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Local News

Local Election Ballots

Linked below are the ballots for area counties that we've received. More ballots will be added as we receive them.

Cherokee County

Lawrence County

McDonald County

Newton County

Joplin City Mgr. Candidate Sam Anselm

Joplin Assistant City Manager Sam Anselm has been the Interim City Manager since Mark Rohr was dismissed earlier this year. Anselm is also one of three finalists for the job on a permanent basis. He tells News Talk KZRG what his priorities for Joplin would be if he was hired as city manager.

"First and foremost is probably the recovery.  We still have a lot of recovery work to do.  We've allocated about $30 million of the $158-160 million or so in disaster funding that we've received.  So there's still a long way to go there."

Anselm tells News Talk KZRG if chosen city manager, he wouldn't micromanage city staff.  "I'm not an expert in finance; I'm not an expert in planning; I'm certainly not an expert in infrastructure.  But we have the people in those departments who are and we need to rely on their wisdom and their recommendations."Anselm says the city staff bonded following the May 2011 tornado and he saw then how good the staff is.

Anselm, Stephen Rasmussen of Jefferson City and Dean Kruithof of Bentonville, Arkansas are the three finalists for the Joplin City Manager job. The City Council will interview Anselm and Rasmussen Saturday, Oct. 25 in a closed session; Kruithof will be interviewed next week.

Joplin City Mgr. Candidate Stephen Rasmussen

One of the finalists for the Joplin City Manager job would bring a military background. Stephen Rasmussen was base commander at Fort Campbell, Kentucky, before becoming city manager in Ottumwa, Iowa and Jefferson City. Rasmussen tells News Talk KZRG how a base commander and city manager are alike.

"You have a work force of the same thing that you have in city government. You have police, fire, parks, public works. We had a huge public works department, about 900 people, because we took care of all the material on the installation."Rasmussen says one difference is in the Army, he reported to one three-star general; with the City of Joplin, he would report to nine three-star generals: the mayor and city council.

News Talk KZRG asked Rasmussen if rebuilding Joplin after the May 2011 tornado attracted him to the job.  "The challenges that exist after the tornado are some that interest me a great deal.  I would like to roll up my sleeves and go to work on that and help the city and the city council and the residents get things back to normal."

Rasmussen, Dean Kruithof of Bentonville, Arkansas and Joplin interim city manager Sam Anselm are the three finalists for the position.

OK Ten Commandments Monument Destroyed

Federal authorities have detained a man who they say admitted to driving a car into a disputed Ten Commandments monument outside the Oklahoma Capitol building, smashing it to pieces.

U.S. Secret Service agent David Allison says the man was detained Friday after he showed up at a federal building in Oklahoma City, rambling and making derogatory statements about the president.

Allison says the man admitted to destroying the monument and claimed Satan told him to do it.

The 6-foot-tall monument was erected in 2012 with the blessing of Oklahoma's conservative Legislature. The American Civil Liberties Union of Oklahoma has been suing to have it removed.

Other groups have asked to erect their own statues, including a satanic group that wants to put up a 7-foot-tall statue of Satan.


Bob Dole Coming To SE KS

Former U.S. Senator Bob Dole will be in southeast Kansas next week for the final leg of a statewide homecoming tour that began in April. On Wednesday, Dole is to visit Fort Scott, Pittsburg, Columbus and Oswego. He concludes the tour Thursday with stops in Fredonia, Chanute, Iola and Garnett. The visits are separate from campaign appearances Dole plans to make on behalf of Republican candidates next week.

3 Arrested In Pittsburg Drug Bust

A search of a Pittsburg home for drugs ended up with three people being arrested. Around 11am Friday, a warrant was served at a home on North Warren. Pittsburg Police investigators found marijuana and drug paraphernalia. 31-year-old Mark Porter of Pittsburg, 34-year-old Jimmy Eisenhour and 28-year-old Abigail Eisenhour, both from Scammon, were arrested for possessing marijuana and drug paraphernalia.

Oklahoma Man Gulity of Assault and Kidnapping

A 35-year-old Oklahoma man has been found guilty of two counts of kidnapping and two counts of first degree assault stemming from a December 26, 2011 incident. Pineville jurors quickly found Johnny Ray Davis guilty of beating up and forcing two women into his truck after luring them to a secluded road near the Petro truck stop to sell them meth. He then drove to them across state lines

Arrest Made in McDonald County Murder Investigation

An arrest has been made in connection with the murder of a McDonald County man. The Sheriff's Office says they arrested a man who barricaded himself in his trailer yesterday, but aren't saying who he is and haven't filed official charges yet. 35-year-old Rodney Frederick was shot and killed inside his home Wednesday night by three intruders; two other people inside the home had

Questions Surround Joplin School Board Policy

The Joplin School District is answering questions about their media policies after the School Board's attorney interrupted a KZRG interview Tuesday night. A KZRG staffer was prevented from interviewing Board Member Debbie Fort by the Board's Attorney; Afternoon Anchor Joe Lancello tells News Talk KZRG what happens:

"Debbie Fort had questions about principals & teachers taking time

Collecting Books For Little Blue Bookshelf

It might not be tax season, but the H & R Block in Webb City would like you to stop by Saturday. Crystal Endicott, manager of the Webb City H & R Block, tells News Talk KZRG why.

"We are doing a book collection for the Little Blue Bookshelf organization through the United Way.  We are asking everone to bring their gently used books so we can get them to the kids."

Endicott says there will also be children's activities.  "We are going to have a bounce house, and sell bracelets for the kids.  We're going to have some free Dominos Pizza, and snow cones and popcorn.  There are going to be hot dogs for sale for Archery Club; they're going to have a fundraiser out there."

It takes place Saturday from 10am to 2pm at H & R Block in Webb City at 1010 South Madison.

Mountain Lion In Labette County

Kansas wildlife officials have confirmed that a big cat photographed by a deer hunter's trail camera was a mountain lion.

The recent sighting occurred in Labette County. The Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism said Thursday that staff members visited the site last week and verified the photo's authenticity.

The agency says it's the 10th mountain lion verified in Kansas since 2007 and the first in nearly two years.

The Labette County hunter checked his camera and found a single image of a mountain lion walking down a trail, with its long tail prominently visible.

Most sightings in Kansas are confirmed with photos taken by motion-triggered cameras that deer hunters place near their stands. State biologists investigate each reported sighting.

KS Gay Marriage Hearing Canceled

An American Civil Liberties Union attorney says a federal judge in Kansas has canceled a hearing scheduled Friday, Oct. 24 in the group's lawsuit challenging the state's ban on gay marriage.

ACLU attorney Doug Bonney said U.S. District Court Judge Daniel Crabtree is considering whether to reschedule the oral arguments or decide the case based on the parties' written arguments.

Bonney said he told Crabtree during a 30-minute conference Thursday, Oct. 23 that the ACLU did not have time to review the state's written response to the lawsuit because it had just been filed.

The ACLU filed its lawsuit for two lesbian couples denied marriage licenses in Douglas and Sedgwick counties.

The couples sought the licenses after the U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear appeals from five other states seeking to preserve gay-marriage bans.
A Conversation With Ronnie Milsap
In addition to an exceptional career, Ronnie Milsap has had a particularly memorable year that will be highlighted when he's formally inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame during ceremonies Sunday night (Oct. 26) in Nashville.
Reba McEntire's Father Clarke Passes Away
Early Friday (Oct. 24) morning, Reba McEntire went on social media to share the sad news her father had passed away on Thursday night.
Kenny Chesney to Resume Touring in 2015
Kenny Chesney announced his return to touring during a Friday appearance (Oct. 24) on ABC's Good Morning America.
Dustin Lynch Takes a Beer to the Face
Who throws a can of beer at a country singer's face?
Miranda Lambert Gives Back to Furry Friends
Miranda Lambert may not have children of her own yet, but "fur babies" count for most of us, don't they?
Montgomery Gentry's Tragic Coincidence
Troy Gentry's wife Angie was just diagnosed with breast cancer.
How Lady A's Hillary Scott Works Her Curves
I will forever picture Lady Antebellum's Hillary Scott in her favorite dress and sky-high leather boots, throwing back a double shot of Crown.
Florida Georgia Line's Brian Kelley Wins
This was not an adversarial kind of Q&A. But when you put Florida Georgia Line's Brian Kelley and Tyler Hubbard in the same room and ask them both the same questions, one of them is bound to come out looking better.
Tips for Chris Young's Visit to Australia
From one tourist to another, I've got a few suggestions for one of Chris Young's big and exciting tour stops in the land Down Under.
Party Down South 2's Cast Revealed
CMT is introducing a new crew of guys and gals from the South who are ready to get their party on when Party Down South 2 premieres Nov. 20 at 9 p.m. ET/PT.
Angaleena Presley Is a Coal Miner's Daughter, Too
Angaleena Presley is the kind of person who will fix a dragging car muffler by tying it in place with a guitar string, then work the episode into a song.
The Mother of All Nashvilles
I was this close to wanting to nominate Rayna for mother of the year after all her heartfelt talks with her daughters on Wednesday's (Oct. 22) episode of Nashville.
Sara Evans Shares a Lesson
Sure, Sara Evans' new single "Put My Heart Down" has that infectious hook that gets in your head and makes you move, but it's more than just a catchy melody.
Little Big Town Toast a Slew of Career Milestones
Little Big Town have lots of reasons to raise a glass this week.
Brantley Gilbert Found Old Love Back Home
Last year, right around this time, I talked to Brantley Gilbert about his old loves.