Year 2013 in review


Democrat Staff

We are now only a few days from the end of 2013. The last 12 months of California Democrat issues will soon be in the archives. Some items from the issues will return to public notice in 10, 20, 30 or more years, when they are part of the Past in Review.

As we look back over the past year, weather was, as usual, a major topic.

Crime reports were also frequent entries in the paper, ranging from assaults to drug busts, burglaries and car thefts.

The rebuilding of an area church following a late 2012 fire made the pages of the Democrat from time to time in 2013.

On the more reader-friendly side of the news reports, the many parades, community, school and theater events took a fair share of the published news.


The Finke Theatre topped the Jan. 2 issue, with photos of the new brickwork on the marquee posts and a story about the coming season's performances. Also making the front page were the elected officials being sworn in and the last minute property tax payments made.

Inside, were reported a New Years' Eve snowfall which blanketed the area with the white stuff, Burgers' Smokehouse celebrating 60 years in business and the new Moniteau County Jail nearing completion.

The first baby of the year was featured in the Jan. 9 issue. Rylee Porter was welcomed into the world by her parents Brandon and Kaylee (Webb) Porter at 12:45 p.m., Jan. 1, 2013, at St. Mary's Health Center, Jefferson City.

In addition, Terri Leifeste was announced as the new general manager of Central Missouri Newspapers, Inc., the parent company of the California Democrat.

Emily Anderson graduated magna cum laude from Northwest Missouri State University with a B.S. in ag business.

On the crime scene in the county, charges were filed against several people. One was charged after a vehicle crash when responding officers allegedly found a controlled substance, another was charged with animal theft, another with domestic assault and two others with burglary for a Dec. 30 incident.

On the front page of the Jan. 16 issue, Burgers' Smokehouse 4-H ham curing work was featured. The upcoming Chamber of Commerce annual dinner was discussed, the California City Council report indicated approval was given to order new electric transformers and the Lady Pintos won the California Basketball Tournament.

A human interest story was about Ova McCoy celebrating her 106th birthday at Moniteau Care Center. Originally from Eureka Springs, Ark., she moved to California to be nearer family.

News of community interest were that the city storm sewer project was nearing completion and the sidewalk project was on track. The county commission checked out the progress on the new county jail. A new Computer Aided Dispatch system was on-line at the Emergency 911 Center.

California Progress, Inc. (CPI) planned a townhall meeting to discuss the Missouri Main Street Connection, which was later selected to help revitalize the historic business district of California.

Work was underway on the building addition of the historical society. The space will be used for the genealogical and research library.

The Finke Theatre presented the "Last Comic Standing."

At the top of the Jan. 23 issue, the California School Board was honored for School Board Appreciation week. Other school board members were also presented with certificates of appreciation. Jamestown Homecoming Royalty was crowned.

California kindergarteners were on stage for Nursery Rhyme Day. The Burger Foundation contributed to the Wood Place Library. The Young Farmers announced its tour schedule for the year. The Moniteau Christian Ministries Center held a chili cook-off fundraiser.

Photos of Ruth Hohman's lemon and kumquat trees were a good break from winter.

Michael P. Fennewald was promoted by the Missouri Highway Patrol from corporal to sergeant. David L. King was commissioned second lieutenant in the Missouri National Guard.

On the crime side of the news, charges were filed against several people. In separate cases, two people were charged with marijuana-related offenses and one with a methamphetamine-related charge. A burglary was reported in which several firearms were taken. The firearms were recovered about a month later as a result of a tip. They were reported to have been stolen by a juvenile.

The unusual weather of 75 degrees in late January was featured on the front page of the Jan. 30 issue. Other front page stories were of the annual Chamber of Commerce dinner. Roberta Rothstein was named Citizen of the Year, Charles and Carol Rackers with the Business of the Year Award for Rackers Manufacturing, and the Volunteer of the Year Award was presented posthumously to Brenda Opel, who had died in late 2012.

A town hall meeting about revitalizing the historic business district drew about 60 people.

Russellville band members Khala Schulte and Kayla Smith were representatives at the Southern Illinois University - Edwardsville Bi-State Band.

The Moniteau Saddle Club celebrated its 10th anniverasary with a dinner.

Ending the month on serious crimes, one person was charged with statutory rape. Another was charged with assault.


The Feb. 6 edition led off with the Lincoln Day Dinner, with Mark Rehagen portraying Abraham Lincoln.

Ronnie Bishop, 2000 graduate of California High School, and a graduate of University of Missouri-Columbia, was promoted to sergeant in the Missouri National Guard. A Kansas City resident, he is a former U.S. Marine corporal. He has recovered from injuries sustained in Afghanistan in 2011.

Hannah Campbell was crowned Russellville High School Homecoming Queen.

Leading off the front page of the Feb. 13 issue of the Democrat was a photo of the California High School Courtwarming Royalty with Queen Ana Strickfaden and Princess Jasmine Wells. The Boy Scouts attended church for Boy Scout Week.

Emily Kennedy, Russellville, won a DAR Essay contest.

Friends of Finke held a fundraiser, "Dinner with your Darling." A special P.T.O. dance was held at California elementary.

Felony charges were filed against two people. One was charged with a methamphetamine-related offense. A second was charged with felony abuse through forced labor.

The Prairie Home Courtwarming Royalty was featured on the front page of the Feb. 20 issue. Courtwarming Queen Kim Hettinger and Princess Kristen Peterson were crowned, along with King Tyler Young and Prince Kyler Fairfax.

The old Friedmeyer building on Oak Street was demolished. The lot became a parking lot for the Church of Christ.

The Moniteau County 911 tax increase was effective April 1.

One person was charged with alcohol and drug offenses.

Photos of an eight-inch ice and snow storm, with thunder and lightning, led off the front page of the Feb. 27 issue.

Also front page news was the California Rural Fire Protection District annual dinner with many braving the weather to attend. Ed Bleich was presented an award for his years of service with the district and the previous fire protection association.

It was reported that the California R-I Middle School received new cafeteria tables and a new scoreboard.

Rita Marshall was featured as still bowling at the age of 90.

A special workshop for local government personnel was held to help plan to maintain critical functions after a disaster.


The open house for the new Moniteau County Jail topped the page for the March 6 issue.

Daylight Saving Time was to begin the next Sunday. Another major snowstorm brought about several cancellations. Photos of snowmen built by local young people were photographed for the front page. Inside, Co-Mo Electric reportd its efforts to restore power, following the storm-caused outages.

On the inside pages was a report of the California World Day of Prayer, hosted by the California United Methodist Church.

Russellville school was the site for an armed intruder training session.

A resident was charged with felony burglary, and resisting or interfering with an arrest.

The second issue of the month, March 13, featured students inducted into the National Honor Society. A story appeared featuring assistance to the Buddy Pack program by fasting, then donating towards the program.

A spaghetti dinner fundraiser was hosted by the Outlaws softball team for the California Nutrition Center. C&R Market prepared for the grand opening of the new store.

The Chamber Easter Egg Hunt topped the front page of the March 20 issue with plenty of colorful photos. The Chamber of Commerce also discussed the Use Tax at its regular monthly meeting.

The new county jail went into operation with several prisoners transferred from the old jail.

A local man entered a guilty plea to involuntary manslaughter, as he was set to go to trial for second degree murder. He was sentenced to 10 years in prison.

Mid-Mo Ambulance District evaluated the Critical Care Transport system, which had been started a few months before. As the service becomes better known, transport number increase.

Jamestown church youth assisted a homeowner near the Missouri River by helping reroof his house.

The Tipton bus barn was reported damaged by the snow and ice storm.

On the crime scene, marijuana charges were filed against three people, as a result of searches conducted of a residence.

The C&R Market grand opening topped off the March 27 issue. The death of Kenny Vaughan, local entrepreneuer, was reported. The Kiwanis hosted a pancake breakfast.

A charge of child molestation was filed against a man, who had been residing in Jamestown.


The April 3 issue of the California Democrat showed a busy area. Easter Egg hunting in Prairie Home, a Head Start Lunch event, the April election, the arrival of ducklings and bunnies at Orscheln Farm and Home and the California City Council meeting.

A moment of silence began the council meeting because Alderman Kelly David Messerli had died the day before the council met. A report on his funeral appeared in the next issue.

The death of Kenny Vaughan was also noted with mention of the chances he took in efforts to develop the city.

On the inside pages, Morris Burger was chosen by Ingram's, Kansas City's business magazine, as one of the "50 Missourians you should know for 2013." A ribbon-cutting was at C&R Market's new location. The Masonic Lodge hosted its annual sausage and pancake fundraiser.

On the crime side, drug charges were filed against one individual. An arrest was made in a shooting incident. An update in the next issue of the paper reported additional charges filed for assault, armed criminal action and drug charges related to methamphetamine and marijauna.

The April 10 issue featured at the top Rep. Vicky Hartzler's visit with local residents at the California Nutrition Center. The new California city officials were sworn in. CHS students advanced to the state music competition. A special school board meeting was held to review an energy-improvement audit. Inside, final election results were reported. Kiwanis made a donation to the Wood Place Library and the Finke Trivia Night fundraiser was a success.

In the April 17 issue of the California Democrat was the Soil and Water Conservation District annual awards dinner. California Elementary teacher Lindsey Porter was presented with the SWCD Teacher of the Year Award for 2012. The Cooperator of the Year Award was presented to Joyce and David Shaul, Jamestown. Poster winners were also announced. Two school board members were sworn in. Kyle Wirts returned to the board and Rhonda Meyer was newly elected. The winners of the Mid-Mo Ambulance Board election were Brenda Lapp and Kirby Baumert. Both had run unopposed.

The freezer/cooler units were installed in the new Moniteau Christian Ministries Center building. Archery was introduced at the California schools. The Jamestown Eager Eagles held a fundraiser for the Honor Flight.

It was reported in the April 24 issue that Queen Alayna York and King Dakota Harris were crowned CHS Prom royalty. The "Art Kiddos" group had a show of their works at the Finke Theatre.

The design of Daniel Karlov, Jamestown, was chosen for a Columbia house that, which constructed, will be "net zero" in energy use.

Dr. Norman Rohrbach received a Distinguished Service Citation at the Missouri FFA Convention.

Queen Katie Wolken and King Clayton Harrison were crowned at the Russellville Prom.

On the crime scene, a domestic assault was filed against one person. Several charges were filed against a Tipton man after he entered a house. Officers investigating a vehicle which had crashed into a ditch and fence charged the driver with tampering, when it was found he was driving the car without permission.

There was a burglary at Dollar General.


The CPI "Wine, Dine and Win" event was the lead story in the May 1 issue. The event, which took place April 27 at Braykley Hall, was the third of the "Big Bucks" type fundraisers of California Progress, Inc. The top prize received by the owner of the winning number was $1,500. There were also a silent auction and a live auction.

The family of Trudy Taylor was featured on the front page as a leadup for the Mother's Day section inside. The more than 70 morel mushrooms collected by Roger Carey, his son Isaac and grandson Dawson rated a story on the front page, in part because they were found earlier than expected.

A photo of a blooming red tulip gave additional evidence of the arrival of spring.

Nine local teens returned from the 4-H Teen Conference, in which they learned leadership skills, character education and parliamentary procedure.

A California native, Tabitha Hoback, was elected vice president of the Central Methodist University Student Government Association. Co-Mo Electric had a ribbon-cutting ceremony for its new operations center.

At California High School, classroom awards were presented. At Prairie Home School, the Prom theme was, "You Only Live Once." Kristynn Watson and Jonathan Brandes were crowned queen and king.

The Russellville FFA Chapter competed at the state convention.

On the crime side, a traffic stop resulted in felony drug charges against three people. In another instance, a night of surveillance by sheriff's deputies resulted in burglary charges being filed.

The May 8 issue featured the Aurora Montessori School's annual Mother's Day Tea and Jason Kander honored at the Moniteau County Truman Day event. He was presented with the Harry S Truman Award by John Kay. Resa Dudley was presented with the Democrat of the Year Award by her son Robert Hirschvogel.

Debbie Ferguson was sworn in to the California Board of Aldermen to take the seat held by Kelly David Messerli before his death.

The CHS music department presented a spring concert. Student Conservation Day was held at the Moniteau County Fairgrounds. The annual National Day of Prayer was observed at the Moniteau County Courthouse.

Morris and Dolores Burger were honored with a Tribute Bench dedicated April 20 at University of Missouri - Columbia. Larry Hume, CHS Class of 1961, was honored with a distinguished service award at his home in Shelby County, Texas.

In Russellville, the old caboose was moved from City Park to Railroad Park.

The May 15 issue featured the Mystery Dinner Fundraiser for Wood Place Community Library. The event was held at the United Church of Christ fellowship hall. The murder mystery, "The Death of Dr. Pepper," was performed during the dinner. The director was CHS drama teacher Tiffany Brown. It was announced she was leaving at the end of the school year.

Moniteau Care celebrated National Nursing Home Week, releasing balloons May 13. Mayor Norris Gerhart signed a proclamation for Children's Mental Health Week.

Girl Scouts competed at Powder Puff Derby.

A report was given on the California High School FFA Banquet, which was held April 25. Many awards were given. The California Kids Talent Show was held May 7.

High Point School Administrator Toni Westbrooks-Taylor announced that she would be leaving the school and moving to become superintendent of St. Elizabeth School.

Russellville High School Baccalaureate was held. KC Wolf visited Russellville school. The Russellville FFA Banquet was held.

Prairie Home School held its academic awards banquet. A concert was also held.

The Jamestown Alumni met May 11.

The May 22 issue featured graduation reports. On the front page, California, Prairie Home, Jamestown and Aurora Montessori graduations were pictured.

Inside, there was more information on graduations and there was a report on the California Baccalaureate.

Jim Deeken retired as Jamestown C-I superintendent and a farewell dinner was held for those staff members who would not be returning for the next year.

Another big event reported was that during National Nursing Home Week, "Elvis" visited and danced with some of the residents.

Many of the woodworking projects of the California students were featured in a series of photos taken during an open house.

Memorial Day photos and a story took most of the front page of the May 29 issue. The service was held at the grave of Curtis Baker at Annunciation Catholic Cemetery.

California Historic District committees reported to CPI about their activities. The summer reading program kicked off at Wood Place Community Library.

California seniors were awarded scholarships.

A felony drug possession charge was filed against a Tipton man, after he was located in Kliever.


The June 5 edition led off with the announcement of the coming retirement of Police Chief Fred Kirchoff and applications for the position. A part of Highway 87 south of the Business 50 intersection was closed for excavation work for the new sidewalk. Rebuilding began on the Flag Spring Baptist Church, which had burned in December 2012.

Annunciation Catholic Church held its annual picnic.

Ray Rouse was inducted into the Missouri Broadcasters Hall of Fame.

Devon Koestner earned an Eagle Scout award.

A ribbon-cutting was held at the new business Oak Street Fabrics and More.

The California roller rink closed.

The California fifth graders graduated from the drug education program. Young people practiced "Dig into Reading" at the library, working with dirt-colored modeling clay.

California and Russellville alumni dinners were held. Latham students completed their first year in the new school building. The previous school burned.

One person was charged with methamphetamine possession. Another was charged with burglary and stealing for a Tipton incident.

The Russellville 175th anniversary celebration was featured in the June 12 issue. Railroad Park was dedicated. There was a parade, a baby show and food and music at City Park. A marker was installed on the new genealogy wing of the historical society building.

School bus inspection numbers were released. Of the eight schools in the Democrat area, there were 54 buses inspected, with six found with defects. None were taken out of service. Tipton's bus fleet was awarded a few weeks later with the Total Fleet Excellence Award.

Several Father's Day stories were included in the paper. Kelsey Parrott was honored with a "Kelsey Parrott Day" announced May 16. The honor was given for her service as National American Miss Missouri. She interned in the Missouri House of Representatives.

Middle School student Sam Smith went to Washington, D.C., to attend the Junior National Young Leaders Conference. Marie Inglish was named the Outstanding University of Missouri College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources Student.

Madalyn Vivion celebrated her 103rd birthday.

At the top of the front page of the June 19 issue was the Relay For Life event, which took place at the Moniteau County Fairgrounds. An Eagle Scout project by Allan Burger put the American flag on display around the city hall and county courthouse.

The library introduced eReaders. Mid-Mo Ambulance District planned a new California base. The annual Phillips Field Fly-in drew a crowd.

Tech. Sgt Craig Hall completed his first year as a United States Air Force Thunderbird.

The Taste of Local Missouri event was the featured story on the front page of the June 26 issue. CPI approved a logo for the California Historic District.

Merten's Station changed ownership. The artwork at Burgers' Smokehouse was updated by Terry Chase.

The July to December review will be in a later issue.


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