Kristofer Husted / Harvest Public Media

In an effort to turn away from chemical pesticides, which have the potential to damage the environment, some farmers are looking in a new direction in the age-old, quiet struggle on farm fields of farmers versus pests. They’re warding off intruding insects and noxious weeds with bugs and chickens.

The Springfield Fire Department is beefing up its fire prevention and safety education efforts to the tune of $27,000.

On Tuesday it officially accepted the grant from the Federal Emergency Management Agency. It requires a five percent match from the department. Officials will use the money to expand existing fire safety efforts, including purchasing 1,000 smoke alarms, 250 fire extinguishers, 50 escape ladders and a part-time program coordinator.

Jimmie / Flickr

A group of volunteers in the Ozarks is helping people move forward in life.  Michele Skalicky has more.

The volunteers  serve as tutors for people preparing for the high school equivalency test in classes offered at Ozarks Technical Community College’s Adult Education and Literacy College.  They also help students in OTC’s English as a Second Language classes. 

Ramona George, AEL’s director, said more volunteers are needed for this fall at the 14 locations her college serves.

Camp Wakonda
Ozarks Regional YMCA

In a partnership with the Ozarks Regional YMCA, fourth graders from eight Springfield Public Schools are getting a chance to expand their curriculum in an outdoor setting.

Beginning in September, students from Bissett, Bowerman, Boyd, Watkins, Weaver, Westport, Williams and York elementary schools will visit YMCA's Camp Wakonda in Ash Grove to partake in project-based learning experiences.

When you think about the Ozarks – what image do you conjure up in your mind? When the late Dr. John Keiser, former Missouri State University president, dreamed of the Ozarks Celebration Festival about 20 years ago, he wanted a festival that celebrated the many facets of the Ozarks. The goal of the festival was to give festival goers - and new faculty and students - a sense of place.

Barb Jones, director of special events for the College of Arts and Letters at Missouri State University would like to invite the entire community to participate in this free festival Sept. 9-11.