Top 10 for 2019

The Lawrence County Record begins the start of every new year with a review of the previous year’s top stories. Last year’s top stories were:
1. VA moves out of Mt. Vernon, city sells Missouri Rehabilitation Center campus
The Veterans Administration moved out of its location at the Missouri Rehabilitation Center in Mt. Vernon at the end of April. The organization moved its operations to new locations in Joplin and Springfield, leaving the MRC campus vacant. About six months later, the Mt. Vernon Board of Aldermen voted to authorize an agreement to sell the MRC grounds to Timothy S. Hogan.
2. 417 Athletics building monster sports facility in Mt. Vernon
 Mt. Vernon native Sydni Alexander unveiled her plans to build 417 Athletics, a 50,000-foot sports complex. Alexander first envisioned the sports complex after graduating from Mt. Vernon High School in 2009, it was her dream ever since. When completed, the sports complex will have 10 volleyball courts, four basketball courts, and a multi-purpose room for exercise classes. This will allow the facility to host “leagues, camps, clinics, instructional classes, sports-specific training and large tournaments throughout the year.” The facility will be located just southwest of the Missouri Veterans Home in Mt. Vernon.
3. Miller school district to get new FEMA shelter at high school
The Miller School District received a nice surprise when they were approved for a FEMA shelter to also be a part of the current addition being built for the school. The district was initially denied, with funds being sent to a district that had recently been devastated by a tornado. However, when that district was unable to match funds, Miller was awarded the money.
After a somewhat lengthy process, construction began in November at Miller High School on the approved addition of a new auxiliary gym, expansion to the existing cafeteria and choir/band room that will double as the town-accessible FEMA shelter. Thanks to an overwhelmingly approved $1,250,000 No Tax Bond Issue back in April, the town of Miller will see these improvements to their high school by the end of 2020, sooner for the cafeteria upgrade, which is scheduled to be complete before the start of the 2020-21 school year. Due to being selected for federal funding, the school district will be reimbursed for the FEMA shelter in the amount of $924,750.
4. Cold-case murder possibly solved with arrest of alleged suspect
In September of this year, Lawrence Timmons was charged with the murder of Cynthia Smith, a woman last seen alive in August of 1988 when she left Checker’s Bar and Grill in Mt. Vernon. Smith’s body was found 10 days later on a dirt lane leading to Dry Valley Cemetery. Timmons was charged, thanks in part to investigators from the true crime show, Cold Case. An episode about the case is scheduled to air on Oxygen and TNT in January of 2020.
Timmons, who remains in the custody of the Lawrence County Jail, is also being investigated in Oklahoma for the death of his first wife, Deborah Jean Timmons, in 1994, and the 1998 death of an 11-year-old girl who was friends with Timmons daughter, according to information from the Cold Case website.
5. Skatepark budget, design approved
The Mt. Vernon Skatepark, just a proposal a couple of years ago, took a long step towards becoming a reality with the approval of a $100,000 budget and design for the Mt. Vernon Skatepark by the Mt. Vernon Board of Aldermen on Nov. 12. With the approval of the budget, the skatepark committee became eligible to apply for grants towards the skatepark’s construction.



Lawrence County Record

312 S. Hickory St.
Mt. Vernon, MO, 65712


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