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East 20th Street and Grand Avenue early morning fire being investigated

JOPLIN, Mo. — The Red Cross is helping two families that were displaced from an early morning fire.

The Joplin Fire Department responded to a house fire at a vacant home near East 20th Street and Grand Avenue just after midnight.

Fire crews evacuated homes north and south of the fire because strong winds and flames were threatening nearby homes.

The Joplin Fire Department says the vacant home was a total loss and two homes next door were damaged by the flames.

Red cross is helping those two families.

No one was injured.

It took fire crews an hour to put out the flames.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.

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131 physicians graduated from KCU Joplin for their first class ever

JOPLIN, Mo. — Kansas City University Joplin is celebrating its first class of physicians.

Sunday afternoon 131 physicians graduated from KCU Joplin.

18 of those physicians will be staying in the Joplin area and eight physicians are commissioning into the armed forces.

Zack Wages, Physician, says, “The best way i can describe it right now after that ceremony is feeling very honored and grateful for that opportunity. I’m from Joplin i went to Joplin High School and graduated in this building at Missouri Southern and now graduating medical school here. Just thinking about all the things that had to happen for me to get to his point.”

Marc Hahn, President CEO of Kansas City University, says, “This is an exciting day to see this dream come true.”

KCU Joplin will be breaking ground on their new dental school on May 22.

The Kansas City University president says Joplin will be the smallest community in the United States to have both a medical and dental school.

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Joplin business has helped 49 pets find homes in the past 2 months

JOPLIN, Mo. — A Joplin business is helping shelter cats find their forever homes.

The Nine Lives Cat Lounge And Adoption Center has helped 49 cats find permanent homes over the past two months.

They adopt cats from rescue partners the Joplin Humane Society, Second Chances in Grove, and Faithful Friends from Neosho.

They put the cats in a natural environment to interact with people looking to adopt.

Jon Thomas Buck, Head Cat Wrangler, says, “It’s been a studied that this type of environment helps increase their chance of being adopted by 63 percent. So it gets them to a low stress environment so you can see the personalities of the cats and try to connect with them on a one on one basis.”

The center offers same day adoptions.

To make a reservation go here

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Street racing crackdown in Wichita

WICHITA, Kan.  – Wichita police are trying to crack down on street racing after several recent incidents involving injuries and deaths.

The exact number of racing incidents is hard to pinpoint because police don’t track them separately and often people caught racing are charged with other crimes, such as reckless driving, that carry tougher penalties. At least two people have been killed and two people injured in racing incidents over the past year.

Sedgwick County Assistant District Attorney Aaron Breitenbach said to The Wichita Eagle that street racing has been growing slowly over the past couple years.

Breitenbach said street racing can also be difficult to prosecute because often the only witnesses to the crime were participants in the races who aren’t likely to cooperate with investigators.

Wichita Police Department traffic division supervisor Sgt. Keith Fort said racing vehicles can hit speeds of 50 to 90 mph within seconds.

“At that type of speed, it puts everyone at risk, not just that particular driver,” Fort said.

The incidents in the past year include an August 2020 race between two pickup trucks that ended when the trucks smashed into a Lincoln Town Car, killing the 94-year-old driver and severely injuring a 15-year-old boy who was riding in the passenger seat.

In another race in March, Brennan Peshek, 18, died after his yellow Ford Mustang struck a curb and slammed into a tree and pole after the lane he was racing in ended.

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Webb City church celebrates local moms

WEBB CITY, Mo. – Webb City’s Church of the Nazarene got into the Mother’s Day spirit Sunday by kicking things off with a family portrait session.

But since this special day is all about mom, there were plenty of individual photos of the kids taken too.

One local mom and church member tells KOAM why those individual photos of her children are so precious to her.

“I like the group photos but I also like the individual ones because (my kids) are older now so I don’t get the individual pictures as much anymore because they’re always somewhere else,” said Traci Henson.

And the Webb City Church of the Nazarene wasn’t the only Webb City location doing something special for moms on Mother’s Day.

The Just a Taste restaurant in Webb City hosted a special Mother’s Day brunch throughout the weekend.

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Fire breaks out at Joplin auto shop

JOPLIN, Mo. – The Route 66 Auto Center in Joplin caught fire earlier today. 

Fire officials at the scene said a car caught fire inside the auto shop. The owner witnessed the fire on their security cameras and called the fire department.

They also said due to it being a body shop, the chemicals within the shop may have played a part in the blaze.

Joplin, Diamond, Carthage, and Webb City’s fire departments were called in to fight the fire alongside Duenweg’s Fire Department. 

It was reported that they had a car on fire inside the structure. It’s a body shop. it is naturally prone to be able to burn just because of some of the chemicals that they have inside. The fire progressed to the point that it is going to be a total loss on the building,” said Howard Reding, Duenweg Fire Chief.

The fire was contained within the building. The cause of the fire has not yet been determined, but officials have ruled the fire an accident.

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Kansas City University-Joplin medical school holds first graduation ceremony

JOPLIN, Mo. –Kansas City University Joplin’s medical school held their first ever graduation for their Joplin campus on Sunday. 

The ceremony was held at Missouri Southern State University to ensure social distancing. 

Some procedures were modified such as mask wearing and limiting guest size.

During the pandemic the school transitioned to online learning for a bit, but students were able to receive hands on learning and prepare for the workforce, and were able to celebrate their hard work in person this weekend.

“So we were so blessed today that for the first graduation in Joplin we were able to get together as a community,” said Laura Rosch, Dean of Kansas City University’s Joplin campus. 

“I’ve been telling myself since high school, you know med school graduation is really what I’m interested in, that’s the stage I wanna walk across, everything else is just a stepping stone to get there, and when the pandemic came and I thought oh, I may not get to do the walk, I was a little disappointed I won’t lie. But being able to be here and actually physically walk across the stage and have one of my mentors in medicine…has been fantastic,” said graduate Michael Weaver.

131 new doctors emerged from today’s graduation ceremony.

 

 

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“Glamping” gaining popularity in four-states

JANE,Mo.–Glamping, or glamourous camping is gaining popularity, especially in the four state area.

Instead of traditional tents with sleeping bags, glampers are treated to tents with beds, coffee machines, and even decorations like a chandelier.

This mother’s day, the Wilson family from Joplin ventured down to Little Sugar Farmhouse in Jane, Missouri to see what glamping is all about. 

“Had a comfortable bed, just like that storm came through last night, those tents held up wonderful, if we were in a regular tent we would’ve blown away, we would’ve been Toto all the way in Tulsa,” said Tabitha Wilson.

She added that it’s fancier than normal camping experiences.

“It’s classier, you’re not sleeping on the floor…it has the outlets, the fancy beds, the pillows, the chairs,” Wilson said.

She also said that it allows people that aren’t as into the outdoors a chance to experience them.

“People that wouldn’t go outside because of the bugs, they’ll go outside now…some people don’t even know how to set up a tent, well you don’t need to know how, you can come here.”

 

 

 

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A Baxter Springs organization celebrates the efforts of a very special team of horses

BAXTER SPRINGS, Kan. — A Baxter Springs organization celebrates the efforts of a very special team of horses.

The month long fundraiser Run for the Roses has wrapped up for the Horses For Hope.

The organization’s horses offer therapeutic riding lessons to children and adults with disabilities.

The fundraiser started back in 2019 for the month leading up to the Kentucky Derby.

This year it gained even more support.

It even had enough donations to run two separate online auctions.

Vallerie Sweeton, Horses for Hope Co-Founder, says, “Fundraising has been really hard in the era of Covid, so we are so excited with how well this fundraiser went and how much support we had from our community and our participants.”

The money raised will go towards the care of all of the horses in the organization.

Team Rowdy took first place, raising over $1,600 out of the organizations $7,300.

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The Fast and the Furriest Drift 5K Run and Walk held Saturday in Webb City

WEBB CITY, Mo. — The Joplin Humane Society had their own version of Fast and the Furious Saturday – it was just a little hairier.

The Fast and the Furriest Drift 5K Run and Walk took place in King Jack Park in Webb City.

Proceeds raised from the run will go to the shelter to help it provide medical care and support to the nearly 10 thousand homeless pets in the area.

With the shelter entering one of it’s busiest times of the year, it says now was the perfect time to host the run.

Tianna Fisher, Joplin Humane Society Shelter Services Manager, says, “Right now is puppy and kitten season, so we have anywhere from 10 to thirty puppies and kittens at a time coming through our doors almost on a daily basis.”

Anthony Howard came in first place for the race overall, and he was shortly followed by Henry who was the first dog to finish.