Howell's It Going, Episode 3, Feb. 2, 2024
Hello and welcome to Howell’s It Going. This is your weekly update on what’s happening in your community. I’m Amanda Mendez, and this is your news.
Let’s start with some upcoming events. The Lincoln School Project saw its renovations completed with the dedication ceremony held on Saturday, January twenty-seventh. The former school will now serve as a community space for programs and events. Renovation leaders Crockett and Tonya Oaks III have announced upcoming programming for Black History Month. They plan on hosting a viewing of Generations: African American Experiences in Springfield and in the Ozarks as well as a Q&A with Dr. Marlin C. Barber, a historian at Missouri State University. This event will take place on February sixth at four p.m. at the Lincoln School, fourteen hundred East Pony Thomas Street in West Plains.
West Plains is gearing up for the total solar eclipse coming on April eighth. The community is planning a “Party in the Path” festival for April fifth through the eighth. The event will start with a live concert featuring Thirty-eight Special and The Ozark Mountain Daredevils on April fifth. They’re also planning a Neon Parade and Cosmic Carnival for Kids on April sixth. April seventh will feature a Dice Run and balloon glow event, plus live music from Ha Ha Tonka and Fender Bender as well as fireworks. The event does need volunteers, and anyone interested can go to the “volunteer” button at the bottom of the webpage at explorewestplains.com/tse. Check out more info on the “Explore West Plains” and “Eclipse West Plains” pages on Facebook.
The Star Theatre in downtown Willow Springs has started hosting Country Music Night on the second Saturday of every month. The pre-show performances begin at six p.m. with the main show starting at seven. They have lots of popcorn, snacks, drinks, and live music every night. Admission is eight dollars at the door, and children under twelve get in free if accompanied by an adult. The next one will be on Saturday, March ninth. The pre-show music will be performed by Molly Clair & Company with Wyatt Bishop, and the main show will be a Patsy Cline tribute show featuring Wendy Cline, Ed Cline, Rod Cash, Jake Cummings, and Dustin Miller.
Big basketball news coming out of Liberty High School as senior Terrell Gaines broke the school’s all-time scoring record at the Family Pharmacy Mountain Grove Tournament. He scored eighty-one points in the tournament for a career total of two thousand one hundred eighty-eight points as of the time of this episode. Gaines started playing organized basketball in kindergarten and credits his dad with his love of the game. After graduation, he plans on playing at Austin Peay State University in Clarkesville, Tennessee. He stated, “Because of basketball, I’ve met great athletes, made lifelong friends, and worked with influential coaches. I appreciate each and every person that has helped me along the way.”
We have a clarification to add to a story we ran on January seventeenth. Willow Springs Superintendent Marty Spence recently published a letter to the editor in our paper to add more context to some financial information we reported on. We’d like to thank Superintendent Marty Spence for this clarification and we hope that clears some things up for the readers out there.
More tension in the city of Mountain View as the Board of Aldermen held a special meeting last Wednesday, Jan 24. Alderwoman Judi Colter was present but refused to participate, which Mayor John Krasuski stated was because she “wasn’t properly installed” after her cousin helped vote her onto the board. Alderwoman Colter as well as Alderman Vandevort both refused to speak or vote as the meeting went into a closed session. As a result, Mayor Krasuski had to override their non-votes and Chief of Police Jamie Perkins had to compel both aldermen to participate. Krasuski stated, “I ordered the police to compel the board members to do their job by coming to the closed session meeting. They were refusing to be a part of the meeting.”
Check out next week’s issue for the details of another raucous special session on Jan 31.
One crime story for you today. West Plains police recently served a search warrant to Carrie McFarland at her home on Allen Street. Police seized over two hundred sixty suspected fetanyl pills and over thirty-nine grams of methamphetamine from the residence, arresting both McFarland and another resident, James Quiroz, in the process. Upon questioning, McFarland admitted to knowingly possessing the drugs. Both suspects now face trafficking charges as they are held on a fifty-thousand dollar bond each, with no court dates currently set.
Texas County is about to see some bridge improvements starting next year. The Missouri Department of Transportation is planning to replace three bridges and rehabilitate another. Construction begins as early as spring twenty twenty-five. The bridges to be replaced include—the Route one thirty-seven bridge over Pine Creek, located north of County Road thirty-seven eighty; the Route one thirty-seven bridge over Big Creek between Boster Road and Big Creek Road; and the Route one thirty-seven bridge over South Prong Jacks Fork between Route U and Route AZ. The roadways around these will be closed for approximately three months during construction. The bridge to be rehabilitated is the Route seventeen bridge over Roubidoux Creek. The roadway around that one will be closed for about forty-five days for the work. Information about the projects can be found at the Department of Transportation’s Regional Office, three nine five six East Main Street in Willow Springs. You can also contact project manager Pete Berry at four one seven, four six nine, six two four two, or engineer Elquin Auala at four one seven, four six nine, six two eight six. You can also submit comments and questions online at www.modot.org/form/texascobridges. They have requested all comments be submitted by February eleventh.
I’m Amanda, and this has been Howell’s It Going.