Michele Skalicky | KBIA

Michele Skalicky

Michele Skalicky has worked at KSMU since the station occupied the old white house at National and Grand. She enjoys working on both the announcing side and in news and has been the recipient of statewide and national awards for news reporting. Michele enjoys hiking, camping, taking an active role in her two girls’ activities and caring for her family’s two guinea pigs, two cats, two dogs and five fish.

The 28th Annual Starvy Creek Fall Bluegrass Festival continues Friday and Saturday (9/20-9/21) in Conway. 

The Wine and Whiskey Walk to benefit Developmental Center of the Ozarks is Friday night (9/20) from 7 to 10 at Farmers Market of the Ozarks, 2144 E. Republic Rd. in Springfield.  General admission is $35. 

Missouri State University is waiving its undergraduate application fee.  It’s an effort to improve access to higher education, according to university officials.  The school also announced Wednesday it’s joining the Common Application, which allows students to enter their information one time while applying to multiple schools.

Springfield-Greene County Health Department officials say there’s been an increase in Hepatitis A in recent weeks, and they want to be sure the public knows the signs and symptoms of the illness.

According to the health department, there have been 25 Hepatitis A cases in Greene County since April. 

Hepatitis A is a highly contagious liver infection that can range from a mild illness lasting a few weeks to a severe illness lasting several months.  It’s easily transmitted via person-to-person contact. 

The program, “Garden Nights Out:  Salsa Canning,” will be held Friday night (9/13) at 7 at the Springfield-Greene County Botanical Center, 2400 S. Scenic in Springfield.  Learn the basics of cold pack canning.  Snacks and non-alcoholic beverages will be provided.  The cost is $30 per person or $45 for a couple. 

Heart patients at Mercy Springfield now have easier access to their doctors. 

A ribbon cutting was held this week for Phase II of the three-phase Mercy Heart Hospital Springfield project.  It relocates the clinic space from Mercy Clinic-Whiteside to a dedicated entrance for heart patients, which offers valet parking for patients visiting their doctors.

Adam Whitten, vice president of Heart, Lung and Vascular Services at Mercy, said for many heart patients, "those saved steps can make a big difference."

color:#232323">The holidays are still a few months away, but the Missouri Department of Conservation has already put out a call for a tree for the governor’s mansion lawn in Jefferson City.

color:#232323">MDC is asking landowners, homeowners, businesses and communities that may have candidate trees to contact them.

The Japanese Fall Festival will be held Friday (9/6) from 5 to 10, Saturday (9/7) from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Sunday (9/8) from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the Mizumoto Japanese Stroll Garden, 2400 S. Scenic in Springfield. 

Public Observing Night at Baker Observatory will be held Friday night (9/6) from 8 to 11 at MSU’s Baker Observatory. 

Anyone who works with young people is invited to an event Saturday, September 7, in downtown Springfield that’s aimed at suicide prevention.

Start the Conversation will teach attendees the warning signs of suicide.

The event is free and open to anyone who works with youth, according to its co-organizer, Karla Myers.

Starting early Friday morning, northbound Highway 65 will be closed from James River Freeway to Sunshine.  It’s the final phase of the project to rebuild the original concrete pavement from the 1970s.

Angela Eden, with the Missouri Department of Transportation, said motorists who use that stretch of roadway should have a plan.

Former White House press secretary, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, will be the speaker for the Leonard B. and Edith Gittinger Community Convocation at College of the Ozarks on Thursday, October 10.

Dr. Sue Head, vice president for cultural affairs and dean of character education at C of O, says Huckabee will talk about how a person of faith and conviction serves the country and stands firm in the midst of a storm.

Women can learn how to fly fish during “Fishing Skills:  Women’s Trout Fishing,” presented by the Springfield Conservation Nature Center at Roaring River State Park in Cassville.  The program includes fishing in a stocked trout pool, learning how to clean fish and a fish fry.  Registration is required. 

An armored insect pest has been found on trees in Nixa this summer.  Melanaspis tenebricosa or gloomy scale is a relatively new pest to Missouri, and, in particular, the Nixa area, according to the City of Nixa's certified arborist, Jordan Odem. 

It’s damaging trees, especially red maples, but it also is impacting elms, hackberry trees and sycamores.

"It causes defoliation, branch dieback and eventually will kill the trees," he said.

The Crane Broiler Festival is Friday and Saturday (8/23-8/24) at Crane City Park with carnival rides, broiled chicken dinners, craft vendors and more. 

Queen City Shout, a music, art and film festival, continues through Sunday (8/25) on C-Street.  Proceeds go toward local poverty relief efforts.  

A chief equity and diversity officer for Springfield Public Schools has been announced.  Yvania Garcia-Pusateri is the current executive director of multicultural programs at Missouri State University.  She’ll begin her new job on September 9.

The hiring is part of the SPS strategic plan, which district officials say “is aligned to identify and measure progress in closing the gaps for under-resourced and under-represented students.”

The Agriculture Training Center at the OTC campus in Christian County is officially open.  A grand opening for the new center was held Monday.

OTC's agriculture and turf landscaping programs have been on the OTC Springfield campus.  School officials say the move to Richwood Valley will mean enhanced learning opportunities for students.

Those who want to take Missouri’s high school equivalency exam or HiSET for the first time now have easier access to it. 

The cost to take the exam is $98.75. That price  includes exams in math, science, social studies, reading and writing and a $10 state registration fee.  But Missouri legislators passed a bill last session, which allows first-time test takers to take the HiSET at no cost. 

Enrollment is down for the fall semester at Missouri State University. 

When classes began Monday, 20,330 students were enrolled on the MSU Springfield campus.  That’s a 4.6 percent decrease from last fall. 

A robbery has occurred at Branson Landing for the second time in three weeks.

According to Branson Police, a suspect displayed a knife and demanded money Sunday night at Charleys Philly Steaks.  No one was injured.  The suspect is described as a white male, 5’ 10” to six-foot tall with brown hair, 20 to 30-years-old.  He was wearing a black shirt and sunglasses and wore a black bandana over his face.

Dickerson Park Zoo rescued five young barn owls earlier this summer, and, Thursday, the Missouri Department of Conservation took them to their new homes in rural parts of southwest Missouri.

MDC initially took the owlets from a location in Lawrence County after it received a call from a landowner and sent an agent to check on the birds.

Insect-O-Rama is Friday night (8/16) from 6 to 9 at the Springfield Conservation Nature Center.  The whole family can learn about insects from specialists and enthusiasts, play games about insects and create insect crafts. 

If you see someone walking through your neighborhood with a laptop, it could be someone from the U.S. Census Bureau.  Through October 18, employees will canvas neighborhoods to verify addresses.  They’ll have an official government badge with photo I.D., an official bag and an official laptop with the 2020 Census logo.  According to the Southwest Missouri Council of Governments (SMCOG), the canvassers will attempt to knock on every door in the neighborhoods in which they are working.

A program in West Plains, designed to make sure regional employers have the trained employees they need and to help area residents earn a living wage, continues to evolve.

GOCAT, or the Greater Ozarks Center for Advanced Technology, a program of Missouri State University-West Plains, the South Central Career Center and the City of West Plains, was started five years ago. 

According to Sheila Barton, GOCAT’s director of workforce development, manufacturers in the region, including DRS Technologies, Armstrong Flooring, Regal and Caterpillar, have been their driving force.

A little ways to the east of the Springfield city limits, in a pastoral, wooded setting, is an old white church, which still holds services every Sunday.  The current Mt. Pisgah United Methodist Church was built in 1888, just over two decades after the Civil War ended and 50 years after Springfield was incorporated. 

The Springfield Police Department continues to investigate the incident that occurred last Thursday afternoon at the Walmart Neighborhood Market on W. Republic Rd.  A man walked into the store wearing body armor and carrying weapons.  He was arrested and charged with Making a Terrorist Threat in the Second Degree.

Springfield Police say they’re “committed to ensuring a complete and thorough investigation is conducted.”

Silver Dollar City officials offered the media a peek behind the scenes Tuesday where a new water ride is being built.  It's set to open next summer.

Today is the first day of school in Springfield, and some road construction projects will likely cause traffic tie-ups.  The City of Springfield is encouraging Kickapoo High School students, parents, teachers and staff to allow plenty of time to get to school this morning.  Officials say to expect delays.

A trip to the emergency room can be scary for a child.  But Mercy Springfield hopes to make that experience easier by building a new ER just for kids.

The 6300-square-foot Mercy Kids Emergency Room will be staffed with pediatric specialists.  It will be added onto the front entrance of the existing ER along National Street. 

Dr. Mark Griesemer, Mercy ER medical director, said many emergency rooms are not designed to be inviting to young people, and this one will be.

The Birthplace of Route 66 Festival is Friday and Saturday (8/9-8/10) on Park Central Square.  Events will include a charity bike show, a car show, live music, a parade, a 6.6K run/walk and more. 

Studio Live will feature art rock with Andy Havens at noon Friday (8/9) on KSMU.  You can see Andy perform live during Studio Live Social Hour Friday night at 6 at The Backlot at Alamo Drafthouse in Springfield.  Learn more here.

An updated version of the Missouri Official Highway Map is now available to anyone who wants one.  The Missouri Department of Transportation updates the maps every other year.

Machelle Watkins, transportation planning director for MODOT, said there are some new features on the 2019-2020 map, which features all 33,838 miles of state-maintained routes, public-use airports, hospitals, colleges and universities, national forests, state parks and conservation areas.

Several roads closures have begun in downtown Springfield for the Birthplace of Route 66 Festival.  Closures and traffic impacts will continue through Sunday morning.

Three streets are already closed—the tuning forks from Jefferson to St. Louis and from St. Louis to McDaniel; and St. Louis Street from Jefferson to Benton.