The year 2012 was characterized by the Healthy Nevada initiative, elections at all levels, the designation of I-49, new construction at Nevada High School and Cottey College, Nevada Regional Medical Center celebrating its 75th anniversary and a handful of court cases.
The Healthy Nevada effort galvanized government, business, and the health sectors, as well as various community and civic groups.
Cerner Corp. of North Kansas City selected Nevada for a "first of its kind" research and development project behind the premise of creating a "culture of health."
Cerner partnered with the city in announcing the collaborative approach.
The Healthy Nevada Leadership Board was formed, a group of health professionals and community leaders involved in the coordination of the project.
They envision Nevada as becoming a model of "coordinated and integrated medical facilities and professionals." The program also includes exercise, fitness, diet and lifestyle aspects.
The kickoff took place in October and efforts have continued at building partnerships, researching the challenges, and launching various ideas to improve and promote better health.
In April, Nevada city voters passed a $5.975 million "Proposition K.I.D.S." school bond.
The funds from the bond will pay for a new performing arts center on the paved student parking lot north of the high school and a new multi-purpose building west of Wynn Gymnasium. That building will provide a new practice gym at the high school and will allow simultaneous athletic events at the school, rather than having to use the middle school or community center.
The district also plans to put a new pitched roof on the gym to solve periodic leaks in the current flat roof. Money will also go to replace the gym floor that was damaged by water, as well as to upgrade the gym seating.
The groundbreaking for the new construction was Oct. 24 and the work began Oct. 29.
Elections of city, county, state and national offices brought change throughout.
Incumbent Mike McCaffree won a new three-year term and Monty Smith won the open seat for the Nevada R-5 School Board.
Unopposed Nevada City Council members Jayne Novak and Seth Barrett received new terms.
Chris Mason won election to the Vernon County Ambulance Sub-District No. 6 board.
Raymond Sprinkle won the mayor's seat in Walker as a write-in. Leon Gier and Norman Radde were elected to the Board of Aldermen.
Ryan Linn and incumbent Jeremy Weaver were chosen for the Bronaugh School Board.
Michelle Claflin and Julie Casey were selected for the Sheldon School Board.
Jerod Lamb was re-elected to the Sheldon Board of Aldermen and Cheryl Bogart won the other seat.
In November, Jason Mosher was elected as Vernon County sheriff, Neal Gerster was returned in an uncontested race for northern commissioner and Everett Wolfe was chosen as southern commissioner. Tammy Bond won re-election as Vernon County public administrator.
James R. Bickel as circuit judge, Cherie Kaye Roberts as assessor, David Ferry as coroner and Phil Couch as collector/treasurer didn't face opposition.
Randy Pike was chosen as state representative for the 126th district and Ed Emery was tapped as state senator for the 31st district. Vicky Hartzler won re-election as the 4th District representative to Congress.
In December, the City of Nevada held a special election for council and Lance Christie was chosen to fill a vacant seat following Sherry Steward's move out of town.
The Nevada School District wasn't the only site of educational construction work as Cottey College broke ground on its new softball field March 30. The field gave the softball team its own home, after spending its first years on the road.
December marked the conversion of U.S. 71 Highway into Interstate 49 from Kansas City to Pineville. The ceremony in Joplin drew dignitaries from state and federal levels to officially christen the state's newest interstate corridor. The effort to upgrade the highway took years and dollars, culminating with 1,300 I-49 signs unveiled along the 190-mile stretch of road.
NRMC marked its first 75 years of serving the area's medical needs in May with a celebration featuring remembrances, reflections of the changes in health care, recognitions and proclamations, an ice cream and cake social, and the opening of a time capsule.
It seemed the year was characterized with a number of high profile court, law enforcement and public safety actions.
The year ended with the dismissal of all felony charges involving 21 counts of forgery against Sheldon Mayor Robert Sewell.
The year began with the Vernon County Sheriff's Office, the Humane Society of Missouri and the Missouri Department of Agriculture seizing 16 malnourished horses and two donkeys from a rural Vernon County farm. At least seven animals had died during an earlier visit to the property. In later court action, the Humane Society was granted permanent custody of the animals, which were later put up for adoption.
In March, Leviathon L. Dipman of Nevada pleaded guilty to second degree conspiracy to commit assault in the May 2009 stabbing deaths of two girls, 18 and 14, that sent another, Garrett Mason of Nevada, to prison for two life terms.
In August, Mark E. Bishop of Moundville was given a trial date of March 12-15 in connection with the alleged October 2011 beating death of his wife, Mary Bishop.
In September, two Vernon County correctional officers, an inmate and fourth citizen were charged in connection with the delivery of marijuana to the jail, apparently in exchange for money. The cases were continued into 2013.
In November, Operation Scarecrow, a drug operation by the Bates and Vernon County Sheriff's offices, netted 27 arrests. The effort also included surveillance conducted on Oct. 31 to ensure that registered sex offenders were in compliance with the Halloween trick-or-treat laws.
The year also marked things that didn't happen.
Post offices in the towns of Deerfield, Moundville, Harwood and Roscoe avoided closure. They were among 133 rural post offices initially planned for elimination by the U.S. Postal Service.
Town meetings, public pressure and congressional intervention erased the closings.