Saturday, January 30, 2021

Jason Smith: Despite celebrities, big money, liberal politicians Americans support pro-life movement

This week marks the 48th anniversary of the Supreme Court’s devastating decision on Roe v. Wade, which legalized abortion throughout our country. 

In the years following the court’s misguided ruling, more than 60 million innocent lives have been lost - more than the entire population of the State of California. 

While this issue is deeply personal, it also speaks to the character of our nation. America should be a nation that values all innocent life.

As a person of faith, protecting innocent life is something I will never stop defending. Pro-life Americans have lots to be grateful for over the last four years, from making it harder for Planned Parenthood to provide abortion services to ensuring strong protections against taxpayer funds being used to support abortions. 

In the past week, President Biden began removing these restrictions by executive order, which will cause the death toll of the unborn to rise. The president ended the “Mexico City Policy,” which will result in American tax dollars going to foreign organizations that support abortions and reversed the prohibition on Title X family planning funding from being issued to doctors performing abortions. As a member of the Pro-Life Caucus, I joined 108 of my colleagues in urging the president to reverse these egregious decisions.

This week, I was proud to author the No Abortion Bonds Act, which would close a loophole that allows pro-abortion organizations to utilize tax-exempt bonds to finance abortion provider offices and clinics. This is undoubtedly the exploitation of taxpayer dollars, something that’s prohibited by federal law, but that Biden and his Administration seemed determined to change.

I am also a coauthor of an incredibly important bill, the Born Alive Abortion Survivor Protection Act, which will protect babies who survive an abortion procedure by ensuring that the baby receives immediate medical care and is admitted to a hospital. This bill will save the lives of defenseless infants who cannot defend themselves.

I often reflect on the words of Gianna Jessen, a pro-life advocate who was herself marked for death but miraculously survived her planned abortion. She said that “God has a way of making the most miserable things beautiful.”

Gianna has had a life filled of uphill battles and complications from the attempted abortion, but she has courageously chosen to dedicate her life to fighting for the unborn and their right to life.

However, despite the celebrities, big money and liberal politicians, Americans are banding together in support of the pro-life movement. Just today, thousands of Americans gathered on the streets of Washington to give a voice to the voiceless.

As miserable as Washington can be, it’s seeing millions of people together on an issue that Democrats wish we would be quiet about that gives me the inspiration to continue the fight to defend life and protect hardworking Missourians’ values.

Person of interest in Becci Sanders murder dead from apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound

The Cullman, Alabama, man termed by the Jasper County Sheriff's Office as a person of interest in the January 13 murder of Becci Sanders, 46, Sarcoxie, is dead.

In a news release issued this evening, the Sheriff's Office said the body of Justin Chase Stevens, 34, was found in a Cullman residence, dead from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound.

At approximately 4:00 PM, 01-30-2021, Cullman County Sheriff’s deputies were advised of a possible location of Justin Chase Stevens. 

The information received was that he was staying in the garage of a residence. Deputies surrounded the house and attempted to call him out. 

After not responding to requests to exit the residence, deputies went into the garage and found Stevens dead of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound. The next of kin has been notified.

The Jasper County Sheriff’s Office is appreciative of the assistance from various law enforcement agencies throughout the course of this investigation.

Stevens arrived in Sarcoxie January 1 after crashing a car on I-44. He was given a ride to the Kum and Go and fled on foot from there due to being a suspect in a sex crimes against children investigation in Alabama.

Sarcoxie Police Department posted a Facebook message asking the public to keep an eye out for Stevens.

Justin Chase Stevens, 34 year old white male, 6'1", 175 pounds, brown buzz cut, and blue eyes. Last seen walking into the woods, prior to law enforcement arrival, west of Kum & Go wearing a black hoodie and blue jeans.

Stevens has made suicidal statements and said that he was not going to prison for an investigation stemming from Alabama. 

Stevens is armed, do not approach, and immediately call local law enforcement.

In response to a question in the comment section of that post about why officers did not attempt to track Stevens, the Sarcoxie Police responded:

As far as tracking him, our department, as well as County and State deliberated for some time that going in after him with no charges or warrants, could have led to a bad end. It was safer for all involved to not pursue in ice covered underbrush, falling limbs, and the potential of having to use force against the subject or injuring ourselves.

Deputies discovered the body of Sanders, 46, when they responded to a medical call at 2755 High Street, Sarcoxie, 8:58 p.m. January 13.

Her vehicle, a gray 2015 Subaru Legacy was reported missing at the time. It was not long after that the Jasper County Sheriff's Office said it was searching for Stevens as a person of interest.

Stevens used a stolen debit card belonging to Sanders when he used two vending machines in Springfield, Illinois the day after her death, according to a probable cause statement filed in Jasper County Circuit Court, where he was charged with two counts of felony stealing.

Surveillance video enabled Jasper County deputies to identify Stevens.

The car Stevens was driving, according to the probable cause statement, was Sanders' 2015 Subaru Legacy.

In a news release issued January 15, the Jasper County Sheriff's Office reported the vehicle was found abandoned in Warren County, Kentucky.

Billy Long encourages President Biden not to leave rural America behind with relief package

(From Seventh District Congressman Billy Long)

To paraphrase a quote attributed to the late Sen. Everett Dirksen ‘A trillion here and a trillion there and pretty soon you’re talking about real money!’ 

Just over a month ago, Congress passed a $900 billion phase 4 COVID-19 relief package to provide critical relief to the American people. Before these funds have even been expended, President Biden is proposing a massive $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief package. While there are items in this proposal that I would agree with and would be happy to work with the President on, there are some things that are extremely concerning.

When the CARES Act was first passed, it included a provision to supplement unemployment benefits with an additional $600 per week. This was critical in the outset of this pandemic as many businesses were forced to close their doors through no fault of their own. 

During this time, I heard from many concerned small business owners that their businesses were opening again but their employees were not coming back to work because they were getting paid more to stay home. This is worrisome because Washington should be encouraging people to get back to work, not to stay home. That is why Democrats and Republicans agreed to lower the supplemental benefit to $300 weekly. 

The Biden plan increases that benefit, ultimately encouraging many Americans to stay home and collect unemployment rather than return to work. This not only hurts small businesses that are trying to get on their feet again, but it hurts the economy by causing millions of people to file unemployment claims rather than return to work.

Another damaging provision in President Biden’s package is an increase in the minimum wage. This would be an increased cost on small businesses at a bad time and would cause some restaurants to increase their wages by 700 percent. 

The fact of the matter is the cost of living throughout the United States varies greatly and the minimum wage should reflect that. Raising the minimum wage in Chicago to $15 may not have as detrimental of an impact on small businesses there, but raising it to $15 in southwest Missouri where the cost of living is significantly lower will be devastating to many small businesses and could force many who are barely hanging on through this pandemic to close their doors permanently. 

A MO-7 constituent recently told me he’d love to pay $15 an hour to his employees but in order to find qualified reliable help, he currently pays $22 an hour and still has problems running full crews. You see, I believe supply and demand should dictate wage levels, not arbitrary edicts being handed down by those in their ivory towers in the nation’s capital.

While these and other economic provisions in President Biden’s plan are troubling, there are areas where we can work in a bipartisan fashion. Specifically, his provisions relating to health. Increased funding for vaccine distribution is critical to ensuring states can continue to vaccinate at their current rates. 

Additionally, his plan would provide more funding for personal protective equipment (PPE), and expand testing even further. These health provisions are something Republicans and Democrats can agree on and I believe that there is plenty of room to work out an agreement on provisions like these.

Another positive coming from President Biden’s package is that it finally gets Democrats on board with reopening schools. For months, Republicans have been urging Democrats on the federal and state level to work to reopen schools, but our pleas fell on deaf ears. President Biden’s plan includes funding that schools can use to reopen and has finally brought Democrats on board with the prospect of getting kids back to school in a safe and responsible manner.

The $1.9 trillion price tag on President Biden’s relief package is extremely hefty and many aspects have been covered in previous relief packages that do not need to be included in this plan. President Biden’s plan can serve as a good starting point for a great bipartisan package, but all indications show that President Biden and Congressional Democrats plan to cut Republicans out of the process completely by forcing this package through with budget reconciliation, an expedited process that limits debate. 

The economic provisions in this package are certainly troubling, and while these provisions would benefit urban America, they will greatly damage rural America. There is plenty here that Republicans and Democrats can work together on, and I hope President Biden proves that he is the unifier he says he will be by including Republicans in the process and not leaving rural America behind with this relief package.

Missouri takes steps toward tightening accountability for law enforcement

By Rebecca Rivas

Brian Williams (pictured) grew up in Ferguson, where Michael Brown Jr.’s shooting death sparked a national movement for police accountability in 2014.

Four years later, he was elected to the Missouri Senate as a Democrat representing his hometown district.

Williams, now 37, recalls times of being pulled over for “just driving while black.”

“I was handcuffed on the sidewalk, and my constitutional rights were violated,” he said. “That was business as usual growing up in Ferguson, in North County.”

His experiences, Williams said, aren’t unique.

“That’s what motivates me today to not only fight for police accountability,” he said, “but also make sure we build trust and ultimately provide an opportunity to have good officers and eliminate the bad ones.”

While Missouri activists have led the national call for “re-envisioning public safety” since 2014, the state has not led in passing legislation or policies that would address police misconduct.

But there has been recent movement.

In December, the Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST) Commission recommended requiring background checks for officers, as well as holding law enforcement leadership accountable for who they hire.

The move addresses one of the biggest challenges in holding officers accountable — making sure officers who are fired or under investigation in one agency aren’t able to hop jobs to another agency.

Williams hopes to take the POST Commission’s actions a step further, with legislation that would prevent police chiefs and sheriffs from being sued if they disclose information about former employees who were disciplined for misconduct.

“This offers the protection needed to complete a comprehensive background investigation,” said Jefferson County Sheriff Dave Marshak, who sits on the POST Commission.

Williams’ bill also would ban chokeholds, specifically neck restraints that restrict air flow, and would prohibit an officer from having “sexual conduct” with someone they’ve detained or who is being held in jail.

Unlike previous attempts at enacting police reforms, Williams’ bill was lauded by numerous law enforcement groups at a Senate hearing on Monday.

It gives advocates and other legislators hope that these same leaders will be able to collaborate on other legislation, including a Senate bill to establish a statewide use-of-force database.

Marshak agrees with the idea of requiring every agency to submit its data to the F.B.I.’s Use of Force Data Collection. Participation is currently voluntary. But he said creating a database at the state level would require a lot of input from law enforcement officials.

“I would support gathering data at the state level if it was done correctly and accounted for the diversity of force encounters,” Marshak said.

A ban on chokeholds

“There’s more that unites us than divides us,” Williams said during the Senate hearing.

That statement was echoed by both police union leaders and NAACP representatives who testified in support of his bill.

Brad Lemon, president of the Kansas City Fraternal Order of Police (FOP), said of Williams’ bill, “Our FOP truly supports this and hopes this gets through quickly.”

If the bill passes, Missouri would join 14 other states and the District of Columbia in banning chokeholds, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Lemon noted that restraints that restrict air flow are already prohibited at the Kansas City Police Department.

“If this passes and someone uses (a chokehold,) they’d be subject to termination,” said Lemon. “Then the prosecutor could review it for criminal charges.”

Williams’ legislation also provides a level of immunity for police chiefs and sheriffs to disclose “bad police officers who are doing the wrong thing in the community,” he said.

No vote was taken during the hearing, but the Judicial and Civil and Criminal Jurisprudence Committee will likely vote on the bill next week, said Sen. Steve Roberts, D-St. Louis, one of the committee members.

While many celebrated the collaboration, the version of the bill that the committee heard on Monday was considerably pared down from the original.

The introduced bill included eliminating no-knock search warrants, a measure that one other state has passed after Louisville officers shot and killed 26-year-old Breonna Taylor in a house raid.

Also removed from the original bill was a provision mandating that law enforcement agencies have policies on investigating officer-involved deaths. It would’ve required officers to intervene when other officers are inappropriately using physical force, and law enforcement agencies to report each use of excessive force to the attorney general. And law enforcement agencies would not have been able to obtain certain military surplus equipment from the federal government.

While he didn’t get everything he wanted in the bill, Williams said it was still a tremendous feat being a Democrat in a Republican-dominated legislature to earn the level of support he has thus far.

“If you were to put this story in front of anybody in the world,” he said, “they would think it was impossible.”

Many of the deleted provisions are in bills on the House side introduced by Rep. Rasheen Aldridge, D-St. Louis, Rep. Shamed Dogan, R- St. Louis County.

All three legislators are all collaborating, they said.

“It’s our intention to keep in touch to make sure we are on the same page,” Dogan said.

Aldridge’s bill goes a step further than Dogan’s in banning neck restraints that both restrict airflow and blood flow.

“Any blood or air that’s cut off to the brain can be deadly,” Aldridge said.

Police departments in St. Louis County and city banned all chokeholds and neck restraints more than a decade ago. The Kansas City Police Department still uses the lateral vascular neck restraint that restricts blood flow and makes individuals pass out, though some groups are advocating to change that.

Use-of-force database

Requiring law enforcement agencies to submit use of force data to the F.B.I. is a “no brainer,” said Marshak, sheriff of Jefferson County.

It’s free to Missouri, he said, wouldn’t be much extra work for local jurisdictions and it’s supported universally by the National Sheriffs Association and the International Association of Chiefs of Police.

The drawback is that the F.B.I. doesn’t regularly report the data to the public.

In June, President Donald Trump signed an executive order requiring the U.S. Attorney General’s Office to establish a national use of force database — an action also taken by President Clinton in 1994.

A bill sponsored by state Sen. Steve Roberts, D-St. Louis, (pictured) would require the Missouri Attorney General Office to compile a use-of-force database and produce an annual report of how each agency in the state fared.

Missouri’s database could eventually feed into the national database. However, Marshak said the discussion needs to be focused on definitions and what counts as use of force.

“Currently, there are no national standards on use of force,” he said, “so structure from the national level and state level would have benefits.”

In Jefferson County alone, Marshak said many agencies have varying definitions for what “use of force” is, as well as how and when they are documented.

“Standardization could be productive, assuming it’s done right,” he said. “Without comprehensive data, critics will use portions of the data to argue for their one-sided narrative.”

Roberts has given his bill to the FOP to review and provide input, he said. He also recognizes that establishing a state database would not be free like participating in the F.B.I.’s database.

But he said, “Transparency is important, and that is something that our citizens deserve.”

Roberts expects his bill to get committee hearing next week.

Background checks

On Dec. 15, the POST Commission voted to approve four recommendations that intend to increase transparency in hiring law enforcement officers.

First, every POST licensee will be required to register and participate in the Missouri Rap Back program, which is also used for background checks on Missouri teachers.

According to POST program director Jeremy Spratt, about 15,000 police officers in the state are not registered with the program.

“While some agencies have layers of checks and balances, most do not,” said Marshak, who presented the subcommittee’s recommendations to the full commission during the Dec. 15 meeting.

Secondly, all candidates seeking licensing from POST will be required to sign and submit the background waiver form, which will allow potential law enforcement employers the opportunity to conduct background investigations.

“Currently, that’s not a requirement, and many law enforcement CEOs are reluctant to release information about police officers,” Marshak said. “And the state may be reluctant to share that information as well for liability reasons.”

The third recommendation requires a “letter of acknowledgement” from the agency CEO that they have conducted a background investigation, reviewed the POST discipline report and acknowledged who they are hiring.

“This gets to the issue that all too often law enforcement agencies continue to hire problem police officers that jump from one department to another to another while there’s an open investigation,” Marshak said. Sometimes agency CEOs hire “problem officers” not knowing of their background because they need to hire officers quickly. This will require them to take a step back first.

And finally, a person won’t be able to obtain a license in Missouri if it’s been revoked in another state.

“If you’re not good enough to be a commissioned police officer in another state,” he said, “we all collectively agree that maybe you shouldn’t be a police officer in the state of Missouri.”

Sandy Karsten, director of the Missouri Department of Public Safety, will now look into what it will take to implement these recommendations, a DPS spokesman said.

Rebecca Rivas covers civil rights, criminal justice and immigration. She has been reporting in Missouri since 2001, most recently as senior reporter and video producer at the St. Louis American, the nation's leading African-American newspaper.

Friday, January 29, 2021

Federal grand jury indicts Rita Glasgow, three others on meth conspiracy, trafficking charges

A federal grand jury has indicted a Joplin woman and three men on meth conspiracy charges.

The indictment, which was unsealed today in U. S. District Court for the Western District of Missouri, alleges Rita Michelle Glasgow, 30, Joplin, William D. Johnson, 46, Joplin, Douglas S. Ward, 32, and Joshua T. Davenport, 39, were involved in a meth trafficking conspiracy in Newton and Greene counties between May 20, 2019 and September 28, 2019.

Glasgow remains in the Jasper County Jail being held without bond on the federal charge while also awaiting trial on two felony charges of driving while intoxicated (deaths of two people) possession of a controlled substance and tampering with a motor vehicle for her actions on January 4 when she allegedly drove a stolen vehicle into the crowded intersection at 28th Street and Connecticut and rammed into an SUV, killing Terry Copple, 55, and Rhonda Copple, 48, of Joplin.

Glasgow's federal indictment charges her with one count of conspiracy to distribute meth and two counts of possession with intent to distribute.

Glasgow will be arraigned and have a detention hearing Wednesday in Springfield.

Thursday, January 28, 2021

Oklahoma reports 35 COVID-19 deaths

(From the Oklahoma State Department of Health)

As of this advisory, there are 381,430 cases of COVID-19 in Oklahoma.

2,626 is today's 7-day rolling average for the number of new cases reported.

There are 35 additional deaths identified to report.

One in Bryan County, one female in the 50-64 age group.
Two in Caddo County, one female in the 50-64 age group, one male in the 65 and older age group.
One in Carter County, one female in the 50-64 age group.
One in Cleveland County, one male in the 65 or older age group.
Three in Creek County, one female in the 50-64 age group, one female in the 65 or older age group, one male in the 65 or older age group.
One in Garvin County, one male in the 65 or older age group.

One in Johnston County, one female in the 65 or older age group.
One in Kay County, one male in the 65 or older age group.
One in Kingfisher County, one female in the 65 or older age group.
One in Le Flore County, one male in the 65 or older age group.
One in McClain County, one male in the 50-64 age group.
Three in Muskogee County, one female in the 65 or older age group, two males in the 65 or older age group.

One in Nowata County, one male in the 50-64 age group.
Four in Oklahoma County, two females in the 65 or older age group, one male in the 50-64 age group, one male in the 65 or older age group.
One in Pottawatomie County, one male in the 65 or older age group.
Two in Rogers County, two males in the 65 or older age group.
One in Stephens County, one female in the 50-64 age group.
Seven in Tulsa County, four females in the 65 or older age group, three males in the 65 or older age group.
One in Wagoner County, one male in the 65 or older age group.
One in Washington County, one female in the 65 or older age group.

There are 3,423 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

Joplin reports three COVID-19 deaths


The Joplin Health Department reported three deaths cue to COVID-19 today, raising the total to 115.

The victims were a 54-year-old man, a 71-year-old woman and a 73-year-old woman.

The number of new cases continued to drop with 13 confirmed, according to statistics posted on the city website Wednesday night. 

Joplin has reported 5,460 cases to date.

Agenda posted for Joplin City Council meeting

6:00 P.M.

This meeting can be viewed live on KGSC-TV channel 21 and regional cable systems including Sparklight in Joplin; or livestream at
In compliance with social distancing, the number of guests in the Council Chambers is limited to 45.


Call To Order

Pledge of Allegiance of the United States of America

Roll Call




Finalization Of Consent Agenda


Reports And Communications


Health Department Update


News From The Public Information Office


Citizen Requests And Petitions


Tom Robertson Requested To Speak On EAS For Joplin.


Public Hearings


Public Hearing Procedures



AN ORDINANCE amending Ordinance No. 2004-256, passed by the Council of the City of Joplin, Missouri, November 15, 2004, by removing from District R-1 (Single-family Residential) and include in District C-3 (Commercial) property as described below and located 2016 S. Prosperity Ave., City of Joplin, Jasper County, Missouri. Requested by Barry Brown (P & Z Recommended Approval).


AN ORDINANCE amending Ordinance No. 2004-256, passed by the Council of the City of  Joplin, Missouri, November 15, 2004, by removing from District R-2 (Two-family Residential) and include in District M-2 (Heavy Industrial) property as described below and located Approximately 375’ West and 200’ North of the intersection of W. 23rd St. and S. Walnut Ave., City of Joplin, Jasper County, Missouri. Requested by Dale Mitchell. (P & Z Recommended Approval).


AN ORDINANCE amending Ordinance No. 2004-256, passed by the Council of the City of Joplin, Missouri, November 15, 2004, by removing from District R-2 (Two-family Residential) and include in District R-1 (Single Family Residential) property as described below and located approximately 375’ West of the intersection of W. 23rd St. and S. Walnut Ave, City of Joplin, Jasper County, Missouri. Requested by Dale Mitchell. (P & Z Recommended Approval).



AN ORDINANCE amending Ordinance No. 2004-256, passed by the Council of the City of Joplin, Missouri, November 15, 2004, by removing from R-3-PD (Apartment House Planned Development) and include in District C-3 (Commercial) property as described below and located 3300 N Range Line Rd., City of Joplin, Jasper County, Missouri. Requested by Brookside Developers, Inc. (P & Z Recommended Approval).


AN ORDINANCE amending Ordinance No. 2004-256, passed by the Council of the City of Joplin, Missouri, November 15, 2004, by removing from M-1-PD (Restricted Industrial Planned Development) and include in District R-1 (Single-family Residential) property as described below and located 4409 Swede Ln., City of Joplin, Jasper County, Missouri. Requested by Alan Bemo (P & Z Recommended to Strike).


AN ORDINANCE amending Ordinance No. 2004-256, passed by the Council of the City of  Joplin, Missouri, November 15, 2004, by removing from M-1-PD (Restricted Industrial Planned Development) and include in District R-1 (Single-family Residential) property as described below and located 4330 & 4400 Swede Ln., City of Joplin, Jasper County, Missouri. Requested by Alan Bemo. (P & Z Recommended Approval).


Consent Agenda


Minutes Of The January 19, 2021 City Council Meeting



AN ORDINANCE approving an agreement with Waste Corporation of Missouri LLC (WCA) to provide trash and solid waste removal at city buildings and facilities and authorizing the City Manager or his designee to execute the same by and on behalf of the City of Joplin.

  1. CB2021-104.PDF


AN ORDINANCE approving an Agreement between the City of Joplin, Missouri, and Economic Security Corporation of Southwest Area that pertains to 2019 HOME funds; authorizing the City Manager or his designee to execute same on behalf of the City.

  1. CB2021-400.PDF


AN ORDINANCE authorizing the City of Joplin to enter into an Agreement with Olsson Associates for Transportation Planning Services relating to an Active Transportation Assessment for the City of Joplin.

  1. CB2021-401.PDF




A RESOLUTION authorizing the City Manager to submit a resolution of support and application to the Missouri Department of Transportation’s Transportation Alternatives Program for grant funding for the construction of Phase I of the Tin Cup Trail.

Ordinances - Emergency



AN ORDINANCE approving an agreement with Allied Services, LLC. to provide curbside trash and recycling pick-up for single-family and duplex residential living units and authorizing the City Manager or his designee to execute the same by and on behalf of the City of Joplin; and containing an emergency clause.


AN ORDINANCE approving a Purchase Order be issued to Heritage Tractor in the amount of One Hundred Twelve Thousand Five Hundred Fifty-Three and 96/100 Dollars ($112,553.96) for the purchase of a Cab Tractor and rotary deck; and, amending the Annual Budget of the City of Joplin for the Fiscal Year 2020-2021 as adopted by Ordinance 2020-156 on October 19, 2020; and containing an emergency clause.



AN ORDINANCE approving the contract by and between the City of Joplin and B&D Yardbuilders for the demolition of the structure(s) and clearing of lot area located at 823 W. 6TH St. in the City of Joplin, Missouri, for Two Thousand Six Hundred and 00/100 Dollars ($2,600.00); providing how the cost thereof shall be paid; how the assessment thereof shall be made; and containing an emergency clause.

Ordinances - First Reading



AN ORDINANCE approving a work authorization with Allgeier, Martin and Associates, Inc. in the not to exceed amount of Four Hundred Fifty Thousand, Six Hundred and 00/100 Dollars ($450,600.00) for the I-44 Interceptor Sewer Replacement (Phase 1) Project ; and authorizing the City Manager or his designee to execute the same by and on behalf of the City of Joplin.



AN ORDINANCE establishing grades and accepting the Final Plat of Thawakle Subdivision
located 3017 W. 26th Street. in the City of Joplin, Jasper County, Missouri.


Ordinances - Second Reading And Third Reading


Unfinished Business


New Business

Chad Greer appointed to Missouri Board of Architects

(From Sen. Bill White, R-Joplin)

On January 21, I was honored to sponsor Chad Greer’s appointment to the Missouri Board for Architects, Professional Engineers, Professional Land Surveyors and Professional Landscape Architects. 

His 20 plus years of experience with project management, design and field coordination will be a great asset to this board.

Parson announces new Office of Childhood

(From Gov. Mike Parson)

Today, Governor Mike Parson and the Departments of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE), Health and Senior Services (DHSS), and Social Services (DSS) announced the consolidation of several early childhood programs across state government into a single Office of Childhood.

The new office will be housed by DESE and provide a comprehensive approach to early childhood care and education, including all state programs related to child care, home visiting, early learning, and early intervention.

“Missouri families deserve the best early childhood system our state can provide,” Governor Parson said. “This is also a critical area of workforce development for our state. We must see to it that the workforce of tomorrow starts off on the right foot, and that means better support for Missouri children and their families.” 

Currently, DESE, DHSS, and DSS each provide various services for children and families. The transition to one office will streamline early childhood work across state government and ensure all Missouri children and families have access to more consistent, quality programs and services.

A cornerstone of this initiative, and a top priority for each participating department leader, is ensuring Missouri’s children are safe, healthy, and successful learners.

“Safe, stable, and nurturing environments are essential to prevent child abuse and neglect in the early years of a child’s life,” DSS Acting Director Jennifer Tidball said. “Feeling safe allows young children to build strong relationships, be confident, and reach their full potential.”

“Having good mental and physical health impacts children’s ability to be successful in school and in life,” DHSS Director Dr. Randall Williams said. “Social and emotional wellness allows young children to be resilient, to cope, and to grow into well-rounded adults. That all begins in early childhood.”

“The early years of a child’s life are truly the foundation for lifelong learning,” Commissioner of Education Margie Vandeven said. “We know that children enrolled in high-quality early learning programs achieve greater success in school and have improved health and lower crime rates as adults. To finish strong – with a capable future workforce – we must provide children with a strong start.”

The Office of Childhood will consist of approximately 145 employees across the state. No state employee positions are being eliminated due to this consolidation. Current funding will remain unchanged for the programs involved as well as private child care providers and public schools. The Office of Childhood will have an estimated Fiscal Year 2022 budget of approximately $660 million.

Governor Parson today signed Executive Order 21-01 officially establishing the new office, which will take effect on August 28, 2021, unless disapproved by the state legislature within 60 days.

For more information on the new Office of Childhood, please click here.

Wednesday, January 27, 2021

Jasper County confirms 60 COVID-19 cases

The Jasper County Health Department confirmed 60 COVID-19 cases in 24 hours, according to statistics posted today on the county's COVID-19 dashboard.

To date, the county has had 8,339 cases, including 230 active cases.

Twenty-three county residents have been hospitalized with coronavirus.

Jasper County has recorded 119 deaths due to COVID-19.

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

Agenda posted for Joplin R-8 Board Safety and Security Committee meeting

The Joplin R-8 Board of Education's Safety and Security Committee will meet 4:30 p.m. Thursday in the Memorial Administration Building.

The agenda is printed below:

A. Call to Order

B. Visitor Management System for Schools Selection

C. District Risk Management for Workplace Safety Report

D. Capital Outlay Focus on Safety Oriented Projects

E. Progress on Safety Director's Goals for FY 21

F. Adjourn

Joplin Health Department: COVID-19 drive-through vaccination clinic is full

It only took two hours for the Joplin Health Department to schedule 1,000 appointments for a drive-through COVID-19 vaccination clinic scheduled for Friday.

The following message was posted on the city's website and issued as a news release a few moments ago:

Friday, Jan. 29 vaccine clinic is full; Future clinics to be announced soon.

Nixa assistant principal arrested on child pornography, sexual exploitation of a child charges

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

An assistant principal at Nixa Junior High School in Nixa, Missouri, was charged in federal court today with the sexual exploitation of a child for the purpose of producing child pornography.

Colby Fronterhouse, 41, was charged in a criminal complaint filed in the U.S. District Court in Springfield, Mo., with one count of producing child pornography. Fronterhouse was employed at the junior high school at the time of the alleged offense.

According to an affidavit filed in support of the federal criminal complaint, a Christian County sheriff’s deputy was contacted by a 13-year-old child victim and his father in September 2020. 

The child victim, identified in court documents as “John Doe,” had been engaging in a series of text messages for approximately a week with Fronterhouse, whom the affidavit says posed as a 14-year-old girl. 

Fronterhouse, posing as a 14-year-old, allegedly encouraged John Doe to transmit sexually explicit images of himself to Fronterhouse, made specific requests for poses or types of images, and had sexually explicit conversations with John Doe.

Investigators learned that the phone used by Fronterhouse was a burner phone number with a Voice Over Internet Protocol (VoIP) account, the affidavit says, but they were able to trace the account to Fronterhouse. 

Officers executed a search warrant at Fronterhouse’s residence on Tuesday, Jan. 26, and he was arrested. Investigators seized Fronterhouse’s cell phone and found evidence linking his cell phone to the burner account. Investigators confirmed that Fronterhouse had access to the child victim’s cell phone number through school records.

The public’s assistance is being sought in this investigation. Anyone with information regarding additional potential victims is asked to contact Homeland Security Investigations Task Force Officer Joseph Fletcher at (417) 573-2606.

The charge contained in this complaint is simply an accusation, and not evidence of guilt. Evidence supporting the charge must be presented to a federal trial jury, whose duty is to determine guilt or innocence.

This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Stephanie L. Wan. It was investigated by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Office of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), the Southwest Missouri Cyber Crimes Task Force, the Greene County, Mo., Sheriff’s Department, and the Christian County, Mo., Sheriff’s Department.