Tuesday, May 11, 2021

Nancy Hughes: The bidding war

“For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” Ephesians 6:12 (NIV)

My husband and I looked down row after row of items placed on tables at the auction. The elderly owner had moved to a nursing home and her prized possessions were on display for all to see and hopefully buy.

I don’t think I have ever witnessed a more complete collection of extremely old dishes and glassware and I am certain that I have never even seen a picture of the stunning porcelain doll reclining on white tissue in its original box. 

The delicate features were hand painted and beautiful blonde hair was woven into a bun at the nape of her neck. The empire style cotton gown she wore had at one time been snowy white but was now yellowed with age. Two faded silky pink ribbons tied the dress together in the back.

“Can we bid on it?” I whispered to my husband. He smiled and replied that because of the perfect condition of the extremely old doll, it was a collectible and was completely out of our price range. He was right. The bidding began $100.00 higher than what we could afford.

Very quickly a bidding war began for the antique doll and just as quickly it narrowed to two very different people: an older gentleman with a ponytail and black beret and a woman in her 30’s wearing a grey hooded sweatshirt and jeans. But they were alike in one important way: their determination to own the doll.

At first the auctioneer jumped the bid in $20.00 increments but he immediately saw the battle ensuing so he increased each bid by $50.00 as he looked from the woman to the man. Neither would back down as each was determined to outbid the other.

As I watched in astonishment at the increasing price of the doll, it occurred to me that the gentleman and the woman had not one but two goals in common. First, both obviously wanted the doll. But secondly, each one was determined to win the bidding war no matter the cost.

We too are in a bidding war every single day of our lives but unlike the battle between two people for a doll, our fight “is not against flesh and blood” as we are told in Ephesians 6:12. Our fight is against Satan.

Let me be very clear. Satan hates us as believers. And he will try everything that he can to “outbid” the Lord for our souls. The cost is irrelevant to him as he tempts, deceives, lies and accuses. What he fails to understand is that the bidding war is over because the price has already been paid on a Cross.

By the way, the winner of the bidding war for the doll? Well, that depends on how you look at it. The woman in the sweatshirt bid the most and got the doll but she paid $550.00 more than its value. She won the bidding war but was it worth it? I encourage you today to hold fast to the One who paid and won the highest price of the bidding war for our souls with His life.

Father, may I always be on guard against the war raging against me. Thank you for the power of Jesus who has paid the price and won that war. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.

R.A.P it up . . .


Have you ever bid on an item at an auction and paid more than it was worth?

How does that compare when you think of how much the Lord gave in exchange for your soul?


Draw a vertical line on a page in your journal and put Jesus in one column and Satan in the other and “war” at the top of the page.

Look up Scripture that describes our value to Jesus and to Satan in the bidding war for our souls and write it in each column.


Ephesians 6:12 (NIV) “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.”

John 16:33 (NIV) “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

John 10:10 (NIV) “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.”

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

Paul Richardson: The Doppler Effect

One of my greatest pleasures as a child was the overnight stays with my maternal grandparents. My paternal grandfather had passed away three years before my birth and my dad was a change of life birth, so his mother and my grandmother was in a different stage of life by comparison to my Grandma and Grandpa Smith. 

While my Grandpa Smith was ten years younger than my Grandmother Richardson, my Grandma Smith was thirteen years younger than her husband. A complicated and wild conflagration if there ever was one.

So, with this palette of characters that filled the various grand-person positions, I was provided with a variety of interactions. I cannot recall having ever made an overnight stay with my Grandmother Richardson, not that it never happened, I just can’t recall it ever occurring. I did, however, have the opportunity to engage in sleepovers at Grandma and Grandpa Smith’s.

It was on those occasions that I was enlightened to the fact that even though they were a devoted couple, they were quite different. Was it due to the age gap? I don’t know, but it was clear that they each had a different approach to life even in the way that they handled the night.

I still find comfort in the memory of bedding down in a bed where the old school way of storing quilts was simply to place multiple layers on each available bed. In the winter this was a weighty but comforting and warm place to burrow into at night. Since my grandparents always heated with wood, the temperature tended to drop significantly during the overnight hours. In the summer, however, those multiple layers of quilts just had to go.

Once her grandchildren were situated for the night, Grandma Smith could soon be heard turning in for the night in her adjoining bedroom. Grandpa, however, would always have a few more hours to burn, possibly falling asleep in front of the television which bathed the house in that eerie blue light that was the fallout from televisions of the black and white era. 

Sometimes I would wake to find the television displaying a static picture that indicated the station had signed off for the night. This was a prominent indication of one of the ways that they differed as individuals.

One of the most significant impacts of these overnight stays were on my auditory senses. The sounds were all different. My parents' home was located on a remote county road, one mile outside of Neosho. A low traffic area. Grandma and Grandpa’s home was located just off of the curve on a state highway and a primary route to boot. 

The sounds of traffic were an integral part of the environment at this location. At night one could hear the semi-trucks pulling their massive trailers coming along the highway. As they arrived, rounded the curve, and departed, the wavelength of their sound was constantly contracting and then expanding.

Years later in high school I found that I had been comforted by the Doppler Effect.

Joplin fire chief to retire

(From the City of Joplin)

Joplin City Manager Nick Edwards announces the retirement of Joplin Fire Chief Jim Furgerson, effective June 7. 2021. Following his retirement from Joplin Furgerson has accepted a position with Missouri’s State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA).

“We thank Chief Furgerson for his years of service here at the City,” said Edwards. “The Fire Department has accomplished a great deal under his leadership. His career spans several milestones within the community. 

"He worked for ongoing recruitment and retention of public safety staff through Proposition B passage, initiated a strategic planning and resource allocation study, replaced outdated equipment, developed the initial plans for Station 7, established a swift water rescue team and formed automatic aid agreements with surrounding communities’ fire departments. 

"His work helped the department achieve a strong ISO rating that benefits our residents and businesses. His proactive approach helped to ensure that the citizens of Joplin are served by a well-equipped and well-trained Fire Department into the future.”

The Insurance Services Office (ISO) conducts a hazard risk analysis of a fire department to provide information to insurance companies nationwide that details a fire department’s capability in helping to prevent a fire from happening, as well as, in their ability to minimize damage should one occur. 

Joplin Fire Department received a ‘2” rating in 2016, which is one point better than previous years. This also moved Joplin into a select group of fire departments in Missouri, with approximately 20 stations having this low rating at that time.

Furgerson has been with the City for 20 years and became Chief in 2015. After joining the department in 2001, he was promoted to Driver in 2004, and was named Captain in 2006. He was promoted to Battalion Chief in 2010 and Deputy Fire Chief in 2014.

“He has served Joplin well, both within the department and in the community during his service here. We wish him well in the next phase of his life,” said Edwards.

Edwards and Furgerson will work on transition plans and name an interim fire chief in the upcoming weeks. The City will begin a search process for the permanent replacement at a later date.

Joplin HOPE Center for Disaster Recovery launched in conjunction with 10th anniversary of tornado

(From the City of Joplin)

The Joplin HOPE Center for Disaster Recovery announces its launch in conjunction with the 10th anniversary of the Joplin tornado.

Joplin’s response to and recovery from the devastating EF5 tornado on May 22, 2011, has inspired many. The Center is being established to serve as a comprehensive resource of digitized primary source material when disasters strike other communities. It also will be open to researchers, journalists, and others looking at steps communities can take to be better prepared.

The Center is a partnership created by Missouri Southern State University, the city of Joplin, the Joplin School District, and others.

“From the community and local government perspective, the search for relatable and trusted recovery guidance can be time-consuming and frustrating,” said Jane Cage, co-founder of the Joplin HOPE Center for Disaster Recovery. 

“While these groups benefit from federal and state recovery expertise, it is learning the best practices of their peers - other communities and local governments that have managed long-term disaster recovery - that they truly covet. 

"The Joplin Hope Project provides this assistance in a digital format that shortens the recovery learning curve. Specifically, it will provide our battle-tested examples of recovery plans, strategies, grant applications, engagement efforts, and timetables. The Joplin Hope Project is our opportunity to pay it forward.”

Dr. Kerry Sachetta, assistant superintendent of operations with the Joplin School District, said: “The Joplin HOPE Center for Disaster Recovery is an opportunity for Joplin Schools to memorialize the effort directly afterward, planning for the future, and rebuilding our schools after the devastating 2011 tornado. 

"By collecting and cataloging school district documents, pictures, stories, and lessons learned, we can preserve our efforts to honor the victims, meet the challenge and share our experience with school districts and researchers for generations to come.”

The Center is welcoming local participation in two areas: Collecting materials that should be included and accepting financial assistance to underwrite the development of the database and website.

You can learn more at http://www.joplindisastercenter.com

5:41: Stories from the Joplin Tornado (10th Anniversary Edition is available in paperback and e-mail formats from Amazon at the links below.

Parson: Missouri will end pandemic-related federal unemployment benefits

(From Gov. Mike Parson)

In order to address workforce shortages across the state, Governor Mike Parson today directed the Missouri Department of Labor and Industrial Relations (DOLIR) to notify the U.S. Department of Labor that Missouri will end participation in all federal pandemic-related unemployment insurance programs effective Saturday, June 12 at 11:59 p.m.

“From conversations with business owners across the state, we know that they are struggling not because of COVID-19 but because of labor shortages resulting from these excessive federal unemployment programs,” Governor Parson said. 

“While these benefits provided supplementary financial assistance during the height of COVID-19, they were intended to be temporary, and their continuation has instead worsened the workforce issues we are facing. It's time that we end these programs that have ultimately incentivized people to stay out of the workforce.”

“As I travel the state, from Sarcoxie to Hannibal and all points in between, over-arching concerns from business owners is the shortage of employees,” Lieutenant Governor Mike Kehoe said. “Across every industry, businesses cannot compete against federal largesse. Our economy is built upon an active and vibrant workforce, and we should be cultivating job-creation and employment rather than inhibiting them. The jobs exist and the demand exists, and I applaud the governor for taking this bold and decisive action.”

The termination announced today applies to the following programs:
Pandemic Unemployment Assistance;
Emergency Unemployment Relief for Government Entities and Nonprofit Organizations;
Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation;
Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation;
100 Percent Reimbursement of Short-Time Compensation Benefit Costs Paid Under State Law; and
Mixed Earner Unemployment Compensation.

“We know that one of the last remaining hurdles to full economic recovery is addressing this labor shortage. Even with unemployment at only 4.2 percent, there are still 221,266 known job postings across the state,” Governor Parson said. “The solution to close this gap is not the excessive spending of taxpayer dollars by the federal government, but rather getting people back to work and to a sense of normalcy for themselves and their families. Today’s action ensures that we will fill existing jobs as well as the thousands of new jobs coming to our state as businesses continue to invest and expand in Missouri.”

In a letter to the U.S. Department of Labor, Missouri Department of Labor and Industrial Relations Director Anna Hui gave notice of Missouri’s intention to terminate all federal pandemic-related unemployment programs. To view the letter, see attachment.

“During the last recession in 2008, the federal government contributed $25 per week to supplement state unemployment benefits. During the latest economic downturn, Washington poured in $600 per week in addition to Missouri’s weekly benefit of up to $320,” said Director Hui.

“Even after the original $600 supplement expired, it was replaced by a federal supplement that provides an extra $300 per week on top of Missouri’s existing state benefit, meaning thousands of claimants continue to receive $620 per week or more,” Director Hui continued. “The unemployment system is designed to provide a temporary safety net as workers look to reenter the job market. Leaving the level of benefits artificially high would prevent a return to full employment in our state.”

Today’s action follows steps taken last July to require claimants to again conduct weekly work searches in order to be eligible for unemployment benefits. This work search requirement had originally been waived in March of 2020 as part of an agreement with the federal government to receive funds under the CARES Act.

Under Missouri’s law, claimants are required to perform and report three work search activities per week. Qualified work search activities include filing an application (online or in-person) with an employer or through job posting sites or attending a job fair, job interview, reemployment service, or skills workshop.

Missouri Job Centers are available to assist unemployed workers with these requirements by providing customized job searches through jobs.mo.gov , job fairs, Reemployment Services and Eligibility Assessment (RESEA) appointments, workshops, and other training programs. Employers are encouraged to post job openings on MoJobs. For more information about services available through the Missouri Job Centers, visit jobs.mo.gov.

For questions regarding Missouri unemployment, please utilize the Division Employment Security's virtual assistant at labor.mo.gov and visit labor.mo.gov/coronavirus.

Mercy, KOAM teaming for Vaccine Day

(From KOAM)

On Thursday, May 13th, KOAM-TV will team up with Mercy Health System for a day-long event we are calling “Vaccine Day.” 

Live news coverage will highlight vaccine efforts across the four states. A phone bank staffed with health professionals will answer viewer questions about the COVID-19 vaccine. 

“We know there are a lot of people in the four states who have questions about the vaccine, and it is important they have accurate information in order to make the best decision for themselves and their families” says KOAM-TV News Director, Kristi Spencer.

People who have COVID-19 vaccine questions can call 1-800-942-2727 from 6 a.m. until 6:30 p.m. If you would like to submit your question early and find out more about “Vaccine Day” go to KoamNewsNow.com /vaccine.

You can keep up with “Vaccine Day” coverage in all news programming on KOAM-TV and FOX 14 and at KoamNewsNow.com. “Vaccine Day” is a collaborative effort between all news outlets owned by Morgan Murphy Media, the parent company of KOAM-TV.

Monday, May 10, 2021

Newtonia: The day after the May 10, 2008 tornado

(This post was originally published on the May 11, 2008 Turner Report)

Talk about irony.

John Scott, the drummer for our band, Natural Disaster, had his home blown away by one Saturday. Fortunately, John was not at home at the time.

Newtonia looked like a battle zone today with National Guardsmen standing at strategic positions, not only helping guide traffic through the town and helping with the cleanup, but also to prevent looting.

John Scott's house was not the only one that was lost to the storm. As I visited my parents, I noted one of their neighbors had half of her house missing, and my parents' former rental house, which they sold only a few months ago, was also destroyed.

Houses that I remember walking by on a daily basis as I grew up are now missing huge sections or are missing entirely.

As I noted in a post Saturday, one building which no longer exists is Newtonia's City Hall, which was once a residence. The only thing intact at the building, for some strange reason, was a green folding chair sitting triumphantly above the wreckage.
A sign still visible in front of the building read, "Bloom where God plants you."

The Ritchey Mansion, a surviving structure from Civil War days, had sections of its roof blown away, while the Newtonia Community Center suffered slight damage (at least compared to other buildings), with a window knocked out and a deck that was added to the building in recent years crumpled.

One building that suffered little damage was a brick building that I visited every day as I grew up- the building that once housed Gum Mercantile. I can remember many an afternoon after school drinking a Dr. Pepper (it only costs 10 to 13 cents at the time), talking with the Letts boys, and waiting for the Neosho Daily News to arrive. Even the windows of the section of the building that was most recently used as a branch facility for Community Bank and Trust were intact.

The oddest sight, among many, was an eight-year-old's blue trampoline that was lifted off the ground and ended up wrapped around the top of an electric pole.

An odd combination of sightseers and media made its way through Newtonia today, including a Kansas City Star reporter/photographer team that stopped by to talk to Dad and Mom while we were picking up limbs, shingles, and other debris. The photographer was surprised to see my niece, Kiley Finkbiner, barbecuing hamburgers and hot dogs, but as my sister, Kelly, explained to him, that was what we were going to do for Mother's Day before the storm hit and no tornado was going to stop us from doing it.

As always, people were willing to do whatever they could to help in a crisis situation. A group of Mennonites quickly and efficiently helped those who lost their roofs cover their homes until something more permanent can be done. The group helped put a tarp over Mom and Dad's bathroom.

All through the afternoon, a steady stream of people, most on foot, walked past the houses. After we had done all we could for the afternoon, we joined those people talking a quick walk through town to survey the damage.

Mayor Dee Wormington was at the Relief Center at Newtonia Baptist Church, and told us she was headed toward a meeting with emergency management officials in Neosho to discuss the steps to be taken to help Newtonia, the first of which is for Mrs. Wormington to declare Newtonia a disaster area. After that, it works its way up the political chain until hopefully President Bush declares the city a federal disaster area and money can be obtained to help rebuild a town.

Though the immediate future is uncertain, Newtonians appeared to be in no mood to pack their things and give up on their community. That was evident from the way people immediately pitched in to help. The path ahead will be a long and difficult one, but this tornado will not spell the end for Newtonia.

(Kansas City Star photos by Mike Ransdell- Newtonia Mayor Dee Wormington surveys what little is left of City Hall. Kiley Finkbiner mans the barbecue grill while dozens of people are working on my parents' tornado-damaged home.)

Today is 13th anniversary of deadly May 10, 2008 tornado


(From the Redings Mill Fire Protection District)

May 10th, 2021, marks the 13th anniversary of a deadly tornado that passed through our area.
Saturday May 10th, 2008: The tornado touched down 2.5 miles southwest of Chetopa, KS near the Oklahoma/Kansas state line. 

At 5:40 p.m., it continued eastward into the southern portion of Picher, OK where extensive and widespread damage occurred to numerous residential structures. 

This EF-4 Tornado caused extensive damage in the town of Picher and resulted in 6 fatalities.

The tornado continued southeast across the northern edge of the city of Quapaw. A 2nd tornado occurred in parallel with the Picher tornado. The two merged and crossed Interstate 44 near mile marker 325.
The tornado moved into southwest Missouri. At approximately 5:57 p.m. it was located just north of Iris Road and Stateline Road in Newton County. It continued east into the unexpected area, as the tornado was thought to have been in the area of Interstate 44 and Stateline Road. 

Several homes and businesses were destroyed as well as cars carried off the roadway at the intersection of Highway 43 and Iris Road. 

There were 15 fatalities and 200 injuries from just west of Highway 43 to Highway 86 in Newton County.
One of the fatalities was Volunteer Firefighter Tyler Casey. Tyler was storm spotting on behalf of the Seneca Area Fire Protection District. He was aware of the approaching tornado and was warning citizens traveling on 43 Highway to seek shelter. 

Unfortunately, Tyler was caught in the path of the tornado and suffered life threating injuries. He was transported to a local hospital and succumbed to his injuries on May 12th, 2008. 

In addition to losing a fellow firefighter, one of our firefighter’s grandmother passed away due to injuries sustained in the tornado. A current board member lost his mother and three other family members.
Altogether, the tornado was on the ground for 98 minutes, with a path length of 77 miles, affected a total of four counties over a two-state area, claiming 21 lives and caused $61 million in damage.

Joplin Chamber announces Golden Apple winners

(From the Joplin Area Chamber of Commerce)

The Joplin Area Chamber of Commerce is pleased to announce the winners of the 2021 Golden Apple Awards. This program, now in its 36th year, is designed to recognize excellence in the teaching profession. This year, 80 educators from Joplin public and private schools were nominated by students, parents, and coworkers.

Awards are given in four categories: grades K–2, 3–5, 6–8, and 9–12. Nominees are certified classroom teachers who instruct students on a daily basis and are teaching during the 2020–2021 school year.


Congratulations to our 2021 Golden Apple Recipients!
Stephanie Reither, Cecil Floyd Elementary School, grades K–2
Kathy Nicodemus, Irving Elementary School, grades 3–5
Cheryl Sieber, North Middle School, grades 6–8
Syeda Greenlee, Joplin High School, grades 9–12

In honor of Kathleen Keisner, a former teacher and Golden Apple nominee and finalist who taught at Irving Elementary School for 25 years, each non-award finalist was recognized with a $140 gift card. Congratulations to all the finalists! 

Victoria Baker, Thomas Jefferson Independent Day School, grades K–2
Erica Doennig, Irving Elementary School, grades K–2
Sara Meyer, Irving Elementary School, grades K–2
Erica DuRossette, Royal Heights Elementary School, grades 3–5
Miranda Hembree, Joplin Schools Gifted Program, grades 3–5
Chelsea Meyer, Royal Heights Elementary School, grades 3–5
Paula Bohm, Thomas Jefferson Independent Day School, grades 6–8
Darren Morgan, South Middle School, grades 6–8
Amanda Powell, East Middle School, grades 6–8
Cara Clark, Joplin High School, grades 9–12
Gelmis Cole, Thomas Jefferson Independent Day School, grades 9–12
LaHeather Fisher, Joplin High School, grades 9–12

The Chamber is pleased to honor the memory of this extraordinary teacher, mother, and grandmother and would like to thank those who donated in memory of Kathleen Keisner.

Thank you to the Title Sponsor, Liberty Utilities, and the Presenting Sponsor, Missouri Southern State University, as well. 

St. Louis County Democrat- Senate decisions on Medicaid expansion, tax credits troublesome

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

As a member of the minority party in the MO legislature for the entire 13 years in which I have served, it should not be a surprise to me when divisive or partisan legislation I do not support passes. Still, it weighs heavily on me as I work to find a reasonable compromise or to make the case for a different perspective to be considered.

It matters who is sent to Jefferson City to serve Missourians. It also matters who votes.

Two decisions made this past week were among those that are very troublesome.


One is with regard to the funding of Medicaid expansion. The expansion of Medicaid was approved by Missourians this past August to provide healthcare access to Missouri's working poor. 

This week, the MO Senate and House gave final approval to the state budget: roughly $38 billion in spending authority. 

Because of the support at the federal level through programs such as the CARES Act and the American Rescue Plan, our state has access to billions more than we are spending through the budget. So, the expansion of healthcare access through Medicaid insurance for low-income families and individuals seemed like an obvious funding priority. Its passage was defeated, largely along party lines in the legislature.

Additionally, through a process that utilizes tax credits to avoid a conflict with our Constitution, students will now be able to access vouchers, through the "Missouri Empowerment Scholarship Accounts Program," to subsidize tuition at non-public schools for K-12 education. 

The "donors" of dollars receive a 100% tax credit, which means they have no skin in the game but will be diverting our general revenue which could otherwise go to fund public education or a plethora of other state needs. 

The program starts with up to $50 million per year in diverted funds. And while the claim is that low-income students who qualify for free or reduced cost school lunches will be atop the list of students who can access these funds, the roughly $6,300 per year they will receive will not be near enough to cover the cost of private schools. Lack of transportation will also be a burden for low-income families.

Families who home school their children will have the ability to receive thousands of dollars per child. Religious and private schools will receive these subsidies with little to no state oversight. 

The legislation, as written and passed, is not intended to serve the underserved. 

 Senate Democrats were joined by a few Republicans in voting against this bill. It passed through the Senate with two more votes than needed.

Trial for 1988 cold case murder to be held in Jasper County

An August 2 trial date has been scheduled for a Pierce City man charged 
with first degree murder in connection with the 1988 death of Cynthia Smith who was last seen alive in Mount Vernon.

Smith's body was subsequently discovered in a Pierce City cemetery.

In addition to murder, Lawrence Timmons, 66, is charged with forgery and six felony counts of unlawful possession of a firearm.

A Lawrence County grand jury indicted Timmons in September 2019 after new information provided by a private investigator led to the evidence that enabled charges to be filed.

The case is being heard in Jasper County Circuit Court on a change from venue from Lawrence County.

Saturday, May 08, 2021

Harry S. Truman was born 137 years ago today

(Today marks the 137th birthday of Harry S. Truman, the only president born in Missouri. Truman was born in a small house in Lamar, a story that is told in my book The Buck Starts Here: Harry S. Truman and the City of Lamar. The book also details Lamar history, including the rise to prominence of the city's leading newspaper, the Lamar Democrat, beginning with its first editor Lee Chiswell.)

As Lee Chiswell put his stamp on his newspaper, he entertained readers with a combination of political news, heavily favoring the Democratic Party, of course, and his whimsical musings on community news, describing somewhat personal events in detail.

In early May 1884, Chiswell wrote about a visitor to Lamar.

“Bill Moody is in town. It seems that he was asked to leave Appleton City and remain away 12 months. He married an overconfiding girl and then mistreated her.

“The girl’s father clubbed him and finally shot at him. He was arrested and fined five dollars for not hitting him.”

Chiswell reported on a “baby cyclone” that put a scare into Lamar residents May 7, 1884, but by the following day, the skies were clear and it was another typical day for the city.

That day’s Lamar Democrat shows J. A. Albright advertising the “most complete stock of boots in southwest Missouri.”

J. M. Fisher paid for “Prince, the Roadster Stallion, a beautiful bay with black points, six years old, 16 hands high and weighs 1,200 pounds of fine style and good action and is among the best bred stallions in the southwest.”

The Palace Barber Shop and Bath Room promised “shaving, hair cutting and shampooing with ease and celerity” and promised satisfaction “or no charge.”

Cunningham Drug Store offered the new miracle cure- Papillon Skin Care- “a specific cure for all skin diseases, salt rheum, rash, inflammation, insect bites, inordinate itching, ulcers, cuts, wounds, burns or scales and scrofulous eruptions (inflammation of the eyes and ears).”

Byrd’s Ice Cream Parlor sought a different clientele, claiming to be “neat, clean and cozy,” newly remodeled and claimed “it is the place to bring your girl.”

Available in paperback and e-book


In that day’s newspaper, John Truman placed another advertisement.

“Wanted a few good mules and horses. Will pay highest cash prices for same. J. A. Truman, White Barn near Missouri Pacific Depot.”

One thing that was not mentioned in the May 8, 1884 Lamar Democrat was another event that took place in Lamar that day. Births were not considered news at the Democrat even when the father was an advertiser.

Dr. William L. Griffin, who sported a distinguished thatch of white hair with a long, flowing beard to match, had established a successful practice in an office three blocks northeast of the square.

Griffin was a “physician, surgeon and obstetrician who paid special attention to chronic diseases and was an avid amateur historian.

Griffin was also $15 richer May 8, 1884, when he rode what he claimed to be “the fastest horse in Barton County” to the Truman home and delivered a baby for John and Martha in a downstairs room measuring six feet, six inches by 10 feet, nine inches.

Two days later, Martha Truman recalled years later, a Baptist circuit rider, Washington Pease, stopped by the Truman home, held tiny Harry aloft with the sun shining on the child and proclaimed what a sturdy baby he was.

On June 5, 1884, Griffin recorded on the birth certificate that a son was born May 8 along with the name and age of John and Martha Truman and John’s occupation. The baby’s name was not recorded for nearly six decades.

After his son was born, John Truman commemorated the occasion by planting a pine tree beside their home and legend has it nailed a mule shoe above the door for good luck.

After debating what to call their son, John and Mattie elected to call him Harry after his uncle Harrison Young and gave him the middle initial “S” in honor of his grandfathers Solomon Young and Anderson Shippe Truman.

Harry S. Truman spent the first 10 months of his life in Lamar, leaving the community too young to have any memories of it, only stories that were told to him by his parents.

With the mule business failing, John, Martha, and their infant son said goodbye to Lamar in March 1885, selling the home and the barn for $1,600 and moved to Harrisonville, Missouri.

It would be another 39 years before Harry Truman returned to the city where he was born.

Friday, May 07, 2021

Pfizer vaccine clinic scheduled at Pineville Community Center


Agenda posted for Carthage City Council meeting


Joplin man sentenced to 19 years for role in meth trafficking conspiracy

A federal judge sentenced a Joplin man to serve 19 years and four months in prison for his role in a meth trafficking conspiracy.

According to court records, Johnny T. Taylor, 33, Joplin, was involved with others in distributing more than 500 grams of methamphetamine May 6, 2017 in Newton County.

As part of the plea agreement, a second count, accusing him of using United Parcel Service for the meth distribution was dismissed.

City Council, R-8, MSSU, Chamber officials to discuss Project Launchpad


Bill White's military affairs bill headed to governor

(From Sen. Bill White, R-Joplin)

State Sen. Bill White, R-Joplin, recently announced his military affairs legislation, Senate Bill 120, was “Truly Agreed and Finally Passed” on May 5, and now awaits the governor’s signature to become law. 

The measure, in part, follows recommendations from the U.S. Department of Defense, and pending voter approval, will create the Missouri Department of the National Guard. The bill designates November as Military Family Month and creates the option for Purple Star Campuses within school districts. 

Additionally, it corrects the language for a “surviving spouse” in the retirement system. Senate Bill 120 also grants an interview for Missouri National Guard members applying for state jobs, adds veteran questions to state forms to help connect them to services and enacts several other provisions.

“We owe our military men and women so much for serving our country and protecting our freedom,” said Sen. White. “While we can never fully repay them for their sacrifices, this bill helps to demonstrate our gratitude by simplifying and increasing access to services.”

Thursday, May 06, 2021

COVID vaccination clinic planned in Carl Junction


Missouri lawmakers agree on more money for hospitals, higher education

By Rudi Keller

Hospitals, higher education and people who owe the state money from mistakenly paid unemployment benefits were the winners Wednesday in state budget negotiations.

There’s also extra money to help defendants in limbo because they are on public defender waiting lists and federal COVID-19 relief funds from the American Rescue Plan to help homeowners and renters behind on payments due to lost income.

(Photo- House Budget Chairman Cody Smith, R-Carthage, left, and Senate Appropriations Chairman Dan Hegeman confer with legislative staff during a conference committee hearing on the state budget on May, 5, 2021- by Tim Bommel/Missouri House Communications).

For most of eight hours, conference committee members decided the fate of small and large spending items among the $3.1 billion in differences between the House and Senate. The final figures weren’t immediately available, but the final total will be much closer to the Senate’s $35.1 billion budget than the $32 billion version approved in the House.

The biggest item requested by Gov. Mike Parson and left out of the budget is $1.9 billion, including $130 million in general revenue, for Medicaid expansion to provide coverage for 275,000 working-age adults. The voter-approved measure is supposed to take effect July 1 and supporters have vowed to sue the state if Parson refuses to provide benefits without a specific appropriation.

Floor votes on the final bills are expected Thursday, but both chambers are also scheduled to meet Friday. Lawmakers have until 6 p.m. Friday to pass budget bills.

Major items approved by conferees Wednesday include:

$50 million to offset revenue losses to hospitals from a new Outpatient Simplified Fee Schedule set to go into effect July 1.

$24.2 million for higher education institutions, including a 3.7 percent increase in aid to four-year universities, an extra $7 million for community colleges and $2 million in new support for the State Technical College of Missouri.

$48 million to cover the debts of thousands of Missourians who mistakenly were paid unemployment benefits during 2020 after losing work for COVID-19 related business shutdowns.

$142 million for mortgage help and $442 million for rental assistance to prevent foreclosures and evictions for people who have lost income during the pandemic.

Like most budget conference negotiations, most of the decisions were made by House Budget Committee Chairman Cody Smith, R-Carthage, and Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Dan Hegeman, R-Cosby.

Early in the day, some members became frustrated when Smith said he would not allow the 10-member committee to take roll call votes on individual budget items to change decisions he and Hegeman had already made.

“This is a conference committee and the point of a conference committee is to give representation to a number of people, not just two,” state Rep. Ingrid Burnett, D-Kansas City, said.

But throughout the day, both Smith and Hegeman showed they could be persuaded to change their minds. In the Department of Transportation budget, the issue was Amtrak and the twice-daily Missouri River Runner train between St. Louis and Kansas City.

The state has been behind on payments to the national passenger rail carrier since 2010, and Smith wanted to limit the service to one train each day to cut costs. Instead, after a lengthy discussion, he agreed to take out the limit and leave language that the state would not obligate itself for more than the $10.8 million in the budget.

“It is the management of this service that is most important here,” Smith said.

The higher education funding increase is designed to cover inflation over the past two years. When the pandemic hit in March 2020 and state revenues plummeted, Parson withheld $140 million in state support, money that was offset in part by federal aid in the CARES Act.

The extra money for higher education included a $2 million appropriation for Missouri Southern State University because it has the lowest support, per pupil, among four-year universities.

That sparked a discussion of whether money is being fairly distributed. Each year, most extra funding for higher education institutions is divided by giving each the same percentage increase.

“I would love for anyone to establish a formula we could use to rectify this,” Smith said.

The budget votes Thursday are unlikely to be the last this year on spending items. With more than $2.8 billion in revenue support coming to Missouri from the American Rescue Plan, lawmakers expect to meet in special session, perhaps more than once, to spend it.

Rudi Keller covers the state budget, energy and the legislature. He’s spent 22 of his 30 years in journalism covering Missouri government and politics, most recently as the news editor of the Columbia Daily Tribune. Keller has won awards for spot news and investigative reporting.

Missouri House passes bill criminalizing blocking roadways during protests

By Tessa Weinberg

A bill criminalizing protesters that intentionally block roadways and shielding police disciplinary records from public view grew even more controversial on Tuesday, with the House adding dozens of amendments before sending it back to the Senate for consideration.

Senate Bill 26, which was inspired by protests nationwide this summer decrying police brutality, also sought to prevent municipalities from cutting law enforcement budgets by more than 12 percent over five years.

But by the end of the more than five-hour debate, roughly 40 amendments were tacked onto the bill, ranging from outlawing police chokeholds to curbing Kansas City’s residency requirements for officers to allowing firearms to be carried into houses of worship without the congregation’s consent.

The legislation passed by a vote of 98 in favor to 50 against. It now goes back to the Senate, where it’s likely headed to a conference committee, where members of both chambers will meet to work out the differences in the bill and reach a consensus.

Under the bill, a person’s first offense of “unlawful traffic interference” would be an infraction, the second would be a misdemeanor and the third would be a felony. Supporters of the legislation said their intention was to protect safety and ensure law enforcement can effectively do their jobs.

“We’re trying to protect not only those wanting to lawfully protest,” said Rep. Nick Schroer, R-O’Fallon, “but we’re also trying to protect the people that are using the interstates in the way that they should be used, and that’s traversing back and forth at very high rates of speed.”

Meanwhile, opponents said it would not serve to curb protests but criminalize Black residents in their communities.

“If it was not for Ferguson, if it was not for Jason Stockley, if it was not for the death of Sandra Bland, Tamir Rice, we wouldn’t be talking about criminal justice reform,” said Rep. Rasheen Aldridge, D-St. Louis. “It’s sickening that we sit up here and try to act like all these amendments from the bill handler is to address criminal justice reform. It is not. It has a direct impact on people that look like me.”

While attempts to restrict qualified immunity and require the duty to intervene failed, lawmakers were able to tack on provisions intended to further other criminal justice reforms.

In June 2018, Missouri passed a law to stop automatically charging 17-year-olds as adults. But it has yet to go into effect throughout most of the state as a majority of Missouri prosecutors say the law is contingent on funding.

Rep. David Evans, R-West Plains, added language that would clarify the law and work to ensure its uniform implementation statewide. It contains an emergency clause which would go into effect upon the bill’s passage.

Under another provision added by Rep. Mark Sharp, D-Kansas City, minors who have served at least 15 years of their sentence would be eligible for parole, except in certain cases like murder in the first degree.

The amendment was inspired by Bobby Bostic, who was sentenced to 241 years in prison when he was 16 after he and a friend committed a pair of armed robberies in 1995.

“When we look at our juveniles, I think the real question is, what is the point of sentencing?” Sharp said. “Are we trying to reform these individuals or are we just trying to put them away?”

But Rep. Raychel Proudie, D-Ferguson, said that while she liked the amendment, she would be voting against it — and every amendment offered to the bill — because the underlying bill “is trash in my opinion.”

“If we stand for nothing, we should stand for integrity in this building,” Proudie said, later adding: “I have the privilege of representing Ferguson, Mo. And no matter how you feel about what happened in 2014, folks were availing themselves of their democratic right to protest.”

Lawmakers continued to clash as they fought to add amendments, some of which had not been standalone bills that had moved through the process.

Rep. Shamed Dogan, R-Ballwin, added an amendment that would ban police officers’ use of chokeholds on someone’s neck to limit air flow, unless in defense of serious physical injury or death, and also prohibit officers from engaging in “sexual conduct” with someone who is detained or held in custody.

Both provisions are also included in Senate Bill 53, which was paired with a controversial measure to repeal a requirement that Kansas City police officers reside within the city. The bill was passed out of the House Wednesday afternoon by a vote of 138 in favor and 11 against. Four members voted present.

Rep. Bennie Cook, R-Houston, attempted to add language to Dogan’s amendment that would require those convicted of assault in the second degree of a law enforcement officer, or other “special victims,” serve at least 85 percent of their sentence.

“I’m just trying to protect law enforcement,” Cook said.

Rep. Kevin Windham, D-Hillsdale, noted the bill already restricts eligibility for probation in instances of felony convictions where the victim is a law enforcement officer. While Schroer said preventing attacks on law enforcement officers is needed, “I don’t want something to get on that’ll ultimately kill the bill.”

Cook ultimately withdrew his amendment, while Dogan’s passed 111 in favor to 34 against.

The bill also includes what’s been dubbed a “bill of rights” for law enforcement, that would require law enforcement agencies give officers notice of an alleged violation. Police chiefs have argued such provisions could jeopardize investigations.

Tessa Weinberg covers education, health care and the legislature. She previously covered the Missouri statehouse for The Kansas City Star and The Columbia Missourian, where her reporting into social media use by the governor prompted an investigation by the Attorney General’s office. She most recently covered state government in Texas for The Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

Agenda posted for Joplin City Council work session

MONDAY, MAY 10, 2021
5:45 P.M.

Notice is hereby given that the City Council of the City of Joplin, Missouri, will hold a
Work Session beginning at 5:45 p.m. on Monday, March 8, 2021 in the 5th 
Floor Council Chambers, 602. S. Main Street to discuss the topics below.

This meeting can be viewed via livestream at http://www.joplinmo.org/182/Video-Multimedia  



Report From The Finance Committee Regarding Memorial Hall


Recommendation From The Parks & Stormwater Citizens Committee


Finalization Of Action Plans


Preview Proposed Ballots


Review And Discussion Of The Use Tax Citizen Committee



Parson: National Guard will scale back COVID-19 support

(From Gov. Mike Parson)

As demand for the COVID-19 vaccine has significantly decreased in recent weeks, Governor Mike Parson announced the Missouri National Guard (MONG) has begun scaling back its involvement at mass vaccination site locations in May. The drawdown of National Guard members is set to be completed by June 1, 2021.

“We are in a far different situation today than we were just a couple months ago. In the beginning, vaccine demand far outweighed vaccine supply. Now, we are seeing the reverse of that, and the need for large scale vaccination events has lessened,” Governor Parson said. 

“Missouri is in a good place on the vaccine front, and that is thanks in large part to the tireless efforts of our National Guard members to get vaccines into the arms of Missourians. We couldn't be more thankful for the hard work of these dedicated men and women over the past several months.”

State-supported vaccination teams have conducted hundreds of vaccine clinics and administered more than 382,000 vaccines, representing nearly 10 percent of total vaccines administered across Missouri.

Recently, state-supported vaccination teams and other vaccinators have experienced sharp reductions in COVID-19 vaccine demand – a trend that is occurring across the nation. As a result, the state has begun a phased approach to reduce state-supported lines of effort, particularly those utilizing the MONG.

The MONG will continue the work of its Targeted Vaccination Teams in St. Louis and Kansas City. Guard members will also continue to assist in staffing the Department of Health and Senior Services' COVID-19 Hotline and provide support for Missouri food banks and food pantries.

There are no plans to cancel currently scheduled state-supported vaccination events in May. However, operations will begin to shift so that a full withdraw of MONG members can be achieved by June 1. Local partners, along with AmeriCorps, FEMA vaccinators, and the Missouri Disaster Medical Assistance Team, will assist as needed with assignments previously filled by Guard members.

The State Emergency Management Agency will continue to supply PPE for local events and will also continue its efforts in providing clinical and non-clinical volunteers as needed for local events.

The state is also working with vaccinators across Missouri, including health care systems, pharmacies, local public health agencies, and other community providers, to promote more convenience-driven vaccine options for Missourians like walk-up availability and extended hours of operation.

Data shows that 80 percent of Missourians have access to a COVID-19 vaccine within a five mile radius of where they reside. This is due to the vast network of local vaccine providers across the state of Missouri.

“Vaccines are readily available all across the state, and Missourians can often walk right into their local pharmacy and receive a shot. With universal vaccine availability and decreased interest at our mass vaccination events, scaling back our state-supported teams is the right decision for the most efficient use of our resources,” Governor Parson said. “We will continue to educate Missourians on the safety and effectiveness of the vaccine so that those who have not yet chosen to be vaccinated may join the millions of other Missourians who have.”

In total, more than 4 million vaccine doses have been administered in Missouri, nearly 2.4 million Missourians have initiated vaccination, and more than 1.8 million Missourians have been fully vaccinated. Missouri's dashboard shows that over 38 percent of all Missourians have initiated vaccination, and nearly 50 percent of Missourians 18 and older have received at least one dose.

Of Missourians 65 and older – some of the most vulnerable Missourians – nearly 66 percent have been fully vaccinated, and 76 percent have received at least one dose.

Missourians can visit MOStopsCOVID.com for more information about the vaccine or call the Missouri COVID-19 hotline at 877-435-8411 for additional information and assistance. Missourians can also use VaccineFinder.org to find vaccinators in their area with available vaccine and specific vaccine type.