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GAS SUPPLIER. Transok LLC was awarded the long-term contract to transport the natural gas for the new plant being built near Chouteau, Okla., by Associated Electric Cooperative Inc. and KAMO Power. The 530-megawatt plant's construction will begin in the first quarter of 1999, with commercial operation scheduled to begin in July 2000. The plant is projected to purchase up to $45 million worth of Oklahoma natural gas each year. Transok is a Tulsa-based intrastate pipeline system with more than 5,000 miles of pipeline. A release from AECI said Transok provides gathering, processing, transportation and marketing for more than 1 billion cubic feet of natural gas a day.

BRENTWOOD PARKING. The Springfield-Greene County Library District has announced the addition of 20 parking spaces at its Brentwood Branch. The project will cost $40,000 and is set to begin early this year. A release from the library said the additional spaces would be located at the northwest corner of the building's existing parking lot. A larger community room added two years ago has accounted for more visitors, according to library managers.

COOPER COMMUNITIES. Gary L. Newman, president and CEO of CooperShare Resorts Division of Cooper Communities Inc. resigned in late December. The Bella Vista, Ark.-based company announced Tommy L. Spencer will become the new president and CEO starting Jan. 15. Newman, who said he is leaving the position to start a new real estate development company in northwest Arkansas, delayed his resignation since summer 1998 to aid in a smooth transition at Cooper Communities. "We appreciate Gary's willingness to postpone his personal goals and stay at Cooper Communities through the second half of 1998 to help provide a smoother transition," said John A. Cooper Jr., chairman and CEO of Cooper Communities Inc. CooperShare Resorts is the timeshare and hospitality division of Cooper Communities. The division includes home sites, home and timeshare sales in StoneBridge Village in Branson, as well as timeshare properties in Arkansas.

OZARK BANK. Ozark Bank is adding 1,500 square feet to its bank on Highway 14 in Ozark. The addition will include five new offices to accommodate five new employees and 200 safe-deposit boxes. A computer upgrade is part of the expansion as well. Ozark Bank has four full-service locations.

TIGHT LABOR. A survey conducted by the National Association of Temporary and Staffing Services showed that the labor market has continued to constrict nationally. Nine of 10 staffing-firm respondents said recruiting new employees is a problem and a majority said it is worse than a year ago. Meanwhile, the association reported that temporary-help employment was up in the third quarter of 1998 to a daily average of 2.87 million people, an increase of 9 percent from the daily average of 2.63 million employed in the sector during the third quarter of 1997.

CHRISTMAS TREES. Wickman Gardens is continuing its 10-year tradition of recycling Christmas trees. Trees can be dropped off at 1345 S. Fort for convenient disposal. Free Christmas-tree mulch is available, as well as pine-tree seedlings in exchange for their sawed-off relatives. A $2 fee will be charged this year, with $1 going to The Kitchen, and $1 to cover expenses. The city of Springfield is also accepting Christmas trees, but only at its yardwaste Recycling Center next to the Southwest Treatment Plant. Go west on Sunshine, left on Farm Road 115 and then left on Farm Road 164. City and Greene County residents may drop off their trees for free. Mulch from the castoffs is for sale from the city.

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