Most of these columns cover events that occurred many years ago. The last two weeks were dedicated to 1879. Before that we examined bakeries, dairies and candy companies that flourished in the first half of the 20th century.

So I thought, how about something more recent, like maybe 10 years ago? October is one of my favorite months, so perhaps a day in October 2012? Yeah, let’s go with that.

Sunday, Oct. 21, 2012

— “Are you better off than you were four years ago?” has become the major question asked during the presidential debates between incumbent Barack Obama and challenger Mitt Romney. In our lead story, reporter Ken Newton did an analysis that showed mixed results.

For instance, 15,256 Buchanan County residents are living below the poverty level, compared with 12,268 in 2008. But median household income has risen from $39,270 to $42,624 in those four years. “Everybody looks at their wallet first,” Patrick McMurry, an economics professor at Missouri Western State University, told Newton.

— Voters in Doniphan County, Kansas, will consider a measure next month that would allow liquor by the drink. Currently, only 3.2-beer can be served in restaurants.

“It’s long overdue,” said Scott Sisk, co-owner of Ernie’s B.S. Sports Bar in Highland. “I think it would help every bar owner in Doniphan County. It would up our income tremendously.”

— School officials are giving some details of the two new elementary schools to be built, one at 16th and Duncan streets and the other at Cook and Bishop roads. Voters approved a $42 million bond issue in April for the work.

Rick Hartigan, the school district’s chief operating officer, said Duncan Street will be widened and a walking trail will be added at the Carden Park site. “It will be very pristine and beautiful,” he added. Meanwhile, officials are closely studying access to the new East Side school. “At some point, city officials would like to turn Cook Road into a boulevard,” Hartigan said, adding that certainly would affect access points.

— The VFW 6760 Ladies Auxiliary participated in the recent South Side Fall Festival, showing their support for American troops by carrying a banner in the parade.

Participants included Marian McCullen, Irene Turner, Louisa Willis, Fannie Simpson, Debbie Dietz and Rosie Wells. Gary Wampler and John Minton marched as members of the VFW Color Guard.

— Central scored well in the 8th District high school cross country meet in Liberty, Missouri, on Saturday. Three girls and five boys will advance to the sectionals in Peculiar, Missouri, next week.

The girls are Paityn Howat (who finished second), Kristen Hagan and Abigail Burr. Jeff Bachman and Zac Miller finished third and fourth in the boys division, with Brett Bachman, Michael Lindsay and Carter Hernandez also qualifying.

— Those attending an early show at the Plaza 8 theaters, 2219 N. Belt, will get a price break. Tickets are $2 for movies before 6 p.m. And for another $4, they’ll throw in popcorn and a drink.

Now playing are “House at the End of the Street,” “The Avengers,” “The Dark Knight Rises” and “Brave,” among others.

Hmm, not exactly “Casablanca.” But it’s still a fun afternoon with your buddies. Or an inexpensive date night.

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