Tragedy struck late in the year when Andrew Vrba (right) and three others were charged with a gruesome murder. But there were also many positive events during the past year. Here’s a month-by-month look at some of the top moments:

JANUARY

• Hadley Rebecca Dillin is the first baby of 2017 in Texas County. She is the daughter of Sarah Dillin of Cabool.

• After a Texas County Sheriff’s Department investigation, an April 2016 shooting that resulted in the death of Eddie Day, of Houston, was ruled self-defense.

• Oakwood Golf Club owner Bud Evans presents a proposal to the City of Houston regarding the purchase of the 9-hole course for $325,000.

• The Houston School Board unanimously votes to extend the contract of first-year Superintendent Allen Moss through 2019.

• Intercounty Electric Cooperative said an ice storm knocked out power for more than 10,000 customers.

• Texas County officials announced that thanks to a refinancing of the Texas County Justice Center, the county saved more than $1.2 million.

• Ron Reed resigns as City of Houston economic developer. He held the position since 1999.

• GAMO Outdoor USA announced that it will close its Houston distribution warehouse and move the operation to Rogers, Ark.

• A 79-year-old Willow Springs man and 73-year-old Houston woman who met in the waiting room at Romines Motor Co. are married on the Ford-Lincoln dealership’s showroom floor.

• A major erosion prevention project is undertaken on Brushy Creek near the City of Houston’s wastewater treatment plant.

FEBRUARY

• Citing financial difficulties, two Texas County animal shelters cease operation: The Animal Shelter of Texas County in Houston and Diana’s Grove in Cabool.

• After a fire at the Wright County Jail, 25 inmates from the facility are housed in the Texas County Jail.

• A program designed to reduce workplace violence is implemented at Texas County Memorial Hospital.

• The City of Houston announces the reopening of its dog pound.

• Texas County Associate Circuit Judge Doug Gaston applies for a seat on the Missouri Supreme Court.

• Collector/Treasurer Tammy Cantrell announces county residents can now pay personal and real estate taxes online.

• The Durham Co. announces a 30,000-square foot expansion of its Houston plant.

• Houston High School assistant football coach Vince McCrosky resigns. He eventually returns to Arkansas and resumes coaching.

• Attorney Kimberly Lowe completes an elaborate building improvement project on Grand Ave. in downtown Houston.

MARCH

• The Houston High School girls’ basketball team finishes second in the Class 3 District 10 tournament. It was the team’s fourth consecutive appearance in the title game.

• One of the oldest businesses in Houston and Texas County – ARPCO Pump Service – is sold by owner David Arthur.

• Vandals destroy an iconic concrete dalmation mascot – spot – at Roby Fire Department Station No. 2.

• Three HHS athletes –– Trenton Best, Tori McCloud and Lucas Kelley –– sign with collegiate sports programs.

• Sheena D. Bolerjack, a former jailer at the Texas county Jail, faces felony charges after allegedly distributing drugs to an inmate over a six-month period.

• Houston City Hall is modified to include a squad room and new evidence room for the Houston Police Department.

APRIL

• Winners of elections for city and county positions are announced. Among the winners are Jeremy St. John, Donald Wilson and Kimberly Bittle as first-time additions to the Houston City Council.

• It was a happy ending for a dog stuck about two hours inside a Bryan Street culvert as City of Houston workers used a firehose to safely free the animal.

• A Missouri Department of Transportation project is complete and U.S. 63 through Houston opens with five lanes.

• More than 1,000 people hold life-size crosses along U.S. 63 in Texas County during the annual Carry the Cross event.

• Personnel with the Texas County Sheriff’s Department and Houston Rural Fire Department rescue three men from the St. Louis area from rising floodwaters of the Big Piney River.

• HHS senior Connor Clifton is selected to play in “Grin Iron” football all-star game.

MAY

• About 16 inches of rainfall leads to historic flooding in Houston. County officials estimate at least $4 million in damages.

• The iconic soda fountain at Forbes’ Pharmacy in downtown Houston shuts down.

• With a 4-1 vote, the Houston City Council voted to remove city administrator Larry Sutton from office. He spent about 10 years in the position.

• Owners of Boiling Springs Resort west of Licking announce that they will rebuild and reopen the facility again after catastrophic flooding ruined it for the second time in less than two years.

• The Launch Student Center opens at Faith Fellowship. The youth facility features a rock climbing wall, pool, basketball, ping pong, hoverboards and other activities.

• HHS senior Abby Casper wins the district title in the 100 meters.

• Josh Green, a 30-yearold HHS graduate, becomes an officer with the Houston Police Department.

• The class of 2017 graduates from Houston High School. The ceremony was held inside Hiett Gymnasium due to inclement weather.

• The Lynch-Tweed Civil War Home Preservation Society hosts a “living history” event featuring members dressed in period-correct clothing and performing various tasks from the mid-1800s.

• Houston’s eighth-grade football team completes an undefeated season to win its division of the Ozarks Football League.

JUNE

• Texas County Sheriff’s Department authorities rule a Dunn Road shooting that resulted in the death of Matthew O. McDermott, 42, was self-defense.

• The Houston Area Chamber of Commerce conducts a major makeover of the arena at its fairgrounds north of Houston. New bleachers –– donated by the Durham Co. –– and new lighting are installed and a new press box is constructed.

• Rascalz Teen Club and Community Center hosts an open house at its location on Grand Avenue in downtown Houston.

• The 66th annual Raymondville Carnival and Picnic is held. World record holder “Strongman Steve” Schmidt performed at the event.

• A manhunt ensues after Christopher Hunt, 33, escapes custody near Edgar Springs while being shuttled from Rolla to Houston in a Texas County Sheriff’s Department transport van.

• Firefighters respond to a blaze at the Texas County Jail after an inmate takes a lighter to a mattress.

JULY

• The Traxxas Destruction Series Monster Trucks perform at the Houston Area Chamber of Commerce Fairgrounds.

• Houston hires Tona Bowen as its new city administrator.

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