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(Houston) – Texas County 911 will be holding an open house on Saturday to celebrate their new location at 115 E. Main St., in Houston.

Ozark Radio News spoke with Texas County 911 director Donna Robertson, who told us that Texas/Wright County 911 system went online in January 1995 in an ambulance bay near Texas County Memorial Hospital, and has simply outgrown their facility. Things came to a head, though, when the 911 system began running out of money:

She also described the new facility compared to the old one:

Despite not having everything in place just yet, Robertson says they’ve already hit the ground running in the new facility:

She also talked about the open house event on Saturday:

Refreshments and snacks will be available at the event.

(Thayer) – First Assembly of God Church in Thayer is looking for the public’s help in filling a growing need in the community.

With school starting soon, the church is hoping to hold a school supply drive for needy children, however, officials with the Thayer/Mammoth Spring Chamber of Commerce say that over 100 families have signed up, with roughly a week left to go to collect supplies.

People who would like to donate supplies, including pencils, paper, crayons, construction paper, and sanitary items such as tissues and small hand sanitizers, are asked to drop donations off at one of two locations: at the First Assembly of God Church, 190 Industrial Drive in Thayer, or at State Farm Agent Scott Cecil’s office at 151 E. Walnut Street by Thursday, July 30.

Church and chamber officials stress that all donations are tax deductible. For more information, call the church at 417-264-2525.

(Howell County) – A six-year-old boy suffered serious injuries Thursday afternoon after a two-vehicle accident in Howell County.

The accident happened at 2:40 PM on Highway 160 at the junction of Highway 17, when the eastbound vehicle driven by 56-year-old James Goodman of Malta Bend, MO, stopped to turn and was rear-ended.

Goodman and a 6-year-old boy in his vehicle suffered minor and serious injuries, respectively. James Goodman was taken to Ozarks Medical Center in West Plains, while the child was flown to Mercy Hospital in Springfield by helicopter. A Highway Patrol report states that both people were wearnig a seat belt when the accident occurred.

The driver of the other vehicle was not injured.

(Ozark) (AP) – A 17-year-old boy from Christian County has been charged with statutory sodomy.

The Springfield News-Leader reports the suspect was charged Thursday. According to police, a girl under the age of 12 told her mother the suspect had her touch him in a sexual manner while they were together in a bedroom watching cartoons Wednesday.

The teenager is being held on a $20,000 bond.

(West Plains) – Missouri State University-West Plains will be offering a number of “short courses” covering a wide variety of topics this coming fall.

Cathy Profitt-Boys is the division chair of business and applied technologies, and assistant professor of agriculture and entrepreneurship at MSU-West Plains. She told Ozark Radio News that these courses, with topics ranging from history, to literature, and a lot in between, can be taken for credits or audited for no credit:

She also talked about tuition costs:

Judy Carr, division chair of arts and letters, and associate professor of psychology and sociology at MSU-West Plains, explained how people can sign up for these courses:

Again, for more information on the courses, visit wp.missouristate.edu or call the admission’s office at 417-255-7955.

(Jefferson City) (AP) – The Missouri Senate will conduct a review of a second former intern’s claims that Sen. Paul LeVota made sexual advances toward her.

Republican Senate President Pro Tem Tom Dempsey announced Thursday that an ethics panel will investigate and make a recommendation to the full Senate.

LeVota says he’ll cooperate and will accept the findings of the committee.

The Senate launched the review after former intern Taylor Hirth said, as first reported by The Kansas City Star, that LeVota sent her inappropriate texts in 2010. Hirth told the AP he invited her to his apartment.

A Senate report Wednesday detailed another former intern’s sexual harassment complaint against LeVota.

Hirth says LeVota should resign. The Missouri Constitution allows the Senate to expel members with a two-thirds majority vote.

Missouri Senator Claire McCaskill issued a statement asking LeVota to “seriously consider” his role in the Senate, while Gov. Jay Nixon called the accusations “deeply troubling”.

From left: Transitions of Care Program Director Addy Van Os Keuls, Data Specialists Lisa Schiffleger, and Transitions Coach Ranae Rutledge. (provided)

From left: Transitions of Care Program Director Addy Van Os Keuls, Data Specialists Lisa Schiffleger, and Transitions Coach Ranae Rutledge. (provided)

(West Plains) – Ozarks Medical Center (OMC) recently received a grant worth $593,160 to be used to focus on improving transitions of care, reducing hospital readmission rates, and reducing the unnecessary usage of the emergency department.

The grant funds will enable OMC to offer an improved hospital discharge process, an in-person staff visit within three days of admission to a nursing or rehabilitation care facility and the development of shared goals of care.

The population to be served includes Medicare beneficiaries, age 65 and over, who are being discharged from in-patient care at OMC to one of three nursing and rehabilitation care facilities (Brooke Haven Healthcare, National Healthcare Corporation, or West Vue). OMC’s service area for this grant includes residents in a seven-county area, including Douglas, Howell, Oregon, Ozark, Shannon, Texas and Wright.

OMC is anticipating serving 450 individuals annually.

(Jefferson City) (AP) – Republican attorney and University of Missouri School of Law associate professor Josh Hawley announced plans Thursday to run for state attorney general.

The 35-year-old from Columbia said in an online video that he’s running on a conservative platform and planned to “stand up for the Constitution, to stand up for our liberties and stand up for the values of Missourians” if he’s elected. Democratic Attorney General Chris Koster has said he plans to run for Missouri governor in 2016.

Hawley faces a likely primary with Republican state Sen. Kurt Schaefer, another Columbia lawyer. Democrats Sen. Scott Sifton of Affton and St. Louis County Assessor Jake Zimmerman also are running for attorney general.

Hawley, who has never before run for elected office, touted himself as a political outsider.

Hawley previously served as a clerk to U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts. He also was part of a team of about 15 lawyers in a U.S. Supreme Court case in which Hobby Lobby and other businesses challenged a federal requirement to provide insurance coverage for contraceptives for employees. The high court ultimately ruled that corporations can hold religious objections that allow them to opt of the birth control requirement of the Affordable Care Act enacted under President Barack Obama.

The attorney general’s office focuses on consumer protection cases, represents the state in criminal appeals such as death penalty cases and defends state laws and agencies against lawsuits. The attorney general also can enforce Missouri’s open meetings and records law and can sue or take other action to protect the state’s rights.

(Little Rock) (AP) – The Arkansas congressional delegation has announced that 9 colleges in the state will share $2 million for student support services programs.

U.S. Sens. John Boozman and Tom Cotton and Reps. Rick Crawford, French Hill, Steve Womack and Bruce Westerman announced Wednesday that the grants are being provided by the U.S. Department of Education Student Support Services Program.

The funding ranges from $220,000 to nearly $353,000 and will be provided to Henderson State University; the University of Arkansas Community College in Batesville; University of Arkansas-Fort Smith; Phillips Community College; National Park Community College; Ozarka College; Pulaski Technical College; Arkansas Tech University; and John Brown University.

The grants are intended to support academic development, help students with basic college requirements and to motivate students to graduate.

by Michael Kunzelman, AP

Law enforcement personnel stand near a police line at The Grand Theatre following a deadly shooting in Lafayette, La., Thursday, July 23, 2015. (Paul Kieu/The Daily Advertiser via AP)

Law enforcement personnel stand near a police line at The Grand Theatre following a deadly shooting in Lafayette, La., Thursday, July 23, 2015. (Paul Kieu/The Daily Advertiser via AP)

(LaFayette) (AP) – A gunman sitting in a packed movie theater stood up about 20 minutes into the showing of “Trainwreck” and began firing into the crowd, killing two and wounding at least nine others before fatally shooting himself, authorities said.

The gunman, later identified as 59-year-old John Houser of Alabama, initially tried escaping Thursday night by blending into the fleeing crowd, but turned back when he saw police heading inside from the parking lot, authorities said. Officers tailing him back into the theater then heard a single gunshot and found him dead inside, police said.

They described the shooter as a 58-year-old “lone white male” with a criminal history but did not immediately disclose his name. Lafayette Police Chief Jim Craft said the gunman was by himself and started the rampage by shooting the two people sitting in front of him.

At least one theatergoer described the attack, saying an older man stood up about 20 minutes into the 7:10 p.m. showing of the movie “Trainwreck” at the Grand 16 theater in Lafayette and began shooting.

“We heard a loud pop we thought was a firecracker,” Katie Domingue told The Advertiser.

“He wasn’t saying anything. I didn’t hear anybody screaming either,” said Domingue, who added that she heard about six shots before she and her fiance ran to the nearest exit, leaving behind her shoes and purse.

Stories of heroism immediately began to emerge with presidential hopeful Gov. Bobby Jindal, who traveled to the scene within hours of the shooting, telling reporters that a teacher who was in the theater jumped in front of a second teacher, saving her life. The second teacher then managed to pull a fire alarm to alert other moviegoers, he said.

“Her friend literally jumped over her and, by her account, actually saved her life,” Jindal said.

President Barack Obama was briefed on the shooting aboard Air Force One by Lisa Monaco, his homeland security adviser, while on his way to Africa for a two-nation visit, the White House said.

Obama asked his team to keep him updated on the investigation and the status of those wounded. He also offered his thoughts and prayers to the community and to the families of those killed.

The shooting took place a week after the man who shot and killed 12 people at a movie theater in Aurora, Colo., was convicted and on the very day a jury said his attack was cruel enough to consider sentencing him to death.

Nine people ranging in age from their late teens to their late 60s were wounded, Craft said. At least one of those was in critical condition and being operated on at an area hospital, he said. The conditions of the others were not immediately known.

Craft said at a news conference that police know who the gunman is, and that he had a criminal history, but they are not immediately releasing his name. State police superintendent Col. Michael D. Edmonson said the body of the shooter and “at least one other person” were still inside the theater. He said there were about 100 people inside the theater at the time of the shooting.

Early Friday, about a dozen law enforcement personnel were gathered at a Motel 6 in Lafayette. Louisiana State Police spokesman Maj. Doug Cain said the investigation led them to a room at the Motel 6. Authorities were investigating whether the shooter had stayed there, Cain said. He said the bomb squad swept the room before going in as a precaution.

About a dozen police personnel could be seen outside the motel. At one point, an officer carried out a cardboard box from the room and other officers could be seen knocking on neighboring doors.

Edmonson added that police believe the gunman fired shots only at the theater and had not waged an attack anywhere else beforehand. However, authorities said they were not releasing his name immediately in part so police could safely track down and interview friends or family who knew the shooter.

“We have no reason to believe that this individual acted beyond this location here,” Edmonson said.

He said police saw something suspicious inside the shooter’s car and that a bomb-sniffing dog “hit on three different locations” in the vehicle, “so out of an abundance of caution we brought in the bomb squad.”

No explosives were found in the car or in the theater complex.

“Trainwreck” star Amy Schumer sent a tweet: “My heart is broken and all my thoughts and prayers are with everyone in Louisiana.” The comedy stars Schumer as a magazine writer who decides to live a life of promiscuity after her father convinces her that monogamy isn’t realistic, but in spite of her best efforts, finds herself falling in love with one of her interview subjects.

Gov. Jindal called the shooting “an awful night for Louisiana.”

“What we can do now is we can pray,” Jindal said. “We can hug these families. We can shower them with love, thoughts and prayers.”

Lafayette is about 60 miles west of the state capital of Baton Rouge. Outside the movie theater complex hours after the shooting, a couple of dozen police cars were still at the scene, which authorities had cordoned off with police tape as onlookers took photos with their cellphones.

A small group of theater employees stood outside the police perimeter. A man who identified himself as a general manager declined to be interviewed: “We would appreciate it if you could give us some space,” he said.

Landry Gbery (pronounced Berry), 26, of Lafayette, was watching a different movie, “Self/less” at the time of the shooting when the lights came up and a voice over the intercom told everyone there was an emergency and they needed to leave.

Gbery said he never heard gunshots, and assumed the emergency was a fire until he got outside and saw a woman lying on the ground.

“I was really anxious for everybody at that point,” Gbery said. “Fortunately I was lucky. I took the right exit.”

Tanya Clark was at the concession stand in the lobby when she saw people screaming and running past her. She said she immediately grabbed her 5-year-old daughter and ran.

“In that moment, you don’t think about anything,” Clark, 36, told The New York Times. “That’s when you realize that your wallet and phone are not important.”

Clark’s son Robert Martinez said he saw an older woman run past with blood streaming down her leg, and screaming that someone had shot her.

The Louisiana shooting occurred three years after James Holmes entered a crowded movie theater in suburban Denver and opened fire during the premier of a Batman film, killing 12 people and wounding 70 others.

A jury last week quickly convicted Holmes on 165 counts of murder, attempted murder and other charges, rejecting defense arguments that he was insane and suffering delusions that drove him to the July 20, 2012, attack.

Associated Press writers Melinda Deslatte in Lafayette, Louisiana, and Kevin McGill in New Orleans contributed to this report.