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(Jefferson City) – Missourians might notice more neighborhood foot traffic as students participate in International Walk to School Day on October 8.

The Missouri Department of Transportation encourages parents and communities to help children establish ongoing walking and cycling programs.

To help ensure safety, participants can go to maps.walkbiketoschool.org/ to map a safe route to school. Families who live farther from school can drive part of the way and join the walk along the designated route.

MoDOT oversees the Safe Routes to School program, which is a national program funded by the U.S. Department of Transportation that provides children in grades K-8 with education, training and infrastructure for bicycling and walking to school safely. The program is designed to provide public awareness and outreach to encourage walking and bicycling to school, instead of riding in cars and buses.

Is the event at your school on the national list? Find out by visiting www.walkbiketoschool.org. There you can learn more about how your community benefits when students walk and bike to school.

(Mountain Home) – Bert and Valerie Cullen have presented the Mayflower Silver Series of reference books to the Donald W. Reynolds Library serving Baxter County in Mountain Home.

Known first as the “Five Generations Project,” these books also called the “Silver Books”, survey and document the genealogy of the first five generations of Mayflower descendants.

Patrons can access the books in the Local History and Genealogy Room of the Donald W. Reynolds Library. In addition, anyone interested in documenting their Mayflower ancestry may contact the Arkansas branch of the General Society of Mayflower Descendants at mayflowerar@gmail.com or the main office in Plymouth, MA, www.themayflowersociety.org.

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

(Houston) – During the most recent Texas County Memorial Hospital Board of Trustees meeting, Linda Pamperien, chief financial officer at TCMH, provided surgery case numbers showing a slight decrease in the number of surgeries at the hospital in August.

There were a total of 66 cases in May; 55 cases in June; 124 cases in July and 105 cases in August.

Wes Murray, chief executive officer at TCMH explained that with the addition of general surgeons Linda Milholen, MD and Leroy Wombold, DO and obstetrician and gynecologist, Christopher Baldwin, MD, there was “room for growth” with the surgical case numbers.

Also during the meeting Amanda Turpin, quality management director at TCMH, reported that as a member of the Hospital Engagement Network (HEN), TCMH received funds from the Center for Medicare Services (CMS) that allowed her to attend the National Association for Healthcare Quality conference this month.

Funding was also provided for Turpin to attend additional classes at the conference that will allow her to take the exam to become a Certified Professional on Healthcare Quality. Turpin and two additional hospital departments provide monthly data to HEN. TCMH has been reporting to HEN for two years, and the data is compiled and shared at national, regional and state levels.

(Mountain View)- Mercy St. Francis Hospital in Mountain View is hosting a Halloween Hustle 5K Color Run/Walk on Saturday, October 25, on the Mountain View Football Field.

Registration will take place from 7:45-8:45 AM that morning, and the race starts at 9 AM. Organizers say that in order to receive a t-shirt you must register by October 6.

All proceeds raised at the event will go to the Mountain View Good Samaritan Care Clinic, which provides free health related services to uninsured people in southern Missouri.

For more information you can visit www.mercy.net or call 417-934-7000.

(Jefferson City) – If you were thinking about registering for the Great Central US ShakeOut, registration is still open. Brett Stevens has more:

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(Caulfield)- The Heart of the Ozarks Quail Forever chapter will be having their annual Youth Quail Hunt on Saturday, October 25, at 8AM at Ozarks Wings in Caulfield.

The event is free to youths between the ages of 11-15 that have their hunter’s certification. Space is limited, so preregistration is required.

Contact Jason Poor at 417-372-2544 to register, or for more information.

(West Plains) – West Plains Council on the Arts, revitalizing a tradition, invites the public to a community “Messiah” sing on Sunday, November 9 at 2:30 PM at the First Presbyterian Church, 112 Aid Ave., West Plains.

The performance is sponsored by West Plains Council on the Arts, with partial funding provided by Missouri Arts Council, a state agency.

The Christmas portion of “Messiah” will be performed, under the direction of Larry Dame. The audience is invited to sing along in these favorite Messiah choruses: Glory of the Lord, And He Shall Purify, For Unto Us a Child is Born, Glory to God in the Highest, and of course, the Hallelujah Chorus, among others.

The “Messiah” composer, G. F. Handel, was born in Halle, Germany, February 23, 1685; a vintage year for Baroque composers as this was the same year Johann Sebastian Bach was born. Handel became a prominent German-British Baroque composer, famous for his operas, anthems and organ concertos.

The people of England were getting tired of music in foreign languages and wanted works they could understand. In the summer of 1741, Handel received an invitation from the Lord Lieutenant in Dublin to compose a new sacred oratorio which would crown a series of performances.

Rehearsals began for “Messiah” in March of 1742 and on April 13, 1742 Messiah was performed as a charitable performance in Dublin, Ireland. Word had spread about the music; therefore, expecting a large audience, the men were told not to wear their swords as was the custom at formal gatherings and the women were told to not wear the hoops in their dresses. Over 700 filled the hall for the first performance. Today, one can hear a performance of :Messiah” every year, not only at Christmas, but also around Easter.

Handel died April 14, 1759 and is buried in Westminster Abbey, London, UK.

Chorus participation is encouraged and needed. Practice CD’s and scores are available.  Call Kathleen Morrissey at 417-293-7751 if interested. For further information, email info@westplainsarts.org

(Mammoth Spring)- The Mammoth Spring Spooktacular event will be held on Saturday, October 25, from 3:30-7PM on Main Street in Mammoth Spring.

During this event there will be lots of games, treats, a pumpkin carving contest, and a costume contest. Costume contestants may only enter one of the four categories: Adult and Teenage contest, Child 12 and under Contest, Original Costume Contest for all ages where the costume must have been made, not purchased, or the Couples Costume Contest. which is also for all ages and must be a couple or set.

Booth spaces are available for $10 if you register before October 17, after that date booths will be $15.

For more information or to register for a booth call Jennifer Crowe at 870-625-3235.

(Melbourne) – Ozarka College will host their annual Friends of the Paul Weaver Library book sale on Friday, October 3 and Saturday, October 4 from 8 AM to 3 PM both dates in the lobby of the John E. Miller building, on the Ozarka College campus in Melbourne.

The book sale will feature hundreds of books of all kinds that appeal to children and adults. Other media such as videos and DVDs will be offered as well.

All proceeds will benefit the Friends of the Paul Weaver Library at Ozarka College. Funds from previous book sales have been used to purchase materials for the Paul Weaver Library and to support special events and activities sponsored by the college and the library.

For more information, please contact Mary Ellen Hawkins or Dan Lindsey at 870-368-2054 or 870-368-2055.

(Gainesville)- The monthly meeting of the Ozark County Democratic Party will be at the Gainesville Fire Department, on Thursday October 9 at 6 PM.

State Representative Lyle Roland will be in attendance, and will be given the $250 gift certificate from Walmart that he won at the Hootin’ n Hollarin’ festival. The group will also be discussing the upcoming election and the four proposed amendments to the Missouri Constitution.

Non-members are welcome to attend regardless of political party affiliation. For more information or directions contact secretary Dennis Lawson, at 417-712-4490.