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                        Tri-Lakes Area

News & Weather

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

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

January 30, 2015

Taney County Health Department Warns of Measles Outbreak
The Taney County Health Department reported that the United States is experiencing a large multi-state measles outbreak linked to an amusement park in California. From January 1 to January 23, 2015, 68 people from 11 states were reported to have measles. Although there are currently no reported cases of measles in Missouri, the Health Department underscored the need for appropriate vaccination with the Measles, Mumps and Rubella (MMR) vaccine. In addition, frequent hand washing and proper cough etiquette helps prevent the spread of viruses such as measles and flu. For more information about the measles virus and vaccine availability, contact the Taney County Health Department at (417) 334-4544 or visit TaneyCoHealh.org.

Branson Parks & Recreation Adjusting Scholarship Policy
The Branson Parks & Recreation Department continues to make adjustments to its Scholarship Policy for those who are unable to afford some of the sports programs that are offered. The Department has seen a nearly 40% increase since 2011 in scholarship requests, which are unfunded expenses for the Department. After research of other park’s departments, it was learned that assessment of need is commonly determined by a child's qualification for the free or reduced lunch program at school. The Branson Parks & Recreation Department is planning to adopt this type of policy for scholarship eligibility in 2015 to create more accountability and sustainability within the program.

Missouri to Receive Solar Energy Technical Assistance
The Missouri Division of Energy has been selected by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory to receive technical assistance on solar energy this year. Areas of assistance provided may include community solar development, solar PV storage, net metering and more. Solar energy is a growing industry in Missouri. This past November, global solar energy provider Sungevity announced plans to open a new sales and service center in Kansas City, creating 595 new jobs.




Chateau on the Lake Resort Completes Renovations
Chateau on the Lake Resort in Branson announced that it has completed renovations of its guest rooms and meeting spaces. The resort’s guest rooms and suites now feature new beds, furniture, bathroom amenities, phones and color schemes. A new Executive Board Room features advanced audiovisual and technology capabilities and can seat 20 people. The resort has also enhanced all of its meeting space, including its Great Hall ballroom, with new LED lighting, flex-back banquet chairs and “linenless” tables. The smaller meeting rooms also have new carpet and wall treatments. Chateau on the Lake Resort has been a recipient of the AAA Four-Diamond rating for 15 consecutive years.

Branson Chamber Announces Change to Building's Main Entrance
The Branson/Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce and Convention & Visitors Bureau announced that they have changed the main entrance into their building, located on Highway 248 just west of the Highway 65 interchange. The main entrance has being relocated through the Information/Welcome Center doors. This entrance is located on the east end of the building or to your left when you pull into the parking lot.







Reeds Spring to Host Meeting on Continuation of Farmers Market
The City of Reeds Spring invites anyone interested in the continuation of a Farmers Market in Reeds Spring to attend a meeting this Monday at 6 p.m. at Reeds Spring City Hall. Vendors wishing to participate this year are also asked to attend. They will be discussing dates, times and concepts for the Farmers Market and input is welcome. For more information, call 417-272-3309.

Father-Daughter Valentine's Dance Set for February 7 at RecPlex
The Branson Parks & Recreation Department will hold its 3rd annual Father-Daughter Valentine's Dance on Saturday, February 7 from 6:30-8:30 p.m. at the Branson RecPlex. The event is for fathers with daughters ages 4-12. Cost is $22 per couple, and $10 for each additional daughter. The event will include fun activities, dancing, refreshments, a live DJ, door prizes and a complimentary photograph. Pre-registration is required. For more information or to register, call 417-335-2368.


January 29, 2015

Branson Man Injured in Moped Accident Near Ridgedale
The operator of a moped was injured when a car passed him, causing him to run off the road. Fifty-two year old Steven Curtis of Branson was taken to CoxHealth Branson for treatment of minor injuries. The car was driven from the scene and the Highway Patrol did not report the name of the driver. The accident occurred just after 7:30 Wednesday evening on Highway 86 four miles west of Ridgedale.

Salvation Army Leads Survey of Homeless in Taney County
The Branson Salvation Army led the survey of sheltered and unsheltered homeless population in Taney County Wednesday evening. The Missouri Balance of State is required to conduct a bi-annual count of homeless under regulations set forth by the Department of Housing and Urban Development, known as HUD. The purpose is to gauge the progress towards national goals of reducing and eliminating homelessness. Last year, Taney County had 51 sheltered and 7 unsheltered homeless individuals on the night of the count.

Legacy Youth Institute Students Consider the Future
The Legacy Youth Institute, a six-session leadership and mentoring program, held its fifth session last week. The institute is designed to equip student leaders to pass on the Ozarks' core values to future generations. The session was held at College of the Ozarks where Career Center Director Jim Freeman talked about the value of higher education for both professional and personal development. Over the next two months, students from each school represented will develop a student-led initative that champions to their peers one of the Legacy core values: family, faith, friends, flag and future. Photo: Legacy Youth Institute students hear from community leaders on their life experiences and paths

Aldermen Approve Removal of Stop Signs in Commerce Park
Branson Aldermen approved the first reading of a bill amending a section of the Branson Municipal Code relating to stop signs. This action will remove the stop signs at the traffic calming circle within the Commerce Park Development. That area has low traffic volume and is considered to be safe without the use of stop signs.

Dixie Stampede to Hold Auditions Monday for New Season
The Dixie Stampede in Branson will hold open auditions for riders and show technicians next Monday morning. Performance and horsemanship experience is helpful but not required. Individuals should audition in person and be prepared to dance and ride a horse. Applicants must be 18 years of age or older. Auditions will start at 9 a.m. at Dixie Stampede, 1525 West Highway 76 in Branson. Dixie is an Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action Employer.

Proposed Legislation Would Protect Human Trafficking Survivors
A group of bi-partisan lawmakers have proposed legislation meant to help protect survivors of human trafficking in Missouri. The 'Safe at Home' program allows survivors of domestic violence, rape, sexual assault, and stalking to hide their address in an effort to keep their assailants from finding them. The program provides survivors with a new substitute mailing address. Senate Bill 211 and House Bill 368 would extend that protection to human trafficking survivors. The Department of Justice has ranked St. Louis as one of the top 20 human trafficking jurisdictions in the country.


January 28, 2015

Branson Aldermen Reject Two Special Event Permits for Signs
When they met in regular session Tuesday evening, Branson Aldermen held public hearings to consider the appeal of two events that were denied special event permits. The Tri-Lakes Building and Home Show and the Branson Bridal Show had requested permits in order to allow additional temporary signage to be placed throughout the City to advertise the events. Branson's Planning Department contends that the events do not need a special event permit because they are being held at an indoor conference facility on private property. As a result, Aldermen rejected the appeals.

Branson Aldermen Approve Annexation, Soft Drink Contract
Branson Aldermen have approved the first reading of a bill approving annexation of 175 Meadowbrook and the associated garage. The other 5 units in that same condo building and the common area are already within Branson City Limits. And the Board approved the first reading of a bill accepting the proposal of Ozarks Coca Cola/Dr. Pepper Bottling Company for product resale at the RecPlex and other parks facilities. Coca Cola is the current soft drink provider and the agreement is for five more years of service.

Branson Airport Announces Three New Destinations
Branson AirExpress operated by Orange Air has announced discount flights to New Orleans, Cincinnati and Cancun, Mexico starting May 6th. Flights will take place on 150 seat MD-83 Jet aircraft offering stretched seating in every row at no extra cost. Orange Air offers non-alcoholic complimentary beverage and snack service on all flights. One way introductory ticket prices start at $99, and $199 for Cancun. With this announcement, seven cities are now served from Branson Airport.

Ozarks Regional YMCA Announces New District Executive
The Ozarks Regional YMCA has announced the hiring of a new District Executive. Erin Shaw will have various leadership responsibilities at the Ozark Mountain YMCA in Hollister plus the Roy Blunt YMCA at Bolivar and the Dallas County YMCA in Buffalo. She comes to the position with 14 years of YMCA experience, most recently serving as Youth Development Senior Director at the YMCA of greater Houston. She will be living in Bolivar.









CAM Encourages "Souper Bowl" Parties to Benefit Food Pantries
Pat Davis, Christian Action Ministries Director, is encouraging football fans to hold Souper Bowl parties this year. That's s-o-u-p-e-r bowl. Pat says just ask people attending your football game gathering to bring a can of soup, can of vegetables or broth and a box of crackers to donate to CAM. Churches can participate by asking members to bring soup or other canned food items to the morning service the day of the Super Bowl, which then can be donated to CAM to help those in need during the winter months.

Evangel Business Professor to Speak at C of O
Hona Amer, author of Smart Work U will speak about her personal experiences in business Thursday evening at College of the Ozarks. She is currently a business professor at Evangel University in Springfield. Her book focuses on assisting prospective college students in their journey to find the best college possible while remaining debt-free. Amer's speech at C of O will cover the contents of her book and topics such as discovering one's passion and developing goals. The convocation at 7 p.m. in Jones Auditorium is free and open to the public. Students have priority seating.
















January 27, 2015

Flue Fire Damages Home on Highway EE in Blue Eye
Southern Stone County firefighters responded to a house fire at about 8:30 Monday morning in the 1500 block of Highway EE in Blue Eye. First arriving units found flames through the roof and crews made an aggressive interior attack, knocking down the fire within minutes. The Fire Marshal said the fire originated in the fireplace flue and extended into the attic. The home was occupied by one man who escaped the residence without injuries.











Rockaway Beach Man Injured in Motorcycle Accident
A man from Rockaway Beach was injured in a motorcycle accident shortly after 8:30 Monday night on Railey Creek Road, three miles north of Reeds Spring. The Highway Patrol reported that 33 year old Heath McClain swerved his motorcycle to avoid a dog in the roadway causing the bike to run off the side of the road and overturn. McClain suffered moderate injuries and was transported to Cox Branson for treatment.

Empire Launches LED Sreet Light Pilot Project in Branson
Empire District Electric Company has launched a pilot project in Branson to evaluate the use of energy efficient LED street lighting. Branson city officials joined Empire to mark the launch of the project at 10 a.m. this (Tuesday) morning at the intersection of Forsythe Boulevard and Roark Valley Road. The city of Branson is one of five communities to be included in the pilot project, with lights installed along Roark Valley Road between Forsythe Boulevard and Truman Drive. The two-year pilot project will evaluate the potential benefits of LED lighting technology and help determine the feasibility of a broader deployment on the Empire system. In addition to Branson, the project includes installations in Neosho, Ozark, Republic and Webb City.

Branson Parks & Recreation Busy Working on Winter Projects
Branson Parks & Recreation maintenance staff is busy working on winter projects. Facility painting was recently completed at the Branson RecPlex gym, community rooms, and bathrooms at Alexander and Old School Parks. The exterior frame on a new pole barn at the RecPlex is complete. Work has resumed on installation of concrete pads at the Lakeside RV Park. The annual activity guide that details programs, special events and facility information is being finalized. And Park staff recently met with Teri Harr of the Tri-Lakes Clean Air Coalition, who is assisting the Department with securing smoke free signs for designated areas of parks.

Health Department Names Tiffany Stevens Employee of the Quarter
The Taney County Health Department has named Tiffany Stevens as the Employee of the Quarter for the 4th Quarter of 2014. Tiffany has worked for the Taney County Health Department since March 2013. She works at the Health Department's Forsyth location as the Human Resources and Payroll clerk. The Department said Tiffany promotes teamwork, displays a positive attitude and shows an excellent work ethic and respect for others.








Branson High School to Host Financial Aid Informational Meeting
The Branson High School Counseling Department will host a financial aid informational meeting for senior students and their parents this Thursday from 6:00-7:30 p.m. in the High School Auditorium. Many forms of financial assistance are available to high school graduates and this meeting is scheduled to make the information readily accessible. Financial assistance for post-secondary education could include grants, loans, scholarships and work-study programs. For more information, call 334-6511, ext. 5024.

Senator Blunt’s Staff to Host Mobile Office in Galena
U.S. Senator Roy Blunt’s staff will host a Mobile Office this Thursday from 9:30-10:30 a.m. at the Stone County Courthouse, located at 108 E. Fourth Street in Galena. Mobile Offices are opportunities for Missourians to discuss their questions or concerns with the federal government one-on-one with members of Senator Blunt’s staff. Missourians can also receive assistance with federal issues by calling Senator Blunt’s Columbia Office at (573) 442-8151.


January 26, 2015

Southern Stone County Firefighters Respond to Camper Fire
The Southern Stone County Fire Protection District responded to a report of a camper fire shortly before 4:00 Saturday afternoon on House on the Rock Road off OO Highway near Kimberling City. First arriving units found a camper fully involved in flames. Crews were on the scene for about an hour and a half. No injuries were reported and the cause of the fire has not been released.

Branson Man Involved in Two Vehicle Accident Near Pomona
A Branson man was involved in a two vehicle accident just before 6:00 Saturday evening on Highway 63, one mile north of Pomona, Missouri. A Jeep Cherokee driven by 70 year old Joyce Todd of Thayer struck an SUV driven by 53 year old Henry Fisher of Branson. The Jeep then ran into the median and overturned. Todd suffered minor injuries and was taken to Ozark Medical Center in West Plains for treatment. Fisher was not injured.

Missouri Department of Labor Warns of Email Phishing Scam
The Missouri Department of Labor is warning residents about an email phishing scam aimed at unemployment insurance claimants. The suspected emails show the sender as “Unemployment Advisory Department” with an email address of support@us-benefits.org. The emails have used one of two subjects which read: “Required Documents to File Unemployment in MO” or “Verfication Required: Final Notice”. The Labor Department says you receive this email, delete it and do not click on the links inside the email as the website is requesting personal identifiable information that could be used in an act of fraud or theft.

Deadline Draws Near for Shoreline Activity Requests
The Corps of Engineers is reminding interested persons that the deadline to submit new shoreline activity requests for Table Rock Lake is drawing near. Beginning Feb. 1 the Corps will temporarily halt the acceptance of new requests to establish a baseline number of permits and docks on the lake for officials to use while revising its 19-year-old shoreline management plan which is expected to be completed in spring 2017. New requests must be received or postmarked by Jan. 31. The Table Rock Project Office has received around 100 new shoreline activity request since they announced the date for the temporary halt back on Dec. 1, 2014.

CAM Distributed Equivalent of 581,352 Meals in 2014
Christian Action Ministries (CAM) reported that in 2014 its food pantries in Taney County assisted 17,711 families and 48,446 individuals during the year. In total, CAM distributed the equivalent of 581,352 meals. Currently, CAM operates food pantries in Branson and Forsyth and has a mobile outreach to Bradleyville and Protem. For every dollar donated, CAM can purchase ten dollars worth of food. Anyone wishing to donate cash or food may call 334-1157 or visit ChristianActionMinistries.org. Photo from a CAM food drop in Forsyth

Grant to Fund Sidewalk/Crosswalk on BB Highway in Hollister
The City of Hollister recently partnered with the Hollister R-V School District as well as Schultz Engineering and several patrons and parents to write a grant which has been awarded to fund a sidewalk and crosswalk on BB Highway. The purpose of the project is to create a safer way for Hollister kids to get to school. Construction will begin as soon as engineering plans and architect renderings are finished.

Salvation Army Seeking Volunteers for Homeless Count
The Salvation Army of Branson is in need of volunteers to help with the State of Missouri Point in Time Homeless Count this Wednesday. Volunteer teams will be going out to places where homeless individuals are known to stay in order to gather data and offer some basic supplies. Anyone interested in helping with the Point in Time Count in Branson is asked to contact Lt. Shawn DeBaar at 417-339-4434.


January 23, 2015

Kirbyville Woman Injured in One Car Crash
A woman from Kirbyville was injured in a one car crash at about 1:30 early Thursday morning on Coon Creek Road just east of Hollister. The Highway Patrol reported that a car driven by 47 year old Terri Woods ran off the roadway and struck a tree. Woods suffered minor injuries and was transported to Cox Branson for treatment.

Lampe Man Injured in Tractor Trailer Accident
A man from Lampe was injured in a tractor trailer accident shortly after 9:00 Thursday morning on Highway 63 near the town of Atlanta in northern Missouri. A southbound tractor trailer driven by 53 year old Michael Hayhurst ran off the left side of the highway, crossed the median and northbound lanes, struck an embankment and continued southeast striking a metal pole barn and an unoccupied motor home. Hayhurst suffered moderate injuries and was taken to University Hospital in Columbia for treatment.

Koster Announces Settlement with Tyson Foods for Fish Kill
Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster announced that he has reached a settlement with Tyson Foods over a fish kill Tyson caused in May 2014 in Clear Creek in Barry County. Koster said the Tyson Foods facility at Monett discharged wastewater containing a highly acidic animal feed supplement into the city of Monett’s sewer system. The discharge caused the city’s wastewater treatment system to fail, and contaminated water containing a high level of ammonia flowed into Clear Creek, causing at least 100,000 fish to die. Under the terms of the settlement, Tyson will pay $162,898 for natural resource damages, $110,000 in civil penalties and $47,000 in court costs and expenses. Tyson has also agreed to replace a bridge over Clear Creek that has acted as a barrier to fish moving readily up and downstream and to donate $10,000 to the James River Basin Partnership. Koster said the company has already taken steps to ensure the mistake does not occur again.

Branson Parks & Recreation Reports 2014 Tournament Attendance
The Branson Parks & Recreation Department reported that over 51,000 people attended various sports tournaments in 2014 resulting in a total estimated economic impact of over $13 million. In addition to many of the same tournaments this year, new events on the schedule include several HoopPlay USA Basketball Tournaments, a Varsity Cheer / Dance Camp, a Martial Arts Tournament and a Senior Softball event.




Agenda Set for Branson City Council Meeting this Tuesday
Branson Aldermen will hold their next regular meeting this Tuesday at 7:00 p.m. in the Council Chambers at City Hall. Some of the items on the agenda include two hearings appealing the disapproval of Special Event Permits for the Branson Bridal Show and the Branson Tri-Lakes Building and Home Show, bills approving several pre-annexation agreements, and a report by about the Branson Convention Center Year End 2014 Review. The complete agenda can be viewed online at BransonMO.gov.

Local Representatives Head Up Missouri Tourism Committee
Missouri Representative Don Phillips of Kimberling City will have an expanded role as Chair of the Tourism Committee. The committee will now deal with trade issues as well as tourism. Also, Representative Jeff Justus of Branson has been named the new Vice Chair of the Tourism Committee.






Three Running for Branson School District Board of Education
The filing period for a position on the Branson School District's board of education has closed. Two, three year terms are open for the April 7 election. Terms will expire for Peter Marcellus and Dan Boone. Names appearing on the April ballot include Marcellus, Boone and Dale Speelman. The deadline to register to vote in the election is March 11.

Branson Gong Show Auditions Set for Monday at Senior Center
Branson's 6th annual Gong Show will be held on February 25 at the Hamner Variety Theatre. Auditions for the Gong Show will be held this Monday at 5 p.m. at the Branson Senior Center. The Branson Gong Show is the primary fundraiser for the many services provided to local area seniors by the Branson Senior Center. For more information, call 417-335-4801.







January 22, 2015

Galena Woman Sentenced for Stealing $300,000 from Employer
Thirty-six year old Sarah Underwood of Galena has been sentenced in federal court for embezzling over $300,000 from her employer. She worked as the manager of the Fall Creek Condominium Association from 2007 to September 12, 2012, when she was fired after her theft was discovered. Underwood was sentenced to two and a half years in prison without parole, plus ordered to pay $311,280 in restitution to Fall Creek Condominium and $95,008 to the Internal Revenue Service. Last March 17, she pled guilty to wire fraud, money laundering and failure to file a tax return.

Branson Woman Injured in Two Vehicle Accident on T Highway
Thirty-six year old Heather Matthews of Branson received minor injuries in a two vehicle accident Wednesday morning. She was slowing her car for an approaching ambulance when her vehicle was hit from behind by a car driven by 29 year old Britinie Blankenship, also of Branson. Matthews was taken by ambulance to Cox Branson for treatment. The 8 a.m. accident occurred on Route T, two miles northeast of Hollister.

Branson Woman Injured in One Vehicle Rollover
Just minor injuries for the driver of a Ford F-150 truck when it slid on an ice covered road, ran off the road then overturned. Sixty-one year old Debra Leighton of Branson was transported by ambulance to Cox Branson for treatment. The 7:40 a.m. accident Wednesday morning occurred on Cedar Park Road, 3 miles northeast of Hollister.

Silver Dollar City Sets Bell Tower for Fireman's Landing
Media representatives were on hand Wednesday morning at Silver Dollar City to watch the placing of a 640 pound iron bell on top of a tower at Fireman's Landing, a new themed play area now under construction. Bells are part of the history of firefighting as they were used to alert townspeople of a fire. The look of Fireman's Landing is modeled after a community fair of the 1880's, saluting the spirit and training activities of volunteer firefighters. The $8 million Fireman's Landing is designed for families and will include 6 rides and 4 attractions. It is on schedule to be finished when SDC opens for Spring Break on March 14th. The regular season starts April 9th with World-Fest.



Springfield Makes Top 10 of "American's most Bible Minded Cities"
A newly released study from the American Bible Society ranks Springfield, Missouri as number 6 out of 100 cities in Bible friendliness. Springfield was the only Missouri city to make the top 10 of American's most Bible minded cities. To be considered Bible minded, residents must state that they had read the Bible in the past seven days and that they believe strongly in the Bible's accuracy. The least Bible-minded cities were Providence, Rhone Island and New Bedford, Massachusetts. Nationally, only 27% of the population was considered Bible-minded. The survey was conducted by the Barna Group.

Missouri's Unemployment Rate at 5.4%, Lowest Since April 2008
Missouri's unemployment rate fell again, dropping another two-tenths of a point to 5.4% in December. That's the lowest unemployment rate since April, 2008. A number of industries saw job growth, led by construction with 2,400 new jobs. Leisure and hospitality employment was up by 1,000. Health Care and Social Assistance also experienced an increase of 1,000 jobs in December. Missouri's non-farm payrolls have increased by 44,700 jobs over the past year, the largest annual employment growth since 1997.


January 21, 2015

Kirbyville Girl Injured in One Vehicle Accident
An 8 year old Kirbyville girl received minor injuries in a one vehicle accident Tuesday morning. Riley Lowther was a passenger in a pickup truck driven by 62 year old Nancy Queenen also of Kirbyville. The driver had swerved to miss another vehicle and hit a utility pole. The child was taken by ambulance to CoxHealth Branson for treatment. The 8 a.m. accident occurred on Highway 76 just south of Forsyth. Both driver and child were using seat belts.

Reeds Spring Woman Dies of Brain Hemorrhage in Colorado
55 year old Suzanne Pennington of Reeds Spring died of a brain hemorrhage Monday night in a hospital in Lakewood, Colorado. The Springfield News Leader reported that the woman had fallen and bumped her head while snowboarding at Copper Mountain and was admitted to the hospital about 1 a.m. on Saturday. Pennington's family indicated that she had been complaining about pain in her neck and head for several weeks and the fall was possibly not related to her death.

Pedestrian Struck by Pickup Truck, Seriously Injured
A man from Nixa was seriously injured Tuesday afternoon when he was hit by a pickup truck while he was walking across the road. 62 year old Steven Miller was taken to Mercy Hospital in Springfield for treatment. The truck was driven by 57 year old Raley Severn of Crane. The 3:40 p.m. accident occurred on Route M, a mile south of Nixa.

Hollister Aldermen to Meet in Regular Session Thursday Evening
The Hollister Board of Aldermen is scheduled to meet in regular session Thursday evening. The agenda includes the first reading of four bills and the second reading of seven bills. The board will hear the first and second reading of an ordinance authorizing Hollister's mayor to execute a transportation alternatives funds program agreement. Aldermen will hear the first reading of ordinances relating to sediment and erosion control and blasting. They will consider a resolution to approve a contract with the Taney County Health Department. The 7 p.m. meeting will be held at Hollister City Hall.

Dewey Short Visitor Center Offers Special Winter Activities
The Army Corps of Engineers invites residents to beat winter cabin fever by visiting the Dewey Short Visitor Center near Table Rock Dam. A 20 minute movie, interactive exhibits and views of the dam are offered from the comfort of the heated facility. During January and February, visitors can experience an indoor campout in the outdoor themed playroom. The area is designed for ages 3 and up and includes tents, activity rugs, a reading zone, coloring area and picnic play activities. Tuesdays at 11 a.m., the center provides free programs featuring children's books, crafts, and activities. The Dewey Short Visitor Center is open Tuesdays through Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

C of O's Ralph Foster Museum Offers Free Area Appreciation Days
The Ralph Foster Museum at College of the Ozarks will re-open for the season next Monday and will offer free admission for the next three weeks to residents in all surrounding Missouri and Arkansas Counties. The three-story museum is dedicated to the history of the Ozarks region and features thousands of objects representing archaeology, history, firearms, antiques, fine arts, geology and more. In 2013, the Rural Missouri magazine named it as the Reader's Choice for "Best Museum in Missouri." It is open Monday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.







January 20, 2015

Omaha Man Fatally Injured in One Vehicle Rollover
A man from Omaha, Arkansas was fatally injured in a one vehicle accident shortly before 12:30 Monday afternoon on Highway 14 north of Omaha. The Highway Patrol reported that 64 year old Charles Gabbard was attempting to negotiate a left hand curve when the pickup truck he was driving spun around and overturned. Gabbard was pronounced dead at the scene and his body was taken to the Boone County Morgue in Harrison.

OWN it Names First Board of Directors
The Ozarks Wellness Network, known as OWN it, has named its first Board of Directors and officers. Board Chair is Darla Howe of Faith Community Health, Vice-Chair is Halston Adams of Ozark Mountain Family YMCA, Secretary is Jean Mueller of the Taney County Health Department and Treasurer is Jeff Davis of Jordan Valley Community Health Center. Other board members are Jim Brawner, Danielle Dingman, Bill Walley, Trisha Doering, Monica Spittler and Robert Niezgoda. The mission of OWN it is to align local health and wellness initiatives in Stone and Taney Counties to promote a healthy community and enable residents to take ownership of their health.

Missouri Exports Up Nearly 9% Over Previous Year
Missouri’s current year-to-date exports finished 8.98 percent higher through November 2014 when compared to the same time period in 2013, rising to $12.924 billion. All of the state’s top 10 export partners increased their purchasing of Missouri-made goods during this time period, led by Germany, Canada, Mexico and the United Kingdom. Additionally, the state saw export increases in several key sectors, including Transportation Equipment, Chemicals, Food and Kindred Products, Machinery, Electrical Equipment, Appliances and Components.

First Jobs for Life Class of 2015 Starts January 28
Jesus Was Homeless is hosting their first Jobs for Life class of 2015 starting on Wednesday, January 28. The class runs 8 weeks and is held on Wednesday and Friday nights from 6-8 p.m. The course is available to anyone who needs help getting or keeping a job. Upon graduating, participants are guaranteed an interview with some of Branson's top employers. To register for the class or to help out as a mentor or business panel member, email ashley@jesuswashomeless.org or call 417-337-8103.

Smoking Ordinance Information Sessions Begin Friday
The first information session to help businesses prepare for implementation of Branson's new smoking ordinance will be held this Friday at 1 p.m. at the Taney County Health Department's Branson location at 320 Rinehart Road. Branson business owners and leaders can expect to gain information and resources to assist them with the implementation process of the smoking ordinance which goes into effect July 1, 2015. Other upcoming information sessions include January 28 at 9 a.m. as well as two sessions in February and two sessions in March. To RSVP for one of the sessions, call 417-334-4544 ext. 225 or email millek2@lpha.mo.public.org.

“Industrial Artifacts” Exhibition on Display at College of the Ozarks
An art exhibition entitled “Industrial Artifacts” is on display now through February 18 in the Boger Art Gallery at College of the Ozarks. The exhibition features the work of Kenneth Baskin, associate professor of art/ceramics at McNeese State University in Lake Charles, Louisiana. “Industrial Artifacts” features pieces that are focused on mechanical objects and artifacts derived from the advent of the industrial revolution. The Boger Art Gallery is located on the first floor of the Jones Learning Center. The exhibition is free and open to the public.


January 19, 2015

Branson Man Injured in Motorcycle/Deer Collision
A Branson man was injured when the motorcycle he was operating struck a deer in the roadway and overturned. The incident occurred at about 3:30 Saturday afternoon on Highway 160, ten miles east of Reeds Spring. Fifty-eight year old Roy Woolstrum was transported to Mercy Hospital in Springfield for treatment of moderate injuries.

Pedestrian Struck by Pickup Truck Near Kirbyville
Thirty-five year old Kristi Calabrese of Hollister was injured when she was struck by a pickup truck as she was walking on Highway 76 about a mile east of Kirbyville shortly before 10:00 this past Friday night. The westbound pickup was driven by 49 year old John Cantrell of Walnut Shade. Calabrese suffered moderate injuries and was taken to Cox Branson for treatment.

Election Filing Period Ending, Registration Deadline is March 11
Tomorrow is the last day for candidate filing for local school board and city elections to be held on Tuesday, April 7, 2015. Those wishing to vote in the upcoming General Municipal Election need to be registered to vote by March 11. For more information about elections and voting, or to register to vote, visit GoVoteMissouri.com.

Bass Pro Donates 1,000 Pairs of Blue Jeans to Care to Learn Fund
Bass Pro Shops recently donated a thousand pairs of new blue jeans to students in need through the Care to Learn Fund. The Care to Learn Fund was launched in 2008 to meet the health, hunger and hygiene needs of students so they can focus on school. Currently, Care to Learn has 19 chapters in southwest Missouri, including a chapter in Bradleyville. For more information, visit CareToLearnFund.org.

Photo: A student helps unload the boxes of blue jeans donated by Bass Pro Shops









Missouri Deer Season Ends with Harvest of 260,552
Missouri's 2014-2015 deer-hunting season closed January 15 with the conclusion of the state's archery season. The Missouri Department of Conservation reported that the total deer harvest for the current season was 260,552, which is 7,978 more than the number of deer checked during the previous year. There were 14 hunting incidents reported during the 2014-2015 deer hunting season. Four were fatal and involved a fall from a tree stand, a heater explosion in a deer blind, a gunshot wound from another hunter, and a heart attack while hunting.

"The Voice of Branson" to Benefit Branson High Vocal Students
A singing competition called "The Voice of Branson" will be held this Friday from 7-10 p.m. in the Branson High School Auditorium. The event is a benefit for the Branson High School Vocal Music Department's upcoming New York City tour. Judges for the competition include Clay Cooper, Bucky Heard and Scott Levine along with host Jak Knudsen from the SIX Show. Tickets are $10 at the door.

Hollister School District Announces New Mobile App
The Hollister School District has announced that a new mobile app is now available. The app features updates from Facebook and Twitter, a school calendar, district and school news, notifications, a parent and student login portal, a district directory and more. The Hollister Schools District app is free and is available for both Apple and Android mobile devices.








January 16, 2015

Branson's 2014 Construction Value Highest Since 2008
The value of Branson's construction permits for 2014 totaled over $71 million, the highest since 2008. Some of the largest projects permitted in 2014 were the Cox Emergency expansion, Tanger Outlets expansion, Tri-Lakes Biosolids Facility, The Bank of Missouri, Worldmark Branson remodel and new Casey’s General Stores on Main Street and Highway 248. More details can be found in a 2014 overview posted at BransonMO.gov. The report also gives an update on Branson's major initiatives including the Downtown Redevelopment, Highway 76 Project, Sports Development, and Year-round Employment.

Branson Aldermen Approve 2015 Tourism Marketing Budget
Branson Aldermen have approved the first reading of the 2015 Tourism Marketing budget with the Branson/Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce & CVB. The CVB is the City’s agent for the use of Tourism Tax funds for the marketing of the Branson community. The 2015 marketing budget is about $2.4 million, which includes nearly 400,000 in excess funds as a result of a 2013 audit.

Appointments Now Available for Free Tax Assistance
Qualifying Taney County residents can now make appointments for free tax preparation at Taney County Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Sites. Taxpayers with an annual gross income of $53,000 or less are eligible for free tax preparation. The tax assistance sites open on January 26 and are located in Branson, Hollister and Forsyth. To make an appointment, call 888-504-0443.

Branson Man Gets Over 150 Years for Ridgedale Home Invasion
Taney County Prosecutor Jeff Merrell announced that 39 year old James Wiklund of Branson has been sentenced to over 150 years in prison on seven felonies including first degree burglary, first degree assault, first degree robbery, two counts of kidnapping, armed criminal action and first degree tampering. The charges stemmed from a home-invasion committed by Wiklund and Jonathan Hill in late-December of 2012 at a home in Ridgedale. Hill was sentenced to 25 years in prison for his role in the violent attack.

Arkansas Non-Resident Fishing/Hunting License Fees Increasing
The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission has approved an increase in several non-resident hunting and fishing licenses. The Non-Resident Annual Fishing License will be $50, up from $40. The Non-Resident Annual All Game license will be increased from $300 to $350. And the Non-Resident Annual Small Game License will be $110, up from $80. Other non-resident temporary and daily fees are increasing as well. The new fees will go into effect March 1.

Showboat Branson Belle Announces 20th Anniversary CELEBRATE! Shows
Herschend Family Entertainment announced that the 2015 show for the Showboat Branson Belle includes the biggest cast and show ever in the ship’s two-decade history of sailing Table Rock Lake. The cast and crew are preparing to feature a 20th Anniversary Limited Engagement show called CELEBRATE!, featuring new acts and returning favorites. CELEBRATE! opens March 7, 2015 and includes the all-new four-man dance troupe, The Rhythmics!, Branson singer Cassandré Faimon-Haygood, the return of The ShowMen vocal group and the return of comedian Christopher James. Starting May 23, a second cast will present the noon & Sunday CELEBRATE! cruises, featuring the return of aerial violinist Janice Martin, new comedian and ventriloquist Phil Hughes and the return of magician and emcee Aaron Radatz. Tickets go on sale January 26. For more information, visit ShowboatBransonBelle.com.

Motivational Speaker Bruce Boguski to Speak at College of the Ozarks
College of the Ozarks will host motivational speaker, author, and media personality, Bruce Boguski, this Monday at 7 p.m. in Jones Auditorium. Boguski was partially paralyzed in a car accident and doctors warned he may never walk again. However, after two difficult years, he regained full control of his body and went on to become a two-time state champion in racquetball and played on a state championship softball team. Boguski will share his inspiring story and explain how a person’s attitude makes a difference. The convocation is free and open to the public.







January 15, 2015

C of O Named 2014 Champions Tour Charity of the Year
College of the Ozarks has been named the 2014 Champions Tour Charity of the Year. Champions Tour President Greg McLaughlin presented the award to college President Jerry Davis during a ceremony on campus Wednesday. Over $1 million was raised by Bass Pro Shops Legends of Golf at Big Cedar Lodge. The money was distributed between College of the Ozarks and the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation. As recipient of the 2014 Champions Tour Charity of the Year, the college will receive an additional $30,000 which will go towards the Missouri Vietnam Veterans Memorial being constructed on campus.

Pictured from left: Bass Pro Shops Founder Johnny Morris; Jerry C. Davis, president of College of the Ozarks; and Champions Tour President Greg McLaughlin

Branson Aldermen Approve Community Assistance Contracts
Branson Aldermen approved the first reading of a series of bills approving contracts with local agencies for provision of services to the community, often on an emergency basis. Approved was $5,000 to Faith Community Health Center for prescription and medication assistance, $5,500 to OACAC Taney County for emergency assistance for those in need, $10,000 to the Women's Crisis Center of Taney County for crisis intervention and shelter access, $12,000 to Christian Action Ministry for emergency food assistance, $7,500 to The Salvation Army for emergency housing, $20,000 to the Branson Arts Council and $10,000 to the Branson Housing Authority. The funds are paid out only after services are provided.

Branson Woman Injured in One Vehicle Rollover
A Branson woman was injured early Wednesday afternoon when the Jeep Cherokee she was driving ran off the road, was overcorrected while steering then overturned. 30 year old Keishya Wood was transported to Cox South Hospital in Springfield for treatment of moderate injuries. The 12:55 p.m. accident occurred on Highway 65, five miles north of the Arkansas state line.

Ridgedale Man Injured in One Vehicle Accident
The driver of a Ford Explorer was injured when the vehicle ran off the road and hit a ditch. 58 year old Johnny Dawson of Ridgedale received moderate injuries and was taken to Cox South Hospital in Springfield for treatment. The 8:20 p.m. accident Wednesday evening occurred on Highway 86 just west of Highway 65 in Ridgedale.

Hollister School District Announces New Position for Leech
Sandy Leech, Principal of Hollister Elementary School, has been selected by the school board to assume the position of Director of Teaching and Learning for the district. She starts July 1st and fills the position to be vacated by Pam Davis who is retiring June 30th. Leech started working for the Hollister District over 10 years ago as a volunteer while a student at College of the Ozarks, then receiving her student teacher experience there. She taught 2nd grade for five years and was named Elementary Principal in 2012.

Missouri Among Worst for Funding Tobacco Prevention Programs
The latest report on how well states are funding tobacco prevention and cessation efforts has Missouri ranked as one of the worst states in the nation. Every year, the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids issues a report on how states are using the 250 billion dollar tobacco settlement to protect kids from tobacco. Missouri still collects money from the 16 year old settlement. The Center for Disease Control says Missouri should be spending $73 million annually for tobacco prevention programs, but the state is only spending $71,000.


January 14, 2015

Branson Panhandling Ordinance in the Works
The Branson Board of Aldermen received public input regarding panhandling and soliciting at highway intersections when they met in regular session Tuesday evening. The board discussed a potential future ordinance regarding the safety of people soliciting financial help from motorists. Aldermen will continue to receive public input on this issue through the next month and expect to see an ordinance on the agenda at the February 10th board meeting.

Branson Aldermen Approve Amendment Regarding Digital Signs
Branson Aldermen have approved the first reading of a bill amending Chapter 70 of the Branson Municipal Code regarding digital signs and off-premise advertising. The change updates various aspects of the code including regulations for off-premise signs that include digital elements, and new billboards located along Highway 65. The code change also clarifies that upgrading a sign to digital does not qualify as maintenance of that sign.

CoxHealth Branson Fitness Center to Host 101 Day Weight Loss Challenge
Registration is now underway for the next 101 day weight loss challenge, to be held at the CoxHealth Branson Fitness Center. Participants will be provided a 101 day membership to the fitness center, unlimited access to boot camp classes, a t-shirt and a bi-weekly health and motivation e-newsletter, a package worth $500, for a $199 fee. CoxHealth also offers incentives for progress plus a grand prize package. Those interested may attend one of two informational meetings on January 22nd or February 6th. More details are available at CoxHealth.com/Branson.



Pastor Jeff Harlow to Speak on Religious Leadership at C of O
Inspirational author and pastor Jeff Harlow will speak on religious leadership Thursday evening at College of the Ozarks. He is the author of Dancing with Cinderella-Leading a Healthy Transition. The book covers the principles of healthy leadership transition and is scheduled for release early this year. Harlow will speak from the book of Genesis in the Bible on what it means to focus on the words of the Lord. The convocation at 7 p.m. in Jones Auditorium is free and open to the public. Students receive priority seating.





Branson Schools to Make Up Snow Day on MLK Day January 19, Registration Open for Love and Logic Parenting Classes
Branson Schools will be in session Monday, January 19th. Normally classes are not held on that day, Martin Luther King Day, but this year the day will be used as a make up for the December 1st snow day. The second session of Love and Logic parenting classes will start February 3rd. The 6 session series, held on Tuesday evenings, is designed to help parents teach responsibility to their children and promote and model good decision making skills. The workshops are free and open to all district parents, grandparents and guardians. Childcare is provided. Register at 417-334-5135.

C of O to Host Associates Luncheon on January 19
College of the Ozarks will hold its next Associates Luncheon this coming Monday, which is open to current and prospective Associates. Associates is an organization of over 350 individuals and businesses which are committed to the furtherance of the college's efforts to provide higher education for deserving young men and women. Two students will share about internships they participated in last summer. The $15 per person buffet lunch will start at 11:30 a.m. at The Keeter Center. RSVP is requested by calling 417-690-2209.


January 13, 2015

Lampe Man Injured in One Vehicle Accident on Highway 160
A man from Lampe was injured in a one vehicle accident at about 4:00 early Monday morning on Highway 160, three miles northwest of Branson. A pickup truck driven by 31 year old Jeffrey Hansen ran off the roadway, went down an embankment, struck several trees and overturned. Hansen sustained minor injuries but refused medical treatment.

Nixon Announces More Funds for Low-Income Energy Assistance
Governor Jay Nixon announced that the Missouri Department of Social Services is making an additional $4.5 million available to help Missourians stay warm this winter through the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program. The announcement brings the total amount of funds available for this winter's Energy Crisis Intervention Program to $18.6 million. The program makes payments to energy providers for households who have their energy service terminated or received a threat of disconnection, or who are running short of purchased fuel, such as propane. For more information or to download an application, visit dss.mo.gov/fsd/eassist/pdf/hcapp.pdf.

Care For Kids to Conduct Makeover Project for Blue Eye Schools
The Silver Dollar City Foundation's Care For Kids volunteers will be conducting a makeover project for Blue Eye Schools this Saturday. Approximately 75 volunteers will gather to paint a gymnasium building, lobby, offices and storage rooms. This is the 8th school rehab project conducted by the Care For Kids program, which is providing the paint, supplies and coordination of volunteers for the project. Care For Kids is the Silver Dollar City Foundation’s program to meet the physical, mental and emotional needs of kids in the Stone and Taney county communities.

Ozarks Running Club Donates $4,500 to Together Forever: A Skyler Sanders Family Foundation
Each year the Ozarks Running Club selects one local non-profit to receive the funds raised through their annual Branson Turkey Trot 5K held at Branson Landing on Thanksgiving morning. This year the non-profit selected was Together Forever: A Skyler Sanders Family Foundation. The 2014 Turkey Trot had well over 600 runners, walkers, and volunteers that helped to raise $4,500 to donate to the foundation. Together Forever was created in memory and honor of Skyler Sanders. The goal of Together Forever is to provide Branson vacation opportunities for young families that have a child who is battling cancer. For information, visit TogetherForeverSkyler.org.
Pictured from left: Dean Harmon, Ryan Sanders, Melissa Sanders, Robby Hultz, Macy Sanders, Brian Mitchell, Shane Naugher, Dale Sanders, and Halley Fleming

Good Neighbor Fund Accepting Grant Applications
Grant requests are now being accepted for the Tri-Lakes Board of REALTORS® Good Neighbor Fund. The community grant-making program is available for nonprofits, schools, faith-based organizations and governmental entities in Stone and Taney Counties. Applications are due by January 23, 2015. For an application please email Audra Burrell at audra@tlbor.com. The Tri-Lakes Board of REALTORS® Good Neighbor Fund is an affiliate of the Community Foundation of the Ozarks. For more information, call 417-338-4555.

Titanic Museum Announces Titanic Themed Cruise to Nova Scotia
Titanic Museum Attractions is teaming up with U.S. Tours and Princess Cruises for a special Titanic themed cruise to Halifax, Nova Scotia, home of the Titanic recovery ship Mackay-Bennett. The Titanic Tribute Cruise will take place October 17-23, 2015 aboard the new Regal Princess sailing out of New York City. The trip includes an escorted tour of Halifax and a visit to Fairview Lawn Cemetery where a special ceremony will be held in honor of the 100 or more Titanic victims buried there. Other ports of call include: St. John, New Brunswick; Bay Harbor, Maine; and Newport, Rhode Island. For more information, visit TitanicBranson.com.


January 12, 2015

Firefighters Respond to Two Alarm House Fire in Indian Point
The Southern Stone County Fire Protection District responded to a house fire at about 9:30 Sunday night on Heller Lane in Indian Point. Crews found the home well involved, with flames through the roof, and established a water supply from Table Rock Lake to fight the fire. A 2nd alarm was requested bringing assistance from Branson and Western Taney County fire units. The fire district reported that it did not appear that the home was occupied. No injuries were reported and the cause of the fire is under investigation.


Cape Fair Man Injured in One Vehicle Accident in Highlandville
A man from Cape Fair was injured in a one vehicle accident shortly before 8:30 Sunday morning on Route EE in Highlandville. The Highway Patrol reported that an SUV driven by 71 year old Richard Tyree slid off the ice covered roadway into a ditch. Tyree was transported to Cox South Hospital in Springfield for treatment of minor injuries.

Bill Skains of Branson to Chair MO Workforce Investment Board
Governor Jay Nixon has appointed Bill Skains of Branson as the board chair of the Missouri Workforce Investment Board. Skains was appointed as a member of the board in August 2012 and has also served on the Ozark Region Workforce Investment Board, on the Board of Directors for the Branson-Lakes Area Tourism Community Enhancement District, and on the District Marketing Council of the Branson Convention and Visitors Bureau. The Missouri Workforce Investment Board sets policies for local workforce areas and advises partners in implementing innovative strategies to strengthen Missouri’s workforce system.

Branson P & Z Approves Concession Trailer at Grand Country Fun Spot
The Branson Planning and Zoning Commission has approved a special use application from Glenn Robinson, owner of the Grand Country complex on Highway 76, for a small 50's themed camper to serve as a concession trailer. The camper will be permanently attached to the existing 1938 Ford truck adjacent to the Grand Country Fun Spot patio area. Plans are to sell concession food and beverages to customers in the fenced patio area. Robinson is also planning to make aesthetic improvements to the patio area to reflect the time period of the truck and camper, including brighter colors, more decorative lighting and an art deco inspired canopy.







Kerusso Adds Olivia Marx as Vice President of Product Development
Christian apparel and gifts company, Kerusso, headquartered in Berryville, Arkansas, announced that Olivia Marx has been selected as the new Vice President of Product Development. Marx is from Byron Center, MI, and joins Kerusso with an extensive background in business and product development, including experience as Senior Vice President at Family Christian and as a Principal Consultant at Tiolo Solutions. At Kerusso, Marx will head the logistics department and creative team to develop new products dedicated to sharing the gospel.






S of O to Host Open House & Informational Meeting February 5
School of the Ozarks will hold a Kindergarten through 12th Grade Open House and Informational Meeting on February 5, 2015, at 6:30 p.m. in the S of O Lower School. At this event, attendees will be able to hear from current students, faculty and parents, in addition to receiving information on the application process for the next school year. Application packets will be available at this event, but not before. For more information, call 417-690-2325.


January 9, 2015

Branson Musician Killed, Wife Seriously Burned in House Fire
A Branson musician was killed and his wife was seriously injured in a house fire on Hawthorn Road across from Alexander Park in downtown Branson shortly after 9:00 Thursday night. Upon arrival, Branson firefighters found smoke and flames coming from the home. A police officer who was walking around the outside of the home found a woman partially out of the building and was able to drag her outside. Firefighters found the body of 46 year old Chuck Landry inside the home. Landry was a drummer for Mel Tillis. His wife Regina suffered serious burns and is in critical condition at a Springfield hospital. The cause of the fire is still under investigation but it appears to have originated in the kitchen.

C of O Appoints Valorie Coleman as Public Relations Director
College of the Ozarks has announced the appointment of Valorie Coleman as public relations director, replacing Elizabeth Hughes who left the position at the end of the year. Coleman previously served for three years as assistant director of public relations at Evangel University in Springfield. She graduated from Evangel in 1993 and has worked in the Ozarks for 23 years. Coleman has lived in Branson for the past 10 years with her husband, Bill, and their daughter and son, Veronica and Matthew. Veronica is a 2014 graduate of College of the Ozarks.








Branson Aldermen to Discuss Panhandling at Tuesday's Meeting
Branson Aldermen will hold their next regular meeting this Tuesday at 7 p.m. in the Council Chambers at City Hall. Items on the agenda include a discussion regarding panhandling and solicitation in the city, a resolution approving the 2015 marketing budget of the Branson Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce, on overview of city initiatives, and the first reading of several bills granting funds to several agencies to provide emergency help for the needy. The complete agenda can viewed online at BransonMO.gov.

Caleb Atchley Named Branson's Employee of the Month for January
The City of Branson has named Caleb Atchley of the Utilities Department as the Employee of the Month for January. Caleb is responsible for the electrical work at two wastewater treatment plants and 40 lift stations. The City said that Caleb has a positive attitude, is always willing to help other team members and helps other City departments with their electrical issues. Recently, he helped save the City thousands of dollars by relocating and repurposing several pieces of equipment.

MO Dept of Revenue to Host Forum on Tax Assistance Options
The Missouri Department of Revenue will host a free forum to provide Missourians with disabilities, the elderly and low-income citizens with information on free tax assistance that may be available to them. The forum will be held this Tuesday from 10 a.m. to noon in the Springfield Public Library at 4653 S. Campbell Ave. The forum will be an opportunity for qualified citizens to obtain information about the resources and tax options available to them.

State Rep Don Phillips to Receive Diplomat Award
State Representative Don Phillips of Kimberling City is one of a handful of individuals and businesses who will be honored by the Springfield Convention and Visitors Bureau for their work in promoting Southwest Missouri’s tourism industry. Phillips will receive the Diplomat Award, which will be handed out along with five other awards during the Salute to Travel and Tourism Awards Banquet on February 19. Phillips was selected for the award this year for his continued efforts to promote the tourism industry, and to secure additional state funding for tourism efforts in the area.




Hollister School District to Host CoxHealth CARE Mobile
The Hollister School District will be hosting the CoxHealth CARE Mobile this Tuesday from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. The CARE Mobile is a pediatric clinic on wheels, which offers basic health services for children from birth through age 18. All services on the CARE Mobile are provided by a nurse practitioner, working with local physicians who serve as medical directors. Services include primary care, sports physicals, treatment of common illnesses and immunizations.


January 8, 2015

Taney County Commission Approves 911 Surcharge Increase
As expected, the Taney County Commission has approved a telephone land line surcharge to help fund 911 services. By a unanimous vote, the commission raised the surcharge from 10% to 15%. The increase will add about 80 cents monthly to the bill for each landline and increase the funding for 911 by about $225,000 annually. Voters had approved a 15% surcharge in 1991 but the rate was lowered when Taney County 911 had accumulated a large reserve. Operating finances for 911 have decreased in recent years as more people drop their landlines, and cell phones do not have the surcharge.

Three Running for Branson Mayor After One Withdraws
The slate of four people running for Mayor of Branson has been reduced to three. Erik Richards withdrew from the race this week. Incumbent Raeanne Presley, Karen Best and Heath Goetsch have filed for the office. Richards withdrew his name after discovering that he didn't meet the requirements to be a candidate according to state law. He lives outside the municipal boundaries and has lived in the area for only 90 days instead of the two years required by law.

DBBA Strives to Bring Customers to Downtown Branson
The Downtown Branson Betterment Association has developed programs to help bring customers to the historic downtown area. The DBBA creates and distributes over 300,000 brochure maps, has produced an enhanced listing on BransonApp.com, and distributes downtown literature and maps to conventions, tour groups and travel industry organizations. The DBBA runs radio commercials on over 12 stations in the central United States, produces print ads in over 20 publications and produces TV ads on over 20 cable networks. The organization also maintains a website which represents all Branson member businesses, maintains a fresh presence in social media and organizes two major festivals each year in Branson. It's all done with an active board of directors, a small staff and the help of volunteers.

Several Branson Shows Announce New Locations for 2015
Several Branson area shows have already announced changes or new locations for the upcoming tourist season. The New Shanghai Circus plans to move to the Yakov Theatre. Tony Roi plans to perform at Music City Centre. Buckets N Boards is moving to the Starlight Theatre. New shows planned for the Andy Williams Theatre include America's Got Talent star Terry Fator and a show honoring the legacy of Andy Williams. Spirit of the Dance and Puttin on the Ritz are planned for the King's Castle Theatre. The Hamners' Variety Theatre will feature the Fair Family and Twice Adopted.

Winter is the Time for Bald Eagle Viewing in Missouri
Missouri's winter eagle days continue through February. Because of the state's rivers, lakes and extensive wetlands, Missouri is one of the leading lower 48 states for bald eagle viewing. Thousands of the birds migrate south from Canada and take up residence where they can find open water and plentiful food. Over 2,000 bald eagles are typically reported in Missouri during the winter. The Missouri Department of Conservation offers Eagle Day events at various locations including the Springfield Conservation Nature Center on January 17th and 18th. Other good locations for winter eagle viewing include Table Rock Lake and the Shepherd of the Hills Fish Hatchery.


MO Senate Opening Ceremonies Disrupted by Ferguson Protestors
The Republican controlled state legislature started its work this week in Jefferson City. In both chambers the GOP has enough votes to potentially overturn vetoes by Governor Nixon. Ferguson-focused protestors disrupted the opening ceremonies of the state senate Wednesday. Lt. Governor Peter Kinder had to ask police to clear the viewing gallery so the ceremony could continue.


January 7, 2015

Reeds Spring Man Injured in Vehicle Collision with Horses
Just minor injuries for the driver of a pickup truck that hit three horses that were standing in the road Tuesday evening. 55 year old Odie Atchison of Reeds Spring was taken by private vehicle to CoxHealth Branson for treatment. The 7:13 p.m. accident occurred on Missouri Highway 76, three miles east of Cape Fair. Atchison was using the truck's seatbelt. The truck was totaled. No report on the condition of the horses.

Deadline Approaching for Branson Community Awards Nominations
The Branson/Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce is seeking nominations for six awards to be presented at the Chamber's annual Black Tie Dinner. Nominations are being accepted for the Mary, Pioneer, Ambassador, Beautification, Community Spirit and Care for Kids awards. The awards honor individuals or businesses that have shown outstanding service to the community. All award nomination forms must be received at the Chamber office no later than Monday, January 12th. The Black Tie Dinner will be held February 28th at the Branson Convention Center.

Hollister Aldermen to Meet in Regular Session Thursday Evening
The Hollister Board of Aldermen is scheduled to meet in regular session Thursday evening. They will hear the second reading of bills relating to adopting and amending portions of the food code, commercial retail uses and building permits and fees. Aldermen will consider a resolution to approve a contract with the Taney County Health Department. There will also be a reception for city judges. The 7 p.m. meeting will be held at Hollister City Hall. The next Municipal Election will be April 7th, and there are two offices open in Hollister, Alderman Ward I and Alderman Ward II. The last date for filing is January 20th.

Tanger Outlets Branson Raises Nearly $25,000 for Breast Cancer
Tanger Outlets Branson raised nearly $25,000 during their annual 2014 PinkSTYLE Breast Cancer Awareness Campaign. The campaign creates awareness for the importance of early detection, raises money for research, and provides funds for local charities. The money was raised through the sale of the TangerSTYLE Pink Card, the annual Fit For a Cure 5K Run/Walk and a golf tournament. Tanger Branson donated the locally raised funds to the Breast Cancer Foundation of the Ozarks and that money is used in Taney and Stone Counties to help those afflicted with the disease.

Skaggs Foundation to Host Free Estate Planning Seminar
The Skaggs Foundation is partnering with Arvest Bank to provide a free Estate Planning Seminar later in January. The seminar is designed to help residents minimize taxes, court costs and legal fees by organizing their assets through advance planning. Josh Hartman, a Regional Investment Officer with Arvest for the past 6 years, will direct the free seminar which includes dinner. It will be held January 22nd at 5:30 p.m. in the Skaggs Foundation Conference Room at Cox Medical Center Branson. For more information or to reserve a seat, contact Victoria Miller at 417-348-8002.

MO Fiscal YTD Net General Revenue Collections Up 5.1%
Missouri State Budget Director Linda Luebbering reported that 2015 fiscal year-to-date net general revenue collections increased 5.1% compared to the same period the previous year. Collections for the month of December increased 10.7%. Individual income tax collections increased 6.3%, sales and use tax collections increased 3% and corporate income and franchise tax collections increased 3.3% for the year. Refunds increased 1.2% for the year.


January 6, 2015

Barry County Sheriff’s Office Investigating Double Murder, Child Abduction
The Barry County Sheriff’s Office is investigating a double murder that occurred Monday afternoon in Washburn. Thirty-seven year old Christopher Paschall of Arkansas allegedly shot and killed his estranged girlfriend, 29 year old Casie Brace, and abducted their two year old daughter. During the altercation, Paschall also allegedly shot his girlfriend’s grandfather, 76 year old Herbert Townsend, who later died from his injuries at a hospital. An Amber Alert was issued for the abducted child at about 4:30 Monday afternoon and Paschall was located a short time later at his mother’s house in Springdale, Arkansas. He was taken into custody without incident and the child was found unharmed. Paschall was being held in the Washington County, Arkansas jail on a $1 million bond.



Springfield Woman Injured in Two Car Collision Near Cape Fair
A woman from Springfield was injured in a two car collision at about 8:30 Monday night on Highway 76, three miles east of Cape Fair. A car driven by 29 year old Dawnette Underhill of Galena ran off the side of the road, was overcorrected, crossed the center line and struck an oncoming car driven by 24 year old Bridget Border. Border suffered moderate injuries and was taken to Cox Branson for treatment.

Salvation Army Prepares for Below Freezing Temperatures
The Salvation Army of Branson announced that it is ready with resources to help keep individuals warm during the below freezing temperatures this week. Lt. Shawn DeBaar said they are ready to help those in need in the event they have no place to seek shelter out of the freezing temperatures or they need some basic items, like blankets, to keep warm. The Salvation Army encourages community members to guide anyone they encounter in need of shelter to their facility at 1114 Stanley Blvd.

Camp Barnabas Receives $40,000 from Celebrity Apprentice Show
Camp Barnabas, a camp for kids with disabilities and life threatening illnesses near Wheaton, is receiving a $40,000 donation from The Celebrity Apprentice reality game show hosted by Donald Trump. The donation was announced on Monday night’s episode by celebrity contestant Kate Gosselin after her team won a challenge. Gosselin says she chose Camp Barnabas as her charity for the show because her heart was touched after she spoke at one of the camp’s events and met some of the campers.

Historical Society Receives Large Collection of Ozarks Books
Nearly 1,000 books pertaining to the Ozarks have been donated to the White River Valley Historical Society. Managing Director Leslie Wyman said that the Wehrman-Pendleton Collection includes many out-of-print publications. The collection will be available to researchers in the Historical Society’s Research Library, located at 297 Main Street in Forsyth, across from the Judicial Center.

Pictured from left: Ben Pendleton and Barbara Wehrman




Options Pregnancy Clinic Announces New Administrative Assistant
Options Pregnancy Clinic announced that Laura Fogle has been selected as its new Administrative Assistant. Laura has previously served as an Options volunteer in the clinic and has served on the Advisory Council for the past four years. She is married to Branson Fire Department Division Chief Randy Fogle and is the mother of two boys.

LifeSong Church to Celebrate 6th Anniversary with Free Community Service Day this Saturday
LifeSong United Methodist Church in Reeds Spring will celebrate its 6th anniversary with a Community Service Day this Saturday from noon to 3 p.m. The event will feature free services for the whole community, including lunch, groceries, haircuts, manicures, blood pressure checks, vision screenings, winter coats, diapers, firewood, games, snacks, face painting and more. For more information, visit LifeSongUMC.org.


January 5, 2015

Branson Firefighters Respond to Early Morning Structure Fire
The Branson Fire Department responded to a report of a structure fire shortly before 2 a.m. early this morning in the 1100 block of State Highway 76 in Branson. The structure is located in very close proximity to Fire Station 1 and the first arriving units were quickly able to extinguish the fire and minimize damage to the building. No injuries were reported and the building has been certified safe for occupancy.

Firefighters Rescue 3 People from Stalled Vehicle in Bear Creek
The Harrison Fire Department was called to a swift-water rescue on Cottonwood Road near Bear Creek Drive about 6 miles north of Harrison on Saturday. Firefighters found three people trapped in a stalled vehicle in the middle of Bear Creek. Crews were able to safely remove the three occupants of the vehicle and there were no injuries reported.

Voting Open this Week for Taney County MU Extension Council
Taney County residents have the opportunity to vote for eight new University of Missouri Extension Council members this week. Any Taney county resident 18 years of age or older can vote by visiting the website Extension.Missouri.edu/Taney. Residents without internet access may request a paper ballot by calling 417-546-4431 or visiting the Taney County Extension office at 122 Felkins Avenue in Forsyth. Voting is open through this Sunday, January 11. Short bios on the candidates are available online. There are four openings in both the Eastern and Western districts. Extension council members are elected to serve a two-year term, and the newly elected members will take office March 1, 2015. County extension councils are the governing body for the local educational opportunities provided by the University of Missouri Extension. Council members work with the extension faculty in making decisions concerning extension programs, personnel, finances and elections.

Forsyth Chamber to Hold Annual Banquet this Saturday
The Forsyth Area Chamber of Commerce will hold its annual banquet on Saturday, January 17 in the lower level of Fat Daddy’s BBQ restaurant on Highway 160 in Forsyth. The event will begin with a meet and greet at 6 p.m. followed by dinner at 6:30. The banquet will also feature live entertainment, an awards program and the installation of new officers. Tickets are $20 and reservation should be made by Tuesday, January 13. For more information or to RSVP, call 417-546-2741.

Branson Convention Center to Host Futsal Tournament this Weekend
This coming Friday through Sunday, 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 12 per team. 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. For more information, visit FCLegacy.org.


January 2, 2015

Illinois Man Awarded Carnegie Medal for Saving Man from Drowning in Table Rock Lake
A man from Shorewood, Illinois has been awarded a Carnegie Medal for saving a man from drowning in Table Rock Lake. On June 28, 2013, an unidentified man was swimming in the designated swimming area of a beach at Table Rock Lake when he began to struggle and yell for help. Thirty-six year old Brett Thoele, an off-duty police officer, swam to the victim to assist him but was submerged by the panicking victim several times until he finally struck the victim to subdue him. The victim then cooperated, and Thoele towed him to shore. The Pittsburgh-based Carnegie Hero Fund Commission was established by Andrew Carnegie in 1904. Carnegie Medals are given to those who risk their lives to an extraordinary degree while saving or attempting to save the lives of others.

Children Experience Joy of Giving at JATC Santa’s Gift House
Approximately 150 children participated in the fifth annual Santa’s Gift House hosted by the Junior Auxiliary of Taney County. The event provided children with an opportunity to buy up to four items for 50 cents per item that they then gave as Christmas gifts to their loved ones. The items were all handcrafted by members of the Auxiliary and their friends and family. The Junior Auxiliary of Taney County is a group of women dedicated to helping the children of Taney County. Approximately 50 members annually contribute more than 4,000 volunteer hours and thousands of dollars as they strive to improve the mental, physical, social and emotional well-being of children in Taney County. For more information, visit their website at JATCMO.org.

Photo: Caleb Matney excited about the gifts he selected to give







100,000 Missourians Enroll in 2015 Marketplace Health Plans
In the four weeks since the Missouri Health Insurance Marketplace opened, 102,087 Missourians have enrolled in 2015 health plans according to a report released by the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services. About half of those are new enrollees. Missouri is ranked 10th in total enrollees among the 37 states using the HealthCare.gov federal Marketplace platform. Nationwide, more than 4 million Americans selected new coverage or were automatically reenrolled in 2015 Marketplace plans as of Dec. 15, 2014.

Grant Applications Available for Outdoor Recreation Pojects
The Missouri Department of Natural Resources announced that grant applications are available to assist in financing outdoor recreation projects. Local governments and public school districts are eligible for the federal funds, which are made available through the Department of the Interior's National Park Service. Funds are available for the development or renovation of outdoor recreational facilities, or for acquisition of park land. A 55 percent match is required. Applications must be postmarked by March 31, 2015. For more information, visit DNR.MO.gov.

SOTH Fish Hatchery Accepting Reservations for Owl Prowl Program
The Shepherd of the Hills Fish Hatchery is now accepting reservations for its Owl Prowl program to be held on Friday, January 16 from 7-9 p.m. In addition to learning about some myths and legends about owls, participants will also learn what makes owls such great night hunters. The program involves a night hike to ‘call’ to owls, as well as hot chocolate after the hike. For reservations and more details, call 417-334-4865 ext 0.


January 1, 2015

Jordan Valley Begins Dental Services in Forsyth
The Taney County Health Department has now started its partnership with Jordan Valley Community Health Center to provide dental services for family members of all ages. The clinic will be called Jordan Valley Community Health Center and be located in Forsyth. Services provided will include professional care and cleanings, extractions, digital x-rays, oral cancer screenings, root canal therapy and crowns. Dr. Ashley Popejoy will provide pediatric dental care and Dr. Cody Thress will provide general dental care for patients of all ages. Dental clinic hours are Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Wednesdays from 8 a.m. until noon. The new phone number is 417-546-1272.

CoxHealth Branson Offering "Freedom from Smoking" Classes
CoxHealth Branson is starting three Freedom from Smoking classes this month. The American Lung Association based classes are conducted by Jim Brawner, a Mayo Clinic Certified Tobacco Treatment Specialist. A 10 a.m. class will start on January 12th at Faith Community Health. A 6 p.m. class will start January 19th in the CoxHealth Outpatient Center. And a 10 a.m. session will begin January 21st at Branson West City Hall. The classes can help a motivated person take a 'stop smoking' New Year's resolution to reality. For more information or to sign up, call 417-348-8498.

Houseman Ends Term as Taney County Presiding Commissioner
Ron Houseman has ended his term as Taney County Presiding Commissioner. The Branson Tri-Lakes News reported that he does not plan to run for elected office again but does plan to remain active in politics and government. Houseman holds a position on an executive committee with the National Association of Counties. In order to keep that position, he must continue to work for a county in Missouri. He currently is in communication with other first class counties regarding potential openings in administrative positions. Houseman became Taney County Presiding Commissioner in 2010.

Boone County Sheriff Offers Tips for Winter Travel Kit
Boone County, Arkansas Sheriff Mike Moore says its best to stay home during a winter storm. But if a person has to drive, Moore has issued a list of items that would serve well in making up a winter emergency kit when traveling by car. Items to consider include a shovel, windshield scraper, small broom, flashlight, extra batteries, water, snack food, matches, extra hats, socks and mittens, first aid kit with pocket knife, blanket, tow chain or rope, road salt or sand, booster cables and emergency flares. More information about winter driving safety is available at Ready.gov.

Branson Chamber Seeking Volunteers for Information Center
The Branson/Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce needs volunteers to serve in their Information Center on Highway 248 near Highway 65 in Branson. Shifts are available any Monday to Friday mornings or afternoons. For more information contact Julie Bolton, Chamber Executive Director, at 417-334-4084 or e-mail jbolton@bransonchamber.com.

Missouri Legislators to Again Consider Anti-Bullying Bill
The new session of Missouri's General Assembly starts next week. It is anticipated that legislators will again be asked to pass a bill aimed at ending bullying in schools. Representative Sue Allen has filed an anti-bullying bill for several sessions but has not made progress with it. The issue has been how specific to make the bill, and whether to specify particular groups to protect. Some Democrats want the bill to be specific but Allen wants the bill to take a blanket approach which protects all students in all bullying situations.


December 31, 2014

Two Teens Injured in Two Vehicle Collision
Two teenagers were injured in a two vehicle collision just before 11:00 Tuesday morning at the intersection of Highways 37 and 112 in Seligman. The Highway Patrol reported that 16 year old Destiny Mock of Eagle Rock failed to yield at a stop sign and drove into the path of a semi truck driven by 52 year old Dale Davis of Mulberry, Arkansas. Mock and 16 year old passenger Liana Standley of Seligman both suffered minor injuries and were taken to Mercy Hospital in Rogers for treatment.

Missouri Senator David Sater Named “Family Champion of the Year”
Missouri Senator David Sater of Cassville has been named “Family Champion of the Year” by the Missouri Family Policy Council for his work in the General Assembly on behalf of Missouri families. Senator Sater sponsored and passed pro-life legislation this year extending the waiting period to get an abortion in Missouri to 72 hours and previously passed legislation to prohibit pharmacies from being required to carry any specific drug, such as the “morning after pill”. In addition to his efforts on pro-life bills, Senator Sater has also worked on legislation to enhance education opportunities for foster children, protect children from online predators, and to develop a Child Protection Registry to help parents and families protect their email and phones from unsolicited adult-oriented materials.

2015 Loaves & Fishes Program Kicks Off this Saturday
The 2015 Loaves & Fishes program kicks off this Saturday and runs through March 15, providing free, warm meals to area people in need during the winter months. The meals will be served from 5:30-6:30 p.m. each evening unless there is inclement weather. Locations include The Salvation Army on Sundays, First Baptist Branson on Mondays, C.O.R.E. on Tuesdays, The Salvation Army on Wednesdays, Branson United Methodist on Thursdays, First Presbyterian Branson on Fridays and Faith Lutheran on Saturdays. There are about a dozen nights on the schedule for which volunteer teams are still needed to provide the meals. If you have a team of 9-12 volunteers that can fill one or more of the nights, please contact Loaves & Fishes coordinator Jim Lawson at 501-837-4938 or email jimlawsonj@aol.com.

Lilleys' Landing to Host Annual Masters Trout Championship
Lilleys' Landing Resort and Marina will host the annual Masters Trout Championship on Saturday, January 24 on Lake Taneycomo. The tournament is open to the public and is a two-person team format. Rules require artificial baits only and it is a catch-and-release tournament. Cash prizes and trophies will be awarded to the top four teams and the team with the heaviest trout. For more information or to register, call 888-545-5397 or visit LilleysLanding.com.


December 30, 2014

Several Branson Shows to Host New Year’s Eve Celebrations
Several Branson shows will be hosting New Year’s Eve celebrations. The Pierce Arrow Theatre New Year’s Eve Show will start at 9 p.m. and include party favors, a live countdown and a gourmet boxed lunch. The Legends in Concert New Year’s Eve Show at Dick Clark’s American Bandstand Theatre begins at 7:30 p.m. and features dinner and a live countdown. Hamners’ New Year’s Eve Fiesta Party starts at 9 p.m. and includes a special version of Hamners’ Unbelievable Variety Show as well as food from Qdoba, contests, party favors, games, and a laser show countdown to 2015. The Clay-Goods Jambor-Eve featuring The Haygoods and Clay Cooper’s Country Music Express kicks off at 9 p.m. and includes hors d’oeuvres, party favors, and a non-alcoholic toast and balloon drop at midnight. Call the respective box offices for tickets or more information.

Mike Huckabee and Montel Williams to be Guests on The Jim Bakker TV Show
Former Arkansas governor, Mike Huckabee, will be special guest on The Jim Bakker TV Show at Morningside in Blue Eye next Tuesday, January 6 at 11:30 a.m. Huckabee is the host of the weekend show Huckabee on the Fox News Channel and is also heard three times daily across the nation on The Huckabee Report syndicated on almost 600 stations. On Wednesday, January 7, TV personality Montel Williams will be special guest on The Jim Bakker show. Williams hosted The Montel Williams Show for 17 seasons and received an Emmy for Outstanding Talk Show Host. The Jim Bakker TV Show is taped before a live audience at the Morningside studio located at Highway 86 & 13 in Blue Eye. Reservations are not required to join the studio audience and seating is free. For more information, call 417-779-9000 or visit JimBakkerShow.com.

Chick-fil-A in Branson to Begin Accepting Applications January 5
The mild winter weather so far this season has allowed steady progress to continue on the new Chick-fil-A restaurant on Main Street in Branson. The restaurant ownership is anticipating an early Spring opening, and announced that they will begin accepting applications next Monday, January 5th. To stay informed about specific details, visit the Chick-fil-A Branson Facebook page.






Skyline Offers Perspectives on the World Christian Movement
Perspectives on the World Christian Movement, a 15-week course of Christian study and discipleship, will be held at Skyline Baptist Church in Branson beginning Sunday, January 11. Perspectives is open to anyone, from any background. The course is designed around four vantage points or "perspectives" — Biblical, Historical, Cultural and Strategic. Each one highlights different aspects of God's global purpose. There is a fee for this course however the first two classes are free for those who would like to try it first. For complete pricing, discounts, and registration information, visit Class.Perspectives.org. Skyline Baptist is located at 949 Hwy 165 in Branson. For more information, call 417-334-6729 or visit SkylineBaptist.com.


December 29, 2014

Firefighters Called to Vehicle Fire on Hwy 65 at Hwy 265
Western Taney County Firefighters were called to a vehicle fire at about 4 p.m. last Friday on southbound Highway 65 at Highway 265. First arriving units reported fire showing from the engine compartment. All occupants of the vehicle had gotten out safely and there were no injuries. Firefighters extinguished the fire and Highway 65 was cleaned up and both lanes reopened within an hour.

Harrison Fire Department Responds to House Fire Off Ozark Street
The Harrison Fire Department responded to a house fire at a residence off of Ozark Street last Friday afternoon at around 3 p.m. No one was injured in the blaze. The fire is under investigation by the Harrison Fire Department and the Harrison Police Department to determine the cause.








Public's Help Sought in Finding Omaha Man, Missing Since December 8
Boone County Sheriff Mike Moore is asking for the public's assistance in locating a Boone County man who is missing. Steven Garrett, a fifty year old white male from Omaha, Arkansas was last seen Monday night, December 8th, 2014 at the State Line RV Park on Highway 14 West in Omaha. Garrett was on foot and possibly disoriented. He was last seen wearing blue jean cutoff shorts and a light brown coat. Garrett is 6 feet tall, 240 pounds with brown hair and brown eyes and wears glasses. Anyone having any information about his location should contact the Boone County Sheriff's Department at 870-741-8404.







Springfield Woman Injured in One Car Crash in Kimberling City
A woman from Springfield was injured in a one car crash just before 6:00 Saturday morning on Joe Bald Road in Kimberling City. A car driven by 31 year old Rose Verfurth traveled off the right side of the roadway, was overcorrected, ran off the right side of the roadway again and struck several small trees. Verfurth suffered minor injuries and was taken to Cox Branson for treatment.

Rockaway Beach Woman Injured in One Car Accident in Holt County
A woman from Rockaway Beach was injured in a one car accident shortly before 11:30 Saturday morning on Interstate 29 in Holt County, Missouri. The Highway Patrol reported that a car driven by 70 year old Martha Ross swerved from the right lane into the left lane, went off the side of the roadway and struck a guardrail. Ross was transported to Mosaic Life Care in St. Joseph for treatment of minor injuries.

Registration Open for 2015 Character Education Conference
Registration is now open for the 2015 character education conference to be held on January 29th at The Keeter Center at College of the Ozarks. The 2015 conference entitled “A Step Forward in Character Education” will focus on the 11 Principles of Effective Character Education, which are goals set by the Character Education Partnership, the nation’s leading character education organization. The conference will also include effective ways to integrate leadership development, specifically the Leader in Me framework. For more information or to register, visit CofO.edu/CharacterEdConference or call 417-690-2242.
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