by Mark Cheffey
Editor’s note: this is the last of a three-part series reviewing events in the local area during 2020.
Sept. 2, 2020
Heritage Seekers is announcing the traditional ornament in their historic ornament series is available. The artwork for the 27th edition was created by Dan Nelson to mark Palmyra’s important role as the site of one of the earliest land offices west of the Mississippi in the new territory known as the Louisiana Purchase.
The Marion County tax rate will remain the same for the fiscal year beginning Jan. 1, 2021. During their tax rate hearing Monday morning, the Marion County Commission approved setting the tax rate at $0.4673, the same rate it was last year.
The PHS varsity football team opened the 2020 season about as well as a team can by dominating in a 38-0 beat down of Living Word Christian in O’Fallon Friday. The Panthers shocked the Eagles with four second quarter touchdowns and put the game clock into continuous motion with the team’s seventh score at the 8:16 mark of the third quarter.
Sept. 9, 2020
Taste of Palmyra has fallen victim to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Palmyra Chamber of Commerce announced Thursday the annual one-evening street fair on Main Street was being canceled for the year.
The Palmyra R-I School District started the 2020-2021 school year with five more students than at the start of school last year.
The defense ruled supreme while the offense struggled in the Panthers’ 13-0 football victory at Bowling Green Friday.
Barring any changes caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the PHS football team (2-0) will inaugurate the new state-of-the art stadium Friday when they host Macon at 7 p.m.
Sept. 16, 2020
A large crowd braved the rain Friday to witness the first home football game in the new PHS football stadium. After making a grand entrance onto the field, the Panthers thrashed Hallsville for a memorable 51-16 victory. Hallsville made the trip at the last moment as a substitute for Macon, which had to bow out due to COVID-19.
Benedictine Father Pachomius Meade, a Palmyra native, is the newly appointed vice rector and dean of students at Conception Seminary College in northwestern Missouri.
The PHS girls cross country team won its home meet for the second year in a row Saturday.
Sept. 23, 2020
Several more CARES Act fund applications were approved while the Marion County Commission also signed paperwork for a Brownfield Assessment Grant. The commissioners also discussed needed repairs to the historical marker on the courthouse grounds in Palmyra.
Judge Rachel Bringer Shepherd administered the oath of admission to Kevin Bross, a Palmyra native, to the Missouri Bar Wednesday in the Marion County Courthouse in Palmyra.
The PHS varsity football team went to 4-0 with a 24-6 victory at Brookfield Friday.
Sept. 30, 2020
The PHS varsity football team defended its No. 1 state ranking and recaptured the Mayor’s Cup with a 30-20 win at home against Monroe City, but the Panthers had to engineer a fourth-quarter comeback to do it.
The Knights of Columbus have announced this year’s smorgasbord has been canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The PHS girls cross country team competed in the Gans Creek Classic in Columbia Saturday and came away with a first place finish in their division.
Oct. 7, 2020
CARES Act funding again dominated Monday’s Marion County Commission meeting, including revisiting the request from the Marion County Ambulance District.
Five PHS girls are vying for homecoming queen this Friday including seniors, Belle Biswell, Caroline Kizer and Grace Krigbaum; junior, Jansen Juette; and freshman, Taytum White. This year’s parade grand marshal is Anita Foster.
The PHS varsity football team showed it can win in the most dramatic of fashions with their 15-14 win at Clark County Friday. Landyn Smith kicked a 34-yard field goal with seven seconds left for the victory.
Oct. 14, 2020
Caroline Kizer, a senior, was crowned PHS Homecoming Queen during halftime ceremonies Friday. The Panthers also enjoyed homecoming by defeating Highland, 47-6, to go 7-0 on the season.
A special ceremony was held Saturday afternoon at the new Angel of Hope memorial in Palmyra’s Flower City Park. Families who have lost children were given the opportunity to unveil memorial benches or place memorial bricks at the site.
The PHS girls tennis team won it second straight district team title Thursday, beating Mexico, 5-0, on the home courts. Meanwhile, the team’s No. 1 doubles pair of Katy Rindom and Maura Gottamn advanced to individual state competition.
Oct. 21, 2020
The Palmyra Chamber of Commerce, in conjunction with Palmyra Parks & Recreation, is holding a drive-thru Trunk-Or-Treat from 5:30 to 7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 22, in Flower City Park.
The public will be limited to 25 percent of the schools’ gym’s capacity to attend winter sports and activities, according to a plan adopted by the Palmyra R-I Board of Education.
The top-ranked Panthers showed the rest of the state what they were made of with a 42-35 victory over Summit Christian Academy in a game played on neutral ground in Chillicothe Saturday afternoon. The game was arranged late after South Shelby had to bow out of its scheduled game with Palmyra due to COVID-19.
Oct. 28, 2020
Northeast Missouri received an early winter blast Monday, giving Halloween decorations in Palmyra a dusting of snow. Temperatures dropped into the lower 30s before forecasts of more seasonal levels in the coming days.
The Panthers finished the regular season undefeated with a 19-14 victory at home over Centralia Friday. The team will enjoy a bye Friday before playing at home in the district semifinals the next Friday.
The PHS girls cross country team prepared for district competition with a third place finish at Bowlng Green. Ally Noland led the Lady Panthers with a 10th place finish.
Mallory Comstock, Mallory Sublette and Kylie Begley represented Palmyra at the state golf tournament in Smithville last Monday and Tuesday.
Nov. 4, 2020
Zion Lutheran Church is in the middle of a major project to renovate the sanctuary, but is also preparing to begin another unexpected endeavor to preserve the historic church building. Work will have to be done later in the spring to replace one of the outside walls.
The PHS and Marion County R-II girls cross country teams qualified for state competition.
Nov. 11, 2020
Steve Begley rode a tidal wave of support in Marion County to win a second term as Western District commissioner in the only local race during last Tuesday’s general election.Begley, of rural Palmyra, easily defeated his Democratic challenger, Bill Goellner, also of rural Palmyra, with 75 percent ballot support. Also, 74 percent of Marion County voters cast ballots for President Trump.
Palmyra advanced to the district title game with a 35-8 victory over Clark County in the semifinals Friday. Quarterback Brody Lehenbauer threw three touchdown passes and Landyn Smith and Zane Meyers rushed for to others, as the Panthers moved to 10-0.
Marion County’s Delaney Straus placed third in the Class 1 state cross country meet in Columbia Saturday. The PHS girls finished ninth as a team in Class 2.
Nov. 18, 2020
While the saying is you can’t keep Christmas from coming, the coronavirus can definitely stop Christmas In Palmyra. The Palmyra Chamber of Commerce announced that, in an effort to help reduce the spread of COVID-19, the annual Christmas in Palmyra event will not be held this year.
The Panthers defeated Monroe City, 26-22, for the district championship on the home field Friday and advanced to the Class 2 quarterfinals.
Nov. 25, 2020
Mayor Loren Graham announced Monday morning he is urging citizens to wear masks in public places due to increasing cases of COVID-19 that have even hit city employees.
The PHS varsity football team advanced to the state semifinals with a 44-30 win at home over Hallsville Saturday.
Local kids will see the benefits of the Palmyra Food Pantry’s Christmas Store, which volunteers have been busy setting up. Gifts, games and toys will be available for children ages infant through 17.
Dec. 2, 2020
The Marion County Ambulance District Board approved a $5.224 million budget, which includes a continuation of COVID hazard pay for employees.
Palmyra’s Greenwood Cemetery now has a columbarium available for cinerary urns. With cremation becoming an increasingly used option, the cemetery has added a special columbarium area in the cemetery with storage for 48 urns and is expandable to a total of 144 arranged in a circle with landscaping in the center.
The Panther football season came to an end Saturday with a 31-14 loss to St. Pius X in Kansas City. Palmyra finished with a record of 12-1.
Dec. 9. 2020
Santa Claus was in Palmyra Saturday to visit with and give treats to children at the Palmyra Fire Station. The fire department traditionally provides fire truck rides with Santa every Saturday in December leading up to Christmas Day. But, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the department chose to forego the rides and provide proper social distancing.
Christian Drebes was the winner of this year’s Palmyra R-I School District Christmas card design contest, and the runner-up was Jaynee Durst.
The PHS varsity boys basketball team won its season opener, 57-39, at Canton Friday.
Dec. 16, 2020
The Marion County Library has a new leader with a familiar face. Elizabeth Bradley, a long-time Palmyra resident who just retired as the elementary school library media specialist, has taken on her new part-time position at the county library.
Parents in need of help to home school their kids now have another resource available in Palmyra. Tinker and Thinker, located at 318 S. Main, offers educational materials and other items, including education toys, for those who home school their children.
The Palmyra FFA nursery landscape team of Augustine Mahsman, Evan Nierman, Tim Wellman and Ji Yong Ni, took second place at state competition, while the floriculture team of Audrey Summers, Christian Drebes, Hope Hudson and Jacob Webster took third place at state.
Dec. 23, 2020
The Palmyra City Council authorized applying for federal grant funding, renewed city employee health insurance and approved a new pest extermination law during its regular meeting Thursday.
It was announced Dec. 22 the Missouri Highways and Transportation Commission has approved the Marion County Port Authority’s request to establish the Marion/Ralls Regional Port Authority.
Dec. 30, 2020
This year’s Adopt-A-Child program closed out the holiday season with success, distributing gifts and food to 43 families in need.
The Marion County Library asked for help from local young people and they responded to make more than 200 Christmas greeting cards to send to local shut-ins.