Volunteers help Joplin Schools spruce up their bus fleet

JOPLIN, Mo. – The James River Church of Joplin is partnering with the Joplin School District for ‘Project Partnership’.

Today, the church and its volunteers gathered at Junge Stadium to wash the district’s fleet of 70 school buses.

“It’s very good for the community to be engaged from different organizations and different standpoints,” said Kerry Sachetta, Joplin Super Intendent. “With our improvement plan, what we’re trying to do is always have the community involved in our schools. So we’re were ecstatic that they want to continue the relationship.”

The school says they are partnering with local businesses and organizations to help keep the community involved with Joplin schools.


AAA: Gas prices, outlook and tips

There’s a lot of discussion around gas prices, especially as we near another holiday. But, there could be some slightly good news.

AAA is expecting gas prices to dip slightly ahead of the July 4th travel weekend. But, the company states price fluctuations are still possible as the busy Independence Day weekend gets closer.

“Drivers are seeing minor relief at the gas pump with prices dropping an average of nine cents a gallon compared to last week,” said AAA Spokesperson Nick Chabarria. “Prices could fluctuate as the busy Independence Day holiday approaches. Despite unusually high gas prices, automobile travel is expected to set a new record with 42 million Americans driving to their holiday destination. The record travel could put more pressure on demand at a time when supplies are very tight.”

AAA states crude oil prices recently declined slightly, but they’re still above $105 per barrel.

4-State Gas Price Averages (AAA) (June 23)

Missouri Average Regular Gas Prices

  • Current Avg. $4.641
  • Yesterday Avg. $4.651
  • Week Ago Avg. $4.683
  • Month Ago Avg. $4.157
  • Year Ago Avg. $2.750

Kansas Average Regular Gas Prices

  • Current Avg. $4.629
  • Yesterday Avg. $4.639
  • Week Ago Avg. $4.671
  • Month Ago Avg. $4.046
  • Year Ago Avg. $2.836

Oklahoma Average Regular Gas Prices

  • Current Avg. $4.615
  • Yesterday Avg. $4.622
  • Week Ago Avg. $4.665
  • Month Ago Avg. $4.037
  • Year Ago Avg. $2.775

Arkansas Average Regular Gas Prices

  • Current Avg. $4.489
  • Yesterday Avg. $4.500
  • Week Ago Avg. $4.536
  • Month Ago Avg. $4.115
  • Year Ago Avg. $2.768

The national average price for a gallon of regular unleaded is $4.94, which is seven cents less compared to this day last week and $1.87 more than the price per gallon at this same time last year, according to AAA Gas Prices.

Gas Tax Holiday Proposal

The Biden administration has been discussing a possible gas tax holiday.

> Read More about the Proposal: EXPLAINER: How Biden’s proposed gas tax holiday would work

As a result, the impact of gas tax holiday proposals, whether at a state or federal level, may be limited because any price reduction from the lack of taxes can be quickly offset by a steady increase in oil prices. According to AAA, in addition, if a gas tax holiday is implemented, it is unclear to what extent any savings would be passed along to the consumer or if there would be an impact to funds that are usually allocated for much needed infrastructure improvement, maintenance, and safety.

AAA Tips to save money on fuel

Bad driving isn’t just unsafe. It’s expensive. Studies have repeatedly shown that personal driving habits are the single biggest factor that affects vehicle fuel consumption. Adopting new and improved driving behaviors can contribute to significant savings at the gas pump. Here are some simple ways drivers can improve fuel efficiency:

  • Slow down and drive the speed limit. Higher speeds result in more aerodynamic drag.
  • Avoid “jackrabbit” starts and hard accelerations. These actions greatly increase fuel consumption.
  • Use cruise control on the highway to help maintain a constant speed and save fuel. However, never use cruise control on slippery roads because a loss of vehicle control could result.
  • Minimize your use of air conditioning.
  • Avoid extended idling to warm up the engine, even in colder temperatures. It’s unnecessary and wastes fuel.
  • Maintain your car according to the manufacturer’s recommendations. Regular service will ensure optimum fuel economy.
  • Make sure your tires are properly maintained and inflated to the correct level.
  • When driving in town, adjust your speed to “time” the traffic lights. This reduces repeated braking and acceleration that consume additional fuel.
  • When approaching a red light or stop sign, take your foot off the gas early and allow your car to coast down to a slower speed until it is time to brake.
  • Download the AAA App to find the cheapest gas prices near you.

Information about AAA Approved repair shops can be located at AAA.com/repair or by calling your local AAA branch.


Some Four State teachers won grants to spruce up their classroom

JOPLIN, Mo. – Some Four State teachers earned some extra cash to fund their classrooms thanks to grants.

Western Governors University awarded nine southwest Missouri teachers grants as a part of their “fund my classroom” initiative.

Officials say the grants totaled more than 42 hundred dollars and each grant for the teachers ranged from one hundred to one thousand dollars.

The following teachers were awarded grants:

  • Susan Wilson, a first-grade teacher at Granby Elementary School in Granby, who received a $170 grant to purchase a variety of manipulatives and other materials to go along with the new Science of Reading program being implemented next school year.
  • Charlotte McGuirk, a first-grade teacher at Granby Elementary School in Granby, who received a $320 grant to purchase a variety of manipulatives and other materials to go along with the new Science of Reading program being implemented next school year.
  • Tonya Smith, a family and consumer science teacher in the Bronaugh R-7 School District in Bronaugh, who received a $516 grant to purchase air fryers and Instant Pots® for her classroom, providing her students with the opportunity to learn how to operate and utilize these convenient small kitchen appliances as part of her cooking unit.
  • Dana Reed, a special education teacher at Diamond High School in the Diamond R-IV School District in Diamond, who received a $1,000 grant to fund her classroom cottage industry project that provides students with an opportunity to learn how to start and manage a small business, while gaining experience designing, producing, marketing and selling products.
  • Crystal Charles, a social studies teacher at Seneca High School in the Seneca R-7 School District in Seneca, who received a $350 grant to purchase 25 copies of The Words We Live By: Your Annotated Guide to the Constitution, a supplementary text that will help her AP government students break down the U.S. Constitution into layman’s terms and better understand it.
  • Micah Moorehouse, a fifth grade ELA teacher at Granby Elementary School in Granby, who received a $100 grant that will be used to purchase a classroom set of 12 Mark Twain Award-nominated books that were recognized for the 2022-2023 school year by the Missouri Association of School Librarians.

To find out more, click here.


Missouri farmers use this loan program to help expand production

JOPLIN, Mo. – A new program now helps Missouri businesses and farmers receive low-interest rate loans.

American Ramp Company in Joplin met with Missouri Treasurer Scott Fitzpatrick to discuss the benefits of the MOBUCKS program.

MOBUCKS is a linked deposit program that uses state funds to allow businesses to purchase necessary equipment and materials at a discounted rate.

“Really at the end of the day, it’s not a handout to the businesses. The businesses are just trying to buy a piece of equipment or they’re trying to add on to their building or they need a cash flow loan to finance the growth they’re having,” said Fitzpatrick. “Whatever it is they’re responsible for paying that loan back.”

The American Ramp Company says they have been able to update their equipment and plan building expansion thanks to MOBUCKS.




Joplin Fire Department welcomes newest fire engine

JOPLIN, Mo. – The Joplin Fire Department today welcomed its newest fire engine with a traditional ‘Wet Down’ ceremony.

Residents gathered at Station 5 in Joplin to help get the engine ready for service.

Kids helped clean the new engine after it was christened with water from an older engine.

As is tradition, people also pushed the engine into the station to welcome it home.

To read more, click here.




Chanute Public Library hosts ‘Water Wars’ event

CHANUTE, Kan. – The Chanute Public Library today hosted its ‘Water Wars’ event featuring water games and tons of fun.

Officials set up a variety of activities for kids of all ages to enjoy. Some of these activities included:

  • Water balloon fights
  • Water races
  • Obstacle courses
  • Fire truck dousing

To learn more about the Chanute Public Library, click here.



Wyandotte Nation hosts lacrosse summer camp

OTTAWA COUNTY, Okla. – Wyandotte Nation continued its summer lacrosse camp today with students of all ages at Wyandotte High School.

During the camp, officials announced that the high school recently received an Indian Community Development Block Grant of $1,000,000.

Officials say part of the grant will be used toward developing a lacrosse field at the Wyandotte Nation Pow-Wow grounds.

The money will also help fund the construction of a paved parking lot, an additional row for vendors, and an additional restroom,.

To learn more, click here.



Downtown Joplin business celebrate the beginning of summer with solstice event

JOPLIN, Mo. – Some local businesses in Downtown Joplin got together today to celebrate the summer solstice with 4-States residents.

The following businesses today handed out ‘solstice passes’ that entered shoppers into a raffle to win over $300:

  • Blue Moon
  • Blush
  • Sophie
  • Beast & Barrel
  • Plant Parenthood

Shoppers could also use their passes for free cocktails to make the longest day of the year not be such a drag.

Officials say the event was 21+.


Local business takes time to recognize pride month

MONTGOMERY COUNTY, Kan. – An Independence, Kansas business takes time to celebrate pride month.

Magnolias Scents by Design is widely recognized in the 4-State community for being a proud supporter of LGBTQ+ groups.

“The culture that we’ve created here is definitely inclusive, diverse, and definitely a place where the community can come together,” said Brian Hight, Co-Founder. “So we’ve almost turned into a little gay Meca for these little towns. Ya know? ”

The diverse group of employees and owners have made it their mission to provide an inclusive environment with progressive values.

To learn more, click here.




Fort Scott family opens their doors to help cyclists traveling across America

FORT SCOTT, Kan. – A local family in Fort Scott is doing what they can to help cyclists cross the country as a part of the Race Across America bike race.

The race began this year on June 14th for single riders and June 19 for group riders.

The Hudecek-Ashwill family opens their home each summer and provides free food, resting space, and pumpkin bread to riders.

“We got started because people needed to use a bathroom in the middle of the night and when the gas station was closed, there was no bathroom, said Martin Hudecek-Ashwill, Fort Scott Community Member. People saw that we were following the race so they started asking ‘can we use your bathroom?’ That’s how our house got started as the time station.”

The family started this tradition in 2005.

Bikers begin their journey in Oceanside, California and travel all the way to Annapolis, Maryland.

To learn more, click here.