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365 Things To Do In Greater Springfield Missouri: New Shanghai Circus

by Team Thomas Realtors, Randy & Jenny Thomas

Acrobats of China Show featuring the New Shanghai Circus -- The Acrobats of China featuring the New Shanghai Circus is a spectacular extravaganza of elegant eastern dance, dazzling acrobatics, mysterious magic, mystical music, and more. Over 40 amazing performers bring the Orient to Branson with fabulous backdrops, state-of-the-art lighting, and a fast-paced, exciting production! The show is a combination of ballet, Olympics, and Cirque du Soleil. This holiday show celebrates the Chinese New Year.

In China, there are over 25,000 acrobats and over 250 acrobatic troupes. The New Shanghai Circus is the best of the best. The show has many Gold, Silver and Bronze medal winners of national competition with us, and our show has been very well packaged in terms of the music, the lighting and theatrics that go around acrobats themselves. The performers do everything from contortion to trapeze to group and solo bicycle riding, and that is just one small segment of this fabulous show. One senior citizen told us "audience should take a nerve pill before they come to the show".

The revolving line-up of unique acts includes, among other features: the playful lion dance; the dancing dragon; aerial fish ballet; butterfly lovers; pole climbers; diabolo (Chinese Yo-Yo); jar juggling; hoop-diving; daring trapeze; human strength and beauty; and spinning plates.
Presented at the New Shanghai Theatre; 3 p.m. and 8 p.m.

Tickets: $39; ages 13-17, $16; ages 6-12, $10. VIP seating rows 1-8 is also available.

About Team Thomas Realtors: Bringing people together.Bringing details together:Team Thomas Realtors full-service approach to real estate and buying & selling homes. Recognizing the increasing demand for simpler and more efficient home transactions, Team Thomas is committed to providing an unmatched level of service to consumers. With homes in SpringfieldOzarkNixa, Missouri and surrounding areas, Keller Williams International produces more real estate sales in the United States than any other real estate firm. View all our available listingscreate your own custom search, view our videos, or call today to talk to a knowledgeable member of the team. Team Thomas Realtors (417)501-9988.

365 Things To Do In Greater Springfield Missouri: Jefferson Avenue Footbridge

by Team Thomas Realtors, Randy & Jenny Thomas

By Jenny and Randy Thomas

Everywhere we go and we look, we see shots of locals smiling on the Jefferson Avenue Footbridge that runs across the train tracks near Commercial Street and Jefferson Avenue in Springfield. Pictures of the white bridge backed by the breath taking blue sky pop up in professional photographers’ galleries. On Facebook. On Instagram. We’ve seen shots of wedding parties. Shots of exuberant kids. Shots of smiling, newly engaged couples. Apparently, this is the best place to be photographed for major life events with friends and family. Make your photo-life complete, and trek up the footbridge to take your own selfie. 

The 562-foot (171 m) Jefferson Avenue Footbridge in Springfield, Missouri, built in 1902 it allows pedestrians to cross 13 sets of railroad tracks.

As the footbridge approached its 100-year anniversary, it became apparent that a major rehabilitation was required to preserve the aging structure. The City of Springfield partnered with the Commercial Club and the Urban Districts Alliance to obtain federal transportation enhancement grants and Community Development Block Grant funding to save the historic footbridge.

In addition to the extensive rehabilitation work on the footbridge, a gathering place plaza was created adjacent to the Commercial Street terminus. The rehabilitation work was conducted in 2001 and 2002 at a cost of just over $518,000. Nearly 100 years after the original footbridge was constructed, the rehabilitated structure was reopened to pedestrian traffic and rededicated April 17, 2002.

Trainwatching from the bridge and Snap a Selfie photo are also popular activities in Jefferson Avenue Footbridge.

About Team Thomas Realtors: Bringing people together.Bringing details together:Team Thomas Realtors full-service approach to real estate and buying & selling homes. Recognizing the increasing demand for simpler and more efficient home transactions, Team Thomas is committed to providing an unmatched level of service to consumers. With homes in SpringfieldOzarkNixa, Missouri and surrounding areas, Keller Williams International produces more real estate sales in the United States than any other real estate firm. View all our available listingscreate your own custom search, view our videos, or call today to talk to a knowledgeable member of the team. Team Thomas Realtors (417)501-9988.

7 Smart Strategies for Bathroom Remodeling

by Team Thomas Realtors, Randy & Jenny Thomas

Bathroom Photo is from 5532  S Michigan Ave,  Springfield, MO  65810 

By: John Riha

Here’s how to get the bathroom of your dreams without making your budget a nightmare.
A mid-range bathroom remodel is a solid investment, according to Remodeling Magazine’s annual Cost vs. Value Report. An average bath remodel of $16,128 will recoup about 72.5% of those costs when it’s time to sell your home, and a more extensive $51,374 job returns about 63.6%. In addition, you can maximize the value of your investment by using these smart strategies, which will create a stylish yet budget-friendly bathroom.

1. Stick to a Plan
A bathroom remodel is no place for improvisation. Before ripping out the first tile, think hard about how you will use the space, what materials and fixtures you want, and how much you’re willing to spend.
The National Kitchen and Bath Association (NKBA) recommends spending up to six months evaluating and planning before beginning work. That way, you have a roadmap that will guide decisions, even the ones made under remodeling stress. Once work has begun -- a process that averages two to three months -- resist changing your mind. Work stoppages and alterations add costs. Some contractors include clauses in their contracts that specify premium prices for changing original plans.
If planning isn’t your strong suit, hire a designer. In addition to adding style and efficiency, a professional designer makes sure contractors and installers are scheduled in an orderly fashion. A pro charges $100 to $200 per hour, and spends 10 to 30 hours on a bathroom project.
 
2. Keep the Same Footprint
You can afford that Italian tile you love if you can live with the total square footage you already have. 

Keeping the same footprint, and locating new plumbing fixtures near existing plumbing pipes, saves demolition and reconstruction dollars. You’ll also cut down on the dust and debris that make remodeling so hard to live with.

Make the most of the space you have. Glass doors on showers and tubs open up the area. A pedestal sink takes up less room than a vanity. If you miss the storage, replace a mirror with a deep medicine cabinet.

3. Make Lighting a Priority
Multiple shower heads and radiant heat floors are fabulous adds to a bathroom remodel. But few items make a bathroom more satisfying than lighting designed for everyday grooming. You can install lighting for a fraction of the cost of pricier amenities.
Well-designed bathroom task lighting surrounds vanity mirrors and eliminates shadows on faces: You look better already. The scheme includes two ceiling- or soffit-mounted fixtures with 60 to 75 watts each, and side fixtures or sconces providing at least 150 watts each, distributed vertically across 24 inches (to account for people of various heights). Four-bulb lighting fixtures work well for side lighting.

4. Clear the Air
Bathroom ventilation systems may be out of sight, but they shouldn’t be out of mind during a bathroom remodel.

Bathroom ventilation is essential for removing excess humidity that fogs mirrors, makes bathroom floors slippery, and contributes to the growth of mildew and mold. Controlling mold and humidity is especially important for maintaining healthy indoor air quality and protecting the value of your home -- mold remediation is expensive, and excess humidity can damage cabinets and painted finishes.
A bathroom vent and water closet fan should exhaust air to the outside -- not simply to the space between ceiling joists. Better models have whisper-quiet exhaust fans and humidity-controlled switches that activate when a sensor detects excess moisture in the air.

5. Think Storage
Bathroom storage is a challenge: By the time you’ve installed the toilet, shower, and sink, there’s often little space left to store towels, toilet paper, and hair and body products. Here are some ways to find storage in hidden places.

Think vertically: Upper wall space in a bathroom is often underused. Freestanding, multi-tiered shelf units designed to fit over toilet tanks turn unused wall area into found storage. Spaces between wall studs create attractive and useful niches for holding soaps and toiletries. Install shelves over towel bars to use blank wall space.

Think moveable: Inexpensive woven baskets set on the floor are stylish towel holders. A floor-stand coat rack holds wet towels, bath robes, and clothes.
Think utility: Adding a slide-out tray to vanity cabinet compartments provides full access to stored items and prevents lesser-used items from being lost or forgotten.

6. Contribute Sweat Equity
Shave labor costs by doing some work yourself. Tell your contractor which projects you’ll handle, so there are no misunderstandings later.

Some easy DIY projects:
Install window and baseboard trim; save $250.
Paint walls and trim, 200 sq.ft.; save $200.
Install toilet; save $150.
Install towel bars and shelves; save $20 each.

7. Choose Low-Cost Design for High Visual Impact
A “soft scheme” adds visual zest to your bathroom, but doesn’t create a one-of-a-kind look that might scare away future buyers.
Soft schemes employ neutral colors for permanent fixtures and surfaces, then add pizzazz with items that are easily changed, such as shower curtains, window treatments, towels, throw rugs, and wall colors. These relatively low-cost decorative touches provide tons of personality but are easy to redo whenever you want.

Visit HouseLogic.com for more articles like this. Reprinted from HouseLogic.com with permission of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®.

Read more: http://members.houselogic.com/reprint-rights/#ixzz2kZAK7nrz

About Team Thomas Realtors:

Bringing people together.Bringing details together:Team Thomas Realtors full-service approach to real estate and buying & selling homes. Recognizing the increasing demand for simpler and more efficient home transactions, Team Thomas is committed to providing an unmatched level of service to consumers. With homes in SpringfieldOzarkNixa, Missouri and surrounding areas, Keller Williams International produces more real estate sales in the United States than any other real estate firm. View all our available listingscreate your own custom search, view our videos, or call today to talk to a knowledgeable member of the team. Team Thomas Realtors (417)501-9988

 

A Harmonious blend of clean lines and contemporary style defines this elegant home.

by Team Thomas Realtors, Randy & Jenny Thomas

727 E Powell, Springfield, MO 65807 - $115,000.00 (PRICE REDUCTION)

MOVE IN READY! Convenient Neighborhood Near Kickapoo High School and Cox, 3 BR, 2 BA.These items are all NEW:: 95% Efficiency Furnace, Ductwork, High Efficiency AC, Carpet with Heavy Weight Pad (Breathable Moisture Barrier and Antimicrobial protection), Commercial Grade Luxury Vinyl Plank Flooring in Kitchen and Laundry,Master Bath Flooring, Full View Storm Door with Retractable Screen,Electronic Dead Bolt and Insulated Front Door,Sliding Patio Door with built-in blinds, Water Conserving Toilets, Two New Skylights,Bathroom and floor tiles sealed to prevent mold. Built In Breakfast-Bar,Custom Kitchen Cabinets,Granite Backsplash, Roll-Out Shelving, Baking Pan Organizer,Deep Double Bowl Swanstone Sink (Impervious to Chemicals, Temps to 450 degrees, Impact Resistant),Side By Side Refrigerator Ultra Ease Plus Water Filtration System'',Smooth Top Stove,Kitchen Aid Quiet Scrub'' Dishwasher with Dual Side Adjustable Racks,Expansive Wood Burning Stone Fireplace Professionally Cleaned in 2013.

 

Community schools serving this home include

Take a look at additional pictures and read more about this property HERE.

Click Here to View Tour

Community Schools serving this home includes Horace Mann, Cherokee, and Kickapoo. 

Conveniently Located in South East Homes. Located in southwestern Missouri, Springfield is a town of around 160,000 residents. The third largest city in Missouri, Springfield is justifiably proud of its thriving economy, low cost of living and scenic Ozark Mountain setting. Gain valuable insight into the community by visiting this link. CLICK HERE

 

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Community schools serving this home include

 

Community schools serving this home include

For a personal showing of this home, please call Team Thomas at 417-501-9988.

You can also view all our available Springfield, MO homes or even create your own custom search from the entire MLS system. We also created a special link that includes all available and comparable Springfield, MO Homes from $100,000 to 200,000 .

 

About Team Thomas Realtors:

Bringing people together.Bringing details together:Team Thomas Realtors full-service approach to real estate and buying & selling homes. Recognizing the increasing demand for simpler and more efficient home transactions, Team Thomas is committed to providing an unmatched level of service to consumers. With homes in SpringfieldOzarkNixa, Missouri and surrounding areas, Keller Williams International produces more real estate sales in the United States than any other real estate firm. View all our available listingscreate your own custom search, view our videos, or call today to talk to a knowledgeable member of the team. Team Thomas Realtors (417)501-9988.

Bird Feeders: Basic Considerations

by Team Thomas Realtors, Randy & Jenny Thomas

Placing bird feeders in your garden won't make up for lost habitat, but a well-placed bird feeder can allow you to see wild birds up close and create an awareness of nature. Before purchasing or building a bird feeder, there are a few basic things to consider, including which birds to feed, how much seed you want to buy, and how much mess you can tolerate.

 

Which Birds do You Want to Attract?

Perhaps you were hoping for a "building it and they will come" bird feeder, but it's important to make decisions about which birds to attract before purchasing or building a bird feeder and buying your first bag of birdseed.

Different birds have different preferences when it comes to food and what types of feeders they will use. For example, thistle seed is used in a thistle feeder and is especially attractive to American goldfinches and pine siskins. In terms of feeder types, some birds, such as chickadees and nuthatches, will use a feeder that is placed well above the ground, while other birds, such as sparrows and juncos, prefer to eat close to the ground.

 

Native vs. Non-Native Birds

When choosing which birds to feed, many people prefer native birds to non-native birds such as house sparrows and starlings. Non-native birds compete with native birds for food and nesting sites, so adding a bird feeder that will attract native birds will supplement their food sources.

 

Discouraging Aggressive Birds

Aggressive birds such as crows and pigeons can keep other birds from using a bird feeder. If you want to discourage aggressive birds from using the bird feeder, choose seeds to which they are less attracted. For example, grains such as barley, rye, oats, wheat and corn are particularly attractive to ground-feeding birds such as pigeons. Limit these grains if you want to discourage pigeons.

 

How Much Seed do You Want to Buy?

Some birds eat more than others and will really make a dent in your birdseed budget. Large birds, such as pigeons, can obviously put away more food than small birds. Other birds - such as starlings, finches, and house sparrows - travel in large numbers and will also eat much more birdseed than small birds like chickadees and nuthatches that don't travel in large flocks.

 

How Much Mess Can You Tolerate?

Another important consideration when deciding which birds to attract is mess. Large flocks of birds, like those mentioned above, tend to make a mess because they come in large numbers and stay at a bird feeder for a long length of time. Other species, such as chickadees, jays and nuthatches, tend to visit a bird feeder, get what they want, and leave. If having a mess under the bird feeder is going to be a source of irritation, it's best to attract birds that are less messy.

 

Watching birds come and go from a bird feeder in your garden can bring a lot of enjoyment. You may even start to notice birds feeding on the seeds of some of your garden plants. Maybe it will inspire you to add more bird feeders or a nesting box or two. In the end, know that whatever supplemental food you can provide will be appreciated by these small, feathered friends.

 

Source: http://www.justlistedspringfield.com/

 

About Team Thomas Realtors:

Bringing people together.Bringing details together:Team Thomas Realtors full-service approach to real estate and buying & selling homes. Recognizing the increasing demand for simpler and more efficient home transactions, Team Thomas is committed to providing an unmatched level of service to consumers. With homes in SpringfieldOzarkNixa, Missouri and surrounding areas, Keller Williams International produces more real estate sales in the United States than any other real estate firm. View all our available listingscreate your own custom search, view our videos, or call today to talk to a knowledgeable member of the team. Team Thomas Realtors (417)501-9988.

What are HOAs and CCRs?

by Team Thomas Realtors, Randy & Jenny Thomas

The acronyms "HOA" and "CCRs," although they are used daily by real estate agents, may be unfamiliar to the average person. Let's break down these acronyms and get you up to speed on what homebuyers should know.

 

HOA stands for homeowner association – a nonprofit organization that is funded by all the association's members and overseen by an elected board of directors. In some states, HOAs must be registered with the department of real estate or another state regulatory agency.

Most of the country's HOAs are run by volunteers from within the community, with the remainder run by management companies.

The primary purpose of the HOA is to enforce the policies, procedures, regulations and restrictions agreed to by the members, thereby maintaining property values. Financial support for the HOA comes from each homeowner in the form of monthly dues and occasional assessments.

So, how does one become a member of an HOA? If you purchase a home in a managed community, you don't have a choice about whether to become a member. It is required and automatic. For this reason, when considering the purchase of a home governed by an HOA, reading the HOA documents before you agree to purchase is of critical importance.

 

CC&R stands for covenants, conditions and restrictions – the governing documents for the operation of the HOA. These are the rules that homeowners, tenants and guests are obligated to follow.

Want to paint your house psychedelic pink? Check the CC&Rs first. From the number of pets allowed to parking restrictions, the CC&Rs are the laws of the community. Failure to abide by them could mean a hefty fine for the homeowner. Unpaid fines can lead to foreclosure proceedings and the loss of the home to the HOA.

 

Here are just a few items commonly regulated by CC&Rs, according to the authors of "Nolo's Essential Guide to Buying Your First Home":

Noise.

Landscaping.

Roofing material.

Fences.

Exterior paint color.

Outdoor play equipment such as swing sets and basketball hoops.

Garages and outbuildings.

Mailboxes.

Window coverings.

Holiday decorations.

Clotheslines.

Garbage and recycling containers.

Pets (size, breed restrictions, etc.).

Parking.

Home businesses.

 

Purchasing a Home in an HOA-Governed Community

 

Immediately after your offer is accepted on a home governed by an HOA, your agent will go to work to obtain what is typically referred to as the "HOA docs." This is a large package that contains everything you need to know about the HOA and about life in the community.

Unfortunately, the HOA docs need to be ordered, then compiled by the HOA, and typically don't reach the buyer until late in the process. By this time the buyer has usually paid for a home inspection, not to mention the HOA doc fee, which can be quite hefty.

This is the most critical part of the process, though, and requires extreme due diligence. If you don't understand anything in the HOA documents, ask your real estate agent or attorney to explain it. Never close escrow until you've read every word on every sheet of paper in the HOA documents package.

What to Look for in HOA Documents

 

Several documents in the HOA package require even closer scrutiny:

 

Special Assessments

A HOA will levy a special assessment when there is not enough money in the reserve fund to pay for major repairs or improvements to the community resources, such as roofs and major systems.

Check the documents carefully for the number of special assessments imposed over the life of the HOA and the amount that was imposed. Excessive assessments are a bad sign.

While you're at it, check for mention of any major projects planned and whether the HOA reserve fund can cover them. You'll find information about the reserve fund in the HOA's budget. There should be a minimum of 10 percent of the annual budget amount on reserve.

 

Litigation

Your lender will find out about this, so you may as well check to see if there is any ongoing or pending litigation on behalf of or against the HOA. If the litigation is over construction defects, the lender won't approve your loan until the litigation is complete.

 

Meeting Minutes

The HOA holds meetings and someone is responsible for keeping track of what occurs during the meetings. Look through the minutes for homeowner complaints, especially repeated complaints. This is an indication of an unresponsive HOA - another red flag. Some associations are striking homeowner comments from their minutes. If you see no comments, ask your real estate agent to find out why.

While other documents, such as the insurance policy, are important, the ones mentioned above are those that the layperson can most easily understand. Again, if you don't know how to read an insurance policy (and who does?) run it by your attorney.

No matter how much you love that adorable condo, it's not worth purchasing if the CC&Rs impact your lifestyle and restrict your freedom. Read HOA docs carefully before signing an offer to purchase.

 

Source: http://www.justlistedspringfield.com/

 

About Team Thomas Realtors:

Bringing people together.Bringing details together:Team Thomas Realtors full-service approach to real estate and buying & selling homes. Recognizing the increasing demand for simpler and more efficient home transactions, Team Thomas is committed to providing an unmatched level of service to consumers. With homes in SpringfieldOzarkNixa, Missouri and surrounding areas, Keller Williams International produces more real estate sales in the United States than any other real estate firm. View all our available listingscreate your own custom search, view our videos, or call today to talk to a knowledgeable member of the team. Team Thomas Realtors (417)501-9988.

365 Things To Do In Springfield Missouri - Bunco GOne Wild 2

by Team Thomas Realtors, Randy & Jenny Thomas

Its time for another night of Bunco with the ladies of Queen City Sertoma! Come out for a fun night and help raise money for area children's charities!

Where: 319 Event Center, 319 Walnut

When: Thursday, September 12, 2013

Registration: 5:30 pm

Game begins: 6:30 pm

Cost: $15.00 (appetizers included)

Cash Bar

Visit http://queencitysertoma.org/?page_id=441 for more information!

About Sermota. Sertoma in the Ozarks has spanned more than 67 years with more than $1,000,000 returned to the youth of the Springfield community.

Sertoma is the third oldest civic organization in existence. The organization has grown to include about 500 clubs across the U.S., Canada, Mexico and Puerto Rico, with approximately 13,000 members.

Queen City Sertoma Club was chartered in 1999. Our club’s primary sponsorship efforts support the Boys and Girls Clubs of Springfield and other Sertoma Children’s Charities through fundraising and volunteering. Queen City Sertoma’s membership includes a diverse group of women of all ages that promotes new friendships and inter-club relations. We have a place for you!

About Team Thomas Realtors:

Bringing people together.Bringing details together:Team Thomas Realtors full-service approach to real estate and buying & selling homes. Recognizing the increasing demand for simpler and more efficient home transactions, Team Thomas is committed to providing an unmatched level of service to consumers. With homes in SpringfieldOzarkNixa, Missouri and surrounding areas, Keller Williams International produces more real estate sales in the United States than any other real estate firm. View all our available listingscreate your own custom search, view our videos, or call today to talk to a knowledgeable member of the team. Team Thomas Realtors (417)501-9988.

Big Ed guides customers to big bass at Lake of the Ozarks

by Team Thomas Realtors, Randy & Jenny Thomas

LAKE OZARK, Mo. — Ed Franko, the fishing guide better known as Big Ed, paused to reflect on the fringe benefits of his job before he started another workday on Lake of the Ozarks.

“I’ve had a couple of very gratifying trips lately,” said Franko, 60. “I had an 85-year-old gentleman who hadn’t fished for a long time who caught a 4-pound bass with me. He was just thrilled.

“And then I had another older man whose health is declining rapidly. He caught a dandy, too, and you could just see him light up.

“Those are the days you remember.”

Actually, though, Franko has enjoyed plenty of memorable days at Lake of the Ozarks lately.

Even in the heat, he and his customers have been catching keeper bass. Included was one largemouth in the 6-pound range, and several others weighing 5 pounds or bigger.

That’s what Franko was trying to duplicate as he pulled up to a point on the Osage Branch of the lake not far from Bagnell Dam.

“The bass will relate to points like this right now,” he said. “After they’re done spawning, they’ll move out of the coves and relate to these points that have a sharp drop-off.

“That’s why this point is so good. This is a good spawning cove. And the point has a sharp drop-off, so they’re close to deep water.”

The best way to catch those fish? Franko slides a Zoom Mag Finesse Worm on a heavy jig head across the rocky bottom until he feels the tick he is waiting for.

“The bass are relating to the bottom in about 20 to 25 feet of water,” he said. “They usually don’t hit real hard. Sometimes, it’s just a little tick. That’s when you have to lay the hook to them.”

Minutes later, that’s what one of Franko’s customers, Jim Divincen, was doing. As he felt a faint strike, he set the hook and watched his fishing rod bend sharply. The bass shot to the surface and wallowed before Franko scooped it up with a long landing net.

“That’s what we’re after,” Franko said. “That’s a good Lake of the Ozarks bass. That one will probably go 3 pounds.”

There were more to caught. In fact, later in the morning the fishing actually improved. By the time the bright sun was pushing the temperature into the 90s, the bass went on the feed. Our group caught and released six bass, four of them keepers (15 inches or longer), before the flurry ended.

“You’ll find that,” Franko said. “You’ll be fishing along without so much as a hit, then you’ll really get into them. And a lot of times, they won’t start hitting until 10:30 (a.m.) or so, about the time some fishermen are coming in.”

Franko has a routine that he follows. He uses the electronics on his boat to make sure baitfish are schooled off the point he wants to fish. Then he either drags a finesse bait on a heavy jig head or casts a heavy jig with a plastic trailer across the rocky bottom.

Later in the summer, the bass often move main-lake brush piles and Franko will target them with either a 10-inch plastic worm or a jig.

Whatever the case, Franko and his customers often catch keeper bass.

“This lake has plenty of keepers, and you can catch them in the heat of summer,” he said. “It’s just that a lot of people aren’t fishing deep enough.

“A lot of fishermen are still beating the banks, and that’s not where the quality fish are.

“They’re out here in 20 to 25 feet of water.”

For Franko, guiding others to big bass is more than just a job, it’s a passion. Check out a line on his website: “I was born during the spawn — April 21, 1953. So it only figures that I’ve lived, eaten and slept fishin’ since I could first walk around my backyard pond.”

Franko moved to Lake of the Ozarks in 1999 and he’s been fishing it hard ever since. He has caught several bass exceeding 7 pounds through the years, and like any true fisherman, he’ll tell you stories about bass even bigger that he got away.

Today, he and his wife, Deb, own a bed and breakfast on the water called Bass and Baskets. The house features Longaberger baskets that Deb collects, and rooms are decorated in themes. One features bass fishing, of course, with old signs and pictures adorning the walls.

An old fishing boat, complete with antique tackle inside, hangs from the ceiling in a commons area, again adding to the theme of the bed and breakfast.

Deb runs the establishment, which opened in 2001, while Ed takes people fishing. It’s a great match, both say.

“This is a great place to live,” Ed said. “There’s a lot for people to do, and it’s one of the best bass lakes you’ll find.

“Even when it gets hot like this, you can still catch quality fish.”

Source: By BRENT FRAZEE, The Kansas City Star

 

Missouri State University receives $1 million insurance check for bookstore thefts

by Team Thomas Realtors, Randy & Jenny Thomas

SPRINGFIELD — Missouri State University received an insurance check in its claim resulting from the theft by its former bookstore manager, Mark Brixey. The university received and deposited a check for $1 million from Fidelity and Deposit Company of Maryland, underwriter for Zurich American Insurance Company, the company that had the university’s employee theft policy.

“We very much appreciate Zurich American working with us, accepting our investigative documents and issuing the check,” said Missouri State University President Clif Smart. “This check does not negate the criminal act or minimize the damage it has done to the university’s reputation, but it does recover a significant portion of the funds that rightfully belonged to the university and its students.”

Missouri State had a documented loss of $1,210,701.18, after recovering more than $81,000 in cash from Brixey’s desk. In addition to the insurance proceeds, Missouri State hopes to receive certificates of deposit seized by the government which are subject to a forfeiture proceeding. There was a $5,000 deductible on the policy.

Smart said the $1 million would be placed in a separate fund until there was a final plan developed for its distribution.

The case began on Aug. 2, 2012, when approximately $81,000 in cash was found in Brixey’s desk as part of a routine audit. Within a week, the university’s internal auditors determined that more than $400,000 was missing over a three-year period.

Instead of meeting with university officials to answer questions, Brixey resigned on Aug. 17. The case was turned over to law enforcement officials at that point, while the university’s internal auditors continued to compile supporting documentation for the remainder of the loss.

On March 26, 2013, following an investigation by local, state and federal officials, Brixey pleaded guilty in federal court to embezzling more than $1.1 million by pocketing the money from the parts of the textbook buyback program. He waived his right to a grand jury and pleaded guilty before U.S. Magistrate Judge David Rush to a federal information that charged him with wire fraud, money laundering and filing a false tax return. Brixey is scheduled to be sentenced at a hearing on Aug. 29.

“I again want to pay tribute to our office of internal audit staff, and especially Tami Reed,” said Smart. “They deserve credit for identifying this issue and for pursuing it thoroughly and effectively. Without their solid work, the criminal case would have been much more tedious and the insurance payment would have been much more difficult to obtain. We owe them a debt of gratitude.”

About Team Thomas Realtors:

Bringing people together.Bringing details together:Team Thomas Realtors full-service approach to real estate and buying & selling homes. Recognizing the increasing demand for simpler and more efficient home transactions, Team Thomas is committed to providing an unmatched level of service to consumers. With homes in SpringfieldOzarkNixa, Missouri and surrounding areas, Keller Williams International produces more real estate sales in the United States than any other real estate firm. View all our available listingscreate your own custom search, view our videos, or call today to talk to a knowledgeable member of the team. Team Thomas Realtors (417)501-9988.

9 Steps in Buildng a Small Garden Path

by Team Thomas Realtors, Randy & Jenny Thomas


1. Lay out your path. If you are making a winding path, a garden hose makes a nice flexible line, but you can also use spray paint directly on the ground or stakes and string.
 
2. Calculate how many square feet the path will be. Determine how much material you will need. One way, if you use found materials like rocks, simply keep collecting it and laying it out on the proposed path until you have enough. If you are buying pavers, the home and garden shop has calculators for figuring the number you need. Always figure a minimum of 10% waste when ordering the pavers. A bag of sand from the home improvement store contains 6-7 square feet of sand 1-inch thick. (Read the label!) Divide your square footage by 6 or 7 to find the number of bags. If you need it in tons, ask the distributor to figure it for you, keeping in mind that your sand bed is 1” thick by the square footage of your path. However you buy sand, add extra for leveling the path and filling between the stones. Mortar sand, which is finer grained than all purpose sand, is good for filling joints, especially tight ones.
 
3. Before you start digging the path, be sure there are no utilities or irrigation lines in the area where you are putting your path. Be sure to call the “Call Before You Dig” number from your local utility company especially if you are adding a compacted base and will be digging quite a way into the dirt. You will have to locate your own irrigation lines.
 
4. Remove the existing sod and soil using flat shovels. Keep in mind the thickness of the paving material you are using when determining the depth to which you have to dig. You will need 1-inch for the sand bed plus the thickness of the paver. If you are using a compacted base, don't forget to add that in. You will need 1 in. thick sand +~2 3/8 in. thick pavers =~3 in. depth for excavation since there will be slight settlement of the sand when the pavers are compacted into it. Be sure to get rid of the excavated soil etc. so that the ground will drain correctly. Don't pile it up around the path.
 
5. Once the area is excavated, be sure the soil below is slightly damp and compact the soil using a heavy flat object or the plate compactor. Check the slope if you are putting your path directly against your house to be sure water will drain away from the foundation. For every foot, there should be a 1/4 in. drop. Adjust slope as needed.
 
6. Place at least two pipes directly on the compacted soil. Place them apart and parallel to each other. Spread moist but not saturated sand between the pipes. Use a shovel and rake to smooth out. Pull the straight piece of wood across the pipes several times until sand is perfectly smooth. Do this for the entire area. Remove the pipes and fill the indentations with sand. Level these areas with a square trowel. Don't walk on or disturb the leveled sand.
 
7. Place a border course of pavers around the entire edge, then place the rest in the desired pattern. Continue to place pavers on the sand, but don't drag them into the sand. Use the other pavers on the sand as means to locate the one you're placing. Cut pavers as needed.
 
8. Compact the pavers using something heavy and flat. (a plate compactor should definitely be used for large surfaces to be sure that you don't end up with tripping hazards.) Jumping up and down on the pavers until they are level works fine in small areas. Make at least four passes over all the pavers, starting at the outside of the pavement and working around the edges toward the inside. Then compact back and forth like mowing the grass. If you want to, you can remove and replace any pavers that crack or chip. Adjust joints. A large screwdriver is good for aligning paver joints.
 
9. Spread dry joint sand over the surface and sweep some into the joints. Vibrate and compact the sand into the joints, sweeping and compacting as you go. Filling the joints with sand will take several passes. After compaction, the sand in the joints might settle, especially after a few rainstorms. Apply some extra sand to fill these joints as needed. Remove excess sand by sweeping. Apply a sealer if you want.
 
Source: http://www.wikihow.com/Build-a-Small-Garden-Path

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Bringing people together.Bringing details together:Team Thomas Realtors full-service approach to real estate and buying & selling homes. Recognizing the increasing demand for simpler and more efficient home transactions, Team Thomas is committed to providing an unmatched level of service to consumers. With homes in SpringfieldOzarkNixa, Missouri and surrounding areas, Keller Williams International produces more real estate sales in the United States than any other real estate firm. View all our available listingscreate your own custom search, view our videos, or call today to talk to a knowledgeable member of the team. Team Thomas Realtors (417)501-9988.

 

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Jenny & Randy Thomas
Keller Williams Realty; Team Thomas, REALTORS
2925 E Battlefield, Suite 111
Springfield MO 65804
Phone: 417-501-9988
417-883-4900
Fax: 417-447-9853

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Team Randy & Jenny Thomas (Murney Associates, Realtors): Real Estate Agent in Springfield, MO