HERMANN MISSOURI OKTOBERFEST 2010

HERMANN MISSOURI OKTOBERFEST 2010
HERMANN MISSOURI OKTOBERFEST 2010 - CLICK ON PHOTO FOR THIS YEARS SCHEDULE OF EVENTS

Hermann Missouri 175 Year Anniversary 1836-2011

Hermann Missouri 175 Year Anniversary 1836-2011
Hermann Missouri 175 Year Anniversary 1836-2011

Search This Blog

Breaking News Videos (mouse-over click-to-open)

Wall Street Protest Live Stream

News Archive

Weather Radar - Interactive - Zoom-in to Your Location

Donate To Keep This Site Alive

Friday, January 14, 2011

Arizona Sheriff Releases Jared Loughner Prior Arrests Report VIDEO TIME LINE

__________________________________________________________________________________

Arizona Sheriff Releases Jared Loughner Reports

Suspect once arrested after turning up drunk at school

__________________________________________________________________________________
www.thesmokinggun.com

JANUARY 12--Arizona shooting suspect Jared Loughner was once arrested after showing up intoxicated one morning at his high school. He claimed to have “drank the alcohol because he was very upset as his father yelled at him,” according to a sheriff’s department report.
The document, seen here, was among a dozen Pima County Sheriff’s Department reports released today by investigators (the records memorialize assorted contacts cops have had with Loughner and his parents over the past several years). Of the four reports involving the accused killer, two detail arrests of Loughner.   

In May 2006, deputies were summoned to Mountain View High School by an assistant principal who reported that Loughner was in the school nurse’s office “currently under the influence of some type of intoxicant most likely Vodka.” Loughner, 17 at the time, was transported to a local hospital, where he told cops that he had consumed about 12 ounces of vodka over a seven-and-a-half hour period.
A deputy noted that nursing staff reported that Loughner “had stolen the alcohol from his father’s liquor cabinet.” When Loughner’s parents arrived at the hospital, the deputy informed them that the teen “was under Arrest for Consuming Alcohol.” The matter was subsequently handled in Pima County Juvenile Court.
Other incident reports released today included an October 2008 document detailing how Loughner walked into a Tucson precinct one afternoon to report that someone had placed his photograph on an online profile. Loughner told cops that he had Googled his name and the first result listed was to a PeekYou.com page with a photo of him when he was 16.
. Click Here to Read More.

___________________________________________________________________________________

___________________________________________________________________________________

Reciprocal links:
http://HermannHearsay.blogspot.com/(Hermann Area News, Commentary & Discussion)

Franklin County Man Indicted in Federal Drug, Guns Case

__________________________________________________________________________________

County Man Indicted in Federal Drug, Guns Case 
__________________________________________________________________________________  Fri Jan 14, 2011

A Franklin County man has been indicted by a federal grand jury for allegedly purchasing large amounts of pseudoephdrine to manufacture methamphetamine, authorities said.
The indictment, handed up Wednesday charges Terry R. Romine, 54, Pacific, with felony charges of possession of pseudoephedrine and illegal possession of multiple firearms.
If convicted, he could be sentenced to up to 20 years in prison on the pseudoephedrine charge and up to 10 years on the weapons charge, according to the U.S. attorney's office. Romine also could be fined up to $250,000 on each charge.
 Click Here to Read More.

__________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________
\
Reciprocal links:
http://HermannHearsay.blogspot.com/(Hermann Area News, Commentary & Discussion)

Fire In The Sky - Sicily In Awe Mount Etna erupts in spectacular fashion VIDEO

___________________________________________________________________________________

Red sky at night... Sicily looks on as Mount Etna erupts in spectacular fashion

___________________________________________________________________________________
By Lewis Bazley
13th January 2011

After reports of mysterious mass animal deaths around the planet, photos of a fierce volcanic eruption might confirm that the end of the world is nigh.
Thankfully, these magnificent pictures of Mount Etna's latest eruption are merely a chance to revel in the awesome power of nature rather than a reason to start stocking up on canned goods.
The 3,329-metre (10,922-feet) volcano erupted for around an hour yesterday evening, lighting up the Sicilian sky and providing amazing scenery for the village of Milo, just 12 kilometres away.
Etna is Europe's tallest and most active volcano and has seen increased activity in recent months yet its seismic might poses no immediate threat to the nearby towns and cities.
According to the Italian Institute of Geophysics and Volcanology, a slight increase in Etna's volcanic tremors had been recorded on Tuesday, reaching its peak at 7am local time yesterday.
The activity diminished but at 9:30pm local time on Wednesday night, Etna roared into life sending lava spewing down its sides.

____________________________________________________________________________________

____________________________________________________________________________________ Reciprocal links:
http://HermannHearsay.blogspot.com/(Hermann Area News, Commentary & Discussion)

Name Change for 3 Girl Scout cookies this year, Thin Mints stay the same

Caramel deLites - Tagalongs - Do-si-do    
New Girl Scout cookies for this year   
___________________________________________________________________________________

Girl Scout cookies get new names; Thin Mints stay

___________________________________________________________________________________
BY AISHA SULTAN  www.STLtoday.com  January 14, 2011 12:20 am

Would a Samoa by any other name taste as sweet?
That's the question area cookie lovers will be facing when Girl Scout cookie sales begin Saturday.
The Girl Scouts of Eastern Missouri have switched bakeries after 20 years, from Little Brownie Bakers, a subsidiary of Keebler, to ABC Bakers, a subsidiary of Interbake Foods. Those are the only two companies licensed to make official Girl Scout cookies, but each owns its recipes and cookie names.
So the cookies formerly known as Samoas — vanilla cookies coated in caramel, sprinkled with toasted coconut and laced with chocolate stripes — are now Caramel deLites.
The decision really came down to the dough.
"This was a financial decision," said Donna Martin, CEO of the Eastern Missouri Council. Last year, the Girl Scouts sold 3 million boxes of cookies, which brought $6.5 million to the council and $3 million to individual troops, said Martin. ABC Bakers supplies cookies to 33 percent of troops nationally, a spokeswoman said. The taste may be slightly different, but the cookies will still be delicious, assured Patrice Martin, director of product sales for the local council. Trefoils are now called Shortbread, Tagalongs are Peanut Butter Patties and the Do-si-do is a Peanut Butter Sandwich cookie.
The Thin Mint will not change names. It is the sacred cow (and best-seller) of all Girl Scout cookies.
 . Click Here to Read More.

____________________________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________________

Reciprocal links:
http://HermannHearsay.blogspot.com/(Hermann Area News, Commentary & Discussion)

Bull Sharks spotted swimming through flooded streets Goodna AUSTRALIA FLOOD VIDEO

___________________________________________________________________________________

Sharks spotted swimming through flood-hit streets of Australian town

___________________________________________________________________________________
14 Jan 2011

(NewsCore) - Two bull sharks, renown for their aggression, were spotted swimming through the flooded streets of a small town in the inundated Australian state of Queensland, the Queensland Times reported Friday.
The amazing sightings were made in Goodna, a center of around 8,000 people which lies between the state capital Brisbane and the nearby southeast city of Ipswich.
One of the sharks was spotted by local butcher Steve Bateman swimming in floodwaters near his shop Thursday while another one was seen in water covering the town's main street.
Ipswich councilor Paul Tully said he believed the reports. “It’s definitely a first for Goodna, to have a shark in the main street," he said.
“I know Steve and he wouldn’t say he saw a shark unless he really saw one. It’s not like there have been polar bears or crocodiles spotted. Bull sharks have been in Goodna for a long time in the Bremer [river].
“They are regularly in the Brisbane River and often swim up. I know a number of fishermen who have caught bull sharks.”
Goodna was flooded by water up to 25-foot (eight meters) deep during this week's deluge which has impacted 75 percent of Queensland.
Rescue teams and victims of the flooding have already had to deal with crocodiles and snakes, with Australia's northeast -- which has been battered by weeks of flooding -- home to some of the world's most dangerous species.
Read more


__________________________________________________________________________________
.
Lots of videos from Queensland's flood (city of 2 million about to be hit by a huge flood in the coming hours, Brisbane) Also a Bull Shark has been spotted swimming around in the flooded street.
__________________________________________________________________________________

Reciprocal links:
http://HermannHearsay.blogspot.com/(Hermann Area News, Commentary & Discussion)

Franklin Couty Court Initiates New Probation Plan, Violaters Arrested "On The Spot"

___________________________________________________________________________________

Court Initiates New Probation Supervision, Sanctions Plan


First in Missouri ___________________________________________________________________________________
January 14, 2011
By Ed Pruneau, Missourian Managing Editor

A new program that promises "swift and certain sanctions" for felony offenders who violate probation is being initiated in Franklin County Circuit Court and may spread throughout Missouri depending on its success.
Circuit Judge Gael Wood said under the program, modeled after one in Hawaii, if a probationer fails to make an appointed meeting with his or her probation officer or fails a drug test, they will be arrested "on the spot" and held until they can be brought before a judge, usually within 48 hours. At that time the judge will order some amount of jail time with the punishment increasing for subsequent violations.
The initial MAPS (Missouri Augmented Probation Supervision) program involves 13 men determined to be at the highest risk of violating probation through continued drug use, according to Lisa Schulze, district administrator II with the probation and parole office in Union.
Those offenders were called to a hearing Monday where Judge Wood outlined the program and gave them a clear warning of the consequences if they fail to follow all terms of their probation.
Judge Wood said the probationers will begin the program next week when they will be assigned a color code, then be closely monitored by probation officers through a call-in hot line. They will be required to call the hot line each weekday morning and must report to the probation office for drug testing if their color code is selected.
Judge Wood said he and Schulze have been working on developing the supervision strategy for about the last six months after Wood heard about it at a seminar on outcome-based sentencing.
 As mentioned, Franklin County is the first in the state to implement the program. Besides Hawaii, the program is in place in Alaska and Michigan, Schulze said.
The innovative supervision strategy was started by Circuit Judge Steven Alm in 2004 as a pilot program to reduce probation violations among drug offenders and those at the highest risk of failing.
A team of officials will meet on a monthly basis to evaluate the program.
MAPS team members include Judges Wood and Hoven; Schulze; Wickey; Lisa Preddy, public defender; Bob Parks, prosecuting attorney; Jack Meyer, assistant prosecutor; Scott Fulford, private attorney; Union Police Chief Norman Brune; Sheriff Gary Toelke; Bill D. Miller, circuit clerk; and Connie Ward, Division 1 court clerk.
 . Click Here to Read More.

____________________________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________________

Reciprocal links:
http://HermannHearsay.blogspot.com/(Hermann Area News, Commentary & Discussion)

Tylenol, Benadryl, Sudafed PE, Sinutab Recalls by Johnson & Johnson

___________________________________________________________________________________

Johnson & Johnson Recalls Even More Medicines

___________________________________________________________________________________

Just when it seemed pretty much impossible for Johnson & Johnson to recall even one more over-the-counter remedy, the company has shown it can.
The latest withdrawals, stemming from quality problems at a Pennsylvania factory, covers various batches of Tylenol 8 Hour, Tylenol Arthritis Pain, and Tylenol upper respiratory products made before last April. Also affected: some lots of Benadryl, Sudafed PE, and Sinutab.
  For more information and to see at a glance the remarkably broad array of medicines affected since trouble surfaced at the plant run by J&J's McNeil division last year, go to the company's dedicated recall website here.
The company has completed an investigation of quality problems at McNeil , maker of Tylenol and other over-the-counter medicines. The results showed, among other things, that the most recently recalled products may have been made on equipment that was dirty.In a statement, J&J said "an extensive review of past production records found instances where equipment cleaning procedures were insufficient or that cleaning was not adequately documented."
. Click Here to Read More.

__________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________

Reciprocal links:
http://HermannHearsay.blogspot.com/(Hermann Area News, Commentary & Discussion)

CLASSIC DIRE STRAITS SONG BANNED FROM CANADIAN AIRWAVES (Music Video - Money For Nothing)


___________________________________________________________________________________
Dire Straits were a British rock band, formed by Mark Knopfler (vocals and lead guitar), his younger brother David Knopfler (rhythm guitar and vocals), John Illsley (bass guitar and vocals), and Pick Withers (drums and percussion), and managed by Ed Bicknell, active between 1977 and 1995. Although the band was formed in an era when punk rock was at the forefront, Dire Straits played a more conventional style, albeit with a stripped-down sound that appealed to audiences weary of the overproduced stadium rock of the 1970s. In their early days, Mark and David requested that pub owners turn down their sound so that patrons could converse while the band played, an indication of their unassuming demeanor. Despite this oddly self-effacing approach to rock and roll, Dire Straits soon became hugely successful, with their first album going multi-platinum globally.
___________________________________________________________________________________

1/14/2011

Dire Straits' 1985 classic "Money For Nothing" has been banned from the airwaves by the Canadian Broadcast Standards Council for its use of the word "faggot." Despite the fact that the word is used by a character in the song described as a "loutish store worker ridiculing a pop star as a 'faggot,'" following an official complaint 25 years after the song's release, the word is now deemed too inflammatory. The Standards Council stated in its ruling: "The panel concludes that, like other racially driven words in the English language, 'faggot' is one that, even if entirely or marginally accepted in earlier days, is no longer so."


Helen Kennedy, the executive director of the gay-rights group Egale, said, "It's the word that is used most often in hate crimes motivated by sexual orientation, which we know are the most violent, against gay men."


Canadian radio station general manager Don Neil said he will continue playing a previously released sanitized version of the song released by the band: "I feel that this is a form of censorship. What they're saying is that the word was acceptable 25 years ago and it's not acceptable any more. But music is an art form." (The Globe And The Mail)


Knopfler, who these days does not use the offensive word in his live renditions of "Money For Nothing," tries to honor his past as best he can in concert: "You respect that, that the songs have become people, they've grown up and they've all happened in the world. They mean different things to different folks. I enjoy all that, y'know I'm glad the music's out there and being used in so many different ways. I respect that when I'm playing those songs. That's one of the reasons why the people have come." now working on preparing for a shoot later this year, and a release in the late Autumn of 2012."

.

____________________________________________________________________________________
Dire Straits - Money For Nothing

Lyrics:

Now look at them yo-yo's that's the way you do it
You play the guitar on the MTV
That ain't workin' that's the way you do it
Money for nothin' and chicks for free
Now that ain't workin' that's the way you do it
Lemme tell ya them guys ain't dumb
Maybe get a blister on your little finger
Maybe get a blister on your thumb

We gotta install microwave ovens
Custom kitchen deliveries
We gotta move these refrigerators
We gotta move these colour TV's

See the little faggot with the earring and the makeup
Yeah buddy that's his own hair
That little faggot got his own jet airplane
That little faggot he's a millionaire

We gotta install microwave ovens
Custom kitchens deliveries
We gotta move these refrigerators
We gotta move these colour TV's

I shoulda learned to play the guitar
I shoulda learned to play them drums
Look at that mama, she got it stickin' in the camera
Man we could have some fun
And he's up there, what's that? Hawaiian noises?
Bangin' on the bongoes like a chimpanzee
That ain't workin' that's the way you do it
Get your money for nothin' get your chicks for free

We gotta install microwave ovens
Custom kitchen deliveries
We gotta move these refrigerators
We gotta move these colour TV's, Lord

Now that ain't workin' that's the way you do it
You play the guitar on the MTV
That ain't workin' that's the way you do it
Money for nothin' and your chicks for free
Money for nothin' and chicks for free

__________________________________________________________________________________

Reciprocal links:
http://HermannHearsay.blogspot.com/(Hermann Area News, Commentary & Discussion)

Arkansas Bird Fall Picked Up on Weather Radar New Year’s Eve 2010 ?


__________________________________________________________________________________

Weather radar shows something unusual around time birds fell

Amanda Terrebonne
TodaysTHV.com
January 14, 2011

__________________________________________________________________________________

NORTH LITTLE ROCK, Ark. -- A weather radar screen doesn't just show the weather, apparently. The National Weather Service in North Little Rock examined a speck on the radar that showed up around the same time hundreds of birds fell out of the sky from alleged trauma on New Year's Eve.

Today's THV reporter Lauren Clark talked to Science and Operations Officer Chris Buonanno at the NWS who says that the speck on the picture is definitely not precipitation.

The spot on the radar is estimated to be between 1,300 and 1,400 feet in the air and Buonanno points out it doesn't move like a cloud or rainstorm would.
While speculations continue to pour in, officials in Wisconsin confirmed the cause of death of the birds in Beebe was blunt force trauma.
Read Entire Article
.


__________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________

Reciprocal links:
http://HermannHearsay.blogspot.com/(Hermann Area News, Commentary & Discussion)

'The Green Hornet' Movie Review


__________________________________________________________________________________

'The Green Hornet' review

Seth Rogen's superhero antics are equal parts action and comedy

__________________________________________________________________________________

By Geoff Berkshire

Metromix
January 12, 2011
The Green Hornet 3D
Running time:
119 minutes
Rated:
PG-13

Cast:
Seth Rogen -
Britt Reid/Green Hornet
Jay Chou -
Kato
Cameron Diaz -
Lenore Case
Tom Wilkinson -
James Reid
Christoph Waltz -
Chudnofsky
See full cast
Director:
Michel Gondry
Genre:
Action, Adventure
Official Movie Web Site:
http://www.greenhornetmovie.com/
Millionaire playboy Britt Reid (Seth Rogen) lives his life with zero ambition, until his media mogul father (Tom Wilkinson) suddenly passes away and leaves Britt the empire. He bonds with Kato (Jay Chou), a resourceful employee who Britt never paid attention to before, and soon enough the pair reinvent themselves as vigilante crimefighters. Britt thinks it’s good fun, while Kato loves constructing stylish weapons and tricked out vehicles, but they find themselves at odds over who deserves the media spotlight and the affections of Britt’s smart secretary Lenore (Cameron Diaz). They also tick off local crime boss Chudnofsky (Christoph Waltz).

The buzz: Not good. Various studios and filmmakers have tried to get “Hornet” on screen for years, but it wasn’t until Rogen stepped up as star and co-writer that the movie actually took off. Even then, the original director (Stephen Chow, who also planned to play Kato) and villainous co-star (Nicolas Cage) jumped ship at various stages. Then the studio pushed the release from an intended summer 2010 slot to December, only to push it again to the low expectations dumping ground of January. Plus, a decision was made to convert the movie to 3D in post-production, a process that led to heavy criticism for the visuals in last year’s duds “Clash of the Titans” and “The Last Airbender.”

. Click Here to Read Movie Critic's Review .

__________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________

Reciprocal links:
http://HermannHearsay.blogspot.com/(Hermann Area News, Commentary & Discussion)

Comprehensive List of Tax Hikes in Obamacare

___________________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________ .
 From Ryan Ellis on Friday, January 14, 2011
[PDF version]
Next week, the U.S. House of Representatives will be voting on an historic repeal of the Obamacare law.  While there are many reasons to oppose this flawed government health insurance law, it is important to remember that Obamacare is also one of the largest tax increases in American history.  Below is a comprehensive list of the two dozen new or higher taxes that pay for Obamcare’s expansion of government spending and interference between doctors and patients.
Individual Mandate Excise Tax(Jan 2014): Starting in 2014, anyone not buying “qualifying” health insurance must pay an income surtax according to the higher of the following

1 Adult 2 Adults 3+ Adults
2014 1% AGI/$95 1% AGI/$190 1% AGI/$285
2015 2% AGI/$325 2% AGI/$650 2% AGI/$975
2016 + 2.5% AGI/$695 2.5% AGI/$1390 2.5% AGI/$2085
Exemptions for religious objectors, undocumented immigrants, prisoners, those earning less than the poverty line, members of Indian tribes, and hardship cases (determined by HHS)
Employer Mandate Tax(Jan 2014):  If an employer does not offer health coverage, and at least one employee qualifies for a health tax credit, the employer must pay an additional non-deductible tax of $2000 for all full-time employees.  This provision applies to all employers with 50 or more employees. If any employee actually receives coverage through the exchange, the penalty on the employer for that employee rises to $3000. If the employer requires a waiting period to enroll in coverage of 30-60 days, there is a $400 tax per employee ($600 if the period is 60 days or longer).
Combined score of individual and employer mandate tax penalty: $65 billion/10 years
Surtax on Investment Income ($123 billion/Jan. 2013):  This increase involves the creation of a new, 3.8 percent surtax on investment income earned in households making at least $250,000 ($200,000 single).  This would result in the following top tax rates on investment income

Capital Gains Dividends Other*
2010 15% 15% 35%
2011-2012 (current law) 20% 39.6% 39.6%
2011-2012 (Obama budget) 20% 20% 39.6%
2013+ (current law) 23.8% 43.4% 43.4%
2013+ (Obama budget) 23.8% 23.8% 43.4%
*Other unearned income includes (for surtax purposes) gross income from interest, annuities, royalties, net rents, and passive income in partnerships and Subchapter-S corporations.  It does not include municipal bond interest or life insurance proceeds, since those do not add to gross income.  It does not include active trade or business income, fair market value sales of ownership in pass-through entities, or distributions from retirement plans.  The 3.8% surtax does not apply to non-resident aliens.
Excise Tax on Comprehensive Health Insurance Plans($32 bil/Jan 2018): Starting in 2018, new 40 percent excise tax on “Cadillac” health insurance plans ($10,200 single/$27,500 family). For early retirees and high-risk professions exists a higher threshold ($11,500 single/$29,450 family).  CPI +1 percentage point indexed.
Hike in Medicare Payroll Tax($86.8 bil/Jan 2013): Current law and changes:

First $200,000
($250,000 Married)
Employer/Employee
All Remaining Wages
Employer/Employee
Current Law 1.45%/1.45%
2.9% self-employed
1.45%/1.45%
2.9% self-employed
Obamacare Tax Hike 1.45%/1.45%
2.9% self-employed
1.45%/2.35%
3.8% self-employed
Medicine Cabinet Tax($5 bil/Jan 2011): Americans no longer able to use health savings account (HSA), flexible spending account (FSA), or health reimbursement (HRA) pre-tax dollars to purchase non-prescription, over-the-counter medicines (except insulin)
HSA Withdrawal Tax Hike($1.4 bil/Jan 2011): Increases additional tax on non-medical early withdrawals from an HSA from 10 to 20 percent, disadvantaging them relative to IRAs and other tax-advantaged accounts, which remain at 10 percent.
Flexible Spending Account Cap – aka“Special Needs Kids Tax”($13 bil/Jan 2013): Imposes cap of $2500 (Indexed to inflation after 2013) on FSAs (now unlimited). . There is one group of FSA owners for whom this new cap will be particularly cruel and onerous: parents of special needs children.  There are thousands of families with special needs children in the United States, and many of them use FSAs to pay for special needs education.  Tuition rates at one leading school that teaches special needs children in Washington, D.C. (National Child Research Center) can easily exceed $14,000 per year. Under tax rules, FSA dollars can be used to pay for this type of special needs education.
Tax on Medical Device Manufacturers($20 bil/Jan 2013): Medical device manufacturers employ 360,000 people in 6000 plants across the country. This law imposes a new 2.3% excise tax.  Exemptions include items retailing for less than $100.
Raise "Haircut" for Medical Itemized Deduction from 7.5% to 10% of AGI($15.2 bil/Jan 2013): Currently, those facing high medical expenses are allowed a deduction for medical expenses to the extent that those expenses exceed 7.5 percent of adjusted gross income (AGI).  The new provision imposes a threshold of 10 percent of AGI; it is waived for 65+ taxpayers in 2013-2016 only.
Tax on Indoor Tanning Services($2.7 billion/July 1, 2010): New 10 percent excise tax on Americans using indoor tanning salons
Elimination of tax deduction for employer-provided retirement Rx drug coverage in coordination with Medicare Part D($4.5 bil/Jan 2013)
Blue Cross/Blue Shield Tax Hike($0.4 bil/Jan 2010): The special tax deduction in current law for Blue Cross/Blue Shield companies would only be allowed if 85 percent or more of premium revenues are spent on clinical services
Excise Tax on Charitable Hospitals(Min$/immediate): $50,000 per hospital if they fail to meet new "community health assessment needs," "financial assistance," and "billing and collection" rules set by HHS
Tax on Innovator Drug Companies($22.2 bil/Jan 2010): $2.3 billion annual tax on the industry imposed relative to share of sales made that year.
Tax on Health Insurers($60.1 bil/Jan 2014): Annual tax on the industry imposed relative to health insurance premiums collected that year. The stipulation phases in gradually until 2018, and is fully-imposed on firms with $50 million in profits.
$500,000 Annual Executive Compensation Limit for Health Insurance Executives($0.6 bil/Jan 2013)
Employer Reporting of Insurance on W-2(Min$/Jan 2011): Preamble to taxing health benefits on individual tax returns.
Corporate 1099-MISC Information Reporting($17.1 bil/Jan 2012): Requires businesses to send 1099-MISC information tax forms to corporations (currently limited to individuals), a huge compliance burden for small employers
“Black liquor” tax hike(Tax hike of $23.6 billion).  This is a tax increase on a type of bio-fuel.
Codification of the “economic substance doctrine”(Tax hike of $4.5 billion).  This provision allows the IRS to disallow completely-legal tax deductions and other legal tax-minimizing plans just because the IRS deems that the action lacks “substance” and is merely intended to reduce taxes owed.


__________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________

Reciprocal links:
http://HermannHearsay.blogspot.com/(Hermann Area News, Commentary & Discussion)

'Rock City' Cave May Become Business Hub in Valmeyer

__________________________________________________________________________________

Will Valmeyer cave become business hub?

__________________________________________________________________________________
January 14, 2011 www.stltoday.com/suburban-journals
The colossal underground storage center known as Rock City looks like something from "Raiders of the Lost Ark."
Under cathedral-like rock ceilings, row after row of shelves carry thousands of boxes from the U.S. government - personnel papers for retired federal workers sent from offices around the world.
A million pounds of Oklahoma peanuts and hops for Anheuser-Busch Cos. lay here. Lobsters and salmon are kept cool by chilly temperatures and constant humidity levels.
This space outside Valmeyer was once a limestone mine. Now it's a gigantic storage area measuring 6 million square feet.
Behind all of this is Joe Koppeis, a Columbia businessman who wants to turn Rock City into a teeming business center. His plan: to some day have thousands of people working here.

Limestone, mushrooms and papers
Crews began digging what eventually became Columbia Quarry No. 3 in the late 1800s. The harvested rocks were used in roads and alongside rail tracks. Later, mushrooms were grown in the excavated areas. Portions were turned into a fallout shelter during the Cold War.
The mushroom farming ended in the 1980s, not long before Koppeis opened the Market Place grocery store in Columbia. Later, he built the Falls Reception Center and Conference Center, a Walgreens drug store and other projects around Columbia.
Valmeyer eventually approached Koppeis about utilizing the empty cave site.
In 2007, Koppeis' company, Admiral Parkway Development, spent more than $10 million building a 200,000-square-foot refrigerated warehouse in the cave. Today, that corner is operated by Gateway Cold Storage, which takes advantage of the cave's constant 52-degree temperature. (They lower it to 15 degrees below zero for certain items.)
. Click Here to Read More.

__________________________________________________________________________________


__________________________________________________________________________________

Reciprocal links:
http://HermannHearsay.blogspot.com/(Hermann Area News, Commentary & Discussion)

Hermann Lady Bearcats Crush Montgomery County 69-15 South Callaway Tournament 1st Round


__________________________________________________________________________________

Hermann will next play Russellville team at 8:30 tonight, January 14, 2011 __________________________________________________________________________________

Hermann crushed Montgomery County 69-15 in the first round of the South Callaway Tournament, Thursday . Hermann's, Shelby Winkelmann, Ashley Brooks, and Corby Hackmann (all seniors) combined for 54 of the teams 69 total points. Brooks hit five three pointers tying the record for three pointers in a game.


GAME STATS

Hermann:
Shelby Winkelmann: 22 points, 5 steals, 5 assists
Ashley Brooks: 21 points, 4 assists
Corby Hackmann: 11 points
Jamie Gleeson: 6 points, 7 rebounds
Laura Rethemeyer: 5 points
Hannah Steinbeck: 2 points
Karinne Lane: 2 points


Montgomery County:
Thomas: 4 points
Reagan: 3 points
Sachs: 3 points
Miller: 3 points
Muchow: 2 points



. Click Here for PHOTO SLIDESHOW

___________________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________

Reciprocal links:
http://HermannHearsay.blogspot.com/(Hermann Area News, Commentary & Discussion)

$100 OIL: DEAL WITH IT, OPEC Ministers Say World Can Handle $100 Oil


__________________________________________________________________________________

OPEC ministers say world can handle $100 oil

Other exporters indicate that cartel may not increase crude production

__________________________________________________________________________________
By Shaimaa Fayed and Amena Bakr
Reuters

The global economy can withstand an oil price of $100 a barrel, Kuwait's oil minister said on Saturday, as other exporters indicated OPEC may decide against increasing output through 2011 as the market was well supplied.
Analysts have said oil producing countries are likely to raise output after crude rallied more than 30 percent from a low in May because they fear prices could damage economic growth in fuel importing countries.
European benchmark ICE Brent crude for February closed at $93.46 on Friday after hitting $94.74 a barrel, its highest level since October 2008.
Arab oil exporters meeting in Cairo this weekend said they saw no need to supply more crude as stocks were high and prices had been inflated temporarily by cold weather in Europe.
Asked by Reuters if the world economy could stand a $100 oil price, Kuwaiti Oil Minister Sheikh Ahmad al-Abdullah al-Sabah said: "Yes it can."
Iraq's new oil minister and the head of Libya's National Oil Corporation both told Reuters that $100 was a fair price, while Qatar's Minister Abdullah al-Attiyah said he did not expect OPEC to increase production in 2011.
. Click Here to Read More.

__________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________

Reciprocal links:
http://HermannHearsay.blogspot.com/(Hermann Area News, Commentary & Discussion)

Brazil flood death toll rises to 500+ rescuers battle floods

__________________________________________________________________________________

Brazil death toll rises as rescuers battle floods


__________________________________________________________________________________
By Sergio Queiroz and Stuart Grudgings Sergio Queiroz And Stuart Grudgings Fri Jan 14, 2011
TERESOPOLIS, Brazil (Reuters) – The death toll from massive flooding and landslides in Brazil topped 500 on Friday as renewed rainfall threatened to complicate efforts by rescue teams to reach survivors trapped in isolated areas.
In one of the country's worst natural disasters, rivers of mud tore through towns in the mountainous Serrana region outside Rio de Janeiro, leveling houses, throwing cars atop buildings and leaving thousands of people seeking shelter.
The flooding killed at least 529 people, according to local and state authorities, but rescuers are uncovering more victims buried under wrecked homes and toppled buildings. More than 13,500 people have been left homeless.
Emergency teams have to reach the worst-hit areas on foot and dig through the rubble by hand to find survivors because vehicles and heavy equipment still cannot cross blocked roads, the O Globo television news network reported.
The state of Rio de Janeiro sent military police to maintain order in the area after reports food had been looted from stores.
. Click Here to Read More.
CLICK HERE FOR PHOTO SLIDESHOW

___________________________________________________________________________________

__________________________________________________________________________________

Reciprocal links:
http://HermannHearsay.blogspot.com/(Hermann Area News, Commentary & Discussion)

Recall Of 'Toxic Waste Nuclear Sludge' Candy Bars - 'Lead-Laden Bars'

The California Department of Public Health found excess lead in some of these cherry bars.
__________________________________________________________________________________

Too Much Lead Prompts Recall Of 'Toxic Waste Nuclear Sludge' Candy Bars

__________________________________________________________________________________
by Scott Hensley 
January 14, 2011
NPR
Turns out the marketer of some candy bars sold under the Toxic Waste brand wasn't joking.
The Food and Drug Administration says Candy Dynamics of Indianapolis is recalling all flavors of its Toxic Waste Nuclear Sludge Chew Bars after way too much lead turned up in some cherry-flavored bars in California.
The company, citing "an abundance of caution," is pulling all flavors of the bars ever produced. Those would be the sour apple, blue raspberry and cherry chew bars. All of them are imported from Pakistan.
  The problem was discovered by the Californian Department of Public Health, found 0.24 parts per million of lead in a batch of cherry-flavored bars. The FDA doesn't allow more than 0.1 parts per million because even a little too much lead can cause health problems for little kids, infants and pregnant women.

. Click Here to Read More.

__________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________

Reciprocal links:
http://HermannHearsay.blogspot.com/(Hermann Area News, Commentary & Discussion)

LISTEN TO THE AUDIO - ORAL ARGUMENTS and Case Summary for December 15, 2010 ref. Missouri Supreme Court - Citizens of Hermann Missouri vs City of Hermann - Electrical Rate Increase Case


__________________________________________________________________________
LISTEN TO THE AUDIO - 
ORAL ARGUMENTS and Case Summary for December 15, 2010 ref. Missouri Supreme Court - Citizens of Hermann Missouri vs City of Hermann - Electrical Rate Increase Case
____________________________________

DOUBLE CLICK Play for 
FULL ORAL ARGUMENTS!!! 
(approx. 50 mins.) PLEASE NOTE: The first 4 mins. are introductions after that the remaining 46 mins. are all Oral Arguments, that is very INTERESTING Listening!!!



Arbor was represented during arguments by James E. Mello of Armstrong Teasdale LLP in St. Louis, .
and the city was represented by Kenneth J.Heinz of Curtis, Heinz, Garrett & O'Keefe PC in St. Louis.


Case Summary for December 15, 2010


THE FOLLOWING DOCKET SUMMARIES ARE PREPARED BY THE COURT'S STAFF FOR THE INTEREST AND CONVENIENCE OF THE READER. THE SUMMARIES MAY NOT INCLUDE ALL ISSUES PENDING BEFORE THE COURT AND DO NOT REFLECT ANY OPINION OF THE COURT ON THE MERITS OF A CASE. COPIES OF ALL BRIEFS FILED WITH THE COURT ARE AVAILABLE AT THE SUPREME COURT BUILDING, COURT EN BANC DIVISION. SUMMARIES ARE UNOFFICIAL AND SHOULD NOT BE QUOTED OR CITED.


Attached to the following docketed cases are electronic copies of briefs filed by the parties. These electronic briefs have been converted to PDF to accommodate various word processors. If you do not already have Acrobat reader, which is necessary to open the PDFs, you may obtain it free at the Adobe website. (A set of free tools that allow visually disabled users to read documents in Adobe PDF format is available from access.adobe.com.) These briefs do not reflect any opinion of the Court about the appropriateness of the format of the briefs or the merits of the case, nor are they official court records. Copies of all briefs filed with the Court are available at the Supreme Court Building in the court en banc division.

The attachments below may not reflect all briefs filed with the Court, the complete filing or the format of the original filing. Appendices and other attachments generally will not be posted here. To see what documents have been filed in a particular case, visit
Case.net.


DOCKET SUMMARIES
SUPREME COURT OF MISSOURI


9:30 a.m. Wednesday, Dec. 15, 2010
_______________________________________________________________________

SC91109
Arbor Investment Company, LLC, et al. v. City of Hermann
Gasconade County
Hancock Amendment challenge to city utility charges

Arbor was represented during arguments by James E. Mello of Armstrong Teasdale LLP in St. Louis, and the city was represented by Kenneth J. Heinz of Curtis, Heinz, Garrett & O'Keefe PC in St. Louis.

In December 2006, a group of Hermann utility customers brought a class action lawsuit against the city of Hermann, alleging the city charged utility customers “grossly excessive amounts” for utilities, thereby violating the Hancock Amendment of the state constitution by subsidizing city operations through a “hidden tax.” The city is the sole provider of utilities for its taxpayers. The trial court granted summary judgment in favor of the city. The utility customers appeal.

The utility customers argue the trial court erred in entering summary judgment in the city’s favor. They contend that the undisputed facts show – or, alternatively, that there is a disputed material fact whether – the city increased utility fees and violated article x, section 22 of the Missouri Constitution (part of the Hancock Amendment) by setting utility charges at a level to increase the city’s general revenue and subsidize general governmental expenditures. The customers assert this is tantamount to raising taxes without a vote of the people.

The city responds that the trial court did not err in entering summary judgment in its favor. It argues the facts are undisputed and show the city’s utility charges are not subject to the Hancock Amendment because: the utility charges are not a tax; the trial court properly applied the correct legal test in determining the charges are not a tax; the test produces “consistent results;” and municipally owned utilities are not required to be operated at “cost.”

The attorney general and state auditor argue, as friends of the Court, that when a municipal utility that is the sole provider of essential services sets rates to fund non-utility expenses, it adds “user fees” taxes that are subject to the Hancock Amendment. They contend that although the Hancock Amendment does not bar a municipal utility from continuing to collect fees for general revenue as a portion of its existing rate, it requires a public vote if the utility seeks to increase the portion of the rate that is not being collected to pay the costs of the service.

The Missouri Municipal League argues, as a friend of the Court, that the trial court properly held the city’s utility charges were not subject to the Hancock Amendment. It contends applying the Hancock Amendment to any contractual service generating revenue is unsupported by law and violates public policy, thereby depriving the public of fair compensation for use of public property and services. It asserts the attorney general and state auditor’s arguments improperly distinguish sole providers of utilities.

The Missouri Public Utility Alliance, the Missouri Joint Municipal Electric Utility Commission and the Municipal Gas Commission of Missouri argue, as friends of the Court, that the city’s transfer of utility funds to general revenue funds is not a tax or a fee. They contend the utility customers consent to the city providing them utilities and are free to discontinue their use of the city’s services. Finally, they assert the attorney general and state auditor’s arguments fail to consider that utility revenues may increase or decrease based on external economic factors.
SC91109_Arbor_Investment_Company_brief.pdf SC91109_City_of_Herman_brief.pdf SC91109_Arbor_Investment_Company_reply_brief.pdf

SC91109_Attorney_General_and_State_Auditor_amicus_curiae_brief.pdfSC91109_Missouri_Municipal_League_amicus_curiae_brief.pdf SC91109_Missouri_Public_Utility_Alliance_amicus_curiae_brief.pdf
____________________________________



List of judges of the Supreme Court of Missouri
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Supreme_Court_of_Missouri
http://www.courts.mo.gov/sup/index.nsf/FE8FEFF4659E0B7B8625699F0079EDDF/D951FA60C69130B9862577C3005AB345?OpenDocument

____________________________________





Click here to see the web site for the lawsuit.


 

Click here to see the web site for the lawsuit.
________________________________________________


Missouri Supreme Court  has scheduled oral arguments for Wednesday, Dec. 15, in a utility rate case, transferred from the Appellate Court, on behalf of a group of Hermann business owners and citizens.
____________________________________

DOCKET SUMMARIES
SUPREME COURT OF MISSOURI

9:30 a.m. Wednesday, Dec. 15, 2010
____________________________________

SC91109
Arbor Investment Company, LLC, et al. v. City of Hermann
Gasconade County
Hancock Amendment challenge to city utility charges

In December 2006, a group of Hermann utility customers brought a class action lawsuit against the city of Hermann, alleging the city charged utility customers “grossly excessive amounts” for utilities, thereby violating the Hancock Amendment of the state constitution by subsidizing city operations through a “hidden tax.” The city is the sole provider of utilities for its taxpayers. The trial court granted summary judgment in favor of the city. The utility customers appeal.
The utility customers argue the trial court erred in entering summary judgment in the city’s favor. They contend that the undisputed facts show – or, alternatively, that there is a disputed material fact whether – the city increased utility fees and violated article x, section 22 of the Missouri Constitution (part of the Hancock Amendment) by setting utility charges at a level to increase the city’s general revenue and subsidize general governmental expenditures. The customers assert this is tantamount to raising taxes without a vote of the people.
The city responds that the trial court did not err in entering summary judgment in its favor. It argues the facts are undisputed and show the city’s utility charges are not subject to the Hancock Amendment because: the utility charges are not a tax; the trial court properly applied the correct legal test in determining the charges are not a tax; the test produces “consistent results;” and municipally owned utilities are not required to be operated at “cost.”
The attorney general and state auditor argue, as friends of the Court, that when a municipal utility that is the sole provider of essential services sets rates to fund non-utility expenses, it adds “user fees” taxes that are subject to the Hancock Amendment. They contend that although the Hancock Amendment does not bar a municipal utility from continuing to collect fees for general revenue as a portion of its existing rate, it requires a public vote if the utility seeks to increase the portion of the rate that is not being collected to pay the costs of the service.
The Missouri Municipal League argues, as a friend of the Court, that the trial court properly held the city’s utility charges were not subject to the Hancock Amendment. It contends applying the Hancock Amendment to any contractual service generating revenue is unsupported by law and violates public policy, thereby depriving the public of fair compensation for use of public property and services. It asserts the attorney general and state auditor’s arguments improperly distinguish sole providers of utilities.
The Missouri Public Utility Alliance, the Missouri Joint Municipal Electric Utility Commission and the Municipal Gas Commission of Missouri argue, as friends of the Court, that the city’s transfer of utility funds to general revenue funds is not a tax or a fee. They contend the utility customers consent to the city providing them utilities and are free to discontinue their use of the city’s services. Finally, they assert the attorney general and state auditor’s arguments fail to consider that utility revenues may increase or decrease based on external economic factors.
SC91109_Arbor_Investment_Company_brief.pdf SC91109_City_of_Herman_brief.pdf SC91109_Arbor_Investment_Company_reply_brief.pdf

SC91109_Attorney_General_and_State_Auditor_amicus_curiae_brief.pdfSC91109_Missouri_Municipal_League_amicus_curiae_brief.pdf SC91109_Missouri_Public_Utility_Alliance_amicus_curiae_brief.pdf


PLEASE NOTE: It has been reported elsewhere that 
some powerful organizations in Missouri have also sided with Hermann in their own "friends of the court" briefs, including the Mo. Public Utility Alliance, the Mo. Joint Municipal Electric Utility Commission and the 
Municipal Gas Commission of Mo
 WHEN IN FACT ONLY ONE BRIEF WAS SUBMITTED BY THE ABOVE AS STATED BELOW:

Missouri Public Utility Alliance (MPUA), the Missouri Joint
Municipal Electric Utility Commission (MJMEUC), and the Municipal Gas Commission of Missouri (MGCM), 

collectively referred to as the
Missouri Public Utility Alliance (MPUA)






________________________________________________

IN THE SUPREME COURT OF MISSOURI AL 1 1 9 ) n in
APPLICATION FOR TRANSFER Is transfer sought prior to opinion or after opinion X
The date the record on appeal was filed: August 3, 2009 The date the Court of Appeals opinion was filed: June 22, 2010 The date the motion for rehearing was filed: None The date the application for transfer was filed in the Court of Appeals: July 7, 2010 and ruled on: July 28, 2010
List every party involved in the case, indicate the position of the party in the circuit court (e.g., Plaintiff, Defendant, Intervenor) and in the court of appeals (e.g., Appellant or Respondent), and indicate the name and address of the attorney of record for each party. List first the parties applying for transfer and place a check mark in the space following to indicate each party applying for transfer.
Plaintiffs/Appellants Arbor Investment X Company, LLC, CFV Plastics, LLC,
Buzz Manley, and Donna Austin
Defendant/Respondent City of Hermann,
#37724 #42825 #29176
Party Attorney
James E. Mello Jeffery T. McPherson Thomas B. Weaver ARMSTRONG TEASDALE LLP 7700 Forsyth Blvd., Suite 1800 St. Louis, MO 63105 314-621-5070 FAX 314-621-5065 tweaver@armstrongteasdale.comThis e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it jmello@armstrongteasdale.comThis e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it jmcpherson@armstrongteasdale.comThis e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
ATTORNEYS FOR APPELLANTS
Kenneth Heinz, Esq. Curtis, Heinz, Garrett and O'Keefe, P.C.
130 S. Bemiston Avenue, Suite 200 Clayton, MO 63105
David Politte, Esq. 438 West Front Street P.O. Box 2114 Washington, MO 63090
ATTORNEYS FOR RESPONDENT

1. This Court may grant transfer because of the general interest or importance of a question involved in the case, for the purpose of reexamining existing law, or for the reason that the opinion filed is contrary to a previous decision of an appellate court of this state. Rule 83.04; Rule 83.02. This appeal should be transferred to the Supreme Court of Missouri for resolution of the following issues:
(a) Whether the factors set forth in footnote 10 of Keller v. Marion County Ambulance Dist., 820 S.W.2d 301 (Mo. banc 1991), are controlling in determining whether the charges at issue in this case are subject to the Hancock Amendment (Mo. Const. art. X, § 22).
(b) Whether the factors set forth in footnote 10 of the Keller case are controlling in all cases in which the Court determines whether a charge is subject to section 22 of the Hancock Amendment.
(c) Whether the opinion of the Court of Appeals conflicts with Keller and Beatty v. Metropolitan St. Louis Sewer Dist., 867 S.W.2d 217 (Mo. banc 1993), in declaring that the determination of whether the charges at issue in this case were subject to section 22 of the Hancock Amendment.
(d) Whether the fundamental question in determining whether a fee increase is subject to section 22 of the Hancock Amendment is whether the increase is paying for ordinary governmental expenditures
(e) Whether a municipality violates section 22 of the Hancock Amendment by increasing utility charges in order to transfer funds to general revenue.
1
(f) Whether section 22 of the Hancock Amendment forbids fee increases without voter approval where the fee payers have no real choice but to pay the fee.
(g) Whether the Keller factors are controlling in a case where the undisputed facts shown that the fee increase is calculated to yield a surplus for the purpose of funding ordinary governmental expenditures.
(h) Whether the Keller footnote factors are inconclusive, vague, subject to manipulation, or unworkable.
(i) Whether first Keller factor ("When is the fee paid?") is concerned only with
timing.
2. While the opinion of the Court of Appeals reaches the correct result in reversing the erroneous judgment of the circuit court, this appeal should be transferred to the Supreme Court to resolve important issues arising from Keller v. Marion County Ambulance Dist., 820 S.W.2d 301 (Mo. bane 1991).
3. This case involves a massive abuse of the public trust. The State Auditor investigated the City of Hermann and discovered that the City had raised its utility fees without a vote of the people to generate millions of dollars in surplus funds, which it was using to pay for ordinary governmental operations in violation of Article X, Section 22(a) of the Missouri Constitution (commonly known as the "Hancock Amendment").
4. The City ignored the Auditor's report. It did not lower its utility rates. Indeed, it raised some of those rates without a vote of the people soon thereafter. (Hermann is not alone in this kind of activity. The Auditor has identified other cities that
have padded their general revenue by unconstitutionally increasing utility charges without a vote of the people.)2
5. After Hermann failed to respond to the Auditor's report, the plaintiffs brought this action on behalf of a class of City utility customers, seeking a declaration that the City's utility fee increases violated the Hancock Amendment. The plaintiffs also sought an injunction to prevent the City from collecting the unlawful fee increases and a refund of the unlawfully collected increased fees. The trial court certified this matter as a class action, with the plaintiffs representing a class of Hermann citizens and businesses subject to the unconstitutional charges imposed by the City without a vote of the people.
6. The people of Hermann are being burdened by utility rates that are, in some instances, nearly twice what most of the state pays. The City's captive utility customers must pay whatever the City charges because they have no choice -- there are no other utility providers in Hermann. The City intentionally uses utility charges to fund ordinary governmental operations, as shown by the fact that it budgets for large transfers from the utility accounts into the general revenue fund.
7. The opinion of the Court of Appeals correctly reverses the trial court's erroneous entry of summary judgment in favor of the City. In doing so, however, the opinion declares that the factors set forth in footnote 10 of the Keller case "are controlling in our determination of whether the charges at issue in this case constituted a
3. tax subject to the Hancock Amendment." Opinion at 6. Further, contrary to prior decisions, the opinion erroneously states that some of these factors should be found against the appellants.
8. The Court should grant transfer of this appeal for a determination of whether the Keller issues were properly decided. The issues raised in this application are of widespread and growing importance.
9. The purpose of the Hancock Amendment is to limit taxes by establishing tax and revenue limits and expenditure limits that may not be exceeded without voter approval. Mo. Const. art. X, sec. 16-24; Rohrer v. Emmons, 289 S.W.3d 600, 603 (Mo. App. 2009). To achieve the Hancock Amendment's purpose of reining in governmental taxation and spending, Section 22(a) imposes limitations on a political subdivision's ability to increase a tax or fee: "Counties and other political subdivisions are hereby prohibited from ... increasing the current levy of an existing tax, license or fees, above that current levy authorized by law or charter when this section is adopted without the approval of the required majority of the qualified voters of that county or other political subdivision voting thereon." Mo. Const. art. X, § 22(a)
10. Section 22(a) of the Hancock Amendment requires a vote of the people for municipal increases in taxes, licenses or fees after November 4, 1980. Green v. Lebanon R-III School Dist., 13 S.W.3d 278, 281 (Mo. banc 2000). It is undisputed that the City increased its electric, natural gas, water/sewer, and refuse/waste fees after November 4,
1980. It is undisputed that the City did so without a vote of the people.
0
11. The fundamental question in determining whether a fee increase is subject to the Hancock Amendment is whether it is paying for ordinary governmental expenditures or simply covering a municipality's costs to provide the service. See Keller v. Marion County Ambulance Dist., 820 S.W.2d 301 (Mo. banc 1991) (fees that raise revenue to be paid into the general fund to defray customary governmental expenditures, rather than to compensate public officers for particular services rendered, are effectively taxes); see also Zahner v. City of Perryville, 813 S.W.2d 855 (Mo. banc 1991) (finding no Hancock violation where there was no payment into the city's general fund); cf. President Riverboat Casino-Missouri v. Missouri Gaming Comm'n, 13 S.W.3d 635, 628
(Mo. banc 2000) (drawing same distinction in a non-Hancock Amendment case). 12. Generally, if the fee increase funds government expenditures that have
nothing to do with the service for which the fee is charged, then the fee increase is doing what the Hancock Amendment prohibits. See Roberts v. McNary, 636 S.W.2d 332 (Mo. banc 1982). Roberts explains that the words "license or fees" were added to "tax" in section 22(a) to prevent the government from generating general revenue to compensate for the funds lost through the tax-limiting aspect of the Hancock Amendment. Although Roberts was later overruled in part on an unrelated issue, the statement regarding the addition of the words "license or fees" remains good law.
13. Missouri courts have consistently applied the Hancock Amendment to strike fee increases without voter approval where the fee payers have no real choice but to pay the fee. See Ring v. Metropolitan St. Louis Sewer Dist., 969 S.W.2d 716 (Mo. banc 1998) (wastewater fee); Beatty v. Metropolitan St. Louis Sewer Dist., 867 S.W.2d
5
217 (Mo. banc 1993) (wastewater fee); Roberts v. McNary, 636 S.W.2d 332 (Mo. banc 1982) (building inspection fees) (overruled to extent it suggested all revenue increases are subject to Hancock Amendment by Keller v. Marion County Ambulance Dist., 820 S.W.2d 301 (Mo. banc 1991)); Building Owners & Managers Ass 'n of Greater Kansas City v. City of Kansas City, 231 S.W.3d 208 (Mo. App. 2007) (fire inspection fees);
Avanti Petroleum, Inc. v. St. Louis County, 974 S.W.2d 506 (Mo. App. 1998) (license fee); Feese v. City of Lake Ozark, 893 S.W.2d 810 (Mo. banc 1995) (sewer charges).
14. In this case, the undisputed facts show that the citizens have no choice but to pay the City's utility fee increases if they want to have electricity, natural gas, public water, or public sewer services. It is undisputed that the City has a monopoly on utility services. It is undisputed that no Hermann citizens are allowed to obtain their natural gas, electricity, public water or public sewer services from any provider except the city. The undisputed facts show that the City raised utility fees after the Hancock Amendment was passed for the purpose of generating millions of dollars in surplus for ordinary governmental expenditures. This is a clear violation of the Hancock Amendment.
15. In Keller v. Marion County Ambulance Dist., 820 S.W.2d 301 (Mo. banc 1991), the Court considered whether an ambulance district's increased ambulance service
fee was subject to the Hancock Amendment. The Court explained that the crucial inquiry was whether the fee increase would raise revenue to be paid into the general fund to defray customary expenditures rather than compensation of public officers for particular services rendered. Id. at 303-04. In Keller, the answer was obvious because the ambulance district was not a government. Instead, it was, at most, a "quasi-governmental
organization" that collected revenue for the sole purpose of providing services for subscribers to its services. Id. at 304. It could never transfer money into a general fund because it was not in the general business of governing.
16. In Keller, the Court noted that fee increases, in the context of the Hancock Amendment, are "fee increases that are taxes in everything but name." Id. at 303. The lesson from Keller is that if the fee increase is obviously generating money to be paid into the general fund, it is subject to the Hancock Amendment.
17. Although Keller was resolving a fairly easy question, it nevertheless envisioned more difficult cases on the horizon. In an effort to answer future questions for cases where the result was less obvious, the Keller Court set forth in a footnote some factors to help determine whether a fee increase was subject to the Hancock Amendment. The footnote questions are intended to help answer the fundamental question of whether a fee increase is funding ordinary government operations (and thus functioning as a tax increase). If it is obvious (as it is here) that the fee increase does just that, there is no need to ask the Keller footnote questions. Indeed, the Court did not even apply those factors to decide Keller.
18. There is no need to consider the Keller factors in a case (such as this one) where the undisputed facts shown that the fee increase is calculated to yield a surplus for the very purpose of funding ordinary governmental expenditures. Despite these facts, the opinion of the Court of Appeals states the Keller footnote factors "are controlling in our determination of whether the charges at issue in this case constituted a tax subject to the Hancock Amendment." Opinion at 6.
7
19. This Court has never held or even suggested that the Keller test must be used in all fee cases. It has only listed the factors without applying them (Keller), applied them to a sewer district's charge (Beatty v. Metropolitan St. Louis Sewer Dist., 867 S.W.2d 217 (Mo. banc 1993)), and relied on the holding in Beatty to declare without analysis that a city's sewer charge was subject to the Hancock Amendment (Feese v. City of Lake Ozark, 893 S.W.2d 810 (Mo. banc 1995)). This Court has never elevated the Keller footnote to a blanket rule that the opinion of the Court of Appeals and other cases of the Court of Appeals have declared it to be.
20. The reason that the Court has not glorified Keller is plain. The footnote factors are inconclusive and frequently provide no clear answer. See Beatty, 867 S.W.2d at 221. The factors are vague, subject to manipulation, and unworkable. Id. at 222 (Holstein, J., concurring in result).
21. The factors set forth in footnote 10 of the Keller case are not controlling. Transfer should be granted to address this issue.
22. Even if they were applicable, the Keller footnote factors demonstrate that the City's fee increases violate the Hancock Amendment. The opinion of the Court of Appeals is correct in holding that summary judgment for the City should be reversed because there is at least a fact issue as to three of the factors. However, the opinion is incorrect in declaring that two factors should be found in favor of the City. These factors, if relevant, should be found in favor of the appellants
23. The first Keller factor asks, "When is the fee paid?" The utility fees at issue in this case are paid periodically, at regular monthly intervals. L.F. at 1607. This
factor asks not whether the entity provides a service, but whether the fee is paid regularly. Ashworth v. Moberly, 53 S.W.3d 564, 575 (Mo. App. 2001). In Beatty, the Court made it clear that the question is not whether the political subdivision provides a service but the regularity with which the fee is paid. 867 S.W.2d at 220. This Keller factor "concerns
itself only with timing." Id. According to Keller and Beatty, application of this factor to this case demonstrates that the fees are "probably subject to the Hancock Amendment."
24. The opinion of the Court of Appeals is incorrect in declaring that "this factor must be resolved in favor of the City." Opinion at 8. The opinion states, "While the fees in this case are periodic in nature, we find the fees are based on the amount of services received and are only charged after the services are provided." Id. The conclusion that billing after services rendered this factor in favor of the City is directly contrary to the dictates of Keller and Beatty, which make it clear that this factor is concerned only with whether the payments are periodic. This conflict with controlling authority merits transfer.
25. The second Keller factor asks, "Who pays the fee?" Keller states that a fee subject to the Hancock Amendment is likely to be blanket billed to all or almost all of the residents of the political subdivision. 820 S.W.2d at 304. In this case, the City Clerk, who was also the City's designated witness, clearly stated that all Hermann citizens are City utility customers. L.F. at 1595, 1012-1015.
26. According to Keller, application of this factor to this case demonstrates that the fees are probably subject to the Hancock Amendment, but the opinion of the Court of
7
Appeals finds this issue in favor of the City. This is a summary judgment case. It is improper to find this issue in favor of the City in light of the City Clerk's testimony.
WHEREFORE, the appellants respectfully request transfer to the Supreme Court. Respectfully submitted,
10
/itJ^vn 5
57'i3
es . Mello #37724' jmello @armstrongteasdale.com Jeffery T. McPherson #42825
j mcpherson@armstrongteasdal e. corn Thomas B. Weaver #29176
tweaver@armstrongteasdale.comThis e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ARMSTRONG TEASDALE LLP 7700 Forsyth Blvd., Suite 1800 St. Louis, MO 63105
314-621-5070 FAX 314-621-5065
ATTORNEYS FOR APPELLANTS
CERTIFICATE OF SERVICE
A copy of this document was mailed, first-class postage prepaid, on August 12, 2010, to:
Kenneth Heinz, Esq. Curtis, Heinz, Garrett and O'Keefe, P.C.
130 S. Bemiston Avenue, Suite 200 Clayton, MO 63105
David Politte, Esq. 438 West Front Street P.O. Box 2114 Washington, MO 63090
Laura Thielmeier Roy, Clerk Missouri Court of Appeals, Eastern District One Post Office Square, Third Floor 815 Olive Street St. Louis, MO 63101
________________________________________________

Missouri’s Supreme Court  has scheduled oral arguments for Wednesday, Dec. 15, in a utility rate case, transferred from the Appellate Court, on behalf of a group of Hermann business owners and citizens.

November 10, 2010, The Linn County released excerpts from  legal briefs that have been filed for that case:
.
In a legal brief filed by Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster a couple of days before last week’s mid-term election, the State’s chief prosecutor advised the Missouri Supreme Court he believes the City of Hermann is violating the Missouri Constitution. Koster filed the brief on behalf on Missouri Auditor Susan Montee. The City of Hermann...is presently being sued for violating the Missouri Constitution’s Hancock Amendment. The Hancock Amendment, which has been in force since 1980, states, “Counties and other political subdivisions are hereby prohibited from levying any tax, license or fees not authorized by law...without the approval of the required majority of qualified voters or other political subdivision voting thereon.” Put more simply, the Hancock Amendment prohibits levying a tax without voter consent. Koster charges that attorneys representing the City of Hermann are wrongly implying that “regardless of what costs a political subdivision incurs in providing a good or service, so long as the charge is tied to receipt of the good or service, the charge entirely escapes Hancock Amendment scrutiny.”      
Koster asks the MO. Supreme Court to reject that premise, arguing that when a “user fee” imposed upon ratepayers for provision of a particular utility exceeds what it costs the City of Hermann to provide that utility, and the excess revenue is transferred into the City’s general fund to be used for other purposes, the City has, in effect, levied a tax without voter consent. Koster further draws a distinction between a “user fee,” which is voluntary payment for a private good or service (i.e., ratepayers choose to pay the light bill each month) and a tax, which is mandatory or legally required for funding of public services such as street maintenance and police and fire protection. Missouri’s chief prosecutor further argues that to qualify as a “user fee,” a charge imposed would have to result from the purchase of “a good or service that the political subdivision offers in an open marketplace, where...the purchaser can choose among competitive alternatives.”
Koster elaborates, “But where the political subdivision is the only legal or practical provider of an essential service—as with a utility that has an exclusive territory—the real ‘user fee’ is limited to the charge that covers costs of providing the service. When a municipal utility that is the sole provider of an essential service sets rates to fund non-utility expenses, it adds to ‘user fees’ taxes that are subject to the Hancock Amendment.”Click Here for more info.
____________________________________

____________________________________

Reciprocal links:
http://HermannHearsay.blogspot.com/(Hermann Area News, Commentary & Discussion)

Area Gas Prices Hermann and New Haven

HERMANN MISSOURI WEATHER 65041

Enter Your Locaton (below map) for Interactive Current Radar Map

Donate To Keep This Site Alive

NEWS

World News

Business News

...........

Top Ten Viewed Stories / Last 7 Days

Donate To Keep This Site Alive

.........

Hermann MO News TOP 10 Stories/ Last 30 Days

Donate To Keep This Site Alive

Top 10 Stories - All-Time (Oct. 14,2010 Inception)

Donate To Keep This Site Alive

Hermann Missouri Videos

Loading...

Hermann MO Videos

Loading...

Hermann Oktoberfest

Loading...