Ben Kinel

Several people have stepped up to offer help after a vehicle landed in the Veterans Memorial Garden in Branson last week causing thousands of dollars in damage.

The garden is describes on its website as “a gathering place for anyone who wants to remember those who sacrificed so much.”  A news release from the City of Branson last week, said it’s become a landmark for many visitors and residents. 

File Photo - MSHP Twitter / Missouri State Highway Patrol

The Missouri State Highway Patrol has released its incident report on the sinking of an amphibious boat that claimed the lives of 17 people Thursday in southwest Missouri. 

According to the report, none of the 31 people aboard were wearing a “safety device.” A spokesman for the patrol, Jason Pace, said that term refers to life jackets.

Five of those passengers who perished in the water were age 15 or younger.  The majority of people aboard were from out-of-state.

College of the Ozarks / Used with permission

Mourners gathered Sunday afternoon near Branson to pay tribute to the 17 people who lost their lives Thursday when the tourist boat they were riding encountered a severe storm and sank in Table Rock Lake.

The chapel at College of the Ozarks near Branson was full as civic and religious leaders expressed their grief and praised the community’s response.

Sara Karnes / Branson Tri-Lakes News, Used With Permission

Stone County Sherriff Doug Rader says eight people died Thursday evening and several are unaccounted for after a tourist boat capsized and sank on Table Rock Lake.

“At this time, we have eight confirmed fatalities,” Rader said late Thursday night. He said those fatalities were caused by drowning.

The Stone County Sherriff’s Department told KSMU the boat that sank belonged to the company Ripley’s Believe It Or Not.  Calls and emails to that company requesting more information on the boat were not immediately returned.

You can now be pulled over in Branson for not wearing a seat belt.  The Branson Board of Aldermen voted in favor of a proposed seat belt ordinance making not wearing the safety device a primary violation.

The vote was tied, and the tie was broken by Branson Mayor Karen Best who voted yes on the measure.

The city of  Springfield voted in February to allow police to pull over motorists if they're not wearing a seat belt.  Before, a driver would have to commit another violation before they could be ticketed for not having a seat belt on.