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(Jefferson City) – The Missouri State Highway Patrol will begin school bus inspections in the near future.

School buses in Missouri are required by law to be the subject of a safety inspection at least twice a year. The initial inspection takes place up to 60 days prior to the start of the school year at an established vehicle inspection station, while the second inspection, done in the second half of the school year beginning in February, is conducted by the Missouri State Highway Patrol’s Motor Vehicle Inspection Division.

Between February and May 2014, Patrol personnel inspected nearly 12,000 school buses. School bus fleets may also be subject to a spot inspection, as the Patrol may inspect any school bus at any time.

Of the 11,997 buses inspected by the Missouri State Highway Patrol in 2014, 84.7% or 10,161 buses were found to have no defective items and were rated as “approved.” Buses having one or more defective items, but deemed to be safe for the transportation of students were rated as “rejected.” For the 11.9% or 1,431 buses rated as “rejected,” school districts were allowed 10 days following the initial inspection to repair the identified defects before being re-inspected by Patrol personnel. The buses found to have one or more defective items, and believed to compromise the safe transportation of students, were rated as “out of service.” The 3.4% or 405 buses that were rated as “out of service” by inspectors had to be repaired, then re-inspected by the Patrol’s Motor Vehicle Inspection Division prior to being used to transport students.

(West Plains) – Missouri State University-West Plains has been nominated to participate in the STANLEY Security’s “Together for Safer Schools” grant program.

If the college wins, they can get up to $100,000 in STANLEY Security installed products and services to help secure students and facilities within the campus environment.

In its second year, the STANLEY Security “Together for Safer Schools” grant program provides the opportunity to enhance safety and security in the nation’s higher education institutions by awarding winning schools a share of a substantial grant of STANLEY Security installed products and services, officials explained.

Now through February 13, students, faculty, staff, administrators, parents, alumni and members of the campus community and beyond are encouraged to vote for Missouri State-West Plains Daily by going online at www.stanleysaferschools.com and voting for “mostate;” tweeting using #STANLEYSecurity and #mostate; or texting “mostate” to 334455. The top two colleges or universities with the most votes in each of three size categories will be selected as grant winners.

For more information on the STANLEY Security “Together for Safer Schools” grant program and to vote for Missouri State-West Plains, visit www.stanleysaferschools.com.

(Jefferson City) – Committee hearings continued in the Missouri Senate last week.

Senate Bill 12 would modify provisions related to agriculture. Sen. Brian Munzlinger, R-Williamstown, sponsors the measure, and say that the bill would include the Missouri Dairy Revitalization Act of 2015:

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Sen. Jason Holsman, D-Kansas City, mentions there’s no new road funding coming after voters rejected a transportation sales tax last year, and that some provisions of the ag bill could become a problem:

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Missouri Senators have now heard from the Executive and Judical branches in their respective annual address to lawmakers.

(West Plains) – The West Plains R-7 School District is conducting a survey of patrons of the district.

Superintendent Dr. John Mulford spoke with Ozark Radio News and talked about the survey and its importance to the district:

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He added that the survey is a bit different compared to others:

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Mulford says that the results of the survey, and a follow up, will be released after the initial round of surveying is done:

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The suvey runs through January 30. For more information you can visit www.zizzers.org.

(West Plains) – No major changes will be coming to the West Plains Board of Education this year.

Board candidate election filing opened at 8 AM on Tuesday, December 16, and ran through Tuesday, January 20. Jim Thompson and Brian Mitchell are in their final year of a three year term and Courtney Beykirch is completing her first year of a term previously held by Bo Pace. All three were unopposed for the board positions.

The board members will be sworn in at the April school board meeting.

(Little Rock) (AP) – A federal appeals court says Arkansas’ hope to restore a gay marriage ban could be at risk because state lawyers haven’t paid a $505 docketing fee due last Wednesday.

The 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said Monday that Arkansas has two weeks to demonstrate why its appeal shouldn’t be dropped.

The appeals court notified the state Jan. 7 that the money was due in two weeks. Arkansas changed attorneys general this month; the office of new Attorney General Leslie Rutledge blamed a clerical error and said the fee will be paid.

U.S. District Judge Kristine Baker tossed a voter-approved same-sex marriage ban and a similar state law in November. She put her decision on hold pending the appeal. Another case is pending in the state Supreme Court.

(Little Rock) (AP) – The Arkansas House has voted to require write-in candidates to notify state and local election officials 90 days in advance if they plan to run for office.

Lawmakers voted 90-1 on Monday in favor of the bill, which was presented with a minor technical change.

Write-in candidates are already required to file paperwork in every county in which they’re running in order for their votes to be counted. County clerks are not required to include ballot lines for write-in candidates without the filings.

Supporters say the change will help prevent ballots from being printed without write-in lines if the candidate notifies county officials too close to the election. They say it will also help clear up any confusion if names such as Mickey Mouse or Elvis Presley are written in.

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(Houston) – The Volunteer Chaplains Association at Texas County Memorial Hospital recently gathered to dedicate a new chapel space for patients, visitors and employees at the hospital. The chapel is located on the second floor of the medical surgical floor of the hospital, just off the main waiting room and North stairwell and elevator. It is open to the public.

Originally a consultation room on the medical surgical floor, the room was not being “utilized to its fullest extent”, according to Wes Murray, chief executive officer at TCMH, and was converted into a chapel.

The chapel was designed and built by the TCMH maintenance department. They lined the rooms with wood panels, with lit stained glass in the panels on the walls. Furniture that was handcrafted for the original hospital chapel has been placed in the new space.

According to Murray, the dove stained glass piece, the benches and other handmade items were placed in storage when the chapel was closed for the construction done at TCMH in 2000.

A large Bible was also in storage with the chapel furniture, and it has been placed on the kneeling bench in the chapel.

There is no date in the Bible, but the businesses listed inside the Bible are Progressive Federal Bank; Mr. Terry’s; Richards Brothers; Reese Oil; Houston Mill Inc., and Scheets Hardware.

The TCMH Healthcare Foundation, the charitable arm of the hospital, is utilizing the new space for memorial and other donation recognition with brass naming plates on the wooden panels.

Jay Gentry, Healthcare Foundation director, explained that with a minimum $500 donation, a donor may designate a plate in the chapel space.

For additional information about donor recognition inside the TCMH chapel, contact Gentry at jgentry@tcmh.org or 417-967-1377.

Scout (Hannah McKechnie) and Atticus Finch (Jacob Mundell). Atticus and Scout discuss the upcoming trial of Tom Robinson. (Provided)

Scout (Hannah McKechnie) and Atticus Finch (Jacob Mundell). Atticus and Scout discuss the upcoming trial of Tom Robinson. (Provided)

(Mountain Home) – Arkansas State University-Mountain Home’s (ASUMH) Performing Arts Council will present “To Kill a Mockingbird” by National Players at the Vada Sheid Community Development Center on Friday, February 13.

The 7 PM show will be held in the Ed Coulter Performing Arts Center at the Sheid. Tickets for the play are $30 for adults and $15 for students and are available at The Sheid box office Monday – Friday 8 AM to 5 PM or by phone at 870-508-6280. Tickets are also available through iTickets at 1-800-965-9324 and online through iTickets at www.thesheid.com.

“To Kill a Mockingbird” is an iconic American coming-of-age story in its first production by National Players. Harper Lee’s classic novel offers a keyhole view into the struggles faced by a small town and its people. Scout, a young girl, leaves childhood innocence behind to enter an adult world of morality and decision making.

Launching from its home base of Olney, MD, just north of Washington, DC, ten actors from National Players are taking the show around the country from September 2014- May 2015. The cast will also join the college’s Diversity Committee to present a Listen-at-Lunch lecture for students on February 12 at noon. The lecture, which will be held in Gaston Lobby, is free and open to the public.

For more information, call 870-508-6109.

(Sikeston) – MoDOT has announced a number of projects for this week, weather permitting.

Howell and Texas Counties

  • Various Routes in Howell and Texas County will be reduced to one lane while crews perform edge rut repairs Wednesday, Jan. 28 through Friday, Jan. 30 from 7:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily.
  • Route 17, from US 60 in Howell County to Route 106 in Texas County, will be reduced to one lane while crews perform edge rut repairs Tuesday, Jan. 27 through Wednesday, Jan. 28 from 7:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily.

Texas County

  • Route Y, from the Howell County line to Route 137, will be reduced to one lane as crews partially overlay the roadway Tuesday, Jan 27 through Friday, Jan. 30 from 7:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily.
  • Route U, from Route 137 to US 63, will be reduced to one lane as crews partially overlay the roadway Tuesday, Jan. 27 through Friday, Jan. 30 from 7:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily.

Texas and Wright Counties

  • Eastbound US 60, from Route 181 in Texas County to Route 5 in Wright County, will be reduced to one lane as crews partially overlay the roadway Monday, Jan. 26 through Friday, Jan. 30 from 7:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily.

Douglas and Howell Counties

  • Route 76, Route E in Douglas County to US 60 in Howell County, will be reduced to one lane while crews cut brush and trim trees Wednesday, Jan 28 through Friday, Jan. 30 from 7:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily.