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(West Plains) – The South Central Child Advocacy Center in West Plains will be holding a fun run event on March 28 to raise money for the center, according to Development Associate with the center, Kathy Smith:

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Registration will be taken up to the event, with those who register by March 8 receiving a special package for the run:

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Proceeds from the event will benefit the South Central Child Advocacy Center, which helps abused and neglected children:

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The run event will be held March 28 directly across from the West Plains Coca Cola location on Airport road. You can register for the event online at www.active.com or email Kathy@childadvocacycenter.org.

(Jefferson City) – Sen. Gary Romine (R-Farmington) brings up Senate Bill 142, which would require the Missouri Department of Natural Resources to prepare a regulatory impact report when submitting a state implementation plan to the Environmental Protection Agency. He says that it will help protect Missouri from undue regulation:

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That bill was set aside for further discussion. Senate Bill 122, which would establish a Health Care Directives Registry, was also debated. Sen. Gina Walsh (D-Bellefontaine Neighbors) presented the bill:

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The bill received preliminary approval.

(West Plains) – Ozarks Medical Center is looking for a few superheroes for the 25th Annual Ozarks Medical Center Fun Run, which will be held April 25.

The event will feature a superhero-themed 5K, 10K and 1.5 mile racing event starting at 8 AM at the OMC Shaw Medical Building, home to the OMC Cancer Treatment Center. The funds from this event will go to support the OMC Cancer Treatment Center and local patients who are fighting cancer.

Organizers said in 2014 the event drew more than 650 participants and raised $10,000 for the OMC Cancer Treatment Center patients. This year, funds will benefit “Nurturing Hope: A Community Cancer Project.”, which includes the expansion of the center’s chemotherapy suite, the construction of a healing garden and the purchase of new technology.

Registration for the Fun Run is now under way. Forms are available at OMC Public Relations, located at No. 23 Parkway Center, or you can visit www.ozarksmedicalcenter.com for information on online registration. Participants are encouraged to form teams of five or more and receive a $5 registration discount. In addition, an early registration discount is available through April 9.

This year, the OMC Fun Run will have a superhero theme. Individual and team awards will be given. Corporate awards are also available to teams who raise additional funds prior to the event.

Overall and age group awards will also be presented to the top finishers in the 5K and 10K events.

A Superhero Fun Run Expo will also be held April 24 from 3-7 PM at the OMC Parkway Center. Participants and the public are invited to stop by the expo to pick up their race bib and t-shirts and visit the Fun Run vendor booths, including local fitness and health organizations. The expo will also include prizes and fun activities.

For more information regarding the 2015 Superhero Fun Run, including sponsorship opportunities, call the OMC Public Relations Department at 417-257-6735.

(West Plains) – The South Central Career Center will host an evening showcasing career and technical education programs on March 17 from 3:30-7 PM at the South Central Career Center Thornburgh Campus in West Plains.

Student demonstrations will be held highlighting several programs available at the school. Demonstrations will be held at 407 Thornburgh, and will feature Automotive Collision Repair, Automotive Mechanics, Carpentry, Commercial & Advertising Art, Culinary Arts, Health Sciences, Practical Nursing, Surgical Technology, and Welding.

All demonstrations will be continuous from 3:30-7 PM. The event is open to the public.

As the career and technical school operated by West Plains Schools, South Central Career Center has worked to develop a high-quality workforce since 1970. Students from eleven area high schools attend programs that teach skills in high-demand occupations allowing students to earn above average wages.

Programs specifically geared for adult students are also offered in a variety of daytime and evening formats. Federal financial aid is available to those who qualify. Partnering with Missouri State University-West Plains, students may also continue their education with 24 hours of college credit toward an associate’s degree upon completion of the South Central Career Center program.

For more information about Showcase Night or the South Central Career Center, call 417-256-6152, or visit the school’s website at www.scccwp.org.

Tom Schweich

Tom Schweich

(Jefferson City) (AP) – An aide to former U.S. Sen. John Danforth says she was on the phone with Missouri Auditor Tom Schweich discussing his religion just moments before he killed himself.

Danforth assistant Martha Fitz said in a written statement Thursday that Schweich’s chief of staff expressed concerns about his emotional state on Feb. 26 and asked her to call Schweich’s wife, Kathy.

Fitz said she spoke over the phone with Tom Schweich around 9:40 a.m., and he expressed outrage over “rumors that were being spread about his religion.”

She says Schweich threatened to kill himself and handed the phone to his wife. Seconds later, Fitz says she heard his wife say, “He shot himself.”

Danforth mentored Schweich, who had launched a campaign for the Republican nomination for governor just a month before his death.

by Marie French, AP

(Jefferson City) (AP) – The Missouri House passed a measure Thursday that would waive penalties for those who agree to pay overdue state taxes – a move estimated to generate $20 million for the proposed state budget.

The House is to consider a 2016 budget plan next week that assumes passage of the tax amnesty legislation, even though similar proposals have stalled in the Senate in previous years.

It’s fairly common for House budget plans to assume revenues from measures that have not yet been signed into law. But this year marks the first in which the governor has been constitutionally prohibited from doing the same thing.

Democratic Rep. Gail McCann Beatty, of Kansas City, said she supports the tax amnesty proposal but thinks it was hypocritical for the House to allocate money that might not be available, after voters approved a constitutional amendment in November blocking the governor from doing it. That constitutional amendment had been referred to the ballot by the Legislature.

“We told the governor he couldn’t do that, but here we are doing it,” she said.

The House voted 141-7 in favor of the tax amnesty measure, but it would still need the Senate’s approval. Opponents have blocked it in that chamber in previous years.

Sen. Rob Schaaf, R-St. Joseph, said he continues to oppose a tax amnesty because it gives an unfair benefit to some people.

“The person who paid the penalty and interest one day before the Legislature creates the amnesty program is put at a big disadvantage to the person who doesn’t do that,” he said.

The tax amnesty proposal allows taxpayers with unpaid taxes before December 31, 2014 to pay their bills between July 1 and Sept. 30, 2015. It includes sales, use, corporate and individual income tax collected by the Department of Revenue. Anyone paying back taxes under the program would have to comply with the state’s tax laws for eight years or be liable for the waived penalties.

Legislative researchers estimate the measure would bring in nearly $20 million in additional general revenues next fiscal year.

If the money ends up not being available, “we go back and programs are going to be cut,” McCann Beatty said.

House Budget Committee Chairman Rep. Tom Flanigan, R-Carthage, said after Gov. Jay Nixon’s State of the State address in January that it was “disingenuous” of him to include revenues dependent on legislative proposals in his remarks. But the constitutional restriction does not apply to the Legislature, Flanigan said Thursday.

Flanigan, who also sponsored the tax amnesty bill, said he thinks this will be the year the Legislature passes it.

“We’ve kind of figured out some of the obstacles,” he said.

Nixon did not include additional money from proposals such as a tax amnesty and Medicaid expansion in his official budget proposal, but he did include suggestions for what that money could be used for in a summary and proclamation sent to lawmakers.

The House is scheduled to consider the budget next week.

Senate President Pro Tem Tom Dempsey said he would be wary of including revenues from uncertain sources in the budget.

“We’ve had an objection to that in the past, booking revenue on legislation that hasn’t passed,” Dempsey said.

This photo taken Wednesday, March 4, 2015, shows the entrance to the Ferguson, Mo., Police Department. The Justice Department cleared a former Ferguson, Mo., police officer in the fatal shooting of an unarmed black 18-year-old, but also issued a scathing report calling for sweeping changes in city law-enforcement practices it called discriminatory and unconstitutional. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

This photo taken Wednesday, March 4, 2015, shows the entrance to the Ferguson, Mo., Police Department. The Justice Department cleared a former Ferguson, Mo., police officer in the fatal shooting of an unarmed black 18-year-old, but also issued a scathing report calling for sweeping changes in city law-enforcement practices it called discriminatory and unconstitutional. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

(Ferguson) (AP) – The police chief in Ferguson, Missouri, says he’s still reviewing a Justice Department report that lays bare what U.S. investigators contend are racist, profit-driven law enforcement practices in the St. Louis suburb.

Thomas Jackson, in a text exchange Thursday with an Associated Press reporter, declined an interview request about the government report that calls for sweeping reforms of Ferguson’s police force and municipal court.

Jackson has not spoken publicly in recent weeks as federal investigators neared the end of their monthslong probe of his department following last August’s shooting death of 18-year-old Michael Brown by then-officer Darren Wilson.

The Justice Department on Wednesday cleared Wilson in its investigation of whether he violated Brown’s civil rights.

(Little Rock) (AP) – The Arkansas House has voted to prohibit judges in the state from basing any rulings on foreign laws, a proposal that faces an uphill fight in the state Senate.

The House on Thursday voted 61-8 to ban the state’s courts from basing its rulings on any foreign law, legal code or system that doesn’t grant fundamental liberties ensured under the U.S. or Arkansas constitutions. If signed into law, the legislation would make Arkansas the eighth state to have such a restriction enacted.

Opponents have argued such a restriction is unnecessary, saying they don’t know of cases where Arkansas judges have relied on foreign laws. The measure now heads to the Senate, where the Judiciary Committee rejected an identical measure last week.

(Little Rock) (AP) – Arkansas lawmakers have given final legislative approval to a bill requiring companies to release the location of a cellphone when asked by police in emergencies.

The bill approved by the Arkansas Senate on a 32-1 vote on Thursday would require communications carriers to release the information to law enforcement when requested to respond to a call for emergency services or in an emergency situation that involves the risk of death or serious physical harm.

The bill, which was approved by the House last week, now heads to Gov. Asa Hutchinson’s desk.

The bill is patterned after measures approved in 17 other states and is named after Kelsey Smith, a teenager who was kidnapped from a Target parking lot and murdered in Kansas in 2007.

(Mammoth Spring) – The 3rd annual 3-on-3 Shooting 4 a Cure basketball tournament will take place March 14 at the Mammoth Spring Gym.

Registration will start at 8 AM, and games start at 9 AM. Early registration through March 11 is $20, and $30 after that. Divisions include 4th -6th Grade Boys and Girls and 7th -9th Grade Boys and Girls.

A $5 BBQ lunch will also be served.

Proceeds benefit the Oregon County Relay for Life.

You can find registration forms at www.mammothspringschools.com or email Shooting4cure3on3@gmail.com