Saturday, July 31, 2021

Billy Long: I will strongly oppose any budget legislation that increases our deficit

(From Seventh District Congressman Billy Long)

Inflation has reared its ugly head again and 88% of the public find that very concerning. You’ve heard the numbers and felt the impact in your wallets, but you may not know what has been causing it to surge. 

The cause of inflation can be summed up in only a few words: out-of-control spending. Since taking office, President Biden and the Democrats in Congress have sought to blow out the deficit whenever they have the chance. 

For proof, you only need to look at the radical budget proposal the White House released two months ago. It’s a proposal that would drastically run up spending for a progressive liberal wish list that would make Bernie Sanders blush. All of this while at the same time ignoring critical funding for our military and national security.

A quick glance at the numbers shows Biden's budget would spend almost $7 trillion, that's Trillion with a 'T' per year over the next 10 years, totaling $69 trillion in spending. 

President Biden wants to spend $7.2 trillion this year, nearly 33% of our Gross Domestic Product (GDP), which would be the highest peacetime spending level in American history. This budget would add $17 trillion to the national debt by 2031. 

This would bring the total national debt to $39 trillion, or 117% of the United States economy. Of course, whenever you talk about debt, you need to talk about interest. The interest payment on the debt would be $914 billion by 2031, which is more than the US will spend on Medicare this year.

My Dad also said, "they can put you in jail for failing to pay your taxes." Paying your taxes will become much more difficult with the almost certain tax increases that will be sold to the public as a way to help pay for all of this spending. 

President Biden’s administration continues to say that tax increases will not impact families earning less than $400,000 a year, but that is not the case. Whenever you raise the corporate tax rate the cost trickles down to employees and consumers and jobs are moved overseas. We saw this happen under the Obama administration. So, these radical tax increases will affect all Americans. 

Not to mention runaway inflation is most certainly a tax increase on all Americans from those living in abject poverty to those living in penthouses. The budget proposal would also allow the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 that I worked so hard on alongside President Trump to expire, which again would raise taxes on all most Americans.

So, what does President Biden want to spend all of this money on? Not national security. In a time where we are facing an unprecedented border crisis, this budget proposal would have no new money for the Department of Homeland Security. As a percentage of the economy, defense spending would be at its lowest level since World War II. While China and Russia are busy building up their armed forces to challenge the United States, President Biden would rather decrease defense spending so that he can spend money on taxpayer-funded abortions and radical Green New Deal policies.

If you want to see where someone’s priorities truly lie, you only need to look at how they spend their money, or in this case, the taxpayer’s money. Congress holds the purse strings and controls how our government’s money is spent. Over the next few months, we will see where the Democrat's priorities truly lie, simply by watching how they want to spend taxpayer dollars. If any budget proposal that increases our deficit comes up for a vote in the House of Representatives I will strongly oppose it.

Joplin's latest COVID-19 death is 46-year-old woman

The Joplin Health Department reported the city's 144th death due to COVID-19 Friday.

The victim was a 46-year-old woman.

From the Health Department's news release:

The City’s dashboard is now available. We appreciate everyone’s patience during the outage period. Please note additional area and state statistics are listed on the Missouri Department of Health COVID-19 dashboard . As Joplin Health Department continues to work with residents in our community, they remind everyone of the importance in taking self-care actions to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

If you are fully vaccinated, you can resume activities that you did prior to the pandemic. Fully vaccinated people can resume activities without wearing a mask or physically distancing, except where required by federal, state, local, tribal, or territorial laws, rules, and regulations, including local business and workplace guidance.

If you haven’t been vaccinated yet, you are encouraged to talk to your health care provider and find a vaccine. COVID-19 vaccines are effective at protecting you from getting sick. Information about the Covid vaccine and locations can be found on the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services website.

If you have a condition or are taking medications that weaken your immune system, you may NOT be fully protected even if you are fully vaccinated. Talk to your healthcare provider. Even after vaccination, you may need to continue taking all precautions, including social distancing and wearing a face mask in public.

The public is reminded to still watch out for symptoms of COVID-19, especially if you’ve been around someone who is sick. If you have symptoms of COVID-19, you should get tested and stay home and away from others. If you are experiencing symptoms, you should contact your health care provider for medical advice before presenting at their office. Testing information, as well as other COVID-related announcements can be found at More details about coronavirus is also listed at .

Springfield Public Schools requiring students, staff to wear masks

(From Springfield Public Schools)

Throughout the summer, vaccination rates in the community and region have remained low and Springfield has experienced an alarming surge in COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations and deaths. 

Most recently, updated masking guidance has been issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the American Academy of Pediatrics, encouraging a return to in-person learning five days a week with masking required for all students enrolled in grades pre-K through 12. This guidance is supported by the Springfield-Greene County Health Department, CoxHealth and Mercy.

As a result, in order to ensure students are able to learn in-person, five days a week, Springfield Public Schools will require students and staff to wear masks, effective immediately. This decision supports the goal of a safe start to the school year Aug. 23.

“We learned many important lessons about COVID-19 last year. Masking is effective in limiting the spread of the virus at school and reducing the number of cases required to quarantine,” explained Dr. Grenita Lathan, superintendent of SPS. “Keeping more students in school supports their learning and social development while allowing parents to work without frequent disruptions caused when students must quarantine at home following exposure. Our goal is to remove the masking requirement, in collaboration with public health experts, as soon as local data indicates it is appropriate. In the meantime, we will continue to monitor the impact of COVID-19 on our community and encourage all those over the age of 12 to be vaccinated now. Only by increasing vaccination rates can we hope to quickly return to the sense of normalcy that we all agree is needed.”

Missouri State Treasurer criticized federal pandemic spending after receiving $1.3 million in PPP loans

By Jason Hancock

When he announced he was running for state Auditor on Thursday, Missouri Treasurer Scott Fitzpatrick vowed to fight back against liberal politicians who have “used the pandemic as cover to justify spending trillions of dollars of borrowed money to fund their socialist agenda.”

What he failed to note was that the company he founded has been the recipient of more than $1.3 million of that federal pandemic relief funding.


MariCorp U.S, a boat dock repair firm on Table Rock Lake in Shell Knob that Fitzpatrick founded as a teenager, received two loans through the federal government’s Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) designed to help small businesses meet payroll during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The first loan, for $694,562 and received in April 2020, has been forgiven.

The status of the second loan, for $646,071 and received just three months ago, has not been publicly disclosed.

According to the database of PPP loans maintained by ProPublica, the first loan was to maintain 54 jobs. The second was to maintain 60 jobs. Loans can be forgiven if companies meet criteria that includes not laying off employees during a defined period.

Fitzpatrick’s campaign defended the federal funding, saying the loans were needed because “the government broke the economy, and MariCorp U.S., like millions of other businesses, was faced with laying off employees with families.”

The campaign drew a distinction between pandemic relief signed into law by former President Donald Trump and subsequent relief signed into law by President Joe Biden.

“There is a clear difference between the socialist proposals coming from liberal politicians and the Trump administration’s paycheck protection program, which received near unanimous support in Congress in order to keep people employed,” said Steele Shippy, Fitzpatrick’s campaign adviser.

PPP was established in April 2020 under the CARES Act. The goal was to provide aid to businesses in order to prevent mass layoffs as the economy faltered under the strain of the pandemic.

A year later, and a month before Fitzpatrick’s company got its second loan, Biden signed the American Rescue Plan, which extended the PPP program.

While some economists have questioned its success, arguing it primarily aided businesses that were not at risk of going under, the program gets credited with preventing millions of job losses and deeper economic catastrophe.

From nearly the beginning of the program, politicians — particularly members of Congress — have faced scrutiny for receiving PPP loans.

Last year, Republican U.S. Rep. Vicky Hartzler of Harrisonville — whose family owns multiple farms and equipment suppliers — also drew scrutiny for receiving PPP loans. The Kansas City Star reported earlier this month that Gov. Mike Parson received a $6,288 PPP loan for his cattle farm in Bolivar.

Fitzpatrick, 33, was appointed state treasurer and sworn into office in January 2019. The office was vacated by Eric Schmitt, who Parson appointed to serve as attorney general after the resignation of Josh Hawley to take a seat in the U.S. Senate.

He won a full term in November 2020, handily defeating Democrat Vicki Englund by 31 percentage points.

He announced he was running for state Auditor on Thursday, a day after donating $250,000 to his own campaign committee.

Shippy said MariCorp U.S. supports nearly 70 families and generates “millions of dollars in payroll and tax revenue each year.”

The company qualified for a PPP loan, Shippy said, and accepted the money in order to “protect the families relying on it for a paycheck.

“The company used every dollar of the funding received under the program to pay employees,” he said, “and thankfully has not laid off a single employee during the pandemic, despite the skyrocketing costs of labor and materials.”

(Photo by Tim Bommel, Missouri House Communications)

Walmart issues mask mandate for employees, offers $150 to those who receive COVID vaccinations

Walmart's corporate office sent the following message to all employees:

To: All U.S.-based associates
From: Donna Morris, Chief People Officer; Dr. Cheryl Pegus, Executive Vice President, Health and Wellness

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, the health and well-being of our associates continues to be our top priority.

This week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) updated their guidance regarding wearing masks due to the concerning levels of transmission of the Delta variant of the coronavirus. 

We remain focused on guidance issued by health experts, including the CDC, as well as state and local health departments. We will continue to follow the latest CDC guidance, which includes fully vaccinated people wearing masks in public indoor settings in areas of substantial or high transmission, effective immediately.

We continue to watch with deep concern the developments of the pandemic and the spread of variants, especially the Delta variant. We know vaccinations are our solution to drive change. We are urging you to get vaccinated and want to see many more of you vaccinated. We realize there is a small number of our associates who cannot get vaccinated due to medical issues or religious reasons.

We want to make the decision to get vaccinated as easy as possible:

It’s free. You can get the vaccine at no cost.

It’s accessible. You can get the vaccine at any of our more than 5,100 Walmart and Sam’s Club pharmacies. You can make an appointment through the schedulers, or you can simply walk into the pharmacy to get your shot. You can also get vaccinated at many other locations in your community.
We are paying associates in stores, clubs, transportation offices, distribution centers and fulfillment centers to receive it and are now DOUBLING the incentive amount. 

We have been paying associates $75 to get vaccinated and are now increasing that amount to $150 for associates in stores, clubs, TOs, DCs and FCs. This includes new associates on their first day in these roles at Walmart, even if they were vaccinated months ago. Associates who already received the $75 incentive will receive $75 more on their Aug. 19 paychecks. This incentive program will remain in place until Oct. 4, 2021.

You can be vaccinated while on the clock and receive two hours of paid time off to do so, whether at our locations or if you get vaccinated elsewhere.

We are providing up to three days paid leave for any possible adverse reactions to the vaccine. Our COVID-19 leave policy is also still in place.

As a country, vaccination options have been available for months, but, unfortunately, because so many people have chosen not to receive it, we’ve left ourselves more vulnerable to variants. The Delta variant is a mutation of the original COVID-19 virus and is much more aggressive and transmissible. It is important that necessary steps are taken to keep ourselves and our communities safe.

Next Steps

We will implement a new process for verification of vaccine status for U.S. associates (subject to local legal requirements). This will aid us in following CDC guidelines regarding wearing masks in high transmission areas, and other CDC recommendations more closely. We will share more specific details about this process in the near future. Please note we’ll also continue our daily health screening process for all associates to work in a Walmart or Sam’s Club facility, DC, FC or our campus offices.

As mentioned, we will follow CDC guidance, which includes fully vaccinated people wearing masks in public indoor settings in counties with substantial or high transmission. In these counties and where there are state or local mask mandates, associates will be required to wear masks inside our facilities, including stores, clubs, distribution centers and fulfillment centers. This also includes campus offices, and you’ll note the entire state of Arkansas is currently included. To keep you updated on the most recent status:

You can find the county-by-county breakdown here. The CDC updates its data on transmission rates weekly, so the guidance on mask usage is likely to change over time in different locations. Leaders should regularly check the CDC site to confirm updates to their areas.
Store and club management will also receive notifications on Mondays.
Facility managers will also post signage at our stores and clubs to remind customers and members about the CDC’s revised guidance and strongly encourage them to wear masks.

Business travel should be limited to business-critical travel only. Travel to stores, clubs, DCs and FCs is allowed. Please continue to look for ways to participate in supplier meetings, conferences, etc., virtually.

Please know we are making these changes to continue our focus on your health and safety. Thank you for all you’re doing for your fellow associates, customers and communities.

Today we also announced our decision to require all market, regional and divisional associates who work in multiple facilities and all campus office associates to be vaccinated by Oct. 4, unless they have an approved exception. Read more here.

Friday, July 30, 2021

Vicky Hartzler: Keep Critical Race Theory out of our military schools

(From Fourth District Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler)

Children of our service members should never be taught that the country their mom or dad is fighting for is inherently bad. That’s why I introduced the No CRT for our Military Kids Act, which prevents funding for the teaching of Critical Race Theory (CRT) in schools on our military bases around the globe.

This bill would prevent funding for the Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA) from teaching CRT or incorporating it in any curriculum. 

DoDEA plans, directs, coordinates, and manages the education programs for Department of Defense (DoD) dependents and oversees more than 150 schools that teach nearly 70,000 military children. Many of the children DoDEA educates are stationed with their families abroad in foreign countries.

Critical Race Theory is inherently anti-American and has no place in our schools – especially schools which educate the children of our armed forces. Our military already sacrifices so much and for our soldiers’ children to be taught they should be ashamed of who they are based on their skin color is shameful, divides their families, and harms future generations. Let’s stop this madness and get back to teaching the ABC’s and promoting the American Dream.

Jasper County reports 33 COVID-19 cases, but many more not traced yet

(From the Jasper County Health Department)

We were short-staffed today with only one COVID contact tracer making calls. Numbers may seem less, but we have a stack to plow through tomorrow and this weekend.

COVID Update 7-29-2021

33 new positive cases

0-6 months 1
1-11 yrs 1
12-19yrs 5
20-29yrs 6
30-39yrs 4
40-49yrs 3
50-59yrs 5
60-69yrs 6
70-79yrs 2
80-89yrs 0
90+yrs 0
Vaccinated - 3 = 91% unvaccinated

Joplin Health Department confirms 38 new COVID-19 cases

 Thirty-eight new COVID-19 cases were confirmed in Joplin Thursday, bringing the total to date to 7,521.

The city has been averaging 21 new cases per day during the past week.

Joplin has recorded 143 deaths due to COVID-19.

Parson joins legal effort to overturn Roe v Wade

By Jason Hancock

Missouri Gov. Mike Parson has added his name to the growing list of GOP elected officials asking the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision that legalized abortion.

Parson and 11 Republican governors submitted an amicus brief on Thursday in a Mississippi case weighing whether state laws that ban abortions before fetal viability are constitutional.

The governors, led by South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster, argue that the regulation of abortion should be left up to the states.

“A state may permit abortion. A state may ban abortion. A state may chart a middle ground,” the brief said, later arguing that taking the issue out of federal politics “should lower the proverbial temperature in these debates. No longer would abortion define the confirmation process for Justices. No longer would the issue dominate presidential campaigns.”

The case centers around Mississippi’s ban on abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy. The state originally argued the law complied with existing precedent. But last week, Mississippi’s argument was reframed to ask the court to overturn its decision in Roe that women have a constitutional right to terminate a pregnancy before the fetus is able to survive outside the womb.

Lower courts blocked the Mississippi statute. The Supreme Court agreed to hear the case last year, just months after Justice Amy Coney Barrett replaced Ruth Bader Ginsburg on the court

Missouri Sen. Josh Hawley filed his own amicus brief in the case earlier this week.

Throughout his time as governor, Parson has taken a firm anti-abortion stance.

His department of health attempted to shut down the state’s only abortion provider — a Planned Parenthood clinic in St. Louis — by refusing to renew its license. The clinic sued, and an administrative law judge ruled the denial was improper.

Parson replaced the administrative law judge who ruled in Planned Parenthood’s favor last month.

He also signed legislation in 2019 criminalizing abortions after eight weeks of pregnancy, with no exceptions for rape or incest. A federal injunction has blocked the law from going into effect, and the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in St. Louis will review whether it is constitutional.

More recently, his efforts to convince lawmakers to extend a tax on hospitals and other healthcare providers that is crucial to Medicaid funding earned him the criticism from anti-abortion advocates. They wanted the tax to include language prohibiting Planned Parenthood from being a Medicaid provider, something Parson fought against out of concern it could put the state out of compliance with federal law.

In their brief to the U.S. Supreme Court, Parson and his fellow GOP governors argue the court should “take this opportunity to correct the mistakes in its abortion jurisprudence and recognize that the text and original understanding of the Fourteenth Amendment have nothing to do with abortion.”

Yamelsie Rodríguez, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood of the St. Louis Region and Southwest Missouri, said it shouldn’t surprise anyone that Parson is “forcing his state’s post-Roe reality onto Mississippians. We’ve warned about this day for a long time. If only Gov. Parson could spend the same amount of energy curbing the COVID-19 surge, which could actually save lives and improve worsening public health outcomes in our state.”

Jay Nixon not running for U. S. Senate

By Jason Hancock

Former Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon put the rumors to bed on Thursday, announcing in a tweet that he will not run for the Democratic nomination for U.S. Senate next year.

Considered by many to be the party’s best shot at flipping the seat currently held by retiring Republican U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt, Nixon said in a statement that he has “truly enjoyed the positive changes in my life and fitness since completing 30 consecutive years of public service.

“I am not running for U.S. Senate,” he said. “I choose a different path.”

Nixon, 65, is scheduled to headline a fundraiser for the Clay County Democratic Party next week. The planned appearance super-charged speculation that he was pondering a return to politics. He’d been talking to longtime aides, friends and acquaintances, gaming out the 2022 landscape and weighing his options.

But on Thursday, he closed the door on a political comeback.

“I always thrived on policy more than politics,” he said. “My post-governor involvement on a myriad of matters is not filtered through a partisan lens — that is liberating and I want it to continue.”

A Democrat who served two terms as governor and four as attorney general, Nixon began fielding calls from national party leaders the moment Blunt announced his retirement in March.

His decision not to run leaves several contenders still in the mix.

Marine Corps veteran Lance Kunce of Independence, activist Tim Shepard of Kansas City, former state Sen. Scott Sifton of Afton and entrepreneur Spencer Toder of St. Louis have filed paperwork with the Federal Elections Commission to run for the Senate in 2022.

On the Republican side, disgraced former Gov. Eric Greitens, Attorney General Eric Schmitt, attorney Mark McCloskey and U.S. Rep. Vicky Hartzler have formally entered the race — with a litany of other Republicans publicly pondering a run.

Joplin Globe report: Number of COVID-19 patients at Mercy at all-time high

The number of COVID-19 patients at Mercy Hospital is at an all-time high, Mercy President Jeremy Drinkwitz told the Joplin Globe.

Eighty-one COVID patients have been admitted, with 94 percent of them unvaccinated, Drinkwitz said, adding that the fear of the vaccine is "irrational."

Twenty-three of the patients are on ventilators. The number of COVID patients is so high that nine whose condition is less serious have been transferred to Mercy in Carthage.

(Note: The article was in the e-edition, but I was unable to find a link on the Globe website.)

Thursday, July 29, 2021

Politico: Billy Long teasing Senate run, Kellyanne Conway to be at Aug. 11 announcement

Billy Long appears to be on the verge of launching a candidacy for the U. S. Senate seat currently held by the retiring Roy Blunt.

Politico reported today that Long has scheduled an August 11 announcement featuring special guest Kellyanne Conway.

Carthage woman indicted for meth, heroin, cocaine trafficking

Three weeks after she was given a suspended sentence in Jasper County Circuit Court on a felony drug trafficking charge, a federal grand jury indicted a Carthage woman on three counts of the same crime, all of which allegedly took place during the time she was awaiting trial on the Jasper County charge.

According to the indictment, which was unsealed today in U. S. District Court for the Western District of Missouri, Lateisha K. Rodriguez, 24, distributed methamphetamine on January 30, 2019, heroin on February 7, 2019 and cocaine on July 25, 2019.

Earlier this month, Jasper County Circuit Court Judge Dean Dankelson, following the plea agreement submitted by the Jasper County Prosecuting Attorney's office, suspended Rodriguez' sentence for selling a controlled substance on December 10, 2018, and placed her on supervised probation for five years.

Federal grand jury indicts six Joplin, Neosho, Webb City residents on murder/kidnapping conspiracy charges

Federal grand jury indictments of six Joplin area residents on kidnapping and murder conspiracy charges were unsealed today in U. S. District Court for the Western District of Missouri. 

The charges are connected to the death of Michael James Hall, Joplin, whose decomposing body was discovered during the execution of a search warrant at 3517 Cherry Road July 28, 2020.

The search warrant was executed after the Joplin Police Department and Newton County Sheriff's Office arrested one of the five people who were indicted today, Freddie Lewis Tilton, 48, Joplin, following a two-hour standoff at that address.

Information in today's indictment alleges Tilton shot Hall in the head, after Amy Kay Thomas, 38, Webb City, had cut him repeatedly with a knife and James B. Gibson, 39, Webb City, beat him with a club.

At the time, Tilton was a suspect in a second violent kidnapping.

In addition to Tilton, Gibson and Thomas, the others who were indicted today were  Lawrence William Vaughan, aka "Scary Larry," 49, Neosho, Russell Eugene Hurtt, 49, Joplin, and Carla Jo Ward, 47, Joplin (pictured above).

Tilton and Alvin Dale Boyer, 36, Rogers, Arkansas, were indicted earlier on federal kidnapping charges. Greene County Jail records indicate Tilton and Ward, who was arrested today, are being held in that facility.

The earlier indictment alleged Tilton arranged for Boyer to lure his ex-girlfriend to the Boonslick Lodge in Neosho. 

The kidnapping was detailed in the probable cause affidavit for the earlier indictment:

On July 19, 2020, at approximately 11:50 p.m., Neosho, Missouri, Police Department (NPD) Officer Dustin Honeyfield responded to the Boonslick Lodge located at 1602 Industrial Drive, Newton County, Neosho, Missouri 64850.

The caller reported that a female subject was being choked and dragged into room 216 by a male subject. Upon arrival, a Boonslick Lodge employee informed Officer Honeyfield that a female subject was being assaulted in room 216.

Officer Honeyfield responded to room number 216 and knocked on the door. Officer Honeyfield could hear a male voice inside of the room, and after Officer Honeyfield announced he was a police officer, the male inside the room responded that he needed to put on clothes.

A short time later, an adult female, S.T., opened the door and ran outside the room. S.T. informed the officer that the male subject inside the room, Freddie Tilton (hereinafter “Tilton”), had climbed out the
room’s back window. Due to the large amount of blood on S.T., Officer Honeyfield could tell
that she had been injured.

While questioning S.T., Officer Honeyfield learned that S.T. had arrived at the hotel to meet a male subject, Alvin Boyer. As S.T. entered room 216, she found Tilton waiting on her. S.T. had
separated from Tilton approximately four months prior and had an order of protection against

S.T. stated she attempted to exit the room, but was dragged back in by Tilton. Tilton began
striking S.T. with an unknown object causing lacerations on her head and above her left eye.

S.T. stated she was armed with a handgun when she entered the room; however, she lost the weapon during the struggle. S.T. believed that Tilton recovered the handgun and used the weapon to strike her. S.T. informed the officer that Tilton was armed with a handgun as he exited the hotel room window after police knocked on the door.

Emergency medical personnel arrived and transported S.T. to a hospital for treatment.

Officer Honeyfield conducted a protective sweep and observed the contents of the room, which included a chair with rope and zip ties attached to it, and a blowtorch and lighter fluid on a nightstand
beside the bed.

While looking inside the bathroom, Officer Honeyfield observed a black, semiautomatic rifle beside the bathtub. The room was secured and officers with the NPD began preparing a search warrant for the room.

While NPD Officer Dustin Doty prepared a search warrant affidavit, NPD Lieutenant Robert Sharp contacted an employee at the Boonslick Lodge. Lieutenant Sharp confirmed that room 216 had been rented by Alvin Dale Boyer. Boyer presented an Arkansas identification card at the time of check-in and registered with a home address in Rogers, Arkansas. The registration, or check-in, time was listed as 8:45 p.m. on the registration paperwork. Boyer also provided the phone number, (417) 658-8163 on the registration paperwork.

Lieutenant Sharp confirmed that the hotel maintained video surveillance of the property and was able to review the surveillance video that captured the hotel registration area.

From the surveillance footage, Lieutenant Sharp confirmed that Boyer had rented the room. Lieutenant
Sharp was also able to review surveillance video that captured room 216. Lieutenant Sharp
observed S.T. arriving at room 216 and entering the room. After a few minutes, the video
showed S.T. attempting to exit the room on her hands and knees.

The events leading to the kidnapping of murder victim Michael James Hall are described in today's indictments:

On or about July 4, 2020, through July 6, 2020, HURTT sent text messages, through a cellular phone, to R.B. demanding R.B. provide the name of a male who drove a Dodge truck who assisted her and E.C. to take back a camper that TILTON had stolen from E.C. 

HURTT informed R.B. through text messages that people who helped take the trailer back from TILTON were going to get hurt and probably killed, and R.B. might be one of the individuals hurt or killed. 

HURTT told R.B. she needed to tell him where he could find the male or his name. R.B. finally disclosed, “All I know he said his name was mike and he was a brother or honky.” 

HURTT conveyed that “Ol boy said u need to call him and talk to him on the phone cause ur looking guilty and hiding stuff ” and that R.B. needed to “get that dude to meet u somewhere where he can get him or find out where he can find him thats bottom line.” 

HURTT continued to text message R.B. July 9, 2020, and July 12, 2020, indicating that “this shit aint going to stop just keep getting worse” until E.C. and the male were caught by TILTON. Mike was identified as the victim, M.H. 

On July 5, 2020, HURTT sent a message via Facebook Messenger to TILTON asking if TILTON wanted HURTT to find “Mike” and TILTON stated “yes.” 

On July 5, 2020, TILTON sent a message through Facebook Messenger to M.H. stating, “Whats up let’s finish this. That was lame what you did yesterday I wasn’t impressed at all see when I look her rv I called her and told her I took it and why I toke her shit because. She goes and puts money jarmy. Dills books the same one that was talking to thee fbi trying to set me up. So why you trying to help a rat. you crossed a line there for you will be punished I would have had respect for you if you wodnt have got scared and ran dragjng the rv when you knew I was coming run little scared punk run I will find you you picked the right one.” 

On July 7, 2020, TILTON posted comments on his Facebook profile page under the profile name “Freddie TILTON” to M.H. 

TILTON posted, “Whats up tough guy were you hiding?” 

M.H. replied, “In your backyard. Get your Binoculars out.” TILTON then posted, “Well I don’t see you come out and face me like a man.” 

TILTON noted that M.H. “f----- up” and he would not stop till he got him. 

On July 8, 2020, TILTON sent messages through Facebook Messenger to R.B. stating, “see you are friends with M.H.” and “Im going to shot him in the face when I catch him. he f---ed up.” 

On July 8, 2020, WARD sent a message to TILTON through Facebook Messenger stating, “Hey check it out here is that piece of s--- (M.H.) location I was able to reel him in so far.” WARD attached a screen shot of a map location. 

On July 14, 2020, WARD picked M.H. up from Joplin, Missouri, and took him to VAUGHAN’s residence in Newton County, Missouri. WARD contacted VAUGHAN using her cellular phone to advise she had “company.” 

WARD sent text messages to TILTON advising she had M.H. On July 14, 2020, WARD sent a message to TILTON through Facebook Messenger stating, “Get here I’ve got M.H.” 

On or about July 14, 2020, VAUGHAN sent a text message to TILTON stating, “Call me quickly handing [M.H.] to you.” 

On or about July 15, 2020, at 12:59:33 a.m. (UTC-5), VAUGHAN sent a text message to TILTON that read, “He’s got 2 guns.” At 2:15:10 a.m. (UTC-5), VAUGHAN sent a text message to TILTON that stated, “OK we’ve got both his guns put up.” 

At 3:42:20 a.m. (UTC-5), VAUGHAN sent a text message to TILTON that read, “Guns are secure I’m waiting for you at the bridge.” 

On or about July 15, 2020, THOMAS, GIBSON, and TILTON responded to VAUGHAN’s residence in the early morning hours. TILTON, THOMAS, and GIBSON bound M.H.’s hands with handcuffs and duct tape were placed arounds his mouth and other parts of his body. 

THOMAS cut M.H. repeatedly with a knife and GIBSON beat M.H. with a club. TILTON shot M.H. in the head. These acts were conducted in VAUGHAN and WARD’s presence, as well as others known and unknown to the Grand Jury. 

TILTON, THOMAS, GIBSON, VAUGHAN, and WARD cleaned up the blood and damage created during the assault and shooting of M.H. The defendants wrapped M.H.’s body in plastic wrap and transported it to HURTT’s property located in Newton County in a black BMW utilized by TILTON.

On or about July 15, 2020, at 11:11:42 p.m. (UTC-5), TILTON sent a text message to VAUGHAN that read, “You good my friend.” 

At 11:16:12 p.m. (UTC-5), VAUGHAN responded, “Were good goon need a dining room set had a few.” The message continues at 11:17:25 p.m., “Holes in it so I burnt the whole thing figure with refinishing the floors it will look better anyway.” 

On or about July 16, 2020, at 4:35:16 a.m. (UTC-5), VAUGHAN sent a text message to TILTON that read, “Everyone is good. Need a couple gallons of paint along with the reward for that one. Damn sprayed bleach on the blue Nd it turned lime green.” 

On July 28, 2020, law enforcement executed a search warrant for HURTT’s property based on information that a deceased body was located on the acreage. 

 Upon attempting to contact occupants of the residence, TILTON fired multiple shots from inside the residence at law enforcement prior to being apprehended. Law enforcement located M.H.’s deceased body approximately 100 to 150 yards away from the residence on the property.

Tilton was indicted on charges of conspiracy to commit kidnapping, kidnapping resulting in death, use of firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence and felon in possession of a firearm (two counts).

Thomas, Gibson and Ward were indicted on the same charges, with only one count of felon in possession of a firearm.

Vaughan and Hurtt were indicted on conspiracy to commit kidnapping, kidnapping resulting in a death and use of a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence.

Former Joplin bank manager who embezzled $158,000 sentenced to one year, one day in prison

The former manager of the Guaranty Bank branch in Joplin was sentenced to one year and one day in prison during a hearing this morning in U. S. District court in Springfield.

Following her sentence, Kendra E. Richardson, 44, will be under supervised probation for three years. 

She will also be required to repay the $158,159.45 she embezzled between June 9, 2018, and December 18, 2018.
The plea agreement indicated Richardson used her position as branch manager and control over regular audits of the money in the vault to conceal her embezzling and used most of the stolen money for gambling.

MSSU offering drawings for prizes for students who get vaccinated against COVID-19

(From Missouri Southern State University)

Missouri Southern State University strongly encourages all members of our campus community to get vaccinated against COVID-19. 

Missouri Southern students who are vaccinated, or exempt for medical or religious reasons, are eligible for weekly drawings and a grand prize, beginning August 9, 2021.

Students can win prizes – including free tuition, VIP parking spaces, Lion Buck infusions, computers, iPads and more – by getting vaccinated against COVID-19.

Visit the MSSU COVID vaccine incentive website for additional details.

Gary Bandy returns to KSN as co-host of Living Well

Seven years after leaving KSN, Gary Bandy is coming out of retirement and will return to the job as co-host of the 4 p.m. news/information program Living Well.

Bandy will join Shelby Neely on the program, with Chase Bullman continuing to do the weather.

"I loved working at KSN all the time I was here," Bandy said when the announcement was made Wednesday. "I loved doing Living Well and I loved doing the morning programs on KSN and KODE."

In addition to being the program's co-host, Bandy will handle some of the producing duties.

Bandy, who was a popular radio disc jockey in the area before making the move to television, was co-host, along with Tiffany Alaniz of the morning Hometown Today program between 1997 and 2002 and became KSN's chief meteorologist in 2003, a position he held when he signed off from the station on November 26, 2014.

Widow of 34-year-old Carthage COVID-19 victim: Please get vaccinated in my husband's name

 The recent surge of deaths due to COVID-19 has included many younger people, including 34-year-old Donovan Daniel, who died Sunday at Cox South Hospital in Springfield.

On Monday, his widow, Stefani Daniel, posted the following message on Facebook:

I wasn't sure I was going to have this conversation, but I have to.

Donovan Daniel told me last Monday that he'd of given anything to go back and get vaccinated. He said that he was going to as soon as he was better.

I cannot lose another person I care about due to COVID. If you're not vaccinated yet, please do it in my husband's name.

Donovan Daniel's obituary can be found at this link.

Agenda posted for Joplin City Council meeting

6:00 P.M.


Call To Order

Pledge of Allegiance of the United States of America

Roll Call




Parks & Stormwater Sales Tax Renewal/Mike Seibert, Citizens Committee Chair


Finalization Of Consent Agenda


Reports And Communications


Health Department Update


News From The Public Information Office


Citizen Requests And Petitions


Dan McCreary Requested To Speak On Short Term Rentals


Sharon Wiggins-Alexander Requested To Speak On Budget And Grants Availability (Incentive Ideas) For Neighborhood Clean-Up.


Public Hearings


Public Hearing Procedures



A RESOLUTION granting a Special Use Permit (1st Request) for the operation of a short-term rental located at 3001 Sunset Drive, in the City of Joplin, Jasper County, Missouri.



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 including in District R-4 (Townhouse) property as described below and located the end of Public Right-of-way of W. Par Lane.


Consent Agenda


Minutes Of The July 19, 2021 City Council Meeting (Draft)



AN ORDINANCE authorizing the approval of the 2021 Public Transportation Agency Safety Plan (PTASP) update detailing the safety processes and procedures for the City of Joplin, MO, Metro Area Public Transit System (MAPS) and Sunshine Lamp Trolley. This plan utilizes existing agency safety practices and Federal Transit Administration best practices to meet the regulations set in 49 CFR Part 673.

  1. CB2021-141.PDF


AN ORDINANCE approving Work Authorization OLS-OC-21-08 With Olsson in the not to exceed amount of Five Hundred Twenty Thousand and 00/100 dollars ($520,000.00) for construction phase professional engineering services for the 32nd St. Widening project from Schifferdecker Ave. to Central City Road and authorizing the City Manager or his designee to execute the same by and on behalf of the City of Joplin.

  1. CB2021-144.PDF



Ordinances - Emergency



AN ORDINANCE approving the City of Joplin to enter into a construction agreement with Southwest Missouri Traffic Management Inc., in the amount of Two Hundred Twenty-Five Thousand Two Hundred Thirty and 00/100 Dollars ($225,230.00) for construction of the 10th and Main Culvert Replacement project; and authorizing the City Manager or his designee to execute the same by and on behalf of the City of Joplin; and containing an emergency clause.



AN ORDINANCE approving a Purchase Order to be issued to SHI/Microsoft Corporation to cover the annual support payment for the Public Safety and Financial software, as approved in the Annual Budget of the City of Joplin for the Fiscal Year 2020-2021 as adopted by Ordinance 2020-156 on October 19, 2020, to adjust appropriations and containing an emergency clause.


Ordinances - First Reading



AN ORDINANCE authorizing the City of Joplin, Missouri, a Missouri municipal corporation, to enter into an agreement with Integrated Roadways, LLC, a Missouri limited liability company, for the purpose of developing a smart infrastructure program; and authorizing the City Manager to execute said agreement by and on behalf of the City of Joplin.   



Council Bill 2021-008authorizing the City of Joplin, Missouri, a Missouri municipal corporation, to enter into an Agreement with Bird Rides, Inc., a Delaware corporation, for the purpose of implementing a shared active transportation operation; and authorizing the City Manager to execute said Agreement by and on behalf of the City of Joplin.   



AN ORDINANCE approving a work authorization with Allgeier, Martin and Associates, Inc. in the not to exceed amount of Seventy Thousand and 00/100 Dollars ($70,000.00) for the Shoal Creek WWTF Drying Bed Covers 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 Lou and Odes Acres Subdivision located at the Southwest corner of the intersection of W. 26th St. and S. Winfield Ave.


Ordinances - Second Reading And Third Reading



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 including in District R-3-PD (Apartment House Planned Development) property as described below and located at the Southeast Corner of W. 34th St. and S. Jackson Ave.

  1. CB2021-277.PDF

Unfinished Business


New Business


Set Public Hearing For FY2022 Proposed Budget For August 16, 2021


Set Public Hearing For Property Tax Levy For August 16, 2021


Closed Session

Vote to go into closed session, which shall pertain to legal action, causes of action, or litigation  including a public governmental body and any confidential or privileged communications between a governmental body or its representatives and its attorneys; as set forth in Section 610.021(1) RSMo, as amended, 2020. This meeting, record, and vote to be closed to the extent  provided by law. The City Council shall adjourn at the end of the session.