Friday, March 29, 2024

Solicitations of interest sought for redevelopment of Joplin Union Depot

(From the Missouri Department of Natural Resources)

Missouri Department of Natural Resources, along with Downtown Joplin Alliance through their Endangered Properties Program, is seeking Solicitations of Interest for the redevelopment of the Joplin Union Depot.

Submissions opened March 18 and must be received by May 31, 2024. To view the SOI packet, or for more information on the Union Depot, please visit

For questions on the submittal process, or to submit a response to the SOI, please contact Missouri Department of Natural Resources, Attn: State Historic Preservation Office, 1659 E. Elm St., Jefferson City, MO 65101. You can also email or call 573-751-7858.

The Joplin Union Depot was designed by Kansas City architect Louis Curtiss – who is often referred to as “the Frank Lloyd Wright of Kansas City” – and built by the Manhattan Construction Company of New York. It opened in 1911 and was in service until its closure in 1969.

MoDNR gained ownership of the Depot through the Historic Preservation Revolving Fund in the 1990s after an unsuccessful rehabilitation. While various entities have expressed interest in acquiring the property since then, these inquiries have not generated a financially capable purchaser. The DJA-MoDNR partnership is an opportunity for the depot to benefit from DJA’s espertise and resources to enhance its marketability and make progress toward finding a preservation-minded purchaser.

In 2020, DJA established their Endangered Properties Program, a revolving fund specifically for intervening in historic properties with questionable futures. These funds, while generally not enough to pay for an entire project, allow the Endangered Properties Program Committee to take control of a property through donation or option, then seek developers for the property through marketing, feasibility studies, structural assessments and other needs specific to a particular building.

“The impact the redevelopment of the Union Depot will have on the continued revitalization of downtown Joplin cannot be overstated,” said Lori Haun, Downtown Joplin Alliance executive director. “The building still has great potential and many years left in it.”

For more information on the Joplin Union Depot request for bid, please visit

Thursday, March 28, 2024

Missouri Attorney General announces challenge to Biden’s latest student loan plan

(From Attorney General Andrew Bailey)

Today, Missouri Attorney General Andrew Bailey announced a lawsuit against the President’s latest illegal loan “cancellation” plan and issued the following statement:

“I’m extremely pleased to see Kansas is leading a multi-state coalition in challenging President Biden’s latest attempt to unlawfully transfer hundreds of thousands of dollars in Ivy League debt onto working Missouri families. 

"I’m pleased to share that my office is also leading a multi-state coalition and will be filing suit in Missouri in the coming days. Between our two coalitions of states, we will get this matter in front of a judge even more quickly to deliver a win for the American people. The Supreme Court sided with Missouri on this matter the first time. I look forward to bringing home yet another win for the Constitution and the rule of law.”

“Arkansas was part of the original coalition that sued the Biden administration over its first unlawful debt-cancellation plan. President Biden has already lost on this question once, and he is refusing to follow the law. 

"The Supreme Court could not have been clearer: President Biden cannot unilaterally cancel student debt and force taxpayers to bear the multi-billion-dollar cost,” added Arkansas Attorney General Tim Griffin.

The United States Supreme Court ruled in favor of Attorney General Bailey’s previous challenge to the Biden Administration’s unilateral and unlawful wealth transfer of hundreds of billions of dollars in student loan debt. In a 6-3 decision, the Court struck down Biden’s repayment plan as unconstitutional, citing the massive $430 billion-plus impact on the federal budget without express authority from Congress. The Court held that Missouri’s student loan servicing company, MOHELA, was an arm of Missouri’s state government, and therefore, granted the states standing to challenge the student loan plan.

Opposition remains for sprawling education bill expanding Missouri private school tax credits

By Annelise Hanshaw

Homeschooling families and lobbyists representing public school groups renewed their opposition to a wide-ranging education bill on Thursday, outnumbering advocates who testified during a House committee hearing.

The criticism echoed previous concerns with the bill, despite a litany of new provisions added by the Senate designed to win over Democrats and public school advocates.

The bill began as an expansion to the state’s K-12 tax-credit scholarship program, called MOScholars, with provisions to bump the income cap for program eligibility and end geographic restrictions. After negotiations, over a 100 pages added to the legislation by the Senate, including boosts to public-school funding, teacher recruitment efforts and the authorization of charter schools in Boone County.

Homeschoolers have questioned their inclusion in the MOScholars program, with many families saying they worry it will have negative long-term consequences for the larger homeschooling community.

The bill’s sponsor — Republican state Sen. Andrew Koenig of Manchester — created a new category in the legislation designed to assuage those concerns. Dubbed “family-paced education,” the group would mirror homeschool statute but would be allowed to participate in MOScholars.

“That way, at any point in time in the future, if there were some kind of strings that were attached, homeschoolers will be protected,” Koenig told the House’s Special Committee on Education Reform Thursday morning.

But homeschooling parents who testified Thursday were not won over.

“(Family-paced education) or homeschooling, whatever you want to call it, is the same thing as homeschooling. Legally, a court is likely to interpret (family-paced education) as homeschooling,” Melissa Jacobs, who homeschools her eight children, told the committee Thursday morning. “We do not want to have to be under the same regulations as a public school as far as curriculum goes.”

Jacobs said she heard from the Home School Legal Defense Association that the two terms — family-paced education and homeschooling — could be considered the same in a courtroom.

“In the future, the concern is that it would not be an opt-in thing and that would be required for all homeschoolers to register with the state and do state testing and change,” she said.

Some homeschooling families have requested to be completely removed from state programs like MOScholars to guarantee their independence.

In November, there were 13 homeschooled children enrolled in the MOScholars program, according to data from the State Treasurer’s Office.

The Senate’s efforts to mollify concerns of the public school community weren’t any more successful.

Groups like the Missouri School Boards Association and the Missouri Association of School Administrators spoke in opposition to the bill even though it includes provisions to raise the base teacher pay and other increases to school funding.

Otto Fajen, lobbyist for the Missouri branch of the National Education Association, said he has financing worries beyond his objection to expanding MOScholars.

“There are provisions in here that substantially increase funding obligations,” he said.

He foresees a challenge for next year’s General Assembly, if the legislation passes, to fully fund the programs alongside a potential cut to corporate income taxes.

Additionally, the formula that funds Missouri’s public schools was recalculated in the fall, costing approximately $120 million in fiscal year 2025 and $300 million in fiscal year 2026.

Those who testified in favor of the bill on Thursday focused on things like the increase to teacher pay and the increased choice provided by the tax-credit scholarships.

Becki Uccello, whose daughter Izzi is a MOScholars recipient and uses a wheelchair, said the program allowed Izzi to attend an accessible school. Uccello told the committee her neighborhood school couldn’t make wheelchair-friendly modifications, offering to put it on a five-year plan.

A nearby parochial school, she said, was more accommodating.

“Fortunately, Izzi qualified for a MOScholars scholarship because we live in Springfield and she has an (individualized education plan),” Uccello said. “But what about the families in nearby Nixa with students who have dyslexia and are not being taught to read?”

She said the bill’s proposal to open MOScholars statewide would be helpful to kids with similar experiences to her daughter’s.

Private schools are not required to accept students with individualized education plans, which outline goals and accommodations for students with disabilities, even with a MOScholars scholarship.

One person told the committee she believed that was an “equity issue.”

Representatives from conservative groups, like Lisa Pannett of ArmorVine and James Holderman of Stand for Health Freedom, also panned the legislation.

Holderman said he thought the MOScholars program could lead to government oversight of private schools, labeling it part of a “United Nations” and “globalist” agenda.

Pannett dubbed the legislation a “Democrat bill,” saying Senate Democrats — who unanimously voted against the bill — would have voted in favor of it “if they had to.”

Senate Minority Leader John Rizzo, an Independence Democrat, told reporters Thursday that his caucus does not agree with the expansion of MOScholars, which he called a “voucher system.

“We’ve seen these voucher systems be taken advantage of in other states and bankrupt public education systems, and doing all these other terrible things,” he said.

In a compromise, Senators negotiated to boost public education funding.

“It’s a good compromise because everybody can find something they dislike in it, and everybody can find something they really do like in it,” Rizzo said.

House Minority Leader Crystal Quade, a Springfield Democrat and gubernatorial candidate, told reporters that House Democrats have mixed opinions on the bill.

“Some of our members do support the voucher program, but I will tell you, personally, some of the concerns that I have is that we are taking away the cap of how much money we’re spending on (MOScholars),” she said.

The amount of tax credits allocated to MO Scholars expands and contracts proportional to the per-pupil funding of public school districts.

Quade said her focus is to maintain the investment in public schools as the House looks at the legislation.

The House’s Special Committee on Education Reform did not take action on the bill Thursday but is scheduled to vote on it Tuesday.

Complete video- Carthage City Council candidate forum


Dora Eastin named Joplin Schools Support Staff Member of the Year

(From Joplin Schools)

Please help us congratulate the 2024 Joplin Schools Support Staff of the Year winner, Ms. Dora Eastin!
Dora is a Behavioral Specialist at Soaring Heights Elementary, where she has helped create a unique student-support space, called 'The Focus Room.' 

There, she welcomes students and shows them compassion, dignity and respect while providing supports to help those students build confidence, academic skills, and the ability to participate fully in class. 

She is also a Cross Country and Track coach for students at Joplin High School and has modeled servant-leadership by creating opportunities for those JHS students to volunteer at Soaring Heights with Running Club activities, parent engagement events, and fundraisers. 

Dora was nominated for this award by staff and administrators at Soaring Heights.
Soaring Heights principal Katy Booher said, "Dora has led us to improved outcomes for our students, staying flexible and resilient even in the most difficult of circumstances. She is an incredible leader, and we are grateful for her service to Joplin."
There are so many amazing Support Staff members in Joplin Schools, and Dora is a great example of how our classified staff can and do make huge impacts for their students, coworkers, and community. Thank you for being part of Eagle Nation!

Lamar woman charged with assaulting Ozark Center crisis counselor

The Barton County Prosecuting Attorney filed assault charges against a Lamar woman following an incident Wednesday in the Barton County Jail.

According to the probable cause statement, Kristal Dawn Schrader (DOB 1972) struck a mobile crisis counselor from the Ozark Center in the left arm and the back of her torso with a closed fist.


Agenda posted for Joplin City Council meeting

6:00 P.M.


Call To Order

Pledge of Allegiance of the United States of America

Roll Call




VFW Post 5293 Joplin South Awards Presentation


Arbor Day Proclamation


Fair Housing Month Proclamation


Finalization Of Consent Agenda


Reports And Communications


News From The Public Information Office


Citizen Requests And Petitions


Mary Price Requested To Speak On Fiscal Accountability & Honesty To Taxpayers


Kevin VanStory Requested To Speak On Natural Family Month


Frank Thompson Requested To Speak On The Problem Doesn't Just Go Away


Brian Evans Requested To Speak On Does Joplin City Leadership Approve Of It's Committee Members Removing Citizens Signs That Oppose The City's "Prop Progress" Sales Tax Renewal On Properties Given Approval By Land Owners?


Public Hearings


Public Hearing Procedures



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-1 (Neighborhood Commercial) to District M-2 (Heavy Industrial) property as described below and located at the NE Corner of 15th St and Missouri Ave.



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 District C-3 (Commercial) property as described below and located at the NW Corner of E 26th St and S Virginia Ave.



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 District R-2 (Two-Family Residential) property as described below and located at 1921 S St Louis Ave.


Consent Agenda


Minutes Of The March 18, 2024, City Council Meeting Minutes




Ordinances - Emergency



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 909 W A St. in the City of Joplin, Missouri, for Four Thousand Eight Hundred dollars ($4,800.00); providing how the cost thereof shall be paid; how the assessment thereof shall be made; 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 1209 S Iowa 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 the contract by and between the City of Joplin and B&D Yardbuilders for the demolition of the structure(s) and clearing of a lot located at 509 N Byers Ave. in the City of Joplin, Missouri, for Seven Thousand Three Hundred Twenty-nine dollars ($7,329.00); providing how the cost thereof shall be paid; how the assessment thereof shall be made; and containing an emergency clause.



AN ORDINANCE approving the contract by and between the City of Joplin and Clay Cole Trucking for the demolition of the structure(s) and clearing of a lot located at 2411 W Highland Ave. in the City of Joplin, Missouri, for Three Thousand dollars ($3,000.00); providing how the cost thereof shall be paid; how the assessment thereof shall be made; and containing an emergency clause.



AN ORDINANCE  approving the purchase of annual insurance premiums from multiple insurance carriers to provide property, casualty, and liability coverage for the City of Joplin; authorizing the City Manager to execute said Contract by and on behalf of the City of Joplin; and containing an emergency clause.


Ordinances - First Reading



AN ORDINANCE approving an amended work authorization with Olsson, Inc. in the not to exceed amount of Thirty-Seven Thousand and 00/100 DOLLARS ($37,000.00) for Glendale Parallel Interceptor Improvements and authorizing the City Manager or his designee to execute the same by and on behalf of the City of Joplin.



AN ORDINANCE approving the Development Agreement with ALLO Missouri, LLC to construct a fiber optic network that is able to offer high quality, fiber optic broadband to substantially all residents, anchor institutions, and businesses in the City that are accessible using public rights-of-way and similar public easements, ways and extension and additions thereto.  The Network facilities shall be owned and operated by ALLO Missouri and located within the corporate limits of the City; authorizing the City Manager to execute said contract by and on behalf of the City of Joplin.


Ordinances - Second Reading And Third Reading


Unfinished Business


New Business


Confirm Boards And Commissions Appointments

Missouri House again votes to cut corporate income taxes

By Rudi Keller

The Missouri House sent a bill repealing the corporate income tax to the Senate on a party-line vote Wednesday, with Republicans saying it will boost economic growth and Democrats calling it a business giveaway.

The bill sponsored by state Rep. Travis Smith of Dora would cut the tax rate, currently 4%, to 3% on Jan. 1 and make another one percentage point cut each year until the tax is eliminated in 2028.

“When you reduce the corporate income tax you are helping workers more than anything else because the corporation is not going to be paying those taxes,” Smith said. “They’re putting it back in improving their facilities and paying wages.”

The corporate income tax is paid by larger companies with many stockholders. A fiscal note for the bill estimates it would reduce state revenues by at least $884 million when fully implemented. The state collected $13.2 billion in general revenue in the fiscal year that ended June 30.

The bill passed on a 100-50 vote with Republicans voting for it and Democrats opposed.

“We are one of the lowest corporate income tax states in the nation,” said state Rep. Joe Adams, a University City Democrat.

Legally, Adams noted, corporations are people with many of the same rights as humans.

“As people they should pay part of the freight for the operation of the government of this state,” Adams said.

Missouri’s corporate income tax for decades was 5%. In 1993, in a bill that increased revenue to pay for education needs, the tax was boosted to 6.25%. The rate was cut to 4% in 2018.

This is the second year in a row that the House has voted to cut the corporate tax. Last year, the House voted to cut the rate in half but the Senate did not go along. A similar bill is awaiting debate on the Senate.

Lawmakers in the past 18 months have cut the top rate on income taxes and excluded Social Security and other retirement income from the state income tax. Those cuts, when fully in effect, will reduce annual revenue by more than $1 billion.

The state is sitting on one of its biggest surpluses in history, with about $6.4 billion on hand on Feb. 29. Revenues for the year, however, are lagging 1.45% behind collections for the previous fiscal year.

To soften the impact of repealing the tax, the bill also bars corporations holding state tax credits from claiming them against corporate tax liability in years after the rate is cut to zero. Smith said he received information from the Department of Revenue that there are $600 million to $700 million in outstanding tax credits that could be claimed by corporations.

“It just means no new tax credits will be given out and they will not renew the existing tax credits,” Smith said.

The fiscal note for the bill, however, reports that tax credit redemptions applied to corporate income taxes totaled $89.7 million in the most recent fiscal year and that redemptions would shift to other taxes if the corporate tax is repealed.

“Many of the state tax credits are allowed to be sold, transferred and assigned and it is assumed corporations would continue that practice,” the fiscal note states.

The corporate tax rate isn’t a priority for businesses, said Rep. Kemp Strickler, a Democrat from Lee’s Summit. Corporations want well-educated workers and access to materials and services, Strickler said.

“Is this a good return on investment?” Strickler asked. “Is that really helping or is this just a giveaway?”

Wednesday, March 27, 2024

Jasper Police arrest Carthage man on Jackson County warrant for child molestation, statutory sodomy

The Jasper Police Department arrested a Carthage man Tuesday on a Jackson County warrant for child molestation and statutory sodomy.

According to a post on the Jasper Police Facebook page, Joshua Garber (DOB 1983) was found hiding behind a dresser while a home was being searched as part of a drug investigation.

A warrant for Garber's arrest was issued in August 2023, with the probable cause saying Garber had molested a girl a few years earlier when she was a first grader, telling her to "never let a boy or a man touch you like that."

The child said that after Garber touched her, he would put his hand down his pants.

When the girl went running to her mother after one of the alleged incidents and told her mother about it. The mother confronted Garber who told her, "You know I get handsy in my sleep," the probable cause statement said.

The statement says Garber has a history of drug use.

The Jasper Police Department Facebook page featured this account of Tuesday's arrest:

On Tuesday, March 26th, 2024 at 1404 hours, Jasper PD officers made contact with subjects at 307. E. Grand Ave., Jasper, Mo, in reference to a drug investigation.

Upon arrival, we made contact with Darrell Thomason, who is the resident of the above address.
Upon search of the residence, meth related drug paraphernalia was located, as well as a subject hiding behind a dresser… Subject was identified as Joshua Garber.

Garber had active felony warrants out of Jackson County, Mo for 2nd degree assault and child molestation.

Garber was taken into custody and transported the the Jasper County jail where he was held on the active warrants and possession of meth related drug paraphernalia.

Thomason was arrested for possession of meth related drug paraphernalia and transported to the Jasper County jail.

This residence has had several incidents where drug related arrests were made over the past 10 years. Due to the gross house conditions and the many drug related incidents, charges for “maintaining a nuisance” will be submitted to the Jasper County Prosecutor’s office. 

This law was used in 2017 where Sharon’s restaurant was closed and the owner arrested due to many theft incidents and drug related arrests were made.

Officer Cory Waters honored for detective work that led to arrest of suspect in hit-and-run that killed Joplin woman

Joplin Police Officer Cory Waters was named officer of the month for January for his work in finding the suspect in the January 8 hit-and-run accident that killed Eva M. Havelock, 55, Joplin.

Ruben Blanco, 49, Joplin, pleaded not guilty Monday in Jasper County Circuit Court to a felony charge of leaving the scene of an accident and three misdemeanor charges.

The Joplin Police Department issued the following news release today about Waters' honor.

The Joplin Police Department is proud to recognize Police Officer Cory Waters, who has been awarded Officer of the Month for January of 2024 by Chief Richard Pearson. His nomination was based on the following:

On January 8th, 2024, a crash involving a pedestrian and SUV occurred at 1805 hours. The SUV left the scene and there were only vague descriptions of a dark colored small SUV. The pedestrian later died at the hospital. 

Ofc. Waters, who did not work the crash, came in the next morning, and heard about the crash. Without being directed, he started asking some questions and read over the call log. He began searching RMS for black SUV’s and reading over reports for possible matches. 

Later in the day, he located a report involving a black SUV and a driver that could possibly match the description. He spent all his free time that day, going by related addresses and then businesses looking for possible video of suspect vehicle from the night before. 

After being told by his Corporal that a part left behind at the crash was possibly from a 2000-2005 Ford Explorer, he advised that he possibly found a potential suspect. Ofc. Waters found that his suspect was on probation, and he contacted the assigned probation officer. After several phone calls back and forth, he was able to convince the probation officer to do a surprise home visit the next day.

With no other leads on any other vehicles or drivers, Ofc. Waters found the current address for his suspect and sat off the house the next day, continuing the investigation, while he waited for a possible visit time by the probation officer. Other officers continued searching for other possible vehicles but Ofc. Waters felt that he found the offender. 

After the probation officer left the home, he called Ofc. Waters and the information passed on justified keeping the male as a possible suspect. Ofc. Waters felt that it was time for a knock and talk. He contacted detectives asking for assistance. 

Not wanting to steal the case from the reporting officer, Ofc. Waters set up the knock and talk with the detectives and the reporting officer. The contact resulted in the officers locating a back Ford SUV with damage matching and obvious attempts to repair the car. The male agreed to go the station with Sgt. Stahl for an interview. The interview resulted in the male admitting that he was the driver and sole occupant in the crash that killed the pedestrian.

Due to Ofc. Waters incredible attention to detail and quality of work, a fatal hit and run that could easily have gone unsolved was solved with a confession and offender in custody within 48 hours of the incident. Officer Waters, thank you for your hard work and dedication to the Joplin Police Department and the citizens we serve.

Chief Richard Pearson

More information can be found in the links below:

Charges filed in McDonald County against suspected killer of Carl Junction man

The manhunt that enabled area law enforcement to capture suspected killer Scott Burleson, has resulted in more felony charges being filed in McDonald County.

The McDonald County Prosecuting Attorney's office filed tampering with a motor vehicle and resisting arrest charges Tuesday against Burleson, 30, a former Seneca resident, whose address is listed as Galena, Kansas in court records.

Burleson is charged with second degree murder, robbery and two counts of armed criminal action in Jasper County in connection with the March 2 stabbing death of Seth R. Langford, 36, Carl Junction at South State Line Road, Joplin.

Burleson was arraigned and pleaded not guilty to those charges Monday in Jasper County Circuit Court. His next hearing is scheduled for April 10.

More information about the charges against Burleson can be found in the links below:

The Turner Report: Seneca man charged with murder in stabbing death of Carl Junction man (

The Turner Report: Manhunt for suspected killer ongoing in Seneca; residents urged to stay inside, lock doors,windows (

The Turner Report: CJ man stabbed to death- Seneca man who received suspended sentence on shooting last year named person of interest (

Carthage Police Department rescues children taken from Florida day care


An Orlando, Florida woman was charged today with three counts of endangering the welfare of a child and is being held in the Jasper County Jail without bond.

Alexius Neandra Baker, 28, is the mother of the three children and they were about to be removed from her custody when she took them from their day care without permission, according to the probable cause statement.

The children, six-year-old Summer Mercelin, two-year-old Jacqueline Leonard and nine-month-old Justyce Leonard, were last seen Monday, March 18 and were reported missing on March 21.

The Orlando Police Department contacted Carthage Police when it was determined Baker's phone was pinging in the Carthage city limits.

From the probable cause statement:

They requested officers check the area for the vehicle, suspect (Alexius BAKER), and her three children (Victim1, Victim2, and Victim3) who were ordered to be removed from her custody by a court order. 
It was believed BAKER picked up the children from daycare in an effort to flee the state and keep the children in her custody. 

Carthage officers arrived in the area of 2700 South Grand Ave (Wal-Mart) where they located the suspect vehicle parked approximately 500 feet from the door near the edge of the parking lot. 

Officers contacted three juveniles (Victim 1, Victim 2, and Victim 3) in the vehicle. The temperature at the time of contact was approximately 35 degrees Fahrenheit. The vehicle was not running and was cool to the touch. 

Officers observed the vehicle to be messy with items and bags filling the seats in the vehicle. Officers also noted a strong foul smell emitting from the vehicle and the children to be dirty and in clothes that were soiled. 

Officers contacted Witness 1 and Witness 2 who provided case facts and a photo of BAKER. Officers entered Walmart and made contact with BAKER and escorted her to the parking lot. Det. McMain conducted a forensic interview with Victim 1 at the Children’s Center. 

She went on to disclose during the interview her mom (BAKER) took her and her siblings from daycare and took them on a trip. She said she took her phone and threw it out the front window of the car when they were leaving Florida. She noted BAKER told them they were on TV as missing but she was going to make sure they were safe and no one would take them away from her. 

She stated it had been a long time since she or her siblings had taken a bath. She recounted eating a couple of times while on the trip. She remembered three separate occasions they ate in the two weeks.

While at the Children’s Center, the juveniles (Victim 1, Victim 2, and Victim 3) had physical exams. The nurse practitioner noted the children appeared to not have bathed in weeks. They and their clothes were covered in dirt and bodily fluids. She noted they all had upper respiratory issues due to living in a vehicle in an uncontrolled climate.

Carthage R-9 Board hires 13 teachers, accepts seven resignations, two retirements

(From the Carthage R-9 School District)

The Carthage R-9 Board of Education met in regular session on Thursday, March 14, 2024, 6:00 pm, at Carthage Intermediate Center. Present were Board members Jeff Jones, Bill Lasley, Niki Cloud, Ryan Collier, Patrick Scott, and Lora Phelps. Nathan Terry was absent. 

Carthage Intermediate Center fifth grade student, Charlotte Ragsdale led the Pledge of Allegiance. Tiger Sounds comprised of fourth and fifth grade choir students provided cheerful songs under the direction of vocal music teacher, Mrs. Carly Myers. 

The Board approved the Consent Agenda for the purpose of approving the meeting agenda, minutes of previous meeting, payment of bills, district financial report, establish nonresident tuition rates for the 2024-2025 school year, request for proposals for bank depository services, Central States Bus Sales, Inc. bus bids, and amended student ridership count for October 2023. 

Ms. Emily Marroquin, Carthage community member, shared details with the Board of Education regarding the accident that happened with her son at Columbian Elementary. 

The Board of Education was recognized for its service as part of the Board of Education Appreciation Week. Melissa Stremke and Jennifer Wagoner of the Carthage Community Teachers’ Association and Libby Collier of the Carthage National Education Association thanked the Board of Education for its commitment to the children of Carthage. Recognition gifts were presented to the board members from CCTA and CNEA made a donation to the Carthage R-9 School Foundation to honor the Board for their many sacrifices. Dr. Boyer presented each board member a certificate of appreciation from the Missouri School Boards’ Association and cards from elementary schools. Mr. Jonathan Russell, MSBA Vice President, was in attendance and acknowledged the board members service. 

Dr. Matt Huntley, Assistant Superintendent for Instruction, provided an evaluative report on Language Services, Missouri School Improvement Program Area TL7 and EA4. The district is creating language-rich classrooms at all levels and implementing systems of support to ensure success for all students. Professional development and training is provided to help teachers analyze assessment data and target instruction for students who are still learning English. EL staff members work alongside classroom teachers to model effective instructional methods. 

Dr. Scott Ragsdale, Carthage Intermediate Center Principal, provided information regarding 2024 summer school. Kindergarten through eighth grade summer school will take place Thursday, May 30th – Wednesday, June 26th. Students who will be in K-3rd grade for the 2024-2025 school year will attend at Columbian Elementary, Fairview Elementary, and Steadley Elementary. Students who will be in 4th or 5th grade for the 2024-2025 school year will attend at Carthage Intermediate Center. Students who will be in 6th – 8th grade for the 2024-2025 school year will attend at Carthage 6th Grade Center. Bus transportation and breakfast and lunch will be provided free to all students. 

High School summer school will take place Wednesday, May 29th – Wednesday, June 26th at Carthage High School with breakfast and lunch provided free to all students. Additional information can be found on the Carthage R-9 School District website under the summer school tab. 

Mr. Mark Holderbaum, Director of Athletics and Activities, appeared before the Board to review the 2023-2024 Carthage High School winter sports. Mr. Holderbaum highlighted team GPA’s, performance awards, overall and COC records, and future outlook. 

Mr. Jones provided a Carthage R-9 School Foundation update highlighting it is scholarship season and the finance committee will award scholarships in April 2024. 

Dr. Goodnight, Assistant Superintendent for Business, presented to the board the plans and invitation to bid for an elevator at Haffner Stadium. A formal pre-bid meeting and walk-through of the project is scheduled for April 9, 2024 at 9:30 am at David Haffner Stadium. 

Dr. Goodnight presented the bid package for the general construction, mechanical, plumbing, and electrical for the baseball stadium. A formal pre-bid meeting and walk-through of the project is scheduled for April 4th at 11:00 am at the proposed side at 2600 S. River St., Carthage, MO 64836. 

Dr. Boyer updated the Board regarding the following: 

• Dr. Ragsdale reported on academic and extra-curricular activities happening at Carthage Intermediate Center. 

• Fourth quarter of 2023-2024 school year started this week and spring break is March 18th – 22nd. 

• CHS STUCO is hosting their annual MASC state convention. 

• Thank you to our community for the great support and attendance at the baseball stadium groundbreaking ceremony. 

• Fairview Elementary students went on an adventure with Tiger Air to explore and learn about Egypt. 

• Congratulations to Mrs. Sonora Jones, ProStart Culinary Arts Instructor at Carthage Technical Center, on being named the 2024 MoEFCS Teacher of the Year by the Missouri Educators of Family & Consumer Sciences. 

• Carthage Junior High Theatre presented “Romeo and Juliet – Together (and Alive!) at Last”. The students did a great job performing. 

• Soundfest Show Choir Festival was a great event. Thank you to those who assisted in making this a very organized and well ran event. 

• Spring activities are starting this month while band, choir, and speech/debate are participating in competitions. 

• The Carthage Technical Center held its 4th annual College & Career Fair with 90 + vendors engaging with over 800 juniors and seniors. Thank you to all who attended and contributed to this incredible event. 

The Board met in closed session immediately following the regular meeting to discuss legal, personnel, and student matters in compliance with Section 610.021 (1), (3), and (6) of the Revised Statutes of Missouri. 

In closed session the Board approved the following personnel actions: 

Approved the employment of certified, support, and substitute staff as presented contingent upon receiving a clear criminal record check from the Missouri Highway Patrol and Federal Bureau of Investigation, and a clear check of the Adult Abuse/Neglect Registry maintained by the Missouri Department of Social Services for all employees new to the district: 

Certified Hire 

Morgan Johns, 4th Grade Teacher Carthage Intermediate Center, New Hire 
Ryan Milliken, Social Studies Teacher New Hire Carthage Junior High School 
Mallory Tate, 3rd Grade Dual-Language (English) Teacher, Fairview Elementary New Hire 

Seth Lingenfelter, Science Teacher Carthage Junior High School New Hire 
Ariel Quenneville, 4th Grade Teacher Carthage Intermediate Center New Hire 
Eric Napier, In-School Suspension Teacher Carthage Junior High School New Hire 
Jared Cristy, Counselor Columbian Elementary New Hire 
Brianna Mertens, SPED Teacher Carthage Junior High School New Hire 
Kayli Jiles, 1st Grade Teacher Columbian Elementary New Hire 
Shayna Watson, Early Childhood Teacher Pleasant Valley Elementary New Hire 
Jennifer McDermott, SPED Teacher Carthage High School Re-Hire 
Stormi Hughes, PE & Health Teacher Carthage High School New Hire 
Logan Wilson, Assistant Administrator Carthage Junior High School New Hire/Re-Hire 

Support Hire

Summer Butterfield, Sped Paraprofessional Carthage High School New Hire 
Mary Beasley, Cook Mark Twain Elementary New Hire 
Sarah Hatley, Sped Paraprofessional Carthage High School New Hire 

Substitute Hire

Hannah O'Hare, Substitute District Re-Hire 
James Madden, Substitute District New Hire 
Sara Danner, Substitute District New Hire 
Michael Dietz, Substitute District New Hire 
Hallie Sprenkle, Substitute District New Hire 

Certified Transfer

Kirk Bromley, Principal Sixth Grade Center Transfer 
Crystal Krause, 4th Grade Teacher Carthage Intermediate Center Transfer 
Lisa Kirby, 5th Grade Teacher Carthage Intermediate Center Transfer 
Sarah Gerstner, 5th Grade Teacher Carthage Intermediate Center Transfer 
Elder Reyes, Math Teacher Carthage Junior High School Transfer 
Sarah Abbiatti, 2nd Grade Teacher Columbian Elementary Transfer 
Kirsten Catron, Early Childhood Teacher Pleasant Valley Elementary Transfer 
Cynthia Chavez, EL Teacher Columbian/Mark Twain Elementary Transfer 

Certified Modification 

Norma Darland, Spanish Teacher Carthage High School Modification 

Support Transfer 

Jennifer Grizzel, Dual-Language Paraprofessional Fairview Elementary Transfer 

Certified Retirement 

Regina Fields, Assistant Principal & Activities Director Carthage Junior High School Retirement 
Julia Ream, Early Childhood Teacher Pleasant Valley Elementary Retirement 

Certified Resignation 

Angel Ambrosius, 5th Grade Teacher Carthage Intermediate Center Resignation 
Stasia Fisher, 3rd Grade Teacher Columbian Elementary Resignation 
Michelle Agee-Morris, Spanish Teacher Carthage High School Resignation 
Leslie Hunter, SPED Teacher Columbian Elementary Resignation 
Holly Luce, Computer Science Teacher Sixth Grade Center Resignation 
Brandy Morris, Biology Teacher Carthage High School Resignation 
Lisa Hall, Lisa 1st Grade Teacher Steadley Elementary Resignation 

Support Retirement

Peggy Feather, Cook Carthage High School Retirement 
Sharon Lowry, Bus Aide Transportation Retirement 
Steve Whitehead, Bus Aide Transportation Retirement 
Marlon Meyers, Custodian Mark Twain Elementary Retirement 
Tina Flesher, Accounts Payable District Office Retirement 

Support Modification/Resignation 

Kimberly McBride, Bus Driver (Full Time) Transportation Modification 
Shawna Frizzell, Administrative Assistant Carthage High School Resignation 
Genesis Vanslyke, Cook Carthage Junior High School Resignation 
Wesley Sisk, Choral Accompanist Carthage High School Resignation 
Tony Rodas, Bus Driver Transportation Resignation 

Substitute Resignation

Ashley Colston, Substitute District Resignation 
Ann Thomas, Substitute District Resignation 
John Christie, Substitute District Resignation 
Thomas Moore, Substitute District Resignation 
Kelsey Jeffries, Substitute District Resignation