MJ will be broadcasting live from 6p-8p September 26th at the Trailer Park Bar N' Grill inside BUFFALO RUN CASINO. He'll tell you how to get your tickets to all the shows at Buffalo Run and how to sign up for $25 - Slot Tournaments.

Listen to Win Tickets to these Shows at Buffalo Run!

October 25th - Shooter Jennings & Waylon's Original Band
October 31st - Jason Boland and The Stragglers
November 8th - Oakridge Boys
November 22nd - Ronnie Milsap
December 4th - Asleep At The Wheel

Local News

Carthage Wins Innovation Award

The City of Carthage was won an innovation award from the Missouri Municipal League.  It's for the Police Department's team policing project.  Carthage Police Chief Greg Dagnan tells News Talk KZRG how it works.

"We pick a place in town that has a higher than average calls for service....we assign an officer permanently to that area.  Typically, in the past, it's around 200 houses.  It starts at ground level.  Knock on the door, give the card to some folks, 'I'm Officer Smith, here's my cell phone, and what crime problems do you have and what can we do to help you?'  So then that officer solves a range of problems."

Those problems range from drug activity to property crime.  Dagnan says team policing was started, calls for service have dropped 30 percent.


Jasper School Board Opposes Amendment 3

The Jasper School District has passed a resolution officially opposing Amendment 3 that's on the Missouri ballot in November. If passed, Amendment 3 would put in teacher performance evaluations that would be used to determine if a teacher is fired, retained or promoted. Jasper Superintendent Rick Stark tells News Talk KZRG why the Jasper School Board passed the resolution.

"The biggest thing was it was a loss of local control as far as school districts go.  They felt this was taking local school policy and putting in the hands of Jefferson City politicians...and they didn't think that was a good idea."

Jasper joins Carthage as area school districts that have passed resolutions opposing Amendment 3.

70 Month Sentence For Embezzling From Joplin Company

A Neosho man is going to prison for embezzling more than $4.9 million from his employer and spending the money on gambling, a tractor and other personal expenses. 61-year-old David VanWinkle, of Neosho, pleaded guilty in February to multiple charges in the theft from Frontier Leasing of Joplin, where he worked as the comptroller. The U.S. Attorney's office says VanWinkle was sentenced Friday to five years and 10 months in federal prison without parole. He was also ordered to forfeit the $4.9 million, the tractor and other items to the government.

Quilt Of Valor

"This was my first sewing project.  I have never sewed anything before."

What Joplin High Freshman Emma Willerton sewed was a quilt that was presented to Tech Sergeant Derik Campbell before Friday's Joplin/West Plains football game.  Willerton tells News Talk KZRG how she got started on the quilt.

"My mother was watching a quilts program and Quilts of Valor came on and I thought 'Ooh, what's this?' and she said 'This would be a good (Girl Scout) Silver project for you.' and I thought, 'Yeah, it would be.  I have to do this for Derik.'"

Campbell is a long-time family friend.  He gives News Talk KZRG his reaction to receiving the quilt.  "It's a great honor.  I do what I do because of girls like her (Emma) and people like her."

You can see photos of Emma presenting the quilt in the photo gallery at News Talk KZRG dot com.

Community Foundation Partners with Salvation Army

The Salvation Army Midland Division announced a new partnership with the Community Foundation of Southwest Missouri Friday by providing financial support for tornado recovery projects. Community Foundation of Southwest Missouri Board President Stephanie Howard says they were honored to be asked to partner with them.

"We were very honored that they trusted us with their recovery money.

Little Blue Bookshelf Now In Pittsburg

The Little Blue Bookshelves have spread from Joplin to Pittsburg. Leslie Harris of the United Way of Southwest Missouri and Southeast Kansas tells News Talk KZRG where the Bookshelves are in Pittsburg.

"So we placed the bookshelves in areas where children might be under a stressful situation, such as the hospital, Children's Advocacy Center and Communtiy Health Clinic (for dental center),  Safe House Crisis Center and Wesley House."

The Little Blue Bookshelf project was started earlier this year in Joplin. Harris says there are now more than 20 of them in the Joplin area.  If you'd like to help with the Little Blue Bookshelf, call the United Way at 417-624-0153.

Downtown Gateway Mural

A new mural at the north end of downtown Joplin was dedicated Thursday. It's called "Downtown Gateway Mural" and shows downtown Joplin through images from the 1920s to the present. Missouri Southern associate professor of art Burt Bucher tells News Talk KZRG he wanted to showcase Joplin's past.

"We're proud of the past in Joplin, obviously we've got a rich past.  But we want to commemorate the future as well and saying, 'Yeah, it's a great past we have, but look how bright and colorful our future is.'"

Missouri Southern art students and volunteers painted the mural.

Trisha Patton, executive director of the Downtown Joplin Alliance, tells News Talk KZRG it was important to have something for visitors entering Joplin on the north side.  "If you come in from the north side of downtown, there's really no preparation that you're about to enter downtown.  So we wanted to beautify that urban corridor on the north side of downtown and give people a gateway, letting them know that they're about to enter downtown."

Patton says the Downtown Gateway Mural is the ninth mural put up in downtown Joplin in the last two and a half years.

Joplin Weather Transmitter Is On The Air

The City of Joplin's new weather radio transmitter is on the air. Joplin Emergency Management Director Keith Stammer tells News Talk KZRG about the benefits of the new station.

"What this involves is, the National Weather Service provides a feed from Springfield to Joplin.  And then the equipment on top of City Hall will then re-transmit that information out to approximately a 40 mile radius."

Stammer explains how to get the new station on your weather radio.  "The only thing that really needs to change on an individual's weather radio is to move from channel 3 to channel 7, which is 162.550."

Stammer says the existing weather radio signals coming from Neosho and Avilla will remain on the air.  There's also more information here:

3 Arrested For Stealing Gorillas In Pittsburg

Pittsburg Police have arrested three men for stealing gorillas. Not live ones...these gorillas are made of concrete and were stolen Wednesday night from a store on South Broadway. Around 2:40am Thursday, a Pittsburg Police officer saw a truck travelling at a high rate of speed in an alley. The vehicle was stopped and seven small concrete gorillas were found. Three men from Oklahoma--22-year-old Joshua Foster, 27-year-old Zachary Barnett and 22-year-old Ashton Cole--were arrested for burglary, theft and criminal damage to property.

Parsons Students Will Be Checked For Alcohol At Dances

Students in Parsons will soon be required to undergo alcohol breath tests before they're allowed into school dances. The tests will be administered to all students and their guests, even if they're not suspected of drinking. Anyone refusing the test will be barred from the dance. Parsons superintendent Shelly Martin said the district has received two handheld blood-alcohol breath wands that will be used at the high school. Martin said the district may extend the policy to other activities in the future.

Nixon Establishes Office Of Community Engagement

Missouri Governor Jay Nixon has created a new government agency to help low-income and minority families. Nixon signed an executive order Thursday creating the Office of Community Engagement. The order follows the fatal shooting of Michael Brown by a white police officer on August 9th in Ferguson and the sometimes violent protests that followed. Former state Senator Maida Coleman and former St. Louis City Municipal Judge Marvin Teer will lead the office in talks with the community about education, poverty and racial issues.

Taylor's Name Removed From KS Senate Ballot

The Kansas Supreme Court has ordered the state to remove U.S. Senate Democratic nominee Chad Taylor's name from the ballot, in a ruling that could influence the national fight for control of the Senate.

The court's decision Thursday leaves Democrats without a nominee, potentially making it easier for independent candidate Greg Orman to defeat three-term Republican incumbent Sen. Pat Roberts. The GOP has counted on Roberts winning re-election on Nov. 4 as they seek to recapture a Senate majority.

Taylor withdrew from the race to avoid a split of anti-Roberts votes. But Republican Secretary of State Kris Kobach, who backs Roberts, declared that Taylor didn't fully comply with a state election law in submitting his letter of withdrawal.

Lee Brice's I Don't Dance Crowns Country Albums Chart
Powered by the initial sale of 38,495 units, as calculated by Nielsen SoundScan, Lee Brice's I Don't Dance debuts at No. 1 this week on Billboard's country albums chart.
Jason Aldean Sounds Off on Nashville's "Me, Too" Mentality
Remember a couple of weeks ago when I wrote that Garth Brooks thought everyone was kind of copying Jason Aldean? As it turns out, Aldean thinks everyone's kind of copying Luke Bryan.
Lee Brice's Wife Doesn't Hold Back Her Opinions
What's that old adage, "Behind every good man is a great woman"?
Will The Best of Me Be the Best of Country?
Usually when a movie based on a Nicholas Sparks book is coming out, I go on opening night.
2014 NSAI Song Contest Searches for Next Great Songwriter
Amateur songwriters, listen up!
Kacey Musgraves Gears Up for Next Album
I'm still not quite done obsessing over Kacey Musgraves' debut album. I mean, is anyone?
2014 Americana Music Awards: The Performers
One thing that sets the Americana Awards apart from other shows of its kind is that the performances are really excellent -- and always live.
Another Perspective on Miranda Lambert's Tears
You can watch the video of Miranda Lambert singing to the little girl with cancer a hundred times and only see what the Texas audience saw on Saturday night (Sept. 13).
Blake Shelton Calls Cher "Music Royalty"
One time -- and this was before Luke Bryan took over co-hosting duties -- when Blake Shelton was hosting the ACM Awards with Reba McEntire, Cher introduced the two hosts to the audience. And it was a moment Shelton says he will never forget.
Lee Brice on Top of the World With "I Don't Dance"
The statistics were all running Lee Brice's way Wednesday (Sept. 17) as he stood onstage at Nashville's Music City Tippler bar with co-writers Dallas Davidson and Rob Hatch to celebrate the success of his latest hit, "I Don't Dance."
I Survived Sam Hunt's House Party
I love Sam Hunt. If you've followed any of my previous blogs, you already knew that.
John Legend, Lee Ann Womack Tape CMT Crossroads
John Legend and Lee Ann Womack traded signature songs as well as new material in Franklin, Tennessee, on Wednesday night (Sept. 17) for the latest episode of CMT Crossroads.
Keith Urban Mourns, Adam Lambert Fills In
Obviously, this is a very rough week for Keith Urban.
2014 Americana Music Awards: The Winners
Jason Isbell was the night's top winner at the 13th annual Americana Music Awards, held Wednesday night (Sept. 17) at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville.
Grand Ole Opry Star George Hamilton IV Dies at Age 77
Grand Ole Opry star George Hamilton IV, who soared to pop stardom in 1956 via "A Rose and a Baby Ruth," died Wednesday (Sept. 17) at a Nashville hospital at age 77.