Mercy adds new room for cesarean mothers

JOPLIN, Mo. — A growing need at Mercy Hospital Joplin has resulted in a much-needed new space. A second “C-Section Suite” is now open for mothers and their families.

One c-section operating room has been in use since the hospital opened in 2015, but the facility has seen an increase in births over the last several years.

Father Brian Straus from St. Peter’s was there to provide the blessing.

It took the project — no joke — 9 months to become reality. This allows every need associated with the birth of a child to stay on one floor.

“It alleviates a little bit of the anxiety that no doubt goes with an emergency delivery, and allows them to stay here on this floor, with the rest of their family, and their baby goes to the nursery or the NICU, also on this floor, until the mother’s back in her room and all be together,” said Dr. Elizabeth Barlet, Mercy Joplin L&D Medical Director.

A $1.3 million contribution from the Mercy Foundation as well as a $125,000 gift from a private donor — made the room possible.

Joplin homeowner sets up vintage Christmas light display

JOPLIN, Mo. — One Joplin resident who happens to be a big fan of the Christmas season, took a different approach when it came to decorating for the holiday.

In Dustin Molinaro’s front yard, you’ll find plenty of Christmas decorations, but they’re slightly older than what you might be use to seeing. Walking up to his home, you’ll find more than 200 “blow mold” style Christmas yard decorations.

His collection started over 20 years ago, when his grandparents handed down some of their vintage Christmas decorations. Since then, Molinaro searches garage sales, markets, eBay, and the Facebook Marketplace where he’s finds the old fashioned decorations.

| Kansas Neighborhood Continues Unique Light Display >

This year, Molinaro began putting up the unique Christmas figures just after Halloween, and spent the entire month of November placing them in just the right spot.

“It’s kind of just like my Christmas tradition at this point. Starting off when I was eight, getting my first ones, every time I would see them in someone’s yard it just brings a smile to my face because that’s what I grew up with, so it’s just really my family tradition,” said Dustin Molinaro.

Molinaro says his neighbors love the Christmas set-up. Because of the display, traffic near his home (located near West 15th Street and South Moffet Avenue in Joplin) increases each night as drivers slowly pass by to get a glimpse of the special Christmas collection.

Carthage Humane Society new addition will help struggling pet owners

CARTHAGE, Mo. — The Carthage Humane Society has a new addition. Officials say a local couple, who are longtime supporters of the Humane Society, purchased and donated this shed.

It will now house food items for pets.

“We have been getting numerous calls and walk-ins from people who are feeling they have to surrender their animals, because they can’t afford to feed ’em. It’s a really big need right now in this area, and it broke my heart. So, we asked for donations to be able to put up a little building and stock it with food to at least help people that are financially hardships to get through the winter,” said Renay Minshew, CHS Director.

Officials are now asking for donations to stock the shed and keep it stocked.

They’re also preparing for a busy weekend. They’re hosting a “Howliday Adoption Event.” It begins tomorrow.

You can find more details by following this link here.

"Food for America" educates on farm-to-table process

Kids helping younger kids on this, the last day of school before the Thanksgiving break.

This is all part of the high school “FFA’s” “Food for America” program.

Students educated kids from Wildwood Elementary on the farm-to-table process.

It’s something they do every year.

“Usually a pretty good response. They like the hands-on things, they get to see the animals. They get to learn some neat facts about the animals, and then we have a hands-on activity on what soil is. They’re gettin’ to make soil dirt cups,” said Jeff Rush, SHS Ag Instructor.

“We were using chocolate pudding, crunched up Oreos and crunched up graham crackers. The pudding was the clay, the graham cracker was sand and Oreos was seal, and when you mix it together, showing them like what loam was, which is perfect soil mixture for growing crops,” said Baron Ellis, SHS FFA President.

The payoff, the kids could eat the finished product.

Wreaths Across America

WEBB CITY, Mo. — She’s the local woman who’s on a wreath mission.

Susie Crutcher is a volunteer with “Wreaths Across America”, a nationwide organization that helps put wreaths on the headstones of our country’s Veterans.

For the first time ever, they’ll be part of “Mt. Hope Cemetery” in Webb City, which is where more than 1,100 Veterans are laid to rest.

Each wreath needs to be sponsored.

“You know, I think the purpose of a lot of this is to teach the next generation the respect and honor that these veterans and those who are currently serving and those who will serve in the future. Just the respect for them and what they do for our country,” said Susie Crutcher, Volunteer, Wreaths Across America.

The deadline to sponsor a wreath is November 29th, and anyone can do it.

Those interested can find all the pertinent information on the Wreaths Across America website, here.

MCHS creates "Elf on the Shelf" kits for FCCLA fundraiser

MCDONALD COUNTY, Mo. — Santa’s little helpers kept busy in St. Nick’s McDonald County workshop Thursday. They’re having a little fun of their own to make sure as many people as possible — especially busy families — can keep up their holiday tradition. A room in McDonald County High School has turned into Santa’s workshop.

“This time of year, the North Pole is extremely busy, so our kids are helping Santa with his elves that come and watch the kids,” said Marie Strader, MCHS FCCLA Sponsor.

Students in McDonald County High School’s “Family, Career, and Community Leaders of America” group are creating “Elf on the Shelf” themed kits.

“An Elf on the Shelf is Santa’s helper that parents put in their house to watch over their kids and we’re making kits for each day to just do something fun for the kids,” said Zoey Chilton, MCHS 10th Grader.

“We’ve stayed after school at least three nights a week for the last three weeks, and we have a lot of fun. We’ve been playing Christmas music to get into the Christmas spirit. I played a few Thanksgiving songs too, because we didn’t want to leave Thanksgiving out, but we’ve had a lot of fun doing it,” said Strader.

It’s a fundraiser for the FCCLA organization and provides what kind of mischief the elf might get into each day, from the week after Thanksgiving all the way up to Christmas.

“We feel like this really fits into our core values of keeping the family the most important part,” added Strader.

“You know, it’s just really fun for the kids to see different things that the elf does. So, it’s really cool to see their joy,” said Chilton.

The packs are $35 for a 30-day kit, and a 15-day kit is $25.

“It’s easier to do a fundraiser when you have a passion for something, so I knew that this would be fun to do,” said Strader.

“My favorite is the bubble gum one, because it’s pieces of bubblegum and then you tape a balloon to his butt, and it says, ‘Don’t eat the bubblegum.’ To show that he, you know, it came out his butt,” said Chilton.

Fun for all with even a little twist.

“Twister? I don’t know, I think it’d be fun to see an elf do Twister,” Chilton added.

One more pick-up is scheduled for next Wednesday, so get your orders in by following this link here.

Learning about volunteer opportunities at MSSU

JOPLIN, Mo. — Missouri Southern students got to learn more about the many volunteer opportunities in and around Joplin, and they can thank a fellow student.

This “Service Fair” was the idea of Elizabeth Martin a Sophomore biology pre-med major from Aurora. Martin did it as an “Honors Program” service project.

A number of nonprofits were part of it, including “Jasper County Casa”, “Ronald McDonald House”, “Joplin Humane Society”, “Lafayette House”, and “Spiva Center for the Arts.”

“Volunteer work really does benefit the person that’s doing the work much less than the organization. I think that people don’t necessarily realize what benefits they’ll get from volunteer work before they actually do it. Like all these different organizations, if students get to volunteer with them, there’s plenty of benefits that they never foresaw that would happen,” said Elizabeth Martin, MSSU Student.

This was all part of what’s shaping up to be a busy week on campus.

A “Veterans Day” ceremony will take place on Friday morning on the oval at 10:50 a.m.

Saturday’s football game against Washburn is the “Military and First Responders Appreciation Game.”

"The Lord's Diner" goes mobile with a food truck

PITTSBURG, Kan. — A Pittsburg ministry is taking its show on the road.

An anonymous donor is helping “The Lord’s Diner” with the purchase of a brand-new food truck.

They intend to use it to feed even more food-insecure residents in Southeast Kansas.

The ministry has been in operation for five years and feeds anyone that needs a meal.

In the past, site director Laura Ramsey says those in need would have to come to the diner to receive meals. Now, she says, the ministry can go to them.

“We are no longer serving out the door at this facility because we feel we wouldn’t be able to get a true reading on how many people would use the truck,” said Laura Ramsey, Lord’s Diner Site Director.

The truck will make daily stops Monday through Friday from 3 p.m. to 3:45 p.m, at 707 North Broadway, from 4:15 p.m. to 5:15 p.m. at 700 North Pine, and from 5:30 p.m. to 6:15 p.m. at 117 West 4th.

Weekend meals will be given out on Friday evenings from 4:15 p.m. to 5:15 p.m. at 700 North Pine.

Dress-a-Lion at MSSU was a tie-dyed success

JOPLIN, Mo. — It’s one of the most popular events at Missouri Southern State University.

But this semester’s version of “Stuff-a-Lion” had a different name; “Dress-a-Lion”. A way to move students through the line faster.

Hosted by the university’s “Campus Activities Board”, students only had to show their student ID before getting a lion.

It’s set up similarly to a “Build-a-Bear Workshop.” This year’s theme is tie-dyed lions.

“I think it’s awesome. I mean, it’s super cool how they do them and, I don’t know, they’re just super cool to have. I’m friends with some of the people who are from a different country, and they are all about Roary the Lion and everything,” said Josie Banes, MSSU Student.

“You know I’m sayin’, it gets cold at night, so I need me a little, need me a little cuddly teddy bear at night, you know I’m sayin’, but I think it’s really cool, I think it’s fun, you know I’m sayin’, I’m really glad they did this for us, you know, I really appreciate it,” said Calvin Clark, MSSU Student.

This is something the university gives students the chance to do every semester.

First responders greet students at Mark Twain Elementary School

CARTHAGE, Mo. — A fun day at school for kids and first responders.

Law enforcement, fire officials, and other first responders greeted students at Mark Twain Elementary.

In return, they received notes of appreciation and drawings from the kids, along with some donuts and juice.

This event was important for both the children and the first responders.

“You know, it’s a great opportunity for kids just to have a quick interaction with the first responders. Carthage Fire, Carthage Police, and Jasper County Sheriff’s Office are here. Just a great opportunity for kids to see us in a neat environment like this,” said Randee Kaiser, Jasper County Sheriff.

“There’s a time of need where they are, a first responder may be in their life. We want to make sure that they understand that they’re a safe person, that they’re coming to help them, so that deep appreciation for community work,” said Jennifer Dillard, Mark Twain Elementary Principal.

Dillard says the kids had a lot of energy and were excited when they saw those first responders.