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Emancipation Park Days Festival commemorates end of slavery

JOPLIN, Mo. —Joplin’s emancipation celebration commemorates the freeing of slaves.

It’s different from juneteenth, due to the length of time it took to get the word out that slaves were free. That’s why this celebration happens in Joplin in august, instead of June.

It’s already a longstanding tradition at Joplin’s Ewert park.

“Joplin recently started having small events for juneteenth, this has always been our juneteenth pretty much, and so emancipation days, what we have celebrated here, we can go as far back as nineteen twenty-seven here in Ewert park,” said Chalise Cooper, a chairperson for the event.

The celebration that started Friday night, is meant to bring together people in the community while educating them on African American history, culture, and achievement.

“So emancipation days is pretty much like a family reunion, I mean people come together, we have good food. we have great music. we have stuff for kids every day. it’s all free and open to the community to come out and enjoy…we educate about African American history, culture, and achievement, through the food that we have here. through the music that we have played all throughout the day and night. we also have the resource and informational booths that we set up and we do educate about African American history,” Cooper said.

This celebration brought out people from all over the four states, including four state educators, like park ranger, Curtis Gregory.

“It’s a good day to reflect, have people come out visitors come out, and learn a little bit more about the area about the black history in this area, and again just to celebrate the African American experience,” Gregory said.

Gregory says he was attracted to the event to spread more information about the scientist and says he would’ve celebrated this day as well.

“He would’ve been a part of a generation that would’ve really celebrated Juneteenth and emancipation days probably most of his life.”

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Patrick Mahomes’ foundation and USA Football host clinic in Webb City

WEBB CITY, Mo. – Patrick Mahomes’ 15 and the Mahomies Foundation joins USA football to host a free youth coaches clinic at Webb City High School. The clinic welcomes around 80 coaches from the youth levels all the way to high school.

Coaches gain information about how the sport has evolved and how to best teach young athletes to play today’s game of football safely while having fun.

Webb City head coach, John Roderique, stresses the importance of successful youth football programs, calling them a “lifeline.”

“It should be one of the most important things you have,” Roderique says. “All those kids that are playing in the youth are kids that are going to be playing for you in high school. You want to make sure you have qualified coaches that are educated and doing the right things. So many times it’s only one bad experience and that kid may not play any more. I always tell our youth coaches that the best thing you can do for us is make sure every one of these kids are playing high school football.”

It’s equally as important for coaches to strive to make an impact of their athletes lives on and off the field.

“I hope the main takeaway from today is just the impact you have as a youth football coach,” Roderique says. “The impact you can have on a kid. The impact you can have on their future in football. The impact you can have on their lives. And then just trying to make sure we’re keeping the game healthy and keeping kids healthy and being safe as we continue to progress in this sport.”

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Annual Downtown Sidewalk Sale held in Joplin

JOPLIN, Mo. —Four-state bargain hunters were in luck today.

The city of Joplin held its annual downtown sidewalk sale.

Businesses along main street between fourth and seventh came out to sell new items to the community and other visitors.

The annual event occurs during the last Saturday in July, – and one downtown business owner tells koam – this is one of the biggest days of the year for Joplin’s downtown business community. 

“This is one of our busiest days of the year, people look forward to it,  we’ve been having phone calls for probably a couple of months are we going to have one this year. because last year with covid we were unable to,” said Harold Berger, Pearl Brother’s True Value Hardware store owner.

The store’s owner also says this event is a winner because it gets more people into the downtown Joplin area, and it gets local businesses more exposure.

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Carthage hosts 4State Record Show, bringing vinyl lovers to collectors

CARTHAGE, Mo. – The City of Carthage played host to the Four-State Record Show. It’s a twice-a-year event, connecting vinyl lovers with collectors. Over the past several years, there’s been an increase in interest in vinyl, so we went to the record show to check it out.

Twice a year, in February and July, the Carthage Memorial Hall opens its doors to vinyl lovers across the region and to dealers looking to make a sale and a connection. Co-host Lynn Brennfoerder says “About 25 dealers here and 47 tables all full of collectibles, vinyl, CDs, cassettes, anything music related.”

Lynn Brennfoerder is one of the co-hosts of the show. They started the record show three years ago and he says its growing only because of the community. “There is so much support from the vinyl community in this area and all these dealers are generally saying they’re doing better here than they do at home, shows at home, so everybody’s thrilled to come out.”

Tom Dutton came up from Tulsa to offer his collection. What’s surprising to him at the show, is the ages of people coming out. “It’s good to see the younger people coming out to buy the vinyl, and buying old vinyl too, original pressings are probably the highest point of selling here.”

Dutton is no stranger to vinyl. “I’ve been collecting since I was 7, I’m 65 now, buying records all my life, I never stopped, even when it waned in the 90s, I still bought them.”

Despite that pause, in the last few years, vinyl and record players have become a trend again. “It’s very good to see that that medium is being recognized, because it is a superior sound over CDs or any other option.”

For Dutton, it’s all about what we mentioned earlier, connecting to fellow vinyl lovers. “I think that’s the fun I get is to talk to people about them, they’ll ask me questions about certain bands, I’ll point them to the right direction of which bands are really good, which albums are the best, and I get repeat customers that way, steer them in the right direction, they come right back.”

Organizers say they’re already looking forward to next year’s show which will be in February.

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Oklahoma virus outbreak

OKLAHOMA CITY – The number of people hospitalized with the coronavirus in Oklahoma has topped 700 for the first time since mid-February. The Oklahoma State Department of Health on Friday reported 720 people hospitalized with COVID and 225 in intensive care. The department no longer provides virus updates during the weekend. The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports Oklahoma has the 11th lowest vaccination rate in the U.S. at 40.2% fully vaccinated. Data from Johns Hopkins University shows the seven-day rolling average of new cases in Oklahoma has risen from 560.7 daily on July 15 to 1,351.3 on July 29.

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Poker run fun in Joplin

JOPLIN, Mo. – Saturday morning may have been a hot one here in the 4-State area but that didn’t stop plenty of motorcycle enthusiasts from supporting the Joplin Humane Society. They did it by participating in the Shown’n the Love poker run which was organized by Cycle Connection in Joplin.

There were some big bucks for the winner and a lucky loser! The winning hand took home $1000 and the worst hand went home with $250.

And even though the motorcycles were the stars of the show, the event made it known that “all bikes and cages” were welcome.

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Pittsburg’s Grant commits to Sam Houston State; aims to prove himself at Division I level

PITTSBURG, Kan. – Pittsburg High School standout Javon Grant has made his college decision – announcing on Saturday he will continue his basketball career at Sam Houston State.

“Coach Bailey and coach Hooten…they were on me even before they offered me,” Grant says, “I had zoom calls with them and felt great vibes. They came to watch me in Indianapolis at an AAU tournament, and that was big for me.”

Grant was one of the best players in Kansas at Pittsburg High School. He was named the “Sports in Kansas” 5A Player of the Year as a senior.

He received numerous offers to play junior college ball and two Division I offers; Bryant University and Sam Houston State.

“I most definitely felt under-recruited,” Grant says, “It definitely motivates me. All I needed was the right offer, and I got it from Sam Houston State.”

The 5A Player of the Year had a monster senior season at Pittsburg last winter, posting 29.8 points-per-game. He also added 5.7 rebounds, 5.2 assists and 2.8 steals per contest. He finished the season with eleven 30-point games and three 40-point games.

In other words, he can score.

“That was another thing that drew me to Sam Houston State,” Grant says, “Talking with the coaching staff…they told me what they thought of my game and talked to me about the offense they ran. I really think I can thrive there.”

He’s already proven himself at the high school level. Now, Grant wants to do the same at the highest level in the college game.

“I just want to help the team win and get to the tournament. That’s my goal,” Grant finishes, “I don’t remember having a losing record, and I’ve been playing for a long time. I want to have an impact. Maybe I can break some records and win some awards, too. I want everybody to remember me, from the fans to the coaching staff and everybody else, but at the end of the day, I just want to keep winning.”

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Joplin city sales tax revenue is growing more than expected

JOPLIN, MO – Joplin city sales tax revenue continues to grow with double digit increases.

July revenue is up nearly 27% from 2020.

It’s the 8th month in a row for an increase, which averages out to 12% for the year to date.

City workers had expected a much, much smaller number at the start of the fiscal year.

“Definitely is a surprise. When we, when we were putting the budget together, we certainly did not anticipate this. It’s a reflection though of um the stimulus dollars um and some pent up demand.” Says Leslie Haase, Joplin City Finance Dir.

City workers point out the trend is in line with growth in national sales, including retail, restaurants, auto, and the construction industry.