As we all transition to 2023, here’s a look back of some of what appeared in the pages of the Houston Herald in 2022.


•Members of the Houston City Council announce they will review a decision that put Houston’s mayor on the city’s health insurance rolls without reimbursing taxpayers.

•The Durham Company adds another metal punching machine to its Houston plant. Made in Germany by Trumpf Inc., the huge new TruPunch 5000 arrived in three truckloads, each portion in giant crates bearing Port of Hamburg markings.

A crane lifts the shipping crate off of a portion of a new punching machine last January at the Durham Company plant in Houston.

•Personnel with the Houston Rural Fire Department assist the Roby Fire Department with packing out an injured hiker on the south loop of the Paddy Creek Wilderness Trail. They hiked in 2.2 miles, where they met up with Roby FD personnel and the hiker.

•Adrian Jace Brandt took the honors as the first baby born at Texas County Memorial Hospital in 2022.

•Houston High School principal Dr. Justin Copley is named superintendent of the Houston School District following interviews by the board of education.

•The wait is over for some homeowners and businesses in Houston to hook on to the region’s first municipally owned fiber-to-the-home internet system.

•In a review of his department’s efforts, Texas County Sheriff Scott Lindsey details how deputies handled 9,427 calls for service in 2021 and generated 1,037 written reports.

•The HHS boys basketball team goes 1-2 in the inaugural Houston Community Foundation Tournament in Houston’s high school gymnasium.


•Three people die in a murder-suicide in Houston, after a man shot his wife and son before killing himself Thursday night in a house on Sommerfield Drive. Written evidence found at the scene indicates the tragedy was pre-planned between the husband and wife.

•Senior Mackenzie Holder is named 2022 HHS Hoop Queen.

•The donation of property by Houston natives will create a new neighborhood park at West Highway 17 and Lilly Avenue.

•The HHS girls basketball team takes third at the annual Lady Lion Invitational Tournament.

•A major winter storm dumps about 10 inches of snow on Houston and the surrounding region.

As snow falls hard on a Thursday morning early last February, a solitary mail delivery worker trudges down the center of Grand Avenue near the Texas County Justice Center in Houston.

•Texas County Memorial Hospital names Cabool resident Courtney Owens (RN, BSN) as its new chief nursing officer.

• The Houston School District names Houston Middle School principal Amanda Munson as high school principal for the 2022-2023 school year.

•The HHS boys basketball team beats Cabool 36-35 in a game in which the lead changed hands six times in the final two minutes.

•In reviewing his department’s efforts in the previous year, Houston Police Department Chief Brad Evans details how officers were dispatched 8,410 times in 2021, compared to 7,156 in 2020 and 7,867 in 2019.

•The HPD introduces its new K-9 unit, Omen, a male Belgian Shepherd.

The HHS boys and girls basketball teams both fall in the first round of their respective district playoff tournaments.


•The Houston School District names Raymondville educator Tracy Hughes as middle school principal for the 2022-2023 school year.

•The HHS Varsity H Club and physical education department hosts a special basketball event in Hiett Gymnasium featuring two games, one between of squads made up of members of the community and another between Houston High School seniors and faculty. Proceeds benefited the Varsity H Club and the school district’s Bright Futures program.

•The HHS Scholar Bowl team is highlighted in a feature story. The squad would go on to win the district championship and the Class 3 state championship.

The varsity Scholar Bowl teams from Houston and Salem compete in a classroom at Houston High School during a tournament last March. Playing for Houston are, from left, Tyler Lawson, Andy Durham, Devon Sawyer and Alex Swallow. Houston went on to win the Class 3 Scholar Bowl state championship.

•Simple Grow (a company that produces and sells worm castings for gardening purposes) is highlighted in a feature story after opening its new headquarters in the former GAMO Building in Houston.

•Houston firefighters conduct an annual controlled burn at Houston Municipal Golf Course.

•Candidates seeking positions on the Houston Board of Education and Houston City Council are highlighted in question-and-answer articles.

•The Texas County Sheriff’s Department investigates the shooting death of a woman at a Pine Flat Drive residence in Eunice. Joshua Goodchild is later charged with murdering his sister-in-law, Nikki Goodchild.


•A National Vietnam Commemoration Day event hosted by Houston’s American Legion Post 41 is highlighted.

Vietnam War veteran Ronnie Ice, of Houston, holds a rudimentary (but deadly) Viet Cong crossbow and arrows during a National Vietnam Commemoration Day event in late March. Substances (including human waste) were added to the arrows’ tips to impart infection or disease into victims.

•The Texas County Memorial Hospital board of trustees approves the implementation of a five-year strategic plan.

•Missouri State Highway Patrol Sgt. Jeff Kinder retires after 27 years of service.

•Louise Beasley is named director of the Texas County Library system.

•On Tuesday, April 5, citizens of Texas County vote in favor of a 3/8-cent sales tax to benefit the Texas County Sheriff’s Department.

•The HHS baseball team wins the Plato Spring Tournament.

•Christians participate in the annual Carry the Cross campaign, holding large crosses and waving to motorists along U.S. 63 in Texas County.


•The return of the Emmett Kelly Clown Festival in downtown Houston is featured. The event had been absent since 2008.

•Hosted by American Legion Post 41, the second annual Armed Forces Appreciation Day takes place at the Houston Area Chamber of Commerce Fairgrounds.

•The HHS softball team wins the district championship, beating Ava in the championship game at Mansfield.

Senior members of the HHS softball team gather with the Class 2 District 4 championship trophy after a title game victory over Ava last May at Mansfield. From left, Mali Brookshire, Hannah Dzurick and Mackenzie Holder.

•Led by Texas County Emergency Management Director Bill Karatzas, first responders from several state and county agencies conduct an exercise designed as a practice session for how a major emergency would be handled.

•Two HHS athletes compete this year at the Missouri track and field state championships in Jefferson City. Senior Nate Garnica runs in the 400-meter dash and junior Makenzi Arthur throws the javelin.

•With help from a Texas County Memorial Hospital paramedic, a woman gives birth in the back seat of her brother’s car.

•The Houston City Council fires City Administrator Scott Avery.

•Dylan Hanger, of Mountain View, pleads guilty to murdering his estranged wife in a section of the Ozarks National Riverways in Texas County in May 2020.

•The 71st annual Raymondville Picnic takes place over a three-day period.


•Houston Area Chamber of Commerce executive director Angie Quinlan announces she is leaving the position. She began duties in August 2016.

•The annual Summer Reading Program kicks off at the Texas County Library, with 75 kids enrolled.

•Kids participate in the annual Pitch, Hit & Run competition at Tiger Field in Houston.

•An article describes how the City of Licking will receive a $1.69 million grant for a new Texas County Memorial Hospital clinic.

•The Houston Walmart Supercenter tops 115 Missouri locations to win its first-ever Regional Store of the Year award.

•Former HHS football players square off in the annual Alumni Football Game in Tiger Stadium. Proceeds from tickets sales and concessions benefit the HHS football program.

•The HHS baseball team wins a tournament at the annual David Beasley Baseball Camp at Berry College in Mount Berry, Ga.

•Oppressive heat descends on Houston and the region.

Several boys play at the splash pad next to the Houston municipal swimming pool during a period of oppressive heat last June.

•The City of Houston files a lawsuit against Mayor Willy Walker alleging he wrongly took health insurance benefits.

•Richard Peterson, long-time manager of the Durham Company’s Houston plant, retires after 50 years with the firm.

•The Texas County commission distributes about $1.15 million from the proceeds of the American Rescue Plan.

•Ham radio operators from Houston’s Ozark Mountain Amateur Radio Club participate in ARRL Field Day, an annual nationwide amateur radio exercise organized in 1933 by the National Association for Amateur Radio (ARRL).


•Tommie K. Whetzell, 63, of Liberal, is charged in the death of Ricky Luebbert, 42, whose body was discovered on Nov. 10, 2007, at a residence in Tyrone where multiple bullet holes were found in a front window. The arrest follows a combined investigation involving the Texas County Sheriff’s Department and a crew from the TV show, “Cold Justice.” An episode of the show featuring the Texas County case runs in September on the Oxygen Network.

•Houston’s fifth annual Independence Day Parade occurs downtown.

•City of Houston Parks and Recreation Department director Brandon Maberry is highlighted in a feature story.

•After beginning June 29, a medical operation spearheaded by multiple branches of the U.S. military in conjunction with the Delta Regional Authority concludes July 8 in Houston. The South Central Missouri Wellness Mission offered free medical, dental and vision services inside the Piney River Technical Center. The operation was part of the ongoing Innovative Readiness Training (IRT) program, a U.S. Department of Defense military training program.

Personnel in the vision services section gather during an Innovative Readiness Training program exercise conducted last July in Houston. From left, A1C Eimy Castaneda of the 129th Air Force Wing (in Sunnyvale, Calif.), Lt. Col. Thuy Tran of the Air National Guard 142nd Medical Group (in Portland, Ore.), Sgt. Rachel Mercado of the Army 7228 Medical Support Unit (in Columbia, Mo.) and Spc. Alissa Parham of the Army 303rd Field Hospital (in Weldon Springs, Mo.).

•An ensemble featuring musicians from the Southern Ozarks Community Orchestra and the STARS Foundation performs “A Night at the Movies” concert two nights inside the Melba Performing Arts Center in downtown Houston. Music from famous movies was played while clips from the movies ran on a screen above the musicians.

•HHS softball and boys basketball head coach Jim Moore is highlighted in a feature story.

•Texas County Memorial Hospital CEO Chris Strickland is no longer employed there after a board of trustees meeting. Former CEO Wes Murray later steps in as interim CEO.

•Exceptional heat and lack of rain cause Missouri Gov. Mike Parson to issue drought alerts in nearly half of the counties in the state, including Texas County.

•A bear is killed when it is hit by a vehicle near Cabool.

•The 72nd annual Texas County Fair takes place.


•The inaugural running of the Missouri Ozarks Rally takes place on rural roads in southwest Texas County.

•The HHS Tiger Pride Marching Band is highlighted in a feature article.

•A 17-year-old boy is injured after falling from a cliff at a Missouri Conservation Department area known as The Narrows. Houston Rural Fire Department personnel rescue him with a basket attached to a rope.

•Piney River Brewing Company of Bucyrus wins two gold at the 2022 U.S. Open Beer Championship, a prestigious international competition.

•A huge crowd gathers in Hiett Gymnasium for the Houston’s School District’s “School-A-Palooza” back-to-school event. About 50 vendors from various organizations set up displays.

A huge crowd mingles with dozens of vendors during the “School-A-Palooza” event hosted by Houston School District last August in Hiett Gymnasium.

•The HHS football team routs Orchard Farm in a road game to open the 2022 season. The win was the first of eight for the Tigers, who reached several milestones during the campaign, including going 7-0 for the first time since 1979.


•New Houston Senior Center administrator Kevin Evans is introduced in a feature article. He replaces his long-time predecessor Bernadine Hohlt, who administrator was promoted to a regional supervisory position with the Springfield-based SeniorAge Area Agency on Aging.

•Enrollment is up at most school districts in Texas County, as more than 3,900 students returned to classrooms in the county in August.

•Houston’s Opportunity Sheltered Industries celebrates its 35th anniversary with an event attended by a huge crowd, including many dignitaries.

Missouri Sen. Karla Eslinger addresses a large crowd gathered in September at Opportunity Sheltered Industries in Houston during an open house recognizing the company’s 35th anniversary.

•Hailee Cierley is crowned 2022 HHS Homecoming Queen.

•Various local organizations are joining forces to secure financing for a new and improved Texas County Library branch in Houston.

•The annual “Festival of Yesteryear” takes place at the Raymondville Fairgrounds.

•By unanimous vote, the Houston City Council selects Mark Campbell as city administrator. Campbell is a native of Northern Ireland who has held similar positions in Kansas and Colorado.

•The HHS boys cross country team wins a meet at Plato. The victory was the first for an HHS squad since cross country was rebooted in 2019 after being absent since the 1980s.


•The HHS volleyball team takes second in the second annual Houston Volleyball Showdown tournament in the high school gym.

•A National Visitor Use Monitoring survey will be conducted in the Mark Twain National Forest from October 2022 through September 2023.

•The Houston School District hosts a “Careers on Wheels” event designed to give elementary school students a look at various occupations involving wheels. Numerous volunteers who work in fields involving mobility brought cars and trucks they use in their jobs.

Young Houston Elementary School students wearing plastic firefighters hats presented by the Houston Fire Department make their way through a parking area full of vehicles on display during Careers on Wheels day in October.

•Houston’s Fraternal Order of the Eagles 3911 hosts a Cruise-In event in the Simple Grow parking lot. The annual event included classic vehicles, music, food and vendor booths, and was a fundraiser for the Texas County “Shop with a Hero” program that pairs kids with first-responders for a shopping spree during the Christmas season.

•Bomgaars, a retail chain based in Sioux City, Iowa, announces the acquisition of 73 Orscheln Farm and Home store locations, including one in Houston.

•After an absence of about a year, the Houston License Office reopens in a location on U.S. 63 in northern Houston.


•A well-traveled bridge at the Baptist Camp Access on the Big Piney River south of Houston is closed after being damaged by fire.

•Zimmerman Meats (which has a location near Summersville) receives a $730,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development to go through the Meat and Poultry Processing Expansion Program.

•An article highlights the success of the Texas County 4-H Shooting Sports program at the 2022 shotgun State Shoots. In Senior Division competition for shooters ages 14-and-over, Texas County garnered four first-place finishes in team scoring and two individual victories.

•Texas County Memorial Hospital’s board of trustees announces the hiring of Stace Holland of Pineville, Mo., as its new CEO. Holland’s last position was CEO of Memorial Hospital in Shattuck, Okla.

•Members of the local Community Betterment Y.O.U.T.H. organization plant 1,000 daffodil bulbs at various locations around Houston as part of a beautification project spearheaded by the Houston Community Foundation and the Community Foundation of the Ozarks.

•The Houston School District hosts its 22nd annual Veterans Day Tribute in Hiett Gymnasium.

•HHS junior outside hitter Angie Smith is named to the 2022 Class 2 All-State list by members of the Missouri State High School Volleyball Coaches Association.

HHS junior Angie “Skywalker” Smith leaps high to hit a ball during the third set of the Lady Tigers’ win at Plato.

•Licking and Summersville are awarded a combined $13 million for infrastructure through funding from American Rescue Plan Act.

•Project organizer Larry Dablemont announces that a museum that will pay tribute to the Big Piney River and this area’s culture will be located on South U.S. 63 south of Houston, on a one-acre tract on the east side of U.S. 63 south of Mill- stone Road.

•The “Share Your Christmas” campaign that helps Texas County children during the Christmas season gets under way for its 35th year. The program was founded by the Houston Herald.

•A Powderpuff Football Game featuring HHS girls is played in Tiger Stadium. One squad consists of seniors and freshmen and the other of juniors and sophomores. The event was a fundraiser for the HHS H Club, an organization for student-athletes who have lettered in any varsity sport that “strives to promote school pride and support within the athletic department.”


•The Missouri Department of Conservation announces that Texas County had the second-highest harvest total among all counties in the state during fall firearms deer hunting season.

•The annual Christmas Parade and the Taste of Christmas food competition take place in Houston on the same Saturday (Dec. 10).

Santa Claus arrives on a vintage fire truck as part of Houston’s annual Christmas parade in December.

•The HHS girls basketball team goes 2-1 to take third at the annual Fordland Invitational Tournament.

•A Greene County woman alleges in a lawsuit that she was coerced into sexual acts in the Texas County Jail by a former jailer while she was incarcerated in May.

•HHS senior Casey Merckling is voted to the Class 2 All-State Third Team as an offensive lineman by the Missouri Football Coaches Association.

•An online controversy over a viral police body cam video involving Houston’s mayor spills out during a city council meeting.

•Long-time 911 dispatcher and administrator Terra Culley is promoted to director of the Texas County Emergency Services 911 call center.

•The HHS girls basketball team wins at Licking in overtime.

To view a gallery of many more photos from 2022 in the Houston Herald, click here.

Leave a comment

Leave a Reply