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Archive for November, 2013

(Washington) – The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) is encouraging Americans across the country to shop small tomorrow as part of Small Business Saturday, a day that is dedicated to supporting the small businesses that anchor our local communities and strengthen our economy.

A study by the SBA says that America’s 28 million small businesses create two out of every three net new private sector jobs and are the backbone of our economy, with half of working Americans either owning or working for a small business.

Started in 2010, Small Business Saturday has boosted holiday sales for Main Street businesses around the country. Last year, nearly 70 million people shopped small in their communities for an estimated $5.5 billion in sales to independently-owned small businesses.

Small Business Saturday falls on November 30 and there are a number of ways people can get involved. For more information on how to support Small Business Saturday in your area, or to get great Small Business Saturday marketing tips and resources, check out www.smallbusinesssaturday.com.

(West Plains) – The West Plains Police Department has done well with receiving grants this year, according to Police Chief Charles Brotherton. He also says that he believes they will end this year with the same amount of calls as they did last year:

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Brotherton gave the report during the West Plains City Council meeting November 18.

(West Plains) – Over 150 Boy Scouts from across the area came together for a full day of learning and fun. The Missouri State University West Plains campus hosted this year’s fall 2013 Boy Scout Merit Badge University on Saturday, November 23.

During the University, Boy Scouts spent a full day in a classroom environment earning a merit badge of their choice. A few of this year’s merit badge choices included Communication, Citizenship in the Nation, Citizenship in the World, Chess, Auto Maintenance, Metal Work, and First Aid.

To achieve that rank of Eagle Scout, there are 12 specific merit badges that Boy Scouts must complete; some of which were offered during last weekend’s university.

(West Plains) – The lighting of the West Plains Christmas Tree will take place next Friday, according to City Clerk Mallory Prewett:

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City offices are closed today, and will reopen on Monday, December 2.

 Left to right: Crystal Howard, Lynette Hirsch, Amanda Kendrick, Shava Kendrick, and Candi Johnsen. (Provided)

Left to right: Crystal Howard, Lynette Hirsch, Amanda Kendrick, Shava Kendrick, and Candi Johnsen. (Provided)

(West Plains) – On November 23, volunteers at the group Birthday Blessings assembled more than 240 Christmas bags for local foster and at-risk children.

They will be distributed to these kids through the 37th Circuit Children’s Division, which covers children in Howell, Oregon, Shannon, and Carter Counties.

Since incorporating in April, Birthday Blessings has provided more than 100 local children in need with birthday gifts and party supplies.

For more information on the group, visit www.birthday-blessings.org.

(Columbia) – Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack has announced the availability of nearly $10.5 million in U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) grants to help agricultural producers enter into value-added activities designed to give them a competitive business edge.

The funding is being made available through the Value-Added Producer Grant program. Grants are available to help agricultural producers create new products, expand marketing opportunities, support further processing of existing products or goods, or to develop specialty and niche products. They may be used for working capital and planning activities. The maximum working capital grant is $200,000; the maximum planning grant is $75,000.

Eligible applicants include independent producers, farmer and rancher cooperatives and agricultural producer groups.  Funding priority is given to socially disadvantaged and beginning farmers or ranchers, and to small- to medium-size family farms, or farmer/rancher cooperatives.

Since 2009, the Obama Administration has provided agricultural producers with almost $80 million in Value Added Producer Grant assistance that has supported more than 600 innovative, value-added projects. In Fiscal Year 2013, for example, the Ozark Mountain Creamery, LLC in Mountain Grove, Mo. received a $137,611 grant to produce and market bottled cream and butter from the Fry Family dairy farm. The venture will create two new jobs and save an additional three jobs.

Grant applications are due by Feb. 24, 2014. More information about how to apply is available on page 70260 of the November 25 Federal Register, or by contacting any USDA Rural Development state office.

(Mountain Home) – Cell phones are more computers than phones these days, and the Donald W. Reynolds Library is hosting an adult cell phone class Tuesday, December 3 to help people find their way around the technology.

The class, which will be held at 4 PM, will cover topics like taking and sending pictures and video, maintaining a list of contacts, accessing the Internet, and more. Any variety of cell phone and any questions are welcome.

Library officials say that Teen Library organizers will facilitate the class.

For information about all Library programs, visit www.baxlib.org.

(Mammoth Spring) – The Common Sense Property Rights Coalition will meet Monday December 9 at 6 PM at the River Bend Restaurant in Mammoth Spring, according to board member Kevin Jotz.

The speakers at this meeting will be Duane Lester, editor of the Missouri Torch, an online newspaper dedicated to providing coverage of Missouri news, and Robyn Gilbert, an expert on foods that heal and improving health through dieting. The group will also discuss the US Park Service new rules restricting public use of the Ozark National Scenic Riverways and efforts underway to encourage the federal government to return the Scenic Riverway land to state control. Information on public hearings concerning the Scenic Riverways and car pool information for those wishing to attend will also be discussed.

Area residents interested in private property rights, food freedom and protection of constitutional rights are encouraged to attend. If you want more information, call 417-264-2435 or 417-270-1724.

(ORN Photo)

(ORN Photo)

(West Plains) – The national holiday didn’t deter shoppers Thursday night as shoppers in West Plains gathered in the Southern Hills Shopping Center to grab deals on electronics, household items and more.

Parking for Walmart stretched down to Community First Banking Company, and even down to Big Lots as people hiked sometimes a quarter mile to get into the store.

A number of businesses in the Southern Hills Shopping Center are holding Thanksgiving and Black Friday sales on Thursday and Friday, respectively.

(Willow Springs)- Thanksgiving Day is well known as a day set aside to give thanks for the people and things in your life, and this year the community of Willow Springs was on many local folks list of things their thankful for.

For the third year in a row the residents of Willow Springs came together to celebrate Thanksgiving as a community and enjoy a well cooked meal of turkey, potatoes, stuffing, cranberry sauce, rolls, and all the other fixings.

All the food items were 100% donated by residents so that those who wanted to come spend the day with their fellow community members could do so. Any donations given during the dinner will be donated to the Ministerial Alliance of Willow Springs.