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Bomb squad called to Lamar on Friday

LAMAR, Mo. — An early morning call led law enforcement to investigate a possible bomb at a convenience store in Lamar.

Around 7:30 this morning, Lamar Police responded to a call at the Casey’s convenience store on 160 Highway. A man had entered the store shouting erratically that someone had put a bomb in his car.

Police closed 160 highway between gulf and lexington. Upon further investigation, there was suspicious wiring running throughout the car.

The Springfield Fire Department and Bomb Squad were called in and deployed a robot inside the car and determined there was no bomb.

Joe Moore – Lamar Chief of Police, said, “The gentleman had wires in his vehicle to run different things, the fan and the lights, things like that in a different manner so he could run them off of toggle switches.”

Chief Moore adds that the man has had previous run-ins with the law and is currently undergoing a psych evaluation at a local hospital.

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Investigation into Miami fire continues

MIAMI, Ok. — An investigation continues in Miami after a structure fire early this morning.

It happened around 4:15 at what used to be the Rustic Brick in the 200-block of Northwest Veterans Boulevard. Departments from Miami and the Quapaw Nation worked the fire.

Officials say the building was fully-engulfed when they arrived. They also say they believe it started in the corner of an office.

Robert Wright, Miami Fire Chief, said, “The first thing that we do is we make sure that the exposures are protected and then we will focus on the building that is actually on fire and if it doesn’t appear that there is anybody then that’s our main concerns life safety so if there’s nobody injured that’s a vacant building you know we-we can be satisfied with that.”

Again – the fire is still under investigation.

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Missouri looks at ways to certify more substitute teachers

MISSOURI — A short term fix to help boost the number of substitute teachers in Missouri during the pandemic could end up as a more permanent solution.

The Missouri Board of Education is discussing making an online certification an ongoing option to add new subs. The 20 hour training course was added last Summer, giving potential substitute teachers a different way to qualify for the job.

A strong response is prompting the board to consider extending the program, something local school leaders are excited to see.

Melinda Moss, Joplin Schools Superintendent, said, “We all worried from time to time about keeping our buildings open and keeping quality substitutes in front of our students. So anything that allows us to attract and retain a good pool of quality subs is important to us.”

Normally, you must have completed at least 60 college-level credit hours to qualify as a substitute teacher in Missouri.

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Historic building demolished in Miami

MIAMI, Ok. — It is thought to be the oldest structure in Miami.

But time, mother nature, all of the elements really – have taken their toll over the years. So that meant the original Sacred Heart Catholic Church on the corner of West Central and East Street had to come down.

A demolition project has been ongoing since last Sunday. The church was built on April 22nd, 1900.

At the time, it was the Sacred Heart of Jesus – and had a total of 10 families on its membership roll.

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SEK butcher to open brick and mortar store

PITTSBURG, Ks. — A Southeast Kansas butcher is taking his talents from the farmers market to his own brick-and-mortar.

For the last 5-years, Matt DeMoss has been operating his business out of his garage in Frontenac – and showcasing his choice of locally sourced meats, produce, and breads at area farmers markets. As business picked up and he started running out of space, the time came to go big. And he has.

He’s opening The Meat Shed next week on Rouse Street in Pittsburg.

Matt DeMoss, The Meat Shed Owner, said, “The Farmer’s Market is set up to be kind of an incubator system, from my perspective, and I never ran a small business and it had allowed me to get in there and take little steps and learn to grow with the businesses.”

DeMoss plans to officially open for business next Tuesday.

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Joplin to open limb drop-off Saturday

JOPLIN, Mo. — Joplin residents who have tree limbs and brush to get rid of, Saturday will be your day.

The city of Joplin will open the tree limb and brush drop off site Saturday April, 17th. It’s open from 8:30 a.m. until 2 p.m. and is located at 1702 North Schifferdecker Avenue.

The site will be open the third Saturday of every month through October. The site is open to Joplin residents only.

Grass clippings, leaves, and trash will not be accepted. Commercial contractors are not allowed on site either.

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Casey's donates to United Way of SMWO/SEK

JOPLIN, Mo. — The newest employer in Joplin is doing more for the community than just providing jobs.

Casey’s C.E.O. Recently handed a $5,000 donation to the United Way of Southwest Missouri and Southeast Kansas. United Way Executive Director Duane Dreiling says he hopes it’s the start of a long relationship with the company.

With all of the financial challenges brought about by the global pandemic, Dreiling says the donation couldn’t have come at a better time.

Duane Dreiling, Ex. Dir., United Way of Southwest Missouri, Southeast Kansas, said, “Getting them involved, not just with United Way, but with all our partner agencies, you know we’re getting ready for “Day of Action” event and incorporating that into an opportunity for their staff to maybe get involved in the community and go out and do volunteering.”

Casey’s is now an even bigger part of our local community — a ribbon cutting was held yesterday for a new distribution center near Joplin’s Crossroads Industrial Park.

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Wyandotte residents get opportunity to give back to the community

OKLAHOMA — There’s an opportunity for residents in Wyandotte to get involved in their community.

The Wyandotte Nation Cultural Center has a volunteer program that benefits a number of community projects. Everything from pow-wows to church events and children’s activities. The program matches volunteers to specific events.

https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/WNVP_Log

https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/WNVP_Registration

KIM Garcia Wyandotte Nation Cultural Center Preservation Officer, said, “I’ve seen this type of program work at different places at a national park that we work closely with and it has created a huge community involvement and ownership of all the events that took place and it has really worked for them so I know that will be once it gets going it’ll be a good project for us and I’m glad I am able to have a small part in that.”

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Eggs and Issues — lawmakers talk legislative agenda

SOUTHWEST MISSOURI — Southwest Missouri lawmakers are updating voters on everything from privacy issues to what happens to federal aid payments to prison inmates.

What’s topping the legislative agenda?

Lawmakers are entering the last month of the 2021 session. And that means long days trying to narrow down which issues will reach the governor’s desk, could include the safety of fido or spot.

MO. Sen. Bill White, R, said, “For a lot of people, their pets are like their children.”

And protecting that extension of your family is the goal of the Pet Order of Protection.

Senate Bill 71 would affect cases where juveniles abuse an animal as a possible precursor to attacks on humans. And it would focus on suspects hoping to get to you through your pet.

“You can’t tamper with a witness. But they can threaten to kill your dog if you’re going to talk or testify or report them or things like that.”

The debate also continues on what actions to take after voters approved an expansion to Missouri Medicaid last fall. House budget Chair Cody Smith says with no way to pay for the 2-300 million dollar expansion addressed in the ballot measure, any extra funding should reinforce services for the current Medicaid population like seniors, the blind and disabled.

MO. Rep. Cody Smith, R, said, “Instead of expanding Medicaid with those working aged, able bodied, we’re taking those resources to help those who can’t help themselves.”

And another measure would protect your privacy if you win the Lottery. Right now if your numbers are called, your name is made public as part of the award presentation.

MO. Rep. Bob Bromley, R, said, “If you had a bunch of relatives as most of us do, everybody would know you won. And so there was a bill a gentleman put up this week that allows you to keep your personal information personal – and I’m hoping I’m one of those candidates this week that wins that lottery.”

There’s barely a month left for lawmakers to make up their minds about this and many, many more bills. The legislative session ends on May 14th.

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Pittsburg brewery helps celebrate Earth Day

PITTSBURG, Ks. — Residents in and around Pittsburg can get to know their local small businesses better – and help the planet.

City officials are inviting folks to join them next Saturday. They’re asking people to walk to The Jolly Fox Brewery on South Broadway – and, along the way, pick-up trash and bring it to the brewery and throw it away.

It’s a way to help celebrate Earth Day – which is on the 22nd.