Pittsburg to open new clinic for children with autism

PITTSBURG, Kan. – Integrated Behavioral Technologies announced its plan to open a brand new clinic for children with autism in Pittsburg in conjunction with Sonshine Child Care.

The organization says a groundbreaking ceremony will take place on either December 9th or 12th.

Since 2010, Integrated Behavioral Technologies (IBT) has had a strong presence in the Pittsburg and Southeast Kansas community for children and families impacted by autism

Last week, IBT announced they will be expanding their services in Pittsburg and the surrounding community.

The clinic, which will be approximately 2385 square feet could serve up to 30 families.

“Since 2014, we have talked about opening a brick-and-mortar structure in the area with the identification of a site as a part of our 5-year plan,” said IBT Founder and Executive Director Dr. Linda Heitzman-Powel. “Not only is this a site where families can enroll their children for evidence-based treatment, this is a facility that is specifically designed to address the needs of children with autism and their families from age of first diagnosis until they transition into adulthood.”

IBT has served or currently serves families in Pittsburg, Parsons, Ft. Scott, Chanute, Carl Junction MO, and Frontenac.


Way to go! Joplin student earns perfect score on ACT

JOPLIN, Mo. – Joplin High School Junior Aidan Koch has earned a perfect score of 36 on the ACT.

Joplin Schools announced the accomplishment today.

Koch has been a student of Joplin Schools since kindergarten. He credits some of his success to extra testing preparation and a positive mental attitude, but also recognizes the ongoing support of his educators.

“Almost every teacher I’ve had at JHS has taught me something different, and not just in an academic sense but also about life and the way I want to live it,” said Koch. “My teachers have gone above and beyond in preparing me for life outside the classroom, and for that I will be forever indebted. Also, I have never had a teacher who didn’t believe in his or her students and adamantly desire their students’ success; that source of encouragement and support was and is a vital part of my success, both in and out of the classroom.”

“Aidan is an outstanding young man,” said Joplin High School principal Dr. Steve Gilbreth. “He is so talented in so many areas. He participates in many activities, and he has some great dance moves! Joplin High School is very proud of Aidan.”

After graduation in 2024, Koch plans to attend a four-year undergraduate university to major in business management before pursuing an MBA with a possible marketing emphasis.

His activities include varsity Cross Country, varsity Track & Field, vice president of Sound Dimension (JHS varsity show choir), Student Council treasurer, student head of Fellowship of Christian Students, Math League member, Interact member, Modern Language Club member, National Honor Society member, Tri-M (music honor society) member, DECA member, and FBLA member. He also participates in winter and summer running at JHS for off-season Cross Country and Track & Field training.

Koch is the son of Jeff and Shonna Koch, of Joplin, Missouri.


Carthage’s Steadley Elementary buries new time capsule

CARTHAGE, Mo. – The preservation of history is a never-ending process.

One way to do that is through time capsules.

Steadley Elementary in Carthage, Missouri looked for a time capsule.

They couldn’t find it, but they did bury a new one.

Inside the new time capsule is pictures and signatures of current students and faculty and last year’s yearbook.


PSU students replace light switches at the Ronald McDonald House

JOPLIN, Mo. — Electrical technology students from Pitt State were at Ronald McDonald house getting hands-on experience.

Students visited to help change out wall outlets or light switches as needed.

The activity is part of an ongoing partnership between Ronald McDonald House and Pitt State.


PSU hosts judges from Kansas Court of Appeals

PITTSBURG, Kan. — Students and faculty at Pitt State interested in politics had a chance to meet professionals.

The School of History, Philosophy, and Social Sciences at PSU hosted three judges from the Kansas Court of Appeals.

The judges spoke about their work and met some of the faculty and students.


Data shows tobacco use trending downward among Oklahoma students

OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. – The most recent Youth Behavior Risk Survey (YRBS) shows a 50% decrease in teens trying out cigarettes, among other stats.

The YRBS also shows the following:

  • A 20% decrease in teens who texted or emailed while driving
  • Approximately half the student population reported signs of depression

“We know that the pandemic added to mental health struggles facing Oklahoma students,” said Joyce Marshall, the Director of the Maternal and Child Health Service for OSDH. “This data helps shed light on areas where we need to provide more resources and programs for youth and their parents, and areas where we are having a real impact.”

State Education Officials say the survey results allow the OSDH and partners to plan and implement youth-focused health programs effectively.

“The survey monitors a wide range of important indicators, such as, injury and violence, tobacco use, alcohol and other drug use, sexual behaviors, diet and physical activity, and Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs),” said Alicia Lincoln, Child & Adolescent Health Administrative Programs Manager for OSDH.

Click here to learn more.


Amazon Prime series features Missouri Southern

JOPLIN, Mo. – Missouri Southern today tolled out the green carpet for a special campus premiere event.

MSSU showed a new episode of “The College Tour”, which spotlights the University.

Officials say a production crew visited MSSU in April to film and interviewed 10 students about the school’s special qualities.

The series documents universities from around the world and focuses on anecdotal stories from students regarding the following:

  • Campus life
  • Sports and atmosphere
  • Academic studies

“Student, faculty and staff support during production of our episode was overwhelming,” said Dr. Shellie Hewitt, dean of admissions. “Sharing our story on ‘The College Tour’ is a way to provide prospective students and their families with valuable information about our campus and what it means to be a Missouri Southern Lion. I’m proud of the work that went into the project and I’m ready for everyone to see how amazing MSSU is through the eyes of our students.”

Click here to view the episode.

Watch KOAM & Fox 14 Evening News to see the whole story or check back later for additional content.


Freeman hosts pediatric care simulation during ‘Operation Playground’

JOPLIN, Mo. – Freeman gave local medical students some valuable training today with its ‘Operation Playground’ exercise.

Operation Playground simulates pediatric care for gunshot victims, according to officials.

Baseball players, played by area nursing students were delivered to the Freeman Emergency Room where they were ‘treated’ by the students.

Program officials say students from KCU medical school and area nursing students were a part of the response team under the supervision of Freeman staff.

Click here to learn more.



PSU Professors kick-off robotics class in Columbus

PITTSBURG, Kan. – Pittsburg State University Professors Norman Phillip & Randy Winzer today brought their robotics class to Columbus.

The Adventures in Robotics class uses AIR curriculum based on NASA objectives like:

  •  an introduction to the LEGO SPIKE robotics system
  •  basics of scratch coding in SPIKE
  •  training module on building a basic robot and making it move
  • Stop in Time Challenge

This class is open to youth in grades 4 through 9 and pre-enrollment is required for future classes.

Click here to learn more.


Joplin has a new home for arts and entertainment

After over a decade of planning, passion, and work — and a solid year and a half of building — the Harry M. Cornell Arts and Entertainment Complex reaches completion. The venue houses The Beshore Performance Hall, The Legget and Platt Green, welcome desk and gift shop and so much more.

Emily Frankoski, director of Connect2Culture — Joplin’s community arts agency — talked with KOAM’s Janna Hautala about the venue and what the community can expect in terms of artists and performers from not just the Four States, but from around the nation as well. The complex also plans to work with area schools to arrange for students to attend previews for shows. She also stressed that having such a venue will provide an opportunity for kids to be exposed to the arts without having to travel long distances.

Heather Lesmeister, executive director of the Spiva Center for the Arts, expressed her excitement for what the Cornell Complex means to the Spiva Center. Now under one bright and shiny new roof, Spiva also has a home to display the works of local artists and serve as a venue to help those artists sell and promote their work. The venue will also host a permanent art collection.

The Harry M. Cornell Arts and Entertainment Complex will provide a sophisticated level of arts, entertainment, culture and education right here in the Four States that normally wouldn’t be found outside of a major city…right her in the heart of Joplin.

The Harry M. Cornell Arts and Entertainment Complex opens to the public on Saturday, November 12.

If you would like more information on the Harry M. Cornell Arts and Entertainment Complex, click here to visit the website.

For more information on Connect2Culture, click here to visit their website.

If you are interested in more information about Spiva Center for the Arts, click here to visit their website.