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(Jonesboro) – Students named to the Chancellor’s and Deans’ lists for fall 2014 at Arkansas State University have been announced. Combined, the group has 2,128 students.

The two lists recognize students who achieved the highest grade point averages while enrolled in 12 or more credit hours of study.

The Chancellor’s List (designated as CL) includes students who earned a grade point average of 3.80 to 4.0 for fall classes. The Deans’ List (DL) includes students with a grade point average of 3.6 to 3.79.

Students representing 64 of the 75 counties in the state of Arkansas met the requirements, as did students from 24 states and 23 countries.

The lists are recorded alphabetically by state, county, hometown and name of student:

Baxter, Calico Rock, Samuel Hurst, CL
Baxter, Calico Rock, Emily Johnson, CL
Baxter, Calico Rock, Leisha McCoy, CL
Baxter, Calico Rock, Brayden McCurley, CL
Baxter, Calico Rock, Brooke McCurley, CL
Baxter, Calico Rock, Ashley Moody, DL
Baxter, Calico Rock, Julie Moody, DL
Baxter, Gassville, Rachel Bridgman, DL
Baxter, Gassville, Shane Hemme, DL
Baxter, Gassville, Hailey Thomas, CL
Baxter, Henderson, Ryan Oliver, CL
Baxter, Lakeview, Cheyanne Spoo, DL
Baxter, Mountain Home, Miranda Dickerson, CL
Baxter, Mountain Home, Jessica Eiden, CL
Baxter, Mountain Home, Kendl Fischer, DL
Baxter, Mountain Home, Michele Flynn, CL
Baxter, Mountain Home, Kristin Frank, DL
Baxter, Mountain Home, Shanon Gardner, CL
Baxter, Mountain Home, Kelsie Harris, CL
Baxter, Mountain Home, Meagen Harrison, CL
Baxter, Mountain Home, Kailey Hughes, CL
Baxter, Mountain Home, Stephanie Hughes, CL
Baxter, Mountain Home, Madison Ingle, CL
Baxter, Mountain Home, Samantha Ingle, CL
Baxter, Mountain Home, Christy Jones, DL
Baxter, Mountain Home, Patrick Leppold, CL
Baxter, Mountain Home, Katelyn Mangrum, CL
Baxter, Mountain Home, Kayla Pelt, CL
Baxter, Mountain Home, Emily Prohl, CL
Baxter, Mountain Home, Heather Pyszka, CL
Baxter, Mountain Home, Makenna Seats, CL
Baxter, Mountain Home, Sarah Shelley, CL
Baxter, Mountain Home, Mikayla Smith, DL
Baxter, Mountain Home, Aundrianna Summerall, CL
Baxter, Mountain Home, Hannah Todd, CL
Baxter, Mountain Home, Rebecca Villiger, CL
Baxter, Mountain Home, Natalie White, DL
Baxter, Mountain Home, Catie Wood, CL
Baxter, Norfork, Shaunya Fraysher, DL
Baxter, Norfork, Crystal Taylor, DL
Fulton, Ash Flat, Brittany Cheek, DL
Fulton, Ash Flat, Carrie Irvin, CL
Fulton, Ash Flat, Zakary Rush, DL
Fulton, Ash Flat, Chloe Sellars, CL
Fulton, Glencoe, Shane Smith, CL
Fulton, Mammoth Spring, Houston Cooper, DL
Fulton, Mammoth Spring, Joshua Johnston, CL
Fulton, Mammoth Spring, Garrett Massey, DL
Fulton, Mammoth Spring, Whitney Rose, CL
Fulton, Mammoth Spring, Caitlin Vanginhoven, CL
Fulton, Salem, Candice Broyles, CL
Fulton, Salem, Demetri Bruner, CL
Fulton, Salem, Heather Curtis, CL
Fulton, Salem, Carrie Davis, CL
Fulton, Salem, Emily Johns, DL
Fulton, Salem, Hannah Lance, CL
Fulton, Salem, Rachael Palumbo, CL
Fulton, Salem, Ryan Rich, DL
Fulton, Salem, Summer Smith, CL
Fulton, Sturkie, Johnny Emery, CL
Fulton, Viola, Racheal Downs, CL
Marion, Flippin, Jennifer Buresh, CL
Marion, Flippin, Taylor Campbell, CL
Marion, Flippin, Tina Sheley, CL
Marion, Flippin, Heather Tyler, CL
Marion, Yellville, Courtney Baker, DL
Marion, Yellville, Patricia Burleigh, DL
Marion, Yellville, Amie Gilley, CL
Marion, Yellville, Cynthia Hummell, DL
Marion, Yellville, Jarod Jefferson, CL
Marion, Yellville, Katelin Kelley, CL
Marion, Yellville, Katie Murphy, DL
Marion, Yellville, Amanda Rogers, CL
Sharp, Cave City, Rebekah Asberry, CL
Sharp, Cave City, Amber Freeman, DL
Sharp, Cave City, Alexandria Johnson, DL
Sharp, Cave City, Aimee Rowlett, CL
Sharp, Cave City, Kerrie Wilson, DL
Sharp, Cherokee Village, David George, DL
Sharp, Cherokee Village, Corey Hayes, CL
Sharp, Cherokee Village, Vincent Roberto, CL
Sharp, Evening Shade, Jessica Qualls, CL
Sharp, Evening Shade, Rachel Woods, DL
Sharp, Hardy, Morgan Lowe, CL
Sharp, Hardy, Jessica Sellers, CL
Sharp, Hardy, Kaitlin Sellers, CL
Sharp, Hardy, Shawn Wright, CL
Sharp, Highland, Faith Black, CL
Sharp, Highland, Whitney Davis, CL
Sharp, Highland, Cassidy Day, CL
Sharp, Highland, Jedidja Hoppe, CL
Sharp, Highland, Jarrett Powell, DL
Sharp, Highland, Garrett Sublett, CL
Sharp, Highland, Shawn Young, CL
Sharp, Sidney, Dustin Headstream, CL
Sharp, Williford, Keith Bagwell, CL
Sharp, Williford, Deborah Dail, CL
Sharp, Williford, Victoria Dienst, CL
Sharp, Williford, Maryellen Wollschlager, CL

Stone, Fox, Megan Geisser, CL
Stone, Mountain View, Caitlin Branscum, DL
Stone, Mountain View, Emily Dixon, CL
Stone, Mountain View, Richard Ivy, CL
Stone, Mountain View, Alyssa Ragsdale, CL
Stone, Mountain View, Jordan Wilcox, CL
Stone, Mountain View, Austin Wilkie, CL
Stone, Onia, Heather Ramsey, DL
Stone, Timbo, Valerie Johnston, DL

Bakersfield, Jessica Bean, CL
Doniphan, Jonathan Foels, DL
Doniphan, Bretton Hale, CL
Doniphan, Kiera Payne, CL
Doniphan, Michelle Popp, DL
Doniphan, Andrew Short, DL
Doniphan, Jessica Smith, CL
Doniphan, Dwight Ware, CL

Pomona, Jonathan Dillinger, CL

West Plains, MaKenzie Alsup, CL
West Plains, Joseph Meyer, DL
West Plains, Logan Miller, CL
West Plains, Paige Riley, CL

Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson has released his newest radio address talking about his first full week.

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The first day to the regular session has commenced, and has done so clothed in tradition. The House sends letters both to the Senate and the Governor to signify we are ready for the people’s business. The Speaker opens with beginning remarks, and the Bill of Rights from our U.S. Constitution is recited as a memorial to protect the citizen’s rights and limit the scope of government. This must be the best thought to have in mind while legislating. Afterwards, the House heeds the words of our Missouri Constitution’s Bill of Rights. Inside this document lies the source of government authority, which is the Missourian. This document also declares the Missouri Constitution is subject only to the U.S. Constitution. Also stated is the famed theme of the Declaration of Independence, “that all persons have the right to life, liberty, the pursuit of happiness and the enjoyment of the gains of their own industry; that all persons are created equal and are entitled to equal rights and opportunity under the law; that to give security to these things is the principle office of government, and when government does not confer this security, it fails in its chief design.”-Article I, Section 2

Missouri’s Bill of Rights and the U.S. Bill of Rights offer the same constitutional assurance of the rights they jointly cover. Freedoms of speech, religion, assembly and petition are guaranteed. The right to bear arms and formulation of militia are declared. The protection of property and privacy, as well as our use and restraint of the court system are warranted. However, there are other factors covered in our Bill of Rights that is not covered in the U.S. version. The definition of Marriage, organized labor, and the recognition as English as our official language are stated as well.

Now, the General Assembly is off to perform our three constitutional mandates; convene to listen to the State of the State, the State of the Judiciary, as well as to develop and pass a balanced budget.

“Lord God of Hosts, be with us, lest we forget.”—Inscription found inside the Missouri State Capitol

Responding to State of the State and State of the Judiciary

This week, citizens of the great state of Missouri had the opportunity to hear the governor deliver his State of the State Address. The following morning, legislators were honored to have Judge Mary R. Russell, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Missouri, deliver the State of the Judiciary in the Senate Chamber, in front of both bodies of the Missouri Legislature.

These speeches, while steeped in tradition, are a way for legislators and citizens of this state to gauge the intentions of the governor for the upcoming lawmaking session and more. The words, plans and ideas expressed in these events are a kind of weather vane for the legislative battles and successes we can expect to face.

Despite promises to keep fiscal discipline as a value, I am still worried and saddened over the governor’s inattention to expanding vital funding for Sheltered Workshops, cybercrimes task forces and more. There are vital programs that are being underfunded at the cost of thousands of Missourians. This needs to be fixed.

The governor has called for an additional $11 million for pre-school funding and an additional $150 million for public schools. He is proposing an additional $25 million for higher education based on how well they meet strong performance standards. Education is a top priority for everyone in this state, and I am confident that we will progress toward better educating our children this session. By starting the conversation early, we can ensure there is plenty of time for drafting and coming to a consensus on these issues.

The State of the Judiciary once again provided a glance into the ever evolving world of the judicial system in our state. There are many things that play a role in the shaping of legal mechanisms that make up our judicial system. Work done here in the Legislature is sometimes the only way to officially illicit changes that are warranted.


I also learned many things that our courts are doing. Judge Russell told us that the Supreme Court has recently adopted a new rule – that if people demonstrate they are unable to pay a fine, municipal judges will be required to give them more time to pay it.

She also told us of success within court treatment programs, like veteran’s courts, truancy courts for youth and more. The system is being shaped to assist people in their unique circumstances, and help them not only learn from their mistakes, but make positive strides to better their lives.

I look forward to seeing what the rest of session holds. It appears there is finite attention focused on the work that needs to be done, and while we cannot always agree on a solution, at least we have identified areas of concern.  I assure you, I will work to see that those concerns are addressed this session.

As always, I appreciate it when groups from around Missouri and from our community back home come to visit me at the Capitol. If you would like to arrange a time to come and visit me in Jefferson City, or if you ever have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact my Capitol office at (573) 751-1882.

Legislature Listens to Governor’s Budget Proposal

In recent years the governor has used his State of the State address to outline proposed spending plans that were simply unrealistic, if not impossible. Time and time again he has asked for spending that far exceeds our revenues, and each time the legislature has done the fiscally responsible thing by scaling back his proposals to craft a realistic, balanced budget.

The members of the House and Senate expected more of the same this year as the governor delivered his speech Wednesday night. Instead, we were pleasantly surprised as the governor outlined what many are calling a “modest” budget. I say modest because it contains only a handful of spending increases to the state budget that already exceeds $26 billion. It is a proposal that will give the legislature something to work with as we prepare the Fiscal Year 2016 spending plan in the months to come.

Some of the funding increases proposed by the governor include:

•             An additional $50 million in funding for our public K-12 schools throughout the state;

•             Another $5 million for the state’s Early Childhood Special Education program;

•             A $2 million increase for Project Lead the Way, which will be used to promote science, technology, engineering and math learning in an additional 350 elementary schools:

•             An increase of $12 million in performance-based funding for Missouri’s public colleges and universities;

•             A bump of $2 million for the Access Missouri Scholarship program and the A+ Scholarship program;

•             An increase of $2.4 million for blind pension payments

As you can see, he has prioritized education and aid to some of our state’s most vulnerable citizens. These are priorities that are shared by those of us in the legislature, which signals what I hope will be a more cooperative budget process going forward. I will do my best to keep you updated as the budget moves through the legislative process in the months ahead.

Governor Violates the Spirit of the Missouri Constitution

While my colleagues and I were mostly pleased with what we heard from the governor this week, we were not as happy to see him resort to some of his old tricks as he called for additional state spending outside his proposed budget. This may seem like an odd move to many, but it makes more sense when you realize it’s his attempt to operate around our constitution, and specifically the new provisions added by the recently-approved Amendment 10.

It was just a few months ago that voters came together to approve this change to our constitution that does two extremely important things. First, it allows the legislature to vote to force the governor to release funds he has withheld. This is an extremely important change that was necessary because the governor has a track record of restricting funds to vital programs like education even when the state has the money necessary to pay for them. Second, the change to the constitution prohibits the governor from basing his budget on legislation that has yet to pass the legislature.

It’s the second provision that the governor tried to work around this week as he proposed an additional $178 million in spending based on three different pieces of legislation passing. He did this not in his budget, but instead by a separate proclamation – which he believes is not a violation of Amendment 10. My colleagues and I in the legislature would argue differently as it is clear that he means for this additional spending to be part of his budget even if it isn’t contained in the budget itself.

The three pieces of legislation the governor has asked us to pass include Medicaid expansion, tax amnesty and reforms that will increase the collection of already-owed taxes.  The bulk of the additional funding would be generated by Medicaid expansion, which this legislative body has repeatedly said will be a non-starter unless any package discussed includes much-needed reforms to this broken system. Tax amnesty has also been considered by this legislature in the past, and actually passed and then vetoed by the governor. Bottom line, the governor’s additional spending requests outside of the budget are based on legislation that has very little chance of making it through the process.

House Speaker Diehl Outlines Legislative Priorities for 2015

Following the governor’s address, House Speaker John J. Diehl, Jr. provided his own vision for the direction our state should take in the months ahead. In his speech, the Speaker talked about the legislature working to keep government out of the way and out of the lives of Missourians so that they can achieve success and prosperity through their own hard work. As the Speaker said, “Each decision we make will emphasize the fact we believe government is at its best when it levels the playing field and then stays out of the way so individuals and businesses can grow and prosper through hard work and initiative.”

In regard to specific policy items, the Speaker laid out a few issue areas he wants us to focus on this year. These include:

•             Passing legislation to provide immediate options to the 62,000 Missouri children trapped in failing school districts. The Speaker said, “We must further expand their educational opportunities by providing more choice in the form of additional charter schools and we must take advantage of the technologies of the 21st century by providing virtual schools that will give our young people another vital option to obtain a quality education.”

•             Approving reforms to our system of welfare so that it works as intended to keep people out of permanent poverty by putting them on the path toward stable employment in a job with family-supporting wages and benefits. Missouri currently ranks dead last among states when it comes to the number of welfare recipients who are on the path to stable employment. The Speaker wants us to work this year to change that disappointing number.

•             Focusing our efforts on the things we can do as a legislature to support and encourage entrepreneurship and investment in our small businesses so that they can grow and prosper. As Diehl said, “I’m a firm believer that government’s role isn’t to produce economic development but it is our duty to create the kind of level playing field that will allow employers and workers to succeed if they work hard enough”

•             Taking steps as a state to strike that balance that protect the rights of the individual without creating an environment that forces job creators and professionals to flee the state for a friendlier environment. Diehl noted that, “Missouri has labor policies, which more closely resemble the failed and antiquated economic models of the rustbelt. We must reform our systems to allow more freedom for workers and provide a more favorable environment for new, high-tech manufacturing.” He also pointed out that, “many of our neighboring states have fewer and more streamlined regulations. Moving forward, we must go down a path that keeps government out of the way of innovators and entrepreneurs and stresses the importance of allowing businesses to do what they do best, create jobs and produce economic prosperity.”

These are just a few of the issues the Speaker has asked us to consider and discuss this session. I look forward to working with him and my colleagues to find ways to make government smaller and more efficient while also developing policy solutions that will position Missourians for success through hard work and determination. As the Speaker said in his speech, “That means investing in families and young people rather than an ever-growing bureaucracy. It means empowering businesses and workers rather than government. And it means empowering people, not politicians.”

As always, it is an honor to serve the good folks of the 153rd District. If you would like to discuss any issue, please call 573-751-1066 or you can e-mail me at .

On Wednesday, the Missouri House of Representatives and Senate met in a joint session to receive the governor’s annual state of the state address. Each year, pursuant to the Missouri Constitution, the governor addresses the Legislature, mapping out his vision for the state’s future year.

While my colleagues and I were pleased with some of what we heard from the governor this week, we were not happy to see him resort to some of his old tricks as he called for additional state spending outside his proposed budget. This may seem like an odd move, but it makes more sense when you realize it is his attempt to operate around our constitution, and specifically the new provisions added by the recently-approved Amendment 10.

One of the provisions passed by the voters in Amendment 10 prohibits the governor from basing his budget on legislation that has yet to pass the legislature. The governor tried to work around this provision by proposing an additional $178 million in spending in a separate proclamation from his FY 2016 budget. This additional spending comes from money that would be made available only if additional legislation were passed by the Legislature.

The governor believes this is not a violation of Amendment 10. My colleagues and I in the Legislature would argue differently as it is clear that he means for this additional spending to be part of his budget even if it isn’t contained in the budget itself.

In addition to the governor’s state of the state, the Missouri House also took steps to keep the budget in check by refusing pay raises.

for Missouri elected officials. By a vote of 133-15 the House passed HCR 4 & 3. This piece of legislation disapproves the salary recommendations for elected officials by the Missouri Citizens’ Commission on Compensation for Elected Officials.

For those who don’t know, the Citizens’ Commission on Compensation for Elected Officials meets every two years, per our state constitution, to set the compensation for state officials. Once the commission makes its recommendation, it automatically goes into effect unless the Legislature rejects the proposal by February 1. It takes a two-thirds majority in both the House and Senate to keep the increases from going into effect.

Because we firmly believe it is not appropriate to put more of your tax dollars in the pockets of elected officials, we have organized quickly this session to make one of our first actions on the floor. HCR 4 & 3 now move to the Senate where we expect our colleagues there to follow our lead by resoundingly approving them and saying no to more pay for elected officials.

Next week promises to be a busy week in the Missouri House. Committees have started to meet and discuss legislation which will soon make its way to the House floor for debate. As always, it is an honor to be your voice in the Missouri House.

(Bunker) (AP) – The Mine Safety and Health Administration is investigating the death of a miner in eastern Missouri.

The federal agency said Thursday that a 54-year-old worker died at the Fletcher Mine and Mill, a lead and zinc ore mine near Bunker in Reynolds County.

The mine is operated by the Doe Run Co., which identified the worker as John Hoodenpyle Sr. Company spokeswoman Tammy Stankey says the miner died after rocks fell on the cab of his equipment as he was removing loose material from the roof of the mine. No other employees were injured.

Stankey said the company was “saddened by the tragic loss.” The company says underground operations at the mine will remain suspended until the Mine Safety and Health Administration signs off on work resuming.

Outgoing chamber chair Joann Strosnider, right, with incoming chair Ron Grennan (ORN)

Outgoing chamber chair Joann Strosnider, right, with incoming chair Ron Grennan (ORN)

(West Plains) – The Greater West Plains Area Chamber of Commerce held their annual banquet and awards ceremony on Thursday at the West Plains Civic Center Exhibit Hall.

Outgoing chamber chairman Joann Strosnider was recognized for her leadership in the past year, and Ron Grennan was recognized as the incoming chairman.

Perennial Energy was named the Chamber Business of the Year. Perennial Energy is a design and manufacturing company specializing in biogas processing systems and equipment. The company began in West Plains in the 1970′s, and now have 11 projects in seven countries around the world.

The Lifetime Achievement Award was given to West Plains Mayor Jack Pahlmann, who has served the city since arriving in West Plains in 1976. Prior to being mayor, Pahlmann was elected to the city council in 2000. He is also a supporter of a wide variety of groups, including the West Plains Optimist Club, Rotary, Elks, the United Way, and others. Pahlmann also helped coordinate the city’s Veterans Committee.

West Plains Mayor Jack Pahlmann, left, with his Lifetime Achievement award. At right is presenter Josh Cotter. (ORN)

West Plains Mayor Jack Pahlmann, left, with his Lifetime Achievement award. At right is presenter Josh Cotter. (ORN)

The South Central Child Advocacy Center was named the Civic Group of the Year. The center services Douglas, Howell, Oregon, Ozark, Texas, Wright and a portion of Shannon counties and helps law enforcement investigate abuse and neglect, and creates an enviroment that helps children open up and discuss painful abusive situations, and provides basic medical services. The center sees an average of 25 children each month.

Also honored this year was Kelly Dame, who was named Educator of the Year. Dame has worked in the West Plains School District for almost 43 years, turning the West Plains Choir into a world-renouned and recognized institution.

A special category this year was the Special Chairman’s Award, which was last given in 2011, and is occasionally given to recognize a group that doesn’t fit into a traditional category, but has greatly served the community in the past year. Ozark Action received the award for their assistance in the community, serving over 4000 individuals through programs like Head Start, energy assistance, weatherization services, rent assistance, educational and workforce skills for teens and adults, and more.

Sheri Joliff was named the Citizen of the Year. With her is incoming chamber chair Ron Grennan. (ORN)

Sherri Joliff was named the Citizen of the Year. With her is incoming chamber chair Ron Grennan. (ORN)

The Customer Service Award, which recognizes outstanding business etiquette and customer service, went to Westlake ACE Hardware.

David Gohn was recognized as the Humanitarian of the Year. Gohn has chaired a number of civic groups in West Plains including the Industrial Development Corporation and the Rotary Club, and worked to get other operations, such as the Samaritan Outreach Center and the West Plains Christian Clinic, up and running. Gohn is also a staunch supporter of the West Plains School District and MSU-West Plains.

Also honored at the event was Deanna McNew, who was named the Volunteer of the Year for her commitment to the West Plains Chamber of Commerce.

The 2014 Citizen of the Year is Sherri Joliff, who helps volunteer at a number of locations including the Boys and Girls Club and the Salvation Army, as well as the Ozarks Food Harvest Mobile Food Pantry.

Perennial Energy was named the Business of the Year. (ORN Photo)

Perennial Energy was named the Business of the Year. (ORN Photo)

Ozark Action was given the Special Chairman's Award for their work in the community in 2014. (ORN)

Ozark Action was given the Special Chairman’s Award for their work in the community in 2014. (ORN)

David Gohn was named the Volunteer of the Year. His son, David M. Gohn, accepted on his father's behalf from presenter Ken Joplin. (ORN)

David Gohn was named the Volunteer of the Year. His son, David M. Gohn, accepted on his father’s behalf from presenter Ken Joplin. (ORN)

The South Central Child Advocacy Center was named the Civic Group of the Year. (ORN)

The South Central Child Advocacy Center was named the Civic Group of the Year. (ORN)

Volunteer of the Year Deanna McNew with 2013 Volunteer of the Year Jack Bates. (ORN)

Volunteer of the Year Deanna McNew with 2013 Volunteer of the Year Jack Bates. (ORN)

Educator of the Year Kelly Dame with school district superintendent Dr. John Mulford. (ORN)

Educator of the Year Kelly Dame with school district superintendent Dr. John Mulford. (ORN)

(West Plains) – The West Plains School Board has voted unanimously to extend the contract of superintendent Dr. John Mulford through June 2018.

This decision came as part of the West Plains School Board’s annual review of the superintendent, and was announced Thursday. Dr. Mulford is completing his second year as superintendent and has received high praise from the school board regarding his contribution to the district and the community. Currently, the district is conducting a survey of residents to find out their priorities and hopes for the school district in the future.

2,500 students attend schools in the West Plains School District. More information about the district and its individual schools can be found at

(ORN Photo)

(ORN Photo)

(West Plains) – A fire inside of a control room at Ozarks Medical Center in West Plains forced the evacuation of the hospital’s new emergency department on Thursday.

Public relations coordinator Shandi Brinkman told Ozark Radio News that the fire, which occurred around 3 PM Thursday, was located inside of a computer room near the emergency department, but outside of the main hospital building. A power supply unit is blamed for the fire, however the exact cause is unknown. Brinkman added that beyond that, there is no major damage to the building or any departments, and no injuries occurred.

The fire was contained shortly afterward by the West Plains Fire Department, however, the emergency department was evacuated due to smoke. Patients in the ED were taken to the outpatient surgery area, while non-emergencies were taken to the OMC Urgent Care Clinic.

At this time, there is no word on the final cost of the damage.