Friday, October 31, 2014

Freeze tonight, showers, thunderstorms Monday through Wednesday

(From the National Weather Service)

536 AM CDT FRI OCT 31 2014









Hard freeze tonight into Saturday morning for Joplin area

(From the National Weather Service)


302 AM CDT FRI OCT 31 2014







Public hearing set for Empire District rate increase request

(From the Public Service Commission)

The Missouri Public Service Commission has established the hearing schedule in an electric rate case filed by The Empire District Electric Company. Formal evidentiary hearings are scheduled for April 6-10 and April 13-17, 2015, in Room 310 of the Governor Office Building, 200 Madison Street, Jefferson City.

The Governor Office Building meets accessibility standards required by the Americans with Disabilities Act. If you need additional accommodations to participate in these hearings, please call the Public Service Commission’s Hotline at 1-800-392-4211 (voice) or Relay Missouri at 711 before the hearings.

The Commission will be holding local public hearings in this rate case. An order announcing that schedule will be made when dates, times and locations have been finalized.

On August 29, 2014, The Empire District Electric Company filed an electric rate case with the Missouri Public Service Commission seeking to increase annual electric revenues by approximately $24.3 million. According the company, a residential customer using 1,000 kWh (1,000 kilowatt-hours) of electricity would see a monthly increase of approximately $9.87 under the rate request.

The Empire District Electric Company serves approximately 148,200 electric customers in the Missouri counties of Barry, Barton, Cedar, Christian, Dade, Dallas, Greene, Hickory, Jasper, Lawrence, McDonald, Newton, Polk, St. Clair, Stone and Taney.

Billy Long: The Federal Reserve must be held accountable for its actions

(From Seventh District Congressman Billy Long)

I supported legislation to audit the Federal Reserve because the public is owed a greater understanding of the Federal Reserve’s activities. A number of questions have arisen about the internal operations and lack of transparency of the Federal Reserve System. An audit would ensure that the Federal Reserve is held accountable to taxpayers for its actions.

The Federal Reserve Transparency Act (H.R. 24) would give Congress and the public greater understanding of the Federal Reserve’s activities and increase accountability. On September 17, 2014, my House colleagues and I voted to pass this bipartisan legislation by a vote of 333-92.

The Federal Reserve Transparency Act would require the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to audit the Federal Reserve, opening Federal Reserve operations to enhanced scrutiny and congressional oversight in an effort to provide taxpayers with a greater understanding of the Federal Reserve’s activities. The information revealed in an audit could then provide the basis for additional reforms to the Federal Reserve System.

The Constitution of the United States charges Congress with the duty to coin money and regulate its value. Since the Federal Reserve Act of 1913, Congress has chosen to do this through the Federal Reserve System. Since that time a number of questions have arisen about the internal operations of the Federal Reserve, and many people have expressed concerns that Congress has delegated too much of its responsibility to the Federal Reserve. I believe it is important for the United States to maintain a strong and stable currency on which our economy can rely.

It is imperative that the Federal Reserve be held accountable for its actions. An audit of the Federal Reserve will provide taxpayers with the transparency they have been demanding.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

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

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

Kansas City schools fighting Amendment 3

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Missouri GOP: Chris Koster has embarrassed Missouri

(From the Missouri Republican Party)

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

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

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

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

Southwest Missouri Democrats to offer rides to the polls

(From Southwest Missouri Democrats)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Civil rights groups attack Obama record on education

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

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

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

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

ACLU: You're being watched

(From the American Civil Liberties Union of Missouri)

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

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

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

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

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

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

Trial date set for Russell family lawsuit against City of Joplin

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

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

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

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

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

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

Joplin child porn suspect to remain behind bars

A Joplin man facing child pornography charges will remain behind bars while he awaits trial.

U. S. District Court Judge David P. Rush ordered the detention of James Allen Crippen following a hearing today in Springfield.

From the judge's ruling:

The Court has already noted that this case involves a minor victim. The evidence at the hearing 
established that the weight of the evidence against the defendant is overwhelming.

Regarding the potential for failure to appear, the defendant has mental health history, substance abuse history, a lack of property and financial ties, unknown family ties, and criminal history which includes Bond Jumping. The Court also notes the evidence presented at the detention hearing regarding defendant’s conduct during his arrest for the instant offense.

Regarding potential danger to the community, the Court notes defendant’s prior arrests and convictions, substance abuse history, mental health history, and recent suicidal ideologies and previous attempts. The instant charge also involves minors and use of a computer to facilitate the alleged offense. In addition, there are safety concerns for the community. 

Based on all the foregoing, the Court finds by a preponderance of the evidence that the defendant is a risk of flight, and finds by clear and convincing evidence that the defendant is a danger to the community. 

The probable cause affidavit against Crippen can be found at this link.

Supreme Court rejects child-killer's request for rehearing on death penalty appeal

The Missouri Supreme Court Tuesday rejected child-killer Chris Collings' motion for a rehearing of his appeal of his death penalty conviction.

Collings, 40, was sentenced to death for the November 2, 2007, murder of nine-year-old Rowan Ford, a fourth grader at Triway Elementary School in Stella.

The court heard arguments in the case January 8, with public defenders representing Collings asking that he either be granted a new trial, be sentenced to second degree murder instead of first degree, or resentenced to life in prison without possibility of parole.

The attorneys cited a number of reasons for the requests including the following, all of which were rejected by the judges.

Fox News interview: Roy Blunt discusses Obama overreach on immigration

Freeze watch in effect for Joplin area

(From the National Weather Service)


Tim Jones on Times investigation: Chris Koster has violated the public trust

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

House Speaker Tim Jones today issued the following statement in response to a recent New York Times article that exposed an alleged pay-to-play scheme within the office of Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster:

“The thorough investigative work of one of our nation’s most prominent news outlets has exposed what appears to be an egregious violation of the public’s trust perpetuated by Attorney General Koster. Missourians expect and deserve public officials who will defend their rights and, in this case, protect them from the deceptive marketing practices of unscrupulous corporations.

' nstead they have an Attorney General who apparently makes filling his campaign coffers his top priority rather than fulfilling his oath to the people of Missouri to uphold our laws. I am deeply disturbed by the multiple examples of apparent pay-to-play schemes uncovered by the New York Times, and am currently examining the options we have as a legislative body to further investigate these allegations and ensure that Attorney General Koster is held accountable for his actions.”

New York Times: Koster shuts down probe after lobbyist's request at cocktail party

Attorney General Chris Koster is a key target in a New York Times investigation into lobbyists' influence on state attorney generals.

The Times report notes that Koster has received considerable money from special interests and went into detail on one particular dealing with a lobbyist:

When the executives who distribute 5-Hour Energy, the popular caffeinated drinks, learned that attorneys general in more than 30 states were investigating allegations of deceptive advertising — a serious financial threat to the company — they moved quickly to shut the investigations down, one state at a time.

But success did not come in court or at a negotiating table.

Instead, it came at the opulent Loews Santa Monica Beach Hotel in California, with its panoramic ocean views, where more than a dozen state attorneys general had gathered last year for cocktails, dinners and fund-raisers organized by the Democratic Attorneys General Association. A lawyer for 5-Hour Energy roamed the event, setting her sights on Attorney General Chris Koster of Missouri, whose office was one of those investigating the company.

“My client just received notification that Missouri is on this,” the lawyer, Lori Kalani, told him.

Ms. Kalani’s firm, Dickstein Shapiro, had courted the attorney general at dinners and conferences and with thousands of dollars in campaign contributions. Mr. Koster told Ms. Kalani that he was unaware of the investigation, and he reached for his phone and called his office. By the end of the weekend, he had ordered his staff to pull out of the inquiry, a clear victory for 5-Hour Energy.

Media guild picketing Carthage Press/Neosho Daily owner

The United Media Guild is picketing GateHouse Media newspapers in Illinois where staff members have gone seven years without raises.

GateHouse Media is the owner of the Carthage Press, Neosho Daily News, Pittsburg Morning Sun, Big Nickel, Miami News-Record, and Grove Sun in this area and more than 300 newspapers across the United States.

From the United Media Guild:

GateHouse Media and its parent company, New Media Investment Group, is operating with strong cash flow. the company is paying dividends to shareholders and buying new properties left and right.

But it is taking a taking a hard “no raises” negotiating line in contract negotiations at the State Journal-Register and Pekin Daily Times — even though veteran journalists at both newspapers have gone seven years without a raise.

So many of our members at both newspapers staged informational pickets at lunchtime Monday. Members of the labor community and other civic activists joined them on the street in solidarity.

(United Media Guild photo)

State Board approves buzzwords-filled accountability plan for Normandy

(From the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education)

The State Board of Education approved an accountability plan for the Normandy Schools Collaborative during Tuesday’s State Board meeting.

The plan builds on the assets of Normandy students, parents, educators and other community members to help ensure students achieve continued academic growth.

“The Department and the Normandy Schools Collaborative have worked together to develop a solid plan designed to improve student achievement,” said Deputy Commissioner Margie Vandeven. “The focus is now on effective execution of the plan.”

State Board of Education approves updated Top 10 by 20 plan

(From the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education)

On Tuesday, the State Board of Education approved the Department’s updated Top 10 by 20 plan for fiscal year 2015.

The plan is updated annually with actions and targets that provide greater focus, consistency, integration and impact on the goals and strategies of the Top 10 by 20 initiative, a statewide improvement effort that aims for student achievement in Missouri to rank among the Top 10 performing states in education by 2020.

Former Neosho man on disappearance: I'd had my fill of football

Former Neosho resident Paul Kitterman, the subject of a five-day hunt after disappearing at halftime of last Thursday's Denver Broncos-San Diego Chargers football game, told police he left the game and walked 118 miles to Pueblo because he had his fill of football and wanted to go to someplace warm:

Police in Pueblo, who found the missing man after acting on a tip, said Kitterman told them he had "his fill of football and decided to go for a walk" and that he wanted to walk "to somewhere warmer."
"Kitterman mentioned sleeping in treed areas and in bushes during his journey to Pueblo and even mentioned disposing of his Broncos hat as he did not want to be recognized," police said.Kitterman told police he walked south.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

The Joplin Globe and the city manager we need

What a difference a word makes.

In today's Joplin Globe, the Editorial Board offered its opinion what the city of Joplin should look for in a city manager.

Judging from the fact that two of the four finalists have already dropped out (or at least one has dropped out and another has been announced as the new city manager in Miami, Oklahoma), we should just hope we don't end up with another Missouri Southern State University situation of a few years back when the only candidate left was Bruce Speck.

The Globe said it was "passing along some of the qualities our readers say they want in a new manager."

Much of what was included in the editorial made sense- until the last paragraph:

Joplin needs a person willing and able to resolve the tough issues that will always be with us. We hope our City Council selects a candidate based on his leadership traits, his ability to hire effective department heads and his desire to communicate to the community he will be serving.

Sorry, but the last thing we want is another leader with a "desire to communicate to the community."

We already have that in the man who holds the job of superintendent of the Joplin R-8 School District..

What this city and this school district needs are leaders who have a "desire to communicate with the community."

That one word makes a big difference.

Denver police confirm; former Neosho man who vanished during Broncos game found safe

A Denver Police Department tweet announced that former Neosho resident Paul Kitterman, 53, who disappeared during last Thursday night's Denver Broncos-San Diego Chargers game, has been found and is safe.

"DPD confirming that Paul Kitterman has been located and is safe after going missing from the Bronco Game. "Paul Kitterman was located in Pueblo, Colorado. Again, he is unharmed. All questions should be directed to the family."

Kitterman is the son of former East Newton School District teacher Jeanette Kitterman, who taught eighth grade English at Triway Junior High in the late '60s and early '70s.

Kruithof named Miami city manager; I guess this means Joplin reception is off

Miami has selected former Branson city administrator Dean Kruithof as its new city manager.

Kruithof had been one of four candidates originally named as finalists for the Joplin city manager position that became vacant when the City Council fired Mark Rohr:

Kruithof brings more than 30 years of government management experience to Miami including a stint as city administrator for the City of Branson, MO. Kruithof said he comes prepared to tackle the challenges facing Miami in the areas of economic and community development and plans to place an emphasis on public participation in the process of designing future growth.

“We believe that Dean's experience, positive attitude, and willingness to work hard to move our community forward make him a great choice,” Miami Mayor Rudy Schultz said. “It will take him a few weeks to get relocated and settled in, but after that you can expect to see him out and about and very engaged in the community.”

The city of Joplin had one finalist drop out. Receptions were held for two others and the reception for Kruithof was scheduled for Saturday.

Reception scheduled for final Joplin city manager candidate

(From the City of Joplin)

Joplin Mayor Mike Seibert and members of the City Council invite the public to join in a Welcoming Reception to meet Dean Kruithof, the final candidate for the Joplin City Manager’s position. The reception will be held from 11:15 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. on Saturday, November 1 in the Main Lobby of Joplin City Hall, 602 South Main.

Kruithof comes from Bentonville, Arkansas and is the third and final candidate to be interviewed for the position. Last week, two candidates, Sam Anselm of Joplin, Mo., and Stephen Rasmussen from Jefferson City, Mo., were interviewed for the position.

Prior to the reception, Kruithof will be provided a driving tour of Joplin, including City facilities and parks, corporations, schools and other areas. Media will also have the opportunity to meet and interview the candidates during a session scheduled from 10:30 a.m. to 11 a.m. Council will conduct the interview portion of his visit following these activities and a light lunch.

To RSVP for the reception, please contact Vicki Coots at 417-624-0820, ext. 201 or email her at

State rep candidate Jennings takes issue with opponent on abortion

(This letter, issued by the campaign of Vincent Jennings, the Democratic candidate for state representative in the 157th District, takes issue with recent statements by the incumbent, Republican Mike Moon on the issue of abortion.)

"It is extremely reckless of a State Rep with a limited knowledge of Constitiutional law to challenge not only the Missouri Constitution but also the decision of Roe v. Wade."

The 14th Amendment has five sections. Rep. Moon cites the second part of section 1 which says,
"No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws."
Please note the phrase "without due process of law". Clearly this is reference to criminal or civil rights violation of a person, not an unborn child.

Man who disappeared during Denver Broncos game is former Neosho resident

The man who vanished during the second half of the Denver Broncos-San Diego Chargers football game Thursday, Paul Kitterman, 53, is a former Neosho resident.

Area social media has been abuzz today with questions about Kitterman, with at least one noting that 1979 Neosho High School graduate Paul Kitterman was living in Colorado.

Tia Bakke, who gave Kitterman and his stepson, Jarod Tonneson, their tickets to the game and rode with the pair on the two-hour drive from Kremmling, said this type of behavior is not customary of Kitterman. He was not intoxicated, and he had no mental health issues, she said.

What's more, he had plans this week -- to do some construction work and to go hunting.

"Paul did not just walk away on his own," she said. "Something bad has happened to him."

Police have told Bakke they believe Kitterman simply walked away, she said, and because he's an adult, it's not a crime.

Peer review gives Missouri State Auditor's Office highest rating possible

(From State Auditor Thomas Schweich)

State Auditor Tom Schweich today announced that his office received the highest rating possible during a recent review conducted by the National State Auditor's Association (NSAA).

"I am pleased to receive this rating on behalf of my staff of professional and dedicated auditors," Schweich said. "It is an honor for all of us to be recognized by our peers across the country for the high standards we have set in this office for both accountability and productivity."

The review was conducted under the NSAA's External Peer Review Program which is administered by National Association of State Auditors, Comptrollers, and Treasurers. Representatives from seven other states and the federal government participated in the review of Schweich's office. A peer review is required every three years for organizations that conduct governmental audits.

To read the full report, visit:

Video- State Board of Education hearing on Missouri standards

Video from Duane Lester

State Board to conduct nationwide search for new education commissioner

The Missouri State Board of Education has backed down from its original plan to quickly select a commissioner to replace the retiring Chris Nicastro.

The board had come under fire for not taking the time to conduct a nationwide search. Published reports had indicated a selection might come as soon as yesterday or today.

But earlier this morning, the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) issued the following release:

The State Board of Education will accept all nominations and applications in an open search for the position of Commissioner of Education. Nominations will be received at the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education Office, attention Robin Coffman, Chief of Staff, until close of business on Friday, Nov. 21. Complete application information will be posted on the the Department website.

The public is invited to provide recommendations on the factors/characteristics to be considered by the State Board in evaluating candidates. Additional factors to those already identified under “Characteristics of a Qualified Applicant” should be forwarded to the attention of Robin Coffman by close of business on Nov. 21, 2014.

All nominees will be contacted to determine the nominee’s interest in becoming a candidate for the Commissioner of Education. All candidates are asked to submit a letter of application, resume with references, and a personal essay no later than Dec. 1, 2014.

The State Board of Education will review all complete applications.

The most qualified candidates will be notified and invited to a personal interview with the State Board of Education.

The State Board of Education will vote on its selection from the finalists of the interviews and name the next Commissioner of Education. Hopefully, the selection process will be completed by Dec. 31, 2014. The initial date of employment will be mutually agreed upon between the State Board of Education and the candidate selected as Commissioner of Education.

Nominations, applications and other recommendations can be submitted via email to:

Monday, October 27, 2014

Marshfield teacher pleads not guilty to tampering with evidence, witness

Marshfield eighth grade teacher Johnna Feazell, 46, waived her preliminary hearing today on charges of tampering with evidence and tampering with a witness and pleaded not guilty.

The tampering charges were added due to actions Feazell allegedly took after she was charged with statutory sodomy and attempted enticement of a child. Investigators say Feazell tried to cover up her sexual relationship with a 16-year-old student.

Feazell's preliminary hearing on the sex charges is scheduled for 1 p.m. November 13 in Webster County Circuit Court.

Feazell is free on $200,000 bond.

Carl Junction woman pleads not guilty to abandoning Joplin Honky corpse

The Carl Junction woman who told the Newton County Sheriff's Department she did not seek help for a dying member of the Joplin Honkies because she thought she might get into trouble for using meth waived her arraignment and pleaded not guilty today to a charge of abandoning a corpse.

A pre-trial conference has been scheduled for 9 a.m. November 17 for Chelsie Berry, 25.

Berry told the Sheriff's Department that she had left the body of Dennis "Nathan" Meier, described by the department as a member of the Joplin Honkies gang on a driveway near Diamond. (Her statements can be found in the probable cause affidavit.)

State Board holds public hearing on education standards

(From the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education)

The State Board of Education conducted the first of three public hearings on Monday to discuss education standards related to HB 1490.

HB 1490, which was passed into law during the 2014 legislative session, calls for work groups of education professionals and parents to develop and recommend academic performance standards in English language arts, mathematics, social studies and science. Monday's hearing provided the public a chance to offer their comments and feedback to State Board members.

"The State Board believes that high standards help put kids on track for college and careers," State Board President Peter Herschend said. "Children will rise to our high expectations with the support of dedicated, effective teachers."

State Board may choose commissioner today; president visited C. J. Huff Friday

Members of the State Board of Education are meeting in closed session this morning to discuss a replacement for Commissioner of Education Chris Nicastro, who is retiring at the end of the year...three days after Board President Peter Herschend reportedly visited Joplin for a meeting with R-8 Superintendent C. J. Huff.

No one is talking about whether the meeting had anything to do with the search for Nicastro's replacement, but articles in the Kansas City Star and St. Louis Post-Dispatch have taken the board to task for not conducting a nationwide search for the position and for its rush to have someone in place.

Those reports indicated the selection could be made as early as today.

Huff has insisted to the Board of Education that he has not been looking for another position, but the Turner Report confirmed that Huff was considered for the Springfield superintendent position that eventually went to Lamar native and former Monett Superintendent John Jungmann.

Sam Graves: The time for a balanced budget amendment is now

(From Sixth District Congressman Sam Graves)

In a 1982 speech, Ronald Reagan said, “We don't have a trillion-dollar debt because we haven't taxed enough; we have a trillion-dollar debt because we spend too much.” That was more than three decades ago, and unfortunately, it’s still the case. In Washington, basic budgeting is all too often ignored in order to leave the tough decisions for future generations to solve. This is unacceptable.

A budget is a fiscal blueprint for the future. It is an outline of one’s priorities based on the resources available to them. Families all across America routinely sit down at the kitchen table, look at the money coming in, money that needs to be paid out, and then make the difficult decisions needed to balance their budget. There is no reason why Washington shouldn’t be expected to do the same.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Remembering Oscar Taveras

It had been nearly 40 years since I sat in the back seat of a school bus and it was not an experience I was enjoying.

You can feel every bump in the back seat of a bus, but since we needed teachers in both the front and back sections of the bus, I had to live with the discomfort for the time it took to travel from Joplin to Springfield.

Many of the eighth grade boys and girls who were seated near me were grumbling.

"Why couldn't we go to Silver Dollar City?" one asked.

Another one wanted movies, a third brought up roller skating.

Instead, the bus I was riding and two others were headed to Springfield that day in April 2012 to watch a Springfield Cardinals minor league baseball game.

The feeling wasn't universal; there were students who were eagerly anticipating the game. So was I.

For me, baseball was the best possible way to spend time. I had coached baseball and fast pitch softball teams for years, umpired for more than two decades, and played until I was nearly 30. I would have kept on playing, except my team disbanded. They were getting too old to travel every week. I never felt too old even though I was close to being the oldest player on the team when I played my last game in the '80s.

One of my earliest memories, as a four-year-old, was watching Bill Mazeroski hit the walk off home run that gave the Pittsburgh Pirates an unexpected 10-9 win in Game 7 of the 1960 World Series. I have watched every Series since then.

I began listening to St. Louis Cardinals baseball games on the radio in 1962. Cardinals catcher Gene Oliver hit a game-winning home run in the first game I listened to.

I remember how upset I was the next year when Oliver was traded to the Milwaukee Braves and a rookie named Tim McCarver was the new catcher. It didn't take me long to begin appreciating McCarver and other rookies in the following years- everyone from Mike Shannon in 1964 through Al Hrabosky, Terry Pendleton, Willie McGee, Albert Pujols, Yadier Molina, Adam Wainwright, and Matt Carpenter.

As we entered Hammons Field, I was excited about seeing the next in a long line of Cardinal greats.

Oscar Taveras was in the starting lineup.

I had been reading about the 20-year-old prospect and could not wait to see him play, but there was so much else about the experience and I wanted to see it through the eyes of the eighth graders, so I watched them and their reactions as the day progressed.

We were taken to an area of the ballpark that was being used by the club to provide us with an educational presentation on jobs that were available in sports, then we were led to our seats.

The game was entertaining, though we only got to see five innings, since we had to have the buses back to Joplin before the school day was over.

A crafty lefthander (are there any other kind) named John Gast, who later won a couple of games for the Cardinals, only allowed four base runners during the six innings I saw and two of them did not remain on base long, thanks to one of the best pickoff moves I have ever seen.

Oscar Taveras did not disappoint.

The first time up he struck out when the catcher held on to a foul tip, but he was not cheated on his swings. You could almost feel the breeze when he swung and missed on the first pitch.

The second time he stepped to the plate, with an effortless swing, he took a pitch that was slightly off the plate and deposited it neatly down the right field line, gliding into second base with a double.

We had to leave before he batted for a third time, but I had seen what I wanted to see. I couldn't wait for Oscar Taveras to reach the major leagues.

That happened this year and though Taveras was not the breakout star many of us had expected, he had memorable moments, including a home run in his first at bat and a key pinch hit home run in the National League Championship Series against San Francisco.

He was scheduled to work this winter on improving his defense and his base running and Cardinal management was pleased with his willingness to better his game and still thought stardom was on the horizon for him.

The NLCS home run was the final magic moment in a much too short career for Oscar Taveras, who was killed in an auto accident today at age 22.

My first thoughts when I heard the news on tonight's World Series broadcast were of that day two and a half years ago in Springfield. On that day, in a sun-drenched stadium in the southwest corner of this state, I had the thought that maybe, just maybe, these young people, some of them attending their first professional baseball game might be seeing the start of a Hall of Fame career.

The magic swing that could draw gasps of astonishment even when he failed to make contact has been silenced forever.

The eternal promise of spring gone in a flash.

Joplin Globe stands up for public's right to know

From time to time over the past year, I have had readers tell me they cannot see how the C. J. Huff Administration has withstood the barrage of posts I have written detailing corruption, intimidation, misuse of taxpayer funds, and sheer incompetence.

Every time someone has told me that, I have said that as long as I am the only one reporting on these stories, my record for accuracy does not matter, the documents I have posted to back up my reporting do not matter, all C. J. Huff has to do is say that this is just a disgruntled former employee  seeking revenge and the problem magically goes away.

The change will not happen until the rest of the media begins reporting on ringmaster C. J. Huff's circus of horrors.

Slowly, but surely, that is starting to take place.

The first to begin digging into the Huff Administration was KOAM, led by veteran education reporter Lisa Olliges. The station jumped on the infamous $8 million in "might-as-well" spending that CFO Paul Barr mentioned during an R-8 Board of Education meeting, though it did not use Barr's phrase, which has become a derisive term used to refer to almost any spending that C. J. Huff and his crack team recommends.

KOAM also looked into the six-and-a-half-mile ribbon and did a strong two-part report on the school district's push to construct a $15 million early childhood center- a center that would put it in direct competition (with an unfair advantage) over people who make their living operating day care centers.

KZRG's morning team of Chad Elliott and Darren Wright held C. J. Huff's feet to the fire during an August interview after Huff had misled the public by claiming that the new high school had not failed an inspection when the city inspection form clearly was marked with the word "failed." Huff had to admit to KZRG that it had failed, but tried to cover himself by lamely claiming that he did not know those inspections were graded.

And now for the first time, C. J. Huff's efforts to control the message have been called out by two of the biggest news sources in the area, KZRG and the Joplin Globe.

Though neither mention Huff by name, the latest attempt by the superintendent and his R-8 Board puppets to intimidate first-year board member Debbie Fort, was noted by the radio station and the newspaper.

After Tuesday night's Board of Education meeting, KZRG reporter Joe Lancello was asking Dr. Fort questions concerning remarks she had made about teacher professional development and the amount of time it was taking away from the classroom.

The board's attorney, John Nicholas, the same John Nicholas who is on the ballot for a Jasper County judge position next month, interrupted and said that all questions for board members needed to go through Board President Anne Sharp- it was "board protocol."

It was intimidation- plain and simple.

As far as I can tell, neither the Globe nor KZRG asked Nicholas who had given him the order to stop the interview. And though I am sure Nicholas would deny it, he would not have stopped Lancello if the KZRG reporter had been interviewing board members Mike Landis, Lynda Banwart, Randy Steele, or Shawn McGrew.

It was more of the same childish games Huff and the board have been playing with Dr. Fort since she joined the board in April and began questioning the way things have been done- something that someone should have done a long time ago.

Those who have watched the board meetings on television or have seen them in person, have had the opportunity to see Landis roll his eyes when Dr. Fort speaks, whisper back and forth with Huff, and have seen them obviously in the act of sending text messages during the meeting, some have said to each other.

Huff warned her at the end of the last meeting that if she wanted to ask him questions about the board meeting she should let him know beforehand what they were so he could come up with the information.

Board President Anne Sharp slapped Dr. Fort down at an earlier meeting simply because Dr. Fort asked a question that her constituents had asked her about having to pay fees to park at the new high school. Despite the fact that many constituents had been asking that question and the people who had the information were in the room, Sharp coldly cut Dr. Fort off and told her if people wanted to know, they could call the principal.

So much for public service.

When Dr. Fort's questions about the district's out-of-control spending became embarrassing, the Huff team submitted a policy change that would eliminate the Finance Committee. That effort was not successful, but no doubt the idea will be revisited.

On Tuesday night, John Nicholas was sending the message that Debbie Fort was not to talk to the media and if she did she was in big trouble.

You would think a lawyer, soon to be a judge, would have more respect for the First Amendment and more respect for the taxpayers of the Joplin R-1 School District- the people who have paid his hefty fees.

Both the Globe and KZRG reported on Huff's heavy-handed intimidation techniques, with Nicholas taking the brunt of the coverage.

Today, the Globe Editorial Board took it a step further.

The public elects each member of the board, not just a board president. And the last time we looked, the public does not elect the board attorney, or the school's public relations person, to whom Sharp said media should ask questions.

When asked whether a reporter can ask individual board members after a meeting to clarify their statements or explain their positions, Sharp said they should ask those questions through Kelli Price, the school district's public relations person.

Sharp even said that follow-up questions should be directed to Price instead of to board members.

We aren't going to do that and neither should you. By avoiding the media's questions, board members are dodging you.

After all, we are asking those questions on your behalf.

Now that the Globe has thrown down the gauntlet, it is time to live up to its lofty words and carry through with its pledge.

It is time to start asking the tough questions and see where they lead. It may be the only thing that can save the Globe from the embarrassment that is going to take place when the state audit report is released. The report is undoubtedly going to reveal many things that could have been and should have been brought to the public's attention long ago.

It is too late to save the millions that C. J. Huff and his compliant school board have squandered or to undo the harm that has been done to district employees. It is not too late to do something to help the people who still work there and the thousands of children who are dependent on Joplin public schools for their education.

I pose this question to the members of the traditional media- if C. J. Huff is willing to use tactics such as these in an effort to intimidate a board member elected by a wide margin by district voters and do it so blatantly in front of everyone- then why are you having such a hard time believing that he has created a culture of fear that has destroyed a school system that was heading in the right direction before his arrival six years ago?

KOAM, KZRG, the Joplin Globe, and hopefully, others are finally starting to take a look at the monster they have helped create. It should never have taken this long, but as I have told people for the past year, once they join in, C. J. Huff's days in Joplin are numbered.

I am eagerly anticipating the final audit report, but there is no reason for the media to wait for Tom Schweich. Start asking C. J. Huff the tough questions.

It shouldn't be difficult. After all, he's in Joplin at least three days a week.

C. J. Huff's no-fault discipline policy running off good teachers

Unless you watched last Tuesday night's Joplin R-8 Board of Education meeting on Jet 14 or on this blog, you missed the most important exchange that occurred.

It wasn't in the Joplin Globe. 

It wasn't on KZRG.

It wasn't featured on the local TV stations' newscasts.

It was included in the Turner Report coverage.

The R-8 School District's executive director of secondary education Jason Cravens trumpeted the fact that the high school had 100 less disciplinary referrals than last year.

The following passage was featured in my post:

Cravens credited the positive behavior plans being implemented at the schools, as well as working with teachers on what issues should be handled in the classroom and which should be dealt with by the office..

Superintendent C. J. Huff made it a point to say, "There has never been a directive from my office to fudge the numbers whether it be with graduation rates or school discipline."

Board member Jim Kimbrough has talked to enough teachers and parents to know that Cravens' statement did not jibe with reality. He asked Cravens if he had sought any anecdotal evidence to prove that there were less disciplinary problems.

Cravens hemmed and hawed a few moments and said he had.

Teachers at all three levels in the Joplin R-8 School District have told me that Cravens' remarks saddened and depressed them, but they had not really expected anything different.

The board meeting came only a few days after I received information about an event that occurred in a high school classroom. Sadly, it was not the first time I had heard this kind of story. It has happened, over and over, at Joplin High School, and I know it has also happened at East Middle School.

A male student was acting up. A veteran female teacher, well respected in the district, attempted to get the student into line and for her efforts, she was shouted at and called a string of vile, obscene names. The student was sent to the office. Before the hour was over, the student was back in the classroom, with a nice little note saying he was sorry.

That was the full extent of the punishment.

It happens over and over again.

The message is clear- Don't send students to the office. Handle it yourself.

That is how you get 100 less referrals. The teacher in question had already stopped sending students to the office for serious offenses that not too long ago might have resulted in out-of-school suspensions.

That is also how you lose approximately 300 teachers over a three-year period.

Meanwhile, C. J. Huff, with his two years of classroom teaching experience, can sit safely in his office, far away from the reality of the schools he has created, and beam approvingly as his executive director of secondary education reveals the good news that all is sunshine at the new Joplin High School.

Of course, C. J. Huff never told his principals to fudge the numbers. He did not have to. All he had to do was set the target number and tell them to do whatever they had to do to make it work. After all, the same approach has enabled the high school to record its remarkable graduation rates over the past few years.

I initially did not write about the Joplin High School classroom incident because my fear over the consequences of the things I have written has grown steadily over the past few months. If I write about something that happens in a particular classroom I am putting that teacher in danger of becoming the next target of C. J. Huff's wrath.

C. J. Huff has spent thousands upon thousands of dollars in an effort to find out who the sources are for my reports. He has wrongfully accused a number of teachers and other employees of being my sources.

In one instance, he called a teacher into his office, alternately shouted at her, cried, and threatened her. This teacher, who had been in the Joplin R-8 School District for two decades and had always received glowing evaluations, went through a nightmarish year as administrators not only failed to back her up on disciplinary issues, but also began writing her up for anything that crossed their minds.

This teacher resigned at the end of the 2013-2014 school year.

She was not the source for any of my posts.

That's how the message gets out- if you talk to Randy Turner, we will destroy you.

It is also how the horrors that C. J. Huff has condoned have continued to grow with no end in sight.

The worst part of all of this is that the local media knows what I have been writing about C. J. Huff and the Joplin R-8 School District is accurate. I have talked to reporters who know that what is going on has nothing to do with improving education for the children of Joplin. Reporters in the electronic media are fully aware of this and so are some of the veteran reporters at the Joplin Globe. Too much of what I have written about can be documented, and has been, on this blog, for anyone who keeps up with what is going on to ignore it.

Some have told me they are playing a waiting game. They are waiting for state auditors to come down hard on C. J. Huff and the school board that has enabled him and catered to his narcissistic cult of personality.

Some have started, little by little, pulling back the curtain, so that their viewers and listeners (sorry, not as much readers at this point) can see that it is not a wizard that is dazzling us with all kinds of wondrous sights and sounds, but simply a fraud from Kansas who arrived in this position thanks to a tornado.

Now it is time for the media who have allowed C. J. Huff to take us down this yellow brick road to 21st Century Learning, to get a brain, heart, and courage and put an end to this ongoing nightmare.

Ignore the record: C. J. Huff strong supporter of raising teacher salaries

Another act of revisionist history has been taking place in the Joplin R-8 School District.

Last summer, Superintendent C. J. Huff initialed a budget submitted by CFO Paul Barr which called for teachers to receive a salary increase amounting to only one to three dollars per week. The plan called for no step increase for teachers. After the Board's Finance Committee got its hands on that plan, the teachers received their step increases and suddenly, since it was on camera, Huff changed his tune about teacher salaries. (He also has made efforts to get rid of the Finance Committee.)

Of course, he noted that he had been distracted over the past three years by the things that had to be done following the tornado.

Huff told the board that a committee was going to be put together, headed by COO Tina Smith, to make sure that district salaries will become more competitive.

Huff failed to mention that before he arrived, they were competitive.

Teachers received word last week that the work on salaries will begin Monday, November 3, during a meeting in the Administration Building. Not many specifics were provided.

During a time when teachers have gone years with either no increase or meager increases, the amount of high-salaried administrators and administrative positions has skyrocketed for the R-8 District.

That situation was addressed in the June 20 Turner Report:

Joplin R-8 teacher pay, which under the stewardship of C. J. Huff's predecessor, Jim Simpson, had moved to second in this area behind Webb City, now trails Webb City, Carl Junction, Neosho, and Carthage, to name a few.

But the darkness that has enveloped the teachers and staff in the Joplin school district is not everywhere. There is a building where people do not have to worry about making ends meet.

In the Administration bunker at 32nd and Duquesne, a state list provided annually by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch from information supplied by the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, shows 35 people who are listed as working in the central administration building pulling down annual salaries of $50,000 or more.

Six employees, including C. J. Huff, made more than $100,000 during the 2013-2014 school year.

The list does not include at least four other employees who are likely at the top of the pay scale- Chief Operating Officer Tina Smith, who was human relations director last year, CFO Paul Barr, Building Projects Director Mike Johnson and Director of Community Development Kim Vann.

Those administrators are not included because they are not educators so their salaries do not have to be submitted to the state.

The invitation that was sent to R-8 teachers reads as follows:

Joplin Schools Salary Study


Joplin Schools is implementing a study of the salary schedules for all employee classifications of the district. Employees interested in hearing an overview and timeline for the process are invited to attend a meeting to be held

Monday, November 3, 2014
4 p.m.
Joplin Schools Administration Building
ABC Conference Room

The message was sent by Tina Smith, chief operations officer.

Joplin city manager may be selected by early November

A report from KSN News

Video- More than 100 attend Democrats' Jackson Days West banquet

A report from KSN News

Fifteen Jasper County businesses caught selling alcohol to minors

A report from KSN News

Springfield man convicted for sexual assault on 11-year-old girl

A report from KOLR News

Citizens calling for Sen. Nasheed's impeachment

Fox News lobbyist, PACS add $25,000 to Billy Long campaign

The month of October has been a good one for Seventh District Congressman Billy Long.

Between grandstanding on the Ebola virus and raking in campaign cash, barring a major upset, Long appears to be headed toward a third two-year term.

The Long campaign, which has raised $1,134, 229 over the past two years and spent $592,669.53, has kept the cash spigot flowing, according to the pre-general election report and 48-hour reports filed with the FEC.

Among those contributing to Long's campaign:

-Edward Fritts, head of the Fritts group, lobbyist for News Corp, the parent company of Fox News; CBS and the National Association of Broadcasters $1,500

-James May, head of the May Group, a lobbying firm which specializes in transportation issues $2,500

-Realtor PAC $4,000

-Dairy Farmers of America $2,500

-Wellpoint, Inc. $2,000

-National Association of Home Builders $2,500

-American Medical Association $2,000

-National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisers $2,000

-American Maritime Officers $2,000

-ACPAC $2,000

-United Health Group $1,000

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Woman who didn't seek help for dying Joplin Honky to be arraigned Monday

A Carl Junction woman who did not seek help for a dying man because she thought she might get into trouble for using meth will be arraigned in Newton County Circuit Court 9 a.m. Monday on a charge of abandoning a corpse.

Chelsie Berry, 25, told the Newton County Sheriff's Department that she had left the body of Dennis "Nathan" Meier, described by the department as a member of the Joplin Honkies gang on a driveway near Diamond. (Her statements can be found in the probable cause affidavit.)

Initially, Berry had a co-defendant, Jared Prier, but the charge against him was dropped after Berry stopped talking and then refiled last week.

Newton County Sheriff Ken Copeland also indicated that Prier is a member of the Joplin Honkies.

October 2015 trial date set for accused killer/rapist of Adriaunna Horton

October 2015 trial dates have been set for Bobby Bourne, 36, Lockwood, who is charged with first degree murder, kidnapping, and statutory rape in connection with the August 19, 2013, death of 12-year-old Adriaunna Horton of Golden City.

Jury selection will begin in Buchanon County on October 6, 2015, with the jury being brought here for trial on October 13. The Barton County Circuit Courtroom has been booked for a couple of weeks for the trial.

Barton County Prosecuting Attorney Steven Kaderly is seeking the death penalty. Bourne is represented by Thomas Jacquinot and Patrick Berrigan public defenders who specialize in capital cases.

Bourne is currently serving a 15-year sentence, which was handed down in Cedar County after he admitted he had violated his probation by not attending a court-ordered Batterer Intervention Program.

As noted earlier in the Turner Report, Bourne was on probation for charges of domestic assault, assault on a law enforcement officer, and resisting arrest when Adriaunna Horton was raped and murdered..

As noted in the August 22 Turner Report, Bourne remained free even after he was arrested in Dade County after being charged with assault on an underage girl and assaulting the girl's mother.

During a hearing earlier this year, prosecutors indicate Bourne raped and murdered Adriaunna Horton as revenge because Adriaunna's father had an affair with Bourne's wife while Bourne was serving time for another crime.

C. J. Huff spreads Bright Futures message to Poplar Bluff on taxpayers' time

 Just one week after he delivered the keynote address at a professional development meeting for the Elk Island Public School District in Sherwood Park, Alberta, Canada on a weekday, Superintendent C. J. Huff was attending another speaking engagement.

The accompanying photo and video show the Joplin R-8 superintendent, as a representative of the Bright Futures USA non-profit organization, which is allegedly an entirely separate entity that has nothing to do with the Joplin School District, delivering an address to the newly-created Poplar Bluff Bright Futures during its Friday, October 17, kickoff breakfast.

The Poplar Bluff appearance marked at least 13 days, counting his upcoming speech in November at Saskatchewan that Huff has been absent from his duties as superintendent during the work week while delivering speeches that either talk about his role in making sure there would be school in Joplin in August 2011 or about the positive impact of Bright Futures.

C. J. Huff's 2014 weekday speeches:

Thursday, Jan. 23- Wisconsin Association of School Boards

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

Tuesday, June 3- Bright Futures USA training session for Hazelwood Bright Futures

Monday,July 14, -Wednesday, July 16- National School Public Relations Association, Baltimore, Maryland. (panel discussion)

Thursday, July 17- Bright Futures USA presentation in Beaufort County, North Carolina

Tuesday, July 22 Tenth Annual Arkansas Safe Schools Conference, North Little Rock

Monday, August 11- Bright Futures USA morning speech in Pea Ridge, Arkansas

Friday, September 5- Mid-morning speech at Kansas City Rotary Convention

Thursday, September 25, Friday, September 26- Speeches in Chicago, Illinois

Friday, October 10- Keynote speaker at professional development for Elk Island Public School District, Sherwood Park, Alberta, Canada.

Friday, October 17- speaker at Poplar Bluff Bright Futures kickoff breakfast

Tuesday,November 18- Saskatchewan School Boards Association

This year is not the first year that Huff has chosen to take his show on the road during times when he should have been on the clock for Joplin R-8 taxpayers.

As noted in the October 16 Turner Report, Huff was paid through the Washington Speakers Bureau for a speech he made Tuesday, May 7, 2013, at the New Mexico Mines and Safety Conference.

The arrangement of the speech through the Washington Speakers Bureau was confirmed by Randy Logsdon, senior safety advisor for Intrepid Potash-New Mexico.

"He was selected as a keynote speaker (Leadership in Action: Build Better Teams by Creating Common Ground) because of his experience and insight following the tragic tornado in Joplin," Logdson told The Turner Report, in an e-mail.

"The theme for the 2013 NMMHSC was “Everyday Heroes” and his remarks helped to set the stage for the remaining 1 ½ days. He followed up the keynote with a break-out session(A Conversation with C.J. Huff) immediately following the keynote session."

The New Mexico appearance was not the only one Huff made on a weekday during 2013.

C. J. Huff's 2013 weekday speeches:

Tuesday, January 8- Panel discussion in Washington, D. C.

Tuesday, February 12- Midwest Education Technology Conference, St Charles

Tuesday, May 7- New Mexico Mine and Safety Conference

Friday, July 26- Building Emergency Coordinator Annual Training, Virginia Tech

Thursday, October 17- California Emergency Management Training and Conference, Santa Rosa

Thursday, October 31- Community Prayer Breakfast, Blue Springs (keynote speaker)

The list does not include some that were within a short distance of Joplin, including weekday speeches in Pittsburg, Grove, Springfield, and in Joplin.

Student pulls gun in Lathrop school

Nevada, Sheldon, Hume districts oppose Amendment 3

Add Nevada, Sheldon, and Hume to the more than 120 school boards that have passed resolutions opposing Amendment 3.

Amendment 3 would strip teachers of their tenure protection, require that teachers be evaluated by how well their students do on standardized tests, and greatly increase the number of tests that students have to take.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Reception held for Joplin city manager candidates

A report from KODE News

Amazon message lists Let Teachers Teach among books for educators

I enjoyed receiving this message from Amazon this morning listing some books on education for teachers:

Are you looking for something in our Education & Teaching Books department? If so, you might be interested in these items.
Let Teachers Teach
by Randy Turner

List Price: $16.99
Price: $13.51
You Save: $3.48 (20%)
TEAS Review Manual, Version 5.0 (ATI, Study Manual for the Test of Essential Academic Skills(TEAS))
by Inc. Assessment Technologies

List Price: $46.00
Price: $43.70
You Save: $2.30 (5%)
Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons
by Phyllis Haddox

List Price: $22.00
Price: $16.15
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The Anatomy Coloring Book (4th Edition)
by Wynn Kapit

List Price: $24.30
Price: $15.01
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Phonics for Kindergarten, Grade K (Home Workbook)
by Carson-Dellosa Publishing

List Price: $4.49
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100 Words Kids Need to Read by 1st Grade: Sight Word Practice to Build Strong Readers
by Terry Cooper

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Hands Are Not for Hitting (Board Book) (Best Behavior Series)
by Martine Agassi

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My First Book Of Tracing (Kumon Workbooks)
by Shinobu Akaishi

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Big crowd expected for Jackson Days West

(From Southwest Missouri Democrats)

Southwest Missouri Democrats have received  120 RSVPs for Jackson Days West, the biggest and most spectacular annual event for Southwest Missouri Democrats, will be held on Saturday, Oct. 25 at Briarbrook.  There will be a buffet-style dinner and live and silent auctions with the hilarious auctioneer, Pat Kelly.
We have have eight Table Sponsors for this year's event: Jim Evans for Congress, Laborers Local 319, Teamsters Local 245, Teamsters Local 823, Plumbers/Pipefitters  Local 178, CWA 6313, IBEW Local 53 and LEPCI.

Our keynote speaker is Crystal Brinkley, Executive Director of the Missouri State Democratic Party.

Our other speakers include:

-Jim Kabell, President of the Missouri-Kansas-Nebraska Conference of Teamsters
-State Senator Scott Sifton (D), Missouri 1st Senatorial District
-Jim Evans (D), Candidate for the 7th Congressional District

We will have two-minute stump speeches from:

- Charles (Hugh) Shields (D), candidate for the Missouri House 161st District
- Michael Jarrett (D), candidate for the Missouri House 163rdDistrict
- Bob Glenn (D), candidate for Dade County Presiding Commissioner

Executive Director for the Southwest Missouri Democrats and recently elected Chair of the 7th Congressional District Democratic Committee, Krista Stark will provide the welcome speech. Stark says proudly, “This event is the one night of the year we try to bring together all of our members-- candidates, county committee precinct captains, club leaders and members, volunteers and donors, longstanding members and Young Democrats. The event continues to grow each year.”

Jackson Days West
October 25, 2014

Briarbrook Country Club
502 Briarbrook Dr.
Carl Junction, MO 64834

Cocktail Hour --5:30
Buffet -- at 6 p.m.
Speaking program-- 7p.m.
Silent and Live Auction