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(Hartville) – The Wright County Sheriff’s Office says two people have been charged after a large brawl at a party in the county, and more charges are possible.

Court documents state 25-year-old Joseph Wilson of Mountain Grove and 18-year-old Brianna Guevara of Cabool were both charged with 1st degree assault, unlawful use of a weapon and armed criminal action. Both were held on $20,000 bond.

Sheriff Glenn Adler told Ozark Radio News on Tuesday that a call came in just after midnight Saturday morning of a large fight that occurred at a party on Stairstep Road in Mountain Grove. A total of five people suffered a variety of injuries, including one victim suffering serious injuries from a stabbing. She was flown to a Springfield hospital and released a few days later.

Adler says that the fight started when a male suspect arrived at the party and got into an argument with attendees. That male left for a short while before coming back with a group of people. That’s when the fight, which allegedly included the use of baseball bats, beer bottles, and a gun, broke out.

Twenty five statements were gathered along with complaints, and charges were sought on eight suspects involved in the case.

Adler says more charges are expected to be filed in the near future.

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon takes questions during a news conference on Tuesday, Oct. 21, 2014 at St. Louis Community College's Florissant Valley campus in Ferguson, Mo.  An independent commission will be created to study issues that have surfaced since the fatal police shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson Nixon said.  (AP Photo/St. Louis Post-Dispatch, David Carson)

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon takes questions during a news conference on Tuesday, Oct. 21, 2014 at St. Louis Community College’s Florissant Valley campus in Ferguson, Mo. An independent commission will be created to study issues that have surfaced since the fatal police shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson Nixon said. (AP Photo/St. Louis Post-Dispatch, David Carson)

(Ferguson) (AP) – An independent commission will be created to study issues that have surfaced since the fatal police shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon said Tuesday.

Nixon, who has been criticized by some residents and activists who say he hasn’t done enough to address the unrest in the St. Louis suburb, said the Ferguson Commission will examine the social and economic conditions underscored by the weeks of protests following the shooting.

The Democrat outlined his plan for the commission, which will be created by executive order, during a news conference at St. Louis Community College’s Florissant Valley campus. The group’s goals are broad and its members won’t be announced until next month.

The shooting of Brown, an unarmed, black 18-year-old, has spurred unrest that has drawn the national spotlight to Ferguson, including violent protests in the immediate aftermath of the Aug. 9 shooting and calls for the white officer who killed Brown to be arrested and charged.

Nixon said the commission will have no role in investigating Brown’s death. A grand jury in St. Louis County is hearing evidence on whether officer Darren Wilson should be criminally charged and is expected to announce its decision next month. The Justice Department has also opened a civil rights investigation.

“Whatever the outcome of their investigations, we must move forward together,” Nixon said.

Besides studying conditions that led to the unrest, the group is also to give recommendations for making the St. Louis region a fairer place to live. Nixon said members will include business, education, public safety and faith leaders, along with ordinary citizens. They will seek advice from experts on poverty, education, government and law enforcement before making suggestions.

The governor said protesters’ voices have been heard. “But as the smoke clears and the shouting dies down, the question that lingers in the air is this: What now?” Nixon said.

State Sen. Jamilah Nasheed, a St. Louis Democrat, said the commission is “a first step toward bringing serenity to the cause.”

Others are skeptical.

“Governor Nixon has failed the residents of Missouri again with his announcement of the politically toothless Ferguson Commission,” the group Ferguson October, which recently organized four days of mostly peaceful protests, said in a statement. “Commissions historically have been the place where movements die, a place where those in power tout empty policy solutions and instead use the time to return to business as usual.”

(Little Rock) (AP) – Attorney General Dustin McDaniel has announced the launch of a new school safety training initiative for school districts and law enforcement agencies to help teachers and emergency responders better prepare for active threats on campuses.

Agents with the Attorney General’s Special Investigations Division will offer specialized training courses – all at no cost to school employees and law enforcement officials.

McDaniel announced the plan Tuesday.

School employees are taught how to react in active-shooter situations and law enforcement officers are trained how to deal with active shooters and teaching first responders how to treat victims in the critical time before additional medical help arrives.

(ORN Photo)

(ORN Photo)

(West Plains) – The Greater West Plains Area Chamber of Commerce held a ribbon cutting Monday at 63 Chicken, 1808 W. Broadway, and is next door to the Amstar Convenience Store and gas station.

The restaurant offers a variety of chicken, including traditional breast and leg pieces, chicken tenders, and a twist of “chicken and a waffle” – chicken served in a waffle cone.

The store will hold a grand opening broadcast with 102.5 KDY from 11-1 PM on Saturday, October 25, and will be giving away free samples and other prizes.

63 Chicken is owned by Stan and Jodi Watson and Jacob and Erica Garrett. It is managed by Raymond Havens.

(Indianapolis) – Olivia Powers, a member of the West Plains FFA chapter, will be on stage and in the spotlight Oct. 27-Nov. 1 during the 2014 National FFA Convention & Expo in Louisville, KY.

Powers, a Senior and the daughter of Robert Powers and Kati McKee, has been selected to perform in the National FFA Talent Competition. She will be singing a handful of inspirational songs, according to school officials.

Only 40 acts from throughout the country have been chosen to perform during convention and expo sessions, meal functions and receptions. All acts will have the chance to compete in three rounds, and will be judged on showmanship, creativity, sound quality, clarity and stage presence.

The winner will receive $250 and will be automatically accepted as a member of the 2015 National Talent.



(Mountain Home) – Chamber Ambassadors cut the Ribbon for Twin Lakes Woodworking & Remodeling in Mountain Home on Thursday, October 16.

Twin Lakes Woodworking & Remodeling, Inc., is now open for business located at 1210 Commerce Drive. They focus on remodeling, plus have a brand new showroom with a complete offering of custom cabinets, semi-custom and stock cabinets, ceramic and porcelain tile, hardwood and laminate flooring, decorative hardware, countertops including granite and quartz, showers and vanities. With a fully licensed contractor on staff, the latest design technologies, they take your project from design to material selection to construction.

Their showroom is now open 8am – 3pm, Monday – Friday.

George Underhill

Bruce Underhill

(West Plains) – The Hospice Compassus program serving West Plains and the surrounding areas has recognized Bruce Underhill during National Pastoral Care Week October 19-25 for providing the highest level of spiritual care and guidance for patients and their families.

“We are proud to recognize Bruce for his tireless efforts to provide our patients and their families with exceptional spiritual counseling that goes beyond fulfilling medical and emotional needs, by delivering a more meaningful end-of-life experience for those patients who qualify for care,” said Carla Roberts, Executive Director for Hospice Compassus – West Plains. “Bruce’s positive and caring attitude, exceptional ability to understand and comfort patients, and willingness to support colleagues makes him an integral part of our Hospice Compassus team, and we are lucky to have him onboard.”

Regardless of spiritual, religious or cultural background, National Pastoral Care Week celebrates those who provide spiritual support to others in specialized settings such as hospitals, long term care facilities, hospices, military settings, nursing homes, and many other settings throughout the world.

Hospice Compassus – West Plains will recognize other local pastoral care providers this week by presenting them with framed certificates of appreciation for their dedication to the patients and families they serve.

(Alton) – An Alton police officer who was also the city fire chief died late Monday morning after a one-vehicle accident near Alton.

Alton Police Officer Eddie Joe Johnson Jr. was responding to a residential structure fire 6 miles west of Alton on Highway 160 just before noon Monday when his patrol vehicle ran off the left side of the road, struck a driveway approach and overturned several times, ejecting him from the vehicle. Officer Johnson was rushed to Ozarks Medical Center in West Plains, where he was pronounced dead at 1:05 PM.

Officer Johnson was a 9-year veteran of the Alton Police Department and was also the Alton Fire Chief. He was also a reserve deputy for the Oregon County Sheriff’s Office.

Highway Patrol officials say the crash is being investigated by the Missouri State Highway Patrol’s Major Crash Investigation Unit. A Highway Patrol report states that Johnson was not wearing a seat belt when the crash occurred.

Officer Johnson is survived by his wife and three children.


(Little Rock) (AP) – State officials say Arkansas’ unemployment rate dipped to 6.2 percent in September. That’s down from 7.7 percent a year earlier.

The Arkansas Department of Workforce Services says September’s jobless rate dropped by one-tenth of a percentage point from August. The agency says the number of employed Arkansans rose by 4,500 last month in the first employment gain since March.

Five industry sectors posted job gains, with employment in government rising by 13,100 last month. Much of the increase is attributed to seasonal hiring at public schools. Jobs in educational and health services increased by 2,300, while jobs in professional and business services rose by 2,000.

The agency says the leisure and hospitality sector lost 1,100 jobs last month, primarily because of the closure of summer-related businesses.

(Leslie) (AP) – Authorities say a Searcy County deputy who was wounded in a shootout at a bakery in the Ozark Mountains has been released from the hospital.

Searcy County Sheriff Donald Ragland says Deputy Lang Holland was released from the hospital and is recovering at home after the shooting last week at Serenity Farm Bread in Leslie. Arkansas State Police say Holland was injured Friday after a man allegedly opened fire at the bakery.

Holland and an Arkansas State Police trooper returned fire and injured the man, who authorities identified as 75-year-old John Kolata.

Ragland tells the Harrison Daily Times that Kolata remains in critical condition. The sheriff says authorities don’t yet know what led to the shooting. He described Kolata as a regular customer of the bakery along U.S. 65.