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Archive for June, 2012

(Jefferson City) (AP) – Triple-digit temperatures means Missouri utilities cannot shut off customers’ electricity for unpaid bills.

Missouri regulators said Friday that state law ensures consumers cannot have their electricity turned off during extreme heat. The policy kicks in when forecasts call for temperatures above 95 or a heat index above 105 degrees.

Officials reported scattered complaints Thursday about some utilities seeking to disconnect customers’ power. The Public Service Commission says it is not aware of anyone whose electricity was turned off.

(West Plains) – The Ozark Radio Network’s presentation of Skyfire 2012 and the semifinals for the Texaco Country Showdown, originally scheduled for Tuesday, July 3, at the West Plains Regional Airport, has been postponed until further notice.

“Due to the dry conditions seen across the region in recent weeks and the excessive heat, we have decided to put Skyfire on hold,” said Ozark Radio Network President and CEO Tom Marhefka on Friday. “With the number of wildfires happening across the Ozarks, and the frequency and ease of which they’ve been popping up, we felt that it wasn’t safe at this time for the show.”

A specific date for Skyfire has not been set, but the event will be held at some point this summer, once temperatures cool and an adequate amount of rain has been received.

(West Plains) – The City of West Plains will reduce the swimming pool admission at the West Plains Aquatic Park through July 4. Prices will be $2 for children and $3 for adults.

Also, the city urges citizens to conserve energy during peak times of the day, and to conserve water until the heat breaks.

(West Plains) – Due to the heat, the city of West Plains has announced that city transit buses will shuttle people to various cooling centers in the city at no charge. West Plains City Clerk and Public Relations Director Mallory Thompson has more:

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The transit runs in West Plains Monday through Friday.

She continued says that the burn ban is still in effect, and reminds people of a city ordinance that pertains to the upcoming holiday:

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For more information call West Plains City Hall at 417-256-7176.

(West Plains) – A number of records were broken on Thursday, but not in the way many had hoped – temperatures soared across the Ozarks on Thursday, shattering records across the region.

Temperatures reached 106 degrees in West Plains on Thursday, breaking the previous record of 101 set in 1952.

Other temperatures reported across the region included 107 degrees in Pottersville, 115 degrees in Harrison, AR, 108 degrees in Mountain Home, 110 degrees in Gainesville, 105 in Houston, and 103 degrees in Plato and Licking.

(Nixa) – Crews from the Nixa, Republic and Battlefield fire department fought a three-acre grass fire on Thursday afternoon in the 2100 block of N. Hazeltine Rd in Christian County.

Crews on scene say that the homeowner whose property was burning was shooting off fireworks with a parachute deployment, and that the parachute landed in dry grass and quickly spread.

No homes were damaged.

(Little Rock) (AP) – The U.S. Drought Monitor now shows parts of Arkansas to be in extreme drought.

The new classification released Thursday shows the drought has worsened in parts of north, west and south Arkansas. National Weather Service meteorologist Chris Buonanno in North Little Rock says the state is far below normal in precipitation for the last two months.

High temperatures during the spring helped dry the soil, which has intensified the drought conditions now being felt. Buonanno says there is a slight chance of rain forecast for next Tuesday or Wednesday but not nearly enough to break the drought.

The dry weather is pressuring Arkansas farmers and ranchers. The dry grass has left cattle without forage and ranchers have to feed the animals hay. That foretells a hay shortage for winter.

(West Plains) – With the lack of rain this summer, a number of area fire chiefs have asked the Howell County Commission to help spread the word about fire danger. Northern Howell County Commissioner Bill Lovelace says that a number of chiefs met with the Commission on Wednesday:

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Lovelace says that, while the Commission can not issue a burn ban for the county, they do say that they can highly advise against burning, and educate the public:

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Temperatures are forecasted to be at or over 100 degrees for the next week, with no rain in the forecast thus far.

Bear and Skillet's Cafe manager Markey Schweiger at the end of the 2012 MDA Lockup. $26,000 was raised at the event. (ORN Photo)

(West Plains) – Roughly $26,000 was raised on Thursday for the Muscular Dystrophy Association during the annual MDA Lock-Up, held at Skillet’s Cafe in West Plains.

Ozark Radio News spoke with Jerry Bear, Executive Director with the Greater Ozarks Chapter of the MDA, who said that over 100 jailbirds helped raise the funds:

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He continued and said that the generosity of the region amazes him each and every year:

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The 2012 MDA Telethon will be held in primetime on Sunday, September 2, and will be broadcasted from CBS Television City in Los Angeles, California. Unlike previous telethons, which ran up to 6 hours long, the 2012 broadcast will be 3 hours.

(Jefferson City) – The Missouri State Highway Patrol says traffic fatalities are up nearly 20 percent from last year, the first increase after six years of decline. Cathy Walters has more:

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Troop C, which includes St. Louis, and Troop H, which includes St. Joseph, both had small declines in traffic fatalities.