Through the Years, March 20

50 years ago

March 27, 1974


Changes and additions to the staff of Barry County Sheriff Vernon Still were announced this week. Included were two resignations to accept high paying positions. Leo Sellers, chief deputy, resigned effective April 1 to accept the post of special crime investigator for Barry County, working under Prosecuting Attorney J. Edward Sweeney. The $8,400 a year job, is funded by federal agencies and the county. The post also carries a $1,200 expense account. Sellers was chosen over 21 other applications for the post. He has been involved in enforcement work in Colorado, Arkansas and this county. Replacing Sellers in the chief deputy post will be Charles Weathers of Wash-burn, formerly associated with the Missouri Park Board as a ranger at Roaring River. Weathers, in addition to holding the park post six years, has law enforcement and security experience in Wichita, Kansas. Another resignation from the department is that of Ray Burnette, who will join the force at South Barry County Hospital. Burnette has been a dispatcher and deputy for Still the past year. His resignation was for a higher salary and possibility of second employment in the new job. Replacing Burnette on the staff will be Bob Norman, also of Washburn, going to a full-time deputy’s post. Norman has been a commissioned deputy since Sheriff Still took office, working on special assignment and with the city of Washburn. Burnette will join the orderly staff of the hospital and also become involved in plant maintenance. He will replace Mrs. Betty Bowman who recently resigned the hospital staff to join the office force of Dr. Gerald Johnson.


The city of Exeter has been approved for a $70,000 state grant to help finance a new sewer system, according to Dr. H. R. Domke, director of the Missouri division of Health. Funds will supplement bonds voted by the city of Exeter several weeks ago according to Mayor Dave Smith. Dr. Domke said the first grant check will be issued when 25% of the construction is completed, with additional checks at specified intervals. Mayor Smith said this week preliminary engineering re- ports were being completed for presentation to the Missouri Clean Water Com-mission by July 1. This agency if giving project approval, could provide an additional $135,000 grant to the program. Engineering representatives have set early August as a possible contract letting on the project that would build a sewage collection system and disposal facilities for Exeter. Voters in that community on February 5 approved a $234,000 bond issue in two propositions to furnish local funds. An overwhelming majority of 131 yes against four opposing votes passed the plan. Included was $34,000 in bond funds to refinance the present water system. The Farmer’s Home Administration is also participating in the Exeter proposal, which has been under development for a number of years The Joplin engineering firm had previously completed some of the initial survey work. Disposal facilities for the system would include a lagoon, which would be located south of the Exeter city limits.

40 years ago

March 28, 1984


During the February-March snow storm, a number of residents, especially those in rural areas or where lines had previously frozen in the city, were without water for several days. These folks got an insight into the importance of water…quality not withstanding. The quality of water, especially in Missouri, is being studied from various angles. There are those who believe water-rich Missouri may be overconfident in the sources now available… especially when considering how long these sources will last. Presently, the Show-Me state is not one of those in the high trouble list so far as water sources are concerned. But, if studies of future needs, possibly into the year 2000, are accurate, there could be many problems arise. And as little as you might think about it, that year period is only about 16 years away. Rivers, ground water, and smaller streams in Missouri generally provide a reliable source of water for municipal, agricultural and industrial needs. But, as mentioned previously, suspicions are growing that the state may be overconfident about its water supply and that a new, careful approach to water management is needed. Missouri’s legislature repeatedly has refused to pass water-rights legislation (quite common in states where quality or shortages are problems.) Officials recognize, “Our big problem is that the state is water-rich in some areas and water-poor in others,” said one official. “That gives us the problem of convincing the people in areas that have plenty of water that there are areas of the state that have problems and a possible sharing program should be at least studied.” Heavy growth areas of Southwest Missouri, counties along the western border of the state, and areas that develop without concern for water futures are called “pressing problem areas” by the state. At the present at least, Cassville and most of the surrounding area are in good shape for water (except some disagree on the prices paid for same.) Quality for the most part is good, and there seems to be little possibility for pollution of major sources in this area. However, not far away, there is concern for Beaver Lake in Arkansas because of input of waste water at the headwaters of White River. There should be every effort made, either by regulation, encouragement or education, to make sure these same problems don’t exist on Table Rock. Should this reservoir ever be needed as an area water source, all efforts between now and that time should be directed at keeping water quality high in the lake. This time of the year, with ample rain providing water for every stream, brook, or pond in the area, people lean toward putting the problems of having water readily available and in a high quality status at the simple turn of a faucet in the back of their minds. Thinkings such as this are probably the biggest danger to good water conditions that we face today. Not too far from Barry County’s God’s Country there are water problems. They are due either to natural or man-caused reasons. Whichever be the case, the same situation should never be allowed to exist for this area.


Marine Pvt. Steven M. Blankenship, son of Mr. and Mrs. Mike Blankenship of Jenkins, has completed the infantry combat training course at the Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, California. During the six week course, he received classroom instruction and participated infield exercises involving infantry tactics; the construction and camouflage of fighting positions; and the use of mines, demolitions and intra-company communications equipment.

30 years ago

March 26, 1994


A Cassville industry has purchased the old Green Hills Drive-in property on Highway 248 at the cast edge of town as a possible relocation site. Able 2 Products owner Jerry Watley, confirmed this week he had contracted to buy the property from Mrs. Clairece Hall. Able 2, assembler of a number of emergency lighting equipment products that are marketed world-wide, is in effect shifting gears on plans that are two years into the future for relocation. Currently at an East 13th Street location, Watley’s company had purchased the former Tarrant Salvage Co. property on Route 248 as a relocation site. Watley says that will be a future residence. Main direction for buying the Hall property was access and availability of utilities on the property. Watley said within the next two years Able 2 plans to construct a building of approximately 40,000 square feet on the new location, eventually moving all operations to that site. The 50-employee firm came to Cassville in 1972.


Athletics, both boys and girls, involved in Cassville spring sports are looking forward to acceptable weather that will put them in full training for baseball, track and golf. Beginning in that order, the Wildcats baseball squad opens at Gravette, Ark., on March 21, track begins at Aurora March 22 in a four-team event with golfers taking to the Aurora links March 30 for their first competition. Coaches Todd McCrackin and Drew Charles will guide the fortunes of the baseball Wildcats, last year’s regional champions that reached the first round of state competition. The ‘94 squad includes eight seniors, an equal number of juniors, three sophomores and four freshmen. Seven of the players have been in varsity competition from last year. Eighteen games and one tournament are included on the sched-ule. Eight of those are home con-tests, played on city park fields beginning at 4 p.m. Roster for the 1994 baseball squad includes: Mike Beeson, Damon Brown, Jeremy Browning, Ryan Boyle, Steven Duncan, Bucky Edie, Shannon Haddock, Brad Harvey, Jeff Hurlbut, Dustin Kloss, D. J. Miller, Brad Popanz, Chris Reibert, Cecil Robbins, Neil Robbins, Cody Rose, David Ross (tapped for the opening game pitching assignment) Doug Ross, Travis Russell, Owen Shoemaker, Lynn Smith, Chad Sturgell, Mike Jones. Reeds Spring. Wildcat thin clads will run in 18 meets this year, only one of them at home, the April 18 Wildcat relays, with a junior high meet here April 26. Coaching the boys squad are Bret Gosch and Bill Johnston. The lady ‘Cats are coached by Jim Williams. Three returning senior letter-men, Brian Baze, Steve McCluney and Brandon Bivens are available for duty. Juniors expected to help include, Jay Bailey, Matt King, Dillion Remnar, Willy Hilburn and Brad Epperly. Coaches have scheduled four junior varsity meets to help build the program. Running for the boys in an opener at Aurora March 22 will be: Nathan Austin, Jay Bailey, John Bailey, Brian Baze, Eric Bohmke, Albert Bittel, Brandon Bivens, Chris Buchholtz, Rusty Cornelius, Scott Craig, Donald Craig, Terril Craft, Brad Epperly, Willy Hilbur, Howard Hill, Steven Hill, Jeremy Huse, Seth Jaques, Patrick Kaneko, Matt King, Steve McCluney, Dillon Remnar, Tom Schroder, Tyler Smith, Eddie Thompson, Tim Thompson, John Downey, Jason Moeller, Justin Henson, Danny Stouder. Lady Wildcat runners include six returning letter winners from last year. Included are three of the four members of the Big Eight champion 800 meter relay team. Williams said the squad was looking forward to good weather to make up for lost practice time. The lady ‘Cat roster, running events on the same schedule as the boys team, includes: Anna Woods, Jody Hornberger, Sarah Philbrick, Betsy Philips, Melissa Nofire, Amy Arnold, Amy Campbell, Tiffanie Cox, Cara Schultz, Loisann Thompson, Kari Holtsman, Hayley Cowan, Robyn Martin, Sherri Ditmar, Rebecca Dean, Billie Joe Miller, Misty Ray, Danna Wolf, Julie Sanders and Wendy Miller.


Cassville Rural Fire Department responded to 41 calls during 1993 according to reports presented in an annual meeting Friday. Barbara McNeill, secre-tary-treasurer, said response numbers were about normal for the department’s annual report. The 40-year-old fire protection area, which covers approximately a five mile area surrounding all sides of Cassville, has about 620 members. Reports during the annual meeting had $2,878 paid to volunteer firemen who responded to the calls. The membership also learned a $21,500 expenditure for purchase of a new truck last year would be paid off in May. Mrs. McNeill said the district originally had $17,000 to invest in the new equipment and would complete the payoff this spring for the second unit. Directors of the fire association, supported by annual memberships, includes: Lonnie McCullough, Nolan McNeill, Bill Horner, Larry Edens, Raymond Hurst, James Woods, Lanny Homesley and John Henbest. Volunteer firemen, who do double duty with the Cassville force includes chief Millard Andrews, Mitch Allen, Sammy Flores, Jeff Hammond, Charley Jackson, Charles Miner, Charles Mizer, Kenny Schieler, Jeff Stockton, James Henry, Karla Miner, Pat Brown, Daron Evans, Ray Thomas, Dave Wheelock, Chris Watson. Compensation for the volunteers for daytime fire is $9 and night-time $9, the chief receiving one dollar more than firefighters.