Branson Civil Air Patrol Office (CAP) "Officer of the year" Awarded to Mike Cooper

Branson Area's local Civil Air Patrol (CAP) awarded Cape Fair's Mike Cooper the honor of "Officer of the year" for service and dedication to their mission of assisting the United States Airforce with missions, educating the youth and helping local and state agencies with air support when needed. "There are at least 25 other guys on our sqaundron that deserved tihs award", Cooper asserted.
Cooper's love of aviation prompted him to build a runway on his property in Cape Fair and is thrilled by the opportunity to execute search and rescue missions putting his passion for flying towards a good cause.
Cooper's entrepruenerial ventures include local real estate firm 76Realty, Perfect Signs and bounty hunting.
Posted by Picasa

Former Branson Resident Pleads Guilty to tax evasion - Press Release US District Attorney General's Office

            SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – Beth Phillips, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced today that a former Branson, Mo., man has pleaded guilty in federal court to income tax evasion.

            James H. Caler, 49 of Tempe, Ariz., formerly of Branson, waived his right to a grand jury and pleaded guilty before U.S. Magistrate Judge James C. England on Wednesday, Dec. 22, 2010, to a federal information that charges him with tax evasion for income earned in 2008.

            By pleading guilty, James Caler admitted he and his wife, Nancy Caler, had tax problems with the IRS in the late 1980's. The Calers owed taxes and did not want the IRS to place levies on their assets. The Calers have not filed federal income tax returns since the late 1980's and have hidden their taxable income from the IRS ever since.

            In order to hide their income, James Caler used the fictitious name of James Adams or J.D. Adams and Nancy Caler used the fictitious names of Marilyn Adams and Marilyn Akers. Using these aliases, James and Nancy Caler obtained fictitious driver’s licenses from Missouri and Arkansas. The Calers then used their fictitious identities to open bank accounts at Bank of America and US Bank.

            During 2006 through 2009, the Calers worked for UBuildit, a company located in Arizona. Ubuildit issued James Caler’s and Nancy Caler’s paychecks to limited liability corporations created by the Calers.

            The Calers deposited the Ubuildit paychecks into bank accounts established in the alias names of James and Marilyn Adams. At the end of each tax year, James Caler instructed UBuildit to issue IRS Forms 1099 to the limited liability corporations. Caler knew that by doing this the IRS would not be able to detect he was earning income and he would defeat the placement of liens against his assets.

            During 2005-2009, James Caler earned additional income from various construction projects, real estate sales and the sale of gold coins. For the tax years 2005 through 2009, the total federal income tax due and owing is $84,683. In 2006, James Caler submitted an IRS Form W-4 to Ubuildit, on which he claimed to be exempt from federal withholding. Because of this, Ubuildit did not withhold taxes from Caler’s pay.

            Under federal statutes, Caler is subject to a sentence of up to five years in federal prison without parole, plus and a fine up to $100,000. A sentencing hearing will be scheduled after the completion of a presentence investigation by the United States Probation Office.

            This case is being prosecuted by Supervisory Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael Oliver. It was investigated by IRS-Criminal Investigation.

Branson Budget 2011 Scheduled to pass tonight - UPDATING THROUGH MEETING

6:00 PM Branson's Board of Alderman went into closed session this evening at approximately 6:00 PM, taking roll call and immediately breaking into closed session. Discussion regarding Branson Airport funding ensued during the closed session. Community organizations fought unanimously against the city's attempt  to honor the Branson Airport Contract

7:00 Opening Prayer, City Employee of the Month and Gary Groman's protest against airport funding precede budget

7:30 Branson Passes $70 million Dollar Budget without protest. This includes an $800,000 handout to the Taney County Health Department

7:40 Branson alters budget to pay airport 2010 debt leaving 2011 payments unfunded. $80,000 is coming from the Convention Center which is far under budget.The reduction in expense comes from Bill Durban's projection that the funds $177,550 is being taken from the demolition fund. City leaders agree that due to the fact an expense to blow up private property won't be used due to legal complexities of taking citizens property and using dynamite to blow it to smithereens.
This is the first reading. Alderman Sandra Williams and  Rick Davis voted against the bill.

7:45 Random Blogger asks board to trim the fat citing $800,000 handout to the Taney County Health Department and $87,000 the board is approving to spend on themselves.Alderwoman Cris Bohinc reminds crowd what fiscally responsible citizens they are.

7:55 Alderman Rick Davis criticized Branson City Administrator Dean Kruithof for taking "fat" out of the budget. He asked that Kruithof not "find" money for the airport in the future.

Branson Police Department Alcohol Compliance Checks - Unedited Release

On Saturday evening, the Branson Police Department conducted random compliance checks of establishments selling package liquor, to determine if clerks are verifying that the purchaser is of legal age to buy alcohol. Officers worked with the assistance of minors to conduct spot checks of twenty two businesses, finding that clerks in twenty of the businesses checked identification or accurately enforced the Missouri age restriction of being at least 21 years old to purchase alcohol. The minors working with officers were able to purchase alcohol in two of the twenty two locations. (Attached is a log sheet showing those establishments checked and the results from each.)

Citations for the sale of intoxicants to a minor were issued to those clerks violating the liquor code.

Caroll W. McCullough
Branson Chief of Police

Branson Police Department Alcohol Compliance Checks
Saturday December 11th, 2010
Alcohol Retail Location Address Compliance Yes/No
Casey’s 612 S. Bus. US65 YES
Dalton’s Express 1130 W. Hwy. MO76 YES
Pit Stop 1140 W. Hwy. MO76 YES
EZ Center 1905 W. Hwy. MO76 YES
Sunshine’s 1940 W. Hwy. MO76 YES
Pure Country Conoco 432 St. Hwy. MO248 NO
Country Mart 1447 St. Hwy. MO248 YES
Wine Company 1447 St. Hwy. MO248 YES
K-Mart 1477 St. Hwy. MO248 YES
White Oak Station 2153 St. Hwy. MO248 YES
Wal-Mart Supercenter 1101 Branson Hills Parkway YES
Target 1200 Branson Hills Parkway YES
Branson 1st Stop 220 Branson Hills Parkway YES
WalGreen’s 210 South Hwy MO165 YES
AJ’s One Stop 2652 Shepherd of the Hills Expressway YES
Branson Star Stop 3579 Shepherd of the Hills Expressway YES
Conoco Break Place 4017 Shepherd of the Hills Expressway YES
The Pantry 164 Fall Creek Drive NO
White Oak Station 3200 Green Mountain Dr. YES
76 Express 3305 W. Hwy. MO76 YES
Jubilee Foods 2210 W. Hwy. MO76 YES
Wal-Mart 2050 W. Hwy. MO76 YES

Showboat Branson Belle Passengers Saved after Being Stranded Overnight (Video From Branson Belle)

Jennifer Moore Report: KSMU 
A rescue is underway of over 600 passengers who were stranded Saturday night and into Sunday on a showboat that ran aground on Table Rock Lake due to high winds. Passengers, including children and the elderly, are disembarking a few at a time onto All-Terrain Vehicles across a man-made berm built in the middle of the night to reach the ship. KSMU's Jennifer Moore has this report.
As the winter winds raged Saturday night, nine passengers who had pre-existing conditions were slowly and carefully loaded onto a small, US Coast Guard boat. The other passengers tried to get as comfortable as possible for what was going to be a long night.
The Branson Belle cruise ship took off at 4 p.m. Saturday on Table Rock Lake and was supposed to be just over a two-hour trip.
Sergeant Dan Bracker with the Missouri State Highway Patrol said the boat had a problem with its propeller. After the propeller began working again, excessive winds caused the ship to drift, and the hull hit the ground about 50 yards from shore. A tugboat was unable to do much good.
“They’ve knocked down trees with a bulldozer, built a path from a piece of private property here on the Corps property to the shoreline," Bracker said.
Rescuers battled high winds, gusts of snow, and sub-freezing temperatures to reach the passengers.
The Branson Belle is owned by Herschend Family Entertainment Coporation, and it operates under the arm of Silver Dollar City Attractions.

Jay Scribner - Branson Politics and Religion Part 1 of 4

Jay Scribner took a lot of heat for his decision to leave a ministry at a theater in Branson because Nelly was going to perform.

Even though the assessment was harsh I believe it's unfair to criticize someone without giving them the chance to respond. During a 45 minute interview Jay Scribner discusses issues of Church and State in Branson.

Due to content size restrictions, the interview has been cut into four parts.

Ice Skating at Branson Landing to Start Jan 1st - Feb 15

After Christmas the Branson Landing will have an ice skating rink. Branson Landing management said a press release will be issued soon.

Branson Alderman and Mayor Hold Meeting in Colorado before passing record spending bill

Branson Alderman and the Mayor held a quorom in Denver Colorado last week. The meeting was preliminary to the upcoming elections where the Mayor and several board members will have to re-gain approval from voters.

The expense of holding the meeting was paid by taxpayers who will shell another $86,000 including over $4,700 on food billed at the expense of Branson's citizens.

The Mayor and Board of Alderman will likely spend over $70 million next Tuesday approving the 2011 budget which includes and $800,000 handout to the Taney County Health Department.

During a meeting informing citizens of increased fees for business transactions with the city, a health department official admitted Mayor Raeanne Presleys wouldn't be able to pass proposed tax increases for the department after unilaterally agreeing to give the entity the $800k check.

The Health Department works close with Skaggs, a private hospital of which Presley serves on the board. The process of unilaterally promising the money raised concerns from both the city administrator and city of Branson's finance director. Concern over the promised funds surfaced after it was discovered the handout was not in the initial draft budget.

During meetings documented on this news site, the Taney County Health Department promised self sufficiency as assets near  $4,000,000 were transferred to subsidize integration of the city and Taney County Health Department.

Before the merger was implemented, the Taney County Health Department was financed through a property tax levy. While the levy is intact, the concept of perpetually funding the department was not part of the original plan. In fact, the plan was to eliminate the expense.

Restaurants in Branson will be getting three annual inspections instead of two to raise funds for the city in a separate bill passed last week. The new funds are not being allocated towards paying the bill Presley promised to give prior to board approval.

Since taking office, Presley has spent more funds annually allocated to the Mayor and Board of Alderman than the entire sum of previous administrations since the foundation of the city.

During several open meetings we requested the documents detailing $4,000,000 allocated directly to the Mayor and Board of Alderman in 2008. The city has continued to deny access to the requested files in contradiction to the Sunshine Law which requires specific means of ensuring corruption can be curtailed through public review.

Branson's First PRO/AM MMA Fights Tonight At Branson Convention Center

Midwest Cage Fight entrepreneurs Right to Left Ron Safa, Tommy Tran, TJ Nobles
Hexagon Cage at Branson Convention Center fully setup

Hexagon cage being setup at the Branson Convention Center
Fighters being weighed in and blood work being evaluated by doctor
The Holiday Rumble, Branson's firt PRO/AM Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) event is only hours away from starting. Everyone knows the desire for holiday brutality as the winds blow us closer to our relatives over turkey and stuffing.

Practitioners of karate, wrestling, boxing and other fighting disciplines sized each other up before chowing at a Chinese buffet on the Branson strip last night. An eerie silence and overkill of testrone filled the room as fighters eyed their competition in wait for clearance from both medical doctors and weigh-in by a certified official.

Over the past few weeks I've been able to get a view of the complexity of organizing a fighting event of this size. The production aspects are phenomenal, including audio, video and web production - all light work compared to buying appropriate insurance, and medical staff including Emergency Medical Technicians who will be on the scene with an ambulance.

The hexagon structure shown above will soon be layered with blood and sweat. Like Festivus, tonights first of its kind event at the Branson Convention  Center will showcase feats of strength and will.

Athletes trained in Karate, Taekwondo, boxing, wrestling and a wide variety of martial arts will square skills before a live audience in this first of it's kind event for Branson. 

Stay tuned for updated coverage

$70 Million in Tax Funds to be spent by Branson Leaders Tonight

Branson Leaders will pass a $70 million + deficit budget tonight which is the highest annual fiscal spending proposal in the history of Branson.

Branson Public relations Director Jerry Adams publicly stated when the first budget was proposed that the budget would be balanced.

In layman's terms, the budget is far from balanced. The deficit budget, more money being spent than generated is considered to be balanced according to city ordinance. Balance, as defined by city statute does not imply taxes spent are equal or less than taxes collected, but rather states that more money exists in savings than is being spent.

In other words: (Annual Incoming Taxes + Savings accrued )- (Annual Spending of Tax Dollars) = Balanced.

Prior to Raeanne Presley taking office the general fund savings reached $12,000,000. Currently the balance nears $3,000,000 and debate has ensued whether or not the floor should be lowered. The massive spending spree and perpetual deficit spending policies have abided for three years running.

The budget, which will be approved in hours was delayed due to Mayor Raeanne Presley's attempts to dishonor a contract with the Branson Airport.

Presley's extreme lack of integrity and promise to violate the terms of the agreement raised outrage by several local political entities including the League of Theaters, Hotel and Restaurant Association, Branson Chamber of Commerce and the Tri-Lakes Board of Realtor's.

Unique to Branson, the airport is the only international airport in the United States that doesn't take federal funds to operate. The Federal Aviation Administration's multi-billion dollar budget subsidizes air travel regardless of performance. While Presley has lauded the contract to National Press Outlets she has fought and budgeted $750,000 towards litigation including fighting against honoring the contract with the airport. Over the a three year period Branson's legal expenses have skyrocketed to $1.9 million.

Presley was on the Springfield/Branson airort, a competing entity when the contract was signed.

It is believed that the $260,000 is being set aside to make a payment to the airport after the budget was amended. The reduction of expenses includes an $150,000 for building demolition (which was never going to be used)and a political polling expense eliminated after protest from Alderman Cris Bohinc. Convention Center efficiency also helped decrease the expense.

Though not clear, the projected strategy assumed is that the $260,000 reduction is being used to pay 2010's debt that Presley has refused to pay.

Removing the barrier for past expenses not paid will reduce political pressure allowing the position of disregarding Branson's contractual obligation to continue with less public scrutiny.

City of Branson Offers Property on Low Traffic Auction Site

No reserve auctioneer will sell Branson's surplus equipment according to a press release following an ordinance passed by city alderman. Why the low trafficked auctioneer was chosen is unknown; however, side deals with Branson's crooked mayor continue to abide. Business partner KY3 has been all too happy to help with the anti-integrity movement in Branson investing in the Mayor's private enterprises and issuing false reports on demand.

This week a clause promising Branson's intent to allocate appropriations was taken out of news reports despite overwhelming demand from local political and business leaders demanding Presley start honoring contractual obligations made by the city.

Presley has underhandedly offered millions to other interests including $800,000 to the Taney County Health Department before authorization from the board of alderman. Two years ago Presley promised a multi-million dollar handout to the geo-political entity would wean the city from the expense. Along with millions in assets contracts with the county and surrounding cities were handed to the tax supported entity. Presley's allocation of funds resulted in scolding from the city administrator and finance director during budget discussions. The money was promised after it was determined that the entity wouldn't be able to raise taxes as Presley helped plan. As part of the 2011 plan, fees will be raised and an additional health inspection will be required. Under the 2010 ordinance, restaurants receive 2 inspections, in 2011 they'll receive three.

The official release boasting of the contract from the little known auctioneer states:

The city of Branson is conducting another auction of surplus property on the Internet. The Internet auction runs now through December 1.

Items for sale include more than a dozen vehicles, computers, cameras, power tools, office equipment, fishing docks and many other items no longer needed by the city. More than 60 items on the auction block.

The city has contracted with Purple Wave Auction that specializes in Internet auctions. Bidders have the chance to view items, read descriptions and place bids from the convenience of their computers.

“This is a great opportunity for not only area residents and businesses but anybody, anywhere with a computer and access to the Internet to get some great bargains,” said Jerry Adams, Branson’s public information director.

Presley's "tertiary" relationship with the internet company is unknown.

Branson's Alderman Attempts to Dishonor Airport Contract Thwarted

The community responded with outrage as an effort led by Mayor Raeanne Presley to dishonor an agreement with the Branson Airport was met with a backlash from the public including several lobbying groups that have formerly backed Presley.
Instead of paying the owed bill, Branson Alderman have slated over $750,000 for attorney fees to dishonor an agreement which Branson's mayor fought against as a member of a board of directors working for a competing airport.
The devastating economic effects of dishonor and lack of basic integrity displayed by Presley have finally caused a turn of tides from those in the community that believe basic values should be honored.
For most in Taney County, a handshake and a man's word are important. Branson's Mayor needs to realize that continued deception will not be tolerated. (Coverage to Continue)

Branson's Leaders Play Hide the Money From the Public

Branson City Officials don't want any scrutiny and have taken firm action to prevent media outlets from obtaining information about a $4,000,000 dollar expense marked as a line item for the mayor and Branson Board of Alderman gifted in 2008.

For six weeks, during three open meetings, the Mayor and Board of Alderman have received requests for all documentation regarding the unusually large line item graphed above.

Since taking office, under Branson Mayor Raeanne Presley watch, over $10 million in cash reserves have been drained opposing a positive cash flow trend of preceding administrations.

While Branson's economy and tax base has seen huge gains, unusual spending patterns have prevailed. Presley has been using public funds for a variety of new expenses which include political polling and an upcoming plan which will enable the Mayor to serve a "presidential length term". Offical business, usually handled by department heads is commonly routed to the mayors personal communication lines.

Currently, the mayor serves a two-year term, under the new plan, the mayor will serve a four year term and extended authority not currently allowed by law.

A record $1.7 million has been spent in litigation (this includes fiscal 2011 projections) over the past three years, outside of the city's staff legal counsel. A new legal structure states that Branson Legal expenses can be used to support the mayor and board privately as opposed to the corporate interests of Branson.

Sunshine Law violations, including a rejection of information regarding the expense above have are consistent, common and have been an effective tool in blocking public access to the methods Presley is using when determining where public funds should go.

Commercial 1 Broker's blog post written by Bob Huels begs , "Where's the Money?", noting Presley has been vagrantly violating state law without recourse to block exposure to the lack of integrity demonstrated by Branson's top city official.

Since taking office all department heads with the exception to two have been fired to bringing a team loyal to the mayor personally.

Presley is a business partner with KY3inc and is engaging in fiscal transactions with media outlets that currently cover Branson as opposed the the journalistic imperative that the press should be serving the public. One reporter suggested their were extreme financial consequences of challenging the administration begging his/her name stay off the record.

On Thursday November 4th, a physical copy of the request was brought to city hall, Branson officials stated that access to Branson City Hall would be denied to the public information office due to the fact an escort was not available.

The threat of terror to businesses, press outlets and citizens who ask for answers has been an effective means of blocking challenges to an administration writhe with corruption birthing devastating financial consequences to future generations.

Though these question and violations to the state constitution will be challenged, Presley's lack of honor to the veterans who have fought and died for freedom which includes the right to a free press has been an effective means of slowing publications.

Media Outlets interested in obtaining nformation regarding the denied equests can call (417) 268-7880.

Taney County Election Results

Election Summary Report



Summary For Jurisdiction Wide, All Counters, All Races 11/02/10


Reported Precincts


Boston Center


Branson 1

Branson 2

Branson 3

Brown Branch


Cedar Creek

Forsyth 1

Forsyth 2


Hollister 2

Hollister 3

Kissee Mills

Merriam Woods

Mt Branson

North Branson


Rockaway Beach



Registered Voters 30726 - Cards Cast 14389 46.83% Num. Report Precinct 23 - Num. Reporting 23 100.00%



Number of Precincts 23

Precincts Reporting 23 100.0 %

Times Counted 14389/30726 46.8 %

Total Votes 14259



ROY BLUNT REP 10249 71.88%


JERRY BECK CST 388 2.72%

Write-in Votes 8 0.06%



Number of Precincts 23

Precincts Reporting 23 100.0 %

Times Counted 14389/30726 46.8 %

Total Votes 14037


SUSAN MONTEE DEM 3773 26.88%

TOM SCHWEICH REP 9690 69.03%


Write-in Votes 7 0.05%



Number of Precincts 16

Precincts Reporting 16 100.0 %

Times Counted 10361/23398 44.3 %

Total Votes 10188



BILLY LONG REP 7158 70.26%


Write-in Votes 25 0.25%



Number of Precincts 12

Precincts Reporting 12 100.0 %

Times Counted 4028/7328 55.0 %

Total Votes 3933


TOMMY SOWERS DEM 1049 26.67%

JO ANN EMERSON REP 2585 65.73%


LARRY BILL IND 154 3.92%

Write-in Votes 6 0.15%



Number of Precincts 8

Precincts Reporting 8 100.0 %

Times Counted 5631/12773 44.1 %

Total Votes 4791



Write-in Votes 77 1.61%



Number of Precincts 6

Precincts Reporting 6 100.0 %

Times Counted 1814/3518 51.6 %

Total Votes 1710




Write-in Votes 4 0.23%



Number of Precincts 18

Precincts Reporting 18 100.0 %

Times Counted 6944/14435 48.1 %

Total Votes 6594


LYLE ROWLAND REP 4884 74.07%


Write-in Votes 10 0.15%



Number of Precincts 23

Precincts Reporting 23 100.0 %

Times Counted 14389/30726 46.8 %

Total Votes 12379


TONY W. WILLIAMS REP 12194 98.51%

Write-in Votes 185 1.49%



Number of Precincts 23

Precincts Reporting 23 100.0 %

Times Counted 14389/30726 46.8 %

Total Votes 12281


JAMES K. JUSTUS REP 12140 98.85%

Write-in Votes 141 1.15%



Number of Precincts 23

Precincts Reporting 23 100.0 %

Times Counted 14389/30726 46.8 %

Total Votes 13785


RON HOUSEMAN REP 8534 61.91%

DAVID G. TATE IND 5206 37.77%

Write-in Votes 45 0.33%



Number of Precincts 23

Precincts Reporting 23 100.0 %

Times Counted 14389/30726 46.8 %

Total Votes 12488


BRENDA KAY NEAL REP 12386 99.18%

Write-in Votes 102 0.82%



Number of Precincts 23

Precincts Reporting 23 100.0 %

Times Counted 14389/30726 46.8 %

Total Votes 12147


DONNA NEELEY REP 11958 98.44%

Write-in Votes 189 1.56%



Number of Precincts 23

Precincts Reporting 23 100.0 %

Times Counted 14389/30726 46.8 %

Total Votes 12320


ROBERT A. DIXON REP 12232 99.29%

Write-in Votes 88 0.71%



Number of Precincts 23

Precincts Reporting 23 100.0 %

Times Counted 14389/30726 46.8 %

Total Votes 12405


JEFF MERRELL REP 12276 98.96%

Write-in Votes 129 1.04%



Number of Precincts 23

Precincts Reporting 23 100.0 %

Times Counted 14389/30726 46.8 %

Total Votes 12128


RICK C. FINDLEY REP 12007 99.00%

Write-in Votes 121 1.00%



Number of Precincts 23

Precincts Reporting 23 100.0 %

Times Counted 14389/30726 46.8 %

Total Votes 12666


SHEILA L. WYATT REP 12573 99.27%

Write-in Votes 93 0.73%



Number of Precincts 23

Precincts Reporting 23 100.0 %

Times Counted 14389/30726 46.8 %

Total Votes 12164


YES 9050 74.40%

NO 3114 25.60%



Number of Precincts 23

Precincts Reporting 23 100.0 %

Times Counted 14389/30726 46.8 %

Total Votes 12064


YES 8796 72.91%

NO 3268 27.09%



Number of Precincts 23

Precincts Reporting 23 100.0 %

Times Counted 14389/30726 46.8 %

Total Votes 12065


YES 9101 75.43%

NO 2964 24.57%



Number of Precincts 23

Precincts Reporting 23 100.0 %

Times Counted 14389/30726 46.8 %

Total Votes 13437


YES 10783 80.25%

NO 2654 19.75%



Number of Precincts 23

Precincts Reporting 23 100.0 %

Times Counted 14389/30726 46.8 %

Total Votes 13698


YES 9465 69.10%

NO 4233 30.90%



Number of Precincts 23

Precincts Reporting 23 100.0 %

Times Counted 14389/30726 46.8 %

Total Votes 13977


YES 12659 90.57%

NO 1318 9.43%



Number of Precincts 23

Precincts Reporting 23 100.0 %

Times Counted 14389/30726 46.8 %

Total Votes 13738


YES 11108 80.86%

NO 2630 19.14%



Number of Precincts 23

Precincts Reporting 23 100.0 %

Times Counted 14389/30726 46.8 %

Total Votes 14109


YES 6238 44.21%

NO 7871 55.79%

Branson Police Identify Murder Suspect - Branson Police Chief Report

A 45 year-old man from Stockton, Missouri is in custody in connection to the death of Stacy A. (Hopkins) Birmingham, age 42, of Omaha, Arkansas.  The victim was discovered deceased at the Country Bunkhouse Motel, located at 3125 W. State Highway 76 on Thursday.Following leads developed during the investigation of the incident, the suspect was located in Tulsa, Oklahoma and was taken into custody shortly after 11 p.m. last night by the fugitive division of the Tulsa Police Department.Paperwork is being forwarded to the Taney County Prosecutor’s Office for the determination of charges.  The suspect, who remains in custody in Oklahoma at this time, is expected to waive extradition, at which time he will be transported back to Taney County.

City of Branson Budget Ammendments Reflect Mistatements of Branson Landing Debt, Increased Litigation and Transfer of Landscaping Fund

Three budget amendments will go before Branson City Alderman and will be passed with a unanimous vote.

The Branson Landing debt which many believe was intentionally misstated for political reasons will receive an accounting correction Tuesday night. The Branson Landing currently receives 72% of Branson visitors making it the largest attraction within city limits.

The Branson Landing debt service will reflect a $450,000 revenue increase due to a lease payment made annually by developer HCW. The current budget reflects the income as part of the General Fund.

The second of three budget amendments proposed by Finance and Personnel Director Lori Helle reflects a purchase of land cit5ed as the "Owen Property". Assessed at $9,000 by the county a whopping $231,141.43 was paid to purchase the landlocked acerage. The citizens of Branson purchased the property from the General Fund as opposed to the Landscape fund, commonly known as the tree tax. The city of Branson charges a fee every-time a private citizen chooses to cut down a tree on their private property. The transfer is noted to have no effect on the overall budget.

The third and final budget amendment outlined in the Oct. 20, 2010 memo transfers $125,000 from income derived from the "Municipal Court". The city of Branson under Mayor's Presley's watch has been extremely litigious exceeding legal budgets of every prior mayor. An increase in arrests and tickets are providing an increase in revenue for the municipal court which is helping finance litigation against several private individuals and political enemies of the mayor. As a member of the board of directors for the Springfield/Branson Airport Presley was adamantly opposed to the city's efforts to support the new Branson Airport and is likely to continue a legal battle which will undoubtedly financially harm both the city and the new airport alike.

Prior to becoming mayor Presley was involved in legal action against the city with support from the League of Theaters, a local trade group and lobbying organization that has been at odds with the city over reseller margins and tax collection methods.

Branson Patriarch Lloyd Presley Passes

KY3, a financial partner of the Presley family, produced the video and published memorial information posted below:

Branson Tea Party Coverage by Springfield News-Leader's Roseann Moring

he main organizer of this weekend's tea party rally in Branson said the event is a chance to bring like-minded people together.

"It validates the fact that you've got those concerns," Eric Farris said.
The group is centered around the principles of fiscal responsibility, limited government and free-market policies, he said. The Branson Tea Party website says the rally also aims to generate excitement for the Nov. 2 election.
Milton Wolf, President Barack Obama's second cousin, and country singer Ray Stevens are the main attractions. Also speaking are Eddy Justice, a tea party organizer from Poplar Bluff and Gina Loudon, who hosts a St. Louis radio show.
Faris said the event, like the coalition members, is nonpartisan. He said no elected official or even local candidate has spoken at a coalition rally.
"We don't want to be co-opted," he said. "We don't want to be cheaply imitated."
The Branson Tea Party Coalition got its start at about the same time as many around the country, by rallying on tax day in April 2009. Since then, the movement has gained momentum, with two more rallies from the Branson coalition in November 2009 and this April.
A southwest Missouri sometime tea party organizer who plans to attend this rally, Paul Beaird, said the purpose of the tea party is to ensure that "pro-freedom" candidates win their respective primaries.
"Pro-freedom," to Beaird, means a candidate who will commit to repealing every law that expands the federal government's power that was passed in the last 120 years.
Though the rally comes days after the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People released a report detailing what it says is racism on the fringe of the tea party, Beaird bristles at the suggestion that any members are racist.
"If you are a member of the human race, we are the champions of your freedom," he said.
He says he's seen no indication of racism in the almost two years the tea party has been around.
Statewide, St. Louis seems to be the area of Missouri where the tea party movement has taken the most hold, said George Connor, a professor at Missouri State University's political science department.
In many ways, the modern tea party is a mirror image of the populist movement of the late 1800s, he said.
That movement was a grass-roots operation that was to the left of the Democrats of the day, he said.
The tea party movement is primarily "to the right of the right, statistically speaking," he said. And though it has members from both major political parties, the movement has primarily had influence on the Republican Party.
He said he sees the movement having an effect on the 2012 election. But after that, he said, it's hard to guess. Historically speaking, such movements either get absorbed into a major party or dissipate.
"I'm going to wait and see," he said.

Branson Budget 2011 Overview

(Draft) Branson City Leaders will engage a deficit budget for three years running, a trend that started when Mayor Raeanne Presley took the reigns at city hall.  Since taking office record revenues have been matched by increased spending measures depleting the majority of savings previous administrations worked diligently to build. As part of a nighttime budget discussion which occurred at city hall, city leaders debated lowering the current available savings to 20% of the current annual operating budget. City code forces Branson alderman to maintain cash reserves at the 20% level but remains at 30% after deficit spending drained  7 million of savings accrued before Presley's new spending policies were enacted.

All department heads were present for last Thursday's evening meeting joined by Branson's Board of Alderman and a five member team from the Taney County Health Department.

During a meeting where fee increases were discussed last month, it was revealed that Mayor Raeanne Presley unilaterally promised $800,000 to the Taney County Health Department without Board of Alderman nor city officials approval. After a brief correction from the city administrator and city finance department correcting Presley on false statements made regarding the expense, a debate ensued. While Branson's alderman generally agreed that the Health Department needed to be fully funded through a verbal consensus there were protests and prompting to the department that action needed to be taken towards economic independence.Alderman Sandra Williams was the most outspoken on the issue eventually ceding to her personal belief that maintaining a strong health department was vital to the community.

Citizen surveys designed to create "buy in" for increased spending were met with mild protest as well. An estimated $250,000 in political survey contracts were penned in 2010 and an additional $27,000 expense was challenged by Alderman Cris Bohinc (see video above).

everal line item expenses have been creatively altered from 2007-2009 descriptions requiring further investigation into what some line items are actually describing.  

The trend of a litigious administration appears to be continuing as alderman estimated between $400,000 and $500,000 will be used to battle citizens and business partners in court. The number will likely rise if Mayor Presley continues to violate the premises of the Sunshine Law.

A contract based on consideration, a capped $8.24 per visitor fee to the Branson Airport will not be funded in the initial budget. There were hints that the obligation might be funded later and the maneuver of not allocating the funds are tied to a continuing court battle. When the contract was inked Presley was a member of a competing airport's board of directors and some speculate the action is designed to intentionally cause bankruptcy to the Branson airport who agreed to build an international airport based on the city of Branson initiating a pay per customer deal.  Presley's inconsistency on the issue  is demonstrated by National Public Radio's (NPR) story on the Airport  . Presley's statements about the Branson Airport are posted below:

"Branson Mayor Raeanne Presley says she considers it to be a win-win for the city.
Mayor RAEANNE PRESLEY (Branson, Missouri): It wasn't as though we said we'd write them a check and see how it all worked out. If they bring passengers here, then we pay for those"

While Presley hasn't revealed how much of nearly $1.7 in legal counsel is being 'allocated to battle the written agreement, legal entanglements against private entities are at an all time high.

While a 20 year plan is being developed to defray administrative liberty for a future generation Presley claims it is unfair for a part administration to bind the financial activity of a future administration.

Presley's activities are not without virtue or economic development; pro-environmental policies, funding for aesthetic improvements and a business venture (possible aquarium) which will pull people closer to her private theater are also being discussed.

Branson's 2011 Budget

Branson's budget will be ushered through this evening. A full report will be posted later this evening. For those citizens interested in attending this open meeting; dinner will be served at 5:30 at city hall. The meeting will begin at 6:00

Accompanying documentation for a  2008 line item allocating 4,000,000 to Mayor Presley and the Board of Alderman was requested Tuesday night and a response is due shortly. It is also my personal belief that the citizens deserve to know why and where $1.2 million dollars in legal expenses are being spent.

It is understood that the Mayor has requested city's legal counsel to refrain from distributing this vital financial information to the public. Please pray for our leaders that they may receive increased moral fortitude and for my personal protection and safety as I engage public inquiry to serve you.

Editor Darin P. Codon
(417) 243-0668

KRZK Radiothon Live Today to Help Christian Associates

Basic American values dictate that we assist the most needy among us. It's what separates us from the animals and less civilized. Today, KRZK is hosting a "radiothon" to assist Christian Associates a para-religious group that assists the least among us. Supporting organizations that do this type of work lowers tax levies because the government's hands are not forced due to the fact we do this through our own conscience voluntarily.

It's also important that we support responsible media and reward good deeds to encourage positive behavior from the rascals that distribute local press.

Missouri District 62 State Representative Nita Jane Ayres - Capital Report Oct. 12

Working to Create a Smaller, More Efficient Government

As we continue to struggle in this economy, it’s hard to see any positive that comes from a period of economic downturn such as this one. The legislature has worked to implement policies that will create jobs and help turn things around. But even as we do that, it bears mentioning that there is something positive that has resulted from the economic struggles of our state. As we have had extremely lean budget years because of declining revenues, we’ve had to take a close, hard look at where taxpayer dollars are going and to use those dollars in the most efficient way possible. Ideally, that’s what government should be doing at all times regardless of our economic situation, but a sluggish economy like we have now makes that practice an absolute necessity. In the face of economic adversity, one positive that emerges is a government that is focused on trimming the fat so that it evolves into a smaller, more efficient system that makes optimal use of taxpayer dollars. To me, that’s a very good thing and it’s what should be done to protect your pocketbook.

In an earlier Capitol Comments I mentioned a runaway bill (HB 1868) that started out as a good bill but evolved into a bad one over time. That bill had a host of amendments added to it that I found troublesome. However, amidst some of the worrisome amendments, we had a few positives as well. One of those was the consolidation of the State Water Patrol into the Missouri State Highway Patrol. Originally it was part of a plan to also eliminate the Division of Alcohol and Tobacco Control. Fortunately, that part of the bill was scrapped as it moved through the process – something I supported as I firmly believe eliminating an important division warrants careful consideration and study. The water patrol change did go through and it is believed it will save the state as much as $3.7 million each year. It serves as an example of government tightening its belt effectively because those services still exist within our State Highway Patrol.

We do need to look at other changes similar to the water patrol merger but such changes should not be made without careful deliberations. Another thing that HB 1868 did to help in that regard is to create the Joint Committee on Reduction and Reorganization of Programs within State Government. This 13-member committee is charged with looking at these kinds of mergers and consolidations as well as other ways to reduce the overall size of state government without negatively impacting the services that Missourians need. The committee is similar to another that was formed by a piece of legislation that came out of the Senate (SCR 54). That resolution creates the Joint Interim Committee on Reducing the Size of State Government. Obviously, both committees will work toward a similar goal. I said in my previous Capitol Comments on HB 1868 that I prefer the committee created by the senate resolution simply because it provides a better method for selecting its members. However, I am a big supporter of the intent behind the creation of both committees. We can never have too many microscopes turned on state government and how it operates.

In the next few months these committees should examine each state department and agency within each department to determine programs or bureaucracies that should be eliminated or reduced.  I expect the committees will work toward a final recommendation to legislative leadership that will hopefully result in legislation that is filed for the 2011 legislative session. My hope is that with careful scrutiny they will find additional ways to streamline government services so that taxpayer dollars are safeguarded in the way Missourians expect and deserve.

Taneycobama Bridge to Open Fall 2010 (Update City Leaders Plan Forum Oct 18th

Taneycobama Bridge and Taneycomo bridge by Darin Codon
In 1931 dedication of a bridge which carries an estimated 18,000 cars daily across Lake Taneycomo changed the face of Branson.
After years of negotiation between the city of Branson, Hollister and Taney County officials a funding pact was established to build a new bridge.
A massive spending spree by Branson's city leaders in 2008 which is continuing to this day would have caused the commitment to deplete Branson's entire savings.
Obama's stimulus package funded the bridge as the project was shovel ready at the time the Federal funding bill was enacted. Two years later the bridge is near completion. The Taneycobama bridge is seen to the left of the photo above and to the right sits bridge built in 1931.
The old bridge will be retrofitted to maintain engineering integrity which will take place once the original bridge is open for traffic and will continue for one year.
Two major problems are being addressed by Branson city leaders. The highly congested route will not connect to Business 65 and the light that connects 76 to the Branson Landing will be closed to not increase congestion.
The second problem is the Taneycobama bridge won't have an adequate lane for foot traffic. A four inch line will be painted for the few pedestrians that travel by foot from Hollister to Branson.
On Oct 18th @ 6:00 PM Branson's Engineer David Miller will present the plan and open up for questions

Hollister Grape Festival (Videos)

Politicians dress in togas and contestants issue bribes to the judges before individual teams stomp grapes adorned in comedic uniforms to the music of their choosing. The winner gets the honor of holding the silly monkey trophy for a year. Good times.
At  one time Hollister MO was known for its wine.

Branson Seniors Dictate Future of Branson - 20 year Plan Will Implement Political Agenda

A group of highly talented, very expensive political strategists met with a small group of mostly senior citizens at Branson's High School yesterday to discuss a new code of laws that will determine Branson's development for the next two decades. The end-game is a new charter as Branson's Mayor envisioned several years ago and has recently come to the general public's attention. The charter will allow longer political terms and un-bind city leaders from laws that protect a free market.

Three results are imminent:

1. New taxes
2. Reduction of property rights, increased regulation
3. Implementation of Development Agreements which haven't come to light yet.
Electronic votes were tallied after a sales pitch was delivered. Some of the answers irritated the podium speaker as citizens didn't answer in the way organizers pitched. The carefully crafted questions were formed to produce results promised to the mayor to help implement a pre-determined agenda. While political polling is generally reserved for elections. This poll was conducted on the tax-payer dime. Some estimate the cost is $130,000 others $250,000.

Without a press willing to rock the boat, millions flow without question or consequence.

At times the podium speaker became frustrated when information being fed didn't result in the vote they were supposed to bring the mayor. County wide transportation was one of these issues in the first session.

The group will hold a second meeting on the 18th where an A/B vote will be given. The political activist firm will then come back to help the Mayor move the "plan" through an election.

More on Monday....

Mario Lopez to Host Branson Holiday Promenade of Stars

Mario Lopez will be coming to Branson to host the Holiday Promenade of Stars. The 4th annual event is being produced by Gary Bartlett and will occur Saturday November 13th.
Lopez has a new reality show launching Nov. 1st 2010 titled, "Saved by the Baby" co-stars Courtney Mazza and baby Gia Francesca Lopez will also be present in Branson for the live event.
   Audio Press Release:

Audio Transcript
 Just want to let you know that the 4th Annual  ”Holiday Promenade of Stars” will take place on Saturday November 13th down the promenade of Branson Landing.  We’ll have some pre show festivities starting at 10 o’clock am, with the parade starting at 10:30 am.  We are honored to have.  Mario Lopez, hosting, along with CarrieTillis and John  Daly  from  Real TV. Our Grand  Marshal. once  again,  this  your  will  be  Mr. Andy Williams.  We’re  utilizing  this  parade  to  benefit  three  local  charities.  The  Boys  and  Girls  Clubs  of  the  Ozarks , The Skaggs Foundation  and  Love Inc..  10% of all the gross funds that come in will go directly to the charities and also with 100% of the application fee going to their charities.  Once again,  we’re  excited,  it's  going to  be  nationally  televised  on  Thanksgiving  Day  with  the  rebroadcast  on  Christmas  day  on  our  RFD  TV,  RETRO television network,  KSFX  in  Springfield  KOLR 10 on Christmas day  & the Vacation Channel, We do still have some spots available if you would like to   participate in the parade and you can  & if you’re interested in being a sponsor you can contact Debby Gossett (417) 527 5416 or Pamela McCord (417)  263 0308

 Press Release Uncut

4th Annual Holiday Promenade of Stars ™ Parade

4th Annual Holiday Promenade of Stars
Saturday November 13, 2010
Branson Landing (right down the center of the landing_
10:00 am pre show festivities
10:30 am Parade Stars

Host: Mario Lopez, Carrie Tillis, John Daly (Real TV)
Grand Marshal: Mr. Andy Williams

The Holiday Promenade of Stars was designed to showcase our shows,
theaters, attractions, hotels, and businesses during the holiday season. While
serving many purposes, we also choose to use this event to benefit local
charities. All chosen charities are family based organizations providing medical
services, meals and basic necessities.

10% of all the sponsorship money will be donated to the follow charities. Also
100% of the parade application fee will be donated.

The 2010 selected charities:

• The Boys & Girls Clubs of the Ozarks - is a non-profit youth development
organization that is dedicated to fostering a sense of belonging, positive self-
esteem, and accomplishment in all kids. No child is ever turned away for financial

• The Skaggs Foundation - mission is to develop relationships and financial
resources to support the healthcare programs, projects and services of Skaggs
Regional Medical Center.

• Love Inc - imagine the difference churches can make by joining with other
churches in their community to help those in need. When the Body of Christ
works together, the results can be miraculous.

10% of all the sponsorship money will be donated to the follow charities. Also
100% of the parade application fee will be donated.

Television Networks Confirmed:
Nov 25 -12:00 pm est noon airs
Dec 25, 2010 2:00 pm est

Nov 25 -3:00 pm est noon airs
Dec 25, 2010 3:00 pm est

Nov 25 -9:00 am CST airs
Dec 25, 2010 11:00 pm CST

KOLR 10-
Dec 25, 2010 3:00 pm CST

***Media Outlets Can Use Source Data Posted

City of Branson Sunshine Law Violations Will Result in Temporary Halt - Will Resume reporting shortly

Due to an effort by Mayor Raeanne Presley to persistently violate open government and civil rights laws a brief break is being taken and a multitude of next steps are being considered.

It's unfortunate that some politicians show little respect for the constitution of the United States, the state of Missouri and openly violate open government laws. This is generally the result of corruption and malfeasance of the highest degree. Open government laws are the enemy of corruption, halt money laundering and force self-serving interests to decline due to accountability.

It is clear the government body of which I am reporting on has no interest in demonstrating integrity with finances, municipal activity nor willing to submit to the law which protects us from the very worst of politicos.

This is our government, not the financier of one B-Entertainment venue with tremendous disrespect for the people who fought and died for liberty.

I believe in peace and the power of the pen to overcome the most sinister and self-serving bureaucrats who believe public funds and information are their private domain.

It's my intention to work and serve you - the citizens - and protect you from the overreaching power of those who are actively working to drain the budgets, misinform the citizens and cause harm to the community for their own selfish gain. National, state and local reporters routinely call when they need information about local public bodies. It is through dedicated study, courage, love of truth and the hope that freedom's ring can be heard for another generation that I write. Call me selfish, but I love my family and want them to remain free.

I am only a scorekeeper. I do not believe in violence as a means to solve problems. I believe in the power of citizen government and maintain the right to keep ourselves free and self-governed is an imperative to liberty not to mention constitutionally protected.

To be free and self governed we need vital information.  We have a right and deserve to know what "our" government is doing. The job of journalism is to keep us free and self-governed.

In Branson, our budget is not a personal pocketbook for the Presley Theater. It is not a capitalistic venture for a handful of media business partners of the Presley theater to whore. It is not a force to prevent minorities from performing in public. It is not an entity to be used for the purpose of denying personal property rights. It belongs to all of us collectively.

Our police force is not a personal army to terrorize those at political odds with irresponsible spending or to falsely detain citizens who chose to actively engage civic issues.

This is our government. This is our budget. This is our nation, state and community.

Due to the g-rated nature of this news source I will not go into the details of what has happened at the request of our politicians. I do not wish this treatment upon my allies, competitors or any being who could be called a child of God.

I will say this, To date I have experienced extreme acts of intimidation and have seen the devastation fruits of corruption birth. My physical body is routinely violated. I am regularly detained without cause, sometimes for hours. Access to public meetings is routinely blocked and excessive fees are levied to prevent me from reporting.

I realize that I am at political odds with a government entity that has proved fiscal responsibility is of little concern. But I am an American, I am a journalist and I strive to be fair. It would be unfair to my readers to allow application of terror to prevent me from reporting truth or cause undue bias.

I thank God I live in this country where we are still protected by the constitution and citizens have peaceful means of recourse to undo the damage caused by Godless leaders.

I want to thank my readers and those who provide leads; I could not do this without you. Most importantly I want to thank those who ask me questions. I have worked vigorously for you, so that you may not have to endure terror, harm to your private businesses or family due to the fact you want basic information about the government body charged with serving you.

It is time to review my options and for the next couple of days I will be posting information about the state of journalism throughout the world. Many developments have occurred over the last few weeks. Nations who have chosen to defy the will of God, who wants us to be free, have imprisoned my brethren of the pen.

Personal experience has led me to believe that true liberty comes from within as we submit ourselves to the creator and our higher purpose.

Rouseau said, "man is born free but everywhere he is in chains". This bondage is amplified when government chooses to negate the liberty we are born with. The implications of government action are vast and span most every aspect of our lives. Generally, it's not until the personal encroachment is blatant that we realize the importance of keeping tyranny at bay. By the time most citizens recognize this reality and begin to value their freedom it is too late.

The City of Branson will have every opportunity to correct their mistakes, violations of civil rights and re-commit themselves to abide by the law. They will also have the opportunity to be arrogant, disrespect the constitution and disregard the almighty. It is not my belief that this should continue without accountability. Unfortunately, when our leaders misbehave, we all pay the price.

I ask for your prayer. Pray for me and pray for our leaders that our father-in-heaven will bestow wisdom upon them.

Branson Edge Editor,
Darin Patrick Codon

Branson Leaders Fiscal Irresponsibility Results in Fee Increases - New Taxes Inevitable

The massive spending spree and new expenditures initiated by Mayor Raeanne Presley have leaders scrambling for new revenue sources.

A massive boom from the Branson Landing and its accompanying windfall of income hasn't offset the spending patterns and increased debt since a transition administration took office in 2008. Millions of dollars in consultants, some of which were contracting with the Mayor of Branson prior to her taking office, new categories of expenditures, litigiousness and "mayor fun trips on the public dime" have created a deficit unmatched by previous administrations. Branson's perspective of fiscal conservatism has gone to the wayside and the savings these policies have brought to the municipality have been rapidly squandered over the last three years.

The broken promise of fiscal restraint will be highlighted at tomorrow nights meeting at city hall. Three years of record income have Presley's appointed finance committee currently discussing strategies for raising taxes.

Citizens in Missouri have a defense with Missouri's Hancock Amendment which restrains government entities from rapidly raising tax rates when mismanagement occurs.

Lobbyists funded by Branson taxpayers are being told to fight against the limitations. In other words, public funds are being used to enable higher levies against Branson's residents.

In the meantime new business is coming to a halt. An anti-business and anti-growth policy is successfully being posted with new green initiatives aimed at permanently stopping new development and the accompanying new income. Prior to taking office Presley complained that the new growth in jobs, while the rest of the nation experienced a recession, were forcing her personal business to pay higher wages - poverty benefits some.

Last month the city dished out a $250,000 check to an entity that is helping to create buy-in for furtherance of the anti-business agenda. Carefully constructed questions are designed to give the inevitable answer that economic prosperity is bad for business which will eventually yield catastrophic results on the economic health of the community.

MSU Instructor Linnea Lantria will lecture city officials tomorrow as a plant to assist in the battle against free market economy and individual land rights. The lecture will boast the benefits of eco-tourism and will feature such examples as Egypt and other third world economies as an example for Branson with a presentation entitled "Developing Sustainable Destinations.

Though Gaia or earth worshipers may find the idea appealing, sustainability ignores economic realities. The new Convention Center and Branson Landing were built to increase land values; however, statements and actions taken by city leaders appear to promote the intentional devaluation of city property.

Last nights meeting asked for new fees across the board. The get gain is estimated at $62,000 less than a tenth of Presley's legal battles this year which blatanttly contradict public statements made to the national press.

The public funds given to a handful of law firms to battle in the courts for our mayor have not been openly discussed. While a brief period of openess occured when a new mayor took office, the commitment to open government quickly receded. Even Branson's own consultants have noted the lack of fiscal oversight of tax funds.

A commitment to the Sunshine law has darkened and active efforts to thwart free market principals, essential land rights and economic growth have frightened new businesses from coming to Branson. While Planning and Zoning meetings once dragged to midnight; they are now be canceled.

In the video above both Chris Jordan and Bob Huels note the problems associated with new fees, heavy bureaucracy and an active effort to regulate businesses.

Jordan seems to express regret for not opening a business across the street from Tijuana Willies where fees are substantially less and government less burdensome.

Huels notes that the new policies are emulating less fiscally successful municipalities and discourages new business and the new revenue they bring to the area.

Though the meeting appeared to be a discussion, Presley revealed they were going into effect as soon as possible. Raising fees doesn't require a vote and appears to be a strategy of governance as opposed to a hard look at cutting the new financial burdens recently brought to the city.

Branson Leaders Plot Massive Fee Increases

The pile of documents is two months of packets distributed to a small group of media outlets by Bransons City Leaders. Several hundred pages of legislation have been implemented this year.

Obama's health care proposal is dwarfed by the costly changes city leaders have been implementing monthly. The legislative changes this summer triple the entire size of the health care agenda. It's so vast city leaders have little idea what the repurcussions of the massive changes actually mean to the public but the cost to taxpayers is clear. The malfeasance was documented two years ago to no avail. Call it prophesy, fortune-telling or common sense, fiscal irresponsibility at Branson City Hall has taken a major toll and citizens are paying the bill. We've seen tax hikes, utility rate increases and a massive fine increase that will take effect in days as a result from derelict of duty and a "mean girls" club where vital documents are concealed, private businesses are subsidized and finaincial malfeasance has run rampant.

Last week a small piece of land  assessed at 9,000 dollars was purchased by the City of Branson for over $200,000. The payment, which was over 2000 percent of the assessment had both journalists and real estate investors wondering how such corruption was able to occur. The journalism community remained silent except in the backrooms but political pressure and a press release where run as opposed to exploration behind the fool-hearty action. It's my belief that the public deserves better. We have a right to know and we deserve city leadership which serves the people not their private interests. Though the message is becoming clearer, if the citizens demanded open government and integrity from our leaders; this type of rediculousness would never occur.

Commercial Real Estate Broker Bob Huels speculates on the intent of Branson leaders irresponsible spending practices suggesting there may be a gold mine on the aforementioned property we don't know about.

City leaders certainly have a gold mine - the treasury -  which has been drained to subsidize the lifestyles of politicians who are supposed to be protecting our interests.

The press has also played a vital role in allowing corruption to continue. KY3, the largest area media outlet has teamed up with our corrupt leaders to assist with Sunshine Law violations through a financial relationship with the Mayor, helping propagate fraudulent press releases and failing to hold their business partner accountable.

Dishonesty continues throughout the halls through propaganda where departments are told that the Branson Landing is causing a deficit rather than the massive financial windfall that brings new revenue that has been sent through the back door. The Branson Chamber polling estimates 72% of tourists are going to the Branson Landing. Though the Branson Landing will generate $200,000,000 in sales, very few people in Branson are aware. The facts are hidden and propaganda is published at will. Sadly, the Branson Independent has chosen a policy of not labeling "government issued" documents which is tremendously disrespectful to the public. People have a right to know the difference between journalism and regurgitating government issued propaganda.

The paper has a silent partner which is widely believed to be a financial partner of the mayor's personal business.

While the Mayor has raised taxes, utility bills and regressed on open government commitments we've seen an increase in personal trips financed by the city. Though she may enjoy partying across the country on the government dime, the new expenses hardly seem responsible.

 Prior to Raeanne Presley's election, we were building our savings. This war chest has been rapidly drained. Since we've had several years of record revenue, due to the success of the downtown development, this hasn't been an easy task.

In conjunction with wasteful and frivolous spending, we've seen the implementation of an anti-business agenda. I'm certain it's difficult to decide whether competition should be allowed to occur. After all, new businesses may mean less sales for an older theater. Theaters and venues that bring new people to Branson don't necessarily help some of the older more outdated businesses. They also help eliminate poverty which means some businesses can't pay the low wages they have in the past.

The newest attack on business is in the fee department. In an effort that could discourage new business, fees could be raised several hundred percent. A meeting scheduled tonight will help identify those in opposition to the business tax. Notice was posted exactly 72 hours in advance, the minimum allowed by law.

Business leaders that don't want to see the furtherance of an economy crushing agenda might want to show up. It's unlikely that your presence will make a difference in stopping the new wave of business tax increases , but you could get a nice bribe via donation to your business or through one of the Mayor's lobbying groups, funded with tax dollars without all of those pesky ethics barriers. 

If nothing else, you can see Branson's top show featuring the most expensive production and art of illusion first hand. The show starts at 5:30 at Branson City Hall tonight.

Branson Charity Surveys Motel Population

As the ever pressing social and political issue of religions role in society has become a national obsession. Sort out the rhetoric and the American ethic of justice remains.

To the political right Glen Beck theorizes it's the job of the church to provide a social net.  To the political left President Barrack Obama dedicates funds to address the issues Beck claims people of faith have an obligation to conquer. It's likely neither matter to a family of four living on 800 dollars a month with a 600 dollar bill owed to a motel on the 76 strip. It's unlikely they ponder the complexities of national ideology, but they probably know what it's like to be hungry. Mother Theresa said, true poverty is "feeling unloved", and a sack lunch distributed by volunteers once a week likely does more to cure true poverty than the logistics of solving poverty in the community. Some would venture to say, "God is love".

Stalling admits his original ambitions of ending homelessness in Branson were naive but his vision remains vivid.
Perhaps the hipster slogan, "Jesus was way cool", would attract more support than the shocking mantra embedded on the t-shirts Bryan Stallings sells me from the back of a van with the identical slogan, "Jesus was homeless".  On the opposing side of the garment St. Francis of Assisi wisdom is engraved, "Preach the gospel always and if necessary use words".

Branson's peak occupancy has waned as a lull in the tourist season reduces motel occupancy. Still, Stalling attempts to gauge the expanse, reasons and details regarding the population of residents who live in motel rooms often without access to laundry facilities, kitchens and other amenities most of the civilized world takes for granted.  A total of 45 volunteers assembled throughout the day working two shifts in an attempt to generate data so politicians, churches and civically minded individuals can understand the reality of a portion of Branson's workforce living in weekly motels.

The issue is close to many in the communities heart including Mayor aPresley and her political ally Karen Best who has taught workshops on poverty.

Some fiscal conservatives blame Presley's anti-growth agenda with propagating poverty arguing free market restraints and section 8 housing will only grow the problem.

The facts are being tabulated and the arguments will follow. Should we build public housing projects? Should we create a public transportation program?

Location was a common answer to the question , "Why are you living in a hotel?" where natives and tourists compete over jobs in a tightening market.

Of all the questions asked one question had a common response, when asked what they were best at they uniformly answered, "I don't know.

The survey comes a day before an estimated 40 social service organizations gather at a Methodist church to help meet the needs of a commonly unseen component of our culture.