City releases traffic report card, offers traffic safety program to elementary students

According to Mandy Buettgen-Quinn, senior engineer for the Public Works – Traffic Operations division, Halloween is the most dangerous day of the year for child pedestrians.

Parents are urged to use good judgment when picking out Halloween costumes for their little ones. Be sure that costumes do not cover the eyes of the children or fit too loosely, causing tripping or even fire hazards. Children should carry a flashlight or glow sticks, and have assistance crossing the street.

Defensive driving is especially important in neighborhoods where there is a lot of walking and biking activity. The injury risk in a crash for pedestrians and bicyclists dramatically increases with the speed of the vehicle.

“Around Halloween, we urge motorists to drive slowly and keep an eye out for trick-or-treaters,” Buettgen-Quinn says.

New Traffic Safety Education program

In an effort to promote traffic safety to children, the Public Works – Traffic Operations staff members are bringing pedestrian and bicycle safety education to four Springfield elementary schools in a pilot project starting Oct. 28.

Public Works received Safe Routes to School grant money several years ago, and has now partnered with the Greene-County Health Department, Safe Kids Springfield, the Healthy Living Alliance, Safety Council of the Ozarks, the Parent-Teacher Association, and others to bring active and fun safety lessons to Springfield schools.

Westport, Cowden, Pittman and Bowerman students will receive a visit from traffic engineers and the characters Sully and Kitty from the “Danger Ranger” series; participate in special school assemblies and a walk-to-school event; and learn safety lessons over a four-week time period.

If the pilot project is a success, traffic engineers hope the program will be available at all area elementary schools in the future.

For more information contact: Mandy Buettgen-Quinn, Public Works – Traffic Operations, 864-1801.

Springfield Symphony to perform free Halloween concert for kids

Children of all ages and their families are invited to dress up in their
costumes and join the Springfield Symphony for a fun, free, Halloween concert
on October 28 at 2:30 p.m. in Juanita K. Hammons Hall.

The orchestra, all dressed in their Halloween costumes, will be led by assistant conductor,
Amy Muchnick. Concert attendees are welcome to wear Halloween costumes as well,
and the Symphony will hold a costume contest for children during the event.

The orchestra members will grace the audience with haunting selections from composers
Camille Saint-Saëns, Richard Wagner and more. A few pieces from Andrew Lloyd Weber’s
“Phantom of the Opera” will also be in the mix. Festive surprises for children will take place throughout the concert.

Attendees can look forward to the distribution of free cookies and candy
provided by the Symphony. It will be an early start to trick-or-treating!

Tickets to this concert are free, but need to be picked up in advance. Tickets
are currently available at the Springfield Symphony office (411 N. Sherman Parkway).

Where to get things for free

Photo: FREE!  "Gradge Sale" leftovers!  Located at 2509 W. Hanover!  Take anything for free now until 5pm!  Take one, take it all.One man’s “trash” is another’s “treasure”…and there are places that help you find trash, and exchange trash.

If you’d like to participate in this back to basics movement, check out:

Freecycle.org where items are posted online and you’re notified of new items by email.  You need to register to use Freecycle, and your request must be approved by the moderator of the group you wish to join.

Craigslist includes free listings.

There’s even a local Facebook page, Free from Me where items can be posted and claimed.

Wine and food celebration benefits Ozarks Public Television children’s programming

Ozarks Public Television (OPT), Brown Derby International Wine Center and Andy’s Frozen Custard are teaming up once again for the 26th annual Wine and Food Celebration to benefit OWine and Food logoPT children’s programming. The celebration will take place from 2-5 p.m. Oct. 19 at the White River Conference Center next to Bass Pro Shops.

The event will allow guests to taste wines from all over the world, sample a variety of craft beers and, new this year, try cocktail culture, the mixology of spirits cleverly combined with unique flavors. Guests will also be able to sample foods from more than 20 of the area’s most popular restaurants.

Participating food vendors include Andy’s Frozen Custard, Avanzare, Aviary Café and Creperie, Bambino’s Café, Brown Derby Wine Center and Marketplace, Flame Steakhouse, Florentina’s Italian Restaurant, Garbo’s Pizzeria, Gilardi’s Ristorante, Jimm’s Steakhouse and Pub, Metropolitan Grill, Nonna’s Italian Café, Mudhouse Coffee, Newk’s Café,  Ocean Zen, Springfield Brew Co., Tea Bar and Bites, Twilight Grille and White River Conference Center.

Entertainment will be provided by Springfield’s DJ Platinum.

Tickets are $40 at the door or $25 in advance. Advance tickets can be purchased at Brown Derby Wine Center and Marketplace, select Brown Derby locations including 501 S. National, 1380 E. Republic Rd, 1440 W. Republic Rd, 3340 E Sunshine St in Springfield, 830 W Mt. Vernon in Nixa or at any Andy’s Frozen Custard location in Springfield. Tickets are also available online at www.optv.org.

For more information, contact Hannah Wingo at (417) 836-8894.

Bloody Hill Run

File:Wilson's Creek National Battlefield.jpgWilson’s Creek National Battlefield Foundation presents the first annual Bloody Hill Run on Saturday, October 19, 2013 at Historic Wilson’s Creek National Battlefield. This event will feature an 8K timed run (start time 7:30 a.m.) and a 1-mile fun run (start time 7:40 a.m.). Both runs will start with the roar of a Civil War cannon.

The event will also include Civil War period music and entertainment, educational displays, and a contest for best costume. Free drinks and refreshments will be available for participants.

Race day parking and registration from 6-7 a.m. will be at the Republic High School parking lot, M and ZZ Highways. Busses will run from the parking lot to Wilson’s Creek Battlefield. The last bus leaves at 7 a.m. NO parking will be available at Wilson’s Creek National Battlefield!

Register at Ridge Runner Sports, 3057 S. Fremont, Springfield, MO or online at www.WilsonsCreek.com.

CoxHealth sponsors Family Fun Day

CoxHealth is holding a Family Fun Day from 11 to 3 on October 19 at corner of National Avenue and Walnut Lawn.  The event will feature free food, a bounce house, face painting and games for kids, music, a health fair, wellness trivia, hula hoop contest, and more. CoxHealth is holding a Family Fun Day from 11 to 3 on October 19 at corner of National Avenue and Walnut Lawn.  The event will feature free food, a bounce house, face painting and games for kids, music, a health fair, wellness trivia, hula hoop contest, and more. There will also be drawings for gift cards, winter coats and walking/running shoes.

The event, which is free, will also be an opportunity to lean more about the health insurance marketplace and your insurance options under the Affordable Care Act.

In case of rain, activities will take place inside the Meyer Fitness Center.    For more information, call 269-2945.

Have You Looked at the Back of Your McDonald’s Receipt Lately?

With the National Harvest Festival underway until October 26, people are heading out in droves to Silver Dollar City.  If you want to save money on your tickets, you make want to stop at McDonald’s on the way.  Both Branson and Springfield area McDonald’s are printing $5 off coupons on the back of receipts for White Water and Silver Dollar City.

Free Event: Arts and Science Converge at the Pure Enjoyment Art Exhibit

Location: The Creamery Arts Center, 411 N Sherman Parkway
Date: October 4-25
Viewing Hours: Mon-Fri 9am-5pm, Sat 10am-4pm
Admission: Free
Phone: 417-862-2787

Brewer Science, Inc., of Rolla, MO, together with the Springfield Regional Arts Council (SRAC) and Arts Rolla, will host an eclectic exhibit, Pure Enjoyment, featuring original art at The Creamery Arts Center in Springfield, MO, during the month of October. The Pure Enjoyment exhibit is in its sixth year and will feature approximately 80 pieces of original, juried artwork, including photography and dimensional art. Springfield artist Denene Taliaferro served as the exhibit’s juror.

One of this exhibit’s unique qualities is its display of an eclectic mixture of artwork not typically found at a single location. Representing a variety of communities, artists selected for the Pure Enjoyment exhibit include:

Bowling Green, OH: Catherine Clements
Affton, MO: Jennifer Weigel
Chamois, MO: Fred Schollmeyer
Columbia, MO: Kevin Dingman
Cuba, MO: Shannon Coatney
Dixon, MO: William Oberholtzer
Houston, MO: Barbara White
La Monte, MO: Jodi Harsch
Ridgedale, MO: Thia Schuler
Rogersville, MO: Wayne Cantrell
Rolla, MO: Colleen Kelley, Steven L. Gorman, Donald Siehr, Bridget Stiverson, Denny Lumos, and Jeanenne Silleck
Salem, MO: Andrew Layton
Sparta, MO: Jeanene Turney
Springfield, MO: Janelle Patterson, Mari Moore, and Vijaya Kayastha
St. Charles, MO: Dr. Jeanne E. Rohen
St. Louis, MO: Liz Jones
St. Robert, MO: James Rogers and Jacob Echelberry
Union, MO: Pat Sheppard
Warrensburg, MO: Gary Cadwallader, Rebecca Limback, and Duane Limback
Warsaw, MO: Cynthia C. Morris
Washington, MO: Karen Kelley
Waynesville, MO: Vicky Craine
Willard, MO: Alan O’Neal
Willow Springs, MO: Michael McClure

Need help sorting through your health insurance options?

Photo of a mother with her child looking at a laptop computerThe Springfield-Greene County Library and the Jordan Valley Community Health Center have teamed up to help you navigate through the new Affordable Care Act Health Exchanges.

October 1 marked the beginning of the enrollment period for individuals to obtain health insurance through the newly launched Health Insurance Marketplaces, also known as Health Insurance Exchanges. The process of obtaining insurance through the Marketplace varies state by state. Missouri has opted to use the federally facilitated Health Insurance Marketplace.

Individuals can find in-person assistance at the Library Center branch of the Springfield-Greene County Library as well as the Health Library at Jordan Valley Community Health Center:

Library Center, 4653 S. Campbell Ave., walk-in assistance
Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays, 8:30 a.m.-4 p.m.
Assistance provided by a federally funded employee of Primaris Healthcare Business Solutions.

Jordan Valley Community Health Center440 E. Tampa St., walk-in assistance
Monday-Friday, 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m.

If you are interested in viewing plans or signing up for insurance, visit HealthCare.gov. You can also ask questions or apply by phone by calling 1-800-318-2596.

Other organizations will be offering assistance in the future and can be found at https://localhelp.healthcare.gov.

Fire departments team up to replace smoke alarm batteries Oct. 5

Area fire departments are teaming up to ensure homes have the protection they need in case of a fire.  Continuing with a regional approach to fire safety, fire departments in Springfield, Battlefield and Nixa will replace smoke alarm batteries thr oughout those cities during a neighborhood canvass on Oct. 5. This year, Battery Outfitters of Springfield will be donating 2,000 9-volt batteries for smoke alarms and employees will assist firefighters during the canvass.

“October 6-12 is fire prevention week and we couldn’t think of a better time to go door to door replacing batteries and educating our citizens about fire safety,” said Asst. Chief Whitney Weaver with the Nixa Fire Protection District. Firefighters and employees from Battery Outfitters will be going door to door on Saturday, October 5 offering to replace smoke alarm batteries in Nixa and Battlefield from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. and in Springfield from 1 p.m.-3p.m.

A properly installed and maintained smoke alarm is the only thing in your home that can alert you and your family to a fire 24 hours a day, seven days a week. A working smoke alarm doubles your chances of surviving a deadly home fire.

• Install both ionization AND photoelectric smoke alarms, OR dual sensor smoke alarms, which contain both ionization and photoelectric smoke sensors

• Test batteries monthly.

• Replace batteries in battery-powered and hard-wired smoke alarms at least once a year (except non-replaceable 10-year lithium batteries)

• Install smoke alarms on every level of your home, including the basement. The U.S. Fire Administration recommends installing smoke alarms both inside and outside of sleeping areas.

• Always follow the manufacturer’s installation instructions when installing smoke alarms.

• Replace the entire smoke alarm unit every 8-10 years or according to manufacturer’s instructions.

• Never disable a smoke alarm while cooking – it can be a deadly mistake. Open a window or door and press the “hush” button, wave a towel at the alarm to clear the air, or move the entire alarm several feet away from the location.

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Contacts:

Nixa Fire Protection District Asst. Chief Whitney Weaver wweaver@nixafire.org 417-339-9469

Battlefield Fire Protection District Deputy Chief Dennis Reynolds dreynolds@battlefieldfire.com 417-881-9018

Springfield Fire Department Cara Erwin cerwin@springfieldmo.gov 417-864-1699