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As we say good-bye to the old year and welcome a new one, it’s always good to look back at the events of the past year. When we do so, we are reminded that it has been this cold before, the heat wave will pass, rain will bring an end to the drought, and so on.
In traditional fashion, the Herald is running a recap of 2010, beginning with this final issue of the year. As you read through the Year In Review, you will see that the year began with snow and bitter cold that extended the Christmas break for area schools by a full week.
More snow would come in February, forcing even more school closings, and all that was followed by an extremely hot and dry summer.
But, in true Ozarks fashion, during the summer drought, in July an isolated storm dumped 5 to 6 inches of rain on a small area east of Ava, causing serious flooding there while most people in the county didn’t even know it rained.
The year 2010 saw four members of the Volner family sentenced for the 2008 murder of Dustin Skaggs, and in September two Mtn. Home women were charged with killing a Macomb man at the Roadside Park north of Ava.
It was a good year for Ava High School sports teams.
The Ava junior varsity girls won the championship of the Mtn. Grove JV Tournament and the varsity Ava Bears won the Mtn. Grove boys’ basketball tournament.
The Bears and Lady Bears had undefeated SCA seasons, winning dual conference championships in basketball, and the teams traveled to Rolla together for state sectional play after winning their respective district tournaments.
Oddly enough, the Ava boys and girls played boys and girls teams from Hermann. The Bears won at Rolla but lost to Mt. Vernon at Hammons Center in Springfield in the next round.
The Ava softball Lady Bears went undefeated in SCA play to win the conference title once again, and Ava’s boys and girls teams went to state in cross country. Josh Wendler was an all-state golfer in the spring of 2010.
Ava R-1 School District patrons overwhelmingly defeated a bond issue to build a new high school and county voters turned down a proposal to build a new jail and justice center.
Ava Superintendent Andy Underwood resigned, county voters ousted Presiding Commissioner Butch Linder in the August primary, and Ava Mayor Leon Harris fired the police chief with no reason given and no vote from the City Council to support his action. Adding to the political upheaval, Assessor Danny Gray and Coroner Mark Pearson both resigned their elected positions for personal reasons.
The local community gave due recognition to its veterans with traditional Memorial Day and Veterans Day programs, as well as a Silent Walk in September recognizing all veterans, and especially calling attention to those who are prisoners of war and missing in action.
David Norman and Ava Drug also paid special tribute to World War II veterans on Pearl Harbor Day, Dec. 7.
More than 200 people, including charter members Lyle Dickison and the Rev. Cecil Robertson, attended the 75th anniversary of the Ava High School FFA in November.
Also in November, Ava High School students Rebecca Shields and Sarah Copeland participated in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, representing Missouri with the Great American Marching Band.
Cambria King and Justin Swirin were crowned Hoopcoming queen and king back in February and Abby Dean and Brock Mitchell were named Homecoming queen and king this fall. Courtney Levan was Douglas County Fair Queen in July and was crowned FFA Barnwarming Queen this fall. We’re also told Tamara Yost was named Miss Merry Christmas in the Anchor Club pageant.
Judy Shields succeeded Mandy Mackey as executive director of the Ava Area Chamber of Commerce this fall and MOCH opened its new state-of-the-art wellness center in Ava.
Traffic crashes took their toll this past year, including one in Texas County that took the life of a Douglas County inmate in transport.
This is a thumbnail sketch of some of the happenings that were recorded in the Herald this past year. All this and much more is chronicled in the Year In Review that begins this week on Page 1.