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A Look Back at 2008

 A Look Back at 2008

By Crystal Howerton

Editors Note: As we end 2008, we’d like to take a look back at some of the news and events that affected Knox County throughout the year. This week, we will reflect on events that occurred from January to June, 2008. Next week, we’ll present a look back at July through December.

During the preliminary hearing Friday, December 28, 2007 in the case of the State vs. Shane Colby Roberts, 28, Judge William Alberty granted a continuance at the request of Prosecuting Attorney David Brown. The hearing was rescheduled for January 11, 2008. Roberts was charged with Murder in the First Degree and Armed Criminal Action in the October 5 or 6, 2006 homicide of 57-year-old Larry G. Callahan of Knox City, MO.
Missouri’s minimum wage increased to $6.65/hr on January 1, 2008.

On January 2, 2008, Matthew Schrage, 24, of rural Hurdland, MO was charged with two counts of unlawful use of a weapon and two counts of property damage. Schrage was accused of shooting a curve sign on Route P with a .45 caliber Winchester automatic pistol. Law enforcement officials estimate that the bullet traveled approximately 200 yards and entered the residence of Winfred Vaughn.

Daycare owner Deloris Stauffer, of Edina, has confirmed recent rumors that Dee’s Loving Care Center is closing effective Friday, February 1, 2008.

On Monday evening, January 21, a gray 2006 GMC four-door pickup was stolen from the Dollar General parking lot. The truck, owned by Danny Arment, but driven by Sid Leckbee, who is employed with Arment Commercial Contracting, was parked on the north side of the Dollar General parking lot in Edina and left running. Leckbee said that he was in the store less than five minutes picking up one item and when he came out the truck was gone. Leckbee went back inside the store where a store employee told him that they had heard a vehicle speeding away. According to Edina Police Chief Roger Waibel, the call came in at approximately 5:45 p.m. and local authorities were notified soon after. However, there were no witnesses to the theft and police have no idea who may have taken the vehicle.

Billy Stauffer, 65, of Edina, MO was seriously injured in a one-vehicle accident west of Brashear Thursday morning at 6:45 a.m. According to the Missouri State Highway Patrol, Troop B, Macon, Stauffer was traveling eastbound on Hwy. 6, two miles west of Brashear when he drove off the left side of the road and struck a pole. He was not wearing a safety device. Stauffer was transported by the Adair County Ambulance to Northeast Regional Medical Center in Kirksville, MO with serious injuries. The 2003 Chevrolet sustained total damage and was towed by Pearson Towing in Greentop, MO. The Kirksville Fire Department and the Adair County Sheriff’s Office assisted the MSHP at the scene.

Andrew M. Couch, 21, of Baring, MO was arrested on Sunday, January 20, 2008 on assault and burglary charges. According to a press release from the Truman State University Department of Public Safety officers responded to Dobson Hall to a report from the night monitor of an intoxicated male entering the building. Officers located Couch in a room in Dobson Hall. He had assaulted one of the residents of the room. Couch was arrested by the investigating officers. Couch is not affiliated with the University. Couch has been charged with Burglary 1st Degree and Attempted Deviate Sexual Assault, both felonies under Missouri law. He is currently being held in the Adair County Detention Center under $75,000 cash only bond.

With two illnesses circulating in the school causing 70 students to call in sick Monday, February 4, and 24 more to be sent home by the end of the day, school officials decided to dismiss classes on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Russell Turpin, 70, of Edina, MO was involved in a one-vehicle accident on Monday morning, February 4, 2008 at 11:40 a.m. Having just received a load of beans at the Baring elevator, Turpin was traveling southbound on MO 15 two miles north of Edina when the 1998 Ford ran off the left side of the road, overturned and spilled his load onto the roadway across from the Edina golf course. Although Turpin was not injured in the accident, the Knox County Sheriff’s Office, who assisted at the scene, said it is believed the accident was caused by medical reasons, possibly a heart attack. In addition, much of Knox County was shrouded in fog throughout the day. Traffic was redirected to AA as the mess was cleared away. Turpin was transported by Knox County Ambulance to the Northeast Regional Medical Center in Kirksville, MO and later Air-Evac’d to a hospital in Columbia. The vehicle, which received moderate damage, was towed by Robert’s Garage, Ewing, MO. The MSHP was assisted at the scene by the Edina Police Department, Knox County Ambulance District, Edina Fire and Rescue and MoDOT, as well as the Knox County Sheriff’s Office.

The Missouri Department of Transportation in cooperation with BNSF and the Knox County Commission will be closing the railroad crossing on Knox County Road #15 at Baring, MO in the future. According to Don Schwartze, MoDOT Railroad Safety Specialist, with an average traffic rate of ten to fifteen vehicles over a twenty-four hour period, it is unlikely that the crossing will ever meet the priority for funding lights and gates.

Charles Gnuse has been promoted to the office of President of the United State Bank with offices in Lewistown, Ewing and Edina, Missouri. Gnuse is the third generation of the Gnuse family to head the bank. The bank traces its formation to 1922 in Northeast Missouri. A 1991 graduate of Western Illinois University Gnuse later graduated from the University of Wisconsin’s Graduate School of Banking. Gnuse and his wife, Michele, reside in Quincy with their three children.

Robert M. Becker of Knox County recently took the position of Captain with the Clark County Sheriff’s Office. Becker stated that he enjoyed his previous employment in Clark County, and looks forward to working with residents there again. Becker resigned from the North Missouri Drug Task Force in order to run for the office of Knox County Sheriff this November. Recent Task Force policy changes forced him to choose between remaining with the force or running for sheriff. Becker had worked for the Drug Task Force for four-plus years, as both an overt and covert narcotics detective. Through those years he remained a reserve officer for Knox County. Two years prior to that time he was a full time deputy for Knox County. From 1997 through December of 2000 he was a full time deputy for the Clark County Sheriff’s Department.

Shane Colby Roberts, 28, and Angela Dawn Knowles, 27, were arraigned in Knox County Circuit Court Friday, February 8, 2008. The brother and sister pled not guilty to the murder of Larry G. Callahan, 58, who was found shot to death in his Knox City residence on October 6, 2006. Roberts was charged with first-degree murder on October 30, 2006. Preliminary hearings that took place in January established enough evidence to move the case to trial. Trial setting for both defendants has been scheduled for March 7, 2008, as well as a motion hearing. On February 11, a joint application was filed for a change of venue and a change of judge.

While the weather was foul, there were smiles all around from those instrumental in getting the two million dollar Discovery Center for the University of Missouri located at the Greenley Research Center at Novelty. Groundbreaking for the new facility was held Thursday, February 20, 2008. Research Center Board Members, Staff Members, and the Representatives and Senators involved in the passage of the legislation for the project were in attendance.

Knox County Senior Daniel McMahon raises the Class 2 District 6 at Moberly boys’
championship trophy to community members and students in attendance on March 1, 2008. Knox County’s boys ended a 37 year period between boys’ district titles with a 56-49 victory over fourth seeded Westran. The Eagles previous Class M Regional title was won in 1971 at Knox County over Paris by a 71-55 final score.

Former Knox County High School graduate Sean Bonnell has returned to his hometown as the new Farm Bureau agent in Edina as of February 25, 2008.

The home of Tom McEvoy and James McEvoy northeast of Edina was the scene of a flue fire on March 3, 2008. The Edina Fire Department was responded to the call at approximately 8:52 a.m., Monday morning, in which a flare was dropped to smother the fire, which was contained to the flue. Damage was limited to minimal smoke damage.
The Edina Police Department responded to a vicious animal attack at 5:47 p.m. on March 12, 2008. Lily, a 2 year old English Bulldog, owned by Freddie and Jeannie Bailey of Edina, was reportedly attacked by a 3 year old Pit Bull, owned by Sammy and Bonnie Russell, also of Edina.

Susan Blodgett of Baring, MO replaced Mike Bishop of Edina as the new rural carrier for the Baring Post Office upon his retirement. Additionally, Kathy Doss, also of Baring, was welcomed to the Baring Post Office as the new Postmaster Relief/Leave Replacement Clerk for Postmaster Teresa Hunolt on February 16.

School Board President Joe Delaney and Superintendent D.J. Leverton recognized retiring school board members Mark Greenley, Chris Harrison and Billy Hunter during the regular school board meeting on March 18, 2008.

Larry M. Truitt, 54, of Palmyra, MO, sustained moderate injuries in a one-vehicle accident east of Colony on Tuesday morning, March 25, 2008. According to the Missouri State Highway Patrol, Troop B, Macon, Truitt was traveling westbound on Route K, one mile east of Colony in a 1999 Freightliner for Sunrise Transportation, LLC, New London, MO. He failed to negotiate a sharp curve, ran off the right side of the roadway and overturned. Truitt was transported by Air Evac to Blessing Hospital in Quincy, IL with moderate injuries. Robert’s Garage & Towing, Ewing, MO, transported the totaled truck.

The lack of issues to be voted upon as well as the miserable weather accompanying Election Day resulted in a fairly low turnout at the polls. A total of 348 voters or 12.07% of the 2,883 registered voters in Knox County braved the cold and rain to cast their ballots on Tuesday, April 8, 2008.

Angela Knowles, the woman along with her brother Shane Roberts, who were allegedly involved in the 2006 murder of Larry Callahan, is in more trouble in Clark County. Angela and her husband, Rusty, were arrested April 1, after they allegedly conspired to bring illegal narcotics into the Clark County Jail, where Angela Knowles is being held. According to Clark County Sheriff Roy Gilbert, Angela had contacted Rusty by mail, and asked him to bring her some narcotics. Those narcotics were concealed inside personal items. Both are charged with Delivery/Attempt Deliver/Possession/Deposit/
Conceal a Controlled Substance at Correctional Facility, a Class C Felony under RSMo: 217.360. According to the felony complaint, Angela and Rusty conspired to bring Methadone, Alprazolam, and Carisprodal into the Clark County Jail on or about March 31. Both Angela and Rusty had hearings Friday, April 11. Rusty had been released on a personal recognizance bond, and is scheduled to appear in Associate Court on April 25. Angela remains in the Clark County Jail.

Residents in and around Knox County have been protesting loudly to a proposed Class 2 CAFO within 1,000 feet of a soldier’s home northeast of Edina on St. Hwy. AA. Parents of Chief Warrant Officer Randell Hettinger, who was deployed to Iraq last year, claim that Hettinger resided in the home prior to being deployed.

Edina City employees Collector Betty Morgret, Superintendent of Utilities Mike Wriedt, Wastewater Superintendent Brad Eitel, Mayor Davey Strickler, and Clerk Margaret Gibson were recognized during the City Council meeting Monday evening, April 14, 2008. The Missouri Rural Water Association recognized Edina as claiming the 2007 Wastewater System of the Year at a banquet in Springfield on March 19.

Liquivision Technology Diving Services, based out of Klamath Falls, Oregon was in town on Wednesday afternoon, April 16, 2008 to clean and inspect Edina’s water tower.
Demolition of the Old Edina Gym, one block north of the square in Edina, commenced on April 24, 2008. Hoffman Construction, LaBelle, MO began removing the steel I-beams on Thursday morning.

High winds the morning of May 2, 2008 caused severe damage to Mark and Cathy Greenley’s machine shed on Bee Ridge. Other reports of excessive force winds were received throughout the county including large hail.

Two Kirksville women suffered serious injuries in a one-car accident on Missouri Highway 156 approximately a mile and a half east of the Macon County line in southwestern Knox County. A 2001 Ford driven by Meagan Chinn, 22, of Kirksville was eastbound on Friday, May 2, 2008 at 3:45 p.m. when the vehicle crested a hill.

According to the MSHP, the vehicle crossed the centerline, overcorrected and drove off the right side of the roadway. The sedan struck a ditch, overturned and rolled down a hill several times coming to rest on the south side of the pavement. Meagan Chinn and her passenger, Lauren Lieble, 15, of Kirksville were transported to the Kirksville Regional Medical Center by Adair County Ambulance. Lieble was transported by Air Evac helicopter to Blessing Memorial Hospital in Quincy, IL. Highway 156 was closed for at least a half hour with traffic halted in both directions due to the accident. A Knox County Rescue Squad vehicle responding to the crash scene went out of control and struck a ditch south of Edina on Hwy. 15. Gusty winds possibly contributed to both mishaps. The Knox County Fire and Rescue Squad, the Knox County Sheriff’s Office, the Adair County Fire and Rescue, and the Macon County Ambulance assisted the Missouri Highway Patrol.

Knox County’s varsity girls proudly display their second Class 1 District 1 championship trophy in as many years. The Lady Eagles beat Paris by 20 points for the crown. Knox County also won the 2008 Knox County Relays girls’ championship for the second year in a row.

Valedictorian Brandon Goodwin and Salutatorian Emily See were presented with honors by High School Counselor Dani Fromm during the commencement exercises held on Saturday evening, May 17, 2008.

During the May 6 meeting of the Hurdland City Council, the following persons were sworn in as the new Hurdland City Council because no persons filed for the April election. Incumbent Ernest Diekmann was sworn in as mayor for a one-year term. West Ward Alderman Jim Hamlin and East Ward Alderman Lisa VanDyke were sworn in for one-year terms, as well.

Edina city officials hosted a regional meeting of the Missouri Municipal League (MML) on Thursday evening, May 22, 2008 at the Edina Country Club.
On Monday evening, May 26, 2008 Jonathan Berry, of Quincy, IL became aware of smoke and flames erupting from the hood of his 1996 Grand Am as he was traveling east through Edina on Hwy. 6. The fire department responded at approximately 8:15 p.m. to the Casey’s General Store parking lot, where Berry had pulled over. Although the fire was extinguished, the vehicle sustained total damages. It was transported to Perrigo’s Auto Body by Morgret’s Garage, Edina. The fire was believed to have been electrical. Berry was not injured in the mishap.

Evan Glasgow recently purchased Just A Hair Better, located on the square in Edina, from Mark Peavler, on May 15, 2008.

Edina Police Sergeant Kelly Hayes responded to a call from concerned citizen Michael H. Miller on Wednesday, May 28, 2008 regarding two unattended children. Two children, approximate ages five and one years old, were viewed driving a battery-operated Barbie Jeep down Baker Street in Edina. Miller stayed with the two children until he was relieved by authorities.

Cancer survivors and their caregivers parade around the course at the 2008 Relay For Life of Knox County. About 75 survivors were honored as part of the June 6-7 event.
The first annual Scott Allen Childress “For the Love of the Game” Memorial Golf Tournament was held Friday, June 27, 2008 in Kirksville, MO.

Multiple citizens in Edina viewed an armadillo which had been hit by a vehicle near the intersection of Southwest Morgan and Fulton Streets (near the Ron York residence) in Edina sometime between Sunday evening and Monday morning, June 1 & 2.
Grace Horst, Horst Reflexology in Edina celebrates 25 years of service this year. Horst began her service to the community in 1983.

Captain Luke Vislay, director of the Divison of Drug and Crime Control, announces the arrest of Michael Jonathan Mutchler, 21, of Memphis, MO. Mutchler was arrested for Murder 1st Degree and Armed Criminal Action. Investigators from the Troop B Division of Drug and Crime Control were called to assist the Scotland County Sheriff’s Office with the homicide investigation of Joseph Donald Alvey during the early morning hours of June 8, 2008. The results of the investigation revealed that an altercation had taken place between Alvey and the other occupants of the residence located at Rural Route 1, Box 95 in Gorin, Missouri. Alvey was found deceased, as the result of multiple gun shot wounds from a small caliber weapon. An autopsy was conducted on June 9, 2008, at the University of Missouri Medical Center in Columbia, MO. Mutchler was arrested today, June 10, in Memphis, MO, at 2:25 p.m. and is currently being held on $1 million bond in the Scotland County Jail.

In a culmination of their efforts to resolve the ongoing Pit Bull issue, which has plagued Edina City Council the past couple of months, members adopted Ordinance No. 669 ultimately banning Pit Bull and Rottweiler dog breeds from the City of Edina on Monday night, June 9, 2008.

The Edina Fire Department received $2,855 from the VFA Fire Department Matching Grant Program to help purchase personal protective gear and fire fighting equipment on June 16, 2008.

On June 6, 2008 at approximately 1700 hours, Adam Scott, 30, Kirksville, MO was arrested after a lengthy investigation ended for purchasing over 9 grams of ephedrine or pseudoephedrine in a month. Deputy Sheriff Tracy Salsberry and Officer Steve Feeney have been conducting an investigation for the Adair County Drug Coalition compiling information. Scott had purchased 42 grams of pseudoephedrine over the last two months from several local pharmacies. Scott was arrested and held on $1,000 cash only bond and he later bonded. On June 7, 2008 at approximately 0840 hours officers made contact with Adam Scott on Missouri Trail. Officers had information that Scott was in possession of anhydrous ammonia. When Scott exited his vehicle officers could smell a strong odor of anhydrous ammonia coming from inside the vehicle. Scott was transporting anhydrous ammonia in a white jug with a carry handle and a white cloth in the pour spout. Scott admitted to stealing the anhydrous ammonia from Edina and admitted it was anhydrous ammonia. Members of the North Missouri Drug Task Force were contacted to assist with the chemical cleanup. Task force members contacted Sheriff Mike Kite in Knox County to see if there had been any anhydrous thefts and Sheriff Kite advised them there had been a theft from Edina and a shirt was left at the scene. Charges are pending in Knox County for theft of anhydrous ammonia. Scott is currently being held in the Adair County Detention Facility on a $10,000 cash only bond. According to Sheriff Kite, there have been 15 anhydrous thefts in Knox County within the past month, and since Scott’s arrest thefts have slowed considerably.