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Bright Futures Neosho nonprofit gets financial help from Corley Trust

NEOSHO, Mo. — A non-profit group in Newton County is getting a financial boost to help better the lives of students in the community.

Five thousand dollars is now in the hands of officials at Bright Futures Neosho.

The money comes from the WR Corley Memorial Trust Fund through Southwest Missouri Bank, and will now help the organization supply weekend food bags to students.

“It’ll be somewhere between 55,000 and 60,000 dollars this year to purchase food just for our food bags, so the 5,000 dollars takes a pretty good chunk out of that total cost for that program this year,” said Deedee Dowell, Bright Futures Neosho Coordinator

Bright Futures Neosho was one of 32 non-profits to receive grant money from the Corley Trust.

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Crowder College kicks off their "Wellness Week" to help improve students' lives

PITTSBURG, Kans. — One four state college is spending the week helping its students, faculty and staff better themselves.

This week is “Wellness Week” on campus.

Between classes, individuals can do a variety of things to learn more about personal wellness.

Crowder College is offering an opportunity for people to stop by in the college’s courtyard and learn more about the seven dimensions of wellness.

Those dimensions include spiritual, social, physical, occupational, emotional, environmental and mental and intellectual.

“We try to have a variety of just different events and people visiting campus that can kind of give our students an overview of all the different categories that go into their well-being,” said Christy Manning – Wellness Week Coordinator.

While the college has inside resources like the counseling center helping out with Wellness Week, they also have outside help like George Washington Carver Monument park staff, and massage therapists, something first year student Max Duncan says is helpful.

“Having a Wellness Week like this, especially for Freshman like me, it gives them time, even it’s just about two or one hour like me that you can kind of just de-stress,” said Max Duncan – Crowder College Freshman.

“We try to get our community involved because there’s obviously spiritual dimensions, or emotional wellness dimensions include everything. And, so, we want to really connect students to their communities,” said Manning.

And connecting them makes it all worth it.

“I actually see it personally as a good way to de-stress and kind of heal your mental and even emotional health,” said Duncan.

Wellness week will conclude on Thursday.

Although “Wellness Week” is through the college, manning adds anyone in the community is welcome to stop by.

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Mount Vernon fatal motorcycle crash on I-44

MOUNT VERNON, Mo. — The Missouri Highway Patrol is investigating a fatal motorcycle crash.

They know it happened on I-44, just west of the Mount Vernon exit, in Lawrence County.

Officials say 30-year-old Tiffanie Keithley, of Billings, Missouri, was going westbound, ran off the interstate and hit the median cable barrier.

However, they don’t know exactly when it happened — her body was discovered last night.

It’s “Troop D’s” 92nd fatal crash this year.

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Bicknell Family Health Center opens in Pittsburg

PITTSBURG, Kans. — A health organization in southeast Kansas now has a second location in Pittsburg.

The doors of the “Rita J. Bicknell Family Health Center” officially opened today.

It’s the 15th location for “The Community Health Center of Southeast Kansas” — and is located at 10-11 Mount Carmel Place, just a short distance from “Ascension Via Christi Hospital.”

And officials say, that’s not just a coincidence.

“We have family practice and walk-in care both, two of our family practice providers do OB delivers over at Via Christi so now their right across from there, we have ultrasound lab mammogram coming in November, and some of our um nursing homes and stuff have more access to those patients and our providers have easy access to their patients in the hospital,” said Veronic Hasty, Health Center Practice Manager.

The organization’s other facility in Pittsburg is on the north end of town — off North Michigan Street.

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Cottey College ranked high on list of U.S. private schools

NEVADA, Mo. — It’s becoming old hat for “Cottey College” in Nevada. But, it’s a hat it’s more than willing to wear.

For another year, the institution has been named as one of the top colleges in the Midwest.

It’s been named the 4th best college in the region by “US News and World Report.”

According to “The Chronical of Higher Education,” it’s the best private school in the United States for its student-to-tenured professor ratio.

U-S News And World Report also ranks Cottey 5th in the Midwest for undergraduate teaching — 19th when it comes to best value — and 4th college when it comes to the number of international students.

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Pittsburg a destination for the Making Kansas Tour

PITTSBURG, Kans. — Pittsburg was a destination, today, for a maiden voyage in the state of Kansas. One of the main topics — manufacturing. It’s this year’s “Making Kansas Tour.”

It’s directed by the Kansas Manufacturing Council through the Kansas Chamber of Commerce.

Pittsburg was this year’s first stop for high school students and instructors.

They toured “Block 22,” two locally owned manufacturers — “PPI” and “Apex Staging” at the airport — and the “Tyler Research Center” at Pittsburg State.

“And the tour is really aimed at helping raise awareness about those products and also to raise awareness about the many career opportunities the industry offers to students and also to adults looking for a new opportunity,” said Sherriene Jones-Sontag, Kansas Chamber of Commerce.

“Being able to know all of the options and careers I could take out of this,” said Bailey LaRue, Junior, Marmaton Valley High School.

“I didn’t even know this existed and I live within an hour of here, so it was a really good experience see just what you can do and what’s available for a skilled laborer,” said Samuel Jackson, Construction Instructor, Marmaton Valley High School.

Bailey LaRue says she’s already considering coming to Pitt State when she graduates.

By the way, this tour also raises awareness for this year’s “Coolest Thing Made in Kansas” contest, the “Kansas Manufacturing Summit” — and “National Manufacturing Day,” which takes place on Friday, October first.

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Rita J. Bicknell Family Health Center opens in Pittsburg

PITTSBURG, Kan. — The Community Health Center of Southeast Kansas now has a second location in Pittsburg.

The Rita J. Bicknell Family Health Center is now open and two doctors from CHC/SEK, Bethany Enoch, MD, and Holly Gault, MD; and Kelly Mishmash, ARNP, will work out of the new location.

Officials say the new facility was recently renovated to provide additional access and expanded services focusing on women’s health.

The new facility is at 1011 Mt. Carmel Pl., just across the street from Ascension Via Christi hospital.

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Two dead in Mayes County, OK crash

MAYES COUNTY, Okla. — Two men are dead following a two-vehicle crash in Mayes County, Oklahoma.

A pickup and car collided on Highway 82 south of Locust Grove.

Two people in the car died at the scene.

They were the driver, 27-year-old Christopher Crosley of Mounds, Oklahoma, and a passenger, 29-year-old Caleb Bagley of Tulsa.

The man and woman in the truck were both hospitalized in stable condition.

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Pittsburg High School Thespian Troupe hosts “Gender-Bent Cabaret”

PITTSBURG, Kan –Pittsburg High School theatre students put on a cabaret to raise funds for their theatre program.

Although it wasn’t a typical cabaret.

“For years we’ve done a cabaret, which a cabaret is it doesn’t have a synopsis it doesn’t have a story, people just pick out songs they wanna do and they get to come on and showcase themselves. we’ve done cabarets before, they’re fundraisers for KTF which is  Kansas Thespian Festival, and…International Thespian Festival,” said Mallory Womeldorff, President of the Pittsburg High School Drama Club.

This Sunday’s theme had a gender-bent twist

“A  typical female performing person would perform a male song and the opposite and so and so just however somebody identifies they get to do a song that typically they wouldn’t get to perform on stage, this is their opportunity to do that,” Womeldorff said.

Actors that took part say singing songs from the opposite gender’s perspective was an opportunity to expand on their musical and theatrical abilities.

“It’s very interesting you have to look at vocal range you have to look up ooh do I sing this in the original key, do I take it up the octave, do I go somewhere in the middle and especially with this cabaret I had a really hard time finding a song,” said Pittsburg High School Junior Ella Rhuem.

It gave students to sing songs that they may have always wanted to sing but never had the opportunity to.

“Come back is a song from a male’s perspective and so typically I wouldn’t be able to sing that song but that songs is in my range and I love that song so I got the chance to perform that finally,” Womeldorff said.

Most importantly, it allowed students to get out of their comfort zones, which is what theatre is all about.