Monday, June 30, 2014

White supremacist: Frazier Glenn Miller is dying

Turner Report exclusive: Police question whether Hailey Owens' murder was random

The public's perception of the February 18 murder of 10-year-old Hailey Owens of Springfield is that Pleasant View Middle School Coach Craig Michael Wood, overcome by some sick urge, kidnapped the girl, raped and murdered her and left her body in trash bags in his basement.

A search warrant application unsealed today in U. S. District Court for the Western District of Missouri indicates police questioned the random nature of Hailey Owens' death from the beginning.

The search warrant application, which was filed three days after the murder, asks for all records pertaining to Wood's cell phone from Feb. 3, 15 days before the murder, through the day of the murder.

According to the application, police wanted to use the cell phone to determine Wood's whereabouts from 3 p.m. each day when he left Pleasant Valley Middle School to 5 p.m. and see if there was any patterns or evidence of stalking activity.

The warrant application was unsealed because the information it includes is needed for discovery purposes.

The reasons for the search warrant, according to the application:

 On or about February 18, 2014, witnesses reported that a white male forcibly abducted H.O., a juvenile, date of birth 08/18/2003, near the address of 3247 West Lombard Street, Springfield, Missouri. Witnesses further reported that the white male subject was driving a Tan/Gold colored Ford Ranger truck with Missouri
license plate lYF 454. Witnesses further reported seeing a vehicle matching this description in the area where the abduction occurred at approximately 3:30 p.m.,which was one hour and 15 minutes prior to the abduction.

Subsequent investigation identified the white male as CRAIG MICHAEL WOOD,residing at 1538 East Stanford Street, Springfield, Missouri. WOOD was encountered by law enforcement at his residence as he arrived there in the above-described Ford Ranger. WOOD's cellular telephone was located in WOOD's truck when it was searched by law enforcement pursuant to a search warrant.

Law enforcement personnel located what appeared to be the body of a small child, later identified as H.O., located inside a plastic container in the basement area of WOOD's residence. A subsequent search of WOOD's residence located printed images of child pornography as well as a laptop computer. The peer-to-peer file sharing program FrostWire was located on the computer. This program is commonly used to trade child pornography.

When interviewed by law enforcement, WOOD advised he departed his place of employment at the Pleasant View Middle School at approximately 3:15 p.m. on February 18th, and drove directly to his residence. WOOD'S residence is located approximately 5 miles from where the abduction occurred.

The foregoing facts confirm that the geographic information sought is relevant and material to an ongoing criminal investigation in that it will reveal WOOD'S whereabouts on February 18oh and over the preceding two-weeks. In particular, this information will reveal whether he had stalked the area of this abduction or
other areas over that period of time and will develop the pattern of his activitiesduring the period between 3:00 p.m. and 5:00 p.m. over that period

The Greene County Prosecuting Attorney's office is asking for the death penalty for Wood. The next hearing in the case is scheduled for August 26.
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Woman who lost husband, two children in Joplin Tornado suing Home Depot

A woman who lost her husband and two children in the May 22, 2011, Joplin Tornado, is suing Home Depot for negligence.

The lawsuit, which was initially filed May 23 in Jasper County Circuit Court, was removed to U. S. District Court for the Western District of Missouri today.

In addition to Home Depot USA, the lawsuit names USHD Development of Maryland and Casco Diversified Corporation as defendants.

The petition says that Edie Housel's husband Russell Thomas Howard, and daughter Harli Jayce Howard, 5, and son Hayze Cole Howard, 19 months, sought refuge in the Joplin Home Depot store at 5:17 May 22 when tornado sirens sounded.

(They) were directed to the training room in the back of the building, but before they could reach the area, the large unsupported wall panels collapsed on top of them. (They) were killed as a result of injuries suffered from the tornado.

The negligence claims include poor construction of the building, no proper emergency plan, and lack of proper training.

In addition to two counts of negligence, the defendants face a third count of "loss of consortium."

Ms. Housel is represented by Katrina Richards of the Hershewe Law Firm of Joplin.

Tim Jones: Nixon decision to target education was unnecessary

In a portion of his latest newsletter, Speaker of the House Tim Jones, R-Eureka, criticizes Gov. Jay Nixon for budgetary moves that Jones says will damage Missouri education.

If you look back just a few months ago to the governor’s State of the State Address you will see that he placed a heavy emphasis on prioritizing education funding in our state budget. In fact, in his speech in the House Chamber in January he said to us, "On the campaign trail, I'll bet almost all of us made a promise to invest in our students and our schools. Well, you know what? It's time to put our budgets where our campaign brochures are. Now it's time to decide whether we're merely going to talk about public education, or whether we're going to fund it.”

Missouri Catholic Conference approves Hobby Lobby ruling

(From the Missouri Catholic Conference)

The Missouri Catholic Conference (MCC) applauds the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision today, which protects the right of all U.S. citizens to operate their family-owned businesses in accordance with their religious convictions.

“This is an important decision that recognizes and respects the reality of religious practice in the work place,” said Tyler McClay, General Counsel for the MCC. “Most people operating closely-held, family businesses in America expect to be able to do so in a manner consistent with their religious beliefs without facing crushing fines and penalties. The U.S. Supreme Court today validated that expectation.”

After the HHS mandate was issued, the Missouri Catholic Conference worked with Missouri legislators to pass SB 749, a Missouri bill which protected the right of employers to opt out of providing coverage for abortifacient drugs in their health plans. The Missouri General Assembly passed SB 749 in September 2012, the Governor’s veto notwithstanding. A court challenge followed.

Federal District Judge Audrey Fleissig in St. Louis struck down SB 749 in March 2013, because it was inconsis-tent with federal law and the HHS mandate. “Today’s Supreme Court decision affirms what the Missouri General Assembly tried to do in 2012 with SB 749, notably protect rights of conscience,” said Mike Hoey, Executive Director of the MCC. “And the MCC is pleased that the principles established in SB 749 have been affirmed by the highest court in the land.”

Kimberling City Republican: Governor is holding the budget hostage

In his latest newsletter, Rep. Don Phillips, R-Kimberling City, criticizes the actions taken last week by Gov. Jay Nixon to balance the budget. Phillips says that is not what the governor is doing.

The Governor has an obligation to balance the budget. State revenues have fallen short of the predictions earlier in the fiscal year creating an interesting turn of events.

The Governor has already made over 200 combined vetoes and expenditure restrictions! He claims the legislative body overestimated the revenues when completing the 2015 fiscal year budget…that’s true. What he’s not telling is that we reducedmillions from his original “pie in the sky” speech during the State of the State address in which he made unrealistic budget proposals, especially in education funding. The outlandish amounts of money he originally proposed simply was not there, nor was it going to be there; however it made for a rousing speech to wanting ears.

Hartzler on Hobby Lobby decision: I applaud this ruling

(From Fourth District Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler)

Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler (MO-4) has released the following statement regarding the U.S. Supreme Court ruling in the Hobby Lobby / Conestoga Wood religious freedoms First Amendment case:
I am extremely pleased that the U.S. Supreme Court has upheld one of our fundamental Constitutional freedoms - the First Amendment right to practice our religious beliefs without government forcing us to abandon those beliefs for political reasons. The Green family, owners of Hobby Lobby, and the Hahn family, owners of Conestoga Wood, do not want the government to force them to provide health coverage that pays for something they find morally objectionable and an affront to their religious beliefs. This government mandate would have trampled on America's deeply held tradition respecting the freedom of conscience. Companies like Hobby Lobby, Conestoga Wood, and others providing health coverage to their employees will be allowed to continue to do so without having to aid in those practices that they find morally objectionable. I applaud this ruling that upholds America's Constitutional rights and freedoms.”

Normandy School District will not need $2 million state appropriation

(From the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education)

The Normandy School District will not draw down an additional $2 million in state funds that was appropriated in the Missouri state budget to help the district finish the school year. Department and district review of financial statements, outstanding bills and bank balances shows that the district will not have a negative balance at the end of June.

“Normandy’s financial situation was fragile this year with the added expense of the transfer tuition and transportation,” said Deputy Commissioner of Finance Ron Lankford. “Major cuts as the result of closing an elementary school and reducing staff at mid-year, along with careful financial management, allowed the children to finish school and kept Normandy solvent.”

The Normandy School District should end the year with a small but positive balance in the bank before transitioning to the Normandy Schools Collaborative on July 1. Language in the supplemental budget item for Normandy states that the funding would only be used to the extent required to complete the 2013-14 school year.

In February, the State Board of Education approved a recommendation from the Department to impose financial oversight over the Normandy School District. All expenditures, contracts, and financial obligations were approved by Department staff. This oversight helped ensure that any and all monies appropriated through the legislature would be monitored and expended judiciously, and that any and all measures necessary to ensure the completion of the year would be taken.

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Scattered thunderstorms possible today, more coming later in week

(From the National Weather Service)

559 AM CDT SUN JUN 29 2014












Saturday, June 28, 2014

C. J. Huff tells the Joplin Tornado story in at least 15 states, Canada, and Washington, D. C.

Alaska, California, Colorado, New Mexico, Maine, Maryland, Indiana, Georgia, Virginia, Wisconsin Washington, D. C., Illinois, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Kansas, and Missouri, and soon crossing the border into Canada.

Whether it has been as part of a thank-you tour following the Joplin Tornado, paid speeches for the Washington Speakers Bureau (and he told the Joplin Globe last year that he had only made one of those), conferences paid for by the taxpayers, or just speaking to local groups, an internet search shows that C. J. Huff has made at least 43 speeches over the past three years, including ones coming up in the next few months in North Little Rock, Arkansas; Baltimore, Maryland; and Saskatchewan.

And those are only the ones that were publicized and show up on internet searches.

During most of these speeches, some of which have been detailed on the Turner Report in the past, Huff has spoken of how school was started on time three months after the Joplin Tornado or about his Bright Futures initiative. Some speeches have featured Huff explaining his brand of leadership.

Huff's financial disclosure forms for the past three years, filed with the Missouri Ethics Commission, do not show any extra income from speaking engagements, which would indicate that either Huff is going to these places for free, having his expenses paid for by the school district, or he was mistaken on his financial disclosure reports, which he signed under penalty of perjury.

I will provide more information about a number of these speeches over the next few days.


Jan. 23- Wisconsin Association of School Boards

Feb. 20- Columbia- An Evening With C. J. Huff- Council of PTAs

March 14-15 Missouri Lions District Convention, Holiday Inn, Joplin

July 13-16- National School Public Relations Association, Baltimore, Md. (panel discussion, supts. Only)

July 21-23 Tenth Annual Arkansas Safe Schools Conference, North Little Rock

Oct. 13-14- Bright Futures USA Conference, Missouri Southern State University, Joplin

November- Saskatchewan School Boards Association


Jan. 8- National Press Club, Washington, D. C. (panel discussion)

Jan. 27-28 Powerful Learning Conference- Osage Beach

Feb. 12- Midwest Education Technology Conference, St. Charles, MO

Feb. 21- Superintendent of the Year National Conference of Educators (was not able to find location)

April 17- Grove, Oklahoma Rotary

May 6-8 New Mexico Mine Health and Safety Conference (keynote speaker)

May 29-30- Pittsburg State University, (not sure of which day he spoke)

June 1- Ted X Front Range, Loveland, Colorado

June 12-13- Georgia School Boards Association (keynote speech)

July 22- Central Office Administrators Conference, Lodge of the Four Season

July 26- Building Emergency Coordinator Annual Training, Office of Emergency Management, Virginia Tech University

August 2013- Community Foundation of the Ozarks, Springfield (not sure of exact date)

Sept. 30-Missouri School Plant Managers Association Conference

Oct. 14- Bright Futures USA Conference, Missouri Southern State University, Joplin

Oct. 17- California Emergency Management Training and Conference, Santa Rosa, California

Oct. 19- Missouri PTA State Convention, Springfield

Oct. 31- Community Prayer Breakfast, Blue Springs (keynote speaker)

Nov. 12- Springfield Metro Rotary

Nov. 23- Rotary District 6080 Foundation Gala, Lodge of the Four Season

January- Missouri Association of School Administrators (not sure of location)

Jan. 28- Cassville Chamber of Commerce

April 10-12- Alaska Homeland Security Spring Preparedness Conference,

May 8- Arkansas School Boards Association and Arkansas Association of Educational Administrators

May 15- Missouri School Audit Conference, Missouri Society of CPAs, St. Louis

May 24- United Way of Southeast Missouri- Cape Girardeau

June 13-14- Non-Profit Missouri Strengthening Relationships, Holiday Inn, Joplin

July 10- National School Public Relations Association, Chicago, Illinois

July 19-20 Missouri Safe Schools and Colleges Conference, Osage Beach

Aug. 8- National Council of Professors of Educational Administration Summer Conference, Kansas City (keynote speaker)

Sept. 11- Rotary Club of Pittsburg

Sept. 25- Safe and Prepared Schools Conference, Topeka, Kansas

Oct. 18- St. Luke’s Hospital and St. Louis Suburban School Nurses Association, Emergency Preparedness: The Role of the School Nurse

Oct. 20- PopTech Conference, Camden Maine (keynote speaker)

Oct. 29- Crisis Response: The Joplin Schools Story, Indiana Department of Education


September 29-October 2- Missouri School Boards Association Annual Conference,

October 25- Best Practices in Emergency Preparedness for Child Serving Organizations (policy forum with C. J. Huff)

Nov. 11- Four State Regional Technology Conference, Pittsburg State University

Remembering Gary Nagle

I was never much for vacations, but in March 1990 when I decided to leave the Lamar Democrat after seven and a half years and work for the Carthage Press, I took a complete month off.

During part of that time, I stayed with my parents in Newtonia and took with me three months worth of back issues of the Press, as well as back issues and my old files from the Democrat.

For about a week of that time, I clipped stories and reorganized my filing system so I would be ready to hit the ground running when I started work at Carthage.

The lesson I learned, in addition to being as thorough as possible in my research, was that Avon boxes were perfect for file storage and my mom, who was selling Avon at that time, had plenty of them, delivered on a regular basis, year after year, always on time, by the dependable driver for United Parcel Service Gary Nagel.

While those Avon boxes are long since gone (though I still have most of the files), I thought of them today when I learned of the death of Gary Nagle, a Stark City resident, at age 72.

I did not know Mr. Nagle well, though I was in Newtonia a few times when he delivered Avon for mom or some part my dad used to fix someone's appliance. He was a good friend of my mom and dad, however.

Three years before the tornado that destroyed much of Joplin and Duquesne, my home town Newtonia, was struck by a tornado that destroyed about half of the houses. It took place just past 5:30 p.m. on a Saturday night My mom and dad were home and were in their house when it was hit by the tornado, tearing away a part of it. They crouched down behind a couch with Mom holding her dog Zoey and waited as a few seconds that seemed like hours passed and things finally calmed down.

You did not hear much about the Newtonia Tornado of May 2008 because, thankfully, no one died. But just like in the days after the Joplin Tornado, people came to help, and just like in Joplin, some came over and over, day after day, to do what they could.

Right at the top of the list of those people, as far as Bill and JoAnn Turner were concerned, was Gary Nagle, He came day after day, bringing machinery to help clear the seeming millions of limbs and bits of debris that had collected in the yard.

Thanks in large part to his help, it was not long before the Turner property looked more like it had looked for the five and a half decades my parents had lived there..

I am sure others have similar memories of Gary Nagle, a man who did not have to be asked, but simply showed up when there was work to be done.

While his reliability as a UPS driver for more than 30 years was valuable and appreciated, it was his dependability as a friend that made Gary Nagle indispensable.

Anson Burlingame's lament: Why are we destroying great leaders like Rohr, Huff, Wallace?

For those who have sampled frequent Joplin Globe guest columnist Anson Burlingame's blog, one thing you will quickly notice is that his responses to comments are just as long, and sometimes longer, than his posts, which are also quite lengthy.

Today, in one of those responses, Burlingame, who is a confidant of  C. J. Huff, Mark Rohr, David Wallace, and others he considers to be above reproach. once again lashed out at me, the Gang of Five from the Joplin City Council, and anyone else who does not worship at the altar of those who have been deemed heroes of the Joplin Tornado, or who have pushed the master development of the city:

Thus, today in Joplin, political stalemate is all around us. The only way out of it is good, great leadership. And we fired the best city leader I have ever seen in living around the country for decades, Mark Rohr, simply because he was a “bully” for Christ’s sake!!!

New lawsuit- Fifty+ investors say Wallace-Bajjali operated Ponzi scheme

More than 50 investors filed a lawsuit Thursday in Harris County Texas District Court alleging that Joplin's master developer Wallace-Bajjali Development Partners operated a Ponzi scheme that ripped them off for more than $4 million that went to a failing media operation called BizRadio, an operation that was investigated by the federal Securities Exchange Commission.

The action is similar to other unsuccessful legal actions taken by the investors since the SEC reached an agreement with David Wallace and Costa Bajjali in 2012 that resulted in $60,000 fines for each man and required them to repay $1.2 million to investors with all but $450,000 coming from related companies.

The $450,000, as noted in a Turner Report post earlier this week, the only part that the Wallace-Bajjali firm was directly responsible for repaying, was due by December 31, 2012 and the WBDG could have received a $150,000 discount if it had paid early, but to date, it has not paid one cent.

David Wallace, in a sworn statement filed in federal court gave reasons why WBDG could not pay it on time and eventually the deadline was extended until December 31, 2014.

The latest lawsuit has officials in Amarillo, Texas, the other city in which Wallace-Bajjali has a major project going, reexamining their commitment, according to an article in today's Amarillo Globe-News:

“However, I have asked our legal counsel involved in the downtown development efforts to take a look to see if there’s any relevance at all, regarding our (Amarillo) relations (with Wallace Bajjali) or if this is just a rehash of a previous dispute that seems to have been settled on a couple of occasions previously,” said Gary Pitner, president of Amarillo Local Government Corp.

Amarillo City Manager Jarrett Atkinson said Costa Bajjali contacted him to inform him about the lawsuit and he, too, has asked city legal advisers to review the filing to prepare information for the Amarillo City Council and LEG.

The investor lawsuit filed in Harris County District Court calls BizRadio “a financial disaster as a stand-alone entity, losing millions each year” and alleges it was purely a vehicle to draw customers to the investment businesses of its operators, Kaleta and Frishberg, as well as Wallace Bajjali entities.

The investors assert claims of negligent representation, breach of fiduciary duty, common law fraud, violations of the Texas Securities Act and civil conspiracy against individual plaintiffs, including Wallace Bajjali entities, and combinations of plaintiffs in the lawsuit.

Friday, June 27, 2014

Video- NEA President: Eliminating tenure does nothing to help California children

In this video, NEA President Dennis van Roekel says it is time for real accountability instead of the kind of accountability being pushed by so-called educational reformers.

Billy Long: Obama, EPA are out of touch with American people

In a portion of his latest newsletter, Seventh District Congressman Billy Long criticized President Obama and the Environmental Protection Agency. 

Once again, the president and his Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) have shown that they are out of touch with the American people. On June 2, the EPA announced a plan to reduce carbon emissions by 30 percent by 2030. This is simply an attempt by the president to go around Congress to advance his job-destroying energy plan. When Congress rejected cap-and-trade legislation back in 2010, it should have been clear to the president the feelings of the American people on this failed proposal.

In a state like Missouri, where 80 percent of our energy use comes from coal, the new EPA regulations would put an unnecessary burden on the backs of working people. While Americans are still struggling in this Obama economy, this is not the time to be cutting jobs or raising energy prices. These are costs that would especially hit the most vulnerable and poorest Americans.

To add insult to injury these cuts, which would cause devastating utility bill increases for low and middle income individuals, would result in only a negligible reduction in global carbon emissions. Protecting our planet for future generations is important to me, as it should be to all of us. Unfortunately, despite massive costs these regulations would not accomplish environmental goals.

Though the president has stated he is for an “all-of-the-above” approach to energy, these recent regulations would destroy coal in this country and show that he is more about an “all-of-the-above, but nothing-from-below” energy plan. This type of plan is bad for America. I am doing all that I can to promote a true “all-of-the-above” plan into action.

On June 24, the House passed the North American Energy Infrastructure Act. The legislation would modernize and reform the approval process for cross-border energy projects. It would expedite the construction, connection, operation, and maintenance of transportation of energy between our northern and southern neighbors. Earlier this year the House passed the Electricity Security and Affordability Act which would ensure that the U.S. keeps a diverse electricity-generating portfolio that allows a future for affordable energy from coal, as well as natural gas and renewables.

I continue to fight for the approval of the Keystone XL pipeline. The president has sat on his hands for far too long, apparently unwilling to stand up for what is in the best economic and national security interests of this nation. The pipeline would bring much needed jobs to our country as well as decrease our dependence on foreign energy sources.

The president has long touted the fact that while he has been in office, production of oil and gas has increased. This is just another attempt to distort the facts. While oil production has increased by 61 percent, the rise in output has all come on nonfederal land according to the non-partisan Congressional Research Service. From 2009 to 2013 there has been a 6 percent decrease in crude oil and 28 percent decrease in natural gas production on federal lands since the president took office. This is a testament to the failed policies of the Obama administration and the success of free enterprise.

I strongly believe that every American should feel assured that they are living in a healthy, safe environment. These new regulations by the EPA do not accomplish that goal. While not doing much for the environment, the regulations would kill jobs and crush checkbooks of low income Americans. The president needs to be focusing on creating jobs and making it easier for Americans to make ends meet, not kowtowing to his liberal base to score political points.

Cleaver: We must not let our highways and bridges crumble

In his latest EC from DC report, Fifth District Congressman Emanuel Cleaver says it is time to get moving on take care of our highways and bridges.

It is time. 

In fact, it's way past time. 

And for the sake of generating jobs, revitalizing the economy, allowing businesses to grow, and assisting communities in forming around solid infrastructure, we must reauthorize the nation's transportation funding. I spoke on the Floor of the House of Representatives this week in hopes of highlighting the decisive role transportation and infrastructure play in all of our lives. 

Here's the bottom line, the crumbling infrastructure in Missouri's Fifth District is maddening, frustrating, and just plain unnecessary.

According to the American Society of Civil Engineers in a 2013 report card:

  • 3,500 bridges in Missouri are considered structurally deficient
  • More than 3,300 (14% of the bridges in our state) are considered functionally obsolete
In just a few months, the highway and transit programs in this country will expire. Before that though, we could see the Highway Trust Fund become insolvent as soon as August. 

This is a sad day in our history. We must pass a highway and transportation infrastructure bill. And we must do it now.


  • Every dollar invested in Missouri transportation generates $4 of economic activity
  • For every $1 billion spent on transportation - 34,000 direct and indirect jobs are created
  • Investment in transportation infrastructure generates growth and jobs during initial design, construction and post construction
We must not sit back while our highways and bridges crumble - playing partisan politics while our infrastructure deteriorates more and more each day.

Billy Long: Immigration system will remain broken until border is secured

In a portion of his latest newsletter, Seventh District Congressman Billy Long says we must secure our nation's borders.

Protecting the American people should be the goal of any immigration reform. We must solve the illegal immigration problem by first securing our borders. When our borders are left open, it allows criminals, drug traffickers and potentially terrorists to enter the country.

I am absolutely against amnesty. We cannot reward bad behavior by granting citizenship to those who broke the law and came here illegally.

I support doing what is needed to secure the borders. We must have firm control over who enters our nation. I am a cosponsor of the Border Security Results Act (H.R. 1417). This measure would identify high traffic areas of the border and other data on illegal immigration patterns and achieve situational control of the border within 2 years of bill passage, followed by full operational control of the border within 2 years of implementation of its security strategy. Operational control is defined as repelling at least 90 percent of illegal crossings and significant reductions in illegal contraband trafficking.

I am also cosponsoring the Southwest Border Protection Act (H.R. 4882). This legislation directs the National Guard to be deployed to our southwest border at the request of any governor whose state shares a border with Mexico until operational control of the southern border is complete.

We all know our nation’s current immigration system is broken and will remain broken until our border is secured. I think the Border Security Results Act and the Southwest Border Protection Act are important steps toward securing the border.

Tim Jones on same sex marriage: They're trying to ram it down our throats

(From Speaker of the House Tim Jones, R-Eureka)

Missouri House Speaker Tim Jones issued the following statement in reaction to challenges to Missouri’s constitutional ban on same-sex marriages:

“For Mayor Slay, Judge Murphy, and the others involved to do this is irresponsible. As government employees, they took vows to uphold our constitution and follow our laws without prejudice. It is alarming that they think it is appropriate to willingly violate the Missouri Constitution to send a political message. The appropriate way to push for a change to our constitution is through a legislative joint resolution or an initiative petition, both of which allow the public to have the final say. In doing this, it is clear they are trying to push for a change in law to be mandated by the courts, regardless of what the people of Missouri think.”

Hail, damaging winds possible Saturday afternoon evening for Joplin area

(From the National Weather Service)

436 AM CDT FRI JUN 27 2014











C. J. Huff: The whole town is buzzing about the new Joplin High School

Forget the state audit and the district budget and finances. Joplin R-8 Superintendent C. J. Huff followed his eight-minute interview with KODE about the construction and opening of the new Joplin High School with a three-and-a-half minute interview with a three-and-a-half-minute interview with KSN's Eric Crosswhite which covers the exact same ground.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Video- NEA leader: Let's take back our public schools

In this video, NEA President Dennis van Roekel issues a challenge to take back public education and end toxic testing.

Video- Why Jay Nixon vetoed school transfer/voucher bill

Wallace-Bajjali CEO in 2012: New disasters may divert money from Joplin

Federal court documents show that the city of Joplin's master developer David Wallace, while seeking an extension of the time his company had to repay $450,000 to scammed investors (Wallace says he and partner Costa Bajjali were also scammed) was concerned that people would stop giving money to Joplin once the city was replaced in the news by other disaster-stricken communities.

In the March 26, 2012, document,  filed in a Texas federal court, Wallace listed one reason after another why Wallace-Bajjali might not be able to repay the $450,000 it was supposed to repay by the end of 2012.

And, in fact, the company still has not repaid the money and has a new deadline of December 31, 2013.

From the sworn statement:

If WBDP (Wallace-Bajjali Development Partners) is selected as the master developer, a great many obstacles will have to be overcome and tasks accomplished for there to be a contract with Joplin, and even more for the project to result in payments for WBDP.

Among those obstacles:

There are also myriad political and market factors that may influence whether the redevelopment project will even proceed. Since the May 22, 201 Joplin Tornado, there have been many other natural disasters in the United States that could affect the attention given to Joplin and the availability of funds from federal, state, and local entities.

Among those disasters are the Minot floods, the floods on the East Coast, the tornadoes in the Midwest and South and the drought in Texas and other states.

Even without these other disasters, the federal programs presently anticipated for the Joplin project may not even exist when the project is ready to proceed. If they do exist, the amount of funds needed may not be available or appropriated. Additionally, the vast majority of the property in the redevelopment area is privately owned and will need to be purchased, leased, or otherwise assembled. This could take considerable time.

Wallace also listed various other financial problems Wallace-Bajjali faced that could prevent the firm from being able to pay back the $450,000.

The settlement was part of a deal made with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) after an investigation into fraud involved in the sales of real estate and shares in a radio company, BizRadio. The investigation resulted in $60,000 fines for Wallace and Bajjalli, both of whom have paid the fines.

Joplin Globe grills Randy Turner mercilessly

I still wouldn't buy a subscription.

I hate telemarketers.

Show-Me Institute/NAACP official joint statement: Please accept Normandy students

A Joint Statement From Adolphus M. Pruitt and James V. Shuls

In the fall of 2014, students from the unaccredited Normandy School District stepped out in faith. They placed their hope and trust in the hands of nearby schools, sometimes more than 20 miles away from home. Over the course of the past year, these students have overcome great obstacles to get to school in their search for better educational opportunities. Now, area school leaders have a decision to make. They can choose to honor the decisions and sacrifices of these students or they can choose to deny them access to the schools they have worked so hard to attend.

It seems clear what the decision should be.

Mission Accomplished: C. J. Huff and the six-and-a-half-mile ribbon

Countdown to opening day of the new Joplin High School is underway and already Superintendent C. J. Huff is preparing to make the school's grand opening the media event for the ages.

Huff authorized the spending of $15,000 to order a six-and-a-half mile ribbon with the message "Mission Accomplished" written on it for the opening ceremony.

Though the ribbon is being purchased with taxpayer money, Huff is sounding out area businesses about sponsoring the message and covering the cost.

The six and a half miles signifies the path that the tornado took when it cut a swath down 20th Street through Joplin and Duquesne at 5:41 p.m. on Sunday, May 22, 2011.

The plan, which is still in its initial stages would be for staff, students, and volunteers to hold the banner down 20th Street, setting up a photo op for the ages.

The gigantic ribbon would also mark an attempt by the Huff Administration to put the Joplin R-8 School District in the Guinness Book of World Records.

Of course, it would also require the cooperation of the City of Joplin and the Joplin Police Department, which would have to make arrangements to divert traffic during the time that it was necessary to set up and then to follow through with the photo op.

The "Mission Accomplished" theme has been used by the Huff Administration throughout the unveiling of the new schools this year, including the opening of East Middle School and Irving and Soaring Heights elementary schools in January.

C. J. Huff and his administrative and public relations team have been working on ways to make the opening of the new high school a media spectacular for months. During one meeting the idea was broached of inviting President Obama, who was here for the memorial service the week after the tornado and then spoke at the 2012 Joplin High School Graduation.

Whether that is still being pursued I have not been able to find out, but during one of the planning meetings regret was expressed that the president would probably not come here and would be more likely to go to Moore, Oklahoma, which was drawing attention away from Joplin by having an elementary school that was also destroyed by a tornado rebuilt and ready to open before Joplin High School.

McCaskill asks constituents for info on cable, satellite scams

In her latest newsletter, Sen. Claire McCaskill asks constituents to share their problems with cable and satellite providers.

Have you ever found yourself disputing a bill with your cable, satellite, or other pay-TV provider - or confronted with deceptive billing or excessive fees? If you have, you're not alone.

In fact, above all other companies in all other industries across the country, cable companies rank theworst in a survey of customer satisfaction. And the billing practices of cable, satellite, and other pay-TV services rank among the fastest-growing consumer complaints to the Federal Trade Commission.

Consumers need protection from confusing or deceptive billing practices and greater transparency in what they're paying for. That's why I'm asking folks like you to share your personal stories and tips about dealing firsthand with your cable, satellite, or other pay-TV provider.

If you've experienced deceptive or confusing billing practices by a cable, satellite, or other pay-TV company visit my website, and use the "Submit Your Scam" web tool to tell me your story.

As Chairman of the Senate's Consumer Protection Subcommittee, I'll use your stories to lay the groundwork for a new federal law aimed at bringing transparency and fairness to the way these companies bill their customers.

Already, consumers have shared many of the same complaints about cable, satellite, or other pay-TV companies billing practices, including:
  • Confusing updates to channel line-ups, broadband Internet speeds, or pricing that are not clearly explained to consumers
  • Overbilling or ongoing charges that consumers should not be paying
  • Excessive (or erroneous) equipment rental fees
  • Early termination and/or change of service fees
If any of those examples sound familiar I want to hear from you. It's time you and other consumers get the tools (or protection) you need in dealing with these practices, and I'm ready to fight to hold these companies accountable.

DESE release on Normandy school plan nothing but educational buzzwords

(This news release from the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education features most of the current educational buzzwords and offers little or no hope to Normandy parents who mistakenly think a state takeover of the school district will result in better education for their children.)

In order to build a culture of teaching and learning for the students of the Normandy Schools Collaborative (NSC), Department and Normandy staff continued planning this week for the new school year. Top priority for the new district is retaining and recruiting effective leadership and effective teachers for every classroom.

"Deep and fundamental change is the only way to break the cycle of low performance within the district," said Commissioner of Education Chris Nicastro. "We are working with the district to employ skilled and committed educators and provide them with the tools they need to help kids learn."

The Department has mailed letters of intent to faculty and staff candidates who have successfully interviewed for their positions. There are still open positions, and interviews are continuing. Staff is also working to determine how many classrooms will be needed for each grade.

The Department has developed a framework of instructional changes to promote professional development for teachers and enhance student achievement within the NSC. The new calendar institutes a longer school year and three weeks of professional development for teachers throughout the year. Extended instructional time is effective when combined with rigorous curriculum and relevant curriculum implementation.

Other interventions will incorporate extended learning opportunities including before- and after-school instruction, flipped classrooms, and integrated student supports such as tutoring. The strategies also include seeking focused support from community organizations tied to specific performance goals.

The Normandy leadership team and Department staff are designing professional development for teachers in all content areas and grade levels. Literacy development is central to planning, with new reading materials for primary and intermediate grade classrooms and updated, relevant reading materials to support instruction in content areas. Professional development will occur in the weeks prior to the start of school and in January.

Department staff members will be training Normandy leadership to use the state's model teacher and principal evaluation system. Staff will be working with NSC principals and teachers this summer to prepare them for next year.

Letters have been mailed to parents, Normandy staff, and community leaders to update them about the status of the NSC and the transfer status for students. The State Board of Education is working to balance the need for choice with meeting the educational needs of the students served in the NSC and establishing a sound fiscal basis upon which to build.

Normandy staff, parents and community members may submit questions to or 1-855-879-3025. Updated information can be found on the Department's website at .

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Kansas City out of the running for GOP Convention

Top secret photos: C. J. Huff, staff prepare for state audit

I won't reveal how I came up with these candid, revealing photos of Joplin R-8 Administration members as they prepare for the upcoming state audit, but I felt it was my duty to share them with Turner Report readers.

In the photo at left, Mike Johnson, C. J. Huff and Paul Barr take time during their busy day to prepare for the audit.

In the photo below, C. J. Huff prepares to rally the troops, if any troops are still left.

In the next to last photo, Tina Smith and others from administration attend a training session to help them learn how to deal with teachers.

In the bottom photo, C. J. Huff has always believed
that it is important for his administrative staff to have time to let off steam, especially with an audit ready to begin in a matter of weeks. When someone suggested a bonfire and wiener roast, at first Huff reportedly said, "We have no branches or sticks," then he realized he something much better that could be used and allegedly said, "We are going to have as much fun as we did during our Easter Egg Hunt."

Question to C. J. Huff: Do you have that in a middle finger?

Readers posted these comments earlier todayand I thought you might be interested. Please feel free to share yout thoughts.

The DESE website shows that the average increase in pay for teachers across the state from 2010-2013 was $1,084. In Joplin, teacher pay increased from 2010-2013 a grand total of $312. Part of this is reflected in teacher turnover, with fewer teachers on the upper end of the scale. Part of this is because we have not had a raise over 1.2% since the recession. However. CJ Huff's income, when he was hired six years ago, was $160,000 and is now said to be $177,000. This is a tremendous increase, not including his speaking fees. He also does not pay for his insurance. His pay also does not reflect the raise that he is said to have gotten after Angie Besendorfer left--it is purported that CJ, Paul Barr, and Tina Smith all got large raises after she left--split her check, so to speak.

The question is, has he earned his salary? When CJ Huff came here, the district was accredited with distinction, the teacher pay was competitive, and scores were rising. In 2008, English/Language Arts, all grades combined, were at 51.9% advanced/proficient rate district wide. In 2013, they were at 52%, so no growth of note. In mathematics, the district overall had an advanced/proficient rate of 51.4%. In 2013, that rate had fallen to 46.8% and is continuing to fall. The teacher turnover rate has been tremendous, and the layers and layers of programs and extra non-teaching employees have been of no benefit. And, it is difficult to understand how the increase in administrative pay, particularly CJ Huff's, can be justified.

In any other district he would have been fired long ago. The embarrassment of the lawsuits, the suspicious terminations of staff, the drop in academics, the audit, and the bad press should send him packing now, as it is better late than never.
Do you see a pattern developing:
- David Humphreys asks for an audit by the State (via a petition) for the R8 school district - then CJ all of a sudden asks the state to audit the R8 school district

- The School Board Finance Committee works on the morning of the School Board meeting to reinstate the payment steps (after the Board agenda was already prepared leaving out the payment steps) and CJ does not raise a fuss

- Teachers attend the school board meeting to protest the small raises (and the fact the Joplin R8 teachers are low paid - then all of a sudden CJ Huff announces that a task force (led by Tina Smith) will look into the teacher's pay

What you are seeing here is a "classic" case of "reacting" - so that I will not "look bad" to the media and public.

This proves that CJ Huff tries to get his way until the heat is on - then he will cave in and spin it like it was his idea.

This proves that there is COMPLETE lack of leadership in the R8 school district!!!!

Leadership is having a VISION charting a course and getting everyone on board so that everyone is going in the same direction.

The BOTTOM LINE is that the R8 district needs a leader not someone who reacts so that they will not look bad. The Joplin citizens, students and teachers - can be much better served by another School Superintendent (given that this position is paying over $177,000 per year).

Time for the C. J. Huff Show to fold its tent and move on

Those who received their information about Monday night's Joplin R-8 Board of Education meeting by watching it on Jet 14 (or by reading the Joplin Globe, for that matter) were left with the impression that the C. J. Huff Administration combed tirelessly through the budget to find a way to cut expenses here and there and give teachers and staff their steps on the salary schedule.

Nothing could be further from the truth.

If the original budget plan submitted by CFO Paul Barr and signed off on by C. J. Huff had been approved teachers and staff would have received $200 to $300 raises, which would have almost been totally eaten up by the $12 per month increase to the amount employees will have to pay for their health insurance.

In other words, the pay increase would have been between $1 and $3 per week for employees who have already become used to not receiving anything from the Huff Administration except the back of the hand.

The only reason the employees received raises is because the board's Finance Committee did not go along with the Huff Administration's assessment of what the final budget should look like and found expenses that could be cut to give employees a little extra money for the 2014-2015 school year.

The teachers were aware of what was in the original budget, so were Turner Report readers. In the Joplin Globe's preview of Monday night's board meeting, which was labeled "From Staff Reports" and appeared to be a news release issued by R-8 public relations, only one sentence was given to the budget and not one mention was made of the plans for teacher and staff pay.

If that was not enough to get teachers riled, what happened at the end of the televised meeting did the trick.

C. J. Huff insisted that it was time to take care of the teachers of the district and make Joplin salaries competitive with other school districts. Why, he even said he would form a committee headed by COO Tina Smith that would work on that.

Anyone who did not know any better might have thought that C. J.. Huff went to bat for his employees and secured those raises for them, though nothing could be further from the truth. He had already signed off on a budget plan that would have essentially kept his employees going into the hole for another year.

The Huff Administration has found room for excessive trips, layers of unnecessary administrators and public relations/community development people, Jumbotrons (electronic video scoreboards), laptops and iPads for everyone from eighth grade up, and nearly 40 people making $50,000 or more in central administration.

To the Huff Administration, teachers are interchangeable commodities. If that were not the case, then why have we had more than 300 teachers leave the district in a three-year period?

The teachers know the truth and from what I am hearing in the community, that truth is spreading, even without the help of the Joplin Globe.

People are ready for the C. J. Huff Show to fold its tent on move on.

Wallace-Bajjali CEO: Joplin money and IPO will help pay two-years-late SEC settlement

Expense reimbursements from the City of Joplin and short term line of credit advances are the only things keeping the city's master developer Wallace-Bajjalli Development Partners in a positive cash position.

That assessment of the company's financial situation comes from a sworn statement filed by CEO David Wallace as he explained the reasons why Wallace-Bajjali was not yet able to pay a $450,000 settlement the company reached with a court-appointed receiver to pay back investors who were scammed in a real estate scheme that ended up costing both Wallace and his partner, Costa Bajjali, $60,000 in fines from the Securities and Exchange Commission. (The accompanying chart shows David Wallace's assessment of the company's cash flow for the final months of 2013 and 2014.)

The statement was filed October 24, 2013, in a Texas federal court as Wallace tried successfully to convince the court that he needed more time to pay the company's obligation.

Court files also included a document from the receiver indicating that while he believed Wallace, going along with the extension was about the only chance the investors ever had of seeing the settlement money. The court extended the due date to December 31, 2014.

The settlement was originally supposed to be paid by December 31, 2012, according to court records. It even included a stipulation that Wallace-Bajjali would only have to pay $300,000 if it paid early.

It quickly became apparent that was not going to happen.

In an April 5, 2012, sworn statement, Wallace expressed doubt that his company was even going to land the Joplin job.

"There is no assurance that WBDP will ultimately be selected by the City of Joplin. Indeed, WBDP, development partners and the City Council involved in the selection process have expressed concerns over the negative press coverage and blog environment resulting from groundless accusations and lawsuits against WBDP." Those lawsuits, he noted, included one by disgruntled investors who were not happy with the settlement agreement.

After the City of Joplin selected the Texas company as its master developer, Wallace, in the October 2013 statement, reassured the court that everything was heading in the right direction.

He wrote of Phase One projects, "valued at approximately $112 million (that) have been formally approved by the Joplin Recovery Commission, the necessary land has been acquired, and the projects are expected to break ground in early 2014."

Those projects included the independent senior living facility, a senior assisted living center, two loft-over-retail shopping centers, one at 20th and Main and one at 26th and Main, and the Joplin Public Library/movie theater.

'"WBDP expects to earn approximately $5 million in development from these projects in 2014.

But the Joplin project was not the only source of revenue that Wallace-Bajjali would produce during 2014, Wallace said, indicating that work was progressing on an initial public offering of Wallace-Bajjali stock.

"WBDP has been working diligently towards its goal of becoming a public company," Wallace wrote. "In June 2013, David Wallace, Costa Bajjali and members of the WBDP management team met with Mr. Andrew Hall, managing director of new listings for NASDAQ."

That meeting not only concerned what the company would have to do to get listed on the exchange, but also if the listing could be derailed by the problems with the SEC. They were assured there would be no problems.

Encouraged by this meeting, Wallace said, the company hired a financial advisory firm, TriPoint Capital Advisers in September 2013 "to assist in IPO readiness activities." TriPoint initiated an audit of Wallace-Bajjali, which was scheduled to be completed in spring 2014.

"Notwithstanding the audit," Wallace said, "TriPoint notes that the most important factor
 in a successful IPO is the performance of the underlying business, in this case, the success of the Joplin and Amarillo projects. To that end, it is expected that the Joplin and Amarillo projects must be solidly underway, with vertical construction and monthly revenues flowing to WDBP before completion of the offering."

This would put the IPO at mid-2014 or beyond, Wallace said.

The IPO would help WBDP resolve a portion of the settlement, he added. "Once the IPO closes, the equity and debt holders will receive shares."

That timetable for the IPO was dependent on construction being underway in Joplin and Amarillo, something Wallace said would commence in March 2014. "Assuming that vertical construction in those cities commences," he added, the cash would be flowing.

"The development fees anticipated from Joplin and Amarillo are the most significant sources of funds for WBDP in 2014, totaling an estimated $5,019,990 (in Joplin) and $591,666 (in Amarillo)."

Even with the money coming in, Wallace said, it would take months before anything could be put toward the settlement since the company's line of credit "was directly tied to Joplin" and had to be used on Joplin projects.

No money would be available for the settlement until "the fourth quarter of 2014."

In the court documents, Wallace placed the blame for delays in the company's Amarillo project squarely on the shoulders of the City Council.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Drive for state audit of City of Joplin continues

With all of the publicity that has surrounded the upcoming audit of the Joplin R-8 School District, the drive for a petition audit of the City of Joplin has been relegated to the background.

The drive has continued with people going door-to-door with petitions.

The petition drive was launched by TAMKO CEO David Humphreys, who also called for a petition audit of the school district. When the state auditor agreed to send a team to Joplin at no expense to the school district, that drive came to an end.

Joplin child porn suspect: I was afraid the police would show up someday

A federal search warrant executed Monday night at 1810 S. Pennsylvania Ave. led to the arrest of a Joplin man on charges of sending and receiving child pornography.

In documents filed today in U. S. District Court for the Western District of Missouri, the government asked that Danny Leon Wright, 61, be held without bond since his wife has left him, he has no other family and he would be a flight risk.

First, the defendant is facing a significant amount of prison time because of his criminal conduct. Furthermore, during his interview with law enforcement, the defendant advised that has been unemployed since 1990. The defendant also told agents that he has no connection to his family. The defendant admitted that because of his criminal actions he will be homeless. Agents have since confirmed that his wife of three years has demanded that he leave the home. As a result, the defendant has no real connection to the area. Due to the lack of any family support, lack of employment, and the possibility of a significant period of incarceration, not only is the defendant a high flight risk, but should he chose to flee, it would be very difficult for law enforcement to find the defendant. 

Portion of lawsuit against City of Joplin, Joplin Police dismissed

A federal judge today dismissed the City of Joplin and the Joplin Police Department as defendants in a lawsuit filed by the family of a teenage suicide victim, but left the door for the action to be refiled at a later date.

(Note: A portion of the lawsuit involving civil rights violations against the city of Joplin remains.)

In making the decision to remove the governmental entities as defendants, Judge David P. Rush granted the request of lawyers for Kevin Russell, his wife Julissa, and son Brant, to dismiss it without prejudice, which will enable the Russells to refile if they can determine if the city and the police department had insurance policies that would cover the events that took place the night Kevin and Julissa Russell's daughter Brooke died.

Judge Rush ordered the attorney for the Russells to submit an amended petition against the two remaining defendants JPD officers Tyler Christensen and Austin Wolf, sometime in the next two weeks.

The Russells' lawsuit was filed April 17 in Jasper County Circuit Court, then was removed to federal court four days later.

The petition recounted a nightmarish tale of what the Russells claim happened after 16-year-old Brooke Russell shot herself to death.

On March 17, 2013, Brooke Russell left her home indicating she was going for some exercise. When she did not return home timely, her mother, Julissa Russell, went looking for Brooke and found her in a park, the apparent victim of a self-inflicted gunshot wound to her head.

Mrs. Russell, along with her husband, plaintiff Kevin Russell, and their son, Brant Russell, loaded Brooke into their car and left for the hospital.

En route to the hospital, they called 911, and the 911 operator advised them to go to the Joplin Police Department, where there would be an ambulance waiting for them. The ambulance, police, and fire department had all been advised prior to the Russells' arrival that the Russells were en route with the victim of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head.

When the Russells arrived at the Joplin Police Department, they saw the ambulance and carried Brooke to the back of the ambulance, where they had to wait for the ambulance door to be opened and a gurney to be pulled out and presented to them.

They quickly placed Brooke on the gurney, stepped back and pleaded for the emergency personnel to get Brooke to the hospital for treatment.

Rather than immediately leaving for the hospital, emergency personnel left Brooke unattended on the gurney an began to question the Russells about what happened, becoming confrontational about the Russells' agitation with the delay in getting treatmentfor Brooke.

As the Russells continued to plead for the EMTs to do their jobs and get Brooke to the hospital, Brooke's body rolled off the gurney and fell to the concrete pavement below. At no time did either Kevin Russell or Brant Russell assault with any first responder, engage in any physical altercation, obstruct the first responders from their doing their jobs, or violate any other laws or ordinances.

The Russells continued to urge the EMTs to provide care for Brooke, and EMT Todd Woods became physically aggressive with Kevin Russell, aggressively approaching Mr. Russell, threatening and yelling at him while Brooke lay on the ground.

At that point, defendants Wolf and Christensen assaulted Brant Russell and Kevin Russell by spraying their faces with mace or pepper spray, physically assaulting them and placing them in handcuffs with no justification.

Defendants Wolf and Christensen then placed Kevin and Brant Russell in a police car, placed them under arrest, and held them in the Joplin Police Station for nearly three hours.

While Kevin and Brant Russell were held in the Joplin Police Station, Brooke Russell died at the hospital.

Defendants made false reports to the prosecutor regarding plaintiffs' conduct and encouraged the prosecutor to pursue criminal charges against plaintiffs, which the prosecutor did. However, after the prosecutor withdrew from the criminal case and was replaced by an independent special prosecutor, the criminal charges against Kevin and Brant Russell were dismissed by the special prosecutor.

A representative of the Joplin Police Department also made an improper and inaccurate report to the United States Military that was falsely derogatory of Brant Russell regarding the events described herein, and directly caused Brant to be discharged from his military service, thus ending his planned and desired military career.

As a direct and proximate result of the actions of officers Wolf and Christensen, and by extension, defendants City of Joplin and Joplin Police Department, Kevin Russell suffered severe physical and emotional injuries as a direct result of the assault and his subsequent improper and unlawful arrest and detention in the police station. He further suffered embarrassment and humiliation as a result of the false allegations leveled at him by defendants. His ability to perform his normal functions as a husband were negatively affected.

As a direct and proximate result of the actions of officers Wolf and Christensen, and by extension, defendants City of Joplin and Joplin Police Department, Brant Russell suffered severe physical and emotional injuries as a direct result of the assault and his subsequent improper and unlawful arrest and detention of the police station. He further suffered embarrassment and humiliation as a result of the false allegations leveled at him by defendants. He further suffered a loss of his career and income with the United StatesMilitary as a direct result of the actions of a representative and agent of defendants City of Joplin and Joplin Police Department in falsely reporting allegations of misconduct against him to his superiors with the military.

The counts included in the original lawsuit were are as follows:

1. Malicious Prosecution and False Arrest- Kevin Russell vs. City of Joplin, Joplin Police Department, Wolf, Christensen

2. Policies, Practices, and Procedures- Kevin Russell vs. City of Joplin, Joplin Police Department

3. Excessive Force- Kevin Russel vs. Wolf, Christensen

4. Negligent Supervision- Kevin Russell vs. City of Joplin, Joplin Police Department

5. Negligent Training- Kevin Russell vs. City of Joplin, Joplin Police Department

6. Negligence- Kevin Russell vs. City of Joplin, Joplin Police Department, Wolf, Christensen

7. Battery- Kevin Russell vs. City of Joplin, Joplin Police Department, Wolf, Christensen

8-14- Same allegations from Brant Russell

15. Tortious Interference with Prospective Business Relationship- Brant Russell vs. City of Joplin, Joplin Police Department

16. Loss of Consortium- Julissa Russell vs. City of Joplin, Joplin Police Department, Wolf, Christensen

Billy Long uses auctioneering talents to raise money for the NRCC

Seventh District Congressman Billy Long put his auctioneering talents to use last week, raising money for the National Republican Congressional Committee.

Speaker of the House John Boehner contributed $1.5 million to the NRCC to get things started:

Boehner’s Ohio delegation pledged $3 million in addition to his donation, including $500,000 from Rep. Pat Tiberi and $250,000 each from Reps. Steve Stivers and Jim Jordan.

After the announcements were made inside a monthly fund-raising meeting at the Republican National Committee, Rep. Billy Long (R-Mo.), a former auctioneer, stood up to reprise his former profession and secured several more pledges from rank-and-file members, according to two people in the room.

Missouri GOP on spending withholding: Missourians tired of Obama-Nixon agenda

(From the Missouri Republican Party)

Missouri Republican Party Executive Director Matt Wills issued the following statement today in response to Governor Nixon’s announcement that he will withhold increases to education funding:

“Jay Nixon once again showed his true colors when it comes to education in the state of Missouri. Republicans in the Missouri Legislature took action this year, increasing funding for education by over $100 million and finally offering a fix to the school transfer problem.

“By vowing to withhold budget increases to K-12 and higher education, Nixon proved again that he does not care about education more than himself.

“Unfortunately, yet unsurprisingly, this has become old hat for Jay Nixon. And like President Obama, Nixon has lost all credibility in governing of our great state. Missourians are tired of the Obama/Nixon agenda, we deserve better.”

Video- Ignite Church pastor: on gun giveaway: I don't know what the big deal was

A page one Joplin Globe story Sunday dealt with Ignite Church in Joplin's decision to have a giveaway of AR-15 rifles in an effort to bring people to the church. This morning on KZRG, the church's pastor Heath Mooneyham explained the giveaway and answered its critics.

Video: Nixon takes action to balance the budget

Nixon: Study shows legislature inaction on Medicaid costing money, jobs

(From Gov. Jay Nixon)

Gov. Jay Nixon today issued a statement regarding a report(link is external) from the Missouri Economic Research and Information Center (MERIC) showing health care job growth in Missouri is falling behind its peer states that have moved forward on Medicaid. According to MERIC, health care job growth in Missouri has slowed to half what it was in 2011 and 2012. In addition, since January the average health care job growth rate in peer states that expanded Medicaid was more than double that of Missouri’s. 
“As health care job losses continue to impact communities across the state, today’s report provides more stark and troubling evidence that Missouri’s economy is already suffering the consequences of the legislature’s irresponsible inaction on Medicaid,” Gov. Nixon said. “Health care should be the fastest growing sector of our economy, but because of the legislature’s refusal to bring Missourians’ tax dollars home, this important industry is losing steam.”

Tim Jones on Nixon vetoes: The governor is back to his old tricks

(From Speaker of the House Tim Jones, R-Eureka)

Missouri House Speaker Tim Jones issued the following statement in response to the governor’s decision to veto and withhold nearly $800 million in state funding.
 “The governor is back to his same tricks, once again, as he engages in his annual political game of holding our system of public education hostage. This is a governor who tells the public he wants to invest in our young people, but then is all too willing to make school funding his first target and show that public education is his lowest priority when he does not get his way. In this case he is withholding public education funding as leverage to stifle the legislature’s efforts to create jobs, reduce taxes and rein in his administration’s constant attempts to over-tax Missourians and Missouri businesses. The people of this state should not stand for a governor who provides no leadership on issues that would grow our economy while also serving as a roadblock to our efforts to increase funding to education.”