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Archive for January, 2013

(ORN Photo)

(Thayer) – No injuries were reported after a semi ran off-road and overturned on Highway 63 near Thayer.

Representatives with the Missouri State Highway Patrol say the accident happened around 2:30 AM Thursday morning when the northbound semi ran off-road and overturned.

The accident happened about a quarter mile north of the Thayer city limits.

(West Plains) – The Ozarks Small Business Incubator celebrated the grand opening of the new Idea Center on Wednesday with a ribbon cutting, an “elevator pitch” competition, and seminars with dignitaries.

Toney Aid, the director of OzSBI, says that the idea for the Idea Center came from “coworking spaces” in Europe, where entrepreneurs get together to share information:

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Also speaking at the event was West Plains Mayor Jack Pahlmann, who says the city has been behind the Incubator and its projects:

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Aid later told the crowd that the city of West Plains helped the Incubator with the initial $90,000 down payment for the building.

MSU-West Plains Chancellor Drew Bennett also spoke at the meeting, talking about how the college and the Incubator work together:

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Ozark Radio Network President and CEO Tom Marhefka is also the president of the West Plains Industrial Development Corporation. He talked about the importance of jobs in the area, and how the Incubator and Idea Center helps foster job creation:

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Representatives with the Delta Regional Authority, who helped facilitate $500,000 of the over $2 million project, were at the ceremony. Chris Masingill is the Federal co-chair of the Delta Regional Authority:

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Photos can be found here.

(Jefferson City) (AP) – Missouri legislators would be permanently barred from becoming lobbyists after leaving office, under a proposal before a state Senate panel.

The bill by Republican Sen. John Lamping, of St. Louis County, would apply only to people first elected to any public office after 2014.

Lamping was initially calling for a two-year “cooling off” period before ex-lawmakers could lobby, but decided to change his plan to ban the practice altogether and expand the prohibition to all other elected officials.

Of the 60 Missouri legislators who left office last year, at least four have already registered as lobbyists.

The Senate’s ethics committee heard testimony on the proposal Tuesday, but did not vote on it.

(Jefferson City) (AP) – A Missouri Senate committee is considering whether to renew security exemptions to the state’s open records law while requiring more advance notice of public meetings.

Two exemptions expired this year. One covered operational guidelines and policies developed by law enforcement and others for preventing and responding to terrorism. The other dealt with security systems and structural plans for property owned or leased by government agencies.

The Senate measure would renew the exemptions through 2017.

The bill would also require most public bodies to give 48 hours’ notice of meetings instead of the current 24 hours. And governmental agencies that seek to close meetings or records because of a “cause of action” would need evidence a lawsuit has been filed or have correspondence indicating it will be.

(Jefferson City) – Senators returned to the floor Wednesday morning. Senator John Lamping, R-Ladue, brings up Senate Bill 48, legislation that would modify provisions relating to the prohibition of racial considerations in adoption proceedings:

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Senator Shalonn “Kiki” Curls, D-Kansas City, agrees that race should not be a primary factor or a barrier in adoption cases; however, there may be instances when courts may consider the race in the best interest of the child. The bill was later set aside for further discussion:

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This week, Senators also discussed tax credits and a measure that would require schools to provide education and training concerning firearms and intruders.

(Willow Springs) – Former Missouri Treasurer and Representative Wendell Bailey says that, if selected to finish out former Representative Jo Ann Emerson’s term, he will not run for reelection. Bailey says that he’s the most qualified, having spent time in Washington in that seat:

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A committee of Republicans will make the decision at a meeting on February 9 in Van Buren at the River Centre at the Landing. The public is invited to attend the meeting.

(Jefferson City) (AP) – Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon wants to expand subsidized child care to more than 2,800 children whose parents are gradually moving up the pay scale at work.

Nixon’s proposed budget includes a $6.3 million funding increase for what’s described as “transitional child care.” The money would allow low-income parents who get raises to continue receiving a reduced child care subsidy instead of losing the aid altogether.

Missouri currently provides a full child care subsidy to families earning up to 122 percent of the poverty level. It also provides a transitional benefit for those earning up to 133 percent of poverty, or about $25,000 annually for a family of three.

Nixon wants to extend a transitional child care subsidy up to 175 percent of poverty, or about $33,000 for a family of three.

(Mountain Home) – A Norfork area man is accused of burglarizing a home and stealing around $3200 worth of items, including a shotgun and pistol.

20-year-old William Herren was arrested Monday, January 28 on one Felony and Misdemeanor charge of Theft.

On January 20, homeowners on Havner Road reported they had gone to church that morning and found their home broken into when they returned. Items taken included a coin collection, jewelry, a 42-inch TV, cash, and the firearms. Investigators say that they began searching pawn shop records and found that Herren had pawned the shotgun that was stolen at a Mountain Home pawn shop, along with an air tank that the victims had not yet reported stolen.

Herren was released later in the day after posting bond in the amount of $10,000, and is scheduled to appear in Baxter County Circuit Court on February 7.

Sheriff John Montgomery says the investigation is continuing, and an additional arrest in connection with the burglary is anticipated.

(Little Rock) (AP) – A House committee has advanced a bill that would ban dangerous sex offenders from some facilities in Arkansas state parks.

The bill by Republican Rep. Stephanie Malone of Fort Smith passed on a voice vote in the Judiciary Committee on Tuesday.

Malone’s bill would prohibit the most extreme categories of sex offenders from being present at swimming pools or playgrounds at state parks.

State parks officials sought the legislation.

(Mountain Home) – The Mountain Home Chamber of Commerce’s new Economic Development Director says he hopes to attract a variety of new businesses to the area.

Bo Gregory says that some of those businesses include retail outlets, restaurants, and entertainment venues:

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Gregory assumed the position on January 2.