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Removing debris from the May 22, 2011 tornado took a toll on roads in Duquesne.  This afternoon (5/22), Missouri Governor Jay Nixon announced Duquesne would receive a two million dollar grant to repair the most heavily damaged roads.

"This community got hit hard back then, and then as the debris was moved out, it damaged dramatically some of these streets.  Those were not things that FEMA would cover or that normal kind of programs would cover, so we put together Community Development Block Grant monies to make sure we get these streets not only back to normal, but better than they were before."

Duquesne Mayor Lisa Daugherty tells News Talk KZRG they will begin taking bids in June and July and hope to have the repairs start later this summer.

Nixon also used the occasion of the fourth anniversary of the 2011 tornado to comment on Joplin's progress in rebuilding.  "It's important to remember that we have rebuilt parks and schools, provided loans for homes and business owners to help get them back on their feet, rebuilt roads, sewers, sidewalks and other critical infrastructure, planted thousands of native trees, relocated playgrounds and a public library, helped hospitals and clinics get back to full strength to serve the physical and emotional needs of this community."

161 people died and a third of Joplin was destroyed in the EF-5 tornado that hit on May 22, 2011.
A police officer who died while assisting the May 2011 Joplin tornado is being honored.  Officer Jeff Taylor was struck by lightning on May 23, 2011 and died June 3rd.  Les Kerr with the Missouri Law Enforcement Funeral Assistance Team tells News Talk KZRG they will dedicate a response trailer in Taylor's name.

"We have recently acquired and stocked a response trailer, a funeral response trailer for law enforcement.  Basically it carries everything that we would need to assist an agency in putting on a line of duty death funeral."

Taylor was based in Riverside, Missouri when he died. That's where the dedication will take place Saturday morning (5/23).
The Oklahoma Legislature has adjourned the 2015 legislative session one week earlier than is required.

The presiding officer of the Senate dropped the gavel shortly after 3 p.m. Friday (5/22) and two hours later the House also adjourned sine die, a Latin phrase that literally means ``without day.''

The Oklahoma Legislature is constitutionally required to adjourn by the last Friday in May, but lawmakers rushed to complete their work this week to finish before the Memorial Day weekend.

The Senate gave final approval on Friday to a $7.1 billion budget, while the House approved a $25 million bond proposal to fund a museum of popular culture in Tulsa. Both proposals now head to Governor Mary Fallin, who is expected to sign them.

In celebration of Emergency Medical Services Week, Freeman Health System's Emergency Department held a cookout for their EMS personnel Friday. Director of Emergency and Trauma Services, Robert Denton tells News Talk KZRG the EMTs do a lot more than you could ever imagine.

 

"Often times people take the work they do for granted, and it's not always recognized.
It was four years ago today that an EF-5 tornado tore through Joplin, destroying hundreds of buildings and killing 161 people. Missouri Congressman Billy Long tells News Talk KZRG the storm changed his perspective of public officials:

 

"I always looked on and thought 'well, the Governor, President, Senator and Congressman rush in for photo ops,' and I didn't think the
The summer travel season starts Friday (5/22).  Memorial Day weekend means plenty of vehicles on the road and with that, the possibility of more accidents.  Sergeant Jason Pace with the Missouri State Highway Patrol tells News Talk KZRG how you can stay safe on the road.

"We are first off, asking motorists just to obey the speed limit.  Start that trip early and don't be in a rush.  Secondly, pay attention to the job of driving and eliminate those distractions.  We know that inattention continues to be the leading cause of all traffic crashes in the state of Missouri."

Pace says there will be extra troopers on major roadways throughout the Memorial Day weekend.  "The Patrol will be participating in Operation Care, which is a combined accident reduction effort, during this holiday weekend. That means that every available officer will be out there on Missouri roadways to provide assistance and enforcement."

Pace says the Highway Patrol will also have extra officers on Missouri waterways, as well.
Neosho firefighters raised more than $8700 last weekend for Children's Miracle Network Hospitals.  From May 15th through the 17th, firefighters stood at the intersection of HIghways 60 and 59 and asked people to put donations into a firefighter's boot.  Mari Mallory with the Neosho Fire Department tells News Talk KZRG why they support Children's Miracle Network Hospitals.

"I think almost anybody knows of somebody that has been helped by the Children's Miracle Network because they have such a wide variety of ways that they help children and their families."

The boot block is a tradition for the Neosho Fire Department.
Republican leaders in the GOP-dominated Kansas Senate have cancelled a debate over raising taxes to close a state budget shortfall.

Senate Majority Leader Terry Bruce confirmed the decision shortly before the debate was to begin Thursday (5/21).  He and other top Republicans said they did not expected any bill to pass Thursday.

But Bruce said GOP leaders were canceling the debate because proposed amendments to the bill weren't ready.

The bill would increase the state's sales, cigarette and gasoline taxes to help fill a projected $406 million deficit for the fiscal year beginning July 1.

The measure also would suspend an income tax exemption for more than 330,000 business owners and farmers for two years. The exemption would be replaced with a less lucrative tax credit against businesses' payrolls.
A Republican candidate for Missouri Secretary of State is pushing an initiative petition that would allow the Legislature to require voters to present photo identification at the polls. St. Louis attorney Jay Ashcroft filed a proposed constitutional amendment with the secretary of state's office to permit voter photo ID requirements.
The City of Granby has agreed to a settlement with the Environmental Protection Agency that gives the City three years to correct violations at its wastewater treatment facility.  An inspection in the fall of 2014 found Granby had failed to properly operate and maintain its facilities and had unauthorized discharges from its system. Granby has until October 31st to tell the EPA what actions it will take to comply with the Clean Water Act and when it will take those actions.
Missouri Governor Jay Nixon will mark the fourth anniversary of a deadly tornado by visiting Jasper County Friday (5/22). The Governor and Missouri Public Safety Director Lane Roberts will make an announcement at Duquesne City Hall about continued state support for recovery efforts. News Talk KZRG will be there and have full coverage for you afterwards.
A woman from South Dakota is dead after her car ran off I-49 early Thursday morning (5/21).  The Missouri State Highway Patrol says 55-year-old Leanne Ewers was southbound on I-49, three miles south of Joplin, around 1am when her car ran off the right side of the freeway and struck a rock cliff embankment.  Ewers was pronounced dead at the scene.