January 20, 2021

The final installment of headlines and events is offered here as ‘The I-J’ finishes its series of the Year-End Review from our files of 2020.

This fourth and final part begins as the ‘virus’ continue to hold a grip on everyone and everything. Positive cases continued to climb in the local area and loss and doubt were on the public’s mind. The concern was and continues to be for all the friends and neighbors, co-workers and family.

The final few months of 2020 had high hopes. Most everyone had thought that by October we, as a community, would be turning a corner on the pandemic and headed back to ‘normal’. Not so, as challenges continued, schools were in and out, virtual and on break. Businesses were open to the public, then closed. The virus seemed to control every aspect of life for all ages.

As we wind down 2020, enjoy what you can and let’s hope it is all a memory. Join us now for this brief look back - The following is the fourth and final part of the “2020 In Review” Series:


October opened with the Mississippi Valley Blood Services Blood Drive hosted by the Potosi Lions… Potosi High School held their Annual Homecoming Parade on the 2nd followed by the coronation at ‘Trojan Field’ where this year’s Queen was Ms. Hallie Portell and the King was Mr. Andrew Coleman. After the Homecoming Coronation, the Football Trojans sank the Pirates 56-15… Kyle McDowell of McDowell South RV presented a donation check to Randy Eaton, Potosi Elks Lodge #2218, for the Annual Elks Christmas Charity Program scheduled for Dec. 5th… The Citywide/Countywide Fall Yard Sale was held on the 3rd with several sellers around the community and traffic busy throughout the day… Richwoods R-VII School thanked the Maxwell Family for providing materials for their classroom to have plexiglass desk dividers as added protection for students to socially distance as they headed back to school… Grand Design Midwest Regional Rally decided to support a local charity after being hosted by the Juliette’s at Twin Eagle Lake and chose to support the Potosi Elks Christmas Charity with a generous donation… The Washington County Commission recently took ownership of the Hocker Oil location at the corner of West High & North Mine Streets… The new License Office contract managers chose a new location on High Street for their service office… Twin Eagle Lake’s Jennifer & Tyler Juliette held an Open House and Ribbon Cutting to celebrate the newest addition to the Twin Eagle Lake development on Highway 185 just out of Potosi, a new 23 room hotel and wedding venue…. The Washington County Health Department reported, as of the 9th, 672 COVID-19 cases for the County with 125 active and 14 deaths… The Football Trojans honored Armed Forces past and present during the opening of the game with the Sikeston Bulldogs. The Trojans outlasted the Bulldogs 39-25… The Color Guard from the Clarence E. Dooley Veterans of Foreign Wars Post #6947 was ‘front and center’ for the 2020 Patriotic Pumpkin Festival in the Village of Caledonia where there was a good crowd on hand and a beautiful day to enjoy the outdoors… The Potosi R-3 Cross Country Invitational was held at City Park on the 10th. The Varsity Boys and Girls took 2nd Place in the MAAA Conference close behind Farmington. Overall, Varsity Boys and Girls took 3rd Place in the Invitational. The J.V. Boys were 1st overall and the J.V. Girls were 2nd overall for the meet… The Bi-State Marching Band Contest was held on the 10th but public health and safety concerns resulted in lower participation. Those lined up to watch and listen still enjoyed the event… The Old Mines Historical Society held a ‘Taste of the Fete’ cookout with great attendance at the Knights of Columbus in Old Mines on the 11th where there was French sausage, corn in the husks and fresh made Croqs by Jim and Dave… Kingston was having fun with a ‘Dude. Be Nice’ pajamas day during Spirit Week… Valley recognized their 8th Grade Lady Vikings Volleyball athletes for their past two years of dedication. Family members joined in for the proud moments… Potosi Police Chief Mike Gum reported that during a traffic stop a driver consented to a search and the result was candy-looking drugs, a picture of which was in ‘The I-J’ to alert parents to be aware… Former Potosian Rodney Wilson was among 30,000 people nationally participating in Moderna’s Phase 3 coronavirus vaccine trial at St. Louis University… Tim Eads ‘got the job done’ with a 10 point buck that scored 135 ¼; approx. a 7 yr old deer he had been watching for about 2 months… Weeks of planning and coordination led to the Purcell Tire Hangar move at the Washington County Airport. Bob Purcell, Purcell Tire Company joined Airport Board President Sam Rhodes as Nixon’s moved the hangar on tractor trailers… Elks’ representatives Dave DeGonia, Jodie Boyer and Jeanne DeGonia delivered food through the Elks Backpack Program at Kingston K-14 School District… The Football Trojans took the win over the Blackcats, 34-18… Kingston K-14 Custodian Nicki Ramsey spent all day, every day, sanitizing at the Primary/Elementary and Junior High/High School in an effort to keep ahead of the COVID-19… At Boyer Lumber, Kathy Silvey drew the ticket for the first winner of the 12 months of firearms, Celeste Korando of Illinois, benefitting the Jerry West Memorial Fund… The St. Joachim Saints B Volleyball team played for 1st place in the CAC Championship Tournament… The low water bridge on Water Street in Potosi was replaced and back open by mid-month… The Richwoods Lions Club sponsored the new Tri-County LEO Club, installed new Leo Officers and hosted District Governor Sandy Marshall… The Austin Pratt Wiffle Ball tournament, benefitting 2 year-old Austin who is fighting and autoimmune disorder, was a great success and the family thanked the Community for their great support… St. Joachim’s 3rd Annual Horse Shoe Tournament was a huge success and the School says “thank you” to everyone who played, bought auction items and volunteered their time… Awakening Events brought Grammy winner Zach Williams and radio hitmakers Big Daddy Weave for a Drive-In concert at the Starlite Drive-In on the 17th… Brian Brown, Potosi Lumber donated a very unique gas-powered, three speed U.S. Army Jeep Go-Cart to the Potosi Elks Christmas Charity Program… Lions District Governor, Sandy Marshall, presented her message and awards to the joint Potosi & Valley Lions Club meeting at the Potosi Lions Den. The Standing Lion Awards were presented to Potosi Lion Carrie Richards and Valley Lion Matthew Turner. At the close of the meeting, President Matthew Turner of the Valley Lions and President Bill Glore of the Potosi Lions presented Ms. Marshall with a large collection of used glasses for the Lions Sight Program… This year’s quilt for the ‘Christmas for Kids’ program was donated by the family of Janet Manning. The quilt top was found in her things after she passed away and the family wanted to donate it in her memory. Several women helped finish the quilt - Rachel Pratt, Treasa Portell, Angela Compton, Brenda Freeland and Georgia Veach proving material for the lining… The 2021 Potosi FFA Alumni established their leadership roles and look forward to the projects for the coming year… The DeSoto Dragons out ran the Football Trojans 33-6 on the 23rd… Local Scouts, Troop 480 and Pack 160, finished their Park projects, sanding and painting the existing playground set up at Potosi City Park… The Potosi License Office posted a ‘Closed until Nov. 5th’ sign… The Washington County Health Department recognized National Lead Poisoning Prevention Week, the 25th-31st… The John Evans Middle School and Trojan Intermediate REACH students hosted Mock Presidential Elections for their fellow students with a 41% and 81% voter turnout respectively and Donald Trump winning both elections… Washington County Ambulance District was awarded the Mission Lifeline highest rating, “Gold Plus” by the American Heart Association for 2020… The Football Trojans couldn’t generate the points for a win over the Tigers in their season closing game but there was a positive moment for charity as Belgrade State Bank along with Washington and Dent County Farm Supply stores sponsored the game. Each organization donated $100 per touchdown, with a minimum of $500 for Kids 4 Kids with Cancer and $500 for Susan G. Komen… Kingston Primary and Elementary had a great turnout of students in costumes for Halloween… Gage Mercille, son of C.J. & Deanna Mercille, scored a nice buck during the Firearms Youth Hunt Weekend. The buck had a nice 10 point rack and Gage had been watching the deer for three years… The top seven boys and girls from P.H.S. competed in the Class 3 District 1 Meet and left with the Lady Trojans winning the team championship for Potosi High and nine state qualifiers… Great Mines Health Center and Washington County Ambulance District are collaborating on a new service model for the County area, bringing diabetics routine care in their homes…


November opened with Prayer Initiative hosting an evening of Prayer and music at the Washington County Courthouse Towne Square. The time was lead and organized by Pastor Gary Greenlee and Pastor Lloyd Peirce from Assembly, with a number of churches and individuals gathered to celebrate and pray for the community, the Country, the State and the County. Prayer was led by Bill Brammer, music was led by Gary and Lloyd and Kim Greenlee lead the ‘Pledge of Allegiance’ to begin the evening… Local Auctioneer Chapman Coleman closed his location on High Street after 17 years there. He announced that he will still be having sales and auctions, just not out of that location… Lady Trojan Tennis Coach Dan Mueller congratulated the girls on a good year and a good effort despite quarantines and every-changing schedules…. Washington County Memorial Hospital announced that Chief Executive Officer, Michelle Meyer, has been elected to the Missouri Hospital Association Board of Trustees… Unusual circumstances forced unusual standards and for the first time ever, Absentee Ballots were cast at ‘The I-J’ by staff who have been quarantined but are working essential, delivered by Washington County Ambulance Staffers who were sworn in to help handle ballots for COVID-19 voters… Washington County Clerk Jenny Allen reported a voter turnout for the Election at 64.49%. The only General Election races for County offices were 2nd District Commissioner in which the incumbent, Cody Brinley won the race and Assessor in which the challenger, Heather Eckhoff won. The County also followed suit with the State and Republicans were voted across the board for the federal and state positions… After a 3rd place finish at District, Kingston High School Junior, Noah Estes qualified for the MSHSAA Class 2 Cross Country Championships at Gans Creek. Estes placed 13th out of 100 runners and earned an All-State medal… Area Scouts retired flags with a ceremony on the 7th at the County’s Towne Square parking lot with a small group gathered to pay their respects to “Old Glory”… St. Joachim Catholic School released a letter on the 8th for the Saints School Families explaining the new ‘Distance Learning/Virtual Schooling” that will take place instead of in-person schooling at least until the 16th… The Washington County Ambulance District & M.A.C. students offered vaccinations with a Drive-Thru Flu Shot Clinic coordinated by Belgrade State Bank in Belgrade. The clinic was a big success with 118 vaccinations given to area residents… A light pole was struck and broken and disrupted traffic on High Street while Ameren worked quickly to repair it… The Potosi Elks Lodge #2218 continued the ‘Back Pack’ Program, delivering 270+ bags of food to Washington County Schools… Kingston Primary cancelled the Annual Breakfast with Santa… The 2020 Lady Trojans Cross Country Team were pictured with their medals and State Trophy for 3rd in Class competition. Celeste Sansegraw earned All-State honors for the second year in a row with a 21st place finish… Two from the Trojan Boys Team qualified for the State Meet, Zeke Sisk and Will Jarvis, both running better than their times had been going into the race… The Washington County Commission announced the end of the program for applications by businesses for CARES Act money through the County… Shawnee Douglas, Washington County Health Department, wrote an open letter to the community as she watched the county’s positive COVID-19 cases climb to over 1,000… Cub Master and Leader John & Jamie Hagermann of the local Scouts had to re-think the ‘Scouting for Food’ program and therefore set up ‘Donation Stations’ at Save-A-Lot and Walmart parking lots where they collected canned and non-perishable food items which resulted in them delivering over 1600 food items to local food pantries… Veterans were honored around the County on the 11th: Kingston honored Veterans with a parade, A Hummer set up on N. Missouri Street with an assortment of military flags was an attractive and unique display set up by John and Tina Moore of Moore Funeral Home in honor of Veterans and three students from Trojan Intermediate School presented their papers about Veterans as part of the Ceremony on the Courthouse Lawn… Firearms Deer Season opened on the 14th… Two local authors, Stacey Sisk of Potosi and Donna Womack of Farmington were featured in the newest Chicken Soup for the Soul book, Christmas Is in the Air: 101 Stories about the Most Wonderful Time of the Year and celebrated with a book signing at Aesop’s Treasury in The Factory… Life Church, acting coordinator for the 2020 Annual Christmas For Kids program announced that due to public health and safety concerns, this year’s Auction would be a ‘Virtual Auction’… Midwest Textiles & Supplies is growing at the Industrial Park as groundbreaking took place for an addition which comes after a distribution agreement reached between Midwest and Hollingsworth & Voss Company… A work crew had perfect weather to finish the tower erected ‘in town’ on Highway 8 on the East side of Potosi… James Bell of Belgrade was pictured with a button buck that he harvested during Clearwater Lake’s annual deer hunt for Veterans with service related disabilities and mobility impaired individuals… Congratulations went out to Lady Trojans Volleyball players Carley Hampton for earning 1st Team All District honors and Kadence Sadler of 2nd Team All District… Despite ‘modified shopping’ due to the pandemic, many of Potosi’s downtown store windows were seen with beautiful holiday displays… Washington County Health Department reported that as of the 16th, the County had 264 active Covid-19 cases and over 1500 total cases in the County reported… A group of supporters and volunteers gathered at Potosi Walmart to ‘kickoff’ The Salvation Army’s bell ringing season locally… Garrett Greenlee, Potosi, was pictured with his first buck, a nice 8 pointer that he took while out hunting with Papa Robert Avila… The County Hospital Foundation has placed two ‘Honor Trees’ in the main lobby entrance. The beautiful trees, installed by artist Dave Gray, feature leaves to be engraved for donors ‘In Memory of’ or ‘In Honor of’ as sponsored… A successful Blood Drive was held at Potosi High School sponsored by the Future Health Careers Club in conjunction with Mississippi Valley Blood Center… The City of Potosi crew worked with Jenny Allen, County Clerk and her ‘crew’, Deputy Clerk Carrie Richards and Maintenance Man Guy Conway, to “Light Up’ the Town Square and decorate the gazebo… Laney Credeur signed an NCAA Division 1 Letter of Intent to play softball for the University of Louisiana at Lafayette in 2021. Ms. Credeur, the first Kingston Cougar to sign a Division 1 Letter of Intent in the school’s history, will be a DH/infielder for the “Ragin’ Cajuns”… Potosi High School Football Trojans received 2020 All-Conference Honors, 5 players 1st Team, 5 on 2nd Team & 2 Honorable Mention… Coach Steve Davis, remembered by his many successes at R-3 with H.S. Cross Country Track Teams who now coaches at M.A.C. was honored as the NJCAA Division III Men’s Cross Country National Coach of the Year… The Washington County Commission reported on their allocation of the CARES Act funding into three basic categories: Private Businesses, $500,000; Public Entities, $500,000 and Washington County, $500,000… The Potosi Elks Lodge #2218 announced that the Annual Auction was postponed until March 6, 2021… The County Prayer Initiative joined the Ministerial Alliance in celebrating a Community Thanksgiving in conjunction with the ‘Hang A Prayer - Light Up The Square’ event this year. There was music and song, along with prayer to honor the season. Music was led by Gary Greenlee and Lloyd Pierce from Potosi First Assembly of God with prayers by Keith King, Ministerial Alliance President and Pastor of Life Church; Rhonda Davis of Jesus is the Answer Ministries; Kevin Smith of Celebrate Recovery and Vice President of the Alliance; and Derik Ruble, evangelist from Potosi First Assembly of God Church. Cadet Baptist Church and Potosi First Assembly of God put together the live nativity with a special thanks to Brian and Jonique Will for bringing Bucky the miniature donkey. There was hot chocolate and cookies for all to enjoy compliments of the youth of Potosi First Assembly of God. The evening was well attended and enjoyed by all… The City of Potosi / W.C. Chamber Of Commerce Annual Christmas Parade through ‘Downtown Potosi’ was held on the 28th and despite the chilly evening there was a good crowd lining the streets to enjoy the entries for the theme ‘I’ll stay home for Christmas” and of course to welcome St. Nick to High Street… The John A. Evans 8th Grade Girls and Boys Basketball Teams both took 1st Place at the Hillsboro Tournament…


‘Shop Local’ meant more this year than ever before due to the pandemic causing store closings, and health challenges. One example shown was a personalized cup for Kris Richards, Publisher, ‘The I-J’, made by Décor-Plaq (Enhancements) and a reminder of all the other options there are locally for gifts… Brent Gant, representing Unico Bank, presented a check to Randy Eaton to help support the Annual Elks Christmas Charity Program... The local unit of The Salvation Army issued pleas for bell ringers as very few volunteers had stepped up, leaving the Red Kettle collection spots empty… Dave DeGonia, representing the Potosi Elks Christmas Charity Program received a donation from Blake Yount, representing First State Community Bank of Potosi… The Potosi R-3 School District released requirements, including mask mandates, social distancing and an attendance limit, for those who plan to attend Winter Sports events at the District… Brent Gant, Treasurer, represented the Rotarians as they donated to the Potosi Elks Christmas Charity… The Village of Caledonia had beautiful weather for the events held on the first Saturday of December including Breakfast with Santa, the Annual Bake Sale at the Methodist Church and Christmas Market at the Barn in Village Park… Bismarck Fire delivered Santa to Town with floats, lights and candy for the children at the Bismarck Christmas Parade… The Potosi Elks got to take some students shopping this week for the Annual Christmas Charity Program. The Washington County kids got shoes, coats and clothes on their visit to Walmart or by way of ‘shoppers’… Kingston High School Senior, Dalton Pinson and Senior Nathan Willcutt earned chairs on the East Central All-District Band for 20-21… Kingston Junior High Eighth Grader, Bailey Juliette, earned a spot on the East Central District 7 Band for 2020-21… The County’s ‘Sunlight Bridge’ opened with construction having been completed by JV Construction, Of Washington County. The project looked good and that’s section of the road is totally different as the elevation was raised… Richard Govero stopped by ‘The I-J’ office with a huge turnip that he’d grown in 2020. The postal scale at ‘The I-J’ read 4 pounds and 11.9 ounces… Caledonia Mayor John Robinson III was excited to announce the new sidewalk installation project underway as a result of grant work and working with MoDOT… The annual Pearl Harbor Ceremony was held on the 7th at the Washington County Courthouse lawn. Cordia-Humphrey American Legion Post 265, Potosi and the Veterans of Foreign Wars, Post 6996, Potosi coordinated the ceremony with State Rep. Mike McGirl and County Presiding Commissioner Dave Sansegraw placing the ceremonial wreath at the War Memorial at the Courthouse… Zane Blount, 12 of Potosi, son of Joseph & Kate Blount and Caity & Cameron Dudley, after an unsuccessful youth hunting weekend, returned to the woods numerous times with his grandfather, Ryan Bone and was able to take down a doe with one shot… Washington County Memorial Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 6996 and the VFW Post 6996 Auxiliary announced the cancellation, for 2020, of the annual Community Christmas Dinner due to public health and safety concerns… The Washington County Coroner-Elect Steve Hatfield reported that a house fire on Arnault Branch Road in Old Mines had claimed the lives of a 53 year old woman and an 11 year old boy… The Ozark Heights Missionary Baptist Church hosted a ‘Drive Thru’ Live Nativity Display… Potosi Masonic Lodge #131, A.F. & A.M., announced they will make up and sell Christmas Fruit Baskets again in 2020… Congratulations went out to Homer Johnston, 1937 Potosi High School graduate, on his 100th birthday and interesting baseball connection past… The Potosi High School Trojans hosted the St. Clair Bulldogs on the 11th for the first home basketball boys game of the season. The night was a success for the Trojans with victories in the Junior Varsity and Varsity contests. The Senior Pommies and Trojan Boys were honored between games. The Varsity Boys beat the Bulldogs 60-49 to close out the night… The Trojan Intermediate School Staff decorated the halls for the students, from ‘The Grinch’, to ‘Candyland’ to ‘Santa’s Workshop’, a great job was done for the kids… Giant slabs of concrete were delivered to the Potosi Elementary School as Brockmiller Construction worked on the grant project to provide safe and secure storm protection as well as a facility for a cooling station or heating source as might be needed… The Valley Vikings hosted the 31st Annual Valley Tournament during the first week of December and the Valley Boys Varsity captured the Championship. The Cougars gave the Vikings a good game with Valley coming out on top at the final buzzer… Pam Wilkinson and Hunter Ives representing Belgrade State Bank presented Randy Eaton, Potosi Elks Lodge, with Belgrade State Bank’s annual donation check for the Potosi Elk’s Christmas Charity Program… Ryker Walton signed a ‘Letter of Intent’ to join the Mineral Area College Cardinals for baseball at the close of his high school career… The Independent Journal announced the availability of an online subscription… Belgrade State Bank served more than 170 families by offering free pictures with Santa at the Potosi City Park… Landon Bone plans to continue his baseball and academic career at Mineral Area College after his graduation in Spring, 2021… The Bellevue Valley Historical Social Club held only one meeting in 2020, the minutes of which were published in ‘The I-J’… The new entry was completed for the Washington County Airport allowing for future expansion as well as eliminating the ‘encumbrance’ on the approach… The Valley Vikings R-VI Future Farmers are improving their farm at the school complex. The Club held a work day that had several community members attend to pitch in. The School’s farm offers the students a unique ‘hands on experience’ working with agriculture and new a new sign marks the entrance off Hwy 21… Filings began for Spring Elections and Board Seats… The home fire resulting in two deaths previously reported this month was later ruled a double homicide by the Washington County Sheriff’s Office who then arrested Andrew Richards on multiple counts… Shawnee Douglas of the Washington County Health Department announced the decision to adopt the latest CDC changes to the COVID-19 quarantine period and that their order for the Moderna Covid-19 Vaccine had been placed… The students and staff of St. Joachim School celebrated Spirit Week with an ornament decorating contest, cookie decorating hot cocoa and dressing up each day… First State Community Bank, represented by Blake Yount recently donated to Michael Silvey, Superintendent of Schools representing Valley R-6 School as part of their FSCB Impact Project for 2020… St. Joachim School held a loose change drive to help a local Kingston family in need and collected $614.57… The annual Vespers were held at the Washington County Fairgrounds with a production done by a large group of volunteers from throughout the community. The Tableau featured youngsters performing the Nativity Scene along with songs and music. There were approximately 70 cars at this years ‘drive-in’ Vespers as the story was shared from the Potosi Lions Club stage. Everyone enjoyed celebrating together… Annie Saunders and Klint Silvey, representing Belgrade State Bank made a donation to Randy Eaton for the Elks Lodge Backpack Program… The third gun was awarded in the “Gun For A Year Donation Drawing” that is ongoing through the Jerry West Memorial Fund. The drawing was held at Short’s Stop Convenience Store and the winner was Tim Shepard, Potosi, who won a Traditions Pursuit G4 Ultralight… The Potosi R-3 CTA (Community Teachers Association) held an Essay Contest at John Evans Middle School and Potosi High School. The students were asked to write an essay about a teacher of school employee who positively impacted their life. The winner were presented and awarded a certificate and prizes… Several law enforcement officers were on hand at the Potosi City Park to spread good cheer and gifts to children from the community as this years ‘Cope For Kids’ Program took a different turn due to the virus. The officers had a ‘drive-thru’ style gift giving to 110 children during the evening… The Annual Greetings Issue of ‘The I-J’ was filled with wishes for happiness, joy and prosperity during the yuletide season from many local and area merchants, businessmen and women, professional persons, service organizations and individuals whose names are imprinted along with a variety of pictures and messages in keeping with the season... Kington Elementary brightened the holidays with ‘Ugly Christmas Sweaters’ for Spirit Week… The Tyro Lodge had a dinner and recognition ceremony for Bro. Bill Vineyard as he marked 70 years of masonic membership… The teachers at Trojan Intermediate School came up with an idea to do a ‘Walk’ through the community to support the Potosi Elks Lodge charitable program, it quickly took shape and raised over $7500 for the Elks’ program… Kingston High School Senior, Bobby Berger, led the Cougars during the 2020-21 MAAA Boys Basketball season. Berger has played all four years of his high school career at Kingston… The County Road Crews were at the Courthouse on the 16th to take down the Old Hocker cinder block gas station building recently purchased by the County that has been empty for some time and will be used for added parking for the Courthouse… Police Chief Mike Gum recognized Officer Donnie Battreal as Patrolman of the Year and presented him a plaque recognizing his commitment to law enforcement and public service On the 31st, the elected officials from the November 2020 General Election were sworn in to their respective offices by Washington County Clerk Jenny Allen at the Courthouse with a small group on hand to witness the official event… Beautiful lights and displays throughout “Downtown” celebrated the Christmas Season and Welcomed in the New Year 2021…