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(West Plains) – The annual chocolate festival to benefit the Christos House will be held on February 14 at the National Guard Armory

Amber Brignole with the Christos House spoke with Ozark Radio News and said that the theme for this year’s event is “Willy Wonka”. She also told us more about the event:

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She also talked about how you can try some of those delicious treats, and about the auction held during the event:

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If you want to make a dish for the event, Brignole says you have plenty of time to enter:

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Entry forms can also be picked up here at the Ozark Radio Network, at 983 US Highway 160 East in West Plains. For more information on the event, visit

(West Plains) – Everyone is invited to sample locally available craft beers and specially prepared foods to help a worthy cause at the 3rd Annual West Plains BrewFest, set for 5:30-8 PM Saturday, February 28, 2015, in the Exhibit Hall at the West Plains Civic Center.

Proceeds from the event will benefit the West Plains Council on the Arts’ efforts to promote arts in the West Plains area, as well as fund the Gatewood Family Fine Arts Scholarship, which will be awarded to an area graduating high school senior planning to major in fine arts.

Attendees will have the opportunity to sample craft beers from a wide range of breweries. Participating independent breweries include Mother’s Brewing and Springfield Brewing, both of Springfield; Public House Brewing Co. of Rolla; and Piney River Brewing of Bucyrus. Grellner Sales is bringing products from Blue Moon and MillerCoors, both of Golden, CO; Boulevard of Kansas City; Kraftig of St. Louis; in addition to products from Mother’s, Piney River, and Public House of Missouri. Great Rivers Distributing will feature specially selected products from Anheuser-Busch in St. Louis, Abita Brewing of Abita Springs, LA; Goose Island Beer of Chicago; MixxTail; and Sierra Nevada Brewing of Chico, CA.

In addition to the sampling, attendees will enjoy a variety of locally prepared hors d’oeuvres from several area restaurants, including Almost Famous Grille, Johnny’s BBQ, Ozark Café, Ozark Pizza Co., and Sole Café at the Shoe Factory Lofts, all of West Plains. Phil Wages will demonstrate home brew methods. The first 300 people through the doors will receive a souvenir tasting glass.

Admission is $20 per person in advance and $25 at the door. All attendees must be over 21 and have a valid photo ID. Advanced tickets can be purchased in West Plains at the West Plains Civic Center box office or Mulligan’s Package Store, 47 Court Square in West Plains.

More information about the West Plains BrewFest can be found at or at the event’s Facebook page at

(Little Rock) (AP) – Attorney General Leslie Rutledge is asking the Arkansas Supreme Court to hold new oral arguments in the lawsuit challenging the state’s gay marriage ban.

Rutledge, a Republican who was sworn in last week, on Friday asked for a new hearing in the state’s appeal of a Pulaski County judge’s decision striking down the ban as unconstitutional.

Justices held oral arguments in the case in November, and have yet to issue a ruling.

Judge Chris Piazza in May struck down a 2004 constitutional amendment and earlier state law defining marriage as being between a man and a woman. Justices suspended his ruling while they considered the state’s appeal.

A federal judge struck down the ban in a separate case in November, but has suspended her ruling while the state appeals.

(West Plains) – Women with Heart, a Giving Circle of the Community Foundation of the Ozarks, will host a fund raising luncheon on Saturday, February 14 at the First Baptist Church South Campus.

There will be a social hour from 11 AM to 12 PM, during which guests have the opportunity to bid on a variety of valuable and unique silent auction items. From 12-1 PM, lunch will be served and a sleep apnea and heart failure education program will be presented by Dr. Juan Mella, OMC Pulmonologist. New this year will be a showing of vintage couture.

Women with Heart is a 501(c)3, whose goal is to educate women about the importance of cardiovascular health and to raise funds for cardiac programs, services and technology at OMC.

Nancy Franz, Chairman of the event, says the funds raised at the event will go toward a new $18,000 Respironics Sleep Study machine. The machine, used during sleep studies at the OMC Sleep Lab, collects information on heart pattern, brain wave pattern, leg muscle activity, oxygen levels, eye movements, and respiratory patterns in order to diagnosis a number of sleep diseases and disorders.

This is the fifth year for the Women with Heart Luncheon. Over the years, the committee has raised approximately $60,000. These funds have been used for equipment for the stroke and cardiac rehabilitation programs at OMC.

Tickets to the event are $40, and are on sale at Kloz Klozet, Community Foundation of the Ozarks, OMC Public Relations Department in the Parkway Shopping Center. A table for eight may be purchased for $250, a savings of $70, and sponsorships are available. A limited number of tickets are available.

For more information contact the Community Foundation of the Ozarks office at 417-256-4725 or committee member and advisor Jim Streff at 417-293-0934.

(Jefferson City) – Committee hearings are underway in the Missouri Senate.

Among the measures in line for committee time are Senate Concurrent Resolutions 8 and 9, which were sponsored by Sen. Mike Parson, R-Bolivar:

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Senate Bill 24 was the first measure heard in committee this session. The proposal would modify requirements for receiving public assistance. Sen. Maria Chappelle-Nadal, D-University City, says she wants to make sure everyone affected by this change would benefit:

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Senators continue to work in committees, while the House will be working on the state budget in the near future.

(West Plains) – If you’re thinking about starting a business or planning on expanding your business, the Ozarks Small Business Incubator has something for you, according to executive director Heather Fisher.

Fisher told Ozark Radio News that there are a lot of benefits when working with the Incubator:

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More information on the Incubator can be found at

(West Plains) – The photography in “Elder Mountain: A Journal of Ozarks Studies” will be the topic of the next Friends of the Garnett Library monthly luncheon meeting on Friday, February 13, on the Missouri State University-West Plains campus.

Local photographer Dennis Crider will discuss the photos included in Missouri State University-West Plains’ literary journal, published annually by the Department of English. Copies of the journal can be viewed at the Garnett Library, or they may be purchased at Drago College Store, 411 W. Main St.

The luncheon and meeting will take place from 12-1 PM in rooms 104 and 105 on the lower level of the Lybyer Technology Center. Parking is available in the lot off Cass Avenue on the north side of the building.

The cost of the meal is $10, and is payable at the door. Those wishing to eat are asked to make a reservation by calling 417-255-7940 or emailing by Tuesday, February 10.

For more information about Friends of the Garnett Library, call 417-255-7940.

(Winona) – You and your family can “discover nature” in February with two programs recently announced by the Twin Pines Conservation Education Center.

The first event, “FFA Field Day”, will take place Thursday, February 5 from 9:30 AM to 1:30 PM. Students with various FFA groups in the region will participate in a wide variety of land related activities, including how to test soil samples, timber cruise and identify tools needed for the job. Reservations are required.

Also a turkey call workshop with David Wood will be held from 9 AM to 12 PM on Saturday, February 7. David Wood specializes in making turkey calls and will be coming back to Twin Pines to continue teaching the craft to interested hunters. This workshop for people 12 and up will center on showing you how to make a box call. Materials will be provided. Reservations are required for this event as well.

For further information or to make reservations, call 573-325-1381. The Twin Pines Conservation Education Center can be found near Winona off of Highway 60.

(Melbourne) – A new scholarship opportunity is now available to adult education students in north-central Arkansas.

The GED Walmart Scholarship will cover official GED testing fees, in full, if the student meets the required criteria, which is that the candidate must be an adult education student, an Arkansas resident, and not earn more than 200 percent of the Federal poverty level. A student who has only one person in the family can make as much as $23,340 a year. As always required, the student must take and pass the section of the GED Ready test in which they are testing prior to official testing.

Students who are awarded the scholarship may take the GED test free of charge at Ozarka College in Melbourne, Ash Flat, Mammoth Spring, and Mountain View.

For additional information about free GED classes or use of the GED Walmart Scholarship, please call Ozarka College’s Adult Education Department at 800-821-4335, ext. 2051.

(Kansas City) (AP) – A special prosecutor is taking a fresh look at the death of a handcuffed Iowa suspect who went overboard as a Missouri State Highway Patrol boat was transporting him.

Amanda Grellner acknowledged she is reviewing the case after receiving new information, The Kansas City Star reported. After a coroner’s inquest found 20-year-old Brandon Ellingson’s death to be an accident, Grellner declined four months ago to press charges against trooper Anthony Piercy. Grellner, the Osage County prosecutor, said she couldn’t discuss specifics of the investigation.

Ellingson, who grew up around West Des Moines, Iowa, and had just finished his sophomore year at Arizona State University, went into the water May 31 as Piercy was transporting him from the Lake of the Ozarks on suspicion of boating while intoxicated. Witnesses have said that Ellingson’s arms weren’t in the life jacket’s arm holes and that the safety device slipped off.

Patrol officials say Piercy cannot be interviewed because of an ongoing lawsuit. Lt. John Hotz, a patrol spokesman, said that all he could say about the case review was that patrol investigators had conducted additional interviews in recent weeks.

The interviews included ones with a husband and wife who, with their son, saw Ellingson in the water minutes before he drowned and who saw his life vest float away.

In June, the Moreaus told a patrol investigator that once Piercy had maneuvered his boat next to Ellingson, the trooper showed no urgency in helping the man in the water, didn’t turn on his red lights and didn’t motion for them to assist. The family eventually left the area thinking the trooper had everything under control. They didn’t know Ellingson was in handcuffs.

Larry Moreau’s initial interview with a trooper several months ago lasted about 15 minutes. Earlier this month, he said that same trooper and another investigator interviewed him for nearly 1 1/2 hours.

“I don’t think the truth had been told,” Larry Moreau said.

Sherry Ellingson, Brandon’s mother, said she doesn’t think her son’s death was thoroughly investigated. She emailed Grellner in the fall after Larry Moreau and his wife, Paulette, told her they had contacted the special prosecutor to say that the inquest jury hadn’t heard all of their information. They were not called to testify at the inquest.

Having the prosecutor take another look is a “good sign,” Ellingson said. “I’m hopeful, but I can’t help but be incredibly skeptical, too.”