California Democrat Local News


Bateman pleads guilty to first degree murder

A man accused of shooting and killing his son-in-law at a residence in California on Sept. 3, 2014, was sentenced to life in prison without parole after entering a plea of guilty to first degree murder Friday, March 13, in Moniteau County Circuit Court. Donald L. Bateman, 68, was remanded into custody to begin serving his term.

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Pack 120 Cub Scouts enjoy Pinewood Derby

Exciting racing action was the name of the game at the annual Pinewood Derby for California Cub Scout Pack 120 on Saturday, March 7.

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‘I knew I was going’

Vietnam service earns local veteran Bronze Star and two Purple Hearts

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Volkart earns honors at WWU

William Woods University women’s basketball player Kennedy Volkart has collected her first American Midwest Conference (AMC) Player of the Week award this year, the AMC office recently announced.

California Historic District plans first Mini-Museum Crawl

A Mini-Museum Crawl is planned for May 30 and will encompass many of the businesses in California.

St. Martins man receives heart transplant

Mid-Missouri’s generosity has blessed the Chad Nierman family. Fundraisers have been organized in the past. And two are upcoming to help off-set the cost of the multiple doctors’ visits, hospital stays, traveling back and forth to St. Louis, hotel costs and the heart transplant. A trivia night FUNdraiser benefit will begin at 7:30 p.m. Saturday at St. Martin Catholic Church undercroft. Silent auction items include a Remington Express Super Magnum 12-gauge Mossy Oak Camo Shotgun, a women’s Smith and Wesson Bodyguard .380 with laser site conceal-and-carry handgun, St. Louis Cardinals baseball tickets and a handmade bed. Tables of eight are $120 or $15 per person. An American Red Cross Blood Drive will be open 7:30-11:30 a.m. Sunday, March 15, at St. Martin’s Church cafeteria. Chad’s transplant required 21 pints of blood. But this event, promoted by his son Zane through the St. Martins School, hopes to collect 50 pints in Chad’s honor. E-mail to or call 573-690-6927 for pre-registration or more information.

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CHS National Honor Society doubles membership

The California High School National Honor Society will host its annual blood drive Wednesday, March 25. Appointments or walk-ins from the public may be made 3:30-7 p.m.

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First Christian Church hosts California World Day of Prayer

The World Day of Prayer event in California, Friday, March 6, was hosted by the First Christian Church. The focus was on The Bahamas. The Bahamian World Day of Prayer Committee (WDPC) identified a number of justice issues important to their community through their worship services and wrote the program used by the groups gathered for the occasion. The Bahamas are a chain of islands covering about 100,000 square miles of water in the Atlantic Ocean with a population of less than 354,000. Nearly 250,000 live on the island of New Providence. Only six other islands have more than 3,000 people. The language is English with a special Bahamian dialect known as “Smokey Joe.”

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McTeachers’s Night at California McDonalds

The California McDonald’s drive-in, on Business 50 West, hosted a McTeacher’s Night Monday, March 2, with the California R-I Elementary teaching staff joining in to serve, clean and direct customers.

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Primitive weapon demo held in Columbia

The Missouri Department of Conservation sponsored a primitive weapon introduction session Saturday, March 7. The all-day session was held at Central Regional Office in Columbia, beginning with classroom sessions about the history, making and use of the bow, the longbow and a really primitive weapon, the atlatl.

Local girls win in Warrensburg pageant

Amanda Volkart and Mariah LaRue represented Moniteau County by competing in the Kansas / Missouri Miss Amazing Pageant on Feb. 28, in Warrensburg.

Is the news just a reality show?

Have Americans become insulated from real violence and real blood by the sanitized and distant television news? The 24-hour news cycle brings all the happenings of the world into our living rooms, or now that we have so many mobile devices, into our cars, offices or anyplace we happen to be.

Bird flu strikes locally

A strain of avian influenza, or bird flu, responsible for several outbreaks of the disease around the country has now been confirmed in Moniteau County. The identification on Tuesday, March 10, of the H5N2 strain in a Fortuna poultry facility on Newkirk Road which houses a flock of more than 21,000 birds marked the second instance of the disease in Missouri. The first instance of such an outbreak was confirmed in a flock of more than 30,000 birds at Asbury, near Carthage, in Jasper County on Sunday, March 8.

Daylight saving time to begin Sunday

Be sure to change your clocks Saturday night, since Sunday, March 8, is the day the time “springs forward” by one hour.

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New ag building dedicated at California High School

Members of the community toured the new Ag building facility, talked with FFA members and advisors and enjoyed lunch, Thursday, Feb. 26. Hot dogs, chips, beans and cookies were served from 11 a.m.-1:30 p.m. as part of FFA Week. The building dedication began at 12:30 p.m. with approximately 200 students, faculty, staff, school board members and community members in attendance.