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The Junior League of Springfield is expected to open the doors of Isabel’s House, the Crisis Nursery of the Ozarks, by the end of May. Winter storms delayed construction for the $1.6 million facility being built in the 2700 block of West Bennett Street.

Dana Carroll, administrator of early childhood services at Community Partnership of the Ozarks, said a crisis nursery will reduce southwest Missouri’s child abuse and neglect rates — a region with consistently high rates of documented child abuse.

Southwest Missouri placed 12,440 calls to the state’s child abuse and neglect hotline in 2005 from a total of 54,108 calls logged statewide. It was the highest regional call volume, exceeding St. Louis’ 11,614 and Kansas City’s 8,680. [News-Leader]