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Raymond Vallia

(Moriarty) (AP) – Authorities say a 13-year-old Missouri girl who was allegedly abducted has been found safe in New Mexico and a man is in custody.

New Mexico State Police say 55-year-old Raymond Vallia was arrested Monday afternoon after a traffic stop east of Moriarty.

The Missouri Highway Patrol and Henry County Sheriff’s Office issued an amber alert for the girl after Sunday’s alleged abduction and believed Vallia would be with the teen.

Authorities say the two apparently met over social media and Vallia reportedly lives in Amarillo, Texas.

State Police say the girl appeared to be unharmed and has been placed in protective custody.

They say Vallia was being booked into the Metropolitan Detention Center in Albuquerque on suspicion of felony kidnapping and the FBI now is handling the investigation.

(Cherokee Village) – The city of Cherokee Village will begin taking recycle drop-offs in the town center parking lot on April 1.

City officials say the drop-off will be available starting Wednesday at the parking lot next to city hall.

Also, residents are reminded of the spring clean-up day on April 18. Residents can bring their items to the green building between St. Michaels and Auction from 9 AM to 1 PM that day. Items that can’t be taken include gasoline motors, batteries, and electrical items.

For more information, call Cherokee Village City Hall at 870-257-5522.

(West Plains) – A meeting on the possible future of a diaper bank in West Plains will be held on Thursday.

The meeting will be held April 2 at 6 PM Ozark Action building #2. Penney Alverson, director of the Martha Vance Samaritan Outreach Center, says the meeting will be held to discuss options for starting a diaper bank that will supply diapers to various groups in the region, which will then distribute them to low income families. The meeting will also cover creating a means of supplying diapers to Howell County, and possible expansion after implementation.

If you would like more information on the meeting, call the Martha Vance Samaritan Outreach Center at 417-257-7792.

(Melbourne) – Ozarka College has been granted formal approval from the Arkansas Department of Education to continue serving as a digital learning provider in Arkansas.

Ozarka College received approval for seventeen courses, which includes American History, American National Government, Biology, College Algebra, Communications, English Composition, Fine Arts Music, Geography, Computer Applications, Psychology, Trigonometry, World Civilization, and World Literature.

Additionally, these courses may also be taken by students wishing to earn concurrent credit. Pending approval from the individual school district, students can take selected courses through Ozarka College and earn both high school and college credit, which additionally will transfer to any institution in the state through the Arkansas Course Transfer System.

For more information about distance learning opportunities, visit

(West Plains) – Officials with The Kloz Klozet and Cottage Flowers and Interiors invite everyone to their annual spring fashion show, “All Eyes on Fashion,” Friday, April 24, at the West Plains Country Club.

Sponsored by the Friends of the Garnett Library, the event, which benefits Missouri State University-West Plains’ Garnett Library, will feature the latest styles in dresses, slacks, accessories, shoes, fashion jewelry, travel accessories and handbags, fresh and silk flowers, furniture, cookbooks, gifts and home decor items, according to Florence James and Kristi Bash, owners of The Kloz Klozet and Cottage Flowers and Interiors, respectively.

Those attending will also be able to view a table of gift items now available at both The Kloz Klozet and Cottage Flowers and Interiors, including baby clothes and a large assortment of gifts for new arrivals and their parents. Gift registries are available, and items purchased can be gift wrapped. Cottage Flowers and Interiors also has a wide range of flower arrangements, both fresh and artificial, as well as large assortment of jewelry, scarves, accessories, gift items, home decor and accent furniture.

Doors will open at 11:30 AM for those who wish to come early to shop and socialize. Attendees also will have the opportunity to shop immediately following the show from 1-1:30 PM. Those who attend the fashion show will receive $10 gift certificates from the presenters. Other prizes also will be given away.

Admission is $25, with proceeds going toward furnishings for a collaborative learning space in the library.

Seating is limited, so those planning to attend the April 24 event should purchase tickets in advance at the Garnett Library, 304 W. Trish Knight St., or at The Kloz Klozet, No. 16 Court Square, or Cottage Flowers and Interiors, 917 W. Broadway. For more information, call 417-255-7945 or e-mail

(Jefferson City) – The Missouri legislature will be tackling the budget during the second half of the session, which started again on Monday.

Senate President Pro Tem Tom Dempsey, R-St. Charles, says that the Senate Appropriations Committee is almost ready to send the budget to the full Missouri Senate:

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Senate Minority Floor Leader Joseph Keaveny, D-St. Louis, says there’s a different approach to the budget timeline this year:

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Typically, the Missouri Senate starts work on the budget after the mid-session recess is completed.

(Birch Tree) – The community Easter egg hunt in the town of Birch Tree will be held this coming Thursday, April 2 at 2 PM at Birch Tree Elementary School.

The event, sponsored by Birch Tree Place, will include age groups birth through fourth grade, plus a fifth grade egg toss.

The public is invited to attend the event.


Children at a recent Junior Ranger Day. (provided)

(Eminence) – Children can see live eagles up close and personal, touch a snake, and learn about birds, water quality, search and rescue, and other exciting topics at the National Park Service’s annual Junior Ranger Day, which will be held this year at Alley Spring at 9 AM May 1.

Local schools, homeschoolers, scout groups, and the general public are invited to bring their 2nd through 5th graders to this free event. Schools and large groups should RSVP by calling Dena Matteson at 573-323-8028.

Park officials say there will be a number of presentations during the event, including a birds of prey presentation from the World Bird Sanctuary in St Louis, Ozark Riverways’ Search and Rescue Team, the Cave Research Foundation, Project Wet, the American Canoe Association, and the Missouri Master Naturalists.

For more information call 573-323-4236, or visit

R Jones

Rabonna Jones

Ta-Lonna Jones

Ta-Lonna Jones

(Mountain Home) – Two Gassville women were arrested this past Friday after police say they broke into a storage unit.

38-year-old Rabonna Jones and 27-year-old Ta-Lonna Jones were both charged with breaking and entering and theft of property, both felonies.

Police say that the two were caught removing property from a storage unit just outside of Gassville on Friday afternoon by the unit’s renter. After reportedly confronting the two, the renter called police. Deputies arrived and interviewed the suspects about the incident, where they reportedly learned of additional stolen items of property that were stored at a residence on Baxter CR 3.

The Joneses were both released after posting bond in the amount of $20,000 each, and they will appear in circuit court on April 16.

(Van Buren) – Ozark National Scenic Riverways is conducting a prescribed burn at Stegall Mountain Prescribed Burn on Tuesday, March 31.

The burn encompasses 4,010 acres and is located along the border of Shannon and Carter Counties near Peck Ranch. Park visitors near Rocky Falls, as well as those traveling on Highways H or NN, may notice smoke from the prescribed burn. A section of the Ozark Trail, from approximately Mile 8 to Mile 14 in the Current River Section, crosses the unit and will be subject to closure during the prescribed burn. Residents traveling on Highway 60 between Winona and Van Buren may see smoke several miles north of the highway.

The burn is being conducted in cooperation with Missouri Department of Conservation and The Nature Conservancy.