Thomas McFarland

Producer/Announcer
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. 

Rain
KSMU archive

Among the notable weather trends locally for October were higher than average temperatures and a lack of precipitation. Meteorologist Andy Boxell with the National Weather Service in Springfield explains just how warm the month was.

“Well October of 2015 here in the Springfield area was a fair deal warmer than what we’ve had compared to long-term averages, we were almost two degrees above normal for the month and that made it the 36th warmest October on record,” says Boxell.

And that unusually warm and dry weather has had an impact.

Drury University
KSMU Archive

Beginning in the spring, Drury University will offer a new degree program at the graduate level, the Master of Nonprofit and Civic Leadership. Professor of Communications Dr. Charles Taylor says the new program hopes to better provide local professionals with the tools they need to perform within their field, which he says makes up a large amount of the region’s private sector.

“The nonprofit sector represents just over 50 percent of private sector employment in the Ozarks, which is dramatically higher than other cities of our size around the country,” says Taylor.

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