• Springfield, as seen from above the city.

    Goodbye, Springfield.

    So our summer of reporting from the Ozarks is over. We learned a lot. We heard a lot of amazing stories. And we'd like to say, one more time: Thanks, Springfield. You were great to us.

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  • Margaret

    One Woman. One Job. 52 Years.

    Springfield’s health care system has grown by leaps and bounds over the past five decades. It employs thousands of workers across the greater Springfield area. It’s now the hub for medical treatment across the Ozarks. And one woman has been there to see how it's all changed.

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  • Rebecca Stober, left, and Tamara Bellings hold signs of support at Monday's city council meeting.

    The Pride In Springfield, Pt. II.

    Springfield’s LGBT community wants the protection of a nondiscrimination ordinance. If it passes, it'd be a historic moment in Springfield. But it’s a long road. More people want to have their say, to help define this moment. In the meantime, this often marginalized population is happy to have the city’s attention.

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  • Signs outside the Aug. 13 council meeting.

    The Pride In Springfield, Pt. I.

    The community of gay, lesbian, transgendered and bisexual citizens is a minority in Springfield. But these days, they're very vocal. This month, they're among those asking Springfield for protection from discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity. But the road to legal protection hasn't been easy.

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  • Executive Chef Brian LAST NAME and recent Victory Trade School graduate Eric Wallace hang out in the kitchen.

    Starting From Scratch.

    For the past nine years, men from across the country have come to Springfield’s Victory Trade School looking to the culinary arts for a new lease on life. What they’ve found are not only the skills necessary for a promising career, but the confidence they need to stay on a straight path.

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  • The blue dust collectors at the center of an empty O'Sullivan plant in Lamar, Mo.

    The Factory Town That Lost Its Factory.

    In 2007, the largest manufacturer in Lamar, Mo., shut its doors. 700 employees were laid off. Local officials worried about what the future held for this small Missouri town, which had been home to a big factory since the 1950s. But then a strange thing happened: The people of Lamar didn't leave.

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  • The memorial to Tommy "Bo" Ray Bryant located at the top of the Hill.

    The Life, Death and Mourning of Tommy “Bo” Ray Bryant.

    They call it the Hill. It's the place that took Tom. It's the place where, on April 22, 2012, Tommy "Bo" Ray Bryant, 28, was killed — allegedly by an uncle. It's this little property outside of Walnut Grove, Mo., this little rise off of Highway W that haunts a family — and yet remains central to their lives.

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  • Jeff Houghton, left, and Jeff Jenkins, the men behind Springfield's comedy scene.

    The Jeff Show.

    Funny men Jeff Jenkins and Jeff Houghton each came to Springfield 10 years ago, barely knowing a soul. Together, these two men have built up Springfield’s comedy scene from nothing. They've created TV shows and improv theaters. After 10 years in the Ozarks, what happens next for Springfield's leading funny men?

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  • Jerry Jacob moderates a May 2012 debate among GOP hopefuls for Missouri's Senate seat.

    Newsman. Serviceman.

    In 2007, Jerry Jacob left his post as co-anchor at KY3-TV to join the Army as a combat medic. Now he’s back on air, a familiar face in a familiar job trying to find his way in a newly unfamiliar world.

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  • Welcome-to-Cooper

    Laser Powered.

    The Springfield Lasers are one of World TeamTennis' longest-running franchises. How has the team from the league's smallest market stayed in business for 17 years? It's all thanks to a small but dedicated group of businesses, workers and volunteers who make July a big month for tennis in the Ozarks.

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  • A new trail in Republic, Mo., one of Robert's recent undertakings.

    Still Leaving a Trail.

    For the past several years, Robert Crampton, 82, has made the development and maintenance of trails in southwestern Missouri a personal mission. Now, his challenge is making it everyone else’s.

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  • Adam Struble, the new barber of Sparta, Mo.

    A Chair of His Own.

    For 61 years, Virgil Osburn cut hair in Sparta, Mo. After his death in 1999, his famed barber's chair sat empty. Then Adam Struble picked up the shears to continue one of the town’s richest traditions.

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  • Good Samaritan pamphlet.

    Where He’ll Always Be 14.

    Russ Filbeck came to the Good Samaritan Boys Ranch in 1959. He thought he'd run away. Instead, he stayed — and stayed out of trouble. Now, he’s trying to give back to the place that gave him a second chance.

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  • In 1993, Eddie Mahler stole $1.5 million from a British bank. In 2012, he turned up in a town just south of Springfield.

    Fast Eddie’s Last Stop.

    In 1993, Eddie Maher stole $1.5 million from a British armored van. In 2012, he turned up in a town just south of Springfield. This is the story of how one of Britain's most wanted bank robbers became one of the Ozarks' most infamous inhabitants -- and the small Missouri town that got caught in the middle of everything.

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  • Juli and Shawn Matthews, co-owners and founders of Swagbot.

    Juli, Shawn And Their Absolutely Unmistakable Swag.

    Juli and Shawn Matthews run Swagbot, a clothing store that's quickly becoming a hub for culture in Springfield. But for these entrepreneurs, the story of their business is one of trial and error, small victories -- and the friends who've carried them to the brink of something really big.

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  • Donnetta Ghys (right), Ronald McDonald House manager, and Bailey Shaw, associate house manager.

    A Second Home On The Medical Mile.

    When Bobbie Crigler gave birth to her son after only 26 weeks, doctors in West Plains, Mo., told her they couldn't save her newborn. The nearest hospital that could was in Springfield, two hours away. But Bobbie didn't have a place to live. Then she found the home she desperately needed.

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  • Sarah Steelman on stage at the end of the Willard, Mo., debate.

    The Donkey in the Room.

    We sent Stry.us reporter Bari Bates to cover the Missouri GOP Convention, where more than 2,000 Republicans gathered to decide their party’s platform for the upcoming election -- one of the most heated in state history. This is what she saw and heard that weekend.

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  • A man walks through Springfield National Cemetery on Memorial Day.

    ‘Anything That Needs Done.’

    It's days like Memorial Day when they're top of mind, all those veterans and soldiers across America. It's days like this that we think of the people who serve our country -- and the people who serve them.

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