Michele Skalicky

Morning Edition Host

Michele Skalicky has worked at KSMU since the station occupied the old white house at National and Grand. She enjoys working on both the announcing side and in news and has been the recipient of statewide and national awards for news reporting. She likes to tell stories that make a difference.  Michele enjoys outdoor activities, including hiking, camping and leisurely kayaking.

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The Springfield-Greene County Health Department is reminding residents that the COVID-19 pandemic is not over. 

Michele Skalicky

CoxHealth officials are urging people to continue to get tested for COVID-19 and to seek medical care immediately if they suspect they have the illness.

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COVID-19 vaccine clinics will be held at two Springfield-Greene County Library branches.

The clinics are set for May 1st from 9 a.m. to noon at the Library Center and from 1 to 4 p.m. at the Library Station and are for all Missourians 16 and older.  The Pfizer vaccine will be available, and participants can get their first or second doses.

Walk-ins are welcome, but registration is strongly encouraged.  To register, go to covidvaccine.mo.gov/navigator or call 417-874-1211.

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.”

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As of 11:59 Friday night, April 16, most occupancy restrictions will be lifted in Springfield.  The city is moving from the red phase to the yellow phase on the Road to Recovery


This week’s report of COVID-19 deaths in Greene County, Missouri includes one person, a man in his 70s.  He had underlying health conditions that put him at increased risk for severe illness.  He was not in a long-term care facility.  That brings the total number of Greene County residents who have died of COVID-19 to 427.

According to the Springfield-Greene County Health Department, that is the first COVID-19 death that has occurred in the county in April.

Michele Skalicky

The City of Branson will no longer require masks in public spaces as of this Friday.  In March, the Board of Aldermen voted to end the mask mandate on May 24th.  But yesterday, the board voted in favor of an ordinance sponsored by Branson’s newly elected mayor, Larry Milton, to end the requirement earlier.

According to a news release, Milton sponsored the bill because of the declining cases of COVID-19 in Missouri and because 23.3 percent of Stone County residents and 19.7 percent of Taney County residents have had at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.

Rrrrred / Flickr

The Community Blood Center of the Ozarks says there’s a critical need right now for O negative blood.  According to the blood center, “reserves are alarmingly low.”  That’s due in part to a significant increase in hospital usage over the past several months.  Over the past four months, hospital blood transfusion rates have increased more than 16 percent over the same time last year.

O Negative blood is a universal blood type, meaning anyone can receive it regardless of their blood type.

The CBCO says donors can give even if they’ve just received a COVID-19 vaccine.

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The State of Missouri is pausing the use of the Johnson & Johnson Janssen COVID-19 vaccine until further notice.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control recommended a pause in the vaccine early Tuesday after six women developed a rare and dangerous blood clot after receiving it.

James Mulvenon

Students at Ozarks Technical Community College won’t pay more for tuition in the 2021-22 school year.

At its monthly meeting Monday, the OTC Board of Trustees adopted the administration's recommendation to hold tuition flat for the upcoming school year, according to the school in a news release.  

OTC Board chair, John Gentry, said, “as our community emerges from the pandemic, we need to remove barriers to education so students can receive the training they need to enter the workforce." 

City of Springfield

Businesses in Greene County, Missouri now have access to a tool kit to help them encourage their employees to get the COVID-19 vaccine. 

Watershed Committee of the Ozarks

The City of Springfield is hosting a virtual open house through Sunday, April 11, to get input on ideas for the Renew Jordan Creek project.

Visitors who go to renewjordancreek.com will be able to view proposed usage and design concepts for phase one of the project and choose their favorites.

Olgierd (3rd account) / Flickr

Nixa’s emergency mask order will end at 11:59 p.m. on April 30. 

In a news release, Nixa’s mayor, Brian Steele, said, “I am now confident that by April 30, a significant portion of our population will have had an opportunity to be vaccinated, including the most vulnerable members of our community.”  He said he’s pleased to see COVID-19 infection rates in Christian County remain low over the last few weeks.  Steele said the city continues to work with regional health leaders and neighboring communities regarding ongoing pandemic response.

Hans-Jorg Aleff / Flickr

This week’s Crosswalk Yield Check in Springfield is at Fort and Madison near McGregor Elementary School.

The Springfield Police Department will have four officers at that location for about four hours watching for crosswalk violations.  Posted signage will let drivers know they’re approaching a Yield Check location. 

Drivers who don’t yield when someone is in the crosswalk will be pulled over and given a warning and educational materials.  According to the City of Springfield, after a three-month warning period, drivers may receive citations for blatant violations.

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Springfield City Council is planning to move the city to the next phase in the road to recovery on April 16.

Council voted Monday night to move from the red phase to the yellow phase.  It will remove COVID-19 occupancy restrictions and will allow buffet dining and special events under 500 people.