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.

October 24, 2014

NAIA Announces Two-Year Extension with C of O to Host DII Men's Basketball National Championships
The National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) has announced a two-year extension with College of the Ozarks to host the 2016 and 2017 NAIA Division II Men’s Basketball National Championships. The national championship has been held at C of O since 2000. College of the Ozarks has seen an 18% increase in attendance at the championships over the last three years. As the host institution, the C of O Bobcats team receives a host berth into the championships. The 2015 event is scheduled for March 11-17 in Keeter Gymnasium. Photo: 2013 NAIA DII Parade in Keeter Gymnasium

Stone County Firefighters Taking Part in Funeral for Alton Fire Chief
Members of the Southern Stone County Fire Protection District are in Alton, MO today to take part in the funeral service for Alton Fire Chief Eddie Johnson Jr. who died in the line of duty. Chief Johnson, age 45, was killed in a car crash while responding to a house fire on Monday, October 20. Johnson had been fire chief since 2010 and also served as a full-time police officer for the Alton Police Department and was an Oregon County Reserve Sheriff’s Deputy.

Branson Woman Injured During Police Pursuit in Branson Hills
A Branson woman was injured in a three-vehicle accident that occurred during a police pursuit just before 6:00 Thursday evening on Branson Hills Parkway. A patrol car driven by Officer Michael Collins of Ozark was pursuing a pickup driven by 27 year old Daniel Brown of Springfield when Brown’s pickup crossed the centerline and struck an oncoming pickup driven by 41 year old Rodney Curbow of Branson. Fifty-two year old passenger Laura Curbow suffered moderate injuries and was taken to Cox Branson for treatment.

Branson Aldermen to Meet in Regular Session this Tuesday Night
Branson Aldermen will meet in regular session this Tuesday night at 7 p.m. in the Council Chambers at City Hall. A few of the items on the agenda include the final reading of the new smoke-free ordinance, A presentation by Marc Mulherin on the third quarter update for the Convention Center, the first reading of an amendment pertaining to alcoholic beverages, and several bid awards for various services. The meeting can be heard live on the web at BransonMO.gov.

Superhero Showdown Carnival Raises $40,000 for Branson Education Foundation
The Superhero Showdown Carnival was held at the Branson High School on Saturday, October 11. Through corporate sponsorships, T-shirt sales and raffle tickets, the event raised $40,000 for the Branson Education Foundation. The Branson Education Foundation has returned $65,000 to the school district in the form of scholarships and classroom grants since 2010.

Photo: Members of the Branson Education Foundation board

Area McDonald’s to Participate in Cans for Coffee Campaign
McDonald’s locations across the Ozarks are participating in the 7th annual Cans for Coffee campaign to benefit Ozarks Food Harvest. Cans for Coffee runs from October 27 through November 16, offering customers one free small coffee drink in exchange for a canned good for those in need. Sixty-three local McDonald’s collect the nonperishable food donations, and Ozarks Food Harvest distributes the food across its network of more than 200 food pantries and hunger-relief programs in 28 counties. Food drive organizers hope to collect at least 30,000 pounds of food to help feed families and seniors in need during the upcoming holiday season.

Branson Park’s Department Welcomes New Recreation Specialist
Holly Mullen recently joined the Branson Park’s Department as a Recreation Specialist. Holly will oversee many youth and adult recreational programs and special events. This is Holly’s second stint working for the department. She served as an intern in the summer of 2011 and returned the following summer, helping out with summer programs and working at the front desk. Holly and her family recently moved back to the area after she worked as a Recreation Program Coordinator with Bevard County Parks and Recreation is Melbourne, FL.

Walk to End Alzheimer's Raises Over $10,000
About 140 people participated in the recent Walk to End Alzheimer's at Branson Landing. The event raised over $10,410 to support research efforts of the Alzheimer's Association and help care for those living with the disease. Donations can still be made to cause. Visit act.alz.org/walkbranson or call 417-886-2199.

October 23, 2014

Hollister Receives $48,000 Grant for Wastewater System Planning
Hollister is one of three cities in Missouri to be awarded funds from the state's Department of Natural Resources for wastewater system planning. The $48,000 grant will come from the Small Community Engineering Assistance Program and will be used for development of plans to evaluate treatment and collection system upgrades. The Department of Natural Resources will administer the funds and is committed to working with communities to assist with water and sewer infrastructure improvement projects.

Forsyth Stops Adding Fluoride to Municipal Water System
Forsyth has stopped adding fluoride to the city's municipal water system. The Branson Tri-Lakes News reported that Forsyth Aldermen voted 4-0 to stop the practice, at least temporarily. The decision was made because of a recommendation from the Department of Natural Resources that the city stop adding fluoride unless it upgrades the fluoride injection process. The upgrade would include adding safety systems which could cost the city up to $100,000. The DNR also urged the city to start disinfecting its water supply with chlorine but aldermen did not act on that recommendation.

October is Black Dog Adoption Month
The Taney County Animal Care and Control Center is offering a reduced fee of $45 for all black dogs adopted through October 31. Black dogs have the highest euthanasia and lowest adoption rates across the country. The adoption fee covers the cost of spaying or neutering, vaccinations, microchipping and heartworm testing for adult dogs plus a free one month trial insurance offer.

Zweifel Returns $1.2 Million of Unclaimed Property
Missouri State Treasurer Clint Zweifel has returned $1.2 million of unclaimed property to eight large account owners since July. The accounts ranged from $100,000 to $200,000 and were returned to individuals, businesses and a major hospital chain. The treasurer still holds $822 million in unclaimed property belonging to 4.8 million account holders. Unclaimed property can come from abandoned bank accounts, uncollected insurance policies, uncashed checks and other sources. 10% of Missourians have unclaimed property and the average amount is $300. Residents may check on unclaimed property at ShowMeMoney.com.

Stone County Art Studio Tour Set for Saturday
The 12th Annual Stone County Art Studio Tour will take place this Saturday. Local artisans will open their galleries to the public between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. The self-guided tour and sale will feature 8 stops along a 20-mile route through Galena, Reeds Spring and Kimberling City. Artisans include jewelry makers, painters, potters and wood and metal workers. Gourmet refreshments will be available at some of the featured studios. More information and a map can be obtained at Facebook.com/StoneCountyArtTour/Info.

Empire Offers Tips to Reduce Winter Electric Bills
October is Energy Action Month. The Empire District Electric Company reminds residents that a few improvements around the house can help reduce electric bills this coming winter. These include caulking around windows and doors to seal air leaks, closing fireplace dampers when not in use, installing a door sweep to prevent warm air loss under outside doors and garage doors, adding attic insulation where necessary and having a tune-up of the heating system. More information is available at EmpireDistrict.com/EnergySolutions.

October 22, 2014

Aldermen Approve Recycling, Lift Station Contracts
During their last meeting, Branson Aldermen approved the first reading of a bill renewing the contract with Greenway Recycling. The company transports and markets the cardboard, paper and metal recyclable materials collected at he city-operated Recycle Center. The Board also approved a change order with McClanahan Construction Company related to the replacement of Lift Station 25. And Aldermen approved the purchase of a submersible pump for high capacity lift station number 17, located in the lower Fall Creek basin.

Texas Man Injured in Motorcycle Accident Near Ridgedale
The operator of a motorcycle was injured Tuesday afternoon when his bike ran off the road and overturned. 58 year old Dennis Hudson of Richland Hills, Texas was taken to Cox Health Branson for treatment of minor injuries. The 3:35 p.m. accident occurred on Highway 86, five miles west of Ridgedale.

Small Plane Crashes in Baxter County, Arkansas
A small plane crashed Tuesday evening in Baxter County, Arkansas. KY3 News reported that the experimental, home built plane crashed when it lost power shortly after takeoff from the airport in Midway. Two men were on board. The pilot was taken to a hospital in Mountain Home. The passenger was airlifted to a hospital in Springfield. The accident is being investigated by officials from the Federal Aviation Administration.

Boone County Jail Stocks Up on Free Sweet Potatos
Boone County, Arkansas jail inmates will have plenty of sweet potatoes to eat again this winter. The Transport/Maintenance Officer of the Sheriff's Department took four inmates to Cross County, Arkansas last weekend to harvest the sweet potatoes. The potatoes are provided at no charge and the only cost is fuel for the trip and overnight lodging for the officer. The Cross County Sheriff's Department houses the inmates. They brought back 5860 pounds of sweet potatoes, up slightly from last year.

Rose House Residents Pack Christmas Shoeboxes
Residents at the Rose House, a senior support residence in Branson, are packing shoeboxes for Operation Christmas Child. Sara Smith and John Higgins, owners of the Rose House, expressed their enjoyment at seeing the residents having a good time for such a wonderful cause. The shoebox collection site for the Branson area this year is located at New Beginnings Fellowship in Hollister. The church hopes to collect 14,000 shoeboxes this year, filled with small toys, personal items, school supplies and candy. The collection week is November 17-24.

Revival Fires Ministry Celebrates 50th Anniversary
Revival Fires, a national evangelistic ministry headquartered in Branson West, celebrated it's 50 year anniversary last month. The ministry was started in Joplin, Missouri in the home of Founder Cecil Todd. Over the five decades, the ministry has produced over 900 TV shows and has held 10,000 rallies, crusades and area-wide revivals. Revival Fires has built a mission hospital, a two story out-patient clinic, a nurses college and a chapel all in India. The ministry is currently providing Bibles for troops serving in Iraq and Afghanistan and Todd still accepts about 40 speaking appointments each year.

October 21, 2014

Skaggs Foundation Awards Legacy Endowment Grants
Skaggs Foundation awarded its second annual Skaggs Legacy Endowment Grants at an awards celebration this morning at Silver Dollar City’s Culinary & Craft School. Sixteen specific programs were selected to receive the grants to help improve health and wellness in Stone and Taney Counties. Skaggs Foundation’s first distribution in 2013 provided $500,000 to community health and wellness initiatives impacting more than 10,000 area residents. This year’s second annual distribution of more than $750,000 is expected to impact more than 35,000 residents throughout the two-county area.

Hollister Teen Injured in One-Car Crash on Route BB
A teenager from Hollister was injured in a one-car crash at 8:00 this morning on Route BB, one mile east of Hollister. The Highway Patrol reported that a car driven by 16 year old Kayla Mordis of Hollister traveled off the roadway and struck a tree. Sixteen year old passenger Sophia Aydt suffered minor injuries and was taken to Cox Branson for treatment.

Branson Fire & Rescue Offer Free Home Safety Surveys
Branson Fire & Rescue has begun to conduct free home safety surveys as part of its “Community Risk Reduction” program. Citizens in the City of Branson can contact Branson Fire & Rescue to schedule a crew of firefighters to come and conduct a life safety survey of their home. The firefighters will look for any fire/life safety issues that the homeowner can correct to make their home safer. For more information or to schedule a survey, call (417) 243-2780.

Branson Aldermen Approve Concrete RV Pads, Mowing Contract
Branson Aldermen have approved the first reading of a bill accepting the proposal of American Concrete Products to construct concrete pads at the city-owned Lakeside RV Park. This project is the fourth year of a five-year plan to finish over 200 gravel RV sites with concrete pads. This year’s phase will include another 27 sites. The Board also approved the first reading of a bill accepting the bid of $26,400 from Prolawn and Landscape for mowing and weed-eating of City parks and facilities for the 2015 season.

Pure Excitement Event Coming to Branson High School
An event for teens called Pure Excitement is coming to the Branson High School Auditorium this Sunday night starting at 6 p.m. The event will feature music by Tim Halperin of American Idol and hip- hop artist Thi'sl. Joe White of Kanakuk Kamps will encourage and challenge teens to make godly choices about love, dating, and sex. Tickets are available for $5 in advance which includes a book & workbook authored by Joe White called Pure Excitement. For tickets or more information, visit PureExcitement.com.

Health Department Names Sanchez Employee of the Quarter
The Taney County Health Department announced that Ashlee Sanchez has been selected as the Employee of the Quarter for 3rd Quarter 2014. Ashlee has worked for the Taney County Health Department since December 2011. She works at the Animal Care & Control Center in Hollister as a Kennel Tech. The Health Department said Ashlee promotes teamwork, displays a positive attitude and shows an excellent work ethic and respect for others.

Cox Branson Offers Tobacco Cessation Class
Cox Medical Center Branson will once again offer its Tobacco Cessation Class starting Wednesday, October 29 at 10 a.m. The eight-class course is led by Mayo Clinic Certified Tobacco Treatment Specialist Jim Brawner. Since the program began at Cox Branson, a total of 92 people have attended at least the first four sessions of the class, and 67 remain tobacco-free. To register, call 348-4898.

College of the Ozarks to Celebrate Homecoming
College of the Ozarks will kick off Homecoming 2014, themed “Throwback Through Time,” with its annual Coronation on Thursday, October 30, at 8 p.m., in Jones Auditorium. Homecoming events run through Sunday, November 2. Alumni and the public are invited to participate in and/or observe many activities, including a 5K Glow Run/Walk, basketball games, student activity booths, and the C of O Homecoming Parade. To see a complete schedule of events, visit CofO.edu/Alumni.
Photo: The Hollister High School band marching in C of O's 2013 Homecoming Parade

October 20, 2014

Two Children Injured in Golf Cart Accident
The Southern Stone County Fire Protection District was called to a golf cart accident involving two children at about noon on Sunday at Compton Ridge Campground on Highway 265. A 6 year old was airlifted and a 2 year old was transported by ambulance for treatment. It was later reported that both boys were doing good and were on their way home after receiving treatment for some scratches and cuts.

Branson Man Injured in Motorcycle Accident
A Branson man was injured in a motorcycle accident at about 5:30 Sunday morning on Farm Road 163, a mile south of Springfield. A Harley Davidson operated by 52 year old Mark Carter ran off the roadway and struck a sign. Carter suffered minor injuries and was taken to Cox South Hospital in Springfield for treatment.

Reeds Spring Man Injured in One-Car Crash
Sixty-six year old Frank Woodman of Reeds Spring was injured in a one-car crash at 6:00 Saturday morning on Highway 174, a mile west of Chesapeake, Missouri. The Highway Patrol reported that Woodman’s car ran off the roadway and struck a mailbox, a culvert and two trees. He was transported to Cox South Hospital in Springfield for treatment of minor injuries.

30 Pounds of Medication Collected at Prescription Drug Take-Back Event
A total of 30 pounds of medication was recently collected during a prescription drug take-back event sponsored by the Alcohol and Drug Abuse Prevention Team, the Branson Police Department, CVS Pharmacy in Branson, and the Drug Enforcement Administration. Unwanted medications can be disposed of year-round at two permanent drop boxes located in the lobby of the Branson Police Department and the Taney County Sheriff’s Office in Forsyth. The service is free and anonymous, with no questions asked.
Photo: Kara Miller, Taney County Health Department, Community Health Educator and Darold Donathan, Branson Police Department, DARE Officer.

Branson Aldermen Approve Microsurfacing, Asphalt Contracts
At the last Branson City Council meeting, Aldermen approved a contract with Vance Brothers, Inc. for microsurfacing and crack sealing. Four sections of road selected for microsurfacing are: N. Wildwood Drive, Roark Valley Rd. from Highway 76 to the Tanstone property, Shepherd of the Hills Expressway from Brookside Mini-Golf to Roark Valley Road, and Gretna Road from the Roark Valley Road bridge to Highway 76. The Board also approved a proposal from Table Rock Asphalt Company to purchase one inch base and hot mix asphalt. This material is used for pothole repairs, water line patching, and manhole patching.

Branson to Construct Salt Barn on Keeter Street
Branson Aldermen have approved a resolution authorizing the construction of a public building at 3610 Keeter Street for use as a salt barn for Public Works. This second facility, to be built near the Branson Fire Station 3, allows for better access to the salt material during a severe weather event. The other barn is located on Compton Drive in downtown Branson.

Junior Auxiliary Welcomes New Members, Launches New Website
Junior Auxiliary of Taney County welcomes 13 women into their incoming Provisional class for the 2014-2015 year. This group of women has demonstrated interest in joining the Auxiliary and over the next six months will attend Chapter meetings and events and participate in projects to determine if they wish to make a commitment to become Active Members with the organization to serve the community. The Auxiliary has also launched a new web site at JATCMO.org. The site features information about the organization and its members, community events, current service projects and fundraising efforts.
Pictured from left: Junior Auxiliary of Taney County 2014 - 2015 Provisional Class members Teresa Bailey, Jennifer Mobley, Candy Ramirez, Francie Marshall, Sam Law, Paula Eighmy, Bobbie Gilpin, Marcia Vanderlaan, Lajean Wild, Sara Henderson, Renee Benson and Jennifer Essary. Not pictured: Teresa Russell

Branson Fire & Rescue to Host Open House this Thursday
Branson Fire & Rescue will open its doors to the public this Thursday, from 6-8 p.m. by hosting a “Community Risk Reduction” open house at all three fire stations. Citizens can participate in fire education activities, learn basic first aid skills, get their blood pressure checked and enjoy some cookies and drinks. The fire stations are located at 1103 West Highway 76, 251 Branson Meadows Drive, and 3500 Keeter Street.

C of O to Host Former NFL Cheerleader and Motivational Speaker
College of the Ozarks will host former NFL cheerleader and motivational speaker Shannon Oleen this Wednesday at 7 p.m. in Jones Auditorium. Using her own life experiences and encounters with adversity as a backdrop, Oleen inspires audiences to find their passion, create positive change and reach personal goals. The convocation is free and open to the public.

October 17, 2014

Couple Arrested and Charged with Burglaries in Boone County
Boone County Sheriff Mike Moore reported that a couple has been arrested and charged with the recent burglaries at a residence on Tennyson Loop near Bellefonte south of Harrison. Thirty-five year old George Upton and 31 year old Lela Gilbert of Deer, Arkansas, turned themselves in and confessed to the burglaries after seeing their photos in the Harrison Daily Times. Both have been charged with Residential Burglary and Theft of Property, with bond set at $50,000 each. Due to the fact that the couple turned themselves in, the $500 reward that was offered will not be given in this case.

Berryville Woman Injured in One-Vehicle Accident Near Ridgedale
A woman from Berryville was injured in a one-vehicle accident just before 3:00 early this morning on Highway 86 near Ridgedale. A small SUV driven by 19 year old Mattie Armstrong ran off the side of the roadway, struck a culvert and overturned. Armstrong suffered moderate injuries and was taken to Cox South Hospital in Springfield for treatment.

Forsyth Woman Injured in One-Vehicle Accident
Fifty-year-old Lora Maloney of Forsyth was treated for minor injuries at Cox Branson after the pickup she was driving ran off the roadway and struck a ditch and a tree. The incident occurred at about 5:00 Thursday evening on Highway 176, two miles east of Rockaway Beach.

Aldermen Approve Updated Food Code, Building Inspection Fee
At the last Branson City Council meeting, Aldermen approved the first reading of a bill amending the City Food Code. This amendment updates the Food Code used by the Health Department as they administer City ordinances, from the FDA 1999 Food Code to the FDA 2009 Food Code. The Board also approved the first reading of a bill amending Building Inspection Fees. The bill establishes a fee for the inspection of construction that occurs under a pre-annexation agreement.

Louanne Dietrich Appointed Director of Development for the Caring People
The Caring People announced that Louanne Dietrich has been appointed as Director of Development. The Caring People, founded by JoDee Herschend in 1997, ministers to single moms and their children by partnering them with strong, caring, Christian women in weekly “Care Groups.” The Missouri based ministry has grown to include Ohio, Kansas and internationally in El Salvador. The staff expansion will equip the ministry to open many more locations.

Two Branson Speach Students Place at Kickapoo Tournament
The Branson High School Speech Team recently competed at a tournament in Kickapoo, Missouri. The competition included 34 schools and almost 1,000 entries, including 20 students from Branson. Twelve Branson students advanced to the semifinal round and six were eligible to advance to finals. Jack Cathcart finished second in Humorous Interpretation in the finals and Savannah Jewsbury earned fourth place in Dramatic Interpretation. The students are under the direction of Debbie Smith.

Aldermen Approve Fire Stations Signs, 2015 Insurance Premiums
Branson Aldermen have approved the first reading of an agreement with the Missouri Highways and Transportation Commission that will allow the placement of signs on Missouri Highways, directing motorists to Branson Fire Stations. A new sign on Highway 76 will point motorists down Keeter Street toward Fire Station 3. Also, new signs on Highway 376 and Highway 165 will point motorists down Green Mountain Drive toward Fire Station 3. The Board also approved the first reading of three bills approving the 2015 insurance premiums for City employees. These bills involve Health, Life and Dental insurance. The overall cost to the City will increase 15% over 2014, but co-pays paid by employees will not be increased at this time.

Barry Williams to Star in TV Series "A Very Barry Branson"
Brady Bunch star, Barry Williams, who played the eldest Brady son for five seasons, will star in Great American Country network's original series A Very Barry Branson. The six-episode half-hour series will focus on Williams as he trades Hollywood for America's heartland to launch his own '70s-era musical variety show. According to Williams, the series will premiere in early 2015 and will follow him as he works to create and promote his stage show, gets to know the locals and attempts to make Branson his home.

Chamber Accepting Applications for Branson's 66th Annual Adoration Parade
The Branson/Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce is now accepting applications for Branson's 66th Annual Adoration Parade, the oldest non-commercial Christmas parade in Missouri. This year’s parade will be held on Sunday, December 7 in historic downtown Branson. The event will start with the lighting of the largest area nativity scene on Mount Branson overlooking Lake Taneycomo at dusk, and culminate with the 66th Annual Adoration Parade celebrating the birth of Jesus. Applications for floats, walking units and bands can be found online at www.BransonChamber.com/About/Events-Adoration-Parade. For more information, call 417-334-4084.

October 16, 2014

Travel Agent Pleads Guilty to Stealing from Willard High Band
A travel agent has pleaded guilty to stealing $360,000 from the Willard High School Band Boosters, which forced the cancellation of a trip to Hawaii for more than 300 students and chaperones. Forty-year-old Calliope Saaga of Saratoga Springs, Utah, received 12 payments of $30,000 each from the Willard High School Band Boosters to provide travel arrangements for a June 2012 band trip to Hawaii. Instead of booking the reservations, Saaga used the funds to finance his personal lifestyle, including at least 47 days spent gambling in Las Vegas. Saaga faces up to 20 years in prison plus a fine up to $250,000 and an order of restitution.

Phillip Loyd Elected Chairman of Cox Branson Board of Directors
Local businessman Phillip Loyd has been elected to serve as chairman of the Cox Medical Center Branson Board of Directors. Loyd is president of his family’s business entities – Loyd’s Electric Supply, Lighthouse Gallery, and Theatrical Lighting Concepts. Along with Loyd’s election to chairman, Bob McDowell of McDowell Consulting was named vice chairman and Branson Mayor Raeanne Presley was elected secretary. New members to the board include Bob Cox of The Harbor, and Dr. Doug Hayter of Branson Public Schools.

Downtown Branson Streetscape Project to Impact Parking
Branson Aldermen have approved the first reading of a bill regarding prohibited parking. In response to the upcoming work on the Downtown Branson Streetscape Project, the upper deck of the Reich Parking Garage will become permit-based parking for employees of downtown businesses. Also, 2-hour parking is being implemented on sections of College Street and 2nd Street.

Branson Aldermen Approve Bills for Underground Utilities
Branson Aldermen have approved the first reading of several bills regarding utilities for the Highway 76 Complete Streets Project. The Board approved a payment to Empire District Electric Company for the installation of the underground duct work in front of the Branson Auto Museum that will allow the Empire lines and other utilities to be relocated under the sidewalk. The Board also approved the expansion of City sidewalks and burying of utility lines for the Pasghetti’s Restaurant that is currently under construction.

Dig for a Cure Nets $2,000 Donation for Women's Center
The Branson High School Volleyball Team and Booster Club recently sold “Dig for a Cure” T-Shirts and headbands and organized a raffle to raise funds to benefit the October Breast Cancer Awareness campaign. The event raised $2,000 which was donated to the Women’s Center at Cox Medical Center Branson. The check presentation was made to Tim Nichols, representing the Skaggs Foundation, at Tuesday’s game with Nixa.

Photo: Tim Nichols, representing the Skaggs Foundation, accepts the donation from Angie Still

Missouri’s Non-farm Payrolls Grew by 8,100 Jobs in September
Missouri’s non-farm payroll employment grew by 8,100 jobs in September, according to seasonally adjusted data released by the Missouri Department of Economic Development. The state’s unemployment rate held steady at 6.3 percent for the month. Missouri’s nonfarm payrolls have increased by 53,700 jobs over the past year.

Bark for Life of Stone County Scheduled for Saturday
Bark for Life of Stone County is a non-competitive walk event for dogs and their owners to raise funds and awareness for the American Cancer Society's fight against cancer. The event will be held this Saturday with registration beginning at 9:30 a.m. at Harter House in Kimberling City. Following the walk, there will be demonstrations, contests, and games. For more information, visit RelayForLife.org/BarkStoneMo.

October 15, 2014

Branson Aldermen Approve First Reading of Smoke-Free Ordinance
Branson Aldermen met Tuesday evening and approved the first reading of a bill to implement a smoke-free ordinance. The ordinance restricts smoking in indoor spaces inside the Branson City Limits as well as some outdoor spaces, such as City Parks and a distance of 6 feet from a public entrance. Within the Historic Downtown area, the distance that smoking is restricted from an entrance was lessened to 4 feet. Most outdoor spaces, including outdoor dining patios which had initially been considered for restriction, are not restricted in this ordinance. The Board considered, but ultimately rejected an amendment to restrict smoking entirely in hotels. They retained the proposed language allowing up to 20% of rooms to be designated as smoking rooms. The final reading of this ordinance will be considered on October 28th.

Persons of Interest Identified in Boone County Burglaries
The Boone County Sheriff’s Office reported that persons of interest have been identified regarding the burglaries from a residence on Tennyson Loop near Bellefonte south of Harrison. The Sheriff’s Office thanked the public for their responses regarding the identity of the people wanted for questioning. The case is still considered open and the investigation is still on-going. At this time the $500 reward for information that leads to the arrest and conviction of the suspects involved in this case is still outstanding.

United Rentals Joins Taney County Partnership
United Rentals, a Fortune 500 company currently serving new construction and existing business expansion initiatives in Taney County, has joined the Taney County Partnership. Founded in 1997, United Rentals is the world’s largest equipment rental provider with more than 870 branches in North America and Canada. Mark Feuerbacher, Territory Manager of United Rentals, said they look forward to their association with the Taney County Partnership and the chance to be working side by side with other industry leaders to help bring continued growth and jobs to the Taney County area.

Branson's Water and Sewer Rates to Increase 5% in 2015
Branson Aldermen have approved the first reading of a bill amending the water and sewer rate schedule for 2015. The rate for both sewer and water will increase by 5% next year. City staff showed that Branson’s rates were some of the lowest in the area, and will still be very competitive, even with this increase. The Board also approved the first reading of a bill amending water system connection charges. A new system bases the charge on the size of the water meter, rather than occupancy.

U.S. Senator Roy Blunt’s Staff to Host Mobile Offices
U.S. Senator Roy Blunt’s staff will host a Mobile Offices in the Tri-Lakes area over the next week. Mobile Offices are opportunities for Missourians to discuss their questions or concerns with the federal government one-on-one with members of Senator Blunt’s staff. A Mobile Office will be held this Friday from 1:30-2:30 p.m. at Hollister City Hall, and another one will be held on Friday, October 24, from 1:30-2:30 p.m. at Kimberling City City Hall.

Gatlin and Dean Send Message to Terrorists in New Song
The Starlite Theatre announced that two of its entertainers, Billy Dean and Larry Gatlin, recently got together backstage and casually wrote a song called “An American With a Remington” as a message to terrorists. The song was uploaded to Facebook and has quickly become an internet sensation with over 16 million hits and counting. Due to the overwhelming response from fans and radio stations across the country, the song is now available for purchase on iTunes and the guys are also including it in their shows at the Starlite.

October 14, 2014

Reward Offered for Burglary Information in Boone County
The Boone County Arkansas Sheriff’s Office is investigating two burglaries that occurred last month at a single family residence on Tennyson Loop near Bellefonte south of Harrison. The property owners are offering a $500 reward for information that leads to an arrest and conviction of the suspects involved in this case. Firearms, jewelry, a large amount of loose coins and other items were stolen in at least two separate burglaries of the residence. Persons with information about these crimes are urged to contact the Sheriff’s Office at 870-741-8404.

Comfort Inn at Branson Meadows Receives Beautification Award
The Branson Tree Board has announced the final Beautification Award recipient of the 2014 season. The winner for the month of October is the Comfort Inn at Branson Meadows located at 5150 Gretna Road. Maintenance Supervisor, Wes Stoddard, and Manager, Steve Graber, continually place an emphasis on the beautification of their property. Next season’s Beautification Awards will begin April 2015 and be presented on a monthly basis through October.

Pictured from left: Tree Board Vice-Chair Clark Harris, Steve Graber, Wes Stoddard, Tree Board Chairman Greg Haston

Branson Chamber Announces Board/Marketing Election Results
The Branson/Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce has announced the results of the Board of Directors and Marketing Advisory Council elections. Elected to the Board of Directors were Mike Combs, Bill Tirone, Mike Pitman, Brad Thomas, Pam Druffel, William Mahoney and Bob Cox. Elected to the Marketing Advisory Council were Ralph Newell, Shane Naugher, Kirk Elmquist, Susan Smith, Rich Crowell and Linda Merkling. Each will begin their three-year term starting January 1, 2015.

Cox Branson Offering Free "Feel Better Now" Classes
Cox Medical Center Branson is offering a free, six-week course called Feel Better Now that teaches participants how to feel better while managing chronic conditions, such as back pain, weight management, emotions and stress. The goal is to teach people how to self-manage many of the chronic conditions that impact day-to-day life. The six-week session gets underway this Thursday and is held weekly from 5-7 p.m. in the Redbud Room at Cox Branson. To register, call 417-348-8265.

Fall Collector Car Auction Set for Friday and Saturday
The Branson Auction will hold its fall collector car auction this Friday and Saturday at the Branson Convention Center. New auction start times will feature a celebrity memorabilia auction Friday at 11 a.m. with the vehicle auction beginning at noon. On Saturday, the memorabilia auction begins at 9 a.m. with vehicles selling at 10 a.m. The vehicles can be viewed online in advance of the event at BransonAuction.com. Hundreds of collector cars are expected to cross the auction block. Tickets are $10 for one day or $15 for both days and may be purchased at the door.

First Presbyterian Preschool to Hold Annual Rummage Sale
The First Presbyterian Preschool will have their Annual Rummage Sale this Thursday from 7:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. and Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. This is the only fundraiser the preschool does each year and all proceeds go toward the operation of the preschool which has been a ministry of the First Presbyterian Church of Branson since 1969, celebrating its 45th anniversary this year. The church and preschool are located at 420 West Main Street in downtown Branson. For more information, call 417-294-0235.

October 13, 2014

Theodosia Man Fatally Injured in One-Vehicle Accident
A man from Theodosia was fatally injured in a one-vehicle accident shortly before 8:30 this past Friday night on Highway 160, three miles east of Isabella. The Highway Patrol reported that a pickup driven by 75 year old Jack Frazier ran off the roadway at a curve, struck an embankment and overturned. Frazier was ejected from the vehicle even though he was wearing his seatbelt. He was pronounced dead at the scene by Ozark County Sheriff Darin Reed.

Branson Woman Injured in One-Car Crash Early Sunday Morning
A woman from Branson was injured in a one-car crash just before 1:30 early Sunday morning on Highway 76, a half mile east of Branson. The Highway Patrol reported that 23 year old Victoria Love lost control of her car, ran off the roadway and struck a rock bluff. Love sustained minor injuries and was transported to Cox Medical Center Branson for treatment.

Downed Power Line Causes Traffic Delays in Blue Eye
The Southern Stone County Fire Protection District reported that a downed power line caused traffic delays in Blue Eye this morning. Traffic was backed up at the Blue Eye High School as Highway EE was shut down for about an hour from 6:45 to 7:45 this morning. It appears that a fallen tree was the cause of the downed power line. There were no injuries reported.

Branson School Board Approves Resolution Opposing Amendment 3
The board of education for the Branson School District has approved a resolution to officially oppose Amendment 3, appearing on the November ballot. If approved by voters, the measure would determine whether a teacher should be dismissed, retained, demoted or promoted based on student performance data as part of the evaluation system. It would also prevent teachers from collectively bargaining over the terms of these evaluations and limit teacher contracts to three years or fewer. The Branson board of education believes this amendment would take control of local schools away from local elected boards.

Reeds Spring Seeks Input on Future of Historic Church
The City of Reeds Spring is seeking the public’s input on the best use of a former Presbyterian Church located at 76 Joe Dwyer Blvd that is owned by the City. The City will hold a meeting this Wednesday at 7 p.m. at the church building to hear the ideas and opinions of local residents. Information will be gathered but no decisions will be made about the historic building until a future date.

Deer Hunters Encouraged to "Share the Harvest"
The Missouri Department of Conservation and the Conservation Federation of Missouri are once again encouraging deer hunters to participate in the Share the Harvest program. To participate, hunters take their harvested deer to a participating meat processor and let the processor know how much venison they wish to donate to the program. The processor will package the ground meat, which will be given to local charitable agencies for distribution to hungry Missourians. To find participating processors or to learn more about the program, visit mdc.mo.gov/hunting-trapping/deer/share-harvest.

Shepherd of the Hills Conservation Center to Host Night Sounds
Shepherd of the Hills Conservation Center is accepting reservation for its annual Night Sounds hike scheduled for Friday, October 24 from 7-9:30 p.m. During this guided hike, participants will learn to identify the nighttime sounds of a variety of animals and plants and find out why some of the sounds are being made. After the hike, there will be activities and treats in the Conservation Center. For reservation, call (417) 334-4865 ext 0.

October 10, 2014

Kimberling City Man Pleads Guilty to Tax Evasion
A Kimberling City man who worked as an emergency room physician has pleaded guilty in federal court to failing to file tax returns. Sixty-four year old Phillip Psaltis worked as an emergency room physician in Oklahoma, Louisiana and Lamar, Missouri. By pleading guilty, Psaltis admitted that he failed to file federal income tax returns since 2002 for a total unreported income of over $1 million. Psaltis faces up to two years in prison plus a fine up to $200,000 and an order of restitution.

Officer Chase Rains Named Branson’s Employee of the Month
Officer Chase Rains of the Branson Police Department has been named the City’s Employee of the Month for October. Officer Rains and a Patrol Sergeant were dispatched to a motel about a young man that was being difficult. They learned that the 14 year old youth had recently been sent to live with relatives and felt his needs were not being met – primarily clothes washing. He was embarrassed to attend classes at school because of his smelly clothes. Officer Rains gave the teen some of his own clothes, purchased some other clothes for him, gave him some laundry soap and a roll of coins, and showed him how to use a washer and dryer. Since then the young man has signed up for the Branson ROTC program with a changed outlook on life. Officer Rains was recognized for demonstrating leadership, volunteerism, service and courtesy.

Branson Aldermen to Vote on Smoke-Free Ordinance Tuesday
Branson Aldermen will hold their next regular meeting this Tuesday at 7 p.m. in the Council Chambers at City Hall. Some of the items on the agenda are the first readings of several bills including the new smoke-free ordinance, water and sewer rates and building inspection fees, several bid awards for roadwork and other projects, a resolution adopting park user fees, and a resolution authorizing the construction of a public building at 3610 Keeter Street for use as a City salt barn. The complete agenda can be viewed online at BransonMO.gov.

Fogles to Open CiCi's Pizza Buffet in Branson Next Spring
Local restaurant owners Nolan and Babette Fogle have signed a franchise agreement to bring the first CiCi’s Pizza buffet to Branson by next spring. The new CiCi’s will be located at 3460 W Hwy 76 across from White Water and will also house a large game room area. Nolan Fogle said the restaurant will create about 50 jobs for local residents. The Fogles also own The Great American Steak & Chicken House, The Balbknobbers Restaurant, The Fall Creek Steak & Catfish House, The Burger Shack and Pasghetti’s Italian Restaurant, which is currently under construction.

Branson Teacher Named Kansas City Chiefs Star of the Classroom
Stefanie McKoy, a fifth grade classroom teacher at Branson Cedar Ridge Intermediate, has been named a Kansas City Chiefs Star of the Classroom. McKoy was nominated by one of her students for the Star distinction. One Missouri public school classroom teacher has been selected to be honored by the Chiefs at each of the eight home games this season. Stefanie received field passes, a parking pass and lower level tickets for the September 29 game. She was interviewed about her school and featured on the stadium's ArrowVision during the game.

Photo: Star of the Classroom Stefanie McKoy is shown with her husband, Clint, at Arrowhead Stadium

Branson Salvation Army Accepting Angel Tree Sign-Ups
The Salvation Army of Branson announced that sign-ups for its Angel Tree program are being accepted now through November 14. Anyone unable to provide gifts or clothes for their children ages 16 and under is encouraged to apply for the Angel Tree program. Sign-ups must be done in person at The Salvation Army’s office at 1114 Stanley Blvd. For more details including required documents to bring, call 339-4434.

Missouri Arts Council Awards $4.3 Million in Grants
The Missouri Arts Council is awarding 337 annual grants for fiscal year 2015 for a total of $4.3 million. Locally, the Branson Arts Council has been awarded $12,480 for Community Arts Operating Support, the Downtown Branson Betterment Association will receive $5,038 for Folk Arts and Ozark Mountain Music in Galena has been awarded $3,495 for Folk Arts.

October 9, 2014

Branson's 2015 Budget Expected to be Over $68 Million
Branson's overall budget for 2015 is expected to be over $68 million. The city expects to maintain a 28% financial reserve. Branson does not plan to add additional personnel but city employees are projected to receive a 2% pay raise. Health insurance costs are expected to increase 15% for the city's portion. Park reserves are projected to remain at 10%. The budget allows for $60,000 to be distributed to various social service agencies and $10,000 to the housing authority. Detailed numbers for the draft budget can be found in the current edition of The Branson Daily Independent.

Mickey Gilley Celebrates 25 Years in Branson
Mickey Gilley recently celebrated his 25th anniversary of performing in Branson. Several hundred fans welcomed the 78 year old Gilley as he arrived at his theatre for the celebration Sunday afternoon. Tony Orlando hosted the event and several entertainers provided greetings by video. Branson's mayor and fire chief also participated. After the celebration Gilley went on to perform his show.

Chestnutridge Woman Injured in Two-Vehicle Accident
A woman from Chestnutridge, Missouri received moderate injuries during a two-vehicle accident on Highway 65, seven miles north of Branson. A Ford Explorer driven by 67 year old Bonnie Faletti was hit head-on by a car that skidded across the center median of the highway. That car was driven by 20 year old Austin Dewitt of Ozark who did not require treatment. Faletti was treated at Mercy Hospital in Springfield. The accident occurred Wednesday afternoon just after 2 p.m. Both drivers were using seat belts.

Firefighters Teach Fire Prevention to Local Students
Western Taney County firefighters started their School Fire Prevention Program this week. They visited the Hollister Early Childhood Center and Hollister Elementary School. They taught about smoke alarms, exit drills, staying low under smoke and stop, drop and roll. Firefighters also warned students about playing with matches and lighters. During October, firefighters will visit 1200 students in the Hollister and Kirbyville school districts, plus two private schools, four daycares and offer a day for home-schooled students. This is the 11th year for the district's fire prevention program.

Superhero Showdown 4 Carnival Set for Saturday
The Branson School District will host a Superhero 4 Carnival this Saturday. The event at the high school gym and in the commons is free and will feature inflatables, prizes and drawings for gift baskets. T-shirts will be sold for $10. All donations and funds generated during the event will go directly to the Branson R-4 Education Foundation. The Foundation has provided $65,000 since 2010 for classroom grants and college scholarships.

Call for Paintings for Annual White River Painting Exhibit
Artists throughout the area are invited to submit paintings for the White River Painting Exhibit, to be held at the Ralph Foster Museum on the College of the Ozarks Campus. Paintings should reflect the artist's personal view of what is important about the Ozarks. Paintings must be originals, completed within the last two years, and not the product of a painting workshop. Monetary awards will be given to the top three paintings and many of the works will be available for purchase. Paintings can be delivered to the Ralph Foster Museum starting October 27th. Entry forms are available at RFosterMuseum.com.

October 8, 2014

Sheriff Russell Refutes KY3 Story Naming Taney County as Dangerous Place to Live
Taney County Sheriff Jimmie Russell has issued a statement refuting a news report on KY3 TV. The report, based on information from an on-line real estate blog, said that Taney County ranked number 6 and Greene County ranked number 45 of most dangerous counties in America to live in. Sheriff Russell stated that the Missouri State Highway Patrol website provides crime statistics for every county in the state. The numbers from 2012 show that Taney County's crime stats are lower than Greene County, per capita in every category. Russell also stated that he had not found any site that lists Taney County as a dangerous place to live.

Chamber Announces Re-Developed Lakes Area Leadership Academy
A re-developed Lakes Area Leadership Academy has been announced for the 2015 season. The Branson/Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce re-designed the program with the guidance of Strategic Planning sessions held this past April. Classes will be held from mid-January through May and will cover topics relating to government, serving on a board of directors, how to lead meetings and economic development. Classes will also cover the healthcare industry, leadership styles, marketing, tourism and environmental issues. For more information, email info@bransonchamber.com.

Investigation Reveals Causes of Propane Price Jump Last Winter
Last winter propane prices went from under $2 a gallon to over $5 a gallon. An investigation by the Missouri Attorney General's office discovered that the price jump was caused by the need to dry grain, a cold and early winter and record propane exports. The Missouri Propane Association reported that those elements could reoccur causing major price increases again this winter. Residents are encouraged to fill their propane tanks now or pre-buy propane if possible.

Western Taney County Fire Recognizes New Firefighters
The Western Taney County Fire Protection District recently held a ceremony to recognize its newest firefighters. Three students graduated this past June. They are Nick Dickerson and Colby & Jessica Stockstill. The 12 students who graduated in September are Austin Ballard, Matthew Baughman, Scott Brasher, Ryan Buckles, Tyler Castrop, Grant Chamberlain, Dillon Denton, Dane Dartez, Evan Garey, Colton Reid, Amber Smith and Justin Stout. They are serving at various fire stations across the district.

Cox Branson Recognized for Efforts to Give Babies Healthy Start
Cox Medical Center Branson is one of three CoxHealth hospitals recognized for eliminating elective inductions and Cesarean deliveries performed before 39 completed weeks of pregnancy. The achievement was recognized through a banner from the March of Dimes and the Missouri Hospital Association. The banner, which was presented to Cox Branson's Labor and Delivery Department, will be displayed at the hospital. Cox Health has nearly 5,000 births each year at its facilities in Branson, Springfield and Monett. More information is available at MarchOfDimes.org/39Weeks.

C of O to Host Tim Ternes of the St. John's Bible Project
Tim Ternes of the St. John's Bible Project will present a Christian convocation at College of the Ozarks Thursday evening. He will explain the significance of the St. John's handwritten Bible. St. John's University of Collegeville, Minnesota sponsored the creation of the handwritten Bible, completed by a collaboration of artists, calligraphers, theologians, historians and scholars. The convocation will start at 7 p.m. in Jones Auditorium. It is free and open to the public, but students have priority seating. College of the Ozarks has the Pentateuch and Gospels of the St. John's Bible on display until October 27th.

October 7, 2014

Emmitt Smith to Speak at FCA Banquet
NFL Hall of Famer Emmitt Smith will be the keynote speaker for the South Central Missouri Fellowship of Christian Athletes annual banquet next spring. Emmitt Smith won three Super Bowl championships as a member of the Dallas Cowboys and also won the Super Bowl MVP, the NFL MVP and the NFL Rushing Crown in the same season. Smith was inducted into the NFL Hall of Fame in 2010 and is the NFL’s all-time leading rusher. FCA’s Christian Coach/Athlete of the Year Banquet will be held on April 9, 2015 at Chateau on the Lake Resort in Branson. For more information, visit socentralmofca.org/fca-banquet.

Koster Refuses to Appeal Judges Ruling on Same-Sex Marriages
Last week, a circuit court judge from Kansas City ruled that Missouri must recognize same-sex marriages from other states and countries, a ruling which conflicts with a constitutional amendment adopted by Missouri voters in 2004 by more than a 70% margin. On Monday Senate leaders called on Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster to abide by the will of the people as expressed in the state constitution and defend their decision to define marriage as the union of a man and a woman. However Koster said he will not appeal the judge’s ruling stating “Missouri's future will be one of inclusion, not exclusion."

Aurora Woman Injured in One-Car Crash Near State Park
A woman from Aurora was injured in a one-car crash at about 8:30 Monday morning on Highway 165, a half mile north of Dale Avenue near Table Rock State Park. A car driven by 32 year old Tayber Visconti ran off the roadway at a curve and struck a rock bluff. Visconti was taken to Cox Branson for treatment of minor injuries.

Fire Prevention Week Focuses on Working Smoke Alarms
The Western Taney County Fire Protection District announced that this year's theme for Fire Prevention Week is making sure you have working smoke alarms in your home. Smoke alarms should be near sleeping areas and on every level of your home. Test your smoke alarms monthly using the test button to ensure the detector is working. Change your batteries every six months during daylight savings time to ensure a working smoke alarm. Smoke alarms should be replaced every 10 years.

Branson Elementary Teachers Awarded Grant for Book Swap Program
Jacki Lee and Sara Pardeck, classroom teachers at Branson’s Cedar Ridge Elementary, have been awarded a $500 grant from the Missouri State Teachers Association for their Book Swap Stop program. The program provides books to at-risk students living in weekly rentals who don't have access to reading materials. Based on positive experiences over the summer, the Book Swap will continue throughout the school year with the assistance of the Junior Auxiliary of Taney County.

Jacki Lee (left) and Sara Pardeck (center) receive a grant for the Book Swap program

College of the Ozarks to Host Annual Auction
College of the Ozarks will host its annual auction this Saturday beginning at 10 a.m. near the transportation garage on campus. This year’s auction will feature vintage furniture, antique items, glassware, tools, vehicles, appliances and other unique estate pieces. Robert Owens, of Holt Auction Co., will serve as this year’s auctioneer. For more information, call (417) 690-2204.

Kimberling Area Senior Center to Hold Garage Sale Fundraiser
The Kimberling Area Senior Center will be having its annual garage sale this Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Saturday from 8 a.m. to noon. All proceeds will help continue the operations and activities of the Senior Center. The center operates on donations and grants and all the work, except for the cooking, is done by volunteers.

October 6, 2014

Grand Palace Theater Purchased for $2.7 Million
The Grand Palace Theater has been purchased for $2.7 million by Branson Entertainment Center-Branson, LLC, which is owned by Kuvera Partners based in Los Angeles. Kuvera also owns and operates the Hollywood Wax Museum, Castle of Chaos, Hannah's Maze of Mirrors, and Shoot for the Stars Mini-Golf on Highway 76. The company is actively exploring options for developing the 13.258-acre Grand Palace property which has been vacant since 2008. Kuvera says extensive research and analysis will be conducted prior to moving forward with designing a master plan for the property.

Branson Man Gets 10 Years as Chronic D.W.I. Offender
Taney County Prosecutor Jeff Merrell announced that 44 year old James Staudacher of Branson has been sentenced to 10 years in prison as a chronic D.W.I. offender. Staudacher was charged as a chronic offender because he had four or more intoxication-related traffic convictions. The most recent offense occurred on the night of the annual Midnight Cruise in Branson in August 2013. Staudacher was pulled over by Branson Police after squealing his tires on Highway 76. His blood alcohol content was found to be over twice the level of legal intoxication.

C of O Wins Second Place with Campus Hay at World Forage Contest
College of the Ozark students recently won second place at the World Forage Analysis Superbowl, a contest that recognizes the highest quality hay in the world. C of O doesn’t normally have the chance to cut grass hay when it would be at its best quality because of too many rain days in May, however this spring’s drought allowed them to cut the hay at just the right time. C of O seniors Brook Lair and Zane Lowrance, along with supervisor Tammy Holder, received their award during a ceremony in Madison, Wisconsin, on September 30.

Pictured from left: C of O students Brooke Lair and Zane Lowrance, Beef Farm Manager and Agronomy Supervisor Tammy Holder

Mike Wiebe Inducted Into Missouri Sports Hall of Fame
Mike Wiebe, a 2009 graduate of Branson High School, has been inducted into the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame. Wiebe is among five former high school athletes who were named Filbert Five for their "significant contributions to Missouri basketball." The award is named for Gary Filbert, a Hall of Fame member and Missouri Sports Legend who was a longtime college basketball coach. Wiebe is also a 2013 graduate of College of the Ozarks where he scored 2,468 points and was a three-time NAIA All American.
Photo: Wiebe, center, is shown with BHS coaches Kip Bough and Bryan Christenson who attended the induction ceremony

Tickets Now on Sale for Silver Dollar City’s Annual White Glove Fundraising Event
Tickets are now on sale for Silver Dollar City’s annual White Glove fundraising event to benefit Care For Kids. White Glove, to be held October 31, is a preview event on the eve of An Old Time Christmas. Guests will be treated to a holiday dinner, enjoy the final dress rehearsals of the productions “It’s A Wonderful Life” and “A Dickens’ Christmas Carol,” and see the first run of the new Rudolph’s Holly Jolly Christmas Light Parade. For tickets or more information, call 800-831-4FUN(386) or visit SilverDollarCity.com.

Color Me Grape 5k to Benefit Local Family Battling Cancer
The second annual Color Me Grape 5k will once again help kick off the annual Grape & Fall Festival this Saturday beginning at 9 a.m. at Hollister City Hall. Registration is $30 and all proceeds benefit the Hollister School Foundation. This year the Foundation is giving all of the funds to Joe & Kristina Smith. Kristina is in her second year of teaching special education at Hollister Elementary. Her husband Joe is battling stage IV colon cancer and has been unable to work for a year. For more information or to register for the race, visit ColorMeGrape5k.com or call 417-334-3050.

October 3, 2014

Hollister Offering Reward in Connection with Recent Break-Ins
The City of Hollister is offering up to a $500 reward for the arrest and conviction of those responsible for breaking into several homes in the Maple St. and Walnut St. areas in the months of June and July. Hollister Police Chief Preston Schmidt said that a reward is not always appropriate in all cases, but due to the substantial losses of several residents, they feel these cases could benefit from a reward. Anyone who has information regarding these burglaries should contact Detective Matt Sanders at 417-334-6565, and make it clear that you are responding to the reward offer.

Branson to Perform Asphalt Repair Work on College Street
The Branson Public Works Department will be making asphalt street repairs to College Street this coming Wednesday. The repair will only be on the block between Veterans Blvd. and Second Street. The intersections will remain open at the stoplight, as well as at College and Second Street, but the one block segment between will be closed during the work day. Visitors to nearby businesses such as Branson City Hall or the Taneyhills Community Library should plan alternate routes to these locations.

CoxHealth and Essence Healthcare Partner for New Medicare Plan
CoxHealth and Essence Healthcare have partnered to provide a new Medicare plan in southwest Missouri called CoxHealth MedicarePlus. The plan is designed to address the growing problem of rising health care costs. Some of the features of CoxHealth MedicarePlus include bundling medical, hospital and prescription drug coverage together in one plan, free dental and vision coverage, free health club memberships, no additional premium above the Part B premium, and maximum out-of-pocket protection. For more information, visit CoxHealthMedicarePlus.com.

Branson High School to Host Annual College Fair
Branson High School will host its annual College Fair this Monday from 6:30-8:00 p.m. in the High School Commons. The College Fair is open to all grade levels. The event offers students the opportunity to collect information about admission policies, financial aid and scholarship opportunities. Representatives from most state colleges and universities will be in attendance.

Taney County Health Department to Host Walk-In Flu Clinic
The Taney County Health Department will host a walk-in flu clinic for individuals age 65 and older this Tuesday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Branson office, located at 320 Rinehart Road. Participants should bring a photo ID, as well as Medicare and insurance cards. No appointments are necessary. Flu shot appointments for all adults will be available after the October 7 clinic. For more information, call (417) 334-4544 ext. 590.

The Caring People Offering Free Microsoft Office Classes
The Caring People organization is offering free Microsoft Office classes during the month of October at the Community Technology Center in downtown Branson. Participants will learn the basics of Microsoft Excel and Word, as well as advanced Excel. For more information or to register, call 417-334-0131.

Hollister’s Fall Clean-Up Set for October 7
The City of Hollister’s Fall Clean-Up is scheduled for this Tuesday. Customers of the City of Hollister’s trash service can leave any large allowable items out for collection with their regular trash. One appliance may be put out for collection free of charge. Refrigerant must be removed from refrigerators, freezers, and air conditioners by a certified and licensed technician stating “CFC’s Removed”. Items not allowed are: batteries, tires, yard waste, paint cans, oil and major construction material.

October 2, 2014

Crane Woman Injured in Two-Vehicle Accident
A two vehicle accident late Wednesday afternoon caused minor injuries to a passenger. Nineteen year old Brooke Frensley of Crane was taken to Cox South Hospital in Springfield for treatment. She was riding in a vehicle driven by 23 year old Joshua Minton of Crane that hit a Land Rover driven by 17 year old Darryl Wood of Galena. The accident just before 6 p.m. occurred on Highway 413, two miles north of Galena. All people involved were using seat belts.

Illinois Woman Injured in Two-Vehicle Accident
A two vehicle accident Wednesday afternoon sent one of the drivers to Cox Health Branson with minor injuries. Twenty-eight year old Latoya Woodson of Danville, Illinois was slowing to make a left turn when her car was hit from behind by a Ford Ranger driven by 47 year old James Burk of Galena. Both drivers were using seat belts. The 1:40 p.m. accident occurred on Highway 76, a half mile east of Branson.

Branson Fire and Rescue to Host Hunter Education Class
Branson Fire and Rescue will again partner with the Missouri Department of Conservation to host a hunter education class. It will be held this Saturday at the fire department's Joint Emergency Training Center, located in the former Factory Merchant's Mall property off Gretna Road. The class will be held from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Hunters interested in participating can register on-line at mdc.mo.gov under the hunting/trapping toolbar.

Taney County Partnership Welcomes Tom Boyce Excavating
The Taney County Partnership has announced its newest partner, Tom Boyce Excavating. Inc. A Taney County business since 1989, the company provides a variety of services to local and national customers. These include mass grading, subdivision site work, sewer and water line installation, rock breaking, retaining walls and sanitary treatment plants. The Taney County Partnership coordinates and facilitates the development of a strong, diversified and competitive economy in the county.

Mercy Wellness on Tour Bus Coming to Stone County
The Mercy Hospital Wellness on Tour bus will make two stops in Stone County next week. On Monday, the bus will be located at Mercy Clinic Family Medicine in Shell Knob. On Tuesday the bus will stop at the Mercy Clinic in Branson West. At both locations bus personnel will provide mammogram screenings to women from 8 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Screenings are recommended annually for woman age 40 and older because it's the best tool for detecting breast cancer in the early stages. For details or to schedule a mammogram, call 417-820-2790.

Dixie Stampede to Host 9th Annual “Whoadeo”
Dolly Parton's Imagination Library will present the 9th annual Stick Horse Rodeo and Family Fun Day this Saturday. This free event for families will be held at the Dixie Stampede in Branson from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. It's designed to celebrate the joy of reading among families while children participate in riding stick horses, rodeo style in the performance arena. Events include barrel racing, obstacle course and bucking horse competition. Medals will be awarded to each child who participates. Dixie Stampede will provide stick horses or children may bring their own. Other activities include face painting, kids games and animal exhibitions, plus giveaways from family attractions and area agencies.

October 1, 2014

Branson Man Shot While Attempting Armed Robbery
33 year old Gregory Johnson of Branson has been charged with Robbery 1st Degree, Armed Criminal Action and Unlawful Possession of a firearm. He allegedly entered the Family Pharmacy on Cross Creek Boulevard east of Branson late Tuesday morning brandishing a firearm and demanding pills. An employee, using his own handgun, fired at Johnson. He fled the scene and a vehicle description was given to deputies. The car was located at an apartment complex on east Highway 76 where Johnson and a female passenger were apprehended. He had a gunshot wound and was treated at a hospital. Johnson is currently being held in the Taney County Jail without bond. The female was not part of the robbery attempt and was released.

Two Teens Injured in One-Car Crash on Fall Creek Road
Two teenagers were injured early this morning during a one-car crash on Fall Creek Road in Branson. A car driven by 17 year old Cameron Apodaca of Branson ran off the road where it hit a tree, overturned several times and starting burning. He received serious injuries and was flown to Mercy Hospital in Springfield. 18 year old passenger Shane Jones of Hollister received moderate injures and was taken to Cox Health Branson. The accident occurred about 1:20 a.m.

Two Drivers Seriously Injured in Two-Car Accident
A two-car accident Tuesday afternoon caused serious injuries for both drivers. 63 year old Judith Woodman of Reeds Spring was stopped to make a turn when her car was hit from behind by a vehicle driven by 21 year old Roman Cook of Highlandville. Woodman was taken to Mercy Hospital in Springfield and Cook was treated at Cox South Springfield. The 4:20 p.m. accident occurred on Highway 160 at Spokane.

KY3 Adds Two Digital Channels Featuring Classic Shows
Television viewers may be interested to learn that KY3 has added two more networks to their group of TV stations. COZI-TV has been added to digital channel 3-3. The network features classic movies and TV series such as Lassie, Lone Ranger, Roy Rogers and Knight Rider. A second network called Antenna-TV can by found at digital channel 33-3. It features classics like Different Strokes, Newhart, Gidget and Rin Tin Tin. Both networks can be received by antenna.

Hollister Aldermen to Meet in Regular Session Thursday Evening
The Hollister Board of Aldermen plan to meet in regular session Thursday evening. A public hearing will be held during the meeting to discuss a Special Use Permit to allow a tattooing and body piercing studio in the City's Historic District. The board will hear the first reading of ordinances to amend portions of city code relating to alcoholic beverages and fire prevention. The 7 p.m. meeting will be held at Hollister City Hall on Esplanade Street.

Dixie Stampede in Branson to Host Senior Day Event
The Dixie Stampede Show in Branson will host a special Senior Day event Thursday. A special admission price for seniors age 55 and up will include a wide variety of health screenings and informational services starting at 10 a.m. plus a special Dixie Stampede performance of its dinner and show at 12:10 p.m. The first 50 guests can receive a free flu shot, and drawings for prizes will be held every 15 minutes.

September 30, 2014

Chamber Hands Out Small Business, Charity and Hospitality Awards
The Branson/Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce recently handed out its annual awards for Small Business of the Year and Charity of the Year as well as the new Ozark Mountain Hospitality award. The awards dinner was held on September 25 at Chateau on the Lake Resort. Arrowhead Building Supply was named Small Business of the Year. The Crisis Center was named Charity of the Year. And Chateau on the Lake was the recipient of the first Ozark Mountain Hospitality award.

Reeds Spring Native Serves Aboard USS Essex
The Navy Office of Community Outreach in San Diego announced that a Reeds Spring native who graduated from Reeds Spring High School in 2000 is now serving aboard USS Essex, the largest of all amphibious warfare ships. Petty Officer 1st Class Carlyle Sanzone is a master-at-arms aboard the San Diego-based assault ship that is nearly as long as 3 football fields and carries 1200 crew members. Sanzone said a recruiter knocked on his door looking for someone else and ended up recruiting him into the Navy. Now at 32 years of age, Sanzone has numerous responsibilities aboard the USS Essex. He said, “We are essentially a big ship patrolling to respond to anything. We work making sure everyone is safe.”

Kerusso Releases Products for New Nicolas Cage Film
Christian apparel, jewelry, and gifts supplier Kerusso is releasing products to complement the new Nicolas Cage film, “Left Behind”, which opens in theaters this Friday. The Berryville, Arkansas company has exclusive rights to an officially licensed line that includes shirts, tumblers, hats and wristbands. The film focuses on End Times as prophesized in the Bible, and the chaos and state of humanity for those left behind after the rapture. The Kerusso product line for “Left Behind” is available now in Christian stores nationwide and online at Kerusso.com.

Branson High School Homecoming Rally Set for Thursday at Branson Landing
The Branson High School Homecoming Rally is scheduled for this Thursday at Branson Landing. The event begins at 8 p.m. when Branson athletes, cheerleaders, coaches, the marching band and queen candidates leave the north parking lot near Belk and parade down the Landing Promenade. The parade ends at the fountains where the pep rally will begin. A bonfire will follow the rally in the graveled parking lot north of Belk's. The Pirates will take on the Carthage Tigers Friday night at 7:00 p.m. The Homecoming Queen will be crowned prior to the football game at 6:30 p.m.

LUC to Host Annual Open House this Saturday
The Lives Under Construction Boys Ranch in Lampe will hold its annual Open House this Saturday, October 4. The LUC boys will give tours of the ranch at 10 a.m., a free BBQ meal will be served at 11:30, the boys will present a program including comedy, singing and acting at 12:30 and tours will continue at 1:30. The ranch is located about 2 miles west of Dogwood Canyon on Highway 86. For more information, call 417-779-5374 or visit LUCBoys.org.

Mickey Gilley Celebrating 25 Years in Branson
Mickey Gilley is celebrating 25 years in Branson with a special show this Sunday, October 5. The event will feature lunch, mementos, special guests and more. For tickets or more information, call the Box Office at 417-334-1936.

September 29, 2014

Two Women Killed in Unrelated Accidents North of Rueter
An unusual occurrence of two unrelated fatalities occurred in the same general area in Taney County this past Friday. At about 1:30 p.m. a 3-wheel motorcycle operated by 74 year old Patricia Wells of Wooldridge, Missouri ran off the roadway and struck a tree on Highway 125, seven and a half miles north of Rueter. Wells was ejected from the cycle and pronounced dead at Mercy Hospital in Springfield. Later on Friday at about 8:15 p.m., an ATV operated by 44 year old Angela Ridenour of Seymour, Missouri struck a large rock and overturned on Forest Road 507, five miles north of Rueter. The ATV landed on top of Ridenour and she was pronounced dead at Cox South Hospital in Springfield.

Branson Liquor Compliance Checks Show Improvement
The City of Branson recently conducted random compliance checks of establishments with City of Branson liquor licenses to determine if clerks are verifying that the purchaser is of legal age to buy alcohol. Branson Police officers worked with the assistance of minors to conduct the spot checks of businesses throughout the City. The results showed that 91 of 94 businesses were in compliance with the liquor code. This is a 97% compliance rate; a rate which has been steadily improving over the 72% compliance rate achieved just a few years ago.

Branson Fire & Rescue to Present CERT Training Starting October 7
Branson Fire & Rescue will present another Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) training program starting October 7. The training will be held on Tuesday nights for eight weeks from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. CERT training focuses on community member readiness to help in times of disaster, such flooding or tornados. This training is free to local community members. For more information or to register, call (417) 243-2790.

The Track Hosting 5th Annual “Life on Track” for Teens
The Track Family Fun Parks in Branson is holding its 5th annual “Life on Track” safe driving program for area teens this week. The “Life on Track” program consists of a simulated DUI experience, as well as an exercise demonstrating the dangers associated with texting and distracted driving. The “Life on Track” program has grown from two participating school districts in 2010 to four districts this year—Branson, Forsyth, Reeds Spring, and Taneyville—consisting of approximately 400 junior high and high school students.

Photo: A student uses simulator goggles while driving a course to showcase the effects of driving under the influence of alcohol

Stone County Loaves & Fishes to Hold Planning Meeting
The Stone County Loaves & Fishes program will hold a planning meeting for the 2015 season tomorrow night at 6 p.m. at First Christian Church in Kimberling City. Individuals, businesses and churches are invited to be a part of this county-wide program to provide food and fellowship to those in need during the winter months. For more information, call 417-336-7055.

Taney County Fall Clean-Up Day Set for October 4
The Taney County Commission has designated this Saturday, October 4th as the Fall Clean-up day. Taney County residents can dispose of unwanted items at no charge including furniture, appliances, automotive batteries and almost anything metal. Items can be dropped off at the Taney County Transfer Station, 274 Buchanan Rd., or the Taney County Recycling Center on Hwy 160, 3 miles east of Forsyth. Tires will be accepted at the Buchanan Road location only with a $1 charge per tire and a limit of 12 tires per resident. Glass is accepted at both locations anytime of the year. No household hazardous waste will be accepted, you can take those items to the Branson Recycle Center. Proof of Taney County residency is required for the Fall Clean-up. For more information, call 546-7268.

September 26, 2014

Branson Convention Center Launches Green Initiatives
The Branson Convention Center recently launched a task force of employees to investigate how the facility could lessen its environmental impact through “green” initiatives. After several months of research and planning the task force has begun implementing their recommendations with a new sustainability plan. The plan includes ideas like turning off lights when not in a room, using non-toxic chemicals for cleaning, using LED light bulbs, strategic timing of when the escalators are running, and scheduling of the HVAC. Two other cornerstones to the new sustainability plan are composting and recycling. Almost 75% of the waste generated by commercial food operations can be composted. As far as recycling, the Convention Center now recycles nearly a dozen different materials from paper to light bulbs, and in less than one month, has diverted over 900 pounds of glass from landfills.

Spokane Woman Seriously Injured in Tractor Accident
A woman from Spokane was seriously injured in a tractor accident shortly after 1:00 Thursday afternoon on private property off Highway 176, two miles east of Spokane. Forty-four year old Suzanne Belveal was attempting to load a tractor onto a trailer when the tractor rolled over. Belveal was transported to Cox South Hospital in Springfield for treatment of serious injuries.

Aldermen Approve Judge Appointment, Stop Sign Change
At the last Branson City Council meeting, Aldermen approved the first reading of a bill appointing Willard Dillow as Special Municipal Judge. Judge Dillow serves as municipal judge on rare occasions when Judge Thomas Motley is unable to hear a case. Aldermen also approved the first reading of a bill amending the Municipal Code regarding a stop sign in the Branson North neighborhood. This amendment changes the direction of the stop sign at the corner of Briarcliff St. and Westwood Dr. Drivers on southbound Westwood Dr. will now stop, rather than the westbound traffic on Briarcliff.

Cox Branson Confirms First Flu Case of the Season
Cox Medical Center Branson had its first confirmed influenza case of the season about a week ago which is unusual to have this early in the year and could point to an early peak in the flu season. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, it is estimated that up to 20 percent of U.S. residents get the flu each year, and an average 200,000 people are hospitalized for flu-related complications. Cox Branson is urging flu prevention through vaccine, frequent hand washing, getting plenty of sleep and exercise, drinking plenty of fluids and eating healthy foods.

C of O to Host Best-Selling Author and Ethicist Gus Lee
College of the Ozarks will host best-selling American author and ethicist Gus Lee this coming Wednesday at 7 p.m. in Jones Auditorium. Lee will share about his personal experience battling fear and the adversity of overcoming childhood poverty. His best-sellers include China Boy and Honor and Duty, novels which portray a strong-held belief in the idea of embracing courage at every corner of life. The convocation is free and open to the public.

Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library Presents 9th Annual “Whoadeo”
Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library presents the 9th Annual “Whoadeo” on Saturday, October 4 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Dixie Stampede in Branson. The free event is designed to celebrate the joy of reading among families, while children enjoy riding stick horses in “rodeo style” competitions. Also featured during the event will be kids’ games, face painting and animal exhibitions, as well as giveaways from family attractions and area agencies.

September 25, 2014

Branson Receives Award for Urban Gardening Project
The city of Branson has received an award for its urban gardening project. The 2014 Missouri Municipal League Innovation Award Honorable Mention was given in the medium size cities category. A few years ago Branson firefighters planted some vegetables to help with meal preparation for one crew. The project has grown into 1,500 square feet of urban garden space, providing products for the entire fire department plus families, other city employees and even community members. The fresh vegetables save money on the firefighters grocery bill and were a contributing factor in a reduction in this year's health insurance premiums.
Pictured from left: Branson Alderman Michael Booth, Division Chief Charlie Huston and Engineer Brien Reinke.

Aldermen Approve Amendment to Maintenance Building Contract
Branson Aldermen approved the first reading of a bill amending the architectural design contract with Gaskin Hill Norcross for the design of the new maintenance building for the Utilities Department. A recent bidding process was rejected and this amendment directs the design firm to make modifications and re-bid the project. The new building will be located at the Cooper Creek Wastewater Plant off Fall Creek Road. Aldermen also approved a bill vacating a utility easement which is part of the site of the new Chick-fil-A restaurant to be built on Main Street.

Branson-Hollister Rotary Makes $3,000 Donation to CAM
The Branson-Hollister Rotary Club has donated $3,000 to Christian Action Ministries. The money was from the proceeds of the Club's "Flavor of the Ozarks," a local golf tournament. With this donation, CAM purchased 600 jars of peanut butter, 1,080 cans of corn and 1,080 cans of soup. Janet Akers is President of the Branson-Hollister Rotary Club, a local service organization. More details can be found at Branson-HollisterRotary.org. Information about CAM can be obtained at ChristianActionMinistries.org.

Photo: President of the Branson-Hollister Rotary Club, Janet Akers, presents a check to Pat Davis, Director of Christian Action Ministries.

Artisan's Market Returns to Branson Landing
Branson Landing will host the 4th Annual Artisan's Market this Friday and Saturday. The market will feature artists and crafters showcasing their homemade pieces and works of art. The artisan's tents will be located on the Landing's Promenade. Friday's artisan's market will conclude with a live concert by Journey Resurrection, to be held at 8 p.m.

Salvation Army Gearing Up to Take Angel Tree Applications
The Salvation Army will begin accepting applications for it's annual Angel Tree gift-giving program on October 6th. The program provides new toys and clothing for children in need at Christmas. Angel Trees will be placed in local businesses, decorated with numbered paper angel tags with the first name, age and gender of a child in need of presents. Residents can take one or more tags and purchase appropriate gifts for the children. The program provides gifts for children through age 16. For more information call 417-339-4434.

Reeds Spring to Host Bonnie and Clyde Days
The 4th Annual Bonnie and Clyde Days will be held in Reeds Spring this Saturday. The event celebrates the courage and resilience of the Ozark people through the depression. Historic documents and period newspapers place the infamous duo in the area between Springfield and the Arkansas state line just weeks before law enforcement caught up with them in Louisiana. Re-enactments of "Law vs. Outlaw" will feature shootouts with actors in period costumes. The event at the Reeds Spring Community Center grounds will also feature an entertainment stage, local vendors and a car show. Activities will be held from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. this Saturday.

September 24, 2014

Branson Aldermen Hear More Comments on Smoke-Free Ordinance
The Branson Board of Aldermen met in regular session Tuesday evening. They heard about two hours of public comment, most of the time relating to the proposed Smoke-Free Ordinance currently under review. Because of previous public input, the bill has been modified somewhat since the original draft. There were fewer negative comments regarding the ordinance this time but a few business owners still expressed concern about the effect on their businesses. The ordinance is expected to be on the agenda for a final vote during the Board's regular meeting on October 14.

Branson Aldermen Approve Several Bids, Demo of Flood Homes
Branson Aldermen approved the first reading of five bills relating to bid awards. One bill changes the completion date of work on Roark Creek Trail. Other bids authorize the purchase of self-contained breathing equipment for the fire department, a contract with Verizon for cellular service, and mobile data computers and computer hardware and software. The board also approved the first and final reading of a bill authorizing the demolition of four residential properties which were part of the Federal flood buyout program. They were damaged in the 2011 flooding of Lake Taneycomo. The lots will be held by the city with no future development due to their location in the floodplain.

Ross Summers Retires as CEO of Branson Chamber
After over 12 years in the position of CEO of the Branson Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce, Ross Summers has announced his retirement. His last day on the job will be October 3, but he plans to serve as a consultant during the transition to a new CEO. The Chamber plans to form a search committee in the near future and begin the process of finding and hiring a new CEO.

Sheriff Moore Seeks Community Involvement in Fight Against Meth
Boone County Arkansas Sheriff Mike Moore has issued an appeal for community involvement in the fight against methamphetamine. He outlined the destructive effects of the drug on addicts, their families and the community. Moore then outlined what would be required to address this problem, including a stable home environment, schools doing more to educate students on the side effects and consequences of drug use, and providing additional help and support for those who sincerely want to be free from their addiction. Moore also stated that all will be done in vain if not wrapped up in prayer by people in the community. He invites residents to attend the next Boone County Recovery Project. For details, call the Sheriff's Office at 870-741-8404.

MSU's ROTC to Hold Training Exercises at C of O
Missouri State University's ROTC Bear Battalion will hold a Leadership Training Exercise this weekend at College of the Ozarks. The event will include training in land navigation, basic rifle marksmanship, obstacle course training and field craft. The exercise will be oriented towards developing soldier skills, building team cohesion and developing leadership. The goal of Bear Battalion is to train future officers who are adaptive, creative, physically fit and mentally prepared to lead soldiers in the United States Army.

Consultations Offered for Students with Disabilities
The Branson School District will hold a meeting this Friday for consultations regarding identifying and evaluating students with disabilities who are enrolled in private, parochial or home school settings. The consultation will include referral, evaluation, diagnosis and service options. Interested persons should register to attend by calling 417-334-6541, extension 9711.

September 23, 2014

Branson Releases New Revisions to Smoke-Free Ordinance
The Branson Board of Aldermen has released the third round of revisions to the proposed Smoke-Free Ordinance in response to the community’s input over the past six weeks. The revisions include less regulation for outdoor smoking in areas such as patios, RV campgrounds and business entrances. Additionally, the new language includes a provision for up to 20% smoking rooms at hotel/motel properties. The Board also discussed setting the maximum fine for violating the ordinance at $25. This contrasts with the original drafts which used the maximum fine for a city ordinance violation, which is up to $500. The newest draft of the proposed smoke-free ordinance is available online at BransonMO.gov. The Board is expected to vote on the ordinance on October 14th.

Reeds Spring Denounces Alleged Poisoning of Cats
The City of Reeds Spring is denouncing those responsible for the alleged poisoning of feral cats with anti-freeze at the White Eagle Woods Mobil Home Park. The City stated that although the mobile home park has a Reeds Spring mailing address, it is actually located about 10 miles outside of the city limits, and therefore the City has no legal authority to address the situation. The City is asking that all questions or pertinent information regarding this matter be directed to the Stone County Sheriff’s Department.

Two from Gladstone Injured in Motorcycle/Deer Collision
Two people from Gladstone, Missouri were injured when the motorcycle they were riding struck a deer in the roadway at about 9:30 Monday morning on Highway 160, a half mile north of Forsyth. The driver, 58 year old William Marshall suffered minor injuries, and 54 year old passenger Cindy Narsgkk sustained moderate injuries. There were both transported to Cox Branson for treatment.

Chick-fil-A Project Begins, Sign Variance Sought
The Branson Board of Adjustment has scheduled a public hearing in regards to the Chick-fil-A project located at 607 West Main Street in downtown Branson. The restaurant is seeking a variance from city code for sign height due the fact that its freestanding sign would be located approximately seven feet below the existing elevation of West Main Street. The Board is recommending that the variance be granted to allow the sign to be 32 feet tall instead of the maximum 25 feet. The public hearing will be held this Thursday at 7 p.m. at Branson City Hall. Chick-fil-A’s construction permit was approved on September 12 and demolition of the former RE-MAX building was completed on Monday. The proposed restaurant will include a 4,902 square feet building and access points at West Main Street, North 6th Street and through the Casey's property to the west. Photo: The RE-MAX building has been demolished to make room for the new Chick-fil-A restaurant

Branson Parks & Recreation Update
An update on Branson Parks & Recreation activity was presented at the Advisory Park Board meeting last week. Park Board staff is working on the schedule for 2015 tournament dates at the RecPlex. There is high demand for the dates and new groups include cheer, marital arts and basketball. The initial kid’s cooking class held at the Branson Community Center this summer was very successful therefore a fall and winter session is being planned. And the Branson AquaPlex closed for the season on Labor Day with its annual Doggie Dive-in. Over 130 people with 70 dogs attended this year’s event.

September 22, 2014

Hollister Man Seriously Injured in Two Vehicle Collision
A man from Hollister was seriously injured in a two vehicle collision shortly after 6:00 last Friday evening on Highway 43 in Seneca, Missouri. A car driven by 30 year old Kevin Iverson crossed the center line and struck an oncoming semi truck head-on. Iverson was airlifted to Freeman West Hospital in Joplin for treatment.

Cape Fair Woman Injured in Two Vehicle Accident
A woman from Cape Fair was injured in a two vehicle accident just before 10:00 Sunday morning on Highway 76, four miles east of Cape Fair. A car driven by 23 year old Sean Conrad of Branson ran off the right side of the roadway, was overcorrected, crossed the centerline and struck an oncoming SUV driven by 58 year old John Carr of Cape Fair. Forty-nine year old passenger Connie Carr suffered minor injuries and was transported to Mercy Hospital in Springfield for treatment.

Boat Runs Aground Saturday Afternoon on Table Rock Lake
The Missouri Water Patrol reported that a boat ran aground at about 12:30 Saturday afternoon on Table Rock Lake near Lampe. Thirty-eight year old Michael Manthei of Fayetteville, Arkansas became distracted causing the 26 foot Cobalt boat he was operating to run aground. Manthei refused treatment at the scene and the boat was towed to Kimberling City with minor damage.

Branson Man Sentenced to 10 Years for Multiple Felonies
Fifty two year old Robin Griffin of Branson pled guilty and was sentenced to a total of 10 years in prison for four different felonies, including driving while intoxicated, passing bad checks, possession of a controlled substance, and resisting arrest. Griffin was charged as a prior and persistent felony offender, increasing the maximum possible prison terms on his charges.

Branson Aldermen to Meet in Regular Session Tuesday Evening
Branson Aldermen will hold their next regular meeting tomorrow night at 7 p.m. in the Council Chambers at City Hall. Some of the items on the agenda include a presentation of the Audit and Comprehensive Annual Finance Report, the appointment of Willard Dillow as Special Municipal Judge, the first reading of a bill vacating utility and fill easements as part of the Chick-Fil-A project, and a change order pertaining to Segment 3 of the Roark Creek Trail project. Branson City Council meetings can be heard live online at BransonMO.gov.

Boys & Girls Club of the Ozarks Approved for NAP Tax Credits
The Missouri Department of Economic Development has approved $347,200 in Neighborhood Assistance Program (NAP) tax credits for the Boys & Girls Club of the Ozarks in Branson. NAP helps not-for-profit organizations raise private-sector funds by providing partial state tax credits to businesses that make contributions to these organizations. Credits can equal up to 50 percent of the total amount contributed or up to 70 percent for projects located in the most rural areas.

Missouri Municipal League Elects Branson Mayor Raeanne Presley as Vice President
The Missouri Municipal League elected Branson Mayor Raeanne Presley as Vice President at the League’s annual conference on September 16 in St. Charles. Presley was previously elected to the Missouri Municipal League’s Board of Directors in 2011 and has served on the League’s Resolutions Committee. Founded in 1934, the Missouri Municipal League now serves more than 670 municipalities with training, resources and legislative advocacy for local government success.

Corps Offers $75 to Local Male Boaters for Focus Group
Local male boaters between the ages of 20 and 60 can earn $75 for two hours of their time participating in a focus group on the afternoon of October 5 at the Dewey Short Visitor Center. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is conducting the focus group for men who don't always wear a life jacket while boating or swimming. Focus group participants do not have to own a boat but must be adult men who have been boating. Men interested in participating should register by calling 618-301-0508. Space is limited to a first-come, first-served basis.

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