I’m not a Meteorologist, but with the unseasonably, record-breaking warm temperatures we have had since October of 2011 in the Ozarks, you might think mother nature decided to skip winter and slide right into spring.
Although that may be wishful thinking for some folks, the reality is, eventually, most likely, colder, more extreme winter weather will return before the months of February and March are behind us. This means of course, we don’t want to lower our guards into thinking this beautiful spring-like weather will continue throughout the winter months. So if you haven’t winterized your automobiles, got out your snow shovels, and winter gear, you might consider that it would be best to be prepared for the first snow or ice storm that comes our way. The other matter to consider is that whenever warm temperatures collide with cold weather systems in Missouri, it makes the atmosphere ripe for a tornado or severe thunderstorm, much like the tornados that wreaked havoc on Phelps County two years ago on New Year’s eve, Dec. 31, 2010. Those tornados claimed the lives of four individuals, destroyed several homes and barns, and reminded us all that winter can be one of the most dangers times of the year for tornados and severe weather conditions.
One of the positive aspects of the milder weather we have been experiencing is of course the opportunity to get outside and enjoy the many recreational opportunities that abound in Rolla and the region. The die-hard tennis players are taking advantage of the weather and playing at the Ber Juan Tennis Complex (six courts) located in Ber Juan Park (14th and Holloway). The walkers and joggers are taking advantage of the walking and fitness trail in Ber Juan Park and the City’s 12-mile-long pedestrian/bikepath network, that includes the ACORN Trail, Deible Loop Trail and others maintained by the City’s Parks and Recreation Department.
While the month of February is typically not jam-packed with large community festivals and outdoor events like the St. Pat’s Parade in March (March 17, 11 a.m.), you might want to make note that with Valentine’s Day just around the corner, The Centre will be hosting the first annual Daddy/Daughter Valentines Dance on Friday, Feb. 10 from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. in the Fidelity Gymnasium, 1200 N. Holloway St. The event is open to all daughters ages three and above to attend with their Dads. The cost to attend is $25 for non-members and $20 for Centre members. Pre-registration at The Centre (341-2386) is required and the event will be limited in numbers. The registration deadline is Tuesday, Feb. 7.
In closing, I would like to mention again that I plan to formally recognize, along with members of the Rolla City Council, the Rolla city employees who participated recently in the City’s Early Retirement Incentive Program. The employees will be presented with appreciation plaques at the next City Council meeting on Monday, Feb. 6 at 6:30 p.m. Their total combined years of service to our residents and community is more than 222 years! So please plan to attend the meeting and join me as I recognize and show my appreciation to the following City employees: Ken Kwantes, Director of Parks and Recreation; Kevin Leonard, Captain, Rolla Fire and Rescue; Rita Duval, Municipal Court Clerk; George Lewis, Maintenance Manager, The Centre; Larry Windle, Laborer, Parks and Recreation; Richard Skaggs, Equipment Operator, Parks and Recreation; Bruce Borgerding, Custodian; The Centre; Linda Roberts, Recreation Manager, The Centre; Marvin Bell, Equipment Operator, Environmental Services; and Karen Nappier, Custodian, The Centre. We owe all of these employees a great deal of appreciation and admiration. Let me once again thank each of them for their many years of service to the citizens of Rolla.
Enjoy the weekend and have a safe week!