Thursday, October 30, 2014

National Weather Service video- Freeze warning Friday night, heavy rainfall next week

Mother of Jewish Center victim supports death penalty for Frazier Glenn Miller

Kansas City schools fighting Amendment 3

Reader: No Child Left Alive marked beginning of the end for C. J. Huff

A reader sent the following comment in response to one earlier today on the "Joplin Globe Stands Up For Public" post. It was sent in three blocks since it was too long for the comment section, but I have put it all together here.

The response followed a comment that once again used a theme that seems to be making the rounds more often these days,- that I was a rogue teacher who needed to be fired and I may be writing some things that are true, but until they come from an "unbiased" source, they cannot be believed.

The reader does not mention another part of the comment, one, which along with the above was published yesterday on the blog of frequent Joplin Globe guest columnist Anson Burlingame- that my decision not to appeal my firing somehow proves that C. J. Huff was right about me.

For anyone who knows how the process works, the review board only checks to see if the school board follows proper procedure; it does not look at the evidence.

I should also mention that my window to seek legal action against the school district is still open and it is still very much a possibility.

(Note: I divided this into paragraphs to make it easier to read.)

I have wanted to write this ever since Mr. Turner's hearing. I wish I had the courage to put my name to it, but as long as we have the vindictive man who is in charge of this school district, I do not want to take a chance on someone retaliating against my children.

Missouri GOP: Chris Koster has embarrassed Missouri

(From the Missouri Republican Party)

The Missouri Republican Party, issued the following statement today in response to the New York Times article surrounding allegations Chris Koster dropped investigations for campaign contributions:

“This investigation by the New York Times into the inappropriate and unethical actions of the Attorney General highlights one fact Missourians need to know – Chris Koster does not have the best interest of Missourians in mind," said Matt Wills, Executive Director of the Missouri Republican Party.

“Koster’s decisions are guided by nothing more than political convenience. I am not sure if it is incompetence or just gross misconduct by the Attorney General but one thing is sure, Missourians deserve the truth.”

“Just like Jay Nixon, Chris Koster has embarrassed Missouri and all but disqualified himself as candidate for governor in 2016. If true, his actions are an egregious violation of the trust of those who elected him as well as his oath of office.”

Southwest Missouri Democrats to offer rides to the polls

(From Southwest Missouri Democrats)

Southwest Missouri Democrats will offer rides to the polls on Tuesday, November 4, 2014 for the election. We want to encourage everyone to vote. Lack of transportation should never keep voters from the polls.

Voters in any party should feel free to call for a ride. We will not ask about the voter’s party affiliation. We would also welcome volunteers from any party to help us with this effort. We have reached out to the local Republicans to see if they would like to join the effort.

In Jasper County for a ride contact: Michael Jarrett at or(417)597-3327, or Krista Stark at or 417-437-8443 . In Newton Country for a ride contact: Genevieve at 417-850-0656.

We will have volunteers standing by to answer the phone and to drive folks to their polling location. We want to encourage ALL eligible voters to turn out and vote!

New York Times follow-up notes Koster connections with drug giant

Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster is under attack for the second day straight day in the New York Times.

After an article in the Wednesday edition indicated Koster had cut off a probe into the makers of Five Hour Energy following a meeting with a lobbyist at a cocktail party, today's edition includes information indicating that Koster shortchanged taxpayers on a settlement with drug giant Pfizer after receiving $20,000 in campaign contributions:

Mr. Koster’s office also concluded settlement negotiations in an unrelated consumer fraud case with the pharmaceutical giant Pfizer last year, days after receiving an invitation to be the guest speaker at a breakfast hosted by a Pfizer political action committee, which donated more than $20,000 to his election campaigns — more than to any other attorney general in the United States over the past five years.

That settlement, related to allegations of unlawful marketing of two drugs, brought Missouri hundreds of thousands of dollars less than other similar-size states received, The Times investigation showed.

Mr. Jones, who is leaving office in January and is considering a run for statewide office in 2016, said he knows his call for a special committee may lead to charges that his actions are motivated by politics. But he said he has the authority and responsibility to appoint the panel.

Mr. Koster, in an earlier statement to The Times, said his office accepted a smaller settlement payment from Pfizer because of a mistake made by a staff lawyer that prevented Missouri from joining the so-called multistate investigation of the company.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Civil rights groups attack Obama record on education

The Obama Administration has a dismal record on education, no two ways about it.

When you consider that he passed over qualified educators to put a man who has never taught a class, Arne Duncan, in the position of Secretary of Education, and has kept him in that position since the beginning of his presidency, you have one strike against the president.

Then take into account that Duncan has essentially bribed states into accepting Common Core State Standards, which had almost no input from classroom teachers.

Finally, the horrendous push toward privatizing education and criticizing and punishing teachers through the use of standardized tests.

ACLU: You're being watched

(From the American Civil Liberties Union of Missouri)

In the spirit of Halloween, here’s a scary thought — our government is snooping on innocent people without their knowledge or permission. But, with the proper guidelines, we can take advantage of advanced technology and still maintain our civil liberties.

Read our new report, Caught in the Web of Mass Surveillance, and then sign the pledge to support limits on the information collected about you.

The product of a two-year investigation, Caught in the Web of Mass Surveillance reveals that a number of St. Louis entities maintain a hodgepodge of surveillance cameras that are governed by a variety of internal policies or, in many cases, no policies at all. And, what’s even more frightening is that St. Louis is looking to expand its surveillance capacity with a Real-Time Intelligence Center.

Caught in the Web of Mass Surveillance provides the necessary context for St. Louis city residents and government officials, in particular, to engage in a meaningful debate on how to responsibly enjoy the benefits of technological advancements while protecting our civil liberties.

Although the study was done in St. Louis, the principles can be applied to other cities throughout Missouri. We’ve shared the report with key Senators and Representatives who are interested in protecting privacy. We've also created a list of recommendations.

If you agree there should be limits on the information that government and corporations can collect on us, please sign our ACLU Action Pledge.

Trial date set for Russell family lawsuit against City of Joplin

A February 8, 2016, trial date has been scheduled for the lawsuit filed by Kevin, Julissa, and Brant Rursell against the city of Joplin and police officers Austin Wolf and Tyler Christiansen for events that took place following the March 17, 2013, suicide of Brooke Russell.

Brooke Russell, a Joplin High School student, was the daughter of Kevin and Julissa Russell and the sister of Brant Russell.

According to the schedule filed today in U. S. District Court for the Western District of Missouri, both sides will have until June 30, 2015, to complete discovery, July 31, 2015, for dispositive motions, and the pre-trial conference is scheduled for January 14, 2016.

The Russells filed an 11-count, amended lawsuit against the City of Joplin and police officers Austin Wolf and Tyler Christiansen July 8, citing the officers for malicious prosecution, false arrest, using excessive force, and negligence and citing the city of Joplin for its policies, practices, and procedures.

Kevin Russell recently wrote on Facebook that he has consented to an interview with the ABC news magazine 20/20 about the alleged mistreatment that took place after they discovered Brooke, the victim of a self-inflicted gunshot wound, in a Joplin park.

More information about the lawsuit can be found at this link.