West Plains

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The West Plains City Council has approved a fact-finding group to investigate the option of affordable citywide broadband. The group will determine if bringing affordable and reliable internet to West Plains’ users is within reach.

“Thursday night the council approved the city to start looking at the viability of providing internet as a city utility,” says Tom Stehn, city administrator.

The group will explore what kind of costs the city is looking at and if it can meet the expectations of customers.

Lee Ann Meador Norman

For KSMU’s Sense of Community Series, I’m Mike Smith.

We wind down our week long series of reports on historic preservation in the Ozarks, in West Plains Missouri where what’s become that city’s signature event took place June 19th and 20th.  The annual Old Time Music-Ozark Heritage Festival.  (SOUND: Voices singing I’ll Fly Away)

Todd Shanks is the Community Marketing Director for the City of West Plains, and a member of the 

Drury University

Trees not only contribute to the aesthetics of a community, they provide so much more.  And area cities and organizations know this:  Drury University received a first time recognition as a Tree Campus, while Springfield and West Plains have continued to maintain Tree City USA titles.  KSMU’s Theresa Bettmann talks with local arborists to learn more about what it takes to achieve this type of recognition and why this is so important.

Scott Harvey / KSMU

There’s not another city as large as West Plains within a 100-mile radius. As a result, this south central Missouri community of over 12,000 in Howell County attracts a large amount of the region’s business and employees. Yet it’s competing on a much larger scale.

Last fall, one of West Plains’ largest employers, Robertshaw, announced that production of its gas valves and thermostats will be consolidated and transferred to a facility in Mexico, impacting roughly 400 jobs. Other recent company announcements of staff and shift reductions will expand those numbers.

Ozarks Food Harvest

Ozarks Food Harvest says it’s expanding service beyond West Plains to all of Howell County.

Prequalification for the program will take place next month.

Sherry Jolliff is the OFH coordinator for West Plains. She says originally officials tried to service West Plains, but weren’t seeing the numbers they wanted, so are now expanding to the entire county.

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