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Front Row left to right – Bus Drivers – Al Canby, Vicki Smith, Pam Taber , Trina Sanders Dr. Scott Smith – Assistant Superintendent, Dr. Luke Boyer – Assistant Superintendent, Second Row Left to right – Scott Corman – Community First President and CEO, Dr. John Mulford – Superintendent, Michael Hoff – Community First Banking Company,  Bob Pekarek – Transportation Director, Alva Parks - Driver, Peggy Tyler Linda Taylor, Gust Steckman – Transportation Department, Susan Carter - Driver (Provided)

Front Row left to right – Bus Drivers – Al Canby, Vicki Smith, Pam Taber , Trina Sanders Dr. Scott Smith – Assistant Superintendent, Dr. Luke Boyer – Assistant Superintendent,
Second Row Left to right – Scott Corman – Community First President and CEO, Dr. John Mulford – Superintendent, Michael Hoff – Community First Banking Company, Bob Pekarek – Transportation Director, Alva Parks – Driver, Peggy Tyler Linda Taylor, Gust Steckman – Transportation Department, Susan Carter – Driver (Provided)

(West Plains) – The West Plains School District has announced that they have added nine new Bluebird buses to its fleet.

Eight of the buses are 77 passenger conventional school buses and the ninth is a 22 passenger bus to be used for children with special needs.

The new school buses come with a new look, each having black hoods and grills.  This new look will allow patrons to easily recognize West Plains School District buses when they are in route.  Additionally, each bus is air conditioned, allowing for a comfortable ride to and from school. Air conditioning is now available on all but one of the district routes.

Funding for these buses was provided through a lease purchase option in conjunction with L.J. Hart & Company. In addition, Community First Banking Company of West Plains partnered with LJ Hart & Company and the West Plains School District to provide the financing. Scott Corman, Community First Banking Company President and CEO, stated “ Community First is pleased to provide funding for our local schools; especially when it is for the  safe and reliable  transportation of our children”.

(Columbia) – A new study by Feeding America and the Missouri Food Bank Association (MFBA) shows that 1 in 5 people, or an estimated 1.19 million Missourians, rely upon food pantries and meal service programs to feed themselves and their families on an annual basis.

The study documents client household demographics and the challenges that Missouri food bank clients face. On an annual basis, 1,190,600 unique clients are served at food banks, while an estimated 70% of clients in Missouri are White; 20% are Black; and 3% are Hispanic. An estimated 46% of client households report at least one employed person at some point last year.

An estimated 60% of partner food programs reported an increase in the volume of clients coming to the program in the past 12 months. Among partner food programs reporting turning away clients for any reason in the past 12 months, an estimated 24% did so because they ran out of food. 65% of clients have had to choose between paying for food and paying for medicine/medical care. 69% have had to choose between paying for food and paying for utilities.

Hunger in America 2014 was conducted using rigorous academic research standards and was peer reviewed by a technical advisory team including researchers from American University, University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana and the Urban Institute.

A summary of the findings is available at www.feedingmissouri.org.

(Willow Springs) – With the first full week of school underway, Willow Springs Superintendent Dr. Derrick Hutsell told Ozark Radio News that some new additions to the district are being warmly received by students:

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Hutsell added that the teachers in the district have done a tremendous job getting ready for the school year:

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The Willow Springs High School football team will be playing their first game of the season this Friday at Reeds Spring.

(West Plains) – Univerisity officials have announced a total of 1,928 students began classes Monday morning, August 18, the first day of the 2014 fall semester, at Missouri State University-West Plains.

That is the number of students enrolled as of Sunday evening, August 17, which was the end of regular registration period for the fall semester. Last year, 1,920 students were enrolled for the first day.

Monday’s figures included enrollment numbers from Missouri State-West Plains’ extended campus in Mountain Grove and early enrollees in the dual credit/dual enrollment classes being offered this fall at several area high schools.

Chancellor Drew Bennett says that the school is pleased that attendance is up for a second year in a row, adding that the census date, which is the 20th day of class, will be the official enrollment number.

Bennett explained the official number is normally higher than the first-day enrollment figure due in large part to the extended registration period for such programs as VESTA (Viticulture and Enology Science and Technology Alliance), the Missouri Sheriffs’ Association Training Academy peace officer training course, and some high school dual credit classes.

In addition to these students, 122 students are enrolled in the bachelor’s and master’s degree courses offered on site and via interactive television (ITV) by Missouri State University’s Outreach Program on the West Plains campus. This is a slight increase over last fall when 118 students were enrolled on the first day of classes.

(Mountain Home) – The Friends of the Library invite you to help them support the Library by shopping at their Used Book Sale August 21, 22, and 23 at the Donald W. Reynolds Library.

Book Sale hours are Thursday, August 21, from 8:30 AM-6 PM, Friday, August 22, from 8:30AM-5PM and Saturday, august 23, from 8:30 AM-1:30 PM.

Items featured in this sale include fiction by authors James Lee Burke, Catherine Coulter, W.E.B. Griffin, Jack Higgins, and Iris Johansen, multiple items from the Twilight Saga by Stephenie Meyer, and the Harry Potter series by J. K. Rowling, collectible editions, books on quilting, cookbooks, fishing, airplanes, and WWII. As well as Health related, French language, science fiction and fantasy books.

After shopping the Book Sale on Saturday, enjoy a round of Library Mini Golf. People can play 18 holes of mini golf in air-conditioned comfort inside the Library 10 AM-4 PM, Saturday, August 23. Children 12 and under play free, older children and adults are $5. Proceeds benefit the Library Maker Space Project.

For information about all Library programs visit the Library’s website at www.baxlib.org.

(Mountain Home) – Karen Heslep, of Mountain Home has been named 2014–15 Chair-elect of the National Board of Future Business Leaders of America-Phi Beta Lambda (FBLA-PBL).

FBLA-PBL president and CEO Jean Buckley says Heslep is a great choice to lead the national FBLA-PBL board, and has been a part of the organization since she was a high school student member at Stuttgart High School.

Ms. Heslep is currently a PBL adviser for Arkansas State University and has served as the co-adviser of Kensett High School FBLA chapter, as well as PBL Arkansas Executive Team Committee member, PBL State Officer Adviser, and as PBL Primary and Co-adviser for Arkansas State University Mountain Home. She has been a member of the FBLA-PBL Professional Division since 1988, served as Arkansas State President from 1991–93, and serves on the board of the Arkansas FBLA-PBL Foundation, Inc.

(Winona) – Join the Current River Callers and the Missouri Department of Conservation for the seventh annual Jakes Day at Twin Pines Conservation Education Center on Saturday, September 13 from 11:30 AM to 4:30 PM.

Organizers say the event is for kids ages 6 to 12 and features a variety of hands-on activities geared to that age level.

This year’s sessions include fishing, archery, air rifle, survival skills, hunt smart hike, turkey talk demonstration and scavenger hunt. Check-in for those who have pre-registered and on-site registration will be from 11:30 AM to 12:15 PM, with a lunch being served at that time. A welcome to the event is scheduled at 12:15 PM and activities start at 12:30 PM. The event is free and each registered attendee, age 6-12, will receive a free Jakes membership, door prize, goodie bag and a chance to win this year’s main prizes.

Jakes, a division of the National Wild Turkey Federation, stands for juniors acquiring knowledge, ethics and sportsmanship. This program provides opportunities and challenges in line with the abilities of youth. Jakes is dedicated to informing, educating and involving youth in wildlife conservation and the wise stewardship of our natural resources.

Pre-registration is advised. Reservations for the event can be made in advance by calling 573-325-1381. Please be sure to check-in at the entry booth, if you have pre-registered, so your child can complete their entry into the day’s events and drawings. Twin Pines is located 1.3 miles east of Winona on Highway 60.

(Fayetteville) (AP) – Fayetteville officials have created an anti-discrimination ordinance that requires the creation of a civil rights administrator position.

KHOG-TV reports the measure passed 6-3 Tuesday night. The ordinance is designed to ban discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

It’s unclear how much the administrator will be paid, when the position will be created and what it will do.

(Ripley County) – A resident of Alpena, AR was killed Tuesday morning after a two vehicle accident in Ripley County.

The accident happened just before 11:30 AM on Highway 160 at the Route JJ intersection, when the westbound Jeep Cherokee driven by 78-year-old Earnest Hamlett of Van Buren turned into the path of an eastbound National Guard Humvee driven by 26-year-old Logan Lee of Bolivar.

A passenger in Hamlett’s vehicle, 51-year-old Patricia Emberton of Alepna, AR, was pronounced dead at the scene by Ripley County Coroner Mike Jackson at 12:10 PM.

Hamlett suffered moderate injuries and was taken to Poplar Bluff Regional Medical Center by ambulance. Lee was uninjured, according to a report from Troop E of the Highway Patrol.

The death marks the 34th roadway fatality for Troop E for this year.

1 2(West Plains)- At approximately 3PM crews responded to a two vehicle accident on Jan Howard and Broadway, near the Cash Saver Grocery Store, in West Plains.

While both vehicles suffered major damage to their front ends, crews on scene shared that it looked to not be a full head on collision. It was also reported that there was at least one injury in the accident and that they were either taken by ambulance or private vehicle to Ozarks Medical Center in West Plains.

No cause of the accident has been released nor has any charges been issued to either driving party.