Thomas McFarland

Producer/Announcer
Thomas McFarland / KSMU

As Independence Day approaches, many Missourians are expected to take advantage of low gas prices for the holiday weekend.

Michael Right is the vice president of Public Affairs with AAA and covers the Ozarks region. He expects a memorable travel season.

“It’s going to be one of the busiest Fourth of July holiday periods we have seen in about, almost a decade,” says Right.

Emily McTavish / KSMU

The weekend drowning of an Ohio man along the James River is the fourth fatality  of its kind in southwest Missouri this year, according to the Missouri State Highway Patrol Troop D.

What can the public do to enjoy Missouri waterways this summer safely and securely? Diana Newman, owner of Hootontown Canoe Rental, suggests, among other things, never going alone.

“You shouldn’t really ever go by yourself, just in case, especially if the water is not at a normal level," said Newman

Thomas McFarland

Where do you go when you are still in high school and homeless? For many local teens the answer is the Rare Breed Drop-in Center in downtown Springfield. For Lecerius Hall, this was a shelter from a step dad who was involved in illegal substances and abused his mother. Rare Breed offered a place to “cool off and have someone to talk to about problems at home.”

Many teens in the Ozarks have had to resort to shelters and transitional homes like Rare Breed to avoid living on the streets and to find a support system that will believe in them.

Missouri Department of Conservation

The Missouri Department of Conservation is reminding citizens of its annual campaign that aims to reduce conflict with the region’s Black Bear population.

MDC Spokesman Francis Skalicky says Black Bears are an intricate part of the beauty of the Ozarks.

“Seeing a bear in the wild is a neat experience and there is nothing wrong with getting a camera to take a picture of it, get a video camera to take a video of it, but do not try to encourage this animal to stay around your home by putting out food,” Skalicky says.

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