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Archive for March, 2012

(Houston) – Representatives with MoDOT say Highway 63 is shut down about one mile north of Houston because of a crash involving five vehicles.

The accident happened just after 1:30 PM, according to MoDOT. Traffic is currently being rerouted as the clean-up continues. No word yet on the extent of any injuries in the crash.

For additional information, contact MoDOT’s Customer Service Center toll-free at 1-888-ASK-MODOT (1-888-275-6636) or visit

(West Plains) – The West Plains Schools Board of Education has announced that the new West Plains High School Principal for the 2012-2013 school year will be former football head coach Jack Randolph.

“We are extremely pleased to hire Mr. Randolph as the new High School Principal. He is a great fit and has a proven track record of working collaboratively with teachers in his current role at West Plains and in his former roles at other school districts. Mr. Randolph has a special skill set to enhance the learning for students and staff. We are confident that Mr. Jack Randolph has the experience and talent to effect positive and lasting change at West Plains Schools.” said Dr. Fred Czerwonka Superintendent of Schools.

Randolph will assume the role of High School Principal effective July 1, 2012. Randolph replaces Jim Laughary who will be the new Director of the South Central Career Center. Randolph has been serving as the Dean of Students at West Plains School for the last year and as Head Football Coach for the last two years. Prior to coming to West Plains, he served as the Junior High Principal and Assistant High School Principal at Marshfield, Missouri and as the assistant Junior High Principal at Knob Noster, Missouri.

Randolph holds a Bachelor of Science in Education from Southwest Baptist University in Bolivar, a Master of Science in Educational Administration from Southwest Baptist University and a Specialist in Education from Southwest Baptist University.


(Missouri) – The Mega Millions jackpot reached a record $500 million — pre-tax — after no one picked all six numbers correctly Tuesday night. The jackpot had been at $476 million soon after the drawing, and by Wednesday morning had grown by $24 million.

The next drawing is this Friday, and any winner would be able to take that amount over time or an immediate cash payout of $359 million.

The new jackpot is $110 million more than the previous record set in March 2007.

Tuesday’s winning numbers were: 9 – 19 – 34 – 44 – 51, with the mega number 24.

Five of the six winning numbers were picked by 47 players, who each won $250,000.

The $1 lottery tickets are sold in 42 states plus Washington, D.C. The odds of winning are estimated at one in nearly 176 million.

(ORN Photo)

Firefighters partitioned an area off of the highway where gasoline had leaked from the SUV. (ORN Photo)

(West Plains) – A two-vehicle accident in West Plains Thursday morning slowed traffic on Highway 160/Joe Jones Blvd.

Authorities say the accident happened around 7:45 AM when a sedan turned from Davidson Ave. to head east on Highway 160 toward Alton when a eastbound SUV hit the vehicle.

Officials at the scene said the SUV was leaking fuel, and firefighters from Howell Rural set up a perimeter and diluting the fuel with water.

Witnesses at the scene said that the female driver in the sedan was attempting to get her children out of the vehicle as the vehicle rolled down Joe Jones Blvd. after the accident. The woman was taken on a gurney to Ozarks Medical Center in West Plains with mild to moderate injuries. The children were also taken to the hospital.

West Plains and Howell Rural Fire Departments and the West Plains Police responded to the call.

(Mountain Home) – Arkansas State University System President Dr. Charles L. Welch announced Wednesday that the search for the next Chancellor of ASU-Mountain Home is officially underway after the Chancellor Search Advisory Committee formally approved the position announcement.

Welch had recently announced the formation of a Chancellor Search Advisory Committee, which includes Faculty Senate President Karen Heslep; Faculty Association President Robert Shurley; Staff Senate President Kristina Hickman; Student Government Association President Stetson Painter; Student Ambassadors President Bethany Crawford; Advisory Council Chair Warren Haley; Advisory Council Past Chair Gayla Thompson; Staff Representative Amanda Throckmorton; and Administrative Representative John Davidson, to assist in the search process. Welch will chair the committee.

Welch says applications and nominations will be accepted for the chancellor’s position, and the university is seeking an innovative, progressive, proactive leader who has a student-first vision for the future.

Review of applications for the position will begin on May 1, and will continue until the position is filled. Following review of the applications, the advisory committee will recommend candidates to travel to Mountain Home for on-campus interview sessions. Opportunities will be available for campus and community members to engage with the finalist candidates and to provide feedback to the advisory committee on each candidate. The new chancellor will assume office on a date mutually agreed upon with the System President and Board of Trustees.

(West Plains) – The candidate listing for Howell County’s Primary Election on April 7 has been released.

County Seats

For the Northern District Associate County Commissioner, incumbent Bill Lovelace (R) of Willow Springs will be running against Willow Springs resident Robert Vaughn (D). For the Southern Associate Commissioner position, incumbent Billy Sexton (D) of West Plains, will run against Republican Chuck Robson and Burl Owenby, of West Plains.


For Howell County Sheriff, incumbent Mike Shannon (R) of West Plains will be running against Jim Hedlesten (R) of Brandsville. Hedlesten ran against Shannon in 2008.

Other Offices

Current Howell County Assessor Daniel Franks (R) of Peace Valley is running unopposed, as is Public Administrator John Pruett, Coroner Tim Cherry, and Surveyor Ralph Riggs, all of West Plains. All are running on the Republican ticket.

Benton Township

Committeeman – RA Pendergrass (D) of Bakersfield, Mel Giles (R) of Caulfield. Committeewoman – Connie Pendergrass (D) of Bakersfield, Charm Eagleman (R) of Caulfield.

Chapel Township

Committee members Bill Echols (D) of Mountain View and Nancy Echols (D) of Mountain View are running unopposed.

Dry Creek Township

Ray Fine (R) of West Plains and Roxanne Rupar (R) of Pomona are both running unopposed for their committee positions.

Goldsberry Township

Committeeman – JB Cantrell (D) of Mountain View, William Bright (R) of Mountain View. Committeewoman – Patricia Cantrell (D) of Mountain View,Wanda Bright (R) of Mountain View.

Howell Township

Committeeman – Travis Morrison (D) of West Plains, Paul Childers (R) of West Plains, Don Eagleman (R) of West Plains.

Committeewoman – Lanora Sanders (D) of West Plains, Judy Von Allmen (R) of West Plains.

Hutton Valley Township

Committeeman – None

Committeewoman – Charline Sherill (R) of Pomona is running unopposed.

Myatt Township

Committeeman – Charles Roark (D) is running unopposed.

Committeewoman – Ora Ingram (D) of West Plains, Missy Gastineau (R) of Koshkonong.

Siloam Springs Township

Committeeman – Kelly Bridges (R) is running unopposed.

Committeewoman – Patricia Weinmeister (D) of Willow Springs, Debbie Bridges (R) of Pomona.

Sisson Township

Committeeman – Barry DeBrown (D) of West Plains, Neck Heavrin (R) of Pomona.

Committeewoman – Karen Kimbrough (D) of Peace Valley, Nancy Heavrin (R) of Pomona.

South Fork Township

Committeeman – Roy Chapin (R) of West Plains is running unopposed.

Committeewoman – Sharon Orlikowski (D) of West Plains, Regina Eades (R) of West Plains.

Spring Creek Township

Committeeman – Carl Beavers III (D) of West Plains, Leon Brassfield (R) of West Plains.

Committeewoman – Vera Beavers (D) of West Plains, Freda Brassfield (R) of West Plains.

Willow Springs Township

Committeeman – Jim Vokac (D) of Willow Springs, Michael Hutchings (R) of Willow Springs.

Committeewoman – Greta Myers (D) of Willow Springs, JoAnn Bailey Russell (R) of Willow Springs.

(Willow Springs) – The Willow Springs City Council met the evening of Monday, May 26 for their regular session meeting.

After approving the consent agenda, the council approved a number of bills. Bill 88-12 became Resolution 88-12 which contracted concession operation for the water park and golf course for the 2012 season to Smiley’s Place, LLC. The council also approved Bill 89-12, which allows the city to participate in Natural Hazard Mitigation work with the county.

Other items discussed with at the meeting included the approval of continued lease of the Chamber of Commerce building by the chamber, and the purchase of a new storm siren for the city. Emergency Management Director Shawn Watson discussed the need to replace one of the storm sirens and offered 3 options to upgrade the city storm siren system as well as being in compliance with FCC regulations for narrow-band capabilities. City Treasurer Beverly Hicks explained that an expenditure for storm sirens was not in the 2012 budget, however there are funds set aside in an account that was previously established as a community fund from the sale of the police building back in 2000. The $9500 purchase was approved.

The council also discussed the possibility of “Level Billing” for utilities by the city, which was brought by a resident at the last meeting. Treasurer Beverly Hicks says that due to the recent changes in the billing cycle and the change in electrical supplier expected in 2013, the staff concurred that establishing a level billing program would not be in the city’s best interest. Hicks suggested interested individuals may pay extra towards their utilities in the summer months to help curb the burden during the winter months or vice versa.

The council also approved bids on equipment for the city, including two mowers, a golf cart, and the sale of 17 acres of land on CR 5640 to Coastal Energy for $21,250.

City Administrator Bob Pollard also discussed the relinquishment agreement the city has with MoDOT, and stated that the city would take over a section of Springfield Rd. from Main St. to Tenth St. in front of the MoDOT headquarters facility. The agreement passed 4-0.

(Jefferson City) (AP) – The Republican-led Missouri House gave first round approval Tuesday to legislation that would allow some people eventually to be removed from the state’s sex offender registry.

Sponsoring Rep. Rodney Schad said the registry must be sufficiently narrow to be a notification tool and not additional punishment. In recent years, lawmakers have expanded the public sex offender registry.

Under the legislation, several offenses no longer would require state registration, including promoting obscenity and furnishing pornographic materials. In other cases, people could petition a state trial judge to be removed if they meet certain requirements. Petitions for removal could be filed after 20 years for those convicted of particularly serious offenses such as forcible rape, forcible sodomy or child molestation. People convicted of other sex offenses would need to wait 10 years before they could seek removal.

Lawmakers endorsed the legislation by voice vote during an evening session with few people watching from the public galleries. The measure needs another vote before moving to the state Senate. There was little apparent opposition to the measure, and Schad said the legislation was discussed at night to avoid conducting the debate in front of the many children who visit the state Capitol during the day on school field trips.

Besides allowing people to be removed from the registry, the legislation also would exclude juveniles who are required to register as sex offenders from the public list posted online.

(NPS Photo)

(Salem) – Due to serious safety concerns, Ozark National Scenic Riverways has closed the staircase leading into Devils Well.

Officials with the park say the wooden steps and handrails leading into the cave, located off Route KK near Akers, have deteriorated to the point that they are unsafe for public use. Efforts are underway to secure the funds necessary to implement repairs and reopen the staircase.

Park officials say the area surrounding Devils Well is still open for visitors to witness the large and impressive sinkhole.

NPS says Devils Well was formed when the roof of a huge cavern, containing an underground lake, collapsed. The result was large sinkhole, with an opening in the bottom that you can view the lake through. The water level is about 100 feet below the platform, and the lake may be as much as 80 feet deep, with 8 to 10 feet fluctuation depending on the weather.

For more information, phone call 573-323-4236 daily or visit the park’s website at

(West Plains) – Lace up your running shoes and make a difference in the lives of local cancer patients at the 2012 Ozarks Medical Center Fun Run, which will take place Thursday, April 26. The annual event, which began in 1985, includes a 5K run and 1.5 mile walk/run.

All profits from Fun Run 2012 will benefit patients at the OMC Cancer Treatment Center. According to OMC Cancer Treatment Center Director Richard Delgado, the funds help patients who are in need and are undergoing cancer treatment at OMC with cost such as medication and transportation to treatments.

All race events begin at 6:30 PM at the OMC Parkway Classroom, next to Ramey Foods and Family Dollar in West Plains. The start line is located at the back of the building at the corner of Eighth Street and Alaska Avenue. Prior to the race at 6 PM, the OMC Wellness Department and OMC Rehabilitation Services will host a free stretch clinic at the start line to help participants warm up for their event.

Organizers say that this year’s event will include post-race entertainment from the local band Oh The Fire. Food and concessions will also be available for purchase following the race. Weather permitting, post-race activities will be held outdoors, near the start and finish line. Participants and supporters are encouraged to bring lawn chairs.

Participants should register by April 10 to take advantage of early registration pricing. The cost for children ages 15 and younger is $15 for early registration or $20 after April 10. Adult fees are $20 for early registration or $25 after April 10. Participants can also save $5 off each individual registration by forming a team of five or more.

Family registration is designated for up to five immediate family members only and can not be used with the team registration discount. Race-day registration is available and begins at 5 PM. Those registering by April 10 will receive a free event t-shirt on race day. Those who register later may pick up their t-shirts at the OMC Public Relations Office after May 10.

For more information regarding the 2012 Fun Run or if you want to pre-register, call OMC Public Relations Department at 417-257-6735.