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Almost Yesterday is a glimpse into the rich history of our region. Dr. Frank Nickell takes listeners on a journey to specific moments in time, such as the first radio broadcast on KFVS, the history of Farmington’s Carleton College, and the short-lived safari on a Mississippi River island. A gifted storyteller and local historian, Dr. Nickell’s wit and love for the past are combined with sounds and music that augment his narrative.On Saturday, June 7, 2008, Almost Yesterday received First Place in the "Special Programs" category at the Missouri Broadcasters Association Awards Banquet in Kansas City, Missouri.Almost Yesterday airs every Wednesday at 5:42 and 7:42 a.m. and 5:18 p.m.

Almost Yesterday: The Farmington Doughnut Theft

flickr user Dave Crosby (License: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/legalcode)

It seems like almost yesterday that a meeting in a Farmington, Missouri coffee shop yielded a story about the theft of a doughnut from a local grocery store that made national news! 

It was September of 2007 when a middle-aged man entered the Farmington country mart grocery, picked up a freshly baked doughnut, placed it inside his sweat shirt, and left the store without paying for the fifty-two cent item.

His actions were observed by an alert cashier who notified a co-worker, who followed the subject into the parking lot, and demanded that he return to the store to pay for doughnut. The man turned to leave, and the clerk tried to take his arm and lead him back into the store. At that point the man pushed the clerk and took off running.

The police were called and within minutes “the Farmington doughnut thief” was in the local jail.  When the charges were filed, in this seemingly minor case, suddenly, the doughnut thief found himself in a tough situation. A repeat offender, with a dozen or so prior arrests, his combined action of shoplifting, and pushing the clerk moved his action to a felony, and with two prior felonies the man with the sweet tooth was facing the possibility of 30 years to life for stealing a donut he did not eat.

The doughnut thief’s story attracted both national and international attention; it was a leading story on the fox news channel one evening. After languishing in prison for approximately 90 days, the man who loved doughnuts was sentenced to a five year suspended sentence, 90 days in the county jail, and five years probation. He left the county jail in December of 2007.

It seems like almost yesterday.

Frank Nickell is a retired history professor at Southeast Missouri State University.
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