Joplin CVB invests in local tourism with grant money

JOPLIN, Mo. — Tourism is the focus of a new round of grants from the Joplin Convention and Visitors Bureau.

About 90 thousand dollars will be distributed to a wide range of events, everything from CrossFit Monster Games and the OCC Conference Series to a disc golf competition and the Carl Junction Bluegrass Festival.

New events include the Art Con in Neosho and a girls basketball tournament hosting teams from around the nation.

The goal is to attract visitors to the metro area – spending money at hotels, restaurants and shops.

“We have a radius we try to work with — just look at the impact on Joplin hotels. So like the Carl Junction Bluegrass Festival and the Art Con down in Neosho will have some impact on our hotels. And that’s where the return on investment is,” said Patrick Tuttle, Joplin CVB Director.

We’ve got a link to the full list of grants here.


Joplin area veterans reflect on Afghanistan withdrawal ahead of 9-11 anniversary

JOPLIN, Mo. – Dozens of veterans filled a room at the Joplin National Guard Armory, talking about resources available to them and their families at today’s veteran expo.

More info: Resources for veterans, military spouses, families

“Benefits, services, service-related type items, and there are several businesses here looking to hire veterans,” says Patrick Tuttle with American Legion Post 13.

But it’s what went unsaid that’s the bigger story.

“I’ve been reflecting a lot,” says Army veteran Logan Reynolds.

The expo was held two days before the 20 year anniversary of one of the darkest days in American history.

For Reynolds, a Joplin native, it was a day that shaped the path of his entire life.

“In elementary school, they turned the TV’s on and watched the people jumping out of buildings and the towers collapsing,” Reynolds explains. “And ever since then I just wanted to join the Army.”

Another Army veteran, Stephen Bradley, remembers exactly where he was and what he was doing when the towers fell.

“I kept seeing the contrails of the aircraft do U-turns. You don’t see that very often, so I knew something was up,” says Bradley. “We ended up watching the second tower get hit. Then of course the National Guard started calling.”

Both Reynolds and Bradley ended up being deployed to Afghanistan during their time in the service after the war on terror began.

They say seeing how the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan makes them disappointed and frustrated. Adding the 9-11 anniversary onto that makes it even tougher.

“I feel like, you know, we did it for nothing so to speak,” says Bradley. “I’m glad we’re out. I’m glad nobody else has to go back. We protected America, that’s the most important part.”

“It’s really bad timing. It shouldn’t have happened then, and to see 20 years later and to see not a lot has changed…” says Reynolds. “It makes me reflect upon… my life and what I’ve experienced since then. And it’s been a crazy adventure.”

Just some of the thoughts among the crowd today… thoughts that could make it a difficult weekend for many.


KOAM News to Know (9/9/21)

JOPLIN, Mo – Hundreds of work-from-home jobs are currently available in the Joplin area. The latest data from the Bureau of Labor statistics shows 13-percent of employed people teleworked or worked from home in the last four weeks because of the pandemic. But now, some local businesses are hiring new employees specifically for work from home positions. Tele-Performance and Dish Network have ads listed online for remote work in the area and Alorica in Joplin is working on hiring 600 employees, none of whom will go to the office. Joplin employers embracing work from home model.

JOPLIN, Mo. – Freeman Health officials spoke about the upcoming flu season and how the pandemic could affect it. Last year flu cases hit a record low — which health experts attribute to increased masking and cleaning practices. Because of the low exposure last year the CDC worries more people could be vulnerable this flu season. Freeman officials recommend everyone keep wearing masks, practice regular hand-washing, and get the flu vaccine. Freeman officials recommend flu vaccine in briefing

JOPLIN, Mo. – Several county and city health departments are reporting new covid-19 related deaths. The Joplin Health Department reports one death, bringing the city’s total deaths to 165. The Jasper County Health Department reports five more deaths, bringing the county’s total to 207. And in Crawford County, two more people have died bringing that county’s total to 104.

PITTSBURG, Kan. – Authorities capture a Pittsburg man after a standoff. Police say late last month William Patton, who was on house arrest, removed his ankle monitor. After following up on several tips Pittsburg police tracked down Patton at a Pittsburg home on East 9th. After an hours long stand-off that involved multiple police agencies, including the KBI, law officers arrested Patton. Patton now faces additional charges of felony interference with law enforcement and unlawfully tampering with an electronic monitoring device. That’s in addition to numerous previous charges that include aggravated kidnapping, and aggravated assault. Wanted Pittsburg man arrested after 9 hour standoff

SOMETHING TO TALK ABOUT: Now that football season is underway, what is your level of preference: High School, College or the NFL? Join our KOAM InstaPoll @ koamnewsnow.com/vote.


Kansas teacher found guilty of stalking a 4th-grade girl

OLATHE, Kan. – A former Olathe teacher was found guilty Wednesday of stalking a fourth-grade girl while he was teaching her at an elementary school.

James Longabill, 59, of Lenexa, was convicted by Johnson County District Judge Thomas Sutherland of reckless stalking.

Testimony indicated Longabill took more than 240 pictures of the girl’s legs and buttocks. She was 10 when Longabill was teaching her at Meadow Lane Elementary School in Olathe.

The girl, who is now 12, testified that knowing about his actions made her scared to be alone at night and gave her nightmares, The Kansas City Star reported.

Loganbill’s sentencing is set for Nov. 3. He faces a maximum penalty of a year in jail and a $2,500 fine.

Loganbill’s lawyer, Carl Cornwell, said he hopes to overturn the verdict on appeal.

Loganbill resigned in March 2020 and later filed for retirement after three decades working at three different schools in Olathe.

Because of this case, the Kansas Legislature recently changed the crime of reckless stalking to a felony, which carries more prison time.


Carterville Route 66 repaving nearly complete

CARTERVILLE, Mo. — The City of Carterville is nearing completion of a large project on Route 66.

The city is finishing repaving main street. The project has been in the works for more than three years and they hope it will revitalize the city.

“A small town like Carterville we don’t have a lot of business. But I do believe the business is coming and this is one way we can get it started,” said Alan Griffin, Carterville Mayor.

Last week, the City of Carterville started repaving main street. The project costs around 150 thousand dollars and starts after the Webb City limits and goes up to the state portion of road.

“This is something that we know has needed to be done. The growth is coming from Webb City. That’s inevitable if you look at east street. This is something our council and our staff have been working on at least three to four years. I’m just glad to see its come to pass,” said Griffin.

The city repaved the two way road and preserved the outer sides of the roadway with a light sealant.

“I feel like its really important. Just because its Route 66, first off. And Route 66 will be 150 years old in 2026. We just need to have a good base here,” said Griffin.

Famos Grill is at the corner of north pine and east main and hopes to see a boost in customers with the improved road.

“We think that the pavement is going to bring more people in. Carterville is a really great town and this is just going to help bring more people through. Its really going to really open 66 up on the spot a little better and we are excited about it,” said Kat Kalista, Famos Grill Manager.

The mayor says all thats left is to stripe the lines.

He expects the full project to be completed next week.


How 9/11 changed air travel

JOPLIN, Mo. — Many aspects of life changed forever that fateful day, perhaps none more than public transportation especially air travel.

Almost instantly, new changes were put in place that still effect they way we travel today.

“That day changed everything,” said Steve Stockam, Joplin Regional Airport.

Joplin Regional Airport Manager Steve Stockam remembers that day clearly.

“I was actually at the Spiva Arts Center getting ready to do a presentation. I got a phone call first, we turned a TV on, um by that time, I immediately left and came back to the airport. By the time I got back out here, we were getting all sorts of updates and requirements to do certain things,” said Stockam.

After a day of receiving faxes and figuring out what information was real or not, Stockam remembers one thing the most.

“Later in the evening, um, standing out here at the airport and it was totally quiet. I mean normally an airport’s fairly noisy, I mean cars coming and going, air craft and all those things. It was probably the quietest I’d ever seen at the airport,” said Stockam.

In the aftermath of 9/11, came the TSA and Homeland Security. Along with technology, those things have impacted air travel the most.

“Back prior to that the screening for air craft was done by the airlines. Especially small communities like Joplin. With the onset of TSA and how that went. That technology and all of those things started happening from that point,” said Stockam.

Prior to 9/11, plans for the current airport terminal were underway. But after that day, some of those plans changed to accommodate what was to come.

“Nearly three thousand square feet of this building was modified and added due to the changed in what we saw from TSA,” said Stockam.

And with all of the modifications and changes, has come the biggest change of all for airports big and small…

“Before we worked with the airlines, we handled the screening. Bigger airports hired their own screening companies. Everything was controlled on a local level per facility. And that, that changed and now everything is controlled through TSA, DHS, and through Washington DC,” said Stockam.


Monett to build new dog park

MONETT, Mo. — A new park is in the works in Downtown Monett.

Monett Main Street is raising funds to build a one acre dog park in downtown. The group is hoping to build a pavilion on front street between 5th and 6th Street.

It will have an area for small and big dogs to play along with benches and a walking path. They anticipate it will cost between 120 to 140 thousand dollars.

“I think it compliments what else is downtown. Like I said, it will give people who are inner city or need to keep their dogs on a leash and don’t have a place for them to run and give them an opportunity to get out and let their animals exercise,” Thad Hood, Chief Fundraiser And Construction Manager.

So far, Monett Main Street has raised 63 thousand dollars.

To donate, call 417-737-9461 or email THAD@HHRCONTRACTORS.COM.


Governor appoints new coroner for Jasper County

JASPER COUNTY, Mo. — Jasper County has a new coroner for the first time in more than a decade.

Governor Mike Parson has appointed Randy Nace to the position after the resignation of longtime officeholder Rob Chappel.

He had been serving as the chief deputy coroner for the county and also works for a local funeral home. Nace sees the new job as a unique form of public service.

“And all of the police agencies I’ve dealt with in the area so far, all the county officials, they’ve helped me out a great deal. Because they know I’m new coming in. I have some experience but they’re very helpful and it’s been a pretty easy process so far,” said Randy Nace, Jasper County Coroner.

Nace has an associates degree of applied science in mortuary service.