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 Springfield Conservation Nature Center will host Eagle Days Saturday (1/18) from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sunday (1/19) from 12:30 to 4:30 p.m.  The event includes programs at the Nature Center with live eagles from Dickerson Park Zoo.  Spotting scopes will be set up at the Lake Springfield Boathouse.  

Freezing rain and rain are  in the forecast for southern and central Missouri.  Temperatures will be colder Thursday, with highs around 40, and the precipitation will begin Thursday night. 

Greene County Commissioner Harold Bengsch will not seek reelection when his term ends this year.  The 85-year-old has served as commissioner since 2004.  Before that, he worked for the Springfield-Greene County Health Department for 45 years.  Twenty of those years he was the health department’s director.

In a statement, Springfield Mayor Ken McClure said Bengsch has been “an exemplary public servant and community leader for over six decades” and that he made the Springfield-Greene County Health Department “a premier health agency in the country.”

As the U.S. Census Bureau prepares to launch the 2020 Census later this year, local groups are working behind the scenes to make sure everyone is counted.

Complete Count Committees are located in several cities, and members are working to educate the public about the census and to promote it.

One committee is in Joplin.  It was formed by the non-profit organization, One Joplin, after Joplin City Council appointed it to do so.

Cox College is going to offer Associate of Science in Nursing degrees to students at two new satellite campuses.  One will be in Branson on the Cox Medical Center Branson campus.  The other will be in Monett at Scott Regional Technology Center.

Classes will be offered at night and on weekends, according to CoxHealth.  Each class will have ten students, and classes are expected to begin in January 2021.  The campuses could offer other degree programs in the future, according to CoxHealth.

The National Weather Service will conduct surveys Monday to determine if tornadoes were responsible for storm damage in southwest Missouri Friday. 

The storms caused flooding and left one women, 53-year-old Kristi Yates, dead near Conway.  Donations are being taken for her funeral expenses through GoFundMe.

Two barns were destroyed and homes damaged near Fair Play.

Branson has several waterways, including Table Rock Lake, Lake Taneycomo and Roark Creek, which has spilled out of its banks a few times in recent years.

And, thanks to a recent donation, the final piece of equipment needed to create an official water rescue initiative can now be purchased.

Dr. Joy and Tom Watson donated $1500 to purchase a reserve motor for Branson Fire Department’s new water rescue boat.

Fire Chief Ted Martin said the water rescue initiative will allow them to have members with Swiftwater Rescue Training on duty 24/7.

Down Periscope will be the featured band on KSMU’s Studio Live Friday (1/10) at noon on KSMU.  The band will perform live at Tie & Timber Beer Co., 1451 E. Cherry in Springfield, Friday night at 6.  

Heavy rain is possible today in the Ozarks.  An inch of rain fell overnight at the Springfield-Branson National Airport.  

"For today we're looking at another two to four inches of rain, locally higher amounts, through tonight, and that's going to bring that risk of flash flooding into the area including river flooding," said Justin Titus, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service office in Springfield.

And he said we could see severe weather in the form of damaging winds and isolated tornadoes.

Overnight, the rain will change to winter precipitation.

The president of Evangel University said she’ll retire in August.

In a statement, the university said that Dr. Carol Taylor led a series of innovations at Evangel, including creating new business systems and processes, reshaping and starting new academic programs, adding new professional accreditations and launching online degrees.

The statement says that under Taylor’s leadership, alumni engagement more than doubled and giving under her tenure has exceeded $35 million in donations and grants.

The Missouri State University Board of Governors has three new members. Missouri Governor Mike Parson has announced the appointment of Lynn Parman of Parkville, Jay Wasson of Nixa and Christopher Waters of Kansas City.

Get out your umbrellas and ice scrapers.  The National Weather Service is forecasting a mix of weather over the next few days.

National Weather Service meteorologist, Justin Titus, said light rain showers will gradually increase throughout the day Thursday.  By Thursday evening, he said, there will be widespread rain showers across the area.  Flooding rains are forecast Friday into Friday night.

Update:  The Greene County Sheriff's Department said on its Facebook page Monday, "Lor continues to improve. He will most likely have his feeding tube removed today and will discuss plans for him to go home."

Original Story:  A retired Greene County Sheriff K9 member is fighting for his life.

Branson city officials said they've given forced closure notices to three Branson lodging establishments for failure to have a current business license.

The lodging establishments are Polar Bear Inn, Travel Inns and Windmill Inn and Suites.

The businesses have until January 23 to obtain a business license or be forced to close their doors, according to a news release from the City.

UPDATE:   This advisory has been cancelled.  According to the Missouri State Highway Patrol, Andrews made contact with the Springfield Police Department and is safe.

Original article:   

The Springfield Police Department has issued an Endangered Person Advisory for a missing woman.

Fifty-one-year-old Beth Ann Andrews was dropped off at a church bible study at 609 N. Mahn in Springfield last night and hasn’t been seen since.

The number of influenza cases continues to rise in Missouri.  As of December 28, there had been eight flu-associated deaths reported in the state. According to the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services, there have been 5900 cases of flu so far this season.  During most seasons, flu activity peaks in January or later. 

Health officials say the best way to protect yourself is to get the flu vaccine. 

Drivers on Highway 160 between Springfield and Willard might experience delays this week.  Missouri Department of Transportation officials say rock blasting is scheduled as they work to widen the highway to four lanes.  According to MODOT, traffic will be stopped for up to 15 minutes once a day between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.  It also may be stopped on nearby county farm roads.  Officials say blasting operations could take several months to complete. 

Find out more about the project at modot.org/southwest.

If you’re looking for work, you might want to plan to attend two hiring events scheduled for Wednesday, January 8, in Springfield.

The Missouri Job Center will host the Missouri Works event from 9 to 11 Wednesday morning at the center at 2900 E. Sunshine.  Multiple employers will be participating.

The National Weather Service says there’s potential for parts of the Ozarks to get heavy rainfall later this week.

According to the Weather Service, starting Thursday morning and going into Saturday evening, some areas could get in excess of three inches of rain.

Areas south and east of I-44 are expected to get the most rainfall.

A map on the National Weather Service website shows the potential for two to three inches in Springfield, Branson, Rolla and surrounding areas.  West Plains and areas north and east could get three or more inches of rain.

Mercy Springfield Communities' new president is Craig McCoy.  He comes to Springfield from South Carolina where he’s worked as CEO of Bon Secours St. Francis Health System in Greenville.

McCoy, who has 10 years of experience as a health system CEO, started his career as a paramedic.  But he also has a college degree in business. 

After seven years as a paramedic, McCoy earned a master’s degree in healthcare administration.

The Little Acorns program, “Teeny Tufted Titmice,” for kids three to six-years-old, will be held Friday morning (1/3) at 10 and 11:15 at the Springfield Conservation Nature Center. Registration is required.  

The program, “Wildlife:  Snakes of Missouri,” will be held Friday afternoon (12/27) from 1 to 3 at the Springfield Conservation Nature Center.  Learn about snakes, see some up close and even touch one.  Registration is required.  

Smallin Civil War Cave in Ozark is offering special tours right now as it does every year around this time.  The Winter Solstice Tours provide a chance to learn about the Osage Indians who used to go to the area every autumn and how they knew when it was time to go home.

For about a 15-day period every year, the sun is at just the right angle that its rays go far back into the south-facing cave entrance.

Missouri will receiving funding for several projects in the FY2020 funding bills for defense and military construction.

Among other things, the legislation includes $12 million to build a National Guard Readiness Center in Springfield.

It also includes $50 million in additional funding for construction of a new hospital at Fort Leonard Wood to replace the General Leonard Wood Army Community Hospital.

A news release from U.S. Senator Roy Blunt’s office says the legislation is headed to the president’s desk.

A longtime restaurant in Springfield has reopened.  Pappy’s Place BBQ was sold in November.  The new owners closed the business for a time, but the restaurant on N. Main re-opened Wednesday.

The building it’s housed in was built in 1903 and was first Frank Plummer’s grocery.  It was a shoe repair business for a time.  In 1926, George and Mary Bills opened a café there to serve family members and staff at St. John’s Hospital to the north.  It became known as Pappy’s Place in 1971.

Kenny G will bring his Miracle Holiday and Hits Tour 2019 to the Gillioz Theatre, 325 Park Central East in Springfield, Friday night (12/20) at 8.  

Gardens Aglow continues through December 28 Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights from 5 to 8:30 at the Mizumoto Japanese Stroll Garden, 2400 S. Scenic in Springfield.  The garden is decorated with lights, and you can purchase hot chocolate and coffee to drink around a fire pit.  

Joplin’s new police chief will be the city’s assistant police chief, Sloan Rowland.  Interim city manager, Dan Pekarek made the announcement Wednesday.

Current police chief, Matt Stewart, recently announced his retirement.

Rowland will begin his new job on January 3.

He has more than 31 years of experience and has been with the Joplin Police Department for 16 years.

The City of Springfield has stopped taking applications for the America’s Promise Grant.  That’s after a special audit of the grant program. 

The $3 million grant was awarded to the city by the U.S. Department of Labor Employment and Training Administration in December, 2016.  Participants may choose one of six allied health care tracks to study for free at OTC.

Hoover Music Company in downtown Springfield is closing its doors.  A store closing sale is underway, and the company’s president, Brian Hoover said they’ll remain open until mid-January.

Hoover Music opened in 1912 and has been a part of five generations of the Hoover family, according to Brian Hoover.

It was founded by H.L. Hoover who also founded Little Hoover’s Big Band.

Brian Hoover said they’ll have details soon for those with rental contracts at Hoover Music.

A resolution affirming Springfield City Council’s “commitment to retaining local control and objecting to restricting local control of concentrated animal feeding operations” has been voted down.

The resolution was drafted in response to the passage of Missouri Senate Bill 391, which restricts how much local governments can regulate industrial farms known as Confined Animal Feeding Operations, or CAFOs.  Essentially, county and city governments can no longer enforce stricter measures than the state’s rules when it comes to regulating these farms.