SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — As 2022 comes to a close, KOLR10 is looking back on some of the top local headlines of the year.

Here are some of the top headlines from 2022 on our website. You can click the heading on each story to find the original article.

Silver Dollar City train derails

In October, seven people were taken to hospitals to be treated with non-life-threatening injuries after a train ride derailed at Silver Dollar City in Branson.

Silver Dollar City released a statement saying four train cars on the Frisco Silver Dollar Steam Line derailed, while about 160 guests were on board. The train has a capacity of 250 passengers.

The cause of the derailment has yet to be announced.

Garth Brooks at Thunder Ridge

Country superstar Garth Brooks played three sold-out concerts at Thunder Ridge Nature Center on Sept. 30 through Oct. 2. However, traffic issues and parking problems dominated what people talked about after the concerts.

Some people were unable to make the concert due to traffic while some waited hours for shuttle buses to take them to the venue.

Talks about expanding Highway 86 in Taney County to avoid more traffic disruption are currently underway.

Gypsy Blanchard now married, still in prison

Gypsy Rose Blanchard, who is serving a 10-year prison sentence for her involvement with the murder of her mother Dee Dee Blanchard, married a man from Louisiana. The Livingston County Recorder of Deeds verified the marriage certificate between Blanchard, 30, and Anderson, 36, on July 21, 2022.

Gypsy Blanchard - Dr. Phil_1516717801764.jpg.jpg
Gypsy Rose Blanchard

After years of abuse from her mother, experts believed she suffered from Munchausen syndrome by proxy, Gypsy was forced to act like she was a sickly, wheelchair-bound child to gain attention and charity from local organizations. Blanchard would secretly live a different life online where she dated Nicholas Godejohn.

After convincing Godejohn to come to Springfield, the two carried out a plan to murder Blanchard’s mother. Godejohn stabbed Dee Dee to death.

Oklahoma students spend senior trip in Ozarks

Students from Oklahoma Union High School were supposed to fly out of Springfield to Orlando to spend time at Universal Studios. That is until the school said they found out they were scammed.

The 45 high school seniors and sponsors instead spent a day at Silver Dollar City, visited attractions around Branson and went to Bass Pro Shops.

“I think the morale has really gone up since we’ve been here,” said senior Julia Barron. “The Springfield area has just taken us in with open arms.”

Silver Dollar City owns former Indian Ridge property

After 16 years, a never-finished $1.6 billion resort to be built on property near Table Rock Lake, now has only one owner: Silver Dollar City.

Indian Ridge abandoned homes in Stone County
A 26-acre area of the failed Indian Ridge development is now owned by Silver Dollar City. Plans for the entire 800-plus acre property are pending.

The piece of property that Silver Dollar City recently took ownership of was the subject of a viral TikTok in 2021, showing people touring homes and condos that were being built, but had been abandoned.

Silver Dollar City has not shared its plans for the property yet.

Branson Police Chief resigns, new chief appointed

The city of Branson placed Police Chief Jeff Matthews and sergeant Pat Gray on administrative leave in October due to an ongoing HR investigation. In December, both of them resigned.

The new Branson Chief of Police Eric Schmitt speaking to the press.
The new Branson Chief of Police Eric Schmitt speaking to the press Dec. 15.

Days after the resignation, the city named Eric Schmitt the next Police Chief.

Schmitt served as the assistant chief of the police department since 2017. Previously, Schmitt served as a law enforcement officer in the metro Denver area for 25 years.

New stores coming to Battlefield Mall

Several new stores opened and some made a return to the Battlefield Mall in 2022.

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In addition to 11 new stores, Starbucks returned to its previous location, next to Coach. Sears, which closed its doors in 2020, remains empty.

Whataburger opens in Republic

Popular Texas-based restaurant chain Whataburger made a big entrance into the Ozarks.

Picture courtesy of Whataburger.

Republic was the first location to open in the area on December 12. The company plans on opening four additional locations in the area, with one in Ozark and three in Springfield.