News To Know: MO marijuana laws, pedestrian struck by traffic

CHEROKEE COUNTY, Kan. — Around 6:30 a.m. on Thursday, December 8, 2022, Cherokee County authorities were notified that a woman had arrived at a Joplin, Mo. hospital suffering multiple stab wounds. Detectives determined the crime had occurred at a property north of Galena, Kan. As a result of the investigation, deputies located and took two suspects into custody: Steven D. Tyner, 49, of Columbus, Kansas and Ivy Christine Simpson, 23, of Webb City, Missouri. Authorities have issued multiple charges to the duo, including conspiracy to commit murder and attempted murder. Click here if you would like to read the entire article.

AURORA, Mo. — Authorities in Aurora, Missouri say the investigation into a robbery at a Mcdonald’s last week has led to more arrests connected to other robberies. Last week police arrested two people, and now three more have been arrested for robberies outside of Aurora. 19-year-old Elijah Smith, 18-year-old Kyle Carlisle, and a juvenile have also been charged with robbery.

JOPLIN, Mo. — First responders were alerted to a fatal traffic crash involving a female pedestrian near MO-171 and Swede Lane in the eastbound lanes. The incident took place Thursday, December 8, at 6:13 a.m. Authorities have identified the pedestrian as 22-year-old Cheyanne Funk of Joplin. Click here to read more about this article.

MISSOURI — As of yesterday, December 8, 2022, it’s lawful for adults to possess and use marijuana in Missouri….but that doesn’t mean you can legally, buy it just yet, or use it everywhere. Medical marijuana has been legal in Missouri since a ballot measure passed in 2018, but voters went a step further this November by approving a constitutional amendment legalizing the drug for anyone 21 or older. The change comes with some confusion. For one thing, dispensaries can’t yet sell for recreational use. People will eventually be able to grow their own, but applications to do so won’t be taken until next month. And places such as schools and businesses can still prohibit the drug.


How Feed the 4-States helps local food banks

PITTSBURG, Kan. — A lot of 4-staters rely on food banks and Wesley House is one of these food banks about 5,000 people rely on. These places need your help. Especially around the holiday season. They feel strained as more people need help on the holidays. FOX 14’s 16th annual Feed the 4-States is here! You can donate monetarily on our website. We are accepting donations through the 31st of December.

News To Know: KBI homicide investigation, Neosho’s dog park

NEOSHO COUNTY, Kan. – On December 6, at around 5:00 pm, Neosho County, Kansas Sheriff deputies went to 6845 160th Road in rural Chanute. This follows a welfare check after the Cumberland County, North Carolina, Sheriff’s Office called with information causing concern for a woman who lived at that home. Deputies searched the property and found the body of 47-year-old Elaina M. Asprea next to a field near the home. The Neosho County Sheriff’s Office and Kansas Bureau of Investigation are looking into the case as a homicide. Authorities in Fayetteville, North Carolina, have developed a person of interest in the case. Click here if you would like to read the entire article.

JOPLIN, Mo. – For the fourth time in a two-week span a Range Line convenient store has been burglarized.  Two times in the last two days. These smash-and-grab burglaries have all occurred overnight during closing hours as persons break windows, and/or doors, to gain access, then quickly run inside and grab items before police can respond to the alarm. If anyone has information on the identity of the individuals, contact the Joplin Police Department at 417-623-3131. If you would like to read the entire article, click here.

SARCOXIE, Mo. — On December 7, at about 5 am, reports of a fire in the 200 block of 8th Street alerted Jasper County E-911. According to the report, the fire started at the rear of the home. On arrival active flames and smoke were visible. The two adults of the residence were out safely. Red Cross was requested to assist the two adults who are displaced as a result of the fire. Click here to read more about this story.

NEOSHO, Mo. – Scenic Park in Neosho is getting a new addition as construction begins on a new dog park. Features range from cones to dogs can run through, a bridge for dogs, a bench for grooming, and even dog watering stations. It will be free to the public and is expected to open on January 31st. If you would like to read more about this story, click here.

I Am A Killer season 4 comes to the 4-states for a 1998 murder

JOPLIN, Mo. — Netflix has some great original true crime documentaries. One of them came to the 4-states to cover a murder that happened in 1998. However, a local Joplin man who is a surviving victim of Gary Black wants to share his story. Jackie Clark, Sr looks like your average man, but he survived being shot and left for dead. Gary Black robbed him, shot him, and left him to die. This happened near I-44 in Joplin when he was 18 years old. The encounter left him with lifelong scarring and health issues. He lost part of his lung, spleen, pancreas, and his intestine.  This caused his children to even live in fear of Gary Black.  He decided to devote his life to saving others and became a fireman.

News To Know: Netflix comes to Joplin, single vehicle fatality

JOPLIN, Mo. – Netflix’s latest season of its true crime documentary show I Am A Killer features a Joplin man who was sentenced to first-degree murder. Gary Black was convicted of the fatal stabbing of Jason Johnson in 1998. But Jason Johnson was not his only victim. Jackie Clark Senior was robbed and shot by Gary Black near i-44 in Joplin when he was 18 years old…and now he’s telling his story.

CRAWFORD COUNTY, Kan. – According to the Kansas Highway Patrol, a single-vehicle crash happened around 11:20 pm Monday night, December 5, 2022. An SUV was driving along 1065 S. 220th Road in Crawford County, Kansas. It left the roadway to the west and hit a concrete culvert where it overturned into a field. The driver, 70-year-old Robert E. Shaver, of Pittsburg, died at the scene. To read this entire story, click here.

COMMERCE, Okla. – Toybox positively impacts children and their families throughout the Four States. KOAM caught up with one of the hundreds of families that benefit from Toybox donations. In Ottawa and Delaware counties, our Toybox partner is the Marine Corps Reserve Toys For Tots. This year they’re celebrating their 75th year anniversary. This year more families than ever have signed up…in fact, six thousand kids will be receiving toys which is up from two thousand a year ago.

Check out this story of how Toybox saved one family’s Christmas: Local family’s Christmas is saved by Toybox campaign

JOPLIN, Mo. – Alorcia partners with Joplin Fire Department for their 5th Annual Christmas for Kids Campaign. Alorcia has donated over 2,000 gifts and 2,000 dollars in cash to the charity. Click here for more information on this story.

The Pittsburg Salvation Army talks KOAM Toybox

PITTSBURG, Kan. — KOAM’s Toybox is here, and through donations from people just like you — families in need are given a little holiday joy. KOAM has been doing it for 34 years and has helped countless families.  Every year  — you can donate toys directly at our studio or to our partners. Or you can call and donate during the telethon on Tuesday up until December 13th. You donate and we shop! Plus, if you want — your donations stay in the county that you live in.


Toybox 2022:

Local bank helps prepare during KOAM’s Toybox Tuesday

News To Know: fatal crash, house fire in Newton County

CHEROKEE COUNTY, Kan. — A 2006 Pontiac G6 traveling northbound on U-69 alternate crossed the center line and struck a 2016 GMS truck traveling southbound. The Pontiac’s driver, Trey Cunningham, was taken to Freeman West with a fatal injury. Next of kin were notified. His passenger, Valeria Lerma, was taken to Mercy in Joplin with a suspected serious injury. The driver of the GMC, Shannon Taft from Baxter Springs, was taken to Freeman West in Joplin with suspected serious injuries.

NEWTON COUNTY, Mo. — About 6:15 a.m. Monday, December 5, a passerby spotted a structure fire just north of Elm Road on State Route E near Diamond alerting Newton County Central Dispatch. The structure appeared to be a former residence, now used for storage. Chief Skosberg said he could see the fire from two miles away easily. If you would like to read more about this story, click here.

JOPLIN, Mo. — Joplin city staff wants to better the city’s homeless situation by conducting a study about what’s working and what isn’t. In the council meeting on Monday, December 5th, the city council asked to approve a study that would use special use tax funds for homeless research. Robin Smith from Homeless Coalition says right now homeless people with animals don’t have places to go because shelters don’t accept animals. Lack of transportation is also an issue.

JOPLIN, Mo. — Joplin could get millions of dollars to help with storm and wastewater improvements. The city is eligible to get more than $12,500,000 in matching state funds to help improve and update nine projects. If Joplin matches dollar for dollar, the city will devote a total of more than $25,000,000 for the projects. Click here to see a complete breakdown of the Joplin city council meeting from Monday, December 5th.

News To Know: homicide investigation, local women honored

ALLEN COUNTY, Kan – The Kansas Bureau of Investigation (KBI), the Allen County Sheriff’s Office, and the Neosho County Sheriff’s Office are investigating a homicide after a man was found dead Saturday evening, December 3 in Chanute, Kansas. At around 4:50 p.m., Casey M. Dye, 43, of Petrolia, Kan., arrived at the Allen County Sheriff’s Office and provided a statement to sheriff’s deputies. Shortly after, law enforcement officers located a deceased man in a vehicle inside an automotive glass shop at 7545 Kansas Highway 39, in Chanute. The man – who was identified as Ryan M. Holcomb, 45, from Chanute – had suffered fatal gunshot wounds. He was pronounced dead at the scene. If you would like to read more about this story, click here.

COMMERCE, Okla. – Authorities respond to a house fire in Commerce, Oklahoma, on Thanksgiving and say there was a fatality. Leanna Janette Mustain of Commerce, Oklahoma perished in the house fire. She was 84. If you would like to read more about Leanne Mustain, click here.

JOPLIN, Mo. – A local physician pleads guilty in federal court to health care fraud. U.S. Attorney Teresa Moore’s office released information about the plea today. Prosecutors say 55-year-old Heather D. Stelling provided false information to get Medicare and Medicaid reimbursements. Authorities say she was not entitled to those reimbursements. Click here if you would like to read more about this story, including the terms of the plea bargain.

PITTSBURG, Kan. –Area women receive honors in Pittsburg for their achievements. The award ceremony took place at the Pittsburg State University Overman Student Center. The Pittsburg Area Chambers of Commerce hosted the event. Click here to read more about this ceremony.

Shannon’s Big 3: Fatal Sarcoxie Crash, MSSU player signs with Chiefs

SARCOXIE, Mo. — A two-vehicle crash claimed the life of a young Sarcoxie resident. His girlfriend is in critical condition. His family is raising funds for his funeral. Services haven’t been set but they are pending with Housh-Goodwin Funeral Home of Sarcoxie.

BAXTER SPRINGS, Kan. — On Monday, November 28th — Baxter Springs Police responded to a residence in the 2400 block of Lincoln. Arriving on scene they found 3 men shot. 2 died of injuries on scene and the 3rd victim was rushed to the hospital where at last report he was still listed in critical condition. 41-year-old Kyle Butts has been arrested in connection with the shooting. He was was formally charged with two counts of First Degree Murder, one count of Attempted First Degree Murder, and Interference with Law Enforcement.

JOPLIN, Mo. — After many years of being in disrepair — the former Best Western Hallmark Inn and Beefmasters comes down. It’s had many names over the years the most recent being the Sunrise Inn. It’s unknown when the motel closed. Over the last two years — vandalism has quietly taken over the motel.

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — MSSU player Brandon Williams signs with the Chiefs. After spending 9 years with the Baltimore Ravens — the St. Louis native comes home to Missouri. He was drafted by the Ravens in 2013 and played there for 9 years. Most media outlets say that he signed to the practice squad. But those closest to Williams say to watch for him in upcoming games.



News To Know: murder suicide investigation, hope for shelter pets

LAWRENCE COUNTY, Mo. – The Lawrence County Sheriff’s Office says they responded to the home for a well-being check. A caller said a person had not been heard from since just before Thanksgiving. Authorities went to the home west of Miller. Deputies spoke with concerned persons before going into the home where they found two deceased people. The Sheriff’s Office states the investigation and autopsy results determined that 55-year-old Caleb Kingsley of Miller, Missouri had a single gunshot wound to the head. They say it happened while Kingsley was asleep in bed. Authorities identified the other person as 43-year-old Linda Kennedy of Chetopa, Kansas. Investigators determined her cause of death was a self-inflicted gunshot wound. Click here for more information about this story.

JOPLIN, Mo. – Academy Sports and outdoors teamed up with the Joplin Fire Department to give back to the community. Academy provided a $3,000 Academy gift card to the fire department’s holiday donation drive. The department then went shopping at Academy to buy gifts for families in need.

NEOSHO, Mo. – The city of Neosho, Missouri got in the Christmas spirit by turning on its Christmas lights at Big Spring Park. The event also featured Christmas carols and a reading of the Christmas story. Clifford the big red dog was also on hand to give out books to students.

JOPLIN, Mo. – Bissell Pet Foundation is bringing holiday hope to shelter pets in Joplin. The foundation is a national animal welfare organization dedicated to ending pet homelessness. The Joplin Humane Society joined more than 275 shelters participating in the “empty the shelters holiday hope” event. As a part of the event, they’re offering $25 adoption fees for cats, dogs, kittens, and puppies.