Year In Review: A Look Back At 2018

By: 
Anita Campbell
County Reporter
As the year 2018 draws to a close, we at the Enterprise flipped through the files of the big stories here in Benton County.   The top story of the year was a frightening one as the Warsaw Police Chief Jason Wenberg was shot in the line of duty in downtown Warsaw.  On May 17, Warsaw North Elementary staff noticed a young man on the steps of North School using his cell phone. When they questioned him, he said he was trying to use the school’s WiFi. He was asked to leave the school grounds which he did. Later that day, the same young man stole a truck which was parked near Sun Lakes Rehabilitation Center on Seminary Street in downtown Warsaw.
According to Benton County Sheriff Eric Knox, still later that afternoon, the young man was allegedly involved in an altercation with authorities. The young man fired at one of the department’s vehicles, but no one was injured.  The suspect then drove at a high rate of speed traveling south in the northbound lane on US 65 Highway, abandoning the vehicle at the off ramp of the Dam Access Road and fleeing into the woods near the Lost Valley Hatchery.  A K-9 team from the Henry County Sheriff’s Office tracked the suspect for several hours, losing him in an area where he “often frequented.” According to Warsaw R-IX Superintendent Shawn Poyser, the  teenager was on the steps of North School  on May 18 and was again trying to use the school’s WiFi. He was again asked to leave which he did; however, at approximately 8:15 AM, just minutes after standing outside North School, this teen was reported to the Warsaw Police.
Police Chief Wenberg confronted the teenager at the intersection of Washington and Seminary; the teen brandished a gun and then shot Wenberg in the shoulder. Wenberg returned fire striking the teen in the face.
The teenager was taken by Life Flight to the University of Missouri Hospital in Columbia in serious condition. Wenberg was taken by ambulance to Golden Valley Hospital in Clinton. Wenberg was released later that same day to recuperate at home.
In February, long time elementary and middle school basketball, football, track and softball coach Bob Campbell was inducted into the Warsaw R-IX Basketball Hall of Fame on February 16 at halftime of the Warsaw-Southern Boone game.  Campbell who played for the Wildcats from 1968-1971 later taught physical education at North and South Elementary Schools for 30 years.
In March, the Warsaw Community Building was filled to capacity at the Eighth Annual Quarter Mania sponsored by the BSJ Cancer Fighting Team. “We sold out of tickets three weeks before the event,” said organizer Sharon Guess. “This was our biggest turnout to date.”   
In a special meeting of the Warsaw Board of Education on March 1, Mike Mais was selected to serve Denise Hinkle’s remaining year as a member of the Board. 
City Manager and Planner Randy Pogue was notified on March 22 that Warsaw had been selected as having one of the 12 Best Complete Streets Policies in the U.S. in 2017. It joins 11 other cities who received the recognition from the National Complete Streets Coalition (NCSC).
The City of Warsaw purchased the United Missouri Bank (UMB) Building at 201 W. Main Street on April 6, and is making plans to move its offices to the site in the near future.
Over 1,100 wine enthusiasts filled Warsaw’s Main Street for the Seventh Annual Benton County Wine Stroll held in May.    
A Warsaw man reportedly drowned in Truman Lake near Osage Bluff Sunday afternoon. According to a report from the Missouri Water Patrol, officers were told a boat was floating unoccupied on Truman Lake near Osage Bluff Marina around 1:50 PM Sunday. Troopers and Army Corps of Engineers personnel arrived at the scene to conduct a search-and-rescue operation. The report indicates the body of 67 year old Sherman W. Wright was located next to his fishing line, which had become tangled in a tree. Wright was pronounced dead at the scene.
After 2500 students, four principals and 33 years at North Elementary, School Secretary Vicki Whitaker retired at the end of the 2018 school year in May.
Graduation ceremonies were held at all three Benton County High Schools in May.  Top graduates included:  Savanah Pruitt and Katellyn Dixon at Cole Camp High School; Peyton Warrren, and Sidney Johnson at Lincoln High School and Dallas Larsen and Caitlin Easter at Warsaw High School.
Hundreds lined the streets as visitors and locals descended on Warsaw for the 52nd Annual Jubilee Days celebration on the second weekend in June.
Samantha Blake, WHS sophomore, was crowned as the 2018 Warsaw Jubilee Days queen on Thursday night. First runner up was Brandi Hubert. Second Runner Up was Alexis Mantonya.  Miss Photogenic was awarded to Autumn Long, Sash Winner was Victoria Esser and Talent Winner was Autumn Bauer.
Kaylee Lawson was crowned as the 2018 Jubilee Days Princess as well as the Princess Talent Winner.  First Runner Up was Grace Drake and Second Runner Up and Miss Photogenic was Jazzmyn Swisher.   Sash Winner was Grace Drake.  Miss Congeniality was Daydrie Fritchey.
Bailey Burnworth was crowned as Jr. Miss Jubilee Days and Talent Winner on Friday night.  First Runner-Up and Miss Congeniality was Maylee Slavens.  Second Runner Up was Lilly Bullock.  Sash Winner was Karly Keele and Miss Photogenic was Cecelia Shinn.
Eibhlin Lawson was crowned as the 2018 Little Miss as well as Little Miss Personality.  First Runner Up and Costume Winner was Macy Heimsoth and Second Runner Up was Lainey Burnham.  Sash Winner was Amelia Roberts.  Miss Photogenic was Donyelle Hunter.
Baby Jubilee was crowned on Wednesday night.  Cade Hawley was selected as Baby Boy Jubilee and Adalynn Miller was crowned as Baby Girl Jubilee.
 On June 19, the Benton County Commission signed a proclamation designating Benton County as a Purple Heart County.
Warsaw’s First Annual Junk Market held in June was a huge success despite the heat according to Chamber of Commerce Director Mac Vorce. “From 8 until 11 there were probably over 200 people shopping on Main Street,” said Vorce. “I was pleasantly surprised by the large turnout.” Vorce went on to comment that the merchants on Main Street were also pleased with the Junk Market.
About 70 people turned out to hear contestants sing three songs each at the Third Annual Voice of Harbor Village, on Saturday, June 23. Three winners were selected out of 13 contestants from the Benton County area and Sedalia. They were Shirley Green, 1st place; Don Branine, (a Senior Center regular), 2nd place; and Dawn Self, 3rd Place.
Rodeo fans filled the arena for the Twenty-seventh Annual Benton County Rodeo on July 6 and 7. Bethany Tye was crowned Benton County Rodeo Queen. Madi Glor was crowned Rodeo Princess and Riley Nevius was crowned as the Little Miss of the Rodeo. Rodeo Scholarship winners were C. J. Parks and Madi Glor. 
All Arounders 4-H members Amelia Roberts and Christopher Harrell were crowned as the Benton County 4-H FFA Youth Fair Princess and King on July 6. 4-H and FFA members competed in various events throughout the weekend with the best projects selected to be displayed at the Missouri State Fair in August.
Kyle Rieman grew up in Warsaw and graduated from Warsaw High School in 2007. He continued his studies at Missouri State in Springfield, earning a double major in Sociology and Economics. At the end of his senior year at the university, he became an intern for the Missouri Legislature and has advanced rapidly, being named as Director of the Fiscal Oversight Division in July.
Also in August, eighty-one year old Shirley Green of Warsaw was named the first place winner at the Missouri State Fair Idol contest.
Amelia Roberts represented Benton County at the Missouri State Fair on Sunday, August 12, at the Missouri Egg Council’s Egg Contest as she demonstrated “How to Make A Farmers’ Breakfast” in the 4-H Building. Of the many contestants from across the state, Amelia won second place in the Missouri Contest. Amelia is the eight-year-old daughter of Amber and Gary Roberts of Warsaw and is a member of the All-Arounders 4-H Club.
A beautiful weekend attracted visitors to Drake Harbor to admire over seventy-two vintage automobiles, trucks and motorcycles at the Fifth Annual Benton County Health Department Car Show.
Fifty-one aircraft, including 49 planes, a helicopter and a gyrocopter, took part in the Lincoln Airport FlyIn on September 22, from 7 AM to 4 PM. An estimated 350 to 400 people from the community attended the event, watching planes fly in and land. Attendees were offered the chance to talk to pilots, and were served breakfast and lunch for a free-will donation.
Fans filled Randy Morrow Field at Warsaw High School September 28 for the Annual Homecoming ceremonies and football game. The evening started out with the recognition of the first WHS football team from 1978. Members of the team on hand to celebrate included: Ron Roellig, Mark Porter, Scott Rolf, Mike Munson, Darrell Eason, Raymond Findley, Ernesto Flores, Eddie Carroll, Steve Porter, Gary Martinez, Clay Kreisel, Leo Porter, Billy Shinn, Paul Eason, and Mark Eason. That first WHS football team was coached by Alan Meyer and Ken Bowden. Halftime festivities included the crowning of the WHS Homecoming Court. Seniors Jessica Glenn and Eli Hawkins were crowned as the 2018 Homecoming Queen and King while juniors Ashten Cunningham and Chase Steiner were crowned as Homecoming Princess and Prince. The Wildcats did not disappoint the Homecoming crowd as they sounded defeated the Butler Bears 54 to 14. This was the second win of the season for the Cats.
 The 18th Annual Oktoberfest was held in Cole Camp on Saturday, October 13, with a warm reception, but cold weather. About 300 people attended, with the majority of participants in the morning hours when the temperatures were mildest.
Warsaw’s Freshman Alyssa Alcantara became the first ever Cross Country Ozark Mountain Conference (OMC) Champion last Tuesday in Buffalo. Alcantara outran seniors, juniors, sophomores and other freshmen from El Dorado Springs, Sherwood , Butler, Buffalo, and Skyline, 23 runners in all, to claim the title in Warsaw’s new conference. Alyssa is the daughter of Ray and Shannon Alcantara .
Thousands of visitors flocked to Warsaw over the weekend to attend the Thirty-eighth annual Heritage Days celebration at the Truman Dam Visitors’ Center on Kaysinger Bluff and on Drake Harbor. According to Kaysinger Bluff Pioneer Heritage Association Board president Scott Mills, 5,773 wrist bands were sold to visitors riding the buses up to the Kaysinger Bluff area. That number is up from last year which was 5,750.
Saturday, October 13, 18 members of the Warsaw High School vocal music department traveled to Oak Grove for the West Central All-District Choirs event. Auditions for All-State Choir were also held that afternoon with eight students going through the process. Madeline Schockmann, WHS junior, was chosen for the 2018-19 Missouri All-State Choir.    
After 38 years of working in the banking industry, Hawthorn Bank vice president Mary Gemes is retiring on Friday, November 2. Mary was hired as a bank teller by Osage Valley Bank president Orla Crudginton back in July of 1975.
The Corps of Engineers presented a Plaque of Recognition to Lonnie “Buddie” Murrell at Long Shoal Marina, at 10 AM on Thursday, October 18. Murrell was being honored for rescuing three men on May 2, 2018, when their boat hit a stump, causing it to capsize and sink on Truman Lake.
Retired Warsaw High School English teacher Lorene Argie was killed in a car crash on December 3 in Pettis County. Argie, 76, of Warsaw was riding in a vehicle with her husband George K. Argie, 86, when they were hit head on by a 2012 Dodge driven by Dolores R. Letourneau, 43, of Sedalia. Letourneau was traveling north in the southbound lane of U. S. 65 south of Claycomb Road when she hit the Argie vehicle head on. Both George Argie and Lorene Argie were wearing seatbelts. Letourneau was not wearing a seatbelt. George Argie and Letourneau were transported to Bothwell Hospital by the Pettis County EMT with minor injuries. 
The Lincoln Cardinals lost 44-0 to Hayti on Saturday, December 1, in the state class 1 championship game in Columbia, MO. The Cardinals made school history by making it to the Missouri State High School Football Championship game.
Jason Reynolds, who owns Osage Bluff Marina and Motel, set out jug lines in late October and early November to catch fish so he would have some in the freezer for winter. He had checked his lines every morning and night for two weeks and only caught three or four fish that he could keep. However, his luck changed on November 5, when he caught a record breaking Walleye that weighed six pounds and 14 ounces.
Happy New Year!!! Hope 2019 is a good one!  Keep reading the Benton County Enterprise.

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