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"Food for America" educates on farm-to-table process

Kids helping younger kids on this, the last day of school before the Thanksgiving break.

This is all part of the high school “FFA’s” “Food for America” program.

Students educated kids from Wildwood Elementary on the farm-to-table process.

It’s something they do every year.

“Usually a pretty good response. They like the hands-on things, they get to see the animals. They get to learn some neat facts about the animals, and then we have a hands-on activity on what soil is. They’re gettin’ to make soil dirt cups,” said Jeff Rush, SHS Ag Instructor.

“We were using chocolate pudding, crunched up Oreos and crunched up graham crackers. The pudding was the clay, the graham cracker was sand and Oreos was seal, and when you mix it together, showing them like what loam was, which is perfect soil mixture for growing crops,” said Baron Ellis, SHS FFA President.

The payoff, the kids could eat the finished product.

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Decorating for Christmas early is a passion for this Kansas family

GALENA, Kan. — This weekend marks the time when a majority of people will start decorating for Christmas.

Not the case for a Galena woman. She started weeks ago, and, by no means, is it the first time.

“It kind of started way back when we were little and it just has lived through ever since,” said Ashley Groves.

Ashley Groves is talking about her passion for Christmas decorating, something that is a big deal in the Qualls and Hall families.

She’s one of the grandchildren of the late Bill Hall, an icon in the Galena community.

She’s made it a big deal in the Groves family.

The mayor of Galena and business teacher at Galena High School, married to Cherokee County Sheriff, David Groves.

“I’ve, I’ve always enjoyed Christmas. It’s a special time of year,” said David Groves.

And the Christmas season for the Groves starts early, just after Halloween.

“I post my tree every year on Facebook, and now I do it with the preface that I don’t care about all the naysayers and all the haters that are gonna say something, because this is what I want to do and it’s my house and I’m gonna do it anyway,” said Ashley.

“Since I’ve known Ashley, I’ve never known her not to have a Christmas tree up, regardless of the time of year. She’s always got one up,” said David.

“I think it brings so much joy. I know everybody can’t say that about the holidays. There’s a lot of sadness and hard times, too, but there’s just something about lights on and Christmas music and the cooler weather that makes people happy,” said Ashley.

And, for the first time this year, the Groves will see Christmas through their son’s eyes.

They are parents for the first time.

“This year has been quite an experience. You know, this time last year, we didn’t expect to be new parents, but we’ve got a little one in the house this year, and we’re excited for Christmas and start making memories with him,” said David.

“Whether it’s my husband or my sisters or my parents, they could get through life without me. It’d be sad and it’d be hard, but they could get through life without me, but that little boy needs me. So, I think that’s been the biggest thing is there’s somebody in the world now that actually needs me and would be lost without me,” said Ashley.

Those decorations go up early, but when do they come down?

“She likes the tree up as long as possible. We usually go all the way through January, sometimes into February and, again, I just learn to embrace it and if it makes her happy, then I’m good with it, but, yeah, after Christmas, I’m ready to take it down,” said David.

Happy wife, happy life.

“That’s the way to go,” added David.

And there’s this, according to research listed in the “Journal of Environmental Psychology”, people who put up decorations early tend to be happier and friendlier.

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What to know as peak eagle-watching season nears in Missouri

ST. LOUIS — We’re less than a month from the official start of winter. With brisk temperatures and snow chances in Missouri also comes a tradition for outdoor enthusiasts: Peak eagle-watching season.

The Missouri Department of Conservation announced a new slate of ‘Eagle Days’ events earlier this week. In the later stages of fall, thousands of eagles migrate south from their nesting range in Canada and the Great Lakes states to hunt in Missouri.

More than 2,000 bald eagles are typically reported in Missouri during winter, many traveling around the state’s big rivers, many lakes, and abundant wetlands.

This year’s ‘Eagle Days’ events include:

  • Loess Bluffs National Wildlife Refuge near Mound City
    Dec. 3, 2022, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
    Dec. 4, 2022, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Smithville Lake at Paradise Pointe Golf Course Clubhouse in Smithville
    Jan. 7, 2023, 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
    Jan. 8, 2023, 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.  
  • Springfield Conservation Nature Center in Springfield
    Jan. 21, 2023, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
    Jan. 22, 2023, 12:30 to 4:30 p.m.
  • Runge Conservation Nature Center in Jefferson City
    Jan. 28, 2023, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
    Live eagle programs are at 10 a.m., 11 a.m., 1 p.m., and 2 p.m.
    Registration is not required.
  • MINGO (Puxico School’s FEMA building, viewing stations at Mingo and Duck Creek)
    Feb. 4, 2023, 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.
  • Audubon Center at Riverlands St. Louis
    Feb. 11, 2023, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
    Preregistration is required for live-eagle program

MDC offers the following recommendations to spot eagles this winter:

  • Watch for eagles perched in large trees along the water’s edge.
  • Early in the morning, you will likely see them flying and fishing most often.
  • Dress for winter weather.
  • Don’t forget cameras and binoculars.
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Warm Again Today; Rain For Thanksgiving & The Weekend

We will continue to be warm today but rain chances will be increasing tonight and we are likely to see rainfall for Thanksgiving that will only continue into the weekend.

Temperatures this morning were in the mid to upper 30s and our dewpoints were in the low to mid 30s so low lying fog is definitely possible this morning in some areas of the Four States.

We aren’t seeing much yet in our area as high pressure continues to drift off to the east and still provides us with that southerly wind which has helped to raise our moisture. This will change as the low pressure system approaches tonight and into early tomorrow morning where our rain chances will increase substantially. This low pressure system will become disjointed from a cold front which is connected to a system off to our northeast. This cold front will provide the majority of the rain chances for Thanksgiving and drop our temperatures as well as it passes through late Thanksgiving day. We should see a lull in rainfall for Black Friday with the cold front moving off to the east but the low pressure system to our south will begin to occlude and become vertically stacked with its upper level low. This low will begin to move northeast and as it does it will provide us with another decent chance of rain for our Saturday.

Rain totals from the first wave of rain could see anywhere from half to an inch of rain especially to the south and east. With a wet Thanksgiving expected and with temperatures in the low 50s it may be wise to triage the family football game and keep the festivities indoors.

Today expect a high around 59 with continued warming and afternoon rain chances. Tonight expect a low around 47 with rain chances increasing and a warmer night. We will see rain into the weekend and also our temperatures cool off before we clear out Sunday and warm up into next week.

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RANGE LINE BRIDGE IS OPEN

JOPLIN, Mo. – The bridge on South Range Line Rd. is back open. The Missouri Department of Transportation says the opening is about one month early.

The re-opening comes just in time for Black Friday and Small Business Saturday shoppers.

Drivers using Davis Blvd. and other side streets, experienced serious congestion issues during the closure.

MODOT says this bridge is included in Gov. Mike Parson’s $351 million Focus on Bridges program, which will repair or replace 250 bridges across the state.

“The contractor, Hartman & Company, Inc. of Springfield, worked hard to get this bridge open several weeks ahead of schedule and in time for the Christmas shopping season,” said Southwest District Engineer Steve Campbell.

The original bridge, built in 1976, closed in early September for demolition. Contractor crews replaced the old bridge with a new structure that is two (2) feet higher and 15 feet wider than the one it replaced. The contractor also built new sidewalks on either side of the bridge.

“We want to thank drivers, area businesses and our partners at the City of Joplin for their patience and understanding while we worked to replace this important bridge in a busy part of Joplin’s commercial district,” Campbell said.

Approximately 24,580 vehicles cross the bridge daily, according to MODOT.

For more information about the project, click: www.modot.org/range-line-roadkansas-city-southern-railroad-bridge-replacement.

Project information:

  • Prime contractor: Hartman & Company Inc., Springfield
  • Total project cost: $6.2 million
  • Contract completion date: December 16, 2022

In coming years, MoDOT says it will replace bridges on North Main Street (Missouri Route 43) over the Kansas City Southern Railroad and Turkey Creek, along with building a new bridge over the Kansas City Southern Railroad on 32nd Street (Route FF).

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Parsons police arrest Kansas man wanted on outstanding federal charges

PARSONS, Kan. – Parsons Police arrested a Kansas man wanted on multiple felony warrants Tuesday night.

Tremayne Darkis, 43, of Columbus, had outstanding warrants out of Labette County for aggravated kidnapping, and domestic battery.  He also had a probation and parole warrant out of Missouri and a federal arrest warrant for possession of a weapon by a felon.

“I am glad to hear that this habitual felon, who is wanted for possessing a firearm, was taken into custody with no harm done to himself, our officers, or any community members,” said Robert Spinks, Parsons Police Chief. “ I am hopeful that our local and Federal courts will now hold Mr. Darkis accountable to the fullest extent possible.”

Police spotted Darkis coming out of a building at the 100 block of South 32nd Street around 10:30 p.m. Sergeant Tony Adamson and Officer Devin Wisdom confronted Darkis as he was getting into his vehicle.  That’s when police say Darkis ran from them. After a short foot pursuit officers arrested Darkis in the area of 32nd St. and Corning Ave.

“This is a great example of your proactive officers gathering the information needed and keeping a vigilant eye out for a known, wanted, and violent felon, locating him, and working together to get him off the street and back into custody,” said Kyle Wiford, Parsons Patrol Lieutenant. “This was truly a group effort by the arresting officers and other shifts to obtain the information.” said

Police say they located drugs and drug paraphernalia in Darkis’ vehicle and are now asking for additional charges of felony interference with law enforcement, unlawful possession of controlled substance and unlawful possession of drug paraphernalia.

If anyone has any further information on this incident or any other criminal activity, please contact the Parsons Police Department at 620-421-7060 or call the Tip Line at 620-421-7057 or email at tips@parsonspd.com.

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INTEGRIS Health Miami Hospital employees honored

MIAMI, Okla. – Two Ottawa County hospital employees were honored for their extraordinary and compassionate care offered to patients.

Kiera Robinson

Kiera Robinson, an INTEGRIS Health Miami Hospital Emergency Department nurse, was honored with the DAISY Award for Extraordinary Nurses. Ray Espy, a paramedic, was honored with the hospital’s Sunflower Award.

Espy’s award recognizes a non-clinical caregiver for extraordinary service and partnership in the delivery of care to patients.

“Kiera is a natural-born leader and a role model to the other caregivers,” said Carrie Turner, INTEGRIS Health Miami Hospital nurse manager. “She provides excellent customer service to our patients and is a great patient advocate.”

Ray Espy

“INTEGRIS Health Miami is blessed to have her in our emergency department,” she said. 

The award is part of the DAISY Foundation’s mission to recognize the outstanding efforts and meaningful difference nurses make daily in the lives of patients and their families.

Robinson’s nomination was submitted by a patient’s family member.

“Kiera explained why the pain was so severe and why transport via air to Oklahoma City was necessary,” the nomination read. “She spoke quietly and calmly and looked directly at the patient when she spoke.”

The nomination referred to Robinson as “a very caring, compassionate, and efficient nurse.”

In addition to Robinson, other nurses nominated for the honor include Jacee Morgan, Jamie Powell, Britney Chandler, Jessica Blalock, Kelly Smith, Cessna Foran, Tonya McClary, and Mensa Prose.

“Ray is a leader and mentor in our department,” said Corey Reeves, Emergency Medical Services manager. “He is dedicated to educating and guiding others to be their best and strives for excellence in all areas of his career. We are truly blessed to have him as part of our team.”

Espy was nominated by a parent of a patient for his response to their son’s accident.

“From the time Ray arrived, he was so kind and understanding,” the nomination read. “He was very patient with us and helped us not escalate our emotions in the situation. He kept the dialog going in the ambulance to try to keep our son calm and did not push anything that would agitate him. The accident was heart-wrenching, but Ray made it a much better experience for us.”

In addition to Espy, other non-nursing caregivers nominated for the honor include Phin Hicks and Cheryl Patterson.

Both awards are celebrated quarterly at INTEGRIS Health Miami Hospital.

Patients, families, and fellow caregivers can nominate a non-clinical caregiver by picking up a nomination form at INTEGRIS Health Miami Hospital and submitting it in one of the many award boxes located throughout the hospital.

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Man wanted for federal, local charges arrested in Parsons

PARSONS, Kan. – After several weeks of investigating, Parsons authorities find a man wanted for federal and local charges.

Tremayne Montaque Darkis, 43, of Columbus, Kansas, has multiple felony arrest warrants. The charges include:

  • Aggravated Kidnapping (Labette County, KS)
  • Domestic Battery (Labette County, KS)
  • Probation/Parole warrant through the State of Missouri
  • Federal arrest warrant through the U.S. Marshal Service for Possession of a Weapon by a Felon

Parsons Police Department officers have been gathering information on his whereabouts.

On November 22, 2022, around 10:26 pm, they ended up getting information leading them to notice a vehicle associated with Darkis. It was in the 100 block of South 32nd Street.

They saw Darkis exit the building. That’s when Sgt. Tony Adamson and Officer Devin Wisdom tried to stop him before he got into a vehicle in the parking lot. Darkis fled on foot, initiating a foot chase.

Lt. Kyle Wiford and Officer Mark Raney responded to assist. Officers caught Darkis and took him into custody in the area of 32nd Street and Corning Ave.

Officers went back to the vehicle Darkis fled from. They found drugs and drug paraphernalia inside.

In addition to the no-bond felony warrants, authorities are now requesting new charges. They include:

  • Felony Interference with Law Enforcement
  • Unlawful Possession of Controlled Substance
  • Unlawful Possession of Drug Paraphernalia

Authorities have sent the charges request to the Labette County Attorney’s Office.

“This is a great example of your proactive officers gathering the information needed and keeping a vigilant eye out for a known, wanted, and violent felon, locating him, and working together to get him off the street and back into custody. This was truly a group effort by the arresting officers and other shifts to obtain the information,” said Parsons Patrol Lieutenant Kyle Wiford.

2020 Article: 2 arrested on warrants, drug charges in Joplin

2021-2022 Arrests in Parsons, Information from Citizens

Last year the Parsons Police Department made 681 arrests. Given the pace of 2022, officers have already made 737 arrests for 2022.

According to Deputy Police Chief Dennis Dodd,

“the information we receive from citizens on this case as well as a great number of others is greatly appreciated. Sometimes, fighting crime is similar to putting a jig-saw puzzle together, piece by piece until the entire puzzle is completed. No question some puzzles take longer to complete than others, but the more pieces that the community sends to us, the quicker we can conclude investigations successfully.”

Parsons Police Chief Robert Spinks said,

“I am glad to hear that this habitual felon, who is wanted for possessing a firearm, was taken into custody with no harm done to himself, our officers, or any community members. I am hopeful that our local and Federal courts will now hold Mr. Darkis accountable to the fullest extent possible.”

Authorities are still investigating this case. If you have information, they encouraged you to “See It, Hear It, Report It.”

If anyone has any further information on this incident or any other criminal activity, you can contact the Parsons Police Department at 421-7060 or call the Tip Line at 421-7057 or email at tips@parsonspd.com.

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Bridge on S. Range Line Road opens ahead of schedule

JOPLIN, Mo. – The bridge on S. Range Line Road opens to traffic ahead of schedule.

According to MoDOT, the new bridge (Business Loop 49) over the Kansas City Southern Railroad is now open to traffic. They say it’s more than one month ahead of schedule.

This bridge is included in Gov. Mike Parson’s $351 million Focus on Bridges program, which will repair or replace 250 bridges across the state.

“The contractor, Hartman & Company, Inc. of Springfield, worked hard to get this bridge open several weeks ahead of schedule and in time for the Christmas shopping season,” said Southwest District Engineer Steve Campbell.

The original bridge, built in 1976, closed in early September for demolition. Contractor crews replaced the old bridge with a new structure that is two (2) feet higher and 15 feet wider than the one it replaced. The contractor also built new sidewalks on either side of the bridge.

“We want to thank drivers, area businesses and our partners at the City of Joplin for their patience and understanding while we worked to replace this important bridge in a busy part of Joplin’s commercial district,” Campbell said.

MoDOT says about 24,580 vehicles cross the bridge daily.

The total cost of the project was $6.2 million.

MoDOT says in coming years, they will also replace bridges on North Main Street (Missouri Route 43) over the Kansas City Southern Railroad and Turkey Creek along with building a new bridge over the Kansas City Southern Railroad on 32nd Street (Route FF).

Range Line Bridge Replacement Fact Sheet_4

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38th Annual Way of Salvation Christmas Light Display in Carthage, Mo.

CARTHAGE, Mo. – This is the 38th year the Way of Salvation Christmas Light Display will illuminate the holiday season.

The display opens on Thanksgiving and runs through New Years Day. It is lit 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. nightly.

There is no charge for admission however donations are accepted near the end of the nearly 1-mile trail through the lights.

  • WHAT: Way of Salvation Christmas Light Display
  • WHERE: Congregation of the Mother of the Redeemer, 1900 Grand, Carthage, Mo.
  • WHEN: Thanksgiving Day to New Year’s Day
  • WHAT TIME: 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. nightly
  • HOW MUCH: Free, donations are accepted near the end of the light trail.

ENTER ON THE SOUTHWEST SIDE OF CAMPUS ON FAIRVIEW AVE NEAR THE FIRST NAZARENE CHURCH. 

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