Thomas McFarland

Producer/Announcer
Branson Public Schools

Branson Public Schools’ Superintendent Doug Hayter is stepping down after leading the district for 13 years.

With the start of the New Year, Dr. Hayter will become executive director of the Missouri Association of School Administrators, located in Jefferson City. Hayter says the position continues to allow him the opportunity to promote public education in the state.

Springfield City Utilities

Solar power, a clean energy alternative that converts sunlight into electricity using photoelectric cells, is gaining popularity here in the Ozarks. KSMU’s Tom McFarland spoke with some consumers and providers of the service to learn more about its costs and benefits.

While many individuals that are going solar may hire a company to install the panels for them, Jim Evans did it himself.

“I did not hire these put in, I went ahead and purchased the collectors and I did all the installation myself, which made it very inexpensive for me,” says Evans.

Starboard and Port Photography (used with permission)

Decades of flight experience throughout southwest Missouri and beyond are on display in a new book by Mark Burgess. The local pilot and businessman recently released his auto-biography “Charter Pilot: Rare Adventures in Aviation,” which discusses an industry that rarely finds itself in the spotlight. 

“Well the main purpose is to kind of introduce people to what this is. It’s an area of aviation many don’t understand,” says Burgess.

Nixa Public Schools

Results are in for this year’s Missouri Assessment Program (MAP), and some local school districts have reason to celebrate. Both Ozark and Nixa scored above the state average in all categories, which include English, math, science, and social studies.

Dr. Stephen Kleinsmith is the superintendent of Nixa Public Schools.

“Nixa has been very fortunate to do quite well on their assessments and high stakes testing, so much so that we have ranked number one in the conference for going on 16 years in a row,” says Kleinsmith

Scott Harvey / KSMU

It’s that time of the year again, when the heat is simmering, the lights are glowing, and the Ferris wheels are spinning. Late summer and early fall is the season for festivals in the Ozarks, but why exactly do county and local festivals take place in the dog days of summer?

According to Ozark Empire Fair official Vicky Hayward, it has to do with school breaks and the timing of the Missouri State Fair.

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