Tuesday, November 30, 2021

Eleven new COVID-19 cases reported in McDonald County


Jasper County confirms 40 new COVID-19 cases

(From the Jasper County Health Department)

COVID Update 11-30-2021
40 new positive cases

<1 year 0
1-4 yrs 2
5-11 yrs 7
12-19yrs 2
20-29yrs 6

30-39yrs 7
40-49yrs 6
50-59yrs 5
60-69yrs 2
70-79yrs 0
80-89yrs 2
90+yrs 1
Vaccinated = 8
Reinfection = 0

Former Webb City football coach to head New Mexico State program


(From New Mexico State University)

One of college football's most well-respected program rebuilders has been selected as the new leader of NM State football.

Monday, Nov. 29, 2021, NM State Director of Athletics Mario Moccia introduced Jerry Kill as the 35th head coach of the NM State football program.

"As the Director of Athletics and an alumni of New Mexico State University, I couldn't be more pleased to announce Jerry Kill as our new head football coach," Moccia remarked. 

"For our program to attract not only a proven winner at multiple levels of football, but also someone who has consistently turned programs around, makes this a very exciting day for Aggie Nation."

Over the course of his 23-year career as a head coach at the NCAA Division II, FCS and FBS levels, Kill has generated a 154-101 record while making six bowl game appearances.

Webb City High School
Following a playing career at Southwestern College, Kill signed on at Webb City High School in the mid-1980s. Before serving as its head coach for a period in the late 1980s and early 1990s, Kill was on staff at the institution and helped mentor quarterback Mike Gundy who is currently serving as the head coach at Oklahoma State.

Pittsburg State | 1985-87 (defensive coordinator), 1991-93 (offensive coordinator)
Three years after finishing his playing career as a linebacker at the NAIA level for Southwestern College in Winfield, Kan., Kill remained in his home state and took the position of defensive coordinator at NAIA program Pittsburg State in 1985.

A three-year run as the Gorillas' defensive play caller was followed by a three-year run as the head coach at Webb City High School in Missouri before Pittsburg State came calling again. After making the transition to the NCAA Division II ranks during the 1989 campaign, head coach Chuck Broyles tabbed Kill for the offensive coordinator position, a job he held from 1991-93. In Kill's first season in the offensive coordinator role, the Gorillas went 13-1-1 and claimed the NCAA Division II National Championship. During Kill's three-year run as the program's offensive coordinator, the Gorillas took part in a pair of NCAA Division II title bouts.

Saginaw Valley State | 1994-98
Kill earned his first head coaching job when Saginaw Valley State in University Center, Mich., tabbed the then-33-year-old as its head coach prior to the start of the 1994 season.

During his half-decade in charge of the Cardinals, Kill directed his squad to five consecutive winning seasons which included successive 9-2 campaigns in 1997 and 1998. Through his final season in charge, Saginaw Valley State topped the NCAA Division II charts in scoring (42.5 points per game) while ranking second in total offense (498.3 yards per game). Under Kill, the ground game was a major strength of the Cardinals who led all NCAA Division II clubs in rushing in both 1997 and 1998.

Emporia State | 1999-00
After his father's untimely passing, Kill made a return to his home state in order to be closer to his family. He remained in the NCAA Division II ranks by taking over the reins of Emporia State University. Over the course of his two-year stint in charge of the program, the Hornets compiled an 11-11 record.

Southern Illinois | 2001-07
Kill's rise began in earnest when he was plucked from the NCAA Division II ranks by Southern Illinois ahead of the 2001 season. Tasked with turning around a program which had produced just two winning seasons out of the 17 that had occurred after capturing the NCAA I-AA national championship in 1983, Kill slowly but surely transformed the Salukis back into a national power at the FCS level.

Following a 1-10 mark in his debut season in Carbondale, Ill., Kill's team hit the double-digit win mark for the first time in 20 years by going 10-2 in 2003. That season coincided with the Saluki's return to the FCS Playoffs and set off a five-year run of greatness for Kill's program.

One of Kill's best teams was the 2004 edition of Southern Illinois who constructed a perfect 9-0 mark against FCS competition. That year, the Salukis generated a 7-0 mark in Gateway Conference action and held the number-one spot in the FCS national rankings for the final 10 weeks of the season. Kill's squad possessed one of the nation's best offenses, too, pounding opponents by an average of 30 points per game. His efforts that year resulted in Kill collecting the Eddie Robinson Award - a laurel handed out on an annual basis to the best head coach across all of FCS.

During 2007, Kill's final season in charge, the Salukis amassed the second-highest single-season win total in program history by going 12-2. Southern Illinois defeated a quartet of ranked teams that season and moved on to the semifinal round of the FCS Playoffs - the program's deepest postseason run since 1983. That season, Kill also became the first FCS coach in the history of the sport to be named the Liberty Mutual Coach of the Year. That laurel honors coaches who succeed on and off the field, displaying sportsmanship, integrity, responsibility and excellence.

Northern Illinois | 2008-10
Following his highly-successful run at the FCS level, an FBS program - Northern Illinois - came calling for Kill. Installed as the Huskies' head coach in December of 2007, Kill again wasted no time in bringing another program back to national relevance.

In the 12 years prior to Kill's arrival, Northern Illinois had reached a bowl game on just one occasion and were coming off a 2-10 campaign in 2007. Through his three seasons at the helm, though, the Huskies made their way to a trio of bowl games. That three-year bowl game run was capped by the team's appearance in the 2010 Humanitarian Bowl in which the Huskies hammered Fresno State, 40-17, in order to secure the program's first 10-win season since 2003.

All told, Kill compiled a 23-16 mark for the Huskies. During his final season as the program's leader, Northern Illinois constructed an 11-3 record which represented the highest win total in a single season in the history of the program. Kill's success with the Huskies set the stage for multiple memorable moments for the program, including an appearance in the 2013 Orange Bowl. By making the cut for that bowl game, the Huskies became the first MAC squad in the history of the league to appear in a BCS bowl.

Minnesota | 2011-15
Taking notice of Kill's reputation for resurrecting programs around the region, Minnesota decided to see if Kill could do the same for its Big Ten squad. Before Kill's arrival, the Golden Gophers had failed to reach the .500 mark in four of the last five seasons.

Named the Golden Gophers' head coach in December of 2010, Kill proved he could rebuild teams in the highest echelon of the sport by leading Minnesota to three-consecutive bowl game appearances (2012, 2013 and 2014) through his five-year run in The Land of 10,000 Lakes.

The 2013 and 2014 campaigns saw Minnesota produce identical 8-5 records after putting forth respective 4-1 and 5-1 starts. Kill's efforts in the 2014 season resulted in him being named the Big Ten Coach of the Year while also leading the program to its first New Year's Day bowl game in 53 years. A number of notable victories also came Minnesota's way in 2014 including its first against Michigan since 2005. Kill's triumph over Nebraska in 2014 marked back-to-back wins for Minnesota over the Huskers since the 1950s while his victory over Nebraska in 2013 was Minnesota's first since 1960.

Kansas State | 2016 | Associate Athletics Director for Administration
A series of health issues caused Kill to retire from the position as Minnesota's head coach midway through the 2015 season and signaled the start of a year-long hiatus from coaching for Kill. In May of 2016, Kill made the move to athletic administration by accepting the position of Associate Athletics Director for Administration at Kansas State

As a member of Athletics Director John Currie's senior staff, Kill served as the chief administrator for K-State's football program.

Rutgers | 2017 | Offensive Coordinator/Quarterbacks
Kill's first stint as a college athletics administrator lasted less than a year as he returned to the ranks of college football's coaches in December of 2016 when he accepted the position of offensive coordinator at Rutgers.

The Scarlet Knights operated with a run-heavy offense under Kill, which resulted in 147 rushing yards per game and played a major role in their 18 points per game average.

Southern Illinois | 2018-19 | University/Athletic Administration
Kill returned to Carbondale, Ill., in 2018 as a special assistant to the chancellor. Kill then moved back into college athletics when he accepted the role of the Salukis' Director of Athletics in February of 2019.

Virginia Tech | 2019 | Assistant to the Head Coach
Three games into the Hokies' 2019 campaign, head coach Justin Fuente tabbed Kill to join his staff as a special assistant. Virginia Tech went 8-5 that year and made a trip to the Belk Bowl.

TCU | 2020-21 | Assistant to the Head Coach/Interim Head Coach
Longtime friend Gary Patterson convinced Kill to join his staff in Fort Worth in January of 2020 in a role similar to the one he was in at Virginia Tech.

After Patterson was dismissed as the Horned Frogs' head coach on Oct. 31, 2021, Kill stepped in as the interim head coach and has since directed TCU to a 2-2 record. The first of those victories was a 30-28 home win over 12th-ranked Baylor - TCU's first victory over a nationally-ranked opponent since 2019.

Much more than a football coach, Kill's civic honors are many as are his efforts as an advocate for epilepsy - a condition he has lived with for the majority of his adult life. Beginning with the formation of the Coach Kill Fund during his days at Southern Illinois, Kill also created the Chasing Dreams Coach Kill Epilepsy Fund during his time as Minnesota's head coach.

The National Football Foundation awarded Kill its Courage Award in 2009. In three successive years, Kill also secured the Cal Stoll Courage Award (2014), Bob McNamara Memorial Legends Award (2015) and the FCA Power of Influence Award (2016).

To this day, Kill continues to assist in fundraising monies for research for the National Foundation of Epilepsy. Kill's experiences as a head coach while living with epilepsy were chronicled in his 2016 book, "Chasing Dreams: Living My Life One Yard at a Time."

Four institutions, which include Southern Illinois (2014), Southwestern College (2004) and Kansas Sports (2016), have inducted Kill into their respective Halls of Fame. Hailing from Cheney, Kan., Kill and his wife, Rebecca, are the parents of two daughters, Krystal and Tasha. A grandfather, too, Kill has one granddaughter, Emery.

1985-87 | Defensive Coordinator | Pittsburg State (NCAA Division II)
1988-90 | Head Coach | Webb City High School (Mo.)
1991-93 | Offensive Coordinator | Pittsburg State (NCAA Division II)
1994-98 | Head Coach | Saginaw Valley State (NCAA Division II) | 38-14
1999-00 | Head Coach | Emporia State (NCAA Division II) | 11-11
2001-07 | Head Coach | Southern Illinois | 55-32
2008-10 | Head Coach | Northern Illinois | 23-16
2011-15 | Head Coach | Minnesota | 29-29
2016 | Associate Athletics Director for Administration | Kansas State
2017 | Offensive Coordinator/Quarterbacks | Rutgers
2019 | Assistant to the Head Coach | Virginia Tech
2020-21 | Assistant to the Head Coach | TCU
2021 | Interim Head Coach | TCU | 2-2

Judge blocks federal vaccine mandate for health care workers in Missouri, nine other states

By Laura Olson

Enforcement of the Biden administration’s vaccine mandate for millions of health care workers was blocked in 10 states on Monday, after a ruling by a federal judge in Missouri.

The ruling by U.S. District Judge Matthew Schelp affects the states involved in the lawsuit, including Missouri.

The others are Iowa, Kansas, New Hampshire, North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Arkansas, Wyoming and Alaska.

At issue is President Joe Biden’s campaign to ensure that workers throughout the country are vaccinated against COVID-19.

Many private sector employees will be required to get vaccinated or undergo weekly tests, while some 17 million health care providers at facilities participating in the federal Medicare and Medicaid health insurance programs must be vaccinated — with no option to choose weekly testing instead.

Under the requirement, health care workers were to be vaccinated by Jan. 4, 2022.

In his 32-page opinion granting a preliminary injunction while the lawsuit proceeds, Schelp wrote that the state attorneys general challenging the mandate appear likely to succeed in their argument that federal health officials lack the authority to implement the requirement.

He also agreed with claims from the plaintiffs that health care facilities will suffer staffing shortages due to the requirement.

“The public has an interest in stopping the spread of COVID. No one disputes that,” Schelp, who was nominated by President Donald Trump in 2019, wrote in the 32-page opinion. “But the court concludes that the public would suffer little, if any, harm from maintaining the ‘status quo’ through the litigation of this case.”

In a statement after the ruling, Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt described the injunction as “a huge victory for healthcare workers in Missouri and across the country, including rural hospitals who were facing near-certain collapse due to this mandate.”

“While today’s ruling is a victory, there’s more work to be done, and I will keep fighting to push back on this unprecedented federal overreach,” said Schmitt, who is running in the GOP primary for U.S. Senate.

SEIU Healthcare Missouri State Director Lenny Jones decried Monday’s ruling.

“This injunction is rooted in misinformation and the political aspirations of some elected officials rather than in responsible public health policy,” Jones said. “Vaccine mandates are an opportunity for employers and workers to come together to provide education, listen to workers’ concerns, and address safety issues in facilities.”

Several other lawsuits from states are pending in federal courts, challenging both the mandate on health care workers and the broader mandate on most private sector employees.

White House press secretary Jen Psaki told reporters Monday that the administration is “obviously going to abide by the law and fight any efforts in courts or otherwise” to prevent health care facilities from protecting their work forces.

Petition would amend Missouri Constitution, end partisan primaries, replace them with ranked choice voting

By Jason Hancock

An effort to do away with partisan primaries in Missouri and replace them with a “ranked choice” method got a big boost last week, receiving roughly $670,000 from a Virginia-based nonprofit hoping to put the idea on the 2022 statewide ballot.

A group called Better Elections is pushing an initiative petition that would amend Missouri’s constitution to allow all voters to vote for any candidate in a combined primary.


The four candidates in the primary with the most votes would advance to the general election, regardless of party. Then in the general election, voters would be allowed to rank those four candidates from first choice to last — or just vote for their first choice.

The change would apply to elections for statewide office, the Missouri General Assembly and U.S. Congress. Two versions of the initiative petition have been approved by the Secretary of State’s Office to begin collecting signatures.

“Our proposal would free voters from the pressure to choose the ‘lesser of two evils,’ allowing them a better opportunity to support the candidates they really believe in,” said David Roland, an attorney and government transparency advocate helping lead the effort.

In addition to the ranked-choice system, the initiative petition would also ask voters to require all electronic voting machines be tested and certified before use; require a paper trail of individual votes in every election; and require that representatives of all political parties be present whenever paper ballots are counted or placed in storage.

A similar system was adopted in Alaska last year. A modified version of the plan, where the top two vote-getters in a primary face off in the general election regardless of party, was used for the first time earlier this year in St. Louis.

Similarly, 15 states now have open primaries, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. More have partially open primaries. The version used across California is known as a “jungle primary” — all candidates appear on the primary ballot and the top two finishers advance to the general, regardless of political party.

“I’ve long been frustrated that our current system seems to be increasing the polarization of Missouri politics and consistently generating nominees who do not necessarily enjoy the support of a broad swath of this state’s voters,” Roland said.

Proponents of the idea have long argued that the ranked-choice method disincentivizes strategic voting, where someone votes not for their preferred candidate but for someone with a better chance of beating their least favorite candidate.

John Bowman, president of the St. Louis County NAACP, said the proposed constitutional amendment would give Missourians more power and make politicians more accountable to voters.

“Having more choices is good in every part of life, and we certainly need more of that in politics,” he said. “ It’s time to take back control as voters.”

Last week, Better Elections received a $670,000 donation from Article IV, a 501c4 nonprofit based in Virginia that purports to “​​further the common good and general welfare by educating the public about policies that implicate the democratic process, including electoral systems and redistricting, and to advocate for reform.”

Because Article IV is a nonprofit, it is not required to disclose its donors.

Roland said the nonprofit works with grassroots efforts around the country to “identify and advance common-sense solutions to otherwise intractable problems.

“They have been an indispensable partner in our effort to improve the integrity of our elections by giving voters more power to choose who represents us in government,” he said. “I am very hopeful that their support will help us get this issue on the ballot.”

TFI International buys Carthage trucking company

(From TFI International)

Montreal, Quebec, November 29, 2021 – TFI International Inc. (NYSE and TSX: TFII), a North American leader in the transportation and logistics industry, Monday announced the acquisition of D&D Sexton (“D&D”). 

Based in Carthage, Missouri, D&D has been a family-owned business for more than 40 years, specializing in refrigerated transportation and serving a long-standing customer base with both long-haul over-the-road services as well as local and shuttle operations. 

D&D has more than 150 company drivers and owner operators, and close to 40 non-driving employees. 

Operating more than 120 tractors and nearly 400 refrigerated and dry van trailers, D&D generates annualized revenues in excess of $25 million. The acquired business will operate within TFI International’s CFI group of companies. 

Terms of the transaction were not disclosed. 

“D&D is an excellent strategic fit with the organization, culture, and business model of our CFI operating company, adding strategic capacity and valuable, longstanding customer relationships to its temperature-controlled business”, stated Alain B├ędard, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of TFI International. 

“In addition to an overlapping refrigerated freight network, D&D brings significant experience in local and shuttle operations. We see multiple near-term opportunities around costs, routes and pricing to enhance profitability, as well as longer-term opportunities to optimize equipment and the capacity network design, taking D&D to the next level of excellence. We extend our warmest welcome to the entire D&D team and look forward to their many upcoming contributions to TFI International’s continued growth.”

Nineteen new COVID-19 cases confirmed in Newton County

(From the Newton County Health Department)

November 29, 2021
19 New Cases
73 Active Cases
8 Daily Recovered Cases
129 Deaths to date

New cases by age range for November 29, 2021:
Total= 19
<1 yr= 0
1-11 yrs= 1
12-19 yrs= 0
20-29 yrs= 2
30-39 yrs= 1
40-49 yrs= 2
50-59 yrs= 6
60-69 yrs= 5
70-79 yrs= 0
80-89 yrs= 2
90+ yrs= 0

Covid-19 tests conducted in Newton County for week of November 22 – November 28, 2021:
415 Total Tests
370 Negative Tests
45 Positive tests
10.80% Positivity Rate

Covid-19 Cumulative Tests for Newton County:
63,023 Total Tests
53,482 Negative Tests
9,541 Positive Tests
15.10% Positivity Rate

Newton County Vaccinations given:
31,992 Total Vaccinations
31.90% Percentage of population with one dose
28.50% Percentage of population with two doses
342 Number of doses administered in the last 7 days

Monday, November 29, 2021

Parson trade mission to Greece, Israel postponed due to travel restrictions

(From Gov. Mike Parson)

Governor Mike Parson's international trade mission to Israel and Greece has been postponed due to recent travel restrictions. Efforts to reschedule the trade mission are underway, additional details will be released once confirmed.

"We are postponing our trade mission because we want to respect the travel policies and practices enacted by the host countries," Governor Parson said. 

"While we are disappointed that we have to postpone, delaying our trade mission is necessary and the best course of action to ensure the health and safety of our state leaders, private partners, and staff who were planning to join us. We look forward to traveling to Israel and Greece soon."

Piper: Public schools are the heart of Missouri; don't defund them with vouchers and charters

I am a rural woman. I am a subsistence farmer raising hogs and chickens in Northwest Missouri in a town of 480 people. I live in a century-old farmhouse on a few acres on the Iowa border that we purchased for less than the price of a new car. 

I was also an American Literature teacher for sixteen years, and my children are all products of rural schools. Our youngest is still in school and her class, the entire fourth grade, consists of 16 children.

Public schools are the heart of rural Missouri. The school bus picks up my daughter at the end of our driveway every morning, avoiding the chickens pecking in the gravel. She arrives at a tiny school that supports her and knows her well. She eats in the cafeteria that also serves as the gym. 

We mark the cafeteria Thanksgiving meal on our calendars to eat lunch with our kids—the turkey is pretty good but we really come for the annual tradition and because our kids expect us. 

Entire communities gather for Christmas pageants and band and choir concerts in our rural schools. We attend Friday night football and basketball games and reserve the rest of the evenings for softball or baseball. 

We know the teachers and we support schools with raffles and by buying apples and beef jerky from the yearly FFA sales. Nearly every event in our small community revolves around our school.

I tell you the story of rural schools because we are in a fight to keep our public schools funded and open in Missouri. 

In my state, we are 49th in funding for public schools. We don’t provide public schools with enough for the basics. The state funds just 32% of schools’ budgets, which means that residents must pay for the bulk of their local school expenses through property taxes. That means that our system is highly inequitable. 

The defunding of Missouri public schools has happened over the last decade, but has been on warp speed in the last five years. The school funding formula was adjusted to lower the amount a few years back, meaning we lowered the funding bar to be able to claim we met the bar. And now, even more bad news for Missouri rural schools: a voucher scheme.

In 2021, Missouri Republicans devised and signed into law a system for vouchers that will further defund public schools. This is how it works: Missouri taxpayers can receive a dollar-for-dollar tax credit that will pay for private school vouchers. 

In essence, public tax funds will be diverted to private or religious schools with no oversight or accountability for student performance. Missouri will allow folks to essentially pay their taxes directly to the private school of their choice, defunding public schools in the process. 

In rural Missouri, our schools are already strapped for resources. Diverting money away to any fly-by-night charter, or a private school that accepts vouchers will devastate our rural schools.

When schools are defunded, the next move is often consolidation. When a school consolidates, students may be travelling to and from school for over an hour a day. School consolidations also ravage small communities and often cause ripples that can be felt for years. 

In my town, the school is the largest employer. Community members who work for the school district receive health insurance through their employer, while disadvantaged children are fed through the school year through the school free lunch program. 

School closures cripple small businesses and decrease property values. Our main streets empty out with the loss of a local school. When schools consolidate, rural communities lose their economic epicenter.

We must fully-fund public schools in an equitable way for all children to have the opportunity that a public education promises. Rural students and our small communities count on public schools. Charter and privatization schemes purposely funnel public tax money into private hands. That’s harmful to rural Missouri public schools and to our kids.

This column was originally published in Public Voices for Public Schools. Jessica Piper is a candidate for state representative in rural Northwest Missouri. She received her BA in English and her MA from the University of Arkansas at Monticello. She was a tenured American Literature teacher and frequently writes about rural schools and school funding. She lives on the Missouri/Iowa border with her husband, children, and two dogs. Piper is a farmer who raises hogs and chickens.

Sunday, November 28, 2021

Carthage, Golden City, McDonald County among 40 Missouri schools selected for DESE initiative

(From the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education)

Congratulations to the 40 rural schools selected to participate in the Missouri Postsecondary Advising Initiative during the 2021-22 school year. A list of participating schools can be found here.

In fall 2021, DESE launched the Missouri Postsecondary Advising Initiative in partnership with philanthropic organization rootEd Alliance. The three-year initiative, which is funded by federal COVID relief dollars, aims to ensure all high school students, particularly those in rural communities, have a college and career advisor exclusively focused on helping them achieve success following graduation.

Schools were selected based on school and community need, COVID impact in the community, and geography. An additional 71 schools that applied but were not selected in the first round will begin the program in 2022-23. Another application round will occur in spring 2022 to fill remaining program slots for 2022-23.

School districts selected from this area were Carthage R-9, Golden City R-3 and McDonald County R-1.

Billy Long to Politico: If Trump endorses in the Senate race, it's over

Desperate for material, Politico posted a feature on Seventh District Congressman Billy Long and Missouri's U. S. Senate race today.

The article notes Trump's multiple efforts to convince former president Donald Trump to endorse him, all of which have been unsuccessful to this point.

During their August meeting at Trump Tower, Long argued to Trump that if Republicans nominate someone other than him to keep retiring Sen. Roy Blunt's (R-Mo.) seat red, the GOP might have to spend as much as $50 million in the state — money better spent in Arizona and Georgia. Channeling his past as an auctioneer, Long pitched himself as the equivalent of a “three-for-one” sale for Trump.

The sales job hasn't worked on Trump yet.

Long says that once Trump makes his endorsement, the race is over.

Friday, November 26, 2021

Missouri in danger of losing $2 billion in education funding

By Rudi Keller

Missouri has so much money, coming so fast, from federal COVID-19 relief bills that it is in danger of losing almost $2 billion dedicated to schools.

As Education Commissioner Margie Vandeven last week sought support for projects to improve teacher retention, members of the legislature’s Federal Stimulus Spending Subcommittee wanted to know how a key federal deadline escaped their notice.

(Photo- State Rep. Doug Richey, R-Excelsior Springs, chairman of the legislature’s Federal Stimulus Spending Subcommittee Tim Bommel/Missouri House Communications).

The American Rescue Plan Act, passed in March, is the source of the money. The U.S. Education Department approved the state’s plan and released the last of the money in early October.

The problem is that the money can’t be spent until there’s an appropriation. And unless lawmakers pass, and Gov. Mike Parson signs, a supplemental appropriations bill before March 24, the money has to be returned.

“It is Nov. 16 and we are not in session until Jan. 5,” Chairman Doug Richey, R-Excelsior Springs, told Vandeven in the hearing. “There is a tremendous amount of work that is going to be required to move a supplemental bill of that nature. It would have been nice if we would have had a bit of a yellow flag waving at a minimum.”

Most of the aid coming to states as a result of the American Rescue Plan Act must be appropriated by 2024 and spent by 2026. The committee has been working to use the money on those timelines, Richey said.

Examining the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education’s documents, he said, a note was found indicating the deadline date. But it was hardly a prominent feature.

“I guess I’m a little baffled by the fact that this committee, that we have had virtually no contact from anyone within DESE saying, ‘Hey, we really got to take a look at this,’” Richey said.

Part of the problem, said Kari Monses, the department’s finance officer, was a common assumption that there would be a special legislative session sometime in the fall.

“We probably made a false assumption that it would be addressed, maybe sooner in the process,” Monses said.

There were expectations, when lawmakers went home in May, that they would come back to draw new Congressional districts once population data was available. Other issues, such as how to spend billions in federal relief, were expected to be on the table. Groups of legislators made a variety of issues their target for work in a fall session.

In September, Parson left open the possibility of a special session to respond to federal vaccine mandates.

“I would say we were hopeful that there would be some discussion about a supplemental even in the veto session in September,” Monses said.

But with warring Republican factions in the state Senate unable to work smoothly on procedural or policy issues, the only special session this year was a short meeting to renew taxes essential to funding Medicaid.

“I will say there are many who were under the impression, early on, that there would be other opportunities during special sessions to look at matters,” Richey agreed.

Of the $1.95 billion in Missouri’s allocation, $1.76 billion has to go to local education agencies, which covers both school districts and charter schools.The remainder, about $195 million, is for the state education department to develop statewide plans to address learning loss and develop summer and after-school programs.

School districts will be eager to get the money, Richey said. Lawmakers are going to get pressure from superintendents to get a spending bill passed but the timing is out of their control, he said.

Missouri’s 55-page plan, submitted in April, aligns with the guidance documents by providing data on which student groups have had the biggest impact from learning loss, addressing teacher retention needs and development of local plans.

The supplemental spending bill for the current fiscal year is likely to be one of the largest, and most controversial, in years. In July, the MIssouri Supreme Court ruled that the state must expand Medicaid as directed by a voter initiative even though lawmakers did not make any appropriation for that specific purpose.

That is only one item likely to complicate the opening weeks of the upcoming session. Passing a single-item supplemental spending bill isn’t an impossible task. Lawmakers did so last year by Feb. 11, when Parson signed a bill spending $324 million on rental assistance.

The bill covering other supplemental needs did not pass until May.

“We are going to have to approve $2 billion in a supplemental (budget) along with other supplemental requests,” Richey said, “in a bit of a matter of controversy.”

Billy Long: We can't allow China and Russia to beat us on technology

(From Seventh District Congressman Billy Long)

We're not talking days, weeks, months, or even years but literally decades that the United States has been turning a blind eye to the aggressive push for world domination from the Communist Chinese Party (CCP). They haven't been subtle or sly about their approach either but more like 'here we come, and you can't stop us.' 

Then along came Russia, which recently shot down one of their own satellites which is more than concerning in its own right. And just this week we learned that Russia and China's militaries will be working together hand in glove. 

While we have been concerning ourselves with which pronoun or bathroom to use, folks that hate us have been concerning themselves with advanced military options. It is ironic that Xi is pronounced 'she' but I guarantee China's president for life Xi Jinping couldn't care less about pronouns. 

As it turns out, Russia and China don’t care one thing about woke ideology, human rights or green new anything. They care about absolute power, being the world's superpower and controlling everything on every front. 

If the United States is to survive, we need to recognize the aggressive actions our enemies have taken to build up their militaries and respond in kind. On January 20, 2021, we were energy independent. Now you have to wonder if Russia will open the oil spicket when we or our allies need it. President Biden did tap our oil reserves this week releasing a massive two-and-a-half-day supply. Reread that last sentence.

For 11 years I've been railing against China's aggression and have written numerous times about the dangers of the CCP's quest for world domination. They are currently trying to control the global supply of essential rare earth minerals and are solely responsible for the COVID-19 pandemic. While these both pose grave risks to the entire world, their military buildup is even more alarming.

President for life Xi Jinping yearns to be king of the world and no one is surprised that he has continued to build up China's military much like his predecessors. 

What is surprising is the hypersonic speed at which he has done so. Recently the CCP tested a prototype nuclear weapons system, the hypersonic missile. It sounds like something you would find only in a James Bond movie but sadly it is not. 

Traveling at nearly 5 times the speed of sound, these missiles are almost impossible to track down and destroy. If China were to launch a hypersonic nuclear warhead against the United States, we would be virtually defenseless. 

The Pentagon is working on technologies to defeat this evolving threat, but it will take a long time, time we may not have thanks in large part to the massive bureaucracy of red tape hoops we must jump through. China has also been creating mock American aircraft carriers in the desert to practice destroying. 

These actions up the ante and represent serious new aggression by the CCP and should serve as a warning to the folks at the Pentagon, on Capitol Hill and on Main Street USA.

While China has been developing hypersonic missiles, Russia has been working on ways to destroy orbiting satellites. When they shot down their own satellite last week it created a massive debris field which endangered the lives of our astronauts on the International Space Station. 

While the technology has existed for a few years, including in the United States and China, this is the first time Russia has successfully destroyed a satellite. It represents a dramatic change in potential warfare. 

If Russia can shoot down one of their own satellites, what is stopping them from shooting down one or all of ours? If they were to do this, it would cripple the United States, both militarily and domestically. Think of how much we rely upon satellites for everyday life, and then imagine what our society would look like if that all went the way of the dinosaurs tomorrow. Allowing Russia to shoot down our satellites would be devastating beyond belief.

You may think that countering aggression from China and Russia on their own is scary enough but wait until they partner together. 

As I mentioned earlier, just this week Russia and China announced a new military cooperation to counter American dominance of the sky. Russia and China are now flying joint patrol missions over the Sea of Japan and East China Sea in direct response to US bomber flights in the region. 

This unprecedented alliance is yet another sign of aggression by our enemies, and the United States cannot afford to sit idly by. The domestic debates our country is currently having pale in comparison to the military advancements of our enemies. 

President Vladimir Putin and president for life Xi Jinping want Americans fighting amongst ourselves so we'll be too distracted to notice what they’re doing. Well, we've noticed, and now the only question is do we take decisive action, or do we fiddle while Rome burns? We must build up our own military, and President Biden must take swift and decisive actions to maintain our military superiority.

When the Soviets launched the Sputnik I satellite on October 4, 1957, the United States sprang into action. We developed weapons and technologies to counter the Soviets in the event of a full-on war. These recent developments from China and Russia warrant the same innovative spirit. If we are going to remain the world’s superpower, we must develop new technologies to prevent attacks from our enemies. We simply cannot allow China and Russia to beat us on this front because we are too worried about which statue to remove next.

Wednesday, November 24, 2021

McDonald County reports five new COVID-19 cases


Seventeen new COVID-19 cases confirmed in Jasper County

(From the Jasper County Health Department)

COVID Update 11-24-2021
17 new positive cases

<1 year 0
1-4 yrs 0
5-11 yrs 3
12-19yrs 0
20-29yrs 1

30-39yrs 3
40-49yrs 5
50-59yrs 1
60-69yrs 2
70-79yrs 2
80-89yrs 0
90+yrs 0
Vaccinated = 6
Reinfection = 0

Cole County judge: Health Department COVID orders violate Missouri Constitution

By Tessa Weinberg

Cole County Circuit Court Judge Daniel Green on Tuesday ruled that health orders designed to stop the spread of COVID-19 that were issued by local health departments violated the Missouri Constitution.

At issue in the case were regulations issued by the Department of Health and Senior Services allowing directors of local health agencies to issue orders, such as closure of businesses.

In an 18-page order, Green wrote that DHSS unconstitutionally granted too much power to individual local health officials and directors. 

The state in effect bypassed the only entities under Missouri law granted the authority to issue these types of health orders, Green wrote, which includes county commissions, county councils and certain county health boards.

“Missouri law also provides for criminal punishment for violation of a public health law adopted by a county council or county commission,” Green wrote.

The case, Green wrote, was about whether DHSS regulations can “abolish representative government in the creation of public health laws, and whether it can authorize closure of a school or assembly based on the unfettered opinion of an unelected official.

“This court finds it cannot.”

Green said all existing health orders issued unilaterally by local health authorities are “null and void.”

A spokesman for Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt, whose office defended DHSS in the lawsuit, said in an email to The Independent that “we’re aware of the court’s ruling and are prepared to enforce compliance with the court’s order across the state.”

Ben Brown, owner of a St. Louis County restaurant and candidate for state Senate, was involved in the lawsuit, which was filed last year. He issued a statement saying the it was time to “make masks optional, end needless quarantines of Missouri’s children and go back to living productive lives while allowing individuals the freedom to choose how and when they interact with others based on each person’s or family’s personal decisions.”

Mask requirements currently remain in place in St. Louis and St. Louis County. The Jackson County Legislature voted to end its requirement earlier this month, and the mandate in Kansas City ended Nov. 5 except for schools and school buses.

Green’s ruling comes at a time when COVID-19 cases in Missouri are beginning to tick upwards again after weeks of decline.

The state reported 1,900 COVID-19 cases Tuesday morning, with a seven-day average of 1,588 a day. That’s 12.6% higher than the previous week and 63% higher than one month ago. Missouri health officials have deemed 24 counties in Missouri as COVID-19 hot spots because of increasing numbers of people infected with the disease.

More than 15,000 Missourians have died of COVID-19 since the pandemic began.

Tuesday, November 23, 2021

Eight new COVID-19 cases confirmed in McDonald County


Jasper County Health Department confirms 30 new COVID-19 cases

(From the Jasper County Health Department)

COVID Update 11-23-2021
30 new positive cases

<1 year 0
1-4 yrs 0
5-11 yrs 5
12-19yrs 0

20-29yrs 3
30-39yrs 4
40-49yrs 6
50-59yrs 6
60-69yrs 3
70-79yrs 3
80-89yrs 0
90+yrs 0
Vaccinated = 6
Reinfection = 1 (person was not vaccinated)

Nancy Hughes: Will anyone come?

“For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in. I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.”

Matthew 25:35-36 (NIV)

The thought had gone through my mind several times: “Instead of leaving cookies for my neighbor and hurrying away, I need to take the time to sit and visit with her.” She is absolutely precious and I thoroughly enjoy chatting with her.

But I had been busy with everyday life and just hadn’t stopped by for several weeks. So this time when I took the cookies and she asked if I had time to visit, I stayed.

We talked and laughed and talked some more. Then the subject turned to not being able to sleep at night. “My mind doesn’t stop when I lay down,” I told her. “I am thinking about the next day and everything on my to-do list.” She nodded.

“I know exactly what you mean. I am laying there and I start wondering about things, like do I need to get groceries, what will the weather be tomorrow, will anyone come . . .” and her voice trailed off as she looked out the window.

Those last three words – “will anyone come” – pierced my heart and immediately convicted me of my failure as a Christian.

In Matthew 25:35-36, Jesus is speaking with His followers and saying that because they met His needs for nourishment and clothing, showed Him hospitality, looked after Him when He was ill and visited Him in prison, they were blessed by God.

But His followers were confused. They did not remember helping Jesus when He needed clothing or was sick or in prison. They could not help asking “Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?” (Verses 37-38)

Jesus replied in verse 40 that “whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.” Nowhere in those verses does it read “I was hungry and you gave me cookies and left because you had a meeting.” Or “I was in prison and you waved and said “hi” but you just couldn’t stay because you were busy.”

Their love for the Lord was their reason for taking care of those in need. They wanted to be Jesus to everyone around them. So what about you and me? I have no doubt that every one of us has at least one neighbor like mine. One who is elderly or physically unable to get out of their home. A man or woman who wonders if anyone even knows they exist.

Look around your neighborhood and ask yourself if there might be someone sitting in a home wondering “will anyone come.” Let that person who knocks on the door with cookies and time for a visit be the face and words of Jesus – in you.

Father, forgive me for not looking at my neighbors through your eyes. May I find less time to be busy and more time to be you to each of them. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.

R.A.P. it up . . .


Do you know the names of your neighbors? How many of them would love to have a visit from you?


Spend a day or evening or weekend making cookies or treats and put your neighbor’s names on each package along with a note. Then call and ask if you could bring over the gift and visit. Be prepared for smiles and perhaps some tears.


Matthew 25:35-36 (NIV) “For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in. I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.”

Galatians 6:10 (NIV) “Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.”

Psalms 35:10 (NIV) “My whole being will exclaim, Who is like you, O Lord? You rescue the poor from those too strong for them, the poor and needy from those who rob them.”
(For more of Nancy Hughes' writing, check out her blog, Encouragement from the War Room.

Paul Richardson: Once on auto pilot

It is the same twelve-mile journey it has always been. The road has never been altered, or at least in my lifetime. It has never been relocated to bypass some main street, as there are not any Main Streets, and has only been subjected to a variety of maintenance procedures.

As a small child, it was the route for regular journeys to my maternal grandparents. As a pre-teen -and teenager, it was the road to town, traversing the twelve-mile gap between the small village where I lived and the commercial center where the grocery and commodity shopping was completed. 

When I reached the age of thirteen, Dad said, “You’re old enough to go to work, so beginning this season, you will go to work with me each day during your summer break.” He had spoken, so, thus it was through the summer following my seventeenth birthday.

I was on this route that I got to practice my driving skills. First in a pickup with a “three-on-the-tree” and then in a two-ton dump truck with a five-speed, capped with a granny gear and a two-speed rear end. 

If those terms do not ring a bell with you, then, they were both variations of trucks with standard transmissions. One with the shifter on the column and the other with a stick on the floor. Either way, this was the beginning of driving lessons with my dad. My mother took on the task of teaching me to drive an automatic transmission prior to my sixteenth birthday. The other lessons began much earlier.

The two summers following my eighteenth birthday, I worked for Southwestern Bell Telephone. The Mayfair exchange for the local Baby Bell, since the Federal Government had broken Ma Bell into fragments in order to dispel the thoughts of anyone having a monopoly. 

It was during those two summers that I would transverse this route every morning and evening alone, as I was taking up residence at my parents' home during my college days. 

As the good wife and I were driving over a portion of this route the other day, I recalled a memory of some random day nearing fifty years ago, when I found myself at the destination that was populated by one of the points at either end, wondering how I got there. 

This wasn’t just a one-time occurrence, as there were numerous days that I would go on auto pilot and simply leave at one end of the route and then find myself at the destination, with no memory of the trip that had taken place between the two points.

Knowing that I wasn’t a “Navigator” plucked from the sci-fi fantasy of “Dune”, and did not have the capabilities to fold space, nor could I beam myself and my vehicle anywhere, this lack of memory was a little bit unsettling. Surely if I had done something stupid or lacked proper control, or if there had been a close encounter, I would have been instantly aware and in the present. I hope that this would have been the case.

Unfortunately, I left a point at the beginning of a journey when I was in my twenties, and just suddenly became aware that I can’t recall a lot of the path along the way. It was just moments ago that I began this journey, and while we are always closer to the end with no possibility of returning to the starting point, I know that the halfway point has also been passed. While I have a lot of stories, because I have lead a full life, I can always wish that I could tell you what happened when I was on auto pilot.

Joplin gymnastics coach bound over for trial on statutory sodomy charges

A Joplin gymnastics coach was bound over for trial on two counts of statutory sodomy after waiving his preliminary hearing Monday in Newton County Circuit Court.

Kip Andrew Johnson, 45, also faces two charges of statutory sodomy and one count of furnishing pornographic material to a minor in Jasper County, where he waived his preliminary hearing and was bound over for trial August 19. The next hearing in Jasper County Circuit Court is scheduled for December 6.

The Joplin Police Department investigated a report submitted January 27 through the Missouri Child Abuse Hotline that Johnson had sexually assaulted a boy at the Freeman Rehabilitation and Sports Center.

The allegations against Johnson were described in probable cause statements filed in Newton County an Jasper County circuit courts.

Johnson began messaging the child through social media and text messages. The messages included Johnson asking (the boy) to send him sexually explicit pictures and/or videos of (himself).

During this period, Johnson began furnishing pornographic nude photos of himself to (the boy). (The victim) was 14 years old when Johnson began sending nude pictures of himself.

At Johnson's request, (the boy) send nude pictures of himself through social media and text message. On the day of the incident, Johnson asked (the boy) through text message if he wanted to do "something," alluding to (the boy) having sexual intercourse after gymnastics practice on that Saturday.

Johnson volunteered to give (the boy) a ride home after practice. Johnson stopped at his other workplace, Freeman Rehabilitation and Sports Center at 2206 E. 32nd Street, Joplin, Newton County, Missouri, with (the boy).

Johnson told (him) to follow him into the building. (The boy) recalled entering the back entrance and Johnson putting in a code to shut off the alarm system. (The boy) recalled exact directions inside of the building where Johnson led him into an exam room on the first floor.
Johnson kissed (the boy) and tugged on (his) shirt.

After that, the probable cause statement says Johnson performed a sex act on the boy, then had the boy perform a sex act on him.

The Jasper County probable cause statement notes Johnson's previous alleged assaults against the boy and an assault at Johnson's home.

The sexual assaults occurred in Joplin, Missouri and various locations where gymnastics competitions were held in the United States.

On the day of the incident, Johnson asked (the boy) to come to his home and alluded to him about having sexual intercourse. Johnson picked up the child and took the child to his home at 2502 S. Evan Wood Terrance, Joplin, Jasper County, Missouri, where (they engaged in a sex act and had intercourse) in his bedroom at the residence. (A graphic description is provided in the statement about the act.)

(The boy) was able to remember specific details of Johnson's bedroom, including the color of his bed sheets and bedding.

A residential search warrant was executed of 2502 S Evan Wood Terrance on 02/02/2021. Johnson's bedding and sheets matched the description of (the boy's) disclosure. The items were placed into evidence. Detectives located lubricant used for sexual intercourse inside of the residence.

Parson headed to Israel, Greece on trade mission

(From Gov. Mike Parson)

From December 2 - 11, Governor Mike Parson and First Lady Teresa Parson will travel to Israel and Greece for a third international Trade Mission. Israel and Greece are key trade partners for Missouri, with nearly $54 million and more than $12 million in exports in 2020, respectively.

Consistent with Governor Parson’s infrastructure and economic development priorities, the goal of the Trade Mission is to build relationships with key international figures to promote Missouri’s strong capacity for trade.

“As Governor, I look forward to meeting with our partners in Israel and Greece to strengthen relationships and broaden our state’s global trade opportunities,” Governor Parson said. “Countries around the world already purchase billions of dollars in Missouri-made products each year. We're thrilled to again represent our state to international officials and companies while promoting Missouri as an ideal business location.”

The Trade Mission will include stops in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, Israel, as well as Athens and Thessaloniki, Greece, to meet with government officials, diplomats, and business leaders to promote Missouri as an ideal destination for business investment and expansion. 

Governor Parson will meet with company representatives that have existing relationships in Missouri to thank them for their investment in the state and companies without a presence in Missouri to encourage them to consider Missouri for future investments.

The nearly $66 million in goods exported to Israel and Greece in 2020 shows the importance of international trade to the state’s economic success. Among the goods exported to Israel, cars and trucks were among those in highest demand. Chemicals and machinery ranked highly among exports to Greece.

Israel Highlights

Governor Parson will take part in an ag-tech roundtable discussion in Tel Aviv alongside GlobalSTL, a premier Missouri organization that aims to recruit high-growth international companies with the goal of establishing headquarters in St. Louis. Key industries of focus include agriculture and plant science, medical and human health, cyber security, financial technology, and food and nutrition.

Meetings scheduled include SIBAT, the International Defense Cooperation Directorate of the Israel Ministry of Defense (IMOD), and the Deputy Chief of Mission Michael Ratney of the U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem.

Governor Parson will also receive economic briefings from the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the U.S. Embassy Israeli Country team.

Greece Highlights

Meetings scheduled include Geoffrey R. Pyatt, U.S. Ambassador to the Hellenic Republic (Greece), agricultural startups in Greece, and the U.S. Consul General in Thessaloniki, Ms. Elizabeth (Liz) K. Lee.

Governor Parson will also be a keynote speaker at the Greek Economic Summit and take part in a business roundtable discussion hosted by the American Chamber of Commerce to engage with Greek CEOs in the northern region of Thessaloniki.

The Trade Mission is funded by the Hawthorn Foundation, a Missouri nonprofit organization. For updates on the trip, follow @GovMikeParson on Facebook and @GovParsonMO on Twitter.

Springfield mayor: Hammons Field will be a lonely place without Bill Virdon

(From the City of Springfield)

Today we mourn the loss of baseball great Bill Virdon. He epitomized the best of baseball in Springfield – beginning with our beloved St. Louis Cardinals, where he was Rookie of the Year in 1955. He then had a very successful playing career with the Pittsburg Pirates and later a long and successful managerial career in the major leagues.

When he retired, he moved back to Springfield. He never forgot that Springfield was his home and in turn, Springfield never forgot him. He was a fixture at Springfield Cardinals games, as long as his health permitted. 

He loved talking about baseball and encouraging young people in that sport. Springfield and indeed, the entire nation, has lost a sports icon. 

Hammons Field will be a more lonely place because of the absence of Bill Virdon.

Former North Middle School teacher who molested 13-year-old boy sentenced to 20 years

Former Joplin North Middle School reading teacher Amanda Ruth Schweitzer, 42, was sentenced to 20 years in prison today for charges connected to her molestation of a 13-year-old boy.

Following her sentence, she will be under supervised probation for 15 years. She will also be required to register as a sex offender.

On June 16, 2020, Schweitzer pleaded guilty to enticing a minor for illegal sexual activity. 

Schweitzer's crimes were spelled out in the plea agreement.

On March 29, 2017, Joplin, Missouri Police Department (JPD) Officer and School Resource Officer R. Hirshey responded to North Middle School, 102 South Gray, Joplin, Missouri, in reference to the defendant sending nude images of herself to three students.

Officer Hirshey spoke with North Middle School Principal Matt Harding. Harding stated that C. O. and D. R. adult females, made a report regarding John Doe 1 (DOB 2003), John Doe 2 (DOB 2002) and John Doe 3 (DOB 2002), and advised him that the defendant sent nude photos to John Doe I's Instagram account.

On March 29, 2017, JPD Corporal Luke Stahl responded to North Middle School to further the investigation. Cpl. Stahl seized all the John Does' cellular phones with consent from their mothers. Cpl. Stahl asked the defendant if she would be willing to come to JPD for an interview.

The defendant consented and rode with Cpl. Stahl. Upon arrival, Cpl. Stahl took the defendant to an interview room and read the defendant her rights under Miranda and she agreed to waive her rights to speak with Cpl. Stahl.

The defendant stated she had communicated with John Doe 1 and 3, but that it was all school related. The defendant said John Doe 1 and 3 had messaged her asking for Mountain Dew, so she drove to John Doe 3's residence to drop some off for them.

The defendant said she had also given John Doe 1 and 3 a ride to John Doe 3's residence so that they would not have to walk home from school.

The defendant also admitted she had picked John Doe 1 up on March 20, 2017 to go see a movie. They never went to the movies, driving around instead and eventually they went to the river in a white four-door car.

John Doe 1 reported that once they got the river, the defendant (initiated oral sex and later sexual intercourse with the boy).

John Doe 1 stated the second time they had sex was on March 29, 2017. John Doe 1 stated he had not gone to school; he had stayed home with John Doe 3.

The defendant texted him to ask him why he had not come to school. The defendant later came to John Doe 3's residence and took (John Doe 1) inside to a bedroom. John Doe 1 stated that they had sex in the bedroom.

John Doe 1 started that the defendant mostly communicated with him through the Instagram application. John Doe 1 stated that before the defendant picked him up from John Doe 3's residence, she had sent him a picture of her breast.

John Doe 1 stated that the defendant had sent him nude pictures of herself before. John Doe 1 stated that in one of her photos, the defendant had a purple (sex toy) that looked like a cactus. John Doe 1 sent one (nude photo of himself) to the defendant.

On April 11, 2017, TFO Roller conducted a forensic examination of (Schweitzer's phone and John Doe 1's phone).

On John Doe 1's phone, images of John Doe (nude) and images with the defendant's exposing her breast were located. There was also one image depicting the defendant with (the sex toy) in her mouth.

On the defendant's phone, multiple images of her exposing her breast were located, including the images that were located on John Doe 1's phone. All of the Instagram messages had been deleted from both phones.