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(Little Rock) (AP) – A federal judge has set a hearing for next month in a lawsuit challenging Arkansas’ gay marriage ban.

U.S. District Judge Kristine Baker on Monday scheduled a Nov. 20 hearing over competing motions in the lawsuit challenging a 2004 constitutional amendment and earlier laws defining marriage as between a man and a woman. A group of same-sex couples is challenging the ban.

The hearing will be on the couples’ motion for summary judgment in the case, and on a separate motion by the state seeking to dismiss the lawsuit.

The state Supreme Court is considering a separate case regarding the gay marriage ban. The state appealed a Pulaski County judge’s ruling against the ban, which led to hundreds of same-sex marriages. The judge’s order was suspended while it’s on appeal.

(Mountain Grove) – The Mountain Grove City Council will meet this evening at 7 PM at Mountain Grove City Hall for a regular session meeting.

Items on the agenda include an appointment to the city council and the swearing in of a new council member to replace former alderman Bruce Long, who was controversially impeached in September.

Other items in the agenda include the payment of bills, a bill approving back tax recovery from Centurylink, and a grant award from the Missouri Intergovernmental Risk Management Association. (MIRMA)

The council will then go into executive session before adjourning.

(Little Rock) (AP) – Republican Asa Hutchinson and Democratic rival Mike Ross are dueling over their competing tax cut plans and over who has the best record of working with both parties in their final televised debate in the Arkansas governor’s race.

The two candidates squared off Monday at Arkansas State University in Jonesboro for their fourth debate. The two former congressmen are running to succeed Democratic Gov. Mike Beebe, who is barred by term limits from seeking re-election.

Hutchinson continued his criticism of Ross’ individual income tax cut plan. Hutchison says Ross is offering no details on whether he would cut taxes in his first year.

Ross said Hutchinson’s tax cut plan costs too much and doesn’t help enough working Arkansas residents.

The two also accused one another of having partisan backgrounds.

(Jefferson City) – Senator Roy Blunt’s staff will hold a mobile office event on Thursday, October 30 in Ava.

The meeting will be held from 9:30-10:30 AM at the Douglas County Courthouse Community Room, 203 SE 2nd Avenue.

Mobile office events are held to allow Missourians to discuss any questions or concerns they may have with the federal government one-on-one with members of Senator Blunt’s staff.

Senator Blunt’s Jefferson City office also extends one-on-one service to all Missourians who have an issue with a federal agency or need additional assistance. To reach the Senator’s Office of Constituent Services, please call at 573-634-2488.

(Mountain View) – Fall is going to get a lot more colorful this weekend in Mountain View.

On Saturday, October 25, Mercy St. Francis Hospital will host its first Halloween Hustle/5K Run/Walk at the Mountain View Football Field. It’s located just south of the Mountain View Public Library at 125 Oak St.

Organizers say the event will be held like a “color run”, with all proceeds going to the Mountain View Good Samaritan Clinic, which has provided much-needed medical and dental services to the uninsured for more than a decade.

The 5k run/walk starts at 9 AM, with same-day registration at the site from 7:45-8:45 AM. People can register online; adults are $30 and children are $20. T-shirts and color packet quantities are limited.

For more information, call 417-934-7000.

(Summersville) – After nearly seven years from idea, to paper, to publishing Rick Mansfield’s second book A Riverman’s Legacy and Other Ozark Tales is now available to readers.

Ozark Radio News spoke with Mansfield, author and President of the Ozark Heritage Project, who shared what people will find when they dive into his latest book:

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Mansfield also discussed where the proceeds from this book go and his upcoming book signings:

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Copies of Mansfield’s new book A Riverman’s Legacy and Other Ozark Tales is available for purchase at all his book signings, as well as on,, and other fine retailers where books are sold.

(West Plains) – “Meet Our International Students” will be the topic of the next Friends of the Garnett Library monthly luncheon meeting Friday, November 14, from 12-1 PM in rooms 104 and 105 on the lower level of the Lybyer Technology Center on the Missouri State University-West Plains campus.

Students from Serbia, England, France, Panama, Norway, New Zealand and China will be introduced and discuss life in their home country.

Students, alumni and community members who are interested in the Garnett Library and the progress of Missouri State-West Plains are welcome to attend.

The cost of the meal is $10, payable at the door. Those wishing to eat are asked to make a reservation by calling 417-255-7940 or emailing by Tuesday, November 11.

For more information about Friends of the Garnett Library, visit the organization’s website, or call 417-255-7940.

(Houston) – The Texas County Memorial Hospital obstetrics department’s offers future parents the “Baby-Land Express” program to allow expectant moms without health insurance coverage to plan ahead and prepay for part of their obstetrical care.

The program covers hospital based charges and services including childbirth education classes; access to labor and delivery staff at TCMH; use of labor and postpartum rooms at TCMH; routine diagnostic services; access to an internationally board certified lactation consultant, and individualized education regarding care of mother and baby after delivery.

To participate in the Baby-Land Express program, expectant mothers must be preregistered at TCMH; have their physician’s approval, and prepay for their stay prior to delivery. Two prepayment plans are offered; a 24-hour or less stay after delivery or a 25-48-hour stay after delivery.  Both plans can include an optional epidural.  Pricing is for hospital charges for a single infant delivery. Physician fees, multiple births, or cesarean delivery are not included in the prepaid plans.

Payment options are available through the TCMH business office.  Each patient can work with patient accounts staff to set up a plan that works best for them.

For additional information about the Baby-Land Express program, contact the TCMH obstetrics department at 417-967-1275 or Sara Fields in the TCMH business office at 417-967-1292.

(Mountain Home) – Area teens are invited to a Scary Movie Marathon at the Donald W. Reynolds Library Friday, on October 24, from 6-12 PM.

Teens will enjoy movies all rated PG-13 and pizza will be served.

All teens in grades 7th–12th are invited. This event has no charge, but registration is required. You can register on-line and find more information about library events at

(Willow Springs) – A Willow Springs man is facing charges of 1st degree murder, child abuse and child endangerment.

32-year-old Jamie Curnutt is being held in the Howell County Jail on $1 million bond.

A probable cause statement in the case states that on Friday, October 17, a call to the Willow Springs Police Department reported an unresponsive 2-year-old male. The child, who was not identified in court documents, was taken to Ozarks Medical Center in West Plains before being flow via helicopter to Mercy Hospital in Springfield, where he was later pronounced dead. Curnutt was interviewed by police that morning and reportedly said he found the child unresponsive on the floor. Court documents state that another child in the home told investigators that Curnutt had spanked the deceased child 5-10 times that morning because he was wetting himself.

Police seized a belt, which was allegedly used in several of the spankings, as evidence.

Information obtained from Ozarks Medical Center revealed that the child had a lacerated liver, head and forehead abrasions, swelling on the brain, and bruising around the neck.

Curnutt is scheduled to appear in court at 9 AM Monday, October 27.