Sunday, July 23, 2017

Agenda posted for Tuesday Joplin R-8 Board of Education meeting

The Joplin R-8 Board of Education will meet 7 p.m. Tuesday in the Memorial Administration Building.

A closed session to discuss legal matters and personnel issues is scheduled for 6:30 p.m.

Meeting Agenda

A. Call to Order

1. Roll Call

B. Pledge of Allegiance

C. Approval of Agenda - Action

D. Public Comments Regarding Agenda Items 

E. Reports

1. Board President's Report

a. Celebrations - Info. (Jeff Koch)

b. BOE Data Analysis Committee Update - Info. (J. Koch, S. Dermott, and L. Musser)

c. BOE Safety Committee (S. Dermott, L. Musser, and D. Gander)

2. Superintendent's Data Report

a. Health and Dental Care Insurance Reports - Info. (Dr. Lankford)

b. Financial Statements - Info. (Dr. Lankford)

F. Consent Agenda - Action

1. Approve Minutes - Action (Pat Waldo)

2. Consent Agenda Contracts - Action

a. Roof Top Heating and Air Conditioning Unit for Cecil Floyd

b. JHS Service Contract for Photo ID Card Printers

c. Anderson Engineering Surveying and Geotechnical Drilling Services

d. Service Agreement for Speech-Language Pathologist

3. Food Bid and Supply Bid - Action (Dr. Sachetta)

4. Bread Bid - Action (Dr. Sachetta)

5. Dairy Bid - Action (Dr. Sachetta)

6. Net Off Invoice Bid - Action (Dr. Sachetta)

7. Local Tax Effort (LTE) Billbacks - Action (Sandra Cantwell)

8. Copy Paper Bid - Action (Dr. Lankford)

9. Policy Update Second Reading - Action (Dr. Moss)

a. Policy ECA: Building & Grounds Security

b. Policy GBA: Exempt & Nonexempt Employees

c. Policy GBAA: Staff Extra-Duty Assignments

d. Policy GCD: Professional Staff Recruiting and Hiring

e. Policy GDC: Support Staff Recruiting and Hiring

f. Policy IGBCA: Programs for Homeless Students

g. Policy JEC: School Admissions

h. Policy JGF: Discipline Reporting & Records

G. Regular Agenda

1. JEC - Prime Contract Change Order #6 Crossland Construction Co. - Action (Dr. Sachetta)

2. JEC - Architect Contract Amendment: Special Inspection Services - Action (Dr. Sachetta)

3. MSBA Delegate Selection - Action (Dr. Moss)

4. Accounts Payable - Action (Dr. Lankford)

5. Bank Depositary Bid - Action (Dr. Lankford)

6. Meal Price Increase - Action (Dr. Sachetta)

7. Purchase Four School Buses - Action (Dr. Sachetta)

8. Weidenhammer (Alio) Maintenance Renewal - Action (Dr. Sachetta)

9. Renewal Student Information System - Action (Dr. Sachetta)

10. Antivirus Licensing - Action (Dr. Sachetta)

11. enVision Math Workbooks K-2nd Grade - Action (Dr. Gilbreth)

12. School Supplies Bid - Action (Dr. Moss)

13. Plus/Delta - Info. (Dr. Moss)

a. Plus: What did we do well

b. Delta: Opportunities for Improvement

H. BOE Announcements

I. Adjourn

Nancy Hughes devotion: Do you know a Mrs. Wallace?

“The King will reply, ‘I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of
the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.’”
Matthew 25:40 (NIV)

Her name was Mrs. Wallace. Just saying the name – Mrs. Wallace – and immediately I picture that little lady with extremely short naturally curly and seldom washed hair. A tiny lady with jack-in-the-box teeth that needed no prompting to pop in and out of her mouth at a moment’s notice.

I can almost smell the talcum powder that did little to mask the scent of one who seldom bathes that we kids always knew would be there – and almost always was – when our mother picked her up on Saturday mornings to take her to town with us.

I admit that we complained every time Mother told us we would be picking up Mrs. Wallace. “Why does she have to go with us?” “She smells funny.” “Her socks are always down around her ankles.” “Doesn’t she have someone in her family who can take her to town?” “What if our friends see us with her?”

My mother would always respond to our questions with the same answers. “She is going with us because she has no one close by to take her. How will she get groceries? This is a good opportunity for you to get to know Mrs. Wallace. She is a very sweet lady. How can I tell her that my children don’t want her to go with them? Imagine how hurt she would be!”

And so for one more trip to town, we would sit in the back seat and watch her and wonder . . . why she didn’t bathe more often, why her socks continued to rest around her ankles, what kept her teeth from separating completely from her mouth and falling on the floor of the car.

But something happened during one of those car rides: we began to realize what our mother was doing. She was putting God’s love into action. She was taking care of Mrs. Wallace the widow lady as if she was HER mother! We saw that our mother was living what she believed. The teaching that Jesus was sharing in Matthew 25:34-40 was not something she took lightly.

In that Scripture Jesus was speaking to the righteous and blessing them for giving Him food and drink, for clothing Him, for taking care of Him when He was sick and for visiting Him in prison.

When they question Him as to exactly when they did those acts specifically for Jesus, He replies in verse 40: “…I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.” (NIV)

My mother was showing us that when “the least of these” needed help, we should be willing to step in and show our Father’s love without complaining and without asking anything in return. Her unselfishness in being willing to put Christ’s love into action was a lesson we never forgot.

What are we doing to show our children how to be Jesus to those around us? Could it be that there is a Mrs. Wallace in our neighborhoods or where we work?

The best way for our children to learn Christ’s unselfish love for others is to see it reflected in our acts of kindness toward “the least of these” around us.

Father, please help me to never cease to look around me for those who need your loving touch in the very simple everyday things. Help me to always remember that people will learn about you by watching me. May I be a mirror of your love and compassion. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

R.A.P. it up

Is there a Mrs. Wallace in your family or neighborhood?

Do you need a “vision check” so that you see them through the eyes of Jesus?

What lessons are you conveying to your children when it comes to taking care of widows and others in need?


Find out the birthdays of the older neighbors in your community or at church who may not have any family living close by. Help your children to design coupons for (a) “a meal brought to your home;” (b) “a shopping trip;” (c) “a tea party time” (and you provide the tea and cookies). Pass out the coupons to each person and check back every couple of days to see if a date has been decided on to use the coupon.

Pray with your children concerning the salvation of each person who accepted a coupon. Have them write a note of encouragement to each person.

Power Verses

Matthew 25:40 (NIV) “The King will reply, ‘I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.’”
Philippians 2:4 (NIV) “Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.”
Proverbs 22:6 (NIV) “Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it.”
I John 3:17 (NIV) “If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him?”
James 2:15-16 (NIV) “Suppose a brother or sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to him, “Go, I wish you well; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about his physical needs, what good is it?”

(For more of Nancy Hughes' writing and information about her books, check out her blog, Encouragement from the War Room.)

Lawyer for man charged with beating girlfriend, posting bond and assaulting her again asks for bond reduction

According to a probable cause affidavit, Bruce Anthony Chambers, 36, Joplin, beat his girlfriend viciously, dragged her across the floor by the hair, was arrested, posted bond and went back for more.

That time, a probable cause affidavit asserts, Chambers went back for more.

Joplin Police received word that the woman was "in immediate danger." When they arrived, Chambers refused to let the woman answer the door and took her phone away from her, throwing it across the room, according to the probable cause statement.

Chambers was charged with three misdemeanor offenses- kidnapping, domestic assault in the fourth degree, and unlawful use of drug paraphernalia.

After the second arrest, the judge set Chambers' bond at $40,000 cash only.

After the second incident, the judge set bond for Chambers at $40,000 cash only.

On August 2, his lawyer, at the moment public defender Christina Ewers, will try to get the amount reduced.

From the bond reduction motion:

Were his request to be granted, Mr. Chambers would reside—with his brother—off of Colonial Dr. in Webb City, MO.

Mr. Chambers has lived in the Jasper County area his entire life.

Before Mr. Chambers was arrested, he was employed with Cupit Construction.

Mr. Chambers is not a flight risk, due to his social and familial ties to the local community. Mr. Chambers has indicated that he has reliable transportation to and from work.

Since the motion is for the bond set for the three misdemeanor charges, it mentions nothing of the felony incidents that led to the increase.

The Joplin Police Department probable cause statement for the earlier offense said Bruce Anthony Chambers, 36, "knowingly caused serious physical injury to (the victim) by using his fists to repeatedly strike (her) in the face resulting in multiple hematomas and the loss of and/or permanent damage to the upper two front teeth."

The second domestic assault count came when Chambers dragged the woman across the floor by her hair.

He was also charged with a third felony, child abuse, since the woman's five-year-old son was at home when the beating occurred, according to court records.

FEC filing: Roy Blunt leadership PAC accepts $112,000 from health care/pharmaceutical special interests

Political action committees (PACs) representing pharmaceutical, insurance, and health related special interests contributed at least $112,500 to Sen. Roy Blunt's Rely On Your Beliefs Leadership PAC.

Leadership PACS are used by senators and representatives who are shooting for leadership positions or who want to hold on to those positions. They do so by contributing money to fellow legislators' campaigns and by showing their fundraising ability.

Blunt received $331,765.75 in contributions during the past six months, according to his July financial disclosure form filed with the Federal Election Commission (FEC).  He spent $256,807.92, leaving him with $231,067.95.

Blunt entertained potential donors lavishly, according to the report, spending $15,000 for catering and facility fees for a PAC event at The Sanctuary at Kiawah Island, a luxury resort near Charleston, South Carolina, and $16,372.39 and $14,446.44 for PAC events at Disney Destinations at the Epcot Center in Orlando, Florida, as well as several meals costing thousands of dollars and two events at the Stonewall Golf Club in Gainsville, Virginia.

Among the PACs giving the maximum $5,000 contributions to the leadership PAC were the following:

Boehringer Ingelheim USA
Eli Lilly
Abbott Laboratories
American Hospital Association
United Health Corp
American Society of Plastic Surgeons

Other PACS contributing at least $2,000 include the following:

Abbvie Pharmaceutical Research and Development
Federation of American Hospitals
Johnson & Johnson
Health South Corp
Emergency Biosolutions
Blue Cross Blue Shield

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Links provided for top Turner Report/Inside Corner posts for the week

Politics took the front seat this week on the Turner Report with Billy Long's July quarterly financial disclosure report accounting for the number one and number and number nine posts and my letter to Sen. Roy Blunt about Obamacare coming in at number two.

The discovery of a dead boy between Buffalo Wild Wings and Wal-Mart on Range Line was the top post this week on Inside Joplin with the announcement that no foul play was suspected in that case landing at number five.

Links to the top posts are featured below:

The Turner Report

1. Billy Long not only failing to drain the swamp, he's soaking up the overflow

2. A letter to Roy Blunt on Obamacare: Are you not even listening any more?

3. Former Joplin City Manager Mark Rohr sues League City, Texas, mayor

4. Joplin R-8 Board to act on school lunch price increase

5. Arkansas Human Services employee sentenced to nine years, ordered to repay $9 million intended to feed poor children

6. R-8 Board bills include Victory Ministries attorney fees, half a million for computers, Chamber fees

7. St. Louis area man charged with shooting Jasper County deputy asks for change of venue

8. Mother of driver in quadruple-fatality accident- McKay was not impaired by anything but his phone

9. Shocker- no trips to Vegas on Billy Long campaign report, $10,000 on meals

10. Five teens injured in crash near Pineville: Diamond teen charged with DWI

Inside Joplin

1. Joplin Police find body between Buffalo Wild Wings and Wal-Mart

2. Joplin parents search for runaway daughter, missing since Sunday

3. Joplin runaway found, is safe

4. No foul play suspected in death of man found between Buffalo Wild Wings and Wal-Mart

5. Diamond woman charged with DWI following one-vehicle accident near Carthage

6. Joplin Police Department Weekend Arrests

7. Jasper County Sheriff's Office Arrests

8. Five teen injured in two-car crash near Pineville

9. Jasper County Marriage Licenses

10. Portion of Range Line closed as swat team deals with gun-wielding Kansas City man

Inside Joplin Obituaries

1. Betty Dennis

2. Donnie Balestrin

3. Michael DeBoard

4. Tammy Dalton

5. Becky Boyd

6. Ron Baker

7. Bill Salchow

8. Sharon Burgess

9. Kevin Ewing

10. Vickey Phillips

Billy Long: I will work to confront the challenges of cybersecurity

(From Seventh District Congressman Billy Long)

In a world where security is not simply a matter of physical safety, but also virtual safety, cybersecurity continues to be a topic of discussion in both the news and in Congress. As technology rapidly changes, our approach to cybersecurity and its emerging threats needs to adapt as well. Recently the Energy and Commerce Committee held a hearing regarding security in wireless technology. This hearing examined mobile cybersecurity problems while also discussing possible solutions. In the United States alone, 77 percent of the population owns a smartphone and 51 percent own a tablet.

In 2015, people purchased 1.4 billion smartphones, which was a 10 percent increase from the previous year. As smartphone purchases have increased, so have their vulnerabilities to cyber hacks. There are numerous ways hackers can exploit mobile vulnerabilities. Some ways include downloading an app through a third party, opening a suspicious text message or email or having weak passwords. In 2014 there was a 214 percent increase in mobile vulnerabilities, compared to a 32 percent increase in 2013.

As more and more people buy smartphones and store sensitive information on them, such as health records, social security numbers and credit card information, the more likely a hacker will target these vulnerable devices. According to the 2017 Symantec Internet Security Threat Report, in 2016 1.1 billion people had their identities stolen, doubling the number from the previous year.

People are connected now more than ever before, and addressing all these vulnerabilities becomes even more important. The good news is there are techniques than we can do to improve mobile security. Changing passwords regularly, backing up mobile devices, paying closer attention to permission messages and avoiding downloading third-party apps can decrease the likelihood of a hack. In 2015, an analysis of over 10 million apps showed that roughly one third were created for viruses.

Cybersecurity touches on virtually every aspect of American life and our laws and policies have not kept up with technology; we must take critical steps to protect American information and ideas. I will continue to work with my colleagues on legislation that confronts these issues and addresses the most pressing problems from these emerging cyber-related challenges.

Friday, July 21, 2017

Cleaver: Student debt is a growing problem

(From Fifth District Congressman Emanuel Cleaver)

In a few days, I will be hosting a town hall meeting to discuss an issue that many Americans are struggling with - student loan debt.

Student loan debt has been such a growing problem that I feel it may become just as paralyzing and damaging to the economy as the mortgage debt crisis in 2008. The total debt has surpassed $1.4 trillion dollars with millions of Americans continuing to struggle to pay their student loans.

I’ve spoken with students who tell me they have difficulty moving forward in life because they are burdened with overwhelming student loan debt.

It’s time address this issue and find solutions to ease the burden and make college more affordable.

The federal government should continue to incentivize loan repayment as an employee benefit and utilize the tax code to further expand this benefit.

Colleges and high schools need to improve existing efforts to help students understand the debt they are taking on, understand the difference between grants and loans, and improve financial education.

I can’t wait to hear from students, parents and others impacted by student loan debt at my town hall August, 2, 2017. Be sure to check my Facebook page and follow me on twitter, @repCleaver to learn more. Together we can make changes to this ongoing crisis.

Former Joplin City Manager Mark Rohr sues League City, Texas, mayor

Former Joplin City Manager Mark Rohr filed a lawsuit against League City, Texas, and its mayor Pat Hallisey Wednesday in U. S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas alleging his First Amendment rights were violated when he was fired December 12.

Rohr took the city manager position in League City March 31, 2014, after the Joplin City Council fired him by a 5-4 vote a month earlier.

In the petition, Rohr claims that he was fired after he filed ethics complaints against Hallisey, accusing him of interfering with the city manager's job and staff and violating confidentiality rules.

Despite the significance of Mr. Rohr’s allegations against Mayor Hallisey, in October 2016 the City Council declined to take any action. 

Immediately after the Council announced its decision, Mayor Hallisey remarked that Mr. Rohr was “not good for the city” and would “not be there much longer.”

Less than a month after the investigation into the Mayor’s ethical conduct, an article was published in The Daily News titled “Mayor Wants Manager, Attorney Fired.” 

The article examined the Mayor’s efforts to retaliate against the City Attorney and Manager, including his decision to add their terminations to the City Council’s formal agenda. 

In the same article, Mayor Hallisey is quoted stating that he has “lost confidence in Rohr and (City Attorney Nghiem) Doan” pointing out that the two have worked against him.

Unfortunately, Mayor Hallisey’s efforts to oust the City Manager and the City Attorney were rewarded by the City Council. On December 13, 2016 Mr. Rohr was terminated by a 5-3 vote and City Attorney Nghiem Doan barely retained his position by a 4-4 vote. 

This indicates that the two individuals who dared to report and investigate Mayor Hallisey were targeted for termination based on a Council recommendation strongly pushed and advocated by Mayor Hallisey. 

Rohr says he was punished for exercising his First Amendment rights and filing the ethics complaints against Hallisey.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

St. Louis area man charged with shooting Jasper County deputy asks for change of venue

A request for change of venue is expected to be decided when a pre-trial conference is held July 31 for a Florissant man accused of the March 1 shooting of Jasper County Deputy Nolan Murray.

The lawyer for E. F. Fitchpatrick, 43, filed the venue change motion July 6 in Newton County Circuit Court.

Fitchpatrick was arrested after a two-hour standoff at the Econo Lodge on Range Line in Joplin. He was only a few months removed from his last stay in a federal penitentiary.

Fitchpatrick's arrest was detailed in a news release issued by the Joplin Police Department:

On March 1st, 2017 at 3:48p.m. officers with the Ozarks Drug Enforcement Team were attempting to serve a search warrant at the Econo Lodge Hotel, 3510 South Range Line Road. As officers attempted to make entry into the second floor room a gun shot (s) was fired at the officers through a window striking Jasper County Deputy Nolan Murray. Deputy Murray, who was wearing a bullet resistant vest suffered injury from the gun shot and was transported by EMS to Freeman Hospital. Officers on scene requested assistance through Joplin Dispatch.

Officers with the Joplin Police Department arrived and a SWAT operation was activated. After failed attempts to establish contact with the suspect in the room, officers deployed chemical munitions into the room. EF Fitchpatrick Jr (43) of St. Louis, exited the room and was taken into custody and transported to Mercy Hospital by EMS.

When Fitchpatrick was arrested, he was only a few months out of prison.

Court records show Fitchpatrick was sentenced to 37 months on prison in 2012. He was released early and placed on probation for one year, but was not able to make it stick.

On two different occasions, the latest on July 6, 2016, Fitchpatrick's probation was revoked and he was returned to prison. Each time he was sentenced to six months. After the second stay, he was free and clear.

A motion for a detention hearing filed November 18, 2010, in U. S. District Court for the Western District of Missouri offers a breakdown of Fitchpatrick's felony convictions:

The defendant has prior felony convictions for Tampering with Service Utility, Burglary, and Possession of an Illegal Weapon in March 1991, Possession of an Illegal Weapon in March 1995, three counts of Forgery in November 1998, and two counts of Distribution of a Controlled Substance in May 2005. The defendant is presently incarcerated in the Missouri Department of Corrections as a result of a parole violation predicated on this pending case, and is therefore not eligible for pre-trial release.

Online court documents also show Fitchpatrick being charged numerous times with domestic assault and on two occasions, in 2000 and 2005 had protection orders entered against him.

Former Granby wastewater plant operator receives probation for Clean Water Act violations

A U. S. District Court Judge Monday sentenced former Granby wastewater treatment plant operator Charles Ranslow to five years of probation for submitting false reports to the Missouri Department of Natural Resources in violation of the Clean Water Act.

Judge David P. Rush also filed Ranslow $2,500.

Ranslow, 50, Neosho, was indicted by a federal grand jury in Springfield charged in a three-count indictment returned by a federal grand jury in Springfield in March 2015.

According to the indictment, Ranslow conducted wastewater sampling at the facility and submitted Wastewater Discharge Monitoring Reports to the Missouri Department of Natural Resources from June 2013 through March 2014. The indictment charged Ranslow with two counts of making false and fraudulent statements in those reports. Ranslow submitted monitoring reports that contained false data, for example, with regard to the levels of ammonia.

The indictment also charged Ranslow with one count of making false and fraudulent statements in a Domestic Sludge Report that was submitted to the Missouri Department of Natural Resources. Ranslow represented sludge monitoring results to be indicative of the Granby Wastewater Treatment Facility sludge, when he knew the data was false.