Saturday, March 31, 2018

Complete video- Joplin City Council candidate forum

The accompanying video from KGCS features Judy Stiles moderating a forum for Joplin City Council candidates.

The forum was held March 26.

Mayor Seibert: Forget Wallace Bajjali- look where Joplin is now

In this Newsmakers interview with Judy Stiles, Joplin Mayor Mike Seibert reflects on his four years as mayor, his nearly a decade on the City Council and the Joplin Tornado recovery process.

During an early segment of the interview, Seibert addresses the "obstacles" the city encountered during the tornado recovery and though the city's master planner Wallace Bajjali a firm that Seibert helped bring to Joplin is not mentioned, he brushes it off by indicating that any critics are only doing so with the benefit of hindsight.

The same attitude extends to the state audit, which gave the city a "poor" rating.

"There wasn't a set of binders we could open up and say this is the way to recover."

Seibert noted that despite the "obstacles" the city has continued to move forward.

Seibert explained his decision not to run for re-election.

"It was the right time for me to step down."

Missouri House of Representatives honors Vietnam veterans

More than 100 Missouri Vietnam veterans attended the fifth annual Misosuri Vietnam Veterans day held Over 100 of Missouri's Vietnam Veterans attend the 5th Missouri Vietnam Veterans Day hosted by members of the state's House of Representatives.

The accompanying video includes the introduction of some of the veterans as well as a tribute to their service.

Secretary of state's report- Six hundred twenty-five candidates file for August primary

In his monthly report, Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft notes that 625 candidates filed for the August primary.

The Secretary of State also played host to library advocates on the appropriately named Library Advocacy Day.

Billy Long: We will continue to fight to roll back overzealous regulations

(From Seventh District Congressman Billy Long)

In 2017, more than half of small businesses said that regulations were among their top concerns. According to that same survey released by the National Small Business Association, small businesses spend more than $83,000 in their first year of operation to stay compliant with regulations. And it’s not state and local regulations that are the issue, it’s federal regulations. Fifty-eight percent of small business owners say that federal regulations are the most burdensome to their business. It’s time that finally changes.

Cutting regulations continues to be a top priority for both the president and Congress. Last year, Congress passed the Midnight Rules Relief Act and the Regulations from the Executive in Need of Scrutiny Act. These bills aim to cut down on regulations and increase congressional oversight. In addition to these bills, last year, the House of Representatives passed 15 pieces of Congressional Review Act legislation that roll back regulations across different sectors. The Congressional Review Act has been used since 1996 in order to keep the executive branch in check and prevent harmful rules from going into effect. Earlier this March, the House passed the Comprehensive Regulatory Review Act and the Blocking Regulatory Interference from Closing Kilns Act. Both of these bills have the same goal: limit the federal government’s role.

The Comprehensive Regulatory Review Act would require and expand the review of financial regulatory requirements by requiring a review every seven years instead of 10 years. This would help streamline regulations by either combining or getting rid of duplicate regulations. I constantly hear from community banks about all the red tape they have to cut through to ensure they are compliant. Sometimes the red tape can cost them thousands and thousands of dollars, which most small banks can’t afford.

The Blocking Regulatory Interference from Closing Kilns (BRICK) Act aims to tackle abusive environmental regulations. The BRICK Act is in response to a rule implemented in 2015 by the Environmental Protection Agency, which established emission rules for brick, structural clay products and the clay ceramics manufacturing industry. This rule is not only being challenged in court, but has the possibility of costing thousands of jobs.

Unelected bureaucrats in Washington many times forget that regulations have real world effects. It’s not just words on paper. Real people feel the effects and sometimes have to close up shop due to the burdensome and costly consequences of the rules. As great as these bills are, there is still more work to be done. We will continue the fight to roll back overzealous regulations that are harming businesses and costing thousands of jobs.

Thursday, March 29, 2018

Preliminary hearing set for men accused in Christmas Eve murder at 627 S. Byers

The preliminary hearings for Artilius Jordan, 47, and Moses Ramsey, 27, both of Joplin, charged with first degree murder in connection with the Christmas Eve shooting death of Sean Harris, 43, Joplin, is scheduled for 10 a.m. Thursday, April 5, before Judge Joseph Hensley in Jasper County Circuit Court.

Jordan shot Sean Harris in cold blood because he believed Harris was having sex with his girlfriend, according to a probable cause statement filed Tuesday in Jasper County Circuit Court.

Jordan went to a home at 627 S. Byers Avenue where his girlfriend was and where Harris was visiting to confront him, according to the statement. Jordan was accompanied by Moses Ramsey and Joseph Czahor.

Harris was coming down the stairs of the apartment building when Jordan pulled a handgun and with Ramsey's encouragement, shot Harris at least twice, with one of the shots hitting him in the chest, according to the probable cause statement. Harris died at Freeman West Hospital.

The statement says Ramsey forced the girlfriend into the pickup and as they drove away, Jordan began beating the girlfriend.

"As Jordan was assaulting (the girlfriend) in the backseat of the extended cab pickup, the handgun went off, shooting Czahor in the back. Czahor dropped off the other passengers and drove himself to Freeman Hospital."

Ramsey and Jordan were both charged with first degree murder, two counts of assault and three counts of armed criminal action.

Judge rejects motion to lower former Sonic supervisor's bond

During a hearing Monday in Jasper County Circuit Court, Judge John Nicholas rejected a bond reduction motion by former Rangeline Sonic supervisor Chris Alred, who is being held in the Jasper County Jail on a $10,000 cash only bond on felony charges of driving while intoxicated as a habitual offender, resisting arrest and endangering the welfare of a child.

When the Sarcoxie Police Officer Connor Hackworth arrested Alred August 27 it was at least the sixth time Alred had been stopped for driving while intoxicated. Court records show he pleaded guilty five times to DWI and another time to excessive blood alcohol content.

The probable cause statement on the latest DWI arrest indicated he was driving with one headlight, his eight-year-old daughter was in the vehicle with him and he tried to run away, but was pulled over at the Kum and Go.

The next hearing in the case is set for April 17.

Alred's trial on a felony statutory sodomy charge is scheduled for April 24 in Jasper County Circuit Court. The next hearing in that case is set for April 9.

Agenda posted for Monday Joplin City Council meeting

Monday, April 2, 2018
6:00 P.M., Council Chambers

Call To Order

Pledge of Allegiance of the United States of America

Roll Call




Mayors Monarch Pledge Proclamation


Fair Housing Proclamation And Recognition Of The Poster Contest Winners


2018 National Service Recognition Day Proclamation


Recognition Of Board/Commission/Committee Members Who Have Completed Their Terms


Brent Baker, VP-National Customer Experience Operations For Liberty Utilities, Would Like To Present An Update Of Upcoming Projects


Recognition Of Outgoing Council Member Miranda Lewis


Finalization Of Consent Agenda


Reports And Communications


Citizen Requests And Petitions


Shelby Howard, 2626 Salem, Joplin MO, Would Like To Address The City Council Regarding Police Officer Retention And Pay.


Public Hearings


Public Hearing Procedures



A RESOLUTION granting a Special Use Permit (1st Request) to Leonard Clevenger for the
operation of a Bed and Breakfast located 2519 S. Picher Avenue, in the City of Joplin, Jasper
County, Missouri. 


A RESOLUTION granting a Special Use Permit (1st Request) to Leonard Clevenger for the
operation of a Bed and Breakfast located 2523 S. Picher Avenue, 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 designating the property known as the Frederick H. Rodgers House as an Historic Landmark and include in a Historic Preservation Overlay District as described below and located 536 N. Wall Avenue in the City of Joplin, Jasper County, Missouri.

Consent Agenda


Minutes Of The March 19, 2018 City Council Meeting

  1. MAR 19, 2018.PDF



Ordinances - Emergency



AN ORDINANCE     approving the City of Joplin to enter into an agreement with Bennett, Inc. for the construction of the Yellow Area Projects, in the amount of Two Million, Two Hundred Forty-Three Thousand, Four Hundred Seventy-Four and 75/100 Dollars ($2,243,474.75); and 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 authorizing the City of Joplin to enter into a developer agreement with Joplin Bungalows, LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of the Economic Security Corporation of the Southwest Area, to provide for the development of the Joplin Bungalows in an amount not to exceed Four million dollars ($4,000,000) and authorizing the City Manager or his designee to execute said Agreement; 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



AN ORDINANCE approving an Agreement between the City of Joplin, Missouri, and Preservation Resources, Inc; authorizing the City Manager or his designee to execute same on behalf of the City.


AN ORDINANCE     approving a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) And Agreement by and between the City of Joplin, Missouri, a Municipal Corporation, and Rotary Sculpture Garden, dealing generally with the placement of sculptures in specified locations throughout the City owned Mercy Park; authorizing the City Manager to execute said Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) And Agreement, and such other documents as may be necessary, by and on behalf of the City of Joplin, Missouri.


AN ORDINANCE amending Section 86-252, Rules, of Article VII, Dog Parks, of Chapter 86, Parks and Recreation, of the Code of Ordinances of the City of Joplin, by amending Section 86-252, Rules, to implement certain language changes.

Ordinances - Second Reading And Third Reading


Unfinished Business


New Business


CASE 005-18

Case 005-18: Approximately 1,000 feet East from the intersection of Richard Joseph Blvd West and
Richard Joseph Blvd North - A request to Review the Site Plan for the Proposed Menards Home
Improvement Store – Menards, Inc 

News From The Public Information Officer, Lynn Onstot

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Joplin woman pleads guilty to role in meth conspiracy

(From the U. S. Attorney for the Western District of Missouri)

A Joplin woman pleaded guilty in federal court today to her role in a conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine that was shipped via UPS from Arizona.

Jennifer M. Conant, 38, of Joplin, pleaded guilty before U.S. Magistrate Judge David P. Rush to participating in a conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine.

By pleading guilty today, Conant admitted that she had a package shipped via UPS, which contained approximately one pound of methamphetamine, to a residence in Seneca, Mo. On May 6, 2017, law enforcement officers tracked the suspicious package from its origin in Arizona and upon its arrival at the Joplin UPS conducted a search to confirm the package contained methamphetamine.

A federal agent conducted a controlled delivery of the package to its Seneca destination on May 7, 2017. Shortly after the package was delivered, officers executed a search warrant and located the package in a bedroom of the residence. An occupant of the residence told investigators that Conant had the package shipped to his address and that she had inquired about the package just prior to law enforcement executing the search warrant. He then contacted Conant, who arrived at the residence approximately 45 minutes later to pick up the package and was arrested.

Under federal statutes, Conant is subject to a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years in federal prison without parole, up to life in federal prison without parole. The maximum statutory sentence is prescribed by Congress and is provided here for informational purposes, as the sentencing of the defendant will be determined by the court based on the advisory sentencing guidelines and other statutory factors. A sentencing hearing will be scheduled after the completion of a presentence investigation by the United States Probation Office.

This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Abram McGull II. It was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Newton County, Mo., Sheriff’s Department and the Ozark Drug Enforcement Team.

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Hawley: Obama and the Hollywood elites are out to get me

Attorney General Josh Hawley seems to have a hard time remembering who the president of the United States is.

It is not Hillary Clinton. She lost.

It is not Barack Obama. His second term finished in January 2017.

You couldn't tell that by reading the latest plea for money sent out by Hawley for his U. S. Senate run against incumbent Democrat Claire McCaskill.

Hawley conjures the image of Hollywood elites in Beverly Hills, Obama and Clinton and makes it seem that having McCaskill remain in the Senate would be almost as good as having Clinton in the White House for Obama.

And by the way, he asks, could you send me some money to stop these horrible people?

You can't make this up -- Barack Obama is hosting a fundraiser for his former rubber stamp senator, Claire McCaskill, in none other than Beverly Hills, California. He is raising her so much money, that we cannot stop until we match it.

Will you help me stand up to the Hollywood elites?
They failed to get Hillary Clinton elected, and Obama knows that having Claire in D.C. is the next best thing for him.
Please donate to my campaign here before March is over; we will need as much support as we can to stand against all that the liberal elites have to throw at us.

The message is signed "For Missouri- Josh Hawley

The only thing the message is missing is a mention of Nancy Pelosi.

Or come to think of it- a mention of Donald Trump. Wouldn't you think Hawley would want to be campaigning on the concept of helping Trump make America great again?

Watch the Joplin R-8 Board of Education meeting live tonight

Monday, March 26, 2018

Message to Turner Report and KZRG trolls: Students are not using their First Amendment rights to take away your Second Amendment rights

If someone had trademarked the phrase "Those students are using their First Amendment rights to take away our Second Amendment rights" before Saturday's March for Our Lives that person would never have to work again.

That phrase or statements close to it were splattered across the KZRG Facebook comments on posts about the national rallies and the one in Joplin.

The phrase also made it to the Turner Report after a first-person account of Joplin's March for Our Lives written by Joplin High School senior Emma Simon was posted Saturday night.

The phrase sounds clever, but as with many phrases that sound clever it has no substance and no accuracy.

While there may have been speakers who would like to see all guns eliminated and a couple of signs of that nature were cherrypicked for the photos that ran on right wing propaganda sites, for the most part no one seemed to have any problem with people keeping guns for their own protection or for hunting.

You could not tell that from some of the commenters on this site and the KZRG site.

Some attacked the teenagers for addressing gun violence, but not doing something about bullying, which has led to that type of violence in some instances.

That was a cheap shot.

The children who were in downtown Joplin Saturday are the kind who have become involved in efforts to curb bullying in their high schools. Apparently, they are not as one-dimensional as some of their critics.

Others pointed out that more people are killed by handguns in Chicago than are killed in school shootings. That has been a fixture of the Second Amendment arguments on Fox News.

Obviously, these people were not paying any attention to the speakers and interviews from Washington, D. C. High school students from Chicago, Washington, and other inner cities were included. It was not a bunch of rich "snowflakes" from Florida.

And let's get one thing straight- Anyone who uses the phrase "useful idiot" should only do so when standing in front of a mirror and addressing himself.

There were the commenters who likened the local teens to Hitler Youth and described how they have been brainwashed by the left. Most of the people who made those comments used similar phrasings and made exactly the same points, almost as if they had been brainwashed by the right. I will be charitable and grant that neither side has been brainwashed.

Many of the critics of the students admonished them for not knowing their history. They don't know the value of the Second Amendment or they don't know about how confiscation of weapons led to the rise of Nazi Germany.

Perhaps that would he an apt historical reference if these kids were actually trying to take away Second Amendment rights. Their reading of history does not indicate the Second Amendment applies to every weapon from handguns to atom bombs.

Of course, there were the critics who put down the students because it is not possible for teenagers to think intelligently about any subject, unless the students' thoughts happened to agree with theirs. If they thought in any other way, it had to be because they were being influenced by some outside group, or even worse, by those godless public school teachers.

It only makes sense that students who are interested in becoming active on an issue of importance would seek older people with more experience who would know what steps they needed to take to make their voices heard. Thus, the mentions of the Southwest Missouri Democrats and the Green Alliance in Emma Simon's post.

Instead of worrying about the deadly lessons of Mein Kampf, perhaps the critics should have read a more enlightening and uplifting book- David Halberstam's The Children, in which he details the efforts of the Freedom Riders, most of them college and high school age, including such people as John Lewis and Diane Nash, who braved violent attacks as they attempted to desegregate the Jim Crow south in the early '60s.

The book tells how the young people did connect with Martin Luther King Jr. and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, and while they valued King's advice, they did not always follow it.

Young people can think for themselves.

Thankfully, at this point Emma Simon and the others from Joplin, Webb City, and other schools  across the nation are not having to face the kind of immediate violence that the Freedom Riders faced, at least not as they make their voices heard.

The fear is that nothing will be done until more young people are killed in yet another school shooting.

Last week, a shooting took place at a Maryland high school and the shooter was taken out by an armed security officer.

One Turner Report commenter noted that the media did not cover that because it did not fit in with the story they want to get across.

That is another ridiculous statement.

The story was all over the news.

Armed security guards have become a necessity in today's schools and increasing them is certainly a step toward protecting children.

Improved access to mental health and identification of people who do not have any business having guns and making sure these people do not fall through bureaucratic loopholes is something that should also happen.

Strengthened background checks are a must.

We should study the effects of violent video games and movies.

All of those things should happen.

Any plan to address gun violence in this country, however, has to look at guns. That is common sense. The idea that if we keep adding more guns that safety will increase and we do not need to examine the types of weapons that are available and whether those weapons should be available is an open invitation to more violence.

My guess is there are many gun owners who agree that something needs to be done- not to take away their Second Amendment rights but to address a situation and weapons that our forefathers could never have anticipated.

And then there are other gun owners who will take to the comments sections of KZRG to verbally attack high school students who had the courage to take their message to the streets.

Emma Simon: March for Our Lives Comes to Joplin

The real story of the successes and failures of the City of Joplin and the Joplin R-8 School District after the tornado- Silver Lining in a Funnel Cloud.

Webb City Democrat files for 32nd District Senate

Carolyn McGowan, Webb City, became the first Democrat to enter the 32nd District State Senate race today.

McGowan joins three other candidates- Conon Gillis, Joplin, who is running on the Green Party ticket and Rep. Bill White, Joplin, and Rob O'Brian, Joplin, on the Republican ticket.

The seat is currently held by Ron Richard, R-Joplin who cannot run again due to term limits.

Saturday, March 24, 2018

Tales of dumpster diving, allergies, my new car, plus top Turner Report/Inside Joplin posts for the week

This was one of those weeks where I felt I had not accomplished anything until I looked over the posts that were published.

I spent much of the week battling seasonal allergies. When I was teaching, I battled through the spring and fall allergy seasons and then went home and slept for hours.

At my current job, I can walk from my kitchen office into the bedroom and take a nap when one is needed. (When I was teaching, the students were the only ones taking naps.)

I was also going through the process of getting my first car in 11 years. I ran into delays in getting my insurance settlement because I kept sending the wrong paperwork. I had delivered the title to my old car to Davis Insurance in Lamar, but it turned out I did not have everything I needed. It had been so long since I changed cars that the last time I did it you did not get the title until you had totally paid what you owed. Now, apparently you have the title, but it has the lien written on it.

The people at Davis Insurance called the finance company, which is in California, and asked if it would be possible for them to e-mail the document. It was not, but they would fax it for $25.

Or they could send it through the U. S. Postal Service and it would get to me in 10 days, they said. This would be a problem because I had already signed the papers to buy a new car from one of my favorite students from my first year at South Travis Kunce at Frank Fletcher. I needed the insurance settlement for the down payment and the insurance company was not going to let me keep driving the rental car forever.

So I returned to the box where I keep my important documents and found what looked to be a legal document stamped paid from the company that financed my last car and I faxed it to Davis Insurance who sent it on to Kansas City.

As it turns out, that was not the right document either. At one time, I was told, it would have been accepted but state regulations had changed. Then I had a horrible thought- when I found the last document, there had been a letter that accompanied it. Thinking the document was the right one, I had thrown that letter out and it was in the dumpster behind my apartment complex.

The people at Davis Insurance kept working with the people in Kansas City, but were getting nowhere, so late in the afternoon, I took a broom, went out to the dumpster and after about 20 minutes, I was able to land the right bag and found the document perfectly intact- and knew immediately it was not the right one.

I also knew immediately that I probably had the right document in the box in my apartment and I found it a few minutes later and faxed it to Davis Insurance.

That was on Friday after work, so I had to wait until Monday to find out for sure that it was right one. The check was sent on Tuesday and arrived in Joplin on Thursday.

I picked up my car- a 2017 Kia Forte Thursday afternoon. While I admit I was really not ready to begin making monthly payments again, having air conditioning in my car for the first time in four years is a plus.

Now if I can just stay away from uninsured drivers.

With all of that going on, despite my feeling that I was not accomplishing much this week, it was still a productive week for all of the blogs.

And things are showing no signs of slowing down.

And now for the weekly sales pitch- For those of you who appreciate having an alternative news source and reading about news that you will rarely, if ever, see in the Joplin Globe , if you have not purchased a subscription or made a contribution of any amount in the past few months, please consider helping the Turner Report/Inside Joplin blogs to continue to grow and provide even more news to people of the Joplin area.

You can use the PayPal buttons below the links or send your subscription or contribution of any amount, large or small, to Randy Turner, 2306 E. 8th, Apt. G, Joplin MO 64801.

This week's top 10 posts and links to each of them are featured below:

The Turner Report

1. Motion: Jalen Vaden statement should be tossed because he asked for Judd McPherson

2. The man who brought us Wallace Bajjali wants to take his leadership to Jefferson City

3. Hearing set in million dollar sexual harassment lawsuit against Joplin R-8 School District

4. From October 2016: Joplin city employees resent money poured into Joplin Chamber, O'Brian projects

5. Hearing scheduled for motion to suppress Jalen Vaden's statement

6. Former Neosho Chamber of Commerce president files for state representative

7. March For Our Lives to be held Saturday in downtown Joplin

8. Agreement reached: Tarzan Zerbini to pay $426K to cover back taxes

9. Neosho R-5 Board president's response to allegations: I believe in the greatness of the Neosho community

10. The failure of American teachers

Inside Joplin

1. Joplin Police Department Weekend Arrests

2. Joplin Police need help identifying woman connected to YMCA locker room thefts

3. Joplin Police searching for missing girl, last seen four days ago at Northpark Mall

4. Newton County Coroner rules Joplin man's death in Shoal Creek due to accidental drowning

5. Newton County deputy makes DWI arrest of man driving wrecked car with dragging parts

6. Body found in Shoal Creek near Wildcat Glades, investigation continues

7. Jasper County Dissolution of Marriage Petitions

8. Traffic stop at 7th and Joplin leads to arrest of man with marijuana, crack cocaine, cocaine in his pants

9. Joplin Police Department Arrests March 20-21

10. Joplin Police Department Arrests March 19-20

Inside Joplin Obituaries

1. John Martin

2. Nicole Jackson

3. Elaine Eldred

4. Chris Eden

5. John Durbin

6. Karen Gould

7. William Simpson

8. Robert Hosp

9. Sherri Carey

10. Carolyn Tunnell


Thanks for supporting the Turner Report and the Inside Joplin blogs.

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Emma Simon: March for Our Lives comes to Joplin

(The author of this post, Emma Simon is a senior at Joplin High School.)

With the sun being out and a cool breeze in the air, it was a beautiful day to March for Our Lives. The Green Alliance of Southwest Missouri put the event on, but they let us students have the lead. Not only were we the speakers, but we were the chanters and the organizers.

We used our First Amendment rights as young adults to stand for something we truly believe in and that affects us every school day.

We [the speakers/organizers] walked together to the meeting spot with the rest of the protesters. I had a small knot in my stomach because I was worried, like many of us were, that no one would show up. But as we approached the meeting place, we saw a huge mass of people - waiting for us. It became real. We were doing something important. And adults were not only noticing our message, but they were supporting it.

As I looked into the crowd, I saw the faces of veterans, teachers, parents and peers who were just as angry as we were.

We started down Main Street shouting chants such as “That’s alright, NRA. We are going to vote you out someday” and “What does democracy sound like? This is what democracy sounds like.” Walking several blocks, we ended up in the Spiva Park, where we would all speak.

Each student speech varied in tone, some angry and some giving emotional testimonies on their first hand experiences with gun violence. After all the speakers, we let anyone who wanted to say something come up and do so. We heard stories of lost family members by guns. And those who had horrifying run ins with people who had access to guns - who shouldn’t have.

While the crowd sat in the sun for over an hour listening to speech after speech and screaming chant after chant, they never once lost engagement. Many had tears running down their faces. I had one lady come up to me and ask how she could donate to our cause. It was invigorating to finally be heard and to know that there were so many community members who support us.

Even though the national marches are over, the movement and the conversation it entails about gun control legislature still continues.

The #NeverAgain movement will not rest until something is done to protect students lives. Our jobs should be going to school, doing our homework, maybe having a part-time job to pay our car insurance. It should not be worrying about whether or not we are going to die trying to get an education.

For those who wanted to be there in support - but couldn’t be - still get involved. Go to a Green Alliance or Southwest Missouri Democrats meetings. Write your legislators. Hear your students. But most of all, speak up for what you believe in.

Neosho R-5 Board president's response to allegations: I believe in the greatness of the Neosho community

Neosho R-5 Board of Education President Steve Douglas is answering allegations about recent district missteps by using an approach  that is being attempted on national and state levels- the accusations are all from opponents with an ax to grind, and of course, it is all fake news.

In a lengthy Facebook post Wednesday, Douglas also made the point that any allegations cannot be true because he believes in "the greatness of the Neosho community," he has a long record of service and responding to allegations would be "putting down" his neighbors.

While Douglas admits to making mistakes, he says those mistakes have made him smarter and better able to serve the Neosho community.

He does not admit, however, what those mistakes were.

The only response Douglas or any R-5 officials has made to the series of Turner Report posts detailing problems with the Junior High School project has been to show a power point presentation from last year that praises the construction project and indicates that it came in below budget.

Douglas' Facebook message also does not address allegations that change orders for the project were not approved by the board. Instead of producing certified board minutes to back his case, Douglas indicated in an earlier Facebook post that the Turner Report was printing lies, but has not said anything following another Turner Report post showing Douglas admitted the board had not approved change orders in another Facebook message and blamed the Central Office for not knowing board policy required that change orders over $10,000 be approved by the board.

Nor is there any mention of the e-mail exchange between Superintendent Dan Decker and the head of the architectural firm for the project leading to a non-disparagement agreement and a sizable contribution from the architectural firm to the district for furniture for the junior high building.

And Douglas fails to mention why the people who pointed out the problems with the spending on the junior high project are no longer employed by the school district- all five members of the Finance Department with 49 years of service to the district.

Douglas tells his Facebook friends not to listen to "rumors or blogs."

Apparently, he would prefer they don't read district documents either.

The text of Douglas' Facebook message is printed below:

Over the past six months, I have been drawn into the less pleasant side of Neosho politics. The side where people mislead and lie to advance their own personal agenda. I have stayed true to myself and made time to answer questions with facts and honesty. It is only my family name I must honor as I close my eyes at the end of a day.

Some people have encouraged me to fight back, bring things to light against those who spread inaccuracies. If I lower myself to "waller" in the mud of local politics, then I disrespect the great character of the very community I profess to love. It is time Neosho gets away from infighting and we build. We build a better community for a better tomorrow. Some people don't understand me. Some people misunderstand me. They underestimate my will, drive, and passion to make Neosho better.

I am not a coward. I have protected the people of Neosho and Newton County with my very life for more than 25 years, as a cop. I am a different breed. You see, I truly believe in the greatness of Neosho. I believe in the people of the Ozarks. I know "these people". The "people" I know have pulled in behind me, when I have had a flat tire along a lonely highway, and offered to lend a hand.

The way to a better community is not to attack and put down your neighbors. People who do that are part of the problem, not the solution. Positive people, positive leaders, lend a hand; not a fist.

From my vantage point, some people can sit back in the shadows and stir controversy. Some can complain from the comfort of their living room. Many can lead when there are sunny skies. But, few can man the wheel of the ship when the seas are foamy and the clouds are black. I will always hold on to Neosho's wheel, no matter the weather.

Question my results or decisions, that is your right. No, as an elected member of the Neosho School Board, it is YOUR DUTY to question my actions. I serve you. I represent you. I answer to you.

Do not question my integrity, underestimate my intelligence, or mistake my kindness and love as weakness. Kindness and love are the only things making the world strong, today.

I have made mistakes. I will make more mistakes. But, with each mistake comes knowledge. With each failure comes determination.

I appreciate you holding me accountable for my actions, as an elected representative. I welcome your scrutiny, as long you promise to get all facts and look at all angles. Don't listen to rumors, Blogs, or conjecture. Hold me accountable, as you yourself wishes to be accounted.

To those who have spread lies and misleading statements about myself and the Neosho School District, I refer you to one of the World's greatest minds.... “Whoever is careless with the truth in small matters cannot be trusted with important matters” ― Albert Einstein

I am asking for your support and humbly request your vote for the Neosho Board of Education, not because I am perfect, but because I am real. I really love Neosho. I really want Neosho to thrive. I really want the very best academic offerings for our youth. I really want to serve you.

Previous Neosho R-5 Posts

Allegation that five-year-old Neosho boy inappropriately touched, threatened kindergarten classmate at center of possible legal action against school district

Neosho R-5 Board President: Central Office wasn't aware board had to approve change orders on Junior High building project

Carver Elementary principal's administrative leave, removal of Finance Department illustrate toxic atmosphere at Neosho R-5

Neosho Superintendent signed non-disparagement contract, agreed to $150,000 "donation" from architectural firm

Former Neosho R-5 accountant: Finance Department told to keep quiet about Junior High project funding errors

Neosho R-5 administrators say there are things they can't tell staff, but they will be transparent about it

Neosho Daily News on junior high investigation: We report news, not speculation or gossip

Neosho R-5 School Board President: There was no trickery with our lovely junior high

State investigators examining discrepancies, lack of transparency in Neosho Junior High building project

Agenda posted for Tuesday Joplin R-8 Board of Education meeting

The Joplin R-8 Board of Education will meet 7 p.m. in the Memorial Administration Building. A closed session is scheduled for 6 p.m. for legal actions, personnel discussions, and real estate purposes.

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. BOE Policy Committee (D. Gould, J. Martucci, & B. Jordan)

2. Superintendent's Data Report

a. Support Services Update - (Sandra Cantwell)

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. Economic Development Administration (EDA) Security Agreement

b. La Quinta Inn

c. Mercy College of Nursing

d. Spring River Village

e. Land of Smiles

f. Culligan Water of Joplin

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

a. Policy IGBE: Students in Foster Care

4. Fuel Purchase - Action (Dr. Sachetta)

G. Regular Agenda

1. JEC - Prime Contract Change Order #14 Crossland Construction Co. - Action (Dr. Sachetta)

2. Corner Greer Architect Contract for the MEC Remodel - Action (Dr. Sachetta)

3. Accounts Payable - Action (Dr. Lankford)

4. Summer School for School Year 2017/18 - Action (Dr. Gilbreth)

5. Middle School Math Textbook Adoption - Action (Dr. Gilbreth)

6. Purchase Eight School Buses - Action (Dr. Sachetta)

7. Articulating Boom Lift - Action (Dr. Sachetta)

8. Contract Lawn Care Service - Action (Dr. Sachetta)

9. Commodity Food Processing for School Year 2018/19 - Action (Dr. Sachetta

10. Student Information System - Action (Dr. Sachetta)

11. Policy Update for First Reading - Action (Dr. Moss)

a. Policy EHB: Technology Usage

b. Policy IL: Assessment Program:

c. Policy KL: Public Concerns and Complaints

d. Policy KLA: Concerns and Complaints Regarding Federal Programs

e. Policy ADF: Nutrition Guidelines

f. Policy IKF: Graduation Requirements

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

1. Plus: What did we do well

2. Delta: Opportunities for Improvement

I. BOE Announcements

J. Adjourn

Motion asks for former Joplin day care center owner charged with nine counts of child endangerment to be released on her own recognizance

The lawyer for a former Joplin daycare owner charged with nine counts of endangering the welfare of a child and one count of being a mandated reporter and failing to report child abuse filed a motion to have his client's bond reduced.

Judge Joseph Hensley set bond for Betsy Coleman, 43, at $20,000 cash or surety and $5,000 cash only.

In his motion, Webb City attorney Bradley R. Barton called for his client to be released on her own recognizance or as an alternative on a $20,000 code bond.

Barton points out that Coleman has no prior criminal history, is not a flight risk, has strong ties in the community and is employed. "(She) has had no contact with any alleged victims and (she) will not have any communication with any alleged victims."

If Coleman is released, a condition of her bond is that she have no contact with Kent Hagan, her former live-in boyfriend.

Hagan is currently in a federal prison awaiting trial on child pornography charges.

Hagan was arrested after a Joplin Police Department investigation that started with Coleman telling a woman that Hagan had "creepy photos" showing the bottoms of two children at the unlicensed day care center, as well as numerous child pornography photos.

Coleman told police she deleted the photos.

She also revealed that she kicked Hagan out of the home/day care center at 1409 W. 9th Street, but then she allowed him to return.

Hearing scheduled for motion to suppress Jalen Vaden's statement

The hearing for the motion to suppress Jalen Vaden's statements to investigating officers has been scheduled for 9 a.m. Monday, April 2, before Judge David Mouton in Jasper County Circuit Court.

Vaden, 22, Carl Junction, is charged with second degree murder and felony child abuse in connection with the death of three-year-old Jayda Kyle.

Vaden's attorney, Tracey Martin, says her client's statement should be tossed because he asked for Judd McPherson, Jayda's maternal grandfather, who is also a criminal defense attorney.

Though Vaden signed a waiver, he immediately asked, "Is Judd here?" according to the motion. Martin contends that all questioning should have stopped at that point since Vaden asked for a lawyer.

The beating that led to Jayda Kyle's death took place November 30 at the home Vaden and the child's mother, Devyn Kyle, shared at 405 Meadow Lake Drive in Carl Junction. The three-year-old died December 2 at Children's Mercy Hospital in Kansas City.

Vaden is being held in the Jasper County Jail on $1 million bond- $750,000 cash or surety and $250,000 cash only.

Previous posts

Motion: Jalen Vaden's statement should be tossed because he asked for Judd McPherson

Bond set at $1 million for Jalen Vaden, trial may be as soon as June or July

Despite social media claim, Judd McPherson was not at daughter's home the night Jayda Kyle was abused

Recordings of interviews with Jaden Valen, Devyn Kyle among items turned over to defense during discovery process

Gag order expected in Jalen Vaden case

Reporter/Carl Junction City Councilwoman threatens Jayda's Beat founder, says Vaden guilty, McPherson not involved
Press conference claim: Jalen Vaden confession to Jayda Kyle murder was coerced

Jasper County Prosecuting Attorney outlines evidence against Jalen Vaden
Jalen Vaden to Jayda Kyle's father: I pray that you know I didn't do this to her

Family of accused Jayda Kyle murderer suspects outside manipulation as SMB, GoFundMe shut down accounts

Explosive court documents claim Jayda Kyle's mother turned her death into a social media event

Jayda Kyle's mother to answer questions under oath; defense to add Judd McPherson as a witness

Dankelson refuses to recuse from Jayda Kyle murder case, says he does not have a close relationship with Judd McPherson

Jalen Vaden's lawyer asks for change of judge, cites Dankelson's close relationship with Judd McPherson

Jalen Vaden bond decision delayed, preliminary hearing waived
Accused killer of Jayda Kyle to waive preliminary hearing
Bond motion filed for accused killer of three-year-old Jayda Kyle

Jasper County Sheriff: We are still investigating Jayda Kyle's death

Children's Division documents: Grandfather attempting to manipulate Jayda Kyle murder investigation

Juvenile Office documents: Jayda Kyle suffered bleeding from brain, severely torn retina, probably already brain dead when she arrived in K. C.

Some thoughts on the Joplin Globe's article on the Jayda Kyle murder investigation

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

Jayda Kyle obituary