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(Springfield) – Heavy winds and rains on Monday caused some minor damage in the Missouri and Arkansas listening area.

The National Weather Service in Springfield says two reports of downed trees were called in to them, including a downed tree on BB Highway in Howell County and a tree blown down near Thomasville in Oregon County.

In the Arkansas listening area, power lines were reported down in Salem.

The West Plains Regional Airport in Pomona reported receiving roughly 1.75 inches of rain, while almost an inch was recorded at the Ozark Radio Network.

No tornadoes or hail were reported in the local listening area.

(West Plains) – The West Plains City Council met on Monday evening and approved one bill, which voiced support for a proposed 40 unit multi-family affordable housing development.

West Plains City Clerk Mallory Hawkins discussed that bill:

The council also approved a number of bids at the meeting, including a $58,000 bid for a cart shed for the municipal golf course, almost $38,000 for concrete poles for new storm sirens, and a $12,000 bid for new lights on Porter Wagoner Blvd. The council also approved a liquor license for Bootleggers BBQ, a new restraunt that will be located on Gibson Ave across from Wendy’s. They are scheduled to open in September.

(West Plains) – The next prequalification for the Ozarks Food Harvest Mobile Food Pantry will be from 4-5:45 PM Wednesday, August 5, at the West Plains Public Library Community Room, 750 W. Broadway.

Those eligible to apply for this assistance include area families with children ages birth through 18 who live within Howell County. Students enrolled at Missouri State University-West Plains and the South Central Career Center also are eligible, provided they meet income guidelines. Missouri State students must present their student identification cards in person, as well as a current class schedule; they may not send them with a family member. Families will receive only one voucher per family.

Those who apply should bring a photo ID, proof of income, proof of Howell County residency, names and ages of children, and a telephone number. Proof of Howell County residency does not apply to Missouri State-West Plains or South Central Career Center students. Other restrictions apply.

For more information about the Ozarks Food Harvest Mobile Food Pantry project, or if you are interested in volunteering or donating contact officials at the American Red Cross office in West Plains at 417-257-0018.

(Little Rock) (AP) – Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson is temporarily closing the state’s nine storefront National Guard recruitment centers as officials review their security following last week’s attacks on two military facilities in Tennessee.

Hutchinson on Monday signed an executive order moving Guard members from the centers to their nearest armory or wing while Adjutant General Major General Mark Berry works on recommendations for improving security at the centers.

Hutchinson also directed Berry to begin discussions with local law enforcement on regular security checks of Guard armories and wings.

Hutchinson issued the order in response to the Thursday’s shootings at Navy and Marine reserve centers in Chattanooga that left four marines and one sailor dead. One of the Marines killed was a Russellville native. Hutchinson last week authorized Berry to arm full-time military personnel.

(AP)

(AP)

(Little Rock) (AP) – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge has rejected three proposals to amend the state constitution, including two to legalize marijuana.

Both marijuana proposals were offered by Robert Reed. One would allow the cultivation, manufacture, distribution, sale, possession and use of cannabis, and all products derived from the cannabis plant. The second would end the prohibition against the cultivation, manufacture, distribution, sale, possession and use of cannabis, and products from the plant.

Rutledge wrote Monday that both have ambiguities that led to their rejection.

Rutledge also rejected a proposal by Tom Steele to repeal a constitutional amendment approved in November that includes an increase in legislative term limits to 16 years. Rutledge wrote that the proposal’s ballot title and text are ambiguous and that it fails to summarize its provisions and effects.

(Jefferson City) – One of the measures relating to the 2014 unrest in Ferguson, Missouri is about to become state law.

Senate Bill 5 modifies laws relating to distribution of traffic fines and court costs collected by municipal courts.

Sen. Eric Schmitt, R-Glendale, the bill’s sponsor, said during debate on the legislation that builds on the existing Macks Creek law, which came about as a result of the town using traffic tickets as revenue enhancement:

Sen. Maria Chappelle-Nadal, D-University City, mentions that Interstate 70 runs through her district:

The law will take effect on August 28.

(West Plains) – First-time freshmen or transfer students with less than 10 credit hours who are planning to attend Missouri State University-West Plains this fall are invited to attend a STudent Advising and Registration (STAR) Orientation session from 1-5 PM Tuesday, July 28, at the Shannon Hall campus, 401 E. 17th St., in Mountain Grove.

STAR Orientations are designed to provide students with an introduction to the university and its services, policies and procedures, and to assist students in registering for their first semester. During STAR, students will meet with a faculty adviser, schedule fall classes, receive a photo ID, be assigned a BearPass login, receive a parking permit, have an opportunity to visit with a financial aid representative, and if desired, take a tour of the Mountain Grove campus.

Space is limited for the session, so students are encouraged to register early.

Before attending an orientation, students must be admitted to the university and complete required ACT or Compass placement testing, as well as the in-house writing sample. Additional testing may be required for placement purposes depending upon ACT scores.

An English placement test will be given at 9 AM that day at Shannon Hall for those needing to submit a writing sample as part of the registration process. For more information about the required testing or to register for testing, call the Advisement and Academic Coaching Center for Empowering Student Success (AACCESS) office at 417-255-7222.

Students also may take the Compass and English placement tests at the Mountain Grove campus by appointment. Call 417-547-7575 to schedule a testing session prior to the July 28 STAR Orientation.

For more information about the admissions process, call the Missouri State-West Plains admissions office at 417-255-7955, the Mountain Grove campus office at 417-547-7575 or stop by Shannon Hall.

For more information about the STAR Orientation sessions and how to register for an orientation session, contact AACCESS at 417-255-7222. All university offices can be contacted toll free by calling 1-888-466-7897.

(Melbourne) – The Ozarka College Foundation has announced the recipients of several $500 scholarships. These scholarships will be awarded as $250 in the fall 2015 semester and $250 in the spring 2016 semester.

Jordon Williams of Calico Rock has received the Charles Cheatham Memorial scholarship and Amanda Hutchins of Oxford is the recipient of the Coy Ferguson Memorial scholarship. The Dan “Wally” Pittman scholarships have been awarded to Racheal Webb of Mammoth Spring and LeAlyson Bailey of Cherokee Village. Seth Stapleton of Wideman has received the Harry Powell and Velma Fudge Dixon Memorial Scholarship and Leah Hutchinson of Cherokee Village has received the James Fenton Memorial scholarship.

The Jean Jennings Memorial scholarships have been awarded to Kristen Tratham of Mountain View and Justine Villanueva of Timbo. Brianna Jenne of Mammoth Spring has received the JoKay Smith Memorial scholarship and Alex Lyons of Mountain View has received the Netta Gilbert Memorial scholarship. Hunter Schreurs of Hardy is the recipient of the Orvis and Lilbern Farris-Nix scholarship.

The Ozarka Family scholarships have been awarded to Jennifer Baldridge of Thayer, MO and Dominque Faulkner of Horseshoe Bend. Rebecca Guthrie of Melbourne has been awarded the Paul and Treva Miller scholarship and Paige Grimes of Thayer, MO has received the Tom Dawe, Jr. Memorial scholarship. The Tri-County Hospice scholarships have been awarded to Rebecca Sinclair of Ash Flat and Sarah Carey of West Plains, MO.

College officials say additional scholarship recipients will be released soon.

(Ash Flat) – The Sharp County Community Foundation (SCCF), an affiliate of Arkansas Community Foundation, has grants available for fall projects.

Applications must be submitted by August 15. This grant cycle, SCCF officials say they will be looking for applications that foster individual self development and “pay it forward” initiatives that help raise capabilities and spread learning in the community.

Any IRS 501(c)(3) public charity, public school, government agency or hospital in Sharp County is eligible to apply. Other applicants may be considered if the project has a clear charitable purpose for the public benefit. Grants are not made to individuals. Applications will be reviewed by a grant making committee from the Sharp County Community Foundation.

Martin Carpenter, president of the Sharp County Community Foundation Board, says local Giving Tree grants generally range from $1,000 to $1,500, and include previous recipients like the Cave City and Highland school districts, the Spring River Adult and Child Services, the Ash Flat Ball Park, and each of the cities in Sharp County.

In fiscal year 2014, Arkansas Community Foundation and its 27 affiliates awarded more than $634,000 in Giving Tree grants across the state. Funding for the Giving Tree program comes from hundreds of Arkansas donors who support the work of the Community Foundation.

Visit arcf.org to view Giving Tree grant submission guidelines and begin the application process.

For more information on the grants and the SCCF, go to www.arcf.org.

by Summer Ballentine, AP

(Jefferson City) (AP) – State Sen. Bob Dixon joined four other announced Republican candidates vying for Missouri governor in 2016, touting his Christian faith and conservative views during an announcement Monday on the front porch of his Springfield home.

“It is my faith in God that helps me to daily set the compass,” Dixon told reporters during a stop at the Capitol later Monday. “I hope the people of Missouri will accept my record of service as a reflection of my faith in the Almighty, because that frankly is at the core of what I do.”

Dixon, 46, added that he respects and appreciates other religions. He said he wants to help “renew Missouri’s spirit and offer Missouri’s families sensible conservative solutions.”

He was first elected to the Senate in 2010 and served in the House for eight years before that. Much of his work in the Legislature has centered on crime policy, and he chairs the Senate’s criminal justice committee. He worked in banking and finance before his election to the Legislature.

Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon is barred from seeking re-election because of term limits. Attorney General Chris Koster is the sole Democrat looking to replace him.

To challenge Koster, Dixon first needs to push past a growing field of Republican candidates. Former Missouri House Speaker and U.S. Attorney Catherine Hanaway, Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder, fellow state Sen. Mike Parson and former state Rep. Randy Asbury all are seeking the GOP nomination. Two others – former Navy SEAL officer Eric Greitens and suburban St. Louis businessman John Brunner – are expected to announce soon.

Dixon, who voted in favor of a right-to-work measure vetoed by Nixon this year and supported a required 72-hour waiting period for women to receive an abortion, is highlighting his conservative beliefs on the campaign trail. He said he supports “traditional marriage,” is against abortion and backs gun rights. He also touted local control of education, including giving parents more control of their children’s education and schools more control over curriculum. Dixon also said he wants to help businesses by cutting bureaucracy.

Dixon has less than $74,000 to spend on a campaign for governor as of the most recent finance reports covering the past three months ending June 30. By contrast, Koster has nearly $4 million. The Republican also is behind the GOP’s top contenders in terms of cash on hand: Hanaway has roughly $1.5 million and Greitens $1.1 million.

Dixon raised only about $1,200 in the past three months, but recently spent $18,900 on research and analysis and another $8,500 on an announcement video.