Shannon Noonan

News Intern

Shannon Noonan is a sophomore, journalism major at Missouri State University. She works as a news intern for KSMU. In her free time she enjoys spending time with friends, reading a good book, finding a great new coffee spot, watching hockey, or traveling.

Ozarks Public Television

With so many children out of school due to the coronavirus pandemic, Ozarks Public Television has begun broadcasting a new, over-the-air educational channel so that high-quality learning can continue at home. The free programming will serve viewers across the Ozarks region, including the many families who do not have internet access or computers at home.


OPT's WORLD Channel is for students in grades 6-12, and it is now airing from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. locally on weekdays.


Carl Long

Springfield-based humanitarian relief organization Convoy of Hope is known for its large-scale operations.  For example, it sent out 60 tractor trailers of mostly food and paper products across the United States last week alone in response to the coronavirus pandemic. But the charity is also remembering rural towns closer to home, too.

Carl Long is a pastor and the mayor of Humansville, Missouri, in Polk County.

Flickr via Creative Commons

The Missouri Academy of Family Physicians has endorsed the Medicaid expansion campaign in Missouri.


The group joins 170 other organizations who want to put Medicaid expansion on the ballot this November, according to Healthcare for Missouri.


The Missouri Academy of Family Physicians is a non-profit medical society with more than 2,500 members of doctors, residents, and medical students in Missouri.


Community Foundation of the Ozarks / Used with permission

As some nonprofits begin to feel the financial impact of so many closures and increased needs due to COVID-19, The Community Foundation of the Ozarks (CFO) is stepping up to help with grants.


The CFO, a charitable foundation serving 58 counties in southern and central Missouri, is accepting applications for the grants now. This fund is targeted to help nonprofits serving people affected by the coronavirus outbreak across the CFO’s service region.


Jennifer Moore / KSMU

Several K-12 schools in the Ozarks region are taking preventive measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Stephen Hall, a spokesman for Springfield Public Schools, says many of the prevention measures are similar to those taken in the typical peak flu season.

Hall says SPS is educating students and their families about healthy habits.

The district’s custodial staff is frequently disinfecting common surfaces, he said. And the school is keeping track of students who are absent.

Springfield-Greene County Health Department
Scott Harvey / KSMU

To fight the spread of COVID-19, Greene County is implementing visitor restrictions to hospitals and health care facilities.

Children 12 and under, as well as anyone who is sick, will not be allowed in Greene County hospitals and health care facilities unless they are seeking care. That policy is now in effect, according to county officials.

Clay Goddard, Director of the Greene County Health Department, compares these restrictions to those taken during a tough flu season.

markhig / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

A small town Farmers Market in the Ozarks is giving coupons to low-income mothers and children so they can get fresh produce, meat and eggs.

The Webb City Farmer’s Market does local fundraising to be able to give five dollar coupons to families enrolled in the WIC program.

Emil / Flickr, Used with permission

The COVID-19 coronavirus has spread to nearly every continent, prompting Missouri State University to perform health screenings and reviews of people returning from affected areas.

In a campus-wide email sent Wednesday, Smart said university staff are working with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to stay updated, and that the university is developing contingency plans.

He said the university is also working closely with the Springfield-Greene County Health Department—and if needed, the health department would take leadership of local preparations.

Jennifer Balaska / Public domain, Used with Permission

Ash Wednesday is this week.  KSMU’s Shannon Noonan spoke with local Catholics about the rituals of Ash Wednesday.

At the O’Reilly Catholic Student Center next to the MSU campus, the Ash Wednesday mass will include traditional hymns and less festive songs of repentance as Catholics usher in the Lenten season.

The color purple will grace the altar and the priest’s attire.

After the homily, the priest will mark the foreheads of worshipers with a cross of ashes, saying, “remember that you are dust, and to dust you shall return."

OTC Foundation

Statistics show that solid, higher paying jobs in the United States tend to require some kind of certification or degree — and also that rural students face some unique disadvantages. With that in mind, Ozarks Technical Community College is using grant money help rural high school students plan for life after graduation.

Four new academic advisors have been embedded in high schools in Branson, Forsyth, Hollister, and Reeds Spring as part of the project, which received grant funding from the rootEd Alliance.

Terry Griffin

Drury University’s women’s basketball team is ranked #1 in the nation in the NCAA’s Division II.

According to Drury athletics the team is now 23-0 in the season and 14-0 in Great Lakes Valley Conference play.

Molly Miller, the head coach of the Lady Panthers, said the team has shown hunger to improve and win.

KSMU Archives

The number of domestic violence survivors staying in Harmony House in Springfield decreased in 2019 for the first time in a decade.

Lisa Farmer, the Executive Director at Harmony House, says the numbers decreased by 10 people from 2018 to 2019. Those numbers are small, but they’re headed in the right direction. Farmer suspects the decrease may have to do with the city’s new Family Justice Center and awareness efforts.

(Logo courtesy

The City of Nixa will hire three key leadership positions in 2020. They are looking for a City Attorney, Director of Finance, and an Assistant Director of Nixa Utilities & Public Works.

Drew Douglas, a spokesman for the city of Nixa, says these positions are meant to accommodate the growing community there.

Douglas said Nixa’s population is expected to be anywhere between 22 and 25 thousand when the 2020 census is released.

401(K) 2012 / Flickr via Creative Commons

Accounting students from Drury University will help the public do their taxes again this year. This service is designed to benefit low-income taxpayers while giving students hands-on experience. 

The students helping out are majoring in accounting and have been certified through the IRS testing system to do quality returns.

Drury’s tax clinic primarily accepts walk-in clients at the Breech School of Business Administration building. These clinics will be held on select days from February 3rd through February 21st.

A report that looked at data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention identifies Springfield among the top 100 US cities with the highest sexually transmitted disease rates per capita. 

A research team at ranked Springfield 58th in the country with 980 STD cases per 100,000 people.