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2021 Year in Review July – December

Photo by Christy Porter

By Christy Porter, Managing Editor

July – Independence Day was celebrated the afternoon and evening of July 4th. Many activities were held at Deer Lick Park and a parade traveled down Main Street. The day culminated with fireworks at the park. Neighboring Edgar Springs held a “Let Freedom Ring” celebration.

Malachi Antle and Cole Wallace earned All State Baseball honors.

The remainder of the VFW Post #6337 murals made by the SCCC Restorative Justice program were hung at the post by IECA. The historical landmark building now honors our U.S. military services, VFW membership and our town.

State Representative Bennie Cook was honored with a Freshman Legislator of the Year Award.

The Rt. 63 Car Club held their 36th Annual Rt. 63 Car & Bike Show. The car club generously supports benevolent needs within our community.

Licking Residential Care held a successful fish fry and auction to raise funds for the facility’s activities and Christmas festivities.

Texas County team members were among those who participated in the 2021 4-H Shooting Sports National Championships in June. The announcement was received that the Missouri team won third-place honors.

State Representative Bennie Cook welcomed Texas County students to the state capitol.

Phelps Health Foundation Community Advocacy Council – Texas County held their inaugural meeting.

KALACo Motors, LLC, a new-used auto dealership, opened for business in Licking.

Kissiar Sunflower Patch hosted a season-opening event.

Gray Construction poured the concrete for the new modular building that will house additional classrooms for Licking Elementary School.

The Texas County Fair was held July 27 through July 31 with numerous exhibitors and lots of winners. The Ware-Huff Farm was also honored as a Century Farm.

State Representative Bennie Cook recognized the 175th Anniversary of Texas County at the Texas County Fair.

August – Statewide celebrations were held in honor of Missouri’s 200th anniversary of statehood on August 10. Licking also celebrated with a well-attended Lick Mo’ Ice Cream social held that evening.

Montauk State Park hosted a kid’s free fishing day and Dorman L. Steelman Lodge joined in the fun hosting a Kid’s Trout Tournament. A Summer’s End Kids’ Free Fishing Day was also held on August 7.

Texas County Coroner Marie Lasater was elected Troop G Director of the Missouri Coroners and Medical Examiners Association.

Sections of the Licking Elementary School modular building were brought in for assembly.

Licking Elementary School welcomed Julianna Thrasher as their new principal prior to the beginning of the 2021 – 2022 school year.

Area secondary and elementary schools resumed the fourth week of August, with Edgar Springs and Raymondville schools beginning four-day school weeks. A prayer walk was held for Licking R-VIII schools prior to students returning.

Edgar Prairie Days were celebrated with contests, food, a gospel singing, shows, vendors and a parade.

The East Gate Bridge closed to area Fort Leonard Wood commuters; the closing continued through the end of the year. It is not expected to reopen until sometime in late 2022 while improvements are made.

Licking was well represented at the Missouri State Fair in Sedalia. Four Licking area residents participated in the festivities. They were Lanie Frick, Sophia DeLaat, and Stacie and Cadrian Hutsell.

September – Monarch butterflies were released and took flight from the Habina homestead, with a total of over 100 before the season end.

The Third Annual LPHC Bike Show was held at Licking Pentecostal Holiness Church the first weekend of September.

Wildcat Baseball repeated as Frisco League Tournament Champions.

Varsity Cross Country competed at the Richard Clark Invitational, medals continued to climb after they competed at the Hermitage Invitational.

The Licking Police Department announced their new K-9 team with Officer Kaleb Berkshire and K-9 Officer Atos.

The VFW Post #6337 Dignified Disposal of Unserviceable Flags Ceremony was resumed with area fifth and sixth graders. The ceremony was not held in 2020 due to COVID health concerns.

A Service in the Park was held by the Licking Ministerial Alliance.

The Query Club disbanded after 74-years.

Former Texas County Sheriff James L. Sigman and former Deputy Jennifer H. Tomaszewski were found guilty of forgery after over three years in court proceedings. They received sentences of three-years probation in December.

Volleyball Wildcats won the Cabool Invitational Tournament.

Kasey Richards and JB Huff brought home medals after participating in the West Plains Invitational as part of the Wildcat Cross Country team.

Texas County 4-H Shooters finished with first place wins.

The “See you at the Pole” prayer rally was held at Licking High School as part of the annual nationwide rally.

Rock Springs Baptist Church celebrated 150 years with fellowship, food and music.

Local resident Jennifer Smith was inducted into the Jewell Hall of Fame in honor of a 1983 winning season. Smith later coached for the Licking School District.

The Licking Rural Volunteer Fire Department visited Sonshine and Rainbow Day School. They, along with other local preschools, would also receive a visit from the Licking Police Department in October.

October – The 58th Annual Rose Holland Trout Derby was held the first weekend of October at Montauk State Park. The event raises funds for the American Heart Association.

Also the first weekend of October found Buckner & Gately Auction Service at a new location on East Highway 32. A remaining building from the Licking Livestock Auction was remodeled for their purposes.

A follow-up review by State Auditor Nicole Galloway showed remaining concerns for the City of Edgar Springs.

The Licking Fall Festival held at the historic Licking Mill continued with old favorites of the fundraiser, vendors, storytelling, tours, raffles, a pumpkin parade and food; new this year was an old-fashioned quilt turning.

Intercounty Electric Cooperative Association served lunch on October 7 as part of their IECA Member Appreciation Day; October 9 they hosted a free movie night, one of many throughout their service area.

The Knights of Columbus St. Gabriel Council 12650 remained active, holding their annual Tootsie Roll drive and dispersing charitable donations to area organizations.

Lady ‘Cats won the LHS Classic.

The Sonic Motorcycle Cruise-In participants held a rain delayed final cruise-in for the year in order to finish gathering toys for the annual Chamber of Commerce toy give-away at the Christmas festivities.

Senator Roy Blunt visited Texas County Memorial Hospital and discussed rural health care.

R & S Track continued with a good turnout at the SMTTPA Truck and Tractor Pull that benefits the FFA.

FFA and 4-H (Grassland) teams advanced to state, and the Texas County 4-H Shooter placed in the Missouri State 4-H competition.

Peggy Seyler was named interim county clerk after Laura Crowley’s resignation. Governor Mike Parson appointed Seyler Texas County Clerk in December.

The Licking United Community Help Center received a facility renovation.

Lady ‘Cats finished second in District 9 volleyball, while Kasey Richards took first and Boys Cross Country won at the conference meet.

There were hauntings at the Montauk Mill in Montauk State Park again this year, among other festivities.

Licking United Methodist Church held their Fall Fest.

Kim Townsend opened a taxidermy shop on Main Street, and while not open to the public we welcome the industry to our small town.

“Light the Night” and activities at the Licking “Haunted Mill” had an attendance of over 500 people celebrating Halloween.

The Licking News recognized several U.S. Veterans beginning in October and leading up to Veteran’s Day, November 11.

Missouri School Boards Association (MSBA) withdrew from the National School Boards Association (NSBA) due to inconsistencies with First Amendment rights for parents.

November – Texas County Memorial Hospital hosted a health fair.

Senator Karla Eslinger visited Hickory Manor showing support for special concerns resulting from COVID-19, and staff burnout and shortages at care facilities. While here she also visited the Licking Senior Center and gifted U.S. and Missouri flags.

Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes were sent off from area churches and generous benefactors.

The LHS Art Club held an art fair in cooperation with local artists.

Honoring veterans November 11, LHS hosted a Veterans Assembly, the VFW held the annual Veterans Day Memorial Service, the Licking Library hosted a special Story Time with a veteran guest and St. John Catholic Church held an evening prayer service and rosary. Veterans were saluted and those lost in the previous year were remembered by area businesses in the November 11 edition of The Licking News.

Kasey Richards, JB Huff and Levi Stout advanced to the State Cross Country Meet where they represented their school well.

Licking Pentecostal Holiness Church held their annual Chili and Dessert Cookoff.

The Licking 4-H Club held an Awards Banquet.

Kylie Taylor was named All State and All District Volleyball. Hannah Medlock also received All District honors and Abbie Sullins and Kiley Ingram were named second team All District.

Beginning first semester instead of second semester this year, the Class of 2028 (current sixth graders) began construction of their Underground Railroad Quilt.

The Licking Senior Center enjoyed a generous and delicious Thanksgiving meal the week before the holiday, while the Knights of Columbus had a successful fish fry fundraiser.

Licking Assembly of God served over 100 members of the local community a Thanksgiving meal on Thanksgiving Day.

Salvation Army Red Kettle Drive kicked off and successfully continued through Christmas Eve.

Small business Saturday encouraged “Shop local,” and locally the Christmas season began with the “Lighting of the Mill” and Santa making his first appearance.

The CMS COVID-19 Health Care Staff Vaccination mandate received a preliminary injunction “pending a trial on the merits of the action or until further order of the court.”

December – Jim Hagler, Town & Country Insurance agent, was honored for his 50 years of dedication and helping customers with their insurance needs.

Licking celebrated “It’s a Charlie Brown Christmas” with a traditional first Saturday of December event date. Activities included vendors at the VFW hall, the Texas County Museum of Art & History with local artists, LHS Art Club Show, Book Nook giving school children a free book, a window decorating contest, a Buckner & Gately Auction, Sonshine & Rainbow Day School fish fry fundraiser, the Chamber of Commerce toy giveaway with Santa and a Christmas parade. The Rock House Vintage Market, Designs and Event Rental celebrated their first anniversary that day as well.

Saturday evening the Licking Christian Church hosted a “Spirit of Giving” sharing the joy of Christmas; in following days the Boone Creek Baptist Church, Abounding Hope Church and the Rt. 63 Car Club would also share the spirit of giving.

Lady ‘Cats won the Frisco League Tournament and the Wildcats placed third.

Photo by Shari Harris

The 2021 Licking Rodeo was awarded the best New Rodeo of the Year from the Missouri Rodeo Cowboy Association.

The Licking choir participated in the First Annual South Central Missouri Christmas Choir Program at the Missouri State Capitol on December 8. This was followed by the Licking High School Winter Concert the following day and the Elementary School Christmas Program the 10th.

Edgar Springs held their Breakfast with Santa and parade Saturday, November 11.

Precautions taken in response to nationwide active shooter threats on the last day of school before the Christmas holidays would show cooperation between school officials and area law enforcement.

Perhaps Santa’s last Licking appearance until Christmas Eve was the Saturday prior at the Licking Library.

Fox Funeral Home held their Holiday Remembrance Service with the families and friends of lost loved ones.

Lewis & Sons continued the annual tradition of Customer Appreciation Fish Fry on Christmas Eve, and Licking Christian Church provided a traditional Christmas Day dinner, at the church or delivered.

In spite of numerous challenges, crime related incidents, and COVID-19 and variants a part of health concerns, our small town persevered… with charity and cooperation we saw growth and experienced fellowship. We will continue this tradition into the new year of 2022!

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