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Jones clutch hit lifts Carthage over McDonald County in home opener

WATCH: Jordyn Jones gets the go-ahead hit for Carthage Wednesday night – giving the Tigers a 2-1 win over McDonald County in the team’s home opener.

Carthage snaps the Mustangs’ 7-game winning streak.

“She had the big RBI in the 2nd inning that gave us the 1-0 lead, and there at the end she had a great at-bat,” says head coach Stephanie Ray of Jones, “She was fouling balls off and fouling balls off. With an 0-2 pitch she put one over the left fielder’s head. I just knew if we could get that runner to third, we had a chance. We put the bat in the senior’s hand there and she just took it and she owned it there.”

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Run game an early-season bright spot for MSSU football

JOPLIN, Mo. – The Missouri Southern Lions are back on the road this weekend aiming for their first win of the season against Central Oklahoma.

MSSU is 0-2 to begin their fall schedule, falling to Nebraska-Kearney (38-0) and Northeastern State (21-17) in their first two games.

While the Lions haven’t gotten the results they wanted on the scoreboard early in the season, the team’s rushing attack has been a bright spot. Missouri Southern has rushed for 302 yards in their first two games.

Freshman running back Nathan Glades has led the team’s rushing attack, accounting for 169 yards in his first two career starts.

“We’ve faced two MIAA opponents, and we have ran the ball really well,” says head coach Atiba Bradley, “Where we’ve got to get better is the consistency of running the ball and being able to run the ball at a high level for four straight quarters. Part of that will be getting the passing game going a little bit more and opening up lanes for running. We’ve played two MIAA opponents and gone toe-to-toe with them. We’ve thrown blows with them and we’ve had success against them. Now it’s just raising our play and the level of consistency. That’s what we have to do now.”

This Missouri Southern team is relying an a number of younger players, including Glades, this season.

13 of the Lions’ 22 starters are either freshman or sophomore players – so the growing pains are not unexpected.

“It’s not easy…but growing up isn’t easy,” Bradley says, “Maturation isn’t easy. The hardest part about it is that you can’t rush it. You can’t sit there and say boom you’re a 5th-year senior. You have three years of experience under your belt in two games. You can’t do that. The hardest part is sitting there and knowing you’re going to take your lumps. It’s like watching a baby walk for the first time. You can’t sit there and hold its hand. They know they have to get better. They know it’s going to be tough. They know they have to come in and out every day and put in the work to get better.”

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Joplin cardiologist sees COVID survivors recover from long-term cardiovascular health issues

JOPLIN, Mo. – A year ago, 44-year-old Joplin native and resident Jennifer Parks lived a fairly normal life.

“I literally worked 48 to 56 hours a week, I took care of two kid,” explains Parks.

But since getting COVID-19 in November of last year, it’s been a much different story.

“I have to be dependent on other people,” says Parks.

She spent 33 days on a ventilator, two months in the hospital after getting off the vent, and then some time at a nursing home in Seneca.

“I had to move in with my mom because I had a stroke.. a COVID induced stroke in the hospital,” says Parks.

Now things have been so much different. She can walk some using a walker, but is wheelchair bound most of the time. She also has a number of physical long-term side effects from COVID, including cardiovascular issues like blood clots in her legs and feet.

“I went from taking zero pills, to taking seven pills every morning,” says Parks. “Like last night, my leg was on fire. And legs and my feet were on fire. There wasn’t anything I could do about it.”

Freeman Cardiologist Dr. Robert Stauffer explains cardiovascular issues are becoming a more common thing for people with “Long COVID Syndrome.”

“This effects all patients. Whether they’re 13-year-olds, or they’re 70-year-olds or their 40-year-olds,” says Dr. Stauffer. “They present with a lot of symptoms of shortness of breath, chest pain, what they call brain fog. They’re just not 100 percent.”

But another thing that he’s noticing — a lot of them are being able to make a full recovery.

“I saw a cross country runner, for example, who could run ten miles without even thinking twice. He couldn’t walk across campus after COVID for about three months. And then after that, I saw him back another time, he got completely better. So, I think there’s a lot of hope out there if you’re one of those people who have this sort of long COVID syndrome,” says Dr. Stauffer. “Some of these patients, they got really sick, bounced back very quick. Some patients with mild to moderate disease, they don’t bounce back as quick. And the one thing I just tell patients is, be patient.”

That is good news for many who are still living with symptoms that impact their way of life. Unfortunately for Parks, since COVID hit her so incredibly hard, it’s looking more and more like that won’t be the case.

“It’s take this pill, and take this pill until it stops working, and then we’ll find something else. Mentally, it’s a rough thing. Like I said, I’m 45 and I have to be dependent on people,” says Parks. “You thank God every day that you’re alive. I don’t put off things because you never know when it’s gonna be your last day.”

“There is a small subset of patients who had COVID pneumonia or myocarditis, things like that, that will have long-term effects from this virus and will have to deal with that in the years to come. So those are the patients we have to be really careful about,” says Dr. Stauffer. “That’s the reason to get vaccinated though. If you look at patients who got vaccinated, they tend not to get Long COVID Syndrome. So, one more reason to get vaccinated cause this is not something that you can say, ‘I’m gonna tough it out for two or three days and be better.’ You don’t want to deal with the situation where it’s months later and you can’t do anything.”

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New exhibit at Pittsburg State focuses on mental illness

PITTSBURG, Kan. – There’s a new exhibit at Porter Hall on the campus of Pittsburg State University. It’s focused on mental illness. We spoke with the artist behind the exhibit and has more.

Jared Jennings is not just a former Pitt State student, he’s an artist and he’s an art teacher at Porter Hall. He created the works now on display, which he calls “Nature versus Nurture”. Jennings says “It started out from my own experiences, wanting to talk about like, really understand what I was going through, and then it moved to kinda wanting to give other people a voice and tell their stories also.”

Jennings is hoping that as people view the exhibit, it will open their eyes to those fighting mental illness and encourage those struggling to reach out. “I hope we can start that conversation, I hope people can go out and actually talk to someone about something they haven’t really been able to talk about.”

Morgan Rexwinkle is a Music Education Major at Pitt State. She also struggles with mental illness and has her own creative outlet. “When I am sad, struggling with mental illness, I let everything go into music, because that’s my life, it’s been my life forever and it just helps to absorb everything that’s going on.”

She says it’s great to see how others express their internal battles. “I definitely think it’s interesting to see everybody else’s interpretation of mental illness and what it means to other people because it can be totally something different to you than what it is to me.”

Jennings says there’s one key takeaway from the exhibit. “Before you’re a man or a woman, before you’re white or black, Christian or Jewish or something like that, you’re a human being, that comes first before anything and mental illness is something that plagues people everyday, but it doesn’t control them and it doesn’t make them any less of a person.”

The exhibit will run through October 25th.

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Marionville homicide victim identified, police now seeking a suspect

MARIONVILLE, Mo. – Police have identified a homicide victim in Marionville and are now asking for the public’s help to find the suspect.

The Aurora and Marionville Police Department has identified the victim located at 406 S. Central in Marionville as 50-year-old Jess Davis. The department is seeking charges of Murder and Armed Criminal Action for the murder of Davis. The suspect has been identified as Jamie Lee Godfrey, a white male known to frequent the Aurora and Marionville area.

Officials ask anyone with information on Godfrey’s whereabouts to contact the Aurora and Marionville Police Department. Godfrey is considered dangerous and should not be approached.

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Girard aims for 3-0 start against CNC rival Columbus

GIRARD, Kan. – The last time Girard and Columbus were on the field together, the Trojans knocked the undefeated Titans out of the playoffs in the first round – after Columbus had previously beaten Girard in the regular season.

“Going into it…I’m sure we’re circled on the calendar for them knowing that we knocked them off last year in the playoffs,” says Girard head coach Neal Philpot, “I’m sure they’re eager to play us, but we have to understand that last year’s game has no bearing on what this year is and we have to go take care of business.”

Girard is on a roll to start the season – blowing out both Colgan and Baxter Springs in their first two games.

“We got a chance to get a lot of people in. I think we took the opportunity last week to see how we can get better from week one to week two,” Philpot adds ,”There’s some things that we did, but there are still some things that we need to get improved. We’re excited to get back to work and get those things fixed this week.”

Girard’s defense has been impressive, allowing just 7 total points through two games.

“I think technique has been the biggest thing for us,” says QB/DB Luke Niggemann, “We’re a little smaller up front. Technique is a big thing for us right now.”

“We’ve got a good group there. We’ve kept a lot of the stuff we had a year ago, so the guys are familiar with it,” Philpot says of his defense, “We’ve got some athletes who can fly around a little bit. The guys have been doing a good job of getting to the ball and tackling. They’re being unselfish in what they do, making the plays they’re supposed to make and letting their teammates make the plays they they’re supposed to make.”

While Girard knows they can get the job done Friday – they know it’s an important game for Columbus and the Titans will be ready to play.

“They’re a good team. They have a lot of guys back from a year ago,” Philpot says of Columbus, “They do things very, very soundly. They know their identity on both sides of the ball. Like us, they know what they’re doing. Defensively, they know what their responsibilities are. They go play hard and they go play fast. It’s going to be a challenge for us.”

Columbus is 1-1 on the season, falling to Frontenac in their season opener before beating Field Kindley in week two.

Friday’s game kicks off at 7 PM in Girard.

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Big 4th inning lifts Carthage over Joplin; Elder strikes out 13

WATCH: Carthage tops Joplin 8-0 in COC play Tuesday afternoon at Joplin High School.

The Tigers scored 7 runs in the 4th, while pitcher Jensyn Elder strikes out 13 Joplin batters.

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“COVID-somnia”: What it is, and how you could get more sleep if it’s impacting you

JOPLIN, Mo. – Sleep is something that everyone needs. But it’s something a lot of us are doing less during the pandemic.

“As a physician and as a human in this pandemic, it has impacted my sleep,” says Charles Graves, a psychiatrist at Access Family Care.

“Generally speaking, 15 to 30 percent of the population will have trouble sleeping,” explains Steve Graves, a councilor with the Ozark Center.

But according to the National Institutes of Health, that number has increased to 40 percent during the pandemic. The term has been dubbed “COVID-somnia” because the stresses and changes caused by the pandemic can cause many to have insomnia.

“Stress and sleep do not mix. Most of our stressors in our world are short term. Unfortunately, the pandemic has been a long term stress,” says Graves.

Graves explains that insomnia can impact both physical and mental function, with it impacting concentration, problem solving and rational thinking.

“Obviously that impacts our school age children in school, but also our adults who have to look after those children,” says Graves.

“The misery factor goes up any time you can’t sleep,” says Charles Doyle, a psychologist at College Skyline in Joplin.

Doyle explains the misery of insomnia can be especially problematic for people who already battle mental health issues like anxiety and depression.

“The worry about going to sleep actually increases,” says Doyle. “It becomes a serious thing for them to deal with. And it decreases their daily function, increases their symptoms overall.”

So what can you do to get more and better sleep? Here are some tips that both Doyle and Graves recommend:

  • Create a sleeping schedule and preparation routine.
  • Take a break from social media and the news.
  • Turn off screens at least 30 minutes before bed.
  • Get sunlight and do light exercise early in the day to reset your sense of time and circadian rhythm. Also close the blinds when the evening rolls around.
  • Avoid caffeine before bed.
  • Be kind to your mind and don’t worry about the things that you cannot change in the moment.

“Also, people with anxiety and depression should already be getting therapy… helping them work through the things that they’re worrying about. That will keep it from invading your mind when you’re trying to go to sleep,” says Doyle. “And even when they’re receiving treatment, I often times encourage them to schedule a ‘worry time.’ Schedule a time to think about those things that are distressing so that they’re out of the way when it comes time to rest.”

If none of that helps, then it may be time to seek out professional help.

“If it goes for a week or more when people are having difficulties initiating and maintaining sleep, it’s appropriate to speak to your physician in that period of time,” says Graves.

“When you’re sleep is off, it’s often a red flag that says something else is off. That it needs to be attended to as well,” explains Doyle.

If you do have a mental illness and have experienced sleeplessness for so long that it sends you into a crisis, the Ozark Center has a 24 hour crisis intervention hotline. That number is 417-347-7720.