This is 2019 in nine stories

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SPRINGFIELD, Mo- With 2019 coming to an end, it only seems fitting that we take a look back at the year’s most noteworthy events. Some made us smile. Others hurt our hearts. All impacted the Ozarks.

So here they are, the stand-out, local stories of 2019.

#9 Chief Meteorologist Jamie Warriner’s winter predictions

At the beginning of December, he took to Facebook to share his 2019-2020 winter outlook. Here’s what he said:

  • We’re looking at the coldest and snowiest winter since 2014/2015.
  • The cause of this winter weather is a big blob of warm water over the North Pacific.
  • This has been a driver for cold winters across the eastern half of the nation in past winters, and I think it will again this winter.

For more on this story, click here.

#8 That time a guy found human remains while mushroom hunting

An unexpected find came out of the Aurora area in May.

Thomas Carney went searching for morel mushrooms near Aurora in early May. He didn’t find any, but on his way out of the woods he found a skull, tailbone, and a hipbone and took them back to his house.

“I brought it back. We looked at it. The back tooth had a cavity in it, so I knew it was real,” Carney says.

He and his girlfriend’s dad, Mike Ormsby, called the police and they confirmed it was human remains. The Missouri State Highway Patrol took over the investigation

To hear more from Carney and Ormsby, click here.

#7 The I-44 crash that claimed three lives

Highway Patrol says the crash happened when a tractor-trailer on the shoulder of I-44 tried to merge back into traffic. Three children died as a result of the crash, and the community responded.

You can read more about this crash, click here.

#6 The whole Real I.D. thing

Finalizing what you’ll actually need when you travel has been the issue with Real I.D. After several years, here’s where it landed:

  • Beginning October 1, 2020, you must have a Real ID-compliant driver’s license or state-issued identification card to pass through TSA checkpoints.
  • Missouri law does not require you to have a Real ID-compliant driver’s license; however, you will need one to fly domestically.
  • “The reason the federal government is concerned about that is that a lot of hijackers on 9/11 had drivers’ licenses that were counterfeit. That’s the crux of real I.D. If a driver’s license is compliant with Real I.D., it means it’s harder to counterfeit,” says Spokesman for the Springfield-Branson National Airport Kent Boyd.

For more on Real I.D. click here.

#5 Lebanon police began search for the driver who hit a 12-year-old girl

In September, a 12-year-old girl was struck by an on-coming truck while crossing the intersection of North HWY 5 and Adams Street in Lebanon.

Police began their search immediately and are still searching for the driver.

For more information on this story, click here.

#4 The Marshfield man who stored his wife in a freezer for four years

In late November, crews were cleaning out a storage unit and found a freezer.

When the body discovered, Webster County Sheriff Roye Cole says deputies were unable to determine the body’s age or gender.

After a sting operation, the man was detained by authorities. He confessed to murdering his wife and storing the body in a freezer four years ago.

The man, Larry Dinwiddie, has been charged with second-degree murder, abandonment of a corpse, and armed criminal action.

For more on this story, click here.

#3 The destruction of Wheatland and Lucas Oil Speedway

In May, a mobile home park and Lucas Oil Speedway were both damaged from straight-line winds in a severe storm.

No one died, but several people were injured.

For more on this story, click here.

#2 The Walmart gunman

Following a string of shootings across the United States, one man walked into a Walmart on Republic Rd. armed causing mass panic in the store.

Dmitriy Andreychenkowascharged with causing a false report to be filed by the Springfield Police Department.

“His intent was not to cause peace or comfort to anybody that was in the business. In fact, he’s lucky to be alive, to be honest,” said Lt. Mike Lucas, Springfield Police Department at the scene just after the incident.

He told police he was testing his second amendment rights.

For more on Andreychenko, click here.

Our top story of 2019 is …..

#1 Check out this creepy stuff archaeologist found buried behind the Crescent Hotel

Bottles, vials, and specimen jars filled with what could be human tissue, tumors, and organs were recently unearthed in the hotel’s back yard.

Keith Scales, Crescent tour manager, explains the bottles are suspected to be the work of Norman Baker, who back in the 1930s, is said to have run the building as a phony cancer ward.

To check out more pictures from the discovery, click here.

Below is a list of honorable mention stories that were popular this year:

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