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(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.

(Willow Springs) – The 10th Annual KUKU Dog Show will be taking place on Saturday, October 4 at 1:30 PM in Downtown Willow Springs.

A number of categories will be judged this year, including Best Big, Medium, and Small Dog, Best Costume, and Best In Show. All dogs must be on a leash and have their current rabies vaccinations, per city ordinance.

The KUKU Dog Show was started in 2004 by the Ozark Radio Network’s Phyllis Papp to coincide with the annual Willow Springs Fall Festival.

Entry is free. For more information, call the Ozark Radio Network at 417-256-1025.

(West Plains)- The Heart of the Ozarks Bluegrass Association’s Fall bluegrass Festival will be held on September 25, 26, and 27, starting at 7PM.

Bands to be featured during the event include: The Baker family, Lonesome Road, Wires On Wood, Sac River, Signal Hill, and Take and Kelsi Greer Band.

A free bean supper with each paid admission will be held at the Thursday night gospel show. On Thursday evening the gospel show begins at 7PM and admission will be $5 with two band performing.

Friday evening’s show begins at 7PM and admission will be $10 with four bands performing. Saturday afternoons show begins at 2PM and Saturday evenings show begins at 7PM and both shows have a $10 admission fee for four shows each; or you can pay $15 to enjoy all eight shows. Weekend passes are available for $25 and kids 12 and under get in free.

Shows will be held rain or shine, there will be concessions available, and you are encouraged to bring your lawn chairs.

The Heart of the Ozarks Bluegrass Associations’ park is located just off of Bypass 63 at Lanton Road. Turn south between the Glass Sword Cinema and Regal-Beloit. Bluegreas Lane is one quarter mile from the bypass on the right.

For more information can be found on the association’s website at www.wix.com/hobabluegrass/home, or call 1-888-256-8835.

(Mountain Grove) – Area veterans interested in using their GI Bill benefits to earn a college degree from Missouri State University-West Plains are invited to attend a special informational session on Tuesday, October 7, at the University’s Shannon Hall facility, located at 401 East 17th St., in Mountain Grove.

No appointment is necessary and Veterans can drop in anytime between 8 AM-5 PM.

VIP Coordinator Mark White shares that university officials will be on hand to help veterans navigate the admissions and financial aid process for the 2015 spring semester. This includes assistance with completing the admissions application, filling out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), choosing a degree program, and completing the veteran’s educational benefits eligibility forms.

Veterans interested in taking classes during the 2015 spring semester should bring their 2013 personal income tax records for filling out the FAFSA, their DD 214 for filling out the educational benefits forms, and $15 to cover the admission application fee.

For more information, contact White at 417-255-7720.

(Mountain Home) – The Friends of the Baxter County Library would like to invite the community to their monthly meeting on Wednesday, September 24, at 1:30PM at the Donald W. Reynolds Library, 300 Library Hill in Mountain Home, to hear about this year’s Operation Christmas Child program.

Guest presenter Jennifer Baker will share about Operation Christmas Child, a program that touches the lives of children all over the globe by supplying Christmas gifts and words of wisdom and salvation.

This meeting also marks the Friends’ 34th birthday, and birthday cake will be served.

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

(Mountain Home)- Greg Cooper from Connect Arkansas will be conducting two Introduction to Computers classes on Wednesday, September 24.

At 9 AM the class will be at the Gassville Branch Library. The class will also be held at 11 AM at the Donald W. Reynolds Library in Mountain Home.

This class is for people who have little or no experience with personal computers. Attendees will get an overview of the personal computer and its basic operation. There is no charge, but class space is limited.

You can register at www.baxlib.org or contact Jeff Rawlings at jeff.r@baxlib.org or 870-580-0987 ext: 2707.

(Jefferson City) (AP) – Missouri election officials are scrambling to reprint ballots and reprogram computers after an appeals court ordered a change to an early voting proposal that will appear on the November ballot.

County clerks said Wednesday that the change could cost the state tens of thousands of additional dollars and delay the availability of absentee ballots that are supposed to ready for voters next Tuesday. It also could lead to a push during the 2015 legislative session to amend Missouri’s election deadlines.

“It is a tremendous burden on the local taxpayers – on the entire state of Missouri – when these types of rulings are handed down at this late notice,” said Atchison County Clerk Susette Taylor, who is president of the Missouri Association of County Clerks and Election Authorities.

A panel of the Western District state appeals court on Monday ordered new ballot wording for a proposed constitutional amendment authorizing a six-day, no-excuses-needed early voting period for future general elections. The judges said the ballot summary approved by legislators was misleading because it failed to note the early voting period would occur only if the state provides funding.

Many local election authorities already had printed their paper ballots and programmed their computers based on the list of candidates and issues that were certified last month.

Missouri law requires the state to pay the costs of reprinting ballots when there are court-ordered changes to statewide ballot measures. Deputy Secretary of State Abe Rakov suggested Wednesday that the costs should come out of the Legislature’s budget.

A majority of Missouri counties have their ballots printed by either Clinton-based Henry M. Adkins & Son Inc. or Springfield-based Elkins-Swyers Co. Officials at both companies said Wednesday that had they had largely finished the job before the court ruling.

“We’re in shock mode right now,” said Steve Nibert, president of Elkins-Swyers. “It’s kind of hard from an employee morale standpoint when you’re 96 percent done with the task you’ve been working on for a month and you have to start all over again.”

There is no statewide estimate yet on the cost of the reprinting and reprogramming.

Carroll County Clerk Peggy McGaugh said it could cost $17,000 to redo her county’s 7,000 ballots, on top of the original bill of $18,800.

St. Louis County, the state’s largest voting jurisdiction, avoided a huge bill because it had printed only absentee ballots – not the full Election Day supply for its 677,000 registered voters, said county elections director Rita Heard Days. It will cost about $6,000 to reprint 20,810 absentee ballots, she said.

Days, a former Democratic state senator, is part of a growing contingent of county clerks who want Missouri’s election deadlines to be changed to keep last-moment court rulings from affecting ballot issues. Courts have said that Missouri’s current statutes allow them to order changes to ballot measures up to six weeks before an election – the same day that absentee ballots must be available.

“That is not at all reasonable,” said Boone County Clerk Wendy Noren.

Republican state Rep. Sue Entlicher, a former Polk County clerk who is chairwoman of the House Elections Committee, said she plans to meet with local election officials next week to discuss potential changes to state laws.

State Sen. Will Kraus, a Republican from Lee’s Summit who’s running for secretary of state in 2016, said he’s considering sponsoring legislation setting sooner deadlines for legal challenges of ballot measures.

“When the secretary of state certifies the ballot, there shouldn’t be any changes after that,” Kraus said.