Your News: Announcements from WGU, MU Extension and more | local news


The Pittsburg Ice Bowl benefit tournament is scheduled for February 26th

The Pittsburg Parks and Recreation Department and the Pittsburg Disc Golf Club are co-hosting the Ice Bowl Benefit Tournament on February 26, starting at 11 am at the Schlanger Park Disc Golf Course.

Registration will take place on the day of the event from 10:00 am to 10:30 am and the tournament entry fee is five non-perishable groceries or a $10 cash donation, with all proceeds going to the Wesley House in Pittsburgh.

For more information on the Ice Bowl tournament, contact the Pittsburg Parks & Recreation Department at 620-231-8310.

Added Negro Leagues Baseball Museum to US Civil Rights Trail

The Negro Leagues Baseball Museum is the third Missouri site to be included on the trail, which highlights people, events and places across 15 states and the District of Columbia that were critical to the advancement of civil rights in the United States.

“The struggle for racial equality in our country has taken many forms, including demonstrations, conflicts and lawsuits. The inclusion of the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum adds another layer to the history preserved through the US Civil Rights Trail,” said Stephen Foutes, director of the Missouri Division of Tourism.

MDT nominated the museum for inclusion on the trail created in 2018 through a collaboration of participating states.

The Negro Leagues Baseball Museum opened in Kansas City in 1991. It tells the story of why the leagues were formed and how they ultimately contributed to social advancement in the United States. The Negro Leagues produced some of baseball’s greatest players, including Jackie Robinson, Satchel Paige, Josh Gibson, and James “Cool Papa” Bell.

The Negro National League – one of seven statewide leagues – was founded in Kansas City in 1920 and included the Kansas City Monarchs.

A member of the Monarchs, Robinson was the first player to break baseball’s color barrier when he joined the Brooklyn Dodgers. Buck O’Neil, who was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 2022, was the first black coach in Major League Baseball and was instrumental in founding the museum.

“We are deeply honored to be part of the US Civil Rights Trail,” said Bob Kendrick, President of the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum. “The Negro Leagues played a tremendous role in America’s social advancement. Our inclusion on the trail will undoubtedly help more people understand that the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum is a civil rights and social justice institution that documents a powerful story of triumph over adversity, seen through the lens of baseball.”

Missouri’s other two sites on the US Civil Rights Trail are the Old Courthouse in St. Louis, where Dred Scott’s trial was heard, and the Harry S. Truman Presidential Library & Museum in Independence. Truman is recognized for his executive order to desegregate the military — a decision that helped pave the way for desegregation throughout society.

Learn more about Missouri’s US Civil Rights Trail sites and other civil rights stories in the state at For more information on the US Civil Rights Trail, visit

WGU Missouri Launches New Scholarship

In celebration of WGU Missouri’s 9th anniversary, the nonprofit, fully accredited online university announced it is awarding $450,000 in scholarships to new students interested in continuing their education. Since its inception in February 2013, WGU Missouri has been committed to providing residents across the state with a quality, convenient, and career-enhancing college education, including working adults who have some college experience but do not have a degree. WGU Missouri’s ninth-anniversary scholarships, each worth up to $9,000, underscore WGU’s mission to make higher education even more accessible to adults throughout Missouri, especially those looking to strengthen their skills given the ongoing pandemic continues to impact the local workforce.

While many universities have seen enrollment declines since the pandemic began, WGU Missouri’s enrollment remains stable and has even grown over the past 12 months. The university, established through a partnership with the national Western Governors University and Gov. Jay Nixon, currently has 3,340 undergraduate students, a 2.8% increase from the previous year, and has awarded 6,011 graduate degrees, a fifth of whom are graduate degrees did the last 12 months. In fact, WGU Missouri has shown steady growth since its inception nearly a decade ago. Statewide, WGU Missouri has 191 employees, has awarded more than $3.4 million in scholarships, and has partnered with more than 85 companies, institutions, and organizations to provide its employees with new opportunities for higher education that is even more affordable and affordable advance their career.

WGU Missouri is credited with helping individuals earn their college degrees who otherwise could not easily complete or afford a traditional college program. The average student age is 35, with more than 65% of participants from disadvantaged backgrounds or first-generation college students. In addition, 72% of students work full-time during their studies. These graduates are quick to see a difference in their lives as more career opportunities become available. As a result, students earn an average of $21,800 more within four years of graduation, which is well above the national average of $11,500.

“As we mark the ninth anniversary of WGU’s founding in the state of Missouri, we want to recognize our students, many of whom have previously had difficulty completing their degrees in the traditional manner,” said Dr. Angie Besendorfer, Chancellor of WGU Missouri. “We’re proud to offer the 900,000 Missourians who are in college but not a degree an alternative, affordable way to earn their bachelor’s and master’s degrees – and ultimately advance their careers and transform their lives. We look forward to empowering many more adults to go back to school and graduate in the years to come.”

WGU Missouri offers more than 60 undergraduate and graduate degrees in business, information technology, K-12 teacher training, and health care professions, including nursing. Unlike a traditional college program, WGU is designed for adults with prior or current work experience who wish to advance their careers through education. WGU Missouri’s competency-based educational model allows adult students to use prior learning and experience to quickly move through material they already know so they can focus on what they still need to learn.

To be considered for the WGU Missouri 9 Year Anniversary Scholarship, new and prospective students must be Missouri residents, admitted to WGU Missouri, and submit a scholarship application by June 30, 2022. Scholarships are awarded based on the student’s academic record, previous college experience, willingness to study online, current competency, and other considerations. The scholarship is requested at a rate of $2,250 per semester, renewable for up to four semesters, on top of WGU’s already low tuition of about $3,800 per semester for most programs. For more information about this scholarship go to

Thanks-a-Farmer week ends on March 7th

Farm Bureau Presidents Lana Couch and Ben Fizette of Barry & Lawrence join forces to co-sponsor a free Market Outlook and State of Industry meeting with Kelly Smith and Sam Polly for farmers and future farmers in our area.

After chili dinner and dessert, we start the evening with Sam Polly, Missouri’s new State Director of Pesticide Safety Education at MU Extension.

“The greatest threat to modern agriculture is negative public perception leading to over-regulation. The resulting huge costs of regulatory compliance, lawsuits and enforcement actions rob both our agricultural economy and our heritage,” said Polly.

Sam will discuss the roots of this problem and what we can do about it while there is still time.

Then, Missouri Farm Bureau senior director of marketing and commodities Kelly Smith will take the stage to provide an in-depth summary of the outlook for the agricultural market.

“Kelly will cover a wide range of issues impacting our agricultural market, including the sluggish cattle market, input costs, supply chain hiccups to how the standoff in Russia is impacting your feed grain streams,” said Ben Fizette, Lawrence County President agricultural offices.

We hope that you will learn from these knowledgeable speakers on the final day of Thank a Farmer Week—Monday, March 7, 2022 at 6:00 p.m.—beginning with a chili dinner at the University of Missouri’s Southwest Research Center , 14548 Hwy H, Mount Vernon, MO 65712. Please respond by Friday, March 4th by calling Tosha at 417-466-7679.

UScellular announces $70.3 million network investment in Missouri in 2021

UScellular announced that it has invested $70.3 million in its Missouri network in 2021. This includes $11.3 million for general network upgrades, $24 million for 5G modernizations, and $35 million for 5G spectrum, which will deliver additional benefits while advancing those of the company in the years to come multi-year 5G network strategy.

Additionally, in 2021, UScell ​​provided $38,405 to nonprofits, teachers, and youth organizations across Missouri, including $30,000 for the Boys & Girls Clubs of Columbia, $4,094 for teachers through donations to DonorsChoose. org and $4,311 through his Community Connections program. Three Missouri Boys & Girls clubs also received $316,525 worth of hotspots and services to help their members connect to the internet at the clubs or at home as part of the company’s After School Access Project.

“Connectivity is more important than ever right now, and at UScell, we’re committed to keeping our customers connected to the people and places that matter most to them,” said Joe Cabrera, UScell’s director of sales in Missouri and Kansas. “We will continue to invest in creating a great wireless experience for customers while ensuring we provide important resources to youth in our local communities.”

To ensure customers have a great shopping experience, UScell ​​also invested $1.15 million in its Missouri retail environments in 2021. This includes 12 new, relocated, redesigned or upgraded stores that better showcase the variety of products and services the company offers, making it easier for customers to find what they need.

For more UScell ​​news and information, visit


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