Longhorned tick discovered in northern Missouri for first time, MU researchers find

The Longhorned tick causes the loss of millions of dollars in agricultural revenue to cattle producers worldwide, and it is now in northern Missouri.

Originally found in eastern Russia and the Australasian region, this tick was first found in the United States in 2017 in New Jersey. It has since reached the Mid-Atlantic, New England and Midwestern regions of the U.S., and now has been discovered in northern Missouri for the first time by researchers at the University of Missouri.

Last year, the Longhorned tick was found in the southern part of the state. This latest discovery indicates an additional economic burden to cattle producers due to ticks; as the Longhorned tick infestation could lead to significant loss in weight gain for cattle, similar to an already widely prevalent disease called anaplasmosis; but so far, the threat from this species of tick to cattle — and people and their pets — in Missouri remains low. However, researchers emphasize that the discovery of the Longhorned tick in the state increases the need for more vigilance towards ticks in general.

While most ticks reproduce traditionally, female Longhorned ticks can lay thousands of eggs without the help of a male, which makes it easier for them to quickly establish in new areas. Infestation of the Longhorned tick can lead to possible transmission of bovine theileriosis, a disease that kills red blood cells in cattle.

While there have currently not been any confirmed cases of bovine theileriosis in Missouri cattle, this discovery further heightens the need for Missouri cattle ranchers to make informed decisions regarding quarantining protocols when introducing new cattle into their herds in an effort to protect the health of their livestock, which has significant economic implications.

“Studying the prevalence of invasive ticks in different geographical regions can help veterinarians and farmers take proactive, preventative steps that may ultimately protect the health of livestock, which has huge economic implications,” said Rosalie Ierardi, an anatomic pathologist at the MU College of Veterinary Medicine who recently discovered two Longhorned ticks in Linn County, Missouri, while conducting anaplasmosis surveillance research.

Ierardi collaborated on the project with Ram Raghavan, a professor in the MU College of Veterinary Medicine and MU School of Health Professions. Raghavan, who has been tracking the spread of various species of ticks in the U.S. for 15 years, predicted the potential geographic distribution of the Longhorned tick back in 2019. So far, the tick appears to be establishing in the areas that he had predicted in that study. He said there not only appears to be an increase in the abundance of all ticks in the Midwest in the past decade, but also an increase in the pathogens and diseases they transmit to cattle, humans and pets.

“Warmer temperatures in the Midwest seem to be creating perfect conditions for ticks and the pathogens they carry to thrive, and this problem may get worse going forward as the planet continues to warm, which is concerning,” Raghavan said. “We must be vigilant and devote resources toward trying to prevent these ticks from spreading diseases that harm the health of cattle, humans and their pets. The discovery of Longhorned ticks in northern Missouri greatly increases the need for more vigilance towards ticks in general and the need for routine monitoring of the pathogens they transmit.”

Ierardi encourages cattle ranchers who notice weakness, jaundice and pregnancy loss in their cattle to contact their local veterinarian and the MU Veterinary Medical Diagnostic Laboratory for assistance with tracking down the causes for such signs.

“Symptoms of this disease can be often mistaken for anaplasmosis, so we encourage producers and practitioners to be vigilant and get their animals tested whenever there is a doubt,” Ierardi said. “Although these Longhorned ticks are known to transmit a number of human disease pathogens, at the moment the threat from them appears to be mostly bovine theileriosis, which impacts cattle.”

For more information about Longhorned ticks, visit the United States Department of Agriculture Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (USDA APHIS) website.

Mary F. Jennings, age 92 of Nevada (formerly of Excelsior Springs)

Mary F. Jennings, age 92 of Nevada, MO (formerly of Excelsior Springs, MO) passed away Sunday, September 25, 2022 at the Joe Clark Home, Nevada, MO.

Funeral services will be held Wednesday, September 28, 2022 at 11am at the Heuser Funeral Home, Rich Hill, MO, with family visitation from 10am until the service time. Burial will be in Green Lawn Cemetery, Rich Hill, MO. Memorials suggested to the Joe Clark Home.

Mary is survived by daughter Beth Diehl and husband Dennis of Nevada, MO, son Mike Jennings and wife Kathy of Excelsior Springs, MO, and sister Cindy Creech and husband Paul, along with nephew Andy of Bartlesville, OK; 9 grandchildren, 10 great-grandchildren, and 10 great-great-grandchildren.

Vernon County Sheriff’s Office holds Push-Ups for Pennies’ event

Vernon County sheriff’s office

Employees of the Vernon County Sheriff’s Office partnered with the YMCA to hold a
push-up contest to help encourage VCSO staff to participate in the agencies YMCA
membership/fitness program. They also wanted to see if they could raise funds for the
Children’s Center in the process.
The push-up contest was a one-hour event where participants could do any number of
push-ups any time within the one-hour period. The totals were posted to a board during
the event. “This caused some great friendly competition and made it fun for everyone,
said Vernon County Sheriff Jason Mosher. The winners of the event won a prize and the
1st place winner was also awarded a “2022 Push-Up Champion trophy.”

The winners were as follows:

1st place – Chief Deputy Travis Cole (550 push-ups)
2nd place – Detention Officer Sarina Eaton (451 push-ups)
3rd place – Lt Tycher Blakely (433 Push-ups)


VCSO performed a total of 2,962 push-ups during the event and raised just over $600 for
the Children’s Center.
Sheriff Mosher would like to thank all the businesses that helped sponsor this event.

Event Sponsors
Metz Bank, Nevada Regional Medical Center, Keith’s Body Shop, State
Farm, 1st National Bank, May’s Floral, Highly Tire Center, Jones Boots
and Freddy’s.

James Ellison Curnutte, age 88 of Amsterdam

Memorial services for James E. Curnutte of Amsterdam, Missouri will be 1 p.m. Thursday, September 29, 2022 at the Schowengerdt Funeral Chapel (660-679-6555) Butler, Missouri.  Visitation 12 noon – 1 p.m. Thursday, September 29 at the Schowengerdt Chapel.  Inurnment in West Point Cemetery, Amsterdam, Missouri.  Memorial contributions in Jim’s honor can be made to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital or Paralyzed Veterans of America.  Online condolences www.schowengerdtchapel.com.

James Ellison Curnutte, aged 88, departed this life on September 22, 2022, surrounded by family members who loved him dearly. Jim was born July 29, 1934 at the family farm in West Point, Missouri to parents Margaret Bernadine (Green) and Bayard Tolliver Curnutte. Although he resided in Butler, Missouri at the time of his death, he lived most of his life in and always referred to West Point and Amsterdam, Missouri as home. Jim graduated from Miami R-1 High School in 1952, and married his sweetheart, Lila Jean Musick of Drexel, Missouri, on October 6, 1956. To this union, six children were born.

Jim worked hard as a carpenter to provide for his family, and helped build many well-known buildings in the Kansas City area, including Arrowhead, the Kansas City Royals stadium, KCI, and Crown Center. He was a proud member of the Carpenters Union Local 777.

Jim was known for his love of all sports, and especially enjoyed watching and supporting his kids, grandkids, and great-grandchildren in the stands. He was an avid supporter of athletics at Miami R-1 Schools, including his work on the school board there and serving as a baseball coach to many young men in the community. He closely followed his St. Louis Cardinals baseball team, and would often fall asleep listening to ball games on his radio. Jim loved to fish and spend time outdoors, be it hunting quail or cutting wood. The entire Curnutte clan would often meet at Roaring River State Park to fish and celebrate Jim’s birthday.

Jim was pre-deceased by his parents, stillborn daughter Karen Anne, older brother Bayard Donald Curnutte, and great-grandson Patrick Connor Mulcahy. His wife Lila survives, as do five children: Diana (John) Swezey of Drexel, Missouri; Kathy (Ben) Havelka of Louisburg, Kansas; Kristi (Dicky) Smalley of Boonville, Missouri; Tim (Sue) Curnutte of Chariton, Iowa; and John Curnutte of Independence, Missouri. Also surviving are nine grandchildren: Tara (Pat) Mulcahy, Kash (Brooke) Dubray, Kyle (Erin) Dubray, Tyler (Kate) Swezey, Taylor (Austin) Bridges; Kellen Curnutte; Devin Smalley, Ethan Curnutte, and Jackson Curnutte. Twelve great-grandchildren survive as well: Kathy, Liam, and Aidan Mulcahy; Hunter, Drake, and Lila Dubray; Kylee, Kiersten, and Kaleb Dubray; Payten Shearer; and Lilly and Isabelle Bridges. He was also blessed with three step-grandchildren and four step great-grandchildren.