Thursday, December 14, 2017

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

During a closed session November 21, the Joplin R-8 Board of Education hired two teachers, 18 classified employees and approved eight substitute teachers.

One resignation was accepted.

Certified Employments: Hannah Fuller and Jessica Woods

Classified Employments: Jesse Blankenship, Connie Castellanos, George Conness, Joshua Covington, Justine Douthit, Sally Ellis, Teresa Hatton, Victor Hazlett, Tara Midence, Eric Powell, Libbey Randles, Alisha-Beth Sprenkle, Rayma Taylor, Gerri Tracy, Angela Ward, Victoria West, Ted Wilkins, and Donald Wilson

Substitute Teachers: Randy Adams, Tucker Dunaway, Matthew Hickman, Jill Riley, Tate Simmons, Justin Robinson, Sonia Guzman, and Kelly Creech-Brown

Resignation: Kristin Clark

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

A holiday gift is an expression of gratitude to a person who has provided a loyal service for you throughout the year. 
 There are many overlooked community helpers that deserve some recognition during the bitter cold of this holiday season. 

 In many cases, your letter carrier is walking many miles every single day, up and down flights of stairs to your porch. They persevere through all kinds of weather, just to get your letters and packages to your door. During the holiday season, the amount of mail that passes through your carrier's hands is astronomical, especially considering the increase in package delivery.

My mother is a Rural Carrier Associate for the Unites States Postal Service. This means that she is a mail carrier, but rather than walking miles upon miles to deliver your mail, she drives miles and miles and MILES to deliver it instead. The colder weather is upon us, and I recently witnessed my mother's search for the perfect pair of gloves to keep her hands warm but her fingertips functional as she handled each individual piece of mail. She looked online and searched multiple stores before settling on the pair she did.

This had me thinking about all of the well-meaning individuals who gift gloves or scarves or hats to their mail carrier around this time each year. What may seem like a perfect and thoughtful gift may very well be just that--thoughtful, but not functional? I set out on a mission to determine what gifts your mail carrier would be thrilled to receive and which gifts would be appreciated, but overall a bust.

It is very important to note that each carrier that was interviewed for this article insisted that they did not need a tip or a gift and they wish that their 'clients' didn't feel obligated to give them anything at all, but of course any and all gifts are appreciated.

Gifts that may not be appropriate.

1. Gloves and hats. The city carriers emphasized that although the gesture is appreciated, they are required to wear very specific postal beanies and hats, and often never have a chance to wear the hats they are gifted. Your carrier has probably hand-picked the best and most functional pair of gloves they could find for their position, and unfortunately, any regular pair of gloves just doesn't make the cut.

2. Baked goods. Please keep in mind that not all carriers held this opinion, but the general consensus was that, unless they know the client very well, baked goods tend to get thrown away. Some carriers expressed an awareness that not everybody appreciates what they do and go so far as to actively dislike them, so trusting baked goods from unfamiliar people is concerning. They also brought up the point that just from the outside of the house, you can never be sure of the state of someone's kitchen. In fact, one carrier stated that they received cookies from a very large house in a wealthy neighborhood that contained cat hair.

Overall, although the time and effort you spend to put into a special plate of homemade cookies or banana bread is thoughtful, unless you have a great rapport with your carrier, save them for your coworkers or family members.

More appropriate holiday gifts for your carrier.

1. Chocolate. This gift is never a disappointment. It's a pick-me-up during the long days and a wonderful and welcome surprise. It is also a very common gift for mail carriers, and jokes have been made about having chocolate in their trucks from the the year before. Although they receive a ton of chocolate, they often bring a lot of it back to the post office to share with the clerks and supervisors, who rarely receive holiday gifts.

2. Sealed food, cookies, store-bought items. If you want to shake it up a bit, instead of loading up your carrier with chocolates, try store bought cookies, snacks, crackers, etc. Your carrier often goes long periods without a break and something to nibble on throughout the day helps to make it go by a little faster.

3. Homemade crafts and gifts from children. Several carriers indicated that receiving homemade gifts from the kids really makes their day. The adorable, illegible name scrawled in crayon on a tag attached to a simple candy cane is enough to put a smile on their face.

Kids aren't the only ones who can get crafty. If you have a creative bone and want to leave your mail carrier a cute gift that they won't forget, try fun little signs or t-shirts with witty comments ("First Class mail carrier" or "You don't scare me, I work at the Post Office.") Have fun and rest assured that these thoughtful gifts are always a joy.

4. Winter first aid kit. There's nothing wrong with throwing together a kit of winter essentials. What do I put in a winter essential kit if I can't include gloves?! Lip protection, throat lozenges, face cream, energy bars, cocoa packets, hand lotion, and hand warmers are a great start!

5. Cash and gift cards. This was by and far the most popular suggestion. The key here is gift cards to fast food establishments! While they are carrying many pounds of mail and packages all day long, it's difficult to also carry cash or bring a lunch along. Sometimes the ability to stop for a quick meal is a treasure.

6. Cards and Thank Yous. Although gifts are a delightful gesture, a simple thank you card is enough many times. Sometimes all they need is appreciation for performing well at a difficult job. Knowing that they are appreciated every day of the year is the greatest gift of all.

This is not an exhaustive list, by any means, and each mail carrier is different. When in doubt, you can always try to catch them when they stop by to ask them what is on their holiday list this year.

(The columnist, Cheyla Burkett, is a Missouri Southern State University student, an instructor at RSVPaint in Joplin, and social media coordinator for Stone's Throw Dinner Theatre in Carthage.)

Leggett & Platt Chairman Emeritus Cornell donates $5 million to Joplin Arts and Entertainment Center

(From Connect2Culture)

A lead gift that will support funding of the Joplin Arts & Entertainment Center in downtown Joplin was announced Thursday, December 14, 10:00 a.m. at George A. Spiva Center for the Arts (222 West 3rd St, Joplin, MO 64801). Harry M. Cornell, Jr., Joplin, has committed the lead gift of $5 million to support funding of the Arts and Entertainment Center in downtown Joplin. 

This is the first major gift to be announced by Connect2Culture and George A. Spiva Center for the Arts for funding of the proposed $14 - $16 million project. The $5 million donation provides a naming opportunity for the entire Center which will be announced at a later date, and kicks-off the project’s capital campaign. Mr. Cornell has also committed to provide some ongoing funding over the next 15 years to support sustainability of the project.

Plans for the Center include a multi-functional 500-seat performing arts venue that presents varied opportunities for usage, an expanded home for George A. Spiva Center for the Arts, and a 1,800-2,000 capacity outdoor amphitheater/festival plaza to be located in the present parking lot in front of Memorial Hall. Connect2Culture will operate the 500-seat venue and the festival plaza, while George A. Spiva Center for the Arts will manage and control their venue.

Connect2Culture and the City of Joplin entered into a Memorandum of Understanding dated October 2, 2017 whereby the City would grant the entire parking lot in front of Memorial Hall to Connect2Culture provided it obtains a minimum of $14 million in commitments for funding the construction project by November 30, 2018. Connect2Culture has obtained satisfactory core drilling samples from the parking lot and the City continues with its efforts to finalize the land swap for the southwest corner of the parking lot with the State of Missouri by July 1, 2018. Additionally, the City is taking steps to pursue placement of Memorial Hall on the National Register of Historic Places. With such action, Connect2Culture has engaged its architects to revise Center plans to facilitate the project within the construction budget.

Harry M. Cornell, Jr., chairman emeritus of Leggett & Platt, Incorporated, Carthage, Missouri, transformed a small regional company founded in 1883 into a Fortune 500 manufacturing giant traded on the New York Stock Exchange. The grandson of a founder of Leggett & Platt, Cornell joined the company in sales in 1950 and advanced through the ranks from high school summers spent unloading rail cars to his post-college years as a traveling salesman. He excelled in his work as a plant manager in Ennis, Texas and his leadership skills eventually led him to become president and chief executive officer in 1960. During the next 52 years, he transformed Leggett & Platt from five plants and $7 million in annual sales into a $4 billion company with 130 plants in 18 countries. Leggett & Platt is a world leader in manufacturing a diverse group of products found throughout the home, the office, and in automobiles. The company employs nearly 19,000 around the globe. In 2014, Cornell was inducted into the American Furniture Hall of Fame as an Industry Fellow. In 2016, the world headquarters of Leggett & Platt was dedicated as the Cornell Campus to honor his role in the success of Leggett & Platt.

Clifford Wert, President and CFO, Connect2Culture, said, “We are delighted to receive this important commitment from Mr. Cornell. His very generous gift to our Capital Campaign is a major step in making the Center a reality. This lead gift will have a lasting legacy impact upon Joplin and the region. Connect2Culture and Spiva leadership are working very hard to reach the capital campaign goal of $14 - $16 million and plan to have more naming gift announcements in early 2018.”

Sharon Beshore, Chairman of the Board of Connect2Culture and Cornell family representative said, “Mr. Cornell has valued the role the arts play in everyday life. When Mr. Cornell thinks about art, it is in the context of a quote by artist Robert Henri, The Art Spirit. He has the quote framed and sitting in his kitchen. He has referenced this ‘art spirit’ in conversation over the many years. It reads, ‘Art when really understood is the province of every human being…when the artist is alive in any person, whatever his kind of work may be, he becomes an inventive, searching, daring, self-expressing creature.’”

Beshore continued, “Early on in the development of the Center, Mr. Cornell understood the vision and importance of creating a visual and performing arts center as a cultural cornerstone in downtown Joplin – one that could support a vibrant downtown and a contribution to the richness and improved quality of life for citizens from Joplin and the region. For many years, he has been a philanthropist to visual and performing arts organizations, including Connect2Culture and George A. Spiva Center for the Arts, so this was a natural fit. He is very pleased that he can help leave a lasting cultural legacy in the community."

In reference to his lead gift, Cornell said, “Accessibility to the arts and cultural experiences in a community is an important asset to create a better quality of life, support economic development, and provide educational opportunity for our children and our citizens. I am confident that this gift will have an impact on making the arts more accessible. I encourage other individuals and business leaders in our area to step forward to answer the call for support.”

Mr. Cornell has supported a number of philanthropic endeavors over the years. At the University of Missouri, his alma mater, Mr. Cornell helped conceptualize and support the development of the new Business School building, dedicated as Cornell Hall in 2002. In 2003, the University awarded him an Honorary Doctorate of Law. He also conceptualized and funds the highly selective Cornell Leadership Program at MU which provides scholarships and a specially designed program that takes business school students beyond the traditional classroom experience to provide leadership skills to succeed. In 2015, Freeman Health System renamed its cancer institute the Cornell-Beshore Cancer Institute after a $3 million gift to improve cancer treatment facilities and upgrade technologies to benefit patients with cancer. In 2017, Mr. Cornell made a $10 million gift to the Joplin Campus of the Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences, recognized as the Harry M. Cornell Medical Education Center.

Josie Mai, Executive Director of George A. Spiva Center for the Arts, said, “This is a wonderful opportunity for Spiva to begin the transition to its fourth home as we celebrate Spiva’s 70th anniversary this year. This new facility will provide state-of-the-art exhibition spaces, with expanded and improved space to exhibit nationally touring exhibits, larger regional artist exhibitions, share the growing permanent collection, and provide more educational programming at Spiva. This will be a facility that will continue the legacy of Spiva and be a home for Spiva for many years into the future. We are so pleased that Mr. Cornell has made this lead gift to the project. He has been a longtime supporter of Spiva through his financial support yearly of staff salaries, nationally touring exhibitions, and the annual fund drive.”

Vision for the Center:
Connect2Culture and George A. Spiva Center for the Arts leadership, the City of Joplin, the Joplin Area Chamber of Commerce, and many citizens and arts organizations have worked since 2009 to support Joplin’s arts, culture, and entertainment scene. They believe that the Center will educate, enlighten and entertain children and families; attract more people and activities to downtown, directly benefiting retailers, restaurants and other businesses; generate new sales tax revenues for the City; reinforce Joplin’s strength as the region’s center for entertainment; showcase and nurture the region’s creativity through visual and performing artists; and bring artists from across the U.S. and world to Joplin. It will create a sense of place and a destination identified with Joplin. The Center will attract and retain residents, as well as become a tourism driver attracting the approximately 409,000 people who live within a 60 minute drive of Joplin. It will provide a “cultural amenity” which will make people want to live, work, play and stay in Joplin.

The creatively designed Center will support a myriad of functions ranging from concerts, theater productions, and ballet performances to world-class visual arts exhibitions through Spiva to corporate/community events, seminars, ceremonies, receptions, and celebrations. Connect2Culture plans to present programming by nationally recognized artists and entertainers that is not offered by other organizations. Local performing arts organizations such as Pro Musica, Heartland Opera Theatre, Midwest Regional Ballet, and Missouri Southern State University symphony, jazz, and choral groups will have an opportunity to utilize the venue to support their program development. Finally, the Center will create synergies that will have a profound impact on Joplin’s downtown revitalization, our community’s arts and cultural organizations, and the quality of life, economic development and education in our region.

The Process:

Connect2Culture is unlike any organization in the Joplin area – respected community arts agency, leader of the Joplin Arts & Entertainment Center initiative, and performing arts presenter. It is a not-for-profit arts organization purposed to enhance community through culture. It continues to grow audiences and develop resources that strengthen the arts, culture, and entertainment in the City and strives to “ignite a passion for the arts, culture, and entertainment” in the region.

George A. Spiva Center for the Arts’ mission is to celebrate the creative experience. Its vision is to be a community catalyst, joining culture, community, education, business, and the arts as one, endeavoring to be a model for art centers across the nation. Originally incorporated as the Ozark Artists Guild, George A. Spiva Center for the Arts has presented visual arts experiences to the four-state region since 1947. George A. Spiva was a businessman, philanthropist, and lover of the arts who helped establish Joplin’s first art center in 1958. Founded on the belief that opportunities in the arts should be available to all, the regional Center continues to flourish through the generosity of members, friends, corporate and business support, and those who share that vision. First located in the Zelleken House at 4th & Sergeant, Spiva moved in 1967 to the campus of Missouri Southern State University before relocating to its current home in the historic Cosgrove Building at 3rd and Wall in downtown Joplin in 1996.

Connect2Culture has received professional support throughout Phases I and II leading to this Phase III capital campaign juncture in the Center’s development. In 2010, Connect2Culture engaged Halsey and Alice North of The North Group Inc., known for their successful work with nonprofit arts organizations nationwide, including the Walton Arts Center in Fayetteville, Arkansas. The North Group continues to work with C2C today to ensure the success of the development of the Center. Since 2010, C2C has also worked with nationally and internationally recognized New York architects Westlake Reed Leskosky and DLR Group, and local architects Corner Greer & Associates to create exterior and interior renderings that support dynamic yet functional spaces. Renderings will be revised by the project’s architects for the capital campaign to meet needs and anticipated private financial support.

Agenda posted for Monday Joplin City Council meeting

Monday, December 18, 2017
6:00 P.M., Council Chambers


Call To Order

Pledge of Allegiance of the United States of America

Roll Call




Finalization Of Consent Agenda


Reports And Communications


Capital Improvement And Public Safety Sales Tax Oversight Committee Semi-Annual Report By Chairman Chris Churchwell


Citizen Requests And Petitions


Public Hearings


Consent Agenda


Minutes Of The November 13, 2017 Special Council Meeting


Minutes Of The December 4, 2017 Council Meeting


COUNCIL BILL NO. 2017 - 281

AN ORDINANCE amending Ordinance No. 2004-256, passed by the Council of the City of Joplin, Missouri, November 15, 2004, by removing from District C-O and including in District R-3 property as described below and in the City of Joplin, Jasper County, Missouri.

COUNCIL BILL NO. 2017 - 282

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-2 and including in District C-3 property as described below and located 1521 S. Broadway in the City of Joplin, Jasper County, Missouri.

COUNCIL BILL NO. 2017 - 283

AN ORDINANCE amending Ordinance No. 2004-256, passed by the Council of the City of Joplin, Missouri, November 15, 2004, by designating Memorial Hall as an Historic Landmark and include in a Historic Preservation Overlay District as described below and located 212 West 8th Street in the City of Joplin, Jasper County, Missouri.


AN ORDINANCE amending Section 26-91, Building Permit fees; re-inspection fee, of Article IV, Permits and Fees, of Chapter 26, Buildings and Building Regulations, of the Code of Ordinances of the City of Joplin, by amending Section certain fee changes; and setting a date when this Ordinance shall become effective.

COUNCIL BILL NO. 2017 - 528

AN ORDINANCE repealing Section 58-68, Schedule of Fees, Article II, Fire Prevention Code, Division 2, International Fire Code, of Chapter 58, Fire Prevention and Protection, of the Code of Ordinances of the City of Joplin and enacting in lieu thereof a new Section 58-68, Schedule of Fees, Article II, Fire Prevention Code, Division 2, International Fire Code, of Chapter 58, Fire Prevention and Protection, of the Code of  this Ordinance shall become effective.

COUNCILBILL NO. 2017 - 529


COUNCIL BILL NO. 2017 - 530

AN ORDINANCE repealing Section 29A-2514, Fees, Article II, of Appendix 29A, of the Zoning Regulations of the City of Joplin and enacting in lieu thereof a new Section 29A-2514, Fees, of Appendix 29A, of the Zoning Regulations of the Code of Ordinances of the City of Joplin to implement certain fee changes; and setting a date when this Ordinance shall become effective.

COUNCIL BILL NO. 2017 - 531

AN ORDINANCE repealing Section 34-2, Prices of lots and grave rights; charge for setting stones, of Chapter 34, Cemeteries, of the Code of Ordinances of the City of Joplin and enacting in lieu thereof a new Section 34-2, Prices of lots and grave rights; charge for setting stones, of Chapter 34, Cemeteries, of the Code of  Ordinances of the City of Joplin to implement certain fee changes; and setting a date when this Ordinance shall become effective.

COUNCIL BILL NO. 2017 - 532

AN ORDINANCE repealing Section 30-121, License Classifications and Fees, of Article III, Licenses, Division 2, Schedule of Fees, of Chapter 30, Businesses, of the Code of Ordinances of the City of Joplin and enacting in lieu thereof a new Section 30-121, License Classifications and Fees, of Article III, Licenses, Division 2, Schedule of Fees, of Chapter 30, Businesses, of the Code of Ordinances of the City of Joplin to implement certain fee changes; and setting a date when this Ordinance shall becomeeffective.


AN ORDINANCE repealing Section 86-5, Fees at Schifferdecker Golf Course, of Article I, In General, and Section 86-6, Fees for Parks Programs and Parks Facilities, of Article I, In General, and Section 86-152, Admission Fee, of Article V, Swimming Pools, of Chapter 86, Parks and Recreation, of the Code of Ordinances of the City of Joplin and enacting in lieu thereof a new Section 86-5, Fees at Schifferdecker Golf Course, of Article I, In General, and Section 86-6, Fees for Parks Programs and Parks Facilities, of Article I, In General, and Section 86-152, Admission Fee, of Article V, Swimming Pools, of Chapter 86, Parks and Recreation, of the Code of  Ordinances of the City of Joplin to implement certain fee changes and make other changes; and setting a date when this Ordinance shall become effective.

COUNCIL BILL NO. 2017 - 534

AN ORDINACE repealing Section 9, Filing Fees, of the Subdivision Regulations, Appendix 29B as adopted by Ordinance No. 97-161 of the City of Joplin and enacting in lieu thereof a new Section 9, Filing Fees, of the Subdivision Regulations, Appendix 29B of the City of Joplin to implement certain fee changes; and setting a date when this Ordinance shall become effective.

COUNCIL BILL NO. 2017 - 535

AN ORDINANCE repealing Section 6-35, Permit, Article II, Signs, of Chapter 6, Advertising, of the Code of Ordinances of the City of Joplin and enacting in lieu thereof a new Section 6-35, Permit, Article II, Signs, of Chapter 6, Advertising, of the Code of Ordinances of the City of Joplin to implement certain fee changes; and setting a date when this Ordinance shall become effective.

COUNCIL BILL NO. 2017 - 536

AN ORDINANCE repealing Section 118-211, Hauled Wastewater Fee, of Article II, Sewers and Sewage Disposal, of Division 6, Rates and Charges, and Section 118-235, Permit fee, Connection Fee, and other Sewer Fees, of Article II, Sewers and Sewage Disposal, of Division 7, Building Sewers, of Chapter 118, Utilities, of the Code of Ordinances of the City of Joplin, and enacting in lieu thereof a new Section 118-211, Hauled Wastewater Fee, of Article II, Sewers and Sewage Disposal, of Division 6, Rates and Charges, and Section 118-235, Permit Fee, Connection Fee, and other Sewer Fees, of Article II, Sewers and Sewage Disposal, of Division 7, Building Sewers, of Chapter 118, Utilities, of the Code of Ordinances of the City of Joplin to implement certain fee changes; and setting a date when this Ordinance shall become effective.



Ordinances - Emergency



An ordinance approving work authorization with Allgeier-Martin & Associates Inc. not to exceed the amount of Two Hundred and Forty Thousand, Thirty-Two Dollars and No/100 Cents (240,032.00) for engineering services associated with the Engineering Services Design, Bidding and Construction Management for the Rehabilitation of the Tin Cup Lift Station and containing and emergency clause.


AN ORDINANCE authorizing the City of Joplin to enter into an agreement with Hunter Chase and Associates for the construction of sidewalk improvements in the Neighborhood Improvement District IV, in the amount of Two Hundred Twelve Thousand Ninety and 80/100 Dollars ($212,090.80); authorizing the City Manager or his designee to execute the same by and on behalf of the City of Joplin; and containing an emergency clause. 


AN ORDINANCE amending the Annual Budget of the City of Joplin for the Fiscal Year 2017-2018 as adopted by Ordinance 2017-167 on October 16, 2017, to adjust appropriations and containing an emergency clause.

Ordinances - First Reading


Ordinances - Second Reading And Third Reading



Approving a supplemental plan for an industrial development project consisting of the acquisition, construction, improvement and equipping of a frozen foods manufacturing facility; authorizing the City of Joplin, Missouri to issue its taxable industrial development revenue bonds in a principal amount not to exceed $10,035,000 to finance additional project costs; authorizing and approving certain documents; and authorizing certain other actions in connection with the issuance of the Bonds.

Unfinished Business


New Business


News From The PIO

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

The accused killer of three-year-old Jayda Kyle, Jalen Dashawn Vaden, 22, Carl Junction, was arraigned by video this morning in Jasper County Circuit Court and entered a not guilty plea.

Judge Joseph Hensley told Vaden he had the right to have an attorney provided for him, but Vaden indicated he had hired a private lawyer.

Vaden, is charged with second
degree murder and felony child abuse in connection with the December 1 death of the three-year-old following abuse that took place earlier in the week at their home at 405 Meadow Lane (pictured). He was the live-in boyfriend of the child's mother.

Vaden is being held without bond in the Jasper County Jail.

His next hearing is scheduled for 9 a.m. December 27.

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Graves: We kept our promise to the troops

(From Sixth District Congressman Sam Graves)

The Preamble to our Constitution tasks Congress with the job of providing for our common defense. As a member of the House Armed Services Committee, I believe that entails ensuring that our nation's men and women in the Armed Forces are well-equipped and well-trained for the difficult task that we entrust them with.

That's why I was proud to cast my vote last month in favor of the National Defense Authorization Act, or NDAA. To put it plainly, over the last eight years, our military resources and readiness have dwindled to a discomfortingly low level. As a result, U.S. troops are now more likely to die in “peacetime” accidents than in combat.

This new plan for our military's future will invest in not only its infrastructure and equipment but also in our service members themselves.

I'm happy that the House was able to include the first pay increase for our troops in nearly the past decade. After all, those who sacrifice so much for our nation should be better trained, better prepared and better compensated.

As a fiscal conservative, I know that it is not enough to demand proper funding levels for our nation's military but that we must also ensure every tax dollar is spent properly and, most importantly, wisely. Within this plan, Congress was able to cut through the bureaucratic red tape, increase oversight and transparency on spending and provide much-needed changes to the Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) health care system - potentially saving taxpayers billions of dollars.

For too long, our veterans have encountered challenges in navigating the VA for their health care. The VA has become a maze of bureaucratic red tape and government mandated hoops for our heroes to jump through. This is unacceptable and our veterans deserve better. These men and women fought for us and now we must fight for them by keeping the promises we have made.

Finally, right here at home in North Missouri, as a result of this legislation, we can expect to see the modernization of the C-130H aircraft based out of Rosecrans Air National Guard Base in St. Joseph. These modernization efforts will increase the lifespan of these aircraft, which are some of the most critical to our military. The C-130H serves on the front lines of combat around the world as well as providing critical humanitarian support as we have seen with the 139th Airlift Wing’s recent hurricane relief efforts in Texas, Florida, and Puerto Rico.

The defense spending bill ensures our military will continue to be the strongest fighting force in the world and I was extremely pleased that President Trump signed it into law earlier this week.

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

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

(From Attorney General Josh Hawley)

Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley announced that Kirsti Metcalf, 41, of Carthage, Missouri, has been sentenced to 10 years for receiving stolen property and seven years for financial abuse of a Medicaid patient, to be served concurrently for ten years. She must also pay $44, 561 in restitution to her victims and $15,370.63 for the State’s prosecution costs. 

In October, Metcalf pled guilty to the class B felony of receiving stolen property and the class C felony of abuse of a health care recipient in the Circuit Court of Jasper County.

Metcalf was employed in the business office of the Carthage Health and Rehabilitation Center from 2010 through 2012. She was responsible for accounts which held resident funds in trust. She pled guilty to systematically retaining $44,561 in resident funds for her own purposes without the residents or their families’ consent. Some of the residents were Medicaid recipients.

During sentencing, Jasper County Judge David Mouton described Metcalf’s actions as “despicable” and “horrible” and noted that her victims were elderly or incapacitated.

“Criminal actions like those of Kirsti Metcalf will not be tolerated in Missouri,” Hawley said. “Let this conviction signify to anyone trying to take advantage of our most vulnerable citizens that this behavior will not stand. Our office is firm in its commitment to protect all Missourians.”

This case was prosecuted by Assistant Attorney General Brad Crowell and Assistant Attorney General Sarah Schappe with the assistance of the Jasper County Prosecutor’s Office as well as AGO Auditor Matt Smith and AGO investigator Lauren Richardso

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

A 9 a.m. Thursday arraignment has been scheduled in Jasper County Circuit Court for Jalen Dashawn Vaden, 22, Carl Junction, who is charged with second degree murder  and felony child abuse in connection with the December 1 death of three-year-old Jayda Kyle.

Vaden was the live-in boyfriend of Jayda's mother and admitted to Carl Junction Police that he caused the injuries November 28 that resulted in the child's death.

Vaden is being held without bond in the Jasper County Jail.

A description of the crime was provided in the December 7 Turner Report:

When Carl Junction officers responded to 405 Meadow Lake to a report of a child who had been found in her bedroom unresponsive.

Jayda Kyle was taken to Mercy Hospital, Joplin, then airlifted to Children's Mercy Hospital where doctors determined she had "abusive head trauma." She died Friday. The autopsy confirmed the child abuse diagnosis.
Vaden told police he "became upset over the child not being dressed in the pajamas he instructed her to put on." He picked the child up and threw her, causing her to hit her head on the floor, according to the probable cause statement.

A short time later, Vaden said, Jayda left the room still not wearing the pajamas. He said he threw her on the bed, then grabbed her by the leg and threw her face first on the floor.

Watch the Joplin R-8 Board of Education meeting live at 7 p.m.

Agenda posted for tonight's Joplin R-8 Board of Education meeting

The Joplin R-8 Board of Education will meet 7 p.m. today in the Memorial Education Building.

A closed session is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. with the preliminary agenda listing legal action, real estate and personnel items.

Meeting Agenda

A. Call to Order

1. Roll Call

B. Pledge of Allegiance

C. Approval of Agenda - Action

D. Reports

1. Board President's Report

a. Celebrations - Info. (Jeff Koch)

b. International High School Student Forum - Info. (Chris Young and Brendan Beck)

2. Superintendent's Data Report

a. Middle School Athletics Presentation - Info. (Matt Hiatt)

b. Health and Dental Care Insurance Reports - Info. (Dr. Lankford)

c. Financial Statements - Info. (Dr. Lankford)

d. Enrollment Report - Info. (Dr. Moss)

E. Public Comments Regarding Agenda Items 

F. Consent Agenda - Action

1. Approve Minutes - Action (Pat Waldo)

2. Consent Contracts - Action

a. Contract MOPERM Insurance - (Dr. Lankford)

b. Contract Cable One Business Service

3. Talent Management Solution Renewal - Action (Ashley Jones)

4. Policy Updates for Second Reading - Action (Dr. Moss)

a. Policy BBBA: Board Member Qualifications - (Dr. Moss)

b. Policy GCBDA: Professional Staff Short-term Leaves - (Ashley Jones)

c. Policy GDBDA: Support Staff Leaves - (Ashley Jones)

d. Policy JG-R: Student Discipline - (Dr. Moss)

G. Regular Agenda

1. JEC - Prime Contract Change Order #11 Crossland Construction Co. - Action (Dr. Sachetta)

2. Joplin Schools Support Vehicle Purchase - Action (Dr.Sachetta )

3. Accounts Payable - Action (Dr. Lankford)

4. Purchase of Chromebooks, Management Licenses and Storage Carts - Action (Sandra Cantwell)

a. Stapleton Elementary - Action

b. Kelsey Norman Elementary - Action

c. Soaring Heights Elementary - Action

5. Declare FTC Items Surplus - Action (Dr. Moss)

H. Plus/Delta - Info. (Dr. Moss)

1. Plus: What did we do well

2. Delta: Opportunities for Improvement

I. BOE Announcements

J. Adjourn

Blunt PAC gives maximum amount to support Roy Moore's Senate candidacy

The most recent campaign finance report filed with the Federal Election Commission shows no one gave more money to embattled Alabama U. S. Senate candidate Roy Moore than Sen. Roy Blunt.

Blunt's support was not a personal contribution to Moore, but came in the form of a $5,000 contribution from Blunt's Rely On Your Beliefs PAC.

The contribution was made October 17, approximately three weeks before the Washington Post first revealed allegations of Moore's efforts to hit on underage girls while he was in his 30s.

Blunt commented on those allegations November 13 in a St. Louis Post-Dispatch article

"The women have a more credible story than Judge Moore. Alabama voters should have a better choice and Judge Moore should have better answers to these charges."

Since then, Blunt has made few comments on Moore.

Blunt was not the only Senate Republican leader to make the maximum $5,000 PAC contribution to the Moore campaign.

Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's Bluegrass Committee also contributed $5,000. McConnell, however, asked that his $5,000 be returned and Moore complied, according to the FEC records.

There is no indication that Blunt has made any similar request.

Monday, December 11, 2017

Moran: Withdrawing from NAFTA would harm Kansas farmers and ranchers

(From Sen. Pat Moran, R-Kansas)

I met with Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross this week, along with my colleagues on the Senate Commerce Committee, regarding the ongoing negotiations with the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and its vital importance to farmers, ranchers and manufacturers in Kansas.

Our state’s economy is dependent on our ability to export what we grow and manufacture to consumers around the world. In 2016, Kansas exported more than $4.5 billion worth of agricultural products, which supported more than 36,000 jobs and generated more than $5.7 billion in economic activity.

I support the administration’s effort to modernize and improve NAFTA, but I am concerned that withdrawing from the agreement with Kansas’ two largest trade partners will harm our farmers and ranchers and cost us jobs, and will especially damage manufacturing jobs. To illustrate this point, I showed Secretary Ross a picture of grain piles waiting on the ground in Kensington, Kansas as a direct example of why NAFTA is needed in our state to sell goods and feed the world. I appreciate the Secretary’s willingness to engage in this issue and hear our concerns. Secretary Ross understands I will continue to follow the negotiation process closely and I will not hesitate to bring up further concerns as I hear from farmers and ranchers on this issue.

State auditor urges General Assembly to pass bill offering whistleblower protection

(From State Auditor Nicole Galloway)

Missouri State Auditor Nicole Galloway today urged the General Assembly to pass legislation restoring protections and adding safeguards for public employees who report inappropriate activity in the workplace. The bills, sponsored by Sen. Jill Schupp and Rep. Gail McCann Beatty, also include a provision to add transparency and taxpayer protections to state legal settlements.

"This legislation fights against a chilling effect that could undermine the state's ability to uncover wasteful, improper or illegal uses of taxpayer dollars," said Auditor Galloway. "Non-disclosure agreements as a part of state legal settlements, coupled with compromised protections for whistleblowers, allow improper government activity to be shrouded in secrecy."

“It’s time to do away with secrecy in Jefferson City. We should be secure in the knowledge that our tax dollars are being well-managed and that our public officials are held accountable for their actions," said Sen. Schupp. "This legislation promotes transparency and protects public employees who speak out for the best interests of Missourians. I urge my colleagues to advance this bill without delay.”

“When there is wrongdoing or mismanagement in government, those responsible will go to great lengths to keep the public in the dark,” said Rep. McCann Beatty. “State law must ensure that people with knowledge of official misdeeds are encouraged to come forward without fear of retaliation and prohibit imposing gag orders on victims to keep the details of taxpayer-funded legal settlements secret.”

Earlier this year, the Governor signed a law limiting legal protections for government workers who blow the whistle on improper or illegal activity in the workplace. The bill removed longstanding protections, putting state or local government workers who blow the whistle on wrongdoing at greater risk of being retaliated against or fired.

In September, Auditor Galloway released an audit of the state's Legal Expense Fund, which is the pool of money used to make payments stemming from lawsuits against the state. The report highlights how millions in taxpayer dollars are being spent on legal expenses with no system in place to track the amount and nature of payments. The audit found the state had spent more than $9 million over a six year period on employment discrimination cases.

State and public employees can use the Auditor's Whistleblower Hotline to share information on waste, fraud and mismanagement of taxpayer dollars. Reports are anonymous and protected by law. Individuals may contact the State Auditor's Whistleblower Hotline by emailing or by calling 800-347-8597. Concerns may also be submitted anonymously online at

Saturday, December 09, 2017

Nancy Hughes: The Value of a Name

“He who overcomes will, like them, be dressed in white. I will never blot out his name from the book of life, but will acknowledge his name before my Father and his angels.”
Revelation 3:5 (NIV)

I have an old red sweater. The tag says “This has been knitted especially for you with love by Patty Hallam.” It is a comfort to me…it is precious to me.

Why? Well, first of all, it was made for me by someone who loves me – my sister.

Secondly, when I am hurting, when I am sad, when I need to hide away from the world for a while, I pull out that sweater and I wrap it around me like the hug from an old friend. I immediately have a sense of not only warmth, but security and peace.

But you know something? Someday, when I am gone, that sweater will be given away, perhaps to Good Will.

Someone will look at it and the tag and say “Patty Hallam…who is that? Who cares?” and my sweater will no longer be a source of warmth and security nor will it be considered precious but instead will be a rag for soaking up oil from an engine or tossed in the trash because it is no longer in style.

And why is that? Because no one will know the name of the person who worked so hard to create it out of love for another and they will not recognize its value.

How wonderful it is that Jesus not only knows each of our names but considers us precious in His sight. We read in Revelation 3:5 this beautiful promise: “He who overcomes will, like them, be dressed in white. I will never blot out his name from the book of life, but will acknowledge his name before my Father and his angels.”

Can you imagine Jesus speaking our names to His Father? And if that’s not enough to encourage us, we read in Isaiah 49:16 “See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands; your walls are ever before me.”

How amazing is that! Our names are not penciled in which can be easily erased or written with permanent ink which fades with time but engraved by Jehovah Himself. And why has He done that? Because He created us. Because He loves us. Because we are precious to Him.

The name on a tag in an old red sweater may not mean anything except to the person who made it or the person wearing it. But the names engraved on the palms of our Father’s hands will be spoken with love in heaven for eternity.

Father, thank you. Thank you for knowing my name. Thank you for loving me so much that you call me your very own child. Give me courage to share that love no matter where I am. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.

R.A.P. it up


Have you ever considered that God calls you by name as His child because you are truly special to Him?


Tattoos are popular in today’s society. When you see a person with one, remember that our Father has an eternal “tattoo” of you on His hand. Lift him or her up and specifically pray that, if they do not know our King, they will seek His face.

When the Lord lays someone’s name on your heart to pray for them, write their initials on the palm of your hand and as you look at your hand throughout the day, pray for that person.

Power Verses

Revelation 3:5 (NIV) “He who overcomes will, like them, be dressed in white. I will never blot out his name from the book of life, but will acknowledge his name before my Father and his angels.”

Isaiah 49:16 (NIV): “See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands; your walls are ever before me.”

John 10:3 (NIV) “The watchman opens the gate for him, and the sheep listen to his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out.”

Isaiah 43:1 (NIV) “But now, this is what the Lord says – he who created you, O Jacob, he who formed you, O Israel: ‘Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name, you are mine.’”

Luke 12:7 (NIV) “Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.”

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

Kim Frencken: A few thoughts about charter schools

I don't know what to think about charter schools. I mean, everyone should have a choice, right? But, then don't they take away our choice. And, what about charter schools affecting my retirement? Doesn't seem fair that those newly elected into office want to rob me of something that I spent over 21 years earning. And, let me tell you teachers earn every last penny (and then some)!!! My blood pressure is starting to rise just thinking about it. If I am willing to agree that we need choice, fair choice, then why can't politicians. Come to think of it, why are they even interfering with education. They certainly can't agree on anything in Washington, what makes them think they can make educational decisions?

So, getting back to charter schools. The ideology behind charter schools sounds good. A school free from some regulations that public schools face. A school where there is transparency and accountability from the top down. A school where everyone has a voice and the overall goal is to provide excellent education. Then it starts to get tricky. All charter schools are not the same, nor all they all managed by the same group. Some are run by organizations. Some of the organizations may be a state or two away from the school (meaning communication is basically on-line or phone, no hands-on). Many are a 'for-profit' business. Each state has a committee to authorize a charter school. Any group can submit a proposal to the committee. The committee is organized based on state laws. Some charter schools receive public funding based on attendance. Not all teachers in a charter school are required to have certification to teach. This is a decision which varies from state to state.

So charter schools in a nutshell have many similarities to public schools. But there are some glaring differences. A public school operates under regulations mandated by the state. These mandates are similar throughout the U.S. All teachers in a public school have to be certified to teach. This is a license requiring a college education with training specifically geared towards working with kids. A public school is immediately governed by a school board which is made up of locally elected patrons wishing to volunteer their time to represent the needs and wants of the taxpayers in the district. They are local and provide hands-on guidance. A public school is not run like a business, by a business, or for a business. A public school provides an education for all children free from the influence of a business or organization.

One of my pet peeves (and I think most teachers agree) is a non-educator telling an educator what is best. I am speaking for myself and making a generalized statement when I say that most teachers do not want, nor do they need someone from "outside" the world of education telling them how to 'run' their classroom. Each classroom is unique. Its' own little world. It functions based on the individualized needs of each child. A teacher doesn't need a test or a bystander or a suit telling them which children need help with math or who reads below grade level. They don't need someone telling them that a child has a vision or hearing problem, or is hungry. They just know. Usually within the first couple of days, or even the first couple of hours.

That should make clear what is my largest concern with charter schools. An alternative to public school run by an organization or business. Supporters may say that they know what is best for their kids. I would dare to argue with them. Supporters may say that charter schools are held accountable and are transparent. I say attend school board meetings and ask questions. Volunteer. Visit the school. Bring treats for your child's classroom. If supporters of charter schools are only supporting them because of the control that they can personally have over them, they need to realistically ask themselves if they are trained in education and have the skills to teach. If they are only concerned with accountability, they should invest some time in their local public school.

To me, a charter school is simply another way for businesses and government to control the education of our children. What seems like a privilege today could actually turn out to be tomorrow's manipulation.

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

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

For the second time in the past month, the city of Joplin has been rocked by the murder of a three-year-old child and that murder was featured in the top post in the Turner Report, Inside Joplin and Inside Joplin Obituaries.

The top post in the Turner Report was the probable cause statement for the murder, while Inside Joplin was topped by the arrest of the alleged killer and the obituary of Jayda Kyle received the most interest on Inside Joplin Obituaries.

Another story that received considerable attention, landing at both the number two and number three spots on the Turner Report was the discovery that at least $144,000 and likely far more was embezzled from the Jasper R-5 School District.

The impending departure of KSN's Stacey Garvilla was also a highly visited post.


A few hours ago, I posted the following message on my personal Facebook page and on the Inside Joplin Facebook page:

Thanks to those of you who have bought subscriptions or made contributions to the Turner Report/Inside Joplin during the past several days. It is always gratifying to know that the work is being appreciated and that, the Turner Report, Inside Joplin, Inside Joplin Obituaries and Inside Springfield are now reaching approximately 25,000 readers daily.

I am going to place one more subscription/contribution call later tonight when I post the top 10 posts for the week on each blog and then I will give all of you a Christmas gift (and a break) by not running any more subscription calls for the rest of the year.

Thanks for reading. Your support is much appreciated.

The PayPal subscription buttons can be found below the links.

The Turner Report

1. Probable cause: Carl Junction man abused three-year-old, left her on floor bloody, unconscious

2. Embezzled funds cause of drastic cuts for Jasper R-5 School District, federal charges expected against former board secretary

3. Jasper superintendent to KOAM: $144,000 in stolen funds is all we can prove

4. Stacey Garvilla leaving KSN

5. Live video- Joplin News First's coverage of the prayer service for 3-year-old Jayda Kyle

6. Joplin man pleads guilty to child pornography charge, 36-year-old arrested after texting 12-year-old "girlfriend"

7. Blake Altman sentenced to six years in prison on child pornography charge

8. Preliminary hearing set for Carthage man accused of kidnapping 15-year-old Texas girl

9. Roy Blunt: Tax reform package is a win for Missourians

10. Graves pleased he fought against "liberal land grabbers" by voting to have concealed weapons in all states

Inside Joplin

1. Carl Junction man arrested on felony child abuse charges in connection with death of three-year-old Jayda Kyle

2. Galena man killed in accident on Junge Boulevard

3. Joplin man arrested, 130 packages found during residence search

4. Jasper County Dissolution of Marriage Petitions

5. Joplin man, Carthage woman arrested on drug charges in 7th Street Wal-Mart parking lot

6. Duquesne Police Department plans holiday DWI crackdown

7. Joplin Police Department Arrests December 5-6

8. Jasper man airlifted to Mercy in Springfield after truck rolls over him

9. Two adults hospitalized after stabbing at 901 S. Monroe, Joplin Police investigation continues

10. Joplin Police arrest two following disturbance at Range Line hotel

Inside Joplin Obituaries

1. Jayda Kyle

2. Janie Parker

3. Harold Haskins

4. Zack Green

5. Jeremiah Marsh

6. Scott Hollingshead

7. Averi Yaw

8, Brenda Jeffries

9. Josey Smotherman

10. George Higgins


Those wishing to subscribe to the Turner Report/Inside Joplin or to make a contribution of any amount can do so at the PayPal buttons below or mail a check to Randy Turner, 2306 E. 8th, Apt. G, Joplin, MO 64801.

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