Jon K. Rust

Jon K. Rust is publisher of the Southeast Missourian and co-president of Rust Communications.


Highway would cause changes in bridge exits

If you have a question, e-mail factorfiction@semissourian.com or call Speak Out (334-5111) and identify your call as a question for "Fact or fiction?"

Q: Is it true that if the federal government approved I-66 to come over the Cape bridge, highway guidelines would prevent there being exits at the current locations?

A: "If I-66 or any interstate would cross the Mississippi River via the new Bill Emerson Memorial Bridge, roadway intersections and driveways along the highway that is now Route 74 would be affected at some point," said Angie Wilson, public information officer for the Missouri Department of Transportation. "A transition period would take place to upgrade the current highway to interstate standards. In order to meet federal highway requirements for interstates, access along the route would eventually be available only through a system of interchanges and outer roads."

Q: I teach at the high school, and we all know how hopeless it is to try to fix knowledge and skill deficiencies at these late grade levels. The place to do it right is in grade school, before it's too late. How much more do we spend on high school students per year than we do on elementary students?

A: More money is spent per pupil on elementary than high school students in the Cape Girardeau School District, said superintendent Mark Bowles. But you're right that historically that has not been the case.

"Traditionally, educating secondary students has been more expensive for a variety of reasons: lab materials used at this level, the greater costs of textbooks, expanded library needs, expanded curriculum options, etc.," Bowles said in an e-mail. But an analysis he conducted indicates that from 2003 to 2004, elementary expenditures were higher.

"This reflects a growing emphasis on elementary programs, especially federal money targeted for the elementary school (e.g., $1.08 million in Title I money and additional money flowing through Title V)."

Bowles shared two models for analyzing expenditures. The first took information directly from a 2003-2004 state report, which reported instructional expenditures (not including federal entitlement, special education, operation of plant, etc.) per pupil as $2,898.59 for elementary and $2,886.73 for secondary.

The second model added in all expenditures coded to elementary and secondary buildings by location, including student activity accounts, support services, and additional instructional expenses such as summer school and Title I. This analysis indicated expenditures at $6,304.76 for elementary and $5,583.02 for secondary.

Q: I have always wondered why the Good Hope area was referred to as Haarig. How did the area get that name?

A: According to Southeast Missourian librarian Sharon Sanders, "This is another one of those names whose meaning has been lost in time. An undated note in the Missourian library reads, 'Haarig -- a section in the southwest part of the city, along Good Hope Street. Origin of the name, one of several versions, says the word is from the German dialect, meaning hairy. Tradition has it that in early years a man whose face was covered with a heavy beard located in that section, which later was given the name 'Haarig.'"

Jon K. Rust is publisher of the Southeast Missourian. He can be reached at jrust@semissourian or by calling 336-6611.