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Archive for October, 2013

OzSBI Board Members are, from left,  Tom Marhefka, Ozark Radio Network; Gene Weinbeck, Fundraiser Software; Mark Basom, Retired Manager, JC Penney; John Coleman, Sumotext, Inc.; Michael Hoff, Executive Vice President, Community First Bank; Toney Aid, Director, OzSBI; Brenda Smith, Councilor, City of West Plains.

OzSBI Board Members are, from left, Tom Marhefka, Ozark Radio Network; Gene Weinbeck, Fundraiser Software; Mark Basom, Retired Manager, JC Penney; John Coleman, Sumotext, Inc.; Michael Hoff, Executive Vice President, Community First Bank; Toney Aid, Director, OzSBI; Brenda Smith, Councilor, City of West Plains.

(West Plains) – The Ozarks Small Business Incubator (OzSBI) in West Plains is excited to welcome their two new board members, Brenda Smith and Michael Hoff.

Brenda Smith is currently an instructor at Missouri State University West Plains and is serving on the West Plains City Council and the West Plains Charter Commission. Her professional career of education and training includes all levels from preschool to post-secondary.

Michael Hoff is Executive Vice President and Chief Lending Officer for Community First Banking Company, located in West Plains. He has 39 years of banking experience and currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Missouri Independent Bankers Association.  He also serves as Chairman of the West Plains Planning and Zoning Commission and is a Paul Harris Fellow with the West Plains Noon Rotary.

OzSBI’s mission is to create jobs and stimulate economic growth in West Plains and the surrounding region by helping new businesses grow. OzSBI currently serves 21 clients and coworkers. Since its opening in 2012, OzSBI and its clients have created over 45 jobs.

(Mountain Home) – Families can have fun with hands-on engineering activities during the Playful Building Workshops at the Donald W. Reynolds Library.

The workshops, which are designed to enhance the Discover Tech exhibit, challenge families to imagine the community park of their dreams. Parents and children work together to design and experiment with simple machines. Through a creative engineering process, participants will also learn about providing clean water and generating electricity.

In November there will be three separate sessions on Saturday, November 2, from 2-4 PM, Saturday, November 9, from 2-4 PM, and on Saturday, November 16, from 2-4 PM for families to attend. The exhibit is appropriate for children age 5 and up.

For additional information, you can contact Program Director Kim Crow Sheaner at kim.c@baxlib.org or 870-580-0979 or visit www.baxlib.org.

(Jefferson City) (AP) – The Missouri Supreme Court on Tuesday ruled against a Highway Patrol trooper’s same-sex partner who was seeking survivor benefits.

Highway Patrol Cpl. Dennis Engelhard was killed on Christmas Day in 2009 when he was struck by a vehicle while investigating a traffic accident on Interstate 44 in Eureka, outside of St. Louis. Missouri offers a payment to the surviving spouse of a Highway Patrol officer killed in the line of duty.

The statute governing survivor benefits defines marriage as between a man and woman. Missouri also has a prohibition on same-sex marriage in the state Constitution and in state law.

Engelhard’s partner, Kelly Glossip, did not receive the benefit. Glossip argued it violated the equal-protection clause of the state constitution.

The Supreme Court in a 5-2 ruling concluded Glossip is ineligible for survivor benefits because the two were not married – not because Glossip is gay.

“If Glossip and the patrolman had been of different sexes, Glossip would have still been denied benefits no matter how long or close their relationship had been,” the Supreme Court wrote. “The result cannot be any different here simply because Glossip and the patrolman were of the same sex. The statute discriminates solely on the basis of marital status, not sexual orientation.”

The high court said Glossip could have challenged the prohibition on marrying in Missouri or that if the couple married in another state, Glossip could have challenged Missouri’s law preventing recognition of same-sex marriages for the purpose of benefits. The court said it was upholding the Legislature’s ability to award and deny survivor benefits based upon whether the claimant was married to the trooper when the official died.

Tony Rothert, an attorney who represented Glossip, said it is disrespectful for the state to treat the men as strangers and that Glossip is devastated by the court’s ruling. Glossip and Engelhard lived together since 1995.

“While we’re disappointed and disagree with the majority’s reasoning, we are hopeful that the people of Missouri will see how important it is to pass legislation to prevent discrimination against lesbians and gays,” said Rothert, the legal director for the American Civil Liberties Union of Eastern Missouri. “Limiting benefits to married couples while denying same-sex couples the freedom to marry is discrimination, plain and simple.”

Missouri Supreme Court Judges Richard B. Teitelman and George W. Draper III dissented from the high court’s majority ruling, which was not attributed to any particular judge. Teitelman wrote the statutes discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation.

“The plain meaning and intended application … is to specifically discriminate against gay men and lesbians by categorically denying them crucial state benefits when their partner dies in the line of duty,” Teitelman wrote. “This type of intentional, invidious and specifically targeted discrimination is fundamentally inconsistent with the constitutional guarantee of equal protection under the law.”

The state high court heard oral arguments in the case this past February and asked attorneys to submit additional written arguments following the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in June to strike down a federal law barring legally married same-sex couples from receiving benefits from the federal government.

The Missouri attorney general’s office defended the Missouri Department of Transportation and Highway Patrol Employees’ Retirement System. A spokeswoman for the attorney general’s office declined to comment about Tuesday’s ruling.

The court’s ruling “will go down in history as a blemish,” said A.J. Bockelman, executive director of PROMO, a Missouri group that advocates for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality.

(Springfield) (AP) – A former southwest Missouri doctor has been sentenced to two years in prison without parole for illegally distributing prescription painkillers.

The U.S. Attorney’s office said Tuesday that 76-year-old Nolan Denny Crisp, of Halfway, must also pay a $10,000 fine under the sentence he received in federal court.

Crisp worked from June 2009 to November 2010 at a clinic in Bolivar, providing pain management and other medical services. He pleaded guilty in April to one criminal count, admitting he wrote prescriptions for a person with whom he had a sexual relationship.

But clinic staff reported also seeing him dole out prescriptions in a parking lot to people who were not patients.

(Rogersville) (AP) – A child who was killed by a bullet by a man shooting at a target has been identified as a 4-year-old Branson girl.

KYTV reports the Christian County coroner on Tuesday identified the girl as Zoie Dougan. She died Monday after being shot outside a Rogersville area home she was visiting with her mother.

Sheriff Joey Kyle says the man who pulled the trigger was being held on an unrelated warrant for an unpaid traffic ticket in Webster County. No charges were immediately filed in the shooting.

Kyle says the man was firing a .22-caliber rifle at an old jug when Zoie ran out from behind a building into the path of a bullet.

She was shot in the head and died while being flown to a Springfield hospital.

(New Orleans) (AP) – Whooping cough has set a post-1960s record in Louisiana and things are worse in Texas, where nearly 2,900 cases have been reported, and Arkansas, where numbers are double those of a year ago. Louisiana health officials are asking doctors to keep an eye out for it.

Louisiana’s state epidemiologist, Dr. Raoult Ratard, says 169 confirmed and likely cases as of mid-October breaks a vaccination-era record of about 160 for all of last year.

The disease starts like a cold, with sneezing and a congested or runny nose.

Ratard says adults should get booster shots if they’re going to be around a baby so they don’t unknowingly spread the disease to those most likely to die from it.

Five babies less than two months old have died of whooping cough this year in Louisiana and Texas.

(Little Rock) (AP) – A Pew Charitable Trusts report shows health care spending on prison inmates in Arkansas more than doubled from 2001 to 2008.

The report released Tuesday says Arkansas spent $4,900 per inmate in 2008 – up from $2,362 in 2001. Researchers relied on numbers from the federal Bureau of Justice Statistics and 2008 was the most recent year available.

Correctional health care spending in the 44 states examined grew by an average of 52 percent. The report says states can combat the rising costs by expanding Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act, outsourcing and other measures.

Expanding Medicaid wouldn’t cover health care in prisons, but treatment provided to prisoners at hospitals would be eligible for Medicaid reimbursement.

Critics say states shouldn’t transfer the responsibility for prisoner care onto the federal government.

(Marshfield) (AP) – A southwest Missouri agriculture teacher faces criminal charges in a deadly crash.

32-year-old Chad Bybee of Rogersville entered not guilty pleas when he was arraigned Monday in Webster County on charges of involuntary manslaughter and second-degree assault. The Springfield News-Leader reports that he is jailed on a $100,000 bond.

Authorities said his blood-alcohol level was more than twice the legal limit after Friday night’s wrong-way accident on U.S. 60 killed 84-year-old William H. Hughes of Seymour. The Missouri State Highway Patrol says Bybee’s 6- and 8-year-old daughters were in their father’s car at the time of the accident and were taken to a Springfield hospital for treatment.

Logan-Rogersville Superintendent Jeremy Tucker says no action had been taken by the district because it’s deferring to the legal system.

(ORN Photo)

(ORN Photo)

(West Plains) – A big project in the city of West Plains has been completed. City Clerk Mallory Prewett says that the Preacher Roe sidewalk project fits into a larger plan for the city:

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She also wants to remind residents that Halloween will be observed this Thursday, and the city urges Trick-or-Treating to take place from 4-8 PM.

(ORN Photo)

(ORN Photo)

(Salem) – A Salem resident was injured after being struck by a vehicle on Monday.

The accident happened at 9:45 AM Monday morning five miles east of Salem when a tractor trailer, driven by 42-year-old Brandon White of Marionville, was traveling east bound on Highway 62 when 60-year-old Shannon Farris walked on the highway and walked into the path of White.

Farris was taken to White River Medical Center in Batesville by Fulton County Ambulance and later transferred to University of Arkansas Medical Center in Little Rock.

At report time no charges had been given to either party.