Local News


About 50 people attended a June 11 meeting in Ava to hear an update on the status of Bryant Creek State Park, which is on land north of Rockbridge that was acquired by the state in late 2016 but has been closed to the public since then. Times photos / Amelia LaMair
Approximately 50 people attended an informational meeting about Bryant Creek State Park June 11 at the Senior Center in Ava. The crowd included several Ozark Countians who came to learn about the recently acquired but still-closed park’s status and to give feedback on how they hope it will be...
Ozark County Sheriff’s Deputy Cpl. Curtis Dobbs made a grisly discovery earlier this month when he found an 80-year-old Gainesville woman’s long-dead body during a well-being check. Ozark County Coroner Shane Ledbetter confirmed to the Times Sunday that the body of Jan Holbert was found on June 1...

Gainesville High School 2019 graduate Ashley Walrath, pictured third from left, recently completed a 178-mile portion of the Camino de Santiago, a pilgrimage through France and Spain. This photo was snapped on the group’s first day in France shortly after Walrath, along with seven other Southwest Baptist University students and a professor, began their walk on the Camino. Photos courtesy Kevin Bailey
Within 10 days’ time this spring, 18-year-old Ashley Walrath took two walks that forever changed her life.  The first, a thirty-yard stride across the Gainesville High School graduation stage, was made May 10 to receive her high school diploma. The other began May 20 when her boots hit the ground...

Ozark County native Donna Walker, pictured in her Ava home, pages through one of the books she has published about the history of the Ozark County communities where she and her husband, the late Russell Walker, grew up.
Reprinted from the Ozarks Alive! blog by Kaitlyn McConnell.  To read more of McConnell’s stories about Ozarks characters and history, visit ozarksalive.com. This is the first part of a two-part story that will conclude in next week’s Times.     While it lives on here and there in Ozarks hills and...

Times file photo / Sue Ann Jones Jerry Beasley, shown in this 2018 file photo, retired at the end of the 2018-19 school year after working 28 years as the district’s mechanic, a job in which he was responsible for maintaining the district’s school-bus fleet. All of Gainesville’s buses – 18 this year – passed the annual Missouri State Highway Patrol inspection this year for the seventh year in a row.
Two of Ozark County’s five school districts again had their school bus fleets pass the Missouri State Highway Patrol’s annual inspection with 100 percent of the buses approved. For the seventh year in a row, all of Gainesville School District’s buses – 18 of them this year – were approved. It’s a...

File photo Eckert’s Berry Farm, south of Dora, was a popular spot for berry pickers for many years, but it has closed this spring due to Tomi and Richard Eckert’s health issues. Times reporter Jessi Dreckman, pictured below, right, picked berries at Eckert’s for many years. The 9-gallon berry haul, above was the fruit of many hours of berry picking in 2015 by Dreckman, Mammoth-area resident Tena McKinzie, center, and Gainesville resident Carole Long.
Many area residents are saddened to learn that Eckert’s Berry Farm south of Dora has closed due to health challenges that have impacted owners Tomi and Richard Eckert, who have operated the popular U-pick farm for many years.  Another Ozark County blueberry farm, Timber Rock, off N Highway near...

Times photo / Amelia LaMair Rising water in Norfork Lake due to recent rains has brought the lake level closer than usual to the deck of the Highway 160 bridge at Tecumseh. The lake has backed up into one of its main tributaries, the North Fork of the White River, enough to cover the County Road 318 bridge at Dawt Mill.
High water continues to be a problem in some areas of Ozark County due to recent rains and rising lake levels. At the weekly meeting of the Ozark County Commissioners on Monday, Eastern District Commis-sioner Gary Collins said the North Fork of the White River, as it flows into Norfork Lake, has...

The day-use area of the North Fork Recreation Area near Dora, known locally as Hammond Access, reopened Friday after being closed so that repairs and improvements could be made. This photo, taken from the Cudworth Memorial Bridge on CC Highway, shows the “water-play” access, which will also be used for launching boats into the river until a new, separate launch ramp can be completed a short distance away.
After repeated weather delays and recent vandalism, most of the North Fork Recreation Area located on the North Fork of the White River near Dora, known locally as Hammond Access, reopened Friday, June 7. An announcement from the Ava/Cassville/Willow Springs ranger district of the Mark Twain...

Ozark Countian Taylor Brooks was in the U.S. Military Academy class of 2019 as it paraded on “The Plain” during recent graduation exercises at West Point.
An impressive cadre of 987 members from the West Point class of 2019 joined the U.S. Military Academy’s “Long Gray Line” on Saturday, May 25, and took the first step in their new lives as soldiers and leaders in the  Army. The historic Michie Stadium, site of many classic Army football games, was...

Ozark County native Donna Walker, pictured in her Ava home, pages through one of the books she has published about the history of the Ozark County communities where she and her husband, the late Russell Walker, grew up.
Reprinted from the Ozarks Alive! blog by Kaitlyn McConnell.  To read more of McConnell’s stories about Ozarks characters and history, visit ozarksalive.com. This is the first part of a two-part story that will conclude in next week’s Times.     While it lives on here and there in Ozarks hills and...

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Ozark County Times

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Phone: (417) 679-4641
Fax: (417) 679-3423