Top Local News For the Quincy/Hannibal Area in 2013
As 2013 comes to an end, we take a look back at some of the year’s biggest local news stories.
Adrienne Arnette, a cashier at the Abel's Quick Shop on Shinn Lane in Hannibal, was murdered during an early-morning robbery on October 8. Two suspects, 30-year-old Michael Studer and 22-year-old James Wiltermood III, were arrested less than 11 hours after the crime. Both suspects will face murder charges in upcoming trials, which have been moved to Boone County.
Newcomb Hotel Fire
In April, Quincy's Newcomb Hotel - completed in 1888 - was added to the list of Top 10 Endangered Historic Places by Ladnmark Illinois. The hotel at 4th and Maine was destroyed by fire on September 6. 24-year-old Mathew Clark of Quincy is charged with property damage over 100-thousand dollars and burglary in the case and is awaiting trial.
A windstorm on May 20 caused devestation in America's Hometown. Though it was determined that the damage resulted from straight-line winds, and not a tornado, the property damage around Hannibal was extensive. Power was out to some homes and businesses for multiple days, and residents had difficulty finding places to buy groceries and basic necessities because of the power outages. Over 200 trees at Riverview Park were damaged, and the park remained closed for over a month following the storm.
On September 15, a badly-decomposed body was found in the Mississippi River south of Hannibal. Authorities began a homicide investigation almost immediately. Marion County Sheriff Jimmy Shinn says officers from 14 agencies comprising the North East Missouri Major Case Squad have ridden trains and even taken to the air to look for evidence. The victim was apparently 15 to 30 years old, about 5-foot-3 and weighing about 135 pounds. A photo of the victim's belongings were released to the public in an effort to identify her. To date, the body has still not been identified.
Two IEDs (improvised explosive devices) were discovered in Quincy in April. This story was of particular interest at the time, as news of the Quincy IEDs broke around the same time as the Boston Marathon bombing.
The first IED was found in the 1700 block of Jackson. It was detonated sometime between 2:00 p.m. on Sunday, April 14 and 2:30 p.m. on Monday, April 15. This IED consisted of a CO2 cartridge and a number of BBs wrapped in newspaper and duct tape. The only known damage was to a nearby residence.
The second IED was found in the 2000 block of Hampshire. It was detonated just prior to 8:30 p.m. on Monday, April 15. This IED was what is commonly called a “soda bottle bomb” and did not appear to have any method for discharging shrapnel.
Drug arrests are, unfortunately, not uncommon. However, a major investigation by Hannibal Police led to the arrest of 21 individuals in May. The investigation involved charges for drugs ranging from heroin, methamphetamine, LSD, powder cocaine, “Crack” cocaine, shrooms (hallucinogenic mushrooms), and marijuana. The majority of those arrested were for charges of distribution or delivery of a controlled substance.
Quincy elected a new mayor in April. Kyle Moore unseated incumbent mayor John Spring after receiving 56% of the vote. Moore received 5690 votes compared to Spring’s 4402 total. According to the Adams County Clerk Georgia Volm, 34% of registered voters went to the polls in the election.
July 16 marked the 20th anniversary of the West Quincy levee break during the Great Flood of 93, and the area experienced high waters again in 2013. Flooding led to the closing of Quincy's Memorial Bridge in April, and high water remained a problem across the area throughout much of the summer. Hannibal's floodgates were installed several times, and additional road closures - including Highway 79 south of Hannibal and Louisiana's Champ Clark Bridge - made headlines for weeks.
Hannibal Cavemen shortstop Mattingly Romanin became a social media star one weekend over the summer, and his story was picked up by several national media outlets. During pregame activities at Clemens Field on July 20, three skydivers were to make landings at Clemens Field. One of those skydivers ended up landing on Romanin, leading to a season-ending concussion for the Cavemen shortstop.
The region found itself being highlighted on national television a number of times in 2013. The murder of Sandra Fugate in Hannibal was the subject of a 'Happily Never After' episode on Investigation Discovery, and the murder of Steven Watkins in Ashland, Illinois was also featured on the same network as part of the series 'Elder Skelter.' Louisiana, Missouri was also recently spotlighted on Destination America during a segment of 'Monsters and Mysteries in America' about Momo the Missouri Monster.
Center, Missouri was the topic of conversation around the world in August. A 19-year-old woman, Katie Lentz of Quincy, was trapped in her car following a head-on collision near Center. Katie asked rescue workers to pray with her, when, according to witnesses, a priest seemed to appear out of nowhere. The priest prayed with the woman and then mysteriously vanished. Many speculated at the time that the unidentified priest was actually an angel. After several days, the Jefferson City Diocese confirmed that the priest was actually Rev. Patrick Dowling, who was travelling Highway 19 between mass assignments that morning.