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A year in review: the headlines of 2021

Posted on Thursday, January 6, 2022 at 7:17 pm


By Woodrow Polston

As we begin a new year, we have the opportunity to glance over the stories and events that defined 2021 in our community. Many positive improvements have moved us forward and given occasion for a greater sense of pride for 2022. Let’s keep up the good work, as we continue to improve the quality of life in our area.

January 2021

Van-Far superintendent works to increase mental health resources; “These needs were there prior to the pandemic, but now the pandemic has definitely shined a bigger light on mental health nationwide,” said John Fortney. “We are grateful for the agencies that are working hard to support our community,” he added. Farber police chief leads Junior Patrol; “When we started the Junior Patrol it was all about manners and integrity,” said Farber Police Chief Raymond Bumbales.

February 2021

Solar Project coming to Audrain, Ralls counties; EDF Renewables has been assessing an area in Audrain and Ralls counties for the potential to host a 200 MW commercial scale solar project, which can produce enough clean energy to power approximately 40,000 homes,” said Jinnie Hall, community relations manager for EDF. Farber Water and Wastewater Systems; Eddie Gooch was hired as the part time manager of Farber’s water and wastewater systems. He has worked full time at the water treatment plant in Bowling Green for more than 10 years.

March 2021

Dollar Tree, Family Dollar ‘Combo’ store coming to Vandalia; “Dollar tree and Family Dollar continue to grow, and we are proud to be part of the Vandalia community,” said Kayleigh M. Painter, investor and media relations manager. County officials testify on behalf of bills to keep funds local; “The biggest thing is being heard,” said John Fortney. “And we really felt like, coming back, that both committees really listened to us. I think we were able to convey how important that money is to the success and the development of the school district and county service agencies long term,” he added.

April 2021

Local leaders welcome Gov. Mike Parson to Vandalia; Parson spoke about the importance of broadband as a critical part of Missouri infrastructure at the Eastern Missouri Family YMCA in Vandalia on Wednesday, April 7. “Everybody should have access to reliable internet,” said Parson. “When I first became governor I realized we still had tremendous gaps in this state. We still have communities that don’t have it,” he added. Vandalia to receive $742,000, city administrator reports; Vandalia City Administrator Darren Berry announced that the city will receive $742, 276.26 through the American Rescue Plan signed into law on March 11, 2021.

May 2021

New coffee shop coming to Main Street in Vandalia; Serving premium ice cream, Amish bread and pastries, fresh deli sandwiches, and brewed or specialty coffee drinks, His Place hopes to open sometime early this summer. POET awards community grants; Farber Community Betterment received a $500 Never Satisfied Grant to improve the playground area at Sportsman’s Park, and to make other improvements. Nearly 90% of 2021 R-VI grads qualify for A plus; 20 of the 23 graduating seniors in the Community R-VI class of 2021 qualified for A plus scholarships.

June 2021

Bassinger Roundabout rolling forward; Brian Untiedt, central area engineer for MoDOT Northeast District, attended the monthly meeting of the Hwy 54 coalition on June 16, which was held in Vandalia this month. During the meeting, Untiedt updated the group of city, state and county officials about plans for a roundabout at Bassinger Corner. Third time’s a charm for Farber’s newest city clerk; Barbara Straube, 62, is the third city clerk hired by the City of Farber to try to fill the vacant shoes of Marie Bounds, who retired from the position in February 2021 after serving for 50 years. Straube began training for the position in May and says she plans to stay. MGRA holds Riding for Dad in Curryville; The Missouri Girls/Guys Racing Association held a Riding for Dad event on Friday, June 18, in Curryville to celebrate fatherhood, and to give all age groups a chance to compete at bending poles and racing barrels.

Look for the headlines of 2021 part 2, in next week’s issue.