Word for Life --------------------------------------------------- "Do not work for food that spoils, but for food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you. For on him God the Father has placed his seal of approval."
--------------------------------------------------- John 6:27
Branson Aldermen Approve Amendment to Special Event Signage Branson Aldermen approved the first reading of a bill amending Chapter 70 of the City’s Municipal Code when they met in regular session Tuesday evening. The bill pertains to special event signage and restricts the time that the signs can be displayed to 14 days before the event and up to 2 days afterwards. The amendment also describes how much signage is allowed for each event, including banners and smaller directional signage. The board asked city staff to do additional research relating to signage for events at the city-owned Convention Center.
Aldermen Approve Autumn Daze Permit, New Police Cars Branson Aldermen approved a resolution approving a Special Use Permit for the 41st annual Autumn Daze Arts, Crafts and Music Festival. Event organizers have requested the closure of the 100 block of North Commercial Street as well as the Awberry parking lot for the festival. It is planned for September 16th through the 20th in downtown Branson. And the board approved the first reading of a bill to purchase police patrol vehicles. The contract with Lou Fusz Chrysler, Jeep and Dodge of O’Fallon, Missouri will replace two of the older Ford Crown Victoria’s with Dodge Charger police cars.
Hollister Graduate Crowned Miss Missouri USA 2014 Alexandria Steele has been crowned Miss Missouri USA 2014. She was born and raised in the Branson area and graduated form Hollister High School in 2009. Steele competed against over 20 contestants to be crowned Miss Missouri and will compete at the Miss United States 2014 pageant in Washington DC in early July. Her focus is Giving Voice to Tomorrow’s Future, helping children discover confidence. She is also partnering with Relay for Life to raise funds for cancer patients and survivors. Steele is an Elementary Education major at Missouri State University.
C of O Students to Present Cirque de Variete College of the Ozarks will present Cirque de Variete next Monday and Tuesday evenings. This annual production allows students with a variety of talents to perform for fellow students and the public while gaining art and entertainment experience. This year’s programs will feature more students including solo and duet performances. Students receive priority seating. Remaining seats are available to the public at no charge. The 7:30 p.m. performances will be held in Jones Auditorium on campus.
EarthWise Recycling Center to Celebrate Earth Day this Saturday The EarthWise Recycling Center in Reeds Spring will celebrate Earth Day this Saturday. Residents are encouraged to bring their recyclables to the Reeds Spring High School north parking lot between 8 a.m. and 2 p.m. Table Rock Water Quality will be on hand to collect tube TVs and computer monitors. The first 300 will be accepted at no charge then a nominal fee will be charged. Two-cubic-foot bags of compost produced on site will be available for a suggested donation of $5 each. EarthWise also plans to provide compost for the newly formed Legacy Gardens, where residents grow their own food. Legacy Gardens will donate a portion of that food to Stone County Loaves and Fishes.
Convey of Hope is Top Nominee for National Award Convey of Hope, headquartered in Springfield, has been recognized as a top nominee for the 5th Annual CLASSY Awards. This is the largest social impact awards ceremony in the country, celebrating the greatest champions of social progress. Over 3,600 organizations worldwide were evaluated as part of the comprehensive, year-long discovery process. Eight winners will be announced onstage at a ceremony May 3 in San Diego.
April 22, 2014
Galena Woman Injured in One Vehicle Rollover A woman from Galena was injured in a one car accident at about 3:30 Monday afternoon on Highway 176 at Abesville Circle, five miles east of Galena. An eastbound car driven by 26 year old Jennifer Lamb traveled off the side of the roadway and overturned. Lamb was not wearing a seatbelt and sustained moderate injuries. She was transported to Cox South Hospital in Springfield for treatment.
April 30 is Deadline for Branson Business/Liquor License Renewals Branson city officials want to remind contractors and business operators that next Wednesday, April 30 is the deadline for renewing business and liquor licenses. After that date, penalties will apply for delinquencies. Starting May 1, a business that has not renewed will automatically operate on a temporary license fee of $7.50 per day until the license is renewed. There is also a $100 late fee for liquor license renewal applications received after April 30.
Taney County’s Probate Archives to be Available at Historical Society Taney County’s Probate archives will soon be available to the public at the White River Valley Historical Society in Forsyth. Managing Director Leslie Wyman said that the probate records are some of the most-critical documents for genealogical research, and can also assist with historical research projects. Wyman said they’ve started scanning and indexing the probate index cards from the late 1800’s through 1940 and will begin imaging the various probate ledgers within the next month. The actual case files will be scanned and indexed as the year progresses.
Branson Auto and Farm Museum Opens New Building The Branson Auto and Farm Museum recently opened its new building on the 76 Strip in Branson. The Museum’s former home in The Engler Block building took a direct hit from the Leap Day 2012 tornado. The new facility is larger with 90,000 square feet of showroom space featuring cars and trucks of all different periods, as well as antique farm equipment. For more information, visit BransonMuseum.com.
Public Invited to Grand Opening of Branson's New Dog Park The City of Branson invites the public to the grand opening of the Elmo & Rosalea Marrs Memorial Dog Park this Saturday at Stockstill Park. The Dog Park is a 1 ½ acre, fenced facility for dogs to go off-leash, with separate areas for small and large dogs. The Dog Park will offer annual memberships and day passes. The grand opening is being held in conjunction with Bark For Life, a non-competitive walk event for dogs and their owners to raise funds for the American Cancer Society. Bark For Life will register participants at 9 a.m., followed by the walk at 9:30. At 10 a.m. Mayor Raeanne Presley will dedicate the new Dog Park.
“Afternoon with the Stars” to Benefit Abused and Neglected Children Missouri Baptist Children’s Home will hold its annual “Afternoon with the Stars” benefit this Saturday from 2–5 p.m. at the Clay Cooper Theatre in Branson. The event will feature entertainment by Branson-area performers including Clay Cooper, Doug Gabriel, Mickey Gilley, the Blues Brothers, the Brett Family and more. Tickets are $35 and all proceeds go to the operational costs of Missouri Baptist Children’s Home to help care for abused and neglected children. For more information, call 800-264-6224.
April 21, 2014
Purdy Man Killed in One Vehicle Accident Near Galena A man from Purdy was fatally injured in a one vehicle accident shortly before 3:00 last Friday afternoon on Highway 248, three miles west of Galena. A westbound pickup driven by 58 year old Clarence Frye ran off the side of the roadway, struck a tree and overturned, ejecting Frye who was not wearing a seatbelt. He was pronounced dead at the scene by Stone County Coroner John Cunningham.
Hollister Aldermen Give Final Approval to New Menards Store Hollister Aldermen have given final approval to a subdivision plat for a new Menards store. The home improvement store will be located on Birch Street just south of Industrial Park Drive and is expected to open in 2016. The approved 35-acre subdivision also includes several spots for other future businesses.
Purple Heart Recipients to be Honored in Branson this Week Branson.com will host the 6th annual Branson Honors Purple Heart Recipients event this Thursday through Saturday. The purpose of the event is to remember and honor the sacrifices of those who have been wounded in combat while defending our country and have received the Purple Heart as a result of that service. It is the only event of its type and is recognized and supported by the Military Order of the Purple Heart. All the event’s scheduled activities are free to Purple Heart recipients, from the opening ceremony at College of the Ozarks, hosted by Barbara Fairchild, to the closing ceremony at the Hamner Variety Theatre hosted by Dave Hamner. For more information and a schedule of activities, visit Branson.com.
Coach Lou Holtz to Speak at FCA Banquet in Branson this Thursday Night Former Notre Dame Head Football Coach Lou Holtz will be speaking in Branson this Thursday night. Holtz will be the keynote speaker for the South Central Missouri Fellowship of Christian Athletes’ annual banquet at Chateau on the Lake. Holtz is the only coach in NCAA history to lead six different programs to bowl games and the only coach to guide four different programs to the final top 20 rankings. He is currently an analyst for ESPN’s college football coverage and is also a best-selling author. FCA’s Banquet will recognize a Male and Female Athlete in the area with the Jerry Lilley Memorial Scholarship. South Central MO FCA serves 11 counties and 88 schools reaching over 2300 students, athletes and coaches each week through Campus Huddles, Bible Studies and events. For banquet tickets or more information, call 417-337-3977 or visit www.socentralmofca.org.
"See the World in Branson" Set for this Wednesday and Thursday Branson Ticket & Travel will host its annual See the World in Branson international music festival this coming Wednesday and Thursday at the Welk Resort. The event highlights the internationally inspired entertainment, attractions, and cuisine available to visitors in the Branson area. Activities include a morning Marketplace, an opportunity to meet Branson stars for autographs & photos, various booths and displays from local businesses, the Savor the Flavor stage where celebrity entertainers square off in cooking challenges, and the matinee shows featuring a sampling of 20–25 different Branson shows throughout the 2 days of performances. For more information, visit BransonTicket.com.
Parakeet Pete's Waterfront Zipline Now Open at Branson Landing Parakeet Pete's Waterfront Zipline is now open at Branson Landing next to Famous Dave’s BBQ. The new zipline adventure launches guests from Branson Landing across Lake Taneycomo up to an observation point on Mount Branson and pauses for a few moments to allow riders to take in the scenery before zipping back across the lake. Two sets of two riders sit side-by-side in seats similar to ski lift chairs and face downtown Branson for the entire ride. For more information or to book the ride for a private party, call Parakeet Pete’s at 417-561-0699.
April 18, 2014
Corps Reminds Visitors of Viney Creek Park Closure The Army Corps of Engineers Table Rock Project Office reminds visitors that because of budget constraints Viney Creek Park on Table Rock Lake near Golden will not open for camping this year. Currently the Corps is working to lease the park to another agency. Until a decision is made, camping and day use activities within the park will be prohibited, however the boat launch ramp near the entrance will remain open for lake access. For more information, call 417-334-4101.
Missouri's Show-Me Green Sales Tax Holiday Starts Saturday Missouri's sixth annual Show-Me Green Sales Tax holiday begins Saturday and runs through Friday, April 25. The holiday provides shoppers in Missouri with the opportunity to save on energy-efficient appliances. Shoppers who purchase new ENERGY STAR®-qualified appliances in Missouri during the holiday will not have to pay the 4.225 percent state sales tax. For more information, visit the Missouri Department of Revenue's website at www.dor.mo.gov.
C of O Chorale to Perform Spring Concert with Mix of Styles College of the Ozarks Chorale, under the direction of Dr. Bruce Gerlach, will perform a mixed vocal ensemble this Tuesday at 8 p.m. at the Newman Recital Hall in the Gittinger Music Center. The group will be accompanied by C of O graduate Kourtney Martin, who majored in music. The program will feature styles of music such as the Italian Renaissance and music of today. The event is free to the public and seating is first-come, first-served.
Branson DECA Students Qualify for International Contest Students in the Branson High School Chapter of Distributive Education Clubs of America (DECA) recently joined more than 1,700 high school marketing students at the annual Missouri conference. Ashley David, Johnny Sparks and Zach Deshazo earned third place with their Sports and Entertainment Marketing Promotion Plan. They will advance to international competition at the DECA Career Development Conference scheduled May 3-6 in Atlanta. DECA prepares emerging leaders and entrepreneurs for careers in marketing, finance, hospitality and management.
MDC Seeking Experienced Anglers to Help Others Learn to Fish The Missouri Department of Conservation is seeking experienced anglers from all around the state to help others learn to fish through its free Discover Nature — Fishing Program. The statewide program provides a series of lessons to help kids and families gain skills and confidence to go fishing on their own. Classes are offered throughout the fishing season from April through October. Volunteers can teach a single lesson or multiple lessons and training will be provided. Anglers interested in volunteering, and those interested in learning to fish, can contact Dave Woods at 417-895-6881 x1623, or email Dave.Woods@mdc.mo.gov.
Ozarks Writers League Conducting Youth Writing Contest The Ozarks Writers League is fulfilling their mission to promote the literary arts by opening a writing contest to any youth in the Ozarks region aged 18 or under. The contest features seven categories of creative writing, including nonfiction, poetry, short story, comic, fan fiction, and even a design-your-own bookmark contest. Winners will be awarded cash prizes totaling $350. Official rules can be found online at OzarksWritersLeague.com. The deadline for entries is September 1, 2014.
April 17, 2014
Construction on Route 165 at Table Rock Dam Due to Begin Monday The Missouri Department of Transportation announced that construction on Route 165 at Table Rock Dam is due to begin this coming Monday. Drivers can expect some traffic delays and nighttime lane closings between the hours of 8 p.m. and 7 a.m. as crews replace and upgrade guardrail and signs along Table Rock Dam. The work is expected to take approximately 6-8 days to complete. Drivers are urged to use caution and watch for crews and equipment working in the roadway.
Western Taney County Fire Protection District Acquires New Fireboat The Western Taney County Fire Protection District has taken delivery of a new fire & rescue boat. Fire district personnel have been participating in training on the new boat this week. The new fireboat will be the primary response boat for Table Rock Lake and will be stationed at the State Park Marina.
Branson Accepting Applications for Annual Green Initiative Awards The City of Branson is accepting applications for its annual Green Initiative Awards. This is the sixth year for the awards program, which recognizes community members for their efforts in recycling and conservation. Last year’s recipients were Wyndham Branson at the Meadows and Ozarks Rivers Heritage Foundation for their efforts in sustainability. Applications for the Green Initiative Awards are available at the Planning & Development Department. The deadline for submittal is May 2.
Brighton Collectibles Conducting Soles 4 Souls Shoe Drive for Haiti Brighton Collectibles at Branson Landing is participating in a shoe collection drive for the organization Soles 4 Souls. The shoes will be shipped to Haiti and passed out to those in need. Brighton Collectibles is accepting all sizes of children and adult shoes now through May 3. The store is open Monday-Saturday from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., closed on Easter Sunday. The overall company-wide goal is to collect 800,000 pairs of shoes to ship to Haiti this year.
Harrison Lions Club Donates $5,000 to Project Loved One The Boone County Sheriff’s Office announced that the Harrison Lions Club has donated $5,000 to Project Loved One. This money will be used to purchase radio equipment for the program. Project Loved One was established by the Boone County Sheriff’s Office in an effort to provide services to persons who suffer from neurological disorders such as Alzheimer’s, dementia, or any mental impairment. This service is provided at no cost to the public and helps law enforcement find a person who may become lost or wander away from where they are supposed to be. Photo: Sheriff Mike Moore, Donna Blackwell, Kandi Wilson and Ron Richardson
Shepherd of the Hills Fish Hatchery to Host Earth Day Celebration The Shepherd of the Hills Fish Hatchery will host its 10th annual Earth Day celebration this Saturday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. The event will feature several learning stations including endangered/extinct animals, recycling, nature art, alternative vehicles, water critters, amphibians and more. The first 500 visitors will receive a free tree seedling.
BHS Spanish and French Teams Earn First Place in Competition Branson High School teams recently competed at the annual Foreign Language Field Days at MSSU in Joplin. The Spanish and French teams earned first place among all teams competing. There were 27 area high schools participating in the event. Branson won second place overall for the competition.
April 16, 2014
Nearly 300 Families Receive Food at CAM Food Drop in Branson Nearly 300 families gathered in the parking lot of the Branson United Methodist Church Tuesday morning for a semi-truck load distribution of food from Christian Action Ministries. This food drop was in addition to normal food distribution by CAM and advance registration was required. Volunteers from Branson Police and Fire Departments, Branson High ROTC Cadets and Target employees helped distribute 20 pallets of food. CAM started the food drops two years ago in the Forsyth area and expanded them into Branson last year. Additional food drops are planned for June, August and October. The need for assistance from CAM reached record levels last year and continues to grow this year.
Former Forsyth Teacher Charged with Statutory Sodomy and Rape A former Forsyth school teacher has been charged with statutory sodomy and rape in relation to his conduct with students. Twenty-seven year old Caleb Moon of Ozark was arrested this week and faces six charges. He resigned from his teaching job last fall after an investigation into allegations that he had a sexual encounter with a 16 year old female in school and away from school. He turned himself in to the Taney County Sheriff’s Department Tuesday morning and is free on a $50,000 bond.
Co-Pilot Retires after Southwest Incident in Branson The co-pilot of the Southwest Airlines plane that landed at the wrong airport near Branson last January has retired. The captain of that plane has returned to flying for Southwest after being on administrative leave for the past three months. They landed the plane at the M. Graham Clark Airport at Point Lookout instead of the Branson Airport. They used heavy braking to stop the plane on the runway which is shorter than normally needed to land a 737 aircraft. There were no injuries. The National Transportation Safety Board investigated the incident.
C of O Celebrates 50 Years as Member of Holstein Association USA College of the Ozarks has celebrated 50 years as a member of the Holstein Association USA. C of O has one of the top college Holstein herds in the United States, according to former Assistant Dairy Manager Tamara Holder. The Association has over 20,000 adult members and 8,000 junior members. They rate the quality of milk produced. College of the Ozarks has one cow rated excellent and 16 rated very good. C of O’s dairy is one of just four in Missouri that have been with the Association for 50 years.
Bill Would Prohibit Sale of Electronic Cigarettes to Youth Missouri’s House of Representatives has given initial approval to prohibiting the sale of electronic cigarettes to people under the age of 18. House Bill 1690 would add alternative nicotine products to the list of restricted tobacco products. The bill’s language was written in an effort to be acceptable to both Republicans and Democrats. With another favorable vote, the legislation would go to the Senate.
C of O Handbell Choir to Present Spring Concert The College of the Ozarks Handbell Choir will present a concert Thursday evening in the Royal Oak Forum of the Keeter Center. The program will feature a variety of selections from hymns to show tunes including songs from The Lion King, Little Mermaid and Phantom of the Opera. The Hollister City Lights, a show choir, will perform a "Tribute to Disney" during the concert. The 7 p.m. event is free to the public, seating is first come, first served.
April 15, 2014
Stone County Woman in Custody for Shooting Death of Husband Stone County Deputies are investigating the shooting death of 56 year old Garrett Dean Davidson of Clever. Last Sunday deputies went to a residence on Richwood Schoolhouse Road in response to a report of a gunshot. They found Davidson lying on the living room floor. He was determined to be deceased after medical personnel arrived. His wife, 58 year old Cherlynn Davidson, was present at the residence. She was taken into custody and while being questioned she stated that they had been arguing and a gun discharged while in her hands. Cherlynn is being held in the Stone County Jail on a $100,000 cash only bond.
Grant will Provide $450,000 for Local Dental Health Needs Skaggs Foundation has secured a grant from the Missouri Foundation for Health to provide emergency and preventative dental care for adults with financial need. The $450,000 four-year grant will provide the finances for Faith Community Health to hire dental staff at their Branson facility. Services are expected be available three days a week starting in October. Patients will pay based on a sliding rate scale and their ability to pay. About 1,700 dental visits are expected in the first year of operation.
Kirbyville Teen Injured in One Car Accident Nineteen year old Savanna Barger of Kirbyville received minor injuries Monday morning when the car she was driving ran off the road and hit a fence. She was taken by private vehicle to Cox Health Branson for treatment. The 11 a.m. accident occurred on Route K, six miles southeast of Kirbyville.
Arkansas Woman Sentenced to Four Years for Credit Card Theft Thirty-seven year old Sheryl DePriest of Benton, Arkansas has been sentenced to four years in the Missouri Department of Corrections. She pled guilty to credit card theft and was sentenced by Judge Mark Orr. She had stolen a purse last September from an employee’s locker at a health center in Springfield and used a credit card to charge $285 at a Branson business. The investigation resulted in DePriest being identified in a photo line-up by witnesses at the business.
Branson Police Conduct Random Liquor Compliance Checks Random liquor compliance checks by Branson Police show improvement in the number of businesses not selling liquor to minors. Recently 95 businesses were spot checked by Branson Police working with the assistance of minors and 89 were in compliance with the liquor code. That 94% compliance rate is up from 72% achieved a few years ago. Officials say the improvement is due in part to the required liquor training of servers, cashiers and bartenders working in the city. The next training session is planned for May 13 at Branson City Hall.
Children’s Art Exhibit Now Open at Ralph Foster Museum The Children’s Art Exhibit is now open at the Ralph Foster Museum on the campus of College of the Ozarks. The exhibit will be available until May 10 and showcases artwork by area students that may not otherwise be seen, and to celebrate the area’s art programs. The non-juried exhibit accepts pieces in all mediums submitted by area schools. The Ralph Foster Museum is open Monday-Saturday from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. There is a small admission charge for adults but free for ages 18 and under.
April 14, 2014
Firefighters Battle 15-Acre Fire North of Branson Firefighters were called to a natural cover fire at about 3:30 Saturday afternoon on Ruby's Rest Road north of Branson. When crews arrived, they found a large shop building on fire and a home immediately threatened by the fire. Firefighters were able to save the home and rescued a pet from the fire. Crews also had to extinguish approximately 15 acres of fire in the woods that was difficult to contain due to steep terrain. One firefighter was evaluated for smoke inhalation on the scene. The cause of the fire was undetermined due to the extensive damage.
Springfield Man Injured in Vehicle Rollover on Indian Point Road A Springfield man was injured in a one vehicle rollover at about 10:30 Sunday morning on Indian Point Road at the entrance to Silver Dollar City. A northbound car driven by 25 year old Joshua Sikes was traveling too fast for conditions, ran off the roadway at a curve, overturned and ejected Sikes who was not wearing a seatbelt. He was transported to Mercy Hospital in Springfield for treatment of moderate injuries.
Branson Man Pleads Guilty to Assault, Receiving Stolen Property Taney County Prosecutor Jeff Merrell announced that 44 year old Greg Smith of Branson pled guilty to second degree domestic assault and receiving stolen property in two separate cases. Smith received sentences of three years and five years respectively pursuant to a plea agreement. The domestic assault charge stemmed from an altercation with his estranged wife in September 2013 at the Branson Plaza Motel. The receiving stolen property charge resulted from Smith accepting cash and other items from teens who had stolen the items from several vehicles in April 2012.
Tickets Now on Sale for Big Cedar Lodge Legends of Golf Tournament Tickets are now on sale for the Big Cedar Lodge Legends of Golf Tournament to be held June 2-8 at the soon to open Top of the Rock and Buffalo Ridge golf courses. All ticketed fans will be eligible to be drawn and be paired with a Legends Golf Professional to win up to $333,333.33 of the $1 million Shootout prize money. The $1 million will be split equally between the fan, the Legends Professional and the tournament charities, College of the Ozarks and the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation. Also, a free golf clinic will be held for ticket holders at Top of the Rock after tournament play concludes. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit BigCedarLegends.com.
MO Senate Seeking to Boost Tourism Funding by $10 Million State Rep. Don Phillips of Kimberling City is praising the efforts of the Missouri Senate to increase funding for the Missouri Division of Tourism by approximately $10 million. The agreement made by the Senate Appropriations Committee would increase funding for the Division of Tourism from nearly $15 million to almost $25 million for the upcoming fiscal year. Phillips said the decision to boost tourism funding has the potential to have a significant, positive economic impact on Taney, Stone and Christian counties. The bill must still be given final approval by the May 9 deadline.
Medal of Honor Recipient to Speak at College of the Ozarks Sergeant Gary Beikirch, a Congressional Medal of Honor recipient, will speak at College of the Ozarks this Wednesday at 7 p.m. in Jones Auditorium. He will share about his time in Vietnam and how his experiences shaped his life and inspired his work after his service in the military. From soldier to middle-school counselor for 33 years, he currently holds the position as Chaplain of the Congressional Medal of Honors Society. Most distinguished for his performance during the defense of Camp Dak Seang, he is credited for saving the lives of many. Wednesday’s event is free and open to the public.
April 11, 2014
Two Branson Girls Kidnapped by Father Thursday Night UPDATE: The Branson Police Department has been notified that the Arkansas State Police have taken into custody John Russell Fant, who is charged in the abduction of two young females last night in Branson. The arrest was made in Boone County, Arkansas. Farrah Fant and Delilah Fant have been taken into protective custody. John Fant has been charged with two counts of Interference with Custody, both Class D Felonies. Descriptions of the suspect, the girls and the vehicle had been circulated widely by regional media. A concerned citizen in Arkansas contacted the authorities after observing what they thought was the suspect vehicle. This assistance led directly to the apprehension of Fant and the recovery of the two girls.
The Branson Police Department reported that two girls were kidnapped by their father from their home on Golfshores Drive in Branson Thursday night. Eight year old Farrah Fant and six year old Delilah Fant were last seen wearing pajamas with a printed flower design. The girls are described as white females, thin build, with long brown hair. The father is John Fant, described as a white male, medium build, 5'11, 175 pounds, with short brown hair. He is last known to be driving a 2002 silver or gray Toyota RAV4 with South Carolina license plates. If you have any information regarding the location of the two girls or their father, please call the Branson Police Department at 417-334-3300.
Body of Missing Berryville Man Found in Beaver Creek The body of a Berryville, Arkansas man has been found after he was reported missing Thursday morning from the Kissee Mills area. The Taney County Sheriff’s Office reported that 28 year old Gary Slater had been to a party on the evening of April 8 near the end of Cross Timbers Road on Beaver Creek. Those with him state that he was very intoxicated and walked away in an unknown direction. Slater’s sweatshirt was found approximately 1 ¼ mile from where he was last seen. At about 4:00 Thursday afternoon, a helicopter crew from Baxter County, Arkansas located Slater’s body in Beaver Creek near the spot where his sweatshirt was located. Authorities are awaiting autopsy results for a cause of death.
Southern Stone County Firefighters Battle 4-Alarm Brush Fire Southern Stone County Firefighters battled a 4-alarm brush fire Thursday afternoon on Tilden Road in Galena. The fire started as a controlled burn but high winds coupled with low humidity caused the fire to grow very large very quickly. The fire spread to an estimated 6 acres but no structures were endangered. Mercy EMS responded to the scene for one firefighter who overheated.
Firefighters Extricate Ridgedale Woman from Overturned SUV A Ridgedale woman was extricated from an overturned SUV after a two vehicle accident at about 10:00 Thursday morning on Highway 65, five miles south of Hollister. An SUV driven by 60 year old Betty Lange struck another vehicle in the rear, ran off the roadway and overturned. Firefighters worked for approximately 30 minutes using hydraulic extrication tools to free Lange. She was taken to Cox Branson with minor injuries.
Menards Seeking to Build New Store in Hollister The large home improvement retail company, Menards, is seeking to build a new store in Hollister. The City’s Planning & Zoning board gave initial approval to Menards’ plans to build a store on Birch Street south of Industrial Park Drive. If the plans are given final approval by the Board of Aldermen the store is expected to open in 2016. A family-owned company started in 1960, Menards is headquartered in Eau Claire, Wisconsin and has 280 home improvement stores.
TripAdvisor Reviewers Rank Branson in Top 20 of U.S. Destinations Branson has been named a top 20 U.S. destination by the reviewers of the world’s largest travel site, TripAdvisor. The winners of the 2014 top spots were announced April 8 when the website released the results of the 6th Annual Travelers' Choice™ awards for Destinations. TripAdvisor used reviews on its website over a twelve-month period to determine the rankings. Branson came in at number 19; ranking higher than destinations such as Myrtle Beach, South Carolina and Nashville, Tennessee.
CAM Schedules Eight Food Drops for Branson and Forsyth Areas Christian Action Ministries has scheduled 8 semi-truck food drops this year for people in need in the Branson and Forsyth areas. Each food drop consists of approximately twenty pallets of food ordered from Ozarks Food Harvest, the regional food bank. In Branson, the food drops will take place at the United Methodist Church parking lot on April 15, June 17, August 19 and October 21. The First Baptist Church will be the site for Forsyth food drops on May 6, June 19, August 14 and October 23. Participants must register in advance for the food drops at CAM’s Branson or Forsyth food pantries. These drops are over and above the normal distributions available to CAM’s clients.
C of O's Rescheduled “Baseball for Heroes” Set for April 15 College of the Ozarks will host “Baseball for Heroes” during the Bobcats’ home games against Oklahoma State University this Tuesday at 1 and 3 p.m. The event was originally scheduled for April 4 but was postponed due to rain. An honor ceremony for Vietnam Veterans will be held before the start of the second game at approximately 2:45 p.m. Men and women who served in the Vietnam War are invited to attend and be recognized at the game. Veterans will receive a free commemorative t-shirt, popcorn and drink. C of O encourages the community to attend in order to help honor Vietnam Veterans. Both games are free admission.
April 10, 2014
Roller Coaster Race Planned for October in Branson Branson Aldermen approved a special use permit for a half marathon Roller Coaster Race planned for October 12. The race is designed as a companion event with other activities taking place at Silver Dollar City. The half marathon will begin and end at Branson Landing. The route will include Branson Landing Boulevard, Highway 248, Gretna Road, Roark Valley Road and trails in Stockstill Park. Most roads will have lanes that remain open during the race. Officials expect about 1,000 participants.
Action Taken by Branson Board of Aldermen Branson Aldermen approved the first reading of three bills for inter-governmental funding agreements with Taney County. The action seeks reimbursement from the county’s sewer fund for expenses in upgrading city lift stations #25, #21 and #19. The Board approved the first reading of bills regarding pre-annexation agreements for property located in Thunder Ridge Estates, located near Bee Creek Road. Both properties are owned by 7 Development, LLC. And Aldermen held public hearings and approved the first reading of two bills relating to annexation of properties at 161 Stillwood Drive off Bird Road, and 1934 Point Royale Drive.
Stephen Moore Addresses Economic Issues at C of O Forum Mr. Stephen Moore spoke Wednesday evening during the 2014 Spring Free Enterprise Forum at College of the Ozarks. He works for the Wall Street Journal, has written several books and addresses economic policy frequently in the media and with government entities. Moore compared the economic impact on a society of the free enterprise system versus socialism. He said people need to have more personal involvement in health care by comparing the costs of various treatments. Moore also said Missouri needs to pass the right to work law which would bring new business to the state. And he believes raising the minimum wage would actually increase unemployment and stifle economic growth. The forum was held in Jones Auditorium on campus.
Grand Village Receives Branson's Beautification Award for April Branson’s Tree Board has presented this year’s first Beautification Award to the Grand Village on Highway 76. The City’s press release states that through the efforts of North American Property Maintenance, the grounds around the shops are welcoming and well maintained each day. The Grand Village will be planting and dedicating two new trees to the memory of Peter Engler and Yvonne Hamlet, business owners who recently passed away. Beautification Awards are presented by the Tree Board monthly between April and October. Pictured from left: Ron Cox, Bob Huels, Bo Hall, Pam Critchfield, John Fargo, Fred Cravens and Branson Tree Board member Ben Kinel
Sandi Patty to Perform in Branson Next Week Well known Christian singer Sandi Patty will perform in Branson next week. Sandi has received 5 Grammy Awards, 4 Billboard Music Awards and 40 Dove Awards during her 30 year career. She has sold over 11 million records with 3 certified platinum and 5 certified gold, earning her the name "The Voice." She will perform April 14 at the Welk Resort Theatre. Sandi will also be the featured guest on KLFC’s Good Morning Ozarks program at 7:30 a.m. next Tuesday.
Missouri has $44 Million of Unclaimed Property in Southwest Region Banks are required by Missouri law to turn over the items in safe deposit boxes after 5 years of no contact with the owners. State Treasurer Clint Zweifel is trying to locate the owners of these unclaimed items which includes rare baseball cards, military medals of honor and cash. The state has $44 million in over 491,000 accounts in the Southwest Missouri Region alone, which includes Taney and Stone counties. Items can be viewed on-line at ShowMeMoney.com.
April 9, 2014
Local Election Results Branson area voters approved a ten year extension for the one percent tourism sales tax. Over 75% of those who voted said yes to the tax which is used to promote Branson and the Tri-Lakes area to prospective visitors. The tax generates about $7 million annually and is collected in a district that includes Branson, Indian Point and the State Park Marina. Reeds Spring voters approved a $16 million bond issue for a new middle school with gymnasium and a 1,000 seat auditorium. And Reeds Spring voters said yes to a half-cent sales tax to be used for road repairs and maintenance. Three Health Center Trustees were elected to a four-year term with the Taney County Health Department. They are Beth Huddleston, Debbie Redford and Della Russell. Sonya Hayter was elected to the unexpired term ending in April, 2016. In the Branson School Board race, voters elected Teresa Givens, Craig Wescott and Jeff Smethers. For the Hollister School Board voters chose Todd Wright, Kara Hatfield, Wesley Larson, Jr. and Lisa Westfall. Voters chose Robert Dixon over Ron Herschend for a seat on the Western Taney County Fire Protection District Board.
Dan Henderson Selected as Branson's New Head Football Coach Dan Henderson has been selected as the new head football coach for Branson High School. He replaces Steve Hancock who leaves the school after 28 seasons. Henderson is currently the head football coach at the Osage High School, where he has served since 2007. Prior to that he was head football coach and activities director at Mount Vernon for 10 years. His teams have earned 12 district titles and made nine appearances in State Quarter finals. Henderson was inducted into the Missouri Football Coaches Hall of Fame in 2011. He starts his work in Branson July 1st.
Hollister Police Investigating Burglary at Hillbilly Pawn The Hollister Police Department is investigating a burglary that took place at Hillbilly Pawn in Hollister. The store is located at 1825 South Business 65. The Department’s press release stated that firearms were taken along with other items but police have no indication that there is a threat to the public. The Hollister Police Department asks residents with any information about this theft to contact them at 417-334-6565.
Tanger Outlet to Expand Mall, Add Parking Spaces The Tanger Outlet Mall in Branson is planning to expand the mall, add parking spaces to the west of the mall and make improvements for pedestrians. The Branson Tri-Lakes News reported that the $3 million project includes a five-unit 27,100 square foot expansion on the north side of Sketchers. Tanger officials are presently talking with 18 prospective stores and they will be announced in the future after leases are signed.
Corps of Engineers Adjusts Hours for Dewey Short Visitor Center The Army Corps of Engineers Table Rock Office has adjusted their hours of operation for the Dewey Short Visitor Center. The center, located near Table Rock Dam, will be open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The Visitor Center contains exhibits about the White River Watershed, local habitats and Table Rock Dam. Interactive exhibits feature maps, power generation and water safety. The center also has a viewing deck where visitors can see Table Rock Lake, Lake Taneycomo and the Dam.
April 8, 2014
Ozarks Rivers Heritage Foundation Ends Operation at Dewey Short Visitor Center The Board of Directors of Ozarks Rivers Heritage Foundation has decided to end its operation at Dewey Short Visitor Center. As previously reported, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers terminated agreements in September 2013 with its nonprofit partners nationwide. After several months of hoping for a satisfactory new agreement with the Corps to no avail, Ozarks Rivers Heritage Foundation will vacate its offices at the Visitor Center this month. The Foundation will continue to exist and will redefine its mission and extent of future operations. The Dewey Short Visitor Center and the parks previously operated by the Foundation will be managed by the Corps, but the gift shop inside the Visitor Center and tours of Table Rock Dam are closed.
Tyson Foods Recalling 75,000 Pounds of Chicken Nuggets Tyson Foods is recalling about 75,000 pounds of frozen chicken nuggets that may be contaminated with foreign matter. The problem was discovered after the firm received consumer complaints that small pieces of plastic were found in the nuggets. The problem was traced to a product scraper inside a blending machine. The company has received reports of minor oral injury associated with consumption of these products. The products subject to the recall are 5-lb. bags of “Tyson Fully Cooked White Meat Chicken Nuggets.
Route 76 Resurfacing Project to Begin April 14 The Missouri Department of Transportation announced that a resurfacing project on Route 76 between Branson and Branson West is scheduled to begin next week. Contractor crews will grind off the top layer of old asphalt and then resurface Route 76 between Route 65 in Branson and Old Route 13 in Branson West. All of the work will take place at night during which time drivers can expect lane closings. Crews will also upgrade guardrails and install new sidewalk ramps in Branson West to make them handicapped accessible. The contractor expects to complete the $2.8 million project by late July.
Stone County Sheriff's Office to Conduct Sobriety Checkpoint The Stone County Sheriff's Office will conduct a DWI Sobriety Checkpoint at the intersection of State Highway 76 and Indian Point Road this weekend. The checkpoint will take place from 9:00 p.m. Friday until 2:00 a.m. Saturday. Drivers approaching the checkpoint should obey instructions given by law enforcement officers and should not attempt to avoid the checkpoint, turn around or change drivers.
Hollister School District Outlines Use of New Community Safe Room The Hollister School District has outlined the use of its new FEMA Community Safe Room in the case of a tornado. When a tornado warning is issued and tornado sirens are activated, the safe room will be opened for surrounding residents within the tornado protection zone to seek shelter in the safe room. After the tornado event or threat is over the safe room will be closed to the public. For more information, contact the Hollister School District.
Branson Arts Council Sponsoring Art Therapy Workshop The Branson Arts Council announced that art therapist Tenille Neff will conduct an art therapy workshop on Saturday, April 12 from 8:45 to noon at the Branson Community Center. Neff will provide a view into the world of art therapy and lead those who attend in an art-making session to demonstrate the therapy process. Anyone over the age of 16 is eligible to attend the workshop. To register, call (417) 336-4255 or e-mail BransonArtsCouncil@yahoo.com.
April 7, 2014
Shepherd of the Hills Outdoor Drama Will Continue On The Shepherd of the Hills outdoor theatre production will return for the 2014 season and beyond. The announcement was made last October that 2013 would be the productions final season after the death of owner Gary Snadon, but the family announced that after an outpouring of love and support the show will return for its 55th season in Branson. The schedule has been pared back from 6 nights a week to 4 during the summer months, and weekends only during the fall, but the production will remain the same. The show will open May 23 and tickets are on sale now at TheShepherdOfTheHills.com or by calling 1-800-653-6288.
Arkansan Mike McClelland Wins Bassmaster Elite Tournament at Table Rock Lake Mike McClelland of Bella Vista, Arkansas was the winner of the Bassmaster Elite fishing tournament on Table Rock Lake this past weekend. The win was McClellan’s fourth victory in the Bassmaster Elite Series. McClelland caught a total of 61 pounds, 15 ounces of bass during the tournament. His prize was $100,000 and an automatic berth for the 2015 Bassmaster Classic. ESPN2 will air coverage of the Table Rock event on The Bassmasters TV show Sunday, April 20 at 7 a.m. Photo by Seigo Saito/Bassmaster
Branson Hires Rebecca Lipasek as New Head Volleyball Coach The Branson School District has selected Rebecca Lipasek as its new head volleyball coach. Lipasek is currently head volleyball coach at Reeds Spring High School. She is a graduate of Missouri Valley College and earned a graduate degree from William Woods University. She has been with the Reeds Spring District since 2006 where she earned two final four appearances and finished third place each time. Her teams won two Missouri State Titles during her tenure with the El Dorado Springs School District. Lipasek has an overall coaching record of 523-197-38. Lipasek replaces Jenny Lotz who resigned earlier this school year.
Stone County Deputies Apprehend Woman on Most Wanted List The Stone County Sheriff’s Office reported that a woman on their Most Wanted list was apprehended this past Thursday during the execution of a search warrant at 248 Browns Spring Road off M Highway in Stone County. Deputies located 44 year old Paula Moore, who lived at the residence and had active warrants for probation violation and drug charges. Deputies also found multiple baggies of methamphetamine and pipes used to smoke meth. Moore was taken to the Stone County Jail with bond set at $75,000.
Stove Exhaust Fan Attributed to Fire in Cape Fair Southern Stone County Firefighters were dispatched to a house fire at about 5:00 this past Friday evening on Palomino Road in Cape Fair. Crews made an aggressive interior attack and the fire was contained to the home’s kitchen and sunroom. The homeowner stated that he was cooking bacon and noticed smoke coming from the exhaust vent. The Fire Marshal investigated and agreed that the fire originated in the exhaust vent. Crews were on the scene for just over three hours.
Stone County Couple Receives Tree Farm Recognition For more than a quarter-century, John and Connie Johnson have worked to improve the forests on their 850-acre Horsecreek Tree Farm near Galena. Their commitment to forest management has earned them the American Forest Foundation’s Silver Tree Farm Certificate. The award recognizes 25 years of outstanding membership in the Missouri Tree Farm Program as well as having managed their land in accordance with proper forest management practices. Besides forest management, the Johnsons have also improved wildlife habitat on their land by restoring native grasses and planting food plots, and have taught others about good stewardship of the land. Photo Courtesy Missouri Department of Conservation
April 4, 2014
Branson Airport Announces Seasonal Service to Chicago and Houston on Buzz Airways Beginning June 12 Branson Airport announced that Buzz Airways will provide seasonal charter service to Chicago-Midway Airport and Houston-Hobby Airport beginning June 12, 2014. Fares begin at $99 each way including taxes. Flights will operate in each market six days per week. The new flights by Buzz will replace the service currently offered on Southwest that is slated to end June 8. Buzz Airways has operated with a flawless safety record since its founding in 1982 and is the largest operator of Jetstream aircraft in the United States. Branson Airport Executive Director, Jeff Bourk, said that their Airport Team is working hard to fill the gap created by Southwest Airlines’ departure and is focusing on securing replacement air service in 2015.
Trailer Loaded with Wood Shavings for Dixie Stampede Overturns The Branson Fire Department responded to a report of an overturned tractor trailer on Fall Creek Road near Dixie Stampede Theatre Thursday morning. A 53-foot trailer loaded with wood shavings to be delivered to Dixie Stampede turned onto its side, but the driver was not injured. The trailer had to be fully unloaded before it could be up-righted. Crews were on the scene until about noon.
Southern Stone County Firefighters Respond to Lightning Strike at Home in Blue Eye Southern Stone County Firefighters were dispatched to a reported house fire shortly after 11:00 Thursday morning on Cannonball Run Road in Blue Eye. The 87 year old homeowner stated that lightening struck and sparks flew out from behind the oven. She pressed her life alert button, turned off her oxygen and got out of the house. Crews investigated but did not find any active fire. The woman was a little shaken up but not injured. Crews were on the scene for about 30 minutes.
DBBA Showing Steady Increase in Financial Stability The Downtown Branson Betterment Association is showing a steady increase in financial stability. At their last board meeting, Executive Director Cris Bohinc shared that the two loans and numerous outstanding debts which were present in November 2009 are all paid in full now. The Association’s 2013 tax return shows a continued increase in net assets. In 2010, fund balances were in the negative by over $18,000 and by the end of 2013 they were in the positive by $29,000.
Ken McKenzie Named Branson's Employee of the Month Ken McKenzie of the Branson Parks & Recreation Department has been selected as the City’s Employee of the Month for April. Ken took the leadership role in construction of the new dog park and in particular building the monument sign for the park. He spent personal time at home researching proper techniques for the monuments stonework. The entire monument project took approximately 60 hours to build. Ken also assisted with other work for the dog park including trenching for electricity, pouring concrete and setting posts. A grand opening for the dog park is scheduled for April 26 at Stockstill Park. Photo: Ken McKenzie receives his Employee of the Month plaque from Alderman Rick Todd.
Branson and Hollister to Conduct Spring Cleanup Days The cities of Branson and Hollister will conduct Spring Cleanup days this coming week to help residents properly dispose of large unwanted items at no cost. In Branson, Ward I pickup is Monday, Ward II is Tuesday and Ward III is Wednesday. Brush and limbs will be picked up in all three wards on Thursday. All items including brush must be at the curb by 8 a.m. on the day of pick-up. In Hollister, pickup is on Tuesday for all customers of the City of Hollister's trash service. For more details, contact Branson or Hollister city offices.
April 3, 2014
Economic Impact Study Highlights Branson Landing's Effects on Local Economy It has been nearly 8 years since the Branson Landing held its grand opening. A study by Hunden Strategic Partners, commissioned by HCW, reports that through 2012, the $50 million in taxes generated at the Landing have covered bond payments and debt service for the period. The report also stated that the Landing has generated visitation, spending and jobs for other Branson attractions and another $50 million in tax revenue generated in the local economy. The full report can be seen at hcwdevelopment.com by clicking the Hunden link.
Branson Fire Department Offers Indoor Pyrotechnics Course The Branson Fire Department will host another course on the safe use of indoor pyrotechnics used on stage in theatres. The course is designed to prepare theatre owners, operators and pyrotechnic technicians for testing to receive a license through the Missouri Division of Fire Safety. The newly developed 12-hour course, from the American Pyrotechnics Association, will be presented April 23-24. The training will be held at the Branson Fire Department’s training center located in the Factory Merchants Mall. For details or to register, call 417-243-2790.
Missouri American Water Acquires Emerald Pointe Water Assets Missouri American Water has acquired the water and wastewater system assets serving about 380 customers living in the Emerald Pointe development near Branson. Affected residents will receive information to address questions regarding bill payment and customer service. The Missouri Public Service Commission approved the application this past March 12th. Missouri American Water, a wholly owned subsidiary of American Water is the largest investor-owned water utility in the state, providing water and wastewater services to 1.5 million residents.
World Fest Opens this Saturday at Silver Dollar City World Fest opens this Saturday at Silver Dollar City. The event, running through May 4, celebrates cultures from around the world and is billed as America’s Largest International Festival. New this year is a Latin production with festive dancers and a live orchestra, traditional Ukrainian and Russian music and Festa de Espana in the Red Gold courtyard. World Fest also features fire knife dancers, Ecuador Manta, drummers from Argentina, over 100 demonstrating craftsmen and international cuisine. The Grand Opening of this year’s SDC theme "Celebrate America" with special music will kick off World Fest, Saturday morning at 9:15 on the Square.
Developmental Connections Seeking Used Exercise Equipment Developmental Connections, The Taney County Board for the Developmentally Disabled, is asking for donations of used, unused or outdated exercise equipment. The goal is to equip their new storm shelter as a workout facility for their residents, consumers and staff. The shelter, located under the Combs-Redfern Apartments, will also be used to hold healthy-style cooking classes. People who have exercise equipment to donate can call 335-4135.
Proposed Legislation would Clarify Students' Religious Liberties The Missouri House has given bi-partisan first-round approval to a bill which would help clarify for school districts what the law in Missouri says about students’ religious liberties. The sponsor, Representative Elijah Haahr of Springfield, says students ability to express religious beliefs in school is jeopardized, not by the schools, but by organizations which sue schools by taking advantage of unclear state laws. The proposal needs another favorable vote to be sent to the Senate.
April 2, 2014
Two Ambulances Destroyed by Fire in Merriam Woods Two ambulances were destroyed by a fire at Taney County Ambulance Station #6 in Merriam Woods. The fire at about 1:30 a.m. this morning was contained to the garage area and there were no injuries. Damage was estimated to be over $500,000. The State Fire Marshall determined the cause of the fire to be a major electrical short in the engine compartment of one of the ambulances. Western Taney County Fire crews cleared the scene just after 5 a.m.
Branson Man Indicted for Clean Water Act Violations 60 year old Earl Patrick Kearney of Branson has been charged in a 12 count indictment, issued this week by a federal grand jury in Springfield. He was employed by two subdivisions in Stone County to operate their wastewater treatment facilities in 2010 and 2011. Kearney was responsible for taking wastewater samples and sending them to the state. The indictment alleges that he altered the reports to make them look like they were in compliance with the permits. Evidence supporting the charges will be presented to a jury which will determine guilt or innocence.
Blue Eye Man Injured in Fall Out of Rolling Pickup Truck 65 year old Dan Messenger from Blue Eye was treated for minor injures at Cox Health Branson Tuesday afternoon. He was attempting to exit his Ford Ranger which was not in park. As the vehicle began rolling down a hill, Messenger fell out and hit the pavement. The vehicle continued rolling down the hill where it hit a parked car, then traveled off the road and hit a tree. The accident occurred on Dapple Lane, 7 miles east of Blue Eye.
Two from Michigan Injured in Motorcycle Accident A motorcycle accident in Taney County late Tuesday morning sent the two riders to Cox South Hospital in Springfield. Receiving minor injuries were the driver 66 year old Barry Belka and passenger 68 year old Terrie Belka, both from Middleville, Michigan. The motorcycle ran off the road and overturned. The 11 a.m. accident occurred on Highway 125 at US 160.
Cedar Creek Woman Injured in One Vehicle Rollover A Cedar Creek woman suffered minor injuries when the pickup she was riding in ran off the road and overturned. 73 year old Jeannette Adkinson was treated at Cox Health Branson. The truck was driven by 73 year old Albert Adkinson, also of Cedar Creek. The 6 a.m. accident Tuesday occurred on Route M, a mile north of Cedar Creek.
VanBurch Moving to Icon Theatre, Thomas Opens at Moon River Magic shows are in the news in Branson. The Branson Tri-Lakes News reported that Kirby VanBurch is moving from Music City Centre to the remodeled Icon Theatre. He says the smaller, more intimate venue will allow more personal contact with his audience. VanBurch hopes to open by this Friday if legal loose ends with the former theatre can be resolved. And illusionist Rick Thomas has opened his show at the Andy Williams Moon River Theatre. A big part of his act is getting audience members up on stage. Thomas started practicing illusions at the age of seven and has been featured on several national TV specials.
Silver Dollar City Seeking to Fill 250 Seasonal Job Openings Silver Dollar City Attractions has seasonal job openings for 250 people and has initiated an on-line application procedure to speed the hiring process. Job seekers can find open positions, starting dates and job descriptions on-line. After filling out a personal profile, job seekers will be informed by the Human Resources Department about the next step in the hiring process. Interviews will take place on April 15 with most jobs starting within 2 weeks. Job seekers may visit SilverDollarCity.com and click the careers link at the bottom of the webpage or they can go directly to the Human Resources office located at Silver Dollar City.
April 1, 2014
Windy Friend Found Guilty of Murder for Porter Deaths On Monday night, a Taney County jury found 32 year old Windy Friend guilty of two counts of first degree murder, for her role in the murder-for-hire plot that resulted in the deaths of Russell and Rebecca Porter of Willard. The eight-woman, four-man jury deliberated for nearly four hours before arriving at the unanimous guilty verdicts. Friend’s trial lasted six days and saw nearly twenty witnesses testify. Taney County Circuit Court Judge Mark Orr has scheduled Friend’s sentencing hearing for June 12, 2014.
Ridgedale Man Seriously Injured in ATV Accident A Ridgedale man was seriously injured in an ATV accident at about 1:00 Monday afternoon on Jones Road, three miles west of Ridgedale. The Highway Patrol reported that 60 year old Gary Thomson lost control of the ATV he was operating and overturned. Thomson was transported to Cox Branson for treatment.
Branson Fire & Rescue Offering CERT Training to Community Branson Fire & Rescue will present a Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) training program starting April 8 at the Joint Emergency Training Center located in the former Factory Merchants Mall. The training will be held on Tuesday nights for eight weeks from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. CERT training focuses on community member readiness to help in times of disaster until emergency responders arrive. This training is free to local community members. For more information or to register, call (417) 243-2790.
Rare 1942 Harley-Davidson WLA on Display at Keeter Center A rare 1942 Harley-Davidson WLA motorcycle is currently on display at The Keeter Center at College of the Ozarks. The WLA is a model of the Harley-Davidson Motorcycle produced to U.S. Army specifications during and around World War II. The motorcycle is on loan to the College for several months, courtesy of owners retired Army Ranger Joe Armstrong and his wife Liz of Fort Smith, AR.
Taney County to Hold Spring Clean-up Days this Friday & Saturday The Taney County Commission has designated this Friday and Saturday as Spring Clean-up days. Items such as furniture, appliances, automotive batteries and almost anything metal will be accepted at no charge from county residents at the Taney County Transfer Station, 274 Buchanan Rd. or the Taney County Recycling Center on Hwy 160, 3 miles east of Forsyth. Tires will be accepted at the Transfer Station only with a $1.00 charge per tire. Proof of Taney County residency is required. Collection time will be from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
C of O to Host “Baseball for Heroes” this Friday College of the Ozarks will host “Baseball for Heroes” during the Bobcats’ home games against Oklahoma Wesleyan University this Friday at 3 and 6 p.m. An honor ceremony for Vietnam Veterans will be held before the start of the second game at approximately 5:45 p.m. Men and women who served in the Vietnam War are invited to attend and be recognized at the game. Veterans will receive a free commemorative t-shirt, popcorn and drink. C of O encourages the community to attend in order to help honor Vietnam Veterans. Both games are free and open to the public.
Rural Missouri Releases Results of Readers’ Choice Contest Rural Missouri magazine has released the results of its 13th annual Best of Rural Missouri Readers’ Choice Contest featuring readers’ favorite eateries and destinations around the state in 20 different categories. Local winners included Billy Gail’s Café for Best Breakfast, Big Cedar Lodge for Best Romantic Getaway, and Branson for Best Vacation Spot. The complete results can be viewed at RuralMissouri.coop.
March 31, 2014
Quick Acting Neighbor Puts Out Grease Fire at Kimberling City Apartment The Southern Stone County Fire Protection District was dispatched to a fire at Fisher Creek Apartments in Kimberling City this past Friday at about 2 p.m. Crews arrived to find smoke showing from the two story apartment building, however a neighbor had already knocked the fire down with an extinguisher. A female resident was treated at the scene for smoke inhalation. The fire was contained to one unit with smoke damage to several other units. The cause was determined to be a grease fire on a stove.
Branson Firefighters Respond to Smoke in Dick's 5&10 The Branson Fire Department was dispatched to Dick's 5&10 on Main Street in downtown Branson this past Friday evening for a report of smoke in the building. Initial arriving units determined that the cause of the smoke was a malfunctioning air unit. No injuries were reported and there was no damage to the store.
Firefighters Rescue Small Dog from Groundhog Den in Lampe Firefighters from Southern Stone County were dispatched to an animal rescue situation off H Highway near Lampe just before 6:00 Saturday evening. The owner of a "miniature yorkie" reported that the dog was trapped beneath a concrete slab in a groundhog's den. It took firefighters over 30 minutes to break the concrete during which time the groundhog ran off. The dog named "Thor" was safely retrieved and returned to his owners without injury.
Branson Bank Donates Computer Accessories to the Caring People The Caring People’s Community Technology Center recently received a donation of computer accessories from Branson Bank. The bank performed a series of recent upgrades that helped facilitate the donation of 8 monitors, 12 keyboards, and 10 mice. The Community Technology Center provides an opportunity for single moms to get everything from basic computer skills to updating their resume. The classes are free and are led by volunteers in the community. Pictured L to R: Halley Fleming, Cinda Bauer, Lyndi Carnelison, and Lauren Boone with a few of the items being donated
Top of the Rock to Host Career Fair this Thursday & Friday Johnny Morris’ new Top of the Rock Ozarks Heritage Preserve will host a Career Fair this Thursday and Friday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the Grandview Conference Center at Big Cedar Lodge. The soon to open property includes a Jack Nicklaus Signature golf course, an Arnold Palmer practice facility, a Tom Watson "Himalayan" putting course, a pro shop, signature restaurants, the “Ancient Ozarks Natural History Museum,” a wedding chapel and more. Job opportunities are available in restaurant staff, golf services, retail, museum, outside services and more. Attendees are encouraged to come prepared to meet team members and be interviewed. For more information, call (417) 339- 5172 or visit www.Big-Cedar.com/Page/Employment.aspx.
Bassmaster Tournament Starts Thursday on Table Rock Lake A Bassmaster Elite Series professional bass fishing tournament will be held on Table Rock Lake this Thursday through Sunday featuring over a hundred of the top bass anglers in the world competing for the $100,000 prize. Free family-friendly activities are planned at Branson Landing throughout the weekend including the winning weigh-in announcement on Sunday at 3:15 p.m.
Hollister High School Color Guard are State Champions Congratulations to the Hollister High School Color Guard who are State Champions. The guard took home the Gold Medal against many larger schools in the Region A Division of the Mid Continent Color Guard association which is made up of winter guards from MO, AR, IL, and OK. Hollister’s winning show was entitled "The Waiting Room" in honor of Skyler Sanders.
March 28, 2014
Legacy Gardens Growing in Stone County The Legacy Garden project in Stone County is the latest community-wide initiative championed by Ozark Mountain Legacy. Volunteers from area churches, schools, and businesses have come together in support of the project’s primary objectives – to teach people how to grow healthy food for their families and to donate a portion of the food grown in the Legacy Gardens to the Stone County Loaves and Fishes program. The gardens are located at St. Mark Episcopal Church and St. Andrews Presbyterian Church in Kimberling City, and at Reeds Spring City Hall. Thanks to a $1,500 United Way grant and generous contributions of time and resources from local partners, Legacy Gardens is on its way to providing ample space for people to grow their own food. For more information about how to get involved in Legacy Gardens, call (417) 294-5549. Photo: Legacy Garden volunteers and Reeds Spring High School students preparing one of the garden sites. Front row: Melissa Nichols, Katie Bowen, Elaine Fischer, Diane Pope, Rob Griffith, Becky Allen, Misty Curtis, Kaitlyn Daniels. Middle Row: Mason Patrick, Ali Bowen, Hannah Ziegler, Trenton Blevins, Alex Chandler, Kris Pace, John Baltes, Kristian Dahlquist, Kayla Dahms
Back row: Michaela Kahnert, Charisse Morrison, Hannah Hinsley, Vince Palmiere
Local Company Offers Free Cleaning for Women Battling Cancer Home and Office Concepts, a local cleaning service, has teamed up with the national non-profit organization Cleaning For A Reason to provide free house cleaning for area women battling cancer. Home and Office Concepts has offered to clean two homes per month for four consecutive months at no charge. To learn more and apply for free house cleaning from Home and Office Concepts, visit CleaningForAReason.org.
Volunteers Needed for FEMA Safe Rooms at Hollister Schools The Hollister School District is seeking volunteers to help out at its new community safe rooms during tornado watches. Volunteers are needed during tornado watches after school hours and on weekends so that community members can access the safe rooms when a tornado warning is issued. No prior experience is required. For more information or to volunteer, contact Chris Ford at 417-243-4005 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Aldermen Approve Permit for Super Summer Midnight Cruise At the last Branson City Council meeting, aldermen approved a Special Event Permit for the annual Shepherd of the Hills Super Summer Midnight Cruise. The event will be held at midnight on August 10 this year and is the finale for the Supper Summer Cruise Car Show scheduled for August 7-9. The Midnight Cruise will follow the same route as in recent years from the Shepherd of the Hills Homestead to the intersection of Shepherd of the Hills Expressway and Roark Valley Road. For more information, visit SuperSummerCruise.com.
Missourians Asked to Help Cleanup Litter in April Missourians are asked to do spring cleaning outdoors and help fight litter through the state’s annual No MOre Trash! Bash throughout the month of April. The Trash Bash is sponsored by the Missouri Departments of Conservation and Transportation as part of their ongoing No MOre Trash! statewide anti-litter campaign. The annual Trash Bash encourages people to clean up litter all across Missouri, from roadsides, parks, neighborhoods, waterways and other places. For more information and to learn how to participate, visit NoMoreTrash.org.
Six Table Rock Lake Recreation Areas to Open for Camping April 1 The Army Corps of Engineers will open six of its recreation areas this Tuesday, April 1 for camping on Table Rock Lake. These parks include: Campbell Point, Cape Fair, Cricket Creek, Mill Creek, Old Highway 86, and Indian Point. Parks opening on May 1 include: Aunts Creek, Baxter, Big M, Eagle Rock, and Viola. Moonshine Beach, which is a day use only area, opens on May 15. To make a reservation at the parks, visit Recreation.gov.
March 27, 2014
Fire Damages Home on Edison Lane in Reeds Spring The Southern Stone County Fire District responded to a residential structure fire at about 3:00 early Wednesday morning at 619 Edison Lane in Reeds Spring. Upon arrival crews found fire showing through the roof and made an aggressive interior attack. Due to the remote location a second alarm was ordered with assistance coming from the Highlandville Fire Department. The owner stated that his wife was sleeping on a couch with a kerosene heater in the living room when they awoke to smoke in the home and evacuated. There were no injuries and the Fire Chief has ruled it an accidental fire.
Forsyth Man Injured in One Car Crash Near Kirbyville A Forsyth man was injured in a one car crash at about 4:40 Wednesday afternoon on Highway 76, a mile east of Kirbyville. A westbound car driven by 22 year old William Farris ran off the right side of the roadway and struck an embankment. Farris suffered moderate injuries and was taken to Cox Branson for treatment.
Aldermen Approve E-Ticketing Software, New Traffic Signals At the Branson City Council meeting this week, Aldermen approved an agreement with Tyler Technologies for E-Ticketing software. This will allow citation-related communications between police officers, administration and court clerks to occur entirely on computers. The new system is also expected to cut the ticket-writing time in half. The Board also approved a proposal from Mid American Signal to replace the traffic signal controls at the intersection of Shepherd of the Hills Expressway and Roark Valley Road. This new signal will include advanced radar detection sensors to allow the signals to operate more efficiently.
Salvation Army of Branson Seeking Donations to Help Hungry The Salvation Army of Branson is seeking help to put food on the table for hungry families in Stone & Taney counties. Lt. Shawn DeBaar said they need donations of both non-perishable food and money to feed an increasing number of area residents asking for help. In addition to food, The Salvation Army provides grants for rent, utility assistance, medicine and gasoline for families in need. To make a donation, call 417-339-4434.
Taney County Health Department Recognizes Board of Trustees The Taney County Health Department is recognizing its board of trustees in coordination with National Public Health Week. Buddy Roberts, Debbie Redford, Beth Huddleston, Della Russell and Sonya Hayter make up the five-member elected board of trustees. Public Health Week is celebrated annually to focus on the role public health plays in improving the health of communities at the local, state and national level. Pictured: (front row from left) Buddy Roberts, Della Russell (back row from left) Beth Huddleston, Debbie Redford (not pictured) Sonya Hayter
C of O Cadet Selected for Army’s Air Assault School College of the Ozarks sophomore Cadet Turner Blake has been selected to train at the Army’s Air Assault School in Fort Benning, Georgia, later this summer. Air Assault School trains soldiers in the effective use of helicopters in combat operations for service in the 101st Airborne Division. Slots for this school are very competitive, especially for cadets. This makes two years in a row in which a C of O cadet has been selected for the School, with Cadet Mitchel Clark graduating from the School last summer.
ADAPT and Branson IMAX Sponsor After Prom Event The Taney County Alcohol and Drug Abuse Prevention Team along with the Branson IMAX Entertainment Complex, are sponsoring an After Prom Event for all Taney County public high schools. There is no charge for students from Bradleyville, Branson, Forsyth and Hollister to attend this alcohol and drug free event where they will be treated to snacks and a movie. For the last six years, this event has provided a safe and fun, substance-free after prom event for the students of Taney County.
March 26, 2014
Car Crashes Into Point Lookout Nursing Facility, Catches Fire None of the residents of the Point Lookout Nursing and Rehab facility were injured this morning when a car ran into the facility’s sunroom. The vehicle then struck a second building went into a ditch and caught fire. Crews from Western Taney County Fire extinguished the fire and secured the building within 45 minutes. The driver received minor injuries and was treated and released from a hospital. A report on the Fire District’s Facebook page indicated that most of the 109 residents did not know the accident occurred. The facility is located on Highway 165 near Hollister.
Forsyth Police Investigating Counterfeit $20 Bills The Forsyth Police Department is investigating the presence of counterfeit $20 bills in their community. The bills received by some businesses look real but lack a security strip found on genuine bills. Two bills discovered last week had the same serial number. The department encourages businesses to examine bills closely by holding them up to light and looking for the security strip. The special colored marking pens often used to find counterfeit money are not always effective on these bills.
Theodosia Woman Injured in One Vehicle Crash Just minor injuries for a woman from Theodosia when her Rav4 ran of the road, hit a tree and overturned. Sixty-nine year old Donna Clayton refused treatment at the scene. The accident just after midnight this morning occurred on County Road 902, northwest of Theodosia.
Golden Man Injured in One Vehicle Rollover Near Cassville Forty-five year old George Boehm of Golden received minor injuries when he tried to avoid hitting a car that was stopped to make a left turn. His SUV overturned. That accident occurred Tuesday afternoon on Highway 112, three miles south of Cassville. Boehm was treated at Mercy Hospital in Cassville.
Aldermen Approve Application for Alcohol Enforcement Grant Branson Aldermen approved a resolution authorizing an application for grant funding from the Missouri Department of Transportation. The money would be used by the Branson Police Department for alcohol enforcement. In particular, the grant would finance the regular alcohol compliance checks that are performed throughout the city and for additional patrol officers to identify those who are driving while intoxicated.
Judge Approves Sale of Portion of Indian Ridge Development A Stone County Circuit Judge has cleared the way for the sale of a portion of the bankrupt Indian Ridge Development, located adjacent to Highway 76 near Branson West. The Branson Tri-Lakes News reported that Jim Jones, one of many lien holders of the development, is seeking to purchase 25 acres, known as Parcel 34. The remainder of the 800 acre development is under review for sale by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. The FDIC purchased the property in 2012 for $3.1 million and has it listed for sale on their website for $2 million dollars.
Four Arrested on Various Drug Charges The Boone County Sheriff’s Office Special Operations Group, along with other agencies, executed a search warrant on a house on Forgenson Road last week. Officers discovered a half pound of methamphetamine, numerous items of drug paraphernalia and $3,500 cash. Arrested at the residence were 30 year old Michelle Schaedel of Branson and three people from Harrison - 46 year old Joseph Salsberry, 25 year old Rachel Gilmore and 34 year old Jerod Smith. Various charges included possession of a controlled substance, intent to deliver and theft by receiving.
March 25, 2014
Fire Destroys Trailer on Evergreen Street in Hollister Western Taney County firefighters responded to a structure fire on Evergreen Street in Hollister Monday afternoon. The fire was discovered by the Fire Chief who happened to be in Hollister and saw the smoke. When he arrived, he found what appeared to be an abandoned trailer with heavy flames and smoke throughout. It took firefighters approximately 2 hours to completely extinguish the fire. The Missouri State Fire Marshal's office was called in to investigate the cause of the fire, however due to the extent of fire damage the exact cause could not be determined.
Hollister School District Announces New Assistant Superintendent and High School Principal The Hollister School District has announced the hiring of a new Assistant Superintendent and High School Principal. Sean Woods has been named the Assistant Superintendent. Since coming to Hollister eight years ago, Woods has taught three years in the classroom, served as the High School Assistant Principal for three years, and led the High School as the Principal for the last two years. Travis Graham will replace Woods as the High School Principal. Graham currently serves as the Assistant Principal at the High School. He came to Hollister in 2012 as the Assistant Elementary/Middle School Principal.
Branson Hosts Vietnam Veterans "Welcome Home Celebration" A Vietnam Veterans "Welcome Home Celebration" will be held in Branson this Thursday through Sunday. Activities include an opening ceremony at the Clay Cooper Theatre on Thursday at 9 a.m., a meet & greet at the Radisson Hotel on Friday from 4-6 p.m., a parade at Branson Landing on Saturday at 2 p.m., a POW/MIA Awareness Ride and more. For more details, visit www.BransonVeteranEvents.com.
Meek’s to Celebrate Grand Re-Opening of Berryville Store Meek’s Lumber Company announced that it will hold a Grand Re-Opening Celebration for its newly remodeled store in Berryville, Arkansas March 29 through April 5. The event will kick off with a Customer Appreciation Day this Saturday, featuring door buster sales, free lunch items, kids’ activities and prizes. The celebration continues the entire week with free popcorn and refreshments plus special sale items. The remodeled Meek’s store in Berryville features new inventory items, additional checkout stations, and expanded departments.
Silver Dollar City Offers Learning Experiences with Kids-U-Cation Silver Dollar City is once again offering hands-on learning experiences with its Kids-U-Cation programs throughout the 2014 season. Various lessons apply science and math concepts, social studies, fine arts and more, covering grades 5th-12th. New and returning curriculums include Marvel Cave Mystery Tours and an Outlaw Run physics lesson. The programs run throughout the season with the first one being Math & Science Day this Thursday. For more information, visit www.Kids-U-Cation.com.
Slusher Foundation to Unveil Exhibit at Historical Society The Roy W. Slusher Foundation will unveil a permanent exhibit entitled “Taney County – Its People & Its Places,” at the White River Valley Historical Society this Thursday at 10 a.m. The free grand opening event will include music by an ensemble from Bradleyville School, refreshments, the presentation of a plaque to Slusher Foundation board member Charles Fuller and the first public viewing of the display. The exhibit honors the efforts of Roy and Nora Slusher, David Lewis, and Dr. Mary King Long to improve life in the Taney County community, as well as throughout the world. The Historical Society is located at 297 Main Street in Forsyth. Volunteers at the White River Valley Historical Society eagerly await the unveiling of the exhibit
March 24, 2014
Two Injured in Weekend Motorcycle Accidents A collision between two motorcycles on private property sent one of the operators to Cox Health Branson with moderate injuries. 38 year old Frank Weber of Walnut Shade was hurt when his bike collided with a bike operated by 38 year old Paul Chambers of Reeds Spring. The two men were riding in a field without any lights. The accident occurred just after 3 a.m. Sunday morning near Reno Springs Road six miles southwest of Walnut Shade. In a separate motorcycle accident, 49 year old Dean Davison of Eldridge, Missouri received moderate injuries Saturday afternoon when his bike ran off the road and overturned. That accident occurred on Highway 76 at Lakeshore Drive north of Hollister. He was treated at Cox Health Branson.
Branson Man Sentenced to 10 Years on Drug Charges James Tolliver of Branson has been sentenced to 10 years in a Missouri prison. As part of a plea agreement, he pled guilty to two class B felonies of possession with intent to distribute a controlled substance. While executing a search warrant at a Walnut Shade house last June, a drug task force discovered drug paraphernalia, a firearm and a white substance that tested to be methamphetamine. Later on September 29, during a traffic violation stop of Tolliver’s vehicle, officers found drug related items including meth.
Silver Dollar City to Host Annual Young Christians Weekend Young Christians Weekend is coming to Silver Dollar City this Friday through Sunday. The faith based event features well known bands, praise and worship sessions and inspiring speakers. Music Friday night will start at 8:30 p.m. in Echo Hollow Amphitheatre and will feature Big Daddy Weave, Group 1 Crew and Tim Timmons. The line for seating will start at 6 p.m. Workshops and mini-concerts will be held throughout the park on Saturday. There will be two worship services Sunday morning, 8:30 and 11:00, featuring Kutless and Finding Favour with Joe White speaking. A special ticket is required for this event. For details contact SDC directly at 800-417-7770.
Jonah Opens at Sight & Sound Theatre Using high tech special effects, the dramatic musical Jonah opened this past weekend at Sight & Sound Theatre in Branson. Jonah follows the biblical narrative with dramatic elements added. 41 professional actors were hired for the performance, after nationwide auditions were held. 30 live animals are included. There are 71 set pieces for Jonah, including a 30,000 pound boat, the largest single set in Sight and Sound’s history. The show uses 550 costumes that required 5,500 yards of fabric and 1,700 lights operated by five miles of electrical cable. Behind the scenes tours are available for a small additional charge. The show continues through December 31.
C of O Chef/Students Earn Honors at Culinary Challenge Keeter Center Executive Sous Chef James Braddock and junior culinary arts major Lindsey Whitener were both awarded silver medals earlier this semester during the John Joyce Culinary Challenge competition in Overland Park, Kansas. The American Culinary Federation awarded the medals for their cooking ability in the individual hot food categories. Senior culinary arts major Joy Hunt was awarded a certificate in the event preparing category. The competitions are timed events with participants judged on 12 categories.
Pictured from left: C of O Associate Professor of Hotel Restaurant and Management Jerry Shackette, C of O students Lindsey Whitener and Joy Hunt, Keeter Center Executive Sous Chef James Braddock and Keeter Center Kitchen Supervisor Brenda Nelson
Reeds Spring Candidate Forum to be Held this Thursday A candidate forum will be held this Thursday in the Reeds Spring Middle School Auditorium. Candidates for Reeds Spring Mayor and Aldermen will be on hand to answer questions. Branson Tri-Lakes news staff will moderate the event which will start at 6 p.m. ________________