5 years ago 

• The City of Seneca has issued a mandatory order for residents to not do any outside watering during the hours of 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

“We do not have a shortage of water, but people just need to slow down their usage,” said Leo Hirdler, public works director.

Conserving water is a main concern with the city’s water wells sitting at 215 feet, 350 feet, and 540 feet.

“It’s down to the fact that the water table is down, so people need to use water wisely before we do have a shortage,” said Mark Bennett, Seneca mayor. “Leo is trying to avoid a bad situation and there is no reason to wait until there is a shortage.”

Bennett said he cannot remember a time when Seneca has ever reached a critical point with the wells, but he doesn’t want to push the city’s luck.

• While the area receives little amounts of rainfall here and there, the drought still continues to have effects on the economy. To the consumer, prices of grain and groceries are going up fast.

Local feed stores like Lant’s Feed, owned by Bill and Jane Lant, north of Seneca on Highway 43, are seeing the common supplies to maintain the farm and livestock jump in price over a week’s time, and they expect the prices will continue to climb as the dry, hot weather pushes on through August and September.

• Lost Creek Flea Market has been booming since it opened its doors a few months ago.

“All of our booth and wall spaces are rented,” said Steve Marrow, owner. “We have a waiting list of 10-15 for when some spots are opened up.” There is a little bit of everything offered, such as antiques, tools, movies, belt bulks, handmade items and much more.

10 years ago

• Three prominent murals in downtown Seneca are getting a touch-up thanks to a grant from the Newton County Tourism Council as part of their Murals of Newton County and Southwest Missouri project.

The goal of the project is to preserve the several murals already in existence in the area and to encourage the propagation of even more. Performing the touch-up is local painter Calvin Ackerson, who by the way is the artist who originally created the murals.

Because of the hot weather Ackerson has been working in the cooler, early morning hours. Once the touch-up is complete the murals will be sealed with a special coating to aid in their preservation.

• The Wyandotte Fire Department recently added a much-needed emergency vehicle to its fleet, thanks to the Eastern Shawnee and Wyandotte tribes of Oklahoma.

The truck is a 2002 two-ton Freightliner, Wyandotte fire Chief Jodi Francisco explained. It carries everything an ambulance carries plus extrication equipment, like the “Jaws of Life” and air bags used to stabilize vehicles.

“It’s going to help us out a lot because it can handle the hills and the terrain in out fire district,” said Francisco.

• A vacant home was damaged by fire, smoke and water after a fire broke out in the bathroom area on Saturday, Aug. 4. According to Seneca firefighter Jonathan Dragoo, someone was passing by, saw the smoke and called it in. The house located on Pine Street in Seneca was vacant as of press time. Firefighters had not determined who owned the property.

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