Thursday, February 28, 2019

Lost Angels, Newton County Memories available during no-birthday no sale

Being one of those fortunate people whose birthday only occurs once every four years enables me to do things somewhat differently.

The same holds true with promoting and selling my books.

I celebrated my no-birthday Thursday (next year, I will turn 16) and now I am announcing my no-sale for my two most recent books, Lost Angels: The Murders of Rowan Ford and Doug Ringler and Newton County Memories.

I am not reducing the price on either book, but I hope after reading them you will still think you paid a bargain price for them.

Signed copies of the books are available locally at Granby Auto Supply and Hardware in Granby, Pat's Books in Carthage and Always Buying Books and Changing Hands Book Shoppe in Joplin.

The books can also be purchased from Amazon in paperback and e-book formats at the links below.

If you buy the paperback versions online, just bring them by to one of my local book signings, including April 6 at Always Buying Books and April 27 at Crowder College in Neosho and I will be happy to sign them for you.

Make this an even happier no-birthday for me by taking part in my no sale. If you like the books, please spread the word.

Agenda posted for Monday Joplin City Council meeting

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


Citizen Requests And Petitions


Charles Copple Would Like To Address City Council Regarding Pulse Point.


Public Hearings


Public Hearing Procedures



Case 2019-009: Voluntary Annexation – A request to voluntarily annex approximately 3.4 miles of Right of Way, located along 32nd Street between Central City Road and Golf Link Road; along Crow Road between McClelland Boulevard and Schifferdecker Avenue; and along Coyote Drive between McClelland Boulevard and Schifferdecker Avenue – City of Joplin.


Case 010-19: 715 S. Harlem Avenue – A request to rezone from Single Family Residential District (R1) to Commercial District (C3) for the expansion of O’Reilly’s Auto Parts – O’Reilly Auto Part.

Consent Agenda


February 19, 2019 Informal Council Meeting Notes


Minutes Of The February 19, 2019 Council Meeting

  1. FEB 19 MINS.PDF



Ordinances - Emergency



AN ORDINANCE approving a Work Authorization with Allgeier Martin & Associates in the not to exceed amount of Two Hundred Twenty-Nine Thousand Eight Hundred Fifty Five and 00/100 Dollars ($229,855.00) for 2019 Wastewater Facilities Plan funded through the Wastewater Treatment fund, and containing an emergency clause


AN ORDINANCE approving the City of Joplin to enter into a construction agreement with Hunter Chase and Associates Inc., in the not to exceed amount of Three Hundred Seven Thousand Two Hundred Thirty-Eight and 00/100 dollars ($307,238.00) for construction of the NID IV Sidewalk 2018 Project; 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 amending the Annual Budget of the City of Joplin for the Fiscal Year 2018-2019 as adopted by Ordinance 2018-145 on October 15, 2018, to adjust appropriations and containing an emergency clause.


AN ORDINANCE approving a Contract for grant money by and between the City of Joplin, Missouri and the Missouri Department of Transportation dealing generally with the Impaired Driving Enf/DWI Saturation/YA project in the amount of Twelve Thousand Seven Hundred Ninety Eight Dollars ($12,798); authorizing the City Manager to execute the same by and on behalf of the City of Joplin, Missouri; and containing an emergency clause.


AN ORDINANCE approving a Contract for grant money by and between the City of Joplin, Missouri and the Missouri Department of Transportation dealing with the Full Time DWI Unit and DWI Enforcement in the amount of One Hundred Six Thousand, Six Hundred, Sixty-Eight Dollars ($106,668); authorizing the City Manager to execute the same by and on behalf of the City of Joplin, Missouri; and containing an emergency clause.


AN ORDINANCE approving a Contract for grant money by and between the City of Joplin, Missouri and the Missouri Department of Transportation to cover overtime costs and fringe benefit costs for an HMV Enforcement project in the amount of Thirteen Thousand Five Hundred Dollars ($13,500); authorizing the City Manager to execute the same by and on behalf of the City of Joplin, Missouri; and containing an emergency clause.

Ordinances - First Reading



AN ORDINANCE amending Chapter 26 Buildings and Building Regulations by repealing and enacting a new Article III, Building Code, and setting a date when this ordinance shall become effective.


AN ORDINANCE amending Chapter 58 Fire Prevention And Protection by repealing and enacting a new Article II, Fire Prevention Code, and setting a date when this ordinance shall become effective.


AN ORDINANCE amending Article VII, Swimming Pools, of Chapter 62, Health and Sanitation Section 62-241, of the Joplin City Code by repealing Part 1; except section 1.1; and amending sections of Part 2 of this code; and setting a date when this ordinance shall become effective.

Ordinances - Second Reading And Third Reading


Unfinished Business


New Business


News From Public Information Officer, Lynn Onstot

Parson commends Missouri House for passage of Fast Track Workforce Development Program

(From Gov. Mike Parson)

The Missouri House today passed House Bill 225, sponsored by Representative Kathy Swan, by a vote of 101-49. Fast Track is one of Governor Parson’s top workforce development priorities to help reskill and retool Missouri workers to meet the workforce demands of the future.

“I am pleased the Missouri House passed one of our administration’s top workforce development priorities in a strong bi-partisan vote,” Governor Parson said. “Fast Track will benefit thousands of Missourians across this state, and I applaud Representative Swan and Speaker Haahr for their leadership in making sure our workforce is prepared for the demands of the future.”

The Fast Track financial aid program will target adults working toward degree programs that fill a high-need skills gap. The proposed program would provide tuition assistance in high-demand fields to Missourians who meet the eligibility criteria.

“I am excited to follow through on my commitment to pass Fast Track through the Missouri House and look forward to seeing how this innovative and bold idea will help Missouri develop a vibrant workforce,” Speaker of the House Elijah Haahr said.

The U.S. Census Bureau’s 2016 data puts the median household income for Missouri at $51,713. Additionally, 755,000 Missourians have some college experience but no degree. Fast Track will allow thousands of these Missourians the opportunity to pursue higher education opportunities in high-paying, high-demand fields like advanced manufacturing, computer science, and healthcare, which will achieve greater economic success for their families.

“Fast Track allows our higher education institutions, including community colleges and training schools, to become more accessible to Missourians and ensures students have the opportunity to gather the necessary education and training to fill high demand jobs,” Representative Kathy Swansaid. “I was thrilled to see this legislation pass with bipartisan support and look forward to working with the Senate to get it to the Governor’s desk.”

J. C. Penney to close 27 stores; Northpark Mall location not on the list.

JC Penney announced today it is closing 27 low-performing stores,  including three in Missouri, but the anchor store at Joplin's Northpark Mall is not on the list.

From the Dallas Morning News:

The locations either needed significant investment, created minimal cash flow or appeared to be strong real estate sale opportunities, the company said. Their comparable sales were described as being significantly below the rest of the company's 840 department stores.

JC Penney is hoping that a new CEO and its recent decision to eliminate its home appliance section can improve the outlook for its remaining locations.

Though the company has not released the list of stores, it confirmed that none of those stores will be in its home state of Texas.

Missourinet reports the three JC Penney locations closing in Missouri are in St. Louis, Sikeston and Springfield.

Farmington Republican: I was honored to be first to cast vote for historic pro-life bill

(From Rep. Dale Wright, R-Farmington)

Although many bills were offered, deliberated, and passed this past week, because of the importance of one particular bill, along with its supporting amendments, I would like to solely focus on it in this week’s Capitol Report. That bill addresses the most basic of all human rights which is the right to life.

Members of the Missouri House of Representatives passed the strongest bill in the country to protect life.

The House demonstrated to the nation that there still exists a place in America where we value and stand for the dignity for every human being. I and many other Representatives strongly believe that every infant is a gift from God and we showed that the House continues to pass laws that will protect the lives of the innocent unborn. We renew our commitment to stand for every single Missouri citizen, including the innocent, the infirm, the born and the unborn.

The bill says that a physician shall not perform or induce an abortion on a pregnant woman without first performing a fetal heartbeat detection test or brain function. If detected, the physician shall not perform an abortion on the unborn child. The bill includes penalty provisions for physicians that break the law but does not punish the mother. The bill prohibits all abortions throughout all nine months of pregnancy (except in cases of a medical emergency), contingent upon 1 of 3 of the following criteria:

The Supreme Court’s overturning of Roe v. Wade,
The passage of a federal Human Life Amendment,
The passage of a federal law – like the Human Life Bill – which would empower states to further regulate abortion.

The bill also requires referrals for out-of-state abortions to be accompanied by specified printed materials. It changes the laws regarding the parental notification required for a minor to obtain an abortion and it prohibits certain selective abortions relating to sex, race, or Down Syndrome.

The bill addresses issues the 8th Circuit Court identified as concerns with similar bills and included legislative findings in the bill to strengthen its ability to survive judicial scrutiny.

The importance of this bill cannot be overstated. The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services reported 6,790 abortions were conducted in 2017. I was honored to be the first vote cast for this historic bill. I swore an oath to uphold the Constitution of Missouri that says, “all persons have a natural right to life,” and I stand by that oath.

Governor, ag director urge Mo Congressional delegation to sign Trump's United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement

(From Gov. Mike Parson)

Today, Governor Mike Parson and Director of Agriculture Chris Chinn published a joint letter that was sent to Missouri’s Congressional Delegation urging them to sign President Trump’s United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA). In the letter, Governor Parson and Director Chinn emphasized that the improved trade agreement will maintain zero tariffs on agriculture products traded between the U.S. and Mexico and open new opportunities for dairy, poultry, egg and wheat producers in the Canadian market.

Below is an excerpt from the letter:

“Agriculture has a history of thriving whenever agreements like this favor the American farmer and create a level playing field for buyers and sellers on both sides of the marketplace. In Missouri, agriculture is economic development.

"It’s not just a fraction of it, but it drives our entire economy. As an $88.4 billion industry, we know that agriculture continues to be the backbone of the Show Me State’s economy. Firming up this agreement with Missouri’s top two agriculture export partners marks a huge leap forward for our farmers, ranchers and agribusinesses.”

To read the full letter, click the following link:

Hartzler: Liberal extremists are trying to end health care as we know it

(From Fourth District Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler)

Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler (MO-04) made the following statement regarding “Medicare for All” legislation that was introduced by Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-WA) and other House Democrats this week.

“The deceptively named ‘Medicare for All’ bill is the latest effort to socialize our health care system. It is a government-run program that would outlaw virtually all private health care coverage, including employer-sponsored insurance which 158 million Americans currently enjoy,” said Congresswoman Hartzler.

“This plan forces all Americans, including seniors on Medicare, into a one-size fits all plan administered by bureaucrats in Washington. Instead of ‘Medicare for All,’ it actually eliminates the Medicare program and forces recipients to compete with every other American for limited health care resources.”

“The legislation doesn’t even begin to suggest how we would pay for socialized medicine. Conservative estimates for costs exceed thirty trillion dollars. Not only would this plan bankrupt the country, it would destroy Medicare, the health care plan our seniors depend on.”

“As if the Obamacare experiment was not enough, here we go again: liberal extremists are trying to end health care as we know it. I will continue to oppose efforts to socialize America’s health care and the forcing of every American, including seniors, off their health care plans. This extremism has to end,” added Hartzler.

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Paul Richardson: From grocery store kidnappings to motorcycle madness

(Paul Richardson's column The Horse That I Rode In On can be found on the Turner Report and in the Neosho Daily News and Seneca Post-Dispatch)

I have not always been a large man. In fact, I was very short and small upon arrival. My entire perspective of the world was from the position of being carried around. I had to be hauled everywhere as I couldn’t drive, actually I couldn’t even walk. It was a very embarrassing position to be in.

The non-ability to walk turned out to be a short-term imposition. Once that phase passed, I was freed from the constantly being carried position. However, it turned out that they still wouldn’t let me drive for several years. Throughout that time my perspective of the world was constantly and steadily changing.

The inability to drive was further frustrated by the constant kidnapping. These people would insist on my accompaniment to the most mundane of affairs.

Sure, I understood that they needed to go to town to get some groceries, but that was not my problem nor did I have the funds to make any purchases. Nevertheless, I had to go along.

At first I would need to accompany them into and through the market. Later, I was finally able to convince them to let me stay in the car.

With a little persuasion, the keys would be left and I could listen to the radio. Oh what a joy and a taste of freedom to listen to the major market stations out of Kansas City or in the evening hours Chicago or Little Rock.

I can still remember the call letters; WHB Kansas City, WLS Chicago or KAAY Little Rock. A few years later I also discovered that we could get the signal of WOAI San Antonio.

Those were the days of major market AM stations. Lots of power, lots of range. Neosho just wasn’t positioned in the corridor for Wolfman Jack’s pirate signal.

The restriction on driving intact, I still took advantage of the opportunity to secure the keys while others were making their appointed rounds. This was real me time. I never recall the radio being on while either of my adult kidnappers drove. So when I was allowed this one luxury, I indulged.

I distinctly recall one pre-Christmas Friday evening sitting in their Buick on the downtown square as they shopped. Pre-Christmas being the weeks after Thanksgiving prior to Christmas, but this incident was closer to Christmas. Snow was falling and I was bathed in the sounds of Smokey Robinson singing “Tears of A Clown”. What a great Christmas song!

Yes, you could leave your kids in the car in those days, without fear of problems. Although I was anxious to drive, I never once considered just taking off. I had the keys, I was in the car, they were elsewhere but upon their return I was still there and so was the car. In addition I never even once considered complaining to someone about the kidnapping situation.

Fortunately, as my perspective of the world changed I was able to discover other mechanical means by which I could travel despite their refusal to let me drive. The first magical means of transportation was the ever faithful bicycle.

My memories of my first bicycle was that it was just the standard model. When the era of the banana seats and high rise handlebars arrived I was destined to remain the owner of a standard model.

However, I was able to purchase a banana seat and high rise handlebars at one of the then existing hardware stores on the downtown square. The best I can recall there were two hardware stores on the square at that time, the big one on the north side later to be know as Johnson’s True Value and Erickson’s on the east side. I believe that the purchase was made at Johnson’s.

These were the days before I even aware of anything other than a single speed bicycle. But the transformation with the banana seat and high rise handlebars was magical.

A few years later both my sister and I received three-speed bikes. Hers was an English Racer and mine an Italian made bike. Both bikes had been the property of my uncle from whom my folks had purchased the bikes for Christmas presents. I don’t recall any significant songs connected to this particular holiday, however.

Somewhere in the mix of all this activity, along came a Cushman Super Silver Eagle. The first motorized transportation that I had access to. This little motorcycle unleashed a passion that has never waned. Because of this most of my perspective is from the saddle while being carried on two wheels with a motor between my knees.

How ironic that my beginning perspective and possibly my ending perspective are both from a position of being carried! So just bear with me as I bring you my perspective from the saddle of the Horse I Rode In On.

Hartzler explains "no" vote on gun legislation

(From Fourth District Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler)

Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler (MO-04) today voted against H.R. 8, Democrat led legislation that would essentially outlaw current gun shows by forcing transactions to be conducted through a federally licensed dealer.

The legislation does nothing to address the true causes of gun violence and instead targets law abiding gun owners in an attempt to increase gun control across the country.

“I fully support efforts to end gun violence and stop criminals from obtaining guns. This legislation, however, does not accomplish that goal. In fact, H.R. 8 fails to focus at all on gun violence and criminals who access guns,” said Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler. 

“Instead this legislation burdens law abiding gun owners by making it more difficult to purchase firearms despite their constitutional right to do so. This initiative is politically motivated and disingenuous, at best.”

“I believe we can more effectively stem gun violence by enforcing and strengthening existing laws on the books, like Congress did last year when we passed legislation to ‘FIX NICS,’ the National Instant Criminal Background Check System,” Hartzler said.

She added that a recent Department of Justice (DOJ) report shows, overwhelmingly, that most criminals obtain firearms illegally. “Today’s bill simply goes after the wrong people, failing to even address straw purchases or the black market, both primary sources for criminals hoping to buy firearms illegally. The bill would even make it illegal for a victim of stalking or domestic violence to borrow a gun for self-protection unless there is an ‘imminent threat.’ H.R. 8 is a massive overreach.”

The House voted today to pass H.R. 8 by a vote of 240 – 190. The bill now goes to the Senate where it awaits further consideration.

Graves: I stood in support of President Trump and the national emergency on the border

(From Sixth District Congressman Sam Graves)

We have a crisis on our southern border. Just ask anyone who has worked or lived there. Ask any Border Patrol agent or military personnel who has seen the crisis firsthand. Ask family members of those who have lost their lives to fentanyl or heroin overdoses. Politics can never get in the way of their facts.

Yet, the left, in their undying quest to deny the President at every turn and not address the unimpeded flow of illegal immigrants across our southern border, brought up a resolution this week to stop President Trump’s National Emergency declaration to deal with our border crisis.

During debate on the House Floor, I stood in support of the President’s declaration for several reasons.

We do have a national emergency. This has been acknowledged time and again by both sides of the aisle. Now that President Trump has officially declared it as such, suddenly some think it’s not an emergency.

However, the President is well within the bounds of his office to declare this emergency. The law allows him to declare it and direct troops and funding to the border to put an end to the crisis. He’s certainly not the first to make such a declaration.

In fact, multiple national emergencies have been declared over the years. Currently, there are 31 ongoing declared national emergencies. This will make number 32.

President Obama even recognized the threats at the border and declared a national emergency to deal with the drug cartels who wreak havoc on families and communities.

Some have said that because we intercept most illicit drugs at ports of entry, we don’t need a wall. If we’re intercepting so many drugs at legal ports of entry, can you imagine how many drugs are flowing across the open parts of our border? Locking and deadbolting your front door isn’t going to be very effective if you leave the back door hanging wide open. We must secure the border and the only way to do that is with a wall.

That’s why I’ve pushed for a wall from day one and we’ve built several parts of it. However, this crisis continues to get worse as we haven’t completed it. We will never stem the flow of drugs and human trafficking if we don’t take this crisis seriously. There’s no doubt that it rises to the level of a national emergency and the President was right to declare it. It’s time to set politics aside and do what’s best for the security of our communities and our nation.

Ash Grove Republican likens failure to challenge Roe v. Wade to Germans failing to challenge Holocaust

(From Rep. Mike Moon, R-Ash Grove)

A number of bills were taken up for debate today. The most important bill, though, was HB (House Bill) 126.

 The bill specifies that a physician shall not perform or induce an abortion on a pregnant woman without first performing a test to detect a heartbeat. A physician, who fails to do so before performing an abortion, shall be subject to having his or her medical license rejected, revoked, or suspended for six months and shall pay a $1,000 fine. 

Any physician who performs or induces an abortion following the detection of a developing baby’s heartbeat shall have his or her license revoked and any future license application denied.

Any woman upon whom an abortion is performed or induced in violation of these provisions shall not be prosecuted for a conspiracy to violate these provisions.

It can be argued that the bill does indeed curtail the number of abortions in our state. Research varies on when exactly a heartbeat can be detected in a developing human baby. The bill does not detail the exact gestational age of a baby when a heartbeat can be detected, however, there is consensus that most developing babies have detectable heartbeats at or around eight (8) - 12 weeks (using an ultrasound Doppler).

Several amendments were added to the bill:

Requiring the notification of both parents when a minor seeks an abortion;
Requirement for an abortion provider to present, to the woman seeking an abortion, a pamphlet which provides information about alternatives to abortion;
The prohibition of aborting a developing baby based on information the baby will be born with an abnormality, such as Down’s Syndrome;
Requiring an increase in malpractice insurance for an insurance provider;
A clause that states all abortion in Missouri will be banned when Roe v. Wade is overturned; and
A provision that prohibits abortion on developing human children 20-weeks or more gestational age.

I do support the Heartbeat bill and voted for its passage today. The bill passed the House with a vote of 117 “yes” to 39 “no.”

Here’s my concern:

For more than 46 years, we have been “satisfied” with the fact that developing human babies are still being murdered. When prolife supporters are pressed to do more a frequent response is, “We’re doing all we can do.”

I say, “Hogwash!”

If during our nation’s history, Americans had been satisfied with saying to slaves, “We’re doing all we can do… so continue to be happy and content as a slave,” what do you suppose the response would have been?

Today, when contemplating the outright murder of the voiceless (developing human children), we effectively turn a blind eye to some of them. General Walton Walker ordered German civilians in Weimar to visit the main Buchenwald camp in order for them to see first-hand the atrocities that had been occurring “right under their noses.”

Innocent civilians were being killed literally in their neighborhoods and they seemingly did not know or did not care. Nonetheless, the murders were taking place.

Today, the murder of developing human babies continues… and, we, just like the Germans we appear to be satisfied that it's not happening "in our neighborhood." Well, we know it’s happening, but for 46 years we’ve been regulating the dastardly deeds…. I am not satisfied with mere regulations (when murder is involved)! When will enough be enough!?!

Bills have been filed for at least the past five years which would challenge Roe v. Wade, yet this year, the bills have yet to be referred to a committee for a hearing.

If you are compelled to do so, please contact Speaker Haahr (pronounced “Har”), and thank him for referring bills which protect human life and urge him to refer HJR 28 to a committee. This bill will recognize developing human babies as persons and require due process before their lives can be ended.

Remember the rules debate? We are experiencing the "oligarchy" at its finest!

Parson praises Ivanka Trump's leadership, says it is wrong for Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez to smear the First Daughter

(From Gov. Mike Parson)

After attending a series of meetings at the White House on Monday, Missouri Governor Mike Parson issued the following statement commending Ivanka Trump, Advisor to the President, for her leadership on key initiatives, like workforce development:

“Ivanka’s leadership for our country is a key pillar to continuing President Trump’s booming economy and delivering real results for Americans. If we expect to grow jobs, increase individual’s ability to earn a higher wage, and compete on a global scale, we must take serious the need to address workforce development.”

“As Missouri moves forward, we will continue working alongside the President and Ivanka’s focus on workforce development and ensure our priorities are aligned. We’re proud of our nation’s and Missouri’s historical low unemployment rate, and we are proud to support workforce development initiatives that focus on the real issues and help give working families the ability to reskill and retrain to meet the workforce demands - not more government handouts.”

In an interview with Fox News, Ivanka Trump, Advisor to the President, was asked about the debate over free market capitalism versus the socialist guaranteed job alternative. Ivanka responded and challenged Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s “Green New Deal” saying she believes “…people want to work for what they get.” Congresswoman Ocasio-Cortez responded in series of tweets criticizing Ivanka’s comments. Governor Parson responded Wednesday by saying:

“It’s shocking that elected officials, like Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (NY), would wrongfully smear the efforts of Ivanka’s leadership on workforce development initiatives to ensure that all Americans have the opportunity to benefit from this booming economy.”

“While Ivanka and the President’s Administration are working hard on workforce development issues that put Americans back to work, the “Green New Deal” would lead to trillions of dollars in new spending and eliminate millions of jobs.”

“There is no dignity in making someone completely dependent on government. There is nothing in Congresswoman Ocasio-Cortez’s $93 trillion socialist plan that would completely subsidize individual housing, food, and work that I agree with - it only creates a culture of dependency that Americans cannot afford.”

St. Louis Democrat introduces bills to increase voter participation

(From Sen. Jill Schlupp, D-St. Louis)

The right to vote is a cornerstone of our democracy. Archaic voter registration laws disenfranchise Missourians and prevent them from casting their ballots.

I've introduced two bills that would increase participation in the democratic process by making it more convenient for Missourians to vote in elections.

Senate Bill 171 allows any registered voter to cast an absentee ballot without having to provide an excuse for voting early. Twenty-nine states, including five of Missouri's neighbors, allow no-excuse early voting.

Senate Bill 384 allows voters to register and cast a provisional ballot at their polling place on Election Day, or register and vote absentee up until the day prior. 17 states allow same-day voter registration, including two of Missouri's neighbors. About 25 percent of eligible Missourians are not registered to vote. This bill makes voting accessible for those who otherwise would miss the voter registration deadline.

The voting process should be inclusive and ensure that all voices are heard. Now is the time to streamline registration and make voting convenient for our citizens so that all eligible voters can participate.

Joplin High School principal announces resignation

The Joplin R-8 Board of Education accepted the resignation of High School Principal Shane Hopper during a closed session Tuesday night.

Hopper will serve until the end of the school year. This is his first year with the district. He was hired in June to replace Brandon Eggleston, who resigned to become superintendent of the Seneca R-7 School District.

Hopper, a Joplin native, had served as head principal at McCluer North High School in the St. Louis area from 2005 to 2015 and was head principal in the Ritenour School District from 2015-2018.

Hopper notified teachers, staff and parents of his resignation in the following message this morning:

Dear Joplin High School Community,

With a heavy heart I am announcing that at the conclusion of the school year, I will be leaving the Joplin area. 

I do have absolute affection for JHS and most importantly, love for our students. The whole mission has been to encourage and empower young people to reach their maximum potential in all things they choose to examine. I sincerely believe that ALL of our students have a chance to be highly successful in their explorations. In life, you can be taken in many directions. I am headed back for some personal and professional opportunities in the St. Louis area next year.

In letting the school district know this, I am giving them ample time to find a suitable candidate to lead Joplin High School for the 2019-20 school year. In particular, I am very thankful and grateful to Dr. Moss for her leadership. I find it sincere and kid-centered. There are many fine staff members here who put students first in all they do. This needs to be a continued collective push for the success of JHS. Students need adults they can trust and believe in each and every day.

As long as Joplin Schools keeps putting students first in all endeavors, it will experience future and continued success. This is the key and challenge. We still have three months of school to get this current senior class graduated. Let’s work hard to the finish to ensure JHS students have the best opportunities afforded to them on a daily basis.

Helping to educate,
Dr. Shane Hopper
Proud Principal of JHS

Watch live- Michael Cohen testimony before House Oversight Committee

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Nixa man bound over for trial for felony DWI in double-fatality accident near Granby

A Nixa man was bound over for trial on a felony driving while intoxicated charge stemming from a June 9, 2016 double fatality accident on U. S. 60 near Granby, in which a Monett man and an Exeter woman were killed.

A 1:30 p.m. Monday, April 8 arraignment is set in Newton County Circuit Court for Victor Arias Alanis, 20.

The allegation is detailed in the probable cause statement:

On June 9, 2018, I was dispatched to a two-vehicle injury crash on U. S. 60 at route M/W. I responded to the area and found that a 2004 Honda motorcycle had struck a 2017 Nissan passenger car. It appeared that the motorcycle had been traveling east on U. S. 60 and the passenger car had been traveling west on U. S. 60.

The passenger car attempted to make a left turn onto Route M. The car entered the path of the motorcycle and was struck by the motorcycle. Both occupants of the motorcycle were ejected and received fatal injuries in the crash. I found that the motorcycle was driven by Kelly Utter of Monett, Missouri. The passenger on the motorcycle was Robin Henson of Exeter, Missouri.

I was contacted by emergency personnel as I arrived at the scene I was handed Missouri Driver's Licenses for both occupants of the motorcycle. I was also informed that deputy Brandon Lammers had the driver of the Nissan in custody. I contacted Deputy Lammers and he handed me a cell phone and a U. S. passport for Victor Arias Alanis. He informed me that when he arrived on the scene a witness to the crash informed him that the driver of the Nissan, Victor Arias Alanis indicated he had drugs in his possession. Deputy Lammers placed the subject in custody due to this information.

I began the crash investigation by photographing each vehicle and the scene. I then contacted Christina Borstad of Granby, Missouri. Borstad had witnessed the crash. She indicated she was following the motorcycle when the Nissan attempted to make a left turn. She stated the car just turned in front of the motorcycle. She indicated she called 911 immediately and gave information about the crash to the dispatchers.

She indicated that the male subject driving the Nissan asked her if he could throw some drugs away. He informed her that he was not high, but did not want to get caught with the drugs. She informed the subject that he needed to sit down and wait for help to arrive. She provided a written statement detailing her conversation with the subject.

Joplin man sentenced to 12 years for statutory rape

Rasty Kiris, 29, Joplin, was sentenced to 12 years in prison Monday in Jasper County Circuit Court.

As part of the plea deal, a statutory sodomy charge was dropped.

Kiris, who had originally been scheduled to stand trial April 3, withdrew his not guilty plea

Kiris raped and sodomized a Joplin girl multiple times between June and August of 2017. The Joplin Police Department investigated the case.

Hartzler on vote backing Trump: The situation on the border certainly is an emergency

(From Fourth District Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler)

Today Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler (MO-04) voted against H.J. Res 46, legislation designed to stop the Trump Administration’s efforts to protect our southern border. Citing the need to halt illegal immigration and the flow of deadly drugs through our border, Hartzler voiced her support for the President’s efforts, while stating she believes there are ways to fund border security with non-defense dollars.

“Today my colleagues across the aisle voted to terminate the President’s use of a congressionally authorized power that other American presidents have used at least 31 times,” Hartzler said. “The National Emergencies Act gives presidents the authority to declare national emergencies and shift resources to address such emergencies.

"Opposition across the aisle is disingenuous considering both Presidents Clinton and Obama used this tool to fight drug traffickers and transnational gangs during their time in office. If President Obama declared national emergencies in Somalia, Libya, Yemen, Ukraine, South Sudan and Burundi, why can’t the president do the same to protect our very own border?

“The situation there is certainly an emergency. I recently visited the port of entry south of Tucson, Arizona and witnessed the ways that deadly drugs and human trafficking are finding their way into our country. Ninety percent of the heroin in our nation comes across our southern boundary, killing tens of thousands of Americans a year. Illegal immigrants with criminal backgrounds are walking across our porous border, harming communities and trafficking drugs. In 2017, we lost over 70,000 Americans to drug overdoses—more than died during the entire Vietnam War. For every family who has lost a loved one to drug overdoses and every family that could lose one if steps aren’t taken – it is time to act.

“Real people are being harmed. A young woman from Missouri named Samantha, a high school cheerleader and beloved student, was introduced to heroin and, sadly, succumbed to addiction, dying of an overdose in 2017. In December, we heard the tragic story of California Police Officer Ronil Singh, who was gunned down by an illegal immigrant in a routine traffic stop the day after Christmas. Both of these tragedies could have been avoided if we had stopped illegal drugs and criminal illegal aliens at the border.

“While my Democrat colleagues work to undercut the President’s efforts, they offer no solutions to these obvious issues. Obstructionism will not stop the flow of drugs into our country or bring back loved ones who have died because of the drug epidemic in America. Opponents say that we do not have an emergency, but I believe the families of these victims would beg to differ.

“I stand by the President’s declaration of a national emergency and support his efforts to secure our border and protect our families and communities.”

H.J. Res. 46 passed the House by a vote of 245-182; it now goes to the Senate, where it awaits further consideration.

The following national emergencies have been declared by past Administrations:

November 14, 1979: President Carter = Blocking Iranian Government Property
November 4, 1994: President Clinton = Proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction
January 23, 1995: President Clinton = Prohibiting Transactions with Terrorists Who Threaten to Disrupt the Middle East Peace Process
March 15, 1995: President Clinton = Prohibiting Certain Transactions with Respect to the Development of Iranian Petroleum Resources
October 21, 1995: President Clinton = Blocking Assets and Prohibiting Transactions with Significant Narcotics Traffickers
March 1, 1996: President Clinton = Declaration of a National Emergency and Invocation of Emergency Authority Relating to the Regulation of the Anchorage and Movement of Vessels
November 3, 1997: President Clinton = Blocking Sudanese Government Property and Prohibiting Transactions with Sudan
June 26, 2001: President G.W. Bush = Blocking Property of Persons who Threaten International Stabilization Efforts in the Western Balkans
September 14, 2001: President G.W. Bush = Declaration of National Emergency by Reason of Certain Terrorist Attacks
September 23, 2001: President G.W. Bush = Blocking Property and Prohibiting Transactions with Persons Who Commit, Threaten to Commit, or Support Terrorism
March 6, 2003: President G.W. Bush = Blocking Property of Persons Undermining Democratic Processes or Institutions in Zimbabwe
May 22, 2003: President G.W. Bush = Protecting the Development Fund for Iraq and Certain Other Property in Which Iraq has an Interest
May 11, 2004: President G.W. Bush = Blocking Property of Certain Persons and Prohibiting the Export of Certain Goods to Syria
June 16, 2006: President G.W. Bush = Blocking Property of Certain Persons Undermining Democratic Processes or Institutions in Belarus
October 27, 2006: President G.W. Bush = Blocking Property of Certain Persons Contributing to the Conflict in the Democratic Republic of Congo
August 1, 2007: President G.W. Bush = Blocking Property of Persons Undermining the Sovereignty of Lebanon or its Democratic Processes and Institutions
June 26, 2008: President G.W. Bush = Continuing Certain Restrictions with Respect to North Korea and North Korean Nationals
April 12, 2010: President Obama = Blocking Property of Certain Persons Contributing to the Conflict in Somalia
February 25, 2011: President Obama = Blocking Property and Prohibiting Certain Transactions Related to Libya
July 24, 2011: President Obama = Blocking Property of Transnational Criminal Organizations
May 16, 2012: President Obama = Blocking Property of Persons Threatening the Peace, Security, or Stability of Yemen
March 6, 2014: President Obama = Blocking Property of Certain Persons Contributing to the Situation in Ukraine
April 3, 2014: President Obama = Blocking Property of Certain Persons with Respect to South Sudan
May 12, 2014: President Obama = Blocking Property of Certain Persons Contributing to the Conflict in the Central African Republic
March 8, 2015: President Obama = Blocking Property and Suspending Entry of Certain Persons Contributing to the Situation in Venezuela
April 1, 2015: President Obama = Blocking the Property of Certain Persons Engaging in Significant Malicious Cyber-Enabled Activities
November 22, 2015: President Obama = Blocking Property of Certain Persons Contributing to the Situation in Burundi
December 20, 2017: President Trump = Blocking the Property of Persons Involved in Serious Human Rights Abuse or Corruption
September 12, 2018: President Trump = Imposing Certain Sanctions in the Event of Foreign Interference in a United States Election
November 27, 2018: President Trump = Blocking Property of Certain Persons Contributing to the Situation in Nicaragua
February 15, 2019: President Trump = Declaring a National Emergency Concerning the Southern Border of the United States

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

Court document: Man with 25-year-record of sexually abusing children had lived in Joplin since October

The former Texas man arrested by federal marshals for living in Newton County since October and not registering as a sex offender was staying at the Sunrise Inn in Joplin, according to a motion for a detention hearing filed today in U. S. District Court for the Western District of Missouri.

Gabriel Melchor, 52, told Joplin Police Department officer Seth Dear he had been living in Missouri for two years.

The detention motion provided detailed information about the long history of child sesual abuse compiled by Melchor, dating back a quarter of a century:

From the motion:

In relation to the nature and circumstances of the offenses charged, on February 21, 2019, the grand jury returned an indictment charging the defendant with failure to register as a sex offender. 

The defendant, a convicted sex offender, was located by law enforcement residing at Sunrise Inn, in Joplin, Missouri; however, the State of Missouri had no record of the defendant ever having registered as a sex offender. 

In relation to the weight of the evidence supporting the charges in the Indictment, on February 19, 2019, Joplin, Missouri, Police Department Officer (JPD) Seth Dear located the defendant residing at Sunrise Inn, in Joplin, Missouri. 

Officer Dear ran the defendant through dispatch and discovered he had a warrant out of Texas for failure to register as a sex offender. The defendant, who had a Missouri Department of Revenue issued nondriver's identification card that was issued on October 10, 2018, stated he moved to Missouri a couple of years ago. 

The defendant had previously been convicted of indecency with a child sexual contact, in two separate cases, in Bastrop County, Texas. 

The victim was a 13-year-old female, and based upon this conviction the defendant is a Tier III offender who must register for life. Certified documentation form the State of Texas Sex Offender Registry showed that the defendant last completed a sex offender registration on April 7, 2017, in Caldwell County, Texas. 

On that registration form, the defendant acknowledged through his initials and signature that he understood his lifetime registration requirements, that he was required to inform the registrar of any change in address, and that he must register within seven days of moving to another state. 

On August 15, 2017, Caldwell County Sheriff’s Office attempted to locate the defendant at his last registered address, but were advised by another resident that the defendant no longer (lived there). 

Law enforcement confirmed that the defendant had never registered with the State of Missouri. 

In relation to the history and characteristics of the defendant, the defendant has multiple prior convictions including two convictions for indecency with a child sexual contact, sexual assault in the fourth degree, and two convictions for failure to register as a sex offender.