Pittsburg Polar Plunge postponed due to extreme cold

PITTSBURG, Kan. – Pittsburg Police Department announced Wednesday morning the Pittsburg Polar Plunge benefiting the Kansas Special Olympics has been postponed. The annual charity event will instead be held on Saturday, Feb. 27.

According to organizers, the extremely cold temperatures this weekend would have made it difficult to keep people socially distant inside the building.

Pre-registration for the new date will begin on Friday, Feb. 26 from 4:00 – 7:30 at the Crimson Villas. On the Plunge day February 27, a costume contest will be at 11:30 a.m. and the plunge begins at noon.

You can register at plungeks.org


Kansas City Chiefs place assistant coach Britt Reid on administrative leave after car crash hospitalized two children

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The Kansas City Chiefs placed outside linebackers coach Britt Reid on administrative leave Tuesday after he was involved in a multi-vehicle crash that hospitalized two children, leaving one with a brain injury.

The team said in a statement that they “remain in the process of gathering information on the incident, and we will continue to assist local authorities as requested.” Britt Reid is the son of head coach Andy Reid.

The Chiefs said their focus remains on the 5-year-old girl and her family, according to their statement.

“We have reached out to the family to offer our support and resources to them during this difficult time, and we will continue to pray for her recovery,” the statement read.

The child remains in critical condition with a brain injury as of Tuesday. A GoFundMe created by Tiffany Verhulst, the child’s aunt, on behalf of her mother has raised more than $425,000, well past its initial goal of $100,000.

In a post on Tuesday, Verhulst said the girl has not yet regained consciousness.

The three-vehicle crash took place Thursday night when Kansas City, Missouri, police said a Chevrolet Impala was disabled on the ramp of Interstate 435, and the driver called family members for assistance. His family members arrived and parked their Chevrolet Traverse south of the disabled car.

A Dodge Ram truck allegedly driven by Reid then struck both vehicles.

A 4-year-old and 5-year-old in the Traverse were transported to a local hospital with the 5-year-old sustaining life-threatening injuries, police said. The drivers of the Impala and Traverse were not injured, police said.

The driver of the Dodge Ram — identified by police as Reid — is being investigated for impairment, according to the police incident report. Reid sustained injuries in the accident that required surgery, his father said on Monday.

Reid told a responding officer that he had consumed “two to three” drinks after the officer observed an odor of alcohol “emanating” from Reid as well as “bloodshot and red” eyes. Reid also told the police that he takes the prescription drug Adderall, according to a search warrant first obtained by CNN affiliate KSHB.

The officer conducted a field-sobriety test and observed signs of impairment, the warrant states. Reid was taken to a local hospital after complaining of stomach pain.

Reid has not been charged with any crime.

According to the search warrant, a computer check performed by police revealed Reid has had “multiple prior DUI contacts.” The police sought and received a judge’s permission to collect blood from Reid to assist with their investigation.

As a result of the crash, Reid did not travel with the Chiefs to Sunday’s Super Bowl against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Tampa. The Chiefs lost 31-9.


Black ice causing increased demand for vehicle repairs

JOPLIN, Mo. – The owner of Snodgrass Collision Center in Joplin says black ice is the most common culprit behind winter weather wrecks.

They say they’ve received several calls for drivers already needing repairs due to road conditions. Some just need alignments for minor incidents and others are involved in roll overs.

Ditch type damages, a lot of those a wheel will get drove back, said Dana Snodgrass of Snodgrass Collision Center. “You’ll hit a cold brick, a lot of suspension problems. If you go off in a ditch,  you should always bring your car into a shop and have an alignment check on it.”

Several other shops in the area also say they’ve received multiple calls from drivers whose vehicle sustained damage due to road conditions.


Woman teams up with Miami restaurant to provide warm meals and clothes

MIAMI, Okla. – A Miami, Oklahoma woman is teaming up with local restaurants to get warm meals and clothes to people in need.

Two years ago, Sandye Williams was looking through social media when something caught her eye. Free coats for those in need. She spotted the demand for this in her own community, and got to work.

“So we started collecting coats,” said Williams. “The last two years (we) donated a coat to anyone who needed a coat”

This year, a restaurant owner and friend of Williams wanted to get involved. So in addition to a coat rack, the two started a meal wall.

Here’s how it works: anyone can pick an item from the menu and pay for it. The restaurant creates a ticket and hangs it on the wall for anyone needing a meal. If interested, just notify a server.

“You can either go select one off the wall or she can select one for you, says Williams. “Nobody knows that you came in and got one off the wall but you got a hot meal for the day, and hopefully it’ll just warm you from the inside out.”

Dawg House restaurant owner Jennifer White says any unused tickets at the end of the month will still be put to use.

“We’re gonna collect all the tickets, cook off the food, and then take that food to a different group in our community we feel could use a hot meal,” said White.

She says this would not be possible without the community’s help

“Oh my gosh, our community, I couldn’t ask for a better one,” said White. “Miami’s an awesome place to live, and to see the wall fill up within two days it just blew my mind it’s wild.”

The meal wall and coat rack were made to be used. Williams and White just want to keep their community taken care of, free of judgement. The organizer behind both ideas says anyone is welcome to use these services.


News to Know (2/10/21)

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Opening arguments are slated to begin this afternoon in the second impeachment trial of former President Trump. On Tuesday, the Senate voted to continue with the proceeding after hearing arguments as to its constitutionality.  All 50 Democrats said it was constitutional. They were joined by six Republicans.

NIXA, Mo. – The Nixa, Missouri school district fired an assistant principal who is facing child pornography charges. A court affidavit says 41-year old Colby Fronterhouse pretended to be a 14 year old girl sending sexually explicit messages to a 13 year old boy. Authorities say Fronterhouse got the boy’s cell phone number through school records. He had been placed on administrative leave but the school board yesterday voted to fire him.

JOPLIN, Mo. – The wintry weather has led to dangerous road conditions. Driving on snow however, is different than driving on ice. While both are slick and hazardous, officials say you can get a little more traction on snow than you can with ice. In either case the Joplin police department says you need to play it safe. For the latest road conditions your state, you can go to our website, koamnewsnow.com, and click on “Road Conditions” at the top of the page.

Who do you think should pay the bill on the first date? http://koamnewsnow.com/vote


Joplin residents asked to fill out fire department survey


Fire Dept. asks citizens to participate in survey about services and response
The Joplin Fire Department was established in the fall of 1882. Since that time, many changes have occurred within the fire department in relation to equipment, training procedures, structures, and other fields in the fire service.

Recently, the department provided their 2020 year-end report focusing on cumulative statistics of the crews’ services and responses, noting 8,413 requests for assistance with an average of 23 responses a day.

“The department is committed to providing quality and efficient service to the citizens and we are always looking to continuously improve the service we provide daily,” said Fire Chief Jim Furgerson. “As part of this process we have begun a Strategic Planning process and we would like our citizens input by taking the survey listed below.”

The community survey can be found at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/PMN2VMF . It is estimated to take less than five minutes to complete.

“We are proud to serve our citizens and would appreciate hearing from them on how we are doing and areas that may need improvement. This data will provide insight how we can continue to grow in our service and operations.”

Once the surveys have been received by the department’s allied stakeholders, citizens, and fire fighters, they will begin defining strategic initiatives and complete a SWOT analysis (Strength, Weakness, Opportunities and Threats) to identify areas we need to improve.

Chief Furgerson encourages the public to complete the survey by February 19, 2021


Fly The Flags Project returns to Fort Scott for 3rd year

FORT SCOTT, Ks — One Southeast Kansas town is preparing to get a little more patriotic.

The Friends of Fort Scott National Historic Site has begun its annual Fly The Flags Project. For the rest of the month the organization will be taking orders from homes and businesses to hang flags on five different flag holidays. All funds raised from this will go directly to helping the Fort Scott National Historic Site.

Reed Hartford, Friends of Fort Scott NHS President, said, “It has been really successful, we’re putting out over 100 flags on those five holidays.”

This is the third year of the Fly The Flags Project. If you’re in Fort Scott and would like to participate you can sign up by using a form at the Fort Scott Area Chamber of Commerce.


Freezing Rain: How it forms and why

JOPLIN, Mo. — We saw some weather Monday though it wasn’t on the heavy side, it was actually on the lighter side and it caused so much of an issue. Now why was that?

Well most of the time when we look at Winter precipitation, most of what we are used to is above the surface we see cold air so everything starts off as snow. Then as it comes closer to the ground it either stays as snow or changes over to rain obviously if it is warm enough. But that’s not what we saw Monday. We basically saw rain coming down but then freezing on contact, why does that happen?

Well, basically what happens or what we’re used to is, again, we see cold air at the top we see above freezing temperatures at the surface, therefore it falls as plain rain. That’s not what happened Monday. We started with cold air aloft and then we had warmer air in the middle level. So what happens is that snow melts to rain and we are cold at the surface, therefore we see the refreezing of that into ice. Now again it wasn’t bad in terms of the amount of precipitation but it was still very slippery out there for what reason?

It’s what he have called black ice so simply put we see that the ran falls onto the frozen surface itself and then it basically freezes on contact. And again you don’t need much ice a lot of people on the ice Monday were slipping, sliding and of course the people moving around in the cars were having difficulty trying to get around because even that small amount of precipitation thing were iced up and treacherous as you head around town.


SEK organizations working to improve health

SOUTHEAST KANSAS — One Southeast Kansas community is working to become a little bit healthier.

Grow Labette and Live Healthy Montgomery County have released a survey for their counties. Part of the Pathways To A Healthy Kansas initiative, this survey will gather the opinion on community health and ways to improve.

This includes healthy eating, physical activity and tobacco prevention education.


Back For Seconds — Flounders Fish and Chips

FOUR STATE AREA — Last week, Local News Today enjoyed some of the best fish tacos in the Four States when Flounders paid a visit for Food Truck Friday. Monday we go Back For Seconds to learn about the series of events that led to the food truck’s owners new – and successful venture.

Brian Bowman, Co-Owner, Flounder’s Fish & Chips, said, “Everything about this truck just feels like it should have happened.”

Sometimes it’s takes an unfortunate event, to guide you into that next chapter of your life.

Brian Bowman, Co-Owner, Flounder’s Fish & Chips: “A few years ago, I had kidney failure and I’d done construction work all my life and I told her, I said, we got to do something when I get a new kidney, that’s not as hard.”

Brian Bowman is no stranger to hard work, but his battle with kidney failure pushed him to construct a new career and a new reality for him, his wife kim, and their family.

‘And I’d throw ideas at her and say this is what we want to do how about this, no, no, I said food truck, she’s like no. So my little brain said she hesitated, so I can get her.”

Although hesitant, they had endured a lot, so she was up for the challenge.

Kim Bowman, Co-Owner, Flounder’s Fish & Chips, said, “It’s humbling, I’m still shocked at the response we’re getting. To me it doesn’t feel like it’s been a lot of work coming up with the recipes…”

“Because I’ve done it all,” said Brian.

And now 16 months in, Flounder’s Fish & Chips is thriving.

“16 months, so not real long. It’s been a worldwhind, a roller coaster, just amazing,” said Kim

From fresh shrimp tacos, to their fried fish sandwich, and beer battered fries that can’t be beat. There’s one menu item that always keeps people come back for seconds.

“It’s amazing like the kraut balls, if we run out somewhere, the next time we’re there, they’ll be waiting when we get there and say I want to large orders,” said Brian.

“It’s really funny to watch people’s reaction when they first try one, we’ve heard all kinds of crazy responses so we decided to put the top 10 on the back of our shirts,” said Kim.

And although it’s still new–the pair says–seeing how much has changed over the last few months makes them grateful.

“Everybody’s support, the power of God, to get me back on my feet where I’m at. I mean it’s amazing what they can do in the medical field. But it’s also amazing what God can do in your life and how he can guide you,” said Brian.