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(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.

(West Plains) – The next prequalification for the Ozarks Food Harvest Mobile Food Pantry will be from 4-5:45 PM Wednesday, May 7, at the West Plains Public Library Community Room, 750 W. Broadway.

Those eligible to apply for this assistance include area families with children ages birth through 18 who live within Howell County. Students enrolled at Missouri State University-West Plains and the South Central Career Center also are eligible, provided they meet income guidelines. Missouri State students must present their student identification cards in person, as well as a current class schedule; they may not send them with a family member. Families will receive only one voucher per family.

Those who apply should bring a photo ID, proof of income, proof of Howell County residency, names and ages of children, and a telephone number to the prequalification. Proof of Howell County residency does not apply to Missouri State-West Plains or South Central Career Center students.

Volunteers will verify documentation of those seeking assistance at the prequalification and give vouchers for the date of the truck delivery. Only people receiving vouchers will receive food from the truck during the May delivery, and vouchers must be received every month for truck delivery.

For more information about the Ozarks Food Harvest Mobile Food Pantry project, or if you are interested in volunteering or donating, contact officials at the American Red Cross office in West Plains at 417-257-0018.

(Little Rock) – The Arkansas State Police Commission has approved a recommendation for the promotion of Corporal Ronnie Stewart to the rank of sergeant.

The promotion was recommended by Colonel Stan Witt, Director of the Arkansas State Police during a recent meeting of the commission.

Sergeant Stewart, 47, of Mammoth Spring, is an 18 year veteran of the department. He was assigned to Highway Patrol Division, Troop I, will assume new duties as a post supervisor within Troop I.

(Jefferson City)- The Missouri Senate in Jefferson City has had their hands full over the last few weeks debating several major bills and issue.

Senator Mike Cunningham, R-Rogersville, shared during a recent interview that the Senate could soon see the Fiscal Year 2015 operating budget for the Missouri:

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Sen. Cunningham also shared that Missouri senators have also been spending time debating Senate Joint Resolution 25, which would grant the Missouri General Assembly the power to limit by statute jury award of non-economic damages:

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For more information on the work that’s taking place in the Missouri Senate visit senate.mo.gov.

(Jefferson City) (AP) – The Missouri House has endorsed legislation allowing use of a cannabis extract by people whose epilepsy is not relieved by other treatments.

The bill would permit use of “hemp extract” with little of the substance that makes marijuana users feel high and greater amounts of a chemical called cannabidiol, or CBD. Patients would need to have epilepsy that a neurologist has determined is not responding to at least three treatment options. Patients or their parents would need a state-issued registration card.

Growers would have to be nonprofit organizations and have a license from the Missouri Department of Agriculture.

House members gave the measure first-round approval Tuesday by voice vote. It needs another affirmative vote to move to the Senate.

(Jefferson City) – Missouri Senators return to the floor last week to discuss several measures.

Senator David Sater, R-Cassville, sponsors Senate Bill 754, a measure that would extend the expiration date of the MO RX Prescription Drug program from 2014 to 2017. Senator Sater explains a new provision in the measure dealing with medication synchronization services:

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Also discussed during the day was Senate Bill 758, a measure that would change the term “free health clinic” to “community health clinic” and modify its definition for the purposes of the State Legal Expense Fund. Senate Minority Floor Leader Jolie Justus, D-Kansas City, sponsors the bill and shared:

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Senate Bill 754 and Senate Bill 758 were both set aside for further discussion.

(Salem)- The Salem City Council will be holding a regular meeting on April 24, at 7PM.

During the meeting the council will hear a review of Department Activities for March and April from Shad Overman with the Police Department, Nick Blanton with the Fire Department, and Bill Wosham with the Public Works Department.

In old business the council will receive an update on the Civic Center project as well as a request from the Fire Department.

In new business a report on city and county sales tax will be given and they will discuss the May City Council meeting.

For more information on this meeting you can contact the Salem City Hall at 870-895-3478.

(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.