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Archive for January, 2013

(Columbia, MO) (AP) – Midwesterners who had briefly swapped puffy coats for sandals and shorts switched back Tuesday as balmy conditions gave way to severe storms that carried a risk of tornadoes, freezing rain and, later, snow.

Record high temperatures across a swath of the central U.S. were being followed by thunderstorms and strong winds from Texas to Alabama and as far north as Michigan.

The temperature in the central Missouri college town of Columbia reached 77 degrees on Monday, a record for January, and students exchanged their winter coats for shorts and flip-flops as freezing rain gave way to spring-like conditions. The cold was expected to make a quick return, however, with early-morning snow on Wednesday.

In Kansas City, where the temperature reached 74 on Monday, people who had been jogging in shorts and T-shirts were chased off Tuesday by thunderstorms and swiftly falling temperatures. Snow was forecast for late Tuesday and into Wednesday.

The rapidly changing conditions created a risk of tornadoes, and the National Weather Service’s Storm Prediction Center in Norman, Okla., said the threat was greatest in northeast Texas, northern Louisiana, northwest Mississippi, southeast Missouri and much of Arkansas. The system was expected to hit much of the eastern United States on Wednesday.

On Monday, the National Weather Service predicted a “moderate” risk of severe weather more than 24 hours out, only the fifth time it had done so in January in the past 15 years, said Gregory Carbin, the director of the Storm Prediction Center.

A system pulling warm weather from the Gulf of Mexico was colliding with a cold front moving in from the west, creating volatility.

“We expect many reports of damaging winds before the night is out, as well as tornadoes,” said Bill Bunting, operations chief for the Storm Prediction Center.

The nation has had its longest break between tornado fatalities since detailed tornado records began being kept in 1950, according to the Storm Prediction Center and National Climatic Data Center. The last one was June 24, when a person was killed in a home in Highlands County, Fla. That was 219 days ago as of Monday.

The last day with multiple fatalities was June 4, when three people were killed in a mobile home in Scott County, Mo.

From left: Aldermen Danny Bradley and Susan Rackley, Beets, Mayor Jay Waggoner and Aldermen Troy Yonker and Bill Myers. (Photo provided)

(Willow Springs) – At their meeting this past Thursday, January 24, the Willow Springs City Council accepted an award from the Missouri Intergovernmental Risk Management Association (MIRMA) on behalf of the city.

The award is “in recognition of participation in the association’s risk management awards program” for which it has been awarded a risk management grant in the amount of $3,435.85. The money was used for a taser for the police department, power crimpers for the electric department and cutters for the water department.

MIRMA representative Kelly Beets said the grant is for members to receive up to 75 percent of the cost of items that will reduce their work comp or liability exposures. Beets said the city of Willow Springs has been a member since the 1980’s.

(Little Rock) (AP) – An Arkansas lawmaker has proposed banning abortion if doctors detect a fetal heartbeat, a move that would ban the procedure as early as six weeks.

Republican Sen. Jason Rapert of Conway on Monday filed legislation that would require doctors to test for a fetal heartbeat before performing an abortion. Rapert’s proposal would ban abortions if doctors detect a heartbeat.

The bill includes exemptions for rape, incest and the life of the mother.

Similar proposals have come up in other states, but have faced complaints that it would violate the U.S. Supreme Court’s 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling that legalized abortion up until viability, usually at 22 to 24 weeks.

Rapert’s measure is sponsored by 19 of the Senate’s 35 members.

(Ellington) – A resident of Ellington suffered moderate injuries Monday morning after the vehicle she was driving ran off-road, struck an embankment and overturned.

25-year-old Jessica Gardiner was taken from the scene of the accident to Southeast Health Care in Ellington by private vehicle.

The accident happened on Highway 160, about 10 miles west of Ellington.

(Houston) – The Texas County Memorial Hospital December board of trustees gave approval for the 2013 capital and operating budgets at their monthly meeting on Tuesday, January 22.

The $758,948 capital budget includes several items for new portions of the hospital expansion that is currently underway. The largest capital expenditure was $183,350 for a digital mammography unit for the TCMH radiology department.

Digital mammography uses digital receptors and computers instead of x-ray film to help examine breast tissue for breast cancer. Digital mammography also exposes the patient to less radiation, and digital mammography may lead to fewer retests for patients.

The radiology department will also get two new x-ray units, an additional ultrasound unit, and a new computed topography (CT) unit, but those items were included in the $18 million price tag to build and to provide equipment for the expansion.

New computers for each patient bedside area in the second floor medical surgical department of the expansion are budgeted at $53,300, two birthing beds totaling $36,191.40 are budgeted for the obstetrics department. A new upper endoscopy scope is budgeted for $35,904.25.

The TCMH laboratory has already taken delivery of a $71,550 Abbott immunochemistry analyzer, and payment will be made on the analyzer in January 2013.

The2013 capital budget is slightly more than the $748,995 capital budget in 2012.

Board members also approved the 2013 operating budget that projected gross operating revenue of $69,846,176 and net operating revenue of $216,063.

(Washington) – The Energy Education Council is urging people to save money and energy in 2013. Brett Stevens has more:

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(West Plains) – The Ozarks Small Business Incubator will be celebrating the new Idea Center tomorrow, with a ribbon cutting and an open house from 1:15-7 PM.

OzSBI Director Toney Aid says that a competition will also be held that will be lucrative for entrepreneurs in the area:

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The Incubator is located at 408 Washington Avenue in West Plains.

(West Plains) – In honor of National Heart Month in February, Ozarks Medical Center will host a free screening event from 7 AM to 12 PM Friday, February 15 at OMC Heart Care Services, 1115 Alaska Avenue, Suite 114, West Plains. The event will include cholesterol, glucose and blood pressure screening and a Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD) screening. The screenings are free but appointments are required and may be scheduled by calling OMC Education Services at 417-257-6793.

Participants in the cholesterol and glucose screening should not eat or drink for eight hours prior in order to receive accurate results on the blood test.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Protection, heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women. One in every four deaths in the United States is the result of heart disease.

PAD is a serious condition that occurs when the arteries in the legs become narrowed or clogged with fatty deposits or plaque. PAD affects one in every 20 Americans over the age of 50, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Left untreated, PAD can negatively impact a person’s quality of life and can cause other problems that could lead to amputation of a toe, foot or a leg. PAD is also serious because the hardened arteries found in people with PAD are a sign they have increased risk of hardened and narrowed arteries to the heart and brain. PAD is treated through lifestyle changes, medication or, if necessary, medical procedures. Symptoms of PAD include non-healing skin wounds, leg pain at rest, and leg or pelvic pain when walking.

The screening for PAD is an ankle brachial index or ABI, which measures and compares the blood pressure in the arms and ankles in order to detect poor blood flow, a sign of PAD. Not all persons are at risk for PAD. The screenings for PAD are limited to persons with high risk. Call 417-257-6793 to learn if you qualify for a free PAD screening.

OMC will also host heart health screenings on February 8 in Fulton County, February 13 in Texas County, and February 22 in Mountain Grove, and a free Heart Health Breakfast at 7:30 AM February 7 at the Teacher’s Store Conference Room, 205 Washington Avenue, West Plains.

Events are free, however, reservations and appointments are required and can be made by calling 417-257-6793.

(Jefferson City) (AP) – Missouri’s disaster management agency is planning a statewide earthquake drill as part of Earthquake Awareness Month.

On Feb. 7, more than 350,000 Missourians will participate in the exercise marking the 201st anniversary of the 1812 New Madrid (MAD’-rihd) earthquake. Missouri is one of nine states performing the drill on that day.

The Missouri Emergency Management Agency’s awareness campaign officially begins Feb. 1 with a seminar at Saint Louis University.

Other events include a geology presentation at Onondanga Cave State Park on Feb. 9 and an earthquake awareness day in Cape Girardeau on Feb. 16.

The New Madrid Seismic Zone, centered in southeast Missouri, is one of the nation’s most active earthquake areas. The 1812 earthquake altered the flow of the Mississippi River and destroyed farms.

(West Plains) – An interactive meeting tonight will give interested persons a chance to learn more about the city of West Plains stormwater department. City Clerk and PR Director Mallory Thompson says the meeting will be held at the Civic Center starting at 6:30 this evening:

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Tonight’s meeting will be held in the Magnolia Room at the Civic Center.