Word for Life

                        Tri-Lakes Area

News & Weather

Tri-Lakes area news airs Monday-Friday at 7AM, 12 Noon, 2PM, 5PM and 9PM.

Press releases can be emailed to news@klfcradio.com or faxed to 417-335-2437.

September 19, 2014

Buffalo Ridge to Host Missouri’s Amateur Golf Championship
The newly transformed Buffalo Ridge Springs Golf Course will host the Missouri Golf Association’s 108th Annual Amateur Championship next June. The event marks the first time the course – previously known as Branson Creek Golf Club – will hold the state’s premier amateur golf event. The tournament will feature 144 of the state’s best amateur golfers. Buffalo Ridge Springs, owned by Bass Pro Shops’ Jonny Morris, is located within the Branson Creek development four miles south of Branson.

Branson Park Board Discusses Capital Improvement Projects
At the last Branson Park Board meeting, committee members discussed Capital Improvement Project Requests for 2015 including: resealing and striping the RecPlex parking lot, upgrading additional camp sites at the Branson Lakeside RV Park with concrete pads, repairing cracks at several Stockstill Park tennis courts, replacing the carpet at the RecPlex Fitness Center and replacing two utility trucks. The total estimated cost for these projects is just over $200,000.

Branson Aldermen to Meet with Taney County Health Department
A joint meeting between the Branson Board of Aldermen and the Taney County Health Department is scheduled for this Monday (morning) at 7:30 a.m. in the Fall Creek Room at the Branson Convention Center. Items on the adenga include an overview of the Health Department, review of the current contract with the City of Branson and discussion regarding future funding. They also plan to discuss areas of concern including: restaurant compliance, animal attractions, dangerous animals in residences and in museums, and animal control goals.

Veterans Speak to Branson High School Students
Members of the 506th Airborne Infantry Regiment were recently the honored guests at the Branson High School. The veterans were in town to attend an annual reunion and offered to provide a 90 minute assembly for the students. Vietnam veterans joined Herb Suerth, Jr., an original member of the famous Band of Brothers, to discuss "critical thinking and the lessons about the wars they fought" with 600 Branson High students.

Legacy Youth Institute Begins Third Year
The Legacy Youth Institute, a leadership and mentoring program for high school juniors, began its third year on September 14 at Shepherd of the Hills Homestead. Students from seven Taney and Stone County high schools are participating in this six-session program designed to equip young leaders to “shape the culture” of Ozark Mountain Country. Community leaders and organizations partner with the Legacy Youth Institute in each session to provide a mentoring experience for student participants. For more information, visit OzarkMountainLegacy.org.

Photo: Jennifer Freeman, from College of the Ozarks, leading LYI students through team building activities

American Legion Post 220 to be Honored for Veterans Parade
American Legion Post 220 has been host to Branson’s Veterans Day Parade for 80 years. This year Post 220 is handing the reins of this parade over to the local Vietnam Veterans of America group. The two organizations have worked closely together for over a year to make the seamless transition. American Legion Post 220 will be honored for their 80 years of work during a special ceremony at the Autumn Daze Festival in downtown Branson tomorrow at 11 a.m.

Huffington Post Names Ozarks in Top 5 for Best Fall Color
Huffington Post has named the Missouri Ozarks as one of the five best places to see the leaves change color this fall. The article said that the scenic Ozarks have gained the well-deserved reputation of having some of the densest, most brilliantly-colored fall foliage there is. The other locations in the top five were Upstate New York, Vermont, Québec-Canada and Oregon.

September 18, 2014

Rockaway Beach Resident Injured in Three-Vehicle Accident
A Rockaway Beach resident was injured during a three-vehicle accident Wednesday afternoon. Thirty-one year old Jennifer Grier was a passenger in a car that was driven by Cari Barker of Branson. The car hit a vehicle being towed by a Freightliner then hit a third vehicle. The 1:50 p.m. accident occurred on Highway 65, six miles south of Ozark. Grier was treated for moderate injuries at Cox South Hospital in Springfield. All persons involved were using seat belts.

Branson Man Injured in One-Vehicle Crash
52 year old Thain Galyen of Branson was injured Wednesday afternoon when the pickup he was driving ran off the right side of the road and hit a rock bluff. The accident occurred about 2:20 p.m. as he was traveling on Route F, approaching Bull Creek. Galyen was treated for moderate injuries at Cox Health Branson. He was using the pickup's seat belt.

Branson Aldermen Approve First Reading of Several Bills
Branson Aldermen have approved the first reading of a bill ratifying an amendment to the Master Lease of the Branson Landing Project. The action changes the date on which the annual rent payments are due, and follows the settlement agreement on August 28 between HCW and the City. Aldermen also approved a lease with HCW Development Company for the operation of the laundry facility in the Convention Center. And the Board accepted the proposal of Cintas for the rental of uniforms, mats, and shop towels for the Public Works, Utilities and Parks Departments.

Jim Dukes Honored with Branson Chamber's Golden Key Award
Each week the Branson/Lakes area Chamber presents the Golden Key Award. The Award is given to recognize those in the community who have exhibited exceptional, friendly customer service. This week's winner is Jim Dukes from Chili's Restaurant. He was observed as always being attentive and helping customers even if they are not in his assigned area. Jim works double shifts Monday through Thursday so he can have three consecutive days with his two daughters.

Branson-Hollister Rotary Hosts "Read with Rotary"
The Branson-Hollister Rotary Club's Annual "Read with Rotary" event was held recently at the Boys and Girls Club of the Ozarks. Rotarians partnered with Dixie Stampede, Western Taney County Ambulance District and the Branson Police Department to provide a variety of after-school activities including reading with the students. Rotary is a service organization with the motto "Service Above Self." The mission of the Boys and Girls Club is to inspire all young people to reach their full potential as productive and responsible citizens. The Club serves over 1,200 students from locations in Branson, Forsyth and Reeds Spring.

C of O to Host Presentation about Middle East
College of the Ozarks will host a special presentation about the Middle East today in relation to the history of the Gospel in that region. Grant Porter, Near East Initiatives Lead Facilitator, will speak at 7 p.m. next Monday in Jones Auditorium on campus. Porter and his wife Laura have lived in the Middle East since 1982. They have been involved in several ministries including emergency relief in Lebanon and Iraq, programs to help nomadic people generate income in their communities and rebuilding programs for homeless war victims. The convocation is free and open to the public. College of the Ozarks students receive priority seating.

September 17, 2014

Fire Destroys Home on North Fork Road in Taney County
A single story house on North Fork Road in Taney County was destroyed by fire early this morning. The house was well involved with fire when crews arrived after 2:30 a.m. Neighbors reported the house to be vacant and search and rescue efforts confirmed that no one was in the building. Firefighters from Western Taney County, Branson and Point Lookout fire departments extinguished the fire in about 3 hours. There were no injuries. The Missouri State Fire Marshall is investigating.

Branson Aldermen Approve Several Pre-Annexation Agreements
During their meeting last week, Branson Aldermen approved several bills for pre-annexation agreements with three properties in Thunder Ridge Estates off Bee Creek Road. These agreements are typically signed when a property which is not adjacent to the city limits desires to connect to the city water and wastewater system. The agreement allows them to annex to the city at a later date when they become adjacent. The Board also approved the appointment of Derek Smith to the Tourism Community Enhancement District Board, as one of three representatives of the City of Branson.

Cox Branson Announces the Addition of Two Physicians
Cox Medical Center Branson has announced the addition of two physicians. Dr. Nicholas Anderson will serve as a rehabilitation physician in Orthopedics. He studied at the University of Nebraska Medical Center and recently completed his residency at the University of Utah. The hospital also welcomed Dr. Gus Gonzalez to the CoxHealth Cancer Center in Branson. He received his medical education and completed his internal medicine residency at the University of Oklahoma College of Medicine.

MNB Welcomes Matt Meadows as Business Development Officer
Metropolitan National Bank welcomes Matt Meadows as its new Business Development Officer. He will work at cultivating existing relationships in the community and establishing opportunities for new business. Meadows studied at College of the Ozarks and at Missouri State University. As a former real estate broker, he brings to Metropolitan 20 years experience in relationship management and development. His past includes playing leading roles at the Shepherd of the Hills Outdoor Theatre.

MO Unemployment Rate for August Down Two-Tenths to 6.3%
Missouri's unemployment rate for August dropped by two-tenths of a point to 6.3% since July. Following July's revised 12,700 job increase, Missouri's non-farm payroll employment edged down by 3,100 jobs in August, with employment losses in durable goods manufacturing, healthcare and social assistance. The state's non-farm payrolls have increased by 49,100 jobs over the past year.

Book Provides Photographic Look at History of Branson
Anita Roberts, author of Images of America-Branson has donated copies of her book to the Branson Centennial Museum and to the White River Valley Historical Society's research library. The book provides a photographic look at the history of what has been termed "Paradise of the Ozarks." Roberts will autograph copies of her book this Friday and Saturday at the Centennial Museum in downtown Branson. Friday from 2-5 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

September 16, 2014

George W. Bush Speaks at Big Cedar Lodge
Former President George W. Bush made a surprise appearance at Big Cedar Lodge on Monday as the keynote speaker for the Tracker Marine Conference. Bush spoke about his passion for fishing and outdoors, answered questions about his time in office and discussed his new book “41-A Portrait of my Father,” due November 11. Bass Pro Shops and Tracker Marine Founder Johnny Morris presented Bush with a Tracker Bass Force One fishing boat, patterned after Air Force One. In other Big Cedar news, The Worman House restaurant is set to reopen this Thursday, featuring new dishes on the menu and the return of the Worman Sunday Brunch. For hours and menu options, visit Big-Cedar.com/Page/The-Worman-House.aspx.

Branson Invites Residents to Join Nextdoor Social Network
The City of Branson has announced a partnership with Nextdoor.com, a private social network for neighborhoods, to expand upon citywide and neighbor-to-neighbor communications. With Nextdoor, Branson residents can share neighborhood information, including public safety issues, community activities, local services, and even lost pets. The City will be able to post information such as important news, services, events and emergency notifications to Nextdoor websites within the City. Nextdoor is free and information is password protected. Those interested in joining their neighborhood’s private Nextdoor website can visit Nextdoor.com.

Prescription Drug Take Back Event Set for this Saturday
The Alcohol and Drug Abuse Prevention Team, the Branson Police Department, and the Drug Enforcement Administration will be providing a prescription drug Take Back event this Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m at CVS Pharmacy on Loyd Street in Branson. The drug Take Back event gives the public an opportunity to prevent drug abuse and theft by ridding their homes of potentially dangerous expired, unused, and unwanted prescription drugs. The service is free and anonymous, with no questions asked.

Two Drivers from Branson Injured in Head-On Collision
Two people from Branson were injured in a two-vehicle head-on collision shortly after 8:00 Monday morning on Buchanan Road, five miles north of Branson. A car driven by 17 year old Savannah Carter crossed the center line and struck an oncoming SUV driven by 41 year old Tonya Coker. Both drivers suffered moderate injuries and were transported to Cox Branson for treatment.

Silver Dollar City Employee Earns Statewide Award for Recycling
Sue Noel, a long-time employee of Silver Dollar City, recently received the top statewide honor of President’s Award at the Missouri Recycling Association’s annual conference. As a 36-year employee of Silver Dollar City, Sue is the driving force behind the park’s extensive recycling programs which, under her direction, divert 50% of waste from the landfill. Sue was a co-developer of the Branson recycling center and still serves as a recycling programs educator for faculty and staff at local schools, as well as on the board of numerous organizations.

Motorists Advised to Use Caution as Deer Become more Active
Motorists are advised to use caution as deer become more active this time of year. Always wear your seatbelt, use high beams at night when there is no oncoming traffic, avoid swerving when you see a deer, and be particularly cautious between the hours of 6 and 9 p.m. when deer are most active. Missouri is ranked 18th in the country for the most deer collisions with the odds of hitting a deer at 1 out of 124, according to statistics from State Farm Insurance.

September 15, 2014

Two-Story Home at Indian Point Destroyed by Fire
Firefighters from Southern Stone County, Western Taney County and Branson battled a two-story house fire Saturday morning on Table Rock Circle in Indian Point. A neighbor woke to the smell of smoke and noticed the fire at about 6 a.m. There was a vehicle in the driveway and there was concern that the owners were still in the house, however it was later confirmed that they were in Springfield at the time of the fire. The home was a total loss and an adjacent home sustained moderate heat damage. A Stone County Deputy suffered a minor burn to his hand while rescuing a dog from the adjacent home. He was treated on the scene by Mercy EMS. Branson crews rescued another dog from a fenced area and a third dog was unaccounted for. The cause of the fire is under investigation.

Two from Branson Injured in One-Car Crash on Highway 160
Two people from Branson were injured in a one car crash just after 5:00 this past Friday evening on Highway 160, a half mile north of Rockaway Beach. A westbound car driven by 45 year old Anthony Burrow ran off the roadway and struck a sign and a ditch. Burrow and 36 year old passenger Kimberly Todd both suffered moderate injuries and were transported to Cox Branson for treatment.

Cox Branson Unveils First Phase of $30 Million Project
Cox Branson unveiled the first phase of its $30 million emergency department and critical care unit expansion this past Friday and Saturday. The 60,000-square-foot construction project began just 12 months ago and is set to open on September 24. After that, crews will move inside the existing emergency department and critical care unit for the renovation portion of the project. The entire project is expected to be complete by the holidays. The project was made possible through a 2012 affiliation agreement that merged Skaggs Regional Medical Center with CoxHealth.

Recount Confirms Passage of Constitutional Amendment 1
Missouri Secretary of State Jason Kander has announced the certified results of the statewide recount of Constitutional Amendment 1 concerning agricultural production and ranching practices, which appeared on the August 5th ballot. The final results of the recount confirmed the passage of Amendment 1. The difference between the “yes” votes and the “no” votes after the recount is 2,375 votes, compared to 2,490 before the recount.

College of the Ozarks to Host Holocaust Survivor Eva Mozes Kor
College of the Ozarks will host Holocaust survivor Eva Mozes Kor this Wednesday at 7 p.m. in Jones Auditorium. Kor will speak about her traumatic and inspiring experiences surviving the Holocaust. Kor opened CANDLES Holocaust Museum and Education Center in Terree Haute, Indiana in 1995, with the mission to prevent prejudice and hatred through education about the Holocaust. The C of O event is free and open to the public.

Made In The USA General Store Opens at Branson Mill
The Made In The USA General Store opened last week inside the Branson Mill Craft Village on Gretna Road in Branson. The 5,000 square foot store owned by Brian and Kim Karn features items completely made or created in America from over 500 companies, as well as an old fashioned soda fountain. Brian Karn says, “It’s a simple fact that by buying products that are made in America we put people to work. It’s time to take back our products and demand that companies, who sell items to Americans, make their products in the USA.”

Downtown Branson's Autumn Daze Festival Starts Thursday
The 41st Annual Autumn Daze Festival will be held this Thursday through Saturday in historic downtown Branson on the Awberry parking lot and a portion of Commercial Street. The 3-day festival will feature more than 100 crafters and artisans, demonstrations, live entertainment, sidewalk sale, food vendors and more. Hours are Thursday & Friday 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. There will also be a free concert and street dance Friday night from 5:30-7:30 p.m. For more information, visit DowntownBranson.org.

September 12, 2014

Harrison Woman Seriously Injured in One-Vehicle Accident
A Harrison woman was seriously injured in a one vehicle accident early Thursday morning on Highway 65, two miles south of Ozark. A Jeep Grand Cherokee driven by 41 year old Joseph Chrisman of Harrison ran off the roadway into the median, vaulted over a rock embankment and overturned. Twenty-eight year old passenger Courtney Sumers was transported to Cox South Hospital in Springfield for treatment of serious injuries.

Missouri Legislature Overrides Nixon's Veto of Pro-Life Bills
A broad coalition of Missouri pro-life organizations are applauding action by the Missouri General Assembly to override Governor Nixon's veto of pro-life legislation that was passed earlier this year. HB 1307 increases the time of reflection after counseling before an abortion can be performed from 24 hours to 72 hours. HB 1132 increases the maximum funding available for pregnancy resource centers through tax credits. Legislators also voted to override a line item veto of a budget increase for Missouri's Alternatives to Abortion Program.

SDC Foundation Tops $1 Million Donated to Help Area Kids
The Silver Dollar City Foundation’s donations to help area kids topped $1 million with this year’s funding of the Care For Kids program designed to meet the physical, mental and emotional needs of kids. Foundation President John Baltes recently presented $143,000 in donations to area school representatives, bringing the total funds donated to $1,013,000 since the program was started in 2006. The funds help cover basic living needs such as food, housing and utilities, medical assistance, school supplies and other needs. Care For Kids also supports mentoring programs for kids, working with 78 churches to provide over 250 volunteers mentoring 800 kids in the past year.

Corps Seeks Input on Bull Shoals Lake Master Plan
The Army Corps of Engineers Little Rock District continues to seek public input on the Bull Shoals Lake Master Plan revision, which was last updated more than 30 years ago. Comments submitted by September 30 will be included in the master plan scoping report which will be used to draft the new master plan. A master plan is the guidance document that describes how the resources of the lake will be managed in the future and provides the vision for how the lake should look in the future. Email comments to ceswl-bsmasterplan@usace.army.mil or fax them to 501-324-5605.

The Keeter Center Celebrates 10th Anniversary
Ten years ago, The Keeter Center at College of the Ozarks opened its doors to the public, providing lodge rooms, fine dining and a conference center. It requires approximately 340 students to operate The Keeter Center, and over the past decade 2,400 students have worked for their education in the seven different workstations offered there. The facility is architecturally inspired by the first building on the Point Lookout campus, which succumbed to fire in 1930. Under the supervision of master craftsmen, it took 250 students over the course of six years to construct the building, which is named in honor of the late Ruby and Vester Keeter.

Barefoot in Branson Donates 83 Pairs of Shoes to Branson Schools
The Branson Fire Association, Branson Schools and Branson Landing teamed together this past May for the 3rd Annual Barefoot in Branson event. The purpose of the event is to raise awareness and donations to buy shoes for local children in need. This year’s event raised more than $700. The funds were used to purchase 83 pairs of shoes which were recently delivered to Branson Schools for children in need.

Wanted: Governor's Christmas Tree
If you have a 40-foot evergreen tree that you would enjoy seeing on the lawn of the Governor’s Mansion in Jefferson City, the Missouri Department of Conservation would like to talk to you. The Department is on its annual quest for a tree to adorn the grounds of the Governor’s Mansion during the holiday season. To qualify, candidate trees must be either eastern red cedar, Norway spruce, or white pine trees that are at least 40 feet tall, fully branched on all four sides and accessible by large equipment. The winning donor will receive a note from the Governor and an invitation to the lighting ceremony. Candidate trees must be nominated by September 30. Full guidelines are available online at mdc.mo.gov/node/23091.

September 11, 2014

Aldermen Approve Amendment to 76 Complete Streets Project
Branson Aldermen have approved the first reading of a bill approving a contract amendment with CFS Engineers for the Highway 76 Complete Streets Project. The amendments include final design documents for a section between Wildwood and Pat Nash Drive, right of way negotiations between Highway 65 and Wildwood, the formation of a benefit district to help with project funding, design of the Branson Intelligent Transportation System and design of the gateway feature near the intersection of Highway 65 and Highway 76.

Aldermen Approve Bids for Boom Truck, Glass Recycling
Branson Aldermen approved the first reading of a bill accepting the proposal of Custom Truck Equipment for the purchase of a hydraulic boom truck for the utility department. The truck will be used for maintenance and replacement of motors in lift stations and treatment plants. The city currently spends nearly $10,000 annually to rent this same equipment. The board also approved the first reading of a bill renewing the agreement with Ripple Glass. The company takes the glass which is collected at the city recycle center and recycling drop-off locations. Over 250 tons of glass has been recycled under this agreement since April 2012.

C of O Recognized in US News 2015 Best College Rankings
US News and World Report released its 2015 Best College Rankings and College of the Ozarks has again made the top of several categories. C of O was rated number one in Best College Value in the Midwest and Students with the Least Debt. C of O was the only college listed under Best Commitment to Undergraduate Teaching and ranked number 4 for Best Regional College in the Midwest. College of the Ozarks has been recognized as a Best College by US News each year since 1989.

Graduating debt free will put a smile on your face

National Harvest and Cowboy Festival Returns to Silver Dollar City
The National Harvest and Cowboy Festival returns to Silver Dollar City through October 25th. 125 top craftsmen from around the country will be featured, including Best of Missouri and a showcase of western artists. The new Wild West Show captures the flavor of wild west shows of the 1880's, presenting a trick riding troupe, a horse riding female sharpshooter, trick roping, bullwhip artistry, comedy canines and Native American hoop dancing. The Pinkerton Man, a high-flying stunt show, returns to Echo Hollow. For details, visit SilverDollarCity.com.

Stained Glass Theatre to Hold Auditions for "Toys of War"
Stained Glass Theatre, a volunteer Christian theatre company based in Ozark, will hold auditions for the production of Toys of War. The show is a musical with a Christmas theme. Its the true story of A.C. Gilbert, a toy maker who became a national hero in his battle to save children during World War II. Adults and children are needed for this production. Those auditioning need to prepare a two minute solo piece. Auditions will be held this coming Monday at 7 p.m. For details, call 417-581-9192.

Fleming Named Vice President of Marketing for Branson Bank
Halley Fleming has been promoted to Vice President of Marketing for Branson Bank. She is now responsible for all marketing and communication efforts and is responsible for defining and executing the marketing strategy established by the Board of Directors. She graduated from College of the Ozarks with a double major, Business Administration and Mass Communications. She earned a Masters Degree from William Woods University. Branson Bank is locally owned and controlled with two locations in Branson and one in Forsyth.

September 10, 2014

Aldermen Hear Two Hours of Comments on Smoking Ordinance
During their regular meeting Tuesday evening, Branson Aldermen heard two hours of public comment, primarily regarding the proposed smoking ordinance, currently under review. Some business owners expressed concern about the negative impact the ordinance would have on business and tourism in particular. Others pointed out the health dangers of smoking, even with second hand smoke. The ordinance is expected to be on the agenda for the Aldermen's October 14 meeting. The mayor requested that City staff compile the public questions and comments and make them available on the City's website.

Aldermen Approve Bids for Downtown Streetscape Project
Branson Aldermen have approved the first readings of several bid awards for the Downtown Branson Streetscape Project. Bids approved were with D&E Plumbing and Heating for new underground utilities, sidewalks, crosswalks, signage, pavement and other amenities; Landscape Forms, Inc. for benches, litter receptacles and ash urns; and TechLite Corporation for street poles and street sign assemblies. The first phase of the project involves the block bordered by College Street, Veterans Blvd, Pacific Street and Commercial Street.

Gainesville Girl Fatally Injured in One-Car Accident
A 12 year old girl from Gainesville died in a one-car accident Monday afternoon. Alexandria Chambers was a passenger in a car driven by 22 year old Joshua McMackin, also of Gainesville. He received moderate injuries. Passenger 12 year old Natalie Winlock was seriously injured. The two injured were taken by air ambulance to Mercy Hospital in Springfield. The car had run off the road, where it overturned several times and then hit several trees. The 4:40 p.m. accident occurred on Cedar Oak Drive in Gainesville.

Randy Fogle Named Branson's Employee of the Month for September
The Branson Employee of the Month for September is Fire Department Division Chief Randy Fogle. After an early morning fire at a commercial property, Randy worked quickly to complete the fire investigation. He certified the property for occupancy and restored electric power to the building. Owners were able to open for business on a busy weekend just 12 hours after the fire. He was honored by aldermen for going the extra mile.

Photo: Randy Fogle (left) receives his Employee of the Month plaque from Alderman Mike Booth

Branson Sports Club to Retain Tax-Exempt Status
The Branson Sports Club will retain its tax-exempt status. The Branson Daily Independent reported that the State Tax Commission overturned the previous ruling of former Assessor James Strahan to assess the club as part commercial and part residential. The Commission stated that the Club, located on Buchanan Road, presented substantial evidence that the property is used for not-for-profit purposes, to benefit an indefinite number of people.

Peace Lutheran Church to Celebrate 25th Anniversary
Peace Lutheran Church in Hollister will celebrate its 25th Anniversary this Saturday. Pastor Dale Barnett held the first meetings at the Branson Inn. After a couple of temporary meeting locations, official organization of the congregation and their own facility took place September 10, 1989. Four pastors have served the congregation since the beginning. Activities Saturday will be held between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. and include a fundraiser for the Gift of Hope Backpack Club. Food and beverages will be available for a donation. Entertainment will be provided by a variety of local performers. The church is located at 350 State Drive in Hollister.

September 9, 2014

Stone County Sheriff's Office to Conduct D.W.I. Checkpoint
The Stone County Sheriff's Office is planning to conduct a D.W.I. Sobriety Checkpoint this coming Friday night. The checkpoint will be held on Highway 165 by Dewey Short Visitor Center near Table Rock Dam from 9 p.m. on Friday until 2 a.m. on Saturday. Drivers should be prepared to stop at the checkpoint and obey the directions of Stone County officers.

C of O to Hold 9-11 National Day of Remembrance Ceremony
College of the Ozarks will hold a 9-11 National Day of Remembrance ceremony this Thursday, at 9 a.m. on the Alumni Center parking lot, to honor the lives taken during the 9-11 attacks. The memorial will mark the 13th anniversary of the tragedy and feature a brief ceremony and static flag display. The flag display, which consists of nearly 3,000 American flags, will be on display throughout the day on the Alumni Center lawn at the campus entrance.

Branson Announces Maintenance on Various City Streets
The Branson Public Works Department is working with APAC-Missouri to perform maintenance on city streets throughout the remainder September and possibly into October. Work crews will mill and overlay various city streets including some key intersections in Branson. Most of the work will be done in the overnight hours to minimize traffic delays. Affected streets include: Portions of Main Street from Business Hwy 65 to Branson Landing Blvd; Branson Landing Blvd at the Main Street intersection; the Boat Ramp Parking Lot area located at the south end of the City RV Campground; and Shepherd of the Hills Expressway from Hwy 76 to Brookside Mini Golf.

Volunteers Needed for Annual Community Caring Day
Approximately 250 volunteers are being sought for the annual Community Caring Day coming up on October 10. Volunteers will work on various projects for local non-profit organizations in Taney and Stone counties, ranging from cleaning, painting and gardening to more skilled projects like carpentry and plumbing. For more information or to request a volunteer application, call the Branson Chamber at 334-4084.

ABA Selects Two Branson Events for "Top 100" Publication
The American Bus Association has selected Branson Veterans Homecoming Week and See the World in Branson Music Fest as two of the best events to experience via motorcoach next year. The ABA’s 2015 Top 100 Events in North America is published as a supplement to the September/October issue of Destinations magazine. The list highlights the top fairs, festivals, parades, exhibits, theaters and shows across the U.S. and Canada. To view the entire Top 100 Events publication, visit Buses.org/News-Publications/Top100.

Area Students Invited to K-Life Track Night this Thursday
Tri-Lakes K-Life will hold a K-Life Track Night this Thursday from 7-9 p.m. at Track #3 across from the Grand Palace on Highway 76 in Branson. The event is for all junior and senior high students in Taney and Stone counties. For an entry fee of just $5, students can enjoy unlimited go-carts, bumper boats and mini-golf, meet K-Life staff and volunteers, find out when K-Life Klubs meet, and learn more about small group Bible studies and other K-Life activities. For more information, visit TriLakes.KLife.com.

September 8, 2014

Branson Man Injured in One-Vehicle Rollover
A Branson man was injured in a one-vehicle accident at about 2:00 Saturday afternoon on Bee Creek Road near Sycamore Road in Branson. The incident occurred when a pickup driven by 54 year old Steven Silcox ran off the roadway and overturned. Silcox suffered minor injuries and was transported to Cox Branson for treatment.

Branson Man Injured in Two-Vehicle Accident
Forty year old Darin Finch of Branson was injured in a two-vehicle accident at about 3:30 Saturday afternoon on Highway 76 at Harp Lane in Kirbyville. A car driven by 75 year old Carol Baumgarden of Branson was stopped waiting to make a left turn when it was struck from behind by a pickup driven by Finch. Finch was taken to Cox Branson for treatment of minor injuries.

Oklahoma Man Injured in Golf Cart Accident
A man from Norman, Oklahoma was injured in a golf cart accident at about 3:40 Saturday afternoon at Ledgstone Golf Course near Branson West. A golf cart operated by 69 year old Dennis Wilson of Ames, Iowa overturned and ejected 68 year old passenger Glenn Foster. Foster sustained moderate injuries and was transported to Cox Branson for treatment.

Forsyth Woman Injured in One-Car Crash
A Forsyth woman was injured in a one-car crash shortly after 6:30 Saturday evening on Route Y near the scenic overlook in Forsyth. The Highway Patrol reported that a car driven by 49 year old Phyllis Putnam ran off the roadway into a ditch. Putnam suffered minor injuries and was transported to Cox South Hospital in Springfield for treatment.

Branson Chamber Announces Nominees for Small Business Awards
The Branson Chamber has announced the nominees for the annual Small Business Awards Dinner to be held on September 25 at Chateau on the Lake Resort. Nominees for Small Business of the Year are Crossfit Branson, KOLR 10, Mitsu Neko Restaurant, Perfectsigns.com, Abacus CPA's, Arrowhead Building Supply, Inc., Branson Limousine & Executive Charter, Copper Run Distillery and Starlite Theatre. Nominees for Charity of the Year are Branson Veterans Events & Reunions, Inc., Disabled American Veterans Chapter 68, Faith Community Health, Generation Rescue, Jesus Was Homeless, My Sister's Keeper, Skaggs Foundation, The Caring People and The Crisis Center. Nominees for the new category of Ozark Mountain Hospitality are Chateau on the Lake Resort, Mitsu Neko Restaurant and Taney County Tire & Towing. Reservation for the dinner are being accepted through September 19. Call 334-4084.

Cox Branson Employees Give to Branson Elementary Schools
Cox Medical Center Branson employees hosted a different type of back-to-school drive for Branson elementary schools. Rather than giving the usual crayons, pencils and notebooks, employees gave items that were more near and dear to their hearts including hand sanitizer, disinfecting wipes and facial tissues to help keep children healthy this school year. Cox Branson’s back-to-school drive was part of a larger, system-wide effort to help the communities served by CoxHealth.

Photo: Students from Cheryl Bosley’s second-grade class, from left, Braden Williams, Gracie Rhodes, Joplin Sears and Serenity Machado, helped carry some of the items into Buchanan Elementary School

Branson to Host “Responsible Alcohol Selling” this Thursday
The Branson Finance Department will be holding another “Responsible Alcohol Selling” class this Thursday for servers, cashiers and bartenders. This training is required of all businesses selling liquor in the city of Branson or businesses that are in the process of obtaining a liquor license. The intent is to have more responsible sellers of alcohol to minimize the risks of selling to underage and intoxicated buyers. Although this class is designed to fulfill the training requirements for the City of Branson, servers and cashiers from neighboring communities are also welcome to attend. For more information, call 337-8575.

Cox Branson Offering Free Medicare Seminars
Cox Medical Center Branson is offering a series of free educational seminars for people with Medicare in the Branson area. The purpose of the one-hour seminar is to help attendees understanding all of their coverage options and be fully prepared to make a smart choice during the upcoming Annual Election Period this fall. The seminars will be held in the Cox Branson conference rooms on September 10 at 9:30 a.m., and September 16 at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. There is no cost to attend, but registration is required. Call 269-INFO.

Lake Taneycomo Cleanup Set for this Saturday
The 5th Annual "TLC for Taneycomo" Lake Cleanup will take place this Saturday. Groups of volunteers and boats are needed for the cleanup event. Teams will start from either the Branson Campground or Empire Park in Forsyth, and finish at Rockaway Beach with a lunch. Volunteers can register online at www.trlwq.org or call Table Rock Lake Water Quality at (417) 739-4100.

September 5, 2014

Highway Patrol Investigating Two-Injury Incident
Two people were injured in an incident that is still being investigated by the Highway Patrol. Fifty-one year old Dru Preater of Branson either jumped or was pushed from a car driven by 26 year old Heather Jones of Hollister. The car then ran off the roadway and struck several small trees, ejecting Jones who was not wearing a seatbelt. Preater suffered moderate injuries and was taken to Cox Branson for treatment. Jones was transported to Cox South Springfield for treatment of serious injuries. The incident occurred at about 5:30 Thursday evening on Bass Hollow Road, seven miles northeast of Galena.

Osage Beach Man Injured in Motorcycle Accident
A man from Osage Beach was seriously injured in a motorcycle accident just before 5:00 Thursday evening on Highway 76, two miles east of Cape Fair. A motorcycle operated by 51 year old David Foreman traveled off the right side of the roadway and overturned, ejecting Foreman. He was airlifted to Cox South Hospital in Springfield for treatment.

Omaha Man Sentenced to 8 Years for Chronic D.W.I.
Taney County Prosecutor Jeff Merrell reported that 53 year old Rocky Barrows of Omaha, Arkansas has been sentenced to eight years in prison for chronic driving while intoxicated. Barrows was pulled over by a patrolman on December 3, 2010 on Coon Creek Road and told the officer that he was not driving, and was just sitting in his car eating chicken. Barrows refused all sobriety tests but he was arrested for obvious signs of intoxication. Because he had four or more intoxication-related traffic convictions, he was charged as a “chronic” D.W.I. offender.

Dinosaur Canyon Golf Receives August Beautification Award
The Branson Tree Board announced that Dinosaur Canyon Golf on Green Mountain Drive is the recipient of the August Beautification Award. Manager Fred Davis and staff member Phillip Fiveash maintain the property including weeding and watering the plants on top of the waterfalls. The Beautification Awards are presented monthly from April through October. For more information or to nominate a business, call 337-8544.

Pictured: Fred Davis, left, and Phillip Fiveash, right

Seven Parks to Close for Season on Table Rock Lake
The Army Corps of Engineers Table Rock Project Office will reduce services at seven of its parks on Monday, September 15 for the 2014 recreation season. These parks include Cricket Creek, Baxter, Big M, Viola, Eagle Rock, Aunts Creek, and Moonshine Beach Day Use Area. The boat launch ramps at these parks will continue to be open and area use fees will still apply. Camping will still be available through October 31 at Cape Fair, Campbell Point, Indian Point, Mill Creek and Old Highway 86 parks.

Cox Branson Joins "Get With The Guidelines–Stroke®" Program
Cox Medical Center Branson has joined the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s Get With The Guidelines®–Stroke program. As a participant in the program, Cox Branson will develop a comprehensive system for providing rapid diagnosis and treatment of stroke when patients are admitted to the emergency department. This includes always being equipped to provide brain-imaging scans, making neurologists available to conduct patient evaluations and using clot-busting medications when appropriate. The program also facilitates creating and sharing best practices among participating hospitals.

National Magazine Names Meek’s Pro Dealer of the Year
National home improvement magazine HCN has selected Meek’s Lumber as the 2014 Pro Dealer of the Year. The annual award is designed to recognize a high-performance company with a commitment to best practices and the best values of the lumber and building material industry. Meek’s is a family business established in 1919 that serves builders and homeowners in California, Nevada, Arkansas and Missouri including a store in Branson. The company jumped up the HCN rankings on the strength of double-digit sales gains in 2013.

MDC Launches New, Free “MO Hunting” App
The Missouri Department of Conservation has launched a new, free hunting app for both Android and Apple mobile devices. The “MO Hunting" app enables Missouri hunters, anglers, and trappers to purchase and view current and past permits and associated details. The app also lets deer and turkey hunters telecheck current harvests and review previous telecheck harvest information. To learn more and download MO Hunting, along with the free Find MO Fish and MO Fall Colors apps, visit mdc.mo.gov/mobile/mobile-apps.

September 4, 2014

Branson Fire & Rescue Receives Life Safety Achievement Award
Branson Fire & Rescue was recently presented with a Life Safety Achievement Award for its fire prevention accomplishments in 2013. The Life Safety Achievement Award recognizes fire departments for their fire prevention programs that have been proven to save lives year after year. Branson Fire & Rescue is one of 143 fire departments across the United States to receive the award this year for either recording zero fire deaths in 2013 or reducing fire deaths by at least 10 percent during the year. In 2013 Branson Fire & Rescue responded to 98 working fires and reported no deaths or injuries.

Mural on Empire Electric Building Commemorates National Anthem Bicentennial
Anyone driving in downtown Branson the last few days may have noticed a mural being painted on the west side of the Empire District Electric building near the corner of Main Street and Business 65. The purpose of the mural is to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the penning of our national anthem, The Star Spangled Banner, written by Francis Scott Key. The mural is the creation of Raine Clotfelter, a retired US Navy draftsman, artist, and historian who has painted over 100 murals across the country. The public is invited to a special unveiling of the mural on Sunday, September 14 at 7 a.m.

Lane Closures on Shepherd of the Hills Expressway
The Branson Public Works Department is encouraging motorists to be aware of lane closures on Shepherd of the Hills Expressway this week. Crews are trenching electrical conduit across the Expressway near the Shoji Tabuchi Theatre. Traffic flow in both directions will remain open, but certain lanes, in one or both directions may be closed at various times.

Assets of Candlestick Inn Restaurant to be Auctioned
The assets of the Candlestick Inn Restaurant & Lounge will be sold at auction this Monday at 10 a.m. at 159-A Industrial Park Drive in Hollister. The former restaurant located on the bluff across the lake from downtown Branson was closed after receiving significant damage from the Leap Day 2012 tornado. The auction will include restaurant equipment, artwork, furniture and more. For more information and a list of auction items, visit DownsAuctionService.com.

C of O Honored with “Above and Beyond Award”
College of the Ozarks was recently honored with the U.S. Department of Defense “Above and Beyond Award.” The award was created to publicly recognize American employers providing extraordinary patriotic support and cooperation to their employees who have answered the call to serve in the nation’s Guard and Reserve units. Part of C of O’s mission statement is ‘to encourage an understanding of American heritage, civic responsibilities, love of country, and willingness to defend it.’

Photo: Dr. Jerry C. Davis and Lt. Col. James Schreffler receive the “Above and Beyond Award” on behalf of College of the Ozarks at the annual awards dinner of the Missouri Employee Support of the Guard and Reserve. From left: Rear. Adm. (Ret.) Lee Metcalf, Gen. Martin Robinson, Dr. Jerry C. Davis, Lt. Col. James Schreffler, and Maj. Gen. (Ret.) Paul E. Mock

Ozark Mountain Bank Donates $5,000 to Hollister Schools
Ozark Mountain Bank has donated $5,000 to the Hollister School District. The Hollister Schools help develop strong character traits and moral values in each student through the First Place! Character Education program. With the donation, the school district will purchase a character education t-shirt for each student.

Photo: Hollister Superintendent Dr. Brian Wilson accepts a check from Ozark Mountain Bank President Craig Richards

Lodging Association to Hold Annual Golf Tournament Fundraiser
The Branson Lakes Area Lodging Association will hold its annual golf tournament on Friday, September 19, with proceeds benefitting Jesus Was Homeless and Jobs for Life. Registration includes a box lunch, 18-holes with cart, and appetizers during the awards ceremony. For more information or to register, call 417-559-3869 or email info@BransonAreaLodging.com.

September 3, 2014

Lawsuit Between Branson, HCW and Insurance Companies Resolved
The City of Branson and HCW Development have entered into a settlement agreement, resolving their multi-million dollar lawsuit against Chicago Title Insurance Company and Fidelity National Financial. The City and HCW will each receive a $90 million title insurance policy protecting their interests in the Branson Landing Development. Chicago Title will also pay future legal costs for defense of the claims filed by Douglas Coverdell and Coverdell Enterprises. Those claims stemmed from a lawsuit that started in 2003, concerning North Beach Park and expanded to include a portion of the Landing property. In 2013 judgments were entered in favor of the City and HCW, judgments that are being appealed.

More Stores, Balloon Ride Planned for Branson Landing
Plans are moving forward for expansions of the Branson Landing. A single story building with room for several stores is planned for the gravel parking area on the north side of the Landing. Construction is expected to begin soon, now that the lawsuit mentioned in the previous story has been resolved. That enclosed steel structure being built near the Belk Department Store will hold a hot air balloon ride. The balloon will rise nearly 200 feet into the air enclosed inside the tower that will be lighted at night. The ride is expected to be completed this fall.

Ash Grove Man Injured in Two-Car Accident Near Branson West
A two car accident north of Branson West Tuesday night sent one of the drivers to Cox South Hospital in Springfield. 66 year old Robert Magnan of Ash Grove received moderate injuries when the car he was driving crossed the road centerline and hit a car driven by 49 year old John Devos of Nixa. The 9:45 p.m. accident occurred on Highway 160, five miles north of Branson West. Both drivers were using the car seatbelts.

Branson Firefighters Raise Over $22,000 for MDA
Branson firefighters joined 54 other fire departments in the Greater Ozarks Chapter of the Muscular Dystrophy Association’s "Fill the Boot Campaign" held this past weekend. Firefighters worked major intersections, receiving donations from motorists to help patients afflicted with over 40 neuromuscular diseases. Branson firefighters raised just over $22,000 this year. Their record was $26,000 last year. They have raised between $15-20 thousand dollars annually for the past 25 years. The money helps 700 patients in the Ozarks and a portion is sent to the National MDA for research.

Alzheimer’s Association to Host Free Workshop in Branson
A free workshop presented by the Alzheimer’s Association will be held this Friday in Branson. Attendees will learn the difference between age-related memory loss and Alzheimer’s, learn the 10 warning signs, and hear about risk factors and what is involved in getting a diagnosis. They will also learn the benefits of early detection including accessing available treatments. The workshop will be held Friday from 10 a.m. until noon at the Taneyhills Community Library, located at the corner of Fourth and Pacific streets. Reservations are required by calling 417-886-2199.

C of O to Host S. Truett Cathy Poverty Summit this Friday
The 8th annual S. Truett Cathy Poverty Summit will be held this Friday at College of the Ozarks. The workshop will provide a framework for understanding poverty for those who interact daily with poverty-stricken children and adults. Community members, teachers, people with ministries or agencies, medical professionals and local leaders are invited to attend. College of the Ozarks students majoring in education, nursing and psychology may also attend. The summit will be held at the Keeter Center on Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. The cost is $49 which includes lunch. To register, visit CofO.edu/Poverty.

September 2, 2014

Harrison Woman Injured in One-Car Accident
A woman from Harrison, Arkansas received minor injuries in a one-car accident Monday morning. 30 year old Kristin Wade was a passenger in a car driven by 49 year old Donna Brown, also of Harrison. The driver was travelling too fast for conditions causing the car to run off the road where it hit a concrete wall. Wade was treated at Cox Health Branson. The 9am accident occurred on Highway 65, three miles north of Branson. Both women were using the car seat belts.

Boating Safety Suggestions for Lake Taneycomo
In light of the recent death of a fisherman on Lake Taneycomo, officials at the Branson Tourism Center have issued safety suggestions for people boating on Taneycomo. A personal flotation device, also known as a life jacket, should be used at all times. If not familiar with the fast currents on Taneycomo, do not operate the boat above the Fall Creek Boat Dock, especially when Table Rock Dam is running water. Do not drag an anchor or other weight to slow the boat in the current. If it snags, it can pull the bow down and flip the boat. Keep the boat in the middle of the lake, away from islands, docks and obstacles that could cause the boat to flip.

White River Valley Electric to Host 75th Annual Meeting
White River Valley Electric Cooperative’s 75th Annual Meeting of its members will be held this Saturday. Entertainment will be provided by Ricky Skaggs. The event will include complimentary snacks, free health screenings by Cox Health Branson, a car show and family friendly activities. A short business meeting will be held followed by drawings for numerous prizes, including $350 of free electricity. Registration will take place between 8:30-10:30 a.m. The event will be held at the Branson Events Center on Highway 248, formerly known as the Tri-Lakes Center.

First Phase of $30 Million Project Nears Completion at Cox Branson
The first phase of the major expansion at Cox Health Branson is expected to open for patients later this month. Construction of the 60,000 square foot, $30 million Emergency Department and Critical Care Unit started a year ago. The current emergency department serves about 37,000 patients each year and the expansion will accommodate up to 60,000 patients annually. The new critical care unit includes 20 private rooms, each with a view of the Ozarks. The public is invited to tour the new facility Saturday, September 13 between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Skaggs Regional Medical Center became part of the CoxHealth system on January 1, 2013.

C of O Launches "Year of the Bible" with Free Opening Exhibit
College of the Ozarks will launch the "Year of the Bible" with an opening exhibit on September 9. The exhibit will include the Heritage Edition of St. John’s Bible, the first hand-illuminated Bible in over 500 years. The two St. John’s Bible volumes on display will include the Gospels and the book of Acts. The exhibit also includes numerous artifacts on loan from the Museum of the Bible, courtesy of the David Green family. The exhibit will run through October 27 and is open to the public at no cost. Boger Art Gallery hours are Monday-Friday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 1-5 p.m.

Photo: Crucifixion Illustration in St. John’s Bible

Wellness on Tour Coming to Branson September 4
The Mercy Hospital Wellness on Tour bus will be on location at Branson’s K-Mart store on Highway 248 this Thursday from 8 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. The bus enables Mercy Hospital to serve more women, especially in more rural areas, including those whose last mammogram was digital or those who have had breast implants. Screenings are recommended annually for women age 40 and over. Mammograms on the bus, an outreach of the Mercy Breast Center, must be scheduled in advance by calling 417-820-2790.

September 1, 2014

Stove Fire Damages Home South of Hollister
The Western Taney County Fire District was dispatched to a house fire shortly after noon this past Friday at 173 Terry Trail, located south of Hollister off Windmill Road near Hwy 265. The first arriving engine found smoke coming from the back of a modular home and was able to extinguish the bulk of the fire before other crews arrived. The fire started from unattended cooking on the stove and the fire damage was limited to the kitchen cabinet and ceiling area.

Blue Eye Man Seriously Injured in Motorcycle Accident
A man from Blue Eye was seriously injured in a motorcycle accident just before 3:00 Sunday afternoon on Highway 86, four miles west of Ridgedale. A motorcycle operated by 35 year old Heith McCarter ran off the side of the roadway into a ditch and overturned, ejecting McCarter. He was transported to Mercy Hospital in Springfield for treatment.

Three from Merriam Woods Injured in Two Vehicle Collision
Three people from Merriam Woods were injured in a two vehicle collision shortly before 2:30 Saturday afternoon on Route F at Bull Creek. A car driven by 34 year old Laura Garcia failed to yield while making a left turn into Bull Creek Store and was struck by an oncoming Jeep driven by 45 year old Marion Green. Garcia sustained moderate injuries while Green and 45 year old passenger Breanna Green suffered minor injuries.

Kirbyville Woman Injured in Two Car Crash on Hwy 76
Sixty-eight year old Judith Lozar of Kirbyville was injured in a two car crash at about 2:00 Saturday afternoon on Highway 76, a mile and a half east of Branson. A car driven by 17 year old Kaitlyn Gardner of Branson ran off the right side of the road, was overcorrected, crossed the center line and struck an oncoming car driven by Lozar. Lozar was taken to Cox Branson for treatment of moderate injuries.

Galena Man Injured in ATV Accident Saturday Afternoon
Sixty-five year old Larry Evans of Galena was injured in an ATV accident at about 12:30 Saturday afternoon on Burr Oak Road, a mile and a half north of Elsey. The accident occurred when the throttle of the ATV got stuck in the on position. Evans attempted to turn the ATV causing it to overturn on top of him and strike a barbed wire fence. He was taken to Mercy Hospital in Springfield with moderate injuries.

Empire District Electric Company Files Request for Rate Increase
The Empire District Electric Company has filed a request with the Missouri Public Service Commission for changes in rates for its Missouri customers. The Company is seeking an annual increase in base rate revenues of approximately $24.3 million, or about 5.5 percent. If approved by the Commision, a residential customer using 1,000 kilowatt hours would see a monthly increase of about $9.87.

SDC's Outlaw Run Coaster Named to USA TODAY’s "10Best" List
Silver Dollar City’s newest roller coaster Outlaw Run has been named to USA TODAY’s “10Best: Roller-coaster rides of your life.” The list was compiled by Paul Ruben, North American editor of the trade publication Park World. Ruben said he likes the smooth ride and quick pacing of Outlaw Run. He also said “When you get to the end, you say 'What just happened?'"

August 29, 2014

Corps Urges Water Safety on Labor Day Weekend
Labor Day Weekend is among the busiest weekends of the year at lakes and rivers, and officials with the Army Corps of Engineers warn visitors to practice good water safety habits to avoid accidents that could result in serious injury or death. In addition to obeying boating laws, the Corps urges people wear a life jacket at all times, check the weather before setting out, file a float plan with a friend, avoid alcohol whether boating or swimming, don't dive into lakes and rivers, and watch your children at all times.

Moonshine Beach Day Use Area Changes Hours
The Army Corps of Engineers is changing the hours of operation at Moonshine Beach Day Use Area located next to Table Rock Dam in Branson. The change in operating hours is due to daylight hours getting shorter. Moonshine Beach will operate from 9 a.m. until 8 p.m. through September 15, when it will close for the season.

Shell Knob Teen Injured in One Car Crash
A teenager from Shell Knob was injured in a one car crash at about 5:15 early Thursday morning on Highway 39, two miles north of Shell Knob. The Highway Patrol reported that a car driven by 18 year old Brandt Vice traveled off the left side of the road, was overcorrected, traveled off the right side of the road, struck some trees and overturned. Vice was not wearing a seatbelt and was ejected from the vehicle. He was transported to Cox South Hospital in Springfield for treatment of moderate injuries.

Tourism District Selects Branson CVB for Marketing Services
The Branson/Lakes Area Tourism Community Enhancement District Board of Directors has once again selected the Branson/Lakes Area Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB) to provide marketing administrative services to the District, beginning January 1, 2015. The Branson CVB was selected out of three proposals that were submitted this summer to provide effective and efficient marketing for the Tourism District. The CVB has been providing these services since 2006 when it was the successful bidder in the last nationwide request for proposals. That contract ends on December 31, 2014.

Kander Waives Business Startup Fees for Military Personnel
Secretary of State Jason Kander announced that the Startups for Soldiers Act is now in effect, which allows his office to waive business startup fees for military personnel. The Startups for Soldiers Act was passed by the General Assembly this year. To qualify, members of the Missouri National Guard and active duty military must reside in Missouri and show proof of active service. More information can be found on the Secretary of State’s website at www.sos.mo.gov/business/corporations/soldiers.asp.

Branson Preschool Receives Donation from Rotary Club
The Branson School District's Tuition Preschool was among six area programs selected to receive a share of the proceeds from the Branson-Hollister Rotary Club's annual fundraiser. The Club hosts the Flavor of the Ozarks event each summer with proceeds donated to area non-profit programs. The Tuition Preschool received $6,525 to provide scholarships for qualifying four-year-olds.

Janet Akers, president of the Branson-Hollister Rotary Club, is shown presenting a check to Doug Hayter, district superintendent.

Cox Branson Offers Free Infant Safety and CPR Class
Cox Medical Center Branson will offer an Infant Safety and CPR class this Tuesday from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. in the Education Room of the CoxHealth Outpatient Center. The class is open to any person who wants to learn more about infant safety and how to provide a safe environment for newborns. The class also covers choking and CPR, which is administered differently for a child less than 1 year old. The class is offered free of charge but registration is required. Call 348-8313.

August 28, 2014

Branson Officials Revise Proposed City-Wide Smoking Ordinance
After several weeks of public input, Branson officials have revised the proposed city-wide smoking ordinance, originally released August 12th. The revised text is available on the city’s website, BransonMO.gov. The changes to the ordinance are outlined in red within the text. Information on the website includes a summary of the public input received so far along with answers to frequently asked questions about the proposal. Branson Aldermen are expected to consider the ordinance on October 14th. Prior to that, the public is invited to comment to the board, following established procedures, during the two board meetings in September.

Taney County Partnership Hires Marketing and Programs Director
The Taney County Partnership has hired a new Marketing and Programs Director, effective September 2nd. Jennifer Langford moved to the Branson area from Nashville, Tennessee where she led and managed marketing for a variety of corporations and government interests. Her experience includes branding, promotions, media relations, social media and web design, trade shows and content development. The Taney County Partnership provides assistance to new and expanding businesses plus workforce development while advocating a business-friendly climate in the county.

Branson Elementary Watch Dogs Program Kicks Off September 15
The Watch Dogs program will begin its 8th year in Branson elementary schools. The program’s goal is to have at least one volunteer daily in each building during the school year. Duties include monitoring school entrances, assisting with loading and unloading school busses, reading to students, tutoring, lunch duty and recess duty. Volunteers must be fathers, grandfathers, uncles and other father figures who have students in grades PK-6 and who are over the age of 21. A kick-off event will be held September 15 at 6 p.m. in the High School Commons.

Legacy Gardens Provide Opportunities for Area Gardeners
The Legacy Gardens hosted by several churches in Stone County have provided opportunities for gardeners to share their produce, knowledge and joy of gardening. Legacy Gardens is a community-wide initiative championed by Ozark Mountain Legacy volunteers who are committed to bringing family and friends together to preserve the quality of life in Ozark Mountain Country. These small garden plots have been hosted this year by St. Andrew Presbyterian Church and St. Mark Episcopal Church in Kimberling City and Lifesong Church in Reeds Spring.
Photo: Mark Oehler (left) and Staci Haggard tend to their vegetables at the Legacy Gardens

C of O to Host American Red Cross Learn to Swim Program
Registration begins next Monday for this year’s Learn to Swim program, hosted by the College of the Ozarks Aquatics Department in conjunction with the American Red Cross. Swimming lessons will be available for students 6 months through age 15 in three different sessions, September 15-26. Participants will be divided into groups based on ability and each group will have its own instructor. For details on the cost of lessons or to register call 417-690-2567.

Missouri Starts Vote Recount of Right to Farm Amendment
The Missouri Secretary of State has started a recount of the vote on the Right to Farm Amendment that was narrowly approved by voters earlier this month. The measure passed by 2490 votes, .24% of the total votes cast. County clerks have until September 15th to complete the recount. Backers of the amendment say the recount is futile. The opposing group says the recount is a matter of keeping faith with those who worked hard on the grass roots effort.

August 27, 2014

St. Louis Man Dies after Boating Accident on Lake Taneycomo
A 56 year old man from St. Louis died Tuesday afternoon, resulting from a boating accident on Lake Taneycomo. Gary Bernhardt was a passenger in a Jon Boat that drifted and hit a fallen tree in the water. The boat capsized and the operator and another passenger were able to get to safety. Bernhardt was swept downstream and was not breathing when he was found. He was taken to Cox Health Branson where he succumbed to his injuries. The 4:15 p.m. accident occurred a quarter mile east of Table Rock Dam.

Branson Woman Pleads Guilty to Embezzling
A Branson woman has pled guilty in federal court to embezzling over $678,000 from the Andy Williams Theatre and not reporting a portion of the money on her federal income tax return. 59 year old Dawn Cleveringa was the controller at the theatre between 1992 and 2009. She admitted that she made unauthorized payments to herself from the theatre in 2007 and 2008. To disguise the theft, Cleveringa manipulated the accounting system of the theatre. She could receive up to three years in federal prison, a fine up to $250,000 and an order of restitution. A sentencing hearing will be scheduled.

Jobs For Life Program is Making a Difference
The Jesus Was Homeless ministry in Branson has issued a report on its Jobs For Life program. Local business leaders and professionals provide instruction and mentoring to help participants learn how to obtain and keep a job. Nine classes have been completed impacting 84 students. 48 have graduated from the program and 38 are still living in the area. 25 of the graduates are currently employed and 10 of those have been able to move from a motel to an apartment. The program was launched in May of 2013 and is supported by Corporate Business Sponsors and Donors.

Cox Branson Nurse Receives DAISY Award
Rebecca Derr-Blush, a nurse at Cox Branson, has received the DAISY award for providing extraordinary care for a patient and the patient’s family. EMS had brought a 3 year old patient to the hospital who was lethargic. The nurse determined that the child was reacting to a nighttime cold medicine and the mother had not intended to harm the child. Rebecca filed a form with the Division of Family Services to insure the patient would be safe in her mother’s care. The nurse then used her own money to purchase appropriate medicine for the child and took time to ensure that the mother understood how to properly treat a fever.

Local Car Enthusiast Receives 2014 Lee Iacocca Award
Jim Cox, local car enthusiast and owner of Branson Auction, has received the 2014 Lee Iacocca Award during an event held in Lexington, Kentucky. The award celebrates auto enthusiasts on multiple levels, including character, community involvement, integrity and the presentation of their vehicles. Branson Auction is considered to be a well-respected collector car auction house and has been filmed by Fox Sports Midwest and the Discovery Channel. The company hosts the spring and fall auto auctions at the Branson Convention Center.

Gibson Technical Center Announces Fall Courses
The Gibson Technical Center, based in Reeds Spring, has announced their fall lineup of evening courses for adult and community education. Classes include accounting fundamentals, web page creation, Spanish, sign language, photography, astronomy, auto body repair, heating and air conditioning, operating a small business, dance and fitness and others. Classes are held on location or sometimes online. For details call 417-272-3271 or visit www.ed2go.com/gibson.

August 26, 2014

Hollister Man's Body Recovered from Table Rock Lake
The body of a Hollister man who drowned over a month ago in Table Rock Lake was recovered on Monday. At about 3 a.m. on July 19, twenty-five year old Nicholas Young attempted to step from one boat to another and fell overboard. He swam back to one of the boats and attempted to climb aboard but slipped and fell back into the water and never resurfaced. His body has been released to Taney County Coroner Kevin Tweedy to verify the cause of death.

Hollister Man Injured in Motorcycle Accident
A Hollister man was injured in a motorcycle accident at about 12:30 Monday afternoon on Highway 76, a mile west of Kirbyville. The incident occurred when a Jeep Cherokee turned left in front of an oncoming motorcycle operated by 26 year old Christopher Ritchie. The motorcycle overturned when Ritchie attempted to avoid the other vehicle which left the scene of the accident. Ritchie was transported to Cox Branson for treatment of moderate injuries.

Cox Branson Welcomes its First Gastroenterologist
Cox Medical Center Branson welcomes its first gastroenterologist, Dr. Telciane Vesa, to Ferrell Duncan Clinic, located inside the CoxHealth Outpatient Center. Dr. Vesa will provide full-scope GI services, including EGDs and colonoscopies, as well as treatment of inflammatory bowel disease and other digestive diseases. Dr. Vesa focuses on the diagnosis and treatment of diseases involving the esophagus, stomach, small and large intestines, liver, gallbladder and pancreas. Dr. Vesa grew up in Brazil and credits missionaries who came to Brazil to provide medical care for originally sparking her interest in medicine.

WRVHS Family History Book Deadline Extended
The deadline for submitting stories and pictures for the upcoming Taney County History & Families book has been extended to October 15. The book, sponsored by the White River Valley Historical Society, will feature several hundred stories about Taney County history, as well as the past and present families of the area. The deadline for purchasing the book at the advance discounted rate has also been extended. For more information about submissions for the book or purchasing the book, Call 546-2210 or email info@wrvhs.org.

This photo of the Hicks farm in old Forsyth is just one of many that will be included in the White River Valley Historical Society's upcoming book: Taney County History & Families.

Missouri Employer Committee to Host Free Seminar
The Missouri Employer Committee will host a free seminar for area employers on Thursday, September 4 at The Keeter Center on the campus of College of the Ozarks. Thomas Pudlowski from the Missouri Division of Employment Security will present information about Worker Misclassification/1099 Fraud. A continental breakfast will also be provided. The registration deadline for the seminar is this Friday, August 29. Call 334-4156 or email kelly.fender@ded.mo.gov.

Reeds Spring to Participate in 100 Mile Yard Sale
The City of Reeds Spring will once again be participating in the 100 Mile Yard Sale this Saturday. The Board of Aldermen has waived the requirement for a Yard/Garage Sale Permit for the dates of August 29 through September 1. Reeds Spring residents interested in setting up at the Community Center or Lear Field Property should inquire at City Hall. Location will be determined on a first come, first served basis.

August 25, 2014

Kansas Woman Injured in Incident on Table Rock Lake
A woman from Leawood, Kansas was injured in a boating incident near Table Rock State Park at about 10:00 Sunday morning. The Water Patrol reported that 59 year old Carol Kelly was attempting to exit a pontoon boat to swim when she caught her finger on the gate. She was taken by ambulance to Cox Branson for treatment of moderate injuries.

Southern Stone County Firefighters Respond to Excavator/Brush Fire
The Southern Stone County Fire Protection District responded to a heavy equipment fire just before 6:00 this past Friday evening on Highway 13 near Golf Range Lane in Reeds Spring. First arriving units found a large excavator on fire with the fire extending into the brush. The brush fire was moving fast however crews were able to make a quick knockdown of its forward progress and contained the blaze to about 1/8 acre. The owner of the excavator reported he had just filled it with 75 gallons of fuel. The cause of the fire is suspected to be electrical in nature.

Branson Fire Corp Member Attends Homeland Security Training
Lawrence Hiles, a volunteer Branson Fire Corp member recently completed Homeland Security Training offered by the Center for Domestic Preparedness in Anniston, Alabama. Hiles completed the course entitled Technical Emergency Response Training for Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear, and Explosive Incidents. Training at the CDP campus is federally funded at no cost to state and local emergency responders. The Branson Fire Corp is a volunteer support team for Branson Fire & Rescue. Community members volunteer their time to train in support roles to help firefighters on major incidents.

Branson Aldermen to Hold Special Meeting on Highway 76 Project
The Branson Board of Aldermen will hold a special meeting this Wednesday for the Highway 76 Complete Streets Project. CFS Engineers will be presenting an update on the project including funding scenarios, recommendations for future improvements, communications plan with stakeholders and property owners, and next steps necessary to continue progress on the project. The meeting will be held Wednesday at 5:30 p.m. in the Fall Creek Room at the Branson Convention Center.

College of the Ozarks to Welcome Charles Krauthammer for Patriotic Convocation
College of the Ozarks will welcome Charles Krauthammer for a patriotic convocation on October 15 at 7 p.m. in Keeter Gymnasium. Krauthammer is a Pulitzer Prize Winner for Distinguished Commentary, a Washington Post columnist, a FOX News contributor and author of the #1 New York Times best-seller Things that Matter: Decades of Passions, Pastimes and Politics. His speech will include his analysis of current foreign and domestic issues. The event is free to the public however seating is limited and tickets are available on a first-come, first-serve basis. To reserve tickets, visit the College’s website at www.cofo.edu and fill out a request form.

C.A.R.E. Mobile Coming to Branson Methodist Church this Friday
Jesus Was Homeless is sponsoring a C.A.R.E. Mobile this Friday from 1-5 p.m. at the Methodist Church on Highway 76 in Branson. The C.A.R.E. Mobile is free for all children ages 2 months to 18 years and includes vaccinations, sick care and prevention services. To schedule an appointment, email ashley@jesuswashomeless.org or call 337-8103.

August 22, 2014

Branson Airport Announces Service to Chicago and Houston
Branson Airport has announced the continuation of nonstop, low fare service to Chicago and Houston starting at $99 each way. The new flights will run from October 25 – December 7, 2014 and from March 10 - May 27, 2015. The service from October through December will be provided by Branson AirExpress operated by Elite Airways. Buzz Airways will return to Branson on March 10 to provide service during the busy spring season. Buzz first came to Branson this summer to replace the flights that had been operated by Southwest Airlines.

Local Emergency Responders Recognized with Lifesaver Awards

Local emergency responders were recognized with Lifesaver Awards at the Taney County Ambulance District Board of Director's meeting this past week. Taney County Ambulance Paramedics and Branson Firefighters received Lifesaver Awards for their actions which resulted in the successful resuscitation of six patients in cardiac arrest over the past three months. The Taney County EMS System encourages everyone to learn Hands-Only CPR. For information about CPR training, call 334-6586 or e-mail education@tcad.net.

S of O Announces Promotions of Dolloff and McElvain
School of the Ozarks has announced a title change and promotion of Headmaster Brad Dolloff to Dean of the Lab School. Dolloff will continue to perform his duties at S of O and will also serve as a member of the College of the Ozarks President's Cabinet. Former S of O basketball coach and instructor Scott McElvain will now serve as the Assistant to the Dean of the Lab School. The School of the Ozarks department will continue to operate under The Keeter Center for Character Education.

Branson to Host Public Forum on Adoption of New Food Code
The City of Branson and Taney County Health Department have been working toward the adoption and implementation of the 2009 version of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Food Code. The public is invited to learn more at an open house forum that will be held this Tuesday from 9:00 a.m. to noon in the Fishbowl Conference Room at Branson City Hall. Staff from the Taney County Health Department will be on hand to answer questions about the 2009 Food Code.

Free Community Workshop for Job Seekers Set for this Tuesday
A free community workshop for job seekers is scheduled for this Tuesday from 6-7:30 p.m. The workshop will be held in the Community Tech Center at Faith Community Health, located at 610 South 6th St. in Branson. The workshop is being presented by the Caring People & Oxford HealthCare. Refreshments and child care will be provided. For more information or to RSVP, call 334-0131.

Grant to Fund Pre-Kindergarten Facility in Chadwick
The Missouri Department of Economic Development has authorized a competitive funding award of $937,500 for the nonprofit organization Community Foundation of the Ozarks. The funding will assist the Chadwick School District in constructing a new 5,000 square foot pre-kindergarten facility that will serve 45 children and allow the district to offer an early childhood education program for the first time. The grant is part of the Missouri Start Smart program to expand access to early childhood education opportunities throughout the state.

August 21, 2014

Corbin to Serve as VP of National Theatre Organization
Branson High School drama instructor Debbie Corbin has been elected to serve as vice president of the Educational Theatre Association. She was elected by a vote of the members during their national conference held in July. She will serve for two years starting next August, then serve two more years as president of the Association. Corbin has taught for 31 years and begins her 27th year at Branson High School. The Educational Theatre Association was organized in 1929.

Branson Convention Center Revenue Increases Under New Management
Under the new management company, SMG, the Branson Convention Center has shown an increase in revenue and a decrease in expenses. The Branson Daily Independent reported that the convention center showed a profit of $166,146 in the second quarter of this year. That’s up from $77,292 profit during the same period last year, under the previous management company. Through careful monitoring of utilities and other cost saving efforts, expenses were cut $194,463 between April and June.

Employees of Empire Electric Set New Safety Record
Employees of the Empire District Electric Company have set a new safety record. For the first time in the company’s history Empire employees have worked two million hours without a lost-time injury. In recognition of the milestone, this past Tuesday, Empire’s team safety leaders were presented with a Regional Safety Award by the Safety Council of the Ozarks. Empire serves 217,000 customers in Missouri, Arkansas, Kansas and Oklahoma.

Large Crop of Marijuana Plants Located in Boone County
While performing a routine drug eradication ground inspection by helicopter, officials with the Arkansas National Guard discovered a large crop of marijuana plants. KY3 News reported that up to 70,000 plants were located in a remote area of Boone County, Arkansas with a value of up to $70 million. Employees from several agencies assisted in removing the plants. Authorities have obtained a search warrant for the house on the property and charges will be filed on those responsible for the marijuana plants.

Branson School District Continues Collaboration Fridays
The Branson School District starts the 8th year of Collaboration Fridays this week. The weekly hour without students provides teachers an opportunity to work together between buildings and content areas to benefit all students. These meetings enable teachers to review the needs of students and focus on individual learning practices. Officials have determined that joint collaboration among teachers, students and parents is an effective tool to increase academic achievement. Students will be dismissed one hour early each Friday starting this Friday.

Christy Sutherland to Open this Year’s Gospel Sing-Off
Award winning guest star Christy Sutherland of Nashville will open this year’s Gospel Sing-Off, the annual major fundraiser for Christian Action Ministries. Christy was honored in 2009 with the Christian Music Hall of Fame Visionary Award for Southern Gospel Female Vocalist of the year. In 2010 she received the Diamond Award for Christian Country Female Vocalist of the Year. Ten gospel singing finalists will compete before celebrity judges during the sing-off, to be held Sunday August 31 at 2 p.m. at the Sight and Sound Theatre in Branson. Tickets are available at Sight and Sound or at the Branson Tourism Center.

August 20, 2014

Galena School Bus Driver Injured Tuesday Morning
The driver of a Galena school bus was injured in a one-vehicle accident Tuesday morning. There were no students on the bus when the mishap occurred. 49 year old Joyce Martin of Galena was driving the bus when it ran off the right side of the road. She overcorrected several times before the bus ran off the left side of the road and down an embankment where it hit a tree. Martin was taken to Cox Health Branson where she was treated for moderate injuries. The bus was totaled. The 7:30 a.m. accident occurred on Highway 176, two miles east of Galena.

Branson Aldermen Approve Several Bills
Branson Aldermen have approved the first reading of a bill approving an Intergovernmental Agreement between the city and the Branson Housing Authority. The agreement provides funding for the maintenance of the Oak Manor facility. The board also approved a supplemental service contract to an agreement with Black and Veatch. This contract is for preliminary design work for the future expansion of the Cooper Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant. Aldermen approved a resolution in support of a senior housing apartment development known as Summit Ridge Residences. The project is not developed or operated by the city, but the resolution shows support for the construction of the needed housing units.

Annual Taney County Land Sale Set for Next Monday
Property in Taney County on which taxes have not been paid will go up for sale next Monday. Over 1,000 parcels are currently listed for the Taney County Annual Land Sale but the number is updated daily as the property taxes are paid. The list is available at TaneyCounty.org on the Collector page. Interested persons may click on the parcel number in green, and be linked to the county GIS page showing complete information and location of the property. Residents with questions may call the Taney County Collector’s Office.

Branson Balloon Festival Adds Tandem Skydiving this Year
This year’s Branson Balloon Festival will include a new feature, tandem skydiving. A special skydiving crew from Ohio will facilitate the event. Individuals will be strapped to a skydiving instructor and the two of them will jump from a plane flying 10,000 feet high. The instructor will control the jumping and the landing. The participant is just there for the ride. Individuals must be at least 18 years old and weigh less than 250 pounds. The charge for this tandem skydiving adventure is $250 per person. The balloon festival will take place this Friday through Sunday at the Branson RecPlex.

Jesus Was Homeless Launches Jobs for Life in Stone County
The Jesus Was Homeless ministry has formed a partnership with the Stone County Jobs For Life Coalition. Stone County Jobs for Life will provide job training and support for the working poor by giving them the skills to become self-sufficient. Participants are matched with mentors from the business community to provide personal coaching and encouragement. Students learn to develop a vocational plan, how to prepare a resume, effective interviewing skills and other topics. The training program consists of 16 sessions to be completed in 8 weeks. For more information contact Carolyn at 417-272-5210.

C of O to Celebrate National Peach Month with Afternoon Tea
The process of making ice cream at the College of the Ozarks starts before the sun rises when students milk 60 cows. The milk is collected, pasteurized, bottled and delivered to the Keeter Center where other students turn the cream into Nettie Marie’s Homemade Ice Cream. People attending this Saturday’s Afternoon Tea at The Keeter Center can see how the ice cream is made and enjoy some, along with tea sandwiches and sweet breads. The event from 1-3 p.m. is to celebrate National Peach Month. Tickets are $25 each. Reservations are required by calling 417-690-2122.

August 19, 2014

Tennessee Man Killed in Motor Scooter Accident Near Branson
A man from Big Sandy, Tennessee was fatally injured in a motor scooter accident at about 11:00 Monday night on Highway 65, one mile north of Branson. A motor scooter operated by 29 year old Joshua Wood was either traveling at a slow rate or stopped in the roadway when it was struck by a Jeep Cherokee driven by 37 year old Christopher Behn of Kirbyville. Wood was pronounced dead at the scene and taken to Snapp Bearden Funeral Home in Branson.

Reeds Spring Investigating Break-in at Water Treatment Facility
The City of Reeds Spring is investigating an apparent break-in at the City’s Waste Water Treatment facility this past weekend. The City has determined that nothing is missing or out of place, however the perpetrator did cut a hole in the chain link fence. The City is planning to hire a company to repair the fence and will also have Empire Electric install additional security lighting in the area. Anyone with information about the break-in is asked to call the Reeds Spring Police Department or the Stone County Sheriff's Department.

S of O's Lower School Begins Inaugural Year this Thursday
The process of adding grades kindergarten through sixth grade to School of the Ozarks is now completed. The new S. Truett Cathy Lower School, named in honor of the Chick-fil-A® founder and longtime friend of the College, will provide a classical, Christian education to 139 students its first year, beginning this Thursday. The Lower School mirrors the same mission and values of the School of the Ozarks High School, now in its third year, and the College of the Ozarks. Families do not pay a tuition fee, but students have an age-appropriate chore assignment. The Lower School meets in the renovated upper floor of the C of O Agricultural Center.
Pictured: One of the new school rooms at S. Truett Cathy Lower School

CAM Announces Celebrity Judges for Gospel Sing-Off
Christian Action Ministries has announced the local celebrity judges for the 6th Annual Gospel Sing-Off fundraiser, scheduled for Sunday, August 31 at 2 p.m. at Sight & Sound Theatre in Branson. The judges include Joshua Clark from Branson Tri-Lakes News, Sarah Fair of The Fair Family Show, entertainer George Dyer, Jak Knudsen of the group SIX, Ben Dutton from The Duttons Show, and guitarist Bogie Bohinc. Ten finalists will compete before the judges and a live audience for cash prizes and a chance to perform at Silver Dollar City. For tickets or more information, call 1-800-377-1277 or visit the Sight & Sound Theatre box office.

Branson Bank Employees Donate $2,500 to Branson Schools
Branson Bank presented a check in the amount of $2,500 to Branson Schools on Monday. After a year of raising money internally, Branson Bank employees selected the Branson Schools Discretionary Fund to be the recipients of Branson Bank’s annual Casual For A Cause donation. The funds will be used to provide for school supplies, hygiene items and other needs of Branson students.

Pictured from left: Lyndi Carnelison - Marketing Operations Manager at Branson Bank, Dr. Doug Hayter – Superintendent at Branson Schools, Bill Jones – President of Branson Bank, Matthew Dean – Principal at Buchanan Intermediate, Halley Fleming – Director of Marketing at Branson Bank, and Dan Boone – Branson School Board Member and Director at Branson Bank.

SDC's Southern Gospel Picnic Begins this Friday
Silver Dollar City’s annual Southern Gospel Picnic festival begins this Friday and runs through September 1. The event showcases hundreds of Southern Gospel performers as well as southern-style cuisine. Along with the daytime performances throughout the park, Echo Hollow Amphitheater hosts Southern Gospel Nights Concerts each night at park closing. For tickets, schedules or more information, visit SilverDollarCity.com.

August 18, 2014

Chadwick Family Injured in Two Vehicle Accident on Hwy 160
A family from Chadwick was injured in a two vehicle accident at about 11:45 Saturday morning on Highway 160, a mile and a half north of Forsyth. A car driven by 37 year old Joseph Wiles was slowing to turn into a private driveway when it was struck in the rear by a pickup driven by 24 year old Christopher Goodman of Forsyth. Wiles along with his wife Jodee and three of their children ages 19, 12 and 8, suffered minor to moderate injuries and were all taken to Cox South Hospital in Springfield for treatment.

Texas Woman Injured in Head-On Collision Near Ridgedale
A woman from Tomball, Texas was injured in a head-on collision just before 8:00 Saturday morning on Highway 86 near Ridgedale. An SUV driven by 34 year old Eric Dobbins of Branson crossed the center line and struck an oncoming SUV driven by 28 year old Ashley Harris. Harris was transported to Cox Branson for treatment of minor injuries.

Branson Aldermen Approve Change to Excessive False Alarm Calls
Branson Aldermen have approved the first reading of a bill amending the Branson Municipal Code relating to reimbursement for excessive false fire alarm calls. Branson Police and Fire responded to 1,569 false alarm calls in 2013. Current code allows for five false alarms, after which the business or residence will be billed for the City’s costs to respond to the calls. The amendment reduces the number of allowable false alarms to three. The fine for four or more false alarms will remain unchanged at $100.

Local Junior Firefighter Honored at Missouri State Fair
The Southern Stone County Fire Protection District announced that one of their personnel was honored with an award at the Missouri State Fair this past Saturday. Braden LeMaster was presented with the "Junior Firefighter of the Year" award during the State Fair’s Fire Department Personnel Awards ceremony. Braden is an Explorer at Post 817 assigned to Southern Stone County’s Fire Station 11.

Branson Tree Board Announces June and July Beautification Awards
The Branson Tree Board has announced the June and July recipients of the Beautification Award which recognizes the excellent use of landscaping by local business. The June Beautification Award went to the Presley’s Theater on W. Highway 76 and the July recipient was Whispering Hills Hotel on Shepherd of the Hills Expressway. The awards are presented monthly from April through October. For more information or to nominate a business, call 337-8544.

Top photo from left: Tim Johnson, Ron Cox, Steve Presley, Gary Presley, Mike Brittain and from the Branson Tree Board, Vice-Chairman Clark Harris. Bottom photo from left: Noah Kleypas, Carolon, Janelle and Keith Schaum

4th Annual Branson Balloon Festival Set for this Weekend
The 4th annual Branson Balloon Festival will be held at the Branson RecPlex this Friday through Sunday. The Balloon Festival features 20 hot air balloons from 7 different states, skydiving, powered parachutes, helicopter rides, entertainment, food vendors and more. Hot air balloon flights take place each morning at sunrise and tethered balloon rides are offered Friday and Saturday evenings. Admission and parking are free. For complete details, visit BransonBalloonFestival.com.

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