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Part of US 400 shut down due to hazardous spill in Wilson County

WILSON COUNTY, Kan. – Drivers will be redirected around a portion of US 400 in Wilson County due to a hazardous spill.

The Kansas Department of Transportation says the highway is closed from the south junction of US 75 continuing north to K-47 at Fredonia.

“Hazardous materials have been spilled on the highway. Use alternate routes while the clean-up is in progress.”

You can find road closure updates on KOAM’s list of Road Resources here.

KOAM has called the Kansas Highway Patrol for more details. We’ll update this article once additional information is released.

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Man wanted for domestic battery in Parsons, police chase

PARSONS, Kan. – Police are looking for a Parsons man wanted after a domestic battery incident and police chase.

The Parsons Police Department is looking for Joshua Cole Sharp. The Parsons Police are asking for the community’s assistance in finding Sharp for questioning. They remind residents that all suspects are innocent until proven guilty. If you see Sharp, authorities say do not approach, or try to detain him, but call the Parsons Police Dispatch at 620-421-7060.

Parsons Police Chief Robert Spinks said, “I am very passionate about finding and bringing to justice all perpetrators of domestic violence. As one of the biggest contributors to the crime rate in Parsons it is time that the people demand all local and state courts to have no leniency on cases of domestic battery.”

“Studies have shown that most domestic abusers are repeat offenders and in cases of not having community resources that number is even higher. I have said it before and I will keep saying it, the police department cannot arrest itself out of a high crime rate. Especially in the cases of domestic abuse.”

“We need community groups and leaders to take charge and rally for support to end domestic violence in Parsons. This only ends with positive partnerships with our community.”

Sunday Domestic Dispute allegations and Police Chase

The alleged domestic fight happened Sunday, November 27, 2022. The Parsons Police Department says officers responded to the home on the 1100 block of South 26th around 6:45 pm.

Dispatch told police the suspect, Joshua Cole Sharp, had fled the scene. Officers got to the home and took a description of the vehicle Sharp was driving. They say it was a brown Chevy pickup truck. While at the scene, the Parsons Police Department states officers developed probable cause existed to arrest Sharp for Domestic Battery.

Sergeant Tony Adamson saw a vehicle matching the description with one person inside matching Sharp’s description. It was in the 1000 block of South 21st Street going north. Sgt. Adamson followed the vehicle while trying to get more information. He then tried to initiate a traffic stop at 17th and Main.

Authorities say the vehicle fled north at a high rate of speed, failing to stop at all intersections.

“The brown truck attempted to turn east onto Gabriel Avenue, but left the road and struck a tree on the west bound side of the road. It is believed that Sharp jumped from the truck and fled on foot from the crash. A search of the area on foot an using a K-9 failed to locate the suspect,” states the Parsons Police Department.

Police are now searching for Sharp in the Domestic Battery case. They also say there’s probable cause to arrest him for fleeing and eluding, along with other charges.

Domestic Violence

The Police Department says domestic violence is the top crime of violence in Parsons. Last year, authorities say there were 136 reported domestic violence incidents in Parsons.

In a release about Sunday’s case, the Police Department states, “It takes a community-wide effort to support domestic violence victims, to provide education and training for victims to be self-supporting and not dependent on a violent relationship for food and housing. It requires victim assistance from the County Attorney’s Office and accountability to be meted out by the Court. This requires different parts of the community to come together to help victims break the cycle of violence.”

“As we approach 2023,” Parsons Police Chief Robert Spinks says, “we’ll evaluate our own enforcement and investigation efforts to focus on our core crime challenges – domestic violence, drugs, people in crisis along with theft.” This will require us to contact the schools, college, helping agencies such as the Safe Haven Women’s Shelter and other clubs and organizations for their help and insight on prevention as well as intervention.”

Authorities are still investigating the case. Police encourage residents to “See It, Hear It, Report It.” If you have information about this or any other case, police ask that you call 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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How to stay safe online during Cyber Monday

The holiday season is upon us and one of the days in the country with the biggest sales is Cyber Monday. However, the BBB warns you to be careful as scammers will take advantage of you. Many scams seem to happen to young people — that’s the age group of 18 to 24. The BBB says to try not using Venmo and Zelle as they don’t provide the same protections as credit cards do.  If a website does not have any contact information or it is not secured — then buyer beware it’s a scam!

 

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The lighting of Sparkle in the Park in Carthage, Mo.

CARTHAGE, Mo. — Monday evening November 28, 2022 at 6 p.m. Carthage Water and Electric will hold the lighting ceremony for Sparkle in the Park at Central Park!

Over the past month CWEP crews have been in Central Park hanging lights for Sparkle in the Park 2022.

We saw the joy & excitement in our community last year & can’t wait to experience it again this holiday season.”

CWEP

It’s a perfect place to take family photos. Take a moment to walk along the paths in the park and soak up the bright feeling of Christmas. There is truly nothing like it in the Joplin area.

  • WHAT IS: Sparkle in the Park? “Spectacular light display put on by Carthage Water & Electric Plant, covering nearly every inch of Central Park, turning it into a festive Winter Wonderland.” — EVENT PAGE
  • WHERE IS: Central Park, 714 S Garrison, Carthage, Mo.
  • WHEN IS: 6 p.m. Mon, November 28, 2022 CWEP flips the switch to turn on the lights!

After the lighting Monday, Sparkle in the Park will be lit nightly through New Years Day, 6 p.m. — 12 a.m.

Stay with Joplin News First on KOAM News Now as we continue to cover Christmas stories and events and beautiful light displays! Scroll below and sign up for our JLNews email list so you don’t miss a story.

Christmas on the Square in Bentonville

Way of Salvation Christmas Light Display at Carthage

Kansas City Southern Holiday Express in Pittsburg 

Lighting of the Pump at La Russell, Mo. 

CLICK TO HEAR >> Joplin Christmas Radio fr. Joplin News First

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Frontenac hosts annual Christmas Lighting Ceremony

FRONTENAC, Kan. – The City of Frontenac today hosted its annual Christmas Lighting Ceremony with locals.

Residents enjoyed songs from students of all ages at the event before the lights went on.

After the grand lighting, children had the chance to meet and take a photo with Santa and Mrs. Clause.

Cookies & hot cocoa were provided.

Watch KOAM & Fox 14 Evening news to see the full story or check back later for additional content.

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Local wrestling club hosts Christmas fundraiser

PITTSBURG, Kan. – The Pittsburg Wrestling Club is raising money to support the area’s expanding interest in the sport.

LC Davis, President of Pittsburg Wrestling Club says the sport is on the rise in the community.

To raise funds this year, the non-profit is doing an online popcorn sale fundraiser with a large selection.

Last year, the club hosted a Subway fundraiser and collected over &7,000. The PWC hopes to continue raising funds this holiday season.

Watch KOAM & Fox 14 to see the whole story or check back later for additional content.

Click here to learn more

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Weekend Wrap (Nov. 26 & 28)

Man convicted of Joplin murder feat in upcoming Netflix Crime Documentary

JOPLIN, Mo. (KOAM-TV 7) — Netflix is poised to release I Am a Killer Season 4 on December 21. The trailer is out and features Joplin, Missouri, convicted killer Gary Black. Click here to learn more.

Joplin Police set perimeter to locate man who fled car stop

JOPLIN, Mo. — Late Friday evening, November 25, 2022 reports of numerous Joplin Police officers setting a perimeter near 20th and S. Connecticut Ave. Click here to learn more.

Four killed on Thanksgiving night crash, I-44 at Springfield

GREENE COUNTY, Mo. — Missouri State Highway Patrol release details regarding quadruple fatal crash along I-44 near Springfield on Thanksgiving night, November 24, 2022. Click here to learn more.

Second body recovered, weekend drowning incident at Lake of the Ozarks

LAKE OF THE OZARKS, Mo. — Saturday afternoon November 26, 2022 just before 2:45 p.m. Missouri State Highway Patrol state they were requested to assist in locating two people at Lake of the Ozarks. Click here to learn more.

Charges filed for Columbia man who allegedly shot at multiple residences

BOONE COUNTY, Mo. – Prosecutors filed charges for a Columbia, Mo. man who fired multiple shots into a multi-resident living area on November 25. Click here to learn more.

 

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Federal judge rejects daughter's request to attend Kevin Johnson's execution

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A federal judge has rejected a 19-year-old’s request to attend her father’s execution next week in Missouri.

Kevin Johnson faces death by injection Tuesday for killing Kirkwood, Missouri, Police Officer William McEntee in 2005.

Johnson’s lawyers have appeals pending that seek to spare his life, and on Monday, the Missouri Supreme Court will hear arguments on why they should halt the execution.

Meanwhile, Johnson has requested that his daughter, Khorry Ramey, attend the execution, and she wants to be there. But a Missouri law bars anyone under 21 from witnessing an execution.

Last week, the American Civil Liberties Union filed an emergency motion with a federal court in Kansas City. The ACLU’s court filing said the law barring under 21s serves no safety purpose and violates Ramey’s Constitutional rights.

U.S. District Judge Brian Wimes said he doesn’t discount Ramey’s allegations that not being able to attend the execution would cause emotional harm, but he argued that the state’s law does not violate her rights.

“I’m heartbroken that I won’t be able to be with my dad in his last moments,” Ramey said in a statement from Missourians for Alternatives to the Death Penalty.

“My dad is the most important person in my life. He has been there for me my whole life, even though he’s been incarcerated. He is a good father, the only parent I have left. He has worked very hard to rehabilitate himself in prison. I pray that Gov. Parson will give my dad clemency.” 

Johnson, now 37, has been incarcerated since Ramey was 2 years old. The ACLU said the two have been able to built a bond through visits, phone calls, emails and letters. Last month, she brought her newborn son to the prison to meet his grandfather.

“We are heartbroken for Khorry. Every aspect of this case is a tragedy, but we promise Khorry that we are not done fighting for her father,” Shawn Nolan, an attorney for Johnson, said in the MADP statement.

Johnson’s attorneys hope two motions going before the Missouri Supreme Court will put a stay on his execution. One motion is being brought by Johnson’s legal team, and the other by a prosecutor on behalf of the St. Louis Prosecutor’s Office.

Nolan said a special prosecutor assigned to the case last month found new evidence. Johnson’s attorney also argues racism played a role in the decision to seek the death penalty.

During Johnson’s first trial in 2007, the jury was in a deadlock, giving him the lesser offense of second-degree murder. Months later, a new jury found him guilty of first-degree murder.

“Our hope is that the Missouri Supreme Court will grant the stay to stop the execution and send this case back to the lower court for the evidentiary development so that the special prosecutor and us can present our evidence of racial basis in this case to the lower court,” Nolan said.

Many have hoped Gov. Mike Parson would step in and grant Johnson clemency, but earlier this week Parson said he will let the case go on as planned.

For more than a decade, Johnson has sat on death row after being convicted in 2007 for the killing of 46-year-old Kirkwood Police Sgt. William McEntee. Johnson was 19 at the time of the murder.

McEntee was one of the police officers sent to Johnson’s house on July 5, 2005, to serve a warrant for his arrest. Johnson was on probation for assaulting his girlfriend and police believed he violated probation.

After waking his 12-year-old brother, Joseph “Bam Bam” Long, the boy ran to his grandmother’s house next store where we began having a seizure and collapsed.

Johnson testified at trial saying that McEntee kept his mother from entering the house to help his brother. Bam Bam died later at the hospital.

Later that night, when McEntee returned to the neighborhood to check on a report of fireworks, Johnson shot McEntee, killing him.

“There’s not a request for the court to just vacate it [his sentence] and Kevin goes home, that’s not what happens,” Nolan said regarding what would happen if the Supreme Court stay the execution.

“We would go back to the circuit court, which is the trial court, and the special prosecutor will preset the evidence that he has uncovered in the last month that he has had the case.”

A special prosecutor was assigned to the case after a new law passed by the Missouri General Assembly last year allowing a prosecutor to file a motion to vacate and set aside a judgement if the convicted person “may be innocent or erroneously convicted.”

Johnson’s family is hoping these last-minute efforts halt his execution.

“Your past doesn’t define you; you can do something horrific in your past, but you can be a better person today,” Ramey said. “Even though he has all of this on his shoulders he’s going through all of this, he’s still trying to be there for his daughter and his grandson.”

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Science of cooking event held by "Creative Learning Alliance"

JOPLIN, Mo. — Some local kiddos used a bit of science knowledge, today, to create food items.

The “Creative Learning Alliance” in Joplin provided a hands-on “STEM” learning experience, using edible materials.

Kids made homemade butter by shaking cream and salt together in a jar.

Other activities included learning how taste buds work when tasting sour, salty and sweet foods like limes, chips, and candy.

They also learned some chemistry by making pink lemonade “spheres”.

These spheres were liquid, but a unique calcium bond with water gave them that jello-like texture.

“The concepts become real when you do, the learning is in the doing. And so, we want the kids to be hands-on and to take those experiences home with them so that they never leave their minds,” said Neely Myers, Project Coordinator, Creative Learning Alliance.

The next event for the “Creative Learning Alliance” will be a Breakfast with Santa event.

It will take place on December 3rd, from 8:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. in the morning, at the “Joplin Museum Complex”.

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Small Business Saturday in Carthage

CARTHAGE, Mo. — Today is “Small Business Saturday”, an important day that’s meant for supporting small, locally-owned businesses.

But how vital is it for Carthage Businesses?

It’s important enough that city officials gave it an official proclamation earlier this week.

Despite the rainy weather, today, many people were out shopping at stores on the downtown Carthage square.

Local businesses and restaurants offered many discounted specials for goods and services, to help with Christmas gift ideas.

What’s even more important about “Small Business Saturday”, is it’s impact on the city.

“For every 100 dollars that someone spends in our local community, 68 dollars of that stays right here. So, it’s really important for everybody to realize that while shopping, every day is important, shopping this time of year really does make a great fourth quarter for our businesses,” said Julie Reams, President, Carthage Chamber of Commerce.

“I think Small Business Saturday helps make people more aware to support small, local businesses and how important that is. It’s a big weekend for us…sales wise and helps our entire month,” said Connie Shull, Owner, The Yellow Umbrella Antiques Primitives and Home Decor.

Visitors to Carthage can also enjoy an outdoor ice skating rink and holiday lights in “Central Park” this holiday season.