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(AP)

(AP)

(New York) (AP) – Wal-Mart Stores Inc. says it plans to hire 60,000 temporary holiday workers for the crucial holiday season, an increase of 10 percent from last year.

The world’s largest retailer also says current workers who want more hours during the holidays will get priority for them. The retailer, based in Bentonville, Ark., has been criticized by labor groups for low pay and intentionally keeping employees’ hours low.

The news follows similar announcements from UPS, FedEx and Kohl’s, which are also making more temporary hires this year.

A retailer’s hiring plans can indicate its expectations for the holiday shopping season, which accounts for 20 percent of the retail industry’s annual sales, according to the National Retail Federation.

(Jefferson City) – Gov. Jay Nixon’s office has announced that an executive order has been signed that creates an office focusing on poor and minority communities.

The new Office of Community Engagement will be headed by former State Senator Maida Coleman, with former St. Louis City Municipal Judge Marvin Teer serving as deputy director and general counsel.

“Across our state, Missouri communities are facing serious issues involving race, educational and economic opportunities, and poverty,” Gov. Nixon said in a news release. “The Office of Community Engagement will be responsible for facilitating meaningful communication about these issues that will yield concrete results.”

Under the executive order, the Office of Community Engagement will be housed within the Office of Administration and be responsible for engaging communities, public and private sector leaders, clergy and citizens across the state in communication regarding critical issues affecting Missouri communities. The Office will also be responsible for assisting in the development of policies and strategies to foster greater prosperity and opportunity for all Missouri residents.

(West Plains) – Due to issues caused by the severe weather that blew through the Ozarks on Wednesday, this week’s edition of the Ozark Horse Trader will be delayed until Friday.

Horse Trader officials say they apologize for the inconvenience and appreciate the public’s support.

(Jefferson City) (AP) – Secretary of State Jason Kander says he wants to reduce fees for companies doing business in Missouri.

Kander says his goal is to do away with many of the numerous different fees charged to businesses and instead charge only a processing fee for most filings with his office. Kander said he wants to make Missouri’s fees among the lowest nationally.

Missouri’s fees currently range from $7 to register a name for a business to $155 for a company based in another state or foreign country to apply to do business in Missouri.

The Democratic secretary of state said he will be working on the business-fee legislation with Republican state Sen. Wayne Wallingford, of Cape Girardeau. The proposal would be considered during the 2015 legislative session.

(Washington) – The National Federation of Independent Business has named U.S. Senator Roy Blunt (R-MO) a “Guardian of Small Business”.

The NFIB, the nation’s leading small business association, presented Blunt with the honor due to his voting record in the 113th Congress. NFIB President and CEO Dan Danner says that Blunt’s voting record exemplified a “pro-business” agenda.

Those voting favorably on key small-business issues at least 70 percent of the time during the 113th Congress are eligible for the Guardian award.

(West Plains) – AmVets Post 98 in West Plains will be hosting a special concert at the West Plains Civic Center in October.

Terry Brown, AmVets Post 98 President, told Ozark Radio News more about the special veteran performer coming to West Plains:

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For more information on tickets, call AmVets Post 98 at 417-256-6986.

(MDC)

(MDC)

(Jefferson City) – An additional route will make it easier than ever to see Missouri’s wild elk this year.

The Conservation Department began encouraging Missourians to view elk along designated internal roads at Peck Ranch Conservation Area shortly after bringing the first wild elk to Missouri in 2011. The self-guided driving tour has become a popular tourist attraction, especially in October, when bull elk are bugling as part of their mating ritual.

Elk are also establishing themselves on the nearby Current River Conservation Area, which is in the 346-square-mile Elk Restoration Zone in and around Peck Ranch. To help visitors find elk, the Conservation Department has designated a driving tour route that follows portions of Roads No. 1, 9, and 10. Designated roads on Current River and Peck Ranch CAs are shown on maps available through the Conservation Atlas at mdc.mo.gov/atlas.

The best times to see elk and other wildlife are right after sunrise and right before sunset. The tour route at Peck Ranch begins at the CA office and is marked with signs along the way. The tour route is open from sunrise to sunset daily, unless closed because of inclement weather or a managed deer hunt.

For more information about elk driving tours at Peck Ranch CA, call the 855-MDC-ELK (855-263-2355).  For information about the tour at Current River CA, call 573-663-7130.

(Teresita) – An Alton resident was injured Wednesday after a two vehicle accident in Shannon County.

A report from Troop G of the Highway Patrol states that the accident happened just after 2:30 PM on Highway T, about two miles south of Teresita, when the southbound vehicle driven by 67-year-old Donald Gray of Alton crossed the center line and struck an oncoming vehicle.

Gray was taken to Ozarks Medical Center in West Plains by ambulance. The driver of the other vehicle was uninjured.

(West Plains)- Each year the Southern Ozarks Alliance for Rural Development (SOAR) Board sponsors the “Dare to SOAR Award,” an award for an individual who has significantly contributed to the economic, educational, social, or artistic life of the area SOAR serves.

SOAR is a non-profit organization dedicated to raising awareness and funds to increase income opportunities and educational levels of citizens in the southern Ozarks region of Missouri. Our mission is to improve the quality of life in the communities we serve.

Candidates must live in one of SOAR’s ten counties  of Carter, Douglas, Howell, Oregon, Ozark, Reynolds, Shannon, Texas, Wayne, and Wright, and must be an individual who has facilitated positive change in public policy or the quality of life in the region for more than ten years or whose contributions in less than that time are deemed to be extraordinary. Candidates may not be currently serving in a paid elected city, county, state or federal office or be a declared candidate for said office.

If you are interested in nominating someone for the “Dare to SOAR Award,” email SOARExecDirector@aol.com to receive nomination guidelines. Nominations are due November 1.

(Mountain Home) – Arkansas State University-Mountain Home (ASUMH) is currently accepting applications for the LPN/Paramedic to Registered Nursing program.

The applications can be found online at asumh.edu/programs under AAS Registered Nursing (LPN/Paramedic to RN) and must be turned in to Sarah Smith in Gotaas Hall on the ASUMH campus no later than October 15, 2014 at noon. Incomplete or late applications will not be considered.

To apply for the program, you must have a current unencumbered Arkansas LPN license or Paramedic certification.

All applicants must take the appropriate HESI Entrance Exam prior to the October 15 deadline. Students will be required to produce their receipt upon arriving at the testing center.

All applicants will also be required to take the Reading portion of the COMPASS exam. This exam will be taken immediately following the appropriate HESI exam. No previous testing results out of the application time frame will be valid for entrance into the Associate of Applied Science in Registered Nursing.

For questions regarding the program or application process, contact Sarah Smith, Health Science Coordinator, by calling 870-508-6266.