A brief look back at the year that was 2016
Looking back at 2016, it was an interesting year. A lot of ups and downs in several things.
Then tragedy struck on December 6.
New CJI Superintendent Francis LaBounty entered the residence occupied by his wife Tanya and killed her with a .357 revolver, then killed himself with the same gun. The Murder/Suicide rocked the town of Chester, Liberty County and the school communities of Chester, Joplin and Inverness. The School went into lockdown after the shooting occurred until everything was sorted out. There was never any danger at the school.
The loss of Lauryn Goldhahn in a car accident August 25th had a major effect on the community, especially the school kids who knew her well. The Goldhahn family had recently moved to Fairfield and Lauryn was riding with a friend on a dirt road near Fairfield when the accident happened. She was 15-year’s old. The Fairfield gym was filled for the memorial service and several memorial and fund raiser events have been held.
It has been a while since students at a local area school have felt strongly enough about a situation to hold a protest, but that is exactly what happened at CJI school on Tuesday, February 16. Several incidents at the end of the previous week, combined with an argument Monday between a student and a teacher that ended with a threatening remark by the student. The student was suspended and that sparked the protest. But it wasn’t the student’s suspension that was being protested, it was the incidents leading up to it.
The Harvest was a headliner this year as yields were generally up significantly, but protein and prices were way down. That combination was not the best for local farmers and the prices remained low through to the end of 2016.
Six area youngsters from Hi-Line Dance traveled to Orlando, Florida for a fun filled trip. But it was also a lot of work! The dancers spent several weeks before the trip learning the basic routine, then they got with the choreographers and really went to work in Orlando. Working with a couple hundred kids from around the nation, they had a couple of days to put together a routine to be performed pre-game and at half time of the Russell Athletic Bowl. The kids did well and the routine was great.
Triangle Communications installed fiber optic lines in Chester, increasing internet speeds three fold. This was part of an ongoing process that has been several years in the making for Triangle Communications.
The first half of 2016 saw a lot of new candidates for several positions, from county commissioner to school board and representatives to the State Legislature in Helena. While the Presidential race dominated national news, around here the school board election had, perhaps, the greatest interest. The school was in the news a lot in the early part of 2016. The resignation of Superintendent Kaiser, as well as the Principal and several teachers, followed the election and the protest. Hiring a new superintendent was the first thing the new board had to deal with. Replacing filling the open teacher positions was the new superintendent’s first big task.
Rlynn and Karen Rockman sold their Funeral Home to the Asper Family in March. After more than 40 years in business in Chester Rlynn and Karen retired. The Asper family owns a couple of funeral homes in the area.
Gayle Dahlen retired as Liberty County Treasurer. Zachary Ramberg cme to work with Jerry Martin at Martin’s Dentist Office in the Clinic. Robert Padmos became the new Liberty County Attorney.
A change in the slow-down area south of Chester took a little getting used to for many local drivers. The change came in March and notice was put out to local residents on March 30. The reduction to 45 mph on highway 223 is now south of town, to 35 mph right at the edge of town and 25 mph a couple of blocks into the town limits.
The 4-H shooting sports team had a successful season with several shooters earning awards.
Vandals destroyed a perch habitate at Tiber in April, then mussel larvae were found at Tiber this fall. Watercraft were banned from the lake in late fall.
The Joplin Car Show and Art in the Park was a lot of fun. There were a few new activities and the snowmobile drags were a blast.
We had a few fires in the summer, as well as some controlled burns.
There has been a lot going on at Liberty Medical Center all year. Changes in providers, services and other offerings have been a constant at the local hospital and clinic.
Of course the Marias Fair was a big deal in July, local 4-H’ers did well as their hard work paid off at fair time.
Yep, there was plenty going on in this area in 2016, not all of it good. Hopefully 2017 will be filled with more good and less negative.Posted: by OverlieP