May 19, 2020
A bi-monthly newsletter to keep you informed on other members activities
For a list of COVID-19 resources and local business updates visit the
West Plains Chamber of Commerce Website.
West Plains Schools
The Chamber rolled out a feel good campaign,  #westplainsstrong,  to display a positive beacon in the community.

We know businesses are suffering right now. In the midst of the global pandemic, the Chamber wants to let the community know we are still working for them.  We are providing community information, governmental advocacy for our members and business community on local, state and national levels and research on best ways to help everyone to get through this crisis.

In a time where not all businesses are open at full capacity, we want to do something to show our support.

Chamber and community members alike have decided to jump on board as well.

If you would like us to help YOU spread the word, call the Chamber office to order your FREE vinyl  #westplainsstrong . Be sure to post/share your pictures and use  #westplainsstrong . For additional information on Covid-19 resources, go to the West Plains Chamber website at

Many thanks to these businesses for jumping on board and sharing their photos with us.
Mill Country Title
Beard Law Firm, LLC
Christos House
H & R Block
Quality Floors
Schwegman Office Supply
Ozark Action Inc.
Southern Magnolia Boutique
Ozark Quick Lube
Ozark Quick Wash
McDonald's Restaurant
ABC Carpet One
Rasor Chiropractic
Brocaw Bearing
District to Begin Gradual Reopening of Outdoor Athletic Facilities
The West Plains School District will begin a gradual reopening of outdoor athletic facilities today, Monday, May 18, 2020. The district will reopen outdoor athletic facilities that have traditionally been open for the community during the summer when all education-based student activities are not in session or groups have not formally rented through the district central office. Please see the guidelines below. As soon as more information is available, the district will share the information with the community.

  • The Zizzer Stadium is open to the community for the use of the track only. Access to the stadium bleachers, turf field, soccer field, or any outdoor equipment will remain closed. The stadium press box and the area around it are under renovations; please do not enter construction areas.

  • Traditionally, the district has made available two tennis courts for community use. These tennis courts are reopened and are located next to Howell street.

  • All other indoor/outdoor facilities will remain closed and are unavailable for use through the month of May. Please do not enter construction areas.

  • Please exercise social distancing during this time, as recommended by the CDC.

  • Please follow the rules and regulations as posted at the stadium entrances.
Missouri Department of Economic Development
Summer School Registration is Open
The West Plains School District will offer two great opportunities for summer school this year. A virtual summer school will begin May 26 through June 30. The district also plans to provide an in-person Learning Academy session for elementary and middle school students from July 6 to July 30. Students will register in their current grade level for the 2019-2020 school year.  

Virtual Summer School
Virtual summer school will be implemented through Google Classroom. All students will check-out a Chromebook device on May 26, 2020.

The virtual K-8 Programming will rely on existing Grade-level content and highlight: (May 26 – June 30)
  •    1:1 Chromebook for each student
  •    Teacher-supported programming through Google Classroom
  •    ELA, Math, Science & Social Studies standards
  •    Engaging online activities
  •    Adaptive software access

In-Person K-8 Learning Academy (July 6 – July 30)
Both elementary and middle school aged participants will engage in in-person thematic academic instruction enriched with stimulating hands-on activities to broaden interest in the world around us. Culminating experiences will nurture a sense of wonder and encourage participation. Morning and afternoon transportation is provided for all K-12 students.
High School Summer School

If the district can host summer school in July, the West Plains High School will offer Zizzer Success for incoming freshman and physical education classes for grades 9-12.

Registration to enroll is now open. Registration for virtual summer school will end on May 22, and registration for the in-person Learning Academy will end on July 6. 

To register for Virtual Summer School (June)  Click Here
To download the Chromebook User Agreement  Click Here
To register for In-Person Summer School (July)  Click Here
Classes in technology, publishing, history and political science make up some of the new and unique course offerings planned for the 2020 summer session and fall semester at Missouri State University-West Plains.
All summer session classes, which begin June 8, will be offered online. Fall semester classes, which begin Aug. 17, will be offered in online, blended and modified seated formats.


Two offerings during the summer session will prepare students for taking Microsoft Office Specialist (MOS) exams in Word and Excel software.
Microsoft Office Word 1 (CIS 110) is a one-credit-hour class which introduces students to the Word software program and its functions.
Microsoft Office Excel 1 (CIS 112) is a one-credit-hour class that introduces students to the Excel software program and its functions.


Area residents can learn more about computers and programming in the new World of Computer Science (CSC 130) class. This three-credit-hour online course gives a broad overview of computer sciences.
Topics range from the basic structure of a computer to artificial intelligence, according to Jim Hart, assistant professor of technology and computer information systems/computer graphics and programming.
The course would be a good class for non-majors to learn more about computer science, he added.
Professional Editing and Publishing (ENG 184) is a three-credit-hour hybrid internship course that will provide two students knowledge and practical experience in the field of literary publication.
Although not new, Writing for the Professions (ENG 221) will be offered for the first time online this summer and fall, Howerton said. This three-credit-hour class will give students the opportunity to practice a variety of writing situations encountered by professionals, including correspondence, proposals, documented research reports, abstracts, definitions, and product and process descriptions.
An emphasis will be placed on developing skills in audience analysis, analytical reading, critical thinking, research methods, and clear writing.
Additional course work will be required for students taking the class as a part of the William and Virginia Darr Honors Program, Howerton said.
History buffs may be interested in taking World History to 1600 (HST 103) . This three-credit-hour class taught by Assistant Professor of History Dr. Jason McCollom is set for 9:30 to 10:50 a.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
If politics and governments pique your interest, you may want to consider Countries and Cultures: Comparative Government (PLS 205) . This three-credit-hour class set for 2 to 3:20 p.m. Mondays and Wednesdays is taught by Professor of Political Science Dr. Kathy Morrison. It offers an introductory comparative study of the principles, techniques and policy issues of government in constitutional democracies and authoritarian regimes.
The course focuses on selected West European (Britain, France, Germany) and non-West European (Japan, Mexico, Russia and Iran) countries and the evolution of the European Community.
Some students may want to consider taking this class as a capstone course, in which it will appear as Introduction to Comparative Government: Topics in Globalization (IDS 297) in the course schedule, she added.
In the technology realm, Introduction to Industry 4.0 (TEC 132) is new to the fall schedule this year. This three-credit-hour class offered online or through blended and modified seated options will introduce students to the concepts and applications of Industry 4.0, Hart said.
It will include exploring the Internet of Things and the networking of industrial equipment and systems through a globally connected industrial network. Students will follow the evolution of data, artificial intelligence, robotics and virtual ecosystems that provide industry with the tools for rapid prototyping, Hart said.
The course is part of the university’s National Science Foundation project Worker 4.0: Preparing Students for Today’s Technician Careers. A certification exam through the National Coalition of Certification Centers (NC3) is part of the course, Hart said.
Students must have successfully completed Survey of Electronics (TEC 100) or be taking the class concurrently to enroll in Introduction to Industry, he added.
Also part of the NSF project, Survey of Electronics is a three-credit-hour class that provides an overview of electronics, including electrical and electronic safety, Ohms Law, passive and active devices, amplifiers, digital fundamentals and communications systems.
As with Introduction to Industry, the class will be offered online or through blended and modified seated options. An NC3 certification exam also is part of the course, Hart said.
There are prerequisites, so those interested should check the course catalog.

Although not new, the William and Virginia Darr Honors Program offers a unique opportunity for students of high academic and/or artistic potential to challenge themselves on their educational journey.
Those who are admitted to the program begin that journey with the Honors I Seminar (HNR 150) , a three-credit-hour class set for 11 a.m. to 12:20 p.m. Mondays and Wednesdays this fall.
Central components of the course will introduce students to the seminar class setting, Socratic method of learning, use of written and oral communication to aid in learning, critical thinking and analysis, and group activity learning.
For a complete look at the 2020 summer session/fall semester schedule, visit .
For more information about admissions and registration procedures, call the admissions office at 417-255-7955, toll free at 1-888-466-7897, or visit the university’s website, .
Summer session classes begin June 8. Fall semester classes start Aug. 17.
Fidelity Communications today announced that it will extend its commitment to the Federal Communications Commission’s Keep Americans Connected Pledge in an effort to provide continued connectivity for customers and communities and to ease the financial burden of those impacted by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Fidelity originally committed to the pledge on March 13, 2020, and it will now extend the following activities through June 30, 2020:

  • Waiving of late charges and suspending disconnection of internet services for residential and small business customers who are unable to pay their bill due to disruptions caused by the pandemic. 

  • Opening of free WiFi hotspots in local office parking lots and other public areas across its footprint for public use during the crisis in order to keep individuals and communities connected. Fidelity and the other Cable One family of brands have opened more than 140 WiFi hotspots since March 16, 2020, and work continues to open additional WiFi hotspots in other public areas. 

Beyond the pledge actions, the company will also continue to make available through June 30, 2020 a low-cost 15 Mbps residential internet plan for $10 per month to help low-income families and those impacted from coronavirus challenges, such as seniors and college students. 

“Access to internet service is critical during these unprecedented times, and we remain committed to ensuring our customers and communities stay connected to family, work, school and information,” said Julie Laulis, President and CEO. 

Customers can call 800-392-8070 for more information. 
OMC Behavioral Healthcare Offers Help Amid Pandemic
BHC sets up a free pandemic help and resource line.
WEST PLAINS, Mo – Ozarks Medical Center (OMC) Behavioral Healthcare (BHC) has been selected by the Missouri Department of Mental Health (DMH) Office of Disaster Services to implement a COVID Crisis Counseling Program (CCP) in addition to the mental health services it currently provides to the surrounding counties.

The CCP which is funded by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is intended to assist those individuals and communities in recovering from the effects of natural and human-caused disasters such as the current pandemic through the provision of community-based outreach and psycho-educational services. It helps people recover and rebuild their lives after a disaster.

Crisis Counselors through the CCP can help individuals and groups to understand their situations and reactions, address emotions, adjust to loss, manage stress, develop coping strategies and make use of community resources available to them.

About OMC Behavioral Healthcare CCP
OMC Behavioral Healthcare will utilize its CCP program to provide outreach services to the community such as; COVID-19 education, methods to protect against infection, and information on how to cope with related stress and anxiety. Linkage to resources will include; job search information, counseling services, medication management services, unemployment services, and housing support.

The initial program launch will be centered around OMC Behavioral Healthcare’s recently launched COVID-19 Help & Resource Line. This helpline will provide free and confidential support, helping callers experiencing increased anxiety due to the coronavirus emergency. The Helpline is staffed by volunteers and mental health professionals who are here to help. Call 417-256-1777 to access this service Monday-Friday 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

OMC Behavioral Healthcare offers efficient and effective mental health services to children and adults including individuals, couples, and family counseling. In addition, BHC provides case management, anger management, group therapy, and medication services to help reduce the severity and duration of mental health disorders. Their team of mental health professionals provides convenient, comprehensive care to keep their community mentally healthy. For more information about OMC Behavioral Healthcare, visit .

OMC Behavioral Health COVID-19 Help & Resource Line Operators from left to right: Melissa Daily, Resource Coordinator; Wendy Rhoads, Team Lead; Lorrie Bettis, Resource Coordinato; all of OMC Behavioral Health.
New welding, fabricating equipment purchased for GOCAT
Officials at Missouri State University-West Plains recently purchased new welding and fabricating equipment for the Greater Ozarks Center for Advanced Technology (GOCAT).
Funds from a Delta Regional Authority rural workforce grant awarded in December 2019 were used to purchase a VRTEX 360 virtual reality welding training simulator and Torchmate CNC plasma cutting table, as well as three new lathes, officials said.
The equipment will be used to train students in advanced welding and machine fabrication. Both are essential programs that provide the hands-on training experiences needed to meet a critical workforce shortage in the manufacturing industry in south-central Missouri, university officials said.
University officials purchased the equipment through the Lincoln Electric LEEPS program to provide manufacturing certifications from the National Coalition of Certification Centers (NC3). Missouri State-West Plains is a certified school with NC3.
“These pieces of equipment are the first of several we are planning to secure that are built to interact with current equipment in the Fab Lab to simulate a manufacturing environment,” said Sheila Barton, director of workforce programs at Missouri State-West Plains.
“The partnership with Lincoln Electric and NC3 provides us with a unique opportunity to offer a complete suite of portable, stackable national certifications,” she added.
Details on the new equipment
The VRTEX 360 simulator creates a lifelike stage with realistic welding sounds, sparks, grinding and cooling scenarios, Barton said. It is capable of tracking and scoring key welding parameters for consistent feedback and replay training. 
The Torchmate cutting tables have a touch-based interface for hands-on-training and is integrated with CAD and CAM software, Ethernet connectivity, and digital torch height control.
Parts machined on the table can be welded and finished, allowing students to put multiple machine operating skills together, she explained.
For more information about the new equipment or the university’s advanced welding and machine fabrication programs, contact the GOCAT office at (417) 255-7784 or Roy Crouch, education and outreach specialist, at (417) 255-7785 or .
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