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** Editor's note - This is a continuation of our look back on the past year and how it impacted our region. Today we look back at the highs and lows for Madison County.

January

The bridge over Village Creek on City Lake Road closed after inspectors stated it needed repairs.

Multiple fires destroyed two homes and left a business with extensive damage in the first few weeks of the year including a trailer on County Road 539, a home on Willow Street in Cobalt Village and Escarlate Beauty Shop at 116 E. College. 

Madison County Chamber of Commerce presented Katie Sikes with the Oldest Citizen Award. Sikes was 105, born March 4, 1912. She passed away Feb. 7.

Suspect Glenn O. Frick was taken into custody Jan. 16 after he spent a week running from authorities after an alleged home invasion. A warrant was issued for the arrest of Frick charging him with first-degree burglary and armed criminal action. The incident kept schools on temporary lock down and the whole community on edge.

Tyson Lee Hamm, 31, Andre Seth Smiles, 29, and Cassidy Clayton, 22, were taken into custody in connection with the murder of Stephen G. Dowd, 41, or Fredericktown. 

February

The Fredericktown Elementary and Intermediate Schools were featured in the Missouri School-Wide Positive Behavior Schedule Winter 2018 Newsletter.

Madison County gets a Buddy Ball League where all kids can play ball. Missy Bowman started the league which gives children, ages 6 and up, with any type of disability, the opportunity to be a part of a team.

The cadets of the FHS JROTC Program earned the “Honor Unit with Distinction” (HUD) accreditation for the first time under the new JPA criteria. This distinction puts the Fredericktown High School JROTC Program in the top 30 percent of all Army JROTC Programs nationwide and overseas.

An elk caused some excitement as commuters saw the animal wandering around the area of the local Hardee's. The privately-owned elk eventually made its way back home.

March

The City of Fredericktown received the Missouri Rural Water Association's Water System of the Year Award. 

Three brush fires broke out within an hour of each other March 15. Cherokee Pass Fire Department, Fredericktown Fire Department and the Missouri Conservation Department worked together to extinguish the fires and keep the community safe.

The Annual Feed the Families event raised $23,156 to help fund the local food pantries.

The Fredericktown School Board hired Derrick Eaves of Farmington to be the 2018-19 High School Assistant Principal and Athletic Director.

April

The Fredericktown City Council voted to approve the intergovernmental agreement between Madison County and the City of Fredericktown to fund the new sports complex.

Mountain View Church was destroyed after an explosion occurred in the basement leaving Bob and Steven Starkey seriously injured. 

The Madison County Health Department Proposition passed increasing property taxes by 15 cents per $100 of assessed valuation. 

St. Louis businessman Stacy W. Hastie, CEO of Environmental Operations and J. Randall Waterfield, CEO of Waterfield Holdings, announced that Missouri Cobalt, LLC, has acquired land and operational control of 1,800 acres of a former mine operation in Madison County.

Fredericktown High School Teacher Colton Wooldridge, 25, completed the Boston Marathon April 16 with an official time of 2:51:27 placing 677 overall, landing him in the top 2.25 percent.

May

The Fredericktown R-I School Board approved the addition of cross country to the fall sports offered at the high school.

U.S. Congressman Jason Smith visited Madison County to tour the site of the cobalt mine acquired by Missouri Cobalt.

Missouri State Treasurer Eric Schmitt visited Cap America to tour the facility which has benefited from his Missouri First initiative. 

The Employer Support of Guard and Reserve recognized Madison County Sheriff Katy McCutcheon with a Patriot Award for being supportive of her employees who participate in the National Guard and Reserve.

The traveling photo memorial called "Remembering Our Fallen" made its way to Fredericktown. The exhibit featured Missouri soldiers who have died during the War on Terror.

June

Former Madison County Sheriff Verlon Young died May 26 at his home in Farmington. 

The 2018 Relay for Life fundraiser surpasses its goal and raises $33,33.54. 

Seventeen cyclists participating in the 2018 Remember the Removal Bike Ride made a stop in Madison County June 12. The riders were approaching the half-way mark of their three-week long journey spanning approximately 950 miles along the northern route of the Trail of Tears. 

July

Cole Duffell, 19, of Chesterfield drowned at The Offsets after jumping off a cliff into the water while celebrating the Fourth of July with his friends. Safion L. Livingston, 21 of St. Louis also drowned at The Offsets after he began to struggle, submerged and did not resurface.

A sink hole was discovered at the site of the new sports complex. The hole measured a couple feet deep and around five feet in diameter.

The Missouri Department of Conservation restricted deer feeding in order to reduce the spread of Chronic Wasting Disease.

August

A group of 35 students from Beijing and Mongolia visited S-bar-F Scout Ranch as part of the Boy Scouts of America's International Ambassador Program. 

Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley filed suit against The Offsets to address "deadly conditions" at the swimming spot. 

Wanda Priest and Azalea Parks began their transformation as crews began remediation of the land as part of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Superfund to remove contaminants from the ground.

Fredericktown voters passed Proposition P in the August 7 primary. The measure imposes a city-wide half-cent sales tax "for the purpose of improving public safety of the City." 

The Fredericktown Police Department welcomed "Buster" to its team as the newest member of its K-9 program.

Governor Mike Parson toured the site of Missouri Cobalt saying "This is huge for small town Missouri."

September

Bob J. Hufford passed away at the age of 80.

Fredericktown Firefighter Andrew Sikes traveled to Colorado to help fight wildfires. 

Kolby Krieger continues his ride to the top as he recounts his roping career after placing third in the world at the Little Britches National Finals Rodeo in Guthrie, Oklahoma.

The Madison County Chamber of Commerce reaches 100 members.

October

The Madison County Health Department formed an Opioid Task Force as a way to help gather data from the community and create solutions to the opioid epidemic the county is seeing. 

Madison County Farm Supply's feed storage building suffered major damage after a fire broke out in a grain elevator. Also, in October two suspicious fires broke out the first destroyed the Old Buckhorn Church and the second caused significant damage to the Henry and Jane Bess-Sitzes log homestead located in Marquand Historic Park.

The Fredericktown License Office closed its doors Oct. 12 when Ken and Debbi Lee decided not to renew their contract with the Department of Revenue. 

Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft visited Madison County to meet with County Clerk Donal Firebaugh to ensure the county had everything it needed for a successful election day.

November

Fredericktown United Methodist Church added a Blessings Box to its building as a way to provide anonymous support and help to those in need 24/7.

The Madison County Chamber of commerce welcomed Congressman Jason Smith to town to commemorate Madison County's Bicentennial. 

Black River Electric Cooperative Linemen Gary Gresham, Jeremy Rehkop, Seth Revelle and Bobby Myers spent 16 days in Florida assisting the Talquin Electric Cooperative in the wake of Hurricane Michael.

The Fredericktown Police Department and Fredericktown R-I School District worked together and were awarded the COPS Office STOP School Violence: School Violence Prevention Program. The total awarded budget is $197,420 with the Federal share being $148,065.

December

The Missouri State Highway Patrol's Division of Drug and Crime Control began an investigation into allegations of stealing at the Madison County Collector's office.

The Missouri Office of Administration in conjunction with the Missouri Department of Revenue awarded the management contract for the Fredericktown License Office to the Madison County Health Department.

The Madison County Chamber of Commerce holds its annual dinner on the actual 200th anniversary of Madison County, Dec. 18.

The Fredericktown Fire Department awarded Daytona Brown the title of Firefighter of the Year.

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Victoria Kemper is a reporter for the Daily Journal. She can be reached at 573-783-3366 or at vkemper@democratnewsonline.com

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