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Local non-profit helps give children new shoes and socks before school year

JOPLIN, Mo. — The memory of a loved one is helping make sure every child is taken care of.

Shoe Carnival opened up its doors nice and early Sunday morning in Joplin for 14 children at Children’s Haven.

Each child was able to roam the aisles to each find a new pair of shoes and socks to take home for the new school year.

This was made possible by the Glenna Ledford Memorial Foundation, and it’s the second year the non-profit has done this.

It was started in honor of Ledford who passed away in 2020.

Family says she would constantly serve as a silent provider, making sure children in the community had the help they needed.

“We can use all the help we can possibly get from the community for the kids, we take approximately 500 kids a year,” says Kristin Devore, Children’s Haven Program Coordinator, “So just knowing these kids get that shopping experience today and get to go buy a new pair of shoes is awesome.”

“She always made sure that everybody had everything,” says Clay Connett, Member of the Glenna Ledford Memorial Foundation and Ledford’s son, “I remember several times back when I was going to school where a friend that I knew wouldn’t have enough money for lunch at school, and she’d slide me an extra 20 to give to them to put on their account. It almost brings a tear to my eye to know that my mother’s name lives on and to know that it’s still out there doing good things.”

Anyone wishing to contribute to either Children’s Haven or the Glenna Ledford Memorial Foundation can do so online.

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Christian Church finds new home in North Heights

JOPLIN, Mo. — A local ministry has found a new home in Joplin.

Christian Church of North Heights held its grand opening Sunday.

It’s an extension of the Christian Church of Carl Junction, which had been seeing its congregation grow.

They were looking for what the next step would be when Neighborhood Life House then reached out to them.

The non-profit wanted to bring a church to the neighborhood after the previous one had stopped operations almost 15 years ago.

Eric Wasson, Christian Church of North Heights Campus Pastor, said, “Neighborhood Life House and their board were wanting to have a church open in their area because they had several families who were like ‘Man, we would love to have a church that’s within walking distance because of most families only have one car and so it makes it hard for them to go anywhere other than walking distance at times and so during that time we happened to have someone who was involved both over here and at our church and we got connected and here we are.”

Service happens every week at 10:30 in the morning on Sundays.

More information about Christian Church of North Heights can be found through this link.

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Uncapped gas tank the cause of large spill

Duneweg Gasoline Spill

DUNEWEG, Mo. — One lane of East 7th Street in Duneweg is closed last this afternoon (8/12), following a gasoline spill.

It happened around 5:00 p.m. Friday.

The Duneweg Fire Department and crews from the Missouri Department of Transportation, responded to the gasoline spill on the eastbound lane of East 7th street, across from Casey’s convenience store in Duenewg.

Crews from MODOT say a semi-truck driver likely forgot to cap the gas tank after filling up, resulting in approximately 20 gallons spilling onto the roadway.

Sawdust was spread across a 1/3 of a mile of East 7th, to soak up the gasoline.

No injuries occurred from the spill.

The eastbound lane reopened around 6:00 p.m. Friday evening.

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Family seeking justice for their son's murder

JPD Homicide Investigation Protest

JOPLIN, Mo. — Family and friends of a Joplin man, killed by gunfire, stood outside of the Joplin Police Department tonight (8/12), seeking justice.

20-year-old William Patton was killed during the early morning hours of March 16th, 2022 at a home near 24th Street and Wall Avenue.

Police say Patton suffered gunshot wounds and was pronounced dead at a Joplin hospital.

Tonight, William Patton’s mother, Mariea, along with family members and friends, held up signs protesting the overall investigation process, including the absence of any arrests in the case.

“We all loved him, I loved my son and I miss him. I talked to him every day and I ain’t getting to do that no more. I don’t get to see his smile. It’s not fair, I want somebody… they know who it is, I want justice for my baby, that’s all,” said Mariea Patton, mother of William Patton.

We reached out to the Joplin Police Department who wouldn’t comment on the case because it’s an on-going investigation.

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A collection that's truly antique

Hidden Acres Antiques-Photo 2

JOPLIN, Mo. — The owner of a Joplin business has amassed a collection of irreplaceable items that are truly antique.

Bob Mitchell, owner of Hidden Acres Antiques, collects and sells over 6,000 items in his 32nd Street store.

All of them, classified as true antiques, meaning each item is at least 100-years-old.

Mitchell has appeared on the popular PBS program, “Antiques Roadshow” four different times.

One item in Mitchell’s collection was appraised at more than $6,000.

It’s a blue and white plate made during the Sung Dynasty in present day China, that was made around 960 A.D.

After working with antiques all his life, Mitchell says he’s still learning.

While at an antiques show in Denver, Colorado, Mitchell was given some advice from a fellow antiques dealer.

That valuable piece of advice guides how he runs his business to this day.

“She said, ‘Always buy what you like.’ She said, ‘Don’t buy it because it’s cheap, don’t get me wrong, we all like to find bargains, but after a few years if you fall out of love with something, put everything in a box, and just send it to an auction or somewhere.’ She said, ‘Take that money and buy something better. The secret to this business is to always try and upgrade. If you’ve got a collection, upgrade that collection.’ And that’s what has got me into this situation,” said Bob Mitchell, owner of Hidden Acres Antiques.

Mitchell says he continues to upgrade his collection, and is often surprised by what people bring to his shop.

If you would like to learn more about Hidden Acres Antiques, including store hours and location, you can visit their Facebook page, HERE.

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Shoal Creek water festival: Shoebox boat race

JOPLIN, Mo. — It’s water festival season at Joplin’s Shoal Creek.

The annual tradition at Wildcat Glades has it’s staple activities like fishing derbies, river floats and duck races.

People also had the chance to sample local vendors, food trucks, and participate in activities set-up throughout the day.

This morning kicked-off with the annual “Shoe Box Boat Race” for kids.

Three different age groups of kids participated with their decorated creations ready for the river rapids.

Elijah Stubbs was one of the racers in today’s race.

He and his brother went for military-themed boats in honor of their papa who served in the military.

“When we saw this, um, boat race, we saw pictures of other military boats, so since we like military boats, we decided to do another, um, military boat that was different then the ones that were already previous in the race, but one that would look pretty cool,” said race participant, Elijah Stubbs.

“I think this is an excellent opportunity for kids to get out, to have a little bit of competition, but really get to express their creativity, have some fun, and it’s just another really good draw to the festival itself,” said Wildcat Glades Board President, Cameo Harrington.

Elijah went on to have some success with his military themed boat.

He won second place in his age group’s competition.

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Carthage teacher announces his new book

JOPLIN, Mo. — A local teacher is showing off a passion project that’s over a decade in the making.

Ethan Warrener held a book signing this morning at “Always Buying Books” in Joplin.

Warrener teaches English as a second language to fourth graders during the year in Carthage, but during the summer, he’s a full-time writer.

He completed his self-published book earlier this year.

It’s called “For Home and Hearth” and he began writing it 11-years-ago when he was in college.

All the art in the book was done by Warrener’s family member Marcus Seibert.

Warrener describes his book as a modern post-apocalyptic world, finding a “new normal” in the midst of chaos.

“The world right now, the real world may be terrible or, even in a brutal, post-apocalyptic world, things may be terrible, uh, and people may be terrible, but then there’s always some element of, you know, there are good people, or even there are bad people with a little bit of good in them. And, what circumstances can that goodness come out? Even in really terrible circumstances and with questionably good people, you can still see goodness come out of them,” said Author, Ethan Warrener.

Warrener is already working on the sequel.

It’s about half-way written and Warrener says he plans to finish it by next May.

You can find his book on Amazon Books or at local book stores in Joplin.

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30th Anniversary of Tracy Pickett Disappearance

JOPLIN, Mo. — Joplin Police are highlighting a Missing Persons case from the 1990s, looking for that one tip that could crack the case. It’s now 30 years since 14-year-old Tracy Pickett went missing. She disappeared on this date in 1992. Joplin detectives are continuing to work the case, pointing out they’ve gotten more than 50 tips since 2010, two of those this year.

“This is her 30th year anniversary. We just hope that the public doesn’t, we don’t want the public to forget about Tracy. We want them to know we haven’t forgotten about her – especially the Pickett family that we are steadfast in coming up with solutions and hopefully locating Tracy,” said Joplin Police Department Sgt. Luke Stahl.

Detectives have conducted searches in recent years – including one at a pond just north of Joplin in 2019.

The disappearance took place after Tracy Pickett spent the night with a friend in Webb City. The next morning, another guest volunteered to take her home, claiming he dropped her off near a Joplin pawnshop. She hasn’t been seen since.

If you know anything about the case, you can call the Joplin Police Department at 417-623-3131.

They will accept anonymous tips.

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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.

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Utilities take today to remind public of '811' or Call Before You Dig

JOPLIN, Mo. — Today’s date is a good reminder to use caution when working outside.

It’s “8-11 Day,” a reminder to call before you dig. Representatives with Spire say with more utility companies putting things in the ground, calling is more important than ever. They say 90% of the time, the place someone wants to dig is safe but it’s that 10% where it isn’t, and it can lead to a very dangerous situation.

“We have quite a few people that will put in a tree or the birdhouse or a mailbox and hit one of the service lines and that scares anybody, especially people who don’t know anything, that haven’t been around gas it can be a dangerous situation so that’s why we really stress the 8-11 call and get locates,” said Michael Fornelli, Spire Regional Manager.

Michael Fornelli says people should call three days before they plan on doing a project. Someone will then come and either put up flags or spray paint, marking the dig area.

One other note —not only can hitting a utility line be dangerous, but the person responsible could also be liable for damages.