With the temperatures dropping below freezing, it’s a good idea to keep pets in mind if they are outside in the frigid temperatures any period of time.
Desloge Animal Control Officer Marlon Shaw recommends that any dog outside for an extended period of time must be protected by a dry, draft-free shelter that is large enough to allow them to move around comfortably, but still small enough to hold in their body heat.
"When building an outdoor shelter for your pet, the floor should be raised a few inches from the ground and covered with straw, a blanket or cedar shavings to help keep them warm,” said Shaw. “Heavy plastic or waterproof burlap should be attached to the doorway to help keep the wind out.”
Shaw said recently he had been watching a dog after he received a call. He had to contact the owner to get the animal the correct care it needed.
“I noticed a couple days ago when the weather got really cold that dog didn’t have any of the things he needed to stay warm,” said Shaw. “It was sitting next to the air conditioning unit shaking so I was able to get ahold of the owner and told him to make the changes or I would have to charge him.”
Shaw said in a case like that he could seek charges of animal neglect if changes aren’t made or he could also go in and do a rescue for the animal.
“Another important thing is to have a collar and contact information on your pet in case they get lost,” said Shaw. “Facebook has been a great tool also, but having a name tag on your pets collar would get your animal back to you sooner.”
Shaw said pets who spend a lot of time outdoors need more food in the winter because keeping warm depletes their energy. He stressed that their water needs to be checked constantly because it can freeze.
“It’s also recommended to use plastic feeding dishes, because when it gets extremely cold their tongues can stick and freeze to the metal dishes,” Shaw said. “Also, exposed skin on noses, ears and paws are at risk for frostbite and hypothermia during extreme cold temperatures.”
Park Hills Police Sgt. Tony Remshardt said there are laws regulating animal neglect. It falls under the same ordinance of not providing animals with adequate housing, food and water.
“We do get calls regarding pets being left outdoors, but surprisingly we haven’t this go-round of cold weather,” said Remshardt. “It’s one of those things where we will go out and investigate if they have adequate housing to get out of the weather and their water is not frozen over, so they can get water when they need it.”
Remshardt said hydration is a key thing in staying warm and pets will eat more food than normal because they are burning so much energy trying to stay warm.
“If it’s going to be too hot or too cold, it’s always best to bring your pets in,” said Remshardt. “As long as they have shade for the heat, or shelter to get out of the wind as far as cold weather goes, they are pretty well in compliance.”
According to the Humane Society of Missouri, no one should leave their pet outside in the cold for a prolonged period of time. Limit time outdoors and be sure to check for frostbite on the ears, tail and paws. As for cats, they should always be left indoors.
There are dangers outside for pets besides the cold itself. Antifreeze and rock salt can pose as another hidden danger. Antifreeze smells good and tastes sweet to pets, but it is lethally dangerous to them. Contact an area veterinarian immediately if it’s believed they have ingested antifreeze.
Rock salt is a lot less dangerous, but it can irritate paws, so it’s a good idea to wash them off after exposure.
A New Year’s tradition with origins in medieval France is continued in the United States in just two towns today: Prairie du Rocher, Illinois and Ste. Genevieve.
La Gui Année (or La Guignolèe) was originally the custom of the poor travelling through towns, singing songs and requesting food or alms. The tradition was brought to America by French fur traders and, while not focused on requesting food and drink, still rings in the New Year in much the same way it was centuries ago.
According to some sources, the custom was alive in parts of Washington County into the early to mid-1900s, but as communities lost their distinctly French heritage the customs and traditions were also lost.
Now, the custom is observed in Praire du Rocher, Illinois and Ste. Genevieve, separated only by the Mississippi River, about 10 miles away if one takes the ferry at Ste. Genevieve.
On Dec. 31 in Ste. Genevieve, revelers will make their way through nursing homes, cafes, pubs and the streets of the historic district, singing French traditional songs along the way.
According to the Ste. Genevieve Welcome Center, the costumed revelers will be accompanied by a fiddler as they travel through town performing their songs.
While all times are approximate, the revelers are scheduled to stop at the Anvil Restaurant at 7 p.m., the Old Brick at 7:30 p.m., Café Genevieve at 8 p.m. and Audubon’s Bar and Grill at 8:30 p.m.
For information, visit www.visitstegen.com
There's no doubt that 2017 was a year of change and transition for the city of Desloge. Long-time city administrator Greg Camp resigned to take on the same task for another city and Dan Bryan was hired a month later to replace him. The city also lost and gained an alderman over the 12-month period.
According to City Administrator Greg Camp, high on the city’s list of accomplishments in 2016 was the continued push to complete several recreational trails within the city limits.
At its monthly luncheon, North County Superintendent Dr. Yancy Poorman gave Desloge Chamber of Commerce investors an update on the school district he’s led for almost 11 years.
Hoping to get a few more years of service out of the city pool, the Desloge Board of Aldermen approved a number of repairs that were expected to be completed in plenty of time for the start of this year's swimming season.
The board passed a 2.5 percent increase in city water rates based on an increase of the West Region's Consumer Price Index over the past 12 months.
Associate Circuit Judge Joseph L. Goff Jr. was named St. Francois County’s “2016 Citizen of the Year” at the 26th Annual Law Enforcement Appreciation Night held at the Mineral Area Community Elks Lodge in Desloge.
The Desloge Board of Aldermen set the schedule of monthly charges for the city's water service. From one gallon up, the charge is $3.14 per 1,000 gallons.
The board of aldermen approved an ordinance that provides guidelines for the keeping of domestic strains of honey bees within the city limits.
Camp provided members of the city's chamber of commerce an update on projects either in progress or already completed when he served as guest speaker at the investor's luncheon.
City Clerk Linda Moore led Ward 1 Alderman Jim "Yogi" Jones, Ward 2 Alderman Chris Gremminger and Ward III Alderman Jerry "Hogshead" Hulsey, along with Mayor David Kater, in the oath of office immediately after the board certified the April 4 election results.
Camp announced his intention to resign his long-time position to accept an expected offer from the city of Festus to become its new city administrator.
The Desloge Board of Aldermen gave a proper send-off to Camp who resigned after almost 10 years on the job.
The board approved a change in the way the city’s fire chief is chosen. The position will now be appointed by the mayor with the approval of the board, rather than by an election held by firefighters at the firehouse.
Survivors of the F-3 tornado which ripped through the towns of Cantwell and Desloge on May 21, 1957, recalled their experiences 60 years later.
Desloge Chamber of Commerce members learned about the mission and needs of the Southeast Missouri Family Violence Council when Tracy Carroll served as main speaker at the civic organization’s monthly luncheon.
A presentation by Kevin Wolff of Cochran Engineering brought the city aldermen up to speed on a project to repave streets and put in storm drainage, curbing and sidewalk from Fern to Willow streets and then to Hawthorne.
The Desloge Board of Aldermen hired Dan Bryan of Terre Du Lac as the city's new administrator.
In a brief meeting of the Desloge Board of Aldermen, a list of proposed street overlay projects for the coming year were discussed. The combined estimated total of the projects was $149,432.65.
State Rep. Mike Henderson, R-Bonne Terre, touted the importance of having a balanced state budget when he spoke before the Desloge Chamber of Commerce at its monthly investors luncheon.
After a more than 18-year career with the Missouri Department of Corrections, Bryan took the reins as the city’s new city administrator. He has had extensive ties to the city his entire life.
The Desloge Board of Aldermen tackled a lengthy agenda that included a presentation on animal control protocol.
The Desloge Chamber of Commerce officially announced that long-time city firefighter Kenny Hawkins had been selected to serve as grand marshal for this year's annual Labor Day Parade.
The Desloge Board of Aldermen said goodbye to Ward I Alderman Mara Westbrooks who served more than nine years before announcing that she and her husband were moving out of state.
The 27th annual Desloge Labor Day Picnic started at Sept. 2 in City Park and continued through Sept. 5.
The Desloge Board of Aldermen approved the purchase of security cameras for the city. The majority of the new cameras purchased will be placed in City Park, including the pool area, to combat increasing acts of vandalism to municipal property.
Newly-appointed Ward I Alderman Deion Christopher was welcomed to the Desloge Board of Aldermen by Mayor Kater.
Residents of the Riverview Estates subdivision attended the October meeting of the Desloge Board of Aldermen to voice their concerns about the lack of streetlights in the neighborhood and the subsequent safety issues that have arisen because of it.
About 200 people gathered on the parking lot of the extensively remodeled Desloge Walmart, located at 407 N. State St., to celebrate its grand reopening and ribbon cutting.
The Desloge Board of Aldermen approved the purchase of several items for the Public Works Department when it met in special session. The items were all related to the previous purchase of a 3500 Ram and 5500 Ram pickup truck at the board's September meeting.
Plans to work with other St. Francois County cities in placing the addition of an internet use tax on the ballot in August was among a range of items discussed at the Desloge Board of Aldermen November meeting.
A request by El Tapatio Mexican Restaurant for TIF funds in the amount of $7,668.98 was approved for work on the restaurant entrance and ditchline required by MoDOT.
About 80 area veterans recently enjoyed a free Thanksgiving dinner which is provided each year by the Mineral Area Community Elks Lodge 2583 in Desloge.
The city of Desloge is facing ever-increasing costs in providing free trash pickup for city residents and is attempting to find ways to cut expenses so it can continue the service.
The Desloge Public Library recently received a $2,500 grant from the Missouri State Library for early literacy collection development. According to Head Librarian Jill Kaufman, the granted funds were used to purchase more than 60 new children’s books.
Almost two weeks after a representative with Jokerst Inc. heard complaints from Bryan and the board of aldermen about the problem-prone railroad crossing project, it was announced the project was now a day ahead of schedule.
The St Francois County Commission approved the 2018 county budget when it met Tuesday morning on the third floor of the courthouse annex in Farmington.
According to County Auditor Louie Seiberlich, the coming year's budget projects revenues of $30.6 million with expenditures of $22.8 million — leaving the county with a balance of $7.8 million.
"My office began compiling the necessary figures and requests from officeholders in August after we held a class for them entitled 'Budget 101,'" Seiberlich said. "We believe this gave them and their employees a more clear picture of of the county's finances and where the expenses were going.
"Led by Audit Manager Amber Menjoulet, we spent hundreds of man hours dissecting and bisecting each line item and then visited, individually, with each officeholder to scrutinize their figures and requests."
The 71-page audit previews the projected costs for each department and outlines the history of expenses from 2016-2017.
"This year saw major expenditures, primarily in the road and bridge department as they moved into improved facilities on Woodlawn Drive," Seiberlich said. "Their expense budget for 2018 is at $4.4 million.
"The county also added the Weber Road Facility that is forecasted to produce office rental income to offset the overhead. That building also includes a new morgue for southeast Missouri. Security and computer upgrades were also made in county buildings with additional staffing added."
The budget for law enforcement is more than $5 million, with revenues for the general fund predicted at $10 million.
"In an effort to save the taxpayers money, an ambitious search for lower health insurance premiums and the annual outside audit services netted multiple bids and a savings of hundreds of thousands of dollars with both bids locked in for the next three years," Seiberlich said.
Seiberlich noted that County Clerk Mark Hedrick and County Treasurer Kerry Glore were also instrumental in formulating what he described as a "conservative budget" for the next 12 months.
The commissioners will next meet in regular session at 10 a.m. Jan. 2, on the third floor of the courthouse annex, located at 1 W. Liberty St. in Farmington.