Events/Promotions

RANDY AT CROWDER


Join Randy on Wednesday, August 20th, from 11a - 1p at Crowder College in Neosho at 601 Laclede for a welcome back lunch for students!

BRETT AT BUFFALO RUN CASINO


Join BRETT this Friday, August 22nd, from 6pm - 8pm. He will be giving you all the details on how you get your tickets to ALL the upcoming shows including RASCAL FLATTS!!

RANDY AT OUTDOOR ADDICTS


Join Randy on Saturday, August 23rd, from 12p - 2p at OUTDOOR ADDICTS! You can stop by and get registered to win VIP KIX PIT PASSES to see Rascal Flatts on August 29th. We'll draw winners from 12p - 1p and then draw for the GRAND PRIZE Ultimate Concert Experience Winner between 1p - 2p

(Remember: ALL VIP KIX PIT WINNERS MUST BE PRESENT TO QUALIFY!)

Listen to Win Tickets to these Shows at Buffalo Run!


Listen & WIN during the BUFFALO RUN CASINO DRIVE AT 5:
August 28th - Merle Haggard
August 29th - Rascal Flatts
September 11th - Mickey Gilley
October 25th - Shooter Jennings & Waylon's Original Band
November 8th - Oakridge Boys

Local News

Freeman NICU Turns 20


Freeman Health System is celebrating a birthday today. 20 years ago today, Freeman's Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, or NICU, opened. Freeman CEO Paula Baker tells News Talk KZRG the NICU was a major addition.

"20 years ago, premature or critically ill infants had to be sent outside this region.  That pulled the child and those parents away from the support system that they needed at this really critical time."

Baker says over 5700 babies have been cared for in the NICU over the last 20 years. Some of the Unit's "graduates" will be at Freeman today to honor the 20th anniversary.  "We're delighted that some of our former NICU patients will be with us to help us celebrate. It's so gratifying to see that they've grown into healthy young men and women.  Even though they got a really small start in life."

Freeman's NICU is the first and only unit of its kind in the Four States.

Newton County Shooting Update


Here's an update to a story News Talk KZRG has been following. Newton County Sheriff Ken Copeland tells News Talk KZRG they've searched a home southwest of Joplin in connection to a shooting early Monday.

"We served a search warrant at 3689 Cherry Road.  Officers do believe that this is the location where the shooting occurred and we're still looking for a suspect at this time.  We do know there were some other people present when the victim got shot.  And we have confirmed it was the address where we served the search warrant.  And we were able to find some evidence that substantiates that."44-year-old Tommy Webb was found in his car with two gunshot wounds. Copeland says Webb is recovering from his injuries. Webb's car was a block away from the house where the search warrant was served. 

Webb gave law enforcement three different stories about how he'd been shot.  News Talk KZRG asked Copeland which version does this fit?  "None of the three accounts that he gave were the truth."

Sticklen Resigns From Joplin School Board


There's an opening on the Joplin School Board. Dawn Sticklen sent a letter of resignation to the Board last week and that resignation was accepted at Tuesday's monthly meeting. Sticklen said she was stepping down because of family reasons. Anyone interested in filling her place on the Joplin School Board should send a letter of application to Board Secretary Pat Waldo within the next two weeks. Then at its September meeting, the Board will decide which applicants they want to interview for the position. The Board will choose a new board member from those applicants.

Joplin School Levy Unchanged


No change. The property tax levy from the Joplin School District for the 2014-15 school year will be the same as this year's: $3.66 per $100 of assessed value. So if you have a $100,000 home, you'd pay $366 in school property tax. Joplin Schools Chief Financial Officer Paul Barr says the amount of the levy that goes toward operating costs will increase, and the amount for debt service will decrease.

2 Hurt In Pittsburg Accident


Two people were injured in a two-vehicle crash Tuesday afternoon in Pittsburg. Pittsburg Police tell News Talk KZRG cars driven by 43-year-old Cassandra Lynch of Parsons and 92-year-old Charles Kellogg Junior of Pittsburg collided at the intersection of Walnut and Euclid shortly after 3pm. Kellogg and a passenger in Lynch's vehicle, Lillian Graham, were taken to Via Christi Hospital with injuries. Lynch and another passenger in her car were not hurt.

USD 247 Special Election


There's going to be a special election for USD 247 in Kansas. Voters will decide October 7th if they want an 8 mil increase in their property taxes to go toward capital outlay. USD 247 spokesman Chris Wilson tells News Talk KZRG what the capital outlay would go towards.

"What those funds will go to is stuff like upgrading ramps and that sort of thing for the American Disabilities Act, buying computers, software.  We also even have to purchase buses starting next year.  We have to purchase a bus every year for several years."

Wilson says the special election is not related to the recent discovery of a clerical error that meant taxpayers in USD 247 overpaid capital outlay taxes last year.

New Joplin HS May Not Open Monday


Joplin High School classes may not start on Monday. That word from Superintendent Dr. CJ Huff at Tuesday night's Joplin School Board meeting. Huff tells News Talk KZRG getting moved into the new High School will continue up to the last minute.

"This thing's going to come to the wire and we want to make sure that our parents are prepared to make a decision in relation to their high school students only.  Because the rest of the schools start on time, no matter what.  We'll see where we're at on Friday.  The answer might be Friday, but it may be Saturday, it may be Sunday. Just depending on how things are progressing and where everybody's at at that point in time.  But I assure you that we'll make a decision as quickly as we can when we have all the information we need to make the right decision on behalf of our kids and staff."

Huff says if High School classes can't start Monday, High School Principal Dr. Kerry Sachetta has set aside October 24th and December 22nd for full school days and a half day for December 23rd. Huff repeated that if the High School couldn't open Monday, all other Joplin schools would.

MO Supreme Court Denies Collings Appeal


The Missouri Supreme Court has upheld the conviction and death sentence for Christopher Collings, who admitted raping and killing 9-year-old Rowan Ford in November 2007.

The court on Tuesday rejected numerous arguments in Collings' appeal.

The girl was taken from her home in Stella and found a week later in a sinkhole in McDonald County. Her stepfather, David Spears, was also charged with murder and rape but pleaded guilty to reduced charges of child endangerment and hindering prosecution. Prosecutors said there was no physical evidence tying Spears to the killing.

Collings' lawyers argued among other things that the trial court should have excluded his confession. Collings had said he ``freaked out'' and strangled Rowan because she looked at him while being raped.

Empire Celebrates Major Milestone


Empire District Electric is celebrating a major milestone. The company announced Tuesday that their employees have worked two million hours without a lost-time injury. The previous record was 1.5 million work hours.Tiffany Haney with the Safety Council of the Ozarks tells News Talk KZRG it's a tremendous accomplishment.

"It's a very high achievement in the electrical

Contractor Mistake Leads to Water Main Break in Joplin


Crews are dealing with a water main break in Joplin right now. Christie Barnhart of Missouri American Water tells News Talk KZRG what happened near 15th and Ohio today (Tuesday).

"We do have a pretty substantial main break, but our guys are already on the scene. Apparently a contractor hit the main, it's an 8-inch main."

Barnhart says there's no word yet on whether it will

Schweich Sets September 2 Start Date for Joplin Audit


Missouri Auditor Tom Schweich has given News Talk KZRG a timeline for when his audit of the City of Joplin will begin:

"There's an open meeting set for September 2nd where we'll do our entrance interview, and it will be open to the public."

Schweich made the announcement first on the KZRG Morning News Watch today (Tuesday), confirming that his team will also be looking

20th Street Overpass Gets Closer To Starting


Joplin's 20th Street Overpass project took another step toward getting started Monday. The Joplin City Council hired Transystems Corporation to provide design services for the project. Joplin Public Works Director Nick Heatherly tells News Talk KZRG what has to happen before work on the overpass begins.

"The project is already designed.  The contractor's been selected. And we're waiting for one last piece of right of way to be cleared through the process.  We have to meet the federal relocation laws on that because it's federal funding.  As soon as that's done, then everything else is just going to fall into place.  Utilities are already being re-located and things have started.  We're just waiting for one piece of right of way."

Heatherly says once construction on the overpass starts, it will take at least two years to finish.

COUNTRY MUSIC NEWS
Jake Owen Treats Fans to a Nashville Beach Party
Thousands of country music fans turned out Monday night (Aug. 18) for Jake Owen's second annual BMI Block Party, packing a parking lot in the heart of Nashville's Music Row for the free concert.
Miranda Lambert's Haircut Makes a Statement
I have so much to say about Miranda Lambert's new haircut. Because Miranda Lambert's new haircut has so much to say.
Taylor Swift and Polaroids: Instant Love
In a world of camera phones and Instagram, does anyone even print photos anymore? Yes. Taylor Swift does.
Carrie Underwood, Lady A Get Festive With Michael W. Smith
I'll be the first to admit it. I will rock a Christmas album in the spring, summer or fall like a champ, especially if it involves the likes of Carrie Underwood, Lady Antebellum, Little Big Town, Jennifer Nettles, Martina McBride or Vince Gill.
Brad Paisley's Boys Inspire and Critique His Moonshine
Brad Paisley's Moonshine in the Trunk comes out on Aug. 26. Some of the reviews are in, and it sounds like the ones from Paisley's own little fan club at home matter the most.
Country Stars Dousing ALS With Donations
When you're raising money for ALS, it seems like everybody wins with this Ice Bucket Challenge.
Chase Rice Stands Up for "Ready Set Roll"
On "Ready Set Roll," Chase Rice lays out all of the bro-country buzzwords -- Fireball shots, pickup-truck dates and of course, sexy country girls.
Taylor Swift Confirms New Pop Album
Taylor Swift will release her first pop album titled 1989 on October 27. The first single is titled "Shake It Off."
Three Secrets of Taylor Swift's 1989
On Monday (Aug. 18) afternoon, Taylor Swift went live with some news. Big news. Not really country music news, but still big news.
Kenny Chesney Parties on Beach With 40,000 Fans
When Kenny Chesney made the announcement he would take 2014 off the road to focus on making his new record, The Big Revival, did you honestly think the hardest-working man in country music would completely step offstage for an entire year?
CMT Will Air George Strait's Final Concert
CMT will premiere an exclusive two-hour special, George Strait: The Cowboy Rides Away, on Aug. 29 at 7 p.m. ET/PT.
Lee Brice: "I'm Dancing Now"
As much as I've always loved Lee Brice's "Parking Lot Party" and, frankly, his ability to go seamlessly from that song into "I Don't Dance," party anthems are not the songs that come naturally to him.
Dan + Shay Show Off XIX Tattoos
When I hear that line about the tattoo in Dan + Shay's new song "Show You Off," I always wonder if they'd really go through with it. Would they really "tattoo your name on my arm" because "baby, I just want to show you off"?
Joel Crouse Welcomes New Album at Opry
On his first visit to Nashville, at age 12, Joel Crouse got to see the Grand Ole Opry. Ten years later, he'll celebrate the release of his debut album on the hallowed stage.
CMT All-Time Top 40: Bob Dylan
Bob Dylan checks in at No. 18 on CMT All-Time Top 40: Artists Choice, a list of the most influential artists in history, chosen by country stars themselves.