2017 News Top 10

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

10. Bear visits near Roaring River State Park

For the first time in several years, Sid and Mary Allsbury, who live approximately a mile and a half mile from the entrance to Roaring River State Park on Buck Ridge Road, got a visit from a bear. The bear was standing near the family’s back door and appeared to be relatively young and out for a stroll. They had seen a bear eight years ago that stood five-and-a-half feet tall.

9. Barry Electric Coop names new CEO

The Board of Directors of Barry Electric Cooperative announced this year the cooperative has chosen Mark Aeilts to be its new executive vice president/CEO. Aeilts will replace Bill Shiveley, who has provided service to the Coop with 43 years. Aeilts, who relocated from Iowa, is only the fourth executive vice president in the Coop’s 71-year history.

8. Taco Bell/KFC closes for renovations

Cassville residents may no longer be able to get that “Colonel Quality, Guaranteed” KFC chicken, but they can still “Live Mas,” as the city’s Taco Bell/KFC restaurant on Main Street underwent renovations to become solely a Taco Bell. Taco Bell got a new look, with new bathrooms, new exterior colors and a change to the towers in front of the building.

7. Cassville storm chasers remembered

One word continuously comes up in describing the natures of local Weather Channel celebrities Kelley Gene Williamson, 57, and Randall ‘Randy’ Delane Yarnall, 55 — authentic. While on a storm-chasing assignment, the two Cassville natives and stormchasers died when their suburban collided with a Jeep driven by another stormchaser near Spur, Texas.

6. Rotary Rodeo future uncertain in 75th year

Cassville’s 75th annual Rotary Rodeo was held in June, just like it has been for over seven decades. However, low attendance may lead to the end of the event. “Very few people come to the rodeo anymore,” said Les Chapman, Rotarian. “There’s a possibility this could be the last one. There’s a lot of work out there for no more than we get out of it.”

5. Sidewalk project comes full circle

Historic sidewalks bearing the names of Cassville High School graduates from approximately 1922-1971 have finally found a resting place. In February, a group of alumni and residents worked to carefully move the concrete slabs one more time. The sidewalk sections were relocated to the grounds of the Barry County Museum, where they now rest along the creek bank.

4. Alternative lunch options go by wayside

One of the biggest changes in recent years in local schools’ food service has been the use or elimination of alternative lunch programs for students who have incurred food service debts. Of the eight local school districts, Monett, Pierce City, Verona, Wheaton, Purdy, Cassville, Exeter and Southwest, six have eliminated the program, and two still have one in effect.

3. Cassville opens Kinder Academy this year

Eunice Thomas Elementary added a new type of program to its calendar — the Kinder Academy. A transitional kindergarten class, the Academy is designed for children who are old enough by state law to attend kindergarten, but who would benefit from having more time to develop social, emotional and academic skills before entering standard kindergarten classes.

2. goBEC nearly halfway through fiber project

As of November, goBEC has increased to about 1,000 customers in Cassville, Exeter and Roaring River. Work in the Roaring River area was completed about seven months ago, and mainline cable construction in Exeter was completed, wrapping up Phase 3 of an 8-phase project. Work crews are now focusing on the Washburn area to get customers online.

1. April floods slow traffic

In April, heavy rains led to the flooding of Flat Creek, closing Highway 112 in Cassville and Highway 248. Flood waters entered the Cassville City Park and the doorsteps of numerous businesses adjacent to the creek. The gauge at Roaring River hit 9.61 feet, which is a new record crest. Two days of rain totaled more than 3 inches. At least one swift water rescue was made in Washburn.

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