- Featured Stories
- Douglas County
- City of Ava
- General Interest
By Sharon Marler
On March 15, 18 members met at the Mtn. Grove Senior Center. After prayer and the pledge, Sharon Marler read the minutes from the November 2010 meeting. A motion was made by Wilma Hutsell to accept the minutes and seconded by Ruby Ely. Sue Durden gave the treasurer’s report with a balance of $150.22. A motion to accept the report was made by Jimmie Marler and it was seconded by Geneva Coats.
Karen Sinning, president, asked for reports from the membership and other committees. There was a report on dues: Local dues are $5 and state dues are $35. Karen Sinning encouraged everyone to pay state dues and to get other retirees to pay theirs, so we can be in the state count.
There is once again a move in the legislature to get all pensions combined with the Mo. Teacher’s Retirement funds. This move would bankrupt our system in about 20 years.
Russ Robinson gave the Legislative Report. Russ and his wife Pat attended Legislative Days on Feb. 9. Over 200 teachers attended the first day. Russ said we have $28.2 billion in the Retirement Fund right now.
Senator Crowell has presented a bill and wants all funds put into one pot of money. Russ explained the push to put funds into a 401K plan. Our funds would be depleted by 2039 if pensions are combined. The MORTA (Mo. Retired Teachers Assoc.) works hard to lobby for teachers. This year teachers are getting 60% of their retirement tax free. Only about 1/3 of all retired teachers join the State Organization and the push is for 50% to belong this year. “There is power in numbers.”
We received additional information on defined contribution plans, and if that happened the administrator of the program would receive a portion of each contribution – this is NOT a good plan. Please visit with Tony Dugger or Chuck Purgason for more information or the state website.
Guest speaker was Jean Coday. She is the president and the director of the Laura Ingalls Wilder Home Association; Jean is also on the board at the Wright Co. Children’s Home; she is on the board at the Mansfield School; and she is involved in many other local activities. She told the story of Laura Ingall’s Wilder and how she came from Desmit, South Dakota, with her husband Almanzo and daughter Rose in 1894. Jean told how she brought $100 with her to buy land; lost the money; found the $100 bill and purchased the land at Mansfield, Mo.
She told all about the moves she had made prior to coming to Mansfield; the trip from South Dakota; their log cabin; how they added 1000 apple trees to the farm; how Laura raised chickens and sold eggs, milk and wood to pay their bills; how the historic farm house was completed in 1913; and how she got her first article published in the Missouri Ruralist in 1911.
Jean told about Laura’s daughter, Rose, and her writing career, and Jean told about some of the books Laura wrote.
Future plans: She told how the Association was trying to get grants and donations to build a bigger museum, bookstore, archival, garden, hen house, and a small restaurant on the Laura Ingalls Wilder Estate. The Wilder museum honors Laura by displaying so many original pieces of her life and past. Jean Coday explained the Rocky Ridge Farm master plan and the Indian trail across the back.
Jean invited everyone to come visit the home and museum in Mansfield. It is a big draw to the tourists who visit the Branson area.
Those in attendance today were: Ruby Ely, Greta Webb, Nancy Heiman, Paula Nelson, Dot Killough, Virginia Serghides, Louise Murr, Bonnie Maxwell, Jean Coday, Wilma Hutsell, Nancy Smith, Jimmie and Sharon Marler, Sue Durden, Russ Robinson, Geneva Coats, Karen Sinning, and Nelle Scott.
Our Next meeting will be at the Mtn. Grove Senior Center, 10 a.m. on April 19. Speakers will be the Wright Co. Children’s Home administrators, Jeremy Eden and Jessica McCleary; and Barbara Self from Mo. Retired Teachers Assoc. giving legislative updates. Please come and bring a friend. Visitors are always welcome. Remember to bring an item for the Wright Co. Children’s Home-that is our mission. Questions please call Karen Sinning at 417-668-5994 or Ruby Ely at 417-741-7420.