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BRANSON HOME SALES UP. Information compiled by Cooper Appraisal in Branson indicates residential sales in the area are at record highs. Statistics from the Tri-Lakes Multilist Service show 818 residential sales through Oct. 20, which breaks the number of sales recorded during all of 1994, the previous high, when 814 homes were sold. Average sale prices this year are about $96,000. In 1994, the average sale price was $86,000. Cooper attributes the increases to more affluent visitors to Branson, more total visitors and more spending in the area by those visitors. "The success of newer projects like Chateau on the Lake and Cooper Communities' Stonebridge facility have introduced a wealthier visitor to the area," the Cooper Appraisal release said. Active listings of homes for sale remain high, thus Cooper still considers the Branson area a buyers' market. In the third quarter there were 1,732 listings, down from 1995 highs when more than 2,000 homes were listed. Low mortgage interest rates were also cited as a continuing factor in home sales.

HONORS MENTIONED. Springfieldians are being honored all over the

map. John Doran, of Gerry Doran Homes Inc., was recently recognized by the National Association of Home Builders with a Life Spike designation. The award is given for recruiting new members to the organization. Doran is the immediate past president of the Home Builders Association of Greater Springfield. Chris Nattinger, owner of Nattinger Materials Company, was selected to receive the 1998 Sam Walton Business Leader Award in Springfield. The local award winner is selected by the Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce, and the award is sponsored by the Wal-Mart Foundation and local Wal-Mart stores. The chamber received a $500 grant in Nattinger's name. Ross Ausburn, a founder of Springfield's Southern Missouri Containers, has been selected to receive the Distinguished Eagle Scout Award, given to Eagle Scouts who, after 25 years, have revealed in their lives a commitment to service. Ausburn "has distinguished himself through his career as an entrepreneur and through his continued service to God, his country and other people by following the principles of the Scout Oath and Law by meeting community service needs through his voluntary actions." The Ozark

Trails Council and the Boy Scouts of America national office name award winners, of which there have been about 1,400 since the award's inception in 1969.

GIVE A HOOT for Hooters, that wholesome family restaurant with, we understand, terrific wings. The Springfield restaurant, built two years ago at Glenstone and James River Freeway, is apparently moving a few doors down. The restaurant will stay in the same basic location but will get a brand new building, a 4,618-square-foot exact replica of the one that is there now. Officials with Hooters could not divulge what exactly is going on with the doubly good deal, but more information will be available in coming weeks.

CHAMPION BREAKFAST. The Nov. 10 Breakfast with Champions will feature Gregory L. Curl, vice chairman of corporate development for NationsBank Corp. (aka Bank of America). Curl, with a bachelor's degree from Southwest Missouri State University, followed by a master's degree from the University of Virginia, first went on to work as special assistant to U.S. Sen. John Danforth. His stint with the senator was bookended by employment at Boatmen's National Bank. Curl led the mergers and acquisition team that negotiated the merger of Boatmen's with NationsBank. His topic at the breakfast will be "Leading Change in Financial Institutions." The $15 breakfast will be held 7:30-9 a.m. at the Kentwood Hall Crystal Ballroom. To register, call the Management Development Institute at SMSU, 836-5667.

SLICE OF NICE. The third annual Cup O' Cheer Homes Tour, presented by Commercial Federal Bank, will be held 10 a.m.-8:30 p.m. Nov. 20. The event will feature four homes, which will be open for touring. Tickets are $15, and the proceeds will benefit the Ronald McDonald House Charities of the Ozarks. The four homes are located in the Meadowmere and Millwood areas, and each will feature holiday decor by local designers. The tour will conclude with a holiday tea at the Ronald McDonald House. Tickets may be purchased by sending a self-addressed, stamped envelope and $15 per ticket to Ronald McDonald House, Attention: Homes Tour Tickets, 949 E. Primrose Street, Springfield 65807. Tickets are also available at the following locations through Nov. 19: Ronald McDonald House, Countryside Cottage, House of David, Interior Fashions, Rocke & Company, Southgate Floral & Gifts and Town & Country Flowers & Collectibles. Tickets will only be available at the homes the day of the event. For more information, call Debbie Kinser at 886-0225.

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