Local Election Ballots
Linked below are the ballots for area counties that we've received. More ballots will be added as we receive them.
Man Killed in Home Invasion
The McDonald County Sheriff's Office is investigating a home invasion that left one person dead. Sheriff Michael Hall tells News Talk KZRG three people broke into a home at 222 Donnely Lane around 9 last night, tying up a woman and young male, then shooting and killing a 35-year-old man. It's currently unknown if anything was taken from the home, and the victims' names have not
Adjusting Policy On Teaching Religion
The Joplin School Board has updated its policy on teaching against religion..but there really won't be any change. The School District is conforming to a new law that passed in the Missouri Legislature this year. Jason Cravens, the District's executive director for secondary education, tells News Talk KZRG about that law.
"It just reaffirms that schools have to follow the Establishment Clause that said books of a religious nature may be used in the classroom as part of instruction as long as such books are not used in a manner that violates the Establishment Clause to the US Constitution."
The policy was updated upon the recommendation of the Missouri School Board Association.
New Weather Words
The Storm Prediction Center has two new threat levels for its weather outlooks, but the weather is too nice for anyone to really notice.
Effective Wednesday, the center can say if days with a ``slight risk'' of severe weather should instead be labeled ``enhanced'' or ``marginal.'' The risk categories of ``high'' and ``moderate'' remain.
Forecasters made the change after finding that some days with a slight risk of tornadoes, hail or high winds ended up with fairly nasty storms.
No severe storms are predicted in the country for at least the next week.
The center traditionally targeted local forecasters with advisories known as ``convective outlooks,'' but now they can be found online. The system now has five levels like scales for tornado damage and hurricane strength.
This past Sunday (Oct. 19), President Obama made headlines for a campaign appearance in Maryland. Not for anything he said, but the fact that people walked out on him. News Talk KZRG asked Missouri Southern assistant political science professor Dr. William Delehanty if this is a bad sign for Democrats in the upcoming November elections.
"The fact that the President is in that sense, less in tune with the public suggests that, yes, the President could be a harm to Democrats seeking election in November."
Delehanty says Sunday's walkout could be a sign of something else. "It is unprecedented in terms of people being willing to get up and leave. But it is an indication that the public maybe generally is increasingly frustrated with the President."
Delehanty says that frustration may be with the President's policies or the President personally.
Redings Mill Fire Dept. Gets CPR Training Aid
The Redings Mill Fire Department is getting a piece of equipment that can help save lives. Fire Chief Steve Coats tells News Talk KZRG it's a CPR unit.
"The unit consists of a mannequin where people can get hands-on training...and also consists of a simulated AED, or Automated External Defibrillator, which is used to re-shock the heart once it stops."
Coats says his firefighters will be able to use the new unit to give CPR training to businesses and community groups. Best of all, the CPR unit is free to the Department. It came through a grant from the National Automobile Dealers Charitable Foundation.
Is Missouri Doing Enough To Stop Ebola?
Some Missouri lawmakers are concerned the state isn't doing enough to prevent an Ebola outbreak.
At a public forum with state health officials Wednesday, Oct. 22, Republican senators questioned whether emergency responders have the training and resources to handle the deadly virus.
Republican Senators Kurt Schaefer of Columbia and Rob Schaaf of St. Joseph also say they want the governor to issue a travel ban against those who have been to countries with Ebola outbreaks.
There are no cases of Ebola in Missouri, and the state health department director says it's difficult to contract the virus except through close contact with bodily fluids.
Department of Health and Senior Services Director Gail Vasterling says regional training is planned to teach health care workers how to put on protective gear and follow recommended protocols.
Jury Duty Scam
Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt has issued a scam warning after several residents reported receiving phone calls from someone claiming to be from a sheriff's office giving notice that the citizen failed to appear for jury duty and now must pay a fine or be arrested.
Pruitt says neither the court nor law enforcement will ever call a resident regarding jury duty and adds that jury duty notices are sent by the court clerk. Pruitt says those notices will always be sent to potential jurors by mail.
The attorney general says residents should contact his office if they feel they've been a victim of a scam or if they have been contacted through a suspicious phone call, email or letter.
Former Governor Graves Endorses Roberts
Former Kansas Governor Bill Graves has endorsed U.S. Senator Pat Roberts and is recording a statewide radio ad for the three-term Republican incumbent in his tough re-election race.
The Roberts campaign released a letter Wednesday, Oct. 22 from Graves calling Roberts a tested leader and reasonable problem-solver.
Roberts is in a tight race with independent candidate and Olathe businessman Greg Orman. The challenger is running as a centrist who can break gridlock in Washington.
Graves is a GOP moderate who served as governor from 1995 through 2002 and often clashed with GOP conservatives. He is president of the American Trucking Associations.
Graves' actions follow Orman's endorsement by a group of former moderate GOP state legislators.
Roberts campaign manager Corry Bliss said the Graves radio ad should be running by Friday.
Counterfeit World Series Tickets & Merchandise
Federal agents have seized phony World Series tickets worth tens of thousands of dollars, along with counterfeit Royals panties and other merchandise.
Before the first game of the series between the Kansas City Royals and San Francisco Giants on Tuesday, agents for Homeland Security nabbed 126 counterfeit game tickets. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement said in a news release that the tickets had a $43,000 street value.
Three people from New York and one from Atlanta are charged in Johnson County, Kansas, with selling fake tickets. Authorities are urging fans who bought bogus tickets to contact police.
Other counterfeit items that have been seized include T-shirts, baseball caps, cellphone cases, sweatshirts, and even baby clothes. One person suspected of selling counterfeit T-shirts is facing prosecution in Missouri's Platte County.
Local Chaplain Recognized by Hospice Compassus
During National Pastoral Care Week, Hospice Compassus is recognizing Chaplain Danny Mullin for his exceptional spiritual care and guidance for his hospice patients and families. Mullin tells News Talk KZRG he recognized it was his life's calling after witnessing the death of his grandmother as a teenager. He says serving as a spiritual support in the time of death is humbling.
Goals For JHS Test Scores
It's been said that successful people set goals. Joplin High Principal Dr. Kerry Sachetta told the Joplin School Board at Tuesday's regular meeting that he wants to raise students' test scores in English to 80 percent by 2019--they're currently at 62.7 percent. Likewise, he wants higher math and science scores.
"We set some lofty goals, but they're all attainable goals in the next four or five years that we think we can reach. Several of those, we can make pretty good progress in the next year or so. And that's our aim right now."
Sachetta tells News Talk KZRG teachers have been targeting students who are struggling in those subjects and finding ways to get them extra help.