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It's hard to believe 2018 is almost over, isn't it? To remind our readers of the many events that have occurred over the past 12 months, for the next two issues of the Farmington Press, we're digging back into the archives to bring back the top stories of the year. This issue we cover the months of January through June. — Editor

January

This is an important year in the history of the Farmington Press — with 2018 marking its 90th anniversary of publication.

The Farmington City Council approved an agreement with the Missouri Highways and Transportation Commission for the construction of a J-turn intersection near the intersection of Perrine Road and U.S. Highway 67 for a total cost of $1.7 million, of which the city will pay $200,000.

The Farmington Parks and Recreation Department posted a survey to the department’s Facebook page to gather public interest on an amphitheater at Engler Park.

The managed deer hunt in Farmington may not have netted a large harvest, but city officials still see it as beneficial means to help control a growing population. As of Monday, the last day of bow season, there was one harvested deer reported in the managed hunt held in Farmington.

The Farmington Public Works Department noted that sewer contractor Bloomsdale Excavating was making progress on a new 18-inch sewer trunk line along a portion of Karsch Boulevard that began on July 31.

The Farmington City Council approved a resolution renaming Jaycee Park, located on Perrine Road, to Veterans Park in honor of those who serve.

The Farmington Regional Chamber of Commerce is beginning a program called “Women in Business” for any female employee of business or organizations that are members of the chamber.

This generation of students can be described as “digital natives” — a description used by Mindy Southern during the biennial report on the Farmington School District Library/Media program review.

Farmington Middle School was named a 2018 Missouri State School of Character by Character.org

February

Fifth grade reading and social studies teacher Sheri Whitener was honored as the Featured Teacher during the Jan. 23 Farmington R-7 Board of Education meeting. Principal Dr. Stacie Smith referred to Whitener as a “silent hero” at the school — an educator and team player “who is there for everyone."

The first ever “Unified Sports” game between Special Olympics athletes at the school took place on the court of Black Knight Fieldhouse.

St. Joseph Catholic Church’s Father Abe Arganiosa learned he would have to return to his homeland of the Philippines in February after all appeals with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Department had been exhausted.

A committee at Memorial United Methodist Church is looking for help in gathering information about the original location of a bell found in the belfry at the church. The bell is believed to come from the Annie Lloyd School, also known as North Ward School.

During her report the Farmington City Council, Parks and Recreation Director Chris Conway spoke about the archery course under construction at the city landfill off Pimville Road. The estimated cost of the project is $6,650.

Representatives from the St. Vincent de Paul Food Pantry and Farmington Ministerial Alliance Food Pantry met with the committee from the Help the Hungry Bake Sale to receive checks in the amount of $35,000 each from money raised during the 2017 bake sale.

During the Farmington Regional Chamber of Commerce “Business and Community” luncheon, local historian Jon Cozean spoke about what makes Farmington the community it is today, touching on highlights of the community incorporated in 1836.

Farmington Fire Chief Todd Mecey presented his yearly report during the Farmington City Council meeting, noting there were 2,378 total incidents for the department in 2017 — a drop of two from the previous year.

March

Farmington Middle School is hosting an interactive event called “Hidden in Plain View,” presented by the group Addiction is Real. Counselor Tess Moore said the event features a typical teenager’s bedroom with 70 items hidden in the room, all indicators of a child’s use of drugs.

A property located at 104 W. Columbia St. — owned by Robert Gierse’s family since 1884 — is utilizing the Architectural Preservation Grant Agreement to preserve the two-story wood building purchased from John A. Weber, Farmington’s first mayor.

During most Farmington City Council meetings, Director of Development Services Tim Porter is updating the council on projects in the city — planned improvements by developers; building ordinances and code updates; along with other projects.

Don Duncan Jr., a retired sergeant with the Farmington Police Department and, most recently, code enforcement officer for the city, died on Thursday. He was 63 years old.

Drawing customers to businesses in the digital age was the topic at the Farmington Regional Chamber of Commerce Business and Community luncheon late this past week.

Jolene Sherman, managing director and vice-president at Amplified Digital Agency, presented the best ways for businesses to make a positive presence through digital marketing as guest speaker at the Farmington Regional Chamber of Commerce Business and Community luncheon.

The Farmington Regional Chamber of Commerce office is marking the 40th year for Country Days this summer. This year’s theme is “There’s No Place Like Home” for the weekend long celebration, set for June 1-3.

The 2017 Crime Statistics report presented by Police Chief Rick Baker during the March 26 Farmington City Council meeting offered a statistical snapshot of a day for the Farmington Police Department — answering 43 calls, generating 10 incident reports, working an average of two accidents and making an average of three arrests.

April

The Farmington Parks and Recreation Department has announced it is bringing back “Fort Fun” for children ages six through 12 from throughout the area, 15 years after the original program concluded.

The contemporary Christian music group Casting Crowns is headlining a April 14 concert at the Farmington Civic Center, also featuring “I Am They.”

April is designated as Autism Awareness Month and Jessica Harmon with Visions of Hope says the kick-off for the month will be a “Light It Up Blue” event for downtown Farmington during the first week, followed by a cruise-in car show on the parking lot of the St. Francois County Courthouse Annex on North Washington Street.

Lucy McGuire has published another story – making it four in four years for this author first published at the age of 94. “Nosey Nellie Starts a Club” tells the story of Nellie, the curious youngster featured in McGuire’s three other books as well.

Paula Cartee gave the oath of office to Dr. Dennis Robinson, Ward II; Darrel Holdman, Ward III; Tom Joyce, Ward IV; and Adam Parks, Ward I, during the Farmington City Council meeting. Farmington Mayor Larry Forsythe thanked outgoing Ward IV Councilman Mark Kellogg and Ward II Councilman Dale Wright during a recess before the new council was sworn in.

The 2018 Daily Journal/Farmington Press Citizen of the Year, Paul Brockmiller, was presented his award by Farmington Press Managing Editor Shawnna Robinson at the Farmington Regional Chamber of Commerce 2018 Banquet held April 13 at the Centene Center.

The eighth annual Run/Walk with Walker 5K and Hero Dash takes place on Saturday at Farmington High School. Sponsored by the Walker Johns Childhood Cancer Foundation, the event honors and remembers loved ones affected by cancer.

The St. Francois County Challenger Baseball league is celebrating 10 seasons of “everyone plays – everyone wins.” The new season kicks off May 5 at the Farmington Sports Complex.

Nicholas T. McClure has been charged with abandonment of a corpse several months after his deceased mother was found in a storage shed in his back yard.

Ewell Lawson, vice president of government affairs, communications and member relations for the Missouri Public Utility Alliance, presented a grant award in the amount of $135,796 to help pay for improvements to the city’s electric system through the MoPEP Power Infrastructure Modernization Grant Program.

The city of Farmington is holding an Arbor Day Ceremony at Veterans Park on Perrine Road. The ceremony includes recognition of local garden clubs, reading of the city’s Arbor Day Proclamation, a tree planting and recognition of the city’s designation as a Tree City USA community.

Mineral Area Council on the Arts and the city of Farmington hosts a reception for the students whose designs are selected for the “Art Blooms” banner contest. This is the fourth year for the event which features student artwork on banners in downtown Farmington.

May

St. Joseph’s Catholic School in Farmington had 16 entrants/projects compete in the 2018 MAC Science Fair at the Bob Sechrest Fieldhouse. Ten of the projects placed or received honorable mention awards. The tandem project of seventh graders Nora Berkbigler and Anna Burcham came away with the Best of Fair award for middle school projects.

The Farmington Public Library is recognizing National Pet Month by inviting patrons to check out pet or animal related items from any genre for a chance to win prizes donated by local businesses. The drawing will take place at the end of the month.

Among the items approved in the budget amendment during the April 23 Farmington City Council meeting was for the purchase of a new pumper truck for the city’s fire department. The budget amendment amount for the new truck is $450,000.

Beth Black, first grade teacher at Washington-Franklin Elementary School in the Farmington School District, was named the district’s “Teacher of the Year” by the CTA during a luncheon held in the lobby of Black Knight Fieldhouse at Farmington High School.

Farmington Public Works Director Larry Lacy explained a sewer casing located on Woodlawn Drive south of Rural King failed and collapsed the sewer line inside of the casing, causing a sewer backup for Hobby Lobby.

A press conference at the Farmington Regional Chamber of Commerce introduced Jon Cozean and Janet Douglas as this year’s Mr. and Ms. Country Days. The two Farmington natives, both Farmington High School graduates, have a played a vital role in the community.

The city of Farmington received POW-MIA City designations following a presentation at the Jefferson Barracks POW-MIA Museum. Representing the city at the ceremony were Mayor Larry Forsythe, City Administrator Greg Beavers and VFW representative Dwain Asberry.

The Farmington City Council approved a $201,676.50 contract with Kimes Contracting LLC for sidewalk installation along Henry Street up to Old Fredericktown Road.

Students and staff at Farmington Middle School found out Friday morning their school received a "National School of Character" designation by Character.org. The school is now one of 70 national and 64 state “Schools of Character.”

The Farmington Educational Foundation presented more than $22,000 in scholarships to 22 Farmington High School seniors. Much of the scholarship award money comes from memorials made in memory of former Farmington students, educators and members of the community who supported the district in a variety of ways.

The Farmington Water Park opened for the season on Saturday. During Tuesday’s Farmington City Council meeting, Parks and Recreation Director Chris Conway reported that the park made $22,000 in sales from entry fees, concessions and water park pass purchases during the three-day weekend – the best water park opening since its initial opening in 2000.

June

A tornado watch was issued for the area by the National Weather Service for most of Thursday afternoon into the evening of Farmington Country Days. The forecast led to the cancellation of the showing of the movie, The Wizard of Oz, from which this year’s theme, “There’s No Place Like Home” was taken.

On Friday, the first official event of the three-day Farmington Country Days — the KREI Mayor’s Prayer Breakfast — began with Mayor Larry Forsythe welcoming those in attendance at the annual event, held early that morning to get a start on the weekend of festivities.

Farmington is utilizing a full-time code and zoning enforcement inspector to work in correcting nuisance properties. Zach Ricker started his position for the city of Farmington on May 14. Since coming on board, he’s been busy following up on nuisance/code violations reported on the city’s citizen action line.

Preparation work started Thursday for a busy section of roadway seeing more pedestrian traffic in recent years. Crews with Kimes Contracting began work along Henry Street in Farmington – in particular, the section between Carter Street and Old Fredericktown Road south of the downtown area.

Daniel Halek was sworn in as the newest officer for the Farmington Police Department. He began his law enforcement career in Texas before serving with the Marine Corps. Halek received a Purple Heart for injuries received in 2010 while serving in Afghanistan.

A robbery suspect was quickly apprehended following a robbery call from Country Mart in Farmington on Thursday. Farmington Police Chief Rick Baker credits a quick-thinking witness with helping to apprehend the suspect.

Farmington’s Public Works Department has announced that the southbound lane of Henry Street between Carter and Walter Streets will close beginning Tuesday as work continues on stormwater and sidewalk improvements in the city.

Most of the talk during the Farmington City Council hearings and regular session was of the growing residential areas in the community. Three public hearings were held pertaining to the future “Pine Trails Subdivision” — an area of more than 100 acres.

Father Rickey Valleroy is holding a special farewell mass at St. Joseph Catholic Church in Farmington. He is moving to serve as pastor as the St. Agnes Parish in Bloomsdale after 13 years as the pastor in Farmington. His tenure is the longest in the church's 128-year history.

St. Francois County Challenger Baseball wraps up the 10th season this Saturday with a game followed by the traditional picnic in the park.

Farmington Mayor Larry Forsythe officially opened the new archery park in Farmington. The range is a cooperative effort between the city and the Missouri Department of Conservation.

Members of the Farmington Public Works Committee took a “field trip” on Monday to get an up-close look at the city’s work in stormwater retention. Ward II Councilman John Crouch – who heads up the committee for the council – said the two-and-a-half-hour trip around Farmington was both educational and informative for the committee.

The United Way of St. Francois County held its annual grant presentation at the Farmington Public Library. A total of $162,891 in grant funds was awarded to 31 agencies during the ceremony.

The Farmington Board of Education met briefly in special session. During the four-minute meeting, the board heard the district had ended the year in the black.

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