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.

A local attraction is in the running for USA Today’s 2019 10Best Readers’ Choice Award.  The History Museum on the Square has been nominated by a panel of experts and 10Best editors in the Best New Attraction category.

The contest is underway, and voters are allowed to vote once per day until December 30 at 11 a.m. at https://www.10best.com/awards/travel/best-new-attraction/

The Springfield Art Museum’s exhibit schedule next year includes a National Portrait Gallery traveling show.

The U.S. Forest Service has announced the public can no longer hunt feral hogs in the Mark Twain National Forest, with exceptions.  It’s allowing the opportunistic take of feral hogs in the forest during all deer and turkey hunting seasons.  According to a news release from the Missouri Department of Conservation, only those hunters with an unfilled permit in compliance with the permit conditions may take hogs. 

During the regularly-scheduled audit, State Auditor Nicole Galloway's office found receipts that aren’t accurately accounted for and bank accounts that aren’t adequately reconciled in the Barry County Sheriff’s office.  In a report, her office recommends better checks and balances in that office to insure proper oversight of financial transactions, according to the Missouri Auditor's Office.  The report states that the sheriff is working to address the recommendations.

A judge has ruled against Greene County Sheriff Jim Arnott in a case he filed against Missouri auditor, Nicole Galloway, challenging her office’s duty to protect whistleblowers.

The two remaining power generation units at James River Power Station, next to Springfield Lake, will be retired in the near future after a vote Thursday by the City Utilities Board of Public Utilities. According to a news release from CU, Unit 4 was put into service in 1964, and Unit 5 was placed into service in 1970. Both units were last used in 2017 and 2018 and have provided electric power to CU customers with both natural gas and coal fired generation.

The Springfield Conservation Nature Center will open its trails from 6 to 9 Friday night (12/6) for an Evening Stroll.  Trails will be patrolled by volunteer naturalists.  Inside the Nature Center, there will be a fire in the fireplace and hot chocolate, and the gift shop will be open.  

The Community Blood Center of the Ozarks has issued a critical appeal for type O negative blood donors.

According to the CBCO, current Type O negative reserves are at critical levels.  Less than a one-day reserve is currently available, and the blood bank strives to maintain a three-day supply of blood to be ready for emergencies.

Type O negative is a universal blood type—meaning, anyone can receive it, but those with type O negative can only receive that kind.  About six percent of the population has O negative blood.

The U.S. Census Bureau continues to hire people for the 2020 Census, and a hiring event will be held Friday, December 6, in Springfield.  According to the Missouri Job Center, the Census Bureau is hiring census takers and office assistants for the 2020 Census.

The job fair will held at the job center, 2900 E. Sunshine, Friday from 9 a.m. to noon.  You’re asked to dress business appropriate and take a resume if you have one.

Missouri deer hunters harvested 178,936 deer during the November portion of the fall firearms hunting season, which ran November 16-26, according to preliminary data released from the Missouri Department of Conservation.

That number is down from last year’s season, when hunters checked 200,738 deer.

Top harvest counties were Franklin, Texas and Callaway.

Find detailed information about this year’s fall firearms deer season here.

Children on the autism spectrum will soon have a more comforting atmosphere at local libraries.

The Community Foundation of the Ozarks’ Diversity and Inclusion Grant Program has awarded the Springfield-Greene County Library more than $11,000.  The money will be used to provide devices and materials to help families affected by autism spectrum disorder and other developmental disabilities prepare for a visit to the library. 

The holiday season is in full swing, and lots of people are busy shopping for their loved ones, hoping to find the perfect gift.  

But as just-purchased packages are left in vehicles, thieves might steal them—even if the car is locked.  There are, however, things you can do to try to protect yourself.

If you live in Greene County and need help with food and gifts for the holidays, it’s available through Crosslines.  And applications for Christmas Food Baskets and the Crosslines Toystore will be accepted starting Monday, December 2. 

You can apply at the Crosslines Holiday Center, 615 N. Glenstone, Monday through Saturday (12/2-12/7) from 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.  Applications will also be accepted Thursday (12/5) from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. Applicants will need social security cards for each member of a household and a current piece of mail verifying residency in Greene County.

Gardens Aglow will open Friday and Saturday night (11/29-11/30) from 5 to 8:30 at the Mizumoto Japanese Stroll Garden, 2400 S. Scenic in Springfield.  The event continues Thursdays through Saturdays until December 28.  The garden will be lit with holiday lights, and you can purchase coffee and hot chocolate to drink around a fire pit.  Admission is $5 and free for children 12 and younger.  

If you have outdoor items that can blow away, you might want to take them in or fasten them down.  National Weather Service meteorologist, Gene Hatch, said the Ozarks will see strong winds Monday night.

"We are looking at a pretty strong system that's going to push through the area during the late afternoon and evening time frame and, acutally, overnight tonight," he said.  "We're expecting winds to slowly increase through the day today, probably 25 to 35 mph sustained.  We could actually see wind gusts between 45 and 55 mph as this system pushes through tonight."

The City of Springfield is inviting soldiers currently stationed at Fort Leonard Wood who won’t be able to go home for the holidays to come to Springfield on December 23.

During the annual Mayor’s Tree Lighting Ceremony Saturday, Mayor Ken McClure asked the community to help him welcome the soldiers to Springfield during a Welcome Home Rally.  They’ll be treated to entertainment at several Springfield venues, a “taste of Springfield” buffet dinner and a musical performance.

Update:  Repairs on the U.S. Route 160 bridge over Beaver Creek east of Kissee Mills will start on Tuesday, Nov. 26, according to MODOT, and could last into mid-December,.

The bridge was closed to traffic on Friday, Nov. 22, after a routine safety inspection showed major deterioration to the support structure on the bridge. Concrete bridge columns that support two of the four girders were severely deteriorated.

Original Story:  A bridge on U.S. 160 near Kissee Mills has been closed because of safety issues.

Greene County will have a new medical examiner starting December 26. 

Dr. Deiter Duff most recently served as medical examiner for Boone and Callaway Counties.  Before that, he was assistant medical examiner for the St. Louis City Medical Examiner’s Office.  He’s a graduate of the University of Missouri School of Medicine where he also completed an anatomic pathology residency, according to a new release from Greene County.  He also completed a forensic pathology fellowship at St. Louis University and is board certified in anatomic pathology and forensic pathology.

Update:  Smiles was located, and is safe.  

Original Story:  The Springfield Police Department has issued an Endangered Person Advisory for a missing teenager. 

According to police, 14-year-old Jordan Smiles went missing Saturday morning around 8:50 from her home at 1311 N. Fender in Springfield.  She may be with 17-year-old Kristopher Oaks.

Smiles is 5’1” tall, 186 pounds with blonde hair and brown eyes.

Anyone with information is asked to call 911.

Update:  Schmitz has been located, and is safe.

Original Story:  The Springfield Police Department is asking for the public’s help in locating a missing person. The department issued an Endangered Person Advisory early this morning.

Twenty-seven-year-old Zachary Schmitz has schizophrenia, PTSD, ADHD and aggressive mood disorder and is possibly suicidal.  He also has an intellectual disability, according to police.  He walked away from his care facility at 3445 E. Lombard in Springfield at 11:30 last night by going out a window.

There’s been another elk poaching in Missouri.  The Missouri Department of Conservation says a female adult elk was found shot and left for dead earlier this week on National Park Service Property in Carter County.

No meat or other parts of the animal were taken, and by the time the elk was found by conservation agents, the meat was no longer salvageable for donation. 

MDC is asking anyone with information about the shooting to call Operation Game Thief at 1-800-392-1111 or the MDC Ozark Regional Office in West Plains at (417) 256-7161. 

The Cup ‘O Cheer Homes Tour, Market and Tea, to benefit Ronald McDonald House of the Ozarks, will be held Friday (11/22) from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.  Tickets are $40.  

If you stand along South Creek just east of Campbell and look west, it’s hard to imagine that just a short time ago, the stream was just a concrete channel with water flowing down the middle.  Now, in the warmer seasons, it’s a lush landscape with native plants, birds, butterflies and other wildlife.

Fassnight Creek meanders along the south side of Phelps Grove Park along Brookside Dr.  It comes from underground at Linwood Circle near the Springfield Art Museum and runs west.

That section of the creek is concrete, but plans are in place to make the part from about Kings Ave. on the west to just east of the museum more natural.

Musicians at Drury University will be able to be part of a marching band and color guard starting next year.

The university is expanding its fine arts programs by adding an athletic band program, according to a news release.  Drury says scholarships will be available for students who participate.

Plans are in the works to open up or “daylight” Jordan Creek between Boonville and Main in downtown Springfield.  It’s currently underground in a box culvert.  The project to move the creek underground was done in the late 1920s and was funded with a bond issue that was approved by city voters in 1927. 

The city of Springfield’s principal stormwater engineer, Chris Dunnaway, told City Council Tuesday about preliminary plans for the area and gave a history of flooding along Jordan Creek since development in the Jordan Valley began in the mid 19th Century. 

Preliminary data from the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) shows that deer hunters in Missouri harvested 88,843 deer during the opening weekend of the November portion of the fall firearms deer season.   That number is down from last year.

Top harvest counties for opening weekend were Franklin with 2,078 deer checked, Texas with 1,931, and Callaway with 1,735.

Last year, hunters checked 99,470 deer during the opening weekend of the November portion of firearms deer season.

The season continues through November 26. 

Plans are in the works to allow bicyclists and walkers to take an Ozark Greenways trail from S. Scenic all the way to the Springfield Art Museum.

The body of a Bolivar man who went missing Friday night from his family's lake home north of Bolivar has been found.  According to a Facebook post by Springfield Metropolitan Bar Association president, Crista Hogan, John David Hacker's body was found Thursday evening.  

Original Story:  The Polk County Sheriff's Office continues their search for a missing man from Bolivar.  The office issued an endangered person advisory for 39-year-old John David Hacker who went missing from 3119 S. 142nd Rd. Friday night.

Saturday, November 16, is the opening day of the fall firearms deer season in Missouri.  The Missouri Department of Conservation will take samples of tissue from deer to check for Chronic Wasting Disease at various locations both Saturday and Sunday. 

CWD sampling is mandatory in 29 counties in the CWD Management Zone.  In southern Missouri, those include Barry, Cedar, Christian, Howell, Ozark, Polk, Stone and Taney Counties.  Sampling stations will be open from 7:30 a.m. to 8 p.m.