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National Poll Worker Recruitment Day

JASPER COUNTY, Mo. — On election day, you hear a lot about the candidates and the importance of your vote. But today, it’s the election workers themselves who are in the spotlight.

It’s National Poll Worker Recruitment Day.

They’re the ones in charge of setting up elections sites, verifying voter registration, and issuing ballots.

Jasper County Clerk Charlie Davis is making a point today to commend his team and urge others to consider signing up for this important but often thankless job.

“So it’s a lot of work. It makes a long day. But the vast majority of people that I talk to, that we recruit, talk about the service to community. You know their involvement in the community. And elections is one of the greatest constitutional rights that we have, to vote in this country,” said Davis.

Missouri residents interested in signing up to be a poll worker can follow this link.

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Joplin R-8 Superintendent Dr. Melinda Moss announces retirement

JOPLIN, Mo. — Joplin Schools Superintendent, Dr. Melinda Moss, is retiring.

Dr. Melinda Moss announced her retirement during tonight’s school board meeting.

Dr. Moss says her biggest accomplishments were voters passing the bond issue to remodel Kelsey Norman and the construction of Dover Hill.

Dr. Kerry Sachetta will move into that role on July first and Dr. Moss will help him transition into that role until she retires on September 30.

The district usually searches for a new superintendent nationally, but did not go that route this time.

“We’ve thought about this for several months. I would say the decision solidified over Christmas break and I wondered how I will feel once I made that known to our board, but I have peace about it. It’s time,” said Dr. Moss.

“I’m very excited. And there’s lots of reasons to be excited because of everybody that I’ve worked with in the district for this many years, and being in Joplin and serving our kids for this long a time. I’m extremely humbled and honored to have the opportunity,” said Dr. Kerry Sachetta, Assistant Superintendent for Operations of Joplin Schools.

Dr. Sachetta has been with the Joplin School District for 20 years.

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The Joplin Board of Education rejects a Missouri Southern partnership

JOPLIN, Mo. — The Joplin School Board is turning down a partnership with Missouri Southern.

Tonight, for the second time in as many months, the district decided not to move forward with the MOSO CAPS Program.

The program gives high school juniors and seniors the chance to see life on a college campus while working toward a goal of getting into local industry.

Tonight’s decision came even after the university decreased the number of slots the high school needed to fill, from 59 to 36.

Multiple donors also came forward to cover up to 36 unused MOSO CAPS slots for the district.

“We are the Board of Education to represent all kids. When I look at the number of kids that we have that are struggling from second to eight grade on test scores and there are thousands of kids that could use the resources. I think it’s a better idea that we pour resources and efforts into that idea,” said John Hird, School Board Member.

The program would have cost each student close to $2,500 a year.

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Dover Hill Elementary School Update

JOPLIN, Mo. — The Joplin School Board got an update on the new Dover Hill Elementary School.

Crossland Construction officials say, so far, construction is on schedule and on budget. They now have a timeline of when they will start pouring the second floor slab.

“There’s been no finishes yet. Structural steel is going on. The gym walls are going to be erected here in the next three weeks. A lot of the infrastructure is going on,” said Aaron Hight, Senior Project Manager for Crossland Construction.

Crossland Construction says they have had issues getting certain items, but supply costs have not gone up on building Dover Hill Elementary.

“There are supply chain issues mostly with bar joists and structural steel. We worked through that and we are on track now,” said Hight.

Crossland Construction will start pouring the second floor slab on Thursday.

“If anyone has driven by, obviously they can see the school on the hill. I call it a beacon of hope. I relate it all the way back to the Joplin Tornado. It was such a down time for the Joplin community and since then, the school has been planning for new facility. And this, to me, is that beacon of hope for Joplin,” said Hight.

The next step in construction will be precast installation for the gym and cafeteria in February.

“I was up on the site yesterday and I was really impressed. And you can really start to see and feel as the structure was going up what it’s going to feel like,” said Dr. Kerry Sachetta, Assistant Superintendent for Operations of Joplin Schools.

The project budget is at more than $26,000,000.

“Hopefully the change orders will be minor from here on out and we have contingency funds to take care of that right now. There’s also a couple things with technology and furniture that we can save a little money. We’ve been talking to the furniture vendor we selected and we feel like that we can come in budget-wise under that area,” said Dr. Sachetta.

Crossland officials say the cold weather is having minor impacts on construction right now.

They anticipate the project will be completed by December.

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Big Spring Park is getting a new addition

NEOSHO, Mo. — Today’s Daily Dose of Good News, something new is coming to Big Spring Park in Neosho.

A new all-inclusive swing set.

It’s being made possible by a donation from the Arvest Foundation.

The total cost of the project is a little less than $10,000. Crews will also build a sidewalk leading to the swing set to make it more easily accessible.

“It will have a couple different types of swings on it that, one, that will accommodate wheelchairs, and the other will be a strap-in type seat so that, you know, everybody can have an opportunity to swing. There are two other swing sets in this park already and there’s also another playground here, so, you know, this will be, something that’s needed here,” said Clint Dalbom, Neosho Parks & Rec Director.

The project should be finished and ready to go within the next few weeks.

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Flurries possible tonight; Much warmer by the weekend

Temperatures today will be slightly warmer than yesterday, but clouds will increase by this evening ahead of a small system that will bring some flurries into the Four States between 8pm-12am tonight. Impacts are not expected, and at most, we could see a light dusting on grassy and elevated surfaces by Thursday morning. Temperatures will warm into the 40s through the end of the week before soaring well into the 50s this weekend and into early next week. The first day of February is next Tuesday, and the month will begin well above average, but precipitation will be above average, as well, as we are expected to enter into an active weather pattern next week.

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Details released on morning structure fire in Joplin

JOPLIN, Mo. — Large plumes of smoke rise above a residence just off of W. Junge Blvd Wednesday morning.

The fire started sometime before 9 A.M. Wednesday morning at 1314 Byers in Joplin.

Fire fighters said it happened at a two-story garage complex where the top story was being used as a living space.

The building filled with flames and smoke but fortunately no one was inside. No injuries were reported either but the building is considered destroyed. At one point the second story collapsed onto the first.

The fire took time to fight due to live electrical wires posing safety concerns for fire crews.

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How Gov. Parson's proposed 2023 budget will affect MSSU

MISSOURI — Governor Parson’s state budget recommendations for the next fiscal year proposed new investment for Missouri’s public higher education – here’s a look how Missouri Southern State University will be impacted.

For fiscal year 2023 – beginning July 1st, 2022 – Missouri Governor Mike Parson included significant boosts to higher education funding in Missouri. While what’s included looks very promising, at any point the recommendations from Parson could be altered, noted MSSU in a release.

After discussions in both Missouri legislative chambers the final budget will be sent to Gov. Parson for his approval. Until that time, the currently listed items in the budget that will also impact MSSU are as follows:

  • A 5.4% core budget increase for all public higher education institutions: Equals out to about a $1.4 million increase for MSSU. 
  • $31 million in funding for MoExcels projects: MoExcels funding facilitates development and expansion of employer-driven education and training programs and initiatives to substantially increase educational attainment. MSSU could “potentially receive $767,732 in one-time funds to the Center for Digital Media and Virtual Production.” The grant requires a 50% match from the university. MSSU had previously received MoExcel grants in other programs.
  • $475 million in capital investment in higher education: A “transformational” capital project (as listed in the Governor’s proposal) that challenges schools to make a 50% match in funding. For now, MSSU would plan to match about $15 million for an overall $30 million project that would create a Health Science Innovation building.

More on MSSU…

“I am extraordinarily grateful for Governor Parson’s proposed investment in public higher education and the future of Missouri,” said Dr. Dean Van Galen, university president. “During these challenging times, it’s heartening to know that he has made it a priority to invest in our ability to ensure the success of our students while bolstering our ability to meet their needs.”

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Kansas library hosts storytime event to educate youth

GALENA, Kan. – Galena Kansas Public Library hosts Kansas Day-inspired storytime.

Every week, the library hosts a 30-minute storytime. Parents and young ones are welcome to enjoy different books, songs, crafts and snacks.

“This week we chose to focus on Kansas Day, which is Saturday,” stated  DeAnn Whited, Galena Librarian. “We just wanted to use this time to familiarize our young early readers with our Kansas facts, symbols and also the importance of the state.”

To find out more about future storytimes at the Galena Kansas Public Library, click here.

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Kansas City Chiefs are hot, so buy this Chiefs-themed residential home in Joplin

JOPLIN, Mo. — The Kansas City Chiefs will play the AFC Championship game this Sunday January 30 at Arrowhead Stadium. This is the 4th consecutive year they will host the game.

If you can’t make the game, then at least you could watch it in your new Kansas City Chiefs-inspired custom home.

Featured this week on ZILLOW GONE WILD is another Joplin area property. This duplex is listed for $275,000.  Both sides are currently rented.

Situated on a corner lot in the 2800 block of North Highview located in the Royal Heights neighborhood. For some it might be too much Kansas City.

Allison states online, “I’ve been in this home. And it’s hideous. And I’m a Chiefs fan. 😵‍💫”

Features for the ultimate fan include:
  • KC Wolf, Chiefs Mascot, wall-to-wall adorning the shower tiles in one bathroom.
  • Kitchen backsplash in KC red and gold. And the floor tiled in Chiefs logos.
  • The entertainment room, where you will spend most of your time, features a huge tiled football field.

The property was listed this month by The Jonathan Leach Team of Keller Williams. You can contact them on their website or call 417-623-9900.