SGFWiki: Help tell our community’s story

We’re formally rolling out our latest project, SGFWiki.org, a community wiki that anyone with an account can edit.

This site is designed to let anyone tell stories about the community — about the places you frequent, the schools you attend, the organizations you’re a part of. Think of it as an online encyclopedia about and for the Springfield area.

The best place to start: Think about what you tell visitors about our community. What are the places you take them to? What are the bits of trivia you share? Where do you go to celebrate and entertain?

Guidelines

As you write your posts, be sure to:

  • Be accurate. Please keep entries factually based, with links to supporting evidence and footnotes.  Also, make sure you have permission to use the photos you upload or embed here. The goal is to develop an accurate encyclopedia of the Springfield metropolitan area that will benefit the community.
  • Be specific. Dig up specific dates, ages, addresses, etc. Avoid using adjectives that characterize (“greatest,” “worst,” “amazing,” etc.); use details to describe the background of people and places.
  • Be supportive. When editing existing entries, please explain your changes.
  • Be watchful. Check out the Recent Changes tab frequently. Make sure others’ changes make sense and improve the quality of our content.
  • Use templates.  For business, places, or restaurants, use a template as your starting point. Consider creating new templates for other categories.

I hope you’ll consider sharing your knowledge with the rest of us.

 

Changes afoot at SGFNews

Since 2009, I have been working with students, fellow journalists, and community members to try to create a community news site that brings together original content, aggregated lists, and submitted features.

We’ve had some successes. Our Twitter account (@sgfnews) has topped 2,000 followers, and we built a small but loyal following with our roundups on this site.

But my biggest hope — having dozens of contributions from the community — hasn’t happened. We did some town-hall meetings in the beginning and met with local groups, but despite a lot of interest, few people found the time to contribute to the project.

So we’re going to take a break from the roundups as we develop a new platform, one that makes it easier for people to tell the stories of our community. Keep an eye here; we hope to be rebooting the site in the next couple of months.

Thank you for your continued support of our efforts. This site doesn’t work without you.

Jonathan Groves

‘Men from Earth’: Living the simple life in Christian County

Clarence and Rosco Jones are a father and son who live a rustic, simple life in Christian County.

The two men, who have no use for a tractor or a truck, believe in working the land the old-fashioned way, as local freelance journalist Ed Fillmer captures in this short film. Thanks to Jim Mayfield, the pair became the center of the Ozark Mountain Daredevils’ iconic album cover leaving the two men forever dubbed the “Men from Earth.”

You can follow Fillmer’s work on YouTube.

Podcast (10/13): The Missouri Republican caucuses

The Missouri Republican Party recently voted to switch from a primary to a caucus for selecting its presidential candidate in 2012.

Under the new system, the party will select delegates through a multilevel process:

  • County level caucuses (March 17, 2012): Each county will hold a caucus to select delegates for the congressional district convention. The number of delegates will be determined by the turnout from the last presidential election.
  • Congressional district conventions (April 21, 2012): Each congressional district will have a convention, and the county delegates will choose three delegates and alternates for the national convention, as well as one presidential elector. These delegates will be required to declare allegiance to a specific candidate.
  • State convention (June 2, 2012): The county delegates will select 25 at-large delegates and alternates to the national convention, as well as three presidential electors.

To understand the impact of the switch, I spoke with Dr. Daniel Ponder, associate professor of political science at Drury University. Here’s Part I of the interview:

All Table Rock Lake fishing events canceled through May 8

All regatta/fishing tournament permits for Table Rock Lake have been canceled through May 8, the Missouri Water Patrol announced yesterday.

Among the cancellations: two major national fishing tournaments.

  • The Bass Pro Shops Bassmaster Central Open was scheduled to start today but has been postponed. It will likely be rescheduled for October, according to ESPN.
  • The Walmart FLW Tour event, scheduled for May 5-8, has also been canceled, according to FLW Outdoors.

If you know of other cancellations caused by the weather, let us know at grovesprof@gmail.com, and I’ll post them.

Interview with Live Free Springfield chairman Dave Myers

By Kory Mitchell
SGFNews

In the debate over Springfield’s smoking ban, Live Free Springfield has risen as a voice of opposition.

“We want to give people as much information as we can to make their own decision,” the group’s chairman, Dave Myers, told SGFNews in an interview this week. “We are not a pro-smoking group; we are pro-rights.”

Springfield voters will decide the proposed smoking ban on April 5. The measure was put on the ballot after Clean Air Springfield, a coalition in favor of smoke-free workplaces and public spaces, collected more than 1,200 signatures.

A public debate on the measure takes place at 7 p.m. March 15 in Lincoln Hall on the Ozarks Technical Community College campus.

Myers, who lives outside of Springfield city limits, said his group wants to make sure citizens make their decision on the ballot question based on information from sources beyond traditional news outlets. Besides its Web site, Live Free Springfield will be handing out fliers and informational index cards. It has also created a Facebook page.

The group had a fund-raising event last month at Fox and Hound in Springfield that raised about $2,100 in cash donations, Myers said. “We have been getting donations from local citizens and local businesses,” he added.

Another issue on the April ballot deals with allowing alcohol sales at movie theaters. Myers sees the issue as similar to the smoking ban: “If people vote ‘no’ for one thing, they will vote ‘no’ for both, and see this as an attack against freedom and property rights.”

Myers emphasized the focus on personal freedom: “We are not a pro-smoking group. We do not want to take money from the smoking lobby because that’s not what this is about. This isn’t about smoking. It’s about rights.”

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We’ve included the full interview about the organization and its stance.

Daily brief (1/6): Top picks from the Springfield media

Today brings mostly sunny skies with a high near 48 and wind chill values as low as 19 early. West winds prevail between 8 and 17 mph, with gusts as high as 26 mph.

Today’s picks:

  • News-Leader: Oath starts off new term for local representatives. It is official: Republican Billy Long is Springfield’s newest congressman. Standing amid a sea of lawmakers, including scores of newly elected members, Long held his right hand up and said, “I do.”
  • OzarksFirst [KOLR/KSFX]: Ozarks libraries evolve to meet digital demand. Electronic editions of the top six books on USA Today’s best-selling books list have outsold the print versions. At the same time, libraries in the Ozarks are seeing the demand for digital downloads.
  • KY-3: New 911 system aims to improve public safety in Christian County. For years, Christian County emergency calls would be bounced between four to five call centers, depending on the situation.  Now, calls from center to center aren’t needed. Dispatchers can shout across the table.
  • KSPR: Witness of violent crime speaks out about SPD’s “Operation Gunplay.” You could call it Springfield’s “most wanted” list. Wednesday the police department announced it has spent the last six months whittling it down.  The effort is called “Operation Gunplay,” and the idea is to get violent and repeat offenders behind bars.
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