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Saturday, Apr. 30, 2016

A look back at 2009

Thursday, December 31, 2009

New beginnings, endings and changes have been plentiful in Monett and the surrounding area during the past year.

With the end of the first decade of the 21st Century just a year away, it is only appropriate to note the highlights of the year just concluded as recorded for posterity in the pages of The Monett Times.


With the turn of the calendar to 2009, Michael D. Garrett became the new municipal judge for the city of Monett. He succeeded Dale Burke.

The first baby born at Cox Monett Hospital in 2009 is Benjamin Rylie Corn, son of Jason and Rebecca Corn of Seligman. The little one arrived at 4:22 a.m. on New Year's Day.

Grants honoring Charles Cudney and Pauline Gage as founding board members of the Monett Area Community Foundation were awarded at the foundation's annual breakfast.

Rose basketball royalty

Rose basketball homecoming royalty at Monett High School was decided in early January. Royalty are queen Erin Daugherty, senior attendant Stephanie Whisman, junior attendant Keli Cornell, sophomore attendant Anna Arnaud and freshman attendant Jordan VanLue.

In an effort to leverage its business strength and commitment to helping its customers save time and money, EFCO Corporation in Monett opened a new service center in Las Vegas, Nev.

Ways to improve downtown Monett were offered by Jay Garrott, with the Drury University Center for Community Studies, at a meeting at the Monett Chamber of Commerce office.

Land purchased

Harold Schelin, president of the Monett Industrial Development Corporation board, announced completion of the purchase of two 40-acre tracts of land from the Parscale estate directly east of the Monett Municipal Airport.

The Monett Cubs wrestling team captured first place in the 37th annual Monett Wrestling Tournament held in mid-January.

Earning recognition on the Missouri Football Coaches Association All-State team in Class 3A from the Monett Cubs were Beau Bounous, Jacob Barker, Kyle Meyer, Kellen Bounous, Jason Obermann, Clint Cloud and Michael Roberts.

Schoen Equipment, the 40-year-old farm equipment business based in Freistatt, became an outlet for Larson Farm and Lawn, based in Springfield.

Witnessing inauguration

Five Monettans were in Washington D.C. on Jan. 20 to winess the inauguration of Barack Obama as the 44th president of the United States. They were Ryan Rhodes, Zoe Rhodes, Jason Rauch, Amy Rauch and Lindsay Brownsberger.

Talking before approximately 70 community, county and business leaders at a meeting at the Monett City Park Casino, Missouri Department of Transportation District Seven engineer Becky Bartz laid out plans for how anticipated federal stimulus money will be used to enhance roads in southwest Missouri.

Cattle theft in southwest Missouri had farmers keeping a closer eye on their herds while law enforcement officers from several counties coordinated resources to fight the problem.

Ice storm

Sudden deterioration in weather conditions in the form of freezing rain and ice in late January led to several hours of bad road conditions, hundreds of vehicle slide-offs in the bi-county area and a very busy time for emergency crews.

The Missouri Department of Economic Development announced it has approved Enhanced Enterprise Zone designation for southern Lawrence County.

The Barry County Commission unveiled its 2009 budget showing spending increases for operational issues that raised outgoing money by about $72,000 from the previous year's budget.


The laboratory at Cox Monett Hospital was awarded accreditation by the Commission on Laboratory Accreditation of the College of American Pathologists, based on the results of an on-site inspection.

Ribbon cutting ceremonies were held in Pierce City for the first electric substation for Empire District Electric inside the city limits of Pierce City.

Tax change

Mt. Vernon voters appeared to have dodged the bullet challenging the city's two sales taxes for capital improvements as voters agreed to change the name of one of the taxes, committing it solely to road and bridge maintenance.

A new recycling center in Purdy opened for business in early February.

Seventh District Congressman Roy Blunt announced the U.S. Department of Labor approved Trade Adjustment Assistance for workers at Ozark Mountain Apparel in Monett and Purdy.

Crosslines celebrates

Crosslines Inc., a non-profit charitable organization based in Monett, celebrated its 40th anniversary in February. Director Jolene Garoutte included an overview of some memorable moments that had taken place in the previous year.

Fundraising for the Monett Branch Library building project hit the $1 million mark in mid-February, announced Jean Berg, library director.

Tristan Branch, daughter of Tisha Postlewait, was crowned Purdy homecoming basketball queen.

Coffee shop, youth center

Bob and Debbie Berger announced the purchase of he old Davis and Chapell hardware store at 404 E. Broadway in Monett and said they have plans for opening both a coffee shop and youth center on that site.

Monett Cubs wrestling team captured the Class 2A District 3 title and qualified 10 wrestlers for state competition.

Barry County's Drug Court program received funding from a grant that will double the number of people who can be served under the program.

Presentation on leasing agreements, stockpiling fescue and a biological way to deal with a noxious weed were featured at the Lawrence County Soils and Crops Conference.

Wrestlers second in state

Never in the history of Monett High School sports has a team finished first or second in the state for four consecutive years. That changed when Monett Cubs wrestling team took home the second place trophy at Columbia.

Joe Ruscha was elected chairman of the Lawrence County University of Missouri Extension Council.

Meeting for the first time in six months, the Monett Building Board got a generally upbeat report on building problems and the need for intervention in the upkeep of structures around town.

The Monett City Council at month's end withdrew its proposed regulations for city parking lots for revisions, sold a house on Eisenhower and hired attorney Carl Yates to help get reimbursements for Highway 60 work.


The return of winter weather impacted attendance on March 1 at Roaring River State Park near Cassville as trout season opened for 2009. Snow was on the ground for the first time since 1990. The fish were still biting, and the day remained a grand adventure for those who turned out to enjoy one of the Ozarks' great spectacles.

Rust Communications, a Cape Girardeau-based media company, acquired The Monett Times and the Monett Shopper from Cleveland Newspapers Inc. The change in ownership was announced on March 2.

After almost a year of construction, the Barry County Jail expansion project in Cassville was completed, and an open house was held March 5.

SWACC project

Sides Construction, of Cape Girardeau, was awarded the $1,520,343 contract for new construction at the Southwest Area Career Center at Monett.

Annette Cozort was named the new principal at Central Elementary School in Monett, and Elaine O'Neal was named the new special services director for the Monett schools.

Jerry Hall honored

Jerry Hall, co-founder of Jack Henry and Associates Inc., headquartered in Monett, was honored with the Monett Chamber of Commerce's highest honor, the Community Service Award, at the annual chamber banquet.

The 40th annual Beef Cattlemen's Conference in Monett focused on the economic situation, maximizing one's investment and changes due to technology and science.

EFCO Corporation in Monett announced a pledge of over a quarter million dollars over the next five years toward the construction of a new YMCA facility for the area.

Water rate increase

The City of Monett's $3.1 million budget proposed for the new fiscal year beginning April 1 calls for a major increase in water and sewer rates over the next three years. Changes in billing would be effective on July 1.

The Arc of the Ozarks purchased the day care facility at 1010 Old Airport Road and plans to convert the building into an office complex and programming center.

Elected to lead the Loaves and Fishes meal program for another year were Co-Chairmen Larry Shanks and Mary K. Scott. Other officers are Darlene Kelley, vice president of volunteers; Phyllis

Whitley, vice president of communications; Dorothy Cawthorn, recording secretary; and Janie Bates, financial secretary.

State champions

The Exeter Lady Tigers won the first MSHSAA championships for their school in any girls sport with their 56-31 basketball victory over Marion County in late March.

An Explorers chapter for young people aimed at getting involved with the mission of firefighting took shape as permission was granted by the Monett City Council to organize the youth group similar to the Boy Scouts.

The Verona School Board voted to level all of the existing old high school buildings, fill in the current basement and buildi new locker room space on the ground level/gym level.

Ted Dorton, who was director of the Southwest Area Career Center at Monett for the past 12 1/2 years, submitted his resignation.

The Tyson Foods poultry processing plan in Monett won the U.S. Poultry and Egg Association's 2009 Clean Water Award in the pretreatment category.


Two Monett Electric Department employees, Daryl Fenski and Eric Freiburger, were honored for work done in Sikeston when they assisted that city in digging out from a major ice storm.

The Barry County Sheriff's Department joined other law enforcement agencies to form the new Southwest Missouri Cyber Crime Task Force.

The Barry County Health Department Board of Trustees approved a bid for renovations that will be completed at the Monett office. The project will also construct a 1,000-square-foot addition at the satellite facility.

April election

Voters were generally negative toward big money issues in the April 5 bi-county city and school elections. In the Pierce City R-6 School District, voters rejected a tax increase to build a new high school. Voters in Aurora rejected a bond issue to build a community water park. Incumbents Mark Coatney and Jerry D. Roberts were re-elected to the Monett R-1 Board of Education.

Groundbreaking and initial construction began at the Monett/Purdy affiliate of Habitat for Humanity at Eighth and Cale streets in Monett.

Ideas for reshaping Monett's downtown and how to address flooding were unveiled at the second public meeting hosted by Drury University's Center for Community Studies on Monday night.

Kent and Erin Boursheski, of Pierce City, who own a 120-ace farm west of Monett, won the Take Pride in America Award during the Barry County Soil and Water Conservation District's annual Landowners Appreciation Banquet.

Miracle Expands

Construction began on the new 60,138-square-foot addition to PlayPower's Miracle Recreation Company plant on County Road in Monett.

The Barry-Lawrence County Development Center received a $1,000 donation from the Freistatt Lions Club.

With fanfare, the new bridge over the railroad tracks on Eisenhower Street in Monett was opened in mid-April.

Retired Circuit Judge J. Edward Sweeney, of Monett, received the 2009 Karan Huffmaster Award at the Children's Center's sixth annual "Night in Italy" fundraising dinner. The award honors a member of the community who volunteers time to help the Center and area children.

After three decades of being an integral part of publishing The Monett Times, Charlotte Brady, who most recently served as The Times' composition manager, announced her retirement.

Carver honored

Pat (Heidlage) Carver was named the recipient of the Dale Taunton Helping Hands Award for community service given in Pierce City at the annual dinner of the Dacy Foundation.

Jeannine Blankinship, a 2003 graduate of Monett High School, announced she will open an art gallery at 207 Third St.

Monett R-1 School District faculty members, law enforcement officers and citizens were present during a presentation on "Missouri Street Gangs" that was held at the Southwest Area Career Center in Monett.

Although no cases of the H1N1 virus, also known as swine flu, have been reported in Barry County, local health and emergency management officials prepared to respond to any potential outbreaks.


Alysia Phelps was named valedictorian and Erin Daugherty was named salutatorian for the 2009 graduating class at Monett High School.

After listening to a jury pronounce her guilty, Adella Fae Patton, of Monett, returned to her home and apparently killed herself.

The 13th annual Relay for Life, a community fundraiser in Monett for the American Cancer Society, raised over $90,000.

Water supply concerns

Bob Nichols, president of the Tri-State Water Coalition and Pete Rauch, chairman of the coalition's technical committee, spoke about the future of water supplies for southwest Missouri at the annual Water and Wastewater Conference for the Southwest Section held in Monett.

Monett was rocked by a huge storm that swept through the area the morning of May 8, with several reports of roof damage and downed trees caused by straight-line winds.

Dorothy Cook, of Purdy, was recognized as the 2009 Barry County OATS Volunteer of the Year.

Nurse of the Year

Juanita Caldwell, registered nurse for the medical/surgical department and the special care unit at Cox Monett Hospital, was the recipient of the first-ever Nurse of the Year Award.

The Monett License Office announced a new consumer-friendly dropbox service for patrons wanting to renew their vehicle registration.

EFCO Corporation in Monett gave a big boost to the Monett Rural Fire Association with the donation of one acre of property in the Monett Industrial Park.

A successful lawsuit resolved funding problems for the Area Workshop, which employs handicapped people from Barry and Lawrence counties in Monett.

The Monett Senior Citizens Center celebrated its 20th anniversary with former guests at the party recalling the organization's early days.

School stimulus money

Federal stimulus money was secured by the Monett R-1 School District and has prompted big plans by school leaders, according to Dr. John Jungmann, superintendent of schools.

Secretary of State Robin Carnahan announced that Maddie Petersen, a fifth grade student at Monett Intermediate School, was one of 12 winners in the 2009 "Letters About Literature" contest.

Air samples in Monett were cited in a national study released in USA Today.


Monett R-1 School Board member Rod Anderson is a finalist for the first Paul Morris Community Service Award, offered by FutureBuilders, the education foundation of the Missouri School Boards' Association.

Monett Waterthrashers swim team has begun the summer season under new Head Coach Michelle May.

The Monett Senior Citizens Center and other senior centers in the southwest Missouri area will benefit from stimulus funding that has been received from the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services.

Golf tournament

It was a gorgeous day for golf on June 5 when approximately 100 golfers gathered at the Windmill Ridge Golf Course in Monett for the 22nd annual Industrial Appreciation Golf Tournament hosted by the Monett Chamber of Commerce.

Alan Spencer, athletic director at Monett High School, was named Athletic Director of the Year for the Southwest District by the Missouri Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association.

The Purdy R-2 Board of Education voted to start a marching band program in the fall.

Monett Police officers responded to a domestic disturbance call at a Monett residence in mid-June and arrived to discover two dead bodies inside the locked house in what appears to be a murder-suicide.

Leadership class

Monett's newest group of leaders graduated after completing the 2009 Leadership Monett class offered by the Monett Chamber of Commerce. Graduating were Laura Apostol, Rawn Batson, Sarah Garner, Sarah Hohensee, Brian Bouray, Russ Courdin, Jason Schulz, Everett Patterson, Mark Murphy, Ken Gaspar and Bryce Garner.

This year's Monett Livestock Show went off without a hitch as area youngsters from across southwest Missouri exhibited their prized animals at two show arenas.

Shaun Bennett, of Topeka, Kan., brother of Monett Community Church Pastor Chad Bennett, has purchased the Mansfield's building in the 300 block of East Broadway in Monett. He announced plans to open a coffee shop, art gallery and photography studio in the former clothing store.

Monett's 14-and-under girls softball team won the title of state champions at the Babe Ruth Tournament held at Monett North Park.

Mocha Jo's Coffee Cafe on Broadway in Monett officially opened at the end of the month.


Medical students used to classes in Columbia are getting a taste of life in a slower lane through the Summer Community Program. Allison Heider, a physician with Family Practice and Obstetrics of Monett (RS-FP & OB of Monett) is hosting one of those student, Justin Daniels, of Seneca.

Emory Melton, Barry County historian and former state senator, gave the patriotic address at the Fourth of July celebration at Monett South Park.

Work on constructing passing lanes east of Monett on Highway 60 began the first week of July.

Grand opening celebration for the Wheaton Depot Museum, sponsored by the Wheaton Historical Society, was held in conjunction with the annual Wheaton Barbecue.

Cox Monett grant

Cox Monett Hospital was awarded a $599,872 grant from the Missouri Foundation for Health to develop a Community Asthma Network program in Barry and Lawrence counties.

Ann Hall was re-elected president of the Barry-Lawrence Regional Library Board of Trustees. Other officers are Charles Peiter, vice president; and Felicity Nesbitt, secretary-treasurer.

The 79th annual Monett Jaycees Carnival, a traditional highlight of the summer season, was held in mid-July.

Youth center opens

The Den youth center in Monett, located above Mocha Jo's on Broadway, officially opened. It will be open on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays.

The Barry County Sheriff's Department launched a campaign to raise money to subscribe to an on-line service that helps local law enforcement officials recover stolen property.

Cases of swine flu were confirmed among some children attending Kids Across America, a Barry County summer camp located near Golden.

Monett native John McGee was named the top sports columnist in the state of Arkansas by the Arkansas Press Association at their annual convention.

New Jack Henry offices

Construction began on two 75,000-square-foot buildings for Jack Henry and Associates in Springfield. Headquarters for the Monett-based Jack Henry, a leader provider of integrated technology solutions that performs data processing for financial institutions, will remain in Monett.

At its regular July meeting, the Monett City Council approved an engagement letter to hire legal counsel for litigation over unpaid reimbursement for the city's tax increment financial program.

It was announced at the end of the month by Lawrence County Sheriff Brad DeLay that the county jail will be shut down temporarily. The Monett Police Department offered to help Lawrence County will jailing some prisoners.

A sidewalk replacement plan in Monett was taken under consideration by the Monett City Council since many of the 70-year-old sidewalks around the center of the city have become uneven due to pressure from tree roots.


A new 7,000-square-foot health center is planned at Camp Barnabas near Purdy in Barry County to help relieve congestion. Fundraising has begun for the facility which could also serve surrounding communities.

Monett was the only city in the bi-county area participating in the Sales Tax Holiday, held the first Friday in August through the following Sunday.

Construction began in early August on the crosswalk over Highway H in Freistatt just north of the post office to provide an established crossing point for postal customers in a direct line with the senior citizen housing complex.

Concern was expressed at a Verona City Council meeting by three residents regarding city police patrolling on recently annexed portions of Highway 60 and Business Highway 60.

Phone company settlement

Arrangement for a settlement with Southwestern Bell Telephone that should bring more than $126,000 to the City of Monett were announced at a special meeting of the Monett City Council.

Congressman Roy Blunt's 13th annual agriculture tour took him to the Mike Meier farm between Monett and Purdy. He also stopped at the Dairy Farmers of America processing plant and Tyson Foods in Monett.

Welcoming faculty back for the 2009-10 school year, Monett R-1 School Superintendent Dr. John Jungmann pointed to highlights from last year and issued a challenge to keep teachers reaching for higher achievement.

New Legion officers

New officers of Hobbs-Anderson Post 91 Monett American Legion were installed. They are Nick Sczenski, commander; Ron Branum, vice commander; Jon Suit, adjutant; Tony Gripka, chaplain; Dennis Housman, service officer; Dan Musgrove, sergeant-at-arms; Cliff Daniel, historian; and Melvin Kennedy, finance officer.

Good weather and sizable crowds helped make the 36th annual Ernte Fest successful in Freistatt.

Monett headed into a legal battle with Lawrence County, Barry County and the Barry County Emergency Services Board over payments to Monett's tax increment financing program.

Howdy Neighbor Royalty

Royalty crowned for the 2009 Howdy Neighbor Days Festival in Pierce City were Princess and Prince McKersten Smith and Payton Gray, and Queen and King Emilee Sooter and Wyatt Bowen.

Tyler Laney has accepted the position as director of the Southwest Area Career Center at Monett.

The Barry-Lawrence Regional Library Board of Trustees voted to decrease the district's tax levy from 17.43 cents per $100 assessed valuation to 15 cents per assessed valuation.

Highway 60 annexation

Almost 40 people gathered at the Monett City Hall Auditorium to hear about the City of Monett's plans to annex Highway 60 and its right-of-way west of town and past the airport.

After a wait of over three months, the Monett Chamber of Commerce was issued the contract to continue operating the license office.

After a protracted discussion, member of the Lawrence County Tax Board for the Developmentally Disabled voted to follow the lead of the Barry County Tax Board and recommend Community Support Services to handle targeted case management for the county.


Representatives from the Monett TIF District and the Highway 37/60 Corridor Coalition spoke about local highway improvement needs to members of the Missouri Highways and Transportation Commission.

Monett Times sports editor Charles Brady covered his 300th consecutive Monett Cubs football game when the Cubs hosted the Marshfield Bluejays.

This year's annual Southwest Center Field Day held at the Southwest Missouri research farm near Mt. Vernon included a grape tour as well as the dairy, beef, forages and horticulture tours.

Church fire

Four fire departments gathered to help fight a fire tha erupted and caused considerable damage to the Monett Community Church at Fourth and Bond streets.

Sara Hammond has been named the 2009 Monett High School football homecoming queen.

Bob Markovics, from UMB Bank in Monett, talked about the role of bankers in a difficult economy at the fall meeting of the Southwest Missouri Cattlemen's Association.

The City of Monett announced it would pursue acquisition of bonds available under the federal stimulus program with the assistance of the Barry and Lawrence county commissions.

'Fight the Flu' campaign

A grassroots "Fight the Flu" campaign was launched in Barry County. The effort represented a partnership of public agencies across Missouri and was spearheaded locally by the Barry County Health Department.

A pair of cattle rustlers were nabbed by officers of the Missouri Livestock and Farm Protection Task Force in mid-September.

With over seven acres of corn planted and a new design, the "MAIZE craze" was back in Verona for the 11th year. Proceeds from the event were donated to Ozarks Food Harvest.

Major growth at the Monett Municipal Airport was anticipated in the master plan developed by the city.

Downtown flood

A rainstorm that simply would not quit generated a huge flood in Monett that lasted longer than any on record. Flood water from Kelly Creek extended from 10th Street to the middle of the block between Third and Fourth streets with many businesses sustaining damage.

Monett area veterans took time to honor and remember the men and women military heroes who were prisoners of war, those still missing in action and their families during a POW/MIA ceremony at Monett South Park.

In an effort to meet the continuing needs of developmentally disabled citizens in Lawrence County, board members of the Lawrence County Board for the Developmentally Disabled voted to purchase a new community building.

Glen Garrett, of Purdy, was presented with the 2009 Missourian Award during a black tie ceremony at the Capitol Plaza Hotel in Jefferson City.

Dedication ceremonies were held at the new Arc of the Ozarks office building at 1010 Old Airport Road in Monett.


Cox Monett Hospital is actively engaged in the fight against breast cancer. In addition to hosting the monthly Breast Friends support group meeting, the local hospital is investing in state-of-the-art diagnostics.

Dr. Carol Dahlstrom, D.V.M., with the Animal Clinic of Monett, was named the Veterinarian of the Year by the Missouri Animal Control Association.

Fire prevention and common sense when it comes to fire safety was being stressed to Monett youngsters in early October in observance of National Fire Prevention Week.

United Fund

The annual fundraising drive for the Barry-Lawrence Area United Fund began, according to Linda Dohmen, chairman of the United Fund Board.

The Monett City Council voted to approve hiring a St. Louis firm to provide an audit of the city's 911 database.

Businesses received practical tips on how to avoid the flu during a workshop hosted by the Barry County health agencies at the Monett Chamber of Commerce office.

Flooding again

Mischievous Kelly Creek played tricks on Monett yesterday by sending a torrent through town again. Unlike recent floods, this one on Broadway rose in slow motion, offering property owners in its path plenty of time to prepare.

Randy Henderson was installed as the new president of the Monett Kiwanis Club. Gordon Brown was named Kiwanian of the Year.

Area bikers displayed their continued support of needy children in Barry and Lawrence counties at the eighth annual Toy Run held at the Church of the Nazarene in Monett.

The debate in Purdy over who owns the city park, the city of the school district, was resolved. Surveyor Sam Goodman said the park lies on city property as do half of the school buildings.

For the second consecutive year, Monett's application for the Downtown Revitalization and Economic Assistance for Missouri (DREAM) was turned down.

Flu vaccine

The Barry County Health Department continued to receive small amounts of H1N1 influenza vaccine each week, it was reported late in the month by Administrator Kathleen King.

PlayPower, the parent company of Miracle Recreation Equipment, will be adding more manufacturing jobs to its facilities in Monett, it was announced.

A search in late October for a missing rural Lawrence County woman ended happily as law enforcement officers found her lying in the woods where she had fallen and could not get up.

Cox Monett Hospital announced children ages 14 and under are not permitted to visit patients at the hospital as a precaution from spreading the flu virus.


Around 3,000 people were estimated to have attended the Trunk or Treat Halloween festivities at the First United Methodist Church in Monett.

Despite getting a majority of votes, the hard-fought Pierce City bond to finance construction of a new middle school and a vocational school building failed at the polls.

Denali Dreams Gallery and Coffee Shop, owned by Shaun Bennett, opened is doors for business on Nov. 3.

Child safety efforts

Miracle Recreation Equipment Company in Monett launched a new line of products aimed at providing higher security in the playground equipment business.

In an effort to showcase businesses and provide activities, "Broadway Nights" in Monett will be held on the second Friday of each month.

The Pierce City Eagles football team claimed the Class 2A regional championship plaque by defeating previously undefeated Warsaw 14-12.

The fifth annual Monett Chamber of Commerce's Festival of Flavors, a culinary treat giving local restaurants, food industry providers and area retailers a chance to show off their specialties, was held at the St. Lawrence Catholic Church.

Cox Auxiliary award

Cox Monett Hospital Auxiliary was honored as the 2009 "Auxiliary of the Year" award at the Missouri Hospital Association's 87th annual convention held in Osage Beach.

Around 30 people attended the kickoff rally for the 15th annual Relay for Life in Monett.

Crews for Missouri Gas Energy were at work in Monett re-laying a major gas line on Ninth Street south from Scott Street.

The Lawrence County Board for the Developmentally Disabled moved into its new community building at 403 Elm in Aurora.

H1N1 clinics

The Barry County Health Department scheduled H1N1 vaccination clinics for a period of three weeks at both the Monett and Cassville offices.

Monett's Festival of Lights, the display of seasonal light exhibits that fills South Park, opened in late November.

Floyd VanDerhoef, of Monett, visited the Korean War Memorial in Washington D.C. during an Honor Flight for veterans of southwest Missouri to the nation's capital.


The Barry County Salary Commission voted not to increase the salaries for the offices of county clerk, prosecuting attorney, presiding commissioner, collector and treasurer, which will be decided during the 2010 election.

Whitney Dahlstrom was crowned Miss Merrie Christmas 2009 at Monett High School in an assembly at the school.

Wheaton's new prize arrived in the form of a railroad caboose to go with its Depot Museum.

YMCA campaign

The Monett Area YMCA announced a $10 million dollar capital campaign to increase the level of service that the

YMCA can provide to residents of Monett and the surrounding area.

Under a cloudless sky and temperatures in the low 30s, crowds came to downtown Monett on Dec. 6 to enjoy the annual Christmas parade.

The City of Monett signed a $522,015 settlement with the Alltel phone company for back taxes.

The Monett R-1 School District earned a perfect score and "accredited with distinction" status on the Annual Performance Report issued by the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.

Holiday sales

Monett merchants report sales activity during the first half of the Christmas shopping season has been generally busier than last year and year-end sales projections are upbeat.

"Connection," a new magazine for Barry and Lawrence counties, has been launched. The 42-page full color magazine is the first of its kind to be published in the Cassville and Monett areas and will be a new monthly publication.

New rates for membership and new signs will be coming from the Monett Rural Fire Association following its annual membership meeting.

Architect Pam Haldiman from Sapp Design Associates brought renderings to the December meeting of the Monett R-1 Board of Education showing potential dramatic changes to the existing Monett Elementary School campus.

Airport growth

Mike Waller, aviation project manager and planner for the engineering firm of Bucher, Willis and Ratliff, based in Kansas City, made a formal presentation to the Monett City Council on the airport master plan which envisions $34 million in improvements to the Monett Municipal Airport over the next 20 years.

The Angel Food Ministry, a non-profit, non-denominational organization dedicated to providing food relief, continues strong in Monett.

It was a white Christmas for Monett and area residents as Mother Nature deposited approximately five inches of snow on the ground overnight Christmas Eve.

Cold, snowy conditions cut down on the crowd attending Linn Thornton's annual Christmas day dinner but boosted carry-out requests. Thornton estimated he provided meals for over 1,000 people by the middle of the afternoon.

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