Branson Aldermen Approve 2015 Budget, Airport Payment Branson Aldermen met in regular session Tuesday night and approved the final reading of a bill adopting the 2015 budget. The budget has been balanced with a 22% Operating Reserve and includes $619,000 in General Fund Capital items, all of which have been identified in the 5 Year Capital Program Summary. In addition, $242,289 in one-time expenditures is included in the budget. The Board also approved the first reading of a bill amending the adopted 2014 Budget to allow for a payment under the Pay for Performance agreement with the Branson Airport. The current bill is $211,487. To date, $2,600,000 has been paid to the Branson Airport under this agreement.
Firefighters Extract Trapped Driver from Overturned Vehicle Southern Stone County Firefighters responded to a report of a trapped driver in a one-vehicle rollover at about noon Tuesday on DD Highway at Matthew Road south of Branson West. Crews found the vehicle on its top and extricated a male driver who was conscious and alert. Mercy EMS evaluated the patient on scene and the man, whose name was not released, declined transport to a hospital.
Volunteers Invited to Loaves & Fishes Kickoff December 1 Since 2008, over 7600 volunteers have served their neighbors in need through the Branson Loaves & Fishes program and have provided 50,000 warm nutritious meals during the winter each year. Volunteers are needed for the 2015 Loaves & Fishes season. If you have a team of 9-12 volunteers who can provide a meal to neighbors in need on one night this winter, please have at least one team member attend the Loaves & Fishes sign-up meeting on Monday, December 1 at 7 p.m. at Our Lady of the Lake Parish Center, located at 203 Vaughan Drive in Branson. Teams will have an opportunity to sign up for a night or multiple nights on the Loaves & Fishes calendar between January 3rd and March 15th, 2015. For more information, call Jim Lawson at 501-837-4938.
Branson Salvation Army Red Kettles Off to a Threatening Start The Salvation Army of Branson is currently experiencing several difficulties related to their annual red kettle campaign this year. The local Salvation Army started out with having lost three business locations that have hosted the red kettles in years past. Those three locations did reconsider and are allowing the red kettles to be at their locations, but the number of days will be cut back dramatically. In addition to this setback, other red kettle locations are not doing as well as they did last year. The Salvation Army is currently about $10,000 behind as compared to last year’s numbers. To make a donation or to volunteer at one of the red kettles, call 339-4434.
LuLu Roman of “Hee Haw” to Perform at Lakewood Church LuLu Roman of the television show “Hee Haw” will be performing a Christmas concert this Sunday at 10 a.m. at Lakewood Church in Branson West. LuLu was born with a thyroid dysfunction and struggled with weight issues and eventually a drug addiction that nearly destroyed her life and career in the early 70’s. In 1973 she put her faith in the Lord and discovered she had a hidden talent in her voice. LuLu then began singing Gospel music, and eventually introduced it to the "Hee Haw" show. To date, LuLu has recorded 21 albums including her latest project entitled "At Last." Admission to Sunday’s concert is free. Lakewood Church is located at 19585 Hwy 413 in Branson West.
Keeter Center to Host Annual Chocolate Lovers’ Tea The Keeter Center at College of the Ozarks will host its Annual Chocolate Lovers’ Tea, Saturday, December 6, from 1-3 p.m., in front of the Grand Fireplace at The Keeter Center. The afternoon will begin with a selection of sandwiches and desserts served with tea or hot chocolate. Guests will enjoy music performed by a College of the Ozarks student from the Music Department. And guests are encouraged to bring an ornament for a Christmas ornament exchange. Seating is limited and reservations are required. Visit KeeterCenter.edu/events or call 417-690-2120.
1,500 Luminaries to Light Titanic Museum Entrance The Titanic Museum Attraction in Branson will light its entrance with more than 1,500 luminaries this coming Friday evening. Titanic Museum co-owner, Mary Kellogg-Joslyn, said that the holiday tradition of luminaries is meant to remind us of Mary and Joseph’s search for lodging in Bethlehem. The public is invited to take holiday photos with the luminaries outside the museum located at the corner of 76 Country Blvd and Gretna Road.
November 25, 2014
MoDOT Taking Steps to Relieve Holiday Traffic Delays As Missourians prepare to celebrate Thanksgiving and the beginning of the holiday shopping season, the Missouri Department of Transportation is taking steps to help keep traffic moving during these busy travel times. Most of the work zones on state routes will not be in place from noon Wednesday until mid-morning Monday, December 1. However, some long-term construction projects may remain in place. Drivers can visit MoDOT’s Traveler Information Map at MoDOT.org to get the latest information on traffic congestion and road conditions including any lane closings. The Traveler Information Map is also available on MoDOT’s smartphone app.
Missouri Leaders Urge Koster to Seek Stay on Marriage Decision Missouri Senate Leader Tom Dempsey and House Speaker Tim Jones have sent a letter to Attorney General Chris Koster urging him to seek a stay on a recent circuit court decision. In the case, a local judge in St. Louis ruled that Missouri’s constitutional provision, passed overwhelmingly by voters in 2004 affirming that marriage exists between a man and a woman, is unconstitutional. Dempsey said allowing this controversial ruling to take immediate effect will cause confusion while the case is appealed to the Missouri Supreme Court. So far, Koster has refused to ask for a stay. Dempsey said while local judges serve an important role, they are merely ministers, not masters of the law, and allowing this decision to take immediate effect undermines our core system of three co-equal branches that is essential to protecting our citizens’ liberties.
McDonald’s Cans for Coffee Food Drive Sets New Record Sixty-three area McDonald’s restaurants collected 45,010 pounds of food for Ozarks Food Harvest and its partners during the seventh annual McDonald’s Cans for Coffee food drive. The collection exceeded this year’s goal of 30,000 pounds — and set a new record, surpassing the collection of 36,650 pounds in 2011. The 40,010 pounds will provide 37,508 meals to food pantries and programs in southwest Missouri.
Branson School District History Project Interviews Available To coincide with the 100th anniversary of the Branson School District, two elementary classrooms recently joined forces to collect, investigate and chronicle the history of school district. The students conducted extensive research and interviews with area residents to learn more about education in Branson. The students were under the instruction of Sara Pardeck and Vicki Pock. You can access all the History Project interviews from the History Project link at Branson.K12.MO.us
Silver Dollar City Wins Two Brass Ring Awards, Makes USA Today Holiday List Silver Dollar City won two awards as part of the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions’ 2014 Brass Ring Awards. Silver Dollar City’s new Flavored Kettle Corn was awarded "Best New Menu Item" and Silver Dollar City’s White Water attraction was awarded “Best Public Relations Program” in the Class 1 division. Silver Dollar City was also mentioned by USA Today this past Friday. The park’s Old Time Christmas was ranked 9th in an article entitled “Top spots to see bright holiday lights.”
3rd Annual Branson Turkey Trot Set for Thanksgiving Morning The Ozarks Running Club will hold the 3rd annual Branson Turkey Trot 5K Run & Walk on Thanksgiving morning starting at 8 a.m. The Turkey Trot will be held on a mostly flat course at Branson Landing. New this year is the Gobbler Cup, a team competition for groups of 5 or more participants. The winner of the Gobbler Cup gets to keep the cup for a year and gets to decide the local charity for next year’s Turkey Trot. For more information or to register, visit OzarksRunningClub.com/Branson-Turkey-Trot.
November 24, 2014
Waynesville Woman Injured in Accident North of Branson A woman from Waynesville, Missouri was injured in a one-vehicle accident at about 7:00 Sunday night on Highway 65, three and a half miles north of Branson. The Highway Patrol reported that 50 year old Esteban Seda of Waynesville lost control of his northbound pickup and struck a concrete median wall. 48 year old passenger Pamela Seda was taken to Mercy Hospital in Springfield for treatment of moderate injuries.
Springfield Teen Injured in Two-Car Accident Near Forsyth A teenager from Springfield was injured in a two-car accident shortly before 11:30 Sunday morning on Highway 160, five miles northwest of Forsyth. A car driven by 18 year old Thomas Massengael of Willard was slowing to make a right turn into a driveway when it was struck from behind by a car driven by 25 year old Misty Long of Forsyth. A passenger in Massengael’s car, 17 year old Tara Lea, suffered minor injuries and was transported to Mercy Hospital in Springfield for treatment.
Car Runs into Guard Shack at Stonebridge Village The Southern Stone County Fire Protection District was called to a one vehicle accident just after 2:00 early Sunday morning at Stonebridge Village in Branson West. A car driven by an unidentified driver ran over a curb and edge of a large landscape rock and vaulted into the East Guard Shack at Stonebridge Village. The East gate is reportedly unmanned and is a private entrance for residents. No one was injured in the incident.
Dates Set for Branson City Election, Filing Period The City of Branson announced that the Missouri Secretary of State has set the spring local election day as April 7, 2015. Registered voters in Branson will be able to vote for Mayor and for one Alderman representing their Ward. The Branson Board of Aldermen consists of six aldermen, two from each Ward, and the Mayor. Each of these is elected for two-year terms. The Aldermen currently holding the seats to be considered in this election are: Ward 1 – Bob Simmons, Ward 2 – Patrick Parnell, and Ward 3 – Rick Todd. Raeanne Presley is the current Mayor of Branson. Declarations of Candidacy will be accepted at the Branson City Clerk’s office beginning on December 16 at 8 a.m. The filing period will close on January 20, 2015 at 5 p.m.
Cathy Hubert to Serve as Interim President/CEO for Branson Chamber The Human Resources Committee of The Branson/Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce has named Cathy Hubert as Interim President/CEO following the retirement of Ross Summers last month. Hubert serves as the Chamber’s Chief Financial Officer and has been with the organization for 12 years. The Chamber’s Search Committee is working with Mike Gamble and SearchWide to find a permanent replacement for Summers. SearchWide is a full-service executive search firm primarily for companies in the travel and tourism industry.
Big Cedar Lodge Legends of Golf Wins Outstanding Achievement Award The Champions Tour recently announced the best golf tournaments of the 2014 Champions Tour season. The Outstanding Achievement Award was won by the Big Cedar Lodge Legends of Golf presented by Bass Pro Shops. The tournament excelled with the historic team-event being partly contested on the nine-hole Top of the Rock Par-3 course in Ridgedale. The venue was officially announced in January and played in June – the shortest lead time for any PGA TOUR-sanctioned event. The community embraced the event with more than 1,000 volunteers contributing to its success. Fred Funk and Jeff Sluman won the tournament while Jim Colbert and Jim Thorpe claimed the unofficial Legends Division.
Andy Williams Christmas Show to Benefit Junior Auxiliary Proceeds from this Wednesday’s Andy Williams Christmas Show starring The Osmond Brothers and The Lennon Sisters will benefit the Junior Auxiliary of Taney County. Patrons who tell the Moon River Theatre Box Office they are supporters of Junior Auxiliary will be able to purchase a ticket for $15 and proceeds from each ticket will help raise funds to benefit children and families in Taney County. Tickets may be purchased in advance or the night of the show and there is no limit to the number of tickets that can be purchased at the special $15 price. Children 12 and under get in for free. To purchase tickets, call the Box Office at 800-666-6094.
November 21, 2014
Branson Aldermen to Hear Final Reading of 2015 Budget Branson Aldermen will hold their next regular meeting this Tuesday at 7 p.m. in the Council Chambers at City Hall. Some of the items on the agenda include the final reading of a bill adopting the 2015 budget, the first reading of an amendment for the Historic Downtown Streetscape Project, the first reading of a bill approving the renewal of the contract with the Taney County Health Department for public health services, and multiple bid awards for various services and maintenance. The complete agenda can be viewed online at BransonMO.gov. The Board meeting can also be heard live on the City’s website.
Mercy Expert to Discuss Sleep Disorders Mercy Hospital Berryville is hosting two presentations to help patients understand sleep disorders. Tossing and turning at night may not be from stress or anxiety, but from sleep apnea, a common disorder that often goes undiagnosed. Vickie Ginn, registered sleep technologist, will discuss how sleep apnea is the leading cause of high blood pressure and congestive heart failure, and is closely related to diabetes. However, it is preventable and curable in most cases. The two free seminars will be held on Nov. 25 from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and Dec. 2 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the Berryville Community Center. To RSVP for either course, call 870-423-5236.
Taney County Ambulance District Hosts GIS Day The Taney County Ambulance District hosted a GIS Day this past Wednesday at its training room in Hollister. Groups of 5th grade students from several schools attended the event designed to educate the public on how GIS and mapping is used by various local entities. GIS is an Acronym for Geographic Information Systems. GIS technology is used in many applications, from vehicle GPS navigation to Internet mapping, and is used in all types of commercial and government fields, such as military, healthcare, insurance, and real estate.
Branson Sophomores Selected as HOBY Ambassadors Branson sophomores Ivie Walker and Victoria Welch have been named Hugh O'Brien Youth (HOBY) Leadership Seminar Ambassadors. They will represent Branson High School at the leadership retreat scheduled June 5-7 on the campus of Southeast Missouri State University. Rachel Slings has been selected as an alternate. Founded in 1958, HOBY's mission is to inspire and develop the global community of youth and volunteers to a life dedicated to leadership, service and innovation. The summer program allows sophomore students the opportunity to network with adults who are experts in their career fields.
Deadline Extended to Submit Family Stories for Taney County Book The White River Valley Historical Society announced that the deadline for submitting family histories and community stories for the Taney County, Missouri History & Families book has been extended to January 30, 2015. The Historical Society has been collecting articles and photographs for several months and currently has nearly 300 family histories, with another 100 or so in process. Anyone who lives in Taney County, regardless of where their ancestors are from, is encouraged to submit their family information. The limited-edition hardback book will also contain Taney County history and pictures in addition to the family stories. For more information or to submit a family story or photo, call 417-546-2210 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
14th Annual Christmas Tour of Homes Set for December 5 & 6 The 14th Annual Christmas Tour of Homes presented by Neighbors and Friends of Table Rock Lake will take place Friday and Saturday, Dec. 5 and 6. The tour gives visitors the opportunity to look inside four unique Table Rock Lake private residences decorated for the holidays. The homes will be available for touring between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. each day. Tickets are $15 and proceeds will be donated to various local charities and community outreach programs. For more information, visit Neighbors and Friends of Table Rock Lake online at NFTRL.org.
Photo: One of the four homes that will be featured on the 14th Annual Christmas Tour of Homes
November 20, 2014
Taney County Commission Considering Walkway on New Bridge A new bridge is in the planning stages to be built in the future over Bull Shoals Lake near Forsyth. The Taney County Commission is considering whether to pay for a pedestrian walkway to be included on the new bridge or to use the old bridge for a walkway. A walkway on the new bridge would cost up to $700,000 and the county would have to provide the funds if the project goes beyond MoDOT's budget for the bridge. Maintenance on the old bridge could be much higher and just painting the old bridge could cost up to $1 million dollars.
Taney County Commission Approves $60,000 Transfer to 911 Fund The Taney County Commission approved a $60,000 transfer to the 911 Administration Department. The Branson Tri-Lakes News reported that 911 will run out of money by the end of the year. The county set aside the money in the current budget for the transfer but 911 will need more than $60,000. Revenues from the 10% tax on telephone land lines are decreasing at a more rapid rate than anticipated. The 911 department expects to be $50,000 in the red by year's end. A year ago, voters said no to a 911 sales tax by a margin of 15%.
Taneyville School District Seeks Donations for Gym Improvements The Taneyville School District continues to seek donations for improvements to their gymnasium. The district needs $133,000 and has received over $14,000 thus far. Improvements include replacing the tile floor with wood which is the largest expense, replacing the protective mats under the baskets, replacing one scoreboard and purchasing a second one, and purchasing a scorers table. School officials would also like to purchase a digital marquee and a canopy for outside the entrance to the gym. Businesses are encouraged to consider a corporate sponsorship to help provide the necessary funds.
C of O to Present "Railway to Heaven: A True Story of an Ozarks POW" "Railway to Heaven," a true story of an Ozarks Prisoner of War, will be presented twice in early December at College of the Ozarks. The stage production, produced by the Jones Theatre Company was presented during a WWII mini-reunion on campus November 7th. It's based on the true story of Roy Hopper who was an honor roll student at School of the Ozarks at the beginning of WWII. He was drafted, served in the army, and eventually captured by the German army. He escaped after 9 months. The play will be presented in Jones Auditorium December 6th at 7:30 p.m. and December 7th at 2:30 p.m. The play is open to the public with no admission charged.
Hollister High School to Present "Cheaper by the Dozen" The Hollister High School Drama Department will present the popular play "Cheaper by the Dozen" this Friday, Saturday and Sunday. The stage production is based on the real life experiences of the 12 children in the Gilbreth family. The production is directed by the school's Speech and Theatre instructor, Carlie Dillinger. Show times are 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday nights and 2 p.m. on Sunday. Admission is $5 with no charge for children four and under. Tickets are available at the door.
Volunteers Needed to Provide Income Tax Assistance Volunteers are needed to help prepare free tax counseling and basic tax return preparation for low to moderate income families. University of Missouri Extension and Healthy Families Taskforce of Taney and Stone Counties sponsors the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program. This past tax season, volunteers prepared over 2,100 federal and state tax returns for families in the two counties. Volunteers are asked to serve at least 6 hours weekly during the filing period, January 26 to April 15. Prospective volunteers are asked to fill out an application. For details call 1-888-504-0443.
November 19, 2014
Grant Increases Patient Visits at Faith Community Health A Skaggs Legacy Grant, awarded a year ago to Faith Community Health Center in Branson, has enabled the center to receive 801 more patient visits. A Legacy Grant progress report indicated that the grant provided finances to add a full-time provider, expand the hours of operation and accommodate walk-in patients. Patient visits increased 103% from 773 during January to September 2013 to 1,574 during the same nine months this year. Faith Community Health Center provides affordable health care and wellness education to the area's working, uninsured families.
Entrepreneur Rebekah Batson to Speak at C of O Entrepreneur Rebekah Batson, founder of Mrs. B's Accessories, will speak about her personal experiences as a woman in business Thursday evening at College of the Ozarks. After she learned that women in Nicaragua were forced into sex slavery to pay off even small debts, she traveled with Project H.O.P.E. to that region to teach sewing skills to the women. Rebekah, a C of O alumna, also left four sewing machines so the women could work off their debts with dignity. The convocation in Jones Auditorium at 7 p.m. is free and open to the public. Students have priority seating.
Work Continues on Fireman's Landing at Silver Dollar City As visitors to Silver Dollar City enjoy this year's Old Time Christmas Festival, work continues in one section of the park called Fireman's Landing. 10 family oriented adventures are being constructed, set to open next spring. Included are six family rides and four interactive play zones. Fireman's Landing will feature Fire Spotter with soaring balloons, Fire Wagon Frenzy-a bouncing ride, FireFall-an 8-story free fall drop ride, Roundabout-a bouncy ride of Dalmatians, Up the Ladder-a smaller drop ride and Fireman's Flyers-a low flying swing ride. The development brings to 40 the number of rides and attractions at SDC and increases the park's ride capacity to over 21,000 per hour.
Branson High School to Host Basketball Jamboree A Branson High School Basketball Jamboree is planned for this Friday at the high school. The preseason games will feature Branson, West Plains and Central. Both boys and girls teams will participate. Admission to the Jamboree is two canned food items per person or $3 per adult and $1 per student. All food items and cash donations will be given to Christian Action Ministries. The Booster Club will be selling vintage jerseys, warm-ups and clothing once worn by Pirate basketball players and those proceeds will benefit the Booster Club.
Jesus Was Homeless to Hold 7th Annual Thanksgiving Day Dinner The Jesus Was Homeless ministry in Branson will hold their 7th Annual Thanksgiving Day Dinner November 27th at Our Lady of the Lake Parish Center. Guests will be served a candlelight dinner by hosts wearing tuxedo shirts. A free thrift store will be available, offering coats, hats, gloves, socks and toiletry items made possible through donations. The event is open to anyone who will be alone on Thanksgiving, but is especially prepared for the homeless and those staying in weekly or extended stay motels. Doors will open at 5:30 p.m. and dinner will be served from 6-8 p.m. Transportation will be provided from and to area motels. Those needing a ride may call 335-9915 on November 27th.
November 18, 2014
Rockaway Beach Man Found Guilty on Drug Charges A man from Rockaway Beach has been found guilty of two counts of distribution of a controlled substance. The Taney County Prosecutor’s Office charged that on March 6 and March 13, 2013, 54 year old Ronald Stoddard gave Xanax pills to a confidential informant and a narcotics investigator with the C.O.M.E.T. drug task force. The crimes were committed during a time when Stoddard was working as a bail bondsman in Taney County, and one of the illegal transactions occurred in the parking lot of the Taney County Judicial Center. Stoddard faces up to 15 years in prison at his sentencing on January 20, 2015.
Firearms Opening-Weekend Deer Harvest Tops 91,000 The Missouri Department of Conservation reported that hunters checked 91,460 deer during the opening weekend of the 2014 November Portion of Firearms Deer Season this past weekend. That tops last year's firearms opening weekend by over 30,000 deer and is the highest opening weekend since 2010. The MDC also reported that there were three deer-hunting incidents over the weekend with two being fatal. One fatality was in Ste. Genevieve County where a heater in a hunting blind exploded, killing the hunter. The second involved a fall from a tree stand in Crawford County. A third non-fatal incident involved a hunter in Phelps County shooting himself in the leg while loading his rifle.
Reeds Spring to Open Bids for Church, Conduct Budget Workshop The City of Reeds Spring will hold a special council meeting this Thursday at 5 p.m. to open sealed bids for the purchase of the city-owned church building located at 76 Joe Dwyer Blvd. overlooking the downtown area. The City held two meetings over the past month to gather input from citizens about the future of the building and decided the best option was to sell it. The building is currently occupied by Vessels of Light Ministries, overseen by Max and Cindy Hembree. City Administrator Bill Bell said that the Hembrees recently notified the City that they have been offered another facility and their last service in the church building will be November 30. The City will also be holding a workshop next Monday at 9:00 a.m. to discuss the 2015 Budget and review proposed water and sewer rates. The meeting will be open to the public.
Crews Begin Maintenance Work on Several Branson Streets The Branson Public Works Department is working with Vance Brothers Construction to perform maintenance on city streets throughout the remainder of November and possibly into December depending on the weather. Work crews will be filling cracks in city streets including some key intersections in Branson. Slight delays may be experienced by drivers through these construction zones. Affected streets include: Shepherd of the Hills Expressway from Roark Valley Road to Brookside Mini-Golf, Gretna Road from the Roark Valley Road Bridge to Highway 76, Wildwood Loop north of Gretna by the White House Theatre and Adventure Zipline, and Roark Valley Road from Highway 76 to Truman Drive.
Big Cedar Lodge Announces Opening of Cedar Creek Spa Big Cedar Lodge announced that its new 18,000 square foot Cedar Creek Spa is now open. Cedar Creek Spa features eleven treatment rooms with fireplaces, saunas, hot spas, steam rooms, indoor grotto pool, cold therapy ice room, private bridal suite and more. Open houses to tour the new facility will be held this Thursday and Friday from 5-8 p.m.
C of O Students and Graduates Medal in Culinary Competition College of the Ozarks culinary art students, Hadassah Hirscher and Rebecca Harris, and C of O graduates, Lindsey Whitener and Joy Hunt, competed at the John Joyce Culinary Challenge in Kansas last weekend. Hirscher and Harris competed as individuals in the “Hot Food” student category, and were required to prepare one entrée in 90 minutes. They both received student Silver Medals and received high marks for their professionalism and work habits. Whitener and Hunt received a Professional Bronze Medal in the two-person team “Mystery Basket” event, during which they had four hours to produce a four-course meal from the basket’s ingredients. Pictured from left: Rebecca Harris and Hadassah Hirscher; Lindsey Whitener and Joy Hunt
November 17, 2014
Three Branson Teens Injured in Utility Vehicle Accident Three Branson teenagers were injured in a one-vehicle accident at about 12:30 Saturday afternoon on Taneycomo Road, three miles east of Branson. The incident occurred when a John Deere Gator utility vehicle driven by 18 year old Sara Whitehead traveled off the roadway and struck a ditch. Whitehead suffered moderate injuries and two passengers, 17 year old Sydney Oliphant and 16 year old Mackenzi Hall, sustained minor injuries. They were all transported by private vehicle to Cox Branson for treatment.
Lampe Woman Injured in One-Car Rollover A woman from Lampe was injured in a one-car rollover just before 5:30 Saturday evening on Highway 13, a mile and a half south of Kimberling City. The Highway Patrol reported that a car driven by 86 year old Clarice Curl ran off the right side of the roadway at a curve and overturned. Curl was taken to Cox South Hospital in Springfield for treatment of minor injuries.
Kimberling City Woman Injured in One-Car Crash Forty-seven year old Staci Tharp of Kimberling City was injured in a one-car crash shortly before 9:30 Saturday night on Highway 465, seven miles east of Branson West. Tharp reportedly lost control of her car on an ice-covered bridge and struck a concrete bridge rail. She suffered minor injuries and was transported to Cox Branson for treatment.
Shed Fire in Kirbyville Ignited by Fireplace Ash Pile Western Taney County Firefighters were dispatched to a shed fire on East Highway 76 in Kirbyville at about 11 a.m. last Friday. Upon arrival, crews found smoke coming from a 400-square-foot shed. Firefighters extinguished the bulk of the fire in about 15 minutes and remained on the scene for a little over an hour. The fire started when a neighbor’s fireplace ash pile ignited some leaves which spread to the shed. The fire was reported by passersby as they saw smoke coming from the shed. There were no injuries in the incident.
NWS Sets November 19 as Winter Weather Awareness Day The National Weather Service has set this Wednesday, November 19, as Winter Weather Awareness Day. Ron Walker, director of the State Emergency Management Agency, says Missourians should always be mindful of the dangers associated with severe winter weather and be prepared for driving on snow and ice-covered roads, losing power and heat at home, and understanding frostbite and hypothermia. Some winter storm preparation tips include: creating a family emergency plan and an emergency kit, assembling a separate vehicle winter emergency kit, making sure alternate heat and power sources function properly, are safely operated and that adequate fuel is on hand; avoiding driving when conditions include sleet, freezing rain, snow or dense fog; and protecting against frostbite and hypothermia by wearing warm, loose-fitting, lightweight clothing in several layers.
Chick-fil-A® VP to Attend S of O Lower School Dedication College of the Ozarks and School of the Ozarks will hold a private dedication this Wednesday of the S. Truett Cathy Lower School, named in honor of the late Chick-fil-A® founder and longtime friend of the College. His son, Senior Vice President of Chick-fil-A® Bubba Cathy will be present on behalf of the Cathy family for the Dedication. Following the Dedication, 139 Lower School students will enjoy Chick-fil-A® sandwiches, and each student will receive a plush Chick-fil-A® cow. The Chick-fil-A ® cow mascot also will make an appearance. The Lower School, which opened this fall, mirrors the same mission and values of the School of the Ozarks High School and the College. Families do not pay a tuition fee, but students have an age-appropriate chore assignment as part of the unique Work Education Program which has earned the school the nickname Hard Work U. Photo: Front desk area of the new School of the Ozarks S. Truett Cathy Lower School
November 14, 2014
Cox Branson Named Top Performer by The Joint Commission The Joint Commission, the leading accreditor of health care organizations in the United States, announced that Cox Medical Center Branson has been named a 2013 Top Performer on Key Quality Measures®. Cox Branson was included in The Joint Commission’s 2014 annual report entitled “America’s Hospitals: Improving Quality and Safety.” Cox Branson was recognized for attaining and sustaining excellence in accountability measure performance for surgical care, pneumonia, heart failure and heart attack. Cox Branson is one of 1,224 hospitals in the United States to achieve the 2013 Top Performer distinction.
Area Grocers to Help "Check Out Hunger" this Holiday Season Eighty southwest Missouri grocery stores are teaming up with Ozarks Food Harvest for the 16th annual Check Out Hunger fundraiser, which runs through the end of the year. Check Out Hunger gives shoppers the opportunity to add a $1, $3 or $5 tax-free donation to their grocery bill when checking out at area retailers. Tri-Lakes area grocery stores participating include Country Mart, Harter House and Rhodes Family Price Chopper. Ozarks Food Harvest serves 260,000 unduplicated individuals annually through 200 partner pantries and emergency food assistance sites. According to food bank officials, that’s one in four southwest Missouri residents who access food from OFH’s network. The 2013 fundraiser collected $36,515—the equivalent of 182,500 meals. Since 1998, the holiday campaign has collected $271,000 in donations—the equivalent of nearly 1.4 million meals.
Branson Named #2 Best Value City by Trivago The City of Branson has been named the #2 Best Value City in the US for 2015 by trivago, the world’s largest hotel search company. Branson received a score of 92.9%, with 100 being a perfect score. Macon, Georgia ranked first with a score of 93.68%. Springfield, Missouri also made the list at number 8 with a score of 91.73%. The city scores were based on the annual average price of a standard double room, combined with the city’s overall hotel rating based on user reviews.
Pregnancy Life Line Conducting Diaper Drive, Shoji Ticket Giveaway Pregnancy Life Line in Branson West is conducting a diaper drive now through November 30. Anyone who donates diapers can have their name put in a drawing for two tickets to Shoji Tabuchi’s Christmas Show. Five winners will be drawn for the Shoji tickets, which are good until his last show on December 10. Diapers can be dropped off at Pregnancy Life Line, located at 19621 Hwy 413 in Branson West next to Lakewood Church.
The Keeter Center to Host Annual Yuletide Feast The Keeter Center at College of the Ozarks will host its annual Yuletide Feast on December 3rd and 4th. The event features a hot wassail toast, caroling, boar's head processional into the Silver Dollar City Parlor and a Christmas Concert by the College of the Ozarks Chorale. Space is limited and reservations are required. Call 417-690-2120 or visit www.KeeterCenter.edu/Events.
Operation Christmas Child Shoebox Collection Week is November 17-24 Next week is collection week for Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes. The collection point is NOT at College of the Ozarks this year as it has been in the past. The new Area Collection Center is located at New Beginnings Fellowship Church in Hollister. There are also two new added Relay Centers at First Baptist Kimberling City and First Baptist Forsyth. For more information about the area collection, call 417-334-6392.
November 13, 2014
Green Forest Alderman Killed in One-Car Crash Sixty-two year old Mike Miller died in a one car accident in Benton County this past Monday. Miller was formerly a Green Forest Alderman and was defeated last week in his run for Carroll County District 8 Justice of the Peace. His vehicle was eastbound on Highway 62 when it ran off the road and hit an embankment. He was pronounced deceased at the scene of the accident. Visitation will be held Sunday evening at Nelson's Green Forest Chapel with the funeral scheduled for 10 a.m. next Monday.
Branson Aldermen Approve Several Pre-Annexation Agreements Branson Aldermen approved the first reading of several bills for pre-annexation agreements with various property owners. The agreement is typical when a property needs to connect to the City's sewer system but is not adjacent to city limits. The agreement allows the properties to be annexed when they become adjacent. The properties are located at 155 Lilac Drive in the Spring Creek North Subdivision, 634 Meadow Lane in the Hidden Meadow Subdivision and 1527 Bee Creek Road just north of the entrance to Bee Creek Apartments.
Mesenbrink Fills Vacant Rockaway Beach Alderman Seat Rockaway Beach once again has a full Board of Aldermen. The Branson Tri-Lakes News reported that Roberta Mesenbrink was sworn in to fill the position that was vacated by Jerry Simms last month. Two people applied to fill the vacancy. Mayor Michael McCabe chose Mesenbrink because of her experience with the City, and the other three Aldermen unanimously approved the appointment. She has been a resident of Rockaway Beach since 1992 and has served on the City's water and sewer committee, the planning and zoning board and the park board.
Branson Drama Students Donate to CAM Branson drama students held a food drive on October 30th and collected 140 pounds of canned food and dry goods which were donated to Christian Action Ministries. "Trick or Treat so Kids Can Eat" is a national community service program for member schools to help their communities by collecting food for local charities and food banks. Items were collected by the high school's Thespian Troup number 3482, under the direction of Debbie Corbin.
November 12, 2014
Priest from Nebraska Struck and Killed on Branson Strip A Roman Catholic priest from Omaha, Nebraska died late Monday afternoon while vacationing in Branson. Reverend Francis Partusch was hit by a car while crossing Highway 76. Police do not believe alcohol or drugs were involved in the accident and the driver is cooperating with the police investigation. The accident on the strip near Glory Road occurred just before 5 p.m.
Aldermen Approve Contracts for Water Towers, Chemicals Branson Aldermen have approved the first reading of a bill renewing a contract with Utility Service Company for the renovation and maintenance of the City's water towers. Branson pays this annual contract as part of an every 10 years full maintenance program for each of the city's water towers. Aldermen also approved bids accepting the proposals of various vendors for chemicals used in the City's water treatment and wastewater facilities. Branson operates two water plants and two sewer plants.
Fish Hatchery to Host Bird Feeder Workshop The Shepherd of the Hills Fish Hatchery, located near Table Rock Dam, will host a bird feeder workshop the Saturday morning. This annual event shows families how to build their own wooden bird feeder. In addition to assembling the pre-cut and pre-drilled one hopper style feeder, attendees will learn about the best type of seed to use to maximize winter bird watching. The workshop will be held from 10:00-11:30 a.m. Those attending should bring a hammer. For reservations and details, call 417-334-4865 extension zero.
Affordable Care Act Enrollment Meetings Scheduled Two meetings are scheduled to help residents learn about purchasing health insurance under the Affordable Care Act. Open enrollment enables individuals, families and small businesses the opportunity to shop for private health insurance based on services provided, quality and price. Certified Application Counselors from CoxHealth and Mercy will be at the events to answer questions and provide enrollment support. Meetings will be held this Saturday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the computer lab at OTC in Hollister and next Tuesday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the Best Western Branson Inn on Highway 76 near Branson West.
New Support Group Forming to Help Breastfeeding Mothers A new support group is forming at CoxHealth Branson to help mothers who breastfeed their baby. After delivery, nurses are on hand at the hospital to answer questions and provide guidance and support. But the support group is designed to help new moms continue to be successful with breastfeeding after leaving the hospital. The first group meeting will be held November 25 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the Cox Outpatient Center, Suite 406. The meeting is free and lunch will be provided. Infants and children are welcome to attend. For details, call 417-335-7300.
'Most Wonderful Time of the Year' Parade Set for Saturday at Branson Landing The second annual 'Most Wonderful Time of the Year' parade will be held at Branson Landing this Saturday starting at 10 a.m. The parade will again pay tribute to the late Andy Williams, considered by many to be Mr. Christmas. Clay and Tina Cooper will serve as masters of ceremonies. The parade will showcase area bands and entertainers and will include live performances from the stage in front of the fountains. Channel 10 Television from Springfield is planning to videotape the parade for broadcasting on Thanksgiving weekend and other dates during the holidays.
November 11, 2014
Branson Aldermen Approve Budgets for City, Convention Center Branson Aldermen approved the first reading of a bill adopting the 2015 budget. The budget has been balanced with a 22% Operating Reserve and includes $619,000 in General Fund Capital items, all of which have been identified in the 5 Year Capital Program Summary. In addition, $242,289 in one-time expenditures is included in the budget. The Board also passed a resolution approving the annual operating and capital renewals budgets of the Branson Convention Center for 2015. The 2015 budget includes about $4.1 million in revenues and $4.8 million in expenditures.
Open House Forum for Proposed Food Code Ordinance The Taney County Health Department is working toward the adoption and implementation of the 2009 version of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Food Code, increase of the permit fees, and a Mobile Food Vendor ordinance. Proposed changes will affect food service facilities and vendors in Taney County with the exception of cities currently operating under a municipal food ordinance. The Health Department will be hosting an Open House forum to discuss the changes on November 19 from 9 a.m. –noon at its Forsyth location. The proposed changes can be viewed online at TaneyCoHealth.org/EnvOrdinances.php or at both Health Department locations.
Southern Stone County Firefighters Respond to Vehicle Fire in Lampe Southern Stone County firefighters were called to a vehicle fire at about 11:30 Monday morning off Trace Hollow Road in Lampe. The vehicle was fully involved with flames spreading to the grass when crews arrived. Firefighters were on the scene for about an hour and were able to keep the fire from spreading to any structures. Reports indicate the vehicle was intentionally set on fire after a high speed chase out of Arkansas. No suspects were located and the investigation is ongoing.
Branson Aldermen Approve Contract Extension with Municode At the Branson City Council meeting Monday night, Branson Aldermen approved the first reading of a contract extension with Municode, which is conducting a legal review, implementation and republication of the City of Branson Municipal Code. The final version of the updated Municipal Code is expected to be completed and published in 2015. The Board also approved a resolution re-appointing Don Baker and Glenda Justus to the Branson Housing Authority. Both will serve 3-year terms expiring in 2018.
EarthWise Recycling Announces Grand Re-Opening, New Services In honor of America Recycles Day, the EarthWise Recycling Center will celebrate a Grand Re-Opening with the addition of new services at their new location, 24 Wolf Pack Lane near the Reeds Spring Elementary School. The Grand Re-Opening will be held this Saturday, November 15, from 8 a.m. - noon. New services at EarthWise Recycling include metal and appliance collection, as well as personal document shredding. EarthWise is open on Saturdays from 8 a.m. until noon. For more information, call (417) 766-1441.
Application Deadline Approaches for Salvation Army’s Angel Tree Program The deadline for parents to sign up to get gifts through the Branson Salvation Army’s Angel Tree program is this Friday, November 14. The Angel Tree program provides new clothing or toys for children of needy families through the support of donors. Stone and Taney County parents can apply at The Salvation Army’s Community Center, 1114 Stanley Blvd. in Branson, from 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. each day. The Angel Tree program is for children age 16 and under. For more information, call 339-4434.
November 10, 2014
Branson Woman Injured in Two-Vehicle Accident A Branson woman was injured in a two vehicle accident shortly after 9:30 Saturday morning on Highway 13, a half mile north of Reeds Spring. A small SUV driven by 80 year old Dorothy Showalter of Branson was stopped waiting to make a left turn when it was struck from behind by a large SUV driven by 22 year old Gustavo Funtes of Reeds Spring. Showalter suffered moderate injuries and was transported to Mercy Hospital in Springfield for treatment.
Crane Woman Injured in Vehicle/Deer Collision A woman from Crane sustained minor injuries when the SUV she was driving struck a deer in the roadway shortly after 8:00 Sunday night. The incident as 30 year old Angela Walter was northbound on Highway 413, four miles north of Crane. Walter was taken to Mercy Hospital in Aurora for treatment.
Mogan Found Guilty of Attempted Child Crimes in Taney County A man from El Dorado Springs, Missouri has been found guilty in Taney County Circuit Court of attempted misconduct with a child and attempted enticement of a child. In the summer of 2010, 44 year old Gerald Mogan engaged in email correspondence with Detective Nina Welch, of the Taney County Sheriff’s Office, while Detective Welch was posing online as a 13-year-old girl. Mogan exposed himself to the undercover officer via webcam and attempted to setup a meeting for the purpose of sexual contact. Mogan has been scheduled for sentencing on January 13, 2015.
2015 Missouri Minimum Wage Rate to Increase 15 Cents The Missouri Department of Labor announced that the state minimum wage rate for 2015 has been raised to $7.65 per hour from the current rate of $7.50. Effective January 1, all businesses will be required to pay a minimum of $7.65 per hour, except retail and service businesses whose annual gross sales are less than $500,000. 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. Missouri law does not allow the state’s minimum wage rate to be lower than the federal minimum wage rate.
Tree-Trimming Operation To Close Lanes in Stone County The Missouri Department of Transportation announced that drivers can expect one-lane traffic and up to 10-minute delays on several state roads in Stone County as crews begin work this week to cut back limbs overhanging the roads. The work is planned on routes 76, 413, 176 and 173 in Stone County. By removing the overhanging limbs, it exposes the pavement to more sunlight which aids snow-clearing in the winter months. The work also improves safety by removing overhanging limbs which can be hit by tall trucks and over-sized loads or blown down during storms. The Stone County operation will run through the first week of December and then crews will move to Taney County to continue the operation through the end of the year.
OTC Table Rock Invites Public to Meet New President Ozarks Technical Community College invites the public to a reception to meet the new President of the OTC Table Rock Campus, Cliff Davis, this Thursday, from 4:30 - 6 p.m. The reception will be held on the fourth floor of the OTC Table Rock Campus on Highway 165 in Hollister. The event will also feature light refreshments and tours of the facility.
Boger Gallery Presents Exhibition “Prophet Paintings and Recent Works” From now until December 1, the Boger Gallery at College of the Ozarks is featuring the exhibition “Prophet Paintings and Recent Works” by Michael Buesking, an associate professor of art at Evangel University. The exhibition will feature Buesking’s ‘prophet paintings’ from his 2002 thesis show at the University of Missouri—Columbia, as well as some more recent paintings. The exhibition is free and open to the public for viewing Monday-Friday 8 a.m.-5 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday 1-5 p.m.
Lip Service (Isaiah 6) by Michael Buesking
November 7, 2014
Branson Aldermen to Meet Monday Due to Veterans Day Branson Aldermen will hold their next regular meeting this Monday night at 7 p.m. instead of Tuesday night due to Veterans Day. Some of the items on the agenda include an update on third quarter financials, a third quarter report from the Branson Chamber of Commerce, a public hearing and first reading of the City’s 2015 budget, and a resolution approving the 2015 budget for the Convention Center. The complete agenda can be viewed online at BransonMO.gov.
Detective Daniel Smithson Named Branson's Employee of the Month Detective Daniel Smithson of the Branson Police Department has been named the City’s Employee of the Month for November. On July 17 this year, Detective Smithson was driving in the city trying to locate an individual in connection with a case he was investigating when he heard a medical dispatch call reporting a child choking at a hotel on Highway 76 in his vicinity. He realized he was the closest responder so he went to the hotel and found the child laying on the floor and not breathing. Smithson immediately began CPR and continued until paramedics were able to arrive and relieve him. Detective Smithson’s quick response and actions directly led to the survival of the child.
John Stonestreet to Speak on Faith & Culture at C of O College of the Ozarks will host John Stonestreet this coming Wednesday at 7 p.m. in Jones Auditorium. Stonestreet is a speaker and Fellow of the Chuck Colson Center for Christian Worldview. He is also the co-host of “BreakPoint,” the Christian worldview radio program founded by the late Chuck Colson, and the voice of “The Point,” a daily national radio feature on worldview, apologetics and cultural issues. He will be speaking about how faith relates to the pressing cultural issues of our time. The event is free and open to the public.
Taney County Jury Finds Wiklund Guilty of Seven Felonies A Taney County jury has found 39 year old James Wiklund guilty of seven felonies, including burglary, assault, robbery, armed criminal action, tampering, and two counts of kidnapping. The felony charges stemmed from a home invasion that took place on December 28, 2012, in Ridgedale. Wiklund’s co-defendant, Jonathan Hill, pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 25 years in prison on October 23. Wiklund is scheduled to be sentenced on January 13, 2015.
Branson to Hold “Responsible Alcohol Selling” Class The Branson Finance Department will be holding another “Responsible Alcohol Selling” class on Thursday, November 13, 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. The training begins at 9:30 a.m. in the Council Chambers of Branson City Hall. The cost is $5 per person, payable at the time of the training. For more information, call 337-8575.
White River Painting Exhibit Opens at C of O November 13 The College of the Ozarks Ralph Foster Museum will host the White River Painting Exhibit and sale November 13 - December 19. The Museum hosts the annual exhibit to celebrate the unique Ozarks heritage and express the Museum’s continued mission of providing rich learning experiences about Ozarks culture through the arts. Nick Nelson, director of Springfield Art Museum, will serve as this year’s juror. An opening reception to celebrate this special exhibit will take place Thursday, November 13, from 2-4:30 p.m. in Edwards Art Gallery at the Ralph Foster Museum. Monetary awards will be given to the top three, as well as for honorable mentions, and many of the paintings will be for sale.
November 6, 2014
Three Teens Injured in Golf Cart Accident A golf cart accident on private property sent three teenagers to CoxHealth Branson with moderate injuries. Injured were the driver 18 year old Cheryl Head of Kirbyville and passengers Megan Goodin and Tabitha Hughes, both 17 and both from Reeds Spring. Cheryl lost control of the golf cart causing it to run off the road. She then overcorrected bringing the vehicle back on the road where it overturned. The accident at 3:15 Wednesday afternoon occurred one and a half miles east of Branson West.
Taney County Library Board to Try Tax Again The Taney County Library Board is planning to try again to secure taxpayer funding for a county-wide library system. Residents turned down a proposed tax last April. The Branson Tri-Lakes News reported that the board has reorganized and has established an advisory council in an effort to formulate a clearer message about the need for a county-wide library and how the levy would work. A levy somewhere between 5 and 15 cents per $100 of assessed property valuation is being discussed. The board will dissolve May 1, 2016 if funding is not secured.
Branson High Marching Band Wins Grand Champion Award The Branson High School Marching Band ended its season at the Neewollah Festival in Independence, Kansas last weekend. The band received "Superior" ratings in its parade performance and field performance. Additional awards included Best in Class, Best Percussion and Best Color Guard. The Overall Grand Champion Award was also presented to the Branson High Band. Twenty-two schools were competing for that award.
CoxHealth Fitness Center Launches "Win For Losing" Program Some studies indicate that the average American will gain between 5 and 10 pounds over the holiday season. The Cox Health Fitness Center has launched a "Win For Losing" weight-loss program which will run from November 10th to January 7th. Participants will receive an eight-week fitness center membership, be able to take advantage of unlimited boot camp classes each week and receive email tips and support throughout the program. People who lose the most weight will receive prizes. The cost is $99, or $75 for existing fitness center members. Details available by calling 417-348-0060.
Branson School District Seeking Sponsors for Christmas Assistance The Branson School District is again recruiting sponsors to provide assistance to families in need this holiday season. Individuals and groups are needed to sponsor one or more children. The assistance will include some specific clothing items for the children and a requested toy based on forms sent home with students and returned by parents. Eligibility of the children participating is based on financial guidelines. For details, call the district's social work office at 417-336-1854.
Benefit Concert to be Held for Local Entertainment Family A benefit concert will be held November 16th for Twice Adopted. The family of 10 performing children adopted into one family has been performing in the Owens Theatre in downtown Branson. Linda Koenig, the mother of the family, died this past summer after a short illness caused by a bacterial infection. Donations raised at the special concert will help pay for medical bills and funeral expenses. Numerous local entertainers will participate and there will be a special appearance by the Duggar Family from TLC's reality TV show, "19 Kids and Counting." The concert will be held at the Hughes Brothers Theatre at 7 p.m. There is no admission charge but donations will be appreciated and helpful.
November 5, 2014
Branson West Teen Injured in One-Car Crash A teenager from Branson West was injured when the car he was driving ran off the road and hit a tree after the car started hydroplaning on the wet road. Sixteen year old Dustin Bibens was taken to Cox Health Branson for treatment of moderate injuries. The accident at 4 p.m. Tuesday occurred on Highway 265 a mile north of Branson. The teen was using the car seatbelt.
Kissee Mills Woman Injured in One-Vehicle Rollover Thirty-nine year old Amy Dedeke of Kissee Mills received moderate injuries when the car she was driving ran off the road and overturned. The accident at 3:40 Tuesday afternoon occurred on Highway 76, two miles east of Bradleyville. She was treated at Cox South in Springfield. She was not using the car seatbelt.
Mayor Presley to Speak at Highway Commission Meeting Branson Mayor Raeanne Presley will make a presentation to the Missouri Highways and Transportation Commission when it meets in Springfield Thursday morning. Presentations will also be given by the Ozarks Transportatin Organization and the Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce. The 10 a.m. meeting will be held in the Board Room at the Springfield-Branson Airport. The public is invited to attend. The Commission holds these meetings in order to learn more about an area's transportation needs.
Hollister Aldermen to Meet in Regular Session Thursday Hollister Aldermen are scheduled to meet in regular session Thursday evening. Agenda items include the second reading of a bill to amend the city's sign code, a health insurance update from Connell Insurance, a non-profit banner application from 1st Baptist Branson and introduction of the Republican Circuit Judge. Aldermen will also hear a report from the Taney County Health Department regarding Ebola response efforts. The 7 p.m. meeting will be held at Hollister Town Hall on Esplanade Street.
Branson Student to Attend Congress of Future Medical Leaders Azra Martinez, a Branson High School sophomore, is planning to attend the Congress of Future Medical Leaders to be held in Washington, DC next week. The three day Congress is an honors-only program for high school students desiring to become doctors or enter fields of medical research. The purpose is to honor, inspire, motivate and direct the top students in the country to stay true to their dreams. Azra was chosen to represent Missouri based on her academic achievement, leadership potential and determination to serve humanity.
18,091 Deer Harvested During Missouri's Early Youth Hunt The Missouri Department of Conservation announced that young deer hunters, ages 6-15, checked 18,091 deer during the state's early portion of this year's deer season, held November first and second. That's down slightly from last year. 80% of the deer harvest in Missouri will take place during the regular firearms hunting season November 15-25. The department also announced that hunters checked 5,691 turkeys during Missouri's fall firearms turkey season, held during the whole month of October. That also was down slightly from last year.
November 4, 2014
Fire Destroys Vacant Mobile Home in Kimberling City Southern Stone County Firefighters responded to a mobile home fire just before 11:00 Monday morning on Ginny Loop in Kimberling City. Upon arrival, crews found a single-wide mobile home fully involved in flames. Crews were able to contain the fire to the mobile home and protect adjacent homes from damage. Crews used around 10,000 gallons of water from nearby Table Rock Lake and were on the scene for nearly two hours. The home was not occupied and was reportedly being "scrapped out," however nobody was working on it at the time of the fire. The cause of the blaze is under investigation.
Two Drivers Injured in Two-Car Accident in Hollister Two drivers were injured in a two-car accident just after 7:00 Monday night on Business 65 in Hollister. A car driven by 41 year old Hilary Craft of Hollister was waiting to turn left when it was struck from behind by a car driven by 20 year old Amy Junge of Branson. Both drivers were treated for minor injuries at Cox Branson.
Shell Knob Woman Injured in One-Car Crash A woman from Shell Knob was injured in a one-car crash at about 1:00 Monday afternoon on Route H, six miles southeast of Shell Knob. The Highway Patrol reported that a car driven by 66 year old Carol Harp ran off the side of the road, struck an embankment and overturned. Harp suffered moderate injuries and was airlifted to Mercy Hospital in Springfield for treatment.
Two Area Women Injured in Vehicle/Deer Collision Two area women were injured in a one-vehicle accident shortly before 1:00 early Monday morning on Interstate 44, two miles east of Mount Vernon. An SUV driven by 18 year old Alyssa Patterson of Ozark struck a deer, ran into a guardrail and overturned. Patterson suffered minor injuries and 42 year old passenger Cherry White of Reeds Spring sustained moderate injuries. They were both transported to Cox South Hospital in Springfield for treatment.
Branson Aldermen Approve IT Contracts with Dazzee, Nexlevel At the last Branson City Council meeting, Aldermen approved the first reading of a contract renewal with Dazzee Integration pertaining to information technology outsourcing, monitoring, maintenance, management and support. The Board also approved the first reading of a proposal from Nexlevel Information Technology, Inc. to prepare a strategic plan for the City’s information technology. The plan will guide technology implementation, security and staff training over all departments.
Garrett Anderson Appointed to Missouri Clean Energy Board Branson Aldermen have appointed Economic Development Director Garrett Anderson as the City’s representative on the Missouri Clean Energy Board. The board will convene this fall to begin implementation of the statewide Property Assessed Clean Energy program. The program authorizes private property owners to enter into a voluntary special property tax assessment contract for the purpose of financing energy improvements on their property.
Taney County to Hold Annual Surplus Auction this Saturday Taney County will hold its annual Surplus Auction this Saturday, November 8, at 9:30 a.m. at the Taney County Mechanics Shop east of Forsyth on Highway 76. The auction will include tools, vehicles, computers, guns, knives and lots of other miscellaneous items. These items are surplus or confiscated items and will be sold as is. For more information, call 417-546-7281 or visit TaneyCounty.org.
November 3, 2014
Kissee Mills Teen Fatally Injured While Skateboarding A teenager from Kissee Mills was fatally injured on Halloween night as he was skateboarding on Highway 160, two miles north of Kissee Mills. The Highway Patrol reported that 15 year old Timothy Guerin was skateboarding in the northbound lane of Highway 160 shortly before 8 p.m. Friday night when he was struck by a car driven by 24 year old Joshua Marler of Taneyville. Guerin was pronounced dead at the scene and taken to Whelchel Funeral Home in Forsyth.
Koster Obtains Order Against Branson Vacation Telemarketers Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster has obtained an order prohibiting Branson vacation telemarketers from violating the state’s No Call law. Last year, Koster filed a lawsuit against Springfield-based Branson Vacation Land and The Buzz Marketing and Communications, as well as their owner Kim Bascom, for placing over a quarter-million calls to Missourians on the state's No Call list to sell Branson vacation packages. As part of the order obtained by Koster, Bascom and his companies are prohibited from making any further telemarketing calls to Missourians or face up to $175,000 in fines and penalties.
Construction Begins on Downtown Branson Streetscape Project The City of Branson announced that construction begins this week on Phase 1 of the Historic Downtown Streetscape Project. The first phase of construction consists of three roads in the downtown district - Commercial Street between Pacific Street and College Street, College Street between Commercial Street and Veterans Blvd., and Pacific Street between Commercial Street and Veterans Blvd. There will be periodic street closings during this construction phase, which will involve the installation of water lines and storm sewer piping. Future phases of the project will include improvements to sidewalks, streets, lighting, benches and landscaping.
Branson's Veterans Homecoming Week Starts Wednesday Branson will once again honor Veterans with its annual Veterans Homecoming Week starting this Wednesday and running through Veterans' Day next Tuesday. The seven-day event is both a tribute and a celebration filled with a variety of activities such as the “Vets for Vets” opening celebration show at the Baldknobbers Theatre, the Vietnam Memorial Wall at the Welk Resort, and the 82nd Annual Veterans Day Parade as well as various reunions, memorial ceremonies and special events. For a complete schedule, visit BransonVeterans.com or call 417-337-8387.
MoDOT Prepares for Winter with Statewide Drill The Missouri Department of Transportation will test its readiness for the upcoming winter season with a statewide drill this Wednesday. The drill tests MoDOT’s winter plan to ensure its readiness to get travelers back on Missouri roadways as quickly as possible after winter storms. During the drill, MoDOT employees will react to a simulated forecast of significant snow for the entire state. The department’s emergency operations centers will activate and maintenance employees will be deployed to their trucks. Motorists may notice increased numbers of MoDOT vehicles on state routes during the drill.
Gabe Lyons to Share on Christianity and Culture at C of O Author and speaker, Gabe Lyons, will share on Christianity and culture this Wednesday at 7 p.m. in Jones Auditorium at College of the Ozarks. Lyons co-founded Catalyst, a national gathering of young leaders, and co-authored the best-selling book UnChristian: What a New Generation Really Thinks About Christianity and Why It Matters. Wednesday’s convocation is free and open to the public.
October 31, 2014
Early Morning Fire Damages Hollister Home Western Taney County Firefighters responded to a house fire at approximately 1 a.m. early this morning on Natures Way in Hollister. When firefighters arrived they found a working fire on the rear of the home in an enclosed portion of the deck. Firefighters were able to knock down the main fire quickly and prevent the fire from spreading to the main portion of the home. The fire damage was limited to the enclosed addition on the deck at the rear of the house and only light smoke was found inside the living areas of the home. There were no injuries, and the cause of the fire was not able to be determined.
Residents Urged to "Change Your Clock – Change Your Battery" As the fall time change approaches this weekend, the City of Branson Fire Department would like to remind residents to make another change that could save their lives by simply changing the batteries in their smoke alarms. According to the International Association of Fire Chiefs, nearly 30% of fatal fires have inoperable smoke alarms or none present at all. The Fire Department also encourages residents to dust or vacuum smoke alarms when they change the batteries, and replace the smoke alarms if they are more than 10 years old.
Aldermen Approve Budgeting Contract, Planned Development At the last Branson City Council meeting, Aldermen approved the first reading of a contract renewal with the Center for Priority Based Budgeting. The Center has been working with City staff over the past year, on preparing a new program for prioritizing City programs and expenses. The process is expected to continue throughout 2015. The Board also approved the first reading of an amendment to the planned development in Branson Hills, to include additional property at 1701 Branson Hills Parkway. This is a vacant 5.5-acre parcel west of the RecPlex. The developer is seeking to develop additional housing similar to The Greens duplexes to the southeast of the RecPlex.
Veterans Events Planned at C of O November 4-11 College of the Ozarks will honor American Veterans with numerous events and ceremonies November 4-11. The events will begin with free performances of “Four Star Country Boy,” an inspirational play about college alumnus General Terrence R. Dake’s life and valiant service during the Vietnam War. Performances will be held in The Keeter Center’s Royal Oak Forum November 4, 6, 8, 9 and 11 at 2 p.m. with an additional showing on the 11th at 8 p.m. On Friday, November 7, at 11 a.m., the Veterans Grove Tree Dedication will take place at the Alumni Center Lawn. Following the Tree Dedication, a World War II Mini-Reunion will take place at The Keeter Center at 2 p.m. On Veterans Day, November 11, at 7 a.m., a Flag Raising/Wreath Laying ceremony will be held at the Main Flag Pole located on the Chapel Lawn. All the events are free and open to the public. Photo: Veterans Grove and Flag Plaza at College of the Ozarks
Abernathy Named Branch Manager at Arvest Bank in Downtown Branson Arvest Bank announced that Aaron Abernathy has been named branch manager of Arvest's downtown branch in Branson. Abernathy was previously a branch manager in Fort Smith, Arkansas and has been with Arvest Bank for seven years. While working in Fort Smith, Abernathy received Arvest’s 2010 Assistant Branch Manager award.
Branson Convention Center to Host Futsal Tournament This coming January 10 and 11, the Branson Convention Center will host the 2015 Branson Shootout Futsal Tournament. Futsal is a five-on-five soccer style sport played on a basketball –sized court. The Branson Futsal Tournament is open to boys’ and girls’ teams U8-High School and has a roster limit of 10 per team. Registration can be completed on the organizer’s website www.FCLegacy.org. The tournament is a fundraiser for FC Legacy, which seeks to give each player a solid soccer skill foundation and an opportunity to play at a higher level, and also encourages a sense of community responsibility. Funds from the tournament will also go to The Breast Cancer Foundation of the Ozarks and Convoy of Hope.
Branson High FFA Members Advance to District Competition Four members of the Branson High School FFA chapter recently competed at the Area 12 Fall Speaking Contest held in Ava. Jessie Peterson took 2nd place in the Swine Producers Division, Alexandra Farris won 2nd place in the Pet Producers Division, Gage Dixon earned 3rd place in the Farm Bureau Division, and Levi Coffelt took 5th place in the Sheep Producer Division. Peterson, Farris and Dixon will advance to the Southwest District Competition scheduled for November 13. Pictured from left: Gage Dixon, Jessie Peterson, Alexandra Farris and Levi Coffelt
October 30, 2014
Branson Provides Annual Fall Cleanup Next Week The Branson Public Works Department will conduct its annual city-wide fall cleanup next week, Monday through Thursday. The purpose is to help families properly dispose of large unwanted items at no cost. Items include appliances, furniture, mattresses and brush. Pickup in Ward I will be on Monday, Ward II on Tuesday and Ward III on Wednesday. Brush and limbs will be picked up in all three wards on Thursday. City crews will not pick up tires, batteries, televisions, computer monitors or bagged leaves. Residents are asked to call 24 hours before their scheduled pickup day for exceptionally heavy items like large appliances. The number is 243-2725.
Cox Branson Opens New Road and Driveway A new road and driveway at Cox Medical Center Branson opened this week. The project allows traffic to travel from the campus' north driveway near the Cancer Center to the south side of the campus and the hospital parking garage without having to access Branson Landing Boulevard. The new road is one of several improvements for the hospital. The first phase of the new emergency department opened in September. Renovations on the existing facility continue and are expected to be completed by the end of the year.
Branson Aldermen Approve Changes to Two Downtown Alleys Branson Aldermen have approved the first reading of a bill amending Chapter 86 of the Municipal Code regarding one-way streets. The ordinance will make changes to two alleys in downtown. The alley that connects the 100 block of South Commercial to the 100 block of South Sycamore will become one-way eastbound. The alley that connects the 100 block of North Commercial to the 100 block of Veterans Boulevard, which is currently one-way, will be allowed to hold two-way traffic.
SDC's Old Time Christmas Opens this Saturday Silver Dollar City's Old Time Christmas opens this Saturday. New this year is Rudolph's Holly Jolly Christmas Light Parade. The million dollar parade features nine musical, lighted floats, animated features and 33 costumed characters, many over 10 feet tall. Returning this year are the popular stage musical productions, "A Dickens' Christmas Carol" and "It's A Wonderful Life." The Living Nativity also returns this year as well as the 5-story Christmas tree on the square with a light display set to music. Old Time Christmas will be held through December 30, open 1 to 9 p.m., Thursday to Sunday most weeks. Details are available at SilverDollarCity.com.
Boone County Agencies Conduct Operation Safe Scare Operation Safe Scare in Boone County, Arkansas enables law enforcement to validate information provided by sex offenders during their required registration and periodic re-registration. Safe Scare recently targeted 106 registered offenders. Officers were able to locate and verify 100 of those during a two-day operation. They will continue to follow-up on un-verified offenders and seek charges for individuals in non-compliance or not living in the residence they previously reported. One purpose of the operation is to help provide a safe environment for children going door-to-door on Halloween in Boone County.
Cox Branson to Host Comprehensive Diabetes Workshops Cox Medical Center Branson will host two comprehensive diabetes workshops starting next week. The 10-hour course covers everything from diagnosis to meal planning. The class is recognized by the American Diabetes Association as meeting national standards for diabetes self-management education. A physician's referral is required so residents interested in attending should talk with their doctor first. For details, call 335-7453.
October 29, 2014
Branson Aldermen Give Final Approval to Smoke-Free Ordinance After weeks of discussion, public input, writing and re-writing of the bill, Branson Aldermen have approved the final reading of a bill to implement a smoke-free ordinance. The amendment to Chapter 58 of the Municipal Code restricts smoking in indoor spaces inside the city limits. It also restricts some outdoor spaces, such as city parks and public entrances to buildings. However most outdoor spaces, including outdoor dining patios which had initially been considered for restriction, are not restricted.
Aldermen Approve Amendment to Packaged Liquor Licensing Branson Aldermen have approved the first reading of a bill amending Chapter 10 of the Municipal Code relating to packaged liquor licensing. The changes come because two of the limited packaged liquor sales licenses are currently available to a new seller of the product. The amount of sales by a licensee was increased from $5,000 to $10,000. The definitions require the licensee to be a retail operation and clarifies the random selection process for qualified applicants. The changes are intended to prevent a speculative buyer from obtaining a license.
Vacant Motel Fire in Harrison Investigated as Suspicious A fire at a vacant motel in Harrison is being investigated as suspicious in nature. KY3 News reported that fire crews were called to the Hoops and Home Runs motel on Main Street at about 3 a.m. this morning. The motel was home to about 75 residents until a storm in June 2008 damaged the complex. Then a year ago an exterior wall collapsed. Harrison officials have tried to get the building's owner to clean up the property since that time. There were no utilities connected to the building.
Traveling Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall on Display at Welk Resort For the 18th year, the traveling Vietnam Veterans Memorial, known as 'The Wall' will be on display at the Welk Resort. The memorial will be available for public viewing during the Veterans Homecoming Celebration, November 5-11. The official half-scale replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial spans 240 feet and lists the more than 58,000 names of soldiers killed in the Vietnam War. The Welk Resort purchased the memorial last year, insuring that it will be displayed for years to come. Volunteers are needed to read aloud the names inscribed on the wall. For details call 417-243-1202.
Several MO State Parks Extending Shower House Season Normally shower facilities at Missouri State Parks are open from April 1 to October 31. This year however, 13 state parks will have an extended shower house season, extending into various dates in November. This includes Roaring River State Park with shower facilities available until January 1. Three state parks, including Table Rock, have at least one shower house open year round. Dates are weather dependent so residents are encouraged to check the park website before planning a camping trip. Information about state parks can be found at MOStateParks.com.
Tanger Outlets Branson Welcomes New Stores After breaking ground last May, the first of the new stores coming to Tanger Outlets Branson have opened for business. Sunglass Hut offers top brands, latest trends and exclusive styles in fashion and performance sunglasses. Pandora offers high quality, hand finished, modern and genuine jewelry. Helzberg Diamonds is a member of the American Gem Society, an association dedicated to consumer protection, education, ethics and integrity in the jewelry industry. And Talbots offers a classic approach to women's apparel, shoes and accessories.
October 28, 2014
Forsyth Man Gets 25 Years in Connection with Home Invasion Taney County Prosecutor Jeff Merrell announced that 38 year old Jonathan Hill of Forsyth pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 25 years in prison for committing several felonies during a home invasion in December 2012. Hill and another man forced their way inside the home of a Ridgedale couple, injured the husband and threatened to kill the couple. They stole guns, jewelry and other valuables and eluded law enforcement during a high-speed chase. The men were eventually found hiding in a heavily wooded area several hours after the home invasion.
Hollister Man Sentenced to 7 Years for Felony D.W.I. Forty-one year old Brian Bick of Hollister has been sentenced to seven years in prison for the felonies of driving while intoxicated and driving with a revoked license. On the morning of July 19, 2013, Branson Police were contacted by citizens complaining about a possible drunk driver on Green Mountain Drive. Officers found Bick in a semi-conscious condition parked in the middle of Keeter Street. His blood-alcohol content was found to be 0.23%, over three times higher than the legal limit.
Reeds Spring Issues Boil Water Order after Valve Break The City of Reeds Spring issued a 24-hour boil water order on Monday after experiencing a valve break on Main Street. The incident caused a complete loss of pressure in some areas which resulted in the boil water order. The affected area included all Reeds Spring residences and businesses north of Highway 76.
Actor Ben Davies to Co-Emcee Run to the Lights at Silver Dollar City Actor Ben Davies will co-emcee the 9th Annual Run to the Lights 5k Race at Silver Dollar City on Friday, November 7. Davies, best known for his role as a young, single dad in the Christian film Courageous, will help emcee and be on hand to sign autographs at the race. The event is a benefit for the Caring People, a ministry to single moms. All registered participants receive a one-day pass to Silver Dollar City and a t-shirt. Registration and event schedule are available at RunToTheLights.com.
C of O to Present “Railway to Heaven: A True Story of an Ozarks POW” College of the Ozarks will present “Railway to Heaven: A True Story of an Ozarks POW” on Sunday, November 2, at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m., and Monday, November 3, at 7:30 p.m. in Jones Auditorium. “Railway to Heaven” is based on the life of Roy Hopper who was an honor roll student at School of the Ozarks at the outbreak of WWII. Roy was drafted into the Army in 1943, captured and tortured by the German Army, and eventually escaped after nine and a half months. The production is free and open to the public, and reservations are available. For more information, call (417) 690-2626.
Branson AFJROTC Cadets Walk for Diabetes The Branson High School chapter of Air Force Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps recently participated in the annual American Diabetes Association Walk. The cadets raised $3,725 to benefit the organization, the largest donation the group has given to the American Diabetes Association. The Branson chapter has raised $18,810 in total donations since it began participating in the walk in 2002. The Branson cadets are under the direction of Colonel David Burke.
Branson Area Festival of Lights Drive-Through Opens Saturday The Branson Area Festival of Lights Drive-Through opens this Saturday and runs through December 31, from dusk until 11 p.m. each night. The one-mile drive featuring more than 175 displays is located off Shepherd of the Hills Expressway and Roark Valley Road. A Festival of Lights Community Celebration will be held on Monday, November 3 at 5:30 p.m. featuring pictures with Santa, hot chocolate and cookies, and entertainment by The Cat’s Pajamas vocal group. Family vehicle admission to the Drive-Through on that night only will be $7 for Taney and Stone County residents and employees. Normal family vehicle admission for the season is $15, and a family season pass is $25. For more information, call the Branson Chamber at (417) 334-4084.
October 27, 2014
Emergency Crews Rescue Man After Fall from Deer Stand Southern Stone County Firefighters responded to a report of a 39 year old man who fell 25 feet from a deer stand just after 7:00 this morning. Crews responded by fire boat on Table Rock Lake to access the patient who was located about 300 yards into the woods from Schooner Creek Cove near DD Highway just east of Kimberling City. Medics on the scene reported that the man was suffering from a femur fracture and possible hypothermia. He was taken by fire boat to Port of Kimberling and then airlifted in stable condition to Mercy Springfield for treatment.
Harrison Firefighters Respond to Business Fire on Main Street The Harrison Fire Department was called to a fire at the Home Ice Company on North Main Street at 9:45 Sunday night. The fire was reported by a skateboarder and first arriving crews found flames in a second floor storage area behind the Gecko Grafix business. Crews were able to quickly extinguish the fire resulting in only minor damage. No injuries were reported and the incident is under investigation.
Springfield Man Hit by Own Rolling Vehicle Near Crane A man from Springfield was seriously injured when he was hit by his own vehicle shortly before 3:30 Sunday afternoon on Pacific Drive, a half mile south of Crane. The Highway Patrol reported that 26 year old Kendall Powers failed to put his pickup truck in park before he exited the vehicle. The truck rolled into Powers and against an embankment. Powers was transported to Mercy Hospital in Springfield for treatment of serious injuries.
C of O's Elizabeth Hughes Authors First Children’s Book College of the Ozarks Public Relations Director Elizabeth Hughes has authored her first children’s book titled Tom the Turkey’s Road to Freedom. The interactive book weaves American Exceptionalism and the Founding Fathers' intentions for the country with life lessons and biblical truths. In the book, Tom the Turkey learns through numerous adventures that there is more to life than meets the eye, as he finds his road to freedom. The book may be purchased online at TomTheTurkeysRoadToFreedom.com.
Branson to Hold Neighborhood Walk with Murphy Addition Residents The City of Branson has rescheduled a neighborhood walk with the residents of the Murphy Addition due to inclement weather earlier this month. The neighborhood walk will take place this Thursday, October 30. The Branson Board of Aldermen has used this type of interaction with Branson neighborhoods to promote communication with City Hall and to kick off the planning process for initiating new neighborhood organizations. The walk will be attended by Aldermen and City staff from most departments, and neighbors are invited to give feedback on all aspects of their neighborhood, from safety, to storm drainage, to beautification and more. Neighbors will meet in Murphy Park at 5:30 p.m. for the walking tour.
Branson High Drama Club to "Trick-or-Treat" for Canned Goods The Branson High School Drama Club will Trick-or-Treat so kids can eat by collecting canned goods in Branson neighborhoods this Thursday, October 30. This is a national initiative sponsored by the Educational Theatre Association. All local food items collected will be donated to Christian Action Ministries’ food pantries.
Senior Friendship Center to Host Rose O’Neill Program The Forsyth Senior Friendship Center is hosting a program about artist Rose O’Neill this Wednesday at 10:30 a.m. O’Neill was an international celebrity by 1914 as the creator of the kewpie doll. Her fans from around the world came to Bonniebrook, her family’s homestead on Bear Creek north of Branson. Wednesday’s program will include a short video about O’Neill and a display of her art, books, and kewpie dolls. The event is free and the open to the public. Lunch will be available at 11:30 a.m. for a small donation. The Senior Friendship Center is located at 13879 Highway 160, just west of Forsyth.
October 24, 2014
NAIA Announces Two-Year Extension with C of O to Host DII Men's Basketball National Championships The National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) has announced a two-year extension with College of the Ozarks to host the 2016 and 2017 NAIA Division II Men’s Basketball National Championships. The national championship has been held at C of O since 2000. College of the Ozarks has seen an 18% increase in attendance at the championships over the last three years. As the host institution, the C of O Bobcats team receives a host berth into the championships. The 2015 event is scheduled for March 11-17 in Keeter Gymnasium. Photo: 2013 NAIA DII Parade in Keeter Gymnasium
Stone County Firefighters Taking Part in Funeral for Alton Fire Chief Members of the Southern Stone County Fire Protection District are in Alton, MO today to take part in the funeral service for Alton Fire Chief Eddie Johnson Jr. who died in the line of duty. Chief Johnson, age 45, was killed in a car crash while responding to a house fire on Monday, October 20. Johnson had been fire chief since 2010 and also served as a full-time police officer for the Alton Police Department and was an Oregon County Reserve Sheriff’s Deputy.
Branson Woman Injured During Police Pursuit in Branson Hills A Branson woman was injured in a three-vehicle accident that occurred during a police pursuit just before 6:00 Thursday evening on Branson Hills Parkway. A patrol car driven by Officer Michael Collins of Ozark was pursuing a pickup driven by 27 year old Daniel Brown of Springfield when Brown’s pickup crossed the centerline and struck an oncoming pickup driven by 41 year old Rodney Curbow of Branson. Fifty-two year old passenger Laura Curbow suffered moderate injuries and was taken to Cox Branson for treatment.
Branson Aldermen to Meet in Regular Session this Tuesday Night Branson Aldermen will meet in regular session this Tuesday night at 7 p.m. in the Council Chambers at City Hall. A few of the items on the agenda include the final reading of the new smoke-free ordinance, A presentation by Marc Mulherin on the third quarter update for the Convention Center, the first reading of an amendment pertaining to alcoholic beverages, and several bid awards for various services. The meeting can be heard live on the web at BransonMO.gov.
Superhero Showdown Carnival Raises $40,000 for Branson Education Foundation The Superhero Showdown Carnival was held at the Branson High School on Saturday, October 11. Through corporate sponsorships, T-shirt sales and raffle tickets, the event raised $40,000 for the Branson Education Foundation. The Branson Education Foundation has returned $65,000 to the school district in the form of scholarships and classroom grants since 2010.
Photo: Members of the Branson Education Foundation board
Area McDonald’s to Participate in Cans for Coffee Campaign McDonald’s locations across the Ozarks are participating in the 7th annual Cans for Coffee campaign to benefit Ozarks Food Harvest. Cans for Coffee runs from October 27 through November 16, offering customers one free small coffee drink in exchange for a canned good for those in need. Sixty-three local McDonald’s collect the nonperishable food donations, and Ozarks Food Harvest distributes the food across its network of more than 200 food pantries and hunger-relief programs in 28 counties. Food drive organizers hope to collect at least 30,000 pounds of food to help feed families and seniors in need during the upcoming holiday season.
Branson Park’s Department Welcomes New Recreation Specialist Holly Mullen recently joined the Branson Park’s Department as a Recreation Specialist. Holly will oversee many youth and adult recreational programs and special events. This is Holly’s second stint working for the department. She served as an intern in the summer of 2011 and returned the following summer, helping out with summer programs and working at the front desk. Holly and her family recently moved back to the area after she worked as a Recreation Program Coordinator with Bevard County Parks and Recreation is Melbourne, FL.
Walk to End Alzheimer's Raises Over $10,000 About 140 people participated in the recent Walk to End Alzheimer's at Branson Landing. The event raised over $10,410 to support research efforts of the Alzheimer's Association and help care for those living with the disease. Donations can still be made to cause. Visit act.alz.org/walkbranson or call 417-886-2199.
October 23, 2014
Hollister Receives $48,000 Grant for Wastewater System Planning Hollister is one of three cities in Missouri to be awarded funds from the state's Department of Natural Resources for wastewater system planning. The $48,000 grant will come from the Small Community Engineering Assistance Program and will be used for development of plans to evaluate treatment and collection system upgrades. The Department of Natural Resources will administer the funds and is committed to working with communities to assist with water and sewer infrastructure improvement projects.
Forsyth Stops Adding Fluoride to Municipal Water System Forsyth has stopped adding fluoride to the city's municipal water system. The Branson Tri-Lakes News reported that Forsyth Aldermen voted 4-0 to stop the practice, at least temporarily. The decision was made because of a recommendation from the Department of Natural Resources that the city stop adding fluoride unless it upgrades the fluoride injection process. The upgrade would include adding safety systems which could cost the city up to $100,000. The DNR also urged the city to start disinfecting its water supply with chlorine but aldermen did not act on that recommendation.
October is Black Dog Adoption Month The Taney County Animal Care and Control Center is offering a reduced fee of $45 for all black dogs adopted through October 31. Black dogs have the highest euthanasia and lowest adoption rates across the country. The adoption fee covers the cost of spaying or neutering, vaccinations, microchipping and heartworm testing for adult dogs plus a free one month trial insurance offer.
Zweifel Returns $1.2 Million of Unclaimed Property Missouri State Treasurer Clint Zweifel has returned $1.2 million of unclaimed property to eight large account owners since July. The accounts ranged from $100,000 to $200,000 and were returned to individuals, businesses and a major hospital chain. The treasurer still holds $822 million in unclaimed property belonging to 4.8 million account holders. Unclaimed property can come from abandoned bank accounts, uncollected insurance policies, uncashed checks and other sources. 10% of Missourians have unclaimed property and the average amount is $300. Residents may check on unclaimed property at ShowMeMoney.com.
Stone County Art Studio Tour Set for Saturday The 12th Annual Stone County Art Studio Tour will take place this Saturday. Local artisans will open their galleries to the public between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. The self-guided tour and sale will feature 8 stops along a 20-mile route through Galena, Reeds Spring and Kimberling City. Artisans include jewelry makers, painters, potters and wood and metal workers. Gourmet refreshments will be available at some of the featured studios. More information and a map can be obtained at Facebook.com/StoneCountyArtTour/Info.
Empire Offers Tips to Reduce Winter Electric Bills October is Energy Action Month. The Empire District Electric Company reminds residents that a few improvements around the house can help reduce electric bills this coming winter. These include caulking around windows and doors to seal air leaks, closing fireplace dampers when not in use, installing a door sweep to prevent warm air loss under outside doors and garage doors, adding attic insulation where necessary and having a tune-up of the heating system. More information is available at EmpireDistrict.com/EnergySolutions.
October 22, 2014
Aldermen Approve Recycling, Lift Station Contracts During their last meeting, Branson Aldermen approved the first reading of a bill renewing the contract with Greenway Recycling. The company transports and markets the cardboard, paper and metal recyclable materials collected at he city-operated Recycle Center. The Board also approved a change order with McClanahan Construction Company related to the replacement of Lift Station 25. And Aldermen approved the purchase of a submersible pump for high capacity lift station number 17, located in the lower Fall Creek basin.
Texas Man Injured in Motorcycle Accident Near Ridgedale The operator of a motorcycle was injured Tuesday afternoon when his bike ran off the road and overturned. 58 year old Dennis Hudson of Richland Hills, Texas was taken to Cox Health Branson for treatment of minor injuries. The 3:35 p.m. accident occurred on Highway 86, five miles west of Ridgedale.
Small Plane Crashes in Baxter County, Arkansas A small plane crashed Tuesday evening in Baxter County, Arkansas. KY3 News reported that the experimental, home built plane crashed when it lost power shortly after takeoff from the airport in Midway. Two men were on board. The pilot was taken to a hospital in Mountain Home. The passenger was airlifted to a hospital in Springfield. The accident is being investigated by officials from the Federal Aviation Administration.
Boone County Jail Stocks Up on Free Sweet Potatos Boone County, Arkansas jail inmates will have plenty of sweet potatoes to eat again this winter. The Transport/Maintenance Officer of the Sheriff's Department took four inmates to Cross County, Arkansas last weekend to harvest the sweet potatoes. The potatoes are provided at no charge and the only cost is fuel for the trip and overnight lodging for the officer. The Cross County Sheriff's Department houses the inmates. They brought back 5860 pounds of sweet potatoes, up slightly from last year.
Rose House Residents Pack Christmas Shoeboxes Residents at the Rose House, a senior support residence in Branson, are packing shoeboxes for Operation Christmas Child. Sara Smith and John Higgins, owners of the Rose House, expressed their enjoyment at seeing the residents having a good time for such a wonderful cause. The shoebox collection site for the Branson area this year is located at New Beginnings Fellowship in Hollister. The church hopes to collect 14,000 shoeboxes this year, filled with small toys, personal items, school supplies and candy. The collection week is November 17-24.
Revival Fires Ministry Celebrates 50th Anniversary Revival Fires, a national evangelistic ministry headquartered in Branson West, celebrated it's 50 year anniversary last month. The ministry was started in Joplin, Missouri in the home of Founder Cecil Todd. Over the five decades, the ministry has produced over 900 TV shows and has held 10,000 rallies, crusades and area-wide revivals. Revival Fires has built a mission hospital, a two story out-patient clinic, a nurses college and a chapel all in India. The ministry is currently providing Bibles for troops serving in Iraq and Afghanistan and Todd still accepts about 40 speaking appointments each year.
October 21, 2014
Skaggs Foundation Awards Legacy Endowment Grants Skaggs Foundation awarded its second annual Skaggs Legacy Endowment Grants at an awards celebration this morning at Silver Dollar City’s Culinary & Craft School. Sixteen specific programs were selected to receive the grants to help improve health and wellness in Stone and Taney Counties. Skaggs Foundation’s first distribution in 2013 provided $500,000 to community health and wellness initiatives impacting more than 10,000 area residents. This year’s second annual distribution of more than $750,000 is expected to impact more than 35,000 residents throughout the two-county area.
Hollister Teen Injured in One-Car Crash on Route BB A teenager from Hollister was injured in a one-car crash at 8:00 this morning on Route BB, one mile east of Hollister. The Highway Patrol reported that a car driven by 16 year old Kayla Mordis of Hollister traveled off the roadway and struck a tree. Sixteen year old passenger Sophia Aydt suffered minor injuries and was taken to Cox Branson for treatment.
Branson Fire & Rescue Offer Free Home Safety Surveys Branson Fire & Rescue has begun to conduct free home safety surveys as part of its “Community Risk Reduction” program. Citizens in the City of Branson can contact Branson Fire & Rescue to schedule a crew of firefighters to come and conduct a life safety survey of their home. The firefighters will look for any fire/life safety issues that the homeowner can correct to make their home safer. For more information or to schedule a survey, call (417) 243-2780.
Branson Aldermen Approve Concrete RV Pads, Mowing Contract Branson Aldermen have approved the first reading of a bill accepting the proposal of American Concrete Products to construct concrete pads at the city-owned Lakeside RV Park. This project is the fourth year of a five-year plan to finish over 200 gravel RV sites with concrete pads. This year’s phase will include another 27 sites. The Board also approved the first reading of a bill accepting the bid of $26,400 from Prolawn and Landscape for mowing and weed-eating of City parks and facilities for the 2015 season.
Pure Excitement Event Coming to Branson High School An event for teens called Pure Excitement is coming to the Branson High School Auditorium this Sunday night starting at 6 p.m. The event will feature music by Tim Halperin of American Idol and hip- hop artist Thi'sl. Joe White of Kanakuk Kamps will encourage and challenge teens to make godly choices about love, dating, and sex. Tickets are available for $5 in advance which includes a book & workbook authored by Joe White called Pure Excitement. For tickets or more information, visit PureExcitement.com.
Health Department Names Sanchez Employee of the Quarter The Taney County Health Department announced that Ashlee Sanchez has been selected as the Employee of the Quarter for 3rd Quarter 2014. Ashlee has worked for the Taney County Health Department since December 2011. She works at the Animal Care & Control Center in Hollister as a Kennel Tech. The Health Department said Ashlee promotes teamwork, displays a positive attitude and shows an excellent work ethic and respect for others.
Cox Branson Offers Tobacco Cessation Class Cox Medical Center Branson will once again offer its Tobacco Cessation Class starting Wednesday, October 29 at 10 a.m. The eight-class course is led by Mayo Clinic Certified Tobacco Treatment Specialist Jim Brawner. Since the program began at Cox Branson, a total of 92 people have attended at least the first four sessions of the class, and 67 remain tobacco-free. To register, call 348-4898.
College of the Ozarks to Celebrate Homecoming College of the Ozarks will kick off Homecoming 2014, themed “Throwback Through Time,” with its annual Coronation on Thursday, October 30, at 8 p.m., in Jones Auditorium. Homecoming events run through Sunday, November 2. Alumni and the public are invited to participate in and/or observe many activities, including a 5K Glow Run/Walk, basketball games, student activity booths, and the C of O Homecoming Parade. To see a complete schedule of events, visit CofO.edu/Alumni. Photo: The Hollister High School band marching in C of O's 2013 Homecoming Parade
October 20, 2014
Two Children Injured in Golf Cart Accident The Southern Stone County Fire Protection District was called to a golf cart accident involving two children at about noon on Sunday at Compton Ridge Campground on Highway 265. A 6 year old was airlifted and a 2 year old was transported by ambulance for treatment. It was later reported that both boys were doing good and were on their way home after receiving treatment for some scratches and cuts.
Branson Man Injured in Motorcycle Accident A Branson man was injured in a motorcycle accident at about 5:30 Sunday morning on Farm Road 163, a mile south of Springfield. A Harley Davidson operated by 52 year old Mark Carter ran off the roadway and struck a sign. Carter suffered minor injuries and was taken to Cox South Hospital in Springfield for treatment.
Reeds Spring Man Injured in One-Car Crash Sixty-six year old Frank Woodman of Reeds Spring was injured in a one-car crash at 6:00 Saturday morning on Highway 174, a mile west of Chesapeake, Missouri. The Highway Patrol reported that Woodman’s car ran off the roadway and struck a mailbox, a culvert and two trees. He was transported to Cox South Hospital in Springfield for treatment of minor injuries.
30 Pounds of Medication Collected at Prescription Drug Take-Back Event A total of 30 pounds of medication was recently collected during a prescription drug take-back event sponsored by the Alcohol and Drug Abuse Prevention Team, the Branson Police Department, CVS Pharmacy in Branson, and the Drug Enforcement Administration. Unwanted medications can be disposed of year-round at two permanent drop boxes located in the lobby of the Branson Police Department and the Taney County Sheriff’s Office in Forsyth. The service is free and anonymous, with no questions asked. Photo: Kara Miller, Taney County Health Department, Community Health Educator and Darold Donathan, Branson Police Department, DARE Officer.
Branson Aldermen Approve Microsurfacing, Asphalt Contracts At the last Branson City Council meeting, Aldermen approved a contract with Vance Brothers, Inc. for microsurfacing and crack sealing. Four sections of road selected for microsurfacing are: N. Wildwood Drive, Roark Valley Rd. from Highway 76 to the Tanstone property, Shepherd of the Hills Expressway from Brookside Mini-Golf to Roark Valley Road, and Gretna Road from the Roark Valley Road bridge to Highway 76. The Board also approved a proposal from Table Rock Asphalt Company to purchase one inch base and hot mix asphalt. This material is used for pothole repairs, water line patching, and manhole patching.
Branson to Construct Salt Barn on Keeter Street Branson Aldermen have approved a resolution authorizing the construction of a public building at 3610 Keeter Street for use as a salt barn for Public Works. This second facility, to be built near the Branson Fire Station 3, allows for better access to the salt material during a severe weather event. The other barn is located on Compton Drive in downtown Branson.
Junior Auxiliary Welcomes New Members, Launches New Website Junior Auxiliary of Taney County welcomes 13 women into their incoming Provisional class for the 2014-2015 year. This group of women has demonstrated interest in joining the Auxiliary and over the next six months will attend Chapter meetings and events and participate in projects to determine if they wish to make a commitment to become Active Members with the organization to serve the community. The Auxiliary has also launched a new web site at JATCMO.org. The site features information about the organization and its members, community events, current service projects and fundraising efforts. Pictured from left: Junior Auxiliary of Taney County 2014 - 2015 Provisional Class members Teresa Bailey, Jennifer Mobley, Candy Ramirez, Francie Marshall, Sam Law, Paula Eighmy, Bobbie Gilpin, Marcia Vanderlaan, Lajean Wild, Sara Henderson, Renee Benson and Jennifer Essary. Not pictured: Teresa Russell
Branson Fire & Rescue to Host Open House this Thursday Branson Fire & Rescue will open its doors to the public this Thursday, from 6-8 p.m. by hosting a “Community Risk Reduction” open house at all three fire stations. Citizens can participate in fire education activities, learn basic first aid skills, get their blood pressure checked and enjoy some cookies and drinks. The fire stations are located at 1103 West Highway 76, 251 Branson Meadows Drive, and 3500 Keeter Street.
C of O to Host Former NFL Cheerleader and Motivational Speaker College of the Ozarks will host former NFL cheerleader and motivational speaker Shannon Oleen this Wednesday at 7 p.m. in Jones Auditorium. Using her own life experiences and encounters with adversity as a backdrop, Oleen inspires audiences to find their passion, create positive change and reach personal goals. The convocation is free and open to the public. ________________