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30 Years 1988

Search continued for the body of a Bonne Terre man who fell off a bridge span over Highway 40 in St. Louis. According to a water patrol office with the Missouri Water Patrol, Jack W. Johnson, a construction worker with the St. Louis Bridge Construction Company, was last seen by fellow employees floating downstream on the Missouri River. They were working on the presumption that he apparently hit his head as he was not moving while floating downstream until he floated out of sight.

Search efforts started immediately for the man. Johnson had been employed for the bridge company for over 13 years.

A search is on for an Illinois man in connection with a robbery and homicide in rural Ste. Genevieve County. According to a Ste. Genevieve Sheriff’s Department spokesman, Mary Schweigert of Ste. Genevieve was killed by a single gunshot wound to the neck during an apparent robbery at the J and N Mini Mart on Route J and N and interstate 55 in Ozora.

Schweigert’s family owns the store and her body was discovered by a customer.

It was also reported that a woman in the commuter parking lot on Route A and Highway 32 in Ste. Genevieve County and asked her how far it was to Cape Girardeau. When the woman answered, the man pulled a handgun on her and told her to move over in the car. The woman sped away and the suspect fired one shot into the vehicle.

The home of Otto and Grace Lerche, 415 Hillsboro Rd., was selected “Yard of the Month” for December by the Nancy Weber Garden Club.

40 Years 1978

The Farmington Police Department believed to have cracked a case involving a series of purse snatchings with the arrest of a 17 year old Kevin Dennis Yawney. He has been charged with possessing a forged instrument in Magistrate Court and is in jail on $7500 bond.

Yawney was apprehended when he attempted to pass a check at Dugal’s Big Star on Columbia Street. The check was drawn on the account of Virginia Barron of St. Louis. Her purse was stolen when she was asking across the parking lot at Farmington Community Hospital.

Other checks from other victims were tried to be cashed at the local Dugal’s Store but because this name was on the store’s “watch out” list and discovered Mrs. Barron’s name on it. When discovered he was being caught he took off but was later apprehended by the police.

County Clerk employees confirmed that the 30 day campaign disclosure report of Magistrate Judge Phyllis Schnebelen was missing. An irate Schnebelen confronted the workers in the office after a representative from a local newspaper advised her of the problem. Worker told her the report had been filed well before the deadline and worker’s remembered the document being stamped.

This marks the third time Judge Schnebelen’s campaign report have been misplaced.

Employees of the office expressed the disbelief that the document might have been misplaced by someone entering the office and looking at the reports without asking employees for help. The documents are public record and open to the public.

50 Years 1968

Quick action by the Sheriff’s Office and the cooperation of St. Louis detectives resulted in the apprehension of four robbers who hit the Lerche Firestone Store in Farmington on a Saturday night.

Owner Otto Lerche discovered the robbery Sunday morning and notified Sheriff Ken Buckley.

Approximately $12,000 in merchandise and money was stolen. The loot included six color TV’s, 50 new tires, nearly all the pistols in a case and a case of Timex watches, also a large stock of radios and transistors and a large number of rifles.

Sheriff Buckley contacted some detective friends in St. Louis and furnished them with information which lead to the arrest of Gary Wayne Harkins, Bob McMahan, Gloria Warren and Gary Watkins. Gary Harkins has repeatedly been involved with the law and is believed to be the ring leader.

Only a relatively small amount of the stolen items were recovered.

A mobile home one of the biggest we’ve seen on wheels made its way across a back yard and settled down again on a new foundation. It was the big two story Columbia apartments, once at the corner of West Columbia and South A. It’s new location now on the back half of the Jim Wilkerson property.

Joseph Snider, 16 of Route 1, Farmington accidentally shot himself in the foot. The incident was investigated by the sheriff’s department. Snider stated he was “just looking” at a 22 bolt action rifle and it accidentally discharged. The shot entered his left and almost shot off his little toe.

60 Years 1958

Dugals’s Store marked 75 years of being in business. Dugal’s was first Klein’s Grocery Store owned by the Klein Brothers with the Dugal’s purchasing the store from the Kleins.

Mr. Dugal began working for the Klein’s when he was 13 years old, delivering bread after school then ended up working for 28 years. In 1955 Leo Dugal became the sole owner of the grocery store.

The Nativity scene at the front of Memorial Methodist Church depicts the Nativity Story found in the Gospel of Luke. The men in the church designed the stable. The figures of the Holy Family, the shepherds and the sheep were made of heavy rubber that would withstand outdoor weather. They were life size, three dimensional and dressed to represent the time of Jesus.

The scene was lighted every night through December and it was erected on the North Avenue side of the pastor’s study and he invited everyone to stop by.

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