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(Houston) – The Texas County Memorial Hospital Healthcare Foundation is gearing up for the Eighth Annual Chili Cook Off on Saturday, November 8, in the Community Building at the Texas County Fairgrounds.

The Foundation is hosting the event to raise funds to benefit TCMH Hospice of Care. Jay Gentry, director of the Healthcare Foundation, is overseeing the chili cook off and related activities.

The TCMH Healthcare Foundation Chili Cook Off will feature 16 teams competing for chili prizes and in raising money for Hospice of Care. The event will also feature music, a live auction, a chili dog eating contest, a cake walk and booths with special foods or games as well as the opportunity to sample all the chili. Chili cooking teams are comprised of five people and are sponsored by businesses and organizations.

Three TCMH departments are also participating in the cook off- the EMS department, the medical surgical department; Home Health of the Ozarks and Dr. Christopher Baldwin and Tracey Arwood, CNM of the TCMH Medical Complex in Houston. A live auction held at 2PM in the Community Building will be a major portion of the fundraising for the day.

Hospice of Care provides end of life care for patients and their families regardless of a patient’s ability to pay for the service.  If insurance coverage is not available, Hospice of Care may use Chili Cook Off funds to purchase medications in addition to providing care at no charge.

Tickets to the event are $10 for adults and $5 for children and are available through Hospice of Care and the Healthcare Foundation at TCMH. For more information about a sponsorship or to make a gift in support of the chili cook off, contact the TCMH Healthcare Foundation, 417-967-1377 or online at www.tcmh.org.

(Jefferson City) – The Missouri State Highway Patrol is urging motorists to be cautious during harvest season. Brett Stevens has more:

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(Washington) – The US Energy Information Administration has released their most recent propane price study. Marcela Rourk with the EIA has that report:

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MSU-West Plains Chancellor Drew Bennett speaking at the "State of the University" address. (ORN Photo)

MSU-West Plains Chancellor Drew Bennett speaking at the “State of the University” address. (ORN Photo)

(West Plains) – During the annual “State of the University” address put on by Missouri State University, MSU-West Plains Chancellor Drew Bennett and MSU System President Clif Smart both discussed one of the system’s larger problems – retention rates, or keeping students within the MSU system.

Bennett told Ozark Radio News that MSU-West Plains has been looking at a variety of programs, including one implemented this past summer, that looks to improve retention rates:

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MSU-West Plains saw a retention rate of 45.4% in fall 2013.

(Pontiac) – Two Gainesville residents suffered minor injuries Friday night after a one-vehicle accident in Ozark County.

The accident happened at 11 PM on County Road 603, about five miles east of Pontiac, when the northbound vehicle driven by 27-year-old Evelyn Vetter ran off-road and hit a fence.

Vetter and a passenger, 32-year-old Paul Yager, both of Gainesville, suffered minor injuries and sought their own medical treatment, according to a report from Troop G of the Highway Patrol.

(Melbourne) – G.I. Jobs has named Ozarka College to the 2015 Military Friendly Schools list.

This marks the fifth consecutive year Ozarka College has received this honor. According to G.I. Jobs, schools that have earned the elite Military Friendly designation have demonstrated a commitment to supporting student veterans on campus and in their careers.

The Military Friendly Schools list, found at www.gijobs.com/school, explains the mission of G.I. Jobs, which is to “simplify the military transition experience using education and employment tools and resources to guide you to a successful career.”

When qualifying schools for the Military Friendly Schools list, G.I. Jobs rates schools under categories including On-Campus Military Support, Credit Acceptance, School Offered Tuition Assistance, Spouse and Dependent, and Flexibility. Ozarka College received the highest rating possible for Flexibility.

Ozarka College has four campus locations: Melbourne, Ash Flat, Mammoth Spring or Mountain View, AR.

(Ash Flat) – The Ash Flat Library will be hosting a Civil War Symposium at the Ash Flat Community Center, across from the library, on Saturday, October 25.

Registration will start at 9AM. The first presentation will be “CSS Pontchartrain-The Forgotten Warship of Arkansas”, presented by William Stevens, at 9:30 AM. The CSS Pontchartrain arrived in Arkansas during the summer of 1862, and never left. However, few people know of the vessel’s existence and the role it played in defense of the Mississippi, Arkansas and White Rivers. This program will discuss both the civilian and military history of the vessel and the search to find its forgotten remains and final resting place of the largest warship in the waters of Arkansas.

A break will take place at 10:30 AM, and things will resume at 10:45 AM, with the second speaker, Dr. Michael B. Dougan, who will address “Cabins Divided: The Extremely Un-Civil War in the Ozarks.” Dr. Michael B. Dougan, Distinguished Professor of History Emeritus, Arkansas State University, hails from Neosho, MO, where he grew up in the former home of Col. Thomas R. Freeman. Like many families in the Upper South he has both Confederate and Union ancestors. Uncle J. Posey Woodside fought at the Battle of Wilson’s Creek for the Missouri State Guard and then joined the 4th Missouri Infantry. Wounded at the Battle of Corinth he remained crippled for life. His brother, Leigh Bowlin Woodside, was a private in the 13th Missouri Cavalry. Both brothers served together in the 1876 session of the Missouri legislature.

Lunch break starts at 11:45AM returning for afternoon presentations beginning at 1 PM. The Conway Women’s Chorus Civil War Ensemble will bring the first musical program ever to our Civil War Symposiums. In connection with the Arkansas Civil War Sesquicentennial Commission, the Civil War Ensemble of Conway Women’s Chorus has prepared a program of songs and stories from the war years.

“General Robert E. Lee” will arrive at 2 PM to articulate his personal overview of the war years brought to us by Louis Intres. Uniforms and period dress are welcome Free admission and door prizes.

(Mountain Home)- The Mountain Home Chamber of Commerce will be electing board members on October 31.

The vote will take place during the meeting from 11AM-1PM at El Chico’s Café. The six candidates with the most votes will join the Chamber Board for 2015-2017. A light taco bar will also be available.

Chamber executive director Eddie Majeste says that a minimum of 10% or 60 members must vote for this to be a valid election. Each membership is allowed one vote and a ballot will be presented to each member at the October 31 meeting.

(Mountain Home) – The Friends of the Baxter County Library would like to invite the community to their monthly meeting on Wednesday, October 22, at 1:30PM at the Donald W. Reynolds Library in Mountain Home.

The guest presenter will be poet Pat Oplinger with her program entitled “Poetry as Panacea.”

For information on all Library programs, visit the Library’s website at www.baxlib.org.

(Jefferson City) (AP) – Missouri wildlife officials are considering more restrictions in whitetail deer hunting to reverse a continuing decline in the deer population, caused mostly by an outbreak of hemorrhagic disease and liberal hunting regulations.

The Missouri Department of Conservation reports hunters took 251,924 whitetail deer during last season, the lowest total in a decade. In response, the state limited hunters in some counties to only one deer, rather than an unlimited number, during firearms season in the spring. And public hearing were held this summer on further proposed restrictions, The Kansas City Star reported.

“We received a lot of feedback after the deer season that something had to be done,” said Jason Sumners, a deer biologist for the Department of Conservation. “We agreed. But that feedback wasn’t the only reason we made changes. From a biological standpoint, we feel that regulation changes will help rebuild our deer herd.”

But Sumners said he didn’t expect the population to significantly rebound quickly.

“Typically, it takes several years for a deer herd to recover,” he said.

Kansas is also dealing with a declining population but wildlife officials say the numbers in that state aren’t down as sharply as Missouri’s.

“A combination of three years of drought, land coming out of CRP (the federal Conservation Reserve Program that compensates landowners for idling marginal crop land), and some outbreak of hemorrhagic disease has had an effect,” said Lloyd Fox, deer biologist for the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism. “Our deer numbers are down, but not drastically.”

Fox said the state has reduced the number of days in some areas during extended hunting seasons, with the season reduced by as much as eight days in some regions.

In Missouri, the problem began in the early 2000s, when deer populations exploded in some parts of the state, particularly in the north, prompting wildlife managers to take the limits off antlerless deer during the firearms season. That helped until 2012, when a severe outbreak of hemorrhagic disease hit parts of the state. Some regions escaped the problems but some areas saw their deer population decline 20 percent or more, wildlife officials said.