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Archive for May, 2012

(West Plains) – Howell County Commissioner Bill Lovelace has announced that Burlington Northern will be closing the railroad crossing at County Road 1820 on Wednesday, May 30th, from 8 AM to 3 PM due to maintenance.  Please find alternative routes.

(Gainesville) -The Ozark County Senior Center will sponsor a local edition of the National Senior Health and Fitness Health Fair from 10 a.m. to noon Wednesday, May 30, at the center on High Street in Gainesville. The event is open to everyone regardless of age.

Free health screenings will be offered, including blood pressure, glucose and cholesterol checks, sleep apnea consultations, glaucoma and macular degeneration screening, oxygen saturation measurement and a nail clinic.

The Ozark County Sheriff’s Office will be on hand to accept unused and/or expired medications as part of the pill-take-back program. Health-related groups such as hospice and health-care agencies and facilities will offer information and several vendors will have vendors for participants.

A BBQ hamburger/hot dog lunch will be served to those attending.

For more information, contact the senior center at 679-4746.

Kelly Richter

(West Plains)- West Plains High School Senior Kelly Richter has been named a Mizzou Scholar.

Kelly is one of ten Missouri students to receive the honor and will receive a $10,000 per year scholarship to the University.  In order to qualify for the scholarship Kelly had to maintain an excellent high school academic record and her ACT score must have been 33 or higher.

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) – A group that advocates relaxing marijuana laws is considering broadening its campaign to Kansas City and Springfield.

The group, Show-Me Cannabis Regulation, was behind a 2004 measure that greatly relaxed penalties for marijuana smoking and possession in Columbia.

The leader of that effort, Amber Langston, says the city-based measures are considered small steps toward getting a statewide measure passed.

A petition drive earlier this year did not gather enough signatures to get a statewide initiative on the November ballot. But Langston told The Kansas City Star ( ) that was due more to lack of resources than lack of support.

Opponents are already gearing up to fight the effort. John Hagan III, a Kansas City ophthalmologist, says studies show the drug has several detrimental effects, and it’s illegal for a good reason.

(West Plains) Large crowds were reported with the opening of the city swimming pool in West Plains this past weekend. In fact, city public information officer Laurel Thompson reports many took advantage of the parks and facilities over the Memorial Day weekend however there is still a problem area.


City officials are expected to make a final determination of what action to take in the very near future if the problem persists.

LaSalle (from Facebook)

(Willow Springs) – A Willow Springs woman is dead after being hit by a car Saturday night.  Police say 20 year old Meshele LaSalle was walking southbound on Kearney St. Saturday night when she walked in front of a car headed westbound.  LaSalle was transported to Mercy hospital, where she later died from injuries.  The crash is still under investigation.  No charges have been filed against the driver.   A memorial service for Meshele LaSalle will be held Wednesday, May 30, at Westside Family Life Center in Willow Springs.

The Memorial Day Ceremony was held Monday morning at Oak Lawn Cemetery as past and present members of the military and citizens honored service members.  Emcee of the event, John Deidiker, talked about a current bill brought about U.S. Senator, Daniel Inouye (i-nou- wez) to change Memorial Day back to its original date of May 30.  Supporters say the changing of the day to make a three day weekend has weakened the meaning of Memorial Day.  There is currently a petition out to help Congress pass this bill.  The petition is just under 3,600 signatures shy of the goal of 20,000.  If you would like to sign the petition you can do so by clicking here.

Other events at the Memorial Day event included the laying of the wreath by Gold Star Mothers, mothers who have lost a son or daughter in service to our country.  The speaker of the event was Sgt. Danny Brown.

            (West Plains) – The Howell Valley R-1 Board of Education met in a regular session Monday, May 21 at the technology building.

            During the meeting, the board approved the payment of all bills, cash reports, general ledger and bank statements. Updates were also heard on school finances, buildings and grounds.

            The board voted to accept a bid for health insurance from Mercy/Coventry Health Plan for the 2012-2013 school year; approved the summer school budget; adopted a 2012-2013 budget; and chose to allow teacher to take a step on the salary schedule.

            The board will meet again June 12 at 6 PM.

            (West Plains) – Some of the most beautiful and practical items of Ozark life will once again be on display during the 18th annual Old-Time Music, Ozark Heritage Festival June 15 and 16 in downtown West Plains.

            The Southern Belle Grandmothers Club of West Plains will host their 8th annual quilt show in conjunction with the festival, and organizers encourage area residents and quilt enthusiasts to bring their favorite quilts to display. The show will take place in the Magnolia Room of the West Plains Civic Center, 110 St. Louis St., one of the venues for the two-day festival. Admission to all festival events is free.

            The quilt show was first held in 2005 in the historic Butler Building on Washington Avenue and joined the festival in 2006 as an annual featured exhibit. It showcases all types of quilts, individually made, group quilted, hand-pieced, hand-quilted, machine-pieced or quilted, or any combination. Those visiting the show are given stickers to vote for their selection for the People’s Choice Award announced at the end of the exhibit.

            Those wishing to display a quilt should drop it off during set-up the evening of June 14 or early morning June 15. All participants are asked to pin a note on their quilts that tells the story of its maker, use or other history of the piece.

            Southern Belle Grandmothers Club Chapter No. 1011 is a member of the National Federation of Grandmothers Clubs of America, a non-profit organization that supports charitable projects relating to cures for children’s cancer. The local chapter supports Ronald McDonald Houses of Missouri and St. Jude Children’s Hospital in Memphis, TN, as well as addresses local needs of children’s groups.

            As part of their fundraising efforts, club members offer a handmade quilt each year. This year’s “Green Delight” quilt was machine embroidered by Wanda Hunter and will be exhibited at the festival. It will be given away in October. Registration information for the giveaway will be available at the festival, organizers said.

            Those wishing to lend a hand should contact Barbara Butler at 417-256-6184 or Cheryl Kuschel at 417-257-1067.

            The Old-Time Music, Ozark Heritage Festival is the signature event for West Plains. The two-day festival seeks to celebrate, preserve, pass on and nurture an appreciation of the old-time music and folk life traditions distinctive to the Ozark Highlands.

            For more information about the festival, visit

(Houston) – Three river cleanup events are planned for this June in the Ozarks, with one of them this coming weekend: the 14th Annual Jacks Fork River Cleanup is scheduled for Saturday, June 2 with a rain date of June 9. There are 7 locations targeted for cleanup with registration at any location from 8-9 AM. A BBQ supper is served at the Alley Spring picnic area at 6:30 PM. Contact Ted Haviland at 417-932-4363 for more information.

            Also, the 6th Annual Upper Current River Cleanup & Kayak Giveaway is scheduled
for Saturday, June 16 with a rain date of June 30. Registration is from 8-9 AM at Cedargrove, Akers, or Pulltite. A BBQ supper is served at the Round Spring Picnic Pavilion at 6:30 PM. Contact Jack or Mary Ficker at 573-729-7065 for more information.

            Finally, the Upper Big Piney River Cleanup is scheduled for Saturday, June 23. Registration begins at 8 AM at the Boiling Springs Access on the Big Piney
River, at the end of Highway BB southwest of Licking. A cook-out starts at 3 PM also
at Boiling Springs. Contact: Peter Maki at 417-967-0676 for more information on the clean-up, and for camping arrangements call 573-368-9088.