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Year in Review (News) 2016

Posted on Wednesday, January 4, 2017 at 11:02 am

N1512P35001C(1)– The following are briefs on news stories that were published in The Vandalia Leader during 2016.

January 6
Van-Far band members enjoy trip to Russell Athletic Bowl.
Gary Sosniecki, former publisher of “The Vandalia Leader,” retires after 47 years.
Class of 1933 Vandalia High School Class ring gets returned to Elaine Scott Haire-Tycocki, daughter of Helen Scott.
January 13
Audrain County Eastern Commissioner Roger Young announces retirement after 22 years of service.
A variety of issues were discussed at the 19th Annual Legislative Appreciation Banquet hosted by the Audrain County Farm Bureau.
January 20
Early Childhood students from Van-Far Elementary School move into the new addition.
Kim Pafford has been named the new Van-Far Jr./Sr. High School Principal.
Van-Far crowns Courtwarming Royalty with Queen Madison Orr and King Nick Barnes.
Second Christian Church holds an Martin Luther King, Jr. celebration event.
Audrain Ambulance District seeks property near Scott’s Corner as a presentation is made during the City of Laddonia meeting.
January 27
Vandalia area residents mourn the loss of the late Louis Salmon.
Niemann Foods/County Market donates $5,000 to YMCA Project.
Community R-VI extends the contract for Superintendent Cheryl Mack.
February 3
Cover crops the reason for the strong smell along Highway 54.
The Missouri Veterans Home goes on lock down after a threat to public safety.
A project is launched to improve the Farber Community Building.
February 10
Event is held at Laddonia City Park to celebrate the life of the late Trinton Kasper.
Ricky Harding, Jr. is sentenced to 30 years in prison.
Vandalia native Drenda (Weir) Williams receives USDA’s Martin Luther King, Jr.’s Drum Major for Service Award.
More than $7,500 was raised in the Vandalia Area Fair Auction.
SSM Health Urgent Care holds Open House in Mexico.
February 17
City of Vandalia passes the fiscal budget for 2016-17.
A Black History celebration is held at the Second Christian Church in Vandalia.
Community R-VI crowns King Jamie Householder and Queen Danielle Brooks.
Rep. Jay Houghton (District 43) receives a top Missouri Pork Association Award.
Tri-County Care Center crowns Valentine royalty.
February 24
R-CALF CEO Bill Bullard makes presentation on U.S. Cattle Industry in Middletown.
Matt Oller files to run for Audrain County Sheriff.
Shots are fired at an incident on E. Whitley in Mexico.
D.A.R. gives Nick Barnes and Karissa Graves Good Citizens awards.
Audrain County R-VI FFA and Van-Far FFA sections produced for National FFA Week.
March 2
Man with Vandalia ties breaks a Guiness World Record for solving a Rubik’s Cube in .90 seconds.
Van-Far’s “Blessings in a Bag” receives $2,360.
City of Laddonia enjoys its new City Hall location.
Chad McDonald files to run for Audrain County Sheriff’s race.
Serghei Comerzan is granted a change of venue for a murder case involving the late Trooper James M. Bava.
Van-Far FFA Chapter and Advisor Tonya St. John win National Nationwide FFA Chapter Tribute Award and St. John gets National Teacher of the Year.
March 9
Paul Galloway is honored for 60 years with the American Legion Post No. 510 of Laddonia.
Ed Lockwood declares his candidacy for District 43.
March 16
A 17-hour manhunt for murder suspects forces school districts to shut down due to safety concerns. Pablo Serrano-Vitorino murdered five people over two states.
Best-selling author George Hodgman visits Van-Far Jr./Sr. High School.
U.S. Senate write-in candidate Patrick Lee visits “The Vandalia Leader” office.
Fatal accident on Scott’s Corner in Laddonia.
March 23
Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump win the most primary votes in the Missouri presidential race.
The Van-Far Teachers Association (VFTA) holds “Meet the Candidates” Forum for school board candidates.
Missouri authors Alice Reese and Marlene Lee visit Van-Far Jr./Sr. High School.
Agape House board re-elects officers.
March 30
Election stories published on sales tax issue, 1/4 cent sales tax for repairing structures, Vandalia’s Ward II aldermen candidates, and Laddonia’s six aldermen candidates.
Curtis and Michele Sargent win 2016 Frank Graham 4-H Volunteer Leadership Award.
April 6
Kevin Motley and Dana Keller win Van-Far School Board race, Proposition 2 passes, Janet Turner wins Ward II in Vandalia; and Gary Garnett along with Carl Donaldson win Laddonia aldermen race.
Crystal Beatty, of “The Vandalia Leader,” wins three state awards for ad design.
Van-Far VFTA holds annual Carnival.
William Wheeler, Sr. retires from Harbison-Walker after 51 years.
The Missouri Farm Bureau’s Kelly Smith, Marketing and Commodities Director, gives an Ag Outlook presentation to the Audrain County Farm Bureau.
Mikyla Wagner is recognized at the Capitol for her veterans photo.
Van-Far receives a $5,000 grant from the A.P. Green Foundation.
April 13
Van-Far students present classic “The Wizard of Oz.”
Century-old book with Laddonia autographs is found in Minnesota.
Man with Vandalia ties walks 5,000 miles for PTSD.
Zika virus case confirmed in nearby Columbia, Mo.
April 20
Mexico’s Darran Wade Boston gets 500+ years in prison for 28 counts of sex crimes.
City of Vandalia swears in aldermen Janet Turner, Doug Bontz and Mayor Ralph Kuda during monthly meeting.
Barnes & Noble Store No. 2074 honors Van-Far teacher Holly Jungers and student Halynna Yager as winners in the “My Favorite Teacher” Essay Contest.
Ellie Hagen is guest speaker at WERDCC Crime Victim’s event.
Farber alderpersons Lynn Flowers and Tony Shade are sworn in for the City of Farber.
Van-Far holds Mock Accident.
April 27
Martinsburg hosts Cruise Night.
Landspout tornado lands in Laddonia area.
Van-Far’s Prom royalty was King Michael Colson and Queen Hailey Hopke.
Audrain County R-VI FFA was named a Top-20 Chapter at State. Gavin Spoor won a State and Area 5 proficiency award.

Read the rest of the Year in Review in the January 4 issue of The Vandalia Leader or purchase an electronic edition at