(Poster design courtesy Small Umbrella Theatre)

A new theater company is about to debut in Springfield, and on KSMU’s “Arts News” we talked with one of the company’s founders, and one of the lead actors in the company’s upcoming inaugural production.                                                                            

The City of Springfield plans to apply for up to $2 million of CARES Act Community Development Block Grant funds to help the area’s homeless during the pandemic.

The funds are being distributed by the Missouri Department of Economic Development. 

According to the city, in a 2020 survey, Springfield residents identified homeless services, transitional housing and homeless shelters as top priorities among the public service categories. The survey was part of the public input process for the city’s five-year consolidated plan.


The Community Blood Center of the Ozarks needs blood donors.  According to the CBCO, blood reserves are “alarmingly low, with less than a one-day supply available.”  It’s issued an emergency appeal for all blood types.

The center’s director, Anthony Roberts called the situation "dire" in a news release.  According to Roberts, summer transfusion numbers are the highest they’ve seen in years, and donation rates are down. 

jerryoldenettel / Flickr

A dedication for a prairie the Missouri Prairie Foundation purchased near Sarcoxie is set for Saturday, July 24.  The 68-acre unplowed prairie is named for the late Rae Letsinger.  Although not trained as an entomologist, he was a moth expert who accumulated one of the largest insect collections in Missouri.  His sister, Joan Letsinger, purchased naming rights to honor her brother.

COLORED PENCIL Magazine / Flickr

Families are invited to the program, “Conservation in the Parks:  Under the Summer Lights,” Friday night (7/23) at 8:30 at Cunningham Park in Joplin.  Discover what creatures are hiding in the night.  Registration is required.  

david_shane / Flickr

The state is sending help to southwest Missouri as the area struggles to manage a surge of COVID-19 cases. 

Governor Mike Parson announced Thursday in a news release the state is sending additional personnel and equipment to help support the local healthcare system.

Some school districts discussing return to mask mandates

Jul 22, 2021
KSMU - Ozarks Public Radio

An official with the Kansas City school district says students will likely be required to wear masks when classes begin next month. Sara Williams, a COVID-19 coordinator for the district, said no decisions have been made but she is recommending the district require students and staff to wear masks, even if they've been vaccinated.

Josiah Mackenzie / Flickr

CoxHealth’s Girls Just Wanna Run was set to occur in-person Saturday, July 24.  But, due to the increasing number of COVID-19 cases, the event has been restructured.

Instead of a one-day race, participants will run at their leisure between July 24 and August 6. 

Race packets will be distributed in a drive-thru Thursday, July 22, from 3 to 6 at the Meyer Center. 

Registration is still underway.  Click here to find out more.

A Declaration of Local Emergency is now in effect in Greene County.  The Greene County Commission voted unanimously Wednesday to approve it as the delta variant of the coronavirus spreads throughout southwest Missouri.

According to county officials, the declaration is a way to further support community efforts to respond to the growing cases of COVID-19.

a.drian / Flickr

As the need for nurses grows, CoxHealth has added a new nursing position.  Support RNs will assist floor nurses in managing the care of medical and surgical patients, the Springfield-based health system said in a news release.

Celeste Cramer, system director of recruitment and retention at CoxHealth, said they’re looking for people who want to make a difference, especially as COVID hospitalizations are rising, and they can do so on a flexible schedule.

NIAID, Used with permission

A statewide vaccination incentive program is underway in Missouri.  Governor Mike Parson announced the launch of MO VIP on Wednesday.  It’s meant to encourage vaccination among Missourians 12 and older, according to a news release from his office.

Tim Garrison/Submitted

Springfield resident Tim Garrison, who previously served as the U.S. Attorney for Missouri’s Western District, has been sworn in as a judge on the Navy-Marine Corps Court of Criminal Appeals. 

The court reviews courts-marital and petitions for new trials, among other types of appellate cases.

Garrison recently graduated from the Army Judge Advocate General’s Legal Center and School. He was sworn in as a military judge Wednesday.

Springfield continues to be in the national spotlight at COVID-19 cases, fueled by the delta variant, continue to rise.

The city’s mayor, Ken McClure, appeared on CBS’s Face the Nation over the weekend.

He said one reason for the surge is that Springfield is a regional hub that brings in people from the area, and that has increased its exposure.

And he said another major reason for the surge is misinformation spread largely by social media.

Michele Skalicky

Missouri State University is planning various ways to help lower the risk of contracting COVID-19 when school starts back up next month for the fall semester.

Missouri's GOP governor to announce vaccine incentives

Jul 21, 2021
KSMU - Ozarks Public Radio

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — Missouri's Republican Gov. Mike Parson is set to announce COVID-19 vaccine incentives. Parson's office says he'll unveil perks for getting vaccinated at a Wednesday press conference in his Capitol office.