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(Indie Image STL Photo)

(Indie Image STL Photo)

(West Plains) – The Missouri State University-West Plains University/Community Programs Department presents an encore performance from Miss Jubilee and the Humdingers this coming Friday.

Emily Gibson with the U/CP Department spoke with Ozark Radio News and said the show has been brought back “by popular demand”:

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The concert will be this coming Friday at 7 PM at the West Plains Civic Center Theater. Tickets are $5 in advance and $8 at the door, and are available at the civic center box office from 10 AM to 3 PM weekdays. For more information about the concert, call the U/CP Department office at 417-255-7966.

(Alton)- After a school year full of missed days due to the inclement winter weather, Alton School District came out on top, compared to many schools, by only missing a total of 28 days.

When Ozark Radio News spoke with Alton School District Superintendent Eric Allen and asked for his thoughts on how much of a negative impact the snow days had on the district, he had this to say:

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With Alton being one of many school districts to implement ten snow days into the school year, Allen shared what their new plan of action will be if more than those ten days are missed:

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For more information on the updated 2014-2015 Alton School District calendar call 417-778-7217.

(Mountain Home) – Join The Art Odyssey for an Art Walk and music by Ron Miller at the Blackbird Café located inside the Library this Friday, April 25, 7:00pm – 9:00pm.  Meet Art Odyssey artists Jeanne Roth, Terry Zarate, and Richard Keener, and view their work.

Also, enjoy The Art Odyssey Tour, a self-guided tour of artists’ studios in the Arkansas Ozarks, coming up May 16, 17, and 18, 2014.  The Art Odyssey tour offers an opportunity to visit the working studios of select artists, located in the Mountain Home, Arkansas area.  There is no charge for the tour and no tickets required.

Tour hours are:
Friday, May 16, 10:00am – 5:00pm
Saturday, May 17, 10:00am – 5:00pm
Sunday, May 18, 12:00pm – 5:00pm

Information about The Art Odyssey can be found at www.theartodyssey.com.

(Alton)- The Victory Freewill Baptist Church in Alton is hosting a Yard Sale and Bake Sale fundraiser in the Church basement on Friday, April 25, from 7AM-4PM and on Saturday, April 26, from 7AM-12PM.

Ozark Radio News spoke with Sherri Orr, a member of the Victory CTS Youth Group Directors, who shared what kind of goodies people can except to find at their fundraiser:

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Orr went on to explain that all of the proceeds from the fundraiser will go towards the Church CTS Youth Group program. Orr gave us an insight of what the program is and how they operate:

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Victory Freewill Baptist Church is located about 1 mile out of Alton on Highway 19.

(Jefferson City) (AP) – Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon raised new concerns Tuesday that a tax cut passed by the Missouri Legislature could have “cataclysmic” consequences for state revenues, but Republican legislative leaders responded that he was manufacturing a crisis to justify a forthcoming veto.

Nixon asserted that the legislation could eliminate taxes on all income over $9,000, busting a $4.8 billion hole in the state budget and forcing the closure of public schools, prisons and mental health facilities.

Although he didn’t veto the bill Tuesday, Nixon made clear that he will do so in the coming days.

The tax cut “would devastate our economy, bankrupt our state, cripple our schools – and it cannot become law,” Nixon said in remarks delivered at a series of news conferences across the state.

House Majority Leader John Diehl called Nixon’s new criticisms “utterly ridiculous,” “laughable” and “absurd” and accused him of engaging in “a pattern of scare tactics and deception.”

He said legislators would attempt to enact the tax cut by overriding Nixon’s expected veto before the annual session ends May 16. An override would require a two-thirds vote in both chambers, meaning Republicans would need to vote as a block and pick up the support of at least one House Democrat.

Republicans received the vote of one Democrat – Rep. Jeff Roorda, of Barnhart – when they passed the tax cut last week. Roorda said Tuesday that he is reconsidering his support as a result of Nixon’s concerns, adding: “I want to get all the information” before voting on an override.

About 50 GOP lawmakers stood behind party leaders at news conference Tuesday to show their support for the tax cut. House Speaker Tim Jones and Senate President Pro Tem Tom Dempsey both accused Nixon of generating a “manufactured crisis.”

“It’s a complete and utter fabrication in his own mind,” Jones said. “This bill will do nothing except encourage more growth, investment and opportunity in the state of Missouri.”

Nixon held his own Capitol news conference moments later, asserting: “The direct language of this bill crashes a giant hole in the future of this state.”

The governor’s barnstorming campaign against the tax cut is similar to the tactics he used last year to defeat a more sweeping version of an income tax cut. After lawmakers passed that bill, Nixon said the hit to state revenues could have been over $1 billion in a single year. Republicans’ support for the bill faded, and the House ultimately fell 15 votes shy of the 109 needed to override Nixon’s veto in September.

Official legislative projections, based on research from the University of Missouri-Columbia, estimate that this year’s bill eventually would reduce state revenues by $620 million annually.

The main provisions of the legislation would gradually reduce Missouri’s top individual income tax rate and phase in a new 25 percent deduction for business income reported on personal tax returns. The incremental tax cuts would start in 2017 but are contingent on annual state revenue growth of at least $150 million over the high mark from the previous three years.

Missouri’s top tax rate of 6 percent currently is charged on all income over $9,000. The legislation authorizes an annual one-tenth of a percentage point reduction in that top rate until it drops to 5.5 percent, which is the rate currently charged on income between $8,000 and $9,000.

The legislation states that once the top tax rate is lowered to 5.5 percent, “the bracket for income subject to the top rate of tax shall be eliminated.” Nixon said that means a tax no longer would be charged on any income over $9,000, which was previously the top tax bracket.

He said that would wipe out 97 percent of Missouri’s individual income tax collections and about two-thirds of the state’s general revenue budget, “ultimately pushing Missouri into fiscal chaos.”

No one else previously had interpreted the legislation that way.

Nixon’s office provided a memo from Washington University law professor Cheryl Block backing up his interpretation.

But Republican legislative leaders countered with a memo from former Missouri Supreme Court Chief Justice William Ray Price Jr. rejecting that interpretation. Price said he believes courts would rule that the legislation sets a new top tax rate of 5.5 percent on all income over $8,000.

He pointed to a sentence in the bill immediately preceding the one Nixon singled out. That wording says the Department of Revenue director “shall, by rule, adjust the tax tables” to carry out the provisions of the bill.

Republican legislative leaders said their caucus is more committed to this year’s bill, which is less complex and less aggressive in the scope of its tax cuts.

“The governor is grasping at straws,” said the bill sponsor, Sen. Will Kraus, R-Lee’s Summit. “I think the bill on his desk will be overridden and it will become law.”

(Jefferson City) (AP) – The lone Democrat to vote for a Missouri income tax cut says he is reconsidering his support because of concerns raised by Gov. Jay Nixon.

House member Jeff Roorda, of Barnhart, joined Republicans last week in voting to pass legislation that would gradually cut income taxes for individuals and many business owners.

Nixon raised concerns Tuesday that the bill could eliminate taxes on all income over $9,000 and create a hole in the state budget.

Republican legislative leaders say that’s absurd. They’re vowing to try to override Nixon’s likely veto.

An override requires a two-thirds vote in both chambers. That means Republicans would have to vote as a block and get the support of at least one House Democrat.

Roorda says he wants more information before voting on the override.

(Jefferson City) (AP) – A Missouri House panel has endorsed a bonding proposal that calls for spending at least $200 million on a new state mental health facility in Fulton.

The measure would authorize a total of $400 million of bonds subject to voter approval later this year. The House Budget Committee advanced its measure Tuesday.

Senators earlier approved a $600 million bonding plan for the Fulton State Hospital, higher education institutions and other state facilities. The Senate version would not require voter approval.

Projects in the Senate bonding measure would be for repair or renovation of existing facilities – except for the Fulton campus. The House version doesn’t have that restriction.

(Little Rock) (AP) – Advocates of ending Arkansas’ ban on same-sex marriage took their case before a circuit judge in Pulaski County.

Attorneys argued Thursday that the voter-approved constitutional amendment is itself unconstitutional. Attorneys for the state countered that voters can put whatever they want in the state Constitution – subject only to the federal Constitution.

Judge Chris Piazza said at the conclusion of the hearing that he will issue a ruling in about two weeks.

(ORN Photo)

(ORN Photo)

(West Plains) – The West Plains City Council held their monthly meeting on Monday, April 21 at West Plains City Hall.

Opening the meeting was a public hearing on vacation of portion of First Street, off of North Howell between Lion’s Field and the grounds of Evans Sports Complex. After giving the West Plains School District use of Lion’s Field, the city realized the area hadn’t been officially vacated. No public comments were given at the hearing. As the first order of business, the council approved Bill 4344, which officially vacated the section of land.

Bill 4345, which updated the city’s policies on drugs and alcohol, safety standards, and transitional procedures, was also approved, as was a bill allowing the city to submit a grant for almost $75,000 to do upgrade work on the bathrooms and pavilions at Buck Park, as well as work on a disc golf course.

The council also approved a lease-purchase agreement with Arvest Bank for financing to purchase department vehicles and a lawn mower. City Finance Director Dixie Williams told the council that Arvest Bank had the lowest interest rate for the $140,000 that was requested. Another bill approved by the council would allow generator testing by the city’s insurance company. City Administrator Tom Stehn told the council that the city is expected to use the generators more this year, and the city wants to make sure they’re ready for the extra usage.

The city also approved bids for a new animal control pick up truck, a new truck for the waste water plant, a refuse trailer, and a dump truck for the sewer department. The city also purchased five patrol cars from the Missouri State Highway Patrol for the police department for $77,150. Stehn says that each car has roughly 50,000 miles, and light hail damage, which the city was aware of when bids were taken.

The city also allowed a half ton truck from the water treatment plant and the euthanasia machine from animal control to be marked as surplus equipment, and to be sold at a later date.

(Dora) – Two people suffered serious injuries Monday afternoon after the truck they were in ran off-road and hit a ditch.

The accident happened at 5:45 PM on Route CC south of Route 181 in Dora. The driver of the vehicle, 27-year-old Silas Davis of Mountain View and a passenger, 20-year-old Ember Coolbaugh of West Plains, were both taken to Mercy Hospital in Springfield by Air Evac.

A Highway Patrol report states that neither occupant was wearing a seat belt when the accident occurred.