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Heard On The Street

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PRECIPITATE. As of Jan. 12 the city of Springfield had spent about $300,000 struggling with the ice and other elements of the winter storm that began the new year. That was before the mid-week glazing of ice that hit town. A release from the city said very cold temperatures made ice so hard it was impossible to plow. About 3,000 tons of salt and 12,000 gallons of calcium chloride were applied to surfaces during the storm. The release from the city said the material, personnel and equipment hours used in the first 12 days of this year was equal to that expended in a season and a half.

PEAKS. Along with street clearing, there was lots of natural gas and electricity expended during the cold spell. City Utilities said records were broken during the period of Jan. 4-5 with 118,067 dekatherms of gas used during the period. The utility has under contract the capacity for 125,000 dekatherms. Associated Electric Cooperative Inc. said it set a winter peak demand record of 2,977 megawatts across its system Jan. 4. The previous record (as was the case with CU's previous natural gas usage record) was set Jan. 10, 1997.

ACCOUNT. Schilling/Sellmeyer & Associates announced it is the new advertising agency for City Utilities. The agency said in a release it will help CU's internal marketing department with strategic planning and develop a new marketing and advertising campaign. The assignment will include implementing that campaign, as well as media placement.

NEVER TOO EARLY. In need of cockle warming? Think of this: Only 60 more days until the St. Patrick's Day Parade in Springfield. Pat Flanigan and crew are again at work on the event the 19th annual. It's set to take place in beautiful, and very Irish, downtown Springfield March 20. Entries are now being accepted for the parade. Call Pat at 865-6651 for more information.

GANGS. Ozarks Public Television will air "Gangs: 101" at 7 p.m. Jan. 21. The locally produced program is the first in a series on the subject of gang activity in the Ozarks. The show is presented in a roundtable format with Dr. Mike Carlie, a professor of sociology at Southwest Missouri State University, leading the discussion among 11 panel participants. Among the other speakers are Darrell Moore, Greene County prosecuting attorney; David Rush, from the U.S. Attorney's Office; and Ruby Smith, of Ozarks Fighting Back. "This program presents a discussion about recognizing gang activity and suggestions for becoming involved in a community effort to end this problem in the Ozarks," said Saundra Carter, outreach manager for Ozarks Public Television and producer of the program.

PLUG. Springfield and Branson both are profiled in the current issue of Midwest Traveler, a publication of AAA Auto Club. "No longer just a place to gas up on the way to Branson, Springfield offers a great spot for weekending in Missouri," is how the magazine summarized the Springfield story in its table of contents. Titled "Oasis in the Ozarks," the Springfield feature covered Bass Pro Shops Outdoor World (of course) as well as the Sheraton Hawthorn Park Hotel, Country Kitchen Family Restaurant, James River Grill, Springfield Brewing Company, the Pizza House, Bijan's and Lambert's Cafe (even though this last is in Ozark). By our estimates, Springfield remains a great place to gas up.

BIG RED H. The Slice of Nice item below reminded us to update Heard on the Street readers on a recent alert. The Big Red H high above Hamby's Steakhouse is once again spinning. Out of commission for several weeks, the revolutions and illumination returned between Christmas and New Year's, sending out the call of porky freshness and fried-chicken delight for all.

SLICE OF NICE. The Missouri Pork Producers Association was set to donate about 8,000 pounds of pork products to Ozarks Food Harvest Jan. 15. The donation will be distributed through Food Harvest's 32-county service area of shelters, pantries, soup kitchens and other hunger-relief agencies. A release from Ozarks Food Harvest said the local donation is part of a larger donation to six food banks in the state. The total donation is expected to be more than 50,000 pounds of pork with an estimated retail value of $110,000. The release said one reason prompting the donation was the historically low prices for pork at market now. "Slaughter warehouses are so full that producers have lost bargaining power, resulting in record losses which threaten to put tens of thousand of pork producers out of business," the release said.

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