Branson Parade - 3rd Annual Holiday Promenade of Stars Television Air Dates




KSFX Air Dates:
Nov 26, 2009 9:00 am
Dec 25, 2009 9:00 am

RFD TV Air Dates:
Nov 26, 2009 11:00 am EST
Dec 25, 2009 1:00 pm EST

KOMC Radio
Live broadcast from 10:30 am - 12:00 noon

RETRO TV Network Air Dates:
Nov 26, 2009 12:00 PM EST

Alabama
WVTM-DT - Birmingham - Coverage Map

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WRNT - Hartford

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KXLT - Rochester/Mason City/Austin
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WDIO/WIRT-DT2 - Duluth

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WJAR-DT3 - Providence/New Bedford

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WFXS

Branson Police Catch Robber Inside Store


PRESS RELEASE
BRANSON POLICE DEPARTMENT


On Wednesday evening, November 18, 2009 at approximately 9:15 p. m. Branson officers were called to the H&J Gift Shop located at 3224 West Highway 76 in Branson reference to an individual breaking a window of the business and entering the building.

Upon arrival, officers found a man inside the building. The 38 year-old Branson resident was taken into custody without incident.

Paperwork concerning this incident has been forwarded to the Taney County Prosecutor’s office for the filing of charges.



11-19-09 _____________________________

C. W. McCullough
Chief of Police

Branson Police Focus on Seatbelt Tickets Today

It's always a good idea to wear your seatbelt, but an extra incentive is being provided for the residents of Branson today. Branson Police Officers will be trolling the streets looking for people that fail to wear their safety harnesses. Click it or ticket.....

Branson residents call to action: Supply Dropoff Sites For Underprivileged

Drop off sites for local food pantries-

Christian Action Ministries -202 Vaughan Branson 334-1157-

Christian Associates/13192 State Hwy 13 Kimberling City 739-3200-

Gift of Hope/15366 U.S. Hwy 160 Forsyth 546-8062

City of Branson Declares Homeless Awareness Week

P R O C L A M A T I O N
OFFICE OF THE MAYOR



Whereas, every night in our state, homeless individuals and even families require food and shelter, and there are a greater number of hidden homeless who have not sought out or received assistance through existing agencies; and

Whereas, homeless Missourians are people who lack stable and adequate residence; live in a shelter, transitional living facility or a location not designed for human habitation; or are at risk of being dislodged from their residence; and

Whereas, the Governor’s Committee to End Homelessness and other service providers throughout the state are working to offer homeless Missourians decent, safe, affordable housing, food, medical care, transportation, day care services, job skills development, education and case management; and

Whereas, Missouri citizens and organizations, including schools, churches, and governments are encouraged to help address homelessness and become involved in community programs that provide solutions in meeting the physical, social, economic and educational needs of those experiencing homelessness;

Now therefore I , Mayor of the City of Branson, Missouri, do hereby proclaim November 15-21, 2009 as

HUNGER AND HOMELESSNESS AWARENESS WEEK

in Branson and encourage all citizens to recognize and support efforts to put an end to homelessness in our society.

(Throughout the week we'll be discussing homelessness, political reasons and input on associated responsibilities and what we can do about it)

Danner leads Missouri Department of Tourism

Despite objection from Missouri's Republican Lt. Governor Peter Kinder former Democratic Rep. Katie Steele Danner's appointment by Gov. Jay Nixon to head Missouri's Tourism Commission was approved.
Danner currently lobbies on behalf of Branson's Mayor and other theater owners in Branson. Her background includes work for former Governor Bill Clinton and recently filled in as interim director for Missouri's Department of Economic Development.

Branson Veterans Day Events 2009


Silver Dollar City:
Celebrate Veterans Day in Branson with Col. Oliver North, Branson Entertainers and Fox and Friends National Broadcast. KOLR10 and KSFX broadcasting live.
Wednesday, November 11th, 2009 at Silver Dollar City.
Arrive 5 a.m. Silver Dollar City Square

The public is invited to participate as a national TV audience for this event.
Each person who brings a new toy donation - valued at a min. $10.00 - will receive a FREE RETURN VISIT to Silver Dollar City's An Old Time Christmas!
* Parking at SDC Main Entrance
* Concessions will be available, however the park IS closed November 11th
* Arrive at Silver Dollar City Main Entrance BY 5:00 a.m., no later than 5:30 a.m., in order to receive the free return ticket

Toy donations will support LOVE INC for Care For Kids Christmas, helping children in Stone and Taney Counties. (SDC Ticket has no cash value and cannot be sold - good for one return visit during Silver Dollar City's Old Time Christmas, now through December 30th, Thursday-Sunday.)


Breakfast with Lt. Col. Oliver North

8:00 - 10:00 a.m. (0800 - 1000 hrs)
Continental Breakfast with Lt. Col. Oliver North at Tri-Lakes Center. Meet and Greet/book sales and signing. Ticket price is $10.00 Tickets are available at the Branson Veterans Task Force Booth in Veterans Village and also at the door.

8:30 - 9:30 a.m. (0830 - 0930 hrs) Special Forces A Team will be present at the Branson Junior High as guests at a memorial ceremony for a former member of the 82d Airborne Div. recently killed in Iraq who is related to one of the students of the Junior High.


9:00 - 10:30 a.m. (0900 - 1030 hrs) -- USAF Band of Mid-America from Scott AFB, IL. will perform at the Branson Landing Town Square prior to the Veterans Day parade.

11:00 a.m. (1100 hrs) -- 76th annual Veterans Day Parade sponsored by the American Legion Post 220 through downtown Branson. For parade information contact the American Legion Post 220 at 417-334-2296

12:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. (1200 - 1300 hrs) VIP luncheon with Lt. Col. Oliver North at Chateau on the Lake. Short session of remarks followed by Meet and Greet/book signing (books pre-sold to event). $75.00 per person. (Includes splendid buffet style luncheon, personally autographed presentational book) Please call 417-699-6199 to RSVP for this event. FIRST 100 to RSVP.

1:00 p.m. (1300 hrs) -- "FREE Closing Ceremonies" will be held at the Starlite Theater. There is limited seating for this performance, you will need to make reservations to reserve your seat. For reservations please call 417-337-9333.





Veterans Recognition Breakfast at Missouri State University


Wednesday, November 11, 2009, 8:00 AM - 10:15 AM in Plaster Student Union, Robert W. West Ballroom

Veterans Recognition Breakfast in PSU West Ballroom. The theme is "Missouri State Salutes the Coast Guard". Breakfast is free to all veterans and their guests. To reserve seats, please call the MSU Career Center, 836-5636. Speakers will include an active duty Coast Guard veteran of Katrina speaking on the role of the Coast Guard today in Homeland Security.
The MSU Canteen singers, made up of alumni, faculty and students, will provide entertainment, along with videos honoring MSU veterans and the Coast Guard.

Event Sponsor: Alliance for Veterans
Admission: Open to current students, alumni, faculty, staff, community, visitors.
(information provided by Missouri State University)




Veterans Day Events at College of the Ozarks

Sunrise wreath-laying ceremony at the main flagpole next to Lyons Memorial Library at 7:00 am.
C of O ROTC cadet James Goodgion will speak. The ceremony will include a cannon report, followed by the honoring of the flag, wreath placement, a 21-gun salute and the playing of "Taps"
A veterans day convocation will be held at 7:00 pm in the Williams Memorial Chapel. Captain Randy Summerhill, a C of O alumnus, will speak at the convocation. The College of the Ozarks Concert Band will perform. All events are free and open to the public

Ollie North Lunch Tomorrow.....

Lt. Col Oliver North to appear at Fundraiser to benefit America’s Veterans

(Branson, Missouri – Monday, November 9, 2009) Join Lt. Col. Oliver North on Veterans Day, Wednesday, November 11, 2009, for a special VIP mixer at the Chateau on the Lake Resort. Along with lunch, each guest attending the VIP meet and greet will also receive an autographed copy of the Cols new book. Lt. Col. North has donated his time to help raise funds for the Opening and Closing Ceremonies for Branson’s Veterans Homecoming Week. The VIP mixer style luncheon is from 12 noon to 1 PM. Col North will make a brief opening statement and then take the time to personally meet each and every person in attendance that day. North said, “I love coming to Branson, Missouri. It is gratifying to see the way they honor our nation’s veterans.”

Veterans Homecoming Week in Branson brings nearly 50,000 people to town each year. This special week, from November 5 through November 11, is designed specifically to honor and support veterans from every conflict. During the week, mini reunions and multiple ceremonies provide recognition and information on support services for America’s veterans and their families. Money raised by this VIP luncheon will go toward production expenses of the Opening and Closing Ceremonies for Veterans Week.

Tickets to attend this special VIP fundraiser are available for a $75, tax deductible donation. To reserve your tickets to the Lt Col Oliver North VIP Luncheon on November 11, please call 417-699-6199. There are a limited number of tickets available, so call right away for your chance to meet Col North and support our nation’s veterans. The event is sponsored by Associated Artists Productions of Branson, Missouri, and Veterans Week is made possible only by the Branson Veteran's Task Force.

Associated Artists Productions is also responsible for producing the Opening and Closing Ceremonies for Veterans Homecoming Week. The Closing Ceremony will take place at The Starlite Theatre at 1pm on November 11. and will include appearances by Col. Oliver North, Moe Bandy, Dino Kartsonakis (a Vietnam era Veteran himself), Jim Barber, The Rankin Brothers, Clay Cooper, Dusty Rogers, The Hughes Brothers and more.

For more information contact:
Bob Nichols 417-593-3418

Pete Newman, Former Kanukuk Counselor out on bail hours after 8 hours in jail


Former Kanakuk counselor Pete Newman is no longer in custody at the Taney County Jail just hours after Judge Tony Williams raised Newman's required bond.

The original charges allegating Newman used his position as a youth pastor to commit crimes against young men were posted in the Branson,Missouri blog on Sept. 16th. The articles title emphasized the unusually small bond amount set in Tony Williams courtroom last month: Pete Newman Charged With Sexual Assault Against Children Posts 50k Bond.

Taney County Prosecutor Jeff Merrill stated he didn't remember the amount of bail set for Newman during an interview with a small regional newspaper last month. Considering the nature of the charges, bail was set surprisingly low. Due to the unusually low bail set, the amount was posted in the original article.

Newman was arrested after appearing 14 minutes late for a hearing yesterday resulting in a firm reaction from Judge Tony Williams who verbally scolded client and attorney as they walked into the courtroom. Williams was drafting Newman's arrest warrant after they entered the courtroom.

Williams asked a pointed question to Merrill which served a dual purpose. Before resetting Newman's bail amount, Judge Williams asked Merrill for a recommend amount. Almost uniformly, Judges follow the recommendation of prosecutors when it comes to such decisions. With the watchful eye of the media present William's query allowed Merrill to save face on the high profile case.

Merrill asked and received an increased bond of $100k which is standard in similar cases. A witness present in the courtroom stated she'd warned Kanakuk officials about Newman's behavior in 2006 and Merrill has stated in two separate interviews that other potential victims have stepped forward with claims of sexual misconduct by Newman.

Regardless of Merrill's verbal statements to the press, which include, allusions to the probability of new charges being filed no new charges have been filed to date. Of the 16 "victims" cited in the Taney County Sherrif's Office Probable Cause Statement, only two counts of sexual conduct with a child under 15, one count of second-degree sodomy and one count of child enticement have been pressed by the Taney County Prosecutor's Office.

The $100,000 bond required the Newman family to produce an additional %5,000 to secure Pete Newman's release. The transaction was complete 8 hours later with records showing Newman's release at 6:15 from Taney County's Jail in Forsyth, MO.

Newman has been instructed by the court to return Nov. 17th ans was previously forced to surrender his passport and refrain from contact with minors.

Andy Williams grand marshal of Holiday Promenade of Stars



Third annual parade Nov. 7 at 10:30 a.m. on Highway 76

BRANSON, Mo. -- “Mr. Christmas” Andy Williams will usher in Ozark Mountain Christmas as the grand marshal for the Third Annual Holiday Promenade of Stars on the world famous Highway 76 at 10:30 a.m. on Nov. 7.

Branson celebrities, marching bands and floats will follow the 1.4 mile-long parade route beginning at White Water and ending at the Grand Village with a few pauses for stars to perform on stage in front of the Titanic Museum.

“When Ronald Reagan was president he declared that Andy Williams’ voice a national treasure. Here in Branson, we agree that he is not only our national treasure, but also our ‘Mr. Christmas’ in recognition of his traditional Christmas television specials, holiday albums and his annual Christmas show at the beautiful Moon River Theatre,” said Gary Bartlett of Midwest Concerts and Events and parade organizer.

Williams will be returning to Branson to launch his Christmas show and serve as grand marshal for the parade from a national tour promoting his autobiography, “Moon River and Me” and a concert in London.

In addition to Williams, celebrity performances include Cathy Rigby as Peter Pan, the Lennon Sisters, the Osmonds, Tony Orlando, the Spirit of Christmas Dancers, the cast of “A Dickens’ Christmas Carol’ from Silver Dollar City and an appearance by Santa and Mrs. Claus.

Debby Boone and Jimmy Osmond are hosts for the television special and extensive media coverage. The Saturday parade, which officially ushers in the holiday season for the entertainment town, has been labeled the “Macy’s of the Midwest” and will be featured on local and national television broadcasts. The television special will be broadcast Thanksgiving Day and rebroadcast Christmas Day to an estimated 102 million plus households across the nation. In the Springfield/Branson area the parade special will be televised on KSFX Ozarks FOX and Vacation Channel. National broadcasts are on RFD TV and Retro Television Network (RTN). RFD TV is carried on several satellite and cable providers including over 625 independent cable operators to 42 million households and RTN is seen in 17 of the top 25 markets to more than 60 million households on nearly 100 stations in cities such as Pittsburg, Atlanta, Seattle, Orlando, St. Louis and Boston, according to Nielsen ratings.

In Branson KOMC‐FM will present an uninterrupted live broadcast 10:30 a.m. to noon. Eric Marshall will be the host of the radio broadcast.

Press Release Crafted by Linda Ward
Event organized by Gary Bartlett of Midwest Concerts and Events 417-336-075

Oliver North to meet One on One with Citizens in Branson

Oliver North will be back in Branson for a Veterans Day fundraiser. The following unedited bullet points listed below were produced by Bob Nichols, whose company, Associated Artists is promoting the event.

1. Lt. Col. Oliver North will appear at a VIP Luncheon on Veterans day for the first 100 people to reserve tickets. The luncheon mixer will be held at the Chateau on the lake Resort on the 11th beginning at 12 Noon and lasting until 1 PM. For a, tax deductible, $125 donation to that Branson Veterans Task Force, you will be able to meet the Col one on one. You will receive a personally autographed copy of his new book and a photo opportunity with Col North. Call 417-337-8387 or 417-699-6199 for reservations.

2. Branson Veteran's Week will kick off on November 5th with "For the Vets", the official opening ceremonies for the entire week of events. This 2 hour production show is being held at the Mansion Theatre beginning at 2 PM. There is no admission charge and tickets will be available, the day of the show, at the Mansion Box office. Featured performers will include The Oak Ridge Boys, Cathy Rigby, Hughes Brothers, Barbara Fairchild and Roy Morris, Premiere Dance Academy, The Chinese Acrobats and many more, This years production will also feature several original dance numbers from a professional dance troupe provided by Midwest Dance Academy. Branson Mayor Raeanne Presley will also welcome the vets and their guests to Branson. Come early to assure the best seating. Doors open at 12:30 PM. come early to get your picture taken with a LIVE Bald Eagle in the lobby of the Mansion.

3. The first "Official" Closing Ceremonies for Branson Veteran's Week will be held at the Starlite Theatre on Veterans Day,November 11th beginning at 1 PM. Featuring appearances by Lt. Col. Oliver North, Moe Bandy, Clay Cooper, Jim Barber and many more. Mayor Raeanne Presley will also offer remarks. Admission is FREE but advance reservations are recommended by calling 417-337-9333. The College of the Ozarks Jazz Band will be performing in the atrium lobby for an hour prior to the ceremonies.

All three of these events are being produced by Associated Artists of Branson.

Bob Nichols
Associated Artists
"Raising the Level"
WCA, LLC Office
4514 North Gretna Road
Branson, Missouri 65616
417.336.0631 fax
417.593.3418 cell

Roy Rogers Museum Closing - Announcement

Special Announcement from Roy Rogers Jr.


I have been personally agonizing over how to start this letter. I guess I will start by saying thank you. Thank you for the years of love, support, prayers and loyalty to the Rogers Family. You, the fans, and our Board of Directors, are the ones who have kept our family's museum going for over 42 years. It has been a wonderful ride. After millions of visitors and countless stories of what Roy and Dale have meant to you, the Board of Directors have voted to close our doors of the Museum at the end of 2009. This has not been an easy decision. Many very emotional and financial issues have been addressed by all of us, as you can well imagine.

The decision to close the Museum has come after two years of steady decline in visitors to the Museum. A lot of factors have made our decision for us. The economy for one, people are just not traveling as much. Dad's fans are getting older, and concerned about their retirement funds. Everyone is concerned about their future in this present economy. Secondly, with our high fiscal obligations we cannot continue to accumulate debt to keep the doors open.This situation is one I have not wanted to happen. Dad always said- “If the museum starts costing you money, then liquidate everything and move on.” Myself and my family have tried to hold together the Museum and collection for over 15 years, so it is very difficult to think that it will all be gone soon.

What will happen to Roy Rogers, Jr and his family? For those of you that have heard I am retiring, nothing could be farther from the truth. My company, Golden Stallion, and its show tribute to Roy and Dale, will continue. I plan on taking the show to another venue in Branson. We are looking for space now. The show will also be available to travel around the country and take the message of Roy and Dale wherever we travel. I feel that this country needs the message that Roy and Dale always put forth, not only in their professional lives, but in their private lives as well.

The Museum's last day of operation will be December 12th. We want everyone to have the opportunity to visit the Museum one last time to see the collection in its entirety. This will be your last chance to see Roy and Dale's collection. Tell your friends and encourage them to come, before we close. This will be your final chance!!

Please keep us in your thoughts and prayers. Remember, Roy Rogers and Dale Evans will live forever in our hearts and minds, and will continue to ride across the silver screen through their movies. Every time you think of Roy and Dale, that warm feeling you have always felt, will always return.

Watch our website for further announcements and special dates.

I leave you all with Dad's favorite saying- Good bye, Good luck, and may the good Lord take a likin' to ya! See you in Branson, or on the road.

Love to all of you!
Happy Trails.
Dusty and Family


Contact Dustin Rogers
417-339-1900 Ext 231
dustin@royrogers.com

Missouri Department of Natural Resources asks for Attorney General Action Against Taney County Utilities

Missouri's Department of Natural Resources issued the press release below this afternoon.


Taney County Utilities Corporation Referred to
Attorney General for Enforcement Action

Volume 37-348


Contact: Renee Bungart

(For immediate release)


573...

JEFFERSON CITY, MO, SEPT. 21, 2009 -- The Missouri Department of Natural Resources today asked the Missouri Attorney General's Office to pursue legal action against Taney County Utilities Corporation for violations of Missouri's Clean Water Law and Regulations. The violations occurred at the wastewater treatment facility serving the Village of Lakeway, located off Laughing Lane, near Kissee Mills.

The Department's enforcement actions help protect human health and the environment by requiring facilities to maintain compliance. The Department's main goal in any enforcement action is to work with a facility to successfully achieve compliance with the standards and then ensure they have the tools to remain in compliance. As part of that process, penalties may be used as an incentive to ensure future compliance and to remove the economic benefit of continued noncompliance.

The wastewater treatment facility serving the Village of Lakeway residential subdivision consists of septic tanks, two cell wetlands, and a third filtration cell. Since January 1999, the effluent discharging from the Village of Lakeway's facility has chronically exceeded the permitted effluent limitations for fecal coliform, biochemical oxygen demand and total residual chlorine limits as required by its operating permit.

The Department conducted two inspections of the facility and documented partially treated wastewater leaking from the filter beds. The inspections also revealed the receiving stream had observable impacts as a result of the discharge from the Village of Lakeway's wastewater treatment facility, including cloudy water; sludge and bloodworms in the stream; and gray algae on the rocks. Due to the serious and continuous nature of these violations, the Department has referred this matter directly to the Missouri State Attorney General's Office.

Missouri's Clean Water Law exists to protect public and environmental health and the Department is responsible for enforcing the law and regulations. The Department referred the case to the Attorney General's Office to compel compliance and to seek an appropriate civil penalty for violations at the site.

The Department strives to work with owners and operators to fix problems before an issue is referred. In situations where the responsible party is unwilling to cooperate to bring the facility into compliance and be protective of environmental and human health, the Department will refer the case.

For more information contact the Department's Water Protection Program at 573-751-1300 or call toll-free at 800-361-4827.

Branson Fiddle Contest 2009- Final Fiddleoff (Video)


Downtown Branson merchants joined the Branson Landing for the 2009 Branson Fiddle Contest which ended in a father/son battle for the title.

Branson Budget - Alderman Steal Additional $100,000

Branson City Council passed a three month budget on Tuesday, a step to move the city to a calendar budget as opposed to a fiscal year ending in September.

There is a certain pointlessness in covering the budget as it seems to serve as merely a suggestion rather than a solid framework for city council to work within.

Perhaps the most shining and at the same time repulsive example is the slush fund set aside for Mayor Presley and Branson's alderman. During previous administrations council-members were given a $10 per-diem for each city meeting. Count two meetings a month at 70 dollars and we come up with roughly $1,680 annually. Presley boastfully rejected this pittance of a city expense and put a Mayor and Board of Alderman $51,000 dollar budget expense in it's place.

Unfortunately, this wasn't enough public funds for Presley to spend at her discretion. An additional $120,000 was spent bringing the actual slush fund amount to $171,000.

In the world most citizens have to live in - this would be called theft. But when Branson City Council does it - they're given awards.

There isn't a municipality in Missouri that has it this good. While every county across the state of Missouri has to implement cuts, Branson has been on a massive spending spree. Sales tax reached a record high this year following a three year trend. Unfortunately, not one penny in increased funds can be attributed to the Presley administration.

No action taken by the current administration increased or will increase future returns for Branson citizens. What we do see is a great deal of kicking the gift-horse in the mouth.

The gift-horse is the Branson Landing and the windfall of revenue the facility is bringing to the city. Reporters following the budget have limited journaling to the Presley dictated dialogue where assertions are submitted selectively and arrogantly. In this way the public has been duped - ignorant to the self-serving allocation of public funds delivered through news-stories characteristically lacking in factual analysis.

A slap in the face was delivered this month as the Branson Landing was given an award for it's success and contribution to the economy. But here in the city very few people are aware that the facility will pay $450,000 for rent this year and an estimated $5,000,000 in tax revenue for Branson.

Few know that when the city says $2.5 million of the $5 million Branson Landing will be allocated back to pay off a TIF. Actually the 5 million dollars Branson Landing will pay in sales tax is usually left out.

Few realize the TIF funds are being used to pay back the expense of infrastructure to build the Convention Center and Branson Landing. Perhaps, if it were issued in a press release there would be a wider awareness of the true state of the local economy, but these are limited to making sure everyone is aware our mayor is being granted an award from the American Heart Association (an organization she donates substantial funds to) - these stories run unedited and unattributed by the Springfield News-Leader. In this way our mayor writes the newspaper while the left hand lines personal pockets.

Before I vomit, let me share a fact with you. The $425,000 expense the city is paying to help maintian the Branson Landing city square and accompanied fire show isn't even in the 2010 buddget. The reason is that $450,000 in rent will be paid to the city before the expense is due. This would leave a $25,000 surplus factoring rent and maintenance.

Feeling of loss linger with longtime residents that Mang field no longer hosts children playing baseball and the multi-million dollar Rec-Plex facility with state-of-the-art equipment seems to some a poor substitution.

If we let our bias and resentment guide us. If we hold our leaders higher than our God and fail to examine their actions we have the current state of worship by Branson's regional press we sadly leave a despot for the future and public funds are squandered with no accountability.

But we're lucky. Our past city fathers had the vision to invest in Branson's economic future and while Presley drains $12,000,000 in savings accrued before she came into office, record sales tax revenue and new streams of revenue still emerge, we're lucky that we haven't had to deal with the true shortfalls our neighbors across the state have had to endure.

You'd think an additional $9 million in savings gratefully taken from Obama's Revitalization and Reinvestment Act would enable some of the surplus to remain. But it seems only another excuse to maintain deficit spending policies. The city is off the hook for a new bridge - paid for by Obamanomics.

I would challenge citizens to take a look at what your leaders are doing. Ask yourselves why have six theaters shut down and why are certain businesses thriving. Why are tax funded institutions behind personal businesses and mostly - 77: What has this administration done for the Branson economy besides squandering city funds, which could lower our accounting expense, misinforming the public and stealing far more than they promised to thieve?

Kanakuk 10 Year Staff Member Pete Newman Charged With Sexual Assault Against Children Posts 50k Bond


Over the past couple of days I've been talking to people that were pastored by the former Kanakuk Counselor accused of sexually abusing children through ministry. He was released after a few hours for a mere $50,000 bail or 5,000 cash to a bondsman. His next court appearance is slated for late October. His freedom is contingent on him having no contact with anyone under 17.

This hurts us all.

The shocking details aren't limited to the details submitted to Judge Tony Williams in a probable cause statement drafted by the Taney County Sheriff's Department.

The accusations and charges filed against Peter Newman are being published here.


This hurts a successful ministry.

Kanakuk is internationally known for their high dollar Christian Sports Camp, a charity camp that runs in tandem for inner city kids and international contribution to evangelism.

I recall a sermon by Ted Cunningham of Woodland Hills Community Church, who is heavily affilliated with Kanakuk. Cunningham had recently welcomed a minister who was stripped of the "clothe" for similar circumstances. The congregation fell silent as Cunningham challenged attendents to forgive the hanus acts against children as a Christian. You could hear a pin drop in the room. For many of us an act of harming a child is worse than murdering an adult - impossible to forgive. Perhaps most would be hard pressed to find room for mercy and grace when the crimes hurt the most innocent with such long term effects. Lives ruined.

This breaks my heart.

The final page of the probable cause statement deals a profound blow. The suggestion is Newman's entire ministry could be summed up as a "grooming process" to identify victims. The details of Bible studies, outings, personal interest into leading children to live Christian lives all in vain for the most perverse personal benefits.

This hurts our families.

A friend of mine from the Charismatic Branch of Christian Practice submits Hebrews 4:15:

"For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet was without sin."


For most of us it's hard to imagine what this type of temptation entails - Christian or Athiest alike.

This hurts our community.

From a civic perspective the recent aftermath is equally as shocking. An eight page testimony led Kanakuk Leaders to report the incident which resulted in Newman's firing mid-summer. After leaving Kanakuk, post Newman's admission to crimes against children there are records that he continued to pursue ministry.

Former Missouri Governor Matt Blunt issued a press release promoting the execution of those who abuse children under the age of 12. Missouri Senator Jack Goodman echoed his support for such legislation boasting a move to give life sentences for the crime as a positive move. But most who commit these types of crimes have far lighter sentences.

This hurts our state.

Kanakuk's damage control was swift as Joe White distributed a personal e-mail shortly before a warrant for Peter Newman was issued.

"For the last 34 years, Debbie Jo and I have poured our hearts and prayers into this beloved place. Therefore it is with a heavy heart that I am writing to you today regarding a difficult situation.

"Because you are an important part of the Kanakuk family, we wanted to make you aware that earlier today, the Taney County Missouri prosecutor filed a four-count criminal complaint against our former employee, Pete Newman. As you may know, Pete Newman was employed at K-Kountry. The prosecutor’s criminal charges allege that Pete engaged in sexually inappropriate behavior with adolescent boys, including some who had been Kanakuk Kampers.

"When we became aware of this situation we took immediate action, terminating Pete Newman’s employment. Since that time, we have been working closely with the affected families and appropriate authorities. We reported what we knew to investigators and stayed in contact throughout the process, providing whatever assistance we could. We have also offered our assistance to the impacted families.

"Our fervent prayers are with those who have been impacted. We look forward to the completion of the legal process to ensure that justice is served.

"As you know, Pete Newman's alleged behavior is counter to everything we believe in, everything we stand for and everything we work to instill in the young people who come to us seeking to grow personally and in their relationship with Christ. In fact, for years, we have had very clear policies and extensive training in place for all staff regarding appropriate behavior. Our staff members go through background checks, personal interviews and extensive training on our policies.

"We understand the difficulty that this situation causes you and your children. We pledge to work with you to help you address questions your children may have. Kanakuk is a family, and families often face challenging times. We also pledge that Kanakuk will continue to do all we can to champion efforts to prevent inappropriate behavior from occurring at any camp.

"If you have questions or concerns about this situation, please e-mail me at joe@kanakuk.com.

"Thank you for being part of the Kanakuk family.

"In Christ,
Joe White"

----

On Tuesday, Doug Goodwin, chief operating officer of Kanakuk Kamps, issued this statement:

"Our camp family was deeply saddened and shocked to learn of the allegations involving a former employee. The alleged behavior is counter to everything we believe in, everything we stand for and everything we work to instill in the young people who come to us seeking to grow personally and in their relationship with Christ.

"Our prayers and thoughts are with those who have been affected, and we have worked closely with authorities investigating this matter.

"Most importantly, we have offered our assistance to the alleged victims and their families. We are committed to protecting their privacy, and we cannot say anything further about the allegations at this time.

"For years, we have had very clear policies and extensive training in place for all staff regarding appropriate behavior. Our staff members go through background checks. In light of this situation, we’ve reviewed and, where appropriate, updated our policies to reinforce our commitment to the families we serve."


The "alleged acts" took place over ten years leading many ponder how many children were victims, what damages Kanakuk will have to pay and if the ministry even has a future. After a swine-flu outbreak at their Stone County facility, no-one could imagine anything worse happening to the reputation of the camp.

**At this time, Counselors who keep personal blogs and websites with photos of campers would be wise to edit posts which could identify campers.

Great efforts from the court and the press will be taken to ensure the identities of the victims will remain hidden.

Undoubtedly, there will be more brave young men coming forward as they gain understanding this isn't their fault and it's likely more charges will be filed.

Branson 2010 Budget (Part II)


Branson continues to bring in record sales tax revenue and the fact this years record income is under-reported. A dangerous trend in occurring in our local press. As the dead tree press continues to decline, the nature of news reporting and even the integrity of print is being challenged.

The Springfield News-Leader and the Branson Daily Independent have been running government-published releases under the guise of journalism. Two front page stories this week were reprints of press releases generated by government agencies. Press releases are a great way to obtain news, perhaps the primary source in an age where investigative reporting is deemed to expensive to conduct. Unfortunately, these storied aren't sourced. The press releases generated by politicians have no by-lines, no additional facts and no verification to "truthfullness". As a result, public perception is both skewed and perverted to the temporal objectives of sitting politicos. None is more apparent then the misinformation Branson residents are recieving about the fiscal state of the local economy.

To understand the perspective of Branson's current leadership we need to take a step back. In the view of history 50 years isn't such a long time, but there is a transition in Branson that occurred at this time paramount to the current fiscal environment.

The contribution of the Mabe's, the Herschend's and even the Presley's cannot be underestimated. Due to the vision of these families our tourist economy shifted from the natural entertainment that helped Jim Owen lure Californian stars and Branson with it into the spotlight, to a new form of entertainment. Before there were a 110 shows, there were two. Before there were scores of museums, world-class shopping destinations and gold courses there was a cave tour and home-grown music shows - there was just a couple.

The Presley's moved from Jim Owen's downtown Branson mecca to a spot on 76 Blvd which is now known as the strip. Now the center of Branson's entertainment district, the Presley's sat outside Branson city limits. When Branson attempted to annex the theater the Presley's sued the city of Branson and fought rigorously to stay outside the administrative district and regulations inclusion would bring. The battles have continued and in a sense continue to this day. Even as the family matriarch serves in Branson's top position, the city can't keep a city attorney. Perhaps advisement against illegal activities occurring at Branson city hall have encouraged Branson's Alderman to keep from obtaining legal counsel. As the city as a whole suffers from economic irresponsibility, a few profit.

The Branson Landing was fought vigorously by Raeanne Presley through the League of Theaters where she was open about her opposition to new development. Contrary to public statements the fight was never about TIF's. And contrary to public awareness the Branson Landing is generated several million dollars in revenue. The fight Presley was engaging was against the success of the Branson Landing. Presley believed the success of the Branson Landing would hurt Branson's theater industry. The argument was that as Branson lured new visitors, they'd be less enticed to pay top dollar for entertainment on the strip, afterall, "if they can be entertained in Branson for free, why should they pay?"

The same organization Presley used to generate propaganda against new development is now being funded by tax-payers. With $50,000 dollars spend to fund lobbyists to Jefferson City from Branson's tax base the agenda isn't clear. If the goal was to increase tourism funding the plan is a miserable failure. But the fight isn't over.

Regardless of your political perspective, if you live in Branson you understand how important tourism is to the economy - a primary source of income. The real debate lays in the recent diversification of income. Branson is now generating more income through retail sales and marketing theaters is becoming more expensive with less marketing dollar to sales conversion. This year a half-dozen shows have closed and every sector of the tourism market is down, except for some theaters. And as the fiscal strategy of Branson's current city counsel has hurt the majority of businesses the theater industry as a whole is prospering. When major venues shut down, the remaining tourists visit the existing establishments.

In the end, our current trend will yield higher taxes. We're seeing this for the first time as the Presley administration seeds drastic increases in utilities to ensure the city can afford plans to expand services on the strip.

Branson Local Kathleen Steele-Danner appointed Interim Missouri Economic Development Director


Kathleen Steele Danner's appointment by Missouri Governor Jay Nixon as Interim Economic Development director was published in a press release by Nixon's office yesterday.

Steele runs a consulting/lobbying firm in Hollister Missouri named Athena Consulting and spearheading local fundraiser efforts for Nixon during his gubernatorial bid. Danner's list of clients includes lobbying for Branson's mayor on behalf of the "League of Theaters".

Ms. Danner-Steele directed Missouri operations for Bill Clinton during his 1992 presidential campaign before an appointment under Clinton as Regional Director of the United States Department of Health and Human Services. Prior to her work with the Clinton's Steele served as a state representative.

Former Senator Steve Danner, Kathleen Steele-Danner's husband, was appointed Missouri Adjutant General by Gov. Nixon in January of this year .

Missouri's 62nd District - Special Election Slated for Feb 2


Jeff Justus is the first to verbally acknowledge intentions to replace former Missouri Assemblyman Dennis Wood. Missouri Governor Jay Nixon 's appointment of Wood as Stone County Presiding Commissioner was confirmed yesterday in front of a crowd of over 100 onlookers in Galena.

For Wood, the 62nd seat would ultimately be vacated after Missouri's next legislative session due to term limits. As Stone County presiding commissioner, Wood's paid political career could have some longevity as term limits aren't an issue for county commissioners.

But who will throw their hat into the ring? Branson's mayor Presley could easily take the seat but with the current financial disarray of the municipality it's likely she could sit this one out.

The Democrats are void of a candidate at this time but Joe Allen, who recently moved to Branson from Forsyth, could be a strong contender. Peter T. took a stomping by Wood during last election outpaced by a democratic candidate who wasn't even living in the country during the prior election.

Compare Stone County Election Split For Missouri's 62nd Seat:

2009
DENNIS F. WOOD REP 7939 75.32%
PETER D. TSAHIRIDIS DEM 2592 24.59%

2006
Wood, Dennis F. REP 5,612 68.8%
Tuia, Sae DEM 2,548 31.2%

Tuia left the United States to work for the country of Samoa several months before the election took place.

Dennis Wood To Become Stone County Presiding Commissioner

In two hours Missouri Rep. Dennis Wood will be sworn in as Presiding Stone County Commissioner.

More to come on this bombshell....WT

Branson's 2010 Budget (Part 1)


Record sales tax revenue for the city of Branson continues as second quarter sales taxes take a slight increase. But massive spending under the Presley administration promises additional tax increases to keep the city afloat by 2012.

The city's tourism tax had a slight decline for the first time in a decade after a massive spike in 2007. Three factors are affecting and will affect revenue the city receives.
1. HFE's theme park Celebration City closed this year
2. Timeshare and packaged tour tax reporting adjustments prescribed by the recent Supreme Court Ruling
3. Anti-growth policies of the current city administration

Branson alderman raised water and sewer rates last night which will continue over the next 5 years. Citizens refrained from comment as the Branson Board of Alderman voted to approve the increase.

When Raeanne Presley was elected Mayor 12.85 million dollars in funds sat in reserve due to conservative fiscal policies of previous administrations. Under the current plan, the reserve funds will be reduced to 4 million dollars at the end of the 2011 calendar year.

The budget Branson Alderman approved on first reading totaled $62 million.

Branson School District to Air Obama's Speech to Some Classrooms


President Barack Obama's decision to address schoolchildren across the country raised eyebrows and a sleuth of concerns suggesting the most radical of objectives were being deployed to influence the children of our nation.

As a result of the backlash the White House released the transcript of the president's speech to American students which will be broadcast Tuesday afternoon at participating schools.

The Branson school district released the following statement regarding the president's broadcast to classrooms:

"President Barack Obama has invited America’s school children to listen in on Tuesday, September 8th as he addresses them on the importance of education. The address is available via a video stream to classrooms across the nation.

The President’s address will not be part of any district-wide or building-level event. If this event has a direct impact on the lesson plan for the day – particularly government/history classes at the secondary level – teachers may use this outside learning experience in conjunction with curriculum expectations that are already in place in the classroom.

Parents will be notified by the participating teacher if the President’s address will be a part of the day’s lesson. If you do not wish for your child to participate in the “President’s Speech to School Children”, please notify the teacher and he/she will be excused from the class for the duration of the address."

Senator Claire McCaskill Live in Springfield (Courtesy of Springfield News-Leader)

Senator Claire McCaskill is holding her town hall meeting in Sprinfield. The event is being streamed live courtesy of the Springfield News-Leader.
12:34 The tenth of ten town hall meetings has begun with McCaskill opening up with a health care discussion after being introduced by Springfield's mayor.
12:47 "I will not vote for a bill that isn't deficit neutral'
12:49 McCaskill comments on audience "booing"
12:52 Applause recovered when question about "tort reform" addressed.
12:54 "It's an equal opportunity feeding trough" - McCaskill encourages citizens to donate money to their candidate stating small donations, encouraging citizens to donate ten dollars to their favorite candidate is a way to fight big money which flows to both sides of the aisle.
1:00 Second time McCaskill begs the audience, has your health care gone down.
1:03 Sneaky tax - McCaskill notes that everyone who has insurance pays for people who don't and use the emergency room.
1:23 McCaskill nubs Missouri Congressional members for the second time saying they should have town-hall meetings

Evel Knievel's Car Lands in Branson

The Branson Car Museum opened this year on the Branson strip. As one of Branson's newest attractions the facility serves a dual purpose, not only can you tour a living history of the automobile, many of the cars are for purchase.
In the video above proprietor Stewart Howden shows a vehicle in the rotating collection that once belonged to Evel Knievel himslef.

Taney County Health Department Finds Two Cases of Swine Flu

The Taney County Health Department confirmed two cases of swine flu in the area. The Branson based health department issued a press release last week, but didn't mention what city the two teenagers lived in. Surrounding counties and area school districts are preparing for worst case scenarios this school season.
The West Nile Virus resurfaced again as well with three mosquitoes identified with the disease in the area just two weeks ago.

Western Taney County Commissioner Jim Strafuss (Video)

1. What are some of the challenges you've faced early in office?
change in general has been the hardest. Lack of reputation, people are very scepticle. There is tramidus potential, and untapped resources.
Jim was approached in 06 to run for the office, and he said it wasnt ready. Being in the front run was not something he was interested in.



2. What was the issue with tax assesments and how were they resolved ?
How many people challenged there assessments through the Board of Equalization
from the board- the board felt that the increase was too much burden for the citizens to handle in one year. The werent disputing the accuacy. the ability to handle the increase
when you taxes go up 45% in one year most cant handle it, they wanted to phase it in.
Jim-felt way too much emotion in the meeting, when the board is in place to help oversee and fix things, once the vote is done you move on,
the sesson is over, it is resolved, they have their orders. Jim voted against the whole thing because they removed the increase last minute.




3. How has the controversy over tax assessments affected your relationship with your fellow commissioners?
For Jim personally, it hasnt, "I departmentalize and move on, BOE is a small part of my job, I keep emotion out of my job".
There is definately conflict in the office, there is times of tention. I go in do my job and go home. I never stood around the water cooler and talked.
Alot of backbiting. Im there because I want to make a change, if people dont like me they wont vote for me again. You have to ask why are they there.
There is still and east county and west county way of thinking. I dont fault their possition, if they feel passionate about it, my job if im passionate about something I try to get a majority vote
Its about getting the job done.


4. What issues do you plan to tackle over the next few months?

starting the budget process for next year.
I think theres alot of waste, better efficenties.
Focus on grants and stimulus money, big milestones coming up on that.
east west coridore, from the tiger grant money. vote tomorrow to file an app for the grant, if they are successful they will get about 75% for the east and west coridor
They are spending 50,000 to apply, 25mil, project which if they get it they will get up to 75% of that project.




5. You've been in office for about 9 months now, what do you feel is your greatest accomplishment so far?
stop the steeling, saving money, restructuring the county, some people have moved on since hes been in office, but it has allowed a more professional invirnment
promoting from within, just changing the way things are done. becoming more fisclally responsable, and the level respect from outside community is gaining.
Communication is better.

6. What do you feel is the greatest struggle you have faced?
Old traditional thinking and reasoning.


7. I understand you took some heavy fire from another commissioner a couple of weeks ago, what was that about? Has it been resolved?



alot of people are saying there is a conflict of intrest in the two brothers, that it is an elthics issue,.
the only place that ive heard over and over again, is it ethical for one commissoner to vote on a brothers project?????

(Interview by Vanessa Dawn Adams)

James Strahan - Taney County Tax Assessor Invterview.

Taney County Tax assessments always provide vibrant debate and tension among leadership. The interview posted above was shot during a break in the Taney County Board of Equalization meeting last week where citizens can challenge the assessed values and corresponding tax rates for their property.

Tax Assessor James Strahan was belligerent in his battle with Missouri's Tax Commission over assertions that rates weren't in compliance with increasing property value in the county. The battle made headlines as Strahan asserted, "I am not a puppet of the state" - who withheld nearly $750,000 in funds.

Taney County sued the state to recover the funds in the 32nd Circuit which covers Taney and Christian Counties but the suit was moved to Cole County in Jackson County where Missouri's Judicial ruled in favor of the state.

During the controversy Strahan accused among other things that Taney County Commissioner Chuck Pennel gave special treatment in the form of reduced taxation to personal friends stating:

"During the 2007 Taney County Board of Equalization Taney County Commissioner Chuck Pennel vigorously battled for lower assessed values for specific friends and individuals. Immediately following the Board of Equalization, Commissioner Pennel constantly supported an additional 15 to 30 percent increase equating an approximate $3,000,000 to $10,000,000 increase to the citizens of Taney County. Commissioner Pennel and Commissioner Herschend decided not to fund the Assessor’s office and would send the employees home cutting services to the citizens of Taney County id the Assessor did not cut a deal. "


The full text of Strahan's article was published on Tech Trends - "James Strahan “Two County Commissioners actions support higher property tax issues.”

As Taney County failed to receive funds from the state the Taney County Commission voted to withhold funding for Strahan's office on two separate occasions leaving his personnel without employment during the holiday season in 2007.

As aroused citizens gathered at a recent Taney County Commissioners meeting to protest property tax increases, the rhetoric continued with heated language passing between the three person commission that runs the county government.

The interview above is with James Strahan between heavy fire at the most recent Board of Equalization meeting.

The Board of Equalization voted to cut recent tax increases by 50 percent for 15,000 of Taney County taxpayers.

Misouri Supreme Court Drafts Decision on Branson Theater Taxation


"To tax or not to tax" was the question posed to the Missouri Supreme Court by Music City Center who asked for more than $83,000 plus interest on taxes paid for tickets they claim were subject to the "retail exemption".
The opinion published by Missouri Supreme Court Judge Patricia Breckenrige was without a dissenting opinion.
Music City Center, a theater on Branson's 76 strip, partially won a battle with Missouri's Director of Revenue who denied a tax refund on tickets sold to timeshare and discount repackaging agencies.
The court identified three distinct types of Branson theater ticket transactions and ruled that two were not subject to taxation. The two cases in which Music City Center is due a refund involves tickets re-sold to Branson tourists and tickets re-sold as a bundled product with other Branson services such as restaurant vouchers.
The court maintained that Music City Center was required to pay the state's 4 percent sales tax in the event tickets were used as a freebie for tourists participation in a timeshare tour.
The full Missouri Supreme Court opinion is archived on Branson Agent.
Missouri Supreme Court Opinion Regarding Branson Theater Taxation - Music City Center

Regularly Scheduled Blogcasts to Resume Shortly

Branson Missouri Blog to resume broadcast later today unless fishing continues to be spectacular.

Branson Development Disaster


Three years ago Branson elected a new mayor and an era of unprecedented corruption was born.

As money flowed to business partners and conflicting boards of which the mayor served and currently serves on; all commerce to which Raeanne Presley wasn't personally or politically in vested in came to a screeching halt.

Following a previous administrations multi-billion dollar economic engines, Presley had one project to steward. The project is an ongoing disaster and eyesore to the community which cartoonist John Logan illustrates in the cartoon above.

Welcome to Branson - "Here's Your Sign"

 
There are three noted achievements of the current administration at Branson City Hall (four if you coun't direct bribes to local journalists).

1. Pilfering the multi-millions in savings of Branson's prior leadership

2. Laundering money to Skaggs Hospital and other committees Branson's Mayor Raeanne Presley sits on in conflict to her public responsibilities

3. Creating a new sign at the entrance to Branson.

As corruption plagues the citizens of Branson potentially forcing a tax increase, city leaders have succeeded at something that doesn't cost the Branson ecnonomy too much.

Unfortunately, the last listed achievement took longer than the prior city leadership took to build the Branson Landing.

Branson will now have an entrance sign which was recently approved by the Branson Beautification Commitee. The image above is what the sign will look like.

Branson Travel Manual 1940's

This travel manual from the 1940's predates both "Big Headliners" and the Taney County Health Department's observation that locals being overweight is the second largest health issue proceeding smoking.

*I also think it's important to note that Lake Taneycomo is being branded as a year-round destination.

Branson Gospel Music Convention Lineup

The B anson Convention Center is hosting a Gospel Music Convention July 14-17.

During the days of American slavery races would intermingle for worship. African rhythms were integrated into the American worship practices. The melodies allowed verse recitation for those who were illiterate. The tradition of worship continues in some churches to this day.

Branson Gospel Convention Musical Lineup

145 Music Group
2nd Generation
Alan Harris Family
Allegiance
Annette Herndon
Ascension Quartet
The Bethels
Bev McCann Ministries
Beyond The Ashes
Bill Allen
Bill Schell
Blackwood Quartet
The Boys Of The Fort
The Bradford Trio
C S & K
Calvary Echoes
Canaan Bound
Carrie Ann Smallwood
Cathy J. Reynolds
The Cerces
CGCRadio/Hope Street Music/CCGNews
Charles Ross Ministries
Cherise Perkins
Chuck Wagon Gang
Christian Gift Outlet
Christian Voice Magazine
Clayton Watson
The Couch Family
CrossPoint Quartet
Crossway
The Crusader’s Quartet
Crystal Valley Quartet
Curt Shoemaker “The Shoe”
Dale & Cheryl Golden
Darrell Marshall
David East
Debbie Bennett
Decree
Deep South Regional Quartet Convention
Dennis Rehders
Doris Bullington/ Doris’ Music
Dove CDs/The Singing Weavers
Dustin & Kaila
Dusty Wells
Emcee Pro/Testify Software
Encouraging Today’s Women
The Ellis Family/TEF Ministries
Eric Hinson (of the Original Hinson Family)
Eternal Life Duet
Evangelistic International Ministries
Evidence
Expectation
Faithful Touch Trio
Faithfull II
Florida Boys
Full Life Trio
Gifts with a Meaning
Glitz & Glamour Gifts
Gold Harbor
The Goodwins
GospelGigs.com
Gospel Guitar Guys
Gospel Music Television
Gospel Music Times
GospelOK / Heir Wave Radio
Gospel Rivers Boys
“Hannah Belle” Southerland
The Harris Family
Hearts of Faith
Hearts of Grace
Heavenly Sunrise Qt
His Call Ministries
HIS Choice Productions
Homelighters Quartet
The Homesteaders Quartet
Inheritance - Jackson & Scroggs
Jake Holder & Messenger Sound
James McMickin
Jay Stone Singers
Jericho
Judah
Karen Shadbolt Ministries
Kathy Atkins
Kathy Carpenter
Kathy Woodward
Keith Caldwell
Kelly Perry
Kenny Bishop
Kings Highway
Kirk Talley
KWFC-FM Radio (Springfield, MO)
The Ladds
Lighthouse Messengers
Lookin’ Up
Lottie Collier
Lou Wills Hildreth
Lulu Roman
Lynda Lynn Songs, On Angels Wings Publishing
Lynnette Williams
Mansion Entetainment
Marcey Wall / The Jim Bakker Show
Margie Tanner
Marla Conrad
Mary Fay Jackson/Texas Country Gospel
Mary L. Davis
The McDaniel Quartet
McMillan & Life
Messengers N Harmony
Mike Powell/John 3:30 Ministries
Minister’s Quartet
The Missourians
The Nelons
The Nehrkorns
New Creations Ministry
New Direction Ministries
Northern Edge
The Parnells
The Parish Family
Paul Armstrong
The Paul Family
The Paynes
Peggy Inks
The Peaceful Hearts
Perfect Peace Ministries
Praise Incorporated
Promises
PromisedLand Quartet
Psalm 100
Red Roots
Redemption Road
The Revelators
The Revived
Rhonpaul Ministries
Rob Helton Music Group
Rod Burton
Ron Brewer
Roy Edwards Ministries
The Samaritans
Samaritan Revival
SGM Radio
SGN Scoops Digital / The Diamond Awars
Shane Tecza Ministries
The Shannons
Shannon Bunch
Shelton Bissell
Shine On Trio
The Shireys
SKy Angel Faith & Family Television
The Stamps
The Stanleys
Sunday Edition/SSE Group
Taj Rohr
Tammy Norris
Terry Dorsey
Tommy D. Mayos Southern Gospel Outreach
Violet Maynard
Wendy Word + Forgiven
Weston Hinson & By Faith
The Wilsons
Young Harmony
YoungSong

Branson Slave Labor Scheme Foiled by Grand Jury

Branson's unemployment rate is the highest in the state during the off season peaking above 13% during the driest months.
Business takes a burst in April and Silver Dollar City's World Fest brings a healthy crop of foreign nationals in time for the tourist season to kick off.

Over the past few years an insurgence of foreign nationals from the former Soviet Union and satellite states ensures both poverty for the local population and cheap labor for many Branson businesses.

During the spring staffing firms negotiate with local businesses to provide cheap labor. The abundance of inexpensive motels helps subsidize these firms who contract with guaranteed minimum hours.

Even the most mundane jobs are filled before the summer heat brings swarms of tourists. Locking in the import of alien workers involves advertising in developing nations for bodies to fill seasonal demand.

The laborers often stay longer than their visas and fill other service industry jobs while in Branson.

A Federal Grand Jury indicted 12 in the Western District Court in Kansas City yesterday with charges including racketeering, marriage fraud, visa fraud to name a few.

The multi state operation cited two Branson area businesses that contracted for illegal labor. The two listed are Branson Creek and Pointe Royale. The full PDF file is posted on Branson Agent or can be accessed directly
"Human Trafficking PDF"Federal Grand Jury Indictment PDF


A few related stories on the topic:

Branson Real Politik 3 of 3

Race Relations When Mexicans and Russians Unite

Branson Employees Beware - A letter to Branson Employees

A survey is being circulated at Branson City Hall and as many of you are quite aware the data will be reviewed by Branson's Board of Alderman.

Most of you are smart enough not to answer the survey honestly as the repercussions of doing so could jeopardize your careers and the ability for you to take care of your families.

Our Mayor, or as I call her, Branson's Chief Money Launderer, has a history of firing people who challenge her ethics and refuse to conduct illegal activities as prescribed.

A good example of this may be in the form of the Mayor personally asking you to sign documents or conduct repairs in front of a business partners home.

Recently, Ms. Presley granted herself and her friends on the board of Alderman a $90,000 slush fund to play with. Another $250,000 for her League of Theaters political fund from the regional tax district and another large donation that directly concerns you.

While Skaggs Board and associates, which Presley serves on , receives millions in public funds you might be told there is no money to pay for raises, bonuses or proper personnel. Against common sense, another $40,000 was granted by the board to themselves for a lobbyist. One of the purposes of this lobbyist is to ensure you don't organize.

Fortunately, the law allows for secret ballots in the event you want to both keep your jobs and restore integrity to Branson City Hall.

Most of the politicos in town have given up. Many are already accumulating bribe money to ship her out - maybe a gubernatorial appointment or as a rep for a small district. Her actions, neglect for the cities financial viability and use of public funds for personal gain reveal the personality behind the most selfish leader Branson has been cursed with.

I was hoping to bring you good news, but unfortuantely I'm obliged to inform you that it's about to get much worse.

Perhaps you want to know where your next assignment will be. It's important to look at where the political donations are coming from. A simple map of the area reveals Presley is most bribed west 76 strip. Expect development in this region as it would be most damaging to downtown Branson, an area Presley despises and has worked vigorously to bankrupt.

The real innovative projects have been shut down such as the monorail prior administrations were planning. In light of the vision and economic focus prior to Presley's regime you might find some of the work a waste of time and contrary to good fiscal management. Unfortunately, there is little you can do about this.

You can however make a dent in corruption at Branson City Hall and protect both yourselves and the citizens.

The next time Presley asks you to break the law, sign a document against common-sense ethics or undermine government processes by contacting you directly, report the incident to an attorney with as much written documentation as possible.

By the time criminal charges catch up to you, Presley will be out of city hall. Hopefully we'll have leaders at that point who prize honor before self-interest. And at that time, if you've assisted with Presley's battle against the Branson economy, you could prosecuted.

Capatalizing on the Branson Landing


Since the Branson Landing's inception I've been trying to figure out how to capitalize on it.
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A recent Branson Chamber of Commerce survey concluded Branson's $450 million dollar lakefront project was Branson Missouri's top destination.

I've sat center stage the past 31 days with the clearest view of the property - studying.

Rick Huffman, the developer of the Branson Landing stopped by last week before heading to an architectural awards ceremony in Las Vegas. Between then and now he's crushed my cold drink monopoly with Coke machines in the Town Square.

After Branson whistleblower Ruth Denham unfolded corruption in Branson Mayor Raeanne Presley administration not even Huffman, always known as bold in business, dares attempt reform efforts to save Branson's economy.

In three years the Branson Landing and Branson Hills projects have generated over 25 percent of Branson's income. Unfortunately, Branson's current administration can't seem to stop frivolously spending it.

Memorial Day is coming and the seasonal rush has tourists moving from a trickling creek to a steady stream (rain days excluded).

It's time to get paid....

Mike Huckabee to Speak At College of the Ozarks Graduation Ceremony

College of the Ozarks will hold its Baccalaureate and Commencement ceremonies on Sunday, May 10, 2008, in Keeter Gymnasium, where 251 students will receive a diploma. Baccalaureate service will be at 11 a.m. and Commencement is at 2 p.m., followed by a reception on Kelce dormitory’s lawn.

The Honorable Mike Huckabee, former Arkansas Governor, will give the Commencement address. Huckabee graduated magna cum laude from Ouachita Baptist University, completing his bachelor’s degree in religion in 2 ½ years, before attending Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth.

With roots in Hope, Arkansas, Huckabee first was elected Lieutenant Governor of Arkansas in a 1993 special election and was elected to a full four-year term in 1994. He served as 44th Governor of Arkansas from 1996-2007. Last year, Huckabee campaigned for the Republican nomination for President, finishing second in the Republican Presidential Primary.

Presently, Huckabee hosts a weekend news show on the FOX News Channel, as well as hosts a daily radio commentary on ABC radio.

Dr. James T. Draper, Jr., retired President and CEO of LifeWay Christian Resources, will give the Baccalaureate service. LifeWay Christian Resources is one of the largest Christian communications companies.

Dr. Draper earned his bachelor’s degrees from Baylor University and Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. He obtained his master of divinity from Southwestern Seminary and has received doctoral degrees from Howard Payne University, Campbell University and California Baptist University.

Dr. Draper has authored 27 books, including We Believe, Trusting Thy Word and Every Christian is a Minister.

A long-time Baptist minister and prominent figure in the Southern Baptist Convention, Dr. Draper served as the Convention President from 1982-1984; was the Chairman of the Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary Board of Trustees 1990-91 and trustee member 1984-1991; and has been a trustee of Baylor University, Southwest Baptist University and California Baptist University.

Please join C of O in recognizing the graduating seniors’ accomplishments at the Baccalaureate and Commencement ceremonies. Tickets are not required, but seating is limited for both ceremonies. For more information, contact the office of the Dean of the College at (417) 690-2278.