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The Rolla Daily News - Rolla, MO
  • A month-by-month recap of the top local events

  • In the Dec. 29-30, issue of The Rolla Daily News, the top 10 local news events were highlighted. Here's a look at some other local stories from 2012:
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  • JANUARY: Two homes, one at 703 E. 12th St. and one in the 14000 block of County Road 2030, were damaged by fire significantly.
    Fine Linen Drama Company presented "You Can't Take It With You" at Leach Theatre.
    Donovan R. Mitchell, 21, formerly of Rolla, pleaded guilty to burglarizing a home outside Rolla in 2010. He got a suspended sentence and probation.
    A six-vehicle pile-up and a school bus crash on Interstate 44 were blamed on ice and snow Thursday, Jan. 12. "I'll tell you what, a half-inch of snow sure did cause a bunch of problems," Missouri State Highway Patrol Troop I Public Information Officer Sgt. Dan Crain told the newspaper.
    S&T enrollment for the spring semester was 6,612, a 2.6 percent increase from the previous spring.
    In Newburg, the Board of Aldermen turned over the ownership of the Little Piney Community Park to the Newburg Community Revitalization Group.
    Frank J. Colvin, 34, Rolla, entered an Alford Plea to a second-degree murder charge in connection with the May 2010 death of his roommate, DelRay Wiench. Colvin was sentenced to 15 years in prison.
    Newburg Elementary School Principal Ron Reagan announced he would retire at the end of the school year.
    Harry Leech, 51, Newburg, was charged with first-degree domestic assault and other charges in connection with the shooting of a woman at the couple's home at 741 Highway T.
    Gilberto Garcia, 24, Rolla, was arrested Jan. 29 after barricading himself inside an Oak Street home for four hours. No injuries were reported.
    Sunday night, Jan. 29, two people from St. Louis — Kiera Monae Williams, 24 and Tierra Land, 24 —were chased through Phelps and three other counties. They were eventually caught and charged with felony stealing and resisting arrest.
    Highway 72 streetlights were turned off east of Lions Club Drive to save about $2,500. 15 lights are involved.
    Jan. 31 was the last day of business for Lambiel Jewelry, a 30-year Rolla downtown business.
    • Roadway accidents: Fatals on rise: 42 percent increase in Meramec Region
    • Two homes ravaged by fires
    • Woman allegedly stabs boyfriend: Bloody knife found in car
    • Terrorist charges dropped: Aughenbaugh allegedly threatened to blow up RPD
    • Missing teens found: Girls safe, in police custody
    • Manslaughter trial set: Briggs charged with death of St. James woman
    • Flu forces Edgar Springs school closure
    • Sunday morning standoff: Gunfire prompts police action
    FEBRUARY: A presidential primary was held in Missouri. Few voters participated because it carried little weight, or in the case of the Republicans, no weight, in the candidate selection process. Missouri used the caucus system, not the primary, to select delegates to the national conventions. The state decided to go ahead and spend the money, between $7 million and $8 million, on the primary anyway.
    Page 2 of 9 - Air conditioning units were stolen at the Rolla Church of Christ.
    Snow arrived Sunday night, Feb. 12, closing school and sending kids outside to sled and play in the snow Monday.
    Russ Mudd was named the successor to Ron Reagan at Newburg Elementary School. Mudd was the special services coordinator and athletic director.
    Here are some headlines from February issues:
    • Rolla man charged with rape
    • Man accused of selling pot out of a day care may plead guilty
    • Guilty plea expected in stabbing
    • Gun sparks lockdown at S&T
    • Tractor-trailer flips, catches fire
    • Home destroyed by fire Saturday; three other homes damaged in separate fires
    • New mother found dead at PCRMC; death ruled an overdose
    • Phelps County plow flips
    • Two shot by police: 130mph chase ends after crash
    • "Bottle bomb" explodes at Missouri S&T
    • Three injured in crash
    • Hate crime headed to trial
    MARCH: Kohl's opened on Sunday, March 4, with a grand opening held on Wednesday, March 7, giving Rolla residents another shopping venue. Many had said that if the Rolla City Council would work to bring Kohl's to town, they would not have a need to go to St. Louis. The council responded by using a tax increment financing package to help Kohl's pay for the land and its development; Kohl's responded by lending the city the money it needed to help Kohl's. The money will be paid back to Kohl's by turning over sales tax money to the company.
    Father Joseph Carlo, who for many years was the rector at Christ Episcopal Church in Rolla, was accused of sexual abuse.
    Thirty-three thousand pounds of eggs were scrambled in a tractor-trailer accident on Highway E Monday, March 12.
    Community Christian Church, Highway 72, received a new steeple.
    County GOP delegates to congressional district conventions were selected. Democrats picked their caucus delegates later in the month.
    Nathan Hoven, Rolla High School principal, announced he would take a job as principal at Timberland High School, Wentzville, after completing the school year, his fourth contract year.
    Scattered storms that passed through Phelps County on March 15-18 did $250,000 in damage. Workers spent 112 hours of overtime to clean up the damage and make the roads safe.
    Here are headlines from March newspapers:
    • Damaging winds, no tornado; RPD chooses not to sound tornado sirens
    • 5 fires in Phelps: Historic home destroyed; Flames wreak havoc on I-44
    • Fire damage estimated at $400K
    • Rolla man killed in motorcycle accident
    • Morning house fire ruled arson
    Page 3 of 9 - • Salem couple killed in accident
    APRIL: Cody Willcoxson, who had led police on a chase from Fort Leonard Wood to Rolla in cars and on foot, pleaded guilty April 4 in Pulaski County to two counts of assault on a law enforcement officer.
    Tyler Smith, of Licking, a soldier in the U.S. Army, was killed while serving in Afghanistan.
    Volunteers started building a firehouse in Newburg.
    Easter Sunday morning was celebrated in Rolla with the Easter Bunny dropping eggs from a helicopter to children — and their parents — awaiting below in Ber Juan Park.
    An Arkansas girl visiting Phelps County was bitten by a monkey.
    A former Rolla woman, Brittany Killgore, was reported missing in California. Her body was soon found; two people were later charged.
    The shade structure was being installed ina parking lot downtown. The structure is a tent paid for through a grant from the Department of Agriculture erected for use by the Tuesday morning farmers market in spring and summer.
    Here are some more headlines from April newspapers:
    • Rolla couple facing meth charges
    • Man dies in Maries County blaze
    • Police shoot naked St. James man: he allegedly attacked, bit officer
    • St. James man arrested after stabbing
    • Fire levels Rolla home
    • Police searching for Peeping Tom
    • Pulaski inmate commits suicide
    • $3 theft leads to felony charges
    • Home heavily damaged in fire, not a total loss
    • All levels of Rolla society use drugs
    • House saved from fire
    MAY: Someone had been reported stealing Rolla city storm sewer grates.
    Two farmers markets competed for buyers' attention and money.
    Dr. Jim Pritchett, Mark Twain Elementary School principal, was selected for Rolla High School principal.
    Former Phelps County Deputy Sheriff Randy Barr received the Bramlett-Light award at the annual Optimist Club Respect for Law Banquet May 2.
    Astronaut Sandra Magnus was the commencement speaker at S&T. She told the students they could do anything. "The sky is not a limit. I'm here to tell you that," she said.
    Rolla robotics team placed in the top 2.5 percent
    Alfaye Jackson begins working on a home for homeless young women.
    Richard Lewis McNulty III, a Rolla High School graduate, was killed in Afghanistan while on patrol.
    The Public House Brewing Co. won a bronze medal at the World Beer Cup. Co-owner Josh Goodrich described the event as the "Olympics of beer."
    An injured bear was spotted at the Bray Conservation Area west of Rolla. The bear was later found, sedated, treated, tagged, moved a short distance away and released to heal.
    Page 4 of 9 - Former Phelps County Prosecuting Attorney Courtney George was supported by the Missouri Supreme Court in her claim that she was underpaid. Phelps County is required to pay the back wages.
    Tommy Sowers, a RHS graduate who served as a Green Beret major and later ran for Congress unsuccessfully, was picked by President Barack Obama for a top post in the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. He was confirmed by the Senate later in the year.
    Gov. Jay Nixon signed a bill to fund the state's veterans homes. He stopped at the Missouri Veterans Home in St. James to sign the bill ceremoniously.
    Here are more May headlines from the paper's Page 1:
    • Gun threat sparks hospital lockdown
    • St. James man dies in crash (at Osage Beach)
    • Puppies beaten to death, dumped in Dixon
    • Alleged meth lab explodes in St. James
    • Area teen ties in crash
    • Phelps County man sentenced to 71 months in prison
    • Young father dies in crash
    • Car crashes into home: Woman seriously injuries in morning accident
    JUNE: Summerfest kicked off the month with a car show and pageant.
    A benefit for Andrew Frayer, a 7-year-old with a rare form of spinal cancer, was set for the first Sunday in the month at the Moose Lodge.
    The Turf by '12 movement continued its activity to cover the football field at RHS with artificial turf. "Turf by '12 gaining project momentum" was the headline on the June 2-3 paper.
    A story on the Puppies for Parole program helping war heroes and felons ran. The program pairs up service dogs trained by inmates at the South Central Correctional Center with soldiers with post-traumatic stress syndrome.
    The Rolla Police Department received a $400,000 radio upgrade.
    A civilian employee of the Department of the Army was killed and three others were injured while working on rail spur maintenance on federal property in Phelps County east of Jerome.
    The Lyric Live Theater in Newburg was placed on the Missouri Alliance for Historic Preservation's most endangered buildings list. The theater was unable to open its doors for the 2012 season.
    Cody Willcoxson was sentenced to two concurrent 30-year sentences in prison on his Pulaski County charges. He told the court he wanted the police to kill him.
    Retired UMR Professor Alfred "A.C." Spreng, who kept track of local weather for several decades, was profiled in the Rolla Daily News. Dr. Spreng died later in the year.
    The old Trachoma Hospital, built in 1939 and used as the Missouri S&T Rock Mechanics Building, was also placed on the Missouri Alliance for Historic Preservation's list. The campus master plan calls for the building to be razed eventually to make room for more parking.
    Page 5 of 9 - The geothermal energy project got under way at Missouri S&T. It will cost $30 million but save $3 million per year.
    Rolla father Jason Midyett continues his search for his abducted children, Oliver and Wilman Midyett, who disappeared three years ago.
    The Newburg High School cafeteria was renovated.
    Here are some more headlines from June:
    • Fight leads to drive-by shooting in St. James
    • Social media tip leads to arrest: Facebook posting results in identification of suspect
    • Lost in the Missouri countryside: Philip Doba tells his story of survival
    • Fire damages home: Firefighters respond to Highway O two times
    • 5 police cars damaged during chase: Sean Michaels faces 94 years if convicted
    • Blaze displaces family: No injuries reported, dog rescued from home by son
    JULY: "McMillan headed for London" was the headline on Page 1 July 2. "Rolla grad places third in heptathlon, earns Olympic berth" was the sub-headline on the story about the U.S. Olympic trials held over the weekend. (Chantae McMillan's trip to the Olympics was the top sports story of the year and was reviewed thoroughly in Friday's RDN.)
    The Lions Club Fourth of July Carnival was held for four days.
    A tire blowout from a tractor-trailer caused 15 brush fires on I-44.
    Cody Willcoxson pleaded guilty to more felony charges, and an August sentencing date was set.
    Officials suspected foul play in the Royal Oak Charcoal fire at Belle July 18.
    The governor declared a disaster from drought and heat.
    The grape crop came early; growers worried about the size and long-term damage from the heat and drought.
    The Highway E Church of Christ and South 63 Church of Christ congregations merged.
    Newburg janitor Charles Adam Mihlfeld was arrested and fired on allegations of sexual misconduct. Mihlfeld pleaded guilty to sodomy and received an 11-year sentence in December.
    A fire at Kingsford Charcoal in Belle was the second in two weeks; it was reported July 27.
    The Rolla Tea Party rally was held the last weekend of the month.
    Here are more headlines from the paper this month:
    • Deadly storm hit Cuba; Young mother is killed by falling roof
    • Drier than dry: Cattlemen worried about July, August rainfall
    • n Fatal fire in Duke; Three others treated for injuries
    • Two killed in Monday accident in Maries County
    • Body found south of Rolla Sunday; Authorities not yet able to identify victim
    • Jerome woman charged with murder
    • Search is on for drug ring suspect; Suspect's mother, girlfriend charged with hindering prosecution
    • RFD responds to 9 fire calls Wednesday
    Page 6 of 9 - • Rolla man arrested after drug seizure
    • Rolla man killed in motorcycle crash
    • Rolla man accidentally shoots himself
    • "Rash" of counterfeit money reported in area
    AUGUST: Police reported that a man had been sneaking into people's homes and watching them sleep. Lock your doors, the cops said.
    Six-year-old Patience Sidwell ran out of the house when her mother wasn't looking and ran into the woods. It scared everyone, parents, grandparents, neighbors; fortunately, she was found less than 90 minutes later, down the hill and in the woods.
    The U.S. Senate approved Tommy Sowers for the job of assistant secretary for public and inter-governmental affairs at the Department of Veterans Affairs.
    The Phelps County Fair got under way.
    Phelps County Commissioners approved a contract to allow free prescription drug discount cards to be offered to county residents.
    Police kept a troubled man from hurting himself or others.
    More than 100 marijuana plants were seized from two separate growing operations southwest of Edgar Springs.
    Fort Leonard Wood is not closing, yet. The Pentagon backed off BRAC request for 2013.
    Cody Willcoxson was sentenced on his Phelps County charges. His total sentence, combined with the Pulaski County charges, is nearly 60 years.
    A groundbreaking was held for a new solar house that will be an entry in the 2013 Solar Decathlon.
    A four-foot pet alligator that got loose made its way to a neighbor's pond and cleaned out the fish. It was in a second pond when the son of pond owners Sandy and Bruce Palmberg spotted it and shot it. John Palmberg said he planned on eating the critter.
    The Rev. Danny Kemp celebrated 30 years as pastor at Calvary Assembly of God.
    Lisa Persicke, 44, of St. James, was struck by a hit-and-run driver while jogging along Historic Route 66 Sunday morning, Aug.19. James W. Krewson, 76, also of St. James, was later charged with manslaughter.
    An Iowa teen visiting Maries County relatives died of injuries she received in a farm accident. Rachel Leigh Pruett was run over by a hay trailer after she fell off the tractor pulling it.
    Daniel Cross, 22, Rolla, was charged with second-degree murder in the death of his 60-year-old mother, Chong Cross.
    Christopher R. Blair, 39, was charged with second-degree arson. An insurance agent, he allegedly paid an employee to set the fire; that employee in turn hired two other people. Mickey T. Schlicker, 44, Martin D. Valley, 35, and Raymond D. Isgrigg, 49, all of Rolla, were also charged in connection with the arson of a house on Spencer Street.
    University officials assured the public the geothermal wells wouldn't affect the water table or water quality.
    A squirrel caused an electrical fault that led to a small fire at the Holiday Inn Express Hotel and Suites late in the month.
    Page 7 of 9 - The mother of the Midyett boys was charged Friday, Aug. 31, in Meade County, Kan., with two counts of a felony charge of aggravated interference with parental custody. Jetta Midyett, 32, formerly of Lenox, also known as Rachel Ellis, was charged.
    Here are more August headlines:
    • Rolla man dies in crash; 28th Troop I fatality this year
    • Man who allegedly sold drugs near Vienna school playground charged
    • Crocker man charged with statutory sodomy
    • Newburg teen dies after trying to jump onto moving truck
    • Two from St. Louis killed in crash on I-44 west of Rolla
    SEPTEMBER: Longtime downtown business leader John D. Powell, 86, died Saturday, Sept. 1.
    Birthright celebrated its 30th anniversary in Rolla with four special events throughout the month.
    A Patriot Day rally was held at Lions Club Park.
    A house fire killed 49-year-old Connie Allen Sept. 10 at her Doolittle home.
    James D. Loughridge, 44, Rolla, was acquitted of a murder charge, the result of the Jan. 11, 2011, shooting of his 21-year-old stepson, Jamie Guill.
    Father Joseph Carlo died Sept 11 at the age of 87.
    S&T received a seventh place ranking in the nation by the U.S. News and World Report for its educational value in the "Great Schools, Great Prices" list.
    Rolla Rural Fire Chief Bruce Southard resigned and was replaced by interim chief Jeremy Light.
    Celebration of Nations was held the last Saturday in September.
    Here are more headlines from September papers:
    • Salem man killed in motorcycle crash with deer
    • Drought maintains grip
    • Neglected animals found in Vienna
    OCTOBER: William A. Taylor, 23, Cuba, was arrested after a chase that included a shot fired into the car by a Rolla police detective after the driver charged the car at the officer. Taylor, the driver, was not injured.
    A fire Oct. 4 at the Royal Oak Charcoal Plant in Dent County was one of the largest fires in the history of the county.
    Connor Vinagl, 2, rural St. James, wandered away from home; he was found about a mile away some three hours later.
    Long John Silver's was robbed on the evening of Oct. 31.
    Phelps County Commission and the City of Rolla began considering an aerial imaging technique called pictometry that shows the details of buildings, not just the roofs.
    Fire leveled the Frayer home on Wednesday, Oct. 24. Timothy and Heather Frayer, the homeowners, are the parents of young Andrew Frayer, who has Ewing Sarcoma, a bone cancer.
    The Mitchell Clinic in St. James sponsored a 5K/10K fundraiser on Oct. 13.
     
    Page 8 of 9 - Here are more headlines from October:
    • St. James woman shot multiple times
    • Havener evacuated after ‘suspicious item’ found: No threat to campus
    • Drug raid nets 34
    • Man allegedly held friend’s head to flames
    • Squirrels purchased online never delivered; Sheriff’s department investigating fraud
     
    NOVEMBER: Immanuel Lutheran School celebrated its 75th anniversary.
    Tommy Sowers was in Rolla and while he wouldn't talk about his new job with veterans, he was here to campaign for Claire McCaskill.
    A fire caused major damage, but no injuries, to a house in the 11000 block of Highway V on Nov. 7.
    The Knights of Columbus donated a new ultrasound machine to the Pregnancy Resource Center at the center's grand opening in the new quarters at the 72 Centre.
    Chris Finch was named Newburg police chief.
    Recognition and historic walls were unveiled at PCRMC Nov. 15.
    Claudia Sands was named the 2012 Leadership Missouri Alumni of the Year.
    Matt Fridley, Mark Twain Elementary School principal, talked about his career in an interview.
    Emily Daniel, 17, St. James, who had been missing for nine days, was found in Cuba.
    A fire destroyed the home of Lonell and Stephanie Edwards on Stephendale Court on Nov. 18.
    Lynn Clugston, a nurse for 46 years, retired from Phelps County Regional Medial Center after working there 34 1/2 years.
    The PCRMC board of trustees gave its go-ahead nod for a clinic at Waynesville. Construction on the $24 million project could start in early spring.
     
    Here are more headlines:
    • Man killed in wrong-way crash (on I-44 in Phelps County)
    • S&T student killed in crash
    • Man hurt, two dogs killed in hit-and-run
    • Police, highway patrol respond to bomb scare

    DECEMBER: Thomas Anderson, St. James, was arrested Nov. 27, on charges of possession of a controlled substance with intent to distribute, deliver, manufacture and/or produce. He is a Steelville probation officer.
    Jo Ann Emerson announced that she'd leave Congress after 16 years and take a job as CEO of the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association.
    Circuit Judge Mary W. Sheffield was appointed to the Missouri Court of Appeals, Southern District, by Gov. Jay Nixon.
    Laurie Ann Wilkinson, Jerome, pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter in connection with the death of her boyfriend. She had been accused of drugging him. His cause of death was aspirating gastric contents.
    A retirement celebration for Charles "Bud" Dean, Phelps County Commissioner, was held Dec. 18.
    Sen. Dan Brown, Rolla, prefiled a bill requiring schools to provide training and education about gun safety and armed intruders the day before the nation's second-most deadly school shooting in Connecticut.
    Page 9 of 9 - Sam's Tire Service, 703 N. Rolla St., closed Friday, Dec. 28, after nearly 62 years in business.
     
    Here are more headlines:
    • 23 arrested on drug charges
    • Car crashes into pole: Causes power outage south of Rolla
    • Crash claims lives of two teens
    • Identity of St. James shooting victim released
    • Almost 200 pounds of marijuana found in woman’s trunk
    • Rolla man facing multiple charges; Bail set at $200K
    • No injuries reported in Christmas morning fire.

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