Lake of the Ozarks Goes Hollywood — Sort Of

The Lake Area Chamber of Commerce plans to erect an oversize welcome sign, strategically located on the Highway 54 Expressway…similar to the famous Hollywood sign. According to the Chamber’s Joe Roeger, the sign will have 8-foot-tall steel letters that spell out “Lake of the Ozarks.” The letters will be illuminated by a remote-controlled LED multi-colored lighting system. “It’ll be a neat attraction, sort of an iconic remembrance for folks visiting Lake of the Ozarks,” he says.  Roeger says the LACC hopes to have the sign in place in time for the December opening of Route 242, if they can raise enough money to pay for it. A request for a $5,000 donation from the city of Lake Ozark is on the agenda for next Board of Aldermen meeting, August 9th. They’ll also be asking the Osage Beach Board of Aldermen for money when they meet next Thursday.

Hurricane Deck Bridge Discussed in Sunrise Beach

Lane closures were the big topic of conversation for the over fifty people that gathered at last night’s MoDOT Hurricane Deck Bridge forum. Nicole Hood is the bridge project manager. She says the department will have periodic single lane closures and one span where the bridge will be completely closed so the new $25,000,000 bridge can be shifted onto the old piers.

MoDOT plans to build the new span on temporary piers to the east of the current bridge and then slowly move it onto the old piers. Hood says the new bridge will be wider and safer.

Plans are to let the bridge in November with construction starting when the winter breaks in 2012.

Woman Injured After Boat Hits Wake

A wake accident sends a Bloomington, Illinois woman to Lake Regional Hospital. Thirty-seven-year old Karen Yowell was riding in a 2008 Regal Runabout being driven by fifty-two-year old Michael Yowell at the 21 Mile Mark. At noon, the runabout hit a large wake and Karen fell inside the boat, suffering moderate injuries.

Blood Gets 18 Years for Child Abuse

A guilty plea on two felony counts sends an Eldon man to prison for eighteen years. Back in October of 2009, 36-year old Christopher Blood and his 22-year old wife Jessica brought their six week old son to the hospital with arm, chest, and leg injuries. The two were arrested and eventually confessed to squeezing their son after he would not stop crying. Earlier this week, Christopher plead guilty to two felony charges of abusing a child with serious emotional injury. He received 9 years for each count. Jessica is currently serving five years after pleading guilty to a felony endangering the welfare of a child charge.

Blunt Supports Guard Getting Joint Chief Seat

Senator Roy Blunt is co-sponsoring a bill that would give the U.S. National guard a voice in Pentagon resource decisions. The National Guard Empowerment and State-National Defense Integration Act of 2011will give the chief of the National Guard Bureau a seat on the Joint Chiefs of Staff. The chief currently works in close collaboration with the Joint Chiefs and U.S. Secretary of defense but does not have a vote. Senate Bill 1025 will also provide an assessment of shifting more responsibility for the nation’s defense to the guard and reserves, stabilize funding for guard domestic missions, and provide more transparency in equipment procurement.

FEMA Application Deadline Extended

FEMA says the deadline for individual property owners to file for aid has been pushed back to August 26. The deadline was originally set for July 29.
Federal help’s available to anyone who has weather-related property damage, from a tornado, flood, strong winds, or the like, in an eligible Missouri county between April 6 and June 6. Those counties include Pulaski. To contact FEMA, call 1-800-621-3362. Describe your property damage to a FEMA agent. FEMA will set up a time to come out and survey your damaged property.

McCaskill Requested Probe Leads Official to Resign

A top Labor Department official’s handed in his resignation. McCaskill asked the department’s inspector general for an investigation after a whistleblower approached her with allegations of contract fraud within the department. McCaskill Chairs the Senate Subcommittee on Contracting Oversight. The investigation found that Assistant Secretary of Labor for Veterans’ Employment and Training Services (VETS) Raymond Jefferson, circumvented rules and regulations to secure government contracts for friends and colleagues.