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Archive for June, 2013

(Jefferson City) – Missouri Governor Jay Nixon has signed a bill allowing pharmacy owners to not carry certain drugs or devices if they object to them on philosophical or religious grounds.

Senate Bill 126, which allows Missouri pharmacy owners to opt not to carry or maintain certain devices or pharmaceuticals within their pharmacy, was signed on Thursday.

Missouri Right to Life President Pam Fichter said in a release that the group is grateful to the Governor for signing the bill, adding that it allows owners to stand on their religious and moral beliefs not to carry abortion drugs or devices, and protects to pharmacy owners from lawsuits.

(West Plains) – The brand new Boys & Girls Club of the Greater West Plains Area is celebrating summer and a new menu for Roper’s Café, from which 10% of proceeds will benefit the Club.

The “Be Great Menu”, designed by Club member, Dylan Groves, is a perfect illustration of a child’s dream coming to life through the Boys & Girls Club. Groves spoke with Ozark Radio News recently and discussed the Club:

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The menu reveal party will be held on July 11 beginning at 6 PM at the old Opera House located above Roper’s and Café 37 on the West Plains Square. Tickets are $20 a person or $30 per couple and will cover the cost of dinner from the new menu. Live music is also scheduled.

Also that evening, the Club will be open and held at the Zizzer high school football stadium where kids can enjoy a movie played on the new scoreboard. All children are welcome to attend with no extra charge while their parents are at the Menu Reveal Party.

Tickets can be purchased by calling 417-204-CLUB, by emailing info@bgclubwp.com, or by visiting one of the following locations:

  • Earl’s Dodge, Chrysler, Jeep
  • Burton Creek Medical Complex
  • The Boys & Girls Club Main Offices: 613 W. First Street, West Plains
  • Roper’s and Café 37 on the square

More information can be found on the Club’s website: www.bgclubwp.com.

(West Plains) – West Plains city residents are beginning to receive their summer newsletters and City Clerk Mallory Prewett says it contains information on a number of topics:

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West Plains city offices will be closed next Thursday for the observance of The Fourth of July.

(Houston) – Local authorities received a report from a 64-year-old Tulsa Oklahoma man that a fifth-wheel trailer had been burned to the ground and that several items had been stolen from his property at Bear Claw Road in Texas County.

The trailer that burnt was valued at $5,000. The stolen goods included a gas-powered generator and a chainsaw also a tractor had been damaged by the fire.

There are currently no suspects in the case.

Joe Collins

Joe Collins

(West Plains) – Joe Collins from the History Channel show “Ax Men” and the semifinalists for this year’s Texaco Country Showdown will be present during tomorrow’s celebration of America, Skyfire 2013, presented by the Ozark Radio Network,

The event will take place tomorrow the West Plains Regional Airport in Pomona. Gates will open at 5PM. Admission is $1 per person.

The festivities will begin at 5:30 PM, and include vendor booths and food. The Texaco Country Showdown semi-finalists performance will start at 6 PM. Fireworks will commence around 9:20 PM.

This years Skyfire is sponsored by the West Plains Chamber of Commerce, the Willow Springs Chamber of Commerce, Caterpillar, and Pepsi.

The Texaco Country Showdown, which will start around 6 PM, is being sponsored by Butler’s Carpet and Berry Berry Frozen Yogurt. Semifinalists for the Showdown include:

Jackie Sharpe, Willow Springs; James Dunnihoo, West Plains; Olivia Powers, Pottersville; Samantha Downing, West Plains; Brady Peterson, West Plains; Jaci Story, Willow Springs; Lancer Blair, Salem, MO; Don and Melanie Lynn, Holts Summit, MO; and Evan Johnson, Plato.

Several students received awards in this year’s creative writing contest sponsored by the Missouri State University-West Plains Department of English and Writing Center, and they were recognized during the annual Celebration of Leaders student awards ceremony April 18 at the West Plains Civic Center theater.  From left are Associate Professor of English Anthony Priest and winners Kadie Tyler and Brian Hite, both of West Plains, Lemuel Emunah of Dora, Othniel Emunah, who accepted the award given to Zerubbabel Emunah of Dora, and Sonrisa Holmes, Willow Springs.  Emmily Andrews, West Plains, also was a winner in the contest.  (Missouri State-West Plains photo)

Several students received awards in this year’s creative writing contest sponsored by the Missouri State University-West Plains Department of English and Writing Center, and they were recognized during the annual Celebration of Leaders student awards ceremony April 18 at the West Plains Civic Center theater.  From left are Associate Professor of English Anthony Priest and winners Kadie Tyler and Brian Hite, both of West Plains, Lemuel Emunah of Dora, Othniel Emunah, who accepted the award given to Zerubbabel Emunah of Dora, and Sonrisa Holmes, Willow Springs.  Emmily Andrews, West Plains, also was a winner in the contest.  (Missouri State-West Plains photo)

(West Plains) – Missouri State University- West Plains had five students win top honors at the campus’ annual creative writing contest sponsored by the English Department and the Student advisement and Academic Support (SAAS) Center’s Writing Lab.

First, second, and third place winners respectively received prize money in the amount of $35 and $20 and a copy of Elder Mountain: A Journal of Ozarks Studies, the university’s literary journal, in each of three categories- essay, fiction and poetry.

Sonrisa Holmes of Willow Springs won first place in the essay category for her piece “Respect for the Dead: Are Corpses More Revered Than the Living?”

Brian Hite of West Plains received second place for his essay “Death to the Individual” and Kadie Tyler of West Plains took third place with the essay “Plagiarism.”

For the fiction category, Holmes again placed first for her story “Weary,” a tale about a fairytale godmother who is rescued by a veteran soldier and offers him a wish. Hite earned second place with “Static”, and Emmily Andrews, West Plains, placed third for her piece “White Rabbit in Aster Fields.”

In poetry, Lemuel Emunah, Dora, took first and second place for his pieces “Adoxography” and “Steam Powered,” and Zerubbabel Emunah, also of Dora, placed third for his poem “Intruder.”

Organizers said they received 29 entries for this year’s contest – five essays, 17 poems and seven short stories. “I’m proud of all the winners, but I have to admit I was proud two of the winning authors worked at the Tutoring Lab,” said Writing Specialist Alexandra Graham, pointing to winners Lemuel Emunah and Holmes.

Copies of the first, second and third place entries in each category can be viewed online through SAAS’ website, http://wp.missouristate.edu/saas/Contest.htm.

For more information about the contest, contact Graham at 417-255-7942.

The word hero was coined in 1387 and finds its roots in the Greek word h~ros.

It refers to characters who, in the face of danger and adversity or from a position of weakness, display courage and the will of self- sacrifice.

Being a sports fan, it is easy for me to think of David Freese in the 2011 Major League Baseball Playoffs or Michael Jordan’s shot at the buzzer to beat the Cavaliers in 1989. We casually use this term, hero – whether it be a great sports moment or for someone at the office when they’ve helped us meet a deadline. In some respects, I think the term has become watered down.

My own thoughts about the definition of a hero is someone who without thought of their own personal safety, does whatever it takes (including willingly giving their own life) to protect or save another human being. Recently this hit home on a personal note when I attended the funeral of a good friend and fellow Sheriff, Cody Carpenter. Scott County Arkansas Sheriff Carpenter and Game and Fish Officer Joel Campora drowned while trying to save the lives of two women who were trapped in the raging flood waters of Mill Creek. Both men gave their life attempting to save two people they did not even know personally. These men embody the true definition of hero.

I am sure you can imagine the spouses’ somber faces of each of the Sheriffs who came to honor Sheriff Carpenter. One of them remarked that had the flood been in their own county, it could have easily been their spouse for whom they would be grieving. She was right — and not just about it being a fellow Sheriff. Any law enforcement officer, whether City, State, County or Federal, would have willingly put themselves in the same situation.

Our law enforcement and military personnel go out every day and place themselves in harm’s way to protect people they do not even know – and every day, their spouse, children and loved ones wonder if they will return home safely.

Let’s not wait until someone makes the ultimate sacrifice of their life before honoring them with the term, hero. Let’s make it a point to recognize and honor all of the brave heroes who walk amongst us every day and keep us safe.

To the families of Sheriff Carpenter and Officer Campora, I pray that you will find healing and peace. To my friend, Sheriff Carpenter, I know Heaven has a special place reserved for all of the brave heroes like you.

(Little Rock) (AP) – Arkansas’ U.S. senators have split on legislation that offers the chance at citizenship to the 11 million immigrants now living in the country unlawfully.

Democratic Sen. Mark Pryor voted for the historic immigration bill on Thursday, while Republican Sen. John Boozman voted against it. The Senate approved the measure on a 68-32 vote.

Pryor called the measure the “strongest border security bill in history” and praised the bipartisan vote for it. Boozman said he believed the bill approached the immigration system in the wrong way, and he said it doesn’t provide enough resources for enforcement.

The legislation offers a path to citizenship for millions in the country illegally and promises a military-style surge to secure the border.

(Jefferson City) (AP) – A judge spared subpoenaed members of Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon’s administration from testifying before a Missouri House panel Thursday as top Republican lawmakers suggested the governor was trying to stonewall an investigation into whether officials are trying to comply with a federal proof-of-identity law.

Cole County Circuit Judge Dan Green issued a preliminary order blocking the House investigatory committee from proceeding with the subpoenas, which had been issued late Wednesday with a demand to appear Thursday morning before the committee. The Nixon administration employees had ignored the demand.

House Speaker Tim Jones, who issued the subpoenas, expressed outrage that they had been rebuffed by five current members of Nixon’s administration and a former Cabinet official whom Nixon has since appointed to an administrative judge position.

“Why is the governor stonewalling? What is he afraid of? What is he hiding?” said Jones, R-Eureka. “The more that he objects, the more Missourians should wonder: Why does the governor not want to come forward and have his bureaucrats testify and have the truth be told on this?”

The panel of legislators and law enforcement officials appointed by Jones is looking into whether state officials tried to implement provisions of the 2005 federal Real ID Act, despite a 2009 state law forbidding compliance with the proof-of-identity law.

The federal anti-terrorism law set stringent requirements for photo identification cards to be used to board commercial flights or enter federal buildings. But some states believe the federal government is exceeding its authority, and the Missouri Legislature is one of several that have opposed its implementation.

In December, Missouri’s Department of Revenue started making electronic copies of personal documents – such as birth certificates – that applicants must show to obtain driver’s licenses and state identification cards. The retention of such documents is one of the many federal standards under the Real ID Act, but officials in Nixon’s administration have insisted it’s an anti-fraud measure taken at their own initiative.

The judge did not provide a written reason Thursday explaining why he blocked the committee from enforcing the subpoenas, but he indicated the decision was temporary. He directed attorneys for the House committee to file court documents supporting the subpoenas by July 28.

A Nixon spokesman declined to comment about Thursday’s legal action.

The subpoenas target Nixon Policy Director Jeff Harris, Administration Commissioner Doug Nelson, Senior Legal and Policy Adviser Chris Pieper, Deputy Chief of Staff Peter Lyskowski and Deputy Director of Legislative Affairs Kristy Manning – all of whom at some point served as a liaison between the governor’s office and Revenue Department. Also subpoenaed was Alana Barragan-Scott, the former Revenue Department director whom Nixon appointed in December to the Administrative Hearing Commission.

All of the employees were represented in court by James McAdams, a former attorney general’s office employees who now is the deputy director and general counsel of the state insurance department, which is under Nixon’s control.

McAdams argued in court documents that the subpoenas were unreasonably burdensome because of their short notice and the fact that they would be detracting employees from important tasks, such as reviewing budget bills and legislation pending before Nixon. He said Barragan-Scott was scheduled to preside over an administrative hearing Thursday.

He also argued that the House panel was not a true legislative committee – because it includes some non-lawmakers and a disproportionately small number of Democrats – and thus could not hear testimony compelled under a subpoena by the House speaker.

Jones called those “frivolous objections.”

The subpoenas are “absolutely within the lawful investigatory power of any committee of the House. This one is no different,” he said.

Officials from the Department of Revenue, which is part of Nixon’s administration, have voluntarily testified before the House panel. They have insisted the agency has not tried to comply with the Real ID Act, despite memos to the federal government in which Revenue Department officials asserted that Missouri’s licensing procedures are comparable to many of the provisions of Real ID.

Jones and several committee members said Thursday that it appears officials have violated the state law against implementing the federal law.

“It’s our belief that there will be evidence that this was directly approved by Gov. Nixon,” said committee member Russ Oliver, the Stoddard County prosecutor who filed a suit as a private attorney earlier this year against the new license procedures.

It’s possible that governor’s office employees could still agree to a later date on which they would voluntarily testify before the panel. But the committee chairman, Rep. Stanley Cox, R-Sedalia, said tensions could continue to grow.

“I’d rather not subpoena the governor just yet,” he said. But “if we have to, we will.”

(Springfield) (AP) – An Alaska man who eluded authorities for nearly a decade has been sentenced for sexually abusing a young girl in the 1990s.

Fifty-year-old Franklin Patrom of Juneau, Alaska, was sentenced to 13 years in prison after pleading guilty Tuesday to sodomy charges.

Prosecutors say the abuse started in 1992 when the victim was 9 and continued until 1996. When the girl reported the abuse in 2001, Patrom fled Springfield. He was arrested in 2003 in Alaska but posted bond and again fled. He was arrested again in 2011 and transferred to Greene County to await trial.

KYTV-TV reports Patrom agreed to a plea deal that will require him to serve at least 85 percent of his sentence before he is eligible for parole.