Bison in Prairie State Park. – State Parks photo

Join the Guided Bison Saunter

Prairie State Park will host a Guided Bison Saunter at 1 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 3, at the Regal Tallgrass Prairie Nature Center.

“What is a ‘saunter’?” you say? According to Merriam-Webster, “saunter” means “to walk about in an idle or leisurely manner : STROLL” (that is, to walk at a slower pace to take in all the surroundings). That sounds better than a hike. Come out and get that “prairie feeling” from centuries past, and while you are at it, get some exercise. Prairie State Park (roughly 30 miles north of Webb City off Highway 43) encompasses almost 4,000 acres of tallgrass prairie, which once covered 33% of Missouri. Now, less than half of 1% remains.

Winter is here, and the bison are prepared for its biting wind and cold temperatures. We will brave the conditions to see the bison in their natural habitat. Be prepared for a 2-mile hike over uneven terrain. Bringing water, snacks, a hat and wearing sturdy shoes is recommended. Binoculars will be useful in looking at bison as well as other wildlife that we may see. Dress for the weather – the winds can be rather nasty.

Due to the unique and rare diversity of life preserved at Prairie State Park, pets are not allowed on park trails, EXCEPT for Path of the Earth People and Path of the Sky People trails. Bison graze freely in the park, and this regulation protects both you and your pet. You are welcome to bring your pet to the park’s campground and picnic area, but you must follow Missouri State Parks’ pet rules. This applies to all types of pets except service animals assisting people with disabilities.

Missouri State Parks presents this free and limits participation to 25. To register (required), call (417) 843-6711.

Registration is required, and the event is limited to 25 participants. To register, call 417-843-6711.

‘All Quiet on the Western Front’ auditions

Auditions for “All Quiet on the Western Front” by Robert Waterhouse, based on the novel by Erick Maria Remarque, will be held at 7 p.m. Monday and Tuesday, Feb. 5 – 6, at Joplin Little Theatre.

Director Tegan Whited is looking for a cast of five to seven, with doubling and flexible casting, in approximate age groups 15 – 30. One character is an older male in his early 40s. Actors (male or female) auditioning for the main character must prepare a 1- to 2- minute monologue. Auditions will consist of cold readings from the script of the play.

In October 1918, a month before the end of World War I, Paul Baumer is shot and killed by a sniper on the western front. He is the last of his classmates to fall in a war that will destroy many in his generation and disillusion those who remain. “All Quiet on the Western Front” chronicles Paul’s observations of life and death in the mud and trenches and the impossibility of returning to civilian life after living in hell. Paul, Muller, Kat and Kropp are all brought briefly to life in this adaptation of one of the great anti-war classics of the 20th Century.

This play is for mature audiences. There will be adult language, flashing lights and loud noises.

Performance dates are March 20 – 24.

For more information, call the Joplin Little Theatre office at (417) 623-03638 during office hours, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Thursday.

Interested in hosting or becoming an exchange student?

ASSE International Student Exchange Programs (ASSE), a Non-Profit, Public Benefit Organization, is inviting local families to discover the many rewards of hosting a foreign exchange student.

ASSE students come from more than 50 countries: France, Denmark, Spain, Italy, Ukraine, Japan, Australia, to name a few. They are between the ages of 15 and 18 years, and they are enthusiastic and excited to experience American culture, family life, school, sports, etc. They also love to share their own culture and language with their host families, who welcome the students into their home, not as a guest, but as a family member, giving everyone involved a rich cultural experience. Host families may be single parents, couples and single persons.

The exchange students have pocket money for personal expenses and full health, accident and liability insurance. ASSE students are carefully selected based upon academics and personality, and host families choose their student from a wide variety of backgrounds, countries and personal interests.

ASSE also offers qualified American students the opportunity to learn another language and culture by spending a school year, semester or a summer with a host family in another country.

Those interested in hosting an exchange student or becoming an exchange student abroad, should call Adriane at (800) 473-0696, visit or send an email to to request more information or start the application process.