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Year In Review: Fair highlights second third of 2020

Editor’s note: this is the second of a three-part series reviewing events in the local area during 2020.

May 6, 2020

Maple Lawn Nursing Home will continue to be closed to the public with family and friends not being allowed to visit residents. Staff is continuing to monitor residents to try to keep them safe from the COVID-19 virus.

A Hannibal Boy Scout, Louis Perfetto, completed his Eagle Award project at Palmyra’s Greenwood Cemetery, place 69 section markers making it easier for people to find the graves of their loved ones.

May 13, 2020

Three PHS students have advance to national competition in FCCLA Star Events and will participate in July, albeit virtually, Rylee Ingram, Addison Buckman and Lily Griffith will compete.

The Palmyra Park Board decided last Monday to close the upcoming park swimming pool season due to numerous requirements of operating a public swimming pool in this time of COVID-19.

The Palmyra City Council voted to reopen the city hall lobby to the public and leave it to the Palmyra Chamber of Commerce to decide whether to hold upcoming special events, including the Marion County Fair.

May 20, 2020

As many as eight seniors will receive their diplomas during PHS commencement ceremonies, which will be held at the high school, using a social distancing format. Seniors and four guests were allowed to select times between 8 a.m. and 7 p.m. to go through a graduation walk. Signs for each of the 80 graduating seniors lined the sidewalks and parking lots in front of the high school.

The Palmyra R-I School Board heard some positive financial news with Superintendent Kirt Malone reporting the state legislature has approved full funding of the state formula for the 2020-21 fiscal year.

May 27, 2020

While Palmyra High School held a much differenct commencement ceremony last Thursday for the school’s 80 senior graduates in order to comply with COVID-19 social distancing requirements, parents organized a parade to honor the seniors. Valedictorian was Mason Mitchell, and salutatorian was Hope Hudson.

Tracy Fountain, an Army veteran and current Palmyra High School teacher, reminded those attending this year’s Memorial Day event not that we “shouldn’t forget” those who sacrificed, but that we “cannot”. A crowd of approximately 130 individuals attended the annual Memorial Day ceremony.

June 3, 2020

Palmyra parks began seeing  more outdoor activity Monday as more restrictions were eased. New guidelines have been put in place at the park to make “every effort to balance the heightened need for recreational opportunities with the public health and public safety realities that COVID-19 presents”.

Palmyra’s biggest charity fund-raiser, the American Cancer Society’s Flower Children’s Spring Fling, is a casualty of the COVID-19 pandemic as this year’s event was cancelled.

June 10, 2020

The Marion County Fair is still on, although there will be changes due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Fair organizers, Randy and Michele Hopson indicated plans are in place to comply with standards put forth by Gov. Mike Parsons, the CDC and the Marion County Health Department.

Heavy rains last week caused some damage through the middle part of Marion County, including taking out a bridge on County Road 230.

The Marion County Commission set up a committee to set CARES Act fund guidelines and agreed to work with the Mark Twain Regional Council of Governments for guidance in distribution of the funds.

June 17, 2020

Palmyra’s traditional Flag Day celebration Saturday was modified this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The parade was changed to a patriotic car cruise up and down Main Street.

The Palmyra R-I Board of Education approved a $13,427 million budget last week, which includes an increase in salaries for certified and non-certified staff.

The Palmyra City Council held a special meeting last Monday, at which time it was decided in a split vote to transfer the municipal court to the associate circuit court.

June 24, 2020

Construction began to realign the junction of Route F and U.S. 61/24 south of Palmyra.

In an effort to try to recoup lost time from last spring, Marion County R-II School will be starting earlier than had been planned with the board voting to start Aug. 13, instead of the original date of Aug. 24.

July 1, 2020

Palmyra High School held a more traditional commencement ceremony thanks to more relaxed social distancing restrictions.

Palmyra High School held an outdoor junior-senior prom this year to meet COVID-19 social distancing guidelines. Ninety-five students participated in the event, which included the crowning of prom royalty, Raegan Barnett and Spencer Locke. The court consisted of Megan Stone, Hope Hudson, Cooper Hinkle and Corder Lehenbauer.

Given approval to start the process immediately the Marion County Commission is now taking applications from those eligible to received CARES Act funding.

July 8, 2020

Mayor Loren Graham broke a 3-3 Palmyra City Council vote Thursday in favor of delaying ordering a new police car until the latest city financial information is available, even though the 2021 Ford SUV would come in under budget.

The summer sky was filled with the sights and sounds of fireworks during Palmyra’s community display Friday evening in Flower City Park.

The long anticipated Angel of Hope statue was installed in Palmyra’s Flower City Park Friday.

July 15, 2020

Coming from a family of educators, new Marion County R-II principal, Savannah O’Bryan, knew exactly what road she wanted to follow. O’Bryan takes over that position from Jason Keilholz, who accepted the job as R-II superintendent.

Marion County R-II held traditional graduating ceremonies in the gymnasium Sunday afternoon with all 13 graduating seniors attending and receiving their diplomas. Named valedictorian was McKenzie Crook, and salutatorian was Colby Schulz.

Palmyra has a new place for fine dining as the Old Stone House Inn reopened as Cole’s Hearth Room under new ownership.

July 22, 2020

A 27-year-old Junction City, Kan., man faces multiple felony charges after being captured following a 16.5 hour manhunt that started in Palmyra Tuesday afternoon and ended north of town Wednesday morning. Jeffrey Stulgate was charged with resisting arrest, robbery and assault as well as armed criminal action.

Citing stronger than expected financial figures, the Palmyra City Council moved forward with authorizing the purchase and quipping of a 2021 Ford SUV police vehicle.

Palmyra R-I School is planning to open as usual this fall, but there will be new guidelines while the COVID-19 pandemic is still underway.

July 27, 2020

The new Palmyra City Council chambers, located in the old police station behind city hall, is ready for use at the next council meeting Aug. 13.

A condensed Marion County Fair will be taking place next week, while the Marion County Junior Fair is going on as scheduled.

The Marion County Commission received a surprise gift in the way of a plaque on the successful completion of the Taylor bridge from MECO Engineering. The bridge had opened to the public after a two and a half year replacement project was completed in June.

Aug. 5, 2020

The trimmed-down Marion County Fair got underway with the annual parade. The Tate Shad Memorial Bull Bush was held that evening while 4-H’ers were interviewed about their projects on Sunday afternoon.

The Palmyra Athletic Booster Club is offering engraved brick pavers for the Panther plaza under construction at the Palmyra High School.

The MFA Charitable Foundation recently donated $2,500 to the Marion County R-II School to help address disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Aug. 17, 2020

Steve Begley, Western District commission; Wendy Howe, public administrator; and Mark Novak, county assessor, won their races for their respective offices during last Tuesday’s election.

Palmyra High School fall sports teams started pre-season practice Monday morning for the first time during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The BLP Club of Palmyra announced the cancellation of it’s 48th annual Holiday Gift Show that was to b eheld in November at the high school, citing COVID-19 concerns.

Aug. 19, 2020

Palmyra R-I School District has requested CARES Act funds related to COVID-19 expenses and because of that will have to wait for a final audit until later in the year.

Gov. Parson has announced that Chariton Valley has received $897,191 in Emergency Broadband Investment as part of the Coronavirus Aid Relief and Economic Security Act to help provide broadband services to part of Chariton, Linn, Macon and Marion counties.

Palmyra City Council got good news and bad news from the annual audit. While the city is in good financial shape, auditor, Gary Luck announced he would not be able to do the city’s audit in the future after doing it for many years.

The Marion County Commission approved a regulation requiring the wearing of masks in both the Palmyra and Hannibal courthouses until further notice.

Aug. 26, 2020

It was the first day of school Monday in the Palmyra R-I School District and students received hand sanitizer before entering the building as part of the COVID-19 pandemic precautions.

Missouri Rural Electric Cooperative held its annual meeting and election of board officers as a drive-through event in the PHS parking lot. 

The Palmyra City Council learned Thursday the city had received interest from seven engineering firms to provide preliminary engineering for proposed bridge projects. Mayor Loren Graham said the council would need to soon pick a winning firm to help the city prepare a Community Development Block Grant application.