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Bentonville Square Christmas Lights!

BENTONVILLE, Ark.Friends of Bentonville Parks and Recreation want to give, “A GINORMOUS thank you to everyone who made ‘Lighting of the Square’ a success! One gazillion volts in Downtown Bentonville never looked better!”

All week the BP&R maintenance crew was testing every strand of lights in anticipation of the annual Lighting of the Square event that was held on Saturday, November 19.

Bentonville Mayor Stephanie Orman flipped the switch illuminating the Square.

Now it’s time to soak up the Christmas Spirit on the Square! It’s illuminated through New Years Eve.

FAST FACTS >>

🎄Friends of Bentonville Parks and Recreation string up more than 35 miles of lights to transform Bentonville Square into a twinkling paradise.

🎄This year you’ll see 28 ice shards ranging from 4-13 feet tall

🎄It takes 3,000 man-hours and 24 crew members worked to put up the lights. Big thanks to the entire team at Friends of Bentonville Parks and Recreation

Downtown Bentonville Inc. planned the lighting event (seen in video). They would like to express, “Huge thank you to our sponsor First National Bank of NWA for making this spectacular community event possible.

And a special thank you to our community partners Bentonville Parks and Recreation & The City of Bentonville.”

ABOUT DOWNTOWN BENTONVILLE INC. A private, not-for-profit organization, Downtown Bentonville Inc. is uniquely positioned as a driving force to build and promote a welcoming and lively downtown for all community members. Downtown Bentonville Inc. works to activate downtown spaces through expertly-executed events, advocate for current and future downtown investments, and amplify the voices of all residents through its digital storytelling platform DWTN Media.

Stay with Joplin News First for more special Christmas stories and events through the season. Sign up for our JLNews email list so you don’t miss an article.

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Kansas City Southern Holiday Express returns after 2 year break

JOPLIN METRO AREA — The Kansas City Southern Holiday Express returns to the region! After a two-year hiatus due to health concerns the train formerly known as the “Santa Express” will make a stop in Pittsburg, Kan.

  • WHAT: KCS Holiday Express
  • WHERE: Pittsburg, Kan., Elm & Monroe
  • WHEN: Dec. 10, 4:00 p.m.
  • WHO: Santa and all his Reindeer!
  • HOW MUCH: FREE
  • WHY: Raise money for the Salvation Army in each area.
  • WHAT AGAIN?: Visitors can board the train, meet Santa and his Elves and tour the inside of three cars of the festive six-car train.

After leaving Pittsburg the train travels north and will be stationed at home in Kansas City for viewing at the KC Union Station which is a destination for many to visit at Christmas.

During the visit to Pittsburg visitors can board the train, meet Santa and his Elves and tour the inside of three cars of the festive, six-car holiday train with intricate displays inside and out. The train will visit children and families in 20 communities across 8 states!

The Salvation Army in each town will benefit. Over 21 years, the charitable component of the KCS Holiday Express project has raised well over $2.6 million. Anyone interested in making a tax-deductible contribution to the 2022 KCS Holiday Express fundraising effort may donate here.

KCS Employees donate generously to kick off the campaign.

HISTORY OF THE HOLIDAY EXPRESS

The KCS Holiday Express was built on the tradition of the Santa Train, which ran on a segment of the network bought by KCS in 1997. In 2000, a group of warm-hearted employees noticed that the Santa Train was the only Christmas some kids had, and that some kids did not have essential items like coats, hats and gloves, so they committed to elevating the project. In 2001, volunteers transformed a retired freight train to the KCS Holiday Express experience that thousands of people enjoyed for more than 20 years!

Stay with Joplin News First as we continue to cover Christmas events for you and your family to enjoy! Scroll below and sign up for our JLNews email list so you don’t miss an article.

2022-Holiday-Express-Schedule

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Tow truck driver laid to rest, Funeral Procession led by first responders and tow trucks

McDONALD COUNTY, Mo. — Saturday, November 19, 2022 in Anderson, Missouri, Ozark Funeral Home held services for a young tow truck driver that was killed in a single vehicle tow truck crash on I-44 at Joplin on Tuesday morning.

Bradley Skaggs, 18, was a lifelong McDonald County resident. His family had asked that tow truck operators and first responders lead the funeral procession.

The total number involved in the funeral procession is not known however it stretched for miles.

Skaggs was buried south of Noel, near Sulphur Springs Arkansas. He is survived by his parents, brothers and sisters and a fiancé.

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Have you seen this teen? Authorities say could be with known Felon

CARTHAGE, Mo. — Carthage Police Dept release details on a teen missing.

Hailey Nord, 17, was last seen in Carthage Saturday, Nov 12, 2022 about 3 p.m.

Last seen at Little Caesars Carthage wearing black Little Caesars shirt may be with Kem Brown in silver Ford Fusion license plate of BF8-A7J (MO).” — CPD

Kem Brown, 23, is a known Felon with current Felony Drug Charges and Felony Possession of a Weapon.

If seen or know information contact Carthage Police Dept 417-237-7200.

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

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Have you seen this missing teen?

WASHINGTON COUNTY, Ark. — Details continue to release regarding a missing teen in NW Ark. The Morgan Nick Foundation, based in Alma, Ark. echo details from the Washington County Sheriff’s office:

Braiden Layne Taylor is missing from the Fayetteville AR area. Please share. If you have any information regarding Braiden, contact the WCSO.” — Morgan Nick Foundation

Details outline that Braiden was last seen in Farmington, Ark. on October 30. “Last seen wearing a black ‘Farmington Cardinal Track’ hoodie, blue jeans, and wearing small gold colored hoop earrings,” WCSO state in a release.

  • BRAIDEN LAYNE TAYLOR
  • WM / 17-yo
  • black hair / brown eyes,
  • 5’ 10” / 130#

If you have seen Braiden or know his whereabouts, please contact the Washington County Sheriff’s Office at (479) 444-5712.

This is a breaking news story, stay with Joplin News First on KOAM News Now as we continue to cover news and stories important to you. Scroll below and sign up for our JLNews email list so you don’t miss an article.

WHO IS? MORGAN NICK FOUNDATION

On the evening of June 9, 1995, Morgan Chauntel Nick was kidnapped while playing with friends just yards away from her mother during a little league game in Alma, Arkansas.  A massive investigation ensued, and continues, but Morgan Nick remains missing.

After Morgan’s kidnapping it became apparent there was a need for an organization which could provide immediate assistance to the families of missing children.

Colleen Nick, Morgan’s mother, realized this need and determined to fight for Morgan and for the hundreds of children that go missing each year; and in 1996, The Morgan Nick Foundation was launched.

The Morgan Nick Foundation (MNF) provides a support network to parents and families of all missing children.

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Former Trump spokeswoman Sarah Sanders elected Arkansas governor

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) – Former White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders was elected Arkansas governor on Tuesday, becoming the first woman to lead the state and the highest profile Trump administration official in elected office.

GOVERNOR

STATE OF ARKANSAS

  • Sarah Huckabee Sanders Winner
    63.1%


    566,104

  • Chris Jones  
    35.0%


    314,264

  • Ricky Dale Harrington Jr.  
    1.8%


    16,544

  • Dan Nelson  
    0.0%


    0

  • Elvis Presley  
    0.0%


    0

  • Jason Tate  
    0.0%


    0

  • Michael Woodard  
    0.0%


    0

896,912
Last updated: November 9, 2022 10:47 AM 10:47 AM CST

—> You can click here for more results.

Sanders defeated Democratic nominee Chris Jones in the race for governor in her predominantly Republican home state, where former President Donald Trump remains popular. Sanders had been heavily favored to win the race, which also included Libertarian nominee Ricky Dale Harrington.

Sanders shattered state fundraising records with her campaign, which focused primarily on national issues. Sanders, the daughter of former Gov. Mike Huckabee, regularly promised to use the office to fight President Joe Biden and the “radical left.”

Sanders succeeds Republican Gov. Asa Hutchinson, who is leaving office in January due to term limits. Hutchinson, who endorsed Sanders’ bid, is considering running for president in 2024 and has frequently split with Trump.

Trump publicly encouraged Sanders to run for governor when she left the White House in 2019 to return to Arkansas.

But Sanders was a known figure in the state long before Trump. She appeared in ads for her father, former Gov. Mike Huckabee, and worked on his campaigns. She managed Sen. John Boozman’s 2010 election and worked as an adviser to Sen. Tom Cotton’s in 2014.

Sanders briefly left the campaign trail in September after undergoing surgery for thyroid cancer. Her doctor said Sanders was cancer free after the surgery.

During Sanders’ nearly two-year tenure at the White House, she scaled back daily televised briefings after repeatedly sparring with reporters who aggressively questioned her. She faced questions about her credibility, particularly after special counsel Robert Mueller’s report revealed that Sanders admitted making an unfounded claim to reporters about FBI agents’ reaction to director James Comey’s firing. But she also earned reporters’ respect working behind the scenes to develop relationships with the media.

Sanders embraced Trump’s rhetoric during her bid for governor and adopted many of his favorite targets, including critical race theory and the national news media. But she’s avoided criticizing Hutchinson, even after the former president labeled Hutchinson a RINO – Republican In Name Only – for vetoing an anti-transgender law.

Sanders said she would have signed that measure – a ban on gender affirming care for minors – into law.

She’s stopped short of agreeing with Trump that his loss in the 2020 presidential election was stolen, though she’s said the former president has the right to make that claim.

Jones, an ordained Baptist minister and nuclear engineer, had presented himself to voters as a more unifying figure than Sanders. He launched his campaign with a video that went viral where he talked about his family’s history in the state.

AP Calling Races

AP will tabulate and declare winners in 101 contested elections in Missouri, including seven statewide races and eight U.S. House races. In the 2020 general election, AP first reported results at 8:19 p.m. ET and 99.5% of results by 3 a.m. ET on Wednesday, Nov. 5.

AP does not make projections or name apparent or likely winners. Only when AP is fully confident a race has been won – defined most simply as the moment a trailing candidate no longer has a path to victory – will we make a call. Should a candidate declare victory – or offer a concession – before AP calls a race, we will cover newsworthy developments in our reporting. In doing so, we will make clear that AP has not yet declared a winner and explain the reason why we believe the race is too early or too close to call.

The AP may call a statewide or U.S. House race in which the margin between the top two candidates is 0.5% or less, if we determine the lead is too large for a recount to change the outcome.

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Investigators: Body in southwest Missouri is missing pregnant Arkansas woman, Ashley Bush

MCDONALD COUNTY, Mo. – Authorities say human remains found in southwest Missouri are those of Ashley Bush, who was reported missing out of Benton County, Arkansas. Because this case crosses state lines, the FBI has joined the investigation.

The Benton County, Arkansas Sheriff’s Office held a press conference shortly after 4:00 pm today. You can watch it below and find the Q&A portion here.

They say two people have been arrested for kidnapping in the case. Authorities believe both were involved in the crime. The charges in the case will develop as jurisdictions are figured out. The two individuals are:

  • Amber Waterman
  • Jamie Waterman

According to arrest records, they are in custody at this time for kidnapping. The Watermans are husband and wife.

There are several details the Benton County Sheriff’s Office says they don’t know or can’t release at this time. An autopsy is being scheduled. They do believe Bush died from a gunshot wound, but again, are waiting for autopsy results to confirm.

Ashley Bush was last seen on October 31, 2022, at the intersection of Hwy 72 and Hwy 43 in Maysville, Arkansas. At this time, authorities believe she thought she was getting into a vehicle with a woman named “Lucy” following an online meeting for a job interview.

The Benton County Sheriff’s Office says they believe that woman was Amber Waterman.

During the press conference, authorities said the following, “This is just a reminder there is evil in the world. People do evil things.”

Keep reading to learn more about what’s believed to happen to the baby and the missing person case.

Information from McDonald County after Human Remains were Found

Missouri authorities say human remains were recovered Thursday, November 3, 2022, at a home in rural McDonald County, Missouri.

Sheriff Rob Evenson says Benton County, Ark. Detectives investigating a missing person case alerted Missouri authorities to a residence at 1848 Laughlin Ridge Road in rural McDonald County. Human remains were recovered at that location.

Benton County, Arkansas Sheriff’s deputies were also on the scene at the McDonald County home.

Authorities have not identified the body. They are waiting on DNA confirmation.

Additionally, Sheriff Evenson tells KOAM’s Shannon Becker they responded on Monday night to reports of a newborn baby not breathing. EMS intercepted the couple near Longview, Mo. as they were on the way to a hospital.

EMS could not revive the baby, and the baby died.

According to the Sheriff, the woman claimed the baby was hers. However, Sheriff Evenson tells KOAM they could not confirm that.

The couple that met EMS on the road Monday night resides at 1848 Laughlin Ridge Road.

“Two people were taken into custody and are being held in the McDonald County Jail pending the filing of formal charges.

This was another demonstration of how teamwork can bring a difficult and complicated case to a quick conclusion.” – McDonald County Sheriff’s Office

Missing Persons Case

According to the Benton County Sheriff’s Office, Ashley Bush was last seen in the passenger seat of and older model tan pickup truck on the afternoon of October 31, 2022, at the intersection of Hwy 72 and Hwy 43 in Maysville Arkansas.

The driver was a white woman in her 40’s with shoulder-length brown hair who stated her name was “Lucy”.

Ashley met Lucy online when she was looking for a job working from home. Lucy picked her up that morning at the Handi-Mart in Maysville to take her to a job interview in Bentonville.

At approximately 3:00 pm, Ashley texted her ride to say she was in Gravette, on her way to Handi-Mart, so he could pick her up. Lucy and Ashley arrived at the intersection near Handi-Mart, turned north onto Hwy 43 and continued north. She has not been seen or heard from since.

She was last seen wearing a black hoodie, blue jeans and black slip-on shoes. She was 31 weeks pregnant.

Stay with KOAM for additional information as information is released on this developing case.

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Pregnant woman missing, cell phone discarded in ditch

BENTON COUNTY, Ark. — Ashley Bush, 33, has gone missing in NWARK. She was last seen traveling north on Hwy 43. Sources tell Joplin News First they are focusing on Southern Missouri and Northern Arkansas.

“Ashley Bush was last seen in the passenger seat of and older model tan pickup truck on the afternoon of October 31, 2022 at the intersection of Hwy 72 and Hwy 43 in Maysville, Ark.”

BENTON COUNTY ARK. SHERIFF

USE TWO FINGERS TO NAVIGATE MAP, MAYESVILLE, ARK. HANDI-STOP IS 45 MILES SOUTH OF JOPLIN, MO.

The driver was a white woman in her 40’s with shoulder length brown hair who stated her name was “Lucy”.

  • MISSING ASHLEY BUSH
  • W/F
  • D.O.B. 08/01/89 (33)
  • 5’7″ 210#
  • red hair and blue eyes
  • 31 weeks pregnant

The Benton County Sheriff’s office say Ashley met “Lucy” online when she was looking for a job working from home. Lucy picked her up Monday morning at the Handi-Mart in Maysville to take her to a job interview in Bentonville.

| MORE JOPLIN NEWS FIRST >> Webb City summons Springfield Bomb Squad

At approximately 3:00 pm, Ashley texted her fiancé to say she was in Gravette, on her way to Handi-Mart, so he could pick her up. Lucy and Ashley arrived at the intersection near Handi-Mart, turned north onto Hwy 43 and continued north. She has not been seen or heard from since.

Her fiancé says her phone was found discarded in a ditch.

She was last seen wearing:

  • black hoodie
  • blue jeans
  • black slip-on shoes

If you see Ashley, call 911. If you have any information call BCSO, Detective Susan Matthews at 479.271.1008 ext. 3639

This is a breaking news story. Stay with Joplin News First as we continue to learn more. Scroll below and sign up for our JLNews email list so you don’t miss an article.

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