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(Isabella) – A resident of Isabella suffered minor injuries Tuesday after a two-vehicle accident in Ozark County.

The accident happened at 7:15 AM on Highway 160, about four miles east of Isabella, when the eastbound vehicle driven by 39-year-old Mark Safe of Theodosia crossed the center line and hit a westbound vehicle driven by 25-year-old Lester Ware head-on.

Ware sought his own medical treatment, according to a Highway Patrol report.

(West Plains) – Following an extensive 18-month process, South Central Career Center in West Plains has received a six-year accreditation from the Council on Occupational Education.

In February 2013, officials with South Central Career Center received notification that their previous accreditor was voluntarily withdrawing nationwide as an accreditor of postsecondary career and technical schools. The United States Department of Education gave the affected schools two years to receive accreditation through another recognized accreditor.

The entire process started in March 2013 and included a candidacy process and team visit, a school-wide effort to create a self-study of almost 250 criteria, and a final accreditation visit that took place in mid-September of this past year. The team reviewed the school’s finances, human resources, physical resources, learning resources, strategic planning, institutional mission, organizational structure, student services, job placement, and a detailed review of each educational program. That review resulted in a team report that included no suggestions or recommendations for improvement.

The six-year accreditation is the longest period allowable.

South Central Career Center is hosted by West Plains Schools and has served south central Missouri since 1970 with adult and secondary career and technical education programs and other numerous high school courses. With a mission to develop a highly-qualified workforce, SCCC works with eleven area high schools, participates in the federal financial aid program, and has close partnerships with regional industry.

More information can be found at www.scccwp.edu.

(Jefferson City) (AP) – The Missouri secretary of state is pushing a bill that would allow the state to keep human trafficking victims’ addresses secret.

Secretary of State Jason Kander on Tuesday announced legislation that would expand the Safe at Home program to cover those victims.

The program gives confidential addresses to survivors of domestic violence, rape and some other crimes. The aim is to prevent the victims’ assailants from tracking where they live and potentially harming them again.

Sex trafficking survivor and advocate Katie Rhoades says her pimp threatened her with violence before she escaped. She says the legislation could help other survivors who later worry about their own safety.

North Carolina, Washington, Oregon and Maryland have similar programs for human trafficking victims.

(Little Rock) (AP) – The Arkansas Department of Workforce Services says Arkansas’ unemployment rate declined two-tenths of a percentage point in December, from 5.9 percent in November to 5.7 percent.

The agency reported Tuesday Arkansas’ civilian labor force added 8,500 jobs during the month. That’s the result of 9,700 more people being employed and 1,200 fewer unemployed Arkansans.

Communications Director Becky Heflin says December’s increase in the number of Arkansans working marked the fourth consecutive month of employment gains for the state.

The Department of Workforce Services says that since December 2013, Arkansas’ nonfarm payroll employment has increased by 22,600. Eight major industry sectors have added jobs, while two sectors posted minor declines.

Meanwhile, the U.S. jobless rate declined two-tenths of a percentage point, from 5.8 percent in November to 5.6 percent last month.

(AP Photo/Danny Johnston)

(AP Photo/Danny Johnston)

(Little Rock) (AP) – A House panel has advanced Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson’s middle class tax cut package after restoring a portion of a capital gains tax break it would have repealed.

The House Revenue and Taxation Committee on Tuesday endorsed Hutchinson’s proposal to cut taxes by 1 percent for those making between $21,000 and $75,000 a year. The Senate approved the measure last week and it now heads to the full House.

The panel backed the measure after scaling back its proposal to repeal a capital gains tax break lawmakers approved two years ago. Restoring a portion of the break adds about $9.7 million to the cost of the legislation.

Hutchinson, a Republican who was sworn in earlier this month, campaigned on the middle class income tax proposal last year.

(ORN)

(ORN)

(Mountain Home) – The Baxter County Sheriff’s Office is currently investigating the death of a 28-year-old man.

Deputies were called to a home in the 4100 block of Highway 177 South Sunday morning around 9:40 AM. The callers stated they had found their son, 28 year old Mason Seay, deceased in his bedroom from unknown causes.

Sheriff John Montgomery says that there is no indication of foul play at this time, and the body was sent to the State Medical Examiner’s Office in Little Rock to determine the cause and manner of death.

(Jefferson City) – Opening debate on priority legislation in the Missouri Senate is slated to start this week. Some of the bills to be debated in the near future include Senate Bills 12, 24, and 11, which related to agriculture, public assistance, and ethics reform, respectively.

Senate President Pro Tem Tom Dempsey, R-St. Charles, says these bills are ready for discussion and debate this week:

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Senate Minority Floor Leader Joseph Keaveny, D-St. Louis, adds the first attempts at Medicaid expansion could be made this year, at least for veterans:

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More information on the Missouri Senate can be found at senate.mo.gov.

(Thayer) – Ozark Self Reliant Living University’s 4th Annual Disaster Preparedness Seminar will be held this coming weekend.

OSLU organizer Mike Slack spoke with Ozark Radio News and talked about the event:

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Slack also talked about some of the topics that will be covered at both events:

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If you would like more information on the event, you can call 417-264-2435.

(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 includes being an adult education student (30 hour minimum), 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 are encouraged to complete the scholarship application through the Baxter County Adult Education Center, as a signature from a certified Adult Education instructor is required prior to submitting application for the GED Walmart Scholarship.

Students who are awarded the scholarship may take the GED test free of charge at Baxter County Adult Education Center.

For additional information about free GED classes or use of the GED Walmart Scholarship, please call the Baxter County Adult Education Center at 870-425-7974.

(Little Rock) (AP) – Attorneys representing same-sex couples in Arkansas are objecting to the state’s request for new oral arguments in a lawsuit challenging the state’s gay marriage ban.

Cheryl Maples and Jack Wagoner on Tuesday petitioned the Arkansas Supreme Court to deny the state’s motion submitted on Friday. They say the state’s request is unusual and that their clients cannot afford further delay.

A Pulaski County judge in May struck down a voter-approved 2004 constitutional amendment and earlier state law defining marriage as between a man and a woman. Justices held oral arguments in November but haven’t issued a ruling.

A federal judge struck down the ban in a separate case in November that is also being appealed.