Local News


Above left: Several Ozark County firefighters signed a firefighter’s helmet to encourage Brody Shelby as he recovered from surgery last week in Springfield to remove a brain tumor. Center and right: The ladder of a Springfield Fire Department firetruck was extended to Brody’s fourth-floor room at Mercy Hospital Friday so Firefighter Caleb Elliot could climb up and show him the big Christmas card SFD firefighters had signed for him. Word about Brody’s fight against brain cancer has spread within the firefighting world, and gifts have come in from several departments, including a South Carolina department where Brody’s stepdad, James Walley Jr., used to work, and from as far away as South Australia.
Ozark County resident Brody Shelby, 9, had a special visitor Friday at Mercy Hospital in Springfield, where he was recovering from brain surgery. The visitor came from the Springfield Fire Department. But he didn’t come through the door to Brody’s hospital room in these covid-restrictive times....

If not for this little red glass bell Christmas ornament, Wayne and Doris Sayles’ lives might have gone in different directions, and “none of what [we] enjoy together today would have materialized as it did,” says Wayne.
The sights and sounds of Christmas are inspiring, to say the least. Behind each of these symbols is a story to be told. One that resonates in the Sayles household is that of the bell. There is hardly a person today, young or old, who hasn’t heard the song “Carol of the Bells” or “I Heard the Bells...

The annual foster care Christmas event transitioned from its traditional Christmas dinner and party to a covid-era, life-sized scavenger hunt based on the Candy Land board game. The effort also provided wish list gift items for 175 children in Ozark, Douglas and Wright counties’ foster care program. The event is organized by Stacy Garrison, left, and a group of Division of Family Services workers. Above, from left: volunteers Candace Mayberry, Ashley Volner, Brianne Bryson, Melanie Hanger, Kayla Premer and Kendra Ritchie.
Covid-19 has made this year a challenging one, and some annual events have been canceled in an effort to keep the community safe. As the pandemic waged its war across the nation earlier this year, organizers of this area’s annual foster care Christmas party realized it wouldn’t be wise to bring...

Above, left: The Ozark County Toy Drive, held Dec. 12, provided toys, gifts, stocking stuffers and other items for about 350 Ozark County children. The annual event is the work of many volunteers led by organizer Nancy Walker, whose granddaughter, Crystal House, second from left, sends out a “mass text message” each year, asking for toy drive volunteers. "And I'm always shocked with how many happy helpers show up," she said. From left: Cindy Thomas, House, April Luna, Gayla Murphy, Walker. This year’s toy drive was held in the basement of the First Baptist Church on Third Street in Gainesville rather than in the former Ozark County Senior Center as it has been in past years. House told the Times the venue was “super packed, but absolutely perfect!” See page B1 for more photos and details about the event.
This year’s Ozark County Toy Drive was Saturday, and on Monday its chairperson, Nancy Walker, was feeling blessed by the annual experience she has led for decades. “It’s a blessing to be able to feel like perhaps you’ve helped make Christmas morning happy for some children out there,” Walker told...
Ozark County Sheriff’s canine Rye sits next to a large collection of drugs and drug paraphernalia (also shown below) that was confiscated from an Ozark County residence on Dec. 8. The drugs and other items were reportedly found when Ozark County Deputies Justin Brown, Dustin Smith, Justin Urich and...
Mark Springer, 56, of Squires, has been released on his own recognizance after he was initially held on a $15,000 cash-only bond in connection with a recent burglary in Ava. Officers with the Ava Police Depart-ment and Douglas County Sheriff’s Department executed a joint-agency search warrant on...
Circuit Judge Craig Carter processed a total of 26 criminal cases during the Dec. 9 session of Ozark County Law Day. Updates on the cases, if available, are listed below.    Plea, sentencing Floyd L. Lamb III pleaded guilty to possession of a controlled substance. He was given a suspended...
The alternative methods portion of the firearms deer season begins Dec. 26 and runs through Jan. 5, 2021. I get more questions regarding this season than all others combined, so let’s go through some frequently asked questions.    If I didn’t harvest a deer in the November portion of the firearms...

Former Ozark County resident Joe Hale, shown here with his wife, Eva, was recently honored for his more than 40 years of service to the Mark Twain National Forest’s Range Allotment Program. Friends and colleagues gathered Dec. 1 at the MTNF headquarters in Ava to celebrate Hale’s retirement.
Editor’s note: Gainesville High School graduate Abby Milligan, now a freshman in the University of Missouri School of Journalism, is doing an internship at the Ozark County Times during her holiday vacation.   At the age of 9, Joe Hale was gifted a calf. That gift blossomed into a 40-plus-year...

Gainesville Options Pregnancy manager Kayla Dry, right, and volunteer Alex Adams are at the Gainesville office Mondays from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. The office is at 98 First Street in the former Verizon Wireless store next to Bullseye.
Editor’s note: This is the time of year when many people think of donating to favorite charities. In upcoming editions of the Times, we plan to feature local charities that serve the residents of Ozark County and the extended area.    Seeing two pink lines on a pregnancy test is a life-changing...

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Ozark County Times

504 Third Steet
PO Box 188
Gainesville, MO 65655

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