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 U. S. Coast Guard raised the amphibious vehicle involved in Thursday night's fatal accident to the surface of Table Rock Lake from about 40 feet of water Monday morning.  Eight divers from the Missouri State Highway Patrol helped recover the boat.  Sergeant Jason Pace with the Missouri State Highway Patrol said the Ride the Ducks vehicle has been taken to a secure location where it will be part of an investigation into the accident by the National Safety and Transportation Board and the U.S. Coast Guard.  A black box was recovered earlier.  

Family Fridays in the Garden will focus on the plants, animals and history of the gardens at Nathanael Greene-Close Memorial Park.  Meet on the rooftop garden at the Botanical Center at 7:30 Friday night (7/20) for “From Trail of Tears to Greenway Trail.” 

Saturday, July 14, anyone affiliated with the the old Lincoln High School in Springfield is invited to share stories about things like their favorite teachers, how the school impacted their life and the friends they made.  Staff will record stories, scan pictures and documents and photograph artifacts.  That will take place from 1 to 4 at the Midtown Carnegie Branch Library.

Movies at Founders Park continue this weekend at Founders Park in downtown Springfield.  See “The Lion King” Friday night (7/13) and “Dirty Dancing” Saturday night (7/14) at dusk.  Take blankets and lawn chairs.  Concessions will be available.  Admission is free.

The 20th annual Fat Tire Festival is Friday through Sunday (7/14-7/15) in Eureka Springs, Arkansas. 

Donations to the Missouri State University Foundation in Fiscal Year 2018 set a record.  According to MSU, $21,534,074 was given to the foundation in the fiscal year, which ended June 30.  The previous record was $20.3 million in FY 2012.

More than 20,000 donors contributed to various campaigns.  The money supports student scholarships and programs, faculty research and facilities enhancements.

An event Wednesday, July 11, in Springfield will offer a variety of services for military veterans all in one place.  More than 30 agencies will be available at the Post Independence Day Veterans Information Stand Down at the Missouri Job Center on E. Sunshine.

Sandra Bonnette, disabled veteran outreach program workforce specialist for the City of Springfield, says help will be available in several areas—from employment, to transitioning out of military service to help with legal issues.  Spouses of veterans are invited, too.

Anyone who plans to vote in Missouri’s August 7th primary election must register to vote by Wednesday, July 11.

In Greene County, voter registration can be done in Room 113 of the Historic Courthouse, 940 N. Boonville in Springfield, at any branch library or any DMV license office.

Postcard mail-in registrations will also be accepted if they are postmarked by Wednesday.

Missouri Governor Mike Parson has released a statement following  President Trump’s nomination of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to replace outgoing U.S. Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy.

“Thanks to President Trump, America is one step closer to a Supreme Court that reflects our values," he said.  "The Senate should move swiftly to confirm Judge Kavanaugh who is eminently qualified and a proven conservative. The Supreme Court should interpret the law, not make the law. This is an enormous opportunity to make lasting change for our next generation.”

Anyone who’s been to the Buffalo National River can attest to the beauty of the area, with its massive cliffs, cool, clear water, abundant wildlife and many diverse hiking trails.  But some may not realize the effort it took to create the park and the impact that had on landowners.

The 2018 Christian County Fair is Friday and Saturday (7/6-7/7) at the Christian County Fairgrounds at Finley River Park in Ozark.  The event will feature live music, the Mutton Busting and Youth Rodeo, carnival rides, food and more. 

The First Friday Art Walk is Friday night (7/6) from 6 to 10 at 20 downtown Springfield venues. 

The State of Missouri has released the 2018 General Revenue Report.  State Budget Director Dan Haug says that 2018 fiscal year-to-date net general revenue collections increased five percent compared to 2017, from $9.02 billion last year to $9.47 billion this year. 

Net general revenue collections for June 2018 increased 40 percent compared to those for June 2017.

Missouri State Auditor Nicole Galloway’s office has started a regularly scheduled audit of Dallas County. The most recent audit of Dallas County was completed in 2014 and received a rating of fair.

Galloway said her audits examine how public resources are used, point out problems when there has been inappropriate use of those resources, and make recommendations on how taxpayers can be better served.

She encourages residents with information that could be helpful to the audit to reach out to her office through the Whistleblower Hotline.

A former Springfield school building will get new life as a place to help lift low-income or homeless individuals out of poverty.

The Springfield Police Department is offering another chance for the public to see how it operates and to learn about various aspects of law enforcement.  Applications are being taken for the next Citizens Police Academy, which starts September 6.  The ten-week long program, meets three hours every Thursday night. 

The course covers a lot of topics, according to Springfield Police Department spokesperson Lisa Cox.

"They really get the full scope of what our department does--each specific unit how it operates, why we do the things we do," Cox said.

Due to budget constraints, in 2012 Greene County changed the area to which it responded to nuisance animal calls.  But after citizens approved a ½ of one percent sales tax in November 2017, animal control services were restored Sunday to the unincorporated urban service areas of the county.

According to county officials, around $200,000 a year will be used to fund one full-time and one part-time animal control officer and equipment. 

Willard Parks and Recreation will present Willard Freedom Fest Saturday (6/30) at Jackson Street Park starting at 8 a.m. with a community breakfast.  Other events will include vendor booths, a car show, a parade, live music with Back Road Story, fireworks and more. 

The heat continues today, and for some counties in the KSMU listening area, an excessive heat warning is in effect.

Barton, Cedar, Dade, Dallas, Jasper and Polk Counties are included in that warning from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. today.  A heat advisory continues for all of southern and central Missouri through Saturday evening. 

In the areas under an excessive heat warning, temperatures will be in the mid to upper 90s with heat index values of 105 to 110.  Other areas are expected to see temperatures in the mid 90s with a heat index around 105.

Bill (he preferred KSMU not use his last name) and his dog, Bella, are never far apart.  The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is a companion and a service dog for the military veteran who served during the Vietnam War.  As he sat inside a local restaurant with country music playing over the speakers, the Springfield resident talked about Bella.

Work continues on an $8.6 million clinic for military veterans under construction on the south side of Springfield.  The 68,000 square foot Department of Veterans Affairs Gene Taylor Outpatient Clinic, near Kansas Expressway and Republic Rd., will replace the VA Clinic in Mt. Vernon once it’s up and running.  It’s expected to open in the fall.

The Springfield-Greene County Library is offering a free class to help high schoolers improve their ACT score.  The  four-week series for teens entering 11th grade this fall will be held Mondays from 2 to 4 p.m. July 16-30 and August 6 at the Schweitzer Brentwood Branch Library.

According to the library district, the class’s instructor has “years of experience preparing students for test success.”

Students will learn tips for test prep, targeted strategies for increasing their score and customized recommendations to address their weaknesses. 

Family Fridays in the Garden will focus on nocturnal insects Friday night (6/22) at the Springfield-Greene County Botanical Center, 2400 S. Scenic in Springfield.  Meet on the rooftop plaza at 7:30 for the free program.

The Movies at Founders Park Series continues this weekend.  “Peter Rabbit” will be shown Friday night (6/22) and “Sweet Home Alabama” Saturday night (6/23) at dusk at the park, 330 E. Water St. in downtown Springfield.  Admission is free. Take lawn chairs and blankets. 

Hours before President Donald Trump said he’ll stop separating families at the border, a couple of hundred protesters stood along the south side of E. Sunshine, starting in front of U.S. Senator Roy Blunt’s office.

The event was organized by Faith Voices of Southwest Missouri and Families Belong Together, a coalition of local organizations and faith leaders.

Jeremy Sullivan used his lunch break to protest the separation of children from their parents.

A program in Branson to help keep those who might wander away safe is expanding.  The Alzheimer’s Foundation of America (AFA) has awarded a $5,000 grant to the Branson Police Department to expand its Project Lifesaver program to include visitors and tourists.

The Missouri Department of Transportation wants to reduce the number of traffic crashes at 25 intersections along Highway 13 between Springfield and Clinton.

It’s looking at low-cost options it says are “proven to substantially reduce serious crashes without introducing significant delays along the high speed road.”

Options include J-turns, adding left or right turn lanes and other modifications shown to improve safety.  According to MODOT, there are no plans to add traffic signals along Route 13.  Improvements could begin as early as the summer of 2018. 

Randy Stewart / KSMU

The director of the Springfield Art Museum likens the recent theft of seven Andy Warhol screen prints to the loss of a loved one.

In a brief address to the media Tuesday, Nick Nelson said the museum is working with authorities in hopes of retrieving the items, part of Warhol’s famous Campbell’s Soup collection.

“The theft of these iconic Warhol prints the museum has had in its permanent collection for 30 years feels like the loss of a family member.”

Set number 31 of the Campbell’s Soup I collection is valued at approximately $500,000. 

Missouri Governor Jay Nixon, in one of his first stops since delivering the State of the State Address on Wednesday, talked about efforts to keep tuition affordable.  During the press conference at OTC’s Springfield campus, Nixon said the community college continues to play a vital role in the educational and economic strength of the region.

According to Nixon, the best economic tool our state has is education.  And, he said that’s why he’s taking steps to keep tuition down.

Veterans’ homes in Missouri will receive more than $33 million for repairs and renovations under legislation signed by Governor Jay Nixon today in Springfield.  House Bills 17, 18 and 19 will provide bonding funding for capital improvement projects at Missouri’s eight veterans’

Students in three Springfield elementary schools are getting something extra at lunch.  They’re part of a program looking at how best to implement local foods in Springfield Public Schools.  KSMU’s Michele Skalicky has more.

Besides their regular lunch, students at Jeffries, Rountree and Robberson are being served locally grown fruits and vegetables this week.