Friday, September 30, 2016

Billy Long: Halting Table Rock Shore Management Plan

(From Seventh District Congressman Billy Long)

On September 28, the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R.5303, “Water Resources Development Act of 2016.” This bill was a major piece of legislation focused on harbors, locks, dams, flood protection and other water resources focusing on infrastructure. The bill passed with my support by a vote of 399-25.

Within this piece of legislation is an amendment I proposed that passed the full House regarding the Table Rock Lake Shoreline Management Plan. The Army Corps of Engineers is currently undertaking a revision of the lake’s Shoreline Management Plan and has in place a moratorium on dock permits to halt development along the lake.

Because of the current moratorium on dock permits, if you own land around Table Rock Lake and want to build a dock, you aren’t able to. If you already have a dock, but the dock is damaged or needs to be updated, you cannot even get a permit to repair it. Individuals around Table Rock Lake have not been able to update their docks for almost two years.

I have met with the community and the Army Corps of Engineers numerous times throughout this process, and the overwhelming consensus from my constituents is that their input is not being taken seriously on an issue that will have far reaching effects on the local economy and for those living on the lake.

Table Rock Lake is one of southwest Missouri’s premier destination spots as well as the home to lots of folks. Not having their voices heard became very frustrating for them and that’s when I knew I owed it to my constituents to lend a hand.

My amendment will accomplish four things: delay the Shoreline Management Plan update by 5 years, lift the moratorium on issuing permits for new or existing docks, extend the public comment period and require a study on the permit fee structure.

My amendment that is in the bill will allow time for those in southwest Missouri to not only have their voices heard and offer recommendations, but give them time to fully understand what the plan does, how it will affect them and what steps need to be taken in order to be fully prepared for the implementation of the updated Shoreline Management Plan.

Cleaver: Wells Fargo showed blatant disregard for moral decency

(From Fifth District Congressman Emanuel Cleaver)

Yesterday, during the House Financial Services Committee hearing, I had the opportunity to question the Wells Fargo CEO, John Stumpf, about one of the worst financial abuses since the foreclosure crisis. Colleagues and I on the House Financial Services Committee examined how thousands of people were deceived and ripped off under his watch. Needless to say, there wasn’t a clear explanation.

My questions to Mr. Stumpf centered on just how high this scheme, this blatant disregard for moral decency, extended in the company. Wells Fargo has fired 5,300 lower level employees, but it is unclear how much senior executives are really being held accountable. The answers given were not sufficient. This behavior was not an isolated incident, but a pervasive scheme based on unreasonable quota demands and a perverse compensation structure. This kind of policy comes from the top, and senior executives must be held accountable.

From 2011 on, improper sales practices at Wells Fargo resulted in a staggering number of unauthorized accounts by employees. Employees secretly opened as many as 2 million credit or debit card accounts for current customers – without their knowledge. They then created fake pin numbers and phony email addresses to manage the accounts. All this so they could meet quotas, collect fees for opening new accounts, and charge overdraft or late fees.

Each of us on the Housing and Finance Committee represents about 700,000 people and every one of them should be angry about this. People who were denied important life-changing decisions - decisions like buying a home, a car or trying to start a business. Wells Fargo customers were getting ripped off and were not even aware – while Wells Fargo’s stock continued to rise.

The attitude unfortunately of some corporate executives is greed is good, greed is right. Thousands of bank customers were on fire and Wells Fargo had tubs of water but decided to drink it and let the people burn.

McCaskill testifies for Missouri companies in trade dispute

(From Sen Claire McCaskill)

If there's one thing I know for sure about Missouri manufacturers, it's this — when they compete on a level playing field, they have what it takes to win.

That's why recently, I jumped at the opportunity to testify on behalf of Missouri companies like Bull Moose Tube Company and EXLTUBE in front of the panel responsible for resolving trade disputes. These two companies — like so many others across the state — represent the best of American-made infrastructure... and it's my job as your Senator to protect them, and the thousands of jobs they create in our state, from unfair trade practices.

Foreign competitors in Korea, Mexico, and Turkey are intentionally — and illegally — taking steps to undercut U.S. prices. And so I was thrilled that after my testimony, the panel voted in a 4–2 vote to protect these Missouri companies and slap those illegally subsidized imports with the appropriate taxes. (Read more in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch)

This isn't the first time I've gone to bat for Missouri businesses — and it won't be the last

Our manufacturers bolster our economy and create products that make our lives better. When they succeed, we succeed, and I'm going to make sure that happens.

Joplin R-8 soliciting bids for Early Childhood Center construction

The Joplin R-8 School District posted the following ad for bids for construction of the Early Childhood Center

Joplin School District- New Joplin Early Childhood Center

The Joplin School District will be soliciting bids for a New Early Childhood Center on the property just north of Irving Elementary at 2810 South McClelland Blvd. The New Early Childhood Center is a single story 38,200SF II-B structure comprised of spread footings, structural stud walls, light gage metal truss roof structure with metal deck and full depth brick veneer exterior skin. A portion of the project is a high wind shelter comprised of reinforced CMU walls and precast hollow core roof deck. Site work includes parking, drop off lanes, retaining walls, and an early childhood playground.

Separate sealed bids for a New Early Childhood Center will be received by Dr. Kerry Sachetta at Joplin Schools (310 W. 8th Street, Joplin, MO 64801) until 2 o'clock (P.M. CST) November 1, 2016, and then at said office publicly opened and read aloud.

The Information for Bidders, Form of Bid, Form of Contract, Plans, Specifications, and Forms of Bid Bond, Performance and Payment Bond, and other contract documents may be examined at the following: Joplin Schools (Joplin Schools 310 W. 8th Street, Joplin, MO 64801) and Hollis + Miller Architects (220 NW Executive Way, Lee's Summit, MO 64063). Copies may be obtained at the office of Springfield Blueprint & Photo Copy, located at 219 East Pershing, Springfield, MO 65806 (telephone (417.869.7316) – web upon payment of a cost determined by Springfield Blueprint or each set.

Any unsuccessful bidder, upon returning such set promptly and in good condition, will be refunded his payment, and any non-bidder upon so returning such a set will be refunded a cost determined by Springfield Blueprint.

The owner reserves the right to waive any informalities or to reject any or all bids. Each bidder must deposit with his bid security in the amount, form and subject to the conditions provided in the Information for Bidders.

Attention of bidders is particularly called to the requirements as to conditions of employment to be observed and minimum wage rates to be paid under the contract, Section 3-DBE, Segregated Facility, Section 109, and E.O. 11246. MBE and WBE bidders are encouraged to bid. No bidder may withdraw his bid within (60) days after the actual date of the opening thereof.

This project is in partnership with the City of Joplin utilizing Housing and Urban Development Community Block Grant Disaster Recovery Funding.


Publication Date/Time:
9/30/2016 6:00 AM
Closing Date/Time:
11/1/2016 2:00 PM
Bid Opening Information:
Contact Person:
Dr. Kerry Sachetta at Joplin Schools
Plan & Spec Available:
The Information for Bidders, Form of Bid, Form of Contract, Plans, Specifications, and Forms of Bid Bond, Performance and Payment Bond, and other contract documents may be examined at the following: Joplin Schools (Joplin Schools 310 W. 8th Street, Joplin, MO 64801) and Hollis + Miller Architects (220 NW Executive Way, Lee's Summit, MO 64063). Copies may be obtained at the office of Springfield Blueprint & Photo Copy, located at 219 East Pershing, Springfield, MO 65806 (telephone (417.869.7316) – web upon payment of a cost determined by Springfield Blueprint or each set.

Plan Holders List:
The Information for Bidders, Form of Bid, Form of Contract, Plans, Specifications, and Forms of Bid Bond, Performance and Payment Bond, and other contract documents may be examined at the following: Joplin Schools (Joplin Schools 310 W. 8th Street, Joplin, MO 64801) and Hollis + Miller Architects (220 NW Executive Way, Lee's Summit, MO 64063). Copies may be obtained at the office of Springfield Blueprint & Photo Copy, located at 219 East Pershing, Springfield, MO 65806 (telephone (417.869.7316) – web upon payment of a cost determined by Springfield Blueprint or each set.

Williams campaigns in district while Billy Long holds Weekend in Vegas

(From Southwest Missouri Democrats)

Supporters of Genevieve Williams will gather inside the SWMO Democrats Campaign HQ 106 S. Main, Joplin, MO 64801 on Saturday, October 1st at 10:30 am.

Krista Stark, campaign manager for Genevieve Williams states,

“Our Congressman Billy Long will be spending September 30th to October 3rd in Las Vegas hosting a $2,500 a person fundraiser. In an interview with the Springfield News-Leader, Royce Reding characterized the Vegas weekend as ‘an example of ‘thinking outside of the box.’”

As the Genevieve (Gen) Williams Campaign Manager and the Chair of the 7th Democratic District, I support her statement that Billy is thinking outside of 11 Boxes, the 11 counties of the 7th Congressional District. We need a Representative who will stop gambling with our future. Genevieve is just the person to call his bluff and #retirebilly on November 8th. Once Rep. Long is retired no one will mind how much time he spends in Las Vegas!”

“The public is invited to meet a candidate who can think outside the box while remaining inside the District. “

“While Billy is in Vegas taking contributions from high rollers, Genevieve and #TeamGen4Congress will be traveling through 11 counties in 4 days. She will be speaking with voters in all 11 counties of the 7th Congressional District. Look for updates about the times and locations of these events at and @genforcongress on Twitter.”

Information about the Billy Long Vegas Fundraiser

Joplin MAP scores near the bottom in Jasper. Newton counties

Evidence of the disastrous lack of attention to education during former Joplin R-8 Superintendent C. J. Huff's seven-year tenure was once again spelled out with the release of Missouri Assessment Program (MAP) test scores.

Of the 10 K-12 districts in the two-county area, Joplin finished dead last in math for all tested grades combined, seventh in English, seventh in science, and fifth in social studies.

In numerous posts, the Turner Report has detailed the annual drop in MAP scores during Huff's years. This year, because of the implementation of new tests for English and math, comparisons cannot be made with previous years.

But all Missouri schools were taking the same tests, so the comparisons between school districts are legitimate.

While too much emphasis is placed on standardized tests, something that is completely to the detriment of education, these tests can be used as one of many factors in evaluating the education that is received.

The reasons for the scores dropping during the Huff year basically break down to a lack of leadership from the top, including Huff driving off nearly 400 teachers (out of a faculty of 600) over his final four years.

After three years of losing more than 100 teachers per year, the number actually dropped to about 75 during Huff's final year.

This year, while Interim Superintendent Norm Ridder indicated at a recent R-8 Board meeting that the number leaving the district while still too high this year, was down, that was not the whole story. That is true when compared to three of the final four years of the Huff era, but another 75 teachers left after the 2015-2016 school year, about the same as in Huff's last year.

While some of those teachers who left were first-year teachers, most of them continue to add to the drain of educational expertise. Many of those teachers have found their way to school districts that are routinely posting higher test scores than Joplin, including Webb City, Carl Junction, and Neosho.

Another reason for the falloff in recent years has been a culture that has emphasized one new initiative after another, with each of them accompanied by various meetings and seminars that pull teachers out of class. Often, teachers in tested areas were not in their classrooms as much as 15 to 20 percent of the time during the school year. No matter how good a substitute teacher is, or how solid a lesson plan has been prepared for that substitute, the level of education dropped on those days.

And the meetings and seminars, as well as other initiatives, including the high school's highly touted "Transitions" have continued to remove teachers and/or students from classrooms at a much higher rate than you what you see in surrounding school districts.

While teachers who have talked with the Turner Report have been highly complimentary of the more positive attitude Ridder has brought to the district after the reign of terror led by Huff and his assistant superintendent, Angie Besendorfer, there continues to be concerns that too much of the framework put in place by Huff (who is still receiving a full salary from the district through the end of this calendar year) is in charge of the educational process.

Jennifer Doshier, who is in charge of curriculum, instruction, and assessment, was promoted to upper administration after driving off almost the entire faculty at McKinley Elementary, where she was the principal. Doshier is also the one who blithely told the Board of Education that she has no idea whether the change to an emphasis on one-to-one education (laptops or iPads for all students) has had any effect on learning.

It was also Doshier who has continued to push initiatives, including the recently departed Core Collaborative, as cures for everything that ails the district. While Ridder has pushed toward having each building devise its own professional development, something teachers appreciate, leaving Doshier in place as a new superintendent arrives is not a wise idea.

There is also a distrust of Mark Barlass, the executive director of student services, who is in control of special education areas. Barlass has made many enemies since his arrival.

Though Ridder and the Board of Education have trimmed much of the fat from upper administration, something that desperately needed to be done, they have increased the power of two people, Doshier and Barlass, who are unlikely to ever gain the confidence and respect of the teachers.

That could very well lead to more teachers searching for work in other districts or taking early retirement.

The inexperience of the R-8 faculty is a growing problem. That is not an indictment of the quality of the teachers who have been hired over the past few years, but in an ideal school system, you have a mixture of seasoned veterans, younger teachers with 5 to 10 years of experience, and talented newcomers who can benefit from those who have faced the same challenges as they are facing and learned how to deal with them.

At a board meeting about a year ago, it was revealed that more than half of the R-8 faculty had less than five years of teaching experience. That number has likely increased with the continued departure of so many teachers.

No initiative, no wonder cure is going to be able to make up for the loss of so many veteran teachers.

Even if teachers can be reassured that things are going to get better despite the continued presence of Doshier, Barlass, and principals who rose to their positions by serving as teaching/learning coaches (many of them considered to be spies for administration), there is another factor that the district may have a harder time overcoming.

The dangerous overspending during the Huff years is coming home to roost and there is a growing fear that the FEMA money that CFO Paul Barr has been promising the past couple of years is never going to find its way into the district's coffers.

Ridder recently told teachers that their raise for this year is averaging about $20 per month per teacher. For teachers who have had to go many years without raises and without respect as Huff and a morally malleable Board of Education (all of whom are thankfully no longer seated) threw away millions on everything except items that would directly affect learning, this was yet another slap in the face.

With the FEMA "errors and omissions" questionable at best, and a seven-figure settlement apparently on the horizon on the P1 lawsuit, teachers are concerned that there may not be any money left for them or for their students.

While every survey I have ever seen has shown that money is not the most important thing to teachers, years with no increases put a damper on teachers' future retirement funds and with insurance costs continuing to skyrocket, other districts that are not in a complete rebuilding mode are looking more and more attractive.

Some school districts have reached out to voters when they needed more money to hang on to faculty. That is not an option in Joplin. The $62 million bond issue passed in April 2012 is likely to be the last such proposal approved by voters for years to come.

The path ahead is not going to be easy for the Joplin R-8 School District.

(The percentages listed below are those who scored in the top two areas- advanced and proficient, in all of the tested grades combined.)
1. Webb City 72.8,
2. Carl Junction 72.
3, Jasper 63.0,
4. Sarcoxie 60.7
5.East Newton 57.8
6. Neosho 57.5
7. Joplin 57.28. Diamond 56.6
9. Seneca 56.5
10. Carthage 56.1

1. Webb City 61.6
2. Carl Junction 56.7
3. Seneca 47.9
4. Sarcoxie 46.1
5. Neosho 45.9
6. East Newton 43.5
7. Jasper 40.9
8. Diamond 40.2
9. Carthage 39.9
10. Joplin 38.1
1. Carl Junction 64.2
2. Webb City 58.7
3. Jasper 57.2
4. Sarcoxie 52.3
5. Neosho 49.0
6. Seneca 48.2
7. Joplin 44.98. Carthage 44.7
9. East Newton 40.1
10. Diamond 34.3
         Social Studies
1. Sarcoxie 84.1
2.. Carl Junction 75.3
3. Webb City 73.6
4. East Newton 67.9
5. Joplin 67.06. Seneca 63.2
7. Carthage 56.7
8. Jasper 54.8
9. Neosho 46.2
10. Diamond 35.0

So you want to be a Joplin R-8 Director of Transportation

The Joplin R-8 School District posted an advertisement for the director of transportation position Wednesday on the district website:

Position:                      Director of Transportation
Term:                           Full-time, 12 Month   

Classification:             Classified/Exempt

Location:                     Transportation

Qualifications:             Some College or equivalent technical training helpful but not
                                    Minimum of five years’ experience in education or transportation
                                    with at least three years in a supervisory position or significant
                                    leadership role;
                                    Knowledge of transportation and operation;
                                    Organization skills to route a transportation system;
                                    Commercial Drivers License and Passenger Endorsement;
                                    Such alternative to the above qualifications that the Board may
                                    find acceptable

Supervisory:                Yes

Reports to:                  Assistant Superintendent for Operations

General Expectations:
  • Supports the mission of Joplin Schools.
  • Supports the value of education.
  • Complies with the privacy rights of students.
  • Safeguards confidential and/or sensitive information.
  • Communicates effectively with all the members of the school district and community.
  • Provides excellence in customer service both internally and externally.
  • Reacts to change productively.
  • Keeps abreast of new information, innovative ideas and techniques.
  • Maintains accurate records and filing systems for accountability and audit purposes.
  • Ensures that all activities conform to district and state guidelines.
  • Ability to read, analyze, and interpret common scientific and technical journals.
  • Respond to common inquires or complaints from patrons, regulatory agencies, or members of the business community.
  • Effectively present information to top management, public groups, employee groups, and/or boards of directors.
  • Work with mathematical concepts as probability and statistical inference, and fundamentals of plane and solid geometry and trigonometry.
  • Apply concepts such as fractions, percentages, ratios, and proportions to practical situation.
  • Solve practical problems and deal with a variety of concrete and abstract variables in situations where only limited standardization exists.
  • Interpret a variety or instructions furnished in written, oral, diagram, or schedule form.
  • Establish and maintain effective working relationships with staff, and the community.
  • Perform duties with awareness of all district requirements and board of Education Policies.

Essential Functions:
  • Be involved in recruiting, interviewing, and hiring process for Route Drivers and Bus Aides.
  • Coordinate, supervise, and evaluate all Bus Drivers, Bus Aides, and Transportation Secretaries in conjunction with the daily responsibilities.
  • Oversee the Bus Driver and Bus Aide time sheets prior to submission to the Payroll Department.
  • Interpret school rules and regulations.
  • Direct the evaluation of Transportation personnel and programs.
  • Develops and administers a District-wide transportation program, including program planning, implementation and evaluation to meet all requirements of the daily instructional program and extracurricular activities.
  • Oversees the development of a bus routing system.
  • Oversees the establishment of bus stops and monitors conditions.
  • Oversees the scheduling and driver assignments of special trips.
  • Assist at time of emergency or in matters of priority such as checking road conditions during inclement weather or extracurricular activities.
  • Monitor radio communication during morning and afternoon route time, insuring day to day route discrepancies are handled in a professional manor.
  • Oversees the safety standards such as placement of the “Empty” signs at the end of every trip.
  • Investigates requests and complaints relating to transportation and responds or makes recommendations to School Principal or the Assistant Superintendent for Support Services.
  • Maintains daily records for Driver and Aide substitute assignments and absences
  • Oversees the development of Bus Driver/Aide training safety programs.
  • Communicate in a professional manner on the radio with clear and concise information on the VersaTrans system.
  • Oversee the input of information to routing, student database, map updates, and route information on VersaTrans system.
  • Maintain records for obtaining statistical information or survey data necessary for planning.
  • Coordinate all required training to the Bus Drivers and Bus Aides .
  • Implement proper DOT drug/alcohol testing procedures as well as all rules, regulations, and requirements as established by DOT, MODOT, and DESE.
  • Review student stops and loading zones for safety.
  • Coordinate and maintain records of driver physicals, driver licensing and permits, summary reports, mileage reports, and State required reports.
  • Confer regularly with principals and District-level Administrators on adequacy of services, safety, and school bus discipline.
  • Reconfigure all routes so that students will be picked up and dropped off as efficiently as possible, with consideration to time on bus, route mileage, turnarounds, and safety prior to the start of school and release for publication, includes approximate pick-up and drop-off times for each route.
  • Meet with drivers prior to start of school to discuss and finalize routes.
  • Ride each route at least one per year observing driver efficiency, safety conditions, student conduct, etc.
  • Act as the first step in the grievance procedure further advising the director.
  • Play a significant leadership role in fostering professional growth and building of staff morale throughout the area of Buildings, Grounds, and Transportation.
  • Serve as substitute driver if needed.
  • Carry out all other duties as assigned.

Physical Demands
While performing the duties of this job, the employee is regularly required to walk and talk or hear. The employee frequently is required to stand or sit. Specific vision abilities required by this job include close vision, distance vision, and depth perception
Regular and consistent attendance is an essential function of this position. 

The work conditions and environment described here are representative of those that an employee encounters while performing the essential functions of this job.  Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform essential functions.

Conditions and Environment
The noise level in this position varies. When on or around a bus, the noise level may be loud, in the office, quiet and at meetings, moderate.

Note:  The statements herein are intended to describe the general nature and level of work being performed by employees, and are not to be construed as an exhaustive list of responsibilities, duties, and skills required of personnel so classified.  Furthermore, they do not establish a contract for employment and are subject to change at the discretion of the employer.

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Lamar representative wants year-round Daylight Savings Time

Rep. Mike Kelley, R-Lamar wants Missouri to have year-round Daylight Savings Time.

Kelley told Missourinet he will likely make a fourth attempt to put a Constitutional Amendment on the ballot:

“There still seems to be a lot of interest (in his proposal), a lot of people support it. I think people are tired of the switch, it doesn’t serve a purpose in today’s society,” Kelley says.

“You know, the country is in four different time zones. And our companies don’t just deal with people in Missouri. So obviously, they’re already used to dealing with different time zones and things and once people get used to it it’s just the new standard,” Kelley says.

Greitens campaign: Chris Koster took "dirty money from sex trafficking lobbyists"

(From the Eric Greitens campaign)

Chris Koster: Wrong for Women
Chris Koster is always quick to tout his “experience.” But he is totally silent about his record on issues related to sex crimes and violence against women, probably because it is so bad.
Koster Failed to Stand Up for Victims of Sexual Abuse
In 2007, the Missouri General Assembly passed with overwhelming majorities a groundbreaking piece of legislation designed to protect the privacy of rape victims and properly punish those guilty of repeated domestic assaults. 
The bill ended the practice of forcing rape victims to pay for their own “rape kit” medical exams, made repeated first degree domestic assault a Class A felony for the first time, and provided for the removal of victims’ names and addresses from records to keep them safe from their abusers, among other reforms.
The bill, HB 583, passed the House by a vote of 133 to 19. It passed the Senate by a vote of 29 to 4.
But Chris Koster was one of the only four senators to vote against the bill. He opposed protecting the women of Missouri.
Meanwhile, Governor Matt Blunt hailed the bill as “important bi-partisan legislation that toughens sentences, helps maintain victims’ dignity, and protects safe harbors designed to assist those in danger.”
Colleen Coble, the head of the Missouri Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence, praised the bill for ensuring “that women who have survived sexual and domestic violence will no longer face obstacles that compound the violence committed against them.”
Susan Kidder, Executive Director of Women’s Support and Community Services, stated that “This important legislation speaks to the fundamental right of all citizens to live in a world that is free from relationship violence.”
MaryAnne Metheny of Hope House said that the bill contained “significant protections for victims of domestic violence and sexual assault.”
Pat Reiser of the Family Violence Center stated that the bill would allow “more victims [to] be secure enough to come forward for help.”
Koster Took Dirty Money From Sex Trafficking Lobbyists
From 2009 through 2011, Koster consistently attacked the website for allowing listings and advertisements that promoted prostitution, sex trafficking, and sexual crimes against children.  In August 2011, Koster joined other state Attorneys General in demanding information from on what efforts it was taking to remove illegal advertisements.
Then suddenly he fell silent.
According to MEC campaign contribution records, beginning in September 2011 Koster received over $12,000 in campaign contributions from’s lobbyist firm SNR Denton, including money directly from counsel Samuel Fifer.
Apparently, campaign cash is worth more to Koster than protecting Missouri’s children.
Senator Claire McCaskill understands how serious an issue this is.  Earlier this year, in a Senate hearing, she accused of being responsible for the trafficking of “the majority of children who are sold for sex in the United States today.” 

Agenda posted for Monday Joplin City Council meeting

October 3, 2016
6:00 P.M., Council Chambers
Call To Order
Pledge of Allegiance of the United States of America
Roll Call
Insurance Presentation By Segal
Bi-annual Insurance Presentation by Segal
Finalization Of Consent Agenda
Reports And Communications
Citizen Requests And Petitions
Public Hearings
AN ORDINANCE approving the voluntary annexation by the City of Joplin of property located approximately 1,900 feet south and 1,800 feet west of the intersection of Apple Road and County Road 180 in Jasper County, Missouri.
AN ORDINANCE approving the voluntary annexation by the City of Joplin of property located approximately 1,900 feet south of the intersection of Apple Road and County Road 180 in Jasper County, Missouri.
AN ORDINANCE approving the voluntary annexation by the City of Joplin of property located approximately 1,400 feet south and 220 feet west of the intersection of Apple Road and County Road 180 in Jasper County, Missouri.
AN ORDINANCE approving the voluntary annexation by the City of Joplin of property located approximately 340 feet west of the intersection of Apple Road and County Road 180 in Jasper County, Missouri.
AN ORDINANCE amending Ordinance No. 2004-256, passed by the Council of the City of Joplin, Missouri, November 15, 2004, by removing from District R-1 and including in District R-3 property as described below and located at 655 South Lavender Lane in the City of Joplin, Jasper County, Missouri.
AN ORDINANCE amending Ordinance No. 2004-256, passed by the Council of the City of Joplin, Missouri, November 15, 2004, by removing from District R-1 and including in District R-2 property as described below and located at 2024, 2025, and 2119 South Maryland Avenue in the City of Joplin, Jasper County, Missouri.
AN ORDINANCE approving the voluntary annexation by the City of Joplin of property located 570 feet west and 600 feet north of the intersection of 32nd Street and John Duffy Drive in Jasper County, Missouri.
AN ORDINANCE amending Ordinance No. 2004-256, passed by the Council of the City of Joplin, Missouri, November 15, 2004, by removing from District R-1 and including in District C-3 property as described below and located 570 feet west and 600 feet north of the intersection of 32nd Street and John Duffy Drive in the City of Joplin, Jasper County, Missouri.
AN ORDINANCE approving the voluntary annexation by the City of Joplin of property located 570 feet west of the intersection of 32nd Street and John Duffy Drive in Jasper County, Missouri.
AN ORDINANCE amending Ordinance No. 2004-256, passed by the Council of the City of Joplin, Missouri, November 15, 2004, by removing from District R-1 and including in District C-3 property as described below and located 570 feet west of the intersection of 32nd Street and John Duffy Drive in the City of Joplin, Jasper County, Missouri.
Consent Agenda
Minutes Of The September 19, 2016 Joplin City Council Meeting
AN ORDINANCE approving the applications of Active Lifestyle Inc., for Joplin Memorial Marathon; George A. Spiva Center for the Arts for PhotoSpiva 2017; George Washington Carver Birthplace Association for the 74th Carver Day; Central Christian Center for the Joyful Hearts Conference; Carl Junction Chamber of Commerce for the 2017 CJ Bluegrass Festival; Joplin Disc Golf Club for their 12th annual, Four States Open; MSSU Alumni Association for the MSSU Homecoming 2017; Emancipation Celebration Committee for the Emancipation "Park Day" Celebration 2017; Joplin Trails Coalition for their two 2017 Bicycle Tours; Missouri Dental Association Foundation for MOMOM (Missouri Mission of Mercy); Rufus Racing for the 9th annual, Summer Roundup Triathlon; TwelveOne Race Management for their 2017 TwelveOne Race Series; Historic Murphysburg Preservation, Inc. for marketing development for a 2017 Heritage Tourism event; Joplin History and Mineral Museum for the Chautauqua Series--Thomas Hart Benton; Wildcat Glades Conservation & Audubon Center for Shoal Creek Water Festival and the development of a new Center Rack Card, for utilization of FY2017 Festivals and Celebrations support pursuant to Ordinance No. 2000-148, as authorized by the voters on November 7, 2000; authorizing the City Manager to execute appropriate agreements with each such organization for the utilization of such funds.

AN ORDINANCE approving the License Agreement between the City of Joplin and TwelveOne Race Management, a Missouri Limited Liability Company, and Douglas (“Tom”) W. Rogers and Valerie D. Rogers, individually; authorizing the City Manager to execute appropriate agreements with each such organization for the utilization of such funds.
A RESOLUTION releasing and terminating any of the City of Joplin’s rights and given to the City of Joplin in Ordinance #21202, recorded in Book 1955, Page 72 in the Office of the Jasper County Recorder of Deeds.
Ordinances - Emergency
AN ORDINANCE amending the Annual Budget of the City of Joplin for the Fiscal Year 2015-2016 as adopted by Ordinance 2015-168 on October 19, 2015, to adjust appropriations and containing an emergency clause.
Ordinances - First Reading
Ordinances - Second Reading And Third Reading
Unfinished Business
New Business
Site plan review for Southeast Corner 15th Street and Range Line Road.

New ad slams Roy Blunt for trying to cash in on 9-11 bill

A new ad by Majority Forward attacks Roy Blunt's unsuccessful attempt to add an amendment favoring his lobbyist girlfriend's big tobacco client in the 9-11 legislation in 2001. That lobbyist, of course, later became Blunt's wife.

The ad, which accompanies this post, came from a $1.3 million buy by Majority Forward and the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees.

Blunt's actions were written about in the Turner Report's 2010 post, The Seduction of Roy Blunt.

Greitens spokesman criticized for posts about rape, Muslims

The ghost of Todd Akin's Senatorial aspirations has struck again, as yet another Republican candidate has been tarnished by insensitive comments about rape. This time, it was not the candidate himself, but the man who has been a spokesman for GOP gubernatorial candidate Eric Greitens in one of his most prominent advertisements.

The spokesman also posted some anti-Muslim statements.

Following the Turner Report rule, any time Todd Akin and his reference to "legitimate rape" during his Senate race are invoked, I post the 2012 song I wrote and recorded about the incident, "Akin Breakin' Heart." Strangely, after other times when I have posted this video, readers have told me they would prefer that I never mention Todd Akin's name again.

Washington Post: Trump Foundation not registered in New York to solicit donations

Washington Post reporter David Farenthold, who has to be a frontrunner for next year's Pulitzer Price just hit with another story in his continuing investigation of Republican Presidential candidate Donald Trump's charity and his charitable contributions.

In the latest installment, Farenthold reveals that the Trump Foundation has been raising money for years, but has never registered to do so in New York, where the foundation is based.

In the video, Farenthold offers an outline of his reporting.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Joplin R-8 Board considering taking on more long term debt

Joplin R-8 Board members will look at taking on more long term debt to cover payment on the debt they took on to pay building contractors.

CFO Paul Barr told the board Tuesday night, that it is likely the board will either need to look at what funds are available or take on five to seven years of long term financing to pay off the Bank of America loan.

The district owed $15,023,120 on the loan as of September 1, Barr said.

Of that amount, $1,008,596 will be covered by an EDA equipment grant, $8,600,590 by FEMA reimbursements, and $3,115,000 by SEMA reimbursements.

The FEMA and SEMA reimbursements cause the problems, Barr said, noting that none of the FEMA projects are the ones that are listed under "errors and omissions," or projects that were done that were not under the original plan approved by the federal agency.

Barr said he expected some of the FEMA project reimbursements to arrive by the current due date, but not all of them. None of the SEMA money will be here, since SEMA does not pay its 10 percent match on the FEMA funds, until all FEMA reimbursements have been made, including the errors and omissions.

Barr suggested that the board look at the financing at ifs February 2017 meeting, working with its financial advisor, George K. Baum, and seek to work out flexible financing, which would allow the district to repay on favorable terms if the money arrives earlier than anticipated.

Former KODE sports anchor excited about FDA approval of muscular dystrophy drug

Former KODE sports anchor Steve Edgerley, who was a mainstay for years on the local Jerry Lewis Labor Day Telethon to combat muscular dystrophy wanted to make sure his friends in Joplin know of  the Federal Drug Administration has approved a new drug to treat those with Duchenne muscular dystrophy.

KODE watchers will remember that Edgerley totally invested himself in the cause, returning here year after year to help with the telethon, long after he left the Joplin market.

"We couldn't be happier, as together with the Duchenne community, we celebrate FDA accelerated approval of eteplirsen to treat kids and adults with some form of Duchenne muscular dystrophy.

"I remember the people of Joplin being so great about giving money to MDA."

The following news release was issued earlier this month by the FDA:

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved Exondys 51 (eteplirsen) injection, the first drug approved to treat patients with Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD). Exondys 51 is specifically indicated for patients who have a confirmed mutation of the dystrophin gene amenable to exon 51 skipping, which affects about 13 percent of the population with DMD.

“Patients with a particular type of Duchenne muscular dystrophy will now have access to an approved treatment for this rare and devastating disease,” said Janet Woodcock, M.D., director of the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. “In rare diseases, new drug development is especially challenging due to the small numbers of people affected by each disease and the lack of medical understanding of many disorders. Accelerated approval makes this drug available to patients based on initial data, but we eagerly await learning more about the efficacy of this drug through a confirmatory clinical trial that the company must conduct after approval.”

DMD is a rare genetic disorder characterized by progressive muscle deterioration and weakness. It is the most common type of muscular dystrophy. DMD is caused by an absence of dystrophin, a protein that helps keep muscle cells intact. The first symptoms are usually seen between three and five years of age, and worsen over time. The disease often occurs in people without a known family history of the condition and primarily affects boys, but in rare cases it can affect girls. DMD occurs in about one out of every 3,600 male infants worldwide.

People with DMD progressively lose the ability to perform activities independently and often require use of a wheelchair by their early teens. As the disease progresses, life-threatening heart and respiratory conditions can occur. Patients typically succumb to the disease in their 20s or 30s; however, disease severity and life expectancy vary.

Exondys 51 was approved under the accelerated approval pathway, which provides for the approval of drugs that treat serious or life-threatening diseases and generally provide a meaningful advantage over existing treatments. Approval under this pathway can be based on adequate and well-controlled studies showing the drug has an effect on a surrogate endpoint that is reasonably likely to predict clinical benefit to patients (how a patient feels or functions or whether they survive). This pathway provides earlier patient access to promising new drugs while the company conducts clinical trials to verify the predicted clinical benefit.

The accelerated approval of Exondys 51 is based on the surrogate endpoint of dystrophin increase in skeletal muscle observed in some Exondys 51-treated patients. The FDA has concluded that the data submitted by the applicant demonstrated an increase in dystrophin production that is reasonably likely to predict clinical benefit in some patients with DMD who have a confirmed mutation of the dystrophin gene amenable to exon 51 skipping. A clinical benefit of Exondys 51, including improved motor function, has not been established. In making this decision, the FDA considered the potential risks associated with the drug, the life-threatening and debilitating nature of the disease for these children and the lack of available therapy.

Under the accelerated approval provisions, the FDA is requiring Sarepta Therapeutics to conduct a clinical trial to confirm the drug’s clinical benefit. The required study is designed to assess whether Exondys 51 improves motor function of DMD patients with a confirmed mutation of the dystrophin gene amenable to exon 51 skipping. If the trial fails to verify clinical benefit, the FDA may initiate proceedings to withdraw approval of the drug.

The most common side effects reported by participants taking Exondys 51 in the clinical trials were balance disorder and vomiting.

The FDA granted Exondys 51 fast track designation, which is a designation to facilitate the development and expedite the review of drugs that are intended to treat serious conditions and that demonstrate the potential to address an unmet medical need. It was also granted priority review and orphan drug designation.Priority review status is granted to applications for drugs that, if approved, would be a significant improvement in safety or effectiveness in the treatment of a serious condition. Orphan drug designation provides incentives such as clinical trial tax credits, user fee waiver and eligibility for orphan drug exclusivity to assist and encourage the development of drugs for rare diseases.

The manufacturer received a rare pediatric disease priority review voucher, which comes from a program intended to encourage development of new drugs and biologics for the prevention and treatment of rare pediatric diseases. This is the seventh rare pediatric disease priority review voucher issued by the FDA since the program began.

Exondys 51 is made by Sarepta Therapeutics of Cambridge, Massachusetts.

The FDA, an agency within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, protects the public health by assuring the safety, effectiveness, and security of human and veterinary drugs, vaccines and other biological products for human use, and medical devices. The agency also is responsible for the safety and security of our nation’s food supply, cosmetics, dietary supplements, products that give off electronic radiation, and for regulating tobacco products.

Billy Long, Kinder, Smith named co-chairs of Trump campaign in Missouri

(From the Trump-Pence campaign)

Today the Trump-Pence campaign announced that Missouri’s entire Republican congressional delegation, as well as all Republican nominees for statewide office, officially endorsed Donald Trump for President of the United States. Additionally, Missouri Lieutenant Governor Peter Kinder and congressmen Billy Long and Jason Smith were named Co-Chairs of Mr. Trump’s campaign efforts in Missouri.

The full list of endorsers is as follows:

· U.S. Senator Roy Blunt
· Congressman Sam Graves
· Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler
· Congressman Billy Long
· Congressman Blaine Luetkemeyer
· Congressman Jason Smith
· Congresswoman Ann Wagner
· Gubernatorial nominee Eric Greitens
· Lt. Governor nominee State Senator Mike Parson
· Attorney General nominee Josh Hawley
· Secretary of State nominee Jay Ashcroft
· State Treasurer nominee State Senator Eric Schmitt

“Missouri’s top Republican elected officials and candidates have made it clear today that they are all part of a united Republican effort, powered by an enthusiastic grassroots army, that will work hard to ensure Republican victories in Missouri from the top of the ticket on down,” said Trump Campaign Missouri State Director Aaron Willard.

“I’ve said this many times: we need more jobs and less government,” said U.S. Senator Roy Blunt. “Simply put, Hillary Clinton would be a disaster for Missouri families, jobs, and values. Like Donald Trump, I believe it’s time to put Americans’ safety, jobs, and values first.”

“Like I have done during my entire time in political office, Donald Trump is reaching out to minority communities to spread the message of how and why Republican policies can help grow the educational and economic opportunities in their communities,” said Trump campaign Missouri Co-Chair Lieutenant Governor Peter Kinder. “With his school choice and tax reform proposals, Donald Trump will revitalize America’s minority communities and ensure that all of our citizens have the best chance to succeed.”

“I look forward to working with Donald Trump as our next president because I know he will put our country first to grow jobs and the economy, negotiate better trade deals and craft an America First energy policy,” said Trump campaign Missouri Co-Chair Congressman Billy Long.

“There is a clear choice this election cycle. On one side we have Hillary Clinton and Jason Kander who want to continue the same big government policies that will regulate away every aspect of our family life, our farming traditions and the ingenuity of the American business owner. This is the same failed playbook of the liberal left that has put rural America and our economy in a stranglehold. On the other is Donald Trump, who will put an end to business as usual in Washington, put our farmers first, revitalize our economy and Make America Great Again,” said Trump campaign Missouri Co-Chair Congressman Jason Smith.