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Friday, May 6, 2016

2009 in Review

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

This year has had some tough times and some good ones. The year 2010 offers perhaps a brighter future, but it's always good to look back at the previous year and remember all the good things that happened as well as the bad and hope for the best for the coming year. Happy New Year.


Revised flood plain maps put together by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) were made available for Thayer. The revised maps reduced the flood plain considerably.

George Underwood took over duties of the Oregon County Sheriff Jan. 1. He supervises all of the deputies and makes sure everything at the sheriff's department is ran well.

The Oregon County Workshop in Alton announced that they were moving to the old John Deere store on Highway 160. The new building nearly doubled the workshop's space. The Oregon County Workshop has a thrift store and does paper and clothes recycling as well as car detail work.

The Couch Lady Indians claimed the Walnut Grove title with a record of 9-0 in basketball games.

The first baby of the year, Laura Faith Miller, daughter of Rebecca and Matthew Miller of Salem weighed 7 pounds, 2 ounces and was 19 inches long. She was born at White River Medical Center in Batesville at 5 a.m., Jan. 1, 2009. The Millers also have a 6-year-old named Grace.

A controlled fire near the Sherwood Park in Thayer got out of hand due to high winds Jan. 7. The fire burned an outbuilding and the backyard of Fred Barnett. The Thayer Fire Department was able to put out the fire quickly.

Mammoth Spring City Council members and the city's recorder treasurer were sworn-in at the Jan. 5 Mammoth Spring City Council meeting. Councilmen sworn in were, Jim Mills, Daniel Busch, Peggy Smith and Larry Burns. Joan Baker was sworn in as the recorder treasurer.

Brock M. Felton, 33, of Sage, a former Izard County Consolidated School band and choir teacher and a school bus driver, was convicted of a total of 16 counts of sexual crimes on Jan. 9. Four of those crimes were sexual assault in the second degree and 12 were sexual indecency convictions. The trial began Jan. 5 and lasted until Jan. 10.

Base Paramedic Supervisor Scott Moody was recognized for having completed 1,000 flights with the Air Evac Lifeteam. About 65 flight crew employees out of 900 have received this honor in the company, according to an Air Evac press release.

The Missouri Football Coaches Association (MFBCA) selected four Bobcat football players to its Academic All-State team. Nick Allen, Lance Schneider, Ryan Veatch and Jacob Eckman were all named to the squad for the Class 1 runners-up from Thayer. Schneider and Eckman were also named to the All-State football team a few weeks earlier.

Glenn Ray Bishop and Ethel Faye Abney Bishop celebrated 50 years of marriage Jan. 17. They were married at Salem, Ark., on Jan. 17, 1959.

Downtown Thayer was flooded from breaks in three water mains. The water mains were on Chestnut Street. When city employees tried to shut off the water, a valve at the old elementary school broke, as well. Thayer Alderman Mike Harber said the breaks drained most of the water out of a city well totaling approximately 60,000 to 80,000 gallons of water.

Jay Nixon was sworn in as Governor of Missouri Jan. 12, by Chief Justice Laura Stith on the south steps of the Capitol.

More than 300 schools across Missouri, including two in Oregon County; Thayer and Couch; qualified for the state's "Distinction in Performance" award. According to Thayer Superintendent Rod Priest, the award is presented to schools on the basis of their academic achievements and progress during the last school year.

Areawide Media announced that Areawide Marketplace was to debut Jan. 28 on the Web site www.areawidemarketplace.com. Residents in the quad-county area can view local businesses online to find what they need.

Ozarka College announced plans to look for a new president after Dr. Dusty Johnston told board members of his plans to go back to Texas to become president of Vernon College.

An ultrasound clinic opened in Salem Jan. 21 to offer better care to patients who live in the area so they will not have to travel far to have an ultrasound performed. Doctors Diagnostics, LLC, is operated by doctors Jim Bozeman, Michael Camp and Rebecca Phillips. The clinic is in suite two of the Shaver Office Complex.

Vern and Verbal Isenhower celebrated their 80th wedding anniversary Jan. 26. The couple were married in Salem, Ark.

Michael Amick, 32, of Myrtle, remained in the Oregon County Jail charged with first-degree felony murder and second degree felony arson. The charges were filed in connection with the death of Leona Maxine Vaughn whose body was found in a house fire Dec. 2.


All Areawide newspapers including The South Missourian News ran specials on the ice storm that hit the area the last few days of January and into February. Many people were without power for several days to up to two weeks. Emergency shelters were opened as electric crews worked on downed power lines and road departments were out clearing roads. Many residents volunteered their time to cut their way through brush to check on neighbors. In some areas, there was as much as six inches of ice on everything.

The city of Thayer was recently mandated by the Missouri Department of Natural Resources (DNR) to upgrade the water and sewer system in the city by 2011. Councilmen said the cost of such a project would be approximately $4 million.

Peter DiNoto and Dolores Bolien of Salem were united in marriage on Feb. 2. He is 92 and she is 84.

Bobbie and Glen Russell celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary Feb. 14 at the Thayer Elementary lunchroom.

Michael King of Thayer was selected as Thayer's Firefighter of the Year. King started volunteering at the fire department while he was a senior in high school in 1998. The selection of the Firefighter of the Year is made every year by the members of the Thayer Volunteer Fire Department.

Five people were injured in a two-vehicle accident Feb. 14 at 11:35 p.m., five miles north of Thayer on Highway 63. James L. Pickett, 41, of Thayer crossed the center of the highway striking Joshua Alexander, 29, of Mammoth Spring head on. Both Pickett and Alexander received serious injuries in the accident. Three passengers in the Alexander vehicle were injured in the accident. Karen Alexander, 29, of Mammoth Spring received serious injuries. Two other passengers in the Alexander vehicle, Franklin D. French, 39 of Mammoth Spring and Kristi J, Taylor 31, also of Mammoth Spring received moderate injuries in the accident. All five were taken by ambulance to Ozarks Medical Center in West Plains.

The 20th annual Country Cares for Kids Radio-Thon was held Feb. 11 on K-Kountry 95 and AM 1290 the Gift. According to Program Director Mike Crase, the radio-thon raised about $104,000 for the kids at St. Judes. Alton School had the largest donation of $5,524.

According to Renee' Church from Alton Elementary School, the elementary students at the school set a goal to raise $2,500. One of the custodians, Kalan Roberts challenged the students to raise $4,000 and he would shave his head. The art teacher, Ed Hackworth, and the physical education teacher, Dave Quinn, added they would shave their heads if students could raise $5,000.

The Arkansas State Highway 289 Bridge over English Creek between Mammoth Spring and Saddle was put on the National Register of Historic Places. It is a Pratt thru-truss bridge that was built in 1929 by the Virginia Bridge and Iron Company.

Gaston Orahood signed a letter of intent Feb. 11 to play golf at Church and Lyon College in Batesville next season.

Mr. and Mrs. Zollie Orosz of Highland celebrated their 65th wedding anniversary on Feb. 21.

Richard and Betty Robinson celebrated their golden wedding anniversary on Saturday, Feb. 28 at the Thayer Free Will Baptist Church where Richard pastors.

Lee and Helen Campbell of Viola, Ark., celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary Feb. 23. The couple were married in 1959 at Center Pointe, Ark.

Hollis and Maurine Cathey celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary Feb. 28.


Army Pvt. Devin Reihm graduated from basic combat training at Fort Jackson, Columbia, S.C. He is the son of Teresa J. Reihm of Sturkie, Ark., and grandson of T.J. Peterson of Bakersfield, Mo. The private is a 2008 graduate of Salem High School.

The Thayer Fire Department responded to a house fire Feb. 27 on Sunset Street in Thayer. The house belonged to Susan Horton. She was returning home when she saw smoke coming from the house.

Columbia Flooring in Melbourne, Ark., announced that it would be closing its doors for an indefinite amount of time in May. Many people lost their jobs.

Ed Hamilton, 44, the owner, operator of the Alton Animal Rescue was charged with animal abuse and neglect when investigators found about 23 dead dogs laying around the facility.

Micah Stevens of Thayer High School was recently recognized as one of the top prep standouts in the nation with her nomination to the McDonald's All-American High School Girls Basketball Team.

Donald and Tyma Sellers celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary Saturday, March 7.

An Alton woman, Lisa R. Harrell (Claudio), 26, was charged with two counts of class C felony assault after she allegedly shot a child and a man. She and Larry Sisco had been fighting. Claudio put a gun to her mouth and as Sisco pulled the gun away from her bullets fired shooting Sisco's grandson and Richard Williams.

Ozarks Medical Center in West Plains celebrated 50 years of service to the area March 2. A campaign began to develop West Plains Memorial Hospital in 1954 with a ground breaking in 1957.

The Arbor Day Foundation awarded the city of Mammoth Spring with a Tree City USA distinction for the fourth year in a row. The city also received the Growth Award which recognizes environmental and higher levels of tree care in Tree City USA communities.

Wyatt Denton Goff, the son of Dusty and Jessica Goff, was born Feb. 19. Jessica Goff is Areawide Media's Web master and news editor. Wyatt was born at the White River Medical Center in Batesville, and weighed 7 pounds, 12.8 ounces and was 19.5 inches long.

Ola Risner celebrated her 103rd birthday March 15 at the West View Rehabilitation and Nursing Facility in West Plains.

Couch School was hyped up with the Couch Lady Indians heading to the Class 2 Final Four at Mizzou Arena in Columbia.

The Mammoth Spring National Fish Hatchery announced that it will be expanding. The hatchery will have a new $3 million Visitor and Environmental Education Center. The hatchery welcomes around 100,000 visitors each year. The center will be the second such facility in the entire southeastern United States. The other one is located in Jamestown, Ky.

Alton resident Christopher Sisco was awarded the Navy Marine Corps Achievement Medal.

Seth Godwin, a student at Mammoth Spring High School, was named an Arkansas state finalist for Wendy's High School Heisman award.

Donald and Patti Sanders of Viola announced the marriage of their daughter, Mysti Hope to John Robert Burton, son of Bill and Julie Burton of Claremore, Okla., on March 20 in the Thorncrown Chapel in Eureka Springs, Ark. Patti Sanders is Areawide Media's composing manager.

The Mammoth Spring, Camp and Thayer Fire Departments responded to an out-building fire March 20 at the George Cue residence at 355 South Fifth Street in Mammoth Spring. No one was injured.

The Couch Lady Indians fell to the Sparta Lady Trojans in the Class 2 semi-final matchup in Columbia.

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