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(Mountain Home) – The Friends of the Baxter County Library would like to invite the community to their monthly meeting on Wednesday, September 24, at 1:30PM at the Donald W. Reynolds Library, 300 Library Hill in Mountain Home, to hear about this year’s Operation Christmas Child program.

Guest presenter Jennifer Baker will share about Operation Christmas Child, a program that touches the lives of children all over the globe by supplying Christmas gifts and words of wisdom and salvation.

This meeting also marks the Friends’ 34th birthday, and birthday cake will be served.

For information on all Library programs, visit the Library’s website at www.baxlib.org.

(Mountain Home)- Greg Cooper from Connect Arkansas will be conducting two Introduction to Computers classes on Wednesday, September 24.

At 9 AM the class will be at the Gassville Branch Library. The class will also be held at 11 AM at the Donald W. Reynolds Library in Mountain Home.

This class is for people who have little or no experience with personal computers. Attendees will get an overview of the personal computer and its basic operation. There is no charge, but class space is limited.

You can register at www.baxlib.org or contact Jeff Rawlings at jeff.r@baxlib.org or 870-580-0987 ext: 2707.

(Jefferson City) (AP) – Missouri election officials are scrambling to reprint ballots and reprogram computers after an appeals court ordered a change to an early voting proposal that will appear on the November ballot.

County clerks said Wednesday that the change could cost the state tens of thousands of additional dollars and delay the availability of absentee ballots that are supposed to ready for voters next Tuesday. It also could lead to a push during the 2015 legislative session to amend Missouri’s election deadlines.

“It is a tremendous burden on the local taxpayers – on the entire state of Missouri – when these types of rulings are handed down at this late notice,” said Atchison County Clerk Susette Taylor, who is president of the Missouri Association of County Clerks and Election Authorities.

A panel of the Western District state appeals court on Monday ordered new ballot wording for a proposed constitutional amendment authorizing a six-day, no-excuses-needed early voting period for future general elections. The judges said the ballot summary approved by legislators was misleading because it failed to note the early voting period would occur only if the state provides funding.

Many local election authorities already had printed their paper ballots and programmed their computers based on the list of candidates and issues that were certified last month.

Missouri law requires the state to pay the costs of reprinting ballots when there are court-ordered changes to statewide ballot measures. Deputy Secretary of State Abe Rakov suggested Wednesday that the costs should come out of the Legislature’s budget.

A majority of Missouri counties have their ballots printed by either Clinton-based Henry M. Adkins & Son Inc. or Springfield-based Elkins-Swyers Co. Officials at both companies said Wednesday that had they had largely finished the job before the court ruling.

“We’re in shock mode right now,” said Steve Nibert, president of Elkins-Swyers. “It’s kind of hard from an employee morale standpoint when you’re 96 percent done with the task you’ve been working on for a month and you have to start all over again.”

There is no statewide estimate yet on the cost of the reprinting and reprogramming.

Carroll County Clerk Peggy McGaugh said it could cost $17,000 to redo her county’s 7,000 ballots, on top of the original bill of $18,800.

St. Louis County, the state’s largest voting jurisdiction, avoided a huge bill because it had printed only absentee ballots – not the full Election Day supply for its 677,000 registered voters, said county elections director Rita Heard Days. It will cost about $6,000 to reprint 20,810 absentee ballots, she said.

Days, a former Democratic state senator, is part of a growing contingent of county clerks who want Missouri’s election deadlines to be changed to keep last-moment court rulings from affecting ballot issues. Courts have said that Missouri’s current statutes allow them to order changes to ballot measures up to six weeks before an election – the same day that absentee ballots must be available.

“That is not at all reasonable,” said Boone County Clerk Wendy Noren.

Republican state Rep. Sue Entlicher, a former Polk County clerk who is chairwoman of the House Elections Committee, said she plans to meet with local election officials next week to discuss potential changes to state laws.

State Sen. Will Kraus, a Republican from Lee’s Summit who’s running for secretary of state in 2016, said he’s considering sponsoring legislation setting sooner deadlines for legal challenges of ballot measures.

“When the secretary of state certifies the ballot, there shouldn’t be any changes after that,” Kraus said.

(Springfield) (AP) – A southwest Missouri man already serving 18 years in state prison for attempted enticement of a child has been sentenced to more than 24 years in federal prison for sexual exploitation of a minor.

The U.S. Attorney’s office says 40-year-old Ezra Robert Gramm, of Springfield, won’t be eligible for parole under the sentence he received Wednesday in federal court. District Judge Gregory Kay ordered the federal sentence to be served after Gramm completes his Missouri prison term.

Gramm pleaded guilty in May 2013 to making contact in late 2009 with a 13-year-old girl in an online chat room. Gram admitted asking the girl to take sexually explicit photos of herself and send them to him, which she did.

Law enforcement officers reported finding multiple images of the girl on Gramm’s cellphone.

(Little Rock) (AP) – Republican gubernatorial candidate Asa Hutchinson says Arkansans are about to be treated to something that voters in Iowa and New Hampshire see every four years – a plethora of advertising.

Speaking to the Political Animals club in Little Rock on Wednesday, Hutchinson estimated that candidates up and down the ballot would spend $16 million over the next seven weeks on television and other media ads.

Hutchinson is running against Democratic candidate Mike Ross, who is scheduled to appear before the group on Oct. 15.

Both candidates are former congressmen running to replace Gov. Mike Beebe, who is prohibited from running for re-election because of term limits.

Also running are the Green Party’s Joshua Drake and Libertarian Frank Gilbert.

(Washington) – The Department of Defense has announced that the remains of a U.S. serviceman who went missing from the battlefield during the Korean War have been identified and will be returned to his family for burial with full military honors.

Army Pfc. Arthur Richardson of Fall River, Mass., will be buried Sept. 18 in Arlington National Cemetery, Washington D.C. In January 1951, Richardson, who was 28 at the time of his death, and elements of the 24th Infantry Division were deployed northeast of Seoul, South Korea, where they were attacked by enemy forces. It was during this attack that Richardson was reported missing.

Between 1991 and 1994, North Korea turned over to the U.S. 208 boxes of human remains believed to contain more than 400 U.S. servicemen who fought during the war. North Korean documents, turned over with some of the boxes, indicated that some of the remains were recovered from the vicinity where Richardson was believed to have died.

DNA from Richardson’s niece and grandson was used to identify him.

Today, 7,880 Americans remain unaccounted for from the Korean War.

(West Plains) – The story, “Churchill’s Tale of Tails” by Anca Sandu, will be read during Story Time at the West Plains Public Library.

The program will be conducted are Thursday, Sept. 18 and Saturday, Sept. 20 from 10:30-11:00 a.m. The program is for children ages 2-7.

Library officials say kids will make paper pigs and eat “pigs in blankets” as a snack.

(Mountain Home)- A rural Baxter County man on parole was arrested Tuesday, September 9, at a residence at 765 CR 215 in the Jordan area after authorities conducted a search of the house and say they found drugs and other contraband.

49-year-old Dennis Paul Lawton, of Wideman, Arkansas, was taken into custody when officers say they found approximately 2.2 grams of methamphetamine, approximately 2.1 grams of MDMD Ecstasy, which Lawton believed to be heroin, and various drug paraphernalia, including syringes and smoking pipes, during the search.

All of these items, as well as $200 in cash, were seized and taken into evidence. Lawton was transported to the Baxter County Detention Center and booked on charges of possession of schedule II controlled substance with purpose of delivery, possession of schedule I controlled substance, two counts possession of drug paraphernalia, and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Bond on these charges was set at $25,000, and Lawton will also be held without bond in a parole violation.

(West Plains) – Students from area junior high/middle schools and high schools and area residents are invited to attend the 2014 Career/Job Fair set for 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 25, in the Student Recreation Center at the corner of Garfield Avenue and West Trish Knight Street.

The event is being hosted by Missouri State University-West Plains and the South Central Career Center. Also joining the hosts will be representatives from Missouri State University in Springfield, Missouri State University Outreach in West Plains, the Missouri Career Center and several area employers, organizers said.

The free event will feature exhibits about the university’s degree and certificate programs, SCCC’s certificate programs, job opportunities at area businesses and social agencies needing volunteers, organizers said. Representatives from the Missouri State Outreach office will provide information about the bachelor’s and master’s degree programs offered locally, and a Missouri State University admissions representative will be on hand to assist students planning to transfer to the Springfield campus.

“Whether area residents are looking for jobs or simply wanting information about training for careers, the career/job fair will provide an opportunity for them to be better informed,” explained Alice Smith, coordinator of Missouri State-West Plains’ career services office.

The fair also will include “hands-on” career exploration activities at several booths, she added. “We are hoping visitors will see not only a broad scope of career possibilities through the businesses, educational programs and agencies represented, but also leave the fair with some personalized interest, skills, aptitude and/or personality assessments for career connections,” she explained.

Additional activities available to those attending will include internet research of current job openings in the state of Missouri by location, as well as projected jobs for the future, including educational requirements, average pay, etc., Smith said. Resource ideas for further career exploration also will be provided, she added.

Smith said several schools already have registered to attend, including Alton, Bakersfield, Doniphan, Gainesville, Glenwood, Howell Valley, Koshkonong, Norwood, Summersville, South Central Career Center, Van Buren and West Plains Middle School. Representatives of other area school districts who would like to register their groups can do so by contacting Smith at 417-255-7230 or AliceSmith@MissouriState.edu. Registration is not required for area residents wishing to attend.

For more information about the fair, contact Smith at 417-255-7230.

(West Plains) – West Plains city officials say crews are working in the Parkway Shopping Center area, and are telling people to find alternate routes.

If you are needing to get into the Parkway Shopping Center, drivers are asked to enter from the Kentucky Street side of 8th Street side and not off of Porter Wagoner Boulevard.

City electric crews are tearing up the parking lot off of Porter Wagoner Blvd., and are restricting access.

City officials say they are sorry for the inconvenience but appreciate the patience of residents.