Final member of trio that killed CJ teen released

CARL JUNCTION, Mo. — The last of three men convicted of a 1987 Carl Junction murder has been released from prison. James Hardy was released from the Missouri Department of Corrections just before 8:30 Friday morning.

Hardy, along with Ronald Clements, and Pete Roland were all convicted for beating their classmate, Steven Newberry, to death with a baseball bat on December 6, 1987. They were 17 at the time. The three were sentenced to life in prison without parole.

But a 2012 Supreme Court ruling determined that juveniles couldn’t receive life in prison without parole and a 2016 ruling said that applied to past cases.

Clements was released from prison on February 11, 2021 and Roland was released on August 12, 2021.

We reached out to Newberry’s mother, Maryls Horn, who says she wants the three men to be given a fair opportunity and doesn’t want people to treat them any differently. She said she also doesn’t want her son to be forgotten and one of her favorite memories about him was the last Father’s Day he was alive he told her, as a single mom, “Happy Father’s Day, Mom. You’re the best father I ever had.”


Joplin city leaders seek options to expand broadband

JOPLIN, Mo. — Fiber optic broadband internet could soon be available in Joplin. The city is looking for a broadband partner to allow every home and business in the city access to faster internet.

The plan is in the “Request For Information” phase, or “RFI.” City staff want to open up a conversation with any internet service providers from across the nation that may be interested.

“The city does not want to be an internet service provider. So, we need internet service providers to come in and let us know what they need to be in place so that they will come to Joplin and offer the services to our residents so that we can get better options for everyone across the board,” said Johan Bullington, CDBG Project Manager.

State and federal grants could pay for the infrastructure to make it happen. To access the Request for Information visit: www.joplinmo.org/broadband. All final submittals are to be emailed to Johan Bullington at jbulling@joplinmo.org no later than 5:00 PM CST on September 2, 2022.


The Big 3: dump truck crash and burn, fatal crash in Jasper county, stranger with candy and “Grease” is the word

BIG STORY #3: About 11:15 a.m. on August 8th, a dump truck went through a guardrail on I-44 near mile marker 10 in Joplin. The driver was not able to get out of the doors, so he climbed through the windshield just a short distance to the west on Outer road where a crew from Liberty Electric was working. They ran to the crash and used all their extinguishers to help with the fire. We have more on this story if you like to click here.

BIG STORY #2: About 1 p.m. on August 9th reports of a serious crash on Baseline Boulevard near Civil War road alerted Jasper county e911. Mark Tidball, 64, was driving a 1988 Freightliner pulling a lime spreader trailer west on Baseline Boulevard nearing CR150 when he went off the right side of the road. Jasper county coroner Randy Nace claimed the body about 2:15 p.m. Next of kin were notified. Click here if you would like more information about this story.

BIG STORY #1: Authorities are looking for a Grove, Oklahoma man who reportedly gave children candy and got personal information. According to the Crawford county sheriff’s office, on July 31st, they took a report of an older white male driving a white 2011 Chevrolet Corvette convertible. the man allegedly spoke with several male juveniles at a park in Cherokee, Kansas. They identified the man as Kirk William Owen from Grove, Oklahoma. the sheriff’s office released a photo of Owen. On august 3, at around 9:30 am, authorities say Owen returned and was drove by the same children’s home, however a neighbor stopped him. Owen was driving the same white corvette convertible. After the neighbor confronted him, Owen reportedly fled the area and has not been found. If you are interested in reading more about this story, click here.

BONUS STORY: 66 Drive-In theatre, 17231 Old 66 Boulevard, in Carthage this weekend is planning a throwback double-feature showing “Grease” and “Footloose”. Olivia Newton-John who starred in “Grease” in 1978 passed away on Monday at the age of 73. Here’s more information about movie times this weekend:

  • Friday, August 12th through Sunday, August 14th
  • Gates open at 7:30 p.m.
  • Showtime is around 8:45 p.m.
  • Ages 13 and up – $8
  • Ages 6-12 – $4
  • Ages 5 and under – free

Click here to read more about this story.

Read more Big 3 stories from Shannon Becker:

The Big 3: Christian’s Journey, hit and run motorcycle incident and body discovered at farmhouse

The Big 3: shooting near Cunningham Park, no survivors in head-on crash, Newton County brush fire and “bear in the air”





Guns and Hoses Scholarship in honor of recent fallen Joplin PD

JOPLIN, Mo. — The memories of Joplin’s two fallen police officers will forever be honored. And now, even more so in the world of higher education — thanks, in part, to what happened earlier Wednesday night.

Scholarships in the names of Joplin Police Officer Jake Reed and Corporal Ben Cooper have been established at Missouri Southern. And Bright Futures Joplin helped make it possible. A check presentation was held Wednesday night — with families from both officers in attendance.

“Bright Futures Joplin – the Board, decided to give half of the proceeds from our Guns and Hoses benefit basketball game, to begin, to start scholarships for Officer Reed and Corporal Cooper. The Guns and Hoses benefit game takes place in April and involves Joplin Police Department and Joplin Fire Department,” said Amanda Stone, Bright Futures Joplin, Coordinator.

That game raised more than $14,000, giving over $7,000 to split between the two scholarships.

“What really humbles me is that I have the opportunity in this horrible tragedy to do my part to remember them and to try to keep their story alive and then by this scholarship, these students understanding what it is to go out and to do the job and why it’s so important to be professional and why it’s important to be the best that you can,” said Dr. Tim Wilson, Department Chair, Criminal Justice, MSSU.

Outside of high academic standards, officials say eligible students should also reflect the characters of both Reed and Cooper.

“These two officers gave their lives for people in the City of Joplin, and their story is very, very important. And I hope that anytime a student gets that kind of acknowledgment from somebody who thinks they deserve a scholarship, whoever the scholarship is in honor of, is very important to know about them, what it stands for, and also bring that personal responsibility to them when they go on to college,” said Dr. Kerry Sachetta, Joplin Schools Superintendent

Starting in the fall of 2023, the scholarships will be awarded to two Joplin High School graduates majoring in Criminal Justice at MSSU.


Carl Junction's final "Second Tuesday" of 2022

Second Tuesday On Main Street-Carl Junction-August 9th

CARL JUNCTION, Mo. — Carl Junction’s largest festival of the year that features their Main Street business district, took place this evening (8/9).

As kids head back to school in just a couple of weeks, the Carl Junction Area Chamber of Commerce put on their final “Second Tuesday” event for the summer season.

During the Second Tuesday of June, July and August, the city of Carl Junction shows off their Main Street business district with a two hour event that features local business booths, food trucks, games and live music.

Over 30 vendors lined Main Street Carl Junction tonight for the final Second Tuesday of 2022.

| Vendors Kept “Third Thursday” Attendees Cool >

The Carl Junction Area Chamber of Commerce says this summer showcase event is meant to promote local shopping.

“I wanted everyone to be able to experience Carl Junction and I really wanted to focus on supporting local, so I make it an effort that, you know, we have businesses doing giveaways, but I really wanted local vendors to be here so that people can shop local and really meet the owners who they’re interacting with, and see where their money is going,” says Cavanaugh Studyvin, Executive Director of the Carl Junction Area Chamber of Commerce.

The Carl Junction Area Chamber of Commerce is now focusing on their 25th annual Bluegrass Festival, which takes places on September 24th in Center Creek Park from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.


Joplin City Council Plan B after failed Prop. Public Safety

JOPLIN, Mo. — Joplin City officials say there is a “Plan B” for what wasn’t approved by voters last week.

However, the details of the plan are in its infancy. The discussion was part of Monday night’s special session for the Joplin City Council.

Proposition Public Safety failed to pass on August 2nd. It would’ve increased property taxes for Joplin residents while also drastically improving funding for public safety, including police and fire.

Monday night, Joplin Mayor Doug Lawson said he was disappointed in the outcome, saying it was due to misinformation, as well as the current economy.

Officials are now looking at a Plan B that would work in conjunction with the fiscal year 2023 budget.

City Manager Nick Edwards is urging residents to come to a public hearing meeting next Monday night — a time is to be determined.


Joplin's new airport manager

JOPLIN, Mo. — There’s a new executive in charge at the Four States’ largest airport. But he’s no stranger to flying the friendly skies over Joplin, someplace that’s very familiar.

“My parents moved here when I was three years old, and we moved literally across the street from the airport. So the airport was a big part of my life growing up,” said Bart Starkey, Joplin Airport Manager.

He has fond memories of special events like the air show, but also more of the daily routine.

“I remember the Ozark airlines jets would wake me up in the morning during school, they were my alarm clock. As a kid we would ride our bikes out here and come out watch the airplanes land. I just, I loved the airport,” he said.

Starkey’s early career wasn’t in aviation. He spent time in the Marines and private industry and later spent more than two decades working for the federal government. And that’s when he got his pilot’s license.

“I had an opportunity for about five years. To fly full-time as a pilot. And that was a chance to see aviation from a completely different side from the cockpit and then you know, the kind of training you get and be associated with an organization that’s very professional in how they do, how they fly. So that’s kind of how I got here,” he said.

He retired back in 2017. But when longtime Joplin Airport Manager Steve Stockam retired last spring, Starkey was ready to go back to work.

He points out the many advantages at the Joplin airport and the challenges to the air travel industry as a whole.

“We are in an industry right now that’s struggling, and I think we just saw this weekend, I think there are almost 1000 flights canceled because of crew shortages. So we’re going to try to wade through all those issues and make sure that we have the kind of air carrier service that Joplin needs and deserves,” Starkey said.


Alzheimer's and Long Covid, could they be related?

JOPLIN, Mo. — Many people lost their sense of smell and taste when they had COVID. And, for some, it didn’t come back for quite a while.

Could it indicate cognitive problems later in life?

When he had COVID three years ago, Dr. Rob McNab, COVID Director for the Freeman Health System, lost his ability to taste and smell. In fact, he says it’s still not back to normal.

So is he among the part of the population more prone to develop Alzheimer’s? He says it wouldn’t surprise him if he was.

“Interestingly, we’ve known for decades that one of the very first symptoms of Alzheimer’s is the loss of smell and taste, so and that was independent of a viral infection like Covid, so there is some connection to that part of the brain that does contribute to overall dementia risk,” said Dr. McNab.

The way our brains are wired, Dr. McNab says a smell will oftentimes trigger a memory from our past.

“How we process our memories is definitely related to the Olfactory Lobe, our sense of smell, so that’s always been there, so I think it just intuitively makes sense to a lot of us that if you damage that part of the brain, that determines the smelling sensation, that it’s already a part of the machinery of our memory,” he added.

Because COVID has only been around for a few years, there’s simply not enough data to determine if there is, for sure, a link between the two. Until long-term studies are done and do draw a conclusive correlation, he says people with covid symptoms like he had should control the part of their health they can.

“Stress management, a good amount of sleep, a very healthy diet that is focussed on whole foods and plant-based regimes, anything that reduces your cardiovascular risk, keeping control of your blood pressure and cholesterol, and of course, if you have diabetes, the more tightly you control that, the lower your risk is going to be,” said Dr. McNab.


Joplin hits record water use/supply issues

JOPLIN, Mo. — It’s been a record-setting summer in Joplin – with the area using more water than ever before. Combine that with a lack of rain, and it’s a challenge to make sure supply meets demand.

“It’s kind of a perfect storm of events if you will. We haven’t had any significant rainfall, and we’ve had these extended heat temperatures, temperatures that have been in the three digits for a while,” said Christie Barnhart, Mo. Am. Water.

Add those up, and it’s a challenge to make sure Joplin has enough water. The Missouri American Water Company isn’t calling for conservation measures, yet.

“That of course is always the first step, voluntary. Mandatory is something we hope we don’t get to of course because that looks at restricting water usage that is non-essential. That could impact businesses. We don’t want it to get to that but we are at the mercy of Mother Nature right now a little bit,” Barnhart added.

Rain would help replenish water at the source. Joplin’s biggest is surface water.

“85% of our water comes from Shoal Creek. 15% from our wells. We’re using everything that we have available to us in terms of being able to meet demand right now. And right now we’re meeting it, but we’re definitely seeing system delivery in numbers that we haven’t seen before,” she added.

A new reservoir is in the works. It’s currently in the permitting phase, but it won’t be adding to the water supply any time soon.

“We could hear something in six months we could hear something in two years. However, what is new regarding this story is we are looking at some steps to take in the interim to help us bridge the gap for a meeting the demand of water in the area.”

That’s likely the addition of one or two new wells.

“It would probably involve one or two new wells, which of course we know are not a long term solution, but you know, to get us through a couple of years that would suffice to meet the demand,” she said.

Which continues to grow.


Joplin Schools add mental health program for employees and family

JOPLIN, Mo. — A new school year for Joplin School District employees will bring with it more than just a new school year. The Board of Education has green-lighted a proposal to implement a new “Employee Assistance Program.” It will provide mental health support and more to all district employees, spouses, children, and other family members living in the home, regardless of their current enrollment in district healthcare plans. It goes into effect on October 1st.

“Typically an employee assistance program is focused primarily on mental health, and that was the primary function when we looked at it. But we compared several different options for them and found one that offered a lot more than just mental health, that would be a full-blown resource for the employees and their families for different stages of life that they’re facing,” said Jamie Brummett, Barker Phillips Jackson Insurance.

Management training will also be included for district personnel — as well as access to a “Crisis Response Team.”