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Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Bates County Coroner: FAQ Friday

I didn’t do an FAQ on Friday, so I’ll catch up. *****This one is REALLY important though. Read it when you have time to understand; not understanding this one can lead to heartbreaking problems. 

If you were to pass away at this moment in the state of Missouri, who controls what happens to your body? Think about it for a sec. Let’s see if you’re right.  

Answer: It’s your legal next of kin. Are you married? It’s that person. Even if you’ve been separated for many years. Not married and have kids? It’s them, and if they disagree, majority rules.  The priority for next-of-kin is specifically set out by Missouri Statute.  

You can imagine that people often don’t realize this. They assume a body can be released to a person who “just knew what the deceased wanted done” regardless of the law.  Obviously, that is not the case.  

Fortunately, we live in Missouri. People who do not want their legal next-of-kin to control what happens to their body upon death have a fantastic option. In Missouri, you can sign a “Durable Power of Attorney with Right of Sepulcher.” This means, the right to control final disposition of your body. And you can assign that right to anybody you wish. 

Therefore, when you pass away, that person is legally in charge. Your body can be released according to their instructions. As always, you should consult with your attorney; there are many types of DPOAs and the Right of Sepulcher isn’t always included when people think it is.  

I hope this information is helpful. If, on the other hand, you get along perfectly well with your legal next-of-kin, you don’t have to worry and can just be thankful! (Of course, there is still good reason to execute a DPOA anyway; in case that person doesn’t survive you or is somehow unavailable).  

Have a good evening,
Greg Mullinax 
Bates County Coroner

Updated Obituary - Hadley “Hat” Ray Scrogham

Graveside memorial services for Hadley Scrogham will be 2 p.m. Friday, October 2, 2020 at Oak Hill Cemetery in Butler. There is no visitation. Services are under the direction of the Schowengerdt Funeral Chapel (660-679-6555) in Butler, Missouri. Online condolences,

Hadley “Hat” Ray Scrogham, age 86 of Rich Hill, Missouri died Tuesday, September 15, 2020 at Butler Center in Butler, Missouri. He was born May 30, 1934 to Frank Hadley and Delorous Christine Morgan Scrogham in Amoret, Missouri.

Hadley is survived by three sons, Duane Scrogham of Butler, Missouri, Cecil Scrogham and wife Tammy of Hutchinson, Kansas and Marty Scrogham and wife Janie of Liberty, Missouri; two brothers, Paul Scrogham of Kansas City, Missouri and Charlie Scrogham and wife Liesa of Butler, Missouri; and 10 grandchildren and 13 great-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his parents; wife Roberta in 2012; and one sister, Marla June Burnett.

Updated Obituary - Jerry McElwain

Funeral services for Jerry McElwain will be 11 a.m. Saturday, September 26, 2020 at Schowengerdt Funeral Chapel (660-679-6555) in Butler, Missouri. Visitation will be Friday evening, September 25 from 5-7 p.m. at Schowengerdt Chapel. Burial in Oak Hill Cemetery, Butler. Contributions to Friendship Full Gospel Church in Butler. Online condolences,

Jerald “Jerry” Ray McElwain, age 79 of Butler, Missouri died Friday, September 18, 2020 at Bates County Memorial Hospital in Butler. He was born November 3, 1940 to Aubrey Lewis and Mary Ladon Martin McElwain in Butler.

Jerry is survived by three daughters, Kathy Manser and husband Kevin of Sibley, Missouri, Kelly Jones and husband Gary and Kristy Franklin and husband David, all of Butler, Missouri; one sister, Janis Brown and husband Dave of Sugarland, Texas; one stepson, Andy DeMar of Raytown, Missouri; two stepdaughters, Michele Seward of Piper, Kansas and Jenny Butler of Appleton City, Missouri; 7 grandchildren, 19 great-grandchildren, 1 great-great-grandson, 6 step-grandchildren and 2 step-great-grandchildren; and nephews, nieces and cousins. He was preceded in death by his parents; and one brother, Joe Allen McElwain

At the Schowengerdt Funeral Chapel, we practice social distancing, recommend face masks and discourage hugs and hand shakes. A card or phone call to the family would go a long way in remembering their loved one. 

If you don't have family addresses, feel free to mail cards to us at the Schowengerdt Funeral Chapel (1301 N. Orange St., Butler, MO 64730) and we will send to the family.

BCMH Press Release: new therapy programs for Parkinson's

Therapists from BCMH Rehab Services demonstrate movements a Parkinson’s patient may be asked to perform during a treatment session for the LSVT Big program. Pictured, from left: Shanya Hedrick, OTR, Kristie Condon, MS, CCC-SLP, Leisa Witherspoon, PTA, Niki Hilgenberg, MPT, and Annie Johnson, COTA. Each therapist earned certification this year in the LSVT Big or LSVT Loud programs.
Pictured left is Kristie Condon, MS, CCC-SLP, LSVT Loud Certified. LSVT Big certified therapists at BCMH are (left to right): Leisa Witherspoon, PTA; Shanya Hedrick, OTR; Niki Hilgenberg, MPT; Annie Johnson, COTA.

A new, specialized therapy program available at Bates County Memorial Hospital (BCMH) Rehabilitation Services is helping people with Parkinson’s Disease improve speech and movement functions. The program is called LSVT Big and Loud, and it involves two separate therapies, customized to the patient’s unique needs and goals.

As of this summer, five therapists on staff at BCMH Rehab Services have earned certification for LSVT Big or LSVT Loud. Few hospitals or rehabilitation centers in the U.S. are able to offer LSVT Big and Loud therapies. BCMH therapists are eager to bridge the gap for people with Parkinson’s Disease in Bates County and surrounding communities.

LSVT Loud:
A person with Parkinson’s Disease (PD) gradually loses the ability to move and speak as they once did. They may not even realize that they are not moving or speaking normally. LSVT Loud trains people with PD to regain their normal voice and tone when speaking in their home, workplace or community.

“When a person is unable to visit with their family and loved ones, they often feel lonely and left out. LSVT LOUD helps bring them back into social situations. It really opens up their world.” said Kristie Condon, a speech therapist at BCMH certified for the LSVT Loud program.

Simple movements are a big challenge to people with PD. They may not know how to turn their body from side to side, or simply get out of bed.

“As Parkinson disease progresses, a person may have a slow shuffle to their step. Their body is no longer moving freely as it once did. With the BIG program they can begin to stand tall and walk with their head up,” Kristie explained.

The LSVT Loud and LSVT Big programs include 16 one-hour sessions each. A certified LSVT therapist works with the patient to customize treatment to the patient’s immediate needs and goals. The patient is also asked to perform exercises and other practices at home as part of the treatment program.

Normally, a caregiver is allowed to attend therapy sessions with the patient. Because of COVID-19 precautions, BCMH therapists make sure caregivers have the information they need to support and encourage the patient at home.

BCMH has taken additional steps to protect patients who come to the hospital for treatment. In Rehab Services, a new HEPA filter sanitizes the speech therapy room between each patient.

LSVT Big and Loud treatment programs are covered by Medicare. Contact BCMH Rehab Services at 660-200-7073 for more information about the LSVT Big and Loud program or insurance coverage. For more information about LSVT Big and Loud, visit

BCMH Rehab Services Therapists are LSVT-certified and ready to help people with Parkinson’s Disease regain better speech and movement. The LSVT Big and Loud programs are only delivered by speech, physical or occupational therapists who are certified by LSVT in these methods.

Help Support The Rich Hill Band Texas Roadhouse Roll Fundraiser

The Rich Hill Band students are currently selling their Texas Roadhouse Roll Fundraiser $5 per dozen rolls and $3 per tub of cinnamon butter! 

Rolls will be available for pickup on November 14th just in time for your Thanksgiving celebrations! Rolls come frozen and you bake as directed!

Obituary - Margaret Eileen Wier

Margaret Eileen Wier, age 77, Parker, Kansas formerly of La Cygne, Kansas passed away on Monday, September 21, 2020. She was born on February 15, 1943 in Fort Scott, Kansas the daughter of Joseph and Alice (Terry) Stoker. 

She attended grade school at Star Valley and graduated from La Cygne Rural High School in the Class of 1961. She was united in marriage to Russell Wier. To this union, two children were born. Margaret had lived in the La Cygne area for most of her life until moving to Parker to live with her daughter, Heather. 

While living in Parker, they attended the First Baptist Church of Parker. Margaret liked many different types of music, and enjoyed reading. She was preceded in death by her parents and a brother, Gerald Stoker. Margaret is survived by a son, Patrick Wier(Tracy), a daughter, Heather Wier, a brother, Clayton Stoker, four grandchildren, Trevor, Aubree, Daniesha, and Tiffany, and two great grandchildren, Christine and Nicole.

Funeral service will be 2 pm Friday, September 25, 2020 at the Schneider Funeral Home and Crematory, La Cygne, Chapel. Burial will be in the Star Valley Cemetery. 

Visitation will be held from 5 to 7 pm Thursday, September 24 at the La Cygne Chapel. Contributions are suggested to TriKo. Online condolences can be left at

Obituary - Gabriel L. Smith

Gabriel L. Smith, 22, of Pleasant Hill, departed this life, Saturday, September 19, 2020, as a result of injuries sustained in an automobile accident.

Funeral services are pending under the care of Stanley-Dickey Funeral Home,Pleasant Hill, Missouri.

Service times and a complete obituary will be published here as soon as that information becomes available.

Obituary - Steven Eddie Ferguson

Steven Eddie Ferguson, 56, Joplin, MO passed away on Monday, September 21, 2020 at his home in Joplin. Steven was born May 16, 1964 in Appleton City, MO to Dennis E. and Nancy L. (Johnson) Ferguson.

Steven attended school in Kansas City. For the past 10 years he has worked at Flying J in Joplin. He was a kindhearted man who was loving, spiritual, and always willing lend others a “helping hand”. Steven especially loved dogs and cats.

Survivors include one sister, Tina Johnson, Nevada; one brother, Erik Ferguson, El Dorado Springs, MO; nieces, nephews, extended family, and special friends.

Funeral services will be held at 10:00 a.m. on Friday, September 25, 2020 at 10:00 a.m. at Ferry Funeral Home in Nevada. Interment will follow in Roscoe Cemetery, Roscoe, MO.

Bates County Republican Fish Fry

Traffic delayed in Butler

Shortly before 3:30pm this afternoon the Butler Police Department along with Bates County EMS responded to a one vehicle accident in Koehn's Bakery parking lot.

The driver sustained minor injuries and was checked out at the scene of the accident. Traffic was delayed and the car was removed from the scene Douty's Tow of Butler.

Absentee voting begins today

Today is the first day for in office absentee voting at 103 W. Dakota, Butler. Office hours are 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday thru Friday. You will need to show your driver's license or your voter identification card. 

The last day to register to vote for the November 3rd Election is October 7th. 

Marlene Wainscott
Bates County Clerk

Welcome to Autumn!

We've recently gotten a head start on fall weather, but today at 8:31 am marks the official start of the autumn season.
Enjoy the beautiful fall weather...

Butler man arrested on failure to appear warrant

On 9/21/20 around 9:05pm the Butler Police Department arrested 59 year old Lex A. Kennedy of Butler, Missouri.

Mr. Kennedy was arrested for 1.) Warrant -Failure to appear in court - Original Charges- Failure to register motor vehicle, Operating a vehicle without proper Insurance (X2).

He was booked into the Bates County Jail in Butler and he is currently listed as bondable.

Disclaimer: Arrest records are public information. Any indication of an arrest does not mean the individual identified has been convicted of a crime. All persons arrested are innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

Walker man seriously injured in crash near Nevada

On 9/22/20 around 12:35am the Missouri State Highway Patrol in Vernon County along with Vernon County Sheriff's Deputies responded to a one vehicle accident on Missouri 54 Highway around 2 miles east of Nevada.

The Missouri State Highway Patrol says the accident occurred when the 2002 Ford Escort driven by 49 year old Scott A. Zachary of Walker, Missouri traveled off the roadway and struck a culvert.

Mr. Zachary sustained serious injuries in this accident and he was transported by air ambulance to Freeman West Hospital in Joplin, Missouri for treatment.

The vehicle was totaled and towed from the scene of the accident by TCB Towing of Nevada.

Copyright Mid America Live 

Update: Greenwood man seriously injured in Bates County motorcycle crash

On 9/21/20 around 8:50pm the Missouri State Highway Patrol in Bates County along with Bates County Sheriff's Deputies, Bates County EMS and Rich Hill Fire Department all responded to a motorcycle crash in the southbound lanes of I-49 near mile marker 124.2 in rural Bates County.

The Missouri State Highway Patrol says the accident occurred when the 2019 Harley Davidson driven by 66 year old Steven L. Hudson of Greenwood, Missouri failed to negotiate a curve and struck a concrete barrier.

Mr. Hudson sustained serious injuries in this accident and he was transported by Bates County EMS to Bates County Memorial Hospital in Butler for treatment.

The Harley was totaled and towed from the scene of this accident by Douty's Tow of Butler.

Copyright Mid America Live