With Christmas knocking on the front door, many in the Ozarks are coming together to epitomize the spirit of giving.
MaryAnne Sterner is one of those showcasing what the season is all about. She and a group of Facebook friends came up with an idea that is bringing smiles to many: a free Christmas toy shop for those in need, run out of a group member's home.
MaryAnne tells KY3 that the idea originated from the 'Free Cycle' Facebook group, of which she is a part. Over the past few months, the group has been collecting items --such as toys, books and clothes -- for families who are unable to shell out money for Christmas gifts.
"It's about helping those who otherwise wouldn't get help. One lady was actually in tears because without the shop, she wouldn't have had anything," says MaryAnne.
The shop runs today until 6:00 pm and again on Christmas Eve from 9:00 am to 6:00 pm. It is located at 1638 N. Drury Ave. in Springfield.
If you would like to make a donation or need assistance yourself, you may call MaryAnne at 417-761-1672 or Jackie at 417-365-2929.
Sgt. John Tinsley with the Republic Police Department pulled over a few drivers on Saturday to spread a little holiday cheer (we'll explain). During the busy shopping day, as many parents were trying to finish their Christmas purchases, Sgt. Tinsley was looking to pull over motorists for minor traffic infractions. Just as he was about to write a ticket, he transformed from a 'grinch' to one of Santa's helpers, surprising people with gifts donated by local businesses.
Federal grant money has long been available for doctors, nurses and dentists willing to relocate to rural areas. Now a South Dakota program is offering a similar incentive for lawyers.
It provides an annual subsidy of $12,000 for attorneys who live and practice law in sparsely populated communities. Jake Fischer is the first of up to 16 attorneys accepted into the program, which is funded by the state's judicial system, bar association and counties.
The 30-year-old left his job at a Minneapolis nonprofit this past spring to move to a new office in Corsica, South Dakota. He'll be the only full-time attorney in the town of 600 and one of just two in a county of 3,000.
Nebraska and Arkansas are soon launching their own incentive programs for rural lawyers.
Missouri's legislative leaders say anti-abortion measures are not among their main priorities next session.
Eight bills have been filed so far as the legislative session that starts Jan. 7 nears.
The dimmed interest follows Republican lawmakers' success in September in overriding a veto by Gov. Jay Nixon to enact one of the nation's longest waiting periods for abortions.
The GOP now has even greater numbers to override a veto by the governor.
But legislative leaders say their focus will be on economics and education instead of potentially divisive abortion bills.
Anti-abortion lobbyist Sam Lee of Campaign Life Missouri says a bill for annual health inspections of clinics has the best chances of passing.
Other abortion-related bills include a hotly contested measure to require the father's permission for an abortion.
Police say one person has been shot to death and two others wounded in east Kansas City.
Officers responded to the shooting around 10 p.m. Saturday. Police say one person died at a hospital. Two other shooting victims sustained wounds that weren't life threatening.
The name of the victim wasn't released. Officers are investigating and didn't immediately provide any details about what led up to the shooting.
Police are asking anyone with information to come forward.
A man is in police custody after a high-speed chase in Springfield Sunday morning.
It started just before 6:00 am near Walnut Lawn and Kansas Expressway, when a sheriff's deputy tried to pull the man over for a lane violation.
Speeds reached as high as 95-miles per hour. The chase lasted for about ten-minutes before the car hit spike strips on Republic Road, according to police.
The car had three flat tires but the driver continued onto Glenstone Avenue before ditching the car in front of Golden Corral.
Police arrested the man in the Lowe's parking lot on east Primrose after he fled on foot. They are not releasing the driver's name, but police say he is wanted on three felony warrants out of Greene County, and one out of Springfield. They pertain to drugs and stealing charges.
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A man is in police custody after a high-speed chase in Springfield Sunday morning. It started just before 6:00 am near Walnut Lawn and Kansas Expressway, when a sheriff's deputy tried to pull the man over for a lane violation. Speeds reached as high as 95-miles per hour. The man, who has not been named, was arrested after he fled on foot.
New York Giants (5-9) at St. Louis Rams (6-8)
*Keys to the game: Giants QB Eli Manning won't have the luxury of sitting in the pocket and picking his targets like he did in dissecting the Redskins' porous secondary last week. The Rams are young, fast and will collapse the pocket in a blink. Rookie RB Andre Williams has infrequently shown a quick burst, but the Giant need a solid contribution on the ground to keep Manning from reverting to his turnover-prone ways when forced to make quick decisions in the face of a strong pass rush in long passing situations. When Manning does have time, there will be a fascinating duel downfield between Giants star rookie WR Odell Beckham, Jr. and Rams CBs Janoris Jenkins and E.J. Gaines.
The Rams' offense is typically only as good as the field position the defense provides. Routinely forced to drive the length of the field against Arizona, QB Shaun Hill struggled to move the chains. However, the Giants lack the same type of dynamic front seven and rookie RB Tre Mason should have more success in setting up manageable third downs. The Giants continue to be beset by injuries in their linebacking corps, so the Rams should be able to chew up some yards by attacking the second level.
OFFICIAL FRIDAY INJURY REPORT
NEW YORK GIANTS
--Out: RB Rashad Jennings (ankle)
--Probable: LB Jameel McClain (knee)
ST. LOUIS RAMS
--Probable: G Davin Joseph (not injury related), DE Chris Long (ankle), C Scott Wells (not injury related)
*Matchup to watch - Giants LT Will Beatty vs. Rams DE Robert Quinn: More aptly, this is the mismatch to watch. Quinn has 10.5 sacks over his past nine games and has the ability to single-handedly blow up the Giants' offense. Beatty will get plenty of help, which means Manning loses a tight end or running back option in many passing situations.
*Player spotlight - Giants LG Rodger Saffold: The converted tackle is playing inside next to rookie Greg Robinson, and the interior of the Rams' line struggled with pressure from Cardinals DL Frostee Rucker in Week 15.
*Fast facts: Beckham's 61 catches are the most in NFL history by a rookie in a seven-game span. ... Rams DT Aaron Donald leads NFL rookies with 8.0 sacks.
The Greene County Sheriff's Office arrested eight drunken drivers during a sobriety checkpoint in Springfield Saturday night. It was set up on West Bypass, about one-mile north of Sunshine. The Sheriff's office reports about one-thousand vehicles went through the checkpoint. Springfield police and the Missouri State Highway Patrol assisted deputies.
The labor department says Arkansas experienced a third consecutive month of decline in unemployment in November.
The jobless rate dropped four-tenths of a percent to 5 point 8.
More than 10-thousand workers were added to payrolls last month.
Kansas City Chiefs (8-6) at Pittsburgh Steelers (9-5)
*Keys to the game: The Chiefs cruised by Oakland last week minus a dominant ground game thanks in large part to improved protection for QB Alex Smith. He was sacked once, hit once and averaged 9.9 yards per attempt (he's averaging 7.1 for the season).
Playing ball control on the road in cold conditions plays to the Chiefs' strengths, but coach Andy Reid may also open up the passing game if the protection is holding up. Pittsburgh gives up an average of 252.9 passing yards per game and the secondary is the Steelers' potential Achilles heel.
The Chiefs will also receive a litmus test for their defense, which is ranked fifth in points allowed (18.1 per game) and eighth in total defense. However, Kansas City has played only three teams ranked in the top 10 in offense - Denver twice and New England - and allowed an average of 334 yards. So the Steelers' well-balanced offense averaging 424.9 yards per game will provide a measuring stick.
Pittsburgh RB Le'Veon Bell has topped 2,000 total yards. The Steelers will test the middle of the Cheifs' 28th-ranked run defense early to set up play-action and improved protection for QB Ben Roethlisberger to stretch the field vertically.
OFFICIAL FRIDAY INJURY REPORT
KANSAS CITY CHIEFS
--Questionable: WR Dwayne Bowe (illness), LB Tamba Hali (knee)
--Probable: DE Allen Bailey (concussion), RB Jamaal Charles (knee, ankle), TE Anthony Fasano (knee), G Zach Fulton (toe), CB Phillip Gaines (concussion), DE Jaye Howard (illness, shoulder), LB Joshua Mauga (oblique), LB Joe Mays (knee), CB Christopher Owens (knee), CB Sean Smith (groin)
--Doubtful: S Troy Polamalu (knee), CB Ivan Taylor (shoulder, forearm)
--Questionable: TE Matt Spaeth (elbow)
--Probable: CB William Gay (not injury related), T Marcus Gilbert (ankle), LB James Harrison (knee), DT Steve McLendon (not injury related), TE Heath Miller (not injury related), S Michael Mitchell (groin), C Maurkice Pouncey (ankle), QB Ben Roethlisberger (not injury related), WR Markus Wheaton (illness)
*Matchup to watch - Chiefs OLB Justin Houston vs. Steelers RT Marcus Gilbert: Gilbert is expected to return after missing three games to an ankle injury. Houston is tied for the NFL lead with 17 sacks.
*Player spotlight - Chiefs ILB James-Michael Johnson: If Josh Mauga (oblique strain) can't go, Johnson will get the start next to Joe Mays in a critical position defending against Bell in both the run and passing games.
*Fast facts: The Chiefs have allowed two rushing touchdowns, which would tie the NFL record set by the 1934 Detroit Lions, 1944 New York Giants, 1968 Dallas Cowboys and 1971 Minnesota Vikings, all of whom played a 14-game season. ... The Steelers can win their first division title since 2010 by winning their final two games. They finish against Cincinnati next week.
While drivers in the Springfield area are paying less than two dollars for a gallon of gas, that's not the case in Arkansas. AAA's Daily Fuel Gauge shows the average price in the Natural State is 2.31 a gallon, that's down from 2.70 in November.
Prices are cheapest in Arkansas in the Fayetteville-Springdale-Rogers metro area.
Sunday will be another mostly cloudy day with slightly warmer temperatures. The weather will be unsettled through the middle of next week.
Police have arrested six University of Missouri-Columbia students on suspicion of hazing during a hide-and-seek style game.
Officers were called to a residence hall after several students saw what they thought was a person being assaulted.
A police captain says several fraternity members had chased down and grabbed two pledge members who were then put in a van. One of the pledges had his hands tied behind his back, but no one was hurt.
The pledges who were grabbed and put in the van aren't pressing any charges.
The family of Michael Brown, who was killed by a police officer in Ferguson, Missouri, has released a statement condemning the shooting deaths of two New York City officers.
The statement released Saturday by the Parks & Crump law firm says Brown's family rejects "any kind of violence directed toward members of law enforcement. It cannot be tolerated." It calls on citizens to "work together to bring peace to our communities." The brief statement concludes saying, "Our thoughts and prayers go out to the officers' families during this incredibly difficult time." A Missouri grand jury refused to indict the white officer who shot Brown, an unarmed black 18-year-old.
You could call it Santa Patrol.
Sgt. John Tinsley with the Republic Police Department had a bright idea a couple of weeks ago.
He says he wanted to give back to the community and spread good will between the public and law enforcement.
Sgt. Tinsley has been in law enforcement for 8 years, 3 of those in Republic. He says police officers have had a tough year, so he wanted to show people that police officers have hearts behind their badges.
He came up with what he calls 'Operation Joy'. Local businesses and generous citizens donated about $1,600 in a weeks time to help Sgt. Tinsley spread a little Christmas cheer on Saturday.
During the busy shopping day, as many parents were trying to finish their Christmas purchases, Sgt. Tinsley was looking for minor traffic infractions. He pulled them over and just as he was about to write a ticket, he transformed from a 'grinch' to one of Santa's helpers.
Sgt. Tinsley was joined by Officer Ernie Hughs (who wore a Santa cap for the day) and Republic's Mayor, Brian Buckner.
Watch the video to see how people reacted.
COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — Police have arrested six University of Missouri-Columbia students on suspicion of hazing during a hide-and-seek style game.
The Columbia Daily Tribune (http://bit.ly/13no1X4 ) reports that officers were called to a residence hall after several students saw what they thought was a person being assaulted.
MU Police Department Capt. Brian Weimer says several fraternity members had chased down and grabbed two pledge members who were then put in a van. Weimer says one of the pledges had his hands tied behind his back, but neither person was injured.
He described the game as a version of hide-and-seek.
The men who were arrested ranged in age from 19 to 21. They were released on summonses.
Weimer says the pledges who were grabbed and put in the van aren't pressing any charges.
Information from: Columbia Daily Tribune, http://www.columbiatribune.com
NORTH LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — Bobby Portis matched his season high of 24 points and added nine rebounds in a return to his native central Arkansas as the Razorbacks pulled away in the second half for an 84-67 win over Southeast Missouri State on Saturday night.
Portis, from neighboring Little Rock, was 9 of 14 from the field as Arkansas improved to 8-2 to start the season for a second straight year. He also had 24 points in a season-opening win over Alabama State.
Michael Qualls added 15 points, including a thundering dunk in the second half, while Anthlon Bell finished with 12 points — 11 in the first half. Arkansas shot an even 50 percent from the floor and was 7 of 19 beyond the arc.
Jarekious Bradley led the Redhawks (5-6) with 17 points, despite shooting 1 of 9 on 3-pointers, while Antonius Cleveland added 13 and Nino Johnson 12.
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — An Arkansas hospital has reported that a patient there was exposed to Legionella bacteria sometime within the past year.
The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reports (http://bit.ly/13pcQNT ) that the Fayetteville Veterans Affairs hospital reported the exposure on Friday. Spokeswoman Wanda Shull says the patient was transferred from a community hospital to the veterans hospital on Dec. 8 with pneumonia and remains hospitalized.
Hospital staff members have given the patient a presumptive diagnosis of Legionella pneumonia based on a positive Legionella antigen test. Shull says a positive antigen test does not confirm the presence of the disease but does indicate the patient's exposure to it.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says Legionella bacteria can cause a mild infection known as Pontiac fever and a more serious infection known as Legionnaires' disease.
Information from: Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, http://www.arkansasonline.com
COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — More than 100 faculty members at the University of Missouri's flagship campus in Columbia are taking buyouts and retiring.
The Columbia Missourian (http://bit.ly/13nnMeG ) reports that more than 42 percent of eligible faculty members, or 110, were approved for the buyout. The majority of them won't retire until August.
To qualify, faculty had to be retirement eligible and turn 62 by Aug, 31, 2015. They were eligible for a one-time payment of 1 1/2 times their base salary, not to exceed $200,000.
The program will free up about $17 million in budgeted salaries and benefits.
MU spokesman Christian Basi says some rehires will take place, but the number has not been finalized.
Information from: Columbia Missourian, http://www.columbiamissourian.com