Thomas McFarland

Producer/Announcer

In the February 2016 edition of Rountree News Update students discuss an upcoming exhibition on April 26th, their annual Architecture Night, recent experiences gathering ideas from the community for future exhibitions, and student led conferences where elementary students interviewed one another to discover what they had learned over the school year.

Tom McFarland / KSMU

Crews renovating Bass Pro Shops’ Wonders of Wildlife facility have entered the final stretch ahead of a projected mid-2016 debut.

The facility, to be called America’s Wildlife Museum and Aquarium, has been closed for years to allow time for the massive project that will triple its original size. Visitors next year will view aquatic life in aquariums totaling more than 1 million gallons, countless taxidermied wild animals and several interactive exhibits.  

Thomas McFarland / KSMU

The CU Community Credit Union has announced the roll out of an assistance program intended to help those who may fall victim to high interest, short-term loans.

Springfield City Manager Greg Burris, who also co-chairs the Impacting Poverty Commission, says these so-called payday loans can come at a high cost to Missourians.

“Department of Finance for the state of Missouri recently did a study of the payday loan interest rates, the annual interest rates that are charged in Missouri, the average is 451 percent,” he says.

Anna Thomas / KSMU

Community Partnership of the Ozarks is teaming up with over 75 local organizations for this year’s HOPE Connection, an annual event aimed at providing various services to the area’s homeless community. Deputy Director of Affordable Housing and Homeless Prevention at CPO Michelle Garand says this year is shaping up to be bigger than the last.

“Every year we have increased participation by about 25 percent. Last year we served 650 individuals who came seeking services, this year we are gearing up for about 800 to a thousand individuals coming in,” says Garand.

Springfield Police Department
Scott Harvey / KSMU

The Springfield Police Department’s 2015 third quarter public safety report shows a 68 percent increase in reported rapes compared to July through September of last year. Public information officer Lisa Cox describes what might be the cause.

“It is difficult to pinpoint, we would hope, we would really hope that the cause of the dramatic increase is just that more people are coming forward,” says Cox.

Some of these reports are happening on local college campuses, and Cox says public awareness about sexual assault at school may play a factor. 

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