Placeholder Your Letters

Let’s lift our high schools

out of the past and into the future

The citizens of St. Joe and the school board are trying to work their ways through the conundrum of what to do about our three public high schools in the face of decreasing enrollments, outdated buildings and duplication of curriculums. One new mega high school or two new high schools are being proposed, but provincial live-in-the-past minds seem to be closed to anything that would destroy their fond memories.

Some claim the old brick buildings are structurally sound. However, the money drain lies inside the brick walls.

Eighty years ago St. Joseph was a city of 75,000. Still is.

Joplin’s population is 55,000 and growing. The two high schools merged in 1980s. Now, it has one high school with an enrollment 2,216.

The population of Lawrence, Kansas, is 100,000. It has two high schools.

In 1984, St. Joseph’s two hospitals, built of bricks, were money pits due to crumbling, outdated infrastructure and duplication of services. They merged to become Heartland (now Mosaic), with state-of-the-art facilities that has drawn numerous specialists to St. Joe, making Mosaic a referral center.

In 1969, our junior college became Missouri Western State College (now University) and the rest is history.

Let’s lift our high schools out of the past.

Robert Stuber M.D.

St. Joseph

Joy and excitement of Jesus lasts much longer than joy of Santa

Born into a Christian family, my brother and I learned the story of the Nativity at an early age. We were fascinated by the story, and we believed it with the faith of a child.

But as youngsters, Santa Claus was the big attraction. Salvation was still beyond our comprehension, but a new toy and candy were certainly on our radar screen. We had a small Nativity scene, but the Christmas tree with its bright lights and shiny ornaments brought the excitement.

The joy and excitement we felt on Christmas Eve was indescribable. We had trouble going to sleep in anticipation of Santa’s arrival. When we found the milk and cookies were gone, there was no doubt the “big guy” had visited.

My parents, aunts and uncles, and my brother have gone to their eternal rest. I miss them all, but cherish the memories. My hope is that they have met the “reason for the season,” and that they feel the joy and excitement that lasts forever.

Mike Hanrahan

Cameron, Missouri

Punishment should be tougher for

parents who don’t pay child support

I read with interest the article on the nonsupport case overload for our public defender’s office and the editorial on the same. I know a number of hardworking young mothers who have filed and been awarded support but the fathers do not abide by the law. It is my understanding that if no child support is received for one year, then the issue becomes a felony charge. A year is a long time to wait for child support.

I believe that fathers who do not support the children should either be forced to pay up or go to jail and be forced to sleep on the floor, eat peanut butter sandwiches every day and have no access to TV or other entertainment. Instead, they could be put on a work force and sent out to do unpleasant work all day with no pay.

These men are not real men at all. I don’t know the answer to this problem, but I do know a number of young mothers who are forced to work low-paying jobs, forced to live on food stamps and in housing, can’t repair their cars or put gas in them, have no extra money for special activities for their child such as sports equipment or music lessons and even worse can’t afford some prescriptions for their children.

Perhaps all nonsupportive parents should have their names listed in the paper or on TV so the public can see what type of person they truly are.

Peggy Bloss

St. Joseph