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2008: The Year In Review


A large section of roof at the Bluff Road Genetics hog facility near Peaksville collapsed in the early morning hours of January 1 under the weight of snow and ice.
Electrical and lighting upgrades and ongoing boiler problems have forced Clark County R-1 Schools to spend a lot of extra money this year, and the district is now projecting a deficit of $451,343. The good news is that the district has the money in reserves to cover the shortfall.
An early morning fire in a trailer house six miles west of Revere claimed the lives of two young children. Felicity and Taylor Ball, 4 and 2, children of Anthony and Jackie Ball, died in the fire.
The Kahoka Board of Aldermen approved a new policy restricting decorations at the cemetery. Items must now be attached to the stone, or hung from a shepherd hook, in order to facilitate easier mowing.
Over 120 parents, students, faculty members and Wyaconda residents filled the gymnasium at the Wyaconda C-1 School, to plead with Missouri Department of elementary and Secondary Education not to close their school.
Clark County and Sheriff Roy Gilbert have settled a discrimination lawsuit filed by former Deputy Sarah Huston.
“We are closing the store,” unfortunately,” said Pamida’s Public Relations Manager Kerry Heinrich. Four Pamida stores in Missouri, including Kahoka, Milan, Monroe City and Bethany, were slated to close.
Audrey Moon and Ryan St. Clair were elected CCR-1 Courtwarming Queen and King for 2008.
Local craftsman Kent Spory received national attention when a bench he made was selected as a winner in Browning’s “Show Us Your Buckmark” contest.

Four members of the Kahoka Cemetery Board resigned in protest over the action taken by the Kahoka Board of Aldermen last month. Mary Webber, Cathy DeBuhr, Mary Jones and Robert Walker resigned after the council changed the policy to require decorations be attached to the headstone or on a shepherd hook.
Robert Becker of Knox County recently took the position of Captain with the Clark County Sheriff’s Office.
Clark County R-1 Schools are going tobacco free. The CCR-1 School board approved a policy banning tobacco from the entire campus, including the softball and football fields.

The St. Patrick Post Office will celebrate its 150th year with a special pictorial cancellation.
The City of Kahoka will have new city clerk starting July 1. The Board of Aldermen made the hiring of current city treasurer Sandi Hopp official. Hopp will replace Linda Plenge, who will retire at the end of June.
The Clark County R-1 School Board just saved the taxpayers some money. A lot of money. On Thursday night, March 13, the board took action to refinance the high school bond. The resulting savings total $200,289.50 for the district.
It’s in the hands of the voters. On April 8, Wyaconda voters will have the opportunity to determine the fate of their school, which is facing possible closure by the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. Voters will be asked the question: “Shall the Wyaconda C-1 District be annexed to the Gorin R-III School District effective 1st Day of July 2008.”
Under state law, if the district does not regain accredited status by June 30 of this year, the school district will “lapse”, and the State Board of Education would have authority to assign Wyaconda’s students to other school districts.

Clark County R-1 Music Director Bob Dooley received some high honors Sunday March 30, during the High School’s music program. Dooley was surprised to be honored with a Congressional Medal of Merit from Congressman Kenny Hulshof. Running Fox Elementary was listed on the Missouri Department of Education’s website as one of the Top Ten schools on the MAP test. 93.3 % of Running Fox 4th graders scored in the “advanced” or “proficient” level on the MAP test, compared to a statewide average of 45.3%.
CCR-1 high school students will say farewell to the eight-block schedule at the end of the current school year. At the Thursday, April 10 meeting, the CCR-1 board gave its unanimous consent to the change at the request of high school principal Jason Harper.
“Successful teams don’t practice every other day, and successful business people don’t go to work every other day,” Harper stated. Under the current schedule, students have four 90-minute periods every day, with most classes meeting
The State Board of Education voted Thursday, April 24, to dissolve the Wyaconda C-1 School District and assign its students to neighboring districts. Wyaconda is the first school district in Missouri to be closed as a result of poor academic performance.

Tempers flared at Thursday night’s Clark County R-1 School Board meeting as many residents from the eastern part of Clark County showed up an expressed their displeasure at the board’s discussion of closing Running Fox Elementary.
Clark County’s 137 year old courthouse has been listed as one of Missouri’s most endangered historic places by The Missouri Alliance for Historic Preservation, (Missouri Preservation), Missouri’s only statewide, non-profit organization dedicated to promoting, supporting, and coordinating historic preservation activities throughout the State.
Kahoka police cars will soon be sporting video cameras. At the Monday night, May 12 meeting of the Kahoka Board of Aldermen, the council gave its approval of the purchase of a video camera system to be installed in the city’s newest car. The system will monitor traffic stops and the patrol car’s back seat.

“We’re still holding on,” said Alexandria Mayor Bob Davis.
The Mississippi River crested just below 27 feet on Wednesday, falling short of the 1993 crest. As of Monday morning, the river level had dropped to under 25 feet, and will continue to fall throughout the week.
“Everything is going the way we want it to,” Davis said. “We still have a couple days to let the water go down. The levees are getting soft, but if the water goes down, we’ll be okay.”
Kahoka’s Jill Shinn was one of the honorees at the Benefit Awards Dinner for the National Center for Law and Economic Justice, held in New York City on June 3.
The CCR-1 Marching Band is in Hawaii. On Saturday, they marched in the King Kamehameha Parade, and on Monday afternoon performed a concert at the battleship U.S.S. Missouri Memorial.

The dream started in southeast Iowa around 1985, when a group of community leaders started lobbying to improve the highways in their area. The nickname “Avenue of the Saints” was coined by Mt. Pleasant businessman Ernie Hayes. That dream expanded to create the 551 mile Avenue of the Saints, extending from St. Louis to Saint Paul. On Friday, July 25, the final 9.1 miles of four-lane highway were opened to traffic.
Kahoka native Mark McAndrew donated a $1.4 million dollar gift Mizzou’s Flagship Scholars Program, which is designed to provide a full-ride scholarship to one student from every county every year. McAndrew’s gift created the Jack and Ladene McAndrew Flagship Scholarship, in honor of his parents, who did not have the opportunity to attend college.

Incumbent Democrat Roy Gilbert was upset by challenger Keith Gates by a 456-349 margin. Brian Lewis picked up 185 votes in the primary sheriff’s race. Gates will face Republican Paul Gaudette in the November 5 election. Gaudette ran unopposed, and received 421 votes.
“I would say that we are easily a month behind at where Clark County’s crops should be at!” stated Bill Bonine, Loan Officer with the Farm Service Agency located in Kahoka. Bonine continued, “To begin with Clark County had around 10,000 acres affected by the flooding.”
“It’s something we’re not happy with, but it’s something that has to be done, ” Mayor Herb Butler said at Monday night’s public hearing on the city’s electric rates. The city is raising it’s electric rates by one cent per kilowatt hour, a move which will cost the average Kahoka household about $12 per month, starting next month.

Hannah Troy of Kahoka was selected as national winner in the FCE (Family and Community Education) Essay and Artwork Contest.
Friday morning didn’t start well for Clark County R-1 Schools. After a city-wide power outage, a gas leak was reported at the CCR-1 High School. Students were evacuated to the C.A.R.E. Building in Kahoka by bus.
Clark County’s 137-year-old courthouse has been getting some much-needed attention to stabilize the sagging structure, but its future still remains unclear.
On Thursday, August 28, the Clark County commissioners met with Roger Versules of S&V Consultants from Jefferson City. Versules was in town to inspect recent stabilization repairs made by Whiston Construction of Kahoka.
The repairs consisted of installing timbers and jacks in the basement to provide additional support, repairing joists in the attic, and placing a band around the building to prevent further movement.
Shop Locally. These two words may be more important now than ever. In today’s shaky economy, supporting our local businesses is essential to the future of the community. After all, these businesses provide personal services, employ people, pay taxes, and drive the local economy.

The chaos continues on Wall Street, despite the much-lauded federal government’s intervention, promising a $700 billion “rescue package” to stabilize the economy. On Monday, the Dow Jones average slipped below 10,000 for the first time in four years, as investors moved away from the market towards safer investments.
What effect does all this have on our local banks in Clark County? Not very much, according to them.
“I don’t know that it will have much of an impact on us,” said Peoples Bank of Wyaconda President David Alderton, Jr.
All four local banks report business as usual. Home and car loans are being made, and their loan requirements haven’t changed. Borrowers with a down payment and good credit should be able to get a loan at any of the local banks. And, of course, your deposits are FDIC insured.
A decimal point in the wrong place on the ballot could cost Clark County about a quarter million dollars for the Road and Bridge department, a total of about one-half of its local budget.

Clark County student athletes will not get the opportunity to compete in any new sports offerings, such as volleyball or baseball.
“If our priority is education, you have to look at education first and then look at what else you can afford,” board member Carmen Arnold.
The board agreed not to go forward with any new sport offerings at this time.
Advantage Auto Center in Kahoka closed unexpectedly at the end of business in Friday, November 14. The closure is being blamed on market conditions and the health condition of the owner. Both the Kahoka and Macon locations are now closed.
The Maryville Spoofhounds learned the lesson on Saturday. Fear The Spear.
The Clark County Indian football team captured the MSHSAA Class 2 Football Championship on Saturday, downing the Spoofhounds 10-7 in a game which kept fans on both side standing and cheering. Both teams played an extremely physical ball game, exactly the kind of football the thousands of Big Red fans in the Edward. Jones Dome in St. Louis wanted to see.

Dozens of Clark County residents, county employees, family and friends attended retirement reception for Clark County Commissioners C.W. Higbee and Wayne Bourgeois on Monday afternoon. Well-wishers filled the upstairs courtroom, enjoying cake, mixed fruit and punch while visiting with the outgoing commissioners.
Higbee and Bourgeois were elected in 1994, and were sworn in on January 1, 1995. They served as county commissioners for 14 years before choosing not to seek reelection in 2008.
Kahoka Mayor Herb Butler died unexpectedly on December 19.
In a special session of the Kahoka Board of Aldermen held Wednesday, December 31, the board agreed to continue rebroadcasting WGEM on Kahoka’s Cable system, and to pay a fee for the service. At their December 8 meeting, the Kahoka Board of Aldermen unanimously voted against any agreement with WGEM that would require the city to pay for the rebroadcast rights.