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Webb City launches online tutoring service for students

WEBB CITY, Mo. — Webb City students looking for extra help with algebra, or social studies, or Spanish now have a new option at their fingertips.

There’s a new online tutoring service for the Cardinal Nation.

“They can log on through their Clever App, through any mobile device, whether it’s a phone or their Chromebook, and they will have access 24 hours a day, seven days a week,” said Webb City R-7 Superintendent Tony Rossetti.

Online tutoring help in 200 classes, including four foreign languages. It’s a boost in Webb City education that the district superintendent says they couldn’t do on their own.

“They can log in within 15 seconds, doesn’t matter the time of day, and find out, get a tutor that is a real person. And it’s not video, it’s not a bot. It’s a real person, that will use a whiteboard, and they’ll use chat to be able to help the student work through that issue, that math problem, or that essay.”

That’s not just an easy answer for a struggling student.

“It’s not just, ‘Well I’m going to look this up, ask them, and they’re going to give me the answer.’ So we think this is an opportunity for our kids that really, I mean, five years ago, three years ago, this didn’t exist. And I’m really interested to see what the utilization will be.”

The program kicks off today, a unique option among Missouri schools.

“As far as I’m aware. We’re the first in Missouri to try this. It’s been used in Florida, all the way on the East Coast, West Coast, down in Texas. So it’s not as if it’s a new company,” added Rossetti.

The school district is signed up for the service at least through next fall.

The cost is about $90,000, money well spent according to district leaders.

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New tax credit applies to families with qualifying children

PITTSBURG, Kans. — It’s officially tax season and families can take advantage of something new this year.

The Child Tax Credit increased by $2,000 per qualifying child.

The extra money is a result of the $1.9 trillion aid package President Biden signed into law last year.

That means any parents who file taxes and has a child five-years and under will receive $3,600. For children ages 6 to 17, parents will get $3,000.

“Initially it was set to help families over the last six months to get over some of the problems with the pandemic and the financial hardship they were facing. So the excess, the other 50%, will go on your tax refund as an additional amount you’ll get,” said Debra Banfield, EA. at ML & Co Accounting Services LLC.

Parents do not have to have an income to report their children and receive the credit.

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Pittsburg Farmers Market seeking vendors

PITTSBURG, Ks. — The Pittsburg Farmers Market is seeking vendors for the upcoming season.

The Pittsburg Parks and Recreation Department is especially looking for vendors who can provide fruits, vegetables, baked goods, chicken and food trucks.

Officials say the Farmers Market averages around 400 visitors each Saturday.

“We’re getting fresh local produce and products from the area to people who need it,” said Farmers Market Manager Josie Smith. “Another program we have is SNAP on site, so people who have SNAP cards can swipe them and we can actually double them. That way, they can get even more fresh produce.”

The market will be open Saturdays from 8 AM to noon starting April 16 and ending October 29 and Wednesdays from 4 PM to 6 PM beginning June 8 and running through August 10.

If you’re interested in becoming a vendor, click here.

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Senator Roger Marshall seeks out Kansas residents' concerns and opinions

FT. SCOTT, Kans. — Fort Scott residents got the chance to voice some of their concerns this evening.

U.S. Senator Roger Marshall held a “Town Hall” at Fort Scott Community College.

Topics ranged from COVID-19 to border security.

“I want the people of Kansas to know I am fighting for them. Whether it’s for a stronger economy, for good jobs, to stop inflation,” said Senator Roger Marshall, (R) MO.

Monday night Senator Marshall held his second Town Hall of the day at FSCC.

“Just to listen to people as I try to prioritize of all the things I can work on. What should I be prioritizing? Just to have some real life examples that I can take back to Washington and share with other congress members,” said Senator Marshall.

Dozens of residents came out to ask Senator Marshall about his stance on hot topics like coronvirus vaccine mandates.

“From day one I’ve encouraged people to get the vaccine and I’ve encouraged the booster as well. But I’m against mandates. I do think that healthcare is very personal and as a physician myself, I want to have a relationship with the patient. The patient and physician should be able to decide these issues,” said Senator Marshall.

Senator Marshall also addressed concerns about voter fraud and ways to make voting more efficient.

“I think integrity of elections is the backbone of the American system. I want to make it easier to vote and harder to cheat. I want to increase the integrity of the elections and support Voter ID,” said Senator Marshall.

Senator Marshall will host eight more Town Halls this week.

“It makes me feel good that he came here to find out how the people think of our community here in Fort Scott, to get our views here on certain things that we need to know,” said James H. Oliver Jr., Fort Scott resident.

His next one will be at Midwest Fertilizer Learning Center” in Chanute at Noon.

To see the full list of locations you can follow this link here.

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McDonald County students learn how to make maple syrup

NOEL, Mo. — Monday’s warmer weather was the perfect ingredient for making maple syrup–as McDonald County High School students found out.

Students in the Pro-Start Program took a field trip to a local farm where they learned about tapping trees, collecting sap and finally–making syrup.

“The way you actually tap the trees is pretty simple,” said Samara Smith, a junior at McDonald County High School. “A lot easier than I thought. You just take a drill and put it into the tree for an inch and a half or two and then there’s a little plastic tap connected to a clear tube. You just put it in the tree and put it straight into one of those big five-gallon jugs.”

The Pro-Start Program allows students to learn about all aspects of the food industry–and what conditions are best for making our favorite foods.

“The best time is when it’s been pretty cold and then warms up for a day or two,” Smith said. “That’s the best time for it to really flow.”

Instructor Marie Strader says the experience helps students appreciate where that bottle of syrup they see at the grocery store came from.

“I like the cooking down process,” said Strader. “I like to see it go from looking like water to having something that we can eat and to see the kids eat the pancakes with the syrup that they’ve put their hard work into. To me, that’s my favorite part.”

Strader says the process of making maple syrup is a lost art, but the interest level of her students may signal the beginning of a renaissance.

“One of the students said this was the most interesting field trip they’d ever been on,” Strader said. “You never know if what I think is interesting translates back to what they think is interesting. It was really nice to see that they’re really interested in this process also.”

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January is Stalking Awareness Month

PITTSBURG, Kans. — Among other things, the month of January is also Stalking Awareness Month.

The Safehouse Crisis Center in Pittsburg continues to help victims. The nonprofit helps them create safety plans and log incidents so they can go to law enforcement. Experts say a majority of victims know their stalker.

“It’s such a big problem because it leaves such a big impact on the victim. It impacts them to the point where they are constantly feeling terrorized,” said Brooke Powell, Safehouse Crisis Center Executive Director.

“Initial stalking, if someone was to report it, initially starts as a misdemeanor. And then on their second offense it is a felony,” said Detective Lamour Romin, Pittsburg Police Department.

Nationally, one in six women and one in 17 men will be stalked in their lifetime.

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Students donate hand-sewn goods for patients at Freeman

JOPLIN, Mo. — In tonight’s Dose of Good News, a special donation today for Freeman Health System.

Students from Bluejacket High School donated more than 70 hand-sewn port pillows for patients in the Freeman Cornell-Beshore Cancer Institute.

This was all part of a service project.

One, personal for Kaylee Beehler, who crafted more than a third of the pillows.

“Five or six years ago, my grandpa was diagnosed with lung cancer, and they had to put a port in him, and I watched him suffer with it. And so when I knew I had the chance to help people that were like him, I stepped on it,” said Beehler, Sophomore, Bluejacket High School.

“To be able to see a need, to care enough about the person in need, and then to respond in such a generous way really speaks to the heart of the students. I think it’s an amazing gift that may not show up in a lot of headlines from a financial standpoint, but will certainly make a profound impact in the quality of life that our patients experience, and I think it’s something beautiful to be able to alleviate suffering in the lives of the people right around you,” said Ryan Melton, Executive Director of Development, Freeman Health System.

In 2020, the students donated port pillows and baby burp cloths to the health system.

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30 degrees cooler today; Flurries possible late tomorrow night

Yesterday, we hit highs in the lower 60s–today, we’ll be luckily to warm above freezing. Temperatures will be about 30 degrees cooler than yesterday, and wind chills will remain between 10-25 degrees throughout Tuesday as high temperatures near 32 this afternoon. Tomorrow morning will likely be the coldest of the week with lows in the 10s and single digit wind chills. A small shortwave system could bring some of us a few flurries late tomorrow night into Thursday morning, but no accumulations or impacts are expected at this time. We should warm back into the 50s this weekend, with above average temperatures expected through the end of January.

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Man with 11 outstanding warrants found hiding in Lamar

LAMAR, Mo. — A man with 11 outstanding warrants was arrested Monday while after attempting to hide from police in a Lamar home.

Garrett Jones, wanted on 11 warrants for his arrest, was known to be hiding from authorities. During an attempt to locate Jones, a Deputy with the Barton County Sheriff’s Office was visiting the address of Jones’ last known address.

Though unsuccessful in his first location, the deputy tried another house at 1006 Grand St. in Lamar. It was here that when questioned about Jones whereabouts that the residents turned all the lights off inside, according to a Facebook post by the BCSO.

Deputies along with officers with the Lamar Police Department secured the area until a search warrant was obtained. After this, authorities entered through the back door and found a female and child inside.

After searching through more of the house, Garrett Jones was eventually found hiding under a bed. He is now in custody at the Barton County Jail and facing charges.

Jones was facing the following warrants:

  • Fail to Appear – Driving while revoked/ suspended X3
  • Fail to Appear – Exceeded posted speed limit
  • Fail to Appear – Operate motor vehicle on highway with suspended license
  • Fail to Appear – Operate motor vehicle without financial responsibility
  • Fail to Appear – Drug Paraphernalia
  • Fail to Appear – Possession of Controlled Substance X3
  • Fail to Appear – Unlawful Possession of Firearm
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Cherokee Nation Film Office launches tribal film incentive program

TULSA, Okla. – Cherokee Nation’s goal is to introduce Hollywood to the beauty and diversity of its 14-county reservation with its Cherokee Nation Film Incentive program.

The Cherokee Nation Film Incentive will provide up to $1 million in annual funding for productions filmed within the Cherokee Nation’s northeast Oklahoma reservation.  Applications for the tribe’s film incentive programs begin on March 1.

“Since establishing our film office, we’ve worked diligently alongside our state and local partners to help grow the film and television industries in Oklahoma,” said Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Chuck Hoskin Jr. in a prepared statement.

The groundbreaking film incentive program will be the first tribal film office in the country.

The Cherokee Nation Film Office became the first certified American Indian film commission to open in the country in 2019. Part of its program is to maintain a unique, all-inclusive talent, crew, and consulting online directories featuring American Indian actors, extras, voice actors, crew, cultural experts, and other industry resources. 

The byproduct of the program is economic development by employing American Indian citizens and using American Indian-owned businesses.   

The Filmed in Oklahoma Act of 2021, administered by the Oklahoma Film and Music Office, offers productions a cash rebate based on several qualifying factors. The Cherokee program offers a cash rebate for qualified production expenses.

“Encouraging productions to film within Cherokee Nation’s many vast and beautiful locations, as well as to hire Indigenous people and utilize Native-owned businesses, offers an immense amount of opportunity for tribal citizens, families, and businesses to benefit from the rapid growth of these industries within our state,” said Jennifer Loren, director of Cherokee Nation Film Office and Original Content.

Additional details regarding the Cherokee Nation Film Incentive are available at https://cherokee.film/filmincentives.