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JULY

July 6: A St. Louis City teen was jailed in Lincoln County after leading authorities on a high speed chase over 50 miles through three counties.

The pursuit began in Troy of a vehicle driven by Markell L. Lawrence, 17. The chase then continued into St. Charles County, where spike strips were successfully deployed on Interstate 70, slowing the vehicle down and causing Lawrence to crash near Mid Rivers Mall Drive.

Lawrence then allegedly stole a delivery van, and a new pursuit began into St. Louis County and South St. Louis City, before the chase finally ended in North St. Louis County.

July 28: The Lincoln County R-III School District’s COVID-19 Task Committee released its 26-page “Return to Learn” for the upcoming school year. The plan is a three-tiered approach over the school year, in regards to occupancy and instruction for the return of its students and employees to its campuses in the county.

 

AUGUST

Aug 4: Rick Harrell defeated incumbent John Cottle in the Republican primary with just over 60% of the vote to become Sheriff-elect of Lincoln County. 

Mike Mueller and Matt Bass were reelected as Associate County Commissioners. Neither candidate faced an opponent in November’s general election, and will be sworn into office in January.

Lincoln County voters also overwhelmingly defeated Missouri Constitutional Amendment 2, the ballot question that would legalize Medicaid expansion in the state, with 67% of the vote. However, the amendment would pass statewide, with 53% of the vote.

Aug. 6: The Winfield R-IV School District announced it would go virtual for the first quarter due to the novel coronavirus pandemic. Lincoln County R-III would later announce its schools would be going to in-person instruction, and the Elsberry R-II School District chose in-person from kindergarten through sixth grade, and virtual from seventh to 12th grade.

Winfield and Elsberry voted to return to in-person instruction across the board in late October.

August 12: A lawsuit was filed in federal court alleging the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office committed misconduct and rape in the case of a woman who was in custody in the Lincoln County Jail in 2016.

The alleged victim is suing Sheriff John Cottle and several deputies. According to the lawsuit, complaints of inappropriate behavior were not reported to supervisors and evidence of the events was not preserved.

The plaintiff is filing her complaint under a pseudonym under fear of retaliation from the Sheriff’s Office.

 

SEPTEMBER

Sept. 2: A Troy man was charged with second-degree murder in a road rage incident, which led to the death of a Winfield man on Interstate 64.

St. Charles County prosecutors charged Joshua O’Keefe, 39, after an investigation by the Missouri State Highway Patrol of the Aug. 30 incident, in which O’Keefe allegedly struck Ron Lawson, 68, several times before putting him inside of his truck and fleeing the scene before troopers arrived.

Sept. 11: A Moscow Mills man was jailed on several charges stemming from a wrong-way chase down Highway 61 in Troy.

According to Troy Police, Joshua Cheatham, 30, led officers on a wild high speed chase at speeds of more than 80 miles per hour, causing multiple accidents and numerous injuries in the process before Officer Ryan Parker was able to crash Cheatham’s vehicle – ending the chase.

Parker was later honored for his actions during the City of Troy’s monthly Board of Alderman meeting, along with Sgt. Bennie Church and Patrol Officer Andy Kaimann. Civilians Jonathan Wagner and Dylan Wildman, both of Moscow Mills, were also given commendations for rescuing Parker from his vehicle after the crash.

 

OCTOBER

Oct. 10: A Wentzville man was charged with sexual abuse of a patient.

Ryan Williams, 39, a former X-ray technician at Mercy Hospital-Lincoln in Troy, was charged with one count of first-degree sexual abuse and one count of invasion of privacy for an incident that happened at the hospital on Oct. 3.

Further investigation revealed Williams had photos and scans of other potential victims at the time of his arrest, and the investigation is still ongoing.

Oct. 27: With a week before the November general elections, Gov. Mike Parson, Attorney General Eric Schmitt and Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft came to Brooks Brothers Trailers in Troy for a Republican Party campaign rally. 

Parson, who took office in 2018 following the resignation of Eric Grietens, would go on to defeat Democrat State Auditor Nicole Galloway to earn a full term as governor. Schmitt and Ashcroft would each cruise past their Democratic rivals to reelection.

 

NOVEMBER

Nov. 3: In addition to casting ballots for president, governor and other national and statewide offices, Lincoln County voters also approved several key ballot propositions.

Voters approved Proposition Firefighters, which placed a half-cent sales tax on goods and services in the county, with 65% of the ballot. They also approved Proposition Emergency, which was a $14 million bond issue, with 61% of the vote. Each measure is designed to bolster Lincoln County Fire Protection District 1.

Voters also approved Proposition Ambulance, which would allow the Lincoln County Ambulance District to construct additional bases, replace an aging fleet and supply lifesaving equipment, with nearly 65% of the vote. Voters in Hawk Point also approved Proposition CS, a tax measure that would fund the purchase of new fire trucks and equipment.

Nov. 5: A local pilot gave himself – and the people of Clark Township – a bit of a scare when he crashed his ultralight aircraft into a bank of nearby trees.

First responders from Lincoln County, St. Charles County, Warren County and St Louis City arrived to the crash site, as well as the Missouri State Highway Patrol, the Missouri Air National Guard and private sector companies.

The pilot, Mike Fleming, 75, was stuck inside the aircraft for several hours before Mike Conoyer, a firefighter and paramedic with Central County Fire and Rescue in St. Peters rescued him.

After a short time in an ambulance, Fleming walked away from the scene unharmed – and even had a short conversation on the ground with Conoyer – before heading home with his wife Linda.

 

DECEMBER

Dec. 9: Due to rising novel coronavirus numbers in Lincoln County, the Lincoln County Health Department Board approved new mitigation measures, including a  mask requirement. Called “COVID Stops With Me,” the order will be in effect until March 31, or when the county is downgraded from its current Category 4 (Extreme Risk) platform to a lower category.

Dec. 17: Limited supplies of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine arrived at Mercy Hospital – Lincoln in Troy. Under the state vaccine availability plan, the hospital is operating under Phase 1A, meaning healthcare workers and long-term facility residents would be the first to receive the vaccine.

Mercy Lincoln Nurse Practitioner Hannah Curtis and Pharmacist Amanda Hunt were the first two people in Lincoln County to receive the Pfizer vaccine. Staff members are strongly encouraged to get vaccinated, but the choice is optional.