(Poster design courtesy Springfield Little Theatre)

The beloved American holiday classic "It's A Wonderful Life," the story of idealistic George Bailey who learns that his life really has positively impacted everyone around him, comes to life as a “live” 1940s radio broadcast in Springfield Little Theatre's holiday production. It through December 13 at the Landers Theatre, 311 E. Walnut, with limited seating availability, and as an online stream.  Jamie Bower, who directed the production, joined us on KSMU’s “Arts News.”                                                                            

Photo provided

A seven-year-old boy from Rogersville, Missouri will take center stage this weekend on a billboard in Times Square.

Paxton Uchtman couldn't care less about superheroes or video games, but he's obsessed with farming and  his toy farm animals. And that creativity helped him win a national video contest hosted by the iconic toy company Schleich, which is known for its animal figurines.

Uchtman talked to KSMU's Jennifer Moore Friday by phone about the contest and his toys.

(Photo: Messiah Project)

For the one of the only times—in fact, possibly the only time—since everything shut down due to COVID-19 last March, we had two different guests in the studio with us for “Arts News” this week. One of our guests was Lindsey Robison, President of Messiah Project.                                                                           

tengrrl / Flickr

Springfield Environmental Services is asking area residents to help them meet a recycling challenge.  The department wants to see 100 tons of paper recycled at the city’s drop off sites between November 15 and December 17.  And, so far, 51.5 tons of paper has been recycled.

More than 85 tons is collected per month, on average, at the city’s recycling centers.

Wrapping paper can be recycled as long as it doesn’t contain foil or glitter.  You can also recycle things like tissue paper, paper towel and toilet paper tubes and food boxes.

Drury University

A new executive conference center at Drury University will be named for a longtime employee.

Two Drury benefactors, John and Crystal Beuerlein, surprised Judy Thompson with the news on Thursday.

Thompson graduated from Drury in 1961 and taught high school before taking the job of director of alumni relations at Drury in 1974.  She was put in charge of development in 1976 and, in 1979, became the first woman to be Drury vice president.  She retired in 2002 but returned as vice president in 2016. 


Four more Taney County residents have died of COVID-19.  They were a woman in her 60s, a man and woman in their 70s and a man in his 80s, according to the Taney County Health Department.

There have been 38 Taney County residents who have died of COVID-19 since the pandemic began.

TCHD director, Lisa Marshall, said in a news release that prevention is extremely important as we head into winter and the holiday season.

File photo credit: lmaresz / Pixabay, Used with permission

In this episode of These Ozarks Hills, longtime storyteller Marideth Sisco reflects on how the human psyche deals with catastrophe, bringing in parallels between the 2020 pandemic a major earthquake that occurred decades earlier. 


Update:  The Springfield-Greene County Health Department has released more information about the latest deaths of Greene County residents from COVID-19.  They were a man in his 40s, a man and woman in their 60s, four woman and three men in their 70s, three men and two women in their 80s and two women in their 90s.

Original story:  Seventeen more Greene County lives have been lost to COVID-19.  That's the highest one-day total to date.


Mercy will begin offering virtual COVID-19 care at home to help meet the demand for hospital beds as the coronavirus continues to spread.

Mercy COVID Care @ Home will offer remote, in-home care for patients with mild symptoms or who may need low-flow rates of oxygen, according to the healthcare system.  The 24-hour care will include measurement of oxygen saturation and adjusting oxygen flow as necessary.

Thanksgiving feast
File photo

In this week's episode of STEM Spots on KSMU, host Dr. David Cornelison reflects on Thanksgiving, with a special look at the reasons to be grateful for science. 

KSMU Archives

Three more Greene County residents have died of COVID-19. According to the Springfield-Greene County Health Department, they were a man in his 60s, a woman in her 60s and a woman in her 90s.  So far, 199 Greene County residents have died of COVID-19.

As of Wednesday morning, the county had a total of 15,490 reported COVID-19 cases, and 3,728 were active.  There were 228 in Springfield hospitals with the illness, and 63 were in critical care.  One hundred and four were from Greene County.

The Greene County Commission has approved funding for 80 CARES Act Relief Fund applications.  The recent awards total just over $544,000, and all went to small businesses in the county.

To date, the commission has approved $27,962,232.17.  That’s 79 percent of the funds that were made available to Greene County to be distributed locally. 

You can see who has received CARES Act money so far by going to

dannyelbrazil / Flickr

The Missouri State Highway Patrol is hosting the 14th annual Corporal John A. “Jay” Sampietro Jr. Toy Drive through December 20th.

The drive is held each year in remembrance of Sampietro who died in the line of duty in 2005.

Toys that are collected will be given to children who are in the hospital.

You’re asked to donate new, packaged toys such as coloring and activity books, board games, Legos, DVDs, handheld electronic games, art supplies and toys for infants.


Greene County continues to break records for the number of people hospitalized for COVID-19.  As of Tuesday morning, there were 237 people in Springfield hospitals, and 57 of them were in critical care.  One hundred and seven of those hospitalized were from Greene County.

The number of reported COVID-19 cases in Greene County increased by 214 on Tuesday.  There was a total of 15,325 cases, and 3,642 were active.  There have been 196 deaths from COVID-19 in the county.

A coalition representing over 14,000 nursing homes and assisted living facilities is urging governors to give priority to long term care facilities in the rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine.

The American Health Care Association and National Center for Assisted Living issued a statement this week asking governors to prioritize residents and staff of long-term care facilities when considering who should be included in the first round of COVID-19 vaccinations.