Charges filed in connection with the death of 16 month old Barton County child

Charges have been filed by the Barton County Prosecuting Attorney’s office against Jeremy Vanmeter, 31, of Lamar, for endangering the welfare of a child in the first degree along with abuse or neglect of a child. These charges stem from an investigation that took place on March 31 of this year.

The deceased child was Vanmeter’s 16 month old son.


Arkansas House votes to end 'Confederate Flag Day'

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — On Thursday April 15, the Arkansas House approved a proposal to rid the state of a day that commemorates the Confederate flag.

The majority-Republican House voted 80-7 for legislation that repeals the state holiday. Now, the bill heads to the Senate for consideration.

The bill replaces Confederate Flag Day with “Arkansas Day.” Arkansas Day is intended to reflect on the state’s “rich history, national treasures, diverse cultures, unmatched hospitality, shared spirit, and human resilience,” according to Associated Press.


In 1861, eleven southern states seceded from the U.S. to protect the institution of slavery, forming the Confederate States of America. The Confederacy used a variety of flags, but the one that is most recognized today is known as the “battle flag.”

In Arkansas, Confederate Flag Day was enacted in response to the desegregation of Little Rock Central High School in 1957. Since then, the day has been recognized annually by the state each Saturday before Easter Sunday.

To some, the Confederate flag might mean “Southern pride.” But to others, it is a symbol of white supremacy.


Casey's cuts ribbon on new distribution center

JOPLIN, Mo. — It’s unlikely that any Casey’s General Store in and around the Four States will run out of products anytime soon.

Company Officials and Employees of Casey’s, along with the Joplin Area Chamber of Commerce, the city of Joplin and Missouri Governor Make Parson all cut the ribbon on the massive new Casey’s Distribution Center in the Crossroads Industrial Park.

President and C.E.O. Darren Rebelez says this is only the third facility of it’s type for the company and says Joplin checked off a lot of boxes when it came to settling on this location.

“We’ve got 650 stores in this region and so Joplin kind of sits right in the middle of that, we have a regional airport real close, interstates 44 and 49 make it really easy and we’re gonna drive about 2.5 million miles a year out of this facility.”

There are over 2000 Casey’s stores system wide, located in 16 midwestern states. This state of the art facility, will supply many of those stores with everything from pizza, to petroleum, will employ 125 people.

Toby Teeter, Joplin Chamber President, said, “It’s the cost of living that also helps makes these things more affordable here in Joplin and we’re at the corner of I-44 and I-49, so you can go from New Orleans to Minneapolis, you can go from New York to LA. right here through Joplin.”

Ryan Stanley, Mayor, City of Joplin, said, “We’ve got some of the most important companies circling us today, not only that, but we also have our successful businesses that are already here, are talking of expansions, so Joplin is absolutely winning.”

It took about two years to build this $62 million, 200,000 square foot facility.

But Rebelez says it took more than just geography to close this construction deal, and credits the city, chamber and state with working together to put the project, which encompassed 40 acres, over the top.

“This is an expensive investment, it’s important for us to work with the community and we had great support from them and so it really all helped to make all of that come together,” said Rebelez.


Man pleads guilty in Joplin murder

JOPLIN, Mo. — A Joplin man pleads guilty to killing his son’s long-time girlfriend in 2019.

63-year-old Rickey Lee Lamb plead guilty to one count of second degree murder. A charge of domestic assault and armed criminal action were dismissed against him.

The charges stem from an incident on June 17, 2019 when Lamb went to a home that his son shared with his girlfriend, Sarah Tyminski. Lamb told police he went there to scare his son over a custody dispute over his grandchildren.

Lamb says a fight broke out and he shot Tyminski, because he thought she was trying to get a weapon. A sentencing hearing in this case is scheduled for June 17th.


Charges filed against Lamar man in child's death

LAMAR, Mo. — Charges have been filed against a Barton County man for the death of his 16-month-old son.

Xavier Vanmeter died March 31st. 31-year-old Jeremy Vanmeter from Lamar has been charged by the Barton County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office for endangering the welfare of a child in the first degree along with abuse or neglect of a child resulting in death.

A warrant has been issued for his arrest, with a bond set at $10,000.


RMDH receives donation from local car dealer

JOPLIN, Mo. — A dealership in Joplin is Sharing The Love with the Ronald McDonald House Charities of the Four States.

Officials with Frank Fletcher Subaru donated a little more than $20,000. The money comes from Subaru’s 2020 Share The Love event – where a portion of vehicles leased and-or sold was set aside for charity. This is the 7th-year the dealership has selected the Ronald McDonald House.

Brent Lobanoff, Ex. Vice President, Fletcher Auto Group, said, “Every year, from the day after Thanksgiving until the end of the year, every new Subaru that we sell, Subaru Corporate contributes money and does Frank Fletcher Subaru does, and at the end of that, we pick a charity, and every year we pick Ronald McDonald House, and this year we’re pleased to present a check for a little over 20 thousand dollars to them.”

Over the past 7 years, Subaru has donated more than $100,000 to the organization.


Safari Family Fun Day to return to Chanute

SOUTHEAST KANSAS — Things are about to get wild in one Southeast Kansas community.

Safari Family Fun Day will return next weekend to downtown Chanute. It was canceled last year due to the pandemic.

The annual event features food, live music, a car show, crafts, historical re-enactors, a petting zoo – even a welding rodeo. Officials are also bringing back an open market to help local vendors who weren’t able to go to these types of events over the past year.

Jacque Zimmer, Martin and Osa Safari Museum Curator, said, “We just know that a lot of places had their doors closed like we did, and so this is just a space, we’re not charging them a booth, we just need to know so we can sure we have a space.”

Safari Family Fun Day is set for a week from Saturday – April 24th.

For a full list of events – check out their website.


Community Blood Center of the Ozarks in dire need of O- blood

SOUTHWEST MISSOURI — Community Blood Center of the Ozarks has issued a plea for O- type blood donors to give blood. The pandemic has stressed the blood supply and CBCO needs help. The full release can be read below.

“April 13, 2021 – Community Blood Center of the Ozarks (CBCO), the exclusive provider of blood for patients at 44 area healthcare facilities, has a critical need for O Negative blood. Reserves are alarmingly low, due in part to a sharp increase in hospital usage over the past several months. Although COVID-19 vaccinations are rolling out, there is a continued negative impact on donation rates at CBCO blood drives. Eligible O Negative donors are strongly urged to give immediately at a CBCO donor center or blood drive near them.

Over the past four months, hospital blood transfusion rates have increased more than 16% during the same time last year, and 11% above usage rates from two years ago. Last month, transfusion totals were the highest they have been for any March since 2015.

“When we see usage rates rise, you can bet that O Negative blood will be one of the types that sees a strong rise, as well,” CBCO Executive Director Anthony Roberts said. “That is because of the universal nature of O Negative blood. It can be given under any circumstance, regardless of a recipient’s blood type. It is a vital component of the well-being of our community. We need O Negative blood donors that are eligible to help us meet this increasing demand.”

People who have received a COVID-19 vaccination may donate blood with no waiting period. They must meet the basic eligibility requirements of being at least 16 years old, weighing at least 110 pounds and be feeling well and healthy at the time of donation.

Successful donors who give now at all CBCO donor centers and mobile blood drives will receive a navy blue T-shirt that tells others how proud you are to be a “locally sourced” lifesaver.

Donors can give at one of four CBCO donor centers located in Springfield, Joplin, Springdale, Ark., or Bentonville, Ark. There are also opportunities to give at mobile blood drives across the Ozarks. To find a blood drive coming to your area or to make an appointment to give, go to www.cbco.org/donate-blood/. On behalf of local hospital patients, CBCO thanks blood donors from across the region for giving life to your community.”                       


Biden announces withdrawal of all troops from Afghanistan

President Joe Biden announced Wednesday that beginning May 1 all troops in Afghanistan will begin their withdrawal from the area. In a nationally broadcast statement, Biden stated that he is the fourth United States president to preside over troops in Afghanistan, and that he will not pass the responsibility onto a fifth. 

The decision came after consultation with military leaders and more, as Biden stated, “I’ve concluded it’s time to end America’s longest war.” He added, saying, “It’s time for American troops to come home.” 

“I’ve concluded it’s time to end America’s longest war. It’s time for American troops to come home.”

U.S. President Joe Biden

When Biden entered office, he “inherited a diplomatic agreement dually negotiated between the government of the united states and the Taliban that all U.S. forces would be out of Afghanistan by May 1, 2021,” Biden said. “Just three months after my inauguration. That’s what we inherited, that commitment. It’s perhaps not what I would’ve negotiated myself, but it was an agreement made by the United States Government and that means something. …” 

  • Ashraf Ghani

The troops will be fully withdrawn by the 20th anniversary of September 11. This will also end the 20-year military relationship between the United States and Afghanistan, according to NBC. Biden said that when withdrawing they “will not conduct a hasty rush to the exit” but instead will “do it responsibly and safely.” 

“We went to Afghanistan because of a horrific attack that happened 20 years ago,” Biden said. “That cannot explain why we should remain there in 2021.” 

According to NBC, there are 2,500 troops currently serving in Afghanistan—the lowest number since 2001—compared to 98,000 in 2011 at the height for the war. Biden said the plan has always been “in together, out together.”