Looking back: 2018 in review, Part Two

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

From drought to heavy 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 continue to take a look back at what other highlights were in the news.

In late June, destructive thunderstorms came through the Concordia area. The weather system spawned a tornado that brought damage to a family farm located off Route PP southeast of Concordia.
U.S. Congressmen Emanuel Cleaver II hosted a town hall meeting July 2 in Higginsville to discuss trade relations with local businessmen, farmers and agricultural leaders. Cleaver’s special guest for the meeting was Canadian Consul General John Cruikshank. The meeting was very well attended, and the question and answer format led to some good discussion opportunities.
State and municipal politics was the focus when newly appointed Missouri Governor Mike Parson met for a roundtable discussion with eight area mayors at a special meeting at Odessa’s Upper Middle School on July 11. Discussions focused on workforce development and infrastructure, which included broadband Internet access for rural areas, transportation, wastewater facility upgrades and regulations. Mayors from Chillicothe, Concordia, Holden, Knob Noster, Lexington, Odessa, Richmond and Warsaw attended the event.
On July 12, a group called Concordia Senior Citizens, Inc. held a pubic forum to seek direction concerning the future of the physical location of the Concordia Senior Center at 706 and 710 S. Main St. in Concordia. Several options were presented at the well-attended meeting, including making repairs to the existing location, purchasing and upgrading a vacant building in town and moving the CSC operation to that location, or building a new facility all-together. After surveys of attendees were tabulated, the decision was made to make necessary repairs and improvements to the current location and to continue to house CSC operations there.
At the annual meeting of the Concordia Area Chamber of Commerce, held July 26, the chamber named member Cindy Stuenkel as the 2018 Steve Burrow Service Award recipient. The award is given annually in honor of the late Steve K. Burrow’s commitment to connecting business and community.

On Aug. 6, fire personnel and deputies were dispatched to an area south of Interstate 70 and east of McDaniel Road, in Bates City, regarding suspicious activity. They found a vehicle on fire. The fire was extinguished, and upon further investigation, a body was found in the truck of the vehicle. An investigation by the Jackson County Medical Examiner’s office was underway at the time of publication in August.
The city of Concordia adopted a new seat belt and child restraint ordinance in August. The ordinance states that each driver and front seat passenger of a passenger car manufactured after Jan. 1, 1968, operated on a street or highway within the city limits of Concordia, shall wear a properly adjusted and fastened seat belt that meets federal requirements. In addition, every person transporting a child under the age of 16 years will be required to observe several rules aimed specifically at children and child safety seats and restraints.
State Bank of Missouri donated a check for $2,500 to Concordia Senior Citizens Inc., for the repairs and improvements that will be made to the Concordia Senior Center in the near future. According to CSCI president Vernon Ohrenberg, the project has an estimated cost of $42,250.
The 2018 Concordia Fall Festival queen candidates were announced. They included 16-year-old Caitlyn Bruns, 16-year-old Shelby Koch, 18-year-old Emily Kusel, 16-year-old Kailey Ohrenberg, 17-year-old Katie Rehkop and 17-year-old Justice Workman. At the start of the 2018 Concordia Fall Festival, Workman was crowned festival queen, Rehkop was named first runner-up and Koch was named second runner-up.
Concordia VFW Post No. 258 hosted local representatives of the 2018 Boys and Girls State events during a dinner on Aug. 14. Girls State representatives were Alexis Borgstadt, Kersten Martens, Malaina Pitsch, Tori Ritzma, Jacey Smith and Justice Workman. Boys State representatives were Tad Deatherage, Matt Gatewood, Christopher Marsh, Andrew Self, and Turner Yount.
The Concordia Area Chamber of Commerce welcomed a new member with a ribbon cutting at the new Bottle Ship liquor store, located at 531 S. Main St. in Concordia. The business is one of four such establishments owned by Bob and Bobby Dhillon. The other three are named Barti Liquors and are located in Lexington, Marshall and Odessa.
On Aug. 24, the Concordia R-2 School District hosted a back-to-school Party in the Park at Southside Park in Concordia. The events of the day carried a “Wizard of Oz” theme, with district administrators dressing up as characters from the story.

In September, a familiar face returned to town as Sarah Kirchhoff, M.D. became the primary care physician at the Western Missouri Family Health Clinic in Concordia. Kirchhoff graduated from Concordia High School in 2007 and completed undergraduate studies at Southeast Missouri State University in Cape Girardeau. She then completed her medical degree at the University of Missouri School of Medicine in Columbia.
During the 2018 Concordia Fall Festival, the Concordia Lions Club dedicated the new Lions Legacy Shelter House in Central Park. Club spokespersons said the shelter is to serve as a reminder of how important the local Lions Club is to the community and to create a lasting legacy of the club’s service contributions. Total cost of the facility was over $42,000 and funding was made possible with the participation and cooperation of the Lions Club, the City of Concordia, Meyer Motors, Inc., and the MFA Foundation.
The annual Concordia Fall Festival was plagued by an almost continual deluge of rain during its week-long run, but that did not deter fun-seekers from enjoying the many events served-up by the Fall Festival Committee.
The Concordia R-2 School District approved goals for the 2018-2019 school year at the Sept. 13 meeting. The goals include all students demonstrating continued growth on performance-based measures, increasing transitional skills for Special Education students, continuing to foster a positive culture in the district and community, and continuing to utilize technology to prepare students for technology rich post-secondary opportunities.
A new assisted living facility was showcased during an open house celebration at Good Shepherd Care Community on Sept. 30. Almost a year after the first residents moved into the new space, approximately 200 visitors came to mingle, snack and view the newest addition on the GSCC campus.

In October, members of the Concordia FFA traveled to Indianapolis, Ind., for the 91st National FFA Convention, held Oct. 24-17. Member Austin Freund was a National Finalist for his Dairy Production SAE. He competed at nationals and was recognized on stage during the convention.

An unexpected snow left a blanket of white across Concordia in the early hours of Nov. 8. The heavy snow, which began about midnight, totaled three inches before it stopped coming down by late morning.
Local veterans’ organizations American Legion Post No. 258 and VFW Post No. 5649 hosted a joint ceremony on Nov. 12 in honor of Veterans Day. The event marked the 100th anniversary of the signing of the armistice bringing an end to World War I and included the presentation of colors by the local veterans color guard. A stirring rendition of the national anthem was presented by the Saint Paul Lutheran High School vocal ensemble was followed by a flag-folding demonstration and a 21-gun salute. The event also included a reading of names and bell tolling for local fallen soldiers.
At the Nov. 15 meeting, the Concordia R-2 Board of Education approved a recommendation to buy solar power arrays to be placed atop three buildings of the district’s buildings to help reduce energy costs. An agreement to purchase the system outright from MC Power of Lee’s Summit for a total cost of $352,500 was approved. The agreement includes MC Power providing maintenance, and the district will receive a $115,000 rebate from Kansas City power & Light.
VFW Post No. 5649 and its auxiliary hosted a scholarship dinner for their Voice of Democracy and Patriot’s Pen contest winners. Winner of the Voice of Democracy contest include Jaren Adams—second place, Jules Bobzin—third place, and Abigail Rankin—first place. Winners of the Patriot’s Pen contest were Holly Brown—first place, Marissa Heins—second place, and Emma Johnson—third place.
At the Nov. 19 regular meeting of the Concordia Board of Aldermen, the board heard readings of ordinances that would call for an election to possibly change the terms of elected aldermen and the city’s mayor from two years to four years each. A third ordinance would call for a ballot proposition to be presented to voters that would amend the city code to allow the mayor and board of aldermen to appoint a person to fill the position of City Collector.
Another winter storm blasted through the area on Sunday, Nov. 25, leaving a trail of ice and up to five inches of snow.

Local sports announcer Greg Schmidt notched his 5,000th career broadcast of a game during his call of an I-70 Tournament basketball game at Concordia High School on Dec. 8. His career began at Santa Fe high School, where games he called were broadcast on KMMO radio.
Gov. Mike Parson visited the Missouri Veteran Home in Warrensburg on Dec. 6 to share in a special ceremony honoring Chief Petty Officer retired Earl Wanbaugh, a 100-year old survivor of Pearl Harbor who now reside in the home. Wanbaugh was in the United States Navy at the time of the Japanese attack on the Pacific fleet anchored at Pearl Harbor and was serving on the USS Pennsylvania. His ship was the first to return fire and its crew was able to bring down 15 Japanese warplanes.
The Concordia Board of Aldermen announced a change in meeting times for the next few months. Regular meetings of the board are held at 7 p.m. on the first and third Mondays of each month. From Dec. 3, 2018, until early April of 2019, the board will meet on meet at 5 p.m. instead of 7 p.m. The issue is to be revisited in early April.
Due to a technical outage, the Concordia Police Department experienced difficulties with its non-emergency lines on Dec. 27 and Dec. 28. The City of Concordia reported local 9-1-1 services are not affected, and that service was restored late Friday evening. The problem reportedly began just after noon on Thursday, Dec. 27, and continued throughout the day on Friday, Dec. 28.
According to a post at about 6 a.m. central time Friday on its Twitter feed, CenturyLink said it had discovered some additional technical problems as its service restoration efforts continued. CenturyLink added at that time it was continuing to make good progress.
According to CBS News, the outage of service affected customers in several states, including Missouri.

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