In our Sept. 19 special publication of “Know Dallas County,” Jess Stafford talked about Buffalo and Dallas County in the 1970s when he was mayor. In 1972, for instance, the city had no police force because none was needed. There was only a night watchman who walked around town checking doors of businesses.
The sheriff’s department consisted of Sheriff Jerry Cox and one deputy. Later in the 1970s, Buffalo was able to hire a police chief, who had no training for the job. This Mayberry-type atmosphere began to change in the early 1980s when more drugs and crime began to come into the county.
Society also became more mobile, with better roads and highways. The population in the Springfield area has continued to increase over the years, and today with the four-lane highway, people can drive from Buffalo to Springfield, or vice versa, in less than half an hour.
In other words, Buffalo and Dallas County are no longer isolated from the crime wave that has hit Springfield in recent years, if we ever were. It’s nice to remember “the good old days” when you didn’t have to lock the doors to your house or to your car. I grew up in a Tennessee town similar to Buffalo, and the lock on our front door didn’t even work for several years.
But if anybody had any doubts about Dallas County no longer being isolated, the violent events of the past week should be a reality check. In fact, this probably was one of the most violent weeks in Dallas County history.
First and foremost was the double murder early Sunday morning in the Tunas area. Apparently homeowners Joseph and Brandy Allen interrupted an attempted robbery/invasion. The Allens apparently engaged in a gun battle with the intruders, resulting in the loss of their lives. This shock to the community will be with us for a long time.
The home invaders took the Allen’s vehicle, but it was found Monday in Macks Creek.
An alleged stabbing in Urbana actually took place Sept. 17, but Austin Daniels was charged with first degree assault just last week. Daniels is accused of stabbing Jacob Roby three times in the back and once in the wrist. Daniels is in custody with his bond set at $100,000.
Finally, there was a carjacking on Sept. 26 that resulted in a high-speed chase and a crash in Polk County. It seems that Jeffrey Hunt gave Justin Dale Ward a ride from Bolivar to Buffalo, but when they reached the destination that Ward wanted, he allegedly told Hunt to get out of the car or he was going to stab him.
Ward then drove Hunt’s car into Polk County, where he wrecked it after a pursuit by Polk County law enforcement officers. Ward was charged in Dallas County with robbery in the first degree, and a bond was set at $50,000.
The message for everybody is to lock your doors, and if your front-door lock doesn’t work, get it fixed. Be alert and aware of the fact that violence can and does happen in Dallas County. We are indeed “of this world.”
We are in a new era of football. During the weekend of Sept. 14-16 all of our teams won - Buffalo, Fair Grove, Skyline, Missouri, the Kansas City Chiefs and Missouri State. It happened again this past weekend, except for Missouri, which did not play.
Buffalo is 4-2, Fair Grove 6-0, Skyline 5-1, Missouri 3-1, the Chiefs 4-0 and Missouri State 3-1. The Bears have beaten two really good teams, Northern Arizona and Illinois State. We hope all of these teams continue to win. It’s more fun that way.
A couple of weeks ago in this space I talked about how Christians are being persecuted around the world even more so than ever before. I ran out of space before I got to the Muslims’ plight in China. The fact is that more than one million Uighur Muslims are being held in Chinese concentration camps for arbitrary reasons as the international community largely remains silent about the ethnic minority’s ongoing persecution.
According to spokesmen, Uighurs, a Turkish ethnic group primarily existing in Xinjiang, has been targeted by the Chinese government since 1949. Persecution has intensified greatly since the terror attack on the U.S. on Sept. 11, 2001.
There reportedly have been unprecedented restrictions on the religious lives of Uighurs. The government has confiscaated and burned religious books and deomolished mosques. Religious activites that were once legal are now illegal and an excuse for persecution.
China continues to be China, a repressive Communist regime that obviously is unwilling to change.