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Archive for March, 2012

(West Plains) – Ozarks Medical Center will host a Heart to Heart Chat for women beginning at 6 PM April 10 at the OMC Parkway Classroom, located off Porter Wagoner Blvd. near the corner of Eighth Street. The free event includes a light dinner. Reservations are required and can be made by calling 417-257-6793.

At the dinner, OMC Internal Medicine Physician Dr. Chris Cochran will discuss issues relating to women’s health and wellness.

In addition, OMC Director of Nutrition Mark Litzau will present ideas for making healthy meals the whole family will enjoy.

The Heart to Heart Chat is part of OMC’s Ladies First program, which includes educational programs throughout the year and a large women’s only health fair in the summer. The goal of Ladies First is to empower women to make choices that will improve their health as well as the health of their families.

For more information about the dinner or Ladies First, call 417-257-6793.

(From Left to Right) First Row: Nate Ferree, Marty Martin, Brent Behning, Monty Wiens, Mary Mike Taylor, Kim Roberts, Joanne Wix, Amanda Niemotka, Tammy Piker Second Row: Wade Behning, Daniel Roth, Mark Basom, Gene Wienbeck, Ethan DeMoss, Toney Aid, Lucas Cyr, George Schaeffer (Photo provided)

(West Plains) – Eighteen entrepreneurs were recognized recently in a graduation ceremony at the Ozarks Small Business Incubator (OzSBI) in West Plains. The entrepreneurs were honored for completing the Operation JumpStart: First Step program.

For the past 11 weeks, the 18 students met weekly to develop a feasibility plan for their business. Organizers say that 40 people were on hand to celebrate their accomplishment.

Operation Jump Start is a microenterprise development program sponsored by OzSBI and co-sponsored by MSU-WP Small Business and Technology Development Center (SBTDC). Dr. Drew Bennett, Chancellor of Missouri State University-West Plains, was the key note speaker and challenged the graduates to continue growing their knowledge as they grow their business. Missouri State University-West Plains can assist with their venture through business counseling provided by the SBTDC Coordinator Darrell Hampsten and through entrepreneurial classes at the university. Dr. Bennett praised the students’ efforts and told them small businesses are the backbone of our community.

The students were also recognized by Josh Cotter, Chairman Elect of the Greater Area West Plains Chamber of Commerce Board. He presented each student with a one year Chamber of Commerce membership and encouraged them to become involved in the Chamber and take advantage of the networking opportunities.

Gene Weinbeck, OzSBI Committee Member and OJS Facilitator, introduced three students who read their Executive Summaries and shared how the program was helpful. Tammy Piker of TJ Photography talked about how she has expanded the scope of her business, adding a photographer and creating a studio that other photographers can rent. George Schaeffer discussed his rental house business and how the class benefited him. Amanda Niemotka of Amanda Events shared how the class helped her expand her business to include both wedding and event planning. Every OJS graduate was presented a certificate of completion by OzSBI Committee Member and OJS Facilitator Mark Basom.

OzSBI Director, Toney Aid, told the graduates to think of OzSBI as their home and to continue utilizing the services offered at the Incubator. To facilitate their attendance of workshops, all the graduates received a one year free OzSBI Membership. This enables them to receive a 40% discount on all workshops and room rentals.

The Operation Jump Start program was made possible through the generous financial support of University of Extensions Youth Biz. OzSBI will be offering additional classes of Operation JumpStart: First Step. Individuals interested in taking the class should contact OzSBI Coordinator, Heather Fisher, by emailing, calling 417-256-9724 or go to

(West Plains) – An original painting of Santa Claus by West Plains artist Kathy Grigsby and a charcoal drawing by former Missouri State University-West Plains student and artist Keith Andrews are some of the latest items added to the sale bill for the university’s 18th annual auction.

The “April in Paris”-themed event is set for April 13 at the West Plains Civic Center exhibit hall. Dress is casual, but auction-goers are invited to wear their favorite Parisian attire.

Andrews’ charcoal drawing of a mountain man and bison in the old west was created in 1984 as a project for a history class taught by former history professor and director of development Carol Silvey.

Other area artists whose work will be included in the auction include per course art instructor Barbara Williams, Mike Walsh, Ken Boatright, Mary Louise Grisham Tollenaar and photographer Allison Wilson.

The event will begin with a silent auction from 5-6:30 PM, followed by dinner served from 6:30-7:30 PM and the live auction at 7:30 PM. Tickets are $30 per person and may be purchased by contacting the Missouri State-West Plains development office at 417-255-7240.

(Jefferson City) (AP) – Missouri Employers Mutual Insurance Co. says it will pay more than $2 million in dividends this spring to more than 11,000 policyholders.

The Columbia-based workers’ compensation insurance company says the payments will go to those who had policies in effect in 2009. The company says it also will be reducing rates for 2012

A recent state audit of the insurer had suggested it pay a dividend, noting that the company had built a surplus of more than $160 million.

Missouri Employers Mutual was created under a 1993 state law. The company has come under scrutiny at the state Capitol as officials weigh whether it should continue to carry a federal tax-exempt status or be spun off as a new, entirely private insurance company.

(Harrison, AR) (AP) – When a black man supposedly broke into a white man’s home in 1905, a mob ran most black people out of tiny Harrison, Arkansas, and instantly gave the community a lasting reputation as being too dangerous for minorities.

More than a century later, only 34 of the nearly 13,000 residents in Harrison are black. But the town desperately wants to overcome its past. It hopes a better image will attract more residents and businesses.

City leaders launching wide-ranging diversity efforts, so far with only mixed results.

But Harrison’s tiny black population is actually larger than it used to be. For decades after race riots in 1905 and 1909, fewer than 10 black people lived in the county. Harrison hopes eventually to welcome back descendants of those who fled.

(Fulton County) – The search continues for a missing 4-year-old boy in Fulton County after two shirts the child was wearing the day he disappeared were found.

Sheriff Buck Foley told KYTV-Springfield Tuesday that the ground search has ended, and rescuers will now be searching the South Fork of the Spring River after two of the shirts young Caleb Linn was wearing the day he disappeared were found downstream from a bridge near the camp.

Two cadaver dogs alerted searchers to a spot near the bridge where Caleb was last seen on Saturday. The shirts were found nearby and were later confirmed by his family.

More volunteers and dive teams are set to help in the search Wednesday.

(ORN Photo)

(West Plains) – A vehicle fire on Thornburg Ave. in West Plains Tuesday morning slowed traffic for roughly 15 minutes.

West Plains Fire and Police Departments responded to the fire, which happened just after 9 AM. The fire was extinguished shortly after fire department crews arrived.

At this time, it is unknown what caused the fire.

(Harrison) – A Harrison man was arrested this past Friday after allegedly threatening to kill an area Judge and attorney.

The Boone County Sheriff’s Office says that 51-year-old Todd Thomason phoned in the threats against Judge John Putnam and attorney Johnny Nichols, along with attorneys and sheriff’s deputies.

After several hours and numerous phone calls, the sheriff’s office was able to lure Thomason out of his house. He was arrested by sheriff’s deputies and troopers with the Arkansas State Police.

Thomason is being held without bond, charged with one count of Threatening a Judicial Officer. The sheriff’s office says other charges are anticipated.

(Jefferson City) (AP) – The leader of a group that opposes abortion and embryonic stem cell research is running for Missouri governor.

Fred Sauer, who heads Missouri Roundtable for Life, filed Monday with the secretary of state’s office to run in the August Republican primary.

Sauer, of St. Louis, is the fourth Republican in the field of potential challengers to Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon. Other GOP candidates include St. Louis businessman Dave Spence and Kansas City attorney Bill Randles.

Missouri Roundtable for Life was among the groups that successfully challenged a newly created state fund designed to offer incentives to science and technology companies.

The filing period for Missouri’s August party primaries ends at 5 PM Tuesday. Nixon has drawn only nominal opposition on the Democratic side in the governor’s race.

(West Plains) – A work day has been scheduled for April 1 at Tingler Prairie Conservation Area in Howell County.

Volunteers are sought to help remove an invasive species of roses and Japanese honeysuckle. Volunteers are urged to bring boots and wear long-sleeved shirts and jeans, along with bringing pruning shears and gloves. Volunteers are also urged to bring plent of water to drink and a lunch.

The location of Tingler Prairie is off of County Road 8110 off of 9100. Take Highway 17 South from West Plains to reach CR 9100.

For more information, call biologist Susan Farrington at 417-255-9561 ex. 307.