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December 3, 2019

A bi-monthly newsletter about things happening with your fellow members.

Thank you to our Newsletter Sponsors!



West Plains Chamber of Commerce Christmas Parade

The West Plains Chamber of Commerce Christmas Parade will take place on Saturday, December 14, 2019. This year's Parade theme is " Christmas in the Movies ". The Parade will begin at 4:00 p.m. at the corner of Porter Wagoner and Missouri Avenue, travel down Porter Wagoner past People's Park rounding the corner onto West Main and then disbursing at the corner of West Main & Preacher Roe  Boulevard  at the 4 way stop.

Chamber officials have indicated that Parade entry forms are available at the Chamber Office or online. Visit

If you are interested in sponsoring a prize winning float or would like to make a donation to the Christmas Parade, please contact the  Chamber Office, 401 Jefferson Avenue. 

All those who wish to participate in the Parade must register in advance. A panel of judges from neighboring communities will evaluate entries on Originality, Workmanship and Relevance to the Parade Theme. First and Second Place prizes will be awarded in three categories: Commercial, Religious and Miscellaneous, plus an overall Grand Prize.

The Chamber is still looking for volunteers to assist with the Christmas Parade, if you are interested in volunteering, please contact us at 417-256-4433.

Thrivent Financial
West Plains Downtown Revitalization
Great Southern Bank


Giving Tuesday

After Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday, there is another day to celebrate: Giving Tuesday! On Tuesday, December 3, 2019, people from around the world will come together for one common purpose: to celebrate generosity and to give. The Ozarks Small Business Incubator (OzSBI) encourages the community to take part in this global day of giving.

As a local nonprofit, OzSBI is working to improve our community by helping small businesses gain the skills, support and capital they need to succeed. Through financial contributions and thousands of hours of volunteer time, OzSBI has been able to assist 312 entrepreneurs growing their businesses since opening our doors in 2012. These businesses have gone on to create over 365 jobs.

Giving Tuesday is an opportunity for the business community to help OzSBI continue its success by utilizing tax credits. OzSBI has been awarded $55,264 in 50% tax credits by the Missouri Department of Economic Development. Any individual or business with a Missouri tax liability is eligible to receive the 2019 tax credits by making a contribution to OzSBI. Tax credits reduce the out-of-pocket cost of a donation by over 50%.

"OzSBI is able to use contributions for capital and other non-operating expenditures, including expanding its business development workshops, mentoring program, manufacturing outreach program and tech startup support," OzSBI Executive Director Heather Fisher said. She also commented on how other local organizations - specifically, nonprofits - have flourished by using tax credits.

"Tax credits also enable our community to grow as a whole. The West Plains Boys & Girls Club is another nonprofit organization in our area that utilizes tax credits to expand their program. Its substantial growth in attendance and the broadening of OzSBI's number of entrepreneurs helped over the last few years are great examples of tax credits being used to better our region."

On Giving Tuesday, OzSBI encourages you to consider giving back to your community. For more information about donating to OzSBI and using tax credits, please contact Heather Fisher at 417-256-9724 or .

West Plains Downtown Revitalization
Ribbon Cutting for New West Plains Christmas Tree Monday, December 2
A ribbon cutting for the new West Plains Christmas Tree, which is located on the Howell County Courthouse Lawn, will be held at 5 p.m. Monday, December 2. The 20-foot tree, complete with LED lights, was installed recently by City of West Plains' utility crews and was funded by the City in partnership with the West Plains Downtown Revitalization organization. The tree will be the focal point of the Downtown in December Christmas Festival downtown that immediately follows the Chamber of Commerce's Christmas Parade Saturday, December 14. That event will run from 5:30-7:30 pm December 14 and will feature music, vendors, crafts, a visit from Santa, and the chance to win prizes from a "snowball" drop by the City's electric department.

Ozark Action, Inc.
Boys and Girls Club of the Greater West Plains Area

Howell Oregon Electric Cooperative

Howell-Oregon Electric Cooperative is seeking a highly organized and motivated individual with proven skills to work on a full-time basis to assist with engineering computer needs of the cooperative.
Primary responsibilities will include:
  • Learning and maintaining GIS mapping system (i.e. FUTURA, ESRI, GIS)
  •  Learning and maintaining cooperative devices used in the field (i.e. lineman and engineer tablets)
  •  Assisting cooperative construction and right-of-way departments with IT needs
  •  Assisting members with new service applications
  •  PC network setup, maintenance and additions
  •  Maintain cooperative security system
Primary Qualifications:
  • Excellent communication skills and commitment to assisting a diverse group of members
  •  Ability to research, evolve with and implement new technology
  •  Ability to train users in both new and existing IT systems
  •  Ability to collaborate with a team and continue to build efficiency between cooperative departments
  •  Information Technology education and/or experience required
  •  Ability to multi-task

Supplemental training will be provided to successful candidate.
Wage based on education, experience and training needs.
Applicants can contact the Missouri Job Center in West Plains Monday through Friday 8:00 am to 4:30 pm.
Missouri Job Center
3417 Division Dr., Suite 1
West Plains, Mo. 65775
Phone: (417) 256-3158
An Equal Opportunity Employer

Wendy's of West Plains
West Plains Downtown Revitalization

Ozarks Medical Center
West Plains Schools

Missouri State University - WP

NSF grant funds purchase of NMR spectrometer
College and high school students in south-central Missouri have a new and powerful tool to use in their study of chemical compounds.

Officials at Missouri State University-West Plains recently purchased a 90 MHz nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectrometer with funds from a three-year, $242,790 grant from the National Science Foundation.

It was installed Nov. 19 by an engineer from Anasazi Instruments, Inc., a leading manufacturer of spectrometers for educational and industrial markets. 

The NMR spectrometer is one of the most powerful tools available for chemists to use to examine the structure of molecules, according to Dr. Joseph "Kip" Rugutt, professor of chemistry at Missouri State-West Plains and principal investigator for the grant.

"It is used to identify unknown substances, to characterize specific arrangements of atoms within molecules, and to study the rates of interactions between molecules in solution," he said in the grant application.

"The NMR studies improve understanding of synthetic organic/inorganic chemistry, materials chemistry and biochemistry. This instrument is an integral part of teaching and the research performed by undergraduate students that will impact green chemistry and recyclable ionic liquids used to accelerate reaction rates," he added.

Many innovative, guided inquiry experiments will be possible with the spectrometer, Rugutt said. Among them:
            * Research into specific chemical markers in samples of commercial honey to determine their                        levels of adulterations (if any), botanical origins and geographical origins;
            * Investigating the role of dispersants and agitation on water solubility of toxic organic compounds                  from crude oil in the context of a real or a simulated environmental oil spill;
            * Natural products experiments that will teach students important research techniques such as                      procedures for isolating individual chemical compounds from medicinal plants and bio-testing                      compounds for activities against various human cancer cell lines. 

Rugutt said the spectrometer also will be used in the bioinspired initiative Undergraduate Student Achievers in Research (USTAR), which promotes student participation in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) activities at the university and area high schools.

"The goal of the USTAR program is five-fold: Recruit qualified high school students, freshmen and sophomores; support a broad array of exciting projects that promote student interest in STEM; improve retention of students, especially groups underrepresented in STEM, using effective student-centered metacognitive and mentoring strategies; strengthen the ongoing collaborative research with universities in Kenya; and offer career development activities that encourage students to pursue STEM courses in two- and four-year colleges and beyond," he explained.

Rugutt said it is quite a coup for Missouri State-West Plains to receive the highly-competitive NSF grant from its Major Research Instrumentation (MRI) Program.

"During the fiscal year 2019 MRI competition, various institutions of higher education and not-for-profit, non-degree-granting institutions submitted proposals. With hundreds of excellent proposals and success rates of less than 20%, we feel humbled to have been among the few recipients of the award," he said.

For more information about the grant and the spectrometer, contact Rugutt at
For more information about the academic programs available at Missouri State-West Plains, visit or call 417-255-7955.
St.  Paul Lutheran Church

West Plains Council on the Arts
Create your own no-sew quilted fabric ornament at this workshop December 10!  West Plains Council on the Arts (WPCA) will host the workshop, conducted by local artist Tara Hensley, on December 10, 2019, 6:30-8:30 p.m. at The Hampton Inn-West Plains. Cost for the workshop is $30, all supplies included. 

A second workshop will be offered on Saturday, December 14, 2019, 10:00 a.m.- 12:00 p.m. at the West Plains Senior Center.

In this workshop you will make this lovely (and deceptively easy!) no-sew Christmas ornament, all without any stitching!  The ornament for this workshop will be red and green; however, you can see that once you master the technique, you will be able to make ornaments as gifts for family and friends in different fabric variations.

Tara Hensley was raised in a small town in the Appalachian foothills of southern Ohio until about the age of 12.  Her upbringing included being a member in the Patchworkers 4-H club, where most of her projects consisted of food, sewing and crafts taught by her mother, a 4-H leader. Hensley won ribbons for her work at local and state fairs, including an award for Outstanding of the Day at the Ohio State Fair. Hensley now lives in West Plains.     

"For the most part I have created things for my own home but now have decided to share those things that I create and cherish so much," says Hensley. "My passion is for what they are calling these days - rustic, primitive and farmhouse.  Most of my items have been upcycled from a vintage piece or made from a common household item. This is what inspires me.  Of course, I love frequenting vintage re-sale shops and antique stores for my inspirations, so most items that I make are pre-loved and show wear. DIY is a way of life in the Midwest.  Thou art blessed who "rescues" unwanted items; her husband may be embarrassed but her projects are incredible!"

Be sure to also ask Tara about the Old-Time Music, Ozark Heritage Festival Cookbook she's preparing. She'd be glad to answer any questions you have. Contact: Tara Hensley 573-247-6041  
Space for the workshop is limited. Reserve your spot by reserving your ticket through Eventbrite on the WPCA Facebook event page - No Sew Quilted Fabric Ornament Workshop; or call Paula at 417-293-2325.
Fidelity Communications, LLC

37th Judicial CASA
American Red Cross

Red Cross makes it easy and rewarding to save lives this holiday season

$5 Gift Card, courtesy of Suburban Propane, for blood and platelet donors
The American Red Cross urges eligible donors to be the lifeline for patients in need this holiday season by making an appointment to give blood or platelets. While helping to save lives is likely motivation enough, those who come out to give Nov. 18-Dec. 18 will also receive a $5 Gift Card via email, courtesy of Suburban Propane. Still need reasons to fit lifesaving blood donation into busy holiday schedules? Try these three:
  • It's quick and easy to find a convenient blood drive. Search for drives by ZIP code and make an appointment to donate using the Red Cross Blood Donor App, online at, by calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or by enabling the Blood Donor Skill on any Alexa Echo device. 
  • Donors can save time by completing a RapidPass┬«. The entire donation process only takes about an hour, but donors can save time with RapidPass. Pre-donation reading and health history questions can be completed online to save about 15 minutes. 
  • Donors will get important health information. Donors receive a mini-health screening to help determine eligibility that includes blood pressure, pulse and hemoglobin readings. First-time donors will also find out their blood type soon after donating.
As schedules fill with holiday parties, shopping and fun with friends and family, many blood and platelet donors delay giving. Unfortunately, that may lead to delays in treatments for patients relying on blood. Right now, there is a critical need for type O blood donors.
The Red Cross is thanking those who come to give Nov. 18-Dec. 18 with a $5 Gift Card that will be sent via email, courtesy of Suburban Propane.
Upcoming blood donation opportunities:
12/11/2019: 11 a.m. - 4 p.m., South Central Career Center, 407 Thornburgh, West Plains
12/12/2019: 10 a.m. - 2 p.m., Missouri Department of Conservation, 551 Joe Jones Boulevard, West Plains

Missouri State University - WP

University officials launch Annual Fund campaign
Officials at Missouri State University-West Plains have launched the 2019-2020 Annual Fund campaign to help provide educational opportunities for students at its campuses in West Plains and Mountain Grove.
Originally known as the Campus Opportunities Campaign, the program encourages alumni, friends and businesses that have benefited  from Missouri State-West Plains to envision the future by investing today.
"Our generous donors and supporters continue to make a life-changing impact on our students, as well as make our campus a vibrant part of the community," Chancellor Shirley Lawler said. "Giving to the Annual Fund further widens the door of opportunity for students who otherwise would not be able to obtain a higher education."
Money from the fund supports a variety of educational opportunities that benefit students directly. These include:
            * scholarships;
            * emergency grants which help students facing difficult situations stay in school;
            * academic enrichment activities such as leadership and development programs, trips to                                 conferences and competitions, cultural arts programs, and undergraduate research projects;
            * expansion of tutoring and academic support services;
            * state-of-the-art technology, labs and facilities to create the best learning environment for students                and prepare them for the 21st century workforce;
            * faculty training in the latest curriculum development and teaching techniques in their field of study;
            * and new programs that best prepare students for life-long learning.          
Missouri State University-West Plains Grizzly Booster Club members and scholarship donors Chuck and Sue Kimberlin, West Plains, believe in the transformative influence of education.
"Sue and I both began our post high school education at junior colleges, and in my case at Missouri State-West Plains," said Chuck. "In our professional lives, we saw the changing power of education in the students and clients we served. It has been our pleasure to find opportunities that support education at Missouri State-West Plains. We believe that a good education begins here at home."
To receive money from the Annual Fund, students, faculty and staff must submit proposals detailing the need and how the funds will be used, Director of Development Heather Kamps said.
"We have several proposal cycles each year. Through our Annual Fund, we hope to be able to fulfill all, or at least most, needs that are not within the existing operating budget," she said.        
Area residents can make a gift to the Annual Fund at any time during the current fiscal year, which runs through June 30, 2020. Gifts can be made by check payable to the Missouri State University Foundation; credit card; or online through
Gifts can be made quarterly, semi-annually or through any other payment option that is convenient, Kamps said. Residents also can make a pledge, and campus officials will mail a pledge reminder in the month requested by the donor, he added.
For more information about the Annual Fund and other ways of giving to Missouri State University-West Plains, call 417-255-7240.
Ozark Action, Inc.

37th Judicial CASA

AmVets Post 98

Ozarks Medical Center