Thomas McFarland

Anna Thomas / KSMU

Community Partnership of the Ozarks is teaming up with over 75 local organizations for this year’s HOPE Connection, an annual event aimed at providing various services to the area’s homeless community. Deputy Director of Affordable Housing and Homeless Prevention at CPO Michelle Garand says this year is shaping up to be bigger than the last.

“Every year we have increased participation by about 25 percent. Last year we served 650 individuals who came seeking services, this year we are gearing up for about 800 to a thousand individuals coming in,” says Garand.

Springfield Police Department
Scott Harvey / KSMU

The Springfield Police Department’s 2015 third quarter public safety report shows a 68 percent increase in reported rapes compared to July through September of last year. Public information officer Lisa Cox describes what might be the cause.

“It is difficult to pinpoint, we would hope, we would really hope that the cause of the dramatic increase is just that more people are coming forward,” says Cox.

Some of these reports are happening on local college campuses, and Cox says public awareness about sexual assault at school may play a factor. 

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Among the notable weather trends locally for October were higher than average temperatures and a lack of precipitation. Meteorologist Andy Boxell with the National Weather Service in Springfield explains just how warm the month was.

“Well October of 2015 here in the Springfield area was a fair deal warmer than what we’ve had compared to long-term averages, we were almost two degrees above normal for the month and that made it the 36th warmest October on record,” says Boxell.

And that unusually warm and dry weather has had an impact.

Drury University
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Beginning in the spring, Drury University will offer a new degree program at the graduate level, the Master of Nonprofit and Civic Leadership. Professor of Communications Dr. Charles Taylor says the new program hopes to better provide local professionals with the tools they need to perform within their field, which he says makes up a large amount of the region’s private sector.

“The nonprofit sector represents just over 50 percent of private sector employment in the Ozarks, which is dramatically higher than other cities of our size around the country,” says Taylor.

Thomas McFarland

Restoration of the gazebo at Maple Park Cemetery central Springfield is underway. Ted Smith with the ceremony’s Board of Directors offered a few clues about the landmark’s history during a ceremony today. 

“We do know that the gazebo had been constructed shortly after the cemetery opened. As there is a record of a symphonious or pony board, giving a Fourth of July 1876 centennial celebration oration from the gazebo,” Smith says.