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(Ava) – The Douglas County Sheriff’s Department is reporting that a teenager who went missing from her Douglas County home last week has been found safe.

The sheriff’s department says 15-year-old Morrigan Cothran was found in Mississippi after she reportedly left her home in Vanzant with her laptop and her dog on Friday. Police say she left home to meet up with friends she had met online.

Currently, Sheriff Chris Degase says they are working with Mississippi authorities to return the girl to Douglas County.

Degase also thanks the public for their assistance in helping find Cothran.

(Mountain Home) – Baxter County jail officials have fired a female jailer who they say let a male inmate spend the night at her house after he was paroled.

The AP reports the information about the firing of Rose Gomez was obtained by the Baxter Bulletin through a Freedom of Information Act request. A termination letter says Gomez passed a note on September 8 to a male inmate who is charged with burglary and theft. It states Gomez was previously disciplined in February after admitting she let the man stay overnight at her home while he was temporarily released.

Officials say she was fired last week following the second incident.

Gomez says the relationship was inappropriate but not “intimate.”

Sheriff John Montgomery says he expects employees “to be held to a higher standard.”

(Jefferson City) (AP) – A Missouri amendment creating a constitutional right to farm has prevailed after a recount.

The secretary of state’s office certified the outcome of the recount Monday, showing that the amendment passed by a margin of 2,375 votes out of nearly 1 million cast in the August election.

That’s a slightly smaller victory than the 2,490-vote margin from the original count.

Opponents of the ballot measure had requested a recount under a state law that allows it whenever the margin of victory is less than one-half of a percentage point.

The secretary of state’s office estimated the recount could end up costing around $100,000.

Passage of Constitutional Amendment 1 makes Missouri the second state behind North Dakota to place farming rights in its constitution.

(Jefferson City) (AP) – A Missouri appeals court panel rewrote the ballot summary Monday for an early-voting proposal, ruling that the wording approved by lawmakers was misleading because it failed to mention the measure is contingent upon funding.

A proposed constitutional amendment on the November ballot will ask Missouri voters whether to authorize a no-excuses-needed early voting period for future general elections. The six-day voting period would be limited to business hours on weekdays.

In its ruling Monday, a panel of the Western District appeals court said the summary prepared by the Legislature failed to note the early voting period would occur only if the Legislature and governor provide funding for it.

The appeals court ordered additional wording to be included in the ballot summary.

The legal challenge to the measure had been brought by an attorney for the American Civil Liberties Union on behalf of civil rights leaders Norman Seay and Nimrod Chapel. The lawsuit argued that the court should simply strike the measure from the ballot if it decided the Legislature’s summary was unfair. But the appeals court rejected that approach, concluding it has the authority to rewrite the wording.

The attorney general’s office said it was reviewing the decision, and lawmakers have not said if they will appeal the ruling.

(Little Rock) (AP) – The attorney general’s office is asking the Arkansas Supreme Court to uphold the state’s gay marriage ban, arguing a county judge was wrong to say it violated the state and U.S. constitutions.

Attorney General Dustin McDaniel’s office on Monday asked justices to uphold the 2004 constitutional amendment and an earlier state law defining marriage as between a man and a woman. Pulaski County Judge Chris Piazza struck down the ban earlier this year, and 541 same-sex couples were married before the ruling was suspended by the state Supreme Court pending appeals.

McDaniel’s office argued that a constitutional amendment cannot be ruled unconstitutional, and is arguing the state’s voters have the right to define marriage.

A group of same-sex couples is also challenging the ban in federal court.

(Jefferson City) – On September 9, the Senate Interim Committee on Tax Administration Practices holds its latest meeting.

Republican Senator Bob Dixon of Greene County serves on this panel. He says the committee has held hearings across the state and has heard from many people:

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Senator Scott Sifton (D-Affton) says people are also concerned with how the Missouri Department of Revenue handles tax liability:

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For more on the work being done in Jefferson City you can visit

(Thayer) – On Saturday, September 27, the Thayer Police Department and the Drug Enforcement Administration will give the public another opportunity to prevent pill abuse and theft by ridding their homes of potentially dangerous expired, unused, and unwanted prescription drugs.

People can bring their unwanted medication to the Thayer Police station, located on 102 Front Street between the hours of 10AM-2PM for disposal. The service is provided free and anonymously; and no questions will be asked.

For more information call the Thayer Police Department at 417-264-3819.

(Mountain Home) – The Baxter County Sheriff’s Office will be conducting a firearms qualification shoot for Retired Law Enforcement Officers on Friday, October 3, beginning at 8AM at the firing range on Baxter CR 782 off State Highway 201 North.

The cost for this process is $10 and is payable in advance. The retired officer must furnish his or her own firearm and ammunition. Any retired law enforcement officers interested in participating in the firearms qualifications shoot will need to come to the Sheriff’s Office to register in advance by filling out a written application and sign a release and waiver of liability form.

The qualification course has been developed and selected by certified firearms instructors of the Sheriff’s Office. Those officers who successfully pass the course will be issued an official card from the Sheriff’s Office attesting to their having satisfactorily completed the course.

For more information call the sheriff’s office at 870-425-7000.

(West Plains) – The nursing faculty at Missouri State University-West Plains will host an informational seminar for area residents interested in applying to the university’s Associate of Science in Nursing (ASN) degree program at 6PM on October 30, at Shannon Hall, 401 E. 17th St., in Mountain Grove.

The seminar is free and will provide information on nursing as a career, educational preparation for nursing, and a description of the classroom and clinical components of the Missouri State-West Plains nursing program. A question and answer session will follow the presentation. No appointment or pre-registration is necessary to attend.

For more information, contact the Missouri State-West Plains Nursing Department at 417-255-7245, or visit the department’s website at

(West Plains) – A recent survey by the Stanford Graduate School of Business’s found that nearly two-thirds of people in management do not receive coaching or leadership advice from outside consultants or coaches. 100% of them stated that they are receptive to making changes based on feedback

Train the managers your business needs by attending the “Supervisory Certificate Series” starting Wednesday October 15. This unique four-part series is brought to you by the University of Missouri’s Missouri Training Institute and the Ozarks Small Business Incubator, underwritten by Penmac and the Delta Regional Authority. This series is ideal for both experienced supervisors and new managers in all industries including manufacturing, government, for-profit and non-profit. Through facilitated discussions and an engaging learning process, attendees will gain a common language and techniques to improve their leadership role in their organization.

The Supervisory Certificate Series will address the following topics: building effective relationships, legal responsibilities of a supervisor, communicating successfully, leading high-performance teams, coaching employees and guiding conflict resolution.

The series will be held on four consecutive Wednesdays: October 15, October 22, October 29 and November 5. All classes will be held at the Ozarks Small Business Incubator, 408 Washington Avenue, West Plains.

The cost for the entire series is $ 545 or $495 for OzSBI members; a full-day session or two half day sessions of your choice is $195 or $165 for OzSBI members; or one half day session of your choice for $145 or $125 for OzSBI members.

Enrollment in the series can be done online at or by calling 417-256-9724. The deadline to register is Friday, October 3, and seating is limited.