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Archive for December, 2012

From left: Coroner Tim Cherry, Northern Commissioner Bill Lovelace, Assessor Daniel Franks, Judge David Evans, Sheriff Mike Shannon, Southern Commissioner Billy Sexton and Public Administrator John Pruett. Administrating the oath is Clerk Dennis Von Allmen. (ORN Photo)

(West Plains) – Government officials in Howell County were sworn in on Monday at the Howell County Courthouse.

Officials sworn in by County Clerk Dennis Von Allmen included Sheriff Mike Shannon, Northern Commissioner Bill Lovelace, and Southern Commissioner Billy Sexton.

All were reelected to their position except for Public Administrator John Pruett, who replaces Charm Eagleman.

(Cape Girardeau) – The executive director of the Missouri Republican Party says he will seek to be nominated as a candidate for the 8th Congressional District.

The AP reports that Lloyd Smith, who was also a former chief of staff for U.S. Rep. Jo Ann Emerson, announced his plan to seek the nomination on Friday. Emerson, a Republican, announced in early December that she is leaving Congress in February after first winning the seat in 1996.

In an email to members of the Republican congressional committee, who will choose a nominee for the seat to run in a special election, Smith said he hopes to talk with committee members about his vision for serving in Congress.

Several others have also expressed interest in succeeding Emerson.

(Montier) – An icy road is blamed for an accident Saturday afternoon in Shannon County that injured a Mountain View resident.

The accident happened three miles south of Montier on County Road 675, when the southbound vehicle driven by 36-year-old Jennifer Haynes lost control and slid into a culvert.

A report from the Highway Patrol states that Haynes suffered moderate injuries, and was taken to Mercy Hosptial in Mountain View by a private vehicle.

(White Church) – A West Plains resident was seriously injured after a one-vehicle accident Friday morning.

The accident happened at 9:30 AM on Route 17, about three miles north of White Church, when the southbound vehicle driven by 44-year-old Hazel Stover traveled off-road, struck an embankment and overturned, ejecting her from the vehicle.

Stover was taken from the scene of the accident to Cox South Hospital in Springfield by ambulance.

(Jefferson City) – With the winter weather seen across the region over the weekend, the Missouri State Highway Patrol urges drivers to be extremely cautious during snow and ice. Chuck Myers has more:

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(ABC Photo)

(Beebe) (AP) – An Arkansas town has issued a fireworks ban after dead blackbirds rained down from the sky on the last two New Year’s Eves.

The Daily Citizen reports the city council in Beebe approved an ordinance this year banning fireworks in areas where blackbirds have been known to roost.

Thousands of dead blackbirds fell from the sky as people in Beebe rang in 2011, drawing conspiracy theorists and filmmakers to the town about 30 miles northeast of Little Rock. A number of dead birds tumbled from the sky last New Year’s Eve, too.

Scientists say the loud cracks and booms from celebratory fireworks likely sent the birds into such a tizzy that they crashed into homes, cars and each other before plummeting to their deaths.

(Houston) – Two people were injured Friday afternoon after a one-vehicle accident north of Houston.

The accident happened at 3:25 PM on Highway 63, when the southbound vehicle driven by 36-year-old Joshua Lohrer of Bucyrus lost control on a patch of ice, skidded off-road and overturned.

Lohrer and a passenger, 29-year-old Tracy Lohrer of Bucyrus, suffered minor and moderate injuries, respectively. Tracy Lohrer was taken to Texas County Memorial Hospital by ambulance, while Joshua Lohrer sought his own medical attention, according to a report from the Highway Patrol.

(Jefferson City) (AP) – The new year is bringing a dime increase for Missouri’s minimum wage and the end of an open records law exemption that has shielded from disclosure security systems and structural plans for buildings and polices for responding to terrorism.

Starting Wednesday, workers in Missouri will be paid at least $7.35 an hour, an increase above the federal rate of $7.25 because of inflation. A 2006 voter-approved law increased the minimum wage and included an annual cost of living adjustment.

The minimum wage also is increasing in nine other states, according to the National Employment Law Project. Advocates estimate Missouri’s minimum wage increase could directly affect 72,000 people and indirectly affect 7,000.

Business groups said Missouri needs to rethink automatically increasing the minimum wage based upon inflation because it makes it harder to compete with neighboring states.

Another change taking hold with the start of 2013 could allow access to some records that governmental agencies previously were permitted to close.

Two exemptions to Missouri’s open records law, frequently called the Sunshine Law, expire at the end of 2012. One covers the operational guidelines and policies developed by law enforcement, public safety, first response or public health authorities for preventing and responding to terrorism incidents. The other deals with security systems and structural plans of property that’s owned or leased by a government agency.

But the change could be short-lived. Legislation has been proposed to extend the Sunshine Law exemptions through 2016. Jean Maneke, an attorney for the Missouri Press Association, said there has been work to adjust the exemptions to improve the definitions and make them more precise and narrow.

(Willow Springs) – Troop G of the Missouri State Highway Patrol has announced the results of the CARE operation, or Combined Accident Reduction Effort, during the Christmas weekend.

Captain Dwayne Isringhausen, the commanding officer of Troop G, has announced zero fatal traffic crashes, investigated two alcohol-related collisions, and investigated nine crashes on CARE designated highways. Troopers made three DWI arrests, four drug arrests, issued 200 speeding citations, 66 seat belt tickets, and 10 child restraint citations. Additionally, officers issued 387 warnings and provided 91 motorist assists.

(West Plains) – The Ozarks Small Business Incubator has announced that SMS Technologies, LLC is a new tenant client.

SMS Technologies, a full-time technology business servicing residential, business, and educational customers, is owned and operated by Byron Stuart.

SMS Technologies offers complete service for mobile devices, and provide maintenance and repair of smartphones, iPhones, and iPods. They also offer computer maintenance and installation as well as custom equipment purchases.

SMS Technologies, will also be helping provide technology and assistance with school districts in Howell County and the surrounding areas to lower the cost of new equipment that meets state guidelines by utilizing federal funding sources, with a Technology Lease program for on-site, remote, and part-time support. Through the Technology Lease program, small school districts have the option to out-source their IT department and avoid the burden and expense of hiring within the organization.

Stuart, along with Computer Technician Dane Friga, will be providing training to local community members on technology ideas and software. Stuart and Friga will be instructing two workshops at the Ozarks Small Business Incubator. The first one is Microsoft Excel 2010-Essentials on January 8 and the second is Microsoft Excel for Businesses on February 5.

For more information on SMS Technologies and the workshops please call 256-9724 or stop by OzSBI at 408 Washington Avenue in downtown West Plains.