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Friday Blog: More thunderstorms in the forecast.

Happy Friday everyone!  We are about to roll into another weekend and a pretty nice one as well.  Friday looks good.

However, clouds increase during the afternoon and evening with showers and thunderstorms (non severe) after about 9pm.

Good news is that all of these will be gone by the time Saturday morning rolls around.  So Saturday looks great.

We will push 70 on Sunday, but scattered thunderstorms work in Sunday night.  These could be a little stronger but I still don’t think severe.

Cooler with periods of rain on Monday.  Long range forecast is below.

-Doug

Next Friday and Saturday:  Drying out but warming back up for the weekend.

April 10th-16th:  A warm start to the week with thunderstorms that could be on the stronger side for Monday.  Thunderstorms once again for the middle of the week that could be stronger as well.  Drying out for the weekend.

April 17th-23rd:  Mild with thunderstorms on Sunday and Monday.  Warming up through the week with thunderstorms Friday and Saturday, most likely severe.

April 24th-30th:  Mainly a mild week with Monday thunderstorms.  Then again chances for storms Thursday through Saturday.

May 1st-7th:  A warm week with thunderstorms on Monday and Tuesday, most likely severe.  Thunderstorms Thursday and Friday, also most likely severe.

May 8th-14th:  A warm storm with thunderstorms Monday and Tuesday, most likely severe.  Cooler for the middle of the week.  Mild temperatures back in the rest of the week with  thunderstorms by the weekend.

May 15th-21st:  Cooler start to the week with thunderstorms Tuesday and Wednesday.  We warm up toward the weekend with Saturday thunderstorms, most likely severe.

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Joplin opens league play with huge shutout win over Neosho

WATCH: Joplin shuts out Neosho 16-0 in their COC league opener on Thursday. The Eagles plate eight runs in the third inning and six in the fourth.

Joplin tallies wins over McDonald County and Neosho this week to improve to 4-5.

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Pittsburg High Schoolers get a lesson on adult financing

PITTSBURG, Kan. — Pittsburg High School freshmen had the chance to learn hands-on what it’s like to be an adult living on their own.

Pittsburg State’s Enactus group hosted “FutureNow: Finance,” a financial literacy program.

Several community volunteers set up booths for students to go around and try budgeting expenses, ranging from housing, banking, child care, groceries, and more.

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Black Rain Ordnance shows appreciation for law enforcement

NEOSHO, Mo. — Local law enforcement agencies have been through a lot over the past month, so a local business wanted to show its appreciation.

Black Rain Ordnance out of Neosho hosted a Law Enforcement Appreciation Day.

Nine local law enforcement agencies came out for the event where they received a tour of the facilities, met the black rain staff, and tested some of their products.

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Alorica employees donate items to the Ronald McDonald House

JOPLIN, Mo. — A local business made a donation to the Ronald McDonald House Charities of the Four-States.

Over the past few weeks, Alorica employees have been collecting items needed by the charity, like food and household supplies.

Today they made a trip to the Ronald McDonald House in Joplin to drop off the items.

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Teacher charged with Felony Sexual Contact with student four years ago

BUTLER, Mo. — The Bates County Sheriff’s Office state that Wednesday, March 30 they received information a teacher allegedly had an inappropriate relationship with a past student.

Thursday Butler Police and Bates County Deputies contacted that teacher at the school, who was taken into custody and transported to the Bates County Sheriff’s Office.

Charles Odell Reece, 38, has been charged three Felony counts of sexual contact with a student, dating back to the following:

  • April 7, 2018
  • December 12, 2018
  • March 2, 2019

Reece is being held on a $50,000 cash-only bond.

Authorities anticipate additional charges to be filed. Detectives are asking other potential victims to contact their office at 660-679-3232.

This is a breaking news story, stay with Joplin News First on KOAM News Now as we continue to learn more.

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Pitt State disc golf aims for national championship in North Carolina

PITTSBURG, Kan. – (WATCH) Pitt State’s club disc golf team prepares to head to North Carolina next week, where they will compete for a national championship.

The four-person team of Brent McDowell, Dallas Wrinkle, Noah Kangas and Hunter Williams qualified to the national championships by winning the Golden Eagle Collegiate Tournament in Nashville earlier in March.

“We have always known that we’re good enough to go and play at the national level,” says Wrinkle, who is the club president, “There’s not a lot of tournaments near us. We decided we were going to have to make the sacrifice and drive 10 hours away and go play the tournament. It felt pretty good finally proving to ourselves that we can do it.”

The club is raising money to help offset costs of traveling to compete in North Carolina. Click HERE to donate and for more information.

RELEASE FROM PITTSBURG STATE UNIVERSITY: 

For Pittsburg State students Brent McDowell and Dallas Wrinkle, finding a sport they could balance with academics was important.  

Thanks to the City of Pittsburg’s two disc golf courses — one at Lincoln Park and one at Schlanger Park — they found something active, challenging, relaxing, and flexible when it came to being able to fit it to their schedules. 

They not only enjoyed the sport, but they excelled at it, prompting them to start a new student organization, the Pitt State Disc Golf Club. 

And now, they have bragging rights: Along with teammates Noah Kangas (Pittsburg education major) and Hunter Williams (Spring Hill construction management major), they won Golden Eagle Collegiate Tournament earlier this month, qualifying Pittsburg State University to compete in the National College Disc Golf Championship next week in North Carolina. 

“To us it means as much as a national football championship,” Wrinkle said. “We’ve all had our own journeys to get to this point.” 

McDowell, who is a history and Spanish major from Pittsburg, said that although he played a few times in high school, it wasn’t until the pandemic hit in 2020 that he got hooked on the sport. 

“I had time and I could do it safely,” he said. “I love it because everyone has the same goal — to get the disc in the basket — but there are so many ways to go about getting there, and no one does it the same as anyone else. It’s challenging and it’s interesting.”

Wrinkle, who is an architectural manufacturing management and technology major from Overland Park, enjoys the ability to compete in an environment that is welcoming. 

“The disc golf community is one of the best in the world,” Wrinkle said. “If you are new to it, and you come out here and we see you, we’re going to welcome you. We want to grow the sport.”

It’s inexpensive, McDowell noted, which makes it especially attractive to college students and recent graduates. 

“You can get one disc for a few bucks and start playing, or you can get an entire starter set for about $30,” McDowell explained. “It’s also a great way to meet people in college.”  

Similar to golf clubs, the four types of discs are designed for different uses: distance drivers, fairway drivers, midranges, and putters. 

“Other than that, there is no expensive or fancy gear — just whatever you want to wear, depending on the weather,” Wrinkle added. 

And, speaking of weather, they appreciate being able to play the sport just about year-round, provided it’s not too muddy. The team was out on a course many days throughout the winter. 

“We also like the fact that it helps us be active,” McDowell said. “The Lincoln Park course is 1.3 miles and the Schlanger Park course is 2.5 miles.” 

Now, in addition to ensuring they’re physically and technically ready for the championship, they’re putting a final push into fundraising to help offset costs.

Most of all, they say, they are excited to represent Pittsburg and Pittsburg State at a national event. 

“It’s exciting to have made it this far,” McDowell said. 

Want to get involved? 

Students can find the Pitt State Disc Golf Club on Gorilla Engage at https://pittstate.campuslabs.com/engage/ 

Community members also have options: The Pitt Disc Golf group can be found on Facebook and has nearly 250 members. It’s open to anyone interested in the sport of disc golf and being in the know about area tournaments, leagues, and more.

Pittsburg’s disc golf courses are managed by Pittsburg Parks & Recreation. 

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Ascension Via Christi in Pittsburg announces they have 0 COVID patients as of Thursday morning

PITTSBURG, Kan. – Zero. That’s the number of COVID patients currently at Ascension Via Christi in Pittsburg. Staff says it’s been a long 25 months to get to this point.

This was once the isolated COVID ward at Ascension Via Christi. It was once taped off, completely separated from the rest of the hospital. In November of last year, the plastic came down, as the need for the special COVID ward, wore off. Janelle Wade says “It was very um…enlightening and uplifting to be able to take the red tape up off the floor and to be able to open things back up and you could just feel like a collective sigh from staff to just relieved that maybe the end was in sight.”

While the COVID ward is technically ‘closed’, Via Christi’s Director of Inpatient Services Janelle Wade says that doesn’t mean the hospital can’t still take COVID patients. “We are always prepared to take our COVID patients, we could do another surge, not that we want to, but we could, all of our rooms are still easily, we can put patients in them and we could stand up a ward in just a matter of hours, so we can do it, we’ve done it a couple of different times, and unfortunately we’ve gotten pretty good at it, so, we can do it, we just hope we don’t have to.”

With the governor’s announcement Thursday that the state would begin the transition to an endemic state, Wade says it brightens the light at the end of the tunnel. “We’re ready to move forward and consider it one of the many diseases that people are hospitalized with, we deal with the flu every year, we deal with heart attacks, so we are ready to have COVID be yet just another disease that every once in a while we have to deal with.”

As Wade mentioned, Via Christi still has rooms prepped for COVID patients and at this time, masking is still required in the hospital.