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(Jefferson City) – Gov. Jay Nixon has ordered that the flags of the United States and the State of Missouri at all state government buildings in Oregon County be flown at half-staff on Friday, October 24 in honor of Fire Chief Eddie J. Johnson Jr., of the Alton Fire Department.

The 45-year-old fire chief and Alton Police officer died on Oct. 20 while serving the citizens of the Alton Fire Department. He also was an Oregon County Reserve Sheriff’s Deputy.

Under Gov. Nixon’s order, U.S. and Missouri flags at state buildings in Oregon County will fly at half-staff from sunrise until sunset on October 24 the day the funeral services for Fire Chief Johnson will take place.

(Little Rock) (AP) – Republican U.S. Rep. Tom Cotton’s campaign says he raised nearly $1 million over the first two weeks of the month in his bid to unseat Democratic U.S. Sen. Mark Pryor in Arkansas.

Cotton’s campaign said Wednesday he’ll report raising roughly $985,000 between Oct. 1 and Oct. 15 in his pre-election campaign finance report, which is due Thursday. Cotton’s campaign said he spent more than $2.1 million during the same period and has more than $1.7 million in the bank.

Cotton’s race against Pryor is one of the most heated in the country, and is key to Republicans’ efforts to win a majority in the Senate. The two rivals and outside groups have spent more than $50.5 million on the race, according to the nonprofit Sunlight Foundation.

(Little Rock) (AP) – U. S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack has made disaster declarations for farmers in two Arkansas counties that suffered losses and damage due to high winds and hail that occurred on Oct. 7.

Responding to requests from Gov. Mike Beebe, Vilsack issued the primary county disaster declarations in Craighead and Mississippi counties. Additionally, Crittenden, Greene, Jackson, Lawrence, and Poinsett counties were named as contiguous disaster counties.

Qualifying farmers will be eligible for federal aid – including emergency loans. Officials say farmers who feel they may qualify for the federal aid should contact their local Farm Service Agency office.

(Jefferson City) (AP) – Gov. Jay Nixon is seeking a federal disaster declaration for 20 northern Missouri counties that were raked by severe storms last month.

Nixon said Wednesday that the storm system on Sept. 9-10 spawned high winds that damaged schools and other public buildings and dumped heavy rains that caused widespread flooding.

The governor said an assessment showed extensive damage to roads, bridges and low-water crossings on streets. At one point, 70 different roads were closed because of flooding.

If approved, the disaster declaration would allow federal reimbursements for the costs of responding to and repairing public infrastructure and buildings.

The request covers the counties of Adair, Andrew, Atchison, Daviess, Gentry, Grundy, Harrison, Holt, Knox, Lewis, Linn, Livingston, Macon, Mercer, Nodaway, Putnam, Ralls, Shelby, Sullivan and Worth.

(Midway) (AP) – Authorities in northern Arkansas say two men have been injured after they crashed an experimental airplane.

The single-engine plane crashed Tuesday evening northwest of Ozark Regional Airport in Baxter County. The men were hospitalized. The Baxter County Sheriff’s Office hasn’t released their names or conditions.

It’s unclear what caused the crash.

Federal Aviation Administration records show the Zodiac XL aircraft is registered to 36-year-old Andrew Tuberville of Lakeview.

Federal authorities are investigating.

(Little Rock) (AP) – Democratic gubernatorial hopeful Mike Ross is casting his ballot early for the Nov. 4 election, while Republican rival Asa Hutchinson plans to launch a tour in western Arkansas.

Ross was scheduled Wednesday morning to vote early at the Pulaski County Regional Building in downtown Little Rock. Early voting for the November election began Monday, and thousands of Arkansas voters have already cast their ballot.

Hutchinson planned to kick off his “Asa Plan Tour” with stops in Fort Smith, Greenwood and Van Buren.

The two ex-congressmen are running to succeed Democratic Gov. Mike Beebe, who is barred by term limits from seeking re-election.

(West Plains)- Howell County Clerk Dennis Von Allmen has announced the polling locations for the upcoming General Election, which will be held on Tuesday, November 4.

Polling locations will be open from the hours of 6AM-7PM on Election Day.

Persons wishing to vote an absentee ballot by mail must submit a written request no later than 5 PM on Wednesday, October 29. Absentee ballots may be voted in person in the Howell County Clerk’s Office until 5PM on Monday, November 3. The County Clerk’s Office will be open on Saturday, November 1, from 8AM-12PM for absentee balloting.

The County Clerk’s Office is located in the Howell County Office Building located in the northwest corner of Court Square in downtown West Plains.

Polling locations are as follows:


Polling Location

Benton 1 Moody Community Building
Benton 2 South Fork School Building
Chapel Forest Dell Community Building
Dry Creek Pomona Fire Station
Goldsberry Mountain View Community Center
Howell 1 First Church of God
Howell 2 National Guard Armory
Howell 3 Howell County Court House
Howell 4 West Plains Civic Center
Howell 5 Faith Assembly of God Church
Howell 6 Junction Hill School Building
Howell 7 and Myatt 2 Brandsville City Hall
Hutton Valley Hutton Valley School Building
Myatt 1 Lanton Fire Station
Siloam Springs Pumpkin Center Fire Station
Sisson Bosserman Community Center
South Fork Good New Baptist Church
Spring Creek First Missionary Baptist Church
Willow Springs 1 Ozark Family YMCA
Willows Springs 2 First Baptist Church- Willow Springs

(Mountain View) – Board members for the Southern Ozarks Alliance for Rural Development (SOAR) have met with local and state legislators to support the expansion of broadband services in southern Missouri.

By the end of this year, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) will decide which states get Connect America Funds—Phase 2(CAF2) designated for the expansion of rural internet in under-served areas, which have less than 10 mbps connections, and un-served areas with no service. Missouri is among the most likely states to get CAF2 dollars.

CenturyLink officials provided maps of the 8th Congressional district and the local counties that will be funded for fiber optic rural high-speed internet if Missouri receives funds, including Howell, Wright, Texas and Shannon counties. CenturyLink is one of three telephone companies that may get CAF2 funds if Missouri is selected by the FCC.

SOAR members from Texas, Howell, Reynolds, Carter, Oregon, and Wright were represented and the following legislators were in attendance: Rep. Steve Cookson, Rep. Tony Dugger, Rep. Shawn Rhoads, Rep. Robert Ross, Rep. Paul Fitzwater, Commissioner Zack Williams, Senator Mike Cunningham, Dan Hutton from Missouri Senator Romine’s office, and Tom Schulte, the Southeast Region Director for Senator Blunt.

For more information on how you can tell the FCC to support the Southern Ozarks for CAF funds, email

(Willow Springs)- On Wednesday, October 22, the Willow Spring City Council will be meeting for a regular council meeting at 6PM.

During the meeting the council will seek to approve the Bear City designation for the city.

In new business the council will discuss the next council meeting date and time before going into an executive session to discuss legal and personnel issues.

(Hartville) – A Hartville resident suffered minor injuries Tuesday evening after a one-vehicle accident near her hometown.

The accident happened at 8 PM on Route 38, about 5 miles west of Hartville, when the westbound vehicle driven by 31-year-old Samantha Dugger swerved to miss a deer in the roadway. Her Ford Fiesta then traveled off-road, and struck a ditch.

Dugger was taken from the scene of the accident to Mercy Hospital in Springfield by ambulance.