0

Paschal to host hiring event in Carthage

CARTHAGE, Mo. – Paschal Air, Plumbing and Electric is looking to fill several careers.

On Friday, Jan. 28, 2022, they’re hosting a hiring event for their install department. You can attend the event at the Carthage location at 2305 Missouri Avenue.

The hiring event will run from 11:00 am to 1:00 pm.

What are they looking for?  Paschal is inviting experienced HVAC installers, plumbers and electricians to come to apply. They’re also introducing an apprentice training program to the market.

The company has a 4 day work week for technicians and installers.

You can learn more and apply here.

Related:

0

Consumer watch: Detergent prices, IRS identity confirmation

Here are some of today’s consumer headlines.

Some Detergent Prices Will Go Up

Get ready to pay more to do your laundry. Procter and Gamble says it’s raising prices by roughly 8% on products like Tide and Gain detergent, fabric softeners and dryer sheets.

The price hike goes into effect next month (Feb. 2022).

It’s also raising prices on some personal health care products in April. Executives claim the money will help offset costs like transportation and labor.

ID.me a New Requirement

Uncle Sam is getting ready to start using facial recognition technology for online tax filers.

Starting this summer, users with an IRS.gov account will no longer be able to log in with just a username and password. Instead, they’ll need a government-issued ID and a selfie, among other verification to confirm their identity.

Existing online accounts with IRS.gov, which require only an email and password to access, will no longer work as of the middle of 2022, the agency says.

The IRS says the move is necessary to protect taxpayers from potential identity theft, but privacy advocates say it’s invasive and point out that the company behind ID.me has a spotty record in verifying people’s identities.

A spokesperson for the IRS said that Americans would not need to take a selfie or make an ID.me account in order to file their tax return.

Learn more here.

0

Sarcoxie receives $50,000 grant for wastewater system improvements

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – The Missouri Department of Natural Resources awarded a $50,000 grant to the city of Sarcoxie, Mo.

The MDNR gave this money to Sarcoxie to evaluate the city’s wastewater system.

The grant offers funding to qualified communities across Missouri. As a result, communities can use the money to cover engineering costs for various water improvements.

Sarcoxie plans to use the grant for the following:

  • Identifying wastewater system improvements needed to continue reliable service to the area.
  • Meeting permit requirements.
  • Reducing stormwater infiltration into sewer collection pipes.

“Public infrastructure such as wastewater systems are crucial to every community,” said Dru Buntin, director of the Missouri Department of Natural Resources. “Through this grant, we can help cities like Sarcoxie identify the changes needed to maintain and improve their wastewater systems. This is also key to protecting public and environmental health and supporting the local economy.”

0

Navient to pay $1.85 billion for predatory student loan claims

Navient will pay $1.85 billion in debt cancellation and restitution for predatory student loan claims. It’s due to a nationwide settlement filed by a coalition of 39 attorneys general.

According to Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt, it means nearly $10.3 million in relief for hundreds of Kansas residents. In Missouri, the Attorney General says it results in a $53 million settlement for Missourians.

“As a result of today’s settlement, borrowers receiving private loan debt cancellation will receive a notice from Navient, along with refunds of any payments made on the cancelled private loans after June 30, 2021. Federal loan borrowers who are eligible for a restitution payment of approximately $260 will receive a postcard in the mail from the settlement administrator later this spring.” – Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt.

Federal loan borrowers who qualify for relief under this settlement do not need to take any action except update or create their studentaid.gov account to ensure that the U.S. Department of Education has their current address.

Navient Settlement Case

“Navient repeatedly and deliberately put profits ahead of its borrowers – it engaged in deceptive and abusive practices, targeted students who it knew would struggle to pay loans back, and placed an unfair burden on people trying to improve their lives through education,” Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro said in the release.

The settlement involves 39 state attorneys general and resolves claims that Navient led student borrowers into long-term forbearances instead of giving them advice on less costly repayment plans, Shapiro said.

Navient said it did not act illegally, and it did not admit any fault in the settlement, according to the Associated Press. The AP cited the New York Times as a source. “The company’s decision to resolve these matters, which were based on unfounded claims, allows us to avoid the additional burden, expense, time and distraction to prevail in court,” Mark Heleen, Navient’s chief legal officer said, according to the Times.

According to the attorneys general, the interest that accrued because of Navient’s forbearance steering practices was added to the borrowers’ loan balances, pushing borrowers further in debt.

Had the company instead provided borrowers with the help it promised, income-driven repayment plans could have potentially reduced payments to as low as $0 per month, provided interest subsidies, and/or helped attain forgiveness of any remaining balance after 20-25 years of qualifying payments (or 10 years for borrowers qualified under the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program).

Under the terms of the settlement, Navient will cancel the remaining balance on more than $1.6 billion in subprime private student loan balances owed by approximately 62,000 borrowers nationwide.

For more information and a list of frequently asked questions, you can visit www.NavientAGSettlement.com.

States joining Missouri in the lawsuit include Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, the District of Columbia, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, Vermont, Washington, West Virginia, and Wisconsin.

Kansas AG on Navient Settlement

“This settlement will provide financial relief to Kansas student loan borrowers who, through no fault of their own, were forced into loan plans that only exacerbated their financial struggles,” Schmidt said.

Schmidt filed a consent judgment for the settlement with Navient in Shawnee County District Court today. The document can be found at https://bit.ly/3FrEkEy.

Consumers can report student loan debt relief schemes to the attorney general’s office at www.InYourCornerKansas.org or by calling (800) 432-2310.

Missouri AG on Navient Settlement

“In this case, my Office obtained over $53 million in debt relief and restitution to resolve allegations of widespread unfair and deceptive student loan servicing,” said Attorney General Eric Schmitt. “Taking advantage of students who need assistance in funding their educations is illegal, and can hurt the futures of so many. This settlement is a great result for Missouri students, and for the entire state.”

The petition can be found here, and the executed settlement agreement can be found here.

0

Watered Gardens selected for $125,000 grant

JOPLIN, Mo. – Today, Chick-fil-A announced that Watered Gardens in Joplin will receive a 2022 True Inspiration Award grant.

This year’s True Inspiration Awards grants range from $30,000 to $350,000. Chick-fil-A is proud to have a Joplin organization amongst this year’s recipients.

Chick-fil-A recognizes Watered Gardens for its commitment to serving individuals in the areas of hunger and homelessness. As a result, they will receive $125,000 to help further their charitable ministry.

Watered Gardens’ Washington Family Hope Center is one of 34 organizations being recognized for their work in the community. This year’s True Inspiration Awards grants range from $30,000 to $350,000.

By providing food, shelter, clothing, job counseling, and more, Watered Gardens intends to continue making a positive impact on the Joplin community.

“Despite the challenges these organizations have faced in the past few years, the 2022 grant recipients have demonstrated incredible passion, perseverance and leadership as they have continued to enact meaningful change in their communities,” said Rodney Bullard, vice president of corporate social responsibility for Chick-fil-A.

In addition to Watered Gardens, the other 33 recipients range from The Maui Farm in Makawao, Hawaii, to Thrive in New Orleans, La., spanning 19 states and 33 cities.

More information, including the full list of the 2022 True Inspiration Awards grant recipients, is available at chickfila.com/true-inspiration-awards.

0

Missouri offers up to $400,000 for projects preventing stormwater runoff

JEFFERSON CITY, MO, JAN. 3, 2021 – The Department of Natural Resources (DNR) offers funding to improve water quality.

The Missouri DNR has funding available for projects that will protect Missouri’s waters from pollution caused by stormwater runoff, also known as nonpoint source pollution.

Nonpoint source pollution occurs when the excess surface runoff from rainfall or snowmelt carries pollutants into nearby waters.

According to the DNR, nonpoint source pollution is the greatest threat to water quality in Missouri.

Controlling this type of pollution is particularly challenging since stormwater runoff travels across the landscape, collecting pollutants as it moves.

Grant eligibility

To be eligible for grant funding, an applicant must implement pollutant-reducing land management practices from an EPA and department-accepted watershed-based plan.

Local governments, state agencies, educational institutions and 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations are eligible to apply.

Research, land purchase and National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permit requirements are not eligible.

Responses to the request for proposals for this federal grant funding are due April 1.

Grant awards can range from $50,000 to $400,000 and projects can span up to three years.

The grant funding is provided by the EPA and administered by the department, authorized by Section 319 of the federal Clean Water Act.


For more information and to respond to the request for proposals, visit dnr.mo.gov/water/what-were-doing/nonpoint-source-pollution-section-319/subgrants.

0

Election nears on $16.5 million Pittsburg school bond

PITTSBURG, Kan. – Discussions continue ahead of Pittsburg’s $16.5 million school bond election.

Today, January 3, 2022, the USD 250 school district held a Media Day at the Middle School. This latest bond proposed by Pittsburg Community Schools focuses on the 1921 section of the Middle School. KOAM is speaking with some residents today to see how they feel about the bond and what issues they may have. You can also join the discussion on the KOAM Facebook page.

Information provided by USD 250 states in part,

“This Bond will construct, equip and furnish renovations and improvements to the existing 1921 section of Pittsburg Community Middle School, and make all other necessary improvements at an estimated cost of $16,500,000 with NO MILL INCREASE.”

Funding the Pittsburg School Bond

Even if you don’t have a child attending Pittsburg schools, property taxpayers that fall within the school’s district area are impacted by these bonds.

Property taxes help fund school bonds. USD 250 says this bond will not have a Mill increase, but it will extend the current bond and interest mill rate.

According to Pittsburg Schools, “Our debts on all other bond services, except the 2017 bond will come off the tax rolls by 2023. The 2017 Bond comes off in 2037. The 2022 bond will start to be paid in Sept. 2022 and will extend our current bond and interest mill rate of 10 mills through 2045.”

The last school bond voters passed in Pittsburg was a $31 million bond in 2017.  A previous 2016 school bond issue for $67.6 million failed to pass.

What is a Mill?

One mill is one dollar of property tax levied against $1,000 of assessed valuation. For more information on mill levies you can visit ksde.org.

Special Election Date, Voting Locations

Voters can make their voice heard on the bond during the special election on January 18, 2022.

Polling locations:

  • Chicopee Community Center, 403 S Pesavento Ave, Pittsburg, KS  66762
  • Church of Christ Congregation Hall, 802 E. Centennial St, Pittsburg, KS  66762
  • Countryside Church Hall, 1901 E 4th St, Pittsburg, KS  66762
  • Memorial Auditorium Pittsburg, 503 N Pine St, Pittsburg, KS  66762
  • St John’s Lutheran Church Hall, 304 W 3rd St, Pittsburg, KS  66762

Which do you need to vote at? Learn more here.

Community Conversation

You can ask questions at the next “Community Conversation” at Block 22, 402 N. Broadway in Pittsburg on:

  • Wednesday, January 5: 1-2 pm
  • Thursday, January 6: 6-7 pm
  • Friday, January 7: 8-9 am

What the 2022 Pittsburg School Bond is for

According to USD 250:

  • This Bond will construct, equip and furnish renovations and improvements to the existing 1921 section of Pittsburg Community Middle School, and make all other necessary improvements at an estimated cost of $16,500,000.
    • The renovation will include all 4 floors of the 1921 section of the building.
    • It will include remodeling existing classrooms to accommodate student growth and expansion of pathway courses by creating 21st century learning spaces, adding a modern science laboratory and adding an elevator for ADA compliance.
    • It will renovate the auditorium for school and community use.

If the Bond Passes

If voters approve the bond (mill extension), school officials expect to start construction on the project as early as June 2022. They hope to finish by August 2023.

USD 250 2022 Bond flyer

0

Latest on 4-States water, heating bill resources

Several programs have opened their application process or will be accepting applications soon for utility bill help. Families or individuals can find help to pay for water and energy bills. Below, you can find updates as well as links to programs and applications in the 4-States.

Water Bill Assistance

In Missouri, low-income residents can start applying for help through the state’s water assistance program in February.

Due to some “unforeseen circumstances,” the start of the Low Income Household Water Assistance Program (LIHWAP) was delayed. The department announced that it will now begin accepting applications in February 2022.

LIHWAP  provides funds to assist low-income households with water and wastewater bills. LIHWAP grants are available country-wide.

Some federal reporting requirements in the LIHWAP have been made this year. These requirements now include:

  • Allow for the payment of other items included on the water and/or wastewater bill if this is required for continued or restoration of services. For example, if trash is also included, it is allowable to pay this cost. This also must be reported separately.
  • Federal reporting previously included only the amount of payments for water and wastewater, but now requires reporting for disconnection, current bill, or arrearage for water, wastewater, and multiple services.

You can read more here.

4-States LIHWAP Links

RESOURCES TO LOWER HEATING BILLS

Many states begin taking applications to help low-income families pay their utility bills. The Low-Income Energy Assistance Program (LIEAP) is another federal program available in all states.

Kansas

The Kansas Corporation Commission launched an online resource to explain the reasons prices are escalating. Kansas residents can also find tips to help minimize the impact and find financial and weatherization assistance.

The Kansas Corporation Commission wants to provide Kansas ratepayers with helpful information and resources as we head into winter. Click on the links below to learn more related to this important topic. We will update this page frequently, so check back often for the latest news.

The KCC regulates investor-owned utilities in the state; however, the agency does not set fuel prices. In the mid-1980’s, the U.S. Congress deregulated the price for natural gas. As a result, the market drove the cost of natural gas. The cost utilities pay for natural gas is a direct pass-through to its customers.

Missouri

Missouri residents interested in applying for weatherization assistance can click here for a map of the state. Just click your region and find contact information for your local angecy, or, select your county from the dropdown list.

Typical weatherization measures include air sealing to reduce infiltration, insulation of attics, sidewalls, floors, pipes, heating and cooling system repair, etc. You can find resources in Missouri here.

The Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) helps residents pay for heating and cooling bills. You can also apply for help on your water and/or wastewater bills through the Missouri Low Income Household Water Assistance Program (LIHWAP). You can apply here.

Oklahoma

Oklahoma also has a statewide weatherization assistance program. You can find out if you qualify here. You can also contact your local Community Action Agency to apply for weatherization assistance. Call 405-949-1495 to find your local agency, or click here.

The Oklahoma Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) program provides financial assistance. The federally funded program has a tool to help you see if you qualify.

Arkansas

Federal programs are also helping folks in Arkansas through the Weatherization Assistance Program

The Home Energy Assistance Program helps low-income households with home energy costs by administering Regular Assistance and Crisis Intervention Programs.

MORE IDEAS TO SAVE ON YOUR HEATING BILL

No matter how cold your part of the country gets, there are plenty of easy, inexpensive ways to keep warm while lowering your bills. You can read that article here: Your Heating Bill Will Skyrocket This Winter. Here’s What to Do About It

RELATED ARTICLES

You can find more resources for help in the 4-state area in the following articles.

0

Joplin retailer sells $100,000 winning scratcher ticket

SAINT LOUIS, Mo. – Pilot Travel Center on Highway 43 sold a $100,000 scratcher ticket in Joplin, Missouri.

The “$2,000,000 Extreme Cash” scratcher was later claimed by a resident of Belvidere, Illinois.

“$2,000,000 Extreme Cash” is a $20 game with over $16.4 million in unclaimed prizes, including one more top prize of $2 million.

During the 2021 fiscal year, players in Newton County won more than $8.2 million in Missouri Lottery prizes

Retailers received more than $744,000 in commissions and bonuses.

Also, $5.1 million in Lottery proceeds went to education programs in the county.

All Missouri Lottery offices are open by appointment only for claims of $600 or more. Winning tickets may also be claimed by mail.

Related article

After 36 draws with no winner, the final Powerball jackpot of 2021 is $441 million

(This article has been corrected to show highway 43, not highway 42.)

0

Auditor Galloway releases report on Missouri highway funds

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – State Auditor Nicole Galloway released an audit of the use of Missouri Highway funds today.

The report, required by law, reviews the Missouri State Highway Patrol’s spending.

The MSHP spent $186.4 million this fiscal year from the State Highways and Transportation Fund according to the report.

You can view the full report from Auditor Galloway below.

Auditor Galloway releases report on Missouri Highway funds