My Fellow Missourians:

To God be the Glory for a wonderful day of worship and celebration for the 165th Anniversary of Elkton Baptist Church this past Sunday. Marla and I joined Lieutenant Governor Mike Parson and his wife, Teresa, in presenting resolutions to Pastor Kent Parson in recognition of this significant milestone for the church. Kent has been the Pastor of Elkton Baptist for nearly 30 years. (Pastor Kent is also Lt. Governor Parson’s eldest brother.) My “Hat’s Off” to him and the congregation for a well-planned event. The special music by pianist, Brother Eddie Crook, from Nashville, Tennessee, was a blessing in itself; however, it was followed by an inspiring spiritual awakening by evangelist, Brother Johnny Carver, also from Nashville. To top off a blessed morning, a wonderful smorgasbord of food was prepared by the ladies of the church and enjoyed by all.

Home at last:

On Dec. 7, 1941, Hickory County resident, Charles Thompson, was assigned to the USS Oklahoma, which was moored at Ford Island, Pearl Harbor, when the ship was attacked by Japanese aircraft. The USS Oklahoma sustained multiple torpedo hits, which caused it to quickly capsize. The attack on the ship resulted in the deaths of 429 crewmen, including Thompson. No single vessel at Pearl Harbor, with the exception of the USS Arizona, suffered as many fatalities. The remains of unidentified personnel, including Navy Fireman 1st Class Charles W. Thompson, were interred at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific (NMCP), known as the Punchbowl, in Honolulu.

More than 70 years later, the Deputy Secretary of Defense issued a policy memorandum directing the disinterment of unknowns associated with the USS Oklahoma. On June 15, 2015, personnel began exhuming the remains from the NMCP for analysis. Recently, through DNA testing, Thompson’s family was able to identify and bring his remains back home for a proper burial.

There will be a special funeral service held at the Hathaway-Peterman Funeral Home in Wheatland this Saturday, June 17, at 9 a.m., with interment at the Fairview Butcher Cemetery following the service. The cemetery is located on the north side of Highway T one mile west of the Highway 83 and T Highway junction. Please join me in honoring this Hickory County hero.

MO Voter ID Requirements Now In Effect:

November, 2016, Missouri voters overwhelmingly supported a system of photo Voter ID meant to protect the integrity of the elections process. The legislation officially went into effect June 1. Now, the Missouri Secretary of State’s Office is traveling the state to educate voters so they are prepared for the new law and its impact.

As part of the ShowIt2Vote educational campaign, the Secretary of State’s Office is holding a series of informational meetings around the state to ensure that all eligible voters know the various ways they will be legally allowed to cast a ballot. Secretary Ashcroft has said the meetings are also meant to reassure Missourians that “if you’re registered to vote, you can vote.”

Under the new law, if a voter does not have a government-issued photo ID, such as a Missouri driver license, non-driver license, U.S. Passport, or U.S. Military ID, the voter can provide other documents, such as a Voter Registration Card, and sign a statement that affirms his or her identity. If the voter has no documents available, he or she may cast a provisional ballot. That ballot counts if the voter brings an acceptable photo ID back to the polling place that day, or if the signature matches the signature on file with local election officials.

The new photo voter ID law also requires the state to assist voters who do not have a photo ID with obtaining a free Missouri non-driver ID for the purpose of voting. Individuals who need a photo ID to vote and don’t have one, can complete an online form to get started. The form is located at The Secretary of State’s office will receive your information and help in obtaining any necessary documents.

For more information about the new Voter ID law, interested parties can access or call the ShowIt2Vote hotline at 866-868-3245.