Word for Life

                        Tri-Lakes Area

News & Weather

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

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

August 29, 2014

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

August 28, 2014

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

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

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

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

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

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

August 27, 2014

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

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

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

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

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

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

August 26, 2014

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

August 25, 2014

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

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

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

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

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

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

August 22, 2014

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

Local Emergency Responders Recognized with Lifesaver Awards

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

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

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

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

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

August 21, 2014

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

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

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

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

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

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

August 20, 2014

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

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

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

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

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

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

August 19, 2014

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

August 18, 2014

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

August 15, 2014

Aldermen Approve Building Code Updates, Natural Gas Easement
At the last Branson Aldermen meeting, the Board approved the first reading of an amendment to the Branson Municipal Code that will update various building codes to newer editions. An exhaustive list of the changes that will result from the final adoption of these codes is available from the Planning Department. An estimate of the potential costs to new construction due to the increased requirements of this code amounts to approximately 0.3% additional cost. The Board also approved the first reading of a bill granting pipeline and easements to Summit Natural Gas of Missouri. This will extend the current pipeline from the end of Caudill Way into the Cooper Creek Wastewater Plant to supply natural gas to the new Biosolids Drying Facility.

Local Law Enforcement Join National Crackdown on Drunk Driving
Now through the Labor Day holiday on Sept. 1, local law enforcement will be participating in a nationwide “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” crackdown on drunk driving. National Highway Transportation Safety Administration data shows that drivers respond well to this type of high visibility enforcement. Past campaigns have resulted in a 20 percent decrease in substance-impaired crash fatalities.

Corps to Revise Bull Shoals Lake Master Plan
The Army Corps of Engineers, Little Rock District, is revising the Bull Shoals Lake Master Plan, which was last revised in 1975. The Corps is hosting workshops to share information about the revision process and to collect public comments concerning potential development and land use management around the lake. One of the workshops will be held Tuesday, August 26 from 5-8 p.m. in the Forsyth Public School Cafeteria.

Baker Named Trusted Adviser by Springfield Business Journal
The Springfield Business Journal recently named Greg Baker, Senior VP at Branson Bank, as a recipient of the 2014 Trusted Advisers for the Branson area. As a Trusted Adviser, Baker demonstrated knowledge of the clients’ business and scored highest in business experience and civic endeavors. Baker has over thirty years of experience in the banking industry. He will be honored at The Trusted Advisers luncheon on September 19th in Springfield.

Branson FFA Students Attend Leadership Adventure
Members of the Branson High School FFA Chapter recently attended the state association's Leadership Adventure at Missouri State University. The annual conference is designed to provide opportunities for FFA members to interact with other state, local and national leaders. The focus of the Leadership Adventure was to provide information on agricultural careers; provide leadership development; and foster positive role models. Nicole Crocker is the new FFA instructor and sponsor at Branson High School. She began her duties with the district this summer. Branson FFA students pictured from left: Caitlin Chase, Levi Coffelt, Jessie Peterson, Jacob Anderson and James Sholefield. They are pictured with FFA state officers (seated)

Forsyth Man Injured in Two-Vehicle Collision in Kirbyville
A Forsyth man was injured in a two-vehicle collision at about 5:00 Thursday evening on Highway 76 in Kirbyville. A car driven by 47 year old Debra Horr of Ozark pulled into the path of an SUV driven by 74 year old Raymond Bare. The two vehicles sideswiped causing Horr’s car to strike a parked car and Bare’s SUV to run off the roadway and overturn. Bare suffered moderate injuries and was taken to Cox Branson for treatment.

Crane Man Treated for Medical Condition After Accident
A man from Crane was transported to Mercy Springfield after a one vehicle accident at 11:00 Thursday morning on Route AA, two miles north of Galena. A pickup driven by 47 year old Francis Rule ran off the side of the roadway and struck a road sign. Rule continued to drive home where he called 911 to receive treatment for a medical condition.

Cape Fair Woman Injured in Two-Vehicle Accident Near Reeds Spring
A woman from Cape Fair was injured in a two-vehicle accident just before 10:30 Thursday morning on Highway 413, a mile south of Reeds Spring. A car driven by 52 year old Lisa Cochran was slowing to make a left turn when it was struck in the rear by a pickup driven by 22 year old Dale Hamilton of Columbia. Cochran was taken to Cox Branson for treatment of minor injuries.

August 14, 2014

Silver Dollar City Announces Major Plans for 2015
Silver Dollar City has announced major plans for 2015 including an $8 million development called Fireman’s Landing and an extended-run show featuring the Harlem Globetrotters. The new Fireman’s Landing area will have six family rides and four interactive play zones, saluting the spirit and training activities of community volunteer firefighters. The Harlem Globetrotters will present a basketball exhibition three times daily for six weeks during the park’s Star-Spangled Summer festival. Silver Dollar City recently saw its largest single-day attendance ever, topping 25,000 visitors on August 2.

Branson Aldermen Approve Master Plan for 76 Country Boulevard
At the Branson City Council meeting this week, Aldermen approved a resolution adopting the Master Plan for 76 Country Boulevard as the guiding document for improvements to the corridor. The 76 Country Boulevard Complete Streets Master Project is the ongoing effort to improve the primary tourism corridor in Branson. This Master Plan will help City staff and consultants advance the essential elements of the project with property owners along the corridor.

Branson Officials Concerned about Possible Veto Overrides
Branson Aldermen have approved a resolution requesting that State Legislators not override certain tax exemption vetoes. The Resolution identifies several tax bills that would affect local government funding which were passed quickly at the last minute, and later vetoed by Governor Nixon. The City is requesting that the Legislators not override these vetoes, and bring the bills back next year for more public discussion.

Branson Neighborhoods Awarded Funds for Special Projects
Several Branson neighborhoods have been awarded funds for special projects through the City’s new Neighborhood Grant Awards. The Hiawatha Heights neighborhood received funds to help establish a neighborhood garden. The Lucia Ridge neighborhood will use their funding for new street signs that will include the neighborhood logo. And the Branson North Neighborhood received funds to enhance landscaping at the Highway 248 entrance and to plant landscaping trees within the neighborhood.

Harrison Teen Fatally Injured in Head-on Collision
A teenager from Harrison was fatally injured in a two-car head-on collision at about 3:30 this past Tuesday afternoon on Highway 62 East, two and a half miles from the Highway 65 Junction. A car driven by 17 year old Taylor Oleary crossed the center line and struck an oncoming car driven by 58 year old Linda Marcum of Everton. Oleary died from her injuries. Marcum and a passenger in Oleary’s car, 16 year old Payton Tucker of Harrison, were both transported to Mercy Springfield for treatment.

Tri-Lakes Youth Football League Established for Grades 4-6
Youth football will be available for students in grades 4-6 this fall. The Tri-Lakes Youth Football League has been established in cooperation with the Branson, Hollister, Forsyth and Harrison school districts. The teams will be staffed by the high school coaches from each school district. The focus of the league play is to learn fundamentals and create a love for the game. Equipment is provided, but each player needs to provide their own football pants. Players will receive a jersey to keep at the end of the season. Sign up is underway with practices beginning soon. Games will be played on Saturdays starting September 6. Questions may be directed to Lance Duncan via e-mail at duncanl@branson.k12.mo.us

August 13, 2014

Branson Releases Draft of Proposed Smoking Ordinance
In anticipation of this week’s Smoke Free Community Forum, the City of Branson has released the draft text of proposed changes in the City’s smoking ordinance. The draft of the ordinance along with several pages of frequently asked questions is available online at BransonMO.gov. The forum Thursday evening will provide residents, business owners and visitors with the opportunity to learn more about the ordinance and ask questions. Information will be given about how other tourist communities have approached the no-smoking issue. The meeting will be held from 6-8 p.m. Thursday at the Branson RecPlex.

Galena Woman Injured in Two-Vehicle Collision
A two-vehicle accident late Tuesday morning on Highway JJ five miles east of Blue Eye sent one of the drivers to Cox Health Branson with moderate injuries. 28 year old Lacy Carpenter of Galena was injured when the Dodge Durango she was driving crossed the road centerline and hit a van driven by 59 year old John Mitchell of Cape Fair. Both drivers were using seat belts.

Ozark Woman Injured in One-Car Crash on Route F
16 year old Victoria Upton of Ozark received moderate injuries Tuesday afternoon when the car she was driving on Route F, two miles east of Bull Creek Village, ran off the right side of the road and hit a tree. She was taken by ambulance to Cox Health Branson after the 4:15 p.m. accident. She was using the car seatbelt.

Cox Branson to Host Classes on Managing Chronic Conditions
Cox Health Branson will hold a six-week course to teach participants how to manage chronic conditions such as back pain, weight management, emotions and stress. The "Feel Better Now" class will be held on Thursday evenings starting August 21 and will be free of charge. Topics will include taking medications properly, managing sleep problems, fatigue, relaxation techniques, appropriate exercise, nutrition and other keys to healthy living. The course is designed for ages 18 and over and will be held in the Redbud room at Cox. Register by phone at 417-348-8265.

MO Adds 13,200 Jobs in July, Unemployment Steady at 6.5%
Missouri’s non-farm employment grew by 13,200 jobs in July according to the Missouri Department of Economic Development. The state’s unemployment rate held steady at 6.5%. Durable goods manufacturing added 3,300 jobs. Construction added 2,500 jobs. Transportation, Warehousing and Utilities increased by 2,300 jobs. Job growth was also reported in the educational services industry along with finance and insurance. Missouri’s non-farm payrolls have added 53,600 jobs over the past year.

Tanger Outlet Mall to Host KidSTYLE Fashion Camp
The Tanger Outlet Mall in Branson will hold its first ever KidSTYLE Fashion Camp this Saturday. The event will include a variety of entertaining activities to help students prepare to return to school. The Fashion Camp will provide interactive presentations on hair, nail and skin care, tips about fashion, styling and trends, and several contests including an opportunity to win a vacation to Disney World.

August 12, 2014

Driver Run Over by Own Runaway Truck in Branson West
The Southern Stone County Fire Protection District reported that a man was run over by his own runaway truck at about 11:45 Monday morning at the intersection of Business Hwy 13 and State Hwy 13 in Branson West. Construction workers at the old Sears building witnessed the incident and called 911. Mercy EMS found one male patient in his 60's down a ravine. The patient reported that his pickup truck had stalled and he was pushing it out of the intersection but when he jumped in the truck the brakes failed and the pickup went over an embankment and proceeded down hill into a ravine. The driver then jumped from the truck but was run over by the rear wheel. The patient was placed on a backboard and crews carried him up hill where he was airlifted to Mercy Springfield.

Crane Man Seriously Injured in Dump Truck Rollover
A man from Crane was seriously injured when the dump truck he was driving ran off the roadway and overturned at about 9:45 Monday morning. Seventy-five year old David Boesiger was transported to Cox South Hospital in Springfield for treatment. The accident occurred on Animal Safari Road in Branson.

1100 Marijuana Plants Seized in Boone County
Boone County Sheriff Mike Moore reported that a large number of marijuana plants were recently seized in north central Boone County. On August 7, the Sheriff’s Office received a call from a property owner in reference to marijuana being grown on his property. Investigators located approximately 1100 marijuana plants growing in a remote location on the property. These plants were removed from the property and taken to the Sheriff’s Office where the plants were destroyed.

Work Begins on Fall Creek Road Resurfacing Project
The Taney County Road & Bridge Department announced that work has begun for a resurfacing project on Fall Creek Road in Branson. Fall Creek Road will be resurfaced for approximately two and a half miles from Highway 165 to the Branson city limits. Drivers should be cautious in this area and expect delays during the project.

Taney County Ambulance District Awarded Missouri EMS of the Year
The Taney County Ambulance District has been awarded the Missouri Emergency Medical Service of the Year for 2014. The award is sponsored by the Missouri Emergency Medical Services Association and is presented each year to an EMS agency which best exemplifies outstanding professionalism and service to the community and the people that it serves. All Missouri licensed ambulance services and Emergency Medical Response Agencies are eligible for this award.

Roaring River State Park to Host Kids’ Fishing Day
Kids’ Fishing Day will be held at Roaring River State Park this Saturday from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. This free event features free trout fishing for children ages 15 and under, free lunch items from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., outdoor education classes, trout hatchery tours and drawings for prizes. Children are encouraged to bring their own fishing equipment. The outdoor classes are open to the whole family and include topics such as fly tying and casting, fish cleaning and cooking, stream biology, Missouri snakes with live specimens and more. For more information about Roaring River’s Kids Fishing Day, call 417-847-2430.

August 11, 2014

Shell Knob Woman Injured in One-Car Crash
A woman from Shell Knob was injured in a one car crash shortly after 2:30 Saturday afternoon on Highway 86, five miles south of Viola. A car driven by 45 year old Dawn Luney was attempting to pass another vehicle when it hydroplaned on wet pavement, traveled off the roadway and struck a tree. Luney suffered moderate injuries and was transported to Mercy Hospital in Berryville for treatment.

Maryland Heights Man Injured in Wave Runner Incident
A man from Maryland Heights, Missouri was injured in a wave runner incident at about 11:00 Sunday morning on Table Rock Lake at Big Indian Creek Cove. The Water Patrol reported that 33 year old Jonathan Teal was jumping a boat wake when he came off his wave runner and fell back down onto the wave runner causing serious injuries. Teal was taken by ambulance to Cox Branson for treatment.

Branson Man Sentenced to 14 Years on Drug Charges
Taney County Prosecutor Jeff Merrell announced that a Branson man pled guilty to possession of a controlled substance with the intent to distribute and was sentenced to serve fourteen years in prison. From April 28-30, 2013, Branson Police officers were investigating 22 year old Rogelio Garduno, Jr. for distribution of drugs. Through communications with Garduno by phone and social media, an undercover officer was told by Garduno that he had morphine and Klonopin pills to sell out of a motel room. He was arrested for outstanding warrants in the motel parking lot and was found in possession of over fifteen Klonopin pills.

Mel Lawson Named Branson's Employee of the Month
The City of Branson has selected Mel Lawson from the Public Works Department as the Employee of the Month for August. Lawson learned of a female employee that had lost her wedding rings which she believed had inadvertently fallen into the trash at work. Lawson took it upon himself to search the dumpster and was able to rescue the rings for the employee. The City said Lawson showed positive leadership as a supervisor in choosing to do a rather messy job himself and demonstrated the City’s values of leadership, volunteerism, and integrity.

Access Hospice Care’s T-Shirt Fundraiser Raises Money for Patients
Staff members at Access Hospice Care in Branson helped raise money during the month of July by participating in a T-shirt fundraiser for The Hospice Promise Foundation. The Foundation is a non-profit organization established by national healthcare provider LHC Group to assist hospice patients and families struggling with essential non-hospice related expenses. Thanks to the support of agencies like Access Hospice Care, the program raised more than $9,000 in July to provide assistance to those in need.

Ozarks Writers League to Host Quarterly Conference
The Ozarks Writers League is bringing authors, artists, and aspiring writers together for an educational conference this Saturday at 9 a.m. in Plaster Auditorium at College of the Ozarks. The conference will feature presentations on the writer’s craft and the publishing industry by children’s books author Christine Taylor-Butler and author and columnist Heather Davis, as well as book sales and signings by Midwest authors. For more information, visit OzarksWritersLeague.com.

August 8, 2014

Gary Player to Design Family-Friendly Golf Course at Big Cedar Lodge in Ridgedale
Johnny Morris and professional golfer Gary Player have announced a partnership to create a family-friendly golf course at Big Cedar Lodge in Ridgedale. The resort’s family appeal inspired Morris to create a golf center that caters to beginners and juniors, and helps introduce them to the sport in a welcoming environment. At the heart of the project, which is set to open in 2015, is creating enjoyment in the game of golf for all ages and skill levels. The 12-hole course will be designed in a very welcoming, fun and creative way, so as not to intimidate novice players.

Branson Tax Data Shows Good Increases in Visitor Spending
The City of Branson has released tax data through June, showing good increases in visitor spending across all segments. Revenues from the City's 1% sales tax were up 4.2% year-to-date and 14.1% for the month of June. Also, the city's Tourism Tax showed gains of 3.4% year-to-date and 8% for June. Ross Summers with the Branson Chamber said that July also seems to have been a very busy month so they anticipate more positive tax revenues when they are reported in September.

Boone County Air Evac Lifeteam Honored
The Boone County, Arkansas Air Evac Lifeteam base was recently honored as the 2014 Region 4 Most Improved Base. Region 4 includes Air Evac bases in Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Oklahoma. The Most Improved Base award is presented to the base in the Air Evac Lifeteam system that has shown the greatest marked improvements in staff retention and market expansion during the prior 12 months. Air Evac Lifeteam, an air medical service, provides rapid response to emergencies for those who live in medically underserved areas.

Pictured from left: Base Pilot Supervisor Bob Montgomery, Program Director Justin Dearing, Flight Nurse/Paramedic Jeremy Jordan, Base Clinical Lead Bobby Pemberton, and Regional Director of Base Operations Jay Chappelle.

S of O Student Completes Rotary Youth Leadership Academy
Madeline Sparks, a sophomore at School of the Ozarks, recently completed the Rotary Youth Leadership Academy held at William Woods University in Fulton, Missouri. Sparks was awarded a scholarship to attend the academy by the Branson Daybreakers Rotary Club as part of their commitment to developing leaders with a heart for service within the community. The Academy is a three and a half day program that includes an introduction to Rotary’s philosophy and youth programs, a personality self-assessment, team activities and instruction in service leadership.

Pictured: Madeline Sparks, School of the Ozarks student/RYLA attendee on left and Inez Gibbs, Secretary-Branson Daybreakers Rotary Club.

Ridgedale Woman Injured in One Vehicle Accident
A woman from Ridgedale was injured in a one vehicle accident at about 7:30 Thursday morning on Highway 86, five miles south of Hollister. Fifty-six year old Rena Brademeyer lost control of the pickup she was driving, causing the vehicle to exit the roadway, overturn and strike a fence. Brademeyer suffered moderate injuries and was taken to Cox South Hospital in Springfield for treatment.

Man and Horse Struck by Car Near Crane
The Missouri Highway Patrol reported that a man from Crane and a horse were struck by a car at about 11:45 Thursday morning, a half mile north of Crane. A car driven by 19 year old Brooks Jordan of Crane crested a hill and struck 30 year old Douglas Frieze and a horse that were in the roadway. Frieze suffered minor injuries and refused treatment. The Highway Patrol did not report the condition of the horse.

August 7, 2014

Kirbyville Woman Seriously Injured in One-Car Accident
A Kirbyville woman was seriously injured in a one-car accident Wednesday morning. 62 year old Judy Roberts was hurt when the car she was driving ran off the road and overturned. She was taken to Cox South Hospital in Springfield for treatment. The 10 a.m. accident occurred on Highway 76, two miles west of Kirbyville. Roberts was not using the car seatbelt.

Right to Farm Amendment May be Headed for Recount
The final outcome of the Right to Farm Amendment may not be known until late September. The amendment was approved by just 2,528 votes out of nearly 995,000 votes cast. State law requires the state to pay for recounts when the margin is less than half a percent. The margin for this vote was a quarter of a percent. The first step is declaring the results as official by August 26th. A recount can be sought by the opposition within seven days after certification. A spokesperson for the opponents has already indicated that a recount request will be filed.

Local Organizations Honored as Fit-Friendly Worksites
Two local organizations were included in a list of 28 Southwest Missouri companies recognized as fit-friendly workplaces. The City of Branson and the Reeds Spring School District were honored by the American Heart Association as employers who are committed to health and wellness. The companies honored implement various programs to encourage physical activity, on-site walking routes, healthy food options in cafeterias and vending machines, annual employee health risk assessments and on-line tracking tools. The American Heart Association reports that employers can save $16 for every $1 spent on employee health and wellness.

Area Schools Begin Opening Next Week
Area school students will return to the classroom this month. Reeds Spring students go back to school August 13th. Districts starting the new school year on August 14th are Hollister, Forsyth, Kirbyville and Taneyville. Branson students will start school on August 21st. Most schools will host open houses about two days before classes begin to provide opportunities to meet teachers and receive information about the upcoming school year.

Branson School District to Kick Off Strategic Planning Process
The Branson School District will start a year-long strategic planning process this month. The purpose is to create continuous improvement in instructional programming and to provide a focus for future planning. The process will bring staff, parents and community members together to learn what is needed or expected for Branson students and then create a workable plan. The first meeting is scheduled for 6 p.m. August 12th at the high school with additional meetings planned during the upcoming school year.

Branson Student Receives MU Scholarship
Ciara DeClue of Branson has received the Granville M. Smith Scholarship from the University of Missouri College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources. She is a Sophomore majoring in agricultural education and is the daughter of Janet and Daniel Petersen. The scholarship was established in 1966 by the estate of Evelyn D. Smith and is awarded to students with financial need who are pursuing a degree in Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources.

August 6, 2014

Election Results for Local Races
Taney County voters chose a new Presiding Commissioner when they went to the polls Tuesday. Mike Scofield defeated incumbent Ron Houseman by a 62% margin. Eric Eighmy won the primary race for Division 2 Associate Circuit Judge. Other winners in Tuesday’s election were Lyle Rowland for State Representative District 155, Jeff Justice for District 156, Donna Neeley for Taney County Clerk, Beth Wyman for Circuit Clerk and Robert Dixon for Recorder of Deeds. Just over 25% of registered voters went to the polls on Tuesday.

Election Results for Missouri Amendments
Statewide, the transportation sales tax was defeated by nearly 60% of the voters. 61% of voters said yes to the constitutional amendment for the right to carry guns but 55% said no to the proposed special lottery ticket to provide services to veterans. 75% of voters approved an amendment to protect electronic records from examination without a search warrant. The Right to Farm amendment was nearly evenly spit 50-50 by voters and a recount may be required. Republican candidates won two of three special elections for House seats, giving the Republican Party 110 members in the House, enough to override the 33 vetoes issued by the Governor.

Fish Hatchery to Host ‘What’s Bugging You’ Program
The Shepherd of the Hills Fish Hatchery located near Table Rock Dam will host a ‘What’s Bugging You’ event Thursday evening. Staff will help residents learn about four of the most irritating outdoor insects and how to avoid being bitten by them. Those attending will learn about ticks, chiggers, fleas and mosquitoes. The program will include a short outdoor walk. The event is for all ages but reservations are required. Call 417-334-4865, Extension 0.

Missouri to Enact New Pension Law to Protect Retirees
Missouri will soon become the first state to protect its retired government workers from pension advances operations that can defraud retirees. The new law which goes into effect August 28th, blocks pension advances by making it illegal for any participant in a state retirement program to transfer or assign any part of that retirement plan to someone else. Pension advances often include requirements to buy life insurance and interest rates can exceed 100%. Up to now these pension advances were unregulated in Missouri. The new law does not apply to pensions in the private sector.

Branson Bank Announces Promotion of Tim Scott
Branson Bank has announced the promotion of Tim Scott to Senior Vice President, Commercial Lending. He will continue to manage the Falls Parkway Branch of the bank while working as a Commercial Lender. Scott has 9 years experience working with Branson Bank. He is married with two children and they enjoy a variety of outdoor sports. Scott is involved with several community organizations and is an Adjunct Professor at College of the Ozarks.

Mercy Hospital’s Green Forest Clinic Opens
Mercy Hospital’s Green Forest Clinic reopened this week at 100 Medical Circle. Services provided include treatment of minor injuries and illnesses, diagnosis and treatment of adult and pediatric conditions, flu shots and other immunizations, and sports and occupational physicals. The clinic has an on-site laboratory. Mercy Clinic Family Medicine in Green Forest is open four days a week, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

August 5, 2014

Kirbyville Man Sentenced to 9 Years on Drug/Firearm Charges
A Kirbyville man has been sentenced to nine years in federal prison for his role in the distribution of synthetic marijuana, commonly referred to as K2, and for illegally possessing several firearms. On March 15, 2013, Taney County deputies responded to an assault call at the residence of 46 year old Christian Turner. Turner was arrested and a search warrant was served on his residence. Deputies seized seven firearms and drug paraphernalia, including 242 smoking pipes and three bags of synthetic marijuana.

Hollister Man Injured in Two Vehicle Collision
A Hollister man was injured in a two vehicle collision at about 12:30 Monday afternoon on Highway 165 near the scenic overlook three miles west of Hollister. An SUV driven by 73 year old Gary Cooksey crossed the center line and struck the side of an oncoming truck driven by 24 year old Joshua Howell of Kirbyville. Cooksey was trapped in the SUV and Western Taney County firefighters used the jaws of life to extricate him from the vehicle. He was transported to Cox South Hospital in Springfield for treatment of moderate injuries.

Branson Exploring Ordinance to Restrict Smoking in Community
The City of Branson is exploring an ordinance to restrict where smoking can occur in the community due to concerns about health and as a result of public feedback. As part of this initiative, the Mayor has asked the Branson Park Board to make a recommendation on smoking in City parks. A public meeting on this subject has been set for August 14 at the Branson RecPlex for the Board of Alderman to be able to hear from members of the community.

Taney County Health Department Offers Student Immunization Clinics
The Taney County Health Department reminds families that there are required and recommended immunizations for students preparing to enter kindergarten or eighth grade this year. The Health Department will offer two walk-in immunization clinics for Taney County residents on August 12, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Forsyth office and on August 14, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Branson office. Bring an up-to-date immunization record, and insurance documentation and information. The health department provides immunizations for uninsured children, as well as children covered by Medicaid and by some private insurance. For more information, visit TaneyCoHealth.org.

Free Back to School Events in Forsyth and Harrison
Forsyth First Baptist Church will be providing free backpacks and school supplies during a Back to School Bash at Forsyth Elementary this Friday from 6:00-8:00 p.m. The event will also include free bounce houses, hamburgers, hot dogs and sno-cones. There will also be a back to school event called “A Day of Caring” in Harrison, Arkansas this Saturday from 8:30-11:30 a.m. at The Fashion Center Mall. This free event will feature backpacks stuffed with school supplies, haircuts, hygiene care packages, hotdogs and sodas, bounce house, dunk tank and more.

August 4, 2014

Local Firefighters Participate in 9/11 Memorial Stair Climb
Area fire departments, including Branson, Western Taney County and Southern Stone County, participated in the 2nd annual 9/11 Memorial Stair Climb at Hammon's Field in Springfield on Saturday. During the event, local firefighters climbed a total of 110 stories to honor the 343 New York firefighters who lost their lives on 9/11 while rescuing others. Proceeds from the event will help support families that lost loved ones on 9/11.

Annual Shepherd Super Summer Cruise Rolls into Branson
The annual Shepherd Super Summer Cruise will be held in Branson this coming Wednesday through Saturday at the Shepherd of the Hills Homestead. Vehicle registration begins Wednesday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. A daily Show ‘n Shine featuring over 500 cars will be held Thursday through Saturday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Best In Show Awards will be presented Saturday from 4-5:30 p.m. And the events’ grand finale, the Midnight Cruise will be held Saturday night on Shepherd of the Hills Expressway between Hwy 76 and Roark Valley Road. For more information, visit SuperSummerCruise.com.

New Program Expands Free Meals for Missouri Students
A new program available in Missouri will offer nutritious breakfasts and lunches for free to all students at qualifying schools. Run by the US Department of Agriculture, the Community Eligibility Provision applies to schools where more than 40 percent of students are certified to receive assistance, but the free meals will apply to all families in these schools, regardless of their income. The state estimates that more than 125 districts across Missouri are eligible for the program. School leaders must apply by August 31 via the Department of Education’s website.

Cox Branson Celebrates World Breastfeeding Week
Cox Branson is celebrating World Breastfeeding Week with a reception this Wednesday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Cox Branson OB waiting area. Staff will be on hand to answer questions and provide information, and refreshments will be provided. RN Melanie Lavoi says that breastfeeding can provide many positive benefits for mother and child, including immunity against infections and lower risks of developing diseases. Cox Branson holds a monthly breastfeeding class that provides information for expectant mothers on the advantages of breastfeeding and how to breastfeed. For more information, call 348-8313.

The Keeter Center at C of O to Host “Etiquette Class”
The Keeter Center at College of the Ozarks will present an “Etiquette Class” this Saturday, August 9, from 10:00 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Children between the ages of 8-14 will learn basic etiquette rules, including how to sit and eat at the table, how to set the table, how to shake hands and introduce themselves, how to dress, and other important etiquette facts. The cost is $20 per student, which includes lunch and a completion certificate. To register, call 417-690-2120.

Branson KOA Campground to Host Vintage Camper Rally
The Branson KOA Campground will host its Third Annual Vintage Camper Rally this coming Thursday through Sunday. More than 40 vintage campers are expected at the rally. Owners of vintage recreational vehicles made in 1976 or before will begin arriving at the campground on Thursday. The public is invited to a free tour of the vintage trailers from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday. The Branson KOA Campground is located at 397 Animal Safari Road. For more information, visit BransonKOA.com.

August 1, 2014

Hollister Man Sentenced to 7 Years for Chronic DWI
A Hollister man has been sentenced to seven years in prison for driving while intoxicated. On November 22, 2010, Taney County Deputies found 63 year old Wesley Pyatt intoxicated in a car blocking the garage doors of Western Taney County Fire Station #7 on Jefferson Road in Branson. Pyatt was sentenced as a “chronic” D.W.I. offender because he had four or more intoxication-related traffic offenses.

Former Eagle Rock Postmaster Sentenced for Conspiracy
A former Eagle Rock postmaster has been sentenced for conspiring to rob or burglarize a convenience store. On multiple occasions in March 2012, 51 year old Michael Stubblefield met with confidential informants, who were cooperating with law enforcement, to coordinate a staged robbery or burglary at Uncle Roy’s Convenience Store. Several of those conversations were recorded. Stubblefield pleaded guilty to the conspiracy and was sentenced to three years and eight months in federal prison.

Reeds Spring Mayor Recovering from Mild Stroke
Reeds Spring City Administrator Bill Bell announced that Mayor Kevin Hayward apparently had a mild stroke this past Wednesday afternoon. Bell said that Hayward appears to be recovering and regaining some feeling on his left side and is undergoing further testing. Hayward was just elected as Reeds Spring mayor this past April and was previously the City’s emergency management director.

Silver Dollar City to Announce New 2015 Attraction
On August 13, Silver Dollar City will announce a multi-million dollar expansion for 2015, along with more news regarding the 2015 season. The new attraction will be located in the area of the park that is currently known as Geyser Gulch. Geyser Gulch will be permanently closed for dismantling this Sunday.

Fire District Launches Informational Campaign about Need for Volunteers
The Western Taney County Fire Protection District is beginning a new informational campaign called "Did You Know?" to help people know more about volunteer fire organizations and the need for people to volunteer in their communities. The Fire District is distributing flyers, postcards and posters with information about the need for volunteers. Over 85% of the United States is protected by volunteer firefighters. The District’s next applicant testing is scheduled for August 16 followed by three weekends of training in September. For more information, visit VolunteerWithUs.com.

OACAC Head Start Recruitment Underway
Ozarks Area Community Action Corporation (OACAC) is now accepting applications for its Head Start program for enrollment beginning in September. Head Start is a preschool/childcare program that provides medical and dental care, meals and learning experiences. Full day, extended day or half-day sessions are available. Families who meet income guidelines and whose children are 3 or 4 before August 1 this year are eligible to apply. OACAC’s Head Start is located in a ten-county area including Taney, Stone, Christian and Barry counties. For more information, visit www.oac.ac.

July 31, 2014

Two Teens Injured in Motor Scooter Accident
Two 17 year olds were injured Wednesday morning when the motor scooter they were riding slid off a wet road and rolled over on its side. Driver Douglas Little of Branson and passenger Faith McAfee of Taneyville were both taken by private vehicle to the Silver Dollar City First Aid Station for treatment of minor injuries. The accident near 8 a.m. occurred on Highway 465 one and a half miles northeast of Indian Point.

Two Injured in Two Vehicle Collision in Rockaway Beach
A two car accident early Wednesday afternoon sent both drivers to Mercy Hospital in Springfield with minor injuries. A Ford Ranger driven by 81 year old Tom Onuma of Springfield crossed the road centerline on a sharp corner and hit a Jeep Liberty driven by 50 year old Rebecca Reich of Rockaway Beach. The 12:50 p.m. accident occurred on Highway 176 in Rockaway Beach.

Fire Destroys House Near Omaha, Arkansas
A house ten miles east of Omaha, Arkansas was destroyed by fire Wednesday afternoon. The cause of the fire at the home on Highway 281 is being investigated. The fire was fully involved when crews first arrived. Firefighters from Omaha, Bergman and Lead Hill were called to fight the blaze. There were no injuries.

Kansas Woman Injured While Wakeboarding on Table Rock Lake
A woman from Roeland Park, Kansas received a head injury Wednesday morning while wakeboarding on Table Rock Lake. Twenty year old Samantha Brewster had multiple impacts with the water when she fell from the board which was being towed by a ski boat. She was treated for moderate injuries at CoxHealth Branson. The 7:40 a.m. accident occurred at Point 17 near Lampe.

Boone County Jail Announces New Visitation Hours
New visitation hours will start August 9th at the Boone County Jail. Video visitation hours will be Tuesday, Wednesday and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 4:45 p.m. Approved visitors may present themselves to jail control in the lobby at the Sheriff’s Office during those hours to visit with an inmate. Visitation is restricted to immediate family members only. A picture ID is required. Non-family members or contact visits must have prior approval from Sheriff Moore or Jail Administrator Jason Day.

Chacho and Gigi Avina Receive Branson Chamber's Golden Key Award
The newest recipient of Branson Chamber’s Golden Key Award is actually a couple, Chacho and Gigi Avina, owners of JC Dry Cleaners on Highway 248 in Branson. The recognition was based on the friendly service, their strict attention to details and their good prices. They open the door for customers and carry the dry cleaning to the customer’s vehicle. JC Dry Cleaners has been open since last September. The Chamber’s Golden Key Award is given to those in the community who have exhibited exceptional, friendly customer service.

July 30, 2014

Voices of Glory to Perform in South Africa
Branson entertainers Voices of Glory have been invited to perform in the Drums of the World festival in South Africa next March, an event to honor the late South African President Nelson Mandela. The drumming and singing festival will feature world-class performers from around the globe. Siblings Michael, Avery and Nadia Cole will also perform in several major cities throughout South Africa including Cape Town and Johannesburg. Voices of Glory made it to the top five contestants in the "America’s Got Talent" TV show in 2009.

Ten Finalists Selected for CAM's Gospel Sing-Off
Ten finalists have been selected from 75 entries to compete in this year’s Gospel Sing Off, an annual fundraiser for Christian Action Ministries. Performers will include a Christian rock band from near Chicago, a Native American duo combining a Gospel message with Native American dance and song, a family band from Texas, a singer from St. Louis who was trained at the Julliard School of Music, a male Gospel music quarter from Galena and several others. Contestants will compete for $3,000 in cash and trophies. The winner will also receive performance time at Silver Dollar City. The event will be held at the Sight and Sound Theatre in Branson, Sunday, August 31 at 2 p.m.

Nixa Woman Injured in Water Skiing Accident
A woman from Nixa was injured in a water skiing accident on Table Rock Lake. 55 year old Cathy Nelson fell and broke her leg while skiing behind a boat Tuesday evening near Point 6 at Little Cow Creek. She was taken by ambulance to Cox South Hospital in Springfield for treatment of serious injuries.

Reeds Spring Teen Injured in One Car Crash
18 year old Brandon Mitcham of Reeds Spring was hurt early Tuesday afternoon when the car he was driving ran off the left side of the road and hit a tree. He was treated for moderate injuries at Cox South in Springfield. The 12:20 p.m. accident occurred on Slane Chapel Road, 5 miles south of Branson West. He was using the car seat belt.

Lampe Man Injured in Two Vehicle Accident
Just minor injuries for 57 year old Jack Desplaines of Lampe when the Ford Ranger he was driving was hit from behind by a car driven by 30 year old Samuel Tartenaar, also of Lampe. The accident occurred while Desplaines was stopped in traffic, waiting to make a left turn. He was treated at Cox South Hospital in Springfield. The 3:50 p.m. accident occurred on Highway 13 in Lampe. Desplaines was using the car seatbelt but Tartenaar was not.

Senator Blunt’s Staff to Host Mobile Office in Stone County
U.S. Senator Roy Blunt’s staff will host a Mobile Office event this Thursday in Stone County. Mobile Offices are opportunities for residents to discuss their questions or concerns with the federal government one-on-one with members of the senator’s staff. The Mobile Office will be held at the Stone County Courthouse from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. Senator Blunt’s office in Columbia, Missouri also extends one-on-one service to all Missourians who have an issue with a federal agency or need additional assistance.

July 29, 2014

Berryville Man Injured in Two Vehicle Crash
A man from Berryville was injured in a two vehicle crash shortly before 9:30 Monday morning on Highway 86, three miles east of Carr Lane. A car driven by 40 year old Eddie Penn ran off the right side of the roadway, returned to the roadway and struck an SUV driven by 66 year old Richard Underwood of Shell Knob. Penn suffered minor injuries and was taken to a Berryville hospital for treatment.

Hollister Man Injured in Motorcycle Accident
A Hollister man was injured in a motorcycle accident at about 10:15 Monday morning on Highway 65, ten miles south of Ozark. The Highway Patrol reported that a motorcycle operated by 52 year old Barton Brent was following too close and struck the rear of a car driven by 25 year old Brandy Partridge of Willard. The motorcycle then overturned and traveled off the left side of the roadway. Brent was transported to Cox South Hospital in Springfield for treatment of moderate injuries.

Hollister Seeks Corps Approval to Excavate Gravel in Turkey Creek
The City of Hollister has requested authorization from the Army Corps of Engineers for annual excavation of gravel in Turkey Creek to reduce flood levels through-out the downtown area. The project involves excavating approximately 15,000 cubic yards of material from several gravel bars within a half-mile section of Turkey Creek from the Business Hwy 65 Bridge upstream past the St. James Street Bridge. The excavated material would be used as clean fill for various City projects. The Corps invites any interested party to submit comments or objections relative to the proposed work by August 19.

Big Cedar's Golf Courses Rank Among Yahoo's Top 10 Most Searched Golf Destinations
Big Cedar Lodge’s two new golf courses, Top of the Rock and Buffalo Ridge, have been ranked among the Top 10 most searched golf destinations on Yahoo Search according to Yahoo Travel. The Par-3 Top of the Rock course ranked No. 4 on the list and the Buffalo Ridge course ranked No. 8. The two courses quickly shot up the list after hosting the Big Cedar Lodge Legends of Golf tournament in early June.

Two CoxHealth Cancer Center Nurses Receive National Certification in Oncology
Two Cox Medical Center Branson nurses recently passed their national certification in oncology. Ryan Goff, RN, and Nikki Markes, RN, are now both oncology certified nurses. CoxHealth Cancer Center Branson Director Ben Morris explained that in order to achieve the certification, Goff and Markes were required to achieve a minimum of 1,000 hours in oncology experience, as well as pass a rigorous exam.

Branson Bank Collecting School Supplies for Area Teachers
Branson Bank has begun collecting school supplies for area teachers to have extra supplies on hand for the 2014-2015 school year. Now until Friday, August 8th, supplies will be collected at Branson Bank’s three locations in Branson and Forsyth. Monetary donations will also be accepted and the staff will shop for the school supplies.

1st Annual Tomato Festival to be Held in Reeds Spring
The 1st Annual Tomato Festival will be held in Reeds Spring this Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. All proceeds from the event will go to the student backpack program. The event will feature activities for kids, games, dunk tank, food and craft vendors, live music, street dance and more. For more information, call (417) 779-4535.

July 28, 2014

Fire Damages Local Go-Cart Ticket Office
The Branson Fire Department responded to a report of a commercial structure fire at about 2:25 early Saturday morning. First arriving units located a fully involved exterior wall of the ticket office for Branson Frontier Adventure, a local go-cart track. Crews remained on scene for approximately three hours. No injuries were reported, and the cause of the fire is being investigated.

One Person Treated After Haz-Mat Incident in Forsyth
The Forsyth Fire Department responded to a report of a hazardous material incident at the Forsyth NEC building on Highway 160 just after 4:00 early Sunday morning. The building was evacuated and one person was treated and released by Taney County Ambulance personnel. The incident was quickly mitigated without further damage or injury and the building was cleared for normal use.

One Person Injured in Collision Involving Ride the Ducks Vehicle
A collision between a Ride the Ducks amphibious vehicle and a passenger vehicle left one person with injuries shortly before 6:00 Saturday evening. The incident occurred on Highway 165 near Fall Creek Resort in Branson. There were no injuries to the passengers on the Duck, however the sole occupant of the passenger vehicle was transported to the hospital with minor injuries. The Branson Police Department is investigating the crash.

Two Injured in Motorcycle Accident on Route T
Two people were injured in a motorcycle accident at about 8:15 Saturday evening on Route T, four miles north of Kirbyville. A motorcycle operated by 39 year old Nathaniel McGee of Merriam Woods swerved to avoid a dog in the roadway, ran off the right side of the road and overturned. McGee and 47 year old passenger Janalynn Donahue of Branson both suffered moderate injuries and were taken to Cox South Hospital in Springfield for treatment.

Two Injured in Water Tubing Incident
Two people were injured in a water tubing incident at about 1:30 Friday afternoon on Table Rock Lake at Little Indian Cove. A pontoon boat pulling a tube made an abrupt turn causing 37 year old Derek Wall of St. Louis and 42 year old Kimberly Schaedler of Kansas City to be thrown from the tube into the water. Wall suffered minor injuries and Schaedler sustained moderate injuries. They were both taken to Cox Branson for treatment.

Liberty Woman Injured in Boating Incident
A woman from Liberty, Missouri was injured in a boating incident at about 3:00 Friday afternoon on Table Rock Lake near Viola. Thirty-six year old Tiffany Coffey was thrown from a boat when the vessel hit a wake. She was taken to Cox South Hospital in Springfield with moderate injuries.

Nixon Appoints Maynard Wallace to State Board of Education
Gov. Jay Nixon has appointed Maynard Wallace to the State Board of Education. Wallace was superintendent of the Forsyth School District from 1979-1994 and was also a past president of the Forsyth Chamber of Commerce. From 2003 to 2011, Wallace represented District 143 in the Missouri House of Representatives. The Governor has appointed him to the State Board of Education for a term ending July 1, 2016, subject to confirmation by the Missouri Senate.

July 25, 2014

Kidder Woman Injured in Two Vehicle Accident Near Branson West
A woman from Kidder, Missouri was injured in a two vehicle accident shortly after 2:00 Thursday afternoon on Highway 76, five miles east of Branson West. An SUV driven by 36 year old Christopher Gastineau of Kidder was struck in the rear by a car driven by 48 year old Stephen Foster of St. Louis. Thirty-two year old passenger Sara Gastineau suffered minor injuries and was transported to Cox Branson for treatment.

Reeds Spring Man Sentenced to 10 Years for Multiple Felonies
Thirty-five year old Dustin Cook of Reeds Spring has pleaded guilty to two counts of tampering with a motor vehicle, two counts of assault on a law enforcement officer, and one count of burglary. The burglary charge – and one of the tampering charges – arose from an incident in Forsyth, on November 14, 2013, during which Cook and three other individuals smashed a window at Mobile Express, and stole cash along with several vehicles. About six weeks later, Cook stole a pickup truck in Branson. When confronted by police he nearly ran over one officer and narrowly avoided a collision with a patrol car occupied by another officer. Cook will be sentenced to ten years in prison as a result of plea agreement.

Branson Firefighter Awarded for Hunter Safety
The Branson Fire Department announced that Engineer Josh Boehm has been named the Bowhunter Education Instructor of the Year for the State of Missouri by the Missouri Department of Conservation. The Fire Department will be partnering again with the Department of Conservation to host Bowhunter Safety Certification courses this fall on August 16, September 13 and October 4. Hunters interested in taking this safety education program can register on-line at www.mdc.mo.gov under the Hunting/Trapping toolbar, or call the Fire Department at (417) 243-2780. Josh Boehm (left) receives his award from the Missouri Department of Conservation

Cox Branson Welcomes New Hospitalist
Cox Medical Center Branson welcomes Dr. Digantkumar Paghdal, MD, as the center’s newest hospitalist. Since 2011, Dr. Paghdal has been completing his internal medicine residency at Cleveland Clinic Florida. As a hospitalist, Dr. Paghdal will specialize in providing care for hospitalized patients. He will also respond to changes in patients’ conditions and notify primary care physicians and loved ones of these changes.

Branson Aldermen Approve Contract for Christmas Lights
At the last Branson City Council meeting, Aldermen approved the first reading of a contract with K&R Electric for the installation, maintenance and removal of Christmas lights. These are the street-light mounted LED star displays that are hung around Branson in support of Ozark Mountain Christmas. The contract for $20,000 will be paid from the City’s General Fund.

Kander Expands Online Business Filing Options with New Website
Missouri Secretary of State Jason Kander announced that his office has created a new online system to make it easier to do business in Missouri. Previously, only five business forms could be filed online, but the new system allows nearly every business form that must be filed with the secretary of state’s office to be filed on an easy-to-use website. Customers can visit www.sos.mo.gov/fileonline to create or amend filings for their businesses or nonprofit as well as access their filing history.

July 24, 2014

DBBA Warns of Counterfeit Bills Being Passed in Branson
The Downtown Branson Betterment Association is warning area businesses about several incidents of counterfeit bills being passed in Branson this summer. In one recent instance, a woman dressed as a nun visited Abby's Tourist Trap and purchased a tote bag with a counterfeit $50 bill. Branson Police said that those who try to use counterfeit bills like to make purchases at businesses without security cameras, garage sales and for Craigslist items.

Springfield Teen Injured on Table Rock Lake
A teenager from Springfield was injured in a watercraft incident at about 5:00 Wednesday morning on Table Rock Lake at Aunt’s Creek Cove in Stone County. The incident occurred when a wave runner operated by 17 year old Alex Vaughn struck another wave runner operated by 17 year old Daniel Leali-Cardenas. Leali-Cardenas was transported to Cox Branson for treatment of minor injuries.

Ozarks Man Sentenced to 7 Years for Assault on Officer
Twenty-nine year old Leavy Brawdy of Ozark has been sentenced in Taney County Circuit Court to seven years in prison for assaulting a law enforcement officer. On the morning of October 28, 2013, Brawdy was found at Blansit Road and Highway 160, asleep in a stolen SUV. When awakened by Taney County officers, Brawdy started the SUV and accelerated in the direction of the officers. One officer jumped out of the path of the speeding SUV, narrowly escaping serious injury. Brawdy evaded officers from multiple agencies, eventually parking the SUV and fleeing on foot through the woods. He was taken into custody the next day by Rockaway Beach Police.

Harrison Power Outage Caused by Broken Power Pole
The Harrison Fire Department reported that power was out in the northern part of Harrison Wednesday evening when a power pole broke in half. The pole broke when the power lines were snagged by a trailer hauling a very large cylinder shaped container. The incident occurred on Industrial Park Road near the Strand facility. Entergy linemen were called to the scene to make repairs. One resident reported that their power was out for about eight hours, coming back on just before midnight.

Turf Installed at Branson High School Football Field
Artificial turf is being installed at the Branson High School football field. The turf installation began this past Monday on the High School field and the installation phase is nearing completion. Yard line markings and the Pirate flag are next on the "to do" list as they prepare the field for fall sports.

C of O Named to “Great Colleges to Work For” List
The Chronicle of Higher Education has named College of the Ozarks to its 2014 “Great Colleges to Work For” list. The results are based on a survey of more than 43,000 employees at 278 colleges and universities. C of O received an “Honor Roll” ranking in the list for recognition in seven of the twelve categories The Chronicle measured. With a student enrollment just under 1,400, College of the Ozarks employs 88 full-time faculty members, 57 adjunct instructors, 13 administrators and 168 staff members.

July 23, 2014

Forsyth Man Sentenced to 10 Years in Prison
Thirty-eight year old Johnny Bryan of Forsyth has been sentenced to 10 years in prison on charges of resisting a lawful stop, assault on a law enforcement officer, armed criminal action and tampering with a motor vehicle. The charges stem from a December 6, 2012 incident in Bryan attempted to back over Taney County deputies and then led law enforcement on a high speed chase. Bryan eventually dumped the stolen vehicle he was driving and fled on foot. He was captured several days later following a standoff at a home in Powersite.

Project Loved One Receives Tracking Equipment
The Boone County Sheriff Office announced that its Project Loved One Program has received radio equipment to aid in recovery of those that may wander away or become lost. Sheriff's Office personnel have completed training to operate this equipment and the first two transmitter bands have been placed on Project Loved One participants. Those wishing to apply for a transmitter for a loved one should call 870-741-8044. The Sheriff’s Office goal is to offer the transmitters cost free through donations and proceeds from their annual golf tournament.

Branson Aldermen Approve Several Bid Awards
Branson Aldermen met in regular session Tuesday evening and approved the first reading of several bid awards. The Board approved a $53,000 bid from Cargill, Inc. to replenish de-icing salt for the coming winter. FTC Equipment was selected to provide 2 cavity pumps for wastewater treatment facilities at a cost of $30,000. And the Board approved a proposal of $16,000 from D&B HVAC Systems to provide and install 2 heat pumps/air conditioning systems at the Meadows Water Treatment Plant.

Howe Named Clinical Director at Faith Community Health
Darla Howe, RN, BSN, has been named Clinical Director at Faith Community Health in Branson. As clinical director, Howe will act as chief executive officer of Faith Community Health, responsible for directing the operations, programs and activities of the clinic. Howe comes to FCH from Cox Medical Center Branson, where she worked on process improvement initiatives to improve the patient experience. Howe’s nursing experience includes general ICU, neuro ICU, post-partum and well-baby programming. She is currently enrolled in the Family Nurse Practitioner program at Clarkson College.

C of O PBL Students Place in National Competition
Four students from College of the Ozarks recently traveled to Nashville, Tennessee, to compete in the 2014 National Phi Beta Lambda Competitions. Jessica Turner earned first place in the nation in the Business Communication category and received $1,000 in prize money. Justin Brisco, Thomas Miller and Chase Sigler competed as a team in the Parliamentary Procedure category and earned third place.

Pictured from left: College of the Ozarks Business Professor Lindon Newberry, students Chase Sigler, Justin Brisco, Thomas Miller & Jessica Turner and trip sponsor Diana Winkle

Nixon Appoints Shell Knob Man to MSSU Board of Governors
Gov. Jay Nixon has appointed William Gipson (R), of Shell Knob, to the Missouri Southern State University Board of Governors. Gipson has worked in multiple positions with Empire District Electric Company for more than 30 years. Currently, he serves as the company’s director and previously served as president and CEO. Gipson is a graduate of Missouri Southern, with a degree in management technology. The Governor has appointed him for a term ending Aug. 30, 2017.

July 22, 2014

Historical Society Collecting Information
The White River Valley Historical Society is compiling a detailed history of Taney County. The project will result in a 200-300 page book covering family histories, churches, schools, businesses, farms, memorials, tributes, clubs and organizations. The Society expects the coffee-table style book to become a family heirloom. Residents are asked to submit a brief history of their family along with a photograph. Submissions may be dropped off at the White River Valley Historical Society, 297 Main Street in Forsyth or mailed to PO Box 841, Forsyth, MO. 65653.

Sheriff's Department Makes Improvements
The Taney County Sheriff’s Department has nearly completed complying with the recommendations made regarding the department in the recent state audit of the county. The Branson Tri-lakes News reported that the audit noted that the department did not have adequate personnel overseeing inmate property. A kiosk machine is being installed. Inmates coming in can put their money into the kiosk and the machine will automatically count it, deposit it and record it. The department is also receiving bids for a system to improve record keeping for seized property.

Kneeboarding Accident Injures Texas Man
A man from Lubbock, Texas was injured Monday afternoon while kneeboarding on Table Rock Lake. 32 year old Cory Faust dislocated his hip when the board he was riding hit a wake. He was taken to Cox Health Branson for treatment of moderate injuries. The boat towing Faust was operated by 58 year old Ronald Kramer of Colorado. The 4:30pm accident occurred near Point 1.

Blood Donors Needed
The American Red Cross reports a looming blood shortage. Donations are down about 8%, that’s 80,000 fewer blood donations over the past 11 weeks. Donors of all blood types are needed now and for the remainder of the summer. Information about blood collection dates and sites is available at redcrossblood.org. In a related story, Cox Medical Center Branson is hosting a blood drive this Friday, in connection with the Community Blood Center of the Ozarks. It will be held from noon to 6pm in the Magnolia, Dogwood and Redbud conference rooms at the hospital. Donors to the Community Blood Center of the Ozarks provide all the blood needs for patients at 38 area hospitals, including Cox.

Gift of Hope Receives Grant
Gift of Hope in Taney County is one of nine southwest Missouri organizations receiving a financial grant from Mercy Clinic’s ‘Force for Good’ campaign. Gift of Hope received $10,000 which will go toward its Backpack Club, which sends food home with 850 school students each weekend during the school year. The nine organizations received a total of $85,600 to help with area family and children’s programs. The money comes primarily from Mercy Clinic doctors and co-workers.

New Law Impacts Unemployment Benefits
A new state law changes the definition of misconduct in relation to employment. It will make it harder for workers to receive unemployment benefits after violating an employer’s rules or for violating state or federal rules that could create problems for employers. A series of compromises led Governor Jay Nixon to OK the law after vetoing similar legislation over the past three years. The bill will take effect August 28th.

July 21, 2014

Black Bear Spotted in Branson
A black bear was spotted recently near Bee Creek Road and Church Road in Branson. Naturally fearful of humans, bears prefer to look for food in fields and forests. The Missouri Department of Conservation reminds residents that summer is a lean time for bears and their constant search for food can bring them into populated areas. Residents are advised to discourage bears from coming near. Keep garbage cans secured and keep pet food and livestock feed inside secure buildings. Trash should be placed roadside as close to pickup time as possible. Feeders that dispense food for wildlife should not be used during the summer. Campers should keep food locked inside vehicles with windows closed.

Two Motorcycles Collide
A collision between two motorcycles just south of Protem early Sunday afternoon caused injuries to the drivers, both from Springfield. Both cycles were approaching a one-lane bridge on Missouri Highway 125. 41 year old John Burke slowed to yield to traffic. The second bike, operated by 29 year old Todd Highfill hit the first bike, then ran off the road and hit a guard rail. Highfill was treated at Mercy Hospital in Springfield. Burke refused treatment.

Two Accidents on Table Rock Lake Saturday
Two boat related accidents on Table Rock Lake Saturday sent two people to Cox Health Branson with moderate injuries. 36 year old Gail Templeton of Kansas City was injured when the boat she was riding in west of Indian Point hit a large wake throwing her to the floor. 15 year old Shaylee Oswald of California, Missouri was hurt when she was thrown off the towed watersport device she was riding on behind a boat that turned into a wave. That incident occurred near Point 7.

Local Show Producer Owes Back Taxes
A producer of the Amazing Acrobats of Shanghai Show in Branson allegedly owes just over $271,000 in back taxes and interest. The Branson Tri-Lakes News reported that a lien against the real and personal property of Ying Xu was filed in the Taney County Recorder of Deeds office. According to the lien, Ying Xu owes taxes for 31 months between 2007 and 2010. It was not clear if the lien includes the theatre building on Highway 165. When a lien is placed on property, it must be paid off from the sales price if the property is ever sold.

Cox Holds Back-to-school Donation Drive
Cox Health Branson will hold a back-to-school donation drive this Thursday through August 15th. Employees and volunteers are encouraged to donate boxes of facial tissues, gallon size and sandwich size plastic storage bags, disinfecting wipes and hand sanitizers, items that can help keep germs in the classroom to a minimum. Donation boxes will be located in the Skaggs Foundation Media Relations office in Plaza One and in the Hospital Cafeteria. Items collected will be distributed to Branson elementary schools.

The New Madrid Fault Has Become More Dangerous
The United States Geological Survey says the New Madrid Seismic Zone, centered near Saint Louis, Missouri, has grown and become more dangerous in the past 6 years. The New Madrid Zone is actually a network of faults and has a larger range of potential earthquake magnitudes and locations that previously identified. Officials say an earthquake at the eastern edge of Missouri could possibly be felt as far west as Springfield. Earthquake assessments are updated by the government every 6 years.

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