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Body located in creek bed, El Dorado Springs Police investigate

EL DORADO SPRINGS, Mo. — Sunday, November 27,  just after 2 p.m. the El Dorado Springs Police Department responded to the 100 block of North Jackson Street, “concerning a deceased person in the nearby creek bed,” EDSPD state in a release of information.

The Cedar County Coroner’s Office is assisting in the investigation. There is no apparent evidence of foul play.” — EDSPD

Next of kin have been notified.

The deceased identified as Tory B. Richards, 30, of El Dorado Springs.

The investigation continues police say. As always anyone with information concerning an investigation is encouraged to call the El Dorado Springs Police Department at 417-876-TIPS.

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Ice Skating and more: 2nd Annual Hometown Holidays on the Carthage Square

CARTHAGE, Mo. — The 2nd Annual Carthage Hometown Holidays is underway. This year hours are different, the ice rink is larger and pricing is lower.

Open Friday & Saturdays thru December 24th from 4:30 p.m. — 10:30 p.m.

Outside of normal Friday and Saturday hours, Monday evening Dec 5 they open during Carthage Christmas Tree Lighting and the Carthage Christmas Parade.

The Christmas Light Tunnel is open every evening for photos on the south side of the square.

  • PRICING
  • Ice Skating: $5 for 45 mins
  • Inflatables & Curling: $5 for wristband

Click to Vision Carthage FB page for daily updates and possible closure during bad weather.

Days and times they are not open it can be rented for corporate events and private parties. Contact Vision Carthage by email here. Or visit the Vision Carthage website when you click here.

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The lighting of Sparkle in the Park in Carthage, Mo.

CARTHAGE, Mo. — Monday evening November 28, 2022 at 6 p.m. Carthage Water and Electric will hold the lighting ceremony for Sparkle in the Park at Central Park!

Over the past month CWEP crews have been in Central Park hanging lights for Sparkle in the Park 2022.

We saw the joy & excitement in our community last year & can’t wait to experience it again this holiday season.”

CWEP

It’s a perfect place to take family photos. Take a moment to walk along the paths in the park and soak up the bright feeling of Christmas. There is truly nothing like it in the Joplin area.

  • WHAT IS: Sparkle in the Park? “Spectacular light display put on by Carthage Water & Electric Plant, covering nearly every inch of Central Park, turning it into a festive Winter Wonderland.” — EVENT PAGE
  • WHERE IS: Central Park, 714 S Garrison, Carthage, Mo.
  • WHEN IS: 6 p.m. Mon, November 28, 2022 CWEP flips the switch to turn on the lights!

After the lighting Monday, Sparkle in the Park will be lit nightly through New Years Day, 6 p.m. — 12 a.m.

Stay with Joplin News First on KOAM News Now as we continue to cover Christmas stories and events and beautiful light displays! Scroll below and sign up for our JLNews email list so you don’t miss a story.

Christmas on the Square in Bentonville

Way of Salvation Christmas Light Display at Carthage

Kansas City Southern Holiday Express in Pittsburg 

Lighting of the Pump at La Russell, Mo. 

CLICK TO HEAR >> Joplin Christmas Radio fr. Joplin News First

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Second body recovered, weekend drowning incident at Lake of the Ozarks

LAKE OF THE OZARKS, Mo. — Saturday afternoon November 26, 2022 just before 2:45 p.m. Missouri State Highway Patrol state they were requested to assist in locating two people at Lake of the Ozarks.

The individuals were last seen in the water at the .5 mile mark which is near the Bagnell Dam.

Troopers responded to the area and located one deceased male.

They continued the search for a second person but  at one point discontinuing the search until Sunday morning.

Shortly after 9:30 a.m. Sunday Troop F states, “Recovery of the second body has been made. More information about this incident will be released later today.”

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Four killed Thanksgiving night crash, I-44 at Springfield

GREENE COUNTY, Mo. — Missouri State Highway Patrol release details regarding quadruple fatal crash along I-44 near Springfield on Thanksgiving night, November 24, 2022.

The MICU (Major Incident Crash Unit) of Troop D assisted MSgt Michael Frazier’s investigation of the three vehicle crash.

GOOGLE MAPS LOCATION OF CRASH SCENE.  

Josh Wamsley, 33, of Springfield was driving a 2021 Dodge Ram 1500 eastbound on I-44. He died later at Cox South. Passenger Danielle Dillman, 36, died at the scene.

Ryan Shultz, 40, of Fair Grove, Mo. was driving a 2011 Chevy Traverse eastbound on I-44. He was not injured.

Patrick Holloway, 44, of Republic, Mo. was driving a  2018 Ford Escape. He died at the scene. His wife, Shandrea Holloway, 44, died later at Cox South. A rear seated passenger, their 1-year-old daughter survived with moderate injuries.

Crash occurred as [Dodge Ram] struck [Chevy Traverse] in the rear. Travelled into the westbound lanes and struck [Ford Escape] head on.” — MSgt M. Frazier

Sources tell us the one-year-old survivor was in  rear-facing car seat. Both parents were killed.

Traffic was disrupted until about 2 a.m. Friday.

Integrity Towing removed the two vehicles that struck head-on. The Chevy Traverse was driven from the scene.

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Inmates build and install Blessing Box for Galena Church

GALENA, Kan. — This week trusted inmates serving time in the county jail assisted the install of a Blessing Box at First Baptist Church, 7th and Euclid.

The Cherokee County, Kansas Sheriff’s Office special program, Inmate Work Detail, allows trusted inmates to work outside the jail under supervision.

Inmates previously had built a Blessing Box and painted it. This week Sheriff David Groves, Chief Deputy Nate Jones and the Inmate Work Detail installed the box.

The blessing box project was coordinated with the Missions Team of First Baptist Church in Galena and was installed in front of the Church at 7th and Euclid.”

— CHEROKEE COUNTY SHERIFF’S OFFICE

The Blessing Box is there for those in need of items, food, toiletries, books etc. They can be taken by anyone with a need. Every time you look inside there will be something different to bless someone because people from town will stock it.

You do not have to be a church member to participate. You don’t have to ask permission to place items in the box or take items from the box.

“They ask community members to help keep the box stocked with food items for those who may need assistance,” states Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office in a release of information.

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Joplin Police set perimeter to locate man who fled car stop

JOPLIN, Mo. — Late Friday evening, November 25, 2022 reports of numerous Joplin Police officers setting a perimeter near 20th and S. Connecticut Ave.

KOAM’s Shannon Becker learned on scene it was a car stop where a male fled vehicle.

Sgt Thomas Bowin of the Joplin Police Dept says they set a perimeter, the male who fled was not located. Then just as they were released from the area he was spotted near Parr Hill Park.

They set a second perimeter and located the male, taking him into custody without incident near the 1700 block of S. St. Louis about 11:30 p.m.

No names are released at this time. No one was injured.

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Man convicted of Joplin murder feat in upcoming Netflix Crime Documentary

JOPLIN, Mo. (KOAM-TV 7) — Netflix is poised to release I Am a Killer Season 4 on December 21. The trailer is out and features Joplin, Missouri, convicted killer Gary Black.

This season features interviews with current inmates, some on Death Row, and their current situations according to a media release on the British Crime Documentary.

Gary W. Black was convicted twice in Jasper County Jury Trials of First Degree Murder and sentenced to Death for the 1998 stabbing of Jason Johnson at the intersection of 5th and S. Joplin Ave in Joplin.

Black’s girlfriend, Tammy Lawson, was upset because she believed Johnson had tried to make a pass at her while they were in line at Snak Attack, E. 4th and S. St. Louis. Johnson was black, Gary Black and his girlfriend, white.

Black followed the vehicle Johnson was riding in a short distance to Joplin’s Downtown Bar District. During an exchange of words Black exited his vehicle and reached inside fatally stabbing Johnson in the neck.

While during a third trial in 2010 just as a Cass County jury was being selected for a new trial, Black took a plea bargain, avoiding the death penalty by filing an Alford Plea (guilty plea in which a defendant maintains their innocence but admits that the prosecution’s evidence would likely result in a guilty verdict if brought to trial).

Black, now 72, is currently serving a life sentence at Potosi Correctional Center in Mineral Point, Mo.

The Netflix trailer shows Gary Black being wheeled out towards cameras in a wheelchair with chains and shackles in slow motion. Black’s voice is heard above the video.

“These guards will tell you, I live in an administrative segregation unit. Until just six months ago I was in isolation in a one man cell for almost two years. They don’t know what to do with me here, that’s right they don’t know what to do with me here. And I don’t care.”

Then images of other inmates interviewed for the series flash on the screen with ominous music.

State of Missouri vs. Gary W. Black

Missouri Supreme Court Case Number: SC82279

Case Facts: 

On the evening of October 2, 1998, Andrew Martin, Mark Wolfe and victim Jason O. Johnson met at a Joplin restaurant.

After eating dinner and drinking beer, they decided to go to a downtown nightclub. Martin and the victim got into Martin’s 1996 Ford F-150 pickup, while Wolfe followed in his Camaro.

En route, they stopped at a convenience store. Martin and Wolfe remained in their vehicles while the victim entered the store and purchased a 40-ounce bottle of beer and a can of chewing tobacco. While in line, the victim stood behind Tammy S. Lawson. The jury viewed a tape of the victim and Lawson together in line.

Lawson was the girlfriend of defendant Gary W. Black, who was also parked outside the store. When the victim exited the store, Lawson pointed him out to the defendant. (During the penalty phase, Lawson testified that she was upset and told defendant that the victim made “a pass” at her.)

The victim and Martin then left the store in the pickup, with Wolfe following in his Camaro. Defendant and Lawson were in defendant’s car, close behind the Camaro.

When Martin stopped at the stoplight at 5th and Joplin, defendant pulled alongside in the right lane. Defendant began to “exchange words” with the victim. Defendant got out of his car, reached through the passenger window of the pickup, and stabbed the victim in the neck, nearly severing his carotid artery and completely severing his jugular vein.

Defendant immediately returned to his car. Victim left the pickup, staggered over to defendant’s car, and threw the bottle of beer at him. It is unclear whether the bottle struck defendant. (It did become clear during penalty phase that leaving the scene, defendant commented, “One nigger down,” and threw the knife out the car window.) Defendant then fled to Oklahoma.

The stab wound — 4.5 to 6 inches deep — bled profusely. Bystanders attempted to slow the bleeding with clothing and towels. Paramedics arrived to find the victim unresponsive, from massive blood loss. Blood drained into the victim’s airway, depriving him of oxygen. The victim died three days later.

Defendant was arrested in Oklahoma on a Missouri warrant. During inventory, police found an empty knife sheath in his car. Based on a statement by Tammy Lawson, an officer found the knife in a grassy area near a cemetery, about 20 blocks from the crime scene.

After deliberating less then two hours, the jury found defendant guilty of first degree murder. The jury later recommended the death penalty, finding two statutory aggravators — prior serious assaultive convictions and depravity of mind. The trial court sentenced the defendant to death

I Am A Killer season 4 is set to release on December 21, 2022, and will be available for streaming on Netflix.

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Boot Block: Galena Police and Fire raise money for Kids Christmas

GALENA, Kan. — Police officers have been busy in Galena lately. This week leading up to Thanksgiving they have had the privilege of handing out turkeys to multiple families throughout Galena.

“We hope you and your family enjoy them! From our family to yours,” GPD state online.

Now Friday they are doing their continued fundraiser with the Galena Fire Dept.

Mayor Ashley Groves states online Friday morning, “Don’t forget that the Galena Police and Fire Departments are hosting a boot block downtown! All proceeds go toward toys for kids for Christmas!”

The Boot Block will end at noon Friday.

The Mayor also puts in a plug for Downtown shopping.

When doing your Christmas shopping this year remember that we have great options right here in town for gifts! Between our retail, restaurant and service stores, there are many opportunities for some awesome gifts! And I know they’d appreciate our business!”

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—  Mayor Ashley Groves