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A year in review: What the headlines of 2021 showed us

Posted on Thursday, January 13, 2022 at 11:50 pm


By Woodrow Polston

Picking up where we left off last week, we continue to glance over the headlines and events that defined the year. For the second half of 2021, we begin in the month of July, when temperatures were certainly much warmer and summer events were in full swing.

July 2021
Local author presents her first novel: A small group of children and adults sat enraptured last Thursday when author Jennifer Adam read from her first published novel, “The Last Windwitch,” bringing to life the characters she had put on its pages. Crystal McCurdy, with the Vandalia Library, introduced Adams to the audience, letting them know that the author, like them, read lots when she was their age. Raging Northeast Missouri storm leaves destruction in its wake: Northeast Missouri experienced some severe storms, which stretched more than 10 miles wide on July 9 at approximately 10:30 p.m. Ralls County Electric Cooperative announced it lost power to about 2,500 of its members. Perry seemed to be the hardest hit, with broken windows, collapsed building walls, roof damage and uprooted trees.

August 2021
Families filled Farber’s Sportsman’s Park during Farber Fun Fest: The Farber Fun Fest was enjoyed by a big crowd this past weekend—Aug. 6-7 at Sportsman’s Park. Alderman Lynn Flowers said, “It was a fun fest event. It wasn’t like years in the past, but with it being canceled last year, and so much going on, we had a great attendance. It was all good.”
Motorcycle chase begins in Laddonia, two arrested: On Aug. 3, at about 11:18 a.m., Audrain County Sheriff’s Sgt. Derek Chism observed a blue and white motorcycle southbound on Rt. 19 near Laddonia that was not displaying valid registration. The bike was occupied by a driver and rear passenger. During the incident, Chism’s patrol car sustained minor damage when he hit a washed-out spot along the edge of the cornfield in high grass.

September 2021
Gov. Parson appoints Winders presiding commissioner: On Sept. 13, Gov. Mike Parson appointed Alan Winders as presiding commissioner for Audrain County. He is filling the vacancy created when Steve Hobbs left the commission earlier in the month.
Prairie Days brings out the crowds: The weather could not have been better for the annual Prairie Days event on Saturday. At 11 a.m. onlookers watched as the parade began to make its way down Main Street.
Allen tapped as transportation director for Van-Far R-I: Bill Allen, who has been the Western District commissioner for Pike County since 2017, has a resume that provides more than enough experience for such a job.
“Time management is key, being able to multi-task is essential,” he explained.
Local residents chosen as Missouri Farm Family for Pike County: Ryan and Melissa Bailey and family of

Curryville were among the families honored during the 62nd annual Missouri Farm Family Day, Aug. 16 at the Missouri State Fair.

October 2021
Family fun at Peno Creek Pumpkin Patch: Conveniently located in Frankford, Mo., the Peno Creek Pumpkin Patch is less than 20 minutes from Bowling Green, about 27 minutes from Vandalia and 25 minutes from Louisiana. Situated on approximately 12 acres of farmland, there were plenty of activities to occupy everyone in the family. There is a corn maze, hayrides, barnyard animals including sheep and rabbits. There was food, drinks and of course a bountiful field of pumpkins.
Scooter’s Coffee cuts ribbon to open Mexico location: A group of customers, media personnel and business owners, gathered outside the new Scooter’s Coffee drive thru Friday afternoon in Mexico. They had all come to witness the ribbon cutting ceremony that was scheduled for 1 p.m.

November 2021
Halloween in Vandalia brings a lot of smiles: There were a lot of different activities going on for Halloween this year. So many in fact, that Halloween was more like a weekend-long celebration instead of a single-day event. On Saturday afternoon, the Vandalia Area Fairgrounds hosted a trunk or treat event. On Sunday afternoon, the Vandalia Area Historical Society Museum held a scavenger hunt.
New Life Tabernacle hosts first Fall Festival: Beginning at noon, there were a variety of engaging outdoor activities for children. There was a bounce house, washers, darts, and a candy toss. Inside the facilities, there were an abundance of delicious food items to choose from.
Vandalia’s new code enforcement officer: Marlena Jones is a longtime resident here in Vandalia. Officially hired by the city in early September, she immediately went to work fulfilling the duties of the position.

December 2021
Governor appoints Audrain County’s first female commissioner: Gov. Mike Parson made a historic appointment last month when Leslie Meyer was sworn in on Nov. 15. as Audrain County’s first female commissioner. Meyer has since filled the position that was vacated by the appointment of Alan Winders to presiding commissioner of Audrain County, after Steve Hobbs resigned.
Local citizens receive lifesaving award: “We were just sitting behind our office in the alley way, and Darren happened to be walking by and stopped to talk to us,” said Ryan Schuckenbrock. “We were just having a chat and all of a sudden that’s when it happened,” he added. Berry was having a stroke. Ryan Schuckenbrock and his co-worker Stephen Butler reacted quickly. After they dialed 911, the paramedics arrived to assist him.
Lafemme Arts Club works to beautify downtown Vandalia one planter at a time; The Lafemme Arts Club has been busy this year with efforts to beautify Vandalia. A recent project included the removal of overgrown trees in the old depot lot that sits off of State Street and Main.
Holiday fun at the annual Jingle and Mingle party: The Vandalia Area Chamber of Commerce celebrated its third annual after-hours Christmas party last Thursday evening. More than 30 people joined the fun, including nonmember guests who were representing area businesses. The party was held in the Charlene Teague Genealogy Center at the Vandalia Area Historical Society Museum located on Main Street. Many of the guests brought in finger foods and beverages.
First lighted Christmas Parade a huge success: On Saturday evening, the citizens of Vandalia experienced their first lighted Christmas parade, which traveled from the fairgrounds all the way down Main Street. Although some of the onlookers seemed to recall Christmas parades from years gone by, no one was certain that there had ever been a lighted one before. And had there been one of this magnitude in the past, someone would surely have remembered it. There were more than 40 participants involved in the parade, which included lighted trucks, tractors, floats, cars, horses, and many other vehicles.