Freeman Heart & Hands volunteer project targets Ronald McDonald House

JOPLIN, Mo. — Volunteers from a local health organization braved the heat to help those in need.

Freeman Health System’s Heart and Hands team woke up bright and early to lend a hand to the Ronald McDonald House of the Four States. Freeman’s Maintenance Department spent the past few weeks preparing the fences along the back patio and playground — before volunteers began painting them this morning.

This includes Program Director Melody Dickey who began volunteering with her family following the Joplin tornado.

“We were severely injured in the tornado, and the community did a lot for us as we were healing. So we just started giving back after the tornado, and we do several things throughout the community and hospital since then. We do a lot of stuff around town just to give back to trying to help the people that helped us,” said Melody Dickey, Freeman Health System Maintenance Dept. Program Secretary.

Originally the project was only supposed to include the gate at Ronald McDonald House — but the maintenance team decided to expand the project to include the rest of the fence.


Pride In the Park returns to Vernon Co.

VERNON COUNTY, Mo. — Pride made its return to Vernon County this weekend. This afternoon marked the second “Pride In the Park” by Southwestern Pride. Roughly 17 LGBTQ+ friendly vendors, performers, and resources filled Marmaduke Park.

It also marks a big year for Southwestern Pride — since the last Pride In the Park, the organization has formalized — allowing it to support the LGBTQ+ communities in surrounding counties as well.

“It’s really a great thing to be able to help with, because it’s almost a forgotten part of our community in Vernon County and so it’s very good for us to be able to get together and talk to them and give them a safe spot to meet each other and hang out,” said Lucas Conner, Southwestern Pride VP.

“We didn’t have protection like we do now. We didn’t have a place to go to, and if there was it was always it was very, very secretive, so I feel that it’s very, very important that we don’t forget who paved the way for us. They had a lot of blood, sweat, and tears. Some of them ended up in jail or prison, so that way we would have enough freedom to be able to come out here and enjoy ourself,” said Randy Hutchinson-Ray, Southwestern Pride President.

Since last year, Southwestern Pride has held two community town halls in Nevada and Butler to discuss LGBTQ+ issues.


Over 1,000 volunteers showed up for JRC Project Partnership in Missouri

JOPLIN, Mo. — A local congregation is doing its part to help communities across Southwest Missouri. James River Church kicked off “Project Partnership” with volunteer work throughout the Springfield and Joplin communities. It’s the 24th year for the event.

In Joplin, over 100 volunteers met at Junge Field to sanitize the entire Joplin School District bus fleet. This was also the first year the project extended outside Joplin. Volunteers helped with indoor and outdoor painting projects at Webb City Junior High and High School.

“We’re trying to meet the needs of the community, and so whatever that may be. These projects are usually outside of their annual budget, so this is just us coming alongside the school system, the teachers. We would just really like to help them and lift their arms as they enter into this new school year,” said Devin McDowell, James River Joplin Campus Asst. Pastor.

“It’s just amazing to see everybody, knowing how hot it’s going to be today, willing to give their time, their energy to come out and do something for the community that really means this much,” added Randy Brooks, Volunteer.

Over 1,000 volunteers took part in Project Partnership this year.


New tradition kicks off in Carthage

CARTHAGE, Mo. — A tradition in Carthage is getting a cleanup.
This afternoon the Alliance of Southwest Missouri” held its first annual “Sudstock” in Carthage Municipal Park.

The event is a spin on its annual “Mudstock” obstacle course and instead focused on clean fun with foam cannons, water from a fire truck, slip and slides and bounce houses.

The nonprofit hopes today’s event encourages parents to talk to their kids about drug prevention.

“This event is something that is really promoting a lot of we talk about protective factors and family is one of those things. The more things that we can integrate into kids lives at an early age that encourages them to make positive choices and have healthy self-esteem the better off they are going to be and we know that,” said Kate Kelley, Carthage Caring Communities Coalition Coordinator.

Families enjoyed free hotdogs and ice cream during the event.


Schifferdecker Golf Course hosts 100th anniversary tournament

JOPLIN, Mo. — Hundreds were teeing off to celebrate Schifferdecker Golf Course’s 100th anniversary.

Today the golf course held two separate golf tournaments to celebrate a century in Joplin.

More than 120 golfers of different skill levels hit the green.

The golf course raffled off a flat screen tv, free membership and restaurant giftcards.

“This course has a lot of history. When PGA touring pros used to play they would come through Joplin and have games with local pros. Some of those games were played here at Schifferdecker. Guys like Gene Sarazen, Horton Smith, names like those they played here at schifferdecker a long time ago,” said Daryn Buholt, Schifferdecker Golf Professional.

On Wednesday Schifferdecker Golf Course will turn 100.

To celebrate they are offering free golf for teams of four.

Click here to schedule a tee time.


GWC National Monument holds schoolhouse program

JOPLIN, Mo. — The George Washington Carver National Monument is showing the community Carver’s roots.

Today a park ranger with the monument held a program at the “Neosho Colored School,” which was established in 1872 and is located at 639 Young street in Neosho.

This was the first place carver received an education and attended in 1876.

“What we want to do is not only highlight George Washington Carver and his connection to this local area, but also to a larger black education that was going on at this time. Part of the community itself is what makes this a historic structure because George Washington Carver was just one of many students that came here being taught by a number of different teachers specifically a Stephen Frost,” said Ryan O’Connell, Park Guide.

This year the historic schoolhouse is celebrating its 150th anniversary.

The George Washington Carver National Monument will be holding another program at the schoolhouse on September 17 at 1p.m.


Liberty working to restore power to 2,800 customers

JOPLIN, Mo. — Liberty Utilities Central said crews are working to restore power to more than 2,800 Joplin customers.

The outage was caused by a fallen tree and took out power just before 1p.m. today.

Liberty said line crews isolated the area and are making sure there are no other issues.

To check how soon power will be restored to your area click here.


Weekend Wrap (June 25 & 26)

Nearly 3,000 without power in Joplin area, temps 20° cooler today

JOPLIN, Mo. – Liberty crews are currently working to safely restore power to more than 2,800 customers in Joplin, Missouri. To read more, click here.

Miami, Okla. man 4 years prison, after school attack left victim quadriplegic

TULSA, Okla. – A 23–year-old Miami, Okla. man was sentenced to federal prison Friday for a 2017 attack that left the victim paralyzed from the neck down. To read more, click here.

Firefighter dies of injuries suffered fighting Pleasanton, Kan. fire

LINN COUNTY, Kan. – Monday Linn County Rural Fire was called to a fire at Carpenter Chiropractic Clinic, 714 Main, Pleasanton, Kan. To read more, click here.

Joplin group holds rally following overturn of Roe v. Wade

JOPLIN, Mo.–Now that the supreme court has struck down Roe v Wade, a Missouri trigger law now effectively ends access to legal abortion in the state. To read more, click here.



Services set for fallen Linn County, Kan. firefighter Josh Haynes

PLEASANTON, Kan. — Services are set for a fallen Linn County, Kan. Rural firefighter who died of injuries fighting a fire Monday, June 20.

Joshua “Josh” Clyde Haynes, age 35, Pleasanton, Kan. passed away Wednesday, June 22, 2022, in a Kansas City hospital.

> RELATED >> Linn County Rural Firefighter dies of injuries suffered fighting fire Monday.

The fire at Carpenter Chiropractic, 714 S Main, Pleasanton, was determined accidental however the Kansas State Fire Marshal continues to investigate.

  • Funeral service will be 10 am Wednesday, June 29, 2022 at the Pleasanton High School.
  • Burial will be in the Pleasanton Cemetery.
  • Visitation will be held from 4 to 7 pm Tuesday, June 28, 2022 at the Pleasanton High School. 

Memorial Contributions are suggested to Josh Haynes Children’s Memorial, c/o Schneider Funeral Home, P.O. Box 525, Pleasanton, KS  66075.

Online condolences can be left on the funeral home website. Click to Schneider Funeral Homes website here.


  • I worked with Josh laying fiber optical line. We went on a trip together to get supplies in Girard. It was raining so hard we had to drive 40 miles an hour. He was the passenger and took a picture making fun of the situation. He bought me breakfast that morning. I will miss his enthusiasm and smile. God speed my friend.” — J.G.



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Nearly 3,000 without power in Joplin area, temps 20° cooler today

UPDATE: 1 p.m. Sunday, Liberty crews are currently working to safely restore power to more than 2,800 customers in Joplin, Missouri.

UPDATE: Liberty Utilities Central states, “The outage was caused by a fallen tree. Our line crews have isolated the area and are working to ensure there are no other issues. Most customers should have their power restored soon. Some residents will be without power for a while longer as they work to fix the damage. Thank you all for your patience as our lineworkers safely restore power.”

JOPLIN, Mo. — Joplin News First followers began messaging us regarding a power outage across the Joplin area

Nearly 3,000 without power across the Joplin area. Some businesses along S Rangeline have no power.

Doug Heady, KOAM Chief Meteorologist stated this morning in his 7 a.m. forecast, “Hey guys and gals, I wanted to make sure you had an update this morning … temperatures are about 20 degrees cooler for us today! Have a great Sunday.”

This is a developing story, stay with Joplin News First on KOAM News Now as we continue to learn more. Scroll below and sign up for our JLNews1st email list so you don’t miss an article.