Bowling for Kids' Sake is Saturday, March 8th at Carl Richard's 4th Street Bowl! Jeff Coffey's All Seasons Landscaping and The Rock Yard are sponsoring the KIX team! Click here to organize your team and help benefit Big Brothers Big Sisters!
Information about severe weather comes several different ways: through storm sirens, broadcast reports, NOAA weather radios, and even social media. Newton County Emergency Management Director Gary Roark tells News Talk KZRG social media is an asset during severe weather.
"I think it's probably a good idea to the extent that it really works. The biggest problem in getting warnings out to the public is the immediacy of it, getting it out in a timely manner."
Roark adds that if someone posts information that's incorrect, it can cause major problems. So you should rely on official sources for storm watches and warnings. "It's like anything else. Sometimes if someone doesn't have the correct information and they publish something based on just a portion of the real information, it can cause problems."
Roark also reminds us social media played a key role in Joplin in the days following the May 2011 tornado.
The Kansas Supreme Court will release its ruling on a state school finance lawsuit Friday, ending months of speculation about whether the state has to increase spending for public schools. The lawsuit was filed in 2010 by attorneys representing four school districts and parents. They alleged that the state reneged on promises made in 2006 to provide a certain level of funding to Kansas public schools. Those promises were made in a settlement of a lawsuit filed against the state in 1999.
The Oklahoma Department of Health says two more people have died from the flu during the past week, raising the total for the flu season to a record 53. The previous record of 46 flu-related deaths in 2009, the year Oklahoma health officials began tracking the statistic, was broken two weeks ago. Just one of this season's flu deaths has been in northeast Oklahoma, that was in Craig County.
"In the event that Loraine finds that the cost of the investigation will exceed the amounts listed herein, he shall first request authority from the Council of the City of Joplin." That's the language from the contract between investigator Tom Loraine and the Joplin City Council for an investigation that was supposed to cost $45,000 but ended up costing $82,000. The Council
Two years ago, the Islamic Society of Joplin's mosque was destroyed in a fire that was intentionally set. A new mosque is under construction, but they need donations to pay for the work. Islamic Society vice president Sahar El Sayed tells News Talk KZRG how much they still need: "Right now we are short $300,000, maybe a little bit more."
El Sayed says the new mosque will be more than just a place to worship. "It will have a community center with it as well, that will have a library and classrooms that can be used to teach languages, cooking classes, other activities."
You can mail a donation to the Commerce Bank at 211 Main Street, Joplin, MO 64801, or to the Islamic Society of Joplin, PO Box 3164, Joplin, MO 64803. Checks should be payable to the Islamic Society of Joplin.
It's not just stadiums and buildings at universities that can be named after you or your business in exchange for a generous donation. The Carthage School District's new early childhood center will be named after a donor. Carthage Superintendent Dr. Blaine Henningsen explains.
"We have just reached an agreement with one our local patrons, Ruth Kolpin Rubison, has agreed to contribute $100,000 to this project. So we're very excited and very appreciative of her support. This past August, our school board passed a school board policy that allows us to partner with individuals and foundations and trusts and so on for the naming rights for some of our facilities."
It's been a long cold winter. And your energy bills are probably higher than usual. News Talk KZRG asked Julie Maus of Empire District Electric if there's been a greater demand for their energy assistance programs.
"People have been using a lot of energy, so we've had an increase in the inquiries from customers about why their bill is so high, what they can do to receive assistance."
Maus said the actual count on people signed up is monitored through the Economic Security Corporation. You can find information on Empire's energy assistance program through these links:
Mercy Hospital Joplin is excited to announce they're opening their very first state-of-the-art NICU, an intensive care unit for sick and premature babies. They'll have 10 rooms and are expecting to see anywhere from 200-250 patients a year. Mercy's Birthing Center Manager Kathy Cowley tells News Talk KZRG how this NICU is different from most.
Joplin City Councilwoman Trisha Raney told the KZRG Morning Newswatch Wednesday that was her first reaction to holding an investigation into allegations of wrongdoing against two City Council members. That investigation ended with the firing of City Manager Mark Rohr.
"Essentially we were paying $45,000 to show that rumors that were being spread were not true."
Raney adds that while she can't speak for the whole Council, she's fine with releasing the full itemized bill of the investigation to the public... as long as it doesn't violate confidentiality agreements. Investigator Tom Loraine's bill came to almost $82,000. She adds she had problems with the difference between the amount on Loraine's bill and his original fee.
"I thought we capped him. Maybe it wasn't as clear as we thought it was. And in all of the records we got from the city attorney last week, it looked like that wasn't clear. It wasn't completely clear whether he had authority to go on or not."
Still, Raney voted to pay Tom Loraine's bill, telling us she was worried about a possible legal fight with Loraine over the situation that could've ended up costing much more.
A Delaware County murder case won't go to trial. District Attorney Eddie Wyant has dropped charges against 47-year-old John Lee Weeks of Gentry, Arkansas. In May 2011, Weeks was charged with first degree murder in the 1996 death of Barbara Ann Willard of Jay. Her vehicle was found in a Delaware County ravine, but her body has never been found. Wyant tells News Talk KZRG new evidence is still being found in the case, and can't comment since it's an ongoing investigation. Weeks is currently serving a 50 year sentence in Kansas for kidnapping, rape and sexual assault.
Monday night the Joplin City Council voted to pay investigator Tom Loraine, even though his bill was well over the $45,000 in his contract. The bill came to almost $82,000. The Council was split, 5-4, on paying the bill. Councilman Mike Woolston gives News Talk KZRG his reaction to the Council vote.
"Of course, I'm disappointed. From my reading of our contract with him, it specifically states and I think it is pretty clear to a layperson, he is to come back to Council if the cost is over $45,000. He did not do that."
Woolston says Loraine claims to have received permission from City Attorney Brian Head to shift his investigation toward then-city manager Mark Rohr. Woolston also says the public has a right to see the itemized bill from Loraine. "I think the public has the right to see it. I mean, it's their money. And I don't see that it's any harm to the City if the City releases that, but at this point it has not been released."
Joplin City Attorney Brian Head tells News Talk KZRG the itemized portion of the bill is considered to be covered by attorney-client privilege.
In his 25th and final season as Missouri Southern men's basketball coach, Robert Corn has been named MIAA Coach of the Year. Corn led the Lions to a third place finish in the MIAA, with a 15-4 record in league play, 21-5 overall.
Still on the subject of honors, Missouri Southern's Marquis Addison was named to the MIAA All-Conference first team after averaging 16.7 points and 4.0 rebounds a game. It's the third time Addison's earned All-MIAA honors.
The Lions' Jordan Talbert and Slim Magee were both named to the MIAA All-Defensive team. Talbert, a senior, is also on the All-Conference third team. Magee, also a senior, received Honorable Mention.
Also, Pittsburg State's Devon Branch was named to the All-Conference third team.
CMT's Next Women of Country Adds Five Artists
Lindsay Ell, Lucy Hale, Nikki Lane, Angaleena Presley and Natalie Stovall & the Drive are the latest artists to join to join CMT's Next Women of Country, an initiative recognizing women who are making a major impact on country music.
ACM Awards Reveal Eight Performers
Jason Aldean, Luke Bryan, Florida Georgia Line, Miranda Lambert, Blake Shelton, George Strait, The Band Perry and Keith Urban are the first artists confirmed to perform at this year's ACM Awards in Las Vegas.
Rascal Flatts: From Hell to "Heaven"
When the year 2000 rolled around, I'd never heard of Rascal Flatts. But that all changed -- for me, the rookie country trio and the rest of the world -- the minute country radio started spinning "Prayin' for Daylight," their debut single.
How Dierks Bentley Practices to Be the Best Dad
Dierks Bentley has been on the road nonstop for the past few weeks promoting his new album Riser. When he was in Chicago on Thursday (Feb. 27), I asked him what kind of dad he was when he wasn't on the road.
Exclusive: Baby Antebellum's First Interview
This was a first. In all my years of interviewing country celebs, I've never held one in my arms, squished their pudgy little elbows and kissed their sweet heads. But, then, Baby Antebellum came along.