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The Springfield-Greene County Health Department, which reports weekly death counts from COVID-19, had some encouraging data to share Wednesday:  last week’s death count from the disease was zero. That reporting period ran from April 14 to April 20.

This is only the second time in 39 weeks that Greene County has had no new COVID-19 deaths to report. The first time was in late March.

Michele Skalicky

Another Ozarks city is ending its mask ordinance that was put in place to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

The City of Ozark’s mandate will end at 11:59 Thursday night, April 22.  According to a press release, the decision to end the mask requirement was made due to declining cases, vaccination efforts and “the wishes of Ozark’s residents.”

MoBikeFed / Flickr

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — Missouri's GOP-led House has passed a bill that would allow guns in churches and on public transportation. The House voted Monday to send the proposal to the Republican-led Senate. Currently, people need permission to bring firearms into places of religious worship. The bill would allow people with concealed carry permits to bring guns into churches, synagogues and mosques regardless. Another provision in the bill would ensure that gun stores are considered essential businesses.

BRANSON, Mo. (AP) — A former counselor already in prison for abusing children at a Christian camp near Branson is being sued by another alleged victim. The lawsuit accuses Peter Newman of abusing the plaintiff, who is not named, several times beginning in 1999 at the Kanakuk camp. Newman is serving two life sentences, plus 30 years, after his 2010 sentencing on seven felony counts of sexually abusing boys at the camp. The latest lawsuit does not name Kanakuk as a defendant. The plaintiff is seeking $5 million.

Noah Forston/ NPR

  President Biden and Vice President Harris plan to speak following the guilty verdict in the trial of former police officer Derek Chauvin for the death of George Floyd.

Josh Hawley
Carolina Hidalgo / St. Louis Public Radio

Senator Josh Hawley of Missouri says he wants federal employees to resume in-person work. 

Hawley sent a letter to the Office of Management and Budget and the Office of Personnel Management calling for federal agencies to resume in-person work at field offices. In the letter, Hawley said that over the past few weeks his constituents have reported that certain federal offices have been unresponsive. Hawley said he believes that’s due to remote working policies.

Community Foundation of the Ozarks

 

A giant in the Springfield philanthropic and nonprofit community has died. Jan Horton was the first employee of the Community Foundation of the Ozarks, serving from 1988 to 2003. She died Sunday at the age of 87 following a brief illness, according to the CFO.

Lawn Art With Neighbors/Facebook

Venetians painted on canvas. Byzantine art often appeared on wood. And Springfield residents are using their yards for an art project meant to cheer people up during the coronavirus pandemic.

Starting Friday, art will displayed in Springfield yards as part of Lawn Art With Neighbors, or L.A.W.N. for short.  The Springfield Art Museum says the idea is to create art—like sculptures, paintings, or video projections—in yards for others to enjoy.   

A spokesman for the Springfield Art Museum, Joshua Best, says the museum plans to continue L.A.W.N after the pandemic. 

Individuals with autism experience the world differently, and often have challenges with social situations or communication.

Dr. Megan Boyle, associate professor of special education at Missouri State University, is a board-certified behavior analyst. She runs a clinic for children with autism spectrum disorders and prepares the next generation of educators for behavior issues in the classroom.

KSMU - Ozarks Public Radio

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (AP) — A 46-year-old Arkansas man has admitted that he illegally removed or damaged more than two dozen trees from a national forest in Missouri.

Billy Long
Scott Harvey / KSMU

FORSYTH, Mo. (AP) — U.S. Rep. Billy Long of Missouri says he plans to attend a fundraiser at former President Donald Trump's golf resort in Florida.

Long has expressed an interest in running for the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by Sen. Roy Blunt.

free pictures of money / Flickr

This week, host Debbie Good speaks with Lisa Gateley, loan technician with the City of Springfield.

Today’s discussion explores the Hope Loan program for Springfield residents.  In conjunction with the City Development Block Grant, or CDGB, this program provides funds to qualified residents needing assistance to maintain or repair homes.

(Poster design courtesy Messiah Project, Inc.)

Local Christian performing arts organization The Messiah Project will finally present a couple of live performances this weekend, after what Executive Director Lindsey Robison called “a dry year” because of the pandemic.  The show is called “The Joy of the Lord is Your Strength,” with two 50-minute performances on Saturday, April 17, at 5:15 and 6:45pm, at All Saints Anglican Church, 2751 E. Galloway. The concert will feature music ranging from Vivaldi to Enya, with conductor Nathan Cornelius leading the Messiah Project chorus and chamber orchestra, with concertmaster Dr.

NIAID / Flickr

ST. JOSEPH, Mo. (AP) — Coronavirus vaccine supply is starting to outpace demand in Missouri, even after the state expanded eligibility, raising worries among some health care providers. Early on, mass vaccination clinics in rural areas sometimes had excess doses, but demand had remained strong in more populous areas until recently. The slowdown is occurring even though the state deemed anyone old enough to get the shot eligible last week and most residents remain unvaccinated. State data shows that just 32.8% of residents have received at least one dose as of Wednesday.

insomniac117 / Flickr

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — The Missouri House wants to redirect Medicaid expansion funding to services for people with disabilities, the elderly and other vulnerable groups. The GOP-led House on Thursday voted 143-1 to pass an alternative plan for how to spend the Medicaid expansion money. Missouri voters last year amended the state Constitution to extend access to the government health care program to thousands more low-income adults. Many Republican lawmakers don't want to give more people access to Medicaid, so the House stripped money for expansion from next year's budget.

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