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Archive for February, 2012

(West Plains) – The Glenwood R-VIII school district will be holding kindergarten and preschool screenings for the 2012-2013 school year on March 28 and 29.

All Kindergarten students must be 5 by August 1, 2012 and all Preschool students must be 4 by August 1, 2012.

People who want more information should call the front office during school hours at 417-256-4849. You can also set up screenings times by calling that number.

(Jefferson City) – State Senator Chuck Purgason of Caulfield says lawmakers and other state government officials shouldn’t act surprised about the big shortfall for the 2013 budget:

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Purgason goes on to say he is not optimistic that legislators have the willpower to take up the tax credits issue this session.

Ante Up for the Library Texas Hold’em 2nd Place Winner Robert Henderson and 1st Place Winner Mike Reeves enjoy their gold coin prizes. (Photo provided)

(Mountain Home) – The eighth Annual Ante-up for the Library Texas Hold’em Tournament, benefiting the Baxter County Library Foundation, was held Saturday, January 28 at Big Creek Golf and Country Club.

Tournament winners were:

1st Place – Mike Reeves

2nd Place – Robert Henderson

3rd Place – Ed Hord

4th Place – Jason Guffy

5th Place – Tony Belk

6th Place – David Wallis

Best Beat Hand – E.L. Hogard

Winners from the event were given collectable gold and silver coins.

(Van Buren) -  Ozark National Scenic Riverways is conducting the Denning Hollow Prescribed Burn on Saturday, February 25. This prescribed burn encompasses 404 acres and is located in Shannon County near Rocky Falls.

Park visitors near Rocky Falls, as well as those traveling on State Highways H or NN, may notice smoke from the prescribed burn. A section of the Ozark Trail, from approximately Mile 147.5 to Mile 149, crosses the unit and will be subjectto closure during the prescribed burn. Residents traveling on Highway 60 between Winona and Van Buren may see smoke several miles north of the highway.

The prescribed fire program at Ozark NSR is conducted by trained and experienced National Park Service fire personnel. One of the primary goals of this project is to provide for firefighter and public safety. Care will be taken while burning to avoid impacts to visitors and adjacent landowners. People who are not part of the prescribed fire operation should avoid areas of active fire.

Smoke may be visible in the park and along roadways. Motorists are urged to drive cautiously, reduce speed, and turn on headlights, and to watch out for wildlife, fire personnel, and vehicles along roadways. If you are sensitive to smoke, please take measures to limit exposure in the region.

Some sections of the park or roadways may be temporarily restricted for safety reasons.

Congresswoman Jo Ann Emerson visited the Emergency Command Center Thursday and visited with county officials and emergency responders. From left to right: Southern Howell County Commissioner Billy Sexton, Lanton VFD Chief Blake Bowers, Howell County Presiding Commissioner Mark Collins, Emerson, Howell County Emergency Management Director Mike Coldiron, Northern Howell County Commissioner Bill Lovelace and Howell County Clerk Dennis Von Allmen. (ORN Photo)

(West Plains) – Representative Jo Ann Emerson joined police officers, firefighters and first responders Thursday morning to tour the new Emergency Command Center for south-central Missouri.

The center, located in the basement of the Howell County Health Department in West Plains, will help keep emergency personnel connected with each other in the event of a catastrophe. Howell County Emergency Management Director Lt. Mike Coldiron spoke with Ozark Radio News and told us about the facility and how it came into being:

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Rep. Emerson was on hand for the unveiling event and told those gathered that she was glad to see the center coming together so smoothly. Emerson also spoke with Ozark Radio News and told us she’s thankful that the center is in West Plains:

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Emerson told the group Thursday that the grant funding usually goes to big cities that can afford high-end grant writers, and that she helped get the center operational through appropriations.

Coldiron says that the center is still in process of being finished with some minor electrical work and a dispatch tower needed. He wants to get the center fully operational at the end of March. He also thanked Howell County Sheriff Mike Shannon and others who have assisted in the project for their help.

Blake Bowers shows Congresswoman Emerson how the command center can communicate with emergency responders. (ORN Photo)

(ORN Photo)

A graphical rendering of the proposed field at Zizzer Stadium.

(West Plains) – The West Plains R-7 School District is looking for people and businesses of to show their support for school athletics by contributing to a fundraising effort for improvements at the Zizzer Stadium. The project would include renovations such as synthetic turf, field house expansion, lighting improvements, and a new scoreboard.

District Superintendent Dr. Fred Czerwonka says the demand for the use of the Zizzer Stadium has continued to grow, and that the grass surface currently in place is limited in the event of rain or simply the desire to “save” the field for competitions. Synthetic turf at the Zizzer Stadium means increased playability for physical education classes, soccer teams, band, cheerleading, baseball, softball and other community sporting events. Czerwonka also says the new field will be open for use to all kids living in the R-7 school district.

Czerwonka says the new field will require virtually no maintenance; it merely needs brushing every other month and the material actually degrades more from UV light than wear and tear from usage. It will require no more watering, fertilizers, chemicals, topdressing, aerating, painting, or reconstruction. The school will also save 1 million gallons of water on an annual basis.

The total cost of the project is estimated to be at $650,000, although bids on the project will not be taken until the money is raised. The balance will be paid by donors through a fundraising campaign with sponsorships up to $4,000 per year. The West Plains Zizzer Athletic Booster Club kicked off a campaign this past week for the synthetic turf and improvements to the Zizzer Stadium. Several local businessmen and Zizzer boosters heard a campaign presentation last week from Tim Cowan, President of Athletic Surfaces Plus.

The Campaign is advertising driven and would be partially funded through 7×10 sections of sideline turf permanently emblazoned with advertisers’ logos or messages. The Campaign has various levels of sponsorship and a list of benefits commensurate to each.

A campaign brochure is available online at or contact Greg Simpkins at 417-256-6150 for more information.

(West Plains) – A West Plains man was arrested last week and charged with Possession of Child Pornography a second time after a search warrant was served at his home.

42-year-old Gairry Bakken was arrested at his home in 1600 block of CR 8360 Thursday, February 16 after the Tri Lakes Internet Crimes Against Children Task Forces, West Plains Police Department, and Howell County Sheriff’s Office served the search warrant.

Police records state that a computer with child porn on the hard drive was found.

Bakken was held at report time on $50,000 bond, which he posted. He is expected in court at 9 AM March 6.

(West Plains) – There has been talk of some of the proposed projects the city of West Plains would like to see happen with an extension of the half cent sales tax for the capital improvements program such as parks and recreation, sidewalks, and fire station locations. City public information officer Laurel Thompson talks about some of the other projects:

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The sales tax will be voted on in April and a steering committee comprised of citizens to promote the capital improvements program and get out the vote has been formed.

(Jefferson City) (AP) – Missourians on the state’s do-not-call list could see fewer automated calls under legislation passed Thursday in the state Senate.

The measure, backed by senators in a 32-0 vote, generally would forbid automated calls unless a person has consented to receiving them, but still would allow the calls, known as “robocalls” to be made on behalf of political campaigns or candidates. Groups that make political robocalls would have to register with the Missouri Ethics Commission.

Sponsoring Sen. Scott Rupp said automated political calls can’t be banned because that would interfere with a candidate’s First Amendment right to free speech. Under his legislation, those calls would have to include a statement saying who paid for the calls, similar to the statement at the end of political television ads.

Rupp, R-Wentzville, said that type of statement is important because some campaigns can use robocalls to deceive voters rather than promote a candidate. He said his he’s received complaints in the past about robocalls made in support of his candidacy that he did not actually endorse. And he said some campaigns will make robocalls in support of their rival at inconvenient times – such as during dinner hour or the middle of the night – in hopes of ginning up voter anger directed at the rival candidate.

Rupp’s legislation passed the Senate about a week after the Federal Communications Commission issued rules requiring telemarketers to obtain written consent from people before placing a robocall. Telemarketers now also have to provide an automated way for people to request that the robocalls be stopped.

Under Rupp’s bill, telemarketers that make automated calls without the recipient’s permission could face a fine of up $5,000 for each violation.

Thursday’s Senate vote sends the robocalls legislation to Missouri House.

(Jefferson City) – While most of the talk has been about the state budget shortfall for 2013, State Senator Chuck Purgason of Caulfield says more immediate cuts are going to have to be made to the current budget:

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The 2013 budget is currently being worked on in the House with the Senate to get their hands on it the middle of next month.