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PRIORITIES. The Southwest Missouri State University Board of Governors' meeting was set for 9 a.m. March 19. But that schedule would make it difficult for "interested parties" (as an SMSU release said) to make a certain appointment by 6:35 p.m. that same day in New Jersey. Therefore, the university's board of governors met March 18 instead.

COASTER FREAKS. Silver Dollar City's new attraction, BuzzSaw Falls, is still under construction in preparation for the park's April 7 opening. (See the picture on page 13.) Why would anyone spend $7 million for a roller coaster? The SDC folks are not known for their business stupidity. The company figures the coaster touted as a true thrill ride for those who like that sort of thing will attract up to 100,000 additional visitors. And those folks are sure to eat a funnel cake or two.

ANIMAL ACT. Jim Fowler, he of "Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom" fame, will make presentations at 6:10 and 7:05 p.m. March 24 at the entrance to Bass Pro Shops Outdoor World. Fowler's appearance is a joint effort of the Dickerson Park Zoo and the Wonders of Wildlife Museum and Aquarium. Fowler will make a conservation presentation with animals from the zoo's education collection. The event is free.

LIKE MAGIC. The Palace of Mystery Inc.'s Chapter 11 bankruptcy case, which at one time was to be dismissed, has been converted to a Chapter 7 liquidation case. Officials with the bankruptcy court aren't sure what assets there will be to liquidate in the case to satisfy creditors; a $20,000 cashier's check appears to be the only asset of Palace of Mystery at this time. The $20,000 was once in a bank account at Ozark Mountain Bank, but the money was withdrawn to open a debtor-in-possession account. The account was never opened because Palace of Mystery's president, Branson magician Kirby VanBurch, was frustrated with the process for doing so when he attempted to open such an account at NationsBank, an attorney in the case said. At a first meeting of creditors while the case was still a Chapter 11, VanBurch indicated that the check was "stuffed under a mattress" for the time being. Though schedules in the case have yet to be filed, the first meeting in the Chapter 11 case revealed that the corporation has some tax debt and an ongoing dispute with the landlords of the theater where VanBurch performs his show. The dispute concerns how much the landlord, Thirty-Five LLC, is owed from ticket sales. VanBurch formed Palace of Mystery to manage and run his Branson show of the same name, but VanBurch is a principal in other companies that own many of the show's assets, including the magic tricks, equipment and animals that are used during the performances. A first meeting of creditors in the Chapter 7 case will be scheduled for April, though trustee Fred C. Moon was not sure of the date.

FOUNTAIN. Fountain Day Spa never saw its first day nor spa. Apparently, the project, which was planned for the corner of Oak Grove and Sunshine is not going to happen. Announced last year, the $2 million project was initially set to open during the first part of this year. In preparation for the building, an existing structure the one-time Library restaurant on the property was demolished. Owner Lee McLean has re-listed the property for sale. Ty Morgan was president of Fountain Investors, which planned the 10,000-square-foot building at 2609 E. Sunshine. McLean was to have built the building for lease. Morgan was formerly the general manager at Grove

Pharmacies but is no longer with the company.

POET'S CORNER.

The Dow it briefly topped 10K

To many whoops and hollers

But milestones are dime-a-dozen

What matters is earned dollars.

SLICE OF NICE. The Southwest Missouri Office on Aging is accepting applications for those who would like to serve as advocates for older people of southwest Missouri. The Silver Haired Legislature is a formally elected body of citizens 60 years of age and older that promotes conscientious legislative advocacy for Missouri's older adults. Two persons are being sought for

one-year terms in Greene County and a

one-year Central Senatorial District senator is also being sought. Interested candidates must file a Declaration of Intent. For information on the positions or how to apply, call the Southwest Missouri Office on Aging at

862-0762.

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