Republican rally set for Saturday

A Republican rally is slated for 4 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 17, at The Barn at Stone Valley Plantation, 2131 E. 530th Road, Pleasant Hope.

Gov. Mike Parson, Rep. Mike Stephens, Sen. Sandy Crawford and other state and local candidates are expected to attend.

Trump signs will be available, and Smith’s Restaurant will cater a light supper in accordance with safety guidelines, according to a news release. The release said the facility provides space for social distancing outside or inside, depending on the weather.

A corn maze will also be available following the rally for a fee of $10 per person. Children 3 and under are free.

RSVP to The event is sponsored by the Polk County Republican Central Committee.


Extension to offer parenting class

The University of Missouri Extension in Cass County will offer a virtual workshop, “Surviving Parenting the Teen Years,” via Zoom on Saturday, Oct. 17.

Adapted from the “Parenting a Second Time Around” curriculum, the program is designed for anyone who is raising teens. Topics will include adolescent behavior and when things have progressed beyond typical, as well as how to provide guidance and maintain safety. Continuing education hours are available for foster families.  

The cost is $25 per person. Register online at For more information, call facilitator Kyleigh Sullivan at 660-619-1355.  


Gallery invites show entries 

Members of the Polk County Artists Association and the public are invited to enter their art in the Art Sync Gallery’s "Fall Themed" Art Show, which will be from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 17, at the gallery.   

The show is open to all 2D and 3D artists. Judges will award ribbons, and all art can be dropped off at the gallery between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 14. 

Artwork must be ready to hang with wire if it is hangable and labeled with the artist’s name, title, medium and price if it is for sale. 

Tags are available at the gallery. Artists may enter up to two pieces with a maximum size of 18x24 for 2D art. Entrants must be 18 or older to enter the show. 

Refreshments will be provided. 

The gallery also hosted the Second Saturday Art Celebration & Demonstrations on Saturday, Oct. 10.

Art Sync plans to host the event on the second Saturday of every month and plans to offer refreshments.

The gallery is at 120 S. Springfield Ave. on the east side of the Bolivar square. Business hours are now 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. 


Drug take back planned for Oct. 24

The Bolivar Police Department will host a prescription drug take back event from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 24. The department is at 211 W. Walnut St. For more information, call 326-5298.


Cook wins award

The National Alliance for Insurance Education & Research announced that Ashlae Cook, commercial risk account manager with Ollis/Akers/Arney, is the 2020 Missouri recipient of the Outstanding CSR of the Year award. 

According to a news release, Cook is the third Ollis/Akers/Arney employee to receive the statewide distinction since 2016 for demonstrating outstanding service and professionalism within the insurance community. The award includes a $2,000 cash prize.

“Being in the industry for 13 years, with ever changing markets, insurance products and shifting client needs, this award is the culmination of being that person who stays up to date and responds to the insured with whatever they need at that moment,” Cook said in the release. “The piece I enjoy the most is being able to educate our clients and translate insurance-ese into real world terms, an example they can really take to heart.” 

The release said Cook has been an employee-owner at Ollis/Akers/Arney Insurance & Business Advisors since 2007. 

The agency has offices in Springfield, Branson and Bolivar and serves a four-state region.  


Ollis elected to board

Richard Ollis, CEO of Ollis/Akers/Arney, was recently elected to serve on the board of directors for the Missouri Association of Insurance Agents representing Region 10. 

According to a news release, the primary mission of the association is to provide marketing education and resources to independent agencies, agents and their clients, as well as provide state and federal legislative advocacy. 

“We’re working together to try to help one another stay independent. That’s what I’m passionate about,” Ollis said in the release.

Founded in 1899, the Missouri Association of Insurance Agents is the oldest and largest association of independent agents in Missouri, representing some 4,000 independent agents and brokers, the release added.   

Ollis is a fourth-generation risk and insurance adviser specializing in business risk, the release said. He earned a Bachelor of Science in finance from Missouri State University, is a veteran of the U.S. Navy and serves as a member of the City of Springfield council and on the Board of Directors for the Wellness Council of America.


‘Ozarks RFD’ named best nonfiction book

Freelance columnist Jim Hamilton was awarded the “Best Nonfiction Book” prize for “Ozarks RFD: Selected Essays, 2010-2015” in the Ozarks Writers League 2020 writing competition.

Awards in the annual contest were announced by the Branson-based writers’ organization Friday, Sept. 11, in a virtual ceremony.

Published in March 2020 by Cornerpost Press, the book represents the collaboration of Hamilton and Long Lane native Phillip Howerton, professor of English at Missouri State University in West Plains, as editor and publisher. 

Hamilton has been published in the Buffalo Reflex since starting as editor in 1978 and continuing after retirement in May 2015. His weekly columns currently run in multiple Ozarks newspapers, including the BH-FP. 

Hamilton also won an honorable mention for a memoir essay, “I never saw my father cry.”

Priced at $20, the book is available online from Amazon and Barnes and Noble, directly from the author at PO Box 801, Buffalo MO 65622 or at the offices of the Buffalo Reflex, Bolivar Herald-Free Press, Marshfield Mail, Cedar County Republican and Lawrence County Record. 

In Buffalo, the book is sold at Headings Brothers Feeds, Greasy Creek Store and Expresso Company No. 825.


Ag assistance extended

An additional $14 billion has been made available for agricultural producers who continue to face market disruptions and associated costs because of COVID-19. 

Signup for the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program will run through Friday, Dec. 11. 

There is a payment limitation of $250,000 per person or entity for all commodities combined. 

Additional information and application forms can be found at


BTC expands LPN program 

Bolivar Technical College has been granted additional seats in its practical nursing LPN program. 

According to a BTC news release, the program begins in January 2021 and will end in December. No prerequisite classes are needed for the 2021 LPN program, so accepted applicants can get started right away. 

The release said the college has the resources to accommodate the additional students for the January 2021 start date. Additional faculty have been hired to work with the students, and more clinical groups have been added to the rotation. 

“We are excited to see the growing interest in the healthcare field and to be able to help people reach their goals quickly,” BTC President Charlotte Gray said in the release. “Our focus is on the students and giving them the best education and experience we can. We intend to keep our values intact with our small class sizes and one-on-one help, which is why we are adding faculty and resources to help students even more.”

For more information, visit BTC staff is available to answer questions via phone at 777-5062, email at or text at 771-3543. 


Mickelsen and Darnell receive award

Phil Mickelsen and Nelda Darnellwere recently recognized by the Polk County Senior Services Board of Directors with the outstanding service award. 

Darnell, the board secretary, has 14 years of service. Mickelsen has 11 years and three months. 

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