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Archive for December, 2013

(ORN Photo)

(West Plains) – No major injuries were reported Monday night after a two-vehicle accident in West Plains.

The accident happened at 7:42 PM at the intersection of W. Main and Monks Streets, when the northbound vehicle driven by 38-year-old Eric Culton of West Plains failed to stop at a stop sign at the intersection and hit the rear of the vehicle driven by 54-year-old Eric Welchman of West Plains, which was eastbound on Main St.

Neither driver nor a passenger in Welchman’s vehicle sustained injuries. Culton was cited for a stop sign violation and failing to provide proof of insurance.

The usage of a cell phone while driving was cited as the reason behind the accident.

(Mountain Home) – Baxter County Sheriff John Montgomery has issued a stern announcement this New Year’s Eve, urging people to drive sober:

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The website is www.baxtercountysheriff.com.

(Jefferson City) – Missouri House Speaker Tim Jones will hit the road during the first days of 2014 to share the Missouri House legislative agenda for the 2014 session, which he calls the “4G Agenda”, and the tour includes a stop in West Plains.

Jones will make nine stops over the course of three days to discuss the details of the plan, which focuses on growth and opportunity, guaranteeing access to a great education, guarding and protecting Missouri values, and generating affordable and abundant energy.

Jones will begin the tour Thursday, January 2 with stops in Lebanon, Marshfield, and Springfield, and will conclude Monday, January 6 with two stops, the first at Almost Famous Grill, 1027 Porter Waggoner Blvd in West Plains from 11 AM to 12 PM and a visit to Three Rivers Community College in Poplar Bluff from 2-3 PM.

“The 4G Agenda is based on pro-growth, pro-jobs policies that will help our state thrive both now and in the years ahead,” said Jones, R-Eureka. “My goal is to build on the many successes of the 2013 session by advancing policy items that will help us create the opportunity for more good-paying family-supporting jobs, make a world class education more readily available to all Missouri young people, and protect our rights and freedoms from an ever-encroaching federal government.”

(Nixa) – Investigators say they suspect arson in a fire and explosion that destroyed a home in Nixa.

The fire started around 12:30 AM Monday. No one was home at the time.

Assistant Fire Chief Whitney Weaver says multiple callers reported hearing a loud explosion. Whitney says the explosion was likely caused by gasoline fumes or another accelerant.

No injuries were reported, and no other homes were damaged. The incident is still under investigation.

The AP contributed to this report

(Jefferson City) – It’s a new year and that means new laws in the state of Missouri.

Some of the new Missouri laws that take effect Wednesday are the result of bills passed during the 2013 legislative session, such as new screening requirements for babies who may have congenital heart disease, and new benefit entitlements for claims of serious work-related illnesses.

Missouri’s minimum wage will rise to $7.50 on Wednesday, making Missouri one of 20 states with a rate above the federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour. A law passed by voters in 2006 set Missouri’s minimum wage at $6.50 an hour with an annual cost-of-living adjustment. The National Employment Law Project, a New York-based worker advocacy group, estimates that the minimum wage increase will affect 104,000 workers in Missouri.

The sponsors of Missouri’s minimum wage initiative, meanwhile, have opposed laws enacted in 2009 and 2011 that first exempted many businesses from Missouri’s corporate franchise tax and then ordered the tax to be phased out. The middle step in that gradual reduction takes effect in 2014. Legislative staff previously estimated that Missouri could collect nearly $20 million less in franchise taxes for 2014, compared to the previous year, because of the phase out.

One of the new laws taking effect Wednesday seeks to replenish the state’s Second Injury Fund, which employers finance through surcharges on their workers’ compensation insurance premiums. The fund pays benefits to disabled workers who suffer additional serious work-related injuries or illnesses. As of mid-December, the fund had a balance of less than $3 million but owed nearly $39 million of initial payments to people, not counting interest. The new law temporarily doubles the fees paid by businesses for the Second Injury Fund. It also sets workers’ compensation benefits for people suffering from toxic-exposure illnesses, such as an asbestos-related cancer called mesothelioma.

(Thayer) – Residents from across the region are being urged to attend a meeting this coming Friday concerning the Ozark National Scenic Riverways’ proposed management plan, which will dictate the rules and regulations governing the park for the next 20 years.

Mike Slack with the local Ozark Property Rights Coalition group spoke with Ozark Radio News and told us more about the meeting:

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That meeting will be held at the Fun and Friends Senior Center in downtown Thayer starting at 6 PM.

(Willow Springs) – Willow Springs City Administrator Bob Pollard says that once temperatures warm up, pothole patching will begin:

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Pollard also says city offices will be closed on Wednesday for the New Year’s Day observance:

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That number for Willow Springs City Hall is 417-469-2107.

(Kirkwood) – In an effort to broaden the base of input for the Park Service’s latest management plan, the Ozark Heritage Project has a number of events planned and in the works.

Ozark Radio News spoke with Secretary/Treasurer of the Ozark Heritage Project Rick Mansfield about what their wanting to accomplish:

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Mansfield added that they will be having a fish fry and a gigging at the January 4, meeting:

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For more information about the meetings or the management plan you can contact Mansfield at 573-663-2269.

(Willow Springs) – Highway Patrol Troop G has announced their traffic totals for the Operation C.A.R.E. (Combined Accident Reduction Effort) Life Savers Weekend.

Troop G reported one fatal traffic crash, investigated four alcohol-related traffic crashes, and investigated 23 traffic crashes on C.A.R.E. designated highways. Troopers also made four DWI arrests, seven drug arrests, 72 other arrests, and issued 78 citations for speed, 38 seat belt citations, and two child restraint citations.

Officers also issued 238 warnings and assisted 117 motorists.

(Cassville) – Do you have questions about the Affordable Care Act and how it will affect you and your community? If so, make plans to attend “Affordable Care Act: What Individuals Need to Know.” from 6:30-8PM Tuesday, January 14, in the Commissioners room located at 700 Main, Cassville.

Ozark Radio News spoke with Janet LaFon, a family financial education specialist with University of Missouri Extension in Jasper County, about what the session has to offer:

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LaFon added that by going to their website people can find similar sessions in their community:

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For more information, contact the Jasper County Extension Center at 417-358-2158 and more information is available online at extension.missouri.edu.