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Archive for July, 2012

(Jefferson City) (AP) – Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon says his administration has already approved more than $3.2 million in state aid to get fresh water to farmers and livestock producers.

Nixon announced last week that Missouri would cover 90 percent of the cost — instead of the usual 75 percent — to dig new or deeper wells or expand pipes and pumping systems. The increased cost-share is part of the state’s response to widespread drought conditions that have been affecting farms.

As of Monday, Nixon said his administration had approved 674 applications for the program. The application deadline is Aug. 6, and a total of $7 million is available.

Nixon was traveling Tuesday to Maryville and Kingsville to provide updates about the program.

Mark Twain National Forest’s fire support helicopter dips water to drop on the fire containment line near Dora, Missouri Monday, July 30, 2012. The Potato Cave fire in Ozark County started over the weekend in heavy blowdown from a 2010 tornado. (USDA Photo by Bennie Terrell)

(Dora) – As of 3 PM Monday, July 30, Mark Twain National Forest firefighters are working to suppress a wildfire, named the Potato Cave fire, in Ozark County, about 9 miles southeast of Dora.

Currently burning in about 400 acres, the wildfire is in an area of heavy fuels left from a 2010 tornado.

Firefighters have created a containment line on county and private roads and across National Forest lands. Officials say the fire is all on National Forest lands, but is expected to burn onto some private lands as part of the suppression strategy.

Officials say that full containment of the fire is not expected until later this week, and they urge non-residents to not travel in the vicinity of the fire.

Officials report to Ozark Radio News that canoeing on the North Fork River is not affected at the current time. Outfitters are still able to use traditional put-in and take-out points.

The wildfire cause is under investigation, but it appears likely that it was started by a lightning strike.

For updated info about Mark Twain National Forest go here or contact your local Mark Twain National Forest office.

(Mountain Home) – A fugitive from the Baxter County Sheriff’s Office was found and arrested on Monday.

23-year-old Stephan Whaples, aka Travis Shane Adams, was arrested Monday after the Izard County Sheriff’s Office informed the Baxter County Sheriff’s Office that they would be searching for Whaples at a number of homes in the county. Officers with both the Izard and Baxter County offices checked the first residence and found 27-year-old Gearl Adams, who was was wanted on a Baxter County felony warrant. Adams was taken into custody, and from that arrest, authorities developed a lead on Whaples’ location. Officers from Izard County Sheriff’s Office, Baxter County Sheriff’s Office, Arkansas Game and Fish Commission, and Canine Handlers from the Arkansas Department of Corrections found Whaples hiding in a camper behind a residence on Hickory Street in Pineville, and was quickly taken into custody without struggle.

Whaples was originally charged with 3 counts of Fleeing, 3 counts of Theft of Property, Breaking or Entering, Criminal Trespass, and Reckless Driving. In addition to his arrest Monday, Whaples is also a suspect in Breaking or Entering and Theft of Property charges in Mountain Home and Baxter County that occurred after he fled in Norfork on July 17. Additional charges are expected to be filed against him in connection with those incidents. Whaples may also face a fourth Fleeing charge from the Norfork Police Chief from when he ran on July 17.

Whaples was the object of a several hour manhunt on July 17 in Norfork, Arkansas after he fled from the Norfork Police Chief at a private residence. Authorities had been following up on leads since July 17, which resulted in Whaples’ arrest shortly before 3 PM Monday afternoon.

(West Plains) – The Howell County Sheriff’s Office is currently investigating the death of a 22-month-old who reportedly fell into the family pool over the weekend.

The Howell County Sheriff’s Office was called Saturday evening at 5:05 PM to Ozarks Medical Center in West Plains, where 22-month-old Abbey Sevor was checked in. She was reported found by family members in the family pool in the 2600 block of CR 1950 in Mountain View. She was pronounced dead at the hospital.

Officials with the sheriff’s office say the investigation is ongoing.

(Jefferson City) – As the drought continues across the region, the number of house and wildfires rises, as does the need for Red Cross Volunteers.

In July of 2011 there was 185 people received emergency assistance, however this year that number has rose to over 230 and growing.

Chief Disaster Services Officer Chris Harmon says that on average, the Red Cross responds up to 3 fires per day in the 40 counties in the Ozarks.

House fires as well as wildfires are among the list of events that you will find Red Cross Volunteers at. Aside from providing families assistance after a house fire, the Red Cross provides water and food to the firefighters and EMS on scene at large scale/long burning fires. Since the start of 2012 the Red Cross has served over 1700 Firefighters and EMS personal on scene at these fires.

The need is great for more supporters and volunteers, all financial contribution are the source of this assistance and are in greatly appreciated by your neighbors in need.

To become a Red Cross Volunteer today by contacting you local Red Cross or the Regional Headquarters at 1-866-206-0256, or to make a donation to support the Red Cross Disaster Relief visit

(Licking) – A fugitive from Texas was arrested in Licking this past Friday.

The Licking Police Department received a call around 2:15 PM on July 27 that a fugitive from Texas was at the Licking Aquatic Center. An officer went to the aquatic center and found 25-year-old Timothy Lee Casso of Licking, who was wanted on a felony arrest warrant from Williamson County, Texas for sexual assault of a child.

Casso was arrested without incident and transported to the Texas County jail and incarcerated pending extradition proceedings.

(Alton) – A boil water order issued last week in Alton has been lifted.

The boil order, which was in effect for residents on the end of North Holmes out toward Tuckers Auction, was issued this past Thursday.

Other water work is scheduled in the near future. For more information, call Alton City Hall at 417-778-6321.

(West Plains) – West Plains Public Relations Director Mallory Thompson says the initial city council meeting with the new start time went well and says there was another new feature implemented last week:


Thompson reminds residents that the city’s transit system is offering free rides to the city’s cooling centers during regular bus times until further notice. The number to call for a ride is 417-256-1241. The city’s aquatic park also has reduced rates through the remainder of the summer – $3 for adults and $2 for children.

(Little Rock) (AP) – Little Rock has reached its third-highest temperature ever recorded, hitting 111.

Throughout the state Monday, temperatures exceeded 100, and low humidity increased the threat for wildfires. Temperatures are expected to reach triple digits at least through the middle of the week.

The 111-degree mark reached at Little Rock broke the previous record for the day of 108, set in 1986. On Aug. 3, Little Rock reached 114, the city’s hottest day in 132 years of records. On July 31, 1986, the temperature at Little Rock hit 112.

Another temperature record was set in Jonesboro, where the 104-degree high broke a 103-degree mark set in 1986.

Forecasters warned that wildfires can start easily and spread rapidly on winds expected to be 15 mph to 25 mph. Outdoor burning is discouraged.

(St. Louis) (AP) – A poll shows Republican Mitt Romney leading Democratic President Barack Obama in Missouri.

The poll conducted for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch and KMOV shows Romney with 51 percent support, compared to 42 percent for Obama.

The survey also shows Democratic U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill trailing any of her three likely Republican challengers. In the Republican Senate primary, the poll found 33 percent supported businessman John Brunner, 27 percent for former state Treasurer Sarah Steelman and 17 percent for Congressman Todd Akin. Nineteen percent remained undecided.

The poll also showed Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon leading his potential Republican challengers.

Mason-Dixon Polling and Research surveyed 625 registered Missouri voters by telephone from July 23-25. The poll had a margin of error of plus or minus 4 percentage points.