Sunday, February 18, 2018

Kimberling City Republican: I've done everything I can; the PSC is going to let Missouri American Water raise its rates

(This should come as no surprise, but according to Rep. Don Phillips, R-Kimberling City, Missouri American Water's request for approval of water increase rates is a done deal, something which will also affect us in Joplin. Phillips' weekly update is printed below.)

Crane in Danger of Losing Its License Bureau
One of my concerns this past week was the announcement from the Dept.  of Revenue of closing the license bureau in Crane.  We received numerous emails and phone calls from constituents in the Crane area that are rightfully upset about that decision.  I spoke personally with the Governor’s liaison on Monday evening and emphasized the efficiency, convenience and dependence from the community of the license bureau. He was going to meet with the Director of D.O.R. and discuss the issue. I also signed a letter, drafted by Senator David Sater (also signed by Rep. Scott Fitzpatrick), that addresses what the loss of the long-standing license bureau would mean to the citizens of Crane and the surrounding area. The letter was sent to the Director of D.O.R., Mr. Joel Walters, and it expresses our dislike of the decision and asked that it be reversed!

The letter was also sent out as a press release. We are doing all we can. I hope it makes a difference. Citizens can go to the D.O.R. website and send an email online.  Go to: dor.mo.govand scroll down to the bottom left, in the blue area. The more the merrier; the squeaky wheel gets the grease!

Another Local Issue
I also dealt with several complaints from residents of Stonebridge Village in Branson West, related to a rate increase in fees for water and sewer. Stonebridge Village’s water system is owned by American Water. There has already been a public hearing held in Branson. I’ve been in contact with a lobbyist from American Water and we had a meeting in my office. Things seem to be improved but the rate hikes will most likely be approved by the Missouri Public Service Commission. Note:  There’s already a process in place for dealing with increases in fees for water and sewer in Missouri.  I’m satisfied I’ve done all I can at this point.

Legislation
Several bills continue to be passed out of the House and sent to the Senate. Here’s one of the more significant bills passed this week:

HB 1409 relating to unemployment compensation, passed by a vote of 96-53. This bill reduces the amount of unemployment based on the current unemployment rate. For instance, if the unemployment rate is 9% or higher, the benefit is 20 weeks. It follows a moving scale of reduction based on the rate, with the lowest being 13 weeks of unemployment benefits if the state average is below 6%. Missouri closed 2017 with an overall unemployment rate of 3.5%.  Our Tri-Lakes area, with seasonal employment, fluctuates dramatically during January, February and March and then levels out.  

My Legislation
HB 1355 relating to retired police officers returning to work during emergencies, is ready for debate on the house floor. It’s awaiting a place on the calendar.
HB 1356 relating to fees associated with the serving of civil papers, is awaiting a hearing in the Judiciary Committee.
HB 1713 relating to adoptee birth certificates and HB 1714, relating to adoption records, both are to be voted out of committee this week.
HB 1715 passed out of committee on Monday and will now go to the Rules Committee.
HB 2181 relating to yielding to other equipment at railroad crossings, passed out of the Transportation Committee on Wednesday and will go to the Rules Committee.


Saturday, February 17, 2018

Neosho Junior High revelations, Jayda Kyle case top Turner Report posts for the week

Posts involving the Neosho Junior High School project take up three of the top 10 posts in the Turner Report this week, including the top post.

Thanks to everyone who has been sending me information about the Neosho School District. I ask that those who are considering sending me any documents, e-mails or information to make sure that you use an e-mail account that is not connected to the school district. As always, I will protect my sources just as I have done for the past 41 years.

This week's list also includes a number of stories published earlier including posts about Wallace Bajjali and Mark Rohr that I posted on the Inside Joplin Facebook and my own personal Facebook page as part of my occasional Turner Report Time Machine series.

The top Inside Joplin post this week was published Monday, February 12 and listed school cancellations, but I screwed up the original headline and wrote Monday, February 11 before a couple of readers let me know and I changed it.

I felt bad until I bought a copy of the Sunday Joplin Globe a day late and almost did not buy it when I read the date on the front page and said Sunday, February 9 instead of Sunday, February 11. I checked the inside pages to make sure and those had the right date so I went ahead and picked up a copy.

That's not to say that I should not be more careful, but I made me feel a little better to know I was not the only one who makes mistakes.

For those of you who have not subscribed to the Turner Report or made a contribution, you can use the PayPal buttons below the links or send your subscription or contribution to Randy Turner, 2306 E. 8th, Apt. G, Joplin, MO 64801. Thanks.

The Turner Report

1. Neosho superintendent signed non-disparagement contract agreed to $150,000 "donation" from architectural firm

2. My thoughts on the Jayda Kyle murder, Neosho R-5 Junior High investigation and top posts for the week

3. Trial date set for Joplin doctor charged with felony statutory rape, sodomy

4. Court document indicates Neosho R-5 School District, Decker settled former substitute teacher's lawsuit

5. Josh Hawley: I have offered up Missouri to host President Trump's military parade

6. Reporter/Carl Junction Councilwoman threatens Jayda's Beat founder, says Vaden guilty, McPherson not involved 

7. Master developer's ex-wife- You're not getting out of alimony, David

8. Mark Rohr: I am compiling information on extensive corruption in Joplin

9. State investigators examining discrepancies, lack of transparency in Neosho Junior High building project

10. Turner Report reaches 11 million visitors

Inside Joplin

1. School closings for Monday, February 12

2. Joplin man arrested following armed robbery of Zip's Convenience Store on South Connecticut

3. Women involved in head-on crash on 43 last week dies at Joplin hospital, charges may be filed

4. Joplin Police Department Arrests February 14-16

5. Jasper County Sheriff's Office Arrests February 13-14

6. Jasper County Dissolution of Marriage Petitions

7. Joplin Police Department Weekend Arrests

8. Neosho man injured in accident near Seneca

9. Joplin Police Department Arrests February 13-14

10. Newton County Dissolution of Marriage Petitions

Inside Joplin Obituaries

1. Kristine McCulley

2. Mandy Caruthers

3. Vicky Myers

4. Brandi Werneburg

5. Cheryl Houston

6. Danny Montgomery

7. Ryder Potts

8. Shawna Rainwater

9. Rose Mary Goerke

10. Ralph Goerke

***
Payment options

Court document indicates Neosho R-5 School District, Decker settled former substitute teacher's lawsuit

A settlement has apparently been reached in a lawsuit filed by a former Neosho R-5 substitute teacher against the school district, Superintendent Dan Decker, Penmac Staffing Services and Nancy Kenney of Penmac.

Dee-Anna Marcoux's lawsuit claimed she was fired after saying in two classes that she did not support the district's bond issue to build a new junior high school. The lawsuit had been scheduled to go to trial September 10.

A document filed Friday in U. S. District Court for the Western District of Missouri provides a joint stipulation of dismissal with prejudice, meaning the case cannot be refiled. That indicates all sides have reached an agreement.

The document does not mention any amount for the settlement, but says all sides will be responsible for paying their own costs and attorney fees.

In her lawsuit, which was filed in February 2017, Marcoux says she had only answered students who questioned her about whether she supported the bond issue and that she told them she did not, but they would have to make up their own minds.

During that same time period, the petition says, district teachers and staff were wearing yellow t-shirts that said, "Building Neosho's Future- It's Time," and that a student sent an e-mail to all students using the district server saying, "It has been a fun run trying to get yes votes," and thanking students who supported the bond issue.

After that, the petition claims, Decker called her into his office and accused her of insubordination and of telling students "not to vote for the bond issue."

It was not long after that she was removed from Neosho schools' substitute list and her employer, Penmac Staffing Services, removed her from the automated system, AESOP, used by school districts, including Neosho, to staff substitute teachers.

Marcoux claims her First Amendment right to freedom of speech was violated, that she suffered lost wages and emotional distress.

Trial date delay request made by former North Middle School teacher on child pornography, sexual exploitation of a minor charges

The federal public defender appointed to represent former North Middle School reading teacher on child pornography and sexual exploitation of a minor charges filed a motion this week asking that her trial be delayed to allow him more time to prepare her case.

Amanda Schweitzer, 38, Joplin, is scheduled to go to trial next month but is asking that the trial be delayed until at least July.

Ian A. Lewis, Schweitzer's lawyer, said he needed more time for discovery, "potential motions to suppress" and to evaluate the evidence.

In addition to her federal charges, Schweitzer has been charged with felony statutory rape in Jasper County and kidnapping, statutory rape and statutory sodomy charges in Newton County.

Previous posts

Court document: Former North Middle School teacher told 13-year-old he was hot and she wanted him

Department of Justice issues official news release on former North Middle School reading teacher's child pornography indictment

Federal grand jury indicts former Joplin R-8 teacher for sexual exploitation of a minor, transmitting obscene material

New lawsuit against Joplin R-8 claims North Middle School teacher involved in sexual misconduct with three children on school grounds

Mother's claim in lawsuit: North Middle School teacher groomed my son and had sex with him

Court document: Former North Middle School teacher beaten in jail while awaiting trial on felony statutory rape charge

Newton County files kidnapping, rape, sodomy charges against North Middle School teacher

North Middle School teacher behind bars on statutory rape charge

Joplin R-8 Board accepts 15 resignations, iuncluding Doshier and North teacher facing kidnapping, rape charges

Trial date scheduled for Joplin doctor charged with felony statutory rape, sodomy

A Tuesday, August 21 trial date has been scheduled in Jasper County Circuit Court for a Joplin doctor charged with felony statutory rape and statutory sodomy.

Dr. Jeremy Goins, 35, allegedly committed the crimes with a 16-year-old girl between February 1, 2016 and February 28, 2017.

According to the probable cause affidavit, Goins "began touching her above and under her clothes" in late February or early March 2016. "Jeremy would also rub the juvenile's back and kiss her stomach. Jeremy would also rub his penis on the juvenile's butt, while both were wearing clothes."

The affidavit alleges the abuse grew even worse. relating incidents in which Goins had both oral sex and intercourse with the girl.

The trial is expected to last four days. Judge Dean Dankelson will preside.

Friday, February 16, 2018

Billy Long: Congress working on improvements to 9-1-1

(From Seventh District Congressman Billy Long)

In 1957, frustrated by the lack of a single emergency telephone number, emergency responders came together in hopes of establishing a single emergency number. A little over 10 years later, the first 9-1-1 call was made in Haleyville, Alabama. February 16, 1968, marked a new age in public safety, and saved countless lives. However, it wasn’t until 1999 when the 9-1-1 emergency number was officially signed into law, thanks to the Wireless Communications and Public Safety Act.

Congress recently passed two bills that help advance 9-1-1 services nationwide, H.R. 582, the Kari’s Law Act, and S. 96, the Improving Rural Call Quality and Reliability Act. Kari’s Law ensures anyone who dials 9-1-1 would reach emergency personnel even if the phone typically requires that user to dial “9” to get an outside line. Many phones in hotels, offices and even schools don’t reach emergency personnel when a user dials 9-1-1 because the person failed to dial “9” first. The Improving Rural Call Quality and Reliability Act would require the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to set call completion standards to avoid calls in rural areas from being dropped or rerouted incorrectly.

Though more and more people have access to this service, issues still remain. Natural disasters, such as the 2011 Joplin tornado, is a perfect example of this. Recently, FCC Chairman Ajit Pai visited an emergency call center in Joplin and during that visit staff at the call center made clear that communications was the biggest issue following the EF5 tornado. First responders in Joplin, Jasper County and Newton County all use different communication systems, making it nearly impossible to share information and calls during an emergency. One way to solve this is by making sure all three places have the same system, however, due to lack of funding, that has been a challenge.

As we work towards decreasing issues with the current 9-1-1 system, we must also continue to modernize to keep up with the changing forms of communication. Currently, 20 states have adopted what is referred to as the Next Generation 9-1-1 (NG911). This new system not only makes calls more efficient, it also allows people to send voice messages, photos, videos and text messages to the 9-1-1 system. Individuals can do this from any wired, wireless or Internet Protocol-based device. Though cost is an issue, several pieces of legislation over the years have made it easier for states to adopt NG911 by allowing them to apply for grants that help pay for new systems as well as training.

This is an issue that has been a priority on both sides of the political aisle. Both S. 96 and H.R. 582 were passed with overwhelming bipartisan support. As discussions to improve our 9-1-1 systems continue, I look forward to working with my colleagues to hit these challenges head-on. Lives depend on it.

McCaskill: Our children deserve much more than our thoughts and prayers

(From Sen. Claire McCaskill)

My heart broke when I heard the news out of Florida on Wednesday.

I'm devastated for the families that lost loved ones. I'm furious that 17 more children and educators were slaughtered in one of the very places they should've felt safest. And I'm terrified that tomorrow I'll turn on the news and see that yet another shooting has taken place in yet another school hallway.

Our children deserve so much more than our thoughts and prayers.

If folks in Washington are serious about stopping senseless gun violence, we need to act.

There are a whole lot of gun safety measures the Senate has struggled with that the vast majority of Americans, myself included, fully support. We need to strengthen background checks. We need to close the gun show loophole so private sales of firearms require a background check. We need to ban bump stocks, which make weapons virtually automatic. We need to pass "no fly, no buy," so suspected terrorists can't purchase guns.

We owe it to every child and teacher we lost on Wednesday to pour our hearts into passing the kind of legislation that would make our country a safer place. I am going to do everything in my power to get it done, and I know a majority of Americans are with me on this kind of common sense legislation.

Turner Report reaches 11 million visitors

I overlooked another milestone for the Turner Report.

Sometime a few days ago, this blog, which was created in October 2003, reached visitor number 11 million and has already gone almost 100,000 over that number.

Number 10 million was achieved on November 21 meaning the Turner Report has had more than one million visitors in less than three months.

Thanks to those of you who have kept reading this blog and the Inside Joplin blogs for your continued support.

Graves: Trump's infrastructure plan will enable us to build a stronger America

(From Sixth District Congressman Sam Graves)

I hear from North Missouri residents on a regular basis, and I see firsthand the countless infrastructure issues facing our community: closed bridges, roads with no shoulders, and terrible internet. America’s infrastructure is in disrepair, and it’s long past time we start building again.

Earlier this week, President Trump’s infrastructure proposal was released and with it, an opportunity to rebuild our crumbling infrastructure and solve many of these pressing issues in our backyard.

Rebuilding our infrastructure is clearly a bipartisan issue. As a member of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, I’ve already been working on what a comprehensive infrastructure bill should look like. No new or existing program is going to be the silver bullet that fixes everything, but coupling the Presidents ideas with improvements to current federal transportation programs will make a meaningful impact.

An integral piece of the administration’s proposal will be to address the current federal permitting process. We can no longer afford to let the federal process delay projects and drive up prices, which ultimately hurts workers, commuters, and our economy. President Trump understands this. He has been building large projects his entire life, giving him firsthand knowledge of just how unnecessary and costly the process can be. American workers built the Empire State Building in just 1 year — it can now take 10 years to get approval to build a highway. That is unacceptable and we plan to fix that.

Additionally, I want to empower States and localities to invest in the projects they want, without being burdened by the Federal Government’s red tape and bureaucracy which impede creativity, add costs, and slow down the process. We must provide local leaders with new opportunities to work in tandem with private enterprises. The ultimate goal is to have the federal government make smarter and more efficient investments in infrastructure.

Moreover, it was a welcome sight to learn about the President’s emphasis on our rural communities. This has brought much-needed attention to a part of our country that has been overlooked for far too long. Investment in rural infrastructure from roads and bridges to broadband will go a long way in improving commerce and quality of life for North Missourians.

An efficient transportation network is vital to our economic future and we are now presented with a great opportunity to build for future generations. Our country faces many challenges and this blueprint sets us on a path to address them. I look forward to working with President Trump and my colleagues in Congress to improve the infrastructure of today and build for the infrastructure of tomorrow.

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Complaints, petition on odors to be presented to Joplin City Council Tuesday night

JOPLIN CITY COUNCIL AGENDA
Tuesday, February 20, 2018
6:00 P.M., Council Chambers


1. Call To Order

Invocation
Pledge of Allegiance of the United States of America
2.

Roll Call

3.

Presentations

4.

Finalization Of Consent Agenda

5.

Reports And Communications

1.

Quarterly Update From Rob O’Brian, President Of Joplin Area Chamber Of Commerce

6.

Citizen Requests And Petitions

1.

Tom Rogers, 3517 Hackberry Lane, Joplin MO, Would Like To Address Council Regarding Odors In The City And Surrounding Suburbs. Feedback To Be Provided Via Petition From Residents And City Visitors.

7.

Public Hearings

8.

Consent Agenda

1.

February 5, 2018 City Council Meeting Minutes

2.

COUNCIL BILL NO. 2018-251

AN ORDINANCE amending Ordinance No. 2004-256, passed by the Council of the City of Joplin, Missouri, November 15, 2004, bremoving from District R-and including in DistricR-3 propertadescribed below and locateat 1112 E. Second Street, City of Joplin, Jasper CountyMissouri.
Documents:
  1. CB2018-251.PDF
3.

COUNCIL BILL NO. 2018-404

AN ORDINANCE approving an Agreement between the City of Joplin, Missouri, and Rosin Preservation, LLC; authorizing the City Manager or his designee to execute same on behalf of the City.
Documents:
  1. CB2018-404.PDF
9.

Resolutions

10.

Ordinances - Emergency

1.

COUNCIL BILL NO. 2018-018

AN ORDINANCE approving a Real Estate Exchange Agreement by and between the City of Joplin, Missouri, a Municipal Corporation, and the State of Missouri Office of Administration Division of Facilities Management, Design, and Construction, dealing generally with the transfer of property situated near Memorial Hall; authorizing the City Manager to execute said Real Estate Exchange Agreement by and on behalf of the City of Joplin, Missouri; and containing an emergency clause.
2.

COUNCIL BILL NO. 2018-108

AN ORDINANCE      approving the City of Joplin to enter into an agreement with Emery Sapp & Sons Inc. for the construction of the Surface Project 4003, in the amount of Two Million, One Hundred Three Thousand, One Hundred Eighty-Three and 95/100 Dollars ($2,103,183.95); and authorizing the City Manager or his designee to execute the same by and on behalf of the City of Joplin; and containing an emergency clause.

3.

COUNCIL BILL NO. 2018-109

AN ORDINANCE     approving the City of Joplin to enter into an agreement with Jeff Asbell Excavating & Trucking, Inc. for the construction of the Storm project #19, Mohaska Water Quality Improvements, in the amount of Two Hundred Sixty-Four Thousand Nine Hundred Three and 85/100 dollars $264,903.85; and authorizing the City Manager or his designee to execute the same by and on behalf of the City of Joplin; and containing an emergency clause.
4.

COUNCIL BILL 2018-406

AN ORDINANCE authorizing the City of Joplin to enter into an Agreement with the Area Agency on Aging, Region X, to provide furniture, fixtures and equipment for the Senior Center in an amount not to exceed Two hundred thousand dollars ($200,000) and authorizing the City Manager or his designee to execute said Agreement; and containing an emergency clause.
5.

COUNCIL BILL NO. 2018-502

AN ORDINANCE amending the Annual Budget of the City of Joplin for the Fiscal Year 2016-2017 as adopted by Ordinance 2016-177 on October 17, 2016, to adjust appropriations and containing an emergency clause.
6.

COUNCIL BILL NO. 2018-503

AN ORDINANCE amending the Annual Budget of the City of Joplin for the Fiscal Year 2017-2018 as adopted by Ordinance 2017-167 on October 16, 2017, to adjust appropriations and containing an emergency clause.
11.

Ordinances - First Reading

1.

COUNCIL BILL NO 2018-405

AN ORDINANCE approving an Agreement between the City of Joplin, Missouri, and Economic Security Corporation of Southwest Area that pertains to 2017 HOME funds; authorizing the City Manager or his designee to execute same on behalf of the City.
2.

COUNCIL BILL NO. 2018-600

AN ORDINANCE: Approving the job descriptions for Concessions Coordinator, Athletic Coordinator and Golf Lead Cashier and the placement of the positions within the Salary Administration Plan for the City of Joplin.
3.

COUNCIL BILL NO. 2018-601

AN ORDINANCE authorizing the City of Joplin to enter into an agreement with Joplin Little League for the purpose of leasing Landreth Park baseball fields, concession areas, and parking lots in exchange for annual rent in the amount of Five Hundred and 00/100 Dollars ($500.00); and authorizing the City Manager to execute the same by and on behalf of the City of Joplin.
4.

COUNCIL BILL NO. 2018-602

AN ORDINANCE to enable the City of Joplin, Missouri, to join Show Me PACE, pursuant to Sections §67.2800 to §67.2835, RSMo., the “Property Assessment Clean Energy Act,” and stating the terms under which the City of Joplin will conduct activities as a member of such district.
12.

Ordinances - Second Reading And Third Reading

13.

Unfinished Business

14.

New Business

1.

Discussion Of Use Tax Committee

2.

Boards - Commissions: Appointments - Reappointments

3.

News From The Public Information Officer, Lynn Onstot