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Heard On The Street

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GOT THE BLUES? If not, the place to go is downtown Springfield Sept. 11 and 12 for the Greater Ozarks Blues Festival. Nationally recognized Blues artists from Tommy Castro, to Smokin' Joe Kubek, to Bugs Henderson, to KoKo Taylor will headline, along with performances by regional bands, including Chump Change, Johnny G & the Allstar Band, and Steve Pryor, plus several local groups. The event kicks off with Tommy Castro's performance Friday night at the Juke Joint. Tickets are $10 for the concert, $12 for the Saturday night Blues Crawl-and-concerts and $6 for the Blues Crawl only. Concerts on the square are free. A $50 Blues Festival package offers drinks, heavy hors d'oeuvres, reserved tables at the Friday night concert, admission to the Blues Crawl, free parking, a Blues Festival Gift Pack and admission to Saturday's concerts. For tickets, contact MetroTix at 800-293-5949, or pick them up at Famous Barr, Kaleidoscope, Springfield Little Theatre or The Bar Next Door. For more information, check out the event's web page at www.

THE AX HANDBOOK. According to a recent release from Aspen Law & Business Panel Publishers, work force reductions, "once only a strategy of last resort," have become "a common feature of today's business landscape, with otherwise healthy companies using major reductions to achieve greater efficiencies." As a result, Aspen is offering its new "Employment Severance Answer Book," which the company touts as providing "step-by-step guidance on planning and implementing any type of severance program from dealing with the departure of a single employee to crafting a large work force reduction." While the volume offers advice on everything from minimizing a work force reduction to undercutting possible litigation, we wonder if just leaving it lying around the office face-up in a conspicuous place would have an amazing effect on productivity all by itself.

GOOD SAMARITANS. The Good Samaritan Boys Ranch, located in Brighton, is donating 1,000 bales of hay to Texas ranchers who lost their crop because of the severe heat that hit Texas during the June and July growing season, according to a news release from the ranch. "Caring for others makes you feel better about yourself" is the motto the Boys Ranch counselors are using as the 67 boys being treated

at the ranch assist in making the gift possible. The Texas Department of Agriculture is coordinating the

donation, and the first shipment, earmarked for farm and ranch youth with 4-H projects, was slated for delivery Sept. 1.

SLICE OF NICE. The Victim Center needs volunteers to provide crisis intervention and assistance to victims of violent and sexual crimes. Advocates are trained to take calls on a 24-hour crisis hotline and to assist victims at the hospital, police station or crime scene. Volunteer advocates are required to attend a comprehensive training session. The training session will be held 6-8:30 p.m. Sept. 25, 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Sept. 26 and 9:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Sept. 27. If you would like more information, please call Graham Cox at 863-7273. Last year, the center provided crisis intervention services to 966 victims of crime and provided ongoing, individual and group counseling for 87 children and 144 adults.

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