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The 13th annual Hot Air Balloon Glow will be held Friday night (6/21) from 5 to 11 at Finley River Park in Ozark.  Hot air balloons will inflate and glow, and you can get an up close look at them.  It’s part of the 4C Sertoma Duck Race Festival.  There will be food trucks, craft booths, a kids’ zone, beer garden and live music.  The Duck Waddle 5K starts at 8 a.m.

Mercy Springfield is laying off workers.  According to a statement from Mercy, the decision to cut down its workforce was made because the healthcare system “continues to be challenged by reduced reimbursement” for the services it provides, “especially from Medicare and Medicaid which do not fully cover the costs of care.”

The statement said Mercy is also seeing increased expenses for labor “in an increasingly competitive job market,” and it’s impacted by rising costs for drugs and supplies as well.

Springfield’s sewer rates will go up on July 1.  According to the City of Springfield, residents on the city’s sewer service will pay more in order to continue improving the aging sewer system and to remain in compliance with federal Clean Water Act regulations.

Sewer rates are based on water consumption calculated by averaging water usage for January, February and March.  The city’s Clean Water Services division of the Department of Environmental Services charges a minimum customer charge and an additional rate for each 100 cubic feet or CCF of water used. 

As everyone in the Ozarks knows, small animals abound in our environment.  Many of these are mammals and each has an array of parasitic guests on their person.  Sean Maher is a biologist at Missouri State University and he is mapping out the distribution of various animals and their accompanying “bugs” in locales throughout the region.  Through this work, he is correlating environmental characteristics with the populations.  In doing so,  he hopes to learn more about the connections between population size and health with the supporting ecosystem in which the animals live. 

As Vice President of Research at Missouri State University, Dr. Jim Baker is responsible for a team that supports the scholarly activities of a large group of faculty, staff and students.  He stops by STEM Spots to talk with Dr. David Cornelison about the goals and challenges of the research endeavor at MSU.


President Trump is announcing his campaign for reelection Tuesday night in Orlando. The Greene County Republicans are holding a watch party — one of many around the country. 

 

Danette Proctor with the Greene County Republicans said the watch party is one of eight in Missouri, but there are more around the country — all anticipating and celebrating one thing: Trump’s reelection campaign.

Missouri State University is partnering with the Peace Corps to offer a program to prepare MSU students who want to serve. 

The program focuses on preparing students to serve internationally as Peace Corps volunteers. Coursework includes a focus on training for work overseas, foreign language lessons, intercultural competence and professional and leadership development.

Missouri State’s Center for Community Engagement heads the program. The head of the CCE, Alex Johnson, says the program will make it easier for MSU students to get involved with the Peace Corps.

Twelve people spoke before Springfield City Council Monday night about proposed changes to the tobacco ordinance, and all were in favor of raising the minimum age to purchase tobacco in the city to 21.

One of those was Steve Edwards, president of CoxHealth, and, while he could have shared statistics to convince council members to vote yes on what’s being called the “Tobacco 21 Act,” he told a personal story.

Thumbs Up for Bear POWER

Jun 18, 2019

This past January, the first batch of eight Bear POWER students began their education at Missouri State University.

Bear POWER is a two-year, five-semester inclusive college program for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

Kim Roam, MSU faculty advisor for Bear POWER ambassadors, Natalie Olson, MSU Bear POWER ambassador and Susie Dains, MSU Bear POWER student, talk about the program and how it’s going so far.

A job fair Tuesday, June 18, will allow area residents to apply for jobs with the Springfield Public School District.

The Missouri Job Center’s Mobile Job Center will help the district with the event tomorrow from 3 to 7 p.m. at Parkview High School, 516 W. Meadowmere.  The district will be hiring for transportation, custodial, maintenance and nutrition services.

You’re asked to dress business appropriate and take a resume if you have one.

For more information, call (417) 887-4343.

An audit of Howell County found concerns with financial practices in several areas of county government.  According to Missouri State Auditor Nicole Galloway’s office, those include the offices of the county collector and sheriff.  The report received an overall rating of “good.”

The report recommended improvements to the accounting practices of the sheriff's office to ensure better oversight of inmate money and commissary funds. Two of the five findings in this office were previously identified in past audit reports.

This week on Making Democracy Work, host Hue-Ping Chin talks with Paul Costigan, refugee coordinator with the Missouri Office of Refugee Administration, and Rebekah Thomas, site manager for International Institute in Southwest Missouri.

Today’s discussion explores the history and mission of the International Institute, as well as challenges and successes related to refugee support in southwest Missouri.

World Refugee Day is this week—June 20th

Springfield City Council will hear public comment tonight (6/17) on a bill that would prohibit the sale of tobacco products, alternative nicotine products and vapor products in the city to anyone under age 21.  Currently, city law prohibits the sale of tobacco products to anyone under age 18. 

A new elephant at Dickerson Park Zoo, eight-year-old, Hugo, arrived there Friday from the Endangered Arc Foundation in Hugo, Oklahoma.

According to zoo officials, Asian elephants are critically endangered, mainly due to loss of habitat and poaching. Hugo was brought to Dickerson Park Zoo to increase the genetic diversity of the elephant population in the United States.

Springfield Regional Opera is about to celebrate its 40th season—the company’s official debut was a production of Verdi’s “La Traviata” at the Gillioz Theatre in the summer of 1980. The year before that, there was a sort of “calling card” production of Puccini’s “La Boheme” at the Landers, that was officially produced by Springfield Little Theatre. Its success proved to the late Dawin Emanuel, then Lecturer in Opera at Missouri State University, that Springfield was ready for a local opera company.

Springfield Contemporary Theatre's 25th season opens with the winner of the 1986 Tony Award for Best Musical, "The Mystery of Edwin Drood," at SCT Center Stage in Wilhoit Plaza. Performances are June 14-30.  We talked on “Arts News” with the show’s director Rick Dines and actor Heath Hillhouse.

The general manager of Springfield City Utilities is retiring after leading the utility company since 2011.  Scott Miller’s last day will be December 20.  

According to a news release, Miller joined City Utilities in 2002 and was instrumental in the construction and startup of Unit 2 at the John Twitty Energy Center before becoming general manager. 

Studio Live is Friday (6/14) at noon on KSMU, featuring the band, Dream Ritual.  The rock band will perform live during Studio Live Social Hour Friday night at 7 at the Backlot at Alamo Drafthouse, 4005 South Avenue in Springfield.  Learn more here

If you see a large airplane painted just like Air Force One flying over Springfield, it’s likely not the president. 

The US Air Force has a number of planes with similar paint jobs to Air Force One.

On Thursday, one of them performed several “touch-and-go” operations at the Springfield-Branson National Airport.

Air Force One is a highly customized Boeing 747 series aircraft. The Boeing 737 that was in Springfield this week has smaller jets and a smaller frame, but to a layperson, may look the same.

Dickerson Park Zoo recently welcomed two new babies:  a black and white colobus monkey on June 3 and a giraffe on June 12.  Both are on exhibit in the Africa section of Dickerson Park Zoo.

You can see the babies as well as learn about the zoo's Burmese python at a special event Saturday, June 15.  During March of the Reptiles, reptile keepers will carry the python, Beatrice, so guests can see how long she is, and they’ll talk about how they care for her.

“I hear the comments,” said KGBX Morning Host Liz Delany. “You know, 'She’s a little crazy.  Oop, don’t make her mad, she’s on medication.' Or, 'Sometimes she’s a little imbalanced, she might be having one of those days.'   I guess if I was a 'normal' person, if you will, I might say something like that,” Delany said.  

Ozarks Technical Community College is expanding its aviation program to the city of Lebanon.

In addition to its flying lessons in Springfield, OTC will offer the program in Lebanon starting this fall.  The city of Lebanon renovated a building for OTC to use, and a private donor contributed to the program, officials said.

Dr. Matt Hudson is OTC’s Dean for Technical Education and rolled out the program on Wednesday. While the program will not be as extensive as the one in Springfield, Hudson says the expansion will give students a way to explore aviation locally.

After the Washington Post ran an investigative story about large chocolate manufacturers using cocoa harvested by enslaved child laborers, a local chocolatier took to Facebook to express his concern – and to explain what his company does differently. 

 

Askinosie Chocolate is more expensive than your average chocolate bar — and there’s a reason for that, as founder and CEO Shawn Askinosie explained in a Facebook Live video.

Three schools in Missouri will receive what Governor Mike Parson is calling “state of the art fitness centers.”  Neosho Middle School in Newton County, West County Middle School in West St. Francois County and Premier Charter School in St. Louis were chosen to receive a DON’T QUIT! Fitness Center valued at $100,000. 

Just west of National on the south side of Walnut sits a quaint, multi-story house that’s been there since 1905.  After serving as a home to families over the decades, it now caters to book lovers as Pagination Bookshop

The business, which opened in April, is owned by Jennifer Murvin and her fiancée, Kory Cooper. 

The two love books--Murvin said she was surrounded by them growing up.  During a trip to see a favorite author in St. Louis last year, they visited several bookstores.

Dream Ritual has been a band for five years. In that time, they’ve released two studio EPs. This year, they have a new eight-song album out that differs quite a bit from their previous two offerings. I sat down with the band to explore their musical journey to this new sound.

As guitarist and vocalist Jason Nunn explains, Dream Ritual had an idea in the beginning of what they wanted the band to sound like – particularly a heavy 90s alternative sound.

If you have prescription medication that you no longer use there's a new option for getting rid of it safely.  You can now drop it off at CoxHealth Pharmacies

The service is available to anyone for free, and anonymously, at CoxHealth’s five pharmacies in Springfield and Branson. 

June is Great Outdoors Month in America. It reminds us to connect with nature and explore fun outdoor activities, such as hiking, camping and paddling. 

Jesus Was Homeless, a Branson-based organization, is hosting a summer literacy program for kids in kindergarten and first grade livign in extended-stay motels. 

Students will have access to books, and they'll take part in interactive writing and reading activities adn games.  Branson/Hollister school teachers will volunteer at the program.

The summer reading program will run Mondays to Wednesdays through the end of July, from 9 a.m. to noon at the Jesus Was Homeless campus at 310 Gretna Rd. in Branson.

It will likely be awhile before four properties that were purchased in 2016 for Missouri state parks are open to the public, but work is underway at some of them.  

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