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Saturday, Apr. 30, 2016

2008: A look back

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

The Thayer Fire Department was aided by the West Plains Fire Department and the Mammoth Spring Fire Department as they battled a fire at the Chestnut Inn during the early morning hours April 9. Thayer Fire Chief Norman Todd said the building was a total loss. Photo by Jill Bounds
2008 was a busy year in the Oregon County, Mammoth Spring area with a fire and death at the county jail, local residents receiving achievements and awards and much more. Here is brief review of the news from January through June.


One of the three men that survived the fire in the Oregon County Jail in September 2007 was arrested once again on a felony resisting arrest charge, interfering with an arrest and a probation violation.

E-Communications owned by Bill and Lynn Hobbs and Bob and Rebecca Eckman purchased the Ozark Advertising Network.

In an effort to freeze the dense vegetation at the lake at Mammoth Spring State Park, it was drained.

A spring-like storm with strong straight-line winds ripped through the county causing damage but no one was injured.

An Alton woman, Sherry Williams, 50, was killed in a car accident on U.S. 160, seven miles east of Alton.

Oregon County Presiding Commissioner Leo Warren announced that passing lanes would be constructed on Highway 63 between Thayer and West Plains.

A house and an outbuilding where James and Fancy Rudd lived near Mammoth Spring was destroyed by fire. No one was injured.

Winds in excess of 60 mph came through the Oregon County/Mammoth Spring area Jan. 29 causing damage but no injuries.


Oregon County did not go the way of the country in the Feb. 5 Missouri Presidential Primary. Mike Huckabee won on the Republican ticket and Hillary Clinton won on the Democratic ticket.

A Pomona man, Daniel Coughlin, 35, was arrested at the Chestnut Inn in Thayer on a weapons charge.

A Billmore man, Junior Roberts, found tornado items on his farm from as far away as Mountain View, Ark., after a tornado ripped through northern Arkansas Feb. 5. He returned many of the items such as business signs and photos to their rightful owners.

A meeting was held at the courthouse in Alton to discuss FEMA maps in the county.

An Alton man, Justin Crews, 21, was killed in a one-vehicle accident Feb. 24.

The Welcome Hill Church of Christ united with the Stateline Church of Christ to help people in the area with their Necessities of Life program.

A Couch High School student, Jessica Jones, was elected president of the Region 9 FCCLA chapter.


An Alton girl, Angelica Thomas, 9, won a national poetry contest with her poem "America."

Thayer Schools received meat that was in a national recall.

The Region G Hazardous Material Team was called out March 4 to assist with a tractor-trailer that had jack-knifed on Highway 19 on the north side of the Eleven Point River on Greer Hill. Lighter fluid, that the tanker was hauling, was spilling from the truck.

A West Plains man, Otis Lambert, 52, was charged with animal abuse in Oregon County after some horses were found on his property not being taken care of.

Sue King, 73, of Mammoth Spring shot Gerry Adams, 50, also of Mammoth Spring in the chest with a handgun. King was not charged in the shooting. Adams was taken to a Springfield hospital where he was treated.

In late March heavy rains created flooding in the Oregon County/Mammoth Spring area.


After heavy March rains, Thayer Fun and Friends Senior Citizen Center moved to the Masonic Lodge due to water seepage in their building downtown.

FEMA made visits to Alton and Thayer to view damage done by flooding.

The blue toilet started making its way around the Thayer area to raise funds for the American Cancer Society's Relay for Life.

A part of Thayer history went up in flames April 9 when a fire destroyed the Chestnut Inn. No one was injured but the Inn was completely destroyed.

A West Plains teenager, Gage Grantee, 17, was killed in a one-vehicle accident April 5 near Thomasville.

Another round of major flooding hit the Oregon County/Mammoth Spring area April 10, flooding many homes and businesses.

Mammoth Spring Mayor Jean Pace announced the city would be receiving a new storm siren.

A large brown bear was killed one-mile north of Koshkonong April 20 when it was hit by a vehicle driven by Connie Roberts of Brandsville.


The first of May local residents began gearing up for the annual Relay for Life.

Dogwood Daze was held in Thayer May 3.

Fourteen cars of a Burlington Northern/Santa Fe Train ran off the tracks under the Highway 63 overpass. No one was injured.

Gas and diesel prices began to steadily rise as warm weather came to the area. University Extension Farm Management Specialist Stacy Hambelton announced he would be leaving his job with Extension because he and his family were moving.

On May 12 National Tourism Day was celebrated at that Mammoth Spring State Park.

Two area towns, Koshkonong and Alton, received USDA Rural Development funds to purchase new storm sirens for their communities.

A Thayer woman, Mary Hurtt, 56, was charged with embezzling $600,000 from White Electric of West Plains while she was employed there.

Cody Davis, 19, of Alton filed a lawsuit in District Court seeking $1.1 million in damages against Sheriff Tim Ward and Oregon County. Davis was one of the men in the fire at the Oregon County Jail Sept 6, 2007.

The Leo Rainey Appreciation Banquet and Annual Meeting hosted by the Arkansas Gateway Region was held in Mammoth Spring May 12.

FEMA came to the county May 14 to look at damage done by spring rains.

Billy Joe Florence, 43, of Sheridan, Ark., drowned May 24 while floating the Eleven Point River.

The Alton School District received a Distinction Award from the Missouri Department of Education.


A Thayer man, Clyde Webb, 83, received serious injuries May 2 in a one-vehicle accident two miles north of Koshkonong on Highway 63.

On June 3, two Burlington Northern/Santa Fe Trains collided near Mammoth Spring State Park. Some of the derailed cars landed in Mammoth Spring Lake. No one was injured.

Several local businesses tossed their tomatoes after a nation-wide salmonella outbreak.

Oregon County Emergency Preparedness Director Eric King announced county residents had until June 26 to apply for federal assistance due to spring flooding.

The Thayer Chamber of Commerce selected the Steed Brothers as the citizen's of the year. They were honored with a plaque at the June 23 Chamber Banquet.

Three local fire departments, Thayer, BB Road and Alton, received checks from the Missouri Department of Conservation to buy needed equipment for their departments.

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