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Nevada group advocates for veteran suicide prevention

NEVADA, Mo. — As Veterans Day comes as a time of remembrance, it’s also a time of support. The Elks Lodge 564 in Nevada partnered with other veteran advocacy groups and community groups to focus on veteran suicide prevention resources.

“So, unfortunately, in Missouri, we’re seeing an increase in the suicide rate that’s higher than the national average for our Veterans. And I think it’s important that we recognize that there are some veterans that and people in the military that return home with some um, emotional issues,” said Representative Patricia Pike, (R-Mo.) District 126.

That includes the 988 Suicide and Crisis hotline and local support groups. They also offered items like stress balls, gun locks, even “kindness rocks.”

“And you know, the veterans here, and you know, across the country are an at-risk population and so we just kind of wanted to focus on them and try to make sure that they know that help is out there and that there’s hope for them,” said Debbie Jensen, Co-Chair, Veteran Suicide Prevention Campaign

Many took the time to mention that Veterans Day is an important day to check in on those who have served our country… But it should also be that way every day.

“As a fellow veteran myself, I know that we like the fact that community and that the younger generations are still educated on what it means to be a veteran and what veterans have done for them throughout all the years of history and it’s good for them to still continue to acknowledge those veterans from years past that have done a lot of good things for this country,” said Dennis Bowling, Exalted Ruler, Elks Lodge 564.

It was also a time for veterans to gather and spend time eating and socializing.

“They gave up lots. They had to leave their families and some had to leave their children and some never came home. So, they’ve given up everything to keep us free,” said Darlene Tweten, Treasurer, VFW Auxiliary 2175.

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Cottey College "Descendants: The Musical" production

NEVADA, Mo. — The stage is set for a first at Cottey College in Nevada.

The theatre department will host its first-ever musical performance this weekend.

Production of Disney’s “Descendants: The Musical”. Work started in August.

More than 50 students are part of it, be it actors or production, and some have multiple roles.

“So, I play Maleficent. I’m Mal’s mother…and I’ve also helped with hair design. I set the paint. I also did poster design and I’ve kinda just jumped into little areas that need help, so I kind of do a little bit of everything,” said Taylor Jordan, Actress/Crew Member.

“They may not always just be the lead performer. They might also do hair and makeup, or they might work on the set. So, when they leave Cottey, it’s really important to have those skills at hand, and I think we’re training them enough. This show is definitely an example of a community coming together to make it happen,” said Laura Chaney, Show Director.

Showtimes are 7:30 this Friday and Saturday nights, with the 2 o’clock matinee performance on Saturday.

Tickets are $7 for students and senior citizens and $10 for the general public.

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"On My Own" fair helps youth achieve their goals

NEVADA, Mo. — Just because you have a disability, doesn’t mean you don’t have hopes and dreams too.

Each student has a decision to make when they finish high school, and that includes young people with disabilities.

Helping them to make that decision is the purpose of an annual event held at the Nevada Elk’s Lodge.

“We get the youth pulled from schools and inside the community to come together to provide resources and services that help these youth transition successfully,” said Kalli Gober, On My Own Inc.

The “On My Own” youth transition fair brings together students from several school districts with organizations that can help them achieve their goals.

And if they don’t know exactly what they want to do with their lives, speakers can help them hone in on an area of interest and then point them in that direction.

Dakota Ragsdale went to this same event a few years ago when he was in high school and now helps current students to chart their post high school plans.

“I learned a bunch of different things like how to advocate for myself, what sources I needed to transition into getting a job and if I wanted to go to college,” said Dakota Ragsdale, Youth Volunteer.

“There’s this one booth that helps with people who have Autism, that’s actually very useful cause like today’s society is very difficult for people with Autism to get a job,” said Zachariah Myers, High School Sophomore.

“I want to achieve my goals on going into Psychology, or Child Development, or becoming a Special Ed teacher,” said Dakota Thill, Program Participant.

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"Capital improvements" sales tax on the ballot in Nevada

NEVADA, Mo. — A use tax proposal is on the ballot for voters in Nevada, as is the extension of a capital improvements sales tax.

It’s currently one-half of one percent, and was originally passed by voters in 2004. The money is earmarked for a specific purpose.

“So what that funds is a debt to our wastewater treatment plant, as well as new improvements to sidewalks, curb and gutter and also funds public safety equipment,” said Mark Mitchell, Nevada City Manager.

Without a “simple majority” yes vote, the existing tax will sunset in 2024.

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Suspect identified in weekend shooting

KSNF/KODE — The man who, police say is responsible for multiple incidents over the weekend in Southwest Missouri, including shooting at law enforcement, has been identified.

32-year old Brenton Ross is from Kansas City, and is being held on no bond.

Authorities say he led numerous agencies on high-speed chases through parts of Vernon, Barton, and Cedar counties on Saturday, and also fired shots at them. He faces more than a dozen charges.

The Missouri State Highway Patrol is handling the investigation.

Ross is in the Cedar County Jail and is set to be transferred to the Vernon County Jail.

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Lamar woman arrested after allegedly unprovoked knife attack

Chloe Crowe

LAMAR, Mo. — Lamar Police arrested a woman over the weekend after an apparent knife attack outside an apartment complex.

On Saturday, officers with the Lamar Police Department were contacted after an assault at the Divine Estates Apartment.

At the scene, a man was found suffering from a cut to his neck. He was taken to a hospital with non-life threatening injuries.

Twenty-year-old, Chloe Crowe, of Lamar, was located and found to be in possession of a stolen car, according to LPD’s Facebook.

The victim and Crowe allegedly did not know one another.

Crowe faces charges for First Degree Assault (bond $100,000) and First Degree Vehicle Tampering ($10,00). She remains in the Vernon County Jail.

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Psychiatric care available for seniors, NRMC Grand Opening

NEVADA, Mo. — It will soon be easier for seniors in Nevada and beyond to receive psychiatric care. A ribbon cutting was held today for the Nevada Regional Medical Center’s Senior Behavioral Health Unit. The unit had been shut down for three years. The facility provides psychiatric health care for those 55 and older. There are eight rooms in the unit.

“We know that it’s been a need for a long time and I’ve seen really good things happen in this unit before so I’m really happy that we’re getting, we’re doing it again. Because it is such a heart-wrenching thing to see people so sick, and you can make them better in just a few days. It’s amazing,” said Holly Bush, NRMC Chief Quality Officer.

“We’ll take patients from anywhere within the state of Missouri and we oftentimes do get patients from all over the state of Missouri. And we’ll certainly take patients from Eastern Kansas as well,” said Mark Stewart, D.O., Dir. Inpatient Psychiatric Services NRMC.

The unit will begin accepting patients this Thursday, September 1st.

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City Council meeting addresses terminating CEO for mismanaged funds

NEVADA, Mo. — The future of the Barone Alzheimer’s Care Center in Nevada and its residents is still up in the air.

Things got heated during last week’s city council meeting with family members of residents voicing their concerns over what they call mismanagement by the facility’s long-term board. The facility was, again, the topic of Tuesday night’s city council meeting.

The city gave $100,000 in ARPA funds to Barone and a nursing home in town, Moore-Few Care Center. But city officials say they’re not sure how those funds were allocated by the interim CEO of the long-term board, Gene Vestal. Council members decided to postpone a vote on an ordinance to repeal those funds. They want more time to find out where the money was spent.

As for Vestal, a motion was passed last week to add his termination to Tuesday night’s agenda. But Mayor George Knox told us the motion was reversed.

“I made a motion that was not proper, and it died for lack of a second, so, we’ll see if that happens sometime in the near future or not,” said George Knox, Mayor, City of Nevada.

As of now, it is unclear what the future holds for the Alzheimer’s facility. The original proposal called for its residents to be moved to Moore-Few.

The next city council meeting is on September 13th.

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Nevada resident to be featured at Times Square

NEVADA, Mo. — A very young Nevada resident will be kicking off Down Syndrome Awareness Month in a very unique way.

Meet three year old Owen Jones – who absolutely loves music, dancing, sports and can even communicate through sign language.

Owen meets no strangers and his parents say he makes everyone smile wherever they go.

The “National Down Syndrome Society” chose Owen to be featured on the Jumbo-Tron in New York City’s Time Square.

His smiling face will shine over Times Square on September 17th to kick off National Down Syndrome Awareness month in October.

The NDSS says featuring these images promotes value, acceptance and inclusion of people with down syndrome in a very visible way.

Owen’s mom, Renee, says she was thrilled to hear Owen was chosen and hopes to keep fighting negative stigmas often associated with down syndrome.

“What’s even cooler is just because we’re from a small town of Nevada and he’s just awesome and he’s just a big deal, and so, the more people that see how cute and adorable he is, the better. Like I said, the stigma there is that, it’s scary and there’s nothing scary about Owen, he’s magical,” said Renee jones, Owen’s mom.

Owen even has his own Tik Tok account with almost 40,000 followers and a viral video that has 4 million views.

You can follow his Tik Tok account: @owentheomazing

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Cottey College names new education lab after former president

NEVADA, Mo. — Classes begin next week at Cottey College, and students will notice something new when they arrive on campus. It’s a new education lab inside the Blanche Skiff Ross Memorial Library. The entire basement, in fact, is now called the “Jann Rudd Weitzel Education Lab.” It’s named in honor of the college’s 12th president, who retired in June. The space will be used by education students to collaborate, as well as observe lessons and teach their own in a true K-12 setting.

“We want them to feel comfortable once they get out in the real world, real world and start teaching, right? So this provides them that realistic opportunity to practice the art of teaching, and a safe environment to get feedback from seasoned professionals,” said Dr, Kristina Adams, Cottey College.

Orientation for all Cottey students starts on Friday.

Classes begin next Tuesday.