Monday, September 30, 2019

Plea deal: Former Newton County deputy to spend seven years in prison for causing blunt head trauma to 2-month old

The two-month-old girl was flown to Children's Mercy Hospital bleeding from the brain from hemorrhages too numerous to count.

The blunt head trauma to the infant was caused, purposely, by her father, former Newton County Deputy Kenneth Rush, who pleaded guilty today in Jasper County Circuit Court to felony child abuse.

Under a plea agreement with the Jasper County Prosecuting Attorney's office, Rush will spend no more than seven years in prison and that was the sentence Judge Gayle Crane handed him.

The plea came 15 days before Rush's trial was scheduled to begin.

The child abuse charge was originally filed after the child was taken to Children's Mercy Hospital in Kansas City.

The charge was detailed in the probable cause statement:

On December 19, 2017, Kenneth R. Rush's two-month-old child was taken (to) the hospital via EMS due to having breathing problems and what was believed to be a seizure.

Once at the hospital, (the child) was seen to have bleeding on the brain. Hospital staff decided to have (her) flown to Children's Mercy in Kansas City for further treatment.

Once at Children's Mercy, (she) was found to have too numerous to count intraretinal and preretinal hemorrhages.

Once those results were found, the Children's Mercy SCAN team was contacted to consult and further treat (the child). Medical staff with Children's Mercy advised the injury to (her) eyes was a result of non-accidental abusive head trauma.

Throughout the duration of the investigation, Mr. Rush acknowledged he was the cause of the injuries to (the child), however, Mr. Rush's explanation of what had happened to (her) while (she) was in his car changed several times from nothing happened to he tripped and fell while holding (her) to he was tossing (her) in the air and catching (her) and finally to he was bouncing (her) while (she) was laying on the couch.

Rush, a 14-year law enforcement veteran came to the Newton County Sheriff's Department in February 2017 from Bates County. He began his career with the Butler Police Department in 2003.
The trial for Rush, who is being held in the Jasper County Jail on a $750,000 cash-only bond, is scheduled to begin October 16.

Rush, a 14-year law enforcement veteran, came to the Newton County Sheriff's Department in February 2017 from Bates County. He began his career with the Butler Police Department in 2003.

Probable cause- Carterville man, upset with his bill, threatens to shoot city water clerk in the head

A Carterville man faces a felony charge of making a terroristic threat after allegedly threatening to shoot the city's water clerk in the head.

Franklin Ray Kroush, 66, is not in custody at this time.

Kroush allegedly made the threat while in Joplin talking to a social worker, according to the probable cause statement. He had received a shutoff notice because he had not paid his bill and social worker called Carterville City Hall to see what the situation was.

During the conversation, the city's water clerk could hear an angry Kroush in the background and he apparently was not satisfied with how the conversation concluded, according to the statement:

When (the social worker) hung up the phone with (the water clerk), Kroush made the statement to (the social worker), "How about I just go there with a gun and shoot her in the head?

When the social worker got off the phone and Kroush left, the social worker's building was put on lockdown due to fears that he might return with a gun since she had been unable to help him with his problem.

The social worker called 911 and then called Carterville City Hall, which was placed on heightened alert and an officer was placed on duty there the remainder of the day.

Auditor's report recommends improvements in Missouri Accountability Portal

(From State Auditor Nicole Galloway)

State Auditor Nicole Galloway today released an audit of the Missouri Accountability Portal, a state database that provides the public access to the state's financial transactions. The report recommended improvements to ensure information in the online database is displayed accurately and can easily be understood by the public.

"The Missouri Accountability Portal is designed to allow citizens to easily access public information about how their tax dollars are being used," Auditor Galloway said. "In order for this tool to be effective, citizens need to be able to easily access the information. This report outlines several improvements the administration can make to ensure data is accurate and usable."

The Missouri Accountability Portal was established by executive order in 2007 and then passed into law in 2009. It's primarily administered by the Office of Administration and includes information on state expenditures, state employee pay and federal grants. While the website received relatively high marks by outside entities when first launched, more recent reviews found the site lacked additional features available in other states.

The report found some information in the database is incomplete or inaccurate. For example, the portal does not include $743 million in expenditures reported as employee benefits. The audit recommended that the Office of Administration include a summary of this transaction data to better reflect the total costs to Missouri government.

Additionally, the portal does not list payments between state agencies. As a result, the actual agency expenditures are not accurately reported. Examples include postage, utility and telecommunications costs and information technology services.

Other recommendations in the report would increase the accessibility and usability of the site. The Office of Administration should evaluate ways to update the portal to address best practices and ways to transparently report open government data as outlined by a federal oversight agency. These improvements would help ensure citizens can access data that is complete, usable and functional.

A complete copy of the report is online here.

Guardrails to be replaced along Highway 59 from Noel to Anderson

(From Rep. Dirk Deaton, R-Noel)

State Representative Dirk Deaton (R-Noel) has announced the Missouri Department of Transportation will be replacing the guardrails along Highway 59 from Noel to Anderson.

“Over the past year I have had numerous constituents reach out to me concerning the condition, appearance, and structural integrity of the current guardrails along this stretch of highway,” said Deaton.

He added, “In sharing these concerns with MoDOT I am appreciative that they have taken notice of this situation and committed to replacing the existing guardrails.

Prior to Interstate 49 or U.S. 71 the most direct route to travel North or South was Highway 59. The white post and cable guardrail that currently lines the highway dates back to this previous era. This style was once seen along highways throughout the area, but overtime been replaced with a modern, updated style barrier.

Deaton said the replacement of the old guardrails should improve the appearance along the highway compared to the dilapidated condition of the existing guardrail. He noted that the upgrade should also provide improved safety for that section of highway. “Anyone who has driven this portion of Highway 59 knows it can be narrow and curvy. Having a properly maintained, high-quality guardrail is very important for this part of the highway,” said Deaton.

The work to replace the guardrail should take place next year and be completed by July 2020.

Bill White report reviews governor's visit

Sunday, September 29, 2019

R-8 Board reaches "separation agreement" with Joplin High School business teacher/coach

In a 5-0 vote with one abstention during a closed session Tuesday, the Joplin R-8 Board of Education voted to part ways with Joplin High School business teacher/coach Terrence Scott.

Scott was reportedly removed from the high school shortly after the 2019-2020 school year began.

Board minutes show the vote was to approve a "separation agreement," with board member Lori Musser making the motion to approve it, Michael Joseph seconding the motion and those two, along with Sharrock Dermott, Derek Gander and Debbie Fort voted in favor of the motion with Brent Jordan abstaining.

Scott was beginning his third year at the high school after teaching one year at North Middle School.
He was an assistant coach with the freshman football team had been scheduled to be head coach for seventh grade boys basketball.

During the closed session, the board also discussed legal actions and made the following personnel moves:

Certified Employment : Jessica Gregory

Classified Employments: Mark Allen, Lindsay Boman, Andrew Cherry, Melissa Hamilton, Jordan Hargett, Kylie Harvey, Amanda Hinkle, Luckner Jean, Chelsey Klamm, Lauren McConnaughey, Amy Obermiller, DeAnna Reed, Cassandra Sofia, Jamie Smith, Amneris Stirling, and Susan Wear.

Substitutes: Shawn Martin, Audrey McAuliff, Tom Walters, Morgan Sprouls, Laura Morris, Katelyn Owens, Hayley Hendrix, Garrett Pekarek, Carmen Filbeck, Amber Stevens, Jessica Gadia, Hailey Bradshaw, William Mulholland, Kristen Kevaughman, Sarah Massey, and Miranda Mordica

Nancy Hughes: Do you smell something?

“But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father
will send in my name, will teach you all things
and will remind you of everything
I have said to you.”
John 14:26 (NIV)

There is an absolutely gorgeous, exotic plant that thrives in the rain forests of Indonesia. During its flowering phase, the bloom can reach more than 8 feet in height, 20 feet in width and the plant weigh as much as 170 pounds! Its giant leaves and flowers are displayed in breathtaking shades of lime green and dark burgundy.

As amazing as it sounds, this plant will only flower every 6-10 years, so with a lifespan of 40 years, it will only bloom 3-4 times before it dies. But there is something even more amazing about this plant – the reason for its nickname. It is called the corpse plant.

One only has to get within smelling distance to realize instantly that the amorphophallus titanium, or corpse plant, has a distinctive aroma that smells like rotting flesh.

It is believed that the smell helps to attract carrion beetles and sweat bees which are instrumental for the plant’s pollination. Humans, however, are quick to hold a covering over their faces to keep them from breathing in the stench.

If only sin had the same road kill odor as the corpse plant! We wouldn’t be fooled by the outer “beauty” of the corpse plant (sin) because the foul stench would serve as an instant alarm. “Get away! Run! Don’t go there! That is not where you should be!” it would warn us.

But wait . . . we DO have an instant alarm to help us recognize sin, don’t we. That alarm is the Holy Spirit. As today’s Scripture states, God placed him in the heart of all believers, to guide and direct in each situation every single day.

And how to we contact that “alarm”? Simply ask. Ask the Holy Spirit to help you when you are faced with temptations in your life. He is faithful. He reminds you of God’s Word and he provides the answer.

No matter what you may be facing today, my friends, remember to trust the Holy Spirit to sound the alarm when you get near the corpse plant of sin.

Father, thank you for your gift of the Holy Spirit. Please help my spiritual ears to be open to his leading each and every day. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.

R.A.P. it up . . .


Have you ever felt an “urging” in your heart to not do or say something?

Do you think that it might have been the Holy Spirit speaking truth to you?


Dig into God’s Word and journal Scriptures that explain why the Holy Spirit was given to believers.

Listen with your heart to his prompting when you are facing decisions and are uncertain which way to turn.


John 14:26 (NIV) “But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.”

II Corinthians 2:15 (NIV) “For we are to God the aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing.”

Ephesians 5:2 (NIV) “…and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.”

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

Kim Frencken: Getting kids to listen

How do you get kids to listen? Some days it seems nearly impossible.

Take today, for instance. Nothing worked. Every group that came to the classroom was more interested in hearing their own voice than mine. I tried every trick up my sleeve and a few that just came to me on the spur of the moment. 

From the talk in the teacher's lounge (now there's an oxymoron) you'd think it was Friday the 13th, a full moon, and the day before Christmas break rolled into one! Frustration and fatigue were etched on everyone's face. You could hear defeat in their voices. It was comforting to know that I was not the only one.

The day wasn't wasted. They did learn something. But I still left feeling wiped out. And, to be honest, hurt. You know your students love you, but on days like today, it feels like they are in complete rebellion. Like they care nothing for what you say. Like nothing you've done matters. It isn't just talking over and around your voice. It is disrespect.

So, what do you do? That's the million dollar question. Every teacher has their own methods of dealing with talkers. Some more effective than others. Some will work one day and not the next. And let's face it, there are some years that you face the battle every day.

I've found three things that help me get my students' attention. "Freeze!" Got your attention, didn't it? Catches students too. It is almost like a game. You tell them to freeze and for a moment (or longer) you have their attention.

Momentary movers also work for me. Get the kids up and moving. Then stop the music and shut off the lights to signal time to stop. I used to think that this was a waste of instructional time, but after I tried it a few times, I realized that it got the wiggles and giggles out of their system and kids were more productive afterwards.

Divide and conquer. Simple. Just divide class into smaller groups and have them rotate through centers or give each group a different task to complete. Allow level one talking and if that is abused, then they have to go to level zero and write notes to communicate with their team. Now, you may be saying that this is allowing them to talk. Yes, it is. But it is directed communication (for the most part). And your next question is.... If they won't be quiet when I initially ask, why will they go to level one now? You've divided the class. No longer is it 30 kids talking. You've given them permission to speak, although at a lower level and with a purpose. It is a group of 4-6 students. And in that group there will be a child that follows the rules and that child (or children) will influence (peer pressure) the rest of the group to comply. It may not happen immediately, but for some strange reason it will eventually happen.

I'm not saying a quiet room is necessary for learning. Usually just the opposite. But... kids have to listen to receive instruction. They have to have guidance. They have to have structure. They have to know the game plan. In order to get the information they need, they have to listen. You may have other ideas that work great for you (please share!!). Or you may be searching for something. You may have an awesome group that doesn't need any redirection. Or you may find yourself the leader of a group of rebels. Put in some ear plugs and keep moving on. Remember.... some days are just like that.
(For more of Kim Frencken's writing and information about her educational products, check out her blog, Chocolate For the Teacher.)

Kay Hively: Thoughts about climate change and the Neosho Fish Hatchery

(Kay Hively is a historian, author and former editor and reporter for the Neosho Daily News and Neosho Post.)

Talk of climate change is heavy today. Arguments never cease, both sides are emotional and repeat any kind of data that suits their cause. There are people on both sides of the issue who don't want to hear the other side. Their mind is a clamped up trap.

Recently, I read an article that pointed out some things I had never seen or heard.

John Steele Gordon wrote an article that was titled "Global Warming or Bad Data?"

He wrote, in part, "…climate science has always suffered from the problem of shaky and missing data. Seventy percent of the globe is covered by ocean, where data is hard to collect. Reliable weather records only go back to about 1850 and in many parts of the world, are far more recent. Modern recording weather stations date only to the early 20th Century.

"And many of those stations have a big problem. While they haven't changed appreciably over the years, the land around them has changed, often profoundly with the great growth in urban and suburban areas. The weather station that was put, say, in the middle of a Nassau County, Long Island, potato field in 1923 is still in the same spot. But the potatoes are long gone, and now it's behind a strip mall, twenty feet from the kitchen exhaust fan of a Chinese take-out joint.

"A study by meteorologist Anthony Watts found that almost 90 percent of the 1221 weather stations in the U.S. did not meet the National Weather Service's setting standards, which require that they be at least 100 feet from any artificial heat source or radiating surface….To deal with this defective information, climate scientists have 'adjusted' the data to solve this problem."

There is much more about the adjustments in this short article, but I will leave it for everyone to read it for themselves.

I remember several years ago, the National Weather Service came to Neosho to honor the Neosho National Fish Hatchery for hosting a weather station for 100 years. The station was moved when the new Visitor Center was built. This was the first time the little station had been moved from its original spot.

One of the weather officials who spoke noted that the station was moved only 100 yards in 100 years,. He said that was very important and really remarkable.

I attended that ceremony at the hatchery, but little did I know how true that statement was. This article by Mr. Gordon made me aware of the importance of the move.

For many years Jeff Messens took recordings each day from that little station. Before Jeff, many other hatchery employees did the same. The data was recorded in a large book, so each day of any year, a person could find the day's vital statistics. These included the amount of rain or snow, high and low temperatures and such things as a blizzard, thunderstorm, or a tornado.

Just between you and me, that is an interesting book to read and just another example of the hatchery's contribution to the people of Neosho.

Saturday, September 28, 2019

Cross dressing meth user, tortured dog among this week's top Turner Report/Inside Joplin posts

This has been a weird week.

Not only has the meth epidemic made its way into our cemeteries, but there apparently is also a crossdressing meth epidemic in the making.

The post about the Jasper Police Department's arrest of a man who apparently thought he could safely use meth in a cemetery (or safely crossdress in a cemetery) was easily the most visited post on Inside Joplin.

The number five post on the Turner Report this week was Neosho resident jack Dickens' establishment of a Go Fund Me account to raise money for a reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person who tortured a beagle, removing 75 percent of its skin while it was still alive.

After authorities found the dog, it had to be euthanized to put it out of its misery.

Was this also some drug-related act of depravity? If it is, that is no excuse, but it would be an explanation.

Pure evil is another explanation.

This was also a week in which a man was arrested by federal authorities in Pennsylvania for his role in the murder of a Carthage man.

The man allegedly provided cocaine that had been laced with fentanyl.

You don't need Stephen King for your horror stories.

Real life is full of them.

This week's Top 10 most-visited posts for the Turner Report, Inside Joplin and Inside Joplin Obituaries and links to those posts can be found below.

Thanks for supporting the Turner Report/Inside Joplin blogs and the continued publication of free obituaries for this area. If you appreciate the service, you can make a contribution in any amount large or small or take a voluntary subscription by using the PayPal buttons below or sending your contribution to Randy Turner, 2306 E. 8th, Apt. A, Joplin, MO 64801.

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The Turner Report

1. Probable cause: Arsonist arrested for series of Liberal fires threatened to cut off partner's other hand or kill him

2. Feds arrest suspect in Carthage man's death due to fentanyl-laced cocaine

3. Joplin man pleads guilty to federal child pornography charge, originally arrested along with former JPD officer

4. Carthage man held on $25,000 cash-only bond after arrest for statutory rape, statutory sodomy

5. Go Fund Me account created to raise reward for information leading to arrest of person who skinned dog alive

6. Bordertown Casino and Arena closing

7, Blunt: The Democrats are going to impeach Trump, so I have to be careful what I say

8. Longtime KSN personality Carol Parker retiring

9. Josh Hawley's solution to fighting Trump impeachment- Give me money

10. A message to the smug people who said Grant Wistrom's medical marijuana efforts aren't news

Inside Joplin

1. Jasper Police arrest crossdressing man in cemetery on meth, marijuana charges

2. Webb City teen, Tennessee man injured crashing into tree east of Joplin

3. Joplin Police: Do you know this guy?

4. Kansas City teen flown to Freeman with serious injuries after crashing while fleeing from deputies

5. Jasper County Sheriff's Office Arrests

6. Jasper County Marriage Licenses

7. Jasper County Dissolution of Marriage Petitions

8. Jasper County Criminal Cases September 20-23

9. Joplin Police Department Weekend Arrests

10. U. S. Bankruptcy Court Petitions- Joplin

Inside Joplin Obituaries

1. Sonya Petroski

2. Peter Steele

3. Sharon Mullin

4. Katie Lowe

5. Kenneth Schroer

6. Val Jinks

7. Telly Beerly

8. Paula Witmer

9. Jason Cullers

10. David Nichols

Turner Report exclusive: Hollywood actress claims to be victim of witch hunt

The late Margaret Hamilton, star of the upcoming HBO series Green is the New Orange (and star of a previous HBO series Oz) claims her career has suffered due to fake news and witch hunt.

"My sister who lived in the east was also the victim of a witch hunt," Hamilton said. "You don't know what it's like to have a vengeful woman and the House coming at you."

Asked if the fake news had been coming at her, Hamilton said it had but she has a different name for the reporters.

"I call them the Cowardly Liars."

Death has not been easy for the deceased actress. Not only has she had to suffer through a witch hunt, but she claims her home land has been infested by Munchkins who keep crossing the border.

"They dance, they sing in those horrible high-pitched voices and they're taking jobs away from my flying monkeys."

Hamilton believes that in addition to the fake news, her problems have been caused by someone named Dorothy Gale.

"Sleepy Dorothy, I call her. At least after she has been out in the fields, but I'm going to get her.

"And her little dog, too."

Jason Smith: Nancy Pelosi and the Democrats are paralyzed with hatred for President Trump and it's hurting America

(From Eighth District Congressman Jason Smith)

Nancy Pelosi and her progressive base have finally shown the world their true agenda: impeaching President Trump.

On Tuesday, Speaker Pelosi announced that she and her liberal lieutenants were launching an official impeachment inquiry into the President because of news reports she saw surrounding a phone call he made earlier this year.

At the time she made the announcement, neither the whistleblower’s report nor the transcript of the conversation between President Trump and the President of Ukraine had been released. 

However, that did not stop the Speaker of the House from claiming a crime had been committed and arguing it was time for the President to be impeached.

It’s as if liberals have already drawn their conclusion that the President must be removed from office and are now out on their witch hunt to find something offensive enough to make that happen. 

After I read the documents, that point became clear: this is just another smoke and mirrors show from Pelosi’s progressives.

After the Mueller Report was released and proved that President Trump did not collude with the Russian government, I thought these distractions were finally behind us. 

At that time, I called for Congress to move on and get back to the business the American people sent us to Washington to do — solving the most pressing issues facing our nation. 

Things like securing our borders, solving the mental health crisis, ending the opioid epidemic, shrinking government, and reducing waste should be debated and solved by your elected representatives. 

These are common sense issues that all Americans can agree on, but at every turn progressives have undermined our efforts. They have continued to put their party and politics first.

Simply put: this liberal majority has had no interest in working for the American people and their impeachment obsession has rendered Congress useless.

One of the congressional committees that I sit on, which is responsible for overseeing the federal tax code, hasn’t even advanced a single piece of legislation that would make a difference for any of the farmers, families, and small business owners I met with across southern Missouri this summer. Instead, they continue to waste our time by holding hearings that try to claim our tax code is “subsidizing hate” and “fueling gun violence.” This is the kind of insanity that has defined this liberal majority in Washington.

The hypocrisy of this week is only enhanced by the irony of a previous speech by Nancy Pelosi during the investigations into actual misconduct by President Bill Clinton in 1998. 

On the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives, she said, “In the investigation of the President, fundamental principles, which Americans hold dear – privacy, fairness, checks and balances – have been seriously violated. And why? We are here today because the Republicans in the House are paralyzed with hatred of President Clinton and until the Republicans free themselves of this hatred, our country will suffer.”

Well, I’d like to make the same point to Speaker Pelosi: Democrats in Washington are paralyzed with hatred of President Trump, it is damaging Congress, it is hurting the American people, and it must stop.

Friday, September 27, 2019

Billy Long: Nancy Pelosi's drug pricing plan is a complete government takeover

(From Seventh District Congressman Billy Long)

Regardless of what the media would have you believe, there are many issues where Republicans and Democrats work together on quality legislation in a bipartisan fashion. One example of this bipartisanship has been our work to lower the cost of prescription drugs.

Both parties agree that this is an issue that needs to be addressed, and until last week, we had worked together to pass strong bipartisan legislation through Congress that does just that.

During the previous Congress, we worked together to speed up the closing of the Medicare Part D “Donut Hole”, saving seniors more money on their prescriptions. This year, the Energy & Commerce Committee passed eight bills that provide more transparency in drug pricing, speed the development of generic drugs, and lower costs for beneficiaries. I commend both my Democratic and Republican colleagues for working in a bipartisan manner to make these bills a reality.

To be sure, more needs to be done to lower drug costs. Democrats and Republicans on the Committee were negotiating a plan in good faith until Speaker Pelosi handed down her plan from on high, casting all of our bipartisan work aside in the name of politics.

Her radical proposal would impose price controls for 250 drugs selected by the Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary. The prices would be based at 1.2 times the prices in six other countries. HHS would then ‘negotiate’ a price below this reference price, to be determined entirely by the HHS Secretary. Manufacturers will then have to offer that price in the private market and Medicare. If a drug manufacturer declines to accept the price, then the federal government will confiscate 95% of all gross revenue from the drug.

This heavy-handed government intervention will stifle innovation and limit access to life-saving medications. We know this because that’s what has happened in the countries that have set these same government price controls. We’ve heard story after story of patients in these countries being denied care because lifesaving drugs aren’t available. New cancer drugs are delayed by as much as two years in these countries. On average, 54% of new drugs introduced since 2011 are available in these same countries. It’s 100% in the United States.

The United States leads the world in pharmaceutical research and development, but that wasn’t always the case. Before many European countries imposed these price schemes, Europe actually beat the United States in research and development by almost 25%. Now, the United States leads Europe by 40%. Manufacturers simply won’t develop new medicines in areas of high risk. It’s what happened in Europe, and it’ll happen here if we impose the same government takeover.

I fully support lowering the cost of prescription drugs, and there is no question that Congress needs to work to lower prices. What I do not support is a heavy-handed government takeover, which is precisely what this proposal is. Republicans and Democrats need to come together to craft and support legislation that reduces overall costs, encourages innovation, and promotes competition.

Video- Memorial service for Joplin businessman/philanthropist Bob Corley

A memorial service for longtime Joplin businessman and philanthropist Bob Corley was held today at Missouri Southern State University.

Mr. Corley was one of Southern's biggest benefactors.

The accompanying video is from KGCS.

Blunt: The Democrats are going to impeach Trump so I have to be careful about what I say

Roy Blunt tells KMBC in Kansas City he has not looked at the summary released by President Donald Trump of his telephone conversation with Ukranian President Volodymyr Zelensky.

Blunt says it is likely the House of Representatives will vote to impeach Trump. "And that means it's likely to end up in the Senate, which means I need to be even more careful that I am thoughtful about what I say now."

If Trump is impeached, Blunt, as one of the Senate Republican Leadership, will be one of those in charge of organizing the trial.

The accompanying video is from KMBC.

Longtime KSN personality Carol Parker retiring

After 45 years at KSN, dating back through its days as KUHI and KTVJ, Carol Parker is retiring.

I had the good fortune of talking with her when I appeared on the Living Well show recently to promote a signing for Lost Angels and enjoyed reminiscing with her for a few moments about the early days.

I talked with her about the time when KSN promoted her daily cooking program for several months with one of my favorite '50s songs, Chuck Berry's "Oh, Carol."

 For a large number of Joplin area residents, the has never been a time when Carol Parker wasn't on local television.

In the accompanying report by KODE's Gretchen Bolander, Carol talks about her career at KSN and about her appearance in a legendary Hollywood movie, 1954's There's No Business Like Show Business, which had a cast that included Donald O'Connor, Ethel Merman, Mitzi Gaynor and a 28-year-old Marilyn Monroe.

The second video, a longer one from KSN, included a reunion with some of the other KSN personalities with whom Carol has appeared over the years, including Jim Jackson, Gary Bandy and Tiffany Alaniz.

Enjoy your retirement, Carol.

Pittsburg man sentenced to 27 years for producing child pornography

(From the U. S. Attorney for the District of Kansas)

A southeast Kansas man was sentenced Thursday to 27 years in Federal prison for producing child pornography, U.S. Attorney Stephen McAllister said.

Michael Paul Murphy, 41, Pittsburg, Kan., pleaded guilty to two counts of producing child pornography.

In his plea, Murphy admitted using an iPhone to surreptitiously record minor victims in various stages of undress. He edited the recordings to focus on the victims’ genitals. He emailed the images to his workplace.

McAllister commended the Pittsburg Police Department, the FBI and Assistant U.S. Attorney Jason Hart for their work on the case.

Go Fund Me account created to increase reward for information leading to arrest of person who skinned dog alive

A Go Fund Me account has been created to increase the amount of the reward that is being offered for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person who tortured a beagle, removing three-fourths of is skin while it was still alive.

The beagle either escaped from its tormentor or was set free in that condition, according to a Neosho Police Department news release.

She later had to be euthanized to put her out of her misery.

The reward fund, which was established by Jack Dickens, Neosho, can be found at this link.

At this writing, $350 has been raised.

Memorial for businessman, philanthropist Bob Corley to be held this afternoon at MSSU

(From Missouri Southern State University)

The campus is invited to attend a memorial for Bob Corley at 2 p.m. Friday, Sept. 27, in Webster Hall’s Corley Auditorium.

Corley, a longtime Joplin businessman and generous benefactor of Missouri Southern, died on Sept. 6. 

Over the years, he made a number of significant contributions to the university that will continue to have a far-reaching impact.

Thursday, September 26, 2019

Graves: Impeachment inquiry is a charade based on third-hand accounts

(From Sixth District Congressman Sam Graves)

There are folks just down the road from me who haven’t been able to get into their houses since March. Think about that for a minute: there are families who haven’t been able to return home for going on 6 months now.

Historic flooding, caused in part by failed river management policies, have decimated folks along the Missouri River. They aren’t alone. Most of North Missouri has seen historic flooding this year and the recovery process continues.

We should be focusing on what we can do to ensure that folks are able to get back on their feet after this year’s flooding, as well as looking closely at how we manage the river, so we don’t see floods like this ever again. Instead, we’re now mired in a sham impeachment charade.

Many House Committees, at the direction of Speaker Nancy Pelosi, are now shirking actual business to instead go after President Trump. That even includes the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee where I serve as Ranking Member. In addition to finding solutions to our country’s infrastructure problems, the Transportation Committee is tasked with overseeing FEMA. That’s a pretty important endeavor in light of what has happened this year in North Missouri.

Yet, this week, instead of holding a hearing on the legislation I’ve introduced to fix the river management problems on the Missouri River or ensuring that disaster recovery and relief efforts are functioning properly, my colleagues on the other side of the aisle chose to hold a hearing on the Old Post Office lease—a desperate attempt to attack the President and sideline the good work of our committee. That’s right—even the Transportation Committee is looking for dirt on President Trump.

Congress shouldn’t be abandoning its responsibilities to play political games. We’ve voted three times on impeachment and it’s been defeated every time. However, Speaker Pelosi continues to try to find a way around the actual impeachment process in an effort to undermine President Trump.

We cannot let this charade based on third-hand accounts get in the way of more important things like ensuring disaster relief is properly distributed, passing good trade deals such as USMCA, and improving our country’s infrastructure. It’s time to get back to the work we were sent here to do.

Carol Stark as a young reporter- memories from her first editor

(The following column was written by Neil Campbell, managing editor of the Carthage Press from 1974 through 1993.)

Fond memories of the late Joplin Globe editor Carol Stark have focused on her courageous battle with cancer and her role as an icon of Missouri journalism. I remember those things as well.

However, I also remember my old friend as an eighteen-year-old starting on her first newspaper job at The Carthage Press. I was her editor.

I remember her excellent work ethic. For example, she was covering the Jasper County Youth Fair one hot summer day when her first son announced his imminent arrival. She continued working from her hospital room until her nurse finally took the telephone away. I once wrote her about that incident and she thanked me because she was afraid the Globe's younger reporters didn't believe it really happened. It really did.

I also remember her constancy. She was unflappable. I do not recall her ever appearing nervous or stressed.

The Carol you saw as the deadline approached was always the same Carol that you saw as the day began. That is a remarkable quality in any reporter, especially a very young one.

Those qualities, of course, were on full and dramatic display as she guided the Globe's reporting after the Joplin tornado, but they also were evident much earlier. I cannot say that I knew that Carol would go on to have such a stellar, ceiling-shattering career but I always knew that she had "the goods". Even starting out, she showed real promise. Promise fulfilled!

Of course, I remember and honor my friend for her courage and her wonderful career. However, recollections of her youthful talent, dedication and promise will forever grace my memory as they once graced my professional life.

Josh Hawley has secret plan to fight for Trump- send a check to Josh Hawley

In a fund raising e-mail sent out today, Sen. Josh Hawley, R-MO defends President Donald Trump and once again, says the best way for you to defend him is by sending Josh Hawley money.

He doesn't quite explain how that would work.

From his e-mail:

Before his presidency even began, Washington liberals were doing all they can to force Trump out of office. They’ve tried everything from twisting facts to creating bogus allegations. The reality, though, is simple: Democrats know their radical policies can’t defeat Trump at the ballot box, so they’re willing to discard the will of the American people just to get their way. 
I am more determined than ever to show impeachment hawks that the American people will no longer stand for their lies and their hypocrisy. I have a plan to fight back, but I’ll need your help.

 No word is given on what the plan is, but it must be a good one and the president might need it.

Bill White reviews veto session, special session

Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Bordertown Casino and Arena closing

(From the Eastern Shawnee Tribe)

Bordertown Casino & Arena is one of three Eastern Shawnee Casinos located in Northeast Oklahoma. The tribe opened Bordertown in 2003 and the facility housed 900 gaming machines, bingo and table games.

It did not take long for the tribe to realize that this facility was not large enough and it was decided to build a new casino with 80,000 square feet of gaming floor, bingo, table games, poker, gift shop, multiple food venues and a hotel with 117 total rooms. 

When Indigo Sky Casino opened on September 5th, 2012, Bordertown Casino and Bingo shut its doors.

In late 2014 the prospect of a new venture was brought to the tribe and Bordertown was reopened on April of 2015 to the pounding hooves of bulls bucking in the arena newly appended to the casino. 

Along with the arena, we've been proud to provide live entertainment on weekends in the Lost Creek Saloon as well as the gaming and exceptional service our guests have come to expect from us.

Now, four years later the tribe has reassessed Bordertown's place in its broader business plans and it has been decided to bring this chapter to a close and at this time there has been no future plans released for the facility.

Bordertown will continue to host bull events and great live entertainment through the end of
November, after which guests can continue to enjoy free live music at ECHO Bar Thursday, Fridays, and Saturdays. Bingo is slated to close on December 15 after the second session and will resume high stakes play on December 18th at Indigo Sky Casino.

Video- Joplin R-8 Board of Education meeting

Tuesday, September 24, 2019

Paul Richardson: When time produces friends

I have an old friend that I stopped by to visit with over the weekend. I say old, but in the course of events I have known him going on twenty-two years.

I have many friends that are approaching the duration of my entire life, so this one is actually setting at about thirty-two percent. But I have known him for a piece.

This friend of mine is my senior by fifteen years, so he is knocking on eighty’s door. Still in good health and mentally seems to be the same old guy that I have always know. 

When we were still acquaintances, I was preparing for a trip to California during which I was going to haul my motorcycle in the back of a moving van and then make the return trip on the bike. My dad had just passed away and my dear mother was moving to California to live with my sister. 

As part of the preparation, she had sold property and had an auction to thin out personal belongings. The remainder she was moving with her for furnishing her new abode and maintaining her life. My plan was to load all the items that were headed to the west coast, take my bike and then make a therapeutic ride home. The good wife was not comfortable with me making this trip alone, so she approached a group that we were associated with attempting to solicit someone to make the journey with me. It was then that this acquaintance stepped forward.

We had never been on a trip together before and had not really spent much time in each other’s company. But, off we go to California with a moving van packed to the hilt and two motorcycles riding in the back. 

By alternating drivers, we made it to our destination almost non-stop. It was not record time because the rented moving van struggled with some of the steeper grades as we were crossing the mountains.

Arriving at my sister’s home in the middle of the night, we immediately stopped to sleep and the next morning were up bright and early anticipating the much-needed ride home. 

My sister’s home was in a gated community and motorcycles were not allowed inside the gates. Our bikes, however, had arrived in the back of the moving van, unseen by all and in the middle of the night. So, the next morning we off-load our bikes, pack up and ride straight out the front gates. We were immediately chased and stopped by one of their “security” officers. 

While there wasn’t anything, they could do to us, my niece who was with us gave up her mom’s name and address. A couple of weeks later a $450 ticket arrives in the mail. She got out of it.

This entire journey was filled with adventure and established a great friendship. I will pick up here next time and share some more about our adventures coming home from California.
(Paul Richardson's column runs weekly in the Neosho Daily News, Seneca News-Dispatch and on the Turner Report.)

Democratic voters favor Biden in statewide poll

(From Show Me Victories)

Show Me Victories, LLC conducted a statewide survey in Missouri after the most recent Democratic presidential debate.

SMV surveyed 400 voters likely to participate in Missouri's March 2020 Democratic Presidential Primary.

The interviews were conducted between September 13-16, 2019, using Interactive Voice Response technology. The margin of error is +/-5%.

For more Information, contact Patrick Lynn at (314) 250-3026.

Did you watch any of the Democratic Presidential Debate on Thursday, September 12th?

Josh Hawley's solution to fighting Trump impeachment: Give me money

In a campaign e-mail pitch sent out today Sen. Josh Hawley, R-MO criticized the Democrats for beginning an impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump.

Oh, and he asked for money.

You might have heard the news, that Democrats in the House have officially begun the process of impeaching President Trump. This is a straight up blatant disregard for the will of the American people. Democrats didn’t like the result of the 2016 election, so they have chosen to tear apart our democracy to advance their liberal goals.

Hawley asked his supporters to help fight "these liberal radicals" by donating to his campaign. He doe not explain how this will help in the fight, but he did offer a link to those who wanted to join the fray by kicking in a few dollars.

Probable cause: Arsonist arrested for series of Liberal fires threatened to cut off partner's other hand or kill him

The probable cause statement in the six arson charges against two Liberal men, indicate one of them threatened to cut off his partner's other hand, but also provided a second option.

Nathan Jones, 27, Liberal, told Barton County Deputy Sheriff Will Weiser that his co-defendant Thomas Ingram, 24, Liberal, (photo at left) he was with Ingram and "Ingram had threatened to cut off his other hand or kill him."

The two men are charged with arson and burglary in crimes in connection with fires at the following locations, all in Liberal:

-September 16- The old Liberal R-2 School District bus barn at 107 S. Payne

-September 20- An unoccupied home at 309 Walser Street

-September 15- A shed in the back yard at 401 Walser Street

-September 19- An unoccupied home at 300 Fishback Street

-August 2- An unoccupied home at 205 Denton Street

-September 22- The old Liberal School, which had been used as an elementary gymnasium at 101 S. Payne

The probable cause statement indicates Jones told Weiser he and Ingram entered the old school building Sunday.

Jones stated Ingram ran upstairs and ignited a fire. then ran downstairs and yelled for him to get out of the building, with both men heading in opposite directions as they fled the crime scene.

Barton County Circuit Court records indicate arson fires are nothing new for Ingram, who already was awaiting trial for allegedly setting four other fires at the following locations:

-June 25- A garage at 205 North Denton

-July 3- a vacant home at 206 North Main

-July 4- A garage at 206 N. Main

-July 10- A vacant home at 204 N. Denton


Joplin man pleads guilty to federal child pornography charge, originally arrested along with former JPD officer

A Joplin man pleaded guilty to child pornography charges today in U. S. District Court in Springfield.

Anthony Helsel, 31, withdrew his not guilty plea and pleaded guilty to two counts of sexual exploitation of children.

Judge David P. Rush ordered a pre-sentence investigation. Sentencing will be scheduled at a later date.

Helsel is the second person to plead guilty in connection with the same case. Former Joplin police offier Gary McKinney pleaded guilty August 12 and is awaiting sentencing.

The Southwest Missouri Cyber Crimes Task Force were led to McKinney following their investigation and subsequent arrest of Helsel.

The probable cause affidavit detailed McKinney and Helsel's alleged crimes: Helsel admitted to investigating officers that he had sent videos of himself with a four-year-old girl to others, including McKinney.

When law enforcement arrived at Helsel's home, he was talking to McKinney, who was going by the name of "Jim Beam" on the KIK application, the affidavit said.

Helsel said McKinney sent him a $30 money gram asking for photos of the four-year-old's feet. He also asked for shoes and socks that had been worn by the girl, but he did not want anything that had been laundered.

In exchange for that, McKinney allegedly offered Helsel an opportunity for a sexual encounter with an adult woman. When McKinney and the woman arrived at Helsel's home, the woman declined to have sex with him, the affidavit said.

Helsel gave law enforcement officers permission to assume his KIK identity and began "engaging in chats with Jim Beam." An attempt to arrange a meeting with McKinney that evening was unsuccessful.

A forensic examination of Helsel's phone showed numerous conversations between Helfel and McKinney, according to the affidavit. On October 2, Helsel sent McKinney several files, with two including child pornography.

One included an approximately five-year-old girl engaged in a sex act with a boy, who appeared to be about nine years old.

Joplin Police conducted a search warrant at McKinney's home on South Byers Avenue Wednesday. A forensic examination of McKinney's phone showed a chat dated August 26:

During the chat, the two talked about setting up or finding groups with young children live streaming sexual acts. McKinney talked about having "a few women with little girls." (The other man) asked if they would "live show" and McKinney replied , "Yeah they (have intercourse with) their kids."McKinney and other man exchanged child pornography images, including photos of a six-year-old, a seven-year-old an "infant or toddler" whose genital area was being graphically displayed by an adult.

The search of the phone uncovered other exchanges of child pornography and discussion about children engaged in sexual activity, according to the probable cause affidavit.

FBI investigators interviewed the woman McKinney allegedly tried to set up with Helsel and were told McKinney liked her to have sex with men, including an act that involved her feet and then give him the details.