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Newton County covid-19 vaccinations interrupted by weather

NEWTON COUNTY, Mo. — Winter weather getting you down? Well it’s also taking out covid-19 vaccinations.

Due to road conditions, Newton County Health Department has canceled its vaccination clinic that was scheduled for Thursday afternoon.

Instead the clinic will be held next week and the nursing department will be making phone calls to people who were scheduled for Thursday.

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Area business helps those out in the cold

JOPLIN, Mo. — Plenty of individuals and families in the area have had to deal with the lack of heat this week thanks to mother nature, cue the kindness and generosity of a Joplin thrift store.

Alisha Larson, Webb City Resident, said, “Because people that’s in the need that ain’t gonna make it or nothing, it’s good for people to help them.”

The recent stretch of extreme cold weather has made this winter a rather difficult one. Seeing this, JOMO Moving Owner Joshua Maresh wanted to help.

Joshua Maresh, JOMO Moving Owner, said, “Figured there’s a lot of people cold out there, and people may not have what they need to stay warm. So once everything that we had in the store yesterday, put it out there.”

Racks and boxes full of clothes for those in need. And it got a big response, by the time Joshua reopened the store the next day, he saw how much it was used. He wanted to do more.

“This morning majority of it was gone, 90% was gone, so we went back to the wearhouse, started digging through boxes and trashbags of clothes, and anything we could find, found a bunch more items and put them back out there.”

But Joshua welcomes the community to get involved to. Since the rack is left displayed throughout the night, people can contribute to it whenever they would like.

“They can stop by, we’re leaving that rack outside overnight so if they have jackets, or blankets, or anything they want to donate, please come on by and drop them off.”

To help make sure people within the Joplin community can stay warm, without needing to worry about the cost.

“It’s heartwarming, I really had no expectations of that this was going to become such a big deal as it has, but it’s nice, you can’t help but smile when someone stops by.”

No matter how big—or small they are.

“Kids are very important, my kids are very important. It’s nice of them to do that,” said Larson.

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Random Acts of Kindness Day

JOPLIN, Mo. — From yardwork and free haircuts to a cup of coffee for no charge, they’re all options to celebrate a very unique holiday Wednesday.

It’s likely not something you think about every day.

Rylee Beck, Zinc Coffee, said, “I think it’s definitely a human connection kind of thing.”

Helping out in small ways, the focus of Random Acts of Kindness Day. Longtime barista Rylee Beck has seen the kindness in action as customers pay for others cup of joe.

“A lot of people, that inspires them to pay for the next person – we’ve had chains of people up to 20 that just keep paying.”

Buying coffee, or hamburgers, or ice cream is a common theme – but the kindness can be anything, according to life coach Ann Leach.

Ann Leach, Life Coach, said, “Calling and checking on a family member or a neighbor. Trying to balance packages at the grocery store and saying let me get the door for you. I mean I think the beauty of it is, it doesn’t have to cost any money. It’s just a simple act of thoughtfulness.”

The holiday has been around for 26 years, with the creation of a Random Actions of Kindness Foundation, bringing inspiration for those who don’t know how to get involved and even a full week of suggestions to help.

And Leach adds, why stop there?

“What if we made that a daily practice.”

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Lawmakers discuss bills to lessen drug crime penalties

TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT) – There’s a push around the country to lessen the penalties for drug crimes.

Bills to let some prisoners out early and lowering prison sentences for people convicted of certain drug crimes are being discussed in the Kansas Legislature. But not everyone is on board with the changes.

Supporters of the proposals are faced with criticism of being soft on crime.

The prison population in the state isn’t facing the overcrowding crisis of a year ago. That’s because of impacts from the pandemic. Now there are more than 8,700 prisoners in the system. That’s 1,200 fewer than this time last year.

The Kansas Department of Corrections supports the proposals, but it’s harder to get law enforcement groups on board.

“I think we’re looking at trying to be smarter on crime,” said Lakin Representative Russ Jennings, chair of the House Corrections and Juvenile Justice Committee. “Don’t sacrifice public safety. Afford offenders treatment where treatment is dictated to try and change their behavior, and give them an opportunity to get on with their lives with a greater degree of success and without offending behavior.”

Those who back the bill said the state is heavy-handed on drug possession cases and a change would benefit many Kansans.

“The idea of shortened sentences really goes to proportionality, when we look at drug offenses to other crimes, are they proportional to the level of wrong,” Jennings said.

The bills are not expected to move forward as is, so supporters hope to get a compromise that could pass on the floor.

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Emergency curtailment ends for Southwest Missouri business customers

ST. LOUIS — With natural gas systems improving across the region, Spire is lifting its emergency curtailment plan for all business customers in Southwest Missouri.

“We want to thank everyone in the community for their help this week,” said Scott Carter, Spire Missouri president. “Every customer who helped conserve energy made a difference and helped to keep natural gas flowing across the region. Together, we kept families safe and warm when the reliability of natural gas was needed most.”

On Monday evening – when energy systems in the Midwest began to stress – Spire advised business customers to reduce usage and asked residents to turn down thermostats and minimize usage of natural gas appliances. While the curtailment plan is over, Spire continues to suggest all homes and businesses conserve energy to keep bills low during these frigid weather conditions.

“This is a time of year when energy usage increases naturally,” said Carter. “By taking a few simple steps, customers can lower energy consumption – which will reduce the impact on their bills.”

For residential customers, tips to conserve energy include:

  • Turn thermostats down a few degrees
  • Limit use of natural gas fireplaces
  • During the day, open curtains on south-facing windows to let sunlight heat the home. Close curtains at night to reduce potential incoming cold from any drafty windows
  • If windows feel drafty, install insulating drapes, shades or weather sealing tape to prevent cold air from seeping in
  • Seal areas around the home where air could come in. These leaky areas often can be found around pipes that connect to the outside, unfinished spaces behind cupboards, recessed lights in insulated ceilings, and closets.

For more information on ways you can do your part and help conserve energy during these extreme conditions, go to SpireEnergy.com/ColdWeather.

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Four-State kids take advantage of the snow to have some fun

JOPLIN, Mo. – The weather isn’t all bad news, especially if you enjoy sledding. The Four-State area had enough snow *before* Wednesday to go sledding… but yesterday, with even more snow, there’s even more fun for the kids.

We caught up with some families at Roanoke Park in Joplin and asked some of the kids how the past few days have been going.

“I’ve been doing a little online school,” said 5th grader Adeline Sullivan. “And it’s nice to take a break and go sledding!”

It wasn’t just the kids having a good time in the snow.

“It’s fun,” said Joplin resident Jason Sullivan. “I’m a kid at heart when it comes to snow. So I’m just out there sledding alongside with them. You never really out grow a snow day.”

Even the below freezing temperatures aren’t keeping away the sledding enthusiasts.

“I think it’s really fun,” said 8th grader Chance Tindall. “I’m not really that type of person to get cold easily. I’m out here in a whole bunch of layers so it’s not really bothering me.”

Families we talked to said they were playing it safe and only staying outside for a little while, then going inside to get warm.

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Webb City struggles to supply Carterville water; well repairs continue

CARTERVILLE, Mo. – Water supplied to Carterville, Missouri residents will be varied off and on Thursday as repair continue on the city’s well. Officials say Webb City is struggling to supply enough water for the the town.

Flynn Well will begin pulling the well shaft from Carterville’s well. City officials do not have an estimated time of completion but expect one from the crew Thursday afternoon.

The city will continue distributing free cases of water from 8:30 a.m. to 7 :00 p.m. but this will now be at the fire department. They ask people go to the alley behind the fire department to receive the cases.

Previous stories: 

Carterville under boil advisory as crews work on broken water main

Carterville without water due to main break

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Columbus asking public’s help in finding leaks

COLUMBUS, Kan. – The City of Columbus, Kansas is asking for the public’s help in finding a major leak.

Officials say the city is going through its water supply very quickly which is an indication of one or more leaks. They ask residents walk the perimeter around their property and check crawl spaces/basements to make sure they are not accumulating water anywhere.

If you are driving through town and see any large amounts of water, bubbling or running water in ditches those could be indications of a leak. If you find one, they ask you call (620) 762-1014 to report it.

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MoDOT engineer shares what the recent snowstorm has been like for his crew

As the District Engineer for MoDOT’s Southwestern corner of the Show Me State, James Hamelink appeared on the KOAM Morning News to explain how he and his team have approached snow removal and keeping road conditions clear over the past few days.

Hamelink tells us that his crew of 260+ snow removal trucks cover 14,000 lane miles of road across 21 counties in Southwestern Missouri, and that the recent storm has provided unprecedented obstacles.

Road Conditions | Closings | Weather Forecast 

He also says that while they were able to cover the main roads on Wednesday, their gameplan for Thursday will be to do more loops on those primary arteries in the morning and then hopefully proceed to the “letter routes” before nightfall.

Each truck travels at speeds of 35-45mph while plowing the roads. Heading into his 4th year with MoDOT, Hamelink tells us that the department has a lot of new drivers this year. He also said that while they’re more experienced in salting the roads than removing snow, this recent storm has been easier for his crew than an ice storm would be.

Click here for Winter Weather Tips

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News to Know (2/18/21)

BALTIMORE, Md. – Federal agents seized some one million counterfeit masks in a warehouse in western Maryland. They uncovered pallets full of fake N-95 masks that were headed to the front lines of the battle against covid-19. N-95 maker 3M says it has filed legal actions over fake masks in more than 20 states.

ALTAMONT, Kan. – Natural gas prices have hit historic highs, which are hitting one town in southeast Kansas hard. Officials with the city of Altamont say their gas prices are normally close to $3 dollars per unit. But yesterday, the price had shot up to more than $260 dollars per unit. Meaning that for a months supply, the city would owe half a million dollars. That’s as much as the city’s natural gas budget for an entire year.

OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. – Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt wants federal disaster declaration to help deal with the aftermath of the winter storms. If approved, the declaration would allow for reimbursement to cities, counties and tribes for costs of eligible emergency protective measures related to mass care and sheltering operations through FEMA’s public assistance program. It would also authorize federal resources to assist state and local governments.

JOPLIN, Mo. – Freeman hospital cancels its vaccine clinic scheduled for today. Officials say it’s due to the weather and the potential danger it presents for people getting a vaccine. The hospital will reschedule the clinic for next week and will contact patients to reschedule their appointments.

Should the U.S. reopen its embassy in Cuba? http://koamnewsnow.com/vote