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(Little Rock) (AP) – Gov. Mike Beebe has named a retired judge from Harrison to fill in as a special justice on the Arkansas Supreme Court in the lawsuit challenging the state’s gay marriage ban.

Beebe on Wednesday named retired Judge Robert W. McCorkindale to serve on the court as it considers whether to uphold the 2004 constitutional amendment and earlier state law defining marriage as between a man and a woman. Pulaski County Circuit Judge Chris Piazza struck down the ban in May, which led to 541 gay couples receiving marriage licenses before the decision was suspended by the state Supreme Court.

McCorkindale will fill in for Justice Cliff Hoofman, who has recused himself from the case.

The court has not indicated when it will rule in the case.

(Willow Springs) – The first semester for the Willow Springs School District is coming to an end, and Superintendent Dr. Derrick Hutsell told Ozark Radio News some dates that parents will need to remember:

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More information can be found at www.willowspringsschool.com.

(West Plains) – The city of West Plains will be putting a new welcoming sign south of town, and City Clerk Mallory Prewett says that a temporary sign will be in place in the near future:

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The branding project is expected to be completed by Thanksgiving.

(West Plains) – A Willow Springs resident suffered moderate injuries Wednesday morning after the pick-up truck he was driving ran off-road and hit a fence.

68-year-old Stepher Kegley was taken from the scene of the 10:10 AM accident to Ozarks Medical Center in West Plains.

A report from Troop G of the Highway Patrol states the accident happened seven miles south of West Plains on Highway 63.

(West Plains) – The West Plains Planning and Zoning Committee will meet on Thursday, October 16 at 5:30 PM at West Plains City Hall.

Items on the agenda for discussion and possible approval include a Site Development Plan for a proposed restaurant on Ransom Road off of Porter Wagoner Boulevard, and a Site Development Plan on Mitchell Road for Uptown Holdings, LLC.

For more information call West Plains City Hall at 417-256-7176.

(Jefferson City) – Sen. Roy Blunt’s staff will be holding a listening post meeting in Shannon County on Thursday, October 9.

The meeting will be held from 11:30 AM to 12:30 PM at the Shannon County Courthouse in Eminence.

Mobile Offices are opportunities for Missourians to discuss their questions or concerns with the federal government one-on-one with members of Senator Blunt’s staff.

For more information, call the Senator’s Office of Constituent Services at 573-442-8151.

(Jefferson City) – The first regular session of the 98th General Assembly will start on Wednesday, January 7.

Most of the legislation that would be taken up during the Missouri legislative session has yet to be filed, and those bills won’t receive their numbers until December 1. Senate President Pro Tem Tom Dempsey (R-St. Charles) says that there will be some new Senators in place:

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Senator Paul LeVota (D-Independence) adds that he believes the budget picture looked better before this year’s veto session then it does now:

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There will be six new Missouri senators starting next year.

(West Plains) – The Ozarks Small Business Incubator in West Plains will be hosting a special management training series later this month.

Heather Fisher, the Executive Director of the Incubator, told Ozark Radio News more about the training series:

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She added that this is a good alternative to other training that is usually more expensive when held in other areas:

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That website is www.ozsbi.com.

(West Plains) – A special walk to benefit special needs people will be held in West Plains on October 11 at the West Plains High School Track.

Sarah Stout says that the Ozark Community Buddy Walk will be free:

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She also talked about how they hope the walk will make people aware of those with special needs:

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Donations will be accepted, and people wishing to help out can visit the West Plains Arby’s location on October 2, and a portion of their sales that day will go toward the walk.

For more information on the walk or donating, call 417-252-1942 or to donate, visit www.cfozarks.org and find “Ozark Community Buddy Walk”. You can also find the Ozark Community Buddy Walk on Facebook.

(Birch Tree) – A benefit trail ride to help the Birch Tree Volunteer Fire Department will be held on October 11.

The ride will start at 10 AM at the red barn off of Shannon County Road 646 near Route 99. Riders will meet at the barn at 9 AM. The ride and a lunch will be provided for a donation to the fire department.

For more information or directions call 417-247-6994, 417-247-2287 or 417-252-4117.