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(West Plains) – The first confirmed case of rabies in Howell County for this year has been confirmed by the Howell County Health Department and the Missouri State Public Health Lab in Jefferson City.

Health department officials say the case involved a rabid skunk approximately 2 miles Southwest of Mountain View that exposed the virus to 2 unvaccinated dogs. Since the dogs were unvaccinated, both were required to be euthanized.

Justin Frazier, Environmental Public Health Supervisor with the Howell County Health Department says that it is very important for people to protect themselves and their pets against the rabies virus by vaccinating their pets, and not handling any pet that has been exposed to a wild animal until that animal can be tested to see if it is carrying the rabies virus. If you have been exposed to a domestic animal that has been bitten by a wild animal, had an exposure such as a bite or scratch from a wild animal or had contact with a pet that has been exposed to a wild animal to report the incident to the health department as well as their physician for a rabies risk assessment.

In 2008, a Texas county man died from rabies after being bitten on the ear by a bat. This was the first human rabies death in Missouri since 1959. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that 40,000 persons in the United States receive the anti-rabies series of shots annually.

To date in 2014, this is the first confirmed cases of rabies in Howell County, as well as the third rabies case statewide. Howell County ended 2013 with 4 rabies cases reported to the Howell County Health Department, 3 involving skunks and 1 involving a cat. In 2012, Howell County had a total of 6 positive rabies cases, which all involved skunks. In 2011, Howell County had a total of 7 positive rabies cases, all involving skunks.

About Rabies

Although rabies is transmitted to humans almost entirely through bites from rabid animals, contamination of open wounds or mucous membranes with saliva or nervous tissue from a rabid animal could potentially constitute an exposure. It is important to remember that personal pets should not be handled without protection directly after being exposed to wildlife due to the potential for carrying residual saliva from an infected animal.

Annually, 7,000 to 8,000 rabid animals are detected in the United States, with more than 90 percent of the cases in wild animals. Rabies is found naturally in Missouri, occurring primarily in bats and skunks, although other animals are also found to be rabid each year, including domestic species such as dogs, cats, horses, and cattle.

Management of Pets Bitten by a Rabid Animal

Pet owners should be aware that if their dog or cat does not have a current rabies vaccination from a licensed veterinarian and is exposed to a rabid animal, the pet will either have to be euthanized or quarantined for six months at the owner’s expense, at an approved vet facility. In contrast, a dog or cat that is currently vaccinated and is exposed to a rabid animal, needs only a rabies booster shot followed by a 45-day home quarantine. Domestic animals are protected against rabies 28 days AFTER receiving their initial rabies vaccination.

Ensure dogs, cats and ferrets are up-to-date on rabies vaccinations. Vaccinations are also available for horses, cattle, and sheep.

Countywide Rabies Clinic to be Held

The Howell County Health Department will again be sponsoring a countywide rabies vaccination clinic on May 3, where county residents may receive reduced cost vaccinations for their pets. No appointments are required and the times and locations are as follows:

West Plains

Kramer Animal Hospital from 8 AM to 5 PM at the clinic, 109 St. Louis St., West Plains

West Plains Vet Clinic from 8 AM to 12 PM at the clinic, 1716 W. Highway 160.

Talburt Animal Health Center from 8 AM to 12 PM at the clinic, 3001 Porter Wagoner Blvd.

Animal Clinic of West Plains from 8-11:30 AM at the clinic, 1101 Route 17

Heart of the Ozarks Fairgrounds, Highway 63, from 12:30-2:30 PM

Mountain View

Mountain View Farmers Market from 1-3 PM

Barn Hollow Veterinarian Services from 1-3 PM

Willow Springs

Willow Springs Booster Field from 8:30-11 AM

Animal Clinic of Willow Springs from 8 AM to 12 PM.

For more information, call the Environmental Public Health Section at the Howell County Health Department at 417-256-7078.

from the Baxter County Sheriff’s Office

The Sheriff’s Office is notifying the public that a Level 2 (moderate risk to re-offend with community notification justified due to the young age of the victim) Registered Sex Offender has moved to a new address in Baxter County.

NAME: Harvey Turner Havens

DATE OF BIRTH: 11/14/1942

OLD ADDRESS: 11525 Highway 5 South, Mountain Home, Arkansas 72653

NEW ADDRESS: 1281 Highway 178 West, Midway, Arkansas 72651

Offender was convicted of Sexual Contact- No Consent on 9/5/2008 in Colorado. The offender engaged in Sexual contact with a 13-year-old female neighbor.

This person is not wanted by law enforcement at this time. This notification is not intended to increase fear; rather it is our belief that an informed public is a safer public. This information cannot be used to threaten, intimidate, or harass Registered Sex Offenders. Citizen abuse will not be tolerated. Such abuse could potentially end law enforcement’s ability to do community notification.

From left to right:  Jolee Laughary, Suzanna Grills, Brad Vanada,  City of West Plains Animal Control, Caitlin Jedlicka, Abbey Kimbrough, and Morgan Mulford.

From left to right: Jolee Laughary, Suzanna Grills, Brad Vannada, City of West Plains Animal Control, Caitlin Jedlicka, Abbey Kimbrough, and Morgan Mulford.

(West Plains) – Each year the West Plains Middle School Junior Beta Club selects a service project to complete. This year, it was for the West Plains Animal Control.

Although the shelter has a budget for food, school officials say that the Animal Control was chosen because the animals lacked toys to play with. Junior Beta members purchased over 100 dog toys and then donated them to the Animal Control.

(West Plains)- West Plains Bank and Trust Company Chairman of the Board S. David Gohn has announced Robert Bruce “RB” Grisham, Jr., has been appointed to the board as an Advisory Member.

Grisham is a sixth generation resident of West Plains and graduated from West Plains High School in 1997. His educational and career focus have centered on finance and small business.

According to Gohn, Grisham’s ties to the Bank go back several generations.

Grisham attended college at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, where he interned at SPI, Inc., and Paine Webber and was an active member of the Kappa Alpha Fraternity. He graduated in 2001 with a double major in finance and real estate finance. Upon graduation, he worked for three years at ORIX Real Estate Capital Markets. He then moved east to Charleston, South Carolina, where he was employed by Wave Management, a hedge fund, for three years.

In 2006, Grisham returned to West Plains to pursue entrepreneurship as a partner in Missouri Loan Center, which lead him to Columbia, Mo., St. Louis and Springfield, Mo., before settling again in West Plains when he married his wife, Jackie, in 2010. He currently is involved in residential and commercial real estate development through Grisham Properties and The Overland Group.

(Jefferson City) (AP) – The Missouri House has endorsed a bill that would allow motorcyclists over the age of 21 to forgo wearing helmets while travelling on the road.

Current law requires motorists to wear helmets or face a fine of up to $25 for each offense.

Supporters say adults should have the freedom to decide whether to wear a helmet and argue Missouri misses out on tourism because of the current law. Opponents say the helmet law protects riders during accidents and that the measure would cost the state in higher medical bills.

The measure given first-round approval Wednesday needs one more vote before moving to the Senate. Lawmakers adjourn May 16.

(Little Rock) (AP) – Attorney General Dustin McDaniel is warning consumers about an Internet ad scam that aims to take advantage of potential renters.

McDaniel said Wednesday that his Consumer Protection Division has received several complaints in recent months about scammers posting fake rental classifieds on Internet advertising sites.

Most recently in northwest Arkansas, scammers have stolen photographs from legitimate real estate ads to make it appear that the homes are for rent. The con artists usually ask interested renters to send money upfront as a deposit for a rental.

Consumers who are victims of the scheme rarely get their money back and never get into the home they wanted.

For more information about the scam and tips to protect consumers, visit www.GotYourBackArkansas.org .

(Jefferson City) (AP) – An effort to impeach Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon over his decision to allow same-sex couples to file joint tax returns received its first public hearing Wednesday in a House committee.

The Republican-led panel held a hearing on a resolution that would formally charge the Democratic governor with neglecting his official duties for issuing an executive order permitting gay couples who were legally married in other states to file combined Missouri income tax returns. But with less than four weeks remaining in the Legislature’s session, the impeachment attempts are unlikely to advance much further.

Two other gubernatorial impeachment resolutions were on Wednesday’s schedule, but neither was considered because the panel ran out of time. House Judiciary Committee Chairman Rep. Stanley Cox, R-Sedalia, said the hearing would resume next week and no potential votes would be held until after it concludes.

The impeachment resolution heard Wednesday is sponsored by eight Republican House members; none are chamber leaders. Sponsoring Rep. Nick Marshall said Nixon purposefully ignored a provision in the Missouri Constitution that recognizes marriages only between a man and a woman.

“He usurped the people and their authority to determine their constitution and their restraints on their government,” said Marshall, R-Parkville.

Missouri in 2004 became the first state to enact a constitutional amendment prohibiting same-sex marriage after the Massachusetts high court permitted gay marriage there. The measure was approved by 70 percent of the vote.

Nixon described the impeachment hearings Tuesday as “some sort of show” that didn’t appear to be serious. He defended his November decision to direct state tax officials to accept joint tax returns for legally married gay couples, noting that Missouri’s tax code is tied to the federal government, which is now accepting such tax returns.

Democratic committee members said the issue should be determined by the courts before the Legislature considers possible impeachment.

“This is a disagreement in legal theory, which shouldn’t be an impeachable offense,” said Rep. Mike Colona, D-St. Louis.

Earlier this month, a Cole County judge denied a request for a temporary restraining order in a lawsuit challenging Nixon’s directive.

Some Republicans also expressed caution that impeachment was the appropriate action. Cox asked Marshall to consider other remedies, and Rep. Kevin Elmer, R-Nixa, said lawmakers could trust the courts to rule on the issue.

For Nixon to be removed from office, the Judiciary Committee and the full House would need to adopt one of the articles of impeachment. The Senate then would need to select a panel of “eminent jurists,” who would try the case and determine whether removal was warranted.

The Missouri Constitution allows elected officials to be impeached for “crimes, misconduct, habitual drunkenness, willful neglect of duty, corruption in office, incompetency, or any offense involving moral turpitude or oppression in office.”

Former Secretary of State Judy Moriarty was the last state official to be impeached and removed from office in 1994, when she was convicted of backdating her son’s candidate-filing paperwork.

(West Plains) – The West Plains School District has reported that a minor fire occurred early Wednesday afternoon at the South Central Career Center campus on Thornburgh Avenue.

District officials tell Ozark Radio News that the small fire happened in an outside construction area where an office addition is being made to the building. The fire occurred when a small piece of insulation ignited.

No injuries were reported, and the building suffered no damage.

Mayor Jack Pahlmann, left, discusses the situation with the home at 1075 W. 7th Street with councilman Mike Topliff, center, and councilman Royce Fugate. (ORN Photo)

Mayor Jack Pahlmann, left, discusses the situation with the home at 1045 W. 7th Street with councilman Mike Topliff, center, and councilman Royce Fugate. (ORN Photo)

(West Plains) – The West Plains City Council and other city officials took a tour of properties in the city deemed “nuisances” on Tuesday, and explored options to deal with continuous nuisances and one particularly dangerous one.

City Building Inspector Dustin Harrison spoke with Ozark Radio News and told us what the city nuisance ordinance entails:

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The trip was taken to show council members some of the nuisance properties across the city, and allow them to decide what the best course of action is when dealing with these types of properties. During the tour on Tuesday, Harrison told the city officials that there are three main types of nuisances: property issues, like painting and broken doors; a regular nuisance, like tall grass and trash; and dangerous buildings and structures, which could lead to injuries for the property owners, the occupants or others.

Harrison says that the city would rather work with the property owner than against them in ending whatever the nuisance may be, as the legal process to deal with the property takes about a year to go through unless the owner appeals, which would extend the process. Harrison says that the city’s ordinance concerning nuisances, however, does not let people off easy:

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Brad Vannada, police officer in West Plains and general contact point for property owners concerning nuisances, told Ozark Radio News that, while the city can technically give you a ticket for grass just over 7 inches, the city works with residents to end the nuisance as a common courtesy:

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ABANDONED HOME DECLARED EMERGENCY NUISANCE SITUATION

Council members Royce Fugate and Bob Burtrum look at the exterior structure of the home at 1075 W. 7th St. Councilwoman Brenda Smith looks in the back yard. (ORN Photo)

Council members Royce Fugate and Bob Burtrum look at the exterior structure of the home at 1045 W. 7th St. Councilwoman Brenda Smith looks in the back yard. (ORN Photo)

An abandoned home at 1045 7th Street in West Plains was deemed a health hazard by the city council after a special meeting on Tuesday morning. The home, which has been abandoned since October 2013, was found to have garbage and animal waste throughout the home, and could be a source of vermin in the neighborhood. Harrison explained how the house came to be abandoned, and what the council’s action on Tuesday does:

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After the building is cleaned, the city will put a lien on the property to attempt to recoup the cost of the clean-up. Vannada added that a fine or jail time for city residents is an absolute last resort, and that he hopes people will ask about the ordinance before it becomes a problem:

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The floor inside the home is covered in trash and animal waste. (ORN Photo)

The floor inside the home is covered in trash and animal waste. (ORN Photo)

 

People with questions concerning the nuisance ordinance, or people who would like to view a copy of receive more information, can call Dustin Harrison or Brad Vannada at West Plains City Hall at 417-256-7176.

(West Plains) – The West Plains Elementary preschool meeting scheduled for April 24 has been changed to a new format and new date.

Instead of a preschool informational meeting, a preschool screening will take place on Thursday, May 29 from 8 AM to 4 PM for students and families.

The elementary preschool program is a full day preschool and costs are determined based on family income. Children entering preschool must be age 4 before August 1 of this year. Screenings will be by appointment only. Please contact the West Plains Elementary School at 417-256-6158 to schedule.

Parents or guardians must bring a birth certificate for the child, immunization record, Social Security number, proof of residency, information about allergies or special conditions, physician’s phone number, and court order (if applicable) for the child entering preschool.