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    The Most Important News of your Week 01.13.12Storyteller visits libraryMcDonalds Souths new look

    Page 14Page 6

    Will Downtown Poplar Bluff:

    Keep the D

    ream Alive


  • Page 2


  • Current Events


    Page 3

    Current Events

    The Week in Review

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    About USEstablished in 2008, the SEMO Times

    reports the most important news of your week. In addition to our online archives, plus our popular iPhone and Droid apps, the free publication is available in print at over 60 distribution locations throughout Butler County.

    With our primary coverage area center-ing in Poplar Bluff, our mission is to be the mouthpiece for our community. Our opinion section regularly features dozens of contributing columnistsvoluntary writers that have included leaders of the business community and regional legisla-tors.

    Made in Poplar Bluff, we are Butler Countys only 100 percent locally owned alternative newsweekly. We cover human interest stories, arts, entertainment, educa-tion and business, but our primary focus is bigger picture news. We report The Why rather than The What.

    Get with the Times!


    1.13.12Volume 4 Issue 2

    2725 N. Westwood BlvdSuite 17

    Poplar Bluff, MO573-785-2200


    PublisherScott R. Faughn


    Managing EditorTim Krakowiak


    ReporterLiz Ellis


    Ad DesignerNicole Malinowski

    malinowski.nicole@yahoo.com 1. Will you be watching American Idol next week?

    2. Who do you like for the Republican presidential primary?

    1. Definitely! I love American Idol! At least until they get to the winners...

    2. No one. Not sure I like any of the candidates at all.

    2. Ron Paul... hes the only one that makes sense to me!!

    2. RON PAUL! Everything this man says makes sense! He says it like it is!!!

    P.J. Sisco

    Kerry Stites


    1. Possibly, but I make no promises.

    1. Nope! Ill be rehearsing for Romeo and Juliet.

    It was a good week for Three Rivers College for having some young fellows,

    in their late 20s and early 30s, file for the board of trustees. Even if they dont win, we here at thumbs are glad to see the younger generation attempt to create change, rather than simply talk about it. Maybe some day well see the same in the city and county.

    It was a good week for Rodgers Theatre, thanks to Myatts Drapery Service

    for discounting new back curtains for the legendary stage in a major way. Congrats to Kyle Million.

    It was a good week for Chris and Subrina Berger for winning Dancing with the

    PB Stars. You cant lose when your rolling with the Black Keys.

    It was a good week for the castle house on Vine Street, which barely managed to

    fend off the bulldozers, thanks to a socially conscious couple that pur-chased the Williams-Gierth House as a restoration project.

    It was a bad week for tragedies.

    Our heart goes out to the families who lost loved ones, far too young. So sorry...

    It was a bad week for

    Butler Countians. For the first time in their lifetimes, they are not protected by a chief deputy. Sheriff Mark Dobbs has decided to revere well respected deputy Jim Bumpus in what appears to be a politically motivated power grab, demoting Bumpus to bailiff, along with other major department shuffling that doesnt make a whole lot of sense.

  • NewsPage 4

    www.semotimes.com News

    Downtown Poplar Bluff director resignsBoard vows to carry out revitalization as planned

    Tim Krakowiak Managing Editor

    T he future of the downtown revi-talization effort is presently up in the air, despite the fact that the strategic plan of the DREAM ini-tiative is just about ready for the city to adopt.

    Tracy Frish, Downtown Poplar Bluff Inc. executive director for the last two years, has turned in her resignation ef-fective Feb. 1, a month after Poplar Bluff City Council approved covering her salary for another two years or until the position becomes self-sufficient.

    The DPB board plans to fill the post as seamlessly as possible. Its a huge

    job, said chairwoman Emily Wolpers, but were all committed to keep mov-ing ahead.

    Downtown leaders commended Fr-ish for helping to establish the bylaws, logo and website for the nonprofit or-ganization, realizing past efforts in the historic district, starting an annual fun-draiser and creating a DPB database.

    Hopefully, the next two years will be even more productive than the first two years and we will see marked im-provements in funding opportunities for DPB, City Manager Doug Bagby said. Tracy Frish has developed a base that the new director will be able to rely and expand on to ideally make this or-ganization an example of what can be

    accomplished when everyone is pulling in the same direc-tion.

    One of 39 com-munities designated up until 2010, Pop-lar Bluff entered the Downtown Revital-ization and Econom-ic Assistance for Missouri program three years ago, which provides ac-cess to technical and financial assistance from several state agencies to attract new private invest-ments and jobs in the downtown area.

    As part of the states pledge under former Gov. Matt Blunt, PGAC Plan-ners were hired in 2008 to analyze the housing and retail market downtown and come up with

    a streetscape and buildings plan for downtown officials to work toward achieving. The resulting studies, which can be viewed at www.modream.org, are currently under review by the DPB board and a public hearing will be post-ed soon so the master plan can go be-fore city council for approval, accord-ing to Mike Hemmer, PGAV Planners associate director based in St. Louis.

    Revenue sources are the key to survival of DPB, and it is at least my opinion that property owners are going to have to understand that or simply watch property values in our down-town area continue to decline, said Bagby, adding that the 11-person over-seeing board deserves praise for their commitment thus far. They are truly interested in the history of our down-town area and committed to seeing it survive in an era that isnt particular-ly kind to downtowns in cities of our size.

    A St. Louis native who moved to Poplar Bluff with her family as a young girl, Frish took the DPB reins at the start of 2010, after the city secured $100,000 through the community de-velopment block grant program under the Missouri Department of Economic Development to fund the leadership position. As part of the agreement, the city committed to match the salary and benefits up until 2014.

    I do think its important to have someone take the lead, said Beverly Roach, who has operated McNeely Shoe Service on Vine Street with her husband Bennie since 1987. She sug-gested the downtown community be-gin meeting monthly during non-busi-ness hours.

    ProgressOne of the first projects Frish took

    on was rehabilitating the 1910 Poplar Bluff Train Depot with $600,000 pre-viously secured by Butler County offi-cials through the Missouri Department of Transportation, the CDBG program and Amtrak.

    For 30 years, small groups with good intentions but no money have been try-ing to work on improving downtown, making progress, but everyone has a day job, Frish said. There are many unsung heroes in the community who offered little pieces of expertisela-bors of love reallyand the (executive director) job is to somehow bring it all together.

    Frish also landed a $1,500 grant for the historically endangered depot steps from the National Trust for Historic Preservation to cover half the cost of an engineering study for a restoration plan. The Poplar Bluff Historic Depot Restoration Corporation has agreed to The logo for Downtown Poplar Bluff, Inc.

    includes a train, the Black Rivers and pop-lar trees.

    Submitted PhotoTracy Frish, executive direc-tor of Downtown Poplar Bluff, turned in her resigna-tion after two years.

    Continued on p 13

  • News Page 5

    www.semotimes.com News

    Local press releases emailed to Managing Editor Tim Krakowiak at tim@semotimes.com also appear at www.semotimes.com, and are shared on the SEMO Times Facebook and Twitter pages.

    Fund set up for family of Poplar Bluff teens lost in house fire

    On Jan. 8, an early morning house fire took the life of two teenage boys.Dylan Cox, 12 and 16-year-old Kyle

    Dicken of Poplar Bluff died in the house fire. The home was a total loss.A cash donation account has been set up

    at Southern Bank in the name of Becky Cox. Southern Bank has three locations: 531 Vine Street, 1330 N. Westwood Blvd., and the intersection of PP Highway and Township Line Road.There will also be two fundraising events

    for the surviving family. On Jan. 28, a four-person scramble golf tournament will take place at Ozark Ridge. Cost is $200 per team.On Jan. 29, Chas in Poplar Bluff will

    have pool and dart tournaments, chili, live music and an auction. The event starts at 10 a.m. Chas is located at 2350 Cheshire Blvd.For further information, contact Jim

    Hager at 573-429-4484 or Rachael Ken-nedy at 573-300-3842.

    Schultz and Summers Engineering makes prestigious hot firm list

    FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. - Every year since 2000, ZweigWhite has recognized the most successful architecture, engineer-ing and environmental consulting firms with The Zweig Letter hot firm