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Parson makes two local court appointments

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A pair of judge appointments for Christian County made by Gov. Mike Parson are slated to be sworn in this week, government officials say.

Christian County Circuit Clerk Barb Stillings said Nixa residents Jessica Kruse and Steven Ward will take the oath of office Thursday.

Kruse is set to fill the 38th Judicial Circuit judge vacancy created when Jennifer Growcock exited the position in early December. Growcock was appointed by Parson to serve as a judge for the Missouri Court of Appeals, Southern District, according to past Springfield Business Journal reporting.

Kruse, who received her Juris Doctor from the University of Tulsa College of Law, was elected in 2018 to serve as Christian County Associate Circuit Judge. She previously was a co-owner of Ozarks Elder Law LLC.

Ward most recently served as an attorney with Oklahoma-based law firm McAfee & Taft, which has an office in Springfield. He earned his Juris Doctor from the University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Law, according to a news release.

In his new role, Ward will fill the associate circuit judge position Kruse is vacating. Stillings said Judge Laura Johnson is maintaining her position as presiding judge of the 38th Judicial Circuit, while Doug Bacon remains the county’s other associate circuit judge.

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