Year In Review: A Look Back At 2017

Anita Campbell
County Reporter
As the year 2017 draws to a close, we at the Enterprise flipped through the files of the big stories here in Benton County. 
In January, the Humane Society of Missouri rescued 31 dogs from what it called “filthy” conditions at a home near Windsor in northwestern Benton County.
Thirty of the dogs were small mixed-breed, and one was a Labrador retriever. They were removed and taken to Humane Society headquarters in St. Louis for treatment.
Also in January, Former Navy SEAL officer Eric Greitens became the Missouri governor.  He pledged to bring an outsider’s perspective to a state which  for the first time will be overseen by a Republican governor paired with super majorities of Republicans in the Legislature.
Greitens took the oath of office in front of the Capitol building and a crowd of more than 6,000 people on a chilly, overcast day. The state’s first Jewish governor placed a hand on a Bible once owned by a World War I veteran as he recited the oath to become Missouri’s 56th governor. His wife, Sheena, held the Bible and his two young children were held by their grandparents.
Greitens replaces Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon, who served eight years as governor and was barred by term limits from seeking re-election. Four other newly elected Republican statewide officials - Lt. Gov. Mike Parson, Treasurer Eric Schmitt, Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft and Attorney General Josh Hawley - also took the oath of office.
In February, Donna Stearns, from Harrisonville contacted Troop A, Lee’s Summit, and requested Troop A officers assist her in locating her missing 49-year-old husband, Kenneth Stearns. Mrs. Stearns stated she and her husband were camping in the area and Mr. Stearns was reportedly fishing by boat on Truman Lake near Sparrowfoot campground since approximately 1 p.m. and had not returned.
Troop A officers and Patrol helicopter 93MP responded to assist in the search. At approximately 4 a.m., on February 25, 2017, the Patrol helicopter located  Stearns on the lake near a partially submerged sand bar between the Sparrowfoot and Deepwater access, in a remote area of the lake.
The Patrol pilot directed officers by boat to Stearns location where they extracted him and transported him to the Sparrowfoot boat ramp where emergency personnel were waiting.  Stearns was transported to Golden Valley Hospital before being transferred to Kansas University Medical Center. Steans suffered serious health effects from being exposed to the elements.
 In March, local bankers were alerted to counterfeit money being passed in Benton County.
 Hawthorn Bank employee Mary Gemes stated that in the past several months, four counterfeit bills had been turned in at Hawthorn.
“The bills look like U.S. currency,” said Gemes, “however, the words ‘motion picture use only’ are printed on both the front and the back.”
The four bills were two twenty dollar bills and two one hundred dollar bills.  The bank turned the counterfeit currency over to the Benton County Sheriff’s Office.
“Counterfeit bills are usually turned over to the Secret Service, but since this money was printed as a movie prop it is a local issue,” Gemes said.
Local merchants are the ones who pay for this crime since they have handed over services or merchandise and they have received no payment.
Gemes said that the twenty dollar bill and the one hundred dollar bill are the ones most often counterfeited.
“Our tellers can spot a counterfeit bill and our bill counters also will catch a counterfeit bill,” Gemes said.
Also in March, almost 400 people filled the Warsaw Community Building at the Seventh Annual Quarter Mania sponsored by the BSJ Cancer Fighting Team.     “We sold out of tickets a month before the event,” said organizer Sharon Guess.  “We were overwhelmed with the response from the community.  We couldn’t do this without the help of some very generous donors.”
This year the funds will go to the American Cancer Society, $2,000; Bothwell Cancer Center, $10,000 and Golden Valley Cancer Center, $10,000.
The Skyline Girls Basketball team from Urbana won its first state title since 2008 in a dominating win over Adrian in the state title game in March.  The Skyline girls defeated Adrian 69 to 42 to claim first place in the Class 2 Missouri State Tournament.
Benton County Deputy Odin Spinka’s quick reaction led to the return of a Lincoln teenager to her parents in March.  Spinka spotted the missing girl in a vehicle in Warsaw.  He made an investigated stop of the vehicle and positively identified Erica Kaye McEwen and took her back to her parents.
McEwen’s mother notified authorities that her daughter had left the family home and that they were unable to find her.  McEwen’s picture was given to the authorities and they proceeded to search for her.
 Farmers and ranchers in Kansas, Oklahoma, Colorado and Texas suffered horrible losses during the prairie fires that started on Monday, March 6.   Wildfires across the country had consumed more than 1 million acres by Tuesday night, taking at least 7 lives.
Farmers and ranchers in Benton County moved quickly to gather needed supplies to send to those suffering in the fire damaged area.  Jeremy Pitts of Fristoe made a trip to Gate, Oklahoma near the Oklahoma/Kansas border on March 19 to deliver hay to a distribution center which in turn distributed the hay to those farmers in need.
 “We took 130 bales of hay as well as supplies, horse tack and feed to help out,” Pitts said.  Pitts mentioned that Jason Salley from Salley Farms near Warsaw and the Vaughn Family at Lazy D Ranch in Fristoe donated hay for the Kansas farms destroyed by the fire.  Dale Jr. Estes and Jacob Gant of southern Benton County also made the trip.
 Square B Ranch near Edwards donated 10 loads of the big bales that were sent to Ashland, Kansas.  LaMonte and Austin Yoder drove big trucks loaded with hay to Ashland. 
Each load held 34 bales and Brian Bell of Square B Ranch also paid for fuel to get those bales delivered.  LaMonte and Austin left on March 19 and returned the next day.
Dr. Haley Dingfelder of Warsaw also collected donations to send to those affected by the fire.  She contacted L & B Animal Health in Sedalia who also sent medical supplies for the animals injured in the fire.
Warsaw High School FFA members Ashlyn Yoder, Morgan McGann, Brandi Hubert and Megan Mantonya earned a Gold rating at district competition and qualified to compete at the Missouri State FFA Contest in March.  Yoder was also one of the top 10 individual scorers in the contest. 
Ashlyn Yoder also competed in the Central District FFA Job Interview contest in Warrensburg on Thursday and placed second.  She qualified for the state competition on April 20 and 21.  She will be competing at State in two contests.  Stan Adler is the Warsaw FFA Advisor.
In the April 4 election the following results were reported by Benton County Clerk Susan Porterfield:  For the Warsaw R-9 School District three board member seats were to be filled:  Tracy Spry, 876; Amie Breshears, 839; Drew Burdick, 762; and Sally Yaeger, 716.
 State Fair Community College, Building Strong Futures Proposition A: Yes 1097, No 1244 . Cole Camp School District, 3 Board Members: Connie Berendzen ­­­412; Pete Pierson 328; Kevin Harms 411; Marilyn Siebert 185, Write ins 5. R-1 Morgan County School District, 3 Directors: Joel Clark 1; Cody Worthley  0; Sheryl Simon 0; Stephanie Marriott 1; Thomas Chandler Jr. 1. R-2 Benton County School District (Lincoln), 3 Directors: Luke Beaman 303; Michelle Johnson 199; Kyle Eichler 243; Shannon Ebeling 204; Michelle Paxton 198, Write ins 4. Weaubleau R-3 School District $2,200,000 bonds: Yes 0, No 0.
Osceola Public Schools, St. Clair County, chose 3 members of the Board of Education: Lucinda Wisner 0; David Gover 0; Ron Garrison 0; Kim Wheeler 0. Henry County R-1 School District 3 Directors: Jill Hunt 1; Catherine Roberts 6; Kathy Cooper  2; Michael Daugherty 12; William Anderson III 4; Jason Heany 12; Troy Ebeling 14; Teresa Pennock 3. Cole Camp and Rural Fire Protection District 2 Board Members: James Bahrenburg 402, Write ins 12. Warsaw Fire Protection District 2 Board Members: Jack Stull Jr. 491; Rick Fajen 674; Kyle Hessenflow 465, Write ins 8. Good Samaritan Nursing Home 2 Directors: Russell Harms 537, Write ins 60. Brandon Special Road District Board Member: Write ins 6. City of Warsaw: Ward 1 Alderman: Eric Masoner 95, Write ins 2; Ward 2 Alderman Lou Breshears 80; Ward 3 Alderman Eric Flores 94, Write ins 3. City of Lincoln: East Ward Alderman Katelyn Hollis 52; West Ward Alderman J.D. Johnson 55, Write in 1. City of Cole Camp: East Ward Alderman, Eric Hoke 53, Cristen Fox 44; West Ward Alderman, Robert Meuschke 88, Write in 2.
Pettis County failed to pass the proposed State Fair Community College $28 million general obligation bond that would have allowed the college to build a new technical education center in April.
Known as the Building Strong Futures Proposition A, the measure needed a four-sevenths majority vote to pass from voters in Pettis and Benton counties, plus the Otterville R-VI School District and portions of Henry, Morgan, Johnson and Saline counties.
The bond received a 52.17 percent favorable vote in Pettis County, almost 5 percentage points shy of the needed number. Voters cast 2,917 ballots in favor of the proposal, while 2,674 (47.83 percent) voted against it.
Benton County voters were largely against the proposition, with 1,244 voting no (53.14 percent) and 1,097 voting yes (46.86 percent).
If approved, the new technical center would have replaced the current facility, Fielding Technical Center, which was built in 1978.
The Benton County Commission voted to accept the bid from Viebrock Construction for the culvert to be used on the Harper Road Bridge project at their April 25 meeting.  The total bid for the culvert was $41,986.93 with an add-on alternate of $1,500 for lifting lugs.  The only bid received was from Viebrock Construction.
Warsaw High School track members Ashlee Kuykendall and Dallas Larsen broke three School Track Records at SBU on April 25.  Kuykendall broke the 3200m record with a time of 11:34.72.  The old record was 11:44.92 which she set.  Kuykendall also broke the 2000m steeplechase record with a time of 8:22.04.  The old record was 10:43.03.  Dallas Larsen set a new record in 2000m steeplechase with a time of 7:35.47.  The old time was 7:52.19.
The Warsaw Christian Church, located at 320 State Street, celebrated 175 years of organization on April 30. A special worship service took  place at 10:15 AM when Pastor Richard Bowman delivered a first person sermon as “Alexander Campbell,” one of the founders of the Christian denomination. A historical time line with items relating to the history of the church was displayed in the sanctuary.
In May, Lincoln golf captured third at the Class 1 Missouri State Tournament at Silo Ridge Golf and Country Club in Bolivar.
Boone Kroenke shot a 79 on Monday and 83 on Tuesday for a 162 total. He placed 10th individually for All-State honors. Bo Kroenke carded a 166 and Trevor Kroenke followed at 168.
Windsor placed eighth with a team score of 770, while Stover finished ninth at 815.
Representing Tipton, Tristan Bolin totaled 169 and tied for 22nd.
Jack Daughtery led the Greyhounds with a 173 total. Brenden Bauer paced the Bulldogs at 185.
Tied for first at 677, Gallatin won the tiebreaker with Greenwood by 10 strokes for the team championship.
Graduation for all three Benton County High Schools was held in May.  Cole Camp High School’s top graduates were Valedictorian Hanna Westermier and Salutatorian Josilyn Harms.  Lincoln High School’s top graduates were Valedictorian Tyler Kroenke and Salutatorian Matthew Craig.  Warsaw High School’s top graduates were Valedictorian Cade Chiles and Salutatorian Ashlyn Yoder.
WHS 2017 graduate Ashlee Kuykendall finished 4th in the 1600M run @ MSHSAA State Championships setting a new school record in the event with a time of 5:16.24, earning her second medal at the State Championships this year.
Also in May, the Lincoln Cardinals claimed a 9-3 victory over St. Vincent for third place in the Class 2 Missouri State Baseball Tournament at CarShield Field in O’Fallon on Tuesday.  Jackson Beaman was 2-for-3 with a walk and three RBIs. He helped the Cardinals score three runs in the first inning and drove in three runs with a double in the sixth.
Cardinal seniors Aaron Yearout and Connor Spunaugle joined Beaman with multi-hit games against the Indians. St. Vincent starter Mitchell Doubbelare surrendered eight runs on nine hits in five innings.
Lincoln finished 26-2 overall, capturing the Kaysinger Conference and Class 2, District 14 tournaments.
In June, the 51st annual Jubilee Days wrapped up  with large crowds attending all the events.  Ashlyn Yoder was crowned Jubilee Days Queen while Jaidyn Estes was crowned Jubilee Days Princess.  Calie Pearccy was crowned as the Junior Miss Jubilee and Austyn Wright was crowned as Little Miss Jubilee. 
Two City of Warsaw projects to improve intersections in North Town and Drake Harbor began on Thursday, June 8 and should be completed late this fall. The City also has signed contracts with engineers for later improvements in the area from the intersection of Main St. and Hwy 7 to Seminary; and for sidewalk and road improvements from North School to Jackson Street. In addition, City Manager Randy Pogue verified that a new Casey’s General Store will be built in North Town on the northeast corner of the Commercial St. and access road intersection. Federal grants are helping make these improvements possible, with the federal government paying 80 percent of the cost and the City of Warsaw covering the other 20 percent.
Brandon Mantonya of Warsaw was the big winner at The Voice competition at Harbor Village on June 24.  Mantonya singing “I Drive Your Truck” won a tool chest and bragging rights for the  next year as this year’s winner.
Second place went to Phillip Bosley, third place Raymond Jacobs, fourth place Carl Harris and fifth place Mickey Doberstein.    The second place winner received a $200 gift card from Kohl’s in Sedalia, third place received two tickets and buffet dinners to John Conlee.  Fourth and fifth place winners received gift certificates.
The proceeds from the event went to help pay for meals delivered to home bound people in the area.
The Benton County Commission voted to rent office space from the Hawthorn Bank at their July 6 meeting.  The lease agreement is for five years.
 According to Commissioner Jim Hansen, the offices of the Benton County Prosecuting Attorney and the Victim Advocate offices will be located on the first floor of the Hawthorn Bank while the Benton County Sheriff and Deputies will have offices located on the second floor of the bank.  The Sheriff and his deputies will use the door located near the back of the bank and a new door will be installed for the Prosecuting Attorney and the Victim Advocate offices near the corner of Main and Van Buren.
The Hawthorn Bank will continue to use most of the main floor for banking purposes.
Rent for the first year will be $850 per month which will increase to $950 per month in the second and third year.  Rent will increase to $1,000 per month for the fourth and fifth year of the lease.
Rodeo fans filled the Warsaw Arena for the Twenty-sixth Annual Benton County Rodeo on July 7 and 8.
Brandy Von Holten was crowned Benton County Rodeo Queen.     Donna Pitts was crowned Rodeo Princess and Madalyn Arnett was crowned as the Little Miss of the Rodeo.
Cowboys and cowgirls won over $100,000 in prize money.  C. R. McKellips Rodeo Co., Inc. provided the livestock for the show.
The Warsaw Shrine Club raised $3,000 at their July  Channel Hop Poker Run held on the Lake of the Ozarks.  Stops on the Poker Run included:  Old Oar House Inn, Buck Naked, Cardinal Cove, Holiday Hills, Possum Hollar, Moonies, Fatties, Surfside, and Skippers.
 The participants could either go by boat which amounted to 23 miles of water or by land.  They started at the 81 mile marker and finished at the 58 mile marker.
Each participant paid $15 to play.  Half of the money went to the winner and half went to the Shriners.
“All the money raised goes to help the kids of Benton County,” Shriner Chuck Allcorn said.  “We try to help when a child is in need.”
The Shriners use the money to buy coats, clothing, shoes and other necessities for children in the area. 
Also in July, two Sedalia men were arrested after a three hour stand off at a residence near 52 and 65 Hwy in Cole Camp. Twenty-one -year old Patrick Carrington, and 18-year-old Keyshawn Flowers are suspected of being involved with the shooting of a 16 year old man in Sedalia. The Sedalia Police Department, the Benton County Sheriff’s Office, and Missouri Highway Patrol were involved with the apprehension of the suspects. Both men surrendered without further incident.  
 Truman Lakes Bike owner Mac Vorce was named as the Warsaw Area Chamber of Commerce director in August.
 Vorce, who came to Warsaw in 2000, first owned and operated Gasoline Alley, a restaurant and bar on Main Street.
After selling Gasoline Alley, Vorce served as the Parks and Recreation director from 2008 until 2014.  In 2011 Vorce opened Truman Lakes Bikes.
The Chamber office will remain at 109 E. Main Street next door to the Enterprise. 
A Benton County woman is dead and a man is severely wounded as a result of an alleged murder/attempted suicide.  Deputies with the Benton County Sheriff’s Office were dispatched to 25000 Honey Bear Loop on August 13 at 7:29 PM in response to a 9-1-1- emergency call.
According to Benton County Sheriff Eric Knox, Donna Sue Haynes, 49, of Warsaw had been shot and killed.
John E. Hall, 54, of Warsaw was found at the residence with a gunshot wound to the face apparently self-inflicted.
According to Sheriff Knox, Hall allegedly shot Haynes then shot himself.  The shot entered Hall’s chin and exited through his face.  Hall was able to call 9-1-1 asking for help.
 “Haynes’ son reported that Hall and Haynes were arguing earlier in the day but he left and didn’t realize what had happened,” Sheriff Knox said.
A search warrant for the residence revealed a marijuana operation resulting in a seizure of a vast quantity of narcotics and narcotic paraphernalia.
“We discovered marijuana plants growing behind the house as well market packaged marijuana,” Knox said.
 Hall has been charged with First Degree Murder as well as Armed Criminal Action, Unlawful Firearm Possession and Delivery of Controlled Substance.  His bond was set at $500,000.
 Four members of a Warsaw family were involved in a serious accident on Route K one mile south of Missouri 83 on August 15 at 3:30 PM.
The accident occurred when a 2005 Ford Fusion driven by Mikayla P Andrews, 17, of Warsaw crossed the center line then swerved to avoid another vehicle and was hit by that vehicle.  The other vehicle was a 2010 Ford F150 driven by Adrienne M. Gardiner, 47, of Wheatland.
Colton Andrews, 14 and Sam Andrews, 16, were transported by Air EMS to Cox South Hospital in Springfield with injuries. 
Mikayala Andrews and Tanya R. Andrews, 43, were transported by Citizen’s Memorial EMS to Cox South Hospital.
Adrienna M. Gardiner and Rachel E. Gardiner, 5, of Wheatland were transported by Warsaw/Lincoln EMS to Bothwell Hospital with moderate injuries.
All of the accident victims were wearing seatbelts at the time of the accident.
The 2017 Football season started Friday night with all three Benton county high schools coming up with a win.  Lincoln beat RichHill/Hume 46 to 2; Cole Camp beat Concordia 13 and the Warsaw Wildcats broke a two year dry spell by defeating Clinton 14 to 12. 
The Benton County Commissioners were presented a plaque on behalf of Missouri Farmers Care at their August 15 meeting.   Missouri Farmers Care representative Ashley McCarty presented the plaque to designate Benton County as an active supporter of agricultural enterprise and recognize farming and agriculture as an integral part of Benton County and its residents.  Others in attendance were Stan Adler, Warsaw High School FFA instructor; Brad Crouch, Benton County Cattlemen Association; Marvin Dieckman, Missouri and Benton County Cattlemen Associations; Farm Bureau representatives Becky Tucker, Rodney Johnson, Kevin Ficken and John Crawford; State Representative Warren D. Love; and Senator-Elect Sandy Crawford.
Stan Adler of Warsaw was selected to receive the Honorary American FFA Degree in August.
This award is given to those who advance agricultural education and FFA through outstanding personal commitment. The National FFA Organization works to enhance the lives of youth through agricultural education. Without the efforts of highly dedicated individuals, such as Mr. Adler, thousands of young people would not be able to achieve success that, in turn, contributes directly to the overall well-being of the nation.
Members of the National FFA Organization’s board of directors approved the nomination.
Adler received the award at the 2017 National FFA Convention & Expo during an onstage ceremony on Friday, Oct. 27 in Indianapolis, IN.
LaMonte and Rachelle Yoder and family of Warsaw were among the families honored during the 59th annual Missouri Farm Family Day, Aug. 14 at the Missouri State Fair.
The Yoder family was selected as the Benton County Missouri Farm Family by the Benton County ExtensionCouncil and local Farm Bureau. The family includes Austin, Ashlyn, and Lerran.
Each year, the Fair sets aside a day to recognize farm families from across the state who are active in their communities, involved in agriculture, and/or participate in local outreach and extension programs such as 4-H or FFA.
WARSAW FFA MEMBERS FARED VERY WELL at the 2017 Missouri State Fair. Fifteen members of the Warsaw FFA sent a total of 45 Ag Mechanics, horticulture, and cured ham projects to the Missouri State Fair. They received 19 Gold Ribbons, 9 Silver ribbons, and 16 Bronze Ribbons. There was one Grand Champion Ag Mechanics project and one 6th place cured, smoked ham exhibited as well. Most members exhibited multiple projects.  WHS FFA adviser is Stan Adler.
In August, Ryan Boyer took over as the WHS Head Football Coach.  Boyer, a 2004 graduate of WHS, had formerly been the Head Coach at Smith Cotton in Sedalia.
Traffic was congested in and around the Twin Lake area over the Labor Day weekend as thousands of visitors flocked to the lakes for one last summer weekend.
According to Erin Cordrey, 1,630 visitors came through the Truman Dam Overlook during the Labor Day weekend.  This number is up from 1,556 last year.  The busiest day was Sunday with 655 visitors on the bluff.  “Most of the campgrounds were booked weeks in advance of the Labor Day weekend,” said Cordrey.
Floats, antique cars and hundreds of visitors crowded the streets of Cole Camp as they joined together to celebrate the one hundred and first anniversary of the Cole Camp Fair in September..  The final night of the three day event was a perfect evening and attracted the largest crowd of the fair.
One of the highlights of the final parade was the announcement of the Grand Prize winning float, a float featuring the Little Rascals designed by the Lutheran School Association, Partners in Education. The Grand Parade featured six handmade floats and one junior division float.
Also riding in the parade was the 2017 Cole Camp Fair Queen Syndney Neas.  Her attendants included first runner up Camryn Schear and second runner up Ellie Marimon, students at Cole Camp High School.
 Another queen riding in the parade was Good Samaritan Care Center Queen Frances Ehlers, 87.  Ehlers is a long-time resident of Cole Camp.  Ehlers worked Town and Country Shoes in Sedalia for 36 years and later as a CNA at Good Samaritan Care Center for 10 years.  She became a resident at Good Samaritan in May of 2015.  “I checked two items off my bucket list this year by being crowned a queen and riding in a BMW convertible,” Ehlers said.
The Grand Marshall of the Parade was Kathy Lehigh-Bruner.
A beautiful weekend in September attracted visitors to Drake Harbor to admire vintage automobiles, trucks and motorcycles at the Fifth Annual Benton County Health Department Car Show.
Best of Show went to Troy Keithley with his 1934 Plymouth 5 Window Coupe and the Fundraising Favorite went to Ray and Joann Knott with their 1957 Chevy Convertible.
Daleske said that the BCHD team had collected close to $5,000 to be divided between the Benton County Cancer Fund, Devon’s Beat, Christmas for Kids as well as continuing the BCHD scholarship program for a scholarship for a graduating senior from Warsaw High School, Lincoln High School and Cole Camp High School.
The following Warsaw High School students were selected for All-District Choir in September.  Those included in the All-District Choir are  Caitlin Easter, Nate Fauquier, Helena Givens, Madi Rozel, Ryan Sprouse, Emily Stantorf and Allison Thomas.  The WHS vocal music teacher is Deanna Schockmann.
Maddie Clifton of Cole Camp was also selected to All District Choir.
The Warsaw’s Board of Alderpersons approved a motion to purchase pistols for all city police officers at a total cost of about $3,741 at their September 18 meeting.  This action ends a long standing requirement that city police officers provide their own side arms. One Alderman noted that some recent graduates of the state’s police academy may not be financially able to purchase their own pistols, due to present day costs of those weapons. Another emphasized that city-owned pistols will be returned to the city when an officer leaves employment. In another police matter, the group also approved an amendment to the Police Policy-Hiring procedure, designed to assure promotion of best qualified persons.
Despite unseasonably warm weather, around eighty participants enjoyed the First Annual Bikes and Brews held in Lincoln in September.
Breweries participating in the First Annual Bikes and Brews included:  Bee’s Knees Brewing, Co. of Versailles; Welpman Springs Brewery, Co. from Stover; Ozark Distillery from Lake of the Ozarks; Craft Beer Cellar of Sedalia; Crane Brewing Co. of Raytown; and Country Distributing, Co. of Sedalia.
 Warsaw Area Chamber of Commerce director Mac Vorce was in charge of the bike race portion of the event.  Winners in the Yahtzee race included:  first place, Steve Hewitt of Lawrence, Kansas, who won a Garmin Edge; second place, Carson Bonner of Warsaw, a jacket and bike accessories; and third place Kyle Brethower of Shawnee, Kansas, bike accessories.
The Warsaw High School Wildcats defeated the Hallsville Indians 40 to 33 at the annual Homecoming game  in front of a packed house.
At halftime seniors Keegan Glenn and Hannah Chapman were crowned King and Queen of Homecoming 2017 while juniors Jessie Glenn and Logan Davis were crowned Princess and Prince.  Kallie Smith and Chase Weaver were the Little Princess and Little Prince.
The Warsaw Lady Cats lost to Dixon 5 to 1 in the Sectional Playoff game in September.  The girls ended their season 20-8.  Pitcher Kya Schepker, Catcher Regan Shelby, Infield Aubrie McRoberts and Outfield Rayni Simons were all named to the District 12 First Team.  Pitcher Payge Adair was selected Second Team District 12.
WHS Senior Dallas Larsen ran 3.1 miles in 16:57.1 at Eldon in September to claim the overall Tri- County Cross County Championship. He out raced 101 runners to claim the crown. Larsen beat the second place finisher by a commanding 37 seconds to climb to fifth of the all- time course record list. He also won the Tri- County championship last year. Warsaw will no longer compete in the Tri-County after this school year so his feat will be that much more memorable. Middle school student Alyssa Alcantara placed 11th out of 49 runners and medaled. Top 15 runners medaled in the event. Alcantara ran her fastest time all year with a time of 11:26.
Thousands of visitors flocked to Warsaw in October to attend the Thirty-seventh Heritage Days celebration at the Truman Dam Visitors’ Center on Kaysinger Bluff and on Drake Harbor.
 According to Kaysinger Bluff Pioneer Heritage Association Board member Cynthia Mos 5,750 wrist bands were sold to visitors riding the buses up to the Kaysinger Bluff area. The rain on Sunday morning may have caused some visitors to the area to go home early, but those who did stay on Sunday had great weather in the afternoon.
Eric Ramsey, former Warsaw High School quarterback, was inducted into the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame as a member of its Elite 11 for 2017 on October 6 in Springfield.  Ramsey was the quarterback of the 1990 WHS state championship team.  Ramsey was a two time All State Quarterback and an Honorable Mention defensive back. 
Ramsey is currently the principal of Parkview High School in Springfield.  He is married to the former Heather Perry and is the father of two daughters.
Preliminary data from the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) shows that young hunters ages 6 through 15 harvested 17,222 deer during Missouri’s early youth portion of the 2017 deer hunting season, which ran Oct. 28-29.
Top counties for the early youth portion were Osage with 380, Howell with 377, and Franklin with 354 deer checked. Last year’s harvest total for the early youth portion was 11,171.
The Benton County 4-H Recognition Dinner was held November 8 at the Cole Camp High School cafeteria.  The recipient of the Outstanding Clover Kid was Amelia Roberts; All-Arounders 4-H Club; Outstanding Junior 4-H member was Hannah Harrell, All-Arounders 4-H Club; Outstanding Senior 4-H members were Sydney Neas, Samantha Koenke, and Cody McNelly, all from Lake Creek Lamplighters.     
The “I Dare You” award was presented to Sydney Neas and Samantha Koenke from the Lake Creek Lamplighters.
The Outstanding 4-H Family award went to the Louiselle Family from the Lake Creek Lamplighters. 
 New officers for the 2016 Benton County 4-H Council include:  Bailey Crouch, president; Cody McNelly, vice-president; Grant Louiselle, secretary; Kristie Jonson and Beth Crouch, treasurer; Karlie Koenke, reporter; Amelia Roberts and Montana Jonson, photographers/historians; Benton Breshears, parliamentarian; Sydney Neas, county youth liaison.
Preliminary data from the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) shows that deer hunters in Missouri harvested 191,368 deer during the November portion of fall firearms deer season, Nov. 11- 21. Of the 191,368 deer harvested, 99,431 were antlered bucks, 20,148 were button bucks, and 71,789 were does. Top harvest counties were Howell with 4,564 deer checked, Texas with 4,374, and Franklin with 4,095.
The Warsaw Lady Cats won the Consolation Trophy at the Warsaw Girls Basketball Tournament in November with a win over Cole Camp 50 to 37.  The Skyline girls won first place with a win over Butler 67 to 25 and the Eldorado girls won third place with a win over Conway 58 to 55.
WHS players Aubrie McRoberts and Hannah Chapman and Cole Camp player Camryn Schear were selected to the All Tournament girls team by the coaches.
The Warsaw Boys Basketball team won the third place trophy by defeating El Dorado Springs 76 to 62.  The Knob Noster boys defeated Lincoln 61 to 51 to take the first place trophy while the Skyline boys won the consolation trophy by defeating Cole Camp 81 to 55.
Matt Luebbert of Warsaw was selected as the Most Valuable Player of the Tournament by the coaches.  Logan Davis of Warsaw, Derek Stephens of Lincoln and Grant Eifert of Lincoln were selected to the All Tournament boys team by the coaches.
WHS defensive end Nate Fauquier was selected to the Missouri All State Second Team by the Missouri High School Football Association in November.  Fauquier was also second to the All District First team.  Jayden Schepker, defensive back, and Keagan Glenn, running back, were also selected All District first team.
Kieon Davis, running back, Colby Schwartz, linebacker and Jake Luebbert, offensive line, were selected to the All-District second team.
Benton County deputies were called to Headwaters Motel south of Warsaw at 9:30 AM on Monday, December 4, on the report of a wanted man who was staying in a room there.
Mark Tousignant, 63, was wanted in Saline County for a parole violation.  Tousignant had been charged with weapons and explosives violations.
The Benton County Sheriff’s Office was contacted that Tousignant was residing at Headwaters Motel so a county deputy and a Missouri Highway patrolman went to the motel and attempted to talk to Tousignant.  When Tousignant barricade himself in the room, the Missouri Highway Patrol Swat team was called in to assist.
 After several hours of attempted negations, the Swat Team shot pepper balls in through the windows.  When there was still no response from Tousignant, the Swat Team shot tear gas canisters into the room through the windows.  At that point Tousignant surrendered to the authorities.
Tousignant was treated by medical personnel for minor abrasions and then was taken to the Benton County Jail.
According to Benton County Sheriff Eric Knox, the standoff lasted about seven hours with traffic being diverted away from the area around Headwaters Motel.
Warsaw R-9 School District officials were contacted to send afternoon busses a different way for their evening routes since the standoff lasted until about 4:30 PM.
 “It was a good day since no one was hurt and we were able to return a fugitive back to jail,” said Knox.
What started as a grass fire ended with the total destruction of a house and shed in White Branch near Warsaw on Saturday, December 16.  The Warsaw Fire Department responded to a fire alarm at 2:13 PM.
 According to Warsaw Fire Chief Rob Lane, Warsaw brought two tankers and a fire engine to the scene with 10 volunteers fighting the blaze.  The Lincoln Fire Department responded to the call as well bringing a fire engine, a tanker and five volunteers as well.   The combined fire departments fought the blaze until 8 PM.
 “We had a red flag warning on Saturday as well as 17 MPH wind,” said Lane.  “While we were fighting the fire we had another call from a 50 acre fire on Dwyer Road so I had to send five of our volunteers to fight that fire.”
 Osage Valley Volunteer Fire Department also responded to the Dwyer Road fire.  Lane reported that the Warsaw Fire Department had a total of five fires that they responded to on Saturday.  “It was not a good day to burn trash,” Lane said. 
 The house which belonged to Danier Johnson was a total loss.  A nearby shed belong to Darrell Haymart was also a total loss.  Johnson was not present at the time the house caught fire.
 Over 400  people enjoyed Christmas Dinner at the Knights of Columbus Hall on Christmas Day according to event coordinator Charlie Smith.
 “The Christmas Dinner event was started to make sure everyone had a place to go to enjoy food and fellowship on Christmas Day,” said Smith.  “However, now it has turned into a yearly tradition for people from all walks of life.”
The Knights Cooking Crew consisting of Howard Sullentrop, Butch Mowry, Bob Clark, John Cooner, Jack Hahn and Don Wilde prepared the meal early Christmas morning.  The Ladies of the Knights Auxiliary helped serve.
Ham, turkey, dressing, mashed potatoes, gravy, cranberry sauce, green beans as well as dessert and ice tea and coffee made up the traditional Christmas meal.
The meal was free to anyone who wanted to participate.  The Knights pay for events such as this with their annual Shrimp Boil, Tootsie Roll sales and renting their building out for special events.
Also in December, the incumbent, Warsaw Mayor Eddie Simons, and former Warsaw Alderman Kevin Dockery, each filed to be a candidate for mayor in the April 2018 election.
Happy New Year and keep on reading the Benton County Enterprise!