Looking back: 2018 in review Part One

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

From drought to record rainfall in some areas, and from early autumn heat to a November blizzard, 2018 garnered some records for weather during 2018. As we step into 2019, let’s take a look back at what other highlights were in the news.
January
The Concordia Branch of Trails Regional Library completed renovations to its 813 S. Main St. location in early January of 2018.The renovations included new furnishings and wall décor, re-tinting of the facility’s windows, and various additional updates. The library also held special events honoring the late Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Later in the month, the Trails Regional Library Board of Directors accepted the resignation of director Mike Greife. A five-member search committee was formed with the aim of naming a new director at the board’s April 19, 2018, meeting.
The Concordia Second Saturday group worked hard to complete the task, and in early January officials announced the reformation of the Concordia Community Betterment Association. The local association became a member of Missouri Community Betterment, as well. The original Concordia Community Betterment Association was formed some 50 years earlier.
Attorney Scott C. Hamilton was sworn in as Concordia Municipal Judge on Jan. 18, filling a vacancy left when Randall W. Shackelford resigned from the position at the end of 2017.
On Jan. 23, the Lafayette County Commission announced that – beginning March 1 – all dispatching services currently being provided by Lafayette County would be sub-contracted to the city of Higginsville. Fire districts impacted by the change included those in the cities of Alma, Corder, Lexington, Mayview, Odessa, Waverly and Wellington-Napoleon. City police departments impacted included Alma, Bates City, Corder, Lake Lafayette, Lexington, Napoleon, Waverly and Wellington.
A crowd of more than 700 friends, family and well wishers from several communities gathered for a special event held at the Concordia Community Center on Jan. 27 to benefit for Darrin Woodall of Concordia. Woodall was undergoing treatment for cancer at the time. The event included a dinner and auction, and raised in excess of $85,000 for the Woodall family.
February
The Rev. Michael Pottschmidt was installed as senior pastor at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, in Concordia, on Sunday, Feb. 4.
Freezing rain and drizzle combined to cause numerous traffic accidents in the Concordia area on Feb. 5, especially along Interstate 70. Emergency responders had their hands full responding to a number of calls, especially around 3 p.m. that day.
The Cordes family tractor collection was the focus of a filming of RFD-TV’s “On the Road With Machinery Pete” on Feb. 6. The collection of John Deere tractors, and interviews with members of the Cordes family, were highlighted by Tyne Morgan, news anchor and host of U.S. Farm Report, and Greg Peterson, host of the “Machinery Pete” television program on RFD-TV to be televised at later dates.
Also during February, the Lafayette County Commission published its 2018 budget letter, which listed a budget of $5,784,735.45 for fiscal year 2018.
The Saint Paul Lutheran High School Saints boys basketball team finished a perfect conference season with a 61-44 victory over the Crest Ridge Cougars on Feb. 14. The Saints had secured the I-70 Conference championship prior to the Senior Night finale.
The last full week of February was filled with all sorts of precipitation, including rain, sleet, freezing rain, snow, and freezing drizzle. The Blackwater River swelled over its banks and covered part of Missouri Highway 23 south of Concordia.
March
Mountain men and tradesmen made their way to the Concordia Community Center for the annual Blackwater Buckskinners Trade Fair on Saturday, March 3. Items available to purchase at the event included handmade knives, elk skin coats, hand-tooled leather sheaths, iron cookware, beads, assorted weaponry, and even a complete bearskin.
The Concordia R-2 Board of Education hired Jennifer Greer, of Higginsville, to fill the position of Special Education Director for the 2018-2019 school year. Greer was hired to take over the position being vacated by Melinda Beydler, who had announced her retirement as of the end of the 2017-18 school year. Lois Brandt, who was finishing her 26th year in education, also announced her retirement.
St. Paul’s Lutheran School, in Concordia, celebrated National Lutheran Schools Week during the first week of March. During the special celebration, students meet for daily devotions and participate in various activities. This year, those activities included line dancing, playing card games, and watching movies. In addition, each year the students do a service project. The project for 2018 was collecting toiletries for an organization called Kids 4 Vets.
April
The April 3, 2018 municipal election saw the re-election of Michael Brown as mayor of Concordia as aldermen Ken Fuchs and Dwight Emde retained their seats on the Concordia Board of Aldermen.
Winter made an early spring appearance once again as a fresh blanket of snow accumulated in the area on Sunday evening, April 8.
Ladies in the Concordia area got their “red carpet glam” on at the 5th Annual Concordia Piccadilly Auction, held April 6 at the Concordia Community Center. Over 100 items valued at more than $13,000 had been donated to the event. The event is sponsored by Concordia Main Street and the Concordia Area Chamber of Commerce, and is the main fundraiser for both organizations annually.
New members of the Concordia R-2 Board of Education were sworn-in at the April 12 regular meeting of the board. There had been three candidates for two open seats, with Tim Kirchhoff and Steven Borgstadt being elected. Members then nominated, and elected by acclamation officers for the 2018-19 school year. They were Alan Deatherage, president; Jami Benson, vice president; Andrew Oetting, secretary; and Jeff Schlueter, treasurer.
The Concordia Civic Club donated $4,000 to the City of Concordia Parks and Recreation Department to help fund sports complex renovations to include foul ball protection and a shade area.
The Saint Paul Lutheran High School Servants of the Saints Rummage Sale was held April 26-28 in the Weis Gym Annex on the SPLHS campus. The event has been held twice each year for the past 10 years. Proceeds go toward projects to benefit the students at SPLHS.
And on April 29, the Victory Christian Fellowship Church in Waverly was damaged by a fire that reportedly started in a furnace room between the first and second floors on and was contained to the east side of the building.
May
The Concordia Area Chamber of Commerce announced the recipients of two 2018 Chamber Scholarships. Cameron David Cooper, son of Brent and Kathy Cooper and a student at Concordia High School, and Micah John Gerdts, son of Chris and Amy Gerdts and a student at Saint Paul Lutheran High School, were the recipients.
The City of Concordia announced the launch a new official website on May 7. Mayor Michael Brown said that, after months of hard work and dedication by the administrative staff, he was delighted to officially announce the launch of the site. The address is www.concordiamo.org. The site includes maps of the area, online payment information, and general information beneficial to new residents. Brown said the city will be continually upgrading and making changes with the sites technology as time progresses.
On May 21, Run for The Wall made it’s 10th stop in Concordia on its journey from California to Washington D.C. More than 500 motorcyclists and support staff were in town for the event, as well as nearly 40 law enforcement personnel from around the state of Missouri.
The Carson and Barnes “Circus Saurus” came to town for two shows on May 22. The shows featured traditional circus acts as well as a chance for audience members to ride an elephant.
Concordia Veterans Honor Guard hosted a Memorial Day ceremony in Concordia’s Central Park at noon on May 28. In addition, the group traveled to various cemeteries throughout the area to hold similar services prior to the ceremony in Concordia.
June
Traffic patterns were changed at the junction of Interstate 70 and Highway 65 in Saline County by the Missouri Department of Transportation beginning June 14. The changes were part of a multi-phase bridge rehabilitation project that last through the year.
Three Concordia High School juniors, and three from Saint Paul Lutheran High School, were selected by Concordia American Legion Post No. 258 to attend Missouri Boys State June 16-23. Tad Deatherage, Matthew Gatewood and Turner Yount from CHS, and Christopher Marsh, Andrew Self and Wyatt Todd from SPLHS attended the event held at the University of Central Missouri in Warrensburg.
Three students from Concordia High School and three from Saint Paul Lutheran High School were chosen by Concordia American Legion Post No. 258 Auxiliary to attend the 2018 Missouri Girls State event held June 24-30. Kerstin Martens, Malaina Pitsch and Tori Ritzma, all from Saint Paul Lutheran High School, and Alexis Borgstadt, Jacey Smith and Justice Workman from Concordia High School all attended the event.
The Lafayette County Health Department held a countywide emergency response exercise on June 28. The exercise was held on the campus of Lafayette County C-1 High School in Higginsville and tested many components of the county’s disaster plan. A major part of the testing focused on receiving people from all over the county, leading them through points of dispensing to get needed medicines, and then to help them get back home.

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