Monday, November 30, 2020

Two COVID-19 deaths reported in Newton County

Two Newton County residents died from COVID-19, according to a Newton County Health Department news release.

The victims were women in their 70s and 80s. Both had been hospitalized with COVID-19. The deaths bring the county's total to 49 deaths.

Newton County reported 32 new cases today, increasing the total to 3,179, including 380 active cases. Twenty-five people are hospitalized.

The statistics do not include the portion of Newton County that is located in the Joplin city limits.

Arkansas reports 32 COVID-19 deaths

(From Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson)

Governor Asa Hutchinson provided today's update on Arkansas's COVID-19 response.

In its Monday update, the Arkansas Department of Health reported 1,112 new cases; 16,140 active cases; 1,063 hospitalized, which is up 33 from Sunday; 201 on ventilators, which is up 16 from Sunday; deaths added today, 32, for a total of 2,502; a total of 157,359 cases; 122,926 recoveries; PCR tests, 9,669; antigen tests, 531.

The Health Department reported that the top counties for new cases are Pulaski, 153; Craighead, 86; Washington, 64; Garland, 58; and Benton, 56.

Governor Hutchinson released the following statement on today’s COVID-19 numbers:

“Today's increase in hospitalizations will continue to strain our health care system. Our frontline workers need our help as we head into the winter months of this pandemic. 

"Today, I received briefings from FDA Director Hahn; Dr. Fauci and Sec. Azar on the vaccine distribution plans as well as what is needed to meet the pressure on our health care system. Based upon national trends and expert concerns on the holiday season, it does seem that we are in the lull before the storm. 

"I expect the antigen testing to pick up again later in the week and that is where many of the positive cases are identified. I applaud our health department team and all the health care workers who have been so diligent during this entire pandemic.”

Jasper County confirms 59 COVID-19 cases

Fifty-nine new cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed in Jasper County, according to statistics posted this evening on the Jasper County Health Department Facebook page.

The county has recorded 5,536 cases to date.

The county has 263 active cases, with 75 deaths due to COVID-19 to date.

Joplin reports two COVID-19 deaths, 37 new cases

The Joplin Health Department reported two deaths due to COVID-19, bringing the city's total to 62.

The fatalities, according to a department news release, were an 87-year-old woman and a 79-year-old man. 

Thirty-seven COVID-19 cases were recorded over a 24-hour period, putting the count at 3,574, including 288 active cases.

Joplin R-8 accepts two resignations, hires 30 classified employees, five substitutes

The Joplin R-8 Board of Education accepted two teacher resignations and hired 30 classified employees and seven substitutes during a closed session Tuesday.

Certified Employment- Patricia Murray 

Certified Resignations:- Nicole Allen, Jamie Taylor

Classified Employment: Kyle Bailey, Eliot Ballard, Lynda Banwart, Kaitlyn Barker, Shawn Berryman, Billy Bresee, Charlene Campbell, Madison Castleberry, Jennifer Cooper, Jason Elgin, Kylee Friend, Sarah Gabriel, Eryn Garia, Craig Gilmore, Hunter Goode, Scott Hasty, Shaina Hicks, Joshua Hylton, Mendel Johnson, Nathan Keizer, Crystal Meadowcroft, Kenneth Mikolasko, Kristina Miller, Kendra Moore, Tiffany Morris, Jessica Parker, Kimberly Powell, Jammie Quirk, Cletus Roberts, Whitney Weston

Substitutes- Victoria Campbell, Jordan Williams, Vicki Downing, Andrew Munn, Johnathan Gardner, Bon Adamson, Andrew Wuch

Oklahoma reports seven COVID-19 deaths

(From the Oklahoma State Department of Health)

As of this advisory, there are 197,745 cases of COVID-19 in Oklahoma. 

There are 7 additional deaths identified to report.

One in Creek County, one male in the 65 or older age group.
One in Oklahoma County, one male in the 65 or older age group.
One in Okmulgee County, one female in the 65 or older age group.

One in Pawnee County, one female in the 65 or older age group.
One in Rogers County, one male in the 65 or older age group.
One in Stephens County, one female in the 65 or older age group.
One in Tulsa County, one male in the 65 or older age group.
There are 1,743 total deaths in the state.

Additional hospitalization data can be found in the Hospital Tiers report, published evenings Monday through Friday.

For more information, visit

Sunday, November 29, 2020

Jason Smith: Vaccine is example of President Trump's success in fighting COVID-19

(From Eighth District Congressman Jason Smith)

Once again, American ingenuity, determination, and grit are on full display for the world to see. In the history of modern medicine, a vaccine has never taken less than four years to develop. 

In fact, on average, the development timeline for a vaccine is between eight to ten years. 

Thanks to President Trump’s leadership Americans will soon have access to three novel coronavirus vaccines in less than a single year. This is truly a historic moment and the significance of this development cannot be understated.

However, I am not surprised. President Trump has been telling us for months a vaccine was on the way. The radical Left opposed him at every turn, casting doubt on his timeline and undermining public trust in any vaccine approved by his Administration. This is textbook Trump derangement syndrome. 

Each of these vaccines are more than ninety percent effective, compared to the Flu vaccine which averages between forty and sixty percent effectiveness. Not one of the three COVID-19 vaccines have reported a single safety concern. 

Unlike the fearmongers on the radical Left, I trust the Administration’s approval process and know that a safe and effective vaccine is on the way.

Millions of doses of the coronavirus vaccine are being produced as we speak, and President Trump’s Administration has ensured all Americans will have access to them free of charge. 

As soon as April, every single American who wants a vaccine will be able to get one. With all of this data in mind, there is no denying the American vaccine project was unequaled anywhere else in the world. We have President Trump’s Administration to thank for that.

The vaccine is just one example of where President Trump’s Administration has succeeded in the fight against this virus. The United States made critical investments early on in the pandemic in therapeutics, including remdesivir, that have reduced the mortality rate of the virus by eighty five percent.

However, there is more work to be done. The COVID-19 pandemic underlined serious vulnerabilities in our medical supply chain. We are far too reliant upon China to supply active pharmaceutical ingredients, generic drugs, antibiotics, and medical devices. Make no mistake this dependency could be weaponized against us. Studies have shown that more than ninety percent of U.S. antibiotics come from China. This is a national security risk that we cannot allow to continue.

For that reason, in October I introduced the Secure America’s Medicine Act to require the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) to begin procuring critical medications the Federal Government should ensure are readily available for the American public in the event of another national health crisis. This legislation builds off a previous amendment introduced by me that passed the U.S. House of Representatives requiring HHS to compile a list of those critical medications for procurement. Additionally, Senator Hawley has introduced a bill, the Medical Supply Chain Security Act, which would require manufacturers to report imminent or forecasted shortages of life-saving or life-sustaining medical devices to the FDA. We must know where our vulnerabilities exist to better understand how to address them. My legislation would do just that and I will continue to demand Speaker Pelosi give this legislation a vote on the House Floor.

But now is the time to begin the process of moving forward. It is time to cease the calls for endless lockdowns and to get our economy growing again. It is time for Americans to back to work and to go back out into our communities without fear. There is light at the end of the tunnel.

Saturday, November 28, 2020

DISH Network, currently not carrying KODE, to drop KSN Wednesday

DISH Network was unable to reach an agreement with Mission Broadcasting and dropped KODE several weeks ago, now another Joplin station in on the chopping block.

The company will drop the programming of KSNF and other Nexstar stations across the nation at 7 p.m. Wednesday, December 2.

That would mean that in addition to local news programming on KSN, DISH viewers would no longer be able to see such programs as Sunday Night Football, The Voice and the Today Show.

The news releases from Nexstar and Dish Network are printed below.

(From Nexstar Media Group)

Nexstar Media Group, Inc. (Nasdaq: NXST) (“Nexstar”) announced today that DISH Network (“DISH”) (Nasdaq: DISH) subscribers in 115 markets are at risk of losing network and local community programming at 7:00 p.m. local time on Wednesday, December 2, 2020, as DISH has yet to reach a new distribution agreement allowing the satellite television behemoth the right to continue to air Nexstar’s highly rated programming. 

Millions of viewers across the country are in danger of losing the local news, traffic, weather, sports, and entertainment programming provided by Nexstar’s 164 television stations.

Since July, Nexstar has been negotiating tirelessly and in good faith in an attempt to reach a mutually agreeable multi-year contract with DISH, offering DISH the same fair market rates it offered to other large distribution partners with whom it completed successful negotiations in 2019 and 2020. 

Despite generating nearly $11 billion in revenue during the first nine-months of this year and completing a billion-plus dollar acquisition of a wireless company, DISH has proposed rates that go significantly backwards and, in addition to risking the removal of Nexstar’s local broadcast stations, is threatening to also drop Nexstar’s cable network, WGN America, from its system. 

In terms of size, DISH's stock market capitalization is approximately four times that of Nexstar’s, a fact that DISH TV fails to consider when making less than credible statements about Nexstar in DISH’s release yesterday.

DISH has a long history of holding its subscribers hostage during negotiations with content providers like Nexstar and the satellite provider’s recent slew of local blackouts is creating an enormous local news draught for many communities impacting millions of viewers during the pandemic and this critical time for the country. In 2020 alone, DISH has dropped network or local community programming offered by The E.W. Scripps Company, Apollo, Mission Broadcasting, and the NFL Network.

By contrast, Nexstar routinely reaches amicable retransmission and carriage agreements with its cable, satellite and telco partners and in the month of October alone, successfully completed agreements with nearly 200 distribution partners. In addition, since acquiring Tribune Media in September 2019, Nexstar has successfully completed agreements with distribution partners covering more than 50 percent of the Company’s nationwide footprint.

In DISH’s statement regarding its intention to black out subscribers from their local and network programming and content provided by Nexstar, the satellite provider failed to acknowledge that the expiring agreement with Nexstar was entered into at the end of 2016. Therefore, for the past four years, DISH has reaped the benefit of paying significantly under market retransmission consent fees to Nexstar while consistently instituting rate increases to its subscribers. DISH also disregards the fact that as a result of the advent of reverse comp (programming and content payments made by local broadcasters such as Nexstar to the networks), Nexstar’s network affiliated programming costs continue to increase. Furthermore, Nexstar has made continual ongoing investments for the benefit of its viewers and distribution partners through expanded local news and other programming in its markets, the acquisition of costly life-saving weather equipment and a broad range of other improved services in its local communities.

Given the exponential viewership of the Nexstar programming relative to other programming that DISH over-spends for to the detriment of its subscribers, Nexstar’s request is reasonable and consistent with the cost of such programming in similar markets.

If the companies are unable to reach an agreement, DISH subscribers in 115 Nexstar markets from Los Angeles to Charlotte will lose access to thousands of hours of vitally important local news, just as the country prepares for an explosion in new coronavirus cases and a new President prepares to take office. DISH subscribers will also lose the ability to access the NFL and college football games scheduled for the weekend of December 5-6, and all of the entertainment programming provided by Nexstar’s network partners, CBS, FOX, NBC, ABC, The CW and MyNet.

While Nexstar remains hopeful that a resolution can be reached today, should DISH fail to come to terms with Nexstar, Nexstar intends to actively educate consumers in affected markets on how they can continue to receive their favorite network programming, in-depth local news, other content and programming relevant to their communities, and critical updates in times of emergencies.

Consumers and viewers affected by DISH Network’s proposed blackout can contact DISH Network directly at 9601 South Meridian Boulevard, Englewood, CO 80112 and by phone at (800) 333-3474 or (303) 723-1000.

(From DISH Network)

Nexstar Media Group, the largest local broadcast station owner in the nation, is threatening to black out DISH customers' access to 164 local channels in 120 markets across 42 states and the District of Columbia. The broadcast giant is trying to use its market power to demand unreasonable rate increases while intentionally using millions of Americans as pawns in their negotiations. This action by Nexstar would result in consumers being blacked out from the highest number of local broadcast stations in the nation's TV history.

In recent years, Nexstar went on a $12 billion local broadcast station buying spree to become the largest and most powerful station owner in the country. Now that Nexstar is the biggest in the industry, it is trying to strong-arm companies like DISH to pay outrageous rates and force unprecedented increases onto customers. The broadcaster continues to threaten to blackout its stations from DISH customers to gain negotiation leverage in an effort to line its wallet with viewers' hard-earned money — a tactic it used last year against DirecTV and AT&T U-verse.

"Since becoming the nation's largest local station owner, Nexstar has increased its annual revenue by $1 billion a year. Now, it has set its sights on DISH customers as their next big payday," said Brian Neylon, Group President, DISH TV. "Nexstar is demanding more than $1 billion in fees for its television channels. This shocking increase is the highest we've ever seen. Nexstar is intentionally turning its back on its public interest obligation and instead demanding consumers pay significantly more for the channels they could receive for free over-the-air."

Nexstar is also forcing DISH to carry WGN America as part of this deal, a channel that has experienced declining viewership in recent years. Nexstar acquired this channel when it bought Tribune last year. Now, the broadcast owner is looking to DISH customers to pay back this investment. Nexstar is demanding a significant payment for this low-rated channel that airs syndicated reruns found on other DISH stations and features a news program that can be accessed for free online.

"With the COVID-19 pandemic continuing to affect the nation and unemployment on the rise, subscribers need access to their local programming," said Neylon. "Nexstar's tactics are hurting millions of Americans at one of the most difficult times in recent history."

In an additional hit to customers, Nexstar announced that it is expecting to pay out over $100 million to its shareholders — this is the same money Nexstar is making on the backs of Americans nationwide.

"It's our goal to reach an agreement with Nexstar that is fair for all parties involved, especially our customers," added Neylon. "We will continue to fight on behalf of our customers to keep TV bills as low as possible, and we hope Nexstar sees how important it is to come to a deal that is beneficial for all."

DISH customers can visit for more information.

If you appreciate the news, information and commentary about the Joplin area published daily in the Turner Report, Inside Joplin and Inside Joplin Obituaries, consider making a contribution at the PayPal button below or by sending your contribution to Randy Turner, 2306 E. 8th, Apt. A, Joplin, MO.

Friday, November 27, 2020

Greene County reports five COVID-19 deaths, 42 this month

(From the Springfield-Greene County Health Department)

The Springfield-Greene County Health Department is saddened to announce the deaths of five Greene County residents from COVID-19.

Our community lost:
A man in his 50s
A man in his 70s
A woman in her 70s
A woman in her 80s
A man in his 90s

The Health Department extends our condolences to everyone impacted by these losses.

Forty-two deaths have been reported by the Health Department in November. A total of 196 Greene County residents have died from COVID-19.

Over the last two days (Wednesday, November 25 and Thursday, November 26), we received 359 confirmed COVID-19 cases in Greene County. Our current total is 14,665 confirmed cases.

As of this morning, there were 198 COVID-19 positive individuals hospitalized at either CoxHealth or Mercy Hospital Springfield. 93 of those individuals are Greene County residents.

Today we reported five additional COVID-19 deaths. Full details here:

Jasper County reports four COVID-19 deaths

The Jasper County Health Department reported four deaths due to COVID-19 today.

A department news release said the victims were men in their 60s, 70s, 80s and 90s.

The deaths raise the county's toll to 75.


Billy Long: When vaccine is completed, Trump will have achieved one of greatest humanitarian efforts in history

(From Seventh District Congressman Billy Long)

I know we’re all sick of this word, but when it comes to this year’s Thanksgiving, “unprecedented” is one of the first words many of us would use to describe it. 

Instead of traveling across the country to participate in gatherings with loved ones, many Americans opted for smaller Thanksgiving meals if they even did anything at all. 

This year, it was hard not to think of what might have been, hard not to miss family feasts reminiscent of a Norman Rockwell painting, and I imagine many Americans felt a bit sad thinking about the stark contrasts between this year’s Thanksgiving and last year’s. 

Now more than ever, I think many of us need good news to cling to, which is why the recent successes of President Trump’s Operation Warp Speed couldn’t come at a better time.

Just six months ago, President Trump announced Operation Warp Speed, a historic endeavor to facilitate a massive scientific, industrial, and logistical partnership between the federal government and private industry with the end goal of delivering a COVID vaccine to the American people in record time. 

The federal government is using unprecedented cooperation with private industry to create a vaccine that expedites production without compromising the Food and Drug Administration (FDA)’s high safety and effectiveness standards, and we expect to deliver a vaccine to the American people by early 2021. 

Last week, the Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar announced that data from clinical trials suggests multiple vaccine candidates may be more than 90% effective, inching us a step closer to realizing the President’s vision of delivering a vaccine to Americans by year’s end. 

In October the FDA authorized the restart of U.S. trials for AstraZeneca’s COVID vaccine, marking a significant stride towards production for this vaccine candidate. 

As part of the standard review process, a voluntary pause was triggered in the trials in early September so independent monitoring committees could assess the safety data, ultimately coming to the conclusion that trials were safe to resume. 

It’s paramount that the path to a COVID vaccine be transparent and truthful because the American public’s faith in the vaccine’s safety and effectiveness is critical to finding a successful treatment for the Coronavirus. 

As this candidate enters the final steps of the FDA’s rigorous vetting process, AstraZeneca has pledged its full cooperation with outside regulators and remain committed to helping President Trump achieve his vision.

Last week, an independent data and safety monitoring board announced that the NIH-Moderna COVID vaccine showed promising data that suggests that the vaccine is safe and effective at preventing COVID-19 in adults. The study indicates that the vaccine has an effectiveness rate of 94.5%. The findings were consistent across different populations, including elderly, ethnic and minority groups. Pfizer and BioNTech shared similar promising news and announced that their vaccine is 95% effective, clearing the way for the companies to file for emergency use authorization from the FDA.

As the world’s leader in COVID treatment research and development, our ability to defeat this virus hinges on Operation Warp Speed’s success as it becomes increasingly unlikely that another country will beat the U.S. in developing a safe and effective vaccine. Per Warp Speed’s mandate, no corners are being cut and the vaccines will absolutely not be distributed unless they are up to traditional FDA standards, and Warp Speed partners are coordinating with state and local health departments for an efficient vaccine distribution. 

While the speed may be unprecedented, the safety and efficacy have not been compromised. 

When completed, President Trump will have achieved one of the greatest humanitarian efforts in history, and it’s important that the country supports this effort regardless of political beliefs. Some things are bigger than politics, and every American should celebrate these critical milestones as we move closer to a vaccine.

Thursday, November 26, 2020

Carthage mayor vetoes mask ordinance

Carthage City Council approved a mask ordinance Wednesday by a 6-4 margin, but that vote went for naught when Mayor Dan Rife vetoed the measure.

Those voting for the measure were council members David Armstrong, Mike Daugherty, James Harrison, Ceri Otero, Seth Thompson and Juan Topete.

Voting against it were council members Ed Barlow, Craig Diggs, Alan Snow and Raymond West.

From KOAM's coverage:

“I think it’s an overstep. I don’t feel like the city needs to be the one mandating that the masks be worn. We’ve requested it. It’s up to the businesses to make their own rules for their own business,” said Carthage Mayor Dan Rife.

The council can still override Rife's vote, but it would take seven votes to do so.

The ordinance, which would have gone into effect immediately, was put on the council agenda following requests by officials from area hospitals and medical professionals and the continuing number of residents contracting and being hospitalized from the coronavirus.

If you appreciate the news, information and commentary about the Joplin area published daily in the Turner Report, Inside Joplin and Inside Joplin Obituaries, consider making a contribution at the PayPal button below or by sending your contribution to Randy Turner, 2306 E. 8th, Apt. A, Joplin, MO.

Wednesday, November 25, 2020

Oklahoma reports 16 COVID-19 deaths

(From the Oklahoma State Department of Health)

As of this advisory, there are 184,342 cases of COVID-19 in Oklahoma. 

There are 16 additional deaths identified to report.

Two in Caddo County, one female in the 65 or older age group, one male in the 65 or older age group.
One in Coal County, one female in the 65 or older age group.
One in Comanche County, one male in the 65 or older age group.
One in Custer County, one male in the 65 or older age group.

Two in Kay County, two females in the 65 or older age group.
One in McClain County, one female in the 65 or older age group.
Three in Oklahoma County, one female in the 65 or older age group, two males in the 65 or older age group.
One in Payne County, one male in the 65 or older age group.
One in Stephens County, one male in the 65 or older age group.
One in Texas County, one male in the 65 or older age group.
Two in Tulsa County, two females in the 65 or older age group.
There are 1,680 total deaths in the state.
For more information, visit

Joplin City Council, management staff schedule strategic planning meeting

(From the City of Joplin)

Joplin City Council Members and City of Joplin Senior Management Staff will participate in a strategic planning workshop beginning at 9 a.m. on Monday, November 30, 2020.

Arkansas reports 20 COVID-19 deaths

(From Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson)

Governor Asa Hutchinson provided today's update on Arkansas's COVID-19 response.

In its Wednesday update, the Arkansas Department of Health reported 1,965 new cases; 17,014 active cases; 1,028 hospitalized, which is up 40 from Tuesday; 191 on ventilators, which is up 31 from Tuesday; deaths added today, 20, for a total of 2,425; a total of 150,277 cases; 116,777 recoveries; PCR tests, 13,572; antigen tests, 3,725.

The Health Department reported that the top counties for new cases are Pulaski, 185; Washington, 145; Benton, 121; Craighead, 101; and Sebastian, 99.

Governor Hutchinson released the following statement on today’s COVID-19 numbers:

“I drove up to Rogers for Thanksgiving and I stopped in Ozark. Everyone is clearly taking things seriously and working hard to follow the health guidelines. Thank you to all Arkansans for your continued diligence. 

"While we express our thanks across the state in smaller groups than normal years, I am more grateful than ever for the dedication of our health care workers. The new hospitalizations today adds to the burden, and let’s all go the extra mile to protect each other.”

Carthage City Council to decide on mask ordinance during special session today


As the number of COVID-19 cases continues to grow, Carthage City Council will meet in special session 3:15 p.m. today at City Hall to discuss implementation of a mask ordinance.

The meeting comes less than a week after Carthage Mayor Dan Rife joined with Webb City Mayor Lynn Ragsdale and Carl Junction Mayor Mark Powers to issue a message that seemed to indicate mask mandates were out of the question.

The message encouraged residents to use good hygiene and proper social distancing and wash their hands, but appeared to rule out any role by the municipal governments.
We trust our good people to do their part and know in our three cities that we are in this together.

Area hospital administrators have asked for mask ordinances as the pandemic has filled hospitals and has taken its toll on their staffs.

If the council approves the measure, it will go into effect immediately.

The proposed ordinance is printed below:


AN ORDINANCE to require persons to wear facemasks that cover the nostrils and mouth to help restrict the spread of the COVID-19 virus, to establish reasonable exemptions, to set practical enforcement conditions; and containing an emergency clause. 

WHEREAS, on March 18, 2020, the Mayor declared a civil emergency because of the threat COVID-19 poses to the public health; April 19, 2020 the City Council approved a Declaration of a State of Emergency within the City of Carthage calling for proactive measures to protect the public health, safety and welfare; and 

WHEREAS, the spread of the COVID-19 virus has been accelerating in the City of Carthage and in Jasper County; and 

WHEREAS, one key transmission method for the COVID-19 virus is through respiratory droplets that people expel when they breathe, speak, cough, or sneeze. Moreover, people can be infected with the COVID-19 virus and be asymptomatic but still be contagious. 

People can also be infected and contagious 48 hours before developing symptoms when they are presymptomatic. Many people with COVID-19 have mild symptoms and do not recognize they are infected and contagious, and they can unintentionally infect others; and 

WHEREAS, numerous epidemiologists have insisted that widespread use of a face mask is necessary to prevent the more rapid spread of the COVID-19 virus, especially when humans gather in groups, and thereby necessary for the safety and health of Carthage citizens, residents, and visitors; and 

WHEREAS, the United States Centers for Disease Control has recommended that members of the public, when they need to interact with others outside the home, and especially in settings where many people are present, should cover the mouth and nose to prevent inadvertently spreading COVID-19; and 

WHEREAS, the City of Carthage finds therefore, that wearing a face covering, in combination with physical distancing of at least 6 feet and frequent hand-washing, may reduce the risk of transmitting the COVID-19 virus when in public and engaged in necessary activities by reducing the spread of respiratory droplets. 


Section 1. Masks shall be worn by those persons 6 years old and over when in public indoor spaces, only where social distancing of 6 feet or more cannot be achieved with persons outside their immediate family, household, or party, unless dining, at which time masks may be removed at the dining table or surface. 

Section 2. Other exceptions shall be persons exercising or in conditions (such as high temperatures) where a mask might be harmful to their ability to breathe, and medical conditions (such as, but not limited to; COPD, and asthma) that may be adversely affected by wearing a mask. 

Section 3. That the Carthage City Council has determined that the orders and advisories included in this ordinance are necessary to preserve the peace and order of the City of Carthage, and to protect life and to promote and preserve public safety and welfare, in particular to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 and provide essential protections to Carthage residents, including but not limited to those who are most vulnerable to infection, while still preserving the availability of essential services. 

Section 4. Enforcement of this ordinance shall focus first on educating and working to promote the mitigation of the spread of COVID-19. A person or business shall be notified of the provisions of this ordinance and will be provided an opportunity to explain an exception or follow the guidelines prior to issuance of any citation or other enforcement action. 

Section 5. The Carthage City Council specifically orders that enforcement of this ordinance shall therefore be administered by first education and an opportunity for compliance, followed by a warning, and a civil citation, only if necessary. 

Section 6. Under the Carthage City Council's authority for enforcement of a violation of face coverings, the City Council specifically orders that a violation of this ordinance under Carthage's City Code, Section 1-12, is punishable by a fine of $0 to $500 dollars, at the court's discretion. 

Section 7. Violation of any provision of the Order may result in the suspension or revocation of the Certificate of Occupancy and/or Business License for the offending business or concern in accordance with Sections 12-234 and 25-60 of the Code of Carthage. 

Section 8. Businesses have the right to reftise service for failure to comply, if there are no exceptions under this ordinance. 

Section 9. This ordinance is effective at 6:00 a.m. on Wednesday, November 25,2020. 

Section 10. That the City Council of the City of Carthage, Missouri, hereby declares that this Ordinance, being an Ordinance relating to the immediate preservation of the public peace, property, health, safety or morals, is considered an emergency within the meaning of Section 3.9(e) of the Charter of the City of Carthage, Missouri, and, as such, this Ordinance shall become effective immediately upon its passage. 

Specifically, that this ordinance should become effective without delay because widespread use of a face mask is necessary to prevent the more rapid spread of the COVID-19 virus, especially when humans gather large public gatherings will facilitate the spread of a communicable disease, COVID-19. 

Tuesday, November 24, 2020

Newton County confirms 22 COVID-19 cases, 27 hospitalized

The Newton County Health Department confirmed 22 COVID-19 cases, according to statistics released this evening on the department's Facebook page.

The cases bring the county's total to 3,049. The total passed the 3,000 mark the previous day when 50 cases were confirmed.

The number who were hospitalized remained at 27. The number in isolation fell from 474 to 459.

Newton County has recorded 47 deaths due to COVID-19.

The statistics do not include Newton County residents who live in the Joplin city limits.

Nancy Hughes: When staying the same is better than change

“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.”
Hebrews 13:8 (NIV)

One of the best times I remember as a teen was going on a scavenger hunt with friends. We had a list of things that had to be retrieved in order to win a prize. Things like “hair off Grandpa Dale's head” and “get a dime from a woman parked at Simone's Drive-In” topped the list.

Whoever got everything collected first would race back to a pre-determined spot and wait for everyone else, gloating over the win.

Recently I had the joy of experiencing a scavenger hunt again . . . at Wal-Mart. Our local store began rearranging everything on shelves and in aisles so that their store would be a carbon copy of every other Wal-Mart. The idea served a great purpose: whatever town a shopper was in, they could easily find what they needed because all their stores were arranged exactly alike.

For a directionally-challenged person like me, it sounded wonderful. I had a great time during my first visit after the changes but I also think that I spent twice what I had planned. For example, when I went to the cereal aisle and found chips instead, I thought that I might as well get a bag or two. Looking for a can of corn took me to the candy aisle and who could resist that? After all, candy corn is corn, I reasoned.
Not everyone shared my thrill of the hunt. As I was looking for peanut butter, I noticed what appeared to be a very frustrated woman walking up and down aisle after aisle and periodically looking heavenward as if needing divine help in her search.

Thinking I could be of assistance, I asked “Are you looking for something?” to which she responded “Seriously? Are you kidding?” and then followed that with a huge sigh and a “Sorry. Plastic bags. I need plastic bags. They are not in the store anywhere!

Why would they quit carrying plastic bags?”

“Where were they before the changes?” I asked her. “Where the soda pop is now,” she answered, rolling her eyes. I shrugged. “So maybe they are where the soda pop was . . .” “Nope, already checked,” she replied, shaking her head.

A Wal-Mart employee walked by and I couldn't resist: “Hey, I'll give you $5.00 to find plastic bags for this lady.” What he didn’t realize was that I was determined to make it a competition and find them first; however, five minutes later, I heard “I've found them!” and the employee held up the box of plastic bags.

The previously frustrated customer pumped her fist in the air and yelled “Yes!” as she grabbed the plastic bags, threw them in her cart, and left to find a can of spaghetti sauce. The employee politely declined the money I offered, stated that it was a pleasure to help a customer and left to help someone else. That was okay with me. Because when I went to the peanut butter aisle, I found the cereal aisle instead . . .

Changes occur in our lives every day – sometimes every minute! But how wonderful that today’s Scripture in Hebrews 13:8 reassures us that “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.”

You will never turn to Jeremiah 31:34 and, instead of reading “I will remember their sin no more,” find that God has changed His mind and has decided “I will remember every single sin you have ever committed.”

We will never need to fear that “He is not here; I’m not sure what happened.” has replaced “He is not here; he has risen, just as he said” (Matthew 28:6) God’s Word is truth and it is never going to change. Ever.

Be comforted in knowing that the God of the Universe who loves you and who stood firm in your yesterday and did not change will also stand firm in your today and in your tomorrow. For eternity.

Father, Thank you for never changing and for your words of love and truth in my life every day. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.

R.A.P. it up . . .


Have you ever had people in your life totally change from how you knew them? What was your initial response?


Journal people in your life who have completely changed from their beliefs and describe how they have changed.

Now journal promises from God’s Word that reassure you that He will never change. Thank Him for His faithfulness.


Hebrews 13:8 (NIV) “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.”

Isaiah 40:8 (NIV) “The grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of our not destroyed.”

Malachi 3:6 (NIV) “I the Lord do not change. So you, O descendants of Jacob, are not destroyed.”

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

Paul Richardson: The ring girl is holding- round two

The onset of the coronavirus with its protocols such as stay-at-home, isolation, social distancing, and quarantines didn’t make me a grouch. I had a solid grip on that going in. It did, however, provide me with the time to categorize and compile my many complaints, making my griping much more efficient. Now I only have to pick one, or if conditions arise that brings one to the forefront, I can run with that.

The topic for today comes from a reader in Hoboken. No, wait a minute we don’t publish in Hoboken. It was actually a pop-up category that came to light during a recent outing with the good wife. 

We had stopped at a traffic signal. Now, understand that I like traffic signals. They provide opportunity at difficult locations for either high traffic flows in all directions or imbalanced traffic flows to have an opportunity to move freely. 

That is either a function of a sensory mechanism that finds convenient interruptions in traffic and stops the main flow in order to allow connecting arteries access or by pre-set timed functions that permit somewhat balanced traffic flows free access and then alternates between the two. 

An excellent example of this can be found on 7th Street and also on Main Street in Joplin. If you maintain the correct speed, you are permitted free flow through certain areas. That brings up another important function of traffic signals, speed control. I could go into great detail about both of these functions and the mechanics of sensory mechanisms and controllers, but we will save that for boring the good wife at some point.

The condition that activated this gripe session was as follows: We arrived at the traffic signal as it turned to a stop condition. Shortly other vehicles began to arrive, but they were all either behind us in the westbound lane or opposite us in the eastbound lane. There were no other vehicles present. None in the turn lanes, none in the lanes of the northbound or southbound traffic, none in the turn lanes adjacent to those two directions. Nothing anywhere. 

As we sat there for what I want to call two minutes, burning fuel, twiddling our thumbs, looking around for the cause of the stopped condition, nothing happened. Maybe, the video sensor failed, I don’t think so, but we were all stopped, waiting, patiently waiting. Well, maybe some of us weren’t so patient, but I stayed still.

Having been employed by MoDOT for most of my working life and assigned to task where I knew and understood the components that operates such signals, I could only begin with a dialogue about how this imposed an inconvenience upon the public by such inept use of this equipment.

That’s my take and explanation of my response. The good wife calls it griping and responded with, “Call 1-800-946-22737.” The last 7 is really unnecessary. I figured out that translates to 1-800-Who-Cares. 

Well, it is time for the next portion of the bout, and I see the ring girl is holding Round 2.

(Paul Richardson's column, The Horse I Rode In On, is published weekly in the Neosho Daily News, Seneca News-Dispatch, Aurora Advertiser and on the Turner Report.)

Missouri state parks to remain open- indoor spaces to close

(From Missouri State Parks)

Missouri state parks and historic sites remain open, including day-use areas, lodging, campgrounds, boat ramps and trails, and will continue to operate under normal off-season hours. However, beginning this week, Missouri State Parks will temporarily close indoor spaces, including visitor centers, nature centers, museums and offices. Park and historic site outdoor spaces and amenities will remain open and available under normal off-season status, unless otherwise designated.

Visitors should come prepared and view the online park and site status map before heading to the park. Contact information of staff will be posted on signage throughout the park for visitors who may have questions or need assistance.

“Many people will continue to want to get out and enjoy our state parks and we will continue to welcome the public,” says Missouri State Parks director Mike Sutherland. 

“We hope that our state parks will serve as a break from the stress associated with COVID-19 and provide healthy recreation opportunities through the holiday season.”

Campgrounds are available on a first come, first served basis at most Missouri State Parks campgrounds and some offer reservations during the off-season period. For more information on camping, visit:

While interpretive programming at parks and sites has been postponed, many parks and sites have virtual alternatives and are providing other opportunities, such as virtual tours, lesson plans and online programming for visitors, educators and families. Learn more about what is being offered at each location by calling the park or site office or following Missouri State Parks on Facebook.

When visiting a Missouri state park or historic site, visitors are strongly encouraged to follow social-distancing guidelines and be proactive in protecting themselves and others amid ongoing public health concerns. Come prepared with hand sanitizer and bottled water, avoid large and congested crowds, and please stay home if sick. Face coverings are encouraged when social-distancing measures are difficult to maintain, and may be required by local orders.

If you have any questions, please contact Missouri State Parks at For the latest information on the Missouri State Parks response to COVID-19, please visit

Public Service Commission, Empire District Electric agree to change in fuel adjustment charge

(From the Public Service Commission)

The Missouri Public Service Commission has approved an agreement reached by The Empire District Electric Company d/b/a Liberty (Empire), the Public Service Commission Staff and the Office of the Public Counsel which will change the fuel adjustment charge (FAC) on the monthly bills of Empire electric customers effective December 1, 2020.

As a result, the FAC for a residential customer using 1,000 kWh (kilowatt-hours) of electricity a month will drop from approximately $0.43 a month to a credit of approximately $1.90 a month, a decrease of approximately $2.33 a month. 


The FAC change reflects Empire’s fuel and purchased power costs for the six month period of March 2020 through August 2020 (Case No. ER-2021-0097). It also reflects Empire’s FAC true-up filing (Case No. EO-2021-0098).

Empire serves approximately 155,400 electric customers in the Missouri counties of Barry, Barton, Cedar, Christian, Dade, Dallas, Greene, Hickory, Jasper, Lawrence, McDonald, Newton, Polk, St. Clair, Stone and Taney.

Parson announces launch of COVID-19 vaccine website

(From Gov. Mike Parson)

As research and development of multiple COVID-19 vaccines continue to show promising safety and effectiveness findings, Governor Mike Parson today announced the launch of a new vaccine website for Missouri residents. provides Missourians with information regarding the safety of the vaccines, research and production processes, and when they may be eligible for vaccination. The website will also offer additional functionality as vaccines become available.

“It’s been remarkable to learn about the work that has been going on for many months now among scientists and researchers, many of whom are right here in Missouri,” Governor Parson said. “The most important thing we’ve learned about the accelerated development process is that steps have not been eliminated but are instead occurring simultaneously. Safety is not being sacrificed, and it’s important for Missourians to understand this.”

The new website includes answers to common questions Missouri residents may have, such as when they will be able to receive the vaccine and how well it works. It also clarifies misinformation that citizens may have heard about the vaccines.

The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) and partners across the state continue to make preparations in advance of a vaccine arrival, which is anticipated to occur prior to the end of 2020. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices has identified the purposes of a COVID-19 vaccine as:

Decrease death and serious disease,
Preserve functioning of society,
Reduce extra burden that COVID-19 is having on people already facing disparities, and
Increase the chance for everyone to enjoy health and well-being.

A vaccine will initially become available in a limited quantity once it is proven safe and effective, approved for Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) by the FDA, and when the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) has provided its recommendations on the use of the vaccines.

In August, a large group of more than 75 state team members, 10 Missouri National Guardsmen, and 50 federal and local partners began working together to develop Missouri’s COVID-19 vaccine response plan. The plan was finalized and submitted to the CDC in October.

“Missouri got a very early start preparing for vaccinations because we think it’s our best path to getting to a better place,” DHSS Director Dr. Randall Williams said. “This process is one that has continued to evolve, and we are committed to providing Missourians with the information they need as quickly as we can provide it. Information is empowering, and personal choices made during this public health emergency can positively impact yourself, those around you, and your entire community.”

To learn more about COVID-19 vaccine developments, visit

Jasper County confirms 68 COVID-19 cases, averaging 70 per day over past week


Sixty-eight COVID-19 cases were confirmed in Jasper County during a 24-hour period, according to statistics posted Monday evening on the county's COVID-19 dashboard.

The county has averaged just over 70 cases per day for the past week.

Twenty-five county residents are hospitalized with the coronavirus.

Jasper County has 5,166 cases, with 406 active and has recorded 69 deaths due to COVID-19.

Greene County reports three COVID-19 deaths, 37 this month

(From the Springfield-Greene County Health Department)

The Springfield-Greene County Health Department is saddened to announce the deaths of three Greene County residents from COVID-19. 

Our community lost:
A man in his 60s
A woman in her 70s
A woman in her 70s

The Health Department extends our condolences to everyone impacted by these losses.

Thirty-seven deaths have been reported by the Health Department in November. A total of 191 Greene County residents have died from COVID-19.

Over the last three days combined (Friday, Saturday, and Sunday), we received 453 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Greene County citizens. Our current total is 13,943 confirmed cases.

As of this morning, there were 211 COVID-19 positive individuals hospitalized at either CoxHealth or Mercy Hospital Springfield. 96 of those individuals are Greene County residents.

You can view these numbers and more on our dashboard at

Watch live- Joplin R-8 Board of Education meeting at 6 p.m.


Joplin R-8 reports 25 students isolated with COVID-19, 208 quarantined

(The following COVID-19 update from the Joplin R-8 School District was dated November 20.)

On November 6, Joplin Schools had 14 student isolations and 175 student quarantines. We also had 17 employees and 23 quarantined employees.

As of today, we have 25 student isolations and 208 student quarantines.

Additionally, we have 28 isolated employees and 43 quarantined employees. Our combined staff and student isolations remain below one percent of tour district population.

As has been the case each week, these are not concentrated on any particular campus.

We have recently seen an increase in COVID-19 cases within our community. The effect is reflected in our updated numbers. We continue to stress the importance of not only managing hygiene and social distancing at school, but also while we are away from school.

We are still comparing well to our neighboring districts due in large part to the strict handling of protocols and consistency among our students and staff throughout the school day.

If you appreciate the news, information and commentary about the Joplin area published daily in the Turner Report, Inside Joplin and Inside Joplin Obituaries, consider making a contribution at the PayPal button below or by sending your contribution to Randy Turner, 2306 E. 8th, Apt. A, Joplin, MO.

Number of COVID-19 patients in Joplin hospitals declines, 20 new cases confirmed

The COVID-19 patient census at Joplin hospitals, which climbed as high as 110 in recent days, is down to 94, according to statistics posted on the city's COVID-19 dashboard.

Of the 94, 13 are Joplin residents.

The city confirmed 20 coronavirus cases in 24 hours, bringing the total to 3,336. Of that total, 322 cases are active.
Joplin has recorded 60 deaths due to COVID-19.

Oklahoma adds 15 COVID-19 deaths

(From the Oklahoma State Department of Health)

As of this advisory, there are 180,610 cases of COVID-19 in Oklahoma. 

There are 15 additional deaths identified to report. No deaths were identified in the past 24 hours.

Four in Cleveland County, two females in the 65 or older age group, one male in the 36-39 age group, one male in the 65 or older age group.
One in Comanche County, one male in the 50-64 age group.
One in Grady County, one female in the 65 or older age group.

One in Grant County, one female in the 65 or older age group.
Three in Jackson County, one female in the 50-64 age group, one male in the 50-64 age group, one male in the 65 or older age group.
One in Kay County, one female in the 65 or older age group.
One in Oklahoma County, one male in the 65 or older age group.
One in Tulsa County, one female in the 65 or older age group.
Two in Washington County, two males in the 65 or older age group.

There are 1,664 total deaths in the state.

For more information, visit

State health department schedules free COVID-19 testing at Ozark Christian College