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Women's Crisis Center receives grant

The Women's Crisis Center of Taney County received a $10,000 award from Doors of Hope, a national initiative of Philip Morris Companies Inc., in partnership with the National Network to End Domestic Violence Fund.

The award is part of a $1.2 million grant program for organizations across the country to support direct services such as food, emergency shelter and counseling, as well as outreach and training efforts.

According to Becky Vermeire, executive director of the Women's Crisis Center, the funds will be used to help the center start a food pantry for victims of domestic violence. Vermeire said the crisis center offers an emergency domestic violence shelter for 24-hour intervention for victims and their children.

Philip Morris Companies Inc. has five principal operating companies: Kraft Foods Inc., Miller Brewing Company, Philip Morris International Inc., Philip Morris Inc. and Philip Morris Capital Corporation.

Chamber names convention sales manager

The Branson/Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce has hired Shari Thomas to fill the position of convention sales manager. Thomas, a board member with the chamber, was also a partner in the Hall of Fame Hotel in Branson. In her new position, she will be selling the Branson area to meeting and convention planners across the United States and internationally.

Official city map available on CD-ROM

The city of Branson has produced an official City of Branson Road Map through the geographic information systems division of its engineering department. The map has a reference grid and includes major attractions, restaurants, motels, theaters and color-coded alternate routes in the city.

According to the city, the purpose of the map is to aid the tourists coming to Branson by having one official map to distribute rather than many different maps. The maps are available through the city at a nominal cost on paper, floppy disk, CD-ROM or by e-mail.

'Seven Habits' programs set for March-May

"Seven Habits of Highly Effective People" by Stephen R. Covey will be presented during three different workshops scheduled for March 16-18, April 20-22 and May 18-20 at the Top of the Rock Restaurant near Branson.

The goal of the training is to equip participants with the principles, perspective and tools to achieve their goals and lead rich, rewarding and balanced lives, according to John Baltes, president of the Silver Dollar City Foundation and trained facilitator for the Covey Institute.

To register, call Nancy Aumiller at 334-4355.

Ripley's wins Museum Franchise of the Year

Ripley's Believe It or Not! Museum is the recipient of the Museum Franchise of the Year Award for 1998. The Branson museum opened July 1994 and is one of the largest in the 21-franchise chain housing more than 400 odd and unusual artifacts.

City receives travel industry recognition

Branson has been recognized by three top travel trade entities, according to the Branson/Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce.

The American Society of Travel Agents/Fodor's Annual Hot Spots Forecast named Branson as the top "hot emerging" domestic travel spot of 1999.

The ASTA surveys its travel agents on the destinations they expect to book for this year.

For the fifth year, Branson was named the "Best All-Around City for Motorcoach Travel/Tours" according to the Best & the Rest survey given by the American Bus Association.

Tour operators and motorcoach members of ABA also voted Branson the "City that Works Hardest to Accommodate Group Tours" for a fourth consecutive year.

Leggett & Platt declares dividend

The Leggett & Platt board of directors, Carthage, declared a 9-cent-per-share first-quarter dividend on the company's common stock.

The dividend will be paid March 15 to shareholders of record as of Feb. 26.

This quarter's increase marks a 12.5 percent rise from the previous quarter, and a 20 percent jump from the same quarter last year.

City Council approves sewer agreement

The Hollister City Council approved March 4 the Taney County Intergovernmental Sewer Agreement to accept wastewater from southwestern Taney County, extending from U.S. Highway 65 at Hollister to the Dewey Short Visitor's Center near the Stone County line.

The new sewer system will encompass about 240 residences, including the areas of Poverty Point, Table Rock Heights and Siesta Cove, and existing businesses including the Showboat Branson Belle, KOA Campground and Table Rock State Park, said John Soutee, administrator of the Taney County Regional Sewer District.

Soutee said the sewer district has agreed to provide the pipeline for the new sewer system at a cost of about $6.5 million. He said the sewer district will save about $5 million in construction costs by not having to build a new wastewater treatment facility itself.

Archer Engineers of Springfield is putting together the final set of plans for approval by the Department of Natural Resources later this year, Soutee said.

He added that actual construction on the pipeline is expected to occur early in the year 2000.

According to John Lewis, Hollister city administrator, the city will treat an additional 300,000 gallons per day from the new county consumers, along with the 1.1 million gallons per day it already treats for city users. The city's treatment plant, a state-of-the-art facility, can treat a maximum of 3.2 million gallons per day, Lewis said.

Best Inn changes name to Solar Inn

The Best Inn, a Joplin motel, has changed its name to Solar Inn to reflect its energy-saving features.

James Lambeth Inc. opened the Best Inn in 1984. The motel features double-paned windows that heat and cool rooms efficiently. Shower heads use less water, but retain the same pressure.

The motel has 111 rooms, including two private Jacuzzi rooms and a private Jacuzzi suite.

Woody's Wood-Fire Pizza now open on 7th

Steve Ritter and Pete Williams didn't opt for the latest technology for their new Joplin pizza restaurant. They went back to 1800s-style cooking and the basics brick ovens and firewood.

At Woody's Wood-Fire Pizza, 1831 W. Seventh St., all pizzas are cooked in brick ovens heated with oak and maple wood. The kitchen and dining room are one large room with a Plexiglass shield around the kitchen.

Diners have a clear view of the Italian hearth oven and work stations.

The partners also hope to set their pizza parlor apart from competitors with a menu of gourmet pizzas, such as steak pizza with tenderloin beef strips, thinly sliced potatoes, provolone and mozzarella cheeses on a red horseradish sauce.

The restaurant seats 30 and offers additional patio seating in warm weather.

City sales tax revenue exceeds projections

Sales tax revenue in Joplin is slightly better than projected by city leaders for the first four months of the 1998-99 budget year.

Leaders projected fiscal-year revenue of $9.89 million from the 1-cent general sales tax and $4.94 million from the half-cent transportation sales tax.

According to those projections, the city should have received 28.7 percent of the total by now. The city is slightly ahead at 29.1 percent.

This month's disbursement from the Missouri Department of Revenue to the city was $502,734 from the general sales tax and $252,262 from the transportation sales tax.

Local businessmen elected to bank board

Philip Willcoxon, administrator of Freeman Neosho Hospital, and John Branham, president of Branco Enterprises Inc., have been elected to the board of directors of Community Bank and Trust, Neosho.

Willcoxon served as assistant administrator of the Neosho Freeman Hospital from 1993 to 1995, when he was appointed administrator.

Willcoxon is a member of the Southwest Family Y board of directors and the Crowder College student advisory board of directors, the Neosho Area Chamber of Commerce economic development committee, the Ozarks Public Television fund-raising committee and Rotary International.

Branham, president of Branco for 23 years, is the immediate past president of the Neosho Area Chamber of Commerce, a former member of the Neosho Planning and Zoning Committee, and now serves as chairman of the Neosho City Board of Appeals.

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