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Archive for February, 2010

Youth Excel Gets Inside Look at Missouri Government

Youth Excel at Jefferson City

Randolph County Youth EXCEL members met with Senator Kurt Schaefer at the Capitol in Jefferson City Wednesday. The group surrounded Sen. Schaefer, rear center, on the Capitol steps. University of Missouri Extension county program director Dr. Thomas Fuhrman is rear left. Sam Richardson, Randolph County EXCEL past president, is rear right. (Photo courtesy Missouri Senate)

Fourteen student leaders from Randolph County high schools got an inside look at Missouri government Wednesday through a study tour organized by the University of Missouri Extension Division’s Youth EXCEL program.

The group members, 10 from Moberly High School and four from Higbee High School, were introduced on the Senate floor early Wednesday morning by Sen. Kurt Schaefer (R-Columbia) and briefed on the chamber’s procedures.

Afterward Linda Bushman, of Sen. Schaefer’s staff, escorted the Youth EXCEL group to the House of Representatives.  Rep. Steve Hobbs (R-Mexico) led the group directly to the floor of the House, where the members mixed with dozens of state officials preparing for the annual State of the Judiciary speech delivered by Missouri Supreme Court Chief Judge Ray Price.

The Randolph Youth EXCEL members had front row seats for the speech to the joint session of the General Assembly in the House gallery. During his speech, Judge Price called on major changes with the Missouri Department of Corrections and the incarceration of drug and alcohol abusers.

In the afternoon, the Randolph Countians met Judge Price during a visit to the Supreme Court, across the street from the Capitol.

The group also toured the Missouri Archives at the Kirkpatrick Building as the guests of Secretary of State Robin Carnahan, met with Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder and sat in on a major hearing of Chairman David Sater’s House Appropriations Committee on Health. The panel considered changes in the MO Health Net division of the Department of Social Services–an $8 billion part of the state’s $23 billion budget.

Young appetites were not neglected on the visit to Jefferson City, either. The group had breakfast in the Hawthorne Restaurant in the Capitol, surrounded by representatives and senators. They went to the popular Madison’s Restaurant for lunch, likewise amidst Capitol denizens. And they topped off their day with a stop at the famed Central Dairy ice cream parlor.

The Moberly High School members of Youth EXCEL:  Sadie Appling, Lauren Bell, Sarah David, Chance Drewery, Suzanne Heddinghaus, Ally Jorgensen, Davis Keleher, Hales Schauer, Mark Loeber and Trent Snodgrass.

Higbee High School members are:  Michael Couey, Kathryn Hall, Jessica Schlachtele and Mark Skidmore.

The Youth EXCEL group was accompanied to Jefferson City by Dr. Thomas Fuhrman, county program director for the University of Missouri Extension Division, and Sam Richardson, past president of Randolph County EXCEL.

Transportation for the trip was provided by Pastor Vic Comstock and Family Life Fellowship.