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FILE - In this  Feb. 11, 2014 file image from video released by the City of Ferguson, Mo., officer Darren Wilson attends a city council meeting in Ferguson. Wilson has told authorities that Michael Brown reached for the gun during a scuffle, the Times reported in a story posted on its website Friday night Oct. 17, 2014.   (AP Photo/City of Ferguson, File)

FILE – In this Feb. 11, 2014 file image from video released by the City of Ferguson, Mo., officer Darren Wilson attends a city council meeting in Ferguson. Wilson has told authorities that Michael Brown reached for the gun during a scuffle, the Times reported in a story posted on its website Friday night Oct. 17, 2014. (AP Photo/City of Ferguson, File)

(Washington) (AP) – The police officer who fatally shot an unarmed 18-year-old in a St. Louis suburb last summer has told investigators that he was pinned in his vehicle and in fear for his life as they struggled over his gun, The New York Times reported.

Ferguson, Missouri, police officer Darren Wilson has told authorities that Michael Brown reached for the gun during a scuffle, the Times reported in a story posted on its website Friday night. The officer’s account to authorities did not explain why he fired at Brown multiple times after emerging from his vehicle, according to the newspaper.

The Times reported that the account of Wilson’s version of events came from government officials briefed on the federal civil rights investigation into the Aug. 9 shooting that sparked racial unrest and weeks of protests, some of which turned violent. Wilson is white and Brown black.

Wilson confronted Brown and a friend while they were walking back to Brown’s home from a convenience store. After the shooting, Brown died at the scene. Some witnesses have told authorities and news media that Brown had his hands raised when Wilson approached with his weapon and fired repeatedly. An independent autopsy commissioned by the family says that Brown was shot at least six times, including twice in the head.

The Times reported that Wilson has told investigators that he was trying to leave his SUV when Brown pushed him back in and that once inside the vehicle the two began to fight. Wilson told authorities that Brown punched and scratched him repeatedly, leaving swelling on his face and cuts on his neck, the Times reported.

Wilson, who had been patrolling Ferguson for nearly three years, was placed on leave after the shooting. A state grand jury is considering charges against him.

The Justice Department is investigating the Ferguson Police Department for possible civil rights violations, including whether officers there use excessive force and engage in discriminatory practices. Two-thirds of Ferguson’s 21,000 residents are black but only three of its more than 50 police officers are black.

(Washington) – Congressman Jason Smith (MO-8) released his most recent capitol report, in which he discusses keeping your identity safe online:

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(Provided)

(Provided)

(Ash Flat) – Ash Flat Library has the honor to present Egg Artist, Royston Morris, as their October Artist of the Month.

“I started decorating eggs in 1999 after visiting my sister in the UK and seeing the beautiful eggs she had made. She had been decorating eggs for several years. When I returned to my home in Cherokee Village, I searched for suppliers of instructional books on egg decorating and so began another hobby to compliment my art painting in oil, acrylic and pastels,” Morris said.

The exquisite eggs exhibit may be viewed during regular library hours in the showcase in the sitting/reading area.

Library hours are: Monday,10:00-5:00; Tuesday, 10:00-7:00; Wednesday, 10:00-2:00; Thursday, 10:00-7:00; Friday, 10:00-5:00; and Saturday, 10:00-2:00.

Mike Cunningham

Mike Cunningham

Ozark Community Buddy Walk a Success

One of the best things that happens to me as a senator in the 33rd District is being approached by constituents. Whether it is to talk about legislation, just to introduce themselves or to encourage me to attend an event, I enjoy hearing from and meeting everyone.

Recently, while attending the Willow Springs Fall Festival, I was approached and asked to attend the First Annual Buddy Walk at West Plains High School.

The event, held to raise awareness of the abilities of those with special needs, also helped raise funds for the Ozarks Community Buddy Walk. This great group describe themselves as “a group of people dedicated to supporting and encouraging our friends with special needs including, Down Syndrome.”

The cool, rainy weather forced the event inside, but that did not dampen or deter the enthusiasm of these fine folks.

I was honored to lead the first lap of the event with Mayor Jack Pahlmann, with hundreds of people behind us. The families, educators, caregivers and honored guests at the event are what truly made it a great day and a worthy cause. It is they who are the true stars, those who dedicate their lives to not only recognizing the abilities of everyone, but making sure we all are seen for who we truly are.

I am beyond happy to have learned that the goal of $8,000 was met that day. I enjoyed my time at the event, the smiles, good fun and cheer. A good time was had by all, for a great cause.

My recent visit to Ozark Horizon School in West Plains and Skyview Special School in Mountain View, was pleasant as always, and once again helped remind me of the passion that educators have for helping those with special needs.

Seeing the hard work of the educators at the school mirrored the dedication and support prevalent throughout the walk. It was nice to see the passion on all sides of caring and educating people of all abilities.

As always, I appreciate it when groups from around Missouri and from our community back home come to visit me at the Capitol, however during interim I may be in district. 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.

(Cherokee Village) – The Spring River Branch of the National League of American Pen Women are excited to feature their October Member of the Month, C. J. Clark.

C. J. Clark lives in Hardy where she writes poetry, short stories and novels. Originally a Michigander, she also lived in Iowa and Wyoming before moving to this area. Her studies in architecture and interior design have always taken second place to her true love of writing. Her works have received many awards and recognition. Her most recent poetry received two 1st blue ribbons at the Sharp County Fair along with a 2nd and a 3rd. She won first place in the Jim Barton Poetry of Place Contest a couple of months ago. She has written three novels–Wyoming Dreamer, Marry Me Under the Mistletoe and Vestal Virgins.

She is currently concentrating on her poetry and will have poems published in two upcoming national anthologies. C. J.’s books are available through Createspace and Amazon.com.

The Spring River Branch of the National League of American Pen Women meets the first Wednesday of months September through May, 10:00 AM, at the Cherokee Village Lutheran Church. Writers, artists and musicians are cordially invited to join members and friends as they meet to share creative gifts and encourage one another.

by Rep. Jeff Pogue

Upon Voter Approval (Part 2 of 3)

On November 4th, our employers, the taxpaying citizens, will have the options to amend to the Missouri Constitution four proposals. I want to encourage the constituents of the 143rd to be intentional in their decisions. I hope to further your insight on these amendments so you can be an informed voter, just as you have helped me. Use this as a tool in your thought and prayer-filled deliberation.

Amendment 6: Early Voting

“Upon voter approval, this proposed constitutional amendment requires, beginning with the 2016 general election, the establishment of an early voting period prior to the general election.”–House Summary

This proposal passed The House by a vote of 94 ayes and 57 nays. I voted “no” and oppose this measure. Simply put, Early Voting is bad policy. Philosophically, I protest this issue. Election Day is a solemn time, and voting is an honored privilege. I’m convinced the taxpayers properly prioritize for this day. If one cannot be present, the state already allows for another option–Absentee voting. Early voting not only shows contempt to this sacred day, it will neglect fiscal responsibility by significantly demanding more tax dollars from the state and local treasuries. In my estimation, this plan will fail to increase voter turnout; however, it shall waste more tax dollars trying. Also, I believe it will increase voter fraud, negating any positive strides made to curb this threat. The Government is well-known for taking something that works well already, and modifying it until it is broken. Early Voting will be another example, if passed.

“This great source of free government, popular election, should be perfectly pure, and the most unbounded liberty allowed.”– Alexander Hamilton

(Little Rock) (AP) – Arkansas Attorney General Dustin McDaniel has rejected the proposed wording of a prospective ballot item that would let voters decide whether to legalize marijuana in the state.

McDaniel’s office on Friday rejected the proposal offered by Mary Berry because of ambiguities in the text of the measure and tells Berry to “redesign” both the proposal and the ballot title.

McDaniel has approved two other marijuana-related ballot proposals for the 2016 ballot. One would legalize medical marijuana and the second would allow voters to decide whether to approve making it legal to grow and possess marijuana and all products derived from the cannabis plant.

(ORN Photo)

(ORN Photo)

(West Plains) – The 2014 West Plains Homecoming Parade was held on Thursday afternoon in and around Downtown West Plains.

The parade had a theme of “Humble the Hounds”, as was evident by the many floats in the parade.

The West Plains Zizzers will take on Rolla on Friday for their homecoming game.

To view the full photo gallery, click here.

(ORN Photo)

(ORN Photo)

(Jefferson City) – Gov. Jay Nixon and the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services has announced that the Missouri State Public Health Laboratory in Jefferson City has been designated as an Ebola Virus Disease testing laboratory as part of the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Laboratory Response Network.

The Missouri State Public Health Laboratory, located in Jefferson City, will now be able to provide presumptive testing of Ebola samples prior to confirmation testing at the CDC in Atlanta.

Earlier this month, the Governor directed DHSS to seek the designation in order to enhance the state’s ability to quickly confirm or rule out potential cases of Ebola, should such a case occur in Missouri. Because of the designation as an Ebola testing laboratory, the Missouri State Public Health Laboratory may receive laboratory specimens as a part of the coordinated CDC and public health investigation and control of the disease. All specimens must have prior approval before being submitted to the Missouri State Public Health Laboratory.

The Missouri State Public Health Laboratory has been a designated CDC Laboratory Response Network (LRN) laboratory since the inception of the national program in 1999.

Nixon also announced that $3.3 million in funding has been made available for local public health agencies.

From left: Zizzer Homecoming Celebration Committee Member, Melody Hubbell; Community First President, Scott Corman; West Plains Education Foundation President, Ericka Atkins; Community First Banking Company Employees, Janet & Gabe Chambers; and Community First VP, Tom Smith. (Provided)

From left: Zizzer Homecoming Celebration Committee Member, Melody Hubbell; Community First President, Scott Corman; West Plains Education Foundation President, Ericka Atkins; Community First Banking Company Employees, Janet & Gabe Chambers; and Community First VP, Tom Smith. (Provided)

(West Plains) – The West Plains Education Foundation has announced that Community First Banking Company is a Zizzer Homecoming Celebration Event Sponsor.

This is the 2nd year for the Zizzer Homecoming Celebration and it will be held at the West Plains Civic Center Exhibit Hall on Saturday, October 18 from 6:30-11 PM.

The event is open to all friends of education. Tickets are just $25 per person and includes beverages, dinner and entertainment by local singer, songwriter Art Bentley.

All proceeds benefit the West Plains Reads myOn Community Reading Project. (www.westplainsreads.com).

Tickets can be purchased at www.eventbrite.com or at the West Plains Civic Center.