateful for the many grant recipients that are remaining with the program. State and local health departments account for a significant share of service providers. “We will work to ensure all patients continue to be served,” the agency said.

Planned Parenthood has called the ban on abortion referrals a “gag rule,” while the administration insists that’s not the case.

Maine Family Planning CEO George Hill said in a letter to HHS that his organization is withdrawing “more in sorrow than in anger” after 47 years of participating in the program.

He said the Trump administration regulation “would fundamentally compromise the relationship our patients have with us as trusted providers of this most personal and private health care. It is simply wrong to deny patients accurate information about and access to abortion care.”

Police commissioner fires officer

New York City’s police commissioner fires officer involved in chokehold death of Eric Garner.

Details on Page A2

Feeling Fall Veggies

Feeling Fall

Summer is still in full swing, but that doesn’t mean you can’t being planting fall vegetables in your garden.

Details on Page B4

top story
Finance committee meeting looks into fund balances

Monday’s finance committee meeting with members of the school board covered a number of topics, though operational funds to contribute to the district’s facilities studies through DLR was not one of them.

Gabe Edgar, the St. Joseph School District’s assistant superintendent of business and operations, said that the operational funds — which the district plans to overlay over various DLR facility options — are currently being updated through the company Navitas, whose latest data comes from February 2018. A separate company, Honeywell, will also look at the numbers.

Edgar went on to say that those numbers will most likely be discussed during the October board meeting and will coincide with a presentation from DLR as well.

Reserve fund balances also were discussed during Monday’s finance committee meeting, which Edgar recommended be increased from 15.9 to 22.17 percent.

“The reason why the fund balances are being built, there was over $10 million in cuts to spending from Fiscal Year 2018 to 2019,” he said. “And the big difference in that is the personnel cost, when they cut around 150 employees, that added up to around $7.5 million, along with the closing of the schools. (We also) found those extra efficiencies to get to that $10 million.”

Edgar said he and the administration’s goal is to keep the fund balance between 20 and 25 percent, citing 15.9 percent as a bit risky.

The committee also discussed the tax rate on the incidental and debt service funds. Should they choose to do so, the board could raise those rates to their respective ceilings, increasing them by around 12 cents collectively without voter approval. Money gathered from such a move would result in approximately $1.3 million.

Discussions by the board seemed to be heavily against such a move, as they promised taxpayers during the levy in April that they would not raise those rates.

“As a board, you have the ability to increase taxes by another 12 cents, and it sounds like you will choose not to do that. And there are pluses and minuses to that. That’s part of the issue that you’ve faced as a district in the past is that not going out and getting the dollars that you are legally able to get without a tax increase is what has put of our facilities, operating (budget) and some of the issues over the last year and prior to that, in jeopardy because we haven’t captured those dollars that could have been used,” Superintendent Doug Van Zyl said during the meeting. “There were other issues as well... For us, we’re not capturing them because that’s what we promised taxpayers: ‘Here’s what we’re going to ask for, and that’s all we’re asking.’”

Van Zyl added that such a move could be a possibility in the future, but Edgar said he’s confident the district will be OK for this year.

The committee also discussed buying 8 vans for various purposes across the district, starting with transportation of athletes. Currently, the district leases vehicles through Klein, having recently entered a 6-month agreement. By purchasing vehicles for events like softball, debate, tennis and wrestling, the district would be able to save a considerable amount of money in the long run according to Edgar.

Currently, they’re looking at buying from Anderson Ford, with $32,765 per unit, which they could acquire by Jan. 1 of 2020. The vehicles would be dispensed to Central, Benton, Lafayette and Hillyard.