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Archive for February, 2013

Jefferson City) (AP) – The Missouri House has given first-round approval to a measure that supporters say will help protect farmers.

The proposed state constitutional amendment would prohibit laws that limit what it calls modern farming and ranching practices unless they’re passed by the Legislature. The measure would add that the right to engage in modern farming and ranching practices are “forever guaranteed.”

House members endorsed the measure Wednesday. It needs another vote before moving to the state Senate. If it passes the Legislature, the amendment would go to a statewide vote.

The question that appears before voters would ask: “Shall the Missouri Constitution be amended to ensure: that the right of Missouri citizens to employ modern farming and ranching practices and equipment shall not be infringed.”

(Photo provided)

(Mountain Home) – The Arvest Concert Series at Arkansas State University-Mountain Home will present the folk band Blue Fiddle in a free concert at the Vada Sheid Community Development Center at 7 PM on March 14.

Officials say tickets are not required for this event on the ASUMH campus.

Formed in 2004, the Arkansas-based acoustic trio forges a new direction in Irish/American music. Multi-instrumentalists and award-winning songwriters, band members Joe Hamilton, Tom Ware and John Lindquist each bring a distinct musical style to the table, finding common ground in the Celtic rhythms of Ireland.

Influenced by the traditionalism of the Clancy Brothers and the Dubliners, and inspired by the drive and energy of Flogging Molly and Dropkick Murphys, Blue Fiddle is fueled by the band members’ longtime friendship and powered by extraordinary musical talent.

Blue Fiddle’s 2010 self-titled CD features eight original and three traditional Irish songs. Weaving universal themes of love, loss, friendship, honor, anger, drunkenness and traveling the open road into its patchwork quilt of ballads, jigs, reels, pop and folk, the album’s tales are told through lyrical poetry, gritty narratives, and foot-tapping, heart-pounding instrumentals.

(Little Rock) (AP) – Arkansas Gov. Mike Beebe is criticizing Lt. Gov. Mark Darr for making secret the list of Arkansas residents allowed to carry concealed weapons, saying the Republican “embarrassed himself” by signing the legislation while the governor was out of state.

The Democratic governor on Tuesday called Darr’s decision to sign the measure “totally inappropriate.” The bill exempts the concealed carry list from the Freedom of Information Act.

Beebe had opposed the measure, but had planned to let it go into law without his signature.

Darr said last week he believed the measure deserved a signature and should be enacted without delay. He signed the measure Friday while Beebe was in Washington for the National Governors Association’s winter meeting.

Beebe said he’ll “much more careful” about leaving the state after Darr’s decision.

(ORN Photo)

(Cabool) – The Cabool Chamber of Commerce held their monthly meeting on February 26. The special guest speaker was Heather Fisher with the Ozarks Small Business Incubator. She introduced OzSBI to the Cabool Chamber members and described how the incubator could benefit new entrepreneurs in Cabool.

Chamber Director Todd Ferguson also talked about the upcoming 30th Annual South Central Spring Farm Fest, which will be held May 10-11. This year, they are putting more emphasis on outdoor recreations by naming it the “30th Annual South Central Spring Farm Fest & Outdoors in the Ozarks Expo”.

The next Chamber meeting will be held at the Cabool Senior Center March 26.

(Jefferson City) – Missouri senators return to the Senate floor to debate several measures. Among them is Senate Bill 16, legislation that would exempt farm work performed by children under 16 from certain child labor requirements. During discussion, Senate Minority Floor Leader Jolie Justus (D-Kansas City) and the bill’s sponsor, Sen. Brian Munzlinger (R-Williamstown), talked about what prompted him to put together this proposal, which now goes to the Missouri House for similar consideration:


Missouri senators also give final passage to Senate Bill 75, a measure that would authorize school districts and charter schools to provide training and education about firearms safety and address potentially dangerous or armed intruders. Bill sponsor Sen. Dan Brown (R-Rolla) says his proposal addresses safety training for first graders:


Missouri senators also started to debate Senate Bill 29, legislation that would require authorization for certain labor unions to use dues and fees to make political contributions and bar them from withholding earnings from paychecks. The measure is also sponsored by Sen. Brown:


The Senate has adjourned for the week.

(Willow Springs) – Whenever winter precipitation falls, motorists sometimes struggle to get to their destinations. Missouri Highway Patrol Troop G Public Information and Safety Officer, Sergeant Marty Elmore, says a safe trip involves actions taken before you ever get behind the wheel:


Elmore says these same safety tips apply to those days when frost is on your vehicle when you get up in the mornings.

(Mountain Home) – The Donald W. Reynolds Library invites you to celebrate Arkansas’ rich heritage with a theater performance presented by the Arkansas Arts Center Traveling Theater Troop at the Library Saturday, March 2, at 10:30 AM.

The production of Arkansas Tales explores Arkansas history and folklore with lively music and song for the entire family.

The performance is part of the Arkansas Heritage Program Series: Stories That Connect Us. No registration is required.

Another upcoming program in the series, featuring a visit from Dr. Brooks Blevins, the author of Ghost of the Ozarks, will be held Sunday, March 3 at 1:30 PM.

For information about all Library programs visit the Library’s website at

(Thayer) – A Tribute to Elvis Night will be held at the Boren Center at 5th and Walnut Street in Thayer this Saturday, March 2 at 7 PM.

Representatives with the Boren Center say Dennis Hobbs will be the featured singer at the event. Attendees are urged to bring their own CD’s, and dress like Elvis, however, it is not required.

Some Elvis music will be provided.

Admission is $3. For more information, contact Jenny Underwood at 417-264-7977.

(Little Rock) (AP) – Arkansas House Democrats say they want to shift the focus of the Legislature to jobs, education, and healthcare.

At a press conference on Wednesday, House Democratic lawmakers said they’re committed to those issues but offered few specific proposals. They said legislation would be announced soon.

Social issues – such as abortion and gun rights – have largely dominated the first seven weeks of the session.

Democratic Leader Rep. Greg Leding said Republicans have driven the conversation during the first half of the legislative session. He said Democrats planned to introduce proposals aimed at job creation, such as a clean energy financing program and services for small businesses.

Leding also said the availability of a new Medicaid expansion option would renew energy on both sides to work on that issue.

(New York) (AP) – Wonder bread could start appearing in school lunchboxes again soon.

A person familiar with the situation says a bid by Flowers Foods to buy Wonder and several other bread brands from bankrupt Hostess was met with no qualifying competing offers. The individual requested anonymity because the auction process is private.

Hostess hasn’t been making any of its cakes and breads since late November, when the company announced it was going out of business and closed its plants following years of financial struggles. The shuttering included the loss of about 18,000 jobs.

The $360 million bid by Flowers also includes Nature’s Pride, Butternut, Home Pride and Merita breads, along with 20 bakeries and 38 depots. An auction will still be held Thursday for a separate $30 million bid by Flowers for Beefsteak. The source said a competing offer for that brand was submitted by Mexico’s Grupo Bimbo, which makes Thomas’ English muffins and Entenmann’s cakes.

Any sales would be subject to approval by a bankruptcy court on March 19.

Hostess has also picked opening bidders, known as a “stalking horse,” for its snack cakes. A joint offer from two investment firms – Metropoulos & Co. and Apollo Global Management LLC – was picked as the lead bid for Twinkies and other snack cakes. Hostess CEO Greg Rayburn has said he expects that auction to be “wild and wooly.”

McKee Foods, which makes Little Debbie snack cakes, was picked as the lead bidder for Drake’s cakes, which include Devil Dogs, Funny Bones and Yodels. The deadline to submit competing offers for the snack cakes isn’t until mid-March.

Flowers Foods, based in Thomasville, Ga., makes Tastykakes and breads including Nature’s Own. Representatives for Flowers Food and Grupo Bimbo did not immediately return calls for comment.

Taken together, Hostess has said its six bread brands generated just under $1 billion in sales last year, with Wonder bread accounting for about half of that. Flower Foods, which generates about $3 billion in annual sales, said it expects the deals to add to its earning this year. The company plans to finance the deal through a mix of cash and debt.

In a bankruptcy court filing Monday, Hostess’ second largest union objected to the sale of the breads, noting that Flowers Foods “has not committed to preserve a single job.”

The Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers International Union said that while the bid may be optimal for the company’s lenders, it provides “zero assurances” that the rights of workers would be protected.