Friday, March 31, 2023

Five candidates confirmed for final Joplin R-8 candidate forum; Landis, Scheurich not expected to attend

At least five Joplin R-8 Board of Education candidates will attend a forum 5 p.m. Saturday at Vazzo Venue, 512 S. Joplin Avenue. The event is sponsored by Jasper County Grassroots.

Those who are confirmed to attend are Jeff Koch, Derek Gander, Michelle Steverson, Matthew Robertson and Marda Schroeder

The moderator will be Reggie Powers from Joplin Area Chamber of Commerce.

An event organizer told the Turner Report that candidate Veronica Gatz Scheurich has said she will not be at the forum. Scheurich has not been attending earlier candidate forums.

Candidate and former board member Mike Landis did not respond to the invitation. Landis has also been a no-show at earlier forums.

Sentencing memo: Joplin man should serve 10 years in prison for fentanyl trafficking

A Joplin man has had one opportunity after another to turn his life around and break away from his addiction, but continues to return to crime and should spend 10 years in prison.

That assessment was included in a sentencing memorandum filed today in U. S District Court for the Western District of Missouri.

The sentencing hearing for Cody Dalton Romines, 40, is scheduled for 11:30 a.m. Tuesday in Springfield.

From the memorandum:

In this case, the defendant was distributing a significant amount of fentanyl in southwest Missouri. On May 17, 2021, as part of an ongoing fentanyl investigation, law enforcement conducted a traffic stop on the defendant’s vehicle based on a belief that he was transporting a large quantity of fentanyl to Joplin, Missouri, for distribution. 

Upon law enforcement attempting to conduct a traffic stop, the defendant accelerated to 90 miles per hour, failed to stop for approximately two miles, and threw a bag that contained more than 170 grams of fentanyl out the window. 

In a post-Miranda interview, the defendant admitted he was transporting the fentanyl for distribution in the Joplin, Missouri, area, that he had done so before, and that he had been selling heroin for years. 

The defendant is being held accountable for 344 grams of fentanyl in this case. A single dose of fentanyl, approximately one-tenth of a gram, can be fatal. The defendant is responsible for distributing nearly 3,500 doses, which only amplifies the danger of his conduct. 

To make matters worse, the defendant knows the serious risk of overdose as he admitted to law enforcement in his post-Miranda interview that he was aware people were dying from fentanyl overdoses and he himself suffered an overdose from fentanyl and methamphetamine and was hospitalized and in a coma for approximately 47 days. 

Locally, the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services provides that in 2021 there were 1,581 opioid overdose deaths in Missouri, nearly a 15 percent increase from the 1,375 opioid overdose deaths in Missouri residents in 2020. See 

Starker still, the number of non-heroin opioid overdose deaths in Missouri has risen from 870 in 2019, to 1,230 in 2020, to 1,493 in 2021. Id. This more than 70 percent increase in just two years demonstrates the damage that fentanyl is doing to Missourians and illustrates the danger the defendant’s conduct presented by furthering the sale of such poison in our community. 

The defendant’s criminal history – while not as significant as many of the defendants that appear before the Court for sentencing – makes a few things quite clear, he has significant problems with substance abuse, he lacks respect for the rule of law, and he will violate it to suit his needs. 

His criminal history also demonstrates the opportunities he has had to change his ways, learn to deal with his addictions, and take his life in a different direction. 

At each fork in the road, rather than learn from his past, the defendant chose to return to drugs. Such repeated return to criminal activity supports the Government’s recommended sentence. The Government recognizes that the recommended sentence is significant, and even more so considering this will be the defendant’s first felony conviction. Nonetheless, the defendant’s conduct has established that such a sentence is necessary. His statements following his arrest demonstrate that he knew the dangers his conduct presented. His own fentanyl overdose further demonstrates that awareness, however, despite that knowledge, he chose to continue to inject poison into the community, risking the lives of others and imputing the same addictions from which he has suffered onto other people. 

The defendant is a young man with a lot of life to live after he serves his time in prison. It is the Government’s hope and belief that its recommended sentence is sufficient to deter the defendant from returning to criminal ways when he is released, instill in him respect for the law, and provide him with the time and resources to deal with his addiction. 

The Government respectfully requests that this Court sentence the defendant to a term of incarceration of 120 months and a five-year term of supervised release.

Thursday, March 30, 2023

Marijuana sales tax issue on Joplin ballot

(From the City of Joplin)

Reminder: Municipal Election will be held on Tuesday, April 4, 2023.

Joplin voters will decide on Joplin School Board Members and also be asked if they approve to impose an additional 3% sales tax on the sale of recreational marijuana.
The ballot question will be stated as follows:

“Shall the City of Joplin, Missouri, impose an additional sales tax of three percent (3%) on all retail sales of adult-use non-medical marijuana sold in Joplin?”

Amendment 3 Background: On November 8, 2022, Missouri voters approved Amendment 3, a ballot initiative that sought to amend Missouri’s constitution and legalize recreational marijuana. 

Amendment 3 not only provides for the legalized sale of recreational marijuana but also addresses personal use regulations, expunges non-violent marijuana-related criminal records for offenses, authorizes cities to impose a sales tax with voter approval on the sale of recreational marijuana, and establishes regulations for consumers and businesses.
More information:

Joplin doctor provides nearly all funding for Joplin R-8 candidate Marda Schroeder

I received a comment on an earlier post asking why I have focused on the money being raised by two candidates for Joplin R-8 Board of Education seats, Mike Landis and Veronica Gatz Scheurich and not the other seven candidates on the ballot.

Candidates are not required to file disclosure reports with the Missouri Ethics Commission unless they spend more than $1,000 in the election.

Landis and Scheurich were the only candidates to file reports at the 40-days before election. Two other candidates filed at the 8-days-before-election report- Matthew Robertson and Marda Schroeder. I had a post on Robertson's filing Wednesday night and one on his amended report today.

This post will concentrate on Marda Schroeder's filing. The other five candidates have not filed reports indicating they do not intend to spend more than $1,000.

I should have noted that earlier.

In her 8-days-before-election filing with the Missouri Ethics Commission, Joplin R-8 Board of Education candidate Marda Schoeder reported $1,162.52 in contributions with $1,000 of that coming from her campaign treasurer Dr. Michael Joseph.

She also received $100 from Joplin Schools counselor Julia Wood-Narrell and $50 from Johanna Day, retired, Joplin.

By the end of the reporting period, she had spent only $12.52 for a list of voter addresses, obviously for the mailing Joplin residents received this week.

Robertson amends Ethics Commission filing, only one Woolston contribution, none from Jasper County Republican Committee

Joplin R-8 Board of Education candidate Matthew Robertson filed an amended 8-days-before election report late Wednesday, removing one of two $100 contributions he originally reported from Joplin realtor (and former tornado mayor) Mike Woolston and completely removing a $50 contribution he reported from the Jasper County Republican Committee.

That contribution was replaced by a $50 contribution from Cathy Jo Loy, described on the document as a "stay-at-home mom" from Carthage.

The change came after Robertson was contacted by Jasper County Republican officials who noted that the central committee does not make contributions in non-partisan local races.

Robertson's report showed $1,270 in contributions, with the biggest being $500 from Higdon Florist and Gifts and $1,150 in expenditures.

Jasper County meth trafficker pleads guilty

A Monett man who was caught dealing 117 grams of meth to someone who was working with local law enforcement pleaded guilty today in U. S. District Court in Springfield.

In a case that moved with an astonishing quickness, Troy pleaded guilty three weeks after his federal grand jury indictment. No date has been scheduled for his sentencing.

According to a plea agreement filed today, Troy D. Liggett, 28, met with a confidential source for the Ozarks Drug Enforcement Team at a Taco Bell in Joplin March 4, 2022, then went to a "neutral site" where he sold the source 117 grams of methamphetamine.

Former H. E. Williams official expected to plead guilty to child pornography charge

A 10:30 a.m. Tuesday, April 11 change-of-plea hearing is scheduled in U. S. District Court in Springfield for a former H. E. Williams official who was caught with child pornography on his work computer and company cell phone.

According to an affidavit filed in support of the original criminal complaint, the director of information technology for Cartbage-based H.E. Williams, Shane Barton’s employer, was alerted to a suspected virus on Barton’s company-issued computer that was in Barton’s office and connected to the business network. 

On Jan. 5, 2022, he observed an unauthorized anti-virus program on the computer and discovered numerous files that contained adult and child pornography. He notified management of the violation of company policy.

While doing so, he noticed the files were being deleted. Fearing that Barton was possibly tampering with evidence, he locked Barton out of the network and his company-issued computer.

Barton was placed on leave, the affidavit says, pending the resolution of an internal investigation. He was instructed to turn over his company-issued iPhone. A forensic examination of the computer identified approximately 10,000 images and approximately 100 video files of suspected child pornography, the affidavit says, as well as additional video files of suspected child pornography on the iPhone.

Barton resigned from his position with the company a couple of weeks later.

Former Joplin day care operator, may be headed to prison after probation violation on kidnapping charge


A former Joplin day care operator who served time on a federal kidnapping charge may be returning to prison.

A preliminary probation revocation was hearing was held today in U. S. District Court in Springfield for LaSonya Poindexter, 35, who is being held in the Greene County Jail without bond after being arrested Monday.

A grand jury indicted Poindexter in 2017, charging her with attempting to kidnap a client's infant daughter.

Poindexter's crimes were spelled out in a 2017 news release from the U. S. Attorney for the Western District of Missouri:

According to an affidavit filed in support of today’s criminal complaint, Poindexter began taking care of a Joplin couple’s two children at her home day care in April 2017. Poindexter allegedly contacted a couple in Lincoln, Ark., and began making arrangements for the couple to adopt one of those children, a five-month-old daughter identified in court documents as Jane Doe 1. 

The infant’s parents had never put Jane Doe 1 up for adoption, nor had they ever told anyone that Jane Doe 1 was available to be adopted.

Poindexter made at least four trips to Lincoln so that the Arkansas couple could spend time with Jane Doe 1, the affidavit says, with each visit lasting two to three hours. Jane Doe 1’s parents had never given Poindexter permission to take their daughter across state lines to Arkansas and were unaware that any of the trips occurred. The Arkansas couple usually met with Poindexter at the home of Poindexter’s aunt, but one visit was at the couple’s own home (where they had prepared a nursery room for Jane Doe 1).

Poindexter falsely told the Arkansas couple that the infant’s mother had left her baby at Poindexter’s house and wanted her to find a good family for Jane Doe 1, the affidavit says, because she was the product of a rape. Poindexter told the Arkansas couple that Jane Doe 1’s mother wanted a closed adoption. Poindexter had sent the Arkansas couple a photo (screen shot), via Facebook Messenger, of a legal document purported to be from an attorney regarding the adoption. The attorney later told investigators he had never represented Poindexter, had any communication with her and was not involved with any adoption proceeding with Jane Doe 1.

According to the affidavit, the Arkansas couple became suspicious that the adoption was not valid, the affidavit says, but Poindexter continued to reassure them.

On July 20, 2017, after being contacted by the Arkansas couple, Jane Doe 1’s parents contacted law enforcement.

Federal court records do not specify the nature of Poindexter's alleged probation violation.

Revocation hearing set for Joplin man cited for violating probation on child porn charge

A final hearing regarding the revocation of the supervised release for a Joplin man is scheduled for 10 a.m. April 25 in U. S. District Court in Springfield.

Frank Ness, 53, is currently being held without bond in the Greene County Jail, after the U. S. Attorney's office initiated probation revocation proceedings. Ness was on supervised probation after serving his sentence on a child pornography charge.

Court records do not indicate the nature of Ness' alleged violation.

Ness was sentenced to 10 years in prison in 2015 and was onliy recently released.

Agenda posted for Joplin City Council meeting

6:00 P.M.

This meeting can be viewed live on KGCS-TV channel 21 and  regional cable television systems including Sparklight in Joplin; or livestream at  

Persons wishing to address the City Council regarding an item on the agenda should complete a Request to Address Council and give it to the City Clerk prior to the start of the meeting. When your name is called, approach the podium, and state your name clearly for the record. If your request pertains to a Public Hearing item, you do not need to submit a request. You will have five (5) minutes to speak.

PLEASE NOTE: No outside electronic devices are allowed to be used on City equipment without prior City approval. If you have handouts, you must provide 12 copies of the material to the City Clerk.

Call To Order

Pledge of Allegiance of the United States of America

Roll Call




VFW Post 5293 Joplin South Awards Presentation


Fair Housing Month Proclamation


Finalization Of Consent Agenda


Reports And Communications


News From The Public Information Office


Citizen Requests And Petitions


Public Hearings


Public Hearing Procedures



AN ORDINANCE approving the voluntary annexation by the Council of the City of Joplin, Missouri, of property located at the intersection of W 32nd Street and S John Duffy Dr., approx. 3500 feet west of S John Duffy Dr.



AN ORDINANCE amending Ordinance No. 2022-274, passed by the Council of the City of Joplin, Missouri, August 1, 2022, by removing from District C-3 (Commercial) and including in District M-2 (Heavy Industrial) property as described below and located 6701 E 26th St.



AN ORDINANCE amending Ordinance No. 2022-274, passed by the Council of the City of Joplin, Missouri, August 1, 2022, by removing from District R-1 (Residential) and including in District C-3 PD (Commercial Planned District) property as described below and located 2501 E 20th St.



AN ORDINANCE amending Ordinance No. 2022-274, passed by the Council of the City of Joplin, Missouri, August 1, 2022, by removing from District R-1 (Single-Family Residential) to R-2 PD (Two-Family Residential Planned District) property as described below and located at the intersection of W 32nd Street and S John Duffy Dr., approx. 3500 feet west of S John Duffy Dr.



AN ORDINANCE amending Ordinance No. 2022-274, passed by the Council of the City of Joplin, Missouri, August 1, 2022, by removing from District R-1 (Single-Family Residential) to MUC (Mixed Use Commercial) property as described below and located at the intersection of W 32nd Street and S John Duffy Dr., approx. 3500 feet west of S John Duffy Dr.



AN ORDINANCE amending Ordinance No. 2022-274, passed by the Council of the City of Joplin, Missouri, August 1, 2022, by removing from District R-1 (Single-Family Residential) to MUC (Mixed Use Commercial) property as described below and located at the intersection of W 32nd Street and S John Duffy Dr., approx. 3500 feet west of S John Duffy Dr.



AN ORDINANCE amending Ordinance No. 2022-274, passed by the Council of the City of Joplin, Missouri, August 1, 2022, by removing from District R-1 (Single-Family Residential) to R-2 (Two-Family Residential) property as described below and located at 507 N Wall Ave.


Consent Agenda


Minutes Of The March 20, 2023, City Council Meeting



AN ORDINANCE amending Chapter 82 – Offenses and Miscellaneous Provisions, Article V – Offenses Against Health and Safety, by changing offenses related to marijuana as a result of November 8, 2022 general election ballot measure Amendment 3.

  1. CB2023-005.PDF


AN ORDINANCE approving a construction agreement with McClanahan Construction, Inc. in the amount of Two Million, Two Hundred Fifty-Four Thousand and no/100 Dollars ($2,254,000.00) for the Turkey Creek Wastewater Treatment Facility (WWTF) Equipment Building and miscellaneous projects, authorizing the City Manager or his designee to execute the same by and on behalf of the City of Joplin.     

  1. CB2023-103.PDF


AN ORDINANCE approving the revised Rules and Regulations (Employee Handbook) as contained to govern employee conduct, workplace protections, job classification, benefits, compensation, discipline, safety, employment practices and to ensure compliance with the Charter of the City of Joplin, State and Federal employment laws.

  1. CB2023-604.PDF



Ordinances - Emergency



AN ORDINANCE    approving the Real Estate Contract by and between the City of Joplin, Missouri, a Municipal Corporation, and Richard Williams and Tony Williams, for the sale of one parcel located at 115 E. 34th Street, Joplin, Missouri, totaling approximately 30,361 square feet of land; and authorizing the City Manager to execute the same by and on behalf of the City of Joplin; and containing an emergency clause.        



AN ORDINANCE approving the contract by and between the City of Joplin and Nelson Enterprises for the demolition of the structure(s) and clearing of a lot located at 1309 S. Jackson Ave. in the City of Joplin, Missouri, for Four Thousand Two Hundred dollars ($4,200.00); providing how the cost thereof shall be paid; how the assessment thereof shall be made; and containing an emergency clause.



AN ORDINANCE approving an Agreement between the City of Joplin, Missouri, and the Community Clinic of Southwest Missouri that pertains to CDBG-CV public service grant funds; authorizing the City Manager to execute the same by and on behalf of the City of Joplin and containing an emergency clause.


Ordinances - First Reading


Ordinances - Second Reading And Third Reading


Unfinished Business


New Business


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 Pursuant To State Law, And To Discuss Leasing, Purchase Or Sale Of Real Estate By A Governmental Body Where Public Knowledge Of The Transaction Might Adversely Affect The Legal Consideration Thereof, Pursuant To State Law; As Set Forth In Section 610.021 (1) (2) RSMo, As Amended, 2020. This Meeting, Record, And Vote To Be Closed. Council Shall Adjourn At The End Of The Session.

Wednesday, March 29, 2023

Former Joplin Mayor Mike Woolston among those contributing to Robertson's R-8 campaign

Joplin's tornado mayor Mike Woolston is among those contributing to Matthew Robertson's bid for a seat on the Joplin R-8 Board of Education, according to an 8-days-before-election report filed Sunday with the Missouri Ethics Commission.

Robertson reported $1,370 in contributions and $1,122 in expenditures.

Those contributing to his campaign were:

Volk's Avanti Insurance Agency $200

Higdon Florist and Gifts $500 (contributions of $350 and $150)

Curtis Carr, Joplin Greenhouse owner, $200

Michael Woolston, realtor $200 (two $100 contributions)

Skaggs Chiropractic, $150

Jasper County Republican Central Committee $50 (Editor's note: The candidate is expected to amend his statement to indicate this contribution did not come from the committee, which does not contribute to local non-partisan races.)

Robertson's biggest expenditure, $1,000 to Victory Signs, Davenport, Iowa.


Scheurich nears $12,000 in contributions in Joplin R-8 Board race

With the addition of another $1,425 in contributions in her 8-day-before-election report, Joplin R-8 Board of Education candidate Veronica Gatz Scheurich has raised $11,790 during her campaign.

The amount was slightly more than the $11,706.90 her fellow board candidate Mike Landis has received in contributions during his campaign.

Both candidates have received a considerable amount of their money from people who were involved with the Joplin Progress Committee, a group of leading citizens who formed a decade ago in an effort to make sure that only the "right" people were elected to the Joplin R-8 Board of Education and Joplin City Council.

Many of the same people provided most of the funding for Landis, during his unsuccessful attempt to unseat Jasper County Presiding Commissioner John Bartosh in 2018.

That approach, with all of the advertising and signs boosting their name recognition, has led both Scheurich and Landis to avoid candidate forums.

Scheurich appears to be looking at a final advertising blitz, since she still had $8,223.48 in the bank at the end of the reporting period. In the four and a half weeks since the previous report, she spent $500, with $400 going toward signs. The other $100 was the return of a contribution she received from current board member Rylee Hartwell.

Scheurich received the following contributions during the reporting period:

Anne Curchin, Crossland Construction, $100

Pamela George, Springfield, retired, $75

Martha Duke, Joplin, retired, $50

Theresa Adams, Joplin, retired, $200

Dee Kanakis, Joplin, retired, $100

Ryan Stanley, Edward Jones (former Joplin mayor), $250

Barbara Hicklin, Joplin, retired, $100

Logan Stanley, Edward Jones, $250

Claude Jardon, Joplin, retired, $50

Dana Snodgrass, business owner, Joplin, $250

During the 40 days before election report, Scheurich received $10,365 in contributions and spent $3,066.52.

Those contributing to Scheurich's campaign according to the report included:

Dorothy Willcoxon, Joplin, retired $200

Robert W. Renger, DDS, Joplin, $500

James Secker, Joplin, Arvest Wealth Management, $100

Rylee Hartwell Committee, Joplin, $100

Andrew Perigo, Joplin, Mid-Missouri Bank, $100

David Weaver, Joplin, Pittsburg State University, $100

Ron Richard, Joplin, business owner $100

Ashley Cupp, Joplin, Webb City Schools, $100

Kimberly Woodard, Joplin, business owner, $200

William Dierks, Joplin, retired, $200

Sue Scheurich, Joplin, retired, $250

Alexander Curchin, Joplin, Crossland Construction, $250

Elizabeth Scheurich, Joplin, realtor, $250

Bennie Crossland, Joplin, Crossland Construction, $300

Karen Lieurance, Joplin, retired, $400

Ronald Gatz, Joplin, retired, $500

Systole Holding Company, LLC, Joplin, $1,000

Deel and Winkler Family Office, LLC, Joplin, $1,000

Sara Newman, Joplin, retired, $250

Maridan Kassab, Joplin, retired, $250

Stacey Salmon, Joplin, retired, $500

Henry Robertson, Joplin, retired, $350

Reed Miller, Webb City, BBC Electric, $250

Scott Brothers, Webb City, business owner, $200

Clevenger Financial LLC, Joplin, $125

Sharrock Dermott, Joplin, attorney, $100

Tyson Hagale, Joplin, Leggett & Platt, $250

Melanie Stanley, Webb City, retired, $150

Sharon Beshore, Joplin, retired, $300

Michael Joseph, Joplin, physician, $100

Kimberley Satterlee, Joplin, retired, $600

Alyson Miller, Joplin, retired, $100

Leigh Frogge, Joplin, retired, $200

Lynda Banwart, Joplin, Mercy, $300

Jon Dermott, Joplin, retired, $50

James Evans, Joplin, retired, $100

In addition to Scheurich and Landis the other candidates are incumbents Jeff Koch and Derek Gander, Matthew Robertson, Marda Schroeder, Frank Thompson, Michelle Steverson and Nathan Keizer.

The nine are running for three three-year terms.

Joplin man's lawyer: He was only going 90 miles per hour so he could throw away the fentanyl

When his client is about to be sentenced for trafficking fentanyl, a lawyer has to do anything he can to get the sentence reduced.

Consider the sentencing memorandum filed by the attorney for Cody Romines, 40, Joplin, today in U. S. District Court for the Western District of Missouri.

The attorney, Shane Cantin of Springfield, disputed the idea that Romines fled from law enforcement and endangered people before he was arrested on May 17, 2022.

According to reports written by the officers who observed these events, officers were following Cody’s vehicle traveling westbound on Interstate 44.

When they turned on their lights to attempt to stop him at approximately mile marker 32 Cody accelerated his vehicle to approximately 90 miles per hour. At mile marker 31.2 officers observed a package (later determined to contain the fentanyl) thrown out of the passenger side window. 

At mile marker 30.6 Cody pulled his vehicle to the side of the road and was taken into custody without incident or resistance. According to the officers' reports this entire incident, from mile marker 32 to mile marker 30.6, took only 1.4 miles. 

Assuming a speed of 75 miles per hour from turning on the patrol car lights to Cody stopping on the side of the road would have taken approximately 1 minute and 7 seconds. At 90 miles per hour this incident would have taken approximately 56 seconds. 

While Cody did accelerate to around 90 miles per hour and while that could be viewed as “flight” from law enforcement, it is not the kind of flight that one normally thinks of in relation to this Guideline enhancement. 

There is no indication that Cody swerved, passed vehicles, or otherwise attempted to take any evasive action to get away from the police behind him. What it appears to have been was a short acceleration to create distance between his vehicle and theirs so that he could throw away a package of fentanyl. 

When that was accomplished, Cody pulled to the side of the road and was arrested. If the Court determines that this enhancement is properly applied, counsel believes that the Court should recognize the relatively minor nature of the flight and should vary from the Guideline sentence accordingly.

Cantin also notes his client's addiction problems.

Cody has spent almost his entire adult life addicted to opioids, heroin, and fentanyl. This addiction ultimately resulted in a 2021 overdose that almost killed him and placed him in a 47-day hospitalization in a coma. His addiction was so serious that not even this near-death experience could deter him from his continued use of this drug.

Cantin suggests Romines receive a sentence of six years and three months.

Romines sentencing is scheduled for 11:30 a.m. April 4 in Springfield.

Dover Hill principal takes position with Springfield Public Schools

(From Springfield Public Schools)

Springfield Public Schools announced the next principal of Reed Academy on Wednesday. Mr. Bret Ingle, a principal in the Joplin School District with 13 years of administrative experience, is currently overseeing the merger of two buildings into Joplin’s unified Dover Hill Elementary. He will assume his new responsibilities with SPS on July 1 for the 2023-2024 school year.

“The middle school years are crucial to a student’s development, and I am excited to be part of the Reed community,” said Mr. Ingle. 

“Establishing strong relationships with students, staff and families is important to me, and I look forward to the many unique opportunities ahead for Reed - including the expansion of fine and performing arts and the potential for a beautiful, new facility designed and built for our exciting future.”

The announcement of Reed’s next principal coincides with an especially important time for the school and community. On Tuesday, April 4, voters will consider Proposition S, which would fund critical school improvements prioritized by a citizen task force that will impact every school in the district - including Reed. This no-tax rate increase would enable safety and security upgrades at all school facilities, new construction for Pipkin and Reed middle schools, renovation of Pershing School, and construction of storm shelters at Cowden, Holland, Mann, Pittman, Watkins, and Wilder elementaries. Reed’s new building would be constructed on its current location and the design would benefit an expansion of fine and performing arts.

Mr. Ingle joined the Joplin School District in 2003, serving as a teacher at Columbia Elementary for eight years. He later served two years as assistant principal of Joplin’s North Middle School before transitioning to principal of West Central Elementary in 2013. His career in education began in Wichita Falls, Texas, where he served as assistant for the director of curriculum overseeing data analysis and testing materials.

“SPS looks forward to welcoming Mr. Ingle to Springfield. He is exceptionally well-suited to lead Reed forward in the coming years,” said Dr. Michael Methvin, executive director of middle schools and K-8 campuses. “His extensive administrative experience in both an elementary and middle school setting, his enthusiasm for relationship building and academic excellence, and his leadership during times of transition make him the ideal choice to serve in this important role.”

Mr. Ingle completed undergraduate studies in education at Missouri Southern State University, graduate work in educational leadership at Pittsburg State University and an educational specialist degree from William Woods University.

To learn more about Reed Academy’s leadership transition and the proposed facility improvements to be funded by Proposition S, visit

Tuesday, March 28, 2023

Who is this Mike Landis who is running for Joplin R-8 Board Part 1

You can forgive Joplin patrons if they don't have any idea who this new guy is who is running for the R-8 Board of Education.

The flyer offers an introduction.

"While others follow, Landis leads- always has, always will."

"Mike Landis has never been afraid to make tough decisions that put taxpayers first.

"Mike is a leader for local control, not driven by bureaucrats or ego."

Who the heck is this Mike Landis?

This can't be the same guy who served on the Board of Education for years and made the tough decisions that resulted in "might as well" spending or paying nearly $100,000 to replace bleachers for the new Joplin High School because they were the wrong color.

Or the same one who joined with other board members to hand all decision making after the May 22, 2011 tornado to former superintendent C. J. Huff.

Or the same one who sat silently as Huff launched misogynistic attacks at board members Debbie Fort and Jennifer Martucci and often whispered back and forth with Huff while either of those two was speaking.

Could this be the same Mike Landis who said nary a word as millions and millions flowed out of the school district during the Huff era, but became incensed at the idea of teachers wearing blue jeans one day a week.

Landis mentions on his flyer that he is a former member of the board. He fails to mention that he quit the board, became involved in a secretive plot with former Superintendent C. J. Huff to create enough vacancies that replacements would be chosen by the Jasper County Commission and not by the board itself. The plot came three months after Landis, knowing that new board members were likely to be elected who wanted Huff out of the district, made sure to add another year to his contract.

After that Landis was in the majority on a 4-3 vote to give Huff a generous severance package.

Those developments were all explained in a Turner Report post written December 20, 2016, on the day Huff received his final district paycheck- more than a year and a half after his 'retirement."

Three weeks after the hiring of new Superintendent Melinda Moss, the Joplin R-8 School District is finally rid of the man she is replacing.

Though C. J. Huff has not done any work for the district since June 30, 2015 (except for helping with the multi-million dollar P1 lawsuit, created by his desperate, but unsuccessful, effort to get the new Joplin High School opened on time in 2014), he has continued collecting his paycheck on the 20th of each month.

The last paycheck was deposited into his account today.

Huff's time would have already been up had it not been for a decision by the R-8 Board of Education in February 2015 to add another year to Huff's contract. The board, which included Huff loyalists Mike Landis, Randy Steele, Anne Sharp, Shawn McGrew, and Lynda Banwart, added a third year to the remaining two years of Huff's contract despite knowledge that Huff was going to be heavily criticized in a state audit and was almost certain to lose his majority support at the April 2015 election.

After the election of Jeff Koch and Jennifer Martucci, Huff, who had attacked Martucci in Facebook postings in an attempt to keep her from being elected, made little effort to work with the new board, insulting board members Debbie Fort and Martucci during meetings and refusing to turn over documents to board members, instead requiring them to fill out Sunshine Law requests and pay for the materials.

Huff finally agreed to "retire," but not before milking the taxpayers for everything he could get. With Landis and Steele fighting for him, Huff was able to get full pay through the end of 2016, $50,000 to serve as a consultant on the lawsuits he had brought on during his tenure, primarily the P1 action, and he was able to write his own recommendation letter, which included the revelation that when Huff came to Joplin, the community was apathetic and did not care about education, and then listed his successes, especially with Bright Futures.

Part of the deal also requires that no one on the board say anything bad about Huff, nor he about anyone on the board.

Despite his generous severance agreement with the district, Huff was still not done setting up obstacles to the board members who had forced the vote on his retirement.

Documents obtained by the Turner Report through a Sunshine Law request, showed that Huff, Landis, Jasper County Commissioners John Bartosh and Darieus Adams, and Prosecuting Attorney Dean Dankelson conspired to throw the selection of a board member to replace former Joplin Police Chief Lane Roberts from the board elected by Joplin R-8 patrons to the County Commission.

On May 27, 2015, one day after Randy Steele resigned, claiming that he was receiving threats from people who wanted Jim Kimbrough appointed to the board to replace Roberts, Huff, aware Landis was planning on resigning as well, called the Missouri School Boards Association (MSBA) to find out what was necessary to get the Jasper County Commission to appoint replacement board members.

Susan Goldammer, senior director, employment and labor relations for MSBA, e-mailed the information to Huff, "Any vacancy occurring in the board shall be filled by the remaining members of the board, except that if there are more than two vacancies at any one time, the county commission, upon receiving written notice of the vacancies shall fill the vacancies by appointment."
Goldammer was unaware that anything was in the works.

"As you can see, it takes three or more vacancies for the county commission to get involved. That has only happened once since I have been at MSBA. The Board will need to fill these two," she said, referring to Steele and Roberts.

Huff forwarded Goldammer's e-mail to Landis at 12:36 p.m. May 27. At 9:38 p.m., Landis forwarded the e-mail to Darieus Adams.

In a June 3, 2015 e-mail from Landis to Bartosh and Dankelson, Landis wrote "We voted in April to accept Lane Roberts' resignation from the Joplin BOE. Thanks, Michael D. Landis."

From that e-mail, it was evident Landis had sent Dankelson word that he, Steele, and Roberts had resigned and that he wanted the County Commission to appoint replacements and that the prosecuting attorney had questions about Roberts' resignation.

Dankelson responded the following day in a message that was headed "Subject: Document May 28, 2015," and was sent to Bartosh, as well as Landis:

Would you be able to provide an affidavit to the commission confirming your intent to resign from the Joplin School Board effective May 28 and that you have no intent to withdraw that resignation? I am assuming from this e-mail you have no intent to withdraw it.

Since the Sunshine Law request pertained only to documents received or sent by the three county commissioners, it did not include Landis' original e-mail to Dankelson.

That same day, the Commission received petitions containing 65 signatures asking it to appoint new board members, with the signers including Landis, board member Lynda Banwart, and numerous contributors to the Joplin Progress Committee.

The County Commission, in a meeting held without public notice, decided to appoint Sallie Beard, Gary Nodler, and Ron Gatz.

Seven years later, Landis and Gatz' daughter, Veronica Gatz Scheurich, are running for the board and once again, many of the people who were once a part of the Joplin Progress Committee, are putting their money into those campaigns.

Apparently, Landis does not want to address any of those concerns since he has been a no-show at every public forum to this point.

Now that's leadership.

More to come.

(Disclaimer: Mike Landis served on the school board that fired me from my teaching position in the R-8 School District and I filed a First Amendment lawsuit against him.)