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(Jefferson City) (AP) – A top business priority for Missouri Republicans is heading to Gov. Jay Nixon’s desk, but the measure did not get the number of votes needed to override a potential veto.

The Missouri House on Tuesday gave final approval to a measure that would cut unemployment benefits to as low as 13 weeks from the current 20 weeks. The measure passed 88-68, well short of the 109 needed to override a gubernatorial veto.

Nixon vetoed a similar measure last year, and an override attempt fell short by just two votes in the House after succeeding in the Senate.

This year, some Republican House members withdrew support of the bill after the Senate made it harder to collect benefits by including severance pay as wages for the purposes of unemployment aid eligibility.

(Jefferson City) (AP) – A measure supporters say would allow families dealing with difficult situations to remain together without government interference is moving forward in the Missouri Legislature.

The Missouri House on Monday approved a bill that would let parents assign care of their children to others without the state considering it abandonment or neglect.

The bill’s sponsor, Rep. Andrew Koenig, of Manchester, says foster care forces parents to fight with the system. He says the bill would let parents get help without fearing losing custody of their children.

Opponents say the measure does not contain any oversight of the organization or individuals who would be caring for children, such as background checks or training.

The bill heads to the Senate.

(stock/ORN)

(stock/ORN)

(West Plains) – The West Plains City Council held a regular meeting on Monday at West Plains City Hall.

During the meeting the council approved a number of bills, including a bill that approved economic incentive packages for businesses looking to move to the city of West Plains; two yearly agreements that give the Greater West Plains Area Chamber of Commerce and West Plains Downtown Revitalization, Inc. $12,000 each to promote economic growth in the city. The council also approved an agreement between the city and Missouri State University-West Plains for use of the civic center for various functions and activities, including athletic events and graduation. The school will be giving the city $105,352.80, an $836.04 increase from last year.

The council also approved a number of bids at the meeting, including $142,600 for 12-inch piping for the Pine Street water tower project; $73,449 for a new street sweeper; and $127,725 for five new police patrol cars, whose cost will be offset after the department receives the new cars and marks 10 cars as surplus for the city to sell.

(West Plains) – Christian alternative group Casting Crowns will be performing in West Plains this coming fall.

West Plains city administrator Tom Stehn told the city council at their Monday meeting that the city had signed a contract for a performance by the group at the West Plains Civic Center on October 24.

City tourism and marketing director Todd Shanks told Ozark Radio News that at this time, ticket prices and purchase locations are not known, and will be announced at a later date.

(Hartville) – The community of Hartville will be bustling this coming weekend, as the city holds the annual Civil War Heritage Festival, which commemorates The Battle of Hartville.

The Civil War Heritage Festival will be this coming Friday through Sunday, April 24-26, in Hartville. Friday, April 24, will be a day open to the public and school classes, which will give everyone the first chance to meet the Civil War Reenactors and walk through the soldier camps near the Steele Mansion. On Saturday and Sunday, April 25 and 26, the camps, food and sutler tents will open at 9 AM. There are many activities planned during the weekend, including a battle reenactment on the town square where the original battle took place, two ladies’ tea socials, a reenactment at the Steele Mansion on both Saturday and Sunday, a Civil War era ball, live music, cannon firing at night, and a church service on Sunday.

Admission is free. There will be no vehicles allowed on the premises, but there will be shuttle stops through out town where you can get a shuttle ride to the main event area. Maps will be available at Casey’s and Wiley’s Quick Stop to direct you to the shuttle stops. Shuttle rides will be available for $4 per person, and kids 5 and under are free.

The Battle of Hartville took place on January 11, 1863, when some 2,500 Confederate soldiers under General John S. Marmaduke encountered about 1,000 Union soldiers, who were under the command of General Fitz Henry Warren. The battle was fought in the middle of town and on the downtown square, with the courthouse and many other buildings and residences sustaining extensive damage in the battle. Both sides claimed the fight as a victory.

For more information on the Civil War Heritage Festival and the complete schedule of events, visit www.hartvilleareacc.com.

(Jefferson City) (AP) – Two tax measures that would benefit businesses based in Missouri are heading to Gov. Jay Nixon’s desk after passing the Legislature.

The Missouri House on Monday approved changing the way corporate taxes are calculated by a vote of 153-4. It’s a move supporters say will ensure companies headquartered in the state don’t face double taxation.

Rep. Caleb Jones, of Columbia, says making sure businesses can voluntarily calculate taxes this way would keep businesses currently based in Missouri in the state.

The House also passed 102-53 a bill to extend a tax credit program for new or expanding headquarters of businesses from the current 2020 end date to 2025.

Both measures have already passed the Senate and now go to the governor.

(West Plains) – This past weekend was the city-wide yard sale in West Plains, and city clerk Mallory Hawkins told Ozark Radio News that people who used signs for their yard sale need to get those signs picked up:

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She also reminds residents that if you’re planning on having a yard sale at a later date, there are some things you need to remember:

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If you have any questions, call West Plains City Hall at 417-256-7176.

(Eminence) – A resident of St. James, MO suffered minor injuries Monday afternoon after the vehicle he was driving ran off-road and hit a tree.

46-year-old Jeffrey Trillet was taken to Salem Memorial Hospital by Shannon County EMS.

The accident happened 23 miles north of Eminence on Route 19 at 1:13 PM, according to a Highway Patrol report.

(Jefferson City) – 33rd District Senator Mike Cunningham (R-Rogersville) recently sat and discussed debate on Senate Bill 540, which would raise the tax on motor fuel by 6 cents per gallon over a period of years and adjust it annually for inflation:

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The bill was later shelved by Senate leaders, as they did not believe they would have the votes to pass the bill.

Senator Cunningham also discussed House Bill 150, which would modify the duration of unemployment compensation, the method to pay federal advances, and raise the fund trigger causing contribution rate reductions:

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Senator Cunningham also discussed House Bill 42, which would modify provisions relating to elementary and secondary education. That bill was also heard by senators this past week:

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The current session will end on May 15.

(Van Buren) – Ozark National Scenic Riverways has joined parks, programs and partners across the country to encourage everyone to find their park and share their stories online at FindYourPark.com.

Launched this month by the National Park Service and the National Park Foundation, Find Your Park is a public awareness and education campaign celebrating the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service in 2016 and setting the stage for its second century of service.

“Find Your Park” is also the theme for this year’s National Park Week, which runs now through April 26. Parks across the nation will be celebrating this event through a variety of activities and events. Special events at Ozark National Scenic Riverways in 2015 will recognize this significant milestone, including Junior Ranger Day at Alley Spring on May 1, Heritage Days at Big Spring on June 13, and the Haunting in the Hills at Alley Spring on October 10.

Visit www.NationalParkWeek.org to learn more about how you can join parks, programs, and partners in celebrating National Park Week across the country. For more information about Ozark National Scenic Riverways, visit the park’s Facebook page, the park’s website at www.nps.gov/ozar or call 573-323-4236.