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(West Plains) – West Plains Schools preschool and kindergarten screening dates have been set for the 2015-2016 school year.

Preschool & Kindergarten Screenings at South Fork Elementary will be held on Friday, March 27 from 8 AM to 3:30 PM. Preschool and Kindergarten screenings at West Plains Elementary will be from 8 AM to 4 PM on Thursday, April 9.

Screenings will be by appointment only during the specified times. You may schedule with South Fork Elementary by calling the school at 417-256-2836 and you may schedule with West Plains Elementary at 417-256-6158. If you are unsure which school your child will attend, please contact the Elementary Education Office at 417-256-6158.

Children entering preschool must be age 4 before August 1 of this year, and children entering kindergarten must be age 5.

Parents or guardians must bring a birth certificate for the child, immunization record, Social Security number, proof of residency, information about allergies or special conditions, physician’s phone number, and court order (if applicable) for the child entering preschool or kindergarten.

(Jefferson City) – The state of Missouri will hold Severe Weather Awareness Week March 2-6, and urges residents to be prepared for storms. Brett Stevens has more:

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(Springfield) – As severe winter weather begins to clear and it is considered safe to travel, the American Red Cross is asking all eligible blood and platelet donors to make an appointment to donate.

The recent severe winter weather forced the cancellation of over 30 Red Cross blood drives in the Greater Ozarks Services Region, resulting in the shortfall of nearly 900 blood and platelet donations since February 16. Red Cross officials say that blood donors of all types – especially those with types O negative, B negative and A negative blood – and platelet donors are needed.

To schedule an appointment to donate, download the Blood Donor App on your smart phone, visit redcrossblood.org or call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).

(Houston) – The Texas County Health Department has released the results of their requested water tests for the year 2014.

During the year, department collected a total of 118 water samples, which were sent to the state lab for bacteria testing. 74 samples (62%) were found to be safe with no bacteria present. 45 samples (38%) had coliform bacteria present and are considered unsatisfactory for drinking purposes. 8 samples had the coliform bacteria along with E. coli bacteria present, which could indicate the contamination came from human sewage or livestock wastes.

Environmental health specialist Ronnie Gaston told Ozark Radio News that the samples were collected from private wells where the person has requested water testing and from businesses that are on private water wells. Public water supplies are regulated by Department of Natural Resources and samples are required to be analyzed monthly for bacteria contamination.

Gaston added that if you are having chronic gastrointestinal issues it would be a good idea to test your private water supply to attempt to eliminate the water as a potential source of the ailment. Another good reason to ask for private well water testing would be issues with water clarity, especially after it rains. Another good reason for testing would be for people who may have compromised immune systems, like the very young, the elderly, and those with cancer or those undergoing cancer treatment.

If you have questions on private well water, please feel free to contact Gaston at the Texas County Health Department at 417-967-4131.

(Jefferson City) – This year’s attempt to change student transfer laws continue in the Missouri Senate.

Most of the time spent last week was on Senate Bill 1, which would modify provisions relating to elementary and secondary education. Sen. Eric Schmitt (R-Glendale) offered an amendment dealing with annual report scores and charter schools:

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That amendment passed. Sen. Scott Sifton (D-Affton) also offered an amendment dealing with vacant school buildings and districts:

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Debate is expected to resume on the measure this week.

Offutt

Cory and Samantha Offutt

(Houston) – Texas County Memorial Hospital has announced that they have signed a three-year contract with family medicine physician and obstetrician Cory L. S. Offutt, MD.

Offutt is a second-year resident at the family medicine residency program at the University of Missouri in Kansas City, and he will join TCMH as a full-time employed physician in the summer of 2016 after his residency program ends. Offutt and his wife, Samantha, plan to relocate to Texas County next summer.

Offutt will be based at the TCMH Medical Complex in Houston, but he also plans to provide an outreach clinic at the TCMH Mountain Grove Clinic where TCMH does not currently have a full-time physician.

Currently Tracey Arwood, CNM provides obstetrical and women’s healthcare at the TCMH Mountain Grove Clinic and delivers her patients at TCMH.

Dr. Cory Offutt, of Lebanon, has an undergraduate degree in cell and molecular biology from Missouri State University in Springfield. He attended medical school at the University Of Missouri Columbia School Of Medicine.

Samantha Offutt, of Harrison, AR, is pursuing a Master’s degree in graphic design. The Offutt’s plan to reside in Texas County.

(Mountain Home) – The Donald W. Reynolds Library Serving Baxter County will be the host of the “Here, There, Everywhere” exhibit from NASA at the end of the month.

The exhibit explains how the universal laws of physics are revealed through everyday occurrences on Earth. Concepts featured include shadows, wind, electric discharge, bow waves, lensing, and the collisional excitation of atoms. The exhibit will be open to the public during regular Library hours February 28 through March 31.

Live demo days will take place March 17 from 4-7 PM, and March 21 from 10 AM to 2 PM. Other events in March will include “Build your own seismograph” March 7 at 1 PM, “solar system geocaching” at 1 PM March 14, a 3D printing workshop March 15 at 2 PM, a star gazing event at 6 PM March 20, and a celebration of the 25th anniversary of the Hubble Space Telescope on March 21 at 10:30 AM.

“Here, There, and Everywhere” has been conceived, designed, and generated by a team at the Chandra X-ray Center, which is part of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics in Cambridge, MA. The Chandra X-ray Observatory is NASA’s flagship mission for X-ray astronomy and one of the “Great Observatories” along with the Hubble Space Telescope, the Spitzer Space Telescope, and the now de-orbited Compton Gamma Ray Observatory.

Library patrons are also invited to participate in a variety of programs designed by Library staff to correlate with the exhibit concepts.

For information about all Library programs visit the Library’s website at www.baxlib.org. The Donald W. Reynolds Library Serving Baxter County is located at 300 Library Hill, Mountain Home, AR.

(Mountain View) – The Arkansas Cowboy Association will be holding a rodeo event in Mountain View in March. Matt Palmer with the ACA spoke with Ozark Radio News and told us more about the event:

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He also talked about some of the events that will take place during the show:

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Admission is $5 per event, or $10 for both. More information can be found at www.acarodeo.com.

(West Plains) – Ozarks Medical Center Behavioral Healthcare now offers new patients quick and easy access to mental health services at the Mountain Grove Medical Complex. Through its Open Access service, new patients can now see a licensed therapist for their first session on a walk-in basis anytime between 8 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday at the Mountain Grove Medical Complex, located at 500 E 19th Street in Mountain Grove.

BHC Director Richard McGee said prior to beginning the Open Access Service, new patients would be scheduled for an initial intake and assessment appointment. With a busy clinic, this process could take several weeks. Now, this process happens immediately on a walk-in basis.

The OMC Behavioral Healthcare team-oriented group of clinicians includes psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers, nurse practitioners, nurses, counselors and community case workers. Services include individual, couples and family counseling, along with psychiatric medication services. Open Access Service is also available at OMC Behavioral Healthcare in West Plains.

In addition to mental health service, the Mountain Grove Medical Complex offers family medicine, women’s health, lab services, physical therapy, speech language pathology, occupational therapy, and oncology/hematology services.

For information about how to access services contact the Mountain Grove Medical Complex at 417-926-6563.

(Summersville) – Families and children of all ages are invited to celebrate the life and legacy of Dr. Seuss at 3:30 PM on Monday, March 2 at the Summersville Library.

Treats will be served and games will be played in honor of what would have been Dr. Seuss’ 111th birthday.

Dr. Seuss’s birthday is also Read Across America Day, which calls for every child in every community to celebrate reading.

For more information, call the Summersville Library at 417-932-5261.