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Updated: 1 hour 17 min ago

Bible-based TV mini-series 'A.D.' has ties to church fellowship in Springfield

Tue, 02/03/2015 - 10:43pm

It has all the makings of a powerful Hollywood movie.  But, the plot line for this new mini-series was penned almost 2,000 years ago.

The NBC mini-series is called A.D. This 12-part show retelling the story of early days of the Church.  In the directors chairs are couple Mark Burnett and Roma Downey, the same folks behind the hit series Son of God.

Burnett and Downey met with Assemblies of God leader George Wood and discussed the premise and script for the series.  That connection with the Springfield-based denomination has grown.

“I believe they had an understanding that is has been a core doctrine of the Assemblies of God that they felt like it accurately represents how we need to be responding with the Holy Spirit and they wanted that to be a part of the script and the series,” explained Sol Arledge Jr., Chief Operating Officer of the Assemblies of God.

The A.G. is now supporting the A.D. project.  The series creators had the denomination produce an outreach and sermon kit to help promote the message.

“I think the greatest hope is not just an education of the Book of Acts, but really an experience of what the Holy Spirit does for us, how it can be used in our lives,” said Arledge.

The mini-series airs this spring during the Easter season on KY3.

Portis' 18 points lifts Arkansas over South Carolina 75-55

Tue, 02/03/2015 - 10:36pm

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (AP) — Bobby Portis had 18 points and 13 rebounds as Arkansas won for the fourth time in five games with a 75-55 win over South Carolina on Tuesday night.

It's the 17th straight game in double digits in points for Portis, the preseason first-team All-Southeastern Conference selection who has also finished with double digit rebounds in seven of his last eight games.

Michael Qualls added 11 points for the Razorbacks (17-5, 6-3 SEC), who held the Gamecocks to 27.9 percent (17 of 61) shooting and scored 21 points off 20 turnovers. Portis' rebound total matched his career best.

Sindarius Thornwell led South Carolina (11-10, 2-7) with 16 points, while Marcus Stroman added 10. The Gamecocks have lost five of their last six games and seven of nine.

Arkansas closer to second vote to allow statewide alcohol sales

Tue, 02/03/2015 - 7:21pm

Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge's office has cleared the way for a group calling for legalizing alcohol sales statewide to begin gathering signatures to put the proposal on the 2016 ballot. Rutledge's office on Tuesday certified the wording of the proposed constitutional amendment to legalize alcohol sales in all 75 Arkansas counties.  The proposal must be certified before supporters can begin gathering the nearly 85,000 signatures from registered voters needed to put the proposal on the ballot November 2016. David Couch, the attorney who submitted the proposal, led the campaign for a similar amendment that voters rejected in November.

Doctor goes to prison for failing to pay $1.5 million in income taxes

Tue, 02/03/2015 - 6:47pm

A man from Kimberling City who worked as an emergency room physician was sentenced in federal court on Tuesday for failing to file tax returns despite earning hundreds of thousands of dollars each year. 

U.S. Magistrate Judge David Rush sentenced Phillip Psaltis, 65, to serve  two years in federal prison without parole. The court also ordered Psaltis to pay $1,581,594 in restitution to the IRS, the Missouri Department of Revenue and the Oklahoma Department of Revenue.

Psaltis worked as an emergency room physician at Lawton Indian Hospital in Lawton, Okla., in 2011 and at Claremore Indian Hospital in Claremore, Okla., in 2010. Psaltis worked as an emergency room physician at Barton County Memorial Hospital in Lamar, Mo., from 2006 to 2009 and at Pike County Memorial Hospital in Louisiana, Mo., in 2008 and 2009.

Psaltis pleaded guilty last Oct. 9 to two counts of failing to file an income tax return. Psaltis admitted he has failed to file federal income tax returns since 2002.

The two specific charges to which Psaltis pleaded guilty relate to his failure to file a federal tax return for 2009, when he earned approximately $450,664, and for 2010, when he earned approximately $433,339.

Psaltis admitted he failed to file federal income tax returns for 2009, 2010 and 2011. Psaltis’s unreported income during those years totaled $1,204,786 and the total tax loss was $377,022.  Psaltis also owes $551,434 in outstanding federal taxes for the years 2002 through 2008.

Because Psaltis did not file his 2012 tax return, it is estimated that he will owe approximately $128,109 in tax liability for 2012.

In addition to the unpaid federal taxes, Psaltis owes $62,259 in Missouri and Oklahoma state income tax for the years 2009, 2010 and 2011. 

Psaltis’ medical license was suspended three times – on Dec. 14, 2009, on July 16, 2012, and on June 11, 2013 – for delinquency of Missouri state taxes or failure to file state income tax returns.

The IRS-Criminal Investigation division investigated this case.

Investigator found nothing suspicious at house fire where family suspects arson

Tue, 02/03/2015 - 6:39pm

A family says a house fire last week was the work of an arsonist.  A state investigator found nothing suspicious.

The Perez family, who live near Richland, lost everything in the fire on Jan. 28.   They also say a man called them and told them he set fire to the home.

Loved ones have been trying to salvage anything they can, but the Perez's trailer is a total loss.  The 23- and 24-year-old couple and their 6-year-old son even lost their family dog.

"It was going fast," said Sheila Tyler. 

Ramon and Kassie Perez were both at work and their son was at school when their house went up in flames.  Their family members say it was intentionally set.

"Somebody they tried to help a long time ago, and you help somebody, and then you don't help them after a few years and they get upset," said Tyler. 

Sheila is Kassie's grandma.  Tyler even says the man who the family blames called and told them he had set their house on fire while it was burning down.

An investigator for the State Fire Marshal's Office says the cause is undetermined -- and there's nothing suspicious in nature, according to Mike O'Connell, a spokesman for the Missouri Department of Public Safety.

Either way, the young couple has few belongins -- and this small community is banding together.

"I've been collecting some things from the Richland community, and they've been really good; we've been collecting things for a household," Tyler said.

The family is holding a toy drive on Saturday.   You can call (573) 291-6125 if you are interested in helping.

Laclede County sheriff's deputies questioned a man but released him; no charges are likely.

Springfield and Greene County leaders consider new tax or fee to fund storm water mandates

Tue, 02/03/2015 - 6:30pm

Those of you in Springfield and Greene County could soon be paying a new tax or fee because of what the federal government demands as part of the Clean Water Act.

The city and county are working together to find those funds.  A county-wide 1/8th cent sales tax that helped pay for park and storm water improvements ended in 2012, and now Springfield and Greene County are searching for a place to find money to manage storm water.

Options leaders are considering include seven different ideas for new taxes or fees, or they could choose to cut services to city and county residents and use existing funds.

Springfield City Manager Greg Burris says, "Both the city and the county budgets are extremely tight right now, and I'm co-chair of the poverty commission that's looking at poverty in our community right now. It puts all this into context, so how do you come up with the next dollar and put it towards storm water when you know there are so many other needs in our community?" But the city and county must come up with anywhere from $1.5 to $2.8 million a year for operations and compliance,  just to keep up with federal requirements.  Millions more are needed to replace old storm water infrastructure and for flood control projects. A task force that has studied the issue recommends $11.3 million a year for storm water.

"So the citizens have to decide, would I rather lose services, or am I willing to pay more, in some way, whether it's a tax or a higher waste water bill?" says Burris.

"Otherwise, we face civil and quite frankly, potentially criminal penalties if we were to simply decide we are no longer interested in implementing it," says Paul Calamita, chairman of AquaLaw, a law firm that has represented other cities facing hundreds of thousands of dollars in fines.  Calamita says if regulatory agencies like the Environmental Protection Agency step in, it becomes their plan, not the community's.

"You can do it on your terms, or you can do it on their terms.  In essence, you lose the control of your destiny," says Burris.

It's an urgent matter, as Springfield and Greene County are up for a new storm water permit this summer.  If they choose to seek additional funding rather than cut services, it would go to a public vote.

Wednesday is Rosa Parks Day in Missouri

Tue, 02/03/2015 - 5:29pm

Wednesday is Rosa Parks Day in Missouri.  It honors the famed civil rights pioneer on what would have been her 102nd birthday.  A state law passed in 2006 designates that date to honor Parks, who was born on Feb. 4, 1913, and died in 2005.

Parks refused in 1955 to obey the order of a bus driver to give up her seat to a white male passenger on a city bus in Montgomery, Ala.  Her action led to the successful boycott of the segregated city bus system and drew national attention.

Many call Parks the “Mother of the Modern Day Civil Rights Movement,” and her refusal is considered one of the key events of the civil rights movement of the 1950s and 1960s.

Arkansas House supports tougher sex offender restrictions

Tue, 02/03/2015 - 5:13pm

Arkansas' highest-level sex offenders would be barred from living near churches under a proposal passed by the House.  

Members voted 75-7 on Tuesday to bar level four sex offenders from living within 2,000 feet of churches.  Arkansas classifies level four offenders as sexually violent predators, which is the most severe designation by the state.

Sex offenders already living near churches would be grandfathered (allowed to remain) under the proposal.  It's currently illegal for sex offenders to live near schools, public parks, youth centers or child care centers.

Rep. Charlene Fite, R - Van Buren, says she sponsored the bill after a sex offender in her district traveled through church property before assaulting someone on an adjacent property.  She says the state sheriff's association supports the change.

No one spoke against the bill.

Defense chief warns America threatened by Chinese cyber thefts

Tue, 02/03/2015 - 4:26pm

The U.S. defense intelligence chief is warning that America's technological edge over China is at risk because of cyber theft.

Lt. Gen. Vincent Stewart, director of the U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency, says the U.S. retains technological superiority. But he also says China has stolen "a lot" of intellectual property from U.S. defense contractors and that effort continues.

He's declining to say publicly whether that has affected U.S. defense capabilities.

Stewart was speaking at a congressional hearing Tuesday on worldwide threats.

He said Chinese training and weaponry, including missiles, aircraft and space defense capabilities, pose a significant threat to U.S. forces in the western Pacific.

Concert to benefit injured police officer adds performers

Tue, 02/03/2015 - 4:20pm

The Gillioz Theatre said Tuesday that more performers have agreed to play at a benefit concert on Feb. 27 that will help the family of injured Springfield Police Officer Aaron Pearson.  Pearson was shot in the head on Jan. 26, and is hospitalized with career-ending injuries. 

The lineup of bands in the Playin’ and Prayin’ for 1641 concert include Dallas Jones and Molly Healey; Steve Smith and the Sneakers; and The Hurricanes, featuring Jody Bilyeu, Barak Hill, Brandon Moore and Dallas Jones.   The concert's title comes from Pearson's badge number: 1641.

On Tuesday, the Gillioz Theatre said John Dillon and Steve Cash and and other members of the Ozark Mountain Daredevils will sit in for a few songs throughout the evening to show their support for the Pearson family.  They will not perform as the Ozark Mountain Daredevils, however.

Tickets are $20; they go on sale Wednesday, Feb. 4, at noon.  For ticket information go to or call (417) 863-9491.

Photos could help catch man who robbed Dollar General store

Tue, 02/03/2015 - 3:44pm

The Greene County sheriff's department on Tuesday released security camera photographs of a man who held up a Dollar General store on Monday night.  The store is on West Battlefield Road outside Springfield.  The robbery was about 8:16 p.m.

Witnesses said the robber is white, about 6 feet tall, with a thin build.  He wore blue jeans, a black hoodie with a green logo on the back, and gloves.  He also had his t-shirt pulled up over his face, only leaving his eyes visible.

The man approached a clerk at the counter and demanded money from the cash register; he did not show a weapon.

The robber fled the store with some cash.  Officers set up a perimeter to search for the robber, and used a police dog, but did not find him.

Detectives ask for the public's help in identifying the robber from the photos.  If you have any information, you can call the sheriff's office tip line at (417) 829-6230 or send a message on Facebook.

Bill would expand right to use deadly force in Arkansas

Tue, 02/03/2015 - 3:31pm

An Arkansas lawmaker is proposing expanding citizen's rights to use deadly force to defend themselves.

Republican Rep. Dwight Tosh of Jonesboro on Tuesday filed a "stand your ground" bill that would expand the legal justifications for someone to use deadly force in self-defense rather than retreating.

State law currently allows a person to use deadly force in self-defense without the duty to retreat within their home or the area immediately surrounding their home. The law otherwise says citizens may not use deadly force if they can avoid doing so "with complete safety." 

Missouri state parks, historic sites had record attendance in 2014

Tue, 02/03/2015 - 3:15pm

Gov. Jay Nixon stopped here at the Laclede-Dallas county line on Tuesday to announce record attendance last year at Missouri State Parks and historic sites.  They had more than 18.5 million guests in 2014; that's almost a 25 percent increase since 2008.“

"Missouri has a strong outdoor heritage, and it’s great to see more people exploring nature, experiencing history, and helping to create jobs in the Show-Me State,” Nixon said.

When the governor took office in 2009, he made it a priority to reverse a 10-year decline in parks attendance.  An economic impact study for the Missouri state park system released in 2012 reported the overall economic impact of visitors to Missouri state parks and historic sites is estimated at $1.02 billion annual in sales, supporting more than 14,500 jobs throughout the state.

In 2014, Missouri State Parks also noted a 5.1 percent increase in camping occupancy at the 40 state parks and historic sites, which offer almost 3,600 campsites. The park system also saw an increase in youth camping.  About 26 percent of campers who stayed a night in a state park last year were under age 18.

Campsites in state parks range from secluded walk-in sites to sites with hookups for water, sewer and electrical service. To make a camping reservation, visit Camping reservations can also be made by calling toll free 877-ICampMO (877-422-6766). Guests can make their reservations starting at 7 a.m. six months prior to the first day of their trip.

Gov. Nixon also encouraged Missourians to plan a fishing trip to one of Missouri’s trout parks once the catch-and-keep season begins at 6:30 a.m. on March 1. Missouri State Parks includes three trout parks, Roaring River State Park near Cassville, Bennett Spring State Park near Lebanon and Montauk State Park near Salem.

Trout season in Missouri is a cooperative effort of Missouri State Parks, which manages state parks, and the Missouri Department of Conservation, which operates the hatcheries and stocks the streams with trout.

“Like many Missourians, I grew up trout fishing.  Those memories of waking up before dawn, wading out into the cold bracing stream and feeling the strike of a trout on the line are memories that I’ll never forget,” Nixon said.  “I want more Missouri children to be able to make those same memories with their families, which is why we will continue to protect and invest in our state parks, so that these resources are here for generations to come.”

Missouri has been named the best camping state, the best trails state, and its state parks are consistently ranked among the best in the nation.  To celebrate Missouri being named the “Best Trails State” in 2013, Gov. Nixon launched the 100 Missouri Miles Challenge to encourage Missourians to undertake 100 miles of physical activity on Missouri trails.  Since then, more than 22,000 Missourians have logged more than 3.1 million miles.

This year, the governor and first lady are promoting Missouri’s water resources by encouraging Missourians to log 100 “blue” miles on the state’s many lakes, rivers and streams.

Missouri House endorses cuts to unemployment benefits

Tue, 02/03/2015 - 3:12pm

Missouri representatives are closer to limiting the length of jobless benefits to as few as 13 weeks, based on the overall rate of unemployment in the state.

The Missouri House gave initial approval to a measure linking weeks of benefits for fired employees to the state's unemployment rate Tuesday.

The measure also increases the amount businesses have to pay into the unemployment insurance fund before reduced payments go into effect, and encourages the state to find alternatives to borrowing from the federal government if the fund becomes insolvent.

Supporters say the measure will ensure the fund does not run out of money in the future and reduce the burden on businesses that lose a federal tax credit when the state borrows for long periods from the federal fund.

U.S. appeals court combines gay marriage cases from Mo., Ark., S.D.

Tue, 02/03/2015 - 2:12pm

A federal appeals court agreed to hear arguments this spring from three more states that are defending gay marriage bans.  The 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Tuesday granted a request to consider an appeal from South Dakota at an expedited pace. 

South Dakota Attorney General Marty Jackley says the court also combined the arguments with cases from Arkansas and Missouri.  All three states are appealing federal judges' decisions that bans on gay marriages are unconstitutional.

The St. Louis-based court says arguments will be the week of May 11 in Omaha, Neb.  The U.S. Supreme Court is set to hear arguments in April and could decide by June whether gay couples can marry nationwide.

Jackley says he plans to work with the attorneys general of Missouri and Arkansas to defend their bans.

Don't let the nice weather today fool you

Tue, 02/03/2015 - 12:37pm

Snow in the forecast Wednesday

University medical programs in Springfield will benefit from state settlement with S&P

Tue, 02/03/2015 - 11:44am

Missouri will get about $21.5 million for its general revenue fund as part of a national settlement with credit rating agency Standard & Poor's.  The governor's office says it will spend $4.68 million of that settlement for a planned University of Missouri Medical School campus in Springfield at Missouri State University and $620,000 for a planned MSU occupational therapy degree program.

The ratings agency announced the settlement on Tuesday after government allegations that it knowingly inflated ratings of risky mortgage investments that helped trigger the financial crisis in 2008.  Attorney General Chris Koster and Secretary of State Jason Kander say the credit rating agency agreed to comply with Missouri consumer protection laws as part of the settlement.

Gov. Jay Nixon says the money will be used for state veteran's homes, cybercrimes task forces and domestic violence shelters, among other programs.  The state expects to receive the money by March 6.

The University of Missouri wants to establish a clinical campus in Springfield in an expansion of the university's medical school, but first it needs a 5,000- to 6,000-square-foot building between the city's two major hospitals.

University officials met with city leaders in November 2013 to discuss the $40 million plan that includes spending $36 million to expand the medical school on the university's Columbia campus.

The building in Springfield would house about a dozen full-time employees and be relatively small because medical students coming to Springfield would spend most of their time at Cox South and Mercy hospitals. 

Eight MU students enrolled last summer in the doctor training program slated for Springfield, and MU planned to enroll an additional 35 students next summer.  The MU program would send third and fourth year students to complete their clinicals at CoxHealth and Mercy.

University officials say expansion is necessary to address a projected national shortage of 90,000 physicians by 2020.

The Legislature last spring appropriated $1.325 million for MSU for the occupational therapy program and $10 million for MU for the startup of the Medical School program in Springfield;  those were the same amounts the programs received in the previous fiscal year.  The governor withheld the funds for this fiscal year, however, because he was concerned state revenues wouldn't be sufficient to keep the state budget in balance.

Before the startup funds were put on hold, MSU had already hired four faculty members for the new occupational therapy program and planned to begin its first class of 30 students in August 2015. 

MSU President Clif Smart, who is in Jefferson City on Tuesday, says he hopes the funds mean the two programs can begin in August as planned.

The settlement with S&P includes the U.S. Justice Department, 18 other states and the District of Columbia.  Here's how the governor's office says the state will spend the $21.5 million received from S&P in this fiscal year, which ends June 30:

$8 million for the state’s seven veterans homes; $4.68 million for the University of Missouri School of Medicine Clinical Campus in Springfield; $3.5 million for high-tech startups through the Missouri Technology Corporation; $1.5 million for grants to local cyber crimes task forces to reduce internet sex crimes and improve public safety; $620,000 for occupational therapy and other health related degree programs at Missouri State University; $500,000 for sheltered workshops, which provide employment for Missourians with disabilities; $500,000 for the Missouri Department of Corrections to provide grants to local entities to work with offenders who are reintegrating into the community, including employment placement services; $500,000 for grants to domestic violence shelters to provide services for victims of sexual assault, including counseling and emergency housing; $500,000 for Alzheimer’s Grants that provide respite and other services for people with Alzheimer’s disease and their families; $500,000 for the Missouri Division of Tourism to promote tourism across the state; $400,000 for grants to Area Agencies on Aging to provide services to seniors, including meals; $250,000 for the Lincoln University Land Grant Match; and $50,000 to help train teachers about how to understand and respond to students with epilepsy.

Panel on Tuesday gives another chance to ask about health insurance, ACA

Tue, 02/03/2015 - 10:56am

The final deadline for signing up for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act is fast approaching.  You have to enroll or face a penalty on your tax return, if you don't have health insurance through another method.  

If you still have questions, you can call an expert on a KY3 News panel on Tuesday evening from 5 - 6:30 p.m.   We'll have Certified Application Counselors taking calls at (417) 268-3222.

You also can submit your question online by posting it at the bottom of this article as you would post a comment to a news report.  You also can email a question to

Watch: How much snow to expect where you live Wednesday

Tue, 02/03/2015 - 10:28am

After a nice warm-up today accumulating snow will affect parts of the Ozarks on Wednesday.

Contact KY3 Investigation: New, dangerous trend in high school

Tue, 02/03/2015 - 10:07am

No ID needed. It's the new high school high.

It's cheap. It's everywhere. You might think it sounds crazy but, It's a quick way for teens to get drunk.

Hand sanitizer is really high in alcohol content around 60 percent. That's way more than what's in your stiff drink. "This is going to be a lot stronger than a lot of your hard alcohols out there like your vodka, bourbons, and things like that," said Jason Martin, CoxHealth, Injury Prevention and Outreach coordinator. Kids get the idea to sip from their peers. It just takes a quick internet search to find kids getting tanked. "Makes them cool.  Makes them daring. It something to bring attention to them," said Martin. Adults show how to mix household products to better the taste. "His intent may not be for a 10-year-old to watch this, but the bottom line is a 10-year-old can watch this," he said. Experts tell Contact KY3 foam sanitizer is the solution. It's harder to break down because it's not liquid. There are also alcohol free cleaners. The price tag on foam compared to the gel are about the same. Contact KY3 called 12 school districts in the Ozarks at random. More than half provide gel hand sanitizers to students. "It's so dangerous.  It's something that our community and our parents need to know about," said Martin.

American Association of Poison Control Centers' National Data