Page 1

Woman is charged for theft of gasoline. 3

THE PICNIC Thousands have a blast at the annual Seminar Picnic. 7-9, 16


TUESDAY >>> AUGUST 7, 2012 >>> 75¢

VOLUME 133 >>> ISSUE 62

Election polls open today Perry County residents can vote from 6 a.m.-7 p.m. By Amanda Layton

Perry County residents go to the polls today to cast their ballot in the Democratic and Republican Primary elections, which feature a number of federal, state and local candidates. Polling places opened at 6 a.m., and

will remain open until 7 p.m. On Friday, Missouri Secretary of State Robin Carnahan announced that a predicted 25.56 percent of Missouri’s registered voters would turn out for the Aug. 7 primaries. If the 25.56 percent estimate is met, more than 1,000,000 votes will be cast in Missouri. Perry County Clerk and chief election judge Randy Taylor said he expected voter turnout to be better than what the county saw for the last election, held at the begin-

ning of April where voters selected school board members and city aldermen. “We have 11,580 registered voters and I am guessing roughly 3,700 would vote in this election,” Taylor said. “That is a little higher than what is predicted state wide.” Voters are reminded to take a form of identification with them to their precinct. This can be a driver’s license or a current voter registration card. Republicans and Democrats who win today will face off Nov. 6 in the general election.


National article highlights Perryville Writer impressed with city’s industrial success story. By Amanda Layton


operation time. “We have a great group of people here, who went to work immediately clearing debris, and making repairs,” Meyer said. Oddly enough, no other location in the county reported any type of storm damage. According to independent meteorologist Nick Palisch, the extreme winds were created by a collapsing thunderstorm. “The storm fell apart caus-

Perry County, Missouri, made the big time last week, so to speak, when the community was featured in an online article from the critically acclaimed Forbes magazine regarding the unique blend of industry and prosperity the community experiences. As a part of a series of articles entitled “Reinventing America,” author Ken Sweet wrote a story about the thriving industry and economy in Perry County. As of 8:34 a.m., Monday, the story had gotten 12,291 views. Sweet, originally from Arizona, now makes his home in New York City. He is a graduate from the University of Missouri School of Journalism. His other works have been featured in publications like CNNMoney and Fox Business and mainly deal in the realm of finance. Through a Missouri college connection, PerHow did ryville resident Libby Forbes Roerig (see related story learn about in this issue), Sweet Perryville? learned about Perry It was a County’s rich industrious University background. of Missouri “I’m part of a recently connection. hired team of reportPage 6 ers and contributors at Forbes who were brought on to talk about how we can bring manufacturing jobs back to the United States,” Sweet said. “The project is called Reinventing America. “I chose Perryville, in part, from a tip that I got from a colleague of mine (Roerig) who lives in Missouri. She mentioned that there was a small town in Southeast Missouri that had this huge thriving manufacturing base and it’s worth looking into.” Sweet said through his search of material, he discovered Perryville has an interesting narrative. “It is a city that could have lost its manufacturing base, but decided to try some innovative ways of attracting business,” Sweet said. “I thought Perryville’s story was especially interesting, so that’s why I chose it.” The Forbes article highlights several local industries, including Gilster-Mary Lee, TG Missouri, Seguim and Moreau and Sabreliner, all of which serve as key ingredients in keeping the local unemployment rate just under 5 percent, well bellow both the state and national average. “One thing I found interesting about Perryville in particular was its workforce,” Sweet said. “Two of the people I’ve interviewed have been with their companies for more than 40 years. Sabreliner’s average employee has been there 20 to 25 years. These numbers are unheard of in our country these days — no one has company loyalty anymore.” In addition, the story highlights Missouri Governor Jay Nixon’s multiple visits to the

See STORM/Page 5

See FORBES/Page 5

Want More?

Photo by Amanda Keefe

Brian Miesner and his daughter Lauren Miesner, 7, ride the carousel together at dusk Sunday, the last day of the Seminary Picnic in Perryville. (For more Seminary Picnic photos and articles, see pages 7, 8, 9 and 16.)

Storm damages Buchheits’ headquarters In a few seconds, a microburst damages buildings at Biehle. By Amanda Layton

A strong thunderstorm blew through the area shortly before noon on Thursday, leaving behind severe damage in Biehle, most notably at the regional headquarters of the retailer Buchheits. According to Jim Meyer, design and construction man-

ager of Buchheits, the company lost an entire out building in the quick burst of wind. “It all went in no time,” Meyer said. “We lost the entire metal shed on the grounds, and several other buildings received roof damage.” In addition to the structural damage, a tractor-trailer was flipped over, and another vehicle had the windows smashed in when hit with debris. The cost of damage is estimated to be in the thousands. Meyer said no one was in-

jured in the storm. “We are fortunate that it skipped over the office building,” Meyer said. “We would have had many people injured, in addition to all our computer equipment destroyed. The wind just took the building right next to it. It didn’t even disturb the merchandise inside the building.” Crews went to work quickly on Friday to repair the damage, and the company, although without power briefly on Thursday, experienced no lost

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Let everybody know with an announcement in the Republic-Monitor! If your event is free, or if you are advertising a nonprofit organization, send it to us, and we’ll let everybody know! Email: or call 547-4567

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Page 16 • Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Water order issued last week

The Republic-Monitor •


A conserve water order was issued for Frohna, Altenburg after a pipe broke; order now over. Amanda Keefe

A conserve water order was issued at 4 p.m., Thursday, for Frohna and Altenburg in Perry County. The 22-year-old water pump in Frohna “gave up” Thursday, said Frohna Water Commissioner Dennis Leimbach. “The electrical part of the pump is what gave out,” he said Friday. “It’s out of the ground now, and Grantham Drilling from Perryville is working on installing a new pump.” Leimbach said the new pipe was up and running by 4 p.m., Friday, but the conserve water order was issued until Saturday as a precaution. “The conserve water order is mainly for watering lawns and flowers, not so much drinking or shower water,” Leimbach said. “We want to try and conserve whatever we can.” The pump affects both the Frohna and Altenburg areas, as the two towns are “connected,” said Leimbach. “We are tied together,” he said. There are two valves connected to the pipe — one for Frohna, one for Altenburg. Though there are two, one always remains closed unless a problem arises. “If one has a problem, we open the other,” he said. “It’s open due to the pipe giving out.” Leimbach stresses there is nothing wrong with the valves, just the pipe. He said this is the first time the pipe has given out in the 22 years it has existed. “But, after 22 years, it’s about due,” Leimbach said.

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Photo by Amanda Keefe

For the second time in the last five years, Roger Naeger won the car raffle during the Seminary Picnic. He first won a car in 2007, and this year won the 2012 Chevy Cruze, donated by Keller Motors.


Questions? Call the R-M at 547-4567.

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The Republic-Monitor •

Tuesday, August 7, 2012 • Page 7

Crowds bigger at this year’s Seminary Picnic

Through periods of rain and stifling humidity, the community gathered in record crowds for the 112th Seminary Picnic at the Seminary Grove along Highway T in Perryville. “Friday night was a really good night. We had more people here than we have on a Friday in awhile,” said Bill Wingerter, one of the event’s organizers. On the backside of the long row of games that serve as the hub of the picnic is a small room with a rough cut-out window and an oscillating fan. It is here that Wingerter sits year after year, to man the microphone, informing picnickers of up coming events, serving as the lost and found and basically answer any questions picnic goers may have. Under his window is a colorful sign reminiscent of Lucy in the Peanuts cartoon that simply states, “Ask Bill.” In the past, Wingerter served as the executive committee chairperson for several years before his son Bill Wingerter Jr. took over the position. But Bill Sr. is still considered the go-to man for those who want to be in the picnic know. Mainly because his son is too busy to stand in one spot the week of the picnic, as he works many hours to make sure the festivities go off without a hitch. “We have 22 separate committees that meet 10 months out the year to plan the picnic,” Wingerter said. “It is because of the effort of many that it is possible year after year.” They make it possible for the picnic to look like an effortless three-day affair for those who visit the picnic grounds to hear live music, eat pork burgers and visit with friends and family at the beer gardens. There are food committees who keep plentiful hamburgers, homemade ice

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cream and barbeque. Others make sure the grounds and parking lot are mowed, while another group maintains the buildings that house the many games and eateries. “The story here is the coming together of many to make this a success,” Wingerter said. “Not just people from the parish. We have all denominations that spend service hours for this picnic. It can’t even be called a picnic. This is a homecoming for Perryville. It is a lot of good people doing a lot of good work.” Wingerter said the picnic is about service. “The good Lord has been good to me, and this is my way of giving back,” he said. “My children all serve, like so many out here. I turned 80 in May, and I will keep going until I can’t anymore.” On Friday night, newcomer band 4 Years Apart made its picnic debut, entertaining the crowds for the first time in the band’s history. Saturday saw Gypsy Orphan on the main stage, offering up some of their classic rock styles. Sunday the timeless classics Doug and Mitch had many pulling up a lawn chair to hear their country tunes. A much needed rain PLEASE ONLY RUN THE ADS IN YOUR NETWORK. shower fell over the area Saturday morning, but inPhoto by Amanda Layton stead of leaving a path of Alan Frentzel calls out the Bingo game on Saturday mud in its wake, the driedafternoon while patrons played for cash and coveted out fair grounds soaked up the liquid, leaving little in hand-made quilts. Bingo is one of the Picnic’s greatest crowd-pleasers. Go Painlessly™ with THERA-GESIC. the way of puddles. The Heartland Idol singMaximum strength ing competition had local analgesic creme for crooner John David Meyer temporary relief from: being picked as the judge’s • Back pain favorite, which qualifies him • Muscle pain to move on to the next level of • Arthritis pain City Park the competition at the SEMO • Joint pain District Fair later this year. Wednesdays at 4 p.m. Perryville Chief Keith Tarrillion said there were Saturdays at 7 a.m. STATEWIDE very few incidents where law enforcement was needed. “Overall the picnic went very well with only two inciWolfner Library PLEASE ONLY RUN THE ADS IN YOUR NETWORK. dents on the picnic grounds occurring,” he said. “No accidents to report were reRobin Carnahan Secretary of State lated to the event as well. We did, however have sevLet us help you eral incidents both Friday with your formal and Saturday night after the Go Painlessly™ with THERA-GESIC. wear needs. picnic had shut down.” THG-11909

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Page 8 • Tuesday, August 7, 2012


The Republic-Monitor •

Julie Bushnell and Jill Lembke

Double good news for twins No one feels the heat and humidity at the Seminary Picnic more than the expectant mothers, and this year’s picnic brought a special duo back to town with very special packages of their own. Twins Jill (Berkbuegler) Lembke and Julie (Berkbuegler) Bushnell returned to Perryville for the picnic weekend from their homes in Illinois and Oregon to celebrate with friends and family in their hometown. Both sisters are pregnant, 18 weeks and 17 weeks respectively. Their babies are due eight days apart, and although the sisters live thousands of miles apart, they are excited to share this experience with one another. Julie, who is due first, will find out the gender of her baby this week, while sister Jill has opted to let it be a surprise if it is a boy or girl. “I had been trying for a while,” Julie said, while sister Jill was not exactly trying. “When I called to tell her I was pregnant, I was trying to hint around to see if she was too, so I could break the news,” Jill said. Both women are excited to start this new chapter in their lives together. “Even though we don’t live close to one another anymore, we know the kids will grow up together,” Jill said. The girls also share the uniqueness of having a set of older bothers Kent and Kirk Berkbuegler who are also twins. The double set of twins are the children of Anna Marie Berkbuegler and the late Marion Berkbuegler of Perryville. — Amanda Layton

Photo by Amanda layton

Friends, Abby Naeger and Cierra Klein volunteered their time to man the booth at the Snake Pit game. They, like many other children over the weekend that belong to the parish spent time working different stands to raise money for their school and church. But as they are clearly displaying, work at the Seminary Picnic can be fun.

Where friends meet friends from all over Where’s the beef? In the dining hall, of course ...

Perryville resident Cici Taylor and her three young daughters Samatha, Sophia and Sydney line up in a row in the hopes of winning the racing puppy game on Saturday a f t e rn o o n at the Seminary Picnic. Standing behind the girls is their father Chad. —

Amanda Keefe

photos by

Amanda Layton

Gerald and Deloris Ellerbeck

Cook-free zone for Ellerbecks Gerald and Deloris Ellerbeck, though they live in St. Louis, show up in Perryville every year for the annual Seminary Picnic. Gerald, 73, was born and raised in St. Louis, but Deloris, 67, is a Perryville native. When asked why they come every year, Deloris said, “I don’t like to cook!” The food, among other things, draws the Ellerbecks to the picnic each year, but they also come to play Bingo. “He’s the lucky one,” Deloris said, pointing to Gerald. A few of Deloris’ family members currently work at the picnic, as did she at one time. “Her mother did the dishes, her dad used to park cars, and her brother now works one of the beer stands,” Gerald said. Though they hadn’t gotten their hands greasy yet, they planned to dive into some fried chicken and dumplings. And of course, they come every year to see old friends. “We see old friends that we haven’t seen in a long time,” Deloris said. “I’ve been coming all my life.” — Amanda Keefe

(Top) It takes a village to make enough pork burgers for the crowds that gather at the picnic. Members of the Sutterer family take their turn flipping patties. Above, Carlie Mueller is pretty in pink as she takes a chance on a prize. And left, Grandparents Dolores and Earl Hacker took their three grandkids, the Sachche brothers — John, 3, Job, 6 and Eli, 8 — to the annual Seminary Picnic on Sunday and relaxed under a shade tree. — photos by Amanda Layton and Amanda Keefe

The Seminary Picnic in Perryville, a tradition more than a century old, is known for many things — good music, rides, Bingo — but above all, it’s known for its food. The large dining hall on the seminary grounds is an operation all its own, with dozens of helpers who start early in the morning both Saturday and Sunday to prepare for the hundreds of guests who pour in to take advantage of the buffetstyle dining. Though the dining hall offers anything from fruit salad to dumplings, the annual tradition serves two dishes in particular that people can’t get enough of — fried chicken and kettlecooked beef. And lots of it. Randy Dickman, kitchen chairman for the picnic for more than 10 years, said the dining hall seats 350 people, but also allows for take-out, and for good reason. The dining hall fills up quickly, with lines of people waiting at either end of the hall to get in for some grub. Sunday, the doors opened at 11 a.m., and people swarmed in to get their chicken, beef, coleslaw, dumplings, dressing, green beans and tomato salad. And of course, a slice of cake. The dining hall is just one building among many involved in the operation, as most of the food is prepared outside of the hall. There’s the “cake house” where a handful of ladies lovingly cut each slice of several different kinds of cake — angel food, cherry chip, banana nut and even cupcakes — all of which are baked by the seminary parishioners. There’s the beef house where four tall kettles are set up, and a handful of folks stir and turn over the beef while it slow-cooks — 1,250 pounds of it, says beef chairman Rocky Schumer. Stations are also set up for preparing dressing, flouring and frying chicken, slicing tomatoes, stirring dumplings and deboning chicken. Operations on all foods See Beef /Page 9

The Republic-Monitor •


Tuesday, August 7, 2012 • Page 9

Besand says Picnic is a must Gib Besand, 81, has known the ins and outs of the Seminary Picnic, particularly the food, since he was just a boy. With the exception of 1952 to 1954, when he was in Gib the service, Besand Besand has gone to the picnic every year, and now acts as a jack of all trades when it comes to preparing the all-youcan-eat meal that the picnic is so well-known for. “I’ve been doing this for a long time,” he said, sitting on a bench just outside of the hustle and bustle of the kitchen. “When I was a kid, my mom always cooked dumplings, and now that’s mainly what I do.” He also used to help run a game stand with his dad as a kid, but said the game has since phased out. Though Besand comes to help out in the kitchen, his main reasons for continuing to show up each year are simple. “Shoot the bull and drink beer,” he said with a laugh. “My wife’s gonna’ kill me for saying that.” — Amanda Keefe

Burgers needed to feed a mob? Thousands, according to pork burger stand volunteer Norma Sutterer who, along with her family, has been serving up the fried treats for more than 20 years. “It is just something we have always done together,” Norma Sutterer Sutterer said. “More than one generation.” The pork burger stand features several families who take their turns to man the three-and four-hour shifts, making sure there are plenty of sandwiches to feed the throngs of people who flock to the picnic each year. “We start our shift at four and it is a constant motion,” Sutterer said. “We don’t stop frying the entire time.” Other families involved include the Kutzs, Naegers, Sutterers, Amschlers and several others. The recipe is simple — serve up a seared pork patty, seasoned with salt and pepper on a bun. Serving the Saturday afternoon crowd were Sutterers’ daughter-in-law Angie and granddaughter Lexi, while her husband and sons manned the grills, proving it is a family affair.

photo by

Amanda Layton

Parishioner Pam Riney and daughter Hannah man the booth selling St. Vincent flair to school supporters. This is the first year the stand has been set up at the Picnic, and was used in part to advertise the Indian’s new online store where patrons who want to show their support for all things Blue and Gold can order things from water bottles and T-shirts to stadium chairs and blankets. The group took many orders for custom creations over the weekend. To access the site, and see a full line of merchandise available, go to

Mayor hands out prizes

Beef From Page 8 begin early, and are ready to serve by the time folks are waiting anxiously at both ends of the dining hall by the time the Seminary grounds open. Many of the folks who aid in the picnic’s food preparation have been doing it for years, or are following in their family’s footsteps. Some spouses work together, like Jim and Dorothy Martin, who helped de-bone chicken on Sunday, and the Querry family was in charge of making the dressing. Though some work in families, others with wife or husband, everyone works as a team to prepare the food that the annual Seminary Picnic just wouldn’t be the same without.

Perryville Mayor and St. Vincent parishioner Debbie Gahan served as “our lady of the prizes,” under the Bingo pavilion on Saturday afternoon, a job normally reserved for local dentist John Esswein. Gahan and her husband John volunteered their time under the sticky heat of the Bingo pavilion where players dotted their

Friends meet

Photo by Amanda Keefe

Arley Berkbuegler, 75, stirs the famous Seminary Picnic kettle-cooked beef slowly on Sunday in preparation for the buffet-style dinner. Berkbuegler has been doing this for nearly 40 years.

The ladies are avid Bingo players, during the picnic and outside of it, and Howard, 74, has been coming to the annual picnic since she was in high school. “This is usually where I meet a lot of my friends from high school,” Howard said. “And of course, I come to play Bingo and eat the homemade ice cream.” Three years ago, Howard won three handmade quilts at Bingo. “Even if I don’t win, I still enjoy it,” she said. — Amanda Keefe

Photo by Amanda Layton

Cancer survivor back at it ...

— Amanda Keefe

Perryville neighbors Joann Brown and Wanda Howard waited patiently at the Bingo pavilion at the Seminary Picnic on Sunday, markers in hand. Though Bingo was not set to start for some time, they were ready and waiting. Brown, 69, was born in Brewer and attended St. Vincent High School, but left to California and lived there for 40 years. “Most of my family lives here,” Brown said. “I’m happy to be home.”

— Amanda layton

Sisters Tricia Niewoehner and Bernice Sinak of St. Louis have been filling their family’s hope chests for years with quilts won at the Seminary Picnic bingo.

— Amanda layton

Doris Brickhaus, 73, is quite the native to the Seminary Picnic, and is no stranger to two of its main attractions — Bingo and homemade ice cream. Currently, Brickhaus aids the Bingo committee, and has done so for some time. Her father used to work as the Bingo chairman, and she took over after he passed. When she was diagnosed with breast cancer, she had to put Seminary Picnic Bingo to the side. Once back on her feet, she came right back to it. Brickhaus played a round of Bingo Saturday night.“I won $100!” She said proudly. Her parents also worked at the homemade ice cream stand when she was a kid, and though she’s certain the recipe has changed slightly, she knows the old one from the good ol’ days.

John and Debbie Gahan

numbers as Alan Frentzel called the game on Saturday afternoon. Cash prizes were awarded to winners, but most who gather along the bingo benches are after the most coveted prize — a handmade quilt. “It makes me happy to be the one who delivers the good news to winners,” Gahan said smiling, while fanning herself with prize vouchers. John Gahan kept a marker in hand to check off all cards that had been used by players in the game to make sure no one tried to reuse a previously played card. The Bingo stand committee is lead by Esswein, and requires the help of more than 100 different people to run successfully.

It’s all about the quilts ...

Above, Patrons try to beat the heat with a scoop of homemade ice cream on Saturday a f t e rn o o n . At left, Perryville resident Brad Hennemmann, and his two sons Jace and Carter, take a turn shooting ducks — cut out ducks that is, for a chance to win a prize on Saturday at the picnic.

Sitting front and center in the Bingo pavilion, up close by the number board and the callers are a special group of ladies who have been making the trip to the Seminary Picnic for many years, all in the hopes of filling their blanket chests with quilts. Sisters Tricia Niewoehner, Bernice Sinak, Janis Schnieder and Virginia Meyer have been making the trip from St. Louis to the picnic Bingo for as long as they can remember. They are known in the Bingo hall as the Macke Girls. The family of 14 is made up of six brothers and eight sisters who have made the Seminary Picnic a must for their entire lives. Oldest sister Virginia has been in the hall when the numbers are called for 62 years. “It started as a tradition to win quilts to make sure

each of the grandkids had one when they got married,” Tricia said. “And we just keep coming.” The ladies have Perryville ties, with their mother and grandmother being from the Perry County area. “We have a deal that who ever wins a money game, has to pay for pizza back at the hotel that night,” Tricia said. The ladies don’t know how many quilts they have won over the years, but it came to pass that each of the 14 grandchildren in the family all received a picnic quilt for their individual weddings throughout the years. And of the 14 children, all have given their children quilts. Even with the passing of three sisters over the years, the group still continues to make the trip every year, laughing and supporting one another when someone’s cards have the perfect combination of numbers for a BINGO!

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Seminary Picnic

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