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(Springfield)- Community Blood Center of the Ozarks (CBCO) has issued a Code Yellow Alert for “B Negative” and “O Negative” blood types.

There is currently less than a two-day supply of this type on hospital shelves and donations are needed immediately. Donors to Community Blood Center of the Ozarks (CBCO) provide all of the blood for patients at thirty-eight area hospitals. Every five minutes on average, a transfusion takes place. It takes around 250 donations each day to meet the area’s blood needs.

A number of newly scheduled blood drives have been announced by CBCO:

The CBCO will be at the Heart of the Ozarks Healthcare Center in Ava from 1-4:30PM on Monday, September 29.

On Tuesday, September 30 the CBCO will be at Seymour High School from 10AM-3PM and at the Ozarks Correctional Center in Fordland from 3-7PM.

To be eligible to give blood, you must weigh at least 110 pounds, be in good health and present a valid photo ID.  For more information visit www.cbco.org or call toll-free 1-800-280-5337.

(Willow Springs) – The Willow Springs Seventh-Day Adventist Church will be having a fall yard sale September 29-30, and October 1-2 from 8AM to 6PM each day.

There will be lots of things to choose from including Christmas decorations, clothing, yarn and lace, small appliances, and more.

The sale is indoors in our Fellowship Room at 314 N. Walnut Street in Willow Springs. Proceeds benefit the Community Services Center in the basement.

For more information, you can call 417-469-2090, and leave a message.

(West Plains) – The National Active and Retired Federal Employees Chapter 695 of West Plains will meet on Tuesday, September 23 at noon at Ryan’s, 1321 Preacher Roe Blvd., in West Plains.

Erin Honeyfield, an MSW with Riverways of Ozark Medical Center will be speaking on home care, hospice and advance directives.

All active and retired federal employees and spouses are invited to attend this meeting.

Derek Evans as Theodore Roosevelt in "The Man in the Arena". (Provided)

Derek Evans as Theodore Roosevelt in “The Man in the Arena”. (Provided)

(Mountain Home)- The Arkansas State University-Mountain Home (ASUMH) Gaston Lecture Series kicks off on Tuesday, September 23, with professional actor and scholar Derek Evans presenting “Theodore Roosevelt: The Man in the Arena”.

The presentation, which begins at 7PM, is free and open to the public. No tickets are required for the event that will be held at the Ed Coulter Performing Arts Center in the Vada Sheid Community Development Center on the ASUMH campus.

Theodore Roosevelt was the face of America for three decades. Powerful, opinionated, intensely loyal and devoted to the ideal of a just, honorable, and muscular America, Roosevelt has been energetically brought back to life by Derek Evans in performances from the White House Visitor Center to grade school classrooms, museums and theaters across the United States.

Evans brings to life the 26th President of the United States, and offers lessons in patriotism, self-reliance, family values and the conservation of natural resources. With his first-person narrative, Derek Evans travels through Teddy Roosevelt’s days as a soldier, conservationist, athlete, philosopher, adventurer, Nobel Prize winner, scholar, teacher, visionary, father and 26th President of the United States.

The Gaston Lecture Series, funded by Jim and Jill Gaston, is offered free of charge in the fall and spring at ASUMH to challenge individuals to think, reason and learn.  For more information, contact Christy Keirn, Director of Communications and Institutional Advancement at ASUMH, at 870-508-6019.

(Melbourne)- The Ozarka College Foundation Golf Tournament will take place on October 4 at Cooper’s Hawk Golf Course in Melbourne, AR.

The tournament will be a four-person scramble and have a shotgun start at 9AM. All proceeds will benefit the new Student Services Center, currently under construction at Ozarka College in Melbourne.

Entry fee is $300 per team and includes range balls, golf cart fee, light breakfast, lunch, gift bag, and 18 holes of golf. Mulligans will be available for purchase, $5 each. Awards will be given for longest drive, longest putt, closest to pin, and putting contest.

Team entries are being accepted now. In the case of heavy rainfall, team members will be contacted and the rain date will be October 5, at 1 PM. To register, please contact Suellen Davidson, Ozarka College Director of Advancement, by calling 870-368-2059 or email: sdavidson@ozarka.edu.

(Ash Flat)- The Ash Flat Library has named Dr. Earl Belcher the September Artist of the Month.

Earl Belcher is a local resident known for his writing. He began photography as a hobby to document his travels to Poland, Spain, Vienna, and Canada. He also used photography in his research work at the National Seed Laboratory. His first major achievement came in 1973 when he developed a method for photographing and enlarging X-ray pictures of seeds, which received recognition from the Kodak corporation.

Later in life, when he began Creative Writing, he joined the Cherokee Village Photographers Club and began taking pictures for competition. He has won many blue ribbons for his pictures and had some chosen for the FNBC calendars. He continues to take pictures trying to improve his techniques, but still considers it a hobby.

The photos will be on display during regular hours at the Ash Flat Library:  Monday, 10:00-5:00; Tuesday, 10:00-7:00; Wednesday, 10:00-2:00; Thursday, 10:00-7:00; Friday, 10:00-5:00; and Saturday, 10:00-2:00.

(Jefferson City) (AP) – Three Missouri taxpayers are suing to stop the state from providing money to a multi-state consortium that’s developing tests tied to the new Common Core education standards.

The Jefferson City News-Tribune reports that the lawsuit was filed last week in Cole County Circuit Court. The suit calls the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium an “illegal interstate compact not authorized by the U.S. Congress.”

Plaintiffs include suburban St. Louis businessman Fred Sauer. He was an unsuccessful Republican candidate in the 2012 gubernatorial primary.

The Common Core standards are unpopular among some conservatives. The uniform set of benchmarks for reading, writing and math replace a hodgepodge of educational goals that had varied from state to state. Backers say they are more rigorous, while critics fear they will set a national curriculum.

(Jonesboro) (AP) – Gov. Mike Beebe plans to donate his eight years of gubernatorial papers, video, photographs and memorabilia to Arkansas State University.

Beebe, a 1968 graduate of Arkansas State and past chairman of its Board of Trustees, made the announcement Saturday. Beebe says he’s made no secret of his love for university and the opportunities it created for him.

The school says Beebe’s archives will be the basis for what will be the most comprehensive effort ever to perpetuate the legacy of an Arkansas governor, including the Gov. Mike Beebe Economic Development & Education Institute and a Web site for access to the collection.

In addition, areas of the V.C. Kays House and the Dean B. Ellis Library will be available to establish interactive presentations of the governor’s legacy in public service.

(Jefferson City) (AP) – A Missouri House member from rural western Missouri has died.

Republican Randy Pike, of Butler, was first elected to the House in 2012 and was running for a second term. His campaign treasurer Barney Fisher said Pike died Saturday at a hospital after swallowing a drink into his lungs. He was 60.

Fisher said Pike had experienced health troubles since a bout with pneumonia and a vehicle accident earlier this year. During the Legislature’s veto session earlier this month, Pike used a wheelchair.

Pike served as the Bates County northern commissioner for 12 years before his election to the House. He easily won a primary this August and was to face Democrat Sam Foursha and Constitution Party candidate William Gilmore in the general election for the 126th House District.

In this Sept. 10, 2014 photo, Ana and John Conley, parents of defendant Shannon Conley, exit the U.S. Federal courthouse following their daughter's plea hearing, at the U.S. Federal Courthouse, in Denver.   Shannon Conley, a 19-year-old suburban Denver woman who federal authorities say intended to wage jihad has pleaded guilty under a deal that requires her to give authorities information about others with the same intentions.   With foreign fighters from dozens of nations pouring into the Middle East to join the Islamic State group and other terrorist organizations, U.S. officials are putting new energy into trying to understand what radicalizes people far removed from the fight and into prodding countries around the world to do a better job of keeping them from joining up.  (AP Photo/Brennan Linsley)

In this Sept. 10, 2014 photo, Ana and John Conley, parents of defendant Shannon Conley, exit the U.S. Federal courthouse following their daughter’s plea hearing, at the U.S. Federal Courthouse, in Denver. Shannon Conley, a 19-year-old suburban Denver woman who federal authorities say intended to wage jihad has pleaded guilty under a deal that requires her to give authorities information about others with the same intentions. With foreign fighters from dozens of nations pouring into the Middle East to join the Islamic State group and other terrorist organizations, U.S. officials are putting new energy into trying to understand what radicalizes people far removed from the fight and into prodding countries around the world to do a better job of keeping them from joining up. (AP Photo/Brennan Linsley)

(Washington) (AP) – A college dropout from Florida. A nurse’s aide from Denver. The owner of a pizza-and-wings joint from upstate New York.

Except for their embrace of Islam, there’s no common profile for the 100-plus Americans who have traveled to Syria to join Islamic fighters or are accused of supporting them from the United States.

Their reasons for joining an extremist cause a half-world away are as varied as their geography and life stories.

Some seek adventure and camaraderie. Others feel a call to fight perceived injustice.

But a common strain of disaffection, a search for meaning, seems to emerge, at times stronger than any motivation tied to religious devotion.

“What unifies all these folks is a desire to be recognized, a desire to find a cause that they can mold their life to,” says Evan Kohlmann, who tracks terrorists with Flashpoint Global Partners.

Foreign fighters from dozens of nations are pouring into the Middle East to join the Islamic State group and other terrorist organizations. U.S. officials are putting new energy into trying to understand what radicalizes people far removed from the fight, and into trying to prod countries to do a better job of keeping them from joining up.

On Wednesday, President Barack Obama will lead a meeting of the 15-member U.N. Security Council as part of the effort to stem the flow of foreign nationals. Next month, the White House will hold a conference on the radicalization of Americans.

It’s an increasingly urgent matter now that the U.S. and allies are directly attacking Islamic State fighters. There are concerns of blowback that encourages more terrorism at home.

Just last week, a post on a top jihadi forum urged American Muslims who can’t reach the battlefront to wage “an aggressive and sustained campaign of lone-wolf attacks” locally, according to the SITE Intelligence Group. As well, there are worries that fighters with U.S. passports will return home to carry out attacks in America or with airplanes headed to the U.S.

The transition from everyday American to foreign fighter for a group that trumpets the beheading of its enemies may start with concern that fellow Muslims are being killed abroad. It often includes Internet chatrooms and online conversations with extremists. It may involve knowing someone who’s radicalized. Many cite the teachings of radical U.S.-born cleric Anwar al-Awlaki, who was killed in a U.S. drone strike in Yemen in 2011 but whose words are still influential in cyberspace.

Moner Mohammad Abusalha, 22, who grew up playing basketball in Vero Beach, Florida, described his journey to jihadism in a video before he killed himself and 16 others in a suicide bombing in Syria last May. He mentioned both the teachings of al-Awlaki and the influence of friend.

The college dropout, whose father was Palestinian and mother was Italian-American, said of his life as a Muslim in America: “This never was a place for me. … I was always sad and depressed. Life sucked.”

“I want to rest in the afterlife, in heaven,” he said. “Heaven is better.”

Shannon Conley, 19, a nurse’s aide from suburban Denver, wanted to marry an Islamic extremist fighter she met online and thought she could use her U.S. military training to fight a holy war overseas. In pursuing her Muslim faith, “she was exposed to teachings through which she was terribly misled,” her lawyer, Robert Pepin, wrote in a court filing. Conley pleaded guilty to trying to help Islamic militants and is awaiting sentencing.

In the most recent case, 30-year-old Mufid Elfgeeh, a pizza and food mart owner from Rochester, New York, was indicted last week for trying to help three people travel to Syria to join extremist fighters. A naturalized citizen from Yemen, Elfgeeh was arrested this year for buying guns as part of a plan to kill U.S. service members.

Elfgeeh has pleaded innocent.

While the ranks of foreign fighters from America include both naturalized citizens and the native-born, Kamran Bokhari of Stratfor global intelligence said second-generation Muslim Americans trying to balance two cultures could be particularly vulnerable.

“It’s natural for the second generation to be feeling sort of lost and not knowing who they are,” he said. They may feel drawn to the plight of Muslims abroad, and feel guilty about living comfortable lives, he added.

For all the concern about Americans who support Islamic militants, terrorism experts say the problem is much worse in Europe, where Muslims are not as wealthy or assimilated. Several hundred people from Britain have traveled to Syria, according to official estimates, and France and Germany have estimated a combined 1,300 of their citizens have joined the fight.

Aaron Zelin, an expert on jihadi groups at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, said roughly half the Americans who have joined the Islamic State group are converts to Islam. The rest typically are born Muslim or “reverts,” people who were Muslim at birth, but didn’t practice the faith until later in life, he said.

“I would argue that they converted to jihadism, not necessarily mainstream Islam,” he said.

Attorney General Eric Holder pointed to the indictment of Elfgeeh as evidence that U.S. officials are aggressively working to identify and disrupt those who want to join or support terrorist groups.

Critics say the administration’s efforts have been largely cosmetic and that officials haven’t done enough to understand root causes.

“You have to understand who is being radicalized, why they are being radicalized and how they are being radicalized, and I don’t think the U.S. government really has a good handle on that,” Kohlmann said.

U.S. officials point to recent success at preventing major terrorist attacks, but Kohlmann said it would be overly optimistic to think the government can closely monitor every American who joins extremist causes. While the Islamic militants’ chief focus remains in Syria, he said there is plenty of rhetoric exhorting sympathizers to target Westerners.

“Take these people at their word. Because they mean it.”