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Rodney Harris was

crucial to flood efforts

During the first Flood of 1993 in the town of Pattonsburg, Missouri, I met Rodney Harris. He was a reporter for the Bethany, Missouri, radio station and had come down to Pattonsburg to report the flooding.

In my dual role as Presiding Commissioner of Daviess County and Emergency Management director, I oversaw the evacuation of the town and the ongoing flooding throughout the county. I and the other responsible parties severely stretched most of our resources.

Rodney offered up his radio station’s car to serve as a command post and the use of his phone and radio to alert other agencies and local residents of impending disaster. The city’s water system could not provide water to the rural water district, residents needed to evacuate for their safety, volunteer fire services were suspended while they moved their own families, the electrical distribution system had to be addressed, the health department notified for their services, as well as requests to the State Emergency Management Agency, and the governor’s office for its assistance and the National Guard. Plus many more that I apologizingly forget.

I had been a career fire captain at Grandview, Missouri, and had some emergency management training, but not enough to know everything about it. The mayor and council were dealing with their own problems, so the jurisdiction backed up onto the County Commission.

Rodney Harris was my turn-to guy that day in summer ’93. His countless suggestions and offering of assistance went beyond the capability of many a reporter.

I have always hoped later in life to once again thank him for helping Daviess County and the commissioners that fateful day. I am saddened along with Northwest Missouri State University’s loss of its station’s manager, Rodney Harris.

I say to all of you that he did well serving Northwest Missouri — then and now.

C. Bud Young

Daviess County Presiding

Commissioner 1991-95

Cameron, Missouri

City should require

sidewalks for everyone

St. Joseph has big dollar pains for having lived in the 19th century so long.

As a new tenant of an old house, certain parts of owning property are required: walls, roof, an indoor toilet and sidewalks, so people don’t have to walk in the street.

Councilman Madison Davis, the well-brought-up man that he is, should know better. A modern city of any kind must have sidewalks; not just a concrete pad at a crosswalk.

The City Council should forgo its expensive plans for another muddy flooded riverfront promenade or a flooded ballpark when sidewalks can’t be found throughout its city.

In Norwood, Ohio, property owners must have a proper sidewalk. Even if a sidewalk crack is found, the order becomes: fix it or the city will and send you the bill.

The City Council is afraid to enact such a bill here — they would rather see children and other folks walk in the street rather than demand that property owners produce a sidewalk for the benefit of others.

They say; there’s no money! This city government learns very slowly and doesn’t even have the intestinal fortitude to demand what should be a standard in any city.

It questions why big business moves on to more progressive cities. Make it retroactive … sidewalks for everyone!

David Bezona

St. Joseph