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(West Plains) – Northern Howell County Commissioner Bill Lovelace told Ozark Radio News that the Burnham Railroad crossing project is up and running:

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Lovelace also discussed the cost of the crossing installation:

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Lovelace says that due to the new crossing, there will also be a road closing in the area:

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Lovelace says reflector installation and paving will be completed in the near future, weather permitting.

(Licking) – Three people suffered minor injuries Thursday morning after a two-vehicle accident near Licking.

The accident happened at 7:40 AM on Highway 32, about four miles east of Licking. A report from Troop G of the Highway Patrol states that an eastbound vehicle driven by 22-year-old Kadilyn Ramsey of Licking swerved after a car pulle out in front of her. The vehicle then ran off-road and hit a tree.

Two children in the vehicle, a three-year-old girl and a male toddler, all suffered minor injuries and were all taken to Texas County Memorial Hospital in Houston.

(Conway) (AP) – Two candidates say they want to use Arkansas’ lieutenant governor’s post to boost job creation in the state, but a third says that’s not the role of the office.

Republican Tim Griffin, Democrat John Burkhalter and Libertarian Chris Olson met Thursday in a debate set for a nighttime broadcast on the Arkansas Educational Television Network. Griffin and Burkhalter said they want to promote the state’s economic development, but Olson said the job should be a part-time post.

The Republican and Democratic candidates stressed that vocational training should be an important part of Arkansas’ educational system and also said the state needed to revise its tax code in an effort to attract more businesses.

The job is currently vacant. Republican Mark Darr stepped down last winter amid an Ethics Commission probe.

(West Plains) – Ozarks Medical Center has announced that Board Certified Orthopaedic Surgeon James Rushford, DO, has joined the team at the OMC Orthopaedic Clinic. Dr. Rushford comes to OMC with more than 20 years of experience as an orthopaedic surgeon.

Dr. Rushford retired from the US Air Force in 2005 after a distinguished career. For the past six years, he has been in practice at the Center for Orthopedic Surgery and Sports Medicine at St. Elizabeth’s Hospital in Bellville, Illinois. Dr. Rushford served as the principal orthopaedic receptor for the St. Louis University family practice residency program on the St. Elizabeth’s Hospital campus.

Dr. Rushford is a graduate of the University of New England College of Osteopathic Medicine. He did an internship in family practice medicine at Malcolm Grow USAF Medical Center at Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland and successfully completed an orthopaedic surgery residency at Delaware Valley Medical Center in Langhorne, Pennsylvania.

Dr. Rushford began his career as a physician in the United States Air Force at Kelly Air Force Base in Texas. He served as an orthopaedic surgeon at Misawa Air Force Base in Japan and at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base in Arizona, where he was selected as commander for Surgical Services Flight. He also served as Chief of the Medical Staff, Deputy Hospital Commander and orthopaedic surgeon at Spangdahlem Air Force Base in Germany. He was the Chief of the Medical Staff and an orthopaedic surgeon at Offutt Air Force Base in Nebraska. While serving in the Air Force, Dr. Rushford was awarded a Legion of Merit, Bronze Star, Meritorious Service Medal with three oak leaf clusters, Air Medal, Aerial Achievement Medal, Joint Service Achievement Medal and Air Force Achievement Medal.

Dr Rushford is certified by the American Osteopathic Board of Orthopedic Surgeons. He is a member of the American Osteopathic Association, the Military officers Association of America, and the Veterans of Foreign Wars.

Dr. Rushford joins Orthopaedic Surgeon David Denenny, MD, and Nurse Practitioner Shawna Middleton at the OMC Orthopaedic Clinic, located at 1609 Porter Wagoner Boulevard, in West Plains. For more information, contact the OMC Orthopaedic Clinic at 417-256-1745.

Joanne White

Joanne White

(Jefferson City) – The director of the Greater West Plains Area Chamber of Commerce has been named to the Chamber of Commerce Executives of Missouri board for 2015.

Joanne White was elected to the board during the annual meeting on October 10 in St. Charles.

The CCEM provides chamber executives and associations with help and resources needed to operate successful chambers and promote the vitality of their communities. More information on the group can be found at www.ccemo.org.

(Jefferson City) – Dairy producers and others involved in the dairy industry are invited to attend an upcoming informational workshop that will present details of the 2014 Farm Bill Dairy Margin Protection Program.

Topics presented at the meetings will include program details, how to use available decision tools to determine the level of program participation and question and answer time with University of Missouri Extension and USDA-FSA personnel. Speakers at the event will include University of Missouri economists Joe Horner and Scott Brown as well as local USDA Farm Service agents.

A meeting will be held October 27 from 12:30-2:30 PM at the Howell-Oregon Electric Cooperative building off of N. Highway 63 in West Plains. Another meeting will be held October 29 from 10 AM to 12 PM at the Laclede Electric Meeting Room off of Highway 5 in Hartville. Another is scheduled for October 28 in Springfield.

The workshops are offered free of charge. For more information contact one of MU Extension dairy specialists in southwest Missouri: Ted Probert at 417-741-6134 or probertt@missouri.edu, or contact Reagan Bluel at 417-847-3161 or BluelRJ@missouri.edu.

(Jefferson City)- Among the continuing top priorities for Missouri senators is education, and 2014 is no different. Fiscal Year 2015, which started on July 1, 2014, saw an increase in funding for Missouri students.

Senator David Pearce, R-Warrensburg, who chairs the Senate Education Committee, says among the issues this year was getting to a figure on education spending on which all lawmakers could agree:

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Senator Scott Sifton, D-Affton, who serves on the Senate Appropriations Committee, adds that it wasn’t just education it was all items that were budgeted:

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The final version of the budget approved in May by Missouri Senators included a $114.8 million increase for the states K-12 school foundation formula.

(Mountain Home)- The Art Odyssey, a self-guided tour of artists’ studios in the area, has announced a call for artists for their 2015 tour, which will take place May 14, 15, and 16, 2015.

All artists in the Mountain Home, Arkansas area, including Baxter and surrounding counties, are encouraged to apply. Interested artists should complete an application and submit it with photos of three current works of art. Photos must be of works not previously submitted for jury. They must be in digital format only, and will not be returned. Artists are encouraged to have their own working studio, but artists without studios may apply as well. There will be limited space available during the tour for artists without studios of their own.

Applications can be mailed or delivered to Mountain Home Chamber of Commerce, 1023 Hwy. 62 E, P.O. Box 488, MH, AR 72654, and must be received between January 1 and noon January 12, 2015. Selected artists will be announced by January 20, 2015.

Applications and information about The Art Odyssey are available now at www.theartodyssey.com.

(West Plains)- The Lanton Fire Department will be hosting a Haunted House event on October 24-25, October 31, and November 1 from 8PM-12AM.

There will be concessions available, along with games and other attractions. Admission into the Haunted House will be $5, with proceeds benefiting the Lanton Fire Department.

For more information on the Haunted House you can call 417-293-08421 or 417-362-9737. The Lanton Fire Department is located south of West Plains off of Route 17.

(Mountain Home) – Children are invited to come to a not-so-scary Halloween celebration with live, exotic animals at the Donald W. Reynolds Library on Saturday, October 25, at 10:30AM.

See the animals and learn about the 1000 Books Before Kindergarten program, which encourages parents and other caregivers to read at least 1000 books to their child before the child enters kindergarten.

The animals, brought by the Natural History Educational Company of the Midsouth, will include a strange tarantula, a pigmy hedgehog, a chinchilla, a legless lizard, a skink, a huge, black and white lizard, a black-headed python, and an albino python.

This program is sponsored by Wal-Mart. All children’s programs are provided at no charge as a service of the Baxter County Library through generous donations and sponsorships. Children of all abilities are encouraged to participate.