Sunday, December 17, 2017

Nancy Hughes: Are You Going With Me?

“The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged."
Deuteronomy 31:8 (NIV)



I had a surgery scheduled to remove a small fatty tumor on the back of my neck. The doctor said that it was a minor procedure and he could do it in his office – no problem. He explained exactly what he was going to do and what he expected to find.

And yet, because it was on my neck, I was more than a little concerned. Yes, he’s a great doctor and no, he would not have said he could do the removal in his office if he could not. But I still had considerable apprehension at what was going to take place.

Oh, I prayed about the surgery but my prayers went something like this: "Lord, I am really nervous about the surgery on my neck. What if there is a problem? What if something gets cut that isn't supposed to? What if I can't lie still like the doctor wants me to?" and on and on and on. Can you relate?

And then one day, after a month of approaching the Lord repeatedly with my “what if” sessions, I think He felt He needed to reassure me. My Bible fell open to the Old Testament and I found myself reading Deuteronomy 31:8. “The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged." 
 
It was at that very moment that the Lord whispered to my heart. “I am not going to leave you at the door of the doctor’s office and say ‘See you when you are done.’ I will never leave you – remember? I will walk through the door first, be there through the surgery, and walk out through that same door with you. Just as I have always done. Always.”

I know. I know. How many hundreds or even thousands of times in the past had the Lord gone before me, making a path, and then stayed right by my side. And yet, here I was, facing the unknown and thinking that just maybe, on THIS journey, Jesus would decide not to go. 
 
So let’s be honest: what “door” are you entering, afraid that the Lord will not go with you? Maybe it’s divorce or financial problems or a prodigal child. Or it could be health issues or broken friendships or a new job in a different state.

Whatever the situation, rest assured that just as Moses shared with the Israelites that the Lord would not only be with them but would lead the way, He will be with each of us, no matter what we face or what “door” we may be going through. Always.

May I share with you that Jesus did just as He promised. He did. He stayed with me and kept me calm and at peace. I felt His presence during the procedure and thanked Him when it was over.
No matter what “door” you may be facing today, thank the Lord for not only going with you, but leading the way. “Are you going with me, Lord?” Always.

Father, Thank You for Your faithfulness to stay right by my side, no matter what I have faced in the past or will face in the future. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.

R.A.P. it up . . .

Reflect

· Have you ever been faced with a “door” that you were truly afraid to go through?

· Did you realize that the Lord was at your side and would never leave you?

Application

· Journal some of the “’doors” that you have gone through over the past few years.

· Beside each one, write a sentence of praise for how the Lord stayed with you through each and every one and never left your side.

Power Verses

Deuteronomy 31:8 (NIV) “The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged."

Exodus 33:14 (NIV) “The Lord replied, “My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.”

Joshua 1:9 (NIV) "Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” 

Psalm 94:14 (NIV) “For the Lord will not reject his people; he will never forsake his inheritance.”
John 14:18 (NIV) “I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.”

(For more of Nancy Hughes' writing and information about her books, check out her blog, Encouragement From the War Room.)

David Hargroder: Joplin area impacted by ongoing meth epidemic

By DAVID G. HARGRODER

In the past several months I have both observed and been told about the growing problem of the transient type having an effect on both residential neighborhoods as well as local small businesses. It has been brought to my attention that many of these “transient seeming people” are, in fact, involved with the trafficking of methamphetamine throughout the city.

Missouri has long been regarded as the methamphetamine capital of the United States, and while national statistics have been showing a State wide decrease in manufacturing, the same can’t be said for all parts of the State.

It doesn’t take a genius to notice the growing epidemic that continues to plague both the citizens and small business of the greater Joplin area. It merely takes 15 minutes of sitting in your vehicle around the 7th and Sergeant area to notice the exponential growth of middle-aged individuals on foot with backpacks loitering in various parking lots.

While it is safe to assume that not every middle-aged individual walking with a backpack is involved in the meth trade, the mere presence of such individuals seems to be contributing to both a diminishing feeling of security by residences in their homes as well as creating an unfortunate detriment to thriving small businesses in the area.

Anyone familiar with the service industry in Joplin knows that bars and restaurants on 7th street from around 7th and Main to 7th and Maiden Lane is where you can find some of the city's most popular establishments.

Unfortunately, it is many of these establishments that are being directly effected by this ongoing problem. So, that then poses the question, can anything be done to get this problem under control? The answer is not a simple one to say the least. Sure, citizens could ban together and begin battling loitering in an attempt to curb foot traffic in the area(s), but that would likely only accomplish a kick of the proverbial bucket down the road.

Joplin is a town that knows the meaning of perseverance more so than most, and has even been globally recognized for having citizens that go above and beyond for their fellow man in times of need.

From the users that destroy their own lives to those effected by the crime associated with using, many people, neighborhoods, and small businesses currently need help.

This is not to encourage vigilantism, rather to simply encourage the public to be more aware and observant of its surroundings.

If something looks suspicious, report it. If someone is in your neighborhood or around your business, the presence of which gives you an inherent bad feeling, report it.

Just remember, the police can only do so much, and investigations that actually lead to search and arrest warrants can take months to be signed off on by a judge.

At the end of the day, no resident should feel scared in their own neighborhood and no small business should suffer because of suspicious criminal activity. If you see something that you think looks suspicious, it’s likely for good reason. And don’t forget, any and and all crimes can be reported anonymously.

(David Hargroder is a Webb City resident with degrees in political science and law from Louisiana universities. He will be taking the Missouri Bar exam in February.)
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Kim Frencken: Using call backs

Call backs have swept the education world and now are being used in classrooms across the U.S., if not the world. Walk down any hall and you will hear echoes of "Yes, Yes." Eager little high pitched voices eagerly call back to their teacher's voice and wait in breathless anticipation for the next instruction. If the instructions come quickly enough they actually hear them. If not. Well, the call back is used again. And, once again, the students answer their teacher and give her about 5 seconds of their time.

Let me just say that call backs may have their merits, but, in my opinion, they do not encourage listening. In fact, they do they opposite. Students who are trained to only listen when they hear the call back initiative will only listen when they 'have' to. Students should be expected to listen anytime they hear their teacher's voice. Anytime there is instruction. Anytime that learning is taking place.

Yes, students need to learn cooperative learning. And they need to explore and they need to solve problems. But, they can't accomplish these tasks or even begin if they do not have instruction and leadership. They need to know what the objective is. In the beginning, they need a model. In these instances call backs may be defeating the very purpose for which they were intended.

Call backs are considered to be an educational break-through. A revolutionary idea. The latest genius invention to bring our kids into the 21st century. We have taken time tested teaching methods and given them a new name (usually an acronym) and held numerous conferences and professional development sessions and tell the world that we're doing something new. Are these really improvements? Or just something new to make us feel like we're moving forward?

I wonder what the committee-that-creates-educational-trends will come up with to move us in to the 22nd century??

I'll be moving into 2018. See you next year! Have a very Merry Christmas!

(For more of Kim Frencken's writing and informational about her educational products, check out her blog, Chocolate For the Teacher.)

Saturday, December 16, 2017

Links provided for top Turner Report/Inside Joplin posts for the week

Two efforts to bring entertainment downtown feature prominently in this week's top 10 list.

One was an X-rated performance by a man at 4th and Main that resulted in his arrest on sexual misconduct charges. The Joplin Police Department incident report was the number two post on Inside Joplin this week. Since the report did not name the man, even more people went to the list of police arrests to find out who the 53-year-old Joplin man was.

The other effort to bring entertainment downtown was a bit more highbrow as Leggett & Platt Chairman Emeritus Harry Cornell (pictured) donated $5 million for the Joplin Arts and Entertainment Center, a post that placed fourth this week on the Turner Report.

For the third straight week, a columnist broke into the top 10 and it was the third different one as Cheyla Navarre hit number 10 with her post.

The murder of three-year-old Jayda Kyle dominated Turner Report posts for the second straight week with the preview story of her accused killer's arraignment and then the post on the arraignment ranking at numbers one and three respectively.

The most unusual post on the list was the 2014 post on the Joplin R-8 Board of Education's decision to pay $100,000 to replace the seats in the new Joplin High School gymnasium because they were the wrong color. I posted a Facebook link on the third anniversary of that decision and apparently, plenty of people wanted to relive the C. J. Huff glory days.

The Turner Report

1. Arraignment set for accused killer of three-year-old Jayda Kyle

2. Joplin R-8 to pay $100,000 to correct JHS seat colors

3. Arraignment held for accused killer of three-year-old Jayda Kyle, not guilty plea entered

4. Leggett & Platt chairman emeritus donates $5 million to Joplin Arts and Entertainment Center

5. FBI searching for information on Dr. Rosenschein's involvement with minors during years he practiced in Joplin

6. Preliminary hearing scheduled for long time Joplin piano teacher charged with sexual misconduct involving a child

7. Carthage woman who ripped off nursing home, financially abused Medicaid patient sentenced to 10 years in prison

8. Stacey Garvilla: Thanks for an amazing five-and-a-half years

9. Joplin R-8 Board hires two teachers, 18 classified employees, accepts resignation

10. Cheyla Burkett: What kind of Christmas gift should you get for your mail carrier?

Inside Joplin

1. Joplin Police Department Arrests December 14-15

2. Joplin man arrested for sexual misconduct after taking things into his own hands

3. Jasper County Dissolutions of Marriage Petitions

4. Joplin Police: Is this bag of meth yours?

5. Joplin man arrested after report of gunshots at 1808 W. 28th

6. Jasper County Marriage Licenses

7. Newton County Dissolution of Marriage Petitions

8. Stolen vehicle recovered from pit south of Mindenmines

9. Driver arrested after crash for obstruction charge, tells JPD "Big Man" was really the one driving the car

10. Joplin Police Department Weekend Arrests

Inside Joplin Obituaries

1. Kevin Russell

2. Brinley Beauchamp

3. Jordan Cantrell

4. Danny Russow

5. Tammy Stout

6. Linda Boyer

7. Brenda Harvey

8. Mike Qualls

9. Lynn Berry

10. Enid Blevins

Billy Long: Telehealth services offer numerous benefits

(From Seventh District Congressman Billy Long)

A large portion of Americans live beyond the reach of their nearest medical provider. It’s a reality that makes common ailments such as ear infections and strep throat a challenge to treat. One solution to this problem is called telehealth – a multidimensional set of health care services delivered through a range of telecommunications technologies. Though a fairly new concept, telehealth is making a significant impact in rural communities across the country, especially in Missouri.

In 2016, there were 1.2 million virtual doctor visits in the U.S. In the same year, 72 percent of hospitals and 52 percent of physician groups provided some type of telehealth service. This service is helping close the health care gap between rural and urban communities. Telehealth provides remote access to medical services for patients in rural communities who would otherwise have to travel long distances to receive care. In rural communities, this is a big benefit to citizens.

A recent 2017 report shows that 50 percent of rural hospitals in Missouri use telehealth services. Of these hospitals, 80 percent said that it helps retain patients. Almost half of the counties in Missouri’s 7th Congressional District don’t have hospitals: Christian, Stone, Webster and McDonald. This lack of access increases the pressure on primary care physicians and increases the use of telehealth services by hospitals outside these counties to reach their patients.

But telehealth’s applications extend further than traditional health care facilities. Last May I wrote about the pilot program at the Monett School District made possible by the Missouri Foundation for Health. The goal of this program is to decrease chronic absenteeism. The program also assists parents who can now avoid taking a day off work due to a child’s illness. In the first quarter alone more than 60 telemedicine visits took place with 45 percent of those visits resulting in students being treated in school. All visits are at no cost to the student, regardless of insurance.

Monett isn’t the only school district benefiting from this program. Several school districts in the southwest Missouri area are participating in this program, including Reeds Spring, Forsyth, Mountain Grove, Cassville and Ozark. Each school is a great illustration of the wide-ranging benefits. For example, in Cassville parents not only save time and money, but have the option to utilize the program themselves at a reduced cost. Due to the increased need for health care in the area, the program was expanded to cover students of all ages, and not just elementary students.

There are numerous benefits of telehealth services. Programs like the six schools in southwest Missouri are perfect examples of this. As the use of telehealth services continues to grow, there is still more work to be done, such as expanding rural broadband to help increase access to better technologies in rural communities. Your zip code shouldn’t determine the type of health care you receive.

Friday, December 15, 2017

Hartzler: This tax reform bill brings Missourians one step closer to relief

(From Fourth District Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler)

Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler (MO-04) today made the following statement on the final tax bill that was released today:

“The release of this final tax reform bill brings hard-working Missouri families one step closer to relief. I look forward to voting on the tax package next week and getting it to President Trump’s desk before Christmas, so that Americans will see their paychecks increase and more jobs come back from overseas.”

Ed Emery: I know somebody who would make a good education commissioner

Sen. Ed Emery, R-Lamar, a longtime enemy of public education, has already given a name to Gov. Eric Greitens of someone he thinks would be an excellent replacement for fired Education Commissioner Margie Vandeven.

The Kansas City Star reports Greitens is pushing to have applications for a new commissioner closed by January 8, which would not allow the board, which does not meet until after that date, to be able to develop criteria for the selection. State law requires that the board selects the commissioner, not the governor:

Missouri Sen. Ed Emery, a Republican from Lamar, said Wednesday that he’d passed the governor the name of a person he thought would fit well as the new education commissioner. But he hadn’t heard back from the governor on that name and said he would not disclose it.

Emery said he had not confirmed information about the governor’s involvement in the process at this point. But he said at a meeting he attended this week with superintendents from around the state that he understood Greitens wanted to “accelerate” the hiring of a new commissioner to get it done by January.

As noted in earlier Turner Report posts, Greitens received more than $700,000 in campaign contributions from charter school proponents, including $100,000 from members of Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos' family.

Stacey Garvilla: Thanks for an amazing five-and-a-half years

Stacey Garvilla, who has been doing the weather at KSNF for the past five and a half years signed off during tonight's 10 p.m. newscast, but she will not be off the air for long.

In her final comments to KSN viewers, Garvilla said she begins work at the Colorado Springs, Colorado ABC affiliate Monday, though she did not know when she will go on the air.

"It has been an amazing ride," Garvilla said, thanking her co-workers, "all the viewers and all my amazing friends here for an amazing five and a half years."

FBI searching for information on Dr. Rosenschein's involvement with minors during years he practiced in Joplin

FBI investigators are looking for anyone who has information about former Joplin pediatric surgeon Guy Rosenschein's contact with minors during the time he was practicing in northwest Arkansas and that could be a concern for people in the Joplin area, since his Joplin practice was open during that same time.

It appears the FBI is attempting to find out if Rosenschein, who faces federal child pornography charges in New Mexico was involved in far worse crimes than those he is accused of committing.

According to an FBI news release, Rosenschein was a pediatric surgeon and pedriac urologist in northwest Arkansas between 2001 and 2012.

Rosenschein was scheduled to go to trial this month on the child pornography charges, but was given a continuance to continue preparing for a possible plea agreement, according to court documents.

The following news release was issued:

The Albuquerque Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is seeking information from individuals who may have had contact with Dr. Guy Rosenschein in Arkansas.

Rosenschein, 64, of Albuquerque, N.M., worked in northwest Arkansas as a pediatric surgeon and pediatric urologist from approximately 2001 to 2012. Anyone with information regarding Rosenschein’s contact with minors should contact the Albuquerque Office of the FBI at (505) 889-1300.

On November 9, 2016, a federal criminal complaint alleged that Rosenschein possessed and distributed child pornography. According to the complaint, the investigation into Rosenschein was initiated in July 2016, when the Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Office (BCSO) identified a computer with an IP address, later determined to be registered to Rosenschein, allegedly used to distribute child pornography.

The complaint alleges that on November 8, 2016, a search warrant was executed at Rosenschein’s residence, and BCSO officers and detectives found that Rosenschein possessed a thumb drive containing child pornography. A federal grand jury later returned a three-count indictment, alleging that Dr. Rosenschein distributed child pornography on July 31 and August 8, 2016, and possessed a thumb drive containing child pornography.

The public is reminded that charges in an indictment are merely allegations and defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.


In court documents filed in November in U. S. District Court for New Mexico, the attorney for Guy Rosenschein spelled out the need for the delay, which was subsequently approved by the judge, but left some wiggle room in case Rosenschein changes his mind about a guilty plea.

Rosenschein has hired a computer forensic expert to review the government's evidence, according to the continuance motion, with the results of that investigation to determine which direction Rosenschein goes.

The charges against Rosenscheim were spelled out in the government's motion opposing his release on bond:

On July 21, 2016, and again on August 8, 2016, the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) received a cybertip from “chatstep.com” indicating that a user identifying himself as “Carlo” had sent images of child pornography to another user. The IP address associated with the user “Carlo” originated from the Albuquerque area.

NCMEC forwarded this information to the New Mexico Attorney General’s Office Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force, and Bernalillo County Sherriff’s Office (BCSO) Detective Kyle Hartsock initiated a criminal investigation.

Detective Hartsock first reviewed the distributed files and confirmed that the images contained child pornography. Detective Hartsock observed that the image distributed on July 31, 2016, is a color image depicting a prepubescent boy laying on his stomach on a bed with a distinct patterned bedspread and pink/purple blanket. (The next two paragraphs describe photos of an adult and the boy engaged in anal sex.)

Detective Hartsock obtained a subpoena for the internet service provider associated with the IP address and learned that the account was registered to Defendant, a pediatric surgeon employed by Presbyterian Hospital.

On November 7, 2016, Detective Hartsock obtained a state search warrant for Defendant’s residence, which was executed the following day. During the execution of the search warrant, law enforcement located a 16-year-old boy (John Doe) inside Defendant’s bed wearing only underwear.

Defendant falsely identified John Doe as his nephew, but law enforcement later determined that John Doe was a former patient of Defendant’s.

The search of Defendant’s residence revealed numerous electronic devices that were seized for further analysis. The forensic analysis on most of the seized devices remains pending. Several of the devices are encrypted and will require further analysis in order to gain access. During the search law enforcement located a thumb drive attached to a keychain found in the ignition of Defendant’s vehicle, which was found to contain over one thousand images and videos of child pornography. This thumb drive is the subject of Count 3 of the indictment.

Defendant was first interviewed by Detective Kyle Hartsock during the execution of the search warrant and was later interviewed by FBI SA Marcus McCaskill. During his first interview, Defendant stated that John Doe was a former patient who stays with him from time to time. Defendant stated he owns two planes and a helicopter and has flown John Doe to several locations throughout the United States.

During his interview with SA McCaskill, Defendant admitted that he is sexually attracted to underage males “on occasion,” but has not had sexual contact with a minor since approximately 1994 in Paris.

When asked about chatstep.com, Defendant admitted that he has likely used the name “Carlo” in the past. Although he stated that he usually uses the name “Steve.” Defendant accepted responsibility for the thumb drive and stated that he obtained it in Europe several years ago. He stated that he had not looked at the thumb drive in approximately seven years, however the forensic data indicates that the files were accessed as recently as May 2016.

The complete forensic analysis of the seized thumb drive indicates that the device contained approximately 1,042 images and 78 videos of suspected child pornography. The initial file comparison from NCMEC indicates that Defendant possessed 41 files of previously identified children. Is it clear from the files contained on the thumb drive that the focus of the collection is prepubescent and pubescent minor males.

Following the execution of the first search warrant, federal law enforcement officers learned that Defendant’s home contained a “secret room” located inside the residence. This room was not discovered during the execution of the first search warrant.

Pursuant to a federal search warrant, agents re-entered Defendant’s residence and gained access to the room where they located two safes. Inside one of the safes, agents located five printed photographs depicting a dark-complected, possibly foreign-born, minor male child who was approximately 11 to 15 years of age based on body and pubic development.

Four of the photographs depicted the child nude in the shower. The time stamp on the back of the photo noted “Avril 94” (April 1994). Agents also located flight logs detailing an entry for travel to the Koh Kong province of Cambodia in March 1994.

An Apple iPhone3G was seized from Defendant’s office inside his residence. Defendant provided BCSO officials with the password to access this phone. The forensic analysis of the phone revealed a Yahoo Messenger account with the user name “cambodia1994.”

Hundreds of Yahoo chat messages were recovered from the phone, most of which focused on sexually explicit conversation. “Cambodia1994” primarily identified himself as “Steve” and claimed to be a teenage male living in the United States. “Steve” engaged in sexually explicit conversations with multiple users, often presenting himself as a minor working in a “club” and being forced to have sexual contact with adult males. “Steve” describes violent sexual experiences and how he is increasingly enjoying the contact.

(The next portions of the motion featured verbatim transcripts of the conversations.)

Law enforcement also seized an iPhone6 from Defendant’s residence. The forensic analysis of this phone revealed approximately one dozen photographs that appear to have been taken in a hospital or medical setting.

Investigators learned that it is against Presbyterian Hospital policy for physicians to take medical photographs on their personal phones. Several of the photographs depict close up views of genitalia.

Preliminary hearing scheduled for long time Joplin piano teacher charged with sexual misconduct involving a child

A 10 a.m. Thursday, December 21 preliminary hearing is scheduled for a long time Joplin piano teacher facing a felony charge of sexual misconduct with a child.

According to the probable cause statement, the alleged sexual misconduct took place between September 2005 and September 2009 while Bobby Durham, 54, was giving piano lessons at his Joplin home to a girl who was aged nine to 13 during those years.

Durham allegedly made the girl lie down on the floor and then performed a solo sexual act over her.