Springfield

Salvation Army of Springfield / Used with permission

The Salvation Army, Catholic Charities of Southern Missouri, and Fisk Transportation all say thieves stole the catalytic converters from their vehicles this week. 

The vehicle parts are valuable because they often contain high-dollar metals like rhodium or platinum.

Steve Roberson with the Salvation Army in Springfield said their truck’s catalytic converter was stolen Wednesday night in front of the nonprofit’s thrift store on South Campbell. The Salvation Army uses its truck to make up to 250 stops a day to deliver food and clothing to families in need, he said.

The City of Springfield says this year’s Birthplace of Route 66 Festival will see some old favorites return and some new things, too.

The festival will feature several local performers, including Branson acts, on the state in Park Central Square and on a stage just south of Jefferson and Park Central East. 

Megan Burke / KSMU

Four cities named Springfield – including ours here in Missouri—are using friendly competition to educate young citizens about the importance of their votes. 

The “Springfield Votes!” campaign is a way to increase voter turnout among 18-to 34-year-olds – which is often the least active demographic of voters in U.S. midterm elections.

The League of Women Voters of Southwest Missouri said in a press release that the contest is between Springfield, Missouri and the Springfield cities in Illinois, Massachusetts, and Oregon.

Springfield Police Department

Springfield police have identified a suspect in the shooting deaths of two Springfield residents on March 27 and April 1.  They say they are actively searching for Willie Haughton for his alleged connection to the deaths of Lance Loveless and Robert Hewitt who were found shot to death in their vehicles. He also has an active Greene County warrant on charges of Failure to Appear on Domestic Assault and Endangering the Welfare of a Child. Haughton is also a violent criminal known to be armed and dangerous.

Michele Skalicky

A monument, installed nearly 100 years ago and marking explorer Henry Rowe Schoolcraft’s journey in the 19th Century to the area that’s now Springfield, is now accessible to the public.  

When explorer, Henry Rowe Schoolcraft, arrived at what is now Springfield in early January, 1818, the land was yet unspoiled.  He described prairie grass so tall that a man could ride a horse through it without being seen.

Community Partnership of the Ozarks

A local homeless advocate says she’s hopeful people living in makeshift camp sites that received notice Thursday (2/4) they’ll need to move will receive long-term help.

After property owners complained, police and local homeless advocates visited the three camps Thursday and let those living there know that they had 48 hours to leave.

Michelle Garand is deputy director of affordable housing and homeless prevention at the Community Partnership of the Ozarks.

bransonchamber.com

A new report from one of the world’s largest online hotel search sites lists Springfield and Branson among “America’s Best Value Towns & Cities.”

The report from Trivago.com ranks Branson number one as the best value city in the country and Springfield at number seven.

The rankings were compiled using Trivago’s Best Value Index, which uses the annual average price of a standard double room and the city’s average hotel rating by trivago.com users.

Drury University

Trees not only contribute to the aesthetics of a community, they provide so much more.  And area cities and organizations know this:  Drury University received a first time recognition as a Tree Campus, while Springfield and West Plains have continued to maintain Tree City USA titles.  KSMU’s Theresa Bettmann talks with local arborists to learn more about what it takes to achieve this type of recognition and why this is so important.

Andrew Magill; Flickr

On a list of 150 most recession-recovered cities in the U.S., Springfield ranks 120th.  The study by WalletHub looks at the progress of local cities in propelling their economic growth.

The study used 18 key metrics—from the inflow of college-educated workers and number of new businesses to unemployment rates and home price appreciation—to examine how each city has evolved economically over the last few years.