(West Plains) – Dr. Angela Totty of Poplar Bluff, Missouri, has been chosen to serve as dean of student services and athletic director at Missouri State University-West Plains.
Totty, who most recently served as vice president of student success at Three Rivers College in Poplar Bluff, will replace Dr. Herb Lunday, who announced his retirement in June 2014 after a nearly 30-year career with the Missouri State University System and a 21-year tenure with Missouri State-West Plains.
Totty’s first day on the job will be November 3.
Totty comes to Missouri State-West Plains after spending two years as vice president of student success at Three Rivers College, overseeing such departments as admissions, recruitment, registration, disability services, testing services, housing, financial aid, student engagement, campus safety and athletics. She supervised budget development for all departments within the division, developed strategic plans for the division, implemented a student discipline educational program, and co-sponsored the President’s Leadership Academy. She also served as the senior athletic administrator and athletic director for Raiders Athletics.
Prior to joining Three Rivers, Totty served as director of student life for 12 years at Arkansas State University-Beebe (ASU-Beebe), a two-year campus within the four-year university system like MSU-West Plains.
Her appointment is subject to approval by the Missouri State University Board of Governors.
Lunday will continue working at the campus as part of a transition phase through December.
(West Plains) – A toddler is dead after the Highway Patrol says she was hit by a truck in Howell County.
1-year-old Kamber Piper was pronounced dead at Ozarks Medical Center in West Plains at 6:24 PM Thursday.
A report from Troop G of the Highway Patrol states the accident happened at a home off of County Road 8230 just south of West Plains, when a truck struck the child, who was in the driveway. At this time, the circumstances surrounding the incident are unknown.
The death is fatality number 29 for Troop G of the Highway Patrol for this year, compared to 22 at this time last year.
At report time, no arrests were made in connection to the death.
(West Plains) – Officials at the Howell County Health Department report that approximately 900 vaccinations were given at the most recent flu vaccination clinic held by the department on October 17.
Health Department Administrator, Chris Gilliam, stated that he and the health department staff are appreciative for both the good turnout, as well as the patience of those in attendance.
An additional flu vaccination clinic will be held by the health department on Thursday, November 6 from 8:30 AM to 5:30 PM at the Howell County Health Department, 180 Kentucky in West Plains.
The CDC estimates that each year, on average, 5% to 20% of the population gets the flu and more than 200,000 people are hospitalized from seasonal flu-related complications. Between 1976 and 2006 estimates of flu-associated deaths in the U.S. were as high as 49,000 people annually.
(St. Louis) (AP) – St. Louis County’s top elected official and attorneys for Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson are criticizing recent leaks of information related to investigations into Michael Brown’s shooting death.
Wilson’s attorneys said Thursday that they are not responsible for the leaks and that any commentary should come in a legal venue, not through the media, while the investigation continues.
St. Louis County Executive Charlie Dooley called the leaks “orchestrated,” and said they “do not inspire confidence” in the process or prosecutor Bob McCulloch.
A county autopsy and toxicology report were leaked to the media. Other leaks have cited unnamed sources saying Wilson told investigators he felt threated by the unarmed 18-year-old on Aug. 9.
A grand jury is hearing evidence, and the Justice Department is investigating for possible civil rights violations.
(Ferguson) (AP) – A human rights group is calling on governments and police to ensure people’s right to peaceful assembly following the shooting of an unarmed black 18-year-old by a white officer in August.
Amnesty International released a 23-page report scrutinizing the actions of officers on Thursday. It was prepared by a delegation sent to Ferguson to monitor police and protesters from Aug. 14-22 after the killing of Michael Brown.
The report condemns curfews and officers’ use of riot gear, tear gas and high-frequency acoustic devices to combat protesters. The report also criticizes police for arresting journalists.
The group recommends local, state and federal authorities take action to ensure a transparent, impartial investigation into Brown’s death. It also calls on Congress to prohibit the transference of military equipment to police departments.
(Ferguson) (AP) – Missouri police have been brushing up on constitutional rights and stocking up on riot gear to prepare for a grand jury’s decision about whether to charge a white police officer who fatally shot a black 18-year-old in suburban St. Louis.
The preparations are aimed at avoiding a renewed outbreak of violence during the potentially large demonstrations that could follow an announcement of whether Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson will face a criminal trial for the Aug. 9 death of Michael Brown.
Police and protesters have repeatedly clashed since the shooting, which prompted a national conversation about race and police tactics. Images of officers in riot gear and armored vehicles confronting protesters have drawn widespread criticism.
Many protesters want Darren Wilson indicted for murder. Grand jury proceedings are secret, but legal analysts say recently leaked information about Wilson’s testimony to investigators may be an attempt to prepare the public for the possibility that he might not be charged.
The decision could be made public within the next month.
In the meantime, law officers have adjusted their tactics for interacting more peacefully with protesters while also honing their procedures for quick, widespread arrests. They plan to have a large contingent of officers at the ready, but have been meeting with clergy, community leaders and students in hopes of building relationships that could ease tensions on the streets.
Law enforcement officers expect to receive at least a day’s notice before a grand jury announcement. That should provide time for them to execute security plans but may also allow demonstrators to prepare.
Wilson’s description of events was leaked recently, as was an autopsy report that showed Brown had marijuana in his system and was shot in the hand at close range. Wilson has alleged Brown was trying to grab his gun in the SUV.
Wilson’s attorneys have denied being the source of the reports.
The shooting stoked long-simmering racial tensions in Ferguson, a predominantly black community with an overwhelmingly white police force. Protests have continued for two months in the St. Louis area, often peaceful but sometimes devolving into clashes between police firing tear gas and demonstrators lobbing rocks and bottles.
(West Plains) – Howell County Sheriff Mike Shannon says that new concealed carry permits issued within the county have dropped significantly from last year:
More information on concealed carry permits can be found by calling the Howell County Sheriff’s Office at 417-256-2544.
(West Plains) – The annual Haunting in the Hollows event in West Plains was held on Saturday, October 18, and city clerk Mallory Hawkins told Ozark Radio News that the event wouldn’t be possible without wonderful volunteers, including the Evans family:
The city estimates that at least 4000 people attended the event at some point during the day.
(West Plains) – MSU-West Plains officials have announced that students at the school have once again scored above the national average in all categories of the Collegiate Assessment of Academic Proficiency (CAAP) examination.
The test is broken down into five categories: writing skills, mathematics, reading, critical thinking and science reasoning. Graduates have scored at or above the national average in all five subject areas for 19 consecutive years.
Results of the testing show Missouri State-West Plains students posted a 62.8 mean score in writing compared to the national average of 61.5. In math, their mean score was 56.5 compared to the national mean of 56. In reading, Missouri State-West Plains students had a 61.5 mean score compared to the national average of 60.2, and in critical thinking, they posted a 63.2 mean score compared to 60.8 nationally. In science, students posted a 61.1 mean score compared to 59.2 nationally.
Area residents interested in learning more about the academic programs available at Missouri State-West Plains can call the admissions office at 417-255-7955 or visit the campus’ website at http://www.wp.missouristate.edu.
(Springfield) – This coming winter in the Ozarks is going to be colder than average with a below average snowfall and a few warm spells.
Well, at least according to persimmon seeds.
According to Ozarks folklore, a spoon shape on the seed indicates above average snowfall, a knife shape signals colder than normal temperatures and a fork shape means warmer than average temperatures. For this year’s weather forecast, officials with the University of Missouri Extension collected fruit from persimmon trees in Lawrence, Newton, Webster and McDonald counties and randomly selected 102 seeds.
18 percent of the seeds had a knife shape; 31 percent had a fork shape, and 51 percent had a spoon shape. Over the past five years, the average has been 57 percent spoon shaped, 13.6 percent knife shaped and 28 percent fork shaped.
Persimmons grow on a tree and look like an orange tomato. An unripe fruit can quickly pucker the lips of a person with its bitter taste. Native Americans taught early settlers that the fruit should be left on the trees well into October when it becomes ripe enough to eat. Once ripe, persimmons don’t keep well. They should be eaten right away or refrigerated for no more than a day or two. To freeze persimmons, simply spoon out the flesh of each one as it ripens, and store it in the freezer in an airtight container. When you have enough, persimmons are often used to make bread, muffins, cookies, cakes and pudding.