Reasons to Visit Missouri

Missouri is a fun and exciting place to visit. It offers fine dining, live performances and great shopping for everyone. Branson is another good reason to visit Missouri. This city offers great weather with many exciting things to see and do. It has beautiful scenery that you will not see anywhere else in the country.

With the weather being so mild and comfortable you could spend most of the year in Branson doing outdoor activities. If you are planning a trip in the spring to Branson, Missouri, get ready for some great outdoor weather. Temperatures range anywhere from the fifties up to eighty degrees.

You should pack spring clothing to take with you that is suitable for outdoor activities. Having moderate temperatures can make everything look beautiful during this time of the year. These reasons to visit Missouri are just some of the things that you can enjoy on your trip.

When visiting Missouri you will want to pack a raincoat with the springtime being one of the rainiest times of the year. The rainfall is not too excessive, so it should not take away from all the fun activities. Summer in Branson, Missouri warms things up a bit. The temperatures get a lot warmer and the humidity is higher but is still bearable.

Many people choose this time of year to visit Missouri with all the fun outdoor activities going on. Summer activities such as golf, fishing, hiking, boating and other outdoor activities draws in many people from all over to this location each year. Fall in Branson, Missouri brings back the springtime temperatures.

This makes vacationing here in the fall very comfortable. The colors of red, orange, and yellow makes the leaves look beautiful this time of the year. People that enjoy nature like to visit Branson, Missouri during the fall of the year.

In the wintertime, Branson Missouri sometimes can accumulate a lot of snowfall. This does not happen every winter and should not affect your traveling plans. Most people do not let the weather stop them from coming here with it being such a popular place to visit. During the winter months, temperatures can reach into the sixties.

Coming to Branson Missouri can help people to escape from the cold winter air. These are just some more important reasons to visit Missouri during the year. It does not matter what season you choose to visit Branson, Missouri you will find many things to see and do anytime of the year.

University of Missouri (MU) Tigers Football Player Taken in 2010 NFL Draft – 1 Mizzou Tiger Selected

The University of Missouri (commonly referred to as MU or Mizzou) Tigers had one player taken in the 2010 NFL Draft that was held in New York City in April. The name of the lone player selected from the Columbia, Missouri based college is Sean Weatherspoon.

Weatherspoon was the first player selected by the Atlanta Falcons in the first round of the 2010 NFL Draft with the 19th overall pick. The Falcons are excited about adding a talented young linebacker to the heart of their defense.

Weatherspoon was born in December of 1987 in Greenville, South Carolina and long before he grew into a top tier professional football prospect at 6’1″ and 239 pounds he excelled as a high school athlete in the rich prep football land of the state of Texas. The multi-talented Weatherspoon demonstrated himself to be a three sport star at Jasper High School in Jasper, Texas. Jasper is located near the Louisiana and Texas border on the east side of Texas.

In addition to being a college recruited linebacker in high school Sean played basketball and participated in track and field at Jasper High School. While best known for being an All-State football player Sean was an All-District performer as a guard on the basketball team and an All-State high jumper on the track team.

Despite being a dual threat as a contributor on both defense and offense as a wide receiver on the grid iron in high school Sean had to overcome the hurdle of being relatively undersized for his linebacker position as a high school athlete looking for top tier collegiate football recruiting attention. Despite eventually vaulting himself to becoming the second linebacker selected in the 2010 NFL Draft (behind only Rolando McClain from the University of Alabama who was taken by the Oakland Raiders with the number 8 pick) Weatherspoon had relatively few college football scholarship offers to choose from as a high school senior. Missouri ultimately won out over competing full ride scholarships from Iowa State University and Texas Christian University (TCU) amongst others.

After playing in every game at the University of Missouri as a true freshman in 2006 Sean had a breakout season his sophomore year in 2007 in which he earned first team All-Big 12 honors for his efforts. Sean eventually earned numerous accolades from various organizations as a second and third team All-American selection at his linebacker position.

Atlanta Falcons head coach Mike Smith is excited about bringing Sean Weatherspoon into his organization. Coach Smith believes Sean will compete for a starting linebacker position and also hopes to get him on the field as soon as possible by using him in special teams situations.

Where to Fish Winter Trout in Missouri

Mention trout fishing to a lot of people in Missouri, and the only thing they will know about is the Spring through Fall trout fishing in Missouri’s trout parks. Without a doubt this does represent the majority of the fishing for trout in Missouri, but there are other opportunities. If you like more solitude and are not in it for a cooler full of trout, the Winter trout fishery in Missouri may be just what you are looking for.

There may be as few who say that this article will have the effect of reducing the very quality that it describes. In other words, that it will encourage more folks to get out when right now those of us who do partake of Missouri’s Winter trout fishing have it essentially to ourselves. Sure, there might be a bit of truth to this. On the other hand, how many hardy souls are willing to stand in ice cold water when it is highly unlikely that you will catch a fish that would even be legal to keep (depending on where you fish). There is a self-limiting factor. Having said this, I believe that as the number of folks who get out in the outdoors goes down, and it steadily is doing this, the number of people willing to stand up for her preservation also goes down. Therefore, I have a vested interest in getting folks fired up for the outdoors!

Let’s get down to the details. First, Missouri Trout Parks are not closed during the Winter. They are closed to catch-and-keep fishing. They remain open to catch-and-release fishing during all other times save a couple of weeks right before the Spring season starts and a couple of weeks right after the season ends at the end of October. If you visit during the catch-and-release season, you will have some company, but very limited. There is not stocking during the Winter and the fish get more educated on how not to get caught, but they can be caught all Winter long. This time of the year, no bait can be used. Make certain to familiarize yourself with the regs before you go.

There are perhaps hundreds of additional miles of water with trout outside of the trout parks in Missouri. The stretch below Montauk State Park on the Current River is one area. There are several good access points downstream from the park just a few miles. Additional trout waters are awaiting you on the North Fork of the White River near West Plains, Missouri. Another often over-looked Missouri trout river is The Eleven Point River. This beautiful stream runs through the Irish Wilderness and is truly a gem.

There are many smaller streams, rivers, and of course Lake Taneycomo. All of these are great options. On the rivers and streams, the waters are split into blue ribbon, red ribbon, and white ribbon sections. These designations dictate the means by which you can fish (bait, flies, etc.) as well as what you can keep. We really suggest visiting MDC.MO.gov to get the details because they change often enough we would not want to give them here and then have them change on you.

Camping on Missouri Public Lands – Conservation Areas

In the state of Missouri there are over 900 properties operated by the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) as “Conservation Areas.” These Conservation Areas (CA’s) can be operated for a variety of purposes. Some are managed as nature preserves, some allow hunting, some allow fishing, some are mainly boat accesses, and some are combinations of all or some of these. If you are considering a camping trip to a CA, it is wise to know what the area is used for primarily, and also to make sure camping is allowed. For example, if you are not camping in an area for hunting purposes and will be camping during the Fall deer firearms season, you might not fully enjoy your stay.

One of the areas we have used that offers a bit of everything is Peck Ranch Conservation area in the Ozarks of Missouri. While it is not representative of all CA’s, it does suggest what some of those that are most amenable to camping have to offer. There are two designated camping areas at Peck. One is designated for campers who will not use generators and one for those who will. This is nice for those tent campers who wish to have peace and solitude without the noisiness of a generator blaring in the background. At the non-generator site there are also pit toilets. Both campgrounds are outfitted with fire rings and picnic tables. This is most certainly an example of a campground where there is much activity associated with deer and turkey hunting seasons. So, if you wish to avoid this, avoid visiting at these times. This unique CA has over 25,000 acres of total area, about half of which is a designated wildlife area and fenced off from the rest. It was once a logging operation and has some unique history as well as geographical features. Summertime is a great time to visit for those who are looking for a camping place away from the crowds.

Another example of a nice CA for camping at the other end of the state (northern Missouri) is Union Ridge just West of Kirksville. There, unlike most CA’s, you can camp adjacent to area parking lots. Additionally, at “Parking Lot N” off of County Road D, there is a campground with similar facilities to those described at Peck Ranch. Again, things can be a bit hectic for non-hunters during deer season, but this area has more to offer than hunting. While not as big as Peck Ranch (around 8,000 acres), it has about 12 total acres of fishing lakes and ponds, including Union Ridge Lake. These lakes have populations of bass, crappie, catfish, and sunfish.

If you are camping at a CA, and you will want a campground, keep in mind that if there is a campground it will offer only “primitive camping” facilities. This means that you will have a fire ring, and perhaps a picnic table and/or outhouse. Having said this, some of these campgrounds are quite well maintained and in absolutely beautiful settings. Since some of these campgrounds are quite small, and there is no reservation system, you might wish to also be prepared to camp outside these areas.

If you choose to camp outside a campground at a CA, assuming this is allowed, keep in mind that you must be 100 yards from the nearest road or parking lot. Also, if you are camping along a stream or river, camp at least 100 feet away. Also, keep in mind that under certain weather conditions flooding or even flash flooding can be a danger.

To find a CA that meets your needs, a bit of research can go a long way. Fortunately, there are two very nice resources to aid you in this process. First, is the MDC Conservation Atlas. This atlas is very helpful in that it gives area descriptions, maps, regulations, an outline of allowable activities, and of course, information on camping. Most of these have downloadable maps and/or brochures with trails, camping areas, and even driving directions to the area. The CA’s in the atlas are searchable by name of the CA, county, or region. This process of switching back and forth from the CA to the atlas can be a bit laborious. You end up doing quite a lot of navigating back and forth between the atlas and the CA pages. The resource below might assist you in narrowing down the possibilities.

The possibilities for camping in Missouri Conservation Areas will greatly expand the pool of camping areas available to the Missouri camper. If you do not want or need the amenities of a “fancy” private campground or one run by another government agency, these areas might be just right for you.

Resolving Medical Liens in Missouri Personal Injury Cases

One important aspect of handling a personal injury claim, and maximizing the financial recovery of the client, lies in negotiating and resolving medical liens. Often times, people who suffer personal injuries due to the negligence of another do not have insurance. Other times, an injured person may have insurance but that insurance has a large deductible or insufficient coverage. Either way, the injured person may face significant medical bills, and collection, long before he or she receives any compensation for his or her injuries.

This ordeal can become overwhelming, especially without the assistant of a personal injury lawyer. In addition to dealing with the pain and suffering of the injury itself, claimants may be faced with lost wages as well as mounting medical bills. The reality is that healthcare providers want to be paid and unsympathetic to the injured person’s predicament. Indeed, providers will often hire a collection company to recover their bills within a few months of treatment (which of course, may affect one’s credit). Moreover, some providers, generally chiropractors, will even go as far as to ask the patient to sign a document that purports to transfer to the provider the right to receive funds from a future personal injury recovery.

In Missouri, an assignment of a personal injury claim is void. According to the recent case of Huey v. Gary Meek, dba Meek Chiropractic (Mo. App. S.D. 2013) the appellate court declared that a chiropractor’s “consensual lien” was void because it violated Missouri’s public policy against assignment of personal injury claims. Accordingly, without the help of a personal injury lawyer who knows the law, injured persons may pay bills they are not legally required to pay.

Further, Missouri has a healthcare lien statute, which is Section 430.225 of the Missouri Revised Statutes. Pursuant to this statute, if the liens of such health practitioners, hospitals, clinics or other institutions exceed fifty percent of the amount due the patient, every health care practitioner, hospital, clinic or other institution giving notice of its lien shall share in up to fifty percent of the net proceeds due the patient, in the proportion that each claim bears to the total amount of all other liens of health care practitioners, hospitals, clinics or other institutions. “Net proceeds”, as used in this section, means the amount remaining after the payment of contractual attorney fees, if any, and other expenses of recovery.

What this means is that the injured party will never have to pay more than fifty percent of the net proceeds for a claim (and that all providers are entitled to only their pro rata share of the total bills). For instance, assume an injured party hires a personal injury lawyer for a 1/3 contingent fee and he wishes to settle his claim for Fifteen Thousand Dollars ($15,000.00), but has medical bills that total ten thousand dollars ($10,000.00). Pursuant to this scenario, assuming there are no costs, the medical provider is only entitled to receive Five Thousand Dollars ($5,000.00). This situation results in 1/3 for the attorney, 1/3 for the provider, and 1/3 for the injured client. Accordingly, without this statute, injured parties would often get zero recovery.

Missouri Expungement Basics: 4 Things to Know About Missouri Expungements

Missouri law permits individuals to expunge, i.e., erase or remove, four kinds of records:

1. MINOR IN POSSESSION (MIP) OF ALCOHOL.

Missouri authorizes the expungement of a conviction for Minor in Possession (MIP) of alcohol so long as certain requirements are met, including being age twenty-two or older when you seek expungement and having been guilty of just one Missouri MIP offense in your lifetime.

2. ALCOHOL-RELATED DRIVING OFFENSE (DWI / OWI).

Missouri code additionally allows the expungement of an individual’s first alcohol-related driving infraction, however, specific requirements must be complied with in order to qualify, including that the conviction occurred a minimum of 10 years ago, the offense was a misdemeanor (as opposed to a felony), and you received no similar convictions during the course of the same ten years. If granted, the judge will order the expungement of all records of your arrest, plea, lawsuit, or conviction.

3. MISDEMEANORS.

Effective July 12, 2012, a brand-new Missouri statute now permits the expungement of certain misdemeanor conviction records. To be eligible, you must have been pronounced guilty of one of the following types of misdemeanor offenses and finished all required probation or sentences at least ten years ago:

–Financial: Issuing a bad check; fraudulently voiding payment on a check; or improper use of a credit or debit card;

–Property Damage: Negligent burning; tampering with a vehicle; damaging property;

–Other: Trespassing; gambling; peace disturbance; and/or public intoxication.

Additionally, a restricted few felony convictions may be expunged if you completed all required probation or incarceration at least 20 years ago, including issuing a bad check; fraudulently stopping payment on a check; and/or fraudulent use of a credit or debit card. To be eligible, you may not have been found guilty of another misdemeanor or felony throughout that ten or twenty year time period.

4. ARREST RECORDS.

Finally, Missouri expungement law permits a record of arrest to be expunged if the arrest did not lead to a conviction and you establish that you were not charged, there was no probable cause for the arrest, and you have no previous or subsequent convictions. It may be difficult to meet each of these requirements, and especially the lack of probable cause factor, due to the fact that it is a pliable standard that varies case by case, making it hard to establish, especially without an attorney.

The Missouri expungement procedure includes verifying your eligibility, drafting legal documents for filing with the court, and a potential court date to determine whether your expungement should be granted. You have a right to represent yourself in Missouri courts, but you should speak to a Missouri expungement lawyer if you have any doubts about your qualification for expungement or the expungement process. Lawyers can bill either a flat fee or by the hour to prepare an expungement. Flat fees for standard Missouri expungement cases are around $750.

Expunging your Missouri record can clean up your criminal record, creating opportunities for better employment, credit rating, education, and housing. But getting an expungement requires getting all the facts and then taking action.

Missouri Child Custody – Custody and Visitation Schedule Rules and Guidelines

Missouri child custody laws are found in the Missouri Revised Statutes in Section 452. These statutes contain the guidelines that lawmakers have developed to help protect the rights of the children and parents involved in a custody situation. Many of the rules concerning child custody affect how the custody and visitation schedule should be made. Parents should think about these rules as they create their schedule so they can be in compliance with the law. Here are some important points from the law that parents need to consider.

1. The child should have frequent, meaningful, and continuing contact with both parents. Section 452 states very clearly that one of the needs the child has it to have a fulfilling relationship with both parents. This is accomplished by the child have frequent, meaningful, and continuing contact with the mother and father. The custody and visitation schedule should reflect this standard, and parents should work together to make sure that this happens. This section also specifies that the parent who encourages the child to have this contact with the other parent is more likely to be granted custody of the child.

2. The relationship of the child with parents, siblings, and other significant persons. The state deems it important (again in Section 452) that the child continue to be able to develop important relationships with parents, siblings and other persons in the child’s life. The custody schedule should be adjusted to fulfill this need. If a child has siblings at one parent’s home, the child should be granted time at that home to be with the siblings. Other significant people can include grandparents, aunts and uncles, good friends, etc. Parents should make the visitation schedule with this in mind.

3. The adjustment of the child to the child’s home, school, and community. This is an important factor that the court considers that affects the best interest of the child. Great care should be taken to accommodate this need in the visitation schedule. The child should be allowed to pursue interests in school and in the community. The custody schedule should not limit the child’s adjustment or place undue stress on the child to adapt to new situations. This issue must be resolved in the schedule.

Tips for Walleye Fishing in Missouri

Missouri has some great walleye fishing options. Walleye may not be the species you envision when you think of fishing in Missouri, but Missouri actually has some of the best walleye fishing opportunities in the country. Both lakes and rivers in Missouri offer excellent walleye fishing. In this article, we’ll tell you about some of the best walleye fishing waters in the state of Missouri.

Stockton Lake may be the best walleye lake in the state of Missouri. Stockton Lake is a relatively small Corp. of Engineers Reservoir, but it is very deep, cool and clear. This makes the lake ideal for walleye fishing. The best walleye fishing occurs around the dam during the summer, and up in the Sac River during the spring, when the walleye spawn. The lake is stocked regularly with walleye, but also sees healthy amounts of natural reproduction. Minnows, worms, and deep diving crankbaits work well.

Bull Shoals is another great walleye lake. Only the northern portion of the lake lies in Missouri, but this area offers some of the best walleye fishing in the lake. The Missouri portion of Bull Shoals Lake is very riverine, and in fact more resembles a large, slow moving river than a reservoir. The area just below Powersite Dam is especially popular, and even offers excellent bank fishing opportunities for walleye, as well as trout and bass. Boat fisherman do very well further down the lake. Jigs, minnows, and worms work very well in Bull Shoals Lake.

The Black River is probably the best walleye stream in the state of Missouri. The Black River below Clearwater Dam is a deep, slow, and clear river in the foothills of the Ozark Mountains. This river is an excellent spawning ground for walleyes, and some very large fish have been caught here over the years. Locals report that the best fishing generally occurs in the cooler months, during fall, winter, and spring. During the summer, the walleye become more lethargic, but can still be caught on live baits, especially at night. Jigs, crankbaits, and worms are the most popular methods for targeting Black River walleye. The river can be waded in some areas, but a canoe or a jon-boat will put a walleye fisherman within range of more walleye.

The Current River is another good walleye stream. This river flows right through the heart of the Ozark Mountains, and is heavily spring-fed. The best walleye fishing is found in the lower reaches of the river, from the town of Van Buren to the Arkansas state line. Fishing methods on the Current River are very similar to the Black.

As you can see, there are numerous walleye fishing opportunities in the state of Missouri. These are just a few of the best options, but there are many other good walleye waters throughout the state of Missouri.

Springfield Missouri Fun Facts

The state of Missouri joined the union in 1821 as the 24th state. Springfield is the states third largest city and is the county seat of Greene County. Here are some fun facts that you may have not heard before about the Springfield area.

  • The highest temperature ever recorded was 113 degrees.
  • The coldest temperature was -17 degrees on a February day.
  • Bob Barker attended High School in Springfield.
  • The area known as North Springfield was once called Moon City.
  • Springfield is sometimes called “The Birthplace of Route 66,” due to its early part with the designation of U.S. Route 66. A sign in Park Central Square was given to the city of Springfield by the Route 66 Association of Missouri for its prominent role in the beginnings of Route 66.
  • Famous politicians from Springfield are John Ashcroft, former U.S. Attorney General, and Roy Blunt, U.S. House Minority Whip.
  • Famous entertainment professionals are Aaron Buerge, “The Bachelor” in 2002, Brad Pitt, actor, Kathleen Turner, actress, and Lou Whitney, musician, record producer.
  • Famous sports figures are Josh Kinney St. Louis Cardinals major league roster, Payne Stewart, professional golfer.
  • Other famous people are Jimmie Angel aviator the discoverer of Angel Falls, highest free-falling waterfall in the world, Janet Kavandi, astronaut, J. Alan Groves, Biblical Hebrew scholar, editor of Groves-Wheeler Hebrew morphology.

The list could go on and on, but these are some fun facts that we hope will get your interest going so as to lure you to this great city and all Springfield has to offer.

Payroll Missouri, Unique Aspects of Missouri Payroll Law and Practice

The Missouri State Agency that oversees the collection and reporting of State income taxes deducted from payroll checks is:

Department of Revenue

Division of Taxation and Collection

Withholding Tax Section

P.O. Box 3375

Jefferson City, MO 65105-3375

(573) 751-5752

http://www.dor.mo.gov/

Missouri requires that you use Missouri form “MO-W4, Employee’s Withholding Allowance Certificate” instead of a Federal W-4 Form for Missouri State Income Tax Withholding.

Not all states allow salary reductions made under Section 125 cafeteria plans or 401(k) to be treated in the same manner as the IRS code allows. In Missouri cafeteria plans are not taxable for income tax calculation; not taxable for unemployment insurance purposes. 401(k) plan deferrals are not taxable for income taxes; taxable for unemployment purposes.

In Missouri supplemental wages are taxed at a 6% flat rate.

You must file your Missouri state W-2s by magnetic media if you are have at least 250 employees and are required to file your federal W-2s by magnetic media.

The Missouri State Unemployment Insurance Agency is:

Division of Employment Security

Unemployment Insurance Department

421 E. Dunklin St., P.O. Box 59

Jefferson City, MO 65104-0059

(573) 751-3215

[http://www.dolir.mo.gov/ls/wagehour/]

The State of Missouri taxable wage base for unemployment purposes is wages up to $8000.00.

Missouri requires Magnetic media reporting of quarterly wage reporting if the employer has at least 250 employees that they are reporting that quarter.

Unemployment records must be retained in Missouri for a minimum period of three years. This information generally includes: name; social security number; dates of hire, rehire and termination; wages by period; payroll pay periods and pay dates; date and circumstances of termination.

The Missouri State Agency charged with enforcing the state wage and hour laws is:

Department of Labor and Industrial Relations

Division of Labor Standards

P.O. Box 449

3315 West Truman Blvd.

Jefferson City, MO 65102-0449

(573) 751-3403

[http://www.dolir.mo.gov/ls/wagehour/]

The minimum wage in Missouri is $5.15 per hour.

The general provision in Missouri concerning paying overtime in a non-FLSA covered employer is one and one half times regular rate after 40-hour week.

Missouri State new hire reporting requirements are that every employer must report every new hire and rehire. The employer must report the federally required elements of:

  • Employee’s name
  • Employee’s address
  • Employee’s social security number
  • Employer’s name
  • Employers address
  • Employer’s Federal Employer Identification Number (EIN)

This information must be reported within 20 days of the hiring or rehiring.

The information can be sent as a W4 or equivalent by mail, fax or electronically.

There is a $25 penalty for a late report and $350 for conspiracy in Missouri.

The Missouri new hire-reporting agency can be reached at 800-585-9234 or 800-859-7999 or on the web at http://www.dss.mo.gov/

Missouri does allow compulsory direct deposit but the employee’s choice of financial institution must meet federal Regulation E regarding choice of financial institutions.

Missouri requires the following information on an employee’s pay stub:

  • Gross and Net Earnings
  • Straight time and overtime pay
  • Hours worked
  • Itemized deductions
  • Total deductions
  • Missouri requires that employee be paid no less often than semimonthly; every 15 days for manufacturers; monthly for FLSA-exempts.

    Missouri requires that the lag time between the end of the pay period and the payment of wages to the employee not exceed sixteen days after pay period; five days for manufacturers.

    Missouri payroll law requires that involuntarily terminated employees must be paid their final pay on the day of discharge or within 7 days if employee requests it by mail.

    There is no provision in Missouri law concerning paying deceased employees.

    Escheat laws in Missouri require that unclaimed wages be paid over to the state after five years.

    The employer is further required in Missouri to keep a record of the wages abandoned and turned over to the state for a period of 5 years.

    Missouri payroll law mandates no more than 50% of minimum wage may be used as a tip credit.

    In the Missouri payroll law there is no provision covering required rest or meal periods.

    There is no provision in Missouri law concerning record retention of wage and hour records therefore it is probably wise to follow FLSA guidelines.

    Missouri statute requires that wage and hour records be kept for a period of not less than three years. These records will normally consist of at least the information required under FLSA.

    The Missouri agency charged with enforcing Child Support Orders and laws is:

    Division of Child Support Enforcement

    Department of Social Services

    P.O. Box 2320

    227 Metro Dr.

    Jefferson City, MO 65102-2320

    (573) 751-4301

    http://www.dss.mo.gov/

    Missouri has the following provisions for child support deductions:

    • When to start Withholding? 2 weeks after mailing.
    • When to send Payment? Within 7 days of Payday.
    • When to send Termination Notice? “Promptly”
    • Maximum Administrative Fee? $6 per month.
    • Withholding Limits? Federal Rules under CCPA.

    Please note that this article is not updated for changes that can and will happen from time to time.