June
1


Taney County drivers can expect nighttime lane closings and crews and equipment close to traffic on sections of Highway 248, Business 65 and Highway 76 beginning next week.

Contractor crews will be resurfacing the state routes with new asphalt driving surfaces. During the project, crews will be on the road during nighttime hours from 8 p.m. to 6 a.m. Sunday through Thursday.

Work begins Monday, June 5th on a two-mile section of Highway 248 between Shepherd of the Hills Expressway and US 65 in Branson.

On June 19th, crews will begin working on Business 65 between the Lake Taneycomo Bridge and US 65 in Hollister.

Then on June 26th, crews will begin resurfacing a 12-mile section of Highway 76 between U-S 65 in Branson and a point west of Highway 160 east of Forsyth.

MoDOT says crews will be adding up to two-foot wide shoulders in some areas, and upgrading guardrails at bridge ends.

Temporary traffic signals will regulate one-lane traffic around the clock during this portion.

Weather and/or construction delays may alter the work schedule.

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May
26

Jammin’ for Jesus will be held Sunday, June 4, at 2 pm in the Branson Famous Baldknobber’s Theatre, 645 S. Hwy 165. The hosts for this event will be Brandon Mabe, Barbara Fairchild, and Jimmy Jack Whitaker. Others jammin’ are vocalists Mary Lou Turner, Keith Rawls, and Kathy Hurst. Other talents will include; Sonshine Road from Nashville, Greg Jones from Texas, Final Chapter from St. Louis, Marlene Pelt, and saxophonist Gary Dooms.

This is benefiting the Tri-Lakes Messengers Motorcyclist Association’s Lives Under Construction Project.

This will be a great afternoon of Gospel Music.

The Christian Motorcyclist Association’s vision is ” changing the world, one heart at a time.”

Free Admission to Jammin’ for Jesus with a donation of non-perishable food items. A love offering will be taken.

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May
25

The public is invited to a special Memorial Day weekend ceremony on Saturday, May 27 at the Branson Veterans Memorial Museum. As part of this event, the museum will dedicate the recently located Vietnam Huey UH-1C helicopter in honor of Vietnam Veterans. The U.S. Army will be on-site with a display comprised of an armored Hummer & 6×6 truck. Additionally, this event will also pay tribute to Branson First Responders including police, fire, and EMTs with a special showing of the Mercy EC 135 Eurocopter air ambulance that will fly in and land adjacent to the Huey.
All veterans, residents, visitors, and students are invited to this special event beginning at 9 am with coffee & donuts Saturday, May 27, located at 1250 W 76 Country Blvd. Opening ceremonies will begin at 11:45 am following a performance by the cast of Branson’s newest show, “All Hands on Deck,” at 11:30 am.
Earlier this year, the Branson Veterans Memorial Museum restored the Huey UH-1C upon its retirement from the 118th Thunderbird 3rd Platoon “Bandits” and relocated it to its permanent resting place in Branson.
This event is free to the public, and guests of all ages are invited to attend. The museum will be open for touring and learning more about the relics of the Vietnam War on display throughout. Guests speakers include city of Branson dignitaries and museum spokespeople will present throughout the morning until 2 pm. Food & beverages will be available for purchase from 9 am to 11:30 am.

 

Huey UH-1C at the Branson Veterans Memorial Museum Photo Credit: Ozarks First-KOLR-10 News.

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May
19

The Missouri Trucking Association is proud to present 170 plus Professional Truck drivers from around the State of Missouri, in a competition that will crown nine class champions, a vehicle inspection champion, a knowledge written exam winner, as well as a rookie of the year, and an overall Grand Champion driver.

The event will take place June 2nd and 3rd, at the Branson Convention Center. The contestants will compete in competition that will test their skills on an obstacle driving course; test their knowledge in trucking industry, safety, first aid and hazardous materials; and a hands-on test of their ability in the vehicle inspection aspect where the contestant must locate a multitude of hazards that have been planted on a vehicle.

The Championship program is one of the most visible and successful safety initiatives of the trucking industry.

Established by the (ATA) American Trucking Association in 1937 as the National Truck Roadeo; today’s Championship program provides professional truck drivers the opportunity to demonstrate their exceptional driving skill, knowledge and professionalism at the company, state, regional, and national level – all qualities that make them leaders in their profession. This year the Missouri Trucking Association is celebrating the 50th anniversary of this event with the first-ever indoor skills course.

The overriding object of the Championship program is two-fold:

  • (1) to provide an incentive for professional truck and step van drivers to perfect their craft, and drive accident free
  • (2) to improve the media’s and general public’s image of truck drivers and the motor carrier industry.

Both days are open to the public.

For more information, please contact the Missouri Trucking Association office at (573) 634-3388.

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March
24

Center Turn Lanes are for turning only!

“From both a safety and a ‘bad experience’ perspective, it’s important that everyone traveling on Highway 76 use the Center Turn Lane properly,” said Preston Garrison, Director of Operations for the Branson Tourism Center. “Their purpose is to help drivers make a left turn from a lane. It’s a safe spot to wait while the oncoming traffic clears and allows the continued flow of following traffic. It’s not a driving, passing, or acceleration lane,” he added.

Garrison points out the Branson Police Department is stressing “the center lane of Highway 76 is to be used ONLY as a turn lane. A number of safety risks to pedestrians and construction workers are present, especially with construction crews working along Hwy 76. Motorists should be aware that driving in the center lane is against the law. Those found driving in the turn lane will be issued a ticket and fined.”

Here are some suggestions and guidelines for using the Center Turn Lane correctly:

Don’t pull into the lane until you are a short distance from the spot where you want to turn.

Once in the Center Turn Lane stop and wait for the traffic in the on-coming lane to clear.

Make a safe left turn.

You are in a risky safety and ticketing position if, while in the Center Turn Lane, you pass another vehicle, speed up, or drive past one of the marked turn locations.

“No one wants to have an accident or get a ticket, especially on vacation,” Garrison said. “Let’s avoid both by having patience, showing courtesy to other drivers, and using the Center Turn Lane properly. It’s a win-win!”

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December
13

161212 Christmas Sweepstakes CompositeWhen Mrs. Onyinye Elochukwu, of Sacramento, California, went to open her email on the morning of December 12, she certainly didn’t expect to find out that she had won Branson Tourism Center’s 2016 Ozark Mountain Christmas Sweepstakes. She said, “When I opened my email and found out that I had won I was so excited! I read it twice before I even grasped that I had won.”

Onyinye, a stay at home mom taking care of a two-and-a-half-year-old son, entered the contest through Facebook and really didn’t think she had a chance to win. Now that she’s won, she said, “I’m so grateful. It couldn’t have come at a better time; what a wonderful Christmas gift!”

“To us at the Branson Tourism Center, Christmas is all about giving, so in keeping with that spirit, we decided to have a special Christmas Sweepstake centered around the joy and spirit of Christmas giving,” said Tammy Johnson, the Vice President | General Manager of the Branson Tourism Center. “We offer our congratulations to Mrs. Elochukwu and share her excitement.”

Johnson also points out that another important element of the Sweepstake was that the Winner was empowered to brighten the Christmas of a local Branson charity by designating it, from those listed, to receive a gift of $500.00 from the Branson Tourism Center. Onyinye, who has never visited Branson, but hopes to do so someday, selected the American Red Cross of Southern Missouri because she is more familiar with the Red Cross saying,” I see what they do on TV, on-line, and in social media and I like what they do to help people in times of need.”

Stacy Burks, Executive Director of the American Red Cross of Southern Missouri said, “We’re so grateful to Mrs. Elochukwu and the Branson Tourism Center for thinking of the American Red Cross during this season of giving. Our volunteers are ready to go when disaster strikes whether home fire, flood, or tornado and this donation will help provide relief and help to community members during their time of need.”

When Mrs. Onyinye Elochukwu, of Sacramento, California, went to open her email on the morning of December 12, she certainly didn’t expect to find out that she had won Branson Tourism Center’s 2016 Ozark Mountain Christmas Sweepstakes. She said, “When I opened my email and found out that I had won I was so excited! I read it twice before I even grasped that I had won.”

Onyinye, a stay at home mom taking care of a two-and-a-half-year-old son, entered the contest through Facebook and really didn’t think she had a chance to win. Now that she’s won, she said, “I’m so grateful. It couldn’t have come at a better time; what a wonderful Christmas gift!”

“To us at the Branson Tourism Center, Christmas is all about giving, so in keeping with that spirit, we decided to have a special Christmas Sweepstake centered around the joy and spirit of Christmas giving,” said Tammy Johnson, the Vice President | General Manager of the Branson Tourism Center. “We offer our congratulations to Mrs. Elochukwu and share her excitement.”

Johnson also points out that another important element of the Sweepstake was that the Winner was empowered to brighten the Christmas of a local Branson charity by designating it, from those listed, to receive a gift of $500.00 from the Branson Tourism Center. Onyinye, who has never visited Branson, but hopes to do so someday, selected the American Red Cross of Southern Missouri because she is more familiar with the Red Cross saying,” I see what they do on TV, on-line, and in social media and I like what they do to help people in times of need.”

Stacy Burks, Executive Director of the American Red Cross of Southern Missouri said, “We’re so grateful to Mrs. Elochukwu and the Branson Tourism Center for thinking of the American Red Cross during this season of giving. Our volunteers are ready to go when disaster strikes whether home fire, flood, or tornado and this donation will help provide relief and help to community members during their time of need.”

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December
7

BRANSON, MO – Over 40 entertainers from some of Branson’s most popular and iconic live shows gathered at the Yakov Theater to create a truly showstopping Mannequin Challenge video that embodies the immense talent that graces the Branson stage on a daily basis.

The Mannequin Challenge is a viral internet trend that attempts to mimic the dynamic sequences in movies like “The Matrix” with individuals frozen in place throughout the entire filming process.

“Branson’s filled with unparalleled performers,” says Tammy Johnson, Vice President and General Manager of Branson Tourism Center. “We have world-class dancers, aerial acrobats, comedians, beautiful costuming, the greatest musicians and attractions…what could possibly make a more engaging video?”

Entertainers, theaters and attractions participating include: Shoji Tabuchi, The Baldknobbers, The Acrobats of China at the Yakov Theater, “it” starring The Hughes Brothers, Branson Zipline, The Duttons, Patsy Cline Remembered at the Americana Theatre, Down Home Country at Grand Country, Dublin’s Irish Tenors & Celtic Ladies at King’s Castle Theatre, Parakeet Pete’s Steampunk Balloon, Legends in Concert and The Bretts at Dick Clark’s American Bandstand Theater and The Petersen’s at the Little Opry Theatre.

Branson’s Showstopping Mannequin Challenge, created by Branson Tourism Center and the Branson Show League, can be found on:
FACEBOOK
YOUTUBE

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November
28

The Taney County Health Department (TCHD) Branson location will be closed Friday, December 2 through Friday, December 16 for remodeling. The Forsyth office will remain open during this time and will continue seeing clients and booking appointments. In order to serve the public, TCHD will continue offering routine services with as little interruption as possible. Services primarily affected will be those offered at the Branson office and will include Clinical services, such as immunizations and labs, and the Women, Infant, and Children (WIC) program.

During this time frame all Clinical services will take place at the Forsyth location. WIC services will also remain available at the Forsyth location. In addition, WIC will be available at the Jordan Valley Hollister location Monday through Wednesday the week of December 5 through 9, and Monday through Thursday the week of December 12 through 16. Animal Care and Control, Environmental Health, Community Outreach and Administrative Divisions will be unaffected by the office closure.

“While office closures can be inconvenient to staff and clients, TCHD will be better able to serve our clients once the remodel is complete,” states Robert Niezgoda, TCHD Director. “Clients can expect to see improved privacy and increased efficiency within the Branson reception area.”

Clinical and WIC appointments can be made during the December 2 through 16 time frame by calling the Forsyth location at (417) 546-4725 or 1-888-707-4725. Vital records, including birth and death certificates will temporarily be issued in the Environmental Health Services Building while construction takes place. For public health or animal control issues, please call 1-888-632-3602 for assistance.

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November
15

Goldstar_Memorial
POINT LOOKOUT, MO. – College of the Ozarks will break ground for the Gold Star Families Memorial Monument on Thursday, Nov. 17, 2016, at 11:30 a.m. at Veterans Grove on the College campus. The public is invited to attend the brief ceremony.

The purpose of the Gold Star Families Memorial Monument is to honor Gold Star Families (those who have lost immediate family members killed in their service to the country), to preserve the memory of the fallen, and stand as a stark reminder that freedom is not free.

“We are honored to provide this Memorial for those who have lost loved ones who have been killed in service to our country,” said College of the Ozarks President Jerry C. Davis. “They made a huge sacrifice for our freedom and should be properly recognized. We can never replace lost loved ones, but we can honor their memories and these families who have given so much.”

The Memorial on the College of the Ozarks campus is presented in cooperation with The Hershel Woody Williams Congressional Medal of Honor Education Foundation, Inc. This will be the first Gold Star Families Memorial Monument in the state of Missouri.

Event program

The program will include comments from Dr. Jerry C. Davis, president of the College; the Presentation of Colors by the
C of O Bobcat Company Army ROTC; and the national anthem, played by the College of the Ozarks Concert Band. Two special guests, both World War II Veterans who served in Iwo Jima, also will address those gathered — Dr. E. Bruce Heilman, chancellor of the University of Richmond, and Hershel Woody Williams, Medal of Honor recipient.

Heilman, 90, tours cross-country on his motorcycle, visiting memorials throughout the U.S. In addition to his experiences and travels as a Marine in World War II in the South Pacific and Japan, he has covered more than 140 countries as he has escorted travel groups abroad annually for more than 30 years. He became chancellor at the University of Richmond in 1988, after serving as president and chief executive officer for approximately 17 years. Prior to this, Heilman had served as president of Meredith College, beginning in 1966.

Hershel Woody Williams was awarded the Medal of Honor by President Harry S. Truman for his actions on the island of Iwo Jima in February 1945.

The Hershel Woody Williams Congressional Medal of Honor Education Foundation, Inc. was established in 2010 and is a charitable 501(c)(3), not-for-profit organization that pursues specific endeavors and goals through the vision of Williams. The Foundation encourages, with the assistance of the American public and community leaders, establishing permanent Gold Star Families Memorial Monuments in communities throughout the country and provides scholarships to eligible Gold Star Children. Its purpose is to honor Gold Star Families, relatives, and Gold Star Children who have sacrificed a loved one in the service of their country.

“Heroes are those who paid the final sacrifice with their life,” Williams said. “Those are the true heroes. This Monument pays tribute and honors the families of those who sacrificed one or more of their loved ones in the armed forces for our freedoms.”

Memorial description

The black granite monument will feature two sides. One side will bear the following inscription: Gold Star Families Memorial Monument, a tribute to Gold Star Mothers, Fathers, and Relatives who have sacrificed a Loved One for our Freedom.

The other side tells a story through the four granite panels: Homeland, Family, Patriot, and Sacrifice. The scenes on each panel are a reflection of each community’s Gold Star Families and their fallen heroes. At the center of this tribute is the most distinct feature of the Monument, the cut out which represents the loved one who paid the ultimate sacrifice in the name of freedom. College of the Ozarks seniors Katherine Yung, art education major, and Emma Carter, studio art/graphic design major, will help design the four panels.

More about Gold Star Families

The Department of Defense presents one of two lapel pins to Gold Star Family members. The pins are worn by the survivors to recognize their sacrifices and as a way for others to pay tribute to them. The first pin is the Gold Star Lapel Pin, which was established by Congress in 1947 and is presented to spouses and family members of service members killed in combat. The second pin is the Next of Kin Lapel Pin, which is presented to immediate family members of service members who die while serving outside of combat operations. This pin features a gold star on a gold background.

For additional information, contact Public Relations Director Valorie Coleman at (417) 690-2212.

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September
22

Calling all Monopoly® Real Estate Barons and fans from 14 to 104; get ready to once again compete in the ultimate real estate trading competition. OACAC (Ozark Area Community Action Corporation), Stone County, will be hosting the 8th Annual Southwest Missouri Ozark Mountain Monopoly® tournament and silent auction, Saturday, October 15, 2016. The event begins at 9:30 am at the Best Western Branson Inn & Conference Center, next to Silver Dollar City.
Player fee is $20 per person. Pre-registration is advised as only the first 120 registrants are guaranteed to play.The registration fee includes a player position at the tables, food, and beverages, as well as, a tournament t-shirt.
Each player will have two 90 minute rounds of play.
Those interested in individual, business, or corporate sponsorship of a table or to get the company name on the back of the shirts should contact Cy Bortner at 417-294-7528.
All proceeds from this OACAC sponsored event will go toward the local Stone County Neighborhood Center Emergency Fund. Some of the ways OACAC Neighborhood Centers help the community are by helping low income families set and reach education and employment goals, as well as, targeted coaching in Life Skills, Parenting Skills, Budgeting and Nutrition. They also help with Energy Assistance and Senior Citizen Services. OACAC Neighborhood Centers have been serving Southwest Missouri communities since 1969.
This Ozark Mountain Monopoly® Tournament and Silent Auction is a fun and exciting way to raise money for a great and worthwhile cause.
Registration forms are available at the Stone County Neighborhood Center, 15060 Business Hwy 13, Suite 11, Branson West, MO 6573. PDF registration form as well as, directions to this event are available by emailing ozarkmountainmonopoly@oacac-caa.org, please use “Registration form & directions” in the subject line. Also visit ozarkmountainmonopoly.com for complete information and to download a registration form.
For any questions about this event please contact Zana Schafer at Stone County OACAC, 417-739-1130, or email questions to the address above.

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