Josh Conaway

News Reporter, Announcer

Josh Conaway is a third year student at Missouri State University studying political science and Spanish. He works as news reporter and announcer for KSMU. His favorite part of working for KSMU is meeting a wide variety of interesting people for stories. He has a passion for history and running.

CoxHealth is reporting an increase in patients hospitalized with COVID-19, many of them younger adults. Experts say the virus is changing.

Dustin Holmes / Flickr


The City of Branson Police Department is proposing an ordinance that would change how citizens and businesses must take care and keep track of animals in the city.

The new ordinance comes at the recommendation of the police department after it looked at animal laws in other cities in southwest Missouri and guidelines from the United States Department of Agriculture. Branson’s police department has handled animal control in the city since 2018. Police Chief Jeff Matthews says the ordinance would replace the current law, which he says hasn’t been updated since the 1990s.

Downtown Springfield
Chloe O'Neill / KSMU

Springfield’s COVID-19 restrictions expire at the end of the day on May 27. Without a legal requirement to follow COVID safety guidelines, local businesses are choosing their own way forward. 

National Institutes of Health

Those in the Springfield area looking to get the COVID-19 vaccine this week have several options. The Springfield-Greene County health Department put a list on its website of times and locations individuals who want a vaccine can get one, which can be seen below:

Tuesday, May 18

Springfield-Greene County Health Department

Springfield City Council has voted to lift all pandemic restrictions after May 27, including face masks, occupancy limits and physical distancing, even though local immunization rates against the disease have not yet met the original target of 50 percent.

File photo / KSMU


The Springfield-Greene County Health Department announced that several free COVID vaccination clinics will be open to people ages 12 and up.

The health department and community partners will hold six vaccination clinics with the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine. Anyone 12 and older is now eligible to be vaccinated. 

This decision comes after the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services authorized the Pfizer vaccine to adolescents ages 12 to 15 years old, following the recommendation of federal authorities.

Allison Hamburg

Kansas City public radio reporter Aviva Okeson-Haberman, admired by her peers as earnest, bright and dedicated, died last week in Kansas City after being wounded by a bullet shot through her apartment window.  She was 24. Okeson-Haberman attended Central High School in Springfield, where she was known for her tenacity, storytelling, and kindness as a mentor.

At Central High School, Aviva Okeson-Haberman was part of the student broadcast journalism team called Central Intelligence, or CI. 

The Community Foundation of the Ozarks awarded has local environmental groups $4 million in endowments. Those funds will be used to support conservation and outdoor recreation projects.

The four groups chosen to receive the endowments are the James River Basin Partnership, Ozark Greenways, TrailSpring, and the Watershed Committee of the Ozarks. The CFO made the announcement Thursday, which was Earth Day. An anonymous donor gave the foundation $4 million to create endowments, which the Community Foundation will invest.

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.

Springfield-Greene County Health Department
Scott Harvey / KSMU

After the announcement that Missouri has paused the use of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine, the Springfield-Greene County Health department is urging people to sign up for the other vaccines.  

After six women in the United States developed serious blood clots following a dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, the Springfield-Greene County Health Department said it will instead promote the use of the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines for the time being. 

Josh Conaway / KSMU News

Missouri State University held a groundbreaking ceremony Thursday April 8 for its new performing arts amphitheater. The theater and arts park will be home to Tent Theatre and other local productions

The project is expected to cost around $6.4 million and be finished in the spring 2022 semester. The new amphitheater will be located next to Craig Hall, which is home to the theatre and dance department. According to university officials, the new theater will have a permanent stage and tiers for up to 350 moveable seats. 

Josh Conaway / KSMU News

Health officials in Greene County are keeping a close eye on data as they determine how and when to best ease COVID-19 restrictions.  One key factor in the county’s fight is the percentage of people vaccinated against the coronavirus.

Springfield City Council voted to move COVID restrictions from the “Red phase” to the “Yellow phase” on April 16, which will remove occupancy limits and allow buffet dining and special events with fewer than 500 people.

Missouri Department of Conservation


After a walk through the woods, it’s not uncommon to discover you’ve brought home a few companions: ticks. But instead of flushing these little bloodsuckers away, the Missouri Department of Conservation and a university are asking Missourians to mail them in for research. / Flickr

The American Health Care Association is reporting a 96% decline in the number of COVID-19 cases in nursing homes since vaccines became widely available in late December.

COVID cases have plunged from a weekly high of around 34,000 on December 20 to a low of 1,349 cases nationwide the week of March 7. The National Center for Assisted Living, part of the American Health Care Association, also reported weekly deaths from COVID-19 down 91%.


Ozarks Technical Community College distributed over $3 million to students in March as part of a federal relief grant aimed at financial recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Every current student at OTC is getting at least $400, and those who qualify for a Pell Grant are getting $465. The $3.4 million comes from the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund II, part of an act of Congress providing stimulus relief for the COVID-19 pandemic. According to a press release from OTC, the first relief fund gave OTC $3.9 million to give as a grant to students.