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(West Plains) – Recent rains have caused some delays with city projects in West Plains, according to city clerk Mallory Hawkins:

Hawkins also reminds motorists that may be driving near projects to slow down and pay attention to avoid accidents with workers and equipment.

(ShutterStock)

(ShutterStock)

(West Plains) – Work continues on the creation of a manufacturing training center in West Plains.

City economic development director Bob Case spoke with Ozark Radio News and told us more about the effort that the city, MSU-West Plains, and the West Plains School District is putting into the project:

Case says that the city is waiting on learning on the results of a grant application. If the grant doesn’t work out, he says that the project will still move forward:

Case says that if everything works out as it should, they’re hoping to open the center by the beginning of the upcoming school semester.

(West Plains) – Several offices at Missouri State University-West Plains will offer extended hours in August to accommodate students with last minute business for the 2015 fall semester.

Offices hours and dates are listed below:

• August 10-13, 8 AM to 6 PM – academic affairs, admissions, Advisement and Academic Coaching Center for Empowering Student Success (AACCESS), the business office, Drago College Store, financial aid, registration and records, student services, the Veterans Center.

• August 15, 9 AM to 12 PM – admissions, AACCESS, the business office, Drago College Store, financial aid, Garnett Library, registration and records, the Veterans Center.

• August 17, 7:30 AM to 6 PM – admissions, AACCESS, the business office, Drago College Store, financial aid, registration and records, the Veterans Center.  (Academic affairs and student services offices will be open 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.)

• August 18-20, 8 AM to 6 PM – academic affairs, admissions, AACCESS, the business office, Drago College Store, financial aid, registration and records, student services, the Veterans Center.

All offices will be open regular hours, 8 AM to 5 PM, Friday, August 14.

The Garnett Library will be open from 8 AM to 6 PM August 10-14, 9 AM to 12 PM August 15, and 7:30 AM to 10 PM August 17. The library will resume its normal semester hours (8 a.m. to 10 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Fridays, 1-5 PM Saturdays and 1-9 PM Sundays on August 18.

University officials said these special extended office hours offer an opportunity for students to purchase text books and school supplies, check on financial aid matters, get another copy of their class schedule, visit with advisers, and finalize any other last minute paperwork for the spring semester.

The last day to register for classes is August 16, while classes begin August 17. A change of schedule period for students needing to add or drop a class will continue through August 21.

For more information about fall classes or how to enroll, contact the Missouri State University-West Plains admissions office at 417-255-7955 or visit the website at wp.missouristate.edu.

(Mountain Home) – After serving for 13 years as Children’s Librarian of the Baxter County Library, Deborah Edmonds will be retiring on August 3.

When she joined the Baxter County Library, Deborah assumed responsibility for planning and executing all children’s programming. From the beginning, her passion was to create lifelong readers, and her programs were designed “for children from birth to age 12.” Among other things, she has grown the story time program from a once-a-week activity to three times a week. She has also upgraded the library’s summer program offerings for children to include classes in arts, science, gardening, writing, safety, and almost every craft imaginable.

Prior to being the Children’s Librarian, she spent 28 years in the Mountain Home Junior High School as a Language Arts teacher. She has a Bachelor of Science in English and a Master of Science in Special Education.

A farewell reception will be held at 2 PM on Monday, August 3 at the library, 300 Library Hill in Mountain Home. All friends, coworkers and well-wishers are welcome to attend.

(Jefferson City) – Missouri Auditor Nicole Galloway has released a follow-up report for the city of West Plains’ municipal court.

The West Plains municipal court was audited in December 2014 and earned an overall performance rating of “fair.” The follow-up report, which does not include an overall rating, highlights the steps the court has taken to implement audit recommendations and notes areas where concerns remain.

In the West Plains Municipal Court follow-up report, audit staff followed up on all ten recommendations. At the time of the follow-up review, seven recommendations were implemented, two recommendations were in progress and one was partially implemented. Steps included properly retaining individual case records, immediately processing court transactions, and that a system is in place to track traffic violation tickets and associated fines and court costs.

The follow-up review for West Plains Municipal Court was primarily conducted in June 2015.

A link to the complete follow-up report is available here.

(Jefferson City) – The Senate Interim Committee on the Sanctity of Life held its first hearing in Jefferson City on Monday, July 27. The panel was formed as a result of recent videos that have surfaced that may relate to Planned Parenthood. The interim committee is chaired by Sen. Kurt Schaefer, R-Columbia, who says — if the videos in question represent fact — then state laws have been broken:

During an organizational meeting, Sen. Maria Chappelle-Nadal, D-University City — via telephone — mentions she wants the panel to do what is best for the state:

Abortion advocates and Planned Parenthood say that the video, which allegedly shows Planned Parenthood officials discussing the illegal sale of fetal tissue, are “heavily edited” and “sensationalized”.

The committee is expected to hold another meeting within a month.

(West Plains) – Some major road projects in West Plains have been completed, according to city clerk Mallory Hawkins:

She added that the Jackie Street bridge near Deatherage is also closed until further notice.

Arne Duncan

Arne Duncan

(Washington) – US Secretary of Education Arne Duncan recently laid out his vision for America’s higher education system of the future.

Duncan spoke with media representatives on Monday afternoon and discussed the importance of college education, and the issues that people in higher education face:

Duncan also talked about some of the things the government needs to do to get students graduated and out of debt:

He added that college graduates with a bachelor’s degree typically earn 66% more than those with just a high school diploma, and are far less likely to face unemployment. But with student debt now over $1 trillion, Duncan says that higher education institutions need to be held accountable for failing to educate students:

Data provided by the Department of Education states that Missouri has a 59% graduation rate from a four-year institution, and a default rate of 10%. Arkansas has an overall graduation rate from four-year institutions of 29%, and a 13% default rate.

(Dora) – The group Back to School Basics of Ozark County will be holding a Back to School Fair for students in the Dora School District on August 8.

Shawn Shipley with the group spoke with Ozark Radio News and told us that the fair will feature hair cuts and clothing giveaways:

He added that clothing and backpacks given out on that day will be distributed on a first-come, first-served basis:

Shipley added that donations are welcomed:

Anyone wishing to make donations for this year’s fair can call 417-261-2510 or 417-293-7471.

(West Plains) – To mark the 50th anniversary of Medicare, area retirees with the Missouri Alliance for Retired Americans will celebrate this important milestone in West Plains on Tuesday, July 28 at noon.

The event, which will take place at the West Plains Senior Center, 416 E. Main St., is part of the Alliance’s Medicare Turns 50 campaign, marking the 50th anniversary of Medicare being signed into law on July 30, 1965.

For more information on the event, visit www.retiredamericans.org, or call the West Plains Senior Center at 417-256-4055.