Of course, what was big news here may not seem to important now, but this is what made the news in Massac County in 2013.
The year started with 260 students signing a pledge to live addiction-free, bully-free and drama-free to receive a Take Back Massac t-shirt from the First United Methodist youth group. The t-shirts were a message to students to Pray, Think, Love and Live after the unexpected losses of two high school classmates.
Dana Jones was appointed county treasurer after the retirement of Floyd Sullivan in December 2012. She will fill the remainder of his term. Also during the Jan. 9 county commissioner meeting it was announced the county had borrowed $350,000 to pay the remaining 2012 bills for the county and the sheriff’s department.
January continued with county position retirement announcements when Larry Glasco announced he would retire as the Massac County Highway Engineer after 25 years.
Following an elementary school shooting in Newtown, Conn., the Massac County Sheriff’s Department and Massac Unit One school district discussed school safety at the board meeting. Police presence was upped at county schools and Jason Hayes, principal at Massac County High School said all exterior doors to the high school had been replaced.
Joe Miller was appointed ESDA director after Larry Douglas resigned in late 2012. Miller’s appointment is for one year and then he will be up for review.
Fat Edd’s Roadhouse, formerly Willy Jaks, was reopened after a fire in 2012. New owners Darren Tockstein and Corey Bowman completely redesigned the restaurant but kept the same menu with some additions.
After a heated public meeting in December, the Metropolis City Council said there needed to be regrouping regarding the city’s new Zoning Ordinance specifically in regards the Extraterritorial Jurisdiction (ETJ). The 1 ½ miles outside the city limits did not sit well with many county residents.
The Hope Light Project received a $1000 donation from the Hope Light Foundation to go towards their $40,000 goal for construction costs to build a lighthouse on the banks of the Ohio River at Dorothy Miller Park. At the end of the month a scale replica of the 30-foot lighthouse was unveiled in City Hall.
Week-end Blessings was feeding over 100 children in Massac County each weekend. The program was part of Taylor Deming’s, 2013 Miss Metropolis, platform Backpack Program: Feeding America. Each weekend, she and other volunteers loaded backpacks with food for children to take home.
Harrah’s Metropolis Casino celebrated their 20th anniversary in Metropolis. The riverboat first pulled into shore in 1993 as Players Riverboat Casino. They celebrated by giving 20 local not-for-profit organizations donations of $1000 each.
Joppa first responders received a donation of splints, an AED and miscellaneous first aid supplies from the Massac and Pope County Ambulance Services. Eleven of Joppa Fire Department’s firefighters recently had passed the first responder test and on Jan. 23 they were declared a licensed First Responder Unit for the village.
For Black History Month, the front page featured a Brookport native who left his mark as a crew chief for the Tuskegee Airman during World War II. Albert Laverne Shelton’s story was told by Elmer Pullen, whose father was friends with Shelton.
Courthouse security was a top of the first county commissioners meeting for the month. Several ideas were discussed after a concerned employee in the courthouse visited the meeting. New handicapped doors had been delivered, but had yet to be installed.
A Community Prayer Gathering was held with over 100 people in attendance. Members of the community gathered to pray for healing in the wake of four unexpected deaths in the community.
The Metropolis City Council re-purchased a spec building and 11 acres it recently owned in the Industrial Park for $325,000. They had originally sold the building in August 2011 for a fitness/health center to be developed. After halting plans for development, the owner resold the building back to the city as a discounted price.
Southern Illinois was the backdrop for an independent film, Dig Two Graves, which wrapped filming in March. The movie is part gothic thriller, comedy and mystery.
At the River Ministries was developed by area churches to host Community Meals each month. The meals take place at Dorothy Miller park and also provide spiritual guidance and devotional time for attendees.
Ameren Corporation sold it’s share of Electric Energy Inc. in Joppa to Dynety Inc. The sale will not impact the electric and natural gas utility service provided by Ameren’s rate regulated businesses.
The Metropolis City Council announced an Illinois wood products business was expanding to Metropolis’ Industrial Park. The company was set to hire 12 Massac County residents by the second quarter of the year and double that number within a year.