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Archive for April, 2012

(West Plains) – The happening place to be in West Plains on Saturday, June 16, will be the fifth annual mule jumping competition at the 18th annual Old-Time Music, Ozarks Heritage Festival in downtown West Plains.

Sponsored by Hirsch Feed & Farm Supply, the competition will take place at 3 PM in the parking lot near the West Plains Senior Center at the corner of East Main and South Curry streets. Admission to it, as well as all festival activities, is free.

A demonstration of mule jumping will precede the competition at 11 a.m. at the same location. Attendees will be welcome to ask questions of the demonstrators.

Mule jumping, that most Missourian of Missouri folk arts, seems to have developed when raccoon hunters began training mules to jump over fences so that they did not have to interrupt the hunt to locate a gate. It became a competitive event unto itself, and mule jumping contests began to take place at county fairs and town picnics throughout much of the rural Southeast and Midwest, especially Missouri.

All trainers of jumping mules are invited to participate in the Festival’s mule jump competition. Prizes of $100 (first place), $75 (second place), and $50 (third place) will be awarded in each of two classes based on the mules height: up to 52 inches, and taller than 52 inches. Standard Missouri rules will apply. Water and ample space for trailers will be available. Richie Dement of Centerville will coordinate the event again this year.

Pre-registration is recommended but not required. Contestants who wish to pre-register may contact Matt Meacham at 417-372-3177 or All participants are asked to check in on-site by 2:30 PM Saturday, June 16.

Those who have questions about specific policies and procedures may call 573-648-2524.

The Old-Time Music, Ozark Heritage Festival is the signature event for West Plains. The two-day festival seeks to celebrate, preserve, pass on and nurture an appreciation of the old-time music and folk life traditions distinctive to the Ozark Highlands. Admission is free.

Major sponsors include the West Plains Council on the Arts, the City of West Plains, the Ozark Heritage Welcome Center, West Plains Civic Center and Missouri State University-West Plains. Partial funding for this event was provided by the Missouri Arts Council, a state agency.

For more information about the festival, visit

(West Plains) – Area residents can see the latest spring fashions and help the Garnett Library on the Missouri State University-West Plains campus during the “A Shopping – Bag Luncheon” and Fashion Show from noon to 1 PM tomorrow at the West Plains Country Club.

The show, presented by The Kloz Klozet and Cottage Flowers and Interiors, will benefit the Friends of the Garnett Library and feature the latest styles in dresses, slacks, accessories, shoes, fashion jewelry, travel accessories and handbags, fresh and silk flowers, and home decor items, according to Florence James and Kristi Dake, owners of The Kloz Klozet and Cottage Flower and Interiors, respectively.

Doors will open at 11:30 AM for those who wish to come early to shop and socialize. Attendees also will have the opportunity to shop immediately following the show from 1-1:30 PM

Admission is $25, with proceeds going toward book purchases at the Garnett Library. Those who attend will receive $10 gift certificates from the presenters, and prizes will be given away. Organizers also point out that tables of four, six and eight are available for those who would like to bring their friends or co-workers to the event.

This show will mark the 17th such show benefitting the Garnett Library, organziers pointed out.

Seating is limited, so those planning to attend the April 27 event should purchase tickets in advance at the Missouri State-West Plains development office located in Kellett Hall, 905 W. Main St., or at The Kloz Klozet, No. 16 Court Square, or Cottage Flowers and Interiors, 917 W. Broadway.

For more information, call 417-255-7940.

(Jefferson City) – Don Hicks, President and CEO of the Missouri Broadcasters Association, was inducted into the Missouri Southern State University Regional Media Hall of Fame in a ceremony at MSSU last Thursday, April 19.

The award honors professionals who have made a regional impact in media throughout their careers. Award recipients are featured in a display in the first floor broadcast area of Webster Hall at MSSU.

Don also received a crystal trophy and proclamations from the Missouri State Senate and the office of the mayor of Joplin at the event.

(West Plains) – Former Grizzly Basketball player and current University of Nevada-Las Vegas (UNLV) Associate Vice President for Development Scott Roberts will give the keynote address at the Missouri State University-West Plains 2012 commencement ceremony at 10 AM Saturday, May 19, at the West Plains Civic Center arena.

Roberts said he will discuss seizing opportunities, embracing change and giving back during his presentation. Everyone is invited to attend the event.

A native of Carthage, MO, Roberts directs all academic and unit based fundraising for UNLV and oversees a staff of 21. Prior to moving to Las Vegas in 2010, he served as director of university development at Pittsburg State University (PSU) in Pittsburg, KS. There, he was credited with increasing private fundraising from $9 million in 2004 to more than $20 million in 2010, as well as with successfully completing a $120 million campaign. These efforts were recognized when PSU was awarded the 2010 Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE)-WealthEngine Award for Excellence in Fundraising, which recognizes overall performance and overall improvement in educational fundraising.

He and his wife, Barb, a former Grizzly Volleyball team member, live in Las Vegas with their two daughters, six-year-old Marley and four-year-old Audrey.

For more information about commencement activities, contact the Missouri State-West Plains academic affairs office, 417-255-7272.

(West Plains) – West Plains Sanitation Department Assistant Supervisor Brent Lidgard reports that last week’s city-wide clean up netted 580 tons of refuse collected, compared to a normal week total of 430 tons. That equates to 47 dump truck loads of refuse collected requiring 209 extra man hours for the project.

Lidgard expressed special thanks to all the sanitation department crew, as well as those in the water and street department who assisted in the hard work that goes with clean up week. Special thanks are also extended to City residents for getting their trash out on time to help eliminate having to double back over the routes.

During the South Central Solid Waste District collection of household hazardous waste at the transfer station on Saturday, more than 200 vehicles dropped off items. This week, the same group is collecting old passenger car tires free of charge at the transfer station until 1000 tires are collected. As of 4 PM Monday, a total of 482 tires had already been turned in.

If you have any questions regarding the tire collection, you may call the Sanitation Department office at 417-255-2330.

(West Plains) – The Samaritan Outreach Center in West Plains is participating in the Feinstein Challenge again this year and center director Michelle Jackson says it will culminate with a special event on Monday night:

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The challenge ends at midnight on Monday night. Jackson also says they will be moving into their new building on Missouri Avenue in West Plains in the very near future.

(West Plains) – Tomorrow is the 2012 Ozarks Medical Center Fun Run, which organizers say will be an evening of fun for the entire family. Race events kick off at 6:30 PM at the OMC Parkway Classroom.

The funds from the event go to help patients who are in need and undergoing cancer treatment at OMC with cost such as medication and transportation to treatments.

Events include a 5K race and a non-competitive 1.5 mile walk/run.

Following the race, entertainment will be provided by Oh the Fire!, a local Christian Rock band whose members include Luke Parrish, Tony Meza, Taylor Hall and Dalton O’Conner. The band will play while results are being tailed and their performance will be followed by an awards ceremony recognizing the overall and age group winners in the 5K event. Participants and spectators are asked to bring lawn chairs.

Food and concessions will also be available for purchase, including healthy food options.

Registration is ongoing. Forms are available on the OMC website at or can be requested by calling the OMC Public Relations Office at 417-257-6735. Participants may for a team of five or more to save $5 off individual registrations.

Race-day registration and participant check-in begins at 5 PM inside the Parkway Classroom, located next to Ramey Foods and Family Dollar. Prior to the race, beginning 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.

(Mountain Home) – A Mountain Home man is under arrest and is accused of sexually assaulting three underage girls.

78-year-old Jimmy Johnston was arrested and charged with felony 2nd Degree Sexual Assault after a joint investigation between the Mountain Home Police Department and Arkansas State Police. The investigation began on April 1 after the police department received a complaint of a sexual assault that occurred at Calvary Chapel Twin Lakes church in Mountain Home. Johnston attended church, as did the three female victims who are 9, 9, and 11-years-old. A report from the Mountain Home Police Department says that the girls reported Johnston inappropriately touched them underneath and outside of their clothing.

Johnston was incarcerated in the Baxter County Detention Center on a $10,000 bond, which was posted.

(West Plains) – The Second Annual Goat Cart Races, sponsored by the Pride of the Ozarks Goat Breeders Club (POGBC), will return to the 18th annual Old-Time Music, Ozark Heritage Festival, set for June 15 and 16 in and around the West Plains Civic Center in downtown West Plains. Admission to the festival is free.

The races are scheduled for 7 PM Friday, June 15, in the southeast parking lot of the West Plains Civic Center. Last year’s races were extremely well-attended, and POGBC members are excited about returning to the festival. Goat cart rides were offered last year, and will be repeated on Saturday, June 16.

Pre-registration for the race is encouraged, but not required. There is no entry fee. Contestants who wish to pre-register, or those with inquiries, should contact John Maruska at 417-284-1344 or at Prizes of $100 (first place), $75 (second place), and $50 (third place) will be awarded. All participants are asked to check in on-site by 6:15 PM Friday, June 15.

There is no special design that is required in the carts or wagons. They can be two or four wheel, just about anything on wheels that a goat can pull, but only one goat can pull it, organizers said. One driver is required and a “handler” is nice but not required; he may run around ahead of the goat to make sure he doesn’t veer off track but is not allowed to lead him.

Festival attendees are encouraged to stop by the POGBC booth and register for their giveaways, which will include a goat and several other related items. Club members also will be available to answer questions.

The organization held its first meeting in 1997 and welcomes breeders of all types of goats: meat, fiber, pack, and pet goats, in addition to dairy goats.

This year, the organization is turning its attention toward philanthropic projects, including donating goats to a children’s home in Arkansas and developing a mentoring program that will resemble Heifer International but will operate on a local level.

The Pride of the Ozarks Goat Breeders Club meets on the second Saturday of each month at 1 PM at the Howell-Oregon Electric Cooperative building on U.S. 63 just north of West Plains. Find out more at the organization’s website here.

The Old-Time Music, Ozark Heritage Festival is the signature event for West Plains. The two-day festival seeks to celebrate, preserve, pass on and nurture an appreciation of the old-time music and folk life traditions distinctive to the Ozark Highlands. Admission is free.

For more information about the festival, visit

(West Plains) – This Saturday is the annual Howell County Lincoln Day celebration in West Plains, and a new speaker has been confirmed for the event.

US Senate candidate John Brunner has confirmed he will be in attendance for the event. Brunner, a St. Louis area manufacturer, will have the opportunity to speak to those in attendance at the annual gathering of Howell County Republicans at the West Plains Civic Center.

Howell County Collector Larry Spence spoke with Ozark Radio News and told us about the meeting:

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Congresswoman Emerson was announced as the keynote speaker at an earlier date. Spence says that tickets for the event are still available:

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Tickets for the event are $25. For more information, call the West Plains Civic Center Box Office at 417-256-8123.