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Looking Back at 2018 – July through December


By Christy Porter,
Managing Editor

July 2018 Former Presiding Commissioner Betty Crow celebrated her 90th   birthday.
  The Licking Police Department was aided in a multiple narcotics seize with the help of K9 dog, Loki and his handler Corporal Pat Burton, who is now Chief of Police.
  Route 63 Car Club Show had a record turnout with 122 entries. More vehicles were present during the car show but had not been registered.
  The Pregnancy Resource Center held a Charity Truck Pull at the Raymondville Fairgrounds in support of the center located in Houston.
  Texas County experienced mild to moderate drought, which impacted cattle producers in the area.
  The Harmoniers Quartet celebrated 70 years of performing Southern Gospel music.
  Multiple charges were levied against James Sigman, Sheriff of Texas County and Texas County Lieutenant Deputy, Jennifer Tomaszewski. Sigman and Tomaszewski were removed from office. Texas County Coroner Marie Lasater, by statute, became the acting temporary administrative sheriff.
  Rowdy Douglas was appointed interim sheriff of Texas County.
  The Licking News would no longer be printed in a local venue after Salem Publishing closed down its press. The Jefferson City News Tribune printing facility, Central Missouri Newspapers Commercial Printing Facility is now printing The Licking News.
  The Texas County Fair and the 108th annual Old Settlers Reunion was hosted at the Houston Area Chamber of Commerce Fairgrounds July 25th – 28th.
August 2018 The Licking News, continuously published since 1896, came under new ownership August 1st. Scott Hamilton and Shari Harris purchased our local newspaper.
  Scott Lindsey, Licking Chief of Police announced candidacy for Texas County sheriff.
  TCMH Family Clinic gained a full-time physician with the arrival of Douglas Crase, MD and his family.
  Third annual Anthony/Michael Mordis Memorial Ride and Benefit took place August 11th. In 2015, Anthony Mordis died 44 days before his son, Michael, was born. All proceeds went to the Michael Mordis trust.
  Father Rayappa (Roy) Chinnabathini assumed pastor and administration duties at St. John the Baptist, Licking; St. Mark, Houston; St. Vincent, Roby and Chaplain duties at South Central Correctional Facility in Licking.
  Tick borne illnesses were on the rise in Texas County.
  According to online reports of Troop G highway patrol, Kenneth R. Clark, 52, of Cabool was arrested August 19th for first-degree felony murder, first-degree felony armed criminal action and violation of ex parte. Per GunViolencearchive.org, the incident began when Clark abducted Susan J. Campbell, 56, from the Wal-Mart parking lot in Houston. Campbell was later pronounced dead from multiple gunshot wounds after the car used in the abduction was located. Clark suffered from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound to his face and head. Prosecuting Attorney Parke Stevens, Jr. indicated a trial date will likely be set during a court review scheduled for Jan. 22, 2019. The venue for the trial has been changed to Phelps County.
  Edgar Prairie Days was celebrated August 24th – 26th in Edgar Springs. This year’s celebration was the community’s 33rd annual event.
  The Licking community mourned the loss of Licking Police Department’s Sergeant Michael R. Hood, 54, of Licking. Hood had been with the department since 2004 and had recently celebrated his 14-year anniversary. Hood passed away August 27th.
  The last day of operation for the Licking License Office was August 29th under independent contractor Jackie Duncan.
September 2018 - Licking Town and Country Bank was robbed September 4th. No one was injured during the armed theft and the perpetrator exited through the back door of the bank. The robber was estimated to be in his twenties to early thirties, between 5 feet 7 inches and 5 feet 10 inches in height, and medium build (180 pound range.) The FBI is continuing to investigate. If anyone has information related to this incident, they are asked to call the FBI Springfield office at 417-882-3303, or contact local law enforcement.
  Cabool business owner, Brian Dale Fleming, 51, pleaded guilty in federal court to violating the Clean Water Act by dumping grease into the Big Piney River on August 28.
  Jimmy and Barbara Rodgers and family were named the Texas County Farm Family for 2018 at the Missouri State Fair.
  Saturday, September 8th was a day of festivals and fairs. The Raymondville Festival of Yesteryear was held, as was the Roby Fair. Both events experienced intermittent rainfall but the festivities went on.
  National Assisted Living Week was proclaimed September 10th – 14th at Licking Residential Care.
  The Licking Chamber of Commerce Mule Show was held Saturday, September 15th at the Licking Rodeo Grounds.
  The Licking Lady Wildcats volleyball team took first place in the Cabool Tournament.
  Douglas Kyle announced his candidacy for Texas County Sheriff.
  Wyatt Wilson earned a Gold Ticket to USA New Years Baseball Classic. Wilson was one of 24 out of 3,000 all-stars awarded the ticket.
  The Ride for Missions came through Licking following the Trail of Tears route taken in the 1830’s. The group was in Licking September 28th through October 1st.
  Miss Texas County/Miss Texas County Outstanding Teen pageant was held Saturday, September 29. Angela Luna was crowned Miss Texas County 2019, Amelia McKinney was crowned Miss Texas County Outstanding Teen and Sophie Senkle was crowned Southern Missouri Outstanding Teen at the Melba Performing Arts Center in Houston.
October 2018 – The 55th Annual Rose Holland Trout Derby was held the weekend of October 6th. The annual event is held at Montauk State Park with all funds raised going to benefit the American Heart Association.
  Fourth annual G-Ma Pam’s Walk for Life took place October 6th at Old City Park. All proceeds go directly to G-Ma Pam’s Rack Pack and are dispersed locally via their board to assist with related expenses to anyone fighting cancer.
  Also the first weekend of October, the Licking Fall City Wide Yard Sale took place.
  The Knights of Columbus Tootsie Roll Drive kicked off in Texas County. In December a check from the proceeds was presented to the Opportunity Sheltered Workshop in Houston.
  Martial art students from Licking and Houston competed in Springfield Championships. Everyone that participated from these two schools placed in the top three in each division in which they participated.
  LHS Wildcat Baseball won third in Frisco League Tournament.
  LHS hosted Wildcat Invitational cross country meet and the Wildcats placed third overall behind Plato and Alton, and the Lady Wildcats placed fourth overall behind Alton, Mansfield, and Thayer. Wildcat Keegan Black placed first.
  LHS hosted 68th annual Volleyball Classic and placed second behind Mtn. View Liberty.
  Licking 4-H team places first, FFA team places second in Grassland Evaluation Contest, advancing to next year’s state finals.
  The Ozarks Older Iron Club hosted their annual fall show and tractor pull October 12th – 13th.
  A local 42-year tradition, The Bug Collections, infested the science building at Licking High School.
  Saturday, October 20th the annual Picking and Grinning on the Porch festival took place with many events happening non-stop throughout the day.
  The Edgar Springs Community Building Committee held the first annual October Fest on the 20th. Many activities took place, culminating with a showing of the movie Hocus Pocus.
  Junior high basketball girls finish first in Frisco League Tournament.
  There was a Haunting at the Mill on the evening of the 27th at Montauk Mill located in Montauk State Park. Attendees had a historical, hauntingly good time.
  The Spooktacular Block Party was also held the 27th at the Edgar Springs city park. The funds raised from this event went toward Christmas for the community youth.
  Licking fall festivities included a harvest party at the First Baptist Church of Licking on October 28th, the 8th annual Halloween story time at the Licking library on October 29th and a Costume Parade by Sonshine and Rainbows Preschool on October 30th.
  Halloween evening, Licking’s Fifth Annual Light the Night Festival was held downtown. Despite the rainy, cold weather, downtown was a crowded affair as attendees made the rounds in search of treats. The costume contest was a standing- room-only event. The evening perhaps ended early due to an increase in rain and dropping temperatures.
November 2018 – For the November 6th election there was high voter turnout at the Licking Polling Center. According to unofficial results, statewide turnout was 57.9 percent. Medical marijuana was legalized, and a phased-in minimum wage increase from $8.60 up to $12.00 per hour. Josh Hawley (REP) was elected as U.S. Senator, and Scott Long (REP) as Texas County Presiding Commissioner. Scott Lindsey (REP) won the Texas County Sheriff’s race.
  The Licking R-VIII School District honored veterans Friday, November 9th at a one-hour Veterans Day Assembly beginning at 9 a.m. The assembly featured the FFA Chapter with the Presentation of Color, musical performances, guest speakers and recognition of local veterans.
  Saturday, November 10th the Licking VFW Post 6337 held a touching ceremony at the Veterans Memorial for the Fallen on Hwy. 32.
  Veterans Day 11-11-18 marked the centennial of the signing of the armistice between the Allies of WWI and Germany.
  The Licking License Bureau reopened November 15th at the previous location under a new independent contractor, Reba Duncan. Reba Duncan has no family relationship to prior contractor Jackie Duncan.
  Junior high Lady Wildcat’s basketball team won first in Mtn. Grove tournament.
  Junior high Wildcat’s basketball team placed second in West Plains Tournament.
  Corporal Pat Burton was named Licking Chief of Police on Friday, November 16th, following former Chief of Police Scott Lindsey’s election as Texas County Sheriff.
  November 17th Sarah Purcell was crowned Miss Merry Christmas at the pageant held at the Melba Theatre.
  Also on the 17th, the Licking Senior Center held their one-year celebration in the new facility.
  The Licking Wildcats Booster Club and Licking VFW Post 6337 hosted Booster Club Bingo on Friday, November 23rd. The VFW raised $1473 with bingo and an additional $101 in donations, all of which they donated to the Booster Club.
  According to the Gasconade County Sheriff’s Department two suspects were identified; Brooke Buddemeyer, 29 and Aaron “Foozball” Lewis, 36, of Bland, in the shooting death of Jesse James Robbins on November 25th. The murder suspects were apprehended in Florida on December 6 by the Madison County Sheriff’s Office.
December 2018 - The traditional Christmas sights, sounds, food drives, Christmas parties, caroling and other numerous activities began in the Licking community. Many events started in November, some even earlier in the year and reached fruition in December.
  The Samaritan’s Purse, Operation Christmas Child kicked off with the shoeboxes being filled. When the packing ended, 912 shoeboxes left Licking for their final destination overseas.
  The Salvation Army Red Kettle came out for the season. Donations exceeded the goal of $6,500, with $7,277 being the final total for the Licking community.
  The Knights of Columbus donations to the Texas County Food Pantry and the Licking United Community Help Center totaled $984 in check, which will purchase approximately 10,000 lbs. of food, and food donations totaling 651.2 lbs.
  Licking’s annual Christmas celebration was held Saturday, December 1st. There was much to do and see in downtown Licking, including the annual Christmas Craft Sale, Cookies-Buy-The-Pound sale, young ones book giveaway, visits by Santa Claus, The Licking COC Toy Giveaway, the Parade, the Lighting of the Mill and caroling.
  Christmas in Our Hometown provided Christmas for 101 families this season. Bonnie Hall helped continue a twenty year-plus tradition of giving in the community, with Christmas in Our Hometown giving to 85 families; 16 families were adopted out by families or businesses in the community. This was just one of the charitable venues who donated this season to provide Christmas for the needy and less fortunate.
  The Edgar Springs Parade and Breakfast with Santa sponsored by the Edgar Springs Rural Fire Department was held December 15th.
  LHS dominates 2018 Frisco League Tournament with both Wildcat and Lady Wildcat teams taking first place.
  John T. Long was sentenced to seven years in the Mo. Dept. of Corrections on December 4th. Long walked off from a work assignment on Jan. 25th prompting an ongoing manhunt until he was captured Feb. 3rd.
 The Licking High School, Junior High School and Elementary Schools performed beautifully at the 2018 Winter Band and Choir holiday concerts December 6th and 7th.
  Phelps County R-III boys team took first place at Northwood Tournament, finishing their season with 12-2 record.
  The 2018-2019 Missouri Basketball Coaches Association basketball poll #2 ranked Licking boys as number 6 with a 6-0 record, and Licking girls as number 2 with a 7-0 record, in Class 3.
  Long-time educator Clara Mae Black of Edgar Springs celebrated her 100th birthday December 15th.

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