Column published Feb. 8, 2013 in The Mexico Ledger

100 Years Ago
"The annual state convention of the Missouri Electric, Gas, Street, Railway and Water Works Association will be held in this city April 9, 10 and 11, according to the bylaws of the organization. At the next meeting of the Commercial Club, plans will probably be formed for their entertainment whether this date is chosen or one a little later. The Mexico Power Co. who was instrumental in securing the convention for this city will assist as hosts and although their plans have not been announced, it is understood they will provide a part of the entertainment. This convention will bring to Mexico about 200 heads of public utility enterprises of a civic character. Everything will be done to make their visit one of the most delightful these men have ever had in the state."
50 Years Ago
"A new Mexico post office and federal building may be built on a present city parking lot, and Mexico may get the present post office building for use as a city hall, if negotiations under way for several weeks work out. The city council Monday will hear first reading of a bill authorizing the city manager to give the U.S. Post Office an option to buy Municipal Parking Lot No. 2 (Heinie's Hideaway) at Western, Jackson and Promenade Streets. That was announced today in the agenda prepared for Monday night's meeting. If the Post Office department exercises the 18-month option, sale price of the parking lot area would be $36,000. City Manager Robert Semple said he understood the Post Office department has also optioned two lots to the east of the city property and that plans are under way for the future construction of a new federal building at an estimated cost of $250,000. The city council has been negotiating for several weeks with postal officials and the General Services Administration on the transaction, but the first public announcement was made today. Signing the option does not guarantee that a post office will be built on this site or that the price will be accepted, however, the city manager said."
25 Years Ago
"The Humane Society offers these suggestions for protecting dogs and cats during winter's bitter cold: Do not leave dogs or cats outdoors when the temperature sharply drops. Shorthaired, very young or old dogs (and cats) should never be left outdoors. Most dogs and cats are safer indoors except when taken out for exercise; no matter what the temperature, wind chill can threaten a pet's life. An outdoor dog must be protected by a dry, draft-free doghouse that is large enough to allow the animal to sit and lie down comfortably but small enough to hold in its body heat, with a floor raised a few inches off the ground and covered with cedar shavings. The house also should face away from the wind and have a doorway covered with burlap or a rug; outdoor dogs need more food in the winter because keeping warm depletes energy. Routinely check water dishes to make certain water is fresh and unfrozen; warm engines in parked cars attract cats. To avoid their injury, bang on car hoods to scare them away before starting engines; salt and chemicals used to melt snow and ice can burn the pads of pets' feet. Wipe them with a damp towel before animals lick them and burn their mouths. Antifreeze tastes sweet but is deadly poison to pets (and children); and dry heat can dry out a cat or dog's coat and skin. A small amount of vegetable oil in their food will help keep them soft."
10 years Ago
"Audrain County ranked 57 in the state for children's well-being and health in 2002, according to a report released by a group called Citizens for Missouri's Children. The report, called Kids Count ranks the counties based on several statistics, including infant mortality rates, births to teens and the high school dropout rate. Kids Count is compiled annually by Citizens for Missouri's Children, which calls itself a not-for-profit, non-partisan public interest organization that advocates for the rights and well-being for all Missouri's children. Audrain, which was also ranked 57 in 2001, had high marks in the state in several categories. Audrain had only four deaths of children aged 1-14 in 2002, which ranked 29th in the state. Audrain was also ranked 34 in the state in students enrolled in free or reduced lunch programs. Audrain County had 1,284 students or almost 36 percent enrolled in these lunch programs in 2002. Audrain fared more poorly in births to mothers without high school diplomas, in which it was ranked 91st in the state. In 2002, there were 103 of these births, a 28 percent increase from 2001. Similarly, Audrain was 80th in the state in births to teens ages 15-19. Audrain also ranked 73 in low birth-weight infants with 129 in 2002. Audrain fell somewhere in the middle of counties in the area in the Kids Count report."
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