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** Editor's note - This is part one of a two-part look back on events in Farmington, the county seat of St. Francois County, during 2018. The second part will appear in Tuesday's edition. 

January

This was 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. 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 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.

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

February

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.

March

Farmington Middle School hosted 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.

Don Duncan Jr., a retired sergeant with the Farmington Police Department and, most recently, code enforcement officer for the city, died. 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.

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 contemporary Christian music group Casting Crowns headlines an 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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

June

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.

Preparation work started 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.

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 held a special farewell mass at St. Joseph Catholic Church in Farmington. He waas 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.

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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Kevin R. Jenkins is the managing editor of the Farmington Press and can be reached at 573-756-8927 or kjenkins@farmingtonpressonline.com

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