(Houston) – The Texas County Memorial Hospital Healthcare Foundation recently received a Jayco Series Sport 10 pop up camper to give away for the Hospice of Care fund which benefits area Hospice of Care patients.
The camper will be awarded to a winner on November 8 at 3 PM at the TCMH Healthcare Foundation’s annual Chili Cook Off which also benefits Hospice of Care.
The pop up camper has a $7,500 value, and Wehr Motors’ donation covered much of the camper’s cost. Tickets will be sold for $10 each or $50 for six tickets. The camper pops up to feature a queen bed on one end and a full bed on the other end. Between the beds and the cargo deck the camper will sleep five to six. The sectionalized tents on the camper have a five-year warranty against mildew, cracks, mold and scratches. The cargo deck has a kitchen with a propane top that can be used inside or carried outside. The kitchen has a dinette area and a refrigerator.
An awning can be pulled out and anchored on one side of the camper. The camper can hold 10 gallons of potable water. The camper also comes with a lifetime warranty that covers the lifter system, the bed platforms, the roof, the frame and the floor.
Owens explained that the camper is currently parked at TCMH if anyone wants to see it.
The TCMH Healthcare Foundation and Hospice of Care have a fundraising goal of $55,000 for the 2014 Chili Cook Off, and proceeds from the camper ticket sales will go toward overall fundraising for the event.
For additional information about tickets or a 2014 Chili Cook Off, contact Hospice of Care at 417-967-1279 or 1-866-967-3311 ext. 1279.
(Big Spring) – The Buzzard Run Band will perform their acoustic mix of bluegrass at the Depression Era Cabin near Big Spring starting at 7 PM this Saturday, July 26. The free concert is part of the festivities recognizing Ozark National Scenic Riverways’ fiftieth anniversary.
From Poplar Bluff and Naylor, Missouri, Buzzard Run has been entertaining at festivals and park events for many years.
Organizers remind those planning on attending to bring a lawn chair or blanket for the musical entertainment.
For information on Ozark National Scenic Riverways, visit the park Facebook page, the park website at www.nps.gov/ozar or call 573-323-4236.
(West Plains) – A Night Manager is currently needed for the nonprofit organization Southwest Missouri Office On Aging.
This is a part time position and a High School diploma or equivalent, and ability to work independently is required. Good oral and written communication skills are a must. Social service background or experience in a group residency a plus.
Applicants interested in this position can send their resume to P.O. Box 311 West Plains, Mo. 65775. For further information on this position you can call 417-256-4055.
(West Plains) – Don Piper, author of Best selling book “90 Minutes in Heaven”, will be in service at First General Baptist Church, 409 Joe Jones Blvd, West Plains, next Friday, August 1 at 7 PM.
The 2004 book documents the author’s near death experience in 1989, and remained on the New York Times best-seller list for nearly four years.
The public is invited and admission is free.
For information Pastor Bob Arnold 417-256-4309 or 417-257-4938.
(Washington) (AP) – President Barack Obama’s health care law is snarled in another big legal battle, with two federal appeals courts issuing contradictory rulings on a key financing issue within hours of each other Tuesday.
But the split rulings don’t necessarily mean another trip to the Supreme Court for the Affordable Care Act.
And White House spokesman Josh Earnest immediately announced that millions of consumers will keep getting financial aid for their premiums – billions of dollars in all – as the administration appeals the one adverse decision.
In that first ruling, a divided three-judge panel in Washington called into question the subsidies that help millions of low- and middle-income people afford their premiums, saying financial aid can be provided only in states that have set up their own insurance markets, or exchanges.
About 100 miles to the south in Richmond, Virginia, another appeals court panel unanimously came to the opposite conclusion, ruling that the Internal Revenue Service correctly interpreted the will of Congress when it issued regulations allowing health insurance tax credits for consumers in all 50 states.
Split appeals court decisions are a classic route to the Supreme Court. But in this situation, it’s far from clear what will happen because the administration still has a legal card to play.
Since the Washington case was decided by a three-judge panel, the administration will ask the full 11-member appeals court to hear the case. The full U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit has seven judges appointed by Democratic presidents, including four by Obama.
If the full court comes out in favor of the administration, the prospect of Supreme Court involvement would be greatly diminished. On the other hand, if the full Washington court stays out of it or, after a hearing, essentially leaves the panel’s decision in place, then the Supreme Court would almost certainly weigh in.
Democratic appointees also constitute a majority of the full appeals court in Richmond.
Both cases are part of a long-running political and legal campaign to overturn Obama’s signature domestic legislation by Republicans and other opponents of the law.
In the Washington case, Halbig v. Burwell, a group of small business owners argued that the law authorizes subsidies only for people who buy insurance through markets established by the states – not by the federal government.
That’s no mere technical distinction, since the federal government is running the markets, or exchanges, in 36 states.
The Washington court agreed with that objection, in a 2-1 decision that could mean premium increases for more than half the 8 million Americans who have purchased taxpayer-subsidized private insurance under the law.
Two judges appointed by Republican presidents voted against the administration’s interpretation of the law while one appointed by a Democratic president dissented.
The majority opinion concluded that the law, as written, “unambiguously” restricts subsides to consumers in exchanges established by states. That would invalidate an IRS regulation that tried to sort out confusing wording in the law by concluding that Congress intended for consumers in all 50 states to have subsidized coverage.
“At least until states that wish to can set up exchanges, our ruling will likely have significant consequences both for the millions of individuals receiving tax credits through federal exchanges and for health insurance markets more broadly,” wrote Judge Thomas Griffith.
“But, high as those stakes are, the principle of legislative supremacy that guides us is higher still,” he added.
Justice Department spokeswoman Emily Pierce said the Washington court got it wrong.
“We believe that this decision is incorrect, inconsistent with congressional intent … and at odds with the goal of the law: to make health care affordable no matter where people live,” Pierce said in a statement.
In Richmond, the three-judge 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals panel was unanimous in its decision upholding the law’s financing. That court said the IRS did a reasonable job of interpreting legal language that is “ambiguous and subject to multiple interpretations.”
In a concurring opinion, Judge Andre Davis used pizza as an analogy. He wondered what would happen if he were to ask a friend for ham and pepperoni pizza from Pizza Hut, adding that Domino’s would be fine as well. If the friend came back with Domino’s, that would fulfill his request, he wrote.
The seemingly arcane issue could be crucial to the success of the health law because most states have been unable or unwilling to set up their own exchanges. The inaction stems in many instances from opposition by Republican governors to the Affordable Care Act.
It all revolves around four words in the 900-page law, which says tax credits to help pay premiums are available to people who enroll through an exchange “established by the state.”
The challengers to the law say a literal reading of that language invalidates the IRS subsidy to people in the federal exchanges.
The Obama administration and congressional and state legislative supporters of the Affordable Care Act say the challengers are failing to consider the words of the statute in its entirety.
The Supreme Court has considered several challenges to the health care law, most recently ruling that some private companies don’t have to cover birth control if it offends religious scruples. The biggest ruling came in 2012, when a divided court let stand the law’s core requirement that most Americans carry health insurance or face fines.
The Richmond case is King v. Burwell.
(Washington) (AP) – Senate Democrats prepared Tuesday to whack $1 billion from President Barack Obama’s emergency spending request for the border, while leaving out policy changes Republicans have demanded as their price for agreeing to any money. The developments pointed to a hardening stalemate over the crisis in South Texas with lawmakers preparing to leave Washington for their annual summer recess at the end of next week.
Legislation being finalized by Appropriations Committee Chairwoman Barbara Mikulski would spend $2.7 billion for more immigration judges, detention facilities and other resources for the southern border, where unaccompanied kids are arriving by the tens of thousands from Central America. It also would include $225 million for Israel’s Iron Dome, designed to intercept short-range rockets and mortars, as Israel battles Hamas militants, and $615 million to fight wildfires raging in the West.
“The United States has an obligation to help resolve these crises but is running out of money,” Mikulski said in a statement late Tuesday. “The costs are real and urgent. We don’t save money by refusing to act or through delay.”
Yet the money for wildfires and for Israel appeared unlikely to sweeten the deal enough for Republicans to swallow it absent legal changes to allow the Central American kids to be turned around fast at the border and sent back home.
“We insist on having the 2008 law repealed as part of it and they’re not willing to do that,” said Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz.
Said Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas: “Unfortunately, it looks like we’re on a track to do absolutely nothing.”
Senate aides said the smaller spending bill, which could come to the floor to a vote next week, aimed to include enough money to handle the border crisis through the end of this calendar year amid pleas from Homeland Security Department officials who say overwhelmed agencies will be running out of money in coming months. Mikulski said she would formally unveil the legislation Wednesday.
“Based on a review of what is needed in calendar year 2014 to meet needs at the border, the bill reduces the president’s request by $1 billion,” Mikulski said.
But in a conference call with governors from across the U.S., Obama and top officials said Congress needs “to fully fund our supplemental request,” the White House said, warning that inaction would soon render border agents and immigration courts unable to do their jobs.
More than 57,000 kids have arrived since October, mostly from El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala. Polls suggest the public is demanding a solution, but lawmakers could not say where a compromise might lie.
“I’m always willing to compromise, but not if it means taking away that element of the 2008 law and simply saying well you can round `em up and ship `em back without any questions,” said Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa.
Senate Democrats’ legislation puts them on a collision course with Republicans who control the House. They, too, have described plans to dramatically scale back Obama’s spending request, but like Republicans in the Senate they have made changes to the 2008 trafficking victims law a condition for approving any money.
“I don’t believe the American people will support sending more money to the border unless both parties work together to address these policies and actually solve this problem,” House Speaker John Boehner said Tuesday.
The 2008 law guarantees judicial hearings for unaccompanied youths arriving here from Central America, which in practice allows them to stay in this country for years because of major backlogs in the immigration court system.
Republicans want the law changed so that unaccompanied Central American kids can be treated like those from Mexico, who can be sent back by Border Patrol agents unless they can demonstrate a fear of return that necessitates further screening. Republicans say that’s the only way to send a message to parents in El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala that there’s no point in sending their kids on the arduous journey north.
White House officials have indicated support for such changes but have sent mixed signals about it under pressure from immigration advocates who say it would amount to sending kids fleeing vicious gang violence back home to their deaths. Democrats who initially were open to such changes also have grown increasingly opposed.
A working group established by Boehner was to make its recommendations to the full House Republican caucus on Wednesday. Members have already made clear that changes to the 2008 law will be front and center.
Meanwhile, the Homeland Security Department said Tuesday it arrested 192 people along the U.S.-Mexican border in South Texas on immigrant-smuggling charges and seized more than $625,000, part of the Obama administration’s efforts to discourage and disrupt the flood of people crossing the border illegally.
(Jerusalem) (AP) – A Hamas rocket exploded Tuesday near Israel’s main airport, prompting a ban on flights from the U.S. and many from Europe and Canada as aviation authorities responded to the shock of seeing a civilian jetliner shot down over Ukraine.
Israel declared that Ben-Gurion Airport was safe and said there was no reason to “hand terror a prize” by halting flights.
The rare flight ban came as Israel grappled with news that a soldier went missing after an attack in the Gaza Strip, raising the possibility he was abducted, a scenario that could complicate intense diplomatic efforts to end the two-week conflict.
Palestinian militants have fired more than 2,000 rockets toward Israel since fighting began on July 8, but most – including several heading toward Tel Aviv – fell harmlessly into open areas or were shot out of the sky by the “Iron Dome” defense system, keeping Israeli casualties low.
Tuesday’s rocket attack was the closest to the airport so far, said police spokeswoman Luba Samri, and largely destroyed a house, slightly injuring one Israeli in the nearby Tel Aviv suburb of Yehud.
Aviation authorities reacted swiftly. The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration prohibited American airlines from flying to Tel Aviv for 24 hours “due to the potentially hazardous situation created by the armed conflict in Israel and Gaza.” Later, the European Aviation Safety Agency issued an advisory to airlines saying it “strongly recommends” airlines avoid the airport.
Germany’s Lufthansa, Air France, Air Canada, Alitalia, Dutch KLM, Britain’s easyJet, Turkish Airlines and Greece’s Aegean Airlines were among those carriers canceling flights to Tel Aviv over safety concerns amid the increasing violence.
Israeli Transportation Minister Yisrael Katz called on the U.S. aviation authority to reconsider, calling the flight ban “unnecessary” and saying Israel’s Iron Dome missile defense system provided cover for civil aviation.
“Ben-Gurion Airport is safe and completely guarded and there is no reason whatsoever that American companies would stop their flights and hand terror a prize,” his office said in a statement.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu raised the issue of the ban with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, who was in the Middle East on Tuesday, State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said.
“The FAA’s notice was issued to protect American citizens and American carriers. The only consideration in issuing the notice was the safety and security of our citizens,” Psaki said in a statement. ”
International airlines and passengers have grown more anxious about safety since last week, when a Malaysia Airlines jet was shot down over Ukraine, killing all 298 people on board. While Hamas rockets aren’t guided missiles, they still can cause massive damage to an aircraft. For instance, unguided mortar fire in Tripoli from a militia battling to control its international airport destroyed an Airbus A330 on the ground over the weekend.
The Tel Aviv airport is Israel’s main gateway to the world and Hamas militants have said they hoped to target it to disrupt life in Israel.
Another Hamas objective was to abduct an Israeli soldier, and Israeli fears over such an occurrence were revisited Tuesday when the military announced that a soldier was missing following a deadly battle in Gaza, where the Israelis are fighting Hamas militants in the third such war in just over five years.
The military said Sgt. Oron Shaul was among seven soldiers in a vehicle that was hit by an anti-tank missile in a battle in Gaza over the weekend. The other six have been confirmed as dead, but no remains have been identified as Shaul’s.
Hamas claims to have abducted him and has flaunted his name and military ID number to try to back that claim. Military officials say the soldier is almost certainly dead, but it would be a nightmare scenario for the Jewish state if even his remains were in the hands of Hamas.
Past abductions of Israeli soldiers have turned into painful drawn-out affairs and Israel has paid a heavy price in lopsided prisoner swaps to retrieve captured soldiers or remains held by its enemies. The prolonged saga of Gilad Schalit, a soldier captured by Hamas-allied militants in 2006 and held for more than five years before he was swapped for more than 1,000 Palestinians prisoners, still weighs heavily in Israel.
“We understand the terror organization is looking for some leverage and as cynical as it sounds, one type of leverage is bargaining over parts of bodies,” said Lior Lotan, a reserve Israeli colonel and former head of its POW and MIA department.
Israeli airstrikes continued to pummel Gaza tunnels, rocket launchers and militants on the 15th day of the war Tuesday as diplomatic efforts intensified to end fighting that has killed at least 630 Palestinians and 29 Israelis – 27 soldiers and two civilians.
Israel says its troops have killed hundreds of Hamas gunmen, while Gaza officials say the vast majority have been civilians, many of them children.
Israel says it is trying hard to avoid civilian casualties and blames Hamas for using civilians as “human shields.”
Human rights activists say past confrontations have shown that when Israeli carries out attacks in densely populated Palestinian areas, civilian deaths are inevitable.
The Israeli military said that after a firefight with Palestinian militants on Tuesday, troops saw some Palestinian gunmen flee the scene in an ambulance.
The military said soldiers “did not target the ambulance in light of the possibility uninvolved civilians were in it.”
Egypt, Israel and the U.S. back an unconditional cease-fire, to be followed by talks on a possible new border arrangement for Gaza. Israel and Egypt have severely restricted movement in and out of Gaza since Hamas seized the territory in 2007. But Hamas has rejected repeated Egyptian truce proposals.
Both U.N. chief Ban Ki-moon and Kerry were in the region to make the highest-level push yet to end the deadly conflict.
Kerry met with Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi and other senior officials in Cairo. He stopped short of advocating a new round of peace talks but left the door open for broad negotiations between Israel and Palestinian officials once a cease-fire is in place.
“Just reaching a cease-fire is clearly not enough,” Kerry said. “It is imperative that there be a serious engagement, discussion, negotiation, regarding the underlying issues and addressing all the concerns that have brought us to where we are today.”
El-Sissi said he raised with Ban the possibility of an international donor conference for Gaza reconstruction after a cease-fire is implemented.
The U.N. secretary-general, meanwhile, said it was his “hope and belief” that his mission would lead to an end to the fighting “in the very near future.” Ban told the Security Council by videoconference from the West Bank city of Ramallah that he could not publicly reveal details “at this highly sensitive moment.” As he spoke a siren could be heard in the background.
Ban earlier met with Netanyahu in Israel, where he urged a resumption of talks toward bringing about a two-state solution.
Netanyahu responded that Hamas, a group whose charter calls for the destruction of Israel, does not want a two-state solution and said the international community needed to hold Hamas accountable for the latest round of violence, saying its refusal to agree to a cease-fire had prevented an earlier end to the fighting.
“What we’re seeing here with Hamas is another instance of Islamist extremism, violent extremism,” Netanyahu said at a joint press conference in Tel Aviv. “What grievance can we solve with Hamas? Their grievance is that we exist. They don’t want a two-state solution, they don’t want any state solution.”
Hamas, with backing from its allies Qatar and Turkey, says it wants guarantees on lifting the blockade before halting its fire.
Israel launched a massive air campaign on July 8 to stop relentless Hamas rocket fire into Israel, and expanded it to a ground war last week aimed at destroying tunnels the military says Hamas has constructed from Gaza into Israel for attacks against Israelis.
Israel has struck almost 3,000 sites in Gaza, killed more than 180 armed Palestinians and uncovered 66 access shafts of 23 tunnels, the military said.
Associated Press writers Ibrahim Barzak in Gaza City, Maggie Michael in Cairo, Tia Goldenberg, Ian Deitch and Yousur Alhlou in Jerusalem and Edith M. Lederer at the United Nations contributed to this report.
(Salem) – The Fulton County Fair will feature several events for horse lovers again this year.
The annual Fair Horse Show will be held Tuesday night, July 29 in the Everett Show Barn. Events will start at 6 PM. The Fair Horse Show will feature halter classes, showmanship at halter, western pleasure, lead-line class for youth age 5 and under, and trail classes. A new Horse Show Queen, Junior Horse Show Queen, and Horse Show Princess will be named during the horse show. Contestants are reminded that no horses are allowed on the fairgrounds until 4 PM on the day of the show, and Coggins papers will be checked before they enter the grounds. For information on the horse show contact Judy Robbins at 870-371-2107 or Christi Shaver at 870-895-3461.
Round Robin Style Team Roping will also be held Tuesday night in the Clayton-Plumlee-Walling Arena. The roping will start at 7:30 PM. Contestants should call Tyler Jackson at 870-371-0702 to enter. RLH Construction is the sponsor of the Tuesday night events.
Hall Rodeo LLC will produce two nights of rodeo action on July 30 and 31. The rodeo will start at 8 PM each night. Cline Hall is the 2013 ACA Top Rodeo Producer and will have a fast paced show for rodeo fans. Call Hall at 501-412-3644 to enter and for more information. The Wednesday night rodeo is sponsored by FNBC and the Thursday night event is sponsored by the Bank of Salem.
For a complete schedule of events for the Fulton County Fair, visit the fair website at www.fultoncountyfair.org. The fair will run July 28 – August 2 with events throughout the week. Admission is free to all fair events with a paid gate admission, which is $6 for adults and $4 for kids 6-12. Kids under 6 are admitted free, and there is no charge for parking.
(Little Rock) (AP) – Arkansas election officials say the state has delayed the deadline for submitting the petitions to the following workday for nearly 90 years, as they review a group claiming the state used the wrong deadline for an expanded alcohol sales measure.
A spokeswoman for Secretary of State Mark Martin’s office on Tuesday said officials were still researching the complaint from the group challenging the petitions that were submitted in favor of legalizing alcohol sales in all 75 counties. Let Local Communities Decide for Themselves argues the petitions for the alcohol measure should have been submitted by July 4, not the July 7 deadline used by the state.
Spokeswoman Laura Labay said it’s been standard practice since 1925 to push the deadline to the following workday if it falls on a holiday.
(Jefferson City) (AP) – Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon traveled to Iowa to get a personal look at the latest methods in ethanol production.
Nixon took the state plane Tuesday to tour a cellulosic ethanol plant in Emmetsburg, Iowa. He was accompanied by the Missouri agriculture and economic development directors.
The plant is a joint venture of Poet and Royal DSM and will use corncobs, leaves, husks and stalks to produce ethanol.
Poet also operates ethanol plants in Laddonia and Macon, Missouri, and is looking to expand its cellulosic ethanol production.
Iowa is often a destination for aspiring presidential candidates because of its early caucuses. But Nixon’s office says there were no politics involved in the trip.
Spokesman Scott Holste said the ethanol plant was the only item on Nixon’s schedule in Iowa.