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I’ve never been one to act as though I could predict the future. But the state of the current pandemic really has me throwing my hands up in the air even more than usual.

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I see a lot of posts online thanking this or that workforce, this or that entity, for the effort being put forth during this COVID-19 pandemic. 

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We can’t turn on our televisions without hearing about it, and we can’t walk into stores and see empty shelves without thinking about it – COVID-19, or the coronavirus, is seriously impacting our world.

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I saw a post that said since the year 2000, every professional sports franchise that is – or was – in Missouri has won a championship. The Rams in 2000, the Cardinals in 2006 and 2011, the Royals in 2015, the Blues in 2019 and now the Chiefs in 2020. 

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 I’ve been putting off writing this goodbye-column for days now, not just because I don’t want to write it (but to be honest that has definitely played a role), but because I have so many things I am wanting to say. 

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As the newest addition to the staff of the Branson Tri-Lakes News, I wanted to introduce myself to our readers. I will be interning as a staff writer for the paper this summer and am very excited to start this journey as a journalist. 

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The other day I noticed what looked like little piles of sand on the windowsill above my bathtub. I cleaned them up, but the next day they were back, along with some little worker bugs moving around them. I knew in an instant I had termites. I wasn’t pleased, but I wasn’t apoplectic either.

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What a long and dreary winter we had here in the Tri-Lakes Area! Thankfully, the days are getting longer and warmer, the birds are chirping and things are finally starting to bloom; Spring, or “selling season,” as I like to call it, is once again upon us!

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If you’re familiar with the phrase “for all of us here in the News Room, I’m Tim Church,” then you’re already acquainted to my name or hopefully a few of my stories. 

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This is the last edition of the Branson Tri-Lakes News for 2018. It’s been a great year in a lot of ways, and – being that this is the news business – a tragic year, too.

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It’s that time of year, folks. If you are reading this, and you haven’t finished your Christmas shopping yet, maybe you should get up and go to the store – but only after thoroughly reading your newspaper, of course – and make sure you shop local as much as you can.

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If you voted in Taney or Stone county on Nov. 6, pat yourself on the back. You took part in one of the greatest exercises of freedom in history.

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Whether they’re trying to sell us a new insurance plan or congratulating us on winning a free cruise, if you have a cell phone, you’re bound to have experienced some sort of spam call. Well, I got one such call, but it set itself apart from all the rest. You see, this caller stated I had a w…

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It’s been a couple of weeks since Missourians went to the polls to decide primary candidates, as well as a few other issues.

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On Tuesday, voters will make their decisions in the primary election. A few candidates will be victorious, but most will be disappointed.

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The Central Ozark Conference, in which Branson has played for decades, and which Reeds Spring and Hollister joined in later years, is gone.

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Opioid abuse-related talks appear to be everywhere. It pops up in advertisements before YouTube videos play, it is at the forefront of many political candidates’ platform and it seems to be an ever-growing issue, especially in the Tri-Lakes Area.

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Unless you’ve been taking a break from the ol’ Branson Tri-Lakes News over the last few weeks, you already know “The Janet Ellis Benefit Spectacular: She Lost Her Hair, But Not Her Flair” show was held last week at Dick Clark’s American Bandstand Theater.

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Hello! My name is Emily Cole. I’m a new face in the newsroom here at the Branson Tri-Lakes News. I’m going to be working here this summer as an intern, writing stories and exploring Branson. I’m a senior journalism and mass media student at Missouri State University in Springfield.