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(West Plains) – Two education institutions in West Plains are hoping to partner together to create a manufacturing training center in the city.

Assistant director of the South Central Career Center, Dr. Josh Cotter, told Ozark Radio News that the idea of a training center came up between SCCC and MSU-West Plains over a year ago to help the community stay competitive in a changing world:

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Cotter added that the schools began picking up the pace on the project after the Robertshaw plant closure announcement:

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Right now, the program is looking for a permanent home:

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The schools are also seeking support from politicians to help get the project going:

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The schools are hoping to get the program started this year:

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Cotter is hoping that the training center will not just help West Plains, but the region:

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Cotter added that the schools are looking to get funding for the location through grants and other state funding sources.

(Springfield) – The winter weather on Wednesday caused some headaches for motorists in the region.

Troop G of the Missouri State Highway Patrol reports two accidents attributed to the weather, both of which occurred in Texas County. No major injuries were reported.

No major accidents were reported in the Arkansas listening area, which saw up to an inch of sleet and freezing rain in some areas before the snow fell.

A band of weather which started as rain in Texas moved through the region on Wednesday, dumping rain, sleet, and roughly 4 inches of snow in the West Plains area. The Ozark Radio Network recorded a total of 5 inches of precipitation during the winter event.

Be sure to check the Ozark Radio News Facebook page during winter weather, as we’ll be posting road condition photos and videos.

(West Plains) – West Plains Municipal Court for Thursday, March 5 has been canceled due to weather.

All matters set to be heard March 5 have been continued to March 19 at the same time previously scheduled.

If you have questions, you can call the court clerk at 417-256-6154.

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)

(Jefferson City) (AP) – Two Missouri state senators are calling for the Ferguson Police Department to be dissolved following a scathing federal report that found widespread racial bias among officers.

Democratic Sens. Jamilah Nasheed and Maria Chappelle-Nadal of the St. Louis area on Wednesday said issues with the department run so deep that disbanding it completely is the best option for change.

The U.S. Justice Department report found that police work disproportionately targeted minorities in generating revenue from fines and fees, rather than protecting the community.

The report also said that police officials swapped racist emails.

Ferguson Mayor James Knowles III said later Wednesday that one officer accused of sending racist emails has since been fired, with two others placed on administrative leave. He says the department has implemented other changes since Brown’s death.

Meanwhile, St. Louis County prosecutor Bob McCulloch says he is not surprised by the Justice Department decision not to prosecute Ferguson officer Darren Wilson in the fatal shooting of 18-year-old Michael Brown.

McCulloch was criticized by many after a St. Louis County grand jury announced in November that no state charges would be filed against Wilson, who is no longer an officer in Ferguson.

Asked if he felt vindicated by the Justice Department ruling, McCulloch says no because he knew that the evidence supported the grand jury decision. He says the criticism leveled at him was “unwarranted,” but dealing with it is part of the job.

(Melbourne) – A man from Oxford, AR faces domestic battery and child endangerment charges after an incident last month in Izard County.

41-year-old James Filchak was arrested February 25 and charged with three counts of endangering the welfare of a child, three counts of domestic battery, and resisting arrest.

Izard County deputies were dispatched to an Oxford residence on February 25, where they say the victim reported Filchak had hit her and one of the three children in the home. The victim also reported that Filchak, who she said has been diagnosed with hepatitis “C”, took blood from a small scratch on his arm and attempted to put some of it on one of the children’s mouths.

The victim also reported that Filchak threw a coffee can at one of the children, and hit the child when he missed.

At report time, Filchak was in the Izard County Detention Facility, and was being held on $5,000 bond.

(West Plains) – The Small Business and Technology Development Center (SBTDC), hosted by Missouri State University-West Plains, will sponsor an agribusiness marketing forum 8 AM to 3 PM March 18 in the West Plains Civic Center theater, 110 St. Louis St.

SBTDC Coordinator Bronwen Madden spoke with Ozark Radio News and told us more about the forum:

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Early bird admission is $20. To register, visit sbtdc.eventbrite.com. For more information about this workshop or any other programs or services offered by SBTDC, contact coordinator Bronwen Madden at 417-255-7966 or WPSBDC@MissouriState.edu.

(Little Rock) (AP) – The Arkansas Senate has given final legislative approval to a bill easing restrictions on the creation of new school districts.

By a 20-6 vote, the Senate approved and sent to the governor’s desk a bill that would lower the amount of students a new district needs to splinter from an existing district. The legislation would lower the requirement from 4,000 students to 2,500.

Supporters of the measure say it would allow Maumelle or Sherwood to split from the Pulaski County Special school district after clearing state and federal hurdles.

Opponents say the change could harm lower-income students and widen racial divides.

(Willow Springs) – The Willow Springs Arts Council is excited to announce a spring concert entitled “Hats Off to Broadway”, which will be held on Sunday, March 15, at 2 PM at the historic Star Theater in Willow Springs.

The program features the Southern Ozarks Community Orchestra performing selections form Broadway shows, including “That’s Entertainment”, “Cabaret”, “Mame”, “There’s No Business Like Show Business”, and “Mamma Mia”, as well as a Salute to Cinema with “Hooray for Hollywood”, “Singing in the Rain”, “Over the Rainbow”, “As Time Goes By”, “A Day in the Life of a Fool”, and “The Entertainer”.

Tickets will be available at the door. Adult tickets are $7 and there will be no charge for children 12 and under.

The orchestra is sponsored by the Willow Springs Arts Council through grants from the Missouri Arts Council and generous community support. To learn more about the arts council and the orchestra, visit www.willowspringsartscouncil.org, or find the page on Facebook.

(Jefferson City) (AP) – A Missouri Senate panel is considering tightening state law on what justifies the use of deadly force among police, months after a fatal police shooting in Ferguson.

Democratic Sen. Maria Chappelle-Nadal of University City presented her bill Tuesday to a Senate panel. She did so just hours after the U.S. Justice Department released a report concluding that former Ferguson officer Darren Wilson acted in self-defense when he shot 18-year-old Michael Brown last August.

Chappelle-Nadal’s bill would overhaul a law currently allowing deadly force when an officer believes a suspect has attempted to commit a felony, is escaping with a deadly weapon or poses a serious danger to others.

The senator’s bill would require an “objective” reasonable belief and require the felony offense to involve a serious physical injury.

(Ellington) – Whole Kids Outreach is sponsoring their annual Easter Egg Hunt and Spring Festival on Saturday, March 21 from 11 AM to 2 PM.

Events scheduled include a “marshmallow shoot out”, a cake walk, pony rides, and a free lunch. The egg hunt, which is for children up to 11-years-old, will start at 11 AM. Children will need to bring their own Easter basket.

A yard sale benefiting WKO will also be held during the event.

Whole Kids Outreach is located on Hwy. 21, five miles south of Ellington. For more information, please call 573-663-3257 or visit www.wholekidsoutreach.org.