Friday Night Storms: Severe wind and hail are possible

(KSNF/KODE) – A “storm complex” situated in northeast Kansas and northwest Missouri as of Friday afternoon will take a deep dive south into Friday night.

This is a simulation of what the radar might look like around 9:00pm:

Recent models are trending less and less severe, but the chance still exists for this complex to move through our area.

If it holds together, the main threats are:

  • Strong damaging winds
  • Large, damaging hail
  • Winds could top 70 mph
  • Timing: 4pm – 10pm

The tornado threat is very low and should not be of too much concern.

The Storm Prediction Center has placed our area in either an Enhanced (orange) or Slight (yellow) risk of severe weather due to the severe probabilities.

This forecast will be monitored closely by local weather experts.

The general public is encouraged to pay close attention to any forecast changes, as well.

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Where Hope Lives, Part 2: The 21st Century education resulting from the Joplin tornado

JOPLIN, Mo. (KODE) – We continue our look back at the Joplin 2011 tornado and its impact on local students.

A string of new schools have opened up for class since that devastating storm, but it wasn’t just the facilities that needed replacing.

There were countless desks, chalkboards, and textbooks missing.

A tremendous loss led to a big opportunity.

“I did kind of always think it was big and but I went here all four years in my high school so I mean I kind of got used to it along the road,” says Olivia Putney, Joplin High School Senior.

Now, Putney appreciates the benefits of a big school for her future career in early childhood education.

“I have already been offered a position at a preschool program here in Joplin, so I feel like I’ll probably work that while I’m in college, full time,” she says.

Education at Joplin High School is very different than it was before the tornado.

What had been a traditional classroom wasn’t coming back.

“People had a lot of questions about, will there be textbooks, will there be this, will there be that?” says Justin Crawford, Joplin Schools.

Joplin school leaders decided to move Joplin High School to one-to-one education, one laptop for each of the 2,200 students.

“It was gonna be a new game, we’re gonna do things differently, a lot of things that we had kind of dabbled in or tried to a little small degree but we were really all in now we’re going to use computers in the classroom we’re going to use Google Docs, you know, we’re going to work more collaboratively with students,” says Dr. Kerry Sachetta, Joplin Schools Assistant Superintendent.

They didn’t have much time to get ready, starting with the teachers.

The timeline was on fast forward compared to other districts

“When you look at integrating a one to one program in a school district, you know, they look at a two to three year implementation plan and, and this was two to three months,” says Crawford.

They built in some extra support for instructors looking at their classrooms in a whole new way.

“Hire people to help teach our teachers,” says Sachetta.

Just distributing that many laptops was a big event, and then there were the charging stations and repair shops to deal with students learning to care for their own technology.

“I think there was a huge learning curve for all of us,” says Crawford.

The changes weren’t restricted to technology, but how students learn and the right environment to encourage that.

“You know, the sliding doors to allow those open we have other open spaces as well and so every room had a projector so that things could be presented on the walls. I know that they had walls that were special paint so they can be written on and wiped off like write boards and. And so there were a lot of those different things that were taken into consideration to allow different modes and avenues of learning,” says Crawford.

Even when students went to class changed.

“We put a new bell schedule,” says Sachetta.

School leaders started making changes at the temporary school at Northpark Mall, but built on to those advances with the permanent replacement.

Unique study spaces, areas designated for group instruction outside the classroom, even a coffee shop for students to get a taste of real world.

“To try to allow kids as many opportunities to learn as they can in the different ways that they learn is exciting, is something every school should do,” says Crawford.

So, after three years and $124 million, the Eagles had a new, high-tech nest giving students a new path toward a 21st century education.


Joplin movie theater to reopen May 14th

JOPLIN, Mo. (KSNF/KODE) — A date has been set to officially reopen Joplin’s Regal Northstar movie theater.

According to Regal Theatres, the theater will open May 14th.

It had closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic in October 2020.

Regal theaters across the country are reopening slowly, which started April 2nd, with a CinemaSafe plan.

That includes:

  • Daily health screenings for employees
  • Masks worn by employees
  • Face masks must be worn in the lobby and auditorium by movie goers
  • Any guests who are experiencing symptoms will be encouraged to stay home

FREEZE WARNING and Watch in effect for Thursday morning

(KSNF/KODE) — Winter is not quite done with the Four State region just yet.

A FREEZE WARNING is in effect for the counties in PURPLE from 1:00am – 9:00am Thursday.

A FREEZE WATCH is in effect for the counties in LIGHT BLUE from late Wednesday night to early Thursday morning.

Temperatures as low as the upper 20’s are expected in the forecast area.

These low temperatures, as well as frost, will damage sensitive early-Spring plants.

The National Weather Service encourages you to take steps now to protect any blooming outside plants.


Joplin nature hike aimed at providing a soothing experience for combat veterans

JOPLIN, Mo. (KSNF/KODE) — What better way to get back to nature than a hike along one of the Four States most popular trails.

For a group of area men, it was as much for their souls as it was for their hearts.

They may not look any different than most other people enjoying a stroll along the Wildcat Glades Trail in Joplin, but each have one thing in common: They’re combat veterans.

“Share some stories and that’s one of the things we did today. We talked about our military experiences, myself and a couple fellow veterans, one of them from the Army and another one from the Air Force. And we’re all combat vets, so it was great to just get out and talk and share some time together and build a little camaraderie,” said Ted Donaldson, Director of the Compass Quest Veterans Advocacy Group.

The men are taking part in a Veterans Volksmarch, which is German for “The People’s Walk.”

“Just kind of get out and kind of look at some nice scenery and just spend it with some people who, you know, share the same kind of history as you and are a little more relatable than maybe people who have only lived a civilian existence,” said David Honey, Air Force Veteran.

Organizers hope that this becomes a frequent activity and it’s open to veterans from any branch of the service.

This type of gathering is ideal for veterans who are new to the area and may not know what services are available.

“Find some people to talk to, people who know a little bit more about the area. It’s a great networking opportunity for sure,” said Honey.

If you’re a veteran in the area and would like to take part in the next Volksmarch, you can get in touch with Compass Quest through this link.


Your 4th of July fireworks could be pricier… and harder to come by

MISSOURI — We just finished St. Patrick’s Day – and Memorial Day is several weeks away.

The 4th of July is even farther down the calendar – but the fireworks industry is already worrying about reduced supplies and higher prices.

It’s all tied into the coronavirus pandemic – everything from gangbuster sales last year to supply chain issues right now.

Think of dominoes. You might not associate that with fireworks – but Steve Houser does. “You have to imagine that the global shipping network is like this domino train.”

He’s the president of the National Fireworks Association and says the global pandemic has wrecked decades of finetuning the supply chain. “It’s like somebody came through with a broom and started sweeping out swaths of it at a time.”

The problem is getting his product – fireworks – from Shanghai to Joplin. Says Houser, “That’s a huge problem.”

It starts with delays clearing port in China, processing through the arrival port in California, and then rail delivery to Missouri. Houser adds, “Typically we’ll see fireworks within 30 – 40 days of them leaving Shanghia here – but now it can be anywhere from 60 – 70.”

Freight costs have skyrocketed, an extra $2 million for Houser’s warehouse alone. And exchange rates are getting worse. Houser says, “So it’s costing us more to buy the fireworks and it’s costing us a lot more to ship the fireworks.”

And that could make fireworks more scarce… and more expensive this summer. “This is not a problem that the fireworks companies created – it’s just a fact of life,” adds Houser.