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Archive for January, 2012

(West Plains) – The Student Recreation Center at Missouri State University-West Plains is now open to the public on Fridays and Saturdays.

University officials said community members can use the 10,000-square-foot facility at 323 W. Trish Knight St. to play basketball, volleyball or raquetball from 8 AM to 10 PM on those days. Those under 16 years of age will need to be accompanied by an adult.

A $3 daily usage fee will be charged to community members, officials said, adding those planning to use the facility will need to have exact change on hand when paying the fee. Students, faculty and staff will still have access to the facility on those days, as well.

For more information about the Student Recreation Center, contact Student Life & Development Coordinator Rogers Taylor at 417-255-7233.

Several members of the 18th annual auction committee at Missouri State University-West Plains recently met to begin planning this year’s event, themed “April in Paris” and set for Friday, April 13, at the West Plains Civic Center exhibit hall. On hand for the meeting were, front row from left, Missouri State-West Plains Development Office Events Coordinator Terry Hampton; and auction committee members Amanda Niemotka and Valerie Williams. Second row: Committee members Cindy McFarland, Kathi Rumbaoa, Ruby Collins and Kathy Schloss. Back row: Missouri State-West Plains Assistant Director of Development Joe Kammerer, Grant Development Specialist Jessi Long and development office administrative assistants Debbie Martin and Debra Mosley. (Missouri State-West Plains Photo)

(West Plains) – Area residents can spend “April in Paris” without leaving the Ozarks at this year’s Missouri State University-West Plains’ 18th annual auction, set for Friday, April 13 at the West Plains Civic Center exhibit hall.

Plans are underway for the Paris-themed event, and organizers are encouraging area residents to get their tickets early. As in recent years, dress will be casual, but auction goers are encouraged to wear Parisan attire.

Tickets are $30 per person and include dinner, as well as many opportunities to bid on practical items, trips, experience packages and more. Among the items already obtained are several vacations and tickets for various events and venues, including four “park hopper” passes valued at $480 for the Walt Disney World theme parks in Orlando, FL.

The event will begin with a silent auction from 5 to 6:30 PM featuring themed baskets, gift certificates for local restaurants and businesses, and a wide variety of practical and fun items. The silent auction will be followed by dinner served from 6:30 to 7:30 PM and the live auction, which will begin at 7:30 PM.

Organizers are seeking more contributions for the auction. Area residents who would like to contribute either as an event sponsor or with a donated item for the auction should contact the Missouri State-West Plains development office at 417-255-7240 or e-mail Organizers also encourage area residents to check out the auction website and the Facebook page, “MSU-WP Auction,” periodically for the latest additions to the list of auction items.

Members of the annual auction planning committee include Ruby Collins, Nancy Franz, Tracy Grigsby, Jackie Grisham, Dennis Lancaster, Cindy McFarland, Haley Mitchell, Amanda Niemotka, Kathi Rumbaoa, Kathy Schloss, Tammy Sexton and Valerie Williams, as well as Missouri State-West Plains development office staff members Elizabeth Grisham, Joe Kammerer, Debbie Martin, Debra Mosley, Jessi Long and Terry Hampton. Other auction volunteers from the community include Bev and Rick Hamby, Vicki Kimes and Heather Peugh.

For more information about the “April in Paris” annual auction, call 417-255-7240.

(Little Rock) – After working toward a solution for more than 13 years, the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission approved the final piece of an agreement with the Army Corps of Engineers to ensure a steady flow of water below Bull Shoals Dam on the White River at their most recent meeting January 13.

The AGFC, along with Arkansas’s congressional delegation, trout fishing enthusiasts, and area resort owners and outfitters worked together to solidify the agreement to improve the trout fishery below the dam. The White River minimum flow issue is an old one, dating back more than a half century when trout were first stocked in the White River below Bull Shoals Dam as a replacement for the native warm-water fish wiped out by the dam’s cold-water releases.

When water levels drop in late summer and early fall, dam gates are closed to keep Bull Shoals Lake levels high enough so generators can create power from flowing water. Air conditioning systems require the power during hot weather.

But trout in the river below the dam need lower water temperatures, deeper water and more area to thrive. With a low or minimum flow of water through the dam, these conditions will improve so trout can survive, according to AGFC fisheries biologists. Trout food producing areas also will be enhanced and expanded.

In other business, the Commission approved $97,044 toward a partnership with Audubon Arkansas to promote wildlife viewing on Arkansas’s wildlife management areas; approved a new agency vehicle policy; and received an update on the 2011 elk hunt. The total harvest for the hunt was 26 elk. There were 19 bulls and 7 antlerless elk taken during the hunt.

(West Plains) – Two people were injured Sunday afternoon after a one-vehicle accident near West Plains.

A report from the Highway Patrol says the accident occurred at 3:25 PM on County Road 8970 near West Plains, when the southbound vehicle driven by 18-year-old Kristin Hensley of West Plains drove through standing water, lost control and struck a ditch.

Hensley suffered moderate injuries, while a passenger, 19-year-old Kasey Henry of West Plains suffered minor injuries and were both taken to Ozarks Medical Center by private vehicle. A second passenger, 1-year-old Isabella Hernandez, was uninjured.

(Tecumseh) – A 46-year-old Tecumseh man suffered moderate injuries Friday night after the vehicle he was driving struck a tree near Tecumseh.

The accident happened just before midnight Friday on CR 551, when Larry Picou’s vehicle lost control while traveling southbound and struck a tree.

Picou was taken to Ozarks Medical Center in West Plains by ambulance with moderate injuries.

(Ava) – An Ava resident suffered minor injuries after an accident Saturday afternoon on Route 14 near Ava.

The accident happened just before 4 PM when the eastbound vehicle driven by 25-year-old William Hill of Ava failed to stop at a stop sign, made a left turn and ran across the center line and into a ditch.

Hill suffered minor injuries, according to the Highway Patrol, and was taken to Cox South Hospital in Springfield. Three passengers in the vehicle were uninjured in the accident.

(West Plains) – Steve Culver has joined the team at Ozarks Medical Center as Service Excellence Director and will be working to promote patient loyalty and employee engagement throughout the regional health care system.

As Service Excellence Director, Culver will work with the Studer Group, a national service excellence organization that helps health care systems around the country, including OMC, to achieve and sustain exceptional clinical, operational and financial outcomes.

In addition, he will provide education and leadership to all hospital employees related to the delivery of outstanding customer services. He will also support the events and programs that celebrate employee excellence at OMC.

Since beginning at OMC at the first of the year, Culver has been learning about the organization’s services and spending time visiting nurses, staff and patients in various OMC departments to gain valuable feedback.

Culver said he has been impressed with OMC and how staff puts into practice its service excellence standards and strives for quality outcomes.

Culver earned an accounting degree from Arkansas State University in Jonesboro and also holds a CPA certificate.

For the past 18 years, he was employed by a software company in Highland, Arkansas, most recently as the Business Development Officer. Prior to that experience he was the Chief Financial Officer for a savings and loan in Arkansas.

Culver lives in Highland, Arkansas with his wife of 30 years, Lisa. They have two adult children, son Aaron and his wife Jessie, and daughter Natalie, who are both seniors at Williams Baptist College in Walnut Ridge, Arkansas. Culver is an active member of the First Baptist Church of Cherokee Village where he is an Awana Leader for the church’s youth program.

To reach Culver or to find out more about OMC’s Service Excellence Department, call 417-257-5984.

(West Plains) – Area residents can revisit some of the most beloved movie musicals of all time when Missouri State University-West Plains’ “That’s Entertainment” film series gets underway this Thursday, February 2, at the West Plains Civic Center theater.

Hosted by the Missouri State University-West Plains’ University/Community Programs (U/CP) Department, the free series, in its 13th year, will be held at 6:30 PM each Thursday during the month of February.

The first film scheduled for showing is the Academy Award-nominated film “Singin’ in the Rain”. Released in 1952, the movie stars Hollywood musical legends Gene Kelly, Donald O’Connor and Debbie Reynolds in a comedy about the movie industry as it transitioned from silent films to “talkies” in the late 1920s. Written directly for the screen, the film light-heartedly touches on some of the very real problems motion picture studios faced when producing films for the new age of sound.

Kelly and Stanley Donen co-directed the film, and Kelly choreographed this American classic, which features two of the best known dance scenes on film – Kelly’s bright performance to the film’s title song and O’Connor’s vaudevillian antics to the tune “Make ‘em Laugh.” Although it was not a big hit when first released, “Singin’ in the Rain” is now described as one of the best movie musicals ever made and is among the top 10 movies of all time as rated by the American Film Institute. It is rated G.

The discussion session following its showing will be facilitated by Dennis Lancaster, director of the university’s William & Virginia Darr Honors Program, and Public Relations Specialist Vickie Driskell.

The series will continue February 9 with the 1961 screen adaptation of the Broadway hit “West Side Story.”, “The King and I,” set for February 16, and “Grease: The Rockin’ Rydell (Sing-A-Long) Version,” set for February 23.

For more information about the annual film series, call the U/CP Department office at 417-255-7966.

(Mountain Home) – College Goal Sunday is the one-day event where Arkansas State University-Mountain Home (along with 30 other locations around Arkansas) will provide help to students and families completing the Free Application For Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) this spring before graduation.

The free event will commence at 2 p.m. on February 19 at the ASUMH campus in First National Hall. To learn more about College Goal Sunday, visit, or you can “like” Arkansas Say Go College on Facebook for updates.

To be prepared ahead of time, register for your PIN (Personal Identification Number) at one week prior to College Goal Sunday. A PIN is needed for both students and parents. Bring your PIN, 2011 tax returns for both you and your parents, 2011 W-2 forms and your social security number. For more information about College Goal Sunday, call ASUMH Financial Director, Clay Berry, at 870-508-6124.

Attendees on hand at the Friday event include (back row): MSU-WP Chancellor Drew Bennett, Ward Franz, and Darryl Hampsten, (front row) employee Lisa Newcomb, Jane and Dan Thomas, and employees Kara Pilz and Jason Hartgraves. (ORN Photo)

(West Plains) – For many years, people wanting a healthier alternative on their dinner plate have turned to JB’s Healthmart in West Plains for their food and supplement needs. Now, the store has been recognized as one of the best in the state of Missouri.

Ozark Radio News spoke with Darryl Hampsten, Coordinator of the Small Business and Technology Development Center with MSU-West Plains, who told us about the award given to the store and its owners, Jane and Dan Thomas:

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Store owner Dan Thomas also spoke with us and said that it was an immense honor for the store to be recognized:

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He also told us a bit about his store:

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Ozark Radio News also spoke with 151st District Representative Ward Franz, who delivered a copy of a recent proclamation on the state House of Representatives floor, commemorating JB’s Healthmart for their recognition:

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The store is open 9 AM to 5 PM Monday through Friday and 9 AM to 3 PM Saturdays. For more information, call 417-255-1654 or toll-free 1-866-614-5165.