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Archive for February, 2014


Samantha Becker

Van Winkle

James Van Winkle

(Eminence) – A man and a woman from Winona are accused of sexually assaulting a 5-year-old girl.

49-year-old James Van Winkle faces charges of incest and sodomy, while 37-year-old Samantha Becker has been charged with child abuse or neglect.

A probable cause statement from Shannon County states that a teacher at the girl’s Head Start preschool center called the Winona Police Department after the child told her about the abuse. Police took the child and her 15-year-old sister out of the family’s home in Winona.

At report time, Van Winkle was held on $200,000 bond, while Becker was held on $200,000 cash-only bond.

(West Plains) – Howell-Oregon Electric Cooperative says that they have been reviewing its emergency power restoration plan in anticipation for the winter storm coming to the area this weekend.

Coop officials say their review includes making sure that other electric cooperatives and contractors are prepared to assist with power restoration if needed.

The National Weather Service in Springfield is forecasting a winter storm, which could bring a wintry mix of precipitation, to cover our area beginning as early as Friday February 28 and continuing through Monday, March 3. Coop officials say this is the type of storm that can produce icing on power lines. The worst case weather models indicate that we could have significant ice accumulation, beginning Saturday evening, which can result in power outages.

If the storm does cause damage including power outages and power lines on the ground, HOEC reminds everyone to stay clear of downed power lines and immediately report them to the cooperative. If you need to report an outage, you can do so by calling 417-256-2131 or toll-free 1-888-HOE-POWER (1-888-463-7693). An outage can also be reported at the cooperative’s website,, from any computer and smart phone with internet access.

(ORN Photo)

(West Plains) – No injuries were reported after a vehicle hit a utility pole in West Plains Friday morning.

The accident happened around 11:40 AM on Porter Wagoner Boulevard and Renfro, when the driver of a northbound vehicle had a diabetic emergency and failed to negotiate a curve. The vehicle crossed multiple yards, hit a parked car and a fence before hitting a utility pole and coming to rest.

The driver of the vehicle was helped on-scene by South Howell County EMS, and was taken to Ozarks Medical Center for further inspection.

(Jefferson City) – The opening of Missouri’s catch-and-keep trout season is coming up.

The Missouri Department of Conservation says Saturday, March 1, marks the opening of the trout season at Bennett Spring State Park, Montauk Park, Roaring River State Park and Meramec Spring Park. The department operates hatcheries at all four trout parks.

The long-range weather forecast, however, isn’t favorable for fishermen, with drizzle Saturday and highs in the 50s, and a wintery mix Sunday and highs near freezing.

(Jefferson City) (AP) – Missouri senators have given initial approval to legislation seeking a potential truce in an economic competition with bordering Kansas.

Under legislation endorsed Wednesday, Missouri would stop offering incentives aimed at getting businesses to come from several Kansas counties. The moratorium would take effect if Kansas enacts a similar moratorium through legislation or executive order.

The proposal would apply to Jackson, Clay, Platte and Cass counties in Missouri, and to Wyandotte, Johnson, Douglas and Miami counties in Kansas. The states have waived hundreds of millions of dollars in tax revenues competing with each other for businesses around Kansas City.

Missouri’s legislation requires another vote before it moves to the state House.

(Sikeston) – MoDOT has scheduled work next week in Shannon and Oregon Counties.

Weather permitting, partial overlay work will take place on Route E in Shannon County, from Route 106 to Highway 60, Monday through Friday from 7:30 AM to 3 PM daily. Partial overlay work will also take place on Route H in Shannon County from Route 106 to Route 19 Monday through Friday from 7:30 AM to 3 PM daily.

Partial overlay work will also take place Monday through Friday from 7:30 AM to 3 PM on Route 99, from Route T in Oregon County to Highway 60 in Shannon County.

MoDOT officials say the work zones will be marked with signs, and motorists are urged to be extremely cautious if traveling near the area.

(Jefferson City) – Next week is Missouri Severe Weather Awareness Week, and a number of groups are urging people to be prepared for severe weather this spring and summer. Brett Stevens has more:


(Jefferson City) – The Senate Rules, Joint Rules, Resolutions and Ethics Committee met Tuesday afternoon to hear testimony on several bills, including Senate Bill 555.

Sen. Jamilah Nasheed, D-St. Louis, sponsors the bill which would impose campaign contribution limits and ban certain gifts from lobbyists:


Senate President Pro Tem Tom Dempsey, R-St. Charles, discusses federal campaign finance laws and the perception of how lawmakers fund their campaigns:


The committee took no further action on the bill.

(West Plains) – The Ozarks Small Business Incubator has a number of programs coming up in the near future, according to Incubator Executive Director Heather Fisher:


Fisher says those services offered are part of what makes the Incubator special:


More information can be found at

(Cabool)- The Texas County Emergency Management Agency, Wright County Emergency Management Agency, and the National Weather Service are hosting a Weather Spotter Class on Tuesday, March 18, at 6:30 PM at the Cabool Second Baptist Church, 13475 Industrial Park Drive.

Ozark Radio News spoke with Texas County Emergency Management Director Bennie Cook, who told us about the effort to put this class together:


Cook shared what participants can expect to learn from this class:


Cook added that they encourage all public and law enforcement to attend the free class:


For more information on this class you can contact Cook at 417-967-0720, send an email to, or find their page on Facebook.