Dan Wehmer - Publisher's Pen

Dan Wehmer - Publisher's Pen

Readers with school-aged children likely are ready for the “February Freeze Out” to end.

Not only are kids out of school, they can’t play outside, which offers parents some relief, because the high temperatures the past week have been about 15 degrees while the lows have regularly fallen below zero.

Wind chills have been below zero during daylight the past few days; that mark has been as low as minus-30 degrees after the sun sets.

Entering February, the Seymour R-II School District had sailed through the 2020-21 school year, missing no days due to inclement weather.

Those days are long gone.

As of today (Wednesday), nine of the past 10 school days have been missed, including the last eight. The local school built in six snow days. Those were used up by last Friday, so either makeup days will be added or the school year will be extended once this winter blast ends.

We’ll have more on that next week as Superintendent Steve Richards and I are visiting on the subject this Friday, provided his lips aren’t frozen shut and my fingers aren’t frozen off.

But the forecast isn’t rosy for the next 10 days, per the National Weather Service.

Because of southern Webster County’s frozen tundra, I don’t have a lot to talk about over the past week. However, I’ll share some random thoughts, listed in a format you’re familiar with below.

* * * * * *

Reading time, four minutes:

• Free temperatures of minus-5 degrees or lower. After the past week, I’ll take anything above the freezing point.

• Longtime city employee Melissa “Lissa” Fox’s final day at Seymour City Hall arrives next Thursday, Feb. 25.

She’s been on duty more than three decades.

She’s served diligently that entire time.

For all of you who know Lissa, you’ll understand that she doesn’t want a public celebration. But I also know that there are a lot of people who will want to stop by city hall and see her before she retires, so I’m letting you know the countdown is under way.

During her time with the city, she’s worn many hats.

Lissa’s been the city’s longtime treasurer and court clerk, receiving heaps of praise for the job she’s done at both. She also has accepted literally thousands of payments for utilities and met thousands of people along the way.

Want an example of how good she does her job?

Last month, I forgot to send the utility payment for the historic Owen Theatre on time.

The day after it was due, Lissa called my cell phone.

“Did you forget something?” she asked.

I was clueless. Then she told me about the Owen bill.

That’s one of the wonderful things about small towns.

We know one another.

And anyone who has known Lissa knows that she’s one of the best.

Lissa doesn’t want a retirement party.

So, if you get a chance this week or next week, stop by Seymour City Hall and wish her well during what I’ll call her retirement week.

• How cold is it?

From Bob Crump, the city of Seymour’s emergency-management director, around 10 a.m. Monday morning came the following report:

“On our weather station at the safe room, the temperature at 10:07 (a.m.) shows -6 with a wind chill of -27.”

Yes, those “-” marks mean “minus.”

That’s cold, folks.

• Fair warning, Seymour electric customers ... you likely have a higher bill at month’s end.

It only makes sense. This billing cycle will include more than 10 days where the temperature didn’t break 32 degrees and another seven or more days where the low was zero.

It also only makes sense that KY-3, the television affiliate for NBC from Springfield, will send a reporter to town early in March to do yet another story on the city’s “ridiculous” electric rates, which actually are lower, per kilowatt, than the rate where KY-3’s studios are located.

• Class 2 District 10 Tournament play for both Tiger teams begins this week as the boys’ and girls’ varsity basketball squads each play host to first-round home games.

Here’s fun fact:

The last time that both teams won first-round district games in the same year was 2011.

That’s been awhile.

It could happen this week, ending a 10-year drought.

Seymour’s girls are seeded third and take on No. 6 Norwood at 3 p.m. Saturday.

Seymour’s boys are seeded fourth and take on fifth-seeded Summersville at 6 p.m. next Monday.

Both games will be played at the Seymour High School gymnasium.

Both seem to be good reasons to escape the house after southern Webster County has resembled Antarctica for the past week.

Dan Wehmer is the Citizen’s editor, publisher and owner. He can be reached at 417-935-2257 or via e-mail at citizen@webstercountycitizen.com.

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