Friday, September 17, 2021

Jasper, Newton County health care organizations plan regional assessment

(From the Jasper and Newton Counties Community Health Collaborative)

A variety of health care organizations have come together to better understand the health status, behaviors and needs of the populations they serve. The Jasper and Newton Counties Community Health Collaborative, working with partners across the region, issued a Regional Health Assessment in 2019 to evaluate the health of our community and set a shared vision for action.

This group is now looking to update that assessment for 2022 and need your help.

Partners involved with this effort are asking for public feedback on local healthcare needs and experiences in the survey linked below.


Questions are simple and are available in English and Spanish.

The group aims to use this systematic, data-driven assessment to inform decisions and guide efforts to improve community health and wellness.

Local Partners leading the work include Freeman Health System, Jasper County Health Department, Joplin Health Department, and Mercy Hospital Joplin. The Springfield-Greene County Health Department has been instrumental in the organization of the project.

The resulting Regional Health Assessment will allow decision-makers to have a more holistic and up-to-date picture with which to strategically address community health concerns.

For more information, contact: Ryan Talken, Director—Joplin City Health Department at (417) 623-6122 or Tony Moehr, Administrator—Jasper County Health Department at (417) 358-0480.

Billy Long: We need to keep standing up for life

(From Seventh District Congressman Billy Long)

Life begins at conception. This is not an opinion but a biological fact. 

We know that a heartbeat can be detected at 6 weeks as a fetus develops in the womb. Not long after that, the fetus can feel pain. 

State legislatures across the country have been trying for years to protect the innocent unborn at the earliest stages possible by passing bills banning abortion after a heartbeat can be detected. Until recently, these laws have been struck down by the courts, but that all changed a few weeks ago.

On May 19, 2021, Texas Governor Greg Abbott signed SB 8, the Texas Heartbeat Act, into law. Like many before it, this law bans abortion after a fetal heartbeat can be detected, but there is one major change from the others. While other bills have allowed a state to criminally charge defendants who perform illegal abortions, this one leaves it to the public at large. SB 8 set up civil enforcement for the law, meaning that anyone can file a lawsuit against abortion providers for performing an abortion after the heartbeat is detected. A successful lawsuit could force the provider to pay $10,000 for each violation.

On September 1, 2021, the United States Supreme Court refused to strike down the law and allowed it to go into effect. The Court’s decision was based on the change in enforcement. While the ruling is encouraging, this isn’t the last time we will hear about this issue in the high court. In an unprecedented politicization of the Department of Justice, Attorney General Merrick Garland has promised to take legal action against the state of Texas.

Lawsuits against the Texas Heartbeat Act and other pro-life bills aren’t the only things Democrats are doing to attack the unborn. Their $3.5 trillion spending package contains an array of pro-abortion provisions. Their spending package mandates that insurance companies in the Obamacare exchanges provide abortion coverage to individuals and families. This means that Planned Parenthood and other abortion providers would be reimbursed for some abortion procedures. Additionally, the Hyde Amendment, which prevents taxpayer dollars from going to abortion providers, is non-existent in their spending bill, which means taxpayer funds will be used for abortion-related services. The Hyde Amendment has been bipartisan policy for over 40 years. To show just how radical this change is, all but two House Democrats voted in favor of last year’s funding bill that included the Hyde Amendment. Now, Republicans are labeled as radicals for wanting to maintain Hyde Amendment protections.

While the ruling on the Texas Heartbeat Act is a small victory, the unborn continue to be attacked by Democrats and far-left radicals. We are working in Congress to slow down the progress of the Democrat’s reckless spending bill, restore the Hyde Amendment, and remove anti-life provisions that have been inserted by Democrat members of Congress.

Thursday, September 16, 2021

Christian County reports four COVID-19 deaths, 116 pediatric cases this week

(From the Christian County Health Department)

The Christian County Health Department is sad to report 4 new COVID-19 related deaths in the county.

The first was a 69-year-old Caucasian male, unvaccinated with underlying health conditions, the second was a 44-year-old Hispanic male, unvaccinated, with no underlying health conditions, the third was an 84-year-old Caucasian female, unvaccinated, with underlying health conditions and the fourth was an 80-year-old Caucasian male, unvaccinated, with underlying health conditions. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the friends and family we have lost. 

We strongly encourage those of you in the community who have not yet been vaccinated to please consider getting your COVID-19 vaccine. 

Statistics show that those who have been vaccinated are 3.5 times less likely to get the virus, 8 times less likely to get sick, and 25 times less likely to die from COVID-19. The Christian County Health Department continues to offer Moderna, Pfizer, and Johnson & Johnson vaccines on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 7:45 AM – 4:15 PM.
Total Cases: 9,672
Increase since September 9, 2021: 439
• Approximate # of breakthrough cases: 48 out of 439 (11%)
• Of the 439 new cases this week:
o Pediatric Cases – 116 (26%)
o Caucasian – 233 (53%)
o African American – 101 (23%)
o Other – 19 (4%)
o Unknown – 86 (20%)
Active Cases: 726
Ages 0-21: 241
Ages 22-59: 395
Ages 60-84: 85
Ages 85+: 5
Recovered Cases: 8,828
Deaths: 118
Total Vaccines Given: 29,070
Moderna 1st Dose: 14,649
Moderna 2nd Dose: 13,346
Moderna 3rd Dose: 58
Johnson & Johnson: 892
Pfizer: 125

Former Neosho teacher: I hope my story leads to systemic changes everywhere

The controversy surrounding John Wallis' resignation as a speech and drama teacher at Neosho Junior High School continued today with Wallis stoking the fire in an op-ed column in Wednesday's Kansas City Star.

 Wallis resigned less than a month into his contract to teach in the Neosho R-5 School District for the 2021-2022 school year after district officials ordered him not to talk about his sexual orientation during his classes.

In a column titled "The Missouri school district where I used to teach targeted me simply for being gay," Wallis wrote about his departure from his teaching job.


Never did I imagine this would be the way things would end with the Neosho School District. I spent my entire life attending the various schools in the district and graduated from there in 2017. Since my junior year of high school, I had vowed to return and teach in the community that I had grown to love. Sure, we have our strong disagreements on a variety of issues, but I didn’t think a classroom of acceptance for all students would become the issue that would lead to my departure.

Wallis said his treatment by district officials had "left an emotional and mental scar on me," and " I can only hope that my story encourages others to share their experiences and that it leads to systemic changes everywhere."

Agenda posted for Carthage R-9 Board of Education meeting


Joplin reports three COVID-19 deaths, including 22-year-old male

(From the Joplin Health Department)

The Joplin Health Department is sad to report the deaths of three Joplin residents with coronavirus being a significant condition contributing to the death. This announcement brings the total count to 168 deaths in Joplin. The residents who passed include two males, ages 72 and 22; and one female, 59 years of age.

City statistics are listed on the COVID-19 dashboard at . The dashboard is a collaborative project of the Joplin Health Department and University of Missouri Extension Office’s “All Things Missouri”. 

Please note additional area and state statistics are listed on the Missouri Department of Health COVID-19 dashboard . As Joplin Health Department continues to work with residents in our community, they remind everyone of the importance in taking self-care actions to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

If you are fully vaccinated, it is recommended you wear a face mask in public indoor settings due to the current transmission rate in this area. Additionally, wearing a mask or physically distancing may also be required by federal, state, local, tribal, or territorial laws, rules, and regulations, including local business and workplace guidance.

If you haven’t been vaccinated yet, you are encouraged to talk to your health care provider and find a vaccine. COVID-19 vaccines are effective at protecting you from getting sick. Information about the Covid vaccine and locations can be found on the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services website. Information about the City’s Health Department’s vaccination clinics is also available from the Health Department at 417-623-6122.

If you have a condition or are taking medications that weaken your immune system, you may NOT be fully protected even if you are fully vaccinated. Talk to your healthcare provider. Even after vaccination, you may need to continue taking all precautions, including social distancing and wearing a face mask in public.

The public is reminded to still watch out for symptoms of COVID-19, especially if you’ve been around someone who is sick. If you have symptoms of COVID-19, you should get tested and stay home and away from others. If you are experiencing symptoms, you should contact your health care provider for medical advice before presenting at their office. Testing information, as well as other COVID-related announcements can be found at More details about coronavirus are also listed at .

The reporting of Covid-19 related deaths from the City may be delayed due to the time it takes to acquire confirmation that the death meets the vital record case definition and lists Covid-19 as a contributing factor.

Sam Graves: Getting a COVID-19 vaccine is a personal choice

(From Sixth District Congressman Sam Graves)

It’s been nearly 2 years since the first case of COVID-19 was discovered and despite all the flip-flopping from federal officials, we all now have a pretty good idea of what works, what doesn’t work, and how we can best protect ourselves and our families.

Chief among the things that work are the COVID-19 vaccines, which have proven highly effective, particularly at preventing folks from getting severe cases and needing to be hospitalized. 

Quite frankly, President Trump and his Administration don’t get nearly the credit they deserve for getting the vaccines developed and approved in record time.

These vaccines aren’t perfect though. Even though they’re highly effective, the immunity they offer isn’t 100 percent—nothing is. And, they may not be right for everyone, which is why you should talk to your doctor about the vaccines and what’s best for you if you have health concerns. I’m not going to sit here and tell you what you should and shouldn’t do because getting a COVID-19 vaccine is a personal choice and quite frankly you shouldn’t be taking medical advice from a farmer.

Let me repeat that: getting a COVID-19 vaccine is a personal choice. The federal government has no business mandating them. The President’s most recent attempt to mandate every American working at a company with more than 100 employees get vaccinated is patently absurd. Never before has a President tried to use OSHA to mandate a vaccine. It’s ridiculous and it’s just another example of this “bureaucrats know better than you” kind of thinking we see churning out of Washington, DC every day. It sort of makes you wonder, where will they dare to go next?

That’s why I drew a line in the sand this week. I led Republicans in the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee in introducing an amendment to prevent the use of our transportation dollars from imposing or enforcing COVID-19 vaccine mandates as a condition to enter public buildings.

That’s what I remain committed to doing. Unfortunately, the Majority wouldn't support it because they said there was no evidence it would happen. Don't forget that we were also told for months by the President himself that he wasn’t going to issue any sweeping COVID-19 vaccine mandates and obviously that wasn’t true. We can’t wait for this Administration to trample on our most basic rights before we take action, we have to anticipate their next move and stop this madness before it starts.

Agenda posted for Joplin City Council meeting

6:00 P.M.


Call To Order

Pledge of Allegiance of the United States of America

Roll Call




Proclamation To Proclaim October 2, 2021 As Arbor Day


Proclamation To Proclaim September 17-23 As Constitution Week


Winter Weather Warming Center Guidelines


Fire Dept. Resource Allocation Study


Finalization Of Consent Agenda


Reports And Communications


Health Department Update


News From The Public Information Office


Citizen Requests And Petitions


Public Hearings


Consent Agenda



AN ORDINANCE amending Ordinance No. 2004-256, passed by the Council of the City of  Joplin, Missouri, November 15, 2004, by removing from District R-1 (Single Family Residential) and including in District R-2 (Two Family Residential) property as described below and located at 2521 S. Connor Ave.

  1. CB2021-278.PDF


AN ORDINANCE providing the vacation of a utility easement lying on property at the Southeast Corner of S. Anderson Ave. and W. 26th St., City of Joplin, Jasper County, Missouri.

  1. CB2021-279.PDF


AN ORDINANCE approving the voluntary annexation by the Council of the City of Joplin, Missouri, of property located at the End of Public Right-of-Way of W. 32nd St., Joplin, Jasper County, Missouri.

  1. CB2021-280.PDF


AN ORDINANCE establishing grades and accepting the Final Plat of Eagles Edge Phase 2 Subdivision located at the end of public right-of-way of W. 32nd St. in the City of Joplin, Jasper County, Missouri.

  1. CB2021-282.PDF


AN ORDINANCE approving the applications of Midwestern Built CrossFit for Monster Games; Ozark Christian College for marketing their 2022 Conference Series; MSSU Alumni for their 2022 Marketing Campaign; JOMO Pride, Inc. for JOMO Pride; Rufus Racing LLC for Summer Roundup Triathlon; Active Lifestyle for Joplin Memorial Run; Neosho Arts Council for Art Con; Joplin Disc Golf Club’s 17th Annual Four States Open; Emancipation Celebration Committee, Emancipation "Parks Day"; Carl Junction Chamber of Commerce for the 25th Bluegrass Festival; KEG Media (Fort Smith, Arkansas) for Mother Road Mayhem, and JW Sports Worldwide LLC for Ball'N Prep Girls Basketball Tournament, for utilization of FY22 Festivals and Celebrations support pursuant to Ordinance No. 2000-148, as authorized by the voters on November 7, 2000; authorizing the City Manager to execute appropriate agreements with each such organization for the utilization of such funds.

  1. CB2021-609.PDF




A RESOLUTION    approving a request of the appointment of a member and two re-appointments of the Board of Directors of the Northpark Lane Community Improvement District.


Ordinances - Emergency




AN ORDINANCE declaring the necessity of acquiring for public use certain fee simple right of way, permanent and temporary easements for the purpose of street construction improvements associated with the proposed Connecticut Avenue widening project from 32nd Street south to the I-44 Bridge; authorizing the City Manager and his designees to negotiate for the purpose of acquiring the necessary interests in land; authorizing the City Attorney and his designees to institute condemnation proceedings if such interests in land cannot be acquired by purchase through good faith negotiations; and containing an emergency clause.  



AN ORDINANCE declaring the necessity of acquiring for public use certain fee simple right of way, permanent and temporary easements for the purpose of street construction improvements associated with the proposed Connecticut Avenue widening project from 32nd Street south to the I-44 Bridge; authorizing the City Manager and his designees to negotiate for the purpose of acquiring the necessary interests in land; authorizing the City Attorney and his designees to institute condemnation proceedings if such interests in land cannot be acquired by purchase through good faith negotiations; and containing an emergency clause.



AN ORDINANCE declaring the necessity of acquiring for public use certain fee simple right of way, permanent and temporary easements for the purpose of street construction improvements associated with the proposed Connecticut Avenue widening project from 32nd Street south to the I-44 Bridge; authorizing the City Manager and his designees to negotiate for the purpose of acquiring the necessary interests in land; authorizing the City Attorney and his designees to institute condemnation proceedings if such interests in land cannot be acquired by purchase through good faith negotiations; and containing an emergency clause.  




AN ORDINANCE approving the Real Estate Contract by and between the City of Joplin, Missouri, a Municipal Corporation, and Jasper County Sheltered Facilities Association, a Missouri Nonprofit Corporation, d/b/a Community Support Services of Missouri, for the sale of 2202 South Jackson Avenue; and authorizing the City Manager to execute the same by and on behalf of the City of Joplin; and containing an emergency clause.    


Ordinances - First Reading


Ordinances - Second Reading And Third Reading



AN ORDINANCE approving the voluntary annexation by the Council of the City of Joplin, Missouri, of property located at the End of Public Right-of-Way of W. 32nd St., Joplin, Jasper County, Missouri.

  1. CB2021-281.PDF

Unfinished Business


New Business


Closed Session

Vote to go into closed session, which shall pertain to and the hiring, firing, disciplining, or promotion of an employee or particular employees of a governmental body involving personal information more specifically for the purpose of evaluating certain Council employees; as set forth in Section 610.021(3) RSMo, as amended, 2020. This meeting, record, and vote to be closed to the extent provided by law. The City Council shall adjourn at the end of the session.

Michael Flynn backs Greitens; former governor takes lead in endorsements by pardoned criminals


(From the Eric Greitens campaign)

As reported by Fox News, former National Security Advisor to President Donald J. Trump and retired U.S. Army Lt. General Michael Flynn released the following statement announcing his endorsement of former Missouri Governor Eric Greitens for the United States Senate in 2022:

“It’s clear that now more than ever, America needs fighters. Worse than the radical leftists, the corrupt Deep State, the mainstream media, and Big Tech are the feckless and spineless Republicans who have utterly surrendered.

The people of Missouri recognize that those who betrayed President Trump the most were not the leftists but the cowardly Republicans in Name Only.

That’s why I’m endorsing Governor Eric Greitens for the United States Senate. We don’t need any more insiders or career politicians in Washington, especially not those with ties to the Chinese Communist Party.

Eric has been a fighter his entire life—as a boxer, a Navy SEAL, as one of the most conservative Governors in the country, and as a leader in the fight to get to the bottom of the 2020 election.

I’m proud to stand with him in our shared mission to revive our Republic.”

General Flynn now joins many other national MAGA conservatives who have endorsed Governor Greitens.

Former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani, Arizona State Senator Wendy Rogers, Dennis Prager, Dr. Sebastian Gorka, Steve Cortes, former Secretary of Interior Ryan Zinke, former NYPD Commissioner Bernie Kerik, and several others have endorsed Governor Greitens.

Kimberly Guilfoyle has also endorsed Governor Greitens and serves as the National Chair of his campaign.

President Trump's pollster found that Governor Greitens held a massive lead in the race, with Governor Greitens at 48 percent and the Governor's nearest opponent at 9 percent.

The poll found Governor Greitens has support from 55 percent of those who view Trump favorably.

“This is not a case of winning simply based on higher name ID,” pollster Tony Fabrizio wrote. “Governor Greitens is truly the preferred choice on an even playing field.”

Wednesday, September 15, 2021

Here we go again- Missouri Republicans to push for photo ID

By Rebecca Rivas

With several months to go before state lawmakers return for the 2022 legislative session, Republicans are promising to once again push to require photo identification to vote.

Committees in the Missouri House and Senate held hearings Tuesday dominated by discussions of requiring a government-issued ID for both in-person and absentee voting. Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft testified at both hearings, signaling his intention to make voter-ID legislation among his top priorities once again.

“In-person voting with a photo ID makes it difficult to manipulate the system and easier to identify fraud,” Ashcroft said.

If lawmakers succeed, Missouri would join seven states that have enacted “strict photo ID laws,” which require a government-issued photo ID to vote — though three also allow for student IDs.

Republicans have been trying to enact a photo ID requirement to vote in Missouri for the last 15 years. Legislation has passed several times, but it’s never been able to fully withstand legal challenges.

“We know that creating a two-tiered system having first- and second-class voters is a recipe for confusion and disenfranchisement,” Denise Lieberman, director and general counsel of the Missouri Voter Protection Coalition, a nonpartisan coalition of voter rights advocates, testified Tuesday.

Lieberman said that thousands of people across the state can’t afford to pay for a government-issued ID, as well as the costs of obtaining birth certificates and other documentation necessary to qualify for an ID in Missouri.

Ashcroft told committee members that he didn’t believe requiring photo ID would disenfranchise impoverished communities because his office has helped roughly 1,000 people a year get state-issued IDs for free.

“We have the financial resources,” Ashcroft said. “We have the wherewithal to help more people, but we’re not having people that want assistance with that.”

Opponents criticized Ashcroft’s outreach efforts, citing a 2017 analysis by the Secretary of State’s office that found about 137,700 registered voters in Missouri did not have a state-issued identification. Another 140,000 voters had expired IDs, the analysis found, and 2,000 more voters had forfeited their driver’s licenses.


“That is woefully insufficient for addressing that issue if that is what that money has been allotted for,” said Mo Del Villar, legislative associate for ACLU of Missouri, pointing to Ashcroft’s office’s rate of helping 1,000 people a year though more than 200,000 voters don’t have IDs.

Del Villar also said the law would disproportionately impact communities of color, seniors and those who are transient.

Sen. Barbara Washington, D-Kansas City, asked Ashcroft if he could provide any evidence of voter fraud, and he cited a recent investigation involving two St. Charles County voters who sent mail-in ballots to Florida, and then voted in-person in Missouri. The cases were from the 2020 election, he said.

“So when you stated publicly, repeatedly that this was the safest election we’ve had, was that true or not true?” Washington asked.

Ashcroft said, “I believe it was the safest election we’ve had.”

On Tuesday, Ashcroft announced his vision for election reform, which includes using hand-marked paper ballots rather than electronic voting machines and only using election equipment that is not capable of being connected to the internet.

These proposals seem to reference concerns discussed in a previous House committee hearing, where legislators and his office tried to debunk conspiracy cybersecurity theories about the 2020 election.

“We want to be proactive rather than reactive,” Ashcroft said in a press release. “We are not trying to enact legislation because something happened, we want to establish legislation that will prevent something from happening.”

Lieberman told committee members that the secretary of state has asked the Missouri Supreme Court to consider eliminating all options of non-photo IDs, and the court said in a January 2020 ruling that it would not be permissible under the state’s constitution.

“This has been litigated time and time and time again,” said Lieberman, who has litigated four of the lawsuits against photo legislation in Missouri. “We will file a lawsuit; it will be struck down. I suggest that it is folly for this committee to yet again consider legislation that it knows to be unconstitutional.”

Sen. Bob Onder, R-St. Charles, didn’t address the ruling. He pushed back on the Missouri Supreme Court itself, calling it an “extreme liberal activist court.”

“When you cite the Missouri Supreme Court as some sort of authority,” Onder said, “I will note that they have been extraordinarily and increasingly activist in their decisions over the years.”