Best of 417 2012

Our 13th annual guide to the Best Of everything in 417-land!

DISCLAIMER: The information in this article was fact checked and accurate at press time, but 417 Magazine cannot guarantee its accuracy indefinitely.

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Best Branson Entertainer
Yakov Smirnoff
Andy Williams
Shoji Tabuchi

Best Male Solo Musician
Andy Williams
Art Bentley
Lyal Strickland

Best Female Solo Musician
Candy Coburn
Cindy Woolf
Lee Ellen Starks

Best Male TV Personality
Ethan Forhetz / KY3
Joe Daues/ KSPR
Steve Grant / KY3

Best Female TV Personality
Lisa Rose / KY3
Maria Neider / KY3
Sara Forhetz / KY3

Best Meteorologist
Brandon Beck / KY3
Ted Keller / KOLR 10
Ron Hearst / KY3

Best Sportscaster
Ned Reynolds / KY3
Dan Lucy / KOLR 10
Joe Hickman / KY3

Best Local Band
Human Anyway
Big Smith
Members Only

Best Bartender
Josh Lumos / Houlihan’s South
Kristen Gray / Metropolitan Grill
Travis Fisher / Finnegan’s Wake

Best Server
Kari Zrubek / Metropolitan Grill
Dirk Myers / Texas Land & Cattle
and Macaroni Grill
Keegan Pierce / Grant’s American

Fotsch & McClain The Morning Buzz / Power 96.5
Kevin & Liz Lounge / Alice 95.5
Woody & Janet / KGBX 105.9

Do you wake up with Fotsch and McClain every morning? No wonder you voted them best radio team!

Best All-Things-Local Family
The Millsaps
Curtis Millsap and his wife, Sarah, operate Millsap Farms CSA, a community-supported farm that offers 417-landers the opportunity to share in locally grown veggies and even work on the farm to help produce the harvest. And Millsap Farms also sells locally grown veggies and locally sourced meat, eggs and cheese.

Then there is Curtis’s brother, Adam, and his wife, Melissa, who own Urban Roots Farm. Urban Roots strives to provide local food to people of all income levels and to educate our community on growing natural food locally.

And then there’s Curtis and Adam’s sister, Amanda Millsap Owen, and her husband Ryan Owen. The two own and operate Homegrown Food. Homegrown Food has a store that sells food and products sourced from local farmers, growers and gardeners, and the store even offers delivery!

The Millsaps are all working to provide 417-landers with locally sourced food, and we couldn’t be more excited about it.

Best Sweet-Voiced Sibling Duo
The Kilgore Sisters
This crooning acoustic duo (who are actually sisters, by the way) are some of our favorite voices in 417-land. You can see them at local events, weddings and parties (including 417 Magazine’s Best Lawyers party last November). Alea and Alexa Kilgore were even in the running for The Voice last year, and we aren’t surprised that their skills are gaining attention.

Best Expat Blogger
Jeff Houghton
About a year ago, 417-lander Jeff Houghton (whom you might have known from the Skinny Improv and his on-stage talk show The Mystery Hour) left southwest Missouri in his rearview mirror as he set off to Los Angeles to pursue acting. Throughout his journey, he blogged online at We laughed hysterically when he described the different types of plastic surgery atrocities he’d see in L.A. We’d go “Awwww” when he wrote about how hard he and his wife worked to communicate from afar. And we rooted for him with gusto when he relayed his navigation through the trials and struggles of chasing his acting dream. Now, Houghton’s back in 417-land, and we can only hope he’ll keep his charmingly insightful blog going for our reading pleasure.

Best Facial Hair on a Butcher (a.k.a. Friendliest Butcher)
Greg Leafty
Have you ever stopped at the Price Cutter Plus at Battlefield and Highway 65 in Springfield and made your way back to the butcher counter? There’s a staffer there who we have grown to love, both for his creative facial hair (well-waxed and perfectly curled handlebar mustache, anyone?) and his super-friendly personality. Our favorite interaction with him: His take on the sushi selection. We won’t give away his punch line, but pop in at lunchtime for some pre-rolled sushi and see if he gives you any tips. It’s charming, indeed.

Best Local Oscar Connection (We Predict)
Brad Pitt
Okay, okay, okay… Maybe we’re jumping the gun a little bit. As of press time, Brad Pitt hasn’t been nominated for a 2012 Academy Award yet. Nominations are announced January 24, which is after this magazine goes to the printer. But we can’t help it! We just want this for our local Hollywood connection, so badly. He deserves a Best Actor nod after a top-notch performance in Moneyball, and his name has been showing up on various Oscar-prediction lists. We can’t see the future, and we’re not putting money on it or anything, but wouldn’t a 2012 Oscar for Brad Pitt be so great?

Best Homebuilding Hero
Sam Clifton
He is the mayor of Nixa. And he’s a homebuilder and owner of Millstone Custom Homes. And as if that’s not enough to keep a man busy, Sam Clifton also headed up the Extreme Makeover Home Edition project to build seven homes in seven days in Joplin to help repair the city after last May’s devastating tornado. Did you read that? Seven homes. In seven (seven!) days. This guy (and the volunteers and companies who helped him do it) deserves a hug from all of 417-land.

Gavyn Sky
We profiled painter Gavyn Sky in September 2010 as an up-and-coming artist to watch. But since then, Sky’s art has been everywhere. Everywhere. We aren’t even exaggerating. Local stores like Obelisk Home regularly sell his pieces. Homes that we scout for potential home profiles regularly have Sky’s work on their walls. All of a sudden, this man’s bold and eye-catching work has exploded the local art scene. And we totally called it.

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