Shawn Singleton

What can I say about 2021?

Not much, except that by the time many of you will be reading this column, it will be thankfully be over!

I think I said the same things about 2020.

I actually the started the year off still recovering from COVID-19. 2020 still wouldn’t let go.

Normally, I don’t go into the next year with high hopes, but I came into 2021 with high expectations.

We all did, because none of us thought it could get any worse than 2020. 

That was our first mistake, and we should have figured it out six days in!

All jokes aside, here in Lincoln County, 2021 saw its ups and downs. 

Snow in winter saw record flooding in the spring – and the area saw more than its fair share of damage from it.

A decade-old crime might finally be coming to a close with the indictment of Pam Hupp in 2021 for the murder of Betsy Faria. However, with Hupp’s indictment also exposed a dark underbelly of injustice, as an innocent man lost his liberty in the process. 

A nearly two-year battle at the Lincoln County Justice Center finally reached its conclusion in 2021, as the Missouri Supreme Court ruled 45th Circuit Presiding Judge Patrick Flynn did not have the authority to strip Circuit Clerk Karla Allsberry of her hiring and firing powers, a case which could have far-reaching ramifications statewide on many levels.

Now I have written too many stories on this case, so I am not recapping this!

Rule No. 1 of Media: Never become part of the news. Sometimes those things are unavoidable, especially when you’re caught in a severe thunderstorm at an outdoor event you’re covering.

That happened to me in August, when I covered the Trump BBQ at the Lincoln County Fairgrounds. Sorry folks, but if I didn’t run from tropical-storm gusts up to 65 miles per hour in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, I wasn’t doing it in an open-air tent in Troy, Missouri!

There were some inspiring stories from 2021, however.

How can anyone not cheer for the combination of one group of kids who went winless the year before, and another who weren’t sure if they were even going to play at all? That’s what we saw with Winfield-Elsberry football – and the result was a conference title!

Troy Buchanan football went even further. I stood 20 yards away in the back of the end zone with my camera freezing to death still not believing Nathan Ryan made that catch!

If only he decided to play football as a freshman instead of as a senior, where might the Trojans be?

Elsberry baseball and Troy Buchanan boys basketball, special seasons to the both of you! I didn’t forget you – and congratulations!

Walt Whitman once said “…every moment of light and dark is a miracle.”

As we bring 2021 to a close – and ring in 2022 – we’ve seen both the best and the worst of what the world has had to offer us. We’ve seen the utter darkness of the world, yet we’ve seen the brightest of lights shine in the skies above us.  

It’s time to forget about this year – and ring in the next!

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