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Archive for December, 2011

A smoky haze covered the back of the West Plains Elementary School on Friday morning as West Plains Fire Department crews removed smoke from the school gym with the installed fans. (ORN Photo)

(West Plains) – A heating and cooling unit at West Plains Elementary School caught fire Friday morning, filling the school gym with smoke.

West Plains Fire Department crews were called to the West Plains Elementary School Friday morning after a passerby reported smoke coming from the school.

West Plains Fire Chief Tim Bean says that a motor in one of the heating and cooling units had stopped working, causing a fire inside of the unit. The school’s fire alarm system was not triggered, Bean said, because the school did not have one located in the gym.

Coding does not require smoke alarms to be installed in the school gym, according to Bean and Assistant District Superintendent Dr. John Mulford, who said that there was no smoke damage to the gym.

Crews from Southern Missouri Natural Gas and South Howell County EMS were at the scene as well.

A dead motor is blamed for a fire in one of the school's heating and cooling systems. (ORN Photo)

(Sikeston) – The Southeast Coalition for Roadway Safety recently awarded overtime enforcement funding to the Mountain View Police Department.

$1,200 will go toward increased patrol for hazardous moving violations (HMV’s), such as speeding and impaired driving.

Mountain View Police Chief James Perkins says that the department appreciates the grant and will use the grant for traffic enforcement.

The department was one of eight law enforcement agencies in the Southeast receiving overtime enforcement grant funding this fiscal year. Other area agencies included the police departments of Cabool, Ellington, and Houston.

Southeast Coalition Regional Coordinator Kelly Martin noted that such enforcement efforts are key factors in reducing fatalities on Missouri’s roadways.

(South Fork) – A West Plains resident suffered moderate injuries after an accident Thursday afternoon near South Fork.

The accident happened when the westbound scooter driven by 59-year-old Elaine Johns lost control while traveling on Highway 160, crossed the center line, causing Johns to fall off and onto the roadway.

Johns was taken to Ozarks Medical Center in West Plains by ambulance.

(Mountain Home) – A rural Mountain Home man in jail on unrelated charges has been charged with burglarizing a local area church.

28-year-old Steven Vantine of rural Mountain Home, who is already in the Baxter County Detention Center, was developed as a suspect in the burglary of Thee Salesville Bible Church that was reported on December 21.

Corporal Eddie Elliott took the initial report after it was discovered that someone had pried open the side door to the church and stolen several items, including a 19 inch Sony TV, a FT140 guitar, and a guitar case, with a collective value of $300.

Vantine was developed as a suspect after Sheriff’s Investigator Eric Neal discovered that he had pawned a guitar at the Mountain Home Gun and Pawn Shop. The owner of the guitar was able to positively identify it as belonging to him. The guitar case was also recovered.

Vantine has been charged with Commercial Burglary, a Class C Felony, and with Theft of Property, a Class A Misdemeanor, in connection with the burglary of Thee Salesville Bible Church. His bond is $15,000 on these charges, and he is set to appear in Baxter County Circuit Court on January 5.

(Little Rock) (AP) – New requirements on facilities that provide the abortion pill and a tax cut on the purchase of used cars are among the new laws that Arkansans will see in 2012.

The new laws are among more than a dozen that take effect on January 1. One new law requires facilities that perform 10 or more nonsurgical abortions a month to be licensed by the state Health Department and be subject to inspections by the department.

The new year will also bring a new tax cut for Arkansans who buy a used car. Starting January 1, taxpayers who buy a vehicle with a selling price of less than $4,000 would not have to pay sales tax on the purchase. That increases the exemption from $2,500.

(Flippin) – A Gassville resident was injured after the motorcycle he was riding on slid on top of him in an accident near Flippin, AR.

The accident happened on Highway 178 east of Flippin just after 1:30 PM Thursday afternoon, when 57-year-old Clarence Smith lost control of the bike while traveling west, causing the bike to go off into a ditch and on top of Smith.

Trooper Clinton Evans reports that the bike skidded approximately 66 feet before leaving the roadway, travelling approximately 89 feet before coming to its final rest position in the westbound ditch line facing south.

Smith was taken to Baxter Regional Medical Center with injuries.

(Sikeston) – MoDOT crews have scheduled work in Shannon County that will start Tuesday of next week.

Route 106, from Route 19 to Route H, will be reduced to one lane while crews perform edge rut repairs Tuesday, January 3 through Friday, January 6 from 7:30 AM to 3 PM daily.

Route 19, from US 60 to Route F in Shannon County, will also be reduced to one lane for edge rut repair starting Tuesday and continuing through Friday from 7:30 AM to 3 PM, weather permitting.

The work zones will be marked with signs and motorists are urged to use extreme caution while traveling near these areas.

(Washington) (AP) – The number of people seeking unemployment benefits rose last week for the first time in a month. But a measure of applications over the past month fell to a three-and-a-half-year low, an indication that hiring could pick up.

The Labor Department says weekly applications rose 15,000 to a seasonally adjusted 381,000. The four-week average, a less volatile measure, fell for the fourth straight week to 375,000 – the lowest level since June 2008.

Applications generally must fall below 375,000 – consistently – to signal that hiring is strong enough to reduce the unemployment rate. Unemployment benefit applications are a measure of the pace of layoffs. Applications have plummeted in the past month, indicating that job cuts have fallen sharply. Still, many companies have been slow to boost hiring.

A sample postcard to be used as the new mail for Baxter County Detention Center inmates. (Photo provided)

(Mountain Home) – The Baxter County Sheriff’s Office wants to remind the public of their new jail mail policy that will go into effect this coming month.

Baxter County Sheriff John Montgomery spoke with Ozark Radio News and told us about the new policy:

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Sheriff Montgomery also gave us an update on this past weekend, and said that the Baxter County Sheriff’s Department will be out in force this weekend:

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Sheriff Montgomery reminds the public to never drink and drive.

(Mountain Grove) – The Mountain Grove Chamber of Commerce will hold their monthly membership meeting January 5 at noon at the Ozarks Family YMCA.

The Mountain Grove Medical Complex, an affiliate of Ozarks Medical Center, will be hosting the meeting. OMC President and CEO David Zechman will make a presentation about OMC’s plans to expand the clinic to meet the growing needs of the Mountain Grove community.

Lunch will be provided, and organizers encourage all chamber members to attend.