Thursday, April 19, 2018

So you want to be a Neosho High School head boys or girls basketball coach

The Neosho R-5 School District posted openings Wednesday for head coaches for the boys and girls high school basketball teams.

The advertisement is printed below:

Head Coach
Job Description

Settlement apparently reached in Exploration Station lawsuit

It appears a settlement has been reached in the lawsuit filed by an Oronogo couple against the owners of the Exploration Station Pre-School, 3132 E. 12th, Joplin.

Jasper County Circuit Court online records show a 3 p.m. Wednesday, April 25, settlement hearing in Judge David Mouton's courtroom.

According to the lawsuit, teachers at the facility resigned rather than sign a document to back the owner's version of what happened during the continuing punishment of Nick and Adrienne Weston's two-year-old child.

In their five-count petition, the Westons allege Exploration Station owners Charyl and Chad Copher and co-defendant Kayla Copher were responsible for false imprisonment of their son, who is referred to as J. W. , intentional infliction of emotional distress, negligent infliction of emotional address and negligence due to child endangerment and abuse.

The petition spells out what the Westons claim happened during the short time J. W. was at Exploration Station and how they came to learn about the extent of what had been done to their son:
(O)n or about July, 2017, Nick and Adrienne Weston, legal parents of J.W., engaged the services of Exploration Station Preschool and Childcare for the care of J.W. during the workday. J.W. was a typical two-year-old child that occasionally cried when his parents dropped him at the facility, but according to all written reports the child would be fussy at drop off or nap time, but would be “great” the remainder of the day.

Nick and Adrienne Weston were told by Charyl Copher and Kayla Copher that if a child became too upset, they would contact the parents to come to the facility and calm the child. Over time, the parents noticed that J.W. seemed more upset than usual at drop off and Nick Weston called the facility to discuss how to best address the issue.

Kayla Copher said she appreciated the parents' willingness to work with them, and felt that the child would adjust over time. On one occasion, when Adrienne Weston picked up the child she was informed by two teachers outside the classroom that J.W. was having a “breakdown.”

Upon entering the room, Ms. Weston noticed that Kayla Copher was frustrated with J.W., and she commented that the child seemed to get upset when the teacher in his classroom was switched out during the afternoon.

Again, the Westons discussed with the staff how to address the issue, and Ms. Weston began leaving work early to pick the child up prior to the teacher change in mid-afternoon.

On September 25, 2017 Adrienne Weston received a call from Charyl Copher that J.W. had a “bad fit” right before nap and hit his head and face on his cot, but they didn’t notice any injury until after his nap. There appeared to be some bruising and they were treating it with ice, but didn’t want her to be alarmed at pickup about his condition. Charyl went on to say she had never seen a child act so badly. This confused Ms. Weston, as the written reports on J.W. were always good other than fussy at drop off and nap time.

Ms. Weston arrived at the facility to pick up J.W., and was surprised at the severity of injuries to the face, head and neck of J.W. from hitting a nap cot, and was going to take the child to the doctor immediately. Cheryl, Kayla and the teachers did not have matching accounts of the incident.

She immediately requested a copy of the incident report from Ms. Copher to provide to the doctor. An incident report was reluctantly provided. En route to the doctor, J.W. was unusually clingy and lethargic, and kept complaining he was hungry. The doctor noted the abrasions and scratches, but felt that those would properly heal over time, and the bigger concern was the social aspect of what happened at the facility.

Ms. Weston made the decision to terminate services at Exploration Station, as she felt she was not given an accurate account of the incident with J.W. that resulted in such injuries.

On October 6, 2017, the Westons learned that Exploration Station was closing because all of the childcare teachers voluntarily terminated their employment with the facility.

On October 7, 2017, the Westons were invited to a private Facebook group by former teachers at the facility, and learned that J.W. was emotional and crying the morning of September 25, 2017 in the classroom. The teacher was working to soothe the child when Kayla Copher removed J.W. from his classroom. Kayla returned with him a short time later, and he began to cry. This took place three or four times in a short period of time. The last time the child was not returned to the classroom.

The classroom teacher stuck her head out the door of the classroom to look for J.W., and she could hear him screaming her name. She went toward the child and found he was being forced to lay on the lunchroom floor. The child attempted to get to his teacher, and Charyl and Kayla would not allow it.

The child was removed behind closed doors with Charyl and Kayla, so that no other staff members could witness their actions. The child was then locked in a dark room alone until he could calm down, and was not fed any lunch.

The child was returned to the classroom for nap time where he appeared so scared he would not even move on his cot, and it was at this time that the injuries were noted by the teacher.

Charyl Copher typed an untruthful statement regarding the incident, and told each staff member they were required to sign the statement, so they “would all have the same story in case the State comes in to investigate.”

The teachers/staff members all chose to voluntarily terminate their employment based on this incident, and the facility closed October 6, 2017.

(S)ince September 25, 2017 J.W. has suffered from severe separation anxiety if one or both the parents leave his presence, and suffers from fear of the dark at bedtime and night terrors which were not present prior to actions of the Defendants. The child is in need of psychological care and therapy as result of the Defendants’ actions.

Nick Weston and Adrienne Weston have suffered and continue to suffer emotional distress because of the injuries and suffering of their small child at the hands of Defendants.


The Westons, who are represented by the Tracey Martin Law Office, Joplin, were seeking at least $25,000 in actual damages, punitive damages and costs, according to the petition.

Koch's most important accomplishment as Joplin R-8 Board President: Melinda Moss is here- C. J. Huff isn't

It was a bit of housekeeping that went largely unnoticed during the Joplin R-8 Board of Education meeting Tuesday night.

As Sharrock Dermott assumed the position at the head of the table as the new board president, Dr. Ron Lankford, assistant superintendent for business services, picked up a now extraneous item and carried it over to Board Secretary Janet Waldo.

She accepted the plate, bearing the name "Jeff Koch" and the meeting resumed moments later.

Koch, who had served as board president for an unprecedented three years, was defeated in his bid for re-election and departed graciously at the end of the adjournment of the old board saying "a great deal of change has taken place in the past three years. I feel the district is on a good path." Koch praised the team that has been assembled for the district and pledged his continued support.

A few moments after Koch's departure, Superintendent Melinda Moss conducted the election of officers for the new board, with Dermott elected president and Brent Jordan vice president.

When Koch was first elected board president, a different superintendent, C. J. Huff, conducted the election.

And while the terms of Huff's departure can be questioned (and rightly so), his removal ended a dark era for the Joplin R-8 School District and for that alone Koch earned the gratitude of taxpayers, teachers, staff, and students.

Contributors foot the bill for Billy Long to take two more trips to Vegas, eat nearly $8,000 in meals


During the first three months of 2018, contributors to Seventh District Congressman Billy Long's campaign paid for him to take two more trips to Las Vegas and eat 83 meals totaling $7,931.68.

The number of trips Long took to Sin City, to put it into perspective, is two more than the number of town hall meetings he has held since first taking office in January 2011.

Long's quarterly campaign report, filed earlier this week with the Federal Election Commission, shows he received $297,335 during the three-month period, spent $126,498.73 and has $682,127.51 in the bank.

Long was in Las Vegas February 5-7 and January 16, according to the report.

The February Vegas expenditures included a $315.21 meal at the Southwest Steakhouse on the 6th, a hotel reservation at the MGM Grand for $1,252.99 on the 6th and $787.33 on the 7th, as well as expenditures of $97.54, $18.28, $29.55 and $16.56 for taxi rides on the 5th, 6th and 7th.

Long's campaign contributors paid $196.83, $204.99, and $184.21 for Long to have three meals at the Jardin Restaurant in Las Vegas February 5.

The Jardin can be found at the Wynn Las Vegas hotel and casino and afforded Long the opportunity to sample "Chef Joseph Zanelli's garden of delights for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, according to the Wynn Las Vegas website.

Southwest Steakhouse, also located at Wynn Las Vegas, offers such cuisine as the chili-rubbed double rib eye (a particular delight for those who hate to have to rub their own chili on their rib eyes), which was featured on the Food Network's "Best Thing I Ever Ate," according to the restaurant's website.


Long's January Las Vegas stay was at the Wynn Las Vegas, where only $55.09 was spent on lodging.

The largest expense for meals on the report was $1,370.57 at Domenico's Italian Restaurant in Jefferson City on February 28.




Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Hartzler praises passage of 2018 Farm Bill

(From Fourth District Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler)

Today Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler (MO-04), a senior member of the House Agriculture Committee, praised the Committee’s passage of the 2018 Farm Bill. The Committee passed the measure by a margin of 26 to 20.

“I am pleased that the Agriculture Committee has worked together to pass this important bill in a timely manner,” Hartzler said. “Missouri farmers work hard everyday to feed the world, and they need the certainty of a five-year Farm Bill. This bill strengthens safeguards for our food supply and improves public/private risk management programs that are vital to American agriculture. In addition, the Farm Bill makes significant investments in rural broadband, including a provision I authored to expand access to loan guarantees for broadband infrastructure in rural America and set a minimum speed for federal investment. Today was an important step, and I look forward to the upcoming floor vote to move this process forward.”

Hartzler noted that this bill makes historic improvements to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and helps recipients break the cycle of poverty. “Improving work opportunities for able-bodied adults receiving federal nutrition assistance is a key development in this year’s Farm Bill. Missourians have always supported giving their fellow man a hand up, and these common-sense improvements to the nutrition program will help those receiving SNAP find meaningful employment,” said Hartzler.

Specifically, the Farm Bill:

  • Reauthorizes and strengthens Agriculture Risk Coverage and Price Loss Coverage programs, maintains crop insurance.
  • Streamlines existing work requirements for able-bodied SNAP recipients and pairs them with a variety of options to increase SNAP recipients’ opportunities.
  • Provides a safety net for farmers who are affected by unfair foreign trading practices.
  • Reforms key conservation programs, expands access to working land programs, and includes language Rep. Hartzler authored to increase grazing flexibility for Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) lands.
  • Authorizes substantial funding for the expansion of rural broadband.
  • Establishes new programs to protect the health of the nation’s livestock.
  • Improves assistance for specialty crops and reduces fraud in organic imports.
  • Helps beginning farmers and ranchers establish themselves in agriculture.

Graves: Trump's actions in Syria put madmen around the world on notice

(From Sixth District Congressman Sam Graves)

Syrian President Bashar Assad conducted another senseless chemical attack earlier this month in an attempt to subdue rebel forces. The attack didn’t just affect those opposing him; it also killed dozens and injured hundreds of innocent Syrian civilians including women and children. This is just the latest horrific act he has committed.

Assad’s brutal actions toward innocent civilians are inexcusable and must not be tolerated by any nation.

President Trump responded last Friday night by authorizing missile attacks on known Syrian chemical weapons facilities. Acting with the help of our allies in France and Britain, these attacks slowed down Syria’s chemical weapons program. I believe our swift response sends a crystal clear message that the United States will not stand for such atrocities.

We must continue to hold the Assad regime accountable. It should go without saying that you can't gas innocent men, women, children, and babies and expect to get away with it.

President Trump took decisive, necessary action and I will support any effort that holds Assad accountable.

Holding a ruthless regime accountable is just one of the many things we ask our military to do. This is why it is highly critical that they have the resources they need. As a member of the House Armed Services Committee, I am committed to making sure that our military is well-funded and well-prepared for whatever task we give them.

For the last several years, our military has suffered from a lack of resources that was, frankly, unacceptable. I’m proud to say that is no longer the case and we have finally given our Armed Forces the funding they need to get the job done.

When our troops are called upon to defend our country and ensure that innocent civilians are protected, they can now do so knowing that they will have the manpower and resources to do the job we call on them to do.

Bold actions carried out by a strong United States military puts madmen around the world on notice. We’ve made it clear that the United States is always prepared and willing to defend our country as well as the lives of those subjected to unthinkable atrocities.

Joplin City Councilman after resignation: I am so very sorry I let you down

In a Facebook message posted two hours ago, newly-elected Joplin City Councilman Joshua Bard announced his resignation, citing a state statute that does not allow him to serve.


First, I want to say thank you to everyone who has supported me over these last several months. To many of you, it is no surprise that I have a past, a past that I'm not necessarily proud of at all. But we cannot allow ourselves to be defined by what we have done. I had hoped and still hope to use that example in my life. 
With that being said, I have resigned my position as a member of our Joplin City Council. In all the research I had done prior to running. I missed a MO Statute that prevents me from holding office. 
I want it to be known, I never intended on doing any harm to our city or our city council. I love this city and our governing of this city. To those that were counting on me. I am so very sorry I let you down!

The Joplin Globe reports Bard resigned after being told that a previous felony conviction from 2006 prevents him from holding elective office.

It is interesting that this was not brought up prior to the election since Bard has not tried to keep his history a secret.

After all, the statutes have been the same since Bard filed.

Jarub Baird sentenced to 12 years in prison for meth conspiracy, money laundering

A federal judge sentenced Jarub Baird, 27, Carthage, to just short of 12 years in prison during a 34-minute hearing today in Kansas City for his role in a meth conspiracy and money laundering.

After Baird serves the 142-month sentence, he will be placed on supervised probation for five years.

Baird pleaded guilty in July 2017. The plea agreement detailed Baird's crimes:

The Buchanan County Drug Strike Force (BCDSF), Springfield, Missouri Police Department, and the Drug Enforcement Administration developed a methamphetamine drug conspiracy in 2015 involving the following people; Kenneth Bryant Lake, Michael Ryan Nevatt, Scott Bryan Sands, Jerry Lee Brown and Travis Lee Bethel.

Investigators identified Kenneth Lake as the original head of the organization coordinating vehicle transport shipments of methamphetamine to Springfield, Missouri, for later distribution and drug proceeds (United States Currency) shipments out of Springfield, Missouri, for payment of the delivered or ordered methamphetamine.

Subsequently, Michael Ryan Nevatt became the head of an organization involving all those listed above and Kara Renee Baze, Breanna Nicole Hall, Autumn Sky Provience, Lanny Eugene Ham, Jarub Ray Baird, Cindy Ann Nevatt, Tara L. Harken, and Jake Ian Nixon.

This organization also obtained methamphetamine elsewhere and got it delivered to the Springfield, Missouri, area for later distribution, along with sending drug proceeds out of the area for payment of methamphetamine ordered or delivered.

Lake, Sands, and Aaron Randall Stull, coordinated shipments of methamphetamine by United States Postal Service parcels to the Springfield, Missouri, residence of Michelle Vanne Gray where it was stored then retrieved for later distribution.

On 08/28/2015, Kenny Lake and Kara Baze are arrested during a search warrant at a hotel room in Springfield, Missouri. Officers recovered $102,787 in United States currency, a loaded handgun and a small amount of methamphetamine.

Michael Nevatt and BAIRD arrived in a black Corvette and after a brief chase were apprehended. In 2016, multiple witnesses gave statements to investigators in this case about BAIRD’s involvement.

In summary, those witnesses link BAIRD with Michael Nevatt and Nevatt’s methamphetamine distribution activities. Those witnesses describe BAIRD’s activities in assisting Nevatt with obtaining and distributing more than five kilograms of methamphetamine and with collecting drug proceeds for methamphetamine distributed.

Defendant acknowledges that while the information set out herein may not allege exact amounts of methamphetamine associated with the defendant, the amounts alleged herein, along with other statements and evidence in the case, total more than five-hundred (500) grams of methamphetamine for which the defendant is responsible.

The defendant further acknowledges the substances with which defendant was involved were in fact methamphetamine, a Schedule II controlled substance.

Finally, defendant acknowledges that at least some acts committed in furtherance of this distribution conspiracy were committed within the Western District of Missouri, during the dates alleged in the indictment.

Defendant additionally acknowledges that during the dates charged in the superseding indictment, and at least partially within the Western District of Missouri, the defendant used or knew at least some of the proceeds obtained from defendant’s methamphetamine distribution, and the distribution of others in the conspiracy, were used to pay living expenses, buy assets, and to purchase additional methamphetamine for distribution.

Defendant also acknowledges that he and other co-conspirators used cash during the conspiracy to conceal the nature of their illegal activities.

Additional evidence exists that may further implicate the defendant in these conspiracies. The defendant acknowledges that evidence was provided to defendant’s attorney via discovery and the defendant has had an opportunity to review it with the attorney prior to signing this plea agreement and further acknowledges that evidence, and any additional evidence obtained prior to sentencing, may affect the ultimately determined drug responsibility level and sentence of the defendant.

In jailhouse letter, accused Jayda Kyle killer says "I've never been a part of something so wrong and corrupt"

In a lengthy letter written from the Jasper County Jail, Jalen Vaden, 22, Carl Junction, the alleged killer of three-year-old Jayda Kyle, he is innocent, was framed, and "I've never been a part of something so wrong and corrupt in my life."

In the letter, written to a friend and shared through the accompanying video from Kellen Carr's Facebook page, Vaden criticizes law enforcement officials who investigated the crime.

"They didn't do their job properly and let them cover up the evidence."

Though Vaden is not specific about the identities of them, one of them apparently is Jayda Kyle's maternal grandfather, attorney Judd McPherson.

"Judd is lying," Vaden wrote, adding, "I've fallen victim to a f---ed up system."

Vaden said he is concerned about going to trial and fears receiving a life sentence, which is the maximum sentence he can receive for second degree murder.

"I just can't sit in prison for something I didn't do. I'm getting burned for being loyal to the wrong people."

Again, Vaden was not specific about who the wrong people were.

"There's no way they can go back and investigate because they've covered their tracks." Vaden also said "six to seven people in Jayda's room handling everything."

Vaden compared the experience to one he had in high school. "It's like playing Webb City in football. When we played them, you didn't stand a chance no matter what you do."

Vaden described himself as "hurt and lost with no way to win. I need a miracle. I don't have the money to defend myself."

Vaden also indicated his race may have something to do with his situation.

"They always talk about constitutional rights, but they forget that the dudes who wrote it had slaves and they weren't talking about us."




Previous Posts

Request for speedy trial for accused Jayda Kyle killer withdrawn

Judge overrules motion; Jalen Vaden's statements can be used at trial

Jasper County detective acknowledges Devyn Kyle's mention of McPherson treated differently than Jalen Vaden's

Motion: Jalen Vaden's statement should be tossed because he asked for Judd McPherson

Bond set at $1 million for Jalen Vaden, trial may be as soon as June or July

Despite social media claim, Judd McPherson was not at daughter's home the night Jayda Kyle was abused

Recordings of interviews with Jaden Valen, Devyn Kyle among items turned over to defense during discovery process

Gag order expected in Jalen Vaden case

Reporter/Carl Junction City Councilwoman threatens Jayda's Beat founder, says Vaden guilty, McPherson not involved
Press conference claim: Jalen Vaden confession to Jayda Kyle murder was coerced

Jasper County Prosecuting Attorney outlines evidence against Jalen Vaden
Jalen Vaden to Jayda Kyle's father: I pray that you know I didn't do this to her

Family of accused Jayda Kyle murderer suspects outside manipulation as SMB, GoFundMe shut down accounts

Explosive court documents claim Jayda Kyle's mother turned her death into a social media event

Jayda Kyle's mother to answer questions under oath; defense to add Judd McPherson as a witness

Dankelson refuses to recuse from Jayda Kyle murder case, says he does not have a close relationship with Judd McPherson

Jalen Vaden's lawyer asks for change of judge, cites Dankelson's close relationship with Judd McPherson

Jalen Vaden bond decision delayed, preliminary hearing waived


***


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McCaskill: I am pushing legislation to make Social Security benefits keep with cost of living

(From Sen. Claire McCaskill)

Missouri seniors living on fixed incomes are seeing their out-of-pocket expenses rise every year, but the Social Security benefits they've earned just aren't keeping up.

It's unbelievable to me that the minimal cost-of-living adjustments seniors see today in their Social Security checks are based on the same basket of goods from 1973—a whole lot has changed since then, and it's about time we change this too.

I'm fighting to make that change.

Today, seniors spend two to three times as much on health care as younger consumers, but the annual adjustment in their Social Security benefits don't keep up with those rising health care expenses. That's not right, and our seniors deserve better.

That's why I'm pushing legislation that would make this common sense fix to help our seniors today, and put Social Security on stronger footing for generations to come.

It's part of my commitment to the promise that was made to Missourians—that if you work hard and play by the rules, you can retire with respect and dignity. And it's one I'll fight to keep.