Local News

The White River Valley Electric Cooperative is powering through the current pandemic challenge by holding this year’s annual meeting virtually rather than in person.  Because of concerns about the contagious COVID-19 virus, the co-op is inviting members in its Ozark, Christian, Douglas, Stone and...

Casting ballots amid a pandemic.......Voting during a pandemic gave polling places in last week’s primary election a different look – including the Barren Fork Precinct polling place in the Wasola Volunteer Fire Department firehouse, shown here. Polling places were equipped with plexiglas shields, masks, hand sanitizer, sanitizing spray and pen sterilizers. After each voter left a voting station, it was wiped down with sanitizing spray by an election judge, and the pen was sterilized. Right: Jimmy and Jean Frye sign in to vote with election judge Ted Bischoff while judges Don Pinckney, David Niemi and Mary Ann Niemi get ready to help with the voters’ next steps. Photo courtesy Janet Taber
Wise: Voter turnout was ‘phenomenal’   With 3,192 ballots cast here in last week’s primary election – 44.49 percent of Ozark County’s 7,174 registered voters – residents re-elected incumbents Jama Berry as Ozark County Assessor and Gary Collins as Eastern District Commissioner, and also elected...

At age 34 (he turns 35 in October), Ozark County Sheriff-elect Cass Martin says some people may think “my maturity level is not enough to take on this job.” But he believes he has the energy and drive to “do what’s great” for Ozark County and hopes to be the same kind of successful officer as Douglas County Sheriff Chris Degase, Mountain Grove Police Chief Danny Bledsoe or former Ozark County Sheriff Steve Bartlett. He’s shown here with his wife, Andrea, and their four children, from left, Branch, 4; Isabelle, 10; Jacob, 9; and Rhett, 5.
Dora resident Cass Martin said Friday his “phone hasn’t stopped ringing” since the night of Aug. 4, when he won the primary election for Ozark County Sheriff by 148 votes over challenger Curtis Dobbs, 1,563 to 1,415.  “And I got 70 text messages,” Martin said, laughing. “I spent all day texting...
OC still has one of the lowest COVID case counts in the state   Since last week’s Times went to press, Ozark County has more than doubled its confirmed cases of COVID-19.  Ozark County Health Department administrator Rhonda Suter confirmed Tuesday afternoon that the county had received its 15th...

Tylor Rynard, Ozark County Jail photo.
Squires resident Tylor Rynard, 34, pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and first-degree robbery Aug. 7 in connection with the April 21, 2018, murder of 73-year-old Lawrence C. Brostedt in Ozark County. Rynard made the plea in Phelps County Court, where the case was transferred on a change of...

Stephanie Bade is pictured in her canoe garden at Sunburst Ranch, a river outfitter with campground, cabin and canoe rentals on the North Fork of the White River off H Highway near Patrick Bridge. Stephanie and husband Bryan purchased the riverside business last year from former owners Justin and Amy Spencer, who owned the resort for 15 years.
Editor’s note: Sunburst Ranch was severely damaged after the North Fork of the White River swelled to unprecedented depths in April 2017, completely covering the campground and resort and causing devastating destruction. The resort’s riverhouse, camp store, bathhouse, sleeper cabins and barn were...
Thornfield School will start its 2020-2021 school year Aug. 24 “as normal as possible,” administrator Melissa Campbell said last week in responding to the Times’ emailed questions about the school’s plans for reopening in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. The school’s stated objectives will be to...
Ozark County schools are planning to open the 2020-21 school year facing what Bakersfield superintendent Amy Britt, in a recent letter to parents, called “an unprecedented challenge” amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. “However,” Britt encouraged, “it is in these challenges that new ideas and...
For the first time in recent history, all Ozark County School Districts and also nearby Mark Twain School, in Taney County west of Theodosia, are providing school supplies for students.    Bakersfield School District Bakersfield School District announced in a July 10 Facebook post that all school...
(Editor's note: Shortly before 10 a.m., Wednesday, Aug. 5, Ozark County Health Department Admisitrator Rhonda Suter posted that Ozark County had a 10th case of COVID-19. No details are available at this time but will be posted as they become available.)   Ozark County’s seventh case of the COVID-19...

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