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Warmer Sunday & Monday, colder Tuesday

Mostly clear skies are expected tonight, with just a few passing high clouds possible. Lows will drop to the mid-20s, which is right about where we should be for this time of year.

A weak cold front will shift our winds from the west to the north Sunday, but we’re still looking at a good deal of sunshine and highs in the upper-40s–a few degrees better than what we saw today.

The warmest day of the 7-day looks to be Monday, with highs reaching the mid-50s.

A stronger cold front will move through the Four States late Monday. Behind the front, we could see a few flurries late Monday night, but most areas are expected to stay dry.

It will be noticeably cooler Tuesday, with highs only reaching the mid to upper-30s.

Temperatures will begin to moderate again soon enough for the rest of the week, with highs climbing back to the low to mid-40s under high pressure for Tuesday and Wednesday.

Another system could bring a light wintry mix Thursday afternoon into Thursday night, but this should not cause any trouble.

After cooling off a couple degrees for Friday, we’re back to the mid to upper-40s next Saturday.

Have a great Sunday!

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Local animal shelter provides free dog houses to Southeast Kansas

PITTSBURG, Ks — A local animal shelter is working to keep animals warm during the winter months.

The Southeast Kansas Humane Society is giving out free dog houses and dog house kits.

The homes were built by students at Lakeside Elementary for the shelters Gone With the Dogs adoption event back in August.

“We have gotten about 70 plus emails for them,” says Kelsey Keeney, SEK Humane Society Animal Care Coordinator, “We do a first come first serve basis and right now we have five to seven of them left and then we still have all of the kits left as well, and if anyone has any outdoor cats or there are strays that they want to help out in the community, they can always put hay in there and blankets.”

There is a one home limit per household, and participants must be available to load the house into their vehicle.

To claim one of the homes, you can contact the Humane Society through email at sekhumanesociety@gmail.com to set up an appointment.

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Area food banks are seeing shelves emptier after the holiday season

BAXTER SPRINGS, Ks. — Food banks across the country are continuing to see supply shortages.

In Baxter Springs, the Southeast Kansas Ministerial Alliance food pantry is seeing its shelves emptier than normal.

Some of the pantry’s regular donors have been unable to help during the course of the pandemic.

Items in grocery stores have also been harder to find due to supply chain issues.

Several food drives helped the pantry stay stocked during the holiday season, but management says those resources go fast.

“We did have a lot of area food drives from schools, churches, different businesses. Around December, our shelves were amazingly full, and they still continue to bring in a few things, but I don’t think you know how fast these things do go. Once we give out 30 boxes every week and we fill that box with almost every item on our shelves, then within two weeks it’s pretty low,” says Lori Baker, SEKMA Manager.

Anyone wanting to help can drop off donations at the SEKMA thrift store and food pantry during business hours.

The shelter is mainly facing shortages in non-perishable items.

Over the past year SEKMA provided food to over 800 families.

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Local artists come together to help fight food insecurity in Southeast Kansas

PITTSBURG, Ks. — Artists were using their talents to help out local food banks.

Ceramic bowls created by Pittsburg State University students, alumni and local artists were sold at memorial auditorium today for the Artists Against Hunger fundraiser.

All proceeds from the event will be going towards Wesley House and the PSU Gorilla Pantry.

The event was started back in 2010 by Mayumi Kiefer while she working at a public school in Ohio.

“I’ve witnessed how difficult if we don’t have food in our stomach, how can we focus, how can we get the energy to keep going, without the food it’s very difficult,” says Kiefer, “So I think this will definitely be very helpful if we can support so many other people and spread it in so many different ways.”

Each bowl contained coupons from local restaurants and businesses.

One out of six children in Southeast Kansas suffer from food insecurity.

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Miami High School Key Club holds prom dress resale

MIAMI, Ok. — Students in Miami are helping the community by reselling their prom dresses.

On Saturday, the Miami High School Key Club hosted the event for anyone to bring in a prom dress and set their own price.

Those who enter receive the profit, with all money raised through the event’s entry fee going towards providing winter gear for the community.

“Blankets, gloves and hates,” said Miami High School Junior Kimberly Be.

“When you give young people an opportunity to participate in something and to be a part of something, I have never not seen teenagers jump in with both feet to help their schoolmates or their community,” said Amy Harrison, Miami High School teacher and Key Club sponsor. “That’s no exception with this group of young people that we have this year.”

“I like that people who maybe couldn’t afford a brand new dress can get a really nice dress for cheaper,” said Miami High School Junior Lindy Stevenson.

The Key Club puts on different service projects every month, which has included donating Halloween candy and writing cards for area nursing homes.

Another prom dress resale is planned for the near future. Updates can be found on the Miami High School Facebook page.

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Local Church hosts Vacation Bible School alternative

CARTHAGE, Mo. — A local church is helping its littlest members give back to those in need.

Today Carthage Church of Christ held its first Kids’ Winterfest.

The kids worked on a service project making cards and gift bags filled with treats for widows, shut-ins and nursing home patients.

The church canceled its Vacation Bible School the past two years because of the pandemic and used today’s event as a makeup.

“We truly feel like it is important to get these kids in a different setting. Not only church on Sunday’s, but to get them in a different setting where they can still learn about god and have fun doing it,” said David Lawhon, Carthage Church of Christ member.

Lawhon says he hopes they can hold traditional Vacation Bible School this summer.

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The Joplin Humane Society welcomes its newest volunteers

JOPLIN, Mo. — The Joplin Humane Society is welcoming its newest group of volunteers.

They are now able to help the shelter with daily operations.

“We want to give the volunteers all the skills they are gonna need to succeed. Skills on how to remain safe, how to interact with the animals and provide the socialization they need,” said Thomas Jay, Animal Behavior Manager.

Saturday afternoon the Joplin Humane society held an orientation and training session for its newest volunteers.

“We’ll learn how to get the animals in and out. Things to look for when interacting with them. Warning signs we call them. Things to let us know the animals are in an uncomfortable situation and how to deal with it when those signs come up,” said Jay.

12 people completed the training and will now be able to help with clinics and checking in on pet owners after adoption.

“There are just so many animals here. We are focusing on getting them cleaned and fed and we cannot focus on every animal. So having those volunteers come out and walk them and play with them it’s great to provide that interaction and stimulization and it looks great to the customers when they can see the animals be interacted with,” said Jay.

The shelter says the volunteers help animals find forever homes.

“We do see a lot of volunteers adopt. They come in here and they interact with the animals and they fall in love. I see that happen a lot. We have a lot of volunteers that will take them off site and they will go meet adopters out there in the world and they’ll come back here and find an animal they love,” said Jay.

The Joplin Humane Society hosts four orientation’s a month.

“I wanted to volunteer because I really like animals and this gives me something to do on the weekends. I miss having a dog since being in medical school doesn’t allow me to have a lot of pets. So I like coming here and interacting with the animals,” said Teddy Zamzow, Volunteer.

To apply to volunteer click here.

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The Jasper County Sheriff's Office arrests two suspects in connection to a kidnapping

JOPLIN, Mo. — The Jasper County Sheriff’s Office has two suspects in custody in connection to a kidnapping.

Friday deputies arrested two men, 19-year-old Grant Henson and 22-year-old Bryan Henson after conducting a welfare check for a missing 13-year old girl from East Prairie, Missouri.

The Sheriff’s Office says 19-year-old Grant Henson drove five hours to the victim and brought her back to his home at 4183 W. Cactus Lane in Joplin and held her against her will and sexually assaulted her.

Grant is charged with kidnapping and sodomy and is being held without bond.

During the investigation deputies found Bryan Henson with a 16-year-old female at the home.

Bryan was arrested and charged with statutory rape and is being held on a $100,000 bond.

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Joplin man arrested on burglary charges after JPD spot him at construction site

JOPLIN, Mo. — A Joplin man is in custody on burglary charges after fleeing police from a construction site late Thursday night.

36-year-old Daniel B. Banks, of Joplin

A JPD officer on patrol noticed a suspicious vehicle near a residential construction site near Coyote Dr. and Concord Ln in town. After checking the site itself and noticing a person rummaging through items, the officer commanded the suspect to stop who was exiting a window.

This suspect, now identified as 36-year-old Daniel B. Banks, of Joplin, tried fleeing from the officer to his parked car but was stopped by a JPD K-9.

A local hospital treated Banks’ wounds from the K-9 apprehension and he was later taken into the Joplin City Jail.

The backpack in Banks’ possession also contained tools commonly used by burglars, JPD said in a statement.

Charges have been filed against Banks for Burglary in the 2nd Degree, Resisting Arrest, and Possession of Burglary Tools. His bond was set at $3,500.

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Neosho preschooler fights Darth Vader, wishes granted by Make-A-Wish Foundation

NEOSHO, Mo. — Not many kids get to fight with lightsabers at school, and facing off with Darth Vader probably brings those odds to one-in-a-million.

But a local preschooler got that chance today, part of a very special morning.

Oliver Ruth got the surprise of a lifetime. And fighting Darth Vader was just the start.

“I’m not even in kindergarten yet,” said Oliver Ruth, Make-A-Wish Kid.

Making it an even bigger deal for Oliver Ruth to meet Darth Vader. The Star Wars villain is the five year old’s favorite, but topping that is a trip to the Galaxy’s Edge at Disneyworld.

“‘Cuz it has a roller coaster, a lot of rides I like.”

It’s his pick for a Make-A-Wish trip, a break from years of treatment and therapy.

The five year old had a severe stroke complicated by a case of the flu, that he’s still dealing with today.

“This trip will make him feel like, you know, normal, a normal kid for a week. So no doctors, no therapy, no, you know, he can have ice cream for breakfast I was told. So pretty special,” said Amanda Ruth, Oliver’s Mom.

Also special for his Mom and Dad and brothers, along with the rest of the family at school, for the wish reveal.

It’s even unique for Oliver’s two wish granters, here to present the trip from the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

“This is our first wish reveal at a school. So this was amazing. Just seeing his peers around him celebrate with him was incredible,” said Katie Pierce, Make-A-Wish Foundation.

That trip was supposed to happen in 2020 but got delayed by the pandemic, something that happened to Make-A-Wish kids across the country.

That will all finally happen next month.