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(Koshkonong) – New student registration for the Oregon-Howell R-III School District will take place Wednesday and Thursday.

New student registration will be held on Wednesday August 5, for Pre-K-8th grade students and Thursday, August 6, for high school students from 8:30 AM- 3 PM both days.

School officials say that legal guardians are required to attend, and must bring a current copy of immunization records and a birth certificate. Current students are not required to attend.

For more information, call the school at 417-867-5601.

(Jefferson City) (AP) – U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt of Missouri is calling a new plan to dramatically cut U.S. power plant emissions a federal overreach.

The Republican criticized the final plan unveiled by Democratic President Barack Obama on Monday, adding that it could mean lost jobs for Missouri.

Blunt also says it could mean higher utility bills and could particularly hurt middle- and low-income families.

Environmental groups argued the opposite.

Missouri’s Sierra Club chapter director John Hickey said the plan could protect low-income neighborhoods, older residents and others from pollution. Hickey says it could bring jobs to the state.

The plan imposes stricter carbon dioxide limits than what were previously expected but gives states an additional two years to comply.

(West Plains) – The city of West Plains will soon have two billboards promoting the city, thanks in part to a partnership between the State of Missouri and the City of West Plains Tourism Development Advisory Council.

The city of West Plains has been awarded a grant from the Missouri State Division of Tourism to help fund two billboards, with one just outside of Springfield on Highway 60 near Rogersville, and one in Ravenden, AR, on Highway 63 south of Hardy. The Springfield billboard has already been installed, and the Ravenden billboard will be up in September.

The billboards feature a local family – Adam and Mindy Williams of West Plains – participating in outdoor adventures. The billboard features the new city logo, and shows the Williams’ in an outdoor setting with the phrase “Your Adventure Starts Here “on the billboard, which is a nod to the city’s new “Make It Happen Here” slogan.

Community Marketing Director Todd Shanks said the billboards are meant to promote West Plains’ proximity to outdoor recreation, such as the area’s floatable streams and rivers. Shanks added that the billboards are part of the marketing strategy developed between the city of West Plains and North Star Destination Strategies, who designed the brand name and logo, to promote the city.

Per the conditions of the grant, the billboards must be placed 50 miles or greater outside the West Plains city limits, and the billboards also feature the “Missouri: Enjoy the Show” logo from the State Division of Tourism.

(Melbourne) – Ozarka College has received funding for the current TRiO Student Support Services for an additional five years.

Through this federally funded grant program, Ozarka College offers services for many of its students. TRiO Student Support Services (SSS) provides academic, financial and personal support to eligible students at Ozarka College to assist them with their educational endeavors.

The services offered by Ozarka College’s SSS program include academic advising, academic coaching, financial and economic literacy assistance, information on chosen educational major and career choices, aptitude and interest inventories, transfer scholarship information, tours of four-year colleges and universities, help with admissions, financial aid and faculty advisors at other institutions, individual and group peer tutoring, technology training, informational workshops, and cultural events and trips.

Eligibility for SSS is established through the U.S. Department of Education. Students applying for the program must meet low-income guidelines; be a first-generation college student; or be an individual with a documented disability. Program participants must also be pursing an associate’s degree, be enrolled in a transferrable program, or working toward an eventual four-year degree. Additionally, participants must be a U.S. citizen or meet residency requirements.

The TRiO department is currently processing new applicants. Any Ozarka College student who meets the eligibility requirements is encouraged to apply. For more information, please call TRiO Student Support Services at 870.368.2036 or email: trio@ozarka.edu

(Jefferson City) – A portrait of harvesting a cornfield at dusk is the Best in Show in the 2015 Focus on Missouri Agriculture Photo Contest, hosted by the Missouri Department of Agriculture. The photograph, submitted by Ashley Franken of Pilot Grove, was chosen from among the record-breaking 850 photos submitted by amateur photographers from across Missouri.

Also honored was Cody Jedlicka of Koshkonong, who was first runner-up in the “Children’s Barnyard” category with the photo titled “Reflection”.

Photos were submitted in four categories, Beauty of the Farm, Faces of the Farm, The Farmer’s Life and Pride of the Farm. Photographers age 12 and under were also able to enter their shots in a special category, Children’s Barnyard. In total, 21 winners were selected by a panel of judges. The winning photos will be on display in the Agriculture Building on the fairgrounds throughout the Missouri State Fair Aug. 13-23, 2015, and are also available online at agriculture.mo.gov.

The winners will be recognized at the Missouri Governor’s Conference on Agriculture December 16-18, 2015, at Tan-Tar-A Resort in Osage Beach.

(Springfield) – Missouri State University President Clif Smart has earned high marks from the Board of Governors for his performance as president of Missouri State University over the past year, and the university has renewed his contract.

As part of the contract renewal, the Board offered an incentive clause, which will provide $50,000 annually as deferred compensation for the length of his current agreement.

Smart presented his self-assessment to the Board in an executive session at its June meeting. The Board then completed an electronic survey that evaluated Smart in nine major categories: strategic leadership; educational leadership; organizational management; financial management; fundraising; external relations; internal relations; Board and governance relations; and personal characteristics and values. The Board completed its evaluation in executive session as part of its annual summer retreat.

Smart will receive a 1.8 percent salary increase, the same percent increase provided to faculty and staff. Additionally, he will receive $50,000 per year as deferred compensation starting June 30, 2015, through the end of his contract. Vesting will begin June 30, 2018.

Smart joined Missouri State as General Counsel on Dec. 1, 2007, after a 20-year legal career. He was named interim president June 27, 2011, and became the 11th president of Missouri State on Oct. 16, 2012.

(West Plains) – A unique “art walk” that will offer original artwork for sale to benefit a good cause will be held during the First Friday Night Downtown Stroll this Friday, August 7 on the historic West Plains Downtown Square.

The 37th Judicial CASA Voice for the Child Post-It Art Walk & Sale will be held downtown August 7 from 5-8 PM, with artwork available for purchase at The Frame Shop & Gallery.

The evening will feature an art sale including “post-it” note art, an art walk, and even a live art demonstration. There will also be food and music that night during the Stroll. All proceeds from the Art Walk benefit CASA’s mission of helping children in our community.

For more information about CASA, people may visit 37thcasa.net, or visit their page on Facebook.

(Jefferson City) – This coming weekend is the Missouri Tax Free weekend.

During the weekend, which runs from 12:01 AM Friday, August 7 through Sunday, August 9, certain back-to-school purchases, such as clothing, school supplies, and computers are exempt from state sales tax.

Some counties are also exempting county sales taxes for the weekend, however, the only local county that opted in for the holiday are Shannon and Douglas. County sales taxes will still be collected in Howell, Oregon, Texas, Wright, Ozark, and Wright.

City sales taxes will also be collected in Cabool, Doniphan, Hartville, Hayti, Houston, Koshkonong, Licking, Mountain Grove, Thayer, West Plains and Willow Springs.

For more information on the tax free holiday, visit dor.mo.gov.

(West Plains) – The Boys and Girls Club of the Greater West Plains Area is preparing to wind down their summer programming and start fall programming.

Club executive director Amber Adamson spoke with Ozark Radio News and told us more about the end of the summer programming and an open house that will be held next week:

She also talked about the fall programming:

She added that the semester is $50 per child, and there is financial help available:

For more information you can call 417-204-CLUB (417-204-2582) or visit www.bgcwp.com.

(West Plains) – Several banking institutions in West Plains will host diaper drives during the month of August to benefit a local diaper bank.

Area residents are encouraged to drop off disposable baby diapers in all sizes, including pull-ups for older children, at collection boxes at West Plains area banks, including Arvest Bank, 1311 Porter Wagoner Blvd., Community First Banking Company, 1330 Southern Hills Center, Landmark Bank, 1802 E. State Rt. K, Southern Bank, 960 Preacher Roe Blvd., West Plains Bank & Trust, 11 Court Square, and North Branch, 1601 Porter Wagoner Blvd., West Plains Savings & Loan, 417 Broadway, and Wood & Huston Banks, 1319 Porter Wagoner and Walmart Branch. Diapers can also be left at Ozark Action, 710 E. Main St., from 8 AM to 4:30 PM Mondays through Thursdays, all year long. Diaper donations will benefit the Diaper Resource Center of West Plains.

Officials with the Diaper Resource Center are also seeking monetary donations to enable them to buy diapers in large quantities, which is the most cost-effective way to supply the demand. Contributions can be left at the participating banks, or you can make a check payable to Ozark Action, with “diaper resource center” on subject line, or can be mailed to OAI, 710 E. Main, West Plains MO 65775. OAI is providing the Diaper Resource Center with warehouse space for diapers and also with fiscal management, allowing for financial contributions to be tax-deductible.

Those wishing to help with a diaper drive, diaper shower or fundraising event can contact resource board member Sara Stout at the Heart of the Ozarks United Way office, 417-257-7184. The office is staffed part time, but a message can be left and calls will be returned.