Daily brief (11/29): Top picks from the Springfield media

Warm Temperatures and plenty of sunshine will make for a nice afternoon on this Thursday.  Expect mostly sunny skies and high temperatures in the low 60s.  We will also have a breezy wind out of the south that could gust up to 30 mph.

Tonight will be mostly clear with a low around 30.

Believe it or not, the first couple of days in December will be in the upper 60s and low 70s!  These temperatures are about 20 degrees above the average.

Friday will be mostly sunny, with a high near 64. Wind chill values as low as 34 early.

Friday night will be mostly cloudy with a low around 49.

Saturday brings a chance of drizzle. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 66 and a low around 55. Gust of winds could reach 31 mph.

Sunday will be mostly sunny with a high near 69 and low near 57.

Today’s picks

  • News-Leader:  Public invited to proposals for College Street Corridor. The city once again is turning to residents for input as it refines a plan for West College Street that incorporates nostalgia for the bygone days of Route 66 into future redevelopment. City Council in August approved a plan for redeveloping the portions of West College and Olive streets between Grant Avenue and Kansas Expressway. That plan, which incorporated ideas gathered at eight public meetings, seeks to spur private investment by capitalizing on the area’s history and providing support in the form of city loans, tax incentives and infrastructure improvements.A public meeting tonight — the first of three planned during the next few months — is an extension of the earlier public process.  Topics on tonight’s agenda relate to planned public improvements along the College Street Corridor, including sidewalk and streetscape improvements, “gateway elements” at Grant and Kansas, and a Route 66-themed roadside park in the district’s heart. Finding ways to tie into Historic Route 66 will be a focus. The so-called Mother Road, which ran along College Street en route to the West Coast, was a key element stakeholders identified in earlier discussions.
  • KSMU: Greene County sees first reported case of flu. Now that the first case of flu has been reported in Greene County, the health department will begin weekly updates on flu cases. Health officials are reminding people that it’s never too late to get a flu shot, and that it takes about two weeks for the immune system to boost up resistance to the flu after getting vaccinated. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends everyone over the age of 6 months be vaccinated, especially if they are high risk:  that’s young children, pregnant women, seniors, and people with chronic health conditions. Those who work with high-risk people, or who interact with infants 6 months old or younger should also be vaccinated. The Springfield Flu Coalition puts on free flu clinics for uninsured adults each fall, but those are over for this year.  For people without health insurance, if you don’t have a healthcare provider, your best option for a flu shot is now at a retail locations or pharmacy. Mike Brothers is the spokesman for the Springfield-Greene County Health Department. Pregnant women, children and those in close contact with infants less than six months old can still receive a shot at no cost at the health department’s Westside Public Health Center, 660 S. Scenic Ave.  You can make an appointment by calling (417) 874-1220, or use the walk-in clinic hours from 7:30 a.m. to 10 a.m. on Tuesdays. For everyone else, there are options: Mercy will administer flu shots for the next three Fridays at 3265 S. National Avenue, Suite 115.  The vaccination costs $20, and only cash or credit cards will be accepted there.Also, most Walgreen’s stores, and several Wal-Mart, K-Mart and Dillon’s pharmacies are offering flu shots in Springfield and across the Ozarks.For an interactive map of places nearby offering the vaccination, visit www.flu.gov for more.
  • KSPR: Mental illness definition broadens. Three people in three weeks: a young man from Bolivar as charged with threatening to shoot up a local movie theater; another man then vowed to finish the job; and, this week, a man from Springfield told staff at Mercy Hospital he would be returning with guns. In each of those cases, family members have said mental illness is at least partially to blame.  We’re not saying these men and others who claim so are not mentally ill.  What experts are saying is the definition of mental illness is constantly broadening and, sometimes, a diagnosis is a little too easy to come by. For the past decade, Thomlinson says, he’s watched the mental illness spectrum broaden. Thomlinson says that line becomes more blurred with every new edition of a book — “it’s sort of the bible of psychology, what we use to diagnose all human beings” — Diagnostic and Statistical Manual for the American Pyschiatric Association. The fifth edition will be released next year, and it’s rumored to include a new condition called Internet Use Disorder.  Thomlinson says that’s a bit frightening — that we’ve become so quick to diagnose relatively normal behavior, especially when it’s “bad” normal behavior like committing a violent crime. A diagnosis of mental illness should be much more complicated.  Thomlinson hopes it continues to be, so people who can manage on their own don’t undermine those who cannot. Thomlinson says he has seen three conditions broaden the most, and, likely as a result, there’s been a spike in people with them.  They are ADHD in children, depression in adults, and bi-polar disorder in all ages.

Daily brief (11/28): orefpicks from the Springfield media

Sunny, with a high near 53. Wind chill factor as low as 18 early.

Tonight will be mostly clear with a low around 30.

Thursday will be warmer with high near 60 and lows around 40.

Friday, the temperature will be high 60 with a low around 50.

This theme will carry into the weekend with the beautiful Sunday topping out at 68.

Rain is not expected for the next 10 days.

Today’s picks

  • KSMU: Giraffe population rising at Dickerson Park Zoo. A new giraffe calf was born Friday at the Dickerson Park Zoo in Springfield. The birth is the zoo’s third of the season. The calf’s birth marks a number of firsts for the zoo. According to a release from the zoo, the birth of this calf also makes the first time in zoo history that three generations will be represented in the giraffe yard. The zoo now has eight giraffes: four adult females, one adult male, two female calves, and the newest member, a male calf. While Dickerson Park Zoo has plenty of room for the giraffes, they might not all be staying. The zoo could soon be welcoming a fourth calf as well. The zoo’s fourth adult female is pregnant, and is expected to give birth in January. All of the giraffes, including the newest calf, are visible to zoo guests.
  • OzarksFirst:Drury Student’s website features hidden gems in Springfield. Whether you’ve lived in the Ozarks your whole life or just moved here, we’ve found a way to look at Springfield in a whole new way. Rebecca Anderson, a senior at Drury University, has created a new website just for you.  ExclusivelySGF.com was part of a class project and has been running since September. Rebecca’s teacher encouraged all his students to create something that would be useful after college. Anderson created the site to show the community the town’s unique hidden gems. Anderson’s teacher, Jonathan Groves, says Anderson’s site is unique and identifies a need in the community, one of the main components to the assignment.
  • KSMU: Springfield Police Department acquires accreditation again. The Springfield Police Department was recently accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies, also known as the CALEA. According to a press release sent out by the department, this is the fifth time the department has been accredited. The accreditation happens every three years, meaning that the SPD has achieved 15 continuous years of the approved status. This means the police department also earned the “Meritorious” award from CALEA.  Nearly 16,000 agencies in the US are eligible to apply for the voluntary accreditation; Springfield’s police department was part of only 5% of agencies to achieve this accreditation for the next three years. On behalf of the department, Police Chief Paul Williams accepted the award. Additionally, the Missouri State Highway Patrol was also re-accredited.

Daily brief (11/27): Top picks from the Springfield media

Sunshine today with a very light breeze returning to the south this afternoon.  Highs will only be in the lower 40s but will begin with a wind chill factor of 17.

Tonight will be mostly clear with a low around 23.

Highs will climb each of the next several days.

Wednesday, expect highs in the low 50s and lows around 30.

Thursday will be warmer with high near 60 and lows around 40.

Friday, the temperature will be high 60 with a low around 50.

This theme will carry into the weekend with the beautiful Sunday topping out at 68.

Rain is not expected for the next 10 days.

Today’s picks

  • KSMU: Missouri PTA to host kids first town hall meeting in Springfield. The Missouri PTA has invited U.S. Senators Claire McCaskill and Roy Blunt, and U.S. House Rep. Billie Long to talk about their plans for future education in Missouri. The organization says the group plans to ask questions mainly focused on funding for early childhood education, the federal deficit reduction and other top priorities. According to PTA Vice President Dorothy Gardner, the organization works with localized PTA branches throughout the state to improve child welfare within schools. Then, the group works with those units to host an annual town hall meeting for that area that allows community members to address some educational issues that have come up throughout the year with elected representatives. The Springfield Council PTA is the local branch that will work with the Missouri PTA to run this year’s event.
  • OzarksFirst: Harter House hosts 5th annual ‘Be a Santa to a Senior’ program. Here’s your chance to once again be Santa to a senior. Harter House is set to host the fifth annual Be a Santa to a Senior program, allowing people to buy holiday gifts for folks in need. Harter house along with Home Instead Senior Care have set up a Christmas tree at the grocery store’s Republic Road location. The idea is simple: stop by pick up an ornament, buy a gift, and bring it back. From there, it will be delivered to a senior. This year’s goal is to collect and deliver more than 500 gifts. The deadline to drop off presents is December 14.
  • KY3: Health officials warn of highly-contagious stomach bug. The Taney County Health Department issued a warning last week that a highly-contagious stomach bug is being passed from person-to-person.  Epidemiologists confirmed six cases of the Norovirus so far.  The stomach bug causes both vomitting and diarrhea and can last up to three days. According to the Branson Chamber of Commerce, 7 million tourists visit Branson each year.  Many of them travel from hundreds of miles away, presenting a unique challenge for preventing disease. The virus can live on shopping carts, door knobs, sinks, and other surfaces.  Hand washing is the number one way to prevent it.  Doctors also advise wiping surfaces down with bleach.

Daily brief (11/26): Top picks from the Springfield media

A 30 percent chance of rain or drizzle, mainly after noon. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 45. Wind chill values as low as 30 early.

Skies will clear tonight and lows will be down in the 20s.

Tuesday will be in the 40s again but with sun and light wind it will again feel better than today.

A warming trend is in store the rest of the week with highs around 60 by Thursday and even warmer readings through the weekend.

Today’s picks

  • News-Leader:  Army Corps seeks  input on future of Table Rock Lake. What should Table Rock Lake look like in 20 years?The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers wants to know what lake users think and has scheduled three information-gathering workshops this week to find out. The original Master Plan was developed in 1976 and hasn’t been updated since. Coburn said it’s time to revise the plan to help guide how future decisions about the lake are made. Each of the three public information meetings will begin with an overview of what the Master Plan is and how it will be revised. Visitors will have the chance to stop at Corps work stations, each focused on one of the three questions. Corps personnel will gather comments from the meetings to develop a draft Master Plan, which should be available for the public to see next summer.People will have a second opportunity to say what they think about the plan before a final Master Plan is completed by December 2013.
  • OzarksFirst: AdTech AdPublic meeting this week on improvements to JRF and CampbellSouth Campbell Avenue from Battlefield Road south to Nixa has long been one of the busiest commuter routes in the Springfield area. Now city leaders are working on plans to improve the interchange of Campbell and James River Freeway. Drivers, people who live and have businesses in the area, and others who use that busy stretch of road are asked to weigh in on those plans during a public meeting later this week. It will be held Thursday, November 29 from 5 to 7 p.m. at The Library Center.
  • OzarksFirst: Sunday wraps up long travel weekend. Planes, trains, and automobiles were out in full force all weekend long, and especially Sunday.  People across the country were hitting highways and airports to get home from their Thanksgiving trips.
    The Sunday after Thanksgiving is traditionally one of the busiest travel days of the year. Good weather and extra staff at airports across most of the country made travel run smoothly this holiday weekend. Although final numbers are not in the number of people travelling this Thanksgiving is expected to be a higher than last year.

Daily brief (11/25): Top picks from the Springfield media

Sunny, with a high near 57. Wind chill values as low as 36 early.

A cold front is going to move into the area today.

Chance for scattered rain showers on Monday with totals  expected to remain below a quarter of an inch. It is going to be a cold day with highs only in the 40s under the clouds.

Tuesday will be sunny with a high near 43 and a low around 28.

Temperatures will warm back into the 50s by Wednesday. There is another chance for light rain late Thursday and early Friday with highs in the  60s and lows around the 40s.

Today’s picks

  • News-Leader Opportunities for Ozarkers to give this holiday season. There are many ways to help others this holiday season. For instance, while out buying gifts for friends and family, shoppers can toss a few items in the cart for the many charitable organizations in the Ozarks that assist people in need. Organizations collecting donations include the Kitchen, Crosslines, Ozarks Food Harvest, Toys for Tots, Harmony House and many others. Almost anything you might buy for your own home and family can be helpful to others somewhere, whether it be toys, cleaning products, sports equipment, winter clothes, hygiene items, bedding and more.  However, for individuals, families or businesses seeking to give, there are more ways to help than shopping. Those who have limited cash this time of year can still help by volunteering their time.A primary way to do that is take part in the 121-year-old tradition as a bell ringer.
  • OzarksFirst: Black Friday sales down from 2011 numbers. Thanksgiving shopping took a noticeable bite out of Black Friday’s start to the holiday season, as the latest survey found retail sales fell slightly from last year. Saturday’s report from retail technology company ShopperTrak finds consumers spent $11.2 billion at stores across the U.S. That is down 1.8 percent from last year’s total.  This year’s Friday results may have been tempered by hundreds of thousands of shoppers hitting sales Thursday evening while still full of Thanksgiving dinner. Retailers including Sears, Target and Wal-Mart got their deals rolling as early as 8 p.m. on Turkey Day.  Meanwhile, IBM says online sales rose 17.4 percent on Thanksgiving and 20.7 percent on Black Friday, compared with 2011.
  • KSPR: Farmers market offers Chrstmas gifts that are green, local and handmade. If you are looking for another alternative for Christmas gift shopping you may find the the answer locally. The Farmers Market of the Ozarks released their Holiday Gift Guide, encouraging people to buy and shop local.  The guide includes gift sets with handmade soaps and candles, gift certificates, farm shares as well as an overview of some of their year round products. The Farmers Market has a rotating schedule through out the year but can be found at 4139 South Nature Way from 9 am to 1 pm on Saturday through out the winter.

Daily brief (11/24): Top picks from the Springfield media

Sunny, with a high near 47. This morning is the coldest morning of the season thus far with a wind chill value of 31.

Tonight will be mostly clear with a low around 32.

Sunday will start off cold with a wind chill value of 27 and then warming up to a high near 60.

Sunday night will be partly cloudy with a low around 37.

Monday will bring a 40 percent chance of cold rain showers. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 49 and a low around 29.

Tuesday will be mostly sunny with a high near 43 and a low around 28.

The rest of the week will be dry as temperatures recover from chilly conditions on Tuesday. Highs will be slightly above our mid 50 averages late in the week.

Today’s picks

  • News-Leader: Small businesses in Ozarks serve up their own bargains. In addition to those offering their own Black Friday deals, dozens of Springfield businesses will be participating in Small Business Saturday this year, in an effort to get shoppers thinking outside the box — big-box retailers, that is. Small Business Saturday was started in 2010 by American Express in an effort to help small businesses struggling during the recession, according to its website. Cardholders who have registered in advance online can get a $25 rebate — paid for by the credit card company — if they buy something at a participating small business. The company’s website shows dozens of qualifying businesses within Springfield, from traditional retail establishments to pet hospitals and restaurants. (Other coverage: OzarksFirst)
  • KSPR: Deadline for “Santa” postmarked mail approaches. If you want a letter postmarked from the North Pole your window of opportunity is still open, but not for long. This is something the U-S Postal Service offers every year. It allows holiday letters and cards to be stamped with “Santa” as the sender. The deadline is Monday, December 10th. To take advantage, you need to place the card or letter from Santa in its envelope with first class mail stamps. You should also have the return address as “SANTA, NORTH POLE”.
    Place the card in a larger envelope with the correct postage and address that to  North Pole Postmark Postmaster, 41-41 Postmark Drive, Anchorage, Alaska 99530. There are also 48 post offices with holiday related names. To see the full list, go to the U-S postal office website USPS.com.
  • KY3: Republic family has light display encouraging animal rescue donations. It took weeks to setup and it’s all for a good cause. A Republic home has more than 20 thousand light bulbs on display. The over average display is a labor of love. The Republic Paw Pantry helps families dealing with a financial crisis. Organizers find temporary homes for pets. Donations help feed the pets along with other basic care. This way, families are not forced to send animals to shelters. As folks drive by Liberty Subdivision to experience the magic of Christmas, they can make sure pets like Brandy have care. The lights on 3099 E. Bradford Street in Republic will be on display every night from 6 P.M. to 10 P.M. until New Year’s Day.

Daily brief (11/23): Top picks from the Springfield media

A cold front plowed through the region last night and temperatures are dropping this morning.

Sunny, with a high near 48. Wind chill values as low as 32 early. Skies have cleared, and should remain that way much of the day.

High pressure will move in tonight with lows in the 20s.

Saturday will be similar to today with a high near 50. The wind will be very light.

The wind returns on Sunday so highs will push back to around 60.

More rain is possible by Sunday night and Monday.

Today’s picks

  • KY3: Outland Ballroom will host benefit concert for Harmony House. Springfield’s Harmony House, which helps survivors of domestic violence, is holding a fundraiser Saturday evening. The Outland Ballroom will host a benefit concert for Harmony House, featuring Austin Terry, Zach Caddy and Black Bonnet Ballyhoo. Tickets will be $7 at the door and $5 if you buy them ahead of time.
  • KY3: Hordes of shoppers hit stores early and often on Black Friday. The morning may have just started, but many stores have already opened their doors, wooing the public to seek deals on Black Friday. For many Black Friday shoppers, their holiday shopping began on Thanksgiving Thursday. Many retail stores opened their doors last night including Best Buy. The Battlefield Mall opened at midnight, except for JC Penney — which opens at 6 this morning. (Other coverage: OzarksFirst )
  • OzarksFirst: Festival of Lights: Free ice skating tonight at Mediacom Ice Park. If shopping just isn’t your thing, here’s an option in downtown Springfield’s that’s free. As part of the City’s six-week Festival of Lights celebration, you can lace up your ice skates and hit the ice for free from 5:30-6:30 p.m. The free ice skating session will be held at the Mediacom Ice Park just west of Jordan Valley Park. Call (417) 866-7444, or visit the Springfield-Greene County Park Board’s website for more information.
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