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(Van Buren) – Acting Midwest Regional Director of the National Park Service Patricia Trap signed the Record of Decision for the Final General Management Plan and Environmental Impact Statement for Ozark National Scenic Riverways, making the final GMP the official guiding document for approximately the next 20 years.

The Final GMP was released to the public on December 12, 2014. The required 30-day review period began at that time in order for the National Park Service (NPS) to consider the plan for approval. It allowed 30 days for the public to review the plan before any proposed actions could be implemented.

The signing took place January 22.

Throughout the GMP process, which began in 2006, the National Park Service encouraged and appreciated public involvement at every stage, receiving more than 3,000 public comments on the proposed plans presented in 2014.

Park Service officials say that plan approval does not guarantee that funding or staffing needed to implement certain elements of the plan will immediately take place. Some management proposals will require additional planning and design, public feedback, or regulation before they can be implemented.

The Final GMP and Record of Decision can be downloaded from the National Park Service website at parkplanning.nps.gov/ozarkgmp. For more information, visit the park website at www.nps.gov/ozar, or call 573-323-4236.

(West Plains) – Ozarks Medical Center has named long-time local physician Rick Holloway, MD, the new Chief Medical Officer for the health care organization.

Dr. Holloway, a urologist with OMC Urology Clinic, has been in practice locally for the past 18 years. He will continue to see patients at the clinic as well as work in OMC administration.

In his new role, Dr. Holloway will work closely with the OMC medical staff and hospital administration in areas of health care quality, standardization of practices throughout the institution, strategic planning and medical staff leadership development.

Previously, Dr. Holloway served as OMC’s Chief Medical Informatics Officer, working closely with the hospital’s Information Technology Department to implement electronic medical records and computerized physician order entry. He has also previously served on the OMC Board of Directors.

Holloway received his undergraduate degree from Louisiana Tech University and his Medical Doctorate from the Louisiana State University Medical School in Shreveport. He completed his residency in urology from the University of Missouri in Columbia.

In addition to serving on the OMC Board of Directors, Holloway is active in his local church, serves on the boards for the West Plains Christian Clinic and Whetsone Boys Ranch in Mountain View. Holloway and his wife Sidney have been married for 33 years and enjoy ballroom dancing, especially swing. They have two married daughters, Haley and Sophia, both of whom live in Jackson, Tennessee. They are soon expecting their first grandchild. In his free time, he enjoys participating in triathlons and bicycling.

(Willow Springs) – A woman from Willow Springs suffered minor injuries Thursday morning after a one-vehicle accident in Texas County.

72-year-old Janet Millraney was taken to Texas County Memorial Hospital in Houston, according to a Highway Patrol report.

The accident happened at 10:45 AM on Route U, about 10 miles north of Willow Springs, when the vehicle Millraney was in ran off-road and overturned. The driver was not injured.

(West Plains) – Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon spoke to Ozark Radio News in an exclusive interview to talk about the state’s efforts to establish trade with Cuba. Nixon says that the country is a big agriculture market just waiting to be tapped:

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Nixon talked about the export business in Missouri and how Cuba plays into it:

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If trade with Cuba is established, it will be another country added to Missouri’s customer base, after the state began dealing with Ottawa last year. Nixon gave us an update on that relationship:

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Nixon and agricultural leaders in Missouri met on Thursday to discuss an upcoming trade mission to Cuba in March.

(Houston) – If you get pulled over in Houston in the near future, you’re interactions may be recorded.

Officers with the Houston Police Department will begin wearing body cameras in the middle of February. The Houston City Council approved the purchase of three body cameras during their most recent meeting, at a cost of almost $800 each. The program will be reviewed by the city council after a year to determine if more cameras are needed or newer models should be purchased.

The cameras will be turned on anytime the officers interact with the public, with the ability to record at least 300 minutes of video. The videos will be downloaded at the end of each shift and stored on a secure hard drive.

Officers who do not turn their cameras on during interactions with the public would be penalized, according to a personnel policy that the council asked the police department to adopt to get the cameras.

(West Plains) – A group of students from the West Plains campus of Missouri State University were recognized Wednesday as the winners of a national volunteer award from the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS).

The award recognizes the 16 students who assisted the Howell County NRCS office with outreach and education by developing and presenting natural resources demonstrations to 153 students in 16 Howell County schools.

Under the direction of Debra Mayers, instructor of the Biology for Educators’ class at MSU-West Plains, the students presented age-appropriate lessons on pollution, water conservation, recycling, the water cycle, and cohesion. The Howell County students learned important conservation concepts while their parents, other educators and community leaders were made aware of the NRCS presence in their communities.

The MSU group was selected in October as the winner of NRCS’ Earth Team Volunteer Group award for Missouri, and its nomination was forwarded to NRCS’ national Earth Team office for consideration for the national award.

(Little Rock) (AP) – An Arkansas House committee has approved a proposal that would require a doctor to be present when women take abortion-inducing medication.

The Public Health, Welfare, and Labor committee Thursday voted to send the bill to the House. It would prevent any instance of the medication being administered through telemedicine and require that doctors attempt to schedule a follow-up visit.

Republican Rep. Julie Mayberry of Hensley says her bill is aimed at protecting the health of women who might have adverse reactions to abortion-inducing pills. She says a doctor should be present.

Opponents say lawmakers shouldn’t dictate how doctors practice medicine. They say the bill grants government too much control.

Mayberry says that telemedicine isn’t used to administer the pill in the state and that her bill is a preventative measure.

(West Plains) – The 4-H and FFA steer weigh-in for the 2015 Heart of the Ozarks Fair in West Plains will be held on Saturday, February 14 at the Heart of the Ozarks Fairgrounds in West Plains.

The weign-in will begin at 9 AM and end at 11 AM. All steers will be weighed, tattooed, and ear tagged at this time. Exhibitors wanting to enter steers in the Missouri State Fair will need to attend this weigh-in to have their steers’ nose printed.

In order for steers to qualify for the Heart of the Ozarks Fair they need to weigh at least 450 lbs. and no more than 850 lbs. at the weigh-in. All calves must be castrated prior to the weigh-in as there will not be a vet on the premises during the weigh-in. Youth wanting to weigh-in livestock for the Heart of the Ozarks Fair must be a member in good standing with the Missouri 4-H club program or a paid member in good standing with a local FFA Chapter.

Each exhibitor must pay $10 at weigh-in to support the sale dinner at the fair.

For more information contact the University of Missouri Extension Center at 417-256-2391.

(West Plains) – Area residents interested in attending college can learn more about financial aid options available to them at a workshop set for 6 PM Monday, February 9, at Willow Springs High School.

The workshop is being hosted by Missouri State University-West Plains.

A representative from the college will be on hand to provide information to students and parents regarding federal and state resources available to help students finance their post-secondary education. This includes information about federal financial aid programs such as the Pell Grant, campus-based work-study programs, Stafford student loans and PLUS loans for parents, as well as state programs such as the Access Missouri grant, Bright Flight Scholarship and the A+ Program.

In addition, those attending will receive information about the financial aid application process, including instructions for filling out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

All of the information provided will be useful for students planning to attend any post-secondary institution that participates in the federal Title IV programs, not just Missouri State-West Plains.

For more information about the workshop, contact the Missouri State-West Plains financial aid office at 417-255-7243 or contact Willow Springs High School Counselor Amanda Munsan at 417-469-2114, ext. 307.

(Jefferson City) (AP) – Assistance for Missouri’s dairy farmers appears to be one of the first bills the Legislature will send to Gov. Jay Nixon.

The House gave initial approval to the dairy farm bill Wednesday and the Senate heard the bill Thursday.

Supporters say the bill is needed to keep Missouri’s milk providers in business.

The measure provides a subsidy to help dairy farmers pay for insurance, a scholarship for students studying dairy farming and funds for research on the industry.

Opponents say the state government should not interfere with the free market or try to fix an industry regulated at the federal level.

Funds for the program would have to be approved separately and would come from existing sales tax on dairy products.