Garth Brooks reassessing stadium tour because of COVID surge

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – Country star Garth Brooks said he will be reassessing whether to continue his stadium tour because of the rising number of COVID-19 cases.

In a statement issued on Tuesday, Brooks said he is still scheduled to play the next two shows scheduled in Kansas City and Lincoln, Nebraska, but will not put tickets on sale for the next planned stop, Seattle in September.

Brooks was already scheduled to take a three-week break after the Aug. 14 show in Nebraska and will take that time to assess what to do about the remainder of the dates in 2021. He is also scheduled to play Cincinnati; Charlotte, North Carolina; Baltimore and Boston.

“It breaks my heart to see city after city go on sale and then have to ask those sweet people and the venues to reschedule,” Brooks said in a statement. “We have a three week window coming up where we, as a group, will assess the remainder of the stadium tour this year. It’s humbling to see people put this much faith in you as an artist, and it kills me to think I am letting them down.”

Brooks, one of the biggest selling entertainers in music, restarted touring in July and regularly performs in front of 60,000-70,000 people per stadium. Many of his shows sell out well in advance.

Kansas AG seeks to keep limits on governor’s COVID-19 powers

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) – Republican Attorney General Derek Schmidt is taking his fight to curb the power of Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly and local officials to impose COVID-19 restrictions in Kansas to the state’s highest court.

Schmidt announced Tuesday that he has asked the Kansas Supreme Court to keep in place a law that limits Kelly’s power and local officials’ authority even though a Johnson County trial-court judge struck it down last month. Schmidt is appealing District Judge David Hauber’s ruling and wants the decision put on hold in the meantime.

The Republican-controlled Legislature enacted the law earlier this year to prevent Kelly from closing businesses or schools, limiting public gatherings or imposing a statewide mask mandate. The law curbed the power of county health officers, leaving decisions about pandemic restrictions to elected county commissions. It allowed people to sue over restrictions and required court decisions within 10 days.

Hauber ruled that the law violated the state constitution by infringing upon the power of the courts and by denying state and local officials due legal process.

Schmidt has defended the law as valid and contends Hauber’s decision has created confusion about what power Kelly and local officials now have. Schmidt is running for governor next year.

Health experts remind residents to follow COVID-19 precautions

NEOSHO, Mo. – As COVID-19 cases remain high, its important to continue taking steps to protect yourself and others from the virus.

Newton County Health Director Larry Bergner says you should remain vigilant about washing your hands, social distancing and wearing masks when recommended. He also says cleaning surfaces regularly can help stop the spread.

“Certainly those disinfectants are effective,” said Bergner. “And so making sure that all of our services are clean, plenty of sanitizer, your hand sanitizer. So at the hand sink in those establishments, the food service establishments, and others restrooms.”

So far around 43 percent of people in Newton County have gotten at least one dose of a COVID vaccine.

News To Know (07/19/2021)

Atlanta, Ga- New covid-19 cases have spiked almost 70 percent in the U.S. over the past week, while 8 states are seeing rapidly rising infections. A new CBS news poll shows that a majority of Americans are worried about the more contagious Delta Variant.  It’s the fully vaccinated who are more concerned than the unvaccinated.

Joplin, Mo- Authorities say they’ve identified a body found Friday, July 16, evening in Shoal Creek in Joplin. The Joplin Police Department says it was 46-year-old, Brandon Vickers, of Joplin, Missouri. Saturday rescue crews from Joplin, Neosho and Redings Mill recover Vickers body from Shoal Creek near McIndoe Park after kayakers spotted the body around 5:30 Friday evening. Officials say detectives are conducting an active death investigation.

Oswego, Ks- 4-State summer rains can sometimes result in flooded parks, and that was certainly the case for our friends in Oswego, Kansas over the weekend.  The situation at Danny Elliot Park, but that didn’t keep a handful of people from coming down and checking out the watery scene. One park visitor who brought his son to see the water in their usual play area , he tells KOAM that he estimates, the Danny Elliot Park floods like this two or three times per summer.

Neosho, Mo- The City of Neosho announced Sunday, July 18 that there will be two road closures in town starting today. Hill Street will be closed to all traffic from Neosho Boulevard to Oak Ridge Drive. This is to allow work to be done to realign the street for the new construction of the Neosho school district’s performing arts center. Sherman Street will also be closed from Oak Ridge Drive to Highland Place, it will be open only to residents. These streets will be closed until further notice.

News to Know (07/16/2021)

Albany, NY- New York, Governor, Andrew Cuomo is expected to be questioned on Saturday in connection with the probe into allegations of sexual harassments and misconduct against him. That’s according to a source familiar with the New York attorney general’s investigation into the Governor. Cuomo also faces an impeachment inquiry in the state assembly.

Airport Drive, Mo- Jasper County authorities are searching for two suspects in connection with a shooting in Airport Drive.
the Sheriff’s Department says witnesses reported hearing gunshots in the parking lot of Harps Grocery Store around 1:35 p.m. Thursday. Investigators say they found evidence in the parking lot of a possible shooting including evidence of quote “possible injuries”. Authorities say they’ve located the victims, a 22-year-old Webb City, woman and a 33-year-old man from California. The Jasper County Sheriff’s office released a description of the possible suspects. Police say the driver was a black man, driving a dark red Kia SUV, his passenger, another suspect, is a black man with four braids in his hair and neck tattoos.

Monett, Mo- a Monett Missouri man is dead following a Zero Turn lawn mower crash Thursday evening. According to the Missouri Highway Patrol 72-year-old Raymond Haddock lost control of the lawn mower and overturned into a creek. Haddock was pronounced dead at the scene.

Joplin, Mo- An uptick in Missouri Covid-19 cases has led to a bigger push to get vaccinated. The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services labels several Southwest Missouri areas as Covid-19 hotspots, including Joplin and Jasper and Newton Counties. The Jordan Valley Community Health Center held a vaccination clinic in Joplin to help reach those still hesitant about getting their shot. They say by doing outreach with their mobile vaccine unit, they hope to see more of Missouri’s population vaccinated.


News to Know (07/15/2021)

Western, U.S- Thousands of Firefighters are battling dozens of wildfires across large parts of the Western U.S. More than a million acres of land have burned in about a dozen states. That as U.S. Fire officials report a shortage of jet fuel that could ground some planes used to drop retardant on fires.

Joplin, Mo- Covid-19 cases and hospitalizations are on the rise in the 4-state area, and it’s a major cause for concern for Joplin’s Freeman Coronavirus Team. Freeman Cardiologist Robert Stauffer is trying to convince the unvaccinated public to get their shots and addressed the media, saying vaccines are the only way for the 4-state area to truly overcome the Pandemic. Joplin’s Mayor tells us that city government is listening to the local medical community, and is not currently discussing bringing back Covid-19 restrictions. He and other members of city leadership believe focusing on getting the community vaccinated is the best way to beat the virus.

Jefferson City, Mo- Missouri Governor Mike Parson has signed bills that would increase police accountability, limit the use of officer chokeholds and, critics say, shield police while ramping up penalties for protesters. One measure puts limits on investigations of officers and provides protection against civil claims unless the officer is criminally convicted. The other bans police use of chokeholds.

Joplin, Mo- The City of Joplin is performing a structural analysis on a parking structure on East 6th Street, between Main and Virginia Avenue. The analysis comes after pieces of the structure’s ramp fell off when a forklift drove over it. That section of the street is closed off while the work is completed. Crews are currently using a non-destructive method of testing, x-raying the underlying structural steel. Renovations are expected to take place in the winter.

News to Know (07/14/2021)

Washington, D.C.- President Biden is vowing to do whatever he can to protect voting rights. The president denounced the Republican-led efforts to enact restrictive state election laws as being “un-American” and an assault on democracy.

Pittsburg, Ks- Crawford County Health and Ascension Via Christi Hospital Officials held a press conference at Pitt State. Officials say the county is seeing its fourth major spike in Covid-19 cases since the pandemic began. The vast majority of those new cases, along with every recent death, are people who have not been vaccinated. Health officials reiterated that the vaccines are safe and recommended. Just under 50% of the counties population has received at least one dose of a vaccine.

Carthage, Mo- Area school officials consider how they’ll respond to CDC guidance for students return to school this fall. Last week’s guidance from the CDC falls in line with their previous advice on masking for vaccinated adults. It says that fully vaccinated students do not need to wear masks in classrooms. The Jasper County Health Department says how Covid cases and vaccination rates look closer to the school year, will dictate how schools operate. The Health Department says the best way to reduce spread is by getting vaccinated.

Joplin, Mo- A number of Joplin area businesses say they’re committed to creating a “more diverse, welcoming and inclusive community”. The Joplin Area Chamber of Commerce and its equity, diversity and inclusion work group formally announced the launch of their Joplin Leadership Pledge. Dozens of companies and groups have already signed the pledge. The EDI group says the goal is ensure that companies and individuals create cultures that welcome and support everyone.

News to Know (07/09/2021)

Springfield, Mo – Pfizer says it’s now ramping up efforts to roll out a Covid-19 booster shot to help increase immunity. They are also working on a newer version of its vaccine to target the fast-spreading Delta Variant. That comes as the CDC Director says more than 9 million Americans now live in parts of the country where Covid-19 hospitalizations and deaths are spiking significantly among people who have not been vaccinated.

Jefferson, Mo – Missouri Governor Parson works to tamp down rising concerns as Missouri becomes the nation’s leader in Covid-19 caseload. Data from Johns Hopkins University show that Missouri’s case load is 15 and a half new cases per 100-thousand people daily. Those numbers are fueled, in part by the fast spreading Delta Variant. The variant  was first recorded in Branson, Missouri, and now has been found in nearly every part of the state. That’s sparking warnings from health officials that what’s happening in our region, could happen in other parts of the country.

Oklahoma City, Ok – A U.S. Senator from Oklahoma, Jim Inhofe’s office is requesting 4 million dollars in Federal Funds to help combat illegal Oklahoma marijuana growing operations. Inhofe’s Chief of Staff says the Republican Senator has requested a direct appropriation through the U.S. Justice Department. He says the money would allow the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics to establish a unit to combat “transnational and national drug organizations”. Sheriffs and other Law Enforcement groups say illegal marijuana growers are setting up in rural parts of Oklahoma and funneling cannabis into the illegal drug trade.

McDonald County, Mo – The McDonald County Sheriff’s office, Wednesday arrested a kidnapping suspect. Authorities say 28-year-old Edmundo Cordero of Noel, Missouri was wanted on charges of kidnapping, domestic assault, and first degree burglary. When Officers tried to arrest him he ran but was caught. He is being held at the McDonald County Jail.


Parson urges vaccinations amid spiking COVID-19 cases

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) – Missouri Gov. Mike Parson says the state wants to increase the vaccination rate for COVID-19.

The state’s rate that lags behind the rest of the nation and Missouri is in the midst of a big spike in cases and hospitalizations. Missouri reported 854 newly confirmed cases Wednesday, one of the largest one-day totals since February. The state reported nine new deaths. The increase is driven largely by a big jump in cases in southwestern and northern Missouri Those areas have been hit hard by the fast-spreading delta variant.

Hospitalizations have risen sharply over the past month, mostly in southwestern Missouri. State data shows 334 people are hospitalized in southwestern Missouri, compared with just 86 in mid-May.

Oklahoma Guard troops to transition out of COVID-19 response

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) – Oklahoma National Guard troops who have been assisting the state’s response to COVID-19 will begin ending their assignment this week.

The State Health Department said in a statement Monday that the troops will begin transitioning out of the agency beginning Thursday. Over a 15-month deployment, Guard troops helped sanitize long-term-care facilities, distribute personal protective gear and transport testing specimens and supplies across the state.

Meanwhile, data from Johns Hopkins University shows Oklahoma’s seven-day rolling average of daily deaths and daily new cases have both increased over the last two weeks, from 120.29 new cases per day June 12 to 196.43 new cases per day June 26.