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(Lee’s Summit) (AP) – Missouri health officials say although three rabid bats have been found this summer in a Kansas City suburb, the statewide number of total rabies cases is down.

One person was bitten by one of the rabid bats found since June 1 in Lee’s Summit and was treated for the bite.

There have been 14 rabies cases reported in animals so far this year in Missouri; seven were rabid bats and the others were infected skunks. Officials say that’s substantially lower than the 39 rabies cases reported for the same time last year. Missouri usually has about 50 rabid animals detected annually.

Kansas has had 26 cases of animal rabies reported this year.

Bats are good for the environment because they eat tons of beetles and mosquitoes, and bats also normally don’t attack people.

(Houston)- 33rd District Senator Mike Cunninham says that he is unsure Medicaid expansion will pass in the state, which worries local hospitals including Texas County Memorial.

Cunningham was invited to the TCMH Board of Director’s most recent meeting to speak about healthcare from a legislative point of view. It was Cunningham’s second visit to TCMH, one of four hospitals in his congressional district.

Wes Murray, chief executive officer at TCMH, explained to Cunningham that TCMH does not receive support through a local tax nor does the hospital receive “cost plus” reimbursement for Medicare and Medicaid patients because TCMH does not have a critical access hospital designation.

Cunningham explained that of the 34 state senators, one-third support Medicaid expansion, one-third support Medicaid expansion with certain provisions in place, and one-third are completely against Medicaid expansion.

Cunningham shared that there is less than a 50% chance Medicaid expansion will pass in Missouri and noted that he would support Medicaid expansion with provisions in place such as a sliding scale, co-pays and deductibles.

Murray shared that 80% of the people that would benefit from Medicaid expansion are working, but unable to afford insurance.

Murray also added that a new report from the Hospital Industry Data Institute (HIDI) shows what hospitals in Missouri are experiencing “financial stress”, with Texas County and all of the hospitals in Cunningham’s district are experiencing the “most stress”. The stress test looked at all acute care hospitals across the state and the hospitals’ payer mix ratio; operating margin; uncompensated care as a percent of gross revenue; cumulative cuts through 2019 as a percent of operating revenue and percent change in inpatient volume from 2009.

Hospitals in the South Central region are experiencing the most stress based on financial data collected in the Missouri hospital annual licensing survey, utilization data included in the HIDI inpatient discharges database and future reimbursement reductions that hospitals will experience as a result of the Affordable Care Act and the American Taxpayer Relief Act.

The average small hospital has 7.1 percent of uncompensated care as a percentage of the hospital’s gross revenue. At TCMH, the uncompensated care is 8.7 percent of gross revenue.

Linda Pamperien, TCMH chief financial officer, told board members that the hospital lost just over $98,000 in June, with year to date loss of $742,172.56.

(Mountain View) – The Mountain View City Council meeting scheduled for this evening has been cancelled, according to city officials.

The next regularly scheduled meeting will be held on Monday, August 11 at 6 PM.

No reason for the cancellation was given.

(West Plains)- The Ozarks Small Business Incubator located in Downtown West Plains will be offering their Advanced Quickbooks Pro hands-on workshop in August.

Ozark Radio News spoke with executive director of OzSBI, Heather Fisher, who shared who this workshop is for:

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Fisher would like to invite anyone who has questions about this or upcoming workshops to call 417-256-9724 or email info@ozsbi.com.

(West Plains) – The West Plains School District will begin the 2014-2015 school year on Thursday, August 14, with a full day of classes.

Classes at West Plains Elementary will begin at 7:45AM and classes will end at 3 PM. South Fork Elementary will begin at 8:10AM and classes end at 3:45 PM. The West Plains Middle School and the West Plains High School will begin at 8:10 AM and classes will end at 3:35 PM.

Parents of all students are invited to an open house on Tuesday, August 12 from 5-8 PM at all buildings. The West Plains Elementary Kindergarten Open House will be held on August 7, from 5-6PM.

The West Plains Middle School 5th grade orientation will be held on Tuesday, August 5 at 5:30 PM. The 5th Grade Orientation will focus on a successful transition from elementary to the middle school environment.

The West Plains High School will host an incoming freshman “Zizzer Day” on Tuesday, August 12, from 7:30 AM-1 PM. Students will participate in activities that better prepare them for the transition into High School. Incoming freshman students will have the opportunity to go through a mini schedule, learn about various clubs and activities at the activity fair, have lunch, become familiarized with the building, including finding their lockers.  Members of the West Plains High School faculty and staff will provide parents with invaluable insight to help students and their families prepare for high school.

New students in grades preschool through 4th grade may enroll at the West Plains Elementary School, 1136 Allen, from 8AM-4PM on August 4-5.

New students entering 5th grade through 8th grade may enroll at West Plains Middle School, 730 East Olden, from 8AM-4PM on August 4-5. Call 417-256-7152 to schedule an appointment.

Current students in grades kindergarten through 8th grade do not need to register.

Students entering 10th grade may enroll at the West Plains High School, 602 East Olden, from 8-10AM on Tuesday, August 5. Students entering 12th grade may enroll from 8-10AM on Monday, August 4. Students entering 11th grade may enroll from 10AM-12PM on Monday, August 4.

The lunch prices for all grades is $2.75 and the Breakfast price is $1.90. The price for additional milk will be 45¢.

(West Plains) – The nursing faculty at Missouri State University-West Plains have scheduled several informational seminars for area residents interested in applying to the university’s Associate of Science in Nursing (ASN) degree program for the 2015 fall semester.

The seminars are free and will provide information on nursing as a career, educational preparation for nursing, and a description of the classroom and clinical components of the Missouri State-West Plains nursing program. A question and answer session will follow the presentation at each seminar. No appointment or pre-registration is necessary to attend.

Seminars for those interested in the ASN Regular Track and LPN-to-RN Track programs are set for 2 PM Thursday, August 28; 4 PM Thursday, September 25; 10 AM Tuesday, October 7; 4 PM Thursday, October 23; 2 PM Thursday, November 6; 6 PM Thursday, November 20; and 10 AM Tuesday, December 2. All sessions will be held in Looney Hall Room 001 on the Missouri State-West Plains campus.

For more information, contact the Missouri State-West Plains Nursing Department at 417-255-7245, email the department at WPNursing@MissouriState.edu, or visit the department’s website at www.wp.missouristate.edu/nursing.

(Alton) – Oregon County Clerk Tracy Bridges has announced the polling locations for Oregon County.

In order for a person to vote as an absentee ballot the voter must be prevented from going to the polls on Election Day due to being absent on Election Day from the jurisdiction of the election authority in which they are registered, due to illness or physical disability; including caring for a person who is incapacitated or confined due to illness or disability, religious belief or practice, employment as an election authority or by an election authority at a location other than their polling place.

The Oregon County Courthouse normal open hours are from 8AM-12PM and 1-4PM Monday through Friday. The last day to request an absentee ballot to be mailed is July 30. The last day to be a “Walk in” absentee is August 4, 2014. For the voters convenience the Oregon County’s Clerk’s Office will be open on Saturday, August 2 from 8AM-12PM. On Monday August 4 the County Clerk’s Office will remain open during lunch and will be open until 5 PM.

Precinct

Polling Places

Big Apple Koshkonong City Hall
Cedar Bluff/ Myrtle Myrtle Senior Citizens
Couch/ Jeff Pleasant Hill Church
Highland Shilo Baptist Church
Jobe Billmore Cotton Creek Church
Johnson Ozark BB Community Building
King/ Woodside First Baptist Church in Alton
Moore Blackpond Thomasville Community Center
Piney 1/ Piney 1 South First Baptist Church in Alton
Piney 2/ Piney 2 North First Baptist Church in Alton
Thayer 1/ Thayer 1-1 Thayer Church of Christ
Thayer 2/ Thayer 2-2 Thayer Church of Christ

(Mammoth Spring) – The Common Sense Property Rights Coalition will meet Monday, August 4, at 6 PM at the Spring Dipper on Highway 63 in Mammoth Spring, AR.

The primary speaker of the evening will be Joe Dixon, owner and operator of Morningland Dairy in Mountain View, MO. Dixon will be speaking on his experiences with the Missouri State Milk Board, which shut down his 35 year old business and family farm two years ago after they say they found contaminated cheese, destroying several tons of cheese worth over $100,000.

All people who are interested in private property rights are encouraged to attend the meeting. For more information call 417-264-2435 or 417-270-1724.

(New York) (AP) – Dollar Tree is buying rival discount store Family Dollar in a cash-and-stock deal valued at about $8.5 billion.

Stockholders of Family Dollar Stores will receive $59.60 in cash and the equivalent of $14.90 in shares of Dollar Tree for each share they own. The companies put the value of the transaction at $74.50 per share, which is an approximately 23 percent premium to Family Dollar’s Friday closing price of $60.66.

The companies put the enterprise value of the deal, including debt and other costs, at more than $9 billion.

Family Dollar stockholders will own somewhere between 12.7 percent and 15.1 percent of Dollar Tree’s outstanding common shares at closing. Shares spiked more than 24 percent and were headed for an all-time high before the opening bell Monday.

Shares of Dollar Tree neared an all-time high.

Core customers for bargain stores and major retailers like Wal-Mart have been among the hardest hit by the recession and its aftermath because of job instability.

Family Dollar has struggled and has attempted to reinvigorate sales by lowering prices on almost 1,000 basic items. It’s cut some jobs and shuttered underperforming stores.

The company had been conducting a strategic review since the winter, and investor Carl Icahn urged Family Dollar last month to put itself up for sale. Icahn has built up a stake in the company of more than 9 percent, according to regulatory filings.

Dollar Tree CEO Bob Sasser said Monday that the deal will give Dollar Tree more than 13,000 stores in the U.S. and Canada. That is nearly three times as many stores as Wal-Mart Stores Inc., though Wal-Mart’s square footage is still greater.

The companies did not say if any Dollar Tree or Family Dollar stores would be closed.

The combined Dollar Tree-Family Dollar chain will have sales of more than $18 billion and Sasser says that the transaction will create a more diverse company with an enhanced geographic reach.

Dollar Tree stores sell products for $1 or less, while Family Dollar’s pricing is much broader.

Dollar Tree will continue to operate under the existing Dollar Tree, Deals, and Dollar Tree Canada store signs. It will keep the Family Dollar brand as well.

Family Dollar Chairman and CEO Howard Levine will still lead those stores and report to Sasser. He will join Dollar Tree’s board.

Dollar Tree plans to finance the deal with available cash, bank debt and bonds.

The boards of both companies have unanimously approved the deal, which is expected to close by early next year. It still needs approval from Family Dollar shareholders.

Shares of Family Dollar Stores Inc., based in Charlotte, North Carolina, surged $14.89 to $75.55 in premarket trading. The record high during regular trading is $75.29. Shares of Dollar Tree Inc., based in Chesapeake, Virginia, jumped 10 percent, or $5.50 to $59.72. The all-time high for that stock is $60.19.

(Willow Springs) – A resident of Gallatin, MO suffered minor injuries Saturday evening after a one-vehicle accident near Willow Springs.

The accident happened a mile west of Willow Springs on Highway 60 at Pine Grove Road, when the eastbound vehicle driven by 49-year-old Marty Price ran off-road and up an embankment.

Gallatin suffered minor injuries, and refused treatment at the scene, according to a Highway Patrol report.