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Firefighter in critical condition after Pleasanton, Kansas fire

PLEASONTON, Kan. — A firefighter is in critical condition following a fire at a chiropractic office in Pleasanton, Kansas, late Monday night.

According to ATF, Pleasanton and Linn County volunteer fire crews responded to a fire in the 700 block of Main Street just before 11 p.m.

One of the first firefighters to make entry was injured and transported via life flight to The University of Kansas Hospital in critical condition. No information on how the injury occurred or which department the firefighter works with is available at this time.

ATF’s assistance was requested to determine the cause of the fire and no foul play is suspected at this time.

The investigation into the fire is ongoing. Check back for more updates.

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'The Godfather' was nearly set in 1970s St. Louis

ST. LOUIS – It’s the 50th anniversary of the release of “The Godfather.” The mob drama is widely considered one of the greatest films of all time and not only established star Al Pacino as a leading man, but also reinvigorated Marlon Brando’s career and solidified director Francis Ford Coppola as one of the premier auteurs of his day.

Looking back, it seems impossible to imagine the movie set anywhere else but post-World War II New York City. But did you know if studio executives had their way, the movie would have been set in then-modern 1971 and filmed and set in St. Louis?

Imagine Luca Brasi “sleeping with the fishes” in the Mississippi River? Or Paulie Gatto getting shot with the Gateway Arch in the background?

Over the years, Coppola has given interviews explaining that Paramount Pictures wanted the adaptation of Mario Puzo’s crime novel filmed in modern times in order to save money. Execs had a similar motive for wanting the film shot in St. Louis. Far cheaper to film in the Midwest—and, eventually, a studio lot—than in the Big Apple.

Coppola had to fight studio executives to not only get the film made his way, but he convinced them to increase the budget (which, depending on who you ask, ranges from $1 million to $2.5 million) to somewhere in the neighborhood of $5 million.

The movie went over budget anyway.

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An $8k donation will help provide food to local children

JOPLIN, Mo. – Arvest wraps up its 2022 Million Meals campaign, raising more than 1.9 million meals for food-insecure regional children.

“Did you know that just $1 can provide the equivalent of five meals to a person in need? With your help, we provided more than one million meals for 75-plus local organizations we partnered with this year. All your donations stay local.” – Arvest Million Meals website.

The Joplin community donated $8,880. Arvest today presented a check for that amount to the Joplin School District for its Bright Futures program.

Bright Futures Joplin helps with many programs to support structures that help kids be successful learners. This includes helping to provide meals to food-insecure children who are not getting food through school nutrition programs.

Arvest has locations in Kansas, Oklahoma, Arkansas and Missouri.

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Construction crews work to stay safe in the heat

PITTSBURG, Kan. – “Most outdoor fatalities, 50% to 70%, occur in the first few days of working in warm or hot environments because the body needs to build a tolerance to the heat gradually over time.” That is according to OSHA.

Occupational risk factors for heat illness include:

  • heavy physical activity
  • warm or hot environmental conditions
  • lack of acclimatization
  • wearing clothing that holds in body heat

KOAM’s Jaylon Banks is speaking with Construction Workers from RFB Construction today in Pittsburg. We’ll talk about tips on how to stay safe and properly work in the heat.

You can watch  KOAM News on several digital platforms. Our KOAM+ streaming app is free. You can download it on any streaming device including Roku, Apple and Amazon TV.

You can also watch KOAM News Livestream on the News App and here, on KOAMNewsNow.com.

> Ways to Watch KOAM News

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Tour this 1800s-inspired theme park listed for sale at $295K in Missouri

WARSAW, Mo. — A shuttered 1800s-inspired theme park nestled away in a wooded area in central Missouri is up for sale to the tune of $295,000.  

Current owner Marion Shipman and his family built the tourist attraction, located at 24025 Cumberland Gap Avenue in Warsaw, about 55 miles west of the Lake of the Ozarks.  

When it opened in 1979, guests only had to pay a general admission fee of $3 to get a glimpse of what life was like in the area in the 19th century.  

The pioneer-style village sits on 20 acres of land and is made up of more than 20 buildings – including two authentic cabins from the 1830s, a steam-powered grist mill, an old jail, a schoolhouse, a general store, a tavern, a blacksmith shop, a post office, and a cozy one-bedroom cottage that the owner lives in.  

Shipman, 64, knew he wanted to build a history-themed attraction of this sort when he first visited Silver Dollar City at 6 years old. At the time, he and his family lived in Independence, Missouri. 

“As soon as I saw that place, I thought I needed to build one of these,” he told FOX 2. “I mean, it’s not something a 6-year-old kid usually thinks, but I started planning.”  

His vision began manifesting when his grandmother and step-grandfather purchased the land in 1966.  

“It was trees and rocks and a little cabin, and so I thought, ‘Man, I got a place to do it now,’” Shipman recalled.  

As a teenager in 1975, Shipman began building the blacksmith shop. Then came the general store. These two structures, alongside a little shed for soapmaking, were the first attractions at the park. 

Shipman said his family eventually joined the passion project after realizing he “wasn’t going to give it up.” His grandma Ruth and mother Hazel spent their time quilting and making products, like dolls and pincushions, to sell in the store while his father Con and brother Ross helped with construction. 

The family devoted countless hours revamping the property to give guests something new to experience each year. They also held festivals in October, which drew nice-sized crowds. 

“We’d tear down a building during the summer and build something with it during the winter every year,” said Shipman. “So, every year, we had this little circle of locals that would come at the beginning of every season to see what new thing we had built.”  

He said business peaked around 1982, leading up to the difficult decision to close the park about a decade later. 

“We actually shut down officially at the end of the season in 1995,” Shipman said. “In 2005, I moved back down here with my wife and two kids.” 

Before closing in the mid-’90s, Shipman initially tried to sell the property in 1989 to no avail. 

“We listed it and never had a single person to come and look at it, not a single one,” he said.  

This time around, he hopes to close a deal with the right buyer who’s just as passionate about the era and reviving the attraction. He said he’s currently in talks with someone interested in doing just that. 

Additional Information 
Full listing: 24025 Cumberland Gap Avenue 
Realtor: Susan Newman of Missouri Lakes Realty 
 

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Officer Hirshey back on the job

JOPLIN, Mo. — A Joplin police officer is back to work after a lengthy recovery.

The Joplin Police Department confirmed in a release Monday morning that Officer Rick Hirshey has been cleared to return to work on light duty status and is back in the department.

Light duty, as defined by the department, is for officers “not cleared for full enforcement duties” but are able to help with other administrative work.

JPD Chief Sloan Rowland welcomes back Officer Rick Hirshey on June 20th, 2022 – Courtesy: JPD

This comes after eight days spent in the hospital and 96 days in recovery after suffering a gunshot wound to the face in the March 8th shooting that claimed the lives of two other officers – Cpl. Ben Cooper and Officer Jake Reed. That shooter was later shot and killed by the department’s Captain William Davis after a brief pursuit.

Officer Hirshey will resume full duties in the near future, JPD added.

We will have words from Officer Hirshey later today – stay tuned for further developments.

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Lake Parsons "hazard" makes beach temporarily unsafe

PARSONS, Kans. — The City of Parsons is warning potential swimmers not to venture onto the local beach due to a “hazard.”

In a Facebook post by the city, excessive erosion was cited as the cause for the warning as it revealed “a hazard originally placed under the sand.”

The city did not state what the hazard is but cautions any potential resident to not visit the area as the hazard is removed.

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Massive heat dome to bring extra-hot weather to nearly every state

(NEXSTAR) – Chances are if you’re reading this, it’s going to be hot where you live this week.

Meteorologists are warning a heat dome will park itself over parts of the country, pushing temperatures into the 90s and 100s for many cities. More than 100 high temperature records could be broken this week in cities around the U.S., CNN reports.

The National Weather Service posted a forecast map to Twitter Sunday that shows nearly every corner of the country covered in shades of orange and red, indicating high probabilities of above-normal temperatures. “Colors we have not seen for awhile,” the agency said.

A map shows the temperature forecast for June 25 through June 29, 2022. (Photo: National Weather Service)

The only pockets of the contiguous United States not expected to swelter later this week were parts of New Mexico, Colorado, Montana and North Dakota.

The heat dome was mostly affecting the upper Midwest Monday; the National Weather Service issued Excessive Heat Warnings and Heat Advisories for all of Minnesota, as well as much of neighboring states, putting millions on alert for dangerously high temperatures.

Minneapolis was forecast to reach 100 Monday with a heat index of 107 – conditions so hot they were threatening to buckle roads, the Minnesota Department of Transportation warned. Fargo, North Dakota – a city known for its frigid, snowy winters – was set to reach 98 Monday.

The heat is expected to move south Tuesday, according to Accuweather, to the Midwest, South and Southeast. Accuweather’s meteorologists say it will be so hot and humid in Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama on Tuesday, it’ll feel as hot as 110 degrees.

By Wednesday, Accuweather predicts even more of the Southeast to be mired in hot, muggy weather.

New Orleans, which already broke a daily high record over the weekend, is forecast to reach 100 degrees by the end of the week. Mobile, Alabama is set to reach 103, as is Austin, Texas.

The National Weather Service’s two-week outlook shows the high heat could stick around all the way up until the Fourth of July holiday.

The agency warns this much sustained heat can be dangerous for your health. If your area is experiencing extreme temperatures, the Weather Service advises you to seek out air conditioning, stay hydrated and stay out of the sun as much as possible.

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Warrant issued for Miami woman accused of stealing from elderly Grove couple; charged in multiple counties

JAY, Okla. — An Ottawa County woman accused of stealing almost $6,000 from an elderly Grove couple is now facing theft charges in Delaware County for stealing money from the same couple.

Jessica Louise Gibson, 42, of Miami, is charged in Delaware County District Court in Jay with exploitation by a caretaker. A warrant has been issued for Gibson’s arrest.

She was charged in Ottawa County district court with exploitation by a caretaker and unauthorized use of a debit card.

Gibson was hired as a nurse and home health caregiver for Donald Manatrey and his wheelchair-bound wife, Patricia.

More in LOCAL CRIME…

According to an arrest affidavit, Gibson is accused of using the Manatrey’s debit card to withdraw $203 cash from the Grand Lake Casino in April 2021,

In the Ottawa County case, Gibson is accused of using the couple’s debit card and spending $5,810.56, of which $1,503 was withdrawn at the Prairie Moon Casino.

She is due back in Ottawa County District Court on June 11, online court records show.

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'They let him die' Tyre Sampson's father speaks following autopsy report

ST. LOUIS – The father of the Berkeley teen who died falling off a theme park ride in Florida spoke publicly Monday morning. This was the first time Yarnell Sampson addressed the public since his son’s autopsy report came out last week.

The autopsy showed 14-year-old Tyre Sampson died of blunt-force trauma. He fell 70 feet from a 430-foot-high ride at ICON Park in March. The medical examiner in Orlando, Florida ruled the death was accidental. Sampson’s family filed a wrongful death suit against the theme park and the ride manufacturer.

Yarnell walked up to the site of the FreeFall ride and wrote Tyre’s name and his date of birth in chalk on the fence surrounding the ride. Additionally, Yarnell wrote “death trap.”

The news conference started moments later with civil rights and personal injury attorney Ben Crump who is representing Yarnell.

The autopsy report “confirmed everything that we suspected,” Crump said.

Sunday was a lot of things for Yarnell. It was Juneteenth, Father’s Day, and his birthday. He usually gets a phone call from Tyre on this day or he comes to visit.

“This is the first year and the first time that me as a father, I’m not having my son with me on Father’s Day or on my birthday,” Yarnell said.

He said coming to the site of Tyre’s death, was his way of being with his son.

Yarnell said he wants the FreeFall ride taken down permanently, a permanent memorial for Tyre, and a public apology.

“They let him die,” Yarnell said.

He said when visiting the park over the weekend he asked “100 people” if they knew his son had died and said “only five” knew of the incident.

“A $22 seatbelt would have saved my son’s life,” Yarnell said.

Florida State Representative Geraldine Thompson is working on filing legislation to keep incidents like this from ever happening again. The Tyre Sampson Bill will be filed on the first day of the next legislative session.

This bill “will take into account the safety record of any company that wants to operate a ride of this nature,” Thompson said. She also wants more signage for height and weight limits present at the park.

“They want to open a second ride as if Tyre Sampson’s life was inconsequential. There should be no permit. No permit and no second ride given that we’re still investigating this first death,” Thompson said.

She also pointed out that the memorial outside of the FreeFall ride for Tyre Sampson was taken down.

“That’s a permanent reminder every time I look up at that ride that my son actually had fell down,” Yarnell said.