Your news: Announcements from the city of Joplin, PSU and more | Local News

Your news: Announcements from the city of Joplin, PSU and more | Local News

Traveling photo exhibit and activities to call attention to dementia

From Pittsburg State University

A traveling photo exhibit, public reception, and photo walk fundraiser being planned for June by a graduate of Pittsburg State University will highlight perspectives and insights of individuals and families impacted by dementia.

Elizabeth Spencer, who graduated with a master of arts in Communication in 2015, is now an assistant professor at the University of Kentucky where she is leading a project focused on the disease.

“These photographs offer a unique perspective of how individuals visually represent and communicate their thoughts and feelings about the experience of dementia,” Spencer said.

The exhibit will be on display at the Bicknell Family Center for the Arts, 1711 S. Homer, from June 20-26.

As part of the Alzheimer’s Association global call to action, “The Longest Day,” held each year on the summer solstice, a fundraising photo walk is planned from 3 to 5 p.m. on June 21 at Pitt State and in Downtown Pittsburg with the help of the Heart of America Chapter.

Mike Gullet, award-winning Associated Press photojournalist and member of the Missouri Photojournalism Hall of Fame, will lead the photo walk. Individuals who donate to the fundraiser may participate.

That evening, a public reception will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Bicknell Center, sponsored by the Department of Communication. In addition to the traveling photo exhibit, photos taken during the walk will be showcased.

Prisca Asaro, program director for the Alzheimer’s Association Heart of America Chapter, will be in attendance and will provide information on resources for families and individuals facing the experience of dementia.

Spencer will share information about the project and the goals of her research.

“It’s so rewarding to see our graduates go out into the world and use their degrees for something impactful, and what Elizabeth is doing certainly is impactful,” said Professor of Communication Alicia Mason, who directs the department’s graduate program at Pitt State. “What makes it doubly special is to see her come full circle by coming back to Pitt State to share her project with the campus and the community.”

City offices closed for Memorial Day holiday; residential trash schedule moves back a day

From the city of Joplin

In recognition of the Memorial Day holiday, the City of Joplin offices will be closed on Monday, May 29. This closing includes the Joplin Recycling Center and MAPS services. The Recycling Center will also be closed on Saturday, May 27. All City services will resume their regularly scheduled hours on Tuesday, May 30.

Public Safety, Airport Operations, and Wastewater Services will continue to operate throughout the Memorial Day holiday weekend, as these departments run 24/7 throughout the year.

Please note that residential trash service will not be picked up on Memorial Day, Monday, May 29. Customers who usually have pick-up service on Mondays will have their service on Tuesday, May 30. For the remainder of the week, the residential trash collection will move to the next day with Friday’s customers having a Saturday pick-up.

Waste Corporation of America (WCA) which accepts bulky items from Joplin residential trash customers will be open on Monday, May 29. WCA’s hours for drop-off are 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 8 a.m. to 12 noon on Saturday. The facility is located at 3700 W. Seventh Street, on the south side of Seventh Street, just west of Schifferdecker Avenue. For questions specific to the service, contact WCA at 417-623-6620.

For other questions about residential trash services, contact the Recycling Coordinator at 417-624-0820, ext. 1501.

Route 66 Festival Highlights Oklahoma Music Heritage

From the Miami Convention and Visitors Bureau

MIAMI, Okla. — Music, BBQ and more will once again fill Main Street in Miami as plans for the Third Annual Route 66 Heritage Fest get underway.

The event, which spans Friday and Saturday, July 28 and 29, features six bands — including a line-up of hometown favorites; a car and bike show designed to fill the street with a plethora of wheels, and the smells and tastes found at the second Smokin’ on the Route, a sanctioned Kansas City Barbeque Society (KCBS) competition.

This year’s festival, presented by Modoc Nation, features newcomers Dead Metal Society and 6 Foot Landing, along with the return of Miami natives Keith Thompson of Thompson Square and Keith Anderson, and the area bands, The Websters and Backwood County.

“We’re excited about this year’s stage lineup,” explained Amanda Davis, Miami CVB executive director. “This year we’re focusing on six bands, rather than eight, in order to give each group additional playing time.”

Davis said feedback from surveys conducted after last year’s festival led the committee to branch away from country music and explore some different options.

“We listened to the feedback from the community and one of the points of interest consistent in the surveys was the ask for a bit more of a rock presence in the line up,” Davis explained. “The committee is excited to bring that to the stage with the addition of Dead Metal Society.”

Dead Metal Society, considered one of the region’s premiere 1980s hair band, will headline Friday night’s concerts, alongside local favorites The Websters and Backwood County.

“The Dead Metal Society band has a great following and they came highly recommended by other event venues around the Four-State region,” Davis said. “Their music features everything ’80s metal is known for, including hot solos, vocals and drums.”

Saturday’s lineup opens with 6 Foot Landing, a post grunge/classic rock/Oklahoma red dirt band developed by friends during their college days at Northeastern State Oklahoma in Tahlequah.

“The continued support and investments our partners make as they join forces with the city is something that makes this event continue to grow,” Davis said. “Their support allows us to provide this event for free, not only Miamians but to those driving in from across the region.”

Miami natives Thompson Square and Keith Anderson return as Saturday’s key performers. Anderson, a staple of country music, will open for the American country music husband and wife duo of Keifer and Shawna Thompson.

Both Anderson and Keifer Thompson are graduates of Miami High School. Their musical roots can trace back to their days as a celebrated Miami Wardog.

The festival will once again include vendors and food trucks, and a beer garden lining Main Street and the nearby side streets throughout the festival. Participants are encouraged to bring lawn chairs.

For more information, persons interested may contact Miami CVB at 918.542.4435, visit www., or find the festival on Facebook @miamiok66fest. Sponsorships and vendor booths are still available at this time.

Red Cross offers tips to help you have a great — and safe — summer

From the American Red Cross of Southern Missouri

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — As we all head outside to enjoy the sunshine and warm weather this summer, the American Red Cross of Southern Missouri has steps you can follow to help stay safe.

“Here in our region, many of us enjoy spending time outdoors with loved ones as we head into the summer months,” said Stacy Burks, Southern Missouri executive director. “The Red Cross wants you to avoid any danger no matter what your plans include and offers steps you can follow to have a safe summer.” Visit red for more information.


Drowning can happen quickly and silently. Unless rescued, it could take as little as 20 to 60 seconds for a drowning person to submerge.

Learn to be safe, make good choices, learn to swim and know how to handle emergencies.

Provide constant, active adult supervision and know how to swim.

Swim in an area with lifeguards. Designate a “water watcher” to keep a close eye and constant attention on everyone in and around the water until the next water watcher takes over.

Wear your life jacket.

Reach or throw, don’t go! In the event of an emergency, reach or throw an object to the person in trouble. Don’t go in! You could become a victim yourself.

Swimming classes are available for both children and adults. Visit for a map of Learn-to-Swim providers in your community.

Download the Red Cross Swim app for safety tips, kid-friendly videos and activities, and take the free Water Safety for Parents and Caregivers online course in English or Spanish.


Summer is a great time to get outside for a picnic or to fire up the grill. Follow these tips to prevent illness and keep everyone safe:

Wash your hands, utensils and workstation before preparing the food.

Separate uncooked meats, poultry and seafood from ready-to-eat foods like salads, fruits, vegetables, cheeses and desserts. Use separate plates and utensils to prevent cross-contamination.

Bring hand sanitizer if your picnic site doesn’t have hand-washing facilities.

If you are going to cook on the grill, bring a food thermometer to be sure grilled foods are cooked enough.

Always supervise a barbecue grill when in use.

Don’t add charcoal starter fluid when coals have already been ignited.

Never grill indoors.

Make sure everyone, including pets, stays away from the grill.

Keep the grill out in the open, away from the house, deck, tree branches or anything that could catch fire.

Use the long-handled tools especially made for cooking on the grill to help keep the chef safe.

Wash your hands before preparing the food.

Don’t leave food out in the hot sun. Keep perishable foods in a cooler with plenty of ice or freezer gel packs.


Whether camping or just enjoying the outdoors, follow these tips:

If a camping trip is in your plans, know the level of ability of the people in your group and the environment around you. Plan accordingly.

Pack a first aid kit.

Take a Red Cross first aid and CPR course and download the First Aid app.

Watch for sprains, falls and dehydration.

Share your travel plans and locations with a family member, neighbor or friend.

Bring nutritious food items and water, light-weight clothing to layer and supplies for any pets.

There is a greater chance of getting bitten by mosquitoes and ticks outdoors Use insect repellents containing DEET when you are outdoors. Be sure to follow the directions on the package.

Consider staying indoors at dusk and dawn, when mosquitoes are most active.

Wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants and tuck your pant legs into your socks or boots.

Use a rubber band or tape to hold pants against socks so that nothing can get under clothing.

Tuck your shirt into your pants. Wear light-colored clothing to make it easier to see tiny insects or ticks.

When hiking in woods and fields, stay in the middle of trails. Avoid underbrush and tall grass.

If you are outdoors for a long time, check yourself several times during the day. Especially check in hairy areas of the body like the back of the neck and the scalp line.

Inspect yourself carefully for insects or ticks after being outdoors or have someone else do it.

If you have pets that go outdoors, spray with repellent made for their breed/type. Apply the repellent according to the label and check your pet for ticks often.

Get rid of mosquito breeding sites by emptying sources of standing water outside of the home, such as from flowerpots, buckets and barrels.

Download the FREE Red Cross First Aid app so you’ll know what to do if emergency help is delayed and the FREE Emergency app for weather alerts, open Red Cross shelter locations and safety steps for different emergencies. Choose whether you want to view the content in English or Spanish with an easy-to-find language selector. Find these and all of the Red Cross apps in smartphone app stores by searching for the American Red Cross or going to

Joplin Ranked as a Top Complete Streets Policy in New Smart Growth America report

From the city of Joplin

The City of Joplin ranked as the fourth-best Complete Streets policy in a new report from Smart Growth America and the National Complete Streets Coalition. Evaluations were conducted using the Complete Streets Policy Framework, a national model of best practices to create a Complete Streets policy that can be implemented at any level of governance, in any type of community. The City of Joplin’s policy was enacted in 2022.

Complete Streets are designed and operated to provide safety and accessibility for all users of our roadways and trail systems, including pedestrians, bicyclists, trolley users, motorists, emergency vehicles, freight and commercial vehicles, and people of all ages and abilities. Complete Streets principles contribute to safety, health, equity, and economic viability by providing accessible and efficient connections between home, school, work, recreation, and retail destinations and improving the transportation environment throughout the City of Joplin.

Joplin’s ordinance formalizes the planning, design, operations, and maintenance of our streets so they are safe for all ages and abilities and provide a multimodal transportation network. This initiative is also part of the Action Plans passed by the Joplin City Council in 2021. Citizens also showed their support for this plan at the polls when they passed the Use Tax in November 2021. Revenues from the Use Tax are dedicated to completing the City’s 47 Action Plans.

“Joplin recognizes the importance of Complete Streets for all of our citizens,” said Troy Bolander, Director of Planning, Development, and Neighborhood Improvement. “This has been a concentrated effort with our transportation planning team along with the support of the City Council and administration. We are focused on providing transportation options in areas that may be disconnected so residents can better access common destinations they seek such as the grocery store, medical visits, and City parks.

“This was truly a team approach to develop this and get it adopted,” said Bolander. There were several key members leading the efforts including Taylor Cunningham, our former Transportation Planner who worked closely with Michael Kelley of BikeWalkKC and Ron Bentch with Missourians for Responsible Transportation in helping us develop our policy. We greatly appreciate their work and now have a strong Complete Streets plan for Joplin.”

Stated within the report: “With a 100 out of 100 available points, there’s not much about the Joplin policy that’s not top-notch. But a few specific points are still worth highlighting. The Joplin Complete Streets policy set a goal in its vision and intent to prioritize underinvested and underserved communities: ‘While this ordinance applies throughout the community, Joplin shall develop plans and set goals to prioritize and ensure the successful implementation of Complete Streets in neighborhoods which have experienced historic underinvestment.’

“The policy requires proactive land-use planning, including revising existing land-use policies, plans, and zoning ordinances. As a result, Joplin’s new zoning and development code will set minimum standards to enhance roadway safety, like 10 feet widths for multi-use paths.

“As Joplin’s Complete Streets Committee makes progress on implementation, more policies and standards like these will be updated. The Complete Streets policy will be at the heart of the city’s plans and investments for the future.”

“A strong Complete Streets policy is a crucial step to combatting the historic increase in pedestrian fatalities in the United States,” said Beth Osborne, VP of Transportation and Thriving Communities at Smart Growth America. “We applaud Joplin’s commitment to creating a policy that is poised to produce tangible improvements that will make their streets safer. ”

The Best Complete Streets Policies Report 2023 evaluates and ranks the 157 Complete Streets policies passed across the country since 2019, in jurisdictions of many sizes and contexts. Complete Streets is an approach to planning, designing, building, and maintaining streets that enable safe access for everyone, including pedestrians, bicyclists, motorists, and transit riders of all ages and abilities. This approach emphasizes the needs of those who have experienced systemic underinvestment, or whose needs are not met through traditional transportation approaches, representing a paradigm shift from a status quo that prioritizes moving vehicles quickly at the expense of pedestrian safety.

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