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30th Anniversary of Tracy Pickett Disappearance

JOPLIN, Mo. — Joplin Police are highlighting a Missing Persons case from the 1990s, looking for that one tip that could crack the case. It’s now 30 years since 14-year-old Tracy Pickett went missing. She disappeared on this date in 1992. Joplin detectives are continuing to work the case, pointing out they’ve gotten more than 50 tips since 2010, two of those this year.

“This is her 30th year anniversary. We just hope that the public doesn’t, we don’t want the public to forget about Tracy. We want them to know we haven’t forgotten about her – especially the Pickett family that we are steadfast in coming up with solutions and hopefully locating Tracy,” said Joplin Police Department Sgt. Luke Stahl.

Detectives have conducted searches in recent years – including one at a pond just north of Joplin in 2019.

The disappearance took place after Tracy Pickett spent the night with a friend in Webb City. The next morning, another guest volunteered to take her home, claiming he dropped her off near a Joplin pawnshop. She hasn’t been seen since.

If you know anything about the case, you can call the Joplin Police Department at 417-623-3131.

They will accept anonymous tips.

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Webb City Chamber receives new director

WEBB CITY, Mo. — The Webb City Chamber of Commerce has a new face heading the operation. LeeAnn Crider is now the executive director, following the resignation of Gwen Allen. But Crider is no stranger to the Chamber, since she’s been working there for the past nine years.

She says she’s excited about this new opportunity and hopes to expand the operation.

“I think people don’t really think how much a Chamber can do for them. And you know, just because you can’t come to an event or come to this or that does not mean that they’re not opportunities to be had with a Chamber of Commerce,” she said.

Crider started out as the Administrative Assistant in 2013 and also worked as the Membership Director before the promotion.

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Webb City PD seeks to honor fallen officer

WEBB CITY, Mo. — A fallen officer is the focus of a new effort in Webb City to honor the past.

“August 2, 1902, Marshall Leonard Rich went to break up a bar fight in Webb City. He was killed in the line of duty that day,” said Webb City Police Dept. Chief Don Melton.

The suspect, Joe Gideon, was shot and killed by one of the two other officers on the scene. They were called to break up a bar fight at Lizzie Read’s Resort on Main Street. More than 100 years later, Webb City Police Chief Don Melton wants to make sure the incident and Rich’s sacrifice are still remembered.

“And he is buried here in Webb City. However, his marker doesn’t show his line of duty death,” added Chief Melton.

Something Chief Melton wants to change.

“We’d like to add a plaque, something similar to what they do at the state capitol,” he said.

There aren’t many details about the shooting. And the one photo they thought they had of City Marshal Rich turned out to be from three years after his death. So, Chief Melton is hoping to track down any remaining family members or anyone with more information.

“It’s unfortunate we have to honor these officers in this way. But I’m glad that we do have the support of the community. Also like to add that we are we are hoping to find some relative of Marshal Rich to help us honor his sacrifice by placing a plaque or something on his tombstone.”

Marshal Rich is buried in the Webb City Cemetery at Oronogo and Cardinal Road, a site marking his on-duty death 120 years ago this week.

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Arvest Foundation donates, CJ Schools therapy dog program

WEBB CITY, Mo. — Carl Junction students will have some furry classmates this year, thanks to a local financial institution.

Meet Sassy and J.J., the newest therapy dogs for the Carl Junction School District.

“So, I was able to work with students that were just maybe suffering from anxiety, maybe sometimes they were having a bad day; maybe sometimes nervous before a test. just a range of issues that they just may need to take a time out and sit down. And I’m telling you, to watch a student with a dog is magical,” said Kristy Jones, Post Secondary Advisor, Carl Junction High School.

A check presentation took place Tuesday night in Webb City. A $2,000 donation from the Arvest Foundation made it possible to add these Standard Poodles to the district’s therapy dog program.

“For children with anxiety and depression, you know, they’re seeing it at younger and younger ages, it’s impacting a lot of younger kids, so having these dogs is just going to be something to brighten up their day and hopefully take their mind off of what they’ve got going on,” said Austin Hyslip, Arvest Bank.

Sassy and J.J. will continue their training and officially become school therapy dogs in the spring.

Kirsty jones suggests checking out the dogs’ Instagram account to follow their journey @Sassy.And.JJ.

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Jasper Co. 4-H youth needs, Military Care Packages

JASPER COUNTY, Mo. — An area youth organization needs your help to brighten the day for a service man or woman stationed far from home. The Jasper County 4-H Club received a $1,500 grant from the state 4-H office recently and will put that money towards a project to send care packages to soldiers overseas.

The group plans on sending the items around the anniversary of 9/11 this fall.

“That grant money is really going to go towards helping us pay the shipping costs. Items that the kids are looking to collect include things like lip balm, reading materials, decks of playing cards, beef jerky, things like that, things that remind you of home,” said Tianna Fisher, Pleasant Valley Pioneers 4-H Club Leader.

The group hopes to send as many as 50 packages to soldiers in Guam, Japan, Germany, and the Middle East.

If you’d like to know where the boxes are located so you can drop off items you can follow this link here.

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Mo. voters reminded of redistricting changes ahead of Primaries

CARTHAGE, Mo. — Absentee voting in Jasper County has seen a significant increase over the past week.

Jasper County Clerk Charlie Davis says they’re now on track to either match or exceed the number of early ballots from both 2020 and 2018.

Something to keep in mind for voters ahead of the August 2nd Primary: Some district maps have changed. The State of Missouri was statutorily required to redistrict after the census. So, while polling places may not have changed for some voters — their State Representatives have.

“And that’s exactly what is gonna happen. People in certain areas, primarily on the outer sides of Joplin, Carthage, Oronogo, Webb City, Carl Junction, that would’ve changed quite a bit over the last 10 years, so because of redistricting there may be some people that are in new house districts than they were during the last election cycle,” said Davis.

The polls are open tomorrow in Missouri from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m.

You can search online for your specific polling place and specific district information by following this link here.

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New car wash marks Webb City opening with donation to BBBS

WEBB CITY, Mo. — We told you earlier this week about the excitement in Webb City surrounding new businesses coming to town.

The latest addition was celebrated today with a ribbon-cutting ceremony at Zips Car Wash.

It’s located in the 1300 block of South Madison Street and officially opened for business Thursday morning. Company officials say this location, along with its technology, makes it the first of its kind in the nation.

They also took the time to present Big Brothers, Big Sisters with a check for $500.

“We’re coming into this community. It’s a wonderful community, and we want to come in in a big way, both this beautiful asset I’ve got behind me, but we also want to support the community. We want to be a good, responsible, and contributing member of the community,” said Jim Forson, Zip’s Chief Financial Officer.

“I love the location, I love the prototype, and I love the fact that over the first several days that we’ve been testing the tunnel out and ensuring the proper operation of the equipment, that we’re already seeing members sign up at an incredible rate,” said Michael Corey, Zips Chief Development Officer.

Zips has another location not far from this one near 15th and Range Line in Joplin.

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Webb City continues construction on many new projects

WEBB CITY, Mo. — Webb City is continuing to see strong construction numbers through the first half of the year.

City leaders estimate there’s been more than $10 million in projects permitted during the first half of 2022.

That includes this build for the Flat Creek Grill just north of the Centennial Park roundabout.

Plans are also in the works for a Starbucks location, a new grocery store, and much more.

“Construction has been going really strong for about the last five years here in Webb City I think. We’ve really been attracting some really good development and we hope to continue doing that. You know, the economy right now, you know, nobody exactly knows which way it’s going to go, but right here in Webb City, it looks like it’s going to remain strong,” said Carl Francis, WC City Admin.

Plans are being developed for a golf driving range facility called Tee Time, also in Centennial Park.

Webb city saw 164 commercial permits approved from January through June.

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Vandalism strikes King Jack Park

WEBB CITY, Mo. — Vandalism is forcing city crews to spend extra time restoring the site of one of King Jack Park’s main attractions.

Workers discovered issues with the trolley line last week with spikes and plates removed from the tracks.

They believe someone tampered with the section near the praying hands around the 4th of July. It’s not the first time this happened.

While the damage was minimal this time, it could have caused serious issues if the trolley had passed over without spotting the problem.

“You know it doesn’t take much for the trolley to derail if one of those spikes or plates moves at all. About an inch and a half is the only tolerance you have on that. So, you know, we keep a pretty close eye on it. We’ve had the trolley derail before,” said Carl Francis, WC City Admin.

Much more significant damage happened in a vandalism incident last summer forcing the city to spend $30,000 on repairs.

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Over 10,000 anticipated at annual Webb City festival

WEBB CITY, Mo. — Webb City’s annual premier festival kicks off this evening (7/8) with events and activities packed into two days of family-friendly fun.

It’s called the “Route 66 Cruise-A-Palooza” and takes place in Webb City’s King Jack Park on Friday, July 8th from 4:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m., and Saturday, July 9th from 10:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.

The 13th annual Route 66 Cruise-A-Palooza comes to a close tomorrow night (7/9) with a professional fireworks show, scheduled for 10:00 p.m.

In the video below, Webb City Community Development Director, Erin Turner, describes all the events taking place at this year’s festival.

VIDEO: Events Taking Place At The 2022 Route 66 Cruise-A-Palooza

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“I think this year is going to be our biggest Cruise-A-Palooza yet. We have over 70 vendors. Half are already here. We’ve got the rest coming tomorrow morning, which the festival begins at 10:00 a.m. tomorrow. We’ve got Goonies (playing) in the park tonight, which is sponsored by the Route 66 Movie Theater. On stage we have live entertainment all day tomorrow. More than 15 food trucks. We’ve got the Tulsa Wind Riders and other kites that are going to be here and so when people are driving down (highway) 171, they’ll see the sky filled with kites. We’ve got several companies that have large machinery and large vehicles that kids can come and check out. We also have a petting zoo. Tomorrow, Cycle Connection is going to have a fundraiser ride for the Humane Society. So around noon tomorrow, 100 motorcycles will be rolling in, but the Car Cruise is really kind of was is the basis for the event, and we will have cars coming in starting to park at 10 a.m., with awards at 6:00 p.m. One of the most fun, exciting new additions this year is that Henkle’s Ace Hardware is having their Carnivore State Cook-off. It’s a sanctioned state cook off, where we have nearly 30 chefs that are going to be coming in and cooking steak. They’ll get to pick their cut of meat and then they’ve got a big group of judges that have already been chosen, so the smell of steak will fill the air tomorrow… so, there’s just a little bit of something for everyone, and a lot of stuff for the kids too,” explained Erin Turner, Community Development Director for Webb City.