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(West Plains)- The Ozarks Small Business Incubator, the Small Business & Technology Development Center, Downtown Revitalization, and Southern Hills Shopping Center have teamed up to support Shop Small Saturday 2014, a nationwide event to get consumers to shop local this holiday season on Saturday, November 29.

Ozark Radio News spoke with Ozarks Small Business Incubator Program Administrator Brittany French who shared more information on Shop Small Saturday:

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French added that they came up with a way for you to be able to tell which businesses are taking part in Shop Small Saturday:

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There are over 60 stores in West Plains participating in Shop Small Saturday.

Booking photo of Martha Shoffner

Booking photo of Martha Shoffner

(Little Rock) (AP) – A lawyer for an ex-Arkansas treasurer convicted in a bribery and extortion case says in court papers she is grateful that she won’t be tried on mail fraud charges.

Prosecutors said Tuesday they intend to drop 10 mail fraud counts against Martha Shoffner. Defense lawyer Chuck Banks filed papers Wednesday saying Shoffner “welcomes and is grateful” for the decision.

Shoffner tried to plead guilty to a single mail fraud count this month. U.S. District Judge Leon Holmes rejected a plea bargain after Shoffner said she hadn’t intended to misuse the money when she solicited it from donors.

Banks asked the court to accept the prosecutor’s request to drop the charges.

Shoffner still faces sentencing. Banks said he may object to using any evidence of mail fraud to enhance any penalties.

(FILE/AP)

(FILE/AP)

(Ferguson) (AP) –Several suspected arsons and other incidents are being investigated following the violent protests that erupted in Ferguson, Missouri, after a grand jury declined to indict the police officer who fatally shot 18-year-old Michael Brown.

St. Louis County police say a homicide investigation is underway into the death of 20-year-old DeAndre Joshua, whose severely burned body was found Tuesday morning in a car near where Brown was killed in Ferguson. An autopsy determined that Joshua, who lived in nearby University City, had been shot in the head. Police haven’t said whether they believe his death is linked to the protests Monday night. No new developments were released as of Thursday.

The church attended by Brown’s father and his family was among dozens of businesses damaged or destroyed by fires Monday night. Flood Christian Church’s pastor, Rev. Carlton Lee, said he believes the small church was targeted, noting that he was among those calling for the officer’s arrest – which he said prompted more than 70 death threats against him. Federal investigators say evidence suggests the church was forced into, but it remains unclear if the church was randomly targeted or if the fire was linked to the church’s ties to Brown’s family.

At least a dozen commercial buildings were destroyed by fires amid the protests, along with a dozen vehicles. St. Louis County police spokesman Brian Schellman said Thursday that the fires are being investigated as arsons, and that a hard-hit stretch of heavily traveled roadway remained closed as “an active crime scene.”

(New York) (AP) – New York Police Commissioner William Bratton says the violence in Ferguson, Missouri, is very disturbing and he has sent detectives there to “bring back lessons.”

The Wall Street Journal says Bratton made the comments a day after a grand jury declined to indict a white police officer in the fatal shooting of a black unarmed teenager in Ferguson.

Bratton says he also will work with protesters to avoid similar unrest in New York when a grand jury decides whether to indict a police officer in the death of Eric Garner, who died from a heart attack in July after a New York police officer put him in a chokehold.

He says the NYPD has long-term relationships with civil-rights and community leaders.

(West Plains) – Results of the second Arvest Consumer Sentiment Survey’s Outlook section, Arvest Bank’s commissioned poll measuring the economic expectations and outlook of consumers in Arkansas, Missouri and Oklahoma, will be publicly released Tuesday, December 2.

Originally the results were to be released on Tuesday, November 18. A reason for the delay was not provided. These results provide a valuable snapshot of how consumer sentiment has changed since June’s inaugural survey.

The results were gathered via 1,200 telephone surveys conducted by the University of Oklahoma’s Public Opinion Learning Laboratory. The data was tabulated by the Center for Business and Economic Research at the University of Arkansas, the lead research entity for the survey.

State-level evaluations were made by CBER director Kathy Deck; David Mitchell, director of the Bureau of Economic Research at Missouri State University; and Russell Evans, director of Oklahoma City University’s Steven C. Agee Economic Research & Policy Institute at The Meinders School of Business.

(Jefferson City)- The way sentencing is handled for certain crimes may change in a few years. Even though Senate Bill 491 became law earlier this year, most of the elements of the new law won’t take effect until 2017.

Senate Minority Floor Leader Jolie Justus, D-Kansas City, says it took years to get to this point and the Missouri Bar started the process:

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Senator Bob Dixon, R-Springfield, attended a press conference earlier in the year to discuss the criminal code revisions. He says such an undertaking has to be taken seriously, and it was:

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Lawmakers themselves spent three years on this measure.

(Willow Springs) – The Willow Springs School District is working on the finishing touches to the new preschool building.

Superintendent Dr. Derrick Hutsell told Ozark Radio News that they are hoping to get students in the new building after the Christmas break:

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A grand opening is planned when the preschool project is finished. More information about the district can be found at www.willowspringsschool.com.

(Willow Springs) – The LeFevre Quartet will be performing a Christmas Concert at the First General Baptist Church in Willow Springs on December 6, at 6 PM.

Ozark Radio News spoke with Quartet member Mike LeFevre, who has been voted “Favorite Baritone Singer” three years in a row by Southern Gospel Music fans across the country at the Singing News Fan Awards, who shared some of the history behind the Quartet:

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LeFevre adds that concert attendees will get to experience a number of Christmas songs:

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The First General Baptist Church is located at 2507 Railroad Drive in Willow Springs. For more information or directions to the facility call 417-252-0916. A love offering will be received.

(Van Buren) – Ozark National Scenic Riverways will be conducting a managed archery deer hunt December 12-14 at Big Spring. This managed hunt was made available to 80 applicants who will be using compound bows.

The Big Spring campground and hiking trails will be temporarily closed to ensure public safety, from 12PM on December 11, until the morning of December 15. Big Spring, the boat ramp, and the roads through the Big Spring area will remain open throughout the weekend.

Managed deer hunts help the National Park Service improve the overall health of the Big Spring deer herd. The Big Spring area has generally been managed as a “no hunting” zone since the days when it was a wildlife refuge within Big Spring State Park.

In 2011, park resource management staff implemented a study within the Big Spring area to estimate deer abundance and establish baseline information for population management. Results of this study confirmed the deer population density has grown to a level that could have negative impacts on park resources and the health of the deer.

For more information, visit the park’s Facebook page, find them on Twitter, visit the park website at www.nps.gov/ozar, or call 573-323-4236.

A “tribute” check for $2002 is presented to Bob Ketchum on Tuesday by Jennifer Baker, President of the Baxter County Historical and Genealogical Society, proceeds from their Honors Night event on November 15.  Bob’s son Robert Jr. looks on. (Provided)

A “tribute” check for $2002 is presented to Bob Ketchum on Tuesday by Jennifer Baker, President of the Baxter County Historical and Genealogical Society, proceeds from their Honors Night event on November 15.  Bob’s son Robert Jr. looks on. (Provided)

(Mountain Home)- More than 170 people enjoyed the recent Honors Night event held at the Ramada Inn which paid “Tribute to Bob Ketchum.”

The long-time music and video producer was “roasted and toasted” by his friends for his contribution to music history in Baxter County from his Cedar Crest Studio in Henderson.  Besides the fun of the evening, proceeds from the dinner were provided to Bob and his family to help as they deal with his stage four melanoma.

The event was organized by the Baxter County Historical and Genealogical Society which was able to give the Ketchums just over $2,000.  An additional $2,000 in gifts came in at the dinner as guests tossed cards, notes and donations into an open guitar case on a Tribute Table.

The Ketchum family continues to say how overwhelmed they were with the love and compassion extended to them. Bob stated on Faceboook “It was almost a fairy tale evening, except I know it really happened…. it all brings tears to my eyes knowing just how many friends I have.”