Thursday, January 2, 2014
•Missouri Ninth Congressional District — which included Callaway County and stretched as far northeast as Clark County and as south as Crawford County — ceased to exist at the beginning of 2013, due to redistricting caused by the 2012 census. U.S. Representative Blaine Luetkemeyer, R-St. Elizabeth, who now serves Missouri’s Third Congressional District, was the last representative in the ninth district’s 149-year history. On the state level, Callaway County was no longer included in the 6th district, represented by Sen. Mike Kehoe, R-Jefferson City. Callaway County is now in Missouri’s 10th district, represented by Sen. Jolee Justus, D-Kansas City. Justus took over the 10th district when there was no incumbent.
•In January, the Callaway County Red Cross chapter celebrated its 95th anniversary. The local chapter was organized in 1917 during World War I. The chapter received its official charter on Aug. 29, 1917. In its first few years, the chapter’s activities were directed at providing supplies and raising funds to support armed forces in WWI.
•Callaway County considered a proposed Enhanced Enterprise Zone (EEZ) — which would have provided state tax incentives to new or expanding businesses in areas of Fulton and northern and central Callaway County that created new jobs — before the initiative met heavy resistance among some county residents. Fulton Area Development Corporation Director and EEZ proponant Bruce Hackmann attended a Callaway Citizens for FairTax meeting in January at the request of the group’s Co-Director Tom Suttles to address questions and present information. The two-hour meeting in a packed Callaway Electric Cooperative’s community room saw Hackmann state that several communities in Missouri had instated EEZs and the designation was not being used to support eminent domain seizures (a claim made by opponents) but most in the crowd disagreed, using support from several websites and blogs and taking issue with the language in state EEZ legislation that would declare affected areas “blighted.” The FADC suspended its EEZ proposal Jan. 23 to give the state time to calculate new census data that might have redrawn the EEZ’s boundary lines. The Callaway County Commission formally rescinded the EEZ offer in late October, with Western District Commissioner Doc Kritzer stating “the Department of Economic Development was supposed to redraw that based on the census in 2012, and we were waiting to see the new map before deciding (whether to move forward with creating the EEZ). We got tired of waiting on it, and decided to take action.” Pro Food Systems, the company that produces Champs Chicken, partially credits an EEZ independently established in Holts Summit with allowing the company to remain in Missouri and build a multi-million dollar expansion to its corporate headquarters and distribution center there, which added more than 40 jobs. The company held a grand opening Nov. 20.
•A Holts Summit man, Bryan Sartor, pleaded guilty in February to the June 2012 death of a 9-month-old boy at an area mobile home. Sartor was charged with endangering the welfare of a child, possession of a controlled substance and unlawful use of drug paraphernalia. Callaway County Emergency Operations Center received a call June 20, 2013 saying a 2-year-old child was blue, not breathing and “beyond help.” The child, who was actually 9 months old, was found dead by Holts Summit emergency workers. Sartor and the child’s mother, Megan Ayres, admitted to using methamphetamines at that time. Ayres was sentenced in January to five years in prison after pleading guilty. Sartor was sentenced in April to five years probation.
•Winter weather once again left Callaway County covered in deep snow in February and again in March, bringing activity throughout the county to a grinding halt. Schools, businesses and civic buildings were closed, Gov. Jay Nixon declared a state of emergency as the heavy snowfall resulted in poor road conditions and property damage — the former Moser’s Discount Foods in Fulton, the Lighthouse Theater near Millersburg and the Central Missouri Vault Company in New Bloomfield all had roofs collapse due to the weight of the snow.
•The Missouri’s Civil War Heritage Foundation and its local affiliate, Kingdom of Callaway Civil War Heritage, earned a grant in February to conduct a survey on the Moore’s Mill battle site (Callaway County’s largest Civil War battle, which took place near present-day Calwood). Local civil war groups had previously sought to conduct a survey there but had struggled to get permission from property owners in the past. The survey took place in March, drawing students and archaeologists from several states and uncovering a number of canister balls, bullets and other artifacts. A sonar survey sponsored by the Elijah Gates Camp of the Sons of Confederate Veterans also uncovered the mass grave of Union and Confederate soldiers killed in the battle — the grave’s exact location had been lost to time. The camp began soliciting donations to build a monument at the site during its annual Fall Muster.
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