Branson Citizens Getting Help Through Request Line

City of Branson Press Release

City responds to 178 calls in 2008

Branson residents are finding the Citizens’ Service Request Line useful in getting action on concerns and questions they have about the city and its operations.
According to Branson Public Information Director Jerry Adams, the number of calls to the 24-hour request line in 2008 totaled 178, up from the 165 calls in 2007.
“Through this request line, we are able to provide information and solutions to problems in a timely manner to citizens on a variety of subjects regarding the city, its departments and policies,” Adams said.

The city instituted the request line to be more responsive to residents’ concerns, and to make it convenient for citizens to place one call to get problems resolved rather than being phone transferred to several departments.

The city also implemented an on-line service request through the city of Branson’s government website. Citizens can e-mail their requests directly to the public information office. Adams said he received 35 requests for service through this e-mail option. The city’s website address is

“Most of the calls concern repairs or improvements that need to be made on city property and violations of the city’s property maintenance codes,” said Adams.

According to Adams, the goal of his department is to respond to all requests within five working days. That doesn’t mean the problem can always be corrected in five days. Sometimes repairs take longer, but the city keeps the caller informed of the progress, and when completed, the city asks the citizen if the resolution meets with his or her satisfaction.

The Citizens’ Service Request line phone number is 337-8502, and it’s available 24/7. A recorded message greets the callers who are then asked to leave their request. Adams said any caller can remain anonymous if he or she chooses. All request line messages and e-mails are checked daily.
“We have been very pleased with the success of the request line because it gives all residents a chance to take an interest in the appearance, health and safety of our city,” said Adams.

Personal Brief

2008 was a difficult year. I broke into the New Year with Chuck Norris after a late night of theological discussions with Mike Huckabee at a country club in Iowa and more theological discussions with Barack Obama's campaign manager.

State and national leaders would pay tribute to my daughter on film, recorded to let her know I care and love her in the wake of several parental kidnappings rewarded with a prosecutor's office faining impotence in upholding court ordered arrangements.

Haunted by testimony submitted to congress that fatherlessness leads to higher rates of teenage suicide, drug use and pregnancy -my deepest fears only minorly subdued by an occasional picture showing up on myspace.

I'd drive to pick up my child for court ordered custody transfer and my daughter wouldn't be home - taken to an unknown location - sometimes weeks before I'd hear from her. Heart breaking and give-a-crapper breaking events molded a year where faith in a legal system that fiscally benefits from the worst in men would be discussed.

In between interviews with politicos, I would worry about my daughter. Hundreds of calls would go unanswered, numbers changed and my child would disappear on holidays when I'd go to pick her up.

In August, I would learn there is no remedy to enforce custody and my daughter would be registered in school under her mother's maiden name and legal enforcement of the act would be impossible. The give-a-crapper completely broken; I'd tear down the firewall and allow dozens of posters to write unabated after two hacks.

Branson City Council would radically change the government strucure, enact massive spending measures running the city into a deficit during 22 months of record revenue. With the help of a politico time share scam artist both stories would go unreported.

Just a taste of 2008

417 Magazine Publisher Gary Whitaker

Publisher Gary Whitaker pitches 417.

I figured I'd be the only one to actually put this video on their website.

The Death of Copyright

The Grey album marked the begining of the end. It was the album of the year illegal to buy anywhere. Only 2000 copies were sold before a cease and desist order stopped album pressing.

As news organizations slash staff and budgets most journalism is dead - at least the really good stuff - investigative reporting and my favorite - gumshoe journalism.

By March of this election year I was getting speeches nearly 48 hours before they were delivered. The text of the speech would be pressed a day before orated by Obama.

Ready for remix.

Branson Shows Performing During Christmas Week

The Branson Chamber of Commerce published a list today of Branson Shows open during the week of Christmas.

Dec. 20 - Dec. 25

  • Acrobats of China / New Shanghai Circus (Dec. 20 - 23rd, 8 p.m.)
  • Allen Family Simply Christmas at the Circle B Chuckwagon Theatre (Dec. 20-24)
  • Amazing Pets at Grand Country (Dec. 24-25, 2 p.m. & 7 p.m.)
  • American Presidents Museum (Dec. 20, 23rd)
  • Big Smith at Waxy O'Shea's (Dec. 20, 9 p.m.)
  • Christmas on the Trail at Shepherd of the Hills (5:30 p.m.)
  • Circle B Supper Show (Dec. 20th – 5 Pm)
  • Dixie Stampede (Dec. 20-23rd)
  • Kirby & Bambi VanBurch (Dec. 20-23rd - 8 p.m.)
  • Legends in Concert Christmas Show (Dec. 20, 3 p.m. & 8 p.m.)
  • Noah The Musical (Dec. 20th)
  • Owens Theatre (Every Day)
  • Pierce Arrow (Dec. 20th Show)
  • Red Head Express at the Circle B Chuckwagon Theatre (Dec. 20th)
  • Showboat Branson Belle (Dec. 20th Show)
  • Silver Dollar City (Open thru Dec. 23rd; Re-open Dec. 26-30th)
  • Twelve Irish Tenors (Dec. 20th, 3 p.m. & 8 p.m.)
  • White House Theatre (No show Dec. 24, Dec. 25)
  • Wissman Family Christmas (Dec. 20, 10 a.m.)
  • Branson Area Festival of Lights Display
  • Branson Landing Cruises
  • Butterfly Palace and Rainforest (Dec. 20-24, 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.)
  • Cosmic Caverns (Dec. 20-24)
  • Dinosaur Museum/Haunted House
  • Enchanted Forest Light Display at Indian Point
  • Fantastic Caverns (Dec. 20-23, 8 a.m. - 4 p.m.)
  • Imax Entertainment Complex (Dec. 20-23, Dec. 25 open at 12:30 p.m.)
  • Ripley's Believe It or Not!
  • Shepherd of the Hills Trail of Lights
  • Stone Hill Winery (Dec. 20, 22, 23: 8:30 am-6:30 pm; Dec. 21: 10 am-6 pm; Dec. 24: 8:30 am-5 pm)
  • Titanic Museum Attraction (9-5 through Dec. 23; 9-4 on Dec. 24)
  • Veterans Memorial Museum
  • Tanger Outlets (Dec. 20, 22, 23: 9am - 9pm; Dec. 21: 10am - 7pm., Dec. 24: 9am - 6pm)
  • Shopping

Restaurants Open Christmas Day

  • Chateau Grille, 417-334-1161
  • Devils Pool, 417-335-2777
  • Golden Corral, 417-336-6297
  • Grand Country, 417-335-2434
  • Liberty Tavern, 417-336-1112
  • McFarlain's Restaurant, 417-336-4680
  • Outback Steak & Oyster Bar, 417-334-6306
  • Trofi Restaurant & Lounge, 417-336-5400

Dec. 26 - Dec. 31 (see below for New Year's Eve events)

  • #1 Hits Of 60’s (Dec. 26-30 at 2 pm)
  • 50's At The Hop (Dec. 26-30 at 8pm)
  • Acrobats of China / New Shanghai Circus (Dec. 26-30 at 8pm and 3pm on Dec. 27th & 28th)
  • Allen Family Simply Christmas at the Circle B Chuckwagon Theatre
  • Amazing Pets at Grand Country (Dec. 26, 10 a.m. & 2 p.m.; Dec. 27-31, 10 a.m.)
  • American Presidents Museum (Dec. 26-27, 30)
  • Circle B Supper Show (Dec. 27–30, 5 p.m.)
  • Christmas on the Trail at Shepherd of the Hills (5:30 p.m.)
  • Comedy Jamboree at Grand Country (2 p.m.)
  • Dixie Stampede (Dec. 26-27)
  • Grand Jubilee at Grand Country (8 p.m.)
  • Hughes Brothers (Dec. 29 & 30 - 8 p.m.; Dec. 31 - 9 p.m.)
  • Jim Stafford (Dec. 27-31, 8pm)
  • Kirby & Bambi VanBurch (Dec. 26, 28, 29, 30 at 8 p.m.; 2 p.m. On Dec. 27)
  • Legends In Concert (Dec. 26-Dec. 30 at 3 p.m. & 8 p.m.; Dec. 31 at 3 p.m & 9:30pm)
  • Magnificent 7 (Dec 26, 27, 29, 30 at 7pm; Dec. 31 at 9pm)
  • Owens Theatre
  • Pierce Arrow (Dec. 26, 27, 29, 30 at 8 pm; Dec. 31 at 9 pm)
  • Roy Rogers, Jr. at the Happy Trails Theater (Dec. 29, 30 and 31 at 10 a.m.)
  • American Presidents Museum (Dec. 31)
  • Branson Area Festival of Lights Display
  • Branson Landing Cruises
  • Butterfly Palace and Rainforest (9 a.m. - 5 p.m.)
  • Cosmic Caverns
  • Dinosaur Museum/Haunted House
  • Enchanted Forest Light Display at Indian Point
  • Fantastic Caverns (8 a.m. - 4 p.m.)
  • Ghost and Haunt Tours (7 p.m.)
  • Imax Entertainment Complex
  • Ripley's Believe It or Not!
  • Roy Rogers-Dale Evans Museum Attraction (Dec. 29, 30, and 31: 9 a.m.-5 p.m. )
  • Shepherd of the Hills Trail of Lights
  • Showboat Branson Belle (Daily 4 p.m.; 4 p.m. & 8 p.m. Dec. 31)
  • Silver Dollar City (Dec. 26-30th)
  • Titanic Museum Attraction (9 a.m. - 8 p.m., Dec. 27-31)
  • Veterans Memorial Museum
  • Tanger Outlets (Dec. 26, 27, 29, 30: 9am - 9pm; Dec. 28: 10am - 7pm.; Dec. 31: 9am - 6pm)
  • Shopping

New Year's Day (Jan. 1)

  • 50's At The Hop (January 1-3 at 8pm)
  • Amazing Pets at Grand Country (2 p.m.)
  • Comedy Jamboree At Grand Country (8 p.m.)
  • Dixie Stampede (through Jan 3rd)
  • Hughes Brothers (8 p.m.)
  • Owens Theatre
  • The Club At Lodge Of The Ozarks
  • Fantastic Caverns (8 a.m. - 4 p.m.)
  • Imax Entertainment Complex
  • Titanic Museum Attraction (9 a.m.- 5 p.m.)
  • Branson Landing Cruises
  • Butterfly Palace and Rainforest (9 a.m. - 5 p.m.)
  • Cosmic Caverns
  • Ghost and Haunt Tours (7 p.m.)
  • Ripley's Believe It or Not!
  • Veterans Memorial Museum
  • Dinosaur Museum/Haunted House
  • Tanger Outlets (9am - 6pm)
  • Shopping

Branson Airport Inks Exclusive Shuttle Service Contract with Gray Line

BRANSON, MO,(Press Release) December 18, 2008 – The first class hospitality promised by officials of the new Branson Airport now extends beyond the terminal. Branson Gray Line, the locally owned and operated transportation experts, will exclusively operate all taxi, shuttle, limousine, luxury coach, charter bus and ground transportation services at the new facility, set to open in May 2009. This announcement comes just one week after Branson Airport, the first privately financed and operated commercial service airport in the U.S., announced that AirTran Airways, a subsidiary of Air Tran Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: AAI), will be the first national network carrier to serve the new airport when it opens next spring.

"My goal is pretty simple—to work in tandem with airport staff to provide a first-class hospitality experience like no other," Scott Thompson, president of Branson Gray Line said.

"The exceptional service you'll get from AirTran and the Branson Airport won't end when you land or leave the terminal. It's our goal to make sure that whether you're a tourist or a local, a family or an individual, here on vacation or here on business, you receive the most professional and efficient service possible, otherwise, I haven't done my job," Thompson said.

Between now and the time the airport opens, officials at Branson Gray Line will be working tirelessly to organize services between area accommodations and the Branson Airport. As the exclusive provider of shuttle services for the airport, Branson Gray Line will be responsible for maintaining hotel and resort courtesy shuttles for those properties interested in offering such a service to their guests. Branson Gray Line recently came to an agreement with the Radisson Hotel in Branson and will serve as the exclusive transportation provider to the Radisson, offering timely transportation services to both individuals and groups staying at the property.

"This is a very exciting time for us. Getting people where they need to go is our business, and we're good at it. The Branson Airport is going to bring a whole new market of travelers to the area, and we're ready to meet all their transportation needs. It's been a long time coming," Thompson said.

Branson Election Filings

Branson's first day of filings for April's elections produced three candidates:

Raeanne Presley filed for a re-election bid for Mayor

Bob Simmons and Sandra Williams both filed for Alderman Positions

Branson Air Show Announced

Branson Airport Press Release

U. S. Air Force Thunderbirds/Army Golden Knights

To Headline Branson Air Show

BRANSON, MISSOURI (December 15, 2008)—Branson Airport officials announced today that the United States Air Force Demonstration Squadron--better known as the “Thunderbirds”-- will be performing at the first ever Branson Air Show, May 9 & 10, 2009. The Branson Air Show will highlight the grand opening weekend of the Branson Airport, the first privately financed and operated commercial service airport in the United States.

Also appearing at the air show will be the U.S. Army Parachute Team-the “Golden Knights”. “We are thrilled that two of the country’s top precision military demonstration teams will be performing at the inaugural Branson Air Show,” said Jeff Bourk, Executive Director, Branson Airport.

The Thunderbirds are the premier demonstration squadron of the most elite air and space force the world has ever known. They fly Lockheed Martin F-16 Fighting Falcons, a multi-role lightweight jet fighter originally developed by General Dynamics for the United States Air Force. The famed Air Force precision flying team begins their 56th season in 2009.

The Army’s "Golden Knights" have been wowing audiences at air shows, competitions for 50 years. The two demonstration teams travel all over the country performing aerial demonstrations at air shows and special events, as well as competing at national and international skydiving competitions. They are the most successful U.S. Department of Defense sports team.


USAF Thunderbirds/US Army Golden Knights

“To have the Thunderbirds, and the Golden Knights, along with many other internationally famous air show acts, will surely make the Branson Air Show one of the very best in the country,” said Bobbi Thompson, Event Director, Branson Air Show.

The first annual Branson Air Show will be an amazing two-day event featuring many of the top aviation performers in the nation including the AeroShell Aerobatic Team, Patty Wagstaff, John Mohr, and many more. A number of static historical aviation displays will also be featured including a Sea Fury, Lockheed Constellation "Connie", B-25, P-51 Mustang, and a Medal of Honor AC-47 Gunship.

Tickets for the Branson Air Show are available on line at

Daily ticket prices will be:

Adults: $16.00 in advance/$18.00 at the gate

Military: $10.00 in advance and at the gate with military ID

Children ages 6-12: $5.00 in advance/$6.00 at the gate

Children under 6 are FREE

Skaggs to lay off 11 Branson employees

Skaggs Hospital announced they'll be laying off 11 full time employees this weekend. Hospital management stated budget issues won't result in a degradation of services.

Springfield Airport Considers Branson Airport Contract

The Springfield-Branson National Airport flight blog (are they going to keep Branson in the name) ran a series of posts last week questioning Branson's negotiations with AirTran.
Raeanne Presley was gracious in acknowledging former mayor Lou Schaefer during AirTran's announcement that they would be the first carrier to provide daily flights to Branson. In a recent magazine article Presley bashed the deal as being too generous. The $8.24 passenger fee requires proof of visitation to Branson before the city makes a payout. How much more than the $2 million dollar cap paid by the city of Branson is left to speculation.

Candy you ate as kid

Sure Grandpa has dentures now but the nostalgic taste of the sweet delicacies of youth never fade from pleasure.

Best of all, when it comes to Christmas shopping, it's a way of getting out cheap.

Or check out the Candy Museum in Downtown Branson

Branson Real Estate Bid Rates 2006

# URL Title Bid
1 Planning to Sell a Home? $1.13
2 Real Estate Uncovered Book - $97 $1.12
3 145k Mortgage for Under $484/Month $1.02
4 Selling a Home? Free REALTOR® Search $1.01
5 Real Estate at RE/ $1.00
6 Luxury Real Estate Auction Company $0.99
7 Real Estate License - CA, FL, VA, TX, WA $0.80
8 Real Estate Airline Miles & Award Points $0.79
9 Selling Real Estate? $0.77
10 Oceania - for Investment or Pleasure $0.75

The first Internet Bidding technology came online in 1997 and became a market standard in 2001. Target markets across multiple sites were calculated through cluster technology and sold at a Cost Per Thousand Impressions (CPM) rate of 3 to 50 dollars varying by market demand.

The bidding systems remained open through 2006 before a massive decline in effectiveness apparent in Google's 3rd Quarter performance.

The rates above indicate part of a 2006 October analysis of the Branson Real Estate advertising market online.

CPM's have declined greatly as most bids are set on a cost for performance (click) basis.

Top Bid for Keyword Branson Real Estate - Homegain $1.15 Per click

City of Branson Revenue At All Time High

Branson's current city administration has more money to play with than ever before with income at an all time high.
The two images above depict income flowing into Branson's city budget. Again, many businesses in Branson are suffering as they are nationwide; however, Branson city leaders have more money to play with than ever before despite press releases and correspondence that speak otherwise.
2008 marks a record high in sales tax up 4.8% from Branson's record 2007 increases,. The City of Branson's Tourism tax is up3.7% above 2007 - once again an all time high.
As stated in the last three posts and for several months, Branson's deficit is due to new spending not a decline in revenue.

If new spending allocated to special interests translates to fiscal responsibility, then we can call this administration "very responsible". And if we can call hiding the success of the Branson Landings contribution to the Branson economy "open government" ......

Branson Tourism Revenue Increased - Silver Dollar City 3rd Quarter Earnings Down

The three charts above are part of a presentation generated by the Branson Chamber of Commerce. Local televised news reports focused on the last image which shows Branson tourism is on the decline. KSPR reported, "The Branson area experienced a slight decrease in Tourism...".

On its own, the report would indicate Branson's current administration is acting with integrity when it claims income has decreased provided an excuse for the fiscal irresponsibility of the Raeanne Presley administration. Branson revenue is at an all time high - so is new spending - just not in areas that provide increased economic opportunity.

The dishonest press releases play off the national economic downturn. Many of Branson's businesses are sufferering and none more than the Branson Shows which are in a pickle as tourists tastes have shifted leaving the theater industry in stagnation several years running.

As you can see from the top image Taney County Tax revnue has increased but Stone County revenue has substantially decreased. The 4.8 percent decrease in the Stone County economy reflects Silver Dollar City's 3rd Quarter downturn. The theme park sits in Stone County and accounts for over 70% of Stone County revenue.

Branson Tourism Up - Sliver Dollar City Down

An effective misinformation campaign can help hide cover incompetence and in the case of the current Branson administration - severe fiscal irresponsibility.

In short, Branson Revenue is at an all time high but unable to sustain new expenditures
, such as Presley's multi-million dollar handout to the Taney County Health Department. Unfortunately, the new expenditures, unlike the management philosophy of the last decade lack economic stimulus components. In fact the opposite is true, the new political environment is cursed with an anti-growth agenda which has strangled the construction industry. For the first time in a decade construction projects in Branson proper have come to a screeching halt.

The revenue increase in Branson comes from the economic development activities of the past administration which brought several new projects including the Branson Landing, the Sight and Sound Theater and subsidization for a new airport.

The Landing is the goose that lays golden eggs bringing in a new demographic which the current administration promises to kill with a new era "Prohibition Act" going into effect at the beginning of the year. New legislation will create barriers and both increased licensing fees and legal responsibility on business owners that choose to serve alcohol.

Taney County East West Corridor Map and Event Center Renderings




Hollister's expansion into tourism has hit a few bumps in the road and along with it vital infrastructure connecting Eastern Taney County to Branson appears to be at risk. Last November we reported Hollister announcement of plans to contruct an arena in 2009 which promised new opportunities to pull more tourists into the region. At the time, construction plans to extend a road eastward from 65 appeared emminent. Not so today.
Justin Gage, a fifth generation Branson resident is hoping to revive the projects through town hall style gatherings. Last night he met at National Enzyme Corporation (NEC) and this afternnon at the monthly Hollister Chamber of Commerce luncheon to emphasize the importance of the project in hopes he can drum up enough support to place a ballot initiative residents can vote on in May. What the initiative looks like isn't clear, but Gage believes gathering public support is critical to convincing Taney County Commissioners to bring the project plans to voters.
During this afternoon's presentation, among other benefits, Gage proposed the project is critical for emergency services, ecnonomic stability, lowering commute costs and loosening up traffic that could impede tourists from spending money.
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Branson Ushers In New Era - Air Tran Airways to Bring Daily Direct Flights From Atlanta




The Branson Airport is set to open in May with non-stop low cost flights from Atlanta to Branson. The photos above are of the first commercial plane to land in Branson. The carrier will be Air Tran Airways.

Branson Chamber of Commere Continues Battle Against Digital Press

The Branson Chamber of Commerce will be spending another $600,000 to compete with Branson Businesses in 2009 to siphon web traffic from Theaters and travel companies marketing on the Internet.

While television, radio and print campaigns create demand, the Branson Chamber of Commerce Internet strategy utilizes predatory methods to cannibalize web traffic that already exists.

The Branson Chamber of Commerce claims they're a private organization justified in building a small handful of businesses who've directly benefited from redistribution of traffic thwarting private enterprise. Two of the primary beneficiaries of the "regional marketing group" are members of the Board of Alderman.

Where The Branson Chamber gets their cash:

– Enhancement Tax $4,610,693 $3,921,933
– City of Branson Tax $2,050,000 $2,050,000
– Pubs Revenue $ 646,763 $ 640,673
– MO DIV Grant (Taney) $ 660,000 $ 460,000
– MO DIV Grant (Stone) $ 200,000 $ 0
– Web Revenue $ 100,000 $ 100,000
– Other Revenues $ 154,375 $ 328,000

The Branson Chamber of Commerce and Convention Visitors Bureau acknowledged efforts to control user generated digital communication during their second quarter presentation citing expenditures to quash Internet speech inconsistent with Branson Chamber Objectives.

Late Summer, the Branson Chamber of Commerce launched a hate campaign encouraging Google to censor the Branson Missouri Blog, utilizing a tax payer funded database, Lynn Berry of the Convention Visitors Bureau sent correspondence to hundreds of users asking members to fraudulently label "Branson Missouri" in order to meet an objective that couldn't have been met through scrupulous methods.

Though Google didn't comply with the demands of the Branson CVB's censorship attempts, the site was moved to the Missouri Netizen domain to avoid further economic damage.

The two members of the Branson Board of Alderman who are active members of the Branson Chamber have helped establish city funding policy and strategy for the Chamber of Commerce.

Branson Chamber of Commerce Board members have been active behind the scenes with campaign assistance for the two members who serve on the Board and are expected to help as Mayor Presley and Alderman Marshall seek re-election; however, the Branson Chamber of Commerce doesn't "formerly" endorse candidates.

Branson Mayor Raeanne Presley sat on the Branson Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors while serving the first part of her term as Mayor.

Though cash flow and purchased media assets flow from Branson Tax Coffers back into Branson City Council members businesses directly, neither of the city leaders have refrained from voting on expenditures to the organization.

Presley and Branson Chamber CEO Ross Summers have held dozens of "off the record meetings" since she took office. Alderman Stephen Marshall, who runs the Chataeu on the Lake is rumored to have received several no-bid contracts to host the organizations events.

Branson Adoration Parade Winners

The 60th Annual Adoration Celebration drew record crowds, according to a news release.

The parade adheres to a non-commercial policy with each of the 39 floats free of advertising and identified only with the name of the organization. There were 16 bands.

The extent of the Christmas celebration in Branson—with special shows in the theaters, special events and lighting at Silver Dollar City and the three area Christmas light drive-throughs—is one reason that Branson was included among seven destinations for the Travel Channel’s special, “Most Christmasy Places In America.”

The special airs on Dec. 10 at 7 and 11 p.m., Dec. 14 at 5 p.m. and Dec. 17 at 8 a.m. and 4 and 10 p.m.

Here are the 2008 Adoration Parade Float/Walking Unit Awards:

1) Faith Life Church
2) Purdy First Freewill Church
3) First Baptist Church - Forsyth

1) Girl Scout Troop 294
2) Branson/Hollister Rotary
3) Kiwanis of Stone County

1) Sight & Sound Theater
2) Camp Little Paws
3) The Vacation Channel

1) At Your Service Limousine
2) Taney County Tire

2008 Adoration Parade Band Awards

Red (Fewer Than 40 Students)
1) Blue Eye Marching Bulldogs
2) Spokane Marching Owls
3) Billings Wildcats

White (41-75 Students)
1) Riverton Fighting Rams, Riverton, Kan.
2) Strafford Flaming Arrows
3) Fair Grove Marching Eagles

Blue (More than 76 Students)
1) Joplin Eagle Pride

Drum & Bugle Corps
1) Hillcrest Highlanders

Branson City Leaders Use Intimidation to Block Sunshine Requests

In the wake of death threats, the Branson Police Department's slander campaign, threatening phone calls from the Branson Police Department and politicians I made a trip to city hall.

***Note: Out of camera view there are four more police officers in the small room surrounding me.

I was horrified, having to ask myself, "Is this worth dying for?". When the Branson Police Department went to my apartment claiming "We got him", my worldly possessions were put into storage - that is - what's left. They claimed I was liable for comments made - to me mind you - on this blog. Like caller ID noting threats were coming from city hall, IP addresses suggest threats came from the Branson Police Department and a politician himself.

Two days later I left town in fear for my life before making a re-entry 40 days later.

It took a lot of courage to march into city hall and request the indicting documents, knowing terrorism was a method Branson's current city government had no problem using. But, for the first time, I wondered how far Branson's leaders would go to keep control of information they don't want released to the public.

I knew they'd threaten, but, would they actually do it? Eventually, I had to make a choice. I decided to take it head on with the protection of video cameras. I walked into city hall to make information requests, still not answered in violation of Missouri Law, But, when did violating the law ever stop this administration?

By the time I was able to retrieve the documents elections were approaching rapidly and though some of the politicians running for office were clearly without honor, I didn't want documents being posted to effect the outcome.

It's nice to step back, look at both sides and describe the different perspectives; however, in the midst of direct attacks it can become impossible.

Accessing and publishing core documents is a way to objectively portray the score card. Press releases are created to project an image - an idea - a philosophy or hype. The numbers often tell a different reality. And though I've sat through hundreds of hours of meetings at city hall, enough to have a clear picture of what is really happening, publishing core data is the best way to inform the public about what is actually happening versus an opinion about what might be happening. The Sunshine Law, if followed, is a great way to objectively share data the public has a right to access.

In the end, I regressed, it's not worth dying for.

Branson Landing Wins Design Award

Branson Landing Press Release
Branson Landing of Branson, Missouri, has been recognized by International Society of Shopping Center (ICSC) at its 2008 World-Wide Awards, receiving first place as Mixed-Use Retail Project Innovative Design and Construction of a New Project. Branson Landing is a master planned development including waterfront shopping, dining, living and entertainment ( $7.5 million night-time water feature that integrates light, fire, water and music) venue. It has redefined and reestablished the viability of the downtown area and the entire community.

New York (PRWEB) December 6, 2008 -- Throughout its history, the International Council of Shopping Centers, Inc. (ICSC) has recognized and honored the shopping center industry's most cutting-edge, innovative solutions and creative responses to market trends, as well as outstanding examples of design and development through its Global Awards programs. As part of the shopping center industry's premier awards competition, ICSC is pleased to announce that Branson Landing, Branson, Mo., has won a Design Award in its annual International Design and Development Awards competition. Since its inauguration in 1977, the ICSC International Design and Development Awards program has recognized outstanding projects for excellence in the creation of new retail projects, and in the expansion or redevelopment of existing projects, both internationally and domestically. This year, there were 63 entries representing 25 countries in the competition. (Editor's note: For more detailed information,

ICSC announced the winners of its 32nd Design and Development Awards last evening at a gala awards ceremony during ICSC's CenterBuild Conference in Phoenix, Ariz. The annual competition focuses on two general categories: Innovative Design and Construction of a New Project and Renovation or Expansion of an Existing Project. Branson Landing won its award in the Innovative Design and Construction of a New Project and Renovation category. In this category, entries can include a project involving an entire shopping center, such as an enclosure, or a single entries must relate to a specific new shopping center, completed and opened within a 24-month period; July 1, 2005 to June 30, 2007; and demonstrate how a specific design or construction problem was solved or how new standards in design and construction were established.

Branson Landing is a distinctive and popular destination, with its performance venues and amusement parks along Highway 76. Branson Landing is distinctive to the community, holding the singular position as the only downtown waterfront shopping, dining, living and entertainment venue. It is a remarkable master planned development for its unique context and character. It has redefined and reestablished the viability of the downtown area and the entire community. Truly spectacular, as well, is its $7.5 million night-time water feature that integrates light, fire, water and music. Branson Landing is owned and developed by HCW Development Company, LLC.

Winners in the 32nd International Design and Development Awards will automatically be eligible to win ICSC's Global "Best-of-the-Best" Award which will recognize the shopping center industry's most outstanding examples of cutting-edge properties, innovative solutions and creative responses to market trends throughout the world. These awards will be given during a gala awards ceremony during "A Night of Stars" at ICSC's annual convention, RECon, being held May 17-20, 2009.

Founded in 1957, ICSC is the premier global trade association of the shopping center industry. Its more than 70,000 members in over 90 countries include shopping center owners, developers, managers, marketing specialists, investors, retailers and brokers, as well as academics and public officials. Headquartered in New York City, ICSC has over 150 staff members and offices in Washington, D.C., Florida, California, Toronto, London, Mexico, Beijing and Singapore.
(Photo by Darin Codon)

Branson Prostitute Photo Published by KSPR

A fourth woman charged for prostitution in Branson surfaced in a story by Michelle Sherwood, an employee of KSPR in Srpingfield. Joy L. Pennewell is the fourth woman charged in a sting operation where women were solicited on Craigslist.

Governor Elect Jay Nixon in Branson today to meet with Republicans

Jay Nixon is meeting with Missouri's Republican leadership in Branson today marking an environment of forced bipartisanship. November elections left a Republican majority in the state legislature with Democrats easing into the top spots.

Last week Jay Nixon met with President Elect Barack Obama where billions in new funds towards infrastructure were discussed as a means of stimulating the nations dismal economic environment.

Missouri's Budget shows coffers are $340,000,000 short of projected expenditures prompting Nixon to regress on campaign promises immediately after taking office.

In other news, three Branson area residents were cited as being part of Nixon's transition team.

Katie Steele Danner, consultant, Hollister
William Fischbach, businessman, Branson
Debra Lowther, film and television producer, Hollister

(Photo by Darin Codon)

Branson's 60th Christmas Adoration Parade Route (Photo)

Branson's 60th Adoration Parade will ensue Sunday. Click image to see the parade route with a 3d model of the city rendered in Google Earth. From the Press Release:

More than 30,000 people are expected to see the 60th Annual Adoration Parade in Downtown Branson Sunday.

The parade, which starts at 5 p.m., will go on a 1.5-mile route beginning at Commercial and Long streets. It will go through downtown, then to Branson Landing.

According to the Branson/Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce, the route will feature 39 floats and 16 bands from area high schools as well as two from Kansas.

As always, the parade will kick off with the lighting of the Adoration Scene, a large nativity with figures as tall at 28 feet, that overlooks downtown Branson from a bluff along Lake Taneycomo. The figures were repainted this year by Branson High School art students.

Also on Sunday, at 2 p.m., area singers and musicians will present a free performance of Handel’s “Messiah” at the First Baptist Church in Branson. Performance will feature an orchestra and more than 50 singers.

Gambling in Rockaway Beach

It's not the type of gambling Rockaway Beach wanted, but, starting tomorrow, Rockaway Beach will have gambling in the form of a Texas Hold Em Tournament.

Branson Hookers Solicited on Craig's List

KSPR released new information today regarding the recent prostitution bust in Branson on Oct. 9th a month after the "Branson Missouri Blogger" brought up the problem of human smuggling and prostitution rampant in the Hotel and Restaurant industry during a Branson, Missouri City Council Meeting. Branson Alderman Stephen Marshall doubles as head of a trade organization for the Hotel and Restaurant Industry in Branson.

"Branson police and Combined Ozarks Multi-jurisdictional Enforcement Team or COMET task force officers arrested four women on October 9, 2008.18-year-old Desiree L. Nicks, 44-year-old Tonya Rochell Osborne and 25-year-old Indianda L. Young are charged with misdemeanor prostitution.Officers may have gone undercover but they say the women they arrested were trying to sell sex in very public ways; online and in the phonebook. Branson is known for country music and family entertainment."That's the way we want Branson to stay," Assistant Manager of a Motel Rebecca Shetler says....."You can tell by their attire but you can't just come out and ask them." Shetler says. "You can't ask are you a prostitute because people have rights."Investigators went online to "Craig's List" and clicked on erotic services. They say several women they contacted didn't show up to their sting but Osborne did. They say Osborne charged $200 dollars. Then officers opened up a phone book and called Jamie's Escort Service. They say Nicks and Young were sent to the hotel by a dispatcher named "Sam."
...."We see it because we are here everyday." Shetler says. "We just hope the tourists don't see it.",,," Full text archive

Branson Leaders Have a new campaign strategy

Put your boots on, Raeanne Presley's laying it on thick.

Presley, the first mayor to run a deficit budget in a decade, (with revenues at an all time high mind you) published a press release in the Springfield Business Journal today promoting open government and fiscal responsibility.

Tomorrow, perhaps, another press release will run announcing Osama Bin Laden's conversion to Christianity.

When Presley took office, Branson's City Coffer's packed 10 million dollars in savings. Of course, that was before Presley's multi-million dollar handout to the County Health Department and another pork flavored check to Skaggs Hospital.

After seeing the City of Branson was leaking money, Branson Alderman Stephen Marshall demanded answers and someone to point a finger at in a Branson Daily News article, that is until the facts pointed to the current administration.

On the Branson Edge, Branson sales trends were posted until the Presley administration began locking down on "Information Flow" and consistently denying Sunshine Requests.

In lieu, Branson Alderman have found new means to restrict open government which include "canvassing" in a continuous two year retail politicking cycle where sitting alderman go door to door enforcing prejudices dispersing questionable data below the radar of a meaningful press.

Quick question for the Springfield Business Journal, "Which Email Address Did the Press Release come from?"