Howell's It Going, June 21, 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.


Missouri Governor Mike Parson has requested that the Federal Emergency Management Agency, FEMA, approve a major disaster declaration to provide federal assistance to 15 counties, including Howell, in response to multiple severe weather systems that impacted the state from May 19 to May 27. These storms created tornadoes, high winds, and heavy rain and flooding across southern Missouri, causing significant damage to homes, businesses, and public infrastructure.

The governor said in a statement that quote, “we are confident federal assistance will be forthcoming and greatly appreciate the critical work already being done by local response agencies and many volunteer partners to help Missourians in need.”

Missourians who need additional resources and information about disaster recovery can visit recovery dot MO dot GOV.




Our next story is a crime story referencing sexual abuse. If you’d rather not listen, skip ahead 20 seconds.


A Mountain View man is in police custody after he was accused of raping a minor last month. Silmer, Flores-Galvez, of Mountain View is being held in the Howell County Jail on one charge of felony rape in the second degree and has a surety-only bond of $100,000.

Mountain View police began investigating Flores-Galvez on May 15th after they received information about a sexual assault that allegedly took place over the weekend.

Police and Children's Division questioned the 14-year old female victim and a Sexual Assault Forensic Exam was conducted.

Flores-Galvez was questioned with the help of an interpreter, saying he was 17 and had only been in the United States for a year but, refused to answer questions about the girl. Court documents list the suspect as being born in 2004. The police also notified U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement of his detainment.

A criminal setting hearing on the case was held on Monday, June 17.


The following portion of Howell’s It Going is brought to you by Southwest Baptist University – Mountain View Campus. Southwest Baptist University. Your hope for a brighter future. A customized education in a caring community. Apply today at It’s free. With no obligation.



Howell County Sheriff's Office will soon have a footprint in Willow Springs. An outdoor sign is the only indicator so far of the coming substation, located at 110 Bear Drive, Suite 2. Howell County Sheriff Brent Campbell took Howell County News on a tour of the as-yet empty interior on June 6th.

Once operational, the substation will not be manned around the clock, but will rather be a meeting place for sheriff's deputies and citizens as needed. The investigations department will move to the Willow Springs location as well. There will be four or five desks and an interview room.

Citizens will continue to contact the Sheriff's Office through the department phone lines, or 9-1-1, and will be able to interact with deputies in the substation without requiring to drive to West Plains.

Sheriff Campbell told the News the main idea behind the substations is to “bring resources” to the community. There is currently an operational substation in Mountain View, and the sheriff plans to launch others at other strategic geographic locations throughout the county.

At this time, there is no scheduled launch date for the Willow Springs substation, but we will share that information when it is available.


Howell County News will host and moderate a debate for candidates for Howell County Sheriff. Two Republican candidates are running – incumbent Sheriff Brent Campbell and challenger Matt Roberts. The debate will be livestreamed on Tuesday, July 16 on the Howell County News Facebook page. An article covering the debate will appear in the July 24 edition of the newspaper. The primary election day is August 6th.

This in-person event is invitation-only. Readers of Howell County News may request an invitation by emailing Editor At Howell County News dot com or calling 417-252-2123. Reader invitations will be given on a first come, first served basis.

If you have any questions for the candidates, you can email those to the same email address, Editor At Howell County News dot com. Questions will also be taken during the livestream of the debate.


Ordinances governing parking in Willow Springs were on the agenda of the city council again this month. The board of aldermen will continue to tinker with the details but, they took no action on Thursday night.

The proposed changes for discussion would affect Sections 3-5-5 point 0-1-0 and 3-5-5 point 0-3-0. The proposed changes are prohibitions on parking in front of, or within, ten feet of a mailbox, parking any place with a No Parking sign, parking in spaces designated as handicapped spaces, and authorization of the police chief to issue sixty minute parking permits for alleyways at his discretion. City Administrator Beverly Hicks said this ordinance remains a work in progress.

The business community wants a solution to downtown parking according to the results of a survey of businesses that was facilitated by the Willow Springs Chamber of Commerce and reviewed by the board. Hicks and the board discussed improving existing parking areas to make them more noticeable and desirable to use, such as the lot at Front and Center street behind the laundry, near the library, and on North Center just off Main Street.

Parking near the four-way stop downtown was brought up by Kim McCormick, the executive director of the Chamber of Commerce during the public Q and A portion of the meeting. She was concerned one of the proposed changes would affect the four-way stop and the aldermen requested that this line be stricken from the next draft of the ordinance.


Federal regulations are about to reach into every water pipe in America, but the City of Willow Springs pledges to draw a line in the sand. City Administrator Hicks told the News quote, “We will not go onto their property, and that's what I've told our staff.”

According to Hicks, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) intends to make municipalities and other water providers responsible for all water service lines from the main to the tap. As it stands, the City of Willow Springs’ responsibility ends at the main. From the meter to the house is the landowner’s responsibility, and that’s where the city intends it to stay.

The EPA is concerned with lead and copper presence in the water supply. The City of Willow Springs has already been conducting volunteer testing to allow the Missouri Department of Natural Resources to obtain a baseline, which detections have been very small, Hicks reported. She told the board of aldermen on Thursday that water comes out of the ground very clean here.

The city is also conducting testing for per and polyfluroalkyl (poly-floor-o-AL-kill) substances, better known as PFAs. The city has conducted voluntary testing at wells 4, 6, and 7, which showed no detection of PFAs in the water source, according to Hicks.


The Willow Springs Chamber of Commerce has partnered with the Willow Springs Police Department for the second annual SWAT Challenge and 5K “I Ran From The Cops” fundraising events.

Both events will run simultaneously on the morning of July 4th, Independence Day, at Palenske Field in Willow Springs. Check-in starts at 5:30 am and the events kick off at 6 am.

Entry fee for each event is thirty dollars and includes a t-shirt. Pre-registration is highly encouraged. The 5k event also has a one mile walk-run as an option for non-runners. Registration is available online at W-S-Chamber dot net under the events tab. Registration forms are also available at the Chamber of Commerce office at 120 West Main Street in Willow Springs.


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The Willow Springs Lions Club will also be holding a Pancake Breakfast fundraising event the morning of the Fourth of July. Breakfast is available for six dollars and includes pancakes, sausage, and a drink. This event supports the Lions Club and the activities it supports, like Mighty Mites Football, eye exams and glasses for youth, the Backpack Food Program through the schools, and much more.

For more information on these events, contact the Willow Springs Chamber of Commerce at 417-469-5519 or email Willow Springs Chamber at G Mail dot com.


I'm Amanda, and this has been Howell's It Going.


Howell County News

110 W. Main St.,
Willow Springs, MO 65793

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