Word for Life --------------------------------------------------- The name of the Lord is a fortified tower; the righteous run to it and are safe.
--------------------------------------------------- Proverbs 18:10
Businesses Reminded to Maintain Minimum Heat in Buildings Sub-freezing temperatures are predicted for the next several days. The Branson Fire Department reminds commercial business owners to maintain minimum heat throughout their buildings which are protected by an automatic fire sprinkler system, in order to keep those systems from freezing. Business owners are also advised to inspect attic areas for exposed water pipes and to maintain at least 45-50 degrees in all areas of the building. For more information about fire sprinkler systems and their maintenance, contact the Branson Fire Department at 417-243-2790.
Hollister Man Injured in One Vehicle Rollover A Hollister man was one of two people injured in a one car accident in Vernon County early Wednesday afternoon. 26 year old Clinton Roberts received moderate injuries when the car he was driving ran off the road and overturned. Also injured was 25 year old passenger Amanda Brown of Nevada. Both were taken by ambulance to Nevada Regional Hospital. The 1:25 p.m. accident occurred on Route K, 8 miles east of Nevada.
Branson Aldermen Approve Several Contracts and Bid Awards Branson Aldermen approved several contracts and bid awards during their last regular meeting. The board approved the renewal of a contract with Kimberling City Tire Company for tires, tubes and services for the fleet of City vehicles. They approved the renewal of the contract with Corporate Business Systems pertaining to managed print services. They accepted the proposal of Pennington Seed of Springfield for agricultural supplies for the City’s Parks and Recreation Department. And they accepted the proposal of Cargill, Incorporated pertaining to road de-icing salt.
Former POW to Speak at C of O College of the Ozarks will host a former Prisoner of War for a special convocation. Retired Colonel Lee Ellis will share his experience at the infamous Camp Hanoi Hilton and the leadership lessons that helped him and his comrades return home with honor. Ellis served as an Air Force fighter pilot, flying 53 combat missions over North Vietnam. In 1967 his jet was shot down and he was held as a POW for over five years in the same camp where Senator John McCain was imprisoned. The convocation will be held December 11 at 7 p.m. in Jones Auditorium and is open to the public. Photo: Col Ellis greets C of O students
Home for the Holidays Pet Adoption and Fostering Event In an effort to reduce the number of animals that will be homeless for the holidays, the Taney County Animal Control Shelter is offering a reduced adoption fee now through December 31. The reduced fee for a dog or a cat is $40 which includes spay/neutering, routine vaccinations, microchip and a heartworm test for adult dogs. Residents can also provide a temporary home for pets over the holidays through the shelter’s foster home program. The shelter is also seeking donations of blankets, towels, treats and toys for dogs and cats. For more information call 417-332-0172.
Missouri's Net General Revenue Collections Up 1% for November The Missouri State Budget Director has released the state’s general revenue report for November. Linda Luebbering reported a 2.2% increase in net general revenue collections for the fiscal year-to-date, and a 1% increase for November, compared to November 2012. Sales and Use Tax collections decreased 3.1% for November but increased 2.9% for the year. Corporate income and franchise tax collections increased 134.3% for the month and 31.9% year-to-date.
December 4, 2013
National Weather Service Predicting Winter Storm Mix The National Weather Service is predicting a winter storm mix of precipitation for the local area, starting late Thursday morning or early afternoon. Temperatures are expected to remain near freezing on Thursday, then drop lower on Friday and Saturday. A mix of freezing rain and snow is expected Thursday night and Friday. Some accumulation is likely. MoDOT reminds drivers to allow extra travel time, drive slowly, steer and brake gently and stay back from snowplows. For current road conditions, MoDOT has a free app, available from the iPhone and Android app stores, by searching MoDOT.
Two from Branson Injured in Two Vehicle Collision Just minor injuries for both drivers in a two vehicle accident Tuesday morning. A GMC truck driven by 17 year old Robert Kirkland of Branson crossed the road centerline and hit a Dodge Avenger driven by 41 year old Angela Germeyer, also of Branson. Both drivers were taken to CoxHealth Branson for treatment. The accident just before 7 a.m. occurred on Buchanan Road, east of Missouri 248.
Four from Theodosia Injured in One Vehicle Rollover A driver and her three passengers, all from Theodosia, received minor to moderate injuries in a one vehicle accident Tuesday afternoon. A GMC Jimmy driven by 20 year old Katie Loper travelled partly off the roadway. Loper overcorrected, causing the vehicle to overturn on the road. Also injured were 11 year old Dustin Sprague, 40 year old Deana Sprague and 17 year old Heather Hughes. The 4:15 p.m. accident occurred on Missouri 181, north of Gainesville.
Diamond City Man Arrested on Rape Charges Twenty-six year old David Carrow of Diamond City, Arkansas has been arrested and charged with rape, first degree terroristic threatening third degree battery. He allegedly is responsible for the rape of a 22 year old Diamond City woman last Friday as well as threatening and beating a male member of her household the same evening. Carrow fled from the scene but was found by Boone County deputies and Diamond City police officers in nearby woods. He is being held in the Boone County Jail on a $100,000 bond.
C of O Adds Encore Performance of "Four-Star Country Boy" Due to the overwhelming positive response to the College of the Ozarks original play "Four-Star Country Boy", the College has scheduled an additional presentation of the production. The extra showing will be on December 14 at 2 p.m. The play depicts the story of School of the Ozarks alumnus General Terrence Dake from his humble beginnings to his position of Assistant Commandant of the United States Marine Corps. The play is produced and performed by C of O students. The play is presented in the Royal Oak Forum of The Keeter Center and there is no charge to attend. Photo: Scene from the play depicting a Huey Helicopter in Vietnam
Missouri Considering Tax Incentives to Bring Boeing to State The Missouri Senate and House are considering a proposal to give tax incentives to the Boeing company if they bring the production of its 777X airliner to north St. Louis County. A cost-benefit analysis released by the governor’s office shows the incentives could add up to $1.7 billion dollars over 23 years but generate up to $2.9 billion in tax revenue over the same period. St. Louis County executive Joe Reagan believes the entire state would benefit from the new plant. Last year, Boeing conducted business with over 700 Missouri-based vendors supporting an estimated 30,000 direct and indirect Missouri jobs. Boeing wants Missouri’s best offer by next Tuesday.
December 3, 2013
C of O Proceeds with Plans to Add Grades K-8 to School of the Ozarks College of the Ozarks announced that it is proceeding with plans to add kindergarten through eighth grades to School of the Ozarks based on positive results from a feasibility study. Thus far, the College has gathered data from 414 area families through a survey, reviewed options for a temporary location, developed a preliminary budget, and researched other K-8 schools. During its fall meeting, C of O’s Board of Trustees authorized the addition of the lower grades to School of the Ozarks and entrusted the implementation plan to the administration. As the next step, the College immediately will seek to hire a curriculum development director/lead teacher for the Lower School. Photo: Each morning School of the Ozarks students begin their day at Patriots Plaza where they sing a patriotic hymn and pledge allegiance to the flag.
Koster Advises Mizzou Fans to Beware of Counterfeit Tickets With many Missourians attempting to buy tickets to this Saturday's SEC Football Championship game in Atlanta, Attorney General Chris Koster is advising Mizzou fans to be aware of the potential for scams and counterfeit tickets. Koster warned that scammers may make multiple copies of the same printed-out ticket or design tickets that look real to sell to unsuspecting fans. Koster recommends that fans stick with trusted secondary market vendors, such as StubHub and Ticketmaster and be wary of paying cash for tickets.
Ozarks Meat Processor Recalls Products for Possible E. coli A meat processor in the Ozarks is voluntarily recalling beef and pork products possibly contaminated with E. coli. Positive results for E. coli were found during routine testing at Cloud's Meats, Inc. in Carthage. Recalled items include 1052 pounds of ground beef, 158 pounds of pork sausage, 152 pounds of ground pork, and 96 pounds of Tenderized Minute Steak and Tenderized Round Steak. The recalled products are marked with the code "318" and labeled with Clouds Meats Inc. or Cloud's Smoked Meats. Anyone who may have these products should return any unused portion to the business at 2013 S. Paradise Lane in Carthage.
Reeds Spring Man Charged with First Degree Sodomy The Stone County Sheriff’s Department reported that 48 year old William Timothy Kelly of Reeds Spring has been arrested and charged with two counts of first degree sodomy. On November 27, the Sheriff’s Department received notification that two young girls, ages 6 and 7, had been touched inappropriately by Kelly. Detectives discovered that he was a registered sex offender and arrested him at his residence on Holts Wood Road. During an interview, Kelly admitted to what was alleged against him. His was being held in the Stone County Jail on $1,000,000 bond.
Branson Man Charged with Possession of Child Pornography Sixty-eight year old Archie Gomez of Branson was charged with possession of child pornography this past Sunday. Gomez was stopped during a sobriety check point Saturday night near the Dewey Short Visitors Center on Hwy 265. Stone County Deputies asked permission to search his vehicle and located photographs which were determined to be child pornography. Gomez was being held in the Stone County Jail on $50,000 bond.
C of O Theatre Department to Present “The Game’s Afoot” The Theatre Department at College of the Ozarks will present “The Game’s Afoot” on December 6, 7, and 9 at 7:30 p.m., as well as December 8 at 2:30 p.m. The play is a humorous murder mystery set in a Connecticut castle in 1936. Adult Tickets are $10, senior citizens and non-C of O students are $8 and children are $6. To make reservations, call the Theatre Department at (417) 690-2626.
December 2, 2013
Branson Area Realtor Fatally Shot at Cox South Hospital A longtime realtor in the Branson area, 79 year old Booker Cox II, was fatally injured in a shooting incident at Cox South Hospital in Springfield Saturday night. His wife, 69 year old Carolyn Cox, also suffered gunshot wounds and is being treated. Booker was a patient at the hospital and his wife was visiting him during the time of the shooting on the hospital’s ninth floor. The shooting was isolated to one room and the investigation is ongoing. According to his bio on the Foggy River Realty website, Booker had over 30 years of experience as a Licensed Realtor in Missouri and Arkansas. One of his sons, Booker Cox III, also works for Foggy River Realty.
Branson Pattern Works Destroyed by Fire Sunday Afternoon Branson Pattern Works, a business on Historic Highway 165 near Hollister, was destroyed by fire Sunday afternoon. The Western Taney County Fire District was called to the fire just before 1 p.m. and attempted an aggressive interior attack but were pushed back by intense heat and zero visibility. A short time later, the building was full of flames and firefighters were forced to extinguish the fire from the exterior of the building. No one was inside the building at the time of the fire. 52 firefighters from four fire departments were called to the fire including Western Taney County, College of the Ozarks, Branson, and Central Taney County. Due to the extent of the damage, the cause of the fire was ruled undetermined however no suspicious activity is suspected. The business which contained machining equipment was a total loss. Initial estimates for the fire loss was around $2 million.
Branson Woman Injured in One Vehicle Accident Near Osceola A Branson woman was injured in a one vehicle accident at about 2:30 Sunday afternoon on Highway 13, a half mile north of Osceola in St. Clair County. 49 year old Teri Lorenz attempted to avoid a slower moving vehicle causing the Chevy Tahoe she was driving to slide off the right side of the roadway, strike a sign and overturn. Lorenz suffered minor injuries and was taken to an Osceola hospital for treatment.
Over 700 Served at Jesus Was Homeless 6th Annual Thanksgiving Dinner Jesus Was Homeless continued a tradition of serving others on Thanksgiving night with the 6th Annual Love Your Neighbors Thanksgiving Day Dinner. Over 700 people in need were served by more than 300 volunteers, furthering the organization's mission to share hope, love and compassion with those that are hungry, homeless and hurting. The event also included a free thrift store full of winter coats, toiletry items and other essentials.
C of O Jazz Band, Concert Band and Handbell Choir to Hold Concerts The College of the Ozarks Jazz Band will perform a free Christmas concert this Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. in the Royal Oak Forum of The Keeter Center. The C of O Jazz Band will perform many favorite Christmas classics in a variety of styles. Also C of O’s Concert Band and Handbell Choir will hold their 4th Annual Christmas Concert in the Royal Oak Forum of The Keeter Center this Friday at 7 p.m. That concert is also free and open to the public.
Buffalo Wild Wings Restaurant Coming to Branson Landing Branson Landing announced that the restaurant chain Buffalo Wild Wings will be opening soon in the Neighborhood District of the Landing. Buffalo Wild Wings will be located next to Famous Dave’s BBQ in the former location of Macaroni Grill. Construction is currently underway with an opening planned this spring.
November 29, 2013
Working Smoke Detector Minimizes Damage in Branson House Fire The Branson Fire Department responded to a report of a residential structure fire in the 100 block of Woodridge Drive shortly before 4:00 early Thursday morning. Working smoke detectors in the home notified the occupants of the smoke filled residence. Both individuals crawled low and exited the home at the front door with two dogs. Crews were able to mitigate the situation by utilizing fire extinguishers and by removing a small portion of the living room wood floor. There were no injuries, and crews were on scene for about 2 hours. The cause of the fire is still under investigation. The Fire Department reminds everyone to take the time to inspect and clean fireplaces frequently, test smoke detectors and have two ways to exit your home.
Arkansas Authorities Arrest Six in Narcotics Investigations The Boone County Sheriff’s Office, Harrison Police Department and 14th Judicial District Drug Task Force, recently conducted several Narcotics investigations netting six arrests. Three people from Harrison were arrested for a meth lab at a residence on South Kelly Street in Harrison. They were 41 year old James Sheppard, 45 year old Tracy Sheppard and 27 year old Felicia Anderson. 33 year old Kevin Fleetwood of Harrison was arrested for manufacturing meth at a residence on Wilkinson Loop. 25 year old Britany Fleetwood has not yet been located and is being sought for the same charges. And two people were arrested for growing indoor marijuana plants at a residence on Blackbear Lane in Lead Hill. They were 35 year old Martin Zobus and 25 year old Felisha Besse.
Branson Aldermen Approve First Reading of Several Contracts Branson Aldermen have approved the first reading of a contract renewal with the Taney County Health Department. The City contracts with the Health Department to conduct various inspections within the city limits, such as restaurants, hotels and swimming pools. The Board approved the first reading of a contract with Broyles, Inc. for fuel tank removal and replacement at the two City gas stations. The majority of this work will be covered under the City’s insurance. And Aldermen passed the first reading of a bill approving a name change on the contract for the Health Center at the Branson RecPlex. All name references to Skaggs Regional Medical Center will be changed to Cox Medical Center Branson.
Third Attempt at Roundabout Road Work to Start Monday Road work will be attempted for the third time now on the Roundabout at Branson Landing Boulevard. The past two attempts have been cancelled due to weather conditions and other factors. The contractor plans to do the work this Monday through Wednesday, weather permitting. The work includes installing new asphalt on the inside driving lane of the Roundabout. The inside lane of the roundabout will be closed to traffic which may result in slight delays by drivers through the construction zone. The public is urged to be aware of traffic cones and construction workers.
Branson to Hold Another “Responsible Alcohol Selling” Class The Branson Finance Department will be holding another “Responsible Alcohol Selling” class this Tuesday, 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 session begins at 9:30 a.m. in the Council Chambers of Branson City Hall. The Community Partnership of the Ozarks will be conducting the liquor training, which lasts about 1½ hours. The cost is $5 per person, payable at the time of the training. Servers and cashiers from neighboring communities are also welcome to attend. For more information, call 417-337-8575.
November 28, 2013
Car Fire Spreads to Garage at Home on Skyview Drive Three local fire departments worked to extinguish a car fire that spread to a garage about 8:30 Wednesday morning. Firefighters took 20 minutes to control the fire at 1392 Skyview Drive in Branson. Crews stopped the fire as it was entering the attached house. The garage received heavy fire, smoke and water damage and the house received water and smoke damage. A teenage daughter of the owners was home at the time but escaped without injuries. Western Taney County Fire was assisted by the Branson Fire Department and Stone County firefighters.
Branson Aldermen Approve Phase III of The Preserve Branson Aldermen approved the first reading of a bill for a planned development amendment to The Preserve, which is located at 164 Preserve Drive, just off Green Mountain Drive. This amendment will allow for Phase III to build 31 two-family duplex structures in addition to the apartment-style structures already constructed. The Phase III plan also includes additional trails in the area, including a new trailhead for public use. The board also approved amendments to the City’s human resources manual. Changes involved sick leave payout, worker’s compensation, and employee travel expenses.
CoxHealth to Host Insurance Marketplace Enrollment Event December 15th is the deadline for enrollment in a health insurance plan for 2014 for people that will not have health insurance or access to insurance through an employer. In 2014, most Americans will be required to have health insurance or pay a penalty. Certified Application Counselors from CoxHealth will be in Stone County December 14th to help residents learn about the health insurance marketplace and even sign up for coverage. The information and enrollment event will be held from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Best Western Branson Inn and Conference Center on Highway 76. For details, call 417-269-2945. People who are members of a Christian health-cost sharing ministry currently are exempt from needing health insurance or paying the penalty.
Legacy Youth Institute Students Learn about Patriotism The Legacy Youth Institute held its third session last week. The session was titled "Championing Flag" and students from Taney and Stone Counties learned the value of patriotism and service to the country. Students were encouraged to consider youth initiatives that could more deeply instill this value in other area youth. Presentations were given by Branson Fire Chief Ted Martin, Branson Police Captain Steve Lisby and Branson Mayor Raeanne Presley. The students then had the opportunity to interact with veterans. The next session of the Legacy Youth Institute will be held December 4th and will focus on Champion Friends.
Boone County Sheriff's Department Conducting Angel Tree Program Again this year, the Boone County Arkansas Sheriff's Department is working to help their county’s rural young people receive gifts for Christmas. The Department’s Angel Tree has names of teenagers and their siblings, names obtained from the school counselor at each rural school district. Children are identified by number. Residents may pick up a number and purchase a gift from the child’s wish list. The gifts are then returned to the Sheriff’s Department at 5800 Law Drive for deputies to deliver in time for Christmas.
Missouri Home Prices Up for Year but Sales Down in October New numbers on Missouri home sales indicate an improving economy but some of the numbers are mixed. Home sale prices are up 10% in the last year to an average of $156,810. The number of days a house is on the market before selling has decreased from 134 a year ago to 124 last month. But overall home sales were nearly 3% lower in October, compared to a year ago, the first month in two years that sales did not show an increase.
November 27, 2013
Branson Aldermen Approve Amendments to 2013 Budget Branson Aldermen approved the first reading of three bills approving amendments to the current 2013 budget. The Tourism Fund was amended to allow payment from the fund to the Branson Airport. Also, prior payments to the airport will be reimbursed to the General Fund from the Tourism Fund. Various other funds were amended to accommodate recent projects such as insurance and maintenance on the Factory Merchants Mall, insurance and tornado repair of the old high school building, fuel expenses, legal expenses and the sports market feasibility study.
Branson Aldermen Meet with Engineers to Discuss Hwy 76 Project Branson Aldermen held a special meeting last week with members of the design team of CFS Engineering to discuss the $80 million project to modernize a portion of Highway 76 known as the strip. One item discussed was the possibility of the city taking ownership of the 5 mile portion of the highway in exchange for additional funding from the Missouri Department of Transportation. Other funding options for the project were also discussed. A public hearing is planned for January when residents can see maps and graphs regarding the project and have the opportunity to ask questions.
Silver Dollar City to Replace KidsFest with Star Spangled Summer Silver Dollar City’s summer festival KidsFest will be replaced next year with a new festival, Star Spangled Summer. The new festival which will still be child and family oriented, will run from June 7th to July 20th and feature activities and games for kids. A Celebrate America theme with an emphasis on red, white and blue will be evident through all the other festivals next year at SDC. The effort is designed to promote patriotism and the positive aspects of our country.
Forsyth Reverses Decision to Cease Adding Fluoride to Water The Forsyth Board of Aldermen has reversed an earlier decision and will continue adding fluoride to the City’s water system. Fluoride has been used in Forsyth’s water since 1988 when a City ordinance was passed requiring its use. Aldermen had considered removing fluoride because of the requests of some residents and as a cost saving measure. Recently the Taney County Health Department passed a resolution reaffirming its support of water fluoridation and distributed detailed information about the importance and safety of fluoride in the water.
White River Electric Customers Target of Phone Scam A new telephone scam is targeting members of the White River Valley Electric Cooperative. Someone claiming to be a White River employee is calling customers and attempting to force the person to make a utility bill payment by phone. The scammers refer to themselves as part of the utility’s "disconnect team" and are persistent when asking for credit card information. People receiving a call like that should not give out sensitive information, should hang up the phone and call White River directly to report the call. The Sheriff’s Department has been alerted regarding the scam.
Boys and Girls Club Transfers Ownership of Thrift Store to Ministry The Boys and Girls Club of the Ozarks has transferred ownership of its thrift store, including inventory, to Generation Next. The club has operated its store on Veterans Boulevard in downtown Branson for the past 4 years. Generation Next is a ministry that started and operates a school and orphanage in Kenya. It was founded by Riley Banks, currently a student at Branson High School. The Boys and Girls Club does not plan to open another thrift store, but will pursue other community fundraising efforts.
November 26, 2013
C of O Collects a Record 7,210 Operation Christmas Child Shoeboxes College of the Ozarks wrapped up its collection of Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes on Monday. The College collected a record breaking 7,210 shoeboxes from the community this year. The gift filled shoeboxes will be distributed by Samaritan’s Purse to children living in poverty-stricken or war-torn countries worldwide. Since 1993, more than 100,000 million shoebox gifts have been collected for boys and girls in over 130 countries. It’s not too late to participate, you can build your own shoebox online at SamaritansPurse.org.
Photo by Linda LeNeve: C of O students celebrate after filling the collection truck almost completely full
Jesus Was Homeless to Host 6th Annual "Love Your Neighbors" Thanksgiving Day Dinner Jesus Was Homeless will host its 6th Annual "Love Your Neighbors" free Thanksgiving Day Dinner this Thursday at Our Lady of the Lake Catholic Church, 203 Vaughn Road in Branson. The doors will open at 5:30 p.m. and the dinner will be served from 6-8 p.m. Bryan Stallings, co-founder of Jesus Was Homeless, said that they really try to honor and serve the guests that come by having a host seat them and a server take their order. The dinner is open to the public but is specifically reaching out to those who are alone on Thanksgiving, those living in weekly and extended stay motels, and those that are homeless. There will also be a free thrift store offering coats, hats, gloves, socks and toiletry items. Transportation will be provided to and from area motels and those needing a ride may call 417-335-9915 the day of the event. For more information about the dinner, to donate or volunteer, visit JesusWasHomeless.org.
Terry Bradshaw Generates Record Fundraiser for Boys & Girls Club of the Ozarks Last Thursday’s Thanks4Giving Gala was a historic event benefitting the Boys & Girls Club of the Ozarks. The night’s featured keynote speaker was Football Hall of Fame quarterback, Terry Bradshaw who gave an inspirational speech entitled, “Why Not Your Best?” The fundraising event generated a record $290,000 for the Boys & Girls Club of the Ozarks. The proceeds from the event will go toward operational costs for the programs in Branson, Forsyth, and Reeds Spring.
Forsyth Man Injured in One Car Crash A man from Forsyth was injured in a one car crash at about 3:00 Monday afternoon on Highway 160, two miles west of Forsyth. A car driven by 25 year old Daniel Zeigler crossed the center line, ran off the left side of the roadway and struck a ditch. Zeigler suffered minor injuries and refused treatment at the scene.
County Health Department Passes Water Fluoridation Resolution The Board of Trustees of the Taney County Health Department passed a resolution last Friday that supports and encourages the use of fluoride in community water supplies. The resolution lists several reasons why the Board believes that community water fluoridation is a safe and effective public health measure to prevent tooth decay. The issue became a topic of discussion locally after the Forsyth Board of Aldermen voted to cease adding fluoride to the city’s drinking water in October.
Thanksgiving Closings for City of Branson, RecPlex and Recycle Center The City of Branson announced that business offices at Branson City Hall will be closed this Thursday and Friday in observance of the Thanksgiving holiday. The Branson RecPlex will be closed on Thanksgiving Day only. And the Branson Recycle Center will be closed Thursday through Sunday in observance of the holiday. A 24/7 recycle trailer is available in the Branson United Methodist Church parking lot for the convenience of residents and visitors.
November 25, 2013
Branson Woman Injured in Two Car Collision in Bull Creek A Branson woman was injured in a two car collision at about 8:30 Saturday evening on Route F at Olympus Drive in Bull Creek. A car driven by 22 year old Josie Bruno was making a left turn onto Route F from the Bull Creek Store and pulled into the path of an eastbound car driven by 43 year old Barry Haley of Branson. Bruno suffered minor injuries and was transported to Cox Branson for treatment.
Western Taney County Fire District Getting New Fireboat for Table Rock Lake The Western Taney County Fire Protection District has a new fire boat that is under construction from Lake Assault Boats. The hull and cabin are well underway during the construction process. The new fireboat is expected to be delivered in late Spring or early Summer of 2014 and will be the primary response boat for Table Rock Lake. The boat will be stationed at State Park Marina.
Aldermen Approve Bills on Asset Forfeiture, Sprinkler Winterization The Branson Board has approved a resolution authorizing Mayor Raeanne Presley to sign an Equitable Sharing Agreement and Certification with the US Department of Justice. This agreement allows assets and funds seized through the prosecution of criminals, to be reused by the Branson Police Department in this same effort. The Board also approved the first reading of a bill accepting the proposal of Simplex Grinnel LP, pertaining to fire sprinkler winterization services for the City. This project will winterize the inactive buildings at the Factory Merchants Mall, which is owned by the City, to save utility costs during the winter.
Historical Society Receives Donation from Forsyth Art Guild The White River Valley Historical Society recently received a donation from the Forsyth Art Guild. The Art Guild, upon retiring after many years in the community, distributed its assets to several organizations in the area, including the Historical Society. In addition to a $7,410 donation, scrapbooks detailing the events of the organization over the years have been given to the Society and will be indexed and available for viewing in the research library in the near future. For more information, visit WRVHS.org.
Forsyth Art Guild member Bill Walley presents a donation check to WRVHS Managing Director Leslie Wyman.
Branson KOA Campground Wins Major Award The Branson KOA Campground has been awarded the 2014 KOA President’s and Founder’s Award by Kampgrounds of America Inc., the world’s largest system of family-friendly campgrounds. The awards were presented on Thursday, November 21 at KOA’s Annual International Convention in Austin, Texas. The KOA Founder’s and President’s Awards are presented annually to campgrounds that receive the highest scores in customer service from their campers, and also receive top scores in KOA’s annual Quality Review.
Showboat's Janice Martin Releases First DVD Showboat Branson Belle headliner Janice Martin has released her first DVD titled “A Christmas with Janice Martin”. The holiday DVD highlights Martin’s talents as a pianist, violinist, soprano, and aerialist with a medley of traditional Christmas carols in both violin and piano. The DVD was filmed on the Showboat stage and also features fellow Showboat entertainers, the Showmen, on the songs ‘O Holy Night’ and ‘For Freedom.’ For more information about the DVD, visit JaniceMartin.com.
November 22, 2013
Missouri Law Enforcement to Conduct Seat Belt Campaign Missouri law enforcement agencies statewide will be participating in a quarterly Occupant Protection Enforcement this Monday (today) to increase seat belt use and reduce highway fatalities. Law enforcement will take a zero tolerance approach in the enforcement of seat belt and child restraint laws during this campaign. Missouri seat belt usage remains stagnant at 79 percent for the general public and 67 percent among teenagers. The nationwide average is 85 percent.
Branson Police Officers and TCAD Paramedics Honored with Lifesaver Awards Branson Police Officers Cody Phillips and Collin Curtis, along with Taney County Ambulance District Paramedics Brent Swickard and John Fox have received Lifesaver Awards for their actions in saving the life of Darryl Hancock on September 19 this year. Hancock was driving his delivery route at about 1:00 in the morning when he went into cardiac arrest and crashed his vehicle. The Branson Police officers arrived on scene first to find Hancock unresponsive and pulse-less. Their quick actions of removing him from the vehicle and initiating CPR played a vital role in the outcome of the incident. The paramedics arrived on scene and continued the resuscitation efforts and transported Hancock to the hospital. Hancock met his rescuers for the first time at the awards presentation and thanked them for their efforts. Pictured from left: Paramedic Brent Swickard, EMT John Fox, Cardiac Arrest Survivor Darryl Hancock, Branson Police Officers Cody Phillips and Collin Curtis
Branson Aldermen Approve Several Contract Agreements At the last City Council meeting, Branson Aldermen approved the first reading of several contract agreements. A contract is being renewed with Cochran Head Vick & Company for auditing services. A contract amendment was approved with Municode regarding the legal review, implementation and publication of the Branson Municipal Code. City staff has submitted proposed changes to Municode, with draft changes expected in early 2014. And an agreement is being renewed with Utility Service Company for the renovation and maintenance of the City’s water towers. This is part of the cleaning and maintenance schedule for each tower, including an extensive renovation every 10 years.
Silver Dollar City Wins Awards for Commercials, New Menu Item Silver Dollar City won three 2013 Brass Ring Awards during the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions Expo in Orlando, Florida this week. Silver Dollar City was awarded Best Television Commercial and Best Radio Commercial for its new roller coaster Outlaw Run. The park also won Best New Menu Item for its Red Velvet Funnel Cake.
Arvest Bank Grants Wish of Hawaiian Cruise for Branson Girl Battling Cancer Arvest Bank held a special presentation Thursday at the College of the Ozarks Keeter Center to grant the wish of a Branson girl through the Missouri Chapter of Make-A-Wish®. Sixteen year old Cassidy was initially diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, a cancer of the lymph nodes, in April this year. She started chemotherapy that same month and ended in July. After a short break, she had three weeks of radiation therapy and was pronounced cancer free as of September. Arvest is granting Cassidy’s wish of a Hawaiian cruise with her parents Dane and Lisa.
Branson Businesses to Honor Tony Orlando with Yellow Ribbons Tony Orlando will finish his final season in Branson on Thanksgiving night. In recognition of his contribution to Branson over the past 20 years and dedication to Veterans, the Branson Chamber of Commerce is encouraging businesses to place yellow ribbons on their property over the next week. Also, now through his final performance on Thanksgiving, residents of Taney, Stone, Christian, Boone and Greene counties can attend his show for $10 per person and 2 canned goods. For reservations, call the Welk Resort at 337-7469.
November 21, 2013
Big Cedar Lodge Purchases Branson Creek Golf Course Branson Creek Golf Course has been purchased by Big Cedar Lodge. Big Cedar owner Johnny Morris purchased the Murder Rock course last month and now owns both golf courses at The Communities at Branson Creek. The Branson Creek course was immediately closed and will remain closed through the winter months for renovation and upgrades. Branson Creek was rated the #1 Public Golf Course in Missouri by Golf Magazine. Big Cedar is now accepting employment applications from the employees of Troon Golf Management Company.
Independent Audit of Taney County Finds No Significant Problems An independent financial audit of Taney County found no significant problems. The Branson Tri-Lakes News reported that the only improvements mentioned in the audit were that the county could do a better job tracking grants and making sure there is a separation of duties in money transactions. The independent audit was required because the county received at least $500,000 in federal money this year. The audit was performed by Lisa Wright, CPA of Columbia, Missouri. A separate state audit for the county is now being completed and results should be available by early next year.
S of O Scholar Bowl Team Takes First Place School of the Ozarks students received first place among four teams that competed in the academic quiz during the Mark Twain Conference Scholar Bowl. The competition was held November 13th at Bradleyville High School. Seven students from School of the Ozarks participated, Christian Lingner, Coby Dolloff, Jake Self, Fionna Hubbard, Lansing Brown, Alex Schafer and Daniel Betzer. The team plans to participate in district competition later this year. School of the Ozarks is a college preparatory lab school operated by the College of the Ozarks.
Carl Garrett and Sean Barnwell are Branson's Employees of the Month Branson Aldermen honored two people as their Employees of the Month. The board recognized Liquor Control Specialist Carl Garrett and Investigations Sergeant Sean Barnwell for their work in increasing compliance with laws regarding the sale of alcoholic beverages to underage buyers. Compliance rates have increased from 72% to over 90% in two years, largely due to the enforcement efforts of the team led by Garrett and Barnwell. A recent check of 93 local businesses resulted in a compliance rate of 96%. Photo: Alderwoman Cris Bohinc presents the Employee of the Month plaques to Carl Garrett (left) and Sgt. Sean Barnwell.
Branson Aldermen Approve Bills for Employee Insurance Coverage Branson Aldermen approved the first reading of three bills approving employee insurance coverage for next year. Health insurance will be provided by Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield, Life insurance with Anthem Life Insurance Company and Dental insurance will be provided by Delta Dental. Employee health insurance will cost about 5% less than last year due to the good loss ratio achieved by city employees this year.
C of O to Present Christmas Card to the Community Twice this Year College of the Ozarks will present their Christmas Card to the Community twice this year. The event has become so popular with the community that it has been difficult to seat everyone who wants to attend. The traditional worship service features Christmas music by the college’s chapel choir, chorale and hand bell choir. Both services will be held on December 15th in Williams Memorial Chapel on the campus. Doors will open at 1:30 p.m. for the 2 p.m. service and 6:30 p.m. for the 7 p.m. service. The public is invited and there is no admission charge. A fruitcake reception in the fellowship hall of the chapel will follow both services.
November 20, 2013
Branson Aldermen Hold Public Hearing on 2014 Annual Budget Branson Aldermen held a public hearing on the City’s 2014 annual budget when they met in regular session Tuesday evening. The budget is built on conservative estimates for growth, with a 20% reserve and just over $310,000 in General Fund Capital Improvement items. Discussion was held regarding the payment to Branson Airport, which was not a budgeted item for next year. Aldermen will discuss payment of the recent airport bill when they meet on November 26th.
Aldermen Approve Changes to Parks Reserve Fund, Permit Fees The Branson Board of Aldermen approved the first reading of two bills amending the Municipal Code pertaining to fees and reserve funding. The Parks reserve fund will be reduced from 20% to 10%. Several permit fees charged by the City will be increased from 50% of staff costs to 75% of staff costs to process and issue those permits. These relate to building permits, fire department permits, planning permits, water and sewer permits and annexation and zoning permits.
Cape Fair Woman Seriously Injured in One Car Crash Eighty-seven year old Luana Lyons of Cape Fair received serious injuries Tuesday afternoon in a one-car crash in Stone County. She had a medical-related incident, causing her to lose control of the car she was driving. The vehicle ran off the road and hit a tree. Lyons was airlifted to Cox South Hospital in Springfield for treatment. The 2:35 p.m. accident occurred on Highway 39, four miles south of Shell Knob.
Lead Hill Man Arrested for Murder After 6-Hour Standoff Thirty year old Joseph Saylors of Lead Hill, Arkansas was arrested Monday in relation to the shooting death Sunday night of 42 year old Jody Rogers. Marion County deputies tracked Saylors to a house in South Lead Hill and a SWAT team was called to assist. A six-hour standoff ensued with four law enforcement agencies involved. He was finally taken into custody with no serious injuries reported. Saylors is charged with first degree murder and was turned over to the Marion County Sheriff’s Department.
NFL’s Terry Bradshaw in Branson for Boys and Girls Club Event NFL’s Terry Bradshaw will be the keynote speaker during the Boys and Girls Club’s Thanks4giving Gala to be held Thursday evening at the Branson Convention Center. The four-time Super Bowl champion quarterback is the only NFL player with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. He is also known as a gospel/country singer, motivational speaker, best selling author and breeder of championship quarter horses. Bradshaw’s appearance is sponsored by Cox Health.
Senator David Sater Holds Tourism Roundtable Meeting at OTC in Hollister A roundtable discussion about the tourism industry and its impact on the economy was held Tuesday at the Ozarks Technical Community College in Hollister. Senator David Sater from Cassville met with constituents, industry experts and community leaders. Those in attendance heard a presentation on Missouri’s current tourism funding model and possible changes to it. They also received information on how to communicate the benefits of tourism to government policy makers and learned of new strategies for marketing tourism.
November 19, 2013
Fire Damages Horse Barn in Galena, One Person Sent to Hospital Southern Stone County Firefighters were called to a fire at about 1:45 Monday afternoon at a large horse barn, located at 298 Long Bend Road in Galena. The fire was contained to the room that it originated in and there was heavy smoke damage throughout the building. The large metal building has horse stables and living quarters. A man and woman related to the owners of the building arrived from out of town and the man attempted to light a wood burning stove with a propane torch. Eventually some nearby combustibles caught fire. The man was transported to Cox Branson for evaluation. No other persons or animals were injured.
November 20 is Winter Weather Awareness Day Tomorrow is Winter Weather Awareness Day, an annual event that serves as the kickoff of preparing for the upcoming winter season. Winter storms in the Ozarks may range from freezing rain to blizzard conditions that can have an impact for days or even weeks as experienced in the Springfield ice storm several years ago. Residents can prepare for winter weather in several ways, such as keeping some basic resources at home in case of a power outage, keeping a winter car kit in the trunk and staying informed of weather conditions through local media outlets. For more information about preparing for winter weather, visit Weather.gov/Safety.
Roundabout Roadwork Rescheduled for Week of November 25 The City of Branson reported that scheduled roadwork on the roundabout at Branson Landing Boulevard has been postponed from this week to next week, weather permitting. A contractor will be installing new asphalt on the inside driving lane of the roundabout. The inside lane of the roundabout will be closed to traffic which may result in slight delays by drivers through the construction zone.
City of Branson Launches Redesigned Website The City of Branson has redesigned its website at BransonMO.gov. Visitors can find information about City departments, services and news, fill out various applications and permits, make online payments and more. The Branson website is now powered by CivicPlus which specializes in websites for local, county and state government.
Historical Society Offering Free Genealogical/Historical Research Workshop The White River Valley Historical Society is offering a free genealogical and historical research workshop on Saturday, December 7 at the Society, located at 297 Main Street in Forsyth. The workshop will consist of instructional presentations ranging from organization to planning a research trip, and participants will also begin compiling various charts and data sheets on their ancestors or other historical subjects of interest. Space is limited for the workshop. Reservations may be made by calling the Society at 417-546-2210, or by registering online at WRVHS.org.
This picture depicts an unknown family posed outside of what may be a sugar shack near the Brownbranch area. Photo courtesy Jerry and Opal Gideon Family Collection.
Empire Electric Seeking Assistance with Christmas Elves Program Since 1987 employees and customers of The Empire District Electric Company have provided gifts to elderly neighbors who live alone through the Christmas Elves program. To become involved in the program, visit the Branson Empire office, select the name and wish list of an elderly neighbor, fill all or part of their list, and return the wrapped gifts to the office by Wednesday, December 4. The gifts will be delivered to recipients before Christmas.
November 18, 2013
Skeletal Remains Identified as Matthew Needham of Fredricktown, MO Taney County Sheriff Jimmie Russell reported that skeletal remains found on November 11 have been identified through use of dental records as Matthew Needham of Fredricktown, Missouri. The remains were found by two hunters in a wooded area off Wilderness Road north of Forsyth. Needham was reported missing from this area in 2006. He was last seen walking in the area of Wilderness Road after the car he was in caught fire on Casey Road. The cause of his death is still under investigation.
Three Injured in One Vehicle Rollover on Highway 465 Three people were injured in a one car crash at 1:00 Sunday afternoon on Highway 465, eight miles west of Branson. A car driven by 50 year old Ronnie Stiltner of Rogersville ran off the right side of the roadway, was overcorrected, ran off the left side of the roadway and overturned. Stiltner along with two 11 year old female passengers, Savannah Miller of Branson and Brandi Thomas of Rogersville, all suffered moderate injuries and were taken to area hospitals for treatment.
New Three-Way Stop at South Junction of Routes 265/165 A new three-way stop at the south junction of Routes 265 and 165 south of Branson will go into effect after the morning drive time tomorrow. Drivers on southbound Route 265/165 and drivers on northbound Route 165 will now have to stop at new stop signs. Electronic "stop ahead" signs will also be installed to alert drivers to the new three-way stop.
Branson Police Conduct Random Liquor Compliance Checks The City of Branson recently conducted random compliance checks of establishments with City liquor licenses to determine if clerks are verifying that the purchaser is of legal age to buy alcohol. Branson Police officers worked with the assistance of minors to conduct the spot checks of businesses throughout the City. Over the past few days, 93 businesses were checked for compliance. The results showed that 89 of these businesses were in compliance with the liquor code. This is a 96% compliance rate, which is an improvement to the compliance rate for the past two years. Branson Police Chief Kent Crutcher said they believe the improvement is due to the regular “Responsible Liquor Selling” classes offered by the City, and consistent enforcement by police officers.
Road Work Closes One Lane of Roundabout at Branson Landing Blvd As part of the fall schedule of road work, the Branson Public Works Department is working with APAC-Missouri to mill the existing asphalt and install new asphalt on the inside driving lane of the roundabout at Branson Landing Boulevard. This construction work is occurring now through this Wednesday and is dependent upon good weather conditions. The inside lane of the roundabout will be closed to traffic which may result in slight delays by drivers through the construction zone. The City urges the public to please be aware of traffic cones and construction workers.
Branson Hoops Jamboree to Benefit Christian Action Ministries The Branson Hoops Jamboree is scheduled for this Friday at the High School beginning at 6 p.m. Proceeds from the tournament will benefit Christian Action Ministries’ food pantries. Admission is two canned food items per person or a donation of $3 per adult and $1 per student. Boys and girls teams from Branson, West Plains, Waynesville and Central will participate in the Hoops Jamboree.
November 15, 2013
Sean Myers Gets 15 Year Sentence for Meth Lab Explosion Taney County Prosecutor Jeff Merrell announced that 45 year old Sean Myers of Houston, Missouri, has been sentenced to 15 years in prison in connection with a meth lab explosion. Myers pled guilty on November 14 to the felony of attempting to manufacture a controlled substance. The case stemmed from an explosion on November 3, 2009, in a home at 179 Dallas Road in Cedarcreek. The explosion occurred when Myers and co-defendant Jason Metty were cleaning up a methamphetamine lab in the home, and volatile chemicals exploded in the area of the home’s kitchen sink. When officers arrived, it was apparent that the home’s front windows had been blown out into the front yard. Myers had to be flown from the crime scene for emergency medical treatment after suffering chemical burns in the explosion.
PSC Approves Change to Empire's Fuel Adjustment Charge The Missouri Public Service Commission has approved a request filed by The Empire District Electric Company to change the fuel adjustment charge on the monthly bills of its electric customers. A residential customer using 1,000 kilowatt-hours of electricity a month will see the fuel adjustment charge increase by approximately $1.23 a month. The change will take effect on December 1. The fuel adjustment charge reflects the change in Empire’s fuel and purchased power costs for the six month period of March through August this year as well as under-recovered energy costs from the prior recovery period.
C of O to Collect Operation Christmas Child Shoeboxes Nov. 18-25 College of the Ozarks will once again serve as a collection site for Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes, a project of Samaritan’s Purse founded by Dr. Franklin Graham. The shoeboxes filled with gifts are sent to children living in poverty-stricken or war-torn countries worldwide. Shoeboxes can contain things such as toothpaste, toys and school supplies. Instructions on what to or what not to include in a shoebox may be found at SamaritansPurse.org. The gift-filled shoeboxes can be dropped off Nov. 18-25 at the collection truck located next to the Christian Ministries building on the C of O campus. For more information on drop-off hours, call 417-690-3446. Watch Uncle Si pack a shoebox:
Table Rock Lake Fishing Guide John Sappington Wins Total Outdoorsman Challenge Table Rock Lake Fishing Guide John Sappington of Branson has won the Field & Stream Total Outdoorsman All-Star Challenge which was broadcast on the Outdoor Channel. Sappington won over $25,000 worth of cash and prizes and the title of All-Star Total Outdoorsman. To celebrate 10 years of the Total Outdoorsman Challenge, 12 All-Star competitors went head to head in 20 various events. Sappington is a veteran of the Total Outdoorsman Challenge and finished in third place in 2009 and 2011.
"Rock Your Seat Belt" Campaign Visits Branson High School Kohl's Department Store and Mercy's Injury Prevention Center teamed up to educate students about the importance of wearing a seat belt in autos. The "Rock Your Seat Belt" campaign visited Branson High School this past Wednesday morning with random checks to see if students and their passengers were buckled up. For every driver who was caught wearing a seat belt, Kohl's rewarded them with a $10 gift card. Statistics show that in crashes involving teens in Missouri, 78% of those who died were not buckled up. Mark Peck, injury prevention coordinator for Mercy Springfield, said that the best way for young drivers and passengers to protect themselves is to wear their seat belts.
November 14, 2013
Arkansas Man Arrested for Theft of Truck in Harrison 43 year old Robert Nelson of Bentonville, Arkansas was arrested relating to the theft of a truck from Clay Maxey Ford in Harrison. Nelson allegedly purchased the truck with a fraudulent check. It was determined that the suspect had outstanding warrants from Bentonville for similar transactions. Nelson was tracked to the Gainesville, Missouri area and was taken into custody by sheriff’s deputies at a motel without incident. He was not in possession of the stolen truck at the time but had a different truck without license tags.
Hollister Seeking Permit to Dredge Portion of Turkey Creek Hollister officials are attempting to obtain a permit to allow the city to dredge a portion of Turkey Creek. The Branson Tri-Lakes News reported that removing the rocks and other material that builds up between Business 65 and St. James Street could help reduce flooding that occurs occasionally. With a permit from the US Army Corps of Engineers, the city would remove about 14,000 cubic yards of material which would provide about two feet of flood protection. Several businesses in Turkey Creek Junction experienced flooding in April 2011 and again this past August.
Study Shows Economic Impact of Branson Airport The Missouri Department of Transportation initiated a statewide airport economic impact study to determine the benefits of Missouri airports. The study reported that the Branson Airport created 1,460 jobs with a payroll of $35,044,000. The total economic impact to the area last year was $91,137,000. Direct impacts related to businesses and activities located at the airport. Indirect impacts were defined as benefits associated with visitor spending for business and recreational activities resulting from using the airport.
Former Kanakuk Director Accepts Position at FORGE for Families in Houston, Texas Dana Thomas, former executive director for Kanakuk’s Kids Across America ministry, has been named executive director for FORGE for Families. FORGE is a faith-based, non-profit organization based in Houston, Texas. It works to transform families in Houston’s Third Ward through biblical methods. Last year, FORGE served nearly 2,800 men, women and children at its 30,000 square foot facility. Dana holds a MA Degree in Urban Ministry from Trinity Evangelical Divinity, and has over 20 years experience working with urban youth and issues relating to poverty.FORGE for Families
Study Indentifies Industries That Could Provide Area Growth The Taney County Business Development Partnership contracted with the University of Northern Iowa’s Institute for Decision Making, to assist with identifying businesses, not related to tourism, that could provide growth opportunities for the county. The study matched the region’s labor assets with industry staffing patterns, identified available sites and buildings in the county and looked at key transportation assets. Potential industries included data processing, call centers, insurance claims adjusters, administrative services, plastics packaging and manufacturing of steel wire, sheet metal, industrial valves and fluid power devices.
Ralph Foster Museum Hosting White River Painting Exhibit The Ralph Foster Museum on the campus of College of the Ozarks is hosting the White River Painting Exhibit, now through December 20th. The annual exhibit celebrates the unique Ozarks heritage and helps fulfill the museum’s continued mission of providing rich learning experiences about the local culture through the arts. Dr. Peggy Kjelgaard, Executive Director at the Eureka Springs School of the Arts is serving as this year’s juror. Ralph Foster Museum is open Monday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
November 13, 2013
Human Remains Found Off Wilderness Road North of Forsyth This past Monday, two hunters walking in a wooded area off Wilderness Road north of Forsyth found what appeared to be human remains. The Taney County Sheriff’s Department was called and officers located skeletal remains that appeared to have been there for a few years. All evidence was recovered by noon Tuesday and was sent to a lab for identification. In 2006, Matthew Needham of Fredricktown, Missouri was reported missing from that area. Dental records for Mr. Needham are being sent to the Taney County Sheriff’s Department for comparison.
Mercy Health is Newest Member of Taney County Business Development Partnership Mercy Health is the newest member of the Taney County Business Development Partnership. The public-private partnership addresses the needs of existing businesses, provides assistance to new businesses and fosters workplace development while advocating for a business-friendly climate in the county. Serving over 3 million people annually in four states, Mercy is the sixth largest Catholic health care system in the United States, with 32 hospitals, 300 outpatient locations, 1,900 integrated physicians and 39,000 co-workers.
Area Grocery Stores to Participate in Check Out Hunger Fundraiser Southwest Missouri grocery stores are working with Ozarks Food Harvest to help alleviate hunger across 28 counties. The 15th annual retail fundraiser will start this Friday and run until December 31st. 78 outlets are participating including local stores Harter House and Country Mart. Check Out Hunger provides shoppers an opportunity to add $1, $3 or $5 tax-free to their grocery bill when checking out. The food bank serves 170,000 unduplicated individuals annually in Southwest Missouri through 200 partner pantries and emergency food sites.
Deer Hunters Invited to Donate Venison to Share the Harvest Ozark area deer hunters are again invited to contribute their venison to Missouri’s Share the Harvest program. Since the program started in 1992, Missouri hunters have donated over 3 million pounds of venison to help feed the hungry. Hunters can donate as much of the deer as they wish at approved processing plants. They must pay for processing, but funds are available to help pay the cost when the whole deer is donated. Information is available at the processing plants and at MissouriConservation.org/Hunt/Deer/Share.
Reeds Spring Seeking Input on Use of Works Progress Building Reeds Spring will host the second of three meetings Thursday evening to receive public input on how to utilize the Works Progress Administration building, which was purchased two years ago from the Reeds Spring School District. The Branson Tri-Lakes News reported that the school was constructed by the Works Progress Administration in 1936 and was used to house administration offices and special classes. The city is exploring grants and fundraisers to possibly renovate the building into a community center. The meeting Thursday evening will start at 6 p.m. and be held at the WPA building.
Convey of Hope Allocates 3 Million Meals for Typhoon Survivors Convey of Hope, based in Springfield, Missouri, has allocated over 3 million meals for distribution to survivors of the deadly typhoon in the Philippines. Convey already had food supplies in that country, part of its ongoing effort to feed 21,000 children enrolled in their initiative. Plus Convey has several containers of food in port, in transit or being prepared at its Springfield distribution center. Hygiene kits, water filtration units and other items will also be distributed. $10 can be donated to the disaster response by texting CONVOY to 50555. The donation will appear on your next phone bill.
November 12, 2013
Two Drivers Injured in Two Vehicle Accident North of Branson Two people were injured in a two vehicle accident at about 5:00 Monday morning on Highway 65, five miles north of Branson. An SUV driven by 28 year old Darren Combs of Branson was stopped on the shoulder when it was struck from behind by a car driven by 25 year old Richard Dahl of Saint Charles. Neither driver was wearing a seat belt. Combs suffered moderate injuries and Dahl sustained serious injuries. They were both transported to Cox South Hospital in Springfield for treatment.
Permit Approved for Casey's General Store Next to CVS Pharmacy The Branson Planning & Zoning Commission has approved a Special Use Permit Application from Casey's General Stores to operate a service station at 615 West Main Street next to the new CVS Pharmacy. As components of the service station, Casey’s is proposing a 4,346 square foot convenience store and 16 fuel bays. The service station would be open seven days a week from 6 a.m. until 11 p.m. Casey’s is proposing access to the service station from the east side of the new Loyd Road and the south side of West Atlantic Street.
City of Branson Conducting Annual Fall Cleanup Next Week The Branson Public Works Department will be conducting its annual fall cleanup beginning Monday, November 18 through Thursday, November 21, to help residents properly dispose of large unwanted items at no cost. The cleanup service is available for individual residents of Branson, but not for businesses or commercial entities. The pick-up date for Ward 1 is on Monday, Ward II is on Tuesday, and Ward III is on Wednesday. Brush and limbs will be picked up in all three wards on Thursday. All items must be at the curb by 8 a.m. on the day of pick-up.
Branson School District Seeking Sponsors for Christmas Assistance The Branson School District's social work office is seeking sponsors to provide assistance to some of the district's needy families this Christmas season. The assistance will include some specific clothing needs for the children and a requested toy, or non-clothing item for older children. The eligibility of the children participating is based on financial guidelines. For more information or to sign up to provide assistance, call 336-1854.
Communities of Recovery to Hold 11th Annual Faith Promise Banquet this Thursday Communities of Recovery (CORE), formerly known as Church Army Branson, will hold its 11th annual Faith Promise Banquet this Thursday at 6 p.m. at the Branson/Hollister Lion's Club. CORE focuses on bringing together families who have been torn apart by addiction to drugs and alcohol by providing recovery services to the individual addict. In 2012, 61 people completed the one-year recovery program and 51 people were baptized. Numbers are up this year with 71 people completing the program and 54 people being baptized to date. Thursday’s banquet includes an opportunity to make a faith promise to support the ministry. Seating is limited. For reservations, call 417-527-0086.
Ozarks Writers League Celebrates 30 Year Anniversary this Thursday and Friday The Ozarks Writers League (OWL) is celebrating 30 years of bringing authors, artists, and writers together for education and publishing opportunities. The celebration begins this Friday night at Ye Olde English Inn in Hollister. Planned activities include a banquet for members, annual writing competition awards, a presentation on the history of OWL, and special recognition for the charter members. Saturday’s activities will feature workshops, panel discussions, writing tips and more at College of the Ozarks’ Plaster Auditorium beginning at 9 a.m. For more information, visit OzarksWritersLeague.com.
November 11, 2013
Two Juveniles Questioned about House Fire in Galena Two juveniles were apprehended after a house fire Sunday morning on Long Bend Road in Galena. Stone County deputies were called to 2263 Long Bend Road at about 10 a.m. for a report of suspicious activity after two individuals were seen running from the home. When deputies arrived they found the home well involved with fire and requested response from the Southern Stone County Fire Protection District. The home was fully involved when the first engine arrived and was a total loss. The home was not occupied and there were no injuries. Two juveniles are being questioned by authorities and the incident is still under investigation.
Four People from Shell Knob Injured in Two Vehicle Accident Four people from Shell Knob were injured in a two vehicle accident at about 4:45 Sunday afternoon on Highway 39 in Viola. A pickup driven by 56 year old Michael Cox was stopped in the roadway waiting to make a turn when it was struck from behind by an SUV driven by 76 year old Norma Dutton. Both drivers and two passengers in the pickup, 37 year old Leslie Jones and 25 year old Courtney Jones, all suffered minor injuries and were taken to Mercy Hospital in Berryville for treatment.
City of Branson Conducting Internet Auction of Surplus Property The City of Branson is conducting an auction of surplus property on the internet. The internet auction runs now through December 3. Items for sale include vehicles, computers, office equipment and many other items no longer needed by the City. The City has contracted with Purple Wave Auction which specializes in internet auctions. Bidders can view items, read descriptions and place bids at PurpleWave.com.
Missouri Minimum Wage Rate to Increase to $7.50 in 2014 The Missouri Department of Labor announced that the state minimum wage rate for 2014 is increasing to $7.50 an hour on January 1, up from the current rate of $7.35. Per state law, the minimum wage rate is calculated once a year and may increase or decrease based on the cost of living as measured by the previous year’s Consumer Price Index. Also, Missouri law does not allow the state’s minimum wage rate to be lower than the federal minimum wage rate, which has been $7.25 since 2009.
Missouri Farmers Rebound with Bountiful Harvest after 2012 Drought Missouri corn farmers are on pace to harvest 419 million bushels according to the most recent Crop Production report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. If realized, Missouri farmers will rebound from last year's drought with the fourth largest corn crop in the state's history. Statewide, growers are expected to average 133 bushels per acre, up from 75 bushels per acre a year ago. Missouri's top three corn customers are livestock, ethanol and exports.
Cox Medical Center Branson Hosting Christmas Shopping Fundraisers Cox Medical Center Branson is hosting three different Christmas shopping fundraiser events. Now through November 20 a silent wreath auction is being held in Cox Branson’s Café featuring wreaths made by hospital employees. Proceeds benefit Skaggs Foundation. A $6 sale of various fashion items, gadgets, gifts and more will be held this Thursday from 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. and Friday from 8 a.m. – 4 p.m. The sale benefits Cox Branson’s Volunteer Services. And the hospital’s annual Holiday Bazaar is Friday, November 22, 7 a.m. – 5 p.m. in the Outpatient Center featuring crafts and other items for sale by Cox Branson employees. Proceeds from the Bazaar benefit Skaggs Foundation and are earmarked for the employee assistance fund.
November 8, 2013
CoxHealth Branson to Offer Health Insurance Marketplace Workshops CoxHealth Branson is offering a series of free workshops designed to help individuals and families find and enroll in health insurance coverage through the Health Insurance Marketplace. A Certified Application Counselor will be on-hand to assist those individuals working in part-time/seasonal positions or those who otherwise do not have employer-sponsored health coverage. Workshops are scheduled for November 11, 15, 18 and 22. For reservations or more information, call 417-269-INFO.
Branson Chamber of Commerce Awarded 3-Star Accredited Status The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has awarded 3-Star Accredited status to the Branson/Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce. The honor puts the Branson Chamber among the top 3% of chambers nationwide. This past year, Chamber staff completed the Accreditation process by conducting a comprehensive self-review to demonstrate competency in 9 core areas ranging from finance to facilities. The national Accreditation program recognizes chambers for their effective organizational procedures and community involvement.
Branson is Top Four Finalist for "Best Midwest City for Meetings" The City of Branson is a top four finalist for "Best Midwest City for Meetings." The prize for the winning city will be a 4-page feature in Midwest Meetings Spring 2014 issue, complete with photos and stories that capture what makes the city great for meetings. The other three finalists are Des Moines, Iowa, the Quad Cities region of Illinois and Iowa, and Rapid City, South Dakota. The next round of voting begins this Monday at Facebook.com/MidwestMeetingsOnline.
Nixon Visits Forsyth High School to Recognize Academic Achievement Governor Jay Nixon visited Forsyth High School Thursday to recognize the school district and its students for their continued academic achievement. Recently, Forsyth Public Schools scored a 90 percent on the 2013 Missouri School Improvement Program Annual Performance Report. The district's graduation rate is nearly ten points higher than the state average. The Governor also applauded Forsyth High School for its Missouri A+ designation, which allows qualified students to apply for scholarships for two years of tuition and fees at any of Missouri's community colleges.
Work on Epps Road in Branson Scheduled for Nov. 12-14 The Branson Public Works Department is working with Donelson Construction Company to install thermostriping and directional arrows on James F. Epps Road. Dependent upon the weather, this work will take place this coming Tuesday through Thursday. Traffic through this construction zone will be delayed intermittently.
Veterans Day Events in Branson Area Several events are planned for Veterans Day in Branson. College of the Ozarks will host a morning flag raising and wreath laying ceremony on the Chapel Lawn at 7 a.m. The 80th annual Veteran's Day Parade will begin at 11 a.m. in Downtown Branson. Lt. Col. Oliver North will be conducting a book signing for his new book “American Heroes on the Homefront” at Bass Pro Shops at Branson Landing from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. And Tony Orlando will hold his 20th annual Yellow Ribbon Show, which is scheduled to be his last Veterans tribute show in Branson. The free show will be held at the 2 p.m. at the Welk Resort Theatre.
November 7, 2013
Reeds Spring Woman Injured in Two Vehicle Accident Just minor injuries for a Reeds Spring woman in a two vehicle accident Wednesday night. 56 year old Renata Akerlow was hurt when the van she was driving crossed the road centerline and hit a truck driven by 49 year old Bradley Perkins of Greenville, Illinois. Akerlow was taken to CoxHealth Branson for treatment. The 9 p.m. accident occurred on Fall Creek Road, a mile south of Branson.
Republic Woman Charged for Death of 2-Year-Old Daughter in 2011 31 year old Julie Horstmyer of Republic was arrested Wednesday relating to the death of her 2 year old daughter on November 5, 2011. On that date sheriff’s deputies responded to a call from the Clever Police Department to investigate the death of the child, Berklee Robertson. A Grand Jury indictment accuses Horstmyer of giving the child drugs to treat depression then not seeking medical attention. She is being held in the Christian County Jail on a $75,000 bond for one count of Involuntary Manslaughter and one count of Endangering the Welfare of a Child, First Degree.
Branson Police Recover Stolen Wheelchair The Branson Police Department has recovered a wheelchair which was stolen from a local resident. The Investigative Unit of the department investigated the theft and identified a suspect. That person will appear in Municipal Court for the charge of stealing. The wheelchair was recovered and returned to the owner.
Tribute to Honor Women Veterans and Active Duty Personnel Women veterans and active duty personnel from all branches of service, guard and reserves will be honored this Saturday during the ninth annual Tribute to Women Veterans. The theme this year is "Service With Pride" and it includes refreshments and special entertainment. During the traditional Rose Petal Ceremony, which is part of the tribute, attendees may drop flower petals into a pool in honor of the women who served in the military. The event will be held Saturday from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Grand Plaza Hotel, 245 N. Wildwood in Branson. There is no charge to attend.
Corps Waives Day Use Fees Nov. 11 for Veterans and Their Families To commemorate Veterans Day, the Little Rock District of the Army Corps of Engineers will join Corps districts nationwide and waive day use fees at its recreation areas on November 11th for veterans, active, reserve and guard service members and their families. The waiver includes boat launch and swim beach fees but not camping fees or reservation fees for special facilities. The Little Rock District operates 165 public parks and access areas in Arkansas and southern Missouri, including facilities on Table Rock Lake and Bull Shoals Lake.
Missouri Net General Revenue Collections Up 2.5% for the Year State Budget Director Linda Luebbering reported that fiscal year-to-date general revenue collections increased 2.5% compared to the previous year. Net general revenue collections for October increased 1.7% compared to October 2012. Individual income tax collections increased 3.8% for the year and 3.9% for the month. Sales and use tax collections increased 4.4% for the year and 2.2% for the month. Corporate income and corporate franchise tax collections increased 26.4% for the year and 18% for the month.
November 6, 2013
Taney County Voters Reject 911 Sales Tax Taney County voters said no to a proposed change in the way the county’s 911 emergency call service is funded. 58% of the voters defeated a one-quarter of one percent sales tax that would have replaced the current 10% tariff on land line telephone lines. Cell phone users do not pay a tariff to support 911. 4,191 residents went to the polls. 2,414 said no to the new tax and 1,777 were in favor of it.
Hollister School Superintendent Dr. Tim Taylor to Step Down Dr. Tim Taylor is stepping down as superintendent of Hollister Schools as of the end of next June. He announced his resignation Monday evening saying he and the school board are not in agreement in several important areas of effective leadership. He announced his decision early so the district could have sufficient time to find a replacement. He came to Hollister as the elementary principal in 2004. Two years later he was promoted to superintendent.
Skaggs Foundation Awards Grants to 18 Organizations Skaggs Foundation has awarded a half million dollars in grants to 18 not-for-profit organizations, schools and government agencies. The first ever Legacy Grant distribution was made to organizations which are working to improve health and wellness in Taney and Stone Counties, especially in areas relating to nutrition, tobacco, alcohol and drug abuse, and child and family safety. Grant recipients included Jesus Was Homeless, Pregnancy Life Line, Stone County Health Department, Boys and Girls club, Christian Associates, Reeds Spring Schools and the Faith Community Health Center. It is estimated that the funded projects will impact an estimated 10,425 area residents, or 8% of the two county population.
Branson Teenager Injured in Three Vehicle Accident A three vehicle chain-reaction accident sent one of the drivers to CoxHealth Branson. 19 year old Taylor Mead of Branson was treated for minor injuries. Her car was hit from behind by a pickup driven by 21 year old Kirby Whorton of Kirbyville. That collision forced Mead's car into the rear of a car driven by 63 year old Laura Kelly of Branson. The accident just after 3 p.m. Tuesday occurred on Mount Branson on Highway 76, east of Hollister.
Maintenance Being Performed on Several Branson Streets The Branson Public Works Department is working with APAC-Missouri to perform maintenance on several city streets and key intersections this month. Some of the streets are located in residential areas and the contractor will be in contact with homeowners about how and when the work will impact them. The work started Monday and could continue until the end of the month, depending on the weather. A map of the affected streets can be found on the website, BransonMo.gov.
Missouri Public Service Commission’s Cold Weather Rule Now in Effect The Missouri Public Service Commission’s Cold Weather Rule is now in effect. The rule is designed to help customers with heat related utility bills, and remains in effect through March 31st of next year. The rule prohibits the disconnection of heat-related service when the outside temperature is predicted to drop below 32 degrees, provides more lenient payment terms permitting reconnection of service for natural gas and electric customers and prohibits the disconnection of registered elderly and disabled customers. The rule does not apply to residents who use propane delivered by truck. For more information, visit PSC.MO.gov.
November 5, 2013
Galena Woman Injured in Two Vehicle Collision A woman from Galena was injured in a two vehicle collision at about 6:30 this morning on Highway 160, a mile south of Nixa. A pickup driven by 59 year old Dale Kruse of Cabool crossed the center line and struck an oncoming SUV driven by 39 year old Elizabeth Martin. Martin suffered moderate injuries and was transported to Cox South Hospital in Springfield for treatment.
Navy Memorial Service, Wal-Mart Veterans Tribute Set for Friday The second annual Navy Memorial Service will be hosted by Main Street Lake Cruises at Branson Landing this Friday at 8 a.m. This free event for veterans will begin with a brief welcome at the dock and then veterans will board the vessel for a ceremony to commit a wreath to honor service members who have died. Also this Friday, a Tribute to Veterans will be hosted by the Wal-Mart Supercenter on Branson Hills Parkway at 9 a.m. This free event includes entertainment, speakers and lunch for veterans and their families.
Mercy Hospital Berryville Auxiliary Reaches $1 Million Milestone Mercy Hospital Berryville held a ceremony Monday to recognize the volunteers of Mercy Auxiliary-Berryville who recently reached a milestone of raising $1 million for the hospital. The latest donation of $50,000, which will fund renovations at the gift shop, was enough to push the donations over the $1 million mark. Since reorganizing in 1982, volunteers with the auxiliary have given more than 546,000 hours of service and donated everything from a simple stretcher to a heart monitoring system.
C of O Chemistry Teams Place First and Third at Regional Competition College of the Ozarks Chemistry teams placed first and third in an undergraduate competition at the recent midwest regional meeting of the American Chemical Society. The competition for each of the three-person teams involved written tests, a Jeopardy-style quiz and a lab method to measure an unknown amount of acid. C of O chemistry students Rio Febrian, Bailey Halford and Anna Diepenbrock made up the team that finished first. Caleb Winking, Katie Petersen and Ellen Petersen placed third.
CoxHealth Fitness Hosting "Maintain Don’t Gain" Holiday Challenge CoxHealth Fitness Center Branson is hosting the Maintain Don’t Gain challenge to help area residents avoid weight gain over the holidays. Studies show that the average American typically gains 10 pounds between Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas. CoxHealth will award prizes to each participant who maintains their initial weight through the holiday season and bonus prizes to three individuals who lose the most weight during the challenge. Initial weigh-in is next Monday through Friday, 5 a.m. to 9 p.m., at CoxHealth Fitness Center located inside the Branson RecPlex. Final weigh-in is January 6 – 8.
Voting Now Open for Best of Rural Missouri Readers' Choice Contest Rural Missouri magazine announced that voting is now open for the 2014 Best of Rural Missouri Readers' Choice Contest. For the past 13 years, Rural Missouri magazine has organized the contest to allow its readers the opportunity to vote for their favorite eateries, businesses, attractions and other destinations across the Show-Me State. Ballots will be accepted through January 3, 2014. To enter, fill out the ballot printed in the November or December issues or visit RuralMissouri.coop. Those who return a ballot with votes in at least 10 categories will be eligible to win a gift basket valued at $500. The drawing for the basket will be held January 10.
November 4, 2013
“Vets for Vets” Show Helps Kick Off Veterans Homecoming Week The “Vets for Vets” show returns for its second year to kick off the Veterans Homecoming week in Branson. The free show will be held tomorrow afternoon at 2 p.m. at The Baldknobbers Theater. U.S. Army Veteran Janice Martin who performs regularly on the Showboat Branson Belle will be opening the “Vets for Vets” show and will be joined by a full slate of Branson performers and veterans. The celebration is free and the open seating format is on a first come, first served basis with doors opening at 1 p.m. Pictured: U.S. Army Veteran Janice Martin performs regularly on the Showboat Branson Belle
Johnny Morris Buys Murder Rock Golf Club Murder Rock Golf Club is now under new ownership. Effective October 28, Murder Rock has been purchased by a company of Johnny Morris and the property will be affiliated with Big Cedar Lodge. Murder Rock Golf Course is located in the Branson Creek development south of Hollister. The golf course and clubhouse are now closed for renovations.
Pirate’s Cove Adventure Golf Receives Beautification Award The Branson Tree Board announced that the final 2013 recipient of the Beautification Award is Pirate’s Cove Adventure Golf located at 2901 Green Mountain Drive. When Don Dewitt took over the management of Pirate’s Cove, he made the decision to have staff provide the property maintenance. As a result, the property shows the pride the employees take in their work. Nominations for the 2014 Beautification Awards will begin next March, and will be presented on a monthly basis from April through October. Pictured from left: Danny Madrid, Nick Gonzales, Cliff Skidmore, Don Dewitt with Greg Haston from the Branson Tree Board.
Phillip Dodd Pleads Guilty to Second Degree Murder Taney County Prosecutor Jeff Merrell announced that 40 year old Phillip Dodd has pleaded guilty to second degree murder in connection with the death of Rebecca Sutton. Sutton was reported missing by her family on March 21, 2003. In February of 2004, Sutton’s skeletal remains were discovered in a remote location in eastern Taney County. Until the spring of this year, no charges were filed and Sutton’s death was considered a “cold case.” The case was assigned to the Missouri State Highway Patrol for further investigation and Dodd was charged with first degree murder in March of this year. He pled guilty to the amended charge of second degree murder pursuant to a plea agreement with the Prosecutor’s Office. Dodd’s sentencing has been scheduled for January 9, 2014.
Salvation Army of Branson Accepting Applications for Christmas Assistance The Salvation Army of Branson plans to assist a record number of families in need this Christmas season. The Salvation Army’s Christmas assistance programs focus on toys for needy families and food baskets for those in need. The Angel Tree program exists to help provide Christmas gifts for children ages 6 months to 16 years who might not otherwise receive anything on Christmas Day. Parents sign their children up for the program, and their names and gift ideas are hung on Christmas trees all across Taney and Stone Counties. Local citizens then take names from the trees and fulfill the children’s wish lists. Angel Tree applications are being accepted now through November 8 from 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. each day at the Salvation Army office on Stanley Blvd. The Angel Trees will go up this year on November 15. Christmas food baskets, a first time service this year at The Salvation Army of Branson, provide the items needed for a complete Christmas day meal. Applications for a Christmas food basket are also being accepted at the Salvation Army office. For more information, call The Salvation Army’s office at 417-339-4434. ________________